The collectable market…

I’ve long been fascinated with the market for collectable items, and those which are viewed as valuable.

So when I stumbled upon this article by Zoe Sottile and presented on, I had to give it a look…

A rare “wanted” poster for John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Lincoln sold for over $160,000

The headline for the most part says it all but I encourage you to click the link and read the details. Seems this particular wanted poster is a rarer version that some that came subsequently but before Booth was found and killed some five days after the assassination of Lincoln.

Because Booth was captured so quickly, there was obviously only a very short period of time these wanted posters with the three chief suspects, including John Surratt and David Herold (who were listed as accomplices), were made and distributed.

This particular wanted poster was handed down through the generation by a single family and they decided it was time to sell it.

Fascinating, fascinating stuff!

Remember those remains found in Lake Mead?

During the very dry period last year and when Lake Mead dropped significantly, human remains were discovered along with a lot of debris.

Welp, from author Treasure Welle and found on…

Lake Mead remains identified as a Las Vegas man who disappeared 25 years ago.

At the risk of spoiling the above article (you should read it!) the man was identified through DNA testing but -and this is key, I suppose- there was no way of telling how he had died and wound up in the lake.

I suppose that makes sense, given the number of years that have passed and the likelihood all they found were his bones…

…yeah, I know, a cheery thought.

One hopes that at least the family of this gentleman get some closure because of this identification.


It genuinely pains me to come back ’round here and seemingly keep returning to the topic of politics but… what can I say? It’s something that’s been front and center with me for a bit.

Ever since the release of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June of 2022, the nation has dealt with a post-Roe v. Wade environment.

Those who are strongly against choice have attempted to codify anti-abortion/choice regulations and…

…have found themselves mostly failing to do so.

The latest example happened yesterday when anti-abortion/choice bills failed in both Nebraska and South Carolina (you can read the article about this, by Chandelis Duster and presented on, here).

The first line presented in the above article states:

Measures that would have severely restricted abortion failed Thursday in Nebraska and South Carolina, which both have Republican-controlled legislatures, a reflection of the growing unease among Republicans over the political popularity of strict bans.

The key words, presented above, are at the later parts of that paragraph. Republicans, with good reason, should be uneasy about these stringent attempts at restricting a woman’s choice.

For literally decades there has been this anti-abortion/choice wing of the Republican party that has fought very hard to eliminate abortion/choice completely.

This has allowed many Republicans to use the issue and the fury it creates to get voters to vote for them. The only reason Roe v. Wade was struck by the Supreme Court, based on my reading of the opinions (and I admit in advance to being far from the most knowledgeable person regarding the intricacies of law), is that Trump managed to get several hard right judges into the Supreme Court who very likely lied about their views on Roe v. Wade and its precedence to get themselves voted into the court… then subsequently revealed their true colors when given the opportunity to strike Roe v. Wade down by using lame legal reasoning that seemed designed for them to get their results, even if the logical wasn’t entirely there.

As the saying goes, though, what happens when the proverbial dog catches the car?

So it goes with Republicans and abortion. They have succeeded in negating Roe v. Wade and we’re now seeing that those who were against it were perhaps never more than a minority.

A loud, vocal minority, admittedly, but a minority nonetheless.

And the majority, those who realize the issue of choice and women’s health and their freedom to get the care they need for their bodies without the interference of political bodies… are really annoyed and fighting back.

Based on the last couple of election cycles, they are coming back to bite Republicans -and those trying to further erode a woman’s choice- in their asses.

I don’t know if this will continue into the next few election cycles. Perhaps it won’t. And perhaps there will be deep red states that will manage to adopt more anti-choice legislation.

Given what happened in these two pretty damn red states yesterday, however, I wouldn’t count on it.

The Car (1977) a (boo!) belated review

On the way to my destination I reviewed Shakedown (1988) (you can read that review here) and on the way back I decided to give The Car a return visit.

As with Shakedown, The Car was a film I saw way, waaaaaaaay back when, likely in/around the time it was originally released -likely a few years later- and not since. I recall enjoying the film but it didn’t necessarily stick with me too much.

Here’s the movie’s trailer but, if you haven’t seen the film and are curious to see it, please REFRAIN FROM SEEING IT. Another of those trailers that, IMHO, give away too much of the story.

The film stars James Brolin who, back then, looks a hell of a lot like his son Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men, The Goonies, The Avengers: Endgame, Deadpool 2, etc. etc.).

