Saturday, November 30, 2013
I had an incident like this a long time ago in (college) freshman English Lit. The book - a play, actually - was Waiting For Godot. The English teacher, making an effort to expand our minds, asked us what we thought of the play.
Stupidly, I gave him my frank opinion - that it was a nonsensical piece of trash. Needless to say, that was not the viewpoint he was looking for.
I am happy to say that now, 40 years later, I have come to appreciate existentialism in general, and WFG in particular. But it is still prudent to not overanalyze individual lines in Literature.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
We ran into problem with the person who cleans our house today. Not fun when you're going to have a bunch of people over for Thanksgiving tomorrow.
The good news is, I'm on vacation all week. The bad news is, that means today - which was supposed to be an easy, hit-the-bookstores day, turned into a mow the lawn, do the wash, dust the house, and vacuum the house day. I drew the line at mopping and cleaning the bathrooms though.
Yessirree. I'm gonna make somebody a helluva housewife someday.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Muzzaf was a Komarite, from one of the southern border cities along the Colonial frontier; one of the strange new class of monetary risk-takers, men who invested large sums in manufacture or trade yet were not really merchants or moneylenders or artisans. It still seemed a little unnatural to Raj, gaining wealth without inheriting or plundering it.
(from The Hammer by S.M. Stirling and David Drake)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Well, yay me. I am now on Skype. After a couple of false starts, including the realization that my 10-year-old microphone was totally useless and that a desktop computer has no camera, I finally got serious about becoming skypified today.
So I went down to Best Buy and bought a webcam. It had a built-in microphone to boot, so the old mic has been tossed in the trash. Installation was a breeze, and then it was time to try my first Skype-to-Skype video call with my sister.
Getting the settings right was a minor challenge. For instance, "line in" was the default audio setting, so I had to scramble when she reported that she was getting so sound. Switching that worked, but it seemed to nix the video. A primal scream took care of that, and we was in business.
I find it interesting that Skype-to-Skype is free, but Skype-to-phone (both a call and/or a text message) is not. It makes me wonder whether the phone companies will still be in business 20 years from now.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
“Here’s my best parchments. They’re imported from . . .”
“’Here’s’?” Bugbear exploded as he swatted the papers from the startled merchant’s hand. “Here’s’? Why you festering pustule of ignorance! It’s neither here’s nor there’s! Neither here’s nor there’s! Do you understand me? Do you?”
“No,” the merchant said with a dumb, blank state. “Not really.”
(from Noggle Stones 1½: Bugbear’s Travels), by Wil Radcliffe)
8*/10. The full review is here.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
“We’re emissaries of Mack Durgin,” Ace told the pretty vet lady, “and we’re here to pick up his pig.”
“No thanks,” Ace said as he took out his wallet. “He just wants the pig.”
(from When Pigs Fly), by Bob Sanchez)
9*/10. The full review is here.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
In case you're wondering how big of a storm it was that slammed the Philippines a couple days ago, here it is superimposed on a map of the US.
Basically from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, and from the east coast to the Mississippi River.
And the Philippines are, by and large, a gazillion islands. So the storm didn't lose much strength as it passed through.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sister Agnes was definitely religious, in a weird kind of way. At the Home, Sister Agnes had two pictures on the walls of her cramped room: one of them was of the Sacred Heart, the other was of Meat Loaf. And she played old Jim Steinman records far too loudly for the other Sisters. Joshua didn’t know much about bikes, but Sister Agnes’s Harley looked so old that St. Paul had probably once ridden in the sidecar.
(from The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter)
9*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Friday, November 08, 2013
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
He tried to shout out to her, to warn her away but found he couldn’t. He could feel the purity of his essence, like flowing water, dripping onto the sands and deep into the desert. He was no longer alive but at one with the earth. In the distance, he swore the woman he had tried to save was kneeling next to him, a tear drop cascading down her cheek to land on his chest.
“I did not want this,” she whispered.
(from Keepers of Water (Guardians of Nature), by R.G. Porter)
5*/10. The full review is here.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
The results are in. The least-favorite leftover Halloween Candy where I work is something called Laffy Taffy.
I've never heard of Laffy Taffy, so I don't have a taste opinion, but my fillings and crowns were cringing just looking at the wrapper. Taffy is not something for geezers.
Someone brought in a humongous bowl of candy last Friday, and by this afternoon, it was down to about 10 pieces, most of which were Laffy Taffy. FWIW, the favorites (the candy that disappeared the quickest) were Nestlé's Crunch and Reese's anything.
Another giant bowl of candy appeared today, and it was significantly different in content. It is heavy on sugar - Sweet-Tarts, Lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, etc. It's only about a quarter gone so far; We shall see what the dregs of it are in a couple days.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
Saturday, November 02, 2013
Tomorrow is our 34th anniversary, so tonight we went out to eat at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Scottsdale. The restaurant is on the second floor, and we ate out on the patio, under the stars and gathering clouds. The weather was perfect.
So was the food. But it was incredibly expensive. Luckily, we had $125 worth of gift cards to defray about 3/4 of the cost. Ruth's Chris is definitely a once-a-year sort of place to dine. But it is still an experience in elegance.
Friday, November 01, 2013
It's true! I'm a time-traveler and went forward 10,000 years to check this out. The archaeologists of the future are totally off-base about this. They think it our way of preserving a deceased dog's spirit.
I didn't tell them the real reason. I like their crackpot theory better than the truth.