Saturday, July 08, 2006

No Comment Department - Website sells sex toys but only to believers: "Website sells sex toys but only to believers
Mother of 2 runs it from her home Hot item: pleather vibrating panties
Jul. 8, 2006. 01:00 AM

NEW YORK — Condoms. Lube. Vibrating panties. All are part of Joy Wilson's mission to better serve the Christian community."

I'm Sure You'll all Want to Read this Article

'I get insecure sometimes'

She's a socialite, model, TV star, actor, author, entrepreneur ... now, as Paris Hilton gets ready to add pop star to the list, she talks frankly to Simon Hattenstone about Nicole Richie, that home video and why she plans on being celibate for a year

Saturday July 8, 2006
The Guardian

Paris Hilton
'Hilton appears to have the ditziness of Monroe and the business acumen of Madonna' ... Paris Hilton. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty

Meet Felix the Cat

When Felix showed up in the neighborhood, he was in pretty bad shape. I couldn't decide if he'd been thrown from a moving car or just run over by one. Most of the fur on top of his head was missing, one eye was swollen shut, and there was a severe cut on the inside of one of his back legs. He wouldn't let anybody get near him, and I wasn't sure he'd survive. I put food out for him in the garage anyway, and he sneaked in at night and ate. After a while he started showing up in the daytime, and I was able to coax him into the house for short periods of time. Eventually he started to trust me, so I was able to get him into a carrier and take him to visit the vet, who neutered him (that'll teach him to trust me!), worked on his eye, and gave him some shots. The eye was the real problem, but after a couple more trips to the vet, Felix can now open the eye and see pretty well from it. As you can tell, the fur's grown back on his head. The scar on his leg is so bad that probably nothing will grow there again, but that's okay. As you can also tell, Felix has made himself at home with us. He's gained a lot of weight, and he's looking good. Our other two cats aren't pleased, but it looks like Felix is here to stay.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Commenters to this Blog would Never Lie about This

Life and Health | Fashion and style | Flower power, love-ins - and lies: "Martin Wainwright
Friday July 7, 2006
The Guardian

History records that it was the Swinging Sixties. A decade that included the summer of love, the Beatles, hippies and outrageous drug-taking.

And if it ever seemed odd that everyone who was around at the time seemed to be indulging in all of the above, a survey today reveals why.

Fibs. Lots of them.

Parents who have been trying to impress their children have resorted to exaggeration and outright lies over what they did during the flower power decade. Claims of liberated teenage years at love-ins and being at live Beatles gigs have led to the coining of a new phrase - generational gazumping - to describe 50-somethings desperately trying to appear cool."

Wild Thing -- Mike Harrison

Was there ever a more apt title than this one? If so, I can't think of it. Mike Harrison's Wild Thing is the second novel about Calgary p.i. Eddie Dancer, and it's nothing if not wild. It has a newly discovered manuscript by Franz Anton Mesmer (written in old Italian), a serial killer whose method involves crushing his victims' heads, a best-selling writer on tour, paparazzi, underground tunnels, Newgate Prison records, and a strong woo-woo factor (reincarnation). While Dancer is based in Calgary, the novel's setting is England, so there's a bit of the fish-out-of-water appeal, too. And all of this in a novel not much longer than an old Gold Medal original. This, of course, is just the way I like it: stripped-down prose, a fast-moving story, and a likeable first-person narrator. Check it out.

Ed Gorman Returns to Mystery*File

Ed Gorman Rambles: 7 July 2006: "A year or so before he was diagnosed with cancer, Evan Hunter seemed intrigued by my idea of doing a massive collection of some of his earliest tales. Intrigued enough, anyway, to have somebody make copies of sixty-some stories and send them to me.

The stories covered virtually every pulp genre – crime, western, adventure, science fiction, horror – done under seven or eight pen-names. "

Check out the whole essay/review at the link.

Get Well Soon, Roger Ebert!

I like reading Roger Ebert's movie reviews even when I don't agree with them. Ebert was a well-known science fiction fan in the 1950s (Ed Gorman was acquainted with him then), and his letters appeared in letter columns in magazines like Amazing Stories and others. That's another reason I like him. I wish him a very speedy recovery.

