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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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another day..

Ok.. so..wild guess that I over did the DeForest stories.. sorry about that, he's just been on my mind alot lately.. I'm thinking it's because the anniversary of his death is close by.... anyway, I'm still glad i wrote them.

Today I thought I'd show you "before and after" of the rose trellis..

After I took the latest of the roses I was hoping to take a nap, since I don't think I slept more then 2 hrs last night. But for whatever reason, I was (am) wide awake.

So I got back to "editing" of the last book of Kesterwood. It's the shortest of the three, and if you remember i mentioned trying to do this from the last to the first so that it would be somewhat out of context and maybe I'd make some significant changes.

Well, I have been doing 2 chapters a day... or rather 2 days. I read each of the two chapters sometime during the day making changes, then close them up and wait until the next day and do the same thing. The reason behind doing them twice like that is because sometimes when i make some changes I forget things like maybe further in the sentence I need to change a verb or something because of what I changed ahead of it... sounds good anyway huh? heh.

So.. I've reached the last 3 chapters. I don't know what's with me and crying as I read. I don't know if it's because I know what's coming or because they have become so close to me I take on their feelings? I'm pretty sure that's part of it. After all I made them who they are, and how they act... so I darn well know how they would be feeling, even if I don't have the most perfect words to say it.

I feel exhausted though... and this is the shortest book! The other two are longer. I set a pace for myself of reading and fixing 2 chapters a day (even though I repeat it.. it's still 2 chapters i go over). I'm feeling like I can't keep up the pace. I don't have any reason to set a pace, just that I thought if I didn't that I'd begin to procrastinate and not do it at all.

Well, if nothing else, I will take a short break after tomorrow when I do the second reading of the last 3 chapters. On Friday I need to get ready for Saturday. That's the day I am going to the Chiller Con to help Kevin McCarthy. I'm looking forward to seeing him again, I hope he has more stories to tell. The last time I saw him (age 90 and 1/2) he was preparing to do his one man show again in some state which I forget now.. "Give 'em Hell Harry". I wish I could have seen him do th at... he has a good strong theatrical voice yet, which is amazing at, his now age 92!

I hope to get one or two pictures of Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner who will be there.. that is if they allow pictures to be taken. I was disappointed that the tv show Threshold was cancelled, because Brent Spiner had a regular part in it. He played a doctor. It wasn't the greatest show but some of the actors held my interest enough to watch it and it was nice to see him each week, like when he was on Star Trek the Next Generation.

I'm also wondering if i did the right thing setting up the other journal for Memes... I thought it would be nice having them all together, but I have the feeling no one feels like opening yet another journal... any thoughts??

Boy, we had a super hot Memorial weekend. It was in the 90's!! I took a few extra baths I was sweating so much, but it didn't help much. I think it's just that it went so high when just before it was in the 60's that my body couldn't handle it. The temps have come down some and will be down more tomorrow (plus rain expected).. I just hope Saturday is a nice day..even if the con is inside the hotel.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Stuntman..

I hope you are not totally sick of hearing about DeForest (but you probably are..sigh)
Well there's good news and bad news.. which do you want first? (like you have a choice right?!)
The truth is this is probably a bit of both. Something was said in a comment and it made me pull out my collection on De again and do "one last post".. (for now) I promise!
This story I am not going to go thru the hours it takes to write down "verbatim", but it's a combination story all the same. (from memory.. what little there is of it heh)
I will start by telling you that over conversations with De I learned that during his "cowboy days", he did most all of his own stunts. (including spurring the horse and getting thrown, which of course was NOT shown heh).
There is a little known western he did produced by De's dear friend (and happy to say mine too) A.C. Lyles. The movie is a B western named "WACO". Unfortunately, or fortunately, which ever way you look at it, this movie is seldom on television unless late at night when everyone is sleeping.
The movie was made in 1966 and stared: Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy, Terry Moore, John Smith, John Agar, Richard Arlen, Fuzzy Knight, and of course: DeForest Kelley. Now with a line up like that you'd think it would have done better. Oh well... anyway.. during this movie there is a fight scene with DeForest (being one of the bad guys, naturally) where he winds up being dangled over an upstairs banister.
I remember talking to him about that particular scene... that's when he told me two things. One was that it was him and not a stunt man, and that they did the take at least 5 times! (heart be still).
After we discussed the fact that he always did his own stunts he told me of ONE time that he didn't. He was filming another western on the paramount lots called TOWN TAMER. This one was made in 1965 and starred: Dana Andrews, Terry Moore, Pat O'Brien, Lon Chaney Jr., Richard Arlen, Richard Jaeckel, Philip Carey, Sonny Tufts, Coleen Gray,and yours truly DeForest Kelley.
He told me it was being made shortly after he did one of his guest appearance on Bonanza, which by the way, was being filmed across the lot from where De was filming. The story goes that one day Michael Landon came by to watch De shooting, De was to have a fight scene and out of the blue, Michael asked if he could be De's stunt double and do the fight scene. This, he said created quite a ruckus as Paramount was afraid that if Michael got hurt they'd have to stop production on Bonanza, and this was a big "no-no".
It seems Michael went to the top and promised them he wouldn't get hurt and Paramount relented and let Michael do the fight scene for De. All went well I'm happy to say, but if you ever see Town Tamer playing on tv you might want to catch it and see if you can tell that it's Michael Landon and not De doing the fight!
De told this story at one of his conventions once and added a little known fact that during yet another western he was asked if he used a stunt double and he say "Yes, his name is Michael Landon!"... they thought he was joking..heh. (he was.. Michael only ever doubled once and it was for De!)
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the fight scene to show you but here are two shots from Town Tamer that have DeForest in them.

