My iPod Has Issues – The One Before the Interesting One

2 Aug

The past few days have been eventful. Some of it was awesome. Some of it was weird. However, it was all interesting. I will write about all of it in the next post, but, for the moment, I have a hard time keeping the words on the screen in focus.

That is why we are going to look into the iPod to see what is happening. I thought about going with a theme but decided to stick with a true shuffle.

What will be on the playlist? Only the iPod knows.Shadow

“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” by Dave Alvin

“Let’s Work Together” by Canned Heat

“Sentimental Lady” by Bob Welch

“Time Bomb” by Godsmack

“The Mooche” by Duke Ellington

“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition

“Wild Boys” by Duran Duran

“I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink” by Merle Haggard

“Fight The Power” by Public Enemy

“Let The Good Times Roll” by B.B. King

“99 Problems” by Jay-Z

“Crying” by Roy Orbison

“Twentieth Century Fox” by The Doors

“Sigmund and the Seamonsters” by Tripping Daisy

“Eli’s Coming” by Three Dog Night

“What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner

“Easin’ In” by Edward Starr

“Tiger Man” by Elvis Presley

“The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan

“Rollin’ and Tumblin'” by Muddy Waters

I promise that the next post will be interesting.

If These Movies Are On Television, Then I Will Watch Them

30 Jul

The other day, I wrote a post about the BBC and its list of the 100 best American films, and a commenter said that I should provide my own list of top movies. Unfortunately, I am not a movie critic and cannot delve into the intricacies of acting and directing. I only know what movies I like and do not like.

With that in mind, I decided to take this challenge into a different direction. When I am scrolling through the guide, there are some things that I will automatically click on and watch for a while. This includes a few movies with different levels of quality. If I cannot make a list of the greatest movies of all time, then I can make a list of the 10 movies I will always watch if I see them on the television guide.

They are coming at you in the order that I thought of them.

Manhunter (1986) – This was on last night and led me to write this post. It is the first movie about Hannibal Lecter and is directed by Michael Mann. In other words, it is Silence of the Lambs meets Miami Vice. You may have seen its remake, Red Dragon, but this one is a lot more entertaining.

Flash Gordon (1980) – Let Dino de Laurentiis try to capitalize on the Star Wars phenomenon, and this is what you get. It has some great actors and some not-so-great actors, but they are all having a good time. It would have been awesome to been in the room when Flash attacked Ming’s guards by playing football. On top of that, Ornella Muti is there in all her glory.Ornella

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991) – Two stars of the 1980s, Don Johnson and Mickey Rourke, try to make their transition into the next decade. They ride motorcycles. They go after drug dealers. They act cool. Well, acting might be too strong of a word. I have already written about this one and will move on down the line.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – When I become king, a new law will make its way across the land. As a testament to its greatness, everyone must watch this movie. Clint Eastwood is awesome, and it is filled with awesome quotes. I should know because I have them all memorized. In the early days of this blog, I wrote an extensive post about this one.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – As with the previous movies, I have already written about this one. Burt Reynolds is at his peak. Jackie Gleason is hilarious. I saw it five times when it was in release and can never watch it too many times. The only problem is that television cleans up the language and, in the process, destroys a lot of the laughs.

El Dorado (1966) – I could have listed a ton of John Wayne movies, but I think I click on this one more than any other. It could be because this one is on regularly. Anyway, it is a script that was filmed several times, but it never gets old. Oh yeah, there is one other thing. As I have written before, it is a poetic movie.

The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) – This is a terrible movie. Klinton Spilsbury never made another movie. Heck, he did not really make this one. James Keach was brought in to dub his lines. However, it has some redeeming qualities. Merle Haggard sings the theme song, and part of it was filmed in Monument Valley.

Logan’s Run (1976) – I am a big fan of dystopian movies, and this is one of my favorites. How can post-apocalyptic life be bad with scantily clad women everywhere? On top of that, a push of a button can make one of the scantily clad women appear instantly in your apartment. The only thing that could go wrong is that Carrousel ride at the age of 30. On second thought, it would probably be better to live with a bunch of cats in a destroyed Washington, D.C.Cats

For Love of the Game (1999) – This is a movie that used to hit me on a deep emotional level. As the years pass, it does not have the same effect. Despite that, it is still a good movie. Kevin Costner has made a bunch of sports movies, but this is my favorite one. It could be because Vin Scully is calling the game.

Legends of the Fall (1994) – This is another movie that reaches me on an emotional level, but it is also interesting in a historical sense. Obviously, it is about a family that goes through years of heartache. However, it is also about rum-running during Prohibition. They talk about the Volstead Act and smuggling alcohol across the Canadian border. I could go deeper into a historical analysis, but I may need that for another post.

Now, let us analyze the list by decade.

1960s – 1

1970s – 3

1980s – 3

1990s – 3

Interestingly, nothing made in the past 16 years has knocked a movie off this list. I wonder what that means.

Then, there is this. Over half of the list was filmed between 1976 and 1986. Those must have been formative movie years for me.

Anyway, those are the movies that I will always watch if I find them on television. What are a few of the movies that would make your list?

The Entrance to Hell Has a Drive-Thru Window

29 Jul

This morning, I took my stepdaughter to Dunkin’ Donuts before volleyball practice. It has become a ritual for us. Anyway, I drove behind the building to find a ton of cars lined up for the drive-thru window and decided to go inside, where we found almost no one.

One of our neighbors was drinking coffee, and a lady was waiting to take orders. Only, there were no orders to be taken. They were all being handled by the people rushing around the drive-thru window.

We ordered our food and got in the car while the same cars waited around the building. As I drove down the road, a question entered my mind. In truth, I have asked the question before.

Why do people sit in a long drive-thru line when it would be quicker to park the car and go inside?Line

It could be laziness. It could be that we have been brainwashed to think that the drive-thru is always going to be faster. It could be that they do not know how to park their cars.

There may need tons of reasons, but I cannot figure it out. I may not be smart enough to tell time, or I may not be able to figure out the fancy math that will tell me sitting in the car is always best. Of course, it could be my disdain for drive-thru windows.

In the early days of this blog, I wrote about the stupidity of having drive-thru windows at Sonic. However, the invention also has problems at other places.

Often, the person who is wearing the drive-thru headset cannot hear the order. That leads to the order coming out wrong. A wrong order means you have to get out of your car and go inside. Guess what. Going inside in the first place would have solved the problem.

People have made fun of my drive-thru aversion. They do not understand my desire to walk in a building a do business. For example, I like walking into the bank. The transaction goes smoother, and I can actually talk to the people handling my money. Guess what. They get to know me, too. If I have some future issue, then they might be more willing to help me out.

I know a lot of people feel the same way. A bunch of my Twitter folks, including Zach, provided great examples of how walking in is a lot better than driving through.

I wish drive-thru windows did not exist. Wait, I did not mean that. I am glad they exist so people will sit in them while I walk in and get my stuff done faster.

 

 

Kicked Back and Relaxed With Ant-Man

28 Jul

On our last day of vacation, I needed to do something different. We had been to the beach. We had been to Savannah, Georgia. We had done everything that there was to do. That is when I decided to go to the movies.

I had no idea what theater was the best and decided to hit the one with the most screens. After all, if a place has ten screens, then it must be good. I turned on the GPS and headed to the big ten screen theater. I pulled into the parking lot but could not find the movie house that the GPS was telling me was there. No neon sign. No marquee. Just a strip mall with a 1970s beach town architectural style.

With my hopes of a good movie experience dashed, I bought my ticket to Ant-Man and went to the concession stand for a box of Buncha Crunch. Then, I made my way to my screen. That is when I got the shock of my life.

The theater was filled with recliners. Yep, these were big cushioned seats that could lay your head back and put your feet up. I might not be able to see Ant-Man. I might not be able to hear Ant-Man. But, I was going to relax with Ant-Man.image-45

The house was packed, and the movie began. Just as I was getting into it, I heard a strange sound. It was like everyone in the room had gas and decided to pass it. Then, I realized that it was the sound of pleather as people reclined their chairs. No problem. Once everyone is reclined, the noise would stop. However, it did not stop.

This is when I realized the downside of having recliners in a theater. It gives bored kids something to do. When the movie gets a little slow, they get on their reclining carnival ride and have a big time. It was easy to tell when the movie got exciting because the passing gas sounds stopped.

Ant-Man was a good movie, but it would be better in a theater with ragged old chairs that have broken springs sticking out.

The Orange Side of Savannah, Georgia

26 Jul

Last week, we spent some time in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but, in my mind, the best day consisted of a drive to Savannah, Georgia, the settlement established by James Oglethorpe when he first colonized the area. It is an old city with lots of history, and we rode a trolley through it all.

We saw the squares for which the city is famous filled with Live Oaks with Spanish Moss hanging from the branches. Each square is surrounded by a church and stately homes. One home was the headquarters for William Tecumseh Sherman when he captured the city on the completion of his march to the sea. Another home belonged to the family of Johnny Mercer and was the site of a murder that inspired Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – both the book and the movie.

Since movies were brought up, we saw where Forrest Gump sat on a bench and told his life story but missed an entire square because Adam Sandler was in the process of filming a scene. I was hoping to see where Burt Reynolds filmed parts of Gator, but the tourism folks do not promote that one as much as others.

We saw a lot of interesting places. The location of John Wesley’s first sermon in the New World. The docks where cotton was loaded onto ships bound for England. Of course, no one mentioned the slaves who worked the cotton. To make up for that lack of information, we saw a building used by the Underground Railroad.

Savannah is a beautiful city of architectural wonders and almost three hundred years of history. It was also filled with people trying out for American Idol. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of that stuff. Our trolley ride made photography difficult. No pictures of Live Oaks. No pictures of monuments or statues.

However, I was able to take a picture of this place.image-44

When it was time for lunch, I asked the man at the visitor center counter a simple question.

“If you were going to lunch where would you go?”

He started down the typical list that included Paul Deen’s and other places where tourists are directed. I knew that he would not pick any of those places but could not deviate from the script. We wanted to eat with the locals, and this guy offered no help.

On the trolley ride, we passed a place that looked like what we wanted. Clary’s Cafe had a few outdoor tables and was off the beaten path. It did not take long to choose that over standing in line at one of the other places. We got out the trusty GPS and made our way through the squares and around Adam Sandler.

We pulled into the parking lot and made our way to the door. However, my wife was nowhere to be seen. She was standing behind the car talking to someone. It turned out to be the owner of the restaurant who saw the orange T on the front of my vehicle. For those who are not from around here, that is my signal to everyone that I am a fan of the University of Tennessee. As it turns out, the owner was also a fan of the Big Orange.

We talked for a while about the upcoming football season and the orange shrine her husband built at their home. They are from Tennessee and make it to as many games as they can. She has high hopes for the upcoming season and thinks Butch Jones has the program on the right track.

Eventually, we made our way inside and found what we were looking for. Sweet tea was in the pitcher, and lima beans were part the day’s special. It was a true southern restaurant that did not involve a television personality. However, that was not the best part.

As we finished our meal, the owner told the waitress to give us the Big Orange discount. After all, we were part of her college football family.

BBC, Movies and Me

22 Jul

There are a ton of lists about the greatest things that ever were. Books. TV shows. Cars. It goes on and on. Recently, BBC added to the list of lists by announcing the 100 greatest American movies of all time. According to the article, film critics from around the world provided their opinions.BBC

To create this post, I decided to list the movies I have seen and include my favorite line from each one.

97. Gone With the Wind – Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn96. The Dark Knight

91. ET: The Extraterrestrial – I just hope we don’t wake up on Mars or something surrounded by millions of little squashy guys.

90. Apocalypse Now – Charlie don’t surf!

84. Deliverance – Sometimes you have to lose yourself ‘fore you can find anything.

82. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Bad dates.

78. Schindler’s List – There will be generations because of what you did.

76. The Empire Strikes Back – Never tell me the odds.

75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Einstein was probably one of them.

74. Forrest Gump – Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.

73. Network – I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

66. Red River – Well, I don’t like to see things goin’ good or bad. I like ’em in between.

65. The Right Stuff – Hey, Ridley, ya got any Beeman’s?

61. Eyes Wide Shut – Life goes on. It always does, until it doesn’t.

56. Back to the Future – I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.

55. The Graduate – Plastics.

52. The Wild Bunch – We all dream of being a child again, even the worst of us. Perhaps the worst most of all.

46. It’s a Wonderful Life – Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance.

42. Dr. Strangelove – Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.

41. Rio Bravo – If I ever saw a man holdin’ a bull by the tail, you’re it.

38. Jaws – Well it proves one thing, Mr. Hooper. It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education enough to admit when you’re wrong.

36. Star Wars – Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

34. The Wizard of Oz – That’s a horse of a different color!

28. Pulp Fiction – There’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”

21. Mulholland Drive – I got the pool, she got the pool-man.

20. Goodfellas – Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies.

16. McCabe and Mrs. Miller – I got poetry in me!

14. Nashville – Who do you think is running Congress? Farmers? Engineers? Teachers? Businessmen? No, my friends. Congress is run by lawyers. A lawyer is trained for two things and two things only. To clarify – that’s one. And to confuse – that’s the other.

13. North by Northwest – In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.

10. The Godfather Part II – If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.

9. Casablanca – Everybody comes to Rick’s.

5. The Searchers – That’ll be the day.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey – It can only be attributable to human error.

2. The Godfather – Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

1. Citizen Kane – Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own.

That makes 35 out of 100. Looks like I need to watch a few more.

Movie Wisdom – Jan-Michael Vincent Edition

21 Jul

In the 1970s, he was on the cusp of movie stardom. He costarred alongside John Wayne, one of the most popular movie stars of all time. He also costarred alongside Burt Reynolds, one of the most popular movie stars of the time. He was in Damnation Alley, one of my favorite dystopian movies. In the 1980s, he had his own series and was reported to be the highest paid person on television. However, I have been wondering whatever happened to Jan-Michael Vincent.Jan Michael Vincent

Somewhere, his career went sideways and into the B-Movie realm. According to Wikipedia, he has had serious health issues and lives near Vicksburg, Mississippi. To remember Vincent’s career, we will look at the wisdom to be gained from a few of his films.

From The Undefeated

If I can’t have the whole dog, I don’t want the tail!

From Bite the Bullet

To be a cowpuncher, that don’t mean you actually got to go around punching them.

I’ve never saw a man who could hold his liquor like a bottle.

Killing a man don’t prove you’re a man.

A boy lookin’ for a reputation is the most dangerous thing alive.

Flattery and money will get you anything.

From Damnation Alley

All the dead are dead, and the living are dying.

From Hooper

Nothing hurts when you’re numb.

 

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