Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Future

Let's see if we can predict the future for 2011.

1. The Yankees will win the World Series.
2. The Phoenix Cardinals will finish at the bottom, losing to my old high school.
3. President Obama will make more blunders.
4. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will get divorced and marry exch other so they can push more bills to pass so they can find out what's in them.
5. PETA will launch a campaign to save the rattlesnakes.
6. Western novels will sell like hotcakes in 2011.
7. Hotcakes will be banned by the Government.
8. A Sedona, Arizona, resident will see the Virgin Mary in the red rocks after a vortex experience.
9. Sarah Palin will move in with Bristol and they'll run for President and Vice President if they can find their way out of the desert.
10. Sarah Palin will get bitten by a rattlesnake and move to Sedona (see #8).
11. True Grit, the movie, was originally called False Grit and will win the Best Movie that Changed its Name award.
12. A wolf in sheep's clothing will eat Santa Claus and cause all the little kids to cry.
13. Sarah and Bristol Palin will attend a sweat lodge ceremony and emerge believing they are President and Vice President.
14. Bristol will resign to be on "So You Think You Can Dance" show and buy a house in Gila Bend.
15. In 2011 John McCain will turn 105 years old and make another run for the Senate.... door to avoid Sarah Palin.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Acquisitions

For Christmas I received from Santa the following books:

Black Power, White Smoke by Loren D. Estleman
Can-cans, Cats & Cities of Ash by Mark Twain
Sea of Glory - America's Voyage of Discovery - The U. S. Exploring Expedition 1838-1842    by Nathaniel Philbrick
Daring Young Men - The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift June 1948-May 1949 by Richard Reeves
The Wild Breed by Frank Leslie
Echoes of a Dead Man by Terry James (it's coming on the slow boat)
The Man from Shenandoah by Marsha Ward
Monuments - America's History in Art and Memory by Judith Dupre
Life's Platinum Anniversary Collection -- 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography

All I have to do now is find time to read them on top of all the other ones waiting.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Jan Morrill's blog, has a Flash Notice that Dusty Richard's was voted "Reader's Choice Best Living Fiction Writer" by True West Magazine. Congratulations to Dusty! (And, yes, it is Dusty, not Rusty.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I will now post my semi-annual list of blogs that I like and try to read every day: Due to space limitations and the price of gas, not counting the cold weather in the east and now the west,, I'm limiting it to five solamente. yes sir, only five, and without further ado-doo-di-doo, the list:

Number one: A Man Called Valance - Comment, like, I have to see what's going to happen next. Just what the hell's goin' on, Cowboy?

Number two: Chris Enss Notes on Wild West Books - Comment, like, I have to see what's going to happen next. This one tears at my heart with the situation with her brother. I shall say a prayer for her this very night and hope for a successful outcome.

Number three: Houston A. W. Knight, Welcome to my world of romance, etc. Hold on there, buster, this is a western blog! Romance, shomance? Sheesh! - Comment, like, I have to see what's going to happen next. Something did happen there two, three, or fo'  days ago, an interview of yours truly-ooly-dooly. Romance writer, western writer, science fiction, we're pretty much all the same  when it comes to putting words on paper and she is great. Woo-hoo and tsk, tsk!

Number four: Laurie's Wild West,, Now this is more like it, a real, live Western blog! Comment, like, I have to see what's going to happen next and it will, pulpishly, I bet.

Number five:  My Little Corner,, Comment, like, I know what's happening next in that Little Corner, uh-huh, winky-winky-linky.

These blogs were scientifically and chemic-.....uh..... numerically and systematically, thereabouts, selected as prime examples of excellent reading, writing and arithme....uh....informative points of view chock full of high points and instructional variety pieces.

If your blog wasn't listed, don't feel bad, mine wasn't either. You may re-arrange them in any order you please and add many others equally interesting and informative.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Books

Was thumbing through an old (1996) price guide for books and decided to pick out a few that, if you are in possession of the first editions, they may make you rich or could bring in some ready cash:

First off are the books of Edward Abbey, the environmentalist who passed away in 1989. You wouldn't make a fortune in selling them, but they'd bring in a sizable chunk for his published writings, say around $5,000 for the eighteen listed.

After you sell this next one though, and throw in $20, you can take your wife/girlfriend to dinner at the Red Lobster, Pacific Seaweed Aquaculture by Isabelle A. Abbott. Maybe the price has increased in the last fourteen years and you will only have to throw in $15.

Published in 1864, by the Intelligencer Steam Power Presses, Trials of Soldier's Wife: Tale of 2nd American Revolution, by Alexander St. Clair Abrams, is worth enough to treat the family to dinner at a nice restaurant and have a fancy dessert and a drink, too. While they are eating, I hope they are praying for that poor soldier's wife and the soldier, too. Sounds like an interesting book.

