harrygbutler keeps reading in 2018 — 6
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Welcome to thread 6! I’m Harry, and this is my third year in the 75 Books Challenge. By training I'm a medievalist, by occupation an editor; my taste in reading runs to Golden Age and earlier mysteries, pulp detective and adventure fiction, Late Antique and medieval literature, westerns, and late nineteenth and early twentieth century popular fiction, among others. I also have a fondness for collections of cartoons and comic strips. I usually have a few books going at once.
My wife Erika and I live in eastern Pennsylvania with three cats — Elli, Otto, and Pixie — and a dog, Hildy. Our pets occasionally make an appearance in my thread. My other interests include model railroading, gardening, and birding, so you'll sometimes see something related to them as well.
I’ll be spending time this year building model railroad kits. The boxes for these kits often are good examples of mid-century commercial art design, and I’ll be using scans of some of these as thread toppers.
Two new projects will be features of my threads in 2018 as well: a weekly pulp magazine read and some sort of account of the movies I’ll be watching (I’m aiming to average one a day over the year). These will likely have an impact on my book totals for the year.
I try to provide some sort of comment on the books and magazines I read, but they aren't really reviews.
1. Gold Brick Island, by J. J. Connington
2. Tales of Our Coast, by S. R. Crockett, Gilbert Parker, Harold Frederic, Q, and W. Clark Russell
3. Circus, by Alistair MacLean
4. Poisoned Arrow, by Ibn-e Safi
5. Katzenjammer: A Selection of Comics, by Rudolph Dirks and Harold H. Knerr
6. Vintage Murder, by Ngaio Marsh
7. Cows of Our Planet, by Gary Larson
8. Feeling No Pain, by Syd Hoff
9. The Key, by Patricia Wentworth
10. The Far Side Gallery, by Gary Larson
11. The Groaning Board, by Charles Addams
12. The Old English History of the World: An Anglo-Saxon Retelling of Orosius, ed. and trans. by Malcolm E. Godden
13. The Complete Adventures of Feluda I, by Satyajit Ray
14. Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley, by Lord Dunsany
15. The Rumble Murders, by Henry Ware Eliot Jr.
16. Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, by P. G. Wodehouse
17. The Pocket Book of Cartoons, ed. by Bennet A. Cerf
18. The Years Between, by Rudyard Kipling
19. My Best Girls, by Helen E. Hokinson
20. Mystery in the Channel, by Freeman Wills Crofts
21. Ben Sees It Through, by J. Jefferson Farjeon
22. History of the Bishops of Salona and Split, by Archdeacon Thomas of Split
23. The Far Side Gallery 2, by Gary Larson
24. Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "Terror of the Beagle Boys", by Carl Barks
25. Alexander and Dindimus: or, The Letters of Alexander to Dindimus, King of the Brahmans, with the Replies of Dindimus; Being a Second Fragment of the Alliterative Romance of Alisaunder; Translated from the Latin, about A.D. 1340-50, ed. by Walter W. Skeat
26. Cap'n Warren's Wards, by Joseph C. Lincoln
27. The Horror on the Links, by Seabury Quinn
28. Headlong Hall, by Thomas Love Peacock
29. Look on the Light Side, ed. by Gurney Williams
30. Midnight Murder, by Gerald Verner
31. The Owner Lies Dead, by Tyline Perry
32. The Crimson Query, by Arlton Eadie
33. Smokewater, by Ibn-e Safi
34. Young Men in Spats, by P. G. Wodehouse
35. Sainted Women of the Dark Ages, ed. and trans. by Jo Ann McNamara and John E. Halborg, with E. Gordon Whatley
36. Sailors' Knots, by W. W. Jacobs
37. The Tale of the Good Cat Jupie by Neely McCoy
38. Mr. Pinkerton Goes to Scotland Yard, by David Frome
39. Modern Times: Cartoons from The Wall Street Journal, by Charles Preston
40. The Black Dream, by Constance Little and Gwenyth Little
41. "Honey, I'm Home!": A Collection of Cartoons from The Saturday Evening Post, ed. by Marione R. Nickles
42. The Mystery at Stowe, by Vernon Loder
43. Tales from the White Hart, by Arthur C. Clarke
44. The Broken Fang and Other Experiences of a Specialist in Spooks, by Uel Key
45. Devil's Planet, by Manly Wade Wellman
46. Through More History with J. Wesley Smith, by Burr Shafer
47. Drawn and Quartered, by Charles Addams
48. History and Hagiography from the Late Antique Sinai: Including Translations of Pseudo-Nilus' Narrations, Ammonius' Report on the Slaughter of the Monks of Sinai and Rhaithous, and Anastasius of Sinai's Tales of the Sinai Fathers, by Daniel F. Caner
49. Blood on His Hands, by Max Afford
50. I Meet Such People, by Gurney Williams
51. After Hours: Cartoons from The Saturday Evening Post, ed. by Marione R. Nickles
52. What Am I Laughing At?, by Sgt. Ralph Stein
53. The History of the Norman People: Wace's Roman de Rou, trans. by Glyn S. Burgess
54. "One Moment, Sir!" Cartoons from The Saturday Evening Post, ed. by Marione R. Nickles
55. The Annals of Fulda, trans. by Timothy Reuter
56. At Ease, Beetle Bailey, by Mort Walker
57. Life of Columbanus, Life of John of Réomé, and Life of Vedast, by Jonas of Bobbio
58. The Girl on the Boat, by P. G. Wodehouse
Argosy kicked off the pulp magazine era with its April 1894 issue, and it remained a major pulp until it became a slick-paper magazine in the 1940s.
After years of reading reprinted stories and novels from the pulp magazines, last November I picked up a number of the original magazines, and I’ve decided to try reading approximately one a week. I don’t intend to include them in my book count, so I’ll be tracking them separately here. If all goes well, I should read about 50 over the year.
Magazines completed in the first half of 2018
1. Short Stories, September 10, 1947
2. Railroad Stories, July 1933
3. Argosy All-Story Weekly, September 7, 1929
4. The Phantom Detective, September 1934 (facsimile)
5. Railroad Stories, January 1933
6. Argosy, August 31, 1940
7. Tales from the Magician's Skull, No. 1 (pulp-inspired or neo-pulp)
8. Wings, December 1928
9. Argosy All-Story Weekly, September 8, 1928
10. Short Stories, May 1952
11. Argosy All-Story Weekly, October 27, 1923
12. Railroad Stories, May 1934
13. Argosy All-Story Weekly, December 15, 1923
14. Argosy All-Story Weekly, August 8, 1925
Several years ago I challenged myself to view 500 movies in a year. I was successful, but I did find it fairly difficult to manage. I haven’t been watching many movies recently, and I’d like to change that. For 2018, I am hoping to average a movie a day over the whole year, for a total of 365 or thereabouts.
