Apple Mac versus Windows 10 – the verdict

Last year I mentioned that I was going to buy a refurbished Apple Mac Mini (the 2014 model) to run Vellum (publishing software that would help me produce cleaner, better-formatted manuscripts).  In that article, I concluded: It’s too early to say yet, but I might be tempted in due course to transition entirely to Apple hardware and software, and move away from the PC altogether.  Being my own boss as a writer and not having to run an employer’s PC-specific software, I have that flexibility.  I never thought I’d say that (yes, I’ve joked about Apples and their fanbois for many years, along with the rest of the computer world), but

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A big “Thank you!” to all my readers

I honestly wasn’t expecting great things from the launch of my latest book, “Taghri’s Prize“, yesterday. It had been almost a year since I’d last published anything, thanks to a prolonged bout of ill-health fighting kidney stones.  (My creative muse goes on strike when pain levels get too high.  It’s no fun.)  I was expecting to have to rebuild my “name recognition” on Amazon, and build up a new readership cadre. I suppose that’s still a requirement;  but my existing readers clearly haven’t forgotten or abandoned me, for which I’m very grateful.  After just one day on sale, my book’s

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Heh

I empathize.  (Click the image to be taken to a larger view at the comic’s Web site.) After walking and squats at the gym this morning, I’m tempted to try Pig’s recipe! Peter

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A new – and dishonest – tool in the progressive far-left toolbox

It seems some progressives are prepared to deliberately twist copyright laws to use them against those whose political views they abhor. RJ Jones writes, “My friend gave me a tip! If you need to drown out fascists, bring a speaker & play copyrighted music at their rallies cause it will be easy to report their videos & get them taken down for copyright.” This is a reference to Youtube’s idiotic Content ID automated takedown system (soon to be mandatory for all online platforms in the EU), which indiscriminately blocks anything that it believes to contain a copyrighted work. It’s not clear whether

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“Taghri’s Prize” is published!

My new fantasy novel, “Taghri’s Prize”, is now available in e-book format on Amazon.  A printed version will follow as soon as the cover is ready. The blurb reads: Taghri has left the Sultan’s army to seek his fortune – and he seizes opportunity when it knocks. In the confusion of a pirate raid on a trading caravan, he kills their leader and captures their ship. The vessel is now his prize of war… but some prizes may be more trouble than they’re worth! Nestled among the gold coins in the captain’s cabin is a stolen Temple sacrificial knife, whose Goddess

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Sunday morning music

Here’s a group guaranteed to get your toes tappin’ and your fingers slappin’.  It’s a Belorussian medieval folk group, Stary Olsa.  They’ve been around for 20 years, and have established quite the following in Europe. Here’s a studio recording of one of their songs, “Vitaut” (which Google Translate doesn’t recognize, so I can’t tell you what it means, but the video theme suggests it’s a martial number). Where the group shines is in live performances, where they string together several songs or instrumental numbers into a medley.  Here are two such lengthy pieces. Last, but by no means least, the group

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An old weed becomes a modern problem

The so-called “Sargasso Sea” in the North Atlantic Ocean is a time-honored name, dating back to well before Christopher Columbus’ day.  It may have been known as early as the sixth century BC, according to one ancient navigator‘s oral history.  The map below is courtesy of Wikipedia. Its name was derived from the sargassum seaweed that proliferates there.  In more recent times, the Sargasso Sea has become the heart of the so-called North Atlantic Garbage Patch. Now it looks as if sargassum is spreading south, into equatorial regions, and posing a new and highly unwelcome threat to the tourist industry in South America, the Caribbean,

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Political correctness versus reality – Chicago edition

I see the new mayor of Chicago – now Heronner instead of the traditional Hizonner – is trying to blame outside factors for her city’s culture of crime and death. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot weighed-in over the weekend on her city’s unprecedented gang violence; blaming nearby Indiana for the flow of guns into the region. “Previously we had a law enforcement first and only strategy and it wasn’t working. It’s not working when you talk about neighborhoods where the unemployment rate is 25% or higher. It’s not working when you think about the fact that in many communities, 90% or more of residents are

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Book updates

First the good news. I’ve edited and formatted new e-book editions of the first two Westerns in my Ames Archives series, “Brings The Lightning” and “Rocky Mountain Retribution”.  They’re awaiting publication by Amazon, following which I’ll immediately publish the third book in the series, “Gold On The Hoof”, which is ready to go. My fantasy novel, “Taghri’s Prize”, is edited and ready for formatting.  That’ll happen over the weekend, and I hope it’ll be available next week. The holdup at the moment is on Amazon’s side – and I don’t blame them for it in the least;  it’s just the legal facts

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The devil’s in the details – naval edition

The old idiom “The devil’s in the details” has, in my experience, been proven true time and time again.  The “big picture” may look fine and dandy, but there’s always something, some little detail that’s escaped attention, that can screw it up to a fare-thee-well. The Norwegian Navy learned that the hard way last year, when its frigate Helge Ingstad collided with another vessel, and subsequently sank.   (Above image courtesy of Wikipedia)   The subsequent inquiry revealed that after the collision, the watertight compartments of the frigate functioned as intended . . . except for one crucial detail. While there was some uncertainty as to

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