So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ooooh, Scary Restaurants

Tried this out on McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Didn't make the cut. Still, it amuses me. How 'bout you?
Ooooh, Scary Restaurants

Karloff's Jr.

Burger King Kong

Quiznosferatu Subs

White Castle of Blood

TGI Friday the Thirteenth

Redrum Robin

Fuddruckurse of Frankenstein

Marge Schott's Red Hots (only in Cincinnati)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane-A-Burger

Sbarrosemary's Baby

Waffle House on Haunted Hill

Mikesell : 1:52 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wilbur's World!

Wilbur's World! Excellent -- Party Time!

Okay, maybe not. But there is another Wilbur Hucks post up at Scenes & Beans.


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Mikesell : 4:02 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Here's a mindbender:

A woman pregnant with twins gives birth Oct. 29, 2006. One child is delivered at 1:59am, the other five minutes later. Because daylight savings time ends a minute after the first delivery, the second takes place at 1:04am.

Imagine the ensuing hilarity as the children fight over who's oldest.

(Of course, if the children were born in Hawaii, Arizona or parts of southern Indiana, they're exempt from this quandary.)

Mikesell : 12:04 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Monday, August 28, 2006

Twenty Questions

I've been playing with my 20Q "mind-reading" toy the past few nights (after having misplaced it six months ago and re-finding it last week). Thought y'all might want to play along:
  1. Animal / Vegetable / Mineral / Other?   other

  2. Is it flat?   no

  3. Is it hard?   yes

  4. Could it be found in a classroom?   sometimes

  5. Can you play with it?   yes

  6. Does it require specific knowledge to use it?   no

  7. Does it come in a box?   no

  8. Can it bend without breaking?   no

  9. Does it roll?   yes

  10. Do you use it at work?   sometimes

  11. Is it used by the police?   yes

  12. Is it found on a desk?   no

  13. Can you open it?   yes

  14. Does it weigh more than a duck?   no

  15. Does it contain a liquid?   no

  16. Is it made of metal?   yes

  17. Is it multicolored?   no

  18. Is it something you bring along?   yes

  19. Is it used in traveling?   sometimes

  20. Do you use it in your home?   sometimes
Answer: that would be telling

20Q got it right, though. Can you? (Bragging rights to first person to figure it out in the Comments.)

Mikesell : 4:10 PM : 8 snarky remarks

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cannibal Cows ... Good Times

Way back in the mid-80s I worked at Camp Redwood Glen, a summer camp/conference center in Scotts Valley, Calif. Late one summer night a couple of the cool staff bundled a bunch of soon-to-be-cool staff into a couple cars and drove us off to cool staff initiation: walking in the dark up a long road to an estate formerly owned by Alfred Hitchcock. Or so they said...

I mean, really, they could have said that just to spook us. It may have been Lawrence Welk's place for all we knew. But we dutifully hiked along, certain that at any moment one of the cool staff would jump out and say, "Boo!" (They never did.) At one point we passed some cows. "Cannibal Cows," someone said. Probably someone destined not to be cool no matter how many midnight hikes they took, as someone else -- was it me? -- said, "Then we have nothing to worry about; cannibal cows only eat other cows." If it wasn't me it was probably Lynette; she was snarky like that, too.

Eventually we reached the end of the road. Y'know that giant gate in Jurassic Park? There was a gate that felt about that big. We peeked through and saw a very big house.

Hitchcock's? I've always* wondered.

Last night I started reading Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco. In the introduction, mention is made of Hitch's S.V. estate. I found the section of the book dealing with it and sure enough, the estate was right where we went.

None of the photos looked familiar, but then again none were taken at one in the morning. Still, it's nice to know that we did in fact break a bunch of camp rules -- not to mention trespassing (private road) and defamation of livestock -- and hadn't been on an updated version of a snipe hunt.

<sigh> Good times.

*Well, not always, as I probably would've Googled it by now.

Mikesell : 8:55 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, August 25, 2006

Because Nothing Says "Happy Anniversary" Like

... ice cream, pie, and all-you-can-eat breakfast.

We've got the out 18th anniversary coming up next weekend and I thought I'd check and see what's going on at some of our favorite haunts on the Oregon coast. Turns out Yachats (YAH-hots) is having their 8th Annual Labor Day Pie & Ice Cream Social next Saturday afternoon. The following morning is the Yachats Lions Pancake Breakfast (AYCE pancakes with eggs, ham, sausage, coffee and milk).

Unbelievably we're still looking for something to do to celebrate the big one-eight.

Mikesell : 10:34 PM : 5 snarky remarks

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Welcome West Lane News Readers

Thanks for coming by. The blog URL didn't make it in the article, so thank you very much for googling, icerocketing or yahoo-ing your way over.

Free nickel tour* of the blog:
Scroll down in the sidebar to the left to find the stories mentioned in the article (What I've Written). Just above that is a graphic link to Brandilyn Collins' Kanner Lake/Scenes & Beans blog (also mentioned in the article). Scroll on down a little further to find the Amazon reviews; most of these are a year-plus old, so if it's for a popular item my review may be buried under the more-recent posts.

Then you've got the blogroll. Most of these are to friends I've met online and/or places I've learned things. Odds are the people at the blogs will be willing to be your friends too.

Finally, the archives. Click a link and take your chances. Never know what you'll find.

That's about it. Keep your arms and legs inside the car until this sentence reaches a full and complete stop; nope, that was a semicolon--the full stop is here.

Thanks again for the visit (sorry about the punctuation joke). Please come again.

*The nickel tour is free. No nickels will be handed out at the tour's conclusion.

Mikesell : 2:52 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's All About Me

First off, a huge thanks to Rob Lafferty for the time and effort he took crafting the story; and to the editor and publisher of the West Lane News for the roles they played, too. Front page news, above the fold headline. Even prominent placement on the website. Sweet!

Yes, the article I've been squawking about is now in print. Head on over to the West Lane News website. Click on "Suspense writer emerges from Triangle Lake" (like I'm some kind of Creature from the Black Lagoon -- I wish!).


[Sept. 1: West Lane News has graciously allowed me to archive a copy of the article online. The above link will take you to their current issue; to read the archived story, click here.]

Mikesell : 3:26 PM : 6 snarky remarks

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Phil, on Oedipus/Electra Complexes

“I love mom. Some girls, they just love their dads. It’s kinda like teenager dates where a boy falls in love with a girl and a girl falls in love with a boy...”

--the pre-first grade six-year-old this afternoon out of nowhere

As long as he’s skips the whole “kill your father” part, I'm good.

Mikesell : 8:30 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Where'd Everybody Go?

A couple of days ago I changed from using the standard Blogger service to their new Beta version.

A couple of days ago I went from having 70, 80, 100+ first-time visitors per day to having only 9 yesterday and 13 the day before. As far as I can tell, visitors who used to be counted for clicking through to an image referenced in the blog are no longer being counted. That's a bummer because 99% of my traffic from foreign countries came via image search.

Anyone out there have a lot of image search traffic that didn't appear to drop off after switching to Blogger Beta? What stat-tracking service are you using?

Mikesell : 12:15 PM : 5 snarky remarks

Monday, August 21, 2006

So Long, Scratches

Several months ago I dropped my iPod and wound up with three centimeter-long scratches in the plastic above the screen. Not the worst thing in the world, but on a white background they were distracting little rainbow stripes.

I'd read that Brasso could get rid of (or at least reduce) such scratches -- a fact I remembered today at the store instead of on my way home as is usually the case.

So, after half an hour Q-tipping Brasso 'round and 'round, what's the verdict? Two scratches completely gone. Can't tell if the third (and deepest) is reduced or not. It still rainbows, though without the other two running parallel to it, it's less noticeable.

