Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Another great day in the neighborhood. Wife back in bed after a bad night. Cardiologist has cut off my blood pressure drugs because I have not seen him in a long time. No insurance/no money. Trying to figure out which past due utility bill I can pay something on. Still have this to deal with too. Update on the CITIBANK lawsuit brought by Allen Adkins and Associates

Kevin R. Tipple

August 23, 2011

4010 82ND TREET


As you are aware, we have an upcoming hearing on September 13, 2011 at 10 AM regarding your  lawsuit. This date was selected after you petitioned court for an extension so that you could commence settlement negotiations in the interests of justice. To date, I have received nothing from you since your petition was granted on May 10, 2011 except for your July notice to the court of the merger of CITIBANK (SOUTH DAKOTA) into CITIBANK, N.A.  

Attached for your records is my letter of July 14, 2011 that acknowledged your merger filing with the court and reminded you of the facts of our situation.  As previously noted, to date I have not received any response from you or your client to that letter.  A situation made considerably worse the last several weeks due to my wife’s latest strokes and hospitalization at Baylor Regional Medical Center of Plano. She has suffered brain damage and will be unable to return to work anytime soon--if ever.  I have also attached a copy of the first of what will be many billing statements regarding this matter from the hospital so that you can verify the information in your role as a debt collector.

You are again reminded that as your client, CITIBANK, and you are aware, I remain disabled with no job, no future prospect of employment due to my worsening health, no income, no insurance, and absolutely no assets. What little I do have is exempt from judgment under Texas law as I own no home, land, farm animals, property, etc. I have repeatedly documented to your client as well as my filing for Social Security disability and the receipt of food stamps as well as numerous other issues that would come out in court during a very public trial. The caseworkers in both cases noted that the fact that we are on food stamps and nearly homeless should have proven to you and your client that I have no resources.

Again, I would ask that you stop wasting the court’s valuable time and immediately withdraw your lawsuit. Not only did your client, CITIBANK, utterly fail to work with me in any way shape or form while also failing to mitigate any of their alleged losses as has been fully documented to you and the court, I simply can’t give you what I don’t have. Withdrawing your lawsuit would not only be a sign of your good faith, it would also serve the interests of justice. By withdrawing your lawsuit and returning the account to CITIBANK, it would allow me to negotiate directly with them if they were actually inclined to work with me this time.

As still the only creditor who has utterly refused to work with me in any way, shape or form despite the documentation of our desperate situation, if you intend to persist with the lawsuit, I would again request that you and/or your client, for the first time, make an actual counter offer and open your side of negotiations.


Kevin R. Tipple

        P.O. BOX 3340
        LUBBOCK, TEXAS 79452
        Judge W. M. “Mike” Yarbrough
        Justice Court
        Precinct 4
        P. O. BOX 1496
        Frisco, Texas 75034

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: "The Wild Hog Murders: A Dan Rhodes Mystery" by Bill Crider

Feral hogs have been running wild in Texas for years. As the problem has worsened and moved into urban areas, news reports started airing more and more frequently on the issue. If something gets reported on the news enough and there is any way possible to make a reality show on the subject, some network does. Two televisions shows on the Texas feral hog problem are in production now with no doubt more planned. Especially now since Texas has granted permission for hog hunts to be conducted from the air using helicopters. The feral hog issue is the backdrop in the latest Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery, “The Wild Hog Murders.”

As readers of this long running series well know, Blacklin County in East Texas certainly has its crime problem as well as environmental issues. Rampaging wild hogs are the latest threat to county residents. There are some in the county that want the hogs hunted down until the very last one is dead. There are others who save every critter possible and that includes the feral or wild hogs. That contingent would be led by the Chandlers, mother and son, who recently opened a wildlife rescue center that takes in everything. Apparently somebody decided to send a message to the Chandlers because the person keeps dumping what is left of their favorite pig at the shelter.

Understandably, the Chandlers are more than a little upset and they want the culprit or culprits found and severely punished. That investigation has to take a backseat to an ongoing murder investigation. Hunters and wild hogs messed up the foot pursuit of two convenience store robbery suspects who had crashed their car during the chase and fled into the nearby woods.  When the hogs and the hunters chasing them were gone, Rhodes discovered that one suspect had been killed and the other one was missing. Rhodes has tangled with feral hogs before and knows what they can do to kill. But, in this case, the hogs are innocent unless the hogs have figured out how to shoot guns.

With a murder on his hands and the local hog hunters refusing to talk, Sheriff Rhodes has a problem. A problem that is going to rapidly get worse thanks to a lot of differing agendas and a lack of cooperation from a number of folks. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also has to deal with the return of the notorious Rapper and Nellie and their signature motorcycles. Rhodes really does not like hogs, living or machine, and for very good reason.

The 18th in this series written by legendary Texas Author Bill Crider is another confortable cozy style read set in the woods of East Texas. All the major and minor characters are back in their comfortable routines doing what it seems like they always have each and every day. No new ground is broken here nor is it expected in this well established series. The focus, as always, is on the current case, personal relationships, and daily life in this small Texas county.

The result is another very good read with fictional friends that are as real to readers as you and I. One knows Sheriff Rhodes always wins out in the end and will so again in this case. The only real question is how and who he will catch this time with his folksy ways.

The Wild Hog Murders: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Bill Crider
A Thomas Dunne Book (Minotaur Books)
ISBN# 978-0-312-64149-8
264 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brutal Weekend

It certainly has been here.

But, so many have it so much worse. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have had to deal with Hurricane Irene.


Friday, August 26, 2011

FFB Review: "Dead Famous" by Ben Elton --Reviewed by Barry Ergang

DEAD FAMOUS (2001) by Ben Elton

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Whether you've seen the so-called "reality TV" show "Big Brother" or only read about it, you probably know the premise: a group of people are confined to a house for several months, isolated from the outside world, their every activity and interaction monitored by cameras and microphones twenty-four hours a day. One by one the housemates are evicted by their fellows until only two remain. The evicted housemates vote to determine the winner, who receives half a million dollars. The runner-up comes away with fifty thousand.

Apart from the prospect of emerging with a lot of money, why do the contestants put themselves through this? They may offer a variety of reasons, but the reality is they crave the instant, if dubious, fame being seen on a nationally or internationally broadcast program brings.

Why would a network (CBS, in "Big Brother's" case) broadcast this kind of program? Because there's an audience for it to whom they can transmit advertisements which in turn pay the network's revenues. The programs that make it to the air are of course carefully edited for their "dramatic" value. Fanatical viewers can pay their subscription money to watch everything, including the mundane moments, via Internet feeds.

This is the basis for Ben Elton's clever satirical whodunit Dead Famous. The program is "House Arrest," brought to an English audience by Peeping Tom Productions, the company owned by the calculating Geraldine Hennessey, also known as "Geraldine the Gaoler."

A diverse group of ten men and women, all relatively young and, with one notable exception, fairly attractive, are confined to the "House Arrest" house under the constant surveillance of Peeping Tom. Friendships and enmities quickly develop as the housemates are assigned tasks by Peeping Tom to earn their weekly share of food and drink. Having no television to watch or books to read, the rest of their time is spent in group and individual interaction. Geraldine, ever alert for "good telly," hopes sexual liaisons will ensue, and has done her best to provide for them.

Twenty-seven days later, after the first eviction and the arrest—which stands in lieu of an eviction—of another housemate for a past crime, someone (the reader doesn't learn who until two-thirds of the way through the book) is brutally murdered by person unknown. Given all of the cameras and microphones covering every inch of the house, it can't have happened—but it has.

Thus, an "impossible" murder in a "locked house."

Old-school, often splenetic Chief Inspector Stanley Spencer Coleridge and his team are compelled to wade through unedited, unaired videotapes, hoping to find a motive or a clue. The reader is a party to their investigations as well as to what goes on in the house, the editing suite, and in the minds of the book's characters.

Eventually Coleridge discovers the solution to the fairly-clued puzzle and reveals it in grand fashion.

Ben Elton's crisp prose moves the reader swiftly through the story, which includes some good comic moments as well as suspenseful ones. Dead Famous works very well as a detective story and as a satirical take on our modern culture's inexplicable taste for fabricated fame. I recommend the book with the warning that readers who find raw, rampant profanity and graphic sexual depictions offensive will want to avoid it.

Barry Ergang (c) 2011


Formerly the Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2007 Derringer Award in the Flash Fiction category, Barry Ergang’s written work has appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. For links to material available online, see Barry’s webpages. Remember, too, that he has books from his personal collection for sale at http://barryergangbooksforsale.yolasite.com/ He'll contribute 20% of the purchase price of the books to our fund, so please have a look at his lists.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Poetry: "Detective Story" by Barry Ergang


by Barry Ergang

Crime of passion? Suicide? Natural death?
Is the locked room a key or vagrant trail?
Our only sure clue is the absence of breath,
The mystery a chamber vain sleuths assail
With reason slain straining to lift the veil.
Exchanging looks tipped proud like poisoned darts,
We cannot crack the cases of our hearts.


Former Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Derringer Award for the best flash fiction story of 2006, Barry Ergang's poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. "Detective Story" is one of the poems in Dances of the Disaffected: Selected Poems, available in a Kindle edition at Amazon.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

STILL need your help--please

Sandi was seen by the cardiologist in an emergency appointment and her meds were slightly adjusted. Things remain pretty bad though he was a little more optimistic than other folks have been about her future.

Still way short on rent but closer. Please donate if you can.

Thank you one and all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Latest Bad News

Neurologist says Sandi's brain damage is permanent and not reversible at all. The only thing that can be done at this point is to attempt to keep her blood pressure down low enough so she does not stroke again. The problem with that is as soon as she gets up and starts doing something, her blood pressure goes way up. He believes mood swings are caused by blood pressure spikes causing brain swelling.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poetry: "STERN(UTATIVE) MEASURES" by Barry Ergang


by Barry Ergang

I find it hard to feel at ease
Since I’m beset with pause and doubt:
When we make love you always sneeze.

Although I know you’ve allergies
That medicines may fail to rout,
I find it hard to feel at ease.

You must inhale each dusty breeze,
Each pollen grain come rain or drought:
When we make love you always sneeze.

Am I an allergen that sees
Your system as a place to clout?
I find it hard to feel at ease.

Your passion often sounds a wheeze
Asthmatic sigh from coital shout:
When we make love you always sneeze.

While all your nasal rhapsodies
Give vent to proof your heart’s devout,
I find it hard to feel at ease:
When we make love you always sneeze.

Former Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Derringer Award for the best flash fiction story of 2006, Barry Ergang's poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, print and electronic. "Stern(utative) Measures" is one of the poems in A Whimsical Is a Popsicle of the Mind: A Collection of Light Verse, available in a Kindle edition at Amazon.com