Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Costumes That Look Really Crappy In The Rain

Hey kids, weather forcasts call for rain for Halloween in many parts of the country, so don't get caught looking big time stupid with these common wet costume mistakes:

The Wet Laundry Ghost: Using an old white bed sheet looks cool as a ghost....on dry days. But, on a wet Halloween evening it just looks like the laundry going for walk. While you're at it, be sure to add the clothes line and pins if you want to go with this look.

Even worse than this is to use a lovely floral pattern sheet as a ghost costume if your parents don't have a white sheet. Ghosts aren't very scary with lovely rose floral patterns on their sheets, you know.

The Wet Superhero: Superman looks pretty darn cool as the man of steel able to stop speeding bullets and locomotives. But, a Superman who's wearing a rain slicker looks like a big time sissyass. Who ever knew the Gorton's Fisherman was a superhero?

The Wet Witch: Witch costumes can look cool. But what sort of powers does a witch lack that can't stop the rain. And, all the long hair looks bad wet. But, the big hats make a fairly effective gutter downspout system though.

The Wet Fairy: Oh, the wings of a fairy look so lovely. But, not hanging down and dragging like some wet towels from the back of a fairy.

The Wet Makeup Monster: Kids will look might stupid acting like some monster when they knock on doors when all of their washable makeup came off blocks ago in the rain.

You get the idea. You need to plan ahead for the rain. Better go as THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON to be safe.


2010's update on the 1973 film by George Romero is a very good remake. The original film by Romero was actually a little bit unfulfilling, which is a surprise from this master zombie film maker. This superior version of the story needed to be made. The premise is great, where a military warfare toxin accidentally gets into the water supply turned normal folks in a small town into sadistic and violent killers. It's somewhat of a variation on the zombie theme for sure.

If you're looking for a top notch, wild and edgy Halloween film to enjoy, then this great remake is just your cup of tea. Well acted and devilishly good fun.

The Bottom Line: A surprisingly superior remake of the 1973 George Romero classic. +++(Three stars, or good. But this one for your well stocked horror film library).

Charlie Sheen's Getting Sued By Adult Film Star

Adult film actress Capri Anderson is threatening to sue Charlie Sheen over his outrageous hotel room behavior in which she felt that her life was in danger. The adult entertainer has hired a lawyer to represent her. However, it's unclear what exactly she is suing for. So far, no charges were brought against Sheen, although he reportedly violently trashed the hotel room.

For some odd reason, Capri Anderson made no claims to NYC police officers that she felt threatened at the time, yet now claims so. And NYC police have no plans to file any charges against Sheen because it didn't appear that he ever assaulted the adult film star.

Hey, this whole mess sure sounds like just another day at the office for Sheen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


CAPRICA, the science fiction show based on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has been immediately canceled by the SYFY Channel. The show served as a prequel to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and once held a lot of promise as a series. But, both fans and critics found the show to be a complete mess this year, with badly incoherent scripts that seemed less than thought provoking.

The show will immediately disappear from the schedule, but the final five unaired episodes will surface sometime in 2011, probably during a Summer dumping ground time. But, fans of BATTLESTAR GALACTIC should look forward to another possible spin-off for sometime in 2012 based on William Adama as a young Viper pilot fighter. There will first be a two hour pilot of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME.

Automakers Getting More Government Aid

All three major surviving U.S. automakers are getting new economic aid either from Washington or the state of Michigan. Chrysler is expected to seek $10 billion in loans from the federal government's Department Of Energy. Although the company is run by Fiat, the company has ruled out any financial investments in the automaker, only providing technical or management aid. A new $150 million dollar engine plant to build Fiat designed engines is planned for the near future.

On Tuesday, Chrysler, GM and Ford all received big tax breaks from the state of Michigan to improve their chances of economic survival as GM and Chrysler struggle back towards profitability with smaller more streamlined companies. Ford has so far been able to manage well without federal bailouts, however has sought tax help from Michigan state while receiving help from Washington over the years by being a major military contractor through the use of subsidiary divisions. One contract, for example brought in $159 million for a Ford subsidiary to develop a new generation of antiaircraft gun. On average, the U.S. government spends $1.98 million dollars every 5 seconds on either military contracts or defense costs.

But, the government loans are hardly charity for the automakers by any means. On the contrary, they are big money making investments for Washington were Chrysler is currently paying back these loans with interest rates that range between 7.2% and 14.3% on the 5.7 billion dollars that Chrysler still owes the Treasury Department. GM is hoping to finance itself with a new public stock offering(IPO), and doesn't plan to seek any additional help from Washington ahead of this IPO because it could possibly be bad public relations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charlie Sheen's Porn Star Romp Girl

Many of the stories describing the girl in Charlie Sheen's New York hotel room have been wrong. She's just been identified as Capri Anderson, a beautiful 22 year old adult film star, and certainly not a prostitute or escort as many news organizations have wrongly stated in early news reports.

It turns out that Sheen met Anderson in a bar, and later decided to go to his room, where things somehow went badly.

Anderson called hotel security because she felt afraid and threatened by Sheen. The hotel security then called in the police.

Often early news reports get some facts wrong. And Wizbang Pop has to rely on this second hand news for the facts in some celebrity news stories. When new news becomes available, such as in this case, Wizbang Pop is more than happy to clarify matters with updated facts.

But, one things for sure. Charlie Sheen sure knows how to find the fine ladies. Now, he just needs to treat them much better.

Charlie Sheen's Latest Romp Leaves The Late Night Comics Laughing

Jay Leno and other late night comics were rolling out the fresh Charlie Sheen jokes last night in response to his latest outrageous incident. But, Sheen attempted to do a little fire-fighting" duty today by claiming that the incident was "overblown".

According to the best details available over the Web, police arrived at Sheen's room at New York's Plaza Hotel where Sheen was running around naked, having trashed his hotel room after he believed that a prostitute had stolen his wallet. Some reports claim that the naked prostitute called 911 from the bathroom for help after Sheen threw an anger fit. Reportedly, Sheen was intoxicated and acting wildly. He was sent by police to the hospital for mental and physical evaluation, where according to radar he tested positive for cocaine. Sheen was later released and returned home on a private jet flight.

Charlie Sheen's father, who once strongly considered becoming a Catholic priest because he's such a fine and religious man must be overjoyed hearing this good news about his son. Oh, the trials of Job for the father. On the other hand, Charlie Sheen is keeping more than a few joke writers off the unemployment line. He's the gift that keeps on giving.

