Best Friends for Life ★★★★☆

bestfriendsforlife (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Best Friends for Life
Series: ———-
Author: Michael & Judy Phillips
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback

 

Synopsis:

The Phillips tell 4 different true stories (with particulars changed for anonymity’s sake) about young couples they knew and how they proceeded through their dating, into marriage and how those marriages turned out.

The Phillips are convinced that “dating” has such an abysmal track record when it comes to marriages that last after dating that they want to explore other avenues. Their suggestion? Marry your best friend. Basically, make being friends with the opposite gender a higher priority than romance and really know what you want in a spouse instead of letting it all hang on hormones and feelings.

What does God, through the Bible, say about what is important in a marriage? The Phillips use very few specific Bible verses but count on their audience already having a decent grasp of Scripture. They are writing for someone who already wants what is best according to God’s will and is searching that out.

 

My Thoughts:

I read this originally back in 2000. At the time, I had graduated from Bibleschool. Mrs B was still in highschool and we hadn’t a glimmer of the others’ existence. I was mad to marry and was reading all the advice books I could get my hands on. I wasn’t going to be an “old” man like my dad when he got married. For the record, he was married at 28. I ended up being 30. Ironic isn’t it? So I figured if I could get all that advice then Mrs Right would fall into my lap and whammo, we’d have the perfect married life because obviously we’d have BOTH read all kinds of these books and know exactly what to do and what things to NOT do.

The funny thing is, I actually was friends with Mrs B long before we ever were romantically involved. I met her on Xanga, a blogging site (not sure how much traction it still has any more). She’d written a post about going to a medieval wedding and ended her post with “Have a good Sabbath”. I asked her what she meant by “Sabbath” as I was a Saturday Sabbath keeper and it turned out she was a 7th Day Adventist so she kept Saturday as well. We were friends for a couple of years online but figured we’d never meet. She was in California, I was on the East Coast. I didn’t like to travel and she had nothing to draw her to the East. But then a friend of mine, who I’d gone to Bibleschool with, decided he was going to get married. In California. He was in the Navy and would soon be shipping out in a Sub (subbing out?) and I didn’t know when I’d see him next so a group of us all went to California. I informed Miss Librarian and invited her as my plus one. Her brother, Sir Grumpsalot, came with her to chaperone and my friends were at the wedding, so it was safe all around. After the wedding that night, I asked her if I could court her. I called her mother that week and a year later we were engaged and 6 months after that we were married. Now, 10 years later, we’re STILL happily married.

Now, when I read this book back in 2000, I couldn’t have predicted this set of circumstances. In fact, I didn’t WANT those set of circumstances. I wanted somebody else. She has since gotten married to a wonderful christian man, has a family and is a bedrock of Faith for her family. But she wouldn’t have been right for me nor me for her. It took God to bring the correct Mrs Right into my life. That is what this book is about more than anything. It isn’t a hard and fast set of rules that the Phillips promise will bring you the right spouse. But they give solid advice about involving your parents, your friends, and most of all, not letting your hormones and feelings be in control. They are right.

They also give several examples of how people have changed what they’ve suggested to work for their particular set of circumstances. Some of the things they suggest simply weren’t viable for Mrs B and I, such as having family time with each other’s families while we were courting. The Phillips are very open that what they are suggesting isn’t the end and be all but they do strongly advise young people and their parents to put much more effort into the whole process than just “Oh, we’re in love”.

Reading this again, for our 10th Wedding Anniversary, it is uncanny how much God drew us both down this path in our relationship with each other. I for one am thankful for that. Our marriage is strong, we are happy and content with each other and while our lives together haven’t been what we’ve expected (Mrs B was diagnosed with crohn’s disease in ’10), our foundation of friendship has taken us through the times of hospitalization, lack of work, etc.

The book is a bit dated in regards to things they call out in American Culture, ie, what they considered a cliff is only a mere step compared to the moral cliff America has chosen to step off of now. It was eye opening and a good indicator of just how fast our country has gone down the path of immorality.

But ultimately, God Himself is in charge. He has taken responsibility through Jesus Christ and one day He will return and make it right again. I want to be ready for that and I hope you will be too.

★★★★☆

 

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August ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

14 Books

4828 Pages

3.25 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

A Path to Coldness of Heart – 2 Stars (for the Pedophile wizard)

Critical Failures – 2 Stars (profanity and not one likeable character)

The Dead Town – 2 Stars (zero tension and not much plot)

 

The Good:

War Masters Gate – 5 Stars

Play the Man – 4 Stars (non-fiction. First one of the year!)

