Saturday, August 31, 2019


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


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


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.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Dry Gulch

I haven't said much about Tales From Dry Gulch. I was waiting to see the physical books and make sure they were okay.  A lot of things went wrong with the production of this book.  They look great and they're ready to sell.

Welcome to Dry Gulch, Colorado.  It's a small town that's struggled since the gold mine went bust. Still, people try and be positive about the future.  There's some company from back east that's thinking about putting in a zinc mine.  No one is sure what zinc is, but that won't matter.  At the center of town is the saloon.  There you can find men drinking and cussing and paying cards.  And you can have a cold beer, maybe even served to you by Wendy Washer, the owner of the saloon.  And you can enjoy the piano playing, if you get over certain things about the piano player. Sam Knight does double duty in that he wrote one of the stories and did the cover art as well.  That ain't a cowboy heading in to the saloon through the bat wing doors.

Folks are welcome in Dry Gulch.  You can take the stage from Denver or there's rumored to be a flying saucer from some other place.  No matter how you get there,   I think you'll enjoy the stories by Sam Knight, J.A. Campbell, Jill Hand, Patrick Dorn, Henry Ram, and more--As you get to know Marshal Jones, town drunk Henry Steelman and Chief Running Bear, who deals a  friendly hand of stud poker.  Dry Gulch is easy to find, just saddle up and order a copy from your favorite online bookstore.  

Sunday, August 25, 2019

It's here!

I got my Moscow Mitch mug today. I can put beverages in it and it has a picture of Moscow Mitch on it. I don't normally buy stuff like this, but I think the Moscow Mitch thing is hilarious.  So, I'm having tea. "Here's to you. Mitch! Das Tribunal!"

Friday, August 23, 2019


Got some rain last night--finally. Hopefully that'll cool down things a little. August was looking like it might be an all time record hot month.  Of course rain is not a simple matter in my neighborhood. My cell phone lit up with emergency alerts to be prepared for flash flooding.  Mt neighborhood drains water rather well, but our access roads that go into town may be a mess in the morning. If they flood there can be mud and crud everywhere. Stay tuned.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

It's Hot

It's just unbelievably hot.  I mean, sure it's Arizona in August. As I write this, it's 10 pm and it's still rather hot outside. And tomorrow my day job takes me outside yet again.  It's not going to be pleasant.  

Monday, August 19, 2019

Weird Westerns

For 20 years I've been an advocate of "The Greatest Genre Nobody Ever Heard Of."  I'm talking about Weird Westerns.  These are an under appreciated genre that's over 100 years old, yet most folks have never heard of them and don't really understand the concept. There a lot of them around.  I edited the heavy on science fiction, Science Fiction Trails for 14 annual issues.  I've also edited or co-edited some freestanding anthologies such as Gunslingers & Ghost Stories and Six Guns Straight From Hell, to name a few.  In the past couple of years I have two novellas, The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung and Fallen Angel.  [And some other stuff that's not really in print].

So, I think it's safe to say I like this genre. I talk about the genre whenever I can find a willing audience at book fairs, science fiction conventions and similar venues.  I think I have some credentials in this area..  

And now I release Tales From Dry Gulch, where I am editor as well as a contributing author as one of the stories in the book is mine.  What amazed me was how well the stories fit together.It kind of struck me as a Wild West version of Mayberry.  Well, maybe not that syrupy.  But whether it's Wendy Washer and the problems she has with her saloon or the amazing things the town drunk gets into, it all kind of fits into a town I'd certainly like to visit.  I suspect this is in part because most of the other authors are people I work with.  I think they've figured out I'm a sucker for a ghost story--and real sucker for anything with little green men and flying saucers.  Still, these folks took the time to read the guidelines and select at least one of the of the mandatory stock characters.  Most importantly of all, many of them said they had fun writing their stories.  And I think that's most important of all.  I believe the readers are going to have fun reading it.

Print is out now, the ebook will be along in a few weeks.  Tight on money, maybe you can get your library to order a copy for you.  That's Tales From Dry Gulch, the one with the little green man in a cowboy hat going into the saloon.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dry Gulch

Who'd a hunk it?  A shared world weird western anthology.  What'll they think of next?  Yep, we are talking about Tales From Dry Gulch, a new anthology edited by me. It's available now from Amazon. The ebook is expected in about two weeks.

