Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Belated Notice


I'm mortified. On Monday the 26th my number one daughter turned 20. I had to work a 12-hour shift that day and we celebrated over the weekend, and I didn't do any blogging that night, so I forgot to mention it. I feel awful. So Happy Birthday Stephanie with all my love.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vive la France

From USA Today: "A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than $900,000, but it stopped short of banning the group's activities."

     Good for France. It's a shame the spineless courts in this country can't do something to stem the outrageous behavior of that horrid cult.

On another topic, today marks 33 years of selfless service for Uncle Sam. If you want to know the secret of my longevity it's simple: I pace myself.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

World Series Chat

I didn't post my World Series hopes/predictions sooner but so far it's following my wishes. I wanted the Phillies to win and they did, rather handily to my surprise. I want the Yankees to beat the hated Angels, then I want the Phillies to win it all. Time will tell, and I'll be watching.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Super Circus




     The Marx Super Circus playset was based on the TV show of the same name. Marx also released the set as The Big Top, perhaps without the character figures. Super Circus ran on ABC-TV Sunday afternoons from 1949-1955. It featured real circus acts presented by ringmaster Claude Kirschner and his leggy assistant Mary Hartline. The three clowns in this set are (l-r) Scampy (Sandy Dobritsch), Cliffy (Clifford Soubier), and Nicky (Nicky Francis). The show originated in Chicago but later moved to New York.
     The Marx Playset is a beatifully-crafted set, with a huge tin litho big top and another tin litho sideshow. The sideshow features a snake charmer, Siamese twins, fat lady, sword swallower, hula girl, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Thumb, and barker. The big top features the usual circus acts--lion tamer, trapeze artists, tightrope walker, clowns, elephants, horses, and so on. There are also patrons and a nice set of figures showing a cop catching a kid peeking under the canvas. Once set up it's a large and impressive array.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reading Habits

This has been wending its way around a number of blogs. My turn.


Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack:

No. I might have a bottle of caffiene-free Diet Pepsi around, but when I'm reading I'm too engrossed to eat.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

People who mark up books should be drawn and quartered. I don't do it. If I want to make a note I write on my bookmark.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

As the previous answer suggests, I use bookmarks. I have a lot of real bookmarks, but I tend to use a folded Post-It note or a business card.

Fiction, nonfiction, or both?

Mostly fiction. I might read three nonfiction books a year unless there are spate of them on a pet subject that catch my eye all at once.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

End of chapter unless I'm reading in bed and fall asleep in the middle of a chapter, or I'm reading at work and have to stop to do something job related.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

Once in a while. I can usually extrapolate its meaning from the context of the story.

What are you currently reading?

Oddly enough, a nonfiction book called The Doolittle Raid, by Carroll V. Glines. A couple of months ago I had the honor of meeting three surviving members of The Doolittle Raid, which inspired me to read more about it. I bought three books, and have already finished Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, by Capt. Ted Lawson. I'm also reading The Dead Man's Brother, by Roger Zelazny, and Bluefeather Fellini in the Sacred Realm, by Max Evans.

What is the last book you bought?

I just got back from the store and picked up Utah Outlaws, by Jon Sharpe--#336 in The Trailsman series--and .45-Caliber Firebrand, by Peter Brandvold.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

I prefer one, but I can manage two. Usually one at work and one at home. I have three going now because one didn't grab me that much and I keep going back to it bit by bit.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

No. I try to get in a little reading at bedtime, but otherwise I grab the time when I can.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

Series, but I'll read stand alones.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

I'm always glad to recommend Raymond Chandler. I'd add Bill Pronzini, Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider, James Reasoner, Robert B. Parker, Ed Gorman, Loren Estleman, Richard S. Wheeler, and about fifty others. A newcomer named Lisa Black is damn good, too.

How do you organize your books?(by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)

Organize? Hahahahaha! The Collyer Brothers were better organized.