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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Star Trekkin'

Sometimes Star Trek episodes were based on whatever junk the props and costume departments managed to scrape up in the Paramount warehouse.  There was Planet Nazi, Planet Bonnie and Clyde and Planet Cowboy.  If the show went to four seasons we would have eventually been treated to Planet Busby Berkeley, with Spock and Kirk performing water ballet in one-piece bathing suits.  Tonight was Planet Rome. 

If it had been our modern Rome, Kirk, Bones and Spock would have had their pockets picked two seconds after they beamed down and then spent the next fifty minutes skating around on pigeon crap looking for the Klingons who stole their rented Vespas.  Instead, they landed in ancient Rome brought into the modern age.  So there were gladiators on TV and ads for Neptune toothpaste. 

Kirk and the others are there to find the crew of a ship that went missing six years before.  When they first arrive it's explained by some runaway slaves that the society's slaves just got happily content with the idea of being slaves because the government gave them social security and free health care.  I hate it when science fiction is so unbelievable, don't you? 

Kirk and his pals are captured by some guards out of a Zucker brothers comedy wearing white motorcycle helmets.  That whistling box Spock carries is able to detect cities over the horizon but not four guys hiding behind the bushes.  The landing party is stuck because their stuff is taken from them and the Enterprise can't find them without their communicators.  Right now on Earth you can go to the vet and get a tracker injected in your dog, but apparently that technology was lost to the 24th century back during the 1990s nuclear wars.  (Damn you all to hell!) 

Kirk, Spock and Bones are made to fight gladiator-style on TV, which involves blue plastic shields and cardboard Doric columns on a set smaller than the dining area at Subway.  Then Kirk bangs a platinum blonde chick in a tinfoil dress who has nothing else to do with the story.  They escape with help from the captain of the ship they were sent to find, and he's stabbed in the back with a ketchup-covered knife.  The Zucker brothers guards in white motorcycle helmets try to shoot the Enterprise landing party but the good guys beam away in the nick of time, revealing in spectacular fashion advanced technology that Kirk said at the beginning of the episode they could not reveal to the natives under any circumstances.

Back on the Enterprise, Uhura tells them that Jesus visited this planet too and instead of saying, "Sweet holy flying crap!" and marveling at the theological implications, the bridge crew stands around chuckling at the 56 minute mark as their cartoon ship flies off into the spaceset past a pair of newly inserted CG moons.

Friday, June 29, 2012

An interesting fact

Here's an interesting fact for you non-writers out there: Nothing would get done in the publishing biz were it not for editorial assistants, assistant editors, etc. Just remember that those who have "assistant" in their title at a publishing house are the only people there who work and who know which end of the cat the food goes in.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodnight, America

I think we should change the holiday to Dependence Day. We can buy our firecrackers with food stamps and set them off with the matches we picked up with our cigarettes, also paid for with food stamps. And when the sparks set our section eight apartment on fire, we can all go out on the porch and get high on our medicinal marijuana. And when the porch collapses we can all go to the hospital on Uncle Sucker's dime, and when we get out we'll all Social Security ourselves into early retirement. It's the new American dream, baby. Pushing the cart is for chumps. Climb on up inside and take a load off.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Attention, shoppers:

To everybody clogging the aisles in the supermarket peering like Pasteur at the Corn Flakes label: It might be a speeding car in the parking lot, it might be a chunk of falling satellite or a vicious little virus that no amount of squinting will reveal, but one day something will get us all, and it won't be a rampaging gang of gluten and trans fat. Take off the bifocals, toss the stupid box of Froot Loops in your cart already and live -- and enjoy -- life.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Liking Author Pages

I'm not Jim Mullaney.  I'm guesting on his blog to post a request. 

If you're on Jim's author page on Amazon, look up.  See that "Like" up there?  I received an email from an author. In it, he asks the people on his mailing list to go to his Amazon Author page and click the "like" on the upper right hand side of the page. He says he's been told it can help with the "discoverability" of his books there.  So -- if you'd like to help Jim, please click the "like."

And now, returning the blog to Jim:
What Warren is trying to do with The Destroyer and what I'm trying to do with my Crag Banyon and Red Menace books is drum up interest that will translate into dollars that'll keep our respective enterprises afloat. If you ever enjoyed anything we ever wrote, a kind review, an Amazon "like," a recommendation to a friend is what we both need now to keep going. They might seem like small things, but they aren't...which is why I'm always grateful every time I see that someone's taken the time to review one of my books. I hate sounding like a PBS pledge drive but, unlike PBS, Warren and I don't get any handouts from the government. Except, of course, for Warren's free WIC cheese. And I think they were going to name a dog track after him in West Virginia, but Bob Byrd beat him to it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thanks Bill McDaniel for the great review at Amazon of my second Crag Banyon mystery, Devil May Care. Positive word of mouth matters, ladies and germs, and there's always room for more reviews like Bill's.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just a little FYI:

Working at home is still work and just because you can write a Christmas card doesn't mean that writing a book is just as easy. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It was a ridiculous waste of resources for a broke government to go after Roger Clemens. What was Congress even doing in the first place wasting time fretting over steroid use in baseball? Let baseball police baseball. But from a purely legal standpoint, Clemens was, as Blackadder's Lt. George said, "guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo." Now I'm left wondering what kind of drugs that idiot jury was high on. Should this have come to trial? No way. Was he guilty? Of course. Is the country broke? Yes, to the tune of sixteen trillion times ten. This world is nuts.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sam Donaldson's Wig Glue Kills Brain Cells

I hear that Sam Donaldson suggested that people who are disrespectful of His Royal Highness, King Binaca Blast the Profligate, are racists.  What a silly blanket statement.  And speaking of silly blankets, just because I don't like you, Sam, that doesn't mean that I'm prejudiced against everyone who picked up their shabby plastic toupees from a boardwalk claw machine.

It is obvious that little six year old Sam, in his short pants and tiny little training wig, never had a grammar school teacher suggest to him “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.”  Or, if one said it, it didn't penetrate his hair piece.  I suppose that's good for him, since if the axiom had managed to worm its way through the layers of Elmer's rug paste he'd never have had a career.

Sam Donaldson: still opening his big, fat yap and removing all doubt after all these years.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Original Star Wars and Laserdiscs

Watched the original Star Wars on laserdisc last night. Slightly effeminate hero, creepy (knowing what comes next) incest subtext, cornball dialogue. Still, a simple story that moves along at a good pace, and not a horribly stereotyped black, Jewish or Asian Muppet to be seen. Meesah say about fifty billion times better than all three crappy second trilogy movies. 
 Yes, I still have my laserdisc player. I used to have a long list of why I like laserdiscs better than DVDs. The big one is still that lasers were limited to an hour of recorded material per side, so you don't have to sit through fifteen previews and FBI warnings that you can't skip over and stupid menus that give away key plot elements and "commentaries don't reflect the blah-blah of Paramount" warnings, etc. like you're stuck with on DVDs. With laserdics, the movies just start. That's still the big selling point for me.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Thanks to Jude Connors and James Buckley for their very kind Amazon reviews of my latest Red Menace, Drowning In Red Ink. All positive reviews are helpful and are appreciated more than you can know.

And while I'm at it, thanks to Randy Johnson, Micah Birchfield, "Destroyer Fan Sean" and "Tractor45" for their equally kind Amazon reviews of my first Crag Banyon, One Horse Open Slay. Again, these mean more to an author, in more ways than one, than you can know. Thanks again, one and all.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Warren Murphy Article Republished

Warren Murphy, co-creator of The Destroyer series along with Richard Sapir, wrote an article about ten years ago predicting the future of e-books and legacy publishers.

Heather Hildenbrand has it up on her blog today: 

Predictions... courtesy of a scotch-sipping psychic



Parks and Recreation

I wonder if I'm the only fan of Parks & Recreation who thought the show went off the tracks in a major way with the city council election arc. It was laugh-out-loud funny this season up until the penultimate episode before that month-or-two hiatus. I don't think I smiled once at the last episode before the hiatus or any of the episodes after. But last night was a rerun from earlier in the season and I was back to laughing out loud.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dollar Store Welfare Follies

Here's a slice out of my life that should tick off anyone who works hard for every penny earned.

I took my sweet little gray-haired old mother to the dollar store the other day.  She likes their two-for-a-buck card rack, I'm a huge fan of their muffin liners, which work way better than the more expensive grocery store ones.  You get a lot more in a package, as well.  Hey, don't give me that look.  We all have to stretch a buck in this, the fourth year of the reign of President Binaca Blast, the Bankrupter. 

Well, actually not all of us are straining hard to make ends meet. 

We two penny-pinchers got in line behind a woman with, I think it was, thirty-four bucks worth of stuff.  That almost doesn't seem right because it sure seemed like she was piling up more than thirty-four items on the counter from her overflowing carriage.  Whatever, thirty-four is still a real lot at the dollar store. 

Most of the items she got I know would have been cheaper at the supermarket.  For instance, as expensive as cereal has gotten since Binaca the First was elected king of the Americas and the lesser Hawaiian Islands, it's still cheaper to buy a large, on-sale box of cereal with a coupon than a tiny five-ounce box for a buck.  Not to worry for this big spender because she, of course, whipped out...(wait for it)....a welfare card!  But, lamentably, her welfare card came up ten bucks short.  I don't know if she'd reached her limit or, frankly, if there even is a welfare limit these days.  Maybe some of her items that you paid for with your tax dollars weren't covered.  No problemo.  Our Miss Moneybags just flashed her MasterCard and paid for the balance with that. 

As my mom and I went through the line, paying for our pitiful purchases with cash, I wondered how someone on welfare could even get a MasterCard.  Years ago when I was a kid with a part-time job earning my own dough, I recall that I had a hard time getting a credit card.  I was, in fact, declined way back then.  But I guess ours is not to reason why.  I mean, welfare cheats deserve credit cards just like those of us who pay our own bills, and you're a heartless ogre who wants to push granny off a cliff if you suggest otherwise.  In the meantime... 

Sixteen trillion in national debt and counting.  Ten times that when you factor in state and municipal debt. 

Peddle to the metal, and on into the abyss.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How the Royal Family Is Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

--Parading through streets of London in magnificent Parker-Bowles drawn carriage.
--Pouring boiling oil onto heads of peasant well-wishers.
--Replacing real Queen for one week with Dame Edna Everage.
--Digging up Lady Diana Spencer, sticking her head on pike at Westminster Abbey wearing silly, googly eyes on springs.
--Taking "magic feather" from Prince Charles and watching him soar majestically over Buckingham Palace.
--Imprisoning surviving Ronnie in Tower of London.
--At last divulging true location of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to British Muggles.
--Invading France for olde tymes' sake.
--Lifting ban on importation of dental equipment.
--Burning John Cleese at stake for crime of being pompous, unfunny, flatulent jackass since 1979.
--"Friending" Kenneth Branagh on Facebook.
--Loading up the family into royal coach for trip to Sears to get family portrait taken.
--Chaining Queen to rack and forcing her to eat her weight in fish and chips.
--Throwing crappy iPod gift with Obama speeches into Thames.
--Briefly unclenching jaws, buttocks.
--Releasing last dragon into Hyde Park, dispatching Sir Ian McKellen armed only with longbow to kill it for Her Majesty's amusement.
--Asking royal chefs to boil up a big, fancy supper.
--Turning national fog machine to low for one week.
--Suing Royal Gelatin and Royal Crown Cola for copyright infringement.
--Finally revealing that a very young Alistair Cooke was actually Jack the Ripper.
--Donating old tiaras to Salvation Army.
--Free mad cow hamburgers for all the serfs.
--Spending money like crazed, clueless, oversexed, pampered, jug-eared, chinless inbreds.  So no change there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

On promotion...

If I'm going to walk around with "Old Navy" plastered across my chest, shouldn't THEY be paying ME to wear their commercial on my T-shirt?

Friday, June 1, 2012

I see in the list of recommendations on the Amazon UK page for my latest Crag Banyon mystery a link to a book in the "Paranormal Exorcism Transsexual Eroticism" genre. First off, I'm not quite sure what could possibly link my funny little Crag Banyon mystery to anything in the "Paranormal Exorcism Transsexual Eroticism" genre. Second, the very existence of the "Paranormal Exorcism Transsexual Eroticism" genre is further proof that the Mayans were right. The asteroid can't hit soon enough. If you need me, I'll be up on the roof.