Jan 30, 2005

Revisiting the past…..

At this point in life there are now moments when I sit back and go “I can’t believe this happened twenty years ago”. And then there are the moments I realize are part of time immortal ….. The moment is happening today as surely as the day they first occurred. Such a moment happened for Jon and I when we spent a good portion of this January weekend watching Live –Aid.
Generated by the initial reaction of one pop star to famine in Ethiopia Band Aid/We Are the World/Live-Aid is the closest my generation has to a rallying point of selflessness. The fact that this occurred in 1985 should be noted by historians as nothing short of miraculous. People who remember are nodding their heads with me. Those of you younger cannot begin to understand how selfish we were as a group. And yet it happened. On October 29th of 1984 Bob Geldof penned the chorus of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Not to be outdone , the American music community got together after the Grammy awards that year and recorded “We Are the World” (It’s still a lame song, but dammit they were trying to help). The faces you see during this 20 hours of footage are a history of Rock & Roll. The performances vary in quality greatly. Some are reaffirming even now… Teddy Pendegrass singing for the first time after his accident and carrying the crowd in Philly… oh and Run D.M.C. doing the sound check…. Best one I’ve ever seen. Some are heartbreaking…. The crowd booing Joan Baez… Madonna performing with shoes that don’t match her outfit ….. and many are, even taken as a moment from today …. The best live music I’ve ever seen performed. As pointed out in the booklet enclosed… this was before faxes, cell phones, e-mail. And they got this concert together in six weeks. Two continents. Over fifty acts. Princess Di makes a joke with Brian May. Bob Dillon come out at the last minute with Ronny Woods and Keith Richards to sing “Blowing in the Wind”. Paul McCartney offers to play after rumors of a Beatles reunion run rampant. The result is “Let it Be” with a non assist from Peter Townsend who tickles Paul mercilessly. 98% of the T.V.s in the world who had access to the feed tuned in at some point during the sixteen hours of telecast. Imagine….
My favorite moment on the newly released video is Maggie Thatcher being outdone by Geldof, right after Thatcher said “What good could butter oil possibly do them when they’ve nothing to cook?”
And in music, simply told Freddy Mercury and Queen ruled the day despite a display of talent and adrenalin from others never again matched.
Watching Live-Aid again all these years later brought a barrage of stories from Jon to myself and from me to him…. “And then we”…. “Oh, this is when” We know each other a little better tonight. So think of a purchase. You won’t be disappointed. And all these years later? The money is still going to Ethiopia. Bob Geldof is many things but good has to be the first word you use. And after this trip down memory lane? This week, I do like Monday.


There is an official webbsite that tells about the dvd nd has a place to take donations:Live Aid DVD

Jan 28, 2005

It Was 20 Years Ago Today

Well, almost...

I got Live Adi on dvd for xmas and popped it in tonight. It's still giving me chills.
Bono, the rock and roll security nightmare pulling girls from the audience, Ultravox, Queen, Robert Palnt. The whole thing is still amamzing. And money is still going to the right places. Pretty cool.

Hard to beleive I was only 21 when this all took place. And strangely, I remember watching the whole thing on TV and screaming all night.

Jan 24, 2005

Jan. Blog Event

This is an idea from Bryon ( I love Showtunes) Quertermous and Dave White. A set of intsrtuctions arrived via courier and we were each asked to write a short story with the the same three things. I'm not sure I'm of equal standing with my writing, but what the hell, I get to kill some people so I decided to go for it.

These are the other blogsites and bloggers participating in the blog event for Jan 25th.

My story follows this list:
Dave White
Bryon Quertermous
Sarah Weinman
Gerald So
Graham Powell
Aldo Calcagno
Duane Swierczynski
Jennifer Jordan
Dave Zeltserman
John Rickards
Ray Banks
Pat Lambe
Bob Tinsley

The Story:
No Cure For Cancer

The car was traveling at around 75 MPH. To Al this didn’t really feel all that fast, but of course he was driving through a subdivision and the speed limit was only 25, so he was in fact going way too fast. The fact that the houses were still under construction didn’t change the speed limit. <>It shouldn’t have surprised him when he saw lights flashing behind him, but Al was in fact surprised. Surprised and immediately nervous. He couldn’t afford to be pulled over and given a ticket. His insurance was already costing him a kings ransom every three months and he couldn't afford for it to go up. He reached over and turned off the radio, even though it was the middle of the new Metallica song. He needed to think.

