GIMME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION!

GOOD MORNING!  PESACH SAMEACH!  HAPPY EASTER!

Verily I say unto thee…  Did you hear about the Jewish gentleman who thought he was a matzah ball?  The psychiatrist told him not to worry, it will “pass over!”  Oy vay, now we’re rolling.  (Which is what some matzah balls do!)  All right, here’s an oldie, but a goodie…

KNOCK KNOCK.

Who’s there?

Matzah.

Matzah who?

“You matzah been a beautiful baby, you matzah been a beautiful… ”

Incidentally, did you know that the above song was written by the great Johnny Mercer, and recorded by Bing Crosby and Bobby Darin?  (Twenty years apart!)

Passover, as many of you know, is the day that Jews commemorate their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.  (Yeah, that’s right, we invented slavery, too)  Personally, I have no problem with short-term bondage situations, but that’s just me.  In any case, the Israelites (and their cousins the Stalagmites) were instructed by Charlton Heston, I mean, Moses, to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord would pass over the first-born in these homes.  My own parents followed this ritual for many years, but before long flies became a problem and the neighbors filed a complaint.  (Anti-semitic bastards!)  Any questions about Passover?

All right, let’s move on to Easter, which is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I’m not an authority on Easter, but I know it is preceded by something called Lint.  Again, I’m not positive, but I believe this is where we get the term “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  I think that people who celebrate Easter are often called Easterners.  In any case, just like their Jewish brethren, Christians have some fun customs associated with the holiday.  Easter egg hunting is one of the most popular.  (Rich Christians often hide the whole dang chicken! )  Was that a “fowl” joke?  What can I say, I’m “hen-pecked.”  Where was I?

The Easter bunny has become symbolic of the holiday, and the foundation of a very tantalizing stew.  (Here come the emails from PETA!)  Chill out, you vegetarians.  There are plenty of bunnies (no Playboy jokes, please) and besides, the darn things multiply very quickly.  (They are also good at division.)  Hey, did you know that “vegetarian” is the Navajo world for “bad hunter?”  My wife makes rabbit stew every year.  (The darn stuff is hare today and gone tomorrow!)  By the way, do you know how to make a rabbit stew?  Keep him waiting outside.

Goodness, these jokes are really lame.  Speaking of lame, how did a rabbit’s foot become a lucky charm?  (The poor rabbit wasn’t so lucky.)  I think it’s a barbaric custom.  I carry frog’s legs.  (and a chilled bottle of chablis.)  Hopalong Cassidy did the same thing.  (Finish the joke yourself!)

Well, now that I have hopefully shed some light on our religious holidays, I would like to remind our viewing audience that MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE has recently been published and will soon be available on Amazon.com   (The Kindle Version is actually available now!)  I want to thank each and every one of my 4,375 blog followers for your continued interest and support.  None of these literary accomplishments would have been possible without you!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you and your families the very best.  If you happen to be an atheist….. God help you!  (Oops, I’m afraid that won’t be possible.  Sorry, Charlie, you’re on your own!)

Love to all…..   Doc Yanoff.

THE COBRA IS KING!

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE…..  I THOUGHT ELVIS WAS THE KING??

Well, as it turns out, Elvis was the king of rock ‘n’ roll, but THE MIGHTY COBRA is now the king of poker!  Ladies and gentlemen, modesty prevents me from talking about myself, so I’ve decided to write a 10-page blog about my recent accomplishment.  Wait!  Don’t leave!  I was just kidding!  (I think I can adequately describe my victory in 5 or 6 full length pages.)  Then again, the goal is not to put my blog followers to sleep, so perhaps I shall present the abbreviated version of my glorious victory…..

Last night, poker history was made (up) when yours truly, playing professional poker as the dreaded COBRA, slithered back upon his throne, capturing FIRST PLACE at the Main Event of the W.S.O.P.  (Waterloo Series Of Poker)  The venue, located just south of Las Vegas, was filled with the world’s best poker players, representing every crook and cranny, I mean nook and cranny, in this great card playing country of ours.  Why there were people from all 51 states, 12 European nations, two third-world countries, and Arkansas!  Yes sir, that joint was jumpin’!

