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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SUMMER IN THE CITY!

Ah yes, but which city?  How about Rome?  Well, my dear paisano, that is precisely where I am heading!  Why?  Because the next “Adam Gold caper” is tentatively titled, CAPONE ISLAND.  Consequently, I am off to the lovely island of Sicily to do some research and hopefully interview some of Mr. Capone’s relatives.  I am starting to pack, but I’m having some trouble folding my bullet-proof vest.  (That dang Kevlar is so stiff.)  I just hope I don’t become a stiff.  I’m not really worried, as the book is more about Capone’s “buried treasure” in Florida than about his life of crime.  Oddly enough, my mother lives across the bay from the island where “Scarface” supposedly buried either treasure or competitors, or both.

In any case, my crew and I will be sailing on a moderately sized vessel, leaving from Rome and heading due south.  Our first stop is gorgeous Taormina, Sicily, and then we head even further south to Valletta, Malta.  (Where I will be searching for an elusive falcon!)  After a couple of days in Malta, we start our “Volcano Tour.”  I’m not sure why, but we intend to explore Mt. Aetna, the volcanic island of Volcano, and then Mt. Vesuvius.  Hopefully we will not encounter any disruptions or eruptions.  If we do, we will just have to go with the (lava) flow!

Assuming we survive the volcano convention, we are off to the islands of Trapani and Lipari, and then over to Sorrento and Capri.  This is just about my favorite part of the world, so I am looking forward to a couple of reunions and some unusual book signings.  From Capri, we take the hydrofoil or the tinfoil over to Positano, and by then I should weigh about 500 pounds.  (primarily pasta)  We intend to spend 5 days on the Amalfi Coast, unless they run out of pasta and/or wine.  Fat chance.  (Yikes, did I just use the word “fat?”)  Mama mia!

Due to the volcano visits, I will not be schlepping my laptop with me, so I might be persona non grata, I mean, persona incognito, for several weeks.  If you need to reach me, just send cash (no Euros) to the American embassy in Rome and I will call you back.  (As soon as I sober up, which might be a while.)  I love Italy, but as you can see, I should not be left unsupervised while I’m there!

Hey, do you remember the song “Travelin’ Man?”  (Ricky Nelson, 1961.)  Well, I guess that’s how I’m starting to feel.  Did you know that Ricky had a brother named David?  David was Ricky’s half-brother.  (I guess you could call him a “half-nelson.”)  That would explain why David couldn’t get a “grip” on himself.  Harriet Nelson was the mom.  Ozzie (not the one who looks and sounds like a zombie) was the dad.  Ozzie Nelson was a broadcasting genius.  In fact, they used to call him the “Wizard of Ozzie.”  (Just kidding)  All right, enough Nelson jokes.  If you want to hear my joke about Nelson Mandela, send me a postcard.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of dining at Cooper’s Old Time Barbecue Joint in Austin.  (Along with the boss, the Princess of Portugal, and Baron Lee.)  Excellent vittles, but not as good as Black’s Barbecue in Austin.  Still, Baron Lee managed to consume 10 or 12 pounds of smoked brisket, which was VERY impressive.  Would you believe that the Princess ordered a salad?  Of course, she also ordered a HUGE bowl of peach cobbler.  (And did not offer me a single bite!)  Definitely worth trying if you come to our fair city.

The newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, is doing wonderful in the sales department.  According to the publisher, we’ve sold about 200 books the first week, which is pretty darn good.  If you order a book and leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads, please let me know and I will send you a FREE book, autographed, as a “thank you” gift.  Good reviews help obtain much-needed advertising dollars.

Finally, I want to extend a giant hug and kiss to my dear friend Judge Susan (the infamous “hanging judge” of the Texas Hill Country) who is recovering from knee surgery.  (Thank God she still has a leg to stand on!)  Her Honor is one tough cookie, and we hope she heals quickly.  Frankly, I’m tired of delivering steaks and lobster tails every night.  (Even though they’re eaten before I get to her house!)  Get well soon, your judgeship!

Well, I must run, as I’m off to my “Italian 101” language class.  Today’s class should be fun.  We will be learning the meaning of certain hand gestures, which I understand could make the difference between life and death in certain situations! I shall keep you informed of my progress with the TSA and Interpol.  Until we meet again, I remain,

Doc Yanoff   (Love to all!)

 

 

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HOME SWEAT HOME!

AIN’T NUTHIN’ SWEET ABOUT THIS TEXAS HEAT, Y’ALL …..  Dang, it’s hot down here in Austin, Texas!  How hot is it?  (I’m glad you asked.)  It’s so hot the fire ants have opened up a Kool Aid stand!  It’s so hot the scorpions are crawling around with canteens!  It’s so hot…  Well, never mind, you get the idea.  Hey, before I forget, there’s an email going around offering Processed Pork, gelatin, and salt in a can.  If you get this email, DO NOT OPEN IT!  (It’s SPAM.)

So what else is new?  (Again, I’m glad you asked.)  Looks like Hillary Clinton is in big trouble because of her private server.  I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t think it’s a waitress.  I think it has something to do with a computer, and I detest those darn things.  Why?  (What’s with all the questions?)  Because somebody recently stole my identity online!  You know the most humiliating part?  The son of a gun returned my identity the next day.  He said that after careful consideration he did NOT want to be me!  Loser.

Check this out…  there’s a novelty store in Houston that’s selling Donald Trump pinatas!  Look on the bright side, something good will finally come out of the guy!

I see that President Obama went to a federal prison.  (Calm down, he was only visiting.)  I think he went there to discuss prison reform….. and spend some time with a bunch of former Congressmen.  Did you know that there are no Jewish people in federal prison?  Why?  Because they eat lox.  (locks?)  All right, that was lame.  I blame the heat.

On a brighter note, I am happy to report that the United States team recently won the International Math Olympics!  Who says American kids can’t compete with those brainy Asians?  Our juveniles are smarter than those dang foreigners!  Congratulations to the American team:  Shyam Narayanan, Yang Liu, Allen Liu, and their coach, Po-Shen Loh.  (I hope those Asian folks learned a lesson!)

Well, as you can see from today’s post, I’ve finally reached the Wonder Years.  (I wonder where my car is parked?  I wonder where I left my cell phone?  I wonder where my glasses are?  I wonder if I’ve used these jokes before?)  Oh well, time marches on, and it’s better to be in the parade than you-know-where.  Incidentally, copies of THE SECOND MOURNING are still selling briskly and the recent awards have really increased sales.  Amazingly, RANSOM ON THE RHONE is still one of the best-selling mysteries in France, so all is good on the literary front.

As some of you may know, we now have over 20,000 blog followers in 140 different countries.  That being the case, some folks overseas have asked if I would post a photograph of my home in America.  (No, they are not with ISIS.)  Well, since I aim to please, and appreciate my blog followers enormously, I am going to attempt to post a recent photo of my private abode.  (Notice I said abode, not commode.)  I might point out that shortly after this picture was taken, I had a reptile dysfunction on my porch.  A rather long, black snake decided to crawl through my legs as I was consuming a cold beer.  I have therefore attached (hopefully) a photo of this particular reptile.  By the way, this fellow was a non-venomous snake.  Very beautiful markings.  Quite tasty.

In closing, let me send my very best wishes to Ann D. in Round Rock.  Ann had a little accident the other day, but she is one tough gal and we know she will be back on her feet in the very near future.  We all wish you a speedy recovery, darling!  I look forward to speaking at your book club in September!  (Try to serve some lobster)

Vaya con dios, amigos y amigettes!  Have a safe and wonderful week…..    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Resident and reptile reproductions attached!

 

 

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A CLASSY GUY…

Well, it’s official…  after a short incarceration, I mean, vacation, I have decided to return to the classroom!  Thus, I shall be teaching a CREATIVE WRITING course at the Dell Community Center this summer.  Here, my dear friends, are the impertinent details:  The classes will be held on July 21, August 4, and August 11.  Each class is 1 1/2 hours long.  (but they will seem longer!)  The starting time, subject to slight alteration, should be around 11:00 a.m.  (They wanted me to teach an early morning class, but that would have caused a slight altercation!)  If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Quay at the Dell Center.

Speaking of classy guys, my old high school chum, Glenn Fitzgerald, Vice President of Proluxe, sent me a congratulatory bottle of Nolet’s Silver Gin.  (We were celebrating the Gold Medal that “THE SECOND MOURNING” received from the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.)  The bottle is actually “engraved” with my name!  How the heck did he find a bottle with my name on it?!  I’m telling you, wonders never cease!  (Thanks, Glenn!)

Another great friend, Jaime Rubenstein, was one of the stars at last night’s Lakeway musical extravaganza.  Jaime stole the show (but was forced to return it later on)  with her brilliant and comical cruise song.  The lady can do it all, sing, dance, and act.  Her performance nearly brought down the house.  (No, the building was not poorly constructed!)  Some guy named Gary was ejected for stalking Jaime with a camera, but other than that, the show was a huge success.

Hey, before I forget, one of my best friends (and a distant relative) is having a big week, so I want to wish Dr. Max the best of luck!  We all hope you “bring home the bacon.”  If all goes well, Max & Co. will soon be living “high off the hog.”  (How many pig jokes is this guy gonna do?)  All right, just one more…  when you’re in N.Y.C., never pork in a handicapped space.  OK, now I can stop “hamming” it up!

