Well, I not that once again you stiffed me on Christmas. Have I offended you somehow? Las year you brought me nothing. The year before that was nothing. I give up. I won't darken your doorway anymore.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
My Christmas lights are carp. That's what two people said as they walked by my house. They're right. I have a small evergreen with green lights on it and that's it. Christmas isn't going to be much of a holiday this year. And, frankly, my crappy decorations are similar to what other neighbors on my street did so why are they singling me out? I'm not Ebenezer Scrooge, I did something. There's also a wreath on my door. Lighten up. The concept of lights on the house is a strange one anyway. The Christmas tree originated in Germany. It came to England largely because of Queen Victoria, whose family was mostly German. I don't know how the lights on houses started up.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Somebody on their website was rattling on about weird westerns and kind of incorrectly wrote about the demise of Science Fiction Trails magazine, which I published 14 issues. It stopped being published because I had too much trouble getting stories. I just gave up. It wasn't really a lack of sales although the last two issues did see a sharp drop in sales as well.
There are still copies of some of the issues around on the online used book market, if anyone wants to read it.
Then there's the Six Guns Anthologies. Number three came out a few months ago. These are horror anthologies and should not be confused with the SF leaning magazine. For some reason, we had plenty of stories for the last book, in fact we could have published two books if we had wanted to.
Is the weird western alive and well? Well, I don't think so. Our sales aren't nearly what they were when the first volume of Six Guns came out--not even close. This may just be a type of story folks aren't really interested in anymore. There haven't been any movies in this sub genre in some time. That would be a shot in the arm, just as Cowboys and Aliens really helped my sales of Science Fiction Trails, but only for a couple of years. Again, it was really a lack of stories that ended that series. Will be another horror anthology? No decision has been made on that, but I'm guessing no.
Sunday, December 20, 2020
I've noticed a lot of people are wearing masks, but their noses are not covered, only their mouths are? I guess, deep down, people are stupid. I sometimes wonder if the Covid virus Mother Nature's way of trying to get people to die off and let something else evolve. Dinosaurs lasted much much longer than people have, before a big meteor crashed into Earth and killed them.
Friday, December 18, 2020
One of the things I always wanted to do, but never could get together, was to market a product called Lump-o-Coal. Based on the tradition that bad kids don't get presents, but a lump of coal in their stocking, I thought marketing such a product made sense as so few people in America use coal to heat their homes. So, but the card with a piece of coal--"For that rotten little kid" it would say on the package and drop it in his stocking and you're done with Christmas shopping. Alas, it just never happened.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
One of the many changes the Covid plague has made on our society is the lack of bell ringers. I don't know about the rest of the country, but there certainly aren't any around where I go. I used to have a cup that accumulated change over the year. I'd take it down to one of the bell ringing places and dump the coins, probably around fifty bucks worth, into the little red kettle. I just noticed, this year I've got the coins, but no kettles. I noticed Coinstar was more than happy to take my coins and forward the money to various charities.
Monday, December 14, 2020
I always thought it would be kind of a kick to be an electoral college voter. It's probably boring, but only 500 or so people get to be one. Alas, no one asked me to be a voter. I would've thought my buddy Joe would've wanted me, but that did not happen. I think there are nine in Arizona, but I could be mistaken. Today, they're all voting and I'm not.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
I haven’t said much about writing and editing lately. I’m not sure I have anything all that inspiring to contribute. Little changes. Most writers are pretty good folks just trying to sell their stories. Then there is that small bunch that makes you want to never do another project again.
Most annoying peeve–Why did you reject my story? Because I didn’t like it? Actually, it might be for a number of reason like it doesn’t meet my published guidelines or I may just have too many similar stories. Or, it may totally suck. But no matter why I rejected it, I am not a critique service am not going to reply to these type of queries.
Then there’s the writers who refuse to sign the contract. There’s always a couple of these. My terms were listed in my guidelines, had anyone bothered to read them, yet when they get their contract they demand all sorts of changes to it or, worse yet, they won’t even respond at all. This wastes a lot of my time. How I so dearly love these people. It’s sudden death. The offer to publish is always withdrawn. A solo author can negotiate a little on terms, but I cannot have fifteen authors in an anthology trying to redo the contract terms.
And that is why you need to accept about 20 stories to have a 15 story anthology. And that is why I doubt I’ll do any more of them.
