Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Journal of the Crazy Year Goes Coast to Coast!

If ever there were a good place to talk about zombies, the apocalypse, lost civilizations, and science fiction, Coast to Coast AM is it.  And that is exactly what I got a chance to do Friday night (Feb 27).  What a treat!  Coast to Coast AM airs on more than 600 radio stations and is the nation’s premiere destination for late-night radio.  Host George Noory was smooth, polished and professional.  We spent the better part of two hours talking about the walking undead.  The central question was this:  As fun as it is to contemplate a zombie apocalypse, it’s just make-believe, right?  Nothing more than fodder for some harmless escapist entertainment in novels, TV shows, and movies, right?  Just an opportunity to use creative makeup and dress up on Halloween, right? 

Actually, no.  A real-life zombie apocalypse is not beyond the realm of possibility, if you allow one basic rule that departs from some (but not all) zombie tales:  your zombies can out of their minds and hyperviolent, but they must be sick, not dead.  With that rule in place, you can proceed secure in the knowledge that crazed, infected zombies really could kill us all.

Okay, maybe we’re having too much fun here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lost Socks and the Secrets of Star Travel

Okay, the title of this blog entry certainly begs explanation and may seem a bit outlandish to you.  Bear with me. 

Yesterday as I was folding my wife’s laundry (yeah, I know—insert snide comment here.  What can I say?  I am the one with the flexible schedule at the moment) I made an astonishing discovery.  I can’t say what went into the washing machine, but I can attest as to what came out of the drier.  When the folding of the clothes had ended, six socks lay arranged in a row.  Four of them were orphans.

That’s a 40% loss.  In one load of clothes.  Gettysburg had a better casualty rate. 

This was impressive even by my wife’s normal standards.  I don’t claim the Carr household singlehandedly keeps the Haynes Corporation in business, but lost socks around here are nothing new.  Every now and then, I’ll kid her about this.  Her explanation is that when she’s not looking, her socks “make a break for it.”

Monday, February 23, 2015 Reader Makes My Day

Pardon me while I make a quick trip up on the roof to shout out some good news.

Okay, I'm back.  Good reader reviews always make any author's day, and I just got a really good one for A Journal of the Crazy Year.  A reader named Lisa Romo just posted the following on

"This book caught me right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend it and have done so to many of my friends who loved it as well."

She gives the novel 5 stars.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hungering for Clarity

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, some things have not changed.  Some have.

This month two small items appeared in newspapers and on news websites.   Both serve as reminders of what this country has not lost, and what it has.

Recently an article about yay big (I’m holding my hands six inches apart) appeared in the inside pages of my local news rag.  It concerned the passing of one Leon Kent, who had died at the age of 99.  Kent just happened to be the officer on the spot one day who received an order to hold the enemy during a key moment in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.  In this case that meant stopping a fast-moving column of German tanks.   Kent and his men were anti-aircraft gunners not trained in tank warfare.  They had a single anti-aircraft gun, and it sat in a position so exposed that a single shot from one of those German tanks would have killed everyone.  The prudent course of action would have been to run for their lives.  Kent and his men stood their ground—and, as he later put it, “stopped them cold,” taking out five tanks, including a King Tiger.  He didn’t consider himself a hero.  His Silver Star says otherwise, although it took 50 years for him to get it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Radio, Web & Book Update for Listeners And Readers

Some random updates for you on what’s up with my recent endeavors—

First, I’ve uploaded some photos.  Yeah, I know, “Enough about me—what do you think about me?”  But a certain website and magazine (I won’t say which so as not to jinx it) is considering a story that would reference me, and the author asked for some photos.  To my shock, I found that I did not have very many.  (See, that’s why I chose the handle The Bashful Bloviator for my show and blog.)  Our producer, board op and all around sidekick on the Forrest Carr Show, Mark Ulm, was kind enough to snap off some pictures of me running my piehole.  I’ve uploaded three of them here, along with some other historic photos, some of which were captured with ancient technology (35 mm film—and I will confess that I still miss my Pentax!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design: Do We Have a Winner?

Some scientists now say that life on earth may have begun a billion years earlier than they'd originally thought.  But the breakthrough finding still leaves evolutionary science empty handed in answering two key questions:  How did life start?  And why, despite the conditions for life on earth being so perfect, did it only happen once, and then never again?

