Thursday, April 30, 2009


Does anyone else watch this show on Showtime? I didn't see it when it first came out, but after the first season I bought the series on DVD. I just found the second season recently and picked it up. The first season was excellent and so far the second is just as good. It's a crime and politics drama set in Providence Rhode Island and featuring two brothers, one in politics and one in crime. It just ended its third season and there's rumors that it may not be back for a fourth. I hope that's not true, this show deserves a long future.

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TOMS Shoes

I first saw this as an AT&T commercial and wanted to learn more. I thought it sounded like a really good idea. I don't know if there is some hidden agenda here, and you know it's terrible that when you see something good being done the first thing you wonder is what's behind it, but hopefully this is just what it looks like. A company trying to do good while it makes money. Check out more about Tom's Shoes here.

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Mary Gauthier

I found this video while I was preparing my "Song of the Week" for my other site Voices to hear. Mary is from New Orleans and an acclaimed singer/songwriter. Her song "Mercy Now" is one of my favorites, but this song and video are pretty powerful.


Haven't done an update on Lost lately, so here's one. Don't read if you haven't seen Wednesday's show yet.

I was glad to see Farraday back. I like his character. Is he really dead? The Island brought Locke back, but will it bring him back. Actually we don't really see him pronounced dead, so we may see him in a hospital next episode. I actually hope so, like I said, I like him. But we are on the slide to the end, so I'm sure that more characters will die in the next year and 3 episodes.

Only three more episodes left of this season. And than next year is the Final Season! Wow, it doesn't seem that long ago since the show first came on.

Who would have thought Sawyer could put down roots? I think he would have been happy to stay where he was with Juliet for the remainder of their days.

I've missed a few recent episodes so I don't know if they've already covered it, but either way I wasn't too surprised when Widmore revealed himself to be Farraday's Father.

If this was the last season I'd be thinking that they were going to blow up the H bomb, cause the plane not to crash and end with everyone landing in L.A. like nothing ever happened. How would that be for an ending?

I still think Charlie will be back in some form, Hurley keeps lugging that guitar around for some reason.

Three more episodes. What type of cliffhanger can they end on this year? And from what I've read we get to see Jacob in the last episode of this season.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

NOLA Comic Con

I was going to post yesterday but not much of anything was accomplished yesterday. The first NOLA CON was held Saturday and I think it was pretty much a success. I only have a few pictures to post as I forgot to check the batteries in my camera and they died on me. Normally I have my camera bag and I always have back up batteries in there, but I just brought my small digital camera and stuck it in my pocket. So only a few pictures. The pictures don't show the crowd, most of them were made earlier, just as the con was getting started. Evidence of pictures aside, there was quite a turn out for the show. Good enough that I think Ronnie will have another one next year.

I enjoyed myself. I made some money selling some books. I signed some autographs. (Something I will never get used to...someone wanting me to sign my name for them.) One kid even wanted his picture taken with me. Very big ego boost I have to admit, even if it only lasts while I'm at the show. Sitting at the table I got to meet some fellow writers and artists from the area, which is always nice. Was able to talk shop with some fans who are interested in writing and hopefully able to give them a little advice. I mean it's not like I'm some big shot pro, but I know a few things I hoped I was able to pass on.

The picture below is of my spot. The empty chair should have me in it. The comics in front are some of the ones I've written. The big bald guy on the right is RJ, another writer, who writes a cool strip called "Vampire Brat" and the guy in green is Tim, an artist that is really good and has illustrated such comics as "Picket Fences" for APE Entertainment.

Hey, you can tell it's a real comic book convention. There's stormtroopers. It can't be a real comic book convention unless there's someone dressed up as a stormtrooper. I know it's kind of hard to see, but look towards the back, the lighting in this picture sucks.

Someone dressed up as a comic book character.

The guy standing in front holding the plaque is Ronnie, the mastermind behind the convention. The guy standing behind him, in front of the guy in the wheelchair is his Dad. And the guy in the wheelchair is Carl. Now I'll explain more about them. Ronnie and his Dad, who is named Ron, used to own and operate the comic book shop I dealt with back in the 90's called Paper Gold. Ronnie was just a young whippersnapper back than. I think when they first opened up he was maybe 16 or 17. I became pretty good friends with Ron, Ronnie and Ron's wife and Ronnie's mother Pat who is not pictured. After they closed Paper Gold they all moved back to Houston, where I thought they still were until recently when I discovered Ronnie was back with his own shop. While in Houston I found out Ron had a heart attack and nearly died. He actually has had a heart transplant. I was really glad to see all of them again.

