Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ron Glass, R. I. P.

Variety: Ron Glass, a prolific TV actor known for playing Ron Harris in the sitcom “Barney Miller” and Shepherd Derrial Book in “Firefly,” has died. He was 71.

These Facts Are Nuts! -

These Facts Are Nuts! -: Warning: This article full of nut trivia may contain nuts.

Song of the Day

"Charlie Rich ~ Lonely Weekends" - 1960 - YouTube:

I Miss the Old Days

On This Day in 1948, the First Polaroid Camera Was Sold: On November 26, 1948, Edwin Land debuted his first "Land Camera," dubbed the Model 95A. This was the first "Polaroid camera," as we'd popularly know it—though camera nerds like me still talk about Land Cameras. Anyway, the 95A went on sale at the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston for $89.75. (That would be just over $900 in today's money.)

Today's Vintage Ad


Daily creative activity promotes a sense of wellbeing

Daily creative activity promotes a sense of wellbeing

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Richard Meade (Ben Haas) and Jay Rutledge, The Belle From Catscratch, Fawcett, 1972

17 Science Fiction Books That Forever Changed The Genre

17 Science Fiction Books That Forever Changed The Genre

Fidel Castro, R. I. P.

he New York Times: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90.  

Hat tip to Deb.

Marilyn Monroe's First Marriage

Marilyn Monroe's First Marriage 

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review

Friday, November 25, 2016

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

The Complete Richard Hannay Series (ShandonPress) by [John Buchan, Shandonpress]The Complete Richard Hannay Series (ShandonPress) - Kindle edition by John Buchan, Shandonpress. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

This Parisian man’s photos changed homicide investigations forever

This Parisian man’s photos changed homicide investigations forever: Grim photos of often gruesome crimes  

Link via Messy Nessy.

Song of the Day

Mohammed's Radio (2008 Remastered Version) - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

Retrospace: Awesome Vintage Conan The Barbarian Comic Covers

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Robert Carson, Love Affair, Popular Library, 1959

Welcome to the World Nomad Games

Welcome to the World Nomad Games​: 'If Genghis Khan were alive, he’d be here'

The Lasting Influence of Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson

The Lasting Influence of Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson  

I met him in 2007.  Quite an interesting guy.

I Miss the Old Days

Hemmings Daily: Relive the 1960s with a pair of custom Mustang convertibles built for Sonny & Cher

Florence Henderson, R. I. P.

Fox News: Florence Henderson, who became the ultimate TV mom when she took on the role of Carol Brady in '70s sitcom "The Brady Bunch," has died, her reps revealed. She was 82.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

FFB: License to Kill -- Norman Daniels

License to Kill is a fine example of a generic paperback: generic cover, generic title, generic blurb, generic contents.  The publisher, Pyramid, didn't even bother to mention on the cover (or anywhere else) that it was the second book about Kelly Carvel, so when I pulled it off the shelf more or less at random, I didn't know that, either.  

Carvel is a generic character, a former cop who's resigned because a killer he captured has been let off on a technicality.  Now Carvel works for 10 men whose names he doesn't know.  They pay him to be a sort of freelance spy or lawman or whatever they need him to be, and he works hand-in-glove with the government, or so it seems.  

In License to Kill Carvel is sent to Uruguay to rescue two men captured by the Tupamaros, revolutionaries who want to take over the country.  He's told that he can kill anyone with impunity and that he won't get into any trouble for anything else he does, either.  In Uruguay he's met by Mike Santo, his partner from the earlier book, and they have a team of four men to assist them.  Considering the strength of the Tupamaros, their mission seems doomed from the start, especially since the revolutionaries know their every move.  Someone in Carvel's team is a plant.  They're later joined by a young woman who's there mainly to provide a few sex teases.

There's a lot of generic action, a lot of explosions, and a couple of generic twists that don't surprise, and of course all's well that ends well.  Norman Daniels wrote hundreds of pulp stories and hundreds of novels.  He could do this kind of thing in his sleep.  In fact, maybe he did.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tim Heald: R.I.P.

Mystery Fanfare: Tim Heald: R.I.P.

David "Boo" Ferriss, R. I. P.

Houston Chronicle: JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — David "Boo" Ferriss, a Boston Red Sox pitcher who helped lead the team to the 1946 World Series, has died. He was 94.

Song of the Day

Oliver! (The Musical) (1968) Food Glorious Food - YouTube:

Secrets of Roller Derby

13 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Roller Derby 

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

Watch How Libraries Were Organized in 1951 (Card Catalogs!)

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Eaton K. Goldthwaite, Scarecrow, Dell, 1947

Vintage drum kits (1920s - 1930s)

Vintage drum kits (1920s - 1930s)  

Link via Messy Nessy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few things I'm thankful for this year: 

Surviving a health crisis.  I had a health update post yesterday, so you can take a look at that if you haven't already.  There were a few days in July when I thought I was a goner.  I'm not, and I hope to be around for a while.  I'm thankful for that.   I have a distance to go, but so far, so good.

Angela, Allen, and Tom.  They came through for me big-time.  I couldn't have made it without them.

My sister, Francelle, and my brother, Bob: They came through, too, in big ways, and Bob even took over on the sale of Judy's parents' old house.  Closing was on Tuesday, and I didn't have to drive up for it because he stood in for me.  Now I have one less problem to worry about.

All of you who read this blog and a lot of others, too.  I never knew how many people were concerned for me and my well-being.  I was surprised and touched at the outpouring of good wishes, prayers, good vibes, and genuine caring.


Keanu, Li'l Ginger Tom, and Gilligan.  The three little kittens I pulled out of a ditch back in the spring.  They've sure livened things up around the house. They've gotten much bigger, too.  Much, much bigger.

I Want to Believe!

Ice cream for breakfast makes you smarter, Japanese scientist claims

The Origins of 10 Thanksgiving Traditions

The Origins of 10 Thanksgiving Traditions 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Pistol For Dragoons

A Pistol For Dragoons: The U.S. Army’s first official percussion handgun was designed especially for the man who fought on horseback.

Song of the Day

The Power Of Positive Drinkin' - YouTube:

Five extraordinary poems that inspired Bob Dylan

Five extraordinary poems that inspired Bob Dylan

Today's Vintage Ad



Incredible YouTuber slays classic rock covers

Incredible YouTuber slays classic rock covers with an instrument you've never heard of before

A Little Time Off

I'll have less access to the computer for a few days, what with it being Thanksgiving and all.  I should be back on Saturday.  I'll have some posts lined up, and you might not even notice I'm gone unless you try to email me.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everybody!

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Eliot Brewster, Plenty of Love, Knickerbocker.

Ralph Branca, R. I. P.

Ralph Branca, beloved Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher, dead at 90: Ralph Branca, who gave up one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, died Wednesday morning.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Anne Rice Inverview

Anne Rice Talks Inspiration, Atlantis, and, Yes, Vampires

Paris Hilton Update

26 Times Paris Hilton Out–Paris Hiltoned Herself In 2016

Health Update

I don't write a lot of personal posts here, but several people have asked about my health, so I thought I'd say a few words.

Some of you saw me in New Orleans at the Bouchercon, and while I was managing pretty well, I wasn't in top form, especially on Saturday.  I did mange the airports and the short drives to and from Houston Hobby without much trouble.

I'm happy to report that I've improved a good bit since then.  I feel good most of the time.  I'm stronger and have more stamina.  My blood pressure is fine, and tests have shown that I don't have any heart problems or brain issues.

Chemo looms, but I'm willing to postpone it as long as the doctor is.  She assured me earlier that I'd need it at some point, but so far that point hasn't arrived.  Maybe she was waiting until I got stronger.  I have no appointments currently scheduled, so I'm keeping a low profile.

So that's where things stand.  Thanks to everyone for all the kindnesses and good thoughts so far, but don't forget me.  I'm not out of the woods yet.

I Want to Believe!

Russian dashcam footage captures ape-like creature dashing across a snow-covered road

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

French man discovers gold coins and bars worth €3.5m in inherited house  

Hat tip to Deb.

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium Parts 3 & 4

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium Part 3 - YouTube

EQMM 75th-Anniversary Symposium Part 4 - YouTube




“Channeling Sally Fields” by Doug Allyn

“Channeling Sally Fields” by Doug Allyn | Trace Evidence: Doug Allyn is the author of novels including The Burning of Rachel Hayes and the forthcoming The Jukebox King, and a multiple winner of the Edgar Award for Best Short Story as well as the EQMM Readers Award. His last tale to appear in AHMM was “Message from the Morgue” (January/February 2015). Here, on the reflective occasion of our 60th anniversary, he talks about publishing his first short story “Final Rites” in the December 1985 issue—and winning the Robert L. Fish Award for it.

Who Was the Mysterious Babushka Lady at JFK’s Assassination?

Who Was the Mysterious Babushka Lady at JFK’s Assassination? 

A Brief History of Zines

A Brief History of Zines 

Song of the Day

Jay And The Americans.....Only In America - YouTube:

Get Out Your Checkbook!

