Sunday, April 30, 2017


So much of my fiction is located in California.  That's mainly because I grew up there and am more familiar with that area than, say, Deadwood.  I have been to Deadwood, but only once and the town now is more of a tourist trap than the rootin tootin place of yesteryear.

I'm about to start reading for the next issue of Science Fiction Trails.  Based on past years, most of the stories will be set in some generic western town.  That gets depressing, but it's the nature of things.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snail Mail

My last post I rambled along about some changes in my life since moving to Arizona.  One thing I didn't mention was mail.  A large portion of central Colorado simply does not have mail delivery.  It doesn't exist. In spite of that, lost of companies and individuals insist on mailing to your physical street address. It will never be delivered.  That was always frustrating.  People who get mail in other parts of the country can't envision this. Yeah, we had addresses, but the Postal Service simply would not deliver to them.  

Well, we get mail where I live in Arizona.  A whole little parade roles out of the post office with carriers delivering mail.  We get our mail in cluster boxes--in my case two blocks from my house. I hear neighbors grumble about that all the time. Heck, I'm just glad I can actually get mail. It's all how you look  at it. 

My brother, who only lives three miles from me, actually has a mail box in front of his house.Those are becoming a thing of the past. His neighborhood has them, but most new neighborhoods are having to use cluster boxes.  It's all how you look at things.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

hotter than

I'm amazed that I've been living in Arizona for a year--or will have in a few more weeks.  I'd never had that much interest in the place.  Then, poof, I'm here.  Suddenly I have a house and worry about mule deer eating my young ash trees.  But here I am. I gradually figured out my way around town and can honestly say I haven't been lost in months.  All in all, things worked out well.  

Trout fishing isn't what it was in Colorado.  Still, I'm not worrying about slipping on ice.  I always had at least one bad fall on ice each winter and feared when I'd break something.  Now I worry more about snakebite--13 different species of rattlesnake and no waiting in the nearby desert. 

So, maybe I'll resume my quest to find haunted hotels in the coming months. I'm sure the ghosts would appreciate a cool glass of lemonade as much as I do. I never touched the stuff in Colorado. Now, I've grown quite fond of it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Two dermatologists go into bar

I had to go the dermatologist this morning.  Had to have a growth removed from my nose. I've had this recurring problem for a few years now.  New dermatologist.  Maybe it's some disease from Mars.  That would be cool.  Maybe it's some disease from germ warfare lab. That would also be cool.  I think it's going to turn out to be some low grade not too exciting variant of skin cancer.  I'll know soon and post an update.  

Back in the 60's the lunar missions came back and the astronauts had to go into quarantine.  And they walk on some sheet of plastic. And some guy came along and sprayed something on the  plastic to make everyone feel NASA had it under control.  Nobody worried we'd left poop and all sorts of other germ laden material on the lunar surface, just waiting to kill some unsuspecting moon men.  

Of course, if I'd been an astronaut, after we got o the surface, I'd have pointed at something the camera couldn't see and said "What's that? It's moving. It's coming this way. Arrgh." And then let everything be silent for a few seconds. "Ha ha!"  Boy, they'd be mad at me.  But I think that would be hysterically funny .  Overall, I don't think astronauts were all that funny.  Women wanted to sleep with them and men wanted to be them.  But I can't recall a single moon joke told by any astronaut. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Random thoughts on Taxes

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed tax day.  It was April 18th this year, yet I’m sure there were just as many late filers as in regular years.  That’s the problem with income tax–you have to file this rather intimidating form.  The plain form is not so bad, but some of the schedules are quite complicated. 

 And there are those vague area like Is nerve gas deductible?  Is it a medical expense or are you a member of Al Queda? The account replies with little reaction. Neither. I used it to gas the mule deer in my neighborhood. They were euked ‘em. We could’ve gotten some deductions out of that. 

Tree casualties

When I bought my house last summer I put in two ash trees. I added two more this spring. The yard was devoid of shade--a precious commodity in a town like Tucson.  Since my trees have been attacked by mule deer, who seem to like tender young tree leaves.  They damned near killed one of my trees.  So far, all trees remain alive. I put out some deer repellent yesterday. I have o idea if it'll work.  I'm not really allowed a fence under current HOA rules for our community. 

It's amazing when you take up some form of gardening, how defensive you get. I wasn't particularly interested in mule deer until they started attacking my trees.  Now I am obsessed with them. I now understand the hatred of the gopher in Caddyshack.  I would suddenly be the juror who would acquit the gardener who set of a case of dynamite and blew up the neighborhood to get some rabbit. yes, it changes your outlook considerably. The war goes on.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tree Attack

One of my new trees I recently planted in my back yard got attacked last night.  Mule deer seem to like tender new shoots of plants. If they keep at it, they're going to kill my trees.  These re vile, ugly creatures unlike Bambi.  We need longer hunting seasons.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holiday Savings

Our family, like many others, is planning a special meal this coming weekend.  I was looking through the ads from the major supermarket chains.  Amazing bargains are to be had.  The price for ham is nearly free at one store.  And pies can be had for nearly nothing.  The solution, it would seem, would be to go forth and purchase huge amounts of food, especially the non perishable stuff, and buy, buy, buy.  And then don't buy another thing until the next major holiday.  Save a fortune.

Alas, there aren't that many holidays when the stores open the floodgates of savings. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are the ones where you get major deals if you look for them and play their games of buying flour if you want a cheap turkey, as an example.  Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are more limited in their knock your shoes off savings--usually just hot dog and hamburger buns or possibly some watermelon or other summer fruit. So, fill your freezer with Easter savings and remember Memorial Day may not have quite the savings, but there will be countless mattress sales to make up for it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Story Coming Out

Haven't had much writer news in a while.  My move to Arizona put me back a bit.  Anyway, just got the edits for my short story "The Silo." It's about a man who is arrested, tried and convicted--only thing is no one will tell him what he was accused of. Don't have a release date. It's in an anthology edited by Carol Hightshoe called Incarceration

I also have a novella on the move, but nothing to announce just yet.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

White House Blues

“We’re clear,” the Secret Service agent said into his radio.  He moved back out into the hall. 

“Must’ve gotten away, sir. We’ll get him if he comes back.”

“You guys are the best.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

The Secret Service agent was finding the new administration certainly made graveyard shift more interesting. Sleeping was certainly becoming ancient history.  The agent went back down to finish his pie.

“I kept it warm for you,” the cafeteria lady said.

“That’s very kind of you.”

“What was it this time?”

“He thinks Barrack Obama was hiding under his bead.”

“Oh dear.”

“Well, last week he thought the former president was hiding in his shower.”

"I sure hope we get that wall built to keep him back in Kenya."

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mail Boxes

Why are mail boxes so darned complicated?  Yeah, the big blue ones  outside most post offices. Pick any box you like during the daytime and park nearby. It won't take long and some pathetic individual  will drive up to it.  Then that person will fumble around, seaming unable to figure out how to open their window.  Then they'll fumble around and seem unable to gather up their letters.  They will place them in the mail box one at a time.  At this phase it's not unusual for them to drop one. Then they will sit there for some inexplicable reason. Then they will struggle to roll up their window. Then they will try and start their motor even though it is already on. Mercifully, they will finally drive away.Try it for yourself if you dare.. These people always show up. They never let me down.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


One staple in story telling is the notion of loot or treasure.  I've sat on panels at science fiction cons and argued that a lot of the valuables in science fiction stories jut aren't that valuable.  For instance, take the Ferengi on Star Trek and their obsession with gold pressed latinum.  Here the latinum, which  is a liquid pressed into gold is supposed to be valuable.  Other episodes of Star Trek in its various renditions have featured mining and the same problem exists there. The problem, the replicator.  They turn any material they want into any material they want.  This would mean that nothing would be overly valuable in such a society.  A pile of lead can instantly become gold.  And, since we know replicators use the same technology as transporters, and since they regularly transport latinum, therefore they could replicate all they want.  Any commodity based wealth system would be obsolete in this environment.

I can punch similar holes in other cultures economic system if it's one I've heard of.  A number of places Dr. Who visits have equally dubious systems for controlling wealth.  Yet my real criticism with sci fi economics is the lack of banking, taxation and economics in future worlds. They just kind if dance around it and ignore the topic altogether.

And this brings me to my novel Bonded Agent, which features an insurance adjuster who lives on Mars. Sarah Meadows starts out selling insurance and then is selected for a special program that is a glorified insurance adjuster, but dealing with very large accounts for things like pirated cargo. Oh yeah, pirates, they like them in sci fi.  But how often  do you hear about the insurance company that made it economically feasible for the cargo to be transported through the perils of outer space? The answer, practically never.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pig Matic

Porky pig ain't got no pants on.
Petunia is just Porky in a dress.
Some artist has pig fantasies.
Hope he lives on a farm.

Porky pig ain't got no pants on.
He just hangs around bus stops.
Waiting for kids to get out of school
Here piggy piggy.

Porky pig ain't got no pants on
Mmmm pork.
The spare rib driver will be coming soon.
And Porky has run out.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Hardly any Walkers in the season finale of The Walking Dead.  That's why I love this show. They continue to surprise me.  One thing that didn't surprise me was Sasha. Saw that coming.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Comic Book Characters

It seems since Disney took over Marvel there are comic book movies everywhere.  Well, I'd like to recommend a few new ones. I'll wait by the phone for  Marvel to call. These characters are:

Gastro--can make people poop on command.  Who is really going to flee a crime scene or put up much of a fight while his pants are filling up with poop?  Especially the yucky green diarrhea kind.

Skunk Man has the same glands a skunk has and can let fly with that noxious smell anytime he wants.  Who needs kryptonite when you've got skunk spray?   

Tree Man can instantly become a tree to hide from any enemy. Just try and pick him out of a forest.  Then he can turn back to a human and run away.

Benjamin Franklin Man thinks he's Ben Franklin. He flies a kite that's equipped to lob an enemy's head off. It also attracts lightning for some reason.

Smokin Hot Babe likes to take bubble baths with aging writers.  Well, it works for me.