Dog Ear
The Most Dangerous Mind (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 06 March 2019 23:27

n amazing thing in the elevator yesterday.

It was a long day at work, very frustrating. I was an hour late getting out, it was raining and I still needed to go all the way across town for a train ops session that would last until 11pm. Long day.

While on the elevator, two guys from the middle floors of the building got on, one an office worker, the other a maintenance guy (complete with a ladder over his shoulder). And they were continuing their conversation from their lobby.

The salaryman: “Yeah, I loved it. As a hunter, it really appealed to me. The whole thing, the exotic locale, the chateau, of being hunted. It was amazing. It’s always been my favorite.”

The office guy was getting off at two. The doors opened. He stepped out. The doors closed. In the one short flight to one, I looked at the maintenance guy with the ladder.

Me: “One of us will sleep in this bed tonight. The other will be in the yard, amidst the dogs.”

Maintenance guy: “It was softest bed Rainsford ever slept in.”

We broke up laughing at the perfect synergy of this moment. I’d figured the book they were discussing was The Most Dangerous Game. In the end, the hunted hero doubles back and hides in the hunter’s high bedroom, with its open window and its yard full of vicious hunting dogs. The villain makes the observation that one will live and one will die, bed or dogs. Section break. And the hero enjoys the bed. Perfect ending.

That was just amazing, that all three of us knew a 1924 adventure story about an elitist hunter and his desire to hunt the most dangerous game (i.e. man). And even though the day had sucked and the traffic was terrible and the evening was long, it was still just a delight to make that one shared literary connection, that the two of us (at opposite ends of age and income) had shared this wonderful tale.


Note: I might have gotten the quote a little wrong (haven’t checked). But it was close enough.

A little help from my friends (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 28 February 2019 00:00

ometimes (particularly when traveling) I end up with a couple of reviews in the can, waiting for Sunday Review posting. That’s a good feeling.

But sometimes, I end up with a “slow” book. Right now I’m reading a religious book about God and such. It’s a sell, that’s one thing. But it’s also one where I need to pay attention to the points. Outside of fiction (where I go into my groove and read for pleasure), non-fiction (please, no debating this classification) is pretty slow. I’m not reading about Sam Spade breaking heads quick and getting even quicker answers. I’m plodding.

You know I’m short of materials when I’m reviewing an hour radio drama.

So it really worked well that two readers, niece Kirstin Raymond and best-friend Jesse Markowitz, have both sent me reviews. I’d been asking for them on and off and suddenly my email box is full. That’s just great. So this means we’ll have their reviews up in the next two weeks (Kirstin first, because she came in a hair before Jesse). But I’m quite interested in what they read and what they thought about it.

So tool in here on Sunday when we see what sorts of things others are perusing. It should be a blast!

(And if anyone else out there would like to review a book, feel free to send it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let me know what you love/hate/are bored by. Who knows – maybe you can sell me on something I’d never considered!)


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2019 18:55
Thin Skinned (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 20 February 2019 21:09

kay, so I’m literally not sure what I can say about this.

I mentioned that I dropped out of Powers of the Earth because of the pro-libertarian/anti-everyone-else take. I didn’t particularly enjoy being a straw-man in this tale.

And then there is Without Warning,  an Audio Book I’m listening to right now. In general, it’s a bit Anti-Muslim (literally a “you’ll miss us when we’re gone” kinda book, to be reviewed soon). The only reason I’m sticking with it is that I really do want to know why American was vaporized.

Yes, so I’ve been getting battered around the head and shoulders by angry conservative writing. If the story is good, I’ll stay. If it isn’t, I’ll just put it down. But I hadn’t given it much more thought then this until a friend invited me to her Catholic service last weekend. Nice church and good people. I stood. I sat. I knelt. I monologged. All fine. But it hit me after that I had my copy of Altered Carbon in the car outside. For a quick review (a better one is coming up shortly), in the world of the future death is less an obstacle. Your memories and personality can be “re-sleeved” into another body. And outside the resleeving facility the Catholics are protesting, just a bunch of screaming, spitting wankers angry about man denying God His souls. Most of the characters are pretty disdainful of them, recounting how they’ve achieved nothing but  anti-science regression in 2500 years. And I realized, as I walked down the shady church steps, that this didn’t bother me at all.

Thinking further, reading about the Mormons getting their ship nationalized by the very space dock that built it in Leviathan Wakes (and ineffectively unable to legally retake it) was rather funny. But I’m not Mormon. And I’m not Catholic. So it didn’t bother me.

But I’m leftist, and ultra-conservative positions do.

I never thought of myself as a literary shirker. Either I never noticed it, or it’s never been an issue. Not sure. I’ll just have to make sure I’m really really true when I’m working through my various literary projects. Like A Case for Christ, which I’m currently reading/picking-apart. We’ll see.

But then again, as a reviewer, I bring a certain amount of “me” to my reviews. I tend to say if I like a book, but for honest reasons.

Stay tuned as I struggle endlessly with ethics in entertainment!


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2019 23:17
A reflection on time (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 15 February 2019 05:44

ime is always a sour subject with me.

I’ve never had enough of it. Even without kids, even with a quiet, low-maintenance wife, there isn’t. I haven’t written seriously (my old Tuesday/Thursday lockdown) for years now. And there are the dusty model  trains, the abandoned telescope, the unwatched movies. But still, in all this, I’m active, frantically so.

My recent efforts have been writing StoreyMinus, an interactive game that is nearing something like completion. And then there are two nights each week at the train club. Oh, and my buddy who is in a distant hospital, necessitating a long 2-3 nights/week drive. So yes, all my time drains away and I’m left with nothing.

Especially not time to focus on writing.

However, one good thing – I’ve been thinking of retirement (early retyrement, nyuk nyuk). I was thinking of putting in for it in November and backed out. Now, suddenly, the company is trying to reduce its grayhairs and I’m eligible for a handsome buyout. I plan to take it. Not sure what this sudden deluge of time will actually be like. It could be like those hardscrabble desert communities that suddenly are inundated with rain and become swampy morasses. And the retirees in my club tell me they never have time now, now that they’ve jumped ship.

So I’m looking at having to restructure myself for the next part of my life. Wondering if maybe I’ll assign writing days and review my older works (specifically Indigo and Wenamon) for submission to a new generation of literary agents. I’ve got to do something. In a matter of months, I’m going to have buckets of time.



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