Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bad Weekend at McDonald's

As reported in the Police Log of our local newspaper:
Sunday 2:20am A male faces charges after urinating on the drive-through speaker at McDonald's on B Street.

Now I've heard of getting pissed off but that's ridiculous, don't you think!? Now look what happened the next night:
Monday 1:32am A male faces charges after urinating on the drive-through speaker at McDonald's on B Street.

Typo? or sad commentary on society?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Library Video

My good friend Bill Rollins (who directed me in the still-unreleased thriller Past Demons) just completed a short film for a contest promoting libraries. Sounds like a dry subject for an up and coming filmmaker to tackle, but Bill's video is hilarious and very creative. Bill, himself, plays the role of the mayor in this production. The role was originally to be played by yours truly but I had to back out at the last minute. Now having seen the finished project, I'm very disappointed that I couldn't be a part of it.

Leave a comment for Bill either here or on YouTube and let him know what you thought of it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Three Amigos!

THREE AMIGOS was probably the first movie that I saw in the theatre and then rented the weekend it came out on home video and then taped off of HBO the first night it was on and then watched it dozens of times more after that. For 13 year old me, nothing could be better than Chevy Chase and Steve Martin in a movie together! I recently had the Amigos' Theme Song stuck in my head so this evening I dug out my VHS copy of THREE AMIGOS and gave it a play in the ol' VCR. It still remains a very funny movie with some great gags and tons of highly quotable lines. If you haven't seen it in a while it's worth a revisit, if for nothing else then to reacquaint yourself with the SAT word plethora.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Return to New York

This past Thursday I returned to New York City to once again audition for WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONARE. Again I took the test which was made up of 30 questions on such random subjects as Flags of European Nations, Grey's Anatomy, poker, fabric, KISS, The Great Gatsby, and fractions. And again after the test I didn't hear my number called as one of the lucky few who moved on to the next round of the audition process. But that's ok, because the other main reason for the trip to NY was just to do some good old fashioned sight seeing! After last year's trip, my wife declaired she never wanted to visit New York City again so this year I went with my good buddy Kevin. (He also auditioned for the show, and he also did not make it.)

Sadly, for two fat guys visiting The Big Apple for the day the highlight of the trip was food, in particular a visit to The Stage Deli. Kevin had been several years ago and raved about their pastrami and he was looking forward to having it again. I opted to go for a sandwich with a bit of a variety in it and ordered the Conan O'Brien. This celebrity created sandwich was piled high with not only pastrami but also corned beef and brisket. It was fantastic, the meat was so tender and juicy it was like nothing I have ever experienced before. A visit to the Stage Deli is highly recommended next time you're in NY!

We also happened upon the Letterman Show theatre where we saw Biff Henderson making his way back to work. He said hi to us as he walked on by. At the CBS store I bought Tanner a cute little Late Show with David Letterman t-shirt and I got Joey a King of Queens shirt. (His favorite show!) We made our way to Times Square looking for an ABC store as Grey's Anatomy stuff was requested by my wife. ABC does not have a store New York, by the way. But the M&M's do, we visited their huge 3-story store. Do people really need all that stuff with M&M's on it!? Across the intersection from M&M's is Hershey's attempt at a Times Square store. It's not even as big or as plentiful as a gift shop at Hersheypark! We also stopped by the Toys R Us and Virgin Records stores in Times Square.

From there we headed up to Rockerfeller Center to check out the NBC Experience Store. I'm happy to report that even though the majority of the merchandise is related to current shows, I found two ALF magnets for sale among the Law & Order golf balls and the Heroes coffee mugs. Next door to NBC is a very fancy French chocolate store that Kevin wanted to check out. We sampled some very fine chocolates and a $5.00 Vanilla Macaroon that was out of this world!

Of course I also ended up at the World of Disney store, which is basically a Walt Disney World gift shop plopped right in the middle of Manhattan. I actually didn't spend more than a couple of bucks there since we had just been to WDW in March I had already seen most of the stuff.

One of the things you come away with after visiting New York City for a little while is the fact that people in New York have no idea how to drive! They all think they're big and bad with their New York attitudes and their F.U. way of life but when it comes right down to it...they are idiots and they can't drive! No one uses a turn signal, no one wants to let you merge, and lane markers on the road are only a mere suggestion of where you should drive your car. It's just a complete free for all with horns honking everywhere and people's idiotic! People in New York use their horn more in one five minute span of time than most people do in their entire life!

And if they want to continue to claim they're the greatest city in the world they might want to consider dropping the utter lack of manners the city has. A lady was approaching a door I was about to walk through, she had a baby in a stroller so I opened the door and held it open for her. She looked at my life I was crazy, meanwhile three people walked right into me from behind because they were dumbfounded as to why I stopped and held the door open.

After a day of putting up with all those self-centered people, battling the traffic and then competing with thousands of other people to escape the city through two little holes known as the Lincoln've had your fill for a while. New York is n a nice city to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kool-Aid Man Video Game: Greatest Video Game Ever

Seriously, Kool-Aid Man for the Atari 2600 remains one of the greatest video game experiences modern science has conjured up for us! Here's an ad straight out of a mid-80's comic book announcing the upcoming arrival of the Great Glass Pitcher in all his 8-bit glory. This is really a great game, so great in fact that I wrote about it exactly one year ago. Check out the archives in the left hand column for more on Kool-Aid Man from May 14, 2006.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Story Session at Hanna-Barbera

This is the kind of stuff that I used to eat up as a kid. Today we have featured a one page write up from a 1970's comic book on a story session at Hanna-Barbera. First of all, I love the old "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" logo. To me, this logo just about sums up everything that was right with the 70's. The story itself is about how writers at the Hanna-Barbera studios came up with ideas for a Scooby-Doo show. Even though I've never been a real big Scooby-Doo fan, I've always loved behind the scenes at H-B. This is also an example of some of the odd one page, non-comic features they would run in comic books in the old days. Of course nowadays they wouldn't waste their time on charming features like this. They'd use the pages to cram in a few more ads for Mountain Dew, Starbursts and the latest Jamie Kennedy movie.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Party Supplies

Now you can do a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed kids birthday party right with tons of new party supplies from Hallmark. Check out these Bubble Blowers here on the right. Very Mickey - Very Fun! They've got all the stuff you'll need for a party with the tablecloth, plates, cups, napkins and all that sort of stuff covered. You can also get Mickey Mouse Clubhouse decorations and banners as well as goodie bags and cake decorations. I've seen most of the stuff at WalMart, but you can order everything online from Below you'll also see pictured Mickey party blowers and a fun little Mix-Up Activity. If you're thinking about celebrating your little one's birthday with the Mouse you might want to pick some of this stuff as soon as possible. Last year I was lucky that I decided to go ahead and grab all the CARS stuff early in the summer because it was all gone once my son's birthday rolled around!

The Flintstones Ride That Never Was

I stole this image from another blog a couple of weeks ago. It's concept art for a full blown Flintstones attraction at a theme park. Apparently somewhere along the line there were some plans for a whole Hanna-Barbara Theme Park. My guess is those plans were before Fred, Yogi, Scooby-Doo and the rest of the H-B gang ended up at the Kings Parks (i.e. Kings Dominion and it's sister parks) How cool does this ride look, though. A ride through the town of Bedrock starting right at Fred's garage. I'm sure this ride would have easily been my favorite ride had it ever been built. It might have been possible a ride like this would have seen the light of day 12 years ago when The Flintstones were pretty hot, but nowadays the stone-age family seems to be fading out of the pop culture radar.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Weird Al" Rocks B'more

Last night I saw my all-time favorite performer"Weird Al" Yankovic live in concert for the third time. This time he polka-ed the lederhosen off of Baltimore with a show at Rams Head Live, an intimate little venue near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The space provided a great view of the stage from anywhere in the house, and I was fortunate enough to be about five rows back from the stage so I had a real good view and could see everything going on up on stage upclose. Even when the mics sputtered out from time-to-time I could hear Al singing over the music. It's thrilling to get to see someone so up close when you've been a fan of their's for 23 years.

The show itself was great. Al and his band opened with Polkarama, an upbeat polka medley of popular Top 40 hits by other artists. Then they played a few more songs from the latest CD, Straight Out of Lynwood. Over the course of the evening, Al performed 9 of the 12 songs of his new album. He also did some stuff not found on any album. The crowd was enthusiastic to hear "You're Pitiful" a parody of "You're Beautiful", which was released on the internet last summer but never made it to the CD. We were also treated to a brief new parody of the song "I'm in Love with a Stripper" entitled "I'm in Love with the Skipper" - an ode to the Gilligan's Island character of the same name.

The highlight of the evening (in my opinion) was the encore where Al and Co. performed their 1999 tune Albuquerque which clocks in at 11 minutes and 25 seconds. It's a great song, and it was cool to see Al just be Al without all the costumes and preplanned gags.

Another thing really neat about a "Weird Al" show is the crowd. There were all sorts of people there from early senior citizen all the way down to 6 and 7 year olds. In fact, it looked like some kid was having his birthday party there. It's fun when you can get all kinds of different people together just to laugh and be silly!

A great evening! I look forward to seeing Al again next time he tours!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Weekend Update 5/4

We had a very fun weekend. Joey was off of school Friday and Jennifer didn't have to work Friday or Saturday night (which is very rare!) Friday after Elias was done with school we headed up to Gettysburg to have lunch at one of our favorite spots The Avenue. It's just a little hole-in-the-wall diner that's been there since electricity was invented but they have some interesting menu items and they have THE BEST Cream of Crab soup I've ever had anywhere! It is SOOOO good. It's worth a trip just for the soup!

After lunch we headed over to the battlefields and visited Little Round Top and Devil's Den. Both are areas of the battlefields that are covered with lots of big rocks that you can climb on and get lost in all sorts of mazes of rocks and caverns and stuff like that. The kids had a BLAST! Of course Jennifer and I spent most of the time making sure no one fell to their death. You could have a pretty bad accident up there!

From there we drove down to the Homestead in Union Mills. This is a little park across the street from where my wife grew up. She spent many hours playing there when she was little, so we took the kids there to share it with them. They were all in a very outdoorsy mood at this point, so they enjoyed running through the fields and seeing the ponds and creeks.

Needless to say, the kids slept very well that night!

Saturday was FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, a promotion where comic book stores all over the country give away free comic books. I'm not a big comic person, but one of the free books they were giving away was a reprint of Mickey Mouse Sunday comics from the 30's, so you know I was interested in that. Joey and I got up and went to the local comic book store pretty early. Joey's been wanting to get into comics so this was a good way for him to pick up a few books and see what he might be interested in. I got my Mickey book as well as an Uncle Scrooge book and a book of Peanuts strips that have never been reproduced. I also grabbed a Spider-Man title for Elias which Elias has already poured over several times already asking me tons of questions about The Hulk and Captain America (who appear in ads.) He's very much into the whole superhero thing right now.

After our comic book trip, we loaded the rest of the family in the car and headed up to the Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster County, PA. We spent a nice relaxing evening there playing in their indoor kids water playground as well as their regular swimming pool. We had a nice big dinner at their all-you-can-eat restaurant and took a walk around their duck pond and played on the playground. Another all-you-can-eat meal for breakfast the next morning rounded out our little trip.

Hope you had a good weekend. There's some pictures from Gettysburg on our flickr page, if ya wanna see them!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tom Poston Was Awesome

Veteran comic actor Tom Poston passed away at his home Monday night after a brief undisclosed illness. He was 85. Poston had a staring role on two of the greatest sitcoms of all time. Most notably he played George Utley, the goofy handyman at the Startford Inn on NEWHART for 8 seasons. He was also featured as the grumpy downstairs neighbor Mr. Bickley on MORK & MINDY.

Tom Poston's television career started to take off when he was a featured actor on THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW (1956-1960). From there he made appearances in many classic shows like CHiPs, GET SMART, and THE LOVE BOAT. His numerous television roles included guest spots and reoccurring characters on shows literally from the beginning days of television up to modern day pieces of crap like 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER and THAT 70'S SHOW.

Most recently he could be seen on the big screen in THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2 and CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS. Sadly, his last job was on the Disney Channel train-wreck THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK & CODY.

But to me, he'll always be Mr. Bickley and George Utley.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Syndicated Series - "Small Wonder"

Here's another great sitcom that was on several times every weekend and I would watch every airing I could: SMALL WONDER. That right there my friends - is television! SMALL WONDER was another 'high concept' show (as they called them) about the Lawson family. Dad Ted was a robotics engineer who build a robot that looked just like a little girl. He calls his project a "Voice Input Child Identicant" or VIKI (Vickie) for short. Ted brings the robot home to learn how to act more like a real girl and the Lawson family decides to pass Viki off as their adopted daughter. Then the fun begins. Viki has superhuman strength but has no emotion, so she sometime takes everything literally. If somebody asked her to say...hit the lights on your way out Viki would knock a lamp off the table as she exited the room! Or if the mom asked Viki to help her move the sofa while she was vacuuming, Viki would pick up the whole couch with one hand. That's crazy! Man, that was a good show. It was also the first time the public took notice of actress Edie McClurg who played nosey neighbor Ms. Brindle. After two seasons on SMALL WONDER, McClurg left the show to play nosey neighbor Ms. Poole on the network sitcom VALERIE. (She was also the high school secretary in FERRIS BULLER'S DAY OFF.) Also I gotta mention that the mom in SMALL WONDER was also in NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CLASS REUNION (Love that Movie!)

Seriously, this show is long overdue it's DVD box set. It did well in the ratings, hanging on for four seasons, airing from September 1985 through the beginning of 1989. According to the internets, it was a big hit in India, China, Pakistan, Brazil and Peru.

And who can forget that great theme song! Check out the son's Gremlin pajamas in the intro!

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