File This Under Hardcore

The good folks over at Biker's Den, a top rated motorcycle gear Web business are offering for sale some men's leather biker motorcycle vests with concealed gun compartments. The Web business also has some other style concealed gun vests and men's wear, some of which allow for easy access to gun holsters.

The items are all top notch quality and sell for reasonable prices despite the fact that they're made from top grade leather and other quality materials.

The black leather vest features a one piece design perfect for displaying that club patch or other art work and are produced by Barney's Leather, a quality motorcycle leather supplier. With a cool side lace-up feature, the vest is ultra-adjustable for use.

For some odd reason, most state motorcycle manuals don't mention anything about being sure to carry good concealed gun wear when you ride.

Why Children Should Stick To Mama's Milk

File this under big time sissyass stuff. Nine freshman college students at Central Washington University had to be hospitalized after drinking some Four Loco beer at an underage drinking party. The kids thought they were poisoned, when in fact Four Loco is just some strong shelf beer with added energy boost ingredients.

Hey, underaged drinking is illegal for a reason. Children can't handle it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ABC Cancels THE WHOLE TRUTH Legal Drama

The defense rests that THE WHOLE TRUTH, won't get any more time to argue their case. ABC has pulled the plug on the series and won't order any new episodes beyond the 13 ordered. Despite the talents of durable actors Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney, the show just never attracted many more viewers than a nine member jury.

If you can think of any more legal clich├ęs I missed here, then please l et me know. But, things appear much better for other new ABC shows where more episodes have been ordered. But don't hold out high hopes for any DVD box set of THE WHOLE TRUTH. This series came and went in a flash.

More Problems For Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen had to be hospitalized due to a claimed allergic reaction to some medicine according to his official press. However, TMZ reports that alcohol might have been a factor as well, claiming that Sheen went on a huge drinking binge and then trashed his NYC hotel room, leading to his hospitalization. Regardless, the problems only seem to indicate that the actor hasn't fully left his problems behind.

Sheen was supposed to have just a few days left on his probation stemming from a simmering domestic violence episode with his wife, where it was unclear exactly what happened or who was at fault.

The Raw Brute Horsepower Of Predator Carburetors

Although they have existed since the 1980's, Predator carburetors continue to find an audience of high performance fans, with many followers among monster trucks and circle track racing builders. However, on street rods with blowers or big blocks, these can be a real killer item to install.

With a unique square design, the Predator is revolutionary in many ways with a unique fuel metering cam system, and a variable venturi design that runs off the air demand of the engine. This makes this unique high performance carb excellent to use on tunnel rams, blowers or other extreme high performance engines.

The design of the Predator is actually very simple inside with no gaskets or power valves to blow out, which ideally makes this carb nearly maintenance free. However, expect the design to swallow lots of fuel, which seems to be a trade-off for the increased power this design provides.

Interestingly, some guys with street cars claim a little difficulty in dialing in this carb for everyday street use compared to many higher performance applications in monster trucks and circle track use where the carb provides killer performance. But, possibly the street use guys are running the carb on too small of engines, where this carb loves the big blocks with high demands to produce tons of raw horsepower.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Doors Offer Up A Fresh New Live Cd November 22

Each year around the Christmas season you can count like clockwork on The Doors releasing a great new Cd as a treat for their fans. This year look for LIVE IN VANCOUVER 1970 to be released November 22. The new 2 disc Cd features a unreleased concert with a number of fan favorites including "Light My Fire", "Back Door Man", "When The Music's Over", "The End" as well as less famous live Doors' songs such as "Money", "Petition The Lord With Prayer" which is part of "The Soft Parade" and more. Jim has some great classic talks with the audience as well.

Although the show was recorded by The Doors tour manager, Vince Treanor, with just a Sony reel to reel and two microphones, the sound quality is reportedly quite good and not like some awful bootleg. Most normal albums were recorded with multi-track recorders. But, thankfully because this performance was recorded, it can now be enjoyed 40 years later.

Jim Morrison was in real high gear that evening as Ray Manzarek recalls, calling it "a real funky evening". Expect some classic Jim Morrison singing and stage antics banter here. Jim Morrison kicked off the show with a cigar being lit by blues legend Albert King.

The concert was recorded June 6, 1970, at the Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia.

DVD Review: DEATH KAPPA(2010 Japan)

Run for your lives, those cheap giant rubber monsters from Japan are back. As outrageous as this genre is, where it has become something of an embarrassment to a nation known as one of the most high tech in the world. Yet, there's something really enjoyable about this simply awful unique Japanese movie franchise. And DEATH KAPPA brings back all of the glory and laughter of this genre. While the beautiful ultraclear picture camera work has certainly improved since those early Godzilla B&W Toho productions of the 1950's, the monster actors in rubber suits and the model homes seem to look even cheaper than ever with the clearer picture.

While, DEATH KAPPA is obviously a trash film, with an absurd script and monsters, it's still great fun in it's own twisted way. While certainly nowhere near as good as any of the newer Toho Productions films, DEATH KAPPA will still wow nearly any fan of giant rubber monsters.

Oh, even the South Koreans tried to make some of those giant rubber monster films. But, no one does them quite as good as the Japanese. And, besides that monster in one Korean film looked like nothing more than just Godzilla with a rubber horn stuck on his forehead.

To the average viewer, DEATH KAPPA may seem like total dreck. But, to those of us who love this genre, DEATH KAPPA is enjoyable enough fun to highly recommend.

The Bottom Line: Great trash-a-rama fun here, although certainly nowhere as good some of those cool Mechagodzilla films that Toho produces. ++1/2(Fair+, nearly good. Worth a viewing. Prepare to laugh and enjoy yourself big time).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CD Reviews: Steve Miller, Robert Plant & Eric Clapton All Make Lukewarm Returns

Under normal conditions, good cds deserve individual reviews. However, not in the case of these real lulewarm new releases by veteran artists, Steve Miller, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton. I was really delighted to see these new releases, and had real high hopes here. But, all three artists sure knew how to disappoint me here and really break my heart. While, none of these albums are downright awful, the fact is that none of them are very good. And that's really sad.

Steve Miller has been a longtime favorite of mine. Some of his albums like BOOK OF DREAMS raised the bar so high that you'd expect a new album on the par with this wall-to-wall classic album of great, great songs. Unfortunately, BINGO! is a disappointingly low energy, low key blues album that may well get back to the blues roots of Steve Miller, but it certainly lacks that cool and awesome commercial-success sound with every song. Nothing sounds single worthy here. I love blues music, and the musicianship is certainly good enough. But, this album is simply unfulfilling to me. I feel empty after listening to it. I expected so much better from the return of the "Space Cowboy".

