Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Binge Watching

One thing that's grown in popularity with digital TV is binge watching.  You can watch an entire season or even multiple seasons of any show you want--depending on what programming you subscribe to.  I recently watched the Starship Troopers crap to my disappointment.  If you're looking for a pleasant surprise, I like Better Call Saul. This is the story about an attorney trying to get established, yet things liked being disbarred keep getting  in his way. It's incredibly good, currently runs on AMC Monday night.  But you can binge and get caught up. 

Another good binge opportunity in The Man in the High Castle. Based on the Philip K. Dick story, it's about to start its third season.  It's some very well done alternate history that takes a different look at the Axis powers of WWII. Start now and you'll be ready for season three.

Of course the ultimate binge if you're one of the four or five who has not watched it--The Walking Dead.  Although I am starting to tire of it, it's an amazing series than surprised and even scared me  a few times over it's very long run.

Go binge.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Reverse panhandling

As I have mentioned before, the one thing I hate ab out Tucson is it is packed with vagrants begging for money.  Yesterday I needed to go downtown.   "Got any spare change?" was my lead off. "You got any money?"      Well that brought an immediate round of threats to kick my ass.  I guess if I'm going to play this game I'll need my pep   spray.                     

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Watchin but don't know why.

Okay, so I found two DVD's of Starship Troopers that were sequels.  One was awful and the other was okay.  Then I found a computer animated version that I turned off after a few minutes because it was so bad.   I guess they wanted it to take on a franchise like Star Trek.  That didn't exactly happen.

I watched the original Troopers when it came out.  I liked it. Exploding bugs, topless girls--what's not to like?  Of course the movie was based on Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein.  I don't remember the coed shower scenes in Heinlein's book but it has been a while.  

What's it all mean?  Beyond the original, the rest of them are a waste of time and money.  I still like the original movie which is still available to watch.  And that's about it.  Read the book and you'll be better off.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


We're still getting our evening rain storms which Arizonans call monsoons.  They usually stop around the end of July, but not this year.  Our plant friends seem to enjoy the rain and cooler temperatures. I'm not sure if the annual rainfall will much different as we had an unusually dry first half of the year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Trash Day

Today is garbage day where I live.  They pick up recycling and regular garbage on the same day.  I never know when they'll show up so I put the trash out early.

a garbage truck, but not intended as a  depiction of the one used where                                                                     

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

power poopers

I mentioned last week I'd forgotten to eat one day.  Well, today I didn't get any supper.  I went to the store but they were closed because of a power outage. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Accessing Star Trek

Well, old Piccard is returning to Star Trek.  I still have not seen Discovery. Now there's another one brewing.  I won't pay ten bucks a month to watch old CBS reruns in the form of CBS All Access.  So, as I said when Discovery launched, cram it CBS

Sunday, August 5, 2018

How come?

"How come you can't ship to Mars?" some wise ass asked. I deleted it. It was in reference to my book offer is only good for earth residents. Well, the post office simply doesn't ship there. Nothing I can do about.  However, if any Martians want to come by the house I'll gladly give them a copy.

"How come you're obsessed with Mars?" I was recently asked.
I am what I am.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Them Martians

Earth is at apogee right now.  That means Earth and Mars are close together--as close as we get.  It's been about 15 years since we were that close.  It still is a fairly small red dot in the sky.  I don't trac this stuff like the backyard telescope crowd, but I believe most of the planets that can be seen without a telescope are visible now.  

Back to them Martians.  They've found some significant water. It's frozen. It's also possible Mars had more atmosphere and may have been warmer than it is now. I just hope they find evidence of life there.  I can't control what Nasa does, but I think their current efforts could have a Martian standing on the surface and our probes might not even notice them.  I'm just not impressed.  Since I can't afford my own space probes it will have to do.

Well, I was talking to some people about the apogee and Mars being so close and was asked "You should publish something about Mars." Well Buard breath, I said [just kidding] I have.  Two lovely products are currently available about Mars that I have edited.  There's The Martian Anthology 
and, for you steampunk/19th century fans, Science Fiction Trails #9 did an all Martian issue. And they're both available at Amazon for two bucks plus shipping through the end of August.  Click on the Marketplace other sellers to find our offer..  This offer is for Earth residents only. We are not currently able to ship to Mars.

Friday, August 3, 2018


Sometimes, not often but every now and again, something happens to me that I find simply incredible.  Yesterday, I could not figure out why I was so hungry.  It was 8:00 PM.  Slowly my brain informed my gut we were hungry because we hadn't eaten anything all day. I wasn't fasting.  I was not on some new diet. Breakfast, lunch, supper? Forgot them all. Went to a 24 hour restaurant and got some pancakes.  I hope I don't do that again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Back in the day they called places that sold gasoline "Fillin Stations."  Then they became "Service Stations."  Those were the days. They came out and cleaned your windshield and even checked your tire pressure.  When was the last time you checked you tires?   Gradually, those service stations sort of vanished--replaced by convenience stores.  Perhaps it was inevitable for this evolution. All I can say for certain is replacing service with some overworked cashier who can't get you ice out of the freezer outside because she's so overworked she can't get away from the cash register. Well, I'm not sure if it's an improvement.  

That has me wondering as the robots take over our economy do we have them check your oil and pump the gas or do we just automate the convenience store and have no employees?  Time will tell.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July? Really?

Where the heck did July go?  It seems like it was just getting started.  Now it's over.  It sure went by fast.  We didn't even have any fireworks this year.  Too dry, they told us.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to go up to the White Mountains for a few days. The way things have been going lately is something always comes up at the last minute.

Monday, July 30, 2018


Dear all knowing Oracle at Delphi,

Why don't thousands of people all over the world order a copy of Legends of the Dragon Cowboys?  There are thousands of books sold every minute. Why don't they buy mine instead of some other book?
You pal,


Dear Dave,

Are you nuts?

Please don't contact us again.

The Oracle at Delhi, Inc., now online.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Getting rid of neighbors

I seem to be running off all my neighbors.  First the guy across the street put his place on the market. Then the folks east of me went on the market. The another house across the street and down 1 lot went on the market. Now the house west of me has gone on the market.  I guess they all hate me or something.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Nothing new in the war on restaurant straws

I haven't been to a restaurant since I declined my last straw.  Nothing new to report.  We're not exactly a major environmental movement yet.  Why do people get straws at restaurants?  Do they drink through straws at home?  I sure as hell do not. I drink without straws.

Friday, July 27, 2018

garden weeds

My yard is suddenly full of weeds.  They struck quickly and without warning. I use propane to control them. I feel it works as well as poison chemicals and I feel better about using it.

