Monday, December 31, 2018

Collaboration is not a bad word

It's no secret that I have a working relationship with the folks over at Hadrosaur Productions. They currently publish the double novella book Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  This features Ling Fung and the Mayan god Ah Puch and is set in an 1880s California and is the same world some of my other weird westerns take place in--including The Devil Draws Two which features my Miles O'Malley character. 

In that same world we catch up with Mabel, although we first hook up with her a little earlier than the other stories as she tags along with General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War. Mabel is working as a photographer.  It was actually not uncommon for women to work as photographers and reporters during the war as able bodied men were almost all conscripted into military service.

Hadrosaur  will be publishing my new novella Fallen Angel and publisher David Lee Summers' blog has the first official description about the book.  This story centers around Mabel, who we've seen before but never to this detail, and her nutty sister. After the war Mabel teams up with Miles O'Malley in San Francisco and discovers the Martians have plans for earth.  And Mabel's sister seems to be teaming up with the Martians.  

When the book is ready for release I'll have more information.  In the meantime check out Summers blog as he not only describes my book but some other projects Hadrosaur Productions are planning for the new year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Obligatory year in review

At the end of the year it seems we have to reflect on the year that was for some inexplicable reason.  For starters, I had very little published. I edited a book that was going to be called Hotel Haunted. Well, the publisher never published it. The contributing authors are withdrawing their stories so it looks like a dead project.

I wrote a weird western novella called Fallen Angel, but it won't be out until March or so of next year. That means one big goose egg--not one story or book published in 2018.  I hope the new year will be more productive.

On a related note, I only attended two cons in 2018, Wild Wild West Con and Mile Hi Con.  I had been attending around four per year.  It was not really up to me. A number of cons I approached snubbed me.   I get a lot of that and I am not sure why.  

A lackluster year, pretty much.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


Went to the doctor yesterday.  My warranty has sure run out.  Now I have a new health problem--my thyroid is acting up.  The good news is the doctor gave me some medicine and it's not all that severe.  The bad news is it's just another health problem to contend with.  

Friday, December 28, 2018


Smahwords is having a sale on my book Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.   You can get half off, as I understand the offer.  This is two weird western novellas--one by me and one by Laura Givens.  This is  a really good deal. Of course Smashwords is an ebook distributor. The print copy is not included , but can be purchased from bookstores.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I do wonder one thing about Christmas.  How many families give their dogs presents?  Our golden retriever got really excited when he saw people wrapping presents.  He reacted with joy when the Christmas tree went up. Of course he had a present under the tree.  And he always knew which package was his.  He wouldn't mess with it, but he'd go by every now and then and check on it, taking a sniff--probably already knowing what it was.  In his case it was a dog toy of some sort. There was a soccer ball he was particularly fond off. One year he got a plastic pork chop that made a squeaking sound. And  you had to do on Christmas was hand him his present. He was quite able to tear it open on his own.  Then he would run around and show everyone his new toy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Sleigh Maker

The Sleigh Maker
David B. Riley

  Simon turned off the acetylene welder and removed his goggles. That was the last weld. A year’s worth of work finally done. Except for the paint, of course. He’d do that tomorrow. He caught some motion out of the corner of his eye. That damned Blitzen was looking in the window again. Simon shook his fist. “Go on, get out of here!”
  He turned out the lights and made sure the heavy gauge steel door was locked, then he headed home for the night. As the Chief Engineer, he had a private cottage all to himself. It was a considerable improvement over the barracks of the toy makers. But his accommodations did not really matter. It was all about tomorrow. Tomorrow everyone would be talking about Simon Thomas Tinker.
 Traditional red or a nice shade of blue? He fell asleep thinking about wonderful colorful paint.

