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westfargomusings

Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.

Month

October 2015

A Family Tradition

This past week would have been my uncle Arnie’s birthday. He passed away from cancer earlier this spring. Thinking about him makes me also think about my Grandfather. There is a theme that sort of runs through my family. That theme is law enforcement.

My Grandfather, Ed Wingenbach, spent many, many years in law enforcement. He started with the Mandan PD, and then later ran for Sheriff of Morton County. He served until 1975 when he failed to get re-elected. At the time he was the longest continual serving Sheriff Morton County had ever had. His twelve years as Sheriff were twice what anyone else had served since the county was founded in 1878, though Charles McDonald had more total years served (16) and Phil Helbling had as many split up over several instances. I believe the man who beat him that year, Leo Snider, then served until 2002.

Ed Wingenbach on Patrol for Mandan PD
Ed Wingenbach on Patrol for Mandan PD

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Relic

This is the perfect Halloween read.

My review of Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

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Relic, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s thriller that introduces FBI Special Agent Pendergast

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum’s dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human…

But the museum’s directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who–or what–is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

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The Unbearable Racism of Social Justice Warrior Jerks

I’m not an advocate for ACW2, mostly because it scares the hell out of me and I seriously doubt we’ll end up with more freedom when the shooting is done. But if it ever comes about, my list of people who need to be lined up against the wall and shot as an example for the other precious snowflakes keeps getting longer.

Evolution isn’t working fast enough, more people need to be shot.

My favorites of the last quarter of 20th century

Continuing my favorites list are those from the last quarter of the 20th Century, 1975-1999. There are some awesome stories from this period. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia since these were my formative years, but I think this section is the strongest.

Fantasy from 1975-1999

  1. 16282137 The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams, DAW Fantasy, 1988. This is the beginning of my favorite fantasy series, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. The whole series could be here, but I’m just going to list one. Regardless of my thoughts on the author as a person there is no doubt he is a master story teller. While there is nothing all that original in the story (young orphan is catapulted into the middle of a magical war between the forces of good and even in a land populated by fantastical beings), he does it with tremendous style. I was completely sucked into the world he created. There is also the fact that none of the main characters are safe from death, unlike so many tales of high fantasy. By the time the trilogy ends nearly half of the character list is dead. But be prepared for many a long night, this is epic fantasy with a capital “E”. The third book alone is over 1000 pages.

  2. 6496148 Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice, Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. The first of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles launched a beloved series of books and a couple of mediocre movies. Actually, I just like the first three books in the series, and after that it started to get a little stale for me. But the first two books, Interview and it’s sequel The Vampire Lestat got me hooked that I powered through a couple of the lesser sequels before throwing in the towel. This book is well worth the read.

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My Favorites of this century …

While I can never claim to have read all the works out there I’ve read quite a few volumes. I was originally going to call this a best of list, but decided that since there is no real objective criteria to base these choices on I’d be better off just calling it My Favorites. Of course that hasn’t stopped The Hugos and The Nebulas from calling themselves best of, but I’m not that vain. And since I’ve found there to be a bit of a dearth in quality tomes the last few years, I’m going to divide these up into slightly larger year groups. Initial entry is the current century.

Fantasy from 2000-Present

  1. 1439132852  Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, Baen Books, 2009. Sword and Sorcery for the current times. This introductory book to the world of Monster Hunters is fast paced, with likeable characters and tons of cool weaponry set amidst some pretty badass bad guys. It might be Gun Porn for the D&D crowd, but it’s entertaining as hell. If you like to read about the slaying of dragons by nights in armor, you will not be disappointed. Better yet, Baen Books runs their publishing house like a well organized drug lord, the first hit is free.

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Freehold

My review of Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold

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Sergeant Kendra Pacelli is innocent, but that doesn’t matter to the repressive government pursuing her. Mistakes might be made, but they are never acknowledged, especially when billions of embezzled dollars earned from illegal weapons sales are at stake. But where does one run when all Earth and most settled planets are under the aegis of one government? Answer: The Freehold of Grainne, the only developed system that belongs to neither the UNES nor the Colonial Alliance. There, one may seek asylum and build a new life in a society that doesn’t track its residents’ every move, which is just what Pacelli has done. But now things are about to go royally to hell. Because Earth’s government has found out where she is . . .


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