OFF TO THE RACES!

Well, almost off.  I was supposed to be running in today’s 26th Annual Austin Marathon, but I overslept and missed the entire race!  I am soooo annoyed.  I hate to admit it, but this is the 26th time that I have overslept and missed the dang race!  What the heck is wrong with me?  (Not enough time to go into that!)  I was hoping to participate so that I could get in shape for my upcoming appearance on “Dancing With The Stairs.”  (A new show that offers you a chance to “get up in the world.”)  Speaking of getting up in the world, did you know that one of my brothers was an orphan?  My brother Ron was born during an elevator strike.  He had nobody to bring him up.  Very sad.

I would actually be a good dancer except for two things.  My feet.  I simply lack the muscular coordination to glide effortlessly around the dance floor.  Of course, that has not stopped me from trying.  My grand-daddy told me that I should enjoy dancing and dance as if nobody was watching… because in my case, they weren’t!

Since we are on the subject of “effortless movement,” allow me to address a number of inquiries about my last voyage to the sun-drenched Caribbean.  A rather large number of my blog followers have asked me to write more about my travels, since they love the topic or might be planning their own adventure.  Your wish is my command!  Shall we start with Turks & Caicos?  Lovely little islands, almost always warm and sunny.  Not much to do if you don’t swim, snorkel, or scuba dive.  I enjoy all three activities, and the water in this part of the world is G-R-E-A-T!  They have 2 or 3 beaches that are worth a visit, and all of the beaches are open to the public.  (You may have to rent a chair & umbrella on some beaches.)  No food worth dreaming about, but the locals are sweet and gracious, and they do have some very good rum.

The Turks & Caicos are actually a group of about 40 islands clustered together.  The Caicos are the larger islands, and the Turks the smaller ones.  Population somewhere around 33,000 (depending on Hurricanes!)  If you’re a water rat like me, you should seek out the island of Providenciales (known as Provo).  Here you will find an incredible 14-mile-long barrier reef filled with every imaginable fish, and if you’re lucky, you might find some pirate treasure!

I love this spot for several reasons, and if you want to learn more about the area, you should read my second “Adam Gold mystery,” titled, THE PIRATE PATH.  We actually handled a fascinating insurance claim in the Bahamas, so if you want to learn more, check out the book.  Most of it is true.  (Like my life!)

So what else is new?  Well, congratulations to the gorgeous owner of the COVE BOUTIQUE on Congress Avenue.  (Downtown Austin)  I understand that the lovely establishment was recently named as “the best new clothing store in Austin,” and also posted its most profitable day since opening!  Wow, quite impressive for a store that has only been open for one year.  (I wish the owner would buy me a condo in Hawaii!)  Hey, is that too much to ask of my own daughter?  I think not.

By the way, several of my astute blog followers have asked about the poker tournaments on my last voyage.  (They probably want to borrow some money)  Well, I got lucky.  Very lucky.  I won the first big tournament (with a pair of deuces!) and came in 4th in the second tournament.  The pay-out was fairly substantial, and covered most of my trip expenses.  (If you work for the IRS, please disregard this entire blog!)

In closing, I would like to thank my friends at the Broken Spoke for a most entertaining evening.  After my last beer-fest, I told myself that I was drinking too much.  Then I thought about it and realized that I was being foolish.  Why should I listen to a guy who gets drunk and talks to himself?  (Just saying.)

Finally, I would like to send some special thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Margaret Bell, a VERY dear friend and one of the most remarkable and lovely ladies I have ever met.  Get well soon, Miss Margaret.  I miss my margarita buddy!

Well, time to run.  I am spending this afternoon in deep contemplation, trying to figure out how those little insects manage to get inside a sealed light bulb.  Very puzzling.  Nevertheless, I wish you well, and hope you have a safe and pleasant week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.   The winner of last week’s trivia contest (and a $200 gift card) was Gianmario Sanguineti of Milan, Italy.  Well done, sir!

 

 

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SAIL OF THE CENTURY!

