Saturday, November 29, 2014

Judy Crider – In Memoriam

[Spotlight Post] Judy Crider – In Memoriam | Rhonda Eudaly

Norfolk Bronze Age dagger 'doorstop' saved

Norfolk Bronze Age dagger 'doorstop' saved: After years of use propping open a door open in the landowner's property, it was identified by members of Norfolk's Portable Antiquities Scheme as an artefact of "incredible importance".

Judy Stutts Crider - Obituary

Judy Stutts Crider - The Alvin Sun-Advertiser: Obituaries

Song of the Day

The Ink Spots - We'll Meet Again - YouTube:

Dream World

I had a beautiful dream last night.  Judy and I were walking outside on a warm, sunny day.  She was happy and laughing, the Judy I'd always known but the one who hadn't been present much for the last several months.  We walked up to a large building that looked nothing like M. D. Anderson, but a team of doctors met us out front and said that Judy's chemo had worked, that she was cured.  We both laughed aloud and held hands and ran.  I know it was a dream world, but it was a wonderful place.  I hope I pay it another visit one of these days.

Today's Vintage Ad


Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys ( 11 - 29 )

Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys ( 11 - 29 )

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Mark Kirby, Harling College, Beacon Signal, 1964

Texas Doesn't Quite Lead the Way

The five worst places to drive in the US

10 Words & Phrases Coined in Comic Strips

10 Words & Phrases Coined in Comic Strips 

The Best Bigfoot Podcast

The Best Bigfoot Podcast 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Daily Mail Online: Woman stabs her boyfriend in the chest with dinner knife because he started Thanksgiving meal without her

Antikythera Mechanism Update

Antikythera Mechanism 100 Years Older than Previously Believed

Friday, November 28, 2014

Starting Over

I told Angela and Allen and Tom last night that I didn't think I'd have a Christmas tree this year, even though Christmas was by far Judy's favorite holiday.  Or maybe because it was her favorite holiday.  They were having none of it, however, so they came over this afternoon and took me to Wal-Mart, where we braved the Black Friday mob to buy a Christmas tree.  Here's Angela doing a little work on it.  So I guess we'll have Christmas, after all.

Hamlet Said It

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!

Those lines have been in my head for many a year.  Now I know what he was talking about.  I'll snap out of it, though, given time.

Song of the Day

here comes the night....them............♥ - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad


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Lillian Preston, Part-Time Call Girl, Beacon Signal, 1960

Vintage Treasures: The Worlds of A.E. Van Vogt

Vintage Treasures: The Worlds of A.E. Van Vogt

Vintage Treasures: Gateway to Elsewhere by Murray Leinster / The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt

Vintage Treasures: Gateway to Elsewhere by Murray Leinster / The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt

FFB: The Savage Day -- Jack Higgins

The Savage Day was the first book I read with the Jack Higgins name on it, and I was immediately sold on the author.  I didn't realize that he (actually Harry Patterson) was also Hugh Marlowe and that I'd read a novel by him earlier.  However, after I became a fan, I wasn't so easy to fool again.  When I started reading a book by James Graham (A Game for Heroes), I knew within a couple of pages I'd found another Harry Patterson pseudonym.  

But I digress.  Let's get back to the book at hand, which is one of my favorites by Patterson under any name.  Simon Vaughan is a gunrunner who's in prison when the Brigadier gets him out to take on a job for the British.  He wants Vaughan to work with his fellow gunrunner to recover a lot of British bullion that the IRA has hijacked.  To do this he has to help with running some guns for the IRA.  He's to assist a young man named Binnie and an American woman named Norah Murphy.  Binnie is one of those deadly gunmen who turn up in Higgins' work with regularity.  He's a romantic idealist who really believe in the struggle.   

Naturally nothing goes smoothly.  The first run is hijacked by Frank Barry, a bomb-happy Provo, who's broken off from the IRA, thinking them too easy on kids and civilians.  The object of terrorism is to cause terror, and killing innocents tends to do that.  Many complications ensue, with lot of chases and escapes and other thrills.  A lot of people die, good and bad.  There's a good surprise at the end, too.

The Savage Day is well-written in a deceptively simple style that manages to carry a lot of emotional weight.  Highly recommended. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks to All

Thanks, everyone, for the sympathy and support you've shown on learning of Judy's death.  If you knew her, you know what a  loss this is.  If you didn't know her, I wish you had.  She was the sweetest, kindest person I've ever met.  From the day we married, I more or less ceased to exist as an individual.  There was no more Bill Crider.  There was BillandJudy.  It's been that way ever since.  My sister said today that she was worried about me because Judy and I had never been separated for more than a couple of days in all our years together.  I'll be okay, though, I think.  It's still BillandJudy as far as I'm concerned.  She may have left the world, but she'll never leave me.

There's a nice tribute to Judy here.

Judy Crider, R. I. P.

Judy with Mickey Spillane, Bouchercon, 1981.  She departed his life today at 11:00.  She'll always live in my heart.

Song of the Day

Oliver: Food, Glorious - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad


Thanksgiving

I don't know the date on this photo.  It was Thanksgiving, though, back when that was a big day for my family.  Looks like 1989, maybe.  

Too many people in the picture are no longer around, and this year I'm spending Thanksgiving in a hospital room with Judy and our kids.  Judy's been fighting her cancer for almost 8 years now, but she and the doctors have held it at bay.  At the moment it's really trying to get the upper hand.  I'm going to try to keep on doing the blog for a while, but I won't be having much to say in the comments.  If things go dark around here, you'll know why.  Everybody has to go through times like these, and I've been through them with too many of the people in the picture not to know that.  It never gets any easier, though.  It just seems to get harder, at least for me.  I'm still holding out hope for a miracle here, but sometimes miracles don't arrive when you need them.

Don't get the idea I'm not thankful today.  I'm thankful for every person in that picture: my parents, Judy's parents, my kids, my brother and my sister and their kids.  And especially for Judy.  I don't know what would've happened to me if I hadn't met and married her.  Just about everything I've accomplished in my life, however little that is, would never have happened without her.  My Thanksgiving wish is that she'll be here to help me out for many years to come.  I'm also thankful for all of you blog readers and friends, too.  You've helped me more than you know.  If you have any miracles up your sleeves, send them this way.

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Robert Leslie Bellem, The Window with the Sleeping Nude, Handi-Books, 1950

Happy Birthday, Cox Robert Crider!

Rockin' the hat long ago.  He'll always be a lot younger than I am.

I Miss the Old Days

Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1935

Why the Pilgrims Came to America

Why the Pilgrims Came to America 

The Pilgrims in America

The Pilgrims in America: Historical fact: The Pilgrims never called themselves “Pilgrims.” In fact, they weren’t known by that name until the 1840s.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Why is Thanksgiving always on Thursday? Holiday history and more

Forgotten Music that Should Stay Forgotten

10 Awful Disco Cover Versions Which Will Ruin Songs You Love 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Because You Never Know When They'll Want a Shower

Man charged with putting camera in ex’s shower says he was filming chickens

Dragon at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


David Baldacci: By the Book

David Baldacci: By the Book 

James Patterson Aims to 'Save Our Books'

Shelf Awareness: James Patterson Aims to 'Save Our Books'

Just in Time for Christmas -- A Covey of Quail by Richard Prosch -- Giveaway!

Painted Pony Books: Just in Time for Christmas -- New Release -- A COVEY OF QUAIL by RIchard Prosch -- Giveaway!: The Jo Harper series continues with an exciting new holiday story. Richard Prosch is giving away one free ecopy of A Covey of Quail to one lucky person who comments, so be sure and leave your contact information. 

5 Real Robberies With Better Twists Than Any Heist Movie

5 Real Robberies With Better Twists Than Any Heist Movie 

Song of the Day

The Seekers - I'll Never Find Another You - 1965 - YouTube:

My Bid Missed It by That Much *holds thumb and forefinger a millimeter apart*

‘Casablanca’ Piano Sells for $3.4 Million at Bonhams 

Announcement

According to this announcement, it appears that Sheriff Rhodes will be around for at least two more books (assuming I'm not too lazy to write them): "Bill Crider's SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN and the next Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery, to Toni Kirkpatrick at Thomas Dunne Books, by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds (NA)."

