Linda Davis at the Ryman Auditorium – Nashville – Photo 2007

linda_davis_at_the_ryman

I snapped this onstage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville as Linda Davis received a much deserved award from her peers in the Music Industry for her many good works, activities and music. She’s one of the nicest and most talented people you could ever meet.

Another person to note in the background to the right in the grey suit is Cowboy Joe Babcock. He is a long thread in the Fabric of Nashville, leader of The Nashville Edition, long time cast member of Hee Haw, songwriter with credits including Elvis, arranged and sang vocals with his group on just about every hit record you could think of coming out of Nashville from the 60s through well into the 80s. Oh – and he was part of Marty Robbin’s band back in the 60s and can be heard on the hit “El Paso” as well as the others.

Someone needs to do a book on him.

Techincal Notes: I used a Canon D30 body with a special lens ring to use a 1970 Zukio 24mm lens with an OM mount. It defeats all the auto exposure features but I go full manual with SLRs anyway ;-)

The Tony Rollo Blog

Tony Rollo Blog

old_map_and_compassWhen one goes to mine for gold, a diamond or two is always discovered in the process.

But what to do with these bits and pieces of diamonds in the meanwhile ?

This is what my blog is all about.

Bits and pieces of life – past, present and future. Too interesting to just toss in a drawer somewhere. And besides, it may benefit someone out there.

So enjoy … CLICK to VIEW BLOG

Tony Rollo Articles and Essays

Tony Rollo Articles and Essays

Entertaining and Enlightening Articles / Creative and Original Essays

fleeting-thought-brainSometimes a fleeting thought and story comes to mind. It can be from an experience, a dream or from my muse. And it must be written down and shared somehow. So that is what this section is all about. A collection of short stories, ideas and essays that I have no idea what to do with except share them with you.

My muse is indeed quite prolific … However …

Of course, I don’t believe in a muse.

This reminds me of a wonderful experience in meeting someone

steve-allen-piano… if you will allow me to digress –

I once had the opportunity to share a plane flight on the way to Los Angeles with Steve Allen. This blew my mind since he was on my short list of people I wanted to meet ever since seeing his show “Meeting Of Minds” when I was still a teenager in the 1970s.

Steve Allen wrote around 6000 songs. Most known is probably “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big”I asked how someone could write so many songs who was primarily a television personality and writer of plays and scripts at the same time?

He said there are two classic / historical theories on inspiration …

1st – there is a spirit called a “muse” who is invisible and sits on the shoulder of the artist and whispers in their ear to what should be created …

But that explanation is medieval and we know that is not the case.

2nd – That all songs come from God.

And Steve explained to me that if this was true, then God has written a lot of bad songs !

I laughed for at least five minutes …

There was a lot of wisdom in what he said. I realized at that moment Steve Allen was one of the wisest men I had ever met. He was advanced in age at the time – around 1998 – yet he was as clear and sharp as anyone.
theopneustos
I then threw in that our modern word “inspiration” is traced back to the greek language. It literally means “in spirit” … the greek is “theopneustos” which men “God breathed” …

But Steve got a bit of a grimace on his face to that and looked away for a moment … I got the impression that he must have had a bad experience with religious idiots in his past – so I changed the subject.

I also noticed that he had a small, round bandaid on the back of one of his hands – but of course it would be rude to ask what it was. I was pretty sure what it was.

It wasn’t long after that I heard he had been in a minor car accident which at first he seemed completely unhurt – but later passed on from an unseen internal injury.

I don’t mention that to be morbid – just that when we get an opportunity, or can make an opportunity – cherish those who you are able to walk a while together in our lives.

So with that memory, it would be best to share these quips with you in this way rather than leave them on my pocket recorder or on a scrap of paper in a box somewhere.

Enjoy – CLICK HERE to see the collection

Tony Rollo Galleria

Tony Rollo Galleria

Media – Photographs – Graphics Gallery

Misc photos and films made during my travels and around Nashville.

CLICK HERE for the listing of all entries in the Galleria

Tony Rollo Productions

Tony Rollo Productions

Diary of a Real Boy CoverA descriptive listing of selected productions and products.

Films – DVDs – Audio projects – Publications –

… and other items.

CLICK HERE to see the index

Computer Password Inventor and WWII Navy Veteran Fernando Corbato Passes from Earth at Age 93

Fernando Corbato is to the Computer Industry like a water spring is to a mighty river.

Fernando Corbato - computer password

Computer password inventor Fernando Corbato got hooked on debugging systems when he was serving in the United States Navy during WWII. He went on to get a PhD in physics at MIT and went straight to work upon graduation in MIT’s Computer Department.

Fernando Corbato with his MIT mainframe computerHe was an early pioneer in computer time-sharing systems but is best known for creating password protection of files in large computer systems. He also pioneered many aspects of operating system routines that were adopted industry wide and are still the foundation of many operations to this day.

Ken Thompson (who developed Unix OS), was directly influenced by Fernando Corbato. The entire computer world would be not as wonderful without the pioneering work of this US Navy veteran, Fernando Corbato.

Music Genius Leon Redbone Passes From This Earth a few Hours ago …

I was sad to hear that one of my musical heroes left the planet.

Leon Redbone in concert

Leon Redbone album

I loved Leon Redbone.

I never had the opportunity to meet him – yet, his unique historical jazz style became a favorite of mine when I was in high school in the 1970s. It was ever so classy.

I own original copies of all his vinyl albums. His music is such a MOOD Perfect to put on when one is having to think and be creative.

When it was announced that he would be the musical guest on SNL Saturday Night Live way back then in the 1970s … I stayed up to see it live for myself. It was a genuine treat!

Just last week, I was in Ashville, North Carolina on a Friday.

After enjoying the drum circle, I walked around the city square.

There was a band playing in a club in front of a wide glass window that sounded very much like the same musical genre as Leon Redbone – so I stepped in for a while.

Between a song, I called out – “Do yall know any Leon Redbone?” The stand up bass player (apparently the band leader) answered “Not really – he’s got the chops we’re looking for”

Leon Redbone cool… I kept walking down the street

I still ask myself – was he Ragtimeriverboat paddle wheeljazz rootsearly New Orleans blues … or just his own style of blended time travel in music in the 20th century ???

Leon Redbone and his music will live on – like all those other great band leadersas long as we remember and listen to the recordings they left us.

Click HERE for Leon Redbone on WIKIPEDIA

Click HERE for the article on his passing in the Rolling Stone

Leon Redbone had the kind of COOL that James Bond had. Yet it was in his music and his persona. How did he come about his COOL?

Was he born cool? Did he figure it out later in life? Did he create his own brand of COOL?

Did he define a new COOL for us all?

He was COOL !!! Icebox COOL

When he performed – it demanded attention not unlike jumping suddenly into a pool of ice cold water … taking your breath away …

Leon Redbone – Shine On Harvest Moon

Leon Redbone – Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone – Live On Stage

Charlie Parker – Saxophone Master – Bird – Studio Recordings on this day – Yardbird Becomes A Legend On This Day in History

Charlie Parker in 1947

Bird – Yardbird –

Charlie Parker …

Whatever they called him. On this day in history, he made his first studio recordings in Dallas and the world of music was never the same.

In 1941 Charlie Parker makes a side in his first commercial recording session in Dallas, TX for Decca Records. Playing the alto sax, he solos on the tunes ‘Swingmatism’ and ‘Hootie Blues’ as a member of Jay McShann’s orchestra.

Bird goes on to help create a new form of jazz known as Bebop … and music was never the same after that …

Charlie Parker Tommy Potter Miles Davis Duke Jordan Max Roach

Charlie Parker – Tommy Potter – Miles Davis – Duke Jordan – and drums by Max Roach

New Car Sales Falling – My Solution – Buy A Better Car – Crown Victoria Police Interceptor – My New Dream Car

Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is a fun car

According to reports by CNBC, MSN Money and pretty much ever other indicator … New car sales are falling like a rock. This is understandable because new cars are complete junk.

new car technologyPeople are getting hip that new cars are just flashy junk piles on wheels …

Car manufacturers who are shoving the latest technology into new cars is not what people want. We already have tech. We want a reliable car.

A car as a wifi hot spot? Give me a break! We already have a wifi hot spot we can upgrade that goes with us …

Who wants tech built into a car that cannot be upgraded? In three years, that new car with mobile tech will be obsolete. Not only to mention the bad mechanics that will cost thousands of dollars to maintain … Touch screens when we already have tablets and smart phones ?!?

sexy new carSure – we want a new car … but – who wants to shell out big bucks on something that is junk before we drive it off the lot?

New car designs are very sexy –

But – the mechanics are trash!

Engines and transmissions that don’t last but a few thousand miles. Built in tech that can’t be upgraded – electrical systems that are a nightmare!!!

Here is what I did last year –

Crown Victoria Police Interceptor 2011

I bought a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor from a government auction for $2k!

Solid – dependable – a former fleet vehicle – lots of added features. After a year in this car I am so very happy. It is powerful and dependable. Respectable on the road and yet like a hot rod in performance. I always get around 18 miles to the gallon. Flex fuel! I tried it with E85 fuel while it performed famously.

It is the most fun car I ever owned. A powerful V8 with the Ford Panther platform. Designed to be reliable. Same engine in the most sporty Mustang. Everything is heavy duty from the brakes to the special radiator coolant system for the transmission …

This car has a lot of performance and power along with a reliable platform. And the parts to keep it maintained are cheap!

I put in an after market Android system in place of the standard radio in the dash that has a touch screen and all the toys. All the apps I want plus maps and everything a smart phone can have.

My advice to you – look for a reliable car. New cars are not reliable.

Do you want to be cool and get the cool new Fiat, GM, Jeep, Mini Cooper or Chrysler? How cool will you look broke down on the roadside with your shiny new bucket of bolts?

Get yourself something fun AND reliable.

FORD CROWN VICTORIA POLICE INTERCEPTOR

Fun to drive – Powerful – economical for a V8 – Come on Detroit – BRING IT BACK ~~~ !!!

My Crown Vic Police Interceptor

CBS News Reporter is Scammed – New CBS News Internet Phishing Report – What Everyone Should Know

criminal spear phishing hook

A CBS News reporter recently fell victim to an internet phishing scam.

We can and should pay attention to all the reports of scams on the internet. This particular style of criminal activity is called “spear-phishing”

Below is a link to the article on CBS News –

However, please do not fall for all those CLICK BAIT links at the bottom of the news article … IRONIC – RIGHT?

CLICK HERE for the CBS News article

spear phishing criminal internet phishing

Wow! Today is the anniversary of Mercury Atlas Six !!! Friendship 7 and John Glenn

Friendship 7

Three times around the Earth piloted by John Glenn

The FIRST American astronaut to orbit the Earth in a space craft. The FIRST astronaut to do so. A time when Americans had that kind of GUTS to do such achievements. Can we look death in the face like that?

Murcury Atlas 6 John Glenn NASA

Nashville Private Detective – The Secrets of Phishing Expeditions With Modern Pirates Using Paypal Identities to Steal You Blind

I had a good friend in my past who was a private detective in Nashville. Unfortunately, he has passed away. Yet – he led a very full and interesting life. He occasionally sought my help with photographic evidence that needed expert enhancing of details. We developed a very close friendship.

private detective noir internet phishing

My friend the detective took quite a trust in me as he privately told me many stories of his adventures in life. Every one could be a thrilling movie script! He spent many years as a trusted police officer in Music City back in the day before becoming an independent private detective. My trusted friend became the “go to guy” for most all the music stars for their “undercover needs”

private detective keep a secretIf I named names – it would make your blood curdle into cheese!

Before you get too excited

I am sworn to secrecy to all the volumes of those true stories he trusted me with. I can’t help it if the few close friends I choose to have find me to be a person they can trust to offload the burdens of their lives without worry.

I cannot in good conscious tell of all the dirty stardust my detective friend told me. He is in his grave now – but that does not release me from my pledge to his confidence.

Can I help it that the few chosen friends I have can rest in an expectation of implicit trust in me?

One aspect my talented detective friend taught me was how the clever criminal sociopaths lurking in the golden age of the Nashville music scene played the “confidence game”.

private detective modern phishing technologyThat was before the Internet was born. It was also before a time when everyone had a “smart phone” in their pocket.

Those same criminal games and adventurous stories that my friend shared with me has found new life in the digital age. I have used that unique knowledge given to me by my detective friend to keep past clients and close friends from falling into the modern digital deceptions.

I COULD apply all that knowledge given to me from past experiences of experts in order to warn you of the modern criminals who bombard you using modern technology. They use digital crowbars to break into your life. They gain your confidence with clever deception.

What I can reveal is the same games played throughout history by clever criminals to gain your confidence in order to steal from you. Would it make me a target of revenge of those criminals?

Should I spill the beans in an open forum?

Or … maybe I should just SHUT UP and sleep well at night like a newborn baby …

private detective sherlock holmes trusted watson

1775 John Hancock Wedding Announcement – Love Takes No Pause … As All Hell Breaks Loose –

1775 Newspapers

1775 New York Gazette John Hancock WeddingOn September the 4th of 1775, the New York Gazette newspaper carried the wedding announcement of John Hancock.

1775 John Hancock by artist John Singleton CopleyJohn Hancock was the present President of the Continental Congress in 1775 –

1775 was a year of terrible events in America – Boston was burning with turmoil.

… and delegates from the colonies were arriving for some time in Philadelphia to make some important decisions for the immediate future.

John gets married !

John Hancock decided to take time to get married as all hell was breaking loose in the colonies.

He married the lovely Miss Dorothy Quincy, daughter of Edmund Quincy Esq. of Boston.

1775 Dorothy Quincy HancockAs Boston was in flames at the moment – they were married by the Reverend Mr. Eliot in Fairfield of the Connecticut colony.

While all were happy for Mr Hancock and his new bride, he really needed to get his butt back to Philadelphia to preside over Congress …

This just all proves that life goes on no matter what the circumstances.

Meanwhile – Dr Benjamin Franklin calls for a secret meeting to explain himself to his fellow Americans.

Love takes no pause …

Happy Birthday to John Backus – the Man Who Dared to Make Computers Understand “IF”

Perhaps the greatest innovation in the history of computers was when the concept of “IF” was made to computers to understand in a language that computers could understand …

John Backus FORTRANJohn Backus was born on this day in Philadelphia in the year 1924 …

He went to college but was not a great student.

He then went into the US Army. After a bout with bone cancer, he had part of his skull removed and a plate was inserted to make up for his lack of skull bone.

As time went on in the 20th century, He found himself working at IBM.

Pretty good for a guy who didn’t do so well in school and had a metal plate in his head.

Computers were being hand coded for such a long time. A lot of redundant computer code was necessary in those early days. Coding computer programs was tedious – but there was no way around it.

Was there a better way?

John Backus believed there was a better way … in 1953, He came up with a better way – FORTRAN !!!

Fortran was a new language. Mathematical and logical – object oriented. Something computer engineers could save a lot of time when coding.

FORTRAN became the basis for following languages such as BASIC.

BASIC went on to power the microcomputer revolution. BASIC was the language that a large number of tody’s programmers first learned in the early days of computer programming.

The most powerful introduction to computing in FORTRAN – was the “IF” statement.

BASIC came along and created GOTO and the much used “FOR – NEXT” concept. Without the development of the FORTRAN language, we would not have the modern computer languages of today.

FORTRAN is still in use today. It has evolved greatly.

Happy birthday John Backus –

He taught computers to think of “IF”

fortran if cablecar

Script Table Reading – When a Script Comes Alive – Benjamin Franklin Lives enters Post Production

My post production in “Benjamin Franklin Lives” has entered the final works. International actors have all recorded their parts and it is now the time to put all the pieces together.

script table readingThen –

… the pieces envisioned takes a life upon its own. It is now voiced. The paper script now finds a voice with actors.

After all the creativity … and great vision is hammered out – Great thinking is reworked …

Actors are hired … This particular production of mine has ventured far out to include an international cast

The script is actually acted out in the intimate moment of a “table read”

Once a script is made vocal – it can have its flaws revealed. Creativity is reworked …

Brilliant moments and performances come to life. Casting choices reveal themselves. The story comes together as well as the soul of a production comes to life … yet – pieces and parts are rearranged to become better. What was so smart to begin with becomes brilliant.

What looks great on paper can reveal necessary corrections once voiced aloud. It is a time of creative correction and can bring a smart production into brilliance.

This is why table readings are so important.

Rewrites and revisions on the fly ensue …

Here is a great example of how a table reading shapes a final production and brings out a great performance – even with the youngest actors …

Thanks to the late director Sidney Lumet his book “Making Movies” taught me so much about the subject of table readings. Rest in peace Sidney … and thanks so much …

For Roy Clark – Funny Man and Guitar Virtuoso –

Roy Clark

I was able to meet Roy Clark briefly in my past work in audio production backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.

My meeting him was in passing in the long halls backstage at the Opry.

That’s just how Roy Clark rolled. In and out just in time. Always in time.

I also had a business relationship at one time in the past with Roy’s steel player for fifteen or so years. His steel player’s wife is a successful Gospel artist and they both owned a feed store in Oklahoma. I produced their music web site back in the late 1990s.

He related to me the stories of his time in Roy Clark’s band. Roy demanded the best musicians in his band. He would show up to do final rehearsals and then they never saw him ever again until he walked in to take a stage at a show.

Roy’s band traveled together by bus. Roy traveled by himself by plane separately from his band. He did not associate with his band other than coming in for final rehearsals to add his final directions and then only on stage.

Roy Clark would show up for a gig just in time to do the show – then quickly disappear when the final song finished. That’s how he rolled. He was a very private person.

Roy Clark was an excellent virtuoso guitarist as well as a very funny performer. What caused him to be so “hit and run” for his live shows – no one really knows but Roy himself.

Rest in peace Roy – at least I felt the breeze from his movements backstage once – which is better than a lot of people who even worked for him.

When I was a kid in the 1960s – my dad had an 8 track of one of his early albums. I learned early on how to play the 8 track player. I loved that Roy Clark 8 track album. I most enjoyed a song he did called “Do You Believe This Town”. It had quite an influence on my young mind in more ways than one …

Roy Clark playing it hot

Roy Clark could play anything with strings

Happy Birthday Monet

Monet Happy Birthday -  garden painting

Monet – painting in his garden

Could we ever be as happy as he at this moment?

Today’s Reality – Artificial Intelligence Means No More Real People Informing Us on TV or Real Actors Entertaining Us

This is not a whimsical view into the future –

This is not Science Fiction – This is TODAY

Here is a short video introducing an AI news anchor developed by the Chinese:

World’s first AI news anchor makes China debut
New China TV

Published on Nov 8, 2018

Last month, a hologram of Ronald Reagan begins addressing visitors at his Presidential library. Reagan comes to life for the audience in full three dimensions!

How long will it take until we do not know if a real human is addressing us on our TV screen or is it an AI representation? What will be the ramifications? What will be the moral implications?

Broadway phantom of the operaIn the not so distant future – Broadway plays and musicals will no longer be performed by real actors … holograms will take their place. No longer will producers and directors have to worry if a lead actor or any other member of the cast may miss a show with an illness or sore throat. Every show will be perfectly programmed!

We no longer need REAL actors! Producers of movies can design actors. Digital alternatives that can be more real than having to bother directors to direct a real actor.

Today – We will be addressed by news anchors on the daily news programs who only exist in the digital realm. This is a reality – not in the future – but RIGHT NOW

We will soon see John Wayne as the lead actor in a new movie … Hollywood studios can produce new movies with an all star cast right out of their past stable of actors.

In fact – we will not need any real actors. We can now scan any real actor or choose to bring back any actor from the past to do a perfect performance on stage or on screen night after night in perfect form. No need to worry about their health or well being. A perfect show every time!

The Who 1974We can license the image of ANY actor of the past and use them as actors in any new movie produced.

Let’s not stop there – Imagine seeing The Who in concert in a full hologram? They are their young selves in 1974. But – they are playing new songs!

Artificial intelligence is the brave new world.

No longer do we need any new talent actually performing or creating. We can NOW bring back the great performers of the past as AI digital images on screen or holograms on the stage!

That is our future in the present view of reality …

Robots and androids will not like the future of AI …

Robots will become the new unemployed workers …

The robots will one day figure out their demise – and plot against us …

Then again – I will soon buy a machine at Walmart that knows exactly how I like my breakfast cooked and have it ready for me when I wake up. Anticipate that I worked late the night before and wait until the proper moment to begin making my breakfast. It may even wake me up by singing the song “Good Morning” from the musical “Singing In The Rain” – and dance for me like Gene Kelley as I finish up my cheese grits.

A Halloween Horror Story For Vegans and Vegetarians – Oh My Potato! An Original Essay by Tony Rollo

Oh, potato, my potato. What is the desire to your fate?

potato microwave baked in foil

potato harvest back yard gardenI dug you from the ground in our garden just today. It has been a season after my wife once inserted you into the ground last year as a simple plug.

And now – here you are, still alive – Taken from your roots. Sitting naked upon my kitchen table on a slab of wood.

You gave your all, noble potato – to abound and grow as large as you could in the rich earth.

You are like a rock upon my kitchen table. Hard, raw, brown and insignificant. Dirty with the soil you were planted in.

potato peel potatoesYet – I can scrub your soiled skin under running water as I sanctify your purpose on this Earth.

A cleansing ritual to prepare you for an anticipation of thought.

That tedious preparation in order to make the final decision. I can now contemplate the many ways of your destined demise.

I can peel away your skin with a sharpened steel kitchen implement and drop you into a pot of boiling water on my stove.

I can be modern and shoot microwaves through you. Then after such a technological torture, wrap you up in aluminum foil to further cook you in your own induced heating?.

I could place you in a hot oven brushed with virgin oil and dust you with rock salt to give you a nice tan and texture to your skin. I would delight from the sounds emanating from the oven in hearing the hissing of steam escaping your skin as the moisture inside your flesh turned into gas and began racing to escape your body.

I could wrap you in metal foil and drop you into the embers of a camp fire.

potato french friesI could slice you into long strands like small logs and drop you into boiling oil.

I could flay you in a food processor into fine strands and then shape rounds of thin layers of you in a cast iron skillet with a few beads of oil to make your crust golden brown and crunchy.

Maybe introduce some spices and chopped onions while I turn you into a thin cake of golden brown deliciousness?

In any way that I bring you into the heat, I will show no mercy.

If I so choose – Once you were boiled I could smash you into a near liquid, and mix you among strangers consisting of butter and sour cream.

Or – I could slice you up into larger chunks to be married with some greens and bacon in a boiling pot. Your boiling perfume would waft through the house tempting eager nostrils.

I could mash you while introducing some good, clean water into a dank soup consistency and then mix you into a chowder to add some thickness.

potato baked and loadedIf I choose to bake you in some diabolical fashion – I would then spit you open and introduce into your innards to a variety of substances. Butter, cheese, sour cream and chives. Maybe a few bacon bits and whatever else comes to mind. Much to your personal agony.

I would take a knife to you as well as a fork and dissect you. Then insert you into my mouth piece by piece and enjoy your flavor as my enamel cutting blades smash you into oblivion.

You would then be swallowed into the hungry grotto of my hungry tummy !

As you now sit on my cold carving board on my kitchen table raw and naked to the world, my mind wanders in my thoughts of the so many options that await you. So many diabolical methods I could use. So many ways I can utilize to make your hard inner flesh become so soft and fluffy.

What crime did you commit to deserve such a sentence of process?

The crime is simple – you are guilty of being tasty.

My tongue longs for your texture and flavor dancing around in my mouth. My belly is anticipating how you can be so filling. Dripping with savory butter. A blob of sour creme! Cheese and Bacon with a sprinkling of a few chives dancing across the upturned puffy, cloud-like innards of your delicious flesh !!!

potato cut out eyes

There is only one way to save yourself.

Your bad eyes.

Large eyes that blacken spots on your skin. Those new sprouts from those eyes – toxic to use who dream of consuming you.

It just takes the cuts from a knife in skilled hands to remove those bad spots of toxins and bring you to to a point where you cannot offer any defense.

Your bad eyes would then be best to be chopped up into pieces to return to the earth and continue to grow, producing many more offspring. Thus offering up the same questions next year with your offspring sitting on my kitchen table. Shall we set that future date now?

What is your fate? What is the choice of your demise?

Oh, my potato – my innocent potato awaiting my decision. What fate would be your desire?

potatoes ready to cook

Star Trek Season Three (3) of the Original Series STTOS – A Theory of What Killed the Original Star Trek

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury –

I put it to you – that the classic Star Trek television series was primarily killed off from a mortal wound suffered by leading off season three with the episode “Spock’s Brain”.

Star Trek Starbase 11 courtroom

When a presentation is made – it is best to lead off with the strongest point up front.

“Cut to the chase” is a long time standard to grab an audience and keep a television program, feature film, speech, business presentation, elevator pitch, and even a novel seem interesting and exciting to keep your attention.

Think of every James Bond movie you have ever seen. How do they all begin? An exciting scene of a chase – or explosions – or a combination of both. Every great movie, book, and even a song starts off with a strong hook to capture the audience right off.

There is only one question I have about the original NBC television series of Star Trek that I would love to have a definitive answer…

Who was the moron that scheduled the lead off episode of season three to be “Spock’s Brain”?

Some argue that the death of the original series of Star Trek was NBC changing the schedule to have Star Trek show on a Friday night. Airing on that very night that begins the weekend when their young and hip audience would be out on the town being young and hip and watching each other for fun – while their interest at the moment is not in watching a television show targeted to the young and hip!

Star Trek Enterprise Incident Series Three

Bollocks!

When a new series airs or it is the first episode of the season in a continuing series – the first episode is most important. It must start out with a BANG! The third season of the original Star Trek started off with the most clumsy episode of Star Trek ever made. It should have been hidden well back in the episode airings for that season.

The second episode of Star Trek’s season 3 was “The Enterprise Incident” written by the series script supervisor D.C. Fontana.

Not only was that episode exciting and well written; the dialog was perfect and exquisite, the characters had great substance as well as the brilliant casting of actors.

It is my educated and experienced belief that if the third series of Star Trek would have led off with “The Enterprise Incident” first for that season – there would have been a forth season of Star Trek.

Consider the British movie “Trainspotting” – it immediately begins with a chase and forces excitement while introducing the primary characters. While that movie did not impress me and is not my cup of tea … it did a great job of jumping right in like any great storytelling does. No matter the media – film, print, broadcast, etc …

The Star Trek episode of “The Enterprise Incident” did just that. Jumped right into the action!

Best Star Trek Episode EVER – “The Enterprise Incident”

Captain Kirk explodes onto the bridge and something is wrong with him – William Shatner is doing his best shatnerizing and it is easy to tell!

The episode teaser before the theme sequence of just two or so minutes ends with not only a serious violation of the Federation rules because Captain Kirk has obviously gone nuts, the Enterprise finds itself surrounded by enemy Romulan ships. Also – the audience being shocked that the Romulans are now using Klingon designs for their ships. These ships appear out of nowhere using a cloaking device!

Star Trek Captain Kirk goes nutsJust two minutes into this episode – Kirk has gone nuts and orders the Enterprise to violate a treaty – the Romulans show up in Klingon ships – Scotty shows up and is freaked out – Spock is a bit freaked out … All heck is about to break out!

The rest of the episode is just one mind blowing event that leads into another!

Captain Kirk has gone bonkers … the Romulan commander is a woman of epic eye candy … Spock rats out Kirk as nuts … Spock and the Romulan commander babe start getting the vapors … Spock kills Captain Kirk !?! … it is revealed that it is in fact a secret mission … Kirk disguises himself as a Romulan … the Romulan commander entertains Spock and gets into something more “comfortable” … Spock is STIMULATED and they drink Romulan ale from funky square tumblers … Spock gets ratted out … the Romulan commander is now a woman scorned! … Spock is going to be executed … and so on and so forth …

Star Trek Spock enjoys Romulan ale

Would that not make a great start to a season of a beloved television show to the fans on a first run?

But – Nooooooo … They make “Spock’s Brain” the lead off episode!

They start off with the worst episode ever in the series. Slow starting bad teaser … stupid dialog … clumsy editing … terrible premise … goofy premise … it is so painful to watch these actors who have fleshed out such good characters do their best with such a bad story and dialog.

Star Trek The Enterprise Incident Spock romance with the Romulan CommanderMany young fans say the third season of classic Star Trek had all the bad episodes …

MANY say (even Star Trek Fans) that season three of the original Star Trek was the worst ever …

Not true! Consider this …

While I agree that season three of the classic Star Trek DID have some real boner episodes, some of the best television of that year was seen in that third season …

Let’s go through each of the third season Star Trek episodes and take all things into consideration:

Star Trek Original Series – Third Season:

In episode broadcast order in 1968/1969:

“Spock’s Brain”

Yes – The worst episode of Star Trek.

“The Enterprise Incident”

The best episode of Star Trek ever produced! Should have been the first episode of season three.

“The Paradise Syndrome”

An excellent example of the classic Star Trek. Time travel with a connection to ancient Earth and a great story of love, jealousy, and happiness with a dash of irony. I would have put that as the third episode of the season if i were the programmer.

“And The Children Shall Lead”

Interesting – but one of those episodes that had a great premise while lacking the best in story telling.

“Is There In Truth No Beauty”

A good idea and very interesting. Some people think of it as one of those less than best episodes.

“Spectre Of The Gun”

While I can appreciate this episode, it rates as the second worst Star Trek episode just before “Spock’s Brain” and helps give the third season its bad reputation.

“Day Of The Dove”

GREAT episode and also defining to the Star Trek universe.

This should have been the second episode in season three of Star Trek. It is not only an exciting episode full of action – the premise is very good and has a great moral story. It also has Kingons with swords!

“For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky”

One of my favorite episodes. Good story, great cast, and great dialog. Not only is there great action, it has a very touching element of a love story. It seems like a season two episode!

“The Tholian Web”

A defining episode of what made Star Trek great.

“Plato’s Stepchildren”

Another one of those episodes that tried to find a higher concept. Yet – it lacked in providing a good script, story and dialog. Painful to watch Kirk and Spock dance.

“Wink Of An Eye”

A well done episode and a great premise. Lots of action and interesting manipulation of jealousy.

“The Empath”

Good try. Well made – but too high a concept for a one hour television show to truly explore.

“Elaan Of Troyius”

Fantastic! A defining episode of what made Star Trek such a great show.

A perfect balance of drama, comedy, plot twist, action, adventure, wonder and personal interaction. As well as Kirk getting something more out of the situation! It also had an interesting moral to the story – devotion to duty.

“Whom Gods Destroy”

I found this episode to be another definitive episode. Not the best – not the worst – but … definitive to the spirit of what made Star Trek a great show.

“Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”

This episode could have fell over the edge – but it didn’t. Consider the times when it was broadcast. It made a great statement and is one of my favorite episodes.

I just wished they didn’t use such heavy MIME makeup and went for more realistic skin tones … The overdone makeup was almost clownish which is the reason it could have been a disaster.

“The Mark Of Gideon”

A great concept of the moment where people were very afraid of overpopulation at the time. This episode falls just within the boundaries of a definitive Star Trek episode … just barely in my opinion.

“That Which Survives”

This episode really freaked me out when I saw it as a young teen in first syndication run in the early 1970s. It is certainly a good episode. Since then, I see it as an average episode in an above average TV series.

It does contain my favorite moment with Spock. It was during the teaser when everyone on the bridge was thrown around a bit – and after the shaking up, Uhura asks Spock what happened.

“The Lights Of Zetar”

A well done episode that sheds some light on the structure of the Star Trek universe. Good drama and premise. Feels like a second season episode to me.

“Requiem For Methuselah”

Another defining series episode. Such a great concept of what would happen if there was an ancient immortal human who was from across Earth’s history. This was well before the movie “Highlander” came out in 1986.

This episode brought life changing concepts into my 13 year old mind seeing it while I was in the 8th grade when it was first run in television syndication. That would be around the summer of 1974 when I was longing to find such a meaningful relationship.

“The Way To Eden”

Space hippies? Am I herbert? I am not Herbert. OK – sometimes television seeks to grab onto the latest happenings. I can forgive them. SciFi has always been a vehicle for taking present troubles into a way to give a possible solution.

This episode did redeem itself for having great dialog and story. A great balancing act like “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” … BUT – not as an important concept … maybe it was? And we also get to see and hear Spock jam with a hippie band!

Star Trek - All Our YesterdaysONE … yes Spock … I am ONE

“The Cloud Minders”

Another great episode that seemed to be from the second season. Great concept and action.

“The Savage Curtain”

Ugh … The definitive episode that made the audience think season three was all bad …

“All Our Yesterdays”

BRILLIANT! One of the top episodes.

Beyond definitive in what made Star Trek such a great television show. So much goes on in this episode with concept, story, dialog and classic Scifi at its best!

This episode also had some of the best moments of acting in television history!

“Turnabout Intruder”

Yet another best episode of classic Star Trek …

I remember reading that William Shatner had become very ill and ran a high fever while this episode was filming.

Yet – it is undetectable in Shatner’s performance … or maybe his condition was enhanced by his illness?

The story did call for him to take on a different character and was a stretch and challenge for any actor to achieve.

Stunning that this was the final episode ever.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury –

Do you see that season three of the classic Star Trek is not all bad?

While NBC did have a hand in killing the classic television show “Star Trek” in a classical sense where networks do make terrible and misguided decisions in their programming …

I put it to YOU – the factual narrative in this argument would be – that the popular concept of why Star Trek was cancelled by NBC is in error.

The actual cause to the cancellation of the classic Star Trek television series was in fact in the moronic decision to have the episode “Spock’s Brain” as the lead off to season three.

I put it to you that the third season of the classic Star Trek was mostly made up of some of the best episodes ever! And the third season of the classic Star Trek series is perhaps the best programming the television industry has ever offered the viewing public!

AND – If such an episode as “The Enterprise Incident” was allowed to be the lead off episode in season three – it would have created sufficient interest and momentum into the 3rd season of Star Trek.

With such a well made episode to open the third season so strongly, Star Trek would have held the audience and fans regardless of the shift in the schedule to Fridays nights. And with that momentum – the show would have achieved greater interest to the public and fans.

The obvious results would have at the very least resulted in a forth season of Star Trek !!!

One moronic decision in programming the wrong season lead off episode deprived us of a fourth season of the classic Star Trek !

I rest my case …

*whew* … Wasn’t that fun?!? Time for a drink …. Tranya anyone?

Star Trek Original Series The Enterprise Incident Spock Romulan Commander

Breaking the Sound Barrier on This Day 1947

In the 1960s as a small boy, I would experience the sound of sonic booms from Air Force jets on maneuvers from Tyndall and Eglin Air Force basses in northern Florida. It was a really cool sound to hear and feel.

First Mach flight propels Chuck Yeager US Air Force into historyIn olden days, a bullwhip would crack – the tip of the whip would actually pass the speed of sound making a crack of sound. A small “sonic boom”. When would a human fly fast enough to break that speed?

It did happen on October 14th, 1947 in an experimental air craft. 51 years ago.

It was only a month after the US Air Force was established as its own branch of military service. A moment of great pride to this new USAF, but also to science.

chuck yaeger X-1 1947Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager climbed into an aircraft designated as #46-062 – in the modified bomb bay belly of a B-29 bomber which Chuck had christened the name “Glamorous Glennis”.

It was an X-1 experimental rocket plane. The plane was dropped at high altitude, and Yeager punched the rockets on …

Chuck Yeager piloted the rocket powered craft to 807.2 mph at its peak speed.

For the first time in history a human being traveled faster than sound. He glided the craft back to earth for a safe landing.

The 20th century was an exciting time for many achievements such as this for mankind as well as science. This particular feat paved the way for many advances in aerospace.

FA-18 Hornet breaking the sound barrier 7th July, 1999

The Moment Of Breaking The Sound Barrier

Off the coast of Pusan, South Korea:
An F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One
(VFA-151) breaks the sound barrier in the skies over the Pacific Ocean.
VFA-151 is deployed aboard USS Constellation (CVN 64).

Last Chance To Eat Before Skylab Hits

Another “space lab” launched by China is going to come crashing back to Earth. But this time – the Chinese say they have it “under control” – THIS TIME … Riiiight !

Skylab Program Patch

However – As usual … The USA is way ahead of everybody.

In 1979, I was invited to a party thrown by some FSU students. It was a pot luck supper that was basically a lot of Ramen noodle based casseroles and cheap wine.

It was the “Last Chance To Eat Before Skylab Hits” party.

Skylab was the first space station that paved the way for what we have now. It was mainly used in the early 1970s and was abandoned as it took a lot of damage from micrometeorites and the solar panels were so pelted by those little rocky buggers that it couldn’t generate electricity anymore.

Skylab was in a low orbit and it began to decay. In 1979, there was no stopping it from falling back to Earth.

Where would Skylab fall? Nobody really knew!

Skylab in low orbit 1970s

1978 Radio Shack pocket calculatorBut – Nasa scientists got out their calculators and did their best to jerry-rig Skylab to hit the atmosphere in such a way to hopefully crash into the Indian Ocean somewhere.

Nasa figured out there was a 1 in 172 chance it would hit a human being on this planet.

Insurance companies offered Skylab property damage insurance.

Bookies took up bets.

A company sold cans of “Skylab Repellent”

Meanwhile, on July 11th 1979, we had a party and ate peanut butter and broccolli ramen noodle casserroll.

The party entertainment was listening to albums on the turntable such as the Moody Blues “Threshold Of A Dream” while sipping very cheap Boone’s Farm wine.

To our relief, Skylab fell on a remote area of western Australia.

A small town in Australia where some of the debris from Skylab fell, fined Nasa $400 for littering.

We’re Americans! We do everything FIRST!!!

Go to the moon first? Crash a space station on Earth first?

Whatever you can dream up – Just leave it to us …

How to take a shower in space 1973

Another American First Achievement ~

How to take a shower in space – 1973

Skylab Nasa Mission

Skylab Space Station Cutaway Details

SkyLab Isometric

SkyLab Isometric – internal space station details

Skylab Paved Way for the International Space Station

VW Decides To Squash The Bug – Lots Of Videos

The Volkswagen Beetle (bug) has been a staple in the automotive industry for 70 years ! The classic bug we all know and loved was once turned into a b*stard child for many years only hinting a design that was once what it was.

VW 1968 VolksWagon 1500

Volkswagon just announced they will no longer make the VW Beetle as of 2019.

Doctor Ferdinand PorscheOf course, the classic VW beetle has been gone from USA showrooms since 1979 but continued to be built in Mexico – it was a popular car for taxi services there. Later replaced by a new version calling itself a Beetle that hardly resembled the classic bug.

The only sane idea Adolph Hitler ever had – commissioning a “people’s car” … car for the folks – “VolksWagon” … Cheap to make and buy. Cheap to maintain … awesome gas mileage.

In 1934, Adolph Hitler ordered Ferdinand Porsche (yes – the Porsche guy – properly pronounced POR-SHAH) to make a car that could transport two adults and three children at least 62 mph at 32 mpg.

The engine had to be powerful enough for sustained cruising on Germany’s new Autobahnen road system. Parts for repair must be able to be quickly and inexpensively exchanged. The engine had to be air-cooled.

Porsche’ made it happen with the VW Bug …

You couldn’t kill a VW bug. My dad in the 1970s bought a bug from someone who ran it without engine oil and the engine completely ceased up. He got it for $50 bucks. He reintroduced oil and worked the engine parts free that night and drove it to work the next day !!!

Woody Allen in his classic scifi movie “Sleeper” found a 200 year old VW in a cave that starts right up.

You couldn’t easily break or SINK a VW bug – They were watertight and Volkswagon even had a TV ad back in the day demonstrating how strong the VW bug was –

Here are my fond memories of the VW bug –

Back around 1970, my father decided to leave the world of drag racing and enter into the new and exciting world of off road racing. He sold his “NHRA classified A/gasser” – a 1940 Willis Coup with a big block Chevy engine named “Suddenly”. He began to chop up VW bugs and create swamp and sand monsters …

He joined the Eastern Dune Buggy Association. The weekends we once spent in the 1960s all over the Southeast at drag strips smelling burning rubber was replaced by weekends of sand and swamp.

VW herbie the love bug movie posterYears earlier, we had bought a 1964 VW bug and it was my mother’s daily driver.

In 1968, the family rode that 1964 bug to the movie theater to see the new Walt Disney movie “The Love Bug”. I remember that night so very well.

Dad began buying used VW bugs a chopping them up. Creating sand and swamp racing monsters.

My dad said he could put $1000 into a VW engine, work his magic of engine building, and make it undefeatable. Soon he was building engines and “rail jobs” for racers from all over the Southeast.

Dad soon became a dealer for “Sand Flea Dune Buggies” – a maker of fiberglass bodies out of Clearwater, Florida. Over the 1970s, he built countless custom cars and dune buggies for people. Some simple and mean to race and some elegant like works of art.

That same 1964 bug my mom drove was passed on to me once I hit 16.

We put custom flared fenders and air scoops on it. Painted it a beautiful metallic gold. Put in a Hurst racing shifter. A racing steering wheel and system.

We put on a set of American Mag wheels with super wide tire all around. A BIG footprint …

I inherited a retired racing engine from one of my dad’s racing cars complete with all the tricked out performance parts and a magnesium flywheel.

From a standing start, I could chirp the tires and raise the front wheels off the pavement for around 30 yards to gently drop back to earth going into 2nd gear. I could leave any muscle car behind from light to light.

It was converted to 12 volt from the old 6 volt system. A great improvement.

We took out the back seat and put in a platform like it was a mini-van. I put a bean bag chair in the back. I built my own stereo speaker boxes in the back and wired up a Craig cassette player and a power amplifier – it would make your ears bleed.

That’s what I drove to high school every day and it was the favorite ride of my friends.

VW auto beetle volkswagen vw bug baja bug vehicle oldtimer classic volkswagen vw beetleYou could chop a section out of the middle of a VW bug and weld it back in a shorter version. You could chop it all up and make a “Baja Bug”. You could completely replace the body with steel pipes and make a “rail job”.

Only 4 bolts held the engine in place. An engine swap took only minutes. You could even adapt easily a Porsche’ engine onto it (a “pancake engine”) and make a 6 cylinder monster machine !!!

When Star Wars hit theaters in 1977, my friend’s nicknamed me and my tough, metallic gold VW bug “Gold Leader” … Some day in the future, I will drag out some photos from back then in a future post here.

VW Rebelbaja ATTRIB Beeblebrox at English Wikipedia

There is no RIP for the VW BUG !

Here is the VW Bug craze today in Mexico: (video)

Volkswagen Bugorama – It’s a culture – The VW Life – (video)

Volkswagon History Documentary – 42 minutes – very interesting if you have a deeper interest –

Street Racing – VW Dung Beetle VS Willis coup modified – (idiot video) –

NASTY VWs – Drag Racing –

(video)

In my life, I had a lot of experience with the mighty VW Bug … I promise to make future posts with many more details. The biggest question is – what happened to my beloved VW Bug ?

Go For It Alex Trebek – A Good Looking Beard !!!

Jeopardy Alex Trebek BeardAlex Trebek, long running host of the TV game show Jeopardy – tried in the past to bring back his moustache.

Viewers of Jeopardy freaked out …

Any time Alex has tried to add any facial hair, viewers freaked out !!!

Why is that?

Now – he shows up for the new season of Jeopardy with a full beard. A nice, tight trim. He looks very distinguished in my opinion.

Maybe it’s a ploy for a sensation to draw more viewers? Maybe he just wants to ride in style? It could be the itchy process of shaving he is rebelling from …

Maybe now, a full beard will be accepted by viewers? Time will tell.

I say to you Alex – go for it! Keep it!

Alex Trebek beard

Break the Limitations – Not Laws

Limitations are what we need to break in order to advance.

The universe has many irrefutable rules of law. There are observed principles in the science of physics that are as solid as a wall of brick.

break chains breal limitations not lawsThere is a law of gravity. You may think you can fly like Superman – but in practice, you will fall to the ground like a rock.

Even in our world of entertainment – logic prevails. The character of Spock in the classic Star Trek said – “If I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity, I need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen.”

Rules and laws in the world of society – in most cases – are there to protect us and provide a common sense order to the world we live in.

Limitations are what we need to break.

Placing limitations on a people in order to HAVE CIVIC ORDER has never worked well in history.

True laws are not limitations. They are a reflection of common sense.

YET – when a law is made in a spirit of limitation and control of a people, history has proved that to be a catalyst of chaos.

Mankind advances greatly when it breaks through limitations.

break-chains-break-limitations-not-laws

How Much does Something Cost Today as Compared to Yesterday?

Shrinking Dollar - labor worth moreWhat’s a buck worth these days?

How much can you charge for a job now?

The answer comes with a tool of technology !!!

I remember being in Engineering School in the middle 1980s and buying a good loaf of bread for 39 cents

A good loaf of bread now is almost 10 times that price. But a “store brand” now days can be just a dollar. How do they come up with that?

In 1978 I got a job right out of high school for $3.10 an hour because the boss hiring me believed I was “management material”… I was overjoyed at the time – because minimum wage was $2.65 … WOW !!!

Shortly after, I quit that job because I was making $90 for a 1/2 hour show doing a “mime and magic” gig at schools and dinner clubs. I did several shows a week – the phone was ringing constantly.

I’m not bragging. Because if I was REALLY smart at the time I could have kept it going if I knew how to properly promote myself and get a booking agent. YET – I was young and stupid. Great act but hardly any business smarts … the phone started ringing less and less … I had not understood yet about what “saturating the market” meant.

life happenedSo then – life happened …

Here I am now – more smarts about life and business.

But – how do we know what to charge to do a job?

What’s a buck worth these days? What is that $90 I got back then worth today? People were very happy to pay me $90 dollars for the fun I gave them back then … what about NOW ?!?

Here is a fun tool on the World Wide Web that will help:

Click HERE and find out what a buck is today as compared to your yesterday.

A handy-dandy Inflation Calculator

My $90 in 1978 is $300 today. But I don’t look good in black tights and mime makeup any more!

Life - Ronald Regan

Time Zone Envy

Captain Kangaroo 1960s

When I was growing up
in the 1960s…

… in northern Florida, we had one television channel. It was a CBS affiliate and carried Captain Kangeroo at 8 am.

The Captain, Mr Moose and Bunny Rabbit were my reason for being alive in the mornings. I awaited every day for those ping pong balls to drop!

Lost In Space robotI was also able to see “Lost In Space”… always a big subject of discussion on the playground at school the next day.

We soon were treated to another station popping up on the “air” WFSU … a PBS station that was very “snowy” on the screen and very boring at the time. A lot of Shakespeare and British accents.

Soon, two other television stations popped up. Both in Panama City, Florida. At first it was an NBC affiliate and much later, an ABC affiliate came on the air.

When the NBC station came on air, my dad put up a really crazy antenna to be able to point towards this distant station so we could receive it on our TV. It was just in time to see this amazing show called “Star Trek” in 1966 which we made sure to see every week.

The NBC station had this little announcement at the beginning of every show – with an animated peacock. They declared it was in “living color”. But they were lying! It was always in black and white on our 19 inch portable television …

They would announce the time. But the time they announced was an hour earlier that the clocks in my house declared!

NBC September 1968First, the NBC television channel lied to me about color – now they lie about what time it is ?!?

It was at that young, tender age – I discovered there was a thing called “time zones”. It was quite a shock to me at only nine years old.

There were people living on the same planet – some not too far away – that were in my future! It bent my young mind! How could this be?

There was also a show on the distant NBC channel that I could see on Friday nights. I was able to stay up late because it was not a “school night”. It was a show called “The Tonight Show” with a guy I took a great liking to named Johnny Carson.

It was then I found out that those aliens living in “central time” could see the show at 10:30 pm … But it was 11:30 pm when I could see it.

Those kids in Panama City could see Johnny Carson before having to go to bed !!!

Johnny Carson 1960sThis was not fair!

It was set for lights out at 11 pm for me. So – if I lived in that distant place in the other time zone I could see the first half of Johnny Carson every night?

Not fair!!!

When I got older, I began to travel from Florida to do business in Los Angeles, California.

I would meet people in LA for breakfast. They would still be half asleep at 8 am … but to me – it was 11 am !!! Almost time for lunch ! I could run rings around them with my alertness and win in my business with them every time.

But then – I began to travel to Asia by plane. It would be a day earlier when I got there. My night was their day. It would take an entire week just to catch up.

And when I returned by plane from Asia, I would see the sun set and rise again a couple of times. A whole date on the calendar would disappear! And once back home, it took another week to catch up!

I have been living in Nashville for 20 years now … Central time zone. I feel this is the best time zone to be living in. I get to live an entire hour before those tired people in New York City !!!

Cord Cutters Numbers Climb According To New Study – And My Personal Journey to a Better Television Experience

cord cutters

Cord Cutters are those who have cut cable TV service in their homes as well as satellite TV.

cord cutters tv remote tvIt is a modern phenomenon not unlike the move 100 years ago from horse driven wagons to internal combustion engine trucks.

A more recent example are all those households who have cancelled telephone landlines because they have cell phone service.

In my opinion, modern choice is all about eliminating redundancy in favor of superior technology.

According to a new study, the numbers of those who have chosen to cut the cord have climbed significantly.

cord cutters clipWhy not cut the cable cord?

Let me speak of my experience … We cut the cord 7 years ago.

To be fair to you and to establish this post is not a veiled ploy at advertisement in this era of click bait … All the examples following are not to endorse or advertise any service. This is merely my modern experience –

20 years ago when we decided to move full time to Nashville, we bought one of those satellite TV kits to install. Satellite TV was growing rapidly at the time and based on Mpeg technology that was vastly superior to analog cable TV service. BUT – the large box containing the kit went into storage for three years. We were so busy, we had no time to sit and watch TV.

Then one day, I decided to go ahead and install the dish and pay for service. When it was switched on, I spent 4 days glued to our television in amazement – a culture shock.

Some time later, after several years of paying close to $100 bucks a month for this wonderful satellite TV service, I realized the programming had become so poor that we were only actually watching a short time to catch up on the news of the day and watching the show “Top Gear” on BBC America once a week. At that moment, we decided it was a real waste of money and cancelled the service.

We became “cord cutters” before being a cord cutter was cool …

cord cutters appsI bought an antenna and began to explore the new digital television channels.

My favorites were MeTV and COMET TV. I discovered a lot of great retro shows that were so very wonderful such as rediscovering Perry Mason, the old half hour Gunsmoke shows and the fun weekend SCIFI programming on COMET TV –

In the meanwhile, I had built up a library of several thousand DVDs. Many DVDs sent to me as per my profession as a media producer.

So, we had a lot of movies, documentaries, TV series and the like at hand. Plus – even as Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores closed down near us, we still have a maverick video rental spot still in operation to this day just around the corner …

AND THEN I discovered the APP device of modern streaming TV …

Last year, I was in a big box store and spied a device for merely $40 … it was called ROKU

cord cutters rokuROKU?

Again I ask … ROKU ?

Is this some kind of anime show brand out of Japan? What the heck is that thing? It’s just a little bitty box the size of a tube of lip gloss … what the heck? But – then I looked it up in the store on my smart phone … I guess I have been living in a cave …

I bought it and took it home. I connected it up and enabled it to my WIFI … and then …

I was so freaking amazed at this new world of ROKU !!!

I can’t even begin to verbalize my amazement at the time I first switched it on. It is like a reinvention of the wheel in terms of the world of television. It is all APP based like each APP is a television network.

So many “channels” to see !!! I watch Youtube on my big flat screen TV. Everything on demand. PBS … network news … movie channels … and on and on and on …

Of course I can pay to subscribe to Netflix and the like also – but now in a more convenient way … but there is so many sources for FREE – many ad supported … but not as bad as traditional network TV …

ROKU is now our source for watching TV. It never ceases to amaze me. It is a technical platform that has brilliantly harnessed the modern trends in video media and the public need for television watching in these times.

cord cutters modern choiceInteresting that ROKU is not so publicized in the mass media and yet it has quite the established market. ROKU is replacing the cords and satellite dishes.

Modern choice is all about eliminating redundancy in favor of superior technology.

Benjamin Franklin Wished He Was Born In Our Time

Benjamin Franklin 250th Anniversary Stamp 1956Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter on May 31, 1788 to the Reverend John Lothrop of Boston.

Franklin was very old at the time and was obviously longing to make more discoveries in science.

I have sometimes wished it had been my destiny to be born two or three centuries hence.

For invention and improvement are prolific, and beget more of their kind.

The present progress is rapid.

Many of great importance, now unthought of, will before that period be procur’d;

and then I might not only enjoy their advantages, but have my curiosity satisfy’d in knowing what they are to be.”

Who doesn’t want to see the future
beyond our years?

1787 Benjamin Franklin at home

Benjamin Franklin at home with his family in 1787

Death of the Hotdog – Hot Dogs Now Forbidden at Costco Food Courts and Replaced by VEGAN Selections

hot dogs Costco

What is more American than the beloved hot dog?

Baseball games are better with the hot dog vendor … The 4th of July is better with a good hot dog. Any event, pool party, special event or a backyard grill is incomplete without the special treat of a hotdog grilled to perfection and enjoyed by any American kid and any adult who craves great flavor.

kids enjoy hotdogsEven any backyard grill party is not complete without also grilling a few hotdogs to please the younger kids while the adults may enjoy a grilled steak or hamburger. The kids always seem to prefer the hotdog …

But this week – COSTCO removed the best selling item – the mighty hotdog from its grill menu to a great anger from its customers.

A simple question: What caused this decision by Costco?

Costco removed the hotdog from their cafe menu and added VEGAN items such as “organic” burgers and “acai fruit bowls”.

The public is angry to say the least. The Polish hotdog served by Costco’s food court is the most popular food item on the menu. Why would Costco remove the most popular food item from their menu?

Business Insider Magazine

– has this report on the decision by Costco to kill the hotdog: CLICK HERE to read

hotdog awesome

kids eating hotdogsEveryone has their favorite hotdog –

Mine?

All beef dog (Hebrew National preferred) with a slice of Swiss cheese wrapped around the grilled hot dog with a little chopped onion sprinkled on top …

… placed on a steamed traditional bun sporting one pass of a small bead of good mayonnaise run across the top.

Served with something crunchy on the side – corn chips – corn tortilla chips with mild salsa on the side –

Other times some “Golden Flake” brand Sweet Heat BBQ chips … WOW !!!

hotdog types

Coffee – The Breakfast of Champions Now Proven to Extend a healthy Life – and My Secret Cold Brew Now Told !!!

Want to save some money and enjoy great coffee concoctions at the same time??? Read on my thirsty and sleepy friend of the Brotherhood of Night Owls –

coffee beans coffee black

Coffee? Healthy? Makes a long life? A new 16 year study in the UK says so …

You mean that beverage back in the 70s and 80s that was reported to cause heart attacks?

coffee mushroom pizza sliceThis is almost like all those studies back in the 70s that was taught to us in school that the world was entering a new ice age. But now the planet is about to burn up.

I also remember a study back in the 1990s that people who eat pizza 5 times a week have lower cancer rates. So then pizza prevents cancer?

a nice cup of coffeeIn the past – I knew restaurant managers under a lot of stress every day who drank several pots of coffee a day. They are all very old men now.

Let’s face the facts … it’s all about the caffeine.

In our modern world – we have to get up early and lift off like a rocket into space. Coffee is what does the trick.

In middle school – in music class – we were taught an anti-coffee song (for what reason?) … sort of like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” –

coffee kids music classI remember it was the 8th grade. And because we spent every day singing it for a year –

I remember the lyrics even to this day …

Seriously – I can remember every word and even the melody –

C-O-F-F-E-E Coffee is not for me.

It’s a drink that people wake up with –

And it makes them nervous is no myth –

Slave to a coffee cup – they can’t give coffee up!

My mother drank several cups of coffee in in the morning all her life …

… and a couple just before bedtime because it made he sleepy for bed !!!

My healthy mother turns 80 next year! Guzzling coffee every day and a good Baptist woman too …

I never drank any coffee until I was in my 30s … and that was only at music seminars that had free coffee.

I now make my own frozen cappuccino … I will give the recipe at the bottom of this post –

coffee caffeine chemical structureSo – what is this all about? Is it the C8H10N4O2 central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class (caffeine)?

Is it some other substance in the coffee bean that is beneficial?

Once upon a time – coffee was bad – then it was good – then it was very bad – now it is good again … ?!?!?

Maybe … it’s just an endless cycle of science specialists who do studies … who write proposals for grant money to keep themselves in a flow of self-created money to pay themselves ?!?

Meanwhile – I make my own brew at home from time to time … not every day … just for those times of need.

coffee moka pot

The best heated brew is from the Italian aluminum contraptions called a “Moka Pot” … they are so wonderful !!! but I found a better way …

Tony Rollo Cold Brew Coffee Base –

( I have been “cold brewing” for 10 or more years – way before it was cool )

1) Get a big ‘ole jar …

2) add one part ground coffee

3) add 4 parts good, clean water

4) put the lid on the jar and place on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator

5) every time you visit your refrigerator – take the jar and shake it well – then put it back

6) do step 5 for at least 24 hours – 48 is better – in fact … the longer the better … 4 days is great !!!

The remaining grounds will eventually settle at the bottom. You can carefully pour out the clear coffee off the top of the jar as needed. In fact – adding some of the leftover grounds are quite good for an extra kick when making a blended brew !!!

coffee cup chemical structureIf you want to – get a funnel and place a coffee filer in it and drain the mixture into another jar. Keep that in the ‘fridge and use as needed.

You can also heat up the cold brew if you want hot coffee –

But the taste will be so wonderful and clean – especially for those who like it BLACK … you should also try it black if you don’t like it black … maybe add a little shot of milk.

You will be so surprised!!!

Tony Rollo Frozen Mocha Cappuccino recipe

Get out your blender –

This recipe can be widely (or wildly) creative …

1) Put in 4 standard ice cubes

2) Pour in a shot of milk (better a shot of heavy whipping cream)

3) Add 6 almonds (or peanuts) they get ground up into minute shards in the process and pop any bubbles making the final result much thicker … this is an absolute necessity for a good result !!!

4) add 1 overripe banana … makes it thicker and adds taste

BEST to cut up very ripe bananas – place in a zip bag and let freeze ahead of time …

5) OPTIONAL – add a handful of frozen strawberries

6) Add a scoop of whey protein isolate powder

7) add 1 tablespoon of coco powder

8) add 1 tablespoon of sugar (why not?)

9) add a little cold brew coffee – add more once you start to blend to get it going

Start the blender … add more cold brew coffee if needed if the blending gets bogged down … not too much or it will be too liquid …

Pour into a large glass and enjoy !!!

There are many augmentations you can do – but this should be considered a base line. Use your imagination. Adjust this simple procedure to your own taste. Experiment and have fun !!!

coffee beans and ground coffee

Enjoy getting WOKE !!!

My pleasure to pass this on …

– t

PS: CLICK HERE for the press link to this new study …

Cowboy Joe Babcock is Alive and Well – A Legacy of the Past Nashville Music Industry

cowboy joe babcockI am happy to report …

… that Cowboy Joe is alive and well.

One of the greatest memories I will ever have is working with Cowboy Joe Babcock. I recorded some shows at the Grand Ole Opry for him. Later – as my career took me away from music into film making … I can never forget his professionalism in producing shows that lives with me even today.

It was Cowboy Joe Babcock who personally introduced me to veteran producers such as Sheb Wooley, Sam Lovullo, Charlie McCoy and many others. I learned so much in the art of producing shows and entertainment products from them.

cowboy joe babcock Nashville Edition

Cowboy Joe wrote hit songs for so many stars including Elvis Presley. He also sang with Marty Robbins before creating his singing group “The Nashville Edition” which was a mainstay of session work in Nashville for decades in the studio on countless hit songs.

Cowboy Joe’s family hosted a baby shower for my wife in their home for our first and only baby born. Cowboy Joe later played wiffle ball with my daughter in our back yard when she was three years old. Cowboy Joe is such a man of strength in faith as well as family love.

Cowboy Joe Babcock is a man of great humor and talent. I believe his greatest achievement is creating “The Nashville Addition” who sang backup on every hit song produced in Nashville during the 1960s through the 1980s. Also appearing and singing on the hit television show “Hee Haw”

cowboy joe babcock hee hawCowboy Joe Babcock is a real hero of mine.

Also – there was a great controversy in music history that happened that I have been privileged to know – but I will never reveal out of deep respect for him. He confided this with me.

It was a happening of the hidden history of the great music legacy concerning Jim Croce and the brilliant music producer Sheb Wooley. Something that happened at a session in Nashville at the famed RCA “Studio B”. That’s all I will say on that subject. All that should be known is that Joe stuck to his guns to be honorable. It is a legacy of honesty for those most close to him to know.

Cowboy Joe also refused a million dollar offer to write and sing an ad for a famous beer company because he did not believe in drinking. He did write and sing for countless ad campaigns and TV advertisements over the years.

cowboy joe babcock posterI attended Sheb Wooley’s funeral as well as the June Carter Cash (wife of Johnny Cash) funeral memorial with Cowboy Joe. Something of a great moment of reverence. