Monday, August 20, 2012

We Love Logistics...

...but have an unhealthy aversion to logic!

An overview of a 40 minute conversation I just had with four different operators at UPS:

Me: I need the building I just bought and am living in to be switched from a commercial address to a residential one.
3rd UPS operator: It's listed commercial.
Me:I know. It was a commercial building for many years. It is now where we live
UPS: Do you have a tracking number so we can investigate it?
Me: Are you telling me you can't change the address until someone ships something to me?
UPS: Correct
Me: xxxx-xxxx-xxx The package is actually a ceiling fan for my living room

UPS: The tracking is showing it's a commercial address
Me: I know! I need it changed!

2 minutes later....

4th UPS operator: I need a tracking number so we can investigate
Me: I can tell you it will show commercial. I need you guys to change it.
UPS: We have to investigate it.
Me: Can't you just switch it?
UPS: No. we need the tracking so we can investigate it. In 3 to 5 days we will send you an email confirming whether it is commercial or residential.
Me. I don't need you to confirm anything. I know it's residential and I know you have it listed as commercial. I need you to change it!
UPS: Our team will get with you in 3 to 5 business days. Can I help you with anything else?
Me: Yes. Can you get me the number to FedEx?

Damn those Olive Hill soft drink stands!

Cincinnati Enquirer June 6, 1914
Grayson, Ky, June 3 - In the Carter Circuit Court here to-day O. W. Tolliver was convicted and given a life sentence in the penitentiary for killing Lafe Fraley, of Rowan County, at a soft-drink stand at Olive Hill, May 16. Tolliver is a brother of the late Craig Tolliver, of Rowan County feud history. 

Apparently those soft drink stands were a magnet for the seedier side of Northeastern KY. That explains why Olive Hill wanted to ban them!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olive Hill hates soft drinks

While sitting here waiting on my wife and sipping the last of the Crown Royal Black I thought I would post another quick blast from Olive Hill's past.

Cincinnati Enquirer
May 24 1911
Frankfort Ky, May 23 - The Kentucky Court of Appeals to-day declared void an ordinance regulating the sale of soft drinks, passed by the council of Olive Hill, Ky.

OK, I found a link to the case which can be found in Volume 137 of the Southwestern Reporter. It begins on the right hand side with Tolliver vs. Blizzard police judge. There's alot of old timey legalese going on and is kinda hard for me to understand (or is it the Crown Royal?) but I think the last paragraph of the judgement clears up the matter a little:

(The ordinance) specifies certain soft drink which may be sold. The sale of all other soft drinks is prohibited. Among the number might be enumerated several soft drinks that are absolutely harmless. It will not do to say that the city council is the arbiter of public taste. It cannot prescribe what harmless drinks shall, or shall not, be sold. Its power to prohibit is confined to those drinks which are harmful or deleterious to the public health and morals. The ordinance before us is not restricted in its application. It prohibits the sale of many harmless drinks, and is so broad in its scope and so discriminatory in its character as to constitute an unlawful interference with the liberty of the citizen, which includes, not merely the right to acquire property, but the right to buy and sell it. That being true, we conclude the ordinance is unreasonable and void. 

While I was reading this I kept thinking "Harmless?" Going by what we know now about obesity ans diabetes I think the Olive Hill City Council may have been...dare I say it?...visionary in their attempts. It makes me wonder about what laws and ordinances being paraded before us now that we (I) scream will infringe our civil liberties will turn out to be a pretty good idea 100 years from now?

Bootleggers and brick makers

Good news everyone! This one's a two-fer! Not nearly as juicy as the last one but nevertheless...

Cincinnati Enquirer
Apr. 2, 1903

Olive Hill Ky, April 1 - Alonso Dehart, who attempted to jump on a freight train here yesterday and came near falling under the wheels, has been arrested, charged with selling whisky in Elliot County without a license.

Olive Hill, Ky, Apr. 1 - Theodore Scott, aged 14, sustained a crushed hip and other injuries by being run over at the brick plant.

The Dehart incident intrigues me. Were the two events related? How so? I want more information. Although I'm sure the vignette I have running in my head with Don Knotts as Alonso Dehart and Jack Elam as the town marshal is much more interesting....

It would also be interesting with Elam as Dehart and Knotts as the marshal. Hmmm...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Deadly Olive Hill...

Another from the annals of Olive Hill's sordid history!

Cincinnati Enquirer Apr 5, 1903

She has Been Married
Brief Story of Her Life Told By Mrs. Ferguson,
Who Is Accused of Poisoning Her Foster Mother
Declares She Only Gave Medicine Prescribed By the Doctor - Effects of Imprisonment

Grayson, Ky, April 4 - The preliminary trial of Mrs. Marie Ferguson, charged with having given poison to Mrs. Wilson of Olive Hill, has been passed until next Wednesday in order that the analysis of the stomach of the deceased might be completed.

Mrs. Ferguson for the first time discussed her case fully to-day, though she is under the care of a physician. She said: I was born and raised in Greenup County, Ky, 10 miles from Portsmouth Ohio, where I lived until about 15 years of age. At that time I was stolen from my home, and by chance fell in with the Wilson family at Olive Hill, where at different times in my life I made my home.


Mrs. Ferguson stated that she had been married three times, once to Jerome Bonapart Bryant, a traveling man, who was subject to heart disease, from which he dropped dead in Georgia. She was not appraised of his death until after his burial, being in Texas at the time. Another husband, William Daulton, was drowned in the Atlantic while bathing. Dr. Ferguson, her present husband, with whom she has not lived for some time, is now an inmate of the asylum at Lexington Ky.

Mrs. Ferguson said she had been an invalid the greater part of her life and had traveled extensively in various parts of the United States for the last three years. Prior to last fall, when she went to live with the Wilson family, she had made Portsmouth (Ohio) her home. While on a visit to the Wilson family at Olive Hill last summer she said Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, whom she had always called her father and mother, insisted that she come and make her home with them, and she went there in September last.


Mrs. Ferguson, on being questioned about having given Mrs. Wilson some medicine, alleged to have been poison, stated that while she had been using some mazivenn(?) , which Mrs. Wilson called for and which she gave her, as Mrs. Wilson had taken it several times before. On Friday Mrs. Wilson was very sick and Dr. Hanfield having left some calomel for her, Mrs. Ferguson stated that she gave the calomel as directed. After taking this the patient complained of having a headache and called for acetanilide, which Mrs. Ferguson gave. Mrs. Ferguson further said the condition of Mrs. Wilson was such that on Friday and Saturday nights she was up the greater part of the time waiting on her and that she did not leave the Wilson home until after supper Sunday evening. She says that Mr. Wilson told her he would rather, if convenient, she would leave, that he would not then tell her what for, but that she would find out. Her imprisonment is already telling on Mrs. Ferguson.

First off I will give my thoughts on just the article without doing any research. This story stinks! She was "stolen" from her home at 15 and "fell in" with the Wilsons?? This reporter needed to be strung up for not getting into this!  Any way... Is it just me or does everybody else notice a pattern? I would like to know the circumstances behind Dr. Ferguson's "insanity". My guess is that there are a few other deaths that could have been connected to her as well. I say she's a good candidate for a serial killer.

I couldn't find any information on maziven. But like most medicines back then the other two could be deadly. Acetanilide was the forerunner of acetaminophen and calomel is mercury chloride.

Now for the research part: I found this great write up about Mrs. Ferguson by Glen Haney titled God Only Knows. According to his sources she was married to Daulton first and then Bryant. The background on Dr. Ferguson's insanity is given, although I suspect poison could have been involved. Mrs. Ferguson is also connected to another murder although it seemed she got away with it each time. Spoiler alert: She was found not guilty in the death of Mrs. Wilson too!

And then history eventually swallows her up...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Blasts from the pasts...

Casa de Zombie is coming along nicely. Ghostly things continue to happen. We keep learning more about the building. And so on.... I will be sharing more of that in the future but right now I want to share something else with you.

While doing some research on Casa de Zombie I did a little keyword search for my hometown, Olive Hill, KY, in the Cinci Enquirer and came up with a bunch of juicy tidbits I think I'll start posting.

I know not everybody gives a shit about the place I grew up but in order to make these palatable for the general public I will be adding some commentary. Enjoy...or don't...whatever...

Cincinnati Enquirer Oct. 4, 1902
Special Dispatch to the Enquirer
OLIVE HILL, KY, October 3 - At Reeder Postoffice, Nannie, the eight-year-old daughter of Joe Gilliam, dropped a revolver. The weapon discharged a ball that passed through her knee and took off one of the fingers of her grandmother, aged 89. The ball lodged in the aged lady's temple and she will die. The doctors say the girl's leg will have to be amputated above the knee. 

There's a lot going on in these four sentences. Most obvious is why was Nannie playing with a loaded pistol?  Secondly, one thing that struck me is the matter-of-fact style articles were written in back then. "...she will die". Really? But is suppose I was a bit surprised that and 89 year old shot in the head wasn't killed instantly and didn't just *poof* away in a cloud of dust and cobwebs. Just goes to show we were a tougher species back then. I mean just those that made it through childhood alive were tough sons of bitches.

That's it for now. I'll post another in a few days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Casa de ZOMBIE!

Wow, I have really been neglecting my blog. Lost'a stuff goin' on. Like Dead White & Blue Comics is now available. You can get it in my store. Zombies and aliens and Nazis, oh my!

Now for the really big news....We are now the proud owners of a building we have christened Casa de Zombie!

Don't really have much time to go into it but here's a thumbnail:
We closed on the building at the end of May after trying to get the financing squared away for over a year! The house is a bit of a paradox in that it's in good shape but needs a lot of work. We've been trying to make it habitable so we can move in ASAP. I've been doing a little video diary to document the changes being made. I'll post the first two at the end of this post. 

I'm also working on a history of the building. It was built around 1874 as a hotel and tavern. From what I'm gathering from newspaper articles and the few mentions of the building in history essays it was a less than reputable establishment. I'm sure the building has tales to tell...

Now for the question that everyone asks: Is it haunted? The short answer: I think so. We've been having strange experiences since the first time we went to view the property! Won't go into much here at the moment but I will say that we've started keeping a log of the "happenings" and we will be having a team in to investigate. More on that when it happens.

I plan on updating a bit more regularly. My Facebook friends have been getting photos of our work. I'll share those here as well. 

Until next time....

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sharin' some big news!

Yeah, yeah. I know. It's been a while since my last post but things have been pretty hectic around here. But the upside is that this post is crammed full of big news! What big news, you ask? News like this:

I just updated our calendar.

Feb. 11, '12 - Mississippi Pulp Con, Jackson, MS (Guest of Honor)
Feb. 17-19, '12 - Con Nooga, Chattanooga, TN
Mar. 17, '12 - Lexi-Con: Drink & Draw, Lexington, KY
Mar. 23-25, '12 - Horrorhound Weekend, Columbus, OH
Mar. 31, '12 - Con-Tourage's INFESTATION, Atlanta, GA (Guest of Honor)
Apr. 13-15 , '12 - C2E2, Chicago, IL
May. 4-6, '12 - Texas Frightmare Weekend, Dallas, TX 
May. 25-27, '12 - Alabama Phoenix Festival, Birmingham, AL (Guest)
Jun. 15-17, '12 - Con-tanimation, St. Louis, MO (Guest)
Jun. 30, '12 - Derby City Comic Con, Louisville, KY (Guest)
Aug. 31- Sep.3, '12 - Dragon*Con, Atlanta, GA (Guest)
Sep. 22-23, '12 - Cincinnati Comic Expo, Cincinnati, OH (Guest)
Sep. 28-30, '12 - Pandora Con, Cincinnati, OH (Guest of Honor)

The latest addition is that we'll be a guest at Dragon*Con in the Comics & Pulp Art section. I've got some ideas for Dragon*Con related art so keep yer eyes peeled!

Secondly: Ever wondered what I would do during a zombie apocalypse? Well, now you can see what good friend and author Shane Moore thinks I would do in his new book, The Apocalypse of Enoch. And if you wanna discount just go to New Babel Books' site, add the book to your cart and use the promo code AOEBilly. You can save $3 just by name droppin'! I will warn you that Shane gets one thing wrong in his depiction of me: He has me wearing pants much less than I would in real life....

Now for the big news (insert drum roll)
The first issue of Dead White & Blue Comics is available for pre-order!!
Go to my store and place your order for a measly $14.99 and get free shipping for a limited time! This epic proportions has been years in the making and is well on its way of becoming this generation's War and Peace! Without all words and stuff...and with zombies...and Nazis, and aliens and giant robots!

If you want to see a sample just go here and read 14 pages for free!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Input needed

Hey there kiddies, I have a favor to ask you. As most of you know I am working on the Dead White & Blue Comics. The first part is nearing completion. Yeah, yeah, I k now it was supposed to have been here before now but I picked up some really cool commissions in the last couple months of 2011 that had some really tight deadlines so here we are. Money talks, right? Anywhooo...

The comic is going to be an homage to the comics I grew up with in the 70s, mainly Marvel and DC with some Charlton thrown in for good measure. It is going to be the entire package with simulated shitty printing and  all. Here's where you guys come in; I'm adding what Marvel called the Bullpen Bulletins. If you're not familiar this is how the page is described on Wikipedia:

"Bullpen Bulletins"  was the news and information page... it included items such as previews of upcoming Marvel publications (the "Mighty Marvel Checklist"), news about and profiles of Marvel staff members, occasional references to real-world trends and events, and perhaps most famously, "Stan's Soapbox" (alternately known as "Stan Lee's Soapbox"), a monthly column written by Stan Lee.
With "Bullpen Bulletins," Lee created the friendly, chatty editorial voice of Marvel Comics — "a style that could be characterized as High Hipster — two parts Lord Buckley, one part Austin Powers,"[1] putting "himself on a first-name basis with the readership at a time when the rival DC editors generally came across... as... stodgy adults."[2]
The "Bullpen Bulletins" page was where Lee rhapsodized about the Marvel "bullpen," the stable of in-house creators who produced the company's comics. He often bestowed colorful sobriquets on Marvel staffers and creators; nicknames such as Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby permeated into mass culture. The fictional Marvel staffer Irving Forbush also appeared regularly — as the butt of Lee's humor. Similarly, phrases like "Excelsior!", "'Nuff said," "True Believer," and "Make Mine Marvel," as well as other company mainstays like the No-Prize, were popularized there as well."

I'm gong to emulate this as well as adding a small 'letters to the editor' section. And that is you come in my friends. I need questions! Since this is the first issue there won't be and comic related questions of course so just ask me something. Serious, not-so-serious, it doesn't matter. I'll pick a couple three or four and answer them in the column. So feel free to leave them here or on my Facebook page or email Thanks!
If you want to get an idea about the comic I have 14 pages online to sample. These are pages I pulled that makes a single narrative kinda giving some back story. It's a little wordy but rest assured there's plenty of brain-eatin', Nazi-stompin' action!

If you need a visual as to what the Bullpen Bulletins looked like here is a good example: