Category Archives: space travel

Bits and Pieces

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There have been a few odds and ends that have been rattling around

in my mind. Some are not worthy of an entire post, some I could in

the future, expand and expound about them. There are interesting

little tidbits that I heard recently on the news or read in a magazine.

 

One article of interest was found in “University of Dayton Magazine,”

which was about the UD Flyers’ football team in 1939,  going out to

California and visiting a famous alumni. I love any kind of ‘archive’

photographs, this one with the dashing movie star, Tyrone Power,

and the football team, all in their coats, ties and dress pants caught

my eye.

 

My favorite Tyrone Power’s movie is called, “Witness for the Prosecu-

tion.” It turns out this was one of the last movies he ever made. Sadly,

at age 44, the action movie star was battling with a sword, had a heart

attack and died on the way to the hospital. The movie he had been

acting in was called, “Solomon and Sheba.” I have never seen this one

nor his beginning two either.  “Merchant of Venice” was his first film

and his second movie, which earned him popularity and a place on the

billboards was, “Girls’ Dormitory.”

 

I believe we need to have a new version of this, a ‘re-make’ of this

light-hearted movie. I sense this would have innocent humor, with

sly innuendos. Nothing like the current R-rated comedies which rely

so much on stupid jokes and mean acts.

(Yes, this comment is a little ‘tongue in cheek.’)
Anyway, Tyrone Power originated from Cincinnati, Ohio. He was

the son of an actor and grandson of a comedian. He had, as they

frequently say, “acting in his blood.” He was born in 1914 and the

sword-fighting scene which ended his life, was in 1958.

 

A quote from the “UD Magazine,” uses the source of an Arizona State

University Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies describing

Tyrone Power as:

“Mystical, darkly handsome, a glorious matinee idol and a rather

‘forgettable’ actor.”

 

Although this comment is rather harsh,  Tyrone Powers was chosen

in an actor’s popularity poll taken of University of Dayton students

and he was found to be number four. The university newspaper took

one of their students from ages 17-18 up to ages 22-23. This poll was

conducted after the UD football team had visited 20th Century Fox.

The tour had contacted and was led by Tyrone Power, an alumni.

 

Tyrone Power may have ‘grown’ more serious over the years,

following several ‘good looking’ and ‘attractive’ stars and starlets

choosing parts with more depth in the characters and plot lines.

 

Here is the list of the Top 3 Actors ahead of Tyrone Powers

(from the UD newspaper poll, taken in 1939):

1. Errol Flynn

2. Jimmy Stewart

3. Gary Cooper

 

While he led a short life, Tyrone Power ‘lived large,’ in my mind.

Here are a few examples of Power’s personal adventures:

1. Served in the military, as a United States Marines, as a pilot.

This was in 1942, during WWII and one particular exciting time

was during transporting materials to Iwo Jima. Next month, on

my February calendar, I make note of the famous day when the

U.S. flag was raised on Iwo Jima.

 

2. “Wild” in his love life, dating co-stars while the movies were

being filmed, just to move on to the next movie and starlet.

 

3. Like James Dean, he enjoyed riding a motorcycle.

 

4. In his 44 years on earth, he was married three times.

 

5. Rather ‘scandalous’ for his time, he relied upon the income of

his second wife. Financial support in the acting world, sometimes

did have the “leading woman” making more than her husband.

 

6. “Mark of Zorro,” was a favorite movie and the poster is still one

of my favorites of all time. His work as a ‘swash buckling’ leading

character and dangerous criminal were displayed in, “Jesse James”

and “The Black Swan.”

 

February 27th- Coming up next month, another famous actor and

director, a genius of his time, is going to be featured at the Gateway

Film Center. This is called an “Independent Cinema in the Heart

of Columbus.” I love the catchy title, “Magician: The Astounding

Life and Work of Orson Welles.”  I am going to see if my friend,

Anna,  or my guy friend, Bill, will go with me to check out one of

the films presented there.  I would like to see the documentary of

this famous Hollywood legendary star and director.

 

A small little ‘bit of wisdom,’ which could be used in so many

different ways is the expression,

“Pachoko Pachoko,”

which in the Lake Malawi area of Africa means,

“Little by little.”

This conjures much meaning in such a succinct form.

 

The CBS Morning has a great feature every week on their Sunday

program which is called, “The Week at a Glance.”  I noticed the

Hall of Fame Awards for Theater were going to be presented on

Monday, January 26, 2015.

