Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 – Where Did You Go?


“You know… as you get older time will move - it will fly by.” The Old Man said.

“Wow.” I replied.

The aforementioned exchange never really happened. I’ve been aware of the precious nature of time since my eighteenth birthday. But I have noticed as the years have clicked by that those clich├ęs are more than true. I have seen them realized and do you know what? – Those old people really knew what they were talking about.

Tempus Fugit. …No, really. Time flies and as we get older it really flies.

What’s done is done. The past is the past. Gone; never to return. In the words of the philosopher Jimmy Buffett, “…breathe in breathe out – move on.” There’s really not all that much can be done about it now. Make as best friends as you can with the past and walk on. We can make plans for the future but all that really is is a hypothesis and but a hope for what may come.

What we have is right now… (I think).

So RIGHT NOW, Gentle Reader, I wish you the best of all possible outcomes in the New Year. Stay healthy, stay happy, remember to tell those that you love that you love them and understand the difference between what you want and what you need. Enjoy what you have. We are very lucky. There is so much wonder and amazement around us. My hope is to develop the eyes to see that clearer in the coming year and to pass that vision along to my children.

May 2008 be all that you hope it to be.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rotten Tomatoes 2007 Best Film List

I haven’t seen ‘em all but Rotten Tomatoes has. Here’s what their editors picked as the top of 2007: see - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/no_country_for_old_men/news/1700054/.

I agree with “300” and “Ratatouille” since I’ve seen ‘em and know that they are worth your time. The rest are most likely decent rentals though.

And with that; it’s New Years Eve. Do you believe it? I have a few issues with the concept… Still, the calendar must be satisfied.

Happy New Year, Gentle Reader, may it be all that you hope it to be.

Brand New Knight Rider Teaser

Reinvented Eighties Cheese?

Bring it on!

You Work Hard for the Money

So hard for it Honey… Doesn’t it sort of upset you when you pay good, hard earned dollars for something that you or your Aunt Annie could have done better? Does it not irk you that you are paying for something sub par – at least on some level? Does it kill you that YOU are supporting with your hard-earned dollars garbage and/or poor service? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the concept of service, capitalism and supply and demand – but when you put money on the wood don’t you wish that you got what you expected when you laid down said cash?

Sure you do. So do I.

I remember sitting in a theater watching “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in the theaters and being physically ill. The couple that we (Mother Hen and I) went with had no appreciation for the original genius that Alan Moore’s graphic novel truly is. No kidding. Alan Moore has the distinction of being listed on Time Magazines 100 Best Novels of All Time List (for the “Watchmen” and not League – but you get the idea); see - http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html. The couple we went to the theater with couldn’t understand why I was so upset.

“They completely blew it.” I said. “It’s like they had no idea that the story had been written – that there is an established reality.”

“It was ok.” They said.

“Did you see the same movie I just did?” I said. My jaw dropped open at the end of the sentence.

It was a wonderful evening. The film left such a bad taste in my mouth that it spilled over into my general presentation. I became much like the character Hyde in the film – a ripe jerk.

“But it had Tom Sawyer…” they said.

“TOM SAWYER is NOT in the book.” I explained.

“You mean COMIC book?” they asked.

I shut down. Why bother? Really? Yes I might be a ripe jerk but I was standing with Mr. Moore on this one – he refused outright to have his name attached to the steaming abomination that we had just PAID MONEY out of my POCKET to see.

A-hem

Please forgive me. I digress. I will eventually get over my bitterness.

What if there was an easy way for me to check into a media product before buying it…

Hmmmm…

Enter Meta Critic (see: http://www.metacritic.com/). There are other sites like it but I like the scope of what they review; Movies, DVDs, TV, Books, Music and Games – you could say that there is a decent spread.

Feel free to add it to your arsenal of preparedness sites on the web. It’s merely a tool to keep you, Gentle Reader, apprised of your choices before you spend your hard earned money on a well hyped media dud.

Be careful out there kiddies.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Free Rice


.com that is: http://www.freerice.com/.

I was poking around Neil Gaiman’s web page (http://www.neilgaiman.com/) and read about this little gem. It’s a non-profit that wants to increase people’s vocabulary and feed people at the same time. Not a bad proposition really.

I’m a shlub and can use all the help I can get. Try it out. Learn some words – feed some people.

“Randomosity”

noun, plural – ties.

1. The state or quality of being random.
2. The measure of the extent to which a random action, thought, person, place or thing that possesses this property.
3. A term invented by Chick 1.0.

Last year at Christmas a co-worker gave me an Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader calendar and neglected to say that it was mine for the last 11 and a half months. It’s been sitting on a desk in our office. He explained that he forgot to give it to me last year. No worries. I can appreciate that – hey it’s the thought that counts. This being said please allow me to share some of the Randomosity that exists within the confines of the calendar itself. If you are familiar with the “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” series of books then you may have already heard some of these little factoids. If not then please enjoy…

Adoxography is defined as “good writing about a trivial subject”.

The average person passes gas 14 times a day, totaling 1 to 3 pints worth.

What are Dr. Jekyll’s and Mr. Hyde’s first names? Henry and Edward.

Blood travels 60,000 miles (96,540 KM) a day as it circulates through the human body.

DeForest Kelly was buried in his Dr. McCoy tunic.

For at least 5 years, the U.S. Army refused to believe that the Wright Brothers could fly.

A dose of rattlesnake venom that would kill a horse barely affects an opossum.

No only child has ever been elected U.S. President.

How long American drivers wait at traffic lights in their lifetime: 14 days.

Algae produce over half of the oxygen humans breathe.

According to plumbers the hardest item to flush down a toilet is a ping-pong ball.

There are an estimated 5 ½ million billion tons of air in the atmosphere.

Earth’s water is 97% salt water, 2% frozen water and 1% fresh water.

Given the opportunity, chimpanzees will hunt ducks.

Playwright Tennessee Williams died when he accidentally swallowed a plastic bottle cap.

Ginger works as well as Dramamine as a remedy for motion sickness.

Quotation marks are the newest punctuation marks in the English language (1600s).

World wide, Christmas has been celebrated on 135 different days of the year.

The ratio of lobbyists to senators in Washington, D.C. is about 75 to 1.

All three of Christopher Columbus’s ships were originally named for Barcelona prostitutes.

Coney Island was once full of rabbits, which New York’s colonists called “Coneys”.

Placed in Frank Sinatra’s casket: a bottle of Jack Daniels, a pack of Camels, a Zippo lighter and 10 dimes (so he’d always have change for the pay phone).

The first Hollywood movie to show a toilet flush: Psycho (1960).

Odds that you will be dealt 4 of a kind in 5 card draw: 1 in 4,165.

Ernest Hemingway rewrote the final page of “A Farewell to Arms” 39 times.

Ownership of squirrels is forbidden in Arkansas, except during October, November and December.

Randomosity is the intent of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader calendar and my daughter made up that term. Please petition the people at Webster’s to include the word in their next edition.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Forbes Fictional 15 – End of the Year Edition

Chick 1.0 and I ran across this while searching through some video game data… Who knew that the Umbrella Corporation was in the top 25 of the richest fictional companies? Forbes did!

We dug deeper. No stone was unturned in our investigation. Our search quickly led us to the Forbes website (skip the “welcome screen” and scroll down for the list and companies) – http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/11/richest-fictional-characters-oped-books-fict1507-cx_mn_de_1211fictional15_land.html.

And there we struck gold; as did several fictional characters and companies this past year. According to Forbes this list names the 15 richest people in the realm of fiction. Here is this years top 15:

1. Scrooge McDuck
2. Ming the Merciless
3. Richie Rich
4. Mom (Futurama)
5. Jed Clampett
6. C. Montgomery Burns
7. Carter Pewterschmidt
8. Bruce Wayne
9. Thurston Howell III
10. Tony Stark
11. Fake Steve Jobs
12. Gomez Addams
13. Willy Wonka
14. Lucius Malfoy
15. Princess Peach

Chick 1.0 and myself sought others who had made the list in years past. Though unavailable for comment, Lara Croft (who has been on the list before) has voiced her concern about the legitimacy of “The 15” in a public statement she said, “What does Princess Peach have the I don’t?”

Yours truly feels your pain Ms. Croft – I’m still rooting for you. Of course Ming the Merciless raised my cackles only due to the fact that one man’s treasure on Mongo is just not the same on Earth. It’s easy to see why Wayne and Stark are on the list – as well as Wonka but Scrooge McDuck and Richie Rich? Posers.

