Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: A Different Kind of Blue :: Michael A. Gonzales

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . "For his refusal to carry out the orders of the father to cook an alligator soup for him, Osei Alex of Tanoso Camp, near Samreboi, 15, was assaulted by the father Nana Yaw Osei who inflicted cutlass wounds on him."

Monoply Update

Mail Online: "The earliest ever version of the board game Monopoly has sold for a whopping £90,000.

The set was one of 5,000 made in 1933 by Charles Darrow, the purported inventor of Monopoly, and is the only one to have survived to this day.

The dog-eared set is made out of a piece of oilcloth and is in the form of the original circular shape that is 33 inches in diameter."

Photos at the link.

401 S. McKinney Street, Mexia, Texas

This old house still exists on Google Earth. It was built by my grandfather more than 80 years ago, and it's the house where I spent most of my growing up years. My parents continued to live there after their kids grew up and left, and my father died in the same bedroom where his own father died 50 years earlier.

The rooms in the place were huge compared to those in a modern house. The bedroom my brother and I slept in had twin beds end-to-end along one wall, with room between them. Our sister's room was smaller. It had a double bed on one side of the doorway between our rooms and an upright piano with its back to the wall on the other side of the door. The other rooms were much larger. There were 12-foot ceilings.

There was a basement, too. I didn't know of another house in my hometown with a basement, and I felt quite smug about having one. I couldn't stand up in it after I was a teenager, and it wasn't very big. But it was a basement.

That's just the physical stuff, and it doesn't really matter much. What matters more are the family dinners on holidays, the times we'd sit out in the back yard in the summer, doing homework at my desk (that bedroom I mentioned had two desks, a wardrobe, and a gun cabinet in it besides those twin beds, and it wasn't crowded), deciding who got to bathe first in the only bathroom, watching TV with the family in our parents' bedroom, coming home from school to eat lunch in the kitchen with the family, washing dishes in the little sink, hearing my mother sing "Let the Lower Lights be Burning" when she worked in the kitchen, lying in my bed and reading one SF magazine after another, the collection of baseball cards I kept under my bed in the wooden box my grandfather made me, sitting in my room listening to Al Helfer call The Game of the Day in the hot summertime with a little buzz fan blowing on me, my mother sprinkling water on the sheets at night to cool them during the terrible hot drought years of the '50s, my father whistling when he came home after work, my sister practicing her piano lessons ("Shrimp Boats," "The Little White Cloud that Cried"), my brother creating his own piano compositions (the immortal "Aye-yi-yonga"), my high school graduation gifts on the dining room table (and Judy's and my wedding gifts there some years later), some mighty good dogs, some crazy cats, and so many more things.

The house still exists on Google Earth but not on this one. My brother owned it, but it had been vacant for a while. Thursday night, someone got inside and set fires in every room. The house is a total loss. The only thing my brother could save was the cast-iron door knocker that had been nailed up beside the front door. Ah, it was a beautiful door, too, let me tell you. Maybe you can see it in the picture. And I think that's all I have to say about that.

Pimp those Grillz

Gold Teeth Deflect Bullet, Save a Life, But Still Get Banned From School: "Gold is the new pearly white.

These glittering grills could become even more popular after Walter Davis, a New Orleans man allegedly shot in the mouth by his younger brother, was saved when the dental accessory stopped the bullet."

Today's Vintage Ad

Drive Angry

Take a '70s exploitation movie (lots of gratuitous nudity, extreme violence, vulgarity, shoot-outs, car chases, many, many explosions), add 3-D and Nicolas Cage with his Con Air hair, and you have Drive Angry. Yes, that's right, that's what my pathetic "life" has come to. The only two movies I've seen in a theater in months are Season of the Witch and Drive Angry. Even sadder, I had a great time. Don't judge me.

There's no way to make any sense of most of the backstory, so don't even try. Just go along for the ride (there's a great series of muscle cars involved). Billy Burke plays a guy named Jonah as if he'd just stepped out of a '70s drive-in flick, and he's dressed for the part, too. Amber Heard is great as Piper, the woman Cage takes along for the ride. David Morse and Tom Atkins provide some fine support, and William Fitchner practically steals the movie as the Accountant. Cage plays this one like he played Season of the Witch, as if his mind might be elsewhere, but it works. You can have fun in the last half hour or so by watching the amazing changing make-up job on half his face.

