Saturday, July 09, 2005

A New Star on the Horizon

Joe Lansdale's daughter, Kasey, is a country singer. (She's also much more attractive than Joe.) I've known Kasey for a long time, having met her even before she lost the Miss AggieCon contest to a ferret one year (and to a crossdresser the next year). So maybe I'm prejudiced, but I think she's terrific. You can judge for yourself by going to this link. Then click on "Rawkus" in the lefthand menu. On the next screen, scroll down to Kasey's photo. There's a link to the right, and you can listen to about a minute of one of Kasey's original songs. Great stuff.

I've been told that the link above doesn't work on some computers. The site is if you can't get the link to work and want to try another way.

Dave Barry in a Serious Mood

Dave Barry's Blog: "The show goes on everywhere here: The underground is running again, and people are resuming their lives. I remain awed by how calmly Londoners have handled the terrorist attack. I believe that one reason for this is that the British TV news people have displayed less excitability and hysteria than American TV news people displayed in response to the Michael Jackson verdict. That's not an exaggeration: That's really how it appears."

I think Barry's definitely onto something here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cop Doesn't Measure Up

District Line. Washington City Paper: "How’s It Hanging?"

From beginning (nuts and bolts) to end ("I think the whole thing was poorly handled") this article lets you create your own bad puns.

Christina Aguilera's Four Inch

Christina Aguilera's Four Inch: "Christina Aguilera's Four Inch
July 07, 2005
By Patrick J. Eves

What do you get when you cross four inches with Christina Aguilera, Victoria Beckham, Anne Heche and 41 other scantily clad celebrity women? Either disappointment or a bestselling photography book."

Sounds like a nice coffee table book. A blog with some of the photos from the book can be found here. The photos are not safe for work.

Google Earth

Google Earth - Home

Google has a new program for download. Another great way to waste time!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Brazos Drive-in

The Brazos Drive-in

Graham's comment below inspired me to check on the 'Net. Sure enough, there's a drive-in theater in Granbury, Texas. Looks like a nice place.

An Interview with Ed McBain - Author Profile: Ed McBain: "You published your first book, FIND THE FEATHERED SERPENT, in 1952"

This interview appeared in 2000. It's a pretty good one, and I'm surprised to learn that Find the Feathered Serpent was Hunter's first book. (The Evil Sleep appeared the same year.) I bought Find the Feathered Serpent new, so I suppose I got in on the beginning of Hunter's career. And a great one it was.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Evan Hunter, R.I.P.

Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind: "The man beloved to millions of crime fiction fans under his real name and as Ed McBain passed away this afternoon after a longrunning battle with cancer. He was 79. More information will be available later, but suffice to say, he will be missed by many, many people."

When I read this on Sarah Weinman's blog, my jaw dropped. I can't begin to imagine a world without Evan Hunter in it. I've been reading his books before I even started reading crime fiction, the first one being a Winston SF novel called FIND THE FEATHERED SERPENT when I was just a tyke. I loved that book. A few years later I picked up THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, which I read about the time the movie came out. I thought it was a great novel, and I still have that same copy, though it's been re-read so many times that it's in tatters. I later read many of his "mainstream" books, like STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET, mainly because of the movies made from them. What really got me started on him, though, was the 87th Precinct books that he wrote as Ed McBain. Man, I loved those early books in that series. As anyone who reads my Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels is aware, I work in a tribute to McBain every chance I get. He ever wrote me a letter about it once, which was a huge thrill for me. The news that he's gone hit me hard. I've been reading his novels for more than fifty years, and I guess I just thought he'd always be around.

Computer Tip of the Day

Here's something I didn't know (there's a multitude of things I don't know) about computers. A tip from JerryKergan: "Buried within Windows XP/MS Explorer is a best-kept secret remedy for some font sizing troubles: with MS Explorer and a scrolling mouse (li'l wheel between the buttons,) hold down the CONTROL key and scroll to a more comfortable font size. NOTE: this will also enlarge the printed font when printing from your browser . . . so minimize the font size before printing anything."

This also works with Firefox. Don't know about other browsers.

Cap'n Bob and I, However, Will Tour for $5 a Night and the Groupies

Pink Floyd: Pink Floyd offered millions to tour: "Pink Floyd have been offered a staggering 100millionGBP to tour the States.

However, the band - who reformed especially for Saturday's (2-05-05) Live 8 concert - has turned down the lucrative offer.

According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, guitarist Dave Gilmour was overheard saying: 'We've been offered 150million to do gigs in the States.

'It's completely mad - and we won't do it. The idea was a one-off for Live 8'."

Paging Nicolas Cage!

Dateline Alabama: Possible Declaration of Independence copy found in Alabama
The Associated Press

This much is certain: Janice Burks has a copy of the Declaration of Independence, which her late husband said he found in a hidden compartment in a box he bought in Philadelphia decades ago.

Past that, the truths are not exactly self-evident.

The document may be one of the earliest known copies of the nation's founding document, a valuable treasure that turned up unexpectedly in an out-of-the-way part of Alabama. Or it could be a clever fake crafted not too many years ago.

Either way, the Burks family wants to have the document checked by experts.

'Even if it turned out to be a forgery, it would be good just to know one way or the other,' Burks told the Montgomery Advertiser in a story on Independence Day"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Couple of Books

I'm getting a little behind in reporting on my recent reading. First I should mention Defending Baltimore from Enemy Attack by Charles Osgood. You've probably heard his voice before, and now you can read about his life in 1942. There's a good chapter on his love of radio, and another one on the influence of The Mark of Zorro on his life. In fact, the whole book is warmly nostalgic, especially for those of us who are nearly (if not quite) Osgood's age.

Another book I've been meaning to mention is Jack Higgins's Hell is always Today. This is another procedural featuring wealthy cop Nick Miller. This time there's a serial killer in the mix, and an escaped convict, too. Higgins's style and manner of storytelling in this novel is very similar to any of his recent books, and I'm surprised that the Nick Miller series hasn't been reprinted much sooner. Fast-moving and evocative (Higgins does weather really well).

A New Drive-In Theater!

home: " We are currently under construction of a Drive-In Theater just outside of Tomball, Texas! It will be the best family fun in the northwest Harris county area. For those of you who remember going to the drive-in, and the freedom of watching the latest movies from the comfort of your own car, we hope this brings back fond memories. And for those of you who have never been to a drive-in you are in for a great time! You can bring your kids in their pj's and let them drift off to sleep as you stay up late watching movies. Or bring your sweetheart for a night out at the movies without being shhhshed by other movie goers. Come early and enjoy a snack or a complete meal at our 3200 square foot concession stand. Drop by during intermission or any time you like. We'll have everything from popcorn and sodas to pizza and cheeseburgers."

This is a long way from where I live (well over an hour's drive), but I'd like of like to see it.

Vintage Paperbacks: Good Girl Art

Vintage Paperbacks: Good Girl Art

This site has some nice cover scans in a couple of galleries. Check 'em out.

PKD Android

PKD Android

If you want to learn all about the Philip K. Dick android, here's the site for you.

The Underappreciated Art of Firecracker Labels! | The Underappreciated Art of Firecracker Labels!: "I was happy to find out recently that I'm not alone in my admiration for firecracker art, because there's a decent amount of people on eBay who do nothing but sell and collect the labels. I've actually seen some labels go for over $100... and why shouldn't they? It's just as valid an art form as any other kind right? "

The estimable Neal Barrett, Jr. clued me in to this site. Some great labels, including "Metallic Crocodile."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Have a Great 4th, Everybody

And for those of you who want to read all about it, here's a link for you. Posted by Picasa

Run Chico Run

For years I've told people that there was a rock group named for a Gold Medal book. The group was a '60s assembly called The Damnation of Adam Blessing. The book was by Vin Packer. Now I've heard that there's a group called Run Chico Run, which was the title of a GM book by Wenzell Brown, sort of. Brown's title had commas in it. I have no idea of the members of the group have heard of Brown's book, but it does seem likely. So now there are two rock groups that I believe to have been named for GM novels.

Rilke on Black -- Ken Bruen

I've read almost all of Ken Bruen's crime novels now, so I'm rationing the last two or three. Rilke on Black is pure hardboiled noir, a sort of Gold Medal novel for the 21st century, even though it was written way back in the 20th. Nick, a nightclub bouncer, gets mixed up not only with the wrong woman but with the wrong guy. Not that Nick is any prize, himself. The three of them kidnap a wealthy businessman, and (surprise, surprise) things go wrong. But not all of them are the kinds of things you expect, and when they really start rolling downhill there are plenty of genuine surprises in store. Violent, poetic, and funny. Check it out.