Thursday, May 31, 2018


Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is simply "Smile." That's it. So I guess I'll talk about what makes me smile.

So, what makes me smile? Off ramp road racing makes me smile. This is how it goes. You head for a freeway off ramp as full freeway/interstate speed (say, 75 mph). There's no other cars in front of you taking the off ramp (this is important but doesn't happen all the time). You pull off the freeway/interstate and you slow down just enough to make the corners in the off ramp. Tires chirp in protest, the car careens around the corners. And you smile. Usually afterwards because while you're driving around the corners, you're too busy to smile.

That's just one thing that makes me smile. What makes you smile? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Getting Stuck in Traffic

Traffic Jam on Snoqualmie Pass
And once again, the 52-week blogging challenge. This week's prompt is "Getting stuck in traffic."

I hate getting stuck in traffic. I may complain about the small town I live in, but at least there aren't traffic jams. But when I go to the Seattle area, all bets are off. Seattle didn't invent the perpetual traffic jam, they just perfected it.

Sometimes going over Snoqualmie Pass you get into traffic, especially in the winter. But sometimes for no apparent reason.

And of course, coming back from seeing the August 21st eclipse, I ran into lots of traffic.

Now, as you should know if you read this blog, I like to drive. And I'm not looking forward to autonomous cars. But during traffic jams, I'd gladly hand over driving duties to a computer.

Audi has developed something called "Traffic Jam Pilot." They are going to offer it in their A8 top-of-the-line model. Unfortunately, it's not coming to the U.S. due to the regulatory and litigious environment (we like to sue)*. But I would love to have that on my car for traffic jams. So that is one good thing about autonomous cars: no more driving in traffic jams. In fact, it is thought autonomous cars may eliminate traffic jams. Which would be nice. But I'd still miss driving.

How do you feel about being stuck in traffic? Let me know in the comments below.

*"Traffic Jam Pilot" is beyond anything in the U.S. market right now. It is a nearly autonomous system that doesn't require the driver to pay attention like Tesla and Cadillac do. It would have been the first SAE Level 3 autonomous system sold in the U.S. Until the regulations dealing with nearly or completely autonomous cars are sorted out, it probably won't come to America.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. This week's prompt simply says "Contribution."

So I guess that's open to interpretation.

I contribute money to the Salvation Army, the Alzheimer's Association, and I know my wife gives money to her church. I also contribute to a local arts program.

I contribute to society by writing books that are fun to read and might educate a person a little. I also keep my lawn mowed and drive the speed limit (in my neighborhood, outside my neighborhood, all bets are off).

What contribution do you make to society? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S.: Tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Another Blog Interview

Yet another blog interview about me. Check it out here and learn what I listen to while writing (it's probably not what you're thinking).  And a bonus cute kitty pic. Don't miss it.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Author Interview with...Me

Yesterday I was interviewed on JD's Writers Blog. Check it out here. Learn when I started writing and how I first got published.

My Favorite Music

Back to the 52-week blogging challenge. Today's prompt is: "A favorite … book/music/movie."
I talked about my favorite book here. So I guess we'll go to music.

I was thinking about this today. My favorite song of the 60s is probable "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream. My favorite song on the 70s is likely "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. My favorite song of the 80s is "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. That, even though Sting from the Police sings on it and the Police are one of my least favorite groups. My favorite song of the 90s is "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. My favorite song of the 2000s and the 10s is one I don't have to listen to.

My favorite overall "modern" song is "We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad. I love the pounding rhythm of it.

But I don't just listen to modern music. I'd say my iPhone is about half full of classical music.

One of my favorite classical music pieces is from an opera. It's wondrously beautiful. Another is Beethoven's Ode to Joy, which is technically the fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony. The best part is 7:20 minutes into it. But it's all good.

In fact there are too many to list here.

What's your favorite music? And what do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Time once again for the 52-week blogging challenge. The next prompt is: "I spend my money."

This probably refers to disposable income after paying for food, housing, etc.

I like to spend money on cars and gasoline. And maintaining them. If I had the means, I would own more cars. I'm so envious of people such as Jay Leno who own a bunch of cool and interesting cars. I love cars. Not sure why. I don't really like working on them (although when I drove on the racetrack, I had to). I just like driving them as fast as possible.

About all I do now is check the oil level and the tire pressures.

I also spend money on Starbucks. Every now and then I look at what my daily trip to Starbucks costs me and I shudder. But it's almost worth it to get out of the house and see people. I also use that time for reading.

I used to spend money on electronics. But other than my iPhone, that's not true. My computer is over seven years old. My stereo is around twenty years old. I replace things as they wear out or break.

So what do you spend money on? Let me know in the comments.