Saturday, June 30, 2018

Stuff Happens

    Well, I had to go look this up on Amazon to see if it was real.  I didn't find a 3-volume set, but I was amazed at just how many books with this title that Amazon has to offer.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Dial Up

    Once upon a time, if you connected to AOL in under 30 minutes, you considered it to be your lucky night.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Early that spring, on a sunny afternoon, Johnson wrecked his roommate’s yacht, running it aground on Long Island Sound.  The boat sank within minutes; Johnson was rescued by a passing trawler; asked what happened, he admitted to the incredulous fishermen that he did not know how to sail because it would be “so utterly tedious to learn.  And anyway, it looks simple enough.”  Confronted by his roommate, Johnson admitted he had not asked permission to use the yacht because “it was such bother to find you.”

    (from Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


    In truth, this is me after about 5 minutes at any social function I'm forced to attend.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


    Ain't it the truth?!

Monday, June 25, 2018

On this day in History

    170 years ago today, on June 25, 1848, the first instance of Photojournalism occurred, during a short-lived revolution in France called the June Days Uprising (Wiki it).

    The first photograph, taken on June 25, shows the barricades thrown up by the workers. The "Before" pic.

The second photograph, taken a day later, is the "After" pic, after the French army swept in obliterated the workers' movement.

   Sadly, it's of poorer quality.  Sadly, there were 10,000 casualties in quelling the uprising.  Happily, Photojournalism was born and is still with us today.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Senators pounded their podia, demanding answers.  The president declared that he, too, wanted answers.  The CIA said that although it would have no official comment, it, too, perhaps even more than the president and the senators, wanted answers.  The secretary of state said that there might in fact be no answers, but if there were, he certainly would be interested in hearing them.  The secretary general of the United Nations said that he was reasonably certain answers existed, but first the right questions must be asked, and then they would have to be translated, and this would take time.

    (from Florence of Arabia by Christopher Buckley)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, June 22, 2018


    The reality of today was something short of this strip.  I had to go in to work for three hours, and today's high was 112°F

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Books

    Sigh.  This is me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    She held up the pistol for us to admire.  “Keltec P-3AT, .380 caliber.  It’s a nice semiautomatic.  Six rounds is plenty.  And it’s bigger than a .32 and smaller than a .38.  It’s lightweight, and easy to handle for a woman’s smaller hands.  “Try it,” she said, shoving the grip into my hand.

    I hefted the small gun.  “Is it empty?”

    “Don’t be silly, of course it’s not empty.”

    (from A Dead Red Oleander by R.P. Dahlke)

    7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My first book!

    Hey everybody, I've finished writing my first book!!  In fact, I've even completed the sequel.  I'm very proud of the book covers.  I designed them myself!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Border Patrol

    This is what we've become.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


    I had one of these last week, except that it was called and chaired by a co-worker, not my boss.  It was a teleconference, actually.  My boss, also required to be there, spent the whole time looking at his cell phone.  I hypnotized myself by staring at the whiteboard.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    ”You can’t play what if, not at this level,” Rafael said.  “We have to concentrate on the immediate threat.”

    “There wouldn’t be an immediate threat if we’d used the quantumbusters.”

    “We don’t even know that,” Rafael said.  Not for certain.

    “It wasn’t the technology which let us down; we suffered a failure of will.  We’re too civilized to push the genocide button.”

    “I’m glad,” Justine said.  “That reluctance to exterminate any creature that might be a difficult problem defines us as a species.  We don’t operate at their level.  That’s got to be worth something.”

    “Not when you’re dead, it isn’t.”

    (from Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton)

    9½ Stars.  The complete review is here.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The long hot Phoenix summer

    It was 92°F for a high here in Phoenix today.  Which is totally unheard-of for the middle of June here.

    Thank the Creator the long hot 2018 Arizona summer is at long last over. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mr. Jynx

    We had to put Mr. Jynx to sleep last night.  We're the kind of folks that don't desert our dogs when they get old or ill.  We're there for them until the final heartbeat.

    But that makes for some brutal moments in life, and last night was one of them.  A more detailed good-bye to Mr. Jynx will be posted in a couple days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


    A timely meme, since I'm currently reading an adventure book about fossil-hunters in the Old West in the 1870's.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


    This has been a public service announcement.  You're welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “So I was wondering, did you decide to take any kind of revenge on Mr. O’Leery for the death of your rosebushes?”

    “Of course I did.  What kind of sorcerer would I be if I didn’t take revenge?”  There was an almost maniacal gleam in the one eye I could see.

    “That’s true.  So, what form did your revenge take?”

    “I cursed him, of course.”

    I almost choked.  “Really?  What kind of curse?”

    He grinned.  “I cursed his hair so it would all fall out.”

    (from The Eclective: The Celtic Collection by The Eclective (Various Authors))

     7½*/10.  The full review is here.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Urinal Rules

    Really, it's common sense.  I feel like the airports should hire monitors in the men's rooms to enforce these rules.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Careen vs Career

    For the record, I have never fathomed the difference to "career" versus to "careen".

    Ditto for "to pry something open" versus "to prise something open".

Friday, June 08, 2018

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

    Okay, I admit it.  I had no idea what this referred to.  Thank goodness for Google searches!  I would've lost sleep wondering what this was all about.

Thursday, June 07, 2018


    It's not about the cake.  It never has been about the cake.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Too Many Books?

    The struggle is real.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Album Art Tuesday

    Curiously, I didn't really care for this album the first time I listened to it.  But over time, it's become my second-favorite album by the group.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Philosophy Monday

    Predestination has its advantages.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Following the armistice, all semblance of order disappeared.  There was no working government, nor was there any sense of shared ideas or aims.  Several territories had fallen to foreign troops, and suddenly a host of gangs of varying notoriety came to life, some opening up new fronts against the enemy and others plundering local villages; a bandit celebrated one day as a hero was driven away a week later, whereupon it was announced that his body was hanging in the village square of Konakonu, near Edremit.

    (from Madonna In A Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali)

     8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

The Secret to Successful Writing

    At last!  I knew there was a magic secret to becoming a successful writer!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Art Appreciation Friday

    The painting is called "Madonna of the Harpies" (those things in bas relief on her pedestal), and is by the artist Andrea del Sarto way back in 1517.  I had never heard of it, and it figures into a book I've just finished reading.  It is a very unusual piece of High Renaissance art.

    For starters, the Christ child is much older than usual.  And he has a mischievous expression on his face, as he stares down on the two cherubs who also have mischievous looks.

    Finally, Mary's gaze is unusual.  She's not looking at the baby Jesus, nor the two saints flanking her, nor upward, towards Heaven.  Perhaps her baby has just "given her a gift" in her right hand.

    All in all, I found it to be an amazing painting.  The Wikipedia article on it is here.