For those of you that care (mainly my relatives) the going was tough, but as you know, when the going gets tough, the tough get lucky.  I can tell you one thing, they do not make men like me any more.  (Thank God.)  I managed to survive the first round by getting an ace-high flush on the flop.  (Unfortunately for Miss Kathleen, a/k/a “Mean Kathleen The Poker Machine,” she also had a flush, but a lower one.)  I was catapulted onto the final table (actually, I tripped) by winning a huge pot from one of the great poker stars of Texas…..  Ms. Sharon “Bad Barth” Barth.  Sharon had a good hand, but I “rivered” a full house…..  kings over tens!

The final table, now covered in cold, hard cash, spilled beer, and dabs of ketchup, was a real doozy.  As some of you know, they bring the cash out in a wheelbarrow, surrounded by scantily clad, voluptuous young ladies.  (All of them virgins.)  Well, maybe not all of them.  Anyway, when the smoke cleared (the dealer was also dealing marijuana) there were three of us left standing.  All right, we were sitting, but you get the point.  Surrounded by lights, cameras, and action (I told you they weren’t all virgins) the Cobra dispatched a young gun named “Billy The Kidder.”  (I made a straight on the river!)  That pot, believe it or not, contained about $400,000 in chips!  The young lad kept calling my bets, but the old snake taught him a good lesson about respecting one’s elders.  The final hand of the night, saw the mighty Cobra win another huge pot ($600,000 in chips!) when he was blessed with TWO KINGS in the hole, and triumphed over his opponent’s straight draw.

Sooooooo……  as you can see, our little tale is truly about TWO KINGS…… Elvis and me, and those lovely cards!  Now that I am filthy rich (some say just filthy) I intend to slow down and enjoy life.  Sadly, I realized that I was already retired and completely slowed down, so I have to come up with another game plan.  If you have any ideas about jobs or work, please keep them to yourself.  (The doctor said no stress.)  I shall, as they say, muddle through on my own.  Speaking of muddling….. did you know that on this very day, in 1956, Elvis Presley (The subject of that famous mystery novel, THE PRESLEY PLOT) received his second speeding ticket in Memphis, Tennessee?

I am debating whether to conclude this blog.  To be honest, I used to be indecisive.  Now I’m not so sure…..

Before I leave, I wish to thank the eminent Dr. Max Talbott for his thoughtful gift… a renewal subscription of my favorite magazine, GARDEN  & GUN!  If you folks want to read a truly marvelous magazine, then this one is for you.  Every article is well written and extremely informative.  Thanks, buddy!

In leaving, I would suggest that you take my advice about filling out medical forms.  When you are wasting away in the doctor’s office, filling out an application for the tenth time, and you come to the place where it says, “Who should we notify in case of an emergency?” ……….  write in “THE DOCTOR!”    (If nothing else, you will receive a free sample of Prozac.)

Enjoy your weekend….   love to all….

Doc Yanoff

MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!  REMEMBER THE MAINE!  REMEMBER YOUR P.I.N. NUMBER!    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY…..  REMEMBER THAT BOOK TITLE!!

Why, you might ask, should you remember a book title?  Because…. this is the title (without the exclamation point) of my new “Adam Gold Mystery,” soon to be published by the good folks at Aberdeen Bay Publishing back east.  Yes, that’s right!  Book number two is on the way!  Even as we speak, bookstores around the nation are clearing out their shelves to make room for my latest venture into the dark, underbelly of criminal enterprise!  (NO, I haven’t written a book about Washington, D.C.)  I am referring to the violent, bullet-strewn world of high risk insurance.  (Dang, I’m starting to scare myself!)   So where are we in this publishing process of ours?

Well, for the past week, I have been PROOFWEEDING my manuscript.  (Just joking, folks.)  However, this time, I intend to do my job BEFORE the book gets published.  As some of you know, I was in the jungle (NO, not Newark) when THE PRESLEY PLOT galleys were sent to me, and because I was trying to avoid headhunters and cannibals, I neglected to scrutinize each and every page.  Well, this time I stayed home, locked the doors, turned off the cell phone, and fell asleep…. but, after I awoke, I went to work and “cleaned up” the manuscript.  The cover is almost finished, and it is simple marvelous.  An eye-catching masterpiece!  A work of art!  In short, I think it will knock your socks off.  (Your shoes, too.)

The publisher recently sent me my year-end blog statistics, as published by WordPress.com.    Thanks to a fantastic group of followers (YOU!) I landed in the top 10% of all newly created blogs in 2012!  Wow, that is simply mind-boggling.  In complete seriousness, I wish to thank the 4,000 people who have taken the time to sign on to my blog this past year, and the 10,000 who have viewed a post more than once.  I am overwhelmed by the response, and wish I could personally thank each and every person!  It is, again in all seriousness, rather flattering and encouraging to a relatively new author like me.  So…..  THANK YOU!

BY THE WAY….  our blog can now be seen, and has a substantial following, in over 40 countries world-wide!  The top five countries in 2012 were….  The United States, Canada, England, France, and Australia.  (All countries I love!)  Our newest subscribers came from…..  Pakistan, Algeria, and South Korea.  (Welcome aboard!)  The “universal” mix of followers is quite interesting to me, so I thought I might share some other (non-book) statistics with you…..

IF YOU COULD FIT THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF THE WORLD INTO A VILLAGE CONSISTING OF 100 PEOPLE (maintaining the proportions of all the people living on Earth) THAT VILLAGE WOULD CONSIST OF……

57 ASIANS…..  21 EUROPEANS…..  14 AMERICANS (North, Central & South)…..  and 8 AFRICANS.    Isn’t that interesting?  (Now you see the importance of translating THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE into Chinese!)  I just read somewhere that we are all part Asian.  Apparently, we have 24 useful ribs (12 on each side of the rib cage) plus one “spare rib!”  (Ouch, that hurt!)  No “bones” about it!

Speaking of ribs…. I ate at two great restaurants recently….. If you live in Austin (or come to visit) you must try SPIN Modern Thai Cuisine and THE BONNEVILLE.  The Thai restaurant has amazing dishes (but no bow-Thais) and The Bonneville has an incredible short rib dish, and many other amazing treats, as well as a terrific location in downtown Austin.  (And very interesting cocktails!)  I can heartily recommend both establishments, and I predict great things for both restaurants!  You vegans out there should try some real food!  Just remember what my grandpappy used to say…..  “Them thar health nuts are going to feel mighty stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”    (What can I say, the man was a genius.)

Well, next Sunday I will bring you up-to-date on my progress with MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  I will also tell you about my upcoming expedition to the jungles of Honduras and Belize!  (Believe it or not, I’m heading back into the bush!)  Stay tuned, do not touch that internet dial, and we shall meet back here next week!  Until then, I wish you safe travels and much happiness.  Class dismissed!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THE KING OF CLUBS! (BOOK CLUBS)

AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS TALKING ABOUT POKER AGAIN!   AU CONTRAIRE!   (Although there remains some doubt as to whether I am “playing with a full deck!”)

I am happy to report that this week was “Book Club Week” here at the Ponderosa Ranch.  On Monday I had the pleasure of driving down to lovely La Grange, Texas, a charming village approximately 65 miles southeast of Austin.  Whence I arrived, I was warmly welcomed at the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center.  (There were no “bad Czechs” present!)  After a rather brilliant oration, I moseyed on over to Weikel’s Bakery (for a homemade kolache) and then stopped briefly at Prause Meat Market (to sample the smoldering pits!) and pump out my stomach.  I was fortunate to meet the mayor of the town, and during our conversation, I suggested a “town motto.”  (I.E., “Keep Austin Weird”)   Every town has one, I said to his honor.  So….. I suggested this little doosey…..   “The Range near La Grange ain’t too Strange!”     (I’ve been waiting for my first royalty check from the city fathers, and just to be nice, I offered to accept payment in kolaches.)

AND NOW FOR A SHORT COMMERCIAL BREAK……    On Tuesday I had one of the very best deep tissue massages of my life!  (Courtesy of Ms. Rebecca Lee, my jet setter daughter who is off to Hawaii and Japan on Tuesday)  If you live in Austin, you must contact the one and only Melinda Perez  (melindaperez.lmt@gmail.com) and you will not be disappointed!  The young lady is simply divine!  (I should know, because I have been touched by many women (the price of fame) and because when I was a lad, I wanted to be a massage therapist!)  However, they told me that I “rubbed people the wrong way,” so I did not purse my rubbing license.  Ah well, Melinda is much better.

