Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year, and all that.

The passing of the old into a new begins tonight, just like it always does… around midnight.

I have glad rags in the closet with ultra shiny corfam shoes (Just like the big boys in the Service wear!) and a funny looking fluffy shirt that goes with my tux. In fact, I have two tuxedo suits but one of them has shrunk in the closet. I blame the regimen of hoppy barley pops for my clothing shrinkage, really.

Many people feel exhilaration and excitement when celebrating the New Year. I feel more of acceleration towards an ominous end. I'm a glass half empty sort of guy, (sorry!) it's just how it goes. In fact, I don't really feel anything about this day other than having to remember to write 2014 on my checks instead of say, 2012.

One thing I have been catching up on this past month has been reading. First, I read the latest Jack London Bio written by a Professor Earle Labor. Very appropriate author name considering London's strong socialist lean, in those days.

I received this great biography as a birthday present. I could not put this one down and I enjoyed every page. Earle Labor clearly knows his subject from many years of study and friendship with surviving London relatives.

Next, I re-read a Heinlein classic, "Door into Summer". The story is about a jilted man and his cat as they travel through time. The first time I read this great story was while living in Coronado in a small house with a siamese kitty named DC. The story reminded me of how much I still miss the DC Cat.

DC feared nothing. This is her in 1995 meeting our Akita, Kuma.

On a roll with book reading, I went to the local used book shop and grabbed up a pile to keep me going. The next (and current) book is James Hornfischer's tome on the campaign for Guadalcanal in 1942, "Neptunes Inferno". 

Usually, the story of Guadalcanal is mostly told from the standpoint of the Marine Corps and the tough struggle to beat down the Japanese defenses of that bit of island. The real story of the Campaign is much larger than one island in the Solomon's and the fighting that took place in the waters off of those islands was quite bloody, indeed. Three Sailors lost their lives to every Infantry Marine killed on Guadalcanal. I am still in the middle of the 514 pages. James Hornfischer does not disappoint, his deep research and care about the subject matter really shows us all the pain and sacrifice that we all should remember even today. Another book related to Neptune's Inferno would be the classic Hornfischer story, "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors".

Next up will be a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, I don't remember the title but I'm sure it will be a fun read.

My Christmas present this year is the second edition of the newest Mark Twain Autobiography, published (as required by the Clemons Will) a century after Samuel Clemons' passing. It's a large book so I will read it in the next couple of weeks.

Tonight's Wine Dinner is at the Club, dressed in our finest, we will dine like Romans. I doubt I will be able to stay up for the Midnight celebrations, we will probably be ensconced on the Barco, snug like cats in our bunks.

I hope all of you out there have the best New Year. Good luck and better health for you all!


Buck said...

Happy New Year, Darryl. I had a dog named Kuma once, too... but she was a Black Lab.

LL said...

I've read Neptune's Inferno twice now and it's EXCELLENT reading.

Happy New Year to you, the Spousal Unit and to the cats and crew.

Gary said...

And a very Happy New Year to you too. I have also read Neptunes Inferno and thought it was a great read.

I am sorry you never found time to read either of my books. Well, maybe next year, or the one after....