Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Some Upbeat News

Today I had a visit with my oncologist and got a surprisingly upbeat report.  She prescribed another shot (which I've had already) and said that she'll be monitoring my blood work for the next three months.  As long as nothing bad crops up, there won't be any chemo for at least that long.  As the world's greatest procrastinator, I greeted this news with a cheer.  

Then I asked her about Bouchercon.  She said, "By all means, go!"  I'm not sure I have the stamina to get through the airports, but if I can do that, my daughter and son-in-law will be at the convention to be my handlers.  I'll have to ponder this for a day or so and then decide.  I'd love to go, but I don't want to try to do too much and cause problems for myself.


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

Police: Man attempts to ignite gas station over Flamin' Hot Cheetos

The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World

The Fierce, Forgotten Library Wars of the Ancient World 

Song of the Day

Crosby Stills & Nash: Wasted On The Way - YouTube:

Happy birthday, Allen Crider!

I remember the day Allen was born, and today, a few years later, he's here with me for my visit to the oncologist at M. D. Anderson.  He's a little bigger now than he was in the picture, and I don't think he has any red jeans, but he's still got a killer smile (he needs to let us see it more often).  He's still smart and funny and always ready to help out when anybody needs him.  When he's not playing guitar with the Cornell Hurd Band, he's putting together CDs or taking care of his yard.  He got the lawn-care gene from Judy's mother, not from my side of the family.  I don't like yard work at all, but Allen has the neatest and greenest lawn in his Austin neighborhood.  Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky as to have two great kids like Allen and Angela.  I'm sure it was Judy's influence.  Thanks to her and them, I'm a lucky guy, all right.

Today's Vintage Ad


The Trap of Solid Gold: Utican Writes 300 Stories in 20 Months

The Trap of Solid Gold: Utican Writes 300 Stories in 20 Months: Maj. John D MacDonald has killed 250 men but the deaths are all on paper.

PaperBack



Robert Ames, The Dangerous One, Star Books (Australia), 1956

The First Modern Fandom?

Inverse: The First Modern Fandom Brought Sherlock Holmes Back from the Dead  

Hat tip to Roy Hovey.

The Remarkable Betty Lynn

Inside the life of Betty Lynn, actress who played Thelma Lou on 'The Andy Griffith Show'   

Link via News from ME.

I Miss the Old Days

Spinning around  

Link via Messy Nessy.

Overlooked Movies -- Dark Passage

I know you've seen it, but have you seen it recently?  Well, I have, not having seen it in nearly 50 years but having remembered bits of it pretty well.  I also remembered that I enjoyed it.  What I didn't remember was that it was crammed with more incredible coincidences, improbable events, and gimmicks than just about any other movie I've ever watched.  Not that any of that spoiled the fun.

Bogart is Vincent Parry, falsely imprisoned for the murder of his wife.  He escapes and is picked up by two different people, one of whom is Lauren Bacall.  The gimmick here is that we don't see his face for about an hour.  The movie's shot from his POV, like Robert Montgomery's The Lady in the Lake.   It works a little better here because Bogart spends a lot of time looking at Lauren Bacall.  You can't go wrong there.  

After Bogart gets plastic surgery, we get to see his face.  He's supposedly been made to look older than the photo of Vincent Parry we've seen, but he doesn't.  Not that it matters.  Now he looks like Bogart, and he's looking for the real killer, who's also now the killer of his best friend, with Bogart being blamed for that one, too.  And who's also so obvious that nobody could guess wrong about who it is.  After all, there aren't any other suspects.

One place the movie really shines is in the character actors in the supporting roles.  Every single one is great, but top honors go to Houseley Stevenson as the plastic surgeon.   Okay, maybe to Agnes Moorehead.  Spit out that scenery, Agnes, it's been well chewed.

The movie's ending is so cheerful and optimistic that it's hard to believe that David Goodis wrote the novel the movie's based on, but who cares?  It's what you want.

Not believable for even a few seconds, Dark Passage is nevertheless great fun and well worth watching.

Dark Passage

Dark Passage trailer - YouTube:

Monday, August 29, 2016

7 Gene Wilder Movie Moments We'll Never Forget

7 Gene Wilder Movie Moments We'll Never Forget

Gene Wilder, R. I. P.

Gene Wilder, comedy titan who played 'Willy Wonka' and 'Young Frankenstein,' dead at 83: LOS ANGELES — Gene Wilder, the visceral comedic actor who played Willy Wonka and starred in dozens of films including Mel Brooks classics Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has died, the Associated Press reported Monday. He was 83.

Life and Limb

Life and Limb: Throughout most of history, if you lost a limb, the replacement of choice was a wooden peg (which only looked cool if you were a pirate). But that all changed after a young soldier lost a leg in the Civil War and refused to take his injury lying down.

Song of the Day

Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe - YouTube:

10 Common Misconceptions About Cowboys

10 Common Misconceptions About Cowboys

Today's Vintage Ad


Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago Today (August 29, 1966)

Forgotten Hits: 50 Years Ago Today (August 29, 1966)

PaperBack



John O'Hara, The Farmers Hotel, Bantam, 1951

10 Famous Celebrity Stunt Doubles

10 Famous Celebrity Stunt Doubles 

10 Cool Facts About 'Body Heat'

10 Cool Facts About 'Body Heat' 

The Cowboy Artist Star

The Cowboy Artist Star: Joe Beeler helped pave the path for artists whose works sell in the millions today.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Whatever Happened to Pay Toilets?

Whatever Happened to Pay Toilets?

Song of the Day

Wings Of A Snow White Dove ~ Ferlin Husky - YouTube:

11 Foods That Shouldn't Ever Need An Expiration Date

11 Foods That Shouldn't Ever Need An Expiration Date

Today's Vintage Ad


The Pilots Who Risked Their Lives to Deliver the Mail

The Pilots Who Risked Their Lives to Deliver the Mail: Being an airmail carrier was one of the most dangerous jobs in America.

PaperBack



Keith Laumer, The Avengers #6 "The Drowned Queen", Berkley, 1968

I Miss the Old Days

Striking images of mid-century motels capture the architecture of a bygone era

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims

Atlas Obscura: The Razzouk family has been inking religious pilgrims in the Middle East for 700 years.

10 Incredible Unearthed Ancient Megastructures

10 Incredible Unearthed Ancient Megastructures