Saturday, August 13, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention The Temple of Camazotz - An O. C. L. T. Novella eBook: David Niall Wilson: Kindle Store: "Headless bodies are turning up along the Mexican border. The Mexican government blames overzealous US Border guards. The border guards blame drug runners. In a village just on the Mexican side of the border, they have other ideas. There are legends, older even than the Mayan civilization that has died away, of a God. A bat-headed vengeful demon. Someone is fanning the flames of that superstition, and the piles of bodies continue to grow."

My Question Is, Why Is the WSJ Talking to Snooki?

Hollywood Reporter: "“The economy is really scary, because 2012 is coming,” Snooki tells The Wall Street Journal. “I feel like the first thing that’s going to happen… is a blackout and then everyone freaks out and the world goes crazy. So hopefully, Obama will take care [of the economy] before 2012.”"

Today's Vintage Ad

Hat tip to Art Scott.

'The Lone Ranger' Update

The Hollywood Reporter: "Disney has shut down production of The Lone Ranger, its ambitious retelling of the classic western that was to star Johnny Depp."

Check it Out!

National Punctuation Day: "Eighth annual
National Punctuation Day
September 24, 2011

Entries sought for
Punctuation Paragraph Contest

PINOLE, CA — Twenty-five people will be declared winners of this year’s National Punctuation Day contest — the Punctuation Paragraph Contest — when entries are evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges following the September 24 celebration of the annual holiday that encourages worldwide literacy."


Joseph Shallit, Yell Bloody Murder, Avon, 1952

And there Is Rejoicing along the Pacific Rim

The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online: "Filipinos will get a chance to get close to Paris Hilton when she opens her signature shop in a mall in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, August 18, 2011."

Henry James's Thoughts on Paris Hilton

You can find them here.

Today's Western Movie Poster

I Found Myself Nodding in Agreement

The 10 biggest problems with modern day cinema

This Link by Request

My office (and a little more, too.)

New York Leads the Way

5 Best Cities for Book Lovers

Link via SF Signal.

Ripper Update

Is this Jack the Ripper? Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline named

‪Action In The North Atlantic


Friday, August 12, 2011

Here's the Plot for Your Next Historical Reenactment Thriller

AFP: Rome police arrest Colosseum 'gladiator' gang: "Italian police have arrested 20 gladiator impersonators in an undercover sting aimed at ending a violent racket operating around Rome's most famous tourist sites, Italian press reported on Thursday.

Police disguised as gladiators, dustbin men and members of the public raided the gang made up of seven families working with five tourist agencies."

Hat tip to Jim Cameron.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention FOX FIVE: a Charlie Fox short story collection eBook: Zoe Sharp: Kindle Store: "FOX FIVE is a collection of stories by the highly acclaimed crime thriller writer, Zoë Sharp. All feature her ex-Special Forces soldier turned self-defence expert and bodyguard, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox."

Sherlock Holmes' First Adventure Removed From School Sixth-Grade Reading List

Sherlock Holmes' First Adventure Removed From School Sixth-Grade Reading List: "Sherlock Holmes' first adventure has been removed from sixth-grade reading lists in a central Virginia county.

Brette Stevenson, a parent of a Henley Middle School student, had complained that 'A Study in Scarlet' is derogatory toward Mormons."

Hat tip to George Kelley.

Today's Vintage Ad

See if You Agree

Tom Perrotta, Francine Prose, and others on "great books" that aren't great

Link via SF Signal.


Shirley Jackson, Life Among the Savages, Perma Books, 1955

Feeling Old?

(PHOTOS): "Riley Keough, the 21-year-old daughter of Lisa Marie Presley (and, thus, granddaughter of King Elvis) has returned to the modeling game, striking a pose in double denim for Lee jean's new campaign."

Rick Klaw's Simian Cinema 2.0

Simian Cinema 2.0: The Streaming Edition: "In anticipation of the impending release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes I revised my 2003 ape films survey as Simian Cinema 2.0. Out of curiosity, I researched the streaming availability of the films mentioned. I referenced Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle, Hulu, Hulu Plus, and the Internet Archive. As a service to the Geek Curmudgeon faithful, I present my findings."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Feeling Safer Now?

