This category contains 65 posts

The 300

No, not THOSE 300 (the Spartans – “Molon Labe”, etc.)

Those of you who have read this blog for more than a week (poor bast***s) know me well enough to know I was raised on TV and movies.  I’m still hooked, and love nothing more than wasting my time in front of the idiot box selecting from either live television or the DVR.

Besides, I cannot afford to do much else.

And television has evolved from my childhood in the 50’s (3, 4 or 5 channels, shutting down at night with The National Anthem, followed by a ‘test pattern’ – youngsters, ask anyone born before 1960!) to a multitude of cable and satellite networks broadcasting 24/7, numbering in the hundreds, visible on flat digital TVs, tablets, PCs and even smartphones.  From pretty much anywhere in the ‘civilized’ world!

Of course, much of it is crap! 😛

Didn’t Steve Martin say, “147 channels and nothing’s on.” ?

Of course, I can watch Underwater Argentinian Curling at 0300, if I choose!  (just kidding, but not by much.)

I didn’t pay much attention to the actors of my youth (except the character actors – love them!), specifically, the number.

The few shows from Hollywood, those from NYC, how many actors were in that pool in say, 1956?

Fast-forward to 2016, with all this technology, with all these networks and shows, all these choices…

How many actors in this pool?

I contend it’s roughly 300.  Because of my largely unscientific but copious viewing habits, I’ve noticed actor A on that series (lead) when that series gets cancelled, shows up on a new series (as a second lead) almost immediately!

And if THAT series gets cancelled, they magically appear in a third, almost immediately.  As a special guest.  One week, the guy’s a federal special agent, the next he’s a city cop.  And in 13 weeks (or less) he appears as a metrosexual TV reporter.

Of course, most of these folks are extremely ‘talented’, (or at least pretty people!)

Look at Ted Danson.  He began as a murdered cop in ‘The Onion Field’, Went to ‘Cheers’, then ‘CSI’, then ‘CSI Cyber’ and now ‘The Good Place’.  With lots more in between.

It just seems I keep seeing the same actors in different roles on different shows in different seasons.  Sometimes, it’s the only way I find out the previous show was cancelled!

And watching reruns makes it even more confusing.  I just watched an episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent (2001-2011), with Michael Emerson (as the main bad guy).  He has an ‘affair’ with Cara Buono, whom he ends up murdering.  (Victim #3).

Move to Person of Interest (2010-2015).  Michael Emerson is now Mr. Finch, the creator of ‘the machine’ who spies on everyone, and Cara Buono guest stars as Martine, whose job it is to assassinate Finch and his agents.  While I’m certain Mr. Emerson put in a good word with the casting folks, it further acknowledges the almost incestuous nature of the 300.

And why there are only 300.

Well, back to the idiot box…

Cara Buono

Cara Buono

Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson

I Agree With Bill Maher!

This makes two times!

Bill Maher said Donald Trump is right that the U.S. should have a profiling service that uses techniques employed by security guards in Israeli airports. The HBO host also said people already profile and that “all police work is profiling,” we just do it “stupidly.

BILL MAHER: He is for profiling, that’s what he said. But he said we should do it the way Israel does. And, like, every once in while Donald Trump says something right. Because we profile already, we just do it stupidly. All police work is profiling. Discrimination does not mean prejudice; discrimination means telling un-like things apart…

More with video @ Real Clear Politics

(from Free North Carolina)

And how weird is THAT?
Mr. Maher began as a ‘comedian’, claiming he is a ‘libertarian’, then skewed far left (one presumes to attract a bevy of leftist sycophants?)  Most of the time, he seems to agree with the progressives (“I think America needs to be dragged to gov’t healthcare, kicking and screaming if necessary.”).  He says he owns two guns, with which he practices, in case of a home invasion, but has come out for repeal of The Second Amendment!
But, as it is said of a broken clock…

Ray Donovan


click for wiki

Yep, yet another TV show to which I am addicted.

A transplanted Southie Irish guy (played by Liev Schrieber), transplanted to L.A., makes his living by being a ‘fixer’ for rich Hollywood (and other) types.

Sometimes the fix is a simple contract negotiation.  Sometimes it’s more complicated – like involving blackmail, kidnapping and murder.  Or covering up his client’s crimes.  Like murder, robbery and prostitution.

He does very well with it, too.  Mercedes CLS 550.  Nice house.  Kids in private schools.

Of course, it’s never as easy at all that.  A history of killing the priest who molested he and his brother.  A wife with breast cancer.  Teen kids acting out.  Currently, he’s pissed off the Russian mob.  And he has an ex-con father (Jon Voight) who has his own criminal agenda and cannot seem to stay out of jail.

And the FBI is on his ass!

So, many times, HE becomes his own client!

It’s on Showtime, and next week is it’s 4th Season finale. (It’s also available on You Tube and other venues).

It has the usual extreme violence, sex and language.  If you are easily offended, you might stay away.  (FTC – Neither Showtime or the production folks give me anything.  I would accept a Mercedes from Mr. Schreiber, if he offered!  :-)  )

Hugh O’Brian RIP

Okay, 2016, enough already!

Another one of my childhood icons, Hugh O’Brian, passed yesterday…

He was 91.

For those too young to be baby-boomers, he was Wyatt Earp in the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1955-1961.

When the Western was King.

(Yeah, he didn’t sport a mustache, and didn’t truck with hookers on the show, I know!)

(from Wikipedia)

O’Brian first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then the (now defunct) Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O’Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.


Hugh O’Brian dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.

One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an “ambassador,” is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries. The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.”

O’Brian’s message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic:

I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.

— Hugh O’Brian, The Freedom to Choose[10]
When I get depressed, and think the Hollywood crowd consists primarily of self-centered leftist morons, I remember there are folks out there who have dedicated their lives not only to entertainment, but the betterment of others.
Hugh O’Brien is one of those folks.
And now he’s gone.
RIP, Sir!  And thank you!

Jon Polito RIP

(It’s said it comes in threes.  Guess it all depends on when one begins counting, and what the criterion are…)

You all know me and my love of character actors.  Mr. Polito first appeared on my radar in the wonderful 80’s TV show Crime Story, as a third lead mobster versus Dennis Farina and his major crimes crew.   (Any resemblance of the show’s character to Sam Giancana was purely coincidental, I’m sure…)

Later, it was Miller’s Crossing, Homicide: Life On The Street, Barton Fink, The X Files and many other shows and films.

Almost always playing some flavor of wiseguy.  Oh, he played in THAT, too!  He played cops, too (as mob-cast guys often do!)

Turned out he was distantly related to a friend of mine here locally with the same last name!  I’m sorry for your loss.

Your gruff voice and persona will certainly be missed!

jon polito





Regular readers of GiA know I’m no sports fan.  It’s only when a sports figure does something of note (as with many of the Olympic athletes) or does something onerous (as with some Olympic athletes) that it gets my attention.

This Kaepernick guy apparently refused to stand for the National Anthem at the last game.  And, in spite of the firestorm of controversy reacting to his remaining seated, said he will continue not to stand.  Until things change regarding the oppression of Blacks in the United States.

He’s Black.  His parents are White.  He makes NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND LIVES IN A MANSION.

What could have happened?  What oppression?

A quick search (on Duck Duck Go) regarding the National Anthem situation made it appear his protest was all about injustice done to Blacks.  BLM stuff.  A subsequent search adding the term ISLAM brought forth stories that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season – probably because his girlfriend is a radical Islam radio show personality…

Funny how the more narrow Internet search failed to mention this conversion.  And the ‘news’ outlets in the broader version consisted of bloggers and sketchier news outlets (IOW, NOT CNN, NBC and such.  WND for example).

Which brings me to my point.  Many of the folks leaving comments on the National Anthem story demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand.  As repulsive as his behavior my be, forcing someone to stand in ‘free’ Republic doesn’t sound like an appropriate response to me.

I’m a big believer in free markets.  And voting with one’s feet, TV remotes and wallets.  And via Email and post if necessary.

If you don’t want to support this clown, don’t watch his game, buy his team’s foam fingers or products advertised.  Hit ’em where it hurts.

I LOVE this Republic and her Anthem.  Singing along with my hand over my heart sometimes brings me to tears.

But forcing someone to stand – that smacks of fascism, and certainly doesn’t paint a portrait of the Land Of The Free.

I don’t care what religion he is.  But, it IS interesting that the mainstream media has been soft-pedaling that information.


RIP Steven Hill

(You know me and character actors.)steven hill

I first saw Steven Hill in an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour entitled ‘The Thanatos Palace Hotel’. A place where suicidal folk could go to be murdered. 😨

Following that, I was at home in  bed recovering from the onset of my leg disability. Watched a lot of TV. And the show ‘Mission Impossible’ premiered.

I WAS HOOKED! Both on the show’s premise and the MI team’s head honcho, Dan Briggs.

Played by Stephen Hill.

He left after the first season, because he refused to work Saturday, being an Orthodox Jew.

Later, he was a District Attorney on Law & Order.  And was also memorable.

(Sandwiching many, many other shows in-between!)

RIP Sir! 

Taking Out A Sentry

So, a guy walks up to a sentry and asks, “Hi, sentry, new in town?”

Back-in-the-day, when I was young and foolish (I’m not so young, anymore) I used to read Soldier Of Fortune magazine.  (In addition to Shotgun News, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Guns Magazine and pretty much every firearms periodical I could find!)  This was before they were sued for facilitating a hitman in their classifieds, and LTC Robert Brown (founder and publisher – U.S.Army-Retired) reportedly discharged a 1911 underwater at a Scottsdale resort pool.  Just to see if it would function.  Rumor was some alcohol was involved.

For me, being unable to get into the military, I was, as Brown described it, truly an armchair adventurer.

And, unlike Playboy’s centerfold (that used to be nude women – sigh), SOF had a centerfold with a different focus.  Sentry removal.

I’m certain Michael Echanis, premier martial arts editor, had something to do with the content.

It would illustrate techniques like the Turkish twist, and judiciously-lethal dagger placement, as though all the readership had been to the CIA’s ‘Farm’ or Ranger School.

Like we were all spec-ops assassins just aching to ‘take out a sentry’, silently.

Of course, we weren’t, but enjoyed reading such macho fodder, nevertheless.

And we’d do the joke about ‘taking out’ sentries whenever a new issue arrived on the newsstand.

And absorb tales of mercenaries world-wide, new gun reviews, read about the latest in electronic surveillance gear, U.S. and foreign military actions and macho TV and movies.

Mike Echanis died in a plane crash en route training in Central America.  And more lawsuits continued.

April 2016 was the last paper edition of SOF.  It continues to be available online.

I’ve not read it regularly for some years.  For me, just getting out of the armchair requires effort enough.  Forget adventure or sentries.sof

FTC – I bought my own.  Get your own!


“Don’t Go! It’s A COOKBOOK!”

to serve man

I awaken middle of the night and I’m cold.  Not just cool – cold.  This may have something to do with the fact that I’m laying on top of the top sheet, and not wearing much.  (I know – TMI)

Why am I doing this?

Well, I reside in The Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix Arizona area).  And we’re experiencing a cold streak.  It’s reportedly going to be 103° F, today.

It was 118° a week-and-a-half ago!  (Unofficially at a friend’s – 123°, on his back patio!)

And being in the Western side of the townhouse, I get the PM Sun exposure.  Usually 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house!

SO…I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, so the A/C may do her best work!

But, the body cools during sleep, and sometimes the combination of forced colder air and a cooler body equals…?

NO, this is not a replay of the Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode wherein the Earth’s orbit changed, and it is moving ever-closer to the Sun.  When, in fact, the TV character’s fever broke and he began getting colder, and in fact the Earth was moving AWAY from the Sun!

I was just getting cold last night.  So I moved the fan.

Which has nothing to do with the post’s title, except that’s another TZ episode.  The tag line from which popped into my head upon awakening cold. 🙂

My roommate said I watched too much TV as a child.  I’m beginning to think she was right.

Sometimes these posts write themselves!

The Politically-Incorrect On Television

I’ve gotten used to seeing political correctness on TV.  Not that I like it, but have come to the realization that most of the TV show writers, producers and networks foster an agenda.  Nowhere near that of a constitutional republic.

And many times, it’s not based in fact – it’s based on what is perceived as popular and liberal.

An aside on a sitcom about the prevalence of global warming; the presence of a gun – in and of itself – shown as evil and dangerous.  The whole BLM agenda, as well.

But, occasionally, some differing opinions slip through the cracks!

Last Man Standing – a sitcom with Tim Allen as a beleaguered conservative business owner, surrounded by liberals and mostly conservative females.  Making statements against The President’s policies and Secretary Clinton’s lack-of-action about Benghazi.  And, still remaining a comedy!

Blue Bloods – a Tom Selleck (a Gunsite graduate) cop family vehicle including Catholicism, proper gun handling instruction, and the difficult balancing of policing with civil liberties.  Tom plays the current police commissioner.

Criminal Minds – The FBI against serial killers, with Joe Mantegna (another Gunsite graduate) showing off many his many skills.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders – Another FBI vehicle, this time offshore, with Gary Sinise (a champion for the American Veteran).  In a recent episode, they helped capture a duo of American mass murderers in Cuba (!)  Sinise gave a passionate spiel about the Communist propaganda prevalent on our college campuses, and the ubiquitiousness of that vile t-shirt celebrating a murdering bigot Che’!

So, there IS hope…

Sadly, watching Blue Bloods, with Mr. Selleck as the Police Commissioner, I’m reminded of watching the movie Air Force One (in the 80’s), wherein Harrison Ford plays a President who had been a Green Beret (I remember).  He stands up to terrorists and kicks a**!

I left the theater feeling good.  Until I remembered Bill Clinton was (then) the actual President!

And the current P.C. of NYC is no Tom Selleck!  :-(

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…