AHOY THERE, landlubbers!  Captain Kidder (yours truly) has returned from his 3-week nautical adventure on the high seas.  Actually, I never got “high,” but I did consume a fair amount of rum.  One guy on our ship drank a gallon of shellac and died, but he had a “nice finish.”  (Ouch!)  I recently returned to lovely Austin, Texas, and I’m glad to be home.  (I didn’t want to miss the end of cedar season!)  In any case, it’s great to be back, but I do miss the warm salt air and the fragrance of Coppertone suntan lotion.  By the way, my wife also loves Coppertone lotion.  (She supports the women’s lubrication movement!  Frankly, so do I, but I won’t go there right now.)

My recent sojourn began in Boca Raton, Florida, the land of silk and money.  During our voyage we covered roughly 3,000 nautical miles, but since I was on a ship, I stayed dry.  (Or was that my martini?)  Naturally, I made many new friends, sold some books, and gained a few more blog followers.  (We will probably have 50,000 followers by the end of 2017!)

As most of you know, I LOVE the Caribbean, and not just because the locals named a dish after me.  (Jerk Chicken)  This voyage started in the Turks & Caicos, but I didn’t meet any Turks or Caicos.  From there we sailed to Puerto Rico to visit my hubcaps.  After San Juan, we traveled to Tortola, which is part of the British Virgin Islands.  Not to complain, but once again I did not meet a single virgin.  After leaving Tortola, we stopped in a remote and lovely spot called Punta Cana, which is located on the eastern end of the Dominican Republic.  Punta Cana is GORGEOUS, and has soft white sand and crystal clear water.  Great diving, snorkeling, and swimming.  We were actually the very first “touristas” to ever visit by ship, and it was well worth the stop.  The Dominicans are gracious and welcoming, but don’t confuse the Dominican Republic with the island of Dominica, which is much further south.  (If you do, they will throw a coconut at your head!)

Our final port of call was Nassau, in the Bahamas, where I spent the day scouting movie locations for my second mystery novel, THE PIRATE PATH.  (More on that later)  I would like to thank our hosts at the Melia Beach Resort for a truly memorable visit.  The weather, water, and women were perfect!  (Remind me to tell you my “Coppertone story.”  Let’s just say that I rubbed a few chicks the wrong way!)

Of course, the best part of spending much of your adult life on a cruise ship is meeting other travelers, and this voyage was no exception.  In fact, I’d like to say “howdy” to a few of my new friends, which includes, Jon & Candace Hatch (our “Happy Hour” buddies) Jerry & Miriam Klein from Nashville, and Cyril & Joan Villiers from the U.K.  It was such a pleasure to wine and dine with you folks!

Well, now that I’m “back in the saddle,” I have to review the final editing revisions on my next history book, titled, TURBULENT TIMES.  (The Remarkable Life of William H. Seward)  The publisher is aiming for a May 1st release date, which would arrive just in time for the summer season.  (I can’t believe that I now have to read my own writing!  For the third time!)

In closing, I would like to thank the D.H.S. for allowing me to re-enter the country.  Apparently they did not hear about the “Coppertone incident” on St. Barts, which was our second stop.  Nor did they learn about the “topless” photographs that I took on the island of Antigua.  (Our fourth stop.)  Those dang French ladies are more modest that they appear to be… and they can run very quickly in thongs… the thongs you wear on your feet!)

I will post some (uncensored) photographs on my next blog, but don’t get your hopes up.  The topless photographs were confiscated by some pervert in Customs.  Besides, my wife only let me take pictures of the men on the beach!  (That woman is such a prude!)  Well, be well and have yourselves a safe and joyful week.  Speak to you next Sunday…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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SWEDES SIMMER & STEW OVER SONGWRITER SNUB!

How’s that for alliteration?  By the way, alliteration has nothing to do with dogs or puppies.  (Just saying.)  I posted this headline to remind my blog followers that, despite my best intentions, I could not resolve the ongoing dispute between the Nobel Prize Committee and Bob Dylan.  (Who sent a lousy note of thanks, instead of showing up for the ceremony.)  I offered to fly to Sweden and accept the loot, but they refused to show me the money.  I even offered to pretend that I was a (more) famous writer, such as Dylan Thomas.  Nope, that wasn’t good enough.  Marshal Dylan was out, too.  (Do you think James Arness drove a Dodge?)  Well, you can’t say that I didn’t try.

Now you know why I prefer the Danish.  (Some good pastry jokes here!)  I still say that the only good thing about Sweden was Inger Stevens.  (And you folks know what happened to that poor girl!)  Anyway, I’m not bitter, I just sound it.  Personally, I’d rather have that Beverly Hills Award I mentioned last week.  (No Lutefisk at our awards dinner!)  Time to move on, but don’t be surprised if I ask for a recount.  (Everyone else is!)

So what else is new?  Well, for one thing, my next book tour (and rum swigging adventure) has finally been announced in the trade papers.  However, you don’t have to trade papers to learn my itinerary.  Here it is (roughly) subject to final approval from the Dept. of Homeland Insecurity:   First, the Cayman Cookout on January 12-15 (featuring the infamous chef, Anthony Mundane) is still questionable, BUT I will definitely have a presence (or some presents) on the following Caribbean islands….  Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Bart’s, Antigua, Tortola, and the Dominican Republic.

All of my (somewhat) brilliant mystery novels, and my (semi) interesting nonfiction masterpiece, THE SECOND MOURNING, will be available at all of the book festivals scheduled for 2017.  If you find yourselves in the Caribbean (well, not IN the Caribbean, but near it) you should attend an event.  These festivals are really quite interesting (great food and drink) and you will be helping the local economy.  (Not to mention enriching me!)  Jeez, I said not to mention that!  What’s wrong with this blog editor?  Anyway, it should be great fun, and another wonderful tax deduction, I mean, literary event.

Speaking of great fun, the winner of our last trivia contest was Judith Freeman of Bozeman, Montana.  (Just south of Muleshoe and a little north of Bellylint)  Just kidding, I know where Bozeman is, and it is quite lovely.  Ms. Freeman gave the correct answer to the following question:  “What was the name of Jesse James’ favorite horse?”  Her answer?  The outlaw had 4 favorites!  (Another trick question!)  Not only did she get the number right, but she also knew their names!  (Katie, Skyrocket, Stonewall, and Red Fox.)  Congratulations, and she will now receive a $300 gift card to Home Depot.  (God, my blog followers are soooooo smart!)

And since we are on the subject of “congratulations,” allow me to congratulate Mr. Adam Zell, my hard-working, Pittsburg-Steeler-Loving, son-in law, who recently received the Diamond Club Award from Realty Austin (one of our city’s most prominent realtors) for selling over…..  (drum roll, please!)…..  $10,000,000 in real estate!  We are very proud of Adam, and this is truly a great accomplishment.  (But slightly below marrying my daughter and producing Miss Goldie!)  If the boy was a Yankee fan, he’d be perfect!

Well, dear friends, I must start packing for my next appearance.  I have some special events lined up in Houston this coming weekend, and a HUGE party to attend on Wednesday and Thursday.  (Thursday is our annual Steiner Ranch Poker & Pilsner Party.  Thanks to the generosity of Rich & Sharon Walker (two other great realtors in Austin) we will be celebrating a decade of poker decadence and downright dependency!  (I’m really starting to enjoy this alliteration thing.)

We shall chat again upon thy return!  (assuming I can find my way out of Houston!)  Until then, be well, and God Bless…   Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

***  God-willing, there might be a photo or two attached to this blog!

 

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YANOFF DEMANDS RECOUNT!

How could I have lost the presidential election?  How?  I was sure that my blog followers would push me over the top.  (Many have tried this before!)  Now I have to disband my political organization, the L.E.T.S. Party.  (Leave Everything To Steve Party.)  Maybe the public was unaware of my record.  (I had a long record, but only two convictions.)  Who knows.  As they say, there is no accounting for taste.  I shall simply console myself with the knowledge that I tried my best, and can now resume a life of total decadence.