(Don't forget to check my other journal with Meme's! I will add to it later today. I have put Feedblitz on both my Blogspot journals so that you can receive an email when I add to them..

Meanwhile : )

Sunday, May 28, 2006

"Toby Jack" and Rory Calhoun

DeForest had so many stories to tell that I thought I would post one or two more... Maybe it's my way of sharing what many didn't get to see for their self, and maybe I'm just in the need for some memories.
So, here's another of his famous stories.. this one is from the movie Apache Uprising, released in 1966 and starring: Rory Calhoun, Corinne Calvet,J ohn Russell, Lon Chaney Jr., Gene Evans, Richard Arlen, Robert H. Harris, Jean Parker, Johnny Mack Brown,and DeForest Kelley as Toby Jack Saunders.

Once more he stands on stage before a crowd of over 1,000 people as he talks about his acting days as a cowboy....
Apache Uprising..
Oh, boy. Did Rory Calhoun and I get along, she wants to know.
He’s the worst guy in the world. I told them yesterday and I’ll tell you, in Apache Uprising... I did a couple or three films with Rory, and he never stops. He’s very mischievous, and always playing those corny jokes, you know.
I was sitting one day in my chair, waiting for him to come by and join us for a scene or something, and I was reading as he came by and he had a cup of coffee in his hand. He accidentally on purpose tripped. He was with Chill Wills. Coffee poured all over my boots and all up... and he says, “Oh, I’m so sorry, De, I’m so sorry” and he just kept going. Later on in the day, I hear this big sneeze from behind me and I fell this wet on my neck. I look around and there’s Rory. He’s standing there with a coffee cup, he had dipped his fingers in it and sneezed.
I happen to see the maintenance man, who’s cleaning up after the horses. This was in the wintertime. True story. And we had little canvas dressing rooms, with electric heaters in them. We were on location outside. And those little canvas rooms get very warm, very hot. So I went over to the maintenance man and handed him a couple of bucks and I asked him to do me a favor and shovel up a fresh shovel full of that, which he did, and I said, “Follow me.” So we walked into Rory’s dressing room and it had a little bitty closet, you know, just a little curtain in front of it, and I took the electric heater and placed it... well away, but toward the closet. And here was this beautiful sport coat hanging there and flannel trousers. And we placed that fresh manure in there. Fortunately, I got off at 3:30 that afternoon, and Rory was still working; he had not been back to his dressing room.
Next morning, I’m doing a fight scene in a corral, and I’m on the ground. This guy’s holding me down and I look up and I see Rory coming after me. I said, “Let me up! Let me up!” I leaped over that corral, and he grabbed me by the back, and he said, “You little son of a bitch!” He’s a big, husky guy. He said, “I had to go on Art Linkletter’s show last night.” He said, “I had to take those damned clothes and take them off in the front of my house and drop them on the porch and go in and get showered and rush back.”
He never played another joke on me.


Just a quick note to let anyone interested to know...

I've set up a second blog, in which I will post any Meme's I may contribute to.. along with miscellanous photo's now and then that I don't wind up using in a normal post.

The address is: and it's listed in my sidebar under "my websites" (there I call it Meme's and Other Stuff). I posted several old Memes I have done including Feline Friday's and some of Scalzi's Assignments and Writers Questions.. Later today I will do a new post of a Meme from Carly.

Thanks to any and all that visit!! I hope you mark the new blog also!
Happy Memorial Weekend to all!....

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Southern Gentleman & The Cowboy

I thought I would try something different today. I was remembering some of the great stories DeForest would tell his fans at Conventions. Many were about his days before Star Trek when he was a cowboy.
So I dug out something that I knew would have the stories De told. The particular movie De is talking about below is called Warlock, release in 1959 and staring Richard Widmark,Henry Fonda,Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, Dolores Michaels, Wallace Ford, Tom Drake , Richard Arlen, and DeForest Kelley as Curley Burne
The story is true and "verbatim" quoted from one of De's conventions.. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did whenever I would hear him tell it.

(Photo's from : Warlock)

