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New Pulp-Fiction is a Blood Bath

J. R. Parks’s new book blends horror and comedy

San Jose, CA (Vocus) October 19, 2010

The line between creepy and drop-dead hilarious is surprisingly thin. Think about it: screams ofsound pretty close to howls of laughter. And who among us hasn’t been scared out of our wits by our slightly-deranged friend who loves a good practical joke. Your gasp of shock quickly disintegrates into a fit of giggles as soon as you realize you’ve been pranked. Yep, fear and joy – however hard it is to admit – are different sides of the same coin, and never is this fact more apparent than inuproarious novel, .

Bucky Dennis, an ex-high school football star, Vietnam veteran and divorced father of two, is about to find himself in a blood bath as every matter of demonic beastie, creature, monster and ghoul congregate in his town of Verney, Mississippi to conduct every manner of evil. The slack-jawed, “bayou bubba” Bucky Dennis is America’s great hope for a devil-free future.

Reminiscent of the cultish wit offlicks, Parks writes with a funny bone bigger than most. He’s that classmate who always spoke in witty entendres. You know, the one who always made you feel a little sub-par when it took you a second to come up with an equally amusing response (and by “equally” we mean “never quite there”). Parks also has another thing going for him – an effortless Southern charm. Forgetting for a moment that he was born in California, Parks raps poetically on a staple of gothic literature – . “Southern Gothic is the slow cooked, bloody-nosed mistress that gets even with a pick ax and a .44,” he writes on his website. “Ultimately, she’s the American genre that isn’t afraid to wade knee-deep through murky water. She climbs out onto perfectly sturdy tree limbs and starts sawing at the knot. Southern Gothic lets us get damn personal with the anti-hero and experience the hero’s journey from a profoundly flawed place.”

The Gospel of Bucky Dennis offers a sticky plate-full of screams, thrills, and laughs, with a side order of tongue-in-cheek cleverness dripping from the side. It’s a dish not to be missed.

About the AuthorBorn at 11:11 a.m. on the 22nd of September in the hot, dry town of Mission Viejo, California, J. R. Parks was weaned on monster flicks, ghost stories, wizards and lightsabers. He’s seen Jaws over a hundred times, can’t get enough of Clive Barker’s mad scratching, and dreamt, from the beginning, of the day he’d take pen to paper and show those monsters what for.

Visit him at .

Parks is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA).


J. R. ParksAuthorHive408.844.4808Email Information

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Why Windows Is Good for Business

The Linux and Mac operating systems fill a relative niche in the world of technology, yet that has never stopped loyal followers of either platform from being a very vocal minority Quixotically tilting at windmills and proudly asserting the superiority of their given OS.

Although they've both been around for decades, Linux and Mac combined make up less than ten percent of the overall operating system market. Steve Ballmer recently underscored this simple fact,that "ninety-five percent of the world's computers run Windows. They don't run Mac, they don't run Linux."

Market share alone does not make an OS better. Many arguably superior technologies have lost the marketing war and faded to oblivion. However, Katherine Noyes--a PCWorld peer of mine and Linux aficionado--makes the bold claim that . Sheer market share aside, there are a number of reasons that Microsoft Windows is undeniably good for business.

1. Cost. Yes, Linux is open source and available for "free". I just downloaded the latest release of Ubuntu Linux without spending a dime. However, Linux in general--and specifically Linux in a business environment--is a prime example of "you get what you pay for."

First of all, if a business wants any support for the platform, it must get Linux with a support agreement...for a fee. Second of all, the cost of the actual operating system is a mere fraction of the total cost of ownership. Operating systems and software have to be deployed, monitored, maintained, supported, updated, patched, and protected. Microsoft Windows has the tools and infrastructure necessary to accomplish these tasks across 100 or 10,000 PCs efficiently and cost-effectively.

2. Productivity. Windows, in particular Windows 7 with Windows Server 2008, has features such as DirectAcess and BranchCache that greatly enhance connectivity and productivity on remote systems whether they are located in a satellite office across the country, or connecting from a coffee shop on the other side of the world. The time and frustration normally invested in VPN and remote access connections affects productivity and has a real-world impact on business.

3. Management. This was already mentioned as a function of cost, but its worth mentioning again. Most of the tit-for-tat comparisons made regarding Linux or Mac OS X vs. Windows are based on a head-to-head match between individual systems. But, businesses many systems--hundreds, or maybe thousands or tens of thousands.

It isn't enough for a given platform to have a unique feature or incremental performance boost over another. IT admins need a desktop OS culture that can be easily monitored and maintained across a high volume of systems no matter where they are located.

4. Compliance. Depending on the business, IT admins have to address and comply with a variety of regulatory and industry mandates: SOX, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, GLBA, BASEL-II--you name it. Windows provide tools like BitLocker to encrypt data stored on the hard drive, and BitLocker-to-Go to encrypt data on removable media, and AppLocker to restrict which software can run on the platform to those designated on the white list.

I have no doubt that there are similar tools available for either Linux or Mac OS X. However, IT admins don't just need tools that work on the individual systems, they need solutions that can be configured, maintained, and monitored across the infrastructure on systems both local and remote. Microsoft provides such a framework, and it is the framework that IT admins and end-users are most familiar with.

5. Software. How many of the software applications that businesses rely on--whether commercial, off-the-shelf applications, or custom software developed in-house--runs on Linux or Mac? Buehler? Anyone?

Even if a business finds equivalent software to use on a Linux system, will it connect to and function seamlessly with the other business-critical applications? There is a cascading domino-effect associated with software decisions that has an impact beyond the software application itself.

I don't question that it is possible to find or develop an alternative capable of filling the same role on other OS platforms. I question, though, the business value of swimming upstream and making every software decision more complicated than it has to be.

I won't even go into the monoculture or security fallacies that Linux and Mac OS X loyalists cling to. I will simply point to afrom years ago explaining the false logic of the , and reiterate that despite all desperate claims to the contrary Linux and Mac OS X are both vulnerable as well and that the reason Microsoft is the prime target is a function of its market share more than theitself.

To some extent, operating system preference is equivalent to religion. Arguing that one religion is "better" because it has twenty times more followers falls on deaf ears. The five percent that follow the smaller faith are still absolutely positive that it's not just the best, but the "right" one.

Thankfully, it's simple to illustrate the benefits of the Windows operating system for businesses without even getting into a discussion over whether Windows is better or worse than Linux or Mac OS X on any technical level, and the reality is that Windows is indisputably the best operating system for business.


Now entering Jackson family business: Austin Brown

LOS ANGELES – Over a decade ago, when Michael Jackson was working on what would become his final album, a young producer named Rodney Jerkins set up shop in the dance room of the singer's Neverland Ranch. A youngster approached Jerkins with a bold swagger.

"I'm going to work with you. We're going to work together on my album," Austin "Auggie" Brown told Jerkins, who flashed back to his own introduction to Jackson as a teenager.

"I'm looking at this 13-year-old kid and I'm seeing all this ambition and it reminded me of myself the first time I met his uncle," Jerkins recalls. "I believe that when you speak things into existence, it happens. ... I said, 'I'll be ready when you're ready.'"

Brown — the son of Jackson's older sister Maureen, known as Rebbie — is now 24, and has been working at Jerkins' Los Angeles studio for months to create his debut album, "85." He's a serious and passionate student of music and dance, with handsome, distinctively angular facial features that recall his uncle in the "Thriller" period. Surrounded by musicians in his formative years, "I was a sponge," he said.

"My brother-in-law Rex, who taught me how to produce, he would show me how to play like a Janet song or something. And then I'd go to her and be like 'Watch this!'" he said. "I wanted to learn and to learn the songs. Play the songs, and then get the reaction from playing it and show people. I wanted to figure out the music, not just be around the music."

Perhaps the only surprise is that Brown didn't enter the family business sooner.

"It was really important to me to develop," Brown said in an interview alongside Jerkins, with his mother looking on quietly. "First and foremost, music is a privilege. It's not an entitlement for me. So I wanted to get better and get to the point where I felt like I was ready. And I did it on my own. I wanted to write with my own people, meet people for myself. Really go through the grind that everyone has to go through."

To be sure, Brown first hit a stage when he was 3 at one of his mother's concerts in Japan. It was family connections that led him to talented dance coaches in Las Vegas and to Jerkins, and family connections that prompted interest from People mgazine, Access Hollywood and MTV even before the release of his first song. But Brown makes it clear that he wants to succeed based on his own talent.

"My last name is Brown. And you know, I can't help where I come from, but I love where I come from," he said.

Brown says his album will blend classic soul and 1980s pop sounds with contemporary dance beats. He cites as influences Billy Idol, George Michael, Prince and his uncle — particularly when it comes to the key ingredient in songcraft.

"My uncle, he was a stickler on that. He always told me, 'The melody. Be true to the melody. Melody is key,'" Brown said. "So that's really what we tried to do with '85.'"

Jerkins, who completed a number of additional songs with Jackson before the singer's death last year, says the rich tones of Brown's voice have been prompting more flashbacks.

"I haven't really told him this, but there have been moments where I listen to a part and it's like 'Whoa!' I get goosebumps because it just really puts me in that mindset of MJ," Jerkins said. "And that's amazing to me. Because it takes you there for a second."

Brown has released his first song, "Target Practice," for free via his website and expects to release his debut album, "85," next year on his label, The Royal Factory.