Also, I'm quite buzzed from the Brasso fumes. Wheeeeeeee!!!

Mikesell : 8:59 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Interview Review

I met with Rob Lafferty from West Lane News this afternoon for an hour or so. He let me know at the start that he wasn't going for the Pulitzer, so that took the pressure right off. (I do have a cure for cancer that I should probably release to the world sometime, though...)

We talked about how I started writing, what the goals for my writing are, how Brandilyn Collins' Scenes & Beans blog works, life here at the lake and at the camp/conference center, and what are some good steps for a new writer to take on their way to publication. We helped a wayward traveler find his way to some public waterfront (I think there may be a Wilbur Hucks story there, but handled more curmudgeonly-ly). We talked about freelance possibilities with the WLN.

Early in our meeting he took a few pictures of me sitting at a picnic table typing on the PowerBook with the lake in the distance. What'd I type?
I’m acting as if I’m typing something that is serious , but really I’m faking it, kind of like murder she wrote.
Not sure what that means exactly--except that I'm not going to be trying out at Writer's Improv Nite--but maybe it'll come in handy some time.

Overall a painless process. No embarrassing Tom Cruise furniture jumping. Brushed my teeth beforehand so no leftover tomato or lettuce bits stuck between the cracks. Don't think I oversold myself, or sold myself short for that matter. Gave props to faith*in*fiction, Mount Hermon's Christian Writers Conference, Brandilyn Collins, and the various venues I've been published at.

Rob ('nuff about me; Rob was great, too!) has a Tuesday deadline, so park yourself near a West Lane News retail outlet now and beat the crowds.

Mikesell : 9:08 PM : 2 snarky remarks

I'm Getting Old

The other day I used the last bag from a box of microwave popcorn. So the next time I went to the store I picked up a couple more boxes. When I got home I put one box where the old one had been, then reached up to put the other on the top shelf ... only to discover two boxes of microwave popcorn already there.

Then today I ordered a BLT Ranch chicken sandwich at McDonald's. I was almost halfway through it before I realized they'd forgotten to put the chicken on the bun. Upside: I got one-and-a-half-times the bacon and tomato on the new sandwich. Score!

Mikesell : 3:44 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, August 19, 2006

So Long Summer

Phil's got a couple weeks left before he heads back to school, but today was the end of the 2006 summer camp season. We went with the camp counselors to Izzy's for a farewell lunch. I took some pictures of Phil with the staff before we headed back to our (now quiet) home.
Phil had a great time with all the counselors and campers this year (as is pretty much the case every year). He had a good mini-session at the beginning of the summer and was bummed off and on throughout the past six weeks that he couldn't be a camper again.

To everyone who made this year one of the best (by sending kids, working (esp. volunteers!), and keeping us in your prayers), Thank You!

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Mikesell : 10:03 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's On

Barring unforseen calamity (and/or jinxing by blogging about it), I'll be sitting down with Rob Lafferty of the West Lane News to talk about my participation in Brandilyn Collins' Scenes & Beans character blog--and possibly other things--this coming Sunday afternoon.

If all goes to plan the story will appear in the next week's paper. With a photo. And a Pulitzer for Mr. Lafferty.

Stay tuned.

Mikesell : 12:14 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don't-Miss Videos

Over at her Kanner Lake site, Brandilyn Collins has added a video where she talks about the series, and Violet Dawn in particular. If you'd like to find out more about the book, the series, and/or Brandilyn's brand of "seatbelt suspense," check it out. Added bonus, by familiarizing yourself with her voice, it'll be like she's reading the book(s) to you herself. What a deal.

And a few more that have absolutely nothing in common with the preceding vid:

The Wittenburg Door has a couple doozies in their Godstuff collection this week. Anyone know if they ever devoted a whole segment to Jonathan Bell? That little guy tops Bob Tilton and Dr. Gene Scott. What a hoot. (And if you need more Bob Tilton, behold: Farting Preacher 1-5 at Google Video. What a -- dare I say it? I dare -- what a gas.)

I understand that not everyone who enjoys dead bodies in a hot tub will also get a kick out of religious satire -- and vice versa -- but if you're one of the "eclectic" few, consider exploring Brandilyn's catalog and taking out a Door subscription.

Mikesell : 9:26 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Another Wilbur Day in Kanner Lake

Busy day, so I'm a bit slow on posting that there's another Wilbur Hucks post up at the Scenes & Beans blog. Can't take credit for it, but it's a good 'un.

Check it out.

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Mikesell : 12:40 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Win with 50 Words a Day

Charis Connection is sponsoring a Flash Fiction Contest. With just under a week to enter and a 250 word limit, you only need to crank out 50 words a day this week to enter and--with most anybody who's anybody (ie, everybody but me) getting ready for AFCW--you've got a shot at the grand prize*.

Or you can go nuts and crank out 375 words at once and have to whittle away 31.25 words a day...

*No cash, but attention from some big names in Christian-fiction publishing is always good.

Mikesell : 11:29 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What Phil Did Today

While I was in town returning a rental car, recycling cardboard and aluminum cans, and getting our car washed, Phil was out on the lake with some of the summer staff, kneeboarding and innertubing FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Fortunately photos were taken. This is what it looked like:Dina said that at one point Phil tried to execute a 180 (with the intent of a 360, perhaps) on the kneeboard. This gives you an idea of how that went (6-second vidfile, 261 KB).

Next time Dina can have the joy of winging cardboard boxes into a 10-foot high dumpster.

(More video was taken, but it needs some hefty editing. Stay tuned.)

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Mikesell : 10:30 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Get Motivated

Saw this yesterday on Jordon Cooper's blog. Behold: Star Trek Motivational Posters.

Captain James T. Kirk is my new wallpaper. Sarek is on deck.

Check 'em out.

Mikesell : 1:09 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Single Digit

Chris Well's novel Deliver Us from Evelyn hasn't made it (yet!) to the #1 spot at Amazon, but it is #4 on Technorati's book list.

It's a good read. Really good. Guys named Chris write well. And if your last name's Well, doubly so.

Check it out!

2:00pm: Evelyn hit #1 at Technorati. Congrats and happy extended birthday, Chris!

Mikesell : 11:02 AM : 0 snarky remarks

New(s) Flash!

Quick note to point you over to Flashes of Speculation, where my short story "Jack of All Non Sequiturs" has been published.

Not a fluffy bunny story. Probably gonna make my mother wonder where she went wrong. (I blame family dinners where liver was served.) Still, enjoy ... if you dare. Mwaaah-ha-ha-haaaah!

Mikesell : 9:46 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Triple Digits

Deliver Us from Evelyn is at #832 in Amazon's Sales Rank as of 5:20pm

Forgiving Solomon Long is at 24,638.

DUfE is also #17 on Technorati's Books List.

Mikesell : 7:21 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Party On, Wayne Well

At some point today Chris Well will turn 40 and as I've mentioned already, everyone who buys his novel Deliver Us from Evelyn from Amazon (use the link) through noon tomorrow gets some fabulous party favors.

But maybe you're asking yourself, Can this guy write? I can eat pretty good off the Taco Bell value menu for the $9.83 Amazon's charging. Why should I order the book and wait 5-8 days for delivery when I can have a mess of Pintos and Cheese right now.

First off, Well's book isn't going to give you near the gas you'll get from the pintos. Your loved ones wanted me to point that out right off the bat.

Second, you can read samples of Chris' writing online. A try before you buy sort of thing. (Try asking for a taster spoon of nacho cheese sauce at the Bell.) Check out the first chapter of Evelyn.

What about the Freebies? Are they worth the money I'm not paying for them? Here's a sample of one of the short stories: Naked Truth (involves no actual nudity, some actual truth).

Lists? Bread, milk, eggs. There's a list; can't imagine anyone getting excited about that, though. Here's one of my favorites, along with STUFF WE HOPE WE NEVER SEE IN CHRISTIAN RETAIL STORES and BAKED POTATO TOPPINGS WE'LL NEVER TRY (AGAIN):

1/ You thought he was an elf until you heard the accent.

2/ Hoards potatoes like they’re going out of style.

3/ Always wears green, even after Labor Day.

4/ Sure, he grants all your wishes, but there are always horrible consequences.

5/ Leaves St. Patrick’s Day lights up until the middle of July.
Funny stuff there.

Comics? Whatnot? Check out The Miller Sister drawn by Chris's wife, Erica. This is someone with skills, not that person who had you guessing "snake bacon" when you were playing Pictionary. As for Whatnot, hey it can't all be SIGNS YOUR NEIGHBOR MIGHT BE A LEPRECHAUN.

Plus, the party's not just about what you get. It's about what you're giving, too. Chris is hoping for his book to hit #1 on Amazon before the event is over. As of 2pm it was at 1,133. He's got a ways to go, but it's possible he can make it. If you join in the fun. (note to my nephew, Nick, whose own birthday is coming up in a few months: consider yourself in on the fun. happy day to you, too.)

If you need some suggestions to run your tab up to $25 to qualify for free shipping, consider Well's first novel, Forgiving Solomon Long, and Tony Hines's thriller, Waking Lazarus.

Mikesell : 3:36 PM : 0 snarky remarks

20 Foreign Countries

I just checked my blog stats and noticed that, of my last 100 visitors, 20 foreign countries were represented. Where exactly?

Canada, Australia, Greece, U.K., Finland, Mauritius, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, Viet Nam, Netherlands, Serbia & Montenegro, Switzerland, Jordan, France, Spain, Thailand, and Austria.

Jordan -- first time the country's showed up in my stats -- came looking for this picture of Phil getting a flat-top hair cut (originally, here). Most visitors (25%) are still coming for the shark attack picture. 16% come for Phil giving Thomas the Tank Engine two thumbs up.

So now ya know.

Mikesell : 10:44 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Poetry Contest

Just saw this over at DKA Magazine. A fantasy/sci-fi poetry contest on the theme of "revelation." Free to enter. Excellent prize money.

Don't yet know if I'll enter, but "The Revelatory Love Song of Arthur J. MacArthur-Prufrock" has a nice ring to it...

Mikesell : 12:16 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, August 07, 2006

Whaddya Mean, You Don't Read Peter Chianca?

Peter Chianca is a (perhaps the) humor columnist at the Boston Herald. Kind of like Dave Barry, but from a more northern clime. And with Barry no longer on the comedy beat (unless he's unretired and didn't tell me), Chianca's my new end-of-the-week chucklemeister (he blogs midweek chuckles, too).

This week he takes a look at kids' "educational" TV and what lessons are being learned.

From the article:
..."Dragon Tales," the show about two kids who travel to "Dragon Land," where all their playmates fly around and breathe fire; it’s like sending your kid to day care at Cirque du Soleil.
Also sent up in the article: Bear in the Big Blue House, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, and The Wiggles. The Blue's Clues comment is the best of the bunch.

Funny stuff, Maynard.

Mikesell : 12:46 PM : 0 snarky remarks

My Audition

If you head on over to Scenes & Beans, you'll see the entry that landed me the gig chanelling Wilbur Hucks. If some of the story doesn't make sense, it's because you didn't sign up for the 12-chapter preview. (shame on you! click the link and catch up.)

Thanks Wilbur and Brandilyn for letting me play along.

[Remember, if you post a comment over at S&B--and you really should--you're talking to Wilbur and/or Bailey Truitt who runs the coffee place. Not me.]

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Mikesell : 12:00 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Brown Like Jazz

Diet Pepsi's come out with a couple new flavors: Strawberries & Cream and Black Cherry/French Vanilla. In addition to the new tastes, the sodas are being promoted under a Jazz branding.

Are they good? Mostly. I found if I thought about strawberries while drinking the Strawberries & Cream drink it tasted like strawberries. If I just picked up the bottle and drank it, it tasted like cough syrup (not as bad as Berries & Cream Diet Dr Pepper, which Phil likes for some reason -- <shudder>). The Black Cherry/French Vanilla flavor was always good, though.

I've only seen it in 20 oz. bottles, which makes for a spendy drinking habit. Hopefully BC/FV will come out in 12-packs. (S&C would be fine in 12s, too, but I suspect I'll stick to the Cherry/Vanilla.) Diet Coke has BC/FV in cases; it's currently my preferred flavored name-brand diet cola choice, but the local Wally's Superstore almost never has it in stock.

Check 'em out.

Mikesell : 9:10 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Come Join the Party

Two things of update on Chris Well's Deliver Us from Evelyn party coming up next week.
  1. Although Chris turns 40 on the 9th, the party begins at 6pm on the 8th and continues until noon on the 10th. Anytime during those hours, buy the book at Amazon and e-mail Chris your order confirmation code to get in on the fun.

  2. One lucky party member will win $144 worth of mysteries and thrilllers from Chris's publisher, Harvest House. When you send in your confirmation code, be sure to say "Chris Mikesell sent me." That way if you win, I win, too.

To recap: Between 6pm, August 8 and noon, August 10 buy Deliver Us from Evelyn at Amazon. Before the end of August 11 (Tennessee-time, where Chris lives, just to be safe), e-mail your Ammy confirmation code to Birthday06@StudioWell.com with the message "Chris Mikesell sent me."

If you already have DUfE, consider buying it and Forgiving Solomon Long as a Christmas present or birthday gift for a friend or family member. Anniversary present spouse-to-spouse, not so much--but the first anniversary is paper, so if someone asked you to be in their wedding party a year ago, now you know what to buy them.

Mikesell : 6:47 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Just got word this afternoon that the Wittenburg Door's editorial board liked the short I sent them. Tentatively titled: "2007 Concert Forecast: Increasing Wackiness."

My first Door submission was accepted about this time last year; it ran in the Nov/Dec edition.

Stay tuned.

Mikesell : 10:33 PM : 3 snarky remarks

And So It Begins ... Again

iTunes Music Store has added the TV show Babylon-5 to its library. Right now they've only got the first season, which is fine. The plots weren't what they'd become in later seasons, but plenty of good character establishment and good writing. The first episode I saw was toward the end of the season, "Babylon Squared." Didn't quite know what to make of it, but from the "Fasten. Zip." conversation I was hooked.

If I ever get the whole season/series it'll be on DVD, but it was worth $1.99 for "B^2." Some pivotal plot moments plus Zathras (or was it Zathras? or maybe Zathras; I'm not sure).

Looking forward to future seasons and "Passing through Gethsemane" and "Intersections in Real Time."

Good stuff, Maynard.

Mikesell : 3:55 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On a Tangent

Tangent Online is a website devoted to reviewing short fiction of the speculative fiction (fantasy/sci-fi) persuasion. They do big'uns like Analog and F/SF and smaller e-zines, too. E-zines like Dragons, Knights & Angels.

On Sunday they posted reviews of stories in DKA's June edition, which included my piece, "The Fortunate Purgatory of Arthur MacArthur."

Here's what Tangent had to say about TFP:
Mikesell's writing is strong, having a distinctive voice and a facile eye for viewing the (under)world. "The Fortunate Purgatory of Arthur MacArthur" is both a lighthearted and a sad tale, and Mikesell is able to successfully switch between both without losing a step. There are plenty of interesting descriptions here, and the originality of it is something to appreciate. The ending is appropriate and satisfying.
Not too shabby.

(tip o' the hat to Mir for the heads up)

Mikesell : 3:42 PM : 5 snarky remarks