The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Saturday, October 26, 2013


            The long-anticipated day arrived Monday, 10/21.  The puppies were 8-weeks old and ready to begin relocation to their new homes.  Two of the pups left us---Gil to go to his new home in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about an hour northeast of us, and Molly to her new home in Silicon Valley, about 2 hours southwest of us.   Gil will be living with two adults and several horses being trained and competing in endurance events.   Eventually, we’ll find out for sure whether an adult GSP can trot along for 20-30 miles without having to breathe hard, but I think all of us who own this breed of dogs already knows the answer to that.  They are incredibly gifted athletes with huge chests and equally huge hearts that translate to great stamina and endurance in the field.   Molly in Silicon Valley will be joining a family with a teenaged son and his younger sister, an ideal situation for a puppy that loves cuddling and people.   She also may have a show career ahead for her based on puppy grades, and will surely have a hunting career based on what the new owners are looking for from their dog.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


“The Body in the Bed” (Amazon Kindle, $0.99)----

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite---5 Stars

Roger and Suzanne Bowman go to Uruguay to celebrate their friend’s promotion to police captain. The day does not end smoothly when the couple finds the dead body of an old acquaintance in their motel room. Their main suspects are from the police force. Roger and Suzanne have a murder to solve and corruption to expose. The Body in the Bed is part of the South American Mystery Series by Jerold Last.

I could never resist a novella as I like its comfortable length. Therefore, The Body in the Bed is no exception. I was quickly captivated from the very beginning. Even though the pacing is fast, the plot does not seem rushed at all. It is actually very compact and flawlessly written with its international conspiracy, which is very impressive. Together with a strong dialogue, author Jerold Last also presents readers with vivid portrayals of the Uruguayan culture through his adroit prose. It is not hard for me to gravitate toward the main protagonists, Roger and Suzanne. As a matter of fact, all the characters, main or secondary, are well-developed and believable. The story itself is quite riveting; I finished it in one sitting because I really wanted to know the outcome.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Our usual weekend ritual involves waking up to National Public Radio---NPR.  Elaine and I both enjoy the Sunday puzzle featuring Will Shortz.  This past Sunday morning’s potpourri of NPR reportage included a segment from Los Angeles on actors training for potential roles in haunted houses, which is timely for impending Halloween.   One subgroup was learning how to portray zombies, currently very “in” given the tremendous popularity of TV shows like “The Living Dead”.  That segment got me to thinking (I free associate a lot) about some of the practicalities of life (do I mean un-life here?) as a zombie.

OK, let’s cut to the chase here.  I was wondering about zombie flatulence.  Do they or don’t they?  On the positive side, we know zombies are supposed to smell bad.  But that could just be because of death and decay, so isn’t definitive.  On the negative side, they’re dead, aren’t they?  Well, that’s ambiguous too.  So, it seemed a good time to analyze the biochemistry and physiology of the undead to see what the answer should be.  This turns out to be surprisingly easy to do while lying in bed half asleep trying to tune out the “inside the beltway” analysis of current events that NPR tends to favor.  Or the discussion of sports by a know-nothing NPR reporter from a second tier Ivy League college who doesn’t understand sports are frequently played west of the Mississippi River.  But I digress from the main point here. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


            Schöne’s puppies were 5 weeks old on Monday, so an update on their progress seems to be timely.  The eight puppies, four boys and four girls, have temporary names (pending the desires of their new owners) now.  They were named for a variation on a theme from the TV show “Wheel of Fortune”, the category of “before and after”.  The first theme is the movie “Pretty in Pink”, a logical extension of Mom’s name, “beautiful” in German.  The fused “after” theme is the band, “Pink Floyd”.  We thank an owner of the puppy’s Uncle Bruce for suggesting this theme.