Thursday, February 26, 2015

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Man sets fire to home after niece refuses to take him to liquor store, officials say

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Florida Police Arrest Woman For Domestic Nut Punching Incident

Bitter Water Blues -- Patrick Shawn Bagley

Bitter Water Blues is Patrick Shawn Bagley's first novel, and it's a good one.  The basic situation's a familiar one: a cold-blooded hit man decides it's time for him to get out of the killing racket, and he does.  But of course it's never that easy.  Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in.  But while the situation's familiar, several things make Bagley's book stand out.  The writing is topnotch, the setting is different, and the characters are all engaging.  

The setting, for the most part, is a small town in Maine.  You don't see a lot of hit man books set in small towns, and Bagley does the local color very well, indeed.  Joey, the hit man, is a more complicated character than it might first appear, and the cops in the small town, particularly one named Wanda, have depths you might not be expecting.   The plot involves a McGuffin and has a nice twist or two, but it's really the characters that matter here, the characters and what happens to them.  I don't want to say too much about that, other than that the book has a touch of noir.  That being said, the ending isn't entirely dark.  Check this one out.  You can thank me later.

Ummmmmm. School Lunches.

Take A Mouth-Watering Tour Of School Lunches From Around The World (And The Embarrassing U.S. Equivalent)

Jingle Fever: the Stories Behind 5 Ad Jingles

Jingle Fever: the Stories Behind 5 Ad Jingles

Song of the Day

Theme Song to The Adventures of Robin Hood - YouTube:

I Can Call Spirits from the Vasty Deep

18 Things All Writers Wish They Could Say

Today's Vintage Ad

Weird Writer Habits, Ranked

Weird Writer Habits, Ranked

I Want to Believe!

Russian man has testicles STOLEN after he's drugged by woman working for organ traffickers 


Thomas Burnett Swan, Wolfwinter, Ballantine, 1972

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Scarlett and Alessandro Top Sexiest Names List

Review Copies Available

I have a couple more eBook review copies left to give away, so if you'd like to review this great book on your blog or on Amazon (or both), drop me an e-mail or leave your e-mail in the comments, and I'll send you the Smashwords code. 

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Here are the ten most hilarious stoner movies of all time

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Ala. woman, 79, shoots grand nephew in foot over stolen $20  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Burning Question of the Day

Who Invented the Squeegee?

Croc Update (Chockablock Edition)

Chockablock with crocs: Seven species rocked ancient Amazon: That is what life was like in the lush Peruvian Amazon basin 13 million years ago. It featured Earth's all-time croc bloc: the most crocodilian species dwelling in the same place and time in our planet's history, scientists said on Tuesday.

Forgotten Music

20 Songs From The ’60s That Your Kids Should Know By Heart

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Who Says Netflix Is Out of Ideas?

Netflix Is Bringing Back "Inspector Gadget" And "Danger Mouse"

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Sword fight at Dubai hotel leaves 4 men hospitalized

The Silkworm -- Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling)

Cormoran Strike, private-eye, is back for his second fictional adventure, and this time it involves a particularly bizarre murder in which an author, Owen Quine, is disemboweled.  His acid-drenched body is then posed on a dinner table, surrounded by place settings for seven.  This happens to duplicate the final scene in the manuscript of what is purportedly Quine's latest novel, Bombix Mori (translation: The Silkworm).  

Galbraith/Rowling has a lot of unseemly fun in this book writing and making nasty comments about authors (both self- and traditionally published), agents, books, and the publishing world.  That kind of thing is irresistible to me, so I enjoyed reading the book.  But be warned.  It's 450 pages long, and it's the kind of case that Strike solves on about page 365, with the rest of the book being taken up with his complicated maneuvers to get some proof to back up his theory and then with his lengthy explanation of everything.  The reader is kept in the dark about most of what's going on, of course, until the end.

A couple of words about the writing.  People who object to point-of-view hopping are going to be driving nuts by this one, since the sometimes PoV changes not just on one page but sometimes from one paragraph to the next.  It doesn't happen all the time, just often enough for me to notice.  The thing is, as I might have said before, I'm not really bothered by it.  Others, I know, are.  I mentioned that the book was long, so people who don't like a lot of description and rumination should look elsewhere for their fun.  As for me, I liked it all well enough to consider reading another in the series especially if, as in this case, someone drops by with the book and hands it to me. 

A Brief History of the Baseball

A Brief History of the Baseball

I Miss the Old Days

Then and Now: 12 Scenes From Famous Movies

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

And now it's the Shaving Cream Outburst!
Shaving cream outburst in Jackpot lands man in jail

“Preparing for the Audience” (by Michael Haskins)

“Preparing for the Audience” (by Michael Haskins) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Song of the Day

Johnny Cash - Ballad of a teenage queen - YouTube:

There's Still Time to Sign Up

Insect Fear Film Festival: The 32nd Annual Insect Fear Film Festival will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm in Foellinger Auditorium (UIUC Campus). Admission is free. In addition to the films, there will be the traditional IFFF activities, including face painting, the insect petting zoo, and Bugscope.

Today's Vintage Ad

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)



Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky, Bantam, 1964

Yet Another List I'm Not On

9 Authors Who Regretted The Success of Their Work

Hogs? Zombies? Call Cajun Bob.


Phone fiction spells the end of the professional novelist   

Link via SF Signal.

NYPD Leads the Way

NYPD using ‘Road House’ movie to teach cops how to ‘be nice’ 

Paris Hilton Update

The 22 Most Iconic Things Paris Hilton Has Ever Said

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 Real Places Plucked Straight Out of Fairy Tales

5 Real Places Plucked Straight Out of Fairy Tales

10 Overlooked Criminal Scandals Involving Hollywood Actors

10 Overlooked Criminal Scandals Involving Hollywood Actors 

Song of the Day

Frankie Laine - Mule Train 1949 - YouTube:

Here's the Plot for Your Next ATM Heist Comedy

Cops can’t catch gang that’s stolen 73 ATMs: A group of five increasingly brazen ATM bandits has dodged police for more than a year while pulling off 73 heists across the city and netting hundreds of thousands of dollars, The Post has learned.

Today's Vintage Ad

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton keeps a low profile running errands with her little dog after Oscars partying  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Science Fiction and Fantasy by John D MacDonald

The Trap of Solid Gold: Science Fiction and Fantasy by John D MacDonald


Jerry Sohl, Night Slaves, Gold Medal, 1965

Criminal Geniuses of the Day

Alleged thieves butt-dial boss, tell him about stealing company equipment

I Miss the Old Days

19 Insane Things That Were Actually Acceptable In The '60s

Launch Day!

Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos - Kindle edition by Angela Crider Neary. Children Kindle eBooks @ Someone is stealing the parrots of Telegraph Hill! San Francisco is plagued with a rash of exotic birdnappings, and it's up to Li'l Tom and Lola of the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau to track down the culprits and put an end to this sinister scheme. With the help of a motley crew of cats, one rat, and a dog, they'll venture into the dangerous back alleys of Chinatown to rescue the brilliantly plumaged captives! 

LI'L TOM AND THE PUSSYFOOT DETECTIVE BUREAU: THE CASE OF THE PARROTS DESAPARECIDOS is a whimsical, all-ages mystery featuring a pair of charming feline detectives. Packed with action, humor, colorful characters, and vivid settings, it's a delightful reading experience for young and old!

The link above is to the Kindle edition.  Here's a link to the paperback if you prefer a "real" book.  

If you'd like to review the book on Amazon or on a blog or both, e-mail me (macavityabc [at] and I'll send the first five people who do a code for an e-copy at Smashwords.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

FBI: Houston is national leader in violent bank robberies 

Overlooked Movies: Here Comes Mr. Jordan

I like Warren Beatty's remake of this movie (Heaven Can Wait) a lot, but I also like the original a lot.  It's a pretty well-known film, but have any of you seen it lately?  Or seen it at all?   Robert Montgomery is Joe Pendleton, who's supposedly died in a plane crash, except that he hasn't, and rookie messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) has picked him up to put him on a fast plane to heaven.  It's up to Mr. Jordan (Claude Raines) to straighten out this blunder when it's discovered that Joe can't return to his body because it's been cremated.  

(Okay, I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking (1) that heaven shouldn't make mistakes like that and (2) that a little thing like cremation shouldn't be a problem for the Big Guy.  Just go with the flow and don't let this stuff bother you.  There's another mistake coming right up.)

What Mr. Jordan has to do is find Joe a new body.  Joe's very particular, but he finally settles for the body of a millionaire named Farnsworth, who's just been murdered by his wife and secretary.  Joe's a prizefighter, and after he wreaks havoc with Farnsworth's crooked business dealings, he starts training Farnsworth's body and getting his old manager to set up a championship bout for him.  He's hardly had time to get back in the pink when he learns about that other mistake I mentioned.  Farnsworth is going to die again.  There's no way around it; it's his destiny.  Joe will have to get into another body.

This time Joe gets the champion boxer's body.  Not a bad deal, but all of this is complicated by the fact that Joe's fallen in love with Bette Logan (Evelyn Keyes).  Will things work out?  Hey, this is the 1940s, not the cynical 21st century.  No wonder I miss the old days.

I really like this movie.  The performances are wonderful right down the line, and both Montgomery and James Gleason (who plays his manager) were nominated for Academy Awards.  The sound is great, and even my old ears can understand every single spoken word.  The B&W photography looks really good.  Again, it's no wonder I miss the old days.  See this movie, and you might, too.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Here_Comes_Mr_Jordan - YouTube: