Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Web People Media is up!

Leha's website is up and running. Go to web people media and check it out. You can see a copy of Martin's Fire Dancing card there, as well as Randy's site-in-progress and past sites that Leha has designed. There's also art (my favorite part, heh). Here's a drawing that I love:

Beautiful, sigh. Good luck with the business, Leha, and I hope you get more work than you can handle!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


"Murdaland" is an old nickname for Maryland, especially Baltimore, which you'd know if you watched HBO's crime drama, "The Wire." I don't watch, so the nickname kind of surprised me (almost as much as when I overheard a restaurant patron here refer to people from Baltimore as "Baltimorons." I thought it was an insult, but apparently Baltimorons like the name. Go figure :)).

Maryland crime writer George Pelecanos, when asked which novel had been “most unjustly overlooked, criminally forgotten, or underappreciated over the years," named dad's book, Hard Rain Falling. On the blog The Rap Sheet, Pelecanos wrote:

Hard Rain Falling (1966), by Don Carpenter. “A stunning, brutally honest entry in the social realist school of crime fiction. Carpenter’s first novel, out of print but easily found, is on par with Edward Bunker’s Little Boy Blue in its shocking depiction of juvenile delinquency and the human cost of incarceration. The best book I read this year, hands down.”

Nice. This little blurb led some folks to a re-examination of the novel, and I got a nice letter today from (what else?) Murdaland magazine, asking if they could excerpt a piece from the book to print in an upcoming issue. They asked so nicely and so flatteringly that I could hardly refuse. This is actually one of the pleasures of being literary executor, when a small press publication asks to revisit dad's work. It's a format that I think dad would have loved...small indy press, hip, gritty, and possibly doomed to failure (but let's hope not!). It's an odd coincidence, I'm sure, that Marylanders and Baltimorons like dad's work, and here I am in Murdaland. Small world :)

They only publish two issues a year, and I'm not sure when dad's piece will appear, but I'll keep you all posted.

Hope everyone is well, and I'll be out on June 9th to see you all.


Friday, April 20, 2007

News of the Week

Leha's got a new business, Web People Media, and as soon as her website is up, I'll post a link. You go, girl :)

Kate and her friend Natalie participated in the National Day of Climate Action for Step It Up ( on April 14. Here's a picture from the event...Kate is toward the center, holding a sign ("Climate Change is REAL"), and Nat is standing next to her (in blue shirt). Looks like the march was a lot of fun, although somewhat damp. That polar bear is melting!

George is feeling better now, and the sun is out here in Maryland after a prolonged cold spell. I was starting to feel sorry for the baseball players, who are not used to playing in the snow and ice, but George reminded me that it's better than the poor football players who start practice in August in 100-degree heat and 90% humidity. He has a point there, but it's too early for my yearly diatribe about the horrors of humidity, so I'll shut up until July :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Two coincidences this week, both having to do with nature or the planet. First, Kate e-mailed me and asked "Have you ever read Edward Abbey? He's absolutely funny." Earlier that same day, George had picked up one of Abbey's books to reread. Ooooooo. Then Leha e-mailed the next day, asking me to sign Senator Boxer's Global Warming petition, about an hour after I'd signed it. Oooooooo, squared. Is it coincidence, or do we all just know each other too well? So Leha, yes, I signed the petition, and Kate, no, I haven't read any Abbey yet, but George has. And I plan to.

Yesterday I picked up Richard Preston's The Wild Trees, after seeing Preston plugging the book on The Daily Show. It's about people who climb and hang out in giant redwood trees. Read about it here, it's much more interesting than I make it sound. I also picked up a copy of Hey Ranger!: True Tales of Humor & Misadventure from America's National Parks, which is exactly what it sounds like. Should be fun ;)

It's pouring down rain, I've got a pot of Chile Verde on the stove, and a stack of books to wade through. When you think about it, it's kind of The Perfect Sunday.


Use a Rotary Phone--Save a Bee

George and I don't use cell phones. It's not because we hate them or anything, but we just never got around to it. Okay, I think George kinda hates them, especially when they go off in a theater. But our aversion is mainly practical--we lose things.

One thing I have never misplaced, though, is my old red rotary phone from the 386 Club. I have hauled this heavy thing around with me since I left Mill Valley in 1983, and we had it in the house since the late 60s. I made a lot of dates on this phone. Made crank calls on it, too. Answered many many wrong numbers, mainly for La Ginestra (or was it La Veranda?), the local Italian restaurant whose number was one digit off from ours. Yes, it's true, I even took a few pizza orders that would never be delivered, brat that I was. My junior high girlfriends and I would stay on this phone for hours at a time, sometimes saying absolutely nothing...just listening to each other breathe. And when my dad died, this was the phone that brought me that news. So it and I have a history that goes way back.

It has its advantages and its drawbacks. On the positive side, it always works during a power outage, and its bell rings loud and clear and sounds like a real phone, none of this annoying buzzing, beeping, vibrating, or cutesy ringtones. Its design is attractive and it looks very nice, much nicer than most modern phones. This design has been around so long that it's actually become hip. But on the negative side, you can't navigate through those menus that everyone now uses ("Press one for English, Press two for Spanish, Press Three for Esperanto," &c.), and the cord will only take you so far and no further. Portable it is not.

The one other thing this phone will not do is kill or confuse bees. I shall list that on the "positive" side of the slate...humans need bees. A study came out recently that blames cell phones for the escalating disappearance of bees:

"The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up."

Cell phones are handy, alright, but they might be more dangerous than we ever suspected. Unless you want to use them as a weapon. They simply have no clout, no heft, no oomph. But my rotary phone? Ouch.

Welcome to The 386 Club

This is a family blog, for Howards, Carpenters, Ryherds, Davises, Thurbers, and anyone else we're all connected to. Still a work in progress...