Friday, June 03, 2016

Glare of the Gorgon -- Will Murray

Will Murray is back with another Wild Adventure of Doc Savage.  With the announcement that Shane Black will be writing the screenplay for Doc Savage movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, we might be seeing a resurgence of interest in the character that Murray's been doing so much to keep alive in this new series.  

This time around Doc, Monk, Ham, and Long Tom are involved with a modern Medusa, one who communicates in a disembodied voice, kills, and leaves behind a mysterious symbol much like the one on the book's cover.  The killing doesn't result of people being turned to stone.  Well, not entirely.  Their brains are turned to stone almost instantly, though, and that's a pretty effective way to kill someone.

There are plenty of mysteries in the story.  How can a brain be turned to stone?  Who's behind the deaths?  How can a man whose brain is turned to stone be brought back to life?  And of course the big one:  Who is the gorgon?  Even Doc seems baffled.

The narrative this time is about four times the length of an old Lester Dent tale.  There's action galore, with gunfights, kidnappings, car chases, and general mayhem.  Long Tom alone is tied up, beaten up, and whacked in the head enough times to give even the toughest hardboiled private-eye pause.  If you're a Doc Savage fan or a fan of fiction in the style of the old pulps in general, Glare of the Gorgon will give you a lot of reading satisfaction.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Miami Herald: Florida man nicknamed Pork Chop tries to bury boss with front-end loader, cops say

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 10 Funniest Books

To be fair, the headline is misleading.  The writer just says, "Here are ten funny books."

Song of the Day

The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget by the Raindrops 1963 - YouTube:

I Was Going to Post This Yesterday, but I Forgot

The 10 Memory Tricks Backed By Science 

Today's Vintage Ad

Meet the Father of Modern Space Art

Meet the Father of Modern Space Art: Chesley Bonestell knew what he was doing.


David Goodis, The Burglar, Lion, 1953

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Law enforcement groups train by looking at works of art: SAN ANTONIO - Members of San Antonio law enforcement agencies spent Tuesday training at the McNay Art Museum. The training is called the Art of Perception, and by looking at works of art, participants learn to broaden their vision to think outside the box.

I Miss the Old Days

Wonder Woman: S2E11 | Retrospace

Vintage Treasures: The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Vintage Treasures: The People of the Mist by H. Rider Haggard

Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago Today ...

Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago Today ...

FFB: Chuck Berry: The Autobiography

Chuck Berry says at the beginning of the book that there is no ghost writer involved.  These are his words, and he typed them himself.  Read the book, and you'll believe it.  It's full of alliteration, rhymes, and rhythm.  It's not polished, but that's fine.  It's like good rock 'n' roll, a little rough around the edges, and even in the middle.

It's also frank and open about Berry's times in prison, all three of them.  Maybe a little slanted in his favor, but he doesn't try to cover anything up.  There was less here about his music than I wanted to know, but there's plenty about his sex life.  Not enough to satisfy Berry, though.  At the end of the book, he promises that he's going to write another one that's about nothing else except his sex life.  Since this one was published in 1987 and there's been nothing since, I guess the rest of his sex life will remain a secret.  That's okay.  He tells plenty here, and the story that interested me most was the one about his affair with Candace Mossler, who was involved in a famous Texas murder trial that I read a book or two about years ago.  I sure didn't know that she and Berry had been an item, or at least a hookup.  

It was during his third stint in prison that Berry started writing this book, and he tells a good bit about improving his typing and about the word processors he used to finish the book with once he got out.

While I found the book really interesting for its information of Berry the man, I would've liked a little more about his touring, about his recording, about his early work with Chess records.  Still, I'd recommend the book if you're interested in Berry's work.  It's fascinating and entertaining, and you can't ask for much more than that.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

I've Been Saying This for Years

Texas is Losing The War on Feral Hogs  

Hat tip to Seepy Benton.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Villager arrested in fight with woman over seat at town square  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New EQMM Podcast In this month's podcast, Russell W. Johnson reads his Department of First Stories tale "Chung Ling Soo's Greatest Trick," which won the Mystery Writers of America's Robert L. Fish Award for Best First Short Story by an American author.

What is it about me?

Many and many a year ago when we were living in Brownwood, Texas, one of our cars was giving some transmission trouble, so I took it to Chubby's Transmission Repair.  I figured I couldn't go wrong with a guy named Chubby, but several days later I hadn't heard a word about the repair.  So I gave Chubby a call.  The guy who answered said, "Chubby hasn't been able to work.  He cut a couple of his fingers off while he was repairing your transmission."  I did eventually get the car back, and it worked okay.  I don't know if there were any fingers in the transmission, however.

