Saturday, June 05, 2010

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Collision :: David King

And there's a giveaway. Click here for details.

Yes, Gators Can Read

Hat tip to Seepy Benton.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Projectionist goes totally insane, gets HUMAN CENTIPEDE tattoo… | Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Blog

The Days of Our Lives -- Ken Corday

A long time ago, my wife was a big fan of The Days of Our Lives. Because I was often home when she watched the show, I became familiar with the cast and the storyline. Judy stopped watching the show when her two favorite characters, Doug and Julie, left, but she and I still have fond memories of it and talk about it now and then. We found this backstage memoir entertaining and full of fun facts about this show and others.

There's a lot about the Corday family, too. Ken Corday is the executive producer of the show, which was started by his parents. When his father, Ted, died about a year after the show began, Corday's mother, Betty, took complete control and taught her son all he needed to know to carry on. He'd been a music major and thought he'd have a career in music, maybe even be a star. After all, Lucky Mud, his band, opened Jimi Hendrix's last concert. But things don't always go as planned.

Betty and Ted Corday had careers in radio (Betty worked on The Shadow), so they were well versed in dramatic presentations. And Betty had real knack for titles. When William Bell was thinking of a show called The Young and Impatient, Betty suggested The Young and the Restless. She also suggested that a show tentatively titled As the Earth Turns become As the World Turns and that The Edge of Darkness be changed to The Edge of Night. Corday's book is full of great trivia like that, as well as stories about all the stars. There's a spooky one about MacDonald Carey's ghostly presence on the set, for instance, and a good one about Doug and Julie's real-life marriage. If you're a fan of the show (or of any soap opera), The Days of Our Lives is a must-read book. Even casual viewers will get a kick out of some of the inside stories. Pop culture fans, too. There's a wealth of real TV history here. Not to mention that Ken Corday's had quite a life. Check it out.

Gadding About

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way : Graham cracker bonanza fuels frenzy on Dallas freeway: "It was a free-for-all on a Dallas freeway' People flocked to a busy intersection Friday morning to scoop up boxes of graham crackers spilled in an accident Thursday night.

Dallas County Sheriff's Department is trying to determine what caused an 18-wheeler to overturn in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E at Colorado Boulevard. The wreck snarled traffic for hours overnight. last night.

After the sun came up Friday, rubberneckers turned into cracker collectors.

Deputies had their hands full trying to prevent motorists from rushing in collect hundreds of packages of Honey Maid graham crackers that had been dislodged from the semi-trailer when it turned over."

The Reoccurring Prop Newspaper

Okay, I knew about the Wilhelm Scream, but I didn't know about this.

The Mechanic

Friday, June 04, 2010


Brett Ratner Plans to Throw Mud at 'Snow White' - Cinematical: "Or you can just say screw it, add some violence and dirty words, and say you're being 'edgy.' That's what producer Brett Ratner is doing to Snow White following the runaway success of Burton's Alice in Wonderland. The 3D movie will be called The Brothers Grimm: Snow White and written by Melisa Wallack. . . ."

Mannix Then & Now

'Mannix': 'Memba Him? |

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

TV Cops Weekend

Here's my contribution at the Tainted Archive.

Congratulations to the Anthony Award Nominees!


THE LAST CHILD - John Hart [Minotaur Books]
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE - Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland [Quercus/Knopf]
THE BRUTAL TELLING - Louise Penny [Minotaur Books]
THE SHANGHAI MOON - S.J. Rozan [Minotaur Books]


THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE - Alan Bradley [Delacorte Press]
STARVATION LAKE - Bryan Gruley [Touchstone]
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY - Sophie Littlefield [Minotaur Books]
THE TWELVE/THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST - Stuart Neville [Harvill Secker/Soho Press]
IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM - Stefanie Pintoff [Minotaur Books]


BURY ME DEEP - Megan Abbott [Simon & Schuster]
TOWER - Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman [Busted Flush Press]
QUARRY IN THE MIDDLE - Max Allan Collins [Hard Case Crime]
STARVATION LAKE - Bryan Gruley [Touchstone]
DEATH AND THE LIT CHICK - G.M. Malliet [Midnight Ink]
AIR TIME - Hank Phillippi Ryan [Mira]


"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" - Ace Atkins, CROSSROAD BLUES [Busted Flush Press]
"Femme Sole" - Dana Cameron, BOSTON NOIR [Akashic Books]
"Animal Rescue" - Dennis Lehane, BOSTON NOIR [Akashic Books]
"On the House" - Hank Phillippi Ryan, QUARRY: Crime Stories by New England Writers [Level Best Books]
"Amapola" - Luis Alberto Urrea, PHOENIX NOIR [Akashic Books]


TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION - P.D. James [Bodleian Library/Knopf]
THE LINE UP: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives - Otto Penzler, ed. [Little, Brown and Co]
HAUNTED HEART: The Life and Times of Stephen King - Lisa Rogak [Thomas Dunne Books]
DAME AGATHA'S SHORTS: An Agatha Christie Short Story Companion - Elena Santangelo [Bella Rosa Books]
THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith - Joan Schenkar [St. Martin's Press]

Dr. Who Meets Stealth Cat

Officer of the Year? - Conn. Officer Arrested in Genitals Photo Case: "A Connecticut police officer has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge for allegedly showing a female motorist a cell phone picture of his genitals during a traffic stop.

Stamford Officer Paul Mabey, who was named the city's 'Officer of the Year' in 2006, was charged with disorderly conduct Wednesday and released on a promise to appear in Superior Court at a later date. He was suspended with pay on Friday."

Gator Dating Problems

June 4, 1965

Today's Western Movie Poster

And Yet People Say Romance is Dead

L.I. Couple Getting Married in a Shark Tank | NBC New York: "It’s difficult enough trying remember your vows during a normal wedding ceremony -- try doing it while surrounded by sharks.

That’s what April Pignataro and Michael Curry will be doing.

The couple is preparing to take their vows this Sunday while in the Lost City of Atlantis Shark Tank at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Meet the Last Generation of Typewriter Repairmen

Meet the Last Generation of Typewriter Repairmen

Forgotten Books: A COOL BREEZE ON THE UNDERGROUND -- Don Winslow

Forgotten? Maybe, but soon to be re-released by Busted Flush Press. And it's about time because a passable paperback copy will run you around twenty bucks.

I'm a big admirer of Don Winslow's novels, and I've reviewed several of them here on the blog. For some reason, however, I'd never read his early efforts, the books in the Neal Carey series, of which this is the first. Carey is a private-eye, working for a large agency with a long history. The agency provides very private services for the clients of The Bank. Carey is picked off the streets as a kid by one of the operatives, Joe Graham, and part of the fun in this book is the training Carey receives from Graham. Now Carey's grown and working for the firm, while at the same time working on his Master's degree in 18th century British literature.

"It was a wandering daughter job." That's the way Hammett put it, and in Carey's case the wandering daughter has disappeared in London. He has a short time to find her, and when he does, she's in pretty bad shape. But he gets her home. Along the way there are plenty of twists, betrayals (some of them by Carey), and surprises. It's good stuff, and it's great that Busted Flush is going to reprint the entire Carey series . (Not so great for the people selling those old paperbacks, though.) Highly recommended, just like anything by Winslow.

Red Sun

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Kids Today Have a Lot of Fun Playing Games

Teenager Has Testicle Amputated After 'Tapping' Game: "A Minnesota teenager had to have his testicle amputated after being punched in the groin by a classmate, reported Friday.

David Gibbons, 14, was changing classes in his Crosby, Minn. high school when he was attacked by another student playing a game called “sack tapping.”"

Happy Birthday, Chuck Barris!

Happy Birthday, Tony Curtis!

Eleanor Taylor Bland, R. I. P.

Via Libby Hellmann on DorothyL: "Sad news: author Eleanor Taylor Bland passed away this afternoon. She had been ill for a long time. I have no information on arrangements yet, but will post them when I do." 

And Keep Off His Lawn!

