Home

Adventure books by Erich Eipert— for those young (and maybe not so young) adults who enjoy action, young heroes, wry humor, a real plot, and a touch of romance.

Guy Going Under. Guy just wanted to win over a girl a little beyond his reach. He didn’t plan to get himself, and a girl he couldn’t stand, trapped in a cave with a gruesome historical secret. Kindle version or paperback.

Butterfly Powder and the Mountains of Iowa. Meet Gilbert Perles, a rural Iowa underachiever in the 1960′s, and a hero too. Kindle version or paperback.

Pages Turn | Stuff Happens
recent posts

83,936 Bags of Trash…A Little Litter Story

By Erich Eipert

This story has a dejecting part as well as something heroic and uplifting. Let’s get the cheerless part out of the way first.

Litter on roads

Mississippi River Litter Barge

Mississippi River Litter Barge Living Lands and Waters

I don’t think about litter much until I’m on foot and see great quantities of it hidden in the grass of the roadside ditch. Or drive past piles of filled plastic bags after a cleanup effort. There’s a surprising amount of rubbish out there. I seldom see anyone throw anything from a car window like in the old days, yet somehow the garbage accumulates. Maybe litterers are more active after dark. A study or two has probably addressed this, but I’m getting off track. I can understand drinkers who drive, and underage occupants, throwing out their empties, but who and what accounts for all the other trash? Fortunately Washington state, where I live, isn’t the worst place when it comes to offenders. I suspect the reason has nothing to do with the intellect-challenged “Litter and it will hurt” signs along the roads. But again, I digress.

Litter in the Mississippi River Continue reading

Just another day in North Korea—execution of singers by machine gun

Hyon Song-wol

Hyon Song-wol. Screen capture from DPRKMusic YouTube channel

Tired of North Korea and its sicko leader Kim Jong-un yet? One more post and then I’ll stop. This headline grabber is too barbaric to pass up—a report that Kim Jong-un machine-gunned his ex-lover and 11 other singers and performers accused of selling pornographic videos of themselves. Many news outlets picked up the story and disseminated it after South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper broke the story based on an unconfirmed report from China. The fact that a story like this is believable, even if it turns out to be a rumor, tells you all you need to know about this regime.

Continue reading

North Korea—where the threats keep on coming

All hail Kim Jong Il. Attribution: giladr at Flickr

Last year I reviewed a book about North Korea (Escape from Camp 14) in a commentary titled Justice would demand they be sentenced to dig up frozen human waste with their bare hands. The book is about the political prisoner slave labor camp system that has been a feature of this regime practically since the country was divided into North and South. Little has changed in that dreadful place since I wrote that piece; its government is still a blight on the world ,and its people are no better off now that 28-year-old Kim Jong Un replaced his late father, Kim Jong Il.  Continue reading

This gives a whole new meaning to the expression “You’re full of s***”

scanning electron micrograph of Giardia

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Giardia protozoan. Photo from CDC/ Dr. Stan Erlandsen; Dr. Dennis Feely

When I saw the recent news story in the June 7 issue of The Week about a swimming pool study done in Atlanta by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I read it with interest because I’ve often wondered why swimming in pools and lakes doesn’t cause more gastrointestinal illness. It’s hard not to ingest a bit of water whether you’re seriously swimming or just having fun. I know pools contain disinfectants that kill cryptosporidia and giardia (protozoans) and bacteria like E. coli, but disinfecting agents don’t work instantly.

Continue reading

Heroes Shooting Blanks Pt. 2: Is there any location Hollywood hasn’t discovered?

Trona Pinnacles

Trona Pinnacles

I’m beginning to think the answer to the question posed in my title is “no.” At least in the West within a thousand miles of LA. After leaving Movie Flats in the Alabama Hills, the lovely but surreal setting of the Trona Pinnacles became my next camping destination. The pinnacles are located on the playa of Searles Dry Lake in the Searles Valley, just one valley west of Death Valley National Park in this harsh basin and range country. If you read my earlier post on the Bennett-Arcan wagon train party’s 1849 escape from Death Valley, it might interest you to know that another party became trapped in Death Valley about the same time. The Jayhawkers abandoned their wagons as well and walked out by way of Searles Valley. They acted to save themselves from a situation of their own making, so they were only heroes in a limited way. Yet even this marginal heroism beat what followed after this place too became a popular filming location, like Movie Flats. The cameras here weren’t shooting good guys shooting outlaws and Indians. The cinematography was of a different type.
Continue reading

Heroes Shooting Blanks

Movie Flats

Riding off into the sunrise at Movie Flats

I just spent a couple of days camping in and hiking through hero country. No, it wasn’t a battlefield. And yet it was. If that sounds contradictory, it should become clear shortly. It is a princely place if you’re drawn to southwest high desert country like I am. This tract of land is situated near Lone Pine, California and is in the Alabama Hills, a name which has nothing at all to do with Alabama. The area has it all: sun, sagebrush, cactus, canyons, and jumbles of huge golden boulders. If that isn’t enough, topping it off is the grand mountain vista backdrop of Mt. Whitney and its surrounding high Sierra peaks. I’d better confess right here that I’m not the first to notice the ultra-western-ness of these features. The Hollywood movie industry noticed it 90 years ago. Continue reading

Cherries—a Vietnam experience and a half

Helicopter drops grunts in landing zone. U.S. Army photograph. Public domain.

Authors writing from personal experience about combat know that conveying their experience is ultimately an impossible task. The chasm between those who lived the trauma in a place like Vietnam, or some other version of Vietnam in another war, and those merely reading about it is nearly unbridgeable with mere words or images. But like many other veterans before him, John Podlaski tries to do just that in his book, Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel. And in this basic mission he successfully describes what Vietnam was like for some. I have to say some because in a war where the vast majority of those in uniform served as support personnel, most of the hardship fell on those few actually in the field. But more about that later. Continue reading