Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Man Of Letters

What better person to help endorse the new word game from than Pat Sajak? The "Wheel of Fortune" host of the last (can it be?) 25 years has lent his considerable cachet to a game called "Lucky Letters" that is now featured on his latest website venture, Pat Sajak Games. You have the opportunity to win lots of (fake) money by systematically solving crossword puzzles; along the way there are some game-show style features like the opportunity to bet all or part of your bankroll on solving a word. If you can solve the entire puzzle during the Lightning Round, then you win.

The game is available in online format (the puzzle changes daily), or a downloadable version (trial version is free; full version is $19.95) with hundreds of different puzzles. Give it a try!

Monday, December 26, 2005

He Was Gr-r-r-r-eat!

In the wake of Kellogg's news that Frosted Flakes (or, as it's called, "Frosted Flakes (Of Corn)") will be served to our Winter Olympians in Torino this February, comes this appreciation of the man who gave Tony The Tiger his unique voice, the late Thurl Ravenscroft. It's written by novelist, essayist, and all around good person Elizabeth McCracken. It's also illustrated with a pic of Tony that looks like early 60's production art.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Christmas To All

Christmas 2005. Yes, as you can guess, a much different Christmas (as my sister in law put it: "a new kind of normal"). But one still filled with the joy and wonder of the birth of the Christ Child, and all the reminisces of Christmases past and the hope of Christmases yet to be.

As for the heroine of Nancy's two books, "Melissa" will have a wonderful season filled with presents, music and fun.

I hope yours is as merry.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Congrats, again, Robair

Now he's making them as well as solving them: Robair has sold his first crossword puzzle to The Los Angeles Times. It is a themeless, meaning it will be appearing on a Saturday. Exact date to follow.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thinking Pink

Merchandise tied into the release of the new Steve Martin version of "The Pink Panther" is now heading into the stores, ahead of the film's planned February 10, 2006 release date.

Animation fans will get a kick out of Jerry Beck's latest paean to the animated Panther, Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide To The Coolest Cat In Town. You'll be pleased to know that the book carries a Filmography of the Panther and friends that originated years ago on this website in our Animation department. It's been added to by Beck and our friend from Japan, Charles Brubaker. And let's give a plug to Jerry's fine websites, Cartoon Research and Cartoon Brew (with Amid Amidi).

There is another interesting book due out from the daughters of the man who helped create the animated Panther. Meet The Pink Panther, targeted to children, was written by Friz Freleng's daughters Hope and Sybil (that's Sybil pictured above).

If you click on the links to the merchandise, you can buy those and other related products and give this website a few cents in return.

December 8, 1980...

...two college sophomores, riding in a beatup old 1965 Chevrolet Malibu, northbound on the Garden State Parkway heading back from what is now Richard Stockton University, are flabbergasted to find out that somebody had the utter balls to shoot and kill one of the Beatles. We later learn that Howard Cosell broke the news to most of the rest of the world during a Monday Night Football game.

It, of course, is twenty-five years later, and I don't know if we're any closer to the sort of world that John Lennon "imagined". But he did leave us some great tunes, both with the Fab Four and as a solo act. (We even forgive him the whole Yoko thing.)

Plenty of reminders of the day, especially if you listened to Jay Sorensen's morning show on WJRZ this morning. There's no bigger Beatlemaniac on our airewaves, and you know Jay's got the goods. I believe if you go to Allan Sniffen's fine WABC tribute site, you'll find sound files of what we listened to on 770 AM that evening.

Spookiest thing: before she died, Nancy rigged up this computer to play Beatles MIDIs at random on bootup. It played a MIDI of "Imagine" this afternoon. Of all days.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Apocalypse Soon

From the AP wire:
Meanwhile, syndicator King World Prods. has also given the go-ahead for a fall 2006 launch to its one-hour daytime show featuring Food Network personality Rachael Ray. The tentatively titled "The Rachael Ray Show" has been cleared in more than 70% of the country.