Saturday, October 03, 2009

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Devil Wears Carhartt :: Andy Henion

Sounds Reasonable to Me

Recording women's rears not necessarily illegal, it turns out: "'I saw a couple of decent looking women and had this feeling come over me. I got like a drunk feeling and I couldn't control myself,' Ajvalia told deputies in a statement."

They'd Only Just Begun

Surprising first products of 14 famous companies - "Some companies find their niche and stick to it. Others, though, have to adapt to changing markets in order to thrive. Here's a look at some companies that switched industries at some point in their histories, usually for the better."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

DA Accused of Stealing Money From Motorists Wants To Defend Herself With Money She's Accused of Stealing From Motorists - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine: "Here's the crazy part: Russell is attempting to use proceeds from the county's forfeiture fund to pay for her legal defense. That is, she wants to raid the fund she's accused of stealing from motorists to fund in order to defend herself from accusations that she stole from motorists to fund it."

Alligator Man

ALLIGATOR MAN Thousands of nuisance gators have met their match in La. hunter - State - "For eight years, he’s dragged their scaly hides from ditches, storm drains, airport runways, the living rooms of terrified housewives and anywhere else a brash alligator might decide to make a pest of itself.

He lost count long ago, but nuisance-alligator hunter Easton DeHart estimates he’s tangled with thousands of the reptiles since he made “fooling with gators” his full-time job.

Judging by the hundreds of severed, shellacked heads grinning from shelves in his trophy room, their glass eyes gleaming and toothy mouths gaping, it’s safe to assume he isn’t exaggerating."

Return to Savage Beach

Friday, October 02, 2009

Monkeying Around

Ted Williams' Severed Head Abused In Cryonics Facility: Former Exec: "The New York Daily News is reporting that Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams' severed head was mistreated at an Arizona cryonics facility, according to details from a new book.

In 'Frozen,' Larry Johnson, a former executive at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes that Williams' head, which had been severed and frozen for storage, was abused at the facility. Johnson claims a technician took baseball-like swings at Williams' frozen head with a monkey wrench."

Thanks to Walter Satterthwait for the link.


The Private Library: Bibliomysteries and The Private Library (Part I)

Link via The Bunburyist.

Happy Birthday to The Twilight Zone!

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP): On a Friday night in October 1959, Americans began slipping into a dimension of imagination as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. They've really never returned.

"The Twilight Zone," first submitted for the public's approval by a reluctant CBS, has resonated with viewers from generation to generation with memorable stories carrying universal messages about society's ills and the human condition.

Here's the Plot of Your Next Lost Race Novel

Mysterious Orang Pendek apeman spotted by British expedition - Telegraph: "The team of four British explorers and their Indonesian guide tracked through dense and treacherous jungle in the Kerinci National Park of Sumatra where two of them caught a glimpse of the Orang Pendek - or short man.

The team have brought back hair samples and a piece of palm they hope will provide DNA evidence of the Orang Pendek - a creature sighted in the area since colonial times and reputed to be immensely powerful."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Forgotten Books: THE ASSASSINATOR -- David Vowell

How forgotten is this book? Well, it was nominated for an Edgar® in 1976, and the last time I looked at the Edgar® database, the title was listed incorrectly (as The Assassination). It's a first-person police procedural in the Dragnet vein, about a serial killer. And it's 138 pages long. Now that's my kind of book.

When I read this book back in the middle '70s, I was taken by the narrative voice, which reminded me a bit of Joe Friday, but not quite. Maybe it's time to mention that the only other book I have by David Vowell is Dragnet: 1968. I haven't read that one, but Vowell was also the writer on a number of the much-maligned '60s revival of Dragnet on TV.

Reading The Assassinator now, I find it disturbingly homophobic, something I didn't notice thirty-odd years ago, to my shame, I guess. I was still taken in by the voice, though. Imagine a book, even one as short as this, with almost no dialog. That's what you have here. It's a tough trick to pull of, but Vowell does it, and you almost don't even notice it. The procedural part's good, too, very Dragnet, as I said. Good book if you can get past the gay-bashing, and worth a read. It sure won't take you long.

Croc Update (Could Alcohol Have Been Involved? Edition)

B.C. man gets crocodile bites from urinating in a lagoon | VANCOUVERITE: "Urinating in a crocodile infested lagoon in Mexico has left a 20-year-old B.C. man with bite marks – to his legs.

According to Richmond cops, the man telephoned his family and told a story suggesting he had been kidnapped, forced to fight, got shot in the shoulder and then was dumped in water where he was attacked by crocodiles."

As If We Didn't Know

Meeting pretty women makes men feel good - Telegraph: "Researchers found that just being in the presence of a pretty member of the opposite sex causes a temporary boost in levels of testosterone and cortisol – both hormones associated with alertness and wellbeing.

However hanging around with other men has the opposite affect – reducing the levels of both substances in the body."

Do or Die

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New Cross-Genre Fiction E-Zine

BITTER WATER BLOG: Call for Submissions: The Feral Pages: "Lyman Feero is taking submissions for his new cross-genre e-zine, The Feral Pages. The October/November issue goes live on 10/15. Featured stories include Chris F. Holm's wonderfully disturbing 'A Better Life' and [Patrick Shawn Bagley's] 'The Cove.' Submission guidelines can be found here. I hope all of you writers and readers will help support what promises to be a unique new venue for short fiction."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Perry's cousin killed by sheriff's deputies | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting death of a cousin of Gov. Rick Perry in a mysterious exchange of gunfire with sheriff's deputies.
[. . . .]
Perry's office wouldn't elaborate on his relationship with Wheeler, a retired social worker listed as a member of Perry's 2006 re-election campaign steering committee."

Top 10 Great Movie Deaths

Top 10 Great Movie Deaths – Movie News, Trailers, Reviews and More: "Movies love to kill people, and actors love to die (preferably slowly and with a great close-up). Yet, more often than not, film fatalities are an accountant's errand. Just another tally mark in the body count. This isn't a list celebrating the art of ludicrous squibs and exploding craniums. The following movie deaths deliver more oomph than henchmen #4 getting steamrolled by the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile."

Link via Neatorama.

Harry Whittington Update

When the 38 Harry Whittington porn titles were revealed by David Laurence Wilson in the Stark House Whittington triple-decker, we learned that Whittington used the house names Curt Colman, John Dexter, and J. X. Williams. I've now seen two different eBay dealers offering books with the Dexter and Williams by-lines as Whittington's work, even though the titles they're offering aren't among the 38 listed. Before long, we'll probably see people crediting Whittington with everything under those by-lines. All I can say is that if you're looking for the Whittington titles, better check the list in the Stark House edition before you buy.

They Need to Hurry Up and Get This on the Market

Scientists 'reverse ageing process' | Mail Online: "Building up muscles wasted away by age could one day be as simple as taking a pill. Scientists believe they may have found the secret to making muscles young again.

The key is a protein that sends signals to kickstart stem cells which can repair muscles.

Now it is hoped that a muscle-boosting drug can be developed to slow the ageing process."

They Will Be too Busy to Worry about Their Lawns

Senior citizens offered brothel discount | National Breaking News | "SAUCY senior citizens can receive a generous discount at Melbourne brothels next week.

The Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader reports as thousands of old-timers celebrate national Seniors Week, those who present their seniors’ discount card at some brothels and escort services can mark the occasion in an entirely different way."

Texas Led the Way until the Newt Changed His Mind

Owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge stripped of entrepreneur award | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News: "Dawn Rizos didn't need any formal recognition that The Lodge, one of the best-known gentlemen's clubs in Dallas, was a successful small business.

But when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's conservative group named her an 'Entrepreneur of the Year,' she was thrilled by the opportunity to accept the award in Washington and speak about ways to help small businesses.

That all changed, however, when Gingrich realized that The Lodge was a topless bar, not some other business in Virginia. He rescinded Rizos' invitation to a private dinner and returned the $5,000 donation she made to his group, American Solutions for Winning the Future."

A Mafia Quiz

Family Matters: A Mafia Quiz: "So you've memorized five scenes from The Godfather. How's your knowledge of real American Mafia history? Take this quiz to find out."

I missed one.

Gator Update (Movie Edition)

JournalOnline: If you want to see a movie depicting the destruction of Des Plaines, you'll have to wait a while longer.

Until then, perhaps a few clips from "Gator Gal", also known as "Alligator Monster", might whet your appetite.

[. . . .]

The plot---if that's what you want to call it---of "Gator Gal" calls for the DNA of an alligator somehow being injected into a voluptuous woman who is miraculously transformed into a half alligator, half woman creature.

Wasn't that the plot of Alligator People?

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Pasadena police find goldfish fried, others eaten | Bryan/College Station, Texas - The Eagle: "A Houston-area woman apparently burned up at her former common-law husband fried their pet goldfish and ate some of them.

Pasadena police say it's a civil matter and no charges will be filed. The seven goldfish were purchased together by the couple during happier times."

A Musical Based on a Carter Brown Novel

It’s Astounding: A Musical Revival from ‘Rocky Horror’ Creator - ArtsBeat Blog - "Variety is reporting that Mr. O’Brien is about to stage a British tour of his musical “The Stripper,” based on the Carter Brown pulp novel. Mr. Brown also wrote the book of the musical, about a policeman trying to solve a murder in California in 1961. (Given the title and Mr. O’Brien’s involvement, we’re guessing that fishnet stockings will somehow be involved.) The music is by Richard Hartley, who was a band member of the original “Rocky Horror Show” stage production and arranged music for the film. The tour, which starts on Aug. 29, will be followed by a new British tour of “Rocky Horror,” which begins in Wimbledon on Sept. 17."

More here.

Original cast album and much more about the play here.

Somehow I missed the big news about this revival when it was announced, but I was reminded of it yesterday when I received the most recent mailing of DAPA-Em (the world's only apa devoted to crime and mystery fiction).

Malibu Express

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Rarely Happens at School Fetes in Texas

Decapitation: School fete turns violent - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "Police in Papua New Guinea are hunting for a notorious criminal after violence at a school fete left eight people dead and a severed head hanging from a power pole."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Perry camp uses Amway as model | Rick Casey | - Houston Chronicle: "You know those ads that promise to show you how to make thousands of dollars working at home on your personal computer?

They're mainly bogus, of course.

But Gov. Rick Perry, ever dedicated to helping the Texas economy, has come up with a program to allow Texans to do just that.

It's sort of a campaign version of Facebook meets Amway.

The Dallas Morning News called attention Tuesday to the program, which is described at, a Perry campaign Web site.

Here is the deal.

• You sign up at the Perry Web site to obtain your own campaign Web page.

• You then get 11 of your friends, located anywhere in Texas, to commit to voting for Perry as part of your team and put their names on your page.

• You make sure your 11 friends get to the polls during the early voting period next spring. You call them, you cajole them and you drive them to the polls if necessary.

Once you do all those things, you get paid $20 for each friend you recruit."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police department gets boot in west Texas town | Latest News | "Marfa's quiet country lifestyle and thriving art scene make this tiny west Texas town a favorite getaway.

But the city won't keep its police chief and two officers when the police department shuts down October 1.

'It's all about consolidation. What we're trying to do is run our community as efficiently as possible,' said Marfa mayor, Dan Dunlap.

According to the mayor, the city will save $90,000 a year by hiring the Presidio County Sheriff's Office to replace the local police department. The sheriff's office already patrols the rest of the rugged border city."

As you're all aware, the town of Clearview has always hired the Sheriff's Office in place of a local police department. Sheriff Rhodes is appreciative of the deal.

Wild Bunch Wednesday Short Story

Meridian Bridge � Wild Bunch Wednesday Short Story Challenge 9: "The Western Story With No Name began its exciting run on Ian Parnham’s blog, The Culbin Trail. During the next seven weeks it loped across an open range under the rein of some terrific writers, and this week I’m honored to have Part Nine appear at Meridian Bridge."

Can I Just Get a Burger?

Vitamin cafes: Japan's latest health injection - "In trendy neighborhoods of Tokyo customers are lining up for vitamin injections that promise to improve health and beauty.
A Japanese woman receives an intravenous vitamin supplement at the Tenteki Caf�in Tokyo.

These intravenous vitamin 'drips' are part of the latest quick-fix, health fad catching on in Japan: the IV cafe.

Each drip pack contains saline solution and specific vitamins and minerals to target a particular health ailment or beauty concern."

Gator Update (Texas Edition)

5 year old catches a 800 pound Gator - Lufkin and Nacogdoches |: "A young Livingston boy caught an alligator taller than a Texas tale.

Harvesting an alligator that's 20 times your size is a piece of cake, according to 5 year old Simon Hughes. 'Well, its pretty much simple,' said Simon who caught the alligator."

Photos and video at the link.

Gator Update (Duct Tape Edition)

Police tape up alligator in Texas: "San Antonio police said officers used duct tape and a prisoner transport van to capture and relocate a 4-foot alligator found in a residential neighborhood."

Sheriff Dan Rhodes used this method in Murder in Four Parts.

The Dallas Connection

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scott Cupp Has a New Column at SF Signal

Geek with Lots of Books. Click here.

Stephen King Update

Stephen King chills tube again - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety: "Stephen King is taking another stab at the smallscreen, signing on to turn his novella 'The Colorado Kid' into an hourlong series for indie studio E1 Entertainment ('Hung').

Titled 'Haven,' the project centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay -- while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven."

Gene Hackman -- Author

Gene Hackman's War - The Daily Beast: "Hackman told The Daily Beast about sparring with Civil War re-enactors on his book tour, how he nearly adapted Silence of the Lambs for the big screen, and why he gave up acting for writing."

I Knew I Left College Too Soon

Film 445* Special Topics:

Film and Media / Winter 2010 / Frank Burke

The 1950s Italian and American Sword-and Sandal Film. This course will explore"sword-and-sandal" films of the 1950s and early 1960s, focusing both on schlock Italian products such as the Steve Reeves Hercules films that enjoyed surprising economic success and the more "serious" Hollywood epics of the same period, many of which were shot in Italy. Neither the Hollywood nor the Italian versions would have been possible without the strong interpenetration of Hollywood and Italian film, practically and economically, during the 1950s. The focus will not be so much on the history of a genre as on the analysis of a significant moment in the postwar history of media and representation. The western world was, in the late 1950s, beginning to undergo the transformation in capitalism, media (with the emergence of television), and cultural signification that has now acquired the label "postmodernity." The sword-and-sandal epic in terms of both production modes and signification provides a great deal of insight into this transformation. In relation to the Italian films, we will also examine the "seriousness" of seemingly airhead cinema, exploring how mass entertainment, seemingly empty of serious intent or meaning, and intended only to reap profit can become, through its popularity and "timeliness," a bearer of major social meaning. Other issues to be discussed in relation to the sword and sandal film will be melodrama, spectacle vs. narrative, camp, and kitsch. Assignments will include group presentations, brief bi-weekly individual assignments on screenings and readings, a group Mystery Science Theatre 3000 overdub, and a 15-page final essay.

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.


A Writer's Life: DiCaprio is Travis McGee: "Variety reports that Leonardo DiCaprio has signed to portray Travis McGee in a movie version of John D. �MacDonald's THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE . Dana Stevens wrote the script, and Peter Chernin will produce, but no director has been set yet."

Crooked Little Vein -- Warren Ellis

I've read and reviewed several of Warren Ellis' graphic novels, so I thought I'd read his purely prose work. It's supposedly a p.i. novel, but it's really a road novel masquerading as a p.i. novel. Or maybe it's a p.i. novel masquerading as a road novel.

Here's the deal: Self-proclaimed "shit magnet" Mike McGill is a down on his luck p.i. (is there any other kind?). Then the White House Chief of Staff shows up and pays him half a million bucks to find the Mcgugffin, which is a book that contains the real Constitution of the U. S. It's bound in the skin of an alien who pestered Ben Franklin and paid the price, and it's a document that could change the world as we know it. McGill hooks up with a young woman named Trix, and they travel to Columbus, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and finally Los Angeles in pursuit of the book.

Along the way Mike and Trix encounter enough warped characters, deviant sex, and just plain weirdness to fill a book. According to Ellis, it's all based on stuff he found in the Internet. Maybe that's true, or maybe not. One thing's for sure: There's something here to offend just about everybody. In fact, if you find Joe Lansdale too polite and restrained, maybe you should read this book. It's funny, and it moves right along, but if you're looking for a standard p.i. novel, you're looking in the wrong place.

Banned Books Week

New Page 1: "There are hundreds of challenges to books in schools and libraries in the United States every year. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there were at least 513 in 2008. But the total is far larger. 70 to 80 percent are never reported."

It's Banned Books Week. The link above goes to an interactive map. You can see what titles were banned or challenged in the different locations.

Crank: High Voltage

This is the second of the Crank movies. When Jason Statham's eye popped open at the end of the first one after his long, long fall from a helicopter, you knew there'd be a sequel. And if you saw the first movie, you know what you'll get here except more of it. If you didn't see the first one, you're not in the target audience for this one, either. The first one was loud, fast, and out of control. This one is louder, faster, and even more out of control. By the end, I don't think anybody knew what it was about anymore, and certainly nobody cared.

Okay, that's not fair. They knew, all right. It's about sex, nudity, and violence. Lots of all three. Mix 'em together, amp 'em up (joke intended), and you get this movie.

Of course, that's not all. No, there's more. There's also the sensitive Wizard of Oz subtext that us more astute critics noticed. What? You didn't see it. Well, that's what I'm here for. Someday people will be writing dissertations on how this movie is really about a caring but indestructible man who's looking for a heart. He has to follow the Yellow Brick Road, or what passes for it in Los Angeles to find it, but the Wizard (Dwight Yoakum) is there to help. There's no wicked witch, but there are plenty of obstacles. And there's David Carradine, in a role that's become something to talk about, I suppose, since his ignominious death.

Plot? Who cares? It's all action, and if that's what you're looking for, along with humor and the aforementioned sex, nudity, and violence, you'll find plenty of everything. This is a B-movie that knows it's a B-movie, and it just wants you to have a good time.

Hard Hunted

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lucy Vodden, R. I. P.

Lucy Vodden, of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" Song Fame, Dies - Speakeasy - WSJ: "Lucy Vodden (n�e O’Donnell), who was the inspiration for the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” has died, following a long battle with the autoimmune disease lupus. The British housewife — whose passing was announced by the St Thomas’ Lupus Trust charity — was 46."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Truckers Lead the Way

Driven to Distraction - Truckers Insist on Keeping Computers in the Cab - Series - "Crisscrossing the country, hundreds of thousands of long-haul truckers use computers in their cabs to get directions and stay in close contact with dispatchers, saving precious minutes that might otherwise be spent at the side of the road.

Like many truckers, Kurt Long uses a dispatching computer. “We’re supposed to pull over,” he said, “but nobody ever does.”

The trucking industry says these devices can be used safely, posing less of a distraction than BlackBerrys, iPhones and similar gadgets, and therefore should be exempted from legislation that would ban texting while driving."

Move Along, Citizen, Nothing to See Here

The Associated Press: Attorney: OKC bombing tapes appear edited: "'Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain't no such thing as a coincidence,' Trentadue said.

He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because 'they had run out of tape' or 'the tape was being replaced.'

'The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,' he said. 'The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn't want anybody to see.'

A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not immediately available for comment Sunday."


DNA test shows Hitler skull is that of a woman | World News | "ADOLF Hitler may not have died in a bunker after fresh research suggests the skull thought to be the tyrant's was from a woman."

Caiman Update (London Edition)

Welcome to CTV Southwestern Ontario: "Police are keeping watch on a storm water pond in London where a caiman has taken up residence.

Police and animal control officers tried to corral the crocodile-like reptile yesterday, but it repeatedly eluded their grasp."

Ageist Swine

Too Old for Action - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment - "Willis' new film brings to mind a whole bunch of aging stars who we think are simply too old for action."

I'd Help Out, but it's Just too Far Away

Wanted: volunteers to move 400 crocs - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "A Northern Territory wildlife park is seeking volunteers to relocate some of its dangerous inhabitants.

Crocodylus Park, which operates as a zoo and commercial crocodile farm in Darwin, needs helpers to shift about 400 saltwater crocodiles into new ponds."

A Recent Visitor to the Front Porch

Hard Ticket To Hawaii

Sunday, September 27, 2009

William Safire, R. I. P.

NY Times columnist William Safire dead at 79 | Entertainment | People | Reuters: "William Safire, the former speechwriter for Richard Nixon who won a Pulitzer Prize for columns on politics and language for The New York Times, died on Sunday, the newspaper said. He was 79."

All Righty, Then

For men's eyes only: boob-ogling good as 30 minutes in gym: "A study by German scientists showed that 10 minutes a day of ogling women’s breasts by men was as good at warding off heart disease, high blood pressure and stress as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise."

I was going to call this "The Stilwell Workout," but I thought better of it.

100 Worst Movies of the 21st Century

Worst of the Worst 2009 - Whiteout - Rotten Tomatoes

Will the persecution never end?

Harlequin Retro!

Learned about this from a post by Dave Zeltserman on the Rara-Avis list. Harlequin is reprinting six of its titles from the long ago with the original covers. The books are also available on Amazon.

God's Little Acre