Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Xmas lights

I note a lot of my neighbors have taken down their Christmas lights.  Then there's the crowd who leave them up through New Years.  I'm one of the take down the day after Christmas myself.  The biggest group on Holiday Lights is the not bother at all bunch. I noted a big jump in my neighborhood this year of houses that did not have any holiday decorations.  That's kind of sad, as I really enjoy looking at how folks decked out their homes.  I realize some people may be heading out of town and there are folks that don't celebrate Christmas as they have differing religious views.  

Monday, December 30, 2019

Coin of the Realm

The other day I found a nickle in a parking lot. I bent over and picked it up..  You don't see nickles on parking lots very often--it's usually pennies for some reason.  But there was this nickle just lying there waiting for me to pick it up.  And I thought, wow I found a nickle. It's just that I hardly ever find any money lying around.  Now a nickle isn't worth much these days, but I put it in my coin jar, then went down to Coinstar and cashed the jar in for $41.01.

Now some people don't like Coinstar.  I'm not wild about the fee they collect, but my bank only takes bulk coins if they're in wrappers. I feel it's easier to dump them in the slot and let the machine count them and be done with it. And if I hadn't picked up that nickle, I'd have had something like 41.96 or so and a lot more change back. Go nickles.  The next time I see a coin in a parking lot, I'm grabbing it. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fake Animal Noises

We have some nut job who wanders our neighborhood in the middle of the night making fake animal noises.   We hadn't had one in a while, but last night about 4 am someone was near my window making fake owl hoots.  They don't sound real. The last time this happened it was a growling noise. It didn't sound real, either.  These always seem to happen during school break periods. I really wonder about someone who has nothing better to  do than run around a neighborhood trying to wake people up with animal noises.

I've never managed to see the culprit. He sounded fairly close and my yard is not fenced, but on a dark night it's tough to see and noises tend to bounce around.  I guess we'll get another serenade during Spring break.  Mighty strange, it is. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Phobia of the Month

I was going to start the new year with a Phobia of the Month feature.  Well, I decided on the one I'll post for New Year's.  Out of curiosity, I looked to see if there was one for teenage girls.  The  computer seemed to think I wanted phobias that teenage girls have. I wanted  a phobia where somebody is terrified of teenage girls.  It surprised me, but I can't find such a phobia. The closest I could get was Ephebiphobia, which is a fear of young people in general.  

Now, why do I want to know if there is such a phobia?  Well, I was writing a story about some fellow who was terrified of teenage girls.  Alas, I can't find any phobia to explain his need to run and hide whenever he sees one.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Dry Gulch Christmas



A Dry Gulch Christmas
by David B. Riley

The piano player was hammering out some tune that was familiar, yet she couldn’t quite place it. She’d been through so many Christmas holidays that she must have heard every Christmas ditty ever played. Still, this was odd in some way. She went over to the piano player and placed a twenty dollar gold piece in the tip jar. “That song you played, I can’t place it. It sounds Christmassy yet, it’s not. What the heck is it?”
“It’s something they played back home. They had a holiday called Saint Bartholomew’s Day. It’s not really a Christmas song. How about Silent Night?”
“How about no?” She stared at him for a moment. “I don’t actually like Christmas all that much. That’s what interested me about your song.”
“Well, I haven’t been able to adapt most of the old songs to a piano. While I like this piano, it is somewhat limited.”
“At least it’s not a blasted harp,” she said.
“Never played one, though I heard some lady in Denver play one a while back.”
She nodded. “How’d they take to you, down Denver way?”
“Well, I sort of sat outside the opera house. Here in Dry Gulch I’m pretty open about being an alien. No one seems to care, green skin and all,” Kuto explained. “That’s not true everywhere.”
“Interesting.” She returned to her table and lit up a cigar. As if to test his claim, she flagged down a passing saloon girl. “Where’s that piano player from?”
“Some planet somewhere.”
“Thanks.” She took a puff on the cigar, then took just a sip of her beer. No one was playing poker. A few Indians were over at the faro table. She never played that game, nothing against a dealer.. “Hey, you, drunk guy?”
Henry Steelman moved over toward her table. She pushed the chair out for him. “Buy you a drink?”
“Sure thing,” he decided as he sat down. Gorgeous redheads did not often buy him anything, except trouble.
“So, it’s Christmas eve. Why are you here and not holed up with a family or some cutie or something?” She took another puff from her cigar and motioned for the saloon girl. “Give my friend here whatever the hell he drinks.”
“Well, last night he was drinking window cleaner, maybe a local whisky?”
“That should do,” she agreed.
“Ain’t got no family. They all died from that influenza outbreak a couple years back,” Henry explained.
“Well, I don’t got much in the way of family, either. I have a gentleman friend, but his train got derailed,” she said.
“Is he all right?” Henry asked.
“Oh, probably. He was able to send me a telegram. I doubt he could do that if he was dead.”
“Good point,” he agreed.
The saloon girl dropped off Henry’s drink. Mabel tossed a five dollar coin on her tray. “Keep the change.”
“Thank you, Miss.”
She smiled at Henry. “Name’s Mabel.”
“I’m Henry.”
“Pleased to meet you,” she decided. “Be right back.” She ventured back over to the piano. “Can you play Los Imperials?”
“The Martian anthem?”
“That’s it.”
“Boy, you’re really not from around here. I’ll give it a try,” Kuto agreed.
Mabel returned to her seat. “So, Henry, how’s the booze?”
“Pretty good.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“That’s a weird song he’s playing,” Henry said.
“I know. They say you can see ghosts?” Her cigar had gone out. She re-lit it with a match.
“Sometimes. It used to scare me.”
“I’ll bet,” Mabel agreed. She pointed over at the bar. "That pretty brunette, would you bang her?”
“That’s Miss Wendy, she owns the place. She’d never settle for some drunk like me.”
“That’s an interesting perspective, Henry.” Mabel chugged down the entire contents of her mug of beer. “I can’t quite figure Christmas out. People get all silly and sing special songs and exchange gifts, then, they go back to being their same obnoxious selves the next day.”
“Got that right. Nobody never beats me up on Christmas. Them cow-boys, they get real mean, some of ‘em anyway.”
Nobody beats me up,” Mabel said.
“You’re a lady.”
“I mean they can’t beat me up,” Mabel explained. She pointed around the room with her cigar. “Who’s the toughest hombre in this saloon?”
“Uh, I guess that Otis Claverson over by the wall. He’s the foreman over at the zinc mine. Beats me up every payday.”
“Does he now. Would you like to see him get beat up for once?” Mabel asked.
“Boy, would I.”
Mabel casually walked over to the table by the wall and asked, “Are you Otis?”
“I sure am,” he said as he ran his hand through his curly blond hair.
Mabel punched him in the jaw one time. Otis was out cold. She sauntered back to her table. “There. Merry Christmas.”
“Uh.” He gulped down the rest of the drink she’d bought him.
“Henry, I’m an angel. I’m an angel that, way back when, was tossed out of heaven. I live in hell now, except when I get out. I don’t rightly love Christmas, but it has its good points, like just now. When else would you get to watch someone beat up Otis Claverson?” Mabel handed him a hundred dollar gold coin. “That’s counterfeit. It’ll pass on these chumps. Take that and spend it on booze or go down the street to Abigail’s and spend it on the prettiest, courtesan they have. Whichever you want. Enjoy Christmas for once.””
“Abigail’s is a whorehouse,” Henry said.
“I know that, Henry. But it’s a classy joint.”
“I just didn’t know what a courtesan was,” he explained.
“Oh.” She kissed him on the cheek, then went over to the piano. “Your Los Imperiales needs some work.
“Where’d you learn about that?” Kuto asked.
“I get around. Actually, I speak fluent Martian. But hope those bastards don’t show up here.”
“Got that right,” Kuto agreed.
 She started for the front doors. “Have a nice St. Bartholomew’s Day, or Christmas or whatever,.” she told the alien piano [layer. Mabel went out on the front porch, leaving the doors open, snapped her fingers, then there was a shower of sparks and she was gone.

This was just a sample. If you want more of this stuff, Mabel has her own book: Fallen Angel by David B. Riley
And to take in more of life in Dry Gulch, get your hands on Tales From Dry Gulch, available from your favorite bookseller or Amazon in print and Kindle. And look for Tales From Dry Gulch 2, coming Spring 2020.   Or you can simply click on the book covers on this page to be connected to ordering information from the publishers.

Finally, there's a new review of Tales From Dry Gulch at No Name Zin
http://www.thenamelesszine.org/Books-2019/Tales_From_Dry_Gulch.php





Monday, December 23, 2019

Special Book Deals for the Holidays

Some of my ebooks will be on sale for the holidays..During the period between Christmas and New Years, there will be a sale on all Hadrosaur books at Smashwords. Legend of the Dragon Cowboys will be $1.00 with coupon code SEY75. Fallen Angel will be $1.50 with coupon code SEY50. . The sale begins on December 25 and ends on January 1.


And I have a free short story as a sampler of both life in Dry Gulch and Fallen Angel lead character Mabel   in tomorrow's blog.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Great Gift

Back in my college days I took a marketing class.  Our assignment was to develop a product and a plan how to market it.  Well, my product was Lump-O-Coal.  It would've been a lump of coal in a plastic wrapper with a card that could be hung on a peg in stores.  The front would read Lump-O-Coal For that rotten little kid. The back of the card would have a short tale about the supposed legend of Santa Claus leaving a lump of coal in the stockings of bad children who weren't particularly good--a practice somewhat forgotten in modern times.


Well, I note a few places online have come up with similar products.  You really can get that horrible nephew a lump of coal for Christmas. Yay!  Since I couldn't develop the product I am glad others have.



Saturday, December 21, 2019

What about this?

I sent my Christmas cards out. I even put a tree up.  I never put a tree up.  Here's the thing. I'm not a fan of the Christmas movies that are coming out, based on their trailers.  I've vowed not to go see any of them.  And that includes the new Star Wars film.  The trailers are unwatchable. Why would I sit and watch something and pay out money for the privilege?  So, if going to holiday movies is part of the holiday, I say humbug. I draw the line there.


Friday, December 20, 2019

Medicine

A few months ago I've mentioned I had a litany of health complications after going in for outpatient surgery.  Well, I am still alive.  And I leaned if you have a predisposition toward gout surgery can create instant gout. Oh, good lord. I'd heard that was painful but that is an understatement.  It's worse than having needles stuck in you. It was worse than when I broke my arm.  The pain was incredible.  Naturally, when I got with my doctor after getting out of the hospital, the first thing I did was ask what to do to avoid that again. The answer is pills.  You have to control the uric acid--and mine had gotten too high.  Well, two days ago my doctor did a follow up test and I am at 5, and you need to be under 6 to be out of danger of gout. Theoretically, the medicine my doctor prescribed is working and I can relax about gout.  A lot of people don't think about gout.  Next time you're talking to your doctor, you might ask.  I couldn't believe how bad having gout was. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Brrr

Had a cold, windy front come through yesterday.  I was amazed at how cold I felt.  I used to think nothing of sub-zero temperatures when I lived in Colorado.  But, after three years in Tucson and I'm shivering when it's not even close to freezing.  What a sissy I've become.

not even cold enough for a snowman and I'm still shivering

Monday, December 16, 2019

New Review

A web review site has released a review of my novella Fallen Angel.  click on the cover of this page to link with the publisher's order page, if interested.
This is a nice review site with a number of short, to the point, reviews.

**********************
FALLEN ANGEL is a story set in the post-Civil War West, where fallen angels duel for power against invading men from Mars.
It’s a snarky tale of Mabel, fallen out of Hell, fighting an evil sister, a girl named Kevin, a cannibal, and who strives for a world in which she can freely feast on humans. What will result from battles against invaders from space and demons from another dimension?

--Andrew Andrews, True Review

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Science Fiction, Timmy?

I used to love science fiction.  I've even written science fiction.  But there are two things in the world of Scifi that I doubt I'll even bother to watch.  The new Star Wars movie and the new Dr. Who series. 

As for the Doctor, I'm sorry but it's just stupid.  I don't like this entourage she has with her and I don't like the stories anymore.  The female Doctor does not bother me.

As for the new Star Wars movie.  Has anyone noticed that every single movie is exactly the same?  I mean the names of the characters change, but the story itself does not. They're all exactly the same movie. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

TV season

The Christmas holiday TV specials are upon us. Tonight they're bringing us Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. I like both of them.  There's also something called Frosty Returns, which I think is unwatchable.  It's got some weird environmental message and just lacks the sense of fun and adventure the original Frosty had.

And try and snag a version of A Christmas Carol. There are at least 10 different ones.  I believe it is the best Christmas story and the best ghost story ever written.  Versions vary in terms of acting and direction.  My favorite is the one with George C. Scott.  I think I've seen all of them, but it is possible there's one I've missed.  


Friday, December 13, 2019

Good luck, Timmy

Friday the 13th is here upon us once again.  Considered unlucky, I used to find good things happened on them.  Then, well I don't think they're really any different than any other day.  Stuff happens and the day on the calendar has little to do with it.  But there are many superstitious folks who feel otherwise.  So venture out into the world and buy lots of gifts for people.  And call people "Timmy" all day. It drives them crazy, especially girls.  

This is peak book buying season.  My best book, if you're looking for ideas, is Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.   Legends of the Dragon Cowboys brings you two weird western adventures by authors David B. Riley and Laura Givens. Their heroes ride boldly out of the Far East to find their way in a mythic land of danger, romance, and adventure. In "The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung" by David B. Riley, a wandering businessman encounters a Mayan god, crooked enterprises and Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, when all he really wants is to open a gun store. Ling Fung is not any ordinary Chinese entrepreneur—he's highly skilled in Kung Fu and he can shoot good, too. While his heart is set on business, providence seems to have other plans for him. And suitable for all ages.

Laura Givens brings wily acrobat Chin Song Ping to the Wild West in search of adventure and fortune. He finds little fortune, but plenty of adventure. Chin Song Ping is a scoundrel, a gambler and a trouble magnet. His heart of gold lands him in schemes to outwit would-be gods, cannibal ghosts, insane robots, Voodoo despots and the ultimate evil—bureaucrats. But he is a romantic, and the love of his life is the true treasure he seeks. The odds are always against him but if he survives he will become the Western legend he always was in his own mind.
The Wild West just got a lot wilder!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Stupid habits

Ever notice how many people on the phone, when it's time to hang up, say "Mmm bye."  I don't know where that Mmm comes from. I doubt folks even realize they're doing it. It bugs me for some reason.  It bugs me a lot. I talked to Comcast and my doctor's office yesterday morning and both people said "Mmm bye."  Why can't they just say goodbye or bye?  It's the Mmm that I can't understand.  I've asked a few foreign friends and they say it's an American thing and you're not likely to hear it in the UK or Canada.  Of course I don't call many people in the UK or Canada.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Holiday lights

I note on my street only one other house has any holiday lighting.   I have a cactus lit up with multi-colored lights.  The house a few blocks down the street is gorgeous.  And no one else even has  a wreath on their door.  If you head a street or two over and lots of houses are cheerfully decorated, but not on my street.  I really know why this is.  It's just an observation.  The solar powered lights on my cactus are working quite well.

My dad lives a couple of miles away and his neighborhood is seriously decked out with some very impressive holiday lighting.  Don't know why that is, although his neighborhood has  more families and my neighborhood is mostly old people.  

Monday, December 9, 2019

inconsistency?

I mentioned the lack of urgency in my so-called two-day shipping.  I've also mentioned my family no longer exchanges presents.  Well, the items I mentioned yesterday were not presents, they were things I wanted for me.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Two Day Shipping

I ordered four different items from four different companies on Cyber Monday.  They all promised two day shipping.  As of last night, not one of these companies had even shipped my purchase. This so-called two day shipping is a total fraud.  Looks like four packages will be going back.If these blasted companies can't honor their promises they should stop making them.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Well, it's been around 48 years since you brought me anything, but who's counting?  Have I offended you in some way?  The last time you even came by you gave the dog a nice squeaky soccer ball and stiffed me.  He loved that ball.  You didn't give me a ball.  I didn't get nothin'

So, what about this year? Let bygones be bygones?  That cute redhead who works at the hardware store would be a good starter. A date with her would put a smile on my face.   I don't think she likes me, but you're living proof fat old guys can win over the ladies.

If that's not in the cards, how about some cards.  I sure would like a nice trip to Las Vegas so I could play some cards.  I don't really care for the local casino and would rather gamble in Las Vegas.

No? Well, there's always cash. I find I never seem to have enough cash and could really use some more.  Gift cards are nice, too.  

Of course the old car needs to be replaced. A shiny new red one would be splendid.  I got an actual tree this year, so you can put my gift, whatever it is, right under there just fine. Except for the car, which probably wouldn't fit.

By the way, do you have any clout with the fortune cookie people? They promised me fabulous wealth would soon come my way and it's been a year and I still haven't got my wealth yet. Just wondering.

Your pal,

David


Friday, December 6, 2019

powered by the sun

This past summer I removed the light bulb and housing around my yard light.  This is a yard light that stands on a post and is required by the local homeowners association rules.  I replaced it with a solar powered light that has a little charger on top and it charges up all day then comes on at night. I love it, although it is not quite as bright as most of the traditional light bulb yard lights in the neighborhood.

I have noticed in the past few months that some other people have replaced their electric yard lights with solar power as well.  The price of this stuff has come down and the quality improved.

So, yesterday I used solar Christmas lights for the first time.  I decorated a Saguaro in my front yard [that's a big cactus for you Gringo types].  The lights came on at dark and work great.  And I did not have to run extension cords and timers around. I just wrapped the cactus and placed the power box near the base and let it do its solar thing.



Thursday, December 5, 2019

Dead Dogs

Something odd happened down the street from me two days ago.  Suddenly there were two dead dogs lying next to the road.  They looked like Alaskan sled dogs or something similar.  They appeared fairly healthy. They were just dead.  Had it been one dog I'd have assumed it got hit by a car.  Dogs run rather freely in my semi-rural area.  But two of them?  Somebody must have killed them and dumped them there.  I can't really understand that.  There are shelters who would take these dogs in if someone couldn't care for them.  Not the case here, apparently.  Animal control came and scooped them off and took their bodies off to wherever they go.  I just don't see any reason to kill two healthy dogs.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Talkin Trash

My local trash company has seriously cut back on what we can recycle.  We're basically down to cardboard, aluminum cans, newsprint and clear plastic bottles.  Alas, the market for recyclable material isn't what it once was.  The thing is, my dad lives about 2 miles from me, but he has a different garbage disposal service.  In his neighborhood they can still recycle catalogs, steel cans, glass bottles. But not us.  And that;s the exciting world of hauling trash these days.



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Happy Holidays

Yesterday I wrote on returning items to stores.  I was amazed that Amazon now has a deal where you just give a code to the folks at UPS Stores and you don't have to pack the item or even address it.  Mighty convenient.  The key is not to have to return so much stuff.  I'm hoping I won't have to buy anything else for a while. Since my family does not exchange Christmas gifts, that's not difficult. Most of my online purchases are personal clothes and stuff like that.

Our family stopped exchanging gifts quite some time ago. We just loved it. No one ever liked the gifts they got anyway. It was great.

That's not to say we don't celebrate Christmas.  We, meaning our family, decorate our homes, we'll have a special family Christmas supper, and do the sorts of things most folks do. We just don't exchange gifts.

Speaking of celebrating. My front door has a nice holiday wreath on it. My dilemma is I don't know what to do about decorating my house. I used to light up an ugly old bush  with Christmas lights. The bush had to go away to bush heaven.  I haven't got much else in my yard to decorate.  Just not sure what I'll do.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Take this, ya varmint

One of the inevitable problems with online purchases is that some of them  simply are not what you wanted.  Alas, I got one such item yesterday.  I was amazed it was delivered on Sunday as it was not a "Prime" shipment. I don't have Prime and question whether the annual fee is worth it. But I did get a free shipment and my item arrived a day early. I can't fault the shipping. It's just the item was disappointing. I thought it was poorly made and it just wasn't what I wanted.  Ergo, I decided to send it back.

I hadn't returned anything to Amazon in quite a while. They had something new. All I had to do was take it to the UPS Store--no box or label required. I just had to have a code they provided.  So, this morning I did just that and dropped it off and that was it.  Simply amazing.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mr. Balls

About a decade ago I worked for the census.  One of the people who I had to ad, as my crew was updating information such as addresses not in the system, was a guy named Harry Balls.  Say this aloud if you don't get the humor here.  One of my co-workers was a man named Raymond Broadbeard.  He'd been given the name "Harry Balls" by a resident. He asked me if it was real? How would I know?  Although it did have a certain similarity to one of those crank names Bart Simpson used to call up Moe's Tavern.  But it was not our place to question Mr. Balls.  And I did note his mailbox was stenciled Balls, whether they were hairy or not was something I did not really want to find out.

Well, Raymond vowed to set out and find some of the stranger names people have and wrap them up into a book.  As we're approaching the new census, I got to thinking about Raymond and contacted him.  He never did the book. He found it impossible to research. [Census data is kept secret for 75 years by law]. I kind of figured out that was the case.

Since Raymond still lives in Central Colorado, I suggested he contact Mr. Balls and ask how he survived middle school with a name like that.  Alas, Harry no longer lived at the same house.  The fellow who now lived there was named "Won Hung Lo" and I'm not certain about the spelling. Think about that one and we're still on the subject of balls. Say it out loud if you still can't get the irony.

I did find some guy who spelled it differently, Harry Baals, a former mayor of Ft Wayne, Indiana.  I doubt he's our Harry.  So, Harry, if you're out there, please don't contact me. It's Raymond who wanted to talk to you about your balls, not me.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

It's Late, It's Late

I keep hearing we have  a late Christmas this year. I really wonder how that can be since Christmas always comes on December 25th. It's the same every year.  So, since it never changes, how can it be late?

Perhaps the confused members of the news media mean the shopping season is late, since Thanksgiving is fairly late compared to Christmas.  But is that really true?  Are shoppers mindless automatons unable to make their purchasing decisions until and only when Thanksgiving has passed. The same mindless automatons bombarded with Christmas imaging since before Halloween at many stores?

Me thinks perhaps the consumer is not quite the fool the retailers make him out to be.  People scan the universe looking for the best deals. Just two days ago at Target a man used some AP to scan the TV he was interested in. He looked at his phone and headed for the nearest exit, apparently in search of a better value somewhere else.  Maybe it's the retailers trying to fool everyone who are wrong and not the consumer.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday

I was in a large chain store that was not Walmart two days ago.  Some customers noted employees were stocking shelves.  "Wonder what they'll have for Black Friday?"

Well, I sure as hell don't know. I don't go near stores on Black Friday as I really do not like crowds. I question the deals are really all that wonderful, although I guess they have a few things to get people in the door.  Of course my family is somewhat impervious to holiday shopping as we don't exchange gifts. We quit doing that a  long time ago--everyone just loved it.  No ugly sweaters or coats that don't fit, no more books you'd never read,  I'll get nothing for Christmas and am delighted with that. Back when our family exchanged gifts no one liked what they got, ergo our delight at not getting anything.

However, for the benefit of the shoppers who do feel the need to give gifts, may I suggest staying home on Black Friday and buying nothing.  The stores will panic and they'll have even better deals in a few days.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Be Safe

They say there are more residential fires on Thanksgiving than any other day.  So, while I'm eating a superbly cooked turkey that I've prepared, be safe out there and try not to burn down your house or poison your dog.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Movies

Is the new Star Wars movie going to be as bad as the last one? Probably.  I doubt I'll even go see it.

The trailers for the new Christmas movies really struck me as extra awful.  Best stay home and sleep or play with your dog, me thinks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Bums

One of the bad things about living in Tucson is the never ending supply of panhandling vagrants. They are literally everywhere.  In fact, there's a strip mall that has vacant retail space because no one wants to rent there because the panhandlers are so thick.  Of course these strip malls could hire security guards to try and contain the problem, but that would cost money and these places seem unwilling to do anything like that.  So the problem persists. 

People actually giving these bums money just make the problem worse. They're what sociologists call enablers, although they surely see themselves as the good guys.  To put it more bluntly, if they weren't taking in money, they wouldn't be out there panhandling.  

And what should out political leaders do about the problem.  They could make the panhandlers liable for the cost of cleaning their blood off cars if they're run down.  I got some Mexican money once, it was worth about a dollar but looked like a lot in pesos. the peso has risen since then and at about fifty cents, this wouldn't work.  I'm sure there's some foreign money that's worthless one could give them. And I once said I haven't got any money but you want a bottle of apple juice. Well, the apple juice was actually urine.  I felt bad about that and never did that again.  Maybe writing them a check on a closed bank account might be interesting.

A vexing problem, isn't it?  The best solution is don't play. if people would stop giving them money the problem would go away.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Turkeys cometh

Well, we're almost once again on Thanksgiving.  And I once again remind folks my turkeys are amazingly good.  Keep that goo out of the bird and you'll have a better tasting bird and one that won't expose you to salmonella as the hot air flow through a hollow interior cooks your bird differently  and better than if you plug it up with that damned stuffing.  Most of the stuffing never gets very hot and can harbor salmonella  which can make you sick. Leave the turkey interior open. If you must have stuffing, buy a package of Stovetop stuffing. It's put out by the folks at Kraft/Heinz and it's really good. 

I cook over a grill with mesquite. You need to watch your heat if using charcoal. A gas grill does a fair job and you can use get a bag of wood chips for a nice natural smoke flavoring.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sick season

I note here in Arizona really high numbers of flu cases for this early in the season.  Don't know why. Most folks don't know about some of the influenza outbreaks of the early 1900s.  The so-called Spanish Flu hit in 1911 and killed millions of people. San Francisco was especially hard hit. I've seen stacks of hastily built coffins  that were piled high as no one had time to bury any of them because people were dying so fast.  Flu is not as virulent now.  And we have effective vaccines that weren't available back then.  Official records say 556 people died in the US last year from the flu.  I still get my flu shot.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Buying local

I've been on a buying local kick. I used to just go online and order from a certain large company. Then I decided the local businesses that provide local jobs and pay the local taxes that fix the roads could use my support.  So I've been trying to buy more stuff local.  It's not always easy. The local bookstore is nice.  Yep, we actually have books here in Tucson. There's even talk we may get indoor plumbing soon.  And I bought a nice book from the store.  It was a humor book. I thought I needed a laugh.

Alas, one thing they don't have is weird western books. Books like Straight Outta Deadwood, they ain't got. Oh, wait. They do carry one of my weird western anthologies. Gotta love local stores like the nice folks at Antigone Books on 4th street in Tucson.  Not only do they sell one of my books, they even have indoor bathrooms--no outhouses for this classy joint.  I wish all the snowbirds in town, and there seem to be more this year, would go by there and buy stuff from them.  They've got catchy greeting cards, too.  I read somewhere that half of the books sold are sold during November and December. If not them, then your favorite local bookstore. Time's a wasting. Buy some stuff.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Cold and rainy

Today is the sort of day that do not put on postcards for sunny Arizona. It's cold and rainy. The rainy part is a good thing as our plant friends really need the rain.  I'm not really cold, but a lot of the locals are.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Green People

Would we really care all that much if little green men showed up and they weren't trying to probe or abduct us?  That's the premise in Tales From Dry Gulch, an anthology about a town where the saloon's piano player is from an alien planet.  If you came in off the trail and asked "Why is this fellow green?" you'd be told because he's an alien from another planet.  Then you'd reply: Does he take requests?

Of course he takes requests. The folks at Dry Gulch are friendly. 


It's just not the way that relationship is supposed to work in most stories.  Oh, he's green because he's from another planet.  And he plays the piano. I'll have a glass of your local malt and maybe he can play something.

