Sunday, December 31, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Attention, foul jailers, attention!”  I shouted and hammered on the bars of my cage.  “Arouse yourself from your sweat-sodden slumbers and vulgar, erotic dreams and take me to Captain Varod.  Soonest – or even sooner!”

    My fellow prisoners awoke, calling out in righteous anger and threatened all sorts of unimaginative bodily harm.  I returned the insults with enthusiasm and eventually the night guard appeared, scowling with menace.

    “Hi there,” I called out cheerily.  “Nice to see a friendly face.”

    “You want your skull broke, kid?”

    (from The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted by Harry Harrison)

  7*/10.  The full review is here.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


    Food for thought.

Friday, December 29, 2017

This lifetime

    I have  feeling this is quite true, and will occur a lot sooner for me than I'd like.

    Also, I am back from my sojourn in the PNW, where, for the first time in decades, I experienced  a white Christmas.  It was as spectacular as when I was a kid.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    We saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi today.  I found it to be an excellent installment in the series, although my favorite character Jarr Jarr, wasn't in it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Best Christmas Movie Ever

    We can argue what the second-best Christmas movie is.  My vote would be for How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  But there can be no debate that Die Hard One is the best.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hello Seattle

    While 5 p.m. would be a better listing for our home in Phoenix, 4 p.m. is certainly valid when sojourning in Seattle.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “If there is moral insanity,” he said in a conspiratorial whisper, “then there may be the reverse, a moral sanity, if you will, that comes upon one suddenly, like a fever.  In thrall to this moral sanity, Sheward may have been compelled to come clean.  It was, after all, the first of the year – a time for resolutions and whatnot.  Later, when the fever passed, he tried to recant, but by then it was too late.”

    “You look a mite feverish yourself.  Do you really believe that?” Holmes asked, smiling.

    “Of course not, it’s perfectly daft.”

    (from Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterohuse )

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Sweater

    Ho ho ho!  I got my ugly Christmas sweater for 2017!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Pun Day


Friday, December 15, 2017

The Monty Hall Paradox

    For the record, you really should switch your choice to the other door.  You really do then have a 2/3 chance of winning the prize.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sandy Hook - 5 Years Ago

    Five years ago, today, 26 victims - 20 of them elementary grade kids - were gunned down by a deranged killer with an assault weapon.  As of today, absolutely NOTHING has been done to prevent this from happening again.  NEVER FORGET!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Best Game Series Ever

    Must. Jump. Down. It.

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's all about the Its

    It's okay.  English has its quirks.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Barry was not on duty anymore, and his replacement was too well trained to ask me what the hell I was doing going around looking like something a train had dragged in.  He got me a cab and I told the driver where I needed to go.  The driver looked at me in the rearview mirror.  “Wouldn’t you rather go to a hospital?” he suggested uneasily.

    “No, I’ve already been.”  That hardly seemed to reassure him.

    “Those vampires treat you so bad, why do you hang around them?”

    “People did this to me,” I said.  “Not vampires.”

    (from Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sales Projections

    There is much truth in this.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Comic

    We are committed to posting any comic strip that features the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Although I disagree with the implication in the comic - TSO is IMHO a fabulous band.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

RIP Johnny Hallyday

   RIP Johnny Hallyday(b. 06/15/43.  d. 12/06/17).  Thank you for the music, mon ami.  You, Celine, and Francis Cabrel all helped make learning French a joy for me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

   Henry Darrow was therefore injured, seriously, with minor fractures in the left leg as well as the depressed fragment of skull bone.  Had Henry been fully conscious during surgery, he would have assured the surgeons that, despite the severity of the wound, he would live.  They would have been dubious.  Henry Darrow knew when he was going to die – from myocardial infarction, some fifteen years, four months, and nine days in the future.

    (from To Ride Pegasus by Anne McCaffrey)

    5*/10.    The complete review is here.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sunday Pun Day

    Today's Pearls Before Swine strip, and OY VEY, what a convoluted and contrived pun!  And I mean that in the best possible way.

Friday, December 01, 2017

The Ultimate Sound System

    For the record, my selection would be Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells".  But heck, anything would sound awesome through this system.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Kewl Pic

    Well, this is going on my Christmas list.  Available as a 2'x3' poster at Amazon for $7.19.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Acronym for the Day

    Excellent, Mr. Bond.  Excellent.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Look, Mr. Cummings, there is no cosmic creature from outer space living in the basement.”

    “I don’t know where it came from, but I do know it’s intelligent.”  He aimed the same fingers at the dryers.  “Why do you think those signs are up?”

