Sunday, October 20, 2019


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.