Saturday, August 29, 2009

Edward Kennedy 1932-2009

Not a fan of Sen. Kennedy's politics or the man himself but I always watch funerals of high profile individuals with great interest . I have taped the funerals of Presidents Reagan and Ford and Sen. Kennedy's was even more fascinating for the Catholic Mass that is rarely seen on television. The networks seemed to give us plenty of closeups of the family including the last surviving sibling Jean, and closeups of President Obama, Carter and Clinton.
As always I found the work of the Honor Guard, carrying the casket to the hearse, fascinating. The precision and look is incredible and I know from past funerals that to be a member of the guard for a funeral like this is a very high honor and they practice hours everyday for the job.
Later today will be the funeral procession through Washington DC then onto Arlington National Cemetery for the burial. It will be emotional to see the last of the fabled Kennedy men laid to rest next to his brothers, President John Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy.
The New York Times obituary for Senator Kennedy.
More on the Kennedy funeral.

Here is a tremendous article on the history of State Funerals in the United States.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tarzan Day


Happy Tarzan Day!!
On this day in 1912 Edgar Rice Burroughs published "Tarzan of the Apes".
He gave the world one of its most enduring icons of literature, movies and television.
I own all of the books in paperbacks and I discovered them around the same time I saw my first Tarzan movie on Ch 4 out of Indianapolis about 1974. It starred Johnny Weismuller and I became instantly hooked and couldnt wait for the next movie to show up on tv. My dad gave the background on Johnny and his incredible Olympic career before he went to the movies and he remains my favorite of all the Tarzans.
My dad was a fan of Ron Ely who played Tarzan on TV in 1966.

Here is a "condensed classic" showing all the movie Tarzans from the beginning with Elmo Lincoln all the way to Casper Van Dien from the 1998 "Tarzan and the Lost City".



My favorite little tidbit about all the different movie Tarzan's regards former NFL player Mike Henry who played the title role in 3 movies from 1966 to 1968. He went on to play Major Penobscot, "Hot Lips" Houlihan's husband, in the "Olympics" episode where the MASHers held their own Olympics competition to go along with the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Welcome to the Machine - Joe Posnanski - SI.com

I am not a big fan of the Cincinnati Reds but this will be a welcome addition to the library next month.

Welcome to the Machine - Joe Posnanski - SI.com

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Netflix

Here is a movie I am getting from Netflix this week, Sunshine Cleaning.
It has great buzz on the net and it does looks funny and just enough emotion for my wife to watch too. Of course it doesnt hurt to have the great comedic actor Alan Arkin as the dad.

What just happened here?

I wish I spoke japanese to have some idea of what this was all about. It doesnt take a translator to tell he was OUT!

Monday, August 24, 2009

#1 Song of the Week

Today we are hearing and looking at the first number one single for Huey Lewis and The News, "The Power of Love". It hit the top on this day in 1985 and was from the soundtrack for Back To the Future.
"Power of Love" pushed Tears for Fears second #1 hit "Shout" down to #2 after 3 weeks at the top.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Today in Sports History

Hello sports fans, how about we take a trip back 20 years ago and watch the The Ryan Express, Nolan Ryan get his 5000th strikeout. Of course it was against my Oakland A's and fellow Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson was the 5000th victim.
From August 22nd 1989


a sidenote: arent the skin tight uniforms from the 70s,80s and early 90s just lovely compared to today?

District 9

I took my lovely daughter Mikayla to see "District 9" last night. It was a decent movie but not GREAT. I would say the acting was good and the effects were very good and the story itself was Oscar caliber but it was just lacking something that said "This is a GREAT MOVIE". I wish I could tell you what it was but I would say its a not a waste of time.
I enjoyed it and it had a couple of laughs and to my surprise, plenty of bodies exploding. Also, if you have a problem with the "F-Bomb" DO NOT go see this. The writers found this a fun word to use and in this instance I can say it wasnt out of place. I knew from what I read before going that this would be an allegory for apartheid and the treatment of non whites in South Africa for over 100 years. I don't know how people will pick up on that but if they do it will make the movie even more disturbing.
I also found the lead character, Wikus van der Merwe, someone who turned very likable after starting out as milktoast. He was played by somewhat unknown in the USA, Sharlto Copley, who may not get an Oscar but was very very good in this role.

*SPOILER ALERT*

The ending leaves it WIDE open for sequel(s), espescially in 3 years.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Something Something Something Darkside

Thanks to that great site TVonDVD.com we get a sneak preview of the cover of the dvd for the Family Guy parody of "The Empire Strikes Back".
Take a look here.

Freak of Nature

If you havent heard or seen yet, Usain Bolt smashed his own world record today in the 200 meters at the Track and Field World Championships in Berlin.
Watch this superhuman effort here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Elvis

I am a huge Elvis fan and today is a sad day. On this day in 1977 Elvis passed away at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis TN. I was 10 years old and I was on vacation in Kentucky with my folks visting my great grandmother and all my dad's family. I remember my dad telling me about it while we were out with my great uncle on his tractor checking his tobacco fields. They had just heard it on the radio and with no 24 cable news coverage it wasnt all over the tv like Michael Jackson. I wasnt too upset at the time because I wasnt really old enough to understand what Elvis meant to the music world and to people everywhere. My joy of Elvis really took hold as a teenager when I discovered the album "Elvis- The Top Ten Hits". I wore that cassette tape out and I still have it but they are all on my Ipod now.
here is my favorite Elvis song.