Picture this if you will, DeForest is on stage talking to the audience...
Regarding the movie : Warlock...
"...Incidently, you're looking at a man who knows how to handle royalty. Years ago, I was doing a film called Warlock, a western, and the director of this film came to me and he said, "DeForest, I would like for you to be up on that scene with Henry Fonda tomorrow because Princess Sophia of Greece is going to be here." Well, we thought he was kidding because he has a very dry sense of humor. And I went home and I told Carolyn about it and I said, "Maybe he means Sophia Loren." (laughter) So the next day I went back to the studio to appear and work and I was standing outside the sound stage having a smoke when this entourage drives up. Certainly enough, it was Princess Sophia and all of her ladies and gentlemen in waiting.
Fonda and I had been doing a scene in a saloon, a shoot-out kind of a thing, and I had been work­ing for a very long time with a famous Indian actor in Hollywood. His name wasRod Red­wing and he worked with actors to teach them how to handle guns properly and tricky gun spins and that sort of thing. He had been work­ing with me on a holster job. I had to do what they call a fly-away. Pick up this gun off the floor, flip it around and shoot it into the holster. And I was rather sweating that out without the Princess being there watching because I was very nervous about doing it anyhow.
So, anyhow, we got into this scene. In the meantime, we're in this big bar room and there's a stairway that goes up to the second floor behind us. And they were all stationed up above there. We're down front and the cameras are here as the scene is going on. And there's a scene where I come in to have a fast draw to find out how fast Henry Fonda is. He's supposed to be a fast man and I was supposed to be a fast man. And he out-draws me and tells me to drop the gun. And then, eventually, he tells me to take my men and get out of the saloon. That's when he says, "Now pick up your gun," at the end of the scene, "and get out of here." So I pick up the gun to do that fly-away and I'm sweating it out. And there's some bat wing doors there in the bar that we exit through. So I pick up the gun, do the fly-away, it slips into the holster and I said, "Thank God" to myself. I started to back out and I tripped (laughter) over a chair, a saloon chair. And as I fell... this is a true story... the Princess... they're all sitting there... I said, "Oh, shit!" (laughter) And I was so carried away with the scene, I had forgotten that she was there. So you could have heard a pin drop. I crawled out on my hands and knees and the rest of the guys were in the back choking off laughter. The director comes out... Dmytryk... he always smoked a big cigar and, as I said, had a great dry sense of humor. And he looked over at me and he said, "De, I'll bet you sat up all night trying to decide what you wanted to say in front of the Princess." I went to lunch that day in the commissary and I got a standing ovation. (applause)

Henry Fonda attended a big bash... this is a true story... a big ball on that weekend. This happened on a Friday and Fonda wasnot there because a very famous actor at that time, Tyrone Power, had died, and he had gone to attend the funeral. So the director stood in and fed me Fonda's lines for that scene that day. But he heard about it, naturally. Everybody heard about it. Monday morning Fonda comes in and we start to work again and he said, "Come here, De, I want to tell you something. I attended the ball last night and I danced with the Princess, and she doesn't know what shit means." (laughter, applause) Guess that saved me.
In that same film, we were doing a scene where we're all riding, about 25 of us, riding down the street hellbent for leather. And we swing off, one in a row, the horses whipped in one in a row, and we're each getting off the horses, going into the saloon. And as we whipped in for this scene, I had a pair of spurs on. That was the first mistake. As I got off the horse, my spur hit the actor's horse on the rump. It kicked in the air and I went into the air and I did an entire loop in the air and fell flat on my back. And as I was in the air, I said something. I knew how ridiculous it was going to be, but I plopped down and here are all these horses looking me in the face. Eddie Dmytryk, the director, comes over and he looks over the rail and the first thing he said is, "Are you hurt, De?" I said, "No, I'm all right." He said, "God, I'm glad I hired a real cowboy." (applause)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Feline Friday...

Ahh, Feline Friday once again! Steven always has the greatest pictures of his cat Pickles, my, not so great digital doesn't do as well...but I try!

This week it's Winkey getting the spotlight... I think BooBoo Kitty is feeling neglected, so I guess I will have to post some of him again next week lol.

The first two of Winkey were taken on my bed playing, and the third shot was at the now famous "kitchen window". (She's quite the bird watcher!)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy...

Sometimes it's just amazing what happens when it begins to warm outside and the sun finally decides to show up! Here's what's been going on in the yard.

I'm guessing that the Climbing Roses are "male and female".. this red one was once 1/2 of the trellis, now you are looking at all that is left of it. The other rose (we won't say if it's the male or female ..heh) has taken over.. it's full of buds at the moment. I'm waiting for a good amount of them to open before posting a photo of Mr. Domination. Oops, did I say "Mr"? tsk tsk.. I meant to say.. the other rose.. heh.

(P.S... well, Greys Anatomy and Lost are both now over for the summer...sigh. It's going to be a long lo-o-o-o-o-ng time until September, *groan*)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brent's Day..

Today is a special day... it's my grandson's Birthday!! Brent is 10 years old today! I want to show him off on his Birthday.. the first picture is of Brent and myself taken 14 months ago ...

(is he the cutest kid, or what?!!)

Not long ago Kat (mom) and George brought a cute Cocker Spaniel puppy home "for Brent".. (it's always for the kid, yeah yeah right lol) Her name is Crystal (not sure that's how they spell it). So here's another picture of my grandson with Crystal..

Brent does really well in school and I'm really proud of that! He also loves to read! (he takes after Grandma Pat!! hehe) and he's a darn good Speed Skater!! I wanted to take today and show him off and wish him a really great day! I hope Kat and George get to have a fun day with him and savor all the special moments with him! Give him a special Birthday Hug from Grandma, and tell him I love him!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday, Monday...

Well, the weekend is over and Monday has dawned into a sunny but breezy day here in New Jersey. The temperatures will only reach 64 (or so they say), and I'm fine with that! Their week-long prediction is for it to get a few degrees warmer each day and by Friday it should be 78 degrees. I guess that means I need to think of putting the sweats away. I almost hate to do that, they're so comfy. (I rarely leave the house so there's no need to be dressed any other way then to be comfortable.)

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was "re-editing" on the third book of my trilogy. (I refer to them as books only because they meet the criteria in word count for a book) Since that post I have managed to go over half of the chapters, and I think the flow of any change is going well. I'm finding myself slowly returning to a place that makes me feel relaxed and it's like visiting old friends... a good feeling.

