Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “The cruel dawn comes on apace, when we’ll be powerless and thou pursued.  Make haste!”

    Oberon nodded; the plumes swayed and shimmered on his crown.  “Indeed.  But first I’d best explain to thee, Prince Rupert, why we lend our aid in this thy mortal quarrel.  It is ours.  We elves are spirits of the living world, the haunters of its virgin loneliness, the guardians, helpers, healers of all things in nature, whence we draw our nourishment.”

    “You’re sometimes tricksy, sometimes terrible,” the man said.

    (from A Midsummer Tempest, by Poul Anderson)

    6½*/10.  The full review is here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Venn Diagram Wednesday

    Nana nana nana nana
    Nana nana nana nana

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Muzak Protest

    Spare me the Muzak.  But I have been known to play Classical Piano music.  At 120 decibels.  On the afternoon commute home from work.  With the car windows rolled down.  Just to balance the neighborhood music selection out.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Punctuation Monday

    The squirrel in the lower right implies the cartoonist had the apostrophe in mind, but this could apply equally to commas.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The First Step

    Well, that's as far as I've gotten.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Fans for Cows

    This is outrageous!  Someone needs to investigate it!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    By some measures, the solar system’s moons are far more fascinating than the planets they orbit.  Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos, appear (not with those names) in Jonathan Swift’s classic Gulliver’s Travels (1726).  Problem is, these two small moons were not discovered until more than a hundred years later; unless he was telepathic, Swift was presumably interpolating between Earth’s single moon and Jupiter’s (then known) four.

    (from Origins by Neil de Grasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith)

  9½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Double-Pun Thursday

    I'm in awe of any double-pun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Point Of Sale

    Today's Barney & Clyde strip.  It took me far too long to "get" this one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

FaceBook Scam

    It's a FaceBook scam!  Someone has stolen by name!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Satina could smell the paper from the street facing entrance.  She stood just inside the stone arch and inhaled the crisp, slightly-musty aroma of old knowledge.  Outside the nook, the sea still dominated the evening air, tangy and full of salt and fish and other slippery creatures.  Here, however, she could block out the tide for a moment and enjoy the smells of home.  Stories lived here, and any town that boasted an archive, that still cared about what once was, was worth her time.

    (from Unlikely (Kingdoms Gone, Book 1)  by Frances Pauli)

  6½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ctrl Alt Del

    Seriously, folks.  Escape From New York is one of my favorite movies.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Pineapple on Pizza

    This may explain why my wife and I have differing opinions on this topic.  Then again, it may not.

Friday, January 18, 2019


    A writing tip.  The second-worst number of beta-readers to have is zero.  The worst number of beta-readers to have is two.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Science Fair

    A picture of me and my 6th-grade science fair project. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Math Puzzle

    The Foxtrot humor aside, there is a unique solution to Paige's math puzzle.  Have fun figuring it out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “What do you think he wants from my parents?”

    “We don’t know,” Hickory said.

    “He didn’t say anything to you while he was waiting for John and Jane to show up?” I said.

    “No,” Hickory said.  “He kept to himself.”

    “Well, sure,” I said.  “Probably because you scared the crap out of him.”

    “He left no feces,” Hickory said.

    (from Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi)

    6½*/10.  The full review is here.

Monday, January 14, 2019


    I'm speechless.  Well, nounless and verbless, at least.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

OCD Drawbacks

    This is why OCD people should never choose a life of crime.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

400 Years Ago

    I recently downloaded a discounted (non-fiction) e-book about the Inquisition.  I'm looking forward to determining how many times over I would've been put to death back then.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “She’s hyperventilating.”
    “Tachycardia,” Harry says.  “She’s going into hypovolemic shock.”
    Mary stares at him.  “What does that mean?”
    “She’s lost so much blood that her body isn’t getting oxygen, so her heart is pumping faster to compensate for it.”
    “What do we do?”
    “Stop the bleeding, and get her a transfusion.  Then feed her some liquids.”
    Mary stares at him, impressed.
    Harry shrugs, says, “I’ve got the first three seasons of ER on DVD.  Great show.”

    (from Fuzzy Navel by G.A. Konrath)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Science Wednesday

    Take that, Round-Earthers!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

2018 Reading Summary

- 2018 Reading Summary -

Books Read: 65 (down 1 from 2017)

Longest Book: 1,008 pages (Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton)
Shortest Book: 108 pages (tie between 2)
Foreign Books: 2 (1 Russian, 1 Turkish)
Banned Books: 3 (2 Harry Potters, plus "We")
Women Authors: 12½ (fraction due to anthologies with multiple authors)
Poetry: 1 (The Congo, by Vachel Lindsay)
Highbrow Lit: 2 (Sinclair Lewis, Sabahattin Ali)
Middlebrow Lit: 2 (Edward Abbey, Ursula LeGuin)
Biography: 3 (Shakespeare, Scientists, Princesses)
New Authors: 29
Non-Fiction: 8

Monday, January 07, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Historian.  I have called yet again for the captain of the company of Engineers.  I begin to believe the man does not exist – tell me, have you ever seen him?”

    Duiker shook his head.  “I am afraid not, although I have been assured that he lives, Fist.”

    “By whom?”

    The historian frowned.  “I … I can’t actually recall.”

    “Precisely.  It occurs to me that the sappers have no captain, and they’d rather not acquire one.”

    “That would be a rather complicated deceit to carry off, Fist.”

    “You feel they are incapable?”

    Oh no, sir.  Not at all.”

    (from Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Hot Water Heaters

    This is everything you need to know about water heaters.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Our dogs

    Those are our two dogs.  Bella on the left; Blackjack on the right.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Thursday, January 03, 2019

One down, two to go.

    First step done.  Two to go.  Check back in 2020.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

We Were Promised Jetpacks

    On an only marginally related topic, there is a Scottish indie-rock band called "We Were Promised Jetpacks" that you really should check out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

God of the Ants

    Truth.  I used to play this a lot as a kid.  I was a pretty cruel and heartless God of the Ants.