Beef & Boards Theater

I took my wife, the lovely Michelle, and my daughters Jessie and Mikayla to see "The Sanders Family Christmas" lastnight at Beef & Boards Theater in Indianapolis. I know its August but they already have shows scheduled for December and some cast members already have commitments for the holidays.
Anyway, it was a great show and is part of a trilogy of "Sanders Family" musicals. There is "Smoke on the Mountain", "Smoke on the Mountain:Homecoming" and "Sanders Family Christmas" . We have seen the last 2 at B&B and with the same cast and they are tremendous. The lead of the "Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe" played by John Vessels was and is the highlight of the play. He will make you laugh and then make you say AMEN! in the next breath. What a delight he is to watch, one of the funniest on stage I have ever seen and can adlib with the best of them.
I can't recommend this musical enough.
Here is a brief clip of one number from the show done July 2009.

Pro wrestler Kurt Angle charged with HGH possession - More Sports - SI.com

Well this wont be good for Kurt Angle or TNA wrestling or the sport in general because this is the last thing they needed was confirmation of wrestlers using illegal substances.

Pro wrestler Kurt Angle charged with HGH possession - More Sports - SI.com

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

#1 Song of the Week

This week in 1968 was the first week at #1 for the group formerly known as the Young Rascals and their third #1 song "People Got To Be Free".
They had persuaded their record label to let them drop the "Young" and just be "The Rascals" for the new album and single so they wouldnt sound like a group of little kids on the playground.
Previously hitting #1 with "Good Lovin" 1966 and "Groovin" 1967, this would be the last time the Rascals would top the Billboard Hot 100 and it was the most emotional song lead singer Felix Cavaliere had written. He was deeply affected, as was much of America, by the assasinations of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy just 6 weeks earlier. "People Got To Be Free" entered the charts July 20th and 4 months later sat alone at the top for 4 weeks.

R.I.P Les Paul

The passing of Les Paul should have been met with tributes from every musican, studio producer, mixer, sound man and guitar player. Les Paul was THE innovator and inventor that gave the music world the multitrack recording system. This would allow anyone to record vocals and instruments at different times and put them together and dub them in as many times as you would want for harmony and a big full sound. Les Paul gave us the the foundation for the wall of sound of the 60s. He was known also for mentoring and molding a young Steve Miller into the guitar hero he became in the 1970s. Sadly there will be no Michael Jacksonesque tributes or day after day of Larry King interviewing anyone who was vague associated with him. Just the fans and muscians all over the world honoring him wherever they can find an outlet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

25 Things We Miss in Baseball

For the baseball fan to remember what we miss about baseball.
I agree with all of these (see link below) and day games is one I truly miss. Some of my best childhood memories are coming home and getting the last couple of innings of a playoff game and my mom filling me in because she had the tv on in the background while fixing supper. The famous one game playoff between the Yankees and Red Sox (when Bucky Dent hit THE home run) I saw that at my grandparents house because we went there after my dad picked me up from football practice. I can vividly remember walking in and just catching sight of Bucky hitting the ball and just jumping up and cheering.
The NBC Saturday Game of the Week is also something I truly miss. Today, seeing every game is great but the days of waiting for Saturday to maybe see my Oakland A's or Willie Stargell or the first chance to see Nolan Ryan pitch, were the best. Oh to see the Ryan Express! One saturday I was so excited because the scheduled game of the week was the California Angels visiting the Baltimore Orioles and Nolan Ryan was scheduled to start for the Angels.
I had read about him in the paper and watched highlights on THIS WEEK IN BASEBALL (with Mel Allen) but I had never seen him pitch live on tv. Well my dad and I were at Dale's barbershop in Kirklin for haircuts and the game came on, but to my stunned disbelief there was Joe Garigiola standing in a empty stadium. Rain coming down, and he was telling me that the scheduled Orioles vs Angels game was postponed and the game of the week was Cincinnati vs I dont even remember because I was so bummed out. Here was my chance to see the 100mph fastball of Nolan Ryan and then the rug was pulled out!
Now we have day baseball on Saturday but it starts a 4 in the afternoon, whoopee. The last time I can remember excitement over a day game on Saturday was in 1998. The Fox Saturday Game of the Week was always St Louis vs whoever with Mark McGwire Roger Maris and 61 homeruns.

Nestle - Remember When

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

WML? Baseball Hall of Fame Edition

On this day in 1971 Leroy "Satchel" Paige was inducted in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Here is his appearence on "What's My Line?" shortly after his induction.

Reggie Jackson - 1980 - SI Cover History: August 2-8 - Photos - SI.com


Right out of my childhood. I was thirteen and playing pony league ball and a big fan or Mr October.



Thursday, August 6, 2009

The 9 Greatest Supreme Court Justices


Well since they have confirmed a new justice for the US Supreme Court, lets read this article I found in my latest issue of American History.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My New Gadget


I found this turntable at Costco and now I can transfer all my old 45s and albums to my Itunes and then onto my Ipod or cd. The software alone used to be a couple hundred dollars or more but this included everything for 99.00. I could not pass it up with all the albums I have and its takes about 5 minutes to hook up, install the software and start recording.
Its made by Ion and here is their website.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Archie Bunker Day

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Carroll O'Connor. It was 85 years ago today that he was born in the Bronx New York.
Lets celebrate by watching part of the funniest episode of "All in the Family", Sammy's Visit.


and here is a clip from "Mike's Friend".