‘Granddad Bandit’: 21 banks and counting - "A bald, heavyset man who has robbed 21 banks in the eastern and central U.S. is proving to be so elusive that the FBI has given him a name — the “Granddad Bandit” — and the agency announced plans Tuesday to post a digital picture of him on billboards in several states in hopes of catching him."

Rue McClanahan, R. I. P.

Golden Girls Star Rue McClanahan Dies at 76 - Tributes, Rue McClanahan : "Golden Girl Rue McClanahan has died at the age of 76.

'She passed away at 1 a.m. this morning,' her manager, Barbara Lawrence, tells PEOPLE. 'She had a massive stroke.'"

St. Francis and the Gator

In the courtyard at the Jacuzzi Family Winery Store near Sonoma.

Bigfoot Update

On Sasquatch's trail in Virginia's Spotsylvania County: "Billy Willard says he's on the verge of a major discovery that could change the way humans think about the natural world, not to mention their need for a creature-proof home security system.

Here in Spotsylvania County, in the forests around Lake Anna, Willard claims there have been 14 sightings in the past decade of that most fabled of cryptozoic beasts: Bigfoot."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Those crazy Texans. � Criggo

A San Francisco Street Sign I Liked

Hard Times

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I For One Welcome Our New Monkey and Dolphin Overlords

IEEE Spectrum: Monkey Controls Advanced Robot Using Its Mind:

I'll Bet They Don't Film in Ft. Worth This Time

Logan’s Run Is Being “Devised and Shot” in 3D | /Film: "Last week it was revealed that commercial director and Ridley Scott protege Carl Erik Rinsch is in talks to direct a remake of Logan’s Run for Warner Bros/Joel Silver. MTV got a chance to talk to Silver who was promoting Splice this week, and the mega-producer confirms that the upcoming remake is being developed as a 3D movie, and should be shot with 3D cameras."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Drunk Driver Launches Car Over Toll Booth: "An intoxicated driver launched her Chevy Impala, Dukes Of Hazzard-style, over a toll booth as she left the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport yesterday. The car clipped the toll booth but both the operator and driver escaped without serious injury."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Never Talk about Politics or Religion

Collinsville bonfire ends in brawl over religion, demons | St. Louis Crime Beat | STLtoday: "“The victim had been talking about religion and demons when the other three became upset and started whipping up on him,” said Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Brad Wells.

Wells said he didn’t know what specific religious issue incited the fight, but that talk of demons apparently put the fight over the edge. He said that eyewitnesses support the victim’s claims."

Will the Persecution Never End?

Covered in Seamen

Hat tip to Marshal Zeringue.

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Going full throttle at 76, the motorbike champion with one eye, an artificial hip and a pacemaker
| Mail Online
: "He's got one eye, an artificial hip and a pacemaker but 76-year-old Henry Brody was born to open it up once he's on a motorbike.

Which is why the daredevil pensioner, like a British version of Anthony Hopkin's loveable character Burt Munro in the hit film The World's Fastest Indian, is the current UK motorcycle sprint champion in the veteran class."

Thuglit Issue #37

Thuglit Issue #37

Oooooooklahoma Leads the Way

Hot pink and bright yellow means you're in jail in Cleveland County | "Cleveland County prisoners wear jail-issue uniforms of hot pink shirts and yellow-and-white striped pants, which some say make them look more like clowns than criminals."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Jack (Best Seller) MacLane

Horror Mall’s Bestselling eBooks for May 2010

  1. Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls by Brian Hodge
  2. The Summoning by J. F. Gonzalez
  3. The Spectators by Jeffrey Thomas
  4. The Nightmare Frontier by Stephen Mark Rainey
  5. Rest in Peace by Jack MacLane
  6. The Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon
  7. What Steven Found by David Jack Bell
  8. Clown in the Moonlight by Tom Piccirilli
  9. He Stepped Through by Nate Southard
  10. Goodnight Moom by Jack MacLane

The Columbo Collection -- William Link

If you enjoyed the Columbo TV series, or even if you didn't, you might enjoy this Crippen & Landru collection of original stories by William Link, one of its creators.

You probably know that Crippen & Landru publishes great reprints, but this collection isn't a reprint. As I said above, it's all original. These stories weren't done as part of the TV series, and they've never appeared in print before.

And take a look at the cover. It's by Al Hirschfield, and I'm sure you can find his daughter's name hidden in it. But can you find the hidden gallows and noose? I'm looking for it, myself.

This just arrived at Casa de Crider, but I'm looking forward to reading some of these inverted detective stories and seeing how Columbo figures things out.

Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for May 2010

Discover the Top 10 Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks for May 2010

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The Post and Courier - Controversy over Citadel grad brews - Charleston SC - "A controversy is brewing at the University of Texas at Austin over a residence hall named in honor of William Stewart Simkins, a native South Carolinian who graduated from The Citadel in 1861 and was an unapologetic Ku Klux Klan organizer."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The 101 Best Sandwiches in New York

The 101 Best Sandwiches in New York -- Grub Street New York

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Today's Western Movie Poster

75 Years of Fabulous Writers

Link via Martha Wells.

Top 20 Best Bar Fights

Top 20 Best Bar Fights | WhooKnoo: Stuff You Didn't Really Need to Know

Gadding About

Judy and I arrived home last night about 6:30 P. M. after a great few days in San Francisco. More photos later.

Messenger of Death

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Very Interesting Take

Scott Adams Blog: The Adams Theory of Content Value 06/01/2010: "I predict that the profession known as 'author' will be retired to history in my lifetime, like blacksmith and cowboy. In the future, everyone will be a writer, and some will be better and more prolific than others. But no one will pay to read what anyone else creates. People might someday write entire books - and good ones - for the benefit of their own publicity, such as to promote themselves as consultants, lecturers, or the like. But no one born today is the next multi-best-selling author. That job won't exist."

Read it all at the link.


Police: Man accidentally shoots self in testicles - AP State News - "Police say a man accidentally shot himself in the testicles at a Lynnwood department store.

Police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions says the man was carrying his handgun in his waistband and it accidentally went off about noon Sunday."

Hat tip to Jeremy Lynch.

The Trouble with Autoresponder

BBC News - E-mail error ends up on road sign

Hat tip to Rich Prosch.

Chuka -- Richard Jessup

Richard Jessup wrote westerns under his own name and as Richard Telfair. While I've read a lot of his other books, this is the first of his westerns that I've tried. It's a good one, and it was made into a film with Rod Taylor in the lead role.

The title character is a gunfighter. No one knows his real name. He's just Chuka. He and two friends arrive at Fort Clendennon on their way to Montana. At about the same time a stage arrives with several passengers. You can guess what's going to happen: Indian attack. The fort is filled with misfits overseen by a Major Valois, a 25-year-old West Point grad and a tough sergeant who backs him up.

There's an assorted cast of characters: the grizzled scout, the disgruntled soldier, the beautiful woman, the former prostitute. All familiar, but Jessup does some interesting things with all of them. In fact, the book could have been a hundred pages longer and still not have told all their stories. Some things clearly needed more development, but it doesn't matter in the end.

The people in the fort are clearly over-matched. They don't stand a chance against the united force of several tribes. I won't say how all this turns out, but what happens is told matter-of-factly and it's all the more effective for that. I should read another western by Jessup soon.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Sub Accused Of Watching Porn In Classroom - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "An elementary substitute teacher with Spring Independent School District is accused of watching child pornography in class, KPRC Local 2 reported.

The district launched an investigation after more than one allegation that a substitute teacher at Jenkins Elementary School was viewing child pornography on the school's computer in the classroom full of fourth grade students."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Collectible Vintage Posters

Collectible Vintage Posters: "A little known secret about AbeBooks is that thousands of collectible vintage posters can be found for sale on the website. Posters offer amazing insights into popular culture, the history of art, politics (including all the fascinating aspects of propaganda), war and commerce, but they rarely survive the passage of time."

The White Buffalo

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pixie Dust -- Henry Melton

Henry Melton's been reviewed here on the blog before, and I've enjoyed all his books. This one's a bit different from the others. It's a big longer, I think, and the protagonist is a bit older, but it should still fit into the YA market and be attractive to older folks like me, too.

