Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"35 hilariously bad Kindle book covers"

That's the title of a photo essay in the Telegraph.  Here are a few examples to whet your appetite.  Click on each cover to go to its page on and read more about it.  Some of the plot outlines are even worse than the covers!

There are many more at the link.  Search Amazon's Kindle store for their titles to learn more about them.  You can also find more hysterically bad covers at Kindle Cover Disasters.  It's worth bookmarking the site and going back from time to time for a good laugh.

I laughed out loud at some of them.  One in particular had me chuckling, because the title was so over-the-top I found it almost depressingly hilarious.  I'm not going to link to it, because it's not safe for work;  but it was called 'Now That I'm A Ghost I'm Gay'.  I'd have thought that death would be about as un-gay an experience as one could have, but clearly, what do I know?


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reality bites . . . just not for politicians

Read this.

Just a few days ago, it was learned that the Treasury Department gave three billion dollars to several large insurance companies to keep them afloat, because no thinking person wants to sign up for this horseshit called ObamaCare, and the insurance companies will go bankrupt giving away “free” healthcare without total taxpayer compliance. There’s just one problem; THEY CAN’T DO THAT. Only Congress can authorize the spending of taxpayer money, and when Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, kind of a stickler when it comes to money, asked the Treasury about it, they basically told him to **** off.

Sweet Jesus… can you imagine the uproar if George Bush illegally ordered the Treasury to give three billion taxpayer dollars to Exxon and Halliburton, and told the Congress to piss off? The Internet would be melting down and the Democrat Congress would be drafting impeachment documents before the sun went down. Dan Rather might have suffered a stroke on-camera.

. . .

Let me repeat: This was not on the television news and in damned few newspapers. How is this not the sort of thing that puts angry people in the street, and Congress demanding (figurative) heads on platters?

If you went into work tomorrow and diverted $3,000 of company money to someone without authorization, you would be arrested and charged with theft and embezzlement. But the government just stole THREE BILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS and gave it to huge corporations, and it doesn’t even make the news ... Where is the outrage, liberals? Where is the outrage, media? Where is the outrage, Congress? Why is no one in handcuffs? How is this not a Constitutional crisis that blows runaway llamas and dumbass “I can’t breathe” protests off the internet?

There's a lot more at the link.  You really need to read it all.

Then ask yourself:  why is it that so few people care about this at all?

What are you, personally, willing to do about it?

Let Sir Winston Churchill put it in perspective.

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;  if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.  There may even be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

We've allowed things to come to this pass because too few of us cared enough to take action to stop them.  This may be the last chance we have to do so.  If we allow this to continue, our children will read about the liberty Americans used to enjoy and marvel at it . . . and wonder what it must have been like, because it will have long departed this country.


Monday, March 2, 2015


Courtesy of Paul, who blogs at Hawsepiper, we find this time-lapse video of barge traffic on a frozen Hudson River last month.

Watching that made me curious as to how they kept the ice broken up when it's so cold.  This video of a Coast Guard cutter doing its thing on the Hudson River helps explain it.

I think I'll stick to the (hot) water that comes out of our shower head, thank you very much . . .


Quote of the day

From Wirecutter, reminiscing about a childhood visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

The high point of that particular tour came when we were in one of the sitting rooms and the tour guide pointed out a small silver and crystal table and mentioned that it was “priceless”. ****ing priceless. It could never be replaced. I had never ****ed up anything over a hundred bucks before, much something less priceless, and a national treasure no less. As I was mulling this over in my head, Pops looked down at me and said “Don’t even think about it, Boy. These are Germans and they were gassing people for less just 20 years ago.”

There's more at the link.


Baby elephants are cute!

I've helped to feed baby elephants in the Kruger National Park when I was very much younger.  The youngsters had typically been rescued after their mothers had been killed by poachers, or collided with trucks on roads through the bush.  They were brought to Skukuza, administrative headquarters of the park, and hand-reared whenever possible.

It was a lot of fun (and sometimes rather painful) feeding them.  The usual container was a 2-liter Coke bottle, fitted with an outsize rubber nipple and filled with a heady mixture (varying according to the animal's age) of milk, ProNutro, mashed banana and a few other goodies the vet reckoned were good for itty-bitty elephants. When they saw you coming bearing this cornucopia of pachyderm goodness, they'd start trumpeting (very shrilly and childishly) and swaying furiously with excitement. They'd latch on and drink like mad (the older ones using their trunks to hold the bottle up so that everything ran down into the nipple).  When they'd finished, they'd hopefully prod you to see if you had another bottle. When you proved empty-handed, their next instinct was to play. More than once I've turned around to hand the empty bottle to an assistant, only to be flattened by a playful love-tap from a six-week-old, three-hundred-pound infant elephant.  As I picked myself up painfully from the ground it would be dancing around, daring me to turn around again so it could have another go!

With that in mind, here's a fun video from the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.  Watch it in full-screen mode for the best results.

I think I recognize the mischievous gleam in that young brat's eye . . .  Just don't take it home with you.  Your furniture and fittings would never survive!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Filipino puns

An online acquaintance and author, who writes under the pen name 'Shadowdancer' on various blogs and forums, has put up a fun discussion about puns about food and restaurants in the Philippines.  Not being averse to the occasional pun here and there, I found it very entertaining.  Seeing how puns work in foreign languages is always interesting.  Here's an excerpt.

Some of these are easy to understand if you’ve been exposed to the accent of English-speaking Filipinos, while some will need translating, so bear with me when I have to explain the jokes.

Bun of Brothers - a burger place. Do they break bread with strangers too, I wonder?

Nacho Fast  – a snack stall shop pulling fast ones! How cheesy, natcherally.

OBEERTIME  – what you need, clearly, after too much overtime.

PorkBarrel Grill and Restaurant  – do we have senators and governors visiting here frequently?

You Food – (burp)cast yourself  – … From the Net and back again…

Adobo Putoshop  – groooooooooooooooan Adobo, which is a Filipino stew, and puto – steamed rice cakes

Hijo de Pita – makes sense if you know a little Spanish.

There's more at the link.  You'll find Shadowdancer's books listed here.


Doofus Of The Day #818

Today's award goes to an inebriated Indian gentleman (?).

Saying an endearing 'hello brother' to an elephant nearly cost Mandiram, 40, his life. The pachyderm did not take kindly to his greeting and flung the man a few yards away. The man escaped with minor injuries to his leg.

. . .

Eye witnesses say that the man suddenly appeared in front of the elephant in an inebriated state and saluted it. He had then shouted to passersby that lord Ganesha had come to see them. The mahout told him to stop harassing the animal, but Mandiram, perhaps emboldened by the liquor he had consumed, clung to the elephant's trunk and said, `Hello brother, how are you?'

The animal, apparently agitated, lifted him with its trunk and flung him at an autorickshaw standing nearby where he fell to the ground. The animal then ran after him and attempted to trample him and prevent him from getting up. The mahout swung into action and brought the animal under control.

There's more at the link.

Definitely some very effective non-verbal communication there.  It should have been verbal, though.  I mean, after all, a trunk call was involved . . .


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mike Williamson and his fans have some fun

Novelist Michael Z. Williamson and his fans have put together a great list of responses to an emergency.  Some of them are side-splitting.  A few examples:

A man is drowning 50 feet from shore.

  • A Green laments that the man will die and deserves it since he's polluting the water.  Then the Green will demand the lake be off limits so further drownings don't hurt aquatic animals.
  • The EPA will agree with the Greens and fine the man's family, then declare the lake a wetland and refuse to allow removal of anything, including his remains.
  • A homeopath will grab a tube of the water, dilute it 1:10,000 and sell it as a cure for drowning.
  • Greenpeace will insist the man has "Water privilege" and he should be grateful to live in a nation where it's possible to drown.
  • Eventually some decent person who will strip off, dive in and rescue the guy. Once ashore, they'll find their wallet, watch, and cellphone stolen, and get arrested for indecent exposure.  Then the state will sue them for not being licensed for water rescue.
  • His Congressman will introduce "The Safe Parks and Ponds Act" which will cost $5 billion, result in three agencies writing five different safety standards that are resolved after 7 lawsuits reach the Federal courts, but the rider ban on home-farming of turnips will remain.
  • North Korea issues a statement condemning the drowning as a Capitalist propaganda ploy and claims that every year, a thousand thousand North Koreans drown far more skillfully.

There are many more at the link.  Enjoy!


Happy dance!

My latest novel, 'Stand Against The Storm', continues to climb the charts at  It's now at #2 in the 'Hot New Releases in Space Opera Science Fiction' list.

It's also at #4 in the same list for military science fiction, and at #7 in science fiction overall.  Those are the highest rankings I've ever had in 'Hot New Releases'.

Thank you all very much for your support.  Color me happy!


Strange that one so young sounds so evil

I had to smile at this video of a Russian baby who's learned to deliver a really evil laugh.

I can't imagine what it's going to sound like as he grows up!