I'm hoping that while doing this I can get into a routine, one of which includes untimely calls from my brother, interrupting what I am doing. I'm trying to do this in hopes that it will lead me back to writing on the fourth installment on my story. (I've written about 1/2 a chapter and it just sits there) It's much harder to keep your thoughts going when writing then it is with editing because if i go away before completing a thought on paper I am at the mercy of my crummy memory, and I would easily loose where I was going with the writing. With "editing" the words are already there, you are just trying to make it read better.

I am in the habit of jotting down notes as I think of things I want to write, but if you've ever written anything, (and that would include writing a post on your journal) and the phone rings and takes you away from your writing, you can note that when you return you have to remember what it was you were going to say.

It may be hard for some to understand, but there are times when writing a story, that the characters take on a life of their own and take you in a direction that you never anticipated, and so an interruption at that point can be fatal and make it all disappear. (that would NOT be a good thing!)

So I am hoping this habit I am trying to obtain is actually obtainable! We'll see.

On another note.. a number of readers commented on the photo with the Clematis in it, so here is a new photo.. also a photo of a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar that stands behind where the fountain goes. (you can see the stand for it, but the fountain itself hasn't been put out for the summer yet)

If all is not lost, where is it?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Feline Friday..

As most everyone knows I live with my brother and David and their 9 cats..

Most of the time the cats sleep and the active ones are BooBoo Kitty, Peanutchew and Winkey (the three youngest). I really wanted some shots of the other cats but they just weren't cooperating.. So I went into David's room where Angel lives. Angel is the only cat there and stays closed in his room. This happened because when they found her a dog had mauled her and they rushed her to a vet who had to amputate one of her front legs.. For some time after that she was kept alone in Davids room so that the other cats wouldn't bother her after her surgery. After that she didn't want to come out and the times she did all she would do is growl and hide from the other cats. So.. Angel is the only cat kept separate from the others. At times one of the other cats will try to sneak in the room and she ignores them. Once in a great while she will "ask" to go out of the room, but it's never for very long. She's a cutie.. mostly Siamese and loves to be played with.

This Feline Friday is Angel's Day~ to see more Kitties or to show your own check out (sometimes) Photoblog and join in!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rainy Daze...

Today, here in NJ, it was a beautiful day. The sun finally came out and things dried up from 4 days of rain. Even the temperature got up to 70 degrees! (just right!)

The past 4 rainy days I found myself drawn back to the story I wrote a few years ago and I began to try yet another edit. I've gone thru 6 chapters trying to make the wording flow better and checking for more typos etc. Instead of beginning with the first "book" of the trilogy, I began with the last, hoping that taking things out of context might help .

It's strange to me.. I mean, I'm not what would be called a writer, not really. I not a person who has dreamed of becoming an author or becoming famous for writing. But somehow this story came out of me. Though it's fantasy-fiction, like most things there is much in it that can relate to "truths". And so as I "re-read" this third book, I find that at times I smile, and at times I cry. I know it's not because "it's that good".. but because I must read into it what it says to me, and all the while wonder if it would ever mean anything to anyone else.

Today while working on fixing a chapter I cried. I cried because I knew the true feelings of things being said. "if it were me".. seems to fill the reasoning. "I know how I'd be feeling, if it were me".. and I cried.

I wish I knew if I was making the story any better by doing this. It sure isn't the first time I've tried working on it to improve it.. This will be (I think) the 4th or 5th self-editing.

I didn't start out to do this, I'm not even sure why I opened the first chapter a few days ago, but I did. And because of it I'm afraid my journal has suffered.. I noticed I've put up more photo's and not much writing to go with them. I hope to correct that.. though it's hard for me to "switch subjects" after spending time in an imaginary place, with imaginary characters.. maybe I just need to be somewhere I'm not .. and maybe that's what I wrote the story for.. my escape.

Now, see.. if I were a real writer.. I'd escape (write) to new places and meet new characters, but this place (Kesterwood) and these characters (quite a few) keep drawing me back to them. If I ever figure out why, I'll let you know ... I've left links before to drawings and some things I did for the story but for anyone new here are some links to see some characters I drew and even a few chapters (they are not the last edit)

Meanwhile... the dwarf lilac bush has all bloomed and even beginning to loose the flowers already.. I did get one last photo of part of it...

These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter... I
go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I'm here after.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Color Purple..

Our weather has been something other than desirable.. but the flowers like it! Here are a few more that have opened up in the last week.. 3 different Irises and the first rosebud. It's a climbing rose on a trellis.. when they really open I will put in another photo.. one side of the trellis is red the other is a pale pink (the pale pink took over because it got more sun)

It's raining again today.. and we have a gloomy forecast all week long. I can only hope that the forecasters are wrong and the sun peeks out. If the song we sang as a kid worked (Rain, Rain go away.. Come again another day) I'd be singing it! (however, lightening would probably strike me dead to quiet my lousy singing voice lol)

Ok, now... I came close to strangling President Bush last night! He interrupted the final episode of Grey's Anatomy!.. but it wound up that he only disturbed the episode they repeated from Sunday night. (lucky him) Boy, that show has some great writers, and I am going to really really miss it. I already can't wait for fall and new shows again, it's going to be a long summer lol. Next one for me to mourn over while it's gone is Lost. But I have to wait for Wednesday for that final episode.

Well, I am off to read some journals.. hope everyone has a great day!

