Friday, June 30, 2006

Oooooooo, aaaaaaahhhhhh...

The Son heads off to Scout camp Sunday morning. New troop, new camp down on the coast of North Carolina. The Daughter, T and myself have no immediate plans for the weekend. I'm sure something will come up. (I do have a bag full of fireworks I picked up in South Carolina last summer...)

Have a happy 4th of July!

...he plays one in the movies...

FORT BENNING, GA. — Actor Tom Hanks was inducted Thursday as an honorary member of the U.S. Army's Ranger Hall of Fame for his accurate portrayal of a World War II Army Ranger company commander in the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and for his continued commitment to honoring those who served in the war.

Besides his role in "Saving Private Ryan," Hanks was cited for serving as the national spokesman for the World War II Memorial Campaign, for being the honorary chairman of the D-Day Museum Capital Campaign, and for his role in writing and helping to produce the Emmy Award-winning miniseries, "Band of Brothers."

Hanks, who was unable to attend the induction ceremony, becomes the first actor to receive such an honor.


Nope, no snark, just thought it was interesting...

Friday Alphabetical* Ten

*No more iPod party shuffle for me. Now I listen to the songs alphabetically by title. Mixes them up real good and there are no all.

Every Grain of Sand - Dylan

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - Police

Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

Everybody Wants to be a Cat - Psapp

Everybody's Gonna be Happy - Kinks

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey - Beatles

Everybody's Talkin' - Harry Nilsson

Everybody's Trying to be My Baby - Carl Perkins

Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung

Everybody wants to Rule the World - Tears for Fears

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Monster or Goat?

Can these guys...

...replace these guys...

...and make a whole lotta money at the movies? With Michael Mann at the helm, my prediction is...


This may seem like an easy prediction, but with Colin's haircut...

...this joker could end up "direct to DVD"...

Five, count 'em, five...

When this photo surfaced of radio giant Rush Limbaugh smooching 24's Chloe - Mary-Lynn Raksjub - at a recent Heritage Foundation event, tongues started wagging about the two of them dating. Bob over at Best Week Ever has posted five good reasons for her to date him...

1. Um
2. Hmm. Well… uh
3. You know, some girls… no, nevermind.
4. Because… wait, what was the question?
5. Pass.

Of course, the picture was before the Dominican Republic / viagra incident, and the five reasons was after...

Heartfelt condolences...

HOLLYWOOD - Moose, the Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie for over a decade on the TV series Frasier, has died. He was 16-and-a-half (115 in dog years). Moose died Thursday night of old age at his home near Los Angeles, according to his trainer Mathilde Halberg.

She tells People magazine, "He just had an incredible charisma and was such a free spirit."

Halberg rescued Moose from a dog pound in the early 1990s and soon discovered he was a natural actor.


A fine, fine actor...

Separated at birth?


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rock on...

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - "The Blood Diamond, a film in production starring Leonardo DiCaprio, could hurt diamond sales and the livelihoods of people in Africa, industry leaders warned on Tuesday.

The Warner Brothers film being shot in Africa shows how "conflict diamonds" financed bloody civil wars. DiCaprio portrays a mercenary jailed for smuggling in Sierra Leone, where a civil war lasting until 2002 killed 50,000 people...

In a press release issued in February, Warner Bros. Pictures said "The Blood Diamond", starring DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, had started production in South Africa and Mozambique. It did not say when it will be released and company officials could not be reached for comment. The unofficial IMDb movie database has the U.S. release date as January, 2007.

The diamond industry fears the movie could hurt sales, especially if it hits theatres around the end of the year during the peak holiday shopping season.

"The people that the movie is trying to help could be hurt the most if it's left without an explanation since livelihoods in Africa depend on income from diamonds," said Eli Izhakoff, chairman and CEO of the World Diamond Council (WDC).

"It will hurt them with a downturn in sales. It can have an adverse effect on all of Africa," Izhakoff said.


"Scuttle that movie or we'll shoot this dog African diamond miner"

What are you payin'?

Today: $2.89 for regular here in central Virginia...

Write Your Own Caption

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One Score

T and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary today - June 27. We've been married so long we're on our third dog...

Birthday Notice

Though recently squashed by a DC Comics superhero - Aquaman - it still behooves us to wish a happy birthday to Tobey Maguire!


Capitalizing on last week's amazing opening box office splash - the film's studio wasted no time unveiling the new Aquaman theme park ride. Aquaman himself - Vincent Chase...

...showed up for the fun and took the first ride. And how about that superhero costume!

Monday, June 26, 2006

MediBlog - Eyes Wide Open

This particular drug treatment I'm on has some on-going side effects: flu-like aches and pains, low energy. But there have been very special side effects that have come along at various points in the process - severe headaches, painfully dry mouth, night fevers, and night sweats. My RN told me that they can pretty much tell how far along in the treatment I am based on these evolving side effects.

So, what is the side effect for 35 weeks? Insomnia. Which is why you've been seeing a few late nite posts in the past few days.

Rockin' and NOT Rockin'

I finally got through episodes 2 of Lucky Louie and Dane Cook's Tourgasm currently running on HBO. Lucky Louie continues to disappoint, lying there on the screen like...

...well, yeah, spoiled squid. (Sorry, P.Z.) Seth Freilich, television critic over at Pajiba, agrees that the show is so flat you can't even accuse it of stumbling. He chalks it up to a failure to translate the stand-up humor of star Louis C.K. Full disclosure, I've never heard the guy's standup, but I did see him in an interview with Jon Stewart, and his schtick was funny in that context.

There's a lot of cussin' on the show, a lot of profane language and behavior...

Episode 2 featured three "humorous" sex scenes with the show's co-stars: Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K. - made "cutting edge" by the knowledge that they were bouncing up and down on the bed in front of a much touted live studio audience. Episode 2 was basically the old - women and their difficult orgasms routine - which wasn't even that funny back in the 70s...

I agree with Seth that the cussin' is distracting. The swearing is included to make the characters more "realistic." But real people don't talk like that. Oh, for sure plenty of folks swear like sailors on the job, in school, or hanging with friends. But husbands and wives don't talk to each other like they do on Lucky Louie. So it is indeed, distracting and off-putting.

There is some talent here - there was a great line in episode 1 when Kim was all a dither about getting pregnant and Louie was terrified that they couldn't afford it.

Louie: "We're fifty bucks overdrawn at the bank. We have to EARN fifty dollars just to be broke!"

That's not bad. The potential is there...I guess.

Louis C.K. deflates while Dane Cook pumps up. I felt the first ep of Dane Cook's Tourgasm was fairly lame. But the second ep came back with a vengeance. The material - both on the bus and on stage - was much stronger. They didn't cut things up as much giving you longer stage sequences. The focus was on Gary Gulman and this guy is funny. I'd love to hear a comedy album from him. Last night was episode 3 of both of these shows as well as Dead Wood and Entourage. Really looking forward to rolling through that tape. (No, I don't have a Tivo yet...)


LONDON - A British army regiment's ceremonial pet goat was demoted in disgrace after it marched out of line before a host of dignitaries during a parade to mark Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The military mascot, a 6-year-old male goat called Billy, was downgraded from the rank of lance corporal to fusilier — the same status as a private — after army chiefs ruled his poor display had ruined the ceremony earlier this month at a British army base in Episkopi, western Cyprus.


He better not foul up again - there's only one place you can go if you get busted from fusilier...

Caption this picture...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birthday Notice

Robocop co-stars Nancy Allen and Peter Weller, both celebrate birthdays on June 24. Nancy was born in '50, Weller in '47.

Speaking of Weller, I'm watching this History Channel bit on Roman engineering and you know how they pop those academics up to wax academically on the subject at hand, when suddenly I see Peter Weller - Syracuse University.

He teaches a literature and fine arts class at Syracuse University. He can be seen on The History Channel's new documentary on Roman engineering.

He holds a master's degree in Roman and Renaissance art and is working toward a Ph.D. One of Syracuse University's most popular professors.


I thought he was an "adventurer/surgeon/rock musician...

Friday, June 23, 2006

I shot bought Andy Warhol

NEW YORK - Bidders flipped their wigs Thursday at a Manhattan auction where one of pop art icon Andy Warhol's signature silver hairpieces sold for $10,800.

The wig, complete with three strips of toupee tape applied to its inside, was worn by Warhol during the early 1980s. Warhol first began wearing the hairpieces in the early 1960s, and they eventually turned into fashion accessories more than a cover-up for his baldness. Presale estimates for the hairpiece were $4,000 to $6,000.


Maybe Cher bought it for the troops?

Friday Alphabetical* Ten

*I quit using the Party Shuffle on my iPod because of too much repetition. Now I listen to the songs alphabetically. Every bit as mixed up, absolutely no repeats, and you'll hear every song you've got...

Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung

Dance the Night Away - Van Halen

Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone

Dance, Dance, Dance - The Beach Boys

Dance, Dance, Dance - Steve Miller

Dancing Barefoot - Patti Smith

Dancing Queen - Abba

Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol

Dang Me - Roger Miller

Danny Boy - Miller's Crossing Soundtrack

Danny Says - Ramones

MediBlog - Dragging On

The hope was that my treatments would be finished in late March but I didn't progress quite fast enough so I have to do the full 48 weeks. Energy remains the hardest hit - many mornings it's just too hard to get out of bed.

But my labs have been looking very good - they've cut me back to once a month on those. I've dropped about 20 pounds - not radically but over a few months - look better than I've looked in some time.

So I keep going. I'm just about half-way through the extended treatment session. Early fall should see me getting off the harsh medicines and settling down to some normal livin'...

A sit-down with the boss

Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano invites underlings Silvio Dante and Paulie Walnuts to a meeting...

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - James Gandolfini, star of HBO's mob drama "The Sopranos," is muscling into a salary dispute between two of his castmates and the cable network before production begins on the show's last batch of episodes.

With less than two weeks until the scheduled production start of the show's last eight episodes, Gandolfini is said to be looking to intervene in the network's standoff with Van Zandt and Sirico over their demands for higher pay.

Only a handful of "Sopranos" actors -- including Emmy winners Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli and Vincent Curatola -- have closed deals to appear in the final installments of the HBO gangster drama.

Following the network's decision in the summer to extend the sixth season of "Sopranos" from 13 to 20 episodes -- 12 to air this year and eight in 2007 -- the cast of the Emmy-winning series began negotiations for substantial salary increases for the final batch of episodes.

With the first table read scheduled for July 5, several key cast members, including Lorraine Bracco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Steven Schirripa and John Ventimiglia, have not signed on the dotted line to continue.

But it has been Sirico and Van Zandt, who play iconic characters Paulie Walnuts and Silvio Dante, respectively, who have had the toughest and most publicized renegotiations.

With each of the two actors and HBO still more than $500,000 apart on the money, and Sirico and Van Zandt not budging on their $200,000-an-episode asking price -- more than double their most recent fee -- a conclusion of the groundbreaking series without Paulie and Silvio looms as a real possibility.


Maybe he'll give each of them one of these delightful horsehead pillows...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Toulouse La Crap

Thursdays, 8pm, ABC

Introducing a one-hour weekly game show competition where only one contestant has unique skills, passion and determination sufficient to win the ultimate title -- Master of Champions.

Each week six competitors with some of the world's most unique talents face off in this one-hour competition to determine who is the best of the best. Our studio audience will pare the contestants down to three, who will then face the Panel of Champions for the final selection of one as the next Master of Champions!

Contestants will participate in such unique and extreme challenges as the International Human Fireworks, Interpretive Pizza Tossing, Blind-folded Foot Archery, the Extreme Unicycle Obstacle Course and Amazing Drift Driving.


Interpretative Pizza Tossing - What it is...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Vamp takes DC

Cher, who opposes the war in Iraq but supports the troops, says using her celebrity to promote effective helmets for U.S. soldiers is rewarding and "the right thing to do."

"To be able to use your celebrity for something that you really think is worthwhile is so rewarding," the 60-year-old singer-actress says in an interview that was to air Wednesday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" (10 p.m. EDT).

"It just makes you feel like this is the right thing to do. This is the American thing to do," she tells Cooper.


Cher has a lot of experience with protective head gear...

This week's controversy marketing stunt

A low-budget, inspirational football movie made by Baptist pastors in Georgia has triggered a flood of attacks by Christian groups that accuse Hollywood's main trade association of penalizing the film by giving it a PG rating.

In the last week alone, the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which oversees the rating board, has been swamped with more than 15,000 e-mails arguing that "Facing the Giants" deserves a more family-friendly G rating. The complaints — the number of which may be 10 times the previous record for reaction to a ratings decision — say the movie is being unfairly targeted for its religious themes.

This incident raises the disquieting possibility that MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and mindless violence," said Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Joan Graves, chairwoman of the MPAA's rating board, said Tuesday that the decision had nothing to do with Christianity but was based on football violence as well as the inclusion of mature topics such as depression and infertility.

In a rare interview granted in an attempt to defuse what she calls a controversy born of miscommunication, Graves said that although infertility and depression are involved in the coach's "crisis of faith," the religious story line itself did not raise a red flag.


Now, if they will only reconsider the NC-17 they gave that new Davey and Goliath flick...

Time to sell?

Just the other day Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced he was stepping down from the mega-software business to join the Bono universe and pursue philanthropic work with his foundation. We all just assumed that it was a George Costanza/Tony thing...

"He's so cool! I never got to hang out with a cool guy before..."

But today it was announced that another major Microsoft exec has left the company without warning. Martin Taylor - VP of marketing - has flown the coop. This is the guy who fought off Linux.

Does Taylor know something we don't...?

He's Chevy Chase...

...and you're not.

Chase returns - but not in a movie or tv show. Recently the original Weekend Update host recorded a Public Service Announcement on impeachment for (Scroll just a bit down the main page and look for Chevy on the right - click on his face to hear the message.)

This surprised me. I had gotten the impression that Chase had morphed into a pretty serious conservative in recent years. Clearly his early comedy days were marked with a take-no-prisoners brand of satire that one just doesn't see these days - none of that ironic detachment of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Chase went after Nixon with a vengeance.

I really can't remember what gave me the idea that he'd gone Republican. And frankly, the PSA doesn't necessarily refute that - his beef may specifically be with Bush and Cheney...



Birthday Notice

Mom and dad are both 59 years old today!

Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross - Happy Birthday!