Friday, May 31, 2019

It's About the Hockey Stick and the (Puck)

All this boring basketball (Toronto Raptors) talk got me thinking of my favourite team sport. Ice hockey. Actually, any kind of hockey:

From March 16, 2017:

Notes from a Dependent Brat: Hockey of All Sorts

Canadian Forces Base Borden's roads are made for road hockey. They are relatively quiet. Elm Street was my hockey arena every bit as much as the base's two ice rinks, Dyte Hall and Andy Anderson. On that short stretch of roadway there were "wicked" slap shots, scintillating saves, spectacular goals, balls screaming down its length, injuries, impassioned conflict, and loads of fun.

Our road hockey season stretched as long as was rational, or sane. Like kids from all over, inside and outside the borders of CFB Borden, when spring came, certainly the warm weather, we traded-in the hockey sticks and pucks/balls for tennis balls and rackets, baseball bats and mitts. This transition never sat well with me, so one year I decided to resist even more than usual. The prime component of this grand resistance was to create something new: "Grass Hockey." My new found skills made my hockey-stick-armed friends take to the grass in the same way that baseball-mitted kids take to the grass.

We dragged the game of hockey out to an extreme length; one so long that we must have touched the start of the next road hockey season: September.

The houses on Elm Street are gone, having been razed a few years ago, as were their surrounding brothers and sisters on School Street and Hemlock Crescent, but the roads and grassy fields are still there:

Ghosts of all-season hockey-loving kids play to the calls of Echoplexed trumpets....

The Toronto Raptors Take Game One

This morning I awoke to the news headline: "Raptors Send Toronto Into a Frenzy."

They have?

That must be news.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Where's the Hockey? (Inconvenient)

On Tuesday evening I popped the television on to watch what I was expecting to be NHL playoff action between the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues. But what the CBC gave me was an episode of Kim's Convenience.

Getting wrapped up in my laptop work took me from my 'tube', rendered me oblivious to what played on Kim's. Actually, I did follow a little bit. And I wasn't so disconnected that I did not notice that another episode started up. Then another. And two more after that. A festival.

On the fifth day of this month I posted a critical piece on Kim's Convenience; my summation of the sitcom after watching a few episodes over a couple of months....not all in one evening.

What can I add this time?

For some bizarre reason the show's producers feel there must be a "C" story: three story streams. The problem with this model is the program's format is not one of a continuing story arc. All three pieces are one-offs. None of which is particularly effective in the end. The audience cannot get into what amounts to a skit.

Yesterday I expressed my 'concerns' to a friend and production peer. Why do the writers submit to this ineffective format?

"Everybody's frightened."

There was no NHL playoffs excitement that night.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The News Says We Torontonians Are Raptors Crazy

We are?

This morning I spent a couple of hours getting some work done in my local coffee shop: I overheard no conversations about the Toronto Raptors.

I then met an old friend for lunch in a diner: I overheard no conversations about the Raptors.

(Hard life, I know.)

But when I got home about an hour ago I popped on the radio and: Raptors this and Raptors that. "Toronto is going Raptors crazy!"

"We are?" (That's news to me.)

Interesting, eh?

I'm happy for the Toronto Raptors and its fans, but I'm thinking I'm in a different city.

I look out my front window: "No. The CN Tower is there."

Still No Trek to Discovery

As I wrote minutes ago, here, I was not expecting much two years ago when I posted a piece about 'anticipating' Star Trek: Discovery.

The night after ST:D premiered I posted again:

That Was No Trek Last Night

Re: Premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

I don't know what it was trying to be. Script deficiencies would seem to be the culprit. The show must have gone to camera before important issues were ironed out: the characters are cut-outs; sets and settings lack character; and the dialogue is rubbish.

The behind-the-scenes problems may have been reported accurately. What a space mess.

Discovery's key crew members probably had no idea what was going on. (There was a high turnover of personnel.) The home opener was poorly shot, designed, and scored. The actors looked bewildered at times. The script felt "first draft".

