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My Three Year Old, just now: Daddy, let me tell you a joke.
Me: Okay.
Asa: Why is your butt around the corner?
Me: I dunno. Why?
Asa: Because you ran over it. (Cackles maniacally)
AsaBizarreComedy
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The story below appeared on my news site.

Latest Leif M. Wright book launches tomorrow

Monday, May 22, 2017, 9:21 AM

Disclaimer: This story is about Leif M. Wright, the owner of MuskogeeNOW.com.

Robby the R-Word launches nationally tomorrow.

Robby the R-Word, the latest novel by Leif M. Wright (me), launches nationally tomorrow, May 23. The book follows the story of Robby Turner, who has been trapped for 40 years inside a body that won’t move or communicate with the outside world. Now, however, he has received a special computer that lets him communicate for the first time, and people around him start falling victim to a mysterious attacker.

The book is important to me, because it’s dedicated to my cousin, Cydney Cox of Norman, and her toddler son, Maddox, who was murdered earlier this year. It was formerly dedicated to the late Kristi Fry of Muskogee and his youngest son, who suffers from physical ailments similar to Robby’s.

In the novel, which was written more than a year ago, Robby is severely handicapped after being traumatically beaten as a child. In real life, Maddox was killed in the same way, and, feeling helpless to do much else, I wanted to honor Maddox by changing the dedication.

The book had already gone to press when Maddox died, but I asked the people at Promontory Press, its publisher, if there was any way we could change the dedication page. The publisher didn’t even flinch. They rearranged everything so the dedication could change, even so close to the book’s release date.

The book is now available at Amazon.com, and will be in bookstores nationwide tomorrow. 

A boxful of the books is en route to me, and as soon as they arrive, we will have a launch party and signing. Keep posted here.

Here is the press release Promontory sent out about the book:

MUSKOGEE, OK – Promontory Press is pleased to announce the publication of Robby the R-Word, a chilling new murder mystery by award-winning author Leif M. Wright. The book is scheduled for North American release on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Robby Turner has been completely paralyzed for forty years. He’s a vegetable in a wheelchair — at least, that’s what everyone thinks. Then he receives a special computer that allows him to communicate. 

Now, brutal assaults and murders by a clumsy assailant have Detective Bain determined to catch the perp while struggling to keep her messy personal life from ruining her chance — and career. Meanwhile, Robby has been watching and hearing everything, and he’s been doing his own detective work. But can Bain trust Robby? After all, the clues are starting to point toward him.

“The plot has enough twists, turns and unearthing of unexpected connections between the characters to keep readers guessing,” says Publishers Weekly, adding that the novel “has a lot going for it.”

Leif M. Wright is the author of a previous novel, Minister of Justice(2015) and a true crime book, Deadly Vows (2014). A longtime journalist, computer programmer, professional musician, business owner and former ghost writer, he lives on a ranch near Muskogee, Oklahoma with his wife, three children and too many animals to count.

Robby the R-Word is available for order at Amazon.com and at fine bookstores everywhere.

For more information about Leif M. Wright, please visit: Website: http://leifwright.com Facebook: LeifMWright

I am the MediaRobby the R-Word
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OK, I've seen a lot of episodes of Iron Fist. Turns out, I was right. It's a good show, complete with lots of great fighting, martial arts porn and zen, chi and buddhism.
So good. I think the critics who have disparaged this latest Marvel TV show are probably not comic book fans, because Iron Fist is a comic brought to life.
Thank you. That is all.
Critics are full of shitTV
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Ok. Disclaimer: I'm only two episodes into Netflix's Marvel series Iron Fist. But it took me this long to watch it because reviews of the series were universally bad.
And I'll be honest, when the show first started, I thought, "Come on, this is just a rehash of Green Arrow: Rich guy gets stranded somewhere, learns to be a badass, comes back as a super hero."
But the truth is, Iron Fist is so much more nuanced and fun to watch than Green Arrow. For one, there's an actual plot (rich guy doesn't care about being rich, just wants to reconnect with his childhood friends), and the writing and acting are solid.
I loved the fight scenes in Daredevil, and I thought I wouldn't love Iron Fist if I didn't see the same. Especially since it's a series about a super martial artist. But I was wrong. I love this story—the story of people who illegally took over a massive corporation and now don't want it's legitimate 51 percent owner coming and taking away their gravy train, even though he couldn't give a shit about the money or the corporation. So they use legitimate avenues to lock him in a mental ward, where medication ensures he doesn't cause them any more trouble. Man, that's a good story!
And Iron Fist tells it well, at least in the first two episodes. So I reserve final judgment for later, but for now I think the critics have a stick up their asses and just hate this show because it dares to tell an engaging story rather than jumping right into the ass kicking. We'll see as it progresses.
TVCritics are full of shit
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I'm not sure how a Goodreads reader got a copy of Robby The R-Word to read before it's released, but as I was perusing the publisher's Web site while offering suggestions on the press packet they're preparing, I noticed that my book had indeed been reviewed. And it's good. 
"A captivating thriller that kept me questioning my commitment to the main character," reviewer Talya says. "This book uses modern technology and deceit in clever ways that will keep you reading for more!"
I'm flattered. And I'm fascinated by how different people take away different things from the book. I'm glad she was questioning her commitment to Robby during the book, because that's what I wanted readers doing—after all, there's a chance that Robby himself is the bad guy (I can't tell you whether he is or not until you read the book). And the idea that she picked up on the technology I've smattered throughout the book is nice, too. And the deceit, which I think would be better termed "misdirection," but still, you say potato, I say tomato. 
Either way, I'm proud to have this book's first reader review from someone I don't know and who doesn't get paid to review books. That's better, in my opinion, than anything.
ReviewsRobby the R-Word
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Pete Holmes is both tragic and hilarious in Crashing on HBO.
There could be a whole psychological study on why I love standup comedy.
For some unfathomable reason, my parents got me the Los Cochinos album by Cheech and Chong when I was like seven years old.
Pretty sure I've figured out why I think drug humor is so funny.
It was filled with drug humor, and even as a little kid, I got it: two dudes smoked something and it made their minds weird, and it was hilarious. I loved that the album cover was cut to the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle and there was all kinds of graffiti on the back side, but what I really loved was the impeccable timing of the greatest comedy duo (yes, even including Abbot and Costello and the Smothers Brothers) in the history of comedy.
From that time to this, I have always been a fan of standup comedy, and (forgive my rape-forgetting nostalgia), even including Bill Cosby from the '60s. 
The man is a bastard. And what he did to like fifty women is unforgivable. But I didn't know any of that when I was laughing to his albums in the 1970s, imagining Junior Jones getting a mouthful of spit, or Fat Albert solving the ghetto's problems, or a traffic jam in San Francisco turning into a used car lot, or a tree biting a car, or a student asking a coach teaching a science class "why is there air?" Howard Stern swears he never understood why people thought Cosby was funny, but I really did, when I was a kid. Maybe that's the problem, Howard was an adult when Cosby hit.
Fast forward to 1983, with Eddie Murphy in a pleather zoot suit, pacing back and forth on a state like his idol Richard Pryor, commanding his audience like a demented conductor, making what now would be considered unforgivably homophobic and racist jokes that made a multicultural audience lose its shit in laughter. 
Or in the modern day, my favorite comedian, Patton Oswalt, making me laugh so hard I thought I might literally die of an aneurism while making fun of Holocaust victim Anne Frank's story. Or Louis CK making me spit out my gum while mowing the lawn and listening to him talk about how horrible people his children are. Or, and God forgive me, Daniel Tosh and pretty much everything he has ever said. The man makes me want to pee my pants—even if I don't have to pee—because his humor is so WRONG.
So, when Stern is not producing new shows for four days of the seven-day week, I tune my SiriusXM radio to the four or five comedy channels there, and in the last year or so, I've been loving a comedian named Pete Holmes, who is mostly clean, but whose Christian background makes for some biting and insightful humor nonetheless.
So you can imagine my joy when I saw he had a show on HBO called Crashing, which co-starred two of my other favorites, TJ Miller and Artie Lange (Stern show alumnus). 
Also, and this is a side-note, if you ever hear Artie say "Don't come back until you have Hepatitis C," you're watching a show worthy of the title "Wrong, but fucking funny."
In addition, if you hear the protagonist answer the hooker responding to that by asking "what do you like" and the respondent saying "I love free wifi and breakfast for dinner," you know you've stumbled onto a great show.
What I found, besides an over-the-top indulgence of my passion for stand-up comedy, but also a poignant and sometimes-sad telling of the true lives of struggling comedians, paying to perform at open mikes, hawking flyers on the streets of New York City in the hopes of maybe getting five minutes of time if they are able to draw in enough paying customers to the club. And the self-inflicted tragedy of loving comedy so much that they estrange everyone else in their lives, much as an alcoholic or drug addict does.
It is the perfect balance of sadness, humor, hope and despair. It's one of the best-written shows I've watched in awhile, and that's a pretty big compliment, coming from a self-centered guy like me who believes he is a great writer. 
Pete Holmes is a great comedian, and I think he may be even a greater writer. Because the show is on pay network HBO, it may not get the kind of viewership it deserves, and that's a tragedy, because it touches all the bases in the best forms of entertainment, while keeping me laughing through all the tragedy and drama. That's a hell of a tough balance to strike. 
Did I mention Dave Attell? I've talked about him before—he's one of the best comedians you've never heard of. Scratch that. He's THE best comedian you've never heard of. If you haven't heard Dave Attell's standup, you haven't heard standup. Do not argue. I'm right about this. But Crashing features Dave Attell. So there's a reason to watch it, all by itself. Oh, plus, one of my longtime celebrity crushes (no, not Natalie Portman, at least not in this series), Sarah Silverman. She is a pivotal character that furthers Pete's career, plus, she's also ... um, Sarah Silverman.



Do yourself a favor, and stream or subscribe to HBO and watch every episode of Crashing. You will not be mad at me for suggesting it.
Artie LangeComedyDave AttellHoward SternPete HolmesSarah SilvermanTV
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In the history of television, there has never been a better show than Boston Legal. The premise is simple: A group of lawyers practicing in Boston. One is a passionate, deeply flawed, yet painfully honest advocate, played by James Spader. Another is an eccentric, yet impressively brilliant and deceptively crazy founding partner, played by William Shatner. The friendship between the two is sublime, and uncoincidentally reminds me of my friendship with my friend, Jan Jordan.
At the end of every episode, they ruminate on a balcony in the gilded tower that houses their successful firm. Shatner, the conservative, and Spader, the flaming liberal, find common ground in the kind of platonic love men in America never really share with each other.
But the common thread that makes the show so great is the freedom of honesty most of the characters display in spades. Don't like someone? They say it without fear of the response. Think someone is stupid? They don't mind telling them. Shatner, in one episode, goes to court to defend the idea of someone "sounding black" on the phone, yet has no racism in his character at all. The show at once tears down the political correctness that has castrated American discourse, while defending the sensitivities that inspired that political correctness.
It is, in a single word, flawless. 
You can, according to the show, be a feminist, while still understanding the male evolutionary prerogative to ogle. You can defend the equality of all races and creeds while still understanding the innate humanity of categorizing people by their races and creeds. 
Something about the show makes it okay for people to be honest about their prejudices (not racial, not gender, but all prejudices) while defending the idea that prejudices are not okay when they affect other people's rights. 
I have long said that I'm a Jeffersonian democrat, and by that, I mean I adhere to my paraphrased version of one of Jefferson's most powerful quotes: "Your liberty is absolute, and extends until it infringes on my liberty."
You're free to swing your fist until it connects with me. 
I may not agree with why you're swinging your fist, but I really don't care if you do it. Until it hits my face. THEN, I care.
Honestly, I think if America reverted to that simple an understanding of freedom, we'd be a much happier place. And Boston Legal makes that ethos an entertaining exercise in understanding.
Alan Shore, the character played by Spader, is an extreme liberal. And Denny Crane, the character played by Shatner, is an extreme conservative. In the final wash, the show puts to lie the idea that extremism in either form should be tolerated. I obviously identify more with Spader's liberal character, but the show helps remind me that extremism is the enemy of actual and positive change. I'm a socialist. I'm a big-government liberal. But there are valid ideas on the conservative side of the spectrum as well. The show helps remind me that my point of view is absolutely extreme and has to be tempered with compromise if ALL of America is to be included in its idealistic tent. Idealism is the enemy of actual change. I have to be willing to compromise on my views if shit is actually going to be done.
Where else in entertainment can you find such a tempering view? Where else can you get an obviously liberal viewpoint challenged by the same writer from the conservative point of view? It is, and I say this without reservation, perfection in socially conscious entertainment. Liberals can love this show, and so can conservatives. What other show can you say that about?
One character, Crane, worries that in the afterlife, he will carry the ravages of Alzheimer's with him. Shore assures him that in the afterlife, we remain as we were in the best of times. With depthless love, Crane looks at him and says, "Like now?"
How can a show that makes me laugh so hard make me also want to cry? It's amazing, brilliant writing of which I am boundlessly jealous. Robby the R-Word makes me want to cry in several chapters, but I envy a writer who can so effortlessly make me want to laugh and cry in the space of two minutes. 
Can I tell you I'm terrified of Alzheimer's? I've always had a problem associating names with faces. I have always seen people and known I should know their names, but I just don't. Never have. But what if that is one of the precursors of Alzheimers? What if the fact that you have to tell me who you are and why I should remember you is something to be alarmed about? I've been locally famous for 30 years, meaning tons and tons of people know who I am, and I have no idea who they are. But what if I should? What if that's all a sign of diminishing memory? 
Boston Legal deals with those fears in a fearless way. It sets out on a path to face that reality without flinching—and make it funny at the same time.
The fact is, David E. Kelley is the creative force behind it, and Ally McBeal and The Practice and Picket Fences. It really only proves that he is an amazing writer, and I envy his ability to effortlessly weave entertainment and social commentary together. I find absolutely nothing in Boston Legal to nitpick. And I kind of hate Kelley for it.
I can only get the final season on iTunes, but even though I don't own a DVD player, I'm seriously considering buying the rest and buying a DVD player, simply so I can re-watch all the episodes I miss so much. I've watched them all before, but I want to watch them again.
And if you know me, you know that's the best endorsement I can make for a TV show.
I Was RIGHT!TV
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When you're building a project in the garage, it's impossible to avoid the occasional three-year-old, who feels like he's helping if he wears the welding mask.
Plus, he keeps all the sparks from trashing my glasses, which I've been wearing since my new contacts started frying my eyes.
I'm just glad my babies are so interested in what Daddy is doing. Makes the time pass more quickly.
DIYProjects in Progress
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This here's a bench. Made from a bed frame. Like, from old timey times.
My wife's grandparents left her an old bed frame, and she wanted to to something special with it, so she asked me if I'd make a bench out of it that we would give to her mother for her birthday.
It's been a long time since I've worked with metal, so I was reticent, especially since I don't have any welding equipment. But her mother is the best grandmother our children could ever expect, so I thought I'd try.
Here is the old bed frame.

So the first order of business was cutting the old footer (to the left) into two pieces, which would become arms for the bench. They had to be short enough to accommodate the seat, which meant about 18 inches each. 
So I grabbed an angle grinder and rough cut 18 inches (closer to 20) on each side, which left about a foot of footer between the two cuts. The cuts I made were VERY rough, so I needed to finesse them to create the final arms for the bench.
I cut off about an inch on each side with a finer cutter than the angle grinder, And then I set about cutting the cresents into the pipes so they'd match up to the headboard, which was to become the back of the bench. I used a bench grinder to cut the crescents, eyeballing the arcs based on the width of the pipes. The arc is essentially half the distance of the width of the pipes, but again, I didn't measure, I eyeballed, comparing the arc I was cutting to the actual headboard pipe as I went along.
Grinding metal while wearing sandals may result in toe injuries. Word to the wise.
And in the middle, I burned the piss out of my toe. Pro tip: wear something other than sandals when you're grinding metal down.
Once I got the crescents cut into the arm pieces, Aidan, our 15-year-old, who has been practicing welding with a flux-wire welder, wanted to weld the seams, so I let him take over on that part:
Are you crazy? He's 15. Wear shoes if you're going to be welding anything. Also, flip down your welding mask to avoid going blind.

Once the arms were welded to the frame, it was time to start thinking about the seat, which presented a special problem, because the frame itself provided no support hook-ins for a seat. So I decided I would use lag screws to attach a wooden seat frame to the bed frame itself, which meant drilling pilot holes and whatnot.
First, I built the frame, with the long pieces offset to allow me to insert the lag screws:
Here is the seat frame sitting inside the welded and primed bed frame.

It was important for me to measure accurately, because the back side of the bed frame was about half an inch narrower than the front of the bed frame, simply due to stuff inching around during the welding process. I used old barn wood that we had torn down from a local barn. It was all wet (soaked, actually), because it was raining cats and dogs when I was doing this process.
Once the frame was in place, I had to attach it with the lag bolts: 

That was actually a tricky process, because the pilot holes I drilled were a bit too small. Eventually I ended up clamping the boards and the metal together to prevent the bolts from bending the metal outward, and I used a simple 9/16 ratchet to drive the bolts through the wood and metal. 
Once the frame was attached, it was a simple matter of drilling the wood planks (ancient 2X6 planks from the barn) into the frame. But first, my wife had to prime the metal for its eventual paint job:
She hates this picture, because she thinks it makes her 110-pound body look fat. All skinny people, in my experience, think they look fat.

With the metal primed and the wooden frame inserted, it was time to finally tack on the wooden seat:
Each plank was measured separately, because of the slight difference between the width of the back and the front.
I used number-25 hex-drive three-inch bolts to attach the seat planks. With everything tacked down, we waited a day for the wood to dry, then April sealed the wood and painted the frame turquoise, ending up with a final product that weighs about 70 pounds:

DIYMetalworking
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The good review of my book, Robby the R-Word, by Publisher's weekly has now made its way to the book's Amazon page
Here it is: 
Wright's police procedural has a lot going for it: a complicated plot featuring a string of strangely related attacks; Robby Turner, a brilliant man who has been completely paralyzed for decades; a captivating, if scatological, beginning; and Detective Bain, who has enough politics to deal with and sufficient amounts of the underdog about her to put the reader in her corner. More importantly, the plot has enough twists, turns, and unearthing of unexpected connections between the characters to keep readers guessing who is responsible for beating Robby's father and other similar attacks. --Publisher's Weekly
Conveniently, they left out the part about the lesbian sex. But I'm not complaining. It looks pretty good from where I sit.*
It also looks like they now have the Kindle book on there, which is cool, since it's 11 dollars cheaper than the paperback.
So, overall, stoked. The book will be out in less than a month, and then you can voraciously consume it, because you won't be able to put it down (patented glue covers ensure that).
I have been goofing off on trying to get Father of Malice into agents' hands, so I guess I could be doing that instead of posting this. 
*Also, I laughed when the review said the opening is scatalogical. There is a little bit of shit in the first three chapters. It's funny I didn't really notice until someone else pointed it out.
ReviewsRobby the R-Word
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"Scorpion," a TV series, is ostensibly about the smartest man ever recorded, with something like a 190 IQ.
Maybe, but whoever writes the series has more like a 19 IQ.         
I will say this: My IQ has been tested numerous times, and my average score was enough that I can confidently say: IQ scores are (how should I say this...? Ummm) bullshit.
IQ, which stands for intelligence quotient, is about as much a measure of intelligence as a quarter pounder at McDonald's is a measure of levels of sound. 
The IQ tests administered in complete sincerity simply measure knowledge, not intelligence. 
Anyway, Scorpion acts like being smart is a disease. Like smart people need to be treated differently, because their brains are so focused on physics that they can't be bothered to process social interactions or interpersonal relations. And it's complete bullshit. 
There is no universal code saying smart people have to be socially awkward. 
Intelligence cannot possibly be measured. How can a smart person say being good at thinking is any more valid than John Elway being able to look over the backs of an offensive line and read the pattern of a potential defensive movement? Or a garbage man knowing exactly where to throw the black Hefty bag to maximize the efficiency of the truck on which he's hanging? True intelligence is immeasurable. The really smart guy discovered how to make fire, how to construct a wheel. Or to make a shelter out of leaves and branches. Humanity has survived to this point because brilliant people solved fundamental problems involved with making sure evolution continued for our species. 
Again, the point is this: Smart people are everywhere, even when we're thinking disdainfully about the people whose brains are much bigger than ours. I knew a guy who had mastered calculus in the seventh grade, yet today, he's delivering packages for a parcel service. But who the hell am I to tell him that's not a career a smart guy would choose? 
I said all that to say this: Scorpion is absolute bullshit. There are plenty of smart people who are absolutely normal socially. My son Axl is one of them. He could read when he was 18 months old. But put him around his athletic cousins and he's just a regular guy, punching, laughing, throwing balls and being a regular kid.
Smart is relative. It's easy. Being a well-rounded person? Not so much. Neither has to be mutually exclusive. Smart people can be socially normal, and socially normal people can be smart. I, for one, am glad we live in a world where Scorpion is one-dimensional, because real smart people are everywhere, and they don't have to act like nerds to prove it.
Plus, the show's situations are just stupid. Some Bulgarian hackers take over the United States' entire defensive network, seize control of jets in the air, making them dogfight each other. They even somehow manage to take control of the jets' ejection seats so the pilots can't get out. Then the hackers take control of a bunch of Navy destroyers, positioning them at the "four corners" of the continental US, and only the intrepid smart people in Scorpion can stop them, by using a stud finder to reprogram one of the planes' computers as it careens toward earth above them. I shit you not. And then the other smart guy uses Play Doh to coat his hands as he grabs onto a cable in an elevator shaft and jumps 30 stories to the ground to avoid the blast from a cruise missile launched at him because the Bulgarian hackers were mad that he was trying to un-hack them. 
And those are the BEST parts of the plot. Don't even make me describe the tandem love-triangle plots between the nerds and their inexplicably attractive love interests. 
Bah. But I do love the irony in the idea that the stupidest show on TV is about the smartest guy in the world.
I Am MeanTV
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