Robert Plant. What words can I say to express my disappointment here. Robert Plant you were the voice of the legendary supergroup Led Zeppelin, remember that? But, it sure seems like you never once listened to one of those great albums before you came out with this real lukewarm solo effort. BAND OF JOY, sure didn't leave me feeling very delighted. On the contrary, I felt so sad and disappointed after hearing this. This sure isn't much of an album at all here. One heck of a heartbreak to any former fans of Zep. This album does the legendary Zeppelin name dirty.

And, now we come to Eric Clapton. Clapton was once the lead guitar great behind so many great acts, not the least of these Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, among others. And his solo career has been quite impressive as well. But, the new release simply entitled CLAPTON is way too laid back. Nothing like the so impressive LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN release with Steve Winwood a year earlier. Certainly not a terrible Eric Clapton album by any means, but hardly an impressive one by stretch of the imagination. With a simple title like CLAPTON, I should have expected just a minimal effort here. And that seems to be what I got. This sure reminds me of one of those contractual obligation effort albums. I don't see this as being regarded as a classic any time real soon.

So, there you have three great recording artists, all capable of a classic effort. Yet, all three just barely went through the motions and issued real low energy attempts. And that's pretty darn disappointing to me. I expected much better from all three legends.

The Bottom Line: Not a terrible album here, but none that are great by any means: ++(Just fair, with only two stars out of four for all three lukewarm efforts. Spend your hard earned money at your own risk kids).

Pee Wee Herman Is All Over The Current Bike Magazines

Fresh from his recent highly successful appearance at the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally event, Pee Wee Herman(Paul Reubens) has witnessed something of a big career comeback and finds himself in photos in many current issues of motorcycle magazines. This is surprising because many big name entertainers also were at the event as well, where nearly every day featured major name recording or entertainment acts.

The big career comeback for comic actor Paul Reubens is something of a surprise considering some of the serious legal problems that he has faced over the years that seriously hurt his career. In a recent PLAYBOY interview, Reubens offered up a unique defense to his 1991 arrest for public lewdness in an adult movie theater. Reubens also faced more serious legal problems in 2002 when the arrest of actor Jeffery Jones on charges related to the sexual use of a 14 year old boy, spilled over and led to serious legal problems for Reubens as well. Reuben's Los Angeles lawyer, Blair Birk, was able to get some serious charges substantially downgraded where Reubens was not allowed in the company of minors and was required to file his home address with the sheriff's office for three years. Jeffrey Jones' legal problems were much worse. Earlier this year, Jones was charged with failure to update his lifetime sex offender registration, and received a community service sentence along with three years of probation for that offense. It is something of a miracle that simmering stinking legal messes like this haven't completely destroyed Reubens' career. But, this looks like the year of the comeback for the comic, where hopefully all of the crazy legal issues of the past are now well behind him. And he was a surprise hit at the Sturgis rally where he was one of the most talked about acts.

It's certainly unusual to see such a huge career comeback for an entertainer with this much legal baggage. And it's equally surprising too folks in the motorcycle community so accepting of Reubens as well. But, at the same time there's a wholesomeness to the Pee wee Herman character, and not matter how tough some folks might be, they can still find a warm spot in their hearts for this entertainer and the child-like ways of Pee Wee Herman. Pee Wee Herman has his own life and identity, and it seems that no matter what mistakes that Paul Reubens might make in his own life, Pee Wee Herman remains eternally cool to everyone.

FOX News Gives Embattled Juan Williams A New $2 Million Dollar Contract

Juan Williams, the moderate news commentator, has received a new $2 million dollar contract with FOX News after he was unceremoniously fired this week from NPR after he made a remark about Muslims that NPR officials found controversial. For the embattled, but popular journalist, the news of the new contract had to be good news.

Despite his liberal to moderate views on many political topics, Juan Williams has found himself heavily defended by many political conservatives over the last few days who personally like him despite any political differences they have with him. One Republican Senator is even proposing to strip NPR of any public funds in response to the firing of Juan Williams. Williams has also received support from many liberals who are opposed to the form of political speech censorship that NPR seems to be practicing.

While the comment Williams made regarding Muslims was certainly controversial, it was at least an honest comment. And that's what many like so much about Juan Williams, he's very honest and truthful and has the highest of journalistic integrity.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Roy Rogers Rode Iron Horses Too!

Cowboy star Roy Rogers wasn't always loyal to Trigger, his beloved horse companion. Sometimes he rode iron horses, like this cool Indian 4 he owned. Rob Johnson, Roy's grandson submitted this wonderful old family photo to the official Indian Museum of the beloved cowboy star going for a ride with his daughter, Linda Lou Rogers.

Not to slight Trigger here. Trigger was one of the smartest animal movie stars of all time, and well knew how to act for the screen. Trigger was a star in a huge number of films and TV shows with Roy Rogers, and passed away in 1965 at the estimated age of 33. Trigger's real name was Thunder Cloud.

Roy Rogers lived to be 86. In his late years, he had a religious program over at TBN with his wife, Dale Evans.

Friday, October 22, 2010

CBS Orders More Episodes For Five New Shows

So far CBS has struck gold. The nation's leading network has ordered new episodes for all five new series. Compared to other networks who have already cancelled some new series, CBS is riding high on strong ratings. So far, every new show has performed well for CBS. CBS has even turned Friday into a ratings strong evening, which is an awesome feat considering that NBC uses the same evening for low rated material such as news programs.

CBS sent down new orders for 6 to 9 new episodes for HAWAII 5-0, THE DEFENDERS, BLUE BLOODS, MIKE & MOLLY, and for $#+! My DAD SAYS. However, you can probably expect all five series will be renewed for an entire year. Only $#+! MY DAD SAYS might be replaced at midseason with another comedy entry. The other new series seem so strong that they'll likely run all year, especially hits like HAWAII 5-0.

Besides shoring up those Friday night ratings, CBS has also achieved two other big feats. THE BIG BANG THEORY is hotter than ever with huge Thursday night ratings, and gives CBS real comedy muscle in the 8pm slot. Further, CSI MIAMI performs much better than the old COLD CASE show that it replaced, pulling in bigger numbers.

It's real safe to say that CBS knows what they're doing.

