Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Samhain to all!!

    Tis the reason for the season!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

   Christmas is Yule with religion, and the West Saxons managed to spoil the midwinter feast with chanting monks, droning priests, and savagely long sermons.  Yule is supposed to be a celebration and a consolation, a moment of warm brightness in the heart of winter, a time to eat because you know that the lean times are coming when food will be scarce and ice locks the land, and a time to be happy and get drunk and behave irresponsibly and wake up the next morning wondering if you will ever feel well again, but the West Saxons handed the feast to the priests who made it as joyous as a funeral.

    (from The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell)

     10*/10.  The full review is here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ignatius J. Reilly

    We are committed to posting any comic strip that has a Halloween theme and a reference to "A Confederacy of Dunces".

Monday, October 28, 2019

Indie Author Blues

    A couple of weeks ago, on a lark, I monitored Amazon's e-books "new releases" volume over a four-day period. On average, there are 1700 new e-book offerings on Amazon EVERY day.

    Those are incredible odds.   Read a book by an indie author today!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Sermon

    Good question, Calvin.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Chopsticks and Cheetos

    Genius!  Sheer genius!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Helen was never nervous around boys.  One of the advantages of her condition was that she knew where she stood from the beginning.  She liked to think of her figure as curvaceous.  Like Marilyn Monroe’s.  Except gentlemen preferred blondes, not brown fur with white speckles.  She had yet to find a pair of heels that fit her hooves.  Troy was tall, with wide shoulders.  She was taller, with shoulders a smidge wider.  And then there was the whole cow-head thing.

    (from Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez)

  9*/10.  The complete review is here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Great Pizza Debate

    I vote "YES"!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prison Surprise

    For those of you who are not desert rats, this picture has not been photoshopped.  The sign is on the I-17 freeway, just a couple miles north of Phoenix, going to/from Flagstaff.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday Pun Day

    Art appreciation edition.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    “Zedd, I’ve never seen this before.  Where have you kept it?”

    Zedd smiled proudly.  “In the cabinet, in the house.”

    Richard eyed him skeptically.  “There’s nothing in the cabinet but dishes and pans and your powders.”

    “Not that cabinet,” he said, lowering his voice as if to thwart anyone who might be listening, “in my wizard’s cabinet.”

    Richard straightened with a frown.  “I’ve never seen any other cabinet.”

    “Bags, Richard!  You’re not supposed to see it!  It’s a wizard’s cabinet; it’s invisible!”

    (from Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind)

    4½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Aging App

    I use this app all the time on Facebook.  It makes me look "stately".

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Science Thursday

    Astrophysics can be the death of you. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    There was a bridge at Andau, and if a Hungarian could reach that bridge, he was nearly free.

    It wasn’t much, as bridges go: not wide enough for a car nor sturdy enough to bear a motorcycle.  It was a footbridge made of rickety boards with a handrailing which little children could not quite reach.

    It wasn’t actually in Andau, nor even near it, yet it was known throughout Hungary as “the bridge of Andau,” and many thousands of refugees, coming from all parts of Hungary, headed for it.  Fleeing the Russians, with only a paper bag, or with nothing, they headed for this insignificant bridge and for freedom.

    (from The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener)

    6½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

Motivational Monday

    I noticed that too.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Sermon

    Sadly, quite true.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    It was a good day to be indoors, cleaning out closets, making hot chocolate, organizing a fresh start for winter.  And it was a good day to be outdoors, scuffing through the few remaining leaves, feeling flushed from the cold air.  It was my favorite time of the year.  And if it wasn’t for the fact that people were dying left and right, and I couldn’t find Uncle Fred, and someone wanted to kill me, and Ramirez wanted to send me to Jesus – it would be a very good day.

    (from High Five by Janet Evanovich)

    8½*/10.  The complete review is here.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Responsible Hopping

    To all my fellow parallel universe travelers out there.  Jump responsibly!

Thursday, October 10, 2019


    Out here in the Arizona desert, sand worms are a huge threat.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019


    I guess that makes me trilingual.  To be fair, I have taken classes in all three of those languages.  Plus three years of French and two years of Mandarin Chinese.  Also two years of Latin in junior/senior high, but let's not discuss my grades in those classes.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Past Lives

    True story. I went to a "Past Lives" workshop once, at the local/annual Scottsdale Psychic Fair. It was an interesting experience, but what I found fascinating was that we had not one, but two people in the audience who had once been Cleopatra. Trying to figure out how that was possible was mind-boggling.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

    People wandered through the streets in a kind of utopian uncertainty, knowing that everything was different but unsure in what sort of place they lived now.  Adults were talking and children playing games.  “I’m minded to be careful,” I heard one man say, and I could have laughed in his face.  Minded are you? I could have said.  Minded how?  What will you do?  How will you be careful?

    We’d always lived in a ghetto, in a city that didn’t belong to us but to beings far more powerful and strange.  We’d lived among gods – little tiny gods but gods compared to us, considering what was at their disposal and our disposal – and ignored the fact.  Now they’d changed, and we had no way to understand that.

    (from Embassytown by China MiĆ©ville)

    8*/10.  The complete review is here.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Trippin' Saturday

    To test this claim, put your fingers over everything but the top of any given ball.  It does seem like they're all brown.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Pain Levels

    Or Art Appreciation, but we did one of those last night.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Classical Music

    Really now.  What genre did Beethoven use to describe his music?

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Book Excerpt for the Day

Forgive us if we work so hard
And the muscles bunch clumsy on us
And we never know why we work so hard -
If the big houses with little families
And the little houses with big families
Sneer at each other’s bars of misunderstanding.
 (pg. 11, from “The Windy City”)

    (from Slabs of the Sunburnt West  by Carl Sandburg)

  6*/10.  The complete review is here.