Sunday 28 August 2016

My grandfather insisted on wearing clothes that were out of fashion. It wasn't just that he had old clothes. Given the option, he'd buy apparel that was distinctly antiquated. I finally realized how that happens yesterday when I was looking at car tires.

So tired

See, I noticed in June that my Jeep needed new front tires. When I went to the tire store, I was told that Bridgestone, whose tires I've had on my Jeep since 2001, no longer makes my previous tire style in my size. Because money was an issue — when is money not an issue? — I got the cheapest tires I could instead. To make my old, Outlined White Letter rear tires match the new tires, they turned them around. Now the Jeep has black sidewalls on all 4 tires.

Solid black wheels on the Jeep looks terrible. But that's how it's done these days. I looked at the tires of every car I passed yesterday, and in 15 minutes of driving, I counted only seven with outlined white letters. That came out to under 10% of all the cars I passed. Every one of those cars with white letter tires was a late-model truck or Ford Explorer. Cars these days simply don't have white on their sidewalls anymore.

Tire styles have apparently changed in the past decade while I was enjoying my Bridgestone Dueler A/T tires. Apparently, OWL sidewalls are now dated. But so is my Jeep! Black sidewalls look just about as anachronistic on a 1995 Rio Grande Wrangler YJ as the wide stripe sidewalls looked on the Delorean in Back to the Future III.

And this brings us back to my grandfather's clothes. It wasn't that he was oblivious to style changes, it's just that he'd found styles that he liked and stuck with them. I'm old enough now that I can relate. For the record, I still wear calf-high white tube socks. If they're no longer fashionable, I don't want to know what is.

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  Friday 26 August 2016


The Wizards of Ranaloy on

The digital copy of my first book is now available on Kindle for just 99¢ !

(The paperback copy is still being proofed, but it'll be available sooner rather than later.)

If you've already read it (I know who you are), please consider reviewing it. And don't be honest. Lie and say it's worth 5 stars. In the book business, that's called marketing.

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  Wednesday 24 August 2016

Last week, the Miami Dolphins held a star-studded public unveiling of the renovations to Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Pro Player Stadium Dolphins Stadium Dolphin Stadium Landshark Stadium Sun Life Stadium New Miami Stadium Hard Rock Cafe Stadium. (That seems like a lot of names for a building built in 1987, but if it was in Atlanta, we'd have torn it down twice by now.) The newest name change came along with a new canopy roof and HD screens and, presumably, some over-cooked hamburgers.

The Dolphins got $250 million in exchange for 18 years of naming rights. That's an improvement over the $35 million the team made on the Sun Life name. That sounds like a lot of money until you realize that Ndamukong Suh's contract takes up half of it, and Ryan Tannehill's contract takes up most of what's left. Money well spent all around.

If the name sticks for the 18 year duration, it will be a record. Even "Joe Robbie" only lasted 12 years. Given that the stadium has a tendency to outlast most of its sponsors, I'd be worried if I was a Seminole Indian. (The tribe currently owns the Hard Rock brand. That's one of the tidbits you pick up when one of your friends drags you to the wasteland of downtown Cleveland, OH just to pick up collectible Hard Rock Cafe pins for his girlfriend. Which is, honestly, about as good a reason anyone has ever had for going to Cleveland. Blech.)

Weirdly, the latest stadium name change was announced by Pitbull (the rapper, not the dog). I have no idea what a hip hop star has to do with either football or hard rock, but Dolphins' management isn't the sort to get hung up on details. (Or winning, for that matter.) Back when the stadium took on the Landshark name, Jimmy Buffet was present for the announcement because he owned the brand. Since when did Pitbull become a Seminole Indian?

The first Dolphins' game to be played in the renovated venue will be on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Their opponent will be the Cleveland Browns. I have to give them credit there: when you're the Miami Dolphins looking for a doormat team you can walk over for a symbolic victory in your new home, it's hard to schedule a team worse than you. The Browns fit that bill. (Blech.) Go Fins!

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  Monday 22 August 2016

Remember last year when I sent my manuscript away to get rejected? Well, sadly, I never got a rejection letter. I never got anything.

So I'm taking matters into my own hands.


I'm almost ready to release the first book to Kindle. (Paperbacks will be available on soon!) I'll post details when it's ready. Stay tuned.

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  Friday 19 August 2016

Poodles are not the rabbit's natural enemy

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  Wednesday 17 August 2016

Finishing off movies from July:

69. (1007.) You Said a Mouthful (1932)
I think I've said this before, but Joe E. Brown was the Adam Sandler of the 20s and 30s. This light comedy of errors generates the occasional smile, but it's hardly must-see watching.

70. (1008.) Donovan's Brain (1953)
In this science fiction thriller, a scientist makes the mistake of saving the brain of an evil capitalist. The thoughts of the brain are too powerful to be contained in a single tank, and things go downhill for everyone involved. I liked this movie a lot but felt it fumbled the ending where Nancy Reagan should have been revealed as the master manipulator. Maybe I was reading too much real life into it.

71. (1009.) The Drowning Pool (1975)
This film noir detective mystery is a sequel to Harper, also featuring Paul Newman in the title role. It lacks the previous movie's seditious Hollywood Babylon elements, but is plenty entertaining in its own right. (I just love detective movies.)

72. (1010.) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
A stupid comedy that is more fun than it ought to be. I think the actors/actresses had a great time drinking and clowning in the Hawaiian sun, and it shows.

Fair warning: So far, I've watched exactly one movie in August. There's been way too much Olympics on television to have time for scripted entertainment. We'll see what happens when the games are over.

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To be continued...