Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “During the last maintenance cycle, I revived one of the passengers and showed her the stars from the ESAARC cockpit on my sleeper pod.  I spent a couple hours talking with her before placing her back in stasis, at which point I broke my hand by punching my sleeper berth.”

    Dayton looked at Cal in utter shock.  “Why on Earth would you do that?”

    Cal sighed “Because I’m a bigger idiot than you think, sir.”

    “He’s in love with her, Colonel,” added Dr. Taylor.

    (from Columbus: Flight,  by J.C. Rainier)

    7*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, May 30, 2014


    My home state extends the winning streak.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

E-Card Thursday

    It also qualifies as "RIF Thursday".

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"M" is for Maya

    RIP, Ms. Maya Angelou.  You showed that art and activism can coexist.  But most of all you exuded unsurpassed Grace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Washington Flamingos

    I have been a Washington Redskins fan for decades.  To be precise, ever since 1969, when the legendary Vince Lombardi coached them for a single season.

    Since then, the ownership has changed at least once; personnel changes have occurred on a regular basis; and uniforms and logos have changed quite often.

    It doesn't matter.  My loyalty/fandom is to the team itself, no matter who is playing for them, what color the uniforms are, what the logo looks like, and how badly ownership is meddling in the affairs of football.

    It is easy to see why the moniker "Redskins" is offensive to some.  It would be a great gesture on the organization's part to voluntarily change it to something else.  Hold a contest.  Get people's input.  Put some excitement into the name-change.

    I will be happy with whatever new name is selected.  It can be the "Fighting Flamingos" for all I care.  Hell, if it puts a spark into our rather moribund offense, I'm all for it.

    Naturally, a 100%-healthy RG3 with good QB mechanics would also be a welcome boost.

Monday, May 26, 2014


    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Pool Party

   Our "Thought For Today".  Twas quite the Pool Party.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Faces appear, names are exchanged, pictures taken, kisses brushed on cheeks.  Apparently my mockingjay pin has spawned a new fashion sensation, because several people come up to show me their accessories.  My bird has been replicated on belt buckles, embroidered into silk lapels, even tattooed in intimate places.  Everyone wants to wear the winner’s token.

    (from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)

     9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mon Cheese

    Today's Far Left Side comic.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    As she’d predicted, her editors didn’t much care about a death, even a murder, in the suburbs.  To get attention out here, you had to be an actress or a former model.  You could be eighty years old with a walker, and die in a brutal purse snatching, and if, some six decades earlier, you’d posed before the cameras, the papers would run headlines along the lines of “Ex-Model Slain in Purse Grab!”  And they would find a glamour shot from sixty years ago, and run it with a caption that said, “In happier times.”

    (from Bad Move,  by Linwood Barclay)

    8*/10.  The full review is here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In Praise of Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I have nothing against Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  They're my wife's favorite kind.  And I'll eat them as well.

    If there aren't any Chocolate Chip cookies to be had.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Equal Rights 19 - Hatemongers 0

    Oregon is the latest state to strike down their anti-gay law, choosing not to defend it when a judge found it blatantly discriminatory.  The Forces of Hate are on a pathetically long losing streak.

    In case you're wondering, the other 18 states where gays can now marry are : California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Revolvers (six-shooters) belong to the 1800s and DO NOT belong anywhere in previous centuries.  17th-century pirates and 18th-century adventurers carried pistols, while 19th-century cowboys and cattle rustlers carried revolvers.  If your French musketeer or Georgian highwayman is packing something that you call a “revolver”, you might as well go all the way and give him a phaser from Star Trek; it wouldn’t be much more historically inaccurate.

    (from Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders,  by Susanne Alleyn)

     9*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wear Black for Soma

    Really, folks.  The struggle is not Communism vs. Democracy; Black vs. White; East vs. West; or Christianity vs. Islam.  It is the 1% who control the Power and the $$$ vs. the other 99%.

    In Turkey.  In the USA.  In Sudan.  In Nigeria.  In China.  In Mexico.  In France.

    It is always those in Power striving to keep the rest of the World in Poverty and Voiceless.  But to quote the late Jim Morrison, "They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers/"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The demon trapped in the summoning circle screamed, slamming its crablike pincers against the unseen barrier, hurling its chitinous shoulders from side to side in an effort to escape the confinement.  It couldn’t.  I kept my will on the circle, kept the demon from bursting free.

    “Satisfied, Chauncey?” I asked it.

    The demon straightened its hideous form and said, in a perfect Oxford accent, “Quite.  You understand I must observe the formalities.”  Then it took a pair of wholly incongruous wire-frame spectacles from beneath a scale and perched them upon the beaklike extremity of its nose.  “You have questions?”

    (from Fool Moon by Jim Butcher)

  8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Metal Tuesday

    I've been listening to Skyforger's Thunderforge album this week.  It's quite good and quite the Latvian Folk Power Viking Pagan Doom Metal album.  So somehow, this image seemed appropriate.

Monday, May 12, 2014

E-Card Monday

    Sugar's organic.  I learned that in my Organic Chemistry class.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The water to keep them green came from the desalination plant fifty miles to the north, a true marvel of modern engineering, but it was Saudi oil money that paid the Americans.  The Americans were clever people, and they would do anything for money.  And the Saudis?  He smiled.  They were not clever, but would pay money for anything, and God forbid they do it themselves.  He really wasn’t sure who was screwing who.

    (from The Templar Concordat,  by Terrence O’Brien)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Britishism for the Day

Britishism for the Day : Pantechnicon (n.) : a large van for moving furniture and other household items. (in the US, we'd call it a moving van).

    I ran across this word in Tom Holt's "Faust Among Equals".

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Demotivational Wednesday

    It's been a while since we've done a "Demot" post.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    It used to say :
in rather wobbly capitals on a piece of broken millstone.  In 1259, however, a passing blacksmith in need of a bit of something to sharpen scythes on removed the original memorial, and the spot remained unmarked until the middle of the twentieth century, when the appropriate government department replaced it with a large concrete slab bearing the suitable inscription:
which is, considered all in all, perhaps the finest obituary a man can ask for.

    (from Faust Among Equals by Tom Holt)

  7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Happy Star Wars Day!

    May the Fourth be with you.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

To Clean or To Read

    Usually, this is a no-brainer - to read, of course.  But today was cleaning day, and I spent the afternoon vacuuming and dusting.

Friday, May 02, 2014

E-Card Friday

    Another E-Card that is probably better not posted on FaceBook.  But I did anyway, cuz there's just so many of my FB friends that pull this sh*t.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Thursday Thursday Next Art

   One of the way-kewl drawings that I encountered while reading the book, "The Woman Who Died A Lot".  The subject matter is a preannounced Smiting by The Almighty Himself on the town of Swindon.

    Jasper Fforde commissioned this artwork, natch, and it's done by a talented artist named Phillip Blackman.  Google him - or google "Smote Solutions" - to see more of his fantastic sketches.