Movies watched in the first quarter of 2018
1. After the Thin Man (MGM, 1936) — viewed Jan. 1
2. Doctor in the House (GFD, 1954) — viewed Jan. 2
3. Lawless Valley (RKO, 1938) — viewed Jan. 3
4. Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (Twentieth Century Fox, 1939) — viewed Jan. 4
5. Unknown Island (Film Classics, 1948) — viewed Jan. 5
6. All Over Town (Republic, 1937) — viewed Jan. 6
7. The Case of the Howling Dog (WB, 1934) — viewed Jan. 7
8. Seven Keys to Baldpate (RKO, 1947) — viewed Jan. 8
9. A-Haunting We Will Go (Twentieth Century Fox, 1942) — viewed Jan. 9
10. Oklahoma Blues (Monogram, 1948) — viewed Jan. 10
11. The Falcon's Brother (RKO, 1942) — viewed Jan. 11
12. The Man They Could Not Hang (Columbia, 1939) — viewed Jan. 12
13. Bringing Up Baby (RKO, 1938) — viewed Jan. 13
14. Air Hawks (Columbia, 1935) — viewed Jan. 14
15. Blackbeard the Pirate (RKO, 1952) — viewed Jan. 14
16. Charlie Chan at the Race Track (Twentieth Century Fox, 1936) — viewed Jan. 15
17. Live Wires (Monogram, 1946) — viewed Jan. 16
18. Hidden Valley (Monogram, 1932) — viewed Jan. 17
19. Conspiracy (RKO, 1930) — viewed Jan. 18
20. Chandu the Magician (Fox, 1932) — viewed Jan. 19
21. Three Smart Girls (Universal, 1936) — viewed Jan. 20
22. The Monster of Piedras Blancas (Filmservice Distributors, 1959) — viewed Jan. 21
23. Tarzan Triumphs (RKO, 1943) — viewed Jan. 22
24. Fog Island (PRC, 1945) — viewed Jan. 22
25. The Old Fashioned Way (Paramount, 1934) — viewed Jan. 23
26. The Garden Murder Case (MGM, 1936) — viewed Jan. 25
27. Doctor X (WB, 1932) — viewed Jan. 26
28. Destination Tokyo (WB, 1943) — viewed Jan. 27
29. Guns in the Dark (Republic, 1937) — viewed Jan. 28
30. Mysterious Mr. Moto (Twentieth Century Fox, 1938) — viewed Jan. 28
31. Nick Carter, Master Detective (MGM, 1938) — viewed Jan. 29
32. Call of the Prairie (Paramount, 1936) — viewed Jan. 31
33. English Without Tears (GFD, 1944) — viewed Jan. 31
34. The Ace of Spades (Radio Pictures, 1935) — viewed Feb. 1
35. The Earth Dies Screaming (Lippert, 1964) — viewed Feb. 2
36. Go West (MGM, 1940) — viewed Feb. 3
37. Charlie Chan at the Opera (Twentieth Century Fox, 1936) — viewed Feb. 5
38. Tarzan's Desert Mystery (RKO, 1943) — viewed Feb. 6
39. The Cat and the Canary (Paramount, 1939) — viewed Feb. 7
40. Bonanza Town (Columbia, 1951) — viewed Feb. 8
41. The Night Cry (WB, 1926) — viewed Feb. 10
42. Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) — viewed Feb. 10
43. Ghost of Hidden Valley (PRC, 1946) — viewed Feb. 11
44. The Deathless Devil (Atadeniz Film, 1973) — viewed Feb. 11
45. The Falcon Strikes Back (RKO, 1943) — viewed Feb. 11
46. Raffles (Goldwyn/UA, 1939) — viewed Feb. 12
47. Before Dawn (RKO, 1933) — viewed Feb. 14
48. Theodora Goes Wild (Columbia, 1936) — viewed Feb. 14
49. Secrets of the Night (Universal, 1924) — viewed Feb. 15
50. Yukon Manhunt (Monogram, 1951) — viewed Feb. 17
51. Desperate Cargo (PRC, 1941) — viewed Feb. 18
52. Old Mother Riley in Paris (Butcher's Film Service, 1938) — viewed Feb. 18
53. The Man from Planet X (UA, 1951) — viewed Feb. 20
54. Charlie Chan's Secret (Twentieth Century Fox, 1936) — viewed Feb. 21
55. Outlaws of Sonora (Republic, 1938) — viewed Feb. 22
56. The Black Cat (Universal, 1941) — viewed Feb. 23
57. The Private Eyes (New World, 1980) — viewed Feb. 24
58. A Song Is Born (Goldwyn/RKO, 1948) — viewed Feb. 25
59. The Case of the Curious Bride (WB, 1935) — viewed Feb. 26
60. Arizona Legion (RKO, 1939) — viewed Feb. 28
61. In Fast Company (Monogram, 1946) — viewed March 1
62. Isle of the Dead (RKO, 1945) — viewed March 3
63. They Live (Universal, 1988) — viewed March 3
64. I Sell Anything (WB, 1934) — viewed March 4
65. Jim Hanvey, Detective (Republic, 1937) — viewed March 5
66. Curtain at Eight (Majestic, 1933) — viewed March 7
67. Passage to Marseille (WB, 1944) — viewed March 7
68. King of the Zombies (Monogram, 1941) — viewed March 9
69. The Fighting Frontiersman (Columbia, 1946) — viewed March 10
70. Charlie Chan on Broadway (Twentieth Century Fox, 1937) — viewed March 10
71. Meet Boston Blackie (Columbia, 1941) — viewed March 11
72. Murder at Midnight (Tiffany, 1931) — viewed March 11
73. Sins of Jezebel (RKO, 1953) — viewed March 14
74. The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (ARC, 1955) — viewed March 16
75. The Wayne Murder Case (Monogram, 1932) — viewed March 15-16
76. Whistling in Brooklyn (MGM, 1943) — viewed March 17
77. Minesweeper (Paramount, 1943) — viewed March 17-18
78. The Girl from Mexico (RKO, 1939) — viewed March 18
79. Bowery Bombshell (Monogram, 1946) — viewed March 20
80. The King Murder (Chesterfield, 1932) — viewed March 20-21
81. Hands Across the Table (Paramount, 1935) — viewed March 21
82. The Canary Murder Case (Paramount, 1929) — viewed March 22
83. Strangler of the Swamp (PRC, 1946) — viewed March 22-23
84. The Gay Divorcee (RKO, 1934) — viewed March 23
85. Seven Men from Now (WB, 1956) — viewed March 24
86. Mystery House (WB, 1938) — viewed March 25
87. Mystery of the Wax Museum (WB, 1933) — viewed March 26
88. Fugitive of the Plains (PRC, 1943) — viewed March 27
89. Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (Universal, 1949) — viewed March 27
90. The Ghost and the Guest (PRC, 1943) — viewed March 28
91. Tarantula (Universal International, 1955) — viewed March 28
92. Charlie Chan in Honolulu (Twentieth Century Fox, 1938) — viewed March 28
93. Murder at Glen Athol (Chesterfield, 1936) — viewed March 28-29
94. The Devil Commands (Columbia, 1941) — viewed March 29
95. Jungle Bride (Monogram, 1933) — viewed March 29-30
96. The Thing from Another World (RKO, 1951) — viewed March 30
97. House of Danger (Peerless, 1934) — viewed March 30-31
98. Cavalier of the West (Artclass, 1931) — viewed March 31
99. Sword of Venus (RKO, 1953) — viewed March 31
100. Murder She Said (MGM, 1961) — viewed March 31
Movies watched in the second quarter of 2018
101. The Case of the Lucky Legs (WB, 1935) — viewed April 1
102. Sinister Hands (William Steiner, 1932) — viewed April 1-2
103. The Narrow Margin (RKO, 1952) — viewed April 2
104. Murder by Television (Cameo, 1935) — viewed April 2-3
105. Death from a Distance (Invincible/Chesterfield, 1935) — viewed April 4-5
106. Below the Border (Monogram, 1942) — viewed April 5-6
107. Face in the Fog (Victory, 1936)
108. A Shot in the Dark (Chesterfield, 1935)
109. Jaws of Justice (Principal, 1933)
110. The Dark Hour (Chesterfield, 1936) — viewed April 10-11
111. The Prisoner of Zenda (UA, 1937)
112. The Giant of Marathon (Italian/MGM, 1959)
113. The Crooked Circle (Sono Art-World Wide Pictures, 1932)
114. Wild Horse Mesa (Paramount, 1925)
115. The Devil Plays (Chesterfield, 1931)
116. Devil Woman from Mars (Danziger/British Lion, 1954)
