Thoughts

VOTD: Purring Baby

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***This is a repost as I try to repair the damage to my site.***

Video of the Day

This was originally posted on June 5. I uploaded the video to WordPress, only to have it malfunction in the Reader…another victim of the “Pro” plan. This is another video that is stuck as an echo in the Reader (browser) and I can’t get it or the original Sgt. Kitten out. ~Vic

Thanksgiving 2022

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I won’t be cooking a traditional turkey this year. I am going for a pork loin, just to be different. I will have a small gathering. Peace, love and hugs to everyone. May we all gather in joy. ~Vic

Golden Mums Image One
11-05-2021
Sunset Image Two
11-24-2021

POTD: Yard Art

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I guess it is yard art. It’s not close to the road for pick-up. And, why a pumpkin is underneath a chair in February…I don’t know. ~Vic

Commode Yard Art
My Personal Collection
02-12-2022

VOTD: Sgt. Kitten Takes Point

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***This is a repost as I try to repair the damage to my site.***

Video of the Day

This was originally posted on June 9. I uploaded the video to WordPress, only to have it malfunction in the Reader. The “Pro” Plan was a complete disaster, which is why it isn’t available, anymore. The server migration that was being done for the “Pro” Plan made crazy echoes of uploaded videos, as all the previously listed links in posts were broken. I have several posts with videos, stuck in my Reader, that won’t play and, even after I delete the post, the echo of the post remains in my Reader feed. Way to go, Happiness Engineers!

I will be deleting & reposting all of my damaged posts…and cursing, loudly. ~Vic

VOTD: Electric Scooter

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I wouldn’t have one of these things, nor will I ever have an electric car. Just ask Florida about all the electric cars that are catching fire after Hurricane Ian. Those batteries are corroding and causing all manner of problems. Teslas like to run into things, blow up and burn for four days. No, thank you. I feel sorry for this guy. ~Vic

Addendum/Caveat: Screw Tube has determined that this video needs to be age restricted. I apologize if you have to sign in to see it.

Video of the Day

Flick Friday: Jigsaw 2017

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IMDb Amazon Jigsaw 2017 Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Five years ago, today, the #1 movie at the box office was Jigsaw. Directed by the Spierig Brothers (identical twins Michael & Peter) and, written by Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldberg, it starred Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell (as Jigsaw), Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Clé Bennett, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert and Shaquan Lewis.

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.

IMDb Summary

The plot follows a group of people who find themselves forced to participate in a series of deadly “games” inside a barn. Meanwhile, the police investigate a new series of murders that fit the modus operandi of the eponymous Jigsaw Killer, who has been dead for almost a decade.

Wikipedia Summary

Trivia Bits:
♦ Tobin Bell stated that he was not interested in having John Kramer appear alongside other slasher horror icons in future films.
Previously called “Saw: Legacy”, the title changed to “Jigsaw”, making it the first film to have Tobin Bell’s character’s name displayed in the title.
♦ The tagline for the film “Make America Bleed Again” derives from the motto instilled by a former president of the United States: Donald Trump, who inserted the mantra in his electoral speech “Make America Great Again”.
♦ The John Kramer fan site to which Eleanor Bonneville is a frequent visitor is entitled “Jigsaw Rules”.
&diams This is the first “Saw” film to feature a laser-related trap.

Honestly, I’ve never seen a “Saw” movie and have never wanted to. Blood and gore torture movies are not my choice for a good movie. It’s hard to watch, peeking out from behind the couch. ~Vic

Blog Update

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Aster Flower
10-23-2020
Could be an Alpine Aster, a New England Aster or a New York Aster.
Pl@net can’t determine.
Click for a larger view.

Well, well, well… I see that WordPress ditched the “Pro” Plan. What an absolute clusterfuck that was. I unloaded in July over their mess (last blog post). As an “I’m sorry” gesture, I was given a $120.00 credit towards a Business Plan. Ok. I’ll bite. The Biz Plan comes with a lot of features and I did get used to the “Classic Editor” plug-in and the “I-Frame” plug-in. I also get access to a tip jar/buy me a coffee payment feature. It would be nice to be appreciated for my work. Just sayin’…

Anyway, I am back but, I may be busy trying to clean up many of my previous posts that the “Pro Plan From Hell” fucked up royally. Uploaded videos may need to be re-uploaded…or restored. I have accounts with Rumble & YouTube so, embedding will work. The BIG question at this point is, have the Happiness Engineers straightened out the browser Reader & the app Reader so that everything renders properly.

We shall see… ~Vic

Static Blog

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For the near future, I won’t be posting, anymore. I upgraded to a “Pro” plan a few months back. That was a bad move. I was on “Premium” prior to that, knowing that WordPress would, eventually, corral everyone into the Gutenberg (block) editor…some kicking and screaming. I thought about coughing up more money for a “Business” plan but, never could come up with the funds. Premium is $99 a year, which translates to, roughly, $8 a month. When Pro showed up as an interim choice, I added the $80 upgrade to my Premium renewal and thought I would be good to go. I did get two very nice plug-ins…and everything else went to hell.

I have gone many, many rounds with the “happiness engineers” to no avail. One of their “explanations” for my site going nuts is that, Pro is on a different server and the “migration” didn’t work very well. Hm. Why didn’t you PHP geniuses figure that out before fucking up my site?

So, now, if I upload a video to my site, it will play in the phone app but, not the Reader (in a browser). If I embed my videos, they will play in the Reader but, not in the phone app…and they used to, even if off center from viewing.

Another piece of blowback on all of this is, my site, viewed in a browser on a phone, is whacked. It used to be a clean & polished looking mobile site. Not anymore. I was told by another loopy engineer that it was because my theme was “legacy” and it didn’t work well with AMP. My Premium account didn’t use AMP so, my site looked just fine. The suggestion was for me to find another theme. Um…why? I’ve had my theme for five years and I worked very hard to set it up the way I liked it. WordPress should step in and clean up THEIR mess, not require me…A PAYING CUSTOMER…to deal with their self-imposed shit.

My frustration level has been off the charts. During a recent chat with a WP genius, something really weird happened to my Reader in Brave. When the chat ended, I noticed that all the icons were gone. The Reader has icons next to words. They were all gone. When you looked for the “like” stars or the “comment” symbols, they were all gone. In their place were numbers, only. If there were no likes or comments, it was blank. I don’t know what the PHP genius did but, the Reader operates fine in Firefox. I was told to “clear my cache”, which I do everyday, to no avail.

This has ruined my desire to blog at all. My hell has been paid for, for the next year, so…here, it will sit. Unless something changes, I won’t renew, again. I read, recently, that Matt Mullenweg, Mr. WordPress, himself, isn’t hands on, anymore. Everything has been turned over to The WordPress Foundation. That is nearly as ominous-sounding as the World Economic Forum and we all know how well they fuck things up.

That being said, this site will not be shuttered. I maintain too much important information on my landing page:

Chris Thomas

I encourage everyone to read, watch & listen to everything I have posted on that page. I also own a documentary that is hidden because of copyright issues. If you would like to view it, send me an email.

I will be around… ~Vic

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Five-Pick One-Sisters (1991-1996)

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Sisters Pinterest Image One
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Five pick.

I didn’t catch the first season of this show during its original run but, started watching during season two (it was a while before I got to see season one). I was immediately hooked by the quirky interaction between the sisters and their day to day lives in Winnetka, IL and, I was already a Patricia Kalember fan due to the short-lived Kay O’Brien TV show. ~Vic

Created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the series begins one year after the death of the family’s father, Dr. Thomas Reed, a workaholic, played in flashbacks by three different actors but, mostly by Peter White. The matriarch of the family is Beatrice (Elizabeth Hoffman), a long-suffering, neglected wife, who turns to alcohol to deal with the doctor’s multiple affairs. She has four daughters:

Alexandra…”Alex” (Swoosie Kurtz), the eldest. She married a plastic surgeon that had affairs on her and she divorced him, retaining some wealth. After battling breast cancer, she became a talk show host. She frequently butts heads her daughter, Reed Halsey (played by three different actresses, most notably Ashley Judd). She eventually remarries.

Sisters TMDb Image Two
New grouping with Charley, on the left.
Image Credit: TMDb

Theodora…”Teddy” (Sela Ward), the second daughter. At the beginning of the series, she is returning from California and is shocked to discover that her ex-husband, Mitch, is engaged to her youngest sister, Frankie. She, drunk, temporarily, stops the wedding with a shotgun (she inherited Beatrice’s drinking habits). An artist in school, she becomes a fashion designer, helming three different companies. She goes on to marry twice more…to Det. James Falconer (George Clooney), the cop that investigated her daughter Cat’s rape (he was killed in an explosion) and Dr. Gabriel Sorenson (Stephen Collins), the doctor that saved her life when she was shot in the head.

