Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blow the man down

Boy howdy, is it windy.  It's not as bad as the wind last year that broke one of my trees, but it's still pretty bad.. 

Monday, April 29, 2019


I thought I'd share a few thoughts about ice.  Where I live, well I think our water smalls funny.  When I freeze water in ice cube trays the ice smells funny.  My solution is to buy bag ice at the store. It doesn't stink. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

the neighborhood

My street is kind of on a small hill, and as you drive it, it goes up hill slightly.  I have learned that if I go past my house and stop in front of the house uphill a ways and start talking on my cellphone this neighbor will inevitably come charging out the door--presumably to yell at me for stopping in front of his house on a public street.  Whereupon I will immediately take my foot of the brake and drive off. Ha ha.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Strange Goings On

I live in a gated neighborhood a few miles out of Tucson.  For some reason, every few weeks, unknown persons have wandered around the neighborhood pounding on windows in the middle of the night.  Thus far, no one has been caught.  I had it happen to my house about six weeks ago. It was about 1 am. There's something weird about somebody pounding on your windows when you're sleeping. You're not sure if it's real or you just dreamed it. Until I got an email in the morning from our neighborhood watch I wasn't really sure.  Anyway, I do find it odd that somebody has nothing else to do.  Apparently a nearby street had an incident two nights ago.

Friday, April 26, 2019


Every now and then The Orville really blows me away.  Sure, they run a bit sugary for my tastes, but some of their episodes are really doing some serious science fiction.  The end of season finale has revisited the episode where the really bad android guys have attacked.  Pretty good stuff.                       

Thursday, April 25, 2019


I keep hearing stories of school districts closing their libraries.  I keep hearing of schools dropping cursive writing off their curriculum.  Most places have already dropped art and music. What's next?  They won't need those things because their phones will take care of it--and it saves money.  I don't know what they're doing to fill up the time.   Here are some suggestions.

Parking lot studies. Students will learn how to patch holes in parking lots, paint stripes for parking stalls, direct traffic and so on.

Sleep lab.  Students will go and sleep.  Studies show students don't get enough sleep and maybe they'll be less horrible if they're rested.

For high school students, fornication lab.  Students will spend an hour every day having sex with each other.  Since they don't have library or art, well at least they'll have something popular.

And that's my fix for education curriculum's. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


This hasn't gotten much attention. The recycling world seems to be collapsing.  Our trash collector has cut back to only plastic bottles, cardboard and aluminum cans. Gone are newspapers, glass bottles, magazines steel cans [like for soup or dog food] and any plastic but bottles.  There go the landfills.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Book Titles

I'm editing an anthology.  Well, here are some really bad titles for your anthology:

Really Boring Tales

Stories to Sleep By

The Most Expensive Anthology Ever Made


Stories About Something

We Forgot What It's About but  It's Probably Good

Stories by Authors Who Just Stopped Caring

Monday, April 22, 2019


Off to the Ford dealer for yet another recall repair.  This sort of thing kills the better part of a day. My main problem is I live so far from the dealer it's tough to do anything else.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Do you know? Part 2

Yesterday I ran some facts and invited people to figure out which ones were actually true. The one about actress Hedy Lamarr was true.  All of the other ones were not.  Didja fall for any of them?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Do you know?

Can you tell which of these statements are true and which ones are not?

Famed lawman Wyatt Earp founded the Wyatt's chain of supermarkets.

Federal lawman J. Edgar Hoover invented Hoover vacuum cleaners.

Movie actress Hedy Lamarr invented a guidance system for torpedoes in WW II.

Actress Lucille Ball claimed she was once abducted by space aliens.

Howard Hughes escaped from a German POW camp during WWII.

Author H.G. Wells was once charged with shoplifting for stealing a hat in a London store.

Actor Raymond Burr invented cell phones.

General Eisenhower adopted Adolph Hitler's German shepherd Heidi at the end of WWII.

Tomorrow I'll reveal which facts are real and which ones are bogus.

Friday, April 19, 2019


When I was little I loved making hard boiled eggs and coloring them for Easter.  Of course my mother kept an eye on things, but I managed to cook and dye them on my own.  I've always wondered why some store  doesn't sell already colored eggs. Of course, it's fun to dye  them and where's the fun of just buying them.  I note a tend to more store bought candy eggs instead of real eggs.  That's a shame.  There's something about dying Easter eggs that I miss.  I'm not going to make any, but I do miss it.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Have you been redacted ?

One of the things about writing fiction is it sometimes collides with reality.  In my novella Fallen Angel, (available on ebook or from your favorite bookseller) the angel Mabel is caught in the file room at a government office. The government clerk asks what she's doing in there. Her answer is she's redacting the government file on her.  Well, when I wrote that passage a year ago it wasn't all that remarkable, just part of the story. Now, suddenly, "redacted" is everywhere.  Well, if someone were reading my book today they might stop a moment, where they otherwise would not.  And Mabel hypnotizes the government clerk and goes on to save everyone from the Martians.

For the dullards out there, redacted means to remove or obscure.  And the term is everywhere.  It's funny how that works sometime.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Got some rain last night, but it was dang little. In a moisture challenged area you always hope for rain, but know not to hope too much.  

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Martians

I was kind of bothered in a review of my new novella, Fallen Angel, that said I used Orwell's Martians.  My Martians fly around in glowing spheres.  My Martians talk--at least to Mabel, as she's the only one who speaks their language.  And my Martians are real assholes--Orwell's are not developed particularly.  Both Martians do seem to want to eat humans, but that's pretty much the end of any similarity.  And, my Martians are little green men. They're not gray, they're green.  That's not so much Orwellian as the contemporary view of aliens is gray beings with black eyes. Mine are green and have glowing yellow eyes.

