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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Good Fight

I'm breaking a cardinal rule for me. I'm writing a spoiler filled post. If you have CBS+ and watch the Good Fight, but haven't seen this weeks installment. Leave now. Come back after you've watched it, you may miss the hidden jokes at the end of the show.

This weeks episode has the firm asked by the DOJ to do a complete review of all the evidence on the death of Jeffrey Epstein to determine if it was a suicide or murder. They have two weeks.
The divorce attorney who has a celebrity client sees a picture as they are breaking down all the boxes of evidence. An inmate across from Epstein's cell tells them that Epstein mentioned he'd taken care of a package before he was arrested.
She recognizes a celebrity hair dresser getting off the jet when Epstein is arrested. She knows him and goes to see him. He has the package the inmate mentioned. He still has it and gives it to the attorney. (I know writing this up it is a bit of a stretch in hind sight, but it's like most mystery stories where one clue leads to another and I bought into it.)
The envelope has a key, a letter and on the inside of the envelope a phrase and series of numbers. The key word in the letter is BUD. The investigators for the firm start tracing down these leads. I won't go into the blow by blow, but the numbers are a code to pages, lines and spaces in a specific book. This leads them to finding out who Bill, is mentioned in the code.
The clues lead them to a cryogenics lab and the guy tells him that Epstein was obsessed with immortality. It mentions his house in New Mexico where he was planning on impregnating 100 women to keep his line going. The show then tells how Epstein's body was removed from the morgue and flown to Florida hours after his death, and his body is not in the crypt.
They trace the key and the other clues to a mausoleum on a private island. The two investigators trespass to go inside the building and find a wall where the key fits. They open it and find that the room is empty. They've reached a dead end and leave.
Then the camera tracks through a crack in the room leading to stairs and into another room where there are cryogenic machines with the first one holding a brain, and the second one genitalia, a plague under it reads BUD.
Bravo to the writer or writers. They recreated Citizen Kane.
The double joke is the original movie has the journalists tracking down the word Rosebud, and not figuring it out as the camera shows the boyhood sled named Rosebud. The second joke is that Rosebud was the secret word William Randolph Hearst used with his mistress for her vagina, them man used as a model for Citizen Kane. BUB being used for cock and balls made me laugh my head off.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Today is books set in my city or state.
It's not possible to count the number of books, graphic novels, movies, TV shows that have dealt with William H. Bonney or known as Billy the Kid. I've driven through Fort Sumner, NM. a million times over my life and never had the urge to visit the outlaw's grave. We drove through Lincoln, NM on the 4th of July and watched their parade celebrating the Lincoln County War.

Naturally I set one of my books in Albuquerque. It's about a physics professor wrongly arrested and accused of selling cocaine. He develops super conducting plates that will levitate and turn anything they're under into a magic carpet. Naturally he uses them to make flying cars, but how do you sell them after 911? For a review by Berthold Gambrel click here.

The first book I remember being set in Albuquerque came out twenty or more years ago and sold respectably here, but not much better elsewhere. We have an international balloon fiesta every year in October (doubtful this year). Balloons are a regular feature in the mornings if the weather's right, and it usually is. They fly over my house regularly to land in the mesa behind my back wall.

The best selling thriller author, Joseph Badal, moved to Cedar Crest on the other side of Sandia Mountain from Albuquerque and has written two series of books set in Albuquerque and New Mexico. This is a picture of me buying one of his Lassiter/Martinez books at Treasure House books in Old Town.
The Lassiter/Martinez books of: Borderline, Dark Angel and Justice is about two female detectives who have to solve crimes and battle sexual harassment.

The Curtis Chronicles are about a doctor, who's also a retired Navy SEAL, who moves to Cedar Crest. His sister is murdered in Hawaii and when he goes to her funeral he tracks down the drug king pin who murdered her and takes down his empire. The drug dealer then decides to take revenge on Curtis and his family, trying to live peacefully in New Mexico.

George R. R. Martin lives in Santa Fe, where he writes his Game of Thrones books. Lew Wallace was the territorial governor of New Mexico and wrote Ben Hur in the Governor's Palace.

Tony Hillerman wrote about murder mysteries on the Navajo Reservation.
Please pray for the Dine people, they have been hard hit with Covid 19. The other native peoples across the country are struggling too.

Anne Hillerman, Tony's daughter has continued his work.

No Place for Old Men, and Best Picture Oscar winning film was filmed here, and of course the TV Shows: In Plain Sight and Breaking Bad, the spin off, Better Call Saul is still filming here. We now have three studios in the state with filming on hiatus right now, but it won't be long until they're making more.

My regrets to Dr. Irene Blea, Hank Bruce and Jonathan Miller who I've already posted about their works from Southwest Writers and Writers2writers.

Monday, May 25, 2020

10 Influential books no comment

Here's a meme from Facebook. Ten books that influenced my life the most. Without comment.
That's really hard!

Friday, May 22, 2020


Time to post pictures of pets. The Chihuahua is Bandit, the terrier it Sammie and the cat is our 18 year old Pippin. Named for Peregrin Took after the Fellowship of the Ring came out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WC 052020

Hmm, How would I  survive a zombie apocalypse?
At my age I couldn't outrun them. With physical problems I couldn't fight them. I'd get a shotgun and blow my brains out, so I couldn't become one.
Hope that's not too pragmatic for others.

I have written three books in how to survive a super volcanic eruption and volcanic winter. 
Just remember: When it hits the fan, you need a plan!
Available on Amazon unlimited.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Family pictures

 Had a call today. My brother is in the hospital for a heart attack. He's feeling better and wanting to go home, but they want to take tests and can't do that today. I'm sure he's driving them crazy and he's a bear when not feeling well. Here's some pictures of us growing up.

This was the day Mom brought me home from the hospital. Dad is as usual taking the picture.

This is us feeding squirrels. They could eat out of your hand. 

This is Bruce and me in front of the Record Music Company. The business owned by my Grandparents. Pueblo gets cold in the Winter.

And this is all of us, Dad taking the picture. Mom, Bruce, Penni and me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

WC 041320

A villain you would like redeemed and why?
Had to think about this one. I mean Scrooge was redeemed, did it make all the pain he inflicted any better? He gets to jump about and laugh, everyone else is still dirt poor. Daytime dramas always start a character as a bad person then redeem them through love. Been done to death.
Okay, here goes. Saruman for LOTR.
He was a good guy, just seduced by Sauron. Gandolf wanted to rehabilitate him. What if Wormtale didn't kill him. Maybe once Sauron was defeated Saruman would have come to his senses.


Joseph Badal's latest book, Payback. It's a standalone not part of his pervious series of books. I tend to like his standalones better than the later books in a series, that applies to all authors not just Badal.

In Payback Bruno Padace is a partner in an investment firm in 2008. He finds out from his secretary, who's having an affair with a senior partner that he's being set up to take the fall as everything is about to hit the fan for Wall Street.
Bruno grabs as many documents as he can get and bonds then disappears.
Ten years later one of the bonds he's stolen is cashed in California. Sy Rosen, one of the senior partners learns of the transaction and has a PI/hit man go after Bruno.
The plot of the story takes a number of twists and turns at this point. Janet Jenkins, who works at a battered women's shelter and is upset coming from a hospital where a woman was nearly beaten to death, but will return to her abusive husband and she can't do anything about it. 
She sees a homeless man clutching a battered briefcase as two thugs try to steal it. She chases them off and checks on the man to see if he's okay. Bruno follows her to her work and a few days later he meets with her at work and asks about her work. He devises a way to cash in all the bonds he still has and turns the money over to St. Anne's so they can expand their program.
The PI/hitman then follows Forsythe, the broker who cashed out the bonds and blackmails Forsythe into setting Bruno up. I'm leaving a few things out here, but Janet drives Bruno to meet Forsythe where the hitman kills Forsythe and shoots Bruno. Janet drives into the hitman pinning him against a car. Forsythe dies, but Bruno survives.
Forsythe was an alias for Carlo Massarino, of the Massarino crime family in New York. He and Bruno had grown up on the same block, went to high school and Harvard together. Carlo changed his name and moved to California to get away from the family business.
This is the set up for the Payback. Normally I don't that in-depth, but without that background what happens next wouldn't make sense.
Bruno goes back to New York and meets with Carlo's younger brother, Louis, who took over the family business. He claims he's gone legit as RICO had shut down most of the illegal business.
They devise a plan to make Sy Rosen and his partners pay for their sins. Bruno has a tough time convincing Louis to set them up financially and ruin them instead of just killing them.
Rosen meanwhile hires a professional hitter to find Bruno. The PI/hitman in is linked back to their investment firm and the DA in California is filing criminal charges for the murder of Carlo and attempted murder of Bruno. Rosen now wants Jenkins killed as well.
The suspense builds from this point on keeping the reader guessing. Janet flies to New York to be with Bruno and the DA sends two detectives to follow her so they can give Bruno a subpoena. At this point you have two detectives, a hitter, a mob boss with his crew and Bruno running a scam as Janet acts as a magnet bringing them all together.
Joseph Badal knows how to tell a remarkable tale that keeps the reader guessing the whole way.
I have one quibble. The whole action is started by Bruno cashing in that first bond that sets Rosen on his trail. It is never explained why after ten years of hiding out on the streets he cashes it in. An explanation would make the story have more sense.