Monday, February 29, 2016

My Music Monday

The theme is music sung in a foreign tongue.

I don't think selecting ABBA is technically cheating - I mean, they ARE singing in a different language: English.

And by all accounts, Frieda and Anni never learned the language and always performed phonetically.

I suppose when eventually you'll be worth $300MM each, you can do whatever you fucking want - or not do, in this case.

I was more amused picking this song - Swedes singing a French phrase in English.

Of course one can never do ABBA without thinking of Muriel's Wedding. And Toni and Rachel do a hilarious bit that captures every ABBA video ever.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I'm Awake

I don't really have much today. Can you believe it - we missed a Saturday movie? We were so on target to do 52, if we kept up the pace at which we were going.

Ok - we were never hitting 52 movies. And we still might get to a film today, you just never know. 710 had a work project mid-day, so that threw off our timing. That and Mr. Pete, well we want to keep him under our gaze. I probably overdid it on a walk with him yesterday, but at least his ear seems better. I think.

So then - what to do for you?  I am missing an App of the Month segment in February. You'll all have to figure a way of how to survive that one!

Now here I am with just throwing something out for you all - especially you Star Wars fans.

Someone - and I could look it up and link it, as if it would matter to anyone, including myself - went to the trouble of making a trailer for Star Wars: Cleveland Awakens.

It incorporates a few things Cleveland and a few things Episode VII. They aren't cheesy graphics either, but nicely morphed together.

In the opening scene of the two suns over Tatooine University Circle, in the foreground is my new work area. You even see my parking deck on the left of the screen.

I love love love the Tie Fighter shadows over the Jacob's Field diamond. I like the X-Wing fighters stationed in the middle of the Metroparks and think the battle over downtown is cool. My old office building is in those shots.

I won't pretend to know the 'why' of doing this, and I kind of figured maybe someone did them for lots of cities, but if they did, they ain't on YouTube.

At least for those of us here in the CLE, it is fun to see this.

Song by: Maria McKee

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Blood for Poppies

Earlier this week, Bob from I Should Be Laughing commented on another post where he said "it's always something"......but he was talking about old houses.

This time I'm talking about Petey.

My poor doggie. Our poor doggie......if it ain't one thing, it's something else.

Finally Finally Finally, he's over his pneumonia. Finally.

Still.....let's start off the week.

We took the recovering Petey to Nana's house.....mostly because no one else would be there. Just 710, my mother and myself. He could relax....and he did.  Clearly. 

And he walks around there like he owns the place......which he kind of does.  

And yes, he follows me into the bathroom. I'm ok with that. 

The next day was nice and I was home early and we went for a walk. First in a long time.

....but the next morning........

...right before I was to walk out the door he sneezed.  And if you've ever seen a hound sneeze they use their whole body to do it. So, while this nose blood was on the floor, trust me, it was everywhere else too. It looked like Sharon Tate's house.

And it fucking freaked me out. Completely. And not going to an off-site meeting was not an option. All I could do was clean up the mess, clean his nose, leave a note for the dog walker and go. And of course, I texted 710.

I came home at noon and there was some blood around the house, but nothing as brutal as the morning scene. Of course I worried it was his lungs since he was just post-pneumonia and figured none of this would end well.

710 came home early and got him to the vet. Wouldn't you know it was a major major ear infection and a ruptured ear drum?

He's back on meds and feeling good.

And I'm guessing Dr. Smith can now put his toddler children (I'm assuming he has them and they are small) through any Ivy League school of their choice, funded by Blobby, 710 & Petey. At the very least, he should name his children - all of his children - Petey, regardless of gender.

710 worked from home on Friday and loved loved loved having Petey by him in the office.

Oh yeah - and of course, Soph.  She always gets out-shined by her special-needs brother. 

Song by: Garbage

Friday, February 26, 2016

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

I think I'm giving up.

Not on Record of the Month (not yet at least), but possibly on Lucinda Williams.

With her first, I dunno, six albums, she pretty much hit it out of the park. With her next 2-3, she was ok and the disks grew on me. But with 2008's Little Honey it kind of all went south for me. She somewhat - kind of - redeemed herself with her 2014 release, but a Williams album, to me, should be more than just halfway passable.

I have zero qualms with the musicianship on the Ghosts of Highway 20.  The musicians are great. For g-d's sake, she has Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz on guitars. Not too shabby.

The songwriting seems ok. Not Williams-stellar, but certainly not bad either.