117. A Shriek in the Night (Allied, 1933)
118. West of Cimarron (Republic, 1941) — viewed April 17-18
119. The Case of the Velvet Claws (WB, 1936) — viewed April 18
120. Ali Baba and the Seven Saracens (1964) — viewed April 20-21
121. The Falcon in Danger (RKO, 1943) — viewed April 21
122. Strangers of the Evening (Tiffany, 1932)
123. The Moonstone (Monogram, 1934)
124. Army of Darkness (Universal, 1992) — viewed May 1
125. The Tall T (Columbia, 1957) — viewed May 6
126. The Lady in Scarlet (Chesterfield, 1935) — viewed May 5-6
127. Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (Twentieth Century Fox, 1939) — viewed May 8
128. The Black Raven (PRC, 1943) — viewed May 8-9
129. The Wolf Hunters (Monogram, 1949) — viewed May 11
130. The Case of the Black Cat (WB, 1936), with the cartoon Mexicali Schmoes (WB, 1959) and short subject The Trouble with Husbands (Paramount, 1940) — viewed May 12
131. The Phantom of 42nd Street (PRC, 1945) — viewed over a few days, ending May 12
132. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Columbia, 1956) — viewed May 13
133. Captain January (Twentieth Century Fox, 1936) — viewed May 13
134. A Canterbury Tale (Eagle-Lion, 1944), with the cartoon Here Today, Gone Tamale (WB, 1959) and Chapter 1 of the serial Daredevils of the Red Circle (Republic, 1939) — viewed May 13
135. The Monster Walks (1932)
136. Crime Doctor (Columbia, 1943), with the cartoon The Sleepwalker (Disney/RKO, 1942) and short subject The Wide Open Spaces or The Cowboy's Lament (RKO Pathé, 1931) — viewed May 15
137. Without Reservations (RKO, 1946), with the cartoon T-Bone for Two (Disney/RKO, 1942) and short subject Thru Thin and Thicket or Who's Zoo in Africa (RKO, 1933) — viewed May 16
138. The Devil Bat (PRC, 1940) — viewed May 17-18
139. Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (Twentieth Century Fox, 1940), with the cartoon Pluto at the Zoo (Disney/RKO, 1942) and Chapter 2 of the serial Daredevils of the Red Circle (Republic, 1939) — viewed May 20
140. Bloodhounds of Broadway (Twentieth Century Fox, 1952), with the cartoon The Beach Nut (Lantz/Universal, 1944) and short subject Unaccustomed As We Are (Roach/MGM, 1929) — viewed May 22
141. Mr. Wong, Detective (Monogram, 1938)
142. Zombies of Mora Tau (Columbia, 1957), with the cartoon Ski for Two (Lantz/Universal, 1944) and short subject Berth Marks (Roach/MGM, 1929) — viewed May 25
143. Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (Universal, 1950), with the cartoon Chew-Chew Baby (Lantz/Universal, 1945) and short subject Men o' War (Roach/MGM, 1929) — viewed May 26
144. Blazing Across the Pecos (Columbia, 1948), with the cartoon Woody Dines Out (Lantz/Universal, 1945) and Chapter 3 of the serial Daredevils of the Red Circle (Republic, 1939) — viewed May 27
145. Tonight We Raid Calais (Twentieth Century Fox, 1943) — viewed May 27
146. The Mystery of Mr. Wong (Monogram, 1939)
147. Mr. Wong in Chinatown (Monogram, 1939)
148. Blacula (American International, 1972), with the cartoon Wild Elephinks (Fleischer/Paramount, 1933) and short subject Hoi Polloi (Columbia, 1935) — viewed May 30
149. The Falcon and the Co-Eds (RKO, 1943), with the cartoon Sock-a-Bye Baby (Fleischer/Paramount, 1934) and short subject Three Little Beers (Columbia, 1935) — viewed May 31
150. We're Not Dressing (Paramount, 1934), with the cartoon Let's You and Him Fight (Fleischer/Paramount, 1934) and short subject Lost in Limehouse, or Lady Esmerelda's Predicament (RKO, 1933) — viewed June 1
151. The Glass-Bottom Boat (MGM, 1966), with the cartoon The Man on the Flying Trapeze (Fleischer/Paramount, 1934) and Chapter 4 of the serial Daredevils of the Red Circle (Republic, 1939) — viewed June 2
152. Trailing Double Trouble (Monogram, 1940) — viewed June 3
153. El ataúd del Vampiro (The Vampire's Coffin) (Cinematográfica ABSA, 1958 / K. Gordon Murray Productions, 1965) — viewed June 3
154. Charlie Chan in Panama (Twentieth Century Fox, 1940), with the cartoon The Case of the Stuttering Pig (WB, 1937) and short subject The Revelers (WB, 1927) — viewed June 3
It's a photocopied collection of recipes (not typed, but legibly printed by hand) bound together by a loop of yarn. I'm particularly looking forward to making the hot bacon dressing.
Retired police detective Paul Bernard (Berton Churchill) looks on with kindly interest at the budding romance between protégé Jim Landis (Ray Walker) and Elsa Carson (Irene Ware), who lives with her uncles next door. When one of those uncles is killed, both Bernard and Landis undertake to investigate; Landis has extra motivation when Elsa is suspected of the crime. Competing solutions and a couple effective twists make this a solid movie despite the limitations of a low budget. Recommended.
This issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly provides another enjoyable array of stories, though once again I skipped the parts of four serials for which I lacked the remaining parts. The lead short story, "In Case of Fire," by Walter Kellogg Towers, recounts the misadventures that ensue when a couple guys agree to drive an unsold fire engine to a different city where the salesman hopes to find a market. Next up is Will McMorrow's novelette "Madman's Buff," in which a condemned prisoner is strangely transported to a lost land inhabited by the last remnants of Carthaginians who had fled the Roman conquest — or is he? Sports get a look-in with "Outside Stuff," by Hamilton Craigie, in which a rookie who displaced a veteran left-fielder seems to be a failure under pressure, but his roommate thinks there may be more to the situation. In the final short story, W. Wirt's " 'Take Him for a Ride,'" a Secret Service man from Kentucky infiltrates a mob: fairly standard stuff, efficiently handled. The short features — poems and tidbits of trivia, as well as the editorial notes and letters — round out the issue.
I've been consistently entertained by the issues of Argosy and Argosy All-Story Weekly I've read so far, and I'm hoping to soon have in hand a sizable stack that will permit me to read some of the serials as well as the shorter pieces.
Your tulips are beautiful. Thank you for sharing the photo with us.
Glad you had such a good meal. It reminds me of the meals we had at the Amana Colonies in Iowa when we'd go visit my mother's relatives.
The recipe book sounds charming. Hope the hot bacon dressing is good - you'll have to report back!
Enjoy your day. I hope you can get out too.
Thanks for the recommendation of the Curwood books. I did like the Mountie novels of his that I read.
The only videotape I might consider having transferred is a railfan product, but I doubt that I'll do so even with that one. I should probably see whether a DVD version is available, though.
There's a possibility we'll hit a different fire department's roast beef dinner today, but the time is on the early side, so we may skip it. We often go to such meals, put on by fire departments, fraternal organizations, or churches. Indeed, once, when Erika accompanied me on a business trip to Omaha, we went to a spaghetti dinner put on by a church youth group there; we saw the sign for the dinner while out sightseeing and shopping and popped in for a pretty good meal — and were they surprised when they asked where we lived. :-)
During yesterday's visit to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a visit to their book nook yielded three old books — The Patent Leather Kid and Several Others, "illustrated with scenes from the First National picture starring Richard Barthelmess" (1927); Ralph Connor's The Runner (1929); and the mystery The Limping Man, by Francis D. Grierson (1926) — amid shelves filled chiefly with fairly recent books.
And at an antique mall we visited in the afternoon, I found a copy of Henry Holt's The Midnight Mail (1931), on a shelf with an assortment of books but no other vintage mysteries. That particular find also highlighted the often amusing, sometimes frustrating state of pricing in such multi-dealer shops. The nice copy of The Midnight Mail (albeit the Grosset & Dunlap edition), was just $2, but in browsing some of the other stalls I saw plenty of unremarkable books in poor shape for 10, 20, or even 30 times as much.
Glad to hear that you found some good books Saturday.
How is your new home office working out? Have you set up feeders so that you can look out from there?
The new home office is working out pretty well. I still have some more adjustments to make, largely in terms of adding shelving. I think I could only get a good view of the feeders by moving them in the midst of our strawberries. I might do that, but I haven't decided whether to take that step yet.
A fine adventure novel gets an effective adaptation in this 1937 film starring Ronald Colman as wastrel King Rudolf V and his lookalike cousin Rudolf Rassendyll. Rassendyll is induced to take the king's place temporarily when the monarch is drugged by a servant in the pay of his ambitious half-brother Michael (Raymond Massey). When the drugged king is captured by the cheerfully wicked Rupert of Hentzau (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), Rassendyll must extend his masquerade even as his affection for the king's betrothed, Princess Flavia (Madeleine Carroll), grows.
This is one of the films that cemented my high regard for Ronald Colman's performances, and Fairbanks' Rupert is a charming but treacherous villain who comes near to dominating every scene in which he appears. Their climactic swordfight is a bit disappointing, however, owing to the rather obvious use of stand-ins. Carroll falls a bit flat as Flavia. Massey is good, as is Mary Astor as the woman who loves him. David Niven does well in a small role.
Glad to hear about the home office. Shelving is always needed, isn't it? *smile*
A slightly belated Happy New Thread.
>2 harrygbutler: I completely missed my tulips this season, we were gone 10 days and during that time we had unusually warm weather, so they were mostly gone when we returned home. Well, there is always a next year and pictures of previous years;-)
>47 harrygbutler: Yes indeed. It's the best way to find rocks.
>47 harrygbutler: hahaha! Oh, yes, I remember gardening in New England.
We don't have rocks here, people have to BUY rocks in order to put borders around their gardens. We do have some hard gray clay but if I poke some holes in the layer and add compost, it helps break down the clay.
The worst was the RED CLAY we had in upstate South Carolina! It not only was hard as a brick (our roto-tiller bounced off the ground!), but it also stained our clothes. I finally managed a decent flower bed by liquefying vegetables and fruits in the blender, and pouring it into holes my dh had chopped out. By the following season the compost and worms had loosened the soil enough to plant.
This entry in the Liverpool University Press Translated Texts for Historians series brings together several sources of information on Christian monastic communities and pilgrimages on the Sinai Peninsula during the Late Roman, Byzantine, and early post-Muslim conquest eras. The material included varies, including pilgrims' reports, accounts of martyrdoms at the hands of marauders, hymns, hagiographies, and more. There's plenty of material of interest here, weakened somewhat by the use of excerpts rather than whole works in some cases — a not-unusual practice for this series, unfortunately. Recommended for those interested in the subjects.
They're here! More than 150 issues of the pulp magazine Argosy / Argosy All-Story Weekly from the 1920s and 1930s showed up today in four big boxes. At one per week, I have about three years' worth of issues to read. Maybe I'll even be able to start and finish some of the serials!
Time to build that addition to the library...
>58 harrygbutler: My, my. More than 150 magazines. Have fun!
fuzzi's right - time to build that addition, or get your separate climate-controlled outbuilding.
>51 fuzzi: We have the rocks AND the red clay. The only thing I ever found to get red clay out was Amway's old stain remover. The new one is more environmentally friendly but isn't nearly as good. Thank goodness my daughter, a tomboy, is living in Wilmington and responsible for her own clothes. The Amway stuff also used to get out grass stains, grease, AND blood without fail. I have one old-type bottle and I use it very sparingly now.
We have a cement pad in back where there was originally a garage, and where a shed sits now, so the outbuilding is possible. This year some other house-related work has claims on the budget, but maybe next year. Or maybe we just need to get a summer home. :-)
I decided to put my hummingbird feeder up today. They have been spotted in northern IL., so what the heck.
I'll have to get our hummingbird feeder going, too. I don't know whether they've been seen locally, but I wouldn't be surprised.
I did make it out to a guided birding walk this morning, and there were birds about in abundance. Fog, however, made the light poor, and though the leader heard several warblers — black-throated green, black and white, Northern parula, and a couple more — and they were actually quite visible up in the tops of the trees, the lighting meant they were pretty much unidentifiable. On the other hand, we were treated to a lengthy view of the often hard-to-spot ovenbird, sitting out on a low branch and singing; it even turned around so we could see its breast while it sang.
I followed the walk with visits to a couple used book sales. The first yielded several volumes, but the second, some distance away, proved a dud this year. Likewise, a stop at the Archive in Lansdale, Penna., resulted in my finding a few books, but the formerly good thrift store not far away continued its decline, and all I managed to get was a DVD of the 1963 movie Rhino!.
My book haul:
Black Thunder, by B. M. Bower (1926, western)
Blacky, by C. M. Bartrug (1939, children's book)
Collected Poems 1909-1962, by T. S. Eliot (1963, poetry)
The Crooked Cross, by Charles J. Dutton (1926, mystery)
The Curious Quest, by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1919, adventure?)
Doomsday Morning, by C. L. Moore (1957, science fiction)
Floating Peril, by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1935, adventure/mystery)
The Girl at Central, by Geraldine Bonner (1915, mystery)
Murder Mansion, by Alexander Wilson (1929, mystery)
The Red Signal, by Grace Livingston Hill (1919, adventure)
The Wolf, by Leonard Sansone (1945, humor/cartoons)
The Woman-Haters: A Yarn of Eastboro Twin-Lights, by Joseph C. Lincoln (1911, TBSL with some humor, I suspect)
Steve Reeves, who had achieved stardom — and helped establish a fad for sword-and-sandal movies — as Hercules, stars here as Philippides, an Olympic champion and the leader of the Athenian guard. The wicked Theocritus (Sergio Fantoni) plots to restore exiled tyrant Hippias to power and collaborates with the Persians, who invade under Darius. The Greeks face a twofold threat, and Philippides must persuade the Spartans to intervene and help their longtime rivals and then must also use his small band to try to thwart an attack from an unexpected quarter. Complicating matters are his love for Andromeda (Mylène Demongeot), the daughter of one of the plotters, and the love of Karis (Daniela Rocca), a tool of Theocritus, for Philippides. The romance storyline is rather weak, but the action is pretty good. Mildly recommended.
Sorry about the dud sale and formerly good thrift store.
