Friday, February 27, 2009

A Double Hit of Watermelons

And then there's this watermellon classic from my youth. I remember loving it at the time. Now it seems...well, I guess I'm getting very old.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Here's the guts of the Kindle.

In case you're interested. See all those little tiny books hiding in there. Paper pages and leather binding.

Relocate This

Magnetic attraction.

First Amendment

Clearwater Gets Murky

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the city has a leg to stand on.
But then I'm partial to the rights of bait shops everywhere.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aw, Sheryl

Good grief

Hit it!
This ain't no disco
It ain't no country club either
This is LA!

"All I wanna do is have a little fun before I die,"
Says the man next to me out of nowhere
It's apropos
Of nothing

Kindle Swindle and March Madness

Roy Blount raises a serious question about the Kindle.

And here's a second review of Kindle, which makes it sound as if some of the tweaks they've done have been very successful. It now holds 1500 books!!!

On a totally unrelated matter, as we approach March Madness (my favorite sports time of the year, other than the two weeks of Wimbledon), my Kentucky Wildcats are doing only so-so this year. They might not even make the NCAA. They better beat Florida on March 7th if they have a decent chance.

But despite a relatively off several years, the Kentucky Wildcats that I grew up worshipping are generally regarded as the best basketball program of all time. That's some solace. But what have they done for us lately?

I still like their scrappy play. Bring back the full-court pressure and the run and gun game of Rick Pitino, that would be Coach Hall's suggestion.

I used to listen to this guy's heroics on the radio.

And then there was this guy, who still is on my sports page a lot of mornings. What a head of hair. Reminds me of Paul Levine.

There are those who argue that the old Pat Riley and the new one should merge. Boy, that would be cool for a Kentucky Wildcat fan.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jeepers Peepers

Florida scores again. Sure, it could've happened anywhere. But still.

And then we have this hard-drive crash.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Here's a handy-dandy tool for finding an independent bookstore near you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Losing Luster

Ah, Florida. We ain't what we used to be. Thank goodness.

And I think Carl Hiaasen has it exactly right.

In the forty plus years I've been living in Florida, I think I've read the same article about Florida going bust, or Paradise Lost, or one or the other of those doomsday scenarios about a dozen times. And yet, here we are, still smelling the cinammon breezes and watching the orchids bloom in February.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Okay, Stump won Best of Show at Westminster yesterday. Now I ask you, which spaniel is the real winner?



Stella (upside down)

Stella (rightside up)


Well, you just never know when the poo is going to hit the sister.


If you ever get a chance to stop by Flagler College when you're in St. Augustine, you should take the time. It's a remarkable place.

The old Ponce de Leon Hotel, built by Henry himself and restored beautifully. This shows a little of the grand architecture from the outside, but the inside is even cooler.

I gave a talk there last week to maybe two hundred people. A lot of fun. A great and varied crowd.

What a place to go to school! The students seem to take great pride in the place. I saw no graffiti anywhere. Sure makes FIU's architecture seem clunky.

Ze bunker:

The World Is Flat, Except the Walled Parts

Open the doors and fix the problem.

In Jared Diamond's wonderful book, Collapse, one of the recurring characteristics of a society that deteriorates and eventually fails is isolationism. Cutting oneself off from trade, free trade, is a sure-fire way to wither.

But Buy American sounds so soothing and so simple at times of great national stress.

Problem with free trade is that it's got to be as free as possible for it to work. If we keep our walls down, the other guys have to do the same.

What is going to work? We'll know in about 5 years. Check back.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As Muzak Goes

As Muzak Goes, So Goes The Nation

King on Kindle


Coquina, Florida's natural stone, plays a role in the new novel. I wonder if anyone has ever heard of the stuff. Even in Florida I run across people who look at me blankly when I mention Coquina. I think it's a beautiful and metaphorically rich rock. Millions of marine creatures crushed by the centuries.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More on Kindle

More on Kindle. With Stephen King and everything!!!

Oh, Here It Is

Oh, good. Found the Fountain of Youth. It was here all along. Ponce missed it somehow.

Where Your Bailout Tax Money is Going

The many ways of getting screwed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not To Re-Kindle Anything, But...

I got into an interesting discussion the other night at Flagler College, regarding the Kindle. The discussion/argument got a little philosophical at times as I supported the Kindle as both an inevitable next step in the book business, and a pretty good way of greening an industry that uses a lot of paper and energy to send relatively heavy books from here to there and there to here when it could all be sent electronically as it is with the Kindle.

The other argument, which I thoroughly understand and sympathize with, is one that places a high value on the object that contains the content, that is, the physical book itself. The heft, the smell and all that. I certainly understand why there'll be some of those (us) who'll have to have their cold hard fingers pried off their hardbacks before yielding to this new direction.

And I certainly understand the downward pressure that such a technology puts on the money side of the business. What are publishers left with beside simply being a "filter" if there is no physical book anymore, no cover, no typeface, no paper.

Still, I love my Kindle, use it every day, and love the freedom it gives me to lie in bed and download a few sample chapters of this book and that book so I can check them out for free. It's an incredible device. It, or some version of it, is here to stay.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jumping Fish

The fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high. Ah, Florida.

A Stimulating Conversation

Give this about two or three minutes. It's sobering.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here's a Writer

Here's a writer I like a lot, giving a talk in a store I love.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If You Happen to be Near St. Augustine on Thursday

Year End List

Well, Hell's Bay made one year end list. That's nice to see. And such fine company.

Independent Mystery Booksellers' Association Bestsellers for all of 2008


1 – Charlaine Harris, From Dead to Worse, Ace

2 – Donna Andrews, Cockatiels at Seven, St. Martin’s

3 – Lee Child, Nothing to Lose, Bantam

4 – Dennis Lehane, The Given Day, Morrow

5 – Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict, Little Brown

6 - tie

James W. Hall, Hell’s Bay, St. Martin’s

Elizabeth George, Careless in Red, Morrow

8 – Robert Crais, Chasing Darkness, Simon & Schuster

9 – Jacqueline Winspear, Incomplete Revenge, Holt

10 – tie

Daniel Silva, Moscow Rules, Putnam

James Lee Burke, Swann Peak, Simon & Schuster