Wednesday, January 07, 2004

It's been quite some time since I posted anything to INTHEHAT. My schedule has been frenetic and I've been doing more traveling than I can tolerate. But the realities of earning a living and keeping myself in cigars and gasoline (an incendiary combination) have forced me away from my keyboard and, in fact, from the rest of my stuff.

I've been living in motels up and down the state (Brawley, Palm Springs, Eureka, Red Bluffs and other even lesser known towns) and while I generally love road trips this one got tedious. There's only so much bad food and local meathead TV weathermen I can take before I start reaching for pre-emptive cocktails as a curative. I was well stocked with books however and I finished several new ones (new to me at least) and re-read some old favorites.

At the top of the new-to-me list was HELL IN A VERY SMALL PLACE by BERNARD B. FALL. This was a first edition copy published in 1967. For those interested in the subject, the book is a blow-by-blow account of the battle of DIEN BIEN PHU, the FRENCH army's final stand in INDOCHINA. At DIEN BIEN PHU, the VIET MINH under the command of GENERAL GIAP, drove the last nail into the coffin of FRENCH colonial adventures. GIAP later went on to lead the fight against the US military. Ironically, most of the French casualties happened after they surrendered and were forced by GIAP and his political officers to make a Bataan-like death march north to HANOI. FALL was an outstanding writer and reporter who was killed in VIET NAM during the AMERICAN part of the war.

I also finished TR, THE LAST ROMANTIC by HW BRANDS, TREASON by ANN COULTER, and THE BOER WAR by THOMAS PAKENHAM. I had just dipped into MERCENARY by MIKE HOARE when my trip ended. When I got home, there were three boxes from AMAZON which contained HOMICIDE SPECIAL by MILES CORWIN and a couple of hard-core how-to books -- building a stone wall and rebuilding a motorcycle. Yeah, I got things to do other than tap away on a keyboard.

To all those who have wondered what happened to me, thanks for the kind enquiries and I happy to say I'm back in the saddle. I'll be posting as soon as I catch up with the mail, the papers, and all those messages on my machine.

No comments: