Both I and Barbara recently had our annual eye exams, and we both need new lenses. The eye place just called that our lenses are ready, but we have to take our glasses to them so the lenses can be cut to fit. We dropped them off late Monday afternoon, but they won’t be ready until sometime Friday, so we have a week without glasses.

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So for the rest of the week, it’s look out the window, nap, watch TV. Joy.

Posted in Books & Reading | 4 Comments


Sunday, we watched the reentry and splashdown of the SpaceX Dragon capsule (on the NASA Television), and it was thrilling to see. We both still get pumped about this stuff, and it’s great to have such a positive happening and on the news.

I finished the sixth and final book of Michael Sullivan’s Legends of the First EmpireAge of Empyre. Perhaps I should call it the final book of the second trilogy, but either way there were a total of six books in the fantasy series. Last year I listed the first books in the series as favorite reads of 2018, and liked the next book as well, but I was not as pleased with the final two books.

The problem is that my perceived “main characters” turned out not to be the author’s intended primary protagonists, as the overreaching story arc played out. Every one of the people I liked, save one, was gone by the end of the saga, while the immortal gods, who had been in the background — where they should have stayed! — became front and center in the last five chapters.

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It’s been HOT here, many days in the 90s, a couple of 100+, the rest in the higher 80s. I don’t like hot weather, and especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Tucson, sure. Portland, no. So we’re spending lots of time indoors, and are glad we installed new HVAC a few months ago.

The kitten, Pongo, is doing fine, growing like a weed. He’s put on a half lb. since we brought him home July 13. He and our older cat, Dexter, are still “working things out”.

Posted in At Home in Portland, 为什么youtube进不去, Fantasy | 7 Comments


The Corpse Came Calling by Brett Haliday (pen name of Davis Dresser), (c) 1942, my copy (shown) 1964 Mayflower-Dell paperback.

如何免费上youtubeThe blurb:
When an old friend calls begging to see him immediately, Mike Shayne is surprised to say the least. He hasn’t set eyes on Jim Lacy in ten years, and time has not been kind. Jim’s face is deeply wrinkled, and his eyes are glazed. There’s blood seeping through his shirt as he gasps “They didn’t get..” and dies, collapsing on Shayne’s office floor. He’s dead before he hits the ground.

Shayne reaches into Lacy’s pocket and pulls out his wallet. Emptying it, he finds a little more than $200. He takes $200, enough for a retainer fee, leaving the rest. A further search of the body reveals a scrap of cardboard in Lacy’s clenched hand. With that as the only clue, he pockets it and leaves just before the police arrive.

Mike Shayne won’t rest until he catches whomever shot Jim Lacy and sent him to die on Shayne’s doorstep. But first he will have to convince the police that he was not the man who pulled the trigger.

My Take
As usual with these Shayne novels, there are lots of twists and turns, a straightforward telling of the tale, many characters, some tough and some likable. The usual cast of Miami and Miami Beach friends and opponents are here too. The war is a plot element in this one as well. These are always enjoyable, and one of the twists near the end surprised me. Good one.

Posted in Books & Reading, Mystery | 11 Comments


Enjoying pulp stories, a few years ago I started buying reprints by various authors by various publishers specializing in such. I have three shelves of them, this being one.


The shelf also includes some books about the pulps, which are of interest. Click to see the image larger.

There are so many here I won’t try to detail each one, or even make a list. Many are published by Altus Press. I’ve always enjoyed The Green Hornet, and like these three books.  In addition, I’ve read just more than half of the others on the shelf. I’ll get to the rest one of these days.

Do you see anything here that interests you? Have you read any of these?

Posted in Books & Reading, Shelf Shots | 为什么youtube进不去


I’ve been reading the PERN books by Anne McCaffrey. My order of reading them is different from the author’s recommended, (see previous post). So here we go.

Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey, Del Rey, 1988 hardcover

为什么youtube进不去Dragonsdawn is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It was the ninth book published in the Dragonriders of Pern series.