What makes this interesting to me is that I watched, “Amadeus,”

on Saturday after Micah went home. The main antagonist of the

film about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was Antonio Salieri. In the

movie, this character is played by F. Murray Abraham. Definitely

nice to have this coincidence, seeing an actor I admire and it would

be a great awards show to be able to attend.

 

There is an anniversary of the German “Death Camps,”  Auschwitz

and others this week; January 27, ’15. A day of memorial and tribute

to those who either died or survived their horrendous experiences

there.

 

All those Star Wars fans, who have money to splurge on memorabilia,

there will be a major auction on Wednesday.  Hope you have a fun

and happy mid-week celebration. If you don’t have money saved for

buying souvenirs, you can always indulge in watching one of the “Star

Wars” movies.

 

Thursday, Amy Poehler is being given “Woman of the Year” award by

the Hasty Pudding Theatrical group. She is best known for her comedy

skits on “Saturday Night Live,” along with her “Parks and Rec” t.v.

show.

 

Harvard University’s group is simply called, “The Pudding.” In 1897,

John Wheelwright described the cross-dressing theatrical group as:

“A kindly association of men of all ages in a gay evening of simple

enjoyment.”

 

I am sure Amy will have a ‘ball’ and she will fit right in, too. I hope to

check this out ‘after the fact,’ on YouTube. I enjoyed when Neil Patrick

Harris’ was given his Roast for “Man of the Year” another year.

 

At University of Cincinnati, there will be a police enforcement

symposium, incorporating all aspects of agencies, beginning a

meaningful ‘conversation’ about their performance in the pursuit

of justice. This will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015.

 

The other activities, on Saturday and Sunday, were so quickly

spoken that I did not catch them. They said something about what

President Obama was going to do and something about the “Annie”

awards show is for. Keep your ears open for these two upcoming

subjects in the news. . .

 

Tonight, there will be a spell-binding special mini-series about the

Revolutionary War. It is titled, “Sons of Liberty” and ironically it

has mainly actors who are not American.  For example, George

Washington’s character is portrayed by Irish actor, Jason O’Mara.

John Hancock is played by British actor, Rafe Spall, in a sort of

flamboyant performance. (Interesting; hm-m!) The British actor,

Marton Csokas will play General Thomas Gage.

 

I am looking forward to checking out this television event on the

period of time historically where we were “enemies” with the Brits,

while seeing them portray the leaders of this revolution. Interested

also, in who they have playing Benjamin Franklin. The British actor

who portrays Samuel Adams is Ben Barnes. This presentation

will be on the American History Channel.

 

“Sons of Liberty” is n conflict with my S.A.G. awards ceremony,

though. The Screen Actor’s Guild show will be tonight, also. May

need to ask Jenny to ‘DVR’ the other show, or just pop in on it,

during commercial breaks. I just love award ceremonies, along

with the Red Carpet pre-shows.

 

In our brains, scientists, researchers and physicians have studied

many things. The newest findings of where ‘happiness’ can be

found through the measurement of the area of the brain called

the “striatum.” There even is a new numerical formula which is

able to ‘measure’ happiness by our brain’s reactions to rewards.

The formula, though, relies on our reactions to our expectations.

This was also featured on CBS Sunday Morning, January 25, 2015.

I am sure this combination of numbers and processes can be

found somewhere on the CBS coverage, it was shown written in

numerals and I could not write it quickly enough, nor would I

have been able to comprehend this.

Apparently, if you have high expectations, as so many positive

people walk around and hope for the best do, than the way

the numbers may reflect lower amounts of happiness. This

brought up a commentator’s valid question,

“If you go into your day with little or no expectations are you

more likely to experience a measurable amount of happiness?”

This portion of the program was titled, “Not Great Expectations,”

should you wish to examine the research and reactions to this

new equation.

 

I have featured another article or post about brain studies, which

used endorphins and other information to measure happiness.

 

I will still head off every day, ‘into the world,’ with lots of hope

and high expectations. I tend to believe you will receive more

and will acknowledge more simple acts and things which will

give you bursts of endorphins and fill your life with happy

moments. I could not go out, seeking nothing and expect to

find happiness. This just goes against the ‘grain’ of my brain!

 

What did you read today that gave you ‘pause’ or something

to think about?

 

Have you any new information or something you may not wish

to fill a whole post about, but wish to share here?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rare Books

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The unique, exquisite first edition rare books collection is awe-inspiring.

This includes many books you will know and love. It includes international

books, on loan for a brief period, from September 29 until November 9, 2014.

A man named Stuart Rose, started collecting books that were special to him.

Rose’s collection began when he found in 1992, the First Edition of,

“Tarzan,”

by

Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Rose went on collecting past 2000 First Edition or

“One of a Kind” books.

There are 49 featured books,

displayed on

University of Dayton

campus,

in the

Roesch Library

First Floor

Gallery.

 

I love the title of the exhibition:

 

“Imprints

and

Impressions”

 

Part

of

the

“Milestones

in

Human Progress”

Program:

 

Highlights

from the

Rose Rare Book

Collection

 

There are directions online

you may follow to get to

the place you need to go.

 

Jane Austen’s

“Pride

and

Prejudice,”

Quote:

“The spoken word passes away, while the written word remains.”

 

Paul H. Benson,

essayist for the

Dayton UD Alum

Magazine

reminded

us of the

Essence

and

Importance

of:

Preserving books while time marches forward

some day society may feel we don’t ‘need’ them.

These are our own printed legacy and heritage.

(Not quoted, but read and digested. Explaining

and passing on my feeling of urgency to see this

magnificent book collection before it goes away.)

 

Here are some favorites of mine:

The

“Qu’ran”

Copied

in

Beautifully

Intricate

Calligraphy

by

Aziz

Khan

Kashmiri

(1864)

 

Galileo,

“Starry Messenger”

(1610)

 

Mark Twain,

“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

(1885)

 

Isaac Newton,

(Misspelled words,

intentionally copied as

Newton

chose to do.)

“Opticks

or a Treatise

of the

Reflexions, Refractions

Inflexions and Colours

of

Light.

Also,

Two Treatises

of the

Species and Magnitude

of

Curvilinear Figures”

(1704)

 

Ralph Ellison,

“Invisible Man”

(1952)

 

Virginia Woolf,

“A Room of One’s Own”

(1929)

 

J. R. R. Tolkien,

“The Lord of the Rings”

Hand-written

Proofs,

with final edits

done in pen.

(1953 – 1955)

 

Geoffrey Chaucer,

“Canterbury Tales”

(1492)

 

Rene Descartes,

“Discourse on the Method”

(1637)

 

William Shakespeare,

“Comedies, Histories and Tragedies”

(1632)

 

Nicholas Copernicus,

“On the Revolution of Celestial Spheres”

(1543)

 

*I would love to see*

Artistic

Illustrations

drawn by

Salvador Dali,

“Alice in Wonderland”

(1969)

 

There are more books to examine and admire.

 

There is a special informative talk by former

UD graduate and famous person,

Daniel De Simone,

about the Rose exhibit on:

October 16, 2014,

7:00 – 8:30 p.m

 

Daniel De Simone is

Librarian at the

Folger Shakespeare Library,

Washington, D. C.

(Formerly worked at

Library of Congress)

Lecture topic:

“Why the Stuart Rose Book Collection

Matters in the Age of Digital Surrogates.”

 

Since I have two First Edition books that are not ‘rare’ nor very great condition,

I felt the power of words would be expressed better personally, if I told you about

my books.

“Magnificent Obsession,”

Lloyd C. Douglas

(1929)

P.F. Collier and Sons, Company

New York, New York.

The book begins with a physician given as, “Doctor Hudson.” His mental and physical

condition is described as “on the verge of a collapse,” along with “all but dead on his feet.”

We can all relate, in one way or another, to this man who is trying to be the best doctor

he can. Reminding us of that often expressed, “Physician heal thyself.”

Then comes a “twist of fate.”

I love this book, which was made into a movie. (Although, it changes some of the details,

making it a different story entirely.)

In the end of the book, another doctor is mentioned, if you were not aware of the accident

you might wonder who this character is. “Doctor Hudson” is no longer the focus. The reader

has come to know and love a different man, you see.

This story has turned from a solitary life of medicine to one where there is someone named,

“Bobby.”

He plans on boarding a train, then disembarking to go on a big steamer ship.

The love of his life, (you need to read the book to find out how he met her!)

“Mauve” approaches with what the author describes as, “a snug, saucy, cloche hat” on

her head and she is wearing, “a tailored suit of mauve that sculptures every curve of

her body.” She embraces him and the rest of the happy ending comes in his plans for

their future, where the Captain will marry them on their trip abroad.

 

My other favorite book, which my good and dear, deceased friend, Bob gave me. I have

written how I met him and our friendship grew, from playing games on a picnic table

in the park, to his watching my two grandsons playing on the gym equipment there.

This is an everlasting gift, his memory pervades into my soul, which is perfectly fitting

in the book he gave me:

“The Keys of the Kingdom”

A. J. Cronin

(1941)

Little Brown and Co.

Boston, Mass.

This is a Scottish tale, with a priest named Father Chisholm. It begins with his limping up

a steep path from St. Columbia’s Parish (church) to his home that is walled in by gardens.

He looks out on a beautiful view described by the author,

“Beneath him was the River Tweed, a great wide sweep of placid silver, tinted by the low

saffron smudge of Autumn sunset.”

What a way with words you have, Mr. A. J. Cronin!

You can picture his wonder in the lovely description.

The book is filled with simple treasures, nuggets of wisdom and throughout it,

deep philosophy. The book takes a crooked path, through periods of time,  where

you need to re-read at time, to orient to what part of Father Chisholm’s life you

are in. There is never any doubt in Father Chisholm’s love, belief and faith in God.

His encounters and adventures are vast and absorbing, including danger and

Eastern culture, too.

 

At the end of the book, it closes with the Father going trout-fishing with a poor,

country lad named, Andrew. There is less infirmity in his step. There is added

purpose for living implied. His path has come full circle, back home again.

His adoption of Andrew has given him a

second chance on life.

 

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my books I shared today

along with the fascinating examples to view,

Online tour given through photographs,

or in person at University of Dayton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Wonders and Creature Marvels

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“Across the sea of space,

the stars are other suns.”

(Carl Sagan)

In August, a 440 pound Galapagos Island, wild-born tortoise joined the Toledo Zoo.

This tortoise, Emerson, is estimated to be 0ver 100 years old. His acquisition caught

my Mom’s eyes, in the friendly photograph she found buried in the mound of papers

she calls, “blog-worthy.” While reading about the history of tortoises, you find out

the horrible reason why sailors kept them in their ships while on long sea journeys.

These amazing creatures can live for almost a year without food or water, delicious

in soups, when there is no ‘meat’ available.

This made me sad, since the carefully cut out article that my Mom included in her

letter this week, had written in the side column by Mom, “Why didn’t the sailors

just eat fish?” Really good point! I learned that Emerson had a first negative

impression of his new environment, so his head was in the corner, not at all

interested in ‘making friends.’ But within hours, he had turned around and was

slowly, methodically moving towards people. He wanted to know about this new

location and nibbled on fresh vegetables. The photograph has him eating a carrot.

Somehow, the fact that he had his head in the corner, showing his reaction to a

new place to live, made me visualize human reactions to our own having to make

moves or transitions in our lives. This human feeling can be turned around with a

new food offered, a person warmly greeting him and calling him by name. I like

the way the journalist, Alexandra Mester, mentions that when he gets up in the

morning, he seems “to pause and soak up the sun”. They further made me ‘like’

Emerson by explaining how he likes his neck rubbed, shown by the way he stretches

his neck out for this daily affection given him.

Sadly, statistics given from the 1800’s when an estimated 100,000 to 200,ooo

tortoises lived in the Galapagos Islands have shrunk in species to 10,000 to

20,000 left. There are 4 of 14 sub-species now considered extinct.

 

Speaking of extinct subjects, Rachel Feltman, for the Washington Post, wrote

about the Spinosaurus. This is possibly the only know ‘swimming dinosaur.’

This is also the dangerous dinosaur that may have ‘chomped down on sharks!’

My grandsons were fascinated by this story, passed on by my mother in the

mail. They still like the variations of the animated children’s movies called,

“The Land Before Time.” New fossil evidence may be found in the September’s

copy of, “Science” magazine.

The speculation of the dinosaur out-ranking the T-Rex in size is also amazing.

It may be a record-breaker, largest predatory dinosaur to have existed on Earth.

Scientists believe that it was mainly a water creature, due to these facts or clues:

1. Tiny nostrils placed far back on the middle of the Spinosaurus’ skull. This

makes it appear like the water-crawling and swimming alligators and crocodiles.

2. The skull’s head has teeth that have interlocking connections that can be good

for catching fish, while trolling in the deep oceans.

3. The hook-like claws would be ideal for catching slippery prey, in the water.

4. Big flat feet- bones that could have connecting skin, making them ‘webbed feet.’

5. Legs and pelvis were unlikely ‘built’ or connected to land animals, more likely

resembling water creatures.

6. It would be easier to carry their own weight in water, paddling around, than

on land.

Over one hundred years ago, a German paleontologist, Ernst Freiherr Stromer

von Reichenbach, found giant “Spinosaurus” fossils. He found them in the Sahara

Desert, where from current satellite’s far out in Space, can determine rivers existed.

Unfortunately, records on paper exist but the “Spino” bones were destroyed during

WWII. I would like to look at the river channels from Space. Wouldn’t you?

I think the greatest part of this story is, you may go to the National Geographic

Museum in Washington, D.C. There you can view the fossil bones structured into

what the researchers and scientists believe to be the ‘spino-saurus aegyptiacus’

in all of its marvelous glory. This is available for the public to see until 4/14/15.

 

Speaking of satellites and Space. . .

NASA’s Mars land rover discovered in 2012, rock-eating microbes. This Mars

rover named, “Curiosity,” had  new details released to the public recently.

It has reached the layered rock area known by scientists as Mt. Sharp on Mars.

The exploring vehicle is getting a little rickety but had been able to begin

drilling into the rocky location. Samples may be soon analyzed by the unique

ability to transfer information back to Earth.  I am very interested in this

further details, since we still have hopes of finding a compatible environment

for human life to exist in the future.

On December 4, 2014- a new gumdrop shaped capsule known as, “Orion,”

will be launched 3600 miles  from Earth. This is four times farther than our

International Space Station and will ‘careen back’ into our atmosphere at the

incredible speed of 20,000 m.p.h. Why? Because this is testing the thermal

dynamics. This would be considered a possible future human (astronauts-

bearing) space ship. It looks like a huge coffee thermos to me, in its drawings.

If it ‘bears up’ in entering our atmosphere without burning up, this would be

a future manned flight that managed to have a strong protective shield. I am

always pleased when NASA is making progress in going farther into the unknown

in Space.

 

“A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth,

it would be a miracle on Mars.

Our descendants on Mars will know the value

of a patch of green.

And if a blade of grass is priceless,

What is the value of a human being?”

Taken from, “Pale Blue Dot:  A Vision of the Human Future in Space,”

written by Carl Sagan.

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

Wild West Wednesday

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Thanks to “Pookie,” my Mom’s best friend in California, we have a prairie

joke to laugh at!  She wrangled up a ‘good one,’ for us to chuckle about and

get in the right frame of mind for our mid-week relaxing time. Oh, go ahead

and grab something cold to drink, too!  There was a swear word included in

this story,  which my Mom thought was ‘A.O.K.’ but I used a little imagination

and substituted it with an actual possible western term. The manila envelope

she received in the mail, Mom had culled and decided upon which ones were

‘blog worthy.’ So glad I have this outlet for her to feel she is my ‘editor’ and my

fellow blogger while I publish this story and future other ones.

The funny story included two illustrations, one depicting the two main characters

in the humorous story and the other of a photograph of a black sky, with stars and

the moon in it.

 

Let’s take a little ‘break’ from my essays. Pull up a chair, put on some music

and enjoy. . .

To get into the western theme, you could put on Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive”

song,  which I enjoy very much. Or find that classic song, “Wild, Wild West”

by the British group, The Escape Club. Promise, you will recognize it! I happen

to love that version of the 1988 song, including the line, “wild, wild hair,” in

the lyrics, referring to the female love interest’s hair.  If you are into rapping

considered ‘hip hop’ version) and I do like Will Smith, there is a different song

without the comma in the title, “Wild Wild West” to hear. This went with the

“Wild Wild West” movie that came out in 1999. Kevin Kline and Will Smith

were the two main actors, in this attempt to capture the television series.

Oh, how I used to enjoy the crazy antics and adventure in the original show!

It was televised from 1965 until 1969.

 

Do you have a favorite western movie or television show?

What music do you prefer to listen to while unwinding after a hard day’s work?

 

I enjoy writing but sometimes am happy to just ‘coast along,’

for a day. I will ‘parcel’ the jokes out, once a week for awhile. . .

 

Here’s one for all of those who love the outdoors and the “Lone Ranger:”

 

The Lone Ranger and Tonto were camping in the desert. After they got their

tent all set up, the men fell sound asleep.

 

Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says,

“Kemo Sabe, look towards the sky, what do you see?”

 

The Lone Ranger replied, “I see millions of stars.”

**********************************************

“What do they tell you?” asked Tonto.

 

The Lone Ranger wiped his sleepy eyes, looked up into the heavens and

pondered. Then, after a minute he explained how he felt about the sky,

“Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and

planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo’s radius. Time-

wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning.

Theologically, it indicates that God or Mother Nature is all powerful and

we are just small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have

a beautiful day tomorrow.”

 

The Lone Ranger turned towards Tonto in the dark and asked,

“What does it tell you, Tonto?”

 

Tonto replied,

“You’re dumber than buffalo chips.”

 

The Lone Ranger was hurt and wondered why Tonto was showing

little respect for what he thought had been “Profound Thoughts.”

“Why would you say this to me, Tonto, my friend?”

 

Are you ready for the punch line?! I bet you may guess it. . .

 

Tonto retorted. . .

“It means someone stole the tent, you idiot!”

 

(I think even Silver, The Lone Ranger’s trusty horse would have

snorted. . .)

 

Smiles for sliding down the slippery slope towards the weekend!

The Tony’s Are Coming! The Tony’s Are Coming!

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Oh yeah, the place to be tomorrow night is in front of your television set, with

the 68th Tony Awards’ Ceremony about to begin. Or better yet, if fashion,

style and grace are part of your repertoire, before the Tony’s, watch the

outrageous, beautiful and sometimes the most stunning dresses of the year!

After all, the ones who are able to wing it on stage, in front of a Live audience

on a large stage, whether it is Broadway or Off-Broadway, are the ones

to watch!

Here are some television names to watch for:

Tyne Daly, who is known from being part of the police drama, ‘Cagney and

Lacey.’ She has been performing since February in “Mothers and Sons,”

written by Terrence McNally.

Bryan Cranston, who went from playing a bad guy, let’s face it, that we could

not tear our eyes off of in, “Breaking Bad,” to playing a famous man in “All the

Way!” (Hint: He is playing Lyndon Baines Johnson, and doing an outstanding

job!)

Neil Patrick Harris, who has been the Host for the Tony’s has played in the

performance of a lifetime in a dark play called, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Who knew that N.P. Harris could make a strange and dark character come

to life? I always have loved the ‘boy’ who was Doogie Howser and made me

laugh as Barney, in “How I Met Your Mother.”

Tony Shalhoub, has my interest in his role as part of Moss Hart’s play, “Act One.”

Since I have watched him, with my Mom mainly, as “Monk,” the quirky and

rather interesting man with OCD. Apparently, “Psychology Today,” did not

find his real enough nor true to the obsessive compulsive disorder, though.

His role as a police support staff who had to have a companion to settle him.

I liked to watch him while being amused by his techniques. There are OCD

moments caught and featured on Youtube, too. His partner would help him

stay in touch with work, changed and I liked each of his assigned female

‘babysitters’ on that show. The Hart play has been ‘panned,’ also. Too bad.

Idina Menzel has been featured in my posts, since my grandkids love her

voice, raised in song. (In the animated children’s film, “Frozen,” she belts

out “Let it Go!”) Her performances in the show and movie, “Chorus Line,”

along with “Rent” have made her quite a Broadway performer. The 2014

Tony nominated play is called, “If/Then.” I am not familiar with this one,

I have to admit, but knowing the versatility and talent of Idina Menzel,

I will hope it gets an award!

Harvey Fierstein’s gravelly voice can give me chills. He is a fine director

and writer, his 2014 nominated play is called, “Casa Valentina.” This has an

unusual ‘premise,’ men gathering in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains and

tapping into their ‘feminine side.’ Could be fascinating…

His brief presence on the CBS Today Show, this morning, Saturday, June

7, 2014 included asking him what drives him in his writing. Here is his

quote being paraphrased (I am not great at writing each word, but I am

sure that you can look up this and this is the ‘essence’ of its meaning:

If you want to capture my attention and hold it, don’t show me a meteor

going to hit our planet.  Show me people interacting, human connections

and THAT is the show I will watch!”

In other words, Harvey is saying that the human condition is what he has

drawn from,  while writing his plays and screenplays.

One of the most beloved and most performed plays, “The Glass Menagerie,”

is again up for a 2014 Tony Nomination.

I have a personal reason why I follow the different award shows. Some of you

who have followed me for quite some time, may recall that I have always been

a person who followed plays, movies and theater productions. I was very lucky

to have parents  who thought that taking the three kids to these, would be fun,

educational and meaningful. I liked, Musicarnival, The Lakewood Summer

Shakespeare Festivals, and Cleveland productions of Broadway plays. I have

only once been to a Broadway play, to see Joel Grey play as George M. Cohen,

in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” But, my interest went beyond watching, I became

part of children’s plays, worked back stage in makeup freshman year of high

school, set design sophomore year and worked side by side with actors as

understudies. I never was on stage until I went to National Acting Camp

held at Notre Dame University. It was fun trying out and being part of

this, I came back and was senior director of the play, “Take Her, She’s

Mine.” I worked side by side with Miss Marilyn J. Frazier. She was a

beautiful and classy woman, who I believe could have become a famous

actress, had she pursued it.

I would like to give a ‘Shout Out’ to the people who went on stage, under

my direction. All wrote such lovely things on cards and notes, along with

a few special words in my 1974 (senior yearbook), Bluebook.

Hope some of you will be at our 40th reunion this September, 2014!

Billy Bush, (no, not the one on Entertainment Tonight!), Megan Peters,

(she is a Hallmark designer, artist and lovely person), Torry Cavanaugh

(doesn’t that just sound like she should be famous?), Ralph Cutcher

(you stole my heart, but just friends), Lynn Kuhlow (a ‘class act’),

Cheryl Anderson (you played a teenager who was a ‘handful’ just

right!), and good Science Club ‘geek’ and friend, David Frackelton.

When the musical “Hello Dolly” was not available to high schoolers

due to high Equity dues’ cost, we had our other play, “The Matchmaker,”

that year. Alice Cepulo, another Science Club ‘geek’ (I was secretary one

year, my brother president, so we were very active in this club…) was

the student director for this great play. She went on in film making,

after college, joining NASA’s ‘team’ in Texas. She has made a lot of

non-fiction space films. I was so sorry to hear the 1975 graduate and

one of my brother’s and my dear friends, Andy Cepulo killed himself.

in 2013.

That is a summary of my ‘real life’ experiences and I am sure they

are enough ‘credentials’ to let you know that I do know a ‘thing or

two’ about theatre!!

 

Other Tony nominated plays to ‘watch’ and ‘see’ if they get an award are:

“After Midnight,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” (this one has

the most award nominations so far) “Beautiful- The Carole King Musical,”

(which includes two of my favorite songs, “One Fine Day” and “Will You

Love Me Tomorrow?” By the way, I loved her “Tapestry” album!), “Aladdin,’

and Shakespeare’s “Twelth Night.”

Oh, and all the ladies and gentlemen out there who have enjoyed Hugh

Jackman’s singing in the movie, “Les Mis,” and his extremely entertaining

performances in roles like, “Wolverine,” will wish to see his performance

tomorrow night as the Host of the 2014 Tony Awards!

Just to let you know, watching Hugh Jackman is more than enough reason

to be watching the Tony’s!!

Random Findings and Thoughts

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My grandchildren are convinced that the people who live on the top (3rd) floor

of my apartment build are “aliens!” One of the oldest said, “We never see them

and then, if we do, they aren’t friendly.” Another one exclaimed, “They are ‘pod’

people!'” Part of this misconception evolved from their first trip, a few years

back, up the four flights of stairs to see the top floor.

The top floor, of this brick, sturdy building that has colonial columns in the

front and an attractive appearance, has the strangest ‘solar?’ or ‘ecologically-

friendly?’ tiles. The ceiling that runs down this hallway ‘peaks’ or appears like

a triangular shape. They have declared this a “rocket floor.” Anyway, they have

gotten to the point they want to run down this hallway, and yes, out of courtesy

to the unseen tenants, we only do this at around noon, hopefully, on weekends

when the people who may work have been allowed a certain amount of sleep. And,

no “whooping it up,” I demand.

Someone on the radio on one of my recent ‘road trips’ was giving a few examples,

some not too strange, but a couple that were quite ‘odd.’ These were famous

people’s names that are being given to animate and inanimate things. This makes

me wonder about those scientists, sometimes! In Liverpool, one of the less crazy

examples given was that they have named their airport after John Lennon. All

right! That is great! (I happen to have been listening on this car ride to both

“Imagine” and “This Christmas,” by said songwriter and member of the Beatles.

A most extraordinary use of a famous person’s name, a Diva with sometimes golden

hair was given to a fly! This was in Australia, a beautiful fly with a fuzzy,

golden-yellow underbelly was named the “Beyoncé” fly by scientists there. Wow!

The radio disc jockey was playfully teasing, wondering aloud to his listening

audience, “Did they get permission from the Diva herself?” and “Did they ask

Jay Z if this was okay with him?”

In exotic Borneo, a special hotel is named, “Villa Angelina” due to its

beautiful location and thinking of the gorgeous Angelina Jolie. Again, the

radio guy, not announced and my streaming Sirius did not give his name, so

unable to give him “credit where credit is due.” I did try to memorize these

weird examples and he did not credit where he located them, either. Anyway,

he was joking around with wondering if the big, adopted family had traveled

there, and then, on a more serious note, said that the family’s parents are

very world conscious and maybe they had visited and this had boosted the

Villa’s economy, through their popularity.

A more negative use of someone famous’ name is being given to a law recently

made. It is due to someone who purchased medical equipment, while his wife,

Katie Holmes, was pregnant with Suri. He had purchased a sonogram machine

so that he could ‘monitor’ the baby/fetus. Due to this erroneous, plus

dangerous act, there is now a law called the “Tom Cruise law.” This prohibits

any non-professional or non-licensed sonogram techs from owning and possibly

over-using or misusing medical equipment of any kind.

Another scientific wonder, a fern that has a very complicated genus name, and

no, I did not have a tape recorder on me, so alas, I cannot rattle it off! But

this fern starts with a few repetitive, ‘Gaga….” in the front, so you can

already guess, this lucky fern is now being given the ‘common name’ for it,

“Lady Gaga.”

On the subject of Lady Gaga, there was a Christmas special this 2013, entitled,

“Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.” I enjoyed this, would recommend

seeing it and think she has an interesting look but children are fascinated by

her. She has a natural ability to sing and a quiet nature, shy almost, in her

television appearances. The December AARP Magazine was listing contrasts between

today and fifty years ago. They did not give out opinions just implied that in

1963, we watched The Judy Garland Christmas Show and today, we would watch this

example given above. Not sure if that was meant to flattering, no comments given

for choosing this particular duo. (Both were shy women and outstanding singers.)

There were other examples given of a “look what 50 years have done to prices and

changes in taste…”

I am a big fact finder, so hope this interests you, even if you are not a “Baby

Boomer.”

The most popular toy in 1963 sold for a hefty (surprisingly) price of $15.95 for

an Easy Bake Oven. Today, 2013, the most popular toy ‘flying off the shelves’ is

the Big Hugs Elmo for a whopper price of $59.95! In 1963, a Christmas tree sold

for $2.50 and today, the same size (not given) would be $45. Our stamps, recently

I mentioned those first Christmas cards cost only one penny to mail, the cards

going out in 1963, amazingly enough are attributed to only a four cents increase

from the 1800’s. Now, of course, in 2013, one stamp of a Poinsettia, Mother and

Child, or other holiday stamp would cost 46 cents.

Those dreaded fruitcakes that many make fun of, used to cost for “mail order”

service in 1963, $4.25 and now, you may spend $27.95. I happen to like those

yellow fruitcakes that have mainly butter in their cake but don’t mind the

darker, richer brandy flavored fruitcakes, too. I prefer it warmed up in the

microwave with a dollop of vanilla or eggnog ice cream on it.

Last mention of the way times have changed since fifty years ago, is being

called by journalists and merchandisers, “The Christmas Creep.” This is

recognizing that Christmas advertising and merchandise is now being taken

out as soon as Halloween articles are being put into the clearance department!

I hope this wide variety of information will have a small impact on your

day today. I hope that it will give you something to tell another person,

like those famous peoples’ names being attached to odd things. Or maybe, just

the silly story about my grandchildren, with their lively and wild imagination

getting me to study those third floor people more closely, when I rarely run

into one or two of them.

Who knows? Maybe they are like those characters in the current television show,

“The Neighbors.” In private, they like using their bathroom to grow plants and

turn into green blobs while in their “real” alien forms. This is one of the

most underrated comedies with some fine acting from the four main leading actors.

You will only recognize the name of one of them, Jami Gertz, from a different

comedy show. Suburbia is wittingly made fun of and yet, embraced at the same time!

Or maybe those people upstairs really exist in the human bodies, like in the show,

where John Lithgow and Jane Curtin made my three children and I crack up so much:

“Third Rock from the Sun.”(1996 – 2001)

Or maybe they are like that old time favorite of my Dad’s and my brothers and I,

while young, “My Favorite Martian.” This aired from 1963 until 1966, with Bill

Bixby and Ray Walston. This may replay on Nick at Night or TV Land.

Anyway, have you any weird facts or neighbors to “report?!”