Friday, June 23, 2017

Heat

One thing about  such a hot climate as Arizona, there are a couple months when you just don't want to do anything you don't have to.  For instance, there's a bush out in my front yard that needs trimming. It's actually extending out into the street. Only a matter of time before I get a letter from the homeowners association.  I sent  out to  trim yesterday and came back inside. It was 112 degrees. I don'r know how some of these construction guys deal with it.  I've been on the opposite extreme when it's minus 20 when I lived in Colorado.  When it's this hot it sort of sucks the energy out of you.  Maybe I'll try early tomorrow morning, before it gets so darned hot.  Then people will complain  I'm making too much noise.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spam

I don't understand why so many companies think that because they have your email that you somehow want to be spammed constantly.  I've had to close out accounts more than once because companies wouldn't stop spamming me. My latest nemesis is my credit union.  I opened an account about a year ago when I moved to Tucson from Colorado.  They've been pretty good but I noticed a huge increase in spam about two months ago. I'm not getting multiple spans every day. Why would they think I want this?  Stay tuned.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Garbage

Wednesdays are garbage day where I live.  In our community we have one company that picks up our trash. My brother lives about three miles away. They have a choice of four different trash companies. Needless to say, their cans are bigger and they pay a little less. Ain't competition wonderful?  Of course, we have recycling as well.  Today my can was packed full. The reason: I cleaned out my refrigerator. Nothing really disgusting, just some stuff past its prime. There were some hot dogs and I could not read the expiration. And some beans from a year ago. Still, nothing disgusting.  

Below is a trash truck, or at least a picture of one.  i wish I'd had a toy trash truck when I was little. I asked Santa for one,more than once, but never got one.  I thought it would be cool to play garbage truck. My mother did not agree.  she got real mad at me.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

pests

Had my annual pest control inspection.  That's a fancy way of saying "termites."  I unfortunately live in a termite hot spot.  They're pretty active out here on the south side of Tucson.  An infestation was found last year when I bought my house.  No sign of anything new.  That's one of word that sends instant fear into the hearts of homeowners--termites.  So, I reluctantly pay for an inspection because the consequences are too costly if you don't.  Maybe they're taking advantage of my paranoia.  But these little bugs can do some serious damage to a home.

It occurred to me as the inspector guy was looking around, that I've never seen a story submitted to anything I edit that was about termites.  I wonder why.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day

My father said he didn't want anything for Father's Day. And that is just what he got.  Well, my brother did cook a very nice supper. and he seemed pleased with that.  I've always wondered where Mother's Day and Father's Day came from.  A lot of people think Hallmark invented them as an excuse to sell greeting cards.  That certainly would not surprise me. 

I am certainly glad we don't have Siblings Day.National Pet's Day would be a toughie. Dogs and cats can't read, so getting them a card would seem kind of pointless. Maybe we have enough occasions to send cards now.  Perhaps they should enact Vagrant's Day, and people would go around and give a card to their favorite street corner bum. I kind of like that one for some reason. 

Happy Father's Day to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Flounder's Gone

Well, I just read Flounder died.  Stephen Furst will forever be thought of as Flounder, at least by those of us who were coming of age when Animal House came out.  Alas, I've noticed the younguns have never seen the full movie in a theater, only some edited version of it.  It's the comedic timing and wonderful lines that made this film so darn special.  Go see the movie, just get the original and not the PG version I'm told is out there. It's actually a mild movie, carrying an R rating for a little bit of raunchy language and a few very brief tit scenes.  

Nuff said about Animal House itself. Furst was an overweight dork who pledged with Animal House because no one would take him.  and, one of the best lines in the movie is "Face it Flounder, you fucked us. You trusted us." But, without context, the lines is meaningless. That's why I warn off the over edited versions of this movie.  It's one of the funniest movies ever made, but there are edited versions of the same film that are unwatchable.  

Furst had decent roles as Dr. Axelrod in St. Elsewhere and on Babylon 5.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Trees

I've mentioned before that I planted six trees in my yard earlier this year--two dwarf lemon and four ash.  Then we had wind like I've never seen in March and even into May. Now it's quieted down. But my young trees were hit hard with leaves and even branches being damaged.  I've come to the conclusion that one of them is, in fact, dead.  I wanted some shade from the brutal Arizona sun. At least the other trees seem okay.  I guess it's off to the nursery to see if I can get another tree.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gas tank

I have this annoying habit. I'm one of those people that lets his gas tank run down really low before filling it--what they call fumes. Only at the last second do I swing into a gas station and fill it back up.  No one understands why I do this.  It's because I don't like buying gas.  There's nothing fun or enjoyable about it.  Alas, Oregon remains the only state that won't let you fill up your car.  Now, I'm perfectly able to fill it, i just don't like doing it.  Ergo, I wait until the warning message on my car says I only have five miles left. then I start looking or a station.  Tucson is really sprawled out. You could be more than five miles from a station, depending on where you are.  I am taking unnecessary risks.  Yet I keep doing it. Must be something wrong with me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I'm tired, not that anyone cares

Twice in the past week I've been woken up by neighbors.  I can't really fault them.  One wanted somebody strong to get her car brake to release.  The other, well she couldn't get her burglar alarm to stop ringing.  I was able to help them. I actually did stop the burglar alarm. and I got the other neighbor out of the driveway and on her trip.

I  mean, neighbors should help each other out.  But, at 7:30 in the morning, when I only went to bed at 3 am, I haven't had enough sleep.  I am not a 24 hour road service or alarm company.  I need more sleep than that.  I really do.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My foot hurts

My foot hurts.  My mother used to say old age is not for sissies.  I'm beginning to see what she meant. It seems like I'm perpetually hurting.  Before my foot it was my shoulder.  My knees bother me intermittently.  No idea what I get next.  All are of the arthritis variety.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

supermarket wars

Well, every now and them one of these supermarket queens sets me off.  You know the type, they block the aisle or ram their cart into me or cut in front of me in line.  I've been officially thrown out of four grocery stores by managers after I retaliated, as the old bats are always right.  Well, I don't stand there and scream any longer.  Nowadays I just slip things into their grocery order by moving into the next line and tossing something on the conveyor or simply tossing an item in their cart. 

This dreadful woman cut in front of me in line at the meat counter and insisted she was next, although she was not.  Five boxes of Imodium,the anti diarrhea medicine, appeared in her cart at check out.  As has happened before with others of her kind, she do not notice and the items were bagged and off she went with them. Yes,  she took them from her cart and did not notice. That's why I like this technique.  Piss me off in the store and you're gonna pay for stuff you didn't even know you bought. 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bye bye Batman

I note Adam West passed away.  His version of Batman was a big deal for a very short time.  Every celeb wanted to make a  cameo by sticking his head out the window when they were climbing up the outside of a building--why waste a perfectly good elevator.  

And it was his fault I broke my arm.  I was playing Batman with a few friends when my bicycle crashed and I broke my arm.  That hurt. A lot.  