Because Al is going to die, he really shouldn’t give a flying fuck about insurance. He could be nervous just hoping his plan would go well.

Two options became clear pretty quickly. He could try to out run a car designed to chase other cars, or pull over and hope for the best.

Al pulled over.

The patrolman walked up to the car with kind of swagger you can only get by wearing a belt loaded down with too much equipment. As the cop reached the rear of the car, Al rolled down his window and leaned out. The patrolman leaned down.

“Good evening sir. Can I see you drivers license, please?”

“My hovercraft is full of eels”, Al said with a grin.

“Excuse me?” the patrolman asked with a grimace.

“Sorry, I’m just fucking with you. Hang on a second and let me get my wallet out.”

“Could you step out of the car, sir?”

“Fuck it,” Al muttered to himself and reached between the seat and the door.

As he opened the door he rolled out on to his back and aimed straight up.

The taser hit the patrolman in the belly and for a minute the man just stood and there and shook. When Al dropped the taser, the patrolman dropped right after it.

Al stood up and kicked the cop.

“No sense of humor,” he said to no one.

He reached down and grabbed the cop’s gun and his taser and walked to the back of the car. As he popped the trunk, the car’s owner started to come around. Al walked back, grabbed the nightstick from the prone patrolman, and stopped to give him a blow to the head. When he went back to the trunk he repeated the night stick move on Mr. Murray. With the other members of his party unconscious, Al got down to business.

He dragged the cop back to the trunk and threw him in on top of Mr. Murray. He slammed the trunk shut, walked back to the patrol car and sat in the drivers seat.

Having been for a ride in a few of these, Al knew where to turn off the lights. He put the squad in gear and pulled around in front of Mr. Murray’s car. He hoped out, leaving the squad running and moved over to the sedan he had been driving, and shut the lights off and closed the door.

“What a pain in the ass”

Getting back into the squad car, he drove the half mile to where the property he owned was showing the signs of new construction .He parked the squad around the back, hidden from the street. He jogged back to the sedan and drove that to his property as well.

Stepping threw the framework that would soon be a new home, he slid back the plywood floor. Al insisted on plywood, no particle board for him. Money was no object, after all, he had plenty. When he found out the cancer was terminal he'd taken out he took out a number of loans. It wasn’t like he would need to pay them back. He’d be dead long before then.

With the basement exposed, he reached in and turned on the lights. The basement lit up but left everything else dark. He walked back to the car and dragged out the cop and then Mr. Murray, dropping them on the ground long enough to close the trunk. He then pulled them one at a time over to the opening and slid them down the ramp into the basement. He took the steps down after them.

By the time they came to Al had them tied up and blindfolded. The cop spoke first.

“What are you doing? I’m a cop!”

“Blah, blah, blah. Shut the fuck up.”

Al leaned over and kicked while he spoke.

“Let me guess. I have no idea how much trouble I’m in, your pals on the force will be looking for you, etc etc.

Leans down to speak right into the cops ear.

“Well, I happen to know it will be a while before they do. I know all about you, pal. This is the time of night when you usually take off for a snooze and everyone leaves you alone.”

“What do you mean you know about me?”

“You don’t think this is random do you? You two are just names on a list of people who need to pay.

Al lights up a Marlboro red and takes a long drag.

"Mr. Murray here got me fired from my first job back in high school. I lost my first girlfriend because of that. And you, you dumb ass. You busted me for having a joint when I was 19. One lousy joint. But it was enough for my parents to pull me out of college."

Murray finally spoke “ You’re going to kill us for that?”

<>“Buddy, I’m going to kill every one that ever did me wrong”

“You’ll never get away with it.”

“I don’t need to. I’ll be dead in three months. I decided I’m not going alone.”

Al pulled the blindfolds off and the two men looked around. Their faces took on slack expressions as they noticed the other bodies.

