The Fed Issues Commemorative “Beware the Takers” Dollar Bill!

Mad Takers money, yo!

Mad Takers money, yo!

Okay, not really, but Scott Vaughn (friend to this blog, Taker Supporter, and radio personality extraordinaire) is doing an exceptional job of spreading the word about the Takers, and it is perfect timing.  He wrote “Beware the Takers” on a genuine US dollar bill, and placed it on a wall at restaurant in Florida.  Here’s the email he sent with the pictures:

The family and I went to Carillon Beach, near Panama City Beach last week. We ventured over to Destin and ate at McGuire’s Pub and Steakhouse. The place is covered with “signed” dollar bills. Soooooo we left a Taker’s bill stapled to the railing.


El Barto strikes again.

Way to go Scott!  His self-motivated marketing efforts have moved me to start a new competition centered around either the Oz Chronicles’ books or Lost Days.  I haven’t worked out the particulars, and I won’t be giving away a Kindle again, but it will be of equal or greater value.  Stay tuned.  The new contest is coming.

The wall of moneys

The wall of moneys

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Lost Days – Post 18

This is the 18th installment of the book I am currently writing. It is Sci-Fi/Adventure for young adult. It is not part of the Oz Chronicle series. The first draft is completed, and it is currently under review by my agent, so the final version of the book will most likely look a bit different than what you read here, but I thought you might like to see a work in progress. Click on the “Lost Days Book” category on the right to read from the beginning. Or you can click here.

The next morning I grabbed a piece of toast and some juice and headed out the door on my way to school.  I had to escort my little dweeb brother to the bus stop at the corner.  He was a pain.  He was never waiting for me in the front yard like he is supposed to. I searched every inch of the front of the house and grew more and more impatient with each second that ticked away.  He was making me late, and today was one day I didn’t want to be late.  I wanted to be early.  Joyner was expecting me to tell him something I would only tell my best friend.  I had no idea what that was going to be, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.  If I did… well, let’s just say Grover might want to move out of our room, maybe even the house.

I turned up the driveway and was relieved and irritated to see him standing in front of the garage talking to granddaddy. 

“Grover!” I shouted.  “C’mon, butt wad, it’s time to go.”

Granddaddy looked up.  “Language, Hayley Wilkes.”

“Sorry.  It’s just that I have things to do this morning at school.” I said as I approached. 

“You got my backpack?” Grover asked me.

“Why on Earth would I have your backpack?”

He shrugged.

I stuck out my chin and shook my head.  “Grover, I swear to God… Go get it!”

He tore out for the kitchen door.

Granddaddy smiled and started tinkering with his wreck for a car.  “Got a test?”

“Hmm, me? No,” I said.  “I just got things to do.”

“Those things involve a boy?” he asked.  He talked while he examined one of the fenders.

“A boy?” How could he know?

“About the only time your ma was ever in a hurry to get somewhere when she was growing up was to go see a boy.  You are a carbon copy of her, too.  I expect if I could rewind your mother’s life and watch it from the beginning to now, I’d know just about everything you were going to do before you did it.” 

“It’s not a boy, if you must know.  It’s a test.”

He stopped and turned to me.  “I thought you said it wasn’t a test.”

“It’s not a regular test.  That’s what I meant.”

He squinted.  “It’s an irregular test?”

I nodded nervously.

He chuckled.  “Good luck with that then.”

I heard heavy footfalls on the wood stairs.  I turned to see Uncle Crew step onto the lawn.  He stopped, studied me for a minute, and then dropped his chin to his chest as he walked past me to the front of the house. 

“He’s embarrassed about last night,” Granddaddy said.

I wanted to say Well, yeah!  No duh! But I stopped myself.  Instead I said something almost as equally stupid.  “Do you believe him, granddaddy?”

He stood up and grabbed a dirty rag lying across the fender.  He slowly wiped his hands.  “That’s the wrong question.”

“What do you mean?”

“Took me a long time to figure out that it’s not important that a man believe in what his children believe in.  It’s important that a man believe in his children.  The question you want to ask is do I believe in him?”

I didn’t ask him.  I didn’t have to.  I had the feeling granddaddy was the only person who believed in Uncle Crew.  Well, with the exception of J-Rob, maybe, but he was too crazy to count.  Nana Taffy loved him, and would do anything for him, but she had her doubts about him.  Mom, too.

Grover burst out the back door.  “Got it!”  He jumped off the back steps and zoomed around the house.  “See ya’, granddaddy.”

“See ya’, squirt.”

I turned to chase after Grover, but stopped when granddaddy called out my name.

“Good luck on your irregular test.”

I grinned sheepishly and ran after Grover.

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Oh, to be Jeff Goldblum – A Tribute to a Celebrity Who Did Not Die Yesterday!

Amidst the frenzy caused by the deaths of Farrah and the king of pop yesterday, stories started to circulate that Jeff Goldblum had plummeted 60 feet to his death during a movie shoot in New Zealand.  The Twitterverse started to explode with Tweets wondering what was happening. An ominous “First Farrah, then Michael and oh no, not Goldblum!” buzz started to tweak the tweeters.  Was this the first sign of the apocalypse?  How could the universe take so many talented people in one day?  Tributes started pouring in for Farrah and Michael.  Surprisingly, I didn’t see any for Goldblum.  Maybe there wasn’t enough time because within hours the story proved to be false.  Jeff Goldblum is indeed alive.  But part of me thinks Goldblum was slighted by the lack of heartfelt accolades streaming across the Twitter ticker.  I would like to undo that wrong.  I am here to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Jeff Goldblum.  Call it my, “Yippie, Jeff Goldblum didn’t fall 60 feet and die,” remembrance!

