LEST WE FORGET…..

TOMORROW IS MEMORIAL DAY!  That being the case, I would like to start with a huge THANK YOU to all who have served in our nation’s military.  We appreciate your service to our country and I salute you for your efforts to keep us free.  God bless each and every one of you!  I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but my father was in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  Airman Yanoff flew across the Atlantic Ocean on a B-24 (a rare event at the time) and served as a tail-gunner during the campaign in North Africa.

I used to kid my father about the first 3 aircraft he shot down.  I told him that he would have gotten a medal if they hadn’t been BRITISH aircraft!  He would laugh, and then tell me that he might have gotten a medal AND a promotion if they had been FRENCH aircraft!  Like most men who served back then, he had a sense of humor about his experience, but was also very proud of his involvement.

Thanks to Sgt. Max Talbott, I received a long-overdue medal for “good conduct” from the U.S. Air Force.  (I tried to enlist, but failed the entrance exam.)  I received the medal (after a 30-year wait) because I returned the test pencil!  Better late than never.  Not to brag, but I once worked for the Salvation Army.  I was stationed in Times Square, and if I remember correctly, I raised quite a bit of money.  (Of which I only kept half.)  Hard service, but somebody had to do it.

In case you’re wondering, our Friday night food festival was a big success.  We had the pleasure of entertaining the Princess of Portugal and her wealthy hubby, Baron Lee.  Judge Susan was also in attendance, as well as some uninvited guests…..  which brings us to the main course….. roast COATIMUNDI!  (A truly amazing delicacy from South America.)  Trust me, you haven’t dined lavishly until you’ve eaten a ring-tailed Coati with fried onion rings.  After dinner, we watched “Fiddler On The Roof,” which seemed oddly appropriate, since that is where we caught the main course.

If I sound like I’m rambling, it’s because I’ve only had one cup of coffee.  Still, I think I’ve discovered a Sunday morning pattern…..   Denial.  Anger.  Bargaining.  Depression.  Acceptance.  Yes, these are the five stages of waking up!  What a gift to be young (?) and talented!  Reminds me of an old adage…..  “Talent is good.  Practice is better.  Passion is best.”  Frank Lloyd Wright said that, he knew about talent.  He and his brothers, Orville and Wilbur invented the first airplane….. the one that flew at Kitty Wells.

In closing, I would like to thank all of my blog followers for supporting my recent literary effort.  (THE SECOND MOURNING)  I have been fortunate to receive some excellent reviews, but I am fully prepared for a bad review!  If and when I receive some unkind words, I shall order the following license plate for that mean old person…..    are you ready?

How do you like this plate?          370HSSV

To get the full effect, you must read the plate upside down!

Yes, I know, talent on loan from God!   Have a safe and wonderful week!   Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

SecondMourning

TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN NON-FICTION, TOO!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT…..  3 days after the publication of my first non-fiction book, THE SECOND MOURNING, (The True Story of President Garfield’s assassination) thieves broke into Garfield’s tomb in Cleveland, Ohio!!  No joking.  Vandals shattered a window to get inside a 180-foot-tall monument at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights!

Interestingly, Garfield’s casket is the ONLY Presidential casket on full display for the public to view.  (He’s buried beside his wife, Lucretia.)  The thieves stole some silver spoons from a glass display case, but they were not able to reach the coffins.  They couldn’t have lifted them out anyway.  Too much dead weight.  (Ouch!)

In case you’re wondering, I had NOTHING to do with the break-in, and furthermore, I have an air-tight alibi.  Still, you have to admit that the timing is a little suspicious.  Book comes out, grave robbers go in.  Hmmm.

I’d like to thank my friend, and poker buddy, Kevin Evans, for sending me the link about the break-in.  If you want to read the full story, just go to:   http://www.foxnews.com   (Published on 5/11/14.)

Incidentally, I am happy to report that THE SECOND MOURNING has sold over 300 copies on Amazon.com alone!  (Not counting Kindle and Nook.)  I’d like to thank all of my blog followers who have purchased a book, and please remember that anyone who buys 3 or more copies can audition for the movie role of Charles Guiteau.  (The deranged psychopath who shot Garfield.)  Yeah, I know.  They don’t make guys like me anymore.

Speaking of rare guys…  I’d like to say “top o’ the mornin'” to my good friend Max Talbott (and his lovely lass, Barbara)  who are presently vacationing in Ireland.  They are having a grand time, but Max got into a little trouble in Belfast.  Apparently, he walked into a bank and inquired about opening an I.R.A.  (I think they’ve been outlawed.  So has Max.)

