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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old Books

I did a meme not long ago and one of the questions in the meme was: The Oldest Book on your Shelf.  I interpreted it to mean, the oldest book UNread on your shelf.  That would be Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.  Even that isn't totally unread, I did read about 250 pages and set it down.  I do plan to do more in it.

When I read others blogs doing that meme and realized they wanted to know the "oldest book you own" I began to look around.  Unfortunately I don't have any books from when I was very young.  Nor do I have any books I bought for my kids when they were very young (like Winnie the Pooh).. so.. that leaves me with: the boxed set of The DragonLance first trilogy. (see below)  You can't read it but the set of 3 mass paperbacks cost 9.95...  Nine nighty-five!  Heh, you aren't ever going to see that price again for three books!!

I can no longer read mass paperbacks due to my bad eyes so I have since purchased these in hardback when they were released just a few  years ago.

About the same time I received the trade paperbacks of The Sword of Shannara series. These are quite thick books and were 6.95 and 7.95 each even back then.  But again.. they are pretty old.  I think the high price was because they were rather large trade paperbacks and do have a lot of artwork in them.  My youngest son gave these two sets of  books to me for a Christmas present and Birthday present, so needless to say.. I keep them no matter how brown they will get!

One thing about the Shannara books.. it's rare to find a book with artwork inside the book... especially if it's an adult book.  It seems we are paying more and getting less these days.  Nothing really new in that, I guess we should be glad that the kids books still have art work in them. 


I wish I had the old Winnie the Pooh books I had gotten for my kids, or even to know what happened to them.  But I have no memory at all as to what may have happened to them.

For reasons I can't even fathom I do remember an old Pinocchio book I had of my own, and again.. I don't know what happened to it, and I'm not sure why this particular book stays in my head.  I did find this picture on the web of the exact book though.. thought that was pretty neat to find!  This was one of those books that was also filled with art work.

( Illustrated by: Frederick Richardson  1862 - 1937)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Don't Men Read Pern?

(This post is written by both Pat and Cath)

Ok.. don't get me wrong, some men have read Anne McCaffrey's books.  But, Cath and I were talking on IM the other day and the topic of dragon books came up and that, naturally, led to Anne McCaffrey's Pern books. (..and Master Harper Robinton, which both of us are going to fight over hahaha) While talking the fact came up that it seemed to us that we didn't know any men (except m'ah babyboy Chris) who have read any of the Pern books.

They are filled with great and interesting characters, we both agreed.  Very strong men who were dragonriders and leaders of the Weyrs.  Strong women.  Nearly inhuman problems to be solved, and all around fantastic writing.

Some of the reasons we came up with about why men don't seem to read Pern are: 

...some men don't like to read about strong women.

...some men don't read books written by women.

...some men don't like fantasy's that sound too real.

...some men aren't "into" dragons.

...some men might see the books as too 'girly'. Ie there is romance, not just between people but the dragons are included as well!

Of course none of these excuses have been asked of the men that we know who read fantasy books.

Apart from my own husband that is (Cath). When I asked him why he'd never read them he replied that actually he had read several. His opinion was that they're 'okay' but nothing special. His reason seemed to be that there wasn't enough action in them - not enough of the stuff men like such as fighting and war. Plus, there was too much of the kind of thing women like such as emotional and life solving problems. It seems men are not so keen on this kind of introspection.

... one more thought was that these are old books and so are not promoted or out there for some to discover anymore.

...And I also wondered if the fact that a woman, Lessa, is the most important character in the first books made a difference. Do men like the most important character in a book to be a man? Personally, I feel that McCaffrey treats men and women as equals in all the books and for me that's a plus point not a minus.

The Pern books are among some of my absolute favorite books.  I've read them a number of times.  When I do I am totally lost into the world of Pern and the dragonriders with their dragons, the masterharper hall, and other lord holders and the people that live and work in them.

The planet is also very 'real'. The map and descriptions are so precise that it feels like this place really exists. Especially the southern continent which they rediscover in The White Dragon and it's like going on your very own voyage of exploration.

I feel drawn to the dragons in Anne's books because they are friendly.  Because you can bond with them the way you do with your own pet dog or cat.   Of course you can't communicate with your dog or cat.. but that isn't because you don't want to!

The more I thought about Pern the more I tried to think about, "what don't I like about Pern and life there?"  Well.. besides the obvious of the "killer threads", life there isn't easy.  There aren't a lot of "modern conveniences".  But even with that, life there seems more intense.. I want to say they work harder and enjoy life harder.  And it's not even a 'too perfect' world. There are unpleasant people as well as nice ones. People don't get along, are selfish, petty, fall out, just as they do in real life.

Her characters are well developed, as is Pern itself, and you can feel the authors compassion when you are reading her books. (maybe that's a reason men don't read Pern?)

So.. we are writing this because we want to know why men don't read Pern!!

If you know.. let US know! 


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Admit One

Admit One   by Emmett James.



Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Wheatmark (December 30, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1587369133

Product Description
Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor-Hollywood. We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.

Mr James lists this as a Memoir... and it is exactly that.   He has taken a comical look at his life and how it wrapped around things he remembers from early childhood to grown up with movies.  It seems they have been his passion from the early beginnings of his life when his mother would take him to the movies that inevitably he slept through, to the day he left England for America and Hollywood.

It's a quick read and, as I said humorous, and true.

