Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Am I along in thinking that 2013 was okay? I'm hearing a lot from the media -- and its stock pundits -- that 2013 was a rotten year. ("Business" writers and opinionators have hard data to reference in helping them form opinions and a final verdict, of course.)

Maybe I just need more time to consider what 2013 meant to me.

* I discovered Theatre of the Mind on Toronto's AM740 "Zoomer radio" (here). Airing between 10pm and 11pm Monday to Thursdays, this framework series showcases good ol' old radio drama and comedy; including Boston Blackie, Duffy's Tavern, Our Miss Brooks, and Suspense. To me these are lots of fun.

* I met some fine and talented people.

* I survived the ice storm which hit Toronto and surrounding area. Very soon I hope to provide some details, most of which are humorous; coming from a little inconvenience, serving to remind me how lucky and blessed we are in Ontario, Canada.

* I focused my energies even more on personal development and projects. My creativity, never a weakness in my life, making up for several weakness' in my life, was running at an all-time high. Hopefully I can maintain the course and see several endeavours through to fruition.

* I discovered, and have accepted, just how fast a single year can fly by. (My dad warned me about this: the older you get, the faster time flies.)

* While I'm not, and never have been, a "sweet tooth", I discovered almond-laced white chocolate. That's it, though. The introduction came way of free samples, but I have no plans to continue with its consumption. Besides, I'm way too cheap to actually pay for almond-laced white chocolate.

If I think of any more meanings for me in the astounding year of 2013, I'll be sure to update this blog posting....


The pleasures of Youtube are very real. We movie and television fans are not imagining anything. Case in point: The Dino De Laurentiis version of King Kong (1976) was uploaded to the video site back in April of this year, and it has accumulated over 164,000 views.

I rewatched this Kong on DVD back in early 2006 and was taken by how much I enjoyed the film; and was impressed in particular with Lorenzo Semple Jr.'s sublime script and its witty dialogue. Unfortunately the Kong/Skull Island renderings let the scriptwriter down. As a friend said, "the stuff without Kong is good". (All in all, I much prefer this version of the big ape over Peter Jackson's abortion.)

When I get a couple of hours free I will go here...

Saturday, December 21, 2013


As was the case for many people, I'm sure, my Christmas holiday's kicked off yesterday (Friday, December 20th) -- my place of work was intense enough that great relief came my way in the late afternoon. When I got home a received an email from a friend of mine: The City of Prague Orchestra, under conductor Nic Raine, re-recorded music from the 1974 television mini-series QB VII. Veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith wrote and recorded a beautiful score for that highly acclaimed small-screen event.

For those of you under a certain age, QB VII was a book written by best-selling author Leon Uris, and published in 1970 (info here); the six-and-a-half hour video adaptation began airing on April 29th, 1974 and starred many noted actors of the time including Ben Gazzara, Anthony Hopkins, Leslie Caron, Lee Remick, Juliet Mills, Anthony Quayle, Milo O'Shea, and John Gielgud. Directed by Tom Gries (father of actor Jon), QB VII went on to win six Emmys.

For years I've been meaning to watch QB VII. I ignored it when it first ran... understandable as I was perhaps too young to appreciate its significance. (The original book by Uris is yet another book that I should read.)

As for the mini-series' score, well, it's gorgeous and moving. I seem to remember that it was performed in New York City in memory of the events of "9-11".

I find this music, "Theme from QB VII - 'A Kaddish for the Six Million", befitting of the start to my holiday break -- and my crying was somehow fitting....

Prometheus Records and Tadlow Music present

The World Premiere Recording of the Complete Score to
Composed by

The re-recorded score on disc...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's been quite a while since I last worked eight days a week. Wow. The exhaustion is more psychological than physical. (I do not know where I get my energy from.)

My point is: I will be back soon in both sound and fury; my usual opinionated self; ready with my Zeiss optics equipped rangefinder to help me lob those sixteen-inch shells....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


After I posted a piece, here, on John Williams and his Superman (1978) music, I got thinking about his many influences. The big one that came to mind was Gustav Holst's "The Planets", Opus 32; a great symphonic suite from the early Twentieth Century. And a great influence on certain (many) film scores...


Monday, December 2, 2013


I find the daily "Google" artworks frequently impressive: Today's is already one of my favourites. Soprano opera singer Maria Callas (1923-1977) would have turned 90 today.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Here is a Youtube video on John Williams and his creation of the terrific Superman (1978) theme music. (Like a friend of mine, Williams' Superman theme is not my favourite created for the super-hero character; I reserve that for the signature tune composed for the 1950's television series, The Adventures of Superman. I blogged about this, last year: here.)


Trivia note, first: The Johnny Williams Superman tune is very similar to Victor Young's rousing theme music from the VistaVision flick Strategic Air Command (1955). No surprise, really... and no doubt Williams was inspired by that tune.



This afternoon I bought my first chocolate/candy bar in about twenty years.

Yep, it's been that long; hard for me to believe.

While I was standing in a lineup at the checkout counter, this morning, I noticed that Snickers bars were marked down to $0.69 (sixty-nine cents). Hmm... Hmm... Mmmmm... I used to like Snickers bars... they were my bar of choice.

At what point of the day does one eat a chocolate bar, anyway? Before you eat good food? After you eat good food? When you're a wee bit peckish? How 'bout right now?... I'll get back to you....