  The boss was munching on a piece of gingerbread as he looked over a letter from a Thea Wilson of San Francisco, California, Young Miss Wilson was extolling on her exemplary behavior during the previous year. She wanted some model of submersible ship, Nautilus, envisioned by Mister Jules Verne, which she claimed could be obtained from the Emporium store in San Francisco for an astronomical price. And it apparently had working hatches and such.  This seemed an odd request for a young girl. He took a sip of coffee. “Give her a rag doll,” he declared.
 “Uh, I don’t think she likes dolls,” Elf Randy replied.
 “All girls like dolls,” the boss insisted.
 “Not this one,” Elf Randy argued.
 “Put her down for those creepy looking ones. We’ve got tons of those to get rid of.”
 “Sir,” Elf William was saying, “it’s time for your appointment with the Chief Engineer.”
 “I’d nearly forgotten. Let’s get it over with.”


 Elliott topped off the water tank then gently pulled the throttle. The sleigh glided down the street and came to rest in front of the big house.  He set it to idle.  The sleigh let out a gasp of steam, then quieted to a gentle purr. 
 “Why is it blue?” Elf Randy asked. “Sleighs are supposed to be red.”
 “That’s so passe,” Simon said.
 “A blue sleigh,” the boss sort of muttered. “I don’t know.”
 “We can paint it any color you want,” Simon pointed out. “Not a problem.”
 The boss walked around the strange looking sleigh that had no place for reindeer. “I don’t know.”
 “It’s fast, really fast,” Simon said.
 The boss stared at it for a moment. “Steam, that means stoking coal, doesn’t it?”
 “It uses a liquid fuel,” Simon explained. “Much more efficient and cleaner, too. And it doesn’t need expensive hay and oats all year long. The saving will really add up.”
  “T’s just, we’ve used reindeer for so long,” the boss said. “What will become of the reindeer?”
 “You do remember the barbecue grill I made for you,?” Simon asked as he patted his stomach.“Perhaps a test ride? See what it can do?”
 “Well I guess that would be prudent to check it out and all,” the boss agreed.
 “You’re not getting in that thing!”
 Mrs. C. He’d been hoping to avoid this. He’d scheduled the meeting when she usually took her nap.  Mrs. C. and Simon had a history–a bad history.  She hated every single one of his ideas. She even hated the barbecue grill. Claimed it made too much smoke.
 “I don’t think something like that could possibly be safe. Besides, we don’t need it. Come inside, it’s cold out here,” she said.
 He followed them inside. Simon made his final pitch to save the project. “Tell you what, just sit out on the porch. I’ll give you a demonstration, take it up and show you what it can do.”
 “Well dearest, I guess we owe him that much,” the boss agreed.
 “Okay, but why is it blue? Sleighs should be red.”
 “We can paint it any color,” Simon assured her.
 The boss and Mrs. C took up their favorite rocking chairs on the porch. Simon climbed into the sleigh and switched the engine to on. He pulled on the throttle. The sleigh lifted off the ground and shot into the sky. In seconds it looked like he could even reach out and touch the aurora borealis itself. He turned up the brightness on the side lanterns so they’d be able to see him down in the village.  He banked the sleigh into an arch, then tried a corkscrew pattern. Surely that would impress them.
 Then the sleigh started to rock. The steam thrusters were acting up. He looked at the glowing dials and saw the steam pressure was plummeting. That wasn’t right. The sleigh could run for hours. He’d just filled it. Then he noticed another problem–the temperature in the boiler was sky high. It was out of water. The manifold was actually starting to glow.
Some motion caught his eye on the right. It was that damned Blitzen. He was flying alongside the sleigh. Suddenly, it all made sense. When they’d gone inside the reindeer must’ve drained the water tank.
 H e shook his fist at Blitzen. The animal stuck out its tongue out at him, then sped off. “Dam it!” He would try to land.  But the sleigh had other ideas. It exploded into a ball of fire.
 “Looks like you were right, mother,” the boss said.
 “Dang fool blew himself up. Let’s go inside. It’s cold out here,” Mrs. C said.
 They would definitely be talking about Simon Tinker for a very long time.

Monday, December 24, 2018

More gooder idea

My friend Ed sent along the following.