As I told a friend recently, my ritual with the Trek television shows is to watch the first two episodes then go back to my life. My life came back this time after just sixty minutes; at 9:48 last night.


I am plotting an article for an online film magazine a friend of mine is firing up. He suggested I write a review of Multiple Maniacs, John Waters' second feature-length film. Back in March, Criterion released a DVD and Blu-ray and the impressive image quality on the 1970 super-low-budget 16mm epic helps elevate the movie as a whole, popping it into a form of legitimacy. As for content, Maniacs still feels fresh today. It's so audaciously bad-ass, it's goodness.

Working on the article at this time gave my head a shake: Multiple Maniacs is a textbook example of production with vision. Star Trek: Discovery is lacking vision. And that cheapness is more glaring.

All This Star Trek Discovery Talk

A old friend of mine is into CBS All Access's Star Trek: Discovery. Occasionally I'll ask him his thoughts on how he feels about the series. There have been twenty-nine episodes thus far, over two seasons. (Just twenty-nine? I'm guessing series budgets aren't what they used to be.)

Maybe some day I'll binge-watch (yikes!) all twenty-nine; and stop after episode two. (I wish CBS All Access would make the series more "accessible".)

This talk reminds me of a piece I posted on August 2, of 2017:

Star Trek: Discovery

Today, on the Toronto Star's website:

Star Trek: Discovery was delayed to protect quality, says producer

Which, based on many, many precedents, could very well translate as: Nobody has a vision, except the show's first executive producer (Brian Fuller), but he was turfed because a committee with a new vision came along, and many people were replaced, with new people taking over who have no clue as to what Star Trek is about.

A real cynic might say that the line from new Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman is code for: "It's a dog, folks, but we can't admit that to you."

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

On the Ontario Conservatives' Backtrack

A fine comment to my post from last evening ("Con Swift and His Party Time Machine") prompted me to respond:

It's been suggested by some pundits that the federal Conservative brand (read: Andrew Scheer) has been irreparably damaged by this sequence of events. It was a peek into a possible future.

Conservatives don't like it because it shows how too easily their Con leaders gave in to the 'Snowflakes' and unions.

Liberals love it because it reaffirms, and perhaps, proves, their "I told you so".

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario insiders say the latest polling numbers flicked the party into a state of "panic". Hence the cancellation.

May we live in an interesting time and place.


Now Ford and his boys are saying they will indeed "tear up" the agreement made with The Beer Store. (This deal was struck ten years ago with the then Liberal government.) Stay tuned.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Con Swift and His Party Time Machine

The hot news today in this great Canadian province:

Premier Doug Ford, Ontario's Bouncing Baby Boy, has cancelled retroactive budget cuts aimed at child care, public health, and land-based ambulance services.

The solid-rock theory is that Ford and his boys were shaken by several recent polls putting him and his party time at the bottom of the beer barrel.

Had the OnCons been paying attention in the first place....

A Forever Question: Paper Towel Cuts

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

Sir. Why don't paper towels come in foolscap size, for those bigger picker-ups?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Keep it Picard

This past week I saw a link to the teaser-trailer for the new television series, Star Trek: Picard. Patrick Stewart once again helms a Trek show; the first being Star Trek: The Next Generation, a series which did not exactly captivate me, principally because its staffing of too many two-dimensional characters.

The video embedded above is a teaser: shots of a vineyard and wine bottles mixed with the face of Jean-Luc Picard. It looks 'interior'. In my Starfleet Manual, that would put it at an advantage. I might want to watch. Of course, I'll do my usual: Watch the first two episodes, and stop there.

Maybe not. I'm capable of surprising myself.

Subspace message to Picard's showrunners from this old Trekker: Keep the show about "character"; focus on the interior. While I admit I watched around 40 episodes in total out of a possible 178, my favourite episode of ST:TNG was "Family". In that one, Picard went home to his family's vineyard in France, as he tried to replenish his soul after being released from Borg-assimilation. (Jeremy Kemp was outstanding as Picard's elder brother, Robert.)

