Friday, October 19, 2018

Mile Hi Con

Well, I've survived day 1 of Mile Hi Con.  Yay!  By my count I've been attending this con for 13 years.  Was on a panel about food and drink in science fiction.  It went rather well.  Will try and update again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Libraries

One of the toughest places for an author these days is libraries.  They hold very few author readings--compared to days of old. And it's tough to get them to buy your books.  I realize they have limited budgets and all. I'm not complaining.  Actually, for some reason, the library in the Denver suburb of Jefferson County carries quite a few of my books--including the latest one, Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  I guess someone likes my stuff. I've never pitched them to buy anything. They just do.  I could use a few more libraries like this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cold

A cold front came through and dropped the temperature a lot.  It's probably down into the 70's right now.  Brrr. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Halloween Tree

I wonder if people actually have Halloween trees in their homes and exchange Halloween gifts. I do know that a lot of people in Tucson decorate their homes for the event. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Mile Hi Con

Next weekend I'll be at Mile Hi Con in Denver, Colorado.  I've spent a lot of my life in Colorado so it's almost like going home.

On Friday I'll be on a panel about food & drink in fantasy & Sf.  Saturday I'm on a panel about why stories get rejected. There's a mass autographing Saturday night and a late night reading. 

I plan to have some of my books on consignment in the dealer room with Who Else Books.  I will not be at my own booth this time. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Going to the store

I went to the store last night for dish washing machines soap.  It probably took longer to go get the soap than it would have to manually wash the dishes.  Problem is, I do not like to wash dishes. It's just so easy to rack them in my dishwasher and turn it on.  I guess I waste water doing that.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

If you could

Saw a thing on Facebook the other day. It asked if you could send a message to aliens in outer space, what would you tell them?  That's easy.  Need a ride. Will chip in for gas.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What if

What if aliens aren't grey beings with eyes of coal? What if they look like shrimp--big giant shrimp. Do we  get our favorite sauces and invite them over to dinner?  Come see our kitchen.  Or do we ask them to play chess?  I think dinner plans are more likely.  Of course, I don't like shrimp.



Tires

I'm hard on tires.  I seem to have too many wear out early and  replace more for blowouts  Such was the case yesterday, I had to get a flat fixed  as I ran over something.  I guess the solution would b to stay at home.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Well, it wasn't horrible

I caught the debut of the 13th Doctor Who.  I stopped watching the last series as I found it silly--even for British sci fi.  So my expectations were low.  Well, it wasn't horrible.  I guess I'll have to watch another episode before I decide if I like it.  

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Finally, the yard

The brutal heat of summer has finally faded off to Tucson's version of autumn.  It confuses trees.  They want to shed leaves, then discover they still have two more months of growing possible. This causes some trees to shed leaves twice  and others not to do it t all. My birch trees seem to dump leaves twice where my citrus trees don't even notice we don't really have winter  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Scare me?

Halloween is a coming.  What movies scare you?  It's easy for me. Only one movie ever scared me. I usually know what actors are going to say before they open their mouths and what they're going to do. That's why I go to so few movies.    

My movie. The Omen.  In many ways it's not all that scary-but there are certain scenes in that movie that scared the bejeebers out of me.     (The original. not the remake. )                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Uh oh

I painted my closet yesterday--the last remnant of my plumbing problems I had a while back. "It doesn't match," I was immediately told.

Really? Hmmm. Truth was, I knew that.  The paint I bought was on sale cheap. The paint they can match to the color was $16 more.  It's a closet. That's just good enough.

Book Stock

Some of our stuff from Science Fiction Trails went out of print at the end of September.  If you were planning on getting something that's no longer available  contact me and I may have a few copies. By quick as I'm taking most of my unsold stock to Mile Hi Con and hoping to sell it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

transportation

I've been tormenting myself about my upcoming trip to Denver.  It's not Denver that's the problem. It's getting there. One minute I want to drive, then next minute I want to fly.  . I really do not like flying, but driving takes a very long time. So I keep changing my mind.  Maybe I'll flip a coin.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Falling Star?

This has not been a good year for me as far as attending cons goes.  I was snubbed by quite a few of them.  I only ended up with two--Wild Wild West Con back in March and Mile Hi Con, which comes up later this month. I'm not sure what's behind my waning popularity.  And that certainly does not bode well for next year.

It's not all that clear attending these things does that much as far as promoting me the writer or selling my books.  Yes, I always sell a few books--but never enough to defray the costs involved.  

Mile Hi Con is one con I've attended for many years. I have friends I can catch up with and can usually find something interesting to do there. So, I'll go to Denver and try and figure out if I can find friendlier territory next year.  

On a related note, sales of my books have fallen sharply.  Alas, I don't have anything new out this year. The anthology I edited never came out and I haven't got any stories in any anthologies or magazines at all this year.

Maybe next year will be a little better. I just signed a contract for a new novella that will [hopefully] come put early next year.  It's my fist sale in quite a while.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sampling error

I set out to buy these ghost dog biscuits.  I wanted to try them for myself and just look at them.  Thus far I haven't been able to find any. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Only in America

I used to take the family dog trick or treating.  He loved it.  But he was the only dog out there amongst the kids--all dressed up in his costume.  So, I've come across ghost dog biscuits. They're like little ghosts. What I can't figure out is the target market.  Is it something cute to give fido. I assure you, they won't care if it looks like a ghost. 

Alternatively, since so few dogs go trick or treating it makes little sense there.  There are just damned few dogs who trick or treat.
                                                                                                                                  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Supremes

I am disgusted with what passes for a judiciary in this country.  I couldn't watch the hearings yesterday.  Why is every single nominee from Yale Law School?  Why can't they appoint someone of the common man?  They never nominate people from Oregon or Montana law schools.  I picked Montana as a Rocky Mountain region law school more so than any good or bad notions of the school. Oregon--well I went there but was not a law student.  

These people work hard. I'm sure they make good lawyers and judges.  But, lacking a silver spoon in their mouths, hey go to the supreme court and rarely to the Court of Appeals.  I think our appellate courts are becoming ever more elitist and farther and farther from the common man.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Our community

Our gated community has decided to have a dog park. There is some debate as to where to put it.  Dogs fascinate me. They can get so much pleasure simply by tossing a stick around,                                                                 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Then again, maybe the place was haunted

For reasons I may not understand  I was looking at a site on Google with pictures of some rundown ranch buildings long ago abandoned in the Livermore Valley, some considerable miles from Livermore, which is east of Oakland. I was surprised they were still there.

Well, I found myself reminiscing about a night I and two friends went out there. It was summer. I had recently graduated high school. We got there just after dark.  One of my friends felt something touch him within minutes.  All of us thought we saw movement in the shadows.  Then the door to one of the buildings slammed shut.  We decided to get out of there. The other friend tripped and broke his leg. Alas, though we considered leaving him there, we decided to take him to a hospital.

Well, that hospital thing took some time. And I finally got home twenty minutes after midnight. Of course my mother was sitting at the table, puffing on one of her cigarettes, glaring at me. I had a midnight curfew.  "Do you think you can stay out all night?" she asked. Before waiting for an answer, she reminded me I wasn't 18 yet. [Still had about a week to go].  And that was about it.

I really don't know what debauchery my mother had thought I'd been up to. I doubt whatever it was had any basis close to the actual adventure.  I made no effort to tell her what I'd been doing, including sitting at a hospital for nearly two hours. 

And that is how I got interested in haunted places.

Monday, September 24, 2018

now I've seen everything

Well, now I've seen everything.  They've actually got ghost shaped dog biscuits.  Are they supposed to scare the doggie and get him to flee his food dish?  "Oh, my dog biscuits are white now? Not bad. Yum. Give me more, please and I'll make you think I like you."

Actually, I used to take my dad's dog trick or treating.  He got a lot of goodies.  I could see, as more dogs get in costume and go trick or treating, where these ghost dog biscuits could be fun. Just don't delude yourself that fido get's the ghost concept.

Of course, Zeto got really into Halloween.  He got goodies and I even made him costumes to wear. When he saw me carving the pumpkin he got really excited--even more so than when the Christmas tree went up.  This Halloween stuff was for him.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

big evil bank

So, as I said the other day, my reporting my lost credit card was was with no hassles.  Yesterday the Fedex driver handed me a replacement card.  Well, it was in an envelope, not  just a loose card. In this era of atrocious service, I was impressed.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Kredit Nightmare?