The 12 Scariest TSA Stories of All Time

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston is North America’s Placemaking Capital

I'm Still Not Telling

New study shows that knowing spoilers doesn't ruin a story: "Many people live in fear of being 'spoiled' for a story by finding out the ending. But a new study by psychologists shows that people wound up liking stories better if they'd been told spoilers in advance."

Hat tip to George Kelley.

Geniuses Abroad

Top 5 'Jersey Shore' Cast Complaints About Italy

Seepy Benton Knew this Already

Batman Equation

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Forgotten Books: Happy New Year, Herbie & Other Stories -- Evan Hunter

It's a surprise to me to be writing (not for the first time) about something by Evan Hunter as a forgotten book. When I was a youth, Hunter was a big name, what with Blackboard Jungle coming out in the middle '50s. He was the guy everybody was talking about. The movie and the book were both big sensations, but Hunter was a writing machine. After that success, he kept on turning out paperback originals as Richard Marsten and Ed McBain and Curt Cannon and Hunt Collins. We now know that a bit later he was also writing softcore porn as Dean Hudson. Hunter was the name he reserved for his more serious work, including some of his short stories. Like the ones in this book.

There's quite a mixture here. A summer camp story, a suburban despair story, a crime story, a science fiction story, and others. All of them well done, because Hunter was a storyteller above all. Now, if he's not forgotten, he's well on the way to being forgotten, and most of his books are out of print. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does. If you'd like to take a look at the different kinds of things he could do, this little book wouldn't be a bad place to start.

‪All Through the Night


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free e-Book!

Smashwords - this letter to Norman Court - A book by Pablo D'Stair: "When petty crook Trevor English is offered two thousand dollars to deliver a letter across the country, the choice seems fairly simple—money up front, no way he can go wrong. And when he finds himself in possession of correspondence several parties would pay to get their hands on, the choice seems even simpler—take what he can, while he can, from who he can and disappear."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man, Angry About Lost Hat, Severely Beats Acquaintance |

"A Big Fan of Small" Dublin Dr Pepper Rally!


Dr Pepper Family Feud

Dr Pepper family feud erupts in Texas (video) - "There's a Dr Pepper feud in Texas that's leaving many with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, the parent company, is suing a small Dr. Pepper bottling company in Dublin, Texas.

The charge?

The Dublin bottler is violating its licensing deal and infringing on the trademark by selling a sugar cane sweetened version of the popular soft drink, and marketing it as 'Dublin Dr Pepper.'"

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass

The Course of True Love Never Runs Smooth

Man Cuffs Self To Woman Who Declined Dates | The Smoking Gun: "A Georgia man who has been pestering a female coworker at Taco Bell for a date handcuffed himself to the woman in a bizarre incident that landed him in shackles and facing a felony false imprisonment rap."

He Shot a Man in Reno

KTXL: "Inmates typically do not choose to return to prison once they are released, but Thursday morning officers at Folsom Prison were dealing with a former prisoner who snuck back on campus."

Just an aside here: We former English teachers recommend a six-year sentence in Folsom for people who use the word snuck unless those people are Dizzy Dean.

Win a Free Book!

Mystery Scene is giving away a free book to one Facebook follower a week for the rest of the summer, now through September 22, 2011! Just post your favorite read to the MS Wall. We'll choose one recommendation each week and send the winner a FREE BOOK.

So zip on over to the Mystery Scene FB Page, and tell us what you're reading!​yscene

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Cops: Woman beat girl for eyeing boyfriend: "A 24-year-old Connecticut woman is facing charges after police said she assaulted a 12-year-old girl the woman accused of eyeing her boyfriend."

Plesiosaur Update

The Raw Story: "A fossil of a prehistoric water reptile has an embryo inside, providing the first evidence that plesiosaurs gave birth to live offspring rather than laying eggs, a US study said Thursday."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention The Big Wink eBook: Steve Brewer: Books: "Misfit robbers attract the hot spotlight of the medical marijuana debate in THE BIG WINK, the new crime novel from veteran mystery author Steve Brewer.

Ray Bunch and his gang have been happily knocking over cannabis dispensaries for weeks around Redding, California, where all-but-legal marijuana has set off an economic Green Rush. But when prominent banker Kwanzaa DuPont gets shot during a holdup, media attention becomes focused on the hunt for the robbers.

The gang hides out among the growers, dopers and double-crossers of Northern California's Emerald Triangle, but the heat only worsens.

The cops and the city fathers hope the attention will interrupt the spread of medical marijuana. A pot advocate from Sacramento tries to use the shooting to promote full legalization. The Mexican crime cartel wants Ray's gang silenced. And the lead detective on the case wants to rekindle his childhood romance with Kwanzaa DuPont.

Full of colorful characters and Steve Brewer's usual twisted comedy, THE BIG WINK is more fun than beer bong."

Billy Grammer, R. I. P. "Services will be this weekend in southern Illinois for singer-songwriter and Grand Ole Opry member Billy Grammer.

Grammer was perhaps best known for his 1958 chart-topping hit 'Gotta Travel On.' He was 85 when he died Wednesday of natural causes at a hospital in his native Benton.

A singer and guitarist who also was a Nashville recording session musician, Grammer performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry beginning in 1959."

Hat tip to Jerry House.

Today's Vintage Ad

Harry Whittington, Cracker Girl, Stallion Books, no date

I don't know the story on this one. It seems to have been published at almost the same time as the Uni Books edition, and both say they're the first printing of an original novel.

That's Naval with an A "China Flexes Naval Muscle"

Crime Pays. A Lot. "The young Washington state man dubbed the Barefoot Bandit after a cross-country crime spree brought him folk outlaw status has reportedly signed a movie deal worth as much as $1.3 million with 20th Century Fox."

10 Big Movie Roles That Were Horribly Miscast

10 Big Movie Roles That Were Horribly Miscast

Letterman or Leno?

Letterman or Leno?

I got all 10 of these right without cheating. I have no idea what that means.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Has Paris Hilton's Feud with Lindsay Lohan Been Forgotten?

8 Most Famous Intellectual Feuds of All Time

Well, Duh

National Media Embarrassing Themselves in Texas

A Milestone, of Sorts

One day this week, though I'm not sure which one, this blog passed the 20,000 posts mark. I really do need to get a life.

John Wood, R. I. P.

John Wood, Actor Known for Nimbleness, Dies at 81 - "John Wood, a Tony Award-winning British stage actor known for his agile interpretations of playwrights from Shakespeare to Stoppard, died in England on Saturday. He was 81."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

‪Cabin In The Sky


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Great Story

Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller on Shine

Hat tip to Robbie Tinn.

Iowa Leads the Way

Heart attack snack: deep-fried butter on a stick

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Who made comedian Andy Borowitz's list of '50 Funniest' writers? - "Who almost made the list, but didn't?
Donald Westlake, 'who wrote the funniest crime novels, but they don't lend themselves to 10-page excerpts.'"

No Comment Department

Beach volleyball athletes to sport ads on bikini bottoms

Hat tip to Art Scott, who prefers to watch golf.

Some of You Will Get All These Right

Also Starring (A Classic Sitcom Quiz)

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

CBS Tampa: "A man accused of disgusting McDonald’s patrons by popping his pimples was under arrest after customer complaints led to a brief chase by officers."

Dougherty Gang Update

CBS News: "The Colorado State Patrol believes they've caught the fugitive Dougherty siblings after a high speed pursuit and crash near Walsenburg, roughly 90 miles south of Colorado Springs. The trio is wanted for crimes in Florida and Georgia."

Hat tip to Walter Satterthwait, who was totally not interested in the accompanying photos.

Some Great Covers Here

Retro Monsters on AbeBooks: "Shock! Horror! Terror! Time to get under the bed and cower. No, we're not talking about the evening news, but THE MONSTERS OF YESTERYEAR! Make no mistake, these fearsome brutes will terrify and stupefy you. Stay out of the water unless you want to come face to fins with The Monster Fish, or grapple with The Monster of the Lagoon, or let the Killer Crabs get the pinch on you, or worst of all....fall prey to The Slime Beast!"

The Adjustment -- Scott Phillips

WWII (the Big One) is over, and Wayne Ogden, the first-person narrator of The Adjustment, has returned home to Wichita, Kansas. He has a job as head of PR for Collins Aircraft, but he does little actual work. His real job is getting booze, whores, and drugs for his boss, Everett Collins. Sure, it's a great job, but Ogden has a wife, and there's a child on the way. He feels tied down by his responsibilities . As a supply sergeant in the army, he had lots of good things going for himself in the black market, and his side job as a pimp was bringing in even more money. Now he feels he's stagnating.

When threatening letters start to arrive, Ogden doesn't worry as much about them as you or I might, but then Ogden's not like most people. He's amoral. He goes about his killing, whoring, procuring, and everything else with a cheerful countenance and a glad heart. He just wishes he could be doing more of all those things.

Just about every character in The Adjustment is as despicable as Ogden. The world he lives in is full of losers, boozers, whores, and people who'd shoot their own mothers if the price was right. And it would be easy to get it right.

Phillips orchestrates all of this perfectly, and it's great reading if you like this kind of thing, as I know you do. It's like an old Gold Medal novel, but with more explicit sex.

One interesting thing. Be sure to read the jacket flap copy. Either whoever wrote it hadn't read the book, or someone's having us on. I report, you decide.

Apocalypse Now

"Jersey Shore" cast to nyuk it up in Stooges movie - Yahoo! News: "Apologies for not bringing this ridiculous bit of news to your attention sooner -- but the cast of MTV's 'Jersey Shore' will appear in the Farrelly Brothers' upcoming 'Three Stooges' reboot."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Enid Schantz, R.I.P.

This news isn't unexpected, but it's still very sad.

Mystery Fanfare: Enid Schantz, R.I.P.: "The Mystery Community lost one of its special people this morning. Enid Schantz, bookseller, book publisher (Rue Morgue), convention organizer, reviewer and wonderful person, succumbed to cancer early this morning. Enid and her husband Tom Schantz have been involved in the mystery community since 1970. They were awarded the Raven in 2001 by Mystery Writers of America for their contributions to the genre. Enid will be missed by all."

That Old Time Religion "The Mobile County Sheriff's Office is investigating a bizarre case out of St. Elmo, after a church pastor was tased and a woman was stabbed during a fight.

It happened at the New Welcome Baptist Church after Sunday service."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Vintage Ad

Today's Comic Strip

Non SequiturLink


Harry Whittington, Cracker Girl, Uni Books, 1953

A-List Time Travel: Your Favorite Celebrities Re-Imagined In Different Eras

A-List Time Travel: Your Favorite Celebrities Re-Imagined In Different Eras

The very first portrait is a classic for the ages.

Today's Western Movie Poster

From Another Era: 10 Luxury Trains Around the World Slideshow

From Another Era: 10 Luxury Trains Around the World Slideshow

7 Gross Foods That Are Actually Good For You

7 Gross Foods That Are Actually Good For You

The 5 Most Annoying Airline Passengers

The 5 Most Annoying Airline Passengers

And Keep Off Her Lawn!

Judo master makes 10th degree black belt: "After 98 years, the phone call finally came.

Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt."

A Job I Never Knew Existed: Water Sommelier

SPIEGEL ONLINE: "Should you drink Tasmanian rainwater with your Riesling? Or would Norwegian spring water be the perfect thing to cleanse your palate between courses? Germany's water sommelier will offer you tips about gourmet H20."

10 Most Memorable Movie Scenes That Took Place in a Car

10 Most Memorable Movie Scenes That Took Place in a Car

‪Phantom of the Opera


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: If You Only Knew :: John Stickney

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Boulder Daily Camera: "Boulder police arrested a 31-year-old homeless man Sunday night after a witness said he hit a man on the head with a 2-foot-long wooden club after the man refused to give him money ."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Family-Style Thriller "A thrill-seeking Florida stripper and her AK-47-toting siblings on a multistate crime spree yesterday ignored their heartsick mother's plea to give themselves up, authorities said.

The mom's appeal came as the FBI launched a nationwide manhunt for alleged 'Dougherty Gang' bank robbers Lee Grace Dougherty, a 26-year-old exotic dancer; her brother Ryan Dougherty, 21; and their half-brother, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26."

Uh-Oh "The classic 1987 film 'Dirty Dancing' is getting a remake, adding songs from the 1960s and brand new compositions to some of the original music, film studio Lionsgate said on Monday."

D. B. Cooper Update

DNA not a match for latest tip to ID skyjacker in 1971

No Comment Department

Police urge holster use after man shoots his own penis

The Bugaboo Review -- Sue Sommer

This is a neat little book to have around if you're sometimes confused about spelling, pronunciation, which of two similar-sounding words to use, and a good many other related things. It's practical, it's clear, it's concise, and it's a handy size, too.

Sue Sommer is a teacher who began what eventually became this book as a list of things that would help her students. Their parents and friends requested copies, and soon others heard about it. If you've lost your college handbook or if you've wished for something like this, you can't go wrong here. Highly recommended.

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Woman Accused Of Attacking Diner - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "A waiter said Tashica Harris, 32, was not happy with the food or the service she received.

'I don't know what's wrong with her,' manager Melina Vasquez said. 'She just kind of went crazy.'"

If You're Wondering What It's Like In Texas, . . .

News from The Associated Press: "As the state struggles with the worst one-year drought in its history, entire ecosystems, from the smallest insects to the largest predators, are struggling for survival. The foundations of their habitats - rivers, springs, creeks, streams and lakes - have turned into dry sand, wet mud, trickling springs or, in the best case, large puddles."


John W. Campbell, Jr., Editor, The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology, Berkley, 1964

Using the Word "Best" Loosely

Best of the body-swap movies

Why Is It Always Snakes?

Suspect armed with a snake: "Police in Trenton, New Jersey, charge a man threatened officers with a snake."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

No Comment Department

10 Hobbies Destroyed by Technology

Today's Western Movie Poster

You Know You Want 'em!


A Review and an Interview!

Book 'em Benj-O: The Wild Hog Murders – Bill Crider

How to Encourage Conservation

KTVB.COM Boise: "United Water Idaho wants more money, and company officials say a big reason they need it is because customers are using less water. This week, the company filed for a rate increase from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. They want nearly a 20% increase for residential and commercial customers."

I've Visited Two of Them

6 Ancient Things That Were Probably Built By Aliens - Topless Robot: "Okay, I'm going to straight up tell you I might be lying with the title of this daily list. Because these structures (all real) that I'm going to list may have been built by aliens but they may also have been built by ancient peoples with technologies that were influenced by aliens, mostly because we can't figure out how they did it. At all."

Soon to Be a Kraft Instant Dinner

Car crushed under tonnes of instant noodles

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Forgotten Films: Pulp

Walter Satterthwait suggested this one. No trailer was available, so I posted the opening scenes. That's okay. They're fun.

Caine, who's very good, as always, is a hack writer who uses such pen names as O. R. Gann, Lez Behan, and Guy Strange. When he's asked to ghost the autobiography of a deported movie star and gangster, played by Mickey Rooney, he finds himself involved in a real crime story.

It's all pretty loosey-goosey, and the fun is in the journey, as they say, and not necessarily in the destination. That's not to say everything's not wrapped up. It is, but that's not the real point. The real point, to me, was getting to see Mickey Rooney prance around in his tightie-whities. Okay, maybe not. The real point was getting to see Robert Sacchi do a Bogart joke. Okay, maybe not. The real point was getting to see Nadia Cassini in hot pants. Okay, maybe not. The real point was getting to hear Lizbeth Scott's voice again. Okay, maybe not. The real point was the terrific scenery of the Isle of Malta. Or the line about Ross Macdonald. Or . . . okay, you probably know by now that while there were lots of things to enjoy, the plot wasn't one of them. Just go with it and see what you think. You can stream it from Netflix.



Monday, August 08, 2011

Chupacabra Update

Mystery roadkill in Minnesota has experts baffled: "Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials have been unable to identify a mystery carcass found in Douglas County with certainty, prompting further investigation.

The dead white mammal was spotted this week on a Douglas County road with five claws, dark tufts of hair on its back and head and long toenails."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Marshall Grant, R. I. P.

iWon News: "Marshall Grant, a longtime member of country music superstar Johnny Cash's original backing band, The Tennessee Two, died in Arkansas after falling ill after rehearsing for a concert to raise funds for the restoration of Cash's boyhood home. He was 83."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

And Stay off His Lawn!

Elderly man tells deputies he has vandalized utility poles for six years: "Investigators initially believed SLA stood for Symbionese Liberation Army, a radical 1970s group that gained fame by kidnapping newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. Hearst eventually joined the group in robbing a San Francisco bank in 1974.

However, neighbors told deputies and ABC Action News that SLA actually stood for Sane People Liberated Army. It's the group Wesley claims will take over the United States after the country falls into financial ruin."


EXCLUSIVE: Jason Momoa Writing a 'Conan' Sequel | CraveOnline: "Jason Momoa: It will mostly be... It's character-adapted, because I really want to get into more of the mythical creatures, you know?"

The Little Professor Sees a Movie and Makes a Discovery

The Little Professor: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Nancy Wake, R. I. P.

BBC News - Australia WWII heroine Nancy 'White Mouse' Wake dies: "After the fall of France in 1940, Mrs Wake became a French Resistance courier and later a saboteur and spy - setting up escape routes and sabotaging German installations, saving hundreds of Allied lives.

She worked for British Special Operations and was parachuted into France in April 1944 before D-Day to deliver weapons to French Resistance fighters.

At one point, she was top of the Gestapo's most wanted list.

'Freedom is the only thing worth living for. While I was doing that work, I used to think it didn't matter if I died, because without freedom there was no point in living,' Wake once said of her wartime exploits.

It was only after the liberation of France that she learned her husband, French businessman Henri Fiocca, had been tortured and killed by the Gestapo for refusing to give her up."

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention West Texas Tales (9781609493295): Mike Cox: Books: "Writer-historian Mike Cox has been sharing Texas history and folklore for four decades, telling tales that have been overlooked or forgotten through the years. Travel to El Paso during the 'Big Blow' of 1895, brave the frontier with Elizabeth Russell Baker and stare down the infamous killer known as Old Three Toe. From frontier stories and ghost towns to famous folks and accounts of everyday life, this collection of West Texas Tales has it all."

Today's Vintage Ad

New Discussion at Top Suspense

Top Suspense Group: INSIDE TOP SUSPENSE: Writing the Bad Guy

I'm leading off, so click the link and leave a comment if you're so inclined. Thanks.


Richard Foster (Kendall Foster Crossen), Blonde and Beautiful, Popular Library, 1955

Francesco Quinn, R. I. P.

Actor Francesco Quinn dead at age 48; 'Glades', 'YNR' actor died while running with son: "Actor Francesco Quinn, the son of legendary actor Anthony Quinn, has died at age 48.

Quinn, a respected film and television actor, was running with his son Max near his home in Malibu when he collapsed from an apparent heart attack.

Neighbors attempted to revive him but their efforts were unsuccessful. Quinn was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to Malibu Patch."

How Many Have You Seen?

Essential Top 20 Films - The Spaghetti Western Database

I suspect Fred Blosser's seen 'em all.
Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Today's Western Movie Poster

10 Action Stars that Actually Fought Competitively

10 Action Stars that Actually Fought Competitively

I Made a Doorstop from a Brick Once "Barbecue tanks, TV antennas, swimming pool walls, apple juice cans, farm gates, rebar, floor mop handles. Put it together and what have you got — a pile of junk?

Not in Ian Baron’s hands. Try life-size replicas of old fighter planes. Four in total, all made from recycled bits and pieces."

Photo at the link.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Forbes: "First, she won $5.4 million; then a decade later, she won $2 million; then two years later $3 million; and finally, in the spring of 2008, she hit a $10 million jackpot.

