books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion

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I am told J.P. Wagner covered a lot of ground and a lot of topics in the course of his career as a journalist. Having ‘been there, done that’ myself, I suspect it left him with an appreciation for a broad range of interests.

That certainly appears to be the case in his first published novel, Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion. Fantasy, action and adventure, swords and sorcery? Check, check, check. Steampunk, royal court intrigue, love story? Check them all off as well. [Read more →]

art & entertainment

Garry Marshall was the most avant-garde filmmaker ever

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The late Garry Marshall largely defined the sitcom (his creations include The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Mork & MindyLaverne & Shirley, and, er, Joanie Loves Chachi). Then, as was the fashion at the time, he graduated from the small screen to the big one and he made a series of films with premises that can only be described as deeply creepy… yet he directed them with a sitcom touch.

Indeed, he directed them with more of a sitcom touch than his own sitcoms usually displayed. (The Odd Couple in particular is timeless.) A number of his films involved the sexual exploitation of women — seriously, wait until you see the films — yet he refused to make downers.

Indeed, while he usually included a tear-jerking scene or two, these films were meant to be feel-good hits and, against all odds, some of them indeed were.

I present highlights of the filmography of Garry Marshall, who effortlessly distorted genres in a way Todd Solondz can only imagine.

(NOTE: These are the actual plots of Marshall’s actual movies. Really.)

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump jokes

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10. “I think Donald Trump has said he’s qualified to be President because of his business record. A few days ago, he said, and I quote, ‘I’m going to do for the country what I did for my business.’ So let’s take a look at what he did for his business. He’s written a lot of books about business; they all seem to end at Chapter 11.” — Hillary Clinton

9. “Republicans are blaming President Obama for creating Donald Trump. While others say he was created in a lab when a young real estate developer was bitten by a radioactive douchebag.” — Conan O’Brien

8. “Nearly 70 percent of Americans said a Trump presidency would make them ‘anxious.’ And 30 percent said a Trump presidency would make them ‘Canadian.’” — Conan O’Brien

7. “Donald Trump is America’s back mole. It may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it’s become frighteningly bigger, it’s no longer wise to ignore it.” — John Oliver

6. “In a prepared speech last night, Donald Trump told supporters he is going to ‘take care of our African-American people’ – though I don’t think he should have added ‘once and for all.’” — Seth Meyers

5. “At a rally over the weekend, Donald Trump was surrounded by Secret Service agents after a man tried to rush the stage. The Secret Service said the man was dangerous and disturbed, but they had to protect him anyway. Proving once and for all, the best way to keep everyone safe and sound is to build a wall around Donald Trump.” — Jimmy Fallon

4. “In an interview this morning, Donald Trump said mosques need to be ‘watched and studied’ because he believes they may spread hateful views. In related news, Donald Trump needs to be watched and studied.” — Seth Meyers

3. “Bernie Sanders picked up his fourth union endorsement this week from the Amalgamated Transit Union. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has yet to pick up any union endorsements, but does have several from The Confederacy.” — Seth Meyers

2. “A protester had to be escorted out of a Donald Trump rally last night for yelling, ‘Trump’s a racist.’ The protester was removed because the Trump campaign has that phrase copyrighted.” — Seth Meyers

1. “I’m voting for Hillary, because better the devil you know…than the Actual Devil!

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

musicvirtual children by Scott Warnock

So Zeppelin won

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So Zeppelin won. A jury found that the group did not copy the chords in “Stairway to Heaven” from the band Spirit’s song “Taurus.” [Read more →]

books & writingrace & culture

Added to my e-bookshelf … Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews

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WARNING: Reading Phyllis Chesler’s book “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews” may be hazardous to your sense of well-being. It could lead to increased levels of skepticism. This, in turn could lead to a variety of side-effects … a willingness on your part to question what we are told about the world around us, to make an extra effort to gain more information. You may even find yourself rejecting what ‘everybody knows and believes,’ in favor of a view that is more complicated, more detailed … and perhaps more truthful. [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Now that they’re making a beer for dogs, top ten brand names (not counting Air Budweiser)

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10. Crocked Spaniel

9. Spitz Schlitz

8. Bowser Boozer

7. Doberman Pilsner

6. Malt-ese

5. Pug Mug

4. Aledale

3. Coor-gi

2. Here’s Mutt In Your Eye

1. Shit-faced Shih Tzu

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … “Dominions”

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Like many other Library Thing contributors, I found myself diving into Dominions, Volume 2 of the “Bladesmith” series without first having read Volume 1. In my case, that did not pose any problems with my enjoying this book … though it HAS left me wanting to go back and read Volume 1, as well as other books by James Hetley/Burton. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten X-rated Fourth of July movies

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10. Sin Dependence Day

9. Drop Your Pants and Fire a Rocket!

8. Red, White, and Very Blue

7. Seventeen Seventy-Sex

6. Porn on the Fourth of July

5. Time for Some Fireworks!

4. There’s a Barbecue in My Pants

3. The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

2. The Fourth of Julie

1. Yank My Doodle! It’s A Dandy!

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … “Downtime”

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In her book “Downtime,” Cynthia Fleece offers us a love story and a science fiction story … maybe it’s the guy in me, but I wish there could have been a little more ‘science’ in the story. [Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Graduations stink – admit it! – but could be better

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I probably shouldn’t say this because of my chosen path in life, which includes being a parent, educator, and school board member, but I hate graduation ceremonies, or as they are known in a doublespeak kind of way,  commencements. And you probably do too — admit it! [Read more →]

books & writing

(NOT) Added to my e-bookshelf … “The House of Fox”

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As I sit down to review S.J. Smith’s “The House of Fox,” I have in mind a line one hears in televised cooking competitions, where the judge has sampled a contestant’s offering and says something to the effect of ‘I admire your conception, but your execution left a lot to be desired.’

That’s exactly how I feel after finishing “The House of Fox.” [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingbooks & writing

Now that the NRA website includes a family section, with fairy tales rewritten to include firearms, top ten new NRA children’s books

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10. The Cat With The Gat

9. Duck Duck Goose…No Duck!!

8. Goodnight, Moon – Click, Click, BOOM!

7. Bazooka Joe

6. Charlie and the Munitions Factory

5. The Lion, the Witch, and the War Cannon

4. Where the Wild Things Were

3. Cloudy with a Chance of Shrapnel

2. One Fish Two Fish Dead Fish Stew Fish

1. The Wizard of Uzi

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

advicereligion & philosophy

I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel … What does blanket divestment REALLY accomplish

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For my part in the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers (and the vote that will be coming up this week in the bi-annual gathering of PC-USA’s General Assembly) I have suggested more than once that a blanket divestment is NOT the answer. I have recommended an alternative … redirected investment of funds into responsible/moral fossil fuels producers.

WITH RESPECT, AND WITH AN OPENNESS TO DISCUSSION, I want to ask proponents of blanket divestment … what does it REALLY accomplish? Sure, it’s easy to do … and when it’s done, you feel good … but couldn’t you have done so much more? Here are some points to consider, on how you could accomplish ‘so much more’ through redirected investment, rather than blanket divestment … [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel … Responsible/Moral Production

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For my part in the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers, I have suggested more than once that a blanket divestment is NOT the answer. I have recommended an alternative … redirected investment of funds into responsible/moral fossil fuels producers. Is there such a thing? I think there is, and I would like to suggest some criteria for that … criteria that could be used by PC-USA’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) ministry in deciding – on a case-by-case basis – what to do with the church’s investment funds. [Read more →]

advicereligion & philosophy

Another reason I am PCUSA … and PRO-Fossil Fuel …

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In the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers, there are some considerations that are not being presented, especially when it comes to oil and natural gas. Here is one I would like to present. Those who are demanding that we “Keep It in the Ground” may not realize … it’s NOT just oil we’d be keeping in the ground. [Read more →]

adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

With summer beginning today, top ten signs your house still needs a spring cleaning

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10. When you finally make your bed, you find that missing shoe

9. You wipe your feet on the mat before stepping outside

8. You mistook the dust on the windowsills for “gray snow”

7. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t enter your house

6. When somebody asks, “What died in here?” you give them a list

5. When you looked at your shower drain, at first you thought Cousin Itt had drowned

4. Your Glade Plugin has given up the fight

3. This morning, you had to eat your cereal with a measuring spoon out of a Bundt pan

2. Even your dog refuses to eat off the floor

1. Something keeps closing your refrigerator door…from the inside!

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

diatribestrusted media & news

The REAL “West Texas Investors Club”

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Up until now, I’ve resisted the temptation to comment on “reality television” … but now that genre has hit a little too close to home – quite literally – for me, and I find myself compelled to rear-up on my hind legs, step-up to the keyboard, and put in ‘my two cents.’ [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

U.S. soccer turns to a teacher to help its coaches

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So the U.S. men are shaping up a nice run in the Copa América tournament, but many feel that the men’s overall success in the world scene is still not there. [Read more →]

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … “Wild Card Run”

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It’s been more than 75 years, now, since Harry Bates’ short story “Farewell to the Master” closed with the realization of who (or what) truly is ‘the master’ … bringing that story to a satisfying (or unsettling, or both, take your pick) conclusion, and setting readers off on a new path for thoughtful speculation.

Speculation over our control of technology – or its control of us – has fueled many contributions to the genre of science fiction over the years, and Sara Stamey’s “Wild Card Run” is a good addition to that tradition. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Tony Awards

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10. “Look, they got one of the Teletubbies to host!”

9. “I hope they show Laurie Metcalf hobbling Bruce Willis.”

8. “I mean, do they have to use the full title Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed every single time they mention it?”

7. “I only hope I live long enough to be included in that In Memoriam segment.”

6. “I hear they’re preparing another one of those jukebox musicals like Jersey Boys or Mama Mia! called Blame It On the Rain, based on the music of Milli Vanilli.”

5. “So Barbra Streisand was famous for something besides those Fockers movies?”

4. “I’d much prefer King Charles III to King Donald I.”

3. “I thought they already made King Donald I. It’s called American Psycho.”

2. “In what month is thing scheduled to end?”

1. “I was kinda disappointed in Hamilton, but then I thought it was going to be about Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Ox.”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.