Friday, October 24, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 409

Friday, October 24, 2008---641 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
+++++++
Rave: Aaron Tippin
+++++++
On the Hi Fi: “The Golden Age of Song”---another delightful Starbucks compilation that includes Tex Ritter, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, The Ink Spots and a dozen more.
+++++++
Reading: Vince Flynn’s “Extreme Measures.”
+++++++
Under rated: Bradford Dillman
+++++++
Must see TV: Final season two episode this Sunday of “Mad Men” on AMC…10 PM.
+++++++
Didjaknow: “Rum and Coca Cola” by the Andrews Sisters was the best selling record of 1945 and held the #1 spot for ten weeks, despite being banned from radio due to its mention of alcohol. The Andrews Sisters placed 113 records on the charts during their recording career.
+++++++
Rant: The World Series viewers deserve far better than Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. They are atrocious. This is baseball’s biggest stage, and Fox gives us two complete bozos.
+++++++
Rave: “Appaloosa” is terrific western…just a great movie…wonderful entertainment. Like those westerns of an earlier time (the great John Ford Monument Valley films, “The Big Country,” etc.) it features spectacular establishing shots that emphasize the starkness and vastness of the West.
Sam Elliot could have played any of the good guys, while the villains are modeled on the best Jack Elam roles…a magnificent job of casting. The details of the period costumes are another highlight.
There was nothing I did not admire about this Ed Harris production. In addition, he did it with a slender budget.
Mr. Harris was very true to the Robert B. Parker novel…I hope he wants to film the follow-up, “Resolution”---it features the same protagonists and is another enjoyable read.
+++++++
Quote: “Like most people, I have no wish to live in a community organized by community organizers.” ---Mark Styne. Neither do I!
+++++++
Go figure: Just when you want to believe in the enduring power of love, Madonna and Guy Richie announce they are calling it quits.
+++++++
Rant: If you could stay up past midnight in the east, there was a most exciting Red Sox-Rays game on Thursday, the 16th of October. Wonderful sports theater. One of the greatest comebacks in all sports occurred while a huge portion of the country was asleep. Baseball sure knows how to promote itself.
+++++++
On the side of the coin: It is impossible to imagine going to sleep without knowing the outcome of an NFL playoff game. Betcha even Selig cannot envision that.
+++++++
Rave: The “Fast Draw Team” on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
+++++++
Rant: Here’s my idea of the Fairness Doctrine that the libs want to reinstate: “switch the station if you don’t like what you hear.” That is a pretty basic act of hand-eye coordination…even a caveman could do it.
+++++++
Rave: Michael Connelly does it again with his pairing of Mickey Haller (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) and LAPD Detective Harry Bosche in “The Brass Verdict.”
I am not alone in my praise as it debuted at #1 in the Wall Street Journal book chart.
Harry is on the case to solve the murder of a lawyer who left his practice…while Mickey defends an accused murderer whose case was one of those he inherited.
They two plots intertwine, and an uneasy alliance is formed between the dual protagonists.
As usual, Mr. Connelly hides the clues in plain sight in such a way that they elude you on first reading.
The story arc is so intriguing and captivating, that giving away anything would be unfair.
Do not miss this one!
+++++++
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.
We return you to your regular programming

Michael Connelly Book Signing

Dateline: Raleigh---Friday, October 24, 2008
I was part of a crowd of about 100 that attended a Michael Connelly talk and book signing at Quail Ridge Books.
A few of the interesting points unveiled:
* "The Brass Verdict" is Mickey's road to redemption.
* Doing Harry Bosch from Mickey’s point of view refreshed Michael’s take on Harry.
* Character is king. Main character is the driver of the car.
* Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and Joseph Wambaugh are his primary influences…all wrote of LA.
* In creating Harry Bosch, he wanted an outsider with an insider’s job…attempting to meld the best of his influences. Examples: being left-handed in a right-handed world and being the lifelong product of institutions (foster homes, the military and the police force).
* As an outsider in “The Black Ice”---Harry sees he has no family.
* In the novel, Harry and Mickey are diametrically opposed, but must form mutually dependant
relation.
* He has three or four more Harry books in his mind. Harry in Vietnam, Bosch in Hong Kong with his daughter and Harry as a young cop in the 1970’s.
* Next book will feature reporter Jack McEvoy from “The Poet” in “The Scarecrow.” It is based on a true story of a serial killer of women whom was obsessed will calling Michael at the LA Times while incarcerated.
* On this book tour he is reading Dennis Lehane’s “The Given Day.” Other recommended writers: George Pelecanos, UK hard-boiled writer Denise Mina and new writer
Michael Koryta (“Envy the Night”)
* Writing regret? Does your main character age in real time or not age as time moves on? Giving Harry’s birthday year as 1950 has set a time limit on how long Harry can be on the LAPD as there are not a lot of homicide detectives on the LAPD force past the age of 60.
* When I asked him if Mickey was truly going to stop practicing law as the “The Brass Verdict” suggests---with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “Remember, Harry retired from the LAPD at one time.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 408

Saturday, October 11, 2008---568 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
+++++++
Rave: Barry Fitzgerald
+++++++
On the Hi Fi: “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” by Paul Desmond.
+++++++
Reading: “The Given Day” by Dennis Lehane.
+++++++
Under rated: Joseph Cotton
+++++++
Must see TV: The baseball playoffs with the sound off. Being able to watch the Red Sox/Rays and listen on radio to the Rays broadcast was a treat.
+++++++
Quotes: “Momentum in sports is something like UFOs — people say they see them, but nobody has ever actually proved they exist.” --- “If Andruw Jones hadn’t gotten hurt, they (the Dodgers) wouldn’t have made it this far.” ---Dwight Jaynes.
+++++++
TV Timeout: Sarah Palin identifies herself as a hockey mom, but by the look of NHL ratings each year, she must be the only one.
+++++++
Hmmm: Is OJ now going to subcontract out the search for the real killers?
+++++++
Rave: Yesterday (10/10) marked the 50th anniversary of “77 Sunset Strip.” That’s where you met “the highbrow and the hipster.”
+++++++
Didjaknow: The three most popular betting sports on the Internet are horse racing, soccer and tennis.
+++++++
Rave: Say what you must about him--- Manny Ramirez is something to behold with a bat in his hand.
+++++++
Rant: Tim McCarver is the lamest baseball broadcaster the world has ever produced.
+++++++
Rave: Any day is improved when you hear a Bacharach/David song.
+++++++
MLB on TBS: It is nice of TBS to slip in a little baseball between those “Frank TV” promos.
+++++++
Rant: Thus far, the announcing on both TBS and Fox during the MLB post season has been boring. Why not use the team broadcasters? How about using the home team play-by-play guy and the visiting team color-man? It would give much more insight and provide a bit more inside info for the viewer.
+++++++
Rave: “An American Carol” is hysterically funny, wonderfully politically incorrect and skewers those who have so deservedly earned it.
+++++++
Bet ‘em Dano: Before the season, you could have gotten 75-1 odds in Las Vegas on the Tampa Bay Rays winning the American League pennant. The Rays are the 1967 Red Sox!
+++++++
Truism: Being televised on ESPNU is the TV equivalent of the Federal Witness Protection Program
+++++++
First law of the universe: Everything takes longer than you think.
+++++++
Didjaknow: Farrah Fawcett played David Janssen’s girl friend in the 1974-1976 TV series, “Harry O.”
+++++++
Stats: Out of 120 Division I-A schools, only 11 head football coaches have held their current jobs for 10 years or more.
+++++++
Quote: “ACORN is where Sixties leftovers who couldn’t get tenure at universities wound up.” ---Mona Charen.
+++++++
Hmmm: Consider this: the World Series winner participates in four clubhouse champagne celebrations. That is three too many wine spritzers.
+++++++
Rant: obama told Pastor Rick Warren that defining when a baby gets human rights is “above my pay grade.” Apparently, it is above the pay grade of mainstream media reporters to press obama on his abortion record.
+++++++
On this day: In 1950, the Federal Communications Commission issued CBS the first license to broadcast color television.
+++++++
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.
We return you to your regular programming