    “That’s obvious,” she looked at the messy handwriting scrawled out on rumpled paper warning the tenants not to put anti-static sheets in the dryers.  “More than likely it was Grogan on one of his power trips.”  She cracked a smile.  “Besides, why would a monster post signs on the dryers?”

    (from Road Games and Other Weird Tales by Marlin Williams)

     8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Music Comic Monday

    I'm happy to say I've seen these guys in concert.  They opened for Meat Loaf a long, long, time ago.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Literary Paranoia

    I'm just glad I didn't ask for books about "psychopaths who read" books.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Ant Gender


Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “They are so punctiliously truthful themselves that the smallest of white lies on our part would rob us of their confidence and friendship.  (…)  There is nothing halfway about them.  They give you either their full confidence or none; and when they withdraw their confidence all friendship is at an end … They are frankly, openly, courageously you enemy until you can convince them that you did not mean to deceive them … If an Igorrote makes a promise to you, no matter how trivial it seems to you, he will fulfill it if it costs him his life.”

    (from The Lost Tribe of Coney Island by Claire Prentice)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

    Despite all its commercialization, it's good to remember the true meaning of today's holiday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tupperware Parties

    One of the more surreal experiences in life is having to sit through a Tupperware party while under the influence of a hallucinogen.  And please do not ask me how I know that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Sham saw the old halls his crewmates said were the guildbuildings of spies & ne’er-do-wells, where rumourmarkets were held.

    “A few coppers’ll get you a questionable assertion from someone drunk & past it.”  So Fremlo said.  “A handful of dollars, something said with a straight face by one whose information has panned out more than once in the past.  More than that, you’re into the realm of the tempting secret.

    “You won’t get it from the source, I mean.  The rumour-mongers sell them on.”  They’d vouch for none of them, of course – that was the point.

    (from Railsea by China Miéville)

    10*/10.  The complete review is here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The demographics of Heaven

   The hilarity aside, this comic doe raise an interesting theological question.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thanksgiving Forecast

    The weather forecast for Phoenix on Thanksgiving is 88°F for a high, and sunny, cloudless skies.  This just ain't right.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dirty Minds

    It took my brain at least 30 seconds to visualize this picture correctly.

Friday, November 17, 2017

If I Had a Million Dollars...

    (Cue the Barenaked Ladies song) ... I'd buy me an emu!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Money Problems Solved

    And I follow God on Facebook, so I KNOW this is gonna work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Best Mythtickle Ever

    I agree with Justin, the cartoonist who draws Mythtickle, and would go one step further.  This may be the best Mythtickle joke ever.

    And yes, it's a repeat here.  But, oh, so worth it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Don’t worry, Sergeant,” Swidhelm said.  “The only thing you really have to be concerned about is the wrong kind of leaves on the tracks.”

    “We’re heading into the forest.  Exactly what happens if there are leaves on the tracks?” Osric asked.

    Swidhelm shook his head.  “Don’t ask.  Come on, you’d both better climb up.  Those guards are instructed to kill you, if you’re still here by dawn.”

    “Who told them that?!” Osric asked.

    “I did, of course,” Swidhelm said.  “The duke ordered me to.”

    (from The Bite on the Line by Simon Cantan)

    5½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Alert!

    Attention fellow readers!  Railsea, by China Miéville is available at the moment for only $1.99 at Amazon.  I just finished reading it and it is fantastic!  I have no idea how long it'll stay at $1.99 (it's been there for several days now), so pick it up today!

    And expect a review of it in about 2 weeks at my book blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fermi's Paradox Explained

   I mean, heck.  If you spell 'Fermi' with an "F", and "phonetically" with a "PH", doesn't that prove that the planet's inhabitants aren't sentient?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Pumpkin Spice

   This has gotten out of hand now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


    Really, now.  What a doofus!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Truly I wonder how it would suit Adelais de Clary to know that her son’s grooms speak of her as “the old dame”.  Doubtless to that raw boy she seemed ancient as the hills, but resolutely she cherished and conserved what has once been great beauty, and from that excellence nothing and no one must be allowed to detract.  Not for nothing did she choose for her intimate maid someone plain and pockmarked, surrounding herself with dull and ordinary faces that caused her own luster to glow more brightly.  (I worked with someone who hired people for her department based on these same criteria)

    (from The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Chalk Art Monday

    Well done, graffiti artist!  Well done, indeed!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Baseball Gloves

    Liz cleaned out the storage shed today.  I don't see why I have to get rid of moldy old baseball gloves, just because I haven't used them in 20 years and won't ever use them again.