Saturday, June 30, 2018

And the work goes on

It's amazing how much damage a little water can do.  They're still working on my bathroom, which flooded last week due to a defective valve.  It looks unlikely that I will be able to get to Westercon.  Back when houses did not have indoor plumbing, such events like mine were rare.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Walking away

Twice this week I've left two restaurants without any food. The first one was for a calzone. I hadn't planned to get food, but had little at home and ordered in person. Was told 20 minutes. Forty minutes later I walked out. I just left.

Then there was the bag of ice. A local fast food outlet with golden arches sells bags of ice. After paying for it, something was obviously wrong.  No ice was brought to the window. I could hear them talking about it--there was no ice.  I was directed to go to the lane of no return where they send you when something gets screwed up. I did not go there. Instead, I drove home.

Why would someone just drive off without making a scene with the manager or getting a refund or something?  Why indeed?  Because I think saying nothing and letting them keep their food when service is poor, or non existent speaks volumes. I could be wrong, of course.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ah, mold

Came home Sunday and found bathroom flooded with hot water. How nice. I mopped it up but unable to find source in wall.  Called plumber Monday AM. Plumber fixed leak, but also noted a lot of water in flooring and walls. And then they found mold--accelerated by the hot water damage.   Damage seems confined to bathroom area.  And thank God for homeowners insurance.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I started getting senior discounts about two years ago.  I never asked for them. They just show up on my bill or receipt. I find them a bit unsettling.   But there's little I can do about the aging process.  In July, just a few weeks from now, I will turn 60.  I sense a major freak out coming on.  I am simply dreading the day.  

What do you want for your birthday? my father asked. [He's like beyond old, like Methuselah old. ]
Piles and piles of cash. Like that's going to ever happen. 

At least I won't get a cake.  I never get birthday cakes anymore. They sort of stopped happening about a decade ago, when I turned 50.  I'm viewing the past by the decade now.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Another robot car

I have this urge to mess with these driverless cars that are being tested around town. I mentioned one a few days ago. Well, there was another one yesterday. Some guy decided to make a right turn from the left hand lane as he apparently had a sudden urge to go to Sonic. The robot car stopped and skillfully avoided a collision.  I was kind of impressed.  I wished I thought of a maneuver like that.  Anyway I didn't mess with the robot car and it went on its way.  I couldn't top what the other car did.

Alas, I have serious doubts about these cars.  Although I've thought about putting along real slow in front of them, stuff like that--I haven't actually done it. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Robot Conspiracy

Yesterday I looked in my rear view mirror. Low and behold there was one of those Google driverless cars behind me.  The light turned and off I went.  It followed right along.  I was curious if I putted along below the speed limit if it would pass me. As I was approaching my destination, I turned off and the auto car went right on by. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Oh, Crappy Movies

I mentioned in casual conversation, yesterday, that I fell asleep during the last Star Wars movie. ergo I had not bothered to see Solo.  From my perspective, these movies are all the same. If you've seen one...

Now, maybe I'm just a fuddy duddy.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018


I'm amazed the Canadians haven't invaded yet.  I still figure it's coming, eh.  We'll show them a thing or two. Actually, I doubt anyone will notice.  We'll all finish our sentences with eh and not really know why.  And that'll be about it.  Some people may wonder why the money looks different, but Queen Elizabeth kind of looks like George Washington, so that may not really be much of a problem.  

One thing that does worry me is the barbecue.  On my one and only trip to Toronto, I found the barbecue was disgusting.  They even lured me in by having black people run the place. We all know black people know how to cook barbecue--wrong. It was horrid.  

I figure they'll release the children from concentration camps and try and feed us barbecue that's inedible.  Otherwise, I figure being occupied by Canada will be about the same.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cave Man Days

Og noticed Jol was coming up the trail from the creek.  Og had never liked Jol, even when they were boys. Jol came from the clan of red haired people from down the valley.  Og especially didn't like the way second wife looked at Jol.

Jol came straight to the point. He wanted to use Og's computer. His Internet was out. He needed to order a new spear

Jol typed in his information, grunted to Og, then started down the river knowing in just a few days Neanderthal Express would pull up on a Woolly Mastodon and deliver his new spear. 

He's head there was a time when cavemen didn't have the Internet, but that story seemed hard to believe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

In the Event of

With invasion imminent from Canada as war is about to break out I thought I'd pass along some basic information should you find a Maple Leaf flag flying over your local post office anytime soon.

