Book Review: The Tramp!


21371407The Tramp

Interesting Hubbard fantasy about a tramp, Doughface Jack. Jack is a bum who lives off trains and wanders about looking for the basic necessities of life. However this day, in escaping the law and running from a sheriff, he has an accident. An accident that nearly kills him but thanks to an old country doctor who knows a thing or two of surgery, puts his left and right hemispheres together and tops it off with a silver bowl. This somehow creates a man who puts out “meta rays.”

If Doughface is happy, people around him get cured of illnesses, the old become young again. But if he glares at you in anger or fear, you’re dead!

Interesting that through most of the story Jack is completely unaware of what he can do although others are certainly aware. Jack wanders about New York, starts accidentally killing animals, then the majority of New York’s finest. Not sure what to do, he cures a blind woman who can now see, is young and strong, and seeks revenge on those who wronged her.

She easily cons Jack into following her lead and soon she uses him as a weapon to take over the US government! What will the good doctor do now?

Typical pulp fiction of the day, but not just a story of power corrupting absolutely but with power, properly applied to help others, can perform miracles. A two-edged sword that keeps you guessing how this will end.

Recommended. Love to hear how the audio version of this sounds.

Where can I buy this?


Try these Amazon links:

Amazon Kindle:


New Edition Compilation:


Alternatives to your smartphone camera!


Instax MiniI know I wrote something on this earlier today, but felt that you need to know more about instant cameras such as Fujifilm Instax and Polaroid’s instant camera.


Yes, film is not dead.  Yes there are ways of sharing photos with actual PICTURES that you don’t have to wait forever to see.  It pops out of the camera.  And are a lot of fun! See Kodak’s instant camera for example.

Polaroid tried to have a analog/digital clone but it didn’t work out due to the battery life.  Polaroid was the original instant camera maker.  Remember the Land camera?

Fuji went for a younger audience that never had memory of film.  This was something new!  The current model I’m promoting, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 camera, is the top of the line model, with manual controls, can shoot black & white, and comes in many crazy colors.

  • Per their ad:
    Takes 2 – AA Batteries. Picture size-62 x 46mm. Viewfinder-Real image finder, 0.37x, with target spot
    New Selfie Mirror,Shutter Shutter speed:1/60 sec.
    New Macro Lens adapter for close-ups – 35cm to 50cm
    Automatic exposure measurement. The camera signals the recommended aperture setting with a flashing LED. This helps capture the perfect photo every time.
    Takes 2 – AA Batteries (best with Polaroid AA batteries)

    Just click on the Amazon link and check them out, read the reviews.  I’d appreciate that!

Stylish, Fun at Parties & It’s Not Digital!


Film is Not Dead!  Fujifilm!

Rather than have Nikon and Canon give up on film altogether and concentrate on their DSLR and mirrorless line of cameras, there is one plucky company that is bucking the digital trend.  Fujifilm.  Yes, Fujifilm makes some amazing DSLR and mirrorless cameras, but they also make film for the analog photographer.

But there’s something else.

  Instant Cameras.

You may remember the old Polaroid Land camera that was discontinued some decades ago.  The concept to taking a photo with instant analog gratification is still a selling idea.  In fact Polaroid makes instant film cameras now in many fun colors: Polaroid Snap Touch Portable Instant Print Digital Camera

I mean, what is more magical than taking a photo and holding it in your hand?

Of all its array of instant cameras, I suggest the Fujifilm Instax Mini90 Neo Classic!


It’s the most full-featured of the Instax Mini family of cameras.

  The Instax Mini 9!  Flamingo Pink, Icy White, and many more colors.

See the YouTube video showing a quick overview and specifications of the Fujifilm Instax cameras:

Film Is Not Dead!


Book Review: The Mirror, by Marlys Millhiser

Critic's Corner Reviews, Blogs & Photography

The Mirror, by Marlys Millhiser

Really surprised a movie was never made on this interesting fantasy “time travel” story. Similar to the 1980 film Somewhere in Time, you don’t need a time machine to get a taste of the past. Unfortunately for Shay and Brandy, they get more than a taste!

This is a story of two young women from the same family but separated by several decades of American “progress.”

Shay is a free-spirited girl, whose ideas of sex and marriage would make any Victorian-era woman frump and fuss – and musical tastes as the Bee Gees might do that too.  🙂


The story is actually the story of an Oriental mirror. Of unknown origin, it travels from one place to another, enticing its victims and makes itself known through the use of electricity and it’s many-fingered array along the edges of a very tall mirror. It hums and…

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Sea Devils 18 Silver Age Comic Review!


Sea Devils #18 starts off with strange creatures stealing coffee bean bags. Why? Biff says it’s because they want a cup of coffee. He gets panned.

Our intrepid quartet get in their subs and find bags of coffee along the way. Could they be lured into a trap?

Eventually we find a prehistoric area where if you hang around long enough you turn into a finned creature right out of Atlantis. As they change, Biff makes a joke about Judy. He is panned.

People are killed in this one. Also the funkiest, weirdest monsters DC ever created are in this one.

Interesting letter panel where kids ask the most intelligent questions about the sea.

Art by Howard Purcell.

Recommended for lovers of the funny, goofy Silver Age of Comics.

Film: Aquaman – A Forbidden Love!

You ever notice sometimes how “serious” critics take these superhero films and chop them to pieces, have likely never read a comic book in their life and more often than not have the imagination of an earthworm?

Excuse the rant!

First Thoughts:

Super impressive film, very much on par with the Silver Age silliness combined with the modern day badass hero Aquaman.

Story and Plot:

His intro in Justice League was fair, just enough to interest us. As with most DC films, the characters that seem to get the best treatment are written by comic book writers (Geoff Johns) and have a compelling backstory. Thus it was with Wonder Woman. Thus it is with Aquaman.

A woman of Atlantis is washed ashore by a lighthouse, rescued by Curry the Lighthouse Guy. After some fun swallowing goldfish, they fall in love and have a child and name him Arthur, half Man and half Atlantean (I didn’t want to say “merman”. )

Both Black Manta and Orm are in the comics and are both villians: Manta with his technical superiority and Orm with his hatred of his half-brother Arthur Curry are fuel for many stories in the DC line-up. In film though Manta’s story, though compelling and sad, is still a criminal from a generation of criminals, thieves and pirates. He makes his debut in the film as a man obsessed with revenge.

Orm wants to use Atlantis’ power to conquer the surface and rise to power as the Ocean Master. He uses Black Manta as a pawn in his game.

The most interesting piece in this “chess game” is Queen Atlanta, whose fate is unknown (until you get to the final scene, no spoilers!) and a few tearjerker moments will make a grown man cry. Really!

Will Orm conquer the kingdoms of the sea? Will Aquaman succeed in his quest for the one true Trident to unite the Kingdoms, defeat Orm and win the day, the girl and the throne?

Guess you must watch it!

Final Thoughts: Aquaman was often an under developed character in the DC Comics, up until Peter David and other writers fleshed him out, similar to how Batman was fleshed out from a silly comics character in the Adam West days to the gritty crime fighter.

Aquaman is not gritty, losing a fight here and there; but his story is compelling, the action is salivating and the themes of love, family and honor are strong.


Film Review: Ant-Man & Wasp

First Thoughts:

Not a bad film, but not nearly as well done as the first one. Forgettable but some entertaining scenes.  [PICK UP YOUR BLU RAY HERE:]

Story & Plot:

In the first film we’re introduced to Scott as an amateur thief with his cohorts, the usual quirky villians one would see in a Disney movie. The voiceover talking with a character’s voice over another was so overdone as to be annoying.

I liked the themes of family and forgiveness. I liked the quest to find Hank Pim’s wife lost in the Microverse (or whatever) and searching for her. I liked Scott playing games with is daughter. I even liked the dumb FBI agent motif. But then there was the Ghost.

The Ghost is a woman who, as a little girl, was caught in a wave that altered her body molecules. She hates everything Hank Pym since she figures he messed up her father and he tried a dangerous experiment anyway and killed her parents and gave her a short time to live.

What makes no sense is why her father had his family in the laboratory while performing what he knew to be a dangerous experiment.

Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer: Tiny superheroes go on big adventures - watch videoShe can walk through walls, is hard to hit and has a tragic history. But the movie does not play her up enough to be a tragic character, could have been a great character study but is a side note. Blown a good potential character development, Marvel!

And then there’s the criminal character, the gangster who deals in black market merchandise with his little gang.

So we have two factions up against Pym trying to save his wife and is missing stuff that the gangs can give him, but things get screwy with the Ghost and her partner.

And of course the car chase (with shrinking and expanding vehicles) and the Giant Man, and the citizens and police of San Francisco caught in the middle and have no clue what is happening.

Image result for ant man and wasp trailerLast Thoughts:

Wow, just writing this review made me realize this is a Disney film! Right out of the 60s and old Dean Jones, Herbie, those kind of films.  Great special effects though.

Last Last Thoughts:

To understand the after-credit scene you must see Avengers 4 first. A bittersweet moment with Stan Lee is also well worth the watch.

Recommended, three stars for effort and for effects.

To Say Nothing Of The Dog: Willis!

To Say Nothing of the Dog (Oxford Time Travel, #2)To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first introduction to Connie Willis’ Oxford time-travelers was Doomsday, a dark book with themes of death, disease and the odd vagaries of time travel. Dived into All Clear and Blackout in the same universe, though not nearly as dark, held my interest and made me want to look up everything related to The Blitz and England during World War II.

But what of her first book in this universe?

Checking out To Say Nothing of the Dog was a bit underwhelming at first. The book plods along with the characters looking for the “Bishop’s Bird Stump”, an awful example of Victorian art, while they follow the demands of a clueless matron, Lady Shrapnel, as she uses her influence at Oxford 2057 to recreate the Coventry Cathedral.

The story picks up when our time-lagged hero finds himself in Victorian England, and though Connie’s humor is subtle at times (and downright groan-worthy!) Ned Henry’s adventure is pretty hilarious. His infatuation with Verity (caused by time lag?), his trying to right history and the fear that their interference may prevent the Allies from winning World War II make for some interesting reading.

The author really makes the book a bit too authentic. I spent plenty of time looking up what all these cathedral items were that they were discovering, the flitting from century to century, second-guessing each other as to motives and mysteries, and using Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot as a template to solve the mysteries was fun to read.

Can you imagine a world where cats are extinct? Ned’s clumsy efforts with dogs and cats makes for some laugh out loud moments as well.

Bottom Line: If you’re into mysteries then this book may be for you. The romance is touched on and not well done. However the “continuum’s” trying to correct itself and the convoluted plot, though trying this reader’s patience, still makes for some interesting reading.


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Passage, Connie Willis!

PassagePassage by Connie Willis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another interesting tale from Connie, but again not up to her standard set in The Doomsday Book. Two characters are interested in what happens in life after death, but one guy, Mandrake, wants to profit from it, so he asks leading questions to get them to make up stuff, ruining any chance of true discoveries.

Overall not a bad book; read this once before and it was forgettable then and so much so that I forgot I read it before! Read Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. Much better stories.

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