Friday, December 11, 2020
One has to be careful in making assertions about the paranormal. Actual, tangible proof of strange goings on can be elusive. I've mentioned before I've encountered ghosts in two hotels I worked at. I don't have any proof on this, so I don't really expect folks to believe me. On the other hand, I've never seen a flying saucer. Thing is, just yesterday, a neighbor was standing in front of his house. He seemed upset. I asked him if everything was okay. He said he'd just seen a UFO.
"Where?" I asked.
He pointed straight up. I looked up and saw nothing but the regular stars. It was orange and moving around like crazy, he informed me. Well, I said something like "creepy" and went back in my house. I don't know what he saw. I know a lot of people see these things. Maybe I should look upward more often.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
I never thought I'd see a coup d'é·tat in the United States. The recent lawsuit filed with the Supreme court by 17 Republican controlled states is just that. At least, it's a feeble attempt at one. This smites from the days of the banana republics and the local genralisimo invalidating a lawful election for some dubious reason that's really just a greedy attempt tp hold on to power. And. more troubling, is how little concern there is about it. A tw-bit dictator named Donald Trump is trying to cancel the results of an election because he doesn't like the result. And the retarded minions who worship him think it's just great. Well, it's not just great. It is a disgrace.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Want to convince yourself that people really are idiots? Would you like to remove all doubt at just how stupid people can be? Take a few minutes and park yourself near a post office. Select a large one with high volume and simply observe the drop off drive through mail boxes. It simply astonishing how many people struggle, really struggle, to take a letter and put it in the slot of the mailbox. Try it sometime. You'll be amazed.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Found something called a Weird West Primer over at Tor.com It tilts heavy toward the few mass market projects and should have included David Boop's three book Straight Outta series, but it was still informative. The link is below if anyone is interested.
Put lights up on the tree in my front yard--nothing fancy, just some green lights. I always liked Christmas trees and think trees look nicer than the eves of houses when it comes to holiday decorations. I bought some new lights as my old ones had frayed wiring and a lot of broken bulbs. It seemed like it was best to throw them out and start over.
I also sent out Christmas cards today. Dang, I'm efficient. I don't send out a lot of cards anymore. I used to get these really neat cards that were postcards--no envelope required and the postage was less. I guess the concept did not catch on, as I cannot find them anymore.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Used to be ketchup was an inexpensive condiment and if you went to a restaurant you had a bottle of the stuff and you could drench your fries or anything else with as much as you want. Then, the roving hoards started cleaning out the stores and we persist with these roving food shortages. Restaurants won't let you have any, or they'll only give you one little plastic thing that holds about a thimble full. And the stores, they don't seem to have any at all. I found some at one store yesterday that was twice what I used to pay for it. Last week I was eating at a coffee shop and asked for ketchup for my fries and was told they had none. Did it ever occur to anybody to send some flunkie dishwasher down the street to the store and buy some? Apparently not. The store was probably out anyway.
Note to President elect: Mr. Biden, I know you're busy, but if you could ask around and find out where all the ketchup is, I'd be much obliged. PS- I voted for you.
Well, I'll continue to monitor the lack of ketchup in Tucson. Don't get me started on barbecue sauce either. The same restaurant that had no ketchup wants 50 cents to put a few drops of barbecue sauce on my hamburger. I'm not happy about that, either.
Friday, November 27, 2020
I noted some of my neighbors were already out putting up their Christmas lights. I have not done my yard yet. Last year I only lit up one little tree. I've been thinking of getting more ambitious this time. I guess a trip to Lowe's or Home Despot is in order. I really like those LED lights--They're so bright and colorful.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
People are having to make difficult decisions about Thanksgiving this year. Is it safe to go? Will we get sick? Will we make someone else sick? It's not all that easy to decide what to do. In my own case, this will the first year without my dad present. As I've mentioned before, he died a few months ago. People die and we have to move on. Nonetheless, it will be different.
And then there's the question of whether we should even be tankful. If you got sick, have lost loved ones, or lost your business you may feel differently than somebody who is still humming along at their job and is wondering how many types of pie to buy for Thanksgiving desert. But no what situation you are in, and whether you are getting your meal at Grandma's house or from the local foodbank, things will get better. The economy will improve. The virus will come under control. And the sun will come up tomorrow. So, hug your loved ones and toss a ball for your dog and enjoy your Thanksgiving in whatever form it's taking.
Friday, November 20, 2020
I've noticed at restaurants where they once had a bottle on the counter, they now give you one or two little packets of the stuff. I recently went to the store hoping to buy some ketchup. They had none. No house brand, no Heinz, nothing. In the case of restaurants, I gather the pickets are due to the wonderful Covid 19. I gather I can get the virus from ketchup bottles? As for the store, I have no idea where all the ketchup is going.