Saturday, June 10, 2017

Haircuts

My brother gets his hair cut by his wife.  I go to a barber.  My dad goes to a barber even though he is essentially bald--with no more hair than Homer Simpson.  I note that in some places these decisions about men's hair are not left up to the quirkiness of the individual  I am including a chart of what haircuts are allowed in North Korea.  I guess I need to hop on a plain and get me one of these Korean hair cuts.  Not  certain which one Kim Jong Un wears.  .



Haircuts in North Korea

Friday, June 9, 2017

Oh driver

One thing Hollywood likes is the limousine. You're not really important in a TV show or movie unless you have your own driver.  The British programs are even more that way.  Everybody from Jack the Ripper to James Bond seems to ride around in a limousine, at least part of the time. In Bond's case, it's more to get new orders or a reprimand, then he hops out and proceeds off in his Aston Marten. 

Of course, then there were those Grey Poupon commercials. One guy hangs out the window of his Bentley and asks, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"

"But of course," the guy in the next limo replies.  

How many private driven cars are actually on the road?  Don't know, but it's probably small.  How many do you even see at airports?  Damn few. Most folks pile into some sort of shared ride shuttle or their local Uber service.  Or maybe a taxi.  None of these offer the exclusivity of that friendly driver who knows where to get a watch repaired or find a prostitute at two a.m.  

Where am I going with this?  I don't know really.  I've been revisiting the Yes, Minister TV series. I just loved that show when it first came out.  I still love it. and you would think everyone in the British government has a driver to whisk them around London.  Without his driver, the Hon. Jim Hacker, MP would be completely clueless of what was going on.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Science Fiction Trails

Well, one reason I stopped publishing SFT was the lack of stories.  Alas, nothing has changed. I'm still not seeing much new.  The good news is my regular authors claim they're going to send something and that should be enough. "There's no markets out there!"  cried the novice writer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Can you imagine such a thing?

People have a tendency to tell me it's hot in Arizona.  Yeah, I kind of figured that already.  Can you imagine 107 degrees Fahrenheit?  Probably. It sort of depends on where you live.  Parts of the Midwest and places like California see those temperatures--but it's usually over a few days, not a few months as it is here. And, of course, we even see 110 and maybe even 115 now and then. What's scary is this past weekend my air conditioner broke down.  It took until yesterday to get it fixed.  As your ceiling fans rumble along and sweat rolls down you brow as the thermometer inside your home goes past 90 and just keeps on climbing, that's when things suddenly aren't that much fun and I'm looking at snow pictures from when I lived in Colorado.  Uh, maybe I can stay at my dad's house. He has a guest bedroom. And his air conditioner is working.

Ah, thank God for repair technicians, or HVAC guys as I think they're called.  Now my house is nice and cool.  If your roommate was Frosty the snowman, a weekend like this would mean a large puddle in your living room and an ad on Craig's List for a new one.  Why a snowman would want to live in Arizona seems odd, probably for the views and the abundant Mexican food.

Frosty the Snowman does Cinco De Mayo? Hmm



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cons, oy veh!

I've been snubbed by cons. I've been welcomed by them.  Mostly I'm ignored by them. But, something that happened today completely baffled me.  First off, we're talking about the non profit conventions that run for two or three days. Some of them move around the country. Some stay put. They're not like the commercial cons that exist to sell stuff like autographs and merchandise. Okay, I got a call asking me if I was David Riley?  Well, that is my name so I admitted it.  She told me she was with some con back east [I ain't saying which one].  Then she asked if I'd gotten tired of living in England.  Oy Veh.

You see, there's another David Riley.  We've never actually met. He lives in England and I live in Arizona, USA [and lived formerly in Colorado].  We're aware of each other and have posted stuff on blogs.  He goes by David A. Riley. I go by David B. Riley,  And every now and then someone asks me to autograph one of his books or stories.  I keep swearing I'm going to start doing that--signing his books.  I doubt he gets many of mine as I have had very little published or sold in the UK.  Heck the editor of  a big anthology a few years ago, tried to buy reprint rights from me for one of his stories.. Uh, well, uh...

And now, uh, "I think you have the wrong David. I told the con lady.  We're both HWA members. His address is in the member directory.  Other than that, he's got some book store in England and is on the Internet."   

"Well, you don't have to be so rude!"

"Lady, I did not call you. You called me."

"If you were any good, you'd have a pen name!"

And that was the end of that. 


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Food and, well other stuff

Had some Chinese food a few nights ago.  The food was excellent, although the restaurant is some distance from my house.  My dilemma had little to do with the food.  A young man was busing tables and was not attending to ours.  He bore a considerable likeness to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, although slightly younger. This fellow was in in his early twenties and the real one is in his mid thirties.  He had the same  hair style and was dressed with the stylish over shirt the dictator frequents.  

Hence my dilemma.  Tucson is a college town. Young people need to stretch the envelope on social mores at times. On the other hand, this is a place of public accommodation.  Kim Jong Un is a despicable man who has ordered untold numbers murdered, including his own brother and uncle. It's not much different than if somebody was running around trying to look like Hitler.  So, do I complain to management or just ignore it?  I chose to ignore it.  Nobody else in the place seemed at all bothered by this. I'm still not sure I made the right decision.

Kim Jong Un



Friday, June 2, 2017

Scence Fiction Trails

Over at Science Fiction Trails, where I am editor, we are open to story submissions. The guidelines are available at the magazine's blog.  I always warn people this is a specialized market. Read the guidelines carefully.  It's not an easy sale.  We ceased publication a few years ago, but I am bringing it back.  
http://steampunktrails.blogspot.com/p/writers-guidelines.html


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Why?

A couple of young men from the local high school were at Burger King yesterday talking about whatever young men talk about. Their particular discussion centered about someone named Megan.  Then the conversation drifted to their homework. By the way, I think this was a private school as Tucson schools are out, me thinks.  Apparently, one of them had drawn the task of writing to the president.
I butted in, "You don't want to do that."
"I don't?"
"Nah, the president is a dullard. Can you write to someone else?"
"I signed up for him."
"Well, send one off somewhere else.  How about  a constable or clerk of the superior court.? They're elected officials."
"If I got an answer? He is the president."
"It'll be an autopen."  
And so, court clerk it was. Unless he changes his mind.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just a suggestion

Saw former President Obama on TV over the weekend.  He was at some event.  Boy, he really turned gray.  Thing is, he's actually about three years younger than I am.  In fact, he's the same age as my little brother.  I'm not gray, at least not when I don't have a beard.  I'm constantly changing my mind and shaving off or growing out my beard, which is gray and ages me a bit.

Simply put, Mr. Obama should shave his head.  Ninety-five percent of all black guys who shave their heads look cool. Most white guys who shave their heads look like the guys who are always seeing flying saucers and are somehow supposed to be related to me. . 

So, shave that gray rubble off, Mr. President.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorials Day

I kind of wonder what genius came up with Memorial Day.  Like, why is a mattress sale supposed to help us remember some fallen and forgotten hero?  I don't have the answer to that.  I still wish Ground Hog Day was a full fledged holiday.  

First expedition, summer

My brother talked me into going along on an expedition out in the forests of eastern Arizona.  So, off we went.  We saw some deer. I got to see a wild turkey.  And, we were amazed to discover there were fish in a stream that we didn't think could possibly be year around.  The fish, we aren't sure what they are. That will require another expedition.  

