Book Review – It’s On The Meter – Paul Archer and Johno Ellison

Hi Bloggers, I’ve been busy consuming books lately. I tend to read more than I find time to blog about. This book is a great read. Three English lads get a crazy idea – to drive a London taxi from London to Australia, and actually get it done, then extend their trip with a little jaunt across America.

I give the boys full credit for bravery, imagination and well, stupid naivety, but it all comes together in a fun and easily readable way. One author will describe a passage, or part of a story from his perspective, then the other author gives an alternate point of view.

They take you right through from the start where they procure an old taxi (on Ebay I think!) before doing a bunch of fixes and modifications, before setting off. They ‘do’ Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, China, South East Asia, and on to my old home country, Australia.

I for one, can really appreciate the adventurous spirit and guts it took to get this thing off the ground and get it done. What a journey!

The stories are told with that quintessential Brit humour. There’s plenty of upsets and bumps and bruises along the way, too. These were young guys of about 20, who have no issue letting you know that they didn’t have a fucking clue what they were getting into – and there in lies the charm.

I’m so impressed, I give this book 5 out of 5 London taxis. The book practically read itself!

If you are interested, here’s the web link. http://itsonthemeter.com/

 

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Book Review – A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

Hi bloggers, I haven’t done a book review in a little while. So I bought this book a little while ago – more on that in a minute. It turned up on the kitchen counter tonight. I asked the ex if she had read it, and she said yes, she has. She then said that she gave it to her mum to take back to Australia when she last visited. Seems the my ex-mum in law thought we needed it so she posted it back!

So, how did I come across this book? Well, I was in the States, travelling for work, on a training trip. I travelled to Atlanta, Georgia for the training. It was actually in a small town about an hour out of Atlanta. It was my first time in GA, so that was kind of exciting. I picked the book up at the Atlanta airport. I needed something to read on the way home to Canada.

What I do remember from that trip is that I picked up a nasty, nasty stomach bug. Here’s how it went down: We went out one night, to this swishy wine makers estate. There was some appetizers, and a nice meal in a really fancy setting. The place was about an hours bus ride from the place we were staying. Image result for a walk in the woods book

On the way back, I had a terribly uncomfortable full feeling. It was somewhere between ‘I ate too much’ and ‘I need to potty’ and ‘I don’t feel quite right’. But never the less, all I could do was ride the bus and get back to the hotel. Some people in the group actually went out that night to continue to enjoy drinks or whatever. I was not feeling up to it. I will spare you the details, but lets just say I practically exploded. Both ends. I was very ill. Seemed like a lot of the others on that trip ended up with the same bug.

Anyway, I survived, and I’m here to write about it.

Ok, the book. Its a good read. The guy has a genuinely good sense of humour. Well written, he seems like a really average guy who took on a pretty major undertaking. As most would know now the book is a movie. In any case, I recommend it and I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

 

My first record – The Clash – Self Titled LP

Hi bloggers, I want to talk about my first album I ever bought, and a very important band in the evolution of um, the entire world and history as we know it. The Clash were everything that a teenage me needed to hear. They were groovy, with a mix of rock, jazz, pop, reggae, and whatever else, and their subject matter was punk.

It could be fair to say that some of the songs on this record a mildly obnoxious, even a little hasty, but it is a really good listen. It spoke to me. It kind of let me know that you could be a bit of a bad arse, even if you were white and growing up in the suburbs. My parents had a record player and I spent many hours getting this one on the turn table with the needle ***** the fucking dog just puked on the floor so I had to stop to clean that up **** and dancing around my family lounge room or whatever.

So for the kids out there, I’m going to put it bluntly. Most of the music that is produced today is fucking crap. Ok, there are some good bands out there, but I think you know what I mean. The Clash, in my humble opinion is essential music listening homework. It was well done, intelligent, kind of political, certainly anti establishment. It was kind of like, well Green Day, except, it was um, realistic, credible and better to listen to.

But if youImage result for the clash album really want to do your homework, and impress your good old mum and dad, get your iPhone earbuds filled with this tasty stuff: London Calling. This is the quintessential Clash record. Again, no musical education could really be complete without a few good listens. One day, when the world wakes up from its Justin Bieber fed diet of bullshit, the dust will be blown off the Clash recordings, and true human enlightenment will be realised.

Those already enlightened souls will be nodding their heads right about now, and if you are over 40, and don’t know what I’m talking about, its time to ask yourself “What the fuck have I been doing with me life?”

I kid you not.