Now the guy in the wheelchair is Carl and around here he's kind of the King of the Comic Book Stores. I won't say he had the first comic book store in the area, but he's probably had one the longest and one of the biggest and best. Most everyone that sat behind that table that is any type of professional or semi professional spent time hanging out at Carl's shop and talking with Carl. And I include myself in that number. Carl is one of those guys that always talks tough and acts like he's putting you down, but he actually would give you the shirt off his back. Ronnie had a plaque made up for him thanking him for all his work and dedication. After Katrina Carl sold his shop and I haven't seen him since. It was a really nice thing Ronnie did.

Ok, that's my trip down memory lane.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm at the comic con now and it's going great. Sold some comics, signed some copies and talked to some people.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Orleans Comic Con

This Saturday New Orleans gets its very own Comic Book Convention. Actually not New Orleans proper, it's taking place out in Metairie, which a suburb of the city. And no, it won't be like any of the pics or things you've heard about the San Diego Comic Con. This is a small one day affair. It's being put on by an old friend of mine that used to run the comic shop I frequented on the West Bank over a decade ago. He moved to Houston and I didn't realize he moved back. This will probably be fairly small, it's the same weekend as Jazz Fest and it's just starting, but hopefully it'll be enough for him to continue it on a yearly basis. I've always thought New Orleans would be a great city for a comic convention. They tried one about ten years back that didn't seem to take, hopefully this one will.

And the coolest part of it all....I get to be a Guest. He's got a nice list of local artists and writers, some that have worked for Marvel, DC and Image, besides some of the smaller publishers like me. It's been awhile since I've sat behind a table at a convention and signed comics. I'm kind of excited.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Speaking of Earth...

Coming out on Earth Day....

Earth Day

a fragile life on earth (earth day 2008)Image by jmtimages (resting...) via Flickr

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Go check out the home page.
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Out of Luck

I guess he won't be playing. A judge denied Rod Blagojevich's request to be able to travel so he could be part of the reality show. More here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is a test to see if I can post to blogger using my phone. Let's see if it worked.

John Boutte and Paul Sanchez at French Quarter Fest

French Quarter Fest

This is one of my favorite pictures from the Fest. That's LeRoy Jones and John Boutte and the paddle wheeler "Natchez" sailing behind them as they sing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

French Quarter Fest: Kayla Woodson

I first became aware of Kayla Woodson last year at French Quarter Fest. I was walking from one end of the Quarter back towards the US Mint to see who was performing there when I heard a voice coming from one of the smaller stages set inbetween. It was Kayla. She was only 13 than. Just listening to her I was reminded of LeAnn Rhimes when she was younger. She had that powerful a voice. I was impressed enough that I bought the two cds she had for sale. They were recorded when she was 10 and a few years later. You can hear some of the promise in her voice on those cds, but you can hear the child in the voice too.

This year her voice has gotten stronger. Before you could hear pitching problems in some of her songs, today I heard a singer that is getting better and better control of her intstrument. She has a powerful voice. She sings songs from Taylor Swift to Guns n Roses. And she does it very good.

If she continues I think she will have a great future in music. I am very impressed by her.
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Old School Fridays: Bloggers Choice

Someone has to remind me when it's Friday! I can't believe I missed Friday. Well, no way am I missing this week's Old School Friday...I'll just pretend it's Friday here down in New Orleans. This weeks choice is Blogger's choice and boy I could spend hours trying to think of what I want to pick, but I'm going with the first song that popped in my head. "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King. I think this is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. I love it!

Music Can Cleanse The Soul

Today was the second day of the French Quarter Fest. Not as worldly known as it's bigger cousin that comes next week, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Fest is becoming pretty big in its own right. Last year almost half a million people were there. The really cool thing about this Fest is that it's free. All the music is free. They set up stages at different areas of the Quarter and people wander back and forth listening to some great music. The majority of this music is home grown and from the area. Along the way vendors set up food stands and t shirts to sell, but you could go and not spend any money if you wanted to.

