Archive for September, 2010


I’m not sure that most people can fully understand cultural phenomena that take place before they were born, or aware of the outside word. A person born after 1968 could appreciate the Beatles’ music, but could he or she she understand Beatlemania?

Well, that’s how I am about the actor James Dean, who died 55 years ago today, not to be confusion with Jimmy Dean, the sausage guy who died recently. I recognize him as a cultural icon, though he was in only three major movies, two of which were released posthumously. I understand it intellectually, but I didn’t “get” it.
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There was this woman named Dottie Rambo, an American gospel singer, musician, and writer of over 2500 songs, who died a couple years ago in a motor vehicle accident. I mention this because in her obit in an Italian online news publication, the accompanying picture is NOT Dottie Rambo. Who is it? Dottie’s given name was Joyce. There is a librarian friend of mine named Joyce Rambo, still alive, BTW; it is HER picture that graces the Italian obit, not Dottie’s.

A record producer plays entire Beatles catalog on ukulele; this video is only a sample.

The Apostrophe Song. For those who know the difference between it’s and its or you’re and your, and grimace when they see her’s. And especially for those who dont. I mean, don’t.
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I was attempting to have a theological conversation with my mother a few years back. She demurred, “I just follow the Ten Commandments.” Yeah, I said, but what do they mean? Take that one that says, “Thou shalt not kill?” How does one interpret that in today’s world?

For instance, according to some sources, “the Hebrew word that was used in this case for ‘kill’ (or murder) was the somewhat rare term rasah… Although its exact meaning has defied explanation, in other contexts it could refer to killing that was inherently evil… However, the same term could also have applied to unintentional manslaughter…, blood vengeance…, the legal execution of a criminal …” Read the rest of this entry »

My good buddy Scott, who I’ve never met, the blogger at Scooter Chronicles, has several questions:

1. Now that the baseball playoff teams (except for the NL West) are pretty well set, who do you see getting to the World Series and who wins it?

I can’t help but think the teams will be from the East. But which teams? Minnesota has been hot, but I think they can be beaten; likewise the Rangers. So I’m saying Tampa and the Yankees in the ALCS. I’ll pick the Yankees, but I’m by no means certain.

Look for Cincinnati to get to the NLCS, and lose to the Phillies. Yankees over the Phillies. Or Tampa over the Phillies. Whoever wins the AL EAST over the winner of the NL EAST.

2. How long have you been reading/collecting comics?

Well, I’m pretty much not anymore, though I pick up some on Free Comic Book Day in May, and inevitablty buy SOMETHING. I started in 1971 – it was his fault – and sold my collection in 1994. but I still have some collections, and even bought some Marvel Masterworks just this year.

3. If you still read them often, is there a new series that really interests you?

Well, no. But I would recommend to you Saga of the Swamp Thing collection by Moore, Bissette, and Totleben, and not just because Steve Bissette is my buddy who I HAVE met. I know you just read The Watchmen. This is a different thing, of course, but very good.

4. Of the comic book superheroes, who do you think has the coolest logo?
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The daughter is an only child. The daughter has a couple dozen brothers and sisters. She has a number of stuffed animals and dolls who are in an ever-changing, and to me, incomprehensible hierarchy of relationships vis a vis her. Some are now dolls of her siblings, for instance; please don’t ask me which are which.
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My father would have been 84 tomorrow. There’s a guy, Ray, who was my friend from second to ninth grade. He went to a different high school, and moved to the Finger Lakes region of New York State. However, I was in his wedding in October 1976, and I got to escort his mother, who was the Den mother of our Cub Scout troop, down the aisle.

He’s now my Facebook friend. About a month ago, unbidden, he started sending these messages, a verse at a time:

“Sung by: Les Green
To the kids of the ‘50s and ‘60s at Daniel S. Dickinson, PS #9 School, Binghamton, NY

“The Crocodile Song” Read the rest of this entry »

WAY back in February, that blogger from Buffalo, Jaquandor wrote about the entertainingly cheesy (or is it entertainingly cheesy?) 1980 movie, Battle Beyond the Stars.

Of particular interest to me was this paragraph:

“The other girl there is Nanelia (Darlanne Fluegel), who is every bit as naïve about people as Shad is, which makes her a perfect fit for him. She, too, gets far too little screentime, because she’s really cute. I remember her being one of the first females onscreen to impress me with her cuteness. I mean, look how cute she is in that clip, when she giggles at the prospect of learning how to “tingle, tangle, prangle” her new love interest from this warrior in the goofy headdress! Yeah, Nanelia is really, really cute:”

I had to comment: “Never saw the movie.

But I went to Binghamton Central High School with Darlanne Fluegel! Read the rest of this entry »

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