Ice Bear's Cool 4 Wheeled Xracer Motorcycle

Leave up to inventive Chinese motorcycle company Ice Bear to create something really wild and different. But, U.S. DOT rules and state motorcycle regulations will probably keep the four wheeled version of this great motorcycle design from most U.S. sales. Ice Bear also has a three wheeled version to conform with various U.S. and state regulations.

Although the inventive Xracer model looks difficult to ride, it actually features a fully automatic transmission, making it much easier to handle, as well as adding a more streamlined appearance with the absence of extra add-ons for the clutch and shifter controls.

Although this motorcycle only features a 150cc engine, the awesome appearance make this bike a really cool bit of bike technology. And it's many thousands of dollars cheaper than some of those mega-expensive European four wheeled superbikes.

Once again, Ice Bear proves that you can be cool on a budget.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PENTHOUSE Founder Bob Guccione Dead At 79

Bob Guccione, the founder of the very popular men's magazine, PENTHOUSE, has died. He was 79 and had been battling cancer in recent years. Founded in 1965 in England, PENTHOUSE positioned itself as revolutionary among mainstream men's magazines because of more explicit pictorials of beautiful women than competitors such as PLAYBOY. And, PENTHOUSE aimed for more sensationalist journalism as well than PLAYBOY. At one point, PENTHOUSE had hoped to overtake PLAYBOY in sales, but the aftermath of the controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision on obscenity created rocky times for the entire adult entertainment industry, where many retailers removed magazines such as PENTHOUSE from sale at stores. As late as 1998, two store clerks in Oklahoma were arrested for selling PENTHOUSE, although the magazine is considered to be constitutionally protected free speech in most parts of the U.S.

Guccione actually had many other magazines and business interests beyond PENTHOUSE, however some of those ventures such as a casino business badly failed and sapped the PENTHOUSE empire of much of it's wealth. Further, the growth of harder content magazines, videos and free Internet porn only further eroded the PENTHOUSE empire even more. Guccione, eventually sold the magazine which was famous for it's soft focus crotch shots, and reportedly, the content softened up under the new ownership, getting away from some of the more graphic trends of the magazine in the late years under Guccione.

Guccione's son was set up as the manager of music and other special interest magazines at one point, but the financial problems since the failed casino venture only continued to haunt the family business.

Strangely, Guccione considered becoming a Catholic priest at one point. However, life carried him in a whole different direction, where at one point, where he was one of the most wealthy men in the world at one time. Who would have ever guessed that there's big money to be made taking pictures of breathtaking women? Guccione himself, often photographed the women. Some guys sure have to work hard to make a buck, huh?

The Duh? Files: The Worst Political Ad Ever Aired Backfires

The whole idea of advertising, whether it's for a product or for a political candidate should be to present a positive view so that the public buys the product. So, why for the love of God open an ad with the very first words with something really bizarre like "I'm not a witch"? A candidate for the U.S. Senate in Delaware is beginning to deeply regret running this foolish ad that she hoped would defuse a lingering problem opened up due an old tape run on Bill Maher's cable comedy political program. Instead, the "Witch Ad" itself has become a issue, and even joked about by the late night comics among others. Even veteran political insiders such as Karl Rove are deeply unhappy at this poorly managed campaign.

You know advertising is bad when the very first statement conjures up the wholesome image of the WIZARD OF OZ witch, don't you? But, neither the senate candidate, nor her campaign seemed to be intelligent enough to recognize this simple fact. And this is just the sort of person you want to manage Washington, isn't it?

What's ever happened to the good old days when you put the best foot forward in advertising? Apparently, it's been replaced with candidates running negative ads......against themselves.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grindhouse Cinema: THE LOSERS (1968)

One of the more outrageous motorcycle gang films of the sixties was THE LOSERS. The outrageous plot takes place during the Vietnam War in S.E. Asia where the U.S. Army calls in a motorcycle gang to raise hell with the enemy. The bikers turn their bikes into armored death machines like little tanks, including a cool trike. It's a wild premise. But great fun.

Plenty of great bike stunts and bloody violent action. A true trash classic here. One of the most enjoyable biker films ever made. Cool and outrageous.

Records Albums From The Twilight Zone: MOLLY CAMP SINGS(With Steppenwolf)

In 1966, John Kay & Sparrow(one year before they changed their name to Steppenwolf) strangely appeared as the backup band for Canadian easy listening singer Molly Camp. The result was one of the most bizarre Canadian albums ever released. It is also one of the most rare Steppenwolf albums ever.

Of all of the weird and strange albums from the Twilight Zone, Molly Camp with Steppenwolf has to be one of the strangest. Wierd but true. Believe it or not. Rare and hard to find.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tom Bosley Dead At 83

Tom Bosley, the personable actor who played the father of Richie Cunningham in HAPPY DAYS is dead at the age of 83 from heart failure. He was also reportedly battling lung cancer as well. Although, Bosley was well known for early acting roles playing Catholic priests, he was actually Jewish. But, his biggest role was that on HAPPY DAYS, the long running smash TV series about the 1950's where Ron Howard seemed to capture that perfect 1950's HOWDY DOODY look.

After HAPPY DAYS, Bosley became associated with advertising for Sonic drive-ins, D-Con, Glad Trash bags and SMC merchandising. However, SMC made Bosley a little bit controversial because the company charges as much as $299 to start an import business, whereas most normal wholesalers are free to buy from for businesses. For a wholesaler to charge money is highly unusual, although some larger SMC sellers can make good money if they have a store or other larger established business to operate from.

Tom Bosley will always be remembered as a very likable actor. He was a WWII Navy veteran.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gus Van Sant's RESTLESS Trailer Hits Internet; Wizbang Pop Editor Paul Hooson With The Cast

Many months ago, great director Gus Van Sant used my historic Clinton Market grocery store to film his upcoming film, RESTLESS. I got to meet with the lead cast members, Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska, both of which were very nice young actors. Finally, after months of waiting, a trailer has hit the Internet for the film in the last three hours. It has a tentative January 28, release date. And, so far the critical buzz has been very good for the film. Critics note the film has a rich breathtaking look much more like Gus Van Sant's MILK rather than PARANOID PARK.

The cast members did their makeup work in my Clinton Market store and filmed their first kiss outside the store. The store is featured in at least two scenes in the film, while other S.E. Portland neighborhood homes and locations were used for much of the film. For months, there was little news about the film which seemed to be stuck in endless months of post production editing work. The news of the trailer today, is indeed good news for fans of Gus Van Sant's great film works.