But like the last few disks, it's Lucinda's voice, or lack thereof, that drags the songs down. The gravel, or singing with a mouthful of broken marbles makes Marianne Faithful (circa 1979) sound like sweetest voiced angel ever.

And it's not that Williams should have the perfect voice - that's not her style, it never was - but if you compare, not even her early work, but the could have been / should have been great West and the iffy Blessed in comparison she could give diction lessons then.

Perhaps she has a vocal cord issue. If so, she should get a vocal coach and do some exercises. If she's purposefully trying to sound like this, then the end-result is lost on me.

I get her "true fans" would rip me apart for a review like this. But I own every disk she's ever released. Just because you like an artist doesn't mean they get a free pass for putting out sub par albums.

The bigger question is if I will just buy her next disk blindly.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I Choose

It's time to choose. If you dare, that is. You're all still invited, you know.

I'm picking who I think will win - as it is a contest after all - not who I think should win. That's a different ball of wax, altogether {come on.......someone do it.......}

I have to say, Magic Mike XXS, might be receiving a batch full of cookies in the not to distant future. I have never felt less confident in my choices.

In theory, I should be all over this - seeing as many movies as we did - but might have made it tougher to actually choose. And it doesn't help that the big nominees (Max Max, Revenant) we not actually seen by me.

On the other hand, Mr XXS, hasn't seen any of them. Again, so. he. claims. That false sense of confidence has gotten him to coax more than one person into his ice cream van, I suppose.

I could write more, but I'd only being putting off the inevitable. So, with a blindfold and a dart, here we go.........

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Because it was the best movie of last year. Or at least of the ones that were nominated......that I actually saw. 

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
No one saw Trumbo or Jobs (and probably for good reason). Redmayne won last year. That leaves two. g-d I hope it ain't DiCaprio, but it will be. 
Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

This should totally go to Rampling as her performance was stellar, but she made some off-the-cuff comments about race and the Oscars. Hollywood will over-correct itself and give the award to Larson, but I'd still vote for Rampling. 

Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Tom Hady – The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo – Spolight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Besides it being time - Ruffalo did an excellent job!
Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Mara was ok, McAdams was fine, but nothing defining. I thought Vikander did a great job, though she was better in Ex Machina.
Best Director
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max Fury Road
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamsson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Iñárritu won last year. Ultimately, the visuals, lighting etc might have been too great not to give him a repeat, even though the movie hasn't gotten the best reviews. 

Best Original Screenplay
Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Inside Out
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, Straight Outta Compton

There area few good monologues in Spotlight that should send it to the top. Of course, that racial over-correction could tip it towards Straight Outta Compton, but the joke would be on the voters as the writers are white. 
Best Adapted Screenplay
Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, The Big Short
Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donoghue, Room

The Big Short is getting short-changed (see what I did there....on a few levels?) this award season. The screenwriting was clever and unique enough to let a lay person understand and still be outraged by the 2008 economic collapse. 
Ed Lachman, Carol 
Robert Richardson, The Hateful 8
John Seale, Mad Max Fury Road
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
Roger Deakins, Sicario

Alll bets are on Mad Max (well, I assume). I thought Carol was so nicely done visually. And you'd hate to bet against Lubezki who has won the last TWO years for his films with Iñárritu . I mean, he rocked with Gravity and Birdman. I'll have to go for a three-peat. 
Best Original Score
Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell, Carol
Ennio Morricone, Hateful Eight
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
John Williams, Star Wars the Force Awakens

First off, Spielberg made a movie where John Williams didn't do the score? Has life ended as we know it? For Williams though, how many times can he rehash so many of this themes, so it won't be the Force Awakens. I'll go with Ennio Morricone.....because I can. I haven't heard it, and I don't remember the music to Carol or Sicario
Costume Design
Sandy Powell, Carol
Sandy Powell, Cinderella
Paco Delgado, The Danish Girl
Jenny Beavan, Mad Max Fury Road
Jacqueline West, The Revenant

Deep down, I know it will go to Mad Max for the post-apocalyptic look, but I was enthralled with the Carol era. I know I'm going against my should / will win rules, but I just am taking a chance with this one. 
Best Foreign Language Film
Embrace of the Serpent
Son of Saul
A War

Because I've seen the previews for this movie for the last six months. It looks D-pressing as fuck. So of course it will win. 
Best Makeup
Mad Max Fury Road
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

Never heard of the middle movie - and it's too long to fit in an envelope. 
Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max
The Revenant
Star Wars The Force Awakens

Because......... ???
Original Song
Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey (The Weeknd)
Simple Song #3 from Youth (David Lang)
Writing On The Wall from Spectre (Sam Smith)
Til It Happens To You from The Hunting Ground (Diane Warren and Lady Gaga) Manta Ray from Racing Extinction

Ok, this is a total crapshoot. I saw Spectre, but it had to be the most uneventful Bond theme since a-ha or Rita Coolidge had their turn. Simple Song #3 is modern opera, so that ain't happening. And I haven't (nor has anyone) heard the other songs. Since lately you can't swing a dead cat without hitting Mr. Gaga (no, that wasn't a typo), I guess the award will go to shim. 
Animated Feature Film
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep
When Marnie Was There

A. It's Pixar. B. I heard it was wonderful. 
Animated Short Film
Bear Story
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

One of them is Pixar, but I could only really view part of Prologue. So, that's why I'm picking it. It is flawed logic, but it's all I got. 
Live Action Short Film
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Ok

I got nothing. 
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Drug abuse. Music. Tragedy. "Celebrity" Death. a Beehilve. How can it not win? 
Best Documentary Short
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond The Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres Of The Shoah
Last Day Of Freedom

I picked it because it was the first listed. Seems to make sense to me. 
Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars the Force Awakens

I'd like it to be Ex Machina, but I don't think enough people saw it, and some film folks I know LOVED Mad Max. 
Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

I'd like to give it to Carol, but it's not nominated. I'd like to give it to the Danish Girl, but it's going to Mad Max. 
Sound Editing
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars The Force Awakens
Sound Mixing
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars The Force Awakens

I so want to pick Star Wars for the last two, but it won't happen. 

So it's a Mad Max heavy selection. Oddly one of the movies I haven't seen, though it is on HBO now. I guess I should have watched it on demand. 

Like I said, I don't feel good about most of these. Maybe half. But I made sure I didn't make the same mistake Mike made last year of missing one category. Not that it will matter. 

Let's just say: I've been looking at cookie recipes as I'm assuming he's about to have USPS Express Mail knock on his door with a box of goodies. 

Song by: the Offspring

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

All Fall Down

It was a dark and windy night..........

The winds were howling last Friday night. Gusts probably hitting 60 miles per hour.

The trees swayed, the windows rattled. I thought for sure we'd at least lose a storm window. Even though we tightened them all down before Winter, it has happened before.

Still, while Friday can be date night around here, we stayed in. I was in bed by 22:30, if that tells you what an exciting life we lead.

710 remained downstairs to read, or finish watching some show. My memory is fuzzy. And by "fuzzy" it means, I probably wasn't in tune to what he was doing.

What I didn't expect was the crashing that would occur in the dark of night.

I was in bed, just reading when a horrible horrible horrible sound - and then sounds - happened.

710 calls up from downstairs, "I think we might have just lost the chimney!!!".


Mind you, the chimney feeds our non-working fireplace in the bedroom. In theory, I would have known had it been that drastic, but I was a little worried and out of sorts and wasn't thinking logically or clearly.

The sounds emanated from a side of the house I didn't think a chimney would fall. Ok, save for the Fall of the House of Usher, I didn't really consider a chimney falling in the first place.  (oh - and if you have a time machine - you should really see David Soul in the horrible TV version of that story!) Then again, I never really paid attention to the layout of our roof either.

I was worried whatever was falling would have gone through the sunroom roof and smash the animals. Honestly, that was my biggest fear. My second biggest was - "what is this gonna cost us?".

As I lay there - since sleep was now beyond me - I just went over in my head (again), how much I would love to flee this house and find something smaller, and maybe more city oriented. But then there is Petey and I don't think condo or high rise apartment living is his style.

Sure, 710 went out, but now it was pushing 23:00 and pitch black out. He could see nothing. But he saw no full sized chimney sitting anywhere, so that was a big plus.

What you see in the title image is what happened: stucco (cement?) falling from the actual chimney. But it fell 15-18 feel to the top of the sunroom, which is directly outside the master bedroom windows. But what you also can see is the sloped roof, so part of it fell, hit there and then slid down and off the house - hence all the other noises.

This doesn't seem like a lot of damage, but not everything fell here - some of it is in the front yard - and it did shatter into little pieces upon impact no matter where it landed, though to be honest, I don't know how big the pieces were when they dislodged.

While no one has come out to inspect it yet, a masonry guy ventured to guess the chimney itself is fine, but we'll need to restucco. Still, it seems pricey.

I haven't bothered to contact insurance yet. They'll just love us after that basement flood we had eight months ago.

Song by: Shawn Colvin

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Oooh. I went to a so-called local sporting event.

I know, just by looking at me you'd think I was a hard core b-ball fanatic.

That's right, "we" call it 'b-ball'.

Ok - truth be told, I've been to like 4 Cavaliers games in 20 years. And only because we'd been given tickets or 710 got them through last night.

"They" even made the colours on the Terminal Tower wine & gold.

The seats were dope.....right in the club section. While the fud wasn't free (far from it, actually) they do come to your seats, take your order and deliver it. Sure beats being a chump and waiting in line.

The game itself certainly had its moments.

LeBron James - the anointed one - sucked. He scored half the point of my love, Kevin Love. And LeBron hasn't been in the ESPN magazine body issue like Mr. Love has.

Oh my!

Kevin did well.  24 points or so. And while we lost, we kind of rallied in the 4th quarter. It was a little exciting.

But these games have so little to do with the actual game.

 Flames so hot you feel them from 100 yards away. And a screen that is called a Humongotron.

And projected images on the floor. 

Then of course the t-shirt cannons. The nerf ball cannons. The trivia games. The male dancers (srsly!). The female "dancers" (srsly).

Of course there was the Bongo Cam (don't ask) and the Kiss Cam.  With the latter, I LOVED the cute guy purposefully and more than obviously, slipping the tongue to his girl.  There was no guy-on-guy action, as usual.

The game could have taken 48 minutes, but with commercials, trivia and shit - we clocked in at 2.5 hours. While the tickets were free, with parking and fud, it still set us back a pretty penny - and I never did get that Kevin Love jersey.


Oh - and especially for Morty - my old landlord sat behind us. That's right, Howard was in very close proximity to us again - after 20 years.  Worth it!

Not Kevin Love worth it, but still a nice take away.

Song by: I Mother Earth

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Music Monday

At that beginning of this theme - music sung in a foreign language - I said selections could skew heavy on the French side.

I have a number of songs from artists who sing in Frog, so maybe I steered away from them on purpose. I think I tried to get a flavour of different languages across the board.

Still - ya gotta do at least one French-y number. And why not do one of two that are on Kirsty MacColl's debut album, Kite?

While I'm fond of her (or was - now that she dead!), I was never a huge fan of "Complainte Pour Ste. Cathrine".  It's ok and all, but why settle for just "ok"?

I much preferred "La Foret de Mimosas" - which is today's selection.

Simple in its arrangement and still having more of an British accent singing French, then transforming into a French-like persona, the entire song just works. At least for me.

Kirsty MacColl - "La Foret de Mimosas"

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hero Worship

We just did our first popcorn movie of 2016 (though I'd say we technically get popcorn at two-thirds of our movies). 


I was more than mildly surprised.

It had it all: Action. Suspense. Violence. Stunts. Pseudo-Gore. TJ Miller. Sex / Nakedness. A Lesbian Wanna Be Fireball. Bad language.  Uhuru Leslie Uggams. Self-deprecation and a Ronnie Milsap reference.

Like I said: ALL.

'All' means it was entertaining - not that Deadpool is an outstanding piece of cinema. But no body was kidding anyone that it would be or was. It was still fun.

I can guarantee, I was the only one in the audience to get the Ronnie Milsap reference. For one, I was the second oldest person in the theater (psssst....710 was the oldest). For second - I'm not sure even 710 knew Ronnie Milsap is (was?). And we were one of few non-Asians. To say the audience was made up of Marvel fan-boys would be an understatement.

Well, there was the couple who brought their 10 month and 3 and 5 year olds with them. Lord. I'm sure big-screen beheadings are the norm for those kids. least it is now. I really don't know why one or two of the Asian dudes even bothered showing up - as I don't think they ever were off their phones - not talking, but doing something.

There is a line from the former show, Happy Endings, where gay Max is about to go out on a date with a guy - and his line is: "we both love Ryan Reynolds. we both hate Ryan Reynolds movies...." Until yesterday, I'd say, "true that".   (Of course Max's follow-up line was that he was going to "wine, dine and 79" his new date because it is 10 better.)

Reynolds has a smoking hot body - and 710 reassured me that he would still love me if I ever ended up having a similar build - and Reynolds does well at breaking the fourth wall in the movie. The writing was foul-mouthed, which is just fine with me and it suits the character and the material.

