Saturday, March 31, 2012

Picture Page Sunday #6

Another week come and gone already? Well then, here are some pictures. LOL Here's wishing you all a great day!

Video Break #10

Winger and Adam Lambert.

For Jennifer

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Influences #6 Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary ….

What a chilling opening line for one of the most famous poems ever written. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.

I remember the first time I read that poem. I was in my local library on a class field trip. I was in the 5th grade and I wandered upon a book by Poe called “The Raven - and other poems by Edgar Allan Poe” and was drawn to the cover. My eyes grew the size of coconuts when I read that opening line and I thought - “What have I found here?”

My teacher appeared pleased with my choice. She asked me why I picked out that book. I told her, “because I like that word, dreary.”

Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on January 19, 1809 and died on October 7, 1849. He was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American romantic movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

I think I was also drawn in by the mere name, Poe. It sounds scary and as a young boy, I loved anything that was scary. My mother would always say I was an odd kid because I was fascinated with the dark and all the perceived notions of creatures and monsters written that lurked in that darkness. We lived on a farm once and my mother hated it because when night would fall, I was nowhere to be seen. Only to discover I was out in the middle of the woods trying to find out what creatures did lurk in the shadows. Real creatures, that is. Just me and my dog, Pepper. I was never afraid when Pepper was by my side.

She and I used to go camping together. I would take my two man roll up tent, strap it on back of my motorcycle along with my sleeping bag and ride five miles into the dense forest around me and to the edge of a creek bank and spend the night with my dog, a flashlight and an Edgar Allan Poe book.

Good times.

Even to this day, my parents and I will talk about those days when I would disappear on the weekend or during the summer to go hide out and read. Once, I took my fishing pole and was gone for five days. My mother was set to send the cops looking for me, knowing I had probably gone off to the creek but I went further down the creek than normal and my older brother eventually found me on his motorcycle. “Mom is freaking out. You have been gone for almost a week. Don’t you think it’s time to go home and let her know you’re still alive?”

I was about 12 years old then.

I bet you couldn’t do that now a days. What with all the social fear of pedophiles and crap. Not to mention the way everybody overreacts to everything. Even an unmarked packaged left over by some forgetful elder becomes suspicious and the entire police department is called in to check it out along with the media from ten different countries. Only to find out it’s just a new pair of shoes.

But that was how I loved to read as a kid. By myself. Alone. Isolated.

Pepper has long passed away. I miss that dog to this day. And those summer nights camping by the rolling creek. But I cherish the fond memories of the moments I had and credit Edgar Allan Poe as being the inspiration in my subconscious for writing songs and poetry. That could also explain why I have a strange fascination with Boston. That is where he was born. My favorite baseball team is the Atlanta Braves but they originated in Boston before moving to Milwaukee and then, to Atlanta. And I also used to be a fan of the Boston Celtics in basketball.

Poe also attended college at the University of Virginia, having lived in Richmond, and I used to live in Norfolk, Virginia briefly for a couple of years. He also served in the United States Army. So did I.

At the age of 26, Poe married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm.

In January 1845, Poe published his poem, "The Raven", to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication at the age of 25. He began planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

It’s just so amazing to me how much I have in common with this man. His life, his travels, his mannerisms. I often wonder if I am some kind of reincarnation of ….. Okay, I am snapping out of it. Still, how often do we read about the greats dying in poverty? In fact, he died pretty much in obscurity. His work, on the other hand, will live on forever in our society and will always be considered great if not, ground breaking.

One of my favorite Poe stories is “Murders In The Rue Morgue” Looking back, I now consider Poe as being the first Vincent Price.

Here is “The Raven” in its entirety. Enjoy.

THE RAVEN by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Source: Wikipedia -

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -

Carroll's DVD review #11


Ever hear that old saying, you get better with age like wine? Well, Sandra Bullock fits that saying to perfection. I always found her to be a beautiful woman, but it’s like the older she gets, the more beautiful she gets too. As for her acting, I always thought she was one of the super talented ones, just never really liked the movies she was in. A few of them, yeah, but for the most part, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch them.

