Friday, August 21, 2009

New Blog on our Blogroll

We've added MetsBlog, a very informative and somewhat official blog about the New York Mets. Just came forth with the news 2 minutes ago that Billy Wagner, who just came back last night for the Mets after Tommy John surgery, has been claimed on waivers. We don't know by who yet. Bye Bye Billy... thanks for everything.

Monday, August 17, 2009

SNY Piece on Nonohitters

This week's "Mets Weekly" did a short piece on Dirk Lammers' website. Dirk, who lives in South Dakota (a hard place to live if you're a baseball fan), was in New York for a game and was interviewed about the site and its many features. Watch for some familiar names to show up on screen at some point in the video.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The CBS Children's Film Festival

Back in the days before federally-mandated children's programming, CBS was kind enough to expend some time each week for a presentation called "The CBS Children's Film Festival". Hosted by Fran Allison and Burr Tillstrom's famous puppets Kukla and Ollie, the show aired from 1967 to 1984. The show specialized in children's cinema from around the world. It must have been some coup for CBS to hire the services of Allison and the puppets away from their longtime home at NBC, where they appeared on and off from 1947-1966.

Phil of a Kukla, Fran and Ollie tribute site has been nice enough to put clips on YouTube of some of these films, many of which have become very hard to find over the years. These titles may sound familiar to people of my generation: "Skinny and Fatty", "Boy With Glasses", "The Magnificent 6-1/2", "On Snowhite" and "The Goalkeeper Also Lives On Our Street." Remember any of those?

Every so often, CBS would air a 1967 film from Czechoslovakia called "Lost in Pajamas" (original title "Tana a Dva Pistolnici"), in which a 10-year-old girl named Tanya (Dasa Pazderova) somehow leaves her sleeper train when a cow gets on the tracks and is stranded in the wilderness. There, Tanya meets up with two boys camping out overnight. I liked this one and always watched it whenever it was on. Unfortunately Dasa Pazderova didn't do too much more in the cinema, making only one other film, also in 1967. Here's a clip and if you click on the user name you will find more.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

AI Live 2009 Tour

As we did last year, we loaded up Tracy and the girls in the van and trekked down to Atlantic City for this year's version of the American Idols Live Tour. The 2009 edition featured winner Kris Allen and the nine runners up.

Loudest cheers (and female screaming) for runner-up Adam Lambert.

I was impressed with all the performances, we heard just enough of the lower-tier finalists - the Michael Sarver, Megan Joy type - to know why they couldn't go farther in the competition. But once we got to Lil Rounds, the performers started getting a little more face time with the audience. Lil was astounding. It's a shame the voting public was so done with her after about three weeks of the finals, because she was very impressive last night. The bottom six did a great first half closer of a lesser-known Frankie Valli song, "Beggin'".

Alison Iraheta, the night's youngest performer, blew me away. Belting out those songs at 17 isn't easy. She also came back out for a duet on Foghat's "Slow Ride" with Lambert.

I noticed a lot less fluff last year. Gone from this year's festivities was a presenting sponsor. No Pop-Tarts for you this year. There was also no halftime Guitar Hero competition. I missed neither.

The show promoters do need to make a longer reel to entertain audiences before the show. I must have seen the same Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and David Cook videos about half a dozen times each throughout the evening.

Can't say if I'll be back next year - all depends on the caliber of next year's field.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

I don't mind car companies using "Cash for Clunkers" as a way of getting people into their showrooms, but why do the auto companies make it sound like it was their idea? If you could think of such juicy incentives, maybe you guys wouldn't be all Chapter 11 on us.