Monday, August 29, 2011

Backstory: A Run For The Money


Let us once again, without benefit of actually reading the book, look at the backstory of an American Literary Masterpiece.  Today's honoree is A Run For The Money, by Dale Clark.  Published in 1956, this jewel was part of the Ace Double Mystery series. 

Although not apparent by the cover, a second novel was included:  The Thin Edge of Mania by Mack Macklin.  "Mack Macklin" Is that a pen name or what?


But wait!  Mack isn't the only one with a shady name.  Some google-sleuthing reveals that "Dale Clark" is not the real name of the author of our book today!  Oh no.  "Dale Clark's" real name is Ronald Kayser. 





Well, if my name was Ronald Kayser I'd probably go by Dale Clark, too.  I assume he didn't go with "Dick Clark" because that moniker was already taken by a fresh-faced young lad in Philadelphia whose real name was actually Marion Dubois.  



But I digress. 


The cover of A Run For The Money gives us a little information about three characters in the book.  We are told there is a dead woman in a freezer.  We also see a sultry Arlene Dahl look-alike in the foreground.  In the doorway, a somewhat harried man is also pictured.  An endowed man who, if my eyes do not deceive me, appears to "dress slightly to the right."

What we are not told is that Arlene was the Dairy Princess of Johnson county in 1954.  She spent that glorious year promoting dairy products to the population at large.  Not bad work if you can get it.

The Johnson County Pork Queen was her arch-rival.  The two women were frequently scheduled to appear at the same non-kosher events.  The rivalry was intense.  Claws were extended.  Salaries were disclosed.  Greed was their constant companion. Not even the intervention of Miss Cornfield and the Maid of Millet could keep those two away from each other's throats. 



Enter one Mr. "Dress Slightly," whose real name is Carol Reed.  He is the dedicated and hard-working meteorologist at the local television station.  When storms arise, he stays at his post dutifully tracking storms and dispensing pieces of advice.  Advice like:  Carry an umbrella, wear your overcoat, or, haul your ass to the basement, there's a twister comin'. 


He is a pillar of the community.  He is smart and handsome.  He dresses to the right.  He has a steady job.  And he is the only man in the county that is both single and not related to either Arlene or the Pork Queen. 


I think you've seen enough Lifetime Movies to know where this is headed.  The question is, just who is the dead woman in the freezer?


The former Johnson County Pork Queen?


Miss Cornfield?


The Maid of Millet?

The Avon Lady?


Carol's Mom?


Arlene Dahl?


You've got the backstory, now go read the book and tell me what it's really about, k?

Friday, August 12, 2011

We Are Experiencing A Lull

Time between sessions of State and Federal lawmakers is sooooo deadly dull.  Let's see if we can find anything of note from elsewhere...

We had a bit of an incident at the 'ol biblioteca the other day:
demotivational posters - MUST FIND A ROCK


The Safety Dude came by the other day for a workplace ergonomic evaluation.  That was enlightening to say the least:
funny pictures history - Mary was overly cautious   when it came to pop-up books


While we all enjoy the Summer Reading Program, we do get a bit giddy when it's over.
funny pictures history - DO THE PRAWN!


The heat has driven away some of our more noticeable regulars
funny pictures history - Chaaange?

Finding new ways to beat the heat is a traditional pastime here in the desert.  A little music is soothing

funny pictures history - But They Won't Die Laughing...

A little gardening in the early morning hours is relaxing for some
wtf photos videos - Pink Killers


Travelling away from the heat is good.  Alaska is a destination popular with desert-dwellers
funny pictures - SHES RIGHT... I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM HERE


And a cool, refreshing, adult beverage shared with friends is always welcome
demotivational posters - ALICE COOPER HAVING A BEER WITH CORONEL SANDERS


Meanwhile, in Tombstone
funny pictures history - DUMBSTRUCK AND HORNSWOGGLED





Monday, August 08, 2011

A Tale of Two Libraries

Many of my co-workers at the Old 'ol Biblioteca are curious about the differences between their work and the things I do at the New 'ol Biblioteca.  I have set brain to spreadsheet and have come up with some surprising and some not so surprising stats.

It must be noted that my previous department catered, largely, to adults and the high school homework crowd.  This meant swift and hourly movement between 7 desks on 3 floors with a couple of hours off at times to do work in the back.  We also did not deal with public computers often.

At the New 'ol Biblioteca, there is one service desk, the building is on one floor, and children and teens and adults are all served.  And it's the size of a postage stamp.

Ergo, the following things happen at the New 'ol Biblioteca and not at the Old 'ol Biblioteca:
Storytime, Summer Reading Program prizes (now done for the summer), finding picture books and the like, and dodging piles of storytime craft materials in the storage closet, being able to leave right at closing because the customers are out of the building, and booking meeting rooms

Unexpected
Twice daily fish feeding
20 feet from desk to car
75% less chance that car will be vandalized or stolen
Sitting in a regular chair at a low reference desk instead of a rickety high stool at a reference desk does not increase customer intimidation
Commute one way 50% faster
Eating lunch at home increases the chance of vegetable consumption by 82%



The rest
Police calls down 89%
Foul unwashed customer odor down 99%
Chances of seeing a biological woman deformed by plastic surgery up 91%
Chances of seeing a biological male dressed as a woman down 72%
37% more likely to have a clean desk top as computers in the workroom are shared
Possibility of claustrophobia while in the workroom:  97%
67% less chance of seeing an administrator nearby
73% more goodies on the break room table
27% smaller break room table
100% fewer teens in heat running madly about
59% fewer teens


Chances of being injured by a pop-up book up 99%
funny pictures history - Mary was overly cautious   when it came to pop-up books



Meanwhile, in Iowa





funny pictures - This pig is wearing boots  Your argument is invalid

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