Now, I did find some ketchup at the dollar store. I was some brand I'd never heard of. Whilst Kroger house brand ketchup is quite good, the stuff the dollar store was peddling was not. Where has all the ketchup gone?
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Back in the good old days of the dark ages when a town was stricken with bubonic plague, they'd have guys drive carts around yelling "bring out your dead" and they'd cart away the dead bodies of loved ones who'd died the night before. It was that bad. Imagine half of the people in your town just gone in the span of a month or less. I wrote a paper in college asserting it was the plague, not the decadence of the Senate or lead pipes that brought on the fall of Rome. My professor said something to the effect, "Not in the range of current thinking." He gave me a "C" as I recall. I knew it wasn't in the range of current thinking. Still, I supported my thesis with examples and believe to this day that I am right.
Well, we're not that dad. At least we know what causes Copid virus. And wearing a mask is proven to help. Of course, it's good for us to die off the weaker members of the heard, or so it seems in the mindset of our wonderful leader. The germs causing the plague were carried by rats. More cats and burying garbage would've reduced the death rate by a lot. I wonder if I went back in time and argued for those precautions if anyone would have listened. Probably not.
It amazes me how many people won't even wear a mask to protect themselves and others. I wonder how many people will refuse the Cpid virus vaccine because they're convinced it's all a hoax. Time will tell.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Going in today for laser surgery. I've had these tumors that keep popping up on my nose. They're not cancerous, but are ugly and annoying. I had them removed about three years ago. Now, a few new ones have grown back. The dermatologist I go to is an innovator in using laser surgery. Whilst regular scalpel surgery on the face can be bloody, the laser doesn't have any blood loss as it seals the area it cut. Anyway, I do not have the trepidation I have for other surgeries like the horrible experience I had last year.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I'm not making entries every day. It's been more like twice a week. Frankly, I just don't have that much to write about. I don't have anything close to ready for the publishing pipeline. I haven't gone anywhere and am not likely to go somewhere until they get this Copid virus under control. In other words, I just don't have much going on right now. Stay tuned.
Monday, November 9, 2020
I don't like to deal with politics on this blog, but today will be an exception. A year ago I accurately predicted Donald would lose the election held last week and would refuse to leave, claiming some sort of fraud or something. Unfortunately, it looks like I was right. Trump and his minions do not believe in democracy. They've tried everything they can think of to suppress the vote of people they don't like. That not working, they're trying to find some judge to help them steal the lection.
People should actually read the constitution. Few do, but it's important. The constitution spells out how the new president is selected and the outgoing president has no say in the matter. It's all there if anyone would bother to read it.
Trump lost. Get over it.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Well, we closed on my dad's house. I'm really glad to be rid of the thing. One often has mixed feelings on selling houses. I had some good memories of the house I grew up in over in California, but that one's long gone. My parents retired up in Prescott and lived there 20 years. There were good times and some not-so-good. But my father only lived in Tucson a few years. I don't really have much of a connection to the place. As my father grew increasingly feeble, my brother and I had more and more work to keep up with it. So. when we sold the place it was not somewhere I had much connection to--there were no Christmas trees with presents over them, no smiling dog looking out the window. It was just a house where dad sat around. So, I felt absolutely nothing the other day wen my brother and I were signing the papers at the title company.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
A few days ago I bought one of those ready to cook meat loafs at the store–big mistake. It smelled awful. I sure wasn’t going to eat it. After sitting in the trash can for two days it got even more pungent. I just about gagged taking the trash out to the curb Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, trash day, people walking by my house were having unusual reactions as the odor wafted over to them. Finally, the garbage truck showed up. We have the old fashioned trash service where they manually dump my trash can into the truck. The garbage man started to pick up my can, then retreated. He talked to his partner for a moment, then ran and tossed my garbage into the truck. They immediately turned on the thing that pulls the garbage inside and squishes it. And it was gone. I sprayed the can with Lysol.
I should buy some more of these and ship them to people I don’t like.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Monday, November 2, 2020
Our beloved president says the lawyers will swoop in and the courts will give him the election. The electoral college is not run by the courts. And states have always had to count ballots after election day--that's especially likely considering the massive vote volume this time. People should get a copy of the constitution and see what it says. The new Congress declares the winner, not the outgoing president. It's not up to him, but he apparently doesn't know that.
I you haven't voted yet, there's always election day. I vote early and am done.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Interested in my newest book, Six Guns Straight From Hell 3? But you live in a foreign country and the shipping is prohibitive? Well, relief is at hand. Book Depository now has this book and will ship anywhere in the world for no shipping charge. It's bookdpository.com Yay!