Georgiana…”Georgie” (Patricia Kalember), the third daughter. She is the stay-at-home mom with the most level head of all the sisters. A part-time real estate agent, she is the one the other sisters come to for guidance. She and her husband, John, have two sons, the youngest surviving leukemia. She carries and gives birth to Thomas George, Frankie & Mitch’s son. After trouble with her first son, she has an affair with her therapist, separates from John, has a second affair with a much younger classmate in college and, eventually returns to John.

Francesca…”Frankie” (Julianne Phillips…Springsteen’s first wife), the fourth daughter. She is a highly paid executive, a workaholic like her father and discovered that she was infertile. Georgie becomes her surrogate for her baby. Her work habits break apart her marriage to Mitch. Afterwards, she quits her job and buys a local diner. She eventually moves to Japan for another job.

Charlotte…”Charley” (a doctor, originally played by Jo Anderson, then Sheila Kelley) as the unknown, fifth, illegitimate daughter that shows up in the fourth season, looking for a bone marrow donation (a shift in the story-line as Julianne Phillips prepared to leave the show). The nicknames are a product of their father wanting boys and never getting one. The four older sisters tagged Charlotte with her own nickname.

Supporting Characters:
John Witsig (Garrett M. Brown), Georgie’s husband.
Mitch Margolis (Ed Marinaro), Teddy’s high school sweetheart, ex-husband & Frankie’s ex-husband.
Catherine “Cat” Margolis (Heather McAdam), Teddy & Mitch’s daughter that goes on to be a cop.

Much of the show is full of flashbacks, particularly the interactions of the sisters growing up.

Trivia Bits:
♦ Patricia Kalember’s husband in real life, Daniel Gerroll, had a recurring role in season five. He played psychiatrist Dr. David Caspian, who was counseling her character Georgie.
Julianne Phillips and Patricia Kalember also co-starred in Fletch Lives.
♦ Elizabeth Hoffman was a minor, recurring character on Stargate SG-1 and played Eleanor Roosevelt in two mini-series: The Winds of War (1983) and War & Remembrance (1988-1989).

Scene & Opening Theme

Snapshots Sunday: Rogue Artistes 6.0

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It’s been over two years since I posted some local art work. Previous post, here. ~Vic

Ceramic Collage Image One
Ceramic Tile Collage
Town Parking Garage
10-07-2020
Click for a larger view.
Daisies & Butterfly Image Two
Underpass Column
Lovely Drawing
04-26-2020
Click for a larger view.
Groovy Dude Image Three
Underpass Wall
I see Morgan Freeman.
Who do you see?
03-13-2020
Click for a larger view.
Day of the Dead Masks Image Four
Underpass Wall
Day of the Dead Masks?
03-07-2020
Click for a larger view.
Billy Strayhorn Mural Image Five
Billy Strayhorn Mural
09-13-2019
Click for a larger view.
Historical Marker Image Six
Historical Marker
More Information On Strayhorn
09-13-2019
Click for a larger view.

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Four-Pick Two-The X-Files (1993-2018)

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Scully & Mulder IMDb Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Four pick.

I’ve stated, before, that I was born and raised in law enforcement. I’ve also worked in law enforcement (non-sworn) at two different agencies, one state and one county (think of me as the blond chick on Criminal Minds, sitting in front of a computer screen…though I am not blond). It can be an interesting job if you’re lucky enough to be employed with an agency that doesn’t take its political self too seriously (virtually impossible these days). I’ve met and worked with a couple of FBI agents. They were nice, everyday guys, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things.

The Sci-Fi geek that I am, I’m not presenting this show in that light. This show is, first and foremost, law enforcement. These are the folks, alongside first responders, to arrive at the scene of the accident, the scene of the disaster or the crime scene. In the case of these FBI agents, they investigate the weird shit. That being said, I do have a very full binder of X-Files non-sport cards and chase (special) cards, plus, all of the original series-run DVDs. ~Vic

The X-Files IMDb Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Created and written by Chris Carter, there were many other writers, including David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), Gillian Anderson (Agent Dana Scully) and Stephen King but, this was Carter’s baby. It starred Duchovny and Anderson as the dynamic duo, investigating all manner of odd, macabre, out-of-this-world or just plain gross happenings. In later years, Duchovny reduced his presence on the show and eventually left. In 2000, Robert Patrick (Agent John Doggett) was brought in as a new partner for Gillian Anderson. In 2001 Annabeth Gish (Agent Monica Reyes) showed up and, with the upcoming departure of Anderson, became Patrick’s partner. There was some chatter that the show would live on with Patrick and Gish but, it never materialized. Gish returned in the series revival but, Patrick did not. Neither of them were in the X-Files feature films.

