Sunday, March 1, 2015

HE'S (REALLY) DEAD, JIM.

   As everyone in the Trek universe knows by now, actor Leonard Nimoy has passed away. Oddly enough, I don't feel grief-stricken or deeply saddened by the news. We all knew he wasn't in the best of health recently (most likely compounded by the shameless incompetence of mainstream medicine) and he was, after all, past 80. It could also be that 33 years after seeing him "die" in WRATH OF KHAN his real death is a bit anti-climatic (cue Monty Python: "there's nothing so anti-climatic as coming home to dead cat"). To me it, his death was more like closing the back cover on a favorite book. There were many high and low points and abrupt turns in it but we enjoyed the read. 
    I've attended a fan gathering or two, especially while I lived in Santa Barbara briefly in 1986. I even went to one mid-1980's fan convention in LA where William Shatner appeared and I'm certain this was the event that inspired the "Get A Life" sketch on Saturday Night Live. At the time, Shatner did not do Trek conventions very often and since this one was in Hollywood's backyard near LAX it wasn't a long haul for him to get to it. There were lots of media there and I distinctly remember asking a female journalist a question and she gave a cold stare before walking away without uttering a word. "Hey, lady, you're not all that. Besides, I have to eat with these hands." Damn, always a great response decades too late.
    But I digress. The poster above was from Leonard Nimoy's appearance at the Arlington Theater (oh, pardon me, Theatre) in Santa Barbara but nowhere on it is a year listed. According to the text, Mr. Nimoy would be taking a look at "his 20-year odyssey through the STAR TREK universe". He took on the role of Spock in the STAR TREK pilot in 1964 but since STAR TREK IV (1986) would also be screening at the Arlington, then the March 6 night in question must have been 1987. Hell, Google it and correct me.
    Anyway, I paid my $5.00 and sat in middle of the half-filled theater (or theatre). Mr. Nimoy padded out with thick glasses and sweater looking somewhat like a dark-haired George Burns. He seemed a bit underwhelmed by the smaller-than-expected audience but forged ahead. While Bill Shatner seemed rather self-aware and kept the LA crowd at arms length, Nimoy was laid-back and comfortable with the folks in attendance. He made no surprising revelations or ripped into his producers and co-workers. It was a pleasant evening though I have to admit that it didn't resonate as deeply as his performances did. The fact that I can't remember any specifics of this show but can summon up lines from his series and movies probably says it best.
    I hope Mr. Nimoy finds his new odyssey "fascinating" because he helped to show us that there are always possibilities.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

AN INSIDE LOOK

I deliver on my headlines! Here's a recent CT Scan of my innards. Remember, you saw it here first!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FREE TICKET!

    While rummaging around looking for something unrelated to what I found, I came across a ticket stub. This was for the observation deck of the World Trade Center on January 1, 1976. I shot some Super 8 movie film of the visit including the long line leading to the elevators. You definitely felt the pull of gravity during the speedy trip up. Due to the frigid nature of January in New York and the wind at that height, the outside observation deck was closed that day but I had a pretty decent view from all four sides of the inside deck. 
    The towers cast a long shadow across the neighborhoods below especially on the clear sunny day I was there. Actually, WE were there, the other person being my high school friend Herb Meuther. I still had five months left in the Air Force while Herb was finishing up college. 
    I still have the Super 8 footage of the trip which I'll post as soon as my film transfer capability is set up. The tour guide passed along such tidbits of information as the wind created by the elevator shafts blowing paperwork around offices located near them. Also, the the high winds aloft made the towers gently sway but we were assured that the builders had planned for this. I wonder if the builders could have planned for the events of 2001 but that tale is still being fought about 14 years later.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

In Your Face 2014!

Here's hoping that 2015 turns out better than 2014 did. Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Gif-fing Christmas

Here's a new gif for the holiday. Just 8 drawings manipulated in Gif Animator. Strange that this doesn't work on my iMac but the PC handles it. I guess Steve don't like no old programs.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Life For Old VHS

   While looking for Christmas-themed short cartoons with the classic characters (Popeye, Casper, Woody Woodpecker, etc.) I came across a VHS edit I did in the 1990's. I took an audio cassette recording I had of Mae Questel (Betty's most famous voice) and pieced together scenes available from a couple of VHS collections of Boop cartoons. I managed to find enough clips to complement the lyrics and make it a complete music video. There was one line where I couldn't find a scene that worked so I grabbed the shot from the Fleischer Color Classics "Christmas Comes But Once A Year". Betty Boop's Grampy stars in that film so technically it's all in the family.
   Have a look:

   Another 1990's VHS edit was unearthed as a result of my seeing the coming attractions trailer to the Dwayne Johnson film "San Andreas". This is a disaster film set in California with a title that pretty much tells it all. While the aftershocks from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake were still rumbling around the area, I had my VCR set for KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles and recorded several reports from the staff in the field. I intercut them with appropriate scenes from "Superman: The Movie" and got a five-minute clip of Superman's efforts to save Lois and Jimmy and LA from the quake.
   You can check that out here:

   There are other edits I've found but one in particular could be a problem. It involves Walt Disney's "Bambi". You see, I found out who killed Bambi's mother. However, knowing how litigious the Disney Empire is, I hesitate in posting the clip. I haven't even transferred it to the computer since they probably have software that can find me anywhere in the world. I'm picturing a SWAT team with little Mickey Mouse badges kicking my door down and dragging me off for waterboarding on the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Don't need that hassle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

World AIDS Day: GET REAL!

    I try to avoid the political rants of most blogs, vlogs and websites but had to speak up when the mainstream media continued their disinformation campaign regarding AIDS with their coverage of World AIDS day. Here's a Link to a YouTube video that pretty much sums up everything that you'll never hear on the networks or most other accepted news outlets. Skip the video if you're squeamish about profanity. There's a lot of it here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7P4iFg048k