Archive for the ‘movies’ Tag

03-31-2016 Journal – Sake & a Sexy Movie!   Leave a comment

I’m still in Maine complaining about the weather which has once again trapped me in the house for a good portion of the day.  Now I hear there’s a possibility of another snow storm this weekend, hopefully the last one this season.  Mother Nature is hanging on for dear life like she always does. I don’t understand why continue to complain. I guess not being able to control everything irritates me a little.

Some of you have asked in your emails about making Sake. It’s a fairly simple recipe that’s available by email for anyone interested.  My batch has been moved from the primary fermenter where it’s been for ten days. The yeast has eaten all of the sugar and the Sake should have approximately 15% alcohol content upon completion.  As you can see the wine looks like milk.  Yes, that’s how it’s supposed to look.  As the fermentation stops and the yeast begins to settle the wine will become crystal clear.  These jugs should supply me with fifteen 750ml bottles of Sake or 30-375ml half bottles.

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I’m been trying to finish up a second design this week which has become my homage to Amy Winehouse. I’ll post a photo when it’s complete but it might be a little difficult to show all of the details due to it’s size.  We’ll see.

I’ve been watching more movies of late as I wait for Spring to really arrive. Last night the better-half and I watched what they (Netflix) are calling a dark comedy. The movie was ‘Bad Roomies’ and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The cast members were virtual unknowns which more times than not makes for a decent movie.  This movie was funny and sexy with one of the hottest women I’ve seen in a while.  The better-half was disappointed because there were no unicorns and rainbows anywhere in the entire film.  I felt bad for her but for me it was a fun hour and a half that had me laughing a lot even after offering up a dead body at the end. 

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Well I’d love to chat a while longer but demands of the better-half come first. We’re having a small get-together tonight  and they are chores to be done. Fortunately for me I’ve stocked up on plenty of wine to help sweeten my mingling skills. From what everyone tells me, they need all the help they can get.

C’MON SPRING – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

11-16-2015 Journal– X-mas Insanity Begins!   Leave a comment

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This post will probably be confusing for some of you because there isn’t any rhyme or reason behind what I’ll be writing.  I’ve been very busy of late with a lot of little stuff that needs to be handled before the holidays officially arrive. Just keep your hands and feet inside the car, this ride may get a little bumpy.

My life has changed dramatically in the last month due to my elimination of  live cable television.  I’m happy to announce that I haven’t watched more than ten minutes of commercials, ads, or television shopping channels for over a month.  It took me a few weeks to get the hang of streaming and I’ve been able to locate and avoid those few channels that still insist on running commercials. It’s truly a game changer.  I have more freedom to watch what I please when I please and no scheduling of my time in order to watch a specific program.  No more waiting for commercial breaks to make  bathroom runs, I just hit the pause and Ta Da.  I also like watching what once was an hour long show in 43 minutes, minus all those damn commercials.  Life has gotten seriously better.

The better-half’s birthday has come and gone and was a great success. She loved her gifts, the wine, and that big, fat, medium rare T-bone steak. I tried to be as romantic as possible and I think I pulled it off rather well.  Here’s my lame attempt at a table setting on our crazy retro dining room set.

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I’d like to officially thank the cow that made the ultimate sacrifice for our meal. Tender and soft as marshmallows washed down with a semi-sweet Merlot.  Yummmmm!

I’ve been diligently working towards having all things Christmas, purchased, wrapped, and hidden away by Thanksgiving.  That will free up my time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the better-half’s decorating slave. First the tree, then the lights, then tinsel, then motorized talking and singing toys scattered throughout the house.  I can only pray that my first gift will be a noise-cancelling headset. 

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Here’s some bad news. Last night I was strong-armed into watching the first Christmas movie of the season.  That’s right, a Christmas movie on November 15.  Please just shoot me now.

Three days ago I was dragged kicking and screaming to the Mall. It was a typical mall trip which bored the hell out of me. I ended up sitting in the middle of the mall surrounded by herds of screaming kids being chased by their parents. Thank God for my Kindle.  The best part of my visit consisted of my standing near a small kiosk and allowing a really hot young lady to place heat packs on my neck. I let her go on and on with her sales pitch and finally walked away without making a purchase. My neck felt a lot better and so did my morale. thBVIZQLLU

I have a few more gifts to wrap today and I think I’m  be totally finished with Christmas preparations.  With that goal being met I think I’ll then deserve a tall, cold, and refreshing Gin and Tonic later this afternoon. 

I hope your holiday craziness isn’t too overwhelming.  Before you know it 2016 will be here and we can start preparing for next Christmas. Are we all insane or is it just me?

10-25-2015 Journal – I’m a Streaming Fool!   Leave a comment

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I’ve been accused on any number of occasions by any number of people of being impatient.  Not just a little impatient but brutally so.  Over the years it’s become less of a problem but in my younger days it was truly a bitch to deal with me. I wished on many occasions that I could loosen up enough to keep myself from going a little bonkers but it was difficult.

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I was reasonably successful in most of my career endeavors and while impatience kept me focused and motivated it tended to irritate and annoy many others. Procrastination in others was my second biggest complaint and those that reported directly to me paid a price if they were so inclined. I have no regrets about those years to be sure but even today procrastination makes me a wee bit crazy.

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Over the years my impatience has prompted many posting on multiple blogs concerning the over use of advertisements on TV and just about everywhere else.  It made most forms of entertainment difficult for me to watch because of all of those annoying interruptions and distractions.  Then my prayers were finally answered . . . . . . Netflix.

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Watching television or movies and having total control is something that takes a little getting used to.  No more sitting and waiting for shows to begin, no constant interruptions with stupid ads, and the ability to pause the show and return at my convenience. It’s freaking awesome. I also subscribe to Amazon which is very similar to Netflix in some ways and is money well spent in my opinion. 

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Unfortunately I use the ROKU service to connect my televisions to the Internet and most of their extra services and channels are filled with ads causing me not to often use them.  ROKU provides an excellent gateway for streaming but paying them additional fees for programming and movies over and above the cost of their devices remains annoying. My ever present impatience with anyone who insists on trying to remove money from my wallet keeps me looking for better alternatives every day. 

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Being free from the clutches of cable TV now makes changing companies very easy too.  No more contracts, everything is month-to-month, and more vendor possibilities are being created almost weekly. If a company is dumb enough not to cater to their customers then I will move on to someone who does. For a change we the consumers finally have a modicum of control over our costs and time like never before.

Hooray for us!

12-08-2013 Christmas Journal Entry   Leave a comment

As we slowly approach Christmas Day I find a need to continue with my blogging of all things Christmas.  After the last few days of watching my better-half bake enough cookies and breads to feed an army I’m ready to scream.  Even with this broken leg my weight loss program continues and all these goodies in the house with their fantastic smells is driving me crazy.  So I decided to hide out in the man-cave and work on a few postings.  Anything to stay away from the kitchen.  I’ve lost almost thirty pounds so far and the last thing I need is a Christmas holiday season full of candies and cookies.

The first thing I’d like to pass on today are a few thoughts from past and present celebrities.  I know how most of you hang on their every word and I hope you enjoy this short look into their thought processes.

  • ‘I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.’ Bernard Manning
  • ‘I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six.  Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.’ Shirley Temple
  • ‘A Christmas shopper’s complaint is one of long-standing.’ Anonymous
  • ‘Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, he must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, must be a pacifist.  What’s in that pipe that he’s smoking?’
    Arlo Guthrie
  • Why is Christmas just like a day at the office?
    You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.
    Anonymous
  • ‘Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.’  Victor Borge
  • ‘The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C.  This wasn’t for any religious reasons. T hey couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.’ Jay Leno
  • ‘Merry Christmas, Nearly Everybody!’ Ogden Nash
  • Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present. Anonymous

Next I offer you a few Christmas movie quotes.  I live in a family obsessed with remembering movie quotes.  Having a conversation with them and not being a movie expert makes communicating difficult at times.  These quotes are for them and anyone else who’s interested.

  • Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?
    You know… the birth of Santa.
    Bart Simpson
  • Snowman: Did you hear about the church that burned down?
    Statler, Waldorf: Holy smoke!  Muppet Movie
  • Doris: Would you please tell her that you’re not really Santa Claus, that there actually is no such person?
    Kris Kringle: Well, I hate to disagree with you, but not only is there such a person, but here I am to prove it.
    ‘Miracle on 34th Street’
  • Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.  It’s A Wonderful Life
  • Charlie, stay away from those things. They’re reindeer, you don’t know where they’ve been. They all look like they’ve got key lime disease.
    The Santa Clause Movie
  • Rats. Nobody sent me a Christmas card today. I almost wish there weren’t a holiday season. I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it? A Charlie Brown Christmas

I’m not a fan of watching Christmas movies which puts me immediately in the minority.  It seems everyone’s Christmas memories include one or two “special” movies that they enjoyed as kids.  I stumbled on a website recently that listed the following movies as the Ten Best Christmas Movies ever.  I can honestly say I haven’t seen more than three of the movies on their list.  They may be right but I’m not the guy to make that call.  It does seem a little odd that there are no mentions made of any recent movies like “Home Alone” or “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase.  Just a thought from a non-Christmas movie person.

Christmas In Connecticut (1945) – Barbara Stanwyck
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – Frank Capra [Best Christmas Movie]
Miracle On 34th Street (1947) – Kris Kringle
Scrooge (1951) – Alistair Sim
White Christmas (1954) – Bing Crosby Classic
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol
A Christmas Story (1883) – Bob Clark
Joyeux Noel (2005) – WW1 Football Game in the Trenches
Olive the Other Reindeer

I think that’ll do it for today.  If you have any suggestions on improving that movie list feel free to say so and I’ll post your changes.

16 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

11-05-2013 Movie Trivia   Leave a comment

I’m a big fan of movies and I find nothing more enjoyable than throwing in a DVD, popping some popcorn, and relaxing with a good film.  My preferences are varied but what I really enjoy most are the movies normally shown on TCM.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours watching those films and without hesitation would do it again.

One thing above all that interests me are the anomalies made during filming that are missed by the editors and end up in the final version.  I’m sure some of them are done purposely but many are just screw-ups that were missed.  I stumbled on this information concerning a few movie foul-ups that aren’t all that well known (at least not to me).  The next time you happen to be watching any of these films with a friend of family member you can dazzle them with your superior knowledge of movie trivia.  Enjoy.

  • In 1982 during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark a great blooper can be found in the scene where German soldiers and Gestapo agents were lifting the Ark. If you look closely as the camera pans along the hieroglyphics on the wall you’ll see paintings of C3PO and R2D2, the robots from the Star Wars classic (another George Lucas film).
  • This tidbit is from the movie Fortune Cookie made in 1966. The blooper scene shows Walter Matthau leaving one room and entering another and he appears to have lost a great deal of weight in the process. Matthau suffered a heart attack while this scene was being filmed; only half of the scene was completed before he entered the hospital. He returned five months later to finish the job almost 40 pounds lighter than he was in the first part of the filming.
  • In 1971 during the filming of Diamonds are Forever, James Bond tips his Ford Mustang up on two wheels and drives through a narrow alley to escape from the bad guys. Unfortunately in the final version the Mustang enters the alley on its two right wheels and leaves the alley on its two left wheels.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind filmed in 1977 also had a blooper worth mentioning. Towards the end of the movie Richard Dreyfus and Terry Garner smashed through several roadblocks as they neared the Devil’s Tower. The license plate on their station wagon kept changing.
  • Now let’s go back to 1954 to the filming of Rear Window. The star Jimmy Stewart, in a cast and sitting in a wheelchair, is arguing with Grace Kelly. His cast magically switches from his left leg to his right during the scene.
  • 1967 during the filming of Camelot, King Richard (Richard Harris) praises his medieval kingdom while speaking to some of his subjects. Someone dropped the ball because in that scene Harris is wearing a Band-Aid on his neck.
  • And last but not least one small blooper from one of my all-time favorite movies, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953).  In the movie they actually go to Venus.

I hope to discover more of these little miscues in other films and if I do I’ll be sure to pass them along. 

09-08-2013   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I served up a trivia test on Television and Radio in an attempt to determine the depths of my readership’s trivia knowledge.  I did a moderately sucky job on the last test as did most of you.  Never one to be discouraged I’ve decided to try again but with a different topic.  This series of trivia questions concern Movies. 

I’ve been a huge movie fan for most of my life, especially with movies from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  this will be a plethora of useless knowledge I hope you all find entertaining.

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1.   What famous character actor paired for a career in psychiatry, studying and working with pioneer psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, before he turned to performing?

2.   What actor and one time New York Yankee batboy portrayed Babe Ruth in 1948 movie biography,The Sultan of Swat?

3.   Who dubbed Miss Piggy’s singing voice in The Muppet Movie?

4.   What was the only horror film in which Humphrey Bogart appeared?

5.   Who played Scorpio, the sadistic killer, in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 film, Dirty Harry?

6.   What starring role did film stars Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, and Paul Newman all turn down, despite a contract offer of $4 million?

7.   Who dubbed Lauren Bacall’s singing voice in the movie To Have and Have Not, her screen debut and first pairing with future husband Humphrey Bogart?

8.   Who said, " If I had as many love affairs as you have given me credit for, I would now be speaking to you from a jar in the Harvard Medical School"?

9.   What was the name of the stray alley cat adopted by Holly Golightly, portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

10. What was the first name of Lt. Bullitt, the down-and-dirty San Francisco   detective portrayed by Steve McQueen in the 1968 hit movie, Bullitt?

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I managed to score a six this time around and actually surprised myself a little.  On a good day these could be considered difficult questions. The answers will be posted tomorrow and good luck. 

05-05-2013   1 comment

Are you a real movie fan?  Do you prefer old movies or do you wait patiently for the new ones to arrive.  For most of my life I was an occasional movie watcher but it was never something all that important to me.  I never went out of my way to spend money or my time in searching out movies to watch.  It wasn’t until cable TV came into it’s own with the Turner Classic Movie Network that I discovered how much I’d missed and in more cases what I was glad I missed.

What I did discover was that going to movie theaters and paying the big prices was no longer all that necessary.  One of my pet peeves has always been people who refuse to shut up while in a movie theater.  On many occasions I found myself exchanging rather harsh words with a few of those ignorant individuals who obviously had no respect for other moviegoers. The result of those incidents have kept me from almost all movie theaters ever since.  The up-side to that is I’m able to watch many more movies than I normally would have in the privacy of my home without any annoying interruptions.  For me it’s worth waiting a few extra months until a movie goes to DVD where I can then watch it at home and truly enjoy it.

We’ve all had those times watching movies where we’ve been touched by a scene that was so well done and meaningful that we’ll remember it forever. In recent years I’ve become much more of a movie aficionado that I ever thought I could.  There are thousands of movies available from all genres but unfortunately only a small percentage are worth seeing more than once. With all of the TV channels and other resources the number of movies readily available for viewing is almost unlimited.

I’ve also discovered that certain movies have stuck with me in a more permanent way.  There are a certain few movies that I can sit and watch over and over again and enjoy them just as much as the first time I saw them.  These special movies are few in number and from different genres and aren’t dependent on any specific actor or actress.  If I see one of them listed or I chance upon one accidentally, any other programs are immediately forgotten and I begin watching it again.  It’s like spending time with an old friend.  Here’s my top ten list in no particular order of importance.

  • Ben-Hur
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Avatar
  • The Shootist
  • Under Siege
  • Notting Hill
  • Star Wars (The First Movie)
  • The Shooter
  • Robin Hood (With Errol Flynn)
  • Star Trek – The Voyage Home

There appears to be no rhyme or reason for that list and no other common denominators I can find.  I own many of them on DVD and have been known to sneak away if I have an hour or two of quiet time to just sit and enjoy.  I appreciate them more each year because they help me forget the hundreds and hundreds of really bad movies that the cable stations continue to play over and over again.

Stick me on a desert island with  my 100 favorite books and these movies and you’ll never see my fat ass again.

02-18-2013   Leave a comment

I decided that today would be my day of rest and relaxation.  I’ve spent most of the last week continuing my bedroom remodeling project.  The electrical has been rewired, Check! The insulation has been repaired, replaced, and a vapor barrier installed, Check!  The new framing for the closet and bedroom entry way has been completed, Check!  The room as been cleaned to within an inch of it’s life, Check! Most of the tools and excess materials have been removed, Check!  And last but not least, I’m just sick of working on it, Double Check! I’ve decided that after I hang the drywall over the next couple of weeks I’m done.  It’s time to call in the professionals to install the hardwood floor and the rest of the finish work.

Today is for vegging, reading, loafing, and doing huge amounts of nothing. The better-half has a day off and will be on a shopping safari with her daughter for a quite a while.  What does that mean? It means peace and quiet for a few hours. No loud annoying C & W music, no banging and clanging of pots in the kitchen, and no repeated requests for help. Just a good book, a comfy chair, and a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee. . . .

It’s later now and I’m pleased that I was able to read almost a hundred pages of my book without interruption.  The cat gave up trying to get my attention about an hour ago and has found a soft spot on the couch across the room to crash. Every so often he opens one eye to make sure I’m still there but I think he’s beginning to understand it’s his day off as well. . . .

Darkness has now fallen and my better-half has returned with a medium size load of purchases.  I’ve been officially granted limited access to her woman-cave this evening to construct a chair she recently purchased.  She claims it’s a chair that will be kept there just for me to use during my occasional visits.  I get that old feeling she’s telling me what she thinks I want to hear to get the job done.  Maybe I’m being a little cynical but I’m not really offended.  I just count my blessings that I’m permitted to visit the place at all.  It’s like being offered a private visit to Disneyland. . . .

The chair is now built and we’re having a drink to celebrate. We’re discussing current events and any other meaningless things we can think of.  The lasagna is cooking, the drinks are cold, the chair is easy on my backside, and life is good.  I guess I’m just easy to please at times.

We decided to watch a movie before retiring for the night and as usual within twenty minutes I’m watching the movie and she’s lightly snoring on the couch.  I’ll wait a while before I wake her which shouldn’t be too long because this movie, Beowulf, is one of the worse things I’ve ever seen.  I’d rather be getting my teeth drilled  than watch anymore of it. Just freaking awful.

I guess there’s no such thing as a perfect day so I’ll take what I can get. I’ve learned over the years to enjoy the good, try to ignore the bad, and keep on moving on.

Posted February 19, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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01-23-2013   2 comments

Winter has returned with a vengeance here in Maine.  It’s not snow this time but frigid cold.  The wind chill has been below zero for a few days which means I don’t leave this house unless it’s on fire.  These are the days when my list of winter projects becomes important. 

After I finished reading the entire collection of Harry Potter books two weeks ago I then decided I wanted to see all of the movies now that I had a better understanding of the story line.    Yesterday was the start of my Harry Potter movie marathon made possible by a grant made to me by my better-half’s daughter.  I have in my hot little hand all of the HP movies in Blue Ray, I effing love it. This weather made it possible for me to watch the first three movies without much interruption yesterday. 

One big surprise though, my better-half sat in for a few minutes at the beginning of movie number 4 and became  mesmerized. She watched that entire movie and loved it.  I was informed last night that I wasn’t to watch any of the other films unless she was here to watch them with me.  I didn’t mind that too much since I actually like having her around most of the time.  Besides if I happen to remain quiet and really still she’s likely to be the first person to raid the kitchen and make us popcorn.

The marathon will continue later tonight but this morning I’m back in the kitchen making a batch of hot and spicy barbecue sauce.  If I manage it properly I can have it made, canned, and on the shelf before my better-half returns home from work.  I’ll return shortly. . . .

(Time Passing)

Well I’m back and the sauce has been made and canned.  The cleanup is actually easier since I made a smaller batch than normal.  I was able to can 16 half pints of sauce with each one holding enough for a meal of chicken wings  or a meat of choice.  It was a newly developed recipe which offers a lot of flavor and a medium amount of heat.  I decided to ease up on the heat since most of this batch will be given to friends and family.  I’ll make a smaller batch in a few weeks which will be much hotter and more to our taste.

I’m just sitting here now waiting for the better-half to arrive.  I went outside to check the mail earlier and OMG is it freaking cold.  The deck is making gun shot noises as the nails are popping from the temperature.   The first time made me jump a bit but the poor cat is going crazy.  He no sooner gets to sleep then BANG.  It’s harshing his buzz and making him extremely cranky.

Tomorrow is another day in paradise.

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