The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Twinkie Shrinkie?


The new owners of Hostess have leaner operating costs now that they're no longer using unionized workers. It turns out the spongy yellow cakes may also be a little smaller than the last Twinkies people remember eating.

The new boxes hitting shelves list the cakes as having 270 calories and a weight of 77 grams for two cakes, or 135 calories and 38.5 grams for one cake.

Right before it went out of business, the predecessor company had told the Associated Press Twinkies were 150 calories per cake. Photos of past boxes online also indicate the weight to have been 42.5 grams per cake.

A spokeswoman for Hostess, Hannah Arnold, said in an email Monday that the size change was made in "mid-2012" by the predecessor company.

Remember The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys?

They still got it at the ripe old ages of 16 & under...

Born On This Day

Linda Ronstadt- 1946

Linda was very integral during my formative years as an impressionable yute. I scooted many a boot across a West Texas dance floor wishing it was her in my arms.

 Sorry, Ladies...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little Tommy NASA

I know I've let the standards slip around here. Hell, I haven't mowed my "lawn" in years. But I'm really remiss in not commemorating Tom Hanks' birthday on the 9th. He is quite possibly the greatest actor of our time and an even greater patriot.

Patriot. That word gets thrown around and run thru the spin cycle to mean things it isn't. In this case, it refers to the root definition. Tom Hanks is an outstanding example of a true American. After reaching a level of success where he could pick and chose his work, he chose to celebrate the American spirit thru projects like Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, Apollo 13 and my personal favorite, From The Earth To The Moon.

I remember seeing him on David Letterman during the promotional tour when this was released on HBO and he referred to himself as "Little Tommy NASA". I really connected with him on that. I grew up during the Space Race and vividly remember all the spaceflights. I had an Apollo 11 t shirt that I wore until it fell apart.

NASA was a new hope for mankind and a source of national pride. We were breaking new frontiers. We were boldly going where no man had gone before. It was a very special time. Episode 4 "1968" sums it up nicely. When you have the time watch this whole miniseries. It's truly a masterpiece of television.

Tom managed to wrangle just about every actor he knew into working on this pet project. You'll see many familiar faces throughout the series. I feel safe in saying they didn't do it for the paycheck. They did it for Tom. Please forgive me Mr. Hanks for not remembering your birthday. You deserve a much better tribute for your patriotism, but I hope this salute will suffice.

Here's Episode 1 of the best historical spaceflight miniseries ever made, From The Earth To The Moon.

from the earth to the moon epoisde 1 by UZI4you

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wow


I stumbled across this the other day and it really shocked me. This is a map of paramilitary (SWAT) police raids gone bad. It was released by the CATO Institute in conjunction with their policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko.

There have been 31 in Texas. Most recently in 2009.

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern."
   —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006.

The interactive map can be found HERE

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh, Mr. Harris!

I first became aware of Phil Harris watching ABC's American Sportsman with Curt Gowdy. He would get Phil and Bing Crosby together on a trip and the party would ensue. It was greatness that unfortunately has been lost to posterity.

Phil was the hipster in the 30's & 40's with his witty and fast paced swing band. He was also a regular on the Jack Benny Show and had his own show with his wife Alice Faye. But his star quickly faded despite his razor sharp wit and quick delivery with the death of radio in the 50's.

You will be challenged to find a comedian with his timing and delivery. Combine that with his musical talent and ability to improv and you had something really special.

Here's a few clips from Phil's career:


Monday Music


That gal can flat. out. sing.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

From our "Swing and a Miss" Dept


Wow, I had such high expectations for The Lone Ranger. Big budget, low CGI and of course there's Johnny Depp. I did the rare "see a movie on opening night" and caught the 10:50 XD showing at Cinemark Alliance. There were less than a dozen people in the theater. After the first 30 minutes, I considered reducing that number by 1. They butchered the story, then they gave it the Disney treatment. 

I forced myself to sit thru the entire film hoping that at some point it would redeem itself. I was sadly mistaken as it sank deeper into the abyss. This is a bad movie.

Don't get me wrong, little kids that have never read, heard or seen The Lone Ranger or read a history book will probably love it. Everyone else, not so much. It's the "Pearl Harbor" of westerns.

It tries to be a western, a kid flick and an action movie all at the same time. It's like they tried to jam everything they could think of into the film without thinking how it would actually fit in the film. Things like the wild train chase down the side of The Rockies, Utah isn't in Texas, horses can't fly and rabbits aren't cannibals. Little things like that.

There are some beautiful visuals and Johnny Depp gives a wonderful performance. A majority of the stunts are actual stunts instead of CGI. But the script is pure junk. One slight redeeming point is the homage paid to The Wild Bunch at the beginning. It was subtle, but well played. Too bad the rest of the film didn't follow suit. Sam Peckinpah is spinning in his grave. 

The critics have not been kind. This review was particularly spot on:
Alfonso Duralde, The Wrap: "'The Lone Ranger' is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head."

SPOILERS! (and their fixes):

Get rid of the narrator and the kid, abandon the wimp persona of John Reid, ditch the "magic" and pay attention to continuity.