If I won the Lottery . . .

A friend of the family gave me a Powerball™ ticket. I’m writing on Friday, the drawing is Saturday. So I have 36 hours to wonder what I would do if I won the lottery.

  1. Get a few things off my Amazon Wish List. And some jewelry I’ve been eyeing, if it has not been sold yet. That accounts for about $1000, total. And maybe that white Edwardian dress, so $1400.
  2. Pay off some things, like my teeth and my pick-up, and help the folks with the new kitchen stuff we need. And with that other house thing that really needs to be done, but that is not an urgent fix. And help Sib and Sib-in-Law with some tweaks on their house.
  3. Give something to the Day Job’s endowment, but anonymously, and not a huge amount.
  4. Give some to various charities, like the Salvation Army, Team Rubicon, and a few other places that I know and trust.

Continue reading

Who Will be the Adult?

Where are the adults? They are not to be found among the political activists, nor among the politicians. I see no adults on college campi, nor among those designing learning materials for younger students. None of the major news media appear to have adults on staff, or in editorial positions. Thus I repeat, where are the adults? Continue reading

Time’s Turning: A Flying Story


I’m so glad summer’s over Catherine thought as she rolled her shoulders and shivered a bit, looking up at Orion. The strong Arctic cold front that blasted through the plains earlier that day had washed the dry-season dust out of the night sky, leaving hard, brilliant stars behind. Of course, being in the unpopulated part of the state helped. Even the airport and town lights couldn’t wash out the Milky Way and winter constellations hanging high above the pilot and her King Air. Catherine stifled a yawn and set about exploring the “new” airport, mindful that snakes might be basking on the still-warmish pavement. Continue reading

Orion and the Fog

Sunday night Redquarters got just over an inch of rain. Most of that within ten minutes as a massive, oh-my-heavens-paddle-faster squall line slammed into the city. It had already flattened the airport at Dalhart, and the fear was the 80 mph winds would hit Amarillo. With waterlogged ground and big trees… We were lucky. First came the frog-strangler, then the wind. And then the skies cleared. Continue reading

The Blessings of a Soviet Education

That’s the title of this article by Michael Galak in the Australian web-zine Quadrant. He later immigrated to Australia, but here’s a sample of what he learned: “When I was living in the Soviet Union I did not believe the state’s newspapers when they told me Americans were thirsting to conquer the USSR. I did not believe Khrushchev when he said it was the Americans who triggered the Cuban missile crisis. No, I thought, if they are telling me the Americans are to blame then it must have been the Kremlin’s doing because lies were our leaders’ stock in trade. I did not believe Pravda when it said the murder of Israeli athletes in Munich was a legitimate blow against the oppressors of Palestine, which I knew didn’t exist. I did not believe them when I was told Israeli commandos who rescued the Entebbe hostages were instruments of a Zionist plot to take over the world. Most of all I did not believe that the Western proletariat was groaning  in poverty beneath the chains of capitalist bloodsuckers, whereas the Soviet workers lived and worked in freedom and prosperity. That one was a no-brainer. I could look out the window and see it wasn’t true.” Continue reading

New Release: Familiar Tales

In a world where magic is normal, mundane, but never boring…

A place where talking animals—Familiars—drive their humans up trees…

Where the police chaplain and a rabbi compare moonshine suppliers…

And Skunks of Unusual Size can be taken as child care deductions…

Anything can—and probably will—happen to Morgana Lorraine and her friends and relatives.


You hear that?

The kittens were feeling frisky on Monday. They were frisky-ing around in the small hedge outside my office’s front window, rustling and bustling and occasionally hopping onto the ledge, then pouncing down into the shrubbery. Athena was perplexed. Continue reading

August ’17 Playa Report

I was away in June, and July was a “wee bit” busy writing. Plus the construction season is upon us, making getting to the playa of record a little bit of a pain. However, the road is more open, and the playa has gotten over two inches of rain in the last four days.

For those readers new to the blog since the last playa report, I’ve been informally chronicling a rainwater lake, or playa, for a year or so now. Playa lakes are a vital feature of the Llano Estacado and High Plains. No one knows how they formed, and some are tiny, while others cover almost a square mile. Many are “dry” and only get water from rain and snow, while a few have springs in them, or had them before the water table dropped. They are refuges for wildlife, migratory birds, and native plants, and are considered an endangered land form of the Great Plains. Developers think they are a pain in the patoot, home owners who discover that the developer put their houses in the bottom of a playa think they are [censored, censored censored], ranchers like then, and farmers tried to level them out, or converted them into tail water pits for irrigation. Continue reading