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


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


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


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.