Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gadding About

Spent some time here today. A great place.

KAYO books, San Francisco

Dennis Hopper: 12 Key Films

Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper | Dennis Hopper: 12 Key Films | Photo 1 of 13 | "From his directorial debut in ''Easy Rider'' to unforgettable performances in ''Rebel Without a Cause,'' ''Apocalypse Now,'' and ''Blue Velvet,'' a look at the unpredictable, unparalleled career of a Hollywood legend"

Dennis Hopper: 12 Key Films

Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper | Dennis Hopper: 12 Key Films | Photo 1 of 13 | "From his directorial debut in ''Easy Rider'' to unforgettable performances in ''Rebel Without a Cause,'' ''Apocalypse Now,'' and ''Blue Velvet,'' a look at the unpredictable, unparalleled career of a Hollywood legend"

Dennis Hopper, R. I. P.

Dennis Hopper dies at 74 - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety: "Dennis Hopper, a perennial Hollywood bad boy whose groundbreaking 1969 biker pic 'Easy Rider' came to define the youth film market, died Saturday.

The actor, who appeared frail and gaunt at the March 2010 unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, had been battling prostate cancer."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

One foot out of the grave | "A US teenager was arrested Friday morning after he was found carrying a foot stolen from a Jewish cemetery.

Police, who arrived at the scene at 3:30am local time after being called by a witness, said 18-year-old Daniel Wayne Staley approached them carrying the foot in a bag, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“I dug it up from a nearby grave and took it from a Jew girl just because I wanted a foot,” Staley said, according to a police report."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Top 10: Fictional TV Bars & Over 21 Establishments

Top 10: Fictional TV Bars and Over-21 Establishments - Los Angeles Restaurants and Dining - Squid Ink

Gadding About

The Quartzsite Trip -- William Hogan

A friend of mine recommended this book to me. I'd never heard of it, but it seems to be a cult favorite. I'm glad I found about about it and got a chance to read it because I found it to be an enjoyable change of pace.

Every year P. J. Cooper, an English teacher in Los Angeles, takes 30 of his senior students on a trip to Quartzsite, Arizona. No one knows how or why Cooper chooses the ones who get to go, but everyone considers it an honor to be included. This book tells the story of the trip in 1962, "the last good year."

There's a lot going on. It's a coming-of-age novel, a road novel, a nostalgia trip (first published in 1980, and even more nostalgic now), and more. If you're around the right age, you'll find a lot to remember and identify with. It's written in an unusual style, with the kind of repetition of certain words and phrases that will either grow on you or put you off. I thought it was quite effective. It's hilarious and touching. Highly recommended.

Today's Western Movie Poster

To Err Is Human

After all, anybody can make a mistake.

Nightmare Alley

Friday, May 28, 2010

Top 10 TV Shows That OverstayedTop 10 TV Shows That Overstayed Their Welcome

Top 10 TV Shows That Overstayed Their Welcome | Ranker - A World of Lists

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

North Pole Chicken Killer

North Pole chicken killer: "At some point before Monday morning, someone entered that chicken coop, a fenced-in area the size of a large bedroom, and selected 26 of those chickens for death. They ripped each of those chicken's heads off. Then they carefully arranged the dead chickens in the shape of a lollipop, with 19 headless chickens in a line and seven headless chickens in the circle at the end. They took the heads with them when they left."

Hat tip to Mark Harris.

You Expected Him to Rob a Bank?

Wash. police: 'Drugstore Cowboy' author busted - MSN Movies News: "Police in Washington state say the man who wrote 'Drugstore Cowboy' has been arrested in yet another pharmacy robbery."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Gary Coleman, R. I. P.

Remembering Gary Coleman, dead at 42 | Comments Blog | Los Angeles Times: "Actor Gary Coleman died Friday at the age of 42. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' star had suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in a Utah hospital."

25 Iconic Book Covers

AbeBooks: 25 Iconic Book Covers

Spoilers Galore if You Haven't Seen the Shows

20 WTF TV Character Deaths - "Listed below are the Top 20 Characters on Television Whose Deaths You Didn’t See Coming."

Texas Would Lead the Way if These Weren't Alphabetically Arranged

50 Stupid Laws From 50 States: "Laws are made to function a seemingly healthy community in a stable and disciplined fashion. However, when some of those laws become increasingly absurd, that you giggle your way through even reading them, one wonders what the law makers were thinking while coming up with such classical dumbness. Here we have gathered for you at least one dumb law from a state each."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Well, You Get Yours Cause-a I Got Mine . . .

. . . for the Monkey Time.

Forgotten Books: THE SLAVERS -- Richard Telfair

I believe this is the fifth and final book in the Monty Nash spy series, but it might be the fourth. The last two were both published in 1961. Telfair was a pen name used by Richard Jessup for both westerns and crime novels from Gold Medal and Dell. I've read a lot of those novels and enjoyed most of them.

The Monty Nash books seem to annoy a lot of readers, but I get a kick out of them. I think Jessup deliberately set out to write an over-the-top spy series and have a good time doing it. Nash is so tough that he makes Matt Helm seem like a sentimentalist. Here's an example from The Slavers: "It takes a lot of man to shoot someone down in cold blood, especially a woman. I'm a lot of man."

These are Cold War thrillers:
"'We knew others were in on it."
"'The Reds.'"
"'Yes, there is only one enemy.'"

I'd go on to describe the plot, but the back cover blurb does a better job than I could, so you can just read it.  Note the reference to the "ladykiller with a Luger."  Nash is irresistible to women.  Would you have expected anything else?  The action's constant, and Nash's narration is amusing.  Throw in the Arab slavers, some Africans right out of Burroughs, and a bit of sentiment, and you have a pretty good idea of what's in the book.  I may be in the minority, but I had fun reading this one again.

Farewell, My Lovely

Thursday, May 27, 2010

16 Things I've Learned From Movies and TV

16 Things I've Learned From Movies and TV: Pics, Videos, Links, News

Hat tip to Toby O' Brien.

Gator Update (Alvin Edition)

Today's Western Movie Poster

Look Out, Old Jack is Back!

Another Jack MacLane classic available again!

Monstrous Affections / Goodnight MooM New Digital

Gadding About

That's what I'll be doing for the next several days. I might not have computer access all the time, but the blog will march along just fine, so keep checking in. E-mails and comments on blog posts are likely to be few, but it's a holiday weekend, so have fun.

Forgotten Music -- Eddie Fisher

Eddie Fisher, who's still with us, was one of the biggest pop stars of the 1950s. He had an incredible career (forty-five Top 40 hits in that decade), was a regular on a number of variety shows (including two of his own), and was married at one time or another to Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher is their daughter), Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens (Joley Fisher is their daughter). He starred in movies with boy Reynolds and Taylor. Time and musical fashions passed him by, and he couldn't adapt. His well-publicized drug and alcohol problems didn't help. He's spent the last 50 years in relative obscurity. But when he was on top, he had some great hits. He was one of the last of the crooners, and one of the best.

Lady in the Lake

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Five Greatest Songs of All-Time

The Five Greatest Songs of All-Time - The Early Show - CBS News: "You may never get everyone to agree on the greatest songs ever, but Rolling Stone magazine is giving it a shot.

On Friday, it unveils a special collector's edition with its definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all-time."

The top 5 are at the link.
Hat tip to Jane Johnston Ray.

Art Linkletter, R. I. P.

TV's 'People Are Funny' host Art Linkletter dies - Yahoo! News: "Art Linkletter, whose 'People Are Funny' and 'House Party' shows entertained millions of TV viewers in the 1950s and '60s with the funny side of ordinary folks and who remained active as a writer and speaker through his ninth decade, died Wednesday. He was 97.

Linkletter died at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, said his son-in-law, Art Hershey, the husband of Sharon Linkletter.

'He lived a long, full, pure life, and the Lord had need for him,' Hershey said.

Linkletter had been ill 'in the last few weeks time, but bear in mind he was 97 years old. He wasn't eating well, and the aging process took him,' Hershey said."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way "School's out at John Marshal High School, and exiting the facility are your typical cliques: cheerleaders, nerds, jocks and Goths… and werewolves?

'We're not to be feared,” said Argus, his ghost-white, eyes staring at the camera.

Argus is one of several members of the wolf pack, one of several packs scattered about San Antonio's north side.

