Personal Notes

   If you’ve been following the comments over the past couple of weeks, you will have discerned that I’ve been out of town for most of that time. Having decided to take my laptop with me, I’ve been able to keep up with email, more or less, and I’ve even been able to keep on posting while I’ve been away. Some of the reviews I’d prepared in advance, others I’ve had to improvise, with fairly decent results, except for the images, which I wasn’t always able to do justice to.

   I’ve therefore spent this evening upgrading all of the recent posts, going all the way back to November 12 and Mike Nevins’ review of the first Joe Gall book. Go back and take a look, if it so suits your fancy.

   I might also point to you that the comments following David Vineyard’s review of the movie Susan Slept Here last Sunday have evolved into a two-sided conversation between David and myself about the sad state of affairs in mystery writing today, in our opinions. Go back and read it, and join in, again if it suits your fancy.

   Hopefully I’ll be able to return to a regular schedule soon, but perhaps not tomorrow as (1) a huge Nor’easter is promised, with dire amounts of snow predicted, and (2) I have two and a half plastic postal bins containing held mail to work my way through. Nasty work, but someone’s got to do it.

No, not this blog’s anniversary. I missed that a couple of days ago. This blog’s first post appeared seven years ago, on December 28th, 2006. That seems like a long time ago.

But that’s nothing in comparison to the fact that my wife Judy and I were married on this date in 1964, some 49 years ago. I remember being just a little nervous that I would botch up my lines, the few there were, but I didn’t. I certainly couldn’t imagine what the future had in store for us — some ups and downs, that’s for sure — more ups than downs, to tell you the truth, a whole lot more — and here we are, almost a half century later, and still each other’s best friend, and more.

I haven’t been posting much this week, as I assume you’ve noticed, and the paucity of reading material you’ll find here will continue until Tuesday or so, I’m sorry to say.

My sister and her husband will be coming from Michigan today, and my brother and his wife will get here from London, Ontario, sometime on Saturday.

It will be the first time we’ll all be together at one time since my brother’s daughter got married way back in 2009.

I’ve been trying to clean the house this week, but I haven’t made more than a dent in what needed to be done. But as my sister told me, We’re coming to see you, not the house.

I have one article from Michael Shonk that will appear here as soon as I can spend a little more time on it: a review of the TV series SHELL GAME. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s no big surprise. It didn’t last very long.

The weather has been nice all week, but I’ve been ill, and I haven’t had much time to enjoy it. I’ve managed to get a couple of reviews and articles posted, but that’s been it. Now that I’ve started to get my legs back again, my wireless network connection, which has been iffy all spring, has gone completely kerflooey. I may have to scrap everything, router, adapter, extender, and start over, and at the moment, I’m not up to it. Without the use of a thumb drive to transfer data from one spot to another, there are too many programs on my upstairs computer that I can’t access from down here on my laptop. It might be time to call in the professionals.

I may not take a solid break, but it sure sounds to me as though it’s time to cut back on blogging until I get everything under control again. (I might even start getting caught up on emails, a task I’ve been promising myself since ever so long, longer than I care to admit.)

I’m going to be busy for the next week or so, hopefully not any longer than that. Company’s coming, a changeover to a new computer, Turkey Day, and another outpatient surgery scheduled for Friday.

I’ll be back as soon as I can. Have a great holiday, everyone!

We were quite lucky. Storm Sandy gave us only a glancing blow, as it turned out, although that was bad enough. We had lots of rain and high gusty winds, 45mph or so, but our power stayed on — the lights flickered twice, and that was all. We were well prepared with food, bottled water, flashlights and a portable battery-operated radio, but we didn’t need them. I haven’t turned on the TV yet to see what damage was done along the shore here in CT and farther south along the East Coast, including New York City. Horrendous, I imagine. I know lots of people are in a lot more trouble than us.

There is one huge branch of a tree in our back yard that missed our deck by several feet, otherwise we might have lost it. The storm was essentially over by 10 pm, although it was supposed to last for several days, it was so large. I looked out it see if were raining, and I saw the moon shining brightly between the clouds. That was a great relief!

Today it is still windy with lots of gray clouds but the sun is also out, shining brightly for the first time in several days. I don’t know if you remember the date of our snowstorm last year, when we had no electricity for five days, but it was exactly a year ago. I really didn’t want to do that again!

I’m doing much better. I was hoping to get something posted this evening, but after spending some time trying to catch up with emails and not quite succeeding, I decided to play it cautious and not push myself when I shouldn’t. Look for something new tomorrow, though, or if not, Wednesday for sure.

Coming soon are a review by Michael Shonk of an unusual Philo Vance appearance on TV, a long installment of Mike Nevin’s usual monthly column, Dan Stumpf’s opinion of a movie you probably never heard of, Fingerprints Don’t Lie (1951), and as I’m often fond of saying, much more.

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