The book isn't long at 220 pages, since it is double spaced and even triple spaced between paragraphs. It looks a bit like they were trying to stretch it into a "book" .  That's not to say I didn't enjoy the read, I did.  And the only fault I can find with the book is that the cost is a bit much for a quick read paperback.

I think I expected a little more from the story.  But that's my fault.  It does read how the Amazon review states.  I generally think there is more descriptions and making me feel as if I were in England growing up, but instead It could have been pretty much anywhere.  The occasional mention of a town or of London, but the ambience was missing. 

But still a fun relaxing read.. which I think I needed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Very Own Award

First, I want to thank everyone who commented on my "older Generation" post..  I really am not sleeping well and I know part of it is stress... the rest is probably old age!  I will be calling AARP this week and I'll let you know the outcome.  I probably will take whatever I have to... it just means less money to be able to feel human.  But somehow I will do without this or that and still buy books and still go to my few autograph shows each year... if I didn't do that I wouldn't be human at all .. thank you all very much, it did help writing it and hearing what you all had to say.

Now.. on to an award that CJ awarded me!


Check it out!  This is my award! 

The Dardos Award is in appreciation of the merits - culturally, literary and individually- of every blogger who expresses him/herself on his/her blog.

The conditions are to:
Be tickled pink,
copy and paste the award picture to your blog,
write down the regulations,
link the blog who bestowed you the award,
and finally nominate 15 blogs for the award.

Ok, so it's not an Oscar or SAG award, but it's a good one just the same!!

I've already put the award on my side bar, and I guess I am supposed to bestow it on 15 others.. I hate doing that because if I didn't think the blogs I read were valued I wouldn't read them!  (and a number of people feel obligated to pass it on and have the same difficulties, and more). 

If I were to "name some names"  I would surely give one to my newly discovered "sister" Cath, who resides across the pond.  The more Cath and I talk/ comment in each others blogs the more I find myself writing "me too!" and it escalates from there.  Of course we have our differences but I do so enjoy her blog and especially when she treats us to photos she has taken while on holiday.  I do enjoy seeing the England that I will never get to see in person.   ok, never say never.. that I doubt I will ever see in person.

I'd, of course, include my "adopted son" Chris for his joy and enthusiasm he brings to his blog.  It's been a long time since I have met anyone who so enjoys the books he reads, and life in general.  He's one of the few who can make me smile despite myself.

And Carl, who through his wonderful book reading blog as broadened what I read!  Yes, yes, Carl , who really got me back on the road of reading would have to have the award!!

Of course Nymeth would get one.  Her blog is a joy to read.  Even when she talks of books that I know I wouldn't read, her writing makes me read her blog!  She's also to blame for many books I've sent for on Amazon! :o)

And then there would be LadyTink, who single handedly is trying to get young people to realize that the old movies are worth watching!  I love to hear her joy when she writes about discovering an old movie or talks about the actors that mainly only the elderly know.  It does my heart good to know the old movies are not forgotten.

Then there is Debi.  She juggles home schooling, and  a husband and still manages to read books other than those she has to for the schooling!  I remember once, being able to juggle so many things at once, but know I couldn't do that anymore.  It amazes me, but at the same time I hope she takes some time for herself, because no one should totally give up their life for their family.. there needs to be a little time to recognize your own self.

Kailana (Kelly) is a young lady from Canada who reads well above the norm.  I think I met Kelly through Carls Challenge and have enjoyed her writings ever since.

And I couldn't forget Becky... she's a reading machine!  It's incredible to me that anyone can read as many books as she reads!  She's great! Her reading is very diverse and you can always find something she has read that leads you back to Amazon LOL !!

There are many others, and many that are not book related blogs that I read, like My Everyday Life (Helen) and My Country Life (Donna) These ladies talk about their everyday life. Their trials and tribulations and happy times too, and I've read their blogs since I first started in aol .  And I can't forget Naomi ! She is an artist, a singer, and actress and more! She is friends with some of the most wonderful people that she parties with and shows us photo's of.

Ok so those are just a few.. I read so many more blogs that it would take all day to list them!  Those I did list do not have to accept the award or pass it on.. but know these are some of the reasons I continue to read and blog.. thank you one and all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Inkheart: the Movie!


Brendan Fraser ...  Mo 'Silvertongue' Folchart
Eliza Bennett ...  Meggie Folchart 
Paul Bettany ...  Dustfinger
Helen Mirren ...  Elinor Loredan
Andy Serkis ...  Capricorn

It's not often I get to the theater to see a new movie, but occasionally the impossible happens.  (of course it helps that I've been waiting nearly a year and a half for this movie to be release!)

Yessssss!  Finally !  Inkheart the movie!!


Most people know, that the movie seldom is "better than" the book.  And I don't go see a movie with the hopes that it will be better.  After all, I must have really liked the book to even want to see the movie version!

But I do go for a number of other reasons. 

For one, I find it interesting to compare my visions to those of the movie makers.  For another I like to see how they see the characters, the personality they have given them.  And yet another reason should come as no big surprise to anyone who remotely knows me.. it will generally contain actors that I admire, and this movie is no exception.  I very much admire Andy Serkis, I have enjoyed other movies with Brendan Fraser and Helen Mirren, so.. I like the movie even before I step foot into the theater!


Ok,'s what I thought about it...