His friend Katze Lupus Burn added, 'We're not a gang at all. Gangs are like posers. They just want attention, that's why they go along tagging stuff. The pack? We're a family. We go to each other for our problems.'"

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Bonnie and Yonni

Cue Flatt & Scruggs.

Meet Bonnie Jean Hoxie, The Disney Gal Accused Of Insider Trading For A Pair Of Fancy Shoes: "Thirty three-year old Bonnie Jean Hoxie and her boyfriend, 29-year old Yonni Sebbag, just got charged trying to sell insider information to 20 hedge funds.

She had been working for Zenia Mucha, Disney's head of corporate communication, since 2007 so she had access to secret company information."

Hat tip to Walter Satterthwait.

They're Everywhere!

Man says he’s a vampire: Royal Oak native tells deputies he can smell blood, live forever - Daily Tribune: Breaking news coverage for southeastern Oakland County, Michigan: "A Royal Oak man found staggering outside a Drug Mart at 3 a.m. Saturday apparently wasn’t looking to shop, he was looking for blood.

Andrew Whiteman, 21, of Royal Oak, told Lorain County sheriff’s deputies he was a vampire who can smell blood. He also threatened to kill one of the deputies and his children, and also said he would live forever, according to a sheriff’s office report."

No Comment Department

Garrison Keillor: When everyone's a writer, no one is -

No Comment Department

Fake Nipples Aim To Destroy You, Boys: "Selfridges claims that the 'Body Perks nipple enhancers are the latest fashion accessory for your breasts, . .'"

Get out the Throat Spray

GREASE IS THE WORD AGAIN THIS SUMMER: "Paramount is rereleasing Grease this summer with lyrics onscreen, urging people to sing along with the songs."

40 Critically Acclaimed But Little Seen Should-be Classics

The Obscure, the Forgotten, and the Unloved: 40 Critically Acclaimed But Little Seen Should-be Classics

The 25 Greatest Philanderers in American Political History

Doing It for the People: The 25 Greatest Philanderers in American Political History: Politics: GQ: "They groped. They skirt-chased. They lusted in their hearts. And now they will live in infamy"

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

I'll Sit on my Couch and Watch on TV

Skydiver preparing for 120,000-foot supersonic fall - "An Austrian daredevil is planning to become the first person to break the sound barrier in a free fall, without riding in a vehicle.

This summer in New Mexico, Felix Baumgartner hopes to make the highest, longest and fastest fall ever.

His attempt will take him to an altitude where the atmosphere ends and space begins -- where blood boils at body temperature, and the air temperature could be as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first step in the attempt will be riding a helium balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet above sea level -- almost 23 miles -- higher than anyone has ascended in a balloon before."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Robert Tralins, R. I. P.

Robert Tralins wrote banned and bordello books, as well as stories that inspired 'Beyond Belief' - St. Petersburg Times: "Mr. Tralins enjoyed the controversy created by his book, Pleasure Is My Business. The author of at least 251 titles had accomplished daring feats through his James Bond-like hero, Jack Lund, defeating terrorists, drug lords and leaders of occult groups.

He had sowed vicarious wild oats with 1960s titles like Win With Sin, Operation Boudoir and Invasion of the Nymphomaniacs under the pen name Sean O'Shea and with racy illustrations on the covers.

He was guided by an unswerving independence, raising a family through only his writing income and living aboard a sailboat for many years. He hobnobbed with science-fiction writers Piers Anthony and L. Ron Hubbard. His nonfiction about the paranormal led to a Fox television series, Beyond Belief."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

And stay off his lawn! Local News: "As amazing as it is to see an 87 year old heading for first base it's even more incredible when you see Hoffman sailing through the air pole vaulting.

Hoffman competes in the Senior Olympics. He rattles off all of the events in which he competes.

'I pole vault, high jump, long jump, discus, shot, javelin, hammer throw and run. I run the 100 meter and 200 meter,' Hoffman said.

Last year at the age of 86, Hoffman won seven medals out of 9.
Now he's in training for the 2011 games. He's working out alongside high school athletes."

Miami Leads the Way

Miami Company Creates "Gringo Masks" for Illegals |
NBC Miami
: "If you are looking for a way to beat Arizona's new immigration law, look no further than Miami's new Gringo Masks.

The new product, brainchild of Miami advertising agency Zubi Advertising, guarantees the cops won't be stopping you or your loved ones after you put your best white face forward.

The product is simple. Choose from a cut out of a blue-eyed, sandy hair-colored white guy or a green-eyed, blond haired white woman."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous

AbeBooks: Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous: "If you were wealthy and famous, what would your library look like? There would probably be similar books to the ones you already own except they would be worth more. Never mind that old paperback of The Hobbit, you would have the true first edition signed by John Ronald Reuel himself.

Dare to dream as we showcase some of the rare (and very expensive) treasures available on AbeBooks."


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scary Headline of the Day

Sharks Can Become Invisible : Discovery News

Real-Life Redneck Noir

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia - Boing Boing: "The documentary, directed by Julien Nitzberg, follows the legacy of the White family of Boone County, West Virginia. Their most famous living member is Jesco White, star of the 1991 cult documentary hit 'Dancing Outlaw' (on which Nitzberg was associate producer).

The Appalachian clan is notorious for criminal activity and reckless, larger-than-life characters. They tap-dance, shoot and stab people (including each other), and sell (and do) a lot of drugs. Think 'Sopranos' meets 'Coal Miner's Daughter.'"

Those Wacky Guys at the CIA

- CIA unit's wacky idea: Depict Saddam as gay
: "During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA's Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people.

One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator having sex with a teenage boy, according to two former CIA officials familiar with the project.

“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”

The idea was to then “flood Iraq with the videos,” the former official said."

Archaeology Update

Pictures: Massive Maya City Revealed by Lasers: "Airborne lasers have 'stripped' away thick rain forests to reveal new images of an ancient Maya metropolis that's far bigger than anyone had thought.

An April 2009 flyover of the Maya city of Caracol used Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipment—which bounces laser beams off the ground—to help scientists construct a 3-D map of the settlement in western Belize. The survey revealed previously unknown buildings, roads, and other features in just four days, scientists announced earlier this month at the International Symposium on Archaeometry in Tampa, Florida."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Welcome to the Menaissance

So long, metrosexuals: Welcome to the Menaissance - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Metrosexuals, take note: The party's over.

The man's man is back. And he's had enough of unisex salons, simpering emo music and the emasculating kryptonite of the Oprahsphere.

Or so say a spate of ads, books and websites that hail the emergence of the retrosexual, whose attitude and style hearken back to the strong, silent type of the '50s and early '60s.

The retrosexual keeps things simple. He does not own more hair and skin care products than his wife or girlfriend. He does not 'accessorize.'"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texas Gov. Perry's showdown with varmint on the jogging trail sparks 'Coyote Special' pistol | Washington Examiner: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry's showdown on the jogging trail has spurred a gun maker to sell a 'Coyote Special' edition of the weapon he used to take down the varmint. Perry himself has one of the pistols.

The governor shot the coyote that he said was threatening his daughter's puppy with a Ruger .380-caliber pistol. Manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. has now come out with a version emblazoned with 'Coyote Special' and 'A True Texan' on the sides.

On top is a picture of a coyote howling at the moon and five-pointed star of Texas. The box says it is 'For Sale to Texans Only.'"

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

The Brasher Dubloon

Monday, May 24, 2010

Keep off His Lawn!

Or he might run you down.

Orange UK : "A British lawnmower cut the world land speed record twice in a weekend - with a new top speed of nearly 88 mph.

Rider Don Wales took the petrol-driven mower into the record books at Pendine Sands in Carmarthenshire, reports the BBC."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Best News Lede Ever

No Jail Time For Man Arrested In Captain America Costume - News Story - WFTV Orlando: "The Brevard County doctor who was arrested for groping a woman while dressed as Captain America with a burrito in his pants will not go to jail."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

But Time and Chance Happen to Them All

After 30 Years, Harrison Ford Breaks Silence And Speaks Out About ‘Star Wars’ | YouBentMyWookie: "It’s been 33 years since Ford looked up at Sir Alec Guinness. Now the late Sir Alec doesn’t seem so old. “I looked at Alec Guinness, who, at the time, I knew he was a wonderful actor but I thought he was an old man, an old wonderful actor. When I sat there [recently] and I was looking at him, I did the math. I figured out how old he was in Star Wars, and he was about six years younger than I am now. It gave me pause.”"

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Snake in SUV's AC vent was no fraternal prank: "Was Patty Everett scared when she saw the snake coming out of the air-conditioning vent in her Buick SUV?

'Well, somebody crapped in my pants,' she said."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

One Giant Step (Backward)

Youngstown News, End of an era in space travel is sneaking up on Americans: "It boggles the mind that the only nation that ever put a man on the moon isn’t sure about what it’s going to do next in manned spaceflight, aside from continue to send crew members to the ISS. The difference will be that the crews will travel by Russian rockets, not U. S. shuttles."

Everest Updaate

British man becomes the first to swim under Mt Everest | "A BRITISH endurance swimmer summoned the peak of his powers to become the first person to swim under the summit of Mt Everest.

Lewis Gordon Pugh battled freezing waters wearing only a pair of Speedos, a cap and goggles to cross the 1km glacial lake next to the Khumbu Glacier, Sky News reported."

Sounds like a Must-Have

The Independent: "Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published.

The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.

That milestone has now been reached, and in November the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography. The eventual trilogy will run to half a million words, and shed new light on the quintessentially American novelist."

Today's Western Movie Poster

25 Best True Crime Books

25 Best True Crime Books | Forensic Colleges

The Entire Series of Lost Re-enacted by Cats

Archaeology Update

57 ancient tombs with mummies unearthed in Egypt - Yahoo! News: "Archeologists have unearthed 57 ancient Egyptian tombs, most of which hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus with a mummy inside, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said Sunday.

The oldest tombs date back to around 2750 B.C. during the period of Egypt's first and second dynasties, the council said in a statement. Twelve of the tombs belong the 18th dynasty which ruled Egypt during the second millennium B.C."

The Long Goodbye

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Comment Department

Ex-U.K. royal Fergie in cash-for-access sting - Britain's royal family- "Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson feels devastated after she was secretly recorded offering to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew in return for 500,000 pounds ($720,000), her spokeswoman said Sunday."

A Tribute to The Asphalt Jungle on Its 60th Anniversary

Edward Copeland on Film: “After all, crime is only... a left-handed form of human endeavor…”

Never Ask What's in the Sausage

The Associated Press: Police: Man sucked into sausage seasoning machine: "Police said a cleaning man was taken to a hospital after being sucked into a machine at a sausage-making company in Danvers. The accident happened Thursday night as the man was cleaning the vacuum-type machine that is used to season the meat at DiLigui Sausage Co. Police said the man's head and shoulders became stuck in the machine after it somehow activated while being cleaned."

Hat tip to Mark Harris.

Steve Weddle Interview

DSDPodcast: Special Episode: Frank Bill day at DSD: "Steve Weddle talks with Frank Bill about his new book, DONNYBROOK."

Links to the podcast can be found by clicking the link above.

The 20 Biggest Unsolved Murders

COLD CASE: 20 BIGGEST UNSOLVED MURDERS-Cross Post � The Writer’s Forensics Blog

Come Here and I'll Give You a Wedgie

Bullying 'can be good for children': Study finds those who fight back are more popular | Mail Online: "It is considered one of the most traumatic experiences of growing up but being bullied can actually benefit children, a study has found."

Soon We'll Have No Freedoms Left at All

Chicken costumes banned at Nev. polling places: "Voters dressed in chicken costumes won't be allowed inside Nevada polling places this year."

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Ten Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries

The Ten Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine: "Science can be glorious; it can bring clarity to a chaotic world. But big scientific discoveries are by nature counterintuitive and sometimes shocking. Here are ten of the biggest threats to our peace of mind."

No Comment Department

Pensioner falls off cliff while mowing lawn:

Croc Update (Mummy Edition)

Crocodile mummies at UC Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum - "Strange that no horror movie ever featured these creatures from the crypts of ancient Egypt — crocodile mummies.

The toothy reptiles were embalmed and wrapped in worship of the crocodile god Sobek, and two painstakingly preserved 2,000-year-old specimens are now on display at UC Berkeley in an ancient Egypt exhibit that marks a sharp departure from touring King Tut spectacles."

Murder, My Sweet