To add insult to injury, I have recently been contacted by the Trump “Transition Team.”  I told them that I was very happy being a man, and that I had no intention of transitioning into a woman.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)  I simply hate wearing high heels.  Besides, from where I sit (in the kitchen) I see the entire political system as corrupt.  Why?  Because yesterday I tried to turn in a late ballot and was told that it was too late to vote!  You can vote early but not late?  What’s the story with that?

Now I hear that some folks want to eliminate the Electrical College.  Would you like to know my “current position” on that?  I agree!  I’d lead the “charge” if I had the “right connections!”  (Damn, these are pretty good puns!)  Why don’t we have a Secretary of Humor?  (Oh God, here comes another “plug!”)

Enough politics.  What else is new?  Well, I had a great Sunday luncheon with an old friend and insurance colleague, Ms. Meagan Kiernan.  Meagan once worked for Yanoff & Co. and is now a V.I.P. at a Dallas insurance company.  She’s smart, pretty, and personable, and just happens to be the daughter of two of my high school friends from Valley Stream!  Three days later, I spent a lovely evening at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse, chatting with Loyd and Shelley Smith, two of the nicest folks in the universe!  Loyd is my new booking agent, but I’m trying to encourage him not to arrange any more history lectures at dawn!  (Dang, those Lakeway folks are early risers!)

Speaking of wine (well, steaks are close enough!) have you folks tried any of the wines from Barons Creek Vineyards?  They are superb!  My friend and neighbor, Marc Chase, is one of the owners and he was kind enough to give me a few bottles last week.  The vineyard is located in lovely Fredericksburg, smack dab in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.  Great venue for some wine-tasting, and they also have their own wine club and guest facilities.  (If you’re willing to buy some wine and spend the night,  I’ll plant myself on the sofa and read one of my books to you.  Trust me, you’ll fall asleep quickly!)

Congrats to Col. Richard Myerson, the winner of our last trivia contest.  The Army colonel was the first to provide the correct answer about John Wesley Hardin’s mistress, whose name was…..  Beulah Morose!  This week’s question?  What was the name of Jesse James’s favorite horse?  (I only need the stallion’s first name, not the first and last!)  The winner will receive…  a $100 gift card to Home Depot.  Good luck, amigos!

In closing, I would like to wish all 34,000 of my blog followers a VERY happy and healthy Thanksgiving.  If you live in this wonderful country, you have much to be thankful for, and you should enjoy your meal and forget about my recent political humiliation.  I’ll get over it.  I’ll survive.  I’m already making plans for 2020.  (I might run for mayor of Antigua.)  In any case, go forth and “gobble” up your feast!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  As an added holiday bonus, I am attaching some more photographs of my last Sicilian adventure!  Arrivederci!

 

 

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HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN…..

Well, maybe Interstate 35 isn’t heavenly, but it does lead to Dallas, which is quite an impressive city.  I spent a few days in “Big D” last week, and I must admit, it was very enjoyable.  Our first stop was Highland Park, where our hosts provided a glorious evening of French food and wine.  (Ooh la la, if you know what I mean!)  Dinner included a brief speech about my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, followed by a veritable feast for the senses.  (Especially the taste and smell senses!)  There was plenty of pate, including my wife, Pate Yanoff,  and some truly wonderful wine.  (No whining, just wine.)

Day two was spent on the (lovely) campus of SMU.  I guess you could say that I was a visiting professor.  (after all, I was visiting!)  The purpose of my visit was to view the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  (I am doing some final research on my next history book, TURBULENT TIMES, which deals with the remarkable life of William H. Seward.)  The museum is quite interesting and if you love American history, you will enjoy the various displays dealing with the Bush Administration.  The Archive Library is also wonderful, so if you need to do some presidential research, this is the place to do it.  (Mention my name and you will get a free bookmark.)