Pern was a beautiful planet, Earthlike enough to feel like home, yet unspoiled by the industrial development and interstellar wars that had ravaged the other planets of humankind. And the few thousand colonists who came to Pern intended to keep it that way. They staked their claims to the land and settled down to build a low-tech, agricultural paradise on the world they had loved at first sight.

Then suddenly disaster struck. Deadly spores fell like silver threads from the sky, devouring everything — and every one — in their path. Fire and Water could destroy the Thread, as the stuff came to be called, but the colonists could not keep up with relentless attacks. Very quickly it became clear that the colony’s resources could not support a long-term fight against the menace — and the Thread was predicted to fall for fifty years. Some other solution would have to be found if the colony was to survive.

Then some of the colonists noticed that the small, dragonlike lizards that inhabited their new world were joining in the fight against Thread, breathing fire on it and teleporting to safety. If only, they thought, the dragonets were big enough for a human to ride and intelligent enough to work as a team with a rider.

And so they set their most talented geneticist to work to create the creatures Pern so desperately needed — Dragons!

Not the first in published order, but the first introduction to the planet, and why the series is tone considered SF. Colonists arrive at planet to settle there, that’s SF for sure.

如何免费上youtube Books & Reading, Science Fiction | 6 Comments


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Posted in Books & Reading | 4 Comments


When we got our new kitten (is there such a thing as an old kitten?) from Cat Adoption Team he came with the name 如何免费上youtube. We spent days mulling over other possible names but came up empty, so Pongo he stays. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but the name reminded me of these Les Baxter record albums I had in 8th and 9th grade, on vinyl of course, that I loved. They went when I got rid of all my vinyl records, and I hadn’t listened to them again, until now.

I found them on Amazon Music and bought them. I’ve been listening to them for a week and loving it. This music was popular in the mid-1950s, the song “Quiet Village” may have touched it off, since it was very popular. I happen to like these two albums more.

Posted in 如何进入youtube, Music | 6 Comments


If anyone has been wondering why you haven’t seen a new post here lately, this is why. Read on after the picture for the story, if you’re so inclined.

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We adopted Dexter, our 5.5 year old male (insert like) in October of 2018, and we’ve been thinking about adding a kitten or two for the last few months. So when the Cat Adoption Team (C.A.T.) notified us of their upcoming Kittenpalooza, we decided to participate in hopes of getting a new cat.

There were “technical difficulties” with the software program, which required the hopeful adopter to click on a photo, then complete a short questionnaire and click “Apply”. That takes time, and with hundreds of people competing for a limited number of kittens, it was a frustrating madhouse. We clicked on a couple, but no joy. We quickly learned that success goes to the quick and agile, having the form pre-filled and clicking on several as fast as possible. That wasn’t us.

We decided to continue to monitor the C.A.T. adoption website, and occasionally applied for one, having 7 active applications at one point, But others were always there before us. Then, finally a call that we were approved for Pongo. Who knew getting a kitten would be so difficult? Mostly it was due, as so much is, to Covid-19, so everything is no contact.

Now we’ve got a bundle of energy in the house and we’re slowing following the steps to introduce a new cat to an existing one. Expect more kitten pictures soon.

Oh, the name? It’s the one he came from the shelter with, and we think it suits him.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 17 Comments


Deathtrap by Peter Turnbull, Severn House 2000 hardcover, mystery, police procedural. 2nd in the Hennessey and Yellich series, set in York, England.

review from Kirkus Reviews:
“Yet another of the author’s absorbing procedurals, this time set in the city of York, where Detective Chief Inspector George Hennessey presides over the Micklegate Bar Police Station when local retiree John Smith, taking his usual walk on the edge of the Whickham Great Wood, comes across the body of freelance reporter Cornelius Weekes, an apparent suicide, in a closed, fume-filled car. When a painstaking autopsy by Hennessey’s close friend Dr. Louise D’Acre proves the death to be murder, Hennessey begins an exploration of Weekes’s recent movements. He soon links the case to the death 18 years ago of Donald Round, another reporter. Both men, Hennessey learns, had been examining the case of Melanie Clifford, imprisoned for the murder of her long-time lover Toby Erickson’s wealthy wife Charlotte. It’s soon clear to Hennessey that John Cross, the long-retired police detective who first headed the Erickson investigation, had deliberately ignored evidence in Melanie’s favor. Now, 18 years later, Hennessey and sidekick Detective Sergeant Yellich are convinced of Melanie’s innocence and set out to prove it.”

After reading a review of one of the books in this series — don’t recall where just now — I went looking and found an ex-lib copy, which I read just last week. I really enjoyed it, especially the characters. I’ll be looking for more of this series.

Posted in Books & Reading, 如何进入youtube, Mystery | 12 Comments


The rest of the bunch of books on the shelf we saw last week.

The Agent Gambit by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Another of the books in the Liaden Universe series.

如何免费上youtubethe Horizons: Explorers and the Furthest Horizon edited by Gardner Dozois, a science fiction anthology that was last Friday’s FFB post.

The Omnibus of Science Fiction, edited by Groff Conklin, an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers in 1952, and reprinted in 1953; a book club edition was issued by the same publisher with the Science Fiction Book Club in the same year. This edition by Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers in 1984.

The book collects forty-three novellas, novelettes and short stories together with an introduction by the editor. The stories were previously published from 1912-1952 in various science fiction and other magazines.


  • “Introduction” (Groff Conklin)
  • “John Thomas’s Cube” (John Leimert) TR
  • “Hyperpilosity” (L. Sprague de Camp)
  • “The Thing in the Woods” (Fletcher Pratt and B. F. Ruby)
  • “And Be Merry …” (Katherine MacLean)
  • “The Bees from Borneo” (Will H. Gray)
  • “The Rag Thing” (David Grinnell)
  • “The Conqueror” (Mark Clifton)
  • “Never Underestimate …” (Theodore Sturgeon) AD
  • “The Doorbell” (David H. Keller) AD
  • “A Subway Named Mobius” (youtube进加速器) OM TR
  • “Backfire” (如何免费上youtube)
  • “The Box” (James Blish) AD
  • “Zeritsky’s Law” (如何免费上youtube)
  • “The Fourth Dynasty” (R. R. Winterbotham)
  • “The Color Out of Space” (H. P. Lovecraft) OM TR
  • “The Head Hunters” (Ralph Williams)
  • “The Star Dummy” (Anthony Boucher) OM TR
  • “Catch That Martian” (Damon Knight) AD
  • “Shipshape Home” (Richard Matheson) TR
  • “Homo Sol” (Isaac Asimov) OM
  • “Alexander the Bait” (William Tenn)
  • “Kaleidoscope” (Ray Bradbury) OM TR
  • “”Nothing Happens on the Moon”” (Paul Ernst) TR
  • “Trigger Tide” (Norman Menasco)
  • “Plague” (Murray Leinster) OM TR
  • “Winner Lose All” (为什么youtube进不去)
  • “Test Piece” (Eric Frank Russell) OM
  • “Environment” (Chester S. Geier) AD
  • “High Threshold” (Alan E. Nourse) TR
  • “Spectator Sport” (John D. MacDonald) OM AD
  • “Recruiting Station” (A. E. van Vogt) AD
  • “A Stone and a Spear” (Raymond F. Jones) TR
  • “What You Need” (Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore))
  • “The Choice” (Wayland Hilton-Young) AD
  • “The War Against the Moon” (André Maurois)
  • “Pleasant Dreams” (Ralph Robin) TR
  • “Manners of the Age” (H. B. Fyfe) TR
  • “The Weapon” (Fredric Brown) OM TR
  • “The Scarlet Plague” (Jack London) TR
  • “Heritage” (Robert Abernathy)
  • “History Lesson” (如何进入youtube) OM
  • “Instinct” (Lester del Rey) OM
  • “Counter Charm” (Peter Phillips)

The Secret Six by Robert Hogan, The Complete Adventures of the stories from the pulps.

Posted in Books & Reading, Shelf Shots | 8 Comments