Other regular cast members were Mitch Pileggi (Asst. Dir. Walter Skinner), William B. Davis (Cigarette Smoking Man), Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek), Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender, son of the Cigarette Smoking Man) and James Pickens, Jr. (Asst. Dir./Dep. Dir. Alvin Kersh). Secondary, popular characters were Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund & Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunmen), Don. S. Davis (Captain William Scully, Agent Scully’s father), Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully, Agent Scully’s mother), Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully, Agent Scully’s older sister), Pat Skipper (Bill Scully, Jr., Agent Scully’s older brother), Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat), Steven Williams (Mr. X), Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder, Agent Mulder’s mother), Peter Donat (William Mulder, Agent Mulder’s father) and five separate actresses portrayed Samantha Mulder, the agent’s abducted, younger sister. Agent Scully also has a younger brother, Charles but, except for flashbacks, the character is uncredited.

Agent Reyes & Agent Doggett IMDb Amazon Image Three
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Addendum: Honestly, I was hoping the show would continue on with Agents Doggett & Reyes. They had a lot of really good on-screen chemistry and I liked both actors. After nine years, I had grown weary of Duchovny’s primadonna attitude. When the series was revived, the magic was gone and I wasn’t impressed. Naturally, they turned Agent Reyes into a bad character and killed her off.

Addendum #2: I also have to mention that the theme song changed, just slightly, at some point. The first theme has a solid, continuous echo sound. The second theme is a double-repeating echo sound. Why it changed, I don’t know (it drove me crazy). It is never mentioned but, it did happen. Listen, below.

Trivia Bits:
♦ As stated in my last draft, Mark Snow created the X-Files theme, the Starsky & Hutch theme for Season Three and many others.
♦ Gillian Anderson was nearly replaced when she got pregnant during the first season.
♦ Props from Mulder’s office are preserved at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in LA. The I Want To Believe poster kept disappearing from the set.
♦ The agents badges read “Federal Bureau of Justice, United States Department of Investigation” as making a fake FBI badge is illegal.
♦ Gillian Anderson has stated that she based her approach to the role of Dana Scully on Jodie Foster’s performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
♦ Dana Scully was named after the famous sports journalist Vin Scully. Mulder is the maiden name of Chris Carter’s mother.
♦ Chris Carter lists All the President’s Men (1976) as one of his inspirations for the series. There are numerous references to the film, including the shadowy informer Deep Throat, meetings in underground parking garages and hints at conspiracies which stretch all the way to the F.B.I.

X-Files Original Opening

X-Files Second Opening…Can you hear the difference?

Hans-Max 2022 TV Draft: Round Three-Pick Three-Starsky & Hutch (1975-1979)

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Starsky & Hutch IMDb Amazon Image One
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard/Max has a TV draft challenge. This is my Round Three pick.

I was raised in law enforcement. My dad was a Probation/Parole Officer, his younger brother, a city cop in our hometown and my first cousin became a deputy. Some years later, when my dad re-married, my stepmom was Parking Enforcement for the same city police department. I grew up watching every manner of cop TV show you could find, from re-runs of Dragnet to Hawaii Five-O to Kojak to The Rookies to Baretta to Adam-12 to The Rockford Files to Police Story…and everything in-between. My personal favorite was Starsky & Hutch. I had a “thing” for Paul Michael Glaser. His picture was one of four photos I kept as a kid and young teen. The others were Lindsay Wagner, Olivia Newton-John and John Schneider. I later regretted my attachment to him. I didn’t remember most of the episodes but, I was reintroduced to the show in the 90s with re-runs. ~Vic

Created and written by William Blinn (Brian’s Song, The Rookies, Eight Is Enough & Pensacola: Wings of Gold), it starred David Soul (Det. Sgt. Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson), Paul Michael Glaser (Det. Sgt. David Michael Starsky), Antonio Fargas (Informant Huggy Bear) and Bernie Hamilton (Captain Harold C. Dobey). In the Pilot TV Movie, Captain Dobey was played by Richard Ward. Sgt. Hutchinson was from Duluth, MN, was divorced and was a reserved, intellectual type. Sgt. Starsky was from Brooklyn, NY, was an Army veteran, had street-smarts and, could be intense & moody. Informant Huggy Bear was a flashy, ethically ambiguous bar owner that provided the two Sergeants with whatever street action knowledge he could gather. Captain Dobey was their barking & gruff but, fair boss. He had his hands full with those two. One of the main characters of the show was Starsky’s red, 1975 Ford Gran Torino (four of them, actually), nicknamed the “Striped Tomato.” In the show, Hutch calls the car that name in the episode Snowstorm (10-01-1975) but, that crack actually came from Paul Michael Glaser when Aaron Spelling showed him the car (First Season DVD Collection). Hutch’s vehicle was a beat-up, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, whose horn would blow when the door was opened.

Hutch Gran Torino Colt Python IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Hutch & His Colt Python
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Favorite Episodes:
The Fix (10-08-1975)
Running (with Jan Smithers/02-25-1976)
The Las Vegas Strangler Part I & Part II (with Lynda Carter/09-25-1976)
Nightmare (11-28-1976)
Starsky’s Lady (with Season Hubley 02-12-1977)
Long Walk Down A Short Dirt Road (with Lynn Anderson/03-12-1977)
Fatal Charm (with Karen Valentine & Roz Kelly/09-24-1977)
I Love You, Rosey Malone (10-01-1977)
Blindfold (with Kim Cattrall/09-26-1978)

Trivia Bits:
☆ Originally, Starsky was supposed to drive a green and white Chevy Camaro but, the producers had a contract with Ford.
☆ On numerous occasions, Paul Michael Glaser has talked about how much he hated the car, as well as playing Starsky and, that he had campaigned to be released from his contract.
Zebra Three was the radio call sign for Starsky, Hutch…and the car.
☆ Starsky and Hutch were based on Lou Telano and John Sepe.
☆ The Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver used by Hutch is the same pistol carried by David Soul in his role as Officer John Davis in Magnum Force.
☆ The show had four different opening theme songs with seasons two and four crafted by Tom Scott and sounding similar. Season one was crafted by Lalo Schifrin and season three crafted by Mark Snow, known for the X-Files theme.

Different Themes

Thoughts Thursday: Consider This

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Groucho Telegram Image One
Image Credit: Telegram
Shayne Vibes Telegram Image Two
Image Credit: Shayne Vibes/Telegram
Lost Friend Telegram Image Three
Image Credit: Telegram
Kate Spencer Telegram Image Four
Image Credit: Kate Spencer/Telegram
Anonymous Telegram Image Five
Image Credit: Telegram
Pleiah Ikafa Solfeggio Telegram Image Six
Image Credit: Pleiah Ikafa Solfeggio/Telegram
Don’t believe the above?
Get this book: Everything
And, this book: Case Histories

Song Saturday: Oblivion Theme

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Oblivion TMDb Image
Image Credit: TMDb

“But our love was a song, sung by a dying swan…”

This Saturday evening’s Samsung playlist submission comes from the movie Oblivion. I never saw the movie at the theater but, caught it on HBO at my uncle’s house (I was dog-sitting). It is a fascinating movie and very sad. It is visually stunning with a unique cast and Tom Cruise loves to play the action hero. At the end of the movie, as the credits roll, this song kicks in. It immediately gave me chills and made me cry.

Director Joseph Kosinski chose French electronic band M83 to compose the soundtrack for the movie and brought in Joseph Trapanese to co-write the score. He’d used Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy but, wanted a different sound for Oblivion.

Written by Anthony Gonzalez and Susanne Sundfør, Sundfør handled lead vocals. She has a stunning voice. Released as a single on March 26, 2013, the only chart that the song shows up in is the French SNEP singles chart. It debuted at 114 the week of April 20 but, only lasted for three weeks. Sundfør made her US television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 17.

“Don’t forget to stick around for the credits that are set to M83’s brilliant title song, Oblivion featuring Susanne Sundfør.”

Movie Review: Space Survivors Battle Oblivion
The Express Tribune
Ameer Hamza Ahmad
May 6, 2013

Oblivion HD Wallpapers Image Two
Image Credit: HD Wallpapers

“Also, the film’s closing credits track, also called “Oblivion” and featuring vocals by Susanne Sundfor, might be the best theme song since “Skyfall.”

Oblivion Review: 10 Things You Should Know
Moviefone
Drew Taylor
April 18, 2013

“…and now we get to hear “Oblivion,” a slow, stately and gorgeous six-minute collaboration with the Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør.”

M86 – “Oblivion” (Feat. Susanne Sundfør)
Stereogum
Tom Breihan
March 26, 2013

Additional Reading:
M83 Enter ‘Oblivion’ With Tom Cruise
(Rolling Stone/Steve Baltin/February 13, 2013)

US Debut

Main Theme Music