Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catching Up

Okay, so I have been out of the "blog-loop" since Sunday, except for occasional peeks to see what was going on (and to keep my Google Reader from imploding!)

My thoughts on the recent "Celebrity Apocalypse":


David Carradine:


Okay, so arguably, Carradine is the recent death that kicked off this boom-boom-boom month of deaths. Carradine was someone I recall from childhood, mainly due to my mother's fondness for him and his role as Kwai Chang Caine on "Kung Fu" and "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues". To me, his best role was in the "Kill Bill" films.

But his weirdest role, and the one I will always think of now, was in "Sonny Boy", a small budget wack-a-doodle of a film from 1989 in which he played Pearl, who was either a man in drag living as the wife of another man, or just a strange, homely, lonely woman. So bizarre, I don't know what I could say to describe it other than "odd".


Ed McMahon:


Didn't really watch him as Carson's sidekick much, I knew him more from "TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes" with Dick Clark, and also from "Star Search".

He seemed like a good enough emcee. And he seemed like a nice enough guy, from what I saw of his TV-persona. Glad he is done suffering now.


Farrah Fawcett:


Out of the Angels, I was always a "Sabrina Duncan"/Kate Jackson fan. But who didn't know Farrah? She was more than just an actress, she became sort of the symbol of the 70s beauty. She was adored by millions of boys (and men) and copied by millions of girls (and women).

I was one who bought into the weird side of her, due to her appearance on Letterman a few years back. But the recent special that aired prior to her death showed a different side of Farrah. She was a woman who was battling a deadly disease with courage and a sense of humor. I am sad she is gone, but glad she is no longer suffering, as well.


Michael Jackson:


Wow. Even though he had been out of the major spotlight for so long, he was such an icon that he would always be one of the "big ones". In the 80s, was there ANY celebrity bigger than Michael Jackson?

I feel bad his life went so, so far off-track towards the end, and then I have to wonder how much was damage he did to himself and how much was the end-effect of the strange path his life had been on? But, as I was shown with Farrah, maybe we will just never know the really true life of Michael Jackson.

I have been able to listen to a lot of his music over the past few days, due to the radio tributes. When he was good, he was very, very good. Sad that it all fell apart.


Billy Mays:


Not much for me to say about this. Sad he died so relatively young and full of life. I feel bad for his family. He seemed like an energetic and fun guy.


Gale Storm:

Gale Storm

Not really too familiar with this older actress, I remember her more from a role on a episode of "Murder, She Wrote". I watch plenty of TCM, so I am sure I will come across more of her movies, and I am looking forward to it.


Fred Travalena:


Not too familiar with Travalena, but he was a face I remember seeing here and there over the years, and usually always involving a laugh. I guess I probably heard him more in many of the voice-overs he did in TV and cartoons, including The Jetsons, The Smurfs and Scooby-Doo.


So, my thoughts, not that they matter much. I think Dolly Parton summed it all up pretty well when she did this little piece about Jackson's death:

Don't believe in people "resting in peace", since I don't think you are "resting" (or anything else) after death. A fellow blogger came up with a different acronym: L.I.M. - which stands for "Live In Memory". I like that better!


Friday, June 26, 2009

My Daughter Met --- AQUAMAN!

My daughter and a bunch of her friends and schoolmates went on post-school trip to Six Flags New England today.

She had a great time, which was made even better when she met Aquaman!

pic is small due to cell phone

She has this to say about meeting the King of the Seas:

"Today, I met Aquaman. I was visiting Six Flags, and they had The Hall Of Justice, with Batman, Robin, The Green Lantern, and Aquaman inside. My friend Sarah and I visited the superheroes at least twenty times, and bugged the funions out of them. Aquaman and Batman gave us super-powers and super-names. Sarah could make dreams come true, (was) named Dream Catcher, and I was super fast, (and) named Synapse. Batman named us; he's a dork. Synapse are apparently fast things in your brain.

The superheroes signed my basketball, and Batman wrote on the part most difficult to see; Robin scolded him for that. Aquaman also signed my brand-new Aquaman t-shirt.

Aquaman had blonde slicked-back hair, the gold scaly chest, gold shoulder things, green gloves, an Aquaman belt, the green Spandex pants, and snazzy green boots. He welcomed our many returns, and told us Aqualad was at school in Atlantis. Sarah said it was summer, and he told us it's not summer in Atlantis. We then asked where Mera was, I forget what he said... I think he said she couldn't make it.

When I was telling him about my Aquabsessed (Aquaman obsessed) Dad, and I told him about the Aquaman signed comic page he has, he couldn't remember the name of his creator. It was funny =D!

Also, when we left for the last time, he held up his hand as though to wave (but didn't move his hand), so Sarah and I did the Live Long and Prosper sign, and he said, "What does that mean?" (he didn't know about the surface world, he told us), and we said, "It means 'Live Long and Prosper'!", and he said, "Is that a cultural thing?". I responded, "Yes. We are Vulcans." Aquaman was a very nice person, and Sarah and I enjoyed meeting him. =D "

This is the Aquaman "A" in the Hall of Justice:

Here is a pic of her looking very cute, with the shirt she bought and had signed by Aquaman:

Here is a close-up of the very cool t-shirt:

And a close up of the basketball she had signed by Aquaman, Green Lantern, Batman and Robin:

Very cool! Glad she had a great time!

And glad Six Flags is still showcasing DC's Finest!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Theme Thursday - Summer

Over at the "Theme Thursday" site it is all about "Summer".

Like most everyone else, when I think of Summer, I think of the kids being out of school, of beaches and vacations, of cookouts and barbecues, of drive-in movies and baseball games.


But, when it comes to films, there is only one place that comes to mind when I think of Summer:

Camp Crystal Lake

Camp Crystal Lake is the fictional setting for the "Friday the 13th" movies. A summer camp for kids, things were never the same after a small boy was left unsupervised by the counselors and supposedly drowned.

His name was Jason.

Camp Crystal Lake 5

The camp was closed for years after this tragedy. A couple of attempts to reopen were thwarted by mysterious fires. The camp remained closed until 1980.

Camp Crystal Lake 2

A man named Steve Christy tried to reopen the camp, putting lots of hard work into refurbishing the dilapidated cabins and training a new staff. His efforts would be in vain, however, since Jason's mother was determined to keep them from succeeding.

Camp Crystal Lake 4

The camp, darkly nicknamed "Camp Blood", has been called cursed by many over the years. The local town attempted to rename the area "Camp Forest Green", but it didn't last long.

Camp Crystal Lake 6

Yet some attempts to re-open the camp were successful, and little kids did fill some cabins over the years. But never for long.

Death is always on the itinerary of Summer visits to Crystal Lake.

Camp Crystal Lake 7


Some Crystal Lake links to peruse:

The Official Friday the 13th Films site has Film Location photos from Blairstown, New Jersey. Great before and after pics here.

House of Horrors has a Friday the 13th Timeline.

Blairstown, New Jersey is the town where the original movie was filmed, at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, a Boy Scout camp that wants no part of their horror film legacy.

There is even an online "Escape from Crystal Lake" game!


If you choose to go camping at Crystal Lake this Summer...

Camp Crystal Lake 3

Don't be surprised to find you aren't alone in the woods.


Check out what Summer means to other Theme Thursday participants!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Even Robots Like Their Java

Japanese Robot Coffee Maker:

Ain't she a helpful little pal!

Created by someone who calls himself "Clockwork".

Read more about her at Topless Robot!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guess Who Is 60 Today?

Bionic Woman Logo

~~ The great Lindsay Wagner is 60 years old today. ~~

Lindsay 2

~~ My very first crush was on Jaime Sommers. ~~

Lindsay 1

~~ She was played perfectly by Ms. Wagner. ~~


~~ Who won an Emmy as Best Dramatic Actress for the role. ~~

Lindsay 3

~~ Happy Birthday Lindsay! ~~


Lindsay's "Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart" site, LindsayWagner.com

Lindsay's Official Fan Club

The Fanland of Lindsay Wagner

A collection of Bionic Woman toys and merchandise.

The Bionic Woman Files

Lindsay's IMDb Page

Movie Monday - Yes! Time Travel!? Gold?


Yes Man (2008)

[Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper]

Received this as a Father's Day gift, and we watched it right away. I was pleasantly surprised!

Carrey plays Carl, a man who's life is not what he had hoped for, very negative and lonely. After reluctantly attending a seminar about always saying "yes" when confronted with choices in life, he grudgingly agrees to it.

Soon he finds his life changing in ways he never thought it would. He has fun, makes new friends and has some interesting (to say the least) experiences. The best of which is love.

Fun and funny, this movie is one of the better ones to come from Jim Carrey in the past few years. Sometimes he can be too much, too over the top, but here he is great in his role. And Zooey Deschanel is wonderful, as well. Loved her in Elf and love her here, too.

Recommended for almost all. There is one scene that is tough to explain to little kids, so you might want to send them out of the room. Or fast forward, at least.


Timecrimes (Los cronocrímenes) (2007)

[Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernandez, Barbara Goenaga, Nacho Vigalondo]

I watched this movie on the recommendation of Jason, from The Mad Ravings of an Entertainment Junkie. He raved about it, giving it 5 out of 5 skulls.

Well, he was right. Great film, even if I had one plot issue.

Don't want to give too much away, as anything would really spoil it for your enjoyment. I will just say it is about time travel and why it is really NOT a good idea.

This is a Spanish film with English subtitles, and the director has a role in the film, as well. Decent way to spend an hour and a half, that's for sure.

I see a remake is in development for 2011. Might see it, just to see how it turns out.


"The Long Ravine" (1965)

[Jack Lord, Andrew Prine, Broderick Crawford, Lisabeth Hush]

This was an hour-long episode of the short-lived 60s series "Kraft Suspense Theatre".

A young veteran comes to visit his sister and her husband, a man who has been like a father to him. The couple has been living in a very small town, as the husband is still pursuing his dream of striking gold in the mountains.

A great little "movie", showing the desperation people feel being so close to fulfilling their dreams, and the lengths to which they will go for them.

This show aired late last night on a new (to me) Cable TV gem called the "Retro Television Network". Some of the shows in their lineup included Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Mike Hammer, Hardy Boys, Black Sheep Squadron, Wagon Train, Dragnet, Emergency!, Adam-12 and many more! Very cool!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Funny - Daddy's Home

This week's Sunday Funny fits in with Father's Day - "Daddy's Home" by Tony Rubino and Gary Markstein.

click to enlarge

Funny. We recently had a chuckle when one of my kids made a similar faux pas when talking about their sternum, mistakenly calling it their scrotum. And yeah, it was my daughter. Hehehehe! Love ya Nik! :)

At the main site you can view archives, and at ArcaMax you can view info about the creators.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the Dads out there!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Strange Stuff to Share

Cal did a great post at his Canadian Cave of Coolness, where he posted some pics that just didn't fit anywhere. I myself have built up a few very odd 'odds and ends', and today I am sharing some with lucky little you!


First up, this is another Augmented Reality site (which I previously blogged about here) called Living Sasquatch.

Yep, you can make a virtual Sasquatch and watch him go through some emotions and movements. Very cool.

I made a little video myself: Bigfoot was in the house!

Weird, but fun!


Now this photo:

Midget on Table

I don't know what is weirder: the giant midget squatting on the table, the girl watching him or the MONKEY UNDER HER CHAIR!!!

What the hell...


Here is a cute (???) pic of Jason Voorhees as a kid:

Tiny Terrors Jason

Not sure if the seller is also the artist, but this is available to purchase on eBay. They are also selling versions with Freddy Kreuger, Pinhead and Leatherface, but not this one:

Tiny Terrors Michael

Jason and Michael "cute"... Not sure about that!


Some fun & sorta-easy games I have been enjoying:

Use Boxmen by Greg Sergeant

Star Beacons on Steel Panda

Four fun games promoting the new Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs


I highlighted Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal already in a Sunday Funny post, but this strip is just too good not to share:


Okay, shouldn't WE be the ones freaked out?!?


Again, what the hell???


Couple of links for ya:

50 Films You Can Wait to See After You're Dead

15 Awful Sequels to Great Horror Movies


Who, tell me, WHO would sit in this chair???

Sheep Chair

via freshome


Okay... enough is enough. I leave you with a happy pic:

Happy Midget

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Theme Thursday - Roof

Two ideas for this week's Theme Thursday, which is "Roof".


First, this joke:

There are two brothers, Sam and Dean. Sam asks Dean to to watch his house and cat while he is away on vacation. After a few days, Sam calls Dean.

"Hey, how are things? House still standing? How's my cat doing?"

Dean swallowed hard, "Well yeah man, your house is still standing. Nice place you have here. Sorry to tell you this, though, but you cat died."

"What?" Sam said. "You just can't tell someone that their cat is dead. You have to break it to them gently. The first time I call you should say that the cat is on the roof, trying to catch a bird. The second call you should say the cat fell trying to catch the bird as it flew away, and now it's at the vet. The third call you should be to tell me that the vet says that it's not looking good for the cat. On the fourth call you let me know that my cat died peacefully in its sleep."

Dean agreed.

"So," Sam continues. "How's Grandma?"

"Well, Grandma's on the roof."

This is a great joke that my wife and I, and others in the family, still refer to. "They're on the roof." is all we have to say, and we know what we are talking about!


Scene from "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers"

(just the first 2 minutes of the following video involve "roof")

Love how brave Rachel is, trying to save Jamie and herself, with Michael right on their tails! This movie is okay, not as good as the original, but not as bad as Part 6!


Click here for more takes on "Roof" from other participants of "TT"!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Monday ... missed it by *that* much ...


The Happening (2008)

[Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo]

This movie, by M. Night Shyamalan, is about some strange event causing people to harm themselves in fatal ways. It centers on a high school science teacher and his wife, and their attempt to avoid becoming victims as well.

I don't know. I just found this movie odd. The premise was interesting, but I just felt... let down, I guess. I suppose the point of it is "the unknown". I don't know.

Can't say I would recommend it, but it's not like it's a horrible film, either.


Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)

[Deborah Gibson, Lorenzo Lamas, Sean Lawlor, Vic Chao]

Well, I was excited to see this movie, as the hype over it a few weeks ago was intense. Seemed like it was going to be a really cheesy, but fun, action flick.

Sadly, I was more bored than anything. And my 13-year-old fell asleep halfway through the movie!

Too much of the film centered around the marine scientists and their drawn out realization of what they were dealing with, and then their plans to bring the two beasts together.

We do get to see some of the battle between the two at the end, but it isn't nearly enough to make up all that comes before. Recommended for die hard "mega animal" movie fans, but in general, it was just blah. A letdown.


On the Waterfront (1954)

[Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb]

This was the first time I have ever watched this silver screen classic. And I shouldn't have waited so long! What a great movie.

Brando is awesome as Terry, but so is everyone else in the cast, including Eva Marie Saint and Karl Malden. Just a great cast in a great movie, directed so well by Elia Kazan.

I am sure I don't have to summarize something so well known, but basically it is a film about how easy it is to do nothing when it is so very hard to do the right thing. Definitely deserves it's reputation as a classic.

Highly recommended, if you haven't already seen it!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Funny - Pearls Before Swine

This week's Sunday Funny is a more popular strip, and one that also runs in over 400 newspapers worldwide - "Pearls Before Swine".

click to enlarge

The strip above is one of my favorites. Just says so much in just that final panel.

Created by Stephen Pastis, the strip is an odd mix of humor dealing with four animal friends and the other characters in their lives. Rat, Pig, Zebra and Goat are very different, but each great in their own way. Pastis even appears in the strip himself occasionally, usually when Rat is admonishing him for a joke he doesn't care for.

On the official site, you can view archives, go to the official blog, shop at the Cafe Press store and read a FAQ. Wikipedia has a biography of Stephen Pastis, and you can even "friend" him on Facebook!


Friday, June 12, 2009

100th Post - And Some Thoughts...

Can't believe I have done a hundred of these posts. Time flies. Funny, too, that it coincides with something I have been thinking about for awhile, but was unsure how to put into words.

Recently I read a review that went into all the things that have been "wrong" with different aspects of the various Star Trek shows. One of them stuck with me and still annoys me.

The writer said that one of the problems with Star Trek: The Next Generation was that the main characters all "got along" and that was just too unrealistic for him. I thought that sounded so depressingly pessimistic! Why can't a bunch of highly intelligent and well disciplined people (as a Starship crew would be) all work at getting along and being friends? Is it that far-fetched of an idea?

