Archive for the ‘Video, television and movies’ Category

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9-11, 2014

September 11th, 2014 No comments

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 25th, 2014 No comments

I’ve been watching this event take place on Facebook the last couple weeks, thinking if I just keep my mouth shut and stay under the radar, no one will notice me. It worked for a while but yesterday mi amigo, Bahama Bob, threw my name out there and, staying within the rules, I am participating within 24 hours. I’ll have my challenges, too.

I realized I was fairly ignorant about ALS. I had heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but didn’t know very much about it. This is what the ALS web site has to say:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Pretty technical, but as you can see it is uncomfortable and, ultimately, fatal.

There has been some negativity regarding this fundraising effort for ALS. They have referred to it as “Slacktivism or Clicktivism”; activities that take little time and nominal effort. Still, it’s difficult to dismiss the results. Estimates of the fundraising, since the end of July, claim donations of nearly 22 million dollars compared to less than 2 million during the same period last year.

The celebrity aspect has also been overwhelming. Everyone from former President George Bush to Lady Gaga, Jennifer Anniston to Eminem, the “Justins”, Timberlake and Bieber, everyone but me, it seems, and today I correct that. BTW… Mr. Obama passed in favor of a donation. I intend to participate and donate.

Donations are the intended result. Awareness and education regarding ALS are positive bi-products of this effort. In the end… we all win. So either open your wallet or get wet. I’m doing both.

Maverick is the name…

July 21st, 2014 No comments

When I was a kid, Sunday night television started after dinner with Walt Disney, then shows my parents liked. Saturday and Sunday nights were the family nights because dad worked 3 – 11. There were great shows back then, that, even as a child, I enjoyed too. It was quality writing and acting. The Defenders, Perry Mason and others, but my favorite was always Maverick.

The situations in which brothers Brett, Bart and Beau would find themselves were always entertaining.

Over the years, and different television series I finally realized what I really liked was a certain kind of character. It was that nice guy who would really rather not get involved but who had a moral and ethical center that always made him do the right thing. And there was a lovely lady in distress… like it or not, they always came to the rescue.

I think of that character as the Brett Maverick, Jim Rockford, Travis McGee personality. But nobody did it better than James Garner as Brett Maverick.
He passed away a couple days ago and I was genuinely saddened.

While I sat at the computer and thought of the many different roles he played on television and in film, I decided to go to Wikipedia to check it out. I’ll give you the link in case you would like to visit yourself, but here, in a very impressive nutshell are his numbers:
He starred in several television series over more than five decades, most notably Maverick and The Rockford Files,
Garner also starred in more than 50 films, including The Great Escape (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards’ Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy’s Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000), and The Notebook (2004).

Pretty impressive body of work.

He always had that sly smile that made you feel like you were on the inside of an inside joke. You almost could not help but like him. They don’t make many like James Garner. I’m certainly glad I could enjoy his talents during my lifetime. So long, Jim…

Father’s Day and Field of Dreams

June 17th, 2014 No comments

This past Sunday was Father’s Day and it was celebrated all over the country.  However, a big anniversary happened at the site of the filming of the iconic movie Field Of Dreams.  This is one of those films that touched every dad and son alike.  Even if you didn’t have a great relationship with your father, it still hits an emotional chord.

It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since the film came out but it was celebrated in high style.  Many of the cast and crew returned to the legendary field including star Kevin Costner.  The film was played in centerfield and they even had a concert featuring Costner’s band.

It seems that this movie still holds a special place in Americana and reminds to ask my son if he wants to go have a catch.


Happy Star Wars day

May 4th, 2014 No comments

Today is one of the biggest non-holiday, holidays since talk like a pirate day.  Yes, it is May 4th so let me just say may the fourth be with you.  It is a great time for it, since the buzz is going about the new movie.  With many of the originals making a return appearance and J.J. Abrams at the helm, I must confess I am excited as well.

It is amazing how that film has woven its way in to our culture.  It remains one of my favorite movies though I find Star Trek a little more relevant.  Who would have thought that more than 35 years later we would still be so captivated by the merry band of characters.

I hope you have a great day and truly may the force be with you.

Dead celebs in 2014

April 29th, 2014 No comments

I guess it’s because we live in the age of mass media.  Reality shows, the Internet and other media have turned life in to the 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol talked about.  This being said, I was reading an article about the death of DJ Rashad at the age of 34 and at the bottom of the page was pictures of notable people we have lost in 2014.  It was a bunch.  Now some of them aren’t as famous as others but in this day of mass media, the notables pass so quickly we end up with a huge list and the year isn’t even half over.

I am kind of a news junky and the thing about so many deaths and the way media seems to get fixated on one or two stories is that a couple notable deaths passed me by.  I didn’t even catch the death of Dave Madden, (Mr. Kinkaid in the Partrige Family) or Russell Johnson. (The Professor in Gilligan’s Island)  To a kid who grew up in the 70′s these are notable losses indeed.

