Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lennie Weinrib

Over at Mark Evanier's site (a link to which you'll find over on the side) he has posted several items, including video links, about his friend Lennie Weinrib. If you click on the above headline you'll get over to the Internet Movie Database page which has a partial listing of Mr. Weinrib's career. Looking at it was like getting a flashback to a lot of my childhood. As a writer/performer on many of the Sid & Marty Krofft's shows his voice (and he seemed to have dozens of them) was heard by all of us kids.

Mark also mentions, with another link, that Mr. Weinrib was the voice of "Timer" a character used in a number of nutrition cartoons which ran on ABC for seemingly decades. The spot Mark uses is about cheese. There are still times when I find myself singing part of the tune ("I hanker for a hunk of cheese!").

My sympathy and condolences go out to Mr. Weinrib's family and many friends.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer viewing

Sorry, but I haven't had much chance to post this past week. Things have been pretty busy at work between catching up on things for the end of the fiscal year and my assistant manager being on vacation. Add to that some major air conditioner problems at the library.

With most of our faves in rerun or off for the summer, Donna and I have been watching a few new shows plus checking out things on the higher cable stations we have had to miss.

THE 4400 is back on USA and is just as good as ever. The Returnees are gaining increasing strength and even some new powers. We were sorry to see the passing of Lilly (actress Laura Allen) and are intrigued by Isabelle's rapid aging. Jeffrey Combs, as scientist Kevin Burkhoff, is for me the most fascinating character, and possibly the best actor on the show. I can't wait to see what changes is going to undergo via his research and self-experimentation. I had the opportunity to actually see Combs in person at a FANGORIA Convention and found him very funny and friendly in public. I also don't think we have seen the last of the presumed dead (and missing) Collier, former leader of the 4400 Institute.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have been watching LAST COMIC STANDING and the first episode of AMERICA'S GOT TALENT. Both of these are of the 'car wreck' variety of shows, being so bad at times that you can't turn them off. Of course, the idea of David Hasselhoff judging these folks is amusing in itself. I'm one of those folks who don't have strong feelings one way or the other about Hasselhoff, sometimes actually finding him funny. He reminds of me Lee Majors, basically an actor who lucked into a couple of roles which clicked for a brief time. Naturally, I'm willing to watch Regis any time. :-)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Havana Passage by Jay Lillie: A review

This is going to be passed along to the Joe Bob Briggs folks for eventual posting.

I took this book on the cruise, but didn't have as much chance to read it as I had hoped. Ended up finishing it during my daily commutes. While, as I state in the review it reminded me of the similar PATRIOT TRAP I reviewed a few weeks ago, it was a decent read if you don't go all political about this type of thing.
Published by Ivy House Publishing Group
ISBN: 1571974520

With the end of the Cold War writers of thriller/suspense novels have had to search for a new foe for their heroes to confront. International drug cartels just don’t cut it anymore, so since 9/11 various Islamic nations or ‘terrorist’ groups have become the main focus.
While the last few Communist nations (China & North Korea, for example) can still cast their evil shadows over the U.S. and their allies, it really amazes me that some authors seem to let their gaze wander only ninety miles from our shores.

In the past few months this is the second book I’ve reviewed in which the main character and his/her companions are threatened by elements in Cuba. In both, the chief protagonist ends up in Havana, caught between parties attempting to overthrow the Castro government or attempting to gain power when the current regime ends with Fidel’s passing. Also, oddly enough, in both novels the characters at some point are escaping from Cuba by boat only to be caught off the Florida Keys in approaching storms or hurricanes. I guess this happens more frequently than you’d think.

When a fishing vessel is stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Cuba, it is discovered that one of the men aboard is without documentation. When the boat’s owner is arrested and his boat confiscated this triggers a series of events which brings together law student Kate Stevens, Washington D.C. lawyer Gordon Cox and the first female President of the United States. The President, looking to end the decades old trade embargo, sends Kate and Gordon (who at one time dated Kate’s mother) to Havana in order to discover what the reaction might be to such a decision. The lawyers find that things are much more complicated than they appear with angry Cuban exiles on one side and a possible coup by Army officers on the other. Add to this mix the mysterious Santiago deCristo, a one time member of Castro’s elite guard who has his own reasons to return to his native land.

Writer Lillie brings an old fashion feel to his book, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a fast read, ideal for vacation reading. The author throws in the occasional sexual detail and “F” bomb, but it feels as if he is doing it more to appeal to a section of readership who want that sort of thing, rather than something which comes naturally. While the character of the President never rises above reminding me of Geena Davis in COMMANDER IN CHIEF, Lillie brings enough life to the rest of his cast to pull the book up a notch from similar fare.

Three stars

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Just to give you an idea of one of the shopping areas in Tortola. There was a less 'scenic' one right outside the pier area, but this one was located near the main shopping district where most of the tour buses loaded up.

I wouldn't mind going again, to have a chance to check out the beaches. You can sit by the fountain with chickens running around you, drinking cokes and local beers. Pretty pleasant way to spend an hour or so.

Shots of San Juan

A few shots at Casa Bardardi, including your's truly in front and the open bar. Also a couple showing the fort at the entrance to the harbor of San Juan, as well as the view from our balcony. That's not Donna, but the lady in the next cabin checking out the sites. I feel bad that I can't recall her name at this point, since we had several nice conversations in the early mornings peaking around the balcony seperation.

Monday, June 05, 2006

So what's the 2nd worst?

As near as I can figure there are around twenty folks who read this and my other blog on a fairly regular basis. Of those, there can't be more than a handful that will know what I'm talking about in the next paragraph. Are you one of the chosen few?

It will be hard for those of you who know me and have read Ted Rall's "The Worst Thing I've Ever Done!" to believe that I am actually being considered for a certain position in California. I'd probably be better off not jinxing it, but it does make me stop and consider the things I've done in the past. If there is such a thing as Karma (as the title character in MY NAME IS EARL would say) it's about to bite my a**.