Of course the Martians in my novella Fallen Angel are not at all nice. They view humans more as food.  Mabel Sanders is the only one who can communicate with them, so she's pressed into interpretation duty first by the Sioux and then by the United States Army.  She can communicate with them as, being an angel, she speaks all languages.  So, these green guys, you don't want to hang out.

I really like stories about little green men in flying saucers.  These are but two of them you can order or download right now.  See what you've been missing.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Wasteful

I read where UPS expects around 2 million return packages on January 2nd alone as people return all the crap they shouldn't have bought in the first place. This seems very wasteful to me.

My solutions to the problem:
Don't give clothing.  I always hated clothing gifts.  They were the wrong color, or the wrong size or something wool [I really hate wool and won't wear it].

If it's stupid, well it's stupid.  Remember Pet Rocks?  At least they didn't cost much.
Give something a person actually has a use for.

If the person can read and write, books are still good gifts.  I have three recent books to stuff that stocking: Tales From Dry Gulch, Fallen Angel and Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  They're good books, especially Legend of the Dragon Cowboys.  I have another book, a science fiction novel called Bonded Agent, but male readers don't like it although female readers do.

Just don't give a gift at all.  My family stopped exchanging gifts years ago and we all loved it [except for the dog, who seemed to still want a present under the Xmas tree].


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Driving along

When I lived in Colorado I used to marvel at how  often cars driven by senior citizens drove into 7-Elevens.  Well, there aren't very many 7-Elevens in the Tucson area.  Lacking a 7-Eleven, some lady drove into my neighbor's house yesterday.  The fire rescue people carted her away to the hospital and the sheriff's department was tasked with figuring out what to do with it. Do they charge her with something? Can they take away her driver license?   I don't really know.  At least no innocent bystander was hurt.

Having an elderly parent myself who is still on the road, I do still worry that dad will be on the evening news some day.  I don't know what caused the lady to have her episode. Sometimes it's medical, other times they just get confused and think the gas petal is the brake.  I may never know. It's a sad situation that's a bit too frequent.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Animals

Last night the coyotes were howling.  I don't speak Coyote, so I don't know what it was about.  I also noted that our family of quail in the neighborhood are gone.  We also have a hawk that likes our neighborhood.  I call the hawk, Henry.  My dilemma is I don't know if the demise of the quail is due to the hawk or the coyotes.  Mt impression is both are quite happy with a quail dinner.

Now, what difference does it make?  None, really. It's just the sort of thing I spend my time wondering about.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Holiday Greetings

One of the many peculiarities of the Holiday season is the Christmas Card.  Folks send far less than they once did, but this oddity still exists.  Some years ago I found a set of old fashioned postcards. Since postcards don't need envelopes and have less postage costs than regular Christmas cards, I thought this concept was awesome.  I have not seen this sort of thing in years and am surprised it never really caught on.  I'd buy some if I could find some, but that seems unlikely.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pluto, make up your mind.

Apparently Pluto is now a planet again. At least the guy in charge of NASA seems to think so. Citing its many planet features like a moon and stuff.  Supposedly it's thermal activity and atmosphere mean they should change it back from Dwarf Something.



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Shopping Bliss

Beyond yesterday's mention of getting kicked out of restaurants, I note I used to get kicked out of supermarkets.  For instance, some old hag kept running her shopping cart into me at a Kroger [King Super] back in Colorado.  I told her to get away from me and she immediately returned with a manager and I was removed and banned.  For a while there, this played similarly. At a Safeway this [another] old hag cut in front of me in line.  I told her she was dead if she didn't get in her place and the manager and police swooped over and not only made me leave but trespassed me as well.

Then, I stopped getting kicked out of stores when I moved to Arizona.  And now I get kicked out of restaurants.  The last one, I don't know why--perhaps mistaken identity.  The one last month, the hostess told me to sit anywhere. I sat at a table by the window [lunch time hardly anyone in restaurant].  "You can't sit there.  Go over there to crappy tables." And I replied "You said sit anywhere."  And she said, "You get out. We don't want your kind here."

It's not easy being me.

Way back in the good old days, the Irish were treated that way, tossed out of restaurants and barred from hotels.  My character, Miles O'Malley,  In The Devil's Due discovers his horse is more welcome at a lodging place than he is.

Well, alas, I don't seem as welcome as Miles lately.  And no, I have no idea what "your kind" implied.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dining Adventure

Got kicked out of another restaurant here in Tucson. This one was a Chinese restaurant.  "You can't sit there."

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Adventures in Holiday Shopping

This is the time when people start going into holiday mode. I was told yesterday at Costco that Christmas is late this yes. I replied, it's always  on December 25th.  What they mean is Thanksgiving is late this year. Christmas is always the same.  It's a retail myth people don't start shopping until after Thanksgiving.  I've already done my shopping--ha-ha, my family does not exchange Christmas presents ha ha take that retail world..I ain't buying nothing this holiday season. We may do a few Christmas cards but we stopped exchanging gifts many years ago and just loved it.  No returning a hideous sweater in my family because we don't get any presents to return.

what, no holiday cookies?


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Random Thoughts on Space

International Space Station is getting an oven to make cookies.

Other things they need:

A Christmas Tree, maybe one of those pink aluminum ones

A dog, name him Hasbro after the Jetsons. He’d be Hasbro the Space dog.

They need a machine to can and process poop, then they could sell it in the NASA gift shop as “Astronaut Poop.”

They should have a picture of Moscow Mitch in the Russian Section of the space station.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Hmmm

Interesting off year election as I sipped a beverage from my official Moscow Mitch Mug.  City of Tucson had an election, but I live in the county and we had nothing going on out our way.

He sold us out to the Russians, He's Moscow Mitch.  Rootin tootinest crookedest Senator there ever was. He's Moscow Mitch.  Ketchup and Caviar on a bun--that's the Moscow Mitch sandwich. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Trash Talk

Well, it is once again trash day. Every Wednesday the garbage truck comes and hauls away my garbage.  They empty my can and head off to do my neighbors.  It's a glorious thing.  Alas, at times, I do worry that the trash people could cross over to the forces of evil.  Imagine if you could, dumping the entire contents of a garbage truck on someone's pool--you'd give up swimming.  or dumping a truck load on a freeway. That would make the commute more fun.  But, instead we have efficient removal of our refuse by dedicated solid waste professionals. 


disappointing holiday crap

Well, the movie trailers are dismal, now I've seen the postage stamps.  Disappointing is an understatement. They are pathetic. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fishing

Here in Tucson the local parks are stocked with fish during the cooler winter months [in the pond, of course].  Of course, no one believes my fish theory. I content ;here it comes,. that fish may in fact know full well what a fishing line does and they don't care. Meaning, you're not fooling them at all. They bite the hook because they're trying to commit suicide and there is no such thing as angler skill. 


Snowbirds

One of the peculiarities of places like Arizona is the snowbird.  They start showing up in November, most arriving by Thanksgiving, then they are around until March or April, then they all go back to whatever godforsaken wasteland they came from.  All because they don't like the winter weather back home.  Meanwhile, the local stores are crowded, as are the restaurants and the traffic goes from bad to unbearable.  You see, I am a year around resident of Tucson, Arizona. I love it here in the summer because the snowbirds are gone and the college kids are gone and it's not a bad place to live when everyone is gone.

Alas, we're just getting started. The snowbirds are flocking in like columns of geese. It happens every year and every year I complain about it.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

All Hallows Eve

This Halloween isn't going to be much. I love Halloween, but my recent trip to the hospital and all left me with no real plans for everyone's second favorite holiday.  I read somewhere that Halloween is the second most popular holiday in the USA by dollars spent. Furthermore, it's expanding into places like Europe and the United Kingdom where it has not been historically celebrated.  

As an actual voting active member of the Horror Writers Association [and the Stoker Awards] Halloween is usually the primo event of the year.  Maybe next time.  I guess I'll just hang out tonight with Linus in his pumpkin patch.  If you don't know what that means, well then you're even more out of it that I am.  Goodnight and good halloweening.

By the way, don't forget it was Halloween that brought the infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast.  

Oh, and one other thing.  I still like haunted hotels and there may be a new development soon on that front, even if the ill fated anthology Hotel Haunted is dead.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Movieland

Whilst reviewing the Addams Family, they had the customary movie trailers for upcoming attractions.  Dear lord, run and hide. Don't leave the cave you are hiding in until February, after Ground Hog Day.  I've never seen such amalgamated crap in my life.  Not one of these trailers was interesting enough to even watch on home video, let alone in a theatre.  If this the best, it's going to be a bleak Christmas.  Just awful looking.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Addams Family review [I've been busy]

I rarely review movies. If I do one, it's an unusual case.  And there is nothing more unusual than the Addams Family.  I used to watch the original 1960s TV show [I guess I'm showing my age].  I even once had a book of the Addams Family cartoons reprinted from the New Yorker.  I think it is safe that there is nothing Addams Family that I don't simply adore.  And I adore this movie.  I found myself almost forgetting it was animated.  Once again, Wednesday steals the show--she always does.  When I was a kid I looked a little too much like Pugsley, but I digress.  At first I thought "What the hell?" as it starts off quite different than I expected.  One family got up and left.  They missed a really good movie. Patience is a virtue. It comes together quickly.

My sole and only criticism is Lurch. I have never liked any version of Lurch since the original TV show--that guy cracks me up.  That's more my problem..  The Addams Family can't go wrong and I can't objectively review them, just give me more. That's all I want.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hotel Haunted

Hotel Haunted, the ill-fated anthology is officially dead.  If you think you are in this book and have not heard from me, please contact.  I have not been able to reach all of the contributors.

This was an anthology of stories about haunted hotels. Alas, I was editor but not publisher and the publisher never released the book, wasting everyone's time.  Unfortunate, but this sort of thing happens now and then.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Books

Just got my space assignment for Tempe Book Festival [Nov 2nd].  I'll be in space 40 right next to Duncan's Books.  I'll have my current in print books and a few other items with me.  If you're in the area, please stop by. It runs from 10-3 and it is FREE.  This is a nice friendly little book fair at the Tempe Library--Baseline & Rural.  If you haven't been there it's well worth checking out.


Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Great Wall

Well, my former home state is getting a new wall to keep the people in New Mexico out.  You really don't want people like them running around Colorado.  Next thing you know, they'll be camping or even staying in hotels. They might even go trout fishing. Heaven help us. Thank God we have the wisdom of Donald Trump to guide us and protect us by putting a wall around places like Colorado.  Keep New Mexico in New Mexico.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Strange Rejection

I got a story rejection today.  That's hardly noteworthy save for the fact I didn't realize I had any stories pending anywhere.  With my health problems and other distractions, I haven't done any writing in a while.  So, when I was rejected I started wondering. What the heck?  I didn't remember the anthology or what I'd sent them. So, after some time, I figured out it was for a project I'd submitted to over a year ago.  Wow, ain't that a timely response.   The projects I edit almost always get a reply within a month.  A year, a whole blasted year.  And they wonder why writers are insane.

Another reason I don't get rejected much is most of my stories are accepted.  There are a lot of reasons for why a story is rejected.  Most recently my last reject was because they didn't want male authors.  They didn't disclose that or I wouldn't have bothered.  You just never know. It's a very fickle business.  

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Tires

I seem to have an inordinate amount of tire problems. Part of it's our really crappy roads around here, but something else seems afoot.  I shredded a tire two months ago.  The replacement tire, after only two month, is now leaking.  At least it is still under warranty. Off we go to the tire place today.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Walls

Apparently, Donald thinks they're putting a wall around Colorado.  He does not appear to understand Colorado is not a border state.  Oh well. Don't forget, Denver now has Voodoo Donuts.  I guess they don't want to run out.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Doughnuts

I didn't go to Denver this year for health reasons. I normally go to Mile Hi Con.  To add salt to my open wound, I just learned they now have Voodoo Donuts in Denver. I didn't know this wonderful Oregon delicacy was expanding.  Now I'm really bummed. I'd have crawled from St Joseph's to the airport if I'd realized they had Voodoo Donuts. Bummer dude.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mile Hi Con

Normally, Id be in Denver at Mile Hi Con this weekend.  I'm not. I'm still in Tucson.  Having just gotten out of the hospital and still facing some health problems, a trip to Denver simply was not a good idea.  Still, it seems odd. I always go to Mile Hi Con. I've been going for years.  It was easier when I lived in Colorado, but I've continued to go even since I moved to Tucson.  It's a chance to see old friends and sometimes make new ones.  So, I hope everyone at MHC  are enjoying themselves and maybe I'll get to Denver again, someday.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Voting

One thing that seems to go with barely a whimper is the ongoing voter suppression.  Lots of people are being purged from voter rolls.  Yet, they still hand out signs and stickers like "I voted." Well, here are some suggestions for the current times:

I Guess I Voted

I Tried To Vote

I Don't  Know  If  I Voted

Somebody Voted For Me!


I doubt they'll be handing these out at the polls, but I can always hope.  

On a related notion,  Whatever happened to the dead vote?  It's a fact, not really contested any longer, that LBJ in his Congress days, was elected to office by dead people.  Apparently, he was extremely popular with the dead voters and won nearly 100% of the dead people vote.  So what happened to the Texas dead?  Do they no longer vote? They probably vote Republican now, I'm guessing.  

Fun Fact:  Neither of my grandmothers  ever voted--not once.  They actually started out in an era when women were not allowed to vote.  They still never did vote. I don''t know why, although one of them lived in a Southern state and seemed to dislike the poll tax.  That was a tax on voting to discourage black people from voting. It also kept a lot of poor white people from the polls as well.  

Primary season starts soon. Update your voting status , especially if you recently died.  I wonder how many dead people read this blog.  





Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Okay

All right, yesterday's post was a little shameless self promotion.  I wish people would buy it.  It's a different sort of weird western.  It's character driven.  Yes, there is some violence but I think it is well within a PG rating.  The content is fairly tame as we meet the alien piano player who works at the saloon and learn about the other folks who call Dry Gulch home.  Oh, I guess I've done it again--more shameless self promotion.   

