Dear 2016


On a personal level, you were a mixed bag.

In February, I was finally hired at my job after working months as a freelancer and I love it. I can’t imagine being anywhere else (in terms of commute, location, the job itself). Also in February, I had a little incident with the parking garage arm while exiting on my scooter. I didn’t write about it since it happened at work.

In April, Ann spent a few days in the hospital after experiencing chest pains. Everything checked out fine and she’s has no problems since.

The summer saw us spending time at quite a few local spots and some not as close.

And in October, I had a second incident on my scooter which was a little more severe than the one in February. But I’m fine and it’s all taken care of, even if the scooter was declared a total loss.

All in all, the good definitely outweighed the bad and for that I’m thankful.

But enough of me. Nobody can look back on you, oh 2016, without thinking about all of the talent we’ve lost. I compiled a list of those I could think of, and note that since starting this list I had to reluctantly make some additions to it:

abe vigoda
Abe Vigoda of Barney Miller

alan rickman
Alan Rickman

alan thicke
Alan Thicke

arnold_palmer
Arnold Palmer

beth howland
Beth Howland of Alice

billy paul
Billy Paul, known for his hit song “Me and Mrs. Jones”

carrie-fisher-debbie-reynolds
Carrie Fisher (12/27/16) and her mother Debbie Reynolds (12/28/16)

dan haggerty
Dan Haggerty of Grizzly Adams

dave mirra
Dave Mirra

david bowie
David Bowie

david huddleston
David Huddleston, who was in two of my favorite movies: The Big Lebowski and Blazing Saddles

doris roberts
Doris Roberts

erik bauersfeld
Erik Bauersfeld, voice of Admiral “It’s a trap!” Ackbar

florence henderson
Florence Henderson

garry marshall
Gary Marshall

garry shandling
Garry Shandling

gene wilder
Gene Wilder (seen here in Blazing Saddles)

george s irving
George S. Irving aka Heat Miser from The Year Without A Santa Claus

george kennedy
George Kennedy

george martin
Sir George Martin, producer extraordinaire

george michael
George Michael

glenn frey
Glenn Frey

gordie howe
Gordie Howe

greg lake
Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer

harper lee
Harper Lee

3201004P NEW YORK METS
Broadcaster Joe Garagiola (seen here with Gary Carter, who died in 2012)

john glenn
John Glenn

jon polito
Jon Polito, who also was in The Big Lebowski

kenny baker
Kenny Baker

kimbo slice
Kimbo Slice

leon russell
Leon Russell

leonard cohen
Leonard Cohen

maurice white
Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire

merle haggard
Merle Haggard

morley safer
Morley Safer

mr fuji
WWF star Mr. Fuji

muhammad ali
The GOAT

nancy reagan
Nancy Reagan

natalie cole
Natalie Cole

pat harrington
Pat Harrington of One Day At A Time

patty duke
Patty Duke

pete burns
Pete Burns

RA1004_PRINCE
Prince

prince be attrell cordes
Atrell Cordes aka Price Be of PM Dawn

robert vaughn
Robert Vaughn

Rod Temperton
Songwriter Rod Temperton

ron glass
Ron Glass, also of Barney Miller

vanity
Vanity, Prince protégé

zsa zsa
Zsa Zsa Gabor


So hey, 2016. Your time is up.

Seriously. Get out. You’ve done enough damage. Nobody will miss you.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2017!

 

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Jumping The Shark


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The term “jump the shark” is used to describe a ridiculously stupid, pivotal moment in a television show’s history that drives the proverbial nail in the show’s coffin.

It was based on a moment in Happy Days when Fonzie literally jumped a shark while on water skis – and of course, wearing his trademark leather jacket.

But now that we’ve been watching terrestrial TV and an abundance of syndicated old TV shows, it’s plain to see that Arthur Fonzarelli did a ridiculously amount of stupid things that make jumping a shark seem like a normal event, like riding a bull and saving the dude ranch (a completely unnecessary two-part episode that included way too many songs sung by Potsie) or participating in a demolition derby to prove to Pinky Tuscadero that it’s no place for the girl he loves.

But I guess “jumping the shark” just sounds better.

TV for Dummies


Okay, now that it’s taken my laptop a good 10 minutes to finally decide it’s going to work for me, I can start tonight’s post.

For all intents and purposes, I don’t watch a lot of TV. In fact you could say that my viewing habits are practically nil when you consider the shows I watch on a regular basis: Big Bang Theory and Cosmos. That’s honestly it, and I just started with BBT this year.

How little TV do I watch? This may blow some minds but I’ve never owned a DVR nor ever had the desire to. Now I’m not sure when the DVR was invented but I can say that I haven’t recorded a show since I owned a VCR and even in my latter days of owning a VCR, I didn’t record much. I suppose a few reasons why I don’t watch much are that a) having been a background actor, it’s hard for me to find any escapism in them and b) they mostly seem like a monumental waste of time.

Dancing B-list stars don’t impress/entertain me, nor do “reality” shows. Also, I never subscribed to the cable channels that showed the most popular shows. We also literally and figuratively cut the cable cord a few months ago and haven’t missed a thing. (Roku, Hulu, Chromecast and broadcast TV are what we now use and even then, I rarely watch anything.)

I had to turn to my Facebook friends to give me some suggestions about today’s most popular shows so that I could take a stab at writing what I think they’re about or at least come up with an embellishment that would be slightly entertaining. They spoke, I listened.

Here, then, are just a few of their suggestions along with my ideas of what may transpire when watching said shows. Keep in mind that I’m totally clueless about most of them; I may know a character’s name but as far as plots and everything else, I’m completely lost.