This movie I prejudged and never did go see it on the big screen. Now I wish I had.

I saw this DVD lying on my sister’s coffee table. She said I would like it and told me to take it home and watch it. I did. Thanks sis. I am not one to watch movies with sports in it. There has only been a few at best that I did enjoy. The movie Major League and its sequel are two of those three. The third one is called “A League Of Their Own” - That’s it! Those are the only sports movies I ever really enjoyed.

My sister said this wasn’t as much about football as it was about human relations. The story is about a high school kid who is basically homeless because his mother is a drug addict. Sandra’s character ends up taking him in and making him a part of her family. This kid ends up getting better grades, getting back on his high school football team and goes to play for Ole Miss before getting drafted in the first round of the NFL.

I really loved this movie. I even *Cough* got a little teary-eyed. Sometimes, I like a heart warming story every now and then.

Okay, so now I like four sports movies. Haha

I give it …. 8 and a quarter Stars. And Sandra Bullock, I want to take you out on a date girl. You can have anything on the menu … But I’ll have you. LOL

If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and see it!



Quintin Tarantino does it again. Or maybe it’s because I can be such a guy sometimes. But for every “The Blind Side” I watch, I have to watch a movie like this, just to pump up my masculinity.
Kurt Russell stars as a sociopath stunt driver who gets his kicks stalking beautiful young ladies in his Dodge Challenger. So yes, there is a huge car chase. I also like how he filmed this, like some old 70’s movie. (Scratchy) You’ll see if you watch it. But fair warning, it is a guy flick all the way, ladies. So here is a good idea, go out this weekend and pick up these two movies, this one for him, "The Blind Side" for her, and watch you and your man bond happily.

My rating: Okay, I’ll give it a solid 7 stars. Most in part because it is just different, it’s a guy flick, and I like Tarantino movies.

Carroll's Journal #13 (Hira)

I had another strange dream last night. Some dude from the electric company was discussing my bill with me. They wanted to charge me a five dollar fee because they were afraid that my check would bounce. I had to explain that I never bounce checks. That I am retired and have plenty of money and it’s not my fault that they were afraid it would bounce. Besides that, I told him that if they thought it would bounce in the first place, then why add five additional dollars to the bill? LOL

Anyhow, we ended up going to a cafeteria to have lunch and continue discussing it and while he was holding his tray, talking to me as we walked to our table, his nose starting dripping this light green snot and it was dripping right into his food on his tray.

Very gross! LOL

Anyhow, it’s no secret that Hira and I are best friends. She is like a little sister to me. She is a mod in all my groups. A member of my authors only group, and we both are admins on each others blog. She also calls me up from time to time and currently, we are in the process of her giving me a phone interview for my upcoming book release, OF THE LIGHT.

We were talking the other day and one thing that came up in conversation is, why are we such good friends? Being the smart ass I am, I gave her ten reasons right off the top of my head and they are as follows: #10) Because I am handsome. #9) Because I am handsome? #8) Because I am handsome! #7) She think I am handsome. #7) Because she thinks I am sooooo good looking? #6) I’m cute. #5) Because I am adorable. #4) Again, because I am handsome. #3) She thinks I am really handsome. #2) Handsome, handsome, handsome. And number one reason ….. Handsome! ….. LOL

Of course, I am just kidding around. It made for a good laugh.

She decided to get serious and finally convinced me to as well. She wanted me to put together a more serious top ten list and so … after thinking about it, I agreed I would. So, here it is Hira, the top ten reasons why I think we are such good friends.

Number 10) … Sense of humor. - You laugh at my jokes, and that’s a plus. Not very many people get my warped sense of humor. It doesn’t seem to bother you. Take for instance that pic I sent you of me wearing a veil. You always post pictures of yourself wearing the veil so in jest, I sent you one of me wearing a veil which was actually my Ohio State Buckeye shirt, but you laughed at it. You thought it was clever on my part. You got the joke. Not everyone has that kind of sense of humor. (Meximelt)

Number 9) … Muslims don’t scare me. - I know there are some people out there who are a bit intimidated by Muslims because of the terrorist thingy but not I - I accept all people for who they are with no regards as to sex, race, religion or even political affiliation.

