Monday, March 31, 2014

Phoenix Gay Pride Parade

When : Next Saturday, 05 April.  Starts at 10:00 AM
Where : 3rd Street, from Thomas to Indian School
Weather : Partly Cloudy; 70°F high, 54°F low; 10% chance of rain

    In other words, perfect weather to watch a parade!  We've missed the past couple years - one time it was almost 100°F; another time one of our dogs was fighting for her life at the Emergency Pet Hospital (she lived).  Before that, we had made it to the parade 3 years in a row.

    If you've never been to a Pride Parade, you don't know what you're missing.  It is absolutely wild, yet it's safe to take the kiddies to it.  It also strikes a blow for Gay Rights, and here in Arizona, bigotry runs rampant.

    So if you live in Arizona, cancel the rest of your plans for next Saturday, and attend the parade.  You won't regret it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Do you know you came from a place far away?” it said.

    “Oh, yes.  We know that.”

    “A place farther than the moon.”

    “Er.”  Masklin hesitated.  The journey had taken a long time.  It was always possible that they had gone past the moon.  He had often seen it on the horizon, and he was certain that the truck had gone farther than that.

    “Yes,” he said.  “Probably.”

    (from Truckers,  by Terry Pratchett)

    9*/10.  The full review is here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Existential Saturday

    For the record, this really did happen, and just a few weeks ago.  My vague recollection of the CNN or MSNBC article was that the locals organized a search party for the lady, and were asking everyone they came across to join the search.  Someone unfamiliar with the lady saw her and asked her to assist them, without giving her a name or description.  The lady wasn't senile, just uninformed as to whose body they were looking for.

    But it does scream Existentialism! as well.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Science Fridays!

    To give proper credit, this is an excerpt from yesterday's Tom The Dancing Bug comic strip, which you can read and enjoy the

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Arts

    Our brains are divided into two lobes - one that takes care of the analytical things in life; one that sees to the creative things in life.

    It is important to use and exercise both halves.  Most of us have careers that utilize the analytical lobe.  We calculate, manufacture, diagnose, drive a vehicle, sell something, etc.

    All well and good. It pays the bills.

    But the creative half of the brain needs activity as well.  So :
        Play The music
        Write the books.
        Shoot the films.
        Paint the Art.  And last but not least...
        Blog the blogs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

RIP - Flight 370

    The painting above is by a Uighur artist named Memetjan Abdullah.  He took part of a cultural exchange program recently, between China and Malaysia, titled "Chinese Dream : Red and Green Painting".

    When the show was over, Memetjan had the misfortune to board Flight 370 for the long trip back home to Beijing.  The flight that is still missing, but which pretty much certainly crashed into the South Indian Ocean.

    All too often, we think of airplane crash victims - especially foreign ones - as a group of nameless, faceless, featureless people for whom Kismet rolled an extremely unlucky Lot.

    But they're not an amorphous glump of humanity.  They were fathers, mothers, and in one case, a 5-year-old child.  They had loved ones who will grieve and die a little each day for the rest of their lives.  They had hopes, and they had dreams.  And for one Chinese/Uighur painter, a extremely promising artistic career  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    After the inquest, the judgment leveled against Nesomi and her associates was like the wrath of the gods.  The Planetary News Network had its commercial business charter cancelled.  In the space of a heartbeat, one of the primary news agencies on Juni simply ceased to exist.  The newsmakers and administrators who had committed the crimes were judged just as harshly.  Most were ordered to undergo mandatory social rehabilitation.

    (from Dawnwind : Last Man Standing,  by George R. Shirer)

    4½*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

RIP - Oderus Urungus

    Sad news, as Dave Brockie, much better known as Oderus Urungus, the lead singer and heart-&-soul of the band GWAR, was found dead Sunday evening at his home.  At 50 years old, he has been taken from us much too soon.

    GWAR has played in Phoenix a number of times, but in truth, I just never got around to going to one of their concerts. I do know, however, to stand well in the back of the crowd.