My Martians were inspired by an account of a UFO sighting during the Battle of Vicksburg.  in the Civil War.  General Grant felt that Vicksburg would give the Union control of the Mississippi River and essentially split Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas from the rest of the Confederacy.  And when the town fell it did pretty much do just that.  There is an account that an artillery battery stopped firing because the soldiers were all gawking at a glowing sphere that was hovering over the battlefield. You don't find that in the history books.  I wasn't around back then, but I tend to believe it happened. And that event, not Orwell's story, is what inspired me to write Fallen Angel.  Mabel, an angel residing in hell as she was one of the angels kicked out of heaven, turns up in the Civil War and works as a photographer.  Being an angel, she can talk to the Martians as angels can speak any language.. Unfortunately, the Martians are all males and despise the very notion of having to talk to a woman.  Things do not go well for the Martians. And they turn up in 1884 in California, which is where a number of my stories are set and they once again encounter Mabel along with Miles O'Malley and his horse, Paul. They should've stayed on Mars.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sisters of the Wild Sage

Book Review     
Sisters of the Wild Sage by Nicole Givens Kurtz, April, 2019

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of a new author collection from Nicole Givens Kurtz. Sisters of the Wild Sage is certainly not a bunch of lawmen running around taking on the forces of evil. Most of the action is set in Wild Sage, New Mexico.  There's a quote that says a lot. "When someone with a pistol meets someone with a magic wand, the pistol loses." These stories are about women, for the most part–women of color. And Kurtz lets loose with her having lived in New Mexico, the wind, the night sky are powerful forces here. And the story is just as likely to take place in a hogan as anywhere else.    

In the interest of disclosure, I was the original publisher of one of these stories. "Justice" first appeared in Six Guns Straight From Hell back around 2007. Maybe I'm biased, but it's still my favorite story in this collection. It actually has a sheriff in it, but none of that matters as justice asserts itself in a Navajo hogan.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Binge watching

Nowadays we can binge watch an entire season of a particular TV show if we want to.  The problem is there aren't that many shows one wants to watch that way. As I mentioned before, I recently binged on the Legend TV show. from the late 90s. I hadn't realized it still existed.  I'm still looking around for the next such adventure.  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Black Hole

I hope everyone caught the black hole.  Galaxies have them and they must serve some purpose.  I have no idea what that purpose is. When they start up Star Fleet, I hope they have all the black holes mapped or that could be a disaster.  

Thursday, April 11, 2019


One remarkable thing about my recent deluge of boiler room calls is the lack of language skills on the part of the callers.  Note to phone scammers: If the victim can't understand you, he's not going to sign up for what ever the hell it is your trying to swindle him with.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Brrr They are having blizzards

They're having blizzard conditions up in Colorado.  It's supposed to be in the 70s today here in Tucson.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Robo Calls

Screw the stupid wall. If President Donald wanted to be popular he'd find a way to end these annoying robo calls. I got 25 unwanted robo calls yesterday and 57 unwanted text messages. This is out of control and the Do Not Call Registry is a total joke.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Killing Eve

Caught the new season debut of Killing Eve.  That's the show that has an assassin who really enjoys her work and a former British intelligence analyst who's trying to catch her.  So far, it's amazing at how good it is.  

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Summer Fuhd

Around these parts, if you walk your dog during the middle of the day you'll burn its feet as the sidewalks are so hot.  Advancing on that theory and on the fact you can cook an egg on the sidewalk, which I have done, I created the solar oven last summer, which was really a cardboard box lined with aluminum foil, with one end open to let in the sunlight.  I cooked a baked potato, although it took four hours.

So, this winter I've been thinking about how to improve my design.  I've got some ideas and plans to try some other things and see how they'll cook with nothing but the sun for energy. First, it has to warm up a little. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

sokay I guess

Well, there are two reviews up on my novella Fallen Angel.  One is at a online review site, the other is an Amazon review.  Neither reviewer was overjoyed with it, nor did they hate it.  Critical Mass, the review site said I used Orwell's Martians. I kind of took exception to that as War of the Worlds Martians lumbered around on walking machines. My Martians flew in glowing spheres. As I've said before, my inspiration for the story came from an account of a UFO sighting at Vicksburg, not from War of the Worlds. Nonetheless, the review was not awful and people won't buy a book they don't know about.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Go to the store

How many people go to the store?  I do. It's a long way to the store from where I live. I'm out in the sticks outside the municipal boundary of Tucson. From here it's quite a drive.  So I get so I don't want to go.  Run out of food? Well, there's still stale rain bread and orange juice--it's what's for dinner. Maybe tomorrow when I'm down to ketchup and orange juice I'll break down and go to the store.  

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Last night I had food from a food truck.   It was only the second time I've had food truck food.  I had some lunch in Denver three years ago and I had supper last night. Our local neighborhood has been having food trucks come by now and then.  So I tried it.    I had a hot dog. It was good, but not really remarkable.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Dog Park

Our neighborhood may soon have a dog park. The homeowners association is taking a vote on one. I think it's a good idea.  Thing is, I don't have a dog.  Still, I like the concept.  I'm reminded about the lab in Seattle who loved the dog park and went every day with her person.  Over time, if he was taking too long she'd go out to the corner and get on the bus by herself. She'd ride the bus and get off at the dog park.  She was videoed  and it caused quite a stir.  The drivers all knew her and couldn't say no to her, but the transit authority was not too pleased an unattended, unleashed dog was riding the bus system.  I just point out how much some dogs like dog parks.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Fools Day

Couldn't think of anything to do to my brother for April Fools.  I guess I've run out of ideas.