As Chief of the Literacy Police, all I want for Christmas is for people to stop saying:

"Statue" of limitations (Where is it, on the grounds of the State Board of Paroles and 
"Mischeeveeous" for "Mischievous"
"Nucular" for "Nuclear"
"Realator" for "Realtor"
"Passed away" for "Died"
"Reached out to" for "Approached" or "Asked for comment"  It's self-serving and saccharin.
"Him/Her and I" for "He/She and I"
"Womens'" for "Women's" (It's already plural, dumbass).
"Like" every third word, which dilutes its impact and meaning and its utility as a simile.
"I'll do ___" for "I'd like " or "I'll have ___" or "May I have ___" when ordering in a bar or restaurant.  For years, to "do" something or somebody meant to have sex with them or to kill them  So you'll "do" a hamburger?  Really?!!!  This is a current speech fad, because it wasn't heard anywhere until the last few years.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Binging along

Binging  is what we do these days.  I've binged through many series. My latest one was from up north.  I sat through something called Corner Gas.  Supposedly, this is the most popular show in Canada. I don't know if it's ever been broadcast in the US, but it's available from Amazon Prime.  This all started when a friend of mine recently packed up and moved to Canada.  I wondered why anyone would do such a thing--especially with war looming between the US and Canada.  [That's why Donald is bringing the troops back from Syria--he needs them to fight Canada].  

So, I watched the six seasons of Corner Gas. It's about a convenience store and in a town in Saskatchewan.  It's got some delightfully eccentric characters including a cranky old guy and the guy who run's the store is the cranky old guy's son.  Well I liked it.  But, I still don't understand why someone would move there. But they seem to like hot dogs.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Once Upon a time

Once there was a town called Tucson, way off in the Arizona territory.  And this bookstore, decided to invite the local authors to come and sign books.  And the writers came and even brought their pens.  Except for one writer.  They curiously forgot to invite him.  And he came anyway.

"What's he doing here?" people were heard to ask.

"How come I wasn't invited?" the writer asked.

"Because we don't like you," everyone chimed. "Go away and don't come back. And your stories suck!"

So, that very night, a strange man with glowing eyes and a red top hat knocked on the writer's door. "Hi, I'd like to publish your book."

"Oh, sure," the writer said.

"Just sign here," the publisher guy said.

"What's with the red ink?" the writer asked.

"It's not red ink. It's blood," the publisher guy corrected.

The writer hesitated. "I know who you are, mister. You're the devil."

"Darn tootin.' Who else would buy your book? It's the worse book ever written."

"If it's so bad, why do you want it?"

"That is the sort of thing we publish in hell."

"You're not trying to get my soul?" the writer fellow asked, somewhat disappointed.

"No, we certainly don't want your soul.  We don't want you in hell. Most definitely not. We want you right here cranking out deplorable fiction."

"Oh." So the writer signed the contract.

"Excellent. The check is in the mail. We'll probably be in touch."

And the writer fellow never went to another book signing.

The end

Friday, December 21, 2018

It was warm yesterday.

After some chilly, windy days, it was warm yesterday. I took the opportunity to go out and look into my yard.  It was still out there.  Our homeowners association sent me an official complaint.  They thought I had too many weeds.  I didn't think it was  that bad.  Everything what weeds dies in my yard, so i thought a few weeds might be nice. Apparently, according to the HOA, not so much.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dear Santa

Dear Santa:

Well, last year, you again stiffed me.  Now, I could just sort of blame that on my move to Arizona.  Thing is, you stiffed me for the 15 years I lived in Colorado as well.  In fact, it's been about 45 years since I got a present from you.  Was it something I said?  How about we let bygones be bygones and you leave a little something under my tree this year?  

What do I want?  Well, you know I like being handcuffed.  I was thinking that cute officer from the police department could come over and handcuff me and search me. The one I wrote you about last year.  Don't want to arrange that?  Well, a large amount of cash would be nice.  My car's getting old and worn out, but I guess a new one is kind of heavy for your sleigh.  

If that's too much, how about a nice chess set.  Surely you could drop off that when you swing by Arizona.  You could alternatively drop off a million copies of one of my books to homes around the world.. Books make great presents. I'd get royalties and that would make up for being stiffed all these years.

