Sunday, July 30, 2023

A Forever Question: That Time Piece

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

Sir. Do cats carry pocket watches?

Reading: Death in Fine Condition (Cartmel)

I'm following a trail of books. Those valuable ones sought by an obsessive collector of books.

"Cordelia knows books. An addict-turned-dealer of classic paperbacks, when she's not spending her days combing the charity shops and jumble sales of suburban London for valuable collector's items, she's pining for the woman of her dreams and nimbly avoiding her landlord's demands for rent."

I'm a fan of author Andrew Cartmel's "Vinyl Detective" series: the first of which, Written In Dead Wax, I reviewed almost immediately after finishing it ― probably due to my surprise at how much I enjoyed it. What was most apparent to me, other than Cartmel's ability to lead the reader along a circuitous route, was his obvious love of collecting vinyl records. Being in the groove helps spin an entertaining tale.

This reader was aware that the author also loved books, including vintage crime novels. When he launched his new series, "The Paperback Sleuth", I quickly grabbed the first book in the planned collection. It was a shrewd move. I'm enjoying Death in Fine Condition, so much so that I'm tearing through its pages. ("No! Careful. Handle with care.")

I gotta know more about Edwin. I think I've met him before.

"Tinkler?! What the...?"

Collectors of all sorts will relate:

"But by the time Cordelia had got in here, with that big window looming balefully over her, all the good stuff had gone."

Thursday, July 27, 2023

First there was Barbie, then there was Ken, then....

... there was "Pierre"!

(Something went wrong at Mattel.)

Sunday, July 23, 2023

BBC Archive: Making Doctor Who in 1977

1977: Making DOCTOR WHO | The Lively Arts | The Making Of | BBC Archive

Clip taken from The Lively Arts: Whose Dr Who, originally broadcast 3 April 1977

The Lively Arts sees Melvin Bragg go behind the scenes of Britain's best-loved science fiction series, Doctor Who. With a short production time and comparatively modest budget, every episode is a challenge for set and costume designers, visual and sound effects engineers and the rest of the cast and crew. Featuring Dick Mills at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, composer Dudley Simpson, director David Maloney, producer Philip Hinchcliffe, costume designer John Bloomfield and actors Deep Roy and Michael Spice during production of The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Someone not mentioned in the above BBC Archive note, but a key crewmember on this six-part Doctor Who story, is designer Roger Murray-Leach. (He pops up at the 3:10 mark.)

Just when you thought it was safe to say "a budget of sixpence", comes a short 1977 BBC television documentary describing and showing the effort expended ― featuring lumber, plaster, and latex ― during the making of a classic chapter from the original Doctor Who programme; in this case a superior tale, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". Tom Baker was the Doctor at this time, and he shines as he strolls about Victorian London.

I watched "Weng-Chiang" about twenty years ago, and I was impressed with the overall production quality... minus the 'dodgy' rat, of course. Many fans will say this was Doctor Who at its absolute peak; with Robert Holmes' superb script contributing to this standing. (What made me uncomfortable was the then all-too-common depiction of Asians, and with the key Chinese-character roles played by Caucasian actors ― something not exactly foreign to this old-movie fan.)

By the way, the BBC Design Department at the time was second to none.


Postscript: It was through the above video that I first became aware of the BBC Archive on YouTube. More to come....

A Forever Question: Above and Beyond!

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

Sir. Do cats operate within the law?

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Read: The Rebel Christ (Coren)

From a previous posting....

This atheist must keep an open mind, always. Right now I'm reading Toronto-based author Michael Coren's The Rebel Christ (2021). I actually bought the book last October, and read its "Introduction", but my reading queue is always pages long ― meaning it had to wait in line. The Rebel Christ is more than good, even at just a couple of chapters in....

The writer quotes G.K. Chesterton: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."

As readers here may have heard, members of the Christian right have been going barmy over the Reverend Coren's work. I doubt they've even read The Rebel Christ, or perhaps some have but find its reaffirmation of Christ's message of peace and love to be rebarbative.

Before I go back to coffee and reading, I must add: The author maintains a good sense of humour as he addresses certain concerns. This sent me funny....

"Personally, I prefer a nice card, a box of chocolates, and some roses."

Well folks, I finished reading the book, and I have to say that The Rebel Christ is "required reading at the Academy".

So you know where I stand on Christianity and religion in general, I am a card-carrying atheist. As a matter of fact, I have the hard-to-acquire Platinum Card. As I wrote in April of 2017, I rejected 'faith' very early in my life. "From a Dependent Brat: The Church of Me" goes into a little detail as to when and how this happened. I've not wavered since then.

Now that you have an IMF (Impossible Missions Force) dossier on me, here I go....

Non-believers and believers would have much to glean from Michael Coren's effort to set the record straight on a few matters; matters that have been hijacked and distorted by those who wrap themselves in the bible, even if they've never actually read it, to reaffirm what they believe were Christ's teachings. As Mr Coren states assuredly more than a few times in his work, Jesus never actually addressed certain issues, and if he did, if ever so slightly, in some cases they've been perverted beyond all recognition.

I would agree that Jesus preached love and forgiveness above all. (What's so hard to understand?)

This atheist has adopted a certain phrase, one heard a lot these days from non-believers such as myself: "Even I'm more Christian than many of these so-called Christians."

Final note: Travelling on Twitter introduces one to a lot of far-right anger, anger all too often suggesting violence. Check out a given bio and see "Loves Jesus".

Yeah, buddy, I believe you.

But I do believe Michael Coren. The Rebel Christ is outstanding, and highly recommended... even by this atheist.

"Please believe me when I say that Jesus would not hurt or abuse, would not reject, would not exclude."

Monday, July 17, 2023

A Forever Question: Polarity

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

Sir. Do cats electronically simplify their owners?

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Picturing: Shooting With the Arriflex Camera

Yours truly shoots a scene with a hoodlum. While going through my photo files recently, I found this little gem of a shot.

Mark, the actor here, was a great guy, and was always game to act as a tough type. Doesn't he look great? Actually, looking at this picture now, I'm struck by how 'Dick Tracy' he looks.

By the way, the location is Sir Winston Churchill Park, here in Toronto.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

CD: Lost in Space 1 (Williams)

Lost in Space
- Original Television Soundtrack -
Volume One

Music by
John Williams


A Forever Question: Please, Not That!

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

Sir. Would cats banish us to The Dog Zone?"

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Picturing: Two Pairs of Pears

Some weeks ago I grabbed coffee for me and friends. The wonderful baristas gave me a tray to carry three coffees ― which makes for easier transportation, of course.

Instead of throwing the holder out, I brought it home figuring I would find a use for it. Yes, a fruit holder!

Happy Canada Day! 2023

Like many Canadians, I am so grateful to be living in this great country.