Photographic Memory

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

I like taking pictures, but I have never been particularly good at it.  I don’t feel too bad about this now, because I have come to realize that most people with cameras have about the same skill level as I do.  There are a few people who are really good, and the rest of us are saved by our equipment.

Photography, like many forms of art, can be in the eye of the beholder.  When most of us think of “great photographers” (admit it: up until this article you had never once thought of who or what a “great photographer” might be), we think of Ansel Adams or, maybe … someone else.  (I thought about looking up the name of some other great photographer, but then I thought, “Why bother?”  Which, I’m going to say, says more about the general public’s response to photographers than about my own laziness.)

Looking at my book of Ansel Adams photographs, or the book I have of photographs by David Muench (I knew I could come up with a second name if I thought long enough or took the effort to swivel my chair around and look at the book case behind me), it’s easy to think, “Well, if I were standing in that exact spot, I could have taken a great picture like that, too!”

Well, maybe, but probably not.  See, those guys not only have “an eye for the landscape”, they also studied things like composition and lighting and they know how to use filters on their cameras.  See, I’ll go on vacation and take two hundred photos, of which maybe 2 will be of sufficient merit to be show to anyone not related to me.  And it was an accident.  I just happened to snap that picture when the light was just right.

I do like taking pictures, but I fight an inward battle.  On the one hand, when I get back from a vacation, I always wish I had taken more pictures so I would have more of the vacation to re-live.  On the other hand, while on the vacation I don’t want to spend all my time looking through a view-finder.  The modern digital camera has been a great boon to people like me: a pretty-well-focused picture, easily taken, from a compact camera—but I am often too slow in getting it out and turned on so the picture I wanted has passed out of range.  Instead of taking one anyway, I shove the camera back in my pocket and move on, thinking I’ll “take the next one” but not prepared when the next opportunity pops up.

But then, I learned that I have more in common with the pros than I thought.  Out of the 200 pictures they shoot, they might only have 2 that are worth showing off.  The difference is, they have the dedication to take 200 hundred pictures of the same thing, confident that—once they get to develop the pics (the really good photographers still use that stuff called “film”), they’ll find the one or two where the lighting, the filter, the composition and the etc. all fell into place.

This doesn’t happen to me because, as alluded earlier, I barely have the dedication to photography necessary to swivel my chair.

Oh, and Steve Tohari.  He’s a good photographer, too,

Things That Never Were

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In the town where I grew up (Abilene [which, by the way, is not exactly 'the finest town I ever seen”]) there was a place on the northeast side of town called “Old Abilene Town”. Built out on I-20, so it would have been visible to people traveling between Dallas and Midland (and trying their best to ignore Abilene as much as possible), it was a conglomeration of buildings designed to look like an old west town.

There was a saloon (of course) and a doctor’s office in an upstairs room and other frontier-like buildings. And, some Saturdays during the year, you could go out there and watch “gun-fights” staged by local actors who were—I hope—using blanks. (Not like certain parts of Amarillo where you can go and watch gunfights with real bullets.) And there would be people dressed in costume running the various stores, singing in the above-mentioned saloon, etc. There was also a rodeo grounds on the property at which my brother and his buddies started a rodeo for high school students that has grown in the four decades since to be one of the largest rodeos of its kind in the world.

Old Abilene Town (or “Old Abilene Town” as it was called, we weren’t much for shortening names), however, is no more. It closed up in the late 70s and, by the time I was in high school, there was nothing left, the buildings having burned down in what turned out to be a fortuitous “accident” for the owner who had them insured. Those of us who remembered Old Abilene Town remembered it as a sort of fond joke.

A joke because it wasn’t supposed to have been that way. When it was built, the Old Town that we came to know (frontier buildings on a main street) was just supposed to be a starting point. According to my parents, when the place was built the owners were telling everyone they were going to add rides and shows and all sorts of things that would make Old Abilene Town competition for 6 Flags as the “most fun place in Texas!” They were going to turn it into SEVEN Flags Over Texas (the traditional 6, plus “Black Flag Roach Killer”). It never happened.

And it never happened more than once. Every few years, someone new would come along, buy the place, slap a new coat of paint on the clapboard, and start telling us how they were going to fulfill—and maybe even surpass—the old plans. Roller coasters, thrill rides, swimming pools, movies stars … the works!

I guess all these people were just dreamers, hoping to sucker—I mean, “entice”—somebody with more money into investing. Ads would be placed in the newspaper, word would come of “big money” that was going to be invested by some “rich oil man” and Old Abilene Town would be “on the map”.

What happened? I ask that more rhetorically than anything else. I know the answer: America changed. It used to be that there were lots of “roadside” attractions that people would go visit on their summer vacation. “World’s Largest Ball of Twine and/or Phlegm” and so forth. I think a lot of this came because America was still new to the automobile, but the roads weren’t very good. So, if you were loading the family into the old flivver for a “summer of fun” you really didn’t want to have to go out that far, if you didn’t have to. A family from, for instance, Leuders-Avoca, might drive the first day to Abilene and see Old Abilene Town after fixing the flats they had incurred; then, the next day, it would be on to Cisco, Texas, where—after fixing more flats*—they’d spend the night in Conrad Hilton’s first hotel before lazing away a day or two in the “world’s biggest swimming pool”**.

Now, though, our cars go 75 miles an hour with no problem and, so, we’re willing to go a lot further afield for these trips. At least, we were until gas topped $3 and all our disposable income got fined away because we refused to buy an insurance policy that’s worse than the one we used to pay less for.

* I have a letter my grandfather wrote my grandmother when they were courting in which he states that the drive from Haskell to Throckmorton (40 miles) had been a good one because he made it in two hours and only had to fix three flats.

** Cisco, Texas, really did have both of these things at one time.

Shutdown Korner

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

As I sit here pondering the cost of having some federal workers go erect concrete barriers on all the roads leading to Lake Meredith verses the cost of the previous practice of never having anyone helpful there when you needed them, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve all been played.

Scratch that.  We’ve all been had.

Can you imagine the early settlers of this great country just standing by while the British erected barriers to keep them away from the fishing hole?  Of course not.  And not just because the British were notoriously slow in realizing the benefits of concrete K-rails.  It’s because the early colonists would have hopped right on their four-leg-drive vehicles and gone around the barriers.  Saying, as many do upon eating sushi even to this day, “Give me fish and/or give me death!”

No, we have been had.  We’re letting a federal government block access to our national monuments, our health insurance they lyingly told us we could keep and, in some metropolitan areas, our enormous carbonated beverages.  (OK, that last one isn’t really a federal action, but I’m sure it will be soon.)

Everyone from the President on down to the park rangers—remember when we used to respect them?—are telling us these measures are not about saving money (too late for that) but about inflicting the maximum amount of discomfort on the American people.

And we’re going along with it!  That just floors me, because we’re the country that invented (I think, I’m not going to a lot of trouble and looking this stuff up) the electric recliner, the beverage cup holder, the TV remote, and long, lazy strolls in the country-side.  We invented the ergonomic koozy for holding our 12 ounce cans, for crying out loud, and here we’re letting some “constitutional lecturer” take away our freedom to recreate on the lake of our choice?!?!  George Washington must be spinning like a centrifuge in his grave right about now.

And let’s not even get into the idea of a government that prevents it’s fighting men and women overseas from watching the baseball playoffs on TV solely because the chief executive wants all the attention on himself.  And let’s forget that he’s threatening Catholic priests with jail time if they minister on our military bases.  And pay no attention to the blood of our dead inBenghazi, or the sounds of border agents being murdered with weapons sold to the malefactors by our own government.  And, whatever you do, don’t try to figure why we’re building fences around our monuments but not our country.

Nope.  Just sit back and relax and let the President take care of everything, from our phones to our doctors.  As the doctors say: it won’t hurt a bit and it’ll all be over in a moment.

The new murder mystery, “Toltec Mountain”, is on sale now!!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

My newest (and best?) novel–”Toltec Mountain“–is for sale now!  Order it for your Kindle, or for your Nook.  Don’t have either one of those?  You can get a free ap at Amazon that will allow you to purchase and read Kindle books on your phone, PC, or any Apple device here.

And, after you’ve read the book (and loved it), please be sure and give me a good review at Amazon and B&N.  Good reviews propel sales!

Got questions about this or any of my other books?  Email me at

Sneaky Peek #3 of my New Mystery Novel

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

An excerpt from the new novel (coming October 2013) …

I walked into the crowded bar, barely able to see for the intermittent bright lights and completely unable to hear due to the blaring beat of a song without a melody.  The locals were doing that dance where you put your hands in the air and look for all the world like a second grader who is trying to get the teacher’s attention because you really have to go number two.  The place smelled like beer, wine, whiskey and something semi-flammable but illegal mixed with sweat and too much body spray.