    RIP, Oderus Urungus.  Nobody, but NOBODY, can cover Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son the way you covered it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Love, proclaims Rosie, all you need is love.  And no one need feel deprived of a love object.  It needn’t be a human being; it can be an animal – a cat, a dog; it can even be a garden; it can be a flower it can be a tree.  The whole natural world is one, linked by love, upheld by love, redeemed by love.  One would suppose that Rosie had never seen a cat with a mouse.

    (from The Children of Men by P.D. James)

  7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Night W(h)ine

    Really now.  There's two of us, and a freshly-opened bottle of wine.  Red, of course.  Why would we want to cork it?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Marching Band

    For the record, I was in Marching Band for one year in High School.  One football season, actually.  I ended up thoroughly screwing up the halftime show (clarinet players will follow trumpet players anywhere) at homecoming, and quitting the band that same night.  School political mayhem ensued.

    And yes, I'm aware Justin's last name is misspelled in the above photo.  Methinks whoever created this did that deliberately, to avoid lawsuits.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Personally, I find the Flying Spaghetti Monster eminently believable.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day


    Max stopped and nervously turned around, hoping that the old man had not sensed something false about the check.

    Sanderson folded it and tucked it away.  He nodded at the machine.  “It has a lot of power.  With great power comes great responsibility.”

    Max felt relief at not being caught in any wrongdoing and replied, “I don’t want power or responsibility.  I just want to get to the good life quick and easy.”

    (from The Attic Piranhas, by Marlin Williams)

    8*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Today we are all Irish.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day!

    I went on FaceBook at (almost) exactly 3/14 @ 1:59 PM and left a Happy Pi Day post.  Next year will be even kewler - 3/14/15 @ 9:26 AM/PM.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

E-Card Thursday

    An appropriately-themed E-Card for today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Gorloff shook his head, still confused.  “Of course we value science.  Discussions of scientific discovery are in vogue among the elite.  We build universities and fund experiments. . .”

    “It is a good beginning, but as you say, their work is discussed by the elite.  They are not elite themselves.  Scientists are not leaders in your society.”

    “They rarely seem interested.”

    “It would be interesting to find out why that is so.”

    (from Owl Dance,  by David Lee Summers)

    6*/10.  The full review is here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weather Update

   Although here in Phoenix, I've been wearing cutoffs for about three weeks now.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


    If you missed it, it will be shown again tomorrow night (I think), on the National Geographic Channel.  It is positively awesome.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Why are you acting like some damn pirate?” (. . .)

    He stood alone on the deck, his face washed by the breeze, and considered the man’s final insult.

    Acting like some damn pirate.

    Sea monsters, hellhounds, robbers, opposers, corsairs, buccaneers, violators of all laws human and divine, devils incarnate, children of the wicked one.

    All labels for pirates.

    Was he one of them?

    “If that’s what they think of me,” he whispered, “then why not?”

    (from The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Nerd Quiz

    I got 9/16, so I'm quite the nerd.  Missed the whole bottom row, though.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


    Well, I'll be.  So this is what "Animated Gif" means.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


    Kafka is way kewl!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Scintillate, Scintillate Globule Vivific

Scintillate, scintillate globule vivific,

Fain would I fathom thy nature specific;
Loftily poised in the ether capacious,
Strongly resembling a gem carbonaceous.
(author unknown)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Science Sunday

   It was indeed a fast weekend.  It will indeed be a long work-week.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    After inhaling a couple slices of pizza, I finally spoke.  “So, I want to know more about you.  Tell me something.”

    “Well, let’s see,” Courtney replied, “I’m thirty-six. . .”

    “You cougar!” I joked, “I’m thirty-four.”

    “I’m not a cougar unless you and I are on a date.”

    “I’d call this a date, wouldn’t you?”

    “I haven’t decided yet,” she replied.

    (from Jackpot!,  by Jackie Pilossoph)

     6½*/10.  The full review is here.