Sunday, September 30, 2012

October Eve

    Tomorrow is October.  Today, it was 100°F, and is predicting triple-digit highs through Wednesday.  This sucks, Butthead.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Bugbear felt something cold and hard smash against the back of his head.  It wasn't something he wanted to feel there.  No, not at all.  Yet there it was.  And it was followed by something he didn't want to hear.

    "Don't move an inch, or I'll take your misbegotten head."

    Oh, he didn't want to hear that at all.  He hated the word "misbegotten."

(from Noggle Stones Book 1 - The Goblin's Apprentice by Wil Radcliffe)

  8*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Grinch who stole Social Security

    It's heartening to see that the public is not fooled about Paul Ryan and his extremist ideas about the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the unions.  Even his fellow Catholics find him to be a dangerous twit.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


    It was 25 years ago today, that the movie The Princess Bride debuted.  It didn't do much at the time - Fatal Attraction and Ghost were the biggies that year.  But it has since garnered a loyal following of fans, one of which is moi.

    TPB is not my favorite flic of all time - that has to be Monty Python and The Holy Grail.  But it's in my Top 5.  And the DVD has a b*tchin' cover with some fabulous font-work.

    RIP, Andre The Giant.  I will remember you far more for this movie than for your WWF career.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    April 2068.  It took Scott Fuller a full five minutes to recover from the shock.  A relative of the infamous Dr. Carlos Maiz, the man charged with committing murder on the largest scale in the history of mankind, had hunted him down wanting to talk.  He exhaled a deep breath before returning the call.

    He explained that Dr. Maiz was hitting the depths of despair at the time they'd met, plus their contact had been brief.  Very brief.  A total of no more than fifteen minutes at most.  Not to mention the fifty-six years that had passed since.  However, he assured her, he never for one minute believe Dr. Maiz was guilty of what he'd been accused - to the contrary - he thought the man had done everything in his power  to help humanity rather than harm it, but other than that, there was not much he could say.

(from The Zul Enigma, by J.M. Leitch)

  4½*/10.  The full review is here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Surely, you jest

    I have one FB acquaintance who has 853 FaceBook friends.  Is it even possible to call that many people your buds?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Sharing this love of intrigue had been his boyhood friend, Giles, who was also sent to cathedral school as the proper place for a younger, and in this case legitimate, son of one of the earl's barons.  Giles was more than just a childhood friend.  They had been brothers in toddler mischief, adolescent buffoonery, and finally the more serious sports of wining and wenching.

(from Wine of Violence, by Priscilla Royal)

7½*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two and a half Men meets LOTR

    And any of the three of them could whup Charlie Sheen's butt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The door opened again.  Taziri glanced back just in time to see Shahera leap forward and take a wild swing at the lone soldier emerging from the building.  Her fist connected with the side of his face and the young man stumbled away from her.

    "Ow!  What the hell was... you!"  Alonso rubbed his head.  "What are you hitting me for?"

    "I didn't know it was you," Shahera said.  "I thought you were one of those soldiers."

    "You hit one of my favorite eyes.  It really hurts," he said, massaging the side of his face.

(from The Broken Sword, by Joseph Robert Lewis)

  7½*/10.  The full review is here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy "Talk Like A Pirate Day" !!

    Truly one of my favorite holidays of the ye-arrrrrr.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fiona Apple Concert

    Yeah, we'll be seeing her in concert tonight.  Jason and Liz really like her; I'm kinda neutral.  So it will be interesting to see if I enjoy the concert.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back from the Cruise

    We're back from our 1-week Alaskan cruise.  We departed Seattle last Sunday night on the above piece of floating luxury, and got back in town at midnight last night.

    This was our first cruise, and it was definitely a memorable experience.  The legs of the cruise were :
Day 1  :  get on board.  explore the ship.
Day 2  :  at sea.  rough water.
Day 3  :  Ketchikan
Day 4  :  Juneau
Day 5  :  Skagway
Day 6  :  at sea.  kinda rough water.
Day 7  :  at sea until 6:00 PM.  then Victoria, Canada.
Day 8  :  disembark.  in Seattle with friends.  fly home.

   We didn't do any of the tours.  Seattle and Victoria were sunny.  All the Alaska stops were overcast, with occasional light rain.  Well, it is a rainforest, after all.  And since we were coming from Phoenix summer weather, we dug the cold and the gray and the wetness.

    We took tons of pictures.  If I get ambitious. I'll put 'em up on a blog.  Along with "30 things I learned on the cruise"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Back to reality

    Back from the cruise.  Time to get real.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Football is here!

   And hopefully it will be a good year for my Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, ASU Sun Devils, and Penn State Nittany Lions.  Although things look grim for PSU.