Heir of Sea and Fire – 4 Stars (Mckillip. ’nuff said)

Queen Bitch – 4 Stars (pure fun despite the rather appalling title)

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Path of Doom was the only visual medium for this month. While I enjoyed reading about a Superman who was a real Super Man, this graphic novel also drove home that my comic times are mostly behind me. I don’t plan on buying any more comics and any reading of my own will probably have some other purpose. For example, I am planning on re-reading Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Man Without Fear next month and try to get a VERSUS post out of it the month after that.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Oh man, where to start. Let’s get the bad out of the way I guess. My boss’s son passed away in July so my boss was MIA for all of July but started the recovery process in August. Unfortunately, he was still pretty out of it (as you can imagine) and this led to some pretty big math errors in the office, which had real world results, which were bad. I was caught in the middle, as I was the guy the contractors saw doing the work. Having to go back to a site and change things which put off their schedule by a week and a lot of money was not fun. Plus it was a bloody hot August so 3-4 liters of water a day while at work was just normal. It made for long days where I’d just come home, clean up, sack out and be in bed by 9pm.  I think we’re on the other side of that whole situation though and I think it was a wake up call to my boss about how he’s still being affected so now he just won’t brush it off.

Only wrote a couple of non-review posts but I have to admit, I was proud of the reception that my Honesty & Book Reviewing post received. It led to almost 100 comments (Whoo!!!) and gave me the perfect setup for another in September about DNF’s. It is also now my second most “liked” post, tied with A History of…Reading and only beat out by my rant on that execrable piece of trash, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I guess honesty  still pays dividends in the  book world!

While I gave up on Culling those who follow me, I had to stop following a couple of people who hadn’t posted in over a month. That is my cutoff point. If someone just disappears without warning for a month, best of luck but I won’t be sticking around to see what happened. Now, on the other hand, if you let your followers know you’re going to be MIA, then heck,  I’ll gladly stick around. But I just hate having my chain yanked all over. You are not the center of the Universe.

rl05lkb

Because that would be ME!

 

I managed to write about another trilogy of books that I loved in Thriving on a Good Book – Grimnoir Chronicles.  It really shouldn’t be so difficult to write about the books I love but talking about them years after the fact is surprisingly not easy.  I need to keep practicing so I get better at it.

My Side Project is done. I’m hoping to put the results, 50 books I have hated and 50 books I have loved, up tomorrow in a single post.

 

Cover Love

If the book Fortress in Orion  had been half as awesome as this cover suggests, it would have been fantastic.  At least I got an awesome picture out of it.

Fortress in Orion

Robert J. Sawyer is a liar!!!

 

 

 

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July ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

4008 Pages

3.5 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

The Return2 Stars

 

The Good:

Nicholas Nickleby5 Stars

Prador Moon 4 Stars

The Man with One Name4 Stars

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Nada, zilch, zero, none. I’ve got a Superman graphic novel on tap for August though and I’m hoping to get back into a manga series in September. I’m thinking either Kare Kano (His & Her Circumstances) or W Juliet. I own both and have read them both so I’m hoping which ever I read turns out better than that horrible experience with Oh My Goddess! If you have thoughts or opinions on either series, feel free to weigh in. I’m pretty undecided at the moment.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Started the month off with a mid-year Roundup Report. I like all those numbers and not having to wait until the end of the year to roll around in them, like a pig wallowing in mud, was great. Also, since I’m not part of Goodreads or Booklikes, that have “goals” with banners and everything, this helped keep me on track for my unofficial goals.

Started the Thriving on a Good Book series but we’ll see how long it lasts. It is surprisingly hard to write a lot about the books I like, unlike how the words flow like a veritable river when I have had a bad experience.

VERSUS went right along with the Mano A Mano post I did. Testosterone was flowing like blood in a Tarantino film this month. Of course, neither of them was as ridiculous(ly fun to write) as the Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer post where I answered your questions. My goodness, the questions I got were so much fun that I just HAD to give vent to complete silliness.

Survival Saturday. The foods I’ve got are all boil in water stuff, so obviously they’re hot foods. I refuse to make hot stuff like that when it is 90degrees out. Considering that August is usually the hottest month of the year for us, I suspect next month I’ll let this pass as well. I just can’t muster up the courage to face this stuff when I’m dying from the heat.