If all is not lost, where is it?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I Remember MaMa.. (and George)

Today is Mother's Day.. so to any of you out there who are Mother's, or even planning to be Mother's.. Happy Mother's Day!!

I am posting some photo's of my mother today although she is no longer with me, but today was always a day she relished the fact that she had a son and a daughter.

Like anyone out there that has lost their mother, she's gone but never, ever forgotten. So, here's to you Ma, they made this day just for you!



(and George)

It just so happens that May 14th is also the Birthday of someone I admire a who-o-o-o-le lot! And that would be the same man that changed Film Making .. his name? Why that would be George Lucas!! (pardon me while I wipe my chin from the drool, heh)

Boy howdy, but I could talk about this man all day long and not get tired lol.. I was also fortunate enough to once see him in person at the Directors Guild in Hollywood, when he and the cast for The Young Indiana Jones television series appeared to discuss film making and directing (naturally).

As I sat in my second row seat with a girlfriend, I leaned over and warned her to get the drool bucket ready for George's appearance..sigh. But I have to say he was so darn fascinating I forgot to drool! What an amazing man to listen to!! You could actually see that his mind was moving faster then his mouth, and ocasionally he stammered trying to get it out as fast as he could. I sat in complete entrancement. (is that a word?)

So, I would just like to take the time to wish George a Happy Birthday (like he reads my journal right? lol) and to let any of you who follow his career to know, he's still keeping busy!! (Far be it for him to retire!! thankgoodness!!!)

Since the release of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of theSith (2005), George has morepokers in the fire then a cattlehand does when it's branding time!

Here's what he has in store for us:

"Untitled Clone Wars TV Series" (2007) TV Series (announced) (characters and universe)

"Untitled Star Wars TV Series" (2007) TV Series (announced) (characters and universe)

Indiana Jones 4 (2007) (pre-production) (characters)

Yeeehaaaw!!! Indiana Jones is finally on some sort of schedule!! (oh yeah, oh yeah.. happy camper here!) .. here's what's definate as we speak:

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
David Koepp screenplay
George Lucas characters
Jeff Nathanson story

Cast (in credits order) Harrison Ford .... Indiana Jones

Produced by George Lucas .... executive producer
Frank Marshall .... producer

Original Music by John Williams

Oh yeah! Oh, yeah!.. got ants in m'pants now! uhhuh! uhhuh! I hope he gets John Rhys Davies in this one too! Heart be still!.. I do love Harrison Ford as Indy and John Rhys Davies as his friend Sallah!!.. good team! yep! yep!

Mini biography (taken from IMDb) Birth name George Walton Lucas Jr.

George Lucas was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teens he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag car racing. He planned to become a professional racecar driver. However a terrible car accident just after his high school graduation ended that dream permanently. The accident changed his views on life. He decided to attend Modesto Junior College before enrolling in the University of Southern California film school. As a film student he made several short films including THX-1138: 4EB (Electronic Labyinth) which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival. In 1967 he was awarded a scholarship by Warner Brothers to observe the making of Finian's Rainbow (1968) which was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas and Coppola became good friends and formed a company called American Zoetrope in 1969. The company's first project was Lucas' full-length version of THX 1138 (1971). In 1971, Coppola went into production for The Godfather (1972), and Lucas formed his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd. In 1973 he wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical American Graffiti (1973) which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations. This gave him the clout he needed for his next daring venture. From 1973 to 1974 he began writing the screenplay for Star Wars (1977). He was inspired to make this movie from Flash Gordon and the Planet of the Apes films. In 1975 he established ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) to produce the visual effects needed for the movie. Another company called Sprocket Systems was established to edit and mix Star Wars and later becomes known as Skywalker Sound. His movie was turned down by several studios until Twentieth Century Fox gave him a chance. Lucas agreed to forgo his directing salary in exchange for 40% of the film's box-office take and all merchandising rights. The movie went on to break all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards. It redefined the term "blockbuster". The rest is history. Lucas made the other Star Wars films and along with 'Steven Spielberg' created the Indiana Jones series which made box office records of their own. From 1980 to 1985 Lucas was busy with the construction of Skywalker Ranch, built to accommodate the creative, technical, and administrative needs of Lucasfilm. Lucas also revloutionized movie theaters with the THX System which was created to maintain the highest quality standards in motion picture viewing. He went on to make several more movies that have created major breakthroughs in film making. He is chairman of the board of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. In 1992 George Lucas was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his lifetime achievement.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

So much for progress..

Yesterday, Donna over at My Country Life, talked about television and the fact that this new digital way of watching television has taken over. She had a link to the article but I thought I'd put the whole thing up here for anyone interested. I already knew of the new HDTV and such, but for some reason this article just seemed to push some of my buttons.. so please take a to read this and tell me your thoughts.. I'll mention mine at the end of the article.
THE END OF ANOLOG TV..The only digital televisions on sale thus far have been big-screen, high-priced HDTV sets. Not until next year will manufacturers start selling smaller-screen sets with digital tuners — and under current law all sets won’t have digital tuners until 2007. Thus at present there are only about 30 million televisions with digital tuners in American homes, out of a total of several hundred million installed sets.
That’s where the Congressional loophole comes in. Congress can ignore the end-of-2006 cut-off if fewer than 85 percent of households have digital television sets.
But Congress needs to do something nonetheless. For starters, there’s the remarkable fact that Americans are still buying over 20 million analog sets each year, all of which could be obsolete rather quickly. If Detroit was selling cars that used a type of gasoline that would soon no longer be available, consumers would expect to be informed. Thus analog sets clearly need some kind of warning label, and proponents of a “date certain” say this will make the labels far more meaningful: i.e., “This television will no longer receive over-the-air signals after December 31, 2006.”
The really big question: What will happen to all those old-fashioned television sets we’re still buying when the analog transmitters go off the air? To continue to receive free broadcast television via antenna, you’ll have to buy a digital converter box; cost estimates range from $100 or so in 2006 down to $50 by 2008. (Those converters won’t turn older sets into fancy high-definition sets; they will only restore conventional TV service, in digital format. The picture quality will be fairly comparable to today’s analog version, although there will be some improvements for people who use antennas — no “snow” or “ghosting.” On the other hand, when digital signals are weak, there is often no picture at all.)
Many analog television owners won’t need a converter: 85 percent of Americans now get all their television from cable or satellite providers, so for the most part the change-over won’t affect them. (A lot of those households, however, also have second and third sets in basements or bedrooms that do rely on over-the-air signals.) The real problem is the 15 million or so U.S. households whose only television service comes over the air. For these people, predominately lower-income and disproportionately black and Hispanic, the cut-off will be bad news indeed.
Most discussions in Washington contemplate some sort of free or subsidized converters for low-income households, paid for by the government, perhaps with the help of broadcasters or consumer electronics manufacturers. Estimates for the costs of that subsidy range from under one to several billion dollars — the cost declining as the cut-off date is moved further into the future. Proponents argue that the cost of the subsidy is small compared to the economic benefits, although last year the Bush administration indicated it was not in favor of subsidized converters.
(Ok, here come those buttons I mentioned..)
First of all, let me say that aside from cell phones which i totally dislike, I think I'm fairly ok with progress, such as it is .. . Now that that's out of the way.. I think I have a beef with our latest technological advancement into television..
I have come to accept that when new "things" come out, that they are expensive and eventually the price comes down.. this I consider fairly normal, don't you? A new toy or gadget comes out and if you want it, you pay for it..
Ok, so what about when something is free? Do you then expect to pay for it later? Well, I don't! It seems to me in the case of HDTV we are being (excuse this word, but there's just not another to replace it) screwed ! (yet again).
I was born in a generation where once you were lucky enough to afford a television.. the shows on it were FREE. (free, free, free). All you needed was an antenna or at least a small one called "rabbit ears".. the signal got picked up and you got to watch tv. (unlike saying all you need is a converter and you will get your basic channels for free.. because that isn't the case)
Then came Cable and Satellite... very costly I might add.. but (BIG BUT).. you still could have the basic channels.. FREE if you had an antenna. So.. this was an ok deal because, you weren't robbed of your freedom of choice to Pay or to watch Free, therefore... it was affordable to everyone. Including the poor, and including the elderly on low fixed incomes. Maybe they couldn't have it all like those who can afford Cable.. but at least they weren't totally thrown out and forgotten like usual. If you had the money you could pay and have MORE of a good thing. But without money.. you still had a good thing, everyone knows the "rich" have MORE then the poor.. duh.
Ok.. so now, along comes HDTV.. is it a choice? Some will say it is because you don't HAVE to buy it. You can get the Converter and still get CABLE OR SATELLITE shows.. ummmmmmmmmmmmm... and those who can't afford cable or satellite?? The others considered poverty level folks? and those on very low fixed income?? It sounds to me like not only are they getting screwed out of what little entertainment they may have in their meager lives, but also getting screwed out of their "freedom of choice" (admitting choice mostly means: can't afford it).. Still, it is a freedom pulled away from all of those except the ones that can afford cable or satellite. (once again the rich get richer and the poor get.... stepped on)
Do most people have cable or satellite? Of course they do.. but not everyone, so the bottom line is that a freedom of choice is taken away from.. the poor.and the low fixed income elderly. (what else is new?) the Bush administration indicated it was not in favor of subsidized converters.
Gosh, how can anyone "not" love the President, he has such a big heart.
It may be just me, or my age .. or the combination there of.. but I really don't like it when I have no choice.. especially when it's one I've had all my life, and at this stage of the game you are taking it away from me!
I'll admit the moment my living situation allows me to watch cable television and i enjoy it. The day is coming when this situation will change and i will be left to survive on SS... 620.00 a month folks. Why do I think that although I will own a television.. I will no longer be able to afford to turn it on, because there will be no more "free" television..? Wow.. coming from someone who has grown up with free television... I never thought the day would come when this great GIFTwould be TAKEN AWAY.
Do I expect or want progress to stop? Of course not.. but don't take away my "freedom of choice".. not when you gave it to me so long ago. I'm sorry, converters or not, I just see this as a big money deal for someone, and it just doesn't sit right with me that what was once given, should or could be taken away. It should work that your old basic channels are given to you free as they always were.. and if you can afford it then you can "pay up" and get the cable or satellite channels... just like it was before.
I wonder when only Satellite radio will be around and you can't listen to free radio anymore? ... and what will follow that? (I smell a Monopoly..and I don't mean the game, sanctioned by our government... the same government who"insists" there be no monopoly... yeahrightsure!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Feline Friday

Here is today's Feline Friday.. if you'd like to participate, be sure to leave a link over at (Sometimes) Photoblog.

Ok, so last week Winkey had the spotlight.. this week I will give it to Peanutchew.. (Booboo Kitty is the camera hog, so this hasn't been easy!!)

First, is the (getting to be a regular) kitchen window picture...

Then.. I finally got one of her playing.. holding the toy in one hand and trying to steady the camera with the other is the trick ..heh.. I got lucky and one was in focus, what can i say?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Neverending story..

Well, the other day I finally finished the book Brothers in Arms, sequel to Soulforger, by Margaret Weis. There is a second writer on Bothers in Arms and it wasn't Tracy Hickman, (Don Perrin) which shocked me. I hate tosay there is a slight difference the story telling then usual. I have read the prologue to another Dragonlance story that says it "precedes" book 3 of the Raistlin Chronicles, but this one isn't by Margaret Weiss... so.. we shall see if this person stands up to Weiss and Hickman when it comes to Dragonlance.

After this book I have one more Trilogy by Weiss and Angela Lansbury's Biography and then it's back to the book store! I have a love-hate feeling with the books store. I love going to them.. and hate if I can't find anything by my favorite authors or something that really grabs me. If that happens I resort to start replacing old copies of books that I love and are ...well.. getting a little tan looking inside.

Replacing them is nothing less then a shock to your wallet! Books that I once paid 3.98 for are now 7.98! (paperback of course.. I don't think I want to discuss hardbacks!) I realize the price of everything goes up, up, up... but, geez wiz, it's not like they've added extra pages to read or anything! Same story, same amount of pages and more then double the price, sigh.

I do wish I could afford them all in hardback (if they even came out in hardback) because they must use better paper so that they don't turn "tan" as quickly and last a lot longer. But the fact they use less quality paper for the paperbacks is most likely a "business" decision, so that they need replacing and they can make more money. Thus, slowly but surely, they take away another enjoyment from the "not so wealthy" and begin to put it in a category for "only the rich". I know, you are probably thinking: well there are always libraries.. but it's just not the same when it's a book that is so good you read it more then once , those you want to "own".. those are the books that bring a small smile to your face just seeing it on your shelf, and bring back memories of what the story was about. Those are the books that made you escape and live a life you could only dream about, or make you laugh so hard you cry, or take you to a place in your mind where you feel as if you are all you wanted to be. Those books you don't want to have to return to a library.. those are the books that, like the old "calgon commercial", say, "take me away".. and they always do.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I'm going to cover two things today.. the first one is a "Hooray" moment !! I called Kevin McCarthy over the weekend and he definatley wants me to help him at the Chiller show that will be in just a few weeks!! I couldn't get a hold of him via email so I called.. he said he was glad I called and he is also happy to know I will be there on that Saturday to help him. I've aided him three other times (once in california).. so this will be number four.

It never ceases to amaze me that 95% of the people who get his autograph seem to think Invasion of the Body Snatchers was nearly all he's done.. boy is that ever wrong!! Not only did he appear in many movies but scads of televsion appearances, add to that his stage appearances. (Give 'em Hell Harry, was his one man show) Ah, well.. I will be really glad to see him and I'll take some new photo's of him to put in the journal. Age doesn't seem to slow him down, bless him, he's 92 and still working!!

I have to say this: whenever I help Kevin, not only do i get to hear story after story as each fan comes up to him as to how much they enjoyed him or what a certain movie meant to them, but i also get time for our own chatter.. during this time, last we met, I learned something i didn't know about Kevin. We had been talking about my friend DeForest Kelley and some old movies he had made when Kevin announced the fact to me that he had made a remake of DeForest very first movie (Fear in the Night). Not only did he do a remake of the movie, but he played the same part that DeForest did! The movie was renamed to "Nightmare" and co-starred Edward G Robinson (who played Paul Kelly's part) Unfortunately, as much as i'd love to see the one Kevin made it's not out on any format that he knows of.. boy, how I'd like to see it! Kevin did promise me that if he ever got a copy of any sort he would make me a copy, but alas two years later.. still no movie, sigh.

Kevin in Invasion of the Body Snatchers


On completely different note.. I just watched The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) for the umpteenth time .... And I just want to know one thing... is Sean Connery never going to get old????? Dang it, he's 76!! and was 73 when he made that movie, and he still looks great!! (in reference to my post on face lifts.. I am sure glad he never got one!!!)

Sean Connery ........ Allan Quatermain
Naseeruddin Shah .... Captain Nemo
Peta Wilson ......... Mina Harker
Tony Curran ......... Rodney Skinner (The Invisible Man)
Stuart Townsend ..... Dorian Gray
Shane West .......... Tom Sawyer
Jason Flemyng ....... Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde
Richard Roxburgh .... M
Max Ryan ............ Dante

Reportedly, he has said he'll only make another movie if the script is worthy. Well, duh.. I assumed that's the only reason he did any movie!

So many "stories" have surrounded him over the years.. I don't know what to believe or not believe, I just know I always enjoy watching him.. he's one of the really good actors, and he has that captivating voice and little lisp that just adds to his persona. Whatever it is.. I rarely miss a movie he's in, and more often then not buy the movie (I bought this movie but watched it on regular television anyway). I have favorites of his of course, more recent, would be Finding Forrester, which i loved, and one that I really can't see enough of is "Medicine Man".

Well, I think I'd better move my butt.. I need to take a few flower pictures outside.. a few new things are beginning to bloom.. but that's for another post.

My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Writers Weekly Question...

Aurielalata has posed a weekly question:

Writer's Weekly Question #14

How much do you borrow from your favorite writers, and how much is actually your very own ideas? At what point does "borrowing" become "plagiarism?"

It seems the question of plagiarism has been in the news lately, once with Oprah Winfrey and now with a new young author named Viswanathan who has been accused of plagiarism and since been dropped by her publisher.

I found this definition: Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use

  • another person’s idea, opinion, or theory;
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;
  • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or
  • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.

I began to wonder.. everyone goes through life reading books and stories, watching television and movies, so if they wrote a story of their own, and unknowingly took "information" of one sort or another from things others wrote or movies, are they plagiarists? And what if this "information" was shown to them as someone elses words or ideas but that person had never even heard of said person and never read that person's writings or never saw that persons movie?? Is it still plagiarism? Can no two people ever have the same idea? Can no two people ever ever write down the same thoughts?? Though I feel it would be rare, if at all.. what would happen to that person, who is guilty, but not really guilty. Who had the same idea as another and worded it much the same as another?

I have heard it said that there are but few storiesto ever be told.. but many ways to tell those stories.... so in one form or another, aren't most writers committing plagiarism to one degree or another?? I just wonder.

I'd like to think that no one would purposely commit plagiarism, (but I am sure some do) and I am afraid many more do so unknowingly.. after all no matter how much a person reads, they can't read everything, so how can one really know? How can you remember everything you've ever read? How do you know what stays in your mind deep down and hidden and what doesn't? It poses many questions... too many questions.

For myself, I've only written one story (trilogy) that I claim my own. To my knowledge I have not committed plagiarism.. but honestly, I don't know, and I will probably never know. However, I did write my story as fantasy fiction, which is mostly what I read, so I can assume they all had some influence on me.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Weekend Assignment #110: Strange Dreams

Hmmm, John Scalzi at By the Way has an interesting weekend assignment...

Weekend Assignment #110: Strange Dreams Well, that's something that most of us have had at one time or another. ..what's strange is that we dream at all!

There was one dream I had over and over for years.. I can't say I am unhappy that I finally don't have it anymore.

That one concerned elementary school... or at least it happened in the playground of my elementary school... it was always the same.. I was hiding under a wooden box and peeking out.. kids were running and screaming and airplanes were buzzing the school shooting at it. i could hear the kids screaming as they ran to try to hide and i was terrified. Tell me THAT isn't strange!!

Quite often I have dreams that are nothing more than conversations with people.. many of them actors or somehow in the industry.. lately it's included John Rhys Davies, I assume that's because he will be at the convention I will go to at the end of July. In this dream I am sitting in the hotel restaurant waiting for my dinner to be served. Mr Davies walks in and asks for a table alone, the lady tells him she will have to look because they are mostly filled. Having overheard this, I tell the woman that if she wants to move me to share with others that Mr Davies can have my table. (having helped at many cons and shows I realize the guests need some time alone!) She offers the suggestion to Mr Davies who then smiles and asks if I'd mind if he shared my table. (duh.. like i am going to say no? ) He sits down and we have a great conversation, just talking of nothing in particular. The funny thing is when I have these sort of dreams I could wake and tell you verbatim what we talk about.. but I won't here.. it's never very exciting.

However, Creations Cons aren't "autograph shows" so the chance of saying more then "hello" and "thank you" to Mr. Davies is highly unlikely.. maybe that's why I dream the situation differently.. this way.. I have it all!

Dreaming makes anything possible!....

Oops! I nearly forgot.. Extra Credit: Name a favorite song with the words "dream" or "sleep" (or some variation of those words).

Boy, Howdy.. this will date me! heh.. ok, here it is!

The Everly Brothers (1958) All I have to do is Dream...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday morning...

This morning I got to talk with (well, actually "to") Shelly (xxroxymamaxx!) She had IMed me.. and me being old and slow early in the morning, I decided to try to use the microphone because sometimes the written word can confuse an old lady.. heh.. sometimes? duh!

Anyway, it was a one sided conversation, since Shelly didn't have a microphone or a built in microphone on her computer.. so I talked and she typed. (works for me! lol) And eventually I got a better understanding of what we were talking about lol..

It would have been nice to hear her voice and "meet her" a bit more. I guess I was hoping her computer had one built in.. I know I was shocked when I did this with my girlfriend Annie in Texas and I heard her typing LOL.. she didn't know she had a built in Microphone! If you haven't tried it you should.. its pretty nice. I know the option is on my IM box what I don't know is if the option is on AIM also.. it may be something only AOL users can do. (though I know there are many other "chat programs" that offer the microphone "talk" options. If you try it and have difficulties they most likely have to do with the firewalls. Sometimes it just won't go through.. but most times it does. (did I confuse you yet? )

I have to say.. that since it's not using any sort of phone it makes me think of when I was a kid and we tried talking into empty tin cans attached by a string ..heh.. I have no idea why that came to mind!

I don't pimp often but I want to take a moment and mention a new journal I came upon.. it's called Here in the Hills it's a journal about creative people such as actors, directors, the arts in general etc. Written by "OldOld Lady of the Hills".. which pretty much describes me too! lol.. anyway, anyone interested in the arts and movies and such might enjoy dropping by her journal. Oh.. and her cat Sweetie also has a journal for you animal lovers: Sweetie's Suite Site. If you go there and enjoy it bookmark it!