Forbes has also compiled a list of the top 25 fictional companies. Here are the listings and in (parenthesis) where they originate from…

1. Choam (Dune – Spice Mining)
2. ACME (Looney Tunes)
3. Sirius Cybernetics Corp. (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
4. Momcorp (Futurama)
5. Rich Industries (Richie Rich)
6. Soylent Corp. (Soylent Green)
7. The Very Big Corporation of America (Monty Python)
8. Forbozz Co. (Zork – yeah baby!)
9. Warbucks Industries (Annie)
10. Tyrell Corp. (Blade Runner – “More Human than Human”)
11. Wayne Enterprises (Batman)
12. Virtucon (Dr. Evil’s Empire)
13. Globex (the Simpson’s)
14. Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil)
15. Wonka Industries (Willie Wonka the Candy Man)
16. Stark Industries (Iron Man)
17. Clampett Oil (Beverly Hillbillies)
18. Oceanic Airlines (Lost)
19. YoYoDine Propulsion Systems (the Crying of Lot 49 – BUT I must confess I thought that it came from Buckaroo Banzai – Adventures Across the Eighth Dimension)
20. Cyberdine Systems Corp. (Terminator)
21. d’Anconia Copper (Atlas Shrugged)
22. Gringotts (Harry Potter)
23. Oscorp (Spiderman)
24. Nakatomi Trading Corp. (Die Hard – one of my favorite Christmas movies)
25. Spacely Space Sprockets (the Jetsons)

So what fictional characters or companies did they miss? Forbes wants to know. They’ve got about a year to reconsider the current standings.

I’m still rooting for Lara Croft.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka

BRILLIANT!

Somewhere Bing Crosby is twirling.

Countin’ My Blessings

I know that this is not Thanksgiving but I just wanted to drop a line to myself here at Chicken Scratch to remind myself how incredibly blessed I am.

The Christmas Musical, Peace on Earth has one more performance on Christmas Eve. This also happens to be Chick 1.0’s birthday. She is going to be 15 tomorrow. Let me spell that one out – FIFTEEN. We’ve been blessed with great kids. We have a lot of fun and get into a lot of trouble. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of Peace on Earth – what a blessing. Seriously. It is an honor to be associated with the directors, choir members and tech crew. It’s not about how well we sing or dance or speak, it’s about the birth of Christ and sharing that with others. That is a blessing.

I’m not mechanically inclined but a good friend of mine from church is. He happened to have a used bicycle for Chick 2.0 and one for Chick 3.0. He and I re-greased the bearings and replaced the chain on Chick 1.0’s bike too. The kid’s are going to light up on Christmas morning (I can write this since they don’t frequent my blog – and due to the fact that Christmas is the day after tomorrow). Come springtime we will all be mobile. This has been an amazing blessing.

Then there are the completely unexpected blessings that have hit us recently – things that I will not go into too much depth here but wouldn’t be too hard to coax out of me over a decent cup of coffee.

I’m 39 and well aware that these are the best days of my life. I’m relatively healthy (to the best of my knowledge no open wounds or internal bleeding that direct pressure won’t cure) and so is the family. Come this April, Mother Hen and I will be celebrating out 18th wedding anniversary – and I still love the woman (more now than then). I get to write here on this blog, on puppet scripts each week, short stories, screenplays and the occasional novel. There’s a roof over our heads and a full docket of movies coming to the multiplex in 2008.

Life is good.

Oh I could dwell on the glass being half empty but why? I’ve only got a certain amount of days so why waste them with dreary conjecture over the future? I don’t know what’s around the corner but I do see what is in front of me right now.

I’d rather count my blessings.

Please forgive the sappiness factor of this blog entry, Gentle Reader – It was just something I had to do.

Peace

Friday, December 21, 2007

SHAMELESS PLUG


Tonight’s performance of Peace on Earth went very well. There are only two more shows, 12/22 & 12/24 (at 7:00 PM – Calvary Chapel Vineland is located at 930 North Main Rd., Vineland NJ 08360 – it’s next to the Rite-Aid across the street from Larry’s Restaurant.)

No pressure but if you can, come check it out.

North Pole - No It's NOT!

Santa's Coming!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tickle Me Emo/Elmo - MAD TV


Forget the Wii – I want a Tickle Me EMO for Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

“The Leader of the Band is Tired and His Eyes are Growing Old”

Dan Fogelberg passed away this morning after losing a three-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 56 years old. Here is the announcement from his website: http://www.danfogelberg.com/news.html.

This is taken from his website...

Sunday, December 16
Dear friends,

Dan left us this morning at 6:00am . He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.

In May of 2004, Dan was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

A personal letter from D.F. (May of 2004)


I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of the thousands of wonderful people who have sent such incredibly moving and supportive e-mails via the Living Legacy web site. It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. Each one of you who have taken the time and effort to reach out to Jean and I have helped immeasurably to uplift our spirits and keep us looking strongly forward during some very rough moments. I thank you from the very depths of my heart.

I currently have no plans to return to the concert stage or the recording studio in the foreseeable future, but who knows? At least for now, I prefer to keep my options open.

Again my deepest thanks and love to all,

Dan

Now for the sermon.

To each and every man....

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test EVERY YEAR.

The medical community suggests this for men over 50, but men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting tested at age 40.

The PSA test is a simple blood test...it only takes a minute or two. The DRE, okay, every man squirms at the thought of this exam, but hey, it too takes only a minute or two, and IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Prostate cancer can be very slow growing or very aggressive, but detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it can usually be treated and cured successfully.

Once it spreads beyond the prostate it is called Advanced Prostate Cancer (PCa). At this point it becomes imminently more life threatening and harder to treat. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and GET CHECKED REGULARLY. I promise you, you DON’T want to go through what I’m going through if you can avoid it.

Education and awareness are key, I urge you to follow the link below to the Prostate Cancer Foundation web site and read up on how best to protect yourself and reduce your likelihood of contracting this terrible disease.


His advice should be heeded GET AN EXAM.

Mr. Fogelberg wrote a lot of music that really touched yours truly; “The Leader of the Band” still brings tears to my eyes and “Longer” is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest love songs ever written. What can I say; I’m a bit of a softie.

His voice will be missed.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family at this time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Peace on Earth the Musical


No pressure or anything BUT if you’re not too busy and want to enjoy an evening out away from the malls, Best Buy and Toys R Us stores swing on by Calvary Chapel Vineland on December 21, 22 and/or 24th at 7:00 PM. The Choir production is going multimedia this year and it’s gonna be fun.

We were initially going to go away for Christmas this year and yours truly was not going to participate. Our plans changed. I’m not trying out for American Idol or anything but if you want to see a singing, dancing, Christmas Story narratin’ Evil Chicken and Mother Hen come on down. Calvary Chapel Vineland is located at 930 North Main Rd., Vineland NJ 08360 – it’s next to the Rite-Aid across the street from Larry’s Restaurant.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Enter Sandman


Gentle Reader if this was the 23rd Century, the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution would be living in a great domed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Within the dome would be a completely ecologically balanced world and mankind would only be living driven by the pleasures that the central computer and the robotic servo-mechanisms, would provide.

But there is a catch. Life must be terminated at the age of 30, unless citizens are reborn in the fiery ritual of Carrousel!

Citizens would have a crystal implanted in their palms that would indicate their age; birth to 7 the color of the crystal would be yellow, 7 – 14 years Blue, 14 – 29 Red and Last Day would be Blinking Red. At the end of Last Day the crystal would be black signifying the fact that time is up. Some citizens would happily march to Carrousel – others would not. Those who would run would be tracked by the Deep Sleep Operatives or Sandmen. Once a Sandman finds a runner he “retires” them by tracking them down and making the kill.

You see, I’m a runner – still seeking Sanctuary. If this were the world of Logan’s Run as of today my palm crystal has been black for the last 9 years; I would have been running for the last 9 years. I’m turning into Peter Ustinov’s character from the film; a film that was released in 1976, when I was 8 years old.

I will have to whistle ‘Happy Birthday’ quietly; time is too short to wallow in the past and the Sandmen are converging on my location.

Time to keep running.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Old School Hollywood Squares


Kickin’ it Peter Marshal style, baaaabeeee.

I recently got this in a email from a friend of mine. I thought that I’d pass it along in case you haven’t seen it. I don’t usually spend too much time with email stuff but I thought this was cute.

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver (aka Clifford Arquette ): Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A Vincent Price : No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie : You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde : Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie : Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen : Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde : Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde : Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver : I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

Now what channel is the Game Show Network on?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is Print Dead Yet?


Well, no… not yet anyway. A part of me would miss the feel of a book. I mean really, what reader worth his or her salt doesn’t love that musty smell of old books or being spellbound; getting lost inside the pages of a good story? There is magic there – real magic. There are those who believe that the same enchantment can be had without the use of paper.

They might be onto something. For almost the last 600 years people have turned to the book as the preferred method of idea delivery. Well, the times they are a changin’. E Readers have been around for the last half dozen years or so but they have not really been the house of fire they have promised to be. Sloppy interfaces, copyright infringement, publishing companies, glossy screens have all made the transition from page to screen bumpy. Enter the Kindle from Amazon (amazon.com; that is) > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI73MA/ref=amb_link_6003602_2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1RYY06HGSKSRT1H05PCR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=337021901&pf_rd_i=507846.

Pretty cool, no? Having a library at your fingers wherever you go, wireless – always on technology, access to newspapers, periodicals and blogs, not to mention the 100,000 plus novels that are available for download. It’s possible to email yourself Word documents and pictures and there is free wireless access to my favorite second brain, Wikipedia. This little $400.00 number looks to be the next step in making this a paperless world – at least if Jeff Bezos has his way.

Who is Jeff Bezos? Good question. He’s the entrepreneur who envisioned the concept of Amazon; the 900 lbs. gorilla when it comes to online warehouse shopping. Amazon knows one or two things about books and how they are disseminated to the reading public. He’s carved a niche out into a billion dollar industry and now he’s got revolution on his mind. Here’s the Full Monty on the subject; it’s a really good article > http://www.newsweek.com/id/70983/page/1.

There’s always going to be a need for paper but in the future apart from legal documents, shopping bags, toileting purposes and the occasional book collector who enjoys that old musty smell of bound books – it’s days just may be numbered.

Would Franklin and Gutenberg be rolling in their graves? I doubt it – I think they’d both be bloggers and eager to play with whatever new crease technology would allow them to express themselves; their ideas and ideals through.

…Yeah, those two would have Kindles, but then again, so would I if I could afford it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Casting Call for “Sorrow Hill”


Have you always wanted to try your hand at acting but never had the opportunity? Gentle Reader, if you have answered yes to this question then I suggest that YOU check this out: http://www.grindhouse-pictures.com/index.html and click on the casting info section to the left.

Ron is a good guy and a talented storyteller. His company Grindhouse Pictures is in pre-production mode for “Sorrow Hill”. He’s having a casting call on December 15th, at the Vineland Ramada Inn at 10:00 AM. If you would like to participate via an audition it would behoove you to drop him an email.

I can’t wait for the premier!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Any Eagles Fans Out There?

BTW this has nothing to do with Philadelphia football and everything to do with a musical group; if you are disappointed skip to the next blog on your list. Thanks for stopping by.

Are you still with me, Gentle Reader? Good.

I would like to go on record – I love the Eagles; I always have. No need to go into gory details – let’s just say I’m a fan. We (Mother Hen and I) had tickets to see them the last time they toured but the show was cancelled. We have seen Don Henley, though. Great show.

Anyway, I know that it’s probably just a sign of getting older but today’s music has turned into nothing but product for yours truly. I often wonder where the melody went. I’ve speculated over this issue on Chicken Scratch, mind you (check out "Video Killed the Radio Star" from 08/30/07). While I found some decent radio stations for the most part I’ve been forced to talk radio. Well I am happy to report harmony and accord in music are not yet extinct. Proof of this fact was documented with the October 30, ’07 release of “Long Road Out of Eden” where after a 28-year hiatus the Eagles have a new double album (yeah, that’s right, I said it – album) of studio material.

Nice.

There’s an intelligence to their lyrics as well as a harmony to their sound. Here’s a snippet from a Billboard interview with Don Henley if you don’t believe me; Glen Frey is there too if you click at the bottom of the page. http://billboard.com/bbcom/feature/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003658087

You revisit some of those themes on "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture," where I was sorry to hear that journalism is dead and gone.

It's not completely dead and gone, of course. Obviously, there are still people out there who are trying to do a good job and trying to keep some integrity in the work. But for every one of those people, there are 20 or 30 more that are just in it for... I don't know what. Again, that is part of the cultural junk. The interesting phenomenon in this age is you turn on the news on the television or on the computer and you see all these very serious stories, like the war in Iraq, people dying and people being killed, and children being abducted and murdered. And then here comes "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood" and "Hollywood Insider" and all this crap. Same thing when you go [online], you see [these stories] side by side, and we seem to give equal weight to both. Sometimes the trivial crap seems to get more weight and more coverage than the important stuff.

The coverage of this war has been, for the most part, nonexistent, except what the military wants us to hear and what the White House wants us to hear and see. That's what's appalling to me. I don't really want to hear any more about Britney Spears. I don't really want to see the trainwreck.

It's just a continuation of stuff that I've been harping on for a long time now: the dumbing down of our culture and the dumbing down of reporting, and the abbreviation of everything because people's attention spans are so short. Everything is edited and chopped and shortened, from music videos to news pieces. And there's no time or place for in-depth analysis of anything, or reasonable discussion, reasoned dialogue. It's just people yelling at one another. Everything is about confrontation and controversy and sensationalism. There are no quiet voices. The quiet voices of reason get drowned out and stomped on.


Wow. Sanity and a tune you can hum? Welcome back.

Now if I could only grow my hair long (or any) again life would be complete. See you down the Seven Bridges Road.

Lunch Break

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; those guys from Waverly Films are having way too much fun.

More Dust

We’re moving through the Templates at a feverish pace.

I sort of like the lighthouse.

We'll see if it sticks. Embrace the change... Change is good.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dame Julie Andrews @ 69

A friend of ours sent this to Mother Hen. I don’t usually horse around with email stories such as this but I kind of dig this one. This must either be a few years old (since she is now, according to IMDB, 72 years-old) or just plain bogus. I hope that there is some truth in it.

Herein lies the tale… “Julie Andrews turned 69 – to commemorate her 69th birhday on October 1, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall for a benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was “My Favorite Things” from the legendary movie “The Sound of Music.” Here are the actual lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings. Bundles of magazines tied up in string, these are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, when the bones creak, when the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad.


Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.”

She’s a class act.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas at the Multiplex 2007


So you’ve opened the presents and are digesting your turkey and/or ham and want to know what to do next? Gentle Reader, a trip to the local multiplex may be your ticket to holiday bliss. Here’re some of the movies that yours truly is looking forward to this Christmas movie season…

“The Golden Compass”, December 7th. I’ve never read any of the books that this is based on but the movie’s marketing campaign is trying to paint itself as the latest epic. I’m all right with that. The kids are interested even though spin has been a little lack luster. We shall see.

“I Am Legend”, December 14th. Based on the novella by Richard Matheson of Twilight Zone fame. This will be the third time that it is being produced for the big screen. The first time Vincent Price played the lead, second was Charlton Hesston – now it’s Will Smith and I cannot wait. I’m in the mood for a good popcorn movie at Christmas time and this promises to fit the bill.

“Sweeny Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, December 21st. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton together again on the big screen. Their collaborations are magic. No doubt I’m buying a ticket. Not for kids.

“National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, December 21st. I enjoyed the first one in all its campy glory and this one looks like fun too. It’s an action flick for the whole family.

“The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep”, December 25th. Bring the kids. It should be good for an undisturbed nap after eating all that food. The kid’s will love it though.

“Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem”, December 25th. This almost didn’t make the list since there’s no way I’m going to the theater to see this and will instead wait for the DVD. Nothing says Christmas Time like two alien species trying to eviscerate each other – if memory serves this was the plot of “White Christmas” too.

Since I’ve been doing Atkins I’m skipping the popcorn and going exclusively for the butter. Next year, at this time, I’ll be basking in the glow that will be the newest installment of the Star Trek franchise. This year, these will have to do.

I’ll see you in line!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Evil Floating Head

Who doesn’t like a good folksong?

I love these guys from Waverly Films. They are having too much fun.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Evel Knievel- (www.kingof thestuntmen.co.uk)R.I.P



Evel is dead. No not me, I’m “Evil” with an “I” the third letter in. Come to think of it if it were I this little blog entry wouldn’t be happening (would it?). There is plenty of Evil to go around these days but there was and will only ever be one Evel Knievel. Here are the details of his passing…

Obituary



As a child of the seventies I grew up with Mohammad Ali in the boxing ring, the Harlem Globetrotters playing basketball and Evel Knievel jumping Lord knows what on that Harley Davidson of his. I have never been a big sports guy but my family and I would eagerly gather around our small TV to watch ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” whenever any of those three events were involved. It was as sure as the tide. To me these three examples – these specimens, were the epitome of sport. You could keep the World Series and the Superbowl – it meant nothing if Ali, the Globetrotters or Evel Knievel were holding court on that small TV with the broken volume tuner and separate UHF dial.

One of my absolute favorite toys growing up had to be the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle from Ideal Toys. Do you remember the one? There was a gyroscopic motor in the little motorcycle that you cranked up with a plastic ramp/gear. The motor would begin to whine the harder you cranked until BAM! The motorcycle took off barreling down the hallway in all its scaled down horsepower glory; the little bendy Evel Knievel figure holding on for dear life all the way to my home made ramp or whatever other disastrous stunt I had planned.

Yesterday evening he let go.

My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.