Sunday, July 31, 2005

Monthly Meanderings

It occurs to me I've been posting to this blog about every four weeks. It must be the influence of doing a monthly publication for almost 20 years that sets my inner clock to that schedule. If you want a really good blog try Bill Crider's or Ed Gorman's. None better in my book.

Two weeks ago Tacoma had its annual library sale. I descended upon Wilson High, where they hold it, with expectations high. I wasn't disappointed. I was mainly looking for westerns and found several series books, many obviously donated for the sale because they weren't covered with library stickers. I bought 13 Longarms, 11 Lone Stars, 4 Edges, 5 Floating Outfit books, 2 Earl Murray titles, and one each by Max Brand, Jake Logan, Donald Clayton Porter, Ramsay Thorne, Hank Edwards, A.B. Guthrie, Peter Brandvold, Ernest Haycox, T.G. Horne, Lee Floren, and Chap O'Keefe, in paperback. I also got hardbacks of a short story collection by H.A. DeRosso, and "Happy Trails: Our Life Story," by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. On the mystery side I found a hardcover of Jame's Crumley's "Final Country." Total: $24.50, the cost of one new book.

Speaking of Wilson High, it's the school Linda graduated from 40 years ago, along with her classmate Ted Bundy. Kristine will start there this fall. When I was in the 10th grade I attended a high school that my parents graduated from many years before. Alas, I went there for just half the year, then we moved back to the district of another school, which I didn't like at all.
We're signed up to attend Linda's 40th reunion, and as you can imagine I think of it as something to be endured. I've been to parties where everyone but me worked together and I desperately wanted to blow my brains out before the canapes were finished.

Last weekend I went to Portland and bought 17 Bradford Scott westerns plus 2 by Jackson Cole, 2 more in the Edge series, one each Trailsman, Diamondback, and a Brian Garfield. Most of those were 50 cents each. At Powell's I snagged one each by Jason Manning, and Ace Double featuring Brian Wynne (Garfield), and a Robert E. Howard story collection called "The End of the Trail" (Bison Books).
Obviously I have enough westerns to keep me busy for a while--say, 10 years.

While I was in Portland, where I always bunk at the home of Dave and Irene Lewis, Dave and I hooked up with guitar master Brian Trainer for a photo shoot. We three have formed a shadow band called The Moops and I wanted to make some album/CD covers for us. Music to follow, maybe. Turns out Brian's real band has a studio space in an industrial neighborhood and all the mikes, drums, amps, and wires made for a nice backdrop.

Been having a lot of trouble with my e-mail the past five days. I think it happened because I deleted a spyware sample program. MSN's solution is to take away my MSN firewall protection and let Norton handle things, but it still corrupts every day. I'm thinking of finding another server and starting from scratch.

I spent a goodly portion of this day boxing up some of my figures/toy soldiers to make shelf space for the books stacked all over my office. I've already boxed modern soldiers, pirates, Foreign Legion, Civil War, Napoleonics, American Revolution, and miscellaneous others. Today it was Vikings, knights, ancients, and Africans. I'm leaving up my Indians, cavalry, and cowboys for now because I present pictures of them in each issue of my western apazine, Garryowen.

Yesterday I took Linda to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook everything in front of you, pinging and dinging their spatulas as they go. It was fun and the food was good, but sitting by a wall of flame when it's 90 degrees outside and the building isn't air conditioned really tested my deodorant. After we ate we hit Half Price Books and I added about six more western titles to the mix. Because I find myself enjoying the simplicity of western series books I've sent for Pat Hawk's tome on the subject.

No movies other than what's been on TV. One fo those was the first Batman, with Michael Keaton, Kim Bassinger, and Jack Nicholson. My reaction was it was a lot of nice scenes that didn't add up to a good movie. The best part, other than seeing Kim, was that there was no Robin. Even when I was a kid I hated kid sidekicks. I never believed they were capable of pulling their weight and at best they seemed like hyperactive, pushy pests.

The assinine antics of Tom "Jackass" Cruise has led to some publicity for the Scientology Organized Crime Organization, mostly negative I'm glad to say. Our local paper had an article that I thought was extremely mild so I wrote a letter to the editor spelling out in no uncertain terms what a money-mad ripoff cult they are. The letter was printed, and a woman called to thank me for telling the truth. Unfortunately, the first time she called my daughter, thinking it was a solicitor, said I wasn't home, and the next time I either wasn't home or had the phone tied up with the Internet, so she left a message on my voice mail. Still, it was good to know that someone appreciated my comments. My brother-in-law also congratulated me, but it's not the same as when a stranger does.
BTW, have you noticed that the Cruise brouhaha died almost to the day when his lame ass movie debuted? I can only hope Katie sees the light before she's dragged into the morass of that insane cult.

I'm still looking for a retirement paradise. Costa Rica may work, if I can stand the heat. Any suggestions?

Okay, time to shelve some books.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hello, I Must Be Going

Not going forever, although my infrequent postings must have convinced some people I've given up the ghost. No, the title refers to the fact that in two days I'll be off to the wilds of the Washington woods for a gathering of old farts at the rustic (read: no running water) cabin of Frank Denton. We'll be there for five days or so. It's a very nice place to be if you want to escape TV, phones, radio, newspapers, and the outside world in general. And I do.
We do have a TV that can play DVDs and videos, however, and we usally have a small film festival each evening, often followed by some bitching about so-and-so's choice of movies.
I usually gain five to eight pounds at Tankon since activity is at a minimum and food is in abundance. But since I'm doing Atkins I'll face the challenge of eating only approved foods. To that end I'm fixing up an large batch of bacon and eggs, lots of steaks, chicken, turkey, cheese, and pork chops. Also sauteed onions and mushrooms.
I'm still bringing boxes of Ding-Dongs, Susie Q's, Twinkies, etc, but I'm letting the other guys eat them. Okay, I'll have one a day, but that's it. I hope.

I'm finding much to enjoy in series western novels, many written in the '70s and '80s but some new. The Trailsman, Ruff Justice, The Gunsmith, Longarm, and numerous others have provided me with satisfying entertianment that echoes the cowboy shows I loved when I was a lad. Except, of course, those old shows didn't have the obligatory sex scenes most of these books demand.

I've never tried a link before but I'll give it a shot. If this one works, you'll get another look at why that jackass Tom Cruise is defending the Scientology Organized Crime Family. And please, don't see his movie. Don't help him spread this cultural disease that tries to pass itself off as a religion. C:/word/scientology document.doc If this doesn't work, I'll try again. Or contact me directly an I'll e-mail it to you.

We just finished a rodeo out at the base. It made for busy times for a lot of people, but not many of us civilians had to bother with the competition. My busiest times were before the competition started and after it was over. One of the competitors was a Saudi aircraft, and the crew was quite perturbed when a female airman drove a service vehicle out to their plane. They're not too crazy about non-Muslim males, either.

Linda and Kristine were at Disneyland pasrt of last week. A good time was had by all. Linda brought back a DVD that contains old Mickey Mouse Club shows and various special features. One of these features is a gathering of about seven original Mouseketeers. Little Karen is in a wheelchair and can no longer walk, but I don't know why. Annette was too ill to attend. But the others looked fine when you consider they're all around 60. There was also an excellent look at the late Jimmie Dodd, who seems to have been the genuine article--a really nice guy who wanted to make people happy.

Well, time to sautee a bag of onions and three boxes of mushrooms.