Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Facebook is Down

So, Facebook is down today. I was trying to post some typical things: obituaries, promotions for my books, posts about cartoons, comic books and music...and the requisite anti-Trump posts. The shutdown, whether short-lived or long-term makes me think once again what would happen if a major Internet or power outage occurred. Most people would have the worst time contacting others as they don't memorize phone numbers anymore and virtually everything is online.

I, fortunately, keep a few phone numbers for emergency sake written on a sheet of paper. I keep one in my wallet and another in my glove compartment, just in the off-chance I am stranded somewhere and off the grid.

Not being able to post on Facebook is kind of weird after doing it for over 10 years and MySpace before that, but there was a time when I made long-distant phone calls or (shudder!) actually took out pen and paper and wrote a letter and mailed it to someone.

We get so dependent on these technologies. It really makes you think - at least it does for me - when they don't work properly.

In any case, I hope they fix it soon, but if they don't, there are other alternative things to do in life. I will continue to write my books and watch my DVDs and listen to my CDs and vinyl. I just won't post as often and probably will resume writing this blog more frequently.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's About Time

So, I am watching "It's About Time Complete Series DVD". There should be a lot for me to like about this since I am a fan of Gilligan's Island and of The Brady Bunch, both by Sherwood Schwartz, as this series is. I am also a fan of Joe E. Ross and Imogene Coca, but there is something about this series that just fails miserably. It plays like an episode of Gilligan with other actors, meaning the reason that Gilligan's Island worked so well is that the actors were usually able to elevate subpar material and make it funny. Here, the material falls flat. The two main actors, Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney are competent enough, but they don't have that special magic to elevate mundane scripts. As far as Coca and Ross go, Coca comes off best and I have laughed at some things she's said or done on this series, probably because she has the same ability as the Gilligan actors to make so-so material her own. Ross, unfortunately, comes off the worst. I love him in Sgt. Bilko and even more in Car 54, Where Are You? Here, he sleepwalks through his role as Gronk and rarely utters his infamous "Ooh, Ooh" catchphrase. I had seen a few episodes of this series over the years in very washed out prints that were almost unwatchable, so I gave the series a second chance. While the prints are much more colorful and saturated, none of it helps the humor and the scripts, so the entire effort comes off as kind of limp. It is easy to see why this series only lasted a single season.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Christians Like Donald Trump

My take on it is I think it's because of Reagan's embracing of the Moral Majority and this strange Reagan lust that ANY Republican can do no wrong while any Democrat must be a heathen because they don't embrace as much religious affiliation as Reagan, Bush 1 & 2 and Nixon did (or claimed to). 

Bill Clinton getting a bj and the misguided claim that Obama was a Muslim didn't help matters much, so now evangelicals have poised themselves to believe that Republicans can do no wrong while Democrats are essentially the anti-Christ.

It's gotten so warped that they are willing to support and defend a man and a party that explicitly says and does things against Christ's teachings of loving thy neighbor as thyself and helping those less fortunate than themselves. 

When confronted with this hypocrisy, many resort to quoting the US Constitution rather than The Bible as defense claiming that there are no laws in the Constitution citing any wrongdoing.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Chris Elliott Story

I had an encounter with Chris Elliott which I wish went better. I was working at KBHK-TV 44 in San Francisco in 1991, my first real post-college job. 

Chris was to be interviewed by the lady on the station's public affairs show (remember those?). I wanted to meet him, but was told to do so after the live show. So, I patiently watched the show at my desk. 

The show was on and was probably the worst interview I had ever seen. Chris was truly uncomfortable (and so was I). The show ended, I went down a floor in the elevator to the studio. 

As I stepped out, I saw Chris rush in the other elevator and I saw the doors close on him. After I realized what had happened, I got back in my elevator and went down to the street level, but by the time I got there, Chris was gone. 

I went back up to see the host lady of the show and she said that the show didn't go very well and Chris bolted for the door as soon as the director said cut. She apologized that I couldn't meet him or get his autograph. I was mad at her for a bit after that, and just avoided her. 

I don't know if it was related to this, but she was replaced a couple months after that.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sad Sack Armed Forces complimentary copies #HD1-HD40

I made three interesting discoveries today. I decided to finally tackle the 40 issue run of the Sad Sack Armed Forces complimentary copy series that are numbered HD1-HD40. I have found that each corresponding issue is not chronological; I have found the cover for HD18 is altered from Sad Sack #100 for obvious reasons, and I have just about concluded that HD12 does not exist due to me not being able to find a copy and also a person who goes by the handle "Marvelmaniac" on the CGC forum has asked about this particular issue with no success. Mycomicshop does not picture a cover, nor does Grand Comics Database. Does anyone had a copy of Sad Sack HD12?
Here are the corresponding issues for you completists out there:
HD1 - 57
HD2 - 67
HD3 - 69
HD4 - 68
HD5 - 74
HD6 - 75
HD7 - 77
HD8 - 81
HD9 - 83
HD10 - 84
HD11 - 87
HD12 - exist?
HD13 - 94
HD14 - 55
HD15 - 56
HD16 - 98
HD17 - 99
HD18 - 100
HD19 - 104
HD20 - 105
HD21 - 102
HD22 - 109
HD23 - 70
HD24 - 71
HD25 - 72
HD26 - 78
HD27 - 106
HD28 - 108
HD29 - 110
HD30 - 112
HD31 - 117
HD32 - 113
HD33 - 119
HD34 - 120
HD35 - 121
HD36 - 125
HD37 - 124
HD38 - 126
HD39 - 127
HD40 - 128

Monday, November 28, 2016


Much has been said by so many people about why so many famous people have passed away in 2016; seemingly much more than in any other year in our history. This may or may not be true, but I have some theories.

Of course, I am the purveyor of bad news and virtually every day this year, I have posted the death of someone or other, but why? Why this year? People die all the time. Granted there are more people alive on this planet now than at any other time in this planet's history, so the odds are that much greater that more people will also die each year, simply due to that fact.

A MAJOR factor is that the 1960s as a decade is now 50 years old. I, myself will be reaching that milestone on December 15th. About a month ago, I posted that NBC was the first television network to broadcast a full-color primetime programming line-up and that fact alone was a game changer, although no one really knew it at the time.

Let's go back to the 1960s. My grandfather turned 50 in 1964. When he turned 50, there was probably some nostalgia for things that happened in the 1910's, and people that were prominent back then were dying off in the 1960s and 70s. People like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin and others, but the number of deaths of famous people were fewer and farther between compared to now since the amount of famous people who retained their fame for over 50 years was far fewer than now, so if someone who was big in the 1910s, they weren't necessarily still big in the 1960s.

Why? The difference is that in the 1960s, precious little material from the 1910s was still being shown as it was black and white and SILENT. Also, much material was not even archived as Vaudeville was still all the rage, so all of those performers and performances who never appeared on film was lost except to the memories of those who lived back then.

Now, because of color and the omnipresence of television, color TV shows and series (especially the more popular ones) have been aired endlessly since their debuts. Prior to the color transition, there were black and white series, but the ones that kept getting reran were ones that were filmed instead of done live and filmed as kinescopes. So, shows like "I Love Lucy" and the 39 episodes of "The Honeymooners" were and still are reran endlessly, while the kinescopes fell by the wayside.

Then, in recent times, with the advent of digital technology, the color masters (and even the black and white ones) have been digitally remastered and cleaned up so that they look like they were shot today. Coupled with that, the shows have aired in syndication, have been issued on tape and DVD, have been resurrected for oldies TV stations like MeTV and are now streaming.

Because of this, the aging stars who were in their 20s and 30s in the 1960s are now in their 70s and 80s, but because they appear on TV every day in their youth, they don't seem to have aged and are always on our TVs. So when they die, it's more of a hard hit because we all grew up with these people and they still look so young and vibrant.

Granted, some of the deaths this year have been a true shock like David Bowie, Prince and Florence Henderson who were still being very active and making regular appearances in concert and on TV.
So, will this stop now that 2016 is over? I'm afraid not. 2017 will probably continue to be the demise of more of our favorite celebrities from the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s and the remainder of those from earlier times, and it will only get worse as these people will continue to be shown in our homes on a regular basis making them also seem like they are eternally young. Fortunately, we have the memories and the footage so they will continue to live on.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder, R.I.P.

Another major 2016 blow today. Gene Wilder has passed away. I met the man quite a few years 2005 to be exact. He was a sweetheart. Since "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is my favorite movie of all time, and "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein" are up there, this is a great loss.