Friday, September 21, 2012

Freddy Flintstone Sells Firewood

I'm always on the lookout for unusual & homemade tributes to The Flintstones. While on vacation this summer, somewhere in the backwoods of Western Pennsylvania I spotted this old sign advertising firewood for sale. I quickly spun the car around and circled back to snap a picture. The sign features Freddy Flintstone from the late 80's series The Flintstone Kids, chopping away at some wood. It's not often you see anyone take the time to immortalize the Flintstone clan in their younger days.
Also check out The Flintstone Wall that I found in Virginia a few years ago.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flight 93 National Memorial

Last month, my family and I visited the Flight 93 National Memorial located at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in an open field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
The Memorial sits about 3 1/2 miles off the main road. Near the parking lot is a small plaza with some information about 9/11, the plane, the flight, the area you are standing in and the people on board the aircraft. You can scan the signs with your smart phone to access narration and additional information. The plaza also features a Visitors Shed.

 The white marble wall is laid out in the flight path of Flight 93 moments before it crashed.
 The crash left a crater in the Earth which was filled in after investigation. The boulder was placed in the approximate spot where the plane impacted.
At one vantage point behind the white wall there is a better view of the impact site, with the grass cut leading to the spot. At this point, you are standing in the exact spot where the plane was a second before it crashed.
The white marble wall is made up of 40 individual slabs, each made out of a different type of marble. Each wall segment displays the name of a passenger or crew member.

The wall along the walkway leading to the main part of the memorial is lined with areas where people can leave memorials. Everything left is collected and archived.

This photo is from the Visitors Shed where you can leave a message.
Overall, a very chilling and somber experience.


Friday, September 07, 2012

#6 - Violets Are Blue (1986)

Sissy Spacek returns to her childhood home of Ocean City, MD where she rekindles a romance with her high school boyfriend (Kevin Kline) who happens to be happily married with children. As their secret romance blossoms, one thing remains the same - the sound of carousel music. At least 80% of the romantic yarn is scored with the constant sound of a carousel. If one were to view this film, without the knowledge of the geography of Ocean City, he or she would come to the conclusion that there is either a merry-go-round on every corner of the city, or the one merry-go-round pictured is the loudest amusement park ride every constructed by man.

At night, when dining with Kline's family, the amusements from Ocean City can be seen in the distance cross the bay. Easily a few miles away, yet dinner music is provided by the carousel. Never mind the fact that Spacek decides she's going to walk home, even though her home has got to be at least 4 or 5 miles away.

In fact, the only time where the two of them get anywhere near the Ocean City carousel, is during an amusement park rides montage which is legally bound to require generic 1980's "having fun" music:

Don't values win out in the end. The carousel never kills anyone, and Kevin Kline eventually decides to return to his wife and child. That is after he has sex with old girlfriend in a sand dune while wild ponies watch on and he shows us his bare rear end.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

30 Days 30 Films: An Introduction

I'll admit right off the bat that this project is kind of stupid and totally pointless. My goal is to watch 30 films during the 30 days of September. I realize this is not a major task. There are plenty of movie buffs out there who watch dozens of movies a week. I assume that these movie buffs don't have children. I do. Now that they are back in school, I'm devoting my stay-at-home parent time into getting our house ready to put back on the market. So while I do have more time on my hands than the average working Joe, finding the time every day to watch a movie is not always an easy thing to do.

Obviously to watch 30 movies in 30 days I need to average one movie a day. As soon as I miss a day, I become backed up and then have at least one day where I need to watch two movies. If several days go by, I can get back logged very easily. Last year I kept track of all the films I had seen. When all was said and done I had watched 204 movies throughout 2011. That's an average of 17 movies a month. I've got some stuff on the calendar for the month of September, including a week where I have something pretty fun planned for almost every night of the week, so it's won't all be a piece of cake!

Before you say to yourself, "Why doesn't he do something useful with his time?" let me just add that besides the fact that I love movies, I don't watch/follow sports and I don't watch much television. Most days, I don't turn the TV on for my own benefit until 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and that's usually to watch a movie. I'm not a big fan of running the TV for background noise nor do I ever flip channels and just watch "whatever is on." When I sit down to watch television (be it a show or movie) I usually watch something from beginning to end. After a day of chasing around two kids, arguing with them and listening to a nonstop barrage of noise and yelling, I look forward to a quite 90 minutes to two hours in front of a good movie at the end of my day.

There's no rhyme or reason as to what movies will be viewed in these 30 days. It could be anything from a new release to an old favorite I've seen a thousand times.

The main purpose of this project is not to watch 30 movies. I'm hoping this silly little endeavor will provide me with a writing challenge and project. Not only will it give me something to write about but it will give me the drive to work on writing about film. It will also give the dominant creative side of my brain something to think about while I'm cleaning out the garage and packing boxes of stuff. Hopefully along the way there will be some good news to share about the sale of our house.

Thanks for reading!
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