In the ink well

Dog Ear

November 26, 2020

Imagination on tap (DOG EAR)

t all started with a threat of riskware. Since I’ve started roleplaying again, pretty much every week involves me trying to come up with a continuing storyline for players who might reject a carefully constructed plotline and go helling off across our imaginary landscape. After all, our Solaris game is science fiction and a new change of scenery is only as far as the nearest docking port. So I found this website that generated all sorts of things: names, taverns, spaceships, gangs, a massive collection of randomness. Some of the names (based off nationalities, which is a big part of […]
November 19, 2020

Pissed off (DOG EAR)

‘m in a really, really, really, really bad mood. So what happened? You know how much I hate cell phones. We’ll, I’ve gotten to hate mine even worse – a week or so back it was unable to call out – totally cut off. Finally I had to go to the AT&T store and ask. Turns out I had to turn it off and on again. Yeah, that old IT Crowd joke. Yes, I thanked them but I was a little pissed that I had to dick around with it to make it work. My old cellphone never had these […]
November 12, 2020

Cancelled (DOG EAR)

o Will is locked in an alien pod, being prepped to be inserted into an alien ground war. And Katie watches as a planet bomb levels part of unshielded Seattle. Their kids are sleeping in the house of a slimy traitor (and they don’t know it). And, of course, Alan Snyder is rampaging about the halls of power, corrupting everything he touches. And that was it. The series ended. This is the new danger of investing in a streaming series on one of the services. Unlike the old days when sitcoms were locked in time, the episodes interchangeable, it wasn’t […]
November 5, 2020

Blind Eye (DOG EAR)

Here’s one: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana And here’s another: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” -Joseph Goebbels nd that’s what pisses me off these days. Things that are known facts are distorted by lies. History that should NEVER be repeated, such as the Holocaust (Goebbels had his fingers all over this one) and the Chinese Cultural Revolution (where Mao and his communist cronies waged full ideological war on political rivals, intellectuals and scientists) suddenly are distinct possibilities. And that’s […]
October 29, 2020

Writing Length (DOG EAR)

his hit me while writing a blog for the morrow (as they say in Treasure Island, which I was enjoying) – the length of a written effort. I’ve written (professionally) in a number of formats. When I write fictional novels, my chapter lengths are always four to six pages long. Same when I post anonymous erotica online (hey, it’s a hobby). In my sister’s medical book, Don’t Jettison Medicine, the chapters were all two pages long – consisting of short paragraphs. In the radio scripts I wrote, everything was maybe two-three paragraphs (the issue, the discussion, the recommendation). Blogs, as […]
October 22, 2020

Are you Robert Raymond? (DOG EAR)

ould you possibly hope to be the world-adventurer, man about town, writer, game designer, rocket engineer? Review the list below and score your points (1 for each thing you’ve done). Then look to the bottom to see if you are Robert Raymond. 1) Flown an airship? 2) Ridden a bike 60 miles in one go? 3) Lived in foreign country for several years? 4) Written a novel picked up by an agent and publisher, and placed on bookstore shelves? 5) Read thousands of books? (The list for the last decade is HERE) 6) Dispatched a complex model railroad? 7) Written […]
October 15, 2020

Fake News (DOG EAR)

ossibly I missed the critical news of the year – Covid-19 has an effective vaccine now? No? Nothing changed? Then why are we opening bars, tossing off our masks and acting like it’s VC day? Today I went into an Ace Hardware and there in the paint aisle was a guy standing there, deciding if he wanted Cherry Red of Valentines Pink, breathing unfiltered, unmasked air, too proud to respect a store full of others, assuming that his risks should be run by all of us. Needless to say, I loitered outside the aisle until he’d fumed his way up […]
October 8, 2020

Pud (DOG EAR)

ack when I worked as a summer hire for the Navy in Cubi Point, Philippines, Chief Mullens would always yell “Don’t just stand there with your pud in your hands!” The things you carry forward in life. So now, fifty years later, I’m in a world we could have scarcely imagined. We have/had space shuttles (I even worked on them), computers beyond imagination, an ability to travel the globe and a pandemic that came, in part, because of that. And now I’m an old guy, retired, and I’m out riding my thirty-mile ride. Everyone I pass on the trail, baby-pushers, […]
October 1, 2020

False Narratives (DOG EAR)

here’s this Texan thing – a guy living in the middle of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area, surrounded by concrete all the way to the horizon and not within a hundred miles of a single cow, wears a cowboy hat. That’s the Texan narrative, the proud cowboy (even though, historically, their economy was more based on rice and cotton than livestock) and the cowboys that were wore everything from straw hats to bowlers. But they wear their funny headgear, 150 years out of date. But that’s how modern (and, largely, American) society works. Surrounded by more facts and truth than […]
September 24, 2020

A nice review-review (DOG EAR)

while ago I read a delightful short story from a collection from a going-out-of-business and lamented-over publisher. The story was Gelato Parlour, and was a very quirky story about a gentleman of adventure. You can read the review HERE. So that was a while ago. But the other day I received a very nice email from the author, Rose Biggin, telling me how much she appreciated my review (the one thing about reading quirky short stories from other people – you might be their only review and she implies I was). But I had been enthusiastically supportive of her story […]