Pardon My Interrobang


No, the interrobang isn’t the name of a double-nought spy organization. It really and truly is a type of punctuation that I will cover next time. For now, though, we’re going to start off small and look at the basics:

’til next time…Adios.

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What Do You Mean You Don’t Get Frabjous?


Yes, it’s time to mess with the people that live within our computers. You know the ones. They watch every word we type, and when we throw something at them that they don’t understand, paint the screen red with their rude remarks, saying, “Oh, you must want this word instead.” And, as I make up the vast majority of words I write, they’re busy. Way too busy. So, I decided to have a little fun today by giving them Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.”

’til next time…Adios.

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Oh, the Shopping Outside is Frightful


What? You mean I’m not in line for Star Wars?

Back in 1965, in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” I believe it’s Linus who says “…Christmas has become too commercial,” or words to that effect. Well said, Linus. And that was before we shifted into overdrive with mega-Christmas.

’til next time…Adios.

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Mom! The SpellCheck is Cussing!


Yes, folks, it’s true. Wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own two peepers. Apparently, Mr. High-and-Mighty SpellCheck has been learning a few new words and wants to show them off:

’til next time…Adios.

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These Words Keep Hopping About


Well, folks, it’s Word Play Thursday. Time to see just how plastic-y these English language words are. Which, of course, they are. And whether you go to a library or a liberry makes little difference, except that in the second case you might find a pie.

’til next time…Adios.

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“On Jackstein Farm”, Masterpiece or Flop?


Mysteries have always intrigued me, especially when they involve writers in the past. I’ve been researching the almost completely obscure writer named Edmund Jackstein. Here is a little more that I’ve recently learned:

’til next time…Adios.

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A Monster Isn’t Always a Monster


It’s that time of year again. Time when we think of things monstrous, and perhaps even write about monsters and monstrosities. Here is a glance, A to Z, at a variety of beasties, across the globe:

’til next time…Adios.

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So, What About the Dog?


Yeah, Larry, about this next role…

Yes, the dog. The Rin Tin Tin-type of dog that chased the gorilla back into the cage and saved the woman. Which woman? Why, the famous pianist’s daughter who resembles the dead wife of Svengali-like doctor who wants to marry her, but daddio the famous pianist won’t allow it, nor will boyfriend Bob.

That’s some of the plot of The Monster Maker (1944), a PRC low-budget, but entertaining horror/sci-fi/mystery flick with a gorilla. Yup, when you throw a gorilla into a movie it’s gotta be at least a little fun.

Starting off, boyfriend Bob (Terry Frost) and Pat (Wanda McKay) watch a performance of Pat’s father. Lots of shots of his hands playing. So much so that I first thought we were going to have a hands movie on our hands (sorry). You know, pianist’s hands don’t work anymore, he gets them replaced with dead murderer’s hands, he goes on a killing spree. But no, this is a mad doctor film.

Dr. Igor Markoff (hmm, Igor? Markoff? Rhymes with Karloff?), played by J. Carrol Naish, wants to develop a cure for acromegaly, the disease which, in actuality, afflicted actor Rondo Hatton. In the movies they have it as a monster maker. Of course, Doc Markoff is a bit unscrupulous, and mad, so, since daddio, played by Ralph Morgan (Frank Morgan’s brother–Frank played the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz), won’t give his daughter’s hand in marriage, Doc injects daddio with acromegaly and tells him he’ll make him all better if Doc can marry Pat.

There’s also a large assistant named Steve (also listed as Giant in IMDb, played by Glenn Strange–he played the Frankenstein creature in 1945’s House of Dracula, and clocked in with well over 300 acting roles in his career) who doesn’t have much of a part, other than to be large, except for one short scene where he grabs Maxine (Tala Birell), Doc’s unwilling and unwitting assistant to prevent her from interrupting the Doc.

The gorilla was played by Ray Corrigan, who played a gorilla in several other films. Ace, the dog, was played by Ace the Wonder Dog. And he survives to tell the tale, so don’t worry, Ace is just fine.

Oh, and why did the Doc have a gorilla? Not a clue.

Monster was fun, though editing and direction needed a hand at times, but that didn’t keep us from enjoying it, and poking fun at it good-naturedly. Not a bad way to spend an evening. I give it two-and-a-half bananas out of five.

’til next time…Adios.

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I’ll Find Out Where I’m Going When I Get There


The above title pretty well describes how I’ve written my manuscript for my novel. I’m getting closer to the finish line, but I need to make sure everything, every place in my novel is where I said it was. Can’t have a mountain chain that ran east-west in the first part of my story, suddenly running north-south. I don’t have space as a slippery-slide.

So, anyway, it’s time to draw some maps. Maps are an indispensable part of an alternate world, so here we go. Let’s take a ride:

’til next time…Adios.

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Things that Go Splat! in the Night


Well, friends, we’ve passed the halfway point in October, one day closer to All Hallows’ Eve, and I’m getting into full immersion. Got an old episode of Dark Shadows (the one with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas) playing on TV, with the sound down.

“Sound down?” you ask.

Yes, it’s a favorite way of mine to watch some TV, going back several years to when my friend Branson and I would watch something, sound turned down, and the stereo blasting. It’s better than a box o’ chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

So, Dark Shadows is playing in its black-and-white glory, with Barnabas getting ready to restore one of the old Collins family houses. Cue fog, please.

I’ve got Pandora set up with a station called Midnight Syndicate, and currently “Catharsis” is playing, by Die Verbannten Kinder Evas; next up is “Overture” of the Rebel Angels by Glenn Danzig.

Been reading some H. P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu.” I’ve read several of his stories, but I’m not sure if I’ve read this one, which is surprising as I thought I’d read all the Cthulhu stuff.


Just found that I can watch Halloween (1978), the full movie, on YouTube. I still love the opening theme music.

Okay, gonna have to jump ahead on Pandora, as they’re playing “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams. That’s not proper Halloween music. I love “Classical Gas”, but it’s not Halloween.

And right now Barnabas is showing off his wolf’s head cane. Cool.

Yeah, guess I like Halloween a little.

Happy haunting, friends.

’til next time…Adios.

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