By the way, my brother wants a box of steaks.  He likes those ones from Omaha.  

And my dad, well he says you don't exist, but he's pretty much crazy these days.  

Your pal,


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


If anyone wants to pick up some of my older books and back issues of Science Fiction Trails, visit Better World Books. They're an online bookseller with a lot of stuff that I thought was no longer available.  Check it out.

Searching the world over

I wanted to get someone a Russian language book as a Christmas gift--specifically White Fang by Jack London. There was one hardcover at an out of print book place that wanted $500. What's this guy smoking? And nothing else was in stock in the US. I fond one paperback in poor .condition in the UK. That was it.

So I go into the local bookstore and expressed my frustration. The clerk walked over to a shelf and came back with what I wanted. Online is not always the answer.

Monday, December 17, 2018

More on yesterday

I got up in the middle of the night and wrote a story straight through.  I haven't had that much creative inspiration in a very long time.  It's a Martian story involving my Sarah Meadows character. We'll see if anyone likes it.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Awake and working, sir

I woke up at 3 am.  I started writing.  I had a whole story come to me in a flash of inspiration at the middle of the night. Can I get it all down? Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

what's this, winter stuff

It was cold yesterday. The wind was blowing a lot.  Mighty strange December weather for Tucson.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Novella days

I've been busy going over my manuscript as the editor wanted a few minor changes.  I have a new novella coming out soon and it's being edited.  Next comes layout. Then we ad  cover. and call it a book.  Sort of.

My last book was actually two novellas--one by me and one by someone else in one book called Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.   This will be a first for me--a freestanding novella that's going to have to sink or swim on its own.  I don't know if something that size will sell but we shall find out.  I'll talk more about the book as the release date draws nearer. 

I really like this size book from the vantage point of a writer and to read.  The stories are deeper than a short story but don't bog down the way they sometimes can in a novel.  The new story is called Fallen Angel.  I hope people will like it.

I also have another novella being considered by a major New York publisher.  Now that would be something if they bought it.  

So, stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I should ad

Yesterday's post-addendum.

I should add the professor of the class was not wild about my product. He felt that it was not only seasonal, but doubted many people would actually purchase it and give it to some child--although many likely deserved it.  I didn't take anymore business classes.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Xmas gifts

Back when I was in college I took a business class. We had to come up with a saleable product.  My idea was lump o' coal for that rotten little kid.  Back in days, St. Nicholas supposedly left a switch and a lump of coal in the stockings of kids who were naughty.  So I would've had that info on the back of the packaging and shrink rapped to the front would be a piece of coal and maybe a picture of Santa or his sleigh.

Well, I never had the time to put it together in real life, I think I could've found a company to package up the coal but getting it actually into stores would have been a challenge.  I think the dollar stores that have become so ubiquitous might have been the angle. Alas my idea never happened. If anyone wants to take my idea and market this go right ahead.  I don't mind.

Sunday, December 9, 2018


My science fiction novel Bonded Agent got a nice review on Amazon.  People tend to ignore Amazon reviews as there's a tendency for folks to get their friends to write them. Well, I've never met Joy V. Smith, but she wrote a nice review.  

That brings up a problem this particular book has had.  Women seem to like it, men not so much. Male readers seem to want the main character to be that white dude from earth.  In this story, Sarah Meadows is a Martian citizen who despises earth  Based on what feedback it's gotten, that's been the trend.  I wish more people would read it, but it struggles to get traction. Martian insurance adjuster? Ugh.  Well, it's got lizard men. It can't be all bad. At least read Joy's review.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Slow Start

The reading period for Science Fiction Trails is off to a very slow start. I'm mostly getting trunk  stories. I've talked about them before. They're unsaleable stories that writers keep stored in a trunk because they won't sell. Every now and then they come out of the trunk and get sent off somewhere. It looks like I'm the lucky one. These stories have obvious flaws that seem be invisible to the writer, although quite apparent to everyone else.  Well I guess I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

Friday, December 7, 2018


It never rains in Arizona.  So last night I head out to the store and it starts raining.  I don't have a coat with me. I don't even own an umbrella.  And there were so many shoppers I couldn't park anywhere next to the building.  I feel like a drowned rat.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tall People

There's a theory that the tallest presidential candidate winds.  I intend to research it all the way to George Washington, but I think there's something to it.  In recent elections, Al Gore was one inch taller than George W. Bush. And he defeated John Kerry, who is 6' 4" over George w.'s height of 6 ft. 
Barring that anomaly Obama was taller than his opponents or McCain and Romney and Donald Trump towered over Hillary Clinton.

Going back further 6' 2" Bill Clinton beat HW Bush and Bob Dole and he was taller than both of them.  As I said, I'll have to take this back.  I don't even know who very short John Adams ran against as George Washington did not run for a third term and so on.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

House of Straw

Americans use 500 million drinking straws each day. I read that somewhere.  Why?  The restraints and fast food outlets give them to you and they throw them in the garbage after use.  Why?  How many people use drinking straws at home?  I have long refused them.  The landfills are full of little plastic things that were never even needed.  They used to make them out of paper, but now they are plastic and non recyclable and being dumped in the landfills by the millions.  

Do you use one at home?  Probably not. Then why do you need one at Taco Bell?  Our local McDonalds is the worst as they tear them open and stick them in your drink cup for me as I am apparently such a senile old geezer I can't unwrap a straw on my own.  

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Trunk Stories

I've mentioned trunk stories before and people don't seem to understand the concept.  back in the day if a writer had a story he could not sell, it eventually was placed in a trunk.  From time to time a story listing might come up and that writer would dust off and submit it rather than writing a new story. Today they're sitting on a hard drive or a cloud storage, but not out in circulation.  There is usually a reason for that. These stories usually are badly flawed and that's why they don't sell.  So there, that's a trunk story to you non writers.

Hence the opening of Science Fiction Trails for reading.  I believe everything I've gotten is a trunk story, save for one reprint. I actually accepted one of these trunk stories.  I guess that's why writers send them out.  But it still struck meas a trunk story--but I liked in some odd way. 

Oh well.  Every new issue is an adventure.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Name Game

In Wednesday's blog I might have implied that unpopular names are connected to bad people. My example is you just don't find people named Uriah Heep.  There are names that have fallen by the wayside that aren't necessarily "bad" characters.--lots of them.  Not too many Hercules out there.  Julius, except for that booth at the mall for Orange Julius, not too much. And how many girls named Cleopatra do you come across?  

Why some names become so tarnished and others don't is beyond me.  I do not understand it.  

I don't know to what degree the Census Bureau keeps track of names.  I wish they'd team up with the Government Printing Office and put out a book showing the most and least popular names for boys and girls.  

My vote new parents name your sons Percival in 2019. Let's get that one up in popularity.  And for girls, Oklahoma.  

As a writer, I was somewhat intrigued when I learned about Dickens' collection of names.  It's not always easy to come up with the right name for characters.   I have a novella that should be coming out in the first quarter of next year.  One of the main characters is a blond woman; that may not be entirely accurate. More like an angel.  She's Kevin.  That's just what name she drew when I created her. Oh, and she's plum crazy.  And I'll have more to say about Fallen Angel when it nears publication.

My Miles O'Malley character just sort of popped up.  Then one day I actually had a guest at the hotel named Miles O'Malley.  I was so thrilled. I upgraded him to a suite and he never knew why, but Miles O'Malley was staying at my hotel even if wasn't my Miles O'Malley.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's In a Name?

Just watched one of the many versions of A Christmas Carol. I like them all, but some are better than others. As a rule I think the ones that stay truer to Dickens' original story are the best.

Dickens was an exceptional writer.  And, like most writers, he had a few eccentricities.  One was that he collected names.  If he encountered somebody with an interesting name he'd write it down in a notebook where he could retrieve it when he needed to name a character for a story.  So, need a name for one creepy crooked guy, hmm, Uriah Heep should fill the bill.  

Under this concept, apparently there must have been an actual Ebeneezer Scrooge.  You don't find a lot of folks named that.  In my years in the hotel business I checked in a lot of people. I never checked in an Ebeneezer, or a Uriah, or an Adolph for that matter. We did have a visit from Jesus Christ–but that was the fairly common Hispanic variation and not the lord coming back for a resurrection.   

Anyway, if I ever encounter a lawyer named Uriah Heep, I think I'll find representation elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Christmas For Older Kids

Last year I gave out copies of something called Christmas For Older Kids. It's a chapbook meant for fun--nothing to take seriously about everyone's favorite holiday.  As I said, I gave them away.  I can't give them away to the whole world, but some folks have asked for them.  They're nominally priced on Amazon if anyone would like a copy. Available in print only.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Science Fiction Trails

Issue 13 of Science Fiction Trails is free on Kindle today.  We don't normally offer current editions for free.  It''s unlikely we will again. Our reasoning is simple: We have not been able to get back to our old circulation.  We stopped publishing for a couple of years and it really hurt our sales.  If you haven't seen a copy lately, here's your chance. Just go to Amazon and get a free Kindle copy. The print copy is also available at regular price.  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday

Black Friday didn't seem all that interesting around here.  I didn't find any rock bottom deals and did not buy anything. 

Alas, it doesn't look like my books sold much either.  That would be nice.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


I'm not going to rattle on about what I'm thankful for. Just a few thoughts.  It's been a disappointing year in many ways, but I haven't had any major health issues and I have a place to sleep at night.  That's more than a lot of people have.  Literally. I have a friend who lived in the area of one of the California fires. He's missing.  No contact. Don't know if he's been relocated or burnt to a crisp.  

For the first time ever, my little chapbook Christmas For Older Kids is now available on Amazon.  If you want a  little different take on Christmas, order a copy.  There are a lot of people who read this blog, yet they never buy anything.  Not only is this a fun read, but buying it would provide motivation to keep doing this blog.  It's not like I make any money off this thing.  I'm just saying.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

All set to cook

I'm all set to cook another one of my famous turkeys.  They're so dang good.

A few tips if you want to improve your turkey experience.

Cook over mesquite, but watch your fire as mesquite charcoal can get really hot.

Do not put stuffing in that bird.  It cooks up to its wonderfulness if you leave the inner cavern open.

If you must have stuffing, use one of the stove top products and augment it with a little turkey runoff if feed be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

You poor bastard

I feel sorry for you. You are not likely to get any of my turkey.  Oh sure, you may get someone else's turkey, but not mine.  My turkeys are the best in the world.  What you're eating is not. No one can cook a turkey better than I can.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Just thought I'd mention

The reading period is now open for Science Fiction Trails #14.

Full details are on the Science Fiction Trails blog:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thievin rascals

Lost another package from that large company that sells lots of stuff.  Second order in a row.  This one was different in that it was marked "Direct hand off."  I don't know who it was handed off to, but it was not me.  That's the frustrating side of ordering stuff from them.  A lot of their packages just disappear.  And then it's a pain to get your stuff.  I contacted them and they said they'll re-ship but I hate it when that happens.   It seems to be a big problem.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


We had such mild weather when the cold front came through Tucson today it was a bit of a surprise.  Back in Colorado once Halloween came all bets were off on when winter would start.  Around here I have rarely needed a coat.  Hardly a big deal. I opened the closet and got a medium weight coat out and went about my business.  Heck this almost shirtsleeve weather back in Colorado but I've been here long enough I felt cold.  I noted some people were really bundled up in heavy coats. It wasn't THAT cold.  

That reminds me, the Christmas stamps are rather disappointing this year.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

My World

I caught something the other day that got me thinking. It was one of those internet surveys. This one wanted to know who created the best science fiction worlds.  Some of the choices were Star Wars by George Lucas, Gene Rodenberry's Star Trek and a few more. These are all highly subjective.

Well, my world is California.  No, I didn't invent it.  But my 1880s California is the setting for quite a few stories.  It's got sea monsters, a devil, a Mayan god, and few sexy angels.  It's no different than Star Fleet command–except this is my universe and it's much smaller.  And riding around in this universe is Miles O'Malley–one time barber and now federal lawman.

Miles gets into all kind of trouble, but not by choice. He's not greedy or trying to take over the State of California. His troubles root to his sense of good and bad or right and wrong.  The Mayan god I mentioned wants to take over  California. Miles takes him on in order to protect the good citizens of the state to the relief of the United States Government, which hires him as a Secret Service agent in gratitude for all he's done for them.  You can take in most of Miles's adventures in a triple novel tome called The Devil Draws Two

But wait there's more.  Not only does Miles populate this world, but so does Ling Fung.  This Chinese businessman encounters some very strange things in his quest to assimilate into the California lifestyle including a Yeti [That's Yeti, not Sasquatch] looking for a mail order bride. And a Mayan god [oh, that sounds familiar but I was talking about Miles then]. And he could have lunch with the local cannibal–and may end up on the menu.   All while dealing with racism how to get along with white people. That is one of two novellas in a book called Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.

And that's my universe until  now–sort of.  I recently signed a contract to publish another novella, Fallen Angel which is also set in this universe. It features a fallen angel named Mabel She's quite the handful as she's tired of living in hell and decides she needs more excitement in her life. So she takes up counterfeiting to fund her lavish lifestyle and sets out to have some fun in California. Oh, didn't I mention Miles works for the Secret Service?  I think I did.  Then there's Kevin, Mabel's sister. Now she's just plain crazy and you'll be amazed at what she's been doing.

And that's a very brief summary of the Miles O'Malley world.  It's available, except for the latest book, Fallen Angel, right now.  And that book will be along soon, although a release date has not been announced.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Moon

It's the 50th anniversary of the moon landing coming up in July.  Heck, we don't have 7 Elevens or anything on the moon.  Seems to me it was kind of expensive to get there. Yeah, we perfected cool stuff like laser beams.  But they also invented Tang, which I'm not a fan of and the Space Pen, which left a lot to be desired.

Well, I've been reading moon stories and hope to continue to read them up until the July anniversary. I am starting with Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.

the moon

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tired of it all

The crooks who lose run around crying "Fraud." They wouldn't be complaining if they'd won.  We've got that going on in AZ where a mountain of mail in ballots (including mine) just about crushed the vote counting system.  Now Donald himself is saying it's all fraud. The ignorant fool doesn't seem to realize there is no such thing as a do over.  The local officials count the votes and the parties often have observers, and it's over and that's it.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Get out and vote today, if you haven't already.  I vote early and have for years--ever since they allowed it. It beats standing in line.  

I don't believe either of my grandmothers ever voted.  Neither of them ever drove a car, either.  I don't think the two are connected.  I don't know if they could meet today's identification requirements if they were still alive and wanted to vote.  

I registered right after I turned 18 and started voting at the first election that came along.  Then they came out with this vote by mail concept.  I guess there may be some risk to privacy and a few ballots may not get delivered properly--but it sure is damned convenient.  

The trend seems to be more toward discouraging voting these days.  If they wanted more people to vote, they should have a deal where, after voting, you get a coupon and you could take it to some place like Dairy Queen and get an ice cream cone.  Now that would be something.  Heck, I might even try and vote three or four times if I got ice cream. That would be something.  

Monday, November 5, 2018

More Gooder Ice Cream

I had some ice cream over the weekend.  It comes from some company in Hawaii and is only available at the Asian supermarket.  Damn this stuff is good.  If I'd known they had cool creamy wonders like this I might have moved there.  I still might, tho moving gets tougher as you get older. At least I can get this wonderful ice cream.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Since the stores have Christmas stuff out before Halloween. Heck, the local Lowe's had Halloween and Christmas decorations side by side.  I actually tried to talk my dad into giving out Christmas candy canes to Trick-or-treaters.  He didn't go for it.  

I think putting Christmas merchandise out before Halloween is ridiculous.  But I cannot figure out any way to stop it.  Maybe they could just combine the two into Hallowmas.  

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Writers write--or do they?

My recent trip to Mile Hi Con was mostly uneventful. I got to catch up with some old friends, had a little fun, but nothing of great consequence happened.  I didn't feel very good as my drive to Denver  was exhausting and I really just wanted to sleep.  

In this backdrop one recurring theme kept popping in my head.  Plagiarism.  I wished we had a panel or something on ripping off other people's creative work.  Why? Two of the authors at the con are thieves of other writer's work.  They've sent me stories that were written and published by older writers such as Jack London and O. Henry as their own work.  And I have every reason to assume they continue to do it.

And I have remained silent on this, reluctant to call them out by name because it could set off a legal battle and even if it didn't, I have little to gain by trying to take action.  Writing is not the practice of law.  There is no such thing as a writers license.  The various writing organizations really do nothing to protect the integrity of the craft.

So, I returned  home and thought about what I could realistically accomplish in the coming months and let it go at that.  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Numbers

My dad had 112 kids last night.  That's a respectable amount of kids, but not as much as some places get.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

roving hoards of children looking for food

Roving hoards of children looking for food.  In other words--Trick or Treat.  I don't get any in my neighborhood. Just a few miles away, my father gets hundreds.  Well, two years ago he got just shy of 200. Last year he only got 140.  I'll go over and help dad deal with the candy.  Yesterday we put his ghost up in the yard.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ghost, a big giant one

Well today I'll have to put up my dad's ghost.  Before moving to Tucson the concept of decorating for Halloween seemed a bit odd to me.  They just didn't do it in Colorado--at least not where I lived. So, my dad bought this ghost. It's about 10 feet tall.  It runs on a little air pump to keep it inflated.  The problem is he can't set it up.  I have to do it for him.  With luck, by this afternoon, he'll have some great big ghost in his yard.

Monday, October 29, 2018


Tired of campaign ads yet?  I sure am.  Our election cycles run too long.  The Brits can do a national election in a couple of months.  Not here.

I already voted, so I do not care much about the dreadful ads as my vote is already locked in.I think they should spend less on ads and give everyone free ice cream after the election is over.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


Alas, as books get older, libraries sometimes sell them off to make way for newer books.  That seems to be the case with some of mine at the local library.  I'm down to just two books now.  There used to be more--even before I moved to Tucson there were more.  I guess I need to write more books.  The two still in stock are both checked out.That means someone has them in a pile of books or may even be in the process of reading them.I guess I need to come out with some more books.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Visiting & Stuff

Well my cousin came by for a visit.  Didn't stay long.  He and his wife are nice folks. He's just a little bit older than I am.  It's been a really long time since I last saw them.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


The folks around town are out decorating their houses.  This was new to me when I moved to Tucson. Some people go all out-really all out with displays that rival the best of another holiday's outdoor decorations.  It's amazing to what lengths some folks go to.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I survived

Well, I got back from Denver in one piece.  Drove through a really bad storm in New Mexico.  Closest I came to death was in New Mexico. I got out to piss on a remote stretch of road at 11 0'clock at night. Some trucker came by hauling ass as I was trying to get back inside my car.  I was completely off the road, but this guy wouldn't give me an inch.  I thought I was going to be sucked up into the vortex this truck was making.  No real damages and I got back in my car and that was that.

Monday, October 22, 2018

On the way back from Mile Hi Con

I stayed at a Motel 6 on the way back from Mile Hi Con.  The bed was comfortable, and that's compared to a remarkably comfy bed at the Hyatt in Denver where the con was held. Motel 6 still has the coarsest grade of towels. Nobody would ever steal them. I wouldn't 'even use them as a dog towel.  

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mile Hi Con, Day 2

One of the more eccentric things about cons is people running around in costume.  They're dressed as some character, oblivious to the fact no one else knows who it is. Over time I've noticed  a big drop in media characters like Star Trek. Not sure why.  I have a Pinkerton outfit for Wild West type cons, which are few and far between.

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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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,


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


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


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


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


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


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