In other words, it was not a unique bar.

It was also not my kind of bar.  I’m not a drinker, but my line of work takes me into a lot of drinking establishments.  On a personal level, I prefer the low-key bars—like the one down the street—where the music is a little more laid back and the patrons are so laid back they’re about to fall over even when they’re sober.  The kind of place where the lights start out dim and stay that way, except for a few well-placed neon signs that advertise the favorite brands, bands and teams.  The problem with those bars, though, is that if you’re an outsider you’re usually spotted within ten seconds of crossing the threshold.

At these loud, boisterous, pushy establishments, a person can sometimes blend in, even an outsider.  Part of that is because almost everyone there—at least that night—was an outsider.  What few locals were “partying” there were doing so because they either worked there or had sponged off so many locals that they had to hit up people who didn’t know them if they wanted to drink—or partake of anything else.

It was late February, in a ski town, on the penultimate night before the big “Mind-Games Finale” (which, incongruously enough, was going to last all weekend), and every place in town was filled with ski-culture tourists who had come to Toltec Mountain to watch the big snowboarding competition and, maybe, meet some of the participants.  While most of the participants that I had met knew how to put down their share of lubricants, their time spent in the middle of a pressing crowd was kept to a minimum by their coaches and handlers—especially if they were expected to perform the next day, when their performance would directly affect the payday of said coaches and handlers.

Still, I took a look around, trying to place the people in that particular bar and discern if any of them needed to be on my radar.  Over at the bar—a surprisingly short one for the business it did—I saw Clay “Leadfoot” Headly getting a pitcher refilled with what looked like that green goo they put in glow sticks.  Leadfoot was a recent entrant to the world of the “Mind-Games”, having first made his mark in the summer-time sport of mountain bike racing.  The word I had was that he could top the podium in the snowboard half-pipe within the next year if his handlers could keep his head on straight.  I wasn’t betting on the handlers’ success.

Over by the DJ, one of those people who thought the crowd wanted to hear him grunt along with the vinyl he was massacring, I saw Lena “P.J.s” (“always make sure the ‘s’ is lower-case”) Johnson, women’s ballet ski competitor and rumored girlfriend of “Mind-Games” big-shot Andy Crow.  I didn’t see Andy anywhere, which was probably why that kid with the lemon yellow hair felt so comfortable hanging onLenalike that.

And in the center of the room, regaling people who were pretending they could hear his stories. was Pete “Pete” (OK, I had to) Oni, extreme snow-mobiler and resident bad boy of the junior circuit.  Pete’s exploits were talked about in whispered tones all up and down theRocky Mountainsand were what kept him on the mountain and flush with sponsors even though his days of leading the pack were long behind him.  If there were any other notables in the room, I didn’t see them and even back then I was pretty good at making a surreptitious survey of a room count.

A stoned-out chair-lift operator offered me a high five and exclaimed, “Baaaaattttt!” when I took him up on it.  “How’s the P.I.?!?!”  This was followed by a couple other people who also greeted me in similar fashion.

I was not exactly supposed to have had a cover, which was good because it had been blown pretty early on in the investigation.  I had been peeved at the time, but then had learned that most of the people at the “Mind-Games” seemed to think private detectives were a strange and interesting species and they all wanted to tell me something.  Very little of it was of value, but I was trying to sift through it all and see if any of it amounted to anything.

In a way, I had become the father confessor to a lot of people whose lifestyles led me to believe they couldn’t have found a church building from the inside.  They all had something they wanted to tell me about the recent accident, or something else they thought was going on, and they all wanted to do it in confidence.  Simultaneously, they wanted their friends and supposed admirers to all see that they had something worth telling the private eye—whether they actually did or not.

“You found out who did it?” Stoner John shouted.

“Did what?” I replied with a smile.  “Haven’t you heard?  It was just a freak accident!”  I didn’t really want to say that with an exclamation point, but I had to for it to be heard at all.

“Right, dude!” he shouted back, giving me an overdone wink.

He was distracted by something—perhaps a friend calling out to him or, more likely, just a voice in his head—and was jerked away like a dog on a leash.  I wasn’t too disappointed.

A couple more greetings and then I spotted someone I had missed in my initial sweep of the room.  She saw me looking her way and rolled her eyes.  To anyone watching, she probably appeared annoyed at having been spotted.  I knew that look, though, and knew it really meant she was bored out of her mind.

She was hanging out in a corner with a bunch of half-drunk college-age but not-college-material types, several of whom were trying to make some time with her.  She was laughing at their jokes and deftly putting off their pawing ways, all the while making it seem like her casual gestures were getting in their way.  If they were chagrined, they were either too drunk or too prideful to admit it.

I walked over and a guy with a beet-red mohawk and terminal acne shouted out, “Hey look, it’s the private detective!  Come to arrest one of us?”

Everyone at the table laughed and I chuckled along with the joke.  Sitting down, I turned to Mohawk and said, “You’re the one they call the ‘Donkey’, right?”

“Yeah, what of it?” he asked insolently.

“I have it on good authority that you’re known in some circles as a mule.”

He mumbled something about needing to be somewhere else and skedaddled.  I took the opportunity to slide in next to the girl who had caught my eye.  She was wearing the baggy, hip clothing of the grungy snowboard chic set and had pink highlights in her hair that did a good job of catching the flashing lights of the bar.  She wore lots of bracelets on one wrist and had a tattoo of a Greek word on the other.  “Didn’t I see you on the terrain park this afternoon?” I asked over the din.

“Maybe.  You the one who was filming us?”

“Wasn’t me.  I hate cameras,” I replied.

She laughed, the laugh going all the way to her eyes—something most of the laughter never did in that room, for anyone—then asked, “You really a detective?”

“Wanna see my badge?”

She laughed again, nudging me in the ribs and then answering a question from someone else at the table.  This led into a discussion of the snow conditions, which led into a discussion of the next day’s events, which led into a discussion of other mountain-related topics.

I think.  It was hard to hear anything clearly.  The answers I gave to the questions that seemed to be directed to me may have been complete nonsense.  If so, no one seemed to care.  I was thinking I was wasting my time, in more ways than one.

Then, maybe a fruitless hour later, the girl with the neon pink highlights leaned over and asked, “So, finding any big leads, Detective?”  She put one hand on my thigh and the other on my chest, acting like the next move might be to reach inside my jacket … or maybe even my pants.  If anyone at the table noticed her actions, they didn’t say anything about it.  Even the dude sitting on her other side, who had been quite interested in her earlier, seemed to have lost that interest in favor of the dark-skinned woman to his right.

“You never know,” I answered.  “There’s still some people I’d like to interrogate, though.”

“Is that a really cheesy pickup line?” she chided with another laugh.

“Maybe?  Did it work?” I asked, getting a chuckle from several people at the table.

Then, leaning in close, she whispered something in my ear, punctuated by a lascivious wink to the rest of the table.

“Wanna go somewhere else and,” I asked, “Um … you finish that sentence.”

“Sounds like fun,” she told me, bumping me out of the booth with her hip and then standing up to follow me.  Turning to the table, she told them with a lascivious smile, “I’m going to go get interrogated.”

The girls at the table “whooped” and the guys—who had still been hitting on her in a desultory manner even after I moved in close—looked disappointed.  Still, she took my arm—more than my hand, more like she was hanging on me to steady herself—and let me lead her out of the bar, after she’d slid into her coat.  We made our way through the maddening crowd and over towards the door.

Not out the door.  That had been my goal, but the press of people coming in was making it too hard to swim upstream.  I turned to say something to the girl and she threw her arms around my neck and kissed me.  I thought I heard a cheer go up from the table we had been sitting at, but it was hard to be sure in the cacophony of The Dive Bar (that really was its name).

I returned the kiss passionately until I sensed a break in the crowd and we fell through it and out the door.  Outside, on the snow-covered sidewalks of the frozen mountain town, we stepped out of the rush of the door and fell to kissing again.  It wasn’t just to keep our lips warm.  It felt really good.

And it helped us stay in character.

Finally, when we had to breathe, we broke off the kiss and—with my mouth near her ear—I said, “I have missed you so much!”

“I’m not sure I like being someone who can be picked up in a bar.”

“You want to go back in?”

“Smoke no!”

“This is just helping to establish our street cred,” I told her, before kissing her again.

She then asked, “How much longer do I have to keep playing Sheila the Boarder Groupie?”


Who Are These People?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

If I were easily influenced—OK, more easily influenced than I already am—I think I would find our modern world scary.  OK, more scary than it already is.

For instance, a particularly insecure person—someone who needs constant affirmation of their friendships with other people—would seem to be incredibly vulnerable to this modern phenomenon—experienced by yours truly just moments ago—of a complete stranger telling me they want to share “Instant Messages” with me.

I, of course, looked at the name, first, to see if it was anybody I might know.  Considering I don’t know anyone named MeGottaBigBooty, I had no remorse about declining their offer.  The insecure person, though, the person who feels they don’t have any friends, the kind of a person who actually answers the questions on a telephone survey, that sort of person might actually accept the big derriere’d one in hopes that it would lead to a friendship.  Or, at the very least, tips on how to get a big booty yourself.

What I can’t figure out is why all these people want to message with me.  My suspicion is that they want to sell me something.  But then, that’s almost always my suspicion.  Accosted by a stranger in the mall, I look for his (or her) kiosk.  Person I don’t recognize comes to my door, I just assume they want to sell me either a candy bar that will somehow benefit the local band or interest me in a new religion.

[As an aside … wouldn’t you think that being told, “I’m a minister” would dissuade people from trying to convince me to join their religion?  It almost never does.  Repeated assertions along the lines of, “I go to church,” or “I disagree with your theology” or “I’m pretty sure you’re a glue-sniffing whack-job” barely seem to slow down their spiel.  Who are they thinking this works on?  Are there people so lonely that they will listen to a complete stranger who is paying them no attention just because they want the perceived company?  Apparently.]

Anyway, there are people amongst us who so crave human companionship that they will even sign up for an account on LinkedIn even though no one in the world has any idea what LinkedIn does or how they came to have account there in the first place.  It’s why we click “like” on pictures of some zit-faced kid we’ve never seen or heard of getting ready for his prom: because we think we might know his parents and we a] don’t want to offend them by ignoring the picture and 2] we’re hoping they’ll one day click “like” on the picture we plan on posting when we finally get a good one of the cat eating out of the dog dish in that cute way he only does when the camera isn’t around.

Did I say “we”?  I meant, “them” or “someone else”.

Sneaky Preview #2 of the NEW Novel!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The new novel is ready but the cover is still under construction.  Let me know what you think of this iteration!  (And, to see the other sneak preview cover, go here!)

Click on the picture to the left if you’d like to see a larger version.

A Theory of Bonds

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

One of the curiosities of modern warfare and espionage is the British decision to make their most successful spy of the day known to the public.  Generally, spies are kept secret, with great care being taken to keep their covers from being blown.

In the 1960s, however, the country of England (or Great Britain) decided that it somehow served their interest to publish and make movies about the exploits of their best spies.  Some have suggested that this was to scare the opposition.  If so, it hasn’t worked.  We can discuss that another time.

The first person to receive the title of “England’s #1 Spy”—or, “James Bond” for short—was a Scottish lad named Sean.  Tall, debonair, and with a voice that would have been instantly memorable to all (some have suggested that it was his voice that actually settled England on this new idea of spying because it was so easy for opposing forces to detect transmissions sent by this spy), Sean was the prototype for all James Bonds (sometimes called “Commander James Bond” or just “Oh, James!”) that would follow.

Following five spectacularly successful missions—if one can accept the maxim that it is better for the one to die to save the many (or, in these cases, that thousands should die to save the millions)—Sean retired from the title of James Bond.

England then hired someone from one of their outlying territories to take over the position of James Bond, chief of spies (who was given the number “7”, presumably to convince foreign powers that there were six other spies of even greater worth out there).  The new spy was another tall, debonair young man, this time from Australia, and named George.  George only led the British spy agency, MI6, for one mission, after which he got married.  The official story—this, too, was a new thing: putting out an official story about a spy, but it had some precedent having previous published in Japanese papers that James Bond had died—was that George was retiring from the James Bond service following the tragic death of his wife but the rumors persist that George merely faked his wife’s death and went off to live a life of ease—probably in Jamaica—with his beloved Tracy.

Suddenly without a James Bond and no one in the training pipeline,Britain talked Sean into coming back for one more mission while MI6 trained a new apprentice.  While Sean was blowing up a satellite with the aid of a woman in a bikini, MI6 was training a man named Roger to take his place.  Handsome in an effeminate way, Roger brought a strange sense of humor and a year of experience in the American west to the job, leaving almost a decade later when it seemed that his missions were becoming just too silly to bother with.  It was, after all, the early ‘80s and there wasn’t a lot to do, what with the Cowboy American president having vanquished all worthy foes.  He did, however, before retiring, kill the man who had supposedly killed Tracy, in some weird attempt to facilitate the fiction that all the James Bonds were the same man and not distinct individuals with singular looks and a shared sex addiction.

At some point in these years, many debate the actual year, Sean came out of retirement and, of his own accord, took up the title of James Bond and, without authorization, saved the world from almost the exact same threat it had faced in one of his earlier missions.  It has only been recently that MI6 would even acknowledge that his mission ever took place, so it remains shrouded in some secrecy.

It wasn’t until a few years later that England saw the need for another James Bond and hired a man named Tim.  Handsome, like the others, but strangely well-read in the works of former spies of England, Timothy served in two missions with distinction before quietly retiring as it didn’t seem like England needed James Bonds anymore.

When the need did arise,England hired an ex-patriot working in Los Angelesas a private eye to take on the job of James Bond.  Even when new to the job, however, he seems to have been aware of previous MI6 business well enough to tell the new boss where the old boss kept his liquor.  Many people were initially reluctant to accept the newby in the job of James Bond, and may reasons why have been suggested, but it is this writer’s contention that the reason this James Bond was often viewed with some disdain was that none of the women spies he worked with were as pretty as the woman who ran the American detective agency.  After serving with distinction for four missions, this James Bond—code named Pierce—retired to a quiet life in America with his wife and children.

It wouldn’t be until years later that England would again hire a James Bond, this time not out of necessity but, apparently, out of an overriding sense of, “Eh, why not?”  In keeping with that attitude, the powers that be (whoever “they” may be) decided to conduct a world-wide search to find the most boring, most-non-charismatic person on the planet.  Finding a man named Daniel whose personality was practically non-existent, they quickly set out to insert him in missions that, while vague in objective, were obtuse in outcome.

We can all thank England for using the James Bonds to keep the world safe and, I think I speak for everyone when I say: I wish they would bring back Sean.

Love Languages

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

My wife recently found a book about “discovering your love language”.  It is, from all reports (hers, anyway) a good book and is really opening her eyes.  Mine, too, by proxy and whether I want them opened or not.

The premise of the book—I haven’t read it but I have had each paragraph discussed with me in monologue form and have had several key passages quoted to me—asserts that we all have a “love language”.  This is how we show love to other people and how we want to be loved.  The author’s premise—and according to my wife, he’s right—is that many of us (especially men) are not aware of our love language.  That’s why he wrote the book: so that we men could find out what our love language is and what our wife’s love language is by letting her read the book and then tell us how it comes out.

For instance, some people apparently show their love language through acts of service.  This is the person who shows her love by taking food to someone who is sick or actually looking for thoughtful, applicable Christmas cards rather than just buying the cheapest box of generic cards and sending them all out with the same photocopied message to everyone in the phone book.  This person, the author writes, is going to want to BE loved through acts of service.  In other words, a bowl of soup when she’s sick will express more love to her than, say, a Valentine’s card.

My wife’s love language is, apparently (if I was listening well and I can’t swear that I was because there was a good YouTube video playing about a cat trying to kill a fly and getting caught up in the Venetian blinds), time together.  For those of you who didn’t understand that sentence because you were thinking about the cat, let me repeat: my wife’s love language is time together.  This can involve walks together, drives together, sitting on the back porch together, etc.  The good news is (obviously) that I can show my wife all sorts of love without spending a dime.

My wife has another love language, but I’ve forgotten what it was.  I should ask, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 24+ years of marriage, it’s “be very careful about admitting what you didn’t hear”.

Other people, according to the author and my wife, have other love languages.  Some people really like to express their love through gift-giving while others express theirs through finding a hobby and sharing it.  One interesting phenomena my wife told me about from the book is that, often, a person who likes to express their love verbally will marry someone who is a good listener.  Another interesting thing, to my wife, was the revelation in the book that many people—especially or even almost exclusively of the male persuasion—like to express love through sex.  I, for one, am really glad we have books to tell us these things.  Men like sex?  How would we have known that without this book?

My wife has finished the book and we’ve been through it in some detail as we sat on the back porch, walked around the neighborhood or went on long car rides.  We’ve discovered what her love language is, but we still haven’t found mine.  I can tell you what it isn’t, though: discussing love languages.