Thank You!


Oy vey let’s eat!

I’m thankful for all the readers and supporters of Oz and the gang!  One more book to go!  And much to a recent reviewer’s chagrin, it will have more monsters. 🙂

Here’s hoping you and the ones you love have a happy Thanksgiving full of peace, joy, and turkey!

And happy Hanukkah to one an all!

New phone


My old ancient phone

I’m out of BlackBerry hell. Had that old phone for over five years. I’m actually posting from my new Android phone. It’s like I went from a rotary phone to a Star Trek communicator. Hopefully this will allow me to post more. Lucky you!

My snarky side

I had to go there.

I had to go there.

I was recently forced to turn to the snarky side in order to effectively register a complaint.  I say forced because I tried the nice approach.  I tried the patient approach.  I tried the slightly more annoyed approach.  When those approaches failed, I got downright testy.  It’s not something I like to do, and I was upset by something that was so unimportant that I almost let it slide. But, in the end, it became one of those “the principle of the matter” issues.  I write about it now because the organization behind my frustration did finally come through and fix the situation.

Here’s what nearly drove me out of my mind.  Twice a week, I would walk out to my car and see what looked like a newspaper on my lawn.  I don’t subscribe to the local paper so when it first happened I thought it was odd.  Upon closer examination, it wasn’t a newspaper.  It was something called the Savvy Shopper, and it consisted of mostly ads for products I not only had no interest in, I was now annoyed they existed because they were in a newspaper-like item that somehow magically showed up on my front lawn twice a week.  The paper, wrapped in protective plastic, went straight from my front lawn to the trashcan on most days.  The other days it lined the cat litter box.

Eventually, I decided this is ridiculous.  I’ll just call the company and have them stop delivery.  That’s when my real hell started.  Here’s my email to the company I sent to 50+ employees that eventually stopped the madness.

I realize that the world is crumbling into fine bits of pain and misery and this may seem small and insignificant,  but I find myself in a horrific chamber of Groundhog Day-like hell where two days a week I repeat the same unnecessary routine of walking out to my front yard, picking up a Charleston Savvy Shopper paper of torture and immediately tossing it in the trash.

Is this some evil experiment by your company to push me to the brink of madness, or is this just some poorly thought out garbage distribution program?  I’ve called the P and C, and I was assured it would stop.  When it was still coming two weeks later, I called again, and was given an email address of someone to contact.  Last week I sent the email hoping I had found the answer.  But alas it was not to be. Today I threw another Savvy Shopper into the trash.

For the love of God, someone help me!  Stop this insane policy of throwing litter on my yard!  I never authorized it, and I would really, really like it to stop!

(Address redacted.  Contact the NSA for all my personal information.)

PS – I’ve sent this to as many employees at P and C that I could find in hopes that there’s one among you that can end my nightmare.  Someone please step up and be my hero.

This is truly a silly thing to get upset about.  I totally get that, but I just wanted it to stop.  I’m sure I got someone in trouble because I received an email in response from the upper management.  I feel bad about that, but I didn’t know what else to do.

The Killing

Joel Kinnaman as Detective Stephen Holder in AMC's The Killing

Joel Kinnaman as Detective Stephen Holder in AMC’s The Killing

I am coming late to AMC’s The Killing party.  I am one of those poor wretched souls that does not have cable.  Why?  It costs too friggin much, and most of what is on cable, in a word, sucks.  I don’t need to know how to keep up with the Kardashians or know what a Honey Boo Boo is or watch brides freak out before their wedding.  For the most part, I am happy with my cable-less lifestyle.

I do miss AMC.  They have fantastic original programming.  Breaking Bad is my absolute favorite show.  Pound for pound, it’s the best writing I’ve ever seen on a television show. The Walking Dead has set the benchmark in the zombie genre.  Hell On Wheels, is entertaining as… well, hell.  And then there’s The Killing.

The Killing is a show that took me a long time to warm up to.  They made the first two seasons available on Netflix some time ago, but I passed it by because it didn’t seem like my type a thing.  Frankly, I’m tired of all the cop shows.  They’re all the same.  Someone’s murdered.  Cops with dysfunctional lives hit brick wall after brick wall until miraculously they piece everything together in an hour.

I started watching the first episode of The Killing a few months back, and I was interrupted about halfway through, and I just never went back to it.  To that point in the episode, I was at best, “Meh” about the show.  As I was wrapping up The Gore, I needed something to watch to just completely remove me for the book’s storyline.  I clicked on the first episode and resumed watching.  I made it through about 90% of the episode thinking I was done with the series.  It just wasn’t for me.  But, bam!  The last scene hooked me enough to watch the next episode.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the performances by all the actors in that scene were spectacular.

I can’t say too much about the storyline of the first two seasons, because every episode leaves you questioning everything you thought you knew about what had happened so far.  Yes.  It is about dysfunctional cops, and they do hit those brick walls, but the show goes much deeper than that.  You witness the effects of a murder investigation on both the family of the victim and the suspects.   And the crime isn’t solved in one episode.  It took them two seasons to solve the murder.

The acting is what sets this show apart.  In my opinion, Joel Kinnaman is the shining star in this series.  He plays Detective Stephen Holder, a former meth-addicted narcotics cop.  To say he’s got demons is putting it mildly, but somehow Kinnaman makes his character not only likeable, he makes him relatable.   Brent Sexton comes in a close second with his portrayal of Stanley Larsen, the patriarch of the victim’s family.  You can feel his rage just beneath the surface.  He wants to do the right thing, but he’s not sure what that is. The rest of the cast is excellent as well.   This is more or less Mireille Enos’ series, and she does a superb job of carrying it, but without Kinnaman, the show doesn’t work.

If you haven’t watched The Killing, check it out.  It is worth a subscription to Netflix. Do yourself a favor.  Stay away from any and all spoilers, because I guarantee you won’t guess who done it

Making money on Youtube

Did you know that the Youtubes (that’s how we old folks say it) isn’t just an ideal place to waste time and make you feel lousy about humanity?  You can also make money making other people feel lousy about humanity.  You could try to inspire them, but unfortunately I don’t think you’ll bring in much cash with those kinds of videos.

Or you could make educational videos like Olinselot.  In fact, his video featured here today explains how you can make money on the Youtubes.  In case you’re wondering, Lou’s Diary entries have made… zilch.  I may have to up my game and do something outrageous to attract more viewers.  Feel free to leave suggestions below.

No entry for Lou’s Diary this week

I recorded and edited the entry for Lou’s diary this week and then I turned on the TV where I learned about the horrible tragedy at the elementary school in Connecticut.  I’ve decided it would be in poor taste  to upload this week’s entry given that violence and despair are major components of Lou’s diary.  Add to that, many young people are readers of the Oz Chronicles, and I just feel it would be irresponsible to post the entry. True, it is fictional violence in a made up world, but nonetheless it would be insensitive to make it available for viewing at this time.  I will resume the diary entries next Friday.

I’ll end with this post with a quote from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

For some moments in life there are no words.