Are shows where the main characters all antagonizing each other, or flat-out disliking each other, so ingrained in us now that we expect that to be the norm? Do we even WANT that to be the norm? Why can't a show that is supposed to be based in the future, with an advanced and progressive human race, be a nice place where people are capable of getting along?

This then got me thinking about the way we live now, or at least the way we seem to expect things to be. Is it wrong to want to live in a positive world, where optimism and good will are the rule rather than the exception?

It reminds me of this scene, from Knots Landing (jump to 9m 44s), after Gary dismisses Karen as a "Pollyanna":

Karen: "I wanna be a Pollyanna. I don't want to look at the world through rose colored glasses, I want the world to be rose colored. I want people to be nice. People should be nice. Nice should be the norm. I hate it that I can't trust anyone! I hate it that I can't put my daughter on the front lawn by herself! I hate it that I have to lock my car, and that I have to worry about an alarm system in my house, and I can't send cash in the mail! That's not the way it's supposed to be, Gary! I liked being a Pollyanna, I want to be a Pollyanna!"

I have to agree with a lot of what is said by Karen here: Why is it passé or naive to want the world to be a rose-colored place? Why is her positive outlook the one sneered at as silly?

Will Ferrell is a hit-or-miss comedian, but the character he played in Elf is a great one. Buddy is without sarcasm or pessimism, totally happy with the world and wanting it to be a good place filled with good people. Yeah, he grew up in the North Pole with happy little elves, but it is when he interacts with people in the "real world" that you see how out of place he is. And all he is doing is being positive, happy and upbeat. Why is he the one so out of touch?

Another example would be Phoebe on Friends. She is usually just taken as the daffy, flighty, air-head, but if you watch the character develop, she is wonderfully interesting. How many sitcom characters have a past that involves a dead-beat dad, a mom who killed herself, and a life living on the streets? Yet Phoebe is hardly ever morose and dark. She is upbeat, loving the world and her time in it. And yet again, she isn't the norm, but rather the "odd one".

I know - I am being naive. The world is too complex, filled with too many different people and cultures wanting, needing and doing different things. And it isn't bound to change any time soon.

Just sometimes makes me sad.

I guess the only way to help change things for the better is to just be one of the positive, upbeat, optimistic people, no matter how "cool" it is to be dark and pessimistic.

Maybe, someday, rose-colored will be the norm.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Theme Thursday - Swing

The theme chosen this week at Theme Thursday was "Swing".

Tough theme, I kept drawing a blank. Here is what I came up with:


Baseball Swing, Part One

I never played Little League as a kid, but my youngest son is playing on AAA for the first time this Spring. His team has been doing great, and the kids (and their parents) are having a fun time.

Little League

He usually has the position of catcher, which he has improved at so much over the season. But one of the things he has been working hard on is batting. He had gone quite a few games without a hit and it was bugging him. Everyone had advice and tips for him, and he was trying it all.

A couple of games ago, he got his first hit, a bunt. Very cool! And tonight, he had another bunt and then got a great hit, a grounder that cracked off the bat. The throw to first was fast, and he was out, but it was an awesome hit!

Great job, Dave!


Baseball Swing, Part Two

A major league baseball player having issues with the swing of the bat is David Ortiz, the Red Sox DH (Designated Hitter). He has been having a really tough year, with his stats down all over the place.


But the faith us Red Sox fans have for our Big Papi hasn't shaken. We are pulling for him each and every game. Last night, he had a great home run against the Yankees, and I don't know who was more thrilled - Ortiz or the fans!

You can do it, Big Papi!


Next is this amusement park ride, called the 'Alpine Swing':

alpine swing

I haven't gone on one of these since I was a little kid, but my younger kids and our 'nephew' have gone on it quite a number of times. I can only imagine the feeling of freedom they feel is mixed with a little bit of nausea!


Last is one of my favorite places to sit, when the weather permits it:

This is a stock photo, but the same model we have.

This is the swing we have on our deck, overlooking our backyard. I love just sitting and swinging with my wife, watching the kids play or swim in the pool, tossing rocks for our dog to search for, and sometimes just enjoying the day, a cool breeze, and peace and quiet.

We also love that the two side tables are ATTACHED to the whole frame. We had little tables with our previous swing, but our dog and/or kids kept knocking them over. No more now!


Hope you had fun with these random bits and pieces. If you get a chance, swing on over to the Theme Thursday site and check out what the other bloggers have in store for this theme!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

100 Best Movie Lines in 200 Seconds!

Check this out:

Couple more I would have added:

"He had the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes..."

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

But there is no denying how many great ones are included!

Check out more from Liquid Generation!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Movie Monday - Evil Things

Evil Things (2009)

[Gail Cadden, Laurel Casillo, Morgan Hooper, Ryan Maslyn, Elyssa Mersdorf]

I heard about this film on another blog, Freddy in Space, by Johnny Boots. He loved it, so I took a chance on it.

First off, this film hasn't been released yet. Johnny received a 'screener copy', as I did. And it arrives in quite the interesting packaging. The yellow envelope has a return address of a USDOJ Agent. Inside is a plastic "evidence bag" containing the DVD and a business letter from the FBI, both with information concerning the events seen on the DVD included, which is supposed to have been sent to the FBI anonymously.

Written and directed by Dominic Perez, the movie is about five friends who are heading off together to one friend's aunt's home, a way-off-the-beaten-path house in the woods. They are going there to celebrate said friend's 21st birthday.

On the trip up, things get a bit creepy when they keep seeing the same van on their journey. Is he following them? Or are they being paranoid?

Once they finally arrive at the house, they put the van out of their thoughts and enjoy a night of partying. The next day they almost get lost in the woods, letting their impatience and fear get the better of them.

Back at the house, they feel safe once more. But are they?

The film dragged a little bit, in some of the overly long scenes between the 'action'. But, there is also something to be said for the build up of calm and normalcy, which is felt by the characters as well as the audience. Sort of the old "just when you thought it was safe" bit.

Sometimes, especially in the very dark, night scenes, the hand-held cam technique can be too much for me. I don't know what I am seeing (or not seeing) and it can be confusing. That said, it may be more an issue I have then other people do. And maybe the confusion is part of the whole experience. Feeling what the characters feel, the unknown and the fear.

All in all, this is a pretty good movie for a lower-budget indie production. My interest was held throughout most of the film, and I was anxious to see what was going to happen to the characters. The end could have lasted a bit longer, to me, but that is just a minor quibble.

When/if this is released in theaters or on DVD, it would be interesting to see what changes are made. As it is, it's a good little film, something different and worth a viewing. And hey, the promo-packaging material is pretty fun stuff!

Evil Things Official Site

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Funny - Least I Could Do

Today's comic strip is Least I Can Do, by Sohmer and Lar.

This fun strip is about Rayne Summers and his friends Noel, Mick and John, and others in their orbit.

Here is a tame example (click to enlarge):

I had to search for one that was 'safe' for all eyes! hahahaha

Least I Could Do is great fun, and Rayne is quite an interesting character. He has a love for all things 'pop culture' and a passion for life that sometimes goes over-the-top!

On Sundays, the strip is called Least I Could Do Beginnings, and features a very young Rayne and his family. Here is today's strip (again, click to enlarge):

Fun to see how Rayne was as kid and how he became the man he is today!

At the site, you can view archives, learn about the cast of characters, download avatars or wallpapers, read the forums or visit their online store.

If you have Facebook, you can also add 'Rayne Summers' as a friend!

Hope you enjoy it, I know I don't miss a day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Land of the Lost - a 70s classic!


Okay, so my family and I have been watching a lot of DVR'd episodes of the 70s classic "Land of the Lost", since Sci Fi Channel has aired three marathons of the show in two weeks time.

A quick synopsis of the show, for those who don't recall it:

The Marshall family, consisting of dad Rick and his kids, Will and Holly, encounter an earthquake while rafting the rapids. Plunging down a waterfall, they go through a strange mist and wind up in the Land of the Lost.

The Land is what Rick calls a "closed universe", meaning it is sort of like a small world unto itself. Strange things live here, and we are left unsure as to how they came to be here. Were they trapped, as the Marshall family was? Or are they natives?

The family goes about trying to stay alive, avoiding hungry dinosaurs and menacing Sleestaks, lizard-like humanoids that hiss a lot and are generally bad news. They also meet another, less dangerous race of beings called the Paku, small, hairy, missing-link type creatures, who are primitive in intelligence, but have developed a language of their own. One, Chaka, becomes a good friend.


The series lasted for three seasons on Saturday mornings, from 1974 to 1976, with a total of 43 episodes. At the beginning of the third season, Rick Marshall was pulled through a doorway in a magical pylon, presumably winding up back home. At the same time, his brother Jack, who had been searching for his missing relatives on Earth, is pulled into the Land and is rejoined with his niece and nephew. Spencer Milligan, who played Rick, supposedly left due to a contract dispute.

This marked a major change for the show, one of many changes the third season had, including a 'dumbing-down' of the stories and premise of the show that ultimately proved too much. It was canceled soon thereafter.


Without a doubt, this was a Saturday morning kids show. But it shouldn't be quickly dismissed as JUST a kids show. Where so many of the programs before (and since) were mindless entertainment, this show (and other Krofft Productions programs) tried to be more than that.

You can look at it now and laugh at the effects, consider them laughably cheesy. But at the time, it was good stuff. And anyone who shrugs off the stories as silly hasn't really watched them and paid attention. The writing, acting and production is above par, not just for it's time, but for now, as well. These stories were well thought out, well written and were produced with sincerity for the integrity of it all. The writing may have dropped off in the third season, but the actors were still putting their all into it.

And it shows. Re-watching these episodes with my kids, I had a fear that they would dismiss the entire thing as "too cheesy" or "too old". There were some chuckles over the dinosaurs appearance (it is a post-Jurassic Park world, after all) and some laughs at obvious green-screen type work.

But I was happily surprised. They liked the show. They liked the characters. And they were getting involved in the stories, these old stories from 30 plus years ago were still able to catch and hold onto audience of kids today. That speaks more about the show than I can, really. And they have been using one of the phrases from the show, when expressing something that is a bummer - "Fat rats!" hahaha


I am struck, as well, by how into their roles the actors were. Spencer Milligan never gave a hint of embarrassment at playing the dad in a show like this. He gave Rick Marshall a brain and a heart and, in my opinion, should have been given whatever raised he wanted for the third season. He deserved it.

Welsey Eure and Kathy Coleman, as Will and Holly, were energetic and talented kids who could act circles around some of the so-called actors on kids shows these days. And I have seen my share of them, thanks to my own kids.

In the first two seasons, the show didn't play down to it's audience. In fact, it is just the opposite. They knew kids were smart enough to follow the plot and to grasp some of the weightier ideas they threw about. And they even went beyond that, since some stories were more than kids minds could grasp, and instead gave them something to think about and to use their imaginations with. That is respecting your audience, and it is too often lacking in kids shows (and adult shows) today.


In the early 90s, Krofft attempted a revival of the show, with a different family called the Porters, but it didn't take, lasting only 26 episodes over two seasons. I haven't seen this version since it's original airing, so I can't comment on it's quality compared to the original show. I have heard that the character of Christa, a young woman who grew up in the Land, was originally planned to be an adult version of Holly, but the plan was quickly dropped. Could have made for an interesting story!

Now there is a major motion picture based on the show, starring Will Ferrell as Rick Marshall. I have a bad feeling that this movie is going to be more of a parody of the show than a true, respectful version of the real thing. But, I will wait until I see it for myself to make a decision either way.

One thing I don't care for is that the cameo appearances by Wesley Eure and Kathy Coleman have been cut from the film. From what I have read, the ending was completely re-shot and their scenes were cut. I know it may sound nitpicky, but it would have been a real treat for fans of the old show.

I have also read some of Wesley Eure's blog. He is pretty open about how him and Kathy, and Philip Paley (Chaka), have been treated during the process of the new movie's ad campaign. He isn't bitter, just resigned to the fact that they aren't the stars anymore. That said, I think they could have been treated so much better. Yes, they aren't the stars of the new movie. But they are the stars of the original, and they are loved by many fans still. It is a shame to ignore them, but paraphrasing Eure, that's Hollywood, I suppose.

Regardless, we will always have the original show to watch and enjoy for what it is: good entertainment produced with intelligence and heart. My thanks to all who were involved in it's production, you made something special, loved by more than one generation, now.

Some Land of the Lost links & some videos!

A great, detailed review of the show (and a pic of Enik!)

An awesome fan site - Land of the Lost Dot Com

Tyrannosaurus lex - another cool Land of the Lost site

Wikipedia article all about Land of the Lost

Wikipedia page for the 90s remake show

Land of the Lost fan fiction and more

Offical site for the movie "Land of the Lost"

UPDATE: "Where are they now?" article about the stars of the show!

UPDATE: Great blog from RETROSPACE on the show!!!

Below, the opening theme song!

And here are parts 1 and 2 of more recent interviews with Kathy Coleman and Wesley Eure - Good to see they are still friends!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Theme Thursday - Clock

My original intention for today's Theme Thursday was to do a short written story, somehow involving the chosen theme: clock. But, best laid plans and all that.

To make up for this, I am presenting you with the first ever masked superhero. Yes, he pre-dates even the great Batman!

From 1936, I give you:


Clock 1

The Clock fought crime wearing a business suit and a full-face black mask. Occasionally, he left a calling card which read "The Clock Has Struck".

The alter ego of The Clock was Brian O'Brien, a one-time college athlete and former district attorney. He had a couple of sidekicks, Pug Brady first and then a teenage girl named Butch.

Clock 2

The character appeared in a variety of books for Comics Magazine/Centaur comics, and then was acquired by Quality Comics when the former company folded. The Clock continued to appear in their various comic books until 1944, when masked superheroes were on the wane.

In the mid-50s, DC Comics acquired Quality's properties, but they didn't make much use of this historical character and The Clock lapsed into the public domain. The character has had passing mention in at least one DC comic, the 90s hit Starman.

Malibu Comics published two issues of a comic in the early 90s, with a mix of heroes, including The Clock, who was now President of the United States, having long since retired from superheroics.

Click the pic above to read a reprint of a Clock Adventure!

Some links:

Info on the history of The Clock, comics' first masked super-hero.

Toonopedia page on The Clock.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Most Loved Meme

Okay, yesterday was about the "hate", so today is all about the "love"

And I am already late, as Cal has already done this one, as have Darius Whiteplume and Dr. Monkey!

Love Coffee

Here we go:

1. Most Loved Food: So many to choose from! I will go with Chicken Parmigiana with Garlic Bread. Mmmmmm

2. Most Loved Person: That would be Ravyn, my Mrs. I am one lucky dude!

3. Most Loved Job: Have to say that I loved aspects of my supermarket job. The organization part of it filled a neurotic OCD need my brain has, which in turn made me pretty good at it.

4. Most Loved City: Well, it's a town, but I really love little York, Maine.

5. Most Loved Band: Red Hot Chili Peppers.

6. Most Loved Website: I guess I will have to go with IMDb, since I am always checking it to find out some obscure fact or another about movies and TV.

7. Most Loved TV Program: Friday the 13th: The Series

8. Most Loved Movie: Halloween. The original, not the remake, of course.

9. Most Loved Artist: Dolly Parton. I know you may think I am playing loose with the term, but I am not. She has such a talent for writing and performing music that hits just the write spot in the heart and brain.

10. Most Loved Book: The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The movie is awesome and the book is so wonderful, as well. I think I am gonna read it again this year.

11. Most Loved Shop: Yummies in Kittery, Maine. Wall-to-wall candy, with many retro favorites.

12. Most Loved Organization: The ACLU.

13. Most Loved Historical Event: Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle.

14. Most Loved Sport: Baseball, 'nuf said.

15. Most Loved Piece of Tech: PCs. They have changed the world, and my life is one of the many profoundly affected for the better.

16. Most Loved Annual Event: Christmastime. We celebrate a non-religious holiday that goes from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, and we try and enjoy everything about the season, so that it isn't all just build up for one quick day.

17. Most Loved Daily Task: Having the first cup of coffee in the morning.

18. Most Loved Comedian: Right now, it is Jeff Dunham and his menagerie.

What do you think?