Judy, who, as you'll recall, hated Spamalot, went with me to this. I thought she'd never forgive me, but as we left the theater I asked her how she liked the movie. She said, "I liked it. It was funny and crazy, and it never slowed down." So there you have it. Go figure.

Kasey Lansdale's YouTube Channel

YouTube - kaseylansdale's Channel

Have you subscribed yet? Why not?


Philip Jose Farmer, A Woman a Day, Beacon, 1960.

Eddie Serrato, R. I. P.

WNEM Saginaw: "Eddie Serrato, the original drummer on Question Mark and the Mysterians' song '96 Tears,' passed away Thursday morning."

Would It Hav e Been OK if He'd Been Sober?

Little Rock, AR: "North Little Rock Police responded to the Kroger on Pershing Blvd about complaints that there was a drunk man in the store urinating on chicken."

Hat tip to John Duke.

Howard Waldrop’s Look Back on a Decade of Film Reviews

Howard Waldrop’s Look Back on a Decade of Film Reviews

Hat tip to Lawrence Person.

Today's Western Movie Poster

83 Gut-Busting Restaurant Challenges for Free Food - Impossible Food Challenges

83 Gut-Busting Restaurant Challenges for Free Food

Your Guide To Girl Scout Cookies

Your Guide To Girl Scout Cookies: How Many Kinds of Girl Scout Cookies Are There?

Link via Neatorama.

No Comment Department

Photographing cows or other farm scenery could land you in jail under Senate bill | The Florida Tribune: "SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. A farm is defined as any land 'cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals or the storage of a commodity.'"

Best Short Story Collections

Best Short Stories - AbeBooks: "The best short stories make every word count. These are among the finest."


Friday, February 25, 2011

And Now It's Spuds

Sandusky Register: "Who should cook the potato, and how? Those questions triggered a knock-down fight between a 30-year-old woman and her 50-year-old mother in Port Clinton."

Brooklyn Leads the Way

In a Brooklyn Backyard, Local, Tax-Free Tobacco

Put Dan Stumpf on the Case!

Gahanna Police Investigate Chicken McNugget, Road Rage Assault | WBNS-10TV, Central Ohio News: "Gahanna police were investigating a suspected case of road rage on Thursday that was allegedly caused by McDonald's chicken nuggets."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Gator Update (B.O.L.O. Edition)

The Boone Blog: "A Florence alligator is missing, and its owners are in the midst of a months-long search.

J. Gumbo’s in Florence had its mascot, Archibald, stolen. Archibald is a roughly 4-feet-long plastic alligator that owner Sara Braun would put in different areas of the restaurant.

The last time Archibald was seen, he was near the bathrooms of the restaurant, and Braun reviewed security video from around the time and didn’t see anyone sneaking out with the plastic alligator."

Today's Vintage Ad

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton's latest fashion faux pas as she nearly reveals all in low-cut top | Mail Online: "If there’s one person to prove that money can’t buy you class then Paris Hilton is the case in point.

Stepping out in L.A. yesterday the hotel heiress opted for an another unusual outfit consisting of an extremely low cut top, a waterfall cardigan, black biker jacket and strangely, finished the look off with a beanie hat."

Yes, there's a photo at the link.
Hat tip to John Duke.


Dan J. Marlowe, Never Live Twice, Gold Medal, 1964.

Lawrence Person’s Top Ten Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films of 2000-2010

Locus Online Reviews: "Lawrence Person’s Top Ten Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films of 2000-2010"

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Strong-armed Swedish pensioner slugs two young bandits - The Local: "Two would-be thieves in central Sweden got an unexpected lesson in respecting their elders when they failed to heed a warning issued by the 62-year-old target of their crime.

Gray-haired and requiring the use of a rollator to get around, Rolf Klasson certainly didn't give the impression that he would put up a fight when two young men approached him on Tuesday in central Lidkoping."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Country Music's Best Opening Lyrics

Country Music's Best Opening Lyrics

Hat tip to George Kelley.

