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Feel Good Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24th, 2014 No comments

In the midst of all the computer problems I have had for the past week, which included wiping my hard drive and re-installing a new operating system, which entailed losing my address book, contact list and numerous programs. I’ve gone a little crazy. Nightmare. I changed my computer desktop background to The Scream.Scream

Then something wonderful happened. I have a niece who teaches 2nd grade at Meadowfield Elementary school in Columbia, South Carolina, and she and I have talked about doing an author visit to her school via SKYPE.

Yesterday we did it. Ms. Bartnovsky hooked up her IPad to a large screen in her classroom and pointed the camera at the students while I sat in front of my computer. Meadowfield ES, DaniI have a head set w/microphone, like I use on Bolognabrain’s Weird Wednesday, so I could hear the kids and talk to them. They were asking me questions. I was singing songs, playing guitar, talking about being creative, sharing my poetry and even included some storytelling when I performed Miller the Green Caterpillar.

I love my author visits and some schools have actually gone out on a limb and claimed mine was the best author visit ever. “Oct. 12, 2006 – Mr. Darrell House… Thank you so much for visiting and performing at St. Michael Academy. Your performance electrified the students and faculty. It was THE BEST author visit EVER!!! Everyone wants to know when you will come back again.” – Colleen Hodge, Librarian, St. Michael Academy, Amelia Island, Florida.

I’m so humble, but that is exactly how I would like to be known and recognized.

In the last 20 years, while I have been writing and performing for kids and families, I have discovered how much I love it and how fulfilling it is to get young students excited about reading, writing and being creative.

This is a Feel Good Friday I didn’t see coming, but it is one of the best I can remember.

Feel Good Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26th, 2014 No comments

This past year I have experienced major changes in my life; some not so good, some over the top wonderful. Life hands you surprises and just when you least expect it “Smile… you’re on Candid Camera.”

Family and friends are the lifelines that help us keep our heads above water and, in most situations, keep us living, loving and laughing.

Recently a group of musicians, family and friends I have known for years all went on a cruise ship. They brought costumes from when they were the premier performers in Fort Lauderdale. They pretty much took over the ship’s lounges nightly, and invited everyone to a last night concert. Cruise gangI missed it this year, but wait till next year. They are truly some of the most talented people I have known in my life and I not only value their talent and friendship, I love that they are still out there singing the songs, doing the dance and entertaining the crowds. That’s what we do.

My buddy, Spyder McCluskey, and I were having a drink the other day when he nudged me with his elbow and whispered “Look at those two old geezers over there. In ten years that’s going to be us.” I told him it was a mirror. D&S

L.I.G… Life is good. Bless our family and friends. Keep us safe, happy and feeling good.

Enquiring minds… want answers

September 25th, 2014 No comments

We missed Weird Wednesday this week. We tried, but we couldn’t do it. Seems the software Masters of the Universe, didn’t quite have all the necessary pieces in place when they automatically upgraded.

Usedtoy and I typically use SKYPE to record WW on Tuesday. Then The Toy mon, does a brief edit, adding the opening and closing credits, uploads it to YouTube, which takes hours for a file this size, then we copy the link early on Wednesday and Voila, we are your destination for another week’s weirdness.

Well SKYPE upgraded their software but it was incompatible with our recording/editing program. We prepared our program on Tuesday, but it didn’t record. So we did it again early Wednesday morning. Again, no recording. So Usedtoy called on the Masters of the Software Universe and they instructed him to UNINSTALL (something about that word just makes me nervous… kinda like DENTIST) his current version of SKYPE and re-install and older version.

The problem was… he did it. Then we recorded again… and you can surmise the outcome of that labor.

So basically we wasted another day here on Bolognabrain explaining how we wasted yesterday. True, the issue was beyond our control and capabilities, but still… Enquiring minds… want answers.

Hopefully, we’ll get this worked out by next week. In the meantime this is our Mea Culpa. Check out Feel Good Friday tomorrow. I promise, no kvetching about The Masters of the Universe. I may not even take on the idiots in Washington. After all, Fridays are about feeling good.

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.

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