Lost a credit card yesterday. I think I may have dropped it.  Alas, I dreaded the call.  The last time I called a credit card company I got some horror of a call center in India and a moron named "scooter."
Well, this time it was fully automated. It was simple and easy.  No waiting on hold or any frustrations.  I was impressed.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yeah, right

Well, more info out there on the mysterious closure of Sunspot.  They're now saying that some janitor was being investigated for having a fondness for kiddie porn.  Yes, worth looking into--but close the place down. No way.  They were preventing people from seeing something.  

Seeing what?  I don't know. Either something was refuelling at the sun or space aliens landed at Sunspot.  That's all I can come up with. This is as feeble a story as the crashed "weather balloon" from Roswell.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

No details

It would appear the aliens that landed at the Sunspot solar research facility are gone now. Still can't get any juicy details.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bookz

Over at Science Fiction Trails, where I am publisher, I took some of the older issues off the market.  They don't sell anymore and I decided it was time to move on to other things. If anyone wants a specific issue they don't see on the market email me and I'll check and see if have any copies left.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tis highly strange

The social media that I get have been abuzz about what happened at Sunspot, which is a solar research facility over in New Mexico.. The place was mysteriously closed after a bunch of FBI agents showed up.  Theories range from crooked employees are being investigated for embezzlement to the place was invaded by space aliens.  Mainstream media had ignored this story.

Well, I'm hoping for aliens. No matter what the cause, if I hear anything I'll pass it along here--no matter hoe preposterous.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pickles

I went out to lunch today.  I ate at a local diner.  I don't like pickles.  I usually sit at the back counter where all the other losers sit.

So, this dreadful woman came in and plopped down beside me.  She started farting.  She's farting and talking to somebody on her right, I being to her left.  When her food came--waffles and eggs. I tossed my pickles on her plate.  Low and behold, she actually ate them, it never seeming to occur to her that pickles don't come with waffles at this establishment and that some evil person had dropped them on her plate.

There must be a plot for a mystery thriller in there somewhere?  I don't really like mysteries. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Notes on hurricanes

Note to networks--get an avatar and put him out in front of a hurricane on some beach.  All these beaches look alike.  Just tell people he's at wherever. No need to send actual film crew. Save lots of money.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Note to moms

I don't think I made any new friends yesterday.  Standing in line at the post office I discovered Megan had a rare treat in the for of a day off from school [don't know why.]   Story goes on from Mom, Megan usually had to ride across town to some distant school.  I asked why the local school was inadequate.  Apparently the other school is better. I know not why.  "Will she be any less a dullard at the other school? I asked. Long two minutes until s window clek was available.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Scary strange

My 9-11 posting got screwed up and came out on Science Fiction Trails Blog. And nothing came out on this one this morning.  It was a horrible day.  And I guess that's all I can really say about 9-11.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Magic Pills

It seems everyone and their dog is selling some magic pill that cures every malady imaginable and some I'd never even dreamt of.   I should get into the act and sell one. Dave's Pills.  What would they do? They'd make date night special. Yes they would.  I want a pill that gives people diarrhea--no a laxative but a sure fired poop in the pants.  Then I'll live on some James Bond type of island and sell people pills.  And the people will poop their britches.  Enough with pills.  

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Damned doves

I've had problems with doves hanging underneath my carport pooping on my car and stuff.  Those fake owls don't seem to work much.  I got myself a rubber Black Momba.  I put that thing down on the ood of my car and the doves are history.  But what do you do with a rubber black Momba once the nuisance has been abated?  I'm getting a new hot water heater put in. i guess I could coil the snake up at the base of the water heater. That would shock somebody.  Plumbers charge moree than doctors--better not give them an excuse to up the bill.  



Friday, September 7, 2018

The Cold War and that Nuclear Stuff

Well, I just learned my brother has just published a book on the Cold War and that nuclear stuff.  Had no idea he was doing it.

Critical Masses: The Early Cold War and the Public Eye

 Michael J Riley 





Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hearing Voices

There's something odd about hearing voices in the middle of the night when you're not used to that. Where's it coming from? Who is it? Am I in danger? I live in a very quiet neighborhood miles out in the desert and well away from the chaotic goings on of the City of Tucson.