My wife’s maiden name was McCloskey, and she told me that she was recently at an authentic Irish wedding where the M.C. made the following announcement:  “Would all the married men please stand next to the person who has made your life worth living.”  (The bartender was almost crushed to death!)   And since we’re on the subject of crushes, please remember that if you love books (or me) you are invited to attend a gala book signing event on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m.   The event will be held at BookPeople on Lamar Blvd.  (Next to Whole Foods.)  Free admission, free parking, free porches.  (Just kidding about the cars.)

By the way, I’m sorry this blog came out a little late today, but I just got back from another wild weekend in Boerne, Texas.  My brother-in-law, Tim McCloskey was celebrating his 60th birthday, so he and the lovely Miss Hannah threw a lavish party at their one-of-a-kind ranch.  Unfortunately for me, they had some authentic “moonshine,” which tasted mighty smooth going down, but it had a bit of a kick.  (From what I recall, it was a very long night.)

In closing, I would like to mention a new survey that said that 55 percent of Americans think they are smarter than the “average American.”  Damn, that’s almost half.  The same study indicated that 1 in 10 Americans no longer carry cash.  (They’re called Liberal Arts Majors.)   Well, have a safe and prosperous week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

WHY DID JULIUS SEIZE-HER?

I’M NOT SURE….. Maybe it’s because the Emperor had “Roman hands?”  (I knew a guy that had “Russian fingers.”)  In any case, “Julius Caesar” is one of my favorite plays by Bill Shakespeare, so to paraphrase…..  ‘LEND ME YOUR EARS!’  Wait a minute.  How can you ‘lend’ someone your ears?  That would be awfully messy and hurt like hell.  (Rather, dare I say, ‘ear-ritating?’)

Where was I?  Oh yes, I have some good news to share.  My marketing contract with BookPeople has been finalized.  Starting tomorrow, you can find all 3 of my mystery novels on their shelves, and also in their domestic and international book catalogues.  Furthermore, I shall be featured at two (2) speaking engagements in their Austin store sometime during the spring!  I might have mentioned this last Sunday, but it bears repeating.  (I once saw a bear repeating in Yellowstone Park.  Too many blackberries!)

Speaking of parks… I have volunteered to address a group of Boy Scouts next week.  We will be at Bastrop State Park, on Wednesday or Thursday, so if you’re in the vicinity, come on by and help us plant some trees!  (Bastrop was the site of the horrendous forest fire back in 2011.)  I might be bringing Baker, my grand-dog, with me.  The little pooch loves trees.  (He has some bark, too!)

Did you guys watch Downton Abbey last week?  The main characters are getting a little grouchy and short-tempered this season.  They may have to re-name the show “Downton Crabby.”   Since we’re on the subject of royalty, I would like to send my best to Judge Susan (the queen of our hearts!) and wish her a speedy recovery.  She had a torn mucus.  (Probably from blowing her nose too hard.)  Hang in there, your Honor!  This will soon blow over.  (Oops, I shouldn’t have used that word!)

Finally, in closing, I would like to remind all of you pet lovers (and who doesn’t love petting?) that almost 65% of American households own a pet, and that 44% of dogs sleep in bed with their owners.  (I was going to insert a joke about my wife, but then I remembered that she belongs to the NRA)  Honey, put the bullets away!  (The caliber of these jokes has got to improve!)

Well, my dear friends, have a safe and wonderful week.  Next Sunday, God willing, I will have a VERY special announcement that has absolutely nothing to do with my tax evasion case.  Until then, love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

WHEN YOUR NUMBER IS UP…..

IT’S GREAT NEWS!  (IF YOU’RE A WRITER)  Otherwise, not so much.  The year end blog statistics have recently been published by WordPress, and once again, our little blog has achieved immorality!  Make that, immortality.  How you ask?  Well, first of all, our blog finished in the top 5% of all blogs on the Internet!  An amazing accomplishment that I wish to thank you for… no joking, I couldn’t have done it without you guys.  Secondly, we had a very healthy increase in readership.  We now have…..  (drum roll, please) ….. 6,500 followers in 40 countries!  All I can say is Wow and Thank You!

Last week, our esteemed publisher announced that THE GRACELAND GANG, THE PIRATE PATH, and DEVIL’S COVE have been translated into several foreign languages….. French, Spanish, Italian, and German!  All 3 mysteries are now available in those countries in their native tongue!  (I once felt some native tongues, but that’s another story…  I was on a study-abroad trip.  So, naturally, I studied some broads!)  Anyway, this is wonderful news, and all of my books can now be ordered in the above languages on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com

NOW FOR THE BIG BOOK NEWS…..   My recently paroled literary agent, Black Bart Berkowitz, scored a major publishing victory on my behalf.  My first two books have been approved by some sort of screening committee in Beijing, and they will now be available, in Chinese, throughout the country of China!  Hot dog!  I mean, egg roll!  If our commie friends like inscrutable mysteries, then I’m their man!  Seriously though, I would like to thank Mr. Berkowitz (who I never stop teasing) and the government of China.  Hopefully, we will make a small fortune, cookie!