Ryan makes fun of himself, of his People Sexiest Man Alive designation, albeit using Wolverine Hugh Jackman. He makes the self-deprecation reference to his Green Lantern movie debacle. And while in character he makes fun of Ryan Reynolds. And he jabs at Marvel and X-Men franchises, sequels and how all super heroes land after falling or jumping great distances.

Deadpool is the anti-Avengers - and it worked well for me.  (It wasn't lost on me that two of the four previews were Marvel sequel / prequels: Captain America and X-Men Apocalypse - which title implies that it doesn't end well for anyone.)

There are a lot of people in the movie, but when it comes to speaking parts, you're down to like seven folks. No one is horrible, but no one is walking away with anything more than an MTV movie award.

I was amused to see that even in comic-book based movies with an R rating, that no guy can actually harm even the evilest of women. Any true harm can only be dealt with by another woman.

Of course, maybe the fan-boys jack off to that, just like Reynolds character choked the chicken while thinking of Bernadette Peters.

Oh wait - I've said too much.

2016 Movie Count / Goal:  08 of 18

Song by: the B-52's

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Into the Sunset

By nature, I am a worrier.

You might never know it to look at me - or even if you know me - but I am. It might be internal, and it might eat away at me or keep me up at night, but I worry.

Of course, being a Saturday, this is about Petey. With him, I always worry.

You've heard my things about his pneumonia, his scarred lung, his probable compromised immune system, and his on-set deafness. The poor boy jumps when I turn on a light because he doesn't know I'm behind him.

But for all his old-age issues, one things he's never had trouble with is his being able to hold "it". The man can go 24+ hours if he doesn't want to go outside due to cold or rain. Nary an accident.

Until two days ago. And we've had multiple. Both #1 and 2, but more the former. And it's in spans of four hour time increments.

He's finally over the last bout of pneumonia and now this........whatever this is.

Maybe it's just a bladder infection or a urine infection. Maybe it's worse. Or maybe it's really nothing.

I'll give him this, he has a ton of energy these last few days.

It just has me torn up while I'm at work not knowing how he's doing. I could care less about the floor or the carpet - those can be cleaned or redone. I feel bad for him! Mind you - he's a dog with no guilt, so he might not feel bad about doing it in the house, but I think on some level he does.

But for me, I worry that it's truly the beginning of the end. Again, maybe I worry for nothing, but when you're approaching 14, one just has to wonder.

An image from the Petey-Cam - whilst I was at work. 

At the end of his pneumonia recovery. He's still handsome. 

Tuesday. After the dog-walker, but before I got home. He at an entire loaf of bread (minus the heel). I'm hoping this is why his system is so far off.  I know, it's wishful thinking. 

A rare sight: Petey in his bed.  He's almost never in there anymore, now that he has the sofa. 

Deep into Snoozeville. 

And one of the Queen. 

So, depending on how he does, we have a tentative vet appointment for Mr. Pete this morning.  I'll give an update once we have it.......if we have it.

Song by:  Neil Finn

Friday, February 19, 2016

Blank Slate

It's been one of those days. 

Not a thought in my head that isn't work. Or home. 

Certainly nothing for the blog, that's for sure. I suppose that's ok. A day or so to recharge the batteries. Hopefully. 

Enjoy your time off from my rants and such. 

Song by: the National

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!

The need for movie tie-ins - especially big blockbusters like Star Wars - is evident and no doubt much sought after, from both the licensing folks and the product folks.

I think it was with SpongeBob that I realized there was nothing they wouldn't brand. I wouldn't have been surprised to see an EPT with Sandy, the squirr-el, on the packaging.

But in general, the products and packaging usually have the likable characters from the movies - but I suppose once the BB-8s and Reys are spoken for, you're left with...........Kylo Ren?

I'm not even sure Darth Vader got on a package of Campbell Soup, but now his (spoiler alert!) grandson is on a bag of Pop Secret.

I am not sure what this says about us as a society - how far we've come..........or fallen. Putting the 'bad guy' on the package for an uptick in sales is now a good thing.

Oh and the irony on this product has not escaped me - the Dark Side is on White Cheddar.

Maybe General Leia can be on a package of Vagisil. Age and space dust has had to made that thing dry as a bone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

You're History

After my father died a year and a half ago, my mother was clearing out some things from the basement.

She "found" reels of 16mm film, going back to the 1920s.

"Found" is in quotes, because it was always there. We knew it was there, but "we", as a family, were not film people. It was just inherited movies from my grandparents.

They've been sitting in the office for a year now, with no plans to do a thing with them.