Not so many years ago, we decided to get storm windows installed on our house here in Alvin.  It was to be a one-day job, and a husband-and-wife team came early in the morning to get started.  Before half the windows were installed, the wife rang the doorbell.  I went to see what she wanted, and she said, "My husband just almost cut his finger off.  I'm going to take him to the E.R.  We'll be back tomorrow and finish the job."  Sure enough, they did come back and finish.  Did a good job, too, but I felt bad about the guy's finger.

Today I'm having a new washing machine delivered and installed.  I was given a four-hour window, from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.  At 12:30 I got a call from the installation people.  The woman who called said, "Your delivery might be a little late.  The installer cut the top of his finger off while making an earlier delivery.  He's leaving the E.R. now to start catching up."

If there's a lesson in all of this, it's not for me, I suppose.  However, anybody thinking about doing some work for me might want to think twice. 

I Found a Tattered Old Paperback

Secret German WW2 code machine found on eBay

Song of the Day


First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Memphis man charged with trying to kill former coworker with forklift: A 27-year-old Memphis man faces charges of attempted second-degree murder and vandalism after he allegedly tried to run over a former co-worker with a forklift and, after failing at that, used the vehicle to flip the victim's SUV.

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot

Scientists Discover Sunken World War II Aircraft and Airmen

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Things We Learned About Crocs

10 Things We Learned About Crocs From AMNH's New Exhibition


Jane Manning, Reefer Girl, Cameo Books, 1953

15 Facts About Clint Eastwood to Make Your Day

15 Facts About Clint Eastwood to Make Your Day

Question of the Day

How Did The Eagles' 'Greatest Hits' Become the Best-Selling Album of the 20th Century?

Vintage Treasures: Green Magic: The Fantasy Realms of Jack Vance

Vintage Treasures: Green Magic: The Fantasy Realms of Jack Vance

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: Review: "Survivors Will Be Shot Again: A Dan Rhodes Mystery" by Bill Crider

I Want to Believe!

Beyond Roswell: 6 Other Historical UFO Sightings

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

But he looks so harmless . . . .

Horned Arizona Man, 53, Arrested For Bloody Knife Attack On His Wife

The Most Alluring Women of 17th Century England

What the Most Alluring Women of 17th Century England Looked Like

Song of the Day

Dave Clark 5 - Try Too Hard (stereo) - YouTube:

“In Defense of Dan Brown and Bad Sentences” (by Michael Noll)

“In Defense of Dan Brown and Bad Sentences” (by Michael Noll) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: Michael Noll debuted in EQMM in the July 2015 issue with “The Tank Yard,” a story that was subsequently selected for the 2016 volume of Best American Mystery Stories. He is the program director at the Writers’ League of Texas and the editor of the craft-of-writing blog Read to Write Stories. His short fiction has also appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Chattahoochee Review, Indiana Review, and The New Territory. His book In the Beginning, Middle, and End: A Field Guide for Writing Fiction is due out next year. In this post he takes a critical look at the work of one of the most popular thriller writers of our time and shares some of the advice he gives his writing students.—Janet Hutchings

Today's Vintage Ad

8 Album Covers Designed By Phil Hartman

8 Album Covers Designed By Legendary Comedian Phil Hartman


Day Keene, Naked Fury, Phantom Books, 1952

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

39 Movies That Are Better Than The Book

That's Some Mighty Fine Police Work There, Lou

Officer finds 911 caller, now both lost in woods 

Looking for Vacation Excitement this Summer?

Wood tick racing: It’s a thing in Loretta in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, and it’s taken very seriously!

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton models patriotic colours in red and blue as she jets out of Los Angeles  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Mama June: I'm Going On A Strip Tour! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Daily Mail Online: Vicious brawl erupts between two middle-aged couples outside Costco after a fight over a parking spot spills out of control

Plots with Guns Is Back

You can read the latest issue for free right here: PWG

Jan Crouch, R. I. P.

Fox News: Televangelist Jan Crouch, who co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network with her husband more than four decades ago, died Tuesday just days after she suffered a stroke, her family said on the network's website

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot

'Truly Miraculous' Find: the Original Alamo?  

Hat tip to Deb.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time Devlin And Johnny Forever eBook: Peter Brandvold: Kindle Store  Devlin had retreated to her family’s cabin in the Georgia woods to be alone with her thoughts. She’d had a tough time of it, breaking up with Johnny Bascomb after enduring his verbal and physical abuse, after losing their baby.

