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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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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DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

Unless you need to turn to WTAN radio (1340 on your dial) in Tampa, Florida.   Why?  Because yours truly will soon be featured on the “American Authors’ Show,” a highly entertaining program hosted by the great Jack Drucker.  WTAN is known locally (in Pinellas County, Florida) as “Tan Talk,” and it is one of the most popular stations in the country.  (You can pick it up coast to coast)  On August 23, Mr. Drucker and I will be discussing my newest mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Listeners can also call in during the interview, so if you’re one of them, please ask me a simple question!  (i.e., “What is the meaning of life?”)

I’m actually thrilled to be invited back to the program, as this show is just about the most popular radio show in the nation.  (Featuring authors, books, and upcoming television and film projects.)  They have a national following, which produces an enormous amount of publicity for a new book.  If you miss the interview, don’t worry, my entire “performance” will be available on a podcast shortly after the original program is heard.  (The podcast is free, but you should still send me a few thousand dollars to cover the cost of my trip to Florida.)

Speaking of Florida…..  I’m off (again) to the Sunshine State to conduct the above interview, sign some books, and visit some family and friends.  One more visit this year and I think I’ll be a legal resident of the state!  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  (WTAN might have been located in Arkansas… or Vermont!)  If you’re from those states, I’m just kidding.  I love razorbacks (whatever they are) and  simply adore maple syrup.  In fact, when I eat pork, I like to smother the meat with syrup.  (Anybody falling for this routine?)  If you can fake authenticity, you’ve got it made!

And since we’re on the subject of authenticity…  Do you believe that our beloved “Sesame Street” is now being produced on HBO?  Uh-oh, that could spell trouble.  (t-r-o-u-b-l-e)  HBO might try to offer a more accurate portrayal of the life of a mentally ill homeless cookie monster living in a trash can!  Yikes, what if they go nuts over there?  Imagine Bert and Ernie dealing with profanity, gritty realism, and graphic sex scenes.  (The kids should have to wait until they go to school to see that stuff!)

Several hundred blog followers (actually 5 people) have asked for a drop of information about the island of Malta, and its lovely capital of Valetta.  The city is quite fascinating, and contains buildings dating back to the 16th century, when the joint was ruled by the Knights of Malta.  (Valetta became a World Heritage Site in 1980.)  The island of Gozo is part of Malta, and is best known for scenic hills and gorgeous beaches.  (Gozo is one of the top scuba diving spots on earth.)  Gozo’s most prominent “claim to fame” is a magnificent stone arch known as The Azure Window.  A great dive spot on the western side of the island.  Hopefully, I shall post some photographs of this lovely place at the end of this blog.  With my limited abilities, you never know!

Finally, I have a small favor to ask…  If you’ve read my latest mystery, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, and you enjoyed the book, please leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads.  As I’ve mentioned before, good reviews produce more advertising dollars from the publisher, and in these tough economic times, every penny counts.  Your efforts will be greatly appreciated, and you will have a much better chance of getting into heaven later on.  (I know some people in VERY high places!)

Well, my dear friends, have a safe and superfluous week.  And be careful out there!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*****   Naughty photos attached!  *****        (just kidding)

 

 

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ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY!

It just looks that way.  OMG what a wonderful, but confusing city!  One wrong turn and you’re lost forever.  Get this:  all of the street signs are written in Italian!  What’s up with that?  Our group did a LOT of walking, so we had to consume a copious amount of water and wine.  (Which means that “european” all day long!)  Fortunately I learned some key phrases, such as, “dove de toilet?”  Our favorite stop was the Coliseum and Roman Forum.  (Be advised that the Coliseum, for some strange reason, has no air-conditioning.)  I suggested enclosing the structure, but our guide had no (verbal) response.  She did, however, make an interesting hand gesture.

I will be attaching photographs of the Forum, which is where many lively debates were held by local politicians.  (You were either “forum” or “against ‘um”)  Two of the most famous emperors, Donaldo Trumpus and Hilarious Clinton have statues prominently displayed near the outdoor commodes.  (Draw your own conclusions on this one!)  Ah, the mystery of history!

So what else is new?  Well, I just read a study that stated that the average Japanese senior citizen has sex once a year.  The average American senior has sex seven times a year.  This study was shocking to me.  Frankly, I never knew that I was Japanese!

If you live in or near the city of Austin, check out this month’s issue of AUSTIN WAY MAGAZINE.  The front cover mentions a young lady named Rebecca Yanoff, who they refer to as “SOCO’S New Style Queen.”  (SOCO stands for “South Congress,” our main shopping thoroughfare.)  The enclosed article and photographs are lovely, but just between you and me, I hate it when my daughters get more publicity than me!  Jeez, don’t people read anymore?

Speaking of shopping…  somebody stole my wife’s American Express Card last month.  I haven’t reported it yet.  Whoever stole the card is spending less than my wife!  (My momma didn’t raise no fool!)