Well, that's not true. My father's side of the family once used to be fairly prominent in Cleveland, and the Western Reserve Historical Society has a tons of memorabilia in their storage dedicated to them. My thought was: maybe they'd want this stuff.

I mean, I didn't. Or I didn't think I did.

710 was way way way more interested in this stuff than I was. I couldn't even interest my cousin to take them off my hands. And rightfully so, as he has enough "clutter" from his own grandparents. Why take on mine?

Of course it was complicated that there was no way to view this material, because who in this day and age has a projector to play such things?

Well, as it turns out, we do. Now.

Thanks 710 and eBay.

710 was really intrigued what was on those reels.

Honestly, he's watched more than I have, but then I was never in AV so working one of those projectors is beyond me, and the films is so old and fragile, I have no desire to destroy them.

There is no sequence to the canisters. 1920s. 1940s. etc.  And some of the footage is really good. And sometime in the 40s my grandfather was shooting on colour, which had to be a newer thing. The colours are still quite crisp.

But on the film is my dad and my great-grandfather. Whatever Emil thought of my grandfather, my dad was his first grandchild. So it was nice to see them walking together when my dad must have been about five.

After the war, my dad is seen skating on the lake in front of his parent's house with his sister, one of his brothers and their dog, who was chasing them, and sliding on the ice. Fun to see.

I tried to take pictures of some of the things, but it is tough to do. There is no 'pause' per se, at least not where the film doesn't burn.

But if there was ever doubt that I am my father's child..........

I sent the top one to one of my sisters and then later commented on it - and she had no idea it wasn't me. She just assumed.

I knew I looked like my father as I got older, but I never thought I looked like him as a child, but that is because I never saw any pictures of him as a child.

710 wants to show the films to my mother, but is apprehensive that they might make her sad. I don't think they will so much. All of them were shot before they even met.

We will consider digitizing the films, but right now it's about $0.25 per foot. Each reel is maybe 250 feet - so $62.50 per can. Kind of pricey. But maybe we'll shop around.

For now, we will keep them.

If we digitize them, I'll make copies for my sisters, but maybe the original film will to go the historical society.

Song by: Shakespear's Sister

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Little Caesar

I wanted it to be better. I expected it to be better.

Saturday, we went to go see Hail, Caesar!.  The cast seemed ok. The filmmakers, Joel & Ethan Coen are usually better than 'ok'. But this time it was a big 'meh'.

The visuals were great. The costumes and styling were perfect. The acting - what there was of it (more on that in a minute) was solid. The casting - for the most part - was partly spot-on / partly why bother.

I mean, what fucking perfection having Tilda Swinton in dual roles. Josh Brolin might never have been better - he does a great job. Ralph Fiennes is just terrific. George Clooney, ok - and he has way nicer inner thighs than I'd ever have imagined.  .....and then the rest.

Brolin's secretary had 20 times more lines than Jonah Hill's three (3!) lines, yet he gets 5th billing. Scarlett Johanason didn't have much more to do. Coen wife, Frances McDormand - well, could have (and should have) been anyone...considering it was 15 seconds of screen time. Tatum Channing doesn't act - he sings and dances fairly well (and looks pretty),  but let's face it, he has three lines as well. Even fucking Fischer Stevens has more to do......and you haven't seen him since, what, Short Circuit 2? And poor Allison Pill has had better runs other than the 1950's housewife pretty much asking what the man of the house she should....because you know, she's a girl.

There are some good scenes, for sure - my favourite being a discussion between four religious leaders on the potential depiction of Jebus in a movie.

Hail, Caesar! is more Barton Fink or Hudsucker Proxy than Blood Simple (still their best movie, IMHO). And thank g-d, it's nothing like Intolerable Cruelty (which was so aptly named).

The problem really lies with the story. Stories. Plural.

They are half-baked or at least not fully formed. A ransom plot where ransom money isn't the object and the hostage could easily just walk away if he wanted? A cowboy hero attempting something he's not - and when he has the chance to be that hero in real life, it amounts to almost nothing?  Or worse, that someone can be brainwashed into Communism in less than a day, and then literally have it slapped out of him in 10 seconds?

You think the storylines would and should somehow tie together - and they try, but ultimately fail. They are a hodge-podge of snippets that ultimately add up to very little. You can call it a 'send up" or a "spoof" if you want (and almost every review does), but Communism and religion in Hollywood have been done better than this and even off-shore enemies were better done is Spielberg's horrible 1941.

However, though I'm far far far too young for the movies (within this movie) to the genres that they reference that are in production at Brolin's studio, I completely grew-up with them, as they are the types of things my parents would watch and to which I was subjected time and time again.

The reviews (which as always, I read after the fact), and reviewers, for Hail, Caesar! are tripping over themselves to praise this film and I'm not sure why - other than Hollywood loves to love itself. The film is certainly not bad, but isn't stellar either (except for Swinton and Brolin). If a studio or filmmakers actually thought it was stellar it would have been released in time for Oscar contention.

2016 Movie Count / Goal:  07 of 18

Song by: Blondie

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Music Monday

It is difficult to believe that German isn't one of the Romance Languages. I mean, it's such a warm and friendly accent. It just woos you in and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Sure, I could have done a song by Nena or Falco, but then I'd have to listen to those songs and that just didn't seem fair to me!

To hell with all of you.  What about ME?????

Actually, the plan was for me to use the Beatles' "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", which I swear I heard before I ever heard the British version. It's actually quite brilliant.

And oddly, so is the German version of Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey", or as it is known there, "Schock den Affen".

If any artists was made for translating English to German, it is probably Gabriel. Many of his songs seem more natural in a Germanic style than in his native tongue. And his video for "Shock the Monkey" seems totally Teutonic.

I remember in the early days of MTV, I swear I saw the German version of the song paired with Gabriel's standard music video, if it actually exists (I might have been drunk), I cannot find it anywhere.

So you get some shitty fan-made version, but the song still shines through.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post to bring you what is bound to be the best news of 2016.......assuming we get confirmation that Madonna won't put out a new record this calendar year.

Yes, I had another post slated for today - but you know this couldn't wait - Antonin Scalia is D.E.A.D.

It's possibly the best Valentine's Day present - EVER!

I know in a civil society, one shouldn't wish another person ill, let alone dead, but in this case I couldn't be more ecstatic. It reminded me of where I was when Jerry Falwell kicked the bucket and went to h.e. double hockey sticks (Farragut North - 19th St NW in DC, thank you!).

Now I'll remember where I was when I heard about Scalia - and it is SO appropriate. ..and it's totally TMI.

I was dropping some heat at the Blood Bath & Beyond shitter.

While there, I check my phone to see that my friend George had texted me the good news. Had I been constipated, that would have loosened me right up.

In the car afterwards, we tried listening to NPR to get the news, but were subjected to Garrison Keillor instead - who unfortunately is still very much alive, and a Scalia death not important enough to break into Prairie Home Combustion.

Naturally, spawn of Satan, Mitch McConnell, has publicly stated that he wants Congress to hold-up any Obama nomination for a year, so the next president can select. I'm not sure he's going to be any happier with a Clinton nominee - cuz I can't believe it will be a Cruz or Trump nominee.

I actually had to axe 710 to stop reading opposition statements (McConnell, Ben Carson, etc) to me, as it was just fucking depressing......and too much of a possibility.

I don't get to too many cemeteries, but if Tony gets buried at Arlington, next time I'm in DC, I'll be happy to piss dance on his grave. And I'll even fucking video it.

The subsequent arrest and fine will be totally worth it.

Song by: Soul Asylum

Saturday, February 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 71st 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

06:40.  Setting out Mr. Pete's fud.  Kibble with some Cheerios.  
It's been really tough to get him to eat lately. 

07:10.  On way to meeting. 
Passing by Cleveland Clinic's uninspired new cancer center building

07:40.  2nd Breakfast. 
It's just a Homer Simpson world for me. 

10:10. Break time during our meeting. 

12:30. Elevator ride to my office.  
This is not something you see every day. Or at least I don't. 

13:45.  Coming up from a research office. 
I climbed four flights of stairs. I always opt for stairs over the elevator - at least for five flights. Any more than that, I ride. 

16:20.  Still workin'. 

17:40.  Potty Break. 
They probably should have sterilized it again after I was done. 

17:55.  Oh - I entered. Then exited. 
The sign is always wrong. 

 18:30.  You can't tell, but there was a sudden white-out right before I let Mr. Pete out to pee. 

20:10.  Princess Sophie.....waiting for 710 to sit with her. 

21:30.  Dessert.  
710 made the cake. I might have added more 'sprinkles'. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Upside Down & Inside Out

This working not from home is for the birds.

Actually, I'm liking the job, but it has made it harder lately to craft a daily post. So with that, I am just bringing forth OK Go's new anti-gravity filmed video.

They just out-do themselves..........again.

Not only was it filmed in zero gravity, once again, I believe there are zero edits - like so many of their video clips.  I don't know how they do it.  How does one rehearse a video this to the precision that they get it all so right?