Speaking of environmental radicalism,  I had breakfast at a coffee shop I sometimes eat at.  I declined a straw when the waitress handed me one. "They are causing a tremendous pollution problem," said I.

Some lady apparently heard me and gave back her unopened straw as well.  Yay! I just need a few million more people to turn down straws and we'll be getting somewhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Boy I am on a roll.  Just got snubbed by another con and by the Tempe Book Festival.  I'm not sure about the reason for my rapid drop in popularity.  It does cut down on travel expenses.

Water, water everywhere

I read they've found a big lake of water on Mars.  See, if people had read the Martian Anthology  they'd already know that--unless I'm lying.  

How will the Martian Defense Force keep humans from stealing it?  That's what I want to know.

Sponsored by Martian Tourism Board

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

More words

I mentioned the N word the other day. That's a powerful word that can really get folks riled up.  One word that I find interesting is hell.  Hell, in theory, is a geographic place.  Yet, there are certain people who view it as a cuss word and get right worked up if you speak it.  Again, I consider it a word, not that different than any other other words floating around in that confused mess of a brain that sits on the the top of my neck. But, I had first hand knowledge of just how powerful hell can be. Back in Vail, Colorado I came to work at the hotel one night and there was some strange  box and I asked, "What the hell is this?"  For my trouble I was sent home and suspended for my effort.  Yep, for saying hell.

Wonder what they'd have done if I'd come in and asked, "What kind of cocksucking piece of shit is this>"  If I'd only know they were going to suspend me I would've been more precise.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Home Stuff

I'm sending this out to friends who  are home owners. Rules vary by state.  I'm just passing along my experience.

As you may know I've been dealing with a water leak in my house.  I came home to find my bathroom flooded.  This was a hot water leak from a broken butterfly valve. The plumber was the least of my worries.  I had to have a restoration company bring out special fans to dry things out. Some of the sheet rock and my vanity were torn out. It's simply amazing how much damage a little water can do. And hot water to mold spores is like an all you can eat buffet.  Even though it was a minor mold situation it still had to be sealed with anti-microbial stuff.  And now a contractor will put new flooring and replace the vanity and the torn out sheet rock. Some people can do these kind of repairs themselves.  I am not one of them.

What I discovered was that insurers have been quietly dropping mold coverage. You may not have any and just assumed you did. And some policies have high deductibles for water damage.  I am strongly urging people to check their insurance coverage--esp about mold. Getting rid of it is quire expensive and not something people think about until it happens.  I never made a claim on my condo in Colorado, which I owned for 9 years. I've been in Arizona for two years and have just made my first claim ever for this water leak.  

I urge people to check their coverage and to carry homeowners coverage.  A neighbor of mine had a tree come down in a storm. It destroyed her roof.  Don't know the tab on that one.  . Stuff happens out of the blue and it's not just fires that endanger a home. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Oh that word

I recently had a story rejected for an anthology because it used the N word.  Yesterday, I revisited Blazing Saddles  which uses the N word ten times in the first ten minutes.  That's about the pace my story used it.

This word is problematic.  It's a word. And it's a word used a lot back in the days of old.  A hell of a lot. But, using it today is not looked kindly upon.  There have been many efforts to get libraries to ban Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain because the word is in there. Twain was no racist.  He used the word because that's how folks talked in the time period.

My story--same deal.  It has characters on a Pullman car and most of them were black.  A white customer was using the term liberally and the editor of my story wanted nothing to do with the concept.  I can't really blame him.  It would likely stir up more trouble than it was worth.  Still, I hate being historically accurate and shit-canned [oh my that's another word] for it. Although I understand it, I don't entirely like it.  Since I edit as well as write, I can't say for certain what I'd do with a N word laced story. Sigh. And I never used the word here.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Moon

The 49th anniversary of the lunar landing came and went wit little notice.  It was Friday if you missed it.  I don't know if there will be an celebrating on the 50th anniversary next year.  I don't even know if the Postal Service plans to issue a stamp or not.  We've all forgotten the moon.  It no longer holds much mystery.

They used to tell people it was made out of green cheese.  They said by the 1980s there would be bases on the moon.  There aren't any.  Think you're a space whiz?  Is this the moon or Mars?

Is this the moon or Mars?
It's the moon, but hard to tell in B&W

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Well there's always bugs

This cricket's been bugging me all week long.  It is somewhere outside my bedroom chirping away.  I don't know much about crickets, but I assume he's trying to get laid and the lady cricket will fall in love with him because of his chirping.  I guess it worked.  Friday night was quiet. I did hear any chirping.  

Friday, July 20, 2018


Call me the novella kid.  That seems to be the only thing I want to write these days.  I woke up at three am this morning and worked on one until 10 am, then I took a nap.  I just really like stories in this size.  The problem with novellas is they're bigger than short stories and shorter than novels--the unwanted bastard stepchild of literature.  With luck there will soon be another novella on the literary landscape.

Two of my favorite stories were novellas. White Fang by Jack London and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens [both stories were later dramatized].   They were both huge sellers that have never gone out of print since fist introduced and they were both novellas.

Alas, this size story is not very common today. There are a few around, including my own Legends of the Dragon Cowboys, which is actually two novellas in one book.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Found some animal poop in my backyard.  I can't figure out what sort of animal it belongs to.  I wanted to post a picture of it and see if any of the viewers of this blog could identify it.  Alas, I am simply too stupid to operate the camera on my phone.  If I figure it out I'll advise.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Damned crickets

We've had some rain the past few days. Now the crickets are making their cricket noises.  Damned annoying inspect they are.  To the hardware store tomorrow. Mission bug spray.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Falling Star

Friday did not go real well.  I was told to get lost over a part time job I'd applied for.                                                                                                       

And I was snubbed by yet another writing event--this time it was a book fair. 
Apparently I'm not important enough.         

So, not a great week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Good art, Bad People

A very interesting piece on dealing with art by bad people over at David Lee Summers blog today. I strongly recommend it.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Conversations with the old man

Is it going to rain?

Did it rain last night?

Is It going to rain today?

How much rain will we get?

Did it rain over at your house?

Should I get  a rain gauge?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where should I put the rain gauge?

How much do rain gauges cost?


Thursday, July 12, 2018


I have an appointment today. I'm trying to pick up a few freelance projects.  Alas, the place I am going o is surrounded by construction. There is so much construction and it changes daily in terms of road delays that I have to leave a full half hour before I should in order to get there on time.  I realize roads need maintenance. What bugs me is the amount of time it takes to get these projects finished.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Nice rain yesterday. It's been so hot and dry for so long here in Tucson. Things cooled down and our plant friends got a nice drink.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Half Off

You can get half off my ebook Legends of the Dragon Cowboys  at Smashwords.com .

