Monday, December 31, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Where have all the insects gone?”  Teresa glanced around them.

   “Something is coming.”  The ground trembled again and Gabriel tried to gauge the direction of its origin.

    “You think maybe we made too much noise?”  Teresa stood beside Gabriel, still holding his hand.

    “No more yelling in the jungle.”

    “You were yelling.  I raised my voice for emphasis.”

    (from The Edge of Eternity by G.L. Breedon)

     7*/10.  The full review is here.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018


    Go on, get it over with.  You know you're going to try this out to see if it's really true.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Just think.  Those two, in paradise, were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness.  There was no third alternative.  Those idiots chose freedom, and what came of it?  Of course, for ages afterward they longed for the chains.  The chains – you understand?  That’s what world sorrow was about.  For ages!  And only we have found the way of restoring happiness."

    (from We by Yevgeny Zamyatin)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


    We have returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest to spend Christmas with our son.  Good to be there; good to be home.

    While we were gone, someone evidently turned the thermostat down here in Phoenix.  It will be 37°F for a low tonight, which is roughly the same as the lows Seattle was having whilst we were there.

Monday, December 17, 2018


    This pretty much describes my wife and I.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    He picked up the brass tablet and stuck it under his arm.  Natalie gave him a neutral look.

    “Taking it for an outing?  Get some air?” she asked.

    “I guess it’s kind of silly … I mean, if I leave it in the car, the chances of it being stolen are higher than someone breaking in here.  And I can’t carry it to dinner, like some latter-day Moses.”

    “You can do whatever you like, sweetie.  I won’t laugh, no matter how weird it gets.  You can wear my underwear if you want,” she assured him with a look of complete insincerity.

    (from The Voynich Cypher by Russell Blake)

  8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Intelligence vs. Fat

    Makes perfect sense to me.

Friday, December 14, 2018


    I used to be a Tarot-card reader.  But I gave it up; I couldn't see any future in it.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fonts Matter

    What amazes me about the righthand version is that it really is done with a font.  The (multiple) A's, Y's, L's, etc. are all identical.  I'm impressed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The room within revealed itself to be nothing less than a Chamber of Power.  There could be no mistake.  The furniture, the fixtures, the fittings.  The Fabergé, the famille, the Fantin-Latours.  The ferns, the fiddle-backs, the finery.  This was one effing Chamber of Power.

    (from The Brentford Chainstore Massacre, by Robert Rankin)

     9*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Plot Twist

    Okay, how's about "the last 20+ days of 2018"?   Shoulda posted this a couple weeks ago.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Crop Circles

  Quote for the day:
    "Crop circles are the stigmata of the Corn God."  (Robert Rankin)

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Why Beta-Readers are Important

    Beta-Readers.  The key to success for any writer, published or not.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Geezer Wave

    Just to clear up any misunderstanding, I was nowhere near Rochester, Indiana that day.

Thursday, December 06, 2018


    At some point in the very near future, someone is going to pen a best-selling reference book titled "Archaic Acronyms"; those letter-contractions that were at one time in common usage, but today are esoteric and obsolete.

    One such acronym is WYSIWYG.  Pronounced "Wizziwig".  In the days of software programs like Lotus-123, it was an expression we used every day at work.  Now it's been decades since I've heard anyone say it.

    Another example would be WWF, as it applies to the wrestling world.

    I didn't have a decent image for WYSIWYG, so I am making do with the one above.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

A Double-Dose of Surrealism

    A little bit of surrealism during one's day always brightens things up.

    A panhandler was playing his trade this morning on the intersection where our corporate office is.  I came upon him around 9:30 as I was doing my morning Fitbit walk around the outside of the office.

    He held a sign that said "Too ugly for prostitution", and was waving to cars going through the light and shouting out numbers by count.  "37!  38!", etc.  He'd also stoop down a bit and wave to motorists stopped to make a right-hand turn at the intersection.  "39!"

    I tried to avoid eye contact with him as I passed him by.  But he looked at me, gave me a big smile, and waved.  I couldn't help it, I had to wave back.  "40!" he cried.  "40 smiles today!"  And I beamed a bit more at the morning surrealism I found myself participating in.

    He was still there when I did my Fitbit afternoon walkabout, around 2:30"How many smiles are you up to now?" I asked.

    "I'm not sure.  I do some of the counting in fractions (half-smiles?, thought I) , and I'm not very good at arithmetic."  And that was my afternoon dose of surrealism.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: The above picture is not of him.  I pulled it off the internet.  I still wasn't ready to risk setting him off by snapping his photo.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

How many TV's?

    The third panel of this cartoon makes absolutely no sense to me.  But I do like the cartoonist's tastes in music.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Whoever did it must have been Spider Woman’s daughter,” Bernie said.

    “Who?  I never heard Grandma talk about that one,” Bigman said.

    Bernie said, “She’s the one my mother always joked about when she had to redo a section of a rug.  Mama told me she helps with life’s unexpected complications, untangling messy situations.  When I start to tell her about some hairy case, Mama says, ‘Oh, you’ll figure out how to weave it all together.  You’re like Spider Woman’s daughter.’”

    (from Spider Woman’s Daughter, by Anne Hillerman)

     7½*/10.  The full review is here.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Trans Siberian Orchestra

    We went to see Trans Siberian Orchestra tonight.  We've been meaning to see them for years now.

    It was a fantastic concert, both the music and the special effects.  Highly recommended for lovers of symphonic rock/metal.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Celestial Saturday

    The universe is a dazzling place!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Grumpy Grammar Gus

    Yes, I admit it.  I am a Grumpy Grammar Gus.  But Facebook is curing me of that.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Balanced Diet

    Eating a balanced diet is important during the Holiday season.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it.  On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever.  The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame-Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation.  Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than forty-seven times in various disguises.

    (from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling)

  9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Printer Problems

    Printers and I do not get along.  But maybe this explains things.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hallmark Movie Plotlines

    Why yes, I have done a lot of research on this subject.  Most of it was unwilling, of course, but still ...

Sunday, November 25, 2018

When the First Snowflake Falls...

   For the record, Michael Bublé just released an album on November 16th, unimaginatively titled "Love".

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cirque du Soleil

    We're going to see the Cirque du Soleil tomorrow night.  This was the closest meme I could find for the occasion.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Ode to Black Friday

    Pretty true, except I did put up all of the outside Christmas lights.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Twelve snails went walking after night,
    They’d creep an inch or so,
    Then stop and bug their eyes
    And blow.
    Some folks… are… deadly… slow.
    Twelve snails went walking yestereve,
    Led by their fat old king.
    They were so dull their princeling had
    No sceptre, robe, or ring-
    Only a paper cap to wear
    When nightly journeying.
   (Vachel Lindsay, from "The Haughty Snail-King")

    (from The Congo, and Other Poems  by Vachel Lindsay)

  7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday Poetry

    Just finished a book of poems by this guy.  Book review to follow, probably tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2018

My New Novel

    I think I've figured out the opening scene in my new novel, "Fifty Shades of Weigh".

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Red Hair

    Really now.  What other answer is there?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Bloch stepped into the waist-high transformer pit and wrestled the gun onto its bipod in firing position.  Santini simply pushed the ammo dolly in ahead of himself.  The cannisters were padded against shock, but a direct hit from a laser might penetrate.  The best result the crew could hope for then was a low-order explosion that might not kill them.  If the bead of deuterium at the heart of each cartridge detonated, hard suits weren’t going to make any difference to the resulting thermonuclear explosion.

    (from Redliners by David Drake)

    5*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Writing a Book

    I'm not an author - aspiring or otherwise - but I have a feeling these two graphs are quite accurate.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


    So you don't believe in giants, eh?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Grocery Shopping Blues

    My wife sent me grocery shopping yesterday, and out of eleven items on the list, I messed up on three of them.

    I didn't get the eggs that were on sale.  I blame Fry's.  I got the ones that were right behind the "on sale" notice on the door.  That was very misleading.

    And I swear the Ro*Tel no-salt original-flavor 10-oz. diced tomatoes and  the Barilla's Whole-Grain 13.25 Lasagna Noodles don't even exist.

    So there.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday Philosophy

    So true.  We're all just pancaked poodles.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

ZZ Top

    She's got legs!!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “No!” Morelli said.  “You can’t borrow my pickup.  You’re death on cars.”
    “I am not death on cars!”
    “Last time you used my car it got blown up!  Remember that?”
    “Well, if you’re going to hold that against me…”
    “And what about your pickup?  And your CRX?  Blown up!”
    “Technically, the CRX caught fire.”

    (from Four To Score by Janet Evanovich)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Two Classics

    I've read both of these books.  One was fantastic; the other was a total waste of my time.  I'll let you guess which was which.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Photo Radar Blues

    Yeah, that's pretty much the way the conversation went when I got served my summons for my photo-radar red-light-running violation.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The N-Word

    Words fail me, politically-correct or otherwise.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Election Night

    No matter which candidate(s) you support, get out there and VOTE!!

Monday, November 05, 2018

Sunday, November 04, 2018


    From the crazy minds at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    One evening a number of young men raided the Zenith Socialist Headquarters, burned its records, beat the office staff, and agreeably dumped desks out of the window.  All of the newspapers save the Advocate-Times and the Evening Advocate attributed this valuable but perhaps hasty direct-action to the American Legion.  Then a flying squadron from the Good Citizens’ League called on the unfair papers and explained that no ex-soldier could possibly do such a thing, and the editors saw the light, and retained their advertising.  When Zenith’s lone Conscientious Objector came home from prison and was righteously run out of town, the newspapers referred to the perpetrators as an “unidentified mob”.

    (from Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis)

  8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Retirement Plans

  So, you want to know about my retirement plans, eh?