Thursday, September 27, 2007

MSNBC is predicting that ten businesses and services will vanish in the next ten years. A couple I didn't know were still around now.
1) Record stores
more and more folks are buying on-line
2) Camera film manufacturing and development
digital has taken over
3) Crop dusters
crops still need to be sprayed for bugs and stuff -- don't know about this one
4) Gay bars
segregation is ending
5) Newspapers
cable television and on-line news
6) Pay phones
can't find any of these now
7) Used book stores
on-line is faster
8) Piggy banks
hard to put a debit card in a piggy
9) Telemarketing
10) Coin-operated arcades
sorry -- can't play pinball on a computer

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Oklahoma newspaper is reporting the following plot info on the new Indiana Jones movie as told to them by an extra in the film: 1. The story concerns a search by Indy and the Soviet army for a priceless skull made of crystal, hidden in the jungles of South America; 2. Indy is taken hostage by the Russians who threaten to kill his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son if he doesn't cooperate; 3. One of the Russians is played by Cate Blanchett who questions Indy in the movie.
The New York Post is reporting that Steven Spielberg is P.O.ed about the leak. I'm gonna see the movie anyway.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.
It works for me. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sometimes I check the "By Referrals" program on the SiteMeter to see how folks ended up at my Blog. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it's funny and sometimes it's head-scratching time while muttering "Huh?"
Here's a few topics that people wrote in the subject line on Google who referred them to me along with others. No comments, just the Google topic:
The most, of late, have been my name, the movie 3:10 to Yuma, and western movie endings.
The others are punched in one time:
1) Kate Walsh
2) Charles Bronson
3) Pernell Roberts
4) Christian Bale
5) Robert Conrad
6) Marry Our Daughters
7) "I want to enter my house justified." (Note: a line from Peckinpah's Ride the High Country.)
8) Sean Connery nude
9) Sean Connery spanking
10) wearing tight leather pants
11) wearing only a poncho
Have a nice day. I'm going to take some more NyQil.
Oh, what the heck. Let's show another picture of Kate Walsh from Grey's Anatomy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Okay, get sick with the flu for a couple of days and what happens? One, you write a dumb blog (see below as an example) and you miss the latest news. O.J. Simpson gets busted in Las Vegas for kidnapping and armed robbery, the Fed lower interest rates, and a guy puts up a web-site called MarryOurDaughter. (See story:
On MOD, folks listed their daughters as prospects for an arranged marriage in the Biblical tradition. Each young woman had a price tag (excuse me, dowry, that was to be paid to the parents) and most (if not all) were under sixteen years of age. Okay, the whole thing was a hoax but it brought to light the fact that several states allow marriage under the age of sixteen -- Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, and New Hampshire (NH's minimum age is 13). Mississippi and South Carolina allow girls but not boys to marry under sixteen. At least, I think that was the reason they put up the blog.
First -- the blog appears to be shut down. Yeah, I was curious so I Googled it. Second -- the blog was only up for a little more than a week. How did so many people find out about it so quickly? Put up a blog and a week later it's a MSNBC and Newsweek cover story. Third -- and this is the scariest part (okay, it's all scary). The blog had 60 million hits. What do you type into the subject line of Google to find something like this site?
Finally, at my age and all I've been through, why do "some" people and the crap they do still amaze me?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

E.W. & Britney -- Oh, the Horror
I opened my mailbox and there was my weekly issue of EW. I nearly screamed.
Okay, here goes. My rant: I want to know about the latest movie releases, television shows, and books. Occasionally I even read about the latest music releases. I enjoy Stephen King's musings. I don't give a damn about what Britney, Lindsay, Paris, and Nicole are up to and I hate the fact that I know who they are. I don't care that Tom Cruise and John Travolta are members of Scientology (however you spell it); O'Donnell left The View; and Brad and Angelina are whatever this week. I don't want to read, see, or hear about this crap. I don't want to see it on the evening news or heard about it on my car's news radio station. But it seems I can't get away from it. So I guess I need to go with the flow.
Did ya hear ... Britney Spears got irritated at a paparazzi who wasn't taking her picture and threw a copy of The Inheritance by Christopher Stires at the man. She wasn't wearing underwear at the time.
Lindsay Lohan claimed she was only at the after-hours night club to pick up a copy of Rebel Nation by Christopher Stires from her rehab buddy. She wasn't wearing underwear at the time.
Paris Hilton saw a copy of To the Mountain of the Beast by Christopher Stires on a coffee table and tried to put in the DVD player. She wasn't wearing underwear at the time.
Christopher Stires was penalized for unsportsman-like conduct and whiney behavior. He wasn't wearing underwear at the time and his Levis were chafing him.
All done now. The soapbox is passed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Private Practice-New Promo

Kate Walsh dancing naked in her new condo in the new ABC show "Private Practice."
After the video, check the links to my novels -- "Rebel Nation," "To the Mountain of the Beast," and "The Inheritance."

My article, "Firsts in Television," is up on the Bewildering Stories web-site ( It's a short article on the first time different events occurred in television broadcasting ranging from the first "live" broadcast of a news event (a fire in New York City in 1938) to the first viewer interactive broadcast (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2001). Check it out. It's fun.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I decided to try something new. In honor of Halloween, I've posted a poll to ask what is the best scary movie of this decade. I selected the choices from a variety of sources. Basically it came down to my choices. I haven't seen all the films listed. Yet.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I watched more western movies again this week. The marathon came to a peak today when I went to the theatre and saw the new 3:10 to Yuma with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. A good western but not great. The ending, although different from the original, doesn't work. The original has problems with its ending, too. Crowe and Bale given solid, believable performances but the two stand-outs for me were Ben Foster as Charlie Prince and Alan Tudyk as Doc Potter.
The other westerns I watched this week were John Ford's Rio Grande starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara; Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece The Wild Bunch with William Holden and Robert Ryan and Ride the High Country with Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea; and Seven Men from Now starring Scott and a young Lee Marvin.
Good movies. Ride the High Country has one of my favorite movies lines in it. When asked what he wants, ex-lawman Steve Judd (McCrea) replies, "All I want is to enter my house justified."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Several westerns that I recall from my childhood and junior-high days have stayed with me. A couple I've seen recently on the Westerns Encore Channel and TCM, but most are only memories in my mind’s eye. The following list is ten westerns that aren’t available on DVD and I wish they were. I know I’d probably be disappointed in at least a couple but I’d probably end up buying them anyway.

In chronological order:

Robert Taylor (Quo Vadis, Ivanhoe) guides a wagon train of mail-order brides to California. A rare western where the female characters aren’t schoolmarms or saloon girls (as they used to say in the Hayes Code era). Plus Taylor’s sidekick buddy is Japanese. This film seems ripe for a remake. Calling Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott.

Sterling Hayden (The Asphalt Jungle, The Godfather) plays Jim Bowie during his final days before and up to the Alamo. Ernest Borgnine (The Wild Bunch, Marty) plays Bowie’s adversary then buddy in one of the actor’s early roles. A lean, tight climax with the fall of the Alamo.

THE TALL T (1957)
The second film, in a loose series, starring Randolph Scott (Ride the High Country) and directed by Budd Boetticher. Scott and a wealthy woman are held for ransom by a trio of bad guys led by the always-terrific Richard Boone (TV’s Have Gun, Will Travel). A very lean, no frills movie.

The first movie starring TV’s Clint Walker (Cheyenne). An old-school Indians-on-the-warpath storyline. A very cool supporting role by Brian Keith (The Parent Trap, TV’s Family Affair).

Another in the series by Scott and Boetticher. This one has Pernell Roberts (TV’s Bonanza) and Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly) in it. And the first role for an actor named James Coburn (The Magnificent Seven, Affliction).

Clint Walker again. Here he plays a mountain man who becomes involved in another Indians-on-the-warpath storyline. Walker is surrounded by every contract player at Warner Brothers in the late 1950’s. As a kid, I remember really liking this movie. One of the small parts is played by the great character actor Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch, Stripes).

Glenn Ford (3:10 to Yuma, Superman) plays a gunfighter turned preacher in a lawless town. David Carradine (Kill Bill, TV’s Kung Fu) is one of the bad guys and Barbara Hershey (Hoosiers, Beaches) has one of her first roles. This one I’m afraid is probably a stinker.

This movie shouldn’t be on any list. One look at the picture at the top of the blog should explain why. Raquel Welch (The Three Musketeers, Legally Blonde) becomes a gunfighter to track down the three brothers who murdered her husband and raped her. She spends the first half of the film wearing only a poncho and the second half wearing skin-tight leather pants and the beloved poncho. The brothers are played in a demented Three Stooges style by Ernest Borgnine and two great character actors Strother Martin (Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and Jack Elam (Support Your Local Sheriff, Once Upon a Time in the West). Robert Culp (TV’s I Spy) and Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) are also in the cast but you’d swear they were in a different (and better) movie. Whoa, I remember more about this one than I thought.

This is a 21 hour mini-series for television. It spanned 200 years around a town in Colorado. It starred just about every dramatic TV actor of the day. Robert Conrad (The Wild Wild West), Richard Chamberlain (who did about a 100 TV mini-series), David Janssen (The Fugitive), Dennis Weaver (Gunsmoke, McCloud), Robert Vaughn (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and dozens more. But this series, based on the James Michener novel, was very well done. Solid entertainment.

Maybe Centennial makes up for Hannie Caulder. Nope, pilgrim, it don't.

Monday, September 03, 2007

3:10 to Yuma - Trailer

According to Box Office Mojo, these are the top grossing movies so far in the good ol’ USA. (The Lindsay Lohan thriller I Know Who Killed Me is #100 – IMBd voters gave it 3.7 out of 10.)
1) Spider-Man 3
2) Shrek the Third
3) Transformers
4) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6) 300
7) Ratatouille
8) The Bourne Ultimatum
9) The Simpsons Movie
10) Wild Hogs

I’ve seen two so far. Wild Hogs in the theatre and 300 on DVD. In the top 100, I’ve also seen Distrubia, 1408, Shooter, and The Lives of Others. Not very current, am I? Most of the films I see anymore are on DVD and cable. I do want to see Stardust and the up-coming 3:10 to Yuma.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Shameless plug: My article, The Top Ten Movies in Outer Space, is currently on the Bewildering Stories web-site. Check it out:
I received this story in the mail the other day from a friend. Oh, God, did I relate to this. So I decided to share:
A lady died this past January, and credit card company billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge.
The balance had been $0.00, now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to card company.
Here is the exchange:
Family Member: "I am calling to tell you she died in January."
Associate: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."
Family Member: "Maybe, you should turn it over to collections."
Associate: "Since it is two months past due, it already has been."
Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"
Associate: "Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!"
Family Member: "Do you think God will be mad at her?"
Associate: "Excuse me?"
Family Member: "Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?"
Associate: "Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor."
Supervisor comes on line.
Family Member: "I'm calling to tell you, she died in January."
Supervisor: "The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply."
Family Member: "You mean you want to collect from her estate?"
Supervisor: "Are you her lawyer?"
Family Member: "No, I'm her great nephew." (Lawyer info given)
Supervisor: "Could you fax us a certificate of death?"
Family Member: "Sure." (Fax number is given)
After they get the fax:
Supervisor: "Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do to help."
Family Member: "Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care."
Supervisor: "Well, the late fees and charges do still apply."
Family Member: "Would you like her new billing address?"
Supervisor: "That might help."
Family Member: " Odessa Memorial Cemetery ,Highway 129, Plot Number 69."
Supervisor: "Sir, that's a cemetery!"
Family Member: "What do you do with dead people on your planet?

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Selleck has only made six westerns. In another era in Hollywood (when westerns were made on a regular basis), his starring roles as a westerner would be three or four times that total. Selleck is one of the few working actors who appears right-at-home in this genre.

The six by release date (latest to oldest) are:
Monte Walsh (2003)
Crossfire Trail (2001)
Last Stand at Saber River (1997)
Quigley Down Under (1990)
The Shadow Riders (1982)
The Sacketts (1979)

The highest rated on IMBd is Quigley. My favorite is Crossfire Trail.