Sunday, August 02, 2020

Family Trivia via Zoom

    Played Family Trivia via Zoom for the first time tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed it! Even if I didn't know the name of Willie Nelson's guitar.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “We have beauty, too.  We call it ‘scenery.’”

    “’Scenery,’” Mhoram echoed.  “The word is strange to me – but I do not like the sound.”

    Covenant felt oddly shaken, as if he had just looked over his shoulder and found himself standing too close to a precipice.  “It means that beauty is something extra,” he rasped.  “It’s nice, but we can live without it.”

    “Without?”  Mhoram’s gaze glittered dangerously.

    And behind him Foamfollower breathed in astonishment.  “Live without beauty?   Ah, my friend!  How do you resist despair?”

    “I don’t think we do,” Covenant muttered.  “Some of us are just stubborn.”

    (from Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson)

    5*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, July 31, 2020


    Truck Fump.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


        Regardless vs IrregardlessFlammable vs Inflammable.  English is a goofy language.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Patriotism as a word and deed has made a comeback.  At Halloween, costume shops did a brisk business in Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross getups.  Teen pop bombshell Britney Spears took a breather during her live telecast from Vegas’s MGM Grand to sit on a piano bench with her belly ring glinting in the spotlight and talk about “how proud I am of our nation right now.”  Chinese textile factories are working overtime to fill the consumer demand for American flags.

    (from The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday Science Lesson

    It's called "Kinetics".

Monday, July 27, 2020

Reading Tastes

    Calvin and I have the same tastes in reading.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


    Got a microphone for the 'puter so I can do Zoom meetings.  But what really excites me is the box's promise that it's also great for "Game Paly Online".

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Serge reached in a paper sack and pulled out a piece of fruit.

    “I didn’t know you liked to eat bananas.”

    “I’m not eating it.”  Serge held it in front of his face and stroked the yellow skin.  “I’m having a religious experience.  All life is connected, and I just heard last night on TV that humans possess half the DNA of a banana, so I’m checking it out to see if I can pick up a family vibe.”

    (from No Sunscreen For The Dead by Tim Dorsey)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, July 24, 2020


    This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Bookmark Alignment

    I waffle between Lawful Neutral and True Neutral.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday Poetaster - Haiku Edition

    BTW, the "a" in "poetaster" is short, as in "master" or "plaster".  I've been pronouncing it wrong all these years.

    Really.  Google it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

TV Extras

    That's it.  I need a new TV.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “I like it.  Very much.  I’ll take it.”

    “Would you have references?”

    “I’m awfully sorry, but I haven’t.  I just arrived in New York, and don’t know a soul.  Except you.”  I smiled but she didn’t smile back.  She stood hesitating, and I said, “It’s true that I’m an escaped convict, an active counterfeiter, and occasional murderer.  And I howl during the full of the moon.  But I’m neat.”

    “In that case, welcome.”

    (from Time and Again by Jack Finney)

    7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Portable Pods

    This looks great!  I've just ordered one of the "Version 2.0" jobbers at Amazon!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Grant sighed dramatically.  “Ah, San Diego.”

    “Oh, my God.  You’re not going to get all mushy about what happened, are you?  You were just there at the right time.”

    “Mushy?  Hell no.  Can’t a guy reminisce about a fun afternoon?”

    “Good.  Because that’s all it was.”

    “Fine with me.”

    They scanned for a few more minutes before Grant said, “But just for the record, I wouldn’t mind having another afternoon like it.”

    Morgan smiled.  “Maybe we’ll find the right time again.”

    (from The Roswell Conspiracy by Boyd Morrison)

    4½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Astronomy Wednesday

    An actual NASA photograph of the relative positions of Earth, Arizona and the Sun.  This explains so much about why our summers are so hot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Because, Mordak reflected, what’s the defining experience of Evil, taken as a whole, throughout three Ages of recorded history?  It loses, that’s what.  It gets hammered.  It gets the stuffing bashed out of it, every single time.  A Dark Lord rises, for a while everything goes swimmingly, vast swathes of territory fall under the Shadow; and then a handful of pointy-ears or a bunch of uppity humans or even a solitary furry-toed, knee-high hooligan stops us dead in our tracks and it’s straight back to square one, do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred zlotyl.

    (from An Orc on the Wild Side by Tom Holt)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, July 10, 2020


    It's the weekend!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    By 1800, the British thought they had found a perfect solution to their tea-trade deficit, the ideal product to give China something to do with all its British silver: Indian opium.  The Chinese government thought otherwise, banning opium in 1829 and, when drug-smuggling increased, dispatching a commissioner, Lin Zexu, to Canton to stop the illegal trade.  After neither Chinese nor British merchants took any notice of his order to destroy opium stocks, he took action himself and flushed a year’s supply of opium into the sea.  The British retaliated by shelling Canton; war was declared.

    (from The Great Wall by Julia Lovell)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Enough Sleep

    My Fitbit confirms this, and my right knee wants to know the answer.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    It would be better for them not to be sentient, Holloway thought.  Just because they were sentient wouldn’t be a guarantee they’d be recognized as such.  Not when so many people had such a vested interest in them not being so.  Better to be a monkey and not be able to understand what’s been taken from you, than to be a man and be able to understand all too well – and be helpless to stop it.

    (from Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Happy Third of July!

    I'm already resigned to the fact that the neighbor behind us will start shooting off fireworks tonight.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Dust Cloud Blues

    It sure does.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Your Author Name

    You mean that's all there is to it?!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Francophone Tuesday

    "Le buveur d'encre".  Literally: "Ink-Drinker".  Idiomatically: "Bookworm".

Monday, June 29, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Bester sat and scribbled away at the back of the room, while I tried to keep in mind simultaneously 39 kids, lesson-plan, room passes, boardwork, Frost, troublemakers, scraps of paper on the floor, correcting their English, and enlarging the scope of the lesson to include moral and ethical concepts.

    I didn’t have time to cover half of the things in my Plan Book, and I forgot Summary and Windows, but I did ask “pivotal questions,” linking the poem to their own experiences.  Bester says I’m a born teacher!  Congratulate me!

    (from Up The Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Boggle Tip

    The words I've gained the most points with in Boggle is "lea" (and its plural "leas"). The letters are so common that it's in almost every rack. Just write 'em down and garner the points.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Crazy English Thursday

    After you've seen it once, you'll remember it always.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Before I left England, my father received a letter from Grandda telling him not to worry, for my grandfather was making a vow to find me a husband.  You, sir, seem to be the candidate for groom.”

    Matthew smiled broadly at the nonsense of that last sentence, but when Berry’s face remained steadfastly serious he felt his smile collapse.  “That’s ridiculous!”

    “I’m glad we’re of a single mind on the subject.”

    “I don’t plan on being married to anyone, anytime soon.”

    “And before I marry I plan on making a living from my art.”

    An impoverished spinster for life, Matthew thought.

    (from The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon)

    9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Music Tuesday

    The Billboard piece of trivia is in fact, true.  DSotM had amazing longevity on their "Top 200" chart.  Surprisingly, this is not my favorite Pink Floyd album.  Probably not even in the Top Three.