Monday, July 25, 2011

I feel like a kid again

I am a product of the 70's, the same decade that produced disco and glam rock.  It was also the same decade as the great fuel crisis.

I don't remember the fuel crisis, so either it never hit Wisconsin, or I was just unaware of my father putting two gallons of gas into a car that got two miles to the gallon. 

However, on Sunday, I faced my own little fuel crisis: our local stations were all out of gas.  If I had gas in the car, this little tidbit wouldn't bother me at all.  As it was though, the dash had been announcing 'FUEL RANGE LOW' for over a day, and I really felt like I needed a cushion (having run out of gas before...pushing my car once was more than enough.)

I was able to eke out a gallon from the gas can at home, to buy me a day or two until the stations can restock.  And since it's been see-through-time hot the past few weeks, my lawn isn't growing, anyway.  However, driving on 'E' makes me edgy, and not in a good way (like KISS in a world of Bee Gees and Gloria Gaynor.)  Instead, I'm just anxious, waiting for the worst to happen (like a Bee Gees fan at a KISS concert.)

But I can just hope that when I can fill up again, the prices are closer to 1975 than 2011.  Ah, the blind optimism of youth.  And if I can't refill before I run out completely, I'll end up walking or riding my bike.

Just like I had to in the 70's.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Random Acts of Thursday - Wherein I bare my soul to the movie gods

Some of you may have figured out I'm a bit of a film nerd.  Some of you may recall that I keep a list of the films I've seen, which currently numbers well over 700 (and I keep finding films I forgot about seeing until they cross my path again....)  It suggests that I've seen a new movie every 2.5 weeks since birth.  An impressive waste of good time, and that doesn't count the films I've watched ten times over or more, like most of the James Bond oeuvre, 'Mad Max', any Eastwood western or Dirty Harry film, and 'The 39 Steps'.  It's a wonder I get any sleep at all.

However, this is my list o' shame, films that I want to see, or probably should see, lest I be called out on my total lack of film nerdiness.  I've seen bits and pieces of a few of these, but never start-to-finish.  And that's just sad.  Worse, even if any of these show up on IFC or AMC, I'll be forced to sit through commercials and that's not happening, kids.  Even the ol' DVR can't get me past those breaks in continuity.

Vanishing Point
Be Cool
From Dusk til Dawn
Citizen Kane (it's been saved on the DVR for months)
Natural Born Killers
Blood simple
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
North by Northwest
Rear Window
The African Queen
The Two Jakes
Evil Dead
Dawn of the Dead
Night of the Living Dead
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Pennies From Heaven
Paper Moon
The Rose

There are probably more, feel free to mock my unworthiness below.  Also, gift subscriptions to NetFlix are quite welcome, feel free to click on the 'donate' button to the right.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gunfight at the Golden Corral

I'm a crotchety old man.  Have been for around 20 years.  I'm lying, it's more like 30 years.  Something I've never been, though, is an unruly child in public.  (As an adult, I've created scenes, both intentionally and not.  Get over it.)

Lori told me today about a restaurant in Pittsburgh that has banned children under the age of six following 'numerous' complaints about the unruly little ratfink fussbuckets screaming and upsetting an otherwise enjoyable dining experience.  I'm sure they were also standing on chairs, annoying nearby diners by flinging food and crayons, walking around, refusing to sit up, crawling on the floors, flinging more crayons, and generally behaving in a rather pro-contraceptive manner.  Some people are offended.
I say 'Right on, restaurant'. 

Lori and I have restaurants we avoid because they attract unsavory elements (see paragraph two, above.)  Would I be more likely to patronize a restaurant, knowing that I won't have to endure crying, yelling, staring, annoying little weasels?  Of course I would.  One of our local restaurants has a 'kid corner', a section of the restaurant where they seat families exclusively, to keep them away from the beer-drinkin', good-time-havin' crowd.  Which was great until, on a busy Friday night, we were seated in kid corner.  My normal easy-going nature was severely cramped.

(Shut up.  You know the NFG has an easy-going nature.)

As a public service then, I'd like to offer readers of the ol' CDS (all three of you) the NFG Worldwide Solution to avoid screaming kiddoes interrupting your well-aged Porterhouse or chicken Caesar salad.  First, get rid of the kids' menu, with its chicken nuggets and mac'n'cheez.  Lose the crayons.  Better yet, let's adopt the tried and true bowling alley method of my youth, one appreciated by drunken keglers everywhere:  on-site daycare.

My grocery store has a kiddie corral, too.  You have no idea how peaceful it is to shop without toddlers darting in and out of my legs.  I like to imagine, too, that some of the parents don't even NEED groceries, they just use the free service to get a break.

So why not introduce such a solution at fine restaurants everywhere?  Pack your kid a sandwich (no peanut butter, never know who's allergic), check them at the door, claim them once you've enjoyed your veal picatta or trout meuniere, and everyone's happy.

And if your kids are well-mannered little quietmonkeys, good for you for teaching your children how to behave in public.  You should treat yourself to a nice dinner.
Next hurdle?  How do we get airlines to follow the trend?

* For those of you who think I'm being a hard-ass, let me reiterate that I don't indiscriminately dislike children.  Children are a joy, and I love my daughters, grandson and nieces very much.  However, they have been (or will be, in the case of the wee ones) taught their manners.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Acts of Thursday - Bad Assitude

Hollywood doesn't make actors like they used to. (Prove me wrong, kids.  Prove me wrong.)  I lived to watch 'old' movies with my father on Sundays, anything with car (or horse) chases and lots of shoot-em-up action, and wishing I was more like their characters.  I've mentioned more than once that I wish I was more bad-ass. 

Sure, there are actors who did some one-off action work among their comedic stylings (see also 'Last Man Standing'), but few men exhibited that true grit of a hard-ass like those listed below.  Pick the movie that made their mothers proud, pilgrim.

Steve McQueen
Harrison Ford
Chuck Norris 
Clint Eastwood
John Wayne
Humphrey Bogart
Sean Connery
Burt Lancaster
Charles Bronson 
Lee Marvin

Rio Bravo
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Death Wish
Gunfight at the OK Corral
The Big Sleep
Good Guys Wear Black
The Enforcer
The Dirty Dozen

Yes, some of the actors were in more than one of these films, so choose wisely.  Half of these have been on television in the last few weeks, and I watched as much of them as time would allow.  How about you?

Speaking of bad-ass, I decided we're long overdue for another ever popular Dead Wrestler Trading Card (an NFG Worldwide exclusive!)
Karl Von Hess

Karl Von Hess, born Frank Fakety in Michigan in 1919, made his name heading to the ring in a full-scale Nazi guise in the years following World War II.  He would enter arenas in a Waffen SS coat and a "Sieg, Heil!" salute. As a result, Von Hess was shot at, stabbed, attacked, and burned en route to becoming a white-hot heel in the late 1950s.

"Karl Von Hess was absolutely wonderful," said Ted Lewin, wrestler-turned-author and illustrator in The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. "He was very special because he didn't do a heck of a lot to make people angry at him. All he had to do was kind of keep turning and looking at the audience, and the audience would boo, and then he'd turn and look at them again."

Before achieving fame (or infame), Von Hess was a lifeguard and swimming teacher, then entered the navy in World War II to serve in the Underwater Demolition Corps. Upon his discharge, he worked the carnival circuit for several years, then worked in various regional wrestling promotions before gaining national noteriety as the bad guy everyone loved to hate.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beeeeeeeeep....(do televisions still make that noise?)

We're experiencing some minor difficulties - technically, anyway.  Your regular blog-reading experience will return shortly.

I remember getting up early, early early, very very early on Saturday mornings sometimes, expecting to get a jump on my cartoon-watching activities.  Some mornings, I'd catch the farm report.  Some rare days, I'd get a screen much like the one above.  The television would just 'squeeeeeeeeeeeee' at me like so much alien technology, mocking my cartoon-deficient life.

Kids today have it easy.

Be nice and share!

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