Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Books

I received four books for Christmas and have read two of them. There are four Star Trek books and two historical books, those were the ones I read first. My family knows what I like to read. The two I have already read are “Agent Garbo” by Stephan Talty and “The Aleppo Codex” by Matti Friedman.

Agent Garbo is a really good true spy story and very well written. Garbo was the code name the British gave to a Spaniard named Juan Pujol a Barcelona poultry farmer. He was caught up in the Spanish civil war and developed an extreme dislike for Hitler and the Nazis. He became a double agent in favor of the British and was their mastermind spy during WWII. This is one of those books that is hard to put down once you start reading it.

The central character of the Aleppo Codex is not a person but a book. It is an ancient copy of the Hebrew Bible that resided in the Aleppo Syria synagogue and was smuggled out to Israel after the creation of the Jewish state. It is very interesting though sometimes trying to read. I picked it up and put it down several times.

Now on to my Star Trek books and the world of fantasy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Last night I was unexpectedly entertained and had a lot of laughs while helping my darling. My Chaplain wife needed to be at one of her companies nursing homes at ten thirty for a blessing of the hands of the late shift staff. I drove her down town for the service and waited in the lobby while she preformed the service.

The company providing security at the health center was training a new guard for the late shift. It was the young man's first night duty shift and an experienced guard was showing him the ropes. As she was quizzing him on the things he was taught it became clear that we was becoming more nervous by the second. Part of his job was to answer the phone with the name of the health center stating that he was security, state his name and ask, “How may I help you?”

That sounds easy enough but as she questioned him he repeatedly messed up one part of the phone message or another. He would ad words or forget the name of the health center. At one point he couldn't remember his name. It became a comic routine that soon had both myself and the trainer in stitches. Our laughter wasn’t helping the young man at all. Finally the trainer said that they need to take a break and come back to it in an hour and she led him on rounds of the building.

As I thought about that young man this morning I remembered that I use to get very nervous taking test and how being new at something is what all of us go through from time to time. I know that once he settles in that he will get everything right and may some day be training some one else for the job.