Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some things last; some things do not

Whoever wrote the song, "The Boys are Back in Town," was not thinking of White Bear and I at the time. Our lives are rather sedentary these days, as is evidenced by the photograph. Here we are, seated in our respective chairs, working on our respective computers, watching our respective television programs and drinking our respective beverages of choice while working on our respective books. Mine is a tale of fantasy and science fiction. White Bear is attempting to assemble out of the disjointed, fragmentary and mutually contradictory human disciplines a single, logically integrated research framework for the psychological, social, and behavioral sciences -- a framework that not only incorporates the evolutionary sciences on a full and equal basis, but that systematically works out all of the revisions in existing belief and research practice that such a synthesis requires. Yes, I know .... I know.

Perhaps it is the fault of James

"Anyone who occasionally stops by here (and actually takes the time to read what has been written here) probably knows that I" -- sound familiar ?? I just copied those words from a post that I wrote a few days ago, but here begins new words -- seldom read a book that has not been around for a decade or two or three or more.

The reason is simple. I believe most books published today are literally not worth the paper they are printed on, and probably will have disappeared from the shelves of bookstores and libraries even before you have the opportunity to log in at eBay looking for a bargain price.

A book that has been in publication (and remains so) for a generation or two has proven its worth simply by still being in existence. Enough people continue to buy the book to justify a publisher re-issuing it even when it goes out of print. These are the books for me -- books that have proven themselves to be of enduring value.

All right. Now, to the point.

I picked up a copy of "American Assassin" by Vince Flynn a few days ago. I did so after watching a few James Bond films and listening to a few motion picture themes from the Bond series. This novel has been to the top of the New York Times best seller list for fiction and I have heard it mentioned by a few on television, so my curiosity got the better of me. Just to be real, I thought this book might be fun (even educational ??), and I hoped to discover how a new master at his espionage tradecraft might compare with the old grandmaster.

I will report back on my findings at a later date.

Diamonds never lie to me

Playing the "You Only Live Twice" music here a few days ago started me listening to more compositions from the James Bond films.

Shirley Bassey sang four of the Bond movie themes, more than anyone else, and, probably, the most recognizable ones. So, here are two from Ms. Bassey: "Diamonds are Forever" and "Goldfinger" -- songs and motion pictures by the same names. I assume there are many women in the world who would agree with the lyrics in the "diamonds" piece:

Unlike men, the diamonds linger;
Men are mere mortals who
Are not worth going to your grave for.
I don't need love,
For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me,
For when love's gone,
They'll lustre on.
Diamonds are forever, forever, forever.

During this listening period, I realized how little I knew about Ms. Bassey, so I took a look at her biography. She is British, Welsh, to be precise and, much to my surprise, she will be seventy-four years old next month.

The videos I have included here were made when she was sixty-three. She is a bit of a "showboat" with her gestures and her voice is not so smooth as it once was, but she sounds great, I think, and it is fun to see how much she is enjoying herself during these performances.

A personal note to close

Well, I signed on for an extra month in this townhouse, which means I am here until the end of January. It was not a difficult decision for a couple of reasons: Who wants to move on New Year's Eve (??) and I really have no immediate plans other than taking care of the family situation that will reach at least into January. In other words, since I am stuck here anyway, why change addresses in the middle of the situation?

In the meanwhile, another seven or eight inches of snow are expected between Friday and Saturday, which absolutely thrills me to pieces. Now, if I lived in the country, I might not mind it so much.


TheChicGeek said...

Hey there :)
I like this post very much. You are sounding more like your traditional self again and I think this is a good development. And good, good, good that you are writing. I like that very much too! You have made me smile today :)

I hope you enjoy Vince Flynn. I've read many of his books and I always enjoy them. Maybe you will too even though they are not of ancient :)
Have a Happy Weekend, Fram :)

Kaya said...

I like this photograph. I like also Teddy Bear with his necklace and watch.

I never heard about Vince Flynn. I am going to make a note to check him on Amazon.

I also wouldn't want to move in a new place on New Year's Eve. And seven or eight inches of snow in this coming weekend? That is a lot. You said if you lived in the country you wouldn't mind a lot of snow? What is the difference?

Take care, Fram.

Fram Actual said...

Kelly comes, then disappears, then makes an appearance, then vanishes, then ....

Nice to see you out and about again. And, yes, I am sort of writing again, I guess. I have been dabbling since I was out at the Lake House. We will see how long it lasts, but, in any case, I hope your smile lasts a long, long while.

If I ever had heard of Vince Flynn before this latest book, I do not recall it. And, to be honest, I do not recall reading any books in this genre since the James Bond series a number of years ago.

On the other hand, I have encountered a "real life" spook or two, the first being a man who was my "surrogate big bother" during my pre-teen years and the second being the man who literally was directly responsible for me dumping the Air Force and joining the Marine Corps. So, naturally, reading the fictional elements surrounding this "profession" most certainly is enjoyable and sort of neat when comparing them to the actual embodiments.

I notice you have been having weather about sixty degrees warmer than I have been experiencing recently, so I think you will have better weekend, Kelly.

Fram Actual said...

White Bear has a habit of picking up my odds and ends and claiming them as his possessions, Kaya. He also likes to drive and he has his own pistol, one which has a link to Poland, his birthland.

Vince Flynn has written an entire series of books about his fictional counter-intelligence agent, Mitch Rapp. To demonstrate how much I "live in the past" as opposed to the present, Flynn lives in the Twin Cities, just a few miles from where I have lived, graduated from the same college as did my photographer buddy, tried for the Marine Corps, but did not qualify physically -- and, yet, I was unaware of his existence and his novels.

A few days ago, I agreed with you that the world is small and getting smaller. Well, I guess that is not always the case, as demonstrated by my lack of knowledge regarding Flynn and his books.

In regard to my comment about snow in the country vs. snow in the city, it is simply my psychological make-up. In the city, I do not go out unless I have a specific purpose and destination. In the country, I can walk for miles with absolutely no purpose or reason. As you might guess, I am the case study for White Bear's book.

You take care, too, Kaya ....

Maddalena said...

He sits too close to the screen and will spoil his eyes soon.

Fram Actual said...

But, Mag. What am I to do? You know White Bear. He has a mind of his own, and rarely will take advice or criticism from anyone.

I will remind him, and tell him these are your words and not mine. He just might listen to you.

By the way, he and I shoveled snow for about an hour this morning. Excellent exercise. Then, White Bear built a "snow bear." It looked just like him.

Maddalena said...

Ask him, if he wants to practice target shooting for some more time. If not, he can watch TV like that, without a word from my side.

Next time you could take a picture of them both, White and Snow Bear :-)

Fram Actual said...

White Bear says he will consider your advice, Mag. It is obvious you started him thinking more about this situation.

As a matter of fact, speaking of target shooting, he has written to Santa Claus asking for another pistol for Christmas, and he told me that he wants a cowboy hat to wear while he watches Western movies on television.

We will see about the photograph later. A repairman was here to tend to the furnace and just left, and now I want to take a long, hot shower and to eat some lefse.

Wind said...

I wish you a great week!
Maybe my english is not so good to write and to express my feelings here in my comments, but I always came to read your thoughts here!
Keep going , my friend!
My best regards from Romania!

Fram Actual said...

The feeling is mutual, Wind. I hope your week is both pleasant and rewarding for you.

Do not worry about your English ability. You seem to do just fine understanding what is written and writing what you think. Not only is that true, but communications are expressed in many ways. There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and each photograph you post tells a story about you and the place where you live.

Yes, we are friends now, and that forms a special sort of communication.

Something special ....