The film’s plot is quite simple: In a sleepy desert town somewhere out west, a black sedan suddenly appears and starts killing people in gory ways.

What in tarnation is going on here?

What’s going on is this is a film that falls into that delightful -to me anyway!- movie genre subcategory featuring “homicidal vehicles.” My favorite of them is Steve Spielberg’s first big hit, Duel, but it also includes such films as Killdozer, Maximum Overdrive (Stephen King’s one and only foray into direction), and, if you squint your eyes, Quentin Tarantino’s Deathproof.

The film also, I feel, tries to emulate another Steven Spielberg hit film, the previous year’s release Jaws. In many ways, The Car feels like a land-locked version of Jaws, with the car being the equivalent of the homicidal shark.

As I hadn’t seen the film in so long, several parts of it surprised and delighted me. There are interesting characters littered throughout the film, some nice and others not so nice. You have a character who is fighting alcoholism and, given the events which happen, loses that battle. You have a love interest who’s brave as hell. You also have a climax that truly ratchets up the suspense before giving us a satisfying end.

While I don’t think anyone is going to mistake the artistry of The Car with that present in either Duel or Jaws, The Car nonetheless holds its own as a suspenseful meat-and-potatoes dip into that suspenseful sub-genre.


Shakedown (1988) a (gnarly) belated review

I first saw the Peter Weller (Robocop) and Sam Elliot (The Big Lebowski) way, waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy back when it was likely first released and not since. The details of the film were, naturally, pretty hazy, though I did feel like I enjoyed the film but maybe didn’t feel it was “spectacular”.

Here’s the movie’s trailer:

So being as I was traveling again and needed some entertainment during the flight, I downloaded some films and decided on the way there I’d see Shakedown again. I mean, we’re talking about primo Peter Weller and Sam Elliott. A weird team for an action film, I would grant you, but I was up for it.

…and what a wild ride the film turned out to be!

To begin with, you cannot take this film seriously. Especially during some of the crazy action sequences in it. But the film is filled to the brim with character moments and a plot that tries to be pulpy and “serious” but settles into sleazy (at times) and typical 80’s action fest.

The movie’s director and co-writer, James Glickenhaus had previously worked on The Exterminator and The Soldier. He also produced a number of cult films like Manic Cop, Basket Case 2 and 3, and Frankenhooker…! He would walk away from movies by the mid-1990’s and became a Wall Street fund manager.

What a life!

Anyway, getting back to Shakedown

The movie opens with a drug dealer (a young Richard Brooks) meeting up with a potential buyer. But things go sideways and the buyer is killed while the drug dealer is injured. The dead man, it turns out, was a cop and, naturally, the police feel he was undercover and our drug dealer murdered him when he was about to be arrested.

Roland Dalton (Peter Weller) is assigned as his lawyer and after talking to the drug dealer begins to suspect something is amiss… The dealer insists the cop never identified himself as such and that he genuinely thought he was going to be robbed and murdered and therefore acted in self-defense.

With this information in hand, Dalton meets up with Richie Marks (Sam Elliot), a rough and tumble undercover cop, and asks him about the possibility this case might be more than it seems. Marks has his doubts, but it’s clear he knows there are dirty cops in New York City…

What follows is a mix of courtroom drama and crazy-ass gunplay, of scaffolds falling and car and foot chases, culminating in one of the most bat-shit crazy climaxes I’ve seen in any film. It truly has to be seen to be believed….!

Look, the film isn’t “art”. It isn’t always coherent. But the acting is good enough and the action sequences come regularly enough and you root for the good guys and hiss at the bad guys and I have to be honest… I wish the film had a just-as-crazy a sequel.

Weller and Elliot make for a good team.

Recommended… as long as you accept the film’s cheese!

Tucker Carlson…

It was revealed today that Tucker Carlson, one of the more outrageous Fox “News” Hosts, has been fired. One assumes this is in part a result of the Dominion vs. Fox lawsuit which was settled for $787 million plus dollars.

I’ll give him this much credit: He’s been in the “news” business for a hell of a long time now. I first became aware of him when he was at CNN and one of the co-hosts of Crossfire, a left vs. right show which effectively cancelled the moment after John Stewart came on and called both hosts -and their left vs. right bullshit- out…

I don’t recall seeing all that much of Tucker for a while… that is, until he showed up at Fox “News” Network and over time became their #1 host. His show, even to the end, was very highly rated and his subject matters and his “take” on issues was… well, I’ll be kind and say it wasn’t for me.

On Friday of last week, April 21st, Tucker ended his show with a “We’ll see you Monday” type of statement (forgive me I don’t have the energy to look up an actual clip of his sign off) so it seemed even three days ago there was no indication he was about to be booted from the cable network.

But booted he was and today the revelation that he would not be back and that he wouldn’t even be afforded a “goodbye” episode to thank people for listening to his crap.

He’ll likely go to some other format that will take him and, likely, he’ll do decently. But I suspect his voice won’t be quite as amplified as it was on Fox. After all, there was a time Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly were top hosts on the network and the moment both were canned, you barely hear about them (I had to actually look up O’Reilly… his name had totally escaped me!).

Life goes on.

More pleasantly, I feel.

Update on latest projects…

It’s been a while since I’ve provided an update on what’s going on with me and the works I’ve been currently doing.

I mentioned before that I’m working on two things simultaneously: A graphic novel project done in collaboration with an artist friend of mine and my next novel.

The graphic novel, from my part, is completely written and therefore the bulk of the work is on my artist-friend’s shoulder and it will be a little bit before we have enough material to publish the first of what I’m thinking will be three books.

As for my latest novel, a couple of days ago I finished the 2nd draft of the book. It’s a very full draft and presents the story’s elements from start to end. I was having issues, as I wrote before in some updates, about the way the book ends but I’m quite happy with what I’ve come up with.

It is, though, a second draft. As good as I feel it is, and I feel it is very good, I’m guessing there are things I’ll be adding to put more “meat on the bone” and make the book a little more fully realized.

Having said that, I’m confident that part will not take as much time as its taken me to get all those other elements together.

Bottom line is that things are certainly moving ahead and I’m looking forward to having some interesting releases… hopefully by a little later this year!

Still here….!

Ok, been another while since I last posted.

In that time, news came over that Al Jaffee had passed away at the age of 102…

Those familiar with Mad Magazine no doubt are familiar with that name. Mr. Jaffee had a very long career with the magazine and will likely be best remembered for his “Fold-Ins”, often found at the end of the magazine and which involved the reader folding in the final page and creating a new, humorous image. A before and after example:

He was a master of the comic book form and did other very humorous features for Mad Magazine and lived a very long and productive life.

I hope everyone has as long and productive life as he has!


In other, far more depressing news, we seem to be having more and more shootings in this country and… I wonder when this will finally resonate with certain members of the Republican party.

Instead, they seem to be focused on “woke beer”. I wish I was kidding. Below is a couple of pictures taken from a YouTube video posted by illustrious musician Kid Rock wherein he mows down the ghastly beer and… sigh…

See, TikToker and trans activist Dylan Mulvaney became a source of controversy in the right-wing sphere when Bud Light announced she would be their latest spokesperson… or something.

Honestly, until this whole tempest in a teapot, I didn’t know Dylan Mulvaney. Here she is with the beer in question…

Seriously, that’s the reason to get all bent?


Let me also say, for the record, that while I don’t consider myself a prude, I’m not into alcoholic beverages. I’ve tried plenty of different ones over my life but they don’t do much for me. If I’m honest, I don’t like the taste of beer at all, though I have found it can add a pleasant taste to some cooked meals.

Anyway, I suppose for those on the right it’s another reason to get incensed over something that in the long run doesn’t matter all that much at all.

But don’t worry.

Give it a week or so and they’ll find some fresh new hell to get worked up about.


There have been plenty of other things going on, big and small, but I’ll conclude with this: The disastrous box office of Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

The sequel to the successful 2019 Shazam! film, there was a feeling this film simply didn’t have all that much demand. Early projections were very low and when the film was eventually released only three weeks ago, those projections proved accurate.

The film, which this week has become available to purchase digitally, likely won’t quite reach $60 million in the domestic box office.

What in the world happened?

The movie’s ratings weren’t terrible. While professional critics to date offer a dead mediocre 50% positive rating on the movie, audiences were much kinder with a 86% positive.

Which made one wonder: With the also lackluster (but better) box office of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, is it possible the whole superhero genre may be running out of gas?

It’s certainly possible, though word of mouth for Ant-Man was far more negative, I thought, than Shazam! The problem with Shazam! appeared to be that no one seemed to really care to see the film. Perhaps this has something to do with audiences feeling little need to see the “old” DC movies and having more anticipation for the new films James Gunn is producing.

I don’t know.

In time I suppose we’ll see.