Friday, December 31, 2021

Monday, December 27, 2021

'Khan Noonien Singh' on Man (Part Two)

"Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior. Mentally, physically. In fact, I am surprised how little improvement there has been in human evolution. Oh, there has been technical advancement, but, how little man himself has changed."

We can make that claim now.

'Khan Noonien Singh' on Man (Part One)

"Nothing ever changes, except man. Your technical accomplishments? Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity, but improve man and you gain a thousandfold."

On the surface, Khan is right.

Conservative Party of Canada Can't Find a Good Date

October 19, 2015
October 21, 2019
September 20, 2021

A Forever Question: Oh, Maître d'!

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Wouldn't revenge best be a dish served piping hot?

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Saturday, December 25, 2021

It's Christmas: I'm Allowed to Indulge in a Little Wine

Inniskillin Pinot Noir. Apparently, it goes good (well) with video material. Here's to catching-up with video material....

A Christmas Memory in a Time & Space Warp

Christmas is great when you're a kid. This morning I thought about my favourite memories. Quickly I nailed one: 1970.

(After reading that, pretend you have a faulty memory. "He posted about the Christmas of nineteen-ninety.")

My favourite present that year was the AMT "Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Space Ship Model Kit".

(Star Trek was sparking hot. The series had finished its NBC network run only eighteen months earlier. Toronto television station CFTO was running/stripping the episodes at 5pm on weekdays.)

It was not a simple plastic model kit as it was "lighted". Small light bulbs, included in the box, could be inserted into the top and bottom of the primary hull (the saucer-shaped portion) and at the front-ends of the engine nacelles (those long tubes). The former were capped by green-tinted discs, and the latter were topped-off by amber-tinted domes. My mother helped me with the wiring and the insertion of the lamps' power source: a D-cell, not included with the kit, sat in the secondary hull (the bottom tube-like section).

Building a model kit is fun, but seeing the completed AMT U.S.S. Enterprise suspended from my bedroom ceiling was a trip, and it looked great with the bedroom light off.

I remember something else from Christmas Day 1970. My dad was in the process of carving the turkey when he looked over at the Zenith television: "I'm surprised this is on today." (The episode was "The Return of the Archons".)

Fond Christmas memories.

Friday, December 24, 2021

It Was How Many Christmas Eves Ago?

Christmas' in then West Germany were pretty awesome. Not only do the Germans love to celebrate the season, but they open their presents not on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve. This then kid loved it.

We Canadians living in German towns and villages followed the homeland tradition of unwrapping on the 25th, but when our gift-bearing landlord visited us the evening before, the proper thing to do was to open up right there and then.

Above is what I received on December 24th, 1969.

The embossed label underneath the Matchbox vehicle reads:

Made in England by Lesney
Models of Yesteryear
1911 Daimler

Sweet memories.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Conservatives Are Always Angry

Here in Canada during the last federal election, there was a terrible blight: Conservative supporters were vandalizing "Liberal Party of Canada" campaign lawn signs. Every day pictures were posted online showing sliced and/or 'discarded' MP signs; often graffitied with swastikas, and sometimes with "Racist" -- no doubt the irony was lost on the perpetrators.

Why are Conservatives always so angry? It is a serious question. One must look 'inside'.

A conversation I had with a friend a few years ago....

Why are conservatives always so angry?

Because they feel they're picked on all the time.

Well, maybe that's because they deserve it.

Monday, December 20, 2021

A Forever Question: Half Full

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. In wrestling is there a move called a drill press?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Where's Winter?

The temperature here in Toronto hit 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) today. Apparently it broke a record set in 2011.

Christmas songs on the radio distort reality.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

300,000 Big Ones

One night last week my blog/website received its three hundred thousandth hit. This makes me happy. Any writer scribbles in the name of creativity and "keeping the pencil sharp" without thinking about any popularity contest, but, it's still nice to be read.

Special thanks to all the readers... and electronic scoopers: it's hard to believe that the following post has actually received over twenty-eight thousand discrete hits:

Dorothy "DC" Fontana (1939 - 2019)


Monday, December 13, 2021

A Forever Question: Zoom In, Eh?

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Are we on Michael Snow's wavelength?

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Special DVD Edition at Bay Street Video in Toronto (Repeat)

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things scared me when I saw it at the Terra Theatre in CFB Borden.

That was the first half of a double feature.

Part two was my second screening of Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls, which spooked me when I saw it at the base's Astral Theatre. I had to sit through it again?

That was quite the fright night.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Trek Forty-Two Years Ago Today

Last evening I was reminded by a tweet that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released forty-two years ago today. How could I have forgotten? It was a memorable night.

Picture a dozen teenagers meeting at the big picture house to see one of the most anticipated pictures ever. Try and imagine our disappointment when the end credits rolled: not that we wanted the show to go on, but more a case of "that was it?"; or as friend Mike said after he turned to me from the seat to my left: "I thought it would be better than that."

The next morning I shuffled to the living room, where siblings were watching "Wink of an Eye". Is this some sort of joke? An editorial on what I saw last night? You thought this episode was bad? Last night's event flick made "Wink of an Eye" look like a masterpiece?

The passage of time has been kind to ST:TMP.

Monday, December 6, 2021

A Double Feature Challenge (Rescreening)

Watching a home-programmed double feature of Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams movies is easy. We know what we're getting.

On the weekend I went random, self-programming two disparate, in time and place (and style), narrative feature films.

Beyond the Time Barrier (1960 - Edgar Ulmer)
True Stories (1986 - David Byrne)

The first picture I saw a few times in my childhood as it played often on television and at least once at my local movie theatre (the Astral in CFB Borden, Ontario). Watching it as an adult makes one appreciate its themes. For a child it was more about the interesting visual stylings, and chills. (Those horrific mutants.) The environmental theme is up front: testing of nuclear weapons 'back' in the early 1970s led to a horrible plague, all but decommissioning the human race. The survivors moved underground; the human birthrate eventually dropped to zero. There's more, all leading to a memorable ending -- I remembered it for decades. This time, Beyond was better overall than I had remembered it being. The passage of time helped. By the way, the X-80 rocket plane, which flies star Robert Clarke to the astounding year 2024, is in fact a Convair F-102 Delta Dagger.

In the mid 1980s I was a bit of a fan of the band Talking Heads, so it made sense that when band leader David Byrne released his True Stories I would arrive at Toronto's (now gone) Uptown Theatre with bells on. I left slightly disappointed. About a dozen years ago I gave the film another shot, this time on VHS. The loosely connected stories about the quirky but human inhabitants of a fictitious Texas town called Virgil resonated more with this viewer that time around. Spinning the Criterion 2018 DVD release made me appreciate True Stories even more. And there're those always cool Talking Heads tunes.

After my double feature finished I realized that both flicks were filmed in Texas. True Story.

PS: What's next? Maybe Aguirre, the Wrath of God and The Endless Summer.

A Forever Question: Key

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Is there a passcode to enter the afterlife?

Sunday, December 5, 2021

CD: The Definitive Benny Goodman

The Definitive Benny Goodman

Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

CD: Music from the Hammer Films (TPO)

Music from the Hammer Films
- James Bernard, Christopher Gunning, David Whitaker -

The Philharmonia Orchestra
conducted by
Neil Richardson

Silva Screen Records Ltd.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Book: The Brothers Grimm (Grimm)

The Brothers Grimm
- 101 Fairy Tales -

Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

Canterbury Classics

Book: Last Stop, The Twilight Zone (Engel)

Last Stop, The Twilight Zone
- The Biography of Rod Serling -

Written by Joel Engel

Antenna Books
(this version)

Book: John Cassavetes Interviews (Oldham)

John Cassavetes
- Interviews -

Edited by
Gabriella Oldham

University Press of Mississippi

Picturing: Pigeons' Obsession

By the time I managed to pull out my camera quite a few pigeons had left the scene. I'm not sure why they were going so squirrelly for this patch of soil. They made a lot of noise.