Starting tonight and for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be posting a free short horror story. Stay tuned next Saturday night for another Halloween tale.
As usual, comments, critiques and thrown tomatoes are welcome.

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Spacecraft Design

I just posted a rather long bit on spacecraft design for my new novel. A little side-trip in the development process is drawing my version of a Colonial Landing craft. You can see a more complete description of the process and my drawing here:

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How to Take Better Photos

This video clip is about an hour long. If you really want to improve your photographic skills, then it is worth watching.

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Okay. I’ve bit the bullet and have purchased a new Blue Yeti microphone from Guitar Center. That, and the Open Source program Audacity, are going to help me turn some of my stories into audiobooks.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the trails and tribulations of this effort. Feel free in asking questions.

I posted a quickie tutorial on how to use Audacity for AudioBooks on my own blog. Hope y’all find it useful. Be sure to share your recording tales as well. After all, misery loves company.

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Biological Integrated Circuits?

A bit of geek news on Slashdot this past week provided me with a small case of future shock and reminded me of a story I read many years ago.¬† Here’s the news link:

Back in 1975, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote a classic hard science fiction novel called “The Mote in God’s Eye”.

In one scene, an alien “engineer” was shown a damaged electronic control panel and, after studying it for a few moments, he took out something like a toothpaste tube and squeezed a thin line on a burnt circuit board. With a bit of poking and prodding, this paste automatically flowed into position, repairing the damaged areas in an almost biologic manner. This scene has stuck in my head ever since.

Similar reports from several organizations around the world point to inkjet-printable solar cells or flexible solar ‘cloth’ becoming commonplace in the near future. Combine that technology with self-assembling microcircuits and we might be facing the loss of huge segments of the electronics manufacturing industry.

What do you think? Are these latest developments on the way to making flexible computer systems on-demand, from a tube of paste? If so, what does this mean for all those Asian manufacturers?

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Brenda’s Banana Cake

My wife has received more than a few requests for her Banana Cake Recipe. So, with her permission, I’m sharing it here. Enjoy!

Brenda’s Banana Cake


3 Cups flours
2 Cups sugar
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Package banana pudding
1.5 Cups skinned bananas (about 3)
0.5 Cup milk
1 Cup butter
2 Tsp Rum or Vanilla extract
4 Eggs

Optional Ingredients

4 Cups Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
1 Tsp cinnamon
0.75 Cup macadamia nuts (chopped)
.5 to .75 Cup coconut


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease and flour an angel food cake pan.

Blend ingredients for 3 minutes at medium speed.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes and then turn out.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

- – -

I’m sure she would love to hear from those who have tried it.

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Birmingham Alabama

We just got back from a family reunion down near Birmingham, Alabama. While there, naturally I took a boatload of pictures. This first link is to the general ‘pretty’ pictures from the more than 680 shots.

This next link will be of interest to industrial archaeologists and others who enjoy heavy industry.

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New Type of Quark!

A news release from the Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva, Switzerland, tells of a possible explanation for the lack of antimatter in our universe. Part of the article mentions a new type of quark, called LHC-Beauty.

If I recall my elementary physics, that means we now list seven types of quarks. They are, Top, Bottom, Up, Down, Charm, Strange and Beauty. Unless one of my real physicists  friends wish to correct me, that should provide good fodder for a bar bet.

The entire article can be read here:

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An Interesting Concept

I ran into this neat artist’s conception on one of my favorite websites.

The illustration shows an idea for the next generation of pocket cellphone/tablet/computer. I think the artist is correct in that it might be technically feasible in the next few years.

Would you like one?

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The First Vampire Tale

Contrary to popular opinion, Bram Stoker did not write the first English language vampire story. That credit goes to Lord Byron, in the 1820s. His epic poem, The Giaour, has some chilling vampiric scenes that later authors have applied to the legends.

I have created a recording of my favorite excerpt from Lord Byron’s masterpiece. You can download and hear it by clicking this link.

Just fixed the bug in the download link. SORRY!

Happy Halloween!

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