Contributing authors were given a list of stock characters. They had to use at least one and could choose from Wendy Washer, the saloon owner, or Henry Steelman, the town drunk, to name a few..  The cover comes from Sam Knight who also contributes a story.  So, order your copy today.  Then you can saddle up and take a ride out to Dry Gulch.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Heating back up.

Things are really heating back up.  My car's air conditioning can't quite keep up with it.  Good news isstores and places aren't as crowded as folks seem to stay home more when it's this hot.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Many hats

I've worn many hats as I've published stuff over the years.  There's my author hat because I've written a whole ton of short stories and seven novels. And my editor hat because I've edited a whole bunch of anthologies plus 14 issues of Science Fiction Trails magazine.  I've also been publisher of some of these things, particularly Science Fiction Trails.  But most people don't know that 've also worn an art director hat.  I've bought a lot of the cover art in all these things I've been publisher for.

Well, Science fiction Trails Publishing has been putting together a new anthology called Tales From Dry Gulch.  The thing went together quite well, so when I was wearing my editor hat I was happy. But, put on the art director hat and just sigh.  Over the years, I've had so much trouble with artists. This project was no exception. The first artist delivered a caver. For the first time ever, I was forced to reject the cover. It looked like the artist really phoned it in.  There two men on a porch. It looked like clip art that had been slapped down in a couple of minutes. And they appeared to be looking at a shower curtain on the porch. That was it. Plus the buildings were all purple for some inexplicable reason.  I gather the shower curtain was some sort of ghost.  Well, two guys standing on a porch next to some ghost, in itself was pathetic.  I showed it to three other people. They all thought it was a shower curtain on a porch.  

The next artist, like all my art assignments, agreed to the deadline.  Well, the deadline came and went with no cover. Alas, not being in a forgiving mood, I informed the artist he  need no bother and hired a third artist.  That artist delivered what I wanted in two days.  

Sure, writers are a pain to work with. But I'll take writers any day over artists. Nothing causes me more grief than working with artists in publishing land.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

yard work

I've got this big old ugly bush in my front yard.  I've never really liked it, but it doesn't hurt anything. but it desperately needs trimming.  Between the fact it's been well over 100 degrees and I've been nursing a bad back, this has not been something I really wanted to take on.  But, that's the goal for today--to trim the bush.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


My back pain has finally tapered off. I still have no idea what I did to cause it.  It's simply amazing how hard simple things like getting in and out of bed can get.  No wonder old people are so cranky.

Monday, August 12, 2019

More Yikes

Still do not know what I did to get my back hurting. The last two days were most unpleasant, but it is finally settling down. Nothing like back pain to remind you how quickly you can be messed up and feeling very mortal.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


There's nothing like back pain to make you say Howdy.  My back has been killing me.  I don't know what I did to upset things.  I don't have a history of back problems. In fact, such pain is quite unusual. Therefore, I'm somewhat bewildered as to what to do about it. But I write this blog entry at 3 am because I sleep and am completely miserable.  And, thanks to the people abusing opioids, doctors no longer give out pain medicine, so there is little point in venturing off and seeking medical help.   Although I doubt it. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019


I've said before, every time the Hostess people change the color of their Snoballs, I buy a package. It never fails.  They've been green for a while, not sure why. Today, they were orange. It seems a little early for Halloween, so I'm not sure why the orange color.  But that's what they were. Naturally, I bought a package.  They've got me completely programmed.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Oh please, oh please

Tucson has relatively few tall buildings.  Since is fairly plentiful the trend has been for urban sprawl rather than upward growth that you see in cities where they've run out of land.  Still, downtown has a few such places.  I was getting inside an elevator and noticed some people were heading for me.  I frantically looked for a button to close the door, but could not find one.  I desperately wanted it to close before the people got there. Miraculously, it did close in time and I did not have to share my elevator and went straight to the floor I wanted.

Am I a bad person for not trying to hold the elevator? Probably.  But it's just the way I am.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

This Just In

I live in an older people neighborhood. A lot of my neighbors are grandparents. One neighbor has a daughter and two grand kids who live fairly close by here in Tucson.  So, apparently mom took the dog out to go potty two mornings ago.  And there was poop on the back porch.  She decided it was human poop and her son Kevin must have taken a dump on the porch. The younger grandchild is still in diapers and is an unlikely suspect.

Well, Kevin denied knowing anything about it. And he pointed out he'd done one of those backyard camp outs at his friend Robert's house and only returned a few minutes ago.  So, either Kevin walked three miles in the middle of the night to take a dump on the porch or he might be innocent.