My Favorite Jeff Goldblum Movie:  Annie Hall (actually it’s my favorite Woody Allen movie, but Goldblum was in it for like two seconds.)

My Favortie Jeff Goldblum Quote:  “I don’t go to these places where there are belly dancers and this and that.” (Neither do I, Jeff.  Neither do I.)

My Favorite Song that Makes Me Think of Jeff Goldblum:  “The Jeff Goldblum song” The video is below:

My Favorite Jeff Goldblum food:  Lots of sugary sweet gooey food because it reminds me of the movie The Fly, my favorite Non-Woody Allen movie with Jeff Goldblum in it.

My Favorite Jeff Goldblum Picture:

Shirtless in a fabric store - Classy!

Shirtless in a fabric store - Classy!

My Favorite Jeff Goldblum Poem I Wrote Without Putting Any Effort Into It At All:

Jeff Goldblum, 60 feet you did not fall.

I love like don’t mind am only slightly annoyed by your acting style, quirky speech patterns and awkward pauses and all.

Jeff Goldblum, reports of your death were fake.

Dude, that scene in the fly where body parts start falling off is awesome, but a little hard to take!

Jeff Goldblum were you Tenspeed or Brown Shoe?  I can never remember.

The only word I can think of that rhymes here is December…. I guess I could have used September.

Jeff Goldblum you are really tall!

Did I mention I’m glad you didn’t fall!

Feel free to leave your own Jeff Goldblum tribute in the comment section below!

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Picture of the Day! There really is such a thing as too many tattoos… and gigantic holes in your nose!

Hmmm…. Ahhhh….. That’s…. I….. I’m speechless…. and a little frightened.

Just missed making People Magazines sexiest man alive list.

Just missed making People Magazine's sexiest man alive list.

(BTW – this is the man who allegedly gave a girl 56 unwanted tattoos on her face when she fell asleep as he was applying the three she requested!  I, for one, am shocked!)

For something really scary, check out my book The Takers! 

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The Speidi Tax

You owe me money!

You owe me money!

I have a very resilient gag reflex.  It takes a lot to make me wretch like a frat boy, but I have found something that will move me to worship the porcelain gods with disturbing ease.  Nausea maker thy name is Speidi!  I have never watched a single iota of a millisecond of MTV’s The Hills which means I should be totally unfamiliar with the show and the schmucks and schmuckettes that make up the cast.  But alas that is not the case.  I know way too much about them.  I see them on magazine covers in the supermarket.  They appear on my favorite interweb news outlets.  They seemingly spontaneously pop up on my TV set at least 250 times a week.  All of them are bad, but none of them get under my skin quite like Heidi and Spence.  My fingers ache from having to type their names.  They are two of the most undesirable people I think I have ever seen acquire celebrity status.  To the kids out there, these are not people to emulate.  In fact, I would feel more comfortable recommending they be immolated (I am totally kidding.  Do not set them on fire…. A lot.).

I am so offended by these people that I have decided to create our country’s first citizen’s tax.  You’ve heard of a citizen’s arrest where an average citizens takes it upon themselves to arrest a criminal.  I am taking it upon myself to tax everyone associated with Speidi.  Every time I see their image I am collecting a tax.  Their parents owes me a tax.  Their representation owes me a tax.  MTV owes me a tax.  The president of TV owes me a tax.  The state of California owes me a tax.  The FCC owes me a tax.  Speidi owes me a tax.  I’m even going after the camera operators and support staff.  Everyone (no matter how small their role) should pay for perpetuating this unholy travesty.  I recommend you all do the same so you too can at least profit from being subjected to their stomach turning fame.  Fame officially means nothing.

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Meet My Next Car – The Škoda Yeti

The Elusive Yeti!

The Elusive Yeti!

Like a lot of cool stuff, I found this on Cryptomundo.  The Škoda Yeti is a SUV designed and manufactured by the Škoda Auto Company in the Czech Republic.  I know!  I was thinking the same thing.  Finally, the country with a dearth of vowels in their cabbies’ names is making a major contribution to our global culture, a friggin’ Yeti.  I have no idea how much it costs or even if it will be available for sale in the States, but no amount of money or US/Czech trade relations obstacles will prevent me from owning a Yeti, a friggin’ Yeti!  I don’t want to oversell my excitement, and I don’t have kids, but I imagine this is how a man feels when he finds out his wife is pregnant (with his baby).  According to Škoda, the Yeti has compact dimensions that guarantee easy handling and manoeuvrability.  I’m not sure what manoeuvrability is, but I think the Czechs used all their vowels in one word to make up for the lack of vowels in their cabbies’ names.  In addition, Škoda says the Yeti has extraordinary spaciousness, variability and comfort.  It does not have normal space, people.  It has extraordinary spaciousness.  Hopefully, Škoda will release the Yeti, the friggin’ Yeti, the same day my book about Bigfoot, Lost Days, is released!  Go Czech Republic!

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Why you shouldn’t have a pool when you live on the beach!

"Good morning!  Allow me to creep you out!"

"Good morning! Allow me to creep you out!"

I vacationed (or holliday’d if you’re of European persuasion) at Oak Island, North Carolina last week.  Had a great time with the fam, but the guy in the picture above decided that the pool at our beach house (rental) was better than the ocean.  I don’t blame him.  The pool had a much smaller shark population, and I saw very few jelly fish swimming in the chlorine filled waters.  But if you want to see a group of people with very little experience dealing with actual wildlife freak out, throw a crustacean in the pool they’re swimming in.  You would have thought a tiger pounced on one of us.

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