Friday, August 31, 2018

Yearly Physical

   I had my annual physical today, 'ceptin' for the blood tests, which are scheduled for next Friday.  Finally got my blood pressure up to where nobody is yelling at me.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    There, against the wall, the suit of armor that the exiled king of Prussia had given us.  (We found his lost dog, averting a third World War.)  Next to it, in a glass case, a single tooth from Genghis Khan, full of his bloodlust and brilliance.  Over there, a pile of gold coins, invisibly tainted with the blood of a saint; and next to it, a deck of cards still imprisoning a circus of demons.

    (from Stupefying Stories 21, edited by Bruce Bethke)

     8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Class Reunions

    My High School Class 50th Reunion is this year.  For all I know, they've already held it.  I'd have to travel from Arizona to Pennsylvania to eat an overpriced meal at some country club, and socialize with a bunch of people I frankly don't care about cuz I haven't seen or heard about them for half a century.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Fantasy Art Tuesday

    A fabulous piece of artwork that I came across on Facebook.  Artist: Jakub Rozalski.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Diet Logic

    I like his reasoning.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Neverending Story

    I loved this movie when it came out.  But it certainly had some dark moments.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Tikal was also a center of trade, using spondulix (shells) from Ecuador as coinage.  Cinnabar (to paint buildings), flint, and jade were exported to Monte Alban and Teotihuacan in the north and to Honduras in the south.  Hallucinogens extracted from water lilies, bark, or toad were exchanged for hardwood from Belize.  Architectural influences of Teotihuacan were deployed in the pyramids.  There were four ball courts (compared to nineteen in Copan); the players were coached and played “away matches” with rivals.  An interesting book, The Graffiti of Tikal, shows Asian merchants arriving on a three-masted ship.

    (from Who Discovered America? by Gavin Menzies and Ian Hudson)

  6½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Philosophy Friday

    This pretty much sums up my philosophy in life.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Kafka Thursday

    We are committed to posting each and every Kafka-themed cartoon we come across.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Venn Diagram Wednesday

    Yeah, pretty accurate.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “I still can’t promise I won’t try to sleep with you,” he said.  “that’s how I often behave when I meet someone attractive.  It’s only fair you should know.”

    “I appreciate the honesty.  I do.”

    “Don’t worry, you’ll see me coming about a mile away.  I’m not real slick.”


    “French wine, moonlight and Neil Young, strictly acoustic.  Don’t laugh, I know it’s hokey.”

    “Depends on the wine,” Joey said.

    (from Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

5 inches of rain

    WHAT THIS ISN'T : A view from our house here in Arizona, where it hasn't rained in weeks.

    WHAT THIS IS : A view of Washington Street in Hamburg, Pennsylvania from last Monday, August 14th, after 5 inches of rain fell in one day.  It happens to be the street that both of my grandparents' families lived on.

    The last time it flooded like this was way back in 1942, and my paternal grandmother had some pictures of that flood.  Which made a huge impression on me as a kid looking through her photo albums.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


    Incredibly, it's true.  This is going to bug the crap out of me from now on.

Friday, August 17, 2018


    Naps.  Good for your health.  Scientifically proven.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


    I've been reading résumés today.  For some reason, this meme came to mind.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Duran Duran or The Guess Who

    I once had a roommate who refused to let me play my Irish Rovers LP's on the same turntable that we used to play Jimi Hendrix and The Doors albums.  In retrospect, I think his criticism was valid. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “These people have provided me with some fascinating insights, and together we have created a device which will end this madness once and for all.”

    “Really?  What, exactly?”

    “We have utilised the work I had previously done, effectively turning my previous theories and concepts on their heads.  Whilst previously I had focused the energies upon the positive actions forcing a breach, we are instead going to achieve the reverse.”

    “I know he thinks that’s an explanation,” said Kate to me.  “But I just hear noise.  You have any idea what he’s blathering on about?”

    (from The Infernal Aether, by Peter Oxley)

    8*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Music Collections

    I have no idea whose tape cassette storage case this is.  But I can tell you with certainty the owner's gender.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Science Sunday

    I'm a scientist by trade.  Trust me, we have these kinds of discussions quite often.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Thunderbolts and Lightning

    We've been inundated two nights in a row by rain-soaking monsoons.  This calculation came in handy.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

RIP Hieronymus Bosch

    Happy Death Day to this dude.  (d. 08/09/1516)  His artwork (see below), plus the fact that we have no record of where and when he was born, is arguably the most compelling evidence we have that time-travel is a reality.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Last Straw

    Some things are worth fighting for.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “We only got three rules here.  Do what I tell you and don’t piss in the bed.”

    Ender nodded.  He knew that Rose wanted him to ask what the third rule was.  So he did.

    “That was three rules.  We don’t do too good in math, here.”

    The message was clear.  Winning is more important than anything.

    (from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card)

  8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Monday, August 06, 2018


    In case you have trouble understanding the various "Evil" alignments in D&D.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Friday, August 03, 2018

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Do you suppose that, having once placed my shoulder to the wheel and my nose to the grindstone, I will leave the furrow unplowed?  I have sworn to redeem you and redeem you I will, with cooperation or without it.  In principle, I am in full sympathy with the right of every Englishman – or woman – or, come to that, and man or woman of any nation … What was I about to say?”

    Nemo’s frown had been replaced by a blank, almost imbecile stare.  “I haven’t the slightest idea,” he mumbled.

    (from Lion In The Valley by Elizabeth Peters)

    7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Happy Birthday, James Baldwin

    Happy Birthday, Mr. James Baldwin, sir!  Author of The Fire Next Time, which I believe I read in junior high a long, long time ago.  I was not aware of the above quote, but it seems extremely appropriate for this nation right now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Getting Rid of Books

    Now just hold on there a minute.  I've never read The Great Gatsby.  I think I'll move it back into the "Books Never To Sell" pile.

    But the two remaining books can go.