While we were up in Dallas, we had to do one of those “bucket-item” things that you hear about from time to time.  Thus, we drove over to the State Fair of Texas and spent the afternoon munching on a wide variety of fried foods.  The best items were the Corny Dogs and the Fried Tofu.  (Just kidding about the tofu!)  They had a lot of games on the midway, but the most popular was the old “guess my weight  attraction.”  (Which they will be replacing with a “cholesterol guessing game” in the very near future.)  If you love fried foods, or have a death wish, then this is the fair for you!

By the way, speaking of death wishes, if you missed my last radio interview, you can hear the entire show on the new “Book Club Radio Program Podcast.”  (Hosted by John Austin.)  Just “Google” the name and a schedule will pop onto your screen.  The show is featuring two of my interviews this month, THE SECOND MOURNING interview and the interview on A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  I think you will enjoy them both, and they’re both free!

And since we are on the subject of “free stuff,” congratulations to Mr. Robert Loeb of East Meadow, New York, the winner of our last trivia contest.  Mr. Loeb won a $300 gift card, courtesy of my generous publisher, Murder Ink Press.  There will be many more contests and gifts in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned for my future blog posts!

Incidentally, this week’s trivia contest is NOT about me or my books.  (Thank God!)  A new iPhone (No, not a Samsung Galaxy!) will be given to the first person who can tell me how many Presidential Libraries there are in America.  If you can tell me which President has two libraries, you will win a gift card, too!  Good luck, and may the fastest typist win!

Finally, since we live in a day and age of enormous political strife, I would like to remind you of a pleasantry uttered by President Reagan, who referred to Presidential Libraries as “classrooms of Democracy.”  If you want to remind yourself just how great America truly is, then visit one of these fascinating museums.  You will come away reinvigorated and rejuvenated!  (And the admission will be less than a massage!)

Have a safe and smile-filled week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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WINNERS NEVER QUIP!

Thus, instead of running for President (and surely winning) I have decided to return to my passion of writing lame jokes.  Why?  Because the world needs to laugh more often!  Don’t try to change my mind, the people have spoken!  (Actually just one person, my mother… she reminded me that you need at least a billion dollars to be a legitimate candidate.  I was a little short.  Not really, I’m about six feet tall.)  Heeeee’s back!

Well, now that my political career is over, I can finally tell the truth.  I’d rather be king than president.  (Stephen King, that is.)  Have you seen how many books that guy has sold?  Well over a thousand.  He must be rolling in dough.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, has become the best-selling mystery novel in the state of South Carolina.  (Where most of it takes place.)  Make sure read the book before you go to Charleston!  (or any other city south of the Mason-Dixon Line.)

So what else is new?  Congratulations to Miss Amanda Garner, who won our last trivia contest.  (By three seconds!)  She will be receiving an autographed copy of RANSOM ON THE RHONE, which I understand she intends to read on her way to Paris, France.  Good timing, Amanda.  Hope you enjoy the book!

Speaking of travel, the Princess of Portugal and her somewhat sober husband, Baron Lee, have left Lake Como and are heading to the Azores.  (Did you know that Perry Como owned his own lake?  I didn’t.)  Meanwhile, Judge Susan is on her way home from the Big Apple, which I think is in New York.  (They grow a lot of apples upstate.)  Safe travels, everyone!

As for me, watch out, Dallas!  I’m on my way (in a day or so) to “Big D” to attend a little function near the George Bush Library & Museum.  Day one will be spent on the campus of SMU, followed by a book club gig and private dinner at a publisher’s house in Highland Park.  Day two will be even more fun…  I am, for the very first time, going to the State Fair of Texas!  Yahoo!  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a corn dog!  Have you ever seen the menu from the fair?  Almost everything is fried!  The most interesting dish is the “Dr. DeBakey Special.”   A huge plate of french fries smothered in fried bacon and melted cheese.   (Guaranteed to result in coronary surgery before you reach the parking lot!)   Sounds yummy.