Canada money is called the Loon. It's named after some stupid bird. One thing you'll notice is Canada got rid of their dollar bill. They use a coin, only.

They, the Canadians, use the word eh at the end of every sentence. So, "you got any firearms, eh?" means "Do you have any guns?"

Then there's syrup. They put maple syrup on everything.  Don't be alarmed if they start trying to pout syrup on your Chinese food.  Just go along with it. You don't want to alarm them. Canadians are very violent.

If they ask you, You got a Luter, eh?" I don't know what that means.

Above all else, when Canada invades, stay calm.  Bearded men drinking Molson's and saying eh? are scary. Don't worry about hiding your daughters.  All Canadians are gay.  Your boys, well put them in dresses.

So, enjoy the upcoming Canadian invasion.  Just be careful not to run the anger of the Canadian Secret Police.

Oh, and that old lady on their paper money isn't a loon--it's Queen Elizabeth 2.

Oh, don't buy any Canadian books because there aren't any. Canadians can't read.

Canadian National Anthem
Oh Canada, we suck but not as bad as Trump does...
And I don't remember the rest.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Dear Fortune Cookie Company:

Six months ago I ate one of your cookies which promised great wealth was coming my way. I wanted to inform you I am still waiting and no wealth whatsoever has arrived yet.


David B. Riley

Sunday, June 17, 2018

crazy old man

This year my father was especially difficult to deal with in terms of Father's  Day.  The crazy old man turned down a fishing trip to the mountains. Then he declined a trip out to a restaurant.  So, he gets a card.  I guess that's all he really wanted. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018


It's been a long time since we've had any rain.  Not unusual for Tucson.  Still, it's rained all night night. I'm not sure how many inches we got, but it's a lot.  Rain really helps our plant friends. Most trees and such are not irrigated and have a rough time going between rains in these here parts. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Solar Baked Potato

I baked a potato yesterday.  I cooked it 5 1/2 hours.  It was just barely done.  Mu solar stove is just not proving practical. Maybe I'll figure out some other design. Maybe not.

The darned thing was barely edible and still needed more cooking, but one could eat it if that person was starving.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

More on solar cooking

I am trying to cook using solar energy only. My prototype is a cardboard shell lined with aluminum.  I am certain polished mirrors would reflect more energy to the cooking area than foil. But, my project is very cheap to build.  Forecast is cloudy and a little cooler. Where are the 110 degree sunny days when you need them, eh?

If I could experiment a little, then I might be able to refine things.  Best heat I could get, and I was only "cooking" water yesterday, was 127 degrees.  That's not really hot enough to kill food borne bacteria let alone cook actual food.  Still, the concept is working. The food area was much hotter than  the 99 degree temperature in the surrounding area.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

solar cooking

Well my solar stove was a bit of a bust.  It was a cloudy day and that did not help.  Best I could do was get it up to 125 degrees.  That's just not hot enough to kill bacteria let alone actually cook food. Stay tuned. I will try this again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Invasion advice

I never sell books in Canada.  Most of them are available.  But they never sell in Canada.The UK buys some now and then, but never Canada.

Of course, with Canada and the United States on the brink of war, I doubt that sales situation will improve. The big question I wonder about is whether Mexico and Canada will combine forces and attack.  Where I live, the Mexican flag may once again fly over Arizona while the Maple Leaf waves over New England.  

All because our president keeps trying to pick fights with our historic allies.  

Maybe they'll just take over parts of the United States and not the whole thing.  Mexico can have Texas back. Nobody wants it anyway. The Dakotas, hell no one would notice if a Canadian flag waved over there. Really, who goes to North Dakota?  I've never been convinced there really is such a state anyway.  And as long as the Canadians let Minnesota keep their state fair, I doubt they'll care that much in Minnesota.

That's how I see it. I may be completely insane, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. 

Monday, June 11, 2018


Someone recently called me a wordsmith.  That's usually defined as a master writer.  I'd never given it much thought. Sure, I knew the term.  But I never thought much about a pecking order for writers.  I just write. The words are what they are.

I love words. I love their meanings. I love figuring out which word is the right word for a particular paragraph.  And I enjoy putting words together.  There is no joy in this for so many people. I know them. They're in my family. For them constructing a simple letter is an ordeal.  For me, it is a joy. Doing anything with words is a pleasure.  I guess the title is accurate.  I certainly will not dispute it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


I haven't mentioned much about Westercon as it's been a wait to get much info back from them.  I will have a dealer table at the con, which starts July 4th in Denver.  I'll be selling stuff I've published like Science Fiction Trails as well as books I've written like Legends of the Dragon Cowboys and Bonded Agent.   