“I killed the lawyers first. And the one in the white? That’s the Doctor with no cure for me.”

Al started for the stairs.

“I’ll be back later. I have a little more trunk music to play before I kill you two.”

The light went off and they heard the car drive away.

They sat in the dark, wondering how long it would be until he came back.

It’s too bad Al was speeding after he left. He ran off the road and died with out anyone
finding out about the basement in time to do anything for numbers 17 and 18 on the list.

Jan 22, 2005


Saturday morning, early afternoon. Milwaukee is still getting a lot of snow.

My Uncle called and needed a ride to the shop because he could not get out of his driveway.

Jon and his four wheel drive Ranger to the rescue. Cruising down lakefront drive windows down plunging through snowdrifts with out slowing down. Not much other traffic. Ozzy Ozborne singing about a Crazy Train at full volume. Life is good!! I love driving in the snow.

Saw a lot of people downtown and on the eastside shoveling out their cars after getting plowed in. Some people stuck because they were driving in places they should know better than to try and drive.

I kept humming along, tunes cranked, loving the snow!

Got back to the shop, dropped my uncle off at the garage to get the plow and I went and did donuts in the parking lot.......

Jan 18, 2005


This is not a plea for sympathy, nor a cry for back pats.
Just a rant of sorts.

In the last twenty years, with the exception of hangovers when I was drinking, I only got sick twice. I just never caught anything.

This weekend Ruth brought home a very special gift from the pharmacy where she works. It kicked in late friday and she ended up spendning the entire weekend out cold. Every few hours she would come out of her hibernation and take more nyquil and drink a bottle of water, then back to bed.

THis sucked because I hate to see my wife sick. But also I had no one to talk to and I played a lot of spider solitiare.

Well, Sunday night came around and I started getting dizzy. My head hurt, and all my joints ached. I had a fever. I started coughing deep deep coughs that seemed to come from my bowels.

I was sick.

Really sick.

As a result I spent all day Monday in bed under many covers sweating it out. No eating, just sleeping and liquids. By late monday night a started to feel better. Not healthy yet, but better.

The main thing I hate about being sick is the complete lack of control. The body does all sorts of things to mess you up and all you can do is take it and make a feeble attempt with pills to stop it.

I also hate the weird delerium dreams I have, this time out it was lots of square shapes.......

I'm off, back to bed.

Jan 14, 2005

hmmmmm... just an idea

The Whole Nine Yards
a good idea
The Whole Ten Yards
not a good idea

Coca Cola
a great idea
New Coke
a bad idea
Return to Original fromula (but not really)
an ass saving idea

a good idea
Rocky 2-5
a greedy idea

Cable Television
a good idea
The Golf Channel
A what the f#*k idea

Paying Ken Bruen to write books
a great idea
Paying Paris Hilton to do anything, let alone write a book
a really lame idea

A wonderful idea
Hamburgers served on lettuce instead of a bun
A just have a salad idea

Working Out
A really good idea
Jon Actually doing it
A funny idea

Cell Phones
a useful idea
Letting people use them were ever they go
A really annoying idea

Reed Coleman writing "The James Deans"
A grand idea
Buying multiple copies of "The James Deans"
A even grander idea!
Buy Reed’s Book!

Letting the public vote
A noble idea
Actually letting the public vote
not such a great idea

Me stopping this now

A pretty damn good idea!

