Saturday, December 22, 2012

And He Wasn't Even a Plumber

Deputies find crack in suspect's underpants

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Lee Dorman, R. I. P.

Rolling Stone: Lee Dorman, bassist for Iron Butterfly, died on Friday at the age of 70, the Associated Press reports. According to a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Dorman was found dead in a vehicle on Friday morning and may have been on his way to a doctor's appointment.

Jimmy McCracklin, R. I. P.

SFGate: Jimmy McCracklin, one of the most prolific blues singers and songwriters of all time, with a recording career that spanned 1945 to 2010, died Thursday at Creekside Healthcare Center in San Pablo after a long convalescence.

Song of the Day

"Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby" - Amos Milburn - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Couple Accused Of Slapping Elderly Best Buy Employee 

So 61 is elderly now, eh?  Get off my lawn!

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Just getting in the Christmas spirit!

Frenzied Crowd Rushes Hulen Mall for New Air Jordans

Or Maybe Not

10 Songs That Make You Cry 

Today's Vintage Ad


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Pennsylvania woman arrested for biting off mom's thumb in case of 'domestic cannibalism' 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Larry L. King, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Larry L. King, a journalist, essayist and playwright with a swaggering prose style and a rollicking personal one, who left Texas as a young man but never abandoned it in his work — turning out profiles of politicians, articles on the flaws and foibles of American culture, searching autobiographical essays and, most famously, the book for the Broadway musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” — died on Thursday in Washington. He was 83.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Unusual Christmas Traditions Around the World

Unusual Christmas Traditions Around the World

8 Incredible Sunken Treasures Discovered

8 Incredible Sunken Treasures Discovered: Scattered across the ocean floor, there are more than 300 million shipwrecks, containing billions of dollars worth of cargo. These are some of the best treasures that have been found.

PaperBack



















Andrew J. Offutt, The Undying Wizard, Zebra Books, 1976

Six Film Musicals Featuring Actors Who Can’t Sing

Six Film Musicals Featuring Actors Who Can’t Sing

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

I Miss the Old Days

First Wave of Underground Comix

Santa Claus Builds A Flying Machine

Santa Claus Builds A Flying Machine

10 Famous Shipwrecks

10 Famous Shipwrecks in the World

25 of the Happiest Words in English

25 of the Happiest Words in English

Snake Woman

SNAKE WOMAN 1961 trailer - YouTube:

Friday, December 21, 2012

So It's Come to This

Formal Reprimand Issued To Flatulent Federal Worker 

A Kickstarter Project of Interest

There's an Alamo connection.  Check it out.

PHIL COLLINS AND THE WILD FRONTIER by Ben Powell — Kickstarter

Hat tip to Tina Karelson.

This Is the Sort of Thing Up With Which We Texans Will Not Put

Illinois Man Sentenced for Illegally Transporting East Texas Deer Semen

Song of the Day

Merry Christmas Baby - Charles Brown - YouTube:

Seduction of the Innocent -- Max Allan Collins

Seduction of the Innocent (Hard Case Crime)This book is set in the year 1954.  I was around then.  I was 12, and I was reading EC Comics.  Lots of others, too, but some of the stories I saw in EC Comics have stuck with me to this very day.  I can remember the panels as plainly as if I'd seen them last week.  They were potent stuff, for sure.  

I read the newspapers in those days, too, mostly the sports pages (not much has changed with me in the last 60 years), but I was vaguely aware of the activities of Dr. Fredrick Wertham, who wrote a book with the same title as this one, and of the congressional hearings on comic books, in which America learned that comic books (especially EC Comics) were to blame for juvenile delinquency and many other assorted ills.

I was even more aware of the results of this hearing a bit later, when the "Approved by the Comics Code" seal started to appear on the comics (we never called them comics, by the way; they were "funny books" even when they weren't funny).  Not long after that, I lost interest in comics.  The guts had gone out of them.  I moved on to the SF digests and never looked back.  I was vaguely aware of the Marvel revolution in the '60s, but it was too late for me by then.  My interest was finally revived the the Underground Comix in the late '60s and early '70s, but I never read comics again the way I once had.

One comic I did keep reading was Mad.  Gaines quickly turned it from a comic book into a black-and-white "magazine" so he didn't have to deal with the Comics Code stuff, and somehow, although my mother tossed all my funny books, the old issues of Mad survived.  I don't have issue #1, but I do have a nice little run starting with #2.  I bought the paperback collections, too, and I still have the first three or four of those.

Which is all by way of introduction to this thoroughly entertaining novel by Max Allan Collins, in which Dr. Werner Fredrick appears before a congressional committee made up of the same people who questioned Wertham.  So does Bob Price, whose testimony is remarkably similar to  the words spoken by William Gaines when he testified before the committee in '54.  

Not long afterward, Fredrick is murdered (this didn't happen to Wertham).  Jack Starr gets involved because he and Maggie Starr (his stepmother) deal with comic strips through their syndication company.  There are plenty of suspects, including Price.  There's a comic book artist, a comics reader, a publisher, and some other social critics.  All have their reasons to want Fredrick out of the way.  You can play the guessing game about which real people the characters are based on, or you can go to the "Tip of the Fedora" at the end of the book, where Collins spells it out.  I think many of you won't need to do that.  And if you don't think this book is relevant now, you haven't been following the news lately.

Besides the dandy storytelling here, there's the Glen Orbik cover, which replicates one of the more famous EC covers, plus a lot of illustrations by Terry Beatty in the good old EC style.  Lots of bang for your buck here.  The book comes out in February.  Be on the lookout; you don't want to miss it.

Today's Vintage Ad


No

Has Pizza Hut Finally Gone Too Far?

PaperBack



















Glenn Lord, editor, The Book of Robert E. Howard, Volume 1, Zebra Books, 1976

Assuming You're Still Here to Read This . . .

The Mayan Apocalypse: By The Numbers 

Paging Truman Capote

Bodies of 'In Cold Blood' Killers Exhumed

Speaking of the Worst Movies of All Time . . .

10 remarkable things: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Worst Movies of All Time

Worst Movies of All Time
Hat tip to Todd Mason.

Amazing Stories Announces Beta Launch of Its New Website

Amazing Stories Announces Beta Launch of Its New Website

Oops

Quebec funeral home places wrong body in open coffin

Apocalypse NOT!

I'm still here.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Florida woman bites Walmart security guard in a bid to avoid shoplifting charge

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Detail and Myth: Willy Pogany's Art

Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel ColeridgeAbeBooks: Detail and Myth: Willy Pogany's Art: Willy Pogany was a prolific Hungarian illustrator best-known for his pen and ink drawings and contributions to myths and fables. He belonged to booming era of illustrators which produced the likes of Edmund Dulac, Maurice and Edward Detmold and N.C. Wyeth, and followed closely on the heels of big-name pioneers like Arthur Rackham.

Forgotten Books: Worlds of Weird -- Leo Margulies, Editor

Four years ago at this same time of the year, James Reasoner talked about Worlds of Weird in his "Forgotten Books" post.  He paid particular attention Seabury Quinn's "Roads."  I said to myself, "Self, you have that book in an earlier edition.  You should get it out and read that story."  So I did.  Sure, it took me four years, but I never claimed to work fast.  

In the introduction to "Roads," Sam Moskowitz says that it "may well prove to be the greatest adult Christmas story written by an American."  He also mentions that Arkham House printed "Roads" in book form with a cover and interior illustrations by Virgil Finlay for $2.00.  He goes on to say that "this collectors' and gift edition has been kept in print ever since."  That statement is out of date, but you can still buy copies of the Arkham House edition.  They're more than $2.00, however (unless you're Scott Cupp; see the update below).  A copy of Worlds of Weird is cheaper.  

As for the story itself, well, it's indeed a good one.  It's a Christmas story with slashing and hacking and religion and magic, and it's great fun, indeed.  

James also mentions Robert E. Howard's "The Valley of the Worm," another of the included stories, and calls it "one of REH's best yarns," a sentiment with which I agree completely.  I can still remember reading the story for the first time. Great stuff.

James also lists the entire contents of the book, so if you're curious you can click the link above and see what else is there.  I read "The Sapphire Goddess" by Nictzin Dyalhis the other day, and it's really in the purple high pulp style.  I was reminded of A. Merritt and some of Henry Kuttner.  Not for everybody, but if you're in the right mood, give it a shot.

Update:  Scott Cupp over at MISSIONS UNKNOWN has a review of the Arkham House edition.  Naturally Scott got his copy for a buck.  Word of advice based on personal experience: Never go booking with Scott Cupp if you're of an envious nature.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Parnell Hall's Latest Hit

Private Eye Writer by Parnell Hall - YouTube:

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Christmas Grinch Arrested in Aledo: The woman arrested for stealing Christmas decorations in Parker County has a long criminal record and once served prison time for solicitation to commit murder.

Getting Ready for the End

Rem, It's The End Of The World As We Know It (and I feel fine) With Lyrics - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Flamingo lawn ornament attack in Hobe Sound: He said his 41-year-old girlfriend tried to hit him with a flamingo lawn ornament, and that he wanted her to vacate the trailer "so he can feel safe and at peace." 

 The 41-year-old girlfriend, meanwhile, said she'd argued with her 23-year-old boyfriend for several days. She said he pushed, shoved and spat on her.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

A History Of NASA In Just 6 Images

A History Of NASA In Just 6 Images

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Seven Charged In Matteson Chuck E. Cheese’s Brawl

Song of the Day

Solomon Burke - Presents For Christmas - YouTube:

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Santa's Christmas Eve BluesSanta's Christmas Eve Blues: Douglas Lindsay: Amazon.com: Kindle Store: In this wonderful bitesize slice of yuletide magic, the very future of Christmas is in doubt. It's Christmas Eve, but just at the moment when he should be putting on his red suit and checking his beard for snowy whiteness, Santa is sitting in his underwear, drinking hot chocolate and singing the blues. Fortunately, anyone who thinks that Christmas can no longer be left in the hands of little people in green outfits, is about to be proved wrong. With fabulous characters and madcap rhymes, SANTA'S CHRISTMAS EVE BLUES is set to become a seasonal favourite with young and old for generations to come. SANTA'S CHRISTMAS EVE BLUES is a 5000-word short story.

Today's Vintage Ad


9 Delightfully Weird and Whimsical Vintage Christmas Cards

9 Delightfully Weird and Whimsical Vintage Christmas Cards 

Paris Review – Ancient Manuscripts

Paris Review – Ancient Manuscripts, Now Online

PaperBack



Lin Carter, Editor, Weird Tales #3, Zebra Books, 1981

7 Mind-Blowing Reasons Why Frosty Is Frankenstein's Monster

7 Mind-Blowing Reasons Why Frosty Is Frankenstein's Monster

An A-to-Z Guide to 2012's Worst Words

An A-to-Z Guide to 2012's Worst Words 

Or Maybe You Did

10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘A Christmas Story’

I Miss the Old Days

The Little Golden Book of Words: A Rare Illustrated Gem from 1948

Wanna Win a Book?

Crime Always Pays: The Best Things In Life Are Free … BOOKS (TO DIE FOR)

Or Maybe You Do

15 Things You Might Not Know About Christmas Music

PSA

How Not to Get Eaten By an Alligator 

Bathing Beauty

Bathing Beauty - Official Trailer (1944) - YouTube:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Latin Americans rank as happiest people on planet

Latin Americans rank as happiest people on planet 

Uh-Oh

CBS TV Studios Developing The Twilight Zone TV Series Reboot

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

CTA Passenger Attacked With Sock Filled With Human Feces

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Denny's Christmas Tree Set Aflame By Man Angry About Long Wait

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Angry resident turns hose on church choir

Kasey Lansdale Tells All!

Kasey Lansdale: Meet Kasey Lansdale

Song of the Day

Edd 'Kookie' Byrnes - YULESVILLE (Christmas) (1959) - YouTube:

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest

The Killing Floor (Dead Man #15)The Killing Floor (Dead Man #15): David Tully, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin: Amazon.com: Kindle Store: Matt journeys to a tiny Adirondack town where the entire population is infected with evil, a horrific phenomenon possibly related to a hydro-fracking operation that's stirring up community outrage...and resurrecting a blood-thirsty terror deadlier than anything he's ever faced. He soon finds himself pitted against his nemesis Mr. Dark in an epic battle that stretches back to the lost colony Roanoke... and could change the fate of mankind.

Today's Vintage Ad


Croc Update (Leaping Edition)

Leaping crocodile lands on tourist

Video at the link.