By the way, do you know why I have so many friends?  (other than the modest cash payments that I make)  Well, it’s because of my personal belief that before you criticize someone you should walk a mile in their shoes.  (That way when you criticize them you’re a mile away and you have their shoes!)  Smart thinking, right?

Tonight we are having dinner up in Round Rock with the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee.  She might be making Mexican food, which I am dreading.  I love Mexican food, but she wants to make some crazy dish called Chicken Mole.  Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken, but I’ll be damned if I eat a mole.  (Check this out, the whacky senorita intends to cover the rodent with chocolate sauce!)  Thanks, but no thanks.  Comprende?

Finally, I want to send a special HELLO to my dear friend, Peter.  Life is about to get really wonderful for him, and I couldn’t be happier.  We are all very proud of you, and we absolutely worship your beautiful companion!  (who just happens to be my beautiful daughter, Rebecca!)  Looking forward to seeing you both tomorrow…  but please don’t feel obligated to buy (too much) champagne!  I’m not worthy.  (Actually, I am, but why push my luck?)

In closing, on a serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the kind and generous folks in Nepal.  Yesterday’s earthquake was devastating, but hang in there, my friends.  Help is on the way!  (Thanks to the never-ending generosity of Americans.)  This too shall pass.

Well, buckeroos, time to saddle up and head out to the north forty.  Or the south thirty.  Whichever comes first.  Happy trails to you and yours, and look for the old ranger (that would be me) next Sunday, same time, same place.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

Lots of cedar pollen, too.  In any case, don’t inhale unless you want to become pregnant.  Yep, it’s that time again…  Valentine’s Day!  Actually, yesterday was the holiday.  Today is the day that smart people buy leftover chocolate at enormous discount.  How much chocolate?  Try 58 million pounds!  (No wonder we have so many “cocoa puffs!”)  Jeez, that’s a lot of candy.  In case you’re wondering, we also buy a lot of flowers.  There are petal pushers all around us!  Red roses are the most popular flowers.  (I give my wife “two lips.”)  So, what is the total annual cost of this great day?  Well, Americans spend roughly $450,000,000 per year to show their undying affection!

By now you might be wondering, who the hell was this guy Valentine? Good question.  Not much is known about the old boy, except that he was a Catholic bishop and a martyr.  (Martyr is the Latin word for husband.)  You can thank Geoffrey Chaucer for creating the event that became associated with romantic love.  During the Middle Ages, Geoff noticed that birds paired in mid-February, so he put two and two together and came up with our present holiday.

How we went from birdies to candy and cards is a mystery, but I love a good mystery…  and speaking of mysteries…  I am completely baffled by women.  (You thought I was going to mention my books, right?)  No sir, it is women that I find most puzzling.  Little things seem to annoy the ladies.  The other day I left the following note for my wife:  “Honey, someone from the Gyna Colleges called.  They said the Pabst beer is normal.  I thought you were a wine drinker?”   So, did the old girl thank me?  Nope!  She told me that I reminded her of her favorite flower.  (A bloomin’ idiot!)  No roses for her!  (My “two lips” are still swollen.)

I’m telling you folks, most women are riddles wrapped inside an enigma and covered with a Tootsie Roll.  Still, last night’s special occasion meal was wonderful.  I did drink a little too much, though.  This morning I tried to login to my iPad.  Turns out it was an Etch-a-Sketch and I don’t own an iPad!  Who knew.

We finally finished the back book cover for RANSOM ON THE RHONE, so the book should be available in about two weeks.  I will keep you abreast of the situation.  Never mind,  you keep your breast.  I’ll let you know when the book hits the marketplace of ideas.  Until then, I would like to leave you with another idea…..

Marriage is like a deck of cards.  (Another poker analogy!)  How so?  Well, in the beginning all you need are two hearts and a diamond.  By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade!  Ouch!  (The old bat just punched me!)  The woman can’t take a joke.  (Although, in fairness, she did take me!)  On that pleasant and loving note, I shall take my leave of thee….   As my math teacher used to say, go forth and multiply!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  There is a photograph attached, and if you are the first person to identify the setting, you will win a free copy of THE SECOND MOURNING.  Good Luck!

 

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THE HISTORY CHANNEL…

Today would be a good day to channel some history!  Why?  Because today is December 7th, the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked.  (73 years ago!)  President Roosevelt declared that the day would be “A date which will live in infamy.”  True enough, but I’m not so fond of April 15th either!  (I find that date very “taxing.”)