Friday, September 14, 2012

You are what you eat

   All that's needed to complete this pic is a head of lettuce.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

26 puns

    There's a couple I don't get - E, G, L, O, R, Y, and Z. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why does the Universe exist?

  Another theological question resolved.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On the briny

    A quick pic from our excursion.  We did both a chrono-hop and a dimension-hop this time.  Don't be alarmed - that starship isn't about to blast our cruise ship.  It's beaming us up for one of the daily tours.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Whose God is better?

    From the now-defunct internet comic strip, Calamities of Nature.  Hopefully, it will be revived someday.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Demotivational Sunday

    I didn't see God, but ... oh wait.  Elvis is God.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Time Out To Travel

    We're outta here for a couple days for a long-overdue vacation.  But fear not, by the magic of Blogger's 'Schedule' feature, we'll still be posting on a daily basis.  There won't be much text, though.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    She ... thought of Soledad Ordonez, the stooped old shapeless woman from the  San Miguel barrio who didn't speak to her husband for twenty-two years because he sold their pig in San AndrĂ©s and was drunk for a week on the proceeds.  He was dying, stretched out on his deathbed with the priest and their three sons and four daughters there and all their seventeen grandchildren and his brother too, and he could barely croak out the words, "Soledad, talk to me," and her face was stone and the priest and the brother and all the grandchildren held their breath, and she said one word, "Drunkard," and he died.

(from The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyle)

2*/10.  The full review is here.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Higgs Boson Flowchart

    Actually, I do understand the Higgs Boson.  Sorta.  Kinda.  I've been reading Brian Greene's "The Fabric of the Cosmos", and it gives an excellent explanation of this long-sought-after particle that is essential to the Quantum Physics theories.

    And no, despite the hoopla of a couple weeks ago, they have not yet found the Higgs Boson.  They found evidence of a particle that had Boson-like attributes.  That's a long way from saying they found it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

See ya, Lance

   According to Lance, he just got tired and decided to quit fighting the allegations that he cheated.  Time and time again.

    And that he'd accept being stripped of his Tour de France victories.  And that he'd accept being banned from competing in future events.

    Yeah, right.  I don't have a high regard for the dude (I work with a few people - biking enthusiasts, of course - who worship him), but I will say one thing for him - he's not a quitter.

    So methinks the evidence was overwhelming.  See ya, Lance.  Your string of TdF wins seemed too good to be true.  And now it turns out they were too good to be true.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Caverna Magica - Andreas Vollenweider

Album : Caverna Magica
Artist : Andreas Vollenweider
Genre : Jazz, Ambient
Year Released : 1983
Rating : 8½*/10

    A kewl album cover for a kewl LP; according to Wikipedia, this was Andreas Vollenweider's second studio album.  I've converted about five of his records now; they're all good.

    About the worst I can say about the conversion is that the first and last tracks include sound effects of two people mucking around a cave, and the de-scratching program simply went nutzo with that.  So I was forced to remove the scratches manually, which was okay since it was a very clean disc.

    To boot, Mr. Vollenweider likes to merge the ending of one track with the beginning of the next, so I ended up just simply making it two tracks total.

01. Caverna Magica  (3:54)
02. Mandragora  (3:03)
03. Lunar Pond  (2:18)
04. Schajah Saretosh  (3:17)
05. Sena Stanjena?  (2:28)
06. Belladonna  (5:21)
07. Ahgoh!  (2:45)
08. Huiziopochtli  (5:08)
09. Con Chiglia  - Geastrum Coronatum - La Paix Verde (5:16)

    I've yet to listen to a "meh" album from Andreas Vollenweider.  They're all good "soft jazz", and freaking excellent background music when you're reading a book.  8½ Stars

Monday, September 03, 2012

Where Clint got his idea

    I've had this pic since 2010.  Didn't get around to posting it back then, and Sarah's star has since crashed and burned, so I haven't seen a reason to post it since.

   Then came Clint Eastwood's debacle at the Repugnican National Convention.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "Most bigjob men get married."

    "They do?" said a Feegle in astonishment.

    "Oh, aye."

    "They want tae get married?"

    "A lot o' them do, aye," said Billy.

    "So there's nae more drinkin', stealin', an' fightin'?"

    "Hey, ah'm still allowed some drinkin' an' stealin' an' fightin'!" said Rob Anybody.

    "Aye, Rob, but we canna help noticin' ye also have tae do the Explainin', too," said Daft Wullie.

(from Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett)

8*/10.  The full review is here.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


    For those of you who are bibliophiles, I am now on GoodReads.  For those of you who are not bibliophiles, well, I'm still on GoodReads.