Number 8) … You’re good people. - Some people pretend to be something they are not. (Meximelt) But you, and pretty much the people in my Goodreads group, are real. You’re honest and caring and you don’t play games. You have no hidden agenda where I am concerned. A lot of girls (Meximelt) they are just into my picture so much, you know? They fail to try and get to know the real me. Or they see my picture and get preconceived ideas of how I should be or something. You take me as is. Another big plus in my book. You have no hidden agenda. I like that.

Number 7) … Writing. - You are just as passionate about writing/poetry as I am. I think that’s a good rapport to have with anyone. Or connection.

Number 6) … Chemistry. - Sometimes the universe just has a way of bringing two people together who can teach one another. I know I teach you a lot about writing and stuff and there are things I learn from you. Like how to run a blog. LOL And the fact that you don’t do it (help me) because you want to jump my bones like other girls (Meximelt) is a weight off of my shoulders. It makes it much more easier for me to just be myself. No pressures.

Number 5) … Safety. - It is safe for me to be friends with you. I don’t have to worry about you getting all goo-goo eyed and in love with me like some other girls. (Meximelt) And because of your religion, I know you have no ulterior motive. We could never fall in love with each other because you can only be with/marry another Muslim and I will never be of any religion except that of what I already am. (Pantheist) So it’s safe to be your very good friend. Our love comes from friendship. The best kind ever!

Number four) … Trust! - I trust you completely. Our honesty between us is uncanny. Only with my manager and Vincent have I ever placed so much information about myself with someone and trusted that all of my secrets and skeletons are safe with you. That you will never betray me like some would/do. (Meximelt)

Number three) … Common Interest. - We just have a lot in common. Period.

Number two) … Music. - You love music almost if not more than I do. Our tastes are very similar. That could fall under the category of common interest however, my musical flavors range from rock, pop, metal, to country and bubblegum and everything in between. Not many have such a wide range of musical tastes.

And number one reason why I think we are such good friends is …. Because I am handsome. LOL
But seriously, why does it matter what the reason is? We are friends. I know your secrets, you know mine. You are going to marry someday and have kids and live a most amazing life because you are a most amazing young lady. And through it all, you’ll always have a direct line to your friend Carroll. And I’ll always be wishing you the very best of happiness and good fortune. I know a lot of things about the future scare you, but that’s why the universe brought us together as friends to begin with. I help you and you help me. You’ll never have to face those fears alone. I’ll always be here, ready to be your best friend.

** tear **

Video Break #9

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In The News: Trayvon Martin

Okay, I have been following this crap in the news and now, I can hold my tongue no more. I am talking about this Trayvon Martin killing.

I first want to say that the number one problem in America is commonsense. (Or lack thereof) Not very many people have it and it is clearly a major problem in this incident as well.

Listen here people, this whole thing started when some idiot (George Zimmerman) is patrolling his neighborhood watch while carrying a firearm. What part of this scenario doesn’t scream “problem”? I don’t care if it’s legal in your county or state to carry one or not, I don’t think neighborhood watches (civilians playing cop) should be allowed to carry them period! So right there, Zimmerman is responsible.

Now, this is America, and in America, citizens have every right under the constitution to walk from point A to point B without being impeded or accosted by anyone! This includes police and neighborhood watches. The kid was walking. It doesn’t matter the time of day, it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a hoodie, every citizen in this FREE country has a right to walk from point A to point B without fear of being accosted. Period!

There is nothing suspicious of anybody who is walking to a destination. Period!

Now, if Trayvon Martin was loitering, hanging around and doing nothing in the same spot for any length of time, then yes, I could consider that suspicious. Sit and observe. What is so fucking difficult with that? Maybe he was waiting for a cab or a ride or something. But no, Trayvon wasn’t loitering, he was WALKING! To a destination.

