I kid you not … this is an actual e-mail I just got today from our local Catholic priest … I have omitted some of the names because I don’t want other people lumped in with this guy’s selfishness and idiocy….:

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(editor — me)
Well done so far on the last two Saturday highlight articles by (a local historian) on (two local churches that are closing). I do hope that you will have (this historian) likewise do an article on (another local church that is closing), since it is slated to close July 2009.
Comment however – if you do not have (the local historian) do an article on (the complaining priest’s church) as the chosen site for the consolidated new Roman Catholic Parish for the region – you are NOT fair and balanced in your reporting. This series of articles would end in a doom and gloom mentality. After this process is complete there will be a NEW larger Catholic Community numbering close to 1000 families, which will worship at the largest Roman Catholic Church in the area which has a seating compacity of 800, and which is most centrally located Church for the region. When the current Epiphany Church was dedicated in 1917 it was called by the Bishop of the Scranton Diocese as one of most majestic structures ever built in the Diocese of Scranton. To have such a structure chosen to be the NEW worship site for the NEW Roman Catholic Community, I would think is certaintly (actual spelling) a “Piece of History” that your paper would not want to leave out.
I have already heard from PRESENT (particular church) parishioners, that if your paper DOES NOT do a story on Epiphany Church, they and I will END our subscription to your paper. And the numbers who feel this way are growing. The current enrollment of parishioners at the current (particular church) numbers 700 families.
Fr. (Jackass).
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Here was my response:

Father (Jackass)Thank you for your e-mail. I appreciate the positive comments that you
have forwarded on to the newspaper. (I must say, however, that your
heavy-handed approach about what might happen if we don’t follow up to your
liking with the (suggested church) stories was a bit of surprise, to say
the least.)

The articles that we have done on (the two closing churchs) have been
from a historical standpoint, since they have been long-standing pillars
of our community for well over 100 years each. There is a lot of history
behind these facilities, and I wished to share that history with our
readers before these facilities are closed. And yes, you are correct, we
should do a historical article on (the other closing church). I will talk to (the local historian) about this as soon as I can.

I also agree that we need to do a story on (your particular church).

Are you willing and able to talk to us about the upcoming changes on this?
It seems we’re often directed up the line to the Diocese level — to someone
who can’t or won’t return our inquiry?

We are always willing to help out or provide press for (your particular church) whenever we
can. I think this shows in our newspaper, whether it be for your church or
(the local Catholic school, associated with this particular church). So forgive me if I’m a little taken back by the threatening
tone of your email.

If you wish, please feel free to call me or my Publisher if there are any
concerns that need to be addressed. We would be happy to talk with you if
there’s a problem.

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Welcome to an ordinary day in the life of a newspaper editor ….
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Novel recommendations: Tigerheart by Peter David; Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell; Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely; and Blaze by Richard Bachman.
What I’m reading: What’s So Funny by Donald E. Westlake

Well …. hmmmm…..

March 11, 2009

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day saying, “I love reading your status updates. They make me laugh out loud.”

Essentially on my Facebook and MySpace pages, you can type in your status or how you’re feeling on a particular day.

Sometimes I’ll type in a little note about how I’m doing … but most times I just feel like throwing something up there to see if people are paying attention to what I have to say…

You know things like “… I may have created an international incident …. Oops….” or “I’m looking for the antidote ….” Crazy stuff like that….

Why? Mainly because I like to make people smile ……

And ….. because I can …..:)

Keep smiling folks:)

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Novel recommendations: The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski; Summerland by Michael Chabon; Word of Honor by Nelson DeMille; Killing Johnny Fry by Walter Mosely.

What I’m reading: Stick by Elmore Leonard and X-Men:Endangered Species TPB.

So my brother-in-law told my wife the other day that I should write a second blog, which would just focus on comics……

At first I scoffed at the idea because I rarely have time to update this blog ….. but then I got to thinking about it and realize that he had just given me an idea for my next blog post.

So here are some of my thoughts on a few of the Marvel titles that I’m currently reading … and who knows? Maybe I’ll encourage someone to pick oneof these titles up ……

Punisher: Max — This is not for kids. In fact, it comes with a huge “Parental Advisory” label on the front of it. Why? Because the Punisher kills a lot of people …. and this title does not skimp on the blood. Add in the language and the types of issues that the book deals with and you have probably one of the best “for mature readers” titles currently being offered. Now I started reading this title right after Garth Ennis left and when Gregg Hurwitz came on for his six issue arc entitled “Girls in White Dresses.” This arc featured on the Punisher coming into a small Mexican town to discover why all the women in this town are disappearing …. and then reappearing as corpses. The issues of this arc are a little hard to find, but Marvel just released the entire arc into one trade paperback. The title currently has Duane Swiercynzki as its writer, with his “Six Hours to Kill” arc at its half-way point. Crime novelist Victor Gischler (Gun Monkeys) will taking over for a six-issue arc afterwards.

Amazing Spider-Man: I’ve been reading Spider-man since I was a kid and I have to admit, the current Brand New Day timeline in this title has me hooked. It started off slow, but kicked up with the “New Ways to Die” arc (currently available in hardcover). Currently the title is the midst of the “Character Assassination” arc where it is wrapping up the past year’s worth of plotlines. From there, the march to issue #600 begins. I cannot wait ………
Captain America: Even before they killed the previous Captain America, this was still once of the best comics that Marvel was publishing. Ed Brubaker has not written one bad issue during his 47-issue (and counting) run. The first 42 issues of his run — including the three-act “Death of Captain America” act — are currently available in either softcover or hardcover trade paperback form. Highest possible recommendation.

Ultimate Spider-Man: I got hooked on this title as a fluke back on issue #4 …. and now 127 issues later, I still look forward to when this title is included within my “pull list” at my comic shop. Granted, the current storyline that ties into the Ultimatum crossover in the Ultimate titles has slowed down things a bit (and add to the fact that this title is going to come to an end next month), but regardless, you still have one of the best renditions of Spider-Man around. I’m looking forward to the end of this title next month, and also when they relaunch it this summer. (sidenote: Brian Michael Bendis has written every issue of this series, and will continue to write it when it is relaunched).

Dark Avengers: Two issues in and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This title ties into Marvel’s “Dark Reign” theme that cross-overs several titles. The premise of Dark Reign is this — Norman Osborn has been placed in control of the nation’s defense network following Secret Invasion and in response, he has created his own Avengers team. This team consists basically of psychopathic killers — Bullseye, Venom and Moonstone — as well as a couple of other ancillary characters — Ares and the Sentry — with Norman as their leader, the Iron Patriot. (The costume for the Iron Patriot is basically an Iron Man suit painted with the red, white and blue of America). It gets even better — Venom has been drugged so that the symbiote has devolved into the old black Spider-Man costume; Moonstone is now called Ms. Marvel and wears a classic Ms. Marvel costume; and Bullseye is now Hawkeye (mainly this was done by Osborn to rub it into the classic characters’ faces that he is in charge now). Crazy stuff from Brian Michael Bendis. I read the first issue four times and it never got old. I can’t wait to see where Bendis takes this team of “Avengers.”

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That’s it for now folks ….. I’ll probably get to the DC titles in the next post … Keep smiling:)

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Novel recommendations: When One Man Dies by Dave White; The Cutie by Donald Westlake; Scavenger by David Morrell; and The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

What I’m currently reading: Stick by Elmore Leonard

Back for more …..

March 5, 2009

So I’m back … please contain your excitement folks….

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So I’m a Twitter freak now and I just added a Blip.FM account that I’m trying to update often. Mainly it allows people like me — who are in desperate need of a hobby — an opportunity to play DJ. I’ll be creating a link for my profile later so people can see just how bad my taste in music is…..:)

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Been on a reading binge lately, finishing The Cutie by Donald Westlake, Killing Castro by Lawrence Block and When One Man Dies by Dave White over the past two weeks…

Now it’s on to Say It With Bullets by Richard Powell, which was just reprinted  for the first time in 50 years. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“At the overnight stop in North Platte, Nebraska, Bill Wayne didn’t copy the other tourists in the party when they bought postcards to mail to friends. He was running a little low on friends these days. Once he had classed five guys as friends, but they had picked up a habit of doing things behind his back, like shooting at it. The only wish-you-were-here postcard he wanted to send them was a picture of a cemetery.”

God, I love pulp crime novels:)

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So my son loves Toy Story ….. and it is love in the “we’re home, now put in the movie that I have watched 8,000 straight times and you guys could quote by heart. But I don’t care because it is the only movie I like right now..”

It has gotten so bad in my house, I have taken to hiding this DVD so he can’t find it and demand to watch it again….

And I used to like Toy Story too …. now it’s gotten as annoying as Rachael Maddow…..

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That’s all for now …. keep smiling folks:)