Did you know that one of my relatives was an aviation ace during World War I?  My great uncle Izzy was wounded during a ferocious dogfight with a German dirigible.  (Fortunately, my uncle and the dirigible were both filled with hot air, so this tale will have an “uplifting” ending.)  Uncle Isadore shot down the dirigible only to discover that he had flown off course and actually attacked one of the balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  (Ever wonder why the Popeye balloon is squinting?)

There were other notable events on December 7th … In 43 B.C., Cicero, an Italian orator from Illinois, was assassinated.  In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution.  In 1868, Jesse James and his gang robbed the bank in Gallatin, Missouri.  (Sadly, they robbed a sperm bank and ended up in a “cell.”)

Speaking of outlaws… my second non-fiction masterpiece will be titled, HELL-BENT IN THE HEARTLAND.  (The Tragic Tale of the Reno Gang.)  God willing, I will finish a rough outline sometime this winter, and then it’s off to the library!  I enjoy the research part, but it is quite laborious, so I might just make up a few things this time around!  (Just kidding.)

Last Thursday marked the annual Steiner Ranch Christmas Barbecue and Poker Tournament.  I played brilliantly, but didn’t win the dang tournament.  (They wouldn’t let me deal!  If they had, I would have done better!)  I ran short of chips at the end, so I tried to bet with pretzels.  No dice.  Anyway, I would like to thank Rich & Sharon Walker for running another great evening, and also Kevin Evans, who generously supplied the barbecue and beer.  A great time was had by all.

Finally, I am pleased as punch (fitting for the holiday season) to announce that I was mentioned not once, but twice, on the recent radio tribute to Charles Dickens.  (Hosted by the talented John Austin, the genius behind The Book Club radio program.)  The program can be found at TanTalk 1340.com.  I was honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Dickens, but we do have something in common.  He actually wrote an entire book about my honeymoon.  It’s called “GREAT EXPECTATIONS!”  (Please, no jokes about Tiny Tim!)

Well, my friends, I must leave you now.  I am off to the senior center to do some volunteer work.  Hey, before I leave, do you know what they call an alligator in a vest?  (You’d better sit down.)  An “investigator!”  Adam Gold told me that joke!  Take care and have a marvelous week…     Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

P.S.  Another admiring fan!  (Tough life.)

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

HOW WAS YOUR FOURTH OF JULY?  Did you display a “sparkling” personality, or did you have a “short fuse?”  I was lucky… I got to watch an explosive display of fireworks.  (The Texas Legislature was on C-Span!)  In any case, there were no “duds” in our group, and we had a marvelous Texas-style barbecue, compliments of the good folks at The Salt Lick.  Speaking of the Fourth…..

Did you know that the first Independence Day celebration occurred in the city of Philadelphia on July 8, 1776?  Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 1804 that the White House celebrated the event.  (Better late than never!)  For your reading pleasure, I now submit some fun facts about our nation’s birthday…..

In 1776, there were 2.5 million people in America.

In 2013, we have approximately 310 million people in America.

And because this is the MOST American of all holidays, you should know that…..

95% of our fireworks are made in…..  China!

94% of our American flags are made in…..  China!

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship has been won (6 times) by a fellow named Takeru Kobayashi, who was born in…..  Japan!  (You thought I was going to say, China, right?)

Well, at least we have become an inclusive country!  When was the last time you saw an American sumo wrestling champion?  Or an American ping pong champion?  Exactly.  I rest my case.

So what else is new?  Well, the third “Adam Gold Mystery” titled, DEVIL’S COVE,  is set for publication and will be available on Amazon.com in the very near future.  I shall keep you informed of the exact release date.  Last week I spent some quality time with Will Ravenel, the world’s best structural integration therapist.  I had some shoulder pain that Will the “Miracle Worker”/magician made disappear in one short session!  If you’re ever in pain or discomfort, take my advice, and contact Will at Castle Hill Fitness.  (You will thank me later!)

I would like to say “Happy Birthday” to two remarkable (and stunningly attractive) women…..  Ms. Ingrid Kaminski and Ms. Sharon Francia.  Both of these lovely ladies recently celebrated their 39th birthday.  Ladies, you look marvelous, absolutely marvelous!   I would also like to congratulate Mrs. Helena Bomblatus, who is expecting a baby girl later in the week.  She’s expecting a baby, but not delivering one.  (Helena is the grandmother!)  Best wishes to her and her husband, Lee.  (And also to Rita….. who is actually having the baby!)

Well, gang, that’s about it for me.  Please remember that pushing the elevator button more than once does NOT make it arrive any faster.  (That one’s for you, Vicki!)  Finally, in light of our recent holiday, I would remind you what Mark Twain once said…..   “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it….. ”

God Bless America!    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff