Monday, October 31, 2011

Doctor Who Walks 500 Miles

I just discovered this and it's wonderful! It's the second best version of "500 Miles" by the Proclaimers I've ever seen. It was recorded as a celebration of David Tennant's run as The Doctor.

What's the first? you ask.  It's when I accompanied Samsonite & Delight-Ya (aka Botielus & Cybele) on my ukulele during their Halloween performance in Cross Plains, WI.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Bibo" Around the World - Bibo Pai E Bobi Filho

"Bibo" is an interesting word. As our last name it can be tiring at times spelling out 4 letters that people invariably get wrong. Raely do they pronounce it correctly. (long I, long O)

At other times the wide use of the word around the world is amazing. I'll attempt to sample some examples here on a definitely irregular basis. You'll be surprised at the variety.

Today we take you to the world of Hanna Barbera animation and a cartoon featuring Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. In this clip dubbed in Portuguese are called "Bibo Pai E Bobi Filho". Enjoy. And don't forget to feed your plants.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Economy Hits My Writing Career

update 111026: The editor of the anthology Attack of the 50Ft Book in which I was to have the story "Clean Up On Seventh Avenue" contacted me today along with the other authors in this book officially giving us the rights back to our stories. But the said if we were agreeable he would like to see if he could sell the anthology en masse to another publisher. I like the idea of a book of giant monster stories, I was excited to be a part of it. I agreed to the plan. 

I also suggested that he write to Gareth Edwards, the director of the movie Monsters and current director of the next Godzilla movie, and that he write to Guillermoro del Toro who is directing his own giant monster movie, Pacific Rim. Ask them for a blurb, comment, anything. Who knows what might happen.

I'll keep you posted. 

original post 111025:
  Another victim of the economy. The Twisted Library Press, a small but at one time growing publishing house, was scheduled to publish 3 of my short stories in 3 different anthologies. Yesterday they announced that all anthologies are on hold for at least six months except for nearing completion. Today they announced that all anthologies are now closed and that all stories are being returned to their authors, they can and should try to be sold elsewhere.


I can't be mad at them. The Twisted Library Press is a good group of people. They were doing their best to try and help as many unpublished and underpublished authors (I like to think of myself in the latter group) as they could. They just lost too much money doing it. Suspending the publication of the anthologies was not something they wanted to do, they tried not to do it, postponing many (my three were supposed to come this summer) but in the end were left with no choice. You could almost feel the tears in the emails and forum posts.

Am I disappointed? Hell, yes. But I'm not mad. It is, what it is.

They have a great forum at their website, too. Check it out, there's lots of interesting people writing, reading, and talking all things, horror, sci fi, fantasy, and just anything and everything. The people are encouraging of each other and feel sincere, not too mention equally weird (which is a very good thing too.)

The Twisted Library Press are still publishing novels, those sell much better than the anthologies did. I wish I had a horror novel ready, I'd go with them in an instant. I encourage to check them out.

Now I need to find new homes for some very good stories.

Back to the fun stuff soon.


The economy is tanking while our elected officials watch, saying "Yes, there's a problem, we know that but it's all their fault. Our hands are tied." Meanwhile Rome is burning.
I like to think I'd do better, all of us would do better, if the 99% actually did rule this country.

(If you have a minute could you just click on one of my advertisers today. I'm actually making more money on this than on my book sales. Soon I can buy lunch! Merci.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Road

I've stumbled back onto the road of good intentions. But this time I was defeated by my newest toy. Anybody who knows me I am distracted very easily.

On the first of October my place of employment in cooperation with AT&T offered all employees a 22% discount. We have AT&T already but it had been a long time since we had checked on our plan to see if we were still getting a good deal, or paying to much for items we don't use.

Last Sunday Laurie and I went to the nearby AT&T store, mainly because we had seen the ad for the HTC smartphone at $29.95. Yes, the new discount allowed us to speak the secret word and consider buying a smartphone. But when looking over the vast display we were greeted with a surprise. Apple had announced the new iPhone 4s just days before, so to get rid of the older models they were offering the 3gs for free. Look no further, they had me at "free iPhone." We got two.

So I have a new toy and it does so much more than just make calls! But it needed some cool apps. (I remember when computer programs were once called programs. Now they are apps. I guess a smaller device needs a smaller word.) One of the first I downloaded was iAmADalek, a Doctor Who voice synthesizer.

Laurie then traveled to St Louis for a week of training leaving me to my own devices, and one was a new iPhone!

Add to that the Milwaukee Brewers for the first since 1982 were in the post season. That's a bandwagon I can jump on.

I spent most evenings on the couch checking out my phone and downloading some free apps with the baseball game on in the background.

This is the first time I have touched my laptop. It missed me. It is also getting back at me by downloading all sorts of updates, and running very slow. It must have been a busy week on the update front last week.

Tonight the Brewers are on opposite Da Bears. Who do I watch? Or do I jump back and forth driving Laurie crazy? Hmmmm.

Soon I'll be back to my old ways and I'll have some intense Halloween goodies and links for you. Stay tuned.

Oooh! I just got a message on my phone!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

H Day 9: LIO

I've posted this before on Facebook but Lio is one of the funniest, most original comics out right now. And it's perfect for the season. You have to love this.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

H Days 7&8: Dressing for Success and Nobel Monsters

So my initial secret plan of posting something appropriate for the Halloween season every day in October is a shambles. Today is the 8th and I've missed 2 days already. But then isn't "the road to hell paved with good intentions"? And what's scarier or more appropriate to Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, than Hell? Perfect, I'm back on track.

On Thursday I had a meeting with a client so I went to work dressed for the occasion, that's code for I wore a tie. I try to avoid doing so at all possible times. I feel the man that invented this arcane fashion statement to be a sadistic genius. It's uncomfortable, restricting, and can easier get caught in all sorts of mechanical devices. Then maybe it was possible that woman created to get even for high heels.

Needless to say surprised my coworkers came up with all sorts of humorous variations on the standard, "Got a job interview today?" Ha, that never gets old, does it? But then on that day the perfect retort came to me. Granted I can't use it again but on that day, at that time it was brilliant.

"No," I said. "I heard the Nobel Prize for literature was being announced today and I wanted to be ready for the reporters, just in case."

I can easily say it brought the house down.

Sadly I did not win. Again.

Who did win in 2011? When I heard it was Thomas Transformer I was outraged? A transformer won the Nobel prize for Literature? You've got to be kidding me.
When do they find the time? Aren't they too busy fighting Decepticons? Do they even need the money? Had the judges been threatened or coerced into awarding this prize? Or did they give it to them to thank them for all the times the Transformers have saved the Earth, and since there is no category for film or animation, they chose literature?

And who was Thomas Transformer? I've never even heard of him. What is he, some weird hybrid mix of train and robot?
That's just silly.

I saw this award as threat to all writers everywhere. Was Superman next year, with Batman or Wonder Woman the following year?

Then I felt a tug on my arm. What? It's not Thomas Transformer? It's Tomas Transtromer, an 80-year-old Swedish poet that some have called Sweden's greatest living author.
Oh. Nevermind.

BONUS COVERAGE (for missing a day)

Looking for the perfect Halloween gift. Why not try a Monster In The Mail? Artist Len Peralta will design and draw a custom created monster, zombie, villain, or ghoul based on a photo of a loved one, friend, or enemy.
It's the perfect gift for this holiday season! Laurie, are you reading this?

Now go away, kid. You're bothering me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

H Day 6: Music for your holiday! Here Come The Mummies

If you are at all like me your life has a sound track. Music is going all the time, at all hours, filling the air, making your smile, making you groove. (yes, he used the G word.) So for Halloween you need special music to get in the mood. Filling that void I give you a fantastic R&B band out of Nashvile. Ladies and gentlemen, Here Come The Mummies.

Just listen to Carnal Carnival and you tell me they are fantastic.
Quick go to their website:
Click below and listen to Carnal Carnival:

Carnal CarnivalQuick Qui

AND THEY ARE COMING TO MADISON!!!!!! October 21 at the Majestic. Get tickets now

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

H Day 5: Death

Steve jobs is dead. He was 56. He was one of the few people about which you could say he changed the world.

Still with all that power, influence, and money even he couldn't escape the one conclusion we all must face some day: Death.

I am 56. My wife just turned 56 a few weeks ago. 56 seems young to me now.  30 years ago it sounded terribly old, ancient. But then 30 years ago I never would have imagined that I would write an ebook or have a blog, that's the stuff of science fiction, the stuff of Tom Swift.

Bill Maher said recently: "I remember seeing Alan King in Atlantic City in the '80s (when I was a young comedian) and he said, "I'm 56, and people say I'm middle aged -- who do you know who lives to be 112?"
I'm 55. It was funnier then."

There are a lot of us "boomers" now in our 50s and older. And we're active, we're aware of what is going on, and we aren't going to sit still and let things happen we don't like. That should be really scary to those a lot younger, or more wealthy, or more Republican.

HuffingtopnPost has started a new branch of their website, "Huff/Post50". While I'm interested I am a bit depressed. I didn't know there were things more fearful than Death itself.

 Wendy Dennis in her article "Dying Large" gives me new worries to ponder.
"I must have crossed some kind of age threshold, because when I go to funerals lately, I start thinking about my own. It's not the dying part that scares me. It's the numbers I'll draw for the service. I'm in the sanctuary and the place is packed and some relative is at the podium going on about how wonderful the dead person was and how much they gave to the UJA, and I start taking a head count and doing the math and the minute the funeral is over, I call up my daughter and tell her that when my time comes, she has to hire extras...."
I wonder if they'd have to pay scale?

Wendy goes on to talk about the extremes some Boomers go to, even in their planning to meet Death.
"At one funeral, a casket was wrapped in brown paper and string and stamped "Return to Sender," and at the visitation of a Texas entrepreneur, steaks sizzled on the barbecue, while a margarita machine dispensed drinks at the burial plot. Some companies bury ashes with cement to create undersea "memorial reefs", while others arrange for people to rocket their ashes into outer space, like Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, LSD guru Timothy Leary and gonzo Rolling Stone reporter Hunter S. Thompson. One man planned to have a Viking funeral where his ashes would be placed in a wooden boat, which would then be set on fire and floated on a river."

Laurie has a list of songs she's collecting for her funeral. I guess I should ask where she keeps it someday, not that I'll ever need it, but just so she knows I know, you know.

I always wanted one of those New Orleans style funerals, slow and mournful, the trombone as sad and thoughtful as the people following my casket, but after it's done and I'm down the scene changes. It's about life, those still living, why be sad, he had a good life, he was loved, now we're all here together, let's have a party, he'd want that.

I fully realize that it might be difficult to plan such an event in Madison, WI, especially if it happens during those colder snowy icy months. [brrrrrr!] And I also realize I'll never really know if it happens or not. So just be quiet and let me pretend it's going to be exactly that way. I think I'll put aside a little money for my funeral so my kids can hire some extras, some good ones who can dance and swing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Day 4: You'll Die Laughing

Showcasing creatures from the imagination of Jack Davis, of EC Comics and MAD magazine fame, these pasteboards sparked controversy upon initial release. Worried that the card images would traumatize their children, a group of mothers in Racine, Wis., reportedly protested against Topps and its advertisers.

"The art on the cards was really in the tradition of MAD magazine," explained Bill Bengen, who owns the top set on the PSA Set Registry, "and I remember my mother's reaction to MAD magazine, she wouldn't let me buy it. She said, 'You can buy Superman, but you can't buy MAD.' Today this set wouldn't even get a reaction. They would probably call it mild."

With this series, however, Topps discovered that negative publicity could be good for business. Fueled by their parents' disapproval, kids hoarded these cards and packs sold out across the country.

"The idea of the forbidden, the taboo, that definitely enhanced the sales," said Bengen.

Now this is a bubblegum I could get into. In fact, I did. No, not the originals. I was only 4 years old at the time, but some of them were reissued in 1969. Those I did have, had to have. I can even remember how bad the bubblegum tasted. Maybe that's why I dislike gum so much today.

For the rest of the story try these links:

Topps 1959 You'll Die Laughing story
Scans of all the cards
Scans from the 1973 set (these used movie stills instead of artwork)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Readiness: Day 3

I know. This is October 3 but only my second Halloween post. I got caught up in the Wisconsin-Nebraska Big Ten opening football game hype on Saturday (and it lived up to it too, if you were for Wisconsin). So to make up for it today I have two items for you.

First, let me say that to me there is one thing scarier than vampires, werewolves, or even zombies. Something I dread more than losing a limb, maybe even my soul. Something that the mere mention of it makes me break out in a cold sweat and sends shivers down my back.

And what is this terribly awful blight on the face of humanity?

Shoe shopping with my wife. <shudder>

When we're out and about and Laurie gives me an out am I about to say "No"? No way. So while she proceeded to the dark depths of Famous Footwear I merrily waltzed on to The Frugal Muse, a delightful used bookstore on Madison's West side. There I bought the following 2 books that seem very fitting for this time of year.

The first is"Mysterious Madison: Unsolved Crimes, Strange Creatures and Bizarre Happenstance" by Noah Voss. I can't wait to read about bizarre happenstances, especially if it's about the town I live in. Maybe I can talk Lauri into tracking a few down ourselves.

The second book looks equally as good but way funnier. It is "Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside" by Frank Lesser, one of the writers for The Colbert Report. Boasting chapters entitled "The Joy of Unicorns" and "The Werewolf Whisperer" and "Kids Slay the Darnedest Things" I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.

(Note the price on this one. I don't quite understand but it is listed as being published on Oct 2011 yet many booksellers have it listed at half price or less. It has a list price of $13.00 yet I got it for $4.98 and it's brand new.)

Stephen Colbert blurbs "Thanks to this hilarious book, I'm no longer scared of monsters. However, I am still terrified of books."

Incidentally Laurie never did buy any shoes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Time to get ready for Halloween!

It's October. Fall is here. And soon the best holiday of them all will arrive. That's right, the spookiest, the scariest, the chocolatiest holiday of them all, HALLOWEEN!

Everyone's getting ready for the Big Day. There's so much to do.

Mr Soaky by Jason Edmiston

Do you have your costume yet? Neither do I. But I'm looking. Any suggestions?