But when Devlin hears screams of bloody murder originating from the woods across the pond, she heads out to investigate and finds herself being hunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier, freshly home from the Civil War...

30 Peanuts quotes for everyday use

“You stupid darkness!” and 29 other Peanuts quotes for everyday use

Song of the Day

Janis Joplin Piece Of My Heart HQ - YouTube:

Some Forgotten Movies

Vintage Trash: Producers Releasing Corporation, the Poorest of Hollywood’s Poverty Row

Today's Vintage Ad

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas road signs hacked to warn ‘Donald Trump is a shape-shifting lizard’


Reed McCary, Sleep with the Devil, Original Novels, 1952

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Sausage-wielding gang attacks vegan cafe

Gator Update (Summer Job Edition)

Summer job: Being good with people (and gators) 

Famous people hanging out together

Surprising historical photographs of famous people hanging out together

Michael Dann, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Michael Dann, one of the most powerful and effective programmers in network television in the 1950s and 1960s, who brought “The Defenders,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “60 Minutes” to the screen, as well as less prestigious but enormously popular shows like “Hee Haw” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” died on Friday at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 94.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Overlooked Movies -- Vibes

Here we go again with another of those movies that nobody likes but me.  Judy and I went to see this one in the theater because of the stars.  We figured we couldn't go wrong with Cyndi Lauper, Jeff Goldblum, and Peter Falk, and we were right.  At least for us.  Not for the critics, and probably not for anybody else.  We loved it, though.

One reason was Cyndi Lauper, who plays a psychic who has a spirit guide named Louise.  Another reason was Goldblum, who's also a psychic, but of a different kind.  He can touch an object and its whole history will be revealed to him.  A third reason was Falk, who's great as a duplicitous adventurer, a role that echoes his work in The In-Laws  He comes up with some lies that are almost as good here, or maybe they're even better.  He hires Lauper and Goldblum to accompany him to the Ecuadorean Andes to search for his missing son, but his real purpose is quite different.  He's looking for a lost city of gold.  I can't resist lost cities of gold, but that's not what they find.  I can't tell what that is, though.

There was a twist in this movie that I didn't expect and didn't like until the end, when it all turned out all right.  I can say no more about that, either.

I checked out the Rotten Tomatoes rating for Vibes.  It's sitting at 6%.  This tells you a lot about my taste in movies.


Vibes Trailer 1988 - YouTube:

Monday, May 30, 2016

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Gang armed with gun, machetes and baseball bats attack barber shop over 'bad haircut': Six yobs smashed windows before trashing an Alpha Romeo parked outside following a year-long feud sparked by a haircut one of them didn't like

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot

Siberian fisherman accidentally nets 4,000-year-old pagan god

Song of the Day

The Statler Brothers... "More than a Name on a Wall" 1989 (With Lyrics) wmv - YouTube:

Archaeology Update

70 Hidden Cave Paintings From 14,500 Years Ago

Today's Vintage Ad

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Best Burger in All 50 States


Lois Bull, Virgin by Day, Magazine Village, 1948

What you need to know about the iconoclastic Harlan Ellison

Author, author: What you need to know about the iconoclastic Harlan Ellison

I Miss the Old Days

TV Guide #17: April 14-20, 1979 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Great art is timeless:
City of Sugar Land criticized for newly erected statue: One of the most recent statues installed is a guitar player sitting on the ledge of a fountain. The other statue is of two girls taking a selfie with City Hall in the background.

Or Maybe You Did

Memorial Day Facts 2016: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Holiday Originally Called Decoration Day

It's Memorial Day!

In Flanders Field, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Gator Update (Golf Edition)

Giant alligator roams golf course in Florida   

Great photo at the link.

Meet ‘Deadshot Mary’

Meet ‘Deadshot Mary,’ a 1930s Undercover Cop Superstar: How one NYC policewoman became a media sensation.

Song of the Day

Edwin Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day (1969) - YouTube:

Forgotten Hits: SWEET 16 - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Forgotten Hits: SWEET 16 - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Today's Vintage Ad

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in review 


Albert L. Quandt, Pick-up!, Carnival Books, 1954

John D and Me: Lonnie Brown

John D and Me: Lonnie Brown

I Want to Believe!

Dayton couple capture video footage of 'UFO' close to US military base in Ohio  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


The World's Most Valuable Children's Books - Do You Have One?