This is why I feel that this Zimmerman idiot should be arrested and charged with murder. Not premeditated and certainly not for a hate crime as I do not believe that race played any part of the incident. But arrested he should be and the police are idiots for not doing this because it is all commonsense. There was nothing to be suspicious about to begin with! Zimmerman initiated the whole thing, Period! Thus, Zimmerman should be held accountable for using deadly force, but not for a hate crime.

Which leads me to some more idiots.

The Black Panther Party. Now this is a racist organization if ever there was one. They are just as racist, if not more so, than the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation. Now we have one of the idiot leaders of this idiot / racist organization who goes on air to the national media and puts a bounty on Zimmerman. Where are the FBI here? Why aren’t they arresting this Black Panther Party idiot for doing that? The last time I knew, that was against the law. They should arrest this punk and try him for terrorism.

And they should arrest any punk from the Black Panther Party who endorses or are found to be a part of this bounty. Because when you get right down to it, that’s all they are, a racist organization of punks, thugs and idiots.

Here is the solution: Police, arrest Zimmerman for murder because he did murder this kid, end of story. Zimmerman had no right whatsoever to call this kid suspicious for WALKING! Down the street and minding his own damn business. That punk from the Black Panther Party who placed a bounty on Zimmerman should be arrested. (And anybody found to be associated with that bounty) And Americans, don’t you think it is about time you pull your stupid effing heads out from your stupid effing asses? And start using commonsense?

And African Americans, don’t you think it’s about time you shut up about every crime against you being a hate crime? (Speaking of which, I am against the term “hate crime” to begin with. It’s stupid!) It’s just that you lose credibility when every time you cry wolf when wolf isn’t necessary.

And to the Black Panther Party. Go away. Just like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan nation, PETA, NAACP, NOW, democratic party and the GOP, just go effing away. We don’t need you punks out there promoting hate and racism. Just shut the hell up and go away.

The bottom line is this: A kid was shot and killed for doing nothing more than walking down the fucking street ….. IN AMERICA! For Christ’s Sake. I would expect this kind of thing in China, North Korea, maybe even in South America and Mexico or something …. But this is AMERICA! The land of the free?

Or am I missing something here?

There, I said my peace. I feel a lot better now. LOL

Feel free to chime in.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Video Break: Paris Hilton Special

Here is someone who could never get enough of publicity. Funny, getting older seems to have slowed her down a bit. And here I thought she would still be taking off her clothes at age 80 trying to get more attention. Chin up, Carroll old boy, she'll be 80 soon enough. Who knows. LOL

By the way, for as long as I have been a playboy, is it any wonder that her and my paths have yet to cross? Haha If we ever did (do) I bet that would make a few headlines. LOL

Let's see, she acts, she has a sex video, she had a TV series. Oh, let's not forget her Carl's Burger commercial. (Yeah, really hot) LOL And of course this ... she sings and has a video. Actually, I think she has a few videos out. This one is my favorite. Not a bad singer actually, just needs better songs. Enjoy!

Carls Burger commercial. What the heck. LOL

Okay, what the heck, we went this far so we might as well go all the way. LOL Here is her other music video called "Stars are Blind"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Picture Page Sunday #5

I had a dream last night that I took my date to Wendy's and our order came to over 40,000 dollars! I guess that means one of two things, my date was a rather large woman or ... gasoline costs one million dollars a gallon. I am trying to decide which one of those two I would rather it be. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures! LOL

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Carroll's Journal #12 (Meximelt)

So I was watching Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN. His guest? Gloria Allred, some hot-shot, big-time discrimination / civil rights lawyer or something-another. Anyhow, she represented the mistress to Tiger Woods when the mistress sued him for “lying” to her.


Come on! This mistress is a porn actress. (Not a porn star because I never heard of her before the Tiger Woods incident and even now, I still don't know her name and I watch a ton of .... never mind ) And it’s not that I don’t think porn actresses should not be given their basic human dignity and **cough** respect, but to sue Tiger Woods for lying and misleading? You’re telling me that this girl didn’t know she was being used?


So what if Tiger lied to her? So what if he promised her the moon? It happens all the time in everyday life. Men and women meet, one plays the other, the relationship is over. Life goes on. And don’t think for a moment I am taking sides with Tiger Woods. No way!! But how did this mistress not know that she was the mistress? I mean, did she really believe that Tiger Woods, perhaps the greatest golfer of all time, arguably, would leave his wife and kids at the time to be with a **cough** porn actress?


And of course, Gloria Allred goes off on some rant about how she is sick and tired of guys misleading women in relationships, lying to them and breaking promises. Excuse me? This is the part where I had to race out the door and dry-heave myself into unconsciousness in my yard. It certainly gave the skunk passing by something to talk about with the wifey when he got home I’m sure. “Guess what sweetheart? Crossing Carroll’s yard this morning, I saw him dry-heaving. What do you think it means?”

“Well dear, did you shoot your stink at him?”

Moving on ….

What about the girls who mislead and lie to guys?

It does happen, you know? In fact, it happened to me recently with Meximelt. You don’t think I would just love to go get me a lawyer and sue the taco burrito out of her ass for all her lies and broken promises? I mean, I ignored promoting my books because of her. How much in sales did I lose because of that? And then for her to turn around do what she did and get others to break their promises to me in interviews and reviews, how many sales did I lose there? I’m looking at cha-ching!

It all sounds nice on paper, doesn’t it?

Here’s the thing: Sure, it all looks good from the broken heart angle, I mean, to sue someone for lying about their feelings for you, breaking promises and stuff just so they can get you into bed or … whatever their motive is. And if this is where our society has evolved then maybe I should go out and contact a lawyer and sue the jumping beans right out of Meximelt. But because she is a full time student, and last I heard, didn’t have a job, jumping beans and taco burritos might be all I get out of her in the lawsuit.

No offense to Mexicans. I love Mexican girls. They are my Kryptonite.

Here’s the point though, I don’t want to have that option in society. And do you know why? Fine, I’ll tell you why. Because I should have to pay a price for being stupid (Not rewarded) like Tiger Woods mistress.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I was stupid.

How was I stupid, you ask? Very good question, allow me to elaborate for you. First of all, I knew fairly early in that Meximelt was not everything she let on to be. She contradicted herself constantly. I knew right from the word “go” that she was baiting me, ready to hook me and reel me in. But I turned away from it.


Yes! I overlooked it. I thought I could “change” her. I wanted to believe her. I wanted to believe in her. I was wrong. And I have been around enough to know that I was wrong before I was even proven wrong. I was stupid. Just like the mistress for Tiger Woods was for overlooking the giddy words and text messages of love "for the moment" to actually believe them when she knew, like I did, that she was nothing more than a porn actress to him just as I was nothing more than a play-toy to Meximelt.

Stupidity should not be rewarded. Not even mine.

This is why we say, “Live and learn” because we live through these moments of other people’s lies and deception and “we learn”!!! Or something to that effect.

Of course, not all of us really learn, which is why we keep getting dumped on time after time. (I blame it on my blonde hair) Although, it’s not that I don’t learn as much as I have this bad habit of thinking that people are trustworthy first and having hope in that.

Live and learn.

It’s like this, Gloria Allred, guys are not the only ones who lie, mislead and break promises. (And hearts) Girls do it too. Not all guys and girls, but some of them. Maybe a lot of them. I’m pretty sure the numbers are pretty even with each other. And because Gloria was making it out to be like all guys lie and girls never do, well, it really got under my crawl.

It’s like my grandfather says, “It takes two to tango … unless you’re into threesomes.”

Nice one gramps. How about I take you out to lunch? We’ll go to Taco Bell and I’ll order you a Meximelt.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Random #2

Why is it that everytime I get done house cleaning, doing the dishes and the shopping, I always feel like I have accomplished something great? LOL It's just a wonderful feeling, isn't it?