In the background, I’ve been continuing to update all my semi-recent (2012 and up) reviews and am currently in late 2014. Also in the background, but much bigger for me, is that I’ve started scheduling things 2-3 weeks out now. After having a talk with Professor Dickieson on his blog and getting some good encouragement, I took the last week of June and the first week of July to really pile on the reading and just bank the reviews. That has allowed me to get about 3 weeks ahead in reviews. I’ve heard of people doing this ever since I’ve been blogging but it just never seemed to work for me. But now was the time and I do plan on trying to keep that up with at least my regular reviews and series posts. The really silly stuff is almost always spontaneous though, so I’m not totally going scheduled.

Church has been going well and Pastor Mike has started a series where he is going to synopsize each book of the Bible for a sermon for the whole Bible. He calculated that will take until the end of 2019. That is the kind of planning I LIKE! And considering he was able to have a sermon on Leviticus and Numbers where I came away feeling better, that says something pretty good too.

 

Cover Love

In keeping with the testosterone that I flung around, this months cover love winner was pretty easy. Conan: Red Nails nailed it. While the cover was cool, the full picture was just awesome. I’ve included that instead of a high res cover.

conancover

Mrs B says “He’s ugly”. I remain unaffected because Conan cut off that man’s head with a DAGGER!

 

 

 

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Thriving on a Good Book – Way-Farer

cover

Way-Farer

Kensho #1

Dennis Schmidt

 

I pretty much went over just what I found so appealing with this book in the above link from 2016.  However, I am always up for talking about this book, so prepare for some fanboy’ing ahead.

 

Way-Farer is probably in my Top 10 Favorite books. That being said, I also consider it to be the turkey hotdog of books. By that, I mean that it will offend the literary Vegans AND the literary Steak Experts. I like Classics and such authors as Dickens, Tolstoy, etc. In that regards, you can call me Mr Vegan. On the other hand, authors such as Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson know how to grill up a fantastic fantasy steak so thick and juicy that you can barely fit it in your mouth. This, this is 277 pages of science fiction from the early 1980’s. Gauche AND underwhelming to either side of me.

So how did I come to consider this a Thrive book?  Honestly, pure happenstance. It filled a particular need at a particular time and lodged deep within my soul. I was a teen just realizing how big the world was and wondering how I could ever grow up in it. Jerome, the main character here,  was a young man on a Heroic Quest and I could pretend that I was him. I resonated with the boy that Jerome was in the beginning of the book and as I read and saw his journey to manhood, I wanted that too. Now, I didn’t really want to go on a mountain and get beaten up day after day by an old man,  but I did want that calm assurance that Jerome has by the end of the book.

Now, 25+ years later after the first time that I read this, I feel like have arrived there. Back then, I identified with Jerome the novice. Now, I identify with Jerome the Master swordsman. And that change, that visible maturation, is why I love this book so much. I STILL IDENTIFY WITH THIS BOOK!  It has been a measuring stick through the years for me and I can’t honestly say that about almost any other book.

I thrived on this book back then and I thrive on it today. Mission Accomplished!

 

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twothumbsup

Thriving Baby!

 

 

Motorcycles VERSUS Scooters

Folks, this shouldn’t even be a post that I have to write about. However, it has come to my attention that there are genuine adult males, not men, but adult males,  who think that scooters are cool, more cool than motorcycles.  Before I give my very pointed and genuine opinion on THAT, let’s look at some pictorial evidence.

 

 

 

The above is a Suzuki Boulevard S40. That is the motorcycle I owned from ’05 til ’08 when I had to sell it to buy a car for Mrs B when we got married and she moved cross country to the Free’est State in the Union. It is a little bike. I’m only 5’3″ (160cm for you Illuminati types) and I could flat foot it with both feet. However, it was a 650cc engine, so when I was on the highway, I could give that baby the throttle and BAM, I was going 80mph (about 130kph) in seconds.  Motorcycles only get bigger and more powerful from there. This cost me about 5 G’s back in the day.

 

 

 

This is a Vespa GTS 300, a brand name scooter. You can’t ride this on the highway legally here. You do need a MOTORCYCLE license though. It is about a 280cc.  It costs about 7 G’s.

 

 

 

Dwayne Johnson, better known as the Rock, on his motorcycle. Definitely not wearing Bookstooge approved footwear for riding, but we’re working on that.

 

 

 

 

An attractive young lady on a scooter. Well, except for those shoes.  I never have, and never will, understand the fascination with high heels.

 

Scooters have their place and virile, strong and manly men CAN ride them. Gregory Peck showed us all the truth of that in Roman Holiday.  So, if you are ever in Rome and secretly dating a princess, you ride that scooter!

Roman Holiday 3 (Medium)

 

But other than that, if you have any of the sense that God gave you and you just have to get on 2 wheels, get a phracking motorcycle! A motorcycle will show just what kind of man you actually are.  A motorcycle is dangerous and thrilling and you HAVE to be in control of that bike at all times, aware of everything around you, or you’ll end up dead, a hood ornament on some oversized SUV and be a byline on the 6 o’clock news. You will never be more alive though than when you are driving around on it.

So who wins in this VERSUS post? Need you even ask?

motorcycle1

Motorcycles for the Win!

 

 

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PSA: Blogging Mano A Mano Style

PSA

 

Sometimes blogging as a man, I wish there was a core set of Man Blogs (Dibs! I’m trademarking that! ) that I could subscribe to. No offense to ANY of you ladies who I follow or who follow me. But just what is the ratio of Male to Female when it comes to blogging for fun? I don’t care to clutter up this post with cold hard facts, so I’m going with a ratio of Less to More.

Bossy guy pointing at you.

Actually, 1 to 4 does sound about right

 

The problem I have found with following more men is that it can, and for me usually does,  end up like this:

assault-lawyer-two-guys-fighting

Man 1: “Swiss Cheese is the best!”  Man 2: “I’ll KILL you!”

 

Strong opinions get thrown around willy-nilly and before you know it one of the two is getting their butt kicked. Like this poor guy:

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Bookstooge-senpai schools Punk-san in proper fighting etiquette

 

Butt-kicking gets really tiring after a while.  I don’t want to hang out with jocks, mind you. I want articulate, reasoned thinking men. But those very same qualities can turn around and bite you in the butt.

I guess this is one of those situations where I want to be Alpha Man and every other man to be Beta Man, maybe Beta-Plus occasionally. But another Alpha?  Ha, kill that sucker!

997abb719f1650b1ce853afd44d1ad70

Backoff buddy, this whole thing is MINE!

 

This is where what I want simply isn’t possible.  One thing I have learned is to really rein in my opinions when commenting on others’ blogs.  I have also learned that when I get a desire to be part of a pack, I just need to wait a day or two and then I’m back to my desire for solitude.  This is more of a vent than anything else.

So to you guys who I do follow and haven’t fought with, I’d like to thank you. For being patient with me, for letting me air my strong opinions on your blogs without biting my head off.  I don’t take it for granted, really.

And to end on slightly more humorous note…

psvigrb

I used a gif, so shoot me. Oh wait, my dinosaur already shot you!

 

 

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Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

st-wolfgang-and-devil

 

As you can see, the Denizens of Hell itself (namely, you all) presented me with a veritable book of questions to answer in my Confessional post. Being of stout heart and sound mind, I will answer such questions to put to rest any rumors that I am a crazy, grumpy nut job. And vote for me when the next election for World Book Czar comes around!

 

1 )  What is something a lot of people don’t know about you?

Good question!  I think the thing most people don’t know is that I’ve never been to Timbuktu. Surprising I know, but very true. The other is that I can never be President of the United States because while I’m a citizen and was born one, I was actually born in Canada. So you all will just have to settle for me as Dictator.

 

2 ) What would be the most offensive question a person could ask you and would you answer it?

I had to think about this one to be honest. A lot of it would have to do with the attitude behind the question. I guess though, it would be someone asking me to deny my faith in Jesus Christ.

On a less serious note, but personally offensive would be if someone asked me if I was a woman. Being bald, goatee’d and rather muscular in the chest and shoulders with a fine tenor voice, I’d have to question their motives in asking. And then probably punch them out for being a dumb git.

 

3 ) When living on the 4th floor of a block of flats, where should I plan to have my bunker installed?

Sadly,  bunkers and urban areas don’t mix real well.  If your building has a flat roof, you could begin surreptitiously building it up there. Of course, when the building is blown to smithereens, your bunker will fall 4 stories and make jelly out of you. So stock up on peanut butter, that way any survivors can have peanut butter and “jelly” sandwiches 😉

 

4 ) Have you ever been in a different country as to where you live and grew up(overseas)? If so where have you visited?

I’ve gone to Israel for 2 weeks back in the early ’00’s. I also did a road trip around Newfoundland (Canada) with an older couple who had always dreamed of doing that. They got a chauffeur and I got to see the sites. Both trips simply confirmed to me that I am a “stay in one place and stick there like mud” kind of guy. I don’t ever plan on travelling outside the US again and even travelling in-country is going to take something like a funeral or family commitments.

 

5 ) What does the Mona Lisa’s smile really signify?

I wish I could say it was something profound, or that it had to do with me, but like much of life, it was a rather petty thing. She had just found out that her sister had been dumped by the football quarterback at the school they were both attending. Jina Lisa had been insufferable up to that point so Mona was happy to see her taken down a peg or two.

 

6 ) It is commonly believed that aliens haven’t invaded Earth because they fear your righteous wrath. But one day you’ll die, and we’ll be defenseless. How can we prepare for the inevitable onslaught?

This is the kind of long range question that shows just how intelligent you all are. I love having followers who can think and extrapolate from that.  So to answer, your best bet is to keep on reading. Aliens hate reading for some reason. It makes it really hard for them to run their spaceships but hey, that’s their problem, right?

 

7 ) I heard you once beat Chuck Norris in an arm-wrestling contest. Is this true?

The only people who know the true answer to that are me, Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee (who was the witness and wouldn’t promise to keep his mouth shut. You know what happened to him!)

 

8 ) When you tell someone the time, do you say, for example, “It’s seven-fifteen” or do you say “It’s a quarter past seven”?

When I’m at work, I use the precise 0715 military time but when at home or talking to friends, I tend to use the quarter of and quarter past.

 

9 ) Why are you in such a good mood when you wrote the Confessional post?

I had just gotten back from date night with Mrs B and we had eaten at a gourmet macaroni and cheese restaurant called Mr Mac’s. I’d had mac and pepperoni with pepperjack cheese and I was feeling full and fine. And I’d snuck in a rockstar on the side, so the caffeine was giving me a bit of a kick too.

 

10A ) What was the most difficult thing to teach Bruce Wayne?

You probably won’t believe this, but that little brat had a cockney accent as thick as the Thames. It was “ello guvna” this and “blimey” that. Personally, I place the blame squarely on Alfred’s shoulders. Teaching him to speak American with that special “upper crust” sneer took a couple of months. But he’s Batman, so he did pretty good considering.

 

10B ) What is something else you taught Batman? I’ve always wanted to be like him.

Without giving secrets that might endanger his mission of justice on this Earth, I can say that any time you see Batman rocking the Batsuit, I showed him the moves.  If you want to be like him, throw yourself around the room, whipping your spine as hard as possible. If you survive, you’re good to go!

 

11 ) Be honest, it was actually you who solved the “Death on the Nile” case but since you pitied Poirot you let him had that one?

He actually DID solve that one by himself, with no hand holding from me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I might have had something to do with getting things taken care of on the Orient Express. He was pretty much out to lunch on Plambian phruze brandy at the time.

 

12 ) It is believed you faked the moon landing, is this true and if so how was it achieved?

This is probably the easiest question to answer. Yes, I did fake it. It was easy as pie because the truth is, there is no moon. Just a big piece of cheese in low orbit.  Nixon didn’t want to do it, but since most of you know how I feel about Commies, well, I couldn’t pass up the chance to bloody their noses. A camera, some duct tape and some metal was really all we needed. You wouldn’t BELIEVE how much money the Soviets wasted after that trying to get to the “moon”.  One of my finest moments!

 

13 ) What is the most infuriating book you’ve ever read?

Either Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which I covered in a SaBB post or Walden & Civil Disobedience by Thoreau. Thoreau made me so angry for the entire book with his out of touch thoughts on “Nature” and “The Simple Life”.

 

14 ) What is your absolutely most favorite book (if you have one)?

Besides the Bible, which I’ve read through around 15 times,  Dune and Way-Farer are the two other books that I’ve re-read the most.  Something about those 2 caught my imagination when I was a teen and it just hasn’t let go since.

 

15 ) Why did you burn Rome while playing violin?

This is simply vile slander and calumny.  I was playing the saxophone, for goodness sake!  As for why, well, Billaxus the local grocer wouldn’t stock diet Pepsi but made a side deal with Coke. He also said that only pussies drank diet Pepsi.  Billaxus had to go!  So while things “might” have gotten a little out of control, I think everyone would agree with me that I just didn’t have any other choice. And then to make things even worse, that stinking Nero gets all the credit! What is the world coming to?!?!?

 

16 ) Where is the Rebel Base?

Oh please!  If that wuss Anakin SkycrybabypantsWalker can’t make me tell, you sure don’t stand a chance 😉  Ok, ok, I did say I would answer. It’s on Dagobah. Hahahahahahaa!

 

 

 

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