In my rule book, with few exemptions:

* I don't want to see any goofy space battles.
* I don't want to hear any ridiculous techobabble.
* I don't care about more Klingons, or Romulans.

Give me Star Trek: with genuinely engaging characters and stories.

Bring on Picard.

Oh. I had forgotten about the fanboys....

Congrats to the Toronto Raptors

Early this morning my radio told me the news that the Toronto Raptors have made it to the NBA final playoff round. (What's the trophy?) Milwaukee Bucks fans must have lost a couple of bucks on that one.

I learned recently the name Kyle Lowry. He sounds like quite the talented player, and a big reason for the Raptors' big push.

It's a shame I cannot watch that sport. For me it fails to generate any excitement, even with a Toronto team as the headline.

Over the next week or two, I will find out the game results the next morning.

But. The evening before: "Go Raptors!"

Superstition in Leafs Nation


Okay. My story.

I understand that Toronto Maple Leafs fans (Leafs Nation) felt their boys in blue had their playoff chances jinxed by a certain Canadian music superstar. Drake, the proud Canadian and Torontonian that he is, would show up at (Toronto's home rink) sporting his Leafs jersey to cheer-on his team. That already jinxed team.

Drake's in the stands; the Buds lose.

Fans asked him politely: Please do not show up. "That kills our chances of beating the Bruins."

Superstition. I disagree on that one. The Leafs' chances of beating the Boston Bruins, or any team, at home in the playoffs is jinxed when the Leafs show up sporting Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Horror Film Scores of Note

Music scoring is important for many strains of film, but it may be most important for the horror film.

My go-to examples:

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Dracula (1958)
Psycho (1960)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Exorcist (1972)
Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (1973)
Jaws (1975)
The Omen (1976)
Suspiria (1977)
Halloween (1978)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Shining (1980)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Mainstreet Research on Ontario Polling

This is interesting:

LIB: 39.9%
NDP: 24.2%
PC: 22.4%
Green: 11.7%
Other: 1.8%

Polling firm: Mainstreet Research
Date: May 22nd
Respondents: 996
Margin of Error: 3.1%

Note: The Progressive Conservatives (PC) are presently the ruling party.

There must be a story there....

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Spaced Out Commander in Cheef

No doubt U.S. President Donald J. Trump had no intention of misspelling a certain word on his handwritten paper notes. "Dems have no achomlishments."

For once, The Donald is right. For the Democrats to have achomlished something they would have to know what the word "achomlishing" means.

For some reason I was reminded of something that Khan Noonien Singh, that evil, but intelligent, superman, absolute ruler of more than a quarter of this world, once said when describing power.

I can imagine The Donald tweeting this at three o'clock one morning:

"The U.S.A. under Donald. Think of it's achomlishments!"

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Telephone Order Pizza With Care

Hidden charges. We all know them.

Two years ago I placed a pizza order. The last time I took advantage of such a service was many years in the past. The Romans and Carthaginians had gone at it a few times since had I last picked up the telephone and called in a pizza pie.

“... Pizza Pizza. Can I have your order please?”

Sure you can. The flyer I referenced from had a special offer: a large pizza with three toppings, for $12.99.

“That’ll be (around twenty) dollars.” Since I was in a busy headspace, the total cost went by me.

It came.

When the delivery guy repeated the total cost I made an interjection: “I thought it was $12.99 (plus tax, of course)!”

“There’s a five dollar delivery charge, sir.”

The order taker did not say that.

My memory is such that I can replay a conversation when I need to check details. I let it go. That pie smelled really good.

In hindsight, I should have put two and two together, if not add (about) seven dollars.

A few months later I ordered again, just to do a little quality control and a needed customer service check.

This time around I pressed “record” on the ol' reel-to-reel.

“... Pizza Pizza….”

I wanted the same special.

“That’ll be (around twenty) dollars.”

I knew it. “I thought the pizza was twelve ninety-nine?”

“There’s a five dollar delivery charge, sir.”

Just to get technical: “You should say, ‘so you know, with deliveries there is a five dollar service charge’.”


We’re surprised?

Photo Graph: Scaffolding the Royal Ontario Museum

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It Is Just....

Game of Thrones is over, for the time being. I've heard that many fans are mighty upset at what they perceive to be a lack of quality in the final season.

"Rushed", I've heard a few times.

"Cheesy" is what I thought after I watched an episode on CTV a couple of years ago. (That network experimented with broadcasting a season. Ratings were underwhelming, apparently. Makes sense: the fans had already watched that year on HBO. And downloaded.)

To me, the one I saw looked like it might have been something made by a theatre company that had grabbed a camera and visited an old ruin.

In all fairness, watching one episode, and out of context, is hardly any way to judge an entire series (which I will not bother watching from beginning to end).

There's quite the GofT fan petition going around. It calls for a remount of the show's entire last season.

It's just a TV show. (Bold, italicized, and underlined.)

Picturing: Crawling Scaffolding on the ROM (Toronto)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Picturing: A "Lost" DVD Set With a Lost 6th Season

At Bay Street Video, here in Toronto: Incomplete Lost (2004 - 2010) DVD set. It's missing the 6th season. And it's at the reduced price of $99.95.

Is one missing anything by missing the sixth season of Lost?....

A Game of Odd Props

About an hour ago I posted a piece about last night's episode of Game of Thrones posting onscreen another special coffee cup. I was joking, of course.

Minutes later I read a piece online about that episode of GofT sporting a plastic water bottle. (Polymers in ancient times?)

Sloppy filmmaking.

A Game of Coffee Cups

According to the news this morning, last night played the final-final episode of Game of Thrones. An episode or two ago there was an onscreen Starbucks paper coffee cup.

Now I'm hearing a rumour that last night's GoT contained a Tim Hortons coffee cup. What? How did that get there? Did the set dresser make a point to have one shipped in?

A Forever Question: On the Head

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

Sir. Why do the Three Stooges never suffer concussions and are able to appear in short after short?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

No Good News is Good News

... to the Toronto Sun. And me.

Yesterday the news broke that U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have a new deal: No more tariffs on steel and aluminum, and no retributive measures on these tariffs.

The news was everywhere. Toronto-based newspapers sang "Read all about it!", the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail updated their online pages immediately with the important news. Well, almost "everywhere". I was not surprised to see that the National Post had nothing; even less surprised to see that the Toronto Sun not only had nothing, but still had a front-and-centre story up about how the latest negotiations had failed ("close but no cigar!").

This newshound monitored the situation with almost morbid fascination. Hours later the old and out-of-date story was still on the Sun's main page; then the National Post finally had a small bit, hardly what one would expect for such big news. Last night it was still the same Sun story, but they had, finally, dropped the old version. (I'm guessing they wanted their "I only read the Sun!" crowd to lap it up.)

This morning: Still nothing.

I've written about this before on this blog when such an important, favourable to the Liberals and Mr Trudeau, story breaks. The Toronto Sun spends a day or two working up a negative spin on something that gets under their skin. The news breaks on its pages through editorial....a stream of anger from its stock of bitter columnists: Brian Lilley; Lorrie Goldstein; Mark Bonokoski; Anthony Furey; ....

I can't wait!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Road to....

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and its driver, Premier Doug Ford, are knee-deep in their obsession with cutting services and programs in this great province. The cuts seem to come from a bowl of anger and hostility, not to mention, ignorance. "... Cutting taxes!"

One hopes they would take the road to enlightenment -- an essential pilgrimage. All one has to do is promise the bullyman Ford that he and his stars will be chauffeured in a personal van on a literal road: both paid for by the taxpayers of Ontario.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Carnival of Dolts Has Come to Town

Trust Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his fellow things to not tell the truth; to spread lies by using taxpayer dollars. (There's a big joke in that funding issue. You got it.)

The vehicle: Television advertisements (which started on Monday).

The subject: The Federal Carbon Tax.

The message: Ontarians will have to cough up an extra $648 yearly on groceries, home heating, and gasoline.

The problem: The advert fails to state that most families will actually get more from the carbon tax than what they dish out. Why? The federal government has a tax rebate program.

The truth: That $648 figure is not the projected cost of the tax for this year, but rather 2022, when it hits $50 per tonne.

I said "Dolts"?....

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Raptors vs Bucks vs Sharks vs Blues

Toronto media outlets are really making an effort to play-up the first game between the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in NBA conference finals action.

I did a little research and found out that the game is not offered over-the-air here in the Toronto area. One must have a cable service.

That's okay. If I decide to watch any sports programming tonight the choice is a simple one: On the CBC, available through the television antenna, is game 3 between the San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues in NHL conference finals action.

The bonus is it's the exciting sport of ice hockey.

Tim Conway (1933 - 2019, and Still Funny)

Comedian Tim Conway died yesterday at the age of 85. The news brought back a certain memory from my youth: the "Dentist" sketch from The Carol Burnett Show. In that classic piece of television comedy, Tim Conway played the titular character with a bad aim. What should have been a simple injection of Novocaine turned into multiple injections....on himself.

Patient patient Harvey Korman had what's referred to today as "painless dentistry".

It remains one of the funniest sketches I've seen. Mr Korman thought so, too....

Monday, May 13, 2019

Picturing: Queen Video On Bloor Remains VHS Tapes

(click on pics to expand collection)

A Forever Question: Fruit Companies

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

Sir. Why are there so many companies with "Apple" in their name, but few with "Raspberry"?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Picturing: A Character Perched Outside the R.O.M.

Star Wars: Another Lull Before Another Storm

A trailer arrived recently for the next Star Wars film. I've not checked it out -- no more Star Wars films for me -- but I understand it's the last story in the chain for Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

From May 27th, 2017:

Star Wars: The Lull Before the Storm

"... It's called Star Wars. One set alone cost twelve million dollars."

That is how I first heard of Star Wars. It was the spring of 1977. I had the Grundig stereo on in the living room and as I walked from the kitchen into the dining room I heard an on-air host from Toronto radio station CKFM say the magic words. My reaction to the announced set cost must have been one of awe -- I later learned that the movie cost about ten million dollars to make -- but it was the name of this mysterious new flick that really intrigued me.

Over the next few days I will tell, in serial form, the story from my perspective of how Star Wars hit not only the marketplace, but entered our culture....

That could have been the opening crawl to my series recounting my introduction to Star Wars. It all started for me when I heard that radio piece. But everyone has a different story. And already I've read a few online.

In the pre-Internet age, it was a different game.

After learning of a new and anticipated movie going into production, one had to sometimes dig to learn more than what was readily available from the mainstream media outlets. For most pictures the wait was, more often than not, off our radars.

However, do not think for a moment that pre-release or pre-production hype used by the major film studios is a recently developed tool. Films from the 1970s were following an old model but with new tricks. Promotional featurettes, shot on 16mm film, were taken to a refined state during those years. Major studio productions like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and King Kong were promoted heavily while they were still in production. In the case of Kong the casting of the new beauty was covered in local and national newscasts. I remember watching Buffalo television station WKBW late one evening and seeing newsfilm of Jessica Lange on stage holding a bouquet of flowers (it was a press conference).

Who could forget watching the excellent and dynamic promotional film showing the production crew of The Towering Inferno doing their magic? Irwin Allen directing over John Guillerman's head by using a megaphone was exciting and memorable. ("Mister Newman!") Accompanied by an authoritative but not staid voice over, bulldozers dug down into a sound stage floor in order to give the already voluminous space even more fly. These promotional shorts were nothing less than recruitment films. "I want to do that!"

By the time big pictures such as PoseidonInferno, Kong, Earthquake, and The Hindenburg hit the screens, an educated, of sorts, audience was awaiting. And I was a member of that audience, in all five examples.

There was none of that for Star Wars. It just snuck up on us....

Friday, May 10, 2019

GO is Getting Serious With Fare Evaders

GO Transit claims they lose about 15 million dollars per year due to uncollected fares. They are activating more fare inspectors in an effort to nab those train riders who take a seat and hope nobody will ask to see their papers.

Getting caught used to result in a stern warning. No longer. Now it's a fine.

In February I took the GO train to Burlington. I was waiting for someone to ask me to produce my ticket; no doubt the other guy sitting in my car was waiting for the same request.

Same story on the way back to Toronto. More people sat in the railway car with me this time, but no go again on the ticket inspection front.

"Is this normal?"

Fake Writer?

On Wednesday, the National Post printed an article from a "freelance writer living in Toronto" by the name of "Paul Philip Willis". Interesting. Since I had never heard of this gentleman writer, I decided to do a little Internet search. Nothing. At all. Except for the link below, of course....

Why are we celebrating Red Army conquests in the streets of Toronto?
Paul Philip Willis: The Swastika and the Hammer and Sickle both represent pure evil. There ought to be no place for them here

Sam Oosterhoff, Doug Ford - BiblioTex

On Tuesday, an official with the office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff called the police. Why? Because a group of about 15 seniors showed up at his Beamsville office to stage a 'read-in', protesting cuts made to library funding. Who made these cuts? Premier Doug Ford and his provincial Conservatives. Remember, his brother, the late Rob Ford, tried to shut down multiple library branches here in Toronto when he was this city's finest-ever mayor. Both Rob and Doug had little if any use for a library. (They had not even known the name "Margaret Atwood".)

By the way, Sam Oosterhoff gave some lame excuse as to why those senior Tolstoy-wielding ruffians were removed from his literate office.

Do Messrs Oosterhoff and Ford know the title "Fahrenheit 451"? ("Who's Ray Bradbury?....")

Thursday, May 9, 2019

CD: Dave Brubeck's Greatest Hits

Film Design: Strange Washroom's Fixtures

Film is design. As I've posted on this blog previously, I design my own stuff: the sketches start as early as when I'm sketching out the story, and, of course, continue on well into production. The design work doesn't sleep.

The above drawings are for a project I've developed that may or may not meet a camera lens. They are details of a greater set: a strange old washroom.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Forty-One to What?....

Minutes ago I joined TVO's public affairs program The Agenda in progress....

Host Steve Paikin had a few guests at the table. The subject seemed to be about children in sports. Paikin turned to the lady sitting to his right and said something like this: "There was a case last October where a Cambridge hockey team made up of a bunch of eight-year-olds played a team from another town and won the game by a score of forty-one to nothing."

A look of concern passed back and forth between the woman and the host.

I thought: "What? How is that possible? Were they playing the Leafs?"

CD: Star Trek - The Motion Picture (Jerry Goldsmith)

CD: André Gagnon "Le Saint-Laurent"

CD: Khachaturian "The Bell" & "Battle of Stalingrad"

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Kim's Convenience

Sitcoms are my least favourite form of television. Which does not explain my almost reverence for All in the Family (1971 - 1979, CBS).

I decided to check out a few episodes of Kim's Convenience. My exploration took place at my convenience over a couple of months. The CBC sitcom premiered in October of 2016 and finished its third season a few weeks back. As I write this I'm checking out a back-to-back episode run. (It's a lead-in to tonight's NHL playoff game 7 of the series between the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues.)

"Kim" is the surname of a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store here in Toronto, Canada. The mother and father are immigrants from South Korea; their son and daughter are Canadian born. Needless to say, this dichotomy is a wellspring or springboard for much of the story material.

Recently I read some reviews in order to contaminate my own still formulating opinion on the series. One comment I found interesting said that Kim's is more pleasant than funny. I would agree. Spot on.

Six episodes should be enough; that's about half of a television season here in Canada.

The series does not work. As fine as the cast is they are not supported. The producers and writers must know their aims but it's clear they have no idea how to get there. And they probably drive to the corner store.

The Royal Addition

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have not yet named their first child -- as far as we know. It's a baby boy without a title or two.

The media is having some fun speculating what the couple may name their royal addition. "Albert" is the top pick in a few circles, including bookies.


I say "Johann".

Picturing: A Canada Geese Family Line