Film critic Roger Ebert improving - Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert was improvin...: "CHICAGO, July 5 (UPI) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert was improving Wednesday after being hospitalized in Chicago last weekend for emergency surgery, his wife said.

Ebert, 64, was in serious condition following an operation to repair a burst blood vessel stemming from cancer surgery last month, the Chicago Sun-Times said.

Doctors removed a cancerous growth from his salivary gland on June 16.

'I'm happy to report that Roger is in stable condition and is improving each day,' Chaz Ebert said. 'He has an excellent medical team ... and they're optimistic about his recovery.'"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mystery*File Update

This just in from Steve Lewis: I've recently posted a belated birthday salute by J. Kingston Pierce to James M. Cain, author of novels such classic novels as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and many others. (Cain was born on July 1st.)

As part of this tribute is a complete bibliography of Cain's novels and story collections, plus reviews of four of his books by Max Allan Collins and Bill Pronzini, nor should I forget to mention the usual abundance of cover images.

I Can Remember when this Format Wasn't Such a Novelty

Vintage Hits the Decks for 'Pirates' - 7/6/2006 - Publishers Weekly: "When Gideon Defoe's cheeky, well-received pirate novels, The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists and The Pirates! In an Adventure With Ahab, were ready for to be published in paperback, the publicity team at Vintage thought the books deserved a special rollout. Published by Pantheon in hardcover in October 2004, the books, which Vintage editor-in-chief Marty Asher describes as 'Monty Python meets Moby Dick,' are being packaged together as a novelty '2-in-1' paperback. (With each title claiming as its front cover one side of the book, described further by Vintage as a 'flippable' paperback, the text is legible by turning the book over.) They're also being accommpanied by a large pirate-themed release party in New York and a well-publicized writing contest. Why all the hoop-la?"

Be There or Be Square!

The Austin Chronicle: Books: Solving ConMisterio: "Solving ConMisterio
A preview

With SXSW, ACL, and the last KKK microdemonstration, Austin needs another convention like a hole in the head, right? Well, ConMisterio is a convention for people who just can't seem to write or read enough about holes in heads – bullet holes, that is, along with an endless variety of other means of sudden exit from the planet.

Loosely modeled after the fabulously successful Bouchercon (going on its 37th year), ConMisterio convenes for its second annual gathering July 14-16 at the DoubleTree. It will feature the usual author discussion panels, author readings, a banquet, a dealer room, and creative loafing opportunities. (Full disclosure: I'll be one of the authors attending the convention and promoting work, but I'd be writing this even if I weren't.)"

Competitive Eating Update #5

New York Daily News - Home - Few extra bites: "Few extra bites

His 53 dogs long gone, champ has a real meal


Takeru Kobayashi, 28, after winning the Nathan's Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.
After all that, he was still hungry.

A day after downing a record-breaking 53 and 3/4 hot dogs and buns, Takeru Kobayashi polished off a 22-oz. steak, salad and slice of cheesecake.

'This is the best steak I have ever eaten,' Kobayashi, 28, told the Daily News through a translator as he tore into the slab of medium-rare New York strip steak yesterday afternoon. 'It's better than Kobe beef.'

In no time flat, the Japanese chowhound was gnawing at the bone.

'He polished it,' said an awestruck Tom Hart, general manager of Smith & Wollensky at E. 49th St. and Third Ave. 'It was amazing.'"

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the tip.

Even Bush's Feces & Urine Are Classified Top Secret

Even Bush's Feces & Urine Are Classified Top Secret: "The White House flew in a special portable toilet to Vienna for Bush's personal use during his visit. The Bush White House is so concerned about Bush's security, the veil of secrecy extends over the president's bodily excretions. The special port-a-john captured Bush's feces and urine and flew the waste material back to the United States in the event some enterprising foreign intelligence agency conducted a sewage pipe operation designed to trap and examine Bush's waste material."

Happy Birthday to the Duke of Earl!

Or, as you may know him, Gene Chandler. If you just can't wait to hear the song again, click here. You'll be sent to Chandler's website, and the song will be playing. One of the greats. Turn up the volume.

Today in Rock & Roll History

In the comments a couple of guys mention having seen the Beatles in concert. So here's today's R&R trivia in their honor (thanks to The Writers Almanac):

It was on this day in 1957 that two teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met at a church dance in Liverpool, England.

The biggest event in John Lennon's neighborhood every summer was a party and dance held by St. Peter's parish church. There was a carnival and a parade with decorated floats, and that event was held on this day in 1957. John Lennon, with a little maneuvering, had gotten The Quarrymen a place in the parade, playing their music from atop one of the floats, and they also had an invitation to play at the dance afterwards.

The float The Quarrymen played on brought up the rear of the parade, and they attracted a large group of teenagers. One of the teenagers was a kid from a different high school named Paul McCartney. He had hoped to pick up girls at the church dance, and so he had ridden his bicycle over from his neighborhood.

In the audience, Paul McCartney was impressed by John's singing, and by the way John seemed to be challenging everyone in the room to a fight. After the performance, Paul went over to meet this guy. Paul and John were introduced, but they didn't hit it off until Paul mentioned that he played guitar, and he knew how to tune one. None of the other boys had learned how to do that yet. They'd all been forced to ask local musicians to tune their guitars for them.

John was even more impressed that Paul knew the lyrics of recent rock and roll songs. John could never remember lyrics, which was why he often made up new ones while he was singing. Paul volunteered to write out the lyrics for the song "Be Bop a Lula" for John, and the two became fast friends. By 1959, they were calling themselves The Beatles.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Not Sure this is Good News

ROME (AFP) - Veteran sex symbol Sofia Loren, first featured on magazine covers half a century ago, will appear for next year's Pirelli calendar dressed up only in diamond earrings.

The voluptuous Italian screen legend, who will celebrate her 72nd birthday on September 20, joins a galaxy of international female stars posing in the nude for the 2007 cult calendar, the Italian magazine Gente (People) reported Wednesday.

Others include Spain's Penelope Cruz, Britain's Naomi Watts, US star Hilary Swank and France's Lou Doillon, the daughter of singer-actress Jane Birkin.

The calendar portraits of Loren taken by Dutch photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Winoodh Matadin are "very beautiful and will add to the myth of La Loren," said Loren's close friend Silvia Damiani, one of the privileged few to have already caught a glimpse of the latest Loren revelations.

Today in Rock & Roll History

1954 - Elvis Presley's first commercial recording session took place in Memphis, TN. He recorded "That's All Right (Mama)" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

Under the Table at Taco Bell

Bribery Grande

"Oakland clerk allegedly met clients at Taco Bell, and traded keys to public housing for dinero."

And the only question is, will Anthony Neil Smith move to Oakland to work the case?


Over 1000 guitars playing "Louie Louie." And the only question is, will Cap'n Bob be there again this year?

Bob Dylan on XM

Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio on XM
Playlist for July 5, 2006
Theme: Summer

Summertime, Billy Stewart

Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran
Heatwave, Martha and the Vandellas

Heatwave, Sol K. Bright

Sunny, Bobby Hebb

Juneteenth Jamboree, Fatso Bentley
So Nice, Astrud Gilberto and Walter
Youth of 1000 Summers, Van Morrison Hot Weather Blues, Mr. Sad Head Summer in the City, Lovin’ Spoonful
Too Hot, Prince Buster
In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry
Ice Cream Man, John Brim (Bob’s favorite flavor is Neopolitan)
Fourth of July, Dave Alvin

Hot Fun in the Summertime, Sly & the Family Stone

Tales from the Galactic Midway #1: Sideshow -- Mike Resnick

I don't know how many books there are in this series, but I've had four of them on my shelves for years. (It's hard for me to resist a series with carnival setting.) The other night I decided it was time to read one of them, and I'm glad I did. Here's the deal. Thaddeus Flint owns a carnival that's not making enough money. There's another carnival with the best freak show that anybody's ever seen, and it's drawing huge crowds. Flint decided he wants to take over. When he does, he gets a surprise. The freaks aren't human. They're aliens, and now Flint is stuck with caring for them. One problem is that Flint treats everybody like crap, including Tojo, the hunchbacked dwarf who narrates the tale. Flint's a cold-hearted maninpulator and conman, and it turns out that he's expert even when it comes to manipulating aliens. It might not surprise you to learn that his association with the aliens makes him a little more human by the end of the novel. But not much more.

This is an interesting story, even though it's obviously a set-up for the sequels. A cursory glance at the three I have gives me the idea that each one is devoted mostly to a different carnival employee: the animal tamer, the trick shot, and so on. I also see that they're told in third person. Tojo is no longer the narrator. Eventually I'll probably read at least a couple of these. (I like the covers, too.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Great Fireworks Package Art

Check it out here.

Competitive Eating Update #4

NEW YORK -- A 160-pound wonder from Japan set a new record by devouring a sickening 53¾ frankfurters in 12 minutes to win the annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition on Coney Island.

The feat earned Takeru Kobayashi, 27, his sixth straight title in the event, held at the original Nathan's Famous hot dog stand on Brooklyn's seashore.

He broke his own record of 53½ hot dogs, set at the same competition two years ago.

Competitive Eating Update #3

Jeff Meyerson sent me this link to AOL Sports. The Feud is on!

A Glorious 4th to All

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), to Archibald Stuart, 1791

The flags are out at the Crider hacienda.

Monday, July 03, 2006

What Next?

First it was ice cream made with eels' blood. Now we have this. I think the last line is probably an understatement.

ANGIER - Scott Wilson won't eat his newest flavor of ice cream.

He warns customers at his ice cream shop away from it. And he's not even sure whether he'll make another batch when he runs out.

It's called Cold Sweat.

Along with milk, sugar and the other usual ingredients, the ice cream is made with three kinds of peppers and two kinds of hot sauce. It's so spicy that just touching it makes your fingers feel hot.

The ice cream has turned into a hot sales gimmick at Sunni Sky's, the roadside ice cream shop Wilson and his wife have run for the past three years along N.C. 55.

It's not a top seller, though.

I See It, but I Don't Believe It

Link via Neatorama

Happy Birthday, Dave Barry!

Dave Barry can still make me laugh out loud, which is reason enough to wish him a very happy day.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm in EQMM (sort of)

In a comment below, Todd Mason reminds me that Ed Gorman has started a new column, "Blog Bytes, in the current issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. I'm pleased and proud that he chose to mention this blog in the inaugural column, along with Sarah Weinman's blog, CrimeSpot, and Mystery*File.

Alligator Update

A man in South Carolina jumped on the back of a 10-foot alligator to save his girlfriend's pet dog as it was being dragged into a lake, according to a Local 6 News report.

Brent Carey said he was at a park in Charleston with his girlfriend and her dog, Chance, when an alligator jumped out of the water and started to drag Chance into the lake.Carey jumped on the alligator, grabbed it near the back legs and began to fight to free the dog.

More of the story and some pics at the link.


Want to see a guy who can shoot? Check it out.

Busted Flush Update

The other day I had a blog entry on David Thompson's publishing venture. Today the Houston Chronicle catches up with me.

It's not "Busted Flesh Press," says David Thompson, neophyte book publisher. Given his subject matter — murder and mayhem — some people hear it that way, but his new venture, he explains, is "Busted Flush Press."

Mystery fans will recognize the name as an homage to one of Thompson's favorite authors, John D. MacDonald, whose sleuth Travis McGee lives on the Busted Flush, a houseboat he won in a poker game. And an homage seems appropriate: Busted Flush Press is all about respect, existing chiefly to revive crime novels that have slipped out of print.

The fledgling imprint's first trade title is just out — A Fifth of Bruen, a 352-page collection of the early fiction of Ireland's Ken Bruen, who emerged as a cult favorite in this country after The Guards earned an Edgar nomination for best novel of 2003.