The best first:  I am really sorry they waited so long to release the movie because I would love to see the other two books made into movies and now the young girl Eliza is two years older and the books run in succession without years between them.

Brendan Fraser was really good in this movie!  And there is probably a reason for that... in an interview Cornelia Funke who wrote the books states that the character of Mo was fashioned for Brendan!

Paul Bettany never looked so sexy! lol and he was excellent as Dustfinger!...

And then there was Capricorn... Andy, Andy, Andy!  I wish there had been more of him!!  Such great memories of meeting him and talking to him about his part in this movie came flooding back to me.  Andy does "evil" quite well.... but I'd love to see him do stage!

Admittedly the script writers did quite a bit of "creative license" and changed things around, but not so much that you couldn't follow the story or that it changed the outcome in any way.

I think Helen Mirren's part as Elinor was shortened from the book, but she still did well in the part.

I was happy to see the theater had more people in it than I expected.  Quite a few new movies began this weekend and many are Oscar nominated and so I didn't expect many at the Inkheart movie.   The other surprise was that they were all adults at the movie!  Not a kid in site!  And yet Inkheart is a YA book !!   (love it!)

I don't know if they will go on to do the other two movies.. but I sure hope so! 


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Huckleberry Finn 1960


Huckleberry Finn

Tony Randall ...  The King of France
Archie Moore ...  Jim
Eddie Hodges ...  Huckleberry Finn
Patty McCormack ...  Joanna Wilkes
Neville Brand ...  Pap Finn
Mickey Shaughnessy ...  The Duke
Judy Canova ...  Sheriff's wife
Andy Devine ...  Mr. Carmody
Sherry Jackson ...  Mary Jane Wilkes
Buster Keaton ...  Lion Tamer
Finlay Currie ...  Capt. Sellers
Josephine Hutchinson ...  Widow Douglas
Parley Baer ...  Grangeford man
John Carradine ...  Slave catcher
Royal Dano ...  Harlan, Sheriff
Dolores Hawkins ...  Riverboat singer
Sterling Holloway ...  Barber
Harry Dean Stanton ...  Slave Catcher (as Dean Stanton)

Yeah, you know I love the old movies. 

And love when one that always blows me away comes on TCM.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn came on TCM and blew me away... again.

No, it's not as old as most of the movies on TCM, but then they show greatness no matter what the year of the movie.

What is it that makes me smile so and takes me away?   It's movies like this with multiple stars in them.  Some of the parts not really all that big, but they are there anyway!

I love it !  I love it !   I love it !




I put these pictures in just so you can put a face to the names.  I know many of you don't even know who these people are, but trust me...  they are fantastic actors one and all!

So, as always TCM had some great movies on this Saturday.. but this is the one that really stood out for me.  I know it's because  of the many memories these actors have given me over many many .. *gulp*.. many years.

I wish everyone of you knew these people and enjoyed their movies as much as I do.  Everytime I feel as I do about a certain old movie I turn around and wish the same thing, and then feel sad knowing so many people don't know them .. and probably never will.

This movie deserves all 5 boxes of popcorn!!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Spite of Myself: Christopher Plummer

Now and then I really enjoy a biography, or autobiography, or memoir.  Over the years I've read a number of them.  Not a lot by any means, as I only read the ones I think will interest me.

And so I noted when Christopher Plummer released a book called "In Spite of Myself", and immediately put it on my Amazon Wish List.  

(I mean, what's not to like? He's gorgeous!)

(... well.. most of the time!.. )

Now, for the most part, I do note the dimensions of a book before purchasing it (if it's not hardback, as my eyes aren't very good) and generally I note how large the books is, page wise.

When my son and daughter-in-law sent me an Amazon gift Certificate for Christmas, I, naturally ran right off and spent it!  Among what I received from them was the Christopher Plummer book.  What better then to receive a book when someone else is paying right?  :o)

Upon lifting the book to my lap to look at it closer for reading I couldn't help but notice how heavy the book was.  Wow, I thought, how many pages IS this book?   OMG! it's 656 pages long!!!  Just how much do I like Christopher Plummer to want to read a chunkster like this about one person????!!!

After I got over the shock, and trust me it WAS a shock!, I thought: Ok, I'll start this but the minute it's not interesting or the minute it begins doing nothing but listing movies and what the movies are, I'll quit.  Knowing he was more a stage actor than a movie star I thought it might be interesting to learn about the theater, especially since I have never seen a professional play.

(Anthony & Cleopatra: still gorgeous!)

(portraying Barrymore)

Hardcover: 656 pages
Publisher: Knopf (November 4, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0679421629

The first 130 pages went rather quickly! (hmmmm) and I found them very interesting!  Plummers family history up in Canada reads like a "who's who".  For instance, his second cousin is Nigel Bruce of Sherlock Holmes fame!  And a little piece of trivia is that he worked on radio with John Colicos and Bill Shatner. (someone he would work with again years later) 

An actor you don't forget if you ever saw him, Edward Everett Horton, was the person to first get Mr Plummer work in America.  Soon after he found an agent and worked on televisions shows such as: (an unless you are of the older generation you'd never heard of these)  Kraft Television Theater, Robert Montgomery Presents and Philco Television Playhouse. (see, I told you you wouldn't know them unless you are ..well.. old.)

Seeing as the first 100 pages went so fast I decided to continue on...