I don't do a lot of dealer tables. They tend to tie me down more than I like. In this case I'm sharing space with Julie Campbell, who will be selling her literary endeavors as well.  

A lot of the readers who buy my books live in Colorado. If you're one of them stop by and say hello.

I'll post more info right before I leave for the con.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


Well there are no juries scheduled for the upcoming week at the federal courthouse.. Ergo, it's not going to require me to go to the courthouse. yay!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jury Duty From Outer Space?

I may have to do jury duty next week. I'll find out tomorrow.  This is federal courts.  Last year I went to Superior Court, which is a state court but was not selected.  

How come aliens from outer space don't have to be on juries? They just buzz around in their flying saucers but do they do anything to put back into the community?  Sames goes for Sasquatch.  These guys need to be on juries and get with the program.

By the way, my story "the Silo" is in a book edited by Carol Hightshoe called Incarceration.
My story is about a man who's given a fair trail except for one thing--he's not allowed to attend it. Get it and you'll be able to sleep at night and your boss will give you a raise (some of that last bit may be a stretch, but I'll certainly sleep better if you buy it and a million of your friends do as well).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Holy Math Batman

In school, especially high school, I had to take algebra, then geometry, then some other godforsaken math class that was especially bewildering.  Many years later, as I look back, they were useless. I didn't use algebra at all--or the other stuff.  

I did take two college level statistics classes.  I loved them and fulfilled my math requirements with them.  They were useful--probably the most useful classes I ever took.  

But this high school crap--what good is it?  I don't know. I am not talking about basic math like addition and stuff. I could do that in my sleep and never took that in high school.  I'm talking about algebra.  I would've learned so much more elsewhere.

And I sure wish we had creative writing back then. I'd have liked that. No, we spent weeks being bewildered diagramming sentences.  

What brought this on?  Don't know really.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Snow Balls in June

I can't figure out why, but none of the local stores has Sno Balls anymore.  Those are those gooey round things covered in coconut flakes.  Usually, every time they change color I buy one. They had some green ones around St. Patrick's Day. I don't recall any since then--of any color.  What  a gyp.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Taco Bell

I said a few weeks ago you could still get an Enchirito at Taco Bell even though it's no longer on the menu. Well, Friday that came to an abrupt halt.  They refused to let me have one. So I ordered a combo burrito.  I had one of these just a couple of weeks ago.  They no longer sell them.  How frigging hard is it to take half an order of beans and half an order of beef and combine them on a tortilla?  If you're a moron working at Taco Bell, the answer is pretty darned hard. 

Did they get rid if the the green sauce?  I don't know. I walked out of the store without any purchase. I've never had a Taco Bell refuse to make an Enchirito before. Ad they had combo burritos just days ago.

So, they've pissed me off now.  I will not go back and order something else.  I simply will go someplace and order something else.

Taco Bell hasn't been worth a crap since they stopped advertising with the little Chihuahua dog.

So, helmsman, set a course for Del Taco full speed ahead.  To be continued... 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Texts From Beyond

A writer I know informed me that I'm really hard to get a hold of.  I thought not. "I have a phone that even has voice mail that sometimes works. I also have email that I look at if I don't think it's Spam." So I questioned why I was hard to get a hold of.

Apparently, she sent me texts and I never responded.  "Well, " sayeth I, "I never read text messages and delete them immediately.  I don't like them. I get tons of them. Why would anyone send me one?"

Well, it appears the Millennials only communicate by text. They never call anyone and don't know what email is.  I guess I am hard to get ahold of.

Friday, June 1, 2018


Got to go get my car tested so I can renew my registration.  I hope it won't take too long.  Not my idea of fun.  I'm not convinced the computer in my car knows what my car is doing. Look at the Volkswagen computers, which lied and said the cars polluted less than they really did.

When I lived in the mountains of Colorado this sort of thing was not necessary.  Or or it may have been necessary but was not required.  

It would seem more efficient if the satellites that spy on me and follow me around would just send the pollution info to Phoenix and save me the trouble.  The NSA satellites don't talk to the environmental satellites for some reason. Paranoid yes I am.

By the war, the car passed the smog inspection.