I Love This Pen . . .

. . . but I can't justify spending the bucks on it.


Warner Bros Remakes ‘The Bodyguard’

Forgotten Books: Never Live Twice -- Dan J. Marlowe

I'm a sucker for amnesia stories, so this one can't miss with me. The narrator doesn't just have amnesia. He has double amnesia.

The story opens when his wife and her brother are committing what they hope is the perfect murder, but he survives and disappears. For a while. When he returns, he has no idea that the two of them tried to kill him, and he begins to put his life back together.

Except not quite. He has a memory of when he was someone else entirely, and that memory gets him involved in some hanky-panky that was going on without his knowledge. It's the reason his brother-in-law wanted to kill him. And then . . . .

Well, it's complicated. Trust me. And the plot is a little muddled by things that Marlowe obviously didn't plan too well when he started
writing. I'd tell you more, but you don't want to know.

I will tell you that there's one scene that made me very uncomfortable, a scene that I might not
have noticed so much back
when I first read the book, but one that's almost guaranteed to make me squirm now. It's supposedly germane to the plot, but still . . . .

That aside, the book has the kind of readability that the best of the Gold Medal writers give you. If the plotting's a little shaky, so what? They don't write 'em like this anymore, no matter how much they might like to.

Hell Up in Harlem

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Archaeology Update

Remains of 11,500-Year-Old Child Discovered in Alaskan Wilderness: "Scientists digging in the Alaskan wilderness have made an extraordinary find: the cremated remains of a child buried 11,500 years ago, just as the first humans were spreading out through the Americas.

The partial skeleton of the child, who was roughly 3 years old, was found in the remnants of an ancient house -- in itself another virtually unprecedented discovery."

Daphne du Maurier Update

BBC News: "Rare early work by Cornwall's Daphne du Maurier has been found by a local bookseller.

Ann Willmore who runs Bookends in Fowey has found a rare collection of short stories by the celebrated author.

Ms Willmore stumbled across some of the titles over the internet.

One of the most exciting finds for du Maurier fans is a story called The Doll. It was written when du Maurier was barely in her 20s.

Many of the stories were only featured once in magazines in the UK and USA in the 1930s."

"Stop or I'll Fork You!"

Police: Cop Impersonator Howard Schultz Tried to Pull Over Drivers With Giant Fork: "Law enforcement officials say a police impersonator in Florida stuck a fork in his ruse when he started waving an oversized kitchen utensil at motorists.

Police in Pompano Beach say Howard Schultz, 69, forced a driver to pull over on Feb. 21 while waving a 10-inch barbecue fork, reports."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

The Smoking Gun: "[S]uspect Joshua Lee Joehlin told cops that he is a member of the “Redneck” faith.

Joehlin, a 20-year-old Texan, was busted early Sunday morning on a felony charge of engaging in a lewd and lascivious act with a minor."

The Texas Observer Short Story Prize

The Texas Observer Short Story Prize: "We at The Texas Observer love a good story. Of course, the stories we've published over the past half-century-mostly hard-hitting investigative pieces-have been depressingly true. Help us change that. Send us your best original short fiction for the first annual Texas Observer Short Story Prize. The winner gets a fat check and publication in the 2011 Summer Books issue.

GRAND PRIZE $1,000 and publication in 2011 Summer Books issue

GUEST JUDGE Larry McMurtry

DEADLINE May 1, 2011"

Details at the link.

Today's Vintage Ad

Six Brands That Don't Mean What They Used To

Six Brands That Don't Mean What They Used To

Sullivan's Drinking Bird

My grandfather, who died in 1947, had one of these, and I was highly impressed by it. Many years later, I bought one for myself. I don't know if my kids remember it. I even set it up again when we moved here to Alvin, but I don't remember what I did with it after that. I think I'll look for it.
Drinking bird - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A. E. van Vogt, The Mating Cry, Beacon, 1960

What's the Problem? They Were Wrapped Up, Weren't They?

Daily Journal: "Maine woman has been charged with child endangerment after police said she was spotted driving a van with two children sitting on the roof, wrapped in a blanket."

Hat tip to Matt Mayo.

Remember the Alamo

Day 2 of the siege.

Enid Blyton Update

Yahoo! News UK: "A previously unknown novel by British children's writer Enid Blyton has been discovered, according to a charity which bought a collection of the bestselling author's manuscripts at auction last September.

'Mr. Tumpy's Caravan' is a story of around 200 typed pages which was initially believed to be a version of 'Mr. Tumpy and His Caravan,' a picture book made up of newspaper comic strips, said Kathryn Row of the Seven Stories children's book gallery.

But the charity's archivist looked in more detail and called in an authority on Blyton.

'They (the experts) are fairly confident it's an undiscovered piece of work,' Row said."

Today's Western Movie Poster

She'll Be at Home Taking Care of Her Lawn - Houston Chronicle: "SHADY SHORES — It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say Olive Stephens has been a Shady Shores mayor or a councilwoman for as long as the North Texas lakefront town has existed. She actually won her first council election in 1962, two years after the Lewisville Lake community incorporated to keep neighboring Denton from gobbling it up.

But at 94, Stephens says 48 years in municipal government, the last 38 as mayor, is enough. She says she won’t seek a 20th term as mayor in the May municipal election."

Gator Update (They're Everywhere Edition)

iWon News - Brazil firefighters find alligator behind couch: "Firefighters say they have removed a 5-foot-long (1.5 meter-long) alligator who was hiding behind a couch after floodwaters washed it into a home in northern Brazil."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Forgotten Music -- Girl Groups

Girl group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Girl groups emerged in the late 1950s as groups of young singers teamed up with behind-the-scenes songwriters and music producers to create hit singles, often featuring glossy production values and backing by top studio musicians. In later eras the girl group template would be applied to disco, contemporary R&B, and country-based formats as well as pop."

Girl groups are still around, of course, but the ones I remember flourished in the late '50s and early '60s. The Chantels had what I think of as the greatest Girl Group slow-dance song of all, "Maybe."

One of my all-time feel-good Girl Group songs is by the Angels, "My Boyfriend's Back."

And for a darker feeling, it's hard to beat The Shangri-las and "The Leader of the Pack."

But back to feeling good, and the best Girl Group song of all, I'd go with "Da Doo Ron Ron" by the Crystals.

For you readers interested in rock 'n' roll history, I'd recommend the first three titles on this page. As for me, I'm going to listen to the Crystals some more.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

HPD: One ton of marijuana found on lettuce truck: "A Houston Police Department officer thought he was just making a routine traffic stop Sunday night, instead he found what sounds like the Cheech and Chong of the produce world. Talk about veging out dude!"

Foreign Correspondent

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Laugh. You'd Have a Hard Time Adjusting, Too.

Man Stops Car in Road, Tells Police He's From 33 A.D.: "The man said 'he was busy talking to God' and that God told him to go to a dance club in the area.

When asked if he knew where he was, the man told police he was in Columbus.

He then said he was having a tough time adjusting because he was actually from the year 33 A.D."

Here's the Plot for Your Next Nordic Noir

Femme Fatale Robbers Target Men in Swedish Nightclubs: "It's becoming a familiar story: Boy meets girl. Boy brings girl home. Boy wakes up feeling dizzy and disoriented. And his apartment has been cleaned out.

At least three young men in Malmo in southern Sweden have reported being drugged and robbed after meeting a comely woman in a nightclub, according to, a website publishing Swedish news in England."

No Comment Department

Cops: Shoplifter Stuffed a Chainsaw Down His Pants [VIDEO]: "Oklahoma police say a shoplifter stuffed a chainsaw down his pants and tried to sneak out of the Ross Seed Co. in Chickasha."

Do You Write Westerns?

Dear fellow Western Writers, Poets and Historians,

A good friend of mine would like to put out an anthology ofthe cowboy. So I said what do you want? She said short stories, real or fictional, historical articles about the west, western poems, cartoon, and even cover art. I'd like to limit them in size to not larger than 5,000 words max That's like 20 pages, We want unpublished works with first time North American rights to them. I'm not restricted to only frontier stories - you have a good story about something western try me. You can write funny stories that make me
laugh, send them. You write tough fiction send it.

Keep the cussing minimal, no erotica,. Also include a bio and small picture. You don't send one, I may write a stem winder of one you won't like.

If there is a market for such we will consider doing them more often. Don't
forget I also want cowboy poetry, cartoons. And if you do cover art try me.

If you are published in one you can buy copies of the issue at a good discount. If we hit a demand market, we will talk about paying for them. Right now it is get a good product out there and try like heck to sell them.

I'd like to make it easy to submit. If you have email, mark them as Cactus Country Publishing Anthology Entries. Either paste them in an email or I can open Word files. If I can't get them open I'll let you know.

Deadline August 1st. 2011.

Send to You can submit them by snail mail to Dusty Richards, PO Box 6460, Springdale AR 72766

Today's Vintage Ad

Want to Help the FBI?

FBI — New Tools to Find FBI's Most Wanted: "Now, thanks to a recent redesign of the Most Wanted section, the public has more tools to help us close open cases of suspected murderers, terrorists, bank robbers, and kidnapped and missing individuals.

Search for fugitives and missing persons.
For the first time, web visitors can go beyond just scanning pages of mug shots—and use search criteria like location, gender, crime type, reward, and even ZIP Codes to help narrow and focus their searches. For example, you can search for fugitives wanted for murder in California. Bear in mind, we have about 600 open cases featured on the website, and cases are removed soon after they are solved."

Dino Update

'Thunder Thighs' dinosaur Brontomerus discovered | "A NEW dinosaur named 'Thunder Thighs' has been identified by British and US scientists who said its huge, muscular legs would have given it a fierce kick.

Researchers retrieved bones from two incomplete skeletons - an adult and a juvenile - from a previously looted quarry in Utah in the western US."


Ross Macdonald (Kenneth Millar), The Chill, Bantam, 1965

Doc Savage Fantasy Cover Gallery

Doc Savage Fantasy Cover Gallery

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Day Keene Update

Ramble House is reprinting all Day Keene's pulp stories in several volumes with short introductions by people like, well, me. Is that cool, or what? You know you want 'em.

Henry Melton Branches Out

Idle Thoughts: New Blog, Just for Stories: "As I type, there's a totally empty blog over here. But within hours, it will start to show serialized fiction. With more enthusiasm than good sense, I've decided to see how well I can keep stuff coming.

Already cued up are two stories, "Patterns," a Young Adult short story that surprisingly isn't even science fiction. Second is "The Attorney for Passenger Pigeons," which is straight SF. Both of these are never before published, but I will be tapping into my collection of previously published stories as well. Expect short fiction, novels, old and new. If I can make it fit the short serialized fiction format, I'll be giving it a hard look.

So, add the bookmark. If you use RSS, add it's link. Share the information around. And come by to read."

Today's Western Movie Poster

175 years ago, Texas Rebelled

175 years ago, Texas rebelled | Life | - Houston Chronicle: "Here is a quick refresher of Texas events in 1836:

Feb. 23: Siege at the Alamo begins. Santa Anna's forces arrive in Bexar to enforce government policy. The Mexican general sends a courier demanding the Alamo's surrender, and William Barret Travis replies with cannon fire."

More at the link.

Remember the Alamo

"Live" daily coverage of the events of 175 years ago.

Tim Holt Update

Tim Holt Western Classics Vol. 1 DVD - Warner Bros. Archive:

Nicholas Courtney R. I. P.

The Register: "Nicholas Courtney, who starred in Doctor Who as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart opposite no less than eight incarnations of the famous Doctor, has died aged 81.

The Egypt-born actor first appeared in the popular BBC sci-fi drama in the 1960s, but his Brig role wasn't his first casting in for Doctor Who.

In The Daleks' Master Plan he played space security agent Bret Vyon. But he later took on the role of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, whose character was quickly promoted to Brigadier status in The Invasion episode.

As noted by, Courtney was associated with his role in the show for over forty years."

Cat Burglar

Woman charged with burglary allegedly trying to get her cat back from Friendswood residence | "A woman is accused of breaking into a Friendswood residence and assaulting a man in order to get her cat back.

Friendswood police say officers were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of Whitehall on February 15 regarding a burglary. The resident reported that Katherine Nicole Morrow, of Santa Fe, forced her way into the residence and assaulted the resident.

Police say Morrow arrived at the home, seeking a cat she reportedly abandoned at the residence a week or so prior. Instead of knocking at the door, Morrow allegedly kicked in the front door and punched the male resident in the face. Morrow left before officers arrived."

All the King's Men

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Full List - Top 10 Pets in Power

Full List - Top 10 Pets in Power - TIME: "Larry the tabby has been appointed the official cat of 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister David Cameron's residence. TIME takes a look at other politically powerful pets."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Charlie Stella Branches Out

First Reads: First Reads ... our first post ...: "I'm Charlie Stella, author of 7 crime novels, several short stories, a few plays and one screenplay. My books have been published here in the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom and Russia. I've just started (as of today - 2/14/11) a new business for aspiring and professional authors alike ... a first read with basic and/or indepth commentary on manuscripts seeking representation/publication. Please read below."

Link via Patti Abbott.

First It's Girl Scout Cookies, Then It's Popcorn, and Now . . .

Bangor Daily News: "A Corinth woman was charged Sunday evening with assault after she bit a security guard at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

Amber Henriksen, 23, was signing paperwork at the hospital and “she wouldn’t give the pen back,” he said. A security guard attempted to get the pen from Henriksen and “she bit him in the arm,” the sergeant said."

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton and Cy Waits were spotting shopping for engagement rings - "Wedding bells may be just around the corner for Paris Hilton and her beau, Cy Waits. The two shopped for engagement rings yesterday at Jacob & Co., where they examined an array of baubles, including a 30-carat rare blue diamond. The couple couldn't decide on a ring, but Paris didn't leave empty-handed. She walked out sporting a $25,000 black diamond-encrusted ring for her 30th birthday. Hilton celebrated with Charlie Sheen's ex, Denise Richards, at Asellina on Thursday."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas: "A measure filed by State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) would allow any law enforcement agency that has custody of an illegal immigrant to take the illegal to 'the office of a U.S. Senator or Representative' and leave them there."

No Comment Department

'The Great Gatsby' 3D Movie Set For Australia: "What some consider The Great American Novel is now set to get the Great American Multiplex treatment, as director Baz Luhrmann's upcoming big screen version of 'The Great Gatsby' will be filmed in 3D -- and in Australia."

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

. . . and now this.

Moviegoer killed in screening of 'Black Swan' over popcorn argument: "One man's attempt to watch 'Black Swan' in peace and quiet ended tragically this weekend when he was killed for complaining about a fellow moviegoer's noise.

The 43-year-old man was attacked in a movie theater in Latvia on Saturday when he asked a particularly loud popcorn-munching member of the audience to keep it down.

The offending eater, 27, was apparently so insulted that he opened fire with a 'legally registered' weapon, the Guardian reported."

Max Allan Collins Has a Deal for You

Hey Kids – Free E-Books!: "starting March 1 and going through March 3rd (my birthday), you can get a free download of the first Trash ‘n’ Treasures mystery, ANTIQUES ROADKILL at all e-book retailers. Those of you who have ignored these books because they are not hardboiled now have an opportunity to see what you’ve been missing, and for free.

AND…you can get a free download of the first J.C. Harrow “Killer TV” novel, YOU CAN’T STOP ME, also from March 1 through March 3rd (did I mention that was my birthday?). Again, those of you who ignored this novel when it was published, because it was a CSI-type book and not a Quarry or Heller, can get a free look."

Today's Vintage Ad


Harry Whittington, God's Back Was Turned, Gold Medal, 1961

Get a Rope!

Arvada Police arrest 11-year-old over 'inappropriate' stick figure drawing

It's a video story.

They Couldn't Track Him by His Smell?

Alleged Deodorant Thief Busted | NBC Connecticut: "A Bridgeport man wanted for stuffing 58 containers of deodorant down his pants has finally been busted.
[. . . .]
Mingollello thought he made a clean getaway, but police identified him in surveillance tapes and put out a warrant for his arrest ."

I'll Just Have a Chicken-Fried Steak, Myself

Bug-Eating Ladies Speak Out for Insect Cuisine: "'There is no shortage of good logical science behind the idea of insects as food,' she said. 'They're a good source for animal protein and can be easily implemented in regions where it's hard to grow crops."

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black History Month

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Black History Month

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Ultimate Traditionalist: Tasha Tudor & her Art

AbeBooks: The Ultimate Traditionalist: Tasha Tudor & her Art

Here's the Plot for Your Next Legal Thriller

Reuters: "When picking a jury, lawyers always try to stack the panel with people likely to take their side. Now, some are taking the vetting process to a new level: they're quietly trawling social networks and other sites to ferret out the most intimate details of potential jurors' lives, from their sexual orientation to their income level and politics."

Jack the Ripper Update

Did Jack the Ripper paint this? New painting by Walter Sickert emerges after 80 years

And Who Can Blame Her? WZVN News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida: "A Naples woman was arrested Sunday after deputies say she attacked her roommate over a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies."

Overlooked Films: Boxcar Bertha

Based on a true story! It's the Great Depression. Bertha (Barbara Hershey) loses her father in a plane crash. She can't support herself on the family farm, so she hits the road. She meets a union organizer called Big Bill (David Carradine), and together they take on the railroad barons all across the south. Sort of like Bonnie and Clyde taking on the banks, with pretty much the same result.

It's a lot of fun along the way, with plenty of violence and some good performances. There's a nice confrontation scene between David Carradine and his father, John, representing the railroads. Bernie Casey is pretty good, too, and when you have Barbara Hershey in the '70s, you don't even need acting. Not that she's not good. She is.

Maybe it's set in the '30s, but Boxcar Bertha is very much a '70s movie. Dig the poster, which is as '70s as you can get in its own way. The tagline. The heavy-handed symbolism. Great stuff.

Martin Scorsese directed, so you might guess that this was before he became the "name" director he is today. You should see it just to say you've seen his exploitation flick.

Boxcar Bertha

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Wyoming uphill skier gets busted: "A 78-year-old retired doctor was handcuffed and hauled away on a toboggan for skiing uphill in Wyoming, but he won't face charges."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Seattle Leads the Way

KOMO News | Local & Regional: "As the bus moved along, Gray told the dispatcher the crime was happening in front of her eyes. But the dispatcher told her he wouldn't send a deputy.

911 dispatcher: 'You cannot report a theft that did not occur to you. The person who the items were stolen from has to report this.'"

So I Guess I'm His Cousin, Too

Look Who's Related: George Washington and all the Presidents

No Comment Department

Barcode-to-Bibliography App Makes College Ridiculously Easy | Fast Company: "Sometimes a technology comes along that is so great it seems almost unjust to former generations. Aviation. The personal computer. The polio vaccine.

One gets the same feeling today when considering a new app out for iPhone and Android. Quick Cite, a 99-cent app, automates the task of putting together a bibliography--that arduous list of books, articles, and other sources consulted that goes at the end of a master's thesis of PhD dissertation. The first thought you have is, 'How much time scholars will henceforth save!' The next thought you have is, 'Anyone who got a PhD before the year 2011 was a poor sucker.'"

How to Tell if You’re About to Watch a Bad Nicolas Cage Movie

How to Tell if You’re About to Watch a Bad Nicolas Cage Movie

Today's Vintage Ad

Michael Connelly -- The Fifth Witness

Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, is back at work in this one. He's now specializing in foreclosure defense, and as you might expect in the current economy, business is good. But then one of his clients, a woman named Lisa Trammel, is accused of the murder of a mortgage banker, and Haller agrees to defend her. It's not a job he relishes. He doesn't like Trammel. She's abrasive, and everything seems to indicate that she's guilty.

Connelly walks us through the intricate legal and procedural details with his usual sure hand, and in the meantime brings in things about the personal lives of Haller and his team. I don't want to spoil too much, so I'll just say that in this one Haller moves out of the Lincoln into an office. More changes seem to be on the way, too. As always with Connelly, the plot is tangled, suspenseful, and likely to surprise you.

I had the wrong idea about the title of the book, but I'd figured it out by the time it came up in the book. If you're a fan of legal thrillers or a defense lawyer yourself, you probably know already.

The first Lincoln Lawyer movie is due in theaters before long with Matthew McConaughey as Haller. I'll bet you a dime there's a scene where he gets to remove his shirt.


John Tomerlin, Return to Vikki, Gold Medal, 1959.

Archaeology Update

10 Perplexing Archaeological Discoveries

Dead Man: Face of Evil -- Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

I'll be writing an episode of this new series. Check it out.

From Lee Goldberg... bestselling author of THE WALK and the MONK novels...and William Rabkin, author of the wildly successful PSYCH books... comes the first in an exciting new series of original short novels that blends the horror of Stephen King's THE GUNSLINGER with the action/adventure of Don Pendleton's MACK BOLAN: THE EXECUTIONER...

Matthew Cahill is an ordinary man leading a simple life...until a shocking accident changes everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld of unspeakable evil and horrific violence that nobody else does...

For Cahill, each day is a journey into a dark world he knows nothing about...a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and a fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.

This book includes a bonus excerpts of THE WALK by Lee Goldberg and DESERT PLACES by Blake Crouch.

And coming soon...more all-new adventures in THE DEAD MAN saga by some of the most talented and successful mystery, western, horror and sci-fi authors out there today.

Today's Western Movie Poster

No It's Not

Baltimore Sun: "For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, 'It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world.'"

It's a sign that we're surrounded by total goobers.

10 Things You May Not Have Known about YouTube

YouTube Facts: 10 Things You May Not Have Known

Link via Neatorama.

Giants in the (Irish) Earth

Legends of Irish Giants Are More Than Tall Tales: "Although the Irish legend of leprechauns is probably just a load of blarney, there's scientific evidence suggesting that the fabled stories of giants living on the Emerald Isle aren't just tall tales."

Retrospace Looks at True Crime Mags

Retrospace: Vintage Reads #22: True Crime Magazines

All the King's Men

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Knew I Retired too Soon

Texas Poised To Pass Bill Allowing Guns On Campus: "Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms."

Here's The News You've Been Waiting For

Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton End Their Feud

This Explains a Lot "The story of McArthur Wheeler was told by social psychologists Justin Kruger and David Dunning in a brilliant paper entitled “Unskilled and Unaware of It.” In a set of clever experiments, Kruger and Dunning showed that people with the least skill are the most likely to overestimate their abilities."

Today's Vintage Ad

St. Peter, Open Your Pearly Gate

Harry Fogle, Golden Gate, Bay Bridge worker, dies: "Harry Fogle, who is believed to be the last survivor of the men who worked on the construction of both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, died at a Roseville hospital of natural causes Feb. 10.

'He was 97 and he was tired,' said his daughter JoAnn Tripp. 'It was time.'"


John Tomerlin, Return to Vikki, Gold Medal, 1959

Video Interview—Dave Zeltserman

Day Labor, the Official blog of Crimefactory Magazine: Video Interview—Dave Zeltserman

French with a Texas Accent

POLAR NOIR - Bill Crider - Speed- nouvelle: "Une nouvelle hard-boiled de Bill Crider.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Charlaine Harris Conquers another Medium

Charlaine Harris has Vampire Dahlia Dying for Daylight | "Enter the Dark Vampire World of Charlaine Harris in I-play’s newest PC Game, Dying for Daylight"

There's Good News and Bad News

Chicago Sun-Times: "Life expectancy on the rise, but obesity rates climbing in America"

Isn't This about What You'd Expect from Billy Jack? "Last April, a veteran Sarasota Police homicide detective went to the courthouse and tried to secede from the United States of America.

The detective, Tom Laughlin, filed a convoluted document declaring himself a 'sovereign citizen.' The filing included a thumb print on each page and a photocopy of 21 silver pieces — the price to become a 'freeman.'

In doing so, Laughlin, 42, joined a small but growing group of U.S. citizens who claim they are not subject to federal law, that they no longer have to pay taxes and that their homes are their embassies."

The White Cliffs of Dover