I didn’t necessarily WANT to be, but thought I could!
I always appreciated silly – The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello,‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’, Warner Brothers cartoons, Steve Allen. Ernie Kovacs. Then, as I grew up, my tastes moved to The Firesign Theatre and Monty Python. George Carlin was a god!
I remember returning from a long high school choir trip, standing in the back of the bus and mimicking Carlin’s first album for anyone who would listen. Word for word, intonation for intonation. The man taught me timing.
And then there’s Dennis Miller. “I haven’t seen choreography like that since the Lee Harvey Oswald prison transfer!” In his own words, “Viva la referencia obscura!”
I began considering doing stand-up comedy in my mid-twenties. After all, my good friend Biff Jannuzzi (who authored the one-act play about the Lincoln assassination ‘A Booth in the Back’), did it! Then, I met a friend of his, Tom (a buddy of his in the local little theater group), who changed my mind. I was quick, clever with a comeback, witty, and thought I was all that.
Tom was quicker, faster with a comeback and wittier.
So, Tom was a stand-up comedian? (You ask)
He sold used cars at one of those buy-here, pay here joints. Jake the Snake’s Garden of Gears! Down in the sketchy part of town.
His talent and ability was ten times mine, and he was selling cars.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
“A man has to know his limitations.” – Inspector Harry Callahan
June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’s”
Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale
of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s and
a key figure in the animation industry, died Thursday.
She was 99.
Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing
“With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little
June today at 99 years old.”
Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel,
Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester”
cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,”
among hundreds of others.
The first lady of voice acting, one of the original members of
animation organization ASIFA-Hollywood and founder of the annual
Annie Awards, was also instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’
animated feature category.
h/t Facebook, Variety
At least, I cannot…
I happened to be visiting a medical specialist near my old stomping grounds Friday last – where I owned a home for eighteen years.
No, I didn’t drive by the old house. Too many memories, besides, they completely fixed it up and changed it (I have been by before).
When I left the doctor’s office, I headed South to the next major artery. This happened to be near John’s Uniforms and Police Equipment, previously recounted in these pages. I worked there many moons ago as the de facto holster guy.
And it wasn’t there!
Rather something was there – Skaggs Public Safety Equipment and Uniforms. I knew Johnny retired some years back, but had not known he sold the place!
An era has passed. The ‘Green Machine’, used by John, Senior to manufacture western shirts and class A wool police uniforms (with sap pockets) for over forty years is obviously no longer in use.
And seeing this made me a little sad…
I didn’t drive West to observe Martin’s Uniforms (Johnny’s friendly enemy with whom they exchanged stock for many years) because I’d been by there a while back and saw it was now Ace Uniforms. I don’t know (or particularly care) if Ace is still there.
Back when it was John’s versus Martin’s was the pre-Internet world. And most other uniform emporia across the country were closed shops by the local police departments.
I have many fond memories of helping newly-minted cops in various varieties obtain uniforms, gear and holsters. And listening to their ‘war stories’ around the communal store coffee pot.
But no longer.
The times. They are a changin’.
(from The Feral Irishman)
A person “passed gas” Sunday afternoon on an American Airlines jet forcing all passengers to deplane. The incident caused nausea and headaches and complaints from passengers that they felt “ill”.Click HERE for the story/
It’s sad when a purveyor of a childhood memory is taken.
Sadder still when two are.
I’ve never been a big horror movie fan, falling for the less obvious thriller genre. But I recognize talent when I see it.
1968’s Night of the Living Dead began resurgence of horror films, many of whom were directed yet again by Mr. Romero.
The man had talent and style.
Martin Landau was a character acting fixture in my childhood, even when I didn’t know him by name.
The Untouchables, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, Mission Impossible (on television) and North By Northwest and Ed Wood (in the movies).
And many other works…
I was never a Space 1999 fan, though…
He could play both charming and lethal.
I shall miss him
I wrote previously about my youthful experiences in the Playboy Club, with ‘friend’ Chip. (Playboy Club Memories)
(and my unrequited lust for Bunny DJ, who treated us both well!)
It occurred to me there are additional stories. This is one of them.
(Sadly, it’s NOT about DJ…)
I’ve written before about having been a semi-pro magician in my youth. Chip also dabbled in magic – it was one of the things that (unfortunately) bonded us. So, we looked askance at those who pretended to be the real thing.
Charlatans, we called them.
Often, in the Phoenix Playboy Club, they had a medium/mind-reader. His name was Dr. Richard Ireland. He was a Phoenician, and had a church here surrounding his psychic abilities.
We looked askance at him, as well.
One night, when Chip went to the club (I had to work, or something). Dr. Ireland was doing his act, part of which was having his eyes covered with gauze and bandages, followed by a cloth blindfold. Then, he passed around a large, glass bowl to receive ‘offerings’ and questions from the adoring crowd.
And he began to do ‘readings’.
Chip decided to play his game. He was certain the good doctor couldn’t see anything, trussed up as he was. Chip wrote him a check (which was undoubtedly rubber – knowing Chip), folded it into the smallest package possible, and dropped it into the bowl.
As the evening progressed, Dr. Ireland emptied the bowl and answered questions placed therein. When he got to Chip’s check, he did not unfold it. As he had with the previous questions, he placed it on top of his head – even if the bandages and blindfold were not in place, he could not have seen ANYTHING.
And he said, “Mr. (last name excised), Thank you for your most generous contribution. But I must return your check to you, so that you may sign it!”
Of course, all jaws in the room dropped!
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
(DJ, if you are out there, please email me!)
(from The Art of Manliness, in part)
Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined. So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.
Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival. While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.
In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!
Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city. And, my Dad was largely absent. I was given boundaries, though. Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids; Let us know where you are; Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.
Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices. Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits. Picking through discarded trash for treasures. Making rocket fuel and fireworks. Dissecting unexploded fireworks. Dirt clod fights. Rubber band guns with projectiles!
I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!
I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing. He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)
From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore. Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…
(And not in the traditional way! 😛 )
Toss your kid outside, without their electronics. And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.
They might learn something!
I’ve always been behind the times in both music and technology to deliver said music. Especially since I got married in my late twenties and had a family and a job, with all the requisite trials and tribulations therein.
I had (and still have) vinyl, went to cassettes, then CDs. I bought an MP3 player in the early 2000s. But never had the money to fill it.
Life. It’s both a cereal and a board game. And my listening to music got somehow waylaid. 😦
But, I’m here alone in my rented room, doing my morning routine with the blog. And something was missing.
I tried Pandora for a while, but it never hooked me.
J. told me recently about Spotify. So, I thought I’d give it a try. On both my PC and my new cell phone! (NOW with earbuds that actually fit!)
Maybe I’ve missed ‘my’ music too much, but now I’m immersed in it via Spotify. Free, with a few commercials every so often. Or, one can pay.
Of course, I’ve no funds.
So, FREE it is!
Currently, I’ve been vacillating between Dave Brubeck, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Person of Interest soundtrack.
Yeah, I’m eclectic!
(FTC – Spotify gave me nothing save the free music they give everyone! go away!)
Nope. Not another character actor.
But, one from my youth.
I first knew him from Ivanhoe (TV) and Maverick (TV) followed by The Saint TV series. Suave, but offbeat. Drove a car similar in outward appearance to the Bond car (a Volvo, hardly an Aston Martin!), but I was a kid – what did I know?
Had clever lines, foiled the bad guys – who could want for more?
Eventually, he replaced Connery, Lazenby as Bond. I’d read all the books by then, and, while I enjoyed Live And Let Die, it was NOT Connery nor Lazenby, and had a campy, Batmanesque manner to it.
Not the James Bond I had grown to love.
I ended up watching two or three more of the Moore Bond films (of the eventual seven) and gave up.
I did enjoy The Persuaders, a British TV romp opposite Tony Curtis. But, it only lasted two years.
But, I never forgave him for his the comic book portrayal of Bond.
He did take a conservative anti-Bond stance in an interview I once saw. He was a conservative, religious man, and suggested Bond was not a very moral man. Certainly not one he would like dating his daughter! He was probably correct in this assessment.
And he made it to 89. And was knighted.
You will be missed.
Just not as James Bond (by me, anyway).
I’ve not been ‘on a date’ in some time. It’s simply a matter of logistics – I’ve no extraneous funds and my car is a beater with no air conditioning.
The fact that I don’t travel is any circles with available women has nothing to do with it!
I was thinking this morning about a few of my more memorable dates in the distant past. Some with fondness; some not-so-much.
I used to like to attend the cinema. There were many first-run films each week, lots of theaters from which to choose, and who doesn’t like sitting in the dark with a young woman? (this was in my 20’s – before I had been married, and subsequently divorced).
Now, of course, there are fewer movies and movie houses. And one may sit at home in one’s skivvies and watch videos until the cows come home, with beer, pizza, and (if one is so lucky) company.
AND, one may pause to go to the bathroom!
Times have changed.
ANYWAY, I remembered a couple of dates. One was a later Hitchcock film. I did (and DO love Alfred Hitchcock). My date said she did as well. Were post-date antics in the offing?
Sadly NO. The film was Frenzy. A film of a serial killer rapist, made in London. I think it was the first time Hitch actually exposed breasts on film. Following a violent rape and strangulation. Hardly something to arouse a normal young woman to later romance.
Another time, a former girlfriend returned to town and looked me up. We went out a few times, and I had hope of rekindling the romance. But, it was not to be…
She had mentioned she liked Burt Reynolds. There was a new film out with him in it. I thought “Hey! Maybe this will get things going again?”
Hardly. The film was Deliverance. You remember – dueling banjos, homosexual rape?
I just couldn’t get a break!
(as an aside, the consummate actor Ned Beatty was the rape victim here. I’ve wondered about the audition…“Hey, pages 18 and 19 are missing? Don’t worry about it, Ned.)