jump to navigation

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast: The Back Cover November 1, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
Tags:
add a comment

You’ve seen the front cover, here’s the back.

Art by Elinor Shapiro, copy by yours truly.

Phigg (short for Iphigenia) and Clyde are sister and brother. She loves to solve puzzles, and he loves to build and fix things. Their Uncle Phineas looks after them while their professor parents are out of town, but…

…. Uncle Phineas vanishes! And then it turns out that he is a Timekeeper – a guardian of history who maintains the historic timelines in case things go wrong.

Clearly whoever kidnapped him must be bent on altering all of time!

They must have done something… because now people eat breakfast at night, and they’re eating fish heads, soup bones and clam juice.

Yum!

Phigg & Clyde better rescue Uncle Phineas and put things right again….

Coming soon!

And my next Phigg & Clyde posts will have some chapter samples to whet your appetite, as well as more of Elinor’s art from the interior.

Stay tuned!

 

Advertisements

Announcing A New Book Series! Phigg & Clyde Are On The Way! October 30, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Books, Writing.
Tags:
add a comment

The first entry in my new young adult (of all ages, really) light adventure scifi series will be available on Amazon and elsewhere in early November!

Phigg & Clyde Save Breakfast is the story of a too-smart little girl and her too-clever little brother who have to become time travelers in order to SAVE THE WORLD!

The entire timeline of culinary history has gone wrong, and everyone is eating garbage for breakfast. History must be put right, and Phigg & Clyde are the only ones who can do it, since their Timekeeper Uncle has been kidnapped.

Well, they can do it once they learn how to be Timekeepers. And certainly, the forces of EVIL behind these diabolical changes in the breakfast timeline will surely try to stop them…. or worse.

Historic recipes included so that you can taste along!

Yes, this is the actual “kid’s book” oft referred to in both Wagstaff mysteries. I wrote it some time ago and unfortunately subjected it to Hollywood Hell™ before doing a revision and getting some new illustrations done for this new 2018 edition.

I’ll add blog entries until its release  – so watch this space for sample chapters, examples of the wonderful illustrations by Elinor Shapiro, recipes and other stuff!

It’ll be both in paperback & an e-book for the Kindle & tablets. Early November is not far away!

I Dream About The Wrong Things, Part Infinity October 28, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
add a comment

Terry in his “I played the Creature in Rocky Horror!” years

Last night, I dreamed that Terry Bradshaw was jealous of my hair. He shrugged and said he guessed he didn’t get the right genes since he went bald so young. I told him he certainly got the right football genes, but he didn’t seem to care and walked away with a a pout.

There was nothing I could do to cheer him up.

THE BURDENS I CARRY, PEOPLE!!!!

Some quick picks under the wire:

I’ll go with the Browns plus the 8 points against Bradshaw’s old Steelers, the Lions to cover 3 over the Seahawks, the Colts to cover 3 against the pathetic Raiders, and in the pick-o-the-week, I’ll take the Redskins to cover a mere 1 1/2 over the also pathetic Giants. Spreads like that one make me suspicious, like the oddsmakers know something I don’t – why are the Giants only 1 1/2 point underdogs?? Are they allowed to hand the ball to a Mack truck on 3rd down to even things up this week? Dunno, but it looks like easy money to me.

And I’ve got the hair to prove it.

 

Sometimes Messages From God Are Quite Obvious October 27, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Cats.
add a comment

Screengrabbed this from my facebook feed just now.

I think the Jungian synchronicity is clear.  I still love the furry little demons and always will, but I know the score…

Baseball Card Of The Day: 1952 Duke Snider October 24, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball, Baseball Cards.
add a comment

How ’bout a story?

When I was a kid collecting baseball cards, before the friggin’ boomers destroyed the hobby by bidding up the prices of various cards beyond belief by the 1980s, it was often possible to search out & find classic old cards of great stars and legends at affordable prices, or amazingly cheap prices.

One day at an antique show my mom got interested in at the ol’ Midland Mall in Rhode Island, turned out one guy had a small box of several dozen absolute MINT condition 1952 Topps baseball cards.

4 for a dollar.

Yeah, I know – where’s Biff Tannen to come back in a Delorean and tell 1972 me that I should buy the entire box? It’s the first real Topps set, amazingly in demand, where mint condition cards are extremely rare and pricey. The Mickey Mantle rookie in set sells for multiple thousands of dollars.

Believe me, I combed the box for Yankees. The only one was Hank Bauer, but it, along with more stellar names – Bob Feller, Gil Hodges and Duke Snider rounded out my dollar’s worth.

These were immediate status symbols amongst the neighborhood friends who collected and traded cards with me. They were older, I’d gotten lots of cards from them from before my time, mostly commons but some star players in there, here and there, depending on what I’d traded away for ’em.

I got repeatedly badgered by one guy for one of the 1952s… haggling went back and forth, and in what seemed like a good deal in 1972, I traded the Duke Snider for a ’64 Koufax, Drysdale, and Tony Kubek, to get a Yankee in there.

I like having the Drysdale and Koufax cards…. to this day, they’re the only cards of either of those guys in my collection, I think… but over the years, parting with that mint Duke Snider has always haunted me. And I did NOT want to pay anywhere from the $300 -$2000 I’d seen the near mint to mints go for to get it back in that condition.

BUT – we have a happy ending to this tale. Recently on ebay, I found one in decent enough condition, not mint, but an undergraded good to very good one – no creases or marks or pinholes, only some corner wear visible on the front and not quite-perfect centering. And it fit right into the “I think I’ll buy myself a birthday present a month early” category at fifty bucks.

I spent nearly as much on sushi the other night, I figured. (All you can eat, too!)

Should I fixate on my memory of leaving the Warren Spahn and Richie Ashburn cards behind to take the Bauer back in ’72 and spring for those on ebay? Well, maybe next birthday. By then, maybe I can skip enough sushi to save up, who knows?

I Bought A Megamillions Ticket And Made Money October 20, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in General.
add a comment

Relax – just like you, I didn’t win the stupid thing either. But when I filled up my car yesterday and decided to splurge two bucks on a ticket, I found a ten dollar bill on the sidewalk after I came back outside.

So I bet I did better than you, sucker!

And Now, Unemotional Post Season Baseball October 9, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball.
add a comment

My Yankees (yes, they belong to me) couldn’t stand up to the Red Sox this year, whether in the division race or in the division series. Their bats went dead and their pitchers got blasted.

They made nice comebacks in Game 1 and Game 4, but ultimately fell short by mere inches. That’s baseball.

So they’re done for 2018. They won 100 games, not too shabby. Whatever wheeling and dealing they do in the off season (Signing Harper? Trading Bird and maybe Sanchez for De Grom? Who knows?) remains to be seen, but in the meantime, they still look like the 1994-95 era Yankees, a young team solidly stacked with young star talent who will be contenders, if not champs, for many years to come.

Only a couple more pieces of the puzzle for that champion team to come together, I think… a starting pitcher, a hole filled in the formidable batting line up to get more hitting continuity & move away from the feast or famine of homerun versus strikeout that plagues the game right now.

Honestly, even if they had beaten the Sox, I think they’d have fallen to the Astros, who look unbeatable. I’d think the Astros beat the Sox and win it all again, to be honest.

But you never know.

At least now, I’ll watch as a fan of the sport – the pure analyst, accepting any result, not emotionally invested in rooting for any particular team.

“I always thought you were a bit of a pirate at heart,” as Kirk said.

Hmmm….. perhaps the Tantalus field might help the Yankees in 2019….

Aw crap. Wrong universe. Better just sign Harper and trade for a reliable starter.

October Baseball October 6, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Baseball.
add a comment

Sandy Koufax with some serious sweater action. (With Billie Jean King, no less!)

I’ll watch more sports this month than any other month of the year. Between postseason baseball, NFL, college football, and now the start of both NHL and NBA seasons, well…. I guess there’s ALWAYS a game on.

Rooting for the Yankees, obviously. If they can get by their AL opponents, I’d think they could win the World Series over any of the NL ones. And I think I could say that for the Red Sox & Astros, too. Sorry, Indians fans.

Always love seeing Koufax in the stands, watching guys like Ryu or Kershaw annihilate a batting order the way he used to, since Sandy is still KING OF THE JEWS. Sorry, Seinfeld fans.

In the NL, I’d think it comes down to the Dodgers & Brewers, and I’d have to give the edge to the Brewers, though I think that series could easily go 6 or 7.

I want the Yankees in the AL in my heart, but my objective analyst brain sez it’ll be the Astros repeating. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be as happy to be wrong about the Yankees as I was with the Patriots.

In the meantime, check out the serious sweater action from the 1968 Cardinals. It’s time to dress for fall, gentlemen.

A Truly Historic Occasion September 30, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football, General.
1 comment so far

I was wrong.

About the Patriots. They did just fine today, in nearly every category of play.

Being wrong is a completely unknown and new sensation for me, however. I’ll need some time to absorb and process it.

But Go Pats, in the meantime…

As The Wheels Come Off September 27, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Football.
Tags:
add a comment

The Patriots have looked pretty horrible the past couple of weeks, after squeaking by a weak Houston team in week 1.

Between injuries (Burkhead, Flowers, Chung), stupid management decisions (Goodbye to Cooks, Amendola, Lewis, Solder) and Edelman’s 4 game suspension, they got nuthin’ for Brady to work with out there.

And while previous Patriot seasons would begin 2-2 or the like and wind up with Super Bowl appearances as the team made adjustments and people you never heard of would step up, this year feels different.

It’s a gut feeling on my part watching these first few games, and I hope I’m wrong, but I think this time, the Brady run they’ve been on since pretty much he stepped in as starting QB is over.

Brady looks like he’s lost a little edge out there – overthrowing an amazingly weak receiver core. He’s worked with motley assortments of receivers all his years, but now…. he’s got nuthin’.  It can’t all be on Gronk. And Brady’s 41. I don’t care about his training regimen or if he’s juicing with Underdog’s super energy pill – one serious injury and he’s done.

By the time I was 41, I needed an ambulance just to take me to the bathroom down the hall.

And they got nuthin’ to replace him.

I think even a returned Edelman and a sobered up Josh Gordon won’t be enough.

That’s right… I’m a total pessimist.

And their defense, at whose spikes can be laid the blame for losing a winnable Super Bowl last February still sucks. No pass rush. No pass defense to speak of. Linebackers who can’t tackle.

Miami is coming to Gillette this Sunday and are 7 point underdogs.

Take ’em and the points. Easy money. I think Miami will win the game outright, and there’ll be a lot of articles written that sound a lot like this blog post. Get ready next Monday for a lot of “The Patriots Are Over” hot-takes.

BUT I’M FIRST!!!!

I hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s over. It was great fun while it lasted, but I’m getting a very strong “2010 Yankees” vibe from these guys… when the Jeter/Rivera era had waned, they had a last hurrah in ’09, and the glory years of a decade earlier were a distant memory. It took some years to rebuild. The Pats are in the same place, alas.

I got the Thursday night game on. While writing this, I just watched Brandon Cooks catch a 47 yard TD pass from Jared Goff. Yeah, the Pats certainly got their draft pick’s worth out of THAT trade.

Although at least Cooks will probably win a Superbowl now.

Just remember…. you heard it first from MISTER KILL JOY, RIGHT HERE.

But I hope I’m wrong.