About ten o'clock last night I could hear voices outside my house.  Looking out the window, I could see nothing.  I elected not to go outside and investigate.  I may never know what I heard.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dead tree

I dug up my pine tree yesterday. It's quite dead.  I don't know why it died. It got plenty of water--if there is such a thing in the sonoran desert.  The roots established themselves. I couldn't pull it out of the ground. It just died.  

Not sure what, if anything, I'll replace it with.

Monday, September 3, 2018

lightning

Boy, quite a light show last night.  Lightning and hail for quite some time. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Social Media?

I've never been all that wild about Facebook. I use it as there  are some folks who only communicate on FB and I'd lose all touch with them otherwise. That doesn't mean I like it.  Case in point: Yesterday I responded to a rolling conversation Do you think ghosts live in two dimensions? I said yes.  Well, I got this hot comment about there's no such thing as ghosts. And then this guy tracked me down on my personal email and blasted me again.

I have as much of a right to opinion as this guy does.  Simply put, they say you never really believe in ghosts until you've encountered one.  I've worked at two haunted hotels. I've encountered a few different types of entities.  I don't entirely understand it--but they sure as hell exist. 



Saturday, September 1, 2018

Money From Beyond

Dear Fortune Cookie Company:

Six months ago you gave me a fortune cookie that said I would soon receive a great deal of wealth.  Well, nothing has arrived yet. I am very disappointed.

You pal,

David

Friday, August 31, 2018

New Doc

Met my new doctor yesterday. He's a really nice man.  A few of my lab results were a bit off--not really serious, but something to be monitored.  I guess, for a decrepit old geezer, I'm not doing too bad.  As I've mentioned before, I only  have one kidney and have to keep an eye on certain things as I'm vulnerable to certain health problems.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sno Balls

I guess people didn't like my snowball comment yesterday.  Whilst commenting about the changing weather, I may not have been clear about the Snowball connection.  Hostess makes these cake snacks called Snowballs. They're the ones with the coconut icing and gooey center.  They change the color every now and then. Every time they do, I'll buy one. After Halloween they usually go to white. St. Patricks day is green. A lot  of the year they're pink. Every color change I buy a package.

And orange reminds us of Halloween and autumn.  As the seasons rotate, to colors of Snowballs change.

snowballs from a different time of  year



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Fall is in the air

Ah, the seasons are changing.  There's a sense of fall in  the air at night  My biggest indicator of autumn is the Hostess sno balls in the stores turn orange about the start of September to remind me Halloween will soon be here.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Delivering stuff

People are getting lazier as they have everything delivered.  Grub Hub and similar services go beyond simple Domino's and offer the delicacies of nearly every restaurant.  When I was growing up, they didn't deliver nothing--except for furniture.  

The one thing that was delivered was something no one seemed to want.  They had this weekly publication called the Dollar Saver.  It was distributed around Hayward, CA.  I delivered them for a while.  Back then there was a cannery that processed tomatoes at harvest time.  The cannery is long gone–the land now holds a Costco. But my memories remain.

Perhaps the oddest thing was one afternoon I was on the porch delivering a copy and I cut a colossal huge fart. Well, I headed back for the sidewalk and the door opened up. She got her copy and said "They must be cooking up something good." referring to the cannery. Yep, the chili dog I had for lunch. Lady I can come over if you like the smell of my farts and make it a regular thing.

Then there was the guy sitting in his living room. He had no pants on and was sitting in a chair jerking off.  Me, well I'd close the drapes.  You don't forget something like that.

I eventually found other uses for my time than delivering advertising to people's porches. But, think about this:  How many people worldwide are sitting in a chair jerking off at any given moment?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Secrets

I don't know who you get your entertainment from these days.  Look for A Very Secret Service if you get a chance.  It's set in 1961, a year you may not remember.  

It's a spy spoof.  But they've done an amazing job of getting the look of the era.  These French spies are more concerned with getting their forms properly stamped and their bonuses than doing spy stuff.  The quality of the way that've done this is amazing

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Hmmm

I sometimes wonder if anyone even reads this blog.  I suggested women be given the right to vote and nobody said a thing about it.  I guess folks don't take this thing too seriously and that's good. Tuesday is still primary day and I really do hope people will vote.  You get corrupt politicians like Donald when voters stay home and that is not a joke.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Democracy

In Arizona the primary election is next Tuesday.

