Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day History: The history of Valentine's Day is obscure, and further clouded by various fanciful legends. The holiday's roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 12, 2016

This Evening's Panel at Con DFW

Left to right: Kathy Turski, Rhonda Eudaly, Bill Crider, John Scalzi, K. B. Bogen, and Barbara Ann Wright

I'm in Big D

The Magic Word is FREE...

The Magic Word is FREE... Lawrence Block books!

The Digest Enthusiast #3 -- Richard Krauss, Editor

I look forward to every issue of this publication.  It's filled with page after page of great stuff.  Of particular interest to me in this issue is Peter Enfantino's summary and rating of every story in Super-Science Fiction, but there's so much more that it's hard to enumerate.  Of equal interest is Steve Carper's article on the digest publications of the stories of Dashiell Hammett, including a bibliography.  There's even a review of the December 1953 issue of Manhunt.  And much, much more.  This one's well worth you time and money.  Highly recommended.

Song of the Day

Elvis Presley - When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again - YouTube:

Gator Update Update Update Wendy’s alligator thrower is only fulfilling his Flori-duh destiny

Today's Vintage Ad

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week


Vic Fredericks, Crackers in Bed, Pocket Books, 1955

Where Am I?

Well, as you read this, I'm probably on Interstate Highway 45, chugging toward Dallas, Texas, where I'll be attending ConDFW XV.  

If you're going to be in Dallas this weekend, you can drop by and say "hey," or you can go to one of the panels I'll be on and heckle. 

Since I'll be on the road most of Friday and Saturday (Dallas is a long way from Alvin) and since I'll be on panels for most of Saturday, I probably won't be responding to comments on the blog or doing much e-mail.  Everything should be back on track on Monday.

All the usual blog stuff will continue to appear, thanks to the magic of scheduling things in advance, as long as the Internet doesn't break.

Gator Update

As some of you know, the bank I use in Alvin is a haven for gators.  I had to pay a visit there today, and the gators were in fine form.  Naturally I had to take a few snapshots.

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: FFB Review: "The Blacklin County Files: 5 Sheriff Dan Rhodes Stories" by Bill Crider

FFB: Chancy and the Grand Rascal -- Sid Fleischman

Image result for Chancy and the Grand Rascal -- Sid FleischmanLong ago I picked up A. S. Fleischman's Gold Medal novels.  I enjoyed the ones I read, but I didn't put Fleischman in the top rank of Gold Medal writers.  About 20 years ago, I discovered that he'd reinvented himself as an author of children's books and gone on to win just about every award available.  I picked up one of the books and immediately became a fan.  The other day I ran across one I hadn't read, Chancy and the Grand Rascal.  Naturally I snapped it up.

Teenaged Chancy, whose father died in the Civil War and whose mother died soon afterward, was separated from his younger brother and sister.  He's fond of the family that took him in, but now he's off to find his siblings, pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with food and his meager possessions.  Along the way, as is the usual thing in stories like this, he'll encounter adventures and rascals, but there are some good folks too.  One of the latter is his uncle, the Grand Rascal, Will Buckthorn, who claims that he "can out-laugh, out-exaggerate and out-rascal any man this side of the Big Muddy, and twice as many on the other!"  He can, too, and he has other talents and abilities, including being able to bend a rifle barrel over his knee.

Some adventures occur on land, some on an island, some on a steamboat, and some on a raft.  They're all fun and funny, as Fleischman gives a real tall-tale flavor to everything.  And in a Fleischman novel, you can count on all the plot threads coming together neatly before the end.  I get a big kick out of his books, and if I run across another one I haven't read, I'll grab that one, too.