Thursday, June 30, 2011


    Any fire's bad enough.  A fire when it's 115°F outside is terrible.  A fire in one of the power company's transformers  means power outages.  As in 80,000 homes without power.  In the afternoon.  In Mesa.  When it's 115°F outside.  With monsoon humidity.

    Our house was without power.  For a couple hours, ANAICT.  But by the time I got home (4:30), it had been restored.  The house was pretty much cooled off.  And the dogs were back to normal.

    The pic above is of the blaze.  The burning transformer was on Power Road.  Liz works on Power Road.  She says this pic is ho-hum, cuz you can't see the flames.  She could.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thank you, New York!

    Another victory for Civil Rights and Equality.  Another defeat for Bigotry and Hatred.  Six down; forty-four to go.  We have our work cut out for us, but New York legalizing gay marriages is huge.  The death knell is sounding for homophobic legislation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    To say that Effrom was not a particularly good cook was an understatement akin to saying that genocide is not a particularly effective public relations strategy.  He had decided that Tater Tots would provide as good a meal as anything, without challenging his culinary abilities.  He read the cooking instructions carefully, then did some simple mathematics to expedite the preparation: twenty minutes at 375 degrees would mean only eleven minutes at 575 degrees.  The results of his calculation resembled charcoal briquettes with frozen centers, but because he was in a hurry to get to bed, he drowned the suffering Tots in catsup and ate them anyway.  Little did he know that their spirits would return carrying nightmare images of the zeppelin attack.

(from Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore)

(the full review is here)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote for the Day

    "Unregulated capitalism is not a pretty sight, which is why we have labor laws, environmental regulations, health and safety standards, unions, much-eroded consumer protection laws, and other checks on the system.

    Barring a few glitches, like the fact that corporations keep buying our government, this is not a bad deal for lots of us, and it's not capitalism's job to help those who don't have enough power to deal with the system.

    It would be helpful, however (from a PR standpoint, if nothing else), if corporations would quit picking on poor people in particular."
(Molly Ivins)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's "Lightning"

    Yes, I'm a grammar nazi.  I work hard not to let it show.  But come on now,  This is a nationally syndicated cartoon strip.  The jagged, electricity thing in the sky is "lightning".  The opposite of getting heavier (or darker) is "lightening".

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Clarence Thomas!

    Anita sends her regards.  Now go munch on some Oreos.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why we fight

    And yeah, I know "Libya" is spelled wrong.  And that the USA has had more than its share of urban idjits gone beserk after their sports team lost.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "Boy," said Gannell, "you gotta know your name in this world.  I mean, you gotta know who you are.  Now, you get born smelling of apples and feeling like you gonna die rich - you're Shando.  You come in smelling sheep and feeling like you might have two krets to leave your woman - you're Karli."

    Gannell took a long drink and sighed pleasurably as the liquor warmed its way down.  "But boy, when you get born smelling sh*t and can't even find a hunk to sell for manure - you know your badluck ass is Wengen!"

(from The Masters of Solitude by Marvin Kaye & Parke Godwin)

The full review is here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

RIP Clarence Clemons

    There's no doubt about it - Bruce was the spirit of the East Street Band.  But you were its soul.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "...winning those wars didn't matter, since every time a war was fought governments incurred more debt and financiers amassed more privileges.  It's like what drug companies do today.  Treating the symptoms of a disease, never curing it, always being paid."

    Mastroianni finished the last of his chocolate tart.  "I own stock in three of those pharmaceutical concerns."

(from The Paris Vendetta, by Steve Berry)

The full review is here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

In-Flight Movie

I'd jump too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Furniture Foray - Part Deux

    We passed on the furniture last night.  It's hard to tell for sure if a couch is worn out, but you kinda get a hint when there are three 4-year-old boys jumping on it like it was a trampoline.  Thanks for the heads-up, kids! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Furniture Foray

    Something quick, as we're off to get a couch, love seat, and chair for Jason's (soon-to-be) house.  Our garage is loading up various acquisitions for it, as we all wait not-so-patiently for the Short Sell to go through.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The difference...

A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoon showing the difference between physicists, chemists, and biologists.

Personally, I think the part about the Biologists is overrated.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

   "How long it is, since last you spoke to me?"

    "Minutes... Not even an hour."
    "I cannot tell, child. Time is nothing where I am. I read once in Aquinas that the duration of the soul in Hell may only be a heartbeat, but to the damned it is eternity."

(from The Wild Machines by Mary Gentle)

The full review is here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The whole truth in four words

    "Live and let live."  When you get right down to it, that's the core philosophy of every religion.  Go ahead, try to think of one that isn't based on that.

    Now theology, that's another story.  Every religion has its own individual doctrine.  And most exhort their followers to either convert all others to their theology, or else kill them.

    Frankly, we could use a little more philosophy in life, and a lot less theology.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Quote for the Day

    "How easy it is to destroy a man's political career.  Just murmur: 'You're hot' and he'll do it to himself." (Tess Gerritsen)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

Apparently she was under the impression that love was something you could switch on and off like electric current.  Of course, it's not like that.  Oh, it'll survive almost anything if it's contrary and cussed enough, it'll take pruning and flooding and DDT in its stride and carry on growing like convolvulus - the more you try to clear it out, the stronger it gets.  But when it dies, it dies; it's as dead as Queen Anne or the Monty Python parrot, and all the king's horses and all the king's men can't do spit anout it.

(from Little People by Tom Holt)

The full review is here.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Telltale Heart

    Yeah, he'd be pretty good at birthday cards.  But  Edgar Allan Poe doing Valentine's Day cards; now that'd be something special.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Check-Up at the Vet's

Bella and Huxley had appointments at the vet's yesterday.  Mr. Jynx was off the hook, but as soon as he heard the car keys, he was rarin' to go too.  If he had known the destination, he wouldn't have been so keen.  But ignorance is bliss, and he wasn't to be dissuaded, so he and I went joy-riding while Liz took the other two for their check-ups.

Bella's red blood cell count is stable and in the normal range.  She's almost completely weaned off her meds, so this was very good news.  She'll finish out the remaining meds, and then that's that.  She doesn't have to go back to the vet's until her next regularly-scheduled check-up or unless we see her starting to relapse.  She's gained some weight, but the doctor says she could stand to gain a little more.  Mama Liz will see to that.

    The news was also good for Huxley.  His blood pressure is up a bit, but the vet didn't seem too concerned.  What she liked was that Huxley has lost a little weight and has gotten more toned up.  Methinks he's been hitting the gym while Liz and I are at work. 

    So all in all, the news was as good as could be hoped for.  Here's hoping that trend continues.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

HippieFest is coming

    Something called HippieFest is coming to Phoenix, on 05 August, and at Comerica Theater.  Which I think is Dodge Theater under new ownership.  Or Celebrity Theater.  Or Cricket Theater.  Hopefully not that last one; it's outside.

    HippieFest is proclaimed to be a celebration of the Summer of Love (that was 1967 for you young'uns), and the acts include :

Dave Mason  (formerly of Traffic)
Mark Farner  (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad)
Rick Derringer  (formerly of The McCoys)
Gary Wright  (formerly of ??)
The Rascals

    Sad to say, the only one I'd really like to see is Dave Mason, and that's mostly because of his post-Traffic solo material.  The McCoys had only one hit (Hang On, Sloopy), and I'm not keen on Derringer's solo work.  The Rascals would be interesting, and I admit I used to have a couple of their albums.  But there's a reason those LP's are no longer in my collection.

    So I doubt I'll be going to this, despite the fact that it should really appeal to me.  Now if they could get Janis, and Jimi, and Jim-the-Lizard-King to show up, I'd have to reconsider.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

As Rafferty strolled toward Tenth Street, he found it hard to get Addie O'Donnell out of his mind.  She had certainly made quite an impression, burning with the sort of white-hot idealism that only the young can manage gracefully.  That alone made her worthy of Rafferty's regard, for he had been the same way once, eager to turn the bitter seed of the world into fresh, bright fruit.  It couldn't be done, of course, but there was poetry in the attempt...

(from Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance by Larry Millett)

The complete review is here.