Thursday, February 28, 2019

Why we bike

    It pays to be prepared for any emergency.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


    Well, that's it then.  I'm moving to Switzerland.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Philosophy Tuesday

   This really helped me find myself.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The man laughed heartily.  “The score of your crimes is higher than the Great Pyramid.”

    He took a deep breath, then another.  It made the nausea lessen.  “What did I do?”

    “All right, let us see.”  Clearly amused, the man thrust his palm forward.  “You made trouble on the Plaza, ran away from the guards and fought them, and of course, kidnapping a princess is quite a feat for a boy of your years.”

    “I did all that?” he asked, blinking.

    (from The Highlander – The Rise of the Aztecs Book One  by Zoe Saadia)

    7½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Doggy Philosophy

    Who knows what sort of thoughts drift through the Canine Cranium?

Saturday, February 23, 2019


    I am so relieved!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Disney Dune

    I don't know whether to be totally repulsed by this, or be thoroughly intrigued by it.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Not all technology is the future.  Some technology succeeds in a changing society and some fails.  And even when an idea is right, the machine that introduces it to the society may not be.  Cai Lun did not invent paper, Gutenberg did not invent the printing press, Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat, and Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb.  Rather, these were people who took existing ideas or machines that were not suiting society’s needs and reworked them into technologies that did.  It says something about our world that we seldom remember the person who came up with an idea, but canonize the pragmatist who made it commercially viable.

    (from Paper – Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky)

     8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rip Van Winkle's music

    I have no idea what the joke is here, but I do agree with Rip's musical tastes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


    Word for the Day: Xylographer (n.): a person who makes engravings on wood, especially for printing.

    Sounds pretty primitive, eh?  Well, the above picture was made from a xylograph, created by Albrecht Durer in 1498.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Casper Capers

    This is why Drinking and Time-Traveling don't mix.  And for the record, I was nowhere near Casper, Wyoming when this occurred.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Orange Crush Pop Tarts

   Why hasn't anybody told me about this?  Now I've gotta go find some. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    A high, quavering voice rang in my ear.  “I’ve got all my teeth, you know.”  (…)

    The old lady, standing by the sofa, gave me a gummy smile.  Though I could have sworn she did not have a single tooth left in her head, I thought a positive response was appropriate.

    “What?” I said.  “All your own teeth?  How wonderful.”

    “Isn’t it?”  Reaching into the pocket of her pinafore, she pulled out a jar, rattling it.

    I took a step back as the horror hit.  It was full of teeth.  Lots of teeth.  Hundreds of human teeth.

    The gummy grin broadened.  “I collect them.  Aren’t they beautiful?”

    (from Inspector Hobbes and the Blood by Wilkie Martin)

  9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Neighborhood Book Exchange

    We've started bicycling around the neighborhood for the exercise.  Today I came across one of these "Little Free Library" boxes along a nearby street.  These are those "take one, leave one" street-side book exchange sitesm, such as the one pictured above.  I'm a bookaholic so I had to stop and check out the (very limited) selection. 

    Most of the books were for juveniles, and there was one YA Harry Potter book.  But fortuitously, there was also a copy of  Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter", which I've been meaning to read sometime this year.

    So I pedaled home, grabbed Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" and went back and made the exchange.  I figure I traded down, but that's okay.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

    This day always brings out the romantic guy in me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February in the Midwest

    This is why I live in Arizona.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


    To resist inequality, injustice, hatred, bigotry, bullies, and the like is our American heritage.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Queen's Gambit

    First of all, it's not a true gambit.  White can, and does, win back the pawn.  Always.

    Secondly, Black has a whole bunch of great options for beating the Queen 's Gambit.  I've used the Leningrad (Dutch) Defense, the Grunfeld Defense, and the Benoni Defense in tournaments.  I had good results with all of them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Prog Rock


Saturday, February 09, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Setting a god to do mortal work’s like passing a three-phase industrial power supply through a torch bulb.  So we can do work that’s suitable; which is another way of saying that the only thing a god can do is be a god.  And unfortunately, what with the spread of the Big Four religions and the trend towards global secularism and the loss of faith in anything much, there’s too many gods chasing too few godheads.”

    (from Valhalla by Tom Holt)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Friday Night Karaoke

    Contrary to popular belief, Fridays, wine, and karaoke DO mix.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Library Lovers

    February is National Library Lovers Month.  Really.  Google it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Chocolate Hobnobs

    Chocolate Hobnobs are mentioned in a book I'm reading, and while I could suss out that they were some sort of sweets, I frankly have never heard of them.

    Apparently, they're made in, and quite popular in England.  So why haven't they been exported to us Yanks?

Monday, February 04, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    With a stiff back and jet lag beginning to announce its presence, Harry and his suitcase were now alone on a pavement in a town boasting a population roughly equivalent to the whole of Norway, outside the splendid Crescent Hotel.  The name was printed on the door next to three stars.  Oslo’s Chief Constable was not known for largesse with regards to accommodation for her employees.  But perhaps this one was not going to be too bad after all.  There must have been a civil service discount and it was probably the hotel’s smallest room, Harry reflected.

    And it was.

    (from The Bat, by Jo Nesbo)

     8½*/10.  The full review is here.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

From the Shire to Mordor

    Mount Doom is nearby.  I heard they renamed it Mount St. Helens.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Surreal Saturday

    I don't remember now if this is an actual Salvador Dali creation, or someone emulating his work.  Either way, it's quite good.

Friday, February 01, 2019


    You say you brew your own beer?  Amateur.