Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Indoctrination provides a protective belt, a belt that shields believers from counter-evidence.  Education encourages an openness to evidence.  Whether the indoctrination be political, commercial, or religious – be it glorification of the state, Western belief in free enterprise and that no child should be without a Playstation, or the Qu’ran interpreted as justifying stoning – the outcome is a block on questioning, criticism and further investigation.

    (from Do Llamas Fall In Love? By Peter Cave)

    9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Franz Kafka Saturday

    Barney and Clyde is a comic strip that assumes the reader is a literate human being and knows who Franz Kafka is.  I love that.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Philosophy Friday

    Or Situational Ethics Friday.  Either one works.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “What does she want, Mills?” one of the legionnaires next to him whispered, afraid to break the spell that had suddenly fallen over them all.

    The warrior herself answered, but not with words.  Raising her right arm, she pointed at Mills.  Then she handed her weapons to one of the other warriors, who took them for safekeeping.

    “I think,” Mills said slowly, “she wants a bloody duel.  But why me?”  He wasn’t the biggest or toughest man in the regiment, or the best close-in fighter.  On the other hand, he was probably the biggest and toughest who was still standing.

    (from In Her Name – First Contact,  by Michael R. Hicks)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

E-Card Wednesday

    So true.  Just ask any of multiple personalities.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


    Eluveitie, a fantastic Swiss Folk-Metal band is coming to the Valley next month.  This borders on being a must-see.  I've been listening to their most-recent album, Origins, this past week.  It is most excellent.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Walt Kelly!

    Happy Birthday, Walt Kelly!  Born 25 August 1913, and creator of what is still my favorite cartoon strip, even after 45 years or so.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “They have continuity of memory, consciousness, but identity is fluid for them.  You can divide it forever, or even mix it up.  You see it when they debate.  There’s no persuasion, no argument.  They just ... merge ... and make a decision.  But the Gaijin are cautious,” he said slowly.  “They are rational; they consider every side of every argument; they sometimes seem paralyzed by indecision.”

    “Like Balaam’s ass,” Dorothy said, smiling.  “Couldn’t decide between two identical bales of hay.”

    “What happened?” Madeleine asked.

    “Starved to death.”

    (from Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What women want

    And now you know.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mine, all mine

    At least two of our dogs, and possibly all four, would totally agree with this sentiment.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Do Llamas Fall in Love?

    I finally snagged this book!  I've been hankering to read it for months.  The Phoenix Public Library had a copy of it until a few months ago.  But something happened to it - the book wore out; somebody failed to return it; etc.

    So a month or two ago I decided to learn how to request an Inter-Library Loan.  I had given up hope of them finding a copy of it, when I got a call from I-LL on Monday, saying they had it, and it would be at my branch library in 3-4 days.

    So here's a big Thanks! to both Inter-Library Loan and the St. Mary's Blume Library in San Antonio, Texas.  The latter had a copy and forwarded it here.  I have until 13 September to read and return it, so look for a review of it in a week-and-a-half or so.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What are the odds?

   Ah, Dork Tower.  You've nailed it once again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    A young woman stared at him from across the courtyard.  It wasn’t the good kind of stare.  He could tell she didn’t trust him.  It was in the way she looked at him through smoldering eyes under a furled brow.  It was in her posture, clenched arms crossed, not for warmth, but for defense.  It was in the way she gave him the finger, perfectly vertical, hyper extended joints for emphasis.

    (from Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors,  by Benjamin Wallace)

    8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, August 18, 2014


    I am totally committed to this cause.  I am also reading a Stephen Baxter novel about colonizing the planets right now.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

80's Music

    As opposed to 60's music, where we learned that :
    1. All you need is love.
    2. Mrs. Brown has a lovely daughter.
    3. People are strange when you're a stranger.
    4. Time is on my side.

Friday, August 15, 2014

If it doesn't squeak...

   ...then, according to two of our four dogs, it's not a toy worth having.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

They tore it down...

    Well, rats.  The owner of this house in Istanbul, who's been refusing to sell for over three months now, apparently has given in.  Or perhaps, forced the builders to sweeten their offer for his home and land.

    The MSNBC article about it is here.  I admire him for his refusing to be bullied into selling.  I also admire the Turkish government for allowing him to stand his ground.  I don't know his name, but he's invited to our New Year's Eve party.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    He was almost there when a figure stepped out of the shadows.  He had sprung back and grabbed his knife before reason pointed out to instinct that the blond hair belonged to his wife.

    “Husband!” she hissed, raising both hands.  “It is me!”

    It occurred to him that “It is me!” was unnecessary, since no one but Tilla was likely to call him “husband”.  Next it occurred to him that only a very tired mind would notice that sort of thing when there were far more pressing matters to attend to.

    (from Semper Fidelis,  by Ruth Downie)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Essence of Kewlness is...

... Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles sharing a smoke and a beer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    O’Brien went into his closet and sorted through a huge pile of suspiciously dirty clothing sitting on the floor, picking out a few items and tossing them toward Gideon.

    Ten minutes later, he was cleaned up and dressed in reasonably fresh clothes.  They felt a little loose on him – O’Brien hadn’t stayed quite as skinny as Gideon – and they were covered with satanic designs and logos of the death metal band Cannibal Corpse.

    “You look marvelous,” O’Brien said.  “But you’ve got the pants pulled up too high.”  He reached over and tugged them so they were hanging halfway down Gideon’s ass.  “That’s how it’s supposed to look.”

    (from Gideon’s Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child)

  6*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, August 08, 2014

E-Card Friday

    Some things are worth starting a fight over.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


    Ah, the Zelda series.  Zelda I was fantastic.  Zelda III was even more fantastic, if only because it was so much bigger.

    Zelda II was a complete waste of time.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Up I Hicc

    Indeed, Dogbert.  One must never end a sentence with a preposition.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Science Teachers

    Having a degree in Chemistry, I've sat under a slew of science teachers in my life.  This is an accurate depiction of them,

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Marie clasped her hands together and looked vulnerable.  Payne flinched.  “The only time you don’t tell me something is when you think it’s dangerous, because being a fragile, sheltered noblewoman, I might faint at the thought of experiencing physical harm like a common person.”

    She sighed, and seemingly from nowhere, produced an enormous cast-iron frying pan easily one hundred centimeters in diameter. 
  “And then,” she said sadly, “I have to damage one of the good pans by smacking it against your thick, common skull until you tell me!“

    (from Agatha H. & the Clockwork Princess,  by Phil & Kaja Foglio)

    8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Casual Friday

    Exactly.  If this is deemed "going too far", then they should've called it "Semi-Casual Friday".