The lead actress, Mia Wasikowska, also played the lead in that excellent ALICE IN WONDERLAND remake with Johnny Depp that was such a hit, and visually stunning. Yet, this Australian-born actress has yet to become a household name in the states, despite quickly rising as a great talent. She also played a strong supporting role in Daniel Craig's DEFIANCE as well. She is incredibly nice, and deserves great success.

Henry Hopper, is the son of the late film legend, Dennis Hopper from the legendary EASY RIDER film, one of the greatest biker movies ever made. That film also helped to establish groups like Steppenwolf as major rock stars. The song, "Born To Be Wild" was the first of several motorcycle oriented singles the band would eventually release, although only 3 singles reached the top ten.

In the film, Henry Hopper plays a kooky youngster who is attracted to death and talks to the ghost of a dead WWII Kamikaze pilot. Mia Wasikowska, is a teenage girl dying of cancer, who becomes attractive to him because of her illness and upcoming death. It's a little bit like the twisted HAROLD AND MAUDE love story in some ways. But, with Gus Van Sant you can expect a very original film beyond this quirky love story theme.

The film looks to be one of his greatest Gus Van Sant films by the buzz it's getting. I can't wait to buy a Blu ray disc of it someday and own a copy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mel Gibson's Russian Immigrant EX Hires 39 Lawyers

Amazing, but true. Oksana Grigorieva, the Russian-born pianist and songwriter has hired a total of 39 lawyers so far in her continued legal dispute with actor Mel Gibson to acquire child custody funds from the actor. 39, that sounds like a record, huh?

Another strange factoid here: Mel Gibson was once considered to play James Bond of all people despite not being English. Oksana was once romantically linked to former James Bond actor Timothy Dalton.

This Sarah Palin's A Real Bitch

What would Halloween be without a few otherwise normal folks with way too much time on their hands dressing up their pets as celebrities. Well, OH NO THEY DIDN'T posted this funny photo of someone who decided that their pooch should look like Sarah Palin. Well, ain't leisure time a grand thing.

Check out many more wacky pet costumes over at OH NO THEY DIDN'T's website.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wild Success Of THE SONS OF ANARCHY Might Have Influenced Hells Angels General Store Over At Ebay

The huge cable TV hit, THE SONS OF ANARCHY might well have a lot to do with the opening of a Hells Angels Los Angeles chapter store over at Ebay that sells bumper stickers, clothing and other items. Under the Ebay seller name losangelescosupportproducts, the local motorcycle club chapter has a very good rating of 99.7% customer satisfaction, which is really quite good. Most customers give the dealer high praise for great customer service.

Interestingly, more than a few of the items almost look like they could be straight from some JC Penney catalog or something, and with several years of Ebay sales on the huge international auction site, the motorcycle organization runs an efficient and well run business.

The business environment sometimes attracts some interesting new sellers to the marketplace, with unique products to offer. And one enterprising local Hells Angels organization chapter realized that a market existed to sell souvenirs and other products the club markets. With more than 2400 items sold by this dealer, it well proves that a market exists for the MC club's products.

If anything, free Enterprise proves that you don't always have to be like the "milk and cookies" shop down the street to successfully sell something. Unique products find a market as well.

With many custom motorcycles exceeding $30,00 and some running $85,000 or better, this organization fully realizes that plenty of money exists on the part of buyers to purchase their motorcycle lifestyle products. And the success of THE SONS OF ANARCHY probably has a lot to do with original motorcycle clubs offering their souvenirs for sale.

Outrageous Halloween Movies: DEAD SNOW

Hey kids, if you really want to spook up a Halloween party but good, then you need to add the outrageous DVD horror film from Norway, DEAD SNOW to the mix. Although, film critics loved this gory and bizarre film somewhat more than some audiences actually did , this connoisseur grade horror movie is real quirky and strange fun. Even legendary film critic Roger Ebert paid tribute to this film as being right in the funny MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 genre.

A group of college students on Easter break in Norway spend what is supposed to be a fun weekend, but instead find themselves prey for a brigade of Nazi zombies. An outrageous plot you say. Absolutely. This show is meant to be way over the top and funny. It's a gory film fest of the bizarre. The soft white snow of Norway makes for a perfect canvas for the absurd blood spatter dark comedy of this great film. You'll howl with laughter at this outrageous film.

While certainly far different than any George Romero style of zombie film, DEAD SNOW, manages a unique foreign take on the zombie film, creating it's own new and outrageous take on the proud tradition of great zombie films. It's a goody for sure. A must see for any true zombie film fan.

The Bottom Line: Once you get past the subtitles, this great film is full of plenty of ghoulish laughs and gory fun. A great creepy Halloween party type film for sure. Amaze and delight your guests. +++(Three stars, and real good for sure. You more than have my seal of approval for this film).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Juliette Lewis Continues Accident Recovery, Promotes New Film

Reportedly, actress Juliette Lewis continues to recover after the car that she was being driven in was T-boned in an Oct 7, hit and run accident. The actress was briefly hospitalized with scratches and bruises when a Honda slammed into the car she was riding in. Reportedly, days after the accident the actress was still feeling "sore" from the injuries. But fortunately, she was leaning at the time doing some Emails from the car's passenger seat when the Honda slammed her car with a hard impact. This greatly limited her injuries.

Juliette Lewis is currently doing promotion work for the film , CONVICTION. She took a long leave from doing films to do rock and roll music as a performer. CONVICTION is getting rave critical reviews from many movie experts and might be considered to be one of her greatest films. She's a fantastic film actress, able to play some pretty edgy and intense roles.

At age 37, Juliette is still the major babe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beleaguered Beer Industry Funding Battle Against California's Measure 19

One of the most consequential ballot measures this November is California's Measure 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana. Some polls suggest the measure might actually pass and has a narrow lead among some polls. However, the nation's beer industry, which is hurting from the continued recession is pouring money into the campaign to oppose Measure 19 because of fears it will only further the beer industry's economic troubles.

The brewing industry wants to be the only legal drug around. The heads of this industry fear a diluted market as many beer buyers may divert their buying patterns. Further, recent beer wholesale price increases may be harming sales, at least in the short run for the industry as well.

Beyond any business market changes, the controversial California ballot measure would create a huge wave of national and international legal consequences. Would it open the doors to more acceptance of harder drugs? How can other states or the federal government justify existing drug laws in the other states, or a huge prison population because of some nonviolent drug oriented crime sentence? Will it increase or decrease public safety, such as crime or DUI type problems with motor vehicle safety?

The brewing industry is scared. Many in law enforcement and drug policy are scared as well. In this screwy election year, California may create a political earthquake if this measure passes.

The Mystery Of St. Bernadette's Body Continues To Confound

One of the greatest unexplained mysteries of all time is the body of Sister Bernadette Soubirous, which doesn't seem to decompose after 131 years. The body is on display by the Catholic Church as one of the greatest miracles of all time, and defies any scientific explanation. Although the nun died at the very young age of 35 in 1879, the body still looks fresh today. The body had actually been exhumed several times between 1909 and 1925, and what was found was a shockingly well preserved body that seems to defy normal decomposition.

In 1928, a doctor's report found the heart nearly normal in composition, and remarked in his official report that this didn't seem to be a "natural phenomenon" of any sort. It was an amazing medical discovery that defied explanation.

Bernadette Soubirous was born a sickly child who caused a world stir with the amazing phenomenon of her visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus at a rocky grotto in Lourdes, France. Strangely, the spring water that flowed at this site appears to have healing powers, although no scientific explanation could find a reason for this. The sick of the world travel to Lourdes, and often leave crutches and wheelchairs behind as they seem to be miraculously healed by the water at the shrine.

In 1943, popular actress Jennifer Jones played Bernadette in THE SONG OF BERNADETTE, back when respect for religious oriented films was much higher in the old Hollywood. This film was acclaimed as a great film by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike as a great faith inspiring film.

In Nevers, France the body of Bernadette is still on display and continues to awe many religious pilgrims each year as an unexplained miracle.

In Fatima, Portugal a similar event of three children viewing visions of Mary resulted in some awesome future prophesy messages. The first message dealt with a vision of Hell, and souls floating among these flames, while the second message dealt with how to avoid Hell. The third message was kept secret by the Catholic Church until June 2000, and contained some amazing future predictions of the rise of Soviet Union creating a long period of wars and religious persecutions. Reportedly, the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II was also predicted, as well as the current sexual abuse scandal, all of which were supposed to act as a warning to the church to avoid these sins.

In more modern times as society becomes more secular and miracles far more scarce, some of these older unexplained spiritual events are truly awesome and make for great vacation spots to travel to.

Kim Kardashian Does W Sans The Clothes

W may be a trend setting fashion, art and culture magazine. But don't expect Kim Kardashian to be wearing any clothes if you purchase a copy. The very popular socialite took a lovely nude image to grace the magazine's cover recently. The U.S. born Turkish-American babe has more than ample good curves going for her. But you probably know that if you've seen anything of her famous sex tape floating around out there.

Some girls just can't keep there clothes on, I guess.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ripoff Report:Daily Newspapers Going To Paid TV Magazines To Raise Money

Hard pressed daily newspapers are turning to a terrible notion to raise extra income. A number of newspapers are deleting their own weekly TV listings and separate TV sections, and instead using a national publications distributor, NTVB(National Television Book Company) to sell the TV listings that were formerly included in the paper at no extra charge for an additional subscription fee. This takes real balls. Newspaper subscribers and purchasers are now being asked to pay for a section of the newspaper that was formerly included. What's next, a comic book being sold in place of the comics? A separate opinion magazine? TV WEEKLY magazine is hardly a magazine comparable to TV GUIDE by any stretch of the imagination. It's merely a ripoff as struggling newspapers begin to part out their publications and normal department sections for extra income.

Of all the crappy trends for newspapers to follow, this one has got to be sure to alienate newspaper buyers about the most of anything they could conceive of. While it won't lead to angry mobs of disgruntled TV viewers with pitchforks running these guys out of town, it will still anger a lot of folks who may be a lot less inclined to buy newspapers at all. Leave it up to the newspapers to alienate what few remaining customers they still may have.

Some things suck big time. This sure does. These guys even use as their online designation to be sure to rub enough salt in the wounds they created. The fact is these guys took away the TV magazine that used to included in the newspaper and hung a meter on it.


It sure didn't take Kreskin to see this one coming all the way up Broadway. NBC finally pulled the plug on the horrid new Conan O'Brien production of OUTLAW, the absurd legal drama that NBC first sent to that awful Friday 10pm time slot. News over the last few days was that NBC ordered a production hiatus(or stop) on the drama while it re-evaluated it's status at the Peacock network. But, over the weekend the bad news of the further audience decline came in from last Friday night's episode. NBC saw enough, and like a prize fight going badly, decided to stop the bleeding.

Now, this simply awful series gets trash-canned to that dumping ground graveyard of Saturday evening shows, where the last four filmed episodes will get aired. It's better than dead air or an infomercial I guess.

NBC plans to revamp their Friday evening schedule with a two hour version of DATELINE, which will also be far cheaper to produce than a much more expensive drama like OUTLAW.

With a simpler storyline, and better written scripts, fine actor Jimmy Smits could have succeeded. But the absurd story of a ultraconservative lawyer who turns into a liberal champion of small people that he believes were wronged defied common sense. Even worse, was the side story of his heavy interest in gambling and playing the ladies. A more streamlined story of a rebel lawyer who accepts difficult cases would have been so much better. This show just tried too hard, and failed miserably. And that's sad. Conan O'Brien really really has no presence on NBC at all now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great Soul Legend Solomon Burke Dead At 70

Solomon Burke, the great soul legend, with the big powerful voice has passed away at the age of 70 from an apparent heart attack. Burke was a preacher, turned mortician, turned legendary singer, and was responsible for some great classic R&B classic songs and awesome live performances. From 1961 until 1978, the singer was responsible for a long string of hit singles on the R&B charts reaching #1 and#2 , although none of his singles peaked higher than #22 and #24 on the mainstream pop charts. As late as 2007, he made a rare U.S TV appearance on LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN. The singer appeared to be very overweight and performed from an ornate chair.

Besides performing original songs, Solomon Burke was also responsible for some great remakes of classic rock songs that he issued as singles, such as CCR's, "Proud Mary" in 1969, and Three Dog Night's, "Shambala" in 1973. It is often a common practice for many pop hits to re-emerge as covers on the country and R&B charts by other artists. And Burke could produce some powerful covers of rock songs as well pen some fantastic classic original hits.

Reports claim that Burke died while traveling on a flight to Amsterdam to perform an October 12, show with the Dutch rock band De Dijk. De Dijk is an R&B oriented rock band that recorded a new album, HOLD ON TIGHT, with Solomon Burke that was only recently released, and Burke was on tour with the band to help promote the new album. Some powerful videos of Burke performing with De Dijk exist on YouTube. They are indeed awesome.

Solomon Burke leaves behind a fantastic legacy of music that has found respect among many White R&B community musicians such as The Rolling Stones and De Dijk. The Rolling Stones performed a memorable show with Solomon Burke once before, where Burke proclaimed them as the "crowned kings of rock and roll", and had his crew dress Mick Jagger with his famous king's cape cloak. The Rolling Stones absolutely loved him. For years, Solomon Burke had been regarded as a living legend among so many great rock acts. Some musicians respected him as the "King of rock and soul" and "King Solomon". He will be so deeply missed. Legends like this only come once a lifetime.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Former NBA Player Might Become Oregon's Next Governor

Although he was never a fantastic NBA center, who often broke records for missed free throws, and barely scored only about 3 average points a game, Chris Dudley was always a fan favorite in Portland, Oregon because of his reputation as a good guy. As a player for the Portland Trailblazers, Dudley was always known for his intelligence as well as philanthropist ways, but lacks any real political or business experience. Now he's running for Governor of Oregon, and has a slight lead among most polls over former Governor John Kitzhaber, an ultra experienced state politician. In a funny election year where angry voters want to throw out familiar faces and elect new faces with little or no experience, Dudley has a real shot to win.

As the main state newspaper, THE OREGONIAN, has noted, Dudley "continues to struggle in interviews and in one televised debate", yet these awful performances as well a weak record as an NBA player don't seem to be moving polls much in the direction of the former governor, who has run a weaker than expected campaign this time around. With a well funded campaign from large business interests who see some tax break opportunities in Dudley, Republican Party leadership also see an opportunity in Dudley to score a rare statewide in Oregon where the state Republican Party is hardly competitive in winning state races. To say that the state party is in disrepair, would be to put it mildly.

Dudley is a form of moderate Republican much more in the mode of past GOP statewide winners such as Tom McCall, Mark Hatfield, Clay Meyers and Norma Paulus. However, at least one of these, Norma Paulus is supporting Kitzhaber, mainly due to the experience difference.

Dudley's main experience could be summed up as raising money for diabetes research and acting as an NBA player's union representative. Dudley has no experience luring foreign trade to Oregon or managing a budget larger than his own bank accounts. Yet, a majority of voters might just ask Dudley to manage all of Oregon's problems, as the state manages through budget shortfalls as well as other serious lingering recession problems. Dudley claims to offer up some grand plan for education, yet with all of his tax cut proposals, it is unclear how schools will avoid a budget ax under his proposals, or how state services will survive intact. Dudley's ads proclaim a proud future, yet the devil is in the details.

Just like someone who drinks too much and wakes up the next day regretting a nasty hangover, many voters are willing to elect under qualified candidates in this screwy election year , and then willing to live with the nasty consequences for years afterwards. That sure makes a lot of sense. However, thinly qualified celebrity candidates like Chris Dudley might just be able to ride this wave to winning, with only his celebrity status as his main qualification. Never mind that he wasn't even a great NBA player.

Celebrity is the only reason Dudley has even gotten this far. But celebrity has carried some other celebrities to high places before, witness actors Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronald Reagan.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Imagine: John Lennon Would Have Been 70 Today

John Lennon, member of the legendary Beatles would have turned 70 today if he wouldn't had been murdered by crazed fan, Mark David Chapman on December 8,1980. As co-writer of legendary songs with Paul McCartney, Lennon had an awesome 27 #1 singles in just the U.S. alone, and has sold more than 14 million records as a solo artist.

John Lennon's penchant for writing songs that have a soft classic backdrop style on one hand, and angry political messages on the other hand, made him the most complex and controversial of the Beatles in style. Lennon's U.S. association with antiwar and civil rights politics also made him a political target of the Republican Nixon administration with right wing South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond a strong backer of his deportation back to the UK. However, in the spirit of healing America, the more mainstream conservative President Ford rescinded the deportation order engineered by the Nixon White House. Interestingly, Lennon attended Jimmy Carter's inaugural, and Lennon's often radical politics began to moderate with the end of the Vietnam War.

In later years, it was discovered that the FBI kept a 281 page file on Lennon, although no evidence existed that he was any security threat. During the Nixon years, many normal law abiding citizens were targets of domestic surveillance activity for their opposition to Nixon Administration policies such as the war. He was certainly more political than any of the other Beatles, although Paul McCartney was particularly associated with peace efforts in Northern Ireland, and wrote the protest song, "Give Ireland Back To The Irish", which is something of a rarity these days and never included on any greatest hits collections.

As a musician and songwriter, Lennon was so talented and beloved that an Airport in Liverpool, England was named after him. In Havana, Liverpool and Hungary statues or busts celebrate the controversial, but very great artist.

At the time of his death, the comeback album with Yoko Ono, DOUBLE FANTASY was doing well on the charts with some major hit single action for the song, "Starting Over". But in a wave of public sympathy following his tragic death, the album sales boomed and two more singles, "Woman" and "Watching The Wheels" were released as singles, both doing very well. In the U.S., the album peaked at #1 for a seven week run following his death, and did nearly as well in the UK, although by 1980, John Lennon seemed to be viewed more as an American and native New Yorker by then. Lennon was a regular neighborhood fixture near his Dakota apartment building neighborhood. And it was this easy access that made him an easy target for a mentally unbalanced assassin like Mark David Chapman who suffered from bizarre delusions that killing Lennon would allow him to have his fame and popularity.

At an autograph event earlier in the evening, Lennon was kind enough to autograph a copy of DOUBLE FANTASY for Chapman, even as he plotted to murder him later that night. About 10:50 that evening as Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were returning home to the Dakota apartment building, Chapman walked toward Lennon and fired four shots into Lennon's back. Lennon was rushed to the hospital, but pronounced dead on arrival.

It was a strange journey for Lennon. Growing from the humble roots in the poor working class neighborhood of Liverpool, England, into one of the most popular rock stars of all time, to the breakup of The Beatles, to his comeback as a solo artist, to his bizarre death.

John Lennon is another example of a great talent, gone way too soon. He no doubt had so many more classic songs in his future. We can only imagine.

Friday, October 08, 2010

DVD Review: The Three Stooges: SPOOK LOUDER

Just in time for Halloween, Columbia Pictures home video is redistributing SPOOK LOUDER, a collection of six outrageous Three Stooges shorts from the 1940's for a low price of $5.99 at many retailers. While some of the shorts involve some spooky stuff at creepy homes, other shorts have less of a creepy tone. But all six are truly funny classic Stooges stuff.

Included are "Spook Louder" 1943, which involves the tale of the boys as traveling salesmen falling into some scary and frightening times when they guard a spooky home and spies dressed as monsters try to steal some secret weapon. This was a great wartime funny episode, and maybe one of their best in many ways. Curly was the third man in this episode.

"Mummy's Dummies" from 1948 has less of a spooky feel, but is a hilarious sight gag adventure with the boys as dishonest used chariot dealers who try their best not to get execution orders from the king after ripping off the chief of the palace guard. Shemp stars in this one.

"Shivering Sherlocks" from 1947 is another creepy adventure in a house, where the boys run for their lives from the crazed hatchet wielding man, Angel. It's a pretty funny romp, and well enjoyable. Shemp stars in this classic.

Also included are "The Ghost Talks" from 1949, "Hokus Pokus" from 1949, and Shemp's first short as the third stooge in "Fright Night" from 1947. After Curly suffered from a serious stroke, he only made one guest appearance in a stooges short as a snoozing man on a train, where Moe Howard's brother, Shemp replaced him during the 1940's Stooge's short films. If you like Shemp, then you'll love this collection with Shemp in five of six episodes.

Unlike a few of the Stooges DVDs, this collection is only available in Black & White and does not offer the colorization option. However, this Black & White seems to help add a spooky tone to these 1940's short films. For just $5.99, I promise plenty of good clean laughs here. This is a family friendly DVD great for the kids as well. Makes for a great Halloween party film.

The Bottom Line: The Stooges can do no wrong. They are not unlike the Gods. ++++(Excellent, four star classic comedy. Buy this DVD!)

Kid From TWO AND A HALF MEN Signs Huge $7.8 Million Dollar Contract Deal

Angus T. Jones, the 17 year old portly kid star of TWO AND A HALF MEN has signed a massive new contract deal worth $7.8 million over the next two years. This translates into $300,000 per episode plus a $500,000 bonus. That should make this kid an attractive date to his high school girl friends. Even better, the star could potentially pull in $14.4 million if he's in as many 48 episodes instead of the minimum of 26 episode commitments.

As good as this all sounds, lead star Charlie Sheen could potentially earn as much as $98 million over the next two years if he stays out of trouble and does as many as 48 shows.

Although the show is the top rated comedy show on TV at #8 among all shows with 13.9 million viewers, it's a little bit uncertain whether the show has any future after the next two seasons. But, with the kind of money these stars are pulling down , they would be darn fools to want to quit a good thing and not ride this thing out forever. Most people don't paid a few hundred thousand for a day at the office.

BTW, Angus T. Jones just turned 17 today. That newly inked contract's one hell of a great birthday gift!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Chelsea Handler Denies Rumors She's Dating 50 Cent

After photos of Chelsea Handler and 50 Cent acting right friendly in New Orleans surfaced, Handler has since denied rumors that she was dating the rap star. It turns out that Handler was apparently talking to the rapper about a possible new project.

Handler was however open about dating the host of INTO THE PRIDE, Dave Salmoni, earlier in the year.

For years, Handler would crack jokes about an older man that she was married to. But the marriage finally ended in divorce.

The 35 year old comic once was one the MAXIM hot 100 list at #91. Not bad of a climb to success for a nice Jewish girl who only drove a Pinto to school from a neighborhood where Mercedes and Jaguars prevailed in numbers.

So the question remains, "Who's handling Chelsea ?".

Outrageous Party Photos Haunt Congressional Candidate

Having the name Krystal Ball seems like enough of a handicap in itself. The name sure sounds like a porn star or stripper. But, much worse yet are some outrageous photos taken 6 years ago of the Virginia Democratic candidate for Congress doing a few crazy things for a camera after college graduation. Now, that these photos have surfaced on the Internet, the 29 year old candidate feels betrayed and embarrassed. Leading a guy around on a dog leash or simulating sex with a reindeer probably isn't too good for votes.

Probably, the candidate never really had that great of chance because of running in a solidly Republican district in a bad year for Democrats. And a lack of experience in politics is probably another but negative. But, in a goofy political year with wacky candidates opening ads telling you that they're "not a witch" and other screwball campaigns, photos of a candidate simulating oral sex on a reindeer dildo seems almost routine and normal.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Latin TV "El Show de Christina" Canceled After 21 Year Run

A daytime fixture on Univision for 21 years has been the Latin talk show, El Show de Christina, featuring very popular host Christina Saralegui. For all intents and purposes, she is the "Oprah" of Latin TV. So it came as a shock and surprise to Christina when Univision notified her that the show wouldn't be renewed for a 22nd season. New management at Univision apparently wants to carry programming in new directions, and the Christina show was axed.

The attractive journalist and TV hostess was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. Her family fled to the U.S. in 1960, where she was able to live her dream of success in America. Because English became her primary language in the U.S. where she only spoke oral Spanish, Christina actually had to learn to write Spanish in 1973. By 1989, she landed her new show on the Univision network. However, with so many retirements and wholesale management changes she began to feel as if the network that she loved had changed around her. Now, with her departure, it is only proof that this network is looking for more changes in programming.

I'm sure Spanish speaking viewers of Univision will miss her.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Awesome Supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk

For it's final year, the glorious Packard name in fine automobiles offered up a real jewel, the 1958 Packard Hawk. It was essentially a luxury modified Studebaker Hawk, but included some beautiful additions giving it a real early muscle car appeal. With a special fiberglass front end, a dummy rear tire trunk lid, a hood scoop, and the addition of a McCulloch supercharger, which pulled nearly one horse per cubic square inch at 275 horses from the 289 cubic inch engines, the 1958 Packard Hawk had an aggressive appearance. It might have been the closet thing in the 1950's to those aggressive 1970's vintage Pontiac Trans Am muscle cars. The 1958 Packard Hawk was a pioneering muscle car design and one of the greatest automobiles ever produced in the U.S.

At the time, the styling was somewhat controversial, where only a mere 558 examples were sold, leading Studebaker to drop the Packard name after 1958. But in more recent times, the Packard Hawk has gained more acceptance as an early luxury/muscle car design.

The interior was all leather, with aircraft style armrests and some details that remind the driver of those luxury boats of the 1950's as well. It was simply stunning to sit in one, let alone to own one.

Amazingly, examples of this very rare luxury/muscle car tend to sell for less than Corvettes or Thunderbirds of the same vintage, yet sell for twice as much as Studebakers of the same era. But finding one is a difficult task, as few collectors seem willing to part with their cars.

The supercharged 1958 Packard Hawk is certainly a great automobile. With styling aggressive enough to start a war, this was one of the coolest 50's cars of all time.