I guess I will have to begin to check out People or TMZ to catch up with all of the celebrity news.  Or…Maybe not.



Micky Rooney – 1920-2014

April 7th, 2014 No comments

I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t know who Mickey Rooney was. Not my earliest memory by any means, but when I developed appreciation of film and acting, Mickey was always there. From the Andy Hardy movies and his partnerships with Judy Garland to his later years when he appeared in films like The Black Stallion, A Night in the Museum and Muppet films, he was a consummate professional. It is reported he also just created some additional footage, reprising is role as Gus in an anticipated Night in the Museum 4.

Eight marriages, including his first to film beauty Ava Gardner, were events that helped define his life, but it was really his passion for acting, singing and dancing that defined his career.

Mickey Rooney will be missed. Mickey Rooney will be remembered for roles in movies like Captain’s Courageous, Love Finds Andy Hardy, The Human Comedy, National Velvet, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Pete’s Dragon, Babe: Pig in the City, not to mention television and stage work.

The consummate professional, there was never any one like Mickey, and it is highly unlikely there will ever be another. Well done, Mickey… well done.

Feel Good Friday, April 4, 2014

April 4th, 2014 No comments

I have already had such a good day, that is it almost 1:00 pm, and I am just sitting down to write this. Of course it’s another beautiful day in South Florida. I got up early and, after reading my morning newspaper, went out, drove along the beach for a little while, contemplating how insignificant we all are in comparison to nature, then stopped and had a delicious, yet light, breakfast.

Hit Home Depot for a couple small items I needed for the new apartment, came home, took care of those details and now I’m going to sit down and watch another episode of Game of Thrones.

The funny thing about GoT is I never watched it. I did pick up the audio book a couple months ago and listened to the story. After about 30 discs, I finished and discovered there was a 2nd book. I got it, too, and it was about the same length. Then I realized there was another audio book, and yet one after that. At this point, while driving around listening to a story, I am about 137 hours in to this wonderful Song of Ice and Fire. There are still two more books to be released and I am truly hooked.

So in my new apartment, I discovered HBO has all the episodes available “On Demand”. So I went to season one, episode one and am watching from start to finish, a couple shows a day.

I always wanted to do that with Star Wars, and watch them out of order, but chronologically correct. Someday. You see… technology really is our friend. Maybe a very frustrating friend sometimes, but still a friend. Gives me one more thing to feel good about on this Friday.

Florida Marlins have a chance! April Fool…

March 31st, 2014 No comments

When it comes to the rights of spring, Baseball’s opening day is a benchmark. The fact that it falls on April Fools’ Day, this year, has special significance to baseball fans here in South Florida. We have The Marlins.

The owner of this once proud franchise, Jeffery Luria, has used and abused his team, the fans, the city of Miami and everyone else who took pride in our team. He takes public money to build a stadium then sells off all the talent. The people I know have nothing against The Marlins. But they hate Luria.

After three years of being in the basement in the National League East Division, it is so bad the organization was offering discount opening day tickets on Groupon. They are trying to do anything they can to put fans in the seats before the cameras go live tonight at they take on the Colorado Rockies.

Adding insult to injury, Miami just hosted what is called The 5th Major tennis tournament. The Sony Open on Key Biscayne, still referred to as The Lipton by many, hosted almost every top player in the world with Serena Williams taking the Ladies Title and Novak Djokavic easily taking out world #1 Raffa Nadal for the championship. On top of that, the Miami Dolphins are making moves and did I forget to mention your Miami Heat are in a position to Three-peat in the NBA.

Who has time, patience or interest in The Marlins? Pity.

Malaysian Flight 370

March 24th, 2014 1 comment

In the midst of NSA spying, phone tapping, various invasions of privacy and satellites capable of reading license plates or recognizing hair color… how do we lose a Jumbo Jet?

It’s been three weeks, and even though reports continue to surface, the plane and passengers remain a mystery. News coverage re-hashes what we have already heard, while touting new reports of debris and oil slicks from China and now France.

Maybe I read too much Clive Cussler and Tom Clancey, but I’ve read stories boasting technologies that allow computers to analyze satellite data and not only view recent flight information, but predict future routes. I have read the news and understand that odd turns were made, but I firmly believe we have satellites looking at practically every inch of the Earth, practically every second of the day.

So again… how do we lose a Jumbo Jet… for three weeks?

We have the technology.

With ¾ of the Earth covered by water, I understand that is a lot of square miles of oceans and seas to search, but an aircraft of that size completely falling off the radar is baffling.

I pray for the passengers. Rather than a plane crash, I would rather find out some nefarious Dr. Evil has them on some private island in the tropics, preparing to ransom them to the highest bidder.

Any way you look at it, it is a breakdown and failure of the technology we have come to believe in and rely on. I recently lost my car keys. I understand that; a Jumbo Jet… not so much.

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