“Tom Marley is a racing camel,” Ahmed said. “The fastest in all of the Sinai.”
“Tom Marley?” I asked. “Not Bob?”
Ahmed appeared somewhat surprised by my ignorance, but the stupidity of tourists is known the world over.
Ahmed patiently explained that Tom Marley, the racing camel, was named after Tom Marley, the world-famous country and western singer from America.
America, Ahmed pointed out, was my country.
He stopped short of accusing me of ignorance, but the implication hovered between us in the desert air.
I looked at my girlfriend, Bev. …
Balls to the wall has nothing to do with testicles. Neither does balls out.
Both expressions mean working at maximum effort or speed, and the balls in question are part of a device invented in the 17th century — the centrifugal governor.
Please, allow me to explain.
James Watt designed the most widely known centrifugal governor in 1788 to prevent his steam engines from running out of control.
On the diagram below, the balls (labeled #3) are attached to lever arms linked to a vertical shaft. The horizontal shaft is the engine’s drive shaft.
I published a digital chapbook containing 12 pieces of my best flash fiction. It’s a one-hour short-read available as an e-book and part of Kindle Unlimited.
Although short, Jim Latham’s Noon in Florida packs a punch. Each of these short stories illuminates an aspect of what it means to be human. From a son connected to the nuances of his relationship with his dying father via the beeping of a heart monitor in “Keeping Time,” to an “old guy” doing what…
Wanderlust is invading my dreams. The pandemic shelved six weeks on the Camino de Santiago, but the other night my mind decided to depart without me…
The inn is far enough off the Camino de Santiago to be lightly visited, even at the height of the pilgrimage season. No matter: I seek lunch, not salvation.
The floor is flagstone. The beams in the ceiling are oak. The windows are leaded glass and lend a graceful distortion to the gentle rays of golden sunlight making their leisurely way through the still afternoon air.
An old man in a beret sleeps slumped…
Audrey Wells is prepping for the launch of her astrology column on the soon-to-be-unveiled OutpostFive. Until that’s ready, Fringeologie has the exclusive scoop on Audrey’s sky surfing…so be glad you got in on the ground floor.
Audrey’s got plans for a podcast, vids on YouTube — the whole nine yards. T-shirts and other merch are in the works; the bobblehead dolls are about to be green-lit.
You’re gonna want to hold on tight, it’s gonna be a helluva ride.
Kira’s looking gloomy when Roger gets home from base. “Uh-oh. You got a problem, Babe?”
“A big one, Roger.”
“You know what I say.”
Kira nods. Smiles patiently.
“Ain’t no problem can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives.”
Kira holds up a sheaf of medical printouts. “It’s a different kind of problem, Roger. I need plasma transfusions, not an invasion.”
Roger frowns. “Got a plasma cutter…”
“Different kind of plasma.”
“Driving out into the desert and blowing shit up always makes me feel better.”
“Doctors say to rest.”
“Fuck ’em. You feel better, you’ll get better.”