Monday, March 02, 2015

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Happy toddlers

Happy 1 1/2 year-olds are at once the most entertaining and exasperating of individuals. They are generally happy, because there is so much to get into that they have never been into before. Life is lots of fun for them. On the other hand, they are always into everything, and so adults have to be watching them ALL the time. One of the more interesting season of our lives.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

That old raspberry sherbet

My mother's sister's only son was a year or so older than I was. When we were in the area, we frequently would spend the night at their house. My father, being a Depression-era child, would eat anything put before him as as a matter of almost-moral principle. We were raised in that tradition. So, on one occasion at my cousin's house, he went back to the freezer and pulled out and old carton of raspberry sherbet. It had been in there for who knows how long, to the point of being almost freezer-burned. He gave it to us and we eagerly woofed it down. We seldom got store-bought ice cream, so it was a real treat to us. For years my cousin would shake his head and marvel that we would eat that old raspberry sherbet.

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Our changing perspective of winter

I realize that snow is truly one of the great beauties of nature. What can compare to a snow-covered field in its pristine loveliness? As with so much, however, our modern world has turned its beauty into a thing of ugliness. Now snow is our enemy, for we have to drive on it, and that is NEVER fun. The crystalline ice takes down power lines. We dread winter and cannot wait for it to be over. Sad.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mr. Wong, Detective (1938)

1938 was a great year for movies, by the way. Just check how many of the classics were made that year. This was the first of the Mr. Wong series, which my wife and I dearly love. Boris Karloff is great as the Chinese-American detective, and any misconceptions you may have had of his being a one-dimensional horror actor are quickly dispelled here.

Industrialist John Hamilton comes to Wong, fearing for his life. As he leaves Wong's house, an attempt is made to kidnap him. Hamilton and his two partners have been selling a poison gas invented by John St. Polis, who is angry because he does not feel he is getting his share of the profits.

Grant Withers is the police Captain involved in the case, and he and Karloff have a great rapport on the screen. (That rapport is greatly enhanced in later Wong movies when Marjorie Reynolds joins the cast as Withers' fiesty reporter girlfriend.)

These are not great movies as the movie-making art goes, but for fans of the old black-and-white detective series of movies, they are priceless.

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Withers

One downside of old "B" movies

In some old movies (some of them pretty good ones), they did not budget for music, or at least very much music. We have become so accustomed to background music in movies that when there is none for extended periods of time, it begins to be a little strange.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parley Baer

One of the truly great radio characterizations is Parley Baer as Chester on Gunsmoke. His hesitant personality matched up so well with the deep-voiced and forceful Matt Dillon of William Conrad. Truly a memorable role.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rat's Breath, Idaho

We learn of this interesting community on a Fred Allen radio show episode on which Roy Rogers was guest star.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sweetie

I do not mind ladies who are 80 years old calling me Sweetie, but it just sort of goes against my grain when an 18-year-old at a fast food place calls me that.

Permanently disabled car washes

I wonder about these car washes that put ribbons across the entry way - and leave them there. If you are going to have one, why don't you keep it working? Just wondering.

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