Saturday, August 31, 2019

Colons and Semicolons

    It's even more complicated than that.  Figuring out whether to use a comma, dash, semicolon, or colon to separate two clauses can be quite nerve-wracking.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Greek Mythology Friday

    For all its silliness, the poetry-making is done quite well.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

   The whole Wendy’s thing is a long story but I’ll try to explain it all.  My life isn’t just one problem where Wendy’s burned down, it’s a whole mixture of trouble.  It’s like you’re born and they put eggs and index cards and fish in a blender, and you have to drink it.  Every sip is worse, but you have to keep going every day.  The last sip is horrible and then the glass is empty, and life’s over.

    (from Veins by Drew)

    5½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Art Appreciation Monday

    "The Nightmare" by Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), painted in 1781.  Until today, I'd never heard of him.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Mathematics and Engineering

    Why it's more fun to be an engineer than a mathematician.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Stonehenge Desk Calendar

    I want one of these!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Nigel.  Come here.  Now.”

    Nigel raced to the door wearing a look of terror.  “You weren’t supposed to make yourself comfortable in this room…”

    “Please explain these clothes.”

    Without hesitation, he spoke.  “These are my mother’s clothes.  She’s quite a shopper.”

    “Fifty pairs of identical panties?”

    “She’s a creature of habit.”

    I ground my teeth.  “Nigel, these are bikini briefs.  Eighty year old women do not wear bikini briefs.”

    “I think my mother is having an affair.  Let’s not discuss it.”

    (from The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland by Barbara Silkstone)

    7*/10.  The complete review is here.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lego Art

    This sums up why I got crappy grades in art class in junior high.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Grammar Pedant

    It isn't easy being a grammar pedant.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Wait!” I called after him.  “I’m coming with you.”

    Socrates looked up as he heard my voice and shot me a beaming smile.  I rushed up to him.  “I’m coming,” I said breathlessly.  “I want to help.”

    “Are you certain?  It may be dangerous.”

    “This place is too boring anyway,” I said.  “When are we leaving?”

    “As soon as we’re ready.”

    “And where are we going?”

    “Wherever the world takes us.”

    “I’ll get my things.”

    (from Blood and Steam by Jamie Sedgwick)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dashboard Icons

    I was wondering about that one.  I'm glad that's been cleared up.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dali Saturday

    Still my favorite painter of all time.

Friday, August 16, 2019

TV Channels

    Eight channels!  WTF!?  When I was a kid, we had only four channels to choose from - ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS.  And PBS sucked in those days.  IIRC, the channel numbers were 3, 8, 10, and 12.

    Later on, they added a fifth channel, one that was "local" in some way.  It was channel 5.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019


    Makes perfect sense to me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Nora,” came the voice from beneath the sleeping bag, slow and dreamlike.

    She turned.  “Yes?”

    Smithback looked at her.  “Nora,” he said again.  “You know, after all that’s happened between us … well, I’d really like to tell you how I feel.”

    She stared at him.  Then, gliding closer, she took his hand in hers.  “Yes?”

    His lips parted in a feeble grin.  “I really feel like shit,” came the dry whisper.

    Nora shook her head, laughing despite herself.  “You’re incorrigible.”

    (from Thunderhead, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child)

     8*/10.  The full review is here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book Lovers - A Checklist

    I don't do #8 very much (re-reading a book), but the rest of these all apply to me.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019


    My boyhood dream was to be an archaeologist.  My guidance counselor thought I was joking, and I became a chemist instead.  Not quite as exciting, but it pays better.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


    And when lightning flashes nearby, counting the number of seconds ("one-one thousand, two-one thousand", etc.) until you hear its thunder will tell you how many miles away (one mile per every five seconds) it was.

    We did that a lot, during the Pennsylvania summers, when I was growing up.  Yes, we were easily amused back then.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Star Wars Trivia

    I never knew this!

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

   “We need to head that way,” he told the grifter, pointing down the intersection to their right.  “Grab the others and get going!”

    The driver of the halted buggy waited the requisite half second before leaning on his horn and mouthing something that looked like an accusation about Blade’s mother and a particularly well-endowed unicorn.  The wailing of the horn spread like a cough at a billiards match; by the time Blade had used an ancient hand gesture to suggest the honking driver self-impregnate himself and then turned back to look at the wagon, and entire orchestra of horns was playing an improvised but intense symphony.

    (from The Sleeping Dragon by Jonny Nexus)

    6½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Odysseus was a weirdo

    I'd like to tell you this isn't an accurate portrayal of how things really went down in that scene in The Odyssey.  But it is.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019


    Word for the day: Sporran (n.)"a small pouch worn around the waist so as to hang in front of the kilt as part of men's Scottish Highland dress."

    Who the heck knew there was a word for this thingamajig?!

Monday, August 05, 2019

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Sunday Sermon

    The Preaching of Prosperity is a hoax.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Another planet has been discovered that apparently may be made of diamonds.  It is called 55 Cancri e and is about double the size of the Earth but weighs about eight times more.  (…)  The planet was found to be rich in carbon, which might constitute about a third of its mass.  It is also scalding hot, with a temperature of 5,400 degrees Kelvin.  One theory postulates that the heat and pressure in the core may be extraordinary enough to give rise to a diamond planet.  However, these glittering deposits, if they indeed exist, are forty light-years from us, so mining them is beyond our current capabilities.

    (from The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku)

  9½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Thursday, August 01, 2019


    As of today, after a challenging and fulfilling 46 years at the same company I am officially and happily retired.