Friday, September 30, 2005

Star Wars Holiday Special

Does anyone remember this? George Lucas doesn't want you to. For those of you who don't remember, it was a holiday special that aired during Christmas 1978 and is as atrocious as you might think it is. It does have all of the main characters from "Star Wars" including Harrison Ford! But it ALSO has Harvey Korman, Bea Arthur, and the Jefferson Starship!! It is available on bootleg DVD, but Lucas would be wise to release this mess and cash in. It can't be worse than Episode 1!


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Don Adams

Don Adams passed away. Of course, most obits talk about his years on "Get Smart", but a show that I used to like that nobody seems to remember was "The Don Adams Screen Test". It was a game show with Adams as host where people would reenact a scene from a famous movie of the past like "Gone With The Wind" or something. The reenactment would be in full costume and setting. The winner was chosen by audience poll of who did the best "acting" job. Of course, it was really the best mimicking job, but that wasn't the point. It was all in fun but it only lasted for a few months in 1975.

Also, "Tennessee Tuxedo" and "Inspector Gadget" are fondly remembered, and I also possess all of Adams' comedy albums (I believe he had five), which were actually pretty funny despite the fact that a lot of his jokes weren't exactly original. It was Adams' delivery and his voice that sold the jokes.

Another of my childhood heroes gone...


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Who Beatles

Though this will probably never happen, I always fantasize about if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would join forces with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey to form an interesting and potentially viable "supergroup". I'm sure that Paul would be the least keen at this prospect, but it is fun to think about as The Beatles have lost their lead and rhythm guitarist, and The Who have lost their drummer and bassist, so they would complement each other nicely, egos aside. The likelihood of this happening right now is pretty remote, but as these guys age (and survive) into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, they may consider the possibility as an interesting novelty. Perhaps me mentioning it here might spur some interest and talk about it.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rolling Stones (again!)

I know that I'm not supposed to do it, but I am burning CD's of the earliest Rolling Stones songs (roughly 1963-1967) as the songs originally appear on a hodgepodge of albums. It's really interesting that such a beloved group still has such a disorganized catalog. A decent box set boasting all unique individual tracks is what's needed, but amazingly in 2002, ABKCO rereleased remastered versions of all of their Stones albums in the exact same configurations! Only "More Hot Rocks" included a couple of extra tracks, but you still have to get a lot of repeats to get those few "new" ones.

What's a fan to do?


Monday, September 26, 2005

My Vlog

I will be having a vlog site soon. Actually, I have it now, but I don't want to promote it until I have a couple of my films uploaded. So stay tuned, folks...

If you don't know what a vlog is, it's basically the same as a blog but with video information.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

The World's Greatest Athlete

I bought this DVD knowing that "The World's Greatest Athlete" wasn't one of the best of the "Dopey" Disney Comedies (For those who don't know, the "Dopey" Disney Comedies were the ones the studio made from 1959 ("Shaggy Dog") to 1984 (when Eisner took over). Admittedly there are stupider Disney comedies to come out since, but they don't have the charm and home-grown look and feel of these 59-84 ones.)

Anyway, blah blah blah, "Athlete" was issued in 1973 and is the first Disney feature to have an African-American star (John Amos) since "Song of the South"! The writing for this film is inconsistent. There are some genuine laughs, particularly from Tim Conway in his first Disney movie, and even some from announcer Howard Cosell!

As far as this DVD goes, I have had no luck finding it in US stores, so the version I received from Amazon is a Canadian copy. I don't mind as long as it works in my player, which it does. The film itself is a widescreen transfer, which is a good thing, as Disney has sometimes not released their films to DVD in this format. The print quality is excellent and there are even some extras! Although, apart from the original trailer appear to be some random cutting room outtakes that don't have synchonized sound so you don't really know what's going on, and they're not particularly funny, either.

Overall, if you are a "Dopey" Disney Comedy fan, a Tim Conway fan, or wonder where the hell John Amos went after "Roots", check this one out. Otherwise, I direct you to "The Apple Dumpling Gang" for a better time and many more extras on the DVD.


Friday, September 23, 2005

ZZ Top and Other "Oldies" Acts

I am planning to see ZZ Top tonight at a performance in Montalvo in Saratoga, CA. I saw ZZ Top a few years ago and discovered a really amazing thing. It seems that any music artist, no matter who they are eventually gets to that point in their career where whatever they are producing currently doesn't matter anymore. It doesn't matter if the artist puts out his best album of his career, people just like the "oldies". For example, when I saw ZZ Top before, they played a string of their well-known hits ("Legs", "Sharped-Dressed Man", "Tush", etc.) before settling in a mid-section of new songs from their then latest album "XXX". No one seemed to care about these new songs and took it as an opportunity to go for a beer run. Later, ZZ Top said, "We're going to play a few more classic tunes!" which resulted in a huge cheer from the audience. (Admittedly "XXX" wasn't one of their better albums.)

What's interesting is the total opposite happens when it comes to a comedy act. I saw George Carlin once and he did a lot of new material. He closed for the evening by doing his classic "Baseball/Football" analogy. Because many of George's fans were already familiar with this sketch, they started squirming in their seats. Had he been a music act, he would have been cheered for doing his big hits! Weird!


Thursday, September 22, 2005

WiFi and Mac vs. PC

I went to the Mac Filmmakers meeting (as I usually do) at Apple headquarters last night and brought my PC. After being chewed out for having a PC on Apple property, I attempted to use their WiFi in order to check my companies' e-mail access. Explorer worked and I was able to log onto the companies' website but was not able to get into their exchange server. Later in the evening, I hooked up to my dial up at home and was able to log into my companies' e-mail exchange server. Was the reason I was not able to log in have to do with WiFi or Mac or none of the above? Please let me know. I will also try the WiFi sometime soon at a coffee house to see if it is just an Mac issue and not WiFi.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Spam Question

Can someone please tell me if spamming EVERYONE about Cialis, Viagra, Rolex watches, anything to do with Nigeria, lotto winnings, etc. is effective marketing? I get these all the time and regularly erase them. Does anyone respond to them? Please let me know. I would think the amount of time and energy expended to send these things out could be put to better use. I guess it is cheaper than direct mail. Let me know your thoughts.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Moon Cakes

My dad sent me this article about Moon Cakes. As a causasian of American and European ancestry, I find the cakes somewhat heavy and flavorless, compared the more tasty desserts that have come out of Europe and the US. I don't know why Asian and Middle Eastern countries are not producers of good desserts. Is it the lack of available sugar in the region, or is it because the taste buds of those inhabitants are significantly different from mine? Whatever the case, here's the article...


BEIJING (Reuters) -- The people of Beijing munched through 15,000 tonnes of mooncakes -- more than 1 kg (2.2 lb) per person -- and bought one tenth of all the round cakes sold nationwide for Sunday's Mid-Autumn Festival, Xinhua news agency said Monday.

The traditional, heavy pastries, symbols of the moon and common gifts for family, friends and business associates, have become a huge business in China with elaborate, lavishly packaged sets of just a few cakes commanding sky-high prices.

Around this year's moon festival, when families get together for dinner and to observe the largest full moon of the year, mooncake sales in the Chinese capital alone hit nearly 1 billion yuan, Xinhua said.

For all their popularity, mooncakes are subjects of annual controversy over their climbing prices, the waste generated by their excessive packaging and unsavory makers grinding up the previous year's cakes for use in new batches.

Earlier this year, the central government launched a crackdown on over-the-top mooncake packages containing such lavish gifts as solid gold Buddha statues and sometimes offered as bribes to government officials.

But the controversies have not left a bad taste in China's mouth about the pastries, which come filled with salted duck egg yolk, lotus seed paste and even chocolate or ice cream.

China's 10,000 mooncake makers baked off 200,000 tonnes of mooncakes last year, Zhu Nianlin from the Chinese Association of Bakery and Confectionery Industry was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Mooncakes were served as a special treat to hungry delegates at the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions over the weekend.

The cakes symbolize the overthrow of the Mongols at the end of the Yuan dynasty in the 14th century when, according to legend, secret notes baked into sweets helped spark an uprising.

Monday, September 19, 2005

City Functions

It used to be a rarity for cities to have "Art & Wine" festivals and the like, but since they are so money generating, there are more and more events, that one cannot possibly attend them all. Example: over the weekend I went to the "Saratoga Street Dance" and "A Taste of Los Altos", two different events that were going at the same time as events in Campbell, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and probably more. I'm not knocking it (like I usually do), it's just that there just seems to be a lot more than before and that's actually probably a good thing.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Learning New Things

Some people are afraid of learning or trying new things. At my new job I am learning about the blueprint industry as well as digital scanning and archiving of paper and microfiche documents. The head reels at how much information I know and do not know about this, but I will master it. I'm just surprised at how much there is. Anyway, you have to change with the times. I don't mind the older formats, but in technology, you have to embrace new things. Same thing with your job, or otherwise you become obsolete. I think that is a contributor to Alzheimer's and other diseases of the brain. So keep excercising your brain as much as your other parts of your body.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ultimate Casper Book

Has anyone seen the "Ultimate Casper" book that was supposed to come out on September 1? Amazon originally listed that as the on sale date and now has removed that reference with no update. If you know anything, please e-mail me.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

More Paul McCartney

I don't know if fans of other artists have this problem, but I hate it that Paul McCartney always puts out scattered bonus tracks. His new album has 13 tracks on it. There are at least 3 other elusive tracks that could have just been placed on the CD. Two of them are from the "Fine Line" CD single, and there's a third that's only available as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the album. Everything has big FBI labels plastered all over them to not do illegal downloads, but what's a poor boy to do? In the days before Napster, I used to buy the US album, then the UK album and then the Japanese album and assorted singles just to get everything. And sometimes things were hard to come by. Now with downloading and Ebay one can get everything. Sorry Paul I have to download. You don't deserve me to pay $100 or more just so I can get all the configurations. I bought the basic album (with the CD) for $17.99 and that's it. I'm downloading the rest for free. If Paul wants to come after me for this, I would tell him that those three elusive tracks could have been placed on the same album on either the CD or the DVD disc.

Another thing, the entire album and video material could have just been made into a DVD. Why make CDs anymore? Gripe, gripe, gripe. Paul should be glad I didn't download the entire album for free. The billionaire wouldn't miss my money and he has plenty of money from me in the past.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Casper's Spookiest Tales DVD

Here's the list of cartoons on "Casper's Spookiest Tales" DVD. Turns out there's two repeats, but otherwise this is an essential fourth disc for anyone trying to collect all of the theatrical and "New Casper Cartoon Show" Casper cartoons:

1. A Visit From Mars
2. The Absent Minded Robot
3. Bedtime Trouble
4. Boos and Saddles (also on "By the Old Mill Scream" DVD)
5. Doing What's Fright (also on "Peek a Boo" DVD)
6. The Enchanted Horse
7. Little Lost Ghost
8. Small Spooks
9. Super Spooks
10. True Boo
11. Twin Trouble
12. Zero the Hero
13. Growing Up


Monday, September 12, 2005

Paul McCartney

I was writing about The Rolling Stones the other day, but another geezer rock artist is releasing a new album (Eric Clapton has too, but I don't know his output as well) and that's Paul McCartney. McCartney hasn't put out a new album in four years and he hasn't put out a good album since "Flaming Pie" in 1998. For Paul, any old noodling on his guitar seems to be ok to release. He's gotten to be more like Frank Zappa in recent years considering his eclectic output of traditional rock and roll, classical and techno music among others. Paul finally got a producer for his new album called "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" that has basically told Paul that his material sucks. I hope that this pays off. If not, at least Paulie has a lot of older, better material to rely on (witness his Superbowl performance) and at least he's still alive to hopefully surprise us again. I'll update you with my opinion when I get his CD.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

4 Years Ago

Like it or not, the events that happened four years ago have their direct or indirect repercussions today. The fact that we are STILL at war and the fact that we handled the recent hurricane so badly is a direct result of the stupidity of our government's misguided reactions to the terrorists attacks. Oh, for us to have only gone a different course, Osama would have been captured, airline security would be tighter, Saddam may or may not be in power, but we wouldn't be handling an Iraqi civil war while our own country is being destroyed by natural disasters, and it is entirely possible that both Iraq and Afghanistan would be more powerful countries in a good way, instead of an even greater security threat than they were before. And we wouldn't have more bureaucracy of "homeland security" by a government who claims to be downsizing big government.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

More About The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones really need to do an "Anthology" type video and audio collection similar to what The Beatles did in the last few years. I guess they feel that they are a "current" act, which they are, and that releasing even more material about their past would label them as an "oldies" act, which they are that, too! Personally, I don't think the Stones have anything to worry about and they should release both old and new material concurrently. I guess it's all the Abkco connection that keeps them from doing anything more. Who knows?


Friday, September 09, 2005

Sick Magazine

I had someone recently order my duplicate copies of the old "Sick" magazine. I'm surprised anyone remembers this. It was a "Mad" like humor magazine started by Joe Simon in 1960 and ran through 1980. During the 60s, it was quite well done, but during the 70s and especially after 1976, "Sick" took a total nosedive. This is primarily due to Charlton purchasing it, who has got to be one of the worst comic book publishing companies ever. It doesn't even exist anymore, but then neither does "Sick". "Sick" is the third longest surviving black and white humor magazine, behind "Mad" and "Cracked" and slightly ahead of "Crazy". Anyone else was never in the same league.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hooray! A New Rolling Stones Album!

A Bigger Bang is The Rolling Stones 45th official American LP!

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones, Now!
Out of Our Heads
December's Children (and Everybody's)
Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)
Got Live if you Want it!
Between the Buttons
Their Satanic Majesties Request
Beggars Banquet
Let it Bleed
Through the Past Darkly (Big Hits Volume 2)
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
Sticky Fingers
Hot Rocks 1964-1971
Exile on Main Street
More Hot Rocks (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies)
Goats Head Soup
It's Only Rock n' Roll
Made in the Shade
Black and Blue
Love You Live
Some Girls
Emotional Rescue
Sucking in the 70s
Tattoo You
Still Life American Tour 1981
Rewind 1971-1984
Dirty Work
Steel Wheels
Singles Collection
Jump Back 1971-1993
Voodoo Lounge
Rock n' Roll Circus
Bridges to Babylon
No Security
Forty Licks
Live Licks
A Bigger Bang


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Are you Prepared?

A lot of coverage lately related to the hurricane asks: "Are you prepared for the next disaster?" Well, if I don't have to rely on others for assistance, sure I'm prepared, but after this recent debacle, I don't know how ready I am. I would be ready if I wasn't trapped and needed to be airlifted out of the house. And, just because you're ready at home doesn't necessarily mean you will be at home when disaster strikes. The best plan of attack is to always be prepared that you could die at any time and be prepared for any type of emergency, no matter how bizarre.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gas Prices

I sent out an e-mail about buying merchandise off of my websites instead of going to the store because gas has gone up to $3.00 a gallon in the US. Of course, I didn't realize that I send e-mails worldwide so that a UK recipient said that he pays roughly $8.30 a gallon there.

What do other people pay? Let me know.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mac Filmmakers

About once a month, I attend a Mac Filmmakers Meeting at Apple in
Cupertino. Kevin Johnson puts them on and there is no admission charge and
also free food (usually pizza). The latest one was on Wednesday, August 17
at 6:30pm. They are usually on a Wednesday and at 6:30pm at the Apple Town
Hall theatre.

You can contact me if you want to know more about when the next one will
be, or log onto


Friday, September 02, 2005

Blogged Down

Starting a new job is always stressful and time consuming. As a result, I haven't had the time or the energy to write a new blog in a while. Well, here's my first one for a bit. Nothing to write about because I can't think of anything except that terrible New Orleans tragedy. I hope that the government gets their act together. What a novel idea it would be if we pulled comepletely out of Iraq and focused entirely on domestic issues for a bit.