Saturday, October 26, 2002

October 26, 2002: It's been raining here since Monday, and the weather guys say it will continue through Thursday. We're going to need swim fins just to get the newspaper in the mornings.

We're trying to force our youngest cat, Sam, to say in the house more. He likes to wander the neighborhood and visit in other houses. We're the ones paying the annual vet bill of nearly 70 bucks, so we feel Sam should stay with us. He doesn't see it that way.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

October 24, 2002: My latest moronic episode: Yesterday Judy was playing bridge in Pearland, so I decided to sneak off to Mervyn's to buy her birthday present. It was raining when I got to the mall, and the wind was blowing up a storm. When I opened the car door, the wind blew it out of my hand. I made a grab for the handle and caught it just in time. Then I grabbed my umbrella and dashed for the store. It was only when I got inside that I realized I'd left the keys in the car. There hadn't been any tell-tale "ding-ding-ding," so I hadn't left them in the steering column, but they weren't in my pocket. I also didn't have the little clicker that unlocked the door because it bork years ago. What if I'd locked the door? Well, I had. I could see the keys lying on the seat, but I couldn't get in. I went to the store and got the nice woman at the "Guest Services" counter to call Mall Security. They came and spent a half hour with a Slim Jim, but they couldn't open the door. I didn't have a cell phone, so I went into the mall and called the auto club. They sent out a guy who arrived about 40 minutes later. He tired for 20 minutes, but he couldn't open the door. He called in, and the service said they'd send another guy. He arrived about 40 minutes after that, and he couldn't open the door at first. However, he had a different device to try, and it worked. After only two or three wasted hours, I started home. What an experience.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

October 22, 2002: Actually I have an excuse for not having posted for so long. Judy and I were in Austin at the Bouchercon, where I was Fan Guest of Honor and where we won the Anthony Award for "best short story," the story being "Choclolate Moose," which appeared in Death Dines at 8:30. And is that a long sentence, or what? We naturally had a great time and there were plenty of highlights. Here are a few of them, none of which I am making up:

1. Hearing John Apostolou's superb performance on the duck call in the hotel lobby.

2. Witnessing the spectacle of Bruce Taylor's abject begging as he tried to buy John's wife's duck call. She finally just gave it to him.

3. Hearing Ed Hoch's duck call from the 7th floor balcony in response to John's duck call.

4. Winning (along with Judy) the Anthony Award for best short story. We were very surprised.

5. Hearing Bob Randisi sing harmony with a country band.

6. Learning that Gary Warren Niebuhr once sang "Muskrat Love" in a boy band.

7. Being interviewed by Joe Lansdale.

8. Seeing Elmer Kelton enjoying himself so much at a mystery convention.

9. Going to Rudy's Barbecue with Scott Cupp, Judy, Thom Walls, Bryan Barrett, and Steve Mertz. At Rudy's you get your food in crates and eat if off butcher paper.

10. Being the Fan Guest of Honor and basking in the adulation of thousands.

11. Attending the shortest Bouchercon banquet in recorded history.

I guess eleven is enough or maybe one too many, but there were other highlights as well. I'd corresponded with Fender Tucker, but I'd never met him. I wanted to see the guy who was crazy enough to reprint all the works of Harry Stephen Keeler and bind the individual books in his kitchen, using an iron and a glue gun. He's also publishing The Boucher Chronicles, for which every mystery reader should be grateful.