Friday, October 30, 2020
by David B. Riley
He couldn't tell for certain no one had seen him, but there weren't any sirens screeching through the night and there was no sign of any military aircraft approaching. Kal opened the hatch and climbed down. So far, so good. He hurried across the park, then stopped by the statue of some guy on a horse. The house he’d selected was just across the street. He looked right, then left, then scurried across the open area and slid underneath a tall bush. So far, so good.
Kal hoped the commander wouldn't find out what he was doing. He doubted he could explain why he was 100 light years off course. If all went well, he wouldn't have to. Kal looked around. Surely, this was too easy. He switched on his voice translator and readied his ray gun. It was time.
He climbed out from the bushes and strutted boldly up to the front door. A slight sense of dread was trying to overcome him. He fought it off. If only humans weren't so darn big. He reached the porch. His antennae were vibrating from the music inside. At least they were home. He readied his ray gun and pressed on the door bell button. He liked the pleasant chiming sound it made and rang again.
Slowly, the big door opened and he peered up at a human female. He raised the weapon. “Give me Earth food now,” he ordered in his most forceful manner.
“Oh, George, come quick,” she yelled.
It's summoning its mate, Kal thought. He prepared to fire. Then, a human male arrived holding a tray of candied apples.
“He's so cute. Just like a little space man,” the female said.
“Less talk, more food,” Kal ordered.
“Of course. You've got a long way to get back to your planet,” the male said. A very sensible individual.
“I just made them,” the female stated.
He placed one in his loot sack. The candied apple was so big he decided not to ask for more of them. He didn’t want humans to think his kind were greedy.
“Good night.” The male closed the door.
Kal scurried back across the street. A small human female wearing a mask ran towards him. He readied his ray gun, though she looked young and harmless..
“They got candy apples?” she was asking.
“Yes. They look good.” He held tightly to his sack in case she tried to grab it.
“I'll go get me one.” She trotted across the street. Kal holstered his weapon and watched in amazement. Without any weapon, the young female obtained a candy apple from the elderly couple. Kal reasoned the mask must be frightening to humans. The young female stood at the edge of the sidewalk and waived at him. “Happy Halloween,” she yelled.
“Yes, happy.” He felt oddly pleased the young child called Halloween had gotten an apple as well. Earth food was so addictive. He headed for the ship. This had worked so well he would try it again, tomorrow.
This story has been reprinted many times. I bring it out around Halloween.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Maybe I am stupid. Heck, maybe I'm a total moron. Businesses and government sure seem to think so. Just yesterday I got a robo call telling me how to get a flu shot from my insurance company. Apparently, you can get them at the pharmacy. Gee.
I got mail telling me how to vote. I guess the concept of voting is too difficult for the average citizen and I need help in figuring out if I am registered and how to find my polling place. The fact I already voted early does not seem to be a concern.
Then of course, my bank called me yet again because I hadn't signed up for some app they want me get for my phone. It seems I need their app to balance my checkbook. I don't their damned app. But it seems my problem is I don't understand what a wonderful bank I have and that I should do whatever they tell me.
A cold snap came through yesterday. It's been around 100 degrees then suddenly was 60. That's a big drop around here in one day.
Still. not as bad as some places/ The folks in Omaha had t go to the hospital after they were abandoned at a Trump rally.
Speaking of Rally's, Kamila Harris was in town. I didn't know. I might've gone if I'd known.
At least it'll all be over soon.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
I rarely do reviews. This is sort of a review and sort of a look back at some of my experiences with the game of chess.
My high school lacked a lot of things. I dearly wished we had a chess team or at least a chess club. That was a long time ago. I mention that because I never got into the world of competitive chess playing, though the concept intrigued me. Over the years I played chess when the opportunity came along, and that opportunity became rarer and rarer. I worked for a while at a resort in Wyoming. One of the cooks and I used to play now and then. We were of similar skill, so our games were quite enjoyable. You don’t have to be some nerdy guy to enjoy a nice game of chess. Then one day this rather obnoxious guy showed up who apparently just graduated high school. I guess his high school had a chess team. At least he claimed they did. I was in the rec room and had just finished playing my cook friend. I offered to play the newbie. He accepted and then declared to his friend, “This won’t take very long.” He was right about that.
He realized he was in trouble in about three minutes. He was shocked that I had him check mated in five minutes. He literally started crying and marched out of the rec room. I never played him again. I hate poor a poor looser.
That all said, I find chess stories irresistible. I don’t mean those dreary .non fiction books and articles about chess–I mean stories that have chess in them. There aren’t every many. Netflix had a show set in the sixties about chess, called Queen’s Gambit. I stopped everything. I had to watch this.
Now, I need to backtrack a little and mention how rare it is to see girls playing chess. I’ve played chess at the gaming table of a few cons and elsewhere and have never played a girl or even seen a female play the game. I don’t know why so few girls play, but it’s mostly the domain of nerdy guys, regardless of age.
So, back to this show. It starts out with a nine-year-old who’s having a rough life. Her mother committed suicide and tried to murder her and she ends up in an orphanage. Somehow, she manages to strike up a friendship with the crusty school janitor and learns how to play chess. Anyway, she gets really good.
Keep in mind that in this era the Soviet Union had chess players who were as popular as rock stars and they totally dominated the international sport. This is a really fascinating story that also gives the viewer a look at the world of tournament chess while also letting this orphan girl grow and deal with life at the same time she’s taking the chess world by storm. One little red-haired girl and all these boys.
Well, I really liked this show. I admit I’m a sucker for chess stories. But this one has a lot to it and I haven’t ever seen anything quite like it.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
I keep getting this horrible mail in my mailbox and there are horrible commercials on every channel. I sure wish it would stop.. It seems like it's been going on for at least 50 years. The British can call an election and have the stupid thing over in two months. Not here.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Monday, October 19, 2020
In past years I've put out a Halloween reading list. I don't know that anyone really cares what I think and I'm not sure people really want to read for Halloween. Still, these are not normal times. There are few activities to go to and I don't know what to think of trick or treating. So, if you are looking for something to read, obviously my new anthology Six Guns Straight From Hell 3 bears mentioning. It's pretty new, just coming out a few weeks ago.
If like unusual locations, then I'd suggest David Lee Summers Astronomer's Crypt. It's set in an observatory--remote location far from help. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot of my stuff is out of print, although still available used from many outlets including Amazon. Gunslingers and Ghost Stories is another anthology which sold better than any of my other books and it combines the western with a ghosts--all kinds of ghosts.
And, yet another anthology that's in some libraries and used outlets is Low Noon. It didn't catch on for some reason, but has some creepy stories in it like "Realgar". by Jackson Kuhl.
If you like really wicked evil characters combined with a lot of action and gunplay, Joel Jenkins Lone Crow character has two collections of stories.
If you favor something longer, I still think it's hard to go wrong with the original Omen.
These are stories that are the sort of things I like. Try something.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
It seems our food shortage is hardly over. Half of the items on my shopping list were not available at the store yesterday. I was mostly just looking at empty shelves. "There's nothing on our delivery trucks," a grocery clerk informed me.
"Of course there isn't." Why would we expect food at a grocery store?
Friday, October 16, 2020
My brother just departed on a vacation. That seemed strange in the Covis 19 high unemployment bonfires everywhere, not to mention food shortage world we're living in. But off he went still the same. He didn't even ask me to water his yard.
I didn't have the guts to take a trip. So many places are closed. People are still dropping dead like flies. I guess it's how you look at things.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Well, they say the number of folks voting by mail is huge this year, yet a few states don't allow it. In Arizona, they still have polling places but you can also vote by mail. Or you can do in person early voting, which is what I have done. If it was up to me, I'd go to all mail in like Oregon and Colorado. It's so much more convenient. No matter, I actually worked as a poll worker for the primary. Alas, my doctor found out I worked as a poll worker and told me no more of that. Basically, with my kidney problems, if I catch the Corona virus I'm pretty much dead, or at least far more likely to die than the average Joe. So, I won't be at the local polling station this time.
Monday, October 12, 2020
Since my dad died I've been looking after his house until we can get it sold. Dad was a registered independent. I am not. Even though we're in the same districts for stuff, his mail is dramatically different than mine is. Dad's mail depicts Biden as some sort of vampire serving Nancy Pelosi. Mine does not. It's amazing how bad these political things are. I had no idea as I rarely get them.
I don't know why they're spending so much money to get my dad to vote for them. LBJ was hugely popular with the dead people vote. However, I think the Republicans who are bombarding my dad are going to disappointed. Dad didn't approve of dead people voting. He was funny that way.
Friday, October 9, 2020
My posting for Halloween Haunts is up and running. You can get there by going to Horror.org and clicking which posting you want to read. To get directly to mine use the following link:
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Every year the Horror Writers Association put out a series of blog posts in October called Halloween Haunts. Members write about writing or Halloween. Then they might mention any new books they have. And it's free. Oh, if you visit the entries you can win free prizes. It's pretty good and it's free. My entry is scheduled for October 9th. Give it a try.
Monday, October 5, 2020
As I've said before, I worked for many years in the hotel business in Colorado. We had one bellman who seemed a little pushy, always trying to scrape the snow off people's cars and doing stuff no one really wanted. Well, one day some guy arrived off the shuttle. He was speaking some foreign language. Anyway, out bellman took his bags to his room. Then he wanted Diet Pepsi. "You get?" Well, our vending machines only had Diet Coke. So he hoofed it down to the market and got him a bottle of Diet Pepsi. And he came back and the customer says "You good Joe." Then he hands our bellman and big wad of money.
So, he come up to the front desk and he's trying to figure out what it is. It had some guy on it and a foreign writing . "Well, he eventually determined it was a Rupee from Pakistan. The whole pile of money was worth about four bucks. "I went to the f*ing store for 4 bucks"
He didn't know this was a setup and the guy in the fez was the brother of one of our desk clerks. He asked me what the guy paid with. "Master Card," I told him.
So, a few days later, it's time for him to leave. He calls up to the front desk and asks for baggage help. "I ain't taking it. He can cram that fez up his ass."
Fine. It was unusual for a night auditor to do a bag urn, but not unheard of. I took the baggage cart and came up with his two bags and took them to the shuttle outside. I came by the bell stand and showed the bellman who didn't want to go. "Look, he gave me a hundred bucks." and showed him a hundred dollar bill. This guy was steaming and complaining for a week before someone told him it was a a setup.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
One thing I'd lie to see is an orbiting geosynchronous camera covering the dark side of the moon. How else are we supposed to know what's going on over there. The dark side of the moon can never been seen from Earth and I think that's suspicious as hell. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but me.
Thursday, October 1, 2020
This month's phobia is cynophobia. It's a fear of dogs. A person who has cynophobia experiences a fear of dogs that’s both irrational and persistent. It’s more than just feeling uncomfortable with barking or being around dogs. Instead, this fear may interfere with daily life and trigger a number of symptoms, like trouble breathing or dizziness.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Well, I got this great idea to get the authors of our new anthology Six Guns Straight From Hell 3 to do readings and we'd post them on the internet. Ha. We have one that's up but no one can find it and another that's up but no one can access it. My computer seems to have no sound and I have been unable to do one at all. Disaster. I just wanted a nice easy way to promote the book. That sure has not happened.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Because what few restaurants are open are running at 30% or so, takeout remains a part of the world of food. What I'm getting tired of is the incompetent idiots taking orders. This is so different than the tip=based world of eating in a restaurant. A good waiter will get my order right or pay dearly for it at checkout. But there are few tips in to go orders and the people handling these clearly do not give a crap. I tried to order supper last night and came to the conclusion the order taker was so stoned it was hopeless. I just walked out. And drive throughs are even worse. You ask for a taco and they type in Sprite and won't clear it out. You must've ordered a Sprite because that's what it says.
Stay home and cook seems the only solution. My boycott list of restaurants is getting so long it's darn near all of them.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
When you put out a new book, one way to promote it was the author would go around and do readings at various venues and radio stations and such. Well, a lot of these venues, like small bookstores, remain closed. This created a problem when we released Six Guns Straight From Hell 3. One thing we thought we'd try was video readings. So far we have two. One is from Sam Knight and the other is from Patrick Dorn. I don't know if this will do much to promote the book. I haven't recorded one as my computer just lacks a microphone and is so antiquated I don't think I'd be successful.
This is new territory for us. We'll have to see how it turns out.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Six Guns Straight From Hell 3,
Edited by David B. Riley & J. A. Campbell
Saddle up for a wild ride through the weird, weird west. As you ride our trails you’ll want to keep one eye on the path ahead and one over your shoulder cause there’s a bushwhacking monster creeping up behind you. If your horse gets eaten by a monster, you might be able to get a ride on the midnight train, as long as you don’t mind sitting with ghosts. If you don’t catch the train, maybe the devil can give you a lift back to town. Just be careful which place you head for, because the folks in one town are about to die. Staying on ranches ain’t much safer, especially at one girl’s birthday party. Then again, even going to outhouses can be deadly. If you happen to visit the local brothel, be sure and treat the ladies right or you’ll pay dearly. And Tombstone is no place to get your picture taken if you want to keep your skin.
Spine tingling horror and dark fantasy from Sam Knight, David Boop, Joel Jenkins, Matthew Hellman, Patrick Dorn, C. W. Blackwell, Ross Baxter, John Kiste, Krystal Stittle and more.
Friday, September 11, 2020
9/11 is one of those horrible things you remember where you were and what happened and you never forget it. I also remember the JFK assassination and I was a little kid when that happened. In the case of 9/11 I'd just gotten home from work [yes, I worked nights back then]. I turned on the news and an airplane had just hit the WTC. I noted it was a clear day and figured that had to be some sort of terrorism. As I was watching this, Wham, a second jet hit the building. Well that kind of removed all doubts. Anyway, you don't forget these kind of things.
I don't have anything to add.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Even in the digital world, there's still a lot of mail out there. One thing I can't figure out is why some companies just won't give up. they send me unwanted junk mail constantly and just will not stop. After years of ignoring them, you'd think they'd get the message I'm not interested. But they never do. One such outfit is a local health foods store. They send me their magazine every month. To my knowledge, I have never set foot in heir store and certainly never signed up for anything. But, there it comes every month.
It's not just small, local businesses either. Geico won't leave me alone. They bother me constantly with pitches for insurance. I am happy with my current insurance company, but don't tell them that. Dish thinks I want their service. I use a competitor and have no wish to change. You would thing that after four years, which is how long I've been at my current place, they'd figure out I'm not interested. But they just relentlessly keep sending me stuff.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Normally, the summer temperature starts to ease up around here by September. Not so this weekend. It had been extremely hot. The climate is screwed up and those who don't care to believe that should understand this: Earth may not sustain life much longer. Food won't grow and we'll try living underwater and then that will be like being boiled alive and we'll all be dead. That's what is coming. I'm not usually so gloomy, but I no longer see any other outcome.
Saturday, September 5, 2020
It seems Covid affects everything I do, one way or another. It killed my father. He reached a point where we had to put him in a care facility. He had to be quarantined for 2 weeks, which meant just sitting in his room. With his dementia it was hard to deal with this. He couldn't remember why we couldn't come see him. And he couldn't take the confinement. I'm not saying he died of the disease--he died from liver cancer. I'm just saying the conditions hospital and nursing home patients are being out under is hastening their deaths. I'm certain it did for my father. He wasn't that bad when he went in. A month later, he was dead.
There aren't any events involving groups. Not around here, anyway. My doctor won't actually see patients--only by computer. And so on.
I wonder how much our society has been altered. Our president says everything is fine and refuses to even be an example and wear a mask. People have died going to his rallies and he does not seem to care.
The homeless people wear masks as they push their carts and wagons along the sidewalk--god bless them.
I have a new anthology coming out. Most bookstores are still closed. Many probably will never reopen. There's no such thing as readings. Conventions, most are cancelled. A few are trying some sort of online variation. I think with limited success. A few of the writers appearing in Six Guns Straight From Hell 3 are going to do online readings. I do not know if that will help sell books, We've never tried this before. I'm certainly interested in hos it goes. We'll see.
Friday, September 4, 2020
Arizona has an abundant supply of snakes--particularly rattlers. In fact, there are 17 rattlesnake species. The most common one is the western diamondback. I had one in my yard this morning. It was doing snake stuff. I told it to head on home, before some of my neighbors tried to kill it.
My longstanding policy on wild animals is if you leave them alone they'll leave you alone. It has served me well and I've even lived in two national parks.. So the snake, a fairly small little guy scooted off to do whatever snakes do. The local fire district will relocate them. Some people try and kill them. The snake is just being a snake and I just let it go on its way. Our neighborhood has open desert on two sides. There's nothing to stop them from coming in. Strangely, this is the first one I have seen in my yard.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
In my neighborhood we have one garbage service. They have a deal with the local homeowners association and that's that. Now so two miles away where my brother lives. Their neighborhood is a garbage free-for-all. There are at least three companies they can subscribe to for residential service and another two for commercial service. So there are garbage trucks all over the place on Wednesdays.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
I am in the process of selling a house. It's amazing how much work goes into it. This wasn't my residence, but my father's. After dad passed away my brother and I decided to sell it. We briefly thought about renting it out, but neither of us wanted to go into property management at this point in our lives.
The place needed a little work. A gardening crew performed miracles with the yard and a very good cleaning person made it sparkle. Now, today, it's on the market and we'll see if anyone wants to buy it.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
My house has carpet. Over the years I've come to view carpeting as a dirt catcher and nothing more. My brother replaced their carpet with hardwood. When my dad bought his house it had tile floors throughout.
So, I'll get me a house without carpet, I thought. I went out looking for places and found none. I guess I could get minre replaced, but that isn't cheap. So, I had the carpet cleaned today. It has that dampness still, although they did a nice job. To be continued.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020
I've been looking at various housing places. I have a perfectly good house, except I don't like it. But it is not easy to decide if I want to go through the hassles of selling the existing place and moving to a new place. It's not like I have to move. I just sort of want a nicer place. That's the nice ting about open houses--you can check a place out and not have to register with some Realtor.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
This will go down as the virtual year. We can't meet in person. The Democratic Convention pushes on. In some ways it's better as there seems less rattling on by blowhard politicians People seemed to like the little views of the states as they cast their delegate votes. However, some cons this fall are making the plunge into virtual reality. I won't be joining them.It just doesn't seem right somehow.
It's no just that my antiquated computer can't handle this. Heck my former doctor dumped me as a patient as he was only seeing people over computers. Sure, it's cheaper to go to Mile Hi Con if you don't have to drive to Denver. But isn't driving [or flying] half the point? What will they have but a couple of hours of chit chat on a computer screen and we call it a con now? I suppose so.
Monday, August 17, 2020
The last two times I've gone grocery shopping I've ordered online and tried to pick up stuff. It's been really hot and I just thought the convenience might be worth it. Sadly, both times I got home to find a full third of my order was missing. I'd put do not substitute in the instructions because of my poor experience with that. Damn. This was even worse. So I drove back to the store. The cookies I didn't get were right there on the shelf. The pasta I wanted--right there. Hell, the canned goods that were not available were right there.
Whyfore? I don't know for sure, but my impression is these people pulling the orders are so overworked they have to fly through the stores to keep up. Either that or they simply don't give a shit. Well, I'm not going to waste my time with online shopping nd it is time to switch stores.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
So, I was surprised to get a letter my home owners association. My front yard seems okay. I've been pretty busy with my dad dying and all. Yet another complaint about my yard. Surely they must be mistaken. Then I looked at the back yard. Yikes. How can so many weeds grow so fast. I decided to throw in the towel. I called a local company that does weed control. I decided to give up managing them myself. The weeds won.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
I don’t usually put politics on this blog, preferring to amaze my readers with my wit and such. Well, this is a different sort of amazement. Not long after Senator Kamilla Harris was declared the VP running mate, I noted a remarkable comment from a congressman from Mississippi or Alabama that simply astonished me. He was pointing pout that she isn’t a real Negro because she wasn’t from Africa, but Jamaica. Apparently, we’re still importing slaves from Africa and that’s only where Negroes come from. Her parents emigrated from Jamaica. I guess that was what he meant. Actually, the senator is from Oakland. That’s where she was born and that’s where she grew up.
Bigotry takes many forms. I found the remark so strange it left me speechless.
Friday, August 14, 2020
I sometimes eat at Cracker Barrel. They're one of very few restaurants that has green beans on the menu. I find I rather like fresh green beans. Beans that are frozen or out of a can just are not the same. But freshly cooked green beans with just a hint of bacon grease are pretty darn good eats.
Over the years I have found dogs go nuts for green beans. There's some kind of bias in thinking that dogs only eat meat. The truth is they're omnivores much like bears if they were out in the woods fending for themselves. And dogs go nuts for green beans. Cook fido some, let them cool a little, then try it. By the way, they tend to like other beans, too. But green beans is a dog's idea of heaven.
Now, over the years, I have come to appreciate that. I didn't like them much when I was a kid, but have come to appreciate them as a sort of comfort food.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
I was sitting in the shade yesterday and I felt woosey. I thought I was going to faint. Then I looked at an outdoor thermometer. Yikes. It was 110 degrees in the shade. I placed cold towel on the back of my neck and started feeling better right away. I have found that is the best way to rapidly cool somebody down. Welcome to Arizona in August.
Sunday, August 9, 2020
I've been trying to clean my house today. I hate cleaning, but it needs doing. One particular problem I always seem to have is mold in showers--the pink kind. It just follows me around everywhere I live and regardless of climate. I am always battling it. People say use this or use that. I think bleach and lots of it is the best mold cure. Now, as for toilets, I favor Pine Sol. The problem with Pine Sol is it kind of stinks. Right now my windows are open because of the strong smell of bleach and Pine Sol.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Update: 48 hours later, the pizza box is still there. The coyotes opened it, but didn't take the pizza. That's a testament to Dominoes, I guess. I threw it in the trash.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Sunday, July 5, 2020
I shouldn't have made fun of the guy living in the bunker.