The odds of this? One in eighteen septillion."

10 Memorable Ads that Defined a Generation

10 Memorable Ads that Defined a Generation

‪Fort Apache The Bronx


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Check it Out!

Life, Death and Fog: OLD GOLD — Bill Crider's Truman Smith, Texas Private Eye Goes Digital

A Review of Interest (to Me, Anyway)

Jerry's House of Everything: THE WILD HOG MURDERS

Top 10 Best (and 5 Worst) Superhero Costumes On Film

Top 10 Best (and 5 Worst) Superhero Costumes On Film

Link via SF Signal.

Today's Vintage Ad

5 Unfairly Derided Action Sci-Fi Flicks

5 Unfairly Derided Action Sci-Fi Flicks

Link via SF Signal.

Lawn? Who Cares?

Meet the 99-year-old video game master | Games Blog - Yahoo! Games: "Japanprobe caught up with the 99-year-old gamer, who got hooked on the hobby at the tender age of 73 when her grandkids brought home a copy of the action/puzzle classic Bomberman for the NES (technically the Famicon, the Japanese version of the system.) Narisawa was intrigued, gave it a shot, and has been playing it for several hours a day since."


Leigh Brackett, Rio Bravo, Bantam, 1959

And Keep off My Lawn!

The BucketsLink

Afterthoughts -- Lawrence Block

One evening in 1966, Judy and I were out and about in Austin, Texas, for reasons that are no longer clear to me. We stopped at a little convenience store to pick up something or other (Dr Pepper? A Snickers bar? I can't remember.) In those days, there were no gas pumps in front of convenience stores, but inside nearly every one of them there was a spinner rack of paperback books. Now there are gas pumps but no spinner racks, a sorry trade-off if you ask me, but then no one did. No one ever does. Where was I? Oh, yes, the spinner rack. I could never walk past a spinner rack without spinning it and looking at every paperback on it. On this one there was a book called The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep by someone named Lawrence Block. I didn't know who Lawrence Block was, but this was a Gold Medal book, and that was good enough for me. I got whatever it was I'd gone into the store for, put the book with it, paid, and left. When I got home, I started reading the book. By the time I'd finished it, I knew that I'd be picking up every book I saw by this Block fellow, and I've pretty much followed that rule ever since.

Here's an example. Some years later I was looking through one of those remainder catalogs that used to appear in my mail with considerable regularity, and I saw a listing for a book called Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man. The listing was in pretty small print, and they apparently didn't have space for the author's whole name, which was listed only as "L. Block." Could it be? I wondered. Well, the book was only a buck, so I figured it was worth the risk. I ordered it, and sure enough, it was by the right guy. Read it, loved it, still have it. I think it's a collectible item these days. I should've bought more copies.

I could go on in this vein, but I won't. I'm supposed to be writing about Afterthoughts, so I guess I'd better get to it. This is a collection of the various afterwords that Block has been writing for the e-book reissues of many of his novels. Since I always read the afterword first when I read anybody's book, I'm the exact target audience for this one. I'm always curious about the life and times of writers I admire and whose work I enjoy, and in these afterwords Block talks a lot about his life and the circumstances of the writing of each book. Again, I'm the target audience. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading Afterwords, and if you're anything like me, you will, too. In addition to the afterwords, there's also a brief biographical chapter and a number of photographs.

Plus, it's only 99 cents, a penny less than I paid for Ronald Rabbit all those years ago. Two of the best bargains I ever ran across.

Doesn't Smell Like Teen Spirit

Outside The Wire – Slap on some Patton, the Army’s official cologne: "Do men want to smell like Gen. George S. Patton?

The U.S. Army is banking on it. It’s licensed an official fragrance called “Patton” by Parfumologie."

Today's Western Movie Poster

15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Maybe This Explains Congress

Mail Online: "We've invented penicillin, space shuttles, computers and even artificial hearts, among many other wonders. So where will human intelligence go from here?

The answer, if certain scientists are correct, is nowhere."

I Have a Feeling Some of You Are Going to Question the Meaning of "Gems"

The underappreciated gems that Steven Spielberg produced

‪Fort Apache