Finally, a word of thanks to Mr. Gary Rubenstein, the “Lobster King” of Austin, Texas.  He played Santa “Claws” last week and concocted a marvelous lobster casserole for New Year’s Eve.  Today, we are celebrating his wife’s 39th birthday at our house… and we went overboard with the food.  (Actually, we threw the food overboard, but I digress.)  Not to worry, though.  Miss Jaime will be pleasantly surprised.  (If she likes fast food.)

One last item…..  I want to send my love and kisses to a potentially new blog follower who was born last week….. my niece, Lindsay, just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Scarlett.  Welcome to our world, Miss Scarlett!  I hear you read my last blog and threw up?  Personally, I think it was the mashed carrots, but then again, I’m an optimist!  Don’t forget to change your diapers frequently, and I wish you well in the maternity ward.  (Watch those male babies, and don’t give out your phone number.)

Happy New Year once again!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

A HAPPY HILL COUNTRY HOLIDAY!

HOWDY BUCKEROOS AND BUCKETTES!  I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday.  Ma and Pa Kettle (Patty and I) spent the last few days on the McCloskey Ranch, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, wining and dining with family and friends.  Our most groovy adventure began on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  Hey, am I dating myself by using the word “groovy?”  I used to date myself in high school, but that’s another story.  (I was very lonely.)  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, the Riverwalk.  Well, we strolled along the lovely river and then made our way to Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant, the world’s BEST Mexican restaurant!  After two (fabulous) margaritas, we feasted on a truly memorable meal.

Now don’t get mad at me, but… I ate a kid!  I know it sounds cruel, but the kid was stewed to perfection and the meat literally fell off the bones.  This particular kid was served with rice and beans!  Well, you know what they say, “kids should be stewed, not herded.”  (Don’t call the police, a “kid” is a baby goat!)  Which reminds me, our waiter really “got my goat!”  There wasn’t a baaaaad piece on my plate!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Tim McCloskey’s humble abode, and his very significant other, Miss Hannah, rustled up some mighty good grubs, I mean, grub.  We dined on a magnificent rib roast and maple ham, and then had the pleasure of watching Colton McCloskey drink an entire bottle of port!  (almost)  After dinner, we entered a cut-throat poker tournament, featuring the “Magical Minard Brothers,” (Andrew and Jeff) who just happen to be fine fellows and great card players.  (I think their mother cheats, but I will tell the story of the 3 queens at a later date!)

Being a true cowboy, I decided to go horseback riding on the way back to Austin.  Unfortunately, we stopped at a place that only had one horse!  A mare named Molasses.  She refused to gallop during the day.  (She was a “night mare.”)  Definitely not a “stable” animal!  I rode bareback for a while, but then I got cold and put my shirt back on.  All right, enough horsing around…..

In closing, I wish to thank Sarah Doolittle, a prominent reporter from the Four Points News, for her wonderful article, illuminating my illustrious writing career.  Sarah recently penned a great article about me, and if you would like to read it, just Google:  Four Points News.  Click on the December 25, 2013 issue.  You will see my mug on the front page (in color!) and a long article about my books.  Thanks again, Sarah!

Finally, my next blog will be a special year-end treat for all of you Marx Brothers fans out there.  You won’t want to miss this one!  As I bid you farewell today, I ask that you ponder the following enigma…..  What makes teflon stick to a pan???

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THE GRATEFUL GRAPPLER!

WELL, IT’S OFFICIAL….. My wrestling days are over.  As many of you know, I am a former collegiate wrestling champion.  (I was also collegial on the mat.)  I recently decided to try out for the Senior Olympic Games and began to train for my first match.  On day two of my rigorous workout schedule (which began at noon) I incurred a minor shoulder injury to my rotator cuff.  From that moment on, I didn’t “get around” as much as before. (There are very few rotator cuff jokes.)  I am happy to report that I am fully healed, and as they say, wiser for the experience.  In truth, wrestling is a tough sport.  I need to find a happy medium.  (or a pleasant fortune teller.)  I’m considering badminton.  Sounds like an easy “racket.”

So what else is new?  Well, my third mystery, DEVIL’S COVE was recently chosen as “Outstanding New Mystery” by two Florida book clubs!  (I’m starting to love the Sunshine State.)  Book two, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, is about to be sent to my new publisher, and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks wonderful.  Book three, THE PRESLEY PLOT, will be revised and re-edited shortly, and per the publisher’s request, I have added two new chapters.

Meanwhile, our blog site now has close to 6,000 followers!  I would like to take a moment and welcome some very special folks who have recently become new followers…..    (I don’t show last names for privacy reasons)

First, Steve R. of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Steve is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  We met almost 50 years ago in Valley Stream, New York, and I have treasured his friendship through the years.  What a truly great guy!

Second, Mary M. of Austin, Texas.  Mary spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army and served her country with distinction.  She’s got beauty, brains, and backbone, and I would personally like to thank her for her service!  Quite a lady.

Third, Mrs. Nola F. of Cooper City, Florida.  Nola was a student of mine when I taught at Miami-Dade C.C.  She is the epitome of a caring and courageous wife.  Smart, sweet, and completely unselfish.  What a class act!  (No pun intended.)

Finally, I would like to extend a belated birthday wish to Mrs. Kellie H. of Austin, Texas.  Kellie is the beautiful and talented daughter of Judge Susan, one of the best poker players in the Lone Star State.  Happy Birthday, Kellie!  Say hello to the boys for me!

Well, gang, that’s about it for now.  I am off for my morning walk, and then it’s pool time, followed by writing time, followed by cocktail hour, followed by……  Indian food at the Clay PIt Restaurant.  (I know, life is hard.)  Nevertheless, I shall eat some naan and dal on your behalf!  Namaste, my friends!

Have a wonderful week and keep dreaming of a better tomorrow….. where chickens can cross the roads and not have their motives questioned!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

First,

A TAXING SITUATION!

     WELL, THIS IS ANOTHER FINE MESS YOU’VE GOTTEN ME INTO!   Thanks to you, my nearly 4,000 faithful blog followers, my new mystery novel, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, has sold over 300 books this past week.  Wonderful, you say?  Have you considered the tax implications of becoming a famous author?  My accountant, Jesse James Lipschitz, tells me that I now owe the I.R.S. a substantial amount of money.  (Which is why I’m not filing a tax return this year.)  What can they do to me?  Throw me in jail?  Come to think of it, Al Capone ended up in Al-catraz!

     Please don’t worry about me or my finances.  Just keep buying as many copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE as you can afford.  I’ll worry about the tax thing after I’m caught, I mean, after the books are bought.  By the way, did you know that Al Capone only dated bank tellers?  That’s where we get the term “safe sex.”  (Jeez, that joke should be “barred!”)

     Incidentally, the new book (Murder on Maiden Lane) came out just beautiful.  It’s much thicker than The Presley Plot and it’s printed on high quality creme-colored paper.  Aberdeen Bay did a wonderful job this time around, and there are no mistakes in the text.  (I actually proofread the book this time!)  If you need an autographed copy, just contact me and I’ll see what I can do.  (If you live in a foreign country, you can always sign it on my behalf.  Who will know?)

     What else is happening in the world?  Well, last Thursday, Barbara Talbott, a/k/a The Dragon-Slayer, won second place at the Waterloo Loose-Woman and Hopeless Hombre Poker Tournament in Austin.  I made it to the final table (what else is new?) but my “big slick” (suited ace and king) did not hold up, and I was crushed by a lousy pair of fives.  Life ain’t fair.

     I don’t know about you, but I feel sorry for those pesky North Koreans.  The New York Times reported that because of food shortages and poor nutrition, North Koreans are now, on average, two inches shorter than South Koreans!  But wait, there’s a silver lining to this story… if we wait a few years nobody in North Korea will be tall enough to reach the missile launch buttons on the console!  Speaking of short turds, did you know that Kim Jung-un has officially banned “capitalist celebrations.” including Christmas?!  Who bans Christmas?  Only a grinch.  (I read that Kim Jung-un was an ugly child.  How ugly?  During Christmas, they would hang him up and kiss the mistletoe!  (There I go with the missiles again!)  I pity his poor wife, Holly.  She has to bow whenever he enters the room.  (Surely you’ve heard of the “bows of Holly?”)  Dang, if I keep going, I might start a war!

     Due to an unexpected tooth extraction, followed by a slight case of “dry socket,” I was forced to cancel my one and only speaking engagement this past week.  (You might have seen them celebrating in Giddings.)  Nonetheless, I am now “well-healed,” and ready to resume my illustrious career as a literary diplomat!  So, look for my next missive (again with the missiles?) as it will be a good one…..

     Have a safe and happy week…  Love to all,

     Doc Yanoff