Enter code SSW50   at checkout. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

The American Romance Story Oh My!

Yesterday I wrote on the British romance story.  To view the American version, you'll have to link as it's not currently in print.

Here our primary young lady is a saloon girl, not a fallen aristocrat.  And her love interest is Adam, an alien from another planet. And the villain is the local preacher who is reviled by the alien and the young lady being together.

Friday, July 6, 2018

The British Romance Story Oh My!

So, waiting around for repair crews with my water leak, I watched a whole nother genre that I don't completely understand.  I think I stumbled onto the British romance novel [dramatized].

Okay, here goes.  I think all of these are exactly the same story they just have different titles.

This old coot kicks the bucket. Supposedly he can only leave all of his money to the eldest son. The wife and three daughters are screwed.  Junior says he'll share, but then decides I'll keep it all. But somehow, the wife still has a little money so they downsize from the mansion to this little cottage .

Well, you have the 19 year old sister who's an old maid.  This dude Ed loves her but there's something wrong and he stops coming by.  All the guys in the area want to marry the 17 year old pretty sister.  The prime contender is a total cad who makes a career out of seducing young ladies. The other suitor is a perfectly nice gentleman, but he's ugh 35 year old retired colonel.

So, various things go. The pretty sister eventually decides to marry the colonel anyway even though they didn't have Viagra back then.  And the 19 year old discovers that Ed was promised to another, but she dumped him for some dude with more money and he didn't think she wanted him anymore but the silly girl still loves him. So they get married.  And the colonel even rides around on a white horse.

The novel [undramatized version] probably has so much more detail that I would likely  jump out of a window and kill myself.  But, the televised show, I got strangely into. Oh, the 17 year old sister is lost out in a storm. What will happen to her? That sort of thing.

So, we come to the end and the two girls are married off.  But wait!  There's a serious flaw in this story.  Obviously, if they married off the 10 year old sister, that would be creepy.  But what happens to mom? She's pushing 40, she's very nice and quite attractive.  She doesn't seem to get a new husband.  And it's obvious a woman can only be happy if she finds a husband so I guess mom is doomed. Nothing is ever said about mom.  So, I'll finish it for them.

I was thinking she was very fine lady and I'd certainly call on her.  Of course she'd have to reject the eccentric writer down the road as he doesn't have enough money.  Then on the last page Queen Victoria knights him for his brilliant new romance novel with space aliens. Since he's knighted, of course mom will marry Sir David and everyone lives happily ever after.

I don't think I'm the target demographic in these stories.  Still, watching this movie was oddly compelling.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Roadkill Special

On one of the streets nearby there's been some dead bird for the past two days. Frankly, I think it's a quail.  Sad little thing, most likely hit by a car.  Well, yesterday I noticed a raven was eating it.  It doesn't seem like much of an existence.  You grow up then fly around, get hit by a car and then you're eaten by a bigger bird.  

If it was me, I'd rather die at the hands of some person who bashed my head in with a rock than die as roadkill for a scavenger bird.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Blowing up 4th of July

Back in my youth, in San Francisco  you could get all the fireworks you wanted.  Most of them were sold by the Chinese gangs.  They'd have some guy on every major street corner of Chinatown saying "firecracker."  As I said yesterday, I thought bottle rockets were the best.  They flew and didn't cost much more.

So, you wanted bottle rockets, the guy would say "next block, blue shirt." and you go to the next block and the guy in the blue shirt would ask "firecracker" and you'd reply "bottle rocket."  "How many?"  "100"   And he'd give you a price.  And you said okay.  Then he'd call some kid over and give an order in Chinese.  The kid would run off and be  back in a flash with a bag.  You could take a quick peak, but the order was always right.  And you paid the man and headed out of there clutching your goodies.

What a wonderful place.  But that was then.  I don't know if it still works the same now or not. I have not lived in the Bay Area for a long time.

Then there was this product called the barrel bomb.  People confused them with something called an M 80.  M 80 sounded military. It wasn't.  They were billed as a 1/4 stick of dynamite. It wasn't. Barrel bombs had more of a homemade feel.  I think both were about the same strength, but I could be wrong. Anyway, these were a lot more powerful than firecrackers.  And a lot louder.  And I never purchased any from the Chinese gangs,  I got them from some guy who'd dropped out of high school. I suspect he made them in his basement. This was pre 9/11 and you could buy black powder to reload with no restrictions.  They just were in a capped cardboard tube.  I bought some a few times. And they had waterproof fuses. Oh my.

These neighbors down the street had a horrible dog.  One time I launched one once with a wrist rocket [sling shot]. It went right into the dog's house at 1 am. Kaboom. Supposedly the dog hid in the bushes for a week and wouldn't come out.  [Okay, I did a few things back then that were kind of bad.]  

Most of the barrel bombs went into the San Francisco Bay.  They were like mini depth charges.

And one went into a local park.  And around the corner were the park police.  But they searched my car and found no barrel bombs but kept accusing me of having "M-80s"  I insisted it was just three firecrackers tied together than exploded at the same time and there were no more. Having no evidence and I had given a plausible confession, they let me go with a warning.

Ah, those were the days.  

Haven't set off any illegal fireworks in years. I guess I've gotten old.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

whistling Juniper

When I was young I just loved fireworks.  My brother and I blew the hell out of every ant hill and gopher hole we could find.  Where we lived fireworks were illegal.  That didn't stop anyone.     Even better were the times we went to Arkansas where my grandmother lived.  They were completely  legal. And I'm not talking the safe & insane kind. These were real fireworks.   I always thought bottle rockets were the best deal. You could 50 of them for peanuts and send off. Great value.  Tomorrow I'll talk about barrel bombs.

Then they had these things called Whistling Jupiters. They would take off and chase you.  When a flaming spinning about to explode firework takes off and heads your way it was motivation to move. My brother called them Whistling Junipers for some reason.


Sunday, July 1, 2018


Well, the water damage is officially dry now.

Amazing how just a little water can destroy my bathroom.

Also amazing is how long it took to dry everything out.

That broken valve all but destroyed my bathroom.

What have we learned?  Never leave home and wander constantly around the house checking for water leaks.

Also worth noting is they have a Start Trek like sensor that can spot water below my floor and other places--right through the walls.  Beam me up. now.  They don't have plumbers on Star Trek.  Plumbers mate--no such rank.  Sign me up federation. I'm sick of plumbing.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

And the work goes on

It's amazing how much damage a little water can do.  They're still working on my bathroom, which flooded last week due to a defective valve.  It looks unlikely that I will be able to get to Westercon.  Back when houses did not have indoor plumbing, such events like mine were rare.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Walking away

Twice this week I've left two restaurants without any food. The first one was for a calzone. I hadn't planned to get food, but had little at home and ordered in person. Was told 20 minutes. Forty minutes later I walked out. I just left.

Then there was the bag of ice. A local fast food outlet with golden arches sells bags of ice. After paying for it, something was obviously wrong.  No ice was brought to the window. I could hear them talking about it--there was no ice.  I was directed to go to the lane of no return where they send you when something gets screwed up. I did not go there. Instead, I drove home.

Why would someone just drive off without making a scene with the manager or getting a refund or something?  Why indeed?  Because I think saying nothing and letting them keep their food when service is poor, or non existent speaks volumes. I could be wrong, of course.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ah, mold

Came home Sunday and found bathroom flooded with hot water. How nice. I mopped it up but unable to find source in wall.  Called plumber Monday AM. Plumber fixed leak, but also noted a lot of water in flooring and walls. And then they found mold--accelerated by the hot water damage.   Damage seems confined to bathroom area.  And thank God for homeowners insurance.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I started getting senior discounts about two years ago.  I never asked for them. They just show up on my bill or receipt. I find them a bit unsettling.   But there's little I can do about the aging process.  In July, just a few weeks from now, I will turn 60.  I sense a major freak out coming on.  I am simply dreading the day.  

What do you want for your birthday? my father asked. [He's like beyond old, like Methuselah old. ]
Piles and piles of cash. Like that's going to ever happen. 

At least I won't get a cake.  I never get birthday cakes anymore. They sort of stopped happening about a decade ago, when I turned 50.  I'm viewing the past by the decade now.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Another robot car

I have this urge to mess with these driverless cars that are being tested around town. I mentioned one a few days ago. Well, there was another one yesterday. Some guy decided to make a right turn from the left hand lane as he apparently had a sudden urge to go to Sonic. The robot car stopped and skillfully avoided a collision.  I was kind of impressed.  I wished I thought of a maneuver like that.  Anyway I didn't mess with the robot car and it went on its way.  I couldn't top what the other car did.

Alas, I have serious doubts about these cars.  Although I've thought about putting along real slow in front of them, stuff like that--I haven't actually done it. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Robot Conspiracy

Yesterday I looked in my rear view mirror. Low and behold there was one of those Google driverless cars behind me.  The light turned and off I went.  It followed right along.  I was curious if I putted along below the speed limit if it would pass me. As I was approaching my destination, I turned off and the auto car went right on by. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Oh, Crappy Movies

I mentioned in casual conversation, yesterday, that I fell asleep during the last Star Wars movie. ergo I had not bothered to see Solo.  From my perspective, these movies are all the same. If you've seen one...

Now, maybe I'm just a fuddy duddy.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018


I'm amazed the Canadians haven't invaded yet.  I still figure it's coming, eh.  We'll show them a thing or two. Actually, I doubt anyone will notice.  We'll all finish our sentences with eh and not really know why.  And that'll be about it.  Some people may wonder why the money looks different, but Queen Elizabeth kind of looks like George Washington, so that may not really be much of a problem.  

One thing that does worry me is the barbecue.  On my one and only trip to Toronto, I found the barbecue was disgusting.  They even lured me in by having black people run the place. We all know black people know how to cook barbecue--wrong. It was horrid.  

I figure they'll release the children from concentration camps and try and feed us barbecue that's inedible.  Otherwise, I figure being occupied by Canada will be about the same.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cave Man Days

Og noticed Jol was coming up the trail from the creek.  Og had never liked Jol, even when they were boys. Jol came from the clan of red haired people from down the valley.  Og especially didn't like the way second wife looked at Jol.

Jol came straight to the point. He wanted to use Og's computer. His Internet was out. He needed to order a new spear

Jol typed in his information, grunted to Og, then started down the river knowing in just a few days Neanderthal Express would pull up on a Woolly Mastodon and deliver his new spear. 

He's head there was a time when cavemen didn't have the Internet, but that story seemed hard to believe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

In the Event of

With invasion imminent from Canada as war is about to break out I thought I'd pass along some basic information should you find a Maple Leaf flag flying over your local post office anytime soon.

Canada money is called the Loon. It's named after some stupid bird. One thing you'll notice is Canada got rid of their dollar bill. They use a coin, only.

They, the Canadians, use the word eh at the end of every sentence. So, "you got any firearms, eh?" means "Do you have any guns?"

Then there's syrup. They put maple syrup on everything.  Don't be alarmed if they start trying to pout syrup on your Chinese food.  Just go along with it. You don't want to alarm them. Canadians are very violent.

If they ask you, You got a Luter, eh?" I don't know what that means.

Above all else, when Canada invades, stay calm.  Bearded men drinking Molson's and saying eh? are scary. Don't worry about hiding your daughters.  All Canadians are gay.  Your boys, well put them in dresses.

So, enjoy the upcoming Canadian invasion.  Just be careful not to run the anger of the Canadian Secret Police.

Oh, and that old lady on their paper money isn't a loon--it's Queen Elizabeth 2.

Oh, don't buy any Canadian books because there aren't any. Canadians can't read.

Canadian National Anthem
Oh Canada, we suck but not as bad as Trump does...
And I don't remember the rest.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Dear Fortune Cookie Company:

Six months ago I ate one of your cookies which promised great wealth was coming my way. I wanted to inform you I am still waiting and no wealth whatsoever has arrived yet.


David B. Riley

Sunday, June 17, 2018

crazy old man

This year my father was especially difficult to deal with in terms of Father's  Day.  The crazy old man turned down a fishing trip to the mountains. Then he declined a trip out to a restaurant.  So, he gets a card.  I guess that's all he really wanted. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018


It's been a long time since we've had any rain.  Not unusual for Tucson.  Still, it's rained all night night. I'm not sure how many inches we got, but it's a lot.  Rain really helps our plant friends. Most trees and such are not irrigated and have a rough time going between rains in these here parts. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Solar Baked Potato

I baked a potato yesterday.  I cooked it 5 1/2 hours.  It was just barely done.  Mu solar stove is just not proving practical. Maybe I'll figure out some other design. Maybe not.

The darned thing was barely edible and still needed more cooking, but one could eat it if that person was starving.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

More on solar cooking

I am trying to cook using solar energy only. My prototype is a cardboard shell lined with aluminum.  I am certain polished mirrors would reflect more energy to the cooking area than foil. But, my project is very cheap to build.  Forecast is cloudy and a little cooler. Where are the 110 degree sunny days when you need them, eh?

If I could experiment a little, then I might be able to refine things.  Best heat I could get, and I was only "cooking" water yesterday, was 127 degrees.  That's not really hot enough to kill food borne bacteria let alone cook actual food.  Still, the concept is working. The food area was much hotter than  the 99 degree temperature in the surrounding area.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

solar cooking

Well my solar stove was a bit of a bust.  It was a cloudy day and that did not help.  Best I could do was get it up to 125 degrees.  That's just not hot enough to kill bacteria let alone actually cook food. Stay tuned. I will try this again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Invasion advice

I never sell books in Canada.  Most of them are available.  But they never sell in Canada.The UK buys some now and then, but never Canada.

Of course, with Canada and the United States on the brink of war, I doubt that sales situation will improve. The big question I wonder about is whether Mexico and Canada will combine forces and attack.  Where I live, the Mexican flag may once again fly over Arizona while the Maple Leaf waves over New England.  

All because our president keeps trying to pick fights with our historic allies.  

Maybe they'll just take over parts of the United States and not the whole thing.  Mexico can have Texas back. Nobody wants it anyway. The Dakotas, hell no one would notice if a Canadian flag waved over there. Really, who goes to North Dakota?  I've never been convinced there really is such a state anyway.  And as long as the Canadians let Minnesota keep their state fair, I doubt they'll care that much in Minnesota.

That's how I see it. I may be completely insane, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. 

Monday, June 11, 2018


Someone recently called me a wordsmith.  That's usually defined as a master writer.  I'd never given it much thought. Sure, I knew the term.  But I never thought much about a pecking order for writers.  I just write. The words are what they are.

I love words. I love their meanings. I love figuring out which word is the right word for a particular paragraph.  And I enjoy putting words together.  There is no joy in this for so many people. I know them. They're in my family. For them constructing a simple letter is an ordeal.  For me, it is a joy. Doing anything with words is a pleasure.  I guess the title is accurate.  I certainly will not dispute it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


I haven't mentioned much about Westercon as it's been a wait to get much info back from them.  I will have a dealer table at the con, which starts July 4th in Denver.  I'll be selling stuff I've published like Science Fiction Trails as well as books I've written like Legends of the Dragon Cowboys and Bonded Agent.   

I don't do a lot of dealer tables. They tend to tie me down more than I like. In this case I'm sharing space with Julie Campbell, who will be selling her literary endeavors as well.  

A lot of the readers who buy my books live in Colorado. If you're one of them stop by and say hello.

I'll post more info right before I leave for the con.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


Well there are no juries scheduled for the upcoming week at the federal courthouse.. Ergo, it's not going to require me to go to the courthouse. yay!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jury Duty From Outer Space?

I may have to do jury duty next week. I'll find out tomorrow.  This is federal courts.  Last year I went to Superior Court, which is a state court but was not selected.  

How come aliens from outer space don't have to be on juries? They just buzz around in their flying saucers but do they do anything to put back into the community?  Sames goes for Sasquatch.  These guys need to be on juries and get with the program.

By the way, my story "the Silo" is in a book edited by Carol Hightshoe called Incarceration.
My story is about a man who's given a fair trail except for one thing--he's not allowed to attend it. Get it and you'll be able to sleep at night and your boss will give you a raise (some of that last bit may be a stretch, but I'll certainly sleep better if you buy it and a million of your friends do as well).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Holy Math Batman

In school, especially high school, I had to take algebra, then geometry, then some other godforsaken math class that was especially bewildering.  Many years later, as I look back, they were useless. I didn't use algebra at all--or the other stuff.  

I did take two college level statistics classes.  I loved them and fulfilled my math requirements with them.  They were useful--probably the most useful classes I ever took.  

But this high school crap--what good is it?  I don't know. I am not talking about basic math like addition and stuff. I could do that in my sleep and never took that in high school.  I'm talking about algebra.  I would've learned so much more elsewhere.

And I sure wish we had creative writing back then. I'd have liked that. No, we spent weeks being bewildered diagramming sentences.  

What brought this on?  Don't know really.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Snow Balls in June

I can't figure out why, but none of the local stores has Sno Balls anymore.  Those are those gooey round things covered in coconut flakes.  Usually, every time they change color I buy one. They had some green ones around St. Patrick's Day. I don't recall any since then--of any color.  What  a gyp.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Taco Bell

I said a few weeks ago you could still get an Enchirito at Taco Bell even though it's no longer on the menu. Well, Friday that came to an abrupt halt.  They refused to let me have one. So I ordered a combo burrito.  I had one of these just a couple of weeks ago.  They no longer sell them.  How frigging hard is it to take half an order of beans and half an order of beef and combine them on a tortilla?  If you're a moron working at Taco Bell, the answer is pretty darned hard. 

Did they get rid if the the green sauce?  I don't know. I walked out of the store without any purchase. I've never had a Taco Bell refuse to make an Enchirito before. Ad they had combo burritos just days ago.

So, they've pissed me off now.  I will not go back and order something else.  I simply will go someplace and order something else.

Taco Bell hasn't been worth a crap since they stopped advertising with the little Chihuahua dog.

So, helmsman, set a course for Del Taco full speed ahead.  To be continued... 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Texts From Beyond

A writer I know informed me that I'm really hard to get a hold of.  I thought not. "I have a phone that even has voice mail that sometimes works. I also have email that I look at if I don't think it's Spam." So I questioned why I was hard to get a hold of.

Apparently, she sent me texts and I never responded.  "Well, " sayeth I, "I never read text messages and delete them immediately.  I don't like them. I get tons of them. Why would anyone send me one?"

Well, it appears the Millennials only communicate by text. They never call anyone and don't know what email is.  I guess I am hard to get ahold of.

Friday, June 1, 2018


Got to go get my car tested so I can renew my registration.  I hope it won't take too long.  Not my idea of fun.  I'm not convinced the computer in my car knows what my car is doing. Look at the Volkswagen computers, which lied and said the cars polluted less than they really did.

When I lived in the mountains of Colorado this sort of thing was not necessary.  Or or it may have been necessary but was not required.  

It would seem more efficient if the satellites that spy on me and follow me around would just send the pollution info to Phoenix and save me the trouble.  The NSA satellites don't talk to the environmental satellites for some reason. Paranoid yes I am.

By the war, the car passed the smog inspection.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


I don't Tweet.  I am astonished at why people do what I consider a complete waste of time. So, goodbye Roseanne. I never watched your show.  But I'm sure I'm part of the liberal conspiracy that brought it down.  I'm not a big fan of Facebook, either.  Since I've never watched it, I can't comment on how bad I've imagined it is.  And I won't say anything about racist bigots who think the world adores them.  And that's not political.

I do have this blog. Sometimes I rant and rave and sometimes I talk about writing. I try to avoid politics.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Great Idea

I woke up in the middle of the night. I'd had a profound idea for a story. I wrote it down and went back to bed.

Then I woke up this morning. My note was pure gibberish.  I couldn't even read it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


I mentioned I did a reading last week that got a few people throwing up.  Cannibalism seems to have that effect on people. It's not all that rare in the world of storytelling.  Think of The Donner Party.
Order some Soylent Green  and dig into a juicy steak on The Walking Dead at the Sanctuary. 

Some favorites you can order or download            :

Cannibal, The Musical


The cook, the thief, his wife & her lover.   

And there's the charming guys looking for protein in Robinson Crusoe                                           

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

The first of the summer mattress sale holidays has arrived.  Do your patriotic duty and go forth and buy a mattress set today.  If you don't you'll have to wait for the July 4th mattress sales.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Food 4 U

I have heard that some company in China sells human meat.  They'll ship it to you in frozen packaging.   Thing is, it appears to be fake. It's a hoax.  Too bad.

Back when I lived in California it was generally believed there was no actual law against eating human flesh.  I never really researched it.

This came up as I did a reading a few days ago from a forthcoming book of mine.  You don't want to accept a food invitation in this book.  And two audience members threw up.

I've got something--I'm just not sure what.

Things to do, read to more groups and see if more people loose it. Keep looking for actual human flesh and serve it at the book launch party. Nah, I don't really want to cook people.  But just talking about it seems to make folks lose it.

I've got something here.  I'm not sure what to make of it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Off the Menu

There's a local restaurant that I eat at sometimes.  I sit at the counter at the back of the place.  I can talk with the employees and hear the things they say about the  customers.  Yep, I'm a backbencher. Well, yesterday, someone had a philly cheesesteak.  Thing is they don't have such a creation on the menu.  I didn't realize I could get one.  I asked for one and it was delicious.  I would've ordered that if I'd known I could get it.

Kind of makes me wonder what other stuff you can get at restaurants that are not on the menu. I know Taco Bell used to have something called an enchirito.They dropped it. Apparently it still lives. You can get them at Taco Bell if you ask for one. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dog Walking Down the Street

Two days in a row some brown dog has walked down the street around 9 am. I don't know were he lives or where he's going. This dog has a purpose in his eyes. He acts like he's got someplace to go to. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dollar Stores

One thing about Tucson is we have an abundance of dollar stores. They are everywhere. Alas, most of their merchandise trades for more than a dollar.  In fact, compared to stores like walmart, I'm not convinced that these places a very good deal.  The problem is I live some distance from any commercial grocery stores but only a half mile from a dollar store. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to go to the dollar place.  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Yesterday afternoon

I've mentioned before that a red tail hawk has moved into the neighborhood.  Yesterday afternoon he was sitting on the roof of the house across the street.  He had a small bird in his mouth. It looked like a dove, which are abundant in this area.  I named him Henry. [Warner Bros cartoons, Henry the Hawk]

Well Henry is looking right at me. Yeah, I've got a dove and I'm a bad ass hawk. And he proceeded to tear it open and eat it as I watched.  I've seen birds of prey hunt, but I've never seen one devour its kill so close before.  It did not take very long and Henry was done.  And he flew away.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

No More Postage

Okay, I gather folks are tiring of my frequent rants about the Postal Service.   I'll try and lay off from here on out. I can't guarantee I can do that, but my goal is no more rants about the Postal Service for the rest of the year.  I guess if I can keep from ranting about Donald I can keep from ranting about the Postals Service.  We'll give it a try.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Missing Mail

The Postal Service has a little known service where you can get an email telling you what mail you're going to get that day.  It's free and seems like a nice service.  However, I find it frustrating.  Mail inevitably shows up on that thing that does not arrive at my mail box.  One letter from my health insurance appeared yesterday but no such thing was in my mail.   Still, there's a chance it'll show up today or tomorrow.  I can't figure it out.

I do know we seem to have a different mail carrier then we used to have and this one misdelivers a lot of mail.  So, the service? A dubious value.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Baked Goods

I built an oven recently.  It's made out of cardboard and aluminum foil.  It's designed to reflect solar energy to a rack and cook things. Yesterday I tried to make brownies.  Well, maybe when it gets a little hotter.  They remained a gooey mess until I could dispose of them. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


A few days ago I picked up some books I had on consignment.  It was kind of disappointing.  They sold about half of them. But bringing the other books home wasn't fun.  I haven't had much luck on this track. I tried it because I'm not as well known in Tucson as I am in Colorado.  In Colorado I attended more events and even managed to get quite a few books in area libraries. In Tucson, not so much.  

Then there's the bookstore itself.  Frankly, I don't like the way the place is run.  The local author area is segregated from the main horror and science fiction areas. If someone wanted a horror anthology, they would be taken to a completely different part of the store than where my books were.  To solve that I  eventually went into the store and moved some of my books to their proper genre area.  I don't know if these are the  ones that actually sold or not.  

Most of my books being sold are ebooks.  I do fairly well on print books at cons I'm attending when I am actually there to push books.  And every now and then there's a spurt on Amazon for no explicable reason.   Some books sell really well as ebooks whilst other ones never sell as ebooks but sell in print. I can't really find any logic to it.

That said, Legends of the Dragon Cowboys seems to be doing fairly well.  I look forward to my next earnings reports.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Alexa the world really wants

Time for more the Alexa I'd like  to see.

Alexa, where can I dump a body?
The best place to dump a body is in the Sonoran desert, in the shade.  Scavengers will quickly dispose of it.

Alexa, I want to poison my girlfriend.
Arsenic is the historical favorite as it has similar symptoms to common stomach problems. However, hemlock works much faster.

Alexa, Get me a prostitute.  And I didn't like the last one. Find me someone prettier.
Jaet will be here at 7. She takes all major credit cards.

Alexa, What time does Sally from across the street get out of school?
She gets out of school at 3:15 PM.

Alexa, what's the going ransom for girls like Sally across the street?
Sally's parents earn about $100,000 a year but have limited savings, It's unlikely they could raise more than ten thousand dollars.

Alexa, I need a new sniper rifle with night vision scope, untraceable.
Freddie will deliver your rifle this afternoon.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Historical figures and such

And, if you read yesterday's post, you noted I just finished a new weird western book.  There's something else new in this one. I've used historical figures as characters. I have used historical figures for color before. Back when I wrote the Two Devils I used Virgil Earp [Wyatt's brother] to add a little color to the story. You can't go to Tombstone without the Earps. And I tried to add a little color by having Miles read the Epitaph, which I think is the coolest name for a newspaper in the history of the world.  The editor struck that and changed it to the less precise "newspaper". As in, he was reading the newspaper. where I wanted he was reading the Epitaph.   I am still sore about that change 14 years later.