By the way, last night was a VERY special night in these parts.  Miss Helena, the Princess of Portugal, and her fabulously rich husband, Baron Lee, held a gala event at their mansion in Round Rock.  The guests (and a couple of party-crashers from Steiner Ranch) were treated to an assortment of fine wines and spirits.  The cuisine was simply superb… roasted potatoes, Corpus Christi cole slaw, braised asparagus, and….  (are you sitting down?) ….. grilled Maine lobster tails!  (Being something of a writer, I just love tails/tales!)

And since we are on the subject of tall tales, I would like to remind you to circle August 23 on your calendar.  On that day I shall once again be the featured guest on the Authors of America Radio Program.  I will be discussing my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, which is selling briskly and receiving some very nice reviews.  (I’m still waiting for my mother’s comments!)  I will, of course, post the exact time and stations as the date draws near.

Well, since I’ve dabbled into the high risk field of politics on this blog post, I shall leave you with the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln…   (WARNING:  I never get this quote exactly right) …..  “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.  And sometimes you can fool some people who are foolish at times, but you can’t be fooled all of the time no matter how many times you’re fooled.”     (You were warned!)

Frankly, my dear, I prefer the semi-immortal words of my former tax advisor,  Myron “My Mistake” Moskowitz, who once said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time…  and those are pretty good odds!”  Myron recently received a pen with a life-time guaranty.  (Leavenworth Prison!)

Verily, I say unto thee, go forth and have yourselves a safe and joyful week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

***** Photographic evidence attached!

 

 

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SWEET SIXTEEN!

Now there’s an oxy-moronic term if I ever heard one… Do you know any sixteen-year-olds that are sweet?  (They’re too busy playing Pokemon Go!)  When I was a teenager we spent our time more wisely — reading.  (Mainly Playboy and National Geographic Magazine.)  In any case, the blog title is not meant as a reference to juvenile delinquents, but as a reference to the fact that I recently received my 16th literary award.  While I was traipsing around Italy, my history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, won the “Honorable Mention Award,” (third place) at the 2016 New York Book Festival.

The awards ceremony is going to be held at the (in) famous Algonquin Hotel in midtown Manhattan.  I may attend the ceremony, mainly out of respect for all the incredible writers who made the hotel famous back in the 20’s and 30’s.  Back in the day, a group of editors, book authors, and playwrights gathered at the Round Table Restaurant and spent countless hours engaged in brilliant repartee.  The group included such literary geniuses as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood (winner of 4 Pulitzer Prizes!), Alexander Woolcott, Edna Ferber, and my personal playwriting idol, George S. Kaufman.  (who also wrote some of the movie scripts for the Marx Brothers.)

For those of you concerned about my mental well-being, fear not, I have finally caught up with my emails and have returned to my (semi) normal routine as a (semi) famous author and bon vivant.  I am thrilled to report that we now have close to 30,000 blog followers, and that most of them actually speak a version of the English language.  (Those folks from Gozo are a bit problematic.)

Several of my curious blog followers have requested a little more information about my archaeological stop in the Sicilian port of Agrigento.  So, for your educational edification, allow me to add  that the town was originally founded by the Greeks, overtaken by the Romans, conquered by the Muslim Arabs, and preserved by the Normans.  (Whew, what a cast of characters!)  In other words, there was an incredible mix of cultures, adding to the overall charm and mystique of the city.  (At the end of this blog, I will post some photos of our stop in Agrigento, so please remain awake…  I know it’s a little early for some of you!)

On the home front, I would like to congratulate the Princess of Portugal (and her hubby, Baron Lee) for sponsoring the soccer team of Portugal, which recently won the 2016 Euro Championship.  (Their frequent trips to the Azores paid for the uniforms and the foot powder used by the players!)

Also close to home (actually, just inside our house) we were honored to wine and dine with Judge Susan, the (semi) notorious “Hanging Judge” of Central Texas.  She got that moniker not for sentencing scofflaws to hang, but for “hanging around” the courthouse with a pair of crutches and beating unprepared lawyers over the head.  (with the soft end of the crutches)  I am happy to report that her Honor is on the mend, and will soon resume her flagging tap-dancing career.

And since we are on the subject of friends, allow me to thank Mr. Robert Todaro for sending me a lovely Maltese poem as a remembrance of my visit to Malta and Gozo.  (Robert actually speaks and understands their language, which is remarkable.  Only a handful of human beings have conquered that challenge!)  Nonetheless, I would like to leave you with this poem, which I hope you enjoy:

“Il-bjuda taz-zahar u l-hegga tat-tfulija huma I-poezija tal-holm.”

Translation:  (roughly)   “The whiteness of blossoms and the enthusiasm of boyhood are the poetry of dreams.”

I apologize for leaving out some of the symbols above the words, but my ancient computer doesn’t seem to have any of these in stock.  (or perhaps I just can’t find them)  Still, you get the idea.  So, with that, allow me to say goodbye until next Sunday.  I hope all of you have a wondrous week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

***  Stay tuned for some enchanting photographs!

 

 

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