Saturday, March 31, 2018

A light bulb

My tail light on my car quit working. The bulb cost $2.97 at the parts store.  But I was too stupid to figure it out. I guess they want you to go to the dealer to get it changed. I took it over to my brother who figured it out and took about 15 minutes to fix it.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Bring forth thy juror

Well, yesterday I got a jury notice.  This one's from the United States District Court. Never got one of those before.  They pay better. I'll get $40 a day. Cheap ass State of Arizona only pays you $12 a day--that's in the indentured servitude range.    I've never been on a jury.  I've gotten notices, but I have never been put on a jury panel. Well, when I go I'll see if anything interesting happens. I doubt that it will.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

What's in a name?

I find myself frustrated because I'm being called names. More accurately, I'm being called a name that I do not like.  This may seem like a tiny matter, but it's starting to really bug me.  I go by, David B. Riley. That's what's at the top of this very blog. That's what's on the byline of all the articles, stories and books I've written.  I have never wanted to use any other variant during my adult life. The State of Arizona feels otherwise.  My health insurance records are all David Bryan Riley. My drivers license is David Bryan.  I am forced to register to vote as David Bryan  because that's what it says I am on my legal documents. All in allegiance to a grandfather I never met.  The title of my house on county records is under David Bryan... and the list goes on.

I've considered going to court to change it--but that's a fairly involved process.  Thus far I have not wanted to do it.  That seems to be the only solution.  Oddly, in many states, one can legally change their name with no formalities--they just use the name they want. Good luck getting the goons at the voting registration to buy into that.

The exceptions are, as already stated, my writing endeavors and in banking. Banks seem perfectly fine with David B.  and the nice folks at the IRS are fine with David B.  

But no one else does.  I guess I should count my blessings. At least no one stuck me with a bizarre name like Earth Unit or a dog name like Rex or a girl's name like Francis [Yeah, it's really a girl's name].

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

when is a book a book?

I've completed a book and am sending it off to a prospective publisher. As a work of fiction, it's a bit short.  My last fiction novel was around 75K words.  This one is only 55k.  It's a little bigger than a novella, but well short of what generally passes for a novel these days.  Rejection city? We shall see.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sore backs

The weeds in the lawn have been active lately.  Crabgrass and dandelions are particularly a nuisance right now. And m neighbors are out there pulling them up.  I don't.  I use propane.  It's so much easier. The flame just fries the weed in an instant and you move on to the next one.  I don't know why everyone doesn't fry their weeds with propane.           

Sunday, March 25, 2018

More garbage

Well, the company where the truck dumped garbage all over the place sent out a crew and they cleaned up things fairly well.  Apparently the computer on board went crazy and decided to dump the truck. The hold was full. Problem was, they weren't at the dump but on a city street. And we're going to have self driving cars on the road soon! 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Garbage stories

I've noticed readers of this blog love stories about garbage.  Doesn't everyone?  The company that picks up trash outside of our gated community is different than ours is.  A garbage truck was driving down the highway when it stopped.There was some godawful noise and the back doors flew open and the truck started dumping its load.  The driver couldn't stop it in time.

A day later there is still garbage all over the neighborhood.



Friday, March 23, 2018

Fight! Fight!

Well, a few days ago former VP Joe Biden said he'd like to kick Donnie Trump's ass.  Donnie twittered Biden would go down fast.  I sure wish they'd do it.  Have a fight.  Set up a boxing rink on the lawn of the White House and go at it boys.  I'd watch.  Heck they could make it a pay-per-view and use the money to pay down the national debt.  

They're both about the same age.  Donnie is bigger.  Where's Don King? Let's get this started.

Personal note: I'd love to fight Donnie.  I can't. I have some serious kidney problems, including the fact I only have one. A blow to my remaining kidney could kill me.  So I can't really fight him. I'm sure a fight with Joe would raise more money anyway. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hotel Haunted

Well, some movement  on the ghost story book Hotel Haunted, which I am co-editor.  The publisher now has some information on it, including a peek at the cover.  No release date yet. Brief description at the link below.





coming soon from Woolfsinger Pubs

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cons

A few days ago I was talking with a nice lady.  I mentioned I'd been to Wild Wild West Con, but that was the only Arizona con I was planning on going to this year.  She asked me what a con was.  These terms get in the vernacular and you suddenly realize what the hell is a con. I don't know. Duh.  I mean I know, but I don't know.  I had to mentally reconstruct the concept. Conventions. Yep, they're some type of convention. That one was a steampunk convention. I knew that. Everyone was running around complaining about corsets.  And some of them and science fiction.  Yep, those are the ones where there aren't any women and it's all middle aged men.  Yeah, I've been to those.  

Well, I eventually was able to explain the concept. But some cons move around and some do not. Gees. This was complicated.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Number Two

Wolfsinger Pubs has updated their web page and posted their top sellers for last year. my science fiction novel Bonded Agent was number two. Yay!    It was number one in its debut year, 2016.
Go Martians!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Legends Review

I find we got another review for Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  A web based review site called SF Reader liked it.  The URL is below if anyone wishes to read it.  Once again, they seemed to like Laura's novella slightly better than mine and I'm fine with that. Remember, this is not a novel--it's two novellas.

http://sfreader.com/r/book-review/alternate-history/legends-of-the-dragon-cowboys-by-david-b-riley-and-laura-givens/



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Raptors

In the past two months I've noticed the presence of a hawk in my neighborhood. I started calling him Henry for the Warner Bros. cartoon character.  He's a mighty good looking bird.  I've also noticed our local quail and jackrabbit population seems much lower lately.  I can't prove the coincidence, but one wonders. We had a ton of jackrabbits and now we don't.  

Two days ago I was over at my dad's house. We were sitting in his back yard.  I had noticed two doves were on his fence. He said they were there a lot lately. Then, poof, they were gone. I looked up and saw this big bird coming down. It adjusted course and flew off. The doves had avoided being eaten.  I went home and looked up what I'd seen.  It was a golden eagle. Wow. You don't see them in residential areas very often. But there it was.  

I went home and wanted to tell Henry about the eagle, but I didn't see him anywhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Giving talks

My recent participation at Wild Wild West Con was fun, as I've already mentioned.  Being a steampunk con, there were some things you don't experience very often.  In the middle of your presentation  an audience member announces, "Excuse me, I have to leave and get out of this corset."  You just don't hear that every day.

They must've been miserable to wear.  I suppose they wore them too tight as well.  


Friday, March 16, 2018

Electric Shock Thing

I am so sick of unwanted robo calls. They call me every day--blatantly ignoring the do not call registry. And why on earth do these people think I would buy their insurance or car warranty? I actually have a longstanding policy that I will not buy anything from or contribute any money to any cause where they call me--not ever. Yet I get calls every blasted day. And there is just no way to stop them.

I wanted to write a story.  I do that now and then. And my story would have a device where you could send an electro shock back to the phone solicitor and zap them.  Well, the story doesn't work and I gave up on it. But, if anyone comes up with such a device I would buy one--as long as it doesn't come from a phone solicitor.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Songs I'd Like To Hear

I fouled my britches on Blueberry Hill

I'm dreaming of a light Christmas

I've been slacking on the rail road

Mow mow mow your moat

I left some parts in San Francisco


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Great Minds

Word is Stephen Hawking has passed away.  I am too stupid to understand a lot of the stuff he worked with.  He clearly was one of those rare minds that simply does no come by very often. 

Dog Members

I had a weird dream the other day where they started putting dogs on the  Supreme Court because human would  not take the job.Not sure how dogs wrote opinions.

Monday, March 12, 2018

.Bird Poop

My car has bird poop on it. This is because two doves have moved into my carport area.  It's not near hunting season.  But there they be.  I can't hunt them but a large hawk that's moved into the neighborhood can.  It's probably hard to swoop down on them if they're under my carport.  And I'm rooting for the hawk, frankly.  I'm tired of the bird poop on my car and wish these blasted doves would go somewhere else.  


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Daylight Slaving Time

We do not have Daylight Saving Time here in Arizona [excepting part of Navajo Reservation].  It doesn't save anything. The earth still revolves around at the same speed. day and night do not change. The whole thing is a farce. In fact, tomorrow, the first workday, there will be an increase in traffic accidents. It would be nice if Daylight Savings Time went away. Thanks Ben Franklin--thanks for nothing.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Car don't work

The check engine light on my car abruptly came on yesterday.  The thing that bugs me is it never actually tells you what's wrong/ No, you have to go to a mechanic and pay them to download the code into a computer. If the thing would say my spark plugs are shot or the fuel filter is bad, then I'd know. I won't be able to find out until Monday what's wrong with the blasted car. 


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Costume Persona

On my recent trip to Wild Wild West Con, I note most of the participants were in costume.  I was not. Frankly, I go to so few steampunk conventions I've  never developed a look.  I guess I need to attend more conventions or I guess I could just steal an outfit off someone as they slept in a hotel room somewhere. Or I could stay home. That might be the better option.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Trash Command

Today is trash day. In my neighborhood it's a big deal.  You're supposed to have trash and recycling out by 7 am.   Alas, many on my neighbors don't put it out that early. On our street they rarely pick up trash until 10 am and recycling is often in the afternoon. Last week they came earlier and some folks got burned. They were worked up about it and complained to the homeowners association. They didn't get much satisfaction as the pickup rules are clearly posted on our community bulletin board and at the trash company's website.  My trash was out. I did not care.




Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Steamed

Well, I had a nice time at Wild Wild West Con.  Gave talks on three different topics. My 1897 Airship was very well attended with folks asking intelligent questions.  I love talking about that event. A very friendly group of people and a well run con.  The dealer area is a bit of a hike from the main area. I suspect they'd get more traffic if they were closer.  Hard to tell how many people were there--the steam crowd is intermixed with the general park visitors so you've got the folks in goggles and the regular folks wandering around together. [The con has certain buildings reserved for their events].   In general steampunk seems to be in decline. Steampunk had  a major impact on various genres, especially horror and fantasy.  Steam cons came  on strong, but now seem to be waining. I note Denver's Anomaly Con ceased operating after last year.  

I've had some bad experiences with cons lately. A lot of them have snubbed me.  Some just aren't much fun. This was a nice turn of events.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Roaring in?

They say March roars in like a lion and out like a lamb.  Well, around my house the wind is still roaring.  It's been excessively windy lately and I am tired of it. I wish they'd send this wind somewhere else. We don't have a bunch of wind turbines here, so we really do not need it.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Three Days of Steam

Off for three days of steampunk at Wild Wild West Con, as previously mentioned.  If anything interesting happens I'll post it here.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Gyp

I always feel gypped by February. It's just not much of a month.  What sort of fiend invents a month with only 28 days?  If February didn't have ground Hog Day, it would have no value at all.  

Well, that's no longer a problem.  Now we have March.  March never seems to know if it's winter or spring.  Sometimes it's nice, but most of the time it's windy and cold.  Which version do we get this year? Looking a lot like the cold and windy March.