And the old SUV got a flat tire.  The air pump didn't work.  The can of tire goop was defective.  So we had to go with a donut spare.  Not sure why they call them that.  No bars of service on the old cell phone.  We were out in the sticks.  I guess we could've spent the night and dined on fish stew, but we chose to drive 100 miles on the donut spare to get home.  


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Stories

I hope everyone enjoyed the free story   Those are kind of fun to do now and then.  I was hoping to review a few things, but never seem to get those projects finished.  I'll try an review something this weekend.  

I have no personal news to report.  Planning on spending July 4th at Westercon in Phoenix.

Still haven't figured out where my pies went to.  That's all for today.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Thanks, I needed that



Thanks, I Needed That?  A story by David B. Riley


It was a dark and stormy night, except it wasn't really night, more like dusk and the storm had pretty much passed through with just a little remaining wind and some lightning over on Totter Island. I was on duty for the evening shift.  We had all of one reservation at the Millard. .Sounded like a real exciting night.  

Suddenly, a car pulled up to the portico. The door opened and two legs slid out. They went all the way down the the ground.  And the woman they were attached to was absolutely gorgeous. Green eyes that could melt any man’s heart.  And raven hair that was a dark as space itself.  Beam me up.  I’d be spending the rest of my shift making wedding plans.  I wondered if she’d like a massage.

“Porter, Abigail Porter. I have a reservation.”

“I just need a photo ID and a major credit card.”

She handed me both.  A Texan.  We didn’t get many Texans.

“You’re in 108, just down the hall.”

“Could you store this in your safe? She asked. It was a manilla envelope.

“Certainly.” I took the envelope. “Could you write your name on it?”

“That’s not necessary, Mister Campbell. I don’t need it back.”  She started for her car. “Have a nice night.”

“What?” Then I realized. I tore open the envelope.  I was being sued.  She was good. Dang, I'd just been served.  I’d have to add it to the others. No money to pay a lawyer for help.

“When you do this to some poor guy you could at least do him on the hood of your car,” I announced to an empty lobby.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The pie that never was.

Sometimes, things happen I can't quite figure out.  I went to the store two days ago and bought a pie, amongst other things.  Stores sell pies.  Bakeries do not. We don't have bakeries any more.  Oh, I'm sure there's one filled with mystical delights somewhere on this earth, but I sure never see them.  It's just a department in a grocery store. And that's where my cherry pie came from.  I put it in my cart and wandered around the store in search of other things I didn't really need.  And low and behold, about the time I was going to check out, I noticed my pie was missing.  The milk, and the package of ground beef and the spaghetti saucer were all there, but no such thing as a pie was in my cart. Had someone stolen it?  Can you really steal a pie if it hasn't left the store?  Where had it gone?

I went back over to the bakery section.  I grabbed another cherry pie.  They were on sale for four bucks. How can you go wrong  for four bucks?  And I headed for checkout.  I unloaded my cart on the conveyor belt and the checker rang up my purchase.    The bagger put the stuff in bags and I took it out to my car. When I got home I unloaded.  After putting everything away, I noticed I didn't have a pie.  "How could this be?"  I went out to the car and it was not in my trunk.  It was not to be found. Then I went and checked my receipt, certain the store had stolen my pie.  It wasn't there. I'd taken pies and put them in my cart not once, but twice.  Yet there was no mention of any pie on my receipt. I could not go back to the store and claim they had my pie, or they'd given my pie to another customer. There was no record I'd paid for any pie. 

I didn't have any dessert last night.  That's not such a terrible thing. I often don't eat dessert. But, there was something very depressing about that meal because I couldn't have a slice of pie afterwords.  And I don't know where either pie is.  I hope someone is out there enjoying them.  I guess I'm just a senile crazy old coot who just imagined the pies.  I can't figure where my pies went.  


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's garbage

Today is garbage day. The folks come by from the trash company and pick up my can of trash. Then they return a little bit later and pick up my recycling.  In our little gated community most of the residents recycle at least some of their stuff.  we have special recycling cans that are brown, instead of blue, for some reason. Since recycling is included in the price, it's hugely popular.  

Wasn't always that way. Industry didn't want the stuff, save for aluminum cans.  And they wanted you to sort it.  gradually, industry found ways to use recycled materials and curbside no-sort required was much more popular.





One of my first published stories involved the world of garbage.  A trash truck driver becomes obsessed with killing a homeless bum who sleeps in trash dumpsters.  Well, it didn't work out quite like he'd hoped. "I'm not reprinting "Dumpster Man" because there really isn't room for it here.










Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crunch goes the car

Had a car crash yesterday.  I was momentarily distracted when I started violently sneezing.  I tried to avoid the truck that was stopped in traffic and managed to swerve, save for one inch of my mirror. End result truck unharmed and my mirror will cost $200 to get repaired.  Could've been much worse. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fresh Trees

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to grow some shade trees in my back yard.  When I bought the place last year there was nothing in the back yard but a prickly pear plant.  I've planted four ash trees since then.  The trees have been savaged by relentless wind this past spring. They've also been on the menu for the local mule deer.  In spite of that, they're still alive.  Today I thought I'd try my new drip hose and give them a good watering.  I'm also going to deploy some of those plant spikes and see if they do anything for these poor trees.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Incarceration

I have a story in a new anthology coming out this week called Incarceration.  My story is called "The Silo" and is about a judicial system that's gone overboard with state security.


Incarceration


The word conjures up images of jail cells, steel bars, guards, chain gangs, prison stripes and more. 

In this anthology seventeen authors tell tales of possible future incarceration methods:

Genetic Engineering to create a new breed of prison guards.

Viral Engineering to create a medically induced coma that can be programmed for a specific length of time.

Prisoners who volunteer to be human Guinea Pigs to receive early releases - if they survive.

A "Fun House" that helps people to move past their prejudices and pre-conceived ideas of others.

These and other forms of imprisonment are available for you to explore - from a safe distance - in these pages. Some are indictments of the system, with those who are not-guilty punished for something they didn't do. Some offer harsh punishments for what seems like only a minor infraction and others explore the human side of imprisonment in unique ways. Join us - we promise you'll be released at the end of each story. 

Featuring stories by: Rebecca McFarland Kyle, David Boop, Melodie Bolt, Dean Anthony Brink, Dawn M Sooy, A. L. Sirois, David B Riley, Lauren C Teffeau, Andrew M Seddon, Cheryl Toner, S. D. Matley, Catrin Sian Rutland, Frank Montellano, Gerry Griffiths, Liam Hogan, Lyn Godfrey, and R. Joseph Maas


Save 25%
Incarceration 
The latest Release from WolfSinger Publications.

To order a print copy please   click here -- use discount code: 9HW5GHYR to save 25% off the cover price.

To order an eBook copy please   click here -- use coupon code: XJ86Gto save 25% off the cover price.
Offer Expires: 05/31/17

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mom, Mike's eating with his mouth full

My brother and I were close enough in age we had our share of sibling rivalry (3 years). And, being the older brother I could manipulate him fairly easily.  "Mike's talking with  his mouth open" would get him worked up, then he'd figure out "Oh."  Of course, my mother just kind of ignored us.  

And today is Mother's Day.  I went and visited my mother's grave.  I'm not big on graves. As she's buried here in Tucson it's easier than when I lived in Colorado.  That's all I've got today.

Friday, May 12, 2017

If you want something done right

Our family usually goes on a fishing trip about twice a year in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.  This year, I thought we should go midweek.  But my father turned over reservations duties to my brother for some inexplicable reason. Suddenly we're going over a weekend. it gets crowded over there. And we're staying at an entirely different town because everything was full. Well, this was not what I agreed to and I have decided not to go. Now everyone's mad at me. And I'm still not going. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Buy it, baby

I sure wish a million or so people would buy my books today.  That’s just a tiny percentage of the population.  God doesn’t seem to want to tell people to buy my books.  The aliens don’t want to tell people to buy my books.  The mind control people over at the CIA don’t seem to want to make people buy my books.  All in all, it  doesn’t look like any of that nonsense is going to happen.  I’d even be happy if the 200 or so folks reading this blog every day would buy a copy. No money? Ask your library to order one.  They often will.  Thank you and happy reading.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Responders

“Stand down, everybody stand down,” the big man with the assault rifle was saying  as more and more agents poured into the bedroom.  “Back to work, he thought Obama was hiding under his bed again.”

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Best Seller

My publisher is a small operation based in Colorado Springs.  Nonetheless, I note on Wolfsinger Publications website that my science fiction novel, Bonded Agent, was their number one seller last year--in both print and ebooks.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Stormy Night

It was a stormy night.  Well, it wasn't quite dark, really, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. and it wasn't all that stormy, although the wind was blowing. The serial killer decided not to bother and simply have a sandwich at Wendy's, but he thought about killing people while he was eating it.

I was on a panel once and they had editors say when they'd reject a story.  The other three editors were much quicker than I was.  Maybe that's because I've always edited specialized projects and have never had truly heavy volumes of submissions to wade through. And maybe I'm just more patient and willing to give a story a chance.  Nuff said.




Thursday, May 4, 2017

Service my ass

My cable and Internet went out yesterday. It is so frustrating dealing with these companies. They simply will not help. “I’ll send a a reset signal.”  There was a problem with the Internet cable across the street from me. No reset signal is going to fix that.  My neighbor’s house was not installed correctly and it all sort of unravelled knocking out me and my neighbor.  Once a technician came out it was quickly repaired.  But these companies do not want to send someone out because that costs money.  Damn it, if you’re going to provide this type of service you need to deal with service problems and stop blowing customers off.

Then they call me and survey my opinion on their crappy survey.  Well I was happy with the repair guy. But they didn't ask about the hassles to keep me from getting a repair guy which I had to go through. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Californee

So much of my fiction is located in California.  That's mainly because I grew up there and am more familiar with that area than, say, Deadwood.  I have been to Deadwood, but only once and the town now is more of a tourist trap than the rootin tootin place of yesteryear.

I'm about to start reading for the next issue of Science Fiction Trails.  Based on past years, most of the stories will be set in some generic western town.  That gets depressing, but it's the nature of things.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snail Mail

My last post I rambled along about some changes in my life since moving to Arizona.  One thing I didn't mention was mail.  A large portion of central Colorado simply does not have mail delivery.  It doesn't exist. In spite of that, lost of companies and individuals insist on mailing to your physical street address. It will never be delivered.  That was always frustrating.  People who get mail in other parts of the country can't envision this. Yeah, we had addresses, but the Postal Service simply would not deliver to them.  

Well, we get mail where I live in Arizona.  A whole little parade roles out of the post office with carriers delivering mail.  We get our mail in cluster boxes--in my case two blocks from my house. I hear neighbors grumble about that all the time. Heck, I'm just glad I can actually get mail. It's all how you look  at it. 

My brother, who only lives three miles from me, actually has a mail box in front of his house.Those are becoming a thing of the past. His neighborhood has them, but most new neighborhoods are having to use cluster boxes.  It's all how you look at things.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

hotter than

I'm amazed that I've been living in Arizona for a year--or will have in a few more weeks.  I'd never had that much interest in the place.  Then, poof, I'm here.  Suddenly I have a house and worry about mule deer eating my young ash trees.  But here I am. I gradually figured out my way around town and can honestly say I haven't been lost in months.  All in all, things worked out well.  

Trout fishing isn't what it was in Colorado.  Still, I'm not worrying about slipping on ice.  I always had at least one bad fall on ice each winter and feared when I'd break something.  Now I worry more about snakebite--13 different species of rattlesnake and no waiting in the nearby desert. 

So, maybe I'll resume my quest to find haunted hotels in the coming months. I'm sure the ghosts would appreciate a cool glass of lemonade as much as I do. I never touched the stuff in Colorado. Now, I've grown quite fond of it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Two dermatologists go into bar

I had to go the dermatologist this morning.  Had to have a growth removed from my nose. I've had this recurring problem for a few years now.  New dermatologist.  Maybe it's some disease from Mars.  That would be cool.  Maybe it's some disease from germ warfare lab. That would also be cool.  I think it's going to turn out to be some low grade not too exciting variant of skin cancer.  I'll know soon and post an update.  

Back in the 60's the lunar missions came back and the astronauts had to go into quarantine.  And they walk on some sheet of plastic. And some guy came along and sprayed something on the  plastic to make everyone feel NASA had it under control.  Nobody worried we'd left poop and all sorts of other germ laden material on the lunar surface, just waiting to kill some unsuspecting moon men.  

Of course, if I'd been an astronaut, after we got o the surface, I'd have pointed at something the camera couldn't see and said "What's that? It's moving. It's coming this way. Arrgh." And then let everything be silent for a few seconds. "Ha ha!"  Boy, they'd be mad at me.  But I think that would be hysterically funny .  Overall, I don't think astronauts were all that funny.  Women wanted to sleep with them and men wanted to be them.  But I can't recall a single moon joke told by any astronaut. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Random thoughts on Taxes

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed tax day.  It was April 18th this year, yet I’m sure there were just as many late filers as in regular years.  That’s the problem with income tax–you have to file this rather intimidating form.  The plain form is not so bad, but some of the schedules are quite complicated. 

 And there are those vague area like Is nerve gas deductible?  Is it a medical expense or are you a member of Al Queda? The account replies with little reaction. Neither. I used it to gas the mule deer in my neighborhood. They were euked ‘em. We could’ve gotten some deductions out of that. 

Tree casualties

When I bought my house last summer I put in two ash trees. I added two more this spring. The yard was devoid of shade--a precious commodity in a town like Tucson.  Since my trees have been attacked by mule deer, who seem to like tender young tree leaves.  They damned near killed one of my trees.  So far, all trees remain alive. I put out some deer repellent yesterday. I have o idea if it'll work.  I'm not really allowed a fence under current HOA rules for our community. 

It's amazing when you take up some form of gardening, how defensive you get. I wasn't particularly interested in mule deer until they started attacking my trees.  Now I am obsessed with them. I now understand the hatred of the gopher in Caddyshack.  I would suddenly be the juror who would acquit the gardener who set of a case of dynamite and blew up the neighborhood to get some rabbit. yes, it changes your outlook considerably. The war goes on.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tree Attack

One of my new trees I recently planted in my back yard got attacked last night.  Mule deer seem to like tender new shoots of plants. If they keep at it, they're going to kill my trees.  These re vile, ugly creatures unlike Bambi.  We need longer hunting seasons.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holiday Savings

Our family, like many others, is planning a special meal this coming weekend.  I was looking through the ads from the major supermarket chains.  Amazing bargains are to be had.  The price for ham is nearly free at one store.  And pies can be had for nearly nothing.  The solution, it would seem, would be to go forth and purchase huge amounts of food, especially the non perishable stuff, and buy, buy, buy.  And then don't buy another thing until the next major holiday.  Save a fortune.

Alas, there aren't that many holidays when the stores open the floodgates of savings. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are the ones where you get major deals if you look for them and play their games of buying flour if you want a cheap turkey, as an example.  Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are more limited in their knock your shoes off savings--usually just hot dog and hamburger buns or possibly some watermelon or other summer fruit. So, fill your freezer with Easter savings and remember Memorial Day may not have quite the savings, but there will be countless mattress sales to make up for it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Story Coming Out

Haven't had much writer news in a while.  My move to Arizona put me back a bit.  Anyway, just got the edits for my short story "The Silo." It's about a man who is arrested, tried and convicted--only thing is no one will tell him what he was accused of. Don't have a release date. It's in an anthology edited by Carol Hightshoe called Incarceration

I also have a novella on the move, but nothing to announce just yet.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

White House Blues

“We’re clear,” the Secret Service agent said into his radio.  He moved back out into the hall. 

“Must’ve gotten away, sir. We’ll get him if he comes back.”

“You guys are the best.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

The Secret Service agent was finding the new administration certainly made graveyard shift more interesting. Sleeping was certainly becoming ancient history.  The agent went back down to finish his pie.

“I kept it warm for you,” the cafeteria lady said.

“That’s very kind of you.”

“What was it this time?”

“He thinks Barrack Obama was hiding under his bead.”

“Oh dear.”

“Well, last week he thought the former president was hiding in his shower.”

"I sure hope we get that wall built to keep him back in Kenya."


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mail Boxes

Why are mail boxes so darned complicated?  Yeah, the big blue ones  outside most post offices. Pick any box you like during the daytime and park nearby. It won't take long and some pathetic individual  will drive up to it.  Then that person will fumble around, seaming unable to figure out how to open their window.  Then they'll fumble around and seem unable to gather up their letters.  They will place them in the mail box one at a time.  At this phase it's not unusual for them to drop one. Then they will sit there for some inexplicable reason. Then they will struggle to roll up their window. Then they will try and start their motor even though it is already on. Mercifully, they will finally drive away.Try it for yourself if you dare.. These people always show up. They never let me down.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Loot

One staple in story telling is the notion of loot or treasure.  I've sat on panels at science fiction cons and argued that a lot of the valuables in science fiction stories jut aren't that valuable.  For instance, take the Ferengi on Star Trek and their obsession with gold pressed latinum.  Here the latinum, which  is a liquid pressed into gold is supposed to be valuable.  Other episodes of Star Trek in its various renditions have featured mining and the same problem exists there. The problem, the replicator.  They turn any material they want into any material they want.  This would mean that nothing would be overly valuable in such a society.  A pile of lead can instantly become gold.  And, since we know replicators use the same technology as transporters, and since they regularly transport latinum, therefore they could replicate all they want.  Any commodity based wealth system would be obsolete in this environment.

I can punch similar holes in other cultures economic system if it's one I've heard of.  A number of places Dr. Who visits have equally dubious systems for controlling wealth.  Yet my real criticism with sci fi economics is the lack of banking, taxation and economics in future worlds. They just kind if dance around it and ignore the topic altogether.

And this brings me to my novel Bonded Agent, which features an insurance adjuster who lives on Mars. Sarah Meadows starts out selling insurance and then is selected for a special program that is a glorified insurance adjuster, but dealing with very large accounts for things like pirated cargo. Oh yeah, pirates, they like them in sci fi.  But how often  do you hear about the insurance company that made it economically feasible for the cargo to be transported through the perils of outer space? The answer, practically never.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pig Matic

Porky pig ain't got no pants on.
Petunia is just Porky in a dress.
Some artist has pig fantasies.
Hope he lives on a farm.

Porky pig ain't got no pants on.
He just hangs around bus stops.
Waiting for kids to get out of school
Here piggy piggy.

Porky pig ain't got no pants on
Mmmm pork.
The spare rib driver will be coming soon.
And Porky has run out.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Walkers

Hardly any Walkers in the season finale of The Walking Dead.  That's why I love this show. They continue to surprise me.  One thing that didn't surprise me was Sasha. Saw that coming.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Comic Book Characters

It seems since Disney took over Marvel there are comic book movies everywhere.  Well, I'd like to recommend a few new ones. I'll wait by the phone for  Marvel to call. These characters are:

Gastro--can make people poop on command.  Who is really going to flee a crime scene or put up much of a fight while his pants are filling up with poop?  Especially the yucky green diarrhea kind.

Skunk Man has the same glands a skunk has and can let fly with that noxious smell anytime he wants.  Who needs kryptonite when you've got skunk spray?   

Tree Man can instantly become a tree to hide from any enemy. Just try and pick him out of a forest.  Then he can turn back to a human and run away.

Benjamin Franklin Man thinks he's Ben Franklin. He flies a kite that's equipped to lob an enemy's head off. It also attracts lightning for some reason.

Smokin Hot Babe likes to take bubble baths with aging writers.  Well, it works for me.






Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fresh fresh

I note mighty McDonald's has announced the 1/4 pounder will soon be made of fresh beef, instead of frozen.  Back in the day, McDonald's had really cheap smallish hamburgers and sold a lot of milkshakes.  I liked them a lot more than I do now.






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trees

Since I bought my house 10 months ago I've planted six trees in the back yard, hopefully reducing heat by providing shade.  Problem is the blasted mule deer keep trying to eat my trees. Our local HOA frowns on fenced yards. How can your neighbors keep up with what you're doing if you have a fence? I tried this coyote urine product. That did no good whatsoever.  I'm going to the stores to see what else they've got.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elevator Farting

Yesterday's posting raises the question: Why would someone do something as stupid as farting in elevators.  In my case I started doing it in San Francisco when I was in high school.  My friends and I would take BART across the bay and wander around the city. And we started riding elevators in the tall buildings.  Well, I'm not sure how the farting started, but  it did. we refined our technique. To this day I find comfort in farting in elevators. Hate me if you must, but it's that kind of guy I am.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sending

I’ve talked before about farting in elevators and some do’s and don’t’s.  Well, when I was recently on jury duty I got so bored all I could think of was lunch break.  As soon as the bailiff released us I went to the top floor.  They had like six elevators, no waiting.

Now the key to elevator farting is you cut one at the end of the line when there’s no one else inside.  Then you step out and send the elevator to the far end of the building. So this was going from the 10th floor down ot the ground.  I cut one and sent it away. I knew the lower floors had full elevator cars.  So people would pack in and start wondering who amongst them had farted, not realizing it had come from an unseen enemy on an unseen floor. 

This lept me amused until it was time to back to the courtroom to be told I would not be needed.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

gardening

A year ago I still lived in the mountains of Colorado and it was still snowing. Hah! Now I'm in sunny Tucson. That said, I don't know why people garden. If it's for food, a lot of the stuff  we grow can be had cheaper at the grocery story. But there's just something about ruining you clothes and getting dirt in your hair that people can't resist. I've planted trees this spring--not technically a garden. The west side of my house had no shade.  Six trees, two lemon and four ash, and in a few years I may have some serious shade.

But my father just planted tomatoes. He can't wait for vine ripened tomatoes. 

And my brother and his wife, well you can't hardly get into their yard they've got so much stuff growing.

As for me, I stuck with trees because I'm not allowed to have fencing [It's one of our rules]. We've got jackrabbits and mule deer running around looking for gardens to destroy.  So I decided I'd get beans and onions from the store because these horrible mule deer eat darn near everything.

And if you grow strawberries I'll be right over.

Friday, March 24, 2017

It's All My Dad's Fault

A lot of the things that our economy is struggling with are my dad's fault.  Pensions, funding Medicare, lack of housing--these are all my dad's fault. And he freely admits it.  As he was growing up, most men lived into their late fifties or early sixties.  That was it. Then they keeled over and died. This meant pensions only had to cover a few years of payouts.  Yet, there he sits drawing Social Security, drawing a pension, getting his medical bills covered by Medicare and even taking up a house that could be used to house a family just starting out.

All this because he will not die.  He readily admits if he'd die then the strain his generation is causing will go away.  Back in his day doctors didn't worry much about cholesterol, men smoked a lot, and  men dropped dead right where pensions and the government wanted them to.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hot Dog

Ever try and find a hot dog in the grocery store?  I don't like many of the hot dogs that are readily available.  In fact, Boar's Head and Trader Joe's are the only two hot dogs I like.  I'm sure some ball parks and maybe even a few restaurants have decent dogs, but I don't often go to those places.  Costco puts out  hot dog that's edible, but not remarkable.   

Why is that?

I have no idea.

I always thought it would be fun to get the rights to Soylent.  They're the company that, at least in a science fiction movie, make food out of dead people.  I don't want to make food out of dead people, I just wonder if folks would buy something branded Soylent.  I don't think the milennials know what Soylent means. 

Apparently, there is some company marketing some sort of drink under the soylent name.  It's hot dogs, that need to be made out of people.  Well, I mean branded that way. They taste they already are.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Today is today

Not much going on today.  They take our trash away today and I have to much, thanks to a lot of gardening this past week.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wind wind go away

It's been really windy for some reason. I don't like wind.  I find it the most annoying of weather demons. Without wind ran and even snow aren't all that bad--add wind to the mix and it's unbearable. On its own it is still unpleasant.  I bought two trees a couple of days ago. They took some damage as they got knocked over. I placed them in the yard and was going to plant them the next day.  Then the mule deer came by and tried to eat them.  Poor trees probably wish they were still at the nursery.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bier in March...Humbug

St Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that they could have simply not bothered with.  Blasphemy for somebody with an Irish name? Perhaps.  Most scholars don't think the guy even existed.  It's not a day off of work holiday.  Chicago dies its river green for a few hours.  It's mainly just an excuse to get drunk.  When Bonded Agent came out, I tried to get some home brewer to make some Martian Red Ale.  No one would do it.  

Mint shakes at some fast food places. And that corned beef and cabbage.  They can keep that, thank you.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Steps to the Future

When I was little I used to watch something called Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.  This guy and friends kept flying around saving worlds that seemed to always want to run into each other.  I guess he must've done some other things.  Well, it seems this show was syndicated starting in the 1950s and has more or less long faded off to obscurity. That's even older than me. But it was on when I was little and I watched it.  It was a harmless enough show with fairly high production values for its day.  I watched an episode off my Amazon Prime yesterday.  I doubt I'll watch any more.  What worked for a kid doesn't always work for a geezer.  They flew in a tall rocket. It had steps on the side.  All I could think about was having to keep climbing up and down those steps. Somehow, climbing steps gets less and less appealing as I get older.  

At least Star Trek didn't have steps?  Guess again. At least Next Generation did. They were Jefferies Tubes and were  used by Scottie and Spock in the original and a few times in Voyager as well. I'll stay on Earth and apply for my handicapped parking permit.  They can keep their stairs in the future. 




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Yer ...

I was sitting in McDonald's the other day.  Iced tea is only a buck right now and I was having some.  I guess they don't have much office space at these places.  All I know is three manager types were meeting with some guy. At first I thought it was an interview.  It wasn't.  As I struggled to pretend I wasn't paying any attention, it became obvious he was getting fired.  Some type of complaint had been lodged against him by a customer.  It's a shame they have to do that sort of thing out in public like that.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Money

Got my tax refund in just over 2 weeks.  Way to go IRS.

Had Dinner

Had Dinner downtown with some other writers and people interested in HWA.  Nice, pleasant evening. Folks are in town for he Book Festival the University puts on.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Death & Taxes

I had a discussion about taxes recently.  I argued it didn't matter.  The people get screwed and that's that. Furthermore, if the feds cut too much, then the states have to fund road improvements and indigent care so gas taxes or sales taxed must go up.  So, the result is it simply comes out of a different pocket.  So go forth to a taco truck and have some food. It just doesn't matter.

The Donald is not going to fly Air Force One out to Area 51 to see the parked flying saucers.  So, I don't really care about what else he does.  Oprah is gonna run for president and I doubt she'll go out to Area 51 either.  I didn't have the guts to cross the line and get shot.  However, I doubt they would've shown me the flying saucers.  

By the way, the government could really cut the deficit if they started giving Area 51 tours and charge admission. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Wild Wild West

Saturday & Sunday I'll be at Wild Wild West Con, which is held at Old Tucson.  I only live a stone's throw from there. It's nice to have a con that I don't have to travel for.  I'm participating on a panel on Weird Westerns and then talking about Weird Western books on Sunday.  That's it. The rest of the time I'll just enjoy the con.  Not attending on Friday.  I have not been to this one before.  Should be fun.  I don't do a lot of steampunk cons, but the ones I've gone to I have really enjoyed.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Well then

I was all set to try and get off jury duty. Turned out they didn't want me and sent me home.  I still think if they'd pay something they'd get more cooperation.  Problem is some employers pay you and some don't. And self employed folks like plumbers and truck drivers really get hosed.  Minimum wage in Arizona is $10 an hour.  They should pay something comparable instead of forced volunteerism. People would be more willing to serve. That's how I see it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oscar Who? No mom, go back to sleep.

Too many awards shows, me thinks. Can't watch the Oscars as it's on opposite The Walking Dead.  Nuff said. I won't even answer the phone during the Walking Dead.

My mother was one of those people who would always open the front door if someone knocked. And would always answer the phone if it rang.  Frankly, if someone's at the door at two AM, perhaps opening it may not be the best answer.  

"What if it's an emergency?" she would always counter.  

"What if it's Cox?" I would point out.  Keep the doors locked and don't answer that phone.  

Back in my early days the neighbor's house was on fire and they came knocking on our door, even though two other houses were closer.  And, of course, my mom answered it and called the fire department.   And henceforth always used the emergency defense. And I would counter: "What if it's Mike Cox?"  It seemed I had the superior argument.

After she died, I was at my dad's house and smelled smoke when I was taking the dog out for a walk. I started to call the fire department, then a fire engine came roaring down the street and I figured they did not need me. But no one was at the door. I just smelled smoke. That would have been different. It could have been Cox.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

slave labor

I have jury duty next week.  They don't even pay you at all unless you get on a jury, then it's only $12 a day.  Prisoners making license plates can earn more.  And they why no one wants to do it.  I've vowed I will not get on a jury and will do the bare minimum to get out of there as soon as possible.They don't even have free parking.  The courthouse is quite some distance from where I live. There is nothing good to be obtained from this. 

At first I thought it was my civic duty and all that nonsense. Then I got it deferred. Now, I have to deal with it.  I haven't decided if I'll claim bias or show up with aluminum, foil on my head to stop the aliens from listening to my thoughts.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minimal Schedule

I finally got my schedule for Wild Wild West Con.  I'm just doing a presentation on What's New in Weird Westerns Sunday afternoon. 

I'll be around  most of  the con. Keep in mind I'm co-chair of the HWA Arizona Chapter and trying to get this chapter up and running. We have people in Tucson but they do not come to meetings or express their interests in what they want from their chapter. I also have news about Westercon.  So, if you're attending and want to talk about these topics, flag me down.

Monday, February 20, 2017

El Presidente

Where I live I have to go to a cluster box to get my mail.  Today is President's Day. It's a fairly major holiday.  All day long I've observed my neighbors going by to get their mail--oblivious to the fact there is not going to be any.  I'm tempted to go up to them and ask,"Are you stupid or something?"  But that would do little good.  It's just the quantity of folks.  There are about 90 mail boxes there and at least ha;f of them have had somebody try and pick up mail.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Taxes

Got my income taxes done.  I'm always glad to have that out of the way.  I get a small refund this year.  

The only certainties in life are death and taxes.  Who said that?  Supposedly it was Benjamin Franklin.

Back in colonial days the main tax was tariffs.  

Taxes I'd like to see:  Taxes on fish.  I don't like eating fish. I never have. So, that be a wonderful tax. and that's the problem, we all like taxes if someone else is paying them.   Taxes that would be interesting, but tough to cllec.  Tax on flying saucers.  I'd love that one. Tax on ghosts.  That would cut down on haunted houses, I'll bet.   Taxes on cats. Why cats? Well, dogs pay taxes in most places in the form of dog licenses, but cats don't.  Screw the damned cats.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I am not a bum

One problem with Tucson during the winter months is the place is crawling with bums asking for money.  They're everywhere.  One of their favorite places is the median strips in middle of the road. 
I recently had to go to the eye doctor.  Their lot was full so I had to park across the street in a shopping mall lot.  I found myself stuck out in the median area as I couldn't get across without being run over.  As I'm standing there, some lady rolled down her window and gave me $2.   This is the second time I've been mistaken for the local bums and given money, 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Temperature

One thing I still haven't quite adjusted to is how warm it is.  In the mountains of Colorado I'd still be looking at a few more months of winter.  Here in Tucson I'm running round in a short sleeve short and haven't put my winter coat on once.  I don't really miss slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks. No sirree I don't.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Venerable

Well, I'm nearing completion of a short weird western novel called The Venerable Travels.  I haven't written any long fiction in this category since Miles O'Malley appeared in three novels [now available in one collection The Devil Draws Two].  

Anyway, the new book features Ling Fung who has come to the American west after getting kicked out of China.   He appeared in a short story called Under A Dark Sign , but this is first novel. Novels let a character stretch out a bit and complain about the cold and do things there's never time for in a short story.

More info will follow on getting it published and such.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

got my eyes

Got my eyes dilated today. I wish they didn't do that.  "All part of your eyes exam," they tell me.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Myrtle

I had a myrtle bush I planted shortly after I moved in last year.  I seems to have bit the dust.  My yard is a harsh environment.  Big it is not. Hot and dry, it is.  Now I have to figure out what to replace it with.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Emerald

I've been meaning to comment on Emerald City.  I just love that show.  All I can say is watch it--and try and download it. Watch it in order or it won't make much sense.  This sure as hell ain't your mommy's version of the Wizard of Oz.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Mmm

Well, Ground Hog Day is over. They say the one in Pa saw his shadow.  I don't care. I celebrated the holiday with sausage. It was pretty good. [see yesterday's posting].

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ground Hog

For the past decade I've tried to get people to celebrate Ground Hog's Day.  No, not by seeing if some creature supposedly saw his shadow.  By eating sausage.  Sausage?  Sausage is made from ground hog--end of story.  I've gotten emails telling me ground hogs aren't related to pigs and are from the marmot family.  Of course. I never said they were.  I said people should eat sausage because sausage is ground hog. It is. They take hogs and grind them up.  And tho I wander the valley of ignorance, I shall persist in spreading the word that thou must partake in sausage, tho thou ridicules me for my beliefs.  Just as Charlie Brown's friend, Linus, faced ridicule for telling people about the Great Pumpkin, I too shall be ridiculed for telling everyone to go forth and eat sausage on February 2nd.  

So sayeth me.




Monday, January 30, 2017

Dr Why?

Well, Dr Who is quitting.  Peter Capaldi didn't seem to last long.  Who cares? I sure don't. The stories have been getting increasingly silly and preposterous.  They should just have the TARDIS break down on some godforsaken hellhole and leave him there.  He could regenerate all he wants and no one would know or care. Good riddance. I used to like this show but no longer do, obviously.






Sunday, January 29, 2017

Windy weather

It's been really windy the past few days--and much colder than normal for southern Arizona. Heck, people have had to cover their plants as it's gone below freezing. Add in some wind and you've got some mighty cold nights.  I'm sure we'll be back up to 110 before we know it, but it's definitely not the sort of nights you want to go for a leisurely walk.



Friday, January 27, 2017

holding it in?

I've been watching some footage of people dancing from the 1920s--the flapper era.  I'm working on a story from that time period.  People dancing all look like they have to go to the bathroom really bad, but are trying to hold it a little longer.  Not sure why. Art deco era buildings that have been maintained or restores have some amazing bathrooms.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Splitsville

The celebrity news are reporting Scarlett Johansson had split up with her husband, some French guy.  I sure wish she'd go out with me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Been raining a lot

It's been raining a lot, especially for Tucson.  It's amazing to watch how fast cactus can suck up water after a rain.  Plants have to get while the getting is good.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Syrup

People don't like me. I guess there are a lot of reasons for that. One reason is I don't care for syrup.  Yep, that stuff people put on their pancakes.  I've never really cared for it.  Growing up we had to eat products from one food company my dad worked for. The brand of syrup they sold, well I won't say, but it had a ghastly smell that permeated the entire house. When I was old enough to read the label, I discovered it was only about 5% real syrup. The rest was sugar and "flavorings."  It's those "flavorings" that did me in.  I reached a point where I simply could not stand the smell of it or eat it on waffles or anything else.  

Sure, I've been told that real syrup that's just syrup is good.  I get that.  But I've been conditioned to equate syrup with those horrible Sunday mornings when we had pancakes and bacon and the house stunk of this horrible product I wanted to throw up.  I stopped eating syrup when I got older and realized I could do things like that.  But if I eat pancakes and just put butter on them, people stare at me in horror. If I'm with a group, I'm ridiculed and never invited to anything with syrup again. Relatives are even worse.  Around my uncle [now deceased] or my father, they'd get angry with me in a restaurant if I didn't put syrup on my pancakes or waffles--so I learned to order something that didn't require syrup like oatmeal to avoid the confrontation.  

Flavored pancakes, like blueberry, don't require syrup as you can pour blueberry sauce and get whipped cream on them.  But plain old pancakes, like at a certain chain restaurant over by the university, well that still makes people hate me.  I thought my waitress was going to hit me when I ordered a stack of pancakes and just put butter on them last week.  

This is not the brand we had to eat, it just represents syrup in general. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sleep Sound

In just a few hours Donald Trump will be issued his own nuclear codes and some guy from the Pentagon will follow him around with a special briefcase for the next four years.    Sleep sound at night. Sleep Sound.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Parades

Got a nice response from a science fiction con.  More on that later.  Can't wait for Trump's inaugural. Hah. I didn't vote for him.   It is what it is, but why the blasted parade? I think it's the most ridiculous part of the inauguration.  So we get to see our new president away from the limo?  So what. They should get Alec Baldwin to walk parade as Trump--that would be funny.  At least I think it's funny.  All I have to say today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

bar codes?

I keep having dreams about bar codes on fish.  Not sure why.  It's kind of weird.  They're trout, and the bar codes are printed on the side up near their backs.  These look more like the bar codes on mail than the thicker ones you see on store products.  I'm not that into fish, so I don't know what it means. Maybe I'm just nuts. And I mean I'm dreaming about fish in lakes, not in the supermarket.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Spanish Lessons

We haven't done any Spanish lessons in  while.

Why is there a dead body in my room?
¿Por qué hay un cadáver en mi cuarto?

Do the snakes stop using the pool at 11 also?
¿Las serpientes dejan de usar la piscina a las 11 también?

Satellite phone? I don’t know any satellites.
¿Telefono satelital? No conozco ningún satélite.

My food is disgusting.
Mi comida es asquerosa.

Twinkies.  I need Twinkies.   Where can I purchase Twinkies?
Twinkies. Necesito Twinkies. ¿Dónde puedo comprar Twinkies?

My children are criminals. Do not trust them in your store.
Mis hijos son criminales. No confíes en ellos en tu tienda.

Do mortuaries take dead bodies without any death certificates?
¿Los mortuorios toman cadáveres sin certificados de defunción?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Money From Rainbows?

This afternoon I saw a rainbow.  My grandmother, who was nuts, used to tell me as a kid to make a wish when you see a rainbow.  That runs counter to the prevailing theory on getting money from rainbows where you have to track down the leprechaun hiding at the end of the blasted thing and steal his gold to get anything.  But, I made a wish anyway.  I figured it couldn't hurt.  I wished for some extra money. Well, I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and, sure enough, I found two pennies lying there.  Uh. Well, technically. But? 



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Best Quotes From Telebision

Best Quotes From Telebision [kind of maybe]

“God, I’m so tired of climbing up and down that ladder.”  Rocky Jones, Space Ranger [look at their ship some time]

“Please someone just shoot me,” Al Bundy, Married With Children

“Whoever assigned me a female yeoman?” Captain Kirk, Star Trek, “Oh God, I’m so horny.”

“Man, you’re messing with my mind,” Erik Estrada guest starring on The Night Stalker.

“Sorry, Mr. Wilson. I know it’s not right to look in people’s windows.  But you’re so hot.” Dennis the Menace.

“I am not a crook,” Our beloved president in the near future on some game show.

“Wish we had black men this hot back home,” Queen Elizabeth II guest hosting Dance Party.

“It’s finger lickin good. And that ain’t chicken. “ Colonel Sanders.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Uh oh,

Uh oh, better call...

One striking difference between Tucson and Colorado revealed itself to me yesterday.  I was sitting around watching TV when I noticed some speck of carpet was moving.  Well, when I got closer that spec was a small scorpion.  And I'd only been worried about termites and roaches.  

Pest control is a huge business in these here parts.  And Mike, from one of those pest control services, was here two hours after my call.

Boy howdy.  Nothing says tough desert creepy than scorpion.  Hardly ever saw any kind of bugs in the mountains of  Colorado.  Still, it's 62 degrees. Back in Vail it most certainly is not.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Toilet Paper

Maybe it's just me, but I think toilet paper rolls keep shrinking.  They're shorter and seem to last a very short time--even the so-called double rolls.  I guess we should be thankful we still have toilet paper.  



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Driving

Drove up to Phoenix for a meeting yesterday.  Trying to get the local chapter of the HWA up and running.  There are a lot more writers out there than seem interested in our chapter and attendance has been weak.  We'll meet again in February.  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moving Around

I guess it's an older thing, as I get older what were once minor injuries are serious, painful events.  It took me a full week to get over my recent fall.  Little kids just bounce off the floor, get a kiss from mommy and go about their business.  Falling on that blasted floor hurt. Now, I tense up every time I see one of those yellow bucket things [which had nothing to do with my fall].  It messes with your mind, man.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Painful New Year

Started out the new year in pain.  We went to a Chinese restaurant on New Years Eve.  Well, I took a header on a slick spot on the floor.  Good news is nothing was broken. Bad news is I've got some painful bruises on my knees, which took most of the impact.  

Of course the restaurant denies any responsibility.  If I had broken anything and gone to the hospital this would've been a painful and expensive adventure.  Why did I go down?  Don't really know.  Eat there again? Hell no.  It's given me a more sympathetic view of the falls and spills lawsuits, though I'm not going there--stuff happens and negligence is hard to prove when you don't even know what happened. Best theory--it was raining. Wet shoes and floors that aren't getting cleaned properly for grease.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another Year

I don't really like New Year's.  Too many reminders of another year gone by. This past year saw profound change as I retired from the hotel business [the proverbial day job], sold my condo in Colorado and bought a house in Tucson, AZ.  

As far as writing endeavors, I had a new science fiction book published by Wolfsinger Publications.  My own publishing business has now basically shut down.  We're still selling stuff but there are no new plans for any projects in 2017. Story Emporium never caught on and it will no longer be published.  We've also put out a book every year. There is nothing planned for 2017.  Lack of sales is the big culprit.  Poor author interest is another.  While other publishers get huge submission volume we're begged for stories and found very few.  So, I decided to throw in the towel.

I don't know how 2017 will turn out. I've upped my plans to go to more science fiction cons this year. Last year I only attended one.  This year I plan to do four--one per quarter.  I have only one short story sold in an anthology coming out this year. I hope I can get a little more going on, but you never can tell about such things.

My expectations are so low that I can't really be disappointed. Time will tell as they say.