24: I know a little about this one. From what I understand, Jack Box runs around on his cell phone while pointing his gun at people. I hear he also shoots it quite a bit, mostly for fun. A real renegade who needs a Bluetooth.

Castle: Seems simple enough. It takes place in a castle, right? It would have to with a name like that. I’d wager there’s always some kind of battle going on either within it or outside of it for complete reign of the country. I could be wrong, though.

Game of Thrones: This sounds like an imported Japanese game show in which contestants are made to eat ridiculously bad foods (or insects or insect droppings) to the point of nausea. Then, once they are near vomiting, they must play a game of Musical Chairs only the chairs are port-o-potties, or the “thrones.” The remaining contestant gets the throne, and the right to use it. In Japan, the show would be known as Bidet Sickness Impulsive! (ビデ病気インパルス!)

Veep: Veep is about an alien who was sent to earth on a recon mission. He has taken on a human form so as not to blow his cover. We won’t know what his real mission was until the final episode.

Mom: This is a spinoff based on the Futurama character Mom. With her three sons in tow, the comedy (slap) never (slap) stops (slap)!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: The acronym stands for Super Human Intelligence with an Emphasis on Language Detection. It’s about a group of proofreaders who proofread medical documentation in several languages by day and fight crime by night. Gee, this plot sounds really familiar, except the fighting crime part. I don’t have a superhero outfit.

Naked and Afraid: Some things don’t need an explanation.

Person of Interest: It’s a live show, 22 solid minutes (with 8 minutes of commercials, of course) of The Most Interesting Man in the World dispensing his wisdom to callers via Skype.

I think you get the idea.

Yes, I’m totally clueless. And no, I’m not ashamed of it.

13 More Pictures of the New “Amityville Horror” House


First and foremost, I need to explain a little bit.

As I post my pictures of the location and the interest in this movie continues to gain momentum, I’ve witnessed a blatant disregard for the intellectual property in regards to my images. I’ve seen many of them being reposted on Instagram and while I have no problem with that, when users go so far as to crop out my watermark on the image, that’s when it becomes an issue.

The watermarks on the images serve two purposes: to clearly indicate the owner of the image and to deter unauthorized use so when someone doesn’t ask permission or give me credit, at least my Twitter handle will still be visible. That hasn’t been the case with the images I’ve seen on Instagram where the watermark was cropped out completely.

While I understand that trying to prevent images from spreading like wildfire online is practically impossible, intentionally omitting the owner’s mark and pretending that the images is yours for the sake of gaining 200 likes is, in a word, uncool. That said, I have had bloggers contact me asking permission to use them to which I agreed as long I was given credit for them. All of them have complied but it only takes a few bad non-blogging apples to spoil things so from this point on, I will be watermarking the images with my Twitter handle in a conspicuous location on the image as well as applying filters so that they are more distinct. Hopefully this will alleviate things or at least show who the rightful owner is.

Besides, I will always own the original, hi-res versions.

With all that out of the way, here’s today’s batch of images from the new Amityville Horror location. It’s been almost a few weeks since I last went running through the park so a lot has changed. Here’s a shot approaching the rear of the set.

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Walking up to the set, it appears that a lot of the props are now starting to be placed. Here we see a small boat as well as some gardening tools.

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The rear of the house seems to be taking the longest. Since my last visit, roof tiles have been placed, windows installed, and painter’s tape/masks removed from the existing windows.

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In addition to this, a fence has been constructed around the backyard and foliage – real and artificial – has been set in place.

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Compared to last time, we can see that this side of the house appears to be much more detailed with the addition of shrubs. Although not visible here, zooming in on the original image shows that house now looks more weathered than it did before. Those SFX guys are amazing.

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I wasn’t able to get a good 3/4 shot last time so here you go.

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The front of the house.

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Another shot of the infamous home. Note the prop tree stump and firewood. You also get a better view of the wooden fence from this angle. Filming must be happening soon if the details are going in now.

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Also put in place since last time was this big pile of firewood which I saw the security guard messing with as I was walking by. I’m not sure if he was going to bother me or not so I played it cool with taking pictures until he was out of sight. I should have just taken them anyway. (I mean, come on, it’s in a public park. We have a right to be there!)

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An interior shot showing wallpaper being hanged. Note the “NOT A STEP” warning written on the ledge above my watermark.

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A better shot of the backyard details.

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The backyard fence.

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And finally, from afar.

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At this point I went back to my 2-mile mark to hydrate a little bit then continued on my way. Unfortunately, I had worked 8 hours (4pm – midnight) the previous day and my knees just couldn’t take much more punishment, especially working on 3 hours of sleep. I ended up walking the rest of the way, my route shortened from the standard running of 9 miles to walking 4 miles. To top it off, my Endomondo app kept losing my GPS signal and my measured distance was way off. It was a horrible workout overall and I didn’t even save it. I’ll save a better workout later on.

One more thing I’d like to address. I’ve gotten questions as to whether the set was located near a lake. The answer is yes, it is, but not entirely close to it. Click to enlarge the image, courtesy of Google Maps.

amity map 2

And with that, this post is a wrap. I will post more images as I take them. Hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve gotten so far.

Blogging 365, Day 41: The Grammys Summarized


I’m making tonight’s post another brief one since I’m pretty much pooped out again. It’s just my take on tonight’s Grammy Awards.

grammys

It’s been years since I watched them because I can’t take all the fluff, all the nonsense and most importantly, all those long-winded self-ingratiating acceptance speeches.

Well, except for Steely Dan’s back in 2001. This is what they all should be like (scroll to about 1:00 of the clip):