You Can Own a 'Castle' in Alvin, Texas for $300K

Today's Vintage Ad


Croc Update (Mummy Edition)

IFLScience: Researchers have been left completely dumbstruck by the staggering discovery of dozens of mummified baby crocodiles hidden alongside a massive adult. The 3-meter-long (10-foot-long) croc, thought to have been embalmed by Ancient Egyptians around 2,500 years ago, has spent nearly two centuries on display at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, yet the small army of hatchlings had until now gone undetected.

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Amos Hatter, Girl of the Midway, Cameo Books, 1952

My Mother's Birthday . . .

. . .  was November 22, a day that became famous for another event that cast a shadow over her birthday from then on.  She was born 100 years ago, and I still think about her all the time.

Uh-Oh

‘SNOWPIERCER’, THE TRAIN RIDE TO HELL WILL BECOME TV SERIES AT TNT

Overlooked Movies: Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

Real Doc Savage fans don't like this movie.  As for me, I'm not a trufan, but I'll admit that mistakes were made.  It could have been (and should have been) much better.  When it appeared, I'd read several of the Bantam editions of the novels and enjoyed them as good pulp fun.  The movie all too seldom captures that spirit, as the makers were apparently under the impression that they had to camp things up.  A thumb-sucking villain who sleeps in a giant version of a baby's crib?  Long patriotic speeches?  A flash in Doc's eye?  There are a lot more, but I don't include the John Phillip Sousa soundtrack.  I love Sousa.

And the movie does get some things right: a lost tribe, an opening with an attempted assassination scene right out of the novel, the Green Death, the look of Doc in some scenes.  It's all too mixed up, though.  If they'd just played it straight, it would have been a much better movie.

I saw the movie in the theater when it came out, and I own the DVD, so I'll have to admit that I do get a kick out of it.   I'm a mere Doc dilettante, though, as I said, and not a true believer.  The movie's certainly not for everyone or maybe anyone but me.

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975) Official Trailer - Ron Ely, Paul Gleason Movie HD - YouTube:

Monday, November 21, 2016

William Trevor, R. I. P.

The New York Times: William Trevor, whose mournful, sometimes darkly funny short stories and novels about the small struggles of unremarkable people placed him in the company of masters like V. S. Pritchett, W. Somerset Maugham and Chekhov, died on Sunday in Somerset, England. He was 88.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

66 Museums Each Dedicated to One Very Specific Thing

66 Museums Each Dedicated to One Very Specific Thing

Song of the Day

Roy Hamilton - "Don't Let Go" - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Most Impressive Thing About All 50 States 

Today's Vintage Ad


15 Great Unreleased Beatles Songs You Can Stream

15 Great Unreleased Beatles Songs You Can Stream  

Link via The Presurfer.

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Andre Norton, The Defiant Agentss, Ace, 1972

I Miss the Old Days

The 1972 Texas State Fair was bursting with beef, eggs and wild fashion

Milt Okun, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Milt Okun, a producer and arranger who helped turn acts as diverse as Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver and Pl├ícido Domingo into pop sensations, and who founded Cherry Lane Music Publishing, one of the world’s largest independent music publishers, died on Tuesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 92.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

18 Things That Are Way Too Real If You Just Can't Stop Buying Books

18 Things That Are Way Too Real If You Just Can't Stop Buying Books

The Tombstones of 25 Famous People

The Tombstones of 25 Famous People

New York City's Last Dairy

Inside the Final Days of New York City's Last Dairy: Elmhurst Dairy closes its doors in late October. What happens when a metropolis loses milk?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Alvin Leads the Way!

bc7ny.com: A girl from Alvin, Texas is paying it forward at a doughnut shop after a woman was caught on camera stealing money from a tip jar.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

David Cranmer Interview

The David Cranmer Q&A

Colombia's Ancient Lost City

A Visual Tour Through Colombia's Ancient Lost City: It's 650 years older than Machu Picchu.

Song of the Day

The Soul Stirrers-The Love of God - YouTube:

Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain)

Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain) – Pitumarca, Peru 

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Everyday Expressions That Are Much Older Than You Think

10 Everyday Expressions That Are Much Older Than You Think

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Alan Burt Akers (Kenneth Bulmer), Warriors of Scorpio, DAW, 1973

I Miss the Old Days

8 Movie Theater Gimmicks That Flopped 

Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches

Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls

In 1961, Roald Dahl Hosted His Own Version of 'The Twilight Zone'

In 1961, Roald Dahl Hosted His Own Version of 'The Twilight Zone': Looking back at the macabre delights of the famous author's forgotten TV horror show.