Thursday, December 27, 2001
Blogger is back after its security breach, and Dave's Booc Klub rides again!
The Crossword Obsession:�The History and Lore of the World's Most Popular Pastime is recommended reading for anyone who is obsessed with filling in little white squares with letters. The book is authored by Coral Amende (herself a crossword constructor), but it reads more like a round table of the cognoscenti of the crossword world, people like Will Shortz (editor of the NY Times crossword), Maura Jacobson (New York Magazine's crossword), Stanley Newman, Trip Payne, Ellen Ripstein (who finally won the Stamford tournament this year!), Merl Reagle (San Francisco Examiner), etc.
There's lots of inside dish about crosswords, including what it was like to work for Dell under the legendary editor Kathleen Rafferty or the New York Times under Eugene T. Maleska, what kinds of words don't belong in crosswords (one constructor says she will never use the word DONUT in a puzzle... go figure), and why two groups of constructors working for the same company were not on friendly terms for a number of years.
For the aspiring constructor, there's generous info on how to get started with an overview of crossword-creation software and contacts at puzzle magazines and newspapers (including the Times), little known crossword mechanical issues such as number of black squares and number of words allowed per puzzle (yes, there are such requirements!), a listing of internet resources (such as Cruciverb-L, info about crossword tournaments, etc.
There are even some puzzles you can solve, including the notorious Election Day 1996 New York Times crossword (under the editorship of Shortz, from a contributor who first floated the idea in 1980 when Shortz was editing Games Magazine) - which featured two consecutive across words at the puzzle's center that could be solved as either CLINTON ELECTED or BOBDOLE ELECTED - with all the crossing words making sense either way!
The only thing that left me with a little tinge of remorse is the revelation of how underpaid the puzzle constructors are for the geniuses that they are. I don't recall the exact amount, but I winced when I found out what Will Shortz pays for the New York Times puzzles. I think it's something like $75 for a daily!
Thursday, December 20, 2001
It's funny that the man who sang of the evils of gambling in his 1950's side for Atlantic Records called "Blackjack" is now promoting a state lottery.
On a related matter, I do sense a passing of the torch coming very soon. The Lottery has recently hired a new television hostess named Carmen Delia Torres. As identifiable as Hela Young has been for the last 25 years doing the televised Lottery drawings and being the Lottery's most prolific PR representative (riding the Lottery floats in parades with Lottery director Ginny Haines), I really wonder if the beautiful Carmen is being groomed as her eventual replacement.
Sunday, December 16, 2001
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Saturday, December 08, 2001
Wednesday, December 05, 2001
Tuesday, December 04, 2001
Sunday, December 02, 2001
Friday, November 30, 2001
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
I am sure that people are out there who don't appreciate songs like "Do That To Me One More Time" by the Captain and Tennille (with their participation yet!) or the late Minnie Riperton's "Loving You" as a punchline to a spot. The latter especially rankles because Riperton's been dead for quite some time now, and Riperton's daughter, "Saturday Night Live" actress Maya Rudolph, played the song in tribute to Mom on this past year's Mother's Day special.
I won't even mention the advertisers. Believe me, they don't need the publicity from this misguided attempt at humor.
Sunday, November 25, 2001
Friday, November 16, 2001
Saturday, November 10, 2001
I think a good idea would be to go to your local Waste Management depot, ask to borrow a loader for a few hours, then drive around town with some friends and take every political sign you can find down.
Oh, happy birthday Dad, and Billy. (See below)
Thursday, November 08, 2001
This Saturday, on what would have been my own father's 80th birthday, the man I regard as one of my musical fathers will celebrate his 85th. Billy May, composer, conductor, arranger, trumpeter, and above all else, overgrown frat boy.
He made his name in the Glenn Miller Orchestra as trumpeter and arranger. By the time he struck out on his own, the Big Band era was largely over, but May was able to diversify in several ways. May became a fixture at Capitol Records as its staff genius, not only producing and arranging fine big band recordings such as the 10 inch LP you see pictured above, but also a slew of children's records featuring Bozo the Clown and the Warner Bros. animation characters (working with that studio's three primary writers, Tedd Pierce, Warren Foster and Michael Maltese, as well as voice genius Mel Blanc). He later hooked up with Sinatra and was responsible for the "Come Fly With Me" album. Later he worked with Bobby Darin at Capitol, including the "Two Of A Kind" album featuring the songs of Johnny Mercer. And Dan Ingram, the radio disc jockey, appropriated the last minute or so of the May recording "Tri Fi Drums" as his closing theme and still uses it today.
He also worked in radio and television, acting as musical director on Stan Freberg's radio show and scoring most of the episodes of Jack Webb's "Emergency!" (though he did not write the theme - that chore went to Nelson Riddle). By this time his reputation as a fun loving prankster and a hard drinker was known throughout the industry. In his book "Sinatra: The Song Is You", Will Friedwald recounted an anecdote by the late Daws Butler (one of Freberg's stock company when he wasn't voicing Yogi Bear and others), who stated that Billy May was the only man alive who was capable of conducting a full orchestra and chorus while "stone drunk". But the music never suffered from Billy May's antics.
The fine web site of Gary Wachtel, www.garyw0001.com (a repository of big band MIDI's based on arrangements from the likes of Dave Wolpe, Jerry Nowak, Roger Holmes, and Sammy Nestico), has a chart by Sammy Nestico called "Billy May For President" which erroneously notes that Billy May is deceased. Although he's relatively retired today, I'd gladly write Billy May, still among the living, on the ballot for 2004. So here's to you, Billy May... happy birthday!
Wednesday, November 07, 2001
What sucked big time about this campaign - and what generally turns me off to the election process in general - is the increasingly negative tone of all of the television and radio campaigns of various candidates. Bloomberg's opponent, Mark Green, made a desparate last ditch attempt to shame Bloomberg on some matter that was settled half a decade ago, and I am pleased that that strategy has blown up in his face. We now even get attack ads on billboards and even on banner ads on the Internet. To borrow an oft-repeated tagline from these type commercials: "Its WRONG for politics!"
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
Friday, October 12, 2001
Saturday, October 06, 2001
Don't you think ten championships in a row is enough? How about laying back and letting some of the other teams in the East have some glory for a change?
And take your tomahawk chop - demeaning to the Native American people - and stick it right between the lobes of your collective brains.
Now, a message for the management of the New York Mets. Perez in 2002. He is the only man who will save this team.
Sunday, September 30, 2001
Sunday, September 23, 2001
Oh, and here's a good one
This is a link to a larger picture from the September 17 episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with a couple of famous audience members circled. This is the best shot I can get you from the episode. I am on the left and Robair is on the right. This episode taped on July 31, 2001, and I can remember on the day of taping that everyone made sure to note the date the episode was scheduled to air, almost chanting it like a mantra: Tuesday, September 11. Yes, this was the episode that was to air the night of the terrorists' destruction of the World Trade Center. Nobody seemed to argue with the original choice of airdate, so I guess nobody in studio TV-1 had any premonitions.
Sunday, September 16, 2001
I was today a participant in the Seaside Heights (NJ) Clownfest Parade. If Seaside Heights is a microcosm of the U.S. at large, I can tell you there is no shortage of patriotism and pride in our country right now when we need it most.
Wednesday, September 05, 2001
"The Fantasticks" is as much a part of New York as street vendors selling dirty water hot dogs and the Metropolitan Museum. Go out and support this show while you still can and perhaps it will be around for future generations.
Monday, September 03, 2001
Sunday, August 26, 2001
Friday, August 17, 2001
Thursday, August 16, 2001
Wednesday, August 15, 2001
Saturday, August 11, 2001
Thursday, August 09, 2001
Tuesday, August 07, 2001
The virus attachment, if opened, will send copies of certain files in your C:\My Documents folder to everyone in your address book, including media files like .MPG and .MOV, graphics files like .JPG and .GIF, Adobe Acrobat documents and .ZIP archives.
Also, updates later today to the NJT pages. The first of the second order of D4000's are on the property, buses 8202-8204, serials 1P054310-54312. Also, Coach USA sent some of Rockland's D4000's to Suburban Transit.
Hi! How are you?
I send you this file in order to have your advice
See you later. Thanks
One was from an address and subject matter which was in Spanish. I smell a virus. Kids, if you get something in your email and you don't know who it's from, don't open it. Just delete it! I got burned once by this already (the Love Letter, sent to me by a disk jockey I worked with eons ago).
Sunday, August 05, 2001
Now for even better news: we will soon be hosting a listing of Walter Lantz cartoons, in the style of our other filmographies.
The number on the counter now represents all versions of www.davemackey.com since the site's inception in 1995.
We have also fixed the problem with the Nova Bus serial numbers. Buses 1216-1226 were the culprit. The corrected serials are as follows:
Again thanks to Fred McGullam for catching the error.
Oh, unabashed plug time again. Tuesday I went to NYC with Robair to catch a taping of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and I have determined that every time I go to New York, I must always stop at The Manhattan Chili Company for a bowl of their Number One topped with cheese and jalapenos. The Manhattan Chili Company is on Broadway right next to the Ed Sullivan Theatre. In fact, it occupies the space previously held by Sullivan's Restaurant, a noble concept but ultimately a colossal failure. Stop in before or after the Big Show and tell em Dave sent you. (Just don't tell them which Dave. It'll sound more impressive.)
Other NY Impressions: 42nd Street really looks nice all fixed up with great looking facades and exciting new businesses. Eighth Avenue is still a sin wallow, however, and should be the next target of the city fathers. And how weird is it walking past the Winter Garden Theater and not seeing the familiar marquee for "Cats" after all these years?
Saturday, August 04, 2001
Friday, August 03, 2001
Today in the Booc Klub, just arrived in a nice cardboard sheath is Niagara Falls All Over Again by Elizabeth McCracken. Five years ago Ms. McCracken put out her first novel, The Giant's House, which won her the Discover New Writers Award. She was also a National Book Award finalist.
The book (from what little I have read so far) is the memoir of a veteran Vaudeville performer, straight man of a two-man comedy act.
I must disclaim that I began seeking out Ms. McCracken's work because I have been friends with her brother for over a decade now, but she could be related to Rasputin and I'd still read her work because it's that good. I started "The Giant's House" one morning before work and almost didn't make it to my desk on time, I was that caught up in it. Run, don't walk, to the book store and pick this one up.
Thursday, August 02, 2001
Tuesday, July 31, 2001
Some of the NJT pages have been updated due to some Coach USA bus-swapping on the new 8400-series buses.
Monday, July 30, 2001
But since you can Blog from anywhere, you can't really pinpoint someone's location based on where they actually Blog from. (Whew.)
Sunday, July 29, 2001
Over on the WB Animation side, I failed to get an updated title card for "A Bird In A Bonnet", which aired for the first time on Cartoon Network today. But hopefully the CN can run this reel into the ground, given time. (How many times can you watch "Rocket Bye Baby"?)
We will keep you updated on the status of all of the davemackey.com pages here. Also if I get cranky about a topic, I may surprise you and post it up here.
Such as Penelope Cruz. Gee, nice of her to have a romance with a high-profile actor just as she has a movie to promote. Movie bombs, romance ends?
Like I said, welcome to the Blogger.