Saturday, July 22, 2006

Double Jeopardy

Surely you wouldn't expect me to ignore an important breaking news story that features both Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

HILTON DENIES LOHAN BLACKBERRY HACKING: "PARIS HILTON has hit out at reports she hacked into LINDSAY LOHAN's BlackBerry and sent offensive messages to her friends from it. The blonde socialite, who suffered a similar ignominy in 2004 when private text messages on her mobile phone were leaked onto the internet, insists the accusations are 'silly'."

The Crimedog Talks to an Old Friend

Anthony Neil Smith catches us up on Bob Skinner and talks a little about Bob's fine novels. Check it out right here.

Two More Stories

I read a couple more stories from Damn Near Dead last night. Reed Farrel Coleman's "Requiem for Moe" is subtitled "A Moe Prager and Jack Taylor Variation." It imagines the end of Moe's life and a visit from a certain Irish guy. Fans of Moe, Jack, Bruen, Taylor, and Coleman will get a kick out of this one. That includes everybody, right? Megan Abbott's "Policy" is a historical like her fine first novel, Die a Little. Like the novel, it's tough, tender, and terrific. The more I read in this anthology, the better I like it.

Friday, July 21, 2006

To Protect and Service. Er, Serve. British Style

The Sun Online - News: 'Mistress attacked cop': "A POLICEWOMAN was pushed through a plate glass door after a three-in-a-bed romp, a court heard yesterday.

Louise Flanagan, 22, was said to have been attacked by Kim Tempest, 27, after the pair stripped to their underwear with playboy doctor Matthew Hunter, 33."

Mickey Spillane Interview on NPR's Fresh Air Today

NPR : Fresh Air from WHYY for Thursday, July 20, 2006: "Mickey Spillane

July 21: The hardboiled crime writer died this week at age 88. We'll listen back to a 1989 interview."

Thanks to Todd Mason for the link and info.

Happy Birthday, Ernest Hemingway

When I discovered Hemingway's work back in my high school days, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I read as many of the short stories as I could find. Later on I read the novels. The Sun Also Rises is probably my favorite. By the time I reached grad school, Hemingway was falling out of fashion. Too macho for the times, or something like that. Having left BTA (big-time academia) long ago, I don't know if his rep has recovered. I hope it has. When he was good, he was about as good as they come.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Final ConMisterio Update

I had a great time in Austin, as I hope everyone did. On the first day of the convention, we had an unexpected visitor: Kinky Friedman. Well, he didn't actually visit the convention, but he was right there with us. He was attending some kind of early morning gathering with the other candidates for governor, so I took a few seconds of video. I don't know if the Kinkster will win the election, but he's sure won the press.

Happy Birthday, Diana Rigg!

Mrs. Peel is 68 today.

You, the Jury

MICKEY SPILLANE, by Steve Holland: "He's been slated for his use of sex and violence, condemned for his right-wing politics... What is it about this guy that critics so loath and Joe Q. Citizen loves? You, the jury, preside over the case of the most vilified author ever to sell 200 million copies of his books around God's green earth. With Judge Steve Holland presiding, would the clerk of the court please read out the charges..."

Ed Gorman Reviews a Movie

Ed Gorman Rambles: 20 July 2006. Mary Astor in ACT OF VIOLENCE.: " I usually eat lunch around twelve thirty, catch the news and then go back upstairs to my office to write again.

Yesterday I happened to be channel surfing when I saw the billboard for a Turner movie called ACT OF VIOLENCE. I’d never seen it but as soon as I saw Robert Ryan (my favorite noir actor) l knew I’d watch the whole thing."

The Little Professor: Reviews a Couple of Year's Best SF Collections

The Little Professor: Year's Best SF 11 and Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection: "Year's Best SF 11 and Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection

I don't normally read these two 'year's best' SF anthologies back-to-back, so this year's installments certainly highlighted how editorial preferences define 'the best' that has been known and thought in the genre world of 2005. Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection reprints thirty stories; David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer's Year's Best SF 11 reprints thirty-one stories. "

To Protect and Service. Er, Serve.

iWon News: "WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A woman police officer moonlighting as a prostitute has got off with a caution, New Zealand police said Thursday.

The unidentified officer, stationed in the country's biggest city Auckland, was discovered last year to have been a prostitute for a short time.

'The officer concerned has been counseled. Under police procedures this amounts to a censure,' Deputy Police Commissioner Lyn Provost said in a statement.

The police officer, who was understood to be having financial difficulties, had not sought permission to have a second job. Such applications are considered on a case-by-case basis."

Damn Near Dead, Again

Copies of this fine anthology are available from David Thompson at Murder by the Book in Houston. He has copies signed by Duane Swierczynski, Jeff Abbott, Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman, Sean Doolittle, Victor Gischler, and me.

I've been reading it, and the stories by Duane, Sean, Jeff, Victor, and Ken Bruen are worth the admission price. I'll be reading Reed's and Megan's stories today or this evening, along with some of the others, and I'm really looking forward to them. Check it out for yourself.

Man on the Moon

This was a great day back in 1969. Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. I remember it well. I watched all the TV coverage I could because I was so excited by the very thought of the entire mission. It's hard to believe our space program has fallen on such hard times that I'll probably never see the like of this again. I wonder if even my kids will. Makes me a little melancholy to think about it.

A Heart-Warming Tale

Python that swallowed electric blanket saved in sugery: "It took surgery to save a 12-foot Burmese python in Ketchum, Idaho, after it swallowed an entire queen-size electric blanket -- complete with electrical cord and control box.

The blanket must have gotten tangled up in the snake's rabbit dinner, owner Karl Beznoska said. He said he kept the blanket in the 60-pound reptile's cage for warmth."

Thanks to Scott Cupp for the tip.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yeah, Yeah. But We're all Much Safer Now

Report: DHS workers wasted thousands - U.S. Security - "WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars last year on iPods, dog booties, beer-making equipment and designer jackets, congressional investigators have concluded.

More than 100 laptop computers and a dozen boats also bought by Homeland Security employees are missing, the investigators found."

I'm Not in the Least Surprised

Holy gator! Pet is no crock: "SALEM, Wis. -- Michael Wilk was tossing back a few beers with friends when he saw God on the side of his 4-foot-long pet alligator.

Without even squinting, Wilk noticed white markings pop out against a backdrop of black scales to form the letters G-O-D.

'When I first saw it, my jaw dropped,' said Wilk, 25. 'It's just sort of like a phenomenon on it.'"

Bob Dylan on XM

Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio
July 19, 2006
Theme: Cars

Rocket 88, Jackie Brenston
Hudson Marquez discussed “Cadillac Ranch”
Cadillac Ranch, Bruce Springsteen
Bob tells about a great mondegreen – the first time he heard Bruce sing, “tearing up the road like a dinosaur,” he thought it was “tearing up the road like Dinah Shore.”
Dinah Shore’s Chevy commercial
Every Woman I Know, Billy “The Kid” Emmerson
Me and My Chauffeur Blues, Memphis Minnie
My Automobile, Parliament
Christian Automobile, Dixie Hummingbirds
Car on a Hill, Joni Mitchell
Peter Epstein Pontiac commercial
Pontiac Blues, Sonny Boy Williams
Big Green Car, Jimmy Caroll
Get out of the Car, Richard Berry
Mercury Blues, David Lindley
Mercury commercial
Too Many Drivers, Smiley Lewis
1963 Corvette Stingray commercial
Little Red Corvette, Prince
No Money Down, Chuck Berry

Two Dicks for Danger

If you watched this video, you know that Fender Tucker is a fine guitar player. You can read about his music and his bands here, and you can listen to some music, too. But Fender's real claim to fame is Ramble House, a publishing venture dedicated mainly (at first) to reprinting every novel ever written by Harry Stephen Keeler. Inevitably, thanks to his dedication to preserving only the finest literature, Fender branched out. Now he's reprinting the complete works of Ed Wood, Jr. Each volume from Ramble House contains two classic novels. You might need to click on the pictures to enlarge them and see Fender's current offerings. Fender has given each volume a title, of which my favorite is the one that heads this post. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We'll Always Have Paris [Hilton]

We'll always have Paris - Style - Times Online: "We meet again on a balcony at the Sanderson hotel, surrounded by fashion shrubbery, with [Paris] Hilton, 25, in a floor-length ball gown and outsize white-rimmed sunglasses. My first question is, what happened? “I know, right?” she giggles. “Things got, huge.” And you let them? “Yes, I did.” But why? “Because there’s nobody in the world like me,” she says, smiling lazily. “I think every decade has an iconic blonde — like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana — and right now, I’m that icon.”

For better or worse, she is right. Last year, the author Naomi Wolf was quoted as saying Hilton is “an empty signifier you can project anything onto” — but she was wrong. To fans and haters alike, Hilton signifies the base desires of the age: money, sex and low body fat."

This article is actually worth a look. Thanks to Todd Mason for the link.

Happy Birthday, Dion!

Dion Dimucci, first with the Belmonts and later on his own, was part of the soundtrack of my life. "I Wonder Why" is one of the great white doo-wop numbers, and Dion's "Runaround Sue" is of course a classic. I can still listen with pleasure to him, to him with the Belmonts, or just the Belmonts without him. Wonderful stuff. Dion's latest CD is Bronx in Blue, and on it he accompanies himself on guitar. That's about the only instrument in the mix, if you don't count his voice. You might not think of Dion as a blues singer (or a guitarist, for that matter), but he pulls it off with aplomb. He's 67 today, but he's still going strong.

Old. Bold. Uncontrolled.

New promotion for a fine anthology.

Ed Gorman's Tribute to Spillane and More at Mystery*File


July 17. MICKEY SPILLANE (1918-2006). One of the giants of mystery and detective fiction has left us. If you were reading private eye stories in the 1950s, as I was, you probably remember exactly when and where it was when you had your first dose of Mike Hammer and mystery fiction changed forever. (The eighth grade cloakroom of McKinley School. I was twelve, and the memory is as clear to me as though it were yesterday.) I’m not sure how long the first link I found will stay online, but here on M*F, the early works of Mickey Spillane were covered briefly in the checklist of Dutton’s line of Guilt Edged mysteries. The rest of the covers can be found here."

Geezer Taunting

This is why Duane Swierczynski is going to hell.

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

Ancient strippers still spreading their butterfly wings at prestigious university - MSN-Mainichi Daily News:

"From the land of panty vending machines and a thriving business in soiled knickers comes the news that a museum run by Japan's most prestigious private university has a collection of female stripper's undies dating back more than half a century, according to Shukan Asahi."

Monday, July 17, 2006

"A Gathering-of-Sorts"? That's a New Name for It

Bandera Bulletin: "Deputies terminated after scandalous acts
By Jessica Hawley - Lifestyles Editor

After behaving in a manner deemed intolerable by the Bandera County Sheriff's Office, a deputy has been terminated and may face criminal charges.

Deputy Amy Price was relieved of her duties June 27, following a complaint filed against her by Bandera County resident Brett Day. On June 25, Day arrived at his Lakehills home to find his wife, sheriff's dispatcher Kimberly Day, hosting a gathering-of-sorts with sheriff's deputy David Moore, Price, another sheriff's dispatcher and her husband, and Texas Ranger Lance Coleman.

According to Chief Deputy Don Berger, Day found his wife in a 'compromising position' with another individual present. After taking photographs, a disturbance reportedly broke out between Brett and Kimberly Day, Moore and Price. Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call issued by Day at approximately 2:30 a.m.

'He said that he was being attacked and chased through the brush,' Berger said, . . ."

Criminal Genius of the Day

Local & State News - Tampa Bay's 10 - "Largo, Florida - Kim Starks was arrested on Saturday for grand theft, forgery and fraudulent driver's license when she tried to withdraw over $5,000 from her mother's savings account, six months after her mom's death.

Police say Starks entered the Wachovia Bank at Largo Mall and filled out a withdrawal slip for $5,577.88, signed a name and approached the teller.

The teller noticed something wrong with the ID and called police. The woman identified herself, however the name was not the same as on the ID given to the teller.

Investigators say the ID had a taped-on photo of Starks over that of her dead mother's picture, and a pen was used to change the DOB."

Mickey Spillane, R. I. P.

Mike Hammer creator Mickey Spillane dies - Yahoo! News: "CHARLESTON, S.C. - Mickey Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-'em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died Monday. He was 88.

Spillane's death was confirmed by Brad Stephens of Goldfinch Funeral Home in his hometown of Murrells Inlet. Details about his death were not immediately available."

Back in March, I wished Mickey Spillane a happy birthday. I loved his books (I know not everyone does), and they were a huge influence on my even if it doesn't show in my own writing. He was a Guest of Honor at the Milwaukee Bouchercon in 1981, which is where the photo at the link was taken, and meeting him was one of the highlights of my life. I'm truly sorry he's gone. As far as I'm concerned, the world was a better place when he was in it.

Gator Update

Fla. authorities begin gator-feeding sting - Yahoo! News: "IN THE EVERGLADES, Fla. - Crusty's days are numbered. The well-known 8-foot alligator has become so accustomed to people feeding him that his demise is certain. Because state wildlife managers worry all his snacks will make him aggressive, they will have to remove him from a canal along Florida's Alligator Alley in the Everglades and euthanize him.

To keep from having to kill even more alligators, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched a three-day undercover sting operation in Broward County on Friday aimed at catching gator feeders in the act."

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link!

ConMisterio Update

Jesse Sublett plays and sings.

ConMisterio Update

Dennis McMillan, flamenco guitarist.

ConMisterio Update

Fender Tucker plays the blues.