It's been awhile since I've been out to listen to any live music. I've forgotten how long. But sitting there under the trees today, listening to the Revealers play their combination of funk and reggae I realized I haven't felt this good in a long while.

The below pictures are from today, but in New Orleans they could be from a typical day. You see bands and performers like this on the street playing music any day of the week in New Orleans.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Missed LOST

I missed LOST tonight, in fact I got off work not too long ago. Anything good happen on the show tonight? Did we learn anything new? What's happening?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Judith Krug Dies

You're probably going "Who's Judith Krug?" She may not be a name that everyone recognizes but she was an important lady. She fought against the banning of books in school libraries. She helped keep books like Cather in the Rye, Huckleyberry Finn, and others available to kids to read. Go here and read more about her. I know I've told this story before, but when I was a kid my parents let my brother and I read whatever we were capable of. I remember when I was around twelve or so and this girl that was in college saw a book I was reading and was astonished that my parents would allow me to read it. Reading is learning and learning is a good thing. We owe a lot to this lady and others like her.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Is Really Stupid


Watch and Be Amazed

This clip I came across over at Mark Evanier's excellent blog. Mark is a writer of tv shows, comic books, and probably about a million and one other things. He writes a very entertaining blog. He had this video posted and I almost didn't watch it all the way through. I started and if you watch you you'll probably be like me and figure this is one of those times when someone gets made fun of or humilated, much like the tryouts at the start of American Idol do. That's the set up and I almost turned it off because I didn't want to see that happen. But keep watching. You'll be surprised and glad you did. This woman blows away most of the American Idol wannabes. The shame is she would never had even been able to try out for AI, one she's too old and she definitely doesn't fit their version of what a star should look like. Watching her though I felt a joy run through my body, just seeing her do this should make you smile. Watch and be amazed.

EMBED-Susan Boyle Stuns Crowd with Epic Singing - Watch more free videos

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Phil Spector Found Guilty of Murder

LOS ANGELES, - APRIL 16:  Legendary music prod...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The man famous for the "wall of sound" from the sixties and such acts as Ike and Tina Turner and the Righteous Brothers and a bunch of girl groups from earlier in the decade was found guilty of murder. Read more about it here.

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Marilyn Chambers Dead

The porn actress Marilyn Chambers died at her home on April 12. Chambers is best known for the classic porn movie Behind The Green Door. I remember always hearing that she was the Ivory Soap baby but that isn't exactly true. She was the Mother for the baby on the Ivory Soap in the early seventies, before she made it in the porn industry. She was born in Providence Rhode Island to a middle class family. She went to California to be an actress and had a bit part in the Barbara Streisand movie The Owl and the Pussycat. Her first porn film was Behind The Green Door and she talked the producers into giving her a percent of the gross. It was one of the first xxx rated movies that featured a white woman having sex with a black man. In 2004 and 2008 she ran for Vice President on the Personal Choice Party.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

How Dumb Can You Be?

MIDDLETOWN, CT - MAY 25:  Sen. Barack Obama (D...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

President Obama is supposed to give the commencement speech at Arizona State University this May. Normally when someone gives the commencement speech they are awarded an honorary degree. ASU says they are not giving the President one because they feel like he hasn't accomplished enough yet, that he still have a lot more to accomplish in the future. Ok, I agree that I think we will see a lot more accomplishments from President Obama in the future. But that he hasn't accomplished enough yet? He was just elected President of the United States. What bigger accomplishments can someone do?
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Is DOLLHOUSE Canceled or Not?

The actress Felicia Day twittered that Fox is not going to run the 13th and supposedly final episode of this season of Dollhouse, thus making episode twelve the season ender. To most people this would seem to be the end for the series, but Fox is claiming that it is not canceling Dollhouse. Who believes that?

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Characters in Print: Doc Ford

Cover of "Tampa Burn"Cover of Tampa Burn

The first in a series of posts about some of my favorite characters from books. The last decade or so have found me gravitating more towards Mysteries as my choice of genre. In the second decade or so of my life I was enmeshed in the world of science fiction. So my first character I want to write about is from a series of Mysteries by Randy Wayne White.

The series take place mainly in Florida but wander the world. The main character is Doctor Marion Ford. Ford is a Marine biologist by trade and secretly a operative for a very clandestine government organization. As a Marine biologist he can be sent into other countries to investigate the flora and fauna of said country while in his other guise he can be doing other nastier things.

When the books start Ford is finished with his government past, or so he hopes. Somehow during the course of the series it keeps coming back to demand more from him. He is trying to come to terms with some of the things he has done while working for the government.

As a character I would place Ford up there with the ultimate in my book, Travis McGee. Ford is a man that lives by what he considers good and tries very hard not to veer from that path, but being human sometimes finds himself not living up to his hard goals. Like McGee with Meyer Ford has his own sometimes sidekick in his exact opposite Tomlinson, a hippie zen master that lives on a boat in the same marina with the Doc and is his best friend.

This is one of those series where while you can enjoy yourself reading about the action and adventure that take place you also learn something. As Ford is a scientist you might learn something about sharks or the state of Florida or even something about what it means to be human. In a lot of ways Ford is a very old fashioned man about some things.

There have been 16 books about Doc Ford and I consider this one of the best series currently being published. The novels are:

Sanibel Flats (1990, St. Martin's Press)

The Heat Islands (1992, St. Martin's Press)

The Man Who Invented Florida (1993, St. Martin's)

Captiva (1996, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

North of Havana (1997, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

The Mangrove Coast (1998, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Ten Thousand Islands (2000, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Shark River (2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Twelve Mile Limit (2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Everglades (2003, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Tampa Burn (2004, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Dead of Night (2005, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Dark Light (2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Hunter's Moon (2007, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Black Widow (2008, G.P. Putnam's Sons)

DEAD SILENCE (2009 G.P. Putnam's Sons)

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LOST in Rolling Stone

John Locke holds up the two opposing colors of...Image via Wikipedia

In the recent online (and probable new issue) of Rolling Stone is an article about LOST. Go read it here. And make sure to read the comments....seems I wasn't the only one that thought of aliens after this week's episode. But I must have missed the comment about turtles they mention, was that in the show?
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Ok, who would have thought it? Ben actually has feelings for someone other than himself. Does anyone else think that aliens might be involved in the island somehow? I'm just not seeing how the "island" is doing all this. There has to be more behind it all. According to rumor they've hired an actor (sorry I can't remember who and I'm too lazy to look it up right now) to play the mysterious Jacob in the May 14 season finale. While I think this episode is getting back to what I like I find myself growing bored with John Locke. I think part of my problem with Lost lately is that I'm not too fond of the episodes that take place back in the seventies. And next week they go back to that time. But I have to admit that they're filling in a lot of holes, showing how people ended up where they did.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

How Much More?

A gunman kills 13 people at an immigration center. More.

Three police officers killed in Pittsburgh. More.

Ten killed by a lone gunman in Alabama. More.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Old School Fridays: If I Were A Boy

This one made me think. I decided to pick a video that made me think of a time when I was a boy, years past. My thinking is now I'm a man, but if I were a boy. I don't know if that makes sense or not. This song is by a local artist that sings about New Orleans and life in the city past and present, Benny Grunch and the Bunch. Most of his songs are done more in a comedic mode, but this one is not.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Ok, time to discuss this week's episode of LOST. I admit I liked it better than the last one I saw. My problem I think is that they're making Jack a wimp. Not so much that he didn't want to save Ben, but that he doesn't seem to want to make any decisions. I'm not sure I buy the fact that all the others wanted to save Ben. In their future they all had a pretty serious hate on for Ben. I understand he's only a kid now, but they all know what he grows up to become. It's like not killing a young Hitler if you had the chance, yes he might be a kid, but the world knows what he grows up to be. Especially Sawyer, no matter how much he's changed, would want to save Ben. I also think Sawyer is liking being a member of Dahmra now, he may not want to leave. At least they're answering questions, we know how Ben became an Other now. But why does healing hiim make him bad like Richard suggests it will. It didn't make Locke or Rose bad, did it?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeImage via Wikipedia

Twenty five years ago Marvin Gaye, one of the great singers and a staple of Motown, was shot to death by his father. Marvin was not content to just be a hit singer and songwriter, he wanted to do something more. He wrote and recorded one of the greatest protest albums ever created What's Going On? It became his biggest success and is still relevant today. This video is the title song from that album plus "What's Happening Brother?" I think "What's Going On?" is still one of the greatest songs of all time and his singing in it is incredible.

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