August 24, 2013


Hey Ranger! True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America’s National Parks by Jim Burnett, copyright 2005, published by Taylor Trade Publishing

To quote the author:

“The tone of the book is intended to be light, so I have included only those events that had at least a relatively happy ending.  It’s not my intention to poke too much fun at anyone, so where appropriate, the names have been changed or eliminated to protect the innocent (or the guilty, as the case may be).”

Well where the hell is the fun in that?  No deaths, no finger pointing, no fun.  Well, I take back the no fun.  It’s a nice, enjoyable book but you won’t find yourself jumping up and saying, “Ha! You dead dumbass!”  It’s more like, “Well, you got lucky.”

This is the kind of book you would let your mom read, which now that I think about it, sounds like a terrible review.  If your library has this book and you’re looking for some brain popcorn, this is an enjoyable book.  If however you’re looking for absolute idiots and a high body count, let me suggest Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael Ghiglieri.


Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China by Paul Theroux, copyright 1988, published by Ballantine Books

As is obvious by the title and the copyright date, this is a book about traveling through China by rail in the late 1980’s.  This is a sizable book.  A huge book.  A 451-page book.  Unless you enjoy travelogues (I found this shelved under True Adventure), I wouldn’t recommend this book.  However I enjoy travelogues, especially Paul Theroux.

I doubt however that I would enjoy China.  At least in the late 1980’s.  The people distrust and dislike tourists, the accommodations sound worse than an outhouse in the Appalachians and what’s more, everyone spits.  to wit:

“They spat all the time.  They cleared their throats so loudly they could drown conversation – they could sound like a Roto-Rooter or someone clearing a storm drain, or the last gallon of water leaving a Jacuzzi.”

Perhaps you handle the sight and sound of people spitting better than I do, but when I see it, I dry heave.  Rail through China for me would consist of spit and vomit.  Yuck.

As this is an older book, I have ordered a more up-to-date travelogue on China (Oracle Bones 2007) from the library to see if anything has improved.  I will let you know.


The Tall Man 2012 Crime/Thriller was our latest Netflix movie. 

Plot:  When her child goes missing, a mother looks to unravel the legend of the Tall Man, an entity who allegedly abducts children.

Why this is listed under “Thriller” is beyond me.  I’ve had more thrills going through the drive-thru at McDonald’s.  This is neither a good nor bad movie, it is simply a movie.  If you’re looking to entertain your stodgy aunt from Pismo Beach, loan her a copy of Hey Ranger! and this film.



1 Comment

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One response to “August 24, 2013

  1. Grignr

    Ha ha! Thrills at the drive through!

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