Something I found intriguing was reading about actors I know as "movie actors" but now they were stage actors.  It was a whole new view of them, especially when Mr Plummer was talking about them "off stage".

Shortly after getting back into the book I learned that Roddy McDowell would become a lifelong friend, after they worked on stage together.  To give you an idea of what was going on about this time in  his life I will copy a paragraph from the book:

The top 10  new plays of the year were: Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates, The Diary of Anne Frank, which made a star of Susan Strasberg at seventeen, and No Time for Sergeants, which marked the debut of that charmer Andy Griffith.  The Ponder Heart by Chodorov, The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold, Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker with a towering comic performance by Ruth Gordon and a pixie performance by Robert Morse... and Bert Lahr, equally brilliant in the American premiere of Beckett's Waiting for Godot. There was a little known musical that snuck in called My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and a young newcomer from Wimbledon named Julie Andrews and lastly, the first big success I was ever in.. The Lark.

During one of the times Christopher was doing Henry the Fifth, his understudy who, when Christopher became sick, went on in his place and was a smash hit was William Shatner. (my eyebrow raised, a bit like a certain Vulcan!)

Mr. Plummer doesn't hide much in the book.  He tells of his lovers and wives but not so much that he obsesses on the topic.  He talks of many of the plays he did, as other actors list their movies, and I have to say I found it more interesting because I had not seen any plays and so as he talked about them I felt I did learn something of the theater as the years rolled by.

Mr Plummer drops names about as fast as raindrops fall during a storm.  Or actually, I should say, the man never forgets who he works with, their name, or things that happened while working together!

I had some delightful surprises when I read where some of the people he worked with, such as when he did Becket, he worked with someone I adore, Roy Dotrice.  And when he was in the movie Fall of the Roman Empire, he worked with Stephen Boyd and Maggie Smith! Be still my heart, as he worked with many people I admire!

He was 36 when he made The Sound of Music. A movie that in the beginning, he was not happy about.  He had changed his mind before the movie was done.

I would tell you that if you like Christopher Plummer's body of work, especially if his stage work interests you, that you should get this book.  He has not lost a bit of his memory of every play he has ever done, nor who he worked with, nor how they effected his life.  I may have set the book aside at some point if he went on and on about the movies he did.  Too many have done that already.   Although he does recall all the plays in much the same way, he has a way about his writing that also lets  you know where he is, and what it's like at that time and place.  He's in Canada, he's in Europe, he's in America.. he's everywhere an actor of his caliber should be.

It's a long book.. so if it interests you, be prepared for it to take some time to read.

He was quite the ladies man, quite a drinker for many years.. and quite an actor!

I'm glad I read his book.  He is a most interesting fellow!  And now I think I shall write him a letter and tell him so!  I will send the photo I have next to the book in the first photo, in hopes that he does autographs.  He may well not, but I'll take the chance.

 TCM (Turner Classic Movies) did an interview with Christopher Plummer about his book that's just fantastic.  If you want to read it please go  HERE.

Here's something odd... I just noticed that Christopher Plummer's daughter, Amanda Plummer, has signed to do the Chiller Autograph show that I always go to!


Friday, January 23, 2009

The Older Generation

Ok, so.. you youngsters are going to tune this post out, and that's ok.  But just remember one thing... no matter how impossible it seems to you now, one day, with luck, you will be old.   Sound like a depressing post?  Yep. It is.

It has to do with Social Security and the healthcare you get after age 65 which is called Medicare. And I need some help if anyone happens to know how..

In my case the first thing to remember is I have to live on 650.00 a month.  Sound impossible?  It is.  IF my brother hadn't taken me in and if David hadn't let me stay here I have no idea where I'd be.  Ok, nuff said on that note.. just remember when I discuss the medical care that I am trying (for obvious reasons) to keep it as low in cost as possible and yet get as much for the bucks as I can.

So here's the gist:  Medicare is something you are awarded for reaching age 65 to help with your medical care.  Key word: help.  It is not by any means all that you need!  Medicare will pay 80% of your doctor visits and 80% of any hospital stay.  That's all. AND.. it is NOT free.  This will cost you (at this time) approximately 97.00 a month.  (start subtracting:  650.00 minus 97.00 equals 553.00)  and it is taken out of your Social Security before they mail you your check.

Now, one must find two more things.  One, called a supplemental insurance or medigap. Either of these will cover most of the 20% of your doctor visits and most of the 20% of your hospital visits... each still having some sort of co-payment on your part.  Generally it means you still have to pay about 30.00 per doc visit and at least 100.00 a day for 7 days in a hospital .  You'd be amazed at what isn't covered at all, let alone partially!  (in this I would like to keep my copays to about 25.00 and no more then a total of 800 for a hospital stay at 100 or so a DAY ..NOT a deductible of 800. in which even if you were there only 2 days you would have to pay the 800.)

The second thing you must find is another place to sell you drug coverage for your medicines.  Which isn't easy finding one that you have (again low co-payments) and or low deductibles and or  unlimited amounts.  Get that?  you want low co pays, and or low deductibles (some start out that you have to have spent 1,000 or more before they even begin) and not least you don't want a fixed amount so that they stop paying after you have spent X amount.  (example:  Pays UP TO 2,700. a year after that you are on your own)  I can tell you right now.. my brothers medicines, if he were not totally disabled, would have cost nearly 2,000 a month!  ONE MONTH!  So don't kid yourself that, "oh wow, I'll never use 2,700 a month on meds"... it can happen to you!

I am so utterly confused .  Each day I give a new try to be on the web to find my answers because I HAVE to know what I am buying by the end of the month.  At this point I feel so overwhelmed that when I pull up a website.... I look at it and begin to cry.   I never, never, never understand insurance of any kind.. so that's where my panic begins.  I don't know anyone in New Jersey who ,whet thru this, and found what they needed so that I could ask and have them say, well this is what I got, what it covers, and how much it cost so I could say... that sounds good and just call and do the same thing without reading hundreds of things and getting so lost that I just give up.

Every now and then I kid myself into thinking I actually understand one or two of them, but if I am right they would cost me a total of about 400.00 a month.  wanna deduct that from my 650?  Pretty simple...  it would barely leave me enough for co pays!!  Remember those?!  I have to have enough left for the CO PAYS!!  hello?!

So.. ok.. if you know someone who recently went thru this and found what they think is a good solution  (trying to keep the total price to  no more than 300, including the medicare part of 97.00, please, have them contact me!!)

I'm sorry to have put you through this post, but in case you didn't recognize it.. I am in such a state of nerves over this that I am not even sleeping more than 2 hrs a night! Desperate is desperate..

Ok.. I am done whining.. 


Thursday, January 22, 2009

David Copperfield. Masterpiece Theater

David Copperfield (a BBC production of Masterpiece Theater 1999)

 When I had seen this dvd and saw that Daniel Radcliff played the young David Copperfield and that Maggie Smith was in it playing the Aunt Betsy Trotwood and even Ian McKellan has a small part I knew I had to have it, and so I bought it.


As I watched it the other day I realized that I had seen it on television long ago! (later I discovered that I had only seen the first half ) 

But it didn't matter because I totally enjoyed the dvd, which was 3 hrs long!

Daniel was wonderful as the young David Copperfield and Maggie Smith cracked me up as Aunt Betsy.  Peggotty and Mr. Dicks were grand characters and now I find I am looking forward to actually reading the book!

It's not that I haven't seen David Copperfield before, or didn't basically know the story, but I did enjoy the BBC production to the fullest.

It was 1935 when The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger was released. Freddie Bartholomew played the young David, Edna Mae Oliver was Aunt Betsy. Lionel Barrymore , Elsa Lanchester, and Basil Rathbone, as well as W C Fields, were also in that version.  So, old or newer you get great actors in both versions!


Anyway, it sure looks like it was destiny for Daniel to work with Maggie Smith!  This was made two years before Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.  Little did Maggie know when she made David Copperfield, that she would wind up having the opportunity to watch Daniel grow up by being in movies with him for so many years!

It was a good day to watch the dvd as it was cold and snowing outside. (it didn't snow much but it was constant for the entire afternoon.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lifetime Achievement Award

The SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild) has decided to give James Earl Jones a Lifetime Achievement Award! January 25, 2009.

Nominated and voted on by the Guild's National Honors and Tributes Committee, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award is bestowed for outstanding achievement in fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession.


James Earl Jones

I have had a crush on James Earl Jones for longer than I can remember!  I don't know if I could come up with the first time I saw him in a movie or what the movie was.  I do know, as with many others his voice captured me and never let go.  (and he's easy on the eyes too! With a great smile and a resolution about him that makes you feel like you have known him forever.) 

James Earl Jones has appeared in 169 movies and has appeared as  himself 106 times

Mini Biography
James Earl Jones was born in 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Probably best known for his role as Darth Vader (for the voice only, as the man in the Darth Vader suit was David Prowse, whose voice was dubbed because of his British West Country accent). Has appeared on "The Simpsons" (1989) a couple of times and played Mufasa in The Lion King (1994). James Earl Jones returned as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Everyone remembers his voice.. no one forgets Darth Vader!

HOLLYWOOD - James Earl Jones may be tempted, but he's been warned by his wife not to make fun of the lifetime achievement award he'll be receiving from the Screen Actors Guild during its 15th annual award ceremony on Jan. 25.

After all, he says, he still has a vibrant career and projects he hopes will add to his lengthy line of distinguished films, including his breakthrough "The Great White Hope," "Field of Dreams," and "Patriot Games." Last year, he headed an all-star cast on Broadway in a revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."


(Field of Dreams)

(Cry the Beloved Country 1995).. one of my favorite of his movies!  There is one scene in this movie that takes James Earl's character by surprise and he falls to his knees.. I cried so hard at this scene that I could not hear the dialogue!  So of course I watched it again.. and, you guessed it.. cried again.  Ok so, I have to admit I replayed that scene at least 1/2 dozen times before I could get through it and know what was said!!   He is one fine actor. .. and I'm really glad SAG is giving him this award.

He followed this movie quickly the very next  year making A Family Thing, with Robert Duvall. 

And of course his voice has been used many times in movies as a narrator and in such cartoons as The Lion King.

I have always watched the SAG Awards , but this year , with Mr. Jones getting the Life Time Achievement Award, just makes it all that much more worth while.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Ice Dragon & Snow

The Ice Dragon by George RR Martin Illustrations by Yvonne Gilbert




Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Starscape (October 3, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0765316315

 From School Library Journal
Seven-year-old Adara was born during the coldest chill of the coldest year ever, a chill that killed her mother during the girl's birth. Ever since then, she has been a remote and chilly child, living for winter when the ice lizards come out and forming a bond with a mysterious ice dragon. When war comes and dragon-riding invaders threaten her home and family, the ice dragon helps her to thwart them, leading to its own demise. Filled with illustrations of swooping dragons and folks in medieval-type garb, this fantasy is a slim but rich introduction to the genre, one that should appeal to both boys and girls.

I knew when I first saw this book on Amazon that I wanted it.   The problem was, I really couldn't afford to spend twelve dollars for a book I knew I could read in less than an hour... but when it went on sale for 3.99 you can bet I sent for it! I didn't need any arm twisting to add it to my group of books.

What a really nice story it held!  And so well illustrated!  Art on nearly every page.

Born in the cold winter to a mother who died right after her birth, Adara always felt different.  She loved the winter and would count the days in the summer until her birthday so that she would know it would be winter and she would see the Ice Dragon once again.

I really don't want to say much more about it since it's such a short book I'd give it all away if I did.  But it was a cute story, well written and illustrated.  If you think you'd be interested in it click the link at the top and grab it while it's a hardback on sale for only 3.99.  The paperback is already out for 4.99 so grab it up quick if it's something you've had on your wish list!

What better, while reading The Ice Dragon then to have it snow?!!

It didn't snow a lot... and I didn't see any Ice Dragons :o(... but it was appropriate!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I've Got Mail, and It's Your Fault...

Well, Chris is in fine company as I get to add three more to the ever-growing list of folks who just twist my arm until i give in. (you believe that? heh)

The other day I ordered The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger . Now I don't generally read "sci-fi" but both Kailana and Nymeth made this sound like a "must read".. so.. if I must... I must!

Then Natasha did up a review on Admit One by Emmett James and so, not wanting to pay for shipping, I ordered them both. *sigh*

Lessee: I reviewed two books and ordered three books (yeah yeah, well one was my own fault The Ice Dragon was a mere 3.99!).. so far, this means... my tbr pile got fatter by one! This is not how it's supposed to work!

Since the Ice Dragon is so small I may have to give myself a break while reading the chunkster book I am into right now to read it just so I can deduct another book off of the tbr pile! (at least that will even me out, sheesh)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Enslaved by Ducks

 Enslaved by Ducks  by Bob Tarte


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1565124502

From Publishers Weekly
Knowing little about animals, Tarte and his wife naively acquire Binky, an impish bunny, at an Easter bunny fair, little suspecting that it will soon dominate their lives and lead to a brigade of other winged and furred beasts. After Binky, they get a canary, then Ollie, an orange-chin pocket parrot, whom they return because he flings his water-logged food all over their floor and accosts them with calls and bites. Then they buy a more docile gray-cheek parakeet, which makes the Tartes realize they miss their raucous friend Ollie, whom they retrieve. Gluttons for punishment, the Tartes acquire a gender-confused African gray parrot named Stanley Sue, followed by ducks, geese, turkeys, parrots, starlings, more rabbits and cats. Every day brings an adventure or a tragedy (Ollie escapes; a duck gets eaten by a raccoon) to their Michigan country house. With dead-on character portraits, Tarte keeps readers laughing about unreliable pet store proprietors, a duck named Hector who doesn't like water, an amorous dove named Howard, a foster-mother goose, patient veterinarians and increasingly bewildered friends. Tarte has an ordinary-Joe voice that makes each chapter a true pleasure, while revealing a sophisticated vision of animals and their relationship to humans.

To say that Bob Tarte has a sense of humor about raising birds of all kinds, is like saying water is wet.  But then you either have a really good sense of humor, or you might wind up pulling your hair out or banging your fingers building yet another cage.

If you think  children don't listen or that children give you grief or great worries (and great joys) .. you need to read this book to know children aren't the only ones  to dole out such pleasures.  And surely they are pleasures or the Tarte's would not continually have their family of animals grow in such leaps and bounds! 

This book covers several years of the Tarte's accumulating their animals and their trials and tribulations of raising a multitude of different birds.  From parrots to ducks to turkey's, toss in a dove and some parakeets and a rabbit here and there just to spice things up.

Linda, Bob's wife, trained him well.  It didn't take her long before he knew if she said anything like "oh look, isn't he cute" that he didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell of walking away without buying a new addition to their home.  (gotta love a lady like that!) 

This was an enjoyable read.  Not everything went smoothly as their family grew, and there were even times of sadness when they'd loose one of their birds, but the book was written with great humor and plenty of smiles for you to enjoy.   Of course, it probably helps if you are in some way or another an animal person, but if you aren't... you still might enjoy the read.

So, I guess I can thank Chris for being the person who write such a good review that it made me want to read this book.  Thanks Chris!


Off the subject of ducks...

One of those freaky things happened to me this morning.  As you can see on my side bar I am now reading The Christopher PLummer Memoirs... I'm not very far into it but in the last chapter I read last night it mentions another very fine actor who helped bring Mr Plummer to first appear in America after he worked with him in Bermuda.  His name?  Edward Everett Horton.

And what do I see this morning as I turn my tv on for company ?  On TCM is the ending of Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant... and who walks into the scene but Edward Everett Horton!

Sometimes it's creepy to me when things like that happen!

(I wish I had woke earlier to see the whole movie I love Arsenic and Old Lace! It's been so long since I've seen it I actually had forgotten that Boris Karloff and Peter Lorrie are in it! lol.. I'm laughing even though I am only seeing the ending! Funny movie! One worth a review but I won't cheat because I didn't see the entire movie)

One more note on Edward Everett Horton (and I hear my young readers going: who the hell is he?)  If you are not among the very young you remember a cartoon show called Rocky and Bullwinkle.. in the show they did a thing called Aesops Fables, and who voiced that part?  Edward Everett Horton.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Earth to the Moon: The Bonus Disc

The fifth and final dvd to the set!  I can honestly say I loved this set. 

Tom Hanks who was the producer and beginning narrator of each disc and had an acting part in the 4th disc did a superb job!  

Unfortunately the Mercury and Gemini guys get the short end of the stick whereas the Apollo Astronauts get the most fame, but that's because they are the ones that went to the moon and landed on it. 

They all deserve recognition and before I end this post I will list all the Astronauts from the  Gemini, Mercury and Apollo missions.

This disc gives you some behind the scenes information about the making of the mini series.

Did you know that only 24 men journeyed to the moon.  And only 12 men walked on the moon.

Did you know that the Saturn 5 Rocket was 363 feet tall?

Or that he carried 550 lbs of fuel?

Something they mentioned and I found interesting is that this mini series took 3 years to make and during the 3 years of filming Astronaut, Dave Scott was a constant consultant.

  (Dave Scott August 2005/ photo by P.Neal)

Besides the set of dvds that I've reviewed, I've managed to collect a few space books that I've read over the years. (one not shown here because I haven't read it yet is Rocketman which is about Pete Conrad.)  

Of the books below I have to say my all time favorite is Moon Shot, which is about the race to the moon.  Gene Kranz's book of Failure is Not an Option was also good.  And so was Deke lol..  sorry, I'm laughing because of course I enjoyed these books! I love these men!

Mercury Astronauts were, in order of flights:

Al Shepard, (first American in space. deceased)

Gus Grissom, (deceased)

John Glen,

Scott Carpenter,

Wally Schirra, (deceased)

and Gordo Cooper.

Deke Slayton as one of the original 7, but he was bumped from the flight roster for cardiac anomalies. Slayton became an imprtant administrative head to the astronauts thoughout much of the early program. (deceased)


Gemini astronauts were, in order of flights :

Gus Grissom & John Young GT3, (deceased)

Jim McDivitt & Ed White GT4, (Ed White deceased)

Pete Conrad (deceased) & Gordo Cooper GT5, (deceased)

Frank Borman & Jim Lovell GT7,

Wally Schirra (deceased) & Tom Stafford GT6,

Neil Armstrong & Dave Scott GT8,

Tom Stafford & Gene Cernan GT9,

John Young & Mike Collins GT10,

Pete Conrad (deceased) & Richard Gordon GT11,

Jim Lovell & "Buzz" Aldrin GT12.

Gus Grissom & Ed White died later in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, along with Roger Chaffee, who never got to fly in space.


Apollo astronauts were, in order of flightsL

Wally Schirra, (deceased) Walt Cunningham, Donn Eisele (deceased) Apollo 7

Frank Borman, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell Apollo 8

Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott, Rusty Schweickart Apollo 9

Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan, John Young Apollo 10

Neil Armstrong, "Buzz" Aldrin, Mike Collins Apollo 11

Pete Conrad,(deceased) Al Bean, Richard Gordon Apollo 12

Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, John Swigert (deceased) Apollo 13

Al Shepard (deceased), Stu Roosa, Ed Mitchell Apollo 14

Dave Scott, Jim Irwin (deceased), Al Worden Apollo 15

John Young, Charlie Duke, Tom Mattingly Apollo 16

Gene Cernan, Harry Schmitt, Ron Evans (deceased) Apollo 17


A small note of interest to myself is that two astronauts, Buzz Aldrin and Rusty Schweickart were both born in New Jersey!  A small state but it looks as if we produced some might men!

If you ever have a chance to go to Nasa or to see a Shuttle Lift off, you should do it.  And if you ever are so fortunate as to meet an Astronaut, take a long hard look at him or her remember that they are putting their life on the line so that we might continue to make those great leaps into the future. 

They are hero's one and all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We Lost Two...

Ricardo Montalban, the suave leading man who was one of the first Mexican-born actors to make it big in Hollywood and who was best known for his role as Mr. Roarke on TV's "Fantasy Island," has died. He was 88.

When major film roles dried up for him in the 1970s, he turned to stage and eventually TV, where he was familiar to millions as the mysterious host whose signature line, “Welcome to Fantasy Island,” opened the hit ABC show that aired from 1978 to 1984.

While making "Fantasy Island," Montalban also gave one of his best movie performances -- as Khan Noonien Singh in the “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982), a follow-up to a beloved 1967 “Star Trek” television episode that also featured Montalban.

New Yorker magazine critic Pauline Kael said Montalban's performance as Khan "was the only validation he has ever had of his power to command the big screen."

It never seems to fail that when we loose one of our wonderful actors.. we loose another.

Patrick McGoohan dies at 80; TV's 'Secret Agent' and 'Prisoner'

(from the web)
The actor often played villains on TV and in movies. But he gained his greatest fame as the TV spy John Drake. He also won two Emmys for 'Columbo.'

