Friday, July 31, 2009


In today's Globe and Mail "Facts & Arguments" page is a story written by a human about her feelings toward her aging and changing cat...

... For some reason reading the entertaining submission reminded me of a story I read a few years ago where a Toronto respirologist had to constantly battle with people who insisted on keeping "Fluffy" even though their children had asthma or other breathing difficulties. He said it got to the point where he finally had a sign made up to mount over his office door. I'm going from memory but it went something like this: "The kids can leave anytime."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Regular readers of this column will notice that I have slowed down in the last few days -- I have hardly kept pace with the earlier three month block of daily, multiple hits, even if many of those would classify as barely more than "tweets".

I have excuses: My freelance life -- or lack of -- has taken more time from me and added more stresses within. For those of you who hear certain friends of yours answer to the comment from others that they should 'go off on their own' with "freelancing is not for me... I need to work in a building which has a sign over the door", well, I have to tell you those friends make a lot of sense sometimes.

"Jump... jump... jump."

To answer to the paucity of posts, I will upload some notes I made a year ago: A notebook I carried around last summer, filled and forgotten about, contains several intended postings including reviews of the movies Clerks II and The Squid and the Whale, and some other stuff, to use writers' parlance. In addition, I could add that I recently (finally) saw that major motion picture from the summer of 1984, Ghost Busters. (I did see a lot of films that summer, but that one slipped under the radar... or the "radio detection and ranging" apparatus.)

Before I forget, I must welcome my new "followers" to my blog. So nice to see regular readers visit my site who do not know me, but for reasons involving impeccable taste, must check up on the daily musings of a mad writer.

"Ahead, Mr. Sulu. Warp factor three."

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Geek-fest is happening in San Diego this weekend: "San Diego Comic Con"... the biggest of its kind. I was doing a quick patrol on Youtube -- searching non-comic book stuff -- and came across this video...

... For all the crappy videos on Youtube, and there are many, shorts like this make the site worth exploring.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Back in January 14th I started a little series by the name of THINKING ALBUMS, starting with "Thinking Albums 1" and counting upward to four, which I posted on the 22nd of that month. I had not forgotten, just so many distractions -- on and off this blog.

Barry White's Greatest Hits is a CD I picked up back in early 1995 to help satiate my need for some great tunes and, more importantly, and specifically, the main man's ultra-cool voice. I have long liked White's songs and 'feeling', kicked off for me, no doubt, when his mega hit instrumental tune "Love's Theme" was released.

The CD in question is a straight transcription of the record LP which first hit the shelves in 1975. What else is there to add? Try this: Upon listening to Barry White's Greatest Hits the first time, I came up with the line, "try listening to this entire album while maintaining a straight face". In more ways than one, the disc makes you want to smile.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


On November 18th, 2007, I talked a little about the Du Mont Television Network in my posting DUMONT - THE FORGOTTEN TV NETWORK.

Here is a terrific website devoted to Du Mont...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


All due respects to Georges Melies, Google offers a trip to the moon...

... Ralph Kramden would be proud.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


No, I did not make it through last week's repeat, on the CBC, of the Doctor Who episode "The Sontaran Stratagem". Tonight's episode, "The Poison Sky". Wow! Sounded intriguing, until I found out that it is part two of a story I made it 16.5 minutes into. Does that picture (affixed above) not make you want to watch? Extreme excitement abounds around us.

A friend of mine lent me a DVD-R of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles episodes.

Well, folks, time for me to don the Draeger "re-breather" and take the plunge...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I keyed "Draeger diving suits" into a search engine and, ultimately, came across the above photo.

If you know anything about perspective, you realize that is one big submarine... a Russian Typhoon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

HOW TO DELETE FACEBOOK has an item here about how to get off Facebook if you so choose...

... I had heard it was not easy.


This video consists of Super-8 movie film taken at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) during the production of Star Wars...

... great stuff!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Here is a life affirming video...

... which evokes one of those "makes you look at life a little differently" responses.


As my regular readers can tell you, I have no use for the social networking site, Facebook. Three years ago the Globe and Mail newspaper had a good overview of the burgeoning site, which discussed the pros and cons of signing up (your life away) for the sake of establishing and maintaining communication with old friends ("staying connected"), dumb lists, and more. Be Internet sexy.

Facebook regularly adds ingredients to make the soup as tasty and delectable as ever -- translation: To keep it fresh as competing social networking sites claim their stake in the Web's electronic soil.

Privacy issues... yes. Two friends of mine, who happen to be young women in this case, have both thrown their hands up at the mere mention of Facebook and explain away with, "no... not any more".

And, while on Facebook, us old farts can explain away why our lives are boring.

Story in today's National Post newspaper on Facebook privacy...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Like The New Yorker and The Economist magazines, The Wall Street Journal dazzles with its level of journalism, even if it sometimes carries a story that you would not expect.

This past Friday, Terry Teachout, drama writer for the WSJ, took a look back at Jerry Goldsmith's superb score for the 1974 Roman Polanski directed classic, Chinatown.

I used to be the proud owner of a CD of this important score... one that can be enjoyed away from the picture. Yep, I bought it in January of 1996 and owned it for two or three weeks: Coworker Lee gushed one evening, as we nursed our beers, about how much he loved the music from Chinatown. I told him he could borrow it from me, at no charge. Well, the gushing continued days later when we were, once again, enjoying "frosties". My drinking buddy had the CD on him fully intending to return it to me, but in all the elation of the moment, I just said, "look, it's yours", and handled the disc back to him. Lee replied with a hug and "thank you... thank you... "

The story in question from The Wall Street Journal from Friday, July 10th...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Stop the presses!

A new study reveals why cats purr a certain purr; one which translates roughly as, "Feed me! I want some chow!"

How is this news?...

... gotta love the can openers' comments underneath the article.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Christopher Plummer is the coolest man in show business!


The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) is rerunning some Doctor Who, Sundays at 11 pm. All due respect to Quinn Martin Productions, "tonight's episode... 'The Sontaran Stratagem'".

All due respect to the CBC, at 11:30 pm I'm watching TVOntario's In Conversation with Allan Gregg. Tonight's interview is with actor Christopher Plummer.

I can always watch the first half hour of Who; but I know I will not make it through to 11:30 pm.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I go about my business, for the most part, without looking to the past. Upon doing some blog maintenance I noticed that, since I signed on two years ago, I have posted 576 times.


Thank God that amount is spaced out over two years or I'd really be worried about myself. (I have enough reasons to worry about myself... do not need any more.)

So here you go, Dear Faithful Readers: 577

Friday, July 10, 2009


AOL Canada's homepage has a headline which reads something like this: "Why You Should Have More Sex."

Without reading the article I came up with a quick answer: "Because if you are going to have to wear any latex, it beats washing a sink full of dishes."


Dolores Fuller was not only an actress who starred in some Edward D. Wood pictures (Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait, and Bride of the Monster), but she also forged a successful career as a lyricist...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


There are those in the U.S. who want to adopt a Canadian-style model of universal health care. The debate goes on...

... I remember the comment Jesse Jackson (Sr.) made a few years ago: If Americans want Canadian-style health care they had better get used to Canadian-style taxes. (I do not have a problem with our level of taxation, here in Canada, but Mr. Jackson's point is a good one. You cannot have it all!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In the world of pliable corporate identities, the latest news is that the U.S. "Sci Fi" channel is changing its name to "Syfy". Detractors are already calling it "Siffy". While I did get the joke -- the proper pronunciation -- I too think the name change is goofy.

I cannot keep track of what CKVR (in Barrie, Ontario) is called anymore. Is it still "A Channel"? (Yah, it's a channel, alright. That's probably the best thing you can say about it.)

CNN story on the new Siffy...

Monday, July 6, 2009


As so many people of note are dying these days it is very easy for bloggers (like me) to fall into the trap of just posting about the latest passing.

Unfortunately, I cannot pass on commenting about former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. He seemed to be one person who was trying to rid or deal with his demons after being responsible for causing the deaths of so many people. (I have the funny feeling that two particular lunatics will not have such a "moment" later in their lives.)

McNamara was also the fascinating subject of one of my favourite films of the last few years: Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

Toronto Star bit on Robert McNamara...

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Former Beatles and Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein has died at the age of 77. Rereading my copy of The Love You Make (an excellent book about the Beatles) reintroduced me to the loud, obnoxious, little bastard. What he did do, and very well, was introduce the super group to what money they were really worth. For all their success, the four lads from Liverpool were not, when Allen Klein entered the picture, stinking rich -- this was due to everything from managerial incompetence to just not knowing how to deal with such a successful pop act. This really started to change with Klein; he saw what defects were in the Beatles financial history and sought to rectify them.

The fact is, for years the Beatles were often in the red, on the balance sheet. Quite simply they were spending more money than they were earning... or rather, what portion was actually making it all the way to their own bank accounts.

Friday, July 3, 2009


One beef I have with a lot of film criticism is that too many critics, as an integral part of their "review", just recount the given movies' plot. That is not criticism. Cripes, even I can do that!

Peter Howell reviewed the new science fiction movie Moon in today's Toronto Star. Someone commented -- underneath the review posted to the Star's website -- on this unfortunate and all too common ingredient.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NOW KARL MALDEN (1912 -2009)

CNN just broke the news that actor Karl Malden passed away this morning. What can I say? He starred with George C. Scott in one of my favourite movies, Patton.

And Birdman of Alcatraz, A Streetcar Named Desire, Wild Rovers...


Happy Canada Day! The greatest nation on Earth... well, after The Mu Empire, of course.

JAN RUBES (1920-2009)

Canadian actor and opera singer Jan Rubes has died at the age of 89. Like many of my generation, I first became aware of him back in the 1970s when he hosted a program by the name of Guess What, a show produced by the "Ontario Educational Communications Authority" (or OECA, now known as "TVOntario").

Many others would recognize Jan Rubes from Peter Weir's 1985 film Witness.

Toronto Star obit...