Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The other day, Annie told me I looked like Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) in Deadwood. I found a website called My heritage ( One of the features is that it matches your photo with celebrities. I put in the one photo I have on the computer. The program said I most looked like Edward Norton from American History X. I wonder if I was a bad guy in a previous life (or lives). And no wonder my staff at work seems terrified of me. Okay, terrified is an exaggeration but the meaning is clear.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I took a week off and this is what I did:

I drove out to Las Vegas to see relatives that I owed a way-overdo visit to. While there, my cousin Herb took me on a tour of the Strip. We checked out the new Wynn. Personally I wasn't impressed. I did discover that the Wynn is the only hotel-casino on the Strip that has a golf course. You have to be a hotel guest to play it and it only cost $500 a game. I was glad I never learned how to play.

Had a nice visit with my Uncle Bill and Cousin Scott. That night Herb and I went to see Snakes on a Plane. My review of it will be in my next column on Dred. Don't expect to see it nominated for any Oscars. Might get a couple of Razzies however.

My relatives don't gamble. So I didn't. On my way back home however I stopped at the Prima Donna at Stateline for a couple hours. The blackjack tables were either too crowded or too expensive for me. I played video poker instead. I left with $300 more than I came with. Can't complain about that.

In Victorville, I stopped for lunch at The Original Roadhouse Grill where I used to work. Saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces. Had a ribeye steak dinner. The GM bought the meal for me. $300 and a free steak dinner. No complaints for me.

The rest of the week I visited other friends, attended a screenplay writing class that one of them teaches, spent one day at San Onofre State Beach (went there because I'd never been before), started Lee Child's Jack Reacher thriller Persuader, joined and worked out at LA Fitness, took my mother to her followup doctor's visit, caught up on some yardwork, got a Swedish massage, did a car repair I'd been putting off, and slept late. Also I got an idea for a new Crusader story but haven't started it yet. Okay, I didn't tackle the garage. It was at the top of the list but I couldn't do it. Not too bad for a week off.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

(it's my last day of vacation)

I try to read and watch the news as much as I can to keep up on what’s happening. I listen to news radio more often because of the driving I do. But I’m tired of hearing about certain personalities and stories. In fact if I never heard another story about the following personalities I’d be eternally grateful.

Tom Cruise or Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes or TomKat (Cruise has made a couple of pretty good movies. I still remember the debate female friends had whether Cruise or Val Kilmer was cooler in Top Gun. But his movies are getting worse and worse and I really don’t care about his dingbat personal life at all.)

Paris Hilton (I never want to hear anything about this non-celebrity ever again. Why is she famous? Because she’s the heir to a hotel dynasty and barely registers on the IQ scale. My gosh, Playboy even did a spread on a Paris look-a-like. Why?)

Nicole Richie (Friend of Paris and heir to a music dynasty. Big deal.)

Lindsay Lohan (No more ever! I don’t care who she’s feuding with or her bad behavior on a movie set. Don’t clutter my brain with her antics.)

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt (A few good movies but I don’t care that they’re dating each or cheating on each other or whatever. Go make a decent film.)

Jessica Simpson (Another … okay, I don’t what she is. Whatever she is I don’t care.)

Mel Gibson (Used to make good movies. Maybe he and Cruise should see the same therapist. Or something. But quit telling me about it. And, yes, he said a bunch of racial slurs –he’s a jerk—but, dammit, first and foremost, he was driving drunk. He could have killed people.)

American Idol and Big Brother (Don’t care who got booted. Really don’t care.)

Scientology. (Cult for rich, bubble-not-on-center celebrities created by a cut-rate sci-fi writer. Don’t care. If rich folk want to join, it’s a free country. Just don’t tell me about it.)

Steroids (Really? Some athletes might taking strength-enhancing drugs? Tell me it ain’t so. Yeah, wake up and smell the coffee.)

My tirade is done. The soapbox is free for someone else.

Friday, August 25, 2006

adios, auf wiedersehen, sayonara, and bye-bye, Pluto
The ninth planet in the solar system was kicked to the curb by a vote of international astronomers. Little ol' Pluto has been designated a dwarf sphere or something. We now have only eight planets in our solar system. It's kind of like he was sent down to the minors. Okay, quick -- name all eight planets or all seven dwarves ... whichever is easier.

My district boss asked me to find some photos of Route 66. The boulevard that runs beside our store is part of that famed interstate. Couldn't find much that didn't cost a lot so I took some photos myself. Here's a couple:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back in April I wrote about a friend I was trying to locate. Melanie Julsonnet. No luck. Another friend of Mel's, Lisa, found my blog because she is trying to locate her, too. So far, no go. In my internet search, I was able to find out her married name, Canaday, and her middle name, Rae. I think. Anyway, if anyone knows how to locate Melanie Rae Julsonnet Canaday, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

A friend sent this article to me. It was "allegedly" an article in Good Housekeeping in 1955. I have my doubts this was real but I've been wrong before.

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

*Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

*Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

*During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.

*Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

*Don't greet him with complaints and problems. Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

*Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

*Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.

*You have no right to question him.

*A good wife always knows her place.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm surfing the net. Code for I'm wasting time when I should be writing. I found an article about the biggest flops in movies. Below is a list of the top ten. Most you probably won't remember but I hope one of your favorite films isn't on the list. If so, you're in a very small group. They were all major train wrecks for their production companies.
1) Town & Country (2001)
2) Stealth (2005)
3) The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
4) Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
5) Miami Vice (2006)
6) The 13th Warrior (1999)
7) Cutthroat Island (1995)
8) The Alamo (2004)
9) The Sound of Thunder (2005)
10) Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
I've seen three of them. The 13th Warrior, The Alamo, and Cutthroat Island. It isn't something I want to brag about. Then again I'd watch one of those three again before I'd sit through Dead Poets Society, The Blair Witch Project, or The English Patient. Okay, I'd probably not sit through Cutthroat Island again.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The other day I'm talking to Annie on the phone from Minnesota. She says she finally realized one of the reasons she really likes Deadwood. I asked her why. I love Annie. She always makes me smile. She said she's going to start calling me "Bad Chris." Below is her answer:

Well ... I don't know what to say. Yes, I do. "You would not want to be staring like that at me."
Ian McShane says it better. And scarier.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Hullo. Just thought I'd stop by and see what you was doin' ... yeah-huh, you're sittin' at the computer again."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

From my writers' group, I received an email from M.D. Benoit (science fiction author of Meter Made and Metered Space -- Zumaya Publications). M.D. had found a website called Serendipity. ( Writers should check it out. Go to a catergory in People, Places, Things, Stories, or Travesties. Need a female Japanese name or male French name? Or a type of castle? How about a physical description? This will give you a suggestion (or suggestions). It's fun. {Okay, shhhh ... I won't say a word. If you're stuck this might even get the creative juices flowing. Go ahead. I won't tell.}

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Read on interesting article on MSNBC ( about businesses that are considering going no-children-allowed. Yes, there are places that children should not be. Recently, I attended a funeral and during the entire service a toddler was fussing and crying and having a general tantrum. The parent did nothing. Little kids shouldn't be in R-rated movies. A small child can not and will not stay quiet and still for an hour or more at a sit-down restaurant. And it's stupidity to think they will. (Smart parents bring "quiet" toys to entertain the little ones.) Okay, some kids are just flat-out holy terrors but most aren't. When they act inappropriate their parents should deal with this situation. They should be parents. I personally love it when a kid misbehaves at my work and the parent points at me and says, "If you don't behave that manager will get you." I still remember when I was growing up, and my brother or I starting acting up in a public place, my father would say, "Do you want me to take you to the car?" Neither my brother or I had any idea what would happen at the car but we knew we wouldn't like it. Neither of us were ever taken to the car. We straightened up. BTW, my father never spanked my brother or me. His warning was enough.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I was curious about which horror movies had earned the most in box-office receipts so far in this decade. A couple are okay films but none will ever be considered classics. It's kinda sad. Anyway, here's the top grossers in horror for this decade:
1) The Mummy Returns
2) Jurassic Park III
3) Scary Movie
4) What Lies Beneath
5) The Ring
6) Van Helsing
7) The Grudge
8) Scary Movie 3
Oh, well. Y'know gross may be the perfect word here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Okay, I'm irritated. I entered a screenplay in the Scriptapalooza 2006 contest. (See Blog below). The other day I start receiving "please remove" emails from people who are on Scriptapalooza's email list. Somehow, some way, the idiots at Scriptapalooza or one of their partners is sending junk email with MY RETURN ADDRESS! I have to contact my server and tell them what's going on. I write Scriptapalooza. Here's their response:
This is an email to address the problem of many people getting 10 or so emails from a Sponsor of Scriptapalooza. There was a problem with their server and by accident you got many emails. We apologize for this. We work very closely with many companies in order to give our entrants very good deals on screenwriting products and services. Again we apologize for the frustration that it caused you. Sincerely, Mark Andrushko President
Okay, Mark, get this straightened out and do it now. I don't want my email address shut down and I don't want a bunch of pissed-off people emailing me. Got it?

Friday, August 11, 2006

More comments to come later but this is one creepy, edge-of-your-seat movie about six female extreme adventurers who go spelunking in a remote section of the Appalachian Mountains. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Written and directed by Neil Marshall who was behind Dog Soldiers (2002) which was a little horror film about soldiers battling werewolves in the Scottish Highlands that I thought was totally cool.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


What was the event you attended today?

My high school, Santiago High in Garden Grove CA, held a reunion/fundraiser at the campus. Several classes were invited. I saw people who attended during the sixties, seventies (I was a member of the Class of ’73), and eighties.

Have you attended many reunions in the past?

A couple.

Why did you attend this one?

Not sure. I had the time. Thought it would be nice to “catch up” with some old friends. I’ve been thinking about the past a little bit more than usual lately. I have been ever since my friend, Thor Swanson, passed away. He was a member of the Santiago Class of ’73, too.

What was the first thing you noticed?

While I grew up in Garden Grove, I hadn’t been in that area for fifteen-twenty years. When I got off the freeway, I thought the neighborhood was smaller and more congested than I remembered it being. Some familiar landmarks were still there. Bob Mucha’s Chevron was now a Chevron Mini-Mart for example. A couple places were really rundown. Others had been remodeled or rebuilt.

What about the high school?

It was very clean and spruced up. More buildings. When I attended, there was barbed wire running along the top of the chain-link fences. That was gone. Someone else remarked on that, too.

How did it feel being on the old campus?

Weird. Good memories and bad memories surfaced. I don’t understand why the incredibly stupid stunts you pulled flash back first. Not that I did anything too bad. No drugs or fights or anything. But I always felt awkward and out-of-step in high school (especially in social situations where I always picked the wrong thing to say or do) and some of those feelings flooded back. Maybe they never truly go away.

What about your classmates?

Lord, I went to school with a bunch of old people. No, really, I remembered a few immediately and a few remembered me. One woman didn’t know me but remembered my younger brother, Tim. Another woman and I remembered working together at a part-time job but not going to school together. Met a few new people. It was good to see Seth, Bob, Karen, Brenda, Gary, Michelle and others. Found out that I’m not the only one who moved out to the Inland Empire. There were a couple of people that didn’t attend who I wished had. All were very nice.

Will you go to another reunion?

Maybe. We’ll see when it happens.

Why “we’ll see”?

I have to be honest. If my hair doesn’t fall out or turn completely gray and if I don’t put on anymore pounds around the middle, I probably will go. Oh, man, I did go back to high school in mind and body. Are my clothes cool? Will this stuff really cover up my zits? Will there be any cute girls there? If there are, what do I say that won't be dumb or embarrassing ?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Normally, most kids' movies fly underneath my radar. Okay, I have DVD copies of Bambi and the two Toy Story adventures. Thumper, Woody, and Buzz are cool characters. End of tangent. Back on point. The other day I saw a preview of Barnyard: The Original Party Animals. It took a moment before I realized something was wrong. Two of the male main characters are voiced by Kevin James and Sam Elliott. (James was cool in Hitch and I've always liked Elliott's work.) Their characters are male cows. Once upon a time, male cows used to be called bulls. I guess I missed the PC name change memo. But whether they're called male cows or bulls, they still don't have udders. Check it out. The bulls have udders in this movie.
Which means ... think about it, are these characters transgen ... nevermind. Bad thought. Still. The thought is now stuck in my head. The sequel -- Barnyard II: The Crying Game.
Need to get out more.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Late sixties. I was in junior high. Blistfully unaware of what was happening around the world and around the country. Didn't follow politics. That would change when I entered high school. Suddenly I was very aware and very sure that I knew the answers. But in junior high my major concerns were baseball, acne, and "how to ask a girl to dance when I couldn't dance a step." In my room, I started putting up posters. I remember three clearly. Raquel Welch from One Million Years B.C. Bardot on a motorcycle. There was a third that I was unable to find on Google. It was Peter Fonda as Wyatt in Easy Rider. I couldn't see the movie because it was rated R but Fonda sure looked cool on that Harley. I guess I hoped that some of it would rub off on me. Didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The heat continues. Across the whole country. Looking for a "cool" movie to watch. My suggestion is Ice Age or John Carpenter's The Thing or Jimmy Stewart in The Far Country. Steve Lee on his blog, Hollywood Lost and Found ( has several other suggestions. Check it out. And get a scoop of ice cream. Yeah, Rocky Road sounds wonderful.