So, another look was taken at the poop.  It looked human to the parties involved.  As they're discussing the turd, a neighborhood dog runs up and takes a  big old dump. And that poop looks just like the previous one.

So, young Kevin narrowly escaped execution solely because he had an alibi.  Makes you think, sort of.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Had my eye tests yesterday.  I did pretty good.  In fact, I did better on one test for peripheral vision than I did last year. I don't really know how that is possible.  I have high eye pressure. It was caught early, so it never caused the eye damage glaucoma can do if not treated.  This runs in the family, but I always urge everyone who knows me to get their vision checked.  Some of these eye diseases give few symptoms until major problems start developing and it simply isn't that difficult or expensive to go in and see an eye doctor--be it a doctor of optometry or an MD opthamologist.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Out With The Eyes

Off today for an eye exam.  I hate that.  And I get to do the little machine with the flashing lights. I really hate that.  Although I like my eye doctor, what I hate are the little trolls that heard you around the place. I guess they're medical assistants of some form, but they would have you believing they actually knew something about eye care. Truth is, most of them can barely schedule an appointment and are completely useless.  The sooner the robots take over for medical office staff, the better.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Pleasant Season

August is usually a really hot month here in Tucson. It's certainly started out that way.  Of course it gets hot all over the country  in August.    I'm growing some shade in my back yard, but that takes time.  

The college kids will be showing up soon if they haven't already.  This cycle takes place each year. And the school kids go back soon as well.  Growing up in California we didn't go back to school until after Labor day, but around here it's mid August.  And so another season comes to an end. I call it the pleasant season. It's when the schools close, the college kids go to wherever they go, and the snowbirds are gone.  The traffic is light, the stores uncrowded because all these blasted people are gone.  I even got my car worked on the other day without an appointment.  Fancy chance that'll ever happen in the winter months around here. Yes the pleasant Season is coming to an end, although we still have a little while before the snowbirds are back.

Sunday, August 4, 2019


I'm not going to keep dwelling on Moscow Mitch.  I do find the explosive way it took off fascinating. But this isn't really a political blog and I'm not going to keep hammering away at him.  But my usual visits to this site run 200-250 a day. They went up to 1000 when I posted the recipe for a Moscow Mitch sandwich.  Whether folks are clamouring for a new type of sandwich or just more information on the tormenting of the senate's majority leader--that I can't say. 

Oh, this  is my favorite Moscow Mitch song:

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Where will it go?

I mentioned the Moscow Mitch phenomenon yesterday. It appears to be spreading out of Kentucky. I'm told a bar in Ft Collins has a vodka cocktail they're calling the "Moscow Mitch."  Simply amazing.

I asked a Russian how to make a Moscow Mitch. This is the recipe for a Moscow Mitch sandwich:

This is how you make a Moscow Mitch. First, you take a good sized chunk of baguette, slice it in half, and toast it. Then you put a thin layer of butter—real butter—on the bread. Then you take boiled eggs, slice them thin, and cover the buttered bread with the egg slices. Then you cover this with good quality salmon caviar. Voila, the Moscow Mitch.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Every Now and Then

Every now and then a nickname comes along and attaches itself like glue. A lot of those attach themselves and you can't ever get rid if them.  In junior high it might be "Stinky" or something. In prison it might be "Fingers"  Think about that one a moment.  In college it might be "Hot Lips" or Slutty Sheila"   We had a guy when I was in Wyoming who we called Butt Wipe. I'm not sure where it came from. Anyway, the person stuck with these names seldom likes them but is loathe to do anything about it.  We know where this next one comes from.

To this comes senate majority leader "Moscow Mitch " McConnell.  He won't allow a vote on election security bills and has been accused of being on the side of the Russians in election meddling. Some even think he hopes his doomed campaign will be saved by the Russians.  So, the Kentucky Democratic Party is having some fun  selling stickers and other merchandise that says Moscow Mitch on it.  I think it's hilarious. Moscow Mitch he shall always be.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Paranoid Delusions

Yesterday I had a cancer scare.  I convinced myself I had testicular cancer.  So I made an appointment and went off to see my doctor.  Apparently, that type of cancer doesn't look like what I had. My gonads were really swollen.  It was diagnosed as a cyst that was  full of fluid. So, I was referred to a urologist to have it drained and that's that. My doctor was not too impressed with my self diagnosis.