Nov 15

Back on the road again

We went to see the new James Bond movie late last night. Here’s my proof:

We went because some of the kids in the family just had to go see the movie. And if they didn’t they might die. As in, tomorrow. Or perhaps today. It is hard to say with Sudden Onset Bond Deprivation. So we went to the film. The kids were out before the first action sequence was over. Now, to be fair, we were at basically a midnight showing. On the other hand, these are teenagers. And we old folks managed to tough it out.

I probably couldn’t recount a lot of the plot points to you. I was awake, it just seemed an eminently forgettable film.

We got Chinese food for reasons that were almost immediately regrettable, post-Thanksgiving feast. Our fortunes:

Because philosophy cookies never sell at the same pace as fortune cookies.

We left town to this sign. And this is how you know the meme has reached pretty much all four corners of the globe. If it makes it up there … where, N.W.A was probably very late in arriving … it has made it everywhere.

And so we were back on the road today. We were doing the four hour drive at a slower rate because two teenaged boys were in the car behind us. They’re coming to spend the weekend and going to the Iron Bowl. Did I mention the cat went on our Thanksgiving tour with us?

I wonder if she’d eat turkey.

Oct 15

Somehow I made this all about cameras

The park, the crack of the bat, umps making bad calls, managers doing their best to make the umpires look good. (Seriously, you don’t make the last out at third.) Ahh, baseball. It is a communal sport to me at this point. I’ve long since stopped watching it on television. I don’t follow standings or stats or side stories of any league at any level. But I will go to the park to watch a game. And I’m always pleased to do it if there are people around I know a little bit.

Mostly, though, I go for the peanuts. Peanuts are usually a springtime food for me. But I had a few today, and that seemed like something to take a picture with.


This is the other side of having a camera in your phone. It sometimes creates the opportunity for an uninspired pic. I would have never brought my Canon to my eye, let alone changed the aperture or adjusted the shutter speed for that snapshot. But, it allowed me to get a few sentences on sport and legumes, so there’s that.

Here’s the podcast I recorded yesterday. This is with one of my students, and the features editor of the Crimson. He’s my first student guest on this program. Hopefully the first of many. Jimmy did a great job and this episode shows how easy it could be for others interested in such a conversation. If you like movies, you’ll find this a very interesting chat. And, he said, his mother was proud to hear it. Hi, Jimmy’s mom! Check it out.

It occurs to me now that I should have pulled out the phone to take a picture of him in action. I bet his mom would have liked that even more. Except the background would have been pretty flat. So I could dress up the room. At which point I would be inclined to take that shot with my DSLR …

In a mostly-unrelated story, this is at least the third television outlet to give this a try:

It is in play at a Scandinavian station. It underwhelmed in an American news shop. But I’m sure it’ll be tried again. We already have the technology to do this sort of thing from our homes on the cheap. I’m shopping for green screens right now. Someone, in their den or an extra bedroom or basement, is going to resurrect the phrase “When news breaks, we fix it!”

It’ll be all downhill from there.

Sep 15

You will never see John Cage Travolta the same again

Views from a ride I had this weekend:


It was one of those rides where you do a few things surprising, while not doing other things. This is not a disappointment. You huff a little, you sweat a little. You might think it is a bit late in the year for that sort of thing, but you see that sun sinking and you realize you notice that it is falling earlier. And that you noticed that is important, because you know you’ll soon wish for more days when it was warm like that, and you had scenes like this:


Here’s a good read. The Spiritual Path to Kona:

Lantz has raised more than $100,000 for charities over the course of his 13 IRONMAN races, but his focus isn’t just on the money. “I always pick a person who needs added inspiration in their life to go with me on the race,” he explains. He laminates a small picture of the person to carry with him on the course, proudly holds the picture up in his own finisher photo, and then gets a keepsake from the race to give to the person. “I want them to have something to remind them of their worth in the eyes of God, and my love for them,” says Lantz.

One such person was Josh Lucio, a boy with NF1 (neurofibromatosis Type 1) from Mesa, Ariz. “What Josh has had to endure is far more challenging than doing an IRONMAN,” says Lantz. “Despite his severe scoliosis and having tumors around his heart, he is a positive human being and a warrior. If I was able to play a small part in helping him stay focused and healthy, then I’ve used my IRONMAN journey to bless another.”

Lantz raced for Josh at IRONMAN Lake Tahoe, struggling to make it over the finish line before the 17-hour cutoff. “I had to finish for Josh at all costs,” Lantz recalls. “He watched me cross the line from his house.”

Allow me to make you rethink the entire second half of your 1997.

Face/Off came out in June of that year. And now I’m going to shake it all up. What if they were miscast? What if Travolta was originally Castor Troy and Cage was FBI agent Sean Archer, and they switched?

In the inevitable remake, I vote for Robert Pattinson versus Taylor Lautner.

Podcasts! Here are two of them. First, looking around the SEC.

And, second, trying to unwrap the Auburn enigma while looking at foreboding statistics:

Chadd there was my first radio mentor. Great guy. Learned a lot from him. Still do.

Sep 15

I’m BFFs with a cult movie star

Yesterday Variety reported that Ronda Rousey is going to play Dalton in a re-make-imagining-production of Road House. I’m the kind of guy that finds Road House on television and has to watch it. I am firmly in the camp of people that love the film. I think it was all the roundhouse kicks.

Anyway, I said this is a great thing, if they keep the “Be Nice,” speech.

Marshall Teague, who played Jimmy, the antagonist’s big heavy, favorited my tweet. And then he played along for a series of three or four more tweets. He did an interview about the news, too. This is awesome:

Teague is staying busy. He’s been doing a lot of TV and has two movies, Road to the Well and Hardin this year. Next year he’ll appear in Oil Run and Divorce Texas Style. He’s got 115 credits to his name and somehow I’ve seen a half dozen of them.

Jun 15

Andiamo al cinema

(Extra material from our trip to London.)

I found these three posters in an Italian restaurant in London. I took a few quick snapshots because, I figured, they’d one day be worth sharing. My apologies for the reflections. There was a stairwell and bad lighting and actual food to eat.

It isn’t the most influential spaghetti western, but For a Few Dollars More is a direct descendent. And this is a ridiculously good poster and, no matter the language, you probably know exactly what film this is for:

Released in 1965, the film became the highest-grossing film in the history of Italian cinema. It came to the U.S. a few months later and made millions more.

The Deerhunter, and so now you know that the poster acquirer — shut up, that is too a real profession — for this restaurant has taste:

Ferruccio Amendola did the Italian dubs for Robert De Niro’s Mike Vronsky. He did dubs for more than 30 years, usually carrying big, domineering characters.

Sorry for the angle here, but The Hustler poster was hanging too high:

Totally worth it.

Play this while you read below:

Happily, the Italian dubs for Fast Eddy in both The Hustler and The Color of Money were done by Giuseppe Rinaldi. That’s no small thing. He’s considered the greatest voice actor in Italian history. He dubbed more than 200 foreign actors in about 500 films. Hudson, Sellers, Sinatra, Lancaster, Douglas, Peck, Martin, Dean, Poitier. Were you a leading man in the second half of the 20th century? Chances are that, in Italy, you sounded like Rinaldi. He worked for almost 40 years, until 1997, and passed away a decade later.

Jackie Gleason’s Minnesota Fats was played by Carlo Romano, who was an incredibly accomplished voice actor as well. He appeared in 86 films and did voicework for a few hundred more foreign actors. I can’t find him in that role on YouTube, but there are examples of Romano’s other work. He was no Gleason.