Jenny Quinn's working on an advanced degree in physics. During an experiment, things go wrong, and odd stuff begins to happen. Jenny's major professor dies in an accident. We mystery fans know about that kind of accident, and sure enough, this book is an SF mystery, one of those hybrids that's not easy to bring off, but Melton does it. It's also an "origin story." When Jenny starts to experience certain, um, powers, she has no real idea of what to do. But she thinks of a good source of guidance: comic books.

And when Jenny has to go on the run, she winds up living with carnies. So we have a mystery, some SF puzzlers, and carnies, all in the same book. There's more, but that should be a surprise. And there's even a good final twist. You can't go wrong. Check it out.

Top 25 Movie Fight Scenes

Top 25 Movie Fight Scenes | Inside Movies

Warning: Graphic Content

American cage fighter 'rips out still-beating heart of training partner after fearing he was possessed by the devil' | Mail Online

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

The Princess and the Frog

It was great to see traditional animation again, especially done as well as it is in The Princess and the Frog. Sure, the computer stuff is good, but for and old guy like me, the traditional stuff can't be bettered.

There's a lot more that's traditional about the movie. It has a princess, two of them, in fact. It has a handsome prince. It has a great villain, Facilier, the Shadow Man. It has some dandy music (score by Randy Newman). It has heart and a little bit of soul. You might think that it has a traditional plot, and it sort of does, but it plays around with all the traditions and things are never quite what they seem.

Of course the big selling point for me is the character of "Big Daddy" La Bouf, the trumpet-playing alligator who wants to be human and play with the Big Boys. John Goodman is excellent in the part, but I don't think anyone will blame me if I missed Phil Harris just a little bit. All the voice actors can keep up with Goodman, and I particularly enjoyed Jennifer Cody as one of the princesses and Keith David as Facilier.

Even as old as I am, I grew up with Disney. I've enjoyed a lot of the animated features over the years, and this one's up there with some of the classics.

He Should Have Been Keeping Kids off His Lawn

Elderly pilot crashes private plane in Fort Bend County | | Local News: "A 75-year-old pilot crashed a single-engine aircraft at a private airport in western Fort Bend County.

It happened at the Covey Trails Airport located on FM 1093 at FM 359, just east of Fulshear, Texas."

Today's Western Movie Poster

To Err Is Human

Crime spree, part 6. � Criggo

Memorial Day History

Memorial Day History: "Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, 'Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping' by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication 'To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead' (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all."


Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Miles to Go :: Edward A. Grainger

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Area Students Avoid Detention With Cash: "Robbie Whitehead thought her teenage son was trying to pull a fast one.

The 10th grader told her he bought his way out of detention with three bucks.

'I thought this could not be true as a parent I had no notification that that was even an option or been told there is such a thing that you could pay your way to get out of detention,' Whitehead said.

A spokesperson for Galena Park I.S.D. confirmed the practice but wouldn't talk on camera and neither would the principal at North Shore Senior High."

It Could Have Happened If the Thief Had Been on his Lawn, Too

Casino Winner Dies Chasing Down Thief - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh: "A 91-year old casino enthusiast died this week trying to chase down the thief who stole his winnings."

Split Image -- Robert B. Parker

It pains me to say it, but this isn't a good book. I've admired Robert B. Parker's work since the publication of The Godwulf Manuscript, and I still have my book-club edition of that one. (Too bad I didn't spring for the trade edition, eh?) I've read every novel he's written since that one, and I've enjoyed them all. I even enjoyed this one, but not much.

There are two main plots, with Jesse Stone working on the murder of a mobster and Sunny Randall working to remove a young woman from a religious cult. Both plots are thin, and so they're padded out with many visits by Stone and Randall to their respective shrinks (Randall's is Susan Silverman, whose clothes and manner Randall admires as much as Spenser does). Meanwhile, the Stone/Randall personal relationship is developing.

The dialog's sharp, and I laughed, but even I have to admit that the book's just not very good. I hope the remaining Spenser novels are better.

Today's Western Movie Poster

20 Philip K. Dick Books with Philip K. Dick on the Cover

Topless Robot - 20 Philip K. Dick Books with Philip K. Dick on the Cover