Category Archives: Entertainment

Tribute To The Horne

Lena Horne passed away Sunday night at age 92. That was one woman that most of us thought would never age at all. Even in her early 70’s she was stunning, and you wouldn’t have believe she was a day over 35 or 40.

That woman could sing. I don’t know anyone who ever heard Lena Horne who didn’t think she could sing. She was super good looking also; absolutely fabulous woman. Could she act? Well, that’s questionable, but she never really got a chance to do it.

She was classy and had pride. She refused to allow anyone to identify her as anything other than being black, and that was a big deal back in the day. Many early black baseball players used to be identified as Latino so they wouldn’t have to deal with as much racism as if they were straight up black. Lena Horne wasn’t having it, so it ended up limiting the movies she was in. Early civil rights activism killed many a career; she didn’t care, and that was another diamond in her favor.

This is a mini-tribute to the “Horne”, as she was sometimes known. I hope you enjoy these videos, which I also hope showcases just how talented she was.


Stormy Weather


You’d Better Love Me


If You Believe

The Incomparable Lena Horne

Price – $6.99








My Top 10 Fictional Characters

This post I get to blame on my internet friend Mike CJ, who wrote a post called Why You Should Use Fictional Characters As Your Role Models. Some folks know that I patterned my life after some of the values of certain characters, while others I just like for whatever reason.

Snoopy on his doghouse

Anyway, since y’all know how I feel about commenting on Disqus blogs, and the fact that I’ve now been inspired to write a longer post based on what Mike came up with, here are my top 10 fictional characters, in order of favoritism; let’s see you try that one Mike! And folks, no images; not in the mood to deal with copyright issues and the like. Doesn’t mean I won’t have product links, though. 🙂

10. Harry Potter – Some people consider this a kid’s story, but how many of you would be ready to step up to the plate if you were told that you and the most evil and dangerous person in known history couldn’t live together on the same planet, and one of you had to die. Take that information and put it into a 16 year old’s mind and you have the makings of either the most scared kid you’ve ever met or the bravest kid you’ve ever heard of. That Harry Potter chose to be helpful and kind while having his life attacked many times a year since he turned 10 and still persevered is enough to admire, and a lesson to us all that being good or evil is a choice, not a destiny.

9. Foghorn Leghorn – The “Big Chicken”, as he’s normally called by most people, was my dad’s favorite Warner Brother’s character, and became one of mine as well. Truthfully, he has no redeeming value; he’s just funny as sin. If I told you what my college roommate and I used to do on a consistent basis based on something he always did, you’d think we should have been institutionalized.

8. Captain Kirk – Being one of the few, apparently, who actually enjoyed the Enterprise series, one of the things lacking in the main character, who I still liked, was that he wasn’t enough like Captain Kirk. He had all the attributes of a gunslinger and the brains to know that he couldn’t just shoot first and ask questions later. My man crush was sealed when, in the second movie, he proclaimed “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” I always believe that we all have the ability to achieve more and better things, no matter what our current circumstances are, and I got it from Captain Kirk.

7. Superman – I don’t know what Superman means to anyone today, but back in the day, who didn’t want to be Superman? He had everything you could ask for; invincibility, x-ray vision, could see through walls, fly in outer space, fly in the first place, super hearing, on and on and on. He could exhibit every superpower that every other superhero had except invisibility. And with all that power, he decided to live for “truth, justice, and the American way.” Okay, it was a nice dream, but it teaches us all that with great power comes great responsibility, as well as the fact that all sorts of folks will come after you if you happen to be top dog.

6. Snoopy – Speaking of top dogs, who in their right mind doesn’t love Snoopy? Today’s kids might be missing out, but Snoopy was the first Renaissance dog. He was a writer, pilot, tennis pro, hit 714 home runs the day after Hank Aaron broke the record, he can do animal impressions, do both disco and ballroom dancing, brought us Joe Cool, is a star hockey player, and sleeps outside the box, so to speak. He’s a man’s dog, independent and savvy, and I have a Snoopy doll, a Snoopy on my key chain, and a key with a Snoopy cartoon on it; always brings me peace. Snoopy proves if you dare to dream, you never know what you can become.

5. Bugs Bunny – The number one Warner Brothers character of all time, more cartoons than any other character in history; that’s saying something. He even has a star on the Walk of Fame. My thing about Bugs Bunny is that he wasn’t the biggest most of the time, but he’d take a whipping and come back for more, eventually overcoming every obstacle thrown at him. Had a lot of talent as well. I learned from Bugs Bunny that you don’t back down to bullies or any other problems in life; you come back stronger and persistently until you persevere.

4.
“[Luke:] I can’t believe it.
[Yoda:] That is why you fail.”

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

“No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

Yoda has wisdom and power and he’s less than 3 feet tall; there are no obstacles that can’t be overcome if you trust in your own self.

3. Kermit the Frog – Even though he’s a frog, Kermit is “every man” and “every woman”. In other words, he’s a frog with a dream and a belief in that dream, and no matter what he’s going to go out there and get it, no matter what form it takes. He’s been a news reporter, a dancer, a singer, an author, and a TV show emcee. He’s traveled the world basically just being himself. And he’s the muppet that every other muppet wants to be and wants to follow. Once again, a lot of power with a lot of responsibility, yet he always does the right thing.

2. Captain Picard – It took me probably half the first season of Next Generation to fully start appreciating Captain Picard, but once I did he was the guy I wanted to see prominent in every show. In an odd way he was the anti-Kirk; not as tall or as good looking, certainly not as athletic or brash. But he was dignified and a thinker, and not afraid to get into it when necessary. He was older than Kirk was, which meant he sent the younger first officer into the fray most of the time. But the truth is that true leadership doesn’t always have to be in the forefront. True leadership helps others attain the highest level in doing what it is they have to do for the team, and sends them out knowing that they’re going to ultimately do their best. He was the closest human to ever think like a Vulcan, as he was told many times; that was a pretty nice compliment in my book.

1. Mr Spock – My favorite character of all time, the man I owe for helping me get through the last 2 1/2 years of college. I used to have a quick temper, and I think that was the one feature that kept people from getting close to me. One day I came across this thought about logic, said my anger was illogical because it wasn’t aimed at anything except my own mind, and changed in an instant, based on my beliefs about Mr. Spock. Thing is, he wasn’t perfect, and I certainly wasn’t going to be, but I was a drastically better person, and I think the loyalty of many long time friends proved I became something much better than I was. As I’m working my way through the book The Ethics of Star Trek, I’m reminded again just how much the character of Mr. Spock has meant to my life.

Okay, I’m done, and I had fun. What are your comments, and who are your favorites, and why? And let’s thank Mike for the idea. 

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How To Train Your Dragon – My Review

You know, sometimes I feel like I just know how to call a movie that’s not only going to be good, but is also going to be popular. Such is the case with the new movie How To Train Your Dragon.

dragon_L1500_

Okay, so I’m a big kid at heart; I loved this movie! It’s the story about a kid whose father is the leader of Vikings, and they lead a fairly idyllic life in relative cold and their only problem is that they have to deal with dragons on an almost daily basis. The main character is named Hiccup, mainly because he’s a super klutz with no real skills and always seems to be messing things up at the wrong time, such as when the Vikings are battling dragons.

Along the way he finds a way to interact with a special dragon known as a night fury, which he names Toothless (but it has teeth) because they’re almost invisible at night, due to being black, and he discovers some things that aren’t know about the dragons and why they’re always attacking the Vikings and stealing their stuff. That’s about all I’m going to give you as far as what the movie is about; if I were writing this three weeks later, I’d say a lot more.

I have to say that they got the main character absolutely correct, as well as his voice. I don’t know this actor, Jay Baruchel, but they couldn’t have gotten anyone else who could have done that part. Gerard Butler, who’s also in the new movie with Jennifer Aniston, portrays the Viking leader, and I have to say I wouldn’t have been able to come up with it being him, nor America Ferrara as the lead female character.

You know, I really can’t think of all that much more to say about it without giving anything away except to say that it’s not just a kid’s movie, which means I believe adults will get a lot of joy out of it. I didn’t see the 3-D version this time around, and truthfully, I think you could get away without seeing it in that version. I loved the bright colors, and I’m not sure how much fun you get when you’re seeing 3-D when the background is darker, which it is in many scenes in this movie. This was a lot of fun; I almost want to go see it again. 🙂 Here’s one of the trailers:


http://youtu.be/oKiYuIsPxYk

 

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Video Highlights And A New Page

I have a lot of videos on this blog. Sometimes they’re easy to find because they match up with the content. Other times they’re kind of hidden gems, something I used to add something different to the post.

Overall the videos are all over the place, so I decided it was time to consolidate them, as well as highlight a few of them here. I did this before with my post showing my early videos up to June 2008. Below are 9 others I’d like to highlight, mainly because today is the 9th of March. For all other videos on this blog, though, go to the link above that says Videos, or of course you can click on the link I just created.

This video of Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi just thrilled my wife and I when I discovered it last year. It’s infectious and fun.

This was the video of the year in 2009, a funny wedding entrance video.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about commenting; this was Chris Pirillo’s take on it.

I had someone recently tell me about Google 411 service; told him I’d written about it in 2008, including the video.

I had finally written about the movie The Secret, and this was the 20 minute video clip from The Secret, which is enough to get you going.

This video caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people, mainly me, on my business blog for about 2 years before I decided to move it over here instead; it’s a motivational video of a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

A very recent video showing that stupidity and racism is still alive in America, courtesy of this Rachel Maddow clip with Pat Buchanan being stupid.

Talk about people with a passion that I’m not sure I could ever find again, this one highlights something known as Free Running.

Finally, we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and even though I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic and I don’t drink beer (let alone green beer), I figured I’d get into the spirit of things this one time by presenting the Muppets singing Danny Boy.

And there you go, 9 videos I wanted to bring some life back to. I hope you check these out, and if you’re ever looking for some entertainment, remember to check out my Video page above.

2012: Doomsday (documentary)

Price – $19.98


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Muppet Monday

I’ve been on kind of a serious kick and decided it was time to cheer things up for a little bit. As you know, I’ve talked about my love affair for the Muppets often enough around here. I have a bunch of Muppets videos all over the blog; one day I’m going to create a page where I’ve got all my videos, including the Muppets. In the meantime, I want to share these six with you, which I love.

Julie Andrews, Lonely Goatherd (Okay, I love Sound of Music also)

Raquel Welch; she still looks great!

Linda Ronstadt singing one of my favorite songs ever, and supposedly she said she never sung the song better than for this show.

Pearl Bailey, bad jousting scene from Camelot. Pearl was actually a U.S. Ambassador when she decided to do this particular show, and in the movie Carmen Jones, was the only actor in the movie who actually sang her own part.

Rita Moreno, the first person to ever win an Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy.

Opening song from the movie Muppets From Space, as they perform Brick House

And that’s that; back to other topics next time.

Muppets From Space

Price – $9.84