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53: Words- “The Cleaner” by Brett Battles

19 Sep

Quinn is a throwback. He is a cleaner who fixes messes for some top secret governmental agency. He’s a thinking man’s agent but with enough muscle, acumen and derring-do to get his way. “The Cleaner” is the first in the series and while a bit meandering in spots is a pleasing worthwhile thriller.

The Cleaner – Brett, Battles | Louella Bruning

Brett Battles‘ first novel, The Cleaner (2007), introduced recurring character Jonathan Quinn, freelance intelligence operative. Brett Battles (Brett Battles) on Myspace Brett Battles (Brett Battles)’s profile on Myspace

Publish Date: 08/29/2011 8:38



53: Words- Improv Comedy

5 Sep

We sat through a tortuous session of improv comedy the other night. Bad d*ck jokes by the gross complicated by poorly timed, vapid tête-à-tête. My conclusion leads to the difficult-to-attribute quote: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”  The Groundlings and Second City is way over here- everyone else- don’t quit your day jobs.

The Groundlings – Tapped # 1

53 Words: Talkups

30 Aug

A talkup is the arcane art of saying a bunch of often disconnected words during a song’s intro on the radio with the express goal of talking over the music until the very second actual lyrics begin. If you are on the money, you hit the post. It’s a lost art.

For example, the talkup on the song below would require one to talk jibbrish for about 12.5 second. Try it.

Merry Clayton – Yes (Extended Version)

53 Words: Pizza

30 Aug

Pizza says who you are. If you can get by on frozen store-brand stuff, pizza is calories (and fat) and nothing more. OTOH, if you care about the artisan elements of the pizza oven, crust, etc.. you are to reckoned with and stand by your pie. Best pizza place? See below.

The Backstage, Austin TX

Backspace – Neapolitan pizza, Antipasti, Italian Wines – 507 San Jacinto Austin, TX 512.474.9899

Austin American-Statesman, February 2011 "Shawn Cirkiel opened the backspace in December for the very best of reasons: He wanted to re-create Neapolitan-style pizza at home… We had mushrooms light and earthy, sausage bright with fennel and heat, ricotta and mozzarella like velvet spotlights, marinara that deserved a bowl of its own…"Austin Chronicle, February 2011 "The pizzas are the drawing card and are thought by many to be the best in town…the backspace is about as authentically Italian a…

Apizza Scholls, Portland OR

Apizza Scholls, Portland OR
Photo by Alex Leynes on flickr

Grimaldi’s, Scottsdale AZ
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria – Scottsdale, Arizona

Let Us Host Your Event While we specialize in NY style coal fired brick oven pizza, we also offer a full Italian menu designed specifically for banquets hosted in our private dining rooms. We can accommodate events from an intimate party of 12 to larger parties of 150 that spill out onto our courtyard and breezeway.
Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
Los Inmortales, Buenos Aires
Los Inmortales – Café, Pizza & Restaurant

Desde 1952, un clásico que ya es parte de la historia de Buenos Aires.
Little Deli and Pizzeria, Austin TX
Little Deli & Pizzeria

Listed in: Table for one, Intututionalized in Austin, When my dog decides where we… Listed in: Austin on the Cheap Listed in: Scant, Pizza pie-eyed, Freedom Trail, 2011
Geno’s East, Chicago

53 Words: The Phillies

30 Aug

Seasons of heartache. Seasons of joy. Art Mahaffey to Denny Doyle. Chris Short to Arnold Ray (Bake) McBride. Nasty fans. Loving, diehard fans. Shots over the Coke sign. The phanatic. Philadelphia Phil and Phyllis. Double Distlefink Day. Wallenda across the top of the Vet. By Saam. Harry Kalas. Better than the Cubs.

My Team: Always Was, Always Will Be
Bleacher Report >> Philadelphia Phillies Trade Rumors: 5 Pipe Dream Waiver Wire Deals
August 30, 2011

Connie Mack Stadium model, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by subwayrat82 on flickr

From 1919 through 1947, the Phillies finished last a total of 17 times and next to last seven times. A 1962 cartoon in a baseball magazine depicted a ballplayer arriving at a French Foreign Legion outpost, explaining, “I was released by the Phillies!”