And since we’re on the subject of food, I would like to thank the lovely and talented Miss Hannah for hosting a very nice dinner party at Napa Flats Restaurant last week.  Guests dined upon Cajun shrimp and gumbo, accompanied by some fine wine.  A good time was had by all!  (Miss Hannah is the publisher of a new magazine called “River Place Living.”)

Finally, since someone mentioned the above magazine, I would like to thank Mr. George Lowe for interviewing me for the December issue of River Place Living.  We recently spent several hours together, and George will be writing a lengthy expose, I mean, article, about me.  I hope all of my friends in and around River Place will support this new venture, and I look forward to reading some great articles in the months ahead.

Well, my friends, I must start packing.  The ACL music festival is just about over here in Austin, so I’m going downtown with my metal detector to see if I can find some jewelry.  Last year I found an 18-karat ring, but the woman wearing it refused to take it off her darn finger!  Some people are so pathetic.  Ah well, such is life.

Have a safe and joyful week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*****  If you can identify all of the locations in the attached photos you will win a HUGE gift!    (Courtesy of Donald Trump)

 

 

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SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME!

Do you remember that wonderful movie?  It was based upon the true story of the real Rocky…  the great Rocky Graziano.  First released in 1956, it is considered to be one of Paul Newman’s best performances.  The first person who can tell me who played the part of “Fidel,” will win an autographed copy of my newest mystery,  A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Good luck!

The reason I mentioned this movie is because I too seem to be blessed.  How so, you ask?  Well, believe it or not, I just won another book award, and this one was totally unexpected.  I was recently informed that my first history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has been chosen as one of the best non-fiction books of the year by BOOKSANDAUTHORS.COM.  These folks publish an online magazine for book lovers, which includes book reviews, author interviews, publishing news, book contests, and much more.

The “Book of the Year” awards are chosen by an elite panel of publishing professionals who “seek out literary gems from both established writers and first time authors, novels that whisk the reader to unfamiliar times and places, thrillers that are more than just “page-turners,” and thought provoking non-fiction that entertains as it informs.”  (How are all these words going to fit on my trophy?)

I might have to go to Chicago to receive my award in person, so if anyone out there has an extra bullet-proof vest and a high-capacity rifle that I can borrow, I would be very appreciative.  (Even more appreciative if I survive the trip!)  On second thought, maybe I could send my wife, or my new publicist, Blind Lemon Jefferson.  (Hey, somebody has to go!)

Speaking of trips, I had the pleasure of speaking to a charming book club in Blanco last week.  Blanco (which is the Spanish word for “Blanco”) is a small town in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.  The Old County Courthouse in town served as a set for the 2010 version of the film “True Grit.”  (The Redbud Cafe served hot grits.)  If you like museums, you can visit the Buggy Barn Museum.  I skipped this one, but only because I hate bugs.   ( I can’t imagine why anyone would want to keep insects in a barn. )  Oh wait, they might be referring to horse-drawn buggies.  Never mind.

If you like barbecue, you might want to try the Old 300 BBQ Restaurant.  (Which takes its name from the original 300 settlers that Stephen F. Austin brought to Texas, NOT the cost of a meal.)  Personally, I would skip the food and head on over to Real Ale Brewing, where one might consume a craft beer or two before heading back to Austin.

Incidentally, our book tour to enchanting New Mexico (and Durango, Colorado) has been postponed until the spring of 2017, so if you live in those areas, I hope to see you then.  I will, of course, post our complete itinerary once it becomes available.  (I do need to wait until my publicist, Mr. Jefferson, completes rehab and pays a modest fine to the Republic of Slovenia.)  Don’t ask, long story.

Well, that’s about it for me.  I happen to be babysitting today, so I need to freshen up my margarita before sweet little Goldie wakes up from her nap.  I’m hoping to watch an old Gregory Peck movie when she awakes.  Have you ever seen “Tequila Mockingbird?”  Great movie, salty language, but you can rent one without salt.  You should give it a “shot!”    Have a great week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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