Patrick McGoohan, a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor who starred as a British spy in the 1960s TV series "Secret Agent" and gained cult status later in the decade as the star of the enigmatic series "The Prisoner," has died. He was 80.

It was the height of James Bond mania in 1965 when McGoohan showed up on American TV screens in "Secret Agent," a British-produced series in which he played John Drake, a special security agent working as a spy for the British government.

But it was McGoohan's next British-produced series, “The Prisoner,” on CBS in 1968 and 1969, that became a cult classic that spawned fan clubs, conventions and college study.

As a guest star on Peter Falk's TV detective series "Columbo," McGoohan won Emmys in 1975 and 1990.

Falk once described McGoohan, who also occasionally worked as a director and writer on the "Columbo" mysteries, as being "mesmerizing" as an actor.

"There are many very, very talented people in this business, but there are only a handful of genuinely original people," Falk told the Hollywood Reporter in 2004. "I think Patrick McGoohan belongs in that small select group of truly original people."

It's sad when we loose such fabulous actors.  It's good we have the movies to remember them.... and remember them we will.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Earth to the Moon: 4 of 5

On Disc 4 they move on to Apollo 15.


Dave Scott/ Al Worden/ and Jim Irwin.  They didn't know it when they were first assigned to this mission that they would be expected to not only be astronauts but to become Geologists as well.

On July 31, 1971 The Falcon landed on the moon at Hadley Apennine.  Because of their discoveries in this area, it was said by Nasa that this was the first place they'd like to return to. 

Thanks to the training of Lee Silver, Geologist at CalTech these men would bring home pieces of the moon that would begin to tell us the history of the moon.

  (Lee Silver Geologist)

They would be the first Astronauts to deploy and use the Lunar Rover and leave tire tracks on the moons surface. 

They would also bring home one very special rock that has become known as: The Genesis Rock.  If I remember rightly.. the first words in Genesis go something like : "In the Beginning..."  They figure this rock is as old as it gets.

(from the web)  The Genesis Rock is a sample of original lunar crust from around the time the moon was born. It was retrieved from the Moon by Apollo 15 astronauts James Irwin and David Scott.

Chemical analysis of the Genesis Rock indicates that the rock is composed of anorthosite, and was formed in the early stages of the solar system, at least four billion years ago.[1] It was recovered in a crater of the Moon, near other rocks of its kind.


Apollo 16...

Apollo 16 was the fifth mission to land men on the moon and return them to Earth.  Apollo 16 landed in a highlands area, a region not yet explored on the Moon. Astronauts collected samples, took photographs and conducted experiments that included the first use of an ultraviolet camera/spectrograph on the Moon.
The major objective of the mission was to investigate the lunar surface in the Descartes highlands area because it was considered to be representative of much of the Moon's surface, and an area of this type had not been previously visited.

Apollo 17: the 9th and Final Mission to the Moon

It seems no one remembers who the the last man to walk on the moon was.. do you?

It was Gene Cernan.  The last step was taken on December 13th 1972.  Some of you reading this were not even born yet.. but we are going back, and hopefully in your lifetime.

I've been giving some thought to why our space program was so well received and loved in the beginning and so matter-a-factly now.  I don't usually voice my opinion on things of real importance.  That's mainly because I know I don't know all the facts so my opinion doesn't really matter.  However.......

I think my response to our space program going down hill would be simple enough.  In the beginning, everything our Astronauts did was a first.  Not just a first, but a HUGE first.  We were doing things never done before, and no one even knew for certain that the Astronauts would live to tell about it.  

After a number of Shuttles were tested and shown to do well, interest waned.  We already figured it  had been done enough times that it was safe.  Well.. fairly safe, a lot more safe than it had ever been before.  But still there were accidents and deaths.  But even that did nothing more for the space program except to cut even more funds to Nasa.

My personal opinion (not that it counts) is that the Shuttle era has gone on far too long.  It's true that Nasa has decided to go back to the moon, but it should have been done long ago.  Before the public stopped caring. 

Sure, in the beginning it was "a race".  Kennedy wanted to "beat the Russians", and at the same time do something for "all of mankind".  And he did just that. 

In my, unknowing scientific mind, I believe space is how humanity will be saved one day.  Certainly not in my lifetime or even yours.. but it will happen.   Earth is an unstable planet, it won't last forever. Thousands of years?  Hundreds of thousands or years?  No one knows.  But if we put off space exploration the ones we are hurting are our future generations... mankind.

I can hear some now...

It's not my problem.   

Why do MY taxes pay for something like that?  

And even: I don't believe it.    

Well, (again in my no knowledge opinion) I think it is our problem, and every generation after us.  If my tax dollars can pay to find out the sex life of an Ant.. well, yeah.. spend it on space exploration please!   And yes.. I do believe Space is the only out for human beings when it's all said and done.

I hope, that when we go back to the moon , it gets people excited about the space program once again.  And that we never take so long to have more giant leaps for mankind.

The last disc I will review is a bonus disc as this was the last of the Race to the Moon explorations. The discs  have covered more than I've mentioned but did not spend as much time on Mercury and Gemini flights as they did on the Apollo Missions.

Every one of them put their life on the line... and some died for it.  Only to find the next one stepping up to take their place.  What is it in a person to do such things?  I sure don't know the answer, and I'm not sure they could answer that question either.