And the song isn't too bad either. It's not going to top any charts, but I find that many OK Go songs are only there for the video and not the other way around - which is not to say I don't like some of their music.


Song by: OK Go

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dropping Like Flies

As expected, they're dropping like flies.

GOP flies, that is.

I suppose they land and feast on elephant feces until their invitation has been worn out - which for most of them is always after New Hampshire.

Gone are Fiorina and Christie. Of course, Santorum, Huckabee, Pataki, Graham, Jindal and Paul couldn't even get to the border of the Granite State before throwing in the towel.

Pussies.  (see what I did there?)

Oddly (or maybe not), Ben Carson polled lower than Fiorina or Christie, but he's still in the race. Stupid Affirmative Action. And once again, Jim Gilmore got 0.0% of the at least he's consistent.

And how is it that Shurb III got 11% of the vote and a 4th place finish?

I mean - he's only putting off the inevitable. Tick tick tick. And he's made no friends, so he shant be getting a VP nod or cabinet post.

Honestly, I don't care a thing about Bush. I just really really really wanted to use the image.

Song by: Sheila E. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Puss n Boots

I almost don't even know where to go with this.

While searching for an unflattering image (well, a most unflattering image) of Trump and came upon his "book".

Nothing says we are a "great" country than pandering to the lowest common denominator and calling people names.

Of course, Ted Cruz is a pussy, I'm not sure one can dispute that fact - but does it benefit anyone saying that at a rally?

I'm sorry - repeating it at a rally, into a microphone, under the "premise" that you'd never repeat that name-calling nor do you approve of it, only to get hundreds of people laughing and clapping.

Of course it's a calculated move - and for what it was worth (which is not much) was executed flawlessly, just the way the Donald wanted it to come off.

He can "claim" he didn't say it, just repeated it, but c'mon.......

And news outlets were going on about saying something about it being derogatory about a women's vagina, and sure, it is, but that's not what the term was meant as, and they know it. It's Donald being a bully. Plain and simple.

It is scary to think how much his followers love to follow him into the mud.....assuming they weren't living there before.

I would almost - ALMOST - love to see Trump win the nomination and election and have the media follow these stupid-as-fuck-followers for the next four years to see how much they feel like complete assholes with the ensuing results of their blind faith.

Song by: Adam Ant

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Site of the Month

I wanted this to be funnier. It should have been funnier. It could have been funnier.

All it needed was 4-5 of my friends sitting around Morty and George's patio table with a few beers. That's it.

We would have, and could have, come up with better selections.

Yes, it is the Palin Baby Names Generator.

Only slightly better than the Trump Insult Generator from a few months ago.

And in what sad sad world does one get to make Palin slightly better than Trump? In a world that is sad sad sad that you see or hear either of them in the same sentence or hemisphere, I suppose.

I was actually waiting for a better SotM to come along, and one might, but it will have to wait. I had nothing for today's post, so this one go moved up.

My loss.  Your loss. Track, Willow and Bristol's loss. Well it is a loss for them - they are losers. Just ask the Trump Insult Generator.

Monday, February 08, 2016

My Music Monday

Songs not of our tongue - 'tis the theme.

This one is on the borderline. They sing in English and their native Celtic. Technically to many in Ireland, they're not singing in any foreign tongue. To us - they can, at times.

I loved to love Clannad, but I can't say I actually "loved" them. I first came upon them when they did a duet with Bono. I was all about U2 back then - never heard of the band, but went out and purchased them so I could have the song "In a Lifetime". So I think I pretended to enjoy Clannad more than I actually did....or do.

The irony?  U2 fell out of favour too.........for the most part.

Yes, they have an Enya quality about the band, but Enya is the sister of band members Máire, Ciarán and Pól Ó Braonáin and was once a member of the band herself. And I'm guessing there are only so many styles to sing in Celtic, hence the similarities.

While I did like some of their songs, I won't deny it became tedious to listen to for any length of time. Some of their English speaking songs were better than Celtic, but the latter had their moments.

My choice is the theme from the never-seen (by me) Harry's Game. Honestly, I don't think the song has a name other than "the Theme from Harry's Game".

Clocking in at only two and one-half minutes, anyone can tolerate almost any song for that length of time.

The video is a bad transfer. Just horrible. And Máire Brennan looks like a bad version of Marcia Clark. Though lord, to have the guy's butt chin at the 0:49 mark.

That alone will probably get you to hit 'play'.