Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads | Best Fiction 2016 — Goodreads Choice Awards

Rashaan Salaam, R. I. P.

The Daily Beast: Retired football star Rashaan Salaam was found dead in a Boulder, Colorado park Monday night at age 42. Salaam, a running back, won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 for the University of Colorado. He was a first-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears, where he became the youngest player to rush 1,000 yards. His cause of death is unknown, and authorities said there were no signs of foul play. The Daily Camera reported that police are investigating the death as a possible suicide.

Kindle Book Bargain of the Day

Amazon.com: The Forever War eBook: Joe Haldeman, John Scalzi: Kindle Store  

A mere 25 cents.  If you like SF and haven't read this, you should.  Scalzi provides the introduction.

Margaret Whitton, R. I. P.

Tampa Bay Times: You know Margaret Whitton's work even if you don't always remember her name. She was evil Cleveland Indians owner "Rachel Phelps" bent on taunting her players in Major League. She was the ignored wife intent on seducing Michael J. Fox in The Secret of My Success

Marget Whitton passed away on Sunday at her Palm Beach (Fla.) home after a brief battle with cancer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She was 67.

Guess Which One I Need

Seriously though. The Things Children Used to Play With...

Song of the Day

Red Simpson The Highway Patrol - YouTube:

I Just . . . I Can't . . . I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

The highest paid YouTuber in 2016 made ...: PewDiePie — who recently declared he will delete his YouTube channel once he reaches 50 million subscribers — is the highest paid digital star of 2016. 

The Swedish gamer — whose real name is Felix Kjellberg — made an estimated $15 million for the 12 months ending in June 2016, according to Forbes' recent ranking.

2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees

2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees

Today's Vintage Ad

12 of the Most Distracting Extras in Movie History

12 of the Most Distracting Extras in Movie History  

Link via Neatorama.


John Dickson Carr, Till Death Do Us Part, Bantam, 1950

Van Williams, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Van Williams, who played crime fighters on television during the 1960s, most notably the Green Hornet on a short-lived ABC show that later attained a cult following and that introduced American audiences to the martial arts master Bruce Lee, died last week in a care facility near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 82.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Bad Movie Night

Bad Movie Night: The Holiday Season Joylessness of ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’ 

Literal Bohemian Rhapsody

Literal Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been turned into a hardboiled crime noir film. You already know the plot. You probably already know the entire script. But you'll want to watch anyway.

Peter Vaughan, R. I. P.

Daily Mail Online: Peter Vaughan, best known for his roles in Porridge and Game Of Thrones, has died today aged 93, his agent said. The actor, who had a career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 75 years, died this morning, surrounded by his family.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

This Works Nearly Every Time

Vero Beach Man 'Plays Dead' So Guest Would Leave His Home  

The story reads like an episode of a bad sitcom.

Overlooked Movies: Man in the Shadow

As I mentioned on Friday, I read the novelization (by Harry Whittington) of this movie before watching it on Encore Westerns.  The movie and the novelization are very similar, although the level of violence in the movie doesn't equal that of the novelization.  The poster looks pretty good, and it makes me wonder what the movie would have been like in color.  As it is, it's a low-budget B&W production.  The B&W photography is very effective, so maybe color wouldn't have served this modern western well.

Jeff Chandler plays Ben Sadler, the sheriff who's going to investigate a murder of a worker on the Golden Empire Ranch, no matter who tries to stop him.  Orson Welles plays Renchler, the ranch owner, who asked two of his top hands to teach the worker a lesson.  He fights back, and they kill him.  They figure no one will care about one more wetback (the movie's term) death, but they didn't reckon on Sadler.  The closer Sadler gets to the truth, the more Welles ups the ante, and soon an attempt is made on Sadler's life.  It fails, but finally he's beaten and humiliated.  I won't spoil the ending for you, but there's nothing new here.

That doesn't mean it's not relevant to our own time. It certainly is.  You'll have to watch it and make your own judgment, but it seems more relevant now than ever.  It's very well done, and Orson Welles, even though he must have needed to money to make this kind of movie, is very good.  He's fun to watch.  Chandler is handsome and stalwart.  The supporting cast is very good, with Colleen Miller, Ben Alexander, William Schallert, Paul Fix, Royal Dano, Leo Gordon, and probably some others you'll recognize.

Man in the Shadow isn't a classic, but it's gripping for its short running time.  There's no trailer available.  Catch it if you can.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Have We No Freedoms Left at All?

Florida woman arrested after twerking on car

PimPage: An occasional feature in which I call attention books of possible interest

Otto Penzler, ed. - Silent Night, Deadly Night | The Mysterious Bookshop: Ah, the Christmas season. The scent of roasting chestnuts fills the air, turkeys cook in every household oven, and mistletoe is hung in every unsuspecting doorway. But beneath this cheerful Yuletide veneer, a seedier reality lurks, as a criminal element continues to ply its dastardly trade in secret, disguised by the joyous songs of carolers young and old… At least, that’s the case in the pages of this volume, in which some of crime fiction’s biggest names offer a playful take on the holiday’s most beloved melodies, including such soon-to-be classics as “Arrested Merry Gentleman,” “How Come You’re Not Faithful,” and “I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus.”  

I'm among "many others" who contributed to this little anthology.  My "Frosty the Blowman" is in there somewhere.  I'd forgotten all about it, as the book was to be published eight years ago.  Things went wrong with the original publisher, and when Otto Penzler was going through his files, he decided to publish the book himself.  Check it out.

2016 Nero Award and Black Orchid Novella Award Winners

Press Release from The Wolfe Pack— 2016 Nero Award and Black Orchid Novella Award Winners

PimPage: An occasional feature in which I call attention books of possible interest

RISING SUN: The Complete Trilogy - Kindle edition by James Cabot. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.  The RISING SUN trilogy is a science fiction historical thriller. An unearthly / mysterious / sinister and beautiful time traveler crosses paths and clashes with an American secret agent in the days before the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. A tale of intrigue, romance, deception, and betrayal. An epic journey revealing great secrets both international and intimate.

The RISING SUN trilogy took thirty-five years to complete. I started writing it in October, 1981, in Hawaii. I fell in love not just with the story and its characters, but also with my research that uncovered forgotten aspects of the 1941 era. I fell in love not just with the story and its characters, but also with my research that uncovered forgotten aspects of the 1941 era. I completed the trilogy as I retired from teaching in the late summer of 2016. I am pleased that the books will appear around the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The ‘Ancient Lights’ Windows of England

The ‘Ancient Lights’ Windows of England

Song of the Day

Otis Redding-Pain in My Heart - YouTube:

Genius at Play

Some genius combined a shotgun and a guitar because...why not?

Today's Vintage Ad

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Ranking Every Clint Eastwood Film from Worst to First  

Deslided for your viewing pleasure.


E. X. Ferrars, Hunt the Tortoise, Curtis Book

A Brief Compendium of the American TV Dinner

A Brief Compendium of the American TV Dinner  

Some great vintage ads.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Diplomatic Thriller

A Fake US Embassy Operated In Ghana For A Whole Decade

I Want to Believe!

Time is NOT real – Physicists show EVERYTHING happens at the same time 

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Travis Holley, R. I. P.

Houston Chronicle: Travis Holley achieved a certain measure of fame for teaching his younger brother to play the guitar. That brother, who became known as Buddy Holly, went on to be an early Rock n' Roll legend before dying in a plane crash in 1959.

‘Jane Eyre’ manuscript published for the first time

‘Jane Eyre’ manuscript published for the first time

Song of the Day

Speak to the Sky - Rick Springfield - YouTube:

Resurrecting America's Great Old Diners, By Moving Them Across State Lines

Resurrecting America's Great Old Diners, By Moving Them Across State Lines

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

. . . and now it's the strip club fight!  

Hat tip to Steve Stilwell.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Art Car Museum – Houston, Texas: Some people wash and wax their cars, making sure that the finish is exactly as clean and shiny as the day they bought the car. The art car movement goes in entirely the other direction.


David Dodge, Shear the Black Sheep, Popular Library, 1949

Bicycle Heaven

Bicycle Heaven – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:  With 3,000 bikes on display, the world's largest bicycle museum includes some famous rarities.

Striking Portraits of Lonely Cars in 1970s New York

Atlas Obscura: This photograph is just one of many Clay shot between 1974 and 1976. In those years he documented parked cars, in Manhattan and Hoboken, in streets devoid of people and always at night. The title of each image includes the names of the cars, which are themselves evocative: Chevrolet Bel Air, Plymouth Duster, Gran Torino Sport.

A mysterious 14-year cycle has been controlling our words for centuries

A mysterious 14-year cycle has been controlling our words for centuries