LOL! Check out my latest tour de force over at Writers Plain & Simple. Feeling pretty smug about it.

One of my clients emitted a newly plotted Book I of his sweeping historical epic, complete with reimagined characters and richly researched details. As I was reading one section of it, certain baleful habits in verb use struck my eye. Naturally, since I never can keep an opinion to myself, I held forth at length about how to fix these. He claimed to like the result (at least he hasn’t thrown a frying pan at me yet). So I got his permission to use a few examples from that section as the basis for a post at the writer’s blog.

The result, I think, is kind of informative for people who want to be Writers with a Capital W.

Might be useful for bloggers, too. ;-)


Toyota_Sienna_--_07-09-2009Welp, the car is (belatedly) down at Chuck’s Auto Service, there to be refreshed for another year of survival.

Very nearly missed my chance: the ole Dog Chariot was supposed to arrive in his precincts at 8 a.m. But…a disadvantage of laying flat on your back day after day is that your computer is plugged into a bedroom outlet. After I let the dog out at dawn, I crawled back into the sack and started working on a client’s work.

The nose stayed on the grindstone till about 9 a.m., when I got hungry. Stumbled out to get the paper and was reminded of the leaking sprinkler head in front. Staggered back to the phone to call Gerardo and ask him to come fix it. He asked cuando? Looked at the calendar… Uh oh!

Called Chuck’s: Pete answered; said to bring it right down.

Flew toward the shop; turned around, flew back to the house to check to be sure I’d turned the fire off under the water kettle (whose contents I had imagined would be used to make coffee…); jumped back in the car; flew toward the shop.

Chuck drove me home and will bring the car back later today. This was good, in its way: it allowed him to get an earful of the squealing brakes. They just DID a brake job a few months ago.

Sort of. I think it was last in for an oil change in…uhm…January.

I’ve been putting off service because I thought I would buy a new car this summer. Then when all this medical sh!t  fell on my head, shopping for a car was out of the question.

And now buying a new car this summer or any time in the near future is out of the question. All the money I’d planned to use to buy the car is going to the Mayo Clinic.

Driving homeward, I said to Chuck that I need for the thing to run at least another two or three  years; possibly another five.

I’ve never owned a car this old! It is 14 years old. Still running like a top, though.

Well, that may not be true…the Mercedes may have been older. The number that sticks in my mind is 13 years; but it could have been longer. It also was running (expensively) well. The only reason we traded it in was the switch to unleaded gas. The thing ran on leaded, and we were told that unleaded would wreck the engine and we eventually would have to install a new one, which would cost as much as buying a new vehicle.

CeyBenz1972What a shame! It was SUCH a wonderful car, so beautiful…and holy MACKEREL the power that thing had! It was slow from a standing start, but at 65 mph all you had to do was breathe on the gas pedal and suddenly you’d be at 85. You have  never seen such acceleration in a big old galumphing sedan with walnut and leather trim.

Heh. We traded it in on a Toyota and never looked back.

Whatever. This year there’ll be no RAM  1500 with four doors and a six-banger for me.

On the other hand, every year I can put off buying a new car makes it more likely that the next vehicle will be the last one I’ll ever have to buy. So that’s good. I’ve got cash to buy one more car, but not enough to spring for two.

Hm. Maybe the next car should be a Mercedes…


 whoa there! Wait. a. minnit.

For less than it would cost to get this:



I could get this:



Well, by golly. Every cloud has a silver lining, doesn’t it?



So, Where Were We?

September 18, 2014

Where were we, indeed? I’ve lost track. But this morning a tiny  bit of normalcy trickled back into life: My accountant friend and I drove out to the weekly meeting of the Scottsdale Business Association, the business group that we’ve taken to calling “The Breakfast Club.” Business leads do get exchanged, but in such a […]

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September 17, 2014

Lordie, it’s hard to sell newspapers! Or news websites… Local Play-Nooz has been whipping up hysteria over a HURRICANE (eeeeeek!) about to SLAM (yowwww!) Arizona and FLOOD PEOPLE’S HOMES AGAIN (auuuuugggghhh!).  They’re making as much hay as they can over Hurricane Odile, which is weakening as it passes over BATTERS Baja. This blather is great […]

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News of the Day

September 16, 2014

Been enjoying the dispatches from GoogleNews, the NY Times, BBC, NPR, and waypoints? Amazing stuff, isn’t it? Lately, since I’ve been flat on my back in the sack most of the time, I’ve been spending altogether too much time reading news reports. Whaddaya think of some of this stuff? US sends 3000 troops to fight […]

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UPDATE to the Latest Chapter

September 15, 2014

So after my long grutch about today’s adventures, I talked with my former brother-in-sin, who happens to have been the premier cardiac anaesthesiologist in the Pacific Northwest until he retired a few years ago. I’d emailed the details of today’s misadventure to him — my earlier post today was based on that message. In response, […]

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