Amish Werewolves Of Space – A Book Review

Quiet out there. I know you people are all laughing at my taste in books. But while you’re laughing, I’m enjoying some darned fine science fiction/speculative fiction works which you, with your snoot in the air, will miss. 

Now, let’s start the tale at the beginning. Several years ago, Kerry Nietz wrote a book that broke the mold, or set the tone for the future: Amish Vampires In Space – Or, AVIS for the fans. What he did was take some deep insights into the Amish culture, and religious beliefs, and introduce space travel and vampirism. It was well written, fun to read, and spiritually sound. It even made the Tonight Show as the worst cover of the year – and helped Kerry sell a lot of books.


A couple of authors (myself included) jokingly said, “Any idiot can do vampires. Can you do Zombies?” It was at the height of teen vampire books, and Zombies were just ramping up.

Kerry, being Kerry, ramped up with Amish Zombies From Space. Now, “Take that!” was implied, and it was even better than the first – because now he’d created a universe for the Amish with Zombies AND Vampires. I mean, seriously, how could you top that?

The answer is his latest book, Amish Werewolves Of Space

You’ve probably read my reviews before and trust me if you’ve gotten this far. So, listen closely: reread the first two before picking up the third. Not that the story doesn’t stand alone, but it’s not as much fun if you don’t have the other two in your pocket. That’s the struggle with any series. You might get the second one to stand alone without the first, but by number 3, especially in a true trilogy, you had best have read the first two.

I enjoyed it immensely. It was fun, logical, fit in the universe he’d created, and answered a lot of questions. The only down part was that I don’t know how he’ll extend the series. But since he’s messed with me twice already, I’m expecting great things.

But even if he doesn’t come up with another member in the series, he’s a heavyweight in the writing world. If you want to read great science fiction, with a light Christian undertone, you have to read Kerry’s work. He’s a very good writer. So, try some of his other books as well – I have. And I enjoyed them.

Now, Kerry – can we do something with Cuckoo clocks? 


Age Has Its Benefits – For Others.

As we age, we strangely accumulate wisdom at random moments. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’ve pulled it off until someone points it out to us.

Today it occurred to me that I have accumulated some wisdom. Some of it on my own, some by watching others exhibiting their wisdom. Either way, it’s kind of cool. Yeah, it’s a combination of tooting my own horn, and showing you that you too can do the wisdom thing. 

Let’s start with the observation thing first. I have two good friends who are entering a new season in life. Each of them is facing a gigantic change in their lives. Each of them has a spouse with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

None of us want to face the sort of situation that they are up against. Yet I’m gaining wisdom by contact with them. They are both exhibiting grace, calm, and love. They aren’t running away from the problems, but instead finding ways to continue their  romance. I admire them, and the fortitude they display, in the face of trying circumstances.

I have spent weeks praying for them. Hoping God reaches out and touches them with the love I know they need. They know as well as I that you can’t earn grace, because it’s bestowed. I hope they find it bestowed soon.

Today a coworker came to me with thanks for some advice I’d given several weeks ago. So as not to embarrass them, I will not say what the advice was, but it was a gratifying moment for me. I had done something rare for me: I listened to their problem, evaluated all that they’d told me, and waited until they finished before answering. 

And then I used the accumulated wisdom that was layered like bluing on my shell. I had relevant experience to the problem at hand. I did not go on and on about the proper course of action. I merely laid out what would be the best course to save them some serious agony: the kind of agony that ultimately results in you being in dire straits. The kind of advice that someone with a lot fewer years on their chassis had no way to accumulate. The kind of wisdom that comes with age and damage you pick up from not listening to others.

Maybe that’s what we should all be doing: listening to the wisdom of others. It is often said that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Using them in the proper ratio is what most of us miss in the game of life. 

Age. It’s allowed me to pay attention, and it’s giving me the skills to not just do better in my life, but to help others in theirs. I really would rather be an example than a cautionary tale. Seems that may be working out after all.

My Heart Is Sad

Rush Limbaugh has just announced he’s got advanced lung cancer.

Rush has been an inspirational figure for me. He cheered me when I had almost given up on Conservatism as a dead cause.

He, and I, were so often in tune that I wondered if I had become one of those “Mind-numbed-robots” his critics claimed were the sole listeners.

Rarely did I disagree with him on anything. 

I think the reason is that neither of us gets paid to voice someone else’s opinions outside of commercials. He is an authentic voice.

I have not listened to him regularly for almost 20 years due to my work schedule. My wife is a blessing in so many ways, and among them I list the fact that when I have an afternoon off she lets me listen while we drive somewhere. 

I have been following Rush since his first days on national radio. I listened to him on replay during the coldest nights of my life driving a snow-plow in Minnesota. During blazing days pushing a lawnmower to pay the rent. And hundreds of other times when I needed to listen to a brilliant and entertaining voice in the wilderness of liberal media.

He is in need of prayers. Even if you don’t like him, pray for him. I pray for people I can’t stand regularly. Not just at the moment of anger, but I put them on my prayer list. 

Please add Rush to yours today.


Welcome To The Third World

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It’s a formerly nice place that’s presently going downhill at a rapid clip. 

If you do a search for Saint Paul & Initiative you will see that our city government is doing much to provide a savings account for every child born in the city, moving to have more low-income housing, and a host of feel-good issues. 