Dry Gulch

Buy Tales From Dry Gulch.  It's good for you.  It's like eating peach cobbler with ice cream--well, sort of.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Horse Doctor

A friend thought I was being a bit rude as I referred to one of the doctors in my recent medical nightmare as a horse doctor.  Apparently, she thought I was disparaging the veterinary profession. I didn't really think of it in those terms, more a simple effort to claim my displeasure with the skills pf that particular doctor.  Truth is, no I wouldn't really take a horse to see her.  What did the horse ever do to me?

The term Horse Doctor is a derogatory term much akin to Quack when referring in a derogatory manner to the medical skill of a doctor.  It is not my invention.  


Monday, October 14, 2019

Columbus

Well, it's Columbus Day.  I'd much rather see Ground Hog Day have a holiday, but no one asked me.  Columbus did not discover the New World--the Vikings were here 200 years before he was.  He thought he was somewhere near India--not exactly, dude.  And for some reason children are taught he was some great explorer.  He brought nothing but misery, death and disease on the Native people living in the Caribbean. By the way, he never set foot on the mainland, just the islands.  I pointed this out in the sixth grade [or fifth? I don't remember for sure].  Got something like a D on my report. It's like questioning God to some people.  

Anyway, there are no fireworks on Columbus Day at my house and we don't even have presents under the Columbus Tree.  I'm a horrible person.  

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Conz

This is the time of year I'd normally be getting ready to head off to Denver for Mile Hi Con next weekend. Alas, after my recent health problems which included some serious kidney issues including gout [a truly nightmare disease].  I decided not to undertake a journey to Denver this year.  I'll miss it, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.  If I had any type of relapse, being so far away from home would make things really tough.  

This makes me wonder about going to cons in general.  I am increasingly snubbed by them.  They simply don't want me there.  Mile Hi Con was one of the very few where I still felt welcome, so this is a loss.  Most of the cons I contact simply do not want me there. Why?  I don't really know.  As I look toward next year, I wonder if I'll be doing more than one or two of these things.  They're a good way to meet folks in the business [writing and publishing business] and that's the main reason i go to them.  It's not essential. One can do just fine without going to cons.  And that may be my future.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Weeds

Now my yard is overrun with weeds again.  I was distracted by my health problems, but ventured into my back yard yesterday and thought it had been replaced by some jungle from a different climate. I live in the Arizona desert.  We can't have weeds here--it';s too dry. Yikes.  Well, I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend. 



Thursday, October 10, 2019

People reading books

I had to go to the doctor yesterday, as followup to my recent hospitalization.  What was interesting as as I sat in the waiting room was the fact that most of the people were reading books.  These were printed books, not ebooks.  I don't know what they were about--none of them looked like mine. Still, I was thrilled that people were actually reading books.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Then there's garbage

I'm talking about garbage, real garbage.  The company that served my neighborhood had drastically cut back on recycling. They no longer take anything but cardboard, aluminum cans and clear plastic bottles. That's it. 

Worse even tan that, they blew me off last week and didn't even pick up anything at my house.  It's enough to make people drop out and quit recycling.  And that's unfortunate.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Am I me?

Well, I like debit cards. It's a really convenient way to buy stuff.  However, dealing with the bank that issued the darned thing is anything but convenient.  I got a new debit card. I called in from my regular phone number to activate the card.  It wouldn't believe I was me. It insisted I had to call from the phone number I was calling from.  I tried to reach an actual live person--nothing happening there. A live agent was not even an option.  I finally gave up, cut the blasted thing in two and threw it away. Time for another bank.  When these places adopt security systems that make it impossible for an actual customer to use the product, what have they really accomplished?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Saddle Up Boys and Girls

A new weird western anthology has been released.  I'm always excited when that happens.  Straight Outta Deadwood just  hit the shelves. This is a big deal as large publishers like Baen rarely do weird westerns.  This is the second "Straight Outta" book, following Straight Outta Tombstone.  These books are edited by my friend, David Boop.

It's not expensive. Buy a copy.  I have no skin in the game here as I am not a participant with this book. I know the editor and some of the contributing authors.

This should not be confused with my new book, Tales From Dry Gulch, the difference being my book has a small flying saucer on the cover and Straight Outta Deadwood does not.  Buy a copy. They make great Halloween presents to put under the Halloween Tree.












Thursday, October 3, 2019

Quarter

I found a quarter today.  What's really neat is that I was able to bend over and pick it up and put it in my pocket. Frankly, a week ago that would've been impossible.  I was amazed at how fast I went downhill and and equally amazed at how fast I have recovered.  It all started with a bad reaction to anaesthesia, then kidney failure, then a bonus prize called gout.  And now it's all over and I'm moving on my own power.  

It's sure been a reminder of my own mortality.  Strong suggestion: have a medical power of attorney.  There was a point where the hospital was starting to push me around and implying I couldn't make my own decisions.  Glad to have one on file,really glad.  

I could go on, but I'll stop with that for now. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Halloween

I can't believe it's almost Halloween.  I love Halloween.  It's my second favorite holiday after Ground Hog Day [yep, I'm kind of weird].  I don't get trick or treaters  in my neighborhood.  Two miles down the road my dad gets hundreds of them.  I always liked seeing what the kids are dressed up like, especially the little ones.  They say Halloween is the second biggest holiday in terms of money spent, now only trailing Christmas. 

To that end, a local attraction down the road called Old Tucson, gets right in the spirit.  They have an event called Nightfall, where the movie-themed park turns into a ghost town at night.  I have never gone and intended to go this time. Alas, since i just got out of the hospital and have little stamina, that now seems unlikely.  Bummer.  So, I guess I'll go help dad hand out candy.  Maybe I'll put a costume on, probably not.  My ten-year-old self would be disgusted with me. 

By the way, Tales From Dry Gulch has some stories just right for Halloween.  Feel free to order a box and hand them out instead of candy.



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

crispness

Three's a crispness in the air. Heck, the evenings are getting noticeably cooler.  After a very long hot season like we get here in Tucson, it's kind of nice.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Late night thoughts

I wonder what people think about late at night in a hospital room if they can't sleep.  I know what I was thinking about--exoplanets.  I normal person would be thinking about their dog or their house or their job or what they're going to have for breakfast. Not me, at 2 am I'm lying in bed thinking about exoplanets..  More specifically, I was wondering if these planets around other stars have moons.  Current technology doesn't seem able to tell, but there don't seem to be any confirmed discoveries of any moons.  Why is this important?  Without the moon, our moon, some theories suggest without its gravity causing tides and stuff, life might never have developed on earth.  Ergo, are we closer to finding life?  That's what i think about at two a.m., but snubbed by cons as some sort of scientific lightweight.  

Saturday, September 28, 2019

how was your week?

Top this buckaroo


Go in for some testicular surgery, to relieve fluid build up. Supposed to be outpatient surgery.


Come out of surgery and start fighting with hospital workers.  Self removed IV and breathing tube before the nurse was ready to do it. During the fracas somebody gave me a black eye. No one “Knows” anything at hospital about that.

They admit me cause I’m not breathing right.  Put me on oxygen.   Anyone ever hear that anaesthesia and surgery can mess up people’s metabolism?

The hospital doctor changes my meds.  This drops my blood pressure to that of a zombie corpse on The Walking Dead.. Immediate result, kidney failure and a genetic vulnerability for gout kicks in. My ankle causing me to go screaming if I’m even touched there.  Kidney specialist called in [partner of my regular kidney doctor]. He changes meds.  Blood pressure goes to normal and starts treating gout.

I’m feeling much better, and am dozing in a chair. I wake up, become confused, and think I’m in someone else’s room. I get out of chair and walk three feet before I realize I’m too weak to walk and go crashing to the floor and can’t get up.  Hospital crew lifts me and puts me to bed.

Testicular surgery starts bleeding. Urologist comes in an re-sutures wound.

After 10 days in hospital I am transferred to rehab hospital.  Final act at hospital, nurse steals my pen.  Rehab hospital is a creepy place at two am.  There must be a horror story there somehow. Not supposed to get out of bed, but you press help button and on one ever come to help you. After two hours srart defying rehab hospital and just go to bathroom on own.  I’m getting rehab, but not exactly the right kind.

Morning of fourth day I demand to be discharged and go home.  I could take it no longer. Vow to get outpatient physical therapy referred by my regular doctor. 


What have we learned:?
Nrse practitioners are idiots
anaesthesia can really mess up your body.
Gout is far more painful than anything I’ve encountered, including a broken arm in third grade.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Back sort of

I will expand on this as time permits this weekend.  I went off to the hospital and never came home for two weeks.  Things just went from bad to awful.  I'm back now.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Off for surgery

After all my medical tests last week, now I'm off for surgery today.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

More medical stuff

So, I go through all the tests. They took enough blood to feed a vampire.  The nurse practitioner didn't like my EKG, the cardiologist said it wasn't that bad, but made me get an echo cardiogram just the same.  That's a glorified ultrasound if you have not had the pleasure.  Then they decided to clear me for surgery.  I guess that's a good thing.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday.  

Friday, September 13, 2019

Huh?

Huh?  The thing I noticed most about having all these blasted tests--three hours of tests for what's supposed to be a half hour outpatient procedure.  Anyway, these medical people, not the doctors so much as the little trolls who work for them, ask some things that make you wonder.  I don't think I'm super old and decrepit,although I'm starting to wonder.  "Can you sit up on the exam table?"  Uh, no I need to sit on the floor.   "Do you need a wheelchair or can you walk over to get your ultrasound?"  Uh, no, I just walked three times that far coming in from the parking lot, better order me up a wheelchair.   "Do you need help putting your shoes back on?"  [seriously]    I don't know how my shoes get on each morning.    Do they really think I'm that feeble or is it just the force of habit?  Maybe I don't really want to know.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

And More Tests

And the cardiologist I had to go to because the nurse practitioner is an id*t decided I can have my surgery.  Yay!  Now, what else will go wrong? Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What A Production

Getting ready to have surgery. What a production.  They took a lot of blood and stuff. One gets the feeling they're desperate to find something wrong with me, in addition to the problem for the surgery.  The nurse practitioner, which means a nurse with godlike power over you, did not like my EKG. I don't understand what is wrong as no one really told me. So, tomorrow it's off to see the cardiologist. Are we having fun yet?

Monday, September 9, 2019

Medical

"Well, well well. How about we just take our knife and cut that tumor out of you. Betcha you'd like that."

"Go ahead.  [That's one way to save on co-pays }


Sunday, September 8, 2019

What are you doing?

I was asked why I posted a lackluster review of Tales From Dry Gulch yesterday.  Well, it wasn't that bad.  It's just people like seeing what other folks think before purchasing. To put it another way, we have nothing to hide.  As is often the case with anthologies  tastes vary a lot.  So people are looking for something that makes them feel like this particular book is right for them.  It's hard to get them to buy.  The review gave folks another take on the book.  

Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Review

A new review just came out for Tales From Dry Gulch.  at Critical Mass review site. 
http://www.dondammassa.com/R1C2019.htm


Not overly wild about it, but not hard on it either.  He has not liked much of my latest products. Folks can read it for themselves.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Surgery

Well, I've got to have surgery in the near future.  It's not as simple as stick a knife in me, and call it done. Oh no, first I have to be cleared for surgery.  I think that's so they're confident I won't die on the table. Maybe not. I felt like the last time I was cleared for surgery was for my kidney cancer operation. Then I felt like they were basically checking me out for drug use. I'm sure someone on meth would create havoc with anaesthesia.  So, if I get cleared, then a few days later they'll stick the scalpel in me--assuming the insurance company approves the blasted procedure.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Not a Drop to Drink

Our water went out at 7 pm Monday and was out until Tuesday evening.  We tend not to think much about water. You turn the tap and it's there, until it is not.   Then, forget about that morning shower or doing your laundry.  Maybe you've got some bottled water to drink--maybe not.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Speaking of Dry Gulch

Antigone Books in Tucson now has copies of Tales From Dry Gulch.  Tell your friends.

Them Librarians

Every now and then when I got to an event such as a con or book fair I end up talking to school or public librarians. Yes, they still exist.  They're curious about weird westerns, but afraid to recommend them to younger readers.   Some of these, hell lots of these, have a lot of violence and sex in them. Well, not all do.  Legends of the Dragon Cowboys has very little of that sort of thing.  And the new Tales From Dry Gulch kept itself to a  PG sort of rating.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to a young person.  But librarians, overall, remain skittish. I guess they're tired of angry parents complaining if they guess wrong.  

So tell your libraries to order these. Them is good readin.

Monday, September 2, 2019

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

The Kindle ebook version of Tales From Dry Gulch should be up and running today sometime.  There are other ebook services but I tend not to use them.  Simply put, they don't sell enough copies to bother with.  Kindle will typically sell 20 copies for every one sold someplace else. So, these other places do not seem to me to be worth bothering with.  

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Blueberries

Wild berries are not common here in Arizona.  To get such things in the wild, one must go to places like Maine or Oregon.  However, the canned ones are not all that bad.  I wanted some blueberry pancakes last night, so I got out my pancake mix then poured it onto my griddle, then topped the little wonders with blueberries.  Boy, they were good.

What I do not understand is the lack of frozen blueberry pancakes. Around here in Tucson there is no such thing in the stores.  I used to but them all the time, but that was in Colorado.  They don't have them in Colorado, either.  They used to, but they're gone. Where did they go? 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Flood

Yesterday evening I was on my way home when my phone lit up with a flash flood warning.  The next block I drove into a river.The car picked itself off the ground for a moment. Then the tires reengaged and I gunned it and got out of there and made it home with no further dangers.  Flash Flood warning--no shit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Carz

Last weekend i blew a tire on one of our deplorable, treacherous county roads.  Well, my car has a doughnut and that's what I limped into town with.  No problemo, I thought as I have two cars. So, I backed the other car and the mirror hit a pole under my carport, shearing it off instantly.  So, in a matter of an hour or so I go from two cars to one car limping along with a doughnut tire and one car with a  busted mirror just begging some state trooper to stop me and give me a ticket.  I replaced the tire yesterday. Today the car is getting a new mirror installed. Yay!  It;s not safe out there.