I have decided after considerable thought, the time has come to give women the right to vote.  I know some of you are gritting your teeth and muttering "They'll want to drive, next."  There is no proof that women will do any worse than men in voting for Donald.  

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Uh,just a minute

So, what is it, five? Five of Donald's closest former advisers are now convicted felons.  But there's nothing to this investigation. All is well?  Even the Nixon Administration wasn't this corrupt.

I should go into politics and get bribes and stuff.  Ethics and integrity don't seem to matter anymore.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Taking out the trash

One thing I've noticed since relocating to Tucson is how many different trash companies there are.  I'm actually not sure how many there are.  Some just process commercial dumpsters, whilst others focus more on residential.  The company that picks up my trash does not pick up my father's garbage even though he only lives two miles away.  Those of us outside the City of Tucson get different trash service than the one provided by the city. It just doesn't seem very efficient.

And some companies pick up the recycling the same day as the trash--mine does this. Others pick up recycling on different days.  I've never lived anyplace like it.  We certainly did not have such options in Colorado.  


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sleep

I don't get a solid night's sleep--haven't in years.      So, last night I plopped d  asleep.       Yay. I don't know why, but I will take it. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Monday, August 20, 2018

sodden unfortunates

I was having lunch at a local chain Mexican restaurant [not Taco Bell, I don't eat there.]  Anyway, some really filthy bum comes inside and, thankfully, places a to go order.  He gets his burrito and goes to the front door, whereupon he freezes up.  There was a police car in the parking lot. Our sodden unfortunate likely had warrants.  After a few minutes the police were gone and  our bum left the facility to likely go to the dried up river nearby to consume his burrito.

What have we learned today?  I seem to love the term sodden unfortunate.  This guy was sodden and filthy even by bum standards.  Even bums contribute to our economy by buying things with the money they get from panhandling and whatever else they do. We have an amazingly high concentration of bums in Tucson.  If you live in Tucson and don't like someone, print up flyers with that person's name and address and put down free meals for the homeless Sunday [or whatever day]. Hand them out in the local parks. hundreds of people will show up.   I've never tried this concept because it's too evil--even for me. But it seems like something that would work.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Yard work

Because of our summer rains we've had a lot of plant growth and weeds.  It's been a battle to keep up with them.  Well, I'm off to the hardware store to get some more propane.  I prefer to burn weeds off rather than use poisons.  Some of those defoliants may come back and kill me some day.  That's what you get by owning your own home.  


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Another Dog Movie

Alpha is coming.  It's another dog movie.  Well, I guess it's more of a wolf movie.  I don't know.  I dread dog movies. I always seem to start crying. That is not the image I want to portray.  The last dog movie I saw in a theater some time ago was Ten Below. These sled dogs were abandoned at the south pole.  I was crying when it ended and vowed never again will I go to a movie in a theater.

There have been other times. It goes back to my childhood. They killed the yellow doggie in Old Yeller.  

Of course I'll go and see it.  Then I'll swear off these movies until another one comes out.  

I'm a sucker for dog movies.  Although I did not care for the poor use of the dog in Cowboys &              Aliens.  The dog was okay, I just don't think the director used him very effectively.  But that's not a dog movie but a dog acting role.

After Old Yeller, at some point we saw White Fang in school as I recall.  My eighth grade English teacher was a huge Jack London fan.  Odd for a Brit.  At some point I saw Call of the Wild.

And so on.  They taught us lies in schools back then.  They told us dogs were canis familiaris.  in science class. They're not. They have the same genes as the wolf. They're all canis lupus.   

So, I'll go and see Alpha.  I can't help myself.  There are two types of movies I can't resist. Dog movies and submarine movies.  A sub movie with dogs for a crew--that would be something. 

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

Storms

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

Hungry

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

Service

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

Why?

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,

Dave



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

Snuberoo

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

Novella

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

Poop

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.

https://davidleesummers.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/good-art-by-bad-people/#comment-3813

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

Construction

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

rain

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.
                                               http://www.spacewesterns.com/articles/7/

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

plumbing

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

Discounts

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

Invasion

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

fortune

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.

Sincerely,

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

Rain

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

wordsmith

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

Westercon

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

Jury

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.