But shootings are at a near-record level, it’s not safe to be in a parking lot on the East side of the city, and the streets remind me of Port Au Prince after a heavy rain.

Exaggeration you say? Well, stand outside in many parts of the city after 9 in the evening and you can hear gunfire. Beatings and robbery are endemic to the mass transit waiting areas. The street in front of my house has more ruts and bumps than the one in front of the mission house I stay at in Haiti.

Why? I’ll tackle the street issue first. You see, in a city that will have winter for 5-6 months each year (November, December, January, February, March, April & usually October) they came up with the brilliant idea this year not to plow after the first snow fall. You know, the one the media described as the heaviest snow in almost 20 years? Yeah, that one. 

So, as it works with snow, cars and trucks drove over it and compressed it. Now, follow closely, that causes it to go up in temperature a bit, and then refreeze when the compression ends. Repeat a few hundred times and 8 inches of snow becomes 4 inches of ice. Then, days after the street in front of the mayor’s house gets plowed, the rest of the peasants get plowed. 

But, for those of you in warm climates, the plow just bounces along on top of ice and doesn’t do anything useful. Nature then sets in and the sunny spots on streets, and above manhole covers, start to melt. This leaves 2-4 inch divots in the icy surface. It’s a bit jarring to drive along to say the least.

We have had some warm days, and some of the streets have melted a bit. But the fact is that it’s winter in Minnesota and they gambled with our money on this one. Economy you know. Need to save that money to squander it later. Don’t plow if you don’t need to. Here’s some math for the geniuses at City Hall:  If you are rolling dice, and planning on getting a pair of sixes, the odds are not in your favor. That’s what you do when you don’t plow. 

The same mathematical logic is in progress regarding crime. No new cops, just train the outnumbered and overworked force a little smarter. Yeah. That’s crap. We’ve essentially decriminalized most misdemeanor crime in the city, and the police are still merely responding to calls – they have no time to proactively work the hot spots. So, if you are out and about, you’d best be carrying your own gun, because the people around you with ill intent surely are. That’s why we have had a record setting pace on bullet wounds this year in my city.

Finally, when you get right down to it, it’s priorities. Now, having had this argument with city employees before, they will tell you it’s all because of the budget process and they can’t do anything about it. However, when my street is not plowed, but the ice rink across the street, and the parking lot at the recreation center adjacent to it is freshly plowed after every snow fall, I’m a bit miffed. 

We live in a liberal city where basic city services – Police, Fire, Street, Water – all take second place to cultural enhancement. Strangely, I contend that without the basics, cultural enhancement is wasted. People continue to flee the city. People like me who grew up here and love a lot about the city. 

But it isn’t very safe anymore. And it’s getting worse every year. We’re becoming a Detroit with nice parks. 

Sorry, but the siren call of Florida is getting louder. I’ll sell my snowblower, get some sunshine, and leave the lunatic left here to finish the destruction of my birthplace. 

Retirement is possible in a mere 167 days according to my employer. Barring a broken back from the rutted roads, or a gunshot wound while waiting for the bus, it looks like my run in this city is coming to a close.

Subject to change, but I think I’ll look at that Florida real estate website again before lunch.  A guy has to have hope. 

Time To Lower My Subscription Numbers

Yes, it’s time for one of those posts that will alienate a whole bunch of people. 

ON second thought, that’s how I’ve built this readership. But I always lose a few readers/friends when I talk about abortion.

Now, for those who don’t know, I’m anti-abortion. That doesn’t mean anti-choice, for the baby has no choice. It does, however, mean pro-life for the unborn. I’m also in favor of anti-life, perhaps “pro-choice”, for selectively thinning the herd of terrorists, rapists, child-molesters, and other assorted criminals, including people who leak classified material to hurt their country. Especially people who do it by circumventing the classification and data laws. But elderly women in Upstate New York rarely fall under my jurisdiction, so there’s that issue.

One of the arguments, a true straw man, that pro-abortion people use is that “Evangelicals love them only before they’re born, and then abandon them.”

Well, it’s time for a word we don’t use a lot around here: BUSHWA!!! I know more evangelicals who have adopted children than I can even count. I’m decidedly non-parental and my wife and I sponsor 4 different children financially. So, let’s put that silly little bit of rubbish to the side. 

The argument – again strawman – that we only care about the unborn takes a segue when you ask them why they think we feel that way? The most common response is that we don’t want to spend the money on the children, and that nobody loves them once they’re born. 

Given that stretch, wouldn’t it logically mean that we also advocate euthanasia of all unloved people who are expensive to maintain? I can think of several people I know who are not particularly lovable and have major medical issues. Is it time to just snuff them? Uh, that’s abhorrent to me. 

What about those who can’t take care of themselves? Then we need to kill all children under about six years of age, because they can’t fend for themselves, anyone with a major injury, anyone in a coma, anyone with ambulatory or back problems. We also need to include the addicted and the foolish. We do spend a lot of time on them, and even more money. So, who here is in favor of abortion and murdering the average 4-year old who isn’t properly loved by their abusive family?

I’m hearing crickets here. Good. Take it as food for thought. Killing babies in the womb isn’t an evangelical issue. It’s not a religious issue. It strikes at the heart of our moral fiber as a species. 

Come back next week when we discuss something else sure to enrage many readers. I’m leaning toward ethics and the democrat impeachment ploy.