**** Was just about to publish my blog and my son is asking me to unplug the blocked toilet. Fuck can’t a guy get a frikkin break? LOL ****

 

 

Book Review – The Taliban Don’t Wave by Robert Semrau

Hi Bloggers,

I’m excited to bring you this book review, because this is a really good book, its also written by a Canadian infantryman who was serving in Afghanistan. Further to that, the author comes from Saskatchewan, Canada, which is now my home province. He talks about Moose Jaw/Saskatoon and other Sasky stuff that I can kind of relate to.

But first, a weird little side bar. I like to sometimes reach out to authors on Facebook or whatever. So I went and looked for Robert Semrau, just to say ‘hi’ and that I liked his book and appreciate his service to country. So I did just that, and I was kind of excited when, some days after I found him, I sent him a friend request, and I got a message.

Image result for the taliban dont wave

So this is cool right? I am on Facebook messaging back and forth with this person, and soon he’s telling me that he’s in Yemen, and in hospital after a car crash, and he needs $1200 for treatment, and the Canadian Gov’t wouldn’t help him out. So, rather than reaching for my non-existent cheque book in my non existent bank account with non-existent wads of cash, I put a few questions to him. Questions that any Sask lad could easily pull out of their arse, such as ‘what was the name of your hockey team when you were growing up’, and ‘what school did you go to, and what is the mascot?’ Well readers, very soon the person went off line. Fucking scammers. Like really? Imagine trying to make a buck out of the story of someone else who has put everything on the line?

Ok, back to the book. The story is really about how Captain Semrau was charged with a mercy killing on the battlefield. The wounded Taliban soldier was apparently full of holes and death was inevitable, and it would appear that morally, this was probably the right thing to do. I’m not judging, I’ve never been to war, never served in the military, never been shot at or seen my friends shot to bits. I won’t give the story away, but my personal thoughts are that while there should be due process, it seems slightly redundant to me that someone should be held to account to this degree (murder charge), while others are being actively praised for battlefield kills as snipers or infantry or whatever. Again, not judging, its just not my thing.

While I thought that there would be more lengthy discussion on the court case, the time waiting for a verdict, the unbearable stress of having a possible life sentence over his head (there were these things), I was glad to read that the story was much more about the experience of being in Afghanistan, as a soldier deployed to assist in training the Afghanistan national army. In fact, the book was almost all about the events leading up to that point, which made for great reading.

There are plenty of laughs along the way too, it would seem that the Captain has a good sense of humour and that really makes for an entertaining read. I picked the book up at the airport on a trip recently and I had it read pretty much by the time I had returned home. Captain Semrau, I salute you.

Book Review – Its Only the Himalayas by S. Bedford

Hi Bloggers, I picked up this book at the library, and I think I had it read after about only 4 sittings.

* Shit I just had to grab the pizza out of the oven, I was so busy blogging that I could smell it but kind of forgot about it, so its kinda well done around the edges. *

Ok back to the book review. Ok, so there’s this chick from Toronto who’s a waitress and she has this friend who has just finished uni as a Nurse and they decide to set off on an around the world trip as backpackers. Firstly, I think this is absolutely awesome, and I’ll be letting my kids know when they are old enough that there is no experience like travel and I will encourage them to do the same. I think it takes an amount of guts and a sense of adventure for a couple of young Canuck gals to disappear into the very bowels of continents like Africa and Asia. Good job ladies.

Image result for it's only the himalayas

So the book is the first publication by this author, which I also think is awesome. A young person getting it done. The book is not too thick (pages wise) so I think this is a good thing too. I like a good quick read similar to how I like a good quick *** stops to cut the pizza up *** .

Ok so the writer takes on a journey that includes adventures such as camping in Africa, visiting a Buddhist monastery in Tibet, consuming a magic mushroom shake in Thailand, having more alcohol than what is really safe or necessary, indulging in airplane sex, getting into a messy threesome, ladies that shoot things out of their pussies, and a bunch of other stuff that kept me snickering along through the story.

I like how the author displays a sense of irreverence, (kinda like me really). She’s a skeptic, she’s a smartarse, and she’s searching for her inner peace, or sense of self, or a pair of dry socks after a rain shower. I also like that the author is Canadian, like me!

Book review – Cabin Porn

Hi Bloggers, lets start by saying this book is NOT what you might be thinking. If you clicked on the post because you’re a frikkin deviate, don’t worry, you’re in good company (along with the rest of the self-accepting world). However, if you were looking for some kinky euro porn, you might have to navigate to some other website. Fortunately for you, there is tons of that shit on the net, so knock yourself out!

Meanwhile, I’m going to do a semi-serious book review, because I do take myself semi-seriously as a book consumer and a blogger.

Ok, so the book: two words: Fekkin Gorgeous. Actually I’m going to take artistic license with this one and add to those two words: inspirational, beautiful, well written, intelligent, well set out, etc. I’ll keep it simple. The pictures are amazing. Really this book would appeal to anyone whether you were into cabins or not.

While I’m at it, who’s not into cabins, or at least romanticising about cabins? I can imaging myself planning one, building one, going out to camp in it.

Ok, even if you are not into cabins (and I cant imagine anyone in this category), you will be entertained by the amazing photography and well written side stories about the history of and people behind these structures.

Without giving too much away, the book is set up in different sections, such as ‘how to build a homestead,’ or ‘how to build a yurt,’ or a simple shelter etc.  Its also nice that you can literally open this book at any page and enjoy the archive of cabins that the authors have put together.

This image is from the book.

These guys even have a website:

http://cabinporn.com/

Its really worth a look.

 

Book Review – Born to Run

Hi Bloggers, here’s my book review, and this time, no gratuitous nudie pics to make it more interesting. Don’t worry I haven’t become a prude, I just don’t have access to any thing like that (hostel computer), so you are just going to have to live with the fact that this will be like, a semi serious book review, written as if I am some kind of writer that has, like ‘integrity’ (omg I’m puking in my mouth here).

Whatever. This was a really good book. Maybe it was the best book I’ve ever read, or maybe I am just a bit excited about it, because it was a high quality read.

Breaks to clean up mess in kitchen of hostel. I just took a pasta pot that I was cooking in and tipped it into a strainer, but doh! the strainer was not over the sink it was over the floor. Resulted in my having to mop up that gooey shit that comes from pasta with paper towels. Lol. Fek. —

Ok, back to the book, or more interestingly, how I came across the book. Well, recently, I went to stay with J (my special friend) and her hubby J dog. He gave me the book and started raving about how it was a good read and how there was this barefoot running movement. So at that point, I’m like ‘ooohhh kaaay’, because firstly I’m not that into running (I have done one marathon, attempted another, and done a handful of half marathons, and I used to run about every day, but I left that behind for a life of weights in the gym.. ). Secondly, who the f- runs without shoes? I’ve seen the odd person in those vibram things, and in my apparent ignorance, I said to self ‘that must be really hard on your feet/legs etc’.

Image result for born to run book

Ok, back to the book. I’m not going to get all quoty and shit, but the general premise/story behind the book is that its written by this bloke who was a keen runner, and had a rash of injuries that I won’t bother to try and name, but they have to do with feet and legs. Ok, I’m not a fekkin podiatrist. Whatever. So old mate is a bit exhausted from feeling injured and has gone to a string of doctors and hasn’t really had his injuries resolved. Somewhere along the line he comes across the story of an indian tribe in Mexico that run, a lot. They are called Tamahumara.

Image result for mexian running indians

And it gets more interesting. There was a guy, who was a boxer among other things, and he disappeared into the Mexican hills ten years before, and he ran, like the Tamahumara Indians did. So the Born To Run author ends up tracking this guy down, and it all seems like quite the adventure.  He’s real, and this is the guy, below.

Image result for Micah True Autopsy

But what made this book even more interesting, was how it delved into human evolution. Like a scientist that won’t quit until the bugs under the microscope are completely understood. You have to give our author kudos for sticking to the plan to understand running evolution for humans. I don’t want to give the book’s secrets away, but urge you all, humans, to get this fucking book and consume it.

Lets just say, that, well the stuff in the book is credible and really makes you think, about how, we as humans, evolved to out run just about every other animal on the planet. Yes I know it sounds like a crock of shit, but it really is true, humans were bred for endurance, to wear down their pray. Easy to forget that when us lazy fucks have to park close to Starbucks to get our latte’s. It also tells us that running can be done from early life stages to late life stages, with little drop off in performance.

Also, it talks about running form, how bare feet really does make sense, the foot is arched, and in the modern world we have been running with heels striking first, not so for the barefooted ultra distance runners who run for survival and recreation, they land on the front of their foot. Apparently injury rates are much lower running like this. So today, I’m sitting on a Regina park bench, and this old guy, maybe 70 ish, comes striding past, and guess what? He’s landing his foot falls front of feet first.. hmmmm.

Anyway, I’m not here to tell you to run, do what you want, and I’m not on commission for the book, just sharing – this is a great read!