15 Best Cookbooks Of 2012

15 Best Cookbooks Of 2012

HOLIDAY SHORTS

HOLIDAY SHORTS | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

PaperBack



Lin Carter, editor, Weird Tales #2, Zebra Books, 1980

I Miss the Old Days

Drive-In Theatres 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Police arrest 6 in brawl over parking space 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Two women sue Texas Troopers for illegal roadside cavity search

The Really Long Original Name of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (and Other Fun Dickensian Facts)

The Really Long Original Name of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (and Other Fun Dickensian Facts) 

I Miss the Old Days

Ladies and gentlemen: the 1958 GM line 

Archaeology Update

 guardian.co.uk: King Richard III's medieval inn recreated by archaeologists Blue Boar inn rises again in model and digital form, recreated from detailed drawings found in Leicester family's archives

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Nielsen Twitter TV Rating: Twitter Data Will Now Be Part of TV Ratings

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Dad faces jail for biting off another man's finger at nativity play

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Man shot at St. Pete pizza joint had been complaining about slow service 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Crisis threatens historic Harry's Bar

Crisis threatens historic Harry's Bar in Venice - FRANCE 24: One of Ernest Hemingway's favourite watering holes, the legendary Harry's Bar in Venice, is being forced to slash costs due to rising debts and a sharp drop in visitors.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

God Save the Eight-Track | Collectors Weekly: Located in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, Burnett’s original Eight Track Museum opened in 2011, offering visitors a peek at an often overlooked medium plus an archive of every audio recording format created since the earliest wax cylinders of the late 1800s.

Timothy Hallinan Interview

Short, Sharp Interview: Timothy Hallinan

Tarzan and the Leopard Woman

TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD WOMAN (1946) trailer - YouTube:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jessie 'Jet Set' Hudson, R. I. P.

TMZ.com: "Workaholics" star Jessie "Jet Set" Hudson -- who played the character Jet Set on the show -- died suddenly in L.A. last week after suffering what appeared to be a heart attack.

I For One Welcome Our New Computer Masters

IBM reveals its vision for the future of technology

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Uh-Oh

'Kojak' remake in the works with Vin Diesel as the NYPD detective made famous by Terry Savalas

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Naked beer pong loser assaults girlfriend in her Athens home

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Woman 'drove over her boyfriend after an argument and burned the skin off his back, arms, and genitals' 

Song of the Day

Royal Guardsmen-Snoopy's Christmas - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad


Reading for Pleasure?

Moralistic, Often Frightening Children's Books of the Early 1830s 

PaperBack



Lin Carter, editor, Weird Tales #1, Zebra, 1980

Everything You Wanted To Know About Fonts

Everything You Wanted To Know About Fonts

Free for Kindle Today and Tomorrow: Hangrope Law and Hallam

Rough Edges: Free for Kindle Today and Tomorrow: Hangrope Law and Hallam

Paging Jeff Meyerson

Brooklyn’s 10 Best Under-the-Radar Pizzerias

Archaeology Update

Archaeologists at 'Pompeii of Japan' site find a 1,400 year-old warrior still wearing his armour

Why 2012 was the best year ever

Why 2012 was the best year ever: It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world. That sounds like an extravagant claim, but it is borne out by evidence. Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing countries are charging ahead, and people are being lifted out of poverty at the fastest rate ever recorded. The death toll inflicted by war and natural disasters is also mercifully low. We are living in a golden age.

Invisibility Cloak Update

Canadian camouflage company claims to have created perfect invisibility cloak, US military soon to be invisible

The Fascinating Origins of 10 Christmas Traditions

The Fascinating Origins of 10 Christmas Traditions 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

A Lauderhill man allegedly bit and nearly severed his wife's ear during an argument early Sunday in a parking garage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

10 Incredible Recently Discovered Animals

10 Incredible Recently Discovered Animals

Overlooked Movies: Will Penny

 I never saw the episode of TV's The Westerners that Will Penny is based on, but I've seen a good many episodes of that series. Brian Keith starred, and I can imagine him in the title role in this movie.  In fact, it's easier to imagine him in it than Charlton Heston, who was more apt to be playing Ben Hur or El Cid or Moses by this time in his career.

The story's a small one.  Will Penny is an aging cowboy who's hired to ride a fence line on a big ranch during the winter.  He's supposed to stay in a small cabin, but when he gets there, he finds it occupied by a woman named Catherine (Joan Hackett) and her son.  They'd hired a guide to take them west, but he's left them on their own.  Their only chance to survive the winter is to stay in the cabin.  Penny gives them a week.  Either they move in that time, or he puts them out.

At some point during the week, Penny runs into the Quints, a family out for revenge against him.  He gets shot up.  Badly wounded, he manages to get back to the cabin, where he's forced to spend a lot of time recuperating.  Before long, there's a whole lot of bonding going on.  

Check out the cast for this one: Slim Pickens, William Schallert, G. D. Spradlin,  Donald Pleasence, Ben Johnson, Bruce Dern, Lee Majors, Anthony Zerbe.  Can Penny settle down and have a family?  Will the Quints return to complete their revenge?  Rent the movie and see.


Will Penny

Will Penny - Trailer - YouTube:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cold Case Update

Scientists solve 3,000-year-old pharaonic whodunit: An assassin slit the throat of Egypt's last great pharaoh at the climax of a bitter succession battle, scientists said in a report on a 3,000-year-old royal murder.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

The Red ScarfThe Red Scarf: Gil Brewer: Amazon.com: Kindle Store: From one of the masters of noir comes perhaps his most compelling novel. Roy Nichols is trying to make a go of running a motel with his wife, but forces are conspiring against them. The highway that was supposed to run past their motel may never get built, and their business is drying up. When Roy stumbles upon a briefcase loaded with cash, his problems seem to have miraculously disappeared. But in Gil Brewer's world, good fortune is never free and greed inevitably leads to destruction.

The World's Friendliest & Least Friendly Cities

The World's Friendliest & Least Friendly Cities

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Warning:  Annoying slideshow.

Jack Hanlon, R. I. P.

'Our Gang' Actor Dies At 96: Jack Hanlon, who had roles in the 1926 silent classic "The General" and in two 1927 "Our Gang" comedies, died Thursday in Las Vegas, family members said Sunday. He was 96.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, R. I. P.

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye dies at age 88: Inouye’s office said the senator died of “respiratory complications” Monday evening. His last word, according to a statement released by his staff, was “Aloha.” The long-time senator had been hospitalized since early December because of respiratory problems.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Cops: Domestic Tiff Caused By Husband's Noxious Gas, Wife's Lysol Spray Rejoinder 

Song of the Day

Christmas Island - Leon Redbone - YouTube:

12 English Letters That Didn’t Make the Alphabet

12 English Letters That Didn’t Make the Alphabet 

Today's Vintage Ad


Agree or Disagree?

10 TV Shows We’d Love to See in Black and White 

PaperBack



Gary Raisor, Less than Human, Diamond Books, 1992

Durn Tootin'

Interlibrary Loan is awesome

Another List Everyone Will Agree With

Top Ten Horror Authors

I Thought It Was Put Forth in Amazing Stories around 1956

Do we live in a massive computer simulation? Scientists seek answer: The question of whether we actually live in a simulated world was put forth by a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford in 2003, although he later said there was likely no way to know either way.

Maybe This Will Solve My Memory Problem

UPI.com: Technology has spawned 'new brain'

Yeah, But My Memory Doesn't Work Anymore, Either

Working memory better test of ability than IQ, says psychology professor 

The 30 Best Texas Albums

The 30 Best Texas Albums

New Poem at The 5-2

The 5-2 : Crime Poetry Weekly: Mabel Lee

Assignment Outer Space

ASSIGNEMENT OUTER SPACE (1961) trailer - YouTube:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Does Medicare Cover This?

Study: Quitting junk food may cause withdrawal symptoms 

This Should Be Easy Money for Some of My Readers

Earn Money Writing for Listverse 

Such a Deal!

Get a FREE voucher from Amazon to purchase THE DEAD MAN V1 (which includes the first three titles in this new, men's action adventure series) for just $1! But hurry, this offer ends in 2 days. http://local.amazon.com/san-fernando-valley/B00AOB51MC?src=email&cid=em_dd_913_101_na_s1_&ref_=pe_254660_27363720

Or try here.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Dennis Homberg Allegedly Broke Into Ex-Girlfriends Home, Glued Refrigerator Shut

Song of the Day

The Platters I'll Be Home For Christmas (HQ) - YouTube:

William Shakespeare’s 12 Coldest Quotes

William Shakespeare’s 12 Coldest Quotes 

Today's Vintage Ad


Let the Persecution End Now

Make-up free Paris Hilton shows off charitable side as she spends time with kids at LA children's hospital 

PaperBack



Charles Willeford, The Woman Chaser, Newsstand Library, 1960

The Law of Cartoon Pants

The Law of Cartoon Pants

Russian Architecture Inspired By Science Fiction

Russian Architecture Inspired By Science Fiction 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Cheetahs get workout at horse track 

7 Cities Found Under The Sea

7 Cities Found Under The Sea

A Great Movie Filmed In Texas

Product Capsule: Poster for 'The Killer Shrews'

If You Can Play it for Her, You Can Play it for Me

The Independent: A piano used in the classic Bogart and Bergman film Casablanca sold for just over $600,000 yesterday, falling far short of predictions that it could fetch $1 million or more.

Maniac

MANIAC (1934) trailer - YouTube: