Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Remember Pearl Harbor

Yesterday I read a blurb in the paper about the attack on Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941 and it didn't even hint at who perpetrated the cowardly deed. I fear the Day of Infamy stands a good chance of being forgotten by a nation whose schools don't want to teach anything that might offend a special interest group, and there are special interest groups for everything under the sun.

But I won't forget even though I wasn't born when it happened. I hope that if anyone reading this post doesn't know why we need to remember Pearl Harbor, he or she takes a few minutes to look it up.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Happy Birthday, Kristine

     Happy birthday and much love to my baby girl. A sweeter young lady would be hard to find.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Georgie

     This is the 177th anniversary of the birth of George Armstrong Custer, famed Civil War hero and less successful Indian fighter. Garryowen in Glory!

Monday, November 14, 2016


I weighed myself this morning and I was 188 pounds. A few days ago I was 190 and I vowed to get below 190 before my birthday. I didn't expect it to happen right away, but I'm delighted. See, I was always a slender kid (as in skinny) and a slim young man. In middle age I started gaining weight, probably because my job didn't involve a lot of physical activity anymore, and a bad back kept me from doing anything strenuous.

At one point I recorded a peak of 228 pounds--way too fat for my bone structure.  I chipped away at that: 215 for some years, 203, 195 for a long time, 193, and now 188. Ideally I'd like to hit 180. And if I could reach 175 it would be better than ideal. We'll see.

                               That's me on the left as a senior in high school. all 145 pounds of me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Ed Gorman

     As many of you know, Ed Gorman succumbed to cancer recently after a long and difficult struggle. His generosity, wisdom, and talent are all first rate and he leaves a gap that won't be filled.

     Patti Nase Abbott has asked people to share some stories about Ed on their blogs, or hers, for Ed Gorman Day on November 2, which would have been his 75th birthday. Where I live there is still an hour left on the second so I'll do my usual last-minute job and tell you a few things about Ed and me.

     Like so many of his friends, I never met Ed in person. He didn't go to conventions even though I encouraged him to. No, that's not for me, he would say. That's a pity, because an hour hearing him talk to a good interviewer would have been better than just about any panel you can think of. Ed was very forthcoming about his wild juvie years and his alcoholism, both of which he left behind. Whether they helped inform the person he became or if he was that person all along, I cannot say. I would guess the latter.

     Ed was a huge, underappreciated talent. Whether it was a mystery, Western, thriller, or horror novel, he always managed to assign great humanity to his characters, even the lowest of them. When he'd write on his blog it was easy to see the goodness in him, and I always envied his strength of character.

     When I was publishing Mystery & Detective Monthly from 1984-2003, Ed was a staunch supporter. He wrote a column for me every so often lauding a writer from the past. After reading one of them I called Ed and mentioned it. He praised the writer profusely. "Great," I said, "but what's his name?" Ed wrote the entire piece without naming the man. He was taken aback at first but we had a good laugh about it.
     When Ed had the idea to start Mystery Scene he asked me to mail the sample issues with MDM. They were only four pages so I said sure, but if they send me over my postage limit I'd like to be reimbursed. He agreed. We're talking very few dollars here and in retrospect I wish I hadn't taken any of it. When Mystery Scene became a full fledged magazine Ed comped me a subscription, and for years after he gave it up I still got issues. I sent him MDM in return.
     Ed instituted The American Mystery Award and in 1988 I got one for Best Fanzine. Unfortunately, some bad things were happening in my life including not being informed that I'd won. I was less than gracious in my remarks in that month's MDM and I got a stern letter from Ed's co-editor, Bob Randisi, telling me where to go. He was right.
     I called Ed to grovel and offer my apologies and explain why I was in such an awful state ("It was a woman..."), but Ed just brushed it off. Years later, when I told him I was reading Westerns, he sent me a box of his.
     I wish everyone could be that forgiving and magnanimous.
     A lot of people credit Ed with helping them become published authors. I don't know for sure, but I may be in that lot. I know he asked me to write an article about mystery fanzines for The Art of Murder, but I don't know if he had anything to do with Five Star Press publishing my books. I like to think he did because his approval would mean a lot to me.

    Good-bye, Ed. You were unique.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Look Who's 27

It hardly seems like it's been 27 years since Stephanie entered the world and my life, but the calendar doesn't lie.

Happy birthday, Steph. Lots of love.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Such a Deal

A few days ago I won an eBay auction with a bid of one penny. I'm amazed no one else bid on this item. I know what you're thinking, they made up for it with an outrageous postage fee. No, not really. The item is coming from Canada and I knew it would be higher than our domestic rate, but not by too much. I was given a choice of five different classes of mail from a low of $16.65 to a high of $107. I chose the low. So I paid a total of $16.66 for an item that recently sold for over $30 on an earlier auction.

The item in question is a small plastic shelf made by Bachmann, who made the Birds of the World model kits in 1959-60. I have all of the bird kits and thought it would be nice to have the official shelf for them. Since there are 22 birds and room for only three, maybe four, on the shelf, it doesn't solve all of my display problems, but on its own it's a nice piece to have.

Pictured at right is the parakeet kit in blue. They also provided paint to make it in green. I've done both. The kits are really neat. They're life size and very realistically rendered. When I was in the sixth grade and some of our relatives visited, my cousin Georgie and I each built and painted a bird. A goldfinch for me; a scarlet tanager for him. The kits make a nice link to the past.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

            I broke down and saw The Magnificent Seven. It's a very good shoot-'em-up, blazing action, powder-burning Western and I enjoyed it, but there were things that bothered me at the same time.
            Case in point: In the first scene a group of citizens meet in a church to wonder what can be done about the ruthless businessman who has taken over their town and land. Among the group is the female lead of the movie, a lovely young woman who's wearing a scoop-necked dress. She's a farmer's wife and sports a peaches-and-cream complexion. Now, you know me. I'm not one to complain about a nice display of creamy cleavage or a pretty face, but come on. A farmer's wife?
            Point two: We meet our star, a black bounty hunter, who walks into a saloon looking for a man with a price on his head. WARNING. It's the barkeep. END OF WARNING  After some banter and tension a shootout occurs. The bounty hunter kills the shotgun-toting bouncer, the bartender, and one other man. He fires five shots. Then he gives a mean look to the 50 or so people in the bar and they stampede for the batwings.
            Number one, the minute a black guy walked into a whites only bar in those days he was either killed or beaten up and thrown out. Hell, it would have happened in 1959 in some places , never mind 1879. So that was bogus. Then, the patrons bolting for safety when the guy had either one or no bullets left made no sense. You need a huge supply of suspension of disbelief to be satisfied with this scene.
            So Black Guy assembles his team when offered some money to defend the town. They are Mexican Guy, Indian Guy, Asian Guy, Old Mountain Man White Guy, Ex-Confederate White Guy, and I think the last one was Irish White Guy. The U.N. must have loved the casting.
            Nevertheless, most of them were fun to watch.
            Final point: The evil land grabber and mine owner launches his attack on the town. For openers he sends in 200 desperadoes. They townies kill 300 and 100 more are still left to engage in street-to-street fighting. All of this is done quite well. But the attack is faltering so WARNING AGAIN Bad Guy breaks out a Gatling gun and starts killing everyone, including his own thugs. I ask, wouldn't it have been more effective to use the Gatling first and then use the owlhoots to mop up? END OF WARNING.
            Despite these flaws, I liked the movie for what it was. Like the Lone Ranger movie with Johnny Depp, it might not be the real McCoy, but it was fun and had some exciting action sequences.

            A couple of weeks earlier I saw Bridget Jones's Baby I thought it was a huge disappointment but some old geezer down the row from me laughed often. And that's more than I need to say about this.

Friday, September 09, 2016

27 Glorious Years

     Yep, every year at this time our anniversary rolls around. Here's Linda and me performing a tuneful duet. The kid isn't ours.

     It's also my kid sister's birthday, so happy birthday Denise.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

And Then There Was One

My Aunt Sylvia passed away at 10:25 p.m. EST today. That leaves my 93-year-old mother as the last living family member of that generation. Sylvia was 89.

Friday, August 26, 2016

My Ship Has Come In

I got this once-in-a-lifetime money making offer in today's e-mail. I'm going to jump on this opportunity before someone else does. If you need me, I'll be at my sprawling country estate.

Supply This Product To Our Company


Sorry for intruding into your privacy!
I got your email from an e-marketing company so i decided to let you know a business that will benefit both of us for now and on the long run which is 100% risk free.

Our company urgently needs (Amanaxiatozin Liquid) a raw material which is found in India. It is the major liquid material our company has been using for the production of animal injections and vaccines for research since 2005. Our company is currently buying the mentioned product at the rate of $47,000 USD per gallon from a supplier in India. I know you would be wondering why i am not contacting the seller directly but due to language barrier and other things i had to contact you regarding the matter.

I knew that this same material is sold by the Manufacturer at the rate of USD $29,000 per gallon and i can't let anyone in our company know about this because of my interest in the profit. I want to present you as a supplier in India (which you will be a middleman between our company and the local vendor/supplier in India) to supply our company.

If you are willing to have a tie with me based on agreement, I will send you my director's contact detail where you can contact him with an offer and as soon as possible and if he indicates interest to buy from you, then you will let him know the stock is ready and you are willing to supply at the normal price per gallon. I will also forward you the contact details of the company where you will get the material in India. As i mentioned earlier that the companies selling price in India is USD $29,000 per gallon and then all profits accrued would be shared between you and me, 60% to you and 40% of the net profit to me, after deduction of all your expenses, etc. This would be a long term business relationship between you and our company.

Get back to me via my email ID:(

Awaiting your reply. With best wishes


Mr Shawqy Elwaily

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shamus Nominee

Congratulations to Dave "Evan" Lewis on his Shamus Award nomination for the short story "The Continental Opposite," which appeared in the May 2015 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. This feat is all the greater when you consider he scratched it out on pieces of birch bark using a blackened twig.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bill Crider

     As many of you know, Bill Crider is facing a very serious health issue right now. To say I'm devastated is an understatement. Bill and I have been friends since the 1980 Bouchercon. We were in Dapa-Em together from when I joined in 1979 until it stopped publishing in 2004. Bill never missed contributing to a mailing. He never missed contributing to MDM, my letterzine (200 issues), or OWLHOOT, the Western apa I ramrod (55 issues to date). He tuckerized me in many of his writings. Bill claims authorship of about 60 books but the total is much higher. He ghosted scores of books for friends over the years, many in the male action or Western line. He's too modest or honest to claim credit for them.
     If not for Bill my paltry two books wouldn't have been published. He's the one who recommended me to Five Star and I wouldn't be surprised if he put in a good word.
     When I was Fan Guest of Honor at the 1997 Bouchercon, Bill introduced me.
     Bill Crider has been a solid constant in my life for decades. Sometimes I wonder why. He's modest, quiet, and unassuming. I'm lacking in tact and many other social graces (but I'm working on it). He's a hard-working achiever. I'm lazy. He runs, I haunt my recliner. Maybe it's the odd couple phenomenon.
     Whatever it may be, I admire, respect, and envy Bill Crider for who he is, what he's done, and his subtle wit. Did you know he's a PhD.? A lot of people with that accomplishment would insist on being called Doctor. Not Bill, not in his dealings with the public or among friends.
     I'm hoping as hard as I can that the next time I write about him it'll be to tell you that he's back as big as ever, healthy and strong and still modest. Whatever your spiritual leanings, it might be nice to offer up a prayer, dance around a fire, draw a pentagram, chant, or whatever you do to invoke good spirits to help with his recovery.
     Thank you.

Bill is the one with the book. I'm the wise guy giving him horns. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happy Anniversary

     Three years ago today Kristine, my little one, married Jacob Jorgensen. As you know they now have a baby girl, Klara, who will be seven weeks tomorrow. That's them with me; I was having one of my usual bad hair days.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

One Month Old

     Klara turned one month old yesterday, July 2, and she was over at the house for lunch. The top photo shows her on my lap and the lower one has her on a pillow as proud papa Jacob looks on. She gained about three pounds since she was born and feels like a little sack of rice. She has big blue eyes and lists her hobbies as eating, sleeping, and filling her diaper.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Is This Your Candidate?

Broomstick One
Quotes from Hillary Clinton....

There it is, chapter and page.......the real Hillary!

Hillary's actual  words:
      (1)  "Where is the Goddamn flag? I want the Goddamn  fucking flag up every morning at fucking sunrise.
          From the book "Inside the White House" by Ronald  Kessler, p. 244 Hillary to staff at the Arkansas Governor's mansion on Labor Day 1991.

      (2)  "Fuck off! It's enough I have to see you shit-kickers every day! I'm not going to talk to you, too!! Just do your Goddamn job and keep your mouth shut."  
          From the book "America Evita" by Christopher Anderson, p.90; Hillary to her State Trooper  bodyguards after one of them greeted her with  "Good  Morning. "

      (3)  "If you want to remain on this detail, get  your fucking ass over here and grab those  bags!"
          From  the book "The First Partner" p. 259; Hillary to  a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands
          free in case of an incident. 
       (4) "Stay the fuck back,  stay the fuck back away from me! Don't come  within ten yards of me, or else! Just fucking do as I say, Okay!!?"
           From the book "Unlimited Access" by Clinton 's FBI  Agent-in-Charge, Gary Aldridge, p. 139; Hillary  is screaming at her Secret Service detail. 
       (5) "Where's the miserable cock sucker?" (otherwise known as "Bill  Clinton")        
             From  the book "The Truth about Hillary" by Edward  Klein, p.5; Hillary shouting at a Secret Service officer.

        (6) "You fucking idiot"
             From the book "Crossfire" ~p. 84; Hillary to a State Trooper  who was driving her to an event.

        (7) "Put this on the  ground! I left my sunglasses in the  limo. I  need those fucking sunglasses! We need to go  back!
             From the book "Dereliction of Duty" p. 71-72;  Hillary to Marine One helicopter pilot to turn  back while enroute to Air Force One. 
        (8) "Come on Bill, put your dick up! You can't fuck her here!!"
             From the book "Inside the White House" by Ronald  Kessler, p. 243; Hillary to Gov. Bill Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female 
This ill-tempered, violent, loud-mouth, hateful, and  abusive woman wants to be your next President and have total control as Commander and Chief of our military, the very military for which she has shown incredible disdain throughout her public life.

Remember her most vile  comment about Benghazi:  "what difference at this  point does it make?" 

 Remember what class Laura and George W. Bush brought to the White House and how they treated the Secret Service detail and the military. They even spent some  Christmas holidays at Camp David instead of the Texas  ranch so the Secret Service detail could spend  the holidays with their  families.

Now it is clear why the crew of "Marine One" helicopter nick-named the craft "Broomstick ONE" ! 

Operation Overlord Commences

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Baby Pictures

    If you haven't seen the photo of my new granddaughter, here she is. That's Klara Jean Jorgensen at one day old.
     The others are my 5-year-old granddaughter Sofia, taken about three weeks ago by Melina Gabbard-Shields, a nice young lady walking around taking photos at Point Defiance Park.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

No matter what your plans are for today, please take a moment to remember those who gave their lives for our country.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Siblings Day

     Here's me with my sisters in 1985. Denise is on the left and Wendy on the right. The woman in the middle is our mother.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nam Vets Day

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day. On this day in 1973 we left that lovely country and two years later "peace with honor" went out the window, to no one's surprise.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


I went to the Democratic caucus for Washington State today. I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders and volunteered to be a delegate for the next caucus up the line. The Clinton machine has been stealing or subjugating too many votes lately and I want to make sure mine is counted properly. Incidentally, this state is killing it for Bernie.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

This Blew My Mind

Clarence "Frogman" Henry is 79 years old today, one year younger than Ursula Andress, who turns 80 today.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Klara at 28 Weeks

     This is both amazing and weird. It's a 3-D ultrasound of my unborn granddaughter at 28 weeks. Kind of cute for a fetus, isn't she?

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Remember the Alamo

     On this day in 1836 the Alamo fell to the forces of General Santa Anna. Among the defenders who died in the battle was Davy Crockett, pictured above.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Last Birthday For a While

     Linda was born on this day in 19-mumbledy-mumble. It was a very active and full day for both of us and I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Happy birthday, Linda.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

That Day Again

How does it feel to be 93? I don't know, you'll have to ask my mother. She reached that milestone today and (knock wood) she's doing very well. Here's her photo from about half a century ago. I know I've used it before but it's late and I need to publish this thing before the day is out.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Honest Abe

Born Feb 12, 1809.

Died April 15, 1865

Monday, February 01, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy Birthday, Chief!

I lost track of the date, but on this one (Jan 16, 1918) my father was born. He died in 1977 from smoking. The ship is the USS Maccamaw, an oil tanker on which he served in the fifties.