Okay, my hernia is healed and for the past five days I have sweating like a pig, working out, trying to drop the few pounds I picked up while nursing my self back to health.

I have also been working on my book, OF THE LIGHT, getting it ready to be sent out to the publisher in a couple of weeks. Trying to make those last minute story decisions.

I also have to get to the studio soon and wrap up my latest song and get it on youtube.

Oh, I also wanted to share some pretty good book blogs too.

First up, Book Chick City. I really like this blog. Over 2700 followers so yeah, it must be pretty good.

Here is another, Never Ending Stories. I love what Tt has done with her blog. It is amazing! Check it out too. And tell her, and Book Chick City, that Carroll Bryant sent you. LOL

Here are some really good authors to check out. I am posting a link to their Goodreads profile so you can learn more about them.

Nely Cab

Doc Coleman

Randy Attwood

Ronald Craft

If you connect with them, tell them you learned about them here.

Oh, and here are some trailors I came across of authors and their books. I thought I would share a few with you. Enjoy!

Amy Neftzger and her "Story Books For Pets". She also plays drums for Lucky Munk. Being a songwriter myself, I have to appreciate it when authors can play musical instruments too. LOL

And this last one is by author, Sherry Jones, and her book trailor for "The Sword Of Medina"

If you would like to connect with Amy or Sherry, below are their Goodreads links:



Side note: None of these authors or blogs have offered me anything in return for these shout outs. I do this of my own accord and at random. I'm just giving everybody who loves to read an opportunity to discover more books and entertaining ways of spending your internet time. Speaking of which, a quick shout out to my friend Joe Pinkney and his website.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Carroll's DVD Review # 10


I like a good western movie every now and then. (Or a good Indian flick) This is an HBO films presentation that was released 2007. It's not action packed, so don't go into it thinking you're going to get Hollywood, because you aren't. What you will get is a historically told, well-written movie that accurately portrays the events as they were documented during the times.

Inspird by Dee Brown's acclaimed best-seller, this story begins powerfully with the Sioux triumph over General Custer at The Little Big Horn. The action settles on the struggles of three characters: Charles Eastman, a young Dartmouth educated Sioux doctor, Sitting Bull, the proud Lakota chief who refuses to submit to U.S. government policies designed to strip his people of their identity, their dignity and their sacred land, the Black Hills of the Dakotas, and Senator Henry Dawes, one of the men responsible for the government policy of Indian affairs.

In short, this story is about the massacre at Wounded Knee and the events that led up to it.

It stars Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, August Shellenberg and Anna Paquin.

I loved it! It just goes to show that you don't need a blow them up, high priced action scene to make a remarkable film about the death of the old West. Sometimes, great writing, great acting is more than enough. And it was more than enough in this film.

I give it 8 1/2 Stars. (And I will be watching this one again sometime)



Gary Busey, Michael Worth and Jeff Fahey star in this forgettable Western. Well, forgettable for me. I fell asleep midway but woke up just in time to watch the climatic ending which led me to be grateful for falling asleep to begin with.

I do not feel the need to continue this review.

I give it ..... (drum roll plesae) .... 2 and a half .... No! Wait! I do like Gary Busey and Jeff Fahey so ... let's be nice, shall we? ..... 3 and a half Stars! (4 Stars if the only other option for the day is to accompany your wife at the Pottery Barn)

That's it for this week, have a great weekend and here's hoping you get to watch an awesome movie!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Influences #5 Michael Jackson


Say what you want about MJ, the dark cloud of his personal life and the abnormal behavior. The accusations of child molestation. The man could write! He could dance! He could sing! He was a visionary and an innovator. He was a performer, the most electrifying entertainer that ever lived.

I will always remember Michael as a humanitarian for the children. A man of peace. Pushed hard in his childhood by his domineering father, it is my opinion that he had no choice but to strive to be the best. His videos always ranked as the most entertaining of all time. Nobody took advantage of the video medium more than Michael.

With all his talent, people tend to overlook the fact that he was a great songwriter. Sure, his dancing was second to none and perhaps with the exception of Elvis Presley, nobody has been impersonated more.
Eccentric? Sure, but then again, so are all the great ones. That may be the price that is paid. To be secluded from the rest of the world. Stars always have a problem with privacy, this is a documented fact, but when you’re the biggest star of them all, it has to be worse. Not that I ever feel sorry for actors and singers and the like, when you decide to go into the entertainment business, you know going in what the deal is.

For nearly 45 years, Michael Jackson spent the most part of his entire life in the spotlight. Hit after hit with his brothers, and then as a solo artist, Michael stood alone as the voice for not just one generation, but for three or four. His influence continues to this day for many. He was the king of pop, the king of videos, and the king of entertainment in general.

Many people do not know that he had a sixth brother, Brandon, who died at birth.

After his breakthrough solo album, “Off The wall” separated him from his brothers, no one even dared to think he would shatter record sales with his second solo release, “Thriller” in 1982. All but a couple of the songs on that album found its way to the top 40 pop or soul charts, producing hits such as, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” “Wanna Be Startin Something”, “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” and the title track itself, “Thriller”, just to name a few.

In December 2009, the music video for "Thriller" was selected for the National Film registry by the Library Of Congress, "Thriller" is the first music video ever to be inducted.

Michael Jackson reunited with his brothers in 1984 for their “Victory Tour” and donated all 8 million dollars he received for it to charity.

“We Are The World” song won four grammys (One for Michael for song of the year) It became on of the best selling singles of all time, with nearly 30 million copies sold and millions donated and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.

His album, “Bad” out-did his “Thriller” album in terms of top 40 hits. (Seven) Five of which hit Billboards Top 100 at number one. Those songs were, “Bad”, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “The way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror” and my personal all time favorite Michael Jackson song, “Dirty Diana”.

In 1992, Michael Jackson founded the HEAL THE WORLD FOUNDATION.

In January 1993, Jackson made a memorable appearance at the halftime show at Superbowl XXVII. The performance began with Jackson catapulting onto the stage as fireworks went off behind him. As he landed on the canvas, he maintained a motionless "clenched fist, standing statue stance", dressed in a gold and black military outfit and sunglasses; he remained completely motionless for a minute and a half while the crowd cheered. He then slowly removed his sunglasses, threw them away and sang four songs: "Jam", "Billie Jean", "Black or White" and "Heal the World". It was the first Super Bowl where the audience figures increased during the half-time show, and was viewed by 135 million Americans alone.

Michael married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the legendary Elvis Presley, in May of 1994. Many people don’t know that the two first met in 1975, when seven year old Lisa Marie attended one of Jackson's family engagements at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino while attending a Jackson family engagement.

Michael proposed to Lisa Marie in the fall of 1993 over the phone.

The marriage was, in her words, "a married couple's life ... that was sexually active". At the time, the tabloid media speculated that the wedding was a ploy to prop up Jackson's public image. The marriage lasted less than two years and ended with an amicable divorce settlement.

Through it all, I, like so many millions of others, couldn’t help but be a fan. As a songwriter, I would like to think I learned a thing or two about the craft from listening to his songs. More importantly, I think I learned more from him as to “what not to do” than any other performer. Most notably, not to throw slumber parties with children. Even if it was innocent, the appearance alone is cause for concern.

Personally, do I believe he did such horrible things? … No. I don’t. But that’s just me.

As gentle and kind and as giving as Michael was in his life, I would lose faith in all humanity if for one moment I thought such a thing was possible. I think he was just misunderstood, and perhaps he was an easy target by greedy sharks. Not that he helped his situation with those aforementioned slumber parties.

Still, through it all, Michael Jackson was more than a performer, singer, songwriter, actor … he was a giver of love and hope for children all around the world. He was inspiring.

And this is how I will always remember him.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

Rest in peace.