I've only heard of T.S. Eliot and Grace Livingston Hill. I read a few of Hill's novels when I was a teenager. I still have my favorite one on my shelves, Crimson Roses.
>72 fuzzi: Hi! It wasn't LOC. It was a 16-ounce bottle. The one I have now is one is labeled "Prewash Liquid" and isn't as good as the original but still pretty good. I thought I had some of the original good stuff but don't. I've noted Soilove, thank you.
I like Bower's westerns and Lincoln's stories of Cape Cod life, and I've read Eliot's poetry in the past, but the other authors are all unfamiliar to me. I've heard of Hill but never read anything by her, and the plot description of this one made it seem worth a try.
The masked members of the Crooked Circle, a gang of crooks, pledge to murder Col. Walters (Berton Churchill), the leader of a group of amateur sleuths known as the Sphinx Club, which has brought down one of the Circle's members. Discounting warnings, Col. Walters heads to a creepy old house, where a hermit (Raymond Hatton) has warned of danger. Others in the Sphinx Club are on hand as the group welcomes its newest member, Yoganda (C. Henry Gordon), and bids farewell to young Brand Osborne (Ben Lyons), who is resigning. When the Crooked Circle strikes, Brand nevertheless helps in the investigation. Zasu Pitts provides some amusement as a scatterbrained servant, and James Gleason is quite effective as policeman Arthur Crimmer, who tries to make sense of the goings-on. A pleasant little comic mystery that (per Wikipedia) was the first film ever broadcast on television, in 1933. Mildly recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD, but also online at the Internet Archive.
>79 harrygbutler: The only actor I've heard of in this movie is Zazu Pitts. I recognize James Gleason, and it turns out it's from Arsenic and Old Lace where he played Lt. Rooney.
I hope you get some interesting birds on your feeders today.
I haven't yet decided what I'll do with this. It's an interesting curiosity, but I don't really need to own it.
A well-crafted silent western, Wild Horse Mesa stars Jack Holt as a cowboy who tangles with villains led by Noah Beery and is rescued by a well-meaning but ignorant storekeeper (George Melberne) and his daughter (Billie Dove), who have been induced to go partners on catching wild horses for the Army — without realizing that their partner (George Magrill) is putting in place a cruel trap that will result in death or injury for many of the horses. A teenage Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., is on hand as Holt's younger brother. The film, based on the Zane Grey novel, delivers both good characterization and action. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD from Grapevine Video.
The venerable Short Stories magazine was nearing the end of its pulp incarnation when this issue was published in the spring of 1952, and a sign of the situation is the content of the magazine: The stories are reprints from earlier in its existence, with the oldest published 30 years before. The stories are good, but some of the details were a bit unexpected for stories that seemed to be set in the “present.” This was perhaps most striking in Robert Welles Ritchie’s “The Speed-Hound of the Pintado,” an amusing tale of a race between a desert man’s beat-up old automobile and the latest product of the same company, which was the story that prompted me to look again at the contents page and discover that it was indeed a story from the past. The novel in the issue, “The Mesa of Lions,” by Stephen Chalmers, tells how a young doctor on vacation finds adventure, and love, while seeking better fishing. The rest of the stories were a mixed lot, with Malcolm Fowler’s “Red Iron,” on the building of a bridge, among the more interesting — though the technical terms were unfamiliar to me. I enjoyed Clifford Knight’s “The Engine Buster,” in which a railroad man goes undercover to thwart a robbery, and thought “The Stones of Chang,” about cursed gems, had a good couple twists, but a few of the others were not to my taste.
I hope your Tuesday is going well. I was busy with Friends of the Library business this morning, just got home.
Jameson Thomas, most familiar to me as the suspicious doctor dispensing mapuchari in Charlie Chan in Egypt, here has the lead role as a mystery novelist helping to investigate the stabbing of a member of a house party. As usual in such films, circumstances soon reveal that several of those on hand had good reason to want the victim dead. Then murder strikes again, by the same weapon — though that had been in the hands of the police. Somewhat static, with a fairly obvious culprit, but moderately entertaining. Mildly recommended for what it is.
Where to watch: Currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
I found this house ad quite interesting:
First, that seems a pretty substantial total of work that warranted book publication. Second, I really hope I can find the stories about Charlie Fenwick, the Telephone Detective, someday!
Fun stuff about Charlie Fenwick, the Telephone Detective.
A Martian scout (Patricia Laffan) lands near a remote Scottish inn after her ship is damaged in a collision with an aircraft. As her vessel is repaired, she comes into conflict with the people at the inn, including a famed scientist (Joseph Tomelty) and a newspaperman (Hugh McDermott), who have come to investigate the strange sight, an escaped convict (Peter Reynolds) and the woman who loves him (Adrienne Corri), a woman in hiding (Hazel Court), and more. It becomes clear that the only way to safeguard the Earth is for someone to volunteer to accompany her back to Mars, and to sabotage her vessel on the way, but who will it be?
Rather slow and stiff, with an uncharismatic lead, much like The Earth Dies Screaming, but with some occasional good bits. Not really recommended.
Morning, Harry. Happy Friday. Windy here today, so I am that will keep the bird sightings to a minimum.
Hope your work day goes smoothly.
Sooner or later Hazel Court will make a reappearance, possibly in The Raven.
I put out a hummingbird feeder, sat in the hammock, and had visits by a male hummingbird.
Have a lovely Sunday, Harry.
>101 PaulCranswick: Paul, you rascal. I've edited the post to add hummingbird. Bill calls to warn me to get rid of my boyfriends if he's coming home early. (As if.)
In 1933, the same year in which she was first teamed with Fred Astaire (as second leads in Flying Down to Rio), Ginger Rogers starred in this low-budget mystery, in which a magnate falls to his death from a high-rise. Rogers is on hand as the victim's private secretary, though in fact she is a reporter working undercover to get the goods on the millionaire's dealings with a known crook. Costar Lyle Talbot plays a rival reporter who costs her a job but then endeavors to atone by helping her to investigate the crime (and others that follow). Purnell Pratt's Inspector Russell is a clever policeman with a blind spot with regard to the possible contributions of his assistant, Wilfred (Arthur Hoyt). A fairly effective film despite the limitations of its budget. Recommended.
Where to watch: On DVD and available for streaming online at the Internet Archive.
The first day it was up, a black squirrel (perhaps the one shown below) diligently took peanuts in the shell, one peanut at a time, and scampered off to hide them. Bright and early the following morning, it met me there and waited impatiently while I replenished the supply. Since then, a couple other squirrels have found the ring, and so has at least one blue jay. And, at least so far, the squirrels have been ignoring the feeders they were emptying rather rapidly before.
I love that peanut ring and am glad to hear that it's a success. I think it's great that the squirrel was out there waiting for you to replenish it. Thanks for the pics.
Morning, Harry! Happy Tuesdaying!
The first issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly from my recent haul was a winner. Although I skipped the serials — five, including the cover story, "Out of the World for a While" —, the rest of the content started off strong, with Philip M. Fisher, Jr.'s novelette, "Fungus Isle." It is billed on the cover as the "Weirdest Story Ever Written," and although it may not quite be that, it is a well-crafted tale of environmental horror, quite creepy indeed.
Captain Dingle's "Breed" is a good-natured tale of how a putative descendant of a pirate deals with bootleggers who seize her yacht, offering dollops of humor and action. "Long Live the Queens," by Miles Overholt, is a slight but amusing look at fossil-hunting, and Carroll John Daly's "Not All in the Books" again puts the accent on wry amusement, as a rural sharper gets the edge over both visiting millionaire and local leaders. Charles Francis Coe provided "Socker Dooley and the Uplift Impulse," which leans a bit heavily on some stock situations, even as it acknowledges them, but delivers an OK twist. Hamilton Craigie's "The Emerald of Don Pedro Y Salazar" is a weaker entry recounting the effect of a guilty conscience. And the final tale, Henry Payson Dowst's "The Shot," is a bit too slight but likable enough anyhow, as an actress outsmarts a friend when he attempts to prove her latest role unbelievable. There are no standouts among the poems that also are to be found here and there throughout the issue, by George Sterling, Percy Waxman, Clarence Urmy, and Mary Carolyn Davies, but they do serve as a salutary reminder that publications for popular consumption used to include poetry on a regular basis.
>119 harrygbutler: That title, "Fungus Isle", and the claim that it is The Weirdest Story Ever Written crack me up. Interesting point about poetry being published regularly for popular consumption.
In the context of that description of "Fungus Isle," it might be worth noting that the magazine Weird Tales had begun its lengthy run earlier in 1923. One aspect of the general pulps, especially earlier, is that you
I just finished up a 1934 issue of the pulp Railroad Stories, and it included poetry as well.
They do seem at least somewhat distracted by the tube feeder with peanut chunks in it that I put up last weekend, and I've gotten some amusement out of watching a grackle awkwardly try to perch on the peanut ring to take one of the peanuts in shell.
Still, as long as peanuts are cheaper than birdseed I'd say you're coming out ahead.
>129 fuzzi: I didn't know that bluebirds ate from suet feeders. Perhaps eastern NC bluebirds are smarter than Piedmont NC bluebirds.
The tube of shelled peanuts is proving quite popular with the starlings.
It sounds like your diversionary tactics for the starlings and squirrels are working well. Win-win, for sure.
Today I bought some hardware cloth and made a sleeve to slide inside the feeder, and encase the suet block: the openings are now 1/4". I've already seen a grackle try to eat, and give up in frustration, yippee!
My wife has seen hummingbirds twice at our feeders, so this is good but now, it is my turn. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.
Returning to Texas after the Civil War, Three Mesquiteers Stony Brooke (Tom Tyler), Tucson Smith (Bob Steele), and Lullaby Joslin (Rufe Davis) find themselves in the midst of strife between the Army, commanded by Col. Conway (Guy Usher), and local bushwhackers, led by Tuscon's friend, Dr. Ken Morgan (James Bush). As they try to make peace between the factions, they find themselves framed by the nefarious Capt. Hawks (Roy Barcroft), who has been looting the settlers under the cloak of military authority. An enjoyable entry in the series. Mildly recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD.
Della Reese (Claire Dodd) finally gets her man in Warren William's last outing as Perry Mason, but can she keep him? A woman with a gun drags Mason away from their apartment shortly after the wedding, cutting short the honeymoon and embroiling him in another murder mystery. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD in the Warner Archive set Perry Mason: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection.
In this Italian sword-and-sandal film, Ali Baba (or Sindbad) (Dan Harrison), leader of a persecuted tribe singled out for extermination by the wicked, and usually shirtless, Omar (Gordon Mitchell), finds an opportunity to fight for freedom, and the hand of Fatima (Bella Cortez), princess of the Yeridi, in a multi-round elimination battle involving seven combatants. There's not much here, and it's unlikely I'll revisit it in the future. Not recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and apparently for streaming online.
I should have commented on your photos - they are both very good. Pixie looks very happy on the ottoman.
And congrats on foiling the grackles!
When an airplane crashes while landing at a New York airport, those on the ground are astonished to find no one aboard. Soon thereafter, Nancy Palmer (Elaine Shepard), daughter of one of the passengers who has disappeared, receives a ransom note, indicating that the industrialist has been kidnapped, and she persuades Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway), the Falcon, to investigate for her. He gradually uncovers quite a tangle, with suspicion pointing by turns to Iris Fairchild (Jean Brooks), Nancy's cousin and daughter of another of the missing people, and to Nancy's fiancé, Kenneth Gibson (Richard Davies). The twists and turns were moderately effective in keeping me uncertain as to just what had happened, making this a decent entry in the series. Mildly recommended.
I've seen both the Downy and Red-bellied woodpeckers making progress, but the Grackles are foiled again.
Allrighty, we'll make it next month if you're okay with that - thanks!
Romance blossoms along the way when a body disappears from the city morgue and a political coverup is thereby imperiled. Eugene Pallette is a dogged police detective, and Zasu Pitts is on hand as an interested party, but the whole affair is muddled and pretty slow. Not recommended.
I've been seeing a Downy Woodpecker at my black oil sunflower feeder in recent weeks - he grabs one seed, whacks at it on the Crepe Myrtle, does that several times then leaves. I've seen Red-Bellied Woodpeckers on the suet feeder in the back.
Morning, Harry. I hope your week is off to a smooth start. I have the day off and a organized bird walk popped up, (which is not very usual, during the week, especially to coincide with my off day) so that is where I am heading. We rained a lot over night but it should be a clear A.M.
I got that same message yesterday.
Plus, I got a message from Tim on the 14th:
Dear karenmarie,The two books were back in my collection (frankly, I didn't realize they were missing since they're Kindle and I'm rather loosey-goosey about ebooks). However, when I sorted my books by entry date, those two were at the top, ahead of my 4/19/18 books. Messaged Tim to explain the problem and it got fixed so that they sorted correctly. I think the recent problems are still going to bring other problems to light.
As much discussed on the site, LibraryThing experienced a data gap August 12-13, 2017, which came to light after the recent downtime. Although data was lost in one place, it remained in others. We have worked to bring everything back.
This email is to inform you that your account included 2 books added during the gap.
For ease of finding, we have added the books have been added to a special "Recovered Books" collection in your account.
All your books were recovered, as were all 57,000 books entered by other members during the gap. But field-by-field there is some lost data, including reading dates and physical dimensions. You can see a complete run-down, and a lot more explanation here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/291217 .
Let me know if you have any questions.
Yes, I got one of those messages, too, as I had lost 19 books that were restored — but without any reading dates (just two books) or covers I may have uploaded for them (almost certain for the two I read). I should be able to find the covers and upload them again, but the exact reading dates are lost. That's not a big deal, but still a bit annoying.
I knew that some books were missing after that downtime in April, because Erika and I had noticed we had reached 7,000 cataloged books and magazines, and then the next time I logged on the number was below that threshold, but I didn't have any handy way to track them down. So I'm happy they were able to recover much of the data, but not as pleased as I might have been. :-)
And I agree about more problems likely to surface. The problems earlier this week were apparently related to Litsy, so I also won't be surprised if more issues occur as they move forward with their plans to have that service make more use of the LT database (assuming the integration is still ongoing).
I read the threads about Litsy after the acquisition, and it's clear it's not for me. I don't spend much time on my phone (and it's an app with no web interface), and I don't read many recent releases, which seem to be its focus. My reading is an outlier here; it would probably be even further away from the general interests there.
Wilkie Collins' novel becomes a fairly standard low-budget mystery movie, competent but not more, enlivened a bit by Elspeth Dudgeon as a housekeeper and Gustav von Seyffertitz as a moneylender. Mildly recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and for online streaming at the Internet Archive.