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Priceless Cultural Works We Nearly Lost Forever

10 Priceless Cultural Works We Nearly Lost Forever 

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Ted Mark (Theodore Gottfried), The Nude Wore Black, Lancer, 1967

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton shows she's got edge in a gothic black top and tight leather leggings arriving at LAX   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Science Fiction Book Club brochures 1962-1985

The Golden Age: Things To Come ~ misc Science Fiction Book Club brochures 1962-1985 ~ artwork by Finlay, Freas, Frazetta, Holland, Corben, Kaluta and others

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2014 | Publishers Weekly

Silent Comics of the Sound Era

Silent Comics of the Sound Era 

Celery and Olives Dominated Thanksgiving for Nearly 100 Years—Until They Didn’t

Celery and Olives Dominated Thanksgiving for Nearly 100 Years—Until They Didn’t   

Link via Neatorama.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

JK Rowling Update

JK Rowling finishes Harry Potter spin-off script: what to expect 

Win a Kindle Voyage Loaded with Brash Books

Win a Kindle Voyage Loaded with Brash Books

Release Day!

I'm "And Others."

Instant Karma

Florida man pulls back gun hammer to threaten wife, dog — then accidentally shoots self in face

The top 10 words invented by writers

The top 10 words invented by writers 

Uh-Oh

The Perils Of Technology, The Dangers Of ‘Email Apnea’ 

Song of the Day

This Wheel's On Fire - Ian & Sylvia - YouTube:

“Crime Writing in Iceland? Really?” (by Ragnar Jonasson)

“Crime Writing in Iceland? Really?” (by Ragnar Jonasson) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Today's Vintage Ad


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman faces assault charge after Monopoly game gets out of hand  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PaperBack



Eric Ambler, Journey into Fear, Pocket Books, 1943

Shakespeare Update

Rare copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio found in French library

Screwball Comedy: The Essential Characters

Flavorwire: The 8 People You Meet in a Screwball Comedy

Archaeology Upate

Ancient Settlement Discovered Off Greek Island Of Delos

The 25 Best Inventions of 2014

The 25 Best Inventions of 2014

Overlooked Movies -- Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Yes, once again I'm cheating.  Many of you will be familiar with this movie, but I'm guessing that some of you have overlooked it.  (When Warren Beatty made a movie called Heaven Can Wait some years after this one, he took the title but nothing else.  His movie is based on one called Here Comes Mr. Jordan.)

The movie looks great.  (I miss Technicolor that practically blazes off the screen.)  The opening scene is a gem as Henry van Cleve (Don Ameche) descends a long stairway down to the magnificent art deco anteroom to Hell, where he meets His Excellency (Laird Cregar) for the interview that will determine whether Henry can enter Hell itself.  He feels he's fully qualified because of the life he's led, which he begins to describe to His Excellency.

His story is mostly about women.  He's known his share, but he falls hard for Martha Strable (Gene Tierney) the instant he sees her, and there's a fine flirtation in the Brentano's Bookstore of the latter 19th century.  Martha is engaged, and though she's obviously attracted, she flees.  Later Henry is attending an engagement party for his priggish cousin Albert (Allyn Joslyn).  It's no surprise to us that Albert's intended is Martha.  Henry finds her alone and proposes that they elope right then and there, which they do.

During their marriage, Henry continues to dally with other women.  Martha leaves him once and returns to her Kansas home (and some great scenes with Marjorie Main and Eugene Pallette), where Henry and his grandfather (Charles Coburn) track her down.  So does Albert, but Henry and Martha "elope" again.

After Martha's death, Henry is still gallivanting around, although it's obvious that he was deeply in love with his wife.  In his last illness he has a dream that a boatman has arrived to take him away.   Henry tells his nurse that he wouldn't get into such a shoddy rowboat and  insisted on a beautiful ship.  And the boatman returned with it and with a beautiful woman, too.  

After hearing Henry's story, His Excellency directs Henry to the "Up" elevator and tells him that his wife and grandfather are waiting for him and that there might be a small room for him there.

This is a funny and touching movie, and it's the best role Don Ameche ever had, at least for me.  He had a nice late-career revival in movies like Cocoon and Things Change, but in this one he's just tops.  So is everybody else.  A movie like this would no doubt flop today, but I liked just about everything about it.  Watch the trailer down below, and you might find that you'd like to see the movie, too.

