Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gandalf the Gray

Ian McKellen is the man - the man in gray that is! Bring on the Hobbit!

Check it out:

I’m tingling at this news.

I’d write more but Bad Wolf and I are under the gun when it comes to completing Script Frenzy 2008.

See ya soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

San Diego Shark Attack

Here is the story from the Associated Press found on Yahoo by Allison Hoffman:

Not to be too graphic but, and I quote, “(Dave) Martin, 66, died on the beach Friday morning after a shark, presumed to be a great white, lifted him out of the water with his legs in its jaws, leaving deep lacerations and shredding Martin's black wetsuit.”

Not a good way to go.

As a note Gentle Reader, when I go I want it to be peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather; not screaming in terror like the other passengers of the bus he was driving.


I truly do not mean to sound glib at the death of Mr. Martin a tri-athlete who was training with other competitors and had his family and friends cheering him on from the shore when tragedy struck. Just clicking through the pictures truly makes you grieve for those left behind. Reading between the lines and clicking thorough the pictures Mr. Martin appears to have been a pretty dynamic man.

There is just something visceral about a shark attack. It cuts to the core of our fear of the unknown and our will to survive. No matter what the statistics are the fact still remains that you never really know what lies beneath. As was written on the first oceanic maps, “Here There Be Monsters.” Ms. Hoffman reports that, “Overall, shark attacks are extremely rare. There were 71 reported worldwide last year, up from 63 in 2006. Only one attack, in the South Pacific, was fatal, according to the University of Florida. The university's International Shark Attack File has counted an average of 4.1 people killed by sharks annually worldwide in the past seven years.”

4.1? That “Point One”, must be like being a “little pregnant”.

As with many areas in life we must accept the fact that there are sharks in the water. We can choose to stay on the shore for the rest of our days or we can accept the risk, and enjoy the discovery of the waves and the water. Some things you just can’t change and knowing “what lies beneath” is one of those things but I don’t think that should stop us from swimming.

Now where did I put my trunks?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I was down in Wildwood, NJ recently and the theater that I first saw the original “Star Wars” is now a condo. That little bit of history made my geek heart break a little. I mean really – condos? The theater closed in the late eighties and became a “Laser Tag” arena where players would run around shooting each other while people played sniper shooting at the players from the sidelines. The summer tourist attraction was originally located close to the “Jack Rabbit” roller coaster and “Dracula’s Castle”, both of which are now gone – just like the theater. While I morn it’s passing, the fact remains, MY first “Star Wars” experience was right there – in Wildwood, New Jersey; right next to my home church and the Atlantic Ocean.

It changed my life.

Really; it did. It may seem shallow but I saw “Star Wars” and I started to view the world from a different perspective. I saw how the power of story worked. I saw imagination and how it could touch and change the world and I loved it. I still do; but enough about ancient history… Let us consider the future.

Opening night is a special time for a movie geek. Let me spare us both some time in saying that “Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace”, “Star Wars: Episode Two – The Attack of the Clones”, and “Star Wars: Episode Three – The Revenge of the Sith”; I was there opening night. I did not like the “prequel trilogy” as much as the “original trilogy” but I was (and am) still on the Lucasfilm bandwagon, so to speak.

I liked the third one the best and it was not without a degree of sadness that when I saw the credits roll that I believed that there would never again be a STAR WARS movie in the theaters. Gentle Reader, I am very pleased to say that “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” will be in theaters on August 15th. The movie will be followed up with a computer generated TV series.

As per Ain’t It Cool News;, you can check out this site:, which gives you all the gory details.

Star Wars – in the theaters once again? Sign me up.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Greenlight for a Hobbit

“The Hobbit” is coming to the big screen. Here’re the goods:

My geek heart is gushing.

Peter Jackson will be sharing executive producing credits with New Line Cinema. The two parties have settled all the nastiness of legalities between them and have hired GUILERMO DEL TORO, to direct! Del Toro is a visionary. Seriously; check out “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “The Devil’s Backbone” or, dare I say, “Hellboy” (BTW “Hellboy II” will be in theaters this summer).

“If not Jackson then who?” That was the question. Sam Rami’s name had been batted around and I was ok with that too but Del Toro is going to hit this one out of the park.

I can’t wait.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

18 – To Life

Yesterday (4/19/08), Mother Hen and I celebrated our 18th Wedding Anniversary. We spent the day geocaching down in Cape May.

“Geocaching? What’s that?” Yet another fine question, Gentle Reader. Please allow me to refer you to an article by Mr. Cody Glenn from The Daily Journal on the topic. He explains what it is better than I could do. The article came out on our anniversary. Check it out here:

Where was I? Oh yes, Cape May. We have a lot of memories in and around Cape May so any chance we get to kick around down there we usually take. We were married at the First Baptist Church in Wildwood, ate at The Lobster House in Cape May, missed the Ferry (Cape May – Lewes) and had to stay the night at the Heritage Inn before heading down to Chincoteague VA for our honeymoon weekend.

Of course that was all 18 years ago.

Things change. Time shifts. Mother Hen and I have now almost been married for half of our lives. This was a mathematical conundrum for me since I’m not the best mathematician and that idea just sounded so foreign. But it’s true – we have been married almost half of our lives. Love changes too.


Stop interrupting me. Just kidding. What I mean is that Love changes too – in other words I love the woman I married more today than I did eighteen years ago. It’s a deeper, more mature love. I’m not saying that all the years have been easy ones but I am saying that they would have been so much harder without her – or rather, without “us”.

It’s a process – moving from “I” to “We”.

I met her at a bookstore, just after my father died. I bought a lot of books. We dated. We broke up. We saw other people. We got back together. We eloped. We got our own apartment. We started a family. We rented a house. We watched our family grow. We got a mortgage. We are still here.

You see the process? “We” is better than “I”. I, for one, wouldn’t want it any other way – even after 18 years.

I love you, Lady.

BTW… As an ongoing part of Ye old Blog of Yore I recommend coffee houses that I like or would like other people to experience for themselves. In our travels this weekend Mother Hen and I found another place that deserves mention. It’s called Coffee Etc., it’s located 3016 Rt. 9, Seaville, NJ – about an 1/8th of a mile south of Rt. 9 & Rt. 50. They open daily at 6:30 AM. The Sumatran Roast is awesome and goes great with chocolate covered strawberries. Please note – you MUST try the chocolate covered strawberries; they rock.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Last of the Nine Has Fallen

Ollie Johnston was 95 years old when he passed from natural causes. He was the last of Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men”. Read all about it here:

Ollie Johnson was at ground zero and had a hand in shaping some of the most influential films ever made. As the Yahoo article says his credits include such films as “Bambi”, "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" "Lady and the Tramp," "Sleeping Beauty," "101 Dalmatians," "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," "Robin Hood" and "The Rescuers."

That’s an impressive body of work. I love what Leonard Maltin said in the Yahoo article, “(People) know his work. They know his characters. They’ve seen him act without realizing it. He was one of the pillars, one of the key contributors to the golden age of Disney animation.”

I’ll have to put “Frank & Ollie” in my Blockbuster que. It’s a documentary about two of the Nine Old Men who used to car pool 45 minutes to and from work at Disney Studios.

A chapter has now closed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

Just to take a break from the usual superfluous stuff that you are used to here, Gentle Reader I humbly present yet another movie that I’m really looking forward to; EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed. This film is going to open a dialogue on a polarizing topic: “Just where did we come from?”

Check it out here:

If you have poked around this blog for a while then you may have surmised that I fall into the Intelligent Design category. I believe that there is a creator ergo an Intelligent Designer. I have always had a lot of respect for Ben Stein and the film will be worth the price of admission.

EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed opens all over the place on 4/18/08.

Butter my popcorn.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The 20th Annual Appel Farm Art & Music Festival

Saturday, June 7 from 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM the 20th Annual Appel Farm Art & Music Festival will be underway. Michaela Majoun and Gene Shay of WXPN 88.5 will be on hand too. There are going to be a boatload of kid’s activities too. Children under 12 are free while Adults are $35 (until May 30th), $40 (until June 6th) and $45 (day of show).

I’ve made mention before as to how much I detest processed, mass market consumption “music” these days. I have to ask what ever happened to melody? What ever happened to musicians – you know people who play their own instruments? Whatever happened to the singer/songwriter? Well it’s events such as this: that gives me hope that all is not lost. This site gives you all the gloriously gory details.

Signed musicians include Marc Cohn, They Might Be Giants, Suzanne Vega, The Smithereens, Vienna Teng, Enter The Haggis, Lucy Kaplansky, Red Molly, Christina Courtin, Matt Duke, Alfred James Band and Nicole Reynolds. I’ve always wanted to see The Smithereens. Enter the Haggis sounds like fun too. Chick 1.0 is a Suzanne Vega fan and Chick 2.0 and 3.0 would love They Might Be Giants. The whole thing should be a hoot.

For more info on the festival check out this:

Go synchronize your calendars! I’ll see you there. It will be nice to hear the music again.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston

He was 84 and he had Alzheimer’s disease. Read the details here:

Please see IMDb’s page: and scroll down the list of work that Heston left behind.

One might call it epic.

His body of work speaks for itself so I’m not going to say much more, save that my thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this time. Instead I leave you with this prepared statement that Heston made back in August of 1992.

"My Dear Friends, Colleagues and Fans: My physicians have recently told me I may have a neurological disorder whose symptoms are consistent with Alzheimer's disease. So ... I wanted to prepare a few words for you now, because when the time comes, I may not be able to. I've lived my whole life on the stage and screen before you. I've found purpose and meaning in your response. For an actor there's no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can't part with you, which is why I won't exclude you from this stage in my life. For now, I'm not changing anything. I'll insist on work when I can; the doctors will insist on rest when I must. If you see a little less spring in my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips, you'll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway. I'm neither giving up nor giving in. I believe I'm still the fighter that Dr. King and JFK and Ronald Reagan knew, but it's a fight I must someday call a draw. I must reconcile courage and surrender in equal measure. Please feel no sympathy for me. I don't. I just may be a little less accessible to you, despite my wishes. I also want you to know that I'm grateful beyond measure. My life has been blessed with good fortune. I'm grateful that I was born in America, that cradle of freedom and opportunity, where a kid from the Michigan Northwoods can work hard and make something of his life. I'm grateful for the gift of the greatest words ever written, that let me share with you the infinite scope of the human experience. As an actor, I'm thankful that I've lived not one life, but many. Above all, I'm proud of my family ... my wife Lydia, the queen of my heart, my children, Fraser and Holly, and my beloved grandchildren, Jack, Ridley and Charlie. They're my biggest fans, my toughest critics and my proudest achievement. Through them, I can touch immortality. Finally, I'm confident about the future of America. I believe in you. I know that the future of our country, our culture and our children is in good hands. I know you will continue to meet adversity with strength and resilience, as our ancestors did, and come through with flying colors - the ones on Old Glory. William Shakespeare, at the end of his career, wrote his farewell through the words of Prospero, in "The Tempest". It ends like this: 'Be cheerful, sir. Our revels now are ended. These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.' Thank you, and God bless you, everyone." (9 August 2002)

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Garden State Film Festival

This weekend – if you’re around the Asbury Park area of New Jersey and are a fan of film the place you want to be is The Garden State Film Festival. Check it: Among other attractions the Trailer for “Sorrow Hill” is on the schedule to premier at the festival (Saturday night at 9:00) here’s a link to Ron’s site for the details: Ron will be blogging and talking about his experiences from the festival tonight at 12:00 when he calls into the radio show:

The Garden State Film Festival has a little something for everyone. There’s something called “The Legends Behind the Comic Books” which is a documentary followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and Joe Kubert & Deny O’Neil (famous comic book guys). I’d love to check this out. There’s a film called, “Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza” which chronicles the life of the Mexican pilot who lost his life in a crash in the Pine Barrens. There are also panel discussions such as “Writers on Writing” and “Getting In Front of the Camera”. It’ll be a hoot.

It’s supposed to rain so a film festival is not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

See you at the movies.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Script Frenzy 2008 – It’s ON Now!

Gentle Reader, Script Frenzy 2008 is underway and Bad Wolf (Chick 1.0) and yours truly are up and running. For all the gory details of what Script Frenzy is check this out: or just click the link to the left under “Evil Chicken’s Favorite Places”.

So what are we doing? Our genre is Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Our script type is Screenplay. Our title is, “Tales of the Astounding – Volume One”. If we were pitching it we would say that it would be “Twilight Zone – the Movie” meets “Creepshow”. We are only three days into it but the process has been too much fun. We are having a blast and, I gotta be honest with ya, writing with my daughter has been an absolute joy.

For those of you out there who write you know the sensation of being in “The Zone”. That place where you are fleshing out characterization of the people in the worlds that you are seeing, listening to their voices, walking in their shoes; basically documenting all that your are told – all that you observe. Beware to any and all who knock on the writer’s door when they are in The Zone.

We are in The Zone and that is a wonderful place to be.