With Fallen Angel  I had some brief interaction with Seth Bullock, who was the town marshal who replaced Wild Bill  Hickok after Hickok's creation of the term Dead Man's Hand to the card playing vernacular. But I also introduced an actual historical figure in the story as a major character. Ulysses S. Grant, appears prominently in the story.  Sioux chief Rain-in-the-Face also appears as a character. It is the chief who decides the capturing of a Martian might be to their advantage.

And there you go. Historical figures taking on little green men from Mars.  Ain't that something.

And that's why I like weird westerns so much.  As long as you tell an entertaining story and have interesting characters, you can pretty much go wherever you want.  It's as wide open as the Wild West.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Return of Miles O'Malley

Miles O'Malley was the vagabond barber from an 1880's world centered around California who was in my first novel The Two Devils, which debuted 14 years ago.   Miles encountered all sorts of paranormal activities, but his main nemesis was the Mayan god Ah Puch.  Well, he went on to fight Ah Puch and appeared in a few short stories.

Then last year a new character joined this California universe--Ling Fung, a traveller from China who also clashed with the Myan god Ah Puch. 

Anyway, I've been working on a new book set in this universe and I just completed it.  Miles is a few years older and he's at least a competent lawman now.  And that was my problem.  The book wasn't about Miles, it was about the angel Mabel, who also appeared with Miles 14 years ago.  I was all set to send it to a publisher when I realized this was really Mabel's story, not Miles's.  So I went back and drastically re-worked the story. It was Mabel, not Miles who was driving it.

So, I have now completed the re-worked book.  It's not long. I seem to be doing a lot of work in the novella range these days--which is a real bear to get published. Nonetheless, I have a publisher in mind.  

Miles is Federal Lawmen Miles O'Mally who carried what's know as the devil's gun--the gun that never misses. He's going to need it.  

But it's Mabel, a gorgeous redhead actual angel. The only thing is, she was one of the angels cast out of heaven along with Lucifer a long time ago.  It's her story.  And we also get to meet her sister who was also cast out of heaven.  

So, Mabel was just a love interest for Miles way back when.  She's now become such a strong character she pushed Miles aside and got me to go back and re-do the entire story.  

I don't know if people will like this new book. We'll see what the publisher thinks.  

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


 This dog goes into a bar.  The barkeep says "We don't allow dogs."
So the dog lifts his leg on one of the customers.
"I said we don't allow dogs."
He goes back and lifts his leg on the same customer again.
"Get out of here you mangy mutt."
"So, the dog goes over and lifts his leg on the customer for the third time."
"That's it. The barkeep picks up a large axe." The dog runs out the door.
"It's about time" a woman in a short skirt says. "That guy paid me a lot of money to do  that just across the street. I can't have the dog doing it for free."

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

All Mail

I'm still losing sleep at night wondering how come the post office mail slots no longer make you separate stamped and metered mail.  They used to. And there aren't any entries on the postal service website that explain why the policy changed.  

Give me your tired, your poor, your unsorted mail

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lyn's Thoughts

And New Zealand author Lyn McConchie shares her two cents worth on the latest edition of Science Fiction Trails.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Another review

Getting a review in a big city paper is something really cool.  Sure a website review is nice, but newspapers have far larger readership, even nowadays, than a typical web based publication.  The Sunday readership in the Arizona Daily Star [Tucson's paper] is around 360,000.  Whilst it's not the New York Times, that ain't bad. I am told the Star is the second largest paper in Arizona, following the Arizona Republic, which is a Phoenix paper.

Every now and then they focus their Sunday review section on local authors. Well, yours truly got a very nice review yesterday for Legends of the Dragon Cowboys, co-authored by Laura Givens. Since newspapers have cut back a lot on reviews, getting a book reviewed in a paper is something. So I was quite happy yesterday. 

The link follows if anyone would like to read it.  [Yes, they did mess up my name at the end].

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Maybe Mail?

Back in Colorado we used to have to separate metered from stamped mail if we mailed it at the post office. In fact, there was a slot for Priority Mail flats, one for metered letters and one for stamped letters.  I say Colorado--I should specify the Vail area.  I noticed on mailing something at a Denver post office it just said all mail and they didn't seem to care if you separated it.

Well, after I moved to Tucson I note that our local post offices all say "All Mail" and don't seem to care if it's separated out .  What I can't figure out is why the change?  Why don't they care anymore?

There once was a time when they wanted it put in two boxes--one for Local Mail and one for Out of Town. Those vanished a long time ago.  

Saturday, May 5, 2018


Happy Cinco De Mayo.
In celebration we thought we'd do a few Spanish lessons.

Stop dumping bodies in the back yard.

Deja de tirar cadáveres en el patio trasero.

Flying saucers are not allowed to park here.  Subject to fine.
Los platillos volantes no pueden estacionar aquí. Sujeto a multa

Bigfoots must obtain fishing permit before removing fish from stream.
Bigfoots debe obtener un permiso de pesca antes de retirar peces de la corriente.

Ghosts under 21 years old must not loiter in bar area.
Los fantasmas menores de 21 años no deben perder el tiempo en el área del bar.

Ghosts must not remove food from freezer. Food must be paid for before consuming.

Los fantasmas no deben eliminar los alimentos del congelador. La comida debe pagarse antes de consumir


Friday, May 4, 2018

No award

Well, the Nobel Prize in literature isn't going to be awarded this year. Dang. I was really counting on winning that.  

Seriously, the crap I write is not going to win a major award.  And, speaking of awards, editor David Boop had hopes one of  the stories in his anthology Straight Outta Tombstone  might take a Stoker Award. It didn't, although it did make the first round of balloting. I told him I didn't think a weird western book was going to win a major award. They're a little too far off the bell shaped curve [that's a statistical term showing how outlier data deviates from the overall population].

But times have changed. I remember a time not that long ago when no one even knew what a weird western was. I rarely have to explain them at cons and book fairs anymore. The fact one was voted on by the HWA membership and that very same anthology was briefly on the best seller list. Well, I think times are a changing.  And I take some credit for that. I've tirelessly pushed these things for the past 20 years. That's why I publish Science Fiction Trails.   That's why I try and get them on programming at science fiction and steampunk cons.  

A Nobel Prize to a weird western, now that would be something.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Libraries, like many of our beloved institutions, seem to be in decline.  As people get their information online, they have less need to go to a library.  Still, there a lot of people that still use libraries.  There are certain libraries  that I am particularly fond of as they carry some of my books in their collection.  I've heard writers bellyache about libraries because a hundred people or one--you don't get any additional revenue.  I think that's a shortsighted attitude.  When someone checks out one of my books, I'm thrilled.  That's a potential new reader of my other books or books not yet written.

The local library system here in Tucson has some of my books.  Quite a few of my books are in libraries back in Colorado. I used to be a Colorado author for those new to this blog.  There's one Colorado library that's picked up almost all of my books.  They have all of my weird western and related books that I edited or am the author of. Funny is, I never asked them to carry them. I don't really know how they found me.

Whilst I used to send announcements to libraries, the system in Colorado seems to be picking up my books based on reviews of some sort. I can't be sure,  but I sure appreciate it. I look at the availability of library books and smile when a book is checked out to somebody. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Killing Eve

There's this show on Sunday nights on the BBC Channel called Killing Eve.  It's just unbelievably good.  This desk bound MI5 agent suddenly gets reassigned to a special unit trying to track a shadowy assassin.  This is like a high octane spy movie such as the Borne movies, but the main character is this shadowy  female assassin. 

I have always liked stories with female villains.  Boy this one is on a level I have rarely seen.   I thought this was going to be just another ho hum British murder mystery, but it's way beyond that. Watch this show if you haven't.  There is nothing on Sunday nights even half this good.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


Still no word on a release date for Hotel Haunted.  My editing stuff is done. The cover is ready. But the publisher has not decided when it's coming out or at least has not informed me of when it's coming out.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Damned Ford

Well, as I understand it, Ford is getting out of the car business.  They're only going to make the Mustang and the Fiesta.  They've always been kind of a truck company that sells a few cars.  Now they've given up.  Cars aren't as profitable as trucks and SUV's.  Gotta have more profit.

I'm not happy. Almost every car I've owned was a Ford [that includes a Lincoln Continental  I once had]  I've had four Taurus cars and currently drive a Fusion.  So, unless I want to drive around in a gas guzzling truck, it looks like my next car will be a Toyota.  I'm not happy about this. Not happy at all.  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Go Away Waitress I'm Busy

I had lunch at the coffee shop I sometimes eat at yesterday.  They're just down the street from my eye doctor and my kidney specialist, so I stop by there sometimes. I actually started going there when I was doing physical therapy earlier this year.  Seems so long ago.

Anyway, I often sit at the back counter where the loser customers hang out.  Sometimes you overhear some fascinating things. As the snowbirds go back to whatever hellhole they came from and the college kids open their textbooks for the first time as they're starting final exams, the place is all but deserted.  Since there aren't many customers to talk about, I don't get to overhear what the severs think about them.  I still wonder what they say about me.  

My favorite server quit and left.  We had some interesting conversations. I miss her. But it is a high turnover business--amazingly high turnover.  I thought the hotels I used to work at were bad--nothing like the restaurant biz.  Old timers are measured in months, not years of employment. One common thread is low wages.  People just don't earn enough so it's hard to fault them for leaving.  .

So, to my surprise and delight a very attractive young lady seated herself at the counter. She had a very short skirt on and emerald green eyes.  She seemed to know one of the waitresses.  I gathered she'd just gone to the Grand Canyon Caverns. 

It's not easy for me to talk to total strangers. I'm actually rather shy.  But, this was different. "Hi, I couldn't help but overhear you went to the Grand Canyon Caverns."

She looked at me suspiciously. 

"I don't mean to bother you.  I'm a writer and I'm working on a book on haunted places in Arizona [true]."

She relaxed a little. "Oh?"

"Did you have any unusual experiences there? Strange apparitions, voices, feelings of being watched?" I asked.

"No." She said. "Nothing like that."

"Oh. Well, I've heard of things but never been there so I was curious," I said. 

Well, at this point I realized my food was consumed and hers was just arriving. I didn't want to be a pest. Yet, she was absolutely gorgeous even if she was ridiculously young for a geezer like me.  

"Are you really a writer?" she asked.

"Yes. I belong to the Horror Writers Association, we do the Stoker Awards, and to Science Fiction Writers of America." I handed her one of my writer business cards and told her I had edited a fiction book of haunted hotel stories that was supposed to come out in about two months, but was working on some non fiction.. At that point I departed and let her eat her lunch. I wanted to stay, but felt like I would be a pest  if I remained. 

Maybe she'll buy my book.  It did give me something to talk to her about, if only briefly. Her waitress friend seemed glad I finally left.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bryan forget me not

I kid you not. Read yesterday's post about my middle name of Bryan if you didn't catch it. . Last night I got a call from some collection agency looking for Bryan. I wondered if this was legit and someone had stolen my identity or at least the messed up identity being used by the medical world. Nope. The last guy who used my phone number was Bryan.  How's that for a coincidence.  And he's got a collection agency after him.

I hate collection agencies. They have a role to play--but they never seem to update their records. I'll probably get calls for Bryan for years. What will Bryan do next?  He must be a real person. It says so on my medical chart.

My name isn't Bryan dagnabbit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Who the Hell is Bryan?

I've mentioned before that I hate being forced to use my middle name.  It's on my health insurance, driver license, voter registration, the deed to my house and probably other things as well.  I have always wanted to be known as David B. Riley.  I have never wanted to be Bryan anything. Yet I have to put David Bryan R---- down on stuff like voter registration because that's what it says on my ID. Now my doctor's office has started calling me Bryan.  The health care worker came out to get me yesterday and called for Bryan. No one responded.  She went back into their inner sanctum, then returned a few minutes later and called for David.  I responded then--not that they won't do it again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fried Won Ton

There are many things that baffle me.  Around Tucson, hardly any Chinese restaurant offers fried won tons--especially the kind stuffed with meat.  A few have won ton soup.  I've never understood why that is.  If I want fried won ton the way you could readily buy it in San Francisco, I have to make it myself.  It just doesn't seem to exist around here.  There's some crab thing the restaurants seem to think is better and that's usually the only variant you can get.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Killer Bees

Bees are in trouble. Some scientists blame pesticides,  others think it's some kind of mite. But they clearly are in decline. I was trimming a bush in my yard yesterday--which has little purple flowers. I discovered a small bee hive growing inside it. And the bees were not happy that I was trimming the bush.  Okay, Plan B.  What is plan B? I've never had this happen before.  I put a cardboard box under the hive and knocked it down. I then placed said box in the trunk of my car.  I drove down the street to a large parcel of desert land and put the hive inside another bush.  There they won't be bothering anyone.  

The amazing this was I did not get stung.