You gotta love Charles Darwin.  Ever since he put forth a theory in the 19th century that all life on Earth is descended from a common ancestor—yes, he’s saying you are great-great-great-whatever-grandson or granddaughter to an amoeba or something like it—religion has had its figurative shorts in a bunch.  First, the outraged faithful tried to ban the teaching of evolution in schools.  The Scopes “Monkey” trial threw a major wrench into those efforts, but Darwin haters haven’t given up.  More recently, believers came up with a new tactic to fight back against the science of evolution:  “Intelligent Design.”  This is the idea that life is too complex to be explained by a process so undirected as evolution, and therefore must involve the work of an intelligence.  ID authors normally don’t name the Designer.  But if the Designer walks like a duck—well, you get the idea.  Given that many of the most prominent proponents of ID began life as creationists, you don’t have to look hard to see what they’re up to. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Most Mind-Blowing Coincidences Ever

A heavy sense of foreboding caused me to cough up money for a more expensive refundable airline ticket--the first and only fully refundable fare I've ever bought.  Check out the travel dates below and see if you don't get goosebumps.

In this series I've been telling you about some of the strange coincidences I've had over time.  After the premonitions and flashes I experienced in Texas, there followed a very long dry spell.  For me, this in no way unusual.   What I had no way of knowing was that the most spectacular "coincidences" of my life lay ahead.

But even the dry spell was interesting.  During this time, minor little coincidences or “flashes” did continue to present themselves to me from time to time.  Mainly those took the form of incidents where a word, name, phrase, or image would pop into my head and stay there, leaving me to wonder why this thought had suddenly occurred to me—and then a short time later, I would read it in a book, magazine, or newspaper, see it on television, or have someone bring it up in conversation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Can a zombie novel appeal to Christians?

A Journal of the Crazy Year can, and does, as I just found out

Who would have thought that an apocalyptic novel featuring zombies running around savagely attacking people might have a Christian appeal?  But as it turns out, that is the case for my second novel, A Journal of the Crazy Year.

This week I’ve been doing a round of radio interviews to promote the print publication of the book.  One of the stations kind enough to invite me on to discuss the novel was the host of the Pete O’Shea Show on WTIS-AM in Tampa.

WTIS is a Christian radio station whose stated mission is that of inspiration.  I will admit I was somewhat surprised to have a broadcast outlet of that nature respond so enthusiastically to the press pitch (many thanks for the latter to my publicist, Rachel Anderson).  But soon it became apparent why a station with a spiritual format might have an interest in this particular story.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Two Horses Engage in Swordplay

It’s something I was not supposed to see.

Okay, I should confess at this point that the objects involved were not, despite the headline, swords.  But they could have been, and they were utilized as such.  Everything else set forth in this story is the stone cold truth, with no exaggeration.

Recently I was talking my morning walk, which I try to do daily to stay healthy and perhaps keep my remaining kidney from falling out, when I saw something remarkable.   I was walking along the fence at the boundary of the small ranch next to my subdivision when I saw two horses engaging each other in some kind of activity that I couldn’t quite make out.  No, not that.  I looked closer.  The two of them had orange plastic traffic cones in their mouths—you know, the type that workmen tend to set out when they’re tearing up a city street that they’d previously torn up the month before.  The animals were whacking away at one another with the cones like two kids playing with plastic light sabers on Christmas morning.

It was surreal—so much so that I whirled around to see if Rod Serling might be standing behind me with a lighted cigarette in his hand, wearing a bemused expression as he prepared to explain to viewers how one unsuspecting man had just crossed over into—well, you know the rest.  But no.  I was alone.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paul Babeu Goes to Washington

Outspoken Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was the lead witness this week (Feb 3, 2015) at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration and border security.  He presented some startling facts.  The reception he got tells you everything you need to know about why Congress is broken and why meaningful immigration reform remains almost, but not quite, a lost cause.

Even more instructive is the media reaction.  The last time I checked (just before posting this) I was able to find three articles referencing the hearing posted on what I would describe as mainstream media sites.  Three.  The Arizona Daily Star made a mention.  So did the Tucson Sentinel.   I could find no references to any radio or television coverage anywhere.  Even CSPAN didn't carry this hearing (I had to rely on the House Judiciary web page itself.)  To put the near-total lack of media interest into perspective, a search for coverage of the Brazilian beauty pageant where the runner-up snatched the crown off the head of the winner led to more than 200 articles.