Author Archives: marksrsterling

Sci-Fi Movies — Good or Bad

I recently watched two science fiction movies that I had previously never heard of. Perhaps I’d never heard of them because they were so bad. But then, bad can be very good.

First, a Netflix original: What Happened to Monday is a dystopian tale that borrows from so many other stories that it is pretty easy to know what’s going to happen. However, I won’t present any spoilers. The movie features Willem Defoe and Glen Close in minor roles.

And then I found this gem on Amazon: Moontrap Target Earth. WOW – talk about low budget films… yet somehow it was captivating. I honestly wanted to see what happened. However, it was rather predictable. I loved the special effects — or lack thereof. While walking on the moon, sometimes our heroine left footprints and sometimes she didn’t. And, why did the robot insist she get nude?

If you can stream them for free, both of these movies are must-see, but I wouldn’t pay for them.

Hot, in more ways than one…

Holla Dean has a new hot western romance. Living in Arizona, Ms. Dean certainly knows about the hot western desert, and with more than 20 books published, she can spin an erotic-spanking romance like no other.

In this book, Monsoon Heat, sparks fly when a city girl who thinks she’s learned how to handle men in her male dominated career comes up against a rancher who has very different ideas on how women should behave.

When Chance O’Callaghan picks up his insurance estimator at the Phoenix executive terminal, the last thing he expects is a hot young lady in four-inch stilettos and a short, tight, leather skirt. His insurance agent promised to send his best estimator, Harry Sloan. Turns out, Harry is actually Harrie – short for Harriet. A city girl doing what commonly is a man’s job. Determined to make the best of the situation, they get in Chance’s small six-seater single-engine plane and head for his ranch.

A massive dust storm forces them to land in the desert and what should have been a short, one hour flight becomes a five day trek through the hot desert with limited water and virtually no food.

Can their strong mutual attraction become more than just a casual thing as they make their way to Chance’s ranch or will their budding love burn out in the hot Arizona desert?

In this excerpt, our hapless couple has survived the plane crash and prepares to survive the dessert.


  “What are you doing now?” Harrie asked. As far as she could tell, he wasn’t doing anything to get them the hell out of there.

“I’m looking in this flight guide to see if there’s a small airport that might have radio communication. I know there aren’t any around with towers, but most small airports do at least have a radio and you can sometimes reach them.”

He spent several minutes looking through his little book and then he went back in the airplane and tried a few more frequencies, but again with no luck.

“We’re going to just wait it out for a little bit,” he announced when he climbed back out of the plane. “We’ll try again later.”

“And what if you can’t reach anybody then?” she demanded. “How will we get out of here? Have you tried your cell?

He gave her another one of those looks that she thought was meant to shut her up, and answered, “There aren’t any cell towers out here. We have no coverage. If we can’t get anybody on the radios, the next option is walk.”

“Walk? Are you fucking nuts? Walk to where?”

“That’s it, sweetheart. You had your final warning.” He reached out to grab her arm saying, “When I’m done with you, you’ll be happy to be walking because you won’t be able to sit down.”

She looked at him with a question in her eyes while the meaning of his words sank into her brain. When it finally hit her what he meant, her eyes opened wide and she said, “If you mean what I think you mean, you better not lay a hand on me.”

“I gave you more than enough warnings. Time to pay the piper now.” He propped his foot on the peg step and easily bent her over his knee. His hand came down on her backside with a sharp crack.

She kicked her legs and screeched, “Hey, asshole. You can’t go around threatening me with…with a spanking. Who the fuck do you think you are? You’re not my fucking boss, you’re not my fucking father! I can say what I want whenever I want. Ouch!”

Another smack landed on her ass and Chance said, “Looks to me like I’m doing a little more than threatening right now, sweetheart.”


Pick up this book and the dust won’t settle until you are finished.

Purchase Links:


Blushing Books




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Lessons from Irma

This has been a tumultuous week for Florida. I expect there are a lot of y’all that have hung on every word from the Weather Channel for the past week as we watched hurricane Irma bear down on Miami. While I continue to watch from the relative safety of Georgia, I have some reflections. As of this writing (8 a.m. Saturday, September 9, 2017), Irma is expected to make landfall in Naples, FL, 2 p.m. Sunday, September 10, 2017 (I’m not counting its brush with the Lower Keys).

First, don’t pay any attention to the details of the long range forecasts. I mean none – zip – nada. They know a storm is coming, but that is all. The best and brightest of the computer models and meteorologists can maybe hit a reasonable forecast for the subsequent five days, but that is all. Anything beyond three days is a guess and you should not take any action based upon the details of these longer range forecasts. Make plans, but withhold action.

Take, for example, Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The storm is entering the Caribbean and it is forecast to miss Puerto Rico and Hispaniola slightly to the north in the subsequent three days, and this does come true. However, this information serves only to warn the residents of the Keys and south Florida that a storm is on the way.

Let’s look at the computer models used to make the forecast. On Wednesday, September 6th the tracks of the best and brightest predicted a turn to the north. This was anticlimactic, hurricanes always turn north sooner or later. The only point of interest is when and where they turn. At this point in time, the model predicted a turn on the east coast of Florida early in the morning of Sunday, September 10th. As of this writing, Irma is still projected to turn north Sunday morning, but on Florida’s west coast. None of the models predicted a landfall on the either the western coast of Florida or Cuba. This 300 mile shift to the west made a world of difference and made this Wednesday forecast worthless. However, politicians began evacuating southeast Florida. They knew the political calamity that would result if they took a more conservative approach. Interstates I-75 and I-95 were parking lots, crowded with people that did not need to evacuate. Of course, evacuation of the Keys was prudent as these tiny islands are sitting ducks in any storm. As you can see, the declaration of a state of emergency for Georgia and South Carolina was premature.

Okay, let’s look at today. Irma did pretty much what was predicted on Tuesday. It tracked a bit to the south and hit Cuba, but it is almost exactly where it was predicted to be on Saturday, September 9th.

And the current computer models predict a track along the west coast of Florida into Tennessee.

Comparing this prediction with the one on Wednesday confirms my supposition, the long range forecasts are worthless. The 300 mile shift to the west changed everything. Those people in Tampa who expected that Irma would miss them, where caught off guard. Those people along the Florida east coast, Savannah, and Charleston that evacuated, wasted their time and gas. And wasting gas has been an important problem here.

So, the lesson learned here is: when a storm is coming, make plans. Buy food and water. Pack a go-bag and keep the car full of gas. But, don’t take any action until you are within the 3-day cone. The highways are clear now. There are just too many variables and the feedback effects are too poorly modeled to provide meaningful, actionable information beyond three days.

A second lesson learned is: do what Disney World does. Clearly, their forecasters are vastly more accurate than the Weather Channel. They are responding to profits, not political pressure. During the sequence above, Disney took no action. On Friday morning, they announced a closure for Sunday and Monday. Then, Friday night, they canceled the Monday closure. They did not over-react.

A third lesson is: don’t buy one of those LED lanterns with a non-standard rechargeable battery. After it sits on the shelf for a couple of years, it won’t work. Make sure you get a lantern with standard, replaceable batteries, and buy batteries when the storm approaches.