Skipping to the Z's, there are a couple worth a couple thousand plus, each. One is Les Costumes du Peuple Polonais, 1841, by Leon Zinkowicz, and the other, Descriptio Anatomica Oculi Humani, 1755, by Johann Gottried Zinn, a very interesting and enjoyable read about the human eye, I assume, if you can decipher the lingo. Being uneducated and intolerant of those who are, I'll tell you right now, I like that first one best, the book on the clothing the Polish people wore around the time Joseph Smith told Brigham Young to "find a place outside the United States, say the Rocky Mountains, that are amenable to our religious beliefs and practices, and adopt the costumes of the Polish people as is our God-given right." Well, maybe that wasn't his exact words, but he had just finished reading and studying Les Costumes looking for a way out of the mess they were in, since he couldn't understand the Descriptio. Or was it the Scriptures?

Next time I bring this up, if there is one, we shall look at the prices of a few more old books, maybe I can find a western or two in there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don't forget

(The new heading picture is another arch in the Arches National Monument near Moab, Utah.)
Don't forget to check out the interview at, a mighty fine and fun site.

It has been a mighty busy time around here since before Thanksgiving with all the Christmas shopping and returns that don't fit and the thinking of something else needed to satisfy someone's wish. It's been so hectic that I hardly have time to read the newspaper, let alone another book, but, I'm not the only one in this predicament from the things I've read on the various blogs, which I squeeze in between Home Depot and J.C. Penney's, Kohl's, Ulta, Target, Macy's, Applebee's, Saba's Western Store, the Quilt Shoppe, Ace Hardware, Dollar Store, the Family Dollar Store, the Dollar General, did Applebee's get in there? I think we had lunch there yesterday or was it the day before?

And with all that, I'm working on a short story again, and proofing the next novel, The Bloody Gulch. I've been trying to get it in shape for a submission to a publisher, but it's slow going. I find it easier to proof read on a hard copy than on the screen and am about half or so through the hard copy. I'll sure be glad when Christmas is over this year, and New Year's, too, and Valentine's Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and, well, maybe not quite that far, but Valentine's Day for sure.

Hectic is as hectic does, as Forrest Gumpish said..

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The West

Yesterday, I had an inspiration from out of the blue, as they say somewhere. I was in deep thought and a little consternated (no, not constipated) about what to write about, when a little voice popped up, saying "You supposedly write about the west, so write something about the west, Mae West would be good, since she acted in a couple of western movies if you interpret them broadly." By George, I said, I will, and here is the result.

Hmm-m, hmm-m, let's start off with a couple of her quotes: " It's not the man in you life, it's the life in your man."

She must have come up with that one as she sat in the Jail on Welfare Island "for corrupting the morals of youth" and having dinner with the warden and his wife in 1918. She had written a play called "Sex" and this was the result of it. They let her keep her silk underpants, though, instead of the cotton bloomers.

"Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" She asked a cop on her return to Los Angeles from Chicago. She used this line in her last movie, Sextette, asking George Hamilton that question.

She must have been getting ready to tell Randolph Scott, Go West, Young Man. the story of a touring movie star and a country boy made in 1936. Mae West made her film debut with George Raft in 1932 in Night After Night in which she was allowed to rewrite her lines. George Raft said, "She stole everything but the cameras."  It was in this movie that she said "Goodness had nothing to do with it," when a hatcheck girl says, to her, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!"

"When I'm good, I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm even better," she said in I'm No Angel. 

Mae West and W. C. Fields starred in My Little Chickadee, which was a success in 1939. Finally, a western of sorts. West is Flower Belle Lee who entertains the crowd as Sheriff Twillie (Fields) tends bar and plays cards.I saw this one a long time and thought it was hilarious.

I'll end thiis with one more quote: "Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution."

But, mayhe I am.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Before I get into today's post, check out this interview at Miss Houston, or Hawk for short, a romance writer, maintains a blog site which is always interesting and informative.

Saturday afternoon I watched some episodes of Branded on a DVD. Chuck Connors was the star of this old TV series, which had a two-year run. In these, Connors was unceremoniously kicked out of the Army for cowardice in the battle of Bitter Creek, He wanders around with everyone calling him a coward, but he finally gets a chance to clear his name in a daring operation against a band of Mexican bandidos that he leads into a trap. He was hand-picked by President Grant to do the job that may brand him a taitor, in addition to coward, by joining up with the bandidos in hopes of preventing an all-out war with Mexico.

The first episode was in black and white, and the acting was melodramatic in some instances, but I can see why he was the Rifleman and played in so many other movies and TV shows. Overall, I thought the acting was good and there was some comedy with the bandidos making it fun to watch. An enjoyable two hours on a cloudy afternoon.

Mr. Connors was born in Brooklyn in 1921 and grew up an athlete, playing basketball for Seton Hall until he went into the Army in 1942,  serving as a tank instructor in Kentucky and at West Point until his discharge in 1946. He played one year as the center for the Boston Celtics and then played baseball, being selected by the Dodgers who sent him to a farm team. He played for the Dodgers in the majors for a very short while and then was traded to the Cubs, who sent him to the Angels farm team in LA, where he got his big break into the movie world. He passed away in November 1992.

I liked to watch him in the Rifleman.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dusty? Rusty?

Shucks and darn it! I have to apologize to Dusty Richards and Rusty Richards, two western writers who I have found too easy to mix up.

In my blog of November 25, 2010, "Texas Blood Feud," I mistakenly showed Dusty as the author of the Casey Tibbs biography when it should have been Rusty. Although Dusty did write a book about a cowboy turned rodeo announcer, The Natural, which was selected as the fiction book of the year by the Oklahoma Writers Federation, he didn't write the Tibbs biography.

Rusty? Dusty? They even look alike in the photographs posted on their respective pages, both wear glasses and white hats, but one is from Arkansas (Dusty) and one is from California (Rusty). Woops, Dusty has a small mustache, though. Whew! I'll be more careful in the future.

I'm surprsed that no one else caught this and read me the riot act. However, mistakes do happen, and I apologize to Dusty and Rusty for the mix up and will correct my blog by removing the Tibbs biography referral.

Texas Iron by Robert J. Randisi

My reading habits have changed over the last couple of months. I must be devoting more time to it, and I finished Mr. Randisi's book, Texas Iron, in record time. It was either very exciting or dull as an old axe, and it wasn't a bit dull.

Famous gunslinger and wanderer, Sam McCall, receives a telegram while in some little tumbleweed town out in the middle of nowhere informing him that his parents were killed, so he rounds up his brothers, Evan the gambler, and Jubal, the youngest, and they set out to investigate the deaths in their hometown of Vengeance Creek. They soon learn that the bigwig rancher, Lincoln Burkett, is behind the shenanigans and is trying to take over the town. Burkett hires a famous gunslinger in his own right, a man named Coffin, to take out Sam McCall, and the plot thickens up considerably. Burkett has a son, John, a playboy troublemaker, who throws a crank in the works on an occasion or two, and has his sights set on killing Jubal McCall.

The McCalls have their own supporters in the local store owner, Dude Miller and his daughter, Serena, the romantic attraction; Ed Collins, and the big Swede. Against overwhelming odds, the brothers must battle everybody working for the Burketts including the local sheriff, the mayor, and the gunslinger Coffin to finally get to the bottom of it. The finale comes in a hail of bullets aimed at the jail where the McCalls are holed up with Burkett's gunslinger Coffin, who has been jailed to await the arrival of the Federal Marshal..

I put the book down with feelings of "Oh, no, it's ended already," wanting to read more of this exciting and high pressured tale of vengeance. I'll just have to check out some of Randisi's other novels like The Ghost with Blue Eyes, Backshooter, and The Money Gun as time goes on.  I have no doubt that they will be just as exciting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More on Licensing

I forced myself to ride into Glendale and visit the License Bureau and find out what they did with my license. I needed it last month or the month before for that big western fiesta which came and went without my presence. There is another big event in downtown Glendale running this month and half the next called "Glendale Glitters," where they light up the downtown area with one-and-a-half gazillion lights. Of course, they only turn them on at night and even with all those lights you're hard put to read anything in the light generated by those tiny litle things. So, it isn't a very good place to set up a table and sell books. But, anyway, I arrived at the License office and joined in at the end of a line of 15 or 20 others waiting patiently, most were paying their water bills or something. My turn at the window came and by then I realized I was in the wrong line. "You have to go that window over there where that other line is, sir."

I was going to protest loudly and vehemently, because a sign that read "Water Payments and Tax Licensing form a Line Here" directed me to that window. However, I used my better judgement and said, "I must've got in the wrong line," and moved my bod to the other line. I finally reached the correct window and explained my dilemma to the young lady, and she said, "Do you have some identification?" I handed her my driver's license, and she looked at a computer screen and punched in my name. "You haven't received your license?" "No, ma'am, they told me it was mailed on the 17th, but it hasn't arrived yet." "Just a minute, I'll get you a copy." She went to a filing cabinet, pulled out a piece of paper, and returned. "Here is your license," she said, real sweet like. Nothing to do, but tell her thanks and leave, but I never received any explanation of why it wasn't mailed, or, if it was, where they mailed it. Outside, I took a good look at the license, and it read "Issued: October 16, 2010." I said to myself, "Today is NOVEMBER 29TH, what the Hell happened?"  I just shook my head and walked down the sidewalk muttering, "Another bureaucratic screw-up. It must be the new trickle down efficiency theory at work."