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What A CRUMMY Week!

…and it’s only TUESDAY!

Personal stuff aside (higher humidity making havoc of my arthritis, for example) there’s Robin Williams gone.

And tonight, the news about Lauren Bacall…

She was the one woman who could tame Humphrey Bogart, and did so, giving him two children and a number of films together.  She was sultry, and had a sexy voice that sizzled off the 40’s movie screen.

And didn’t take any s*** from anyone, all while showing class today’s young actresses could only dream about.

R.I.P.

Betty, if you need anything, please follow your own instructions!

Suicide Is Painless

Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H.  It’s ironic.

It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people.  And caused THEM pain.

As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish.  You do, too.  As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.

And there’s the rub.

I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.

But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?

Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured?  Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?

When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children.  And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.

And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life.  And Vincent Van Gogh.  And so many others.

If you have such issues, please get help!  Know that there are people out there who care.  And that the World would be lacking without you.

h/t The Actor’s Studio

“Paging Claude Rains!”

or some Romulan ship…

(for all you Gen X or Y types, Claude Rains played Captain Renault in Casablanca, and was The Invisible Man!)

invisible

h/t Plan of the Day

The You Tube Files – Missing TV and Guffaws

Being a child of TV/movies, I’m always looking for things referencia obscura for my daily You Tube posting.  You Tube is terrific, because almost every snippet or clip I desire seems to be there.

I DID say almost…

There was a one-season-wonder, a police who-done-it in 1995, starring Karen Sillas, called Under Suspicion.  (The TV show, NOT the films.)

It was good stuff.  Sadly.  it’s not available on VHS or DVD – and You Tube only has a couple short segments featuring some guest star I don’t care about.

But, perhaps one day…

However, I did remember something else that had slipped through the cracks.  Another not-straight-to DVD wonder.

It Came From Hollywood.  If you like MST3K, you’ll LOVE IT!

Apparently, there were so many obscure clips in it they could no longer get rights to, it was too expensive to re-release on DVD.  So I held on to a VHS player in hopes of one day buying the one VHS copy that used to be available on Amazon.  (It’s also available on Laserdisc!  Woo-Hoo!)

But, in my travels, I found it in it’s entirety on You Tube!!!

(sadly, some of the transfer to video isn’t great, but considering many of the films mentioned aren’t either…)

Rather than putting a whole film on my You Tube link, I’m putting it here.  I’m in serious need of guffaws!  I’d suggest full screen viewing.

 

More Than Just Creepy…

c leeI always thought Christopher Lee the actor to be good at his craft, because he creeped me out!  But blogger friend Borepatch linked the esteemable Mr. Lee to some amazing facts:

Christopher Lee: Metal Rocker and total bad ass (in part)

But his life is nothing short of astonishing.  He witnessed the last execution via guillotine in France.  He fought in the Winter War in Finland in 1939.  He was in the SAS in North Africa during the War.  He was cousin to Ian Fleming, who tried (and failed) to get him cast as Dr. No (he had to wait until Man With The Golden Gun to play a Bond villain).

And, at AGE 90, he’s doing symphotic metal!

You really should visit the link and see what he did and does!

More than just creepy – who knew?

Happy Birthday Walter!

On this day, in 1894, Walter Brennan was born!walter brennan2

(Regular readers know I love character actors!)

Certainly all of you remember him from ‘The McCoys’ aka ‘The Real McCoys’ 50s television show.  But he was so much more.

He was in such diverse films as The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein.  He received the very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Swan Bostrom in Come and Get It (1936).

And most of us remember him as the preacher in Sergeant York:   “Them’s a mess of beef critter’s, Alvin.”

He was a conservative and religious (although private regarding which variety of religion).  He died of emphysema at age 80.

While travelling in Oregon with the family (in 1986), I got to drive by his ranch.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop.

I’m certain it would have been cool, even though he’d passed in 1974.  I even do a passable impression of him, although my roommate tells me it’s the same as my Pepperidge Farm guy impression.

“Lilly Langtry, Lilly Langtry!  (Judge Roy Bean in the Westerner)

We miss you, Walter.

h/t Wikipedia

Dennis Farina RIP

dennis_farina_1lrgDennis Farina, veteran TV and movie actor, and former Chicago cop, passed away this morning in Scottsdale, AZ., from a blood clot in his lung.  He was 69.

I loved the personas this man brought to the screen.  One of my all-time-favorite TV shows is Michael Mann’s Crime Story, wherein Farina played incorruptible cop  Lt. Michael Torello in 1960s Chicago.  He carried a 1911 Colt with the grip safety held down by a stack of rubber bands!

He had homes in Arizona, and his home town, and I missed meeting him once, by that much.  One of my regular haunts used to be a gun store in central Phoenix.  I also worked there part time.  One day I sauntered in, and the crew advised me Dennis Farina and a pal had just been in the store!  I was 10 minutes late!

Fortunately, I’ve an autographed photo, somewhere.  Sadly, it’s not signed to me.

You’ll be missed, sir.  Time to break out the Crime Story DVDs – which I’ve largely memorized.

Gun Training, circa 1961

Funny how this was considered state-of-the-art in 1961, with the exception of those Leatherslap folks @ Big Bear (Jeff Cooper, Jack Weaver et al).

Regardless, fun and informative to watch!

h/t Jad, pistol-forum, Todd G.

Would you like to be a Senior?

Would you like to be a Senior?

So, after we (my roommate and I) went to WallyWorld for some grocery shopping, and came home and rested, I remembered a couple things I forgot.  And a couple my roomie forgot.

I took it upon myself to return, this time to the truncated WallyWorld, instead of the Mondo one.  En route, there was an Albertson’s.  Smaller still, and perhaps less crowded than WalMart.  I went there.

After picking up most of the forgotten items (note to self – make a list!) I arrived at the register for check-out.  The nice lady with the extremely high, grating voice asked me, “Would you like to be a Senior?”  I didn’t quite understand her and asked her to repeat the question.  It was still difficult to understand, both in speech and context.  Then she explained, “It’s Senior Discount Day, are you a Senior?” 

Now, I’ve not been a Senior since 1970, so I think I qualified.  And I wasn’t insulted when she further explained one must be 55 to qualify.

I saved over $7.00 on a $28.00 order!  It’s good to be the King – or, at least a Senior!

(Naw – nothing like that happened – I’d need more than $28.00 for that!)  :-)

Is it the Bates Motel…

bates-motel-tv-show_0or the Hotel California, where you check in, but you don’t check out?  (Roach Motel?)

In another lifetime, I was working as a security guard, and sometime private investigator.  My company would draft me for undercover assignments, which got me out of the guard thing for a while.  I didn’t mind being drafted.

On one of these occasions, I was sent to a small town in the mountains North of Phoenix.  Worked undercover in a variety store as a management ‘trainee’ whose real function was to spy on all the employees and management.  Great stuff!

In such a position, I was quite concerned about my safety.  If something untoward was going on, I didn’t want to get ‘made’ and ratted out, or worse.  So, I carried a gun.  Sadly, I’d sold my handguns for rent money (AGAIN – I was young, this was the 70s – sigh) and the only firearm I owned was my Ithaca DSPS Model 37 police pump.  Not exactly concealable on-the-person.

Ithaca Model 37

So I toted her from under the motel bed into my car and back using my Dad’s weather-beaten trench coat as a gun rug!  Sadly, she had to stay in the car while I was working.

And the motel was on the main drag through town; single-story, L-shaped, rough hewn, not unlike a(n) (in)famous motel of Hitchcock movie fame.  I remember Triple A rating it, but not excellent.  And I was so stoked not being a guard and doing undercover work, I’d wind down after my 12 hour shift with pizza and beer, while writing my daily report (dropped in the mailbox the next morning en route to work – this was WAY before the Internet!).  Then I’d watch some late night movie on the 13″ B&W TV supplied in the room.

The first night the movie was In Cold Blood.

Not exactly restful slumber.  But, I did this for a couple weeks, didn’t find any opium dens in the back room of the store, or mob-related activity, and returned home.  Back to the guard stuff.  Sigh.

But, I never looked behind the motel to see if there was a swamp containing cars.  Guess I’ll never know…

Psycho_115Pyxurz

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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