FAST FORWARD TO THURSDAY!  (Evening)   Another stellar (actually, cellar) performance….. this time at the most famous and influential book club in LAKEWAY!   Due to popular demand (and a slow week) my agent, Black Bart Berkowitz, was able to “book me” at the Lakeway mansion of Mrs. Jaime Rubenstein, the leading Grand Dame of Literature in the Central Texas area.  My goodness, what a treat!  The dear woman served a formal sit-down dinner (with chairs!) in her beautiful dining room, complete with high quality wines (with corks!) superb place settings (with forks!) and a meal fit for….. a KING!  (Obviously a reference to the book we discussed…..  THE PRESLEY PLOT.)    It was not easy being surrounded by good food and wine, and a roomful of women hanging on my every word, but I managed to maintain my composure, keep most of my clothes on, and deliver another sterling performance.  (the forks were sterling, too.)   I wish to thank Madame Rubenstein for arranging this wonderful event.  A fine time was had by all!

SPEAKING OF FINE TIMES……   Happy Birthday Wishes to Jill Crocker and Carol Yondola Finkelstein, two lovely ladies who are celebrating their 39th birthday this week!  (Did I get the age thing right, ladies?)

AND SINCE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT OF BIRTHDAYS……   Last Tuesday was ELVIS PRESLEY’S birthday.  If the King had lived, do you know how old he would be?  (Better sit down for this one)   Incredibly, Elvis would be 78 years old!   Yikes, how time flies when you’re having fun!

AND SPEAKING OF FUN…..  The famous art department at Aberdeen Bay Publishers came up with a “knock-out” book cover for my second mystery novel, titled, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  I simply loved the initial design, and was blown away by how it caught the eye.  (No hints!)  However, I can tell you that the cover is very mysterious (duh) and very unusual in a good sense.  If I am permitted to do so, I will post a “rough draft” of the cover on a future blog.

Finally, since several of my brilliant blog followers have inquired about upcoming projects, let me share some news with thee…..   The third “Adam Gold” mystery (DEVIL’S COVE) is being professionally edited as we speak, and it should be at the typist some time around March 15th, 2013.   The fourth book in the series, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, is being written at a slightly slower pace, not because of “writer’s block,” but because I am busy putting the finishing touches on my first NON-FICTION book, THE SECOND MOURNING.  (THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICA’S MOST BIZZARE POLITICAL MURDER)     God willing, the non-fiction book will be published some time during the summer.  I think you folks are really going to enjoy this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I (finally) won the Pulitzer Prize.  (Depends on the dang judges.)  I wish there was a way to bribe those dudes.

Anyway, I digress.  I trust I have answered your various inquiries.  Please keep those cards and letters (and royalty checks) coming.  I do appreciate your blog loyalty and look forward to chatting with you again in the very near future.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

KINGS AND QUEENS AND JOKERS ARE….. KEEN!

WELL, BY NOW YOU’VE HEARD THE BIG NEWS FROM BENGHAZI…..   NO, not that news, the results of the LIBYAN NATIONAL POKER TOURNAMENT!

Actually, according to the Wold Series of Poker International Committee (The same folks who nominated me for the Nobel Prize in Literature) the tournament should be called the “Waterloo & Beef Wellington Poker Championship.”   As many of you know, I am not only the author of THE PRESLEY PLOT, America’s best new mystery novel, but also the owner, lone faculty member, and janitor of the Austin-based C.P.A.   (Cobra Poker Academy)  Well….. I am very proud to announce that one of my graduate students, Dr. Max Talbott, recently won the aforementioned tournament with flying colors!!  (Red, white, and blue.)  As you’ve probably read, Max was voted “Most Likely To Secede” by his classmates.  (A doctoral student named Barbara placed second, and has asked for a recount, but I think she’s whistling “Dixie,” if you get my reference!)   In any case, congratulations, Max.  You look lovely in your new tiara.  (A “crowning” achievement by any standard!)

Incidentally, while I’m in a congratulatory mood, I would like to acknowledge Ms. Rhonda Sebastian, a dear friend and colleague, who won the annual “Steiner Ranch Beer & Barbecue Championship” last Thursday.  Rhonda won a pickup full of cash and impressed everyone (including the Cobra) will her brilliant play.  Believe it or not, she actually managed to beat me a couple of times, but I think she was cheating.  (She had better cards.)  Well done, Ms. Rhonda!

By the way, for those of you who wish to improve your lives, win lots of money, and make some new friends at the I.R.S., you should follow Rhonda’s example and become a BLOG FOLLOWER!  Ms. R was an early follower and has remained loyal through all of my trials (many of which ended in a hung jury) and tribulations (losing the Nobel Prize to a South American Goat Rancher)  Thank you, Rhonda!

Interestingly, my card playing has lead to some wonderful marketing opportunities for THE PRESLEY PLOT.  For instance, last week I was one of the gift sponsors at the huge Steiner Ranch tournament which attracted attractive players from all five corners (make that, four corners) of Travis County and from several other counties in the Republic of Texas.  As a gesture of my appreciation for Rich & Sharon Walker and the great Kevin Evans, I brought six autographed copies of my book to the tournament.  Coincidentally, six lucky players won copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT, and now their lives are more or less complete.  One player was willing to trade his cash winnings (approximately $4,479.62 for a copy of my book, but alas, none were available.  Tough luck, Eric Ohlson.)  Frankly, if I had won the damn tournament it would have been a perfect evening!

And speaking of perfect evenings……  Tarzan and Jane (Adam and Rachel) will be returning from South Africa tomorrow night!  They enjoyed their safari immensely, but said that some of the big cats do not play poker fairly.  (One of them was a cheetah!)  By sheer coincidence, the lady who ran the lodge was a cougar!  (Her contract contained a special “claws.”)  All right, enough bad animal jokes.  The natives are getting restless.  I will simply conclude by telling you that my daughter sent me a cute photograph of a Ubangi mother urging her child to finish his dinner.  The caption reads:  “If you don’t finish your missionary, you don’t get dessert!”   So precious.  (I was going to use the word “tender” but I didn’t want to gross anyone out.)

Well, my friends, I shall say goodbye for now (before I cause another international incident) and wish you well in all of your pursuits.  Enjoy our lovely fall.  I shall write again soon…….

The imminent author and world traveler…….

Doc Yanoff

VIVA LAS VEGAS!!

WHILE ELVIS WAS THE UNDISPUTED KING OF LAS VEGAS…….   There is another person who certainly deserves to be mentioned with reverence…..The great poker player named Steve Gee, who just finished 9th (out of a zillion other players) at the World Series of Poker!  If you have been following this blog (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?) you know that Steve is the talented brother of my beautiful and brilliant friend, Diane Gee.  Steve made a fantastic run for the gold and played against some of the best poker players in the world (luck for him, I was busy that week) and we are all proud of his accomplishment.  And don’t feel sorry for the lad!  Steve walked away with……  $754,798 for his efforts!!   Not bad for one week’s work, eh?   In case you’re wondering, that’s the same amount of my book royalties for THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (Hey, a guy can dream!)

If you want to see Steve’s “farewell” interview at the tournament, just Google:   “Steve Gee, World Series of Poker.”   There is a “live” interview posted on this website.  The interviewer forgot to ask him about his favorite author (would you like to guess who that might be??) but it is still worth watching.

NOW ON TO ELVIS…….   My beautiful and brilliant cousin, Susan Wilson, the woman who single-handedly runs JRS Investments in Nashville, sent me a most interesting article about the  King.  For those of you in Tennessee (Five Tennessee Fan Clubs are on my blog) please note that the Tennessee State Museum is offering an exhibit (starting on November 8th.) called…….  “ELVIS AT 21:  Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer.”    The exhibit will include 56 images of the King, most of them captured before Col. Parker took over and limited the number of photos that could be taken.  I have seen a few of these photographs, and I can honesty say that they are quite fascinating.  If you’re interested, the exhibit will be at the museum until January 8th.

By the way, the most interesting photograph in the exhibit shows ELVIS in New York City (my “home town”) on the very day that the old boy made history by recording not one, but two songs that would become number one hits in a very short time…….  Would you like this to be our trivia question of the week?   Very well, please fill in the blanks listed below this paragraph and mail them to:     ATTN:   JILL KELLEY

56 FLOOZY BLVD., TAMPA, FLORIDA

 

You will be notified by the Pentagon if you win the trivia contest.  Please note that if you do enter the contest you will immediately be subject to being drafted.  If you are chosen for military service in a country with many goats, please do not despair.  The contest sponsors are offering free air fare to and from Islamabad.

Well, on that semi-humorous note, I shall bid you adieu.  I would like to remind you that last Sunday was Veterans Day, so if you know someone who served in the military, please thank them for their service to our country.  God knows we all owe them a huge round of applause for a job well done.  (Way to go, Cousin Max!)

Have a wonderful day and do not ask why “sour cream” has an expiration date!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff