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Hollywood

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Spoiled

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.

She, of course, is correct.

I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example.  Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…

But these martial faux pas go back decades.

jbThe Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!)  And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example).  And the movies!  James Bond to Dirty Harry…

And thousands of other TV shows and films.

Weapon technique is terrible!  Cup-and-saucer.  Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand.  Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!

Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip!  Because it looks cool…

And the gun hand up next to the face.  Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!

And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!

And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’.  This is why women are generally better students.  They don’t have to unlearn as much.

We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.

But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy.  Remember T.J. Hooker?

Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television.  Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.

Spoiled?  Sometimes.

Simple Dreams

As with art (and so many other things) I may not know it, but I know what I like.

And I like love Linda Ronstadt!

In the early 1970’s, Dave (the genius mechanic) introduced me to Linda Ronstadt’s music.  Being a lonely guy in my 20’s, her torchy rock (a term coined by Time magazine) was just the ticket!  I bought and listened to many of her albums, and even was lucky enough to take a fine blond lady named Ali to her concert here, at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, in 1979.

In the late 70’s Playboy magazine called her “the best White pipes in the business.”  I agree.

Like so many other entertainment types, unfortunately, she chose the platform built by her music to expound on things political.  She even dated Jerry Brown for a while.

But, her music continued to soar, and she kept experimenting.  From popular standards (with Nelson Riddle arranging!) to Gilbert and Sullivan and even La Boheme!

I don’t get the opportunity to acquire CDs as I used to, and have never gotten used to digital music.  So it saddened me to learn that she is suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and now Parkinson’s disease.

She retired from singing and can no longer perform, in 2009.

She has written a musical autobiography, entitled Simple Dreams, which good friend Biff just gifted me.  It details her musical education, growth and evolution, from her Mexican-emigre’ family in Tucson, to her Malibu beach house and beyond.  And encounters with musical partners from the guys who later formed The Eagles, to Dolly Parton and even Frank Sinatra!

If she interests you, I highly recommend the book.  It would be considered name-dropping, if she weren’t so talented.

(FTC – I get nothing except musical entertainment from Ms. Ronstadt!)

The Joy Of Minutiae

Nope.  Not just Trivia!

When it comes to Hollywood entertainment, much like art, I may not know it, but I know what I like.

I love the back stories, the behind-the-scenes stuff.  And production people who pander to their audience.

An old-school example:  Remember The Man From UNCLE (you baby-boomers out there)?  Yeah, there were board games, and toys and books, and movies.  But I especially appreciated the minutiae.

We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible

Man, I loved that in the credits!  I knew they couldn’t put that statement there unless such an organization existed!

I remain a fan of the TV show Person of Interest (even though it’s ratings are down and IF it returns it will be later this year with only 13 episodes😦  )  And I was trolling the Internet, looking for some tidbit of information regarding an actual start date and/or show renewal.

And I found THIS telephone number:

917-285-7362

(for the unitiated – or less obsessed – this is a number given by Mr. Finch to Shaw in an effort to recruit her in his efforts to save people using the machine – if this is meaningless to you, you really need to catch P.O.I. on You Tube or Netflix!)

Usually, fictional telephone numbers on TV or films are separated from the real by the inclusion of the prefix 555, which the telecoms have agreed means non-working and fictional, lest a real number be shown and people start calling someone’s real number.  (867-5309 or Pennsylvania 6-5000 ring any bells?  Yes, I know, I’m old…)

But, if you are a fan of POI, you should really call the number…

It goes to a Harold Wren of Universal Heritage Insurance (!) which is one of Finch’s covers.  (Of course, Finch isn’t his real name, either.)

But wait, there’s more – Universal Heritage Insurance has a website!

You see?  Minutiae.  And production people pandering to their audience.

(Obviously, I’ve too much time on my hands.)

:-)

Variations On A Theme

johnhurt

reese

beyonce

christopher harrison

Just because we’ve not GUFFAWED in a while!  *:P tongue

Surveillance, By The Numbers

(Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun. ()
Another twist on ‘the machine’ from TV’s Person of Interest.  Not video or audio surveillance, but data-mining to determine if a subject suspect person-of-interest is a potential danger.I wonder if it finds blog posts and comments and scores them with regard to potential danger, based on a peaceful expression of concern for governmental abuses?Guess I’m worthy of a bright red warning…h/t Liberty Headlines

NARCOS

Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar

We’ve been watching Netflix NARCOS, a docu-drama about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, for a time, the most wanted drug lord in the World.

He did take some of his ill-gotten gains and improved many communities with electric lighting for soccer fields, and support for national (versus foreign) made industries.

Cocaine aside.

This gave him a Robin Hood image, and allowed him access as a national legislator (for a short time).

By promising to give the people what they want.

Now, WE have this guy…

BernieSanders-1percent2

Not a criminal, murdering, drug smuggler, but still wanting to take money from corporations and individuals, and redistribute it.

By governmental force.

Because he believes government can and should.

To give (some of) the people what they want.

The current occupant of the White House is a middle-aged Black socialist, who wants to level the playing field (his words).

Now this pretender to the throne wants to do the same thing – and he’s an old, White guy!

And both keep referring to this nation as a democracy!

NOT voting for socialists is not a race issue.  It’s a Republic issue.

One doesn’t need to be a drug smuggler to see that.

Glenn Frey, RIP

The passing recently of David Bowie definitely got my attention, even though I wasn’t a big fan – in any of his incarnations.  (Sorry)

But yesterday, finding out that a founder of The Eagles had passed.  Well, Universe, this is  over-the-top!

As we age, we seem to see more of this – people who are part of our youth, our lives, passing into eternity.

Personal family and friends aside, these bookmarks in the story of our lives remind of us specifics in our past, and of the eventual future for all of us.

R.I.P. Good Sir!

 

 

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

The Gun That Won The West?

Hardly.

The gun that really went nowhere.  Regardless, was VERY cool!

From JDZ

Expensive, But Very, Very Cool

, ,

WebleyFosbery

On Gun Broker:

Scarce Webley Fosbery M1901, with matching cylinder and low serial number, that is regimentally marked. SN: 486 Cal .455. Standard military configuration M1901 with 6” barrel having fixed front and rear sight. Top of rib marked “P.WEBLEY & SON. LONDON & BIRMINGHAM”. Left side of frame marked with the Webley logo followed by the caliber “455 CORDITE ONLY.” Above the caliber is the owner/regimental inscription “H.T. MUNN 38th L.V.” Each of the chambers and the right side of the frame is proofed, the serial number appearing on the right side of the frame. Original, checkered wood grips with the left panel having the brass plate “safe” under the safety. Lanyard ring present. Condition: VG-Excellent. Matte blue with oxidative changes on the left side of barrel, cylinder, and release lever suggesting storage on a moist surface. Excellent, near mirror bore with sharp rifling. Perfect manual mechanics. A highly desireable Webley Fosbery with a military provenance that deserves further research.

Starting at only $12,500!

The same model automatic revolver used by that naughty Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) to shoot Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) at Burrit Alley, just off Bush Street above the Stockton Tunnel, in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941).

MilesArchershot

An ‘automatic revolver’!

Who knew?

Christmas Movies

My roommate and I differ slightly in which movies we like to watch to commemorate the holidays.

My roommate likes everything Christmas, especially SANTA CLAUS related.  The three Santa Clause films (Tim Allen), Miracle On 34th Street (two versions), It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife – you name it, we’ve (I’ve) been subjected relegated thoroughly enjoyed them over the past week or so.  Some multiple times.

On DVD or BluRay, in Stereo High Fi…

Don’t get me wrong.  I like some of those, in small doses.  Some even get me a little misty…

But over-and-over tends to be a bit much.  (Sorry J.)

I blame commercial television.  Most networks essentially shut down production for the holidays, having fall or winter finales, promising new shows in February!

And giving us fewer choice in the likes of reruns, cartoons and the stuff enumerated above for our viewing pleasure.

It’s like Steve Martin said.  127 channels and nothing’s on.

For television addicts like me, it’s dire.

But, I found a way to counteract the Christmas movie doldrums.  I’ve included in the DVD rotation, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard!

As was recently stated on Facebook, it isn’t really Christmas until Hans Gruber is seen falling from Nakatomi Plaza!

Merry Christmas to all you movie fans like me out there…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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