mcalpine_pccover.gif I was busy working on a whole different post (a CD review) when my wife showed up in my study with her hands behind her back, saying, “I have two pieces of good news, which do you want first? Pick a hand!” I chose my left, her right. A cheque (yes, that’s the correct spelling here in Canada!) for $106, a rebate on our annual auto insurance premium. Nice! See, we have this big road trip coming up, so we’ve got to set aside as much spare cash as we can to cover it, along with the anticipated activities along the way. Yesterday I paid a $1,260 car repair bill, and last week it was four new tires, over $400 installed despite the really good sale price we got. Oh, and then there’s the $200 fine we got for not licensing our dog this year or last. An animal control officer came right to the door and served us a summons… and if you’re talking to my wife, do not get her started on this one! We also have to get the dog his shots and pay for last year’s license plus this year. Bad timing for all these extra expenses, to be sure. Oh, and the house insurance bill is coming up. We met up with the in-laws after picking up the car at the garage yesterday, and over ice cream they presented each of my daughters with an American $100 bill for their trip… their faces lit up pretty brightly! There were two additional $100 bills for my wife and me as well, so that’s a really nice send-off.

I processed the $106 cheque fairly quickly in my mind (doesn’t nearly cover the cost of that certain attraction in Orlando that we haven’t yet told our kids about making reservations at) and requested the second bit of good news in my wife’s other hand.

Lo and behold, an honest-to-goodness printed, hard-copy, tactile book publication, the long-awaited Post-charismatic? by my good friend Rob McAlpine. Note, now that he’s published, I’ve elevated him beyond mere “friend” status — not least because he autographed the copy of the book I hold in my hands (or was holding before I set it down to type), and also because he quotes me in the book a few times. I even made the Bibliography! Gee, now I’m really famous! (If you’re imagining Steve Martin in The Jerk, I forgive you but perhaps you’ll need to speak with Rob about it. “I bet more people see that than the phone book!”) I’m a somebody now. After I got done leafing through the book to see where my name might have been used in vain (hey, you’d have done the same), I noted that it’s got an excellent bibliography (five pages, with a lot of resources available online) but was a bit disappointed that David C. Cook (the publisher) hadn’t put in an index. On the other hand, I discovered that the Table of Contents has enough detail that an index wouldn’t really add a whole lot anyway.

To be honest, I’m probably too close to this project to do anything approaching an objective review, so just take my recommendation that it’s a very worthwhile read. My wife noted that she got a better reaction from me over the book than over the unexpected $106 cheque. That ought to say something for it.

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