Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Garbage vigilante

The condo complex I live at has a bin for co-mingled recycling.  But they don't take plastic bags, which can't be recycled, at least not by the recycling company we use.  There are signs everywhere that say no plastic bags.  Yet a certain strain of idiot resident keeps dumping their recycling in plastic bags. I just don't understand these people.  But I am resigned to the fact that until we have android cops that will kill violators, there's nothing I can do about it.  

Now, some of the bag idiots have a new tactic.  They just leave their bags of recycling in the parking lot and don't even put it in the bin.  Kind of defeats the spirit of recycling.  So, imagine my pleasure when I observed the culprit in action--just dropping the bag of cans and bottles right in the parking lot. Well, those folks are going to get a surprise the next time they use their barbecue grill.  It's packed full of their recycling they should have disposed of properly.  A petty little world, but my world nonetheless.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Eggs, part 2

Of course, in addition to the hard boiled eggs, you often get candy eggs for Easter.  I'm particularly fond of those ones that are filled with peanut butter.  And you get those chocolate rabbits as well.  Most of those chocolate rabbits are of such poor quality they can keep them.  And there's the jelly beans that look like rabbit turds.  What the heck was the Easter Bunny thinking?

But one of my biggest quandaries about the Easter Bunny is how this rabbit gets and distributes all this stuff?  Unlike Santa Claus, who has a toy factory and an army of elves, not to mention a reindeer-powered sleigh, the Easter Bunny apparently just lugs the goods around somehow. Well, okay, I guess. 

But, let's go back to those yummy peanut butter eggs.  The store has been selling them for around 60 cents since they came out. Now, the week before Easter, they want a dollar for one egg.  I don't know what the bags of them are going for.  I haven't looked.  I just hope the Easter Bunny is not a lat minute shopper. That's a forty percent price gouge.  Yikes.

And I guess that's about all I have to say on Easter.  It's not as bad as most holidays.  You get candy and eggs, but not as good a mix of goodies as Halloween.  The Great Pumpkin still has better suppliers than the Easter Bunny.  And, I don't know what the deal is with girls and those new dresses they get for Easter.  And, what's with the ham for supper?  We always had ham for Easter supper.  I never knew why.  Did the Easter Bunny just like to eat pork?  Don't recall much mention about Jesus eating ham, either. Never did figure that one out, either. I mean, I don't really have a problem with ham, just wondering why so many folks eat ham for Easter.

So, next Sunday have yourself a nice Easter.  I'll probably be working.  And that's just as well, because the Walking Dead season ends tonight and they won't have anything on TV that I want to watch and I sure as heck won't be eating any hard boiled eggs [see part 1 on that].

Friday, March 27, 2015


I was flabbergasted to see an article in the paper about how to plan an Easter egg hunt. You just take eggs and hide them, then give kids a basket or a paper sack.  That's it.  What the hell is there to plan? Who needs an article? When I was little, I always loved hunting for Easter eggs.  It was fun.  Now, my brother was younger than I was and he had to get the easy ones, which was fine with me as I liked thinking in three dimensions and looking up on tree branches and the top of the back yard gate and such--he was welcome to the ones in the dog's water bowl [honest, there was one in the dog's water bowl once, the bowl being empty].  

Then, after I was all grown, there was an Easter egg hunt at a neighbor's house.  I snuck into their yard and left a dozen eggs in addition to the stuff they'd put out.  I always wondered if they ever noticed the miscount.  Probably not.

Of course, I don't eat hard boiled eggs.  I did back when I was egg hunting age.  But, in the fourth grade, I was given a hard boiled egg in my lunch by my grandmother.  It was a rotten egg--literally.  I got so sick from eating it that I still cannot eat a hard boiled egg to this day.  So, if I go to an event that has hard boiled eggs or variants like deviled eggs--forget it.  Not gonna happen.  They aren't going down the hatch.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

By the numbers

I was cleaning up some old files and I started looking at the contracts for the last five issues of Science Fiction Trails, which I used to edit.  These are stats for accepted stories rounded to nearest 5 percent:
Colorado 40%
Texas 15 %
Foreign countries 15%
California 5%
Washington 5%
Utah 5%
all others 15%

Percent of writers who had previously published in SFT or one of my anthologies 90%

Most popular states for buyers [direct sales from publisher]
CT  25%
FL   20%
CO   20%
TX   15%
WA  5%
IL     5%
all others 10%

What's it all mean?
Don't know, but sales and author origins do not have anything to do with where the population is.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I've been battling a relentless cold the last 4 days.  I have hardly been ill at all in ages, so I'd almost forgotten what nasty horrible symptoms colds can do--almost.  When I was little, I used to get colds constantly.  Only, what my mother thought were colds were actually allergies.  As I got older, I learned the difference.  What I've been dealing with ain't no allergy.  It's a cold and a really nasty one at that. Ah choo!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


In my role as publisher of Story Emporium: Purveyors of Steampunk & Weird Western Adventure, I get to buy the art for the  covers.  Well, we just got the cover art in  for our debut issue and it is absolutely gorgeous.  Editor J. A. Campbell advises she's getting some really good stories.  So,  things are starting to shape up for our first issue.  Of course, it's just a first issue under our new expanded format--we've put out Steampunk Trails and Science Fiction Trails for some time, so we're not exactly rookies at this.  Haven't decided on a cover art reveal date, but it's probably not far off.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Holiday blues or greens in this case

Happy St. Patrick's Day To You!

Don't really have much to say on St. Patrick's Day.  It's a holiday I used to like, but I now see no purpose in it. Like most holidays, it just serves commercial interests selling greeting cards and beer--especially the latter.  Most people think St. Patrick was a Leprechaun   He wasn't.  But that's what they see on all the ads and cards.  By the way, beer is not supposed to be green.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pissing folks off

If you are inclined to piss off people, here are a few sure fired ways to do it.  First, if you drive by a hitchhiker with his thumb up stick your thumb out the window and turn it down. This really infuriates them.  Some of these people get so mad they're jumping up and down.  Some years ago my roommate and I were driving along the interstate and I stuck my thumb out and turned it down as we went by a hitchhiker. He was jumping up and down and cursing.  And, about ten minutes later, a van pulled up alongside us.  It had that hitchhiker in the passenger seat.  He started shaking his fist at us and cursing.  I stuck my hand out the window and gave him the finger. Then we sped off.  Well, out of curiosity, yesterday morning I was curious if that still worked.  I gave a thumbs down to a hitchhiker.  Yep. It still works.

Now, if that's not your cup of tea, you can call some guy an asshole.  In some states like California that will barely garner a response.  But if you up to Wyoming and try that, they'll want to fight you over it. Ergo, have an escape route planned.

Don't like that one, either.  Well, if someone's driving a pickup truck, toss some fast food garbage in the bed while you're both stopped at a red light.  That really seems to piss off these guys.  Lots of people dump garbage in truck beds when they're parked, but few have the guts to do it when the driver is in the truck.  I've found there's often a few seconds of disbelief that somebody would be so outrageous, which gives you a chance to start your getaway.  

If you don't like any of these, then you're probably not somebody who should go around pissing people off.    

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Walking Dead Game

Any regular reader here knows I just love The Walking Dead TV series.  Apparently, I'm not the only one as Colorado Lottery has a Walking Dead scratch game.  Well, I finally bought a ticket yesterday.  They're $5 and I won $20, so I made $15.  I never win anything.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I hardly ever play the lottery, but this was too good a gimmick for me to pass over.  Will I play again? Probably not--I really never win anything and don't usually play these scratch games or buy lottery tickets.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I don't know if this is a Colorado thing, but some people planning a wedding wanted  a ranch fountain. I've heard of chocolate fountains, but this was a new concept.  Yes, I'm talking about ranch salad dressing. Around these parts, if you call a pizza place and order a salad there's a good chance it'll come with ranch dressing already on it and they'll never even ask you if that's what you want. Heck, a local Chinese restaurant serves you a ranch salad with their lunch special.  The stuff is everywhere. What I find myself wondering is why?  I grew up in California. I swear I do not recall ranch dressing as being all that popular back then.  It's possible I was simply so out of it that I didn't notice.  It's also possible that ranch has simply surged in popularity since my salad days back then. Ha ha, salad days.  All I know is I don't particularly care for ranch dressing and am baffled by its popularity.  Frankly, I'll take a nice vinaigrette or some thousand island any day. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blue People

I was recently asked if I could engineer people to be any color I wanted, what color would I make them?  I think I would make them blue.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

garbage thieves

There's a saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure.I guess that's true.  I've lugged around a collection of cartoon character glasses for years.  I've watched their value drop and drop.  About half of my collection is nearly worthless.  With glass items, conventional thinking is they appreciate in value. No so with my collection.  They're worth far less now than they were even ten years ago.  I've tried selling them on eBay. They cost more to ship than folks are willing to pay.  So, I took them over to the thrift store. They wouldn't even take them.  So, I tossed the box in the trash dumpster yesterday. This morning, the box was still in there but the glasses were gone.  So somebody saw them and climbed into the dumpster and took them.  That's okay.  I threw them out.  If I had known anyone who wanted them I would've given them to them anyway.  But, as to why someone would climb in a disgusting trash dumpster for some glasses even the thrift store doesn't want,  I cannot say.

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Story

I have a new story out in Tales of the Talisman 10-3.  "The Sleigh Maker" is set at the North Pole and is about what happens when Santa looks into modernizing the toy distribution operation. It's available from Amazon or direct from the publisher. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What do they teach these people?

A couple of nights ago the housekeepers left a vacuum out in the hall at the hotel I work at [my "day" job]. Since there was some spilled hot chocolate powder I vacuumed it up.  As the vacuum cleaner was a Hoover, I mentioned to two teenage girls in the lobby that J. Edgar Hoover invented the vacuum cleaner. They had no idea who J. Edgar Hoover was--no idea whatsoever. I told them he invented the FBI. and the vacuum cleaner and Hoover Dam near Las Vegas was named for him.  They had absolutely no idea who he was.  What the heck do they teach these kids in school?

Now, some folks who may not read and remember every useless posting I convey here may think something is askance with the first paragraph.  Well, I know that.  I've long had this strange fascination with J. Edgar Hoover.  I've even insisted he and famed writer Edgar Rice Burrows were the same person.  Look at pictures of both of them some time.  Hoover Dam was named after Herbert Hoover, actually.  I know all this, yet I compulsively  insist it was J. Edgar Hoover. I guess I do this because it amazes me at how many people I seem to convince it was J. Edgar who accomplished all this. Actually, some guy named James Spangler invented the vacuum cleaner. He later sold the invention to some guy named Hoover, completely unrelated to J. Edgar Hoover. I know all this. But how can I convincingly  say J. Edgar did all this when these kids don't know who J. Edgar Hoover was? This is getting tough.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Late Winter Special

Now through the end of March  get half off the ebook version of Six Guns Straight From Hell 2.  That's for the Smashwords edition and only from smashwords. Just go to the link below, then use coupon code   AH54S    Heck of a deal!!!



I note all of the spring products showing up in the stores, although they say there's less imported crap from China than usual due to the slowdown at west coast ports.  It's always funny looking at lawn chairs when there's a blizzard outside.  In the mountains of Colorado there is plenty of winter still to go. We had about a foot of snow just yesterday.  Kind of makes me wish I had one of those Hawaiian print shorts to run around in about now.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Taking inventory

People encounter various things in life.  Some people encounter various paranormal phenomena. In my own case, I've never seen a Sasquatch.  I've never seen a flying saucer.  I have encountered ghosts.  And I have seen ball lightning. There are still people who don't believe ball lightning exists.  In fact, I think there's more resistance to ball lightning than ghosts.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


I found a quarter yesterday.  Finding money, even modest amounts, always makes me happy.  What I can't seem to figure out is why I only find pennies  and quarters. I never find dimes or nickels--not ever.  I really don't understand why that is.