Jan 11, 2005

Another Year Started, Another Week Gone

Yup, the wife is guesting again....
The first blog was about being American and my second, well it's about being me. So here are the last few days, winter blues and all.
Thursday last, real snow. Beautiful, fluffy and inches of the stuff. Grand. We've not had that here in a while so I spent the day at work looking out the picture window (we were not busy due to aforementioned white stuff) wishing more than anything I didn't have a reponsibility in the world and could go outside and play. Taking time out only to come in for hot chocolate and a change of mittens and socks. So caught up did I get that I phoned the husband, "Let's go tobagganning". Jon Jordan, speechless. An hour later he calls and I kid you not, "Honey, we'll need to varnish the tobaggan, at least two coats before we should use it." Well thought out, love of mine. While we're on the phone I ask him to call my Dad, make sure Mom got off to Virginia alright. Snow, airports, you've all been there. Less than a half hour later he calls back, "Well, I couldn't get in touch with your Dad...." " Your mom called though, I'm picking her up now and she's spending the night".
And she did, Slim's takeout and a video, a kiss in the morning and the visit was done. By a miracle I even had Five Chocolate-Chocolate Cake on hand. She was happy. Jon and I were a little sore. No advanced warning meant a night on the sofas and at the end of the work week we could both tell. I love middle age.
Friday was WISE GUY , and I still love that show.. and then came the bleak midwinter...
It will surprise no one who's had more than one conversation with me that the news hit hard and there were phone calls made to make sure I was okay. My dad simply said, " You're wearing black today." I looked down and ... jeez... he was right.
Brad and Jen . And here' my press release, no further comment will be made. It's nice when two people in Hollywood who are married like one another. It's sad that it never works out, apparently even when they still like one another. Oh well, I still have Sean and Robin. And Johnny seems happy with the french babe.... maybe there's hope.
Saturday done, we hit Sunday. For our Anglo friends who believe that no one in America can understand their football love I'll make a comment. During Thursday's snow the front office of the Packers called for shovelers for Lambeau Field. Friday morning over seven hundred people had arrived by 6:30 in the morning. So to see Brett throw interceptions against the Vikings, to see the team fall apart on sacred ground, to see Randy Moss without the helmet (Hairdresser, Dude)...
It was a bad day.
Monday morning it was dark when I went for my appointment with the personal trainer and get this..... he made me work out. And now I have my first month of workouts for 2005. I started doing this in 1979 and cannot understand why you can't take a month off after 25 years without gaining body fat. It doesn't seem fair. I went today again and hopefully tommorrow will be an all clear. But the car is going in for a checkup, I have a birthday gift that needs to be bought and a house that needs to be cleaned. No, no , I'll go. People are right when they say it makes you feel better, it's just, well you also feel sore and miss T.V. and pretty soon you're living off of protein shakes and tuna , giving up alcohol.... it's quite vicious really.
So it's Tuesday night, work went well and I got some writing done, e-mails off and a pet from the
cat who hates everybody and maybe it's okay about Brad and Jen, and Mom seeing my house not entirely clean and even if it's not I'm spending Friday night in a luxury hotel so how bad can life be?


Jan 10, 2005

Fantastic Four

Picture from

This weekend icluded my spending a fair amount of time reading comics. I read a series I haven't read before called Marvel Knights 4. Marvel comics has a line of titles that are a little more real, a little more gritty and they have a fantastic four title in there with Punisher and Daredevil.And it rocks. The first trade collection starts out wth the imaginauts known as the fantastic four going broke. It proceeds to show how they deal with it in a very real manner. Ver well done stuff.

And While I'm mentioning comics,

Gary Phillips has a new series from Dc's Vertigo line. Angel Town. I've read #1 and 2. Awesome urban western PI stuff. And really hip art as well. Check it out!!!! A ball player wanted for questioning in a murder case, his lawyer hires Nate Hollis to find the missing basket ball star before the cops do. If I had to attach a noir name to it , I'd call it graphic urban hip noir......

Jan 8, 2005

Good Morning Scott!!!!

Just wanted to say good morning to Scott Phillips.

Scott was the author of the favorite book in 2004 in our Crime Spree poll.

If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for????
So Scott, have a nice day, and get writing!!!!


In 2004 I got my wife season 2 and 3 of the tv show Wiseguy for her birthday and christmas.
We watched the third season tonight. Wow. I can't beleive I missed this when it was originally on.

Oh yeah, I was drinking then......

But great stuff. And a lot of wonderful actors on it. Worth picking up on dvd.

Jan 7, 2005

Crime Spree - Where the F#%K is mine!??!!!!

As you can probably tell #4 is late. Here's why.....

The printer broke down, the repair dude was swamped and couldn't get to it as timely as we would like. We finally got every thing printed, and the binder was shut down for the holidays.

We have the issues in our hands and they are being put in envelopes as I type this. They will be mailing today and monday.

And the UK folks will finally get their #2's that are lost somewhere between here and there....

So, new schedule is: (this is not set in stone, but a real safe bet)
#5 - Ship the second friday of March
#6 - Ship the second friday of May
#7 - Ship the second friday of July

So, every other month and on the second friday they go out.
Once we start to make a little money and aren't putting our bucks in, we will ship in a better method than Media Mail, but for now that's the only affordable solution.

Subscribers, thanks for your patience with our month delay.

Jan 5, 2005

Guest blogger, my wife Ruth!

Blogging… in a guest capacity. See I’m of the opinion that if I do it one time only and talk politics… well, that will be the end of people wanting me to blog..

So, happy holidays to all, and thank you to all who sent cards, e-mails, prezzies and Christmas music. As the readers of this blog know well, perhaps too well, I love Christmas and if anyone out there feels the need to spend three hours of time to make caramel ala Dewitt , or 12 minutes for microwave fudge e-mail me; I’m happy to oblige.

And now…. What an interesting season it has been. Long ago, Summer 2001… Jon and I were walking along Prospect Ave. talking with a friend who happens to write books… the discussion? The imminent threat of a terrorist act. Four months later supposition by forensics experts and local police had become history. We all know the date.

We all know that something fundamental has to change. Is the answer a puppet who answers to perhaps one of the most evil personages of the last century and who has now been allowed the power to formulate the direction of U.S. policy in the new century? No. And yet, that is what has happened. An American election where the incumbent clearly won … or did he? Were any of us surprised?

There is hope. Already Mr. Dean from Vermont has promised never to run again for the opportunity to try and realign the Democratic Party. I for one believe this to be the sincere promise of a Vermonter to his country.

Okay, I’m a sincere Vermonter too. Therefore, this typing? Bias. Let’s look. Americans have pretty much isolated themselves. Remember Japan? You all saw Shogun. Are we better than anyone else out there? Do we have the right to decide? Not on your life. The one thing we had going for us before G.W. was our surplus budget. Gone. There was, to an extent, a trust. Between America and its allies, there was the fundamental idealogy that the U.S. would not crap
on its neighbors. Well we have. Repeatedly. Now the U.S. faces bankruptcy to help with the tsunami victims. Therefore every television station in the nation is having a telethon tonight. F.C.C.? Future promises against the Janet actions and who knows?

Is it sad that a girl whose Grandmother once led her reverently to a juvenile biography of a slain President now has no faith at all in the system that gave her Grandmother something to believe in? Something that both of her Grandfathers fought for? Of course it is. But always there is a fundamental faith. It is the faith of Mr. Dean. It is the faith of a spirit I know is attainable. We need to work and work hard. We can surely do better. I just re-read the SCREWTAPE LETTERS by C.S. Lewis, first read WORSE THAN WATERGATE by John Dean and devoured the words of Michael Parenti I’d not read before. With thought we will overcome. Do we have the energy for thought?
Well here’s my take.

The newest McDonald’s ad on television says and I kid you not, “ Choose any three dollar menu items on our menu for only three dollars”

It will be a fight, but it is a fight worth fighting…..

Blog number 1, and I’m sure no one will clamor for more.

Ruth Jordan from snowy Wisconsin

Jan 4, 2005

Will Eisner passes at 87

Will Eisner was a comic genius and referred to as the father of the graphic novel. Most every one in the business of comics and all fans of comics owe him thanks for all his influence on the art form.
newsarama does him more justice than I can.

from deniskitchen.com

Jan 3, 2005

Easter Eggs!!!!!!!!

No, I'm not jumping to another holiday. I'm referring to hidden features on DVD's.
I found a great site that has a list of them and how to find them.
  • DVD Review
  • is a really cool site, but I love the hidden features page.

    SO go back and rewatch some fo your movies and get more out of them!

    I've found some on my own just by moving the curser around using y remote. Things get highlighted and I push enter. Sometimes cool, sometimes lame. Kevin Smith has one on Mallrats that brings up a clip of him telling you to stop looking for eatereggs and go do something useful with your time.

    I needed a good way to kill more time.....