Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Afternoon

First, my apologies to anyone who has received spam email from my AOL account.  No, I haven’t been hacked. I wish it was just something I could fix with a change of password. Actually, I–and around 1% of AOL customers– have been spoofed.

I always thought being part of the 1% would be more fun.

 A hacker stole contact lists from AOL accounts,  including accounts that have been inactive for years, and is using them to send out spam email from what is jiggered to appear as an AOL account. It doesn’t originate from my account and I can’t stop it. Apparently, neither can AOL, although they promise to do just that.

AOL’s help page suggests that account holders change their passwords. It won’t help with this spoofing, they tell us. I guess it’s supposed to be comforting.

If you want to read more about the situation, you can check out this article.

As with any email, if you don’t know the sender or there’s an oddly phrased message and a link, delete it without clicking on the link.


I’m in a Doc Savage frame of mind this week. I’ve plowed through two Will Murray novels–Horror in Gold and The Forgotten Realm–and I’m starting on a third, Phantom Lagoon. Two or three novels in a row from any genre are usually my limit before I have to turn to something else. I’ll let you know how it goes.



I’ve been dealing with a recurrence of the gout, and merry malady that I have enjoyed since 1991. This gout bout has not been as serious as the first go-around, and I hope I caught it early enough. Just as he did 23 years ago, the doc put me on Allopurinal, a drug which seems to work well on me. While gout limited some of my activity for a few days, it did force me to get some reading done, and things seem to be getting back to normal, so I hope to resume daily walks soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Holiday Greetings From The Easter Duck

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, have a great day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Doc

This amazingly cool cover was recently unveiled at the Wild Adventures of Doc Savage Facebook page. The book isn't out yet, but since the Joe DeVito cover blew me away, I wanted to share it here.

I'll review it when it's released. As detailed here, I've become a fan of Will Murray's novels.

Oh, look, another 90s Doc is being re-released, too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Innocence by Dean Koontz

I’ve been reading Dean Koontz for a lot of years, starting in my youth when I knew I wanted to be a writer. My local library had a book called Writing Popular Fiction by Dean R. Koontz (I believe the book was later released under the title Writing Bestselling Fiction , once Koontz was actually a bestseller). The author’s photo showed a long-haired young man with a mustache. Cool, I thought. Unlike most jobs, writing let you grow your hair as long as you liked.

I must have checked out that book 10 times while I was in high school, trying to memorize its secrets.

A few years later, when I was looking for another author to fill the gap between releases by my new favorite, Stephen King, I discovered the fiction of Koontz (I recall searching for his work after reading the non-fiction book, but Koontz’s science fiction novels were hard to find in this part of Kentucky).  I think the first Koontz I read was Whispers. After that, I was hooked. While Koontz didn’t seem to dig into his characters’s heads as deeply as King did, his plots were outstanding and the premise of each novel was imaginative and original. Since then, I’ve grabbed everything he’s released. That doesn’t mean I’ve loved every book, but even the least of them were enjoyable.

Over the years, Koontz has introduced more spirituality into his novels. I hope it isn’t too much of a spoiler to say that Innocence is his most overt expression of this.

Innocence concerns a boy named Addison, who must remain hidden from the world. If he’s spotted and someone looks at his face or into his eyes, that person tries to kill him. So Addison only goes out at night, and only with his face hidden. One night he meets a girl named Gwyneth, who can’t stand to be touched. They bond, and we’re off on another Koontzian adventure.

At times, the book’s pace slows down, but the ultimate revelation of Addison’s “condition” is quite unique and offers a payoff that makes up for any of the novel’s shortcomings.

There are a few unanswered question, though, and that’s unusual for a Koontz novel. Those include the presence of spooky marionettes and a confrontation with an archbishop, both of which almost read like plot threads that were meant to be expanded upon.

I’ll give Innocence a grade of a solid B. We’ll see what Koontz comes up with for The City, due out in July.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Batman Turns 75

Artist and producer Bruce Timm, who brought us Batman: The Animated Series, returns to the character with this short cartoon. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Evil Update

From today's walk, the evil Flatwoods tree is still bringing the creepy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Still Stinky After All These Years

Check out the story of the human waste that still smells as fresh as when it was excreted in the 1300s.

Who knew 14th Century Denmark had a Taco Bell?