Heaven Can Wait

Heaven Can Wait (1943) Trailer - YouTube:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunset as Seen from a Hospital Room at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center


Top Hits at British Funerals

Monty Python tune tops funeral songs

Hat tip to Rick Robinson.

Dave Appell, R. I. P.

Billboard: Dave Appell, the Philadelphia songwriter-producer behind such 1960s rock 'n' roll hits as "Let's Twist Again" and "Limbo Rock" from Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time," has died. He was 92.

Frank Frazetta ~ Burroughs Artist Portfolio ~ Canaveral Plates ~ 1968

The Golden Age: Frank Frazetta ~ Burroughs Artist Portfolio ~ Canaveral Plates ~ 1968

Song of the Day

Hold on tight to your Dreams - ELO - YouTube:

The Sci-fi Films of Robert Wise

The Sci-fi Films of Robert Wise

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Authentic Historical Artifacts No One Can Explain

10 Authentic Historical Artifacts No One Can Explain

Matthew McConaughey to take The Stand

The Guardian: Matthew McConaughey is tipped to take the role of villainous Randall Flagg in The Stand, a Hollywood franchise based on the 1978 Stephen King novel. Backed by Warner Bros, The Stand will be released as four standalone pictures directed by Josh Boone. Discussing the project on Kevin Smith’s podcast, Boone described The Stand as “the Godfather of post-apocalyptic thrillers.”

PaperBack



Cynthia Sydney, Give and Take, Midwood, 1966

New Poem at the Five-Two

The Five-Two: John David Muth: November Storm

I Prefer the Term "Homage"

Author, 17, Says It’s ‘Mixing,’ Not Plagiarism 

I For One Welcome Our New Robot Masters

Microsoft turns to robotic security guards to watch for trouble

You Deserve A Break Today

Motorist Hit Man In McDonald’s Drive-Thru, Then Backed Over Him To Grab Order 

I Love Stories Like This

This Way to Texas: A box of books

The most-stolen vehicle in every state

The most-stolen vehicle in every state 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Point of View

It seems that more and more often these days I see readers complaining about what they call "point of view hopping."  I can see why they might object to shifting points of view in a paragraph or mayb even a chapter, but what the heck is wrong with telling a story from the points of view of several different characters.  When did this become a sin?  About the time that adverbs were outlawed?  I can think of one story that I used to teach in my American lit classes, "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," in which we even get the point of view of a dog for a sentence or so.  Was Stephen Crane wrong to write it like that?  

My problem, and I realize it, is that I'm a geezer.  I grew up reading people who didn't know the rules.  I love the opening paragraph of "The Fall of the House of Usher," but no editor today would let it pass.  Too many adjectives.  I'm just going to keep on enjoying stories written in all kinds of styles, and if the author wants to switch the point of view now and then, that's fine with me.

Or maybe I'm wrong about this and I've misinterpreted what I've read.  I'm sure someone will let me know if that's the case.

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

NightSweats: NIGHT SWEATS Garnett Elliott

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Meet the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time

Song of the Day

WILLIE NELSON - WHISPERING HOPE - YouTube:

What 1939 Thought Fashion in 2000 Would Look Like

What 1939 Thought Fashion in 2000 Would Look Like 

Today's Vintage Ad


A Visual Guide to All 37 Villains in the 'Batman' TV Series

A Visual Guide to All 37 Villains in the 'Batman' TV Series 

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John Godey, A Thrill a Minute with Jack Albany, Gold Medal, 1968

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

Soon to Be a Lifetime Movie

My husband was no match for the fantasy hunk in my erotic novels... so I've ditched him, says bestselling writer of steamy fiction

Here's the Plot for Your Next Espionage Thriller

Modern art was CIA 'weapon' 

Nic Cage Update

Fact Fiend: Spend enough time online and you’ll eventually learn a lot about the mysterious and legendary figure known to the world as Nicolas Cage. Over the years much has been written about Cage and not a lot of it is flattering, so we wanted to correct that by explaining how Cage is literally one of the most generous celebrities out there.

The 50 Hottest Cars Of The Past 100 Years

The 50 Hottest Cars Of The Past 100 Years

Or Maybe You Did

Films You Didn’t Know Were Ripped from the Headlines