Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's that? Rain!


It seems like forever since we've had any appreciable rain.
Maybe that's why everyone was having a bit of a hard time navigating the roadways this morning.
There WAS a lot of water on the roads and that leads to the danger of hydroplaning.
Add the school buses, people who still refuse to turn on their lights when their wipers are in operation (hey, it's the LAW), and the commute this morning was even more fun than usual.
Let's hope everyone made it to their destinations safe and sound.
And please, use some common sense when driving ... not only when it rains, but even in perfect weather.
Let's keep everyone safe out there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Come on, Mother Nature


OK, it's officially autumn.
I have frozen through the blizzards of winter.
I have sweated through the hottest summer ever.
This is the season I love best.
So what is with these HOT temperatures???
Enough, already. I want cooler days and crisp nights.
I want beautiful leaves.
I want to wear sweaters and drink hot chocolate.
I want to disconnect the air conditioners!
I don't ask for much.
Are you listening, Mother Nature?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's carnival time!


OK, so summer officially ends this week, but Mother Nature isn't taking notice anyway -- not with the blazing temps predicted for several days.
So it's the perfect time to head out to the carnival, and Upper Gwynedd provides just that opportunity.
If you want to ride the merry-go-round, play some carny games or just stuff your face, this is the place for you.
The Upper Gwynedd Township Carnival kicks off Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Parkside Place complex off Sumneytown Pike. And you can ride all the rides that day for $20! Or if you plan to go back a lot -- it DOES run through Sunday! -- a mega pass for $35 allows you to ride all the rides the entire carnival.
Fireworks are set for Friday and Saturday nights, weather permitting. Hours are Friday, 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.
So there's plenty of time for that one last blast of summer (even though it is autumn!).
For more info, call (215) 699-7777.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ah, those autumn leaves

These cool nights have me dreaming of autumn.
Some leaves are starting to change and fall.
Enjoy this autumn preview ... and Roger's great tune!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

cat in the box

This is too funny ... and as any cat owner will avow -- myself included -- this IS a common, but hilarious, event.
Cats LOVE empty boxes. Sometimes the boxes have far fewer than nine lives, however.
Enjoy! And if you don't have a cat, be sure to adopt a few soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Calling all Beatles fans


Today is a great day for Beatles fans -- um, like myself.
Another DVD has been released, featuring their early appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and including the cool commercials that were featured during the show.
The Beatles, of course, need nothing to make the DVD even more of a must have, but hey, getting to relive a bit of that era is always fun.

So here is the review of the new DVD issue, as reported by David Bauder of The Associated Press:

A new DVD about the Beatles' initial appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" is like cracking open a time capsule.

Almost as interesting as the band making its musical introduction to America in 1964 is the context in which it is placed. The DVD presents the programs exactly as they appeared that night — complete with hapless magicians or comedians, commercials that would shame "Mad Men" and illustrations of how the pace of television has changed.

The first night, Feb. 9, 1964, is a landmark in television. An estimated 73 million Americans tuned in, the largest ever for a TV show at the time, or three times the amount of people who watched the latest "American Idol" finale, according to the Nielsen Co.

A generation of musicians can trace their career choices to that night. One was Dennis DeYoung, former Styx lead singer, who told the Montreal Gazette that he watched it while at a high school dance.

"I looked at that and I went, 'Oh, my God! What is that? And how do I apply for that job?'" he recalled. "That was it. There was never any doubt in my mind what I wanted in my life."

A similar DVD was made available in 2003, but without the commercials and with limited distribution. Tuesday's release of "The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles" has some interviews and material that hasn't been seen since the 1960s. SOFA Entertainment, which owns the archive of Sullivan shows (a staple on CBS' Sunday-night schedule from 1948 to 1971), released the new package after getting the OK from the Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd.

Sullivan, the competitive old newspaper columnist, clearly knew the high stakes involved that night and gave the Beatles two showcases on the first show.

While the Beatles' appearance stands in memory like a thunderclap, their power seemed muted the first time they hit the stage. Their first two songs, "All My Loving" and "Til There Was You," were both Paul McCartney showcases and the band didn't really hit its stride until the powerful "She Loves You." Even then, the cameras seemed to shortchange John Lennon in favor of McCartney.

For all the attention paid to that first night in New York, their performances on the following week's show from Miami are much better. They had repeats: "She Loves You" was played both weeks.

Cutaways to the audience show young girls who can barely stay in their seats from the excitement of it all. Older people look bored, annoyed and clueless to the generational change staring back at them.

The Beatles' cheekiness, enthusiasm and talent was bracing.

"It's like they were in color and everybody else was in black and white," said Andrew Solt, CEO of SOFA Entertainment.

Watching the magician with the hard luck of following the Beatles to the stage that first night is painful. Fred Kaps' show biz career never really recovered from that moment, Solt said. It seemed his routine would never end.

The sense that television moves much more quickly today is one of the most interesting finds in the DVD time capsule. Mitzi Gaynor, who was once the princess of musical comedy, gave a sweaty performance from Miami, has enough time for costume changes. Comic Frank Gorshin's routine with movie star impersonations was interminable.

The comic team of McCall & Brill, with a punch line about an "ugly girl," would not have made it past today's taste police.

One other performance in that first week came from the cast of the Broadway show "Oliver," including a young Davy Jones, whose life was changed in the wake of the Beatles' performance in a way he couldn't have imagined. A few years later, he was cast as one of the Monkees, a prefab rock band that was a Beatles knockoff.

Sullivan "didn't spend too much money on talent that week because he knew he had the audience," Solt said.

Producers plainly believed people had an attention span then, certainly much more so than now. Perhaps the knowledge that viewers had to get out of their seats to turn the channel — and then had a couple of choices, not north of 100 other networks — was on their mind.

The same is true of the ads. Can you imagine a commercial break with only one commercial?

Maybe it was what they were hawking, but the ads are stunningly unimaginative. What were the Madison Avenue pitch men of the day thinking? Then again, even an image of waves lapping up on a tropical shore couldn't save an instant pineapple upside down cake that was stocked in a supermarket freezer. Cold water detergent All was called "revolutionary."

The DVD also contains Sullivan shows from Feb. 23, 1964 and Sept. 12, 1965 when the Beatles also performed. Twenty songs in all are performed, including three versions of "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The DVD also has a short interview Sullivan did with the Beatles in London in May 1964 that hasn't been seen since the day it aired.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

silly start to september

OK, August is over, September is here.
Kids either have headed back to school already or will next week.
Perhaps you'll get one last weekend in at the shore...
So sit back and take in something totally silly as September makes its debut...