In this sequel to Evil Dead 2, survivor Ash (Bruce Campbell) is sucked through a temporal vortex into a medieval world beset by monsters, where he must seek the Necronomicon to escape back to his own time and place. A misspoken word complicates matters and finds Ash working with his former captors to battle the titular Army of Darkness. Amusing, with some effective battle and monster scenes and special effects, even if the protagonist isn't all that admirable. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD.
Richard III (1912) — starring stage actor Frederick Warde
Peter Pan (1922) — starring Betty Bronson
Robin Hood (1922) — starring Douglas Fairbanks
Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) — starring Marguerite Courtot and Raymond McKee, with an early appearance by Clara Bow (a bonus feature on the Kino disc of Parisian Love
Parisian Love (1925) — starring Clara Bow
Operation Amsterdam (1959) — starring Peter Finch, Eva Bartok, and Tony Britton
Godzilla versus Mothra (aka Mothra vs. Godzilla) (1964) — starring Akira Takarada, Kenji Sahara, and Hiroshi Koizumi
The Last Starfighter (1984) — starring Lance Guest, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, and Robert Preston
>172 harrygbutler: Good reasons to stay away - mine are that I want to do less on my phone and even though I read some of the new releases that's not my focus.
Have a good day.
You must have an enormous DVD collection.
We do have quite a few DVDs, both commercial and home-recorded off Turner Classic Movies and other cable movie channels. The home-recorded DVDs are in sleeves in CD storage boxes, and the commercial DVDs are nearly all now in CD/DVD albums. The sheer quantity makes me procrastinate when it comes to cataloging them all.
Australian author Max Afford’s debut mystery, first published in 1937, introduces sleuth Jeffery Blackburn, who assists his friend, Chief Inspector Read, in untangling a diabolical plot — entailing more than one murder — that starts with the killing of a judge with a rather shady side. Fans of mysteries may get a certain amount of pleasure from the various references, both explicit and implicit, to other works in the genre. A suitably twisting plot with some aspects that aren’t particularly smoothly handled, but I’ll be willing to read the others in the series. Mildly recommended.
So I've been reading a bit about ground cherries. Do you just eat them, or bake/cook with them, or both?
Both. When we grew ground cherries about 10 years ago, we ate them as they ripened, and then, when we had enough at once, Erika made them into a pie. The taste of the fruit changes as it ripens; part of the time, at least to me, it tasted a bit like peanut butter.
I know that they can be perennial, so I'm hoping that if we find the right spot for them this year — somewhere where the dog can't get at them — that we'll get years of fruit from them.
The Tall T may be my favorite Randolph Scott western. Here, Scott plays former ranch foreman Pat Brennan, now an independent rancher, who loses his horse in a bid to win a seed bull to bolster his herd and ends up hitching a ride on a stage carrying newlyweds. When three vicious bandits (Richard Boone, Skip Homeier, and Henry Silva) waylay the stage, the new groom (John Hubbard), in a bid to save his own life, reveals that his wife Doretta (Maureen O'Hara) is an heiress and that her father will pay to get her back. The bandit leader decides to keep Brennan around for a little while, as he is intrigued by his independence and principles and perhaps yearns to have his life, and Pat and Doretta must scheme to save themselves from the killers who hold them captive. Spare and evocative, with well-defined characters and a tight story. Highly recommended!
Where to watch: Available on DVD in The Randolph Scott Roundup.
Hard-drinking private investigator Oliver Keith (Reginald Denny) is drawn into investigating the murder of art dealer Albert Sayre (John T. Murray) at the behest of Sayre’s widow, Julia (Dorothy Revier), an old friend. Aided by his secretary, Ella Carey (Patricia Farr), Keith endeavors to clear his friend and sort through the array of suspects, including a shady art dealer (Jack Adair), Sayre’s private secretary (James Bush), and a man (Jameson Thomas) whom Sayre had suspected of having an affair with his wife. An OK mystery, but the dialogue — particularly the banter between Oliver and Ella — is poor. Mildly recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and for streaming online.
Morning, Harry. Nothing but rain here. Getting tiresome, but we have a warm-up coming, so I am looking forward to it, plus I want to get out for a bird stroll tomorrow, on my day off.
We're supposed to get more rain today here, too, followed by warmer weather.
Ground cherries sound like a lot of fun. I've never seen them out here, but I admit that I haven't really looked.
Ride Lonesome is my favourite of the Randolph Scott westerns.
Thanks. We have a pair of those stands. They are deep enough to hold two rows of books, or to have some other objects in front of the books. Otto is most insistent about being near me — and high enough to watch me — as I work, and my computer desk is really too small for him to fit comfortably, so I had to clear the stand for him.
Morning, Harry. I am enjoying the day off and our weather is going to be gorgeous, so a solo bird stroll is in my A.M. plans.
Gurney Williams, the humor editor for Collier's at the time this volume was published in 1946, here offers up some insights into the magazine cartoon business, with comments on the artists and the editor's tasks, as well as a large helping (more than 200) of cartoons first published in the magazine. Not a bad sampling. Moderately recommended.
I like old mysteries with the trappings of spiritualism, and Charlie Chan at Treasure Island is a fun example, as the sleuth (Sidney Toler), aided (sometimes) by son Jimmy (Victor Sen Yung), investigates a seeming suicide aboard a plane. Accompanied by the magician Rhadini (Cesar Romero) and newsman Peter Lewis (Douglas Fowley), follow up a clue and visit psychic Dr. Zodiac, who perhaps has been preying on members of San Francisco society. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD.
Feeders have been hopping, but with the usual suspects.
George Zucco brings his sinister appeal to this PRC mystery film, as Amos Bradford (aka the Raven), owner of the inn of the title, located near the Canadian border, who has a sideline smuggling criminals out of the U.S. A storm strands several people at the inn — a gangster on the run (Noel Madison), a frightened rabbit of a man with a briefcase full of money (Byron Foulger), a young couple fleeing an irate father (Robert Livingston and Wanda McKay), and that father (Robert Middlemass) — on the same night in which a former associate (I. Stanford Jolley) arrives seeking revenge on Bradford. A murderer strikes, and the sheriff arrives, filled with suspicion: just what is going on, and how far is Bradford involved? Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD (my copy is the Roan Group release) and for online streaming.
My feeders have been hopping, too. I got a great deal of satisfaction yesterday when I saw a male Cardinal, male Goldfinch, and male Indigo Bunting on my feeders or in the Crepe Myrtle at the same time. Primary colors day here in central NC!
Homegrown strawberries sound wonderful.
I like to go out and just pick a strawberry or two for a quick snack, but it's nice to have a quantity available for dessert as well.
Have a good start to your week.
I did some weeding a while ago - only about 20 minutes or so because it's so humid - and didn't work on the bed with Johnson grass because I saw a 3' black snake head into it just before I was going to start. I don't mind black snakes, but was not thrilled with the idea of accidentally touching it. Weeding for the day done!
When trapper Paul Lautrec (Edward Norris) is shot and framed for a series of fur robberies and killings, Mountie Rod Webb (Kirby Grant), aided by his faithful dog Chinook, untangles the scheme. Entertaining programmer. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD from the Warner Archive.
A long slog through Wace's Roman de Rou in translation sent me to cartoon books for a break, and this collection from The Saturday Evening Post was one of them. It's a mixed bag, but there were enough entertaining cartoons to make it worth a look.
Earlier this month, I finally went ahead and got two additional DVD players to hook up to our television, so now we can more easily watch something akin to a vintage movie-going lineup, with cartoon, short subject, and feature. I'm not trying to match up studios or even years, but this approach does ensure we'll get more use out of the collections of cartoons and shorts we have on DVD. I'll list them when we watch them, but I don’t know whether I’ll offer more comment than that very often.
Movie 130. The Case of the Black Cat (WB, 1936), with the Speedy Gonzalez cartoon Mexicali Schmoes (WB, 1959) and the Robert Benchley short subject The Trouble with Husbands (Paramount, 1940)
Ricardo Cortez steps into the role of Perry Mason and does a solid job as the attorney, who is called in to change a will for an elderly invalid later found dead. A cat — which is not black, despite the title — plays an important part in the proceedings, as the dead man’s will expressly provides for the caretaker and his cat. Murder and mayhem. Recommended.
The accent was on comedy with the shorts: In Mexicali Schmoes two cats pit their none-too-bright intellects against the fastest mouse in Mexico, with amusing results; in The Trouble with Husbands, Robert Benchley offers a mildly entertaining look at some issues affecting domestic tranquility, playing the role of the husband in three vignettes.
Three DVD players to get the vintage movie-going lineup. I love it! Have fun.
I just saw 3 Canada Geese honk their way across the sky heading north. I've got a House Finch eating her way through the wild bird seed and a male Cardinal eating sunflower seeds.
Salmonberries, eh? I don't think I've ever had them, but I'd certainly be willing to give them a try. We planted boysenberries (chiefly because our eldest cat, Elli, is a fan of boysenberry pie (and only that variety of pie)), and we want to be able to provide her with some) a couple years ago; with luck this year we'll get a usable crop.
A pleasant enough low-budget mystery, with Dave O'Brien in the lead as a drama critic who reluctantly gets involved in investigating the murder of an actor during a performance. Mildly recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and for streaming online at the Internet Archive.
Hope you had a good week.
Newlyweds Dr. Russell A. and Carol Marvin (Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor) are buzzed by a flying saucer. The aliens, who have been knocking out satellites sent up by Dr. Marvin's project nearly as fast as they are sent up, have come with a message, but the communication is delayed. Tensions rise, and it becomes clear that the aliens are a threat against which the Earth is well-nigh powerless, but people scramble to develop some means of combating the superior technology. Plenty of action, with effects by Ray Harryhausen. Recommended.
I think it's swell that you've planted boysenberry bushes in order to provide Elli with boysenberry pie!
Young Star (Shirley Temple), an orphan of the sea, has been rescued and lives happily with lighthouse keeper Captain January (Guy Kibbee). She is a favorite with many people in town, including the captain's friend, Captain Nazro (Slim Summerville). The arrival of a new state-appointed truant officer (Sara Haden) threatens to disrupt the happy life Star and the captain, and modernization of the lighthouse service adds to their woes. Songs and dance — Shirley has a good number with Buddy Ebsen — enliven the proceedings. Recommended.
Where to watch: Available on DVD.
Hope you are having a good weekend.
Nonfiction claims a substantial portion of the May 1934 issue of Railroad Stories, with the cover feature an illustrated biography of Lee Christmas, a locomotive engineer who lost his position because of color-blindness and then went south in search of employment, moving from railroad work to more military activities, chiefly in Honduras. Christmas is thought to have been the inspiration for two novels by Richard Harding Davis, Captain Macklin and Soldiers of Fortune. Other “True Tales of the Rails” include a reminiscence of Civil War railroading and an account of methods companies had used in the past to “blackball” workers.
On the fiction side, staple E. S. Dellinger is on hand with another novelette, “The Girl at Loup Garou,” with brakeman Terry O’Brien learning a hard lesson about rash actions, doing some growing up and facing the menace of nature as well. The other novelette in the issue, A. Leslie’s “Lost River,” is a wilder tale of adventure involving a disappearing train and bandits. Sentiment finds a spot in the short story “The Western Union Kid,” and some wry humor — as well as the sense that a railroader is always a railroader — can be found in “His Last Quarter,” by Herb Heasley. Humor also is the tone of “Monkey Motion,” with a mistake saving a job.
The railfan and model railroad aspects of the magazine are of interest as usual, with a roster for the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad and an article on fittings for model steam locomotives.
In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale, three travelers — a British sergeant rejoining his unit, an American GI heading for Canterbury while on leave, and a “landgirl” who has come from London to work on a farm — are drawn into an investigation of strange goings-on in a local village in Kent after a strange figure pours something sticky into the woman’s hair. As they endeavor to unravel the truth behind the attacks by the “Glue Man,” they also come to know the village and its inhabitants, to relish the beauty of the area, and to gain a deeper appreciation of the land and its people. The mystery is not particularly mysterious, but the characters are of interest, and the film is well-done. I don’t think it likely that I’ll revisit this one, but I do recommend it.
Where to watch: Available from Criterion.
>241 harrygbutler: I like seeing your lineup, including cartoon and short.
Standard old dark house fare, with a menacing ape. Mischa Auer heads the cast as a sinister servant, with Rex Lease as the stalwart hero and Vera Reynolds as the threatened heiress. This doesn't have much to offer.
Where to watch: Available on DVD and also for streaming at the Internet Archive and on Amazon Prime.
Through much of the 1940s, former top star Warner Baxter (Oscar winner for his role as the Cisco Kid in 1928's In Old Arizona) solved crimes as Dr. Robert Ordway, the Crime Doctor, in a series of films based on the radio program of the same name. The initial film is an origin story, telling how a gangster with amnesia builds a new life for himself as a psychiatrist but then must face the past when former fellow-crooks find him. Baxter is an appealing performer, and it is no surprise that this led to a series that totaled 10 movies. Recommended.
Some years ago, Disney put out many "Treasures" DVD sets, including many (maybe all?) the theatrical cartoons starring Mickey, Donald, and the rest. Although we missed out on some, we did get several, including a collection of the cartoons starring Pluto. In this entry from 1942, Pluto suffers from sleepwalking, during which time he gives a bone to a neighboring dog, only to forget that he did so upon awakening. Amusing, with a satisfying ending.
To finance a new clubhouse in the early 1930s, the Masquers Club, a club for actors, put together a number of short subjects spoofing various films and film genres. The Wide Open Spaces or The Cowboy's Lament, a parody of westerns, was among them, featuring Ned Sparks, Antonio Moreno, and Dorothy Sebastian. Sadly, it just isn't very funny, and the poor production values further lessen its appeal.
Where to watch: The Crime Doctor movies have been shown on cable but have not had a commercial DVD release. The Disney Treasures DVDs may be difficult to get. The Masquers Club shorts are available on DVD from Alpha Video, but they aren't really worth getting save for curiosity's sake.
The 12th-century cleric and poet Wace is best know for his Roman de Brut, a long historical poem based on Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae and thus of interest to fans of Arthurian literature. But Wace produced a second long poem, albeit unfinished, on the history of the Normans and Normandy, beginning with the foundation of Norse rule in the region and continuing through Duke William's defeat of Harold at the battle of Hastings and conquest of England. The focus is largely on the activities of the counts (later dukes), starting with Rou (better known as Rollo), in their dealings with the Carolingian and Capetian kings and with rival nobles, and offers some information not otherwise available. Unfortunately, whether the weakness lies in Wace's original or in the prose translation, this was a real slog to get through. I'm pretty confident I shan't read it again, although I might have occasion to refer to portions in the future. Not really recommended.
>53 harrygbutler: Hmm.... guess I'll pass on this one. *smile*
Good decision. I came close to abandoning it, but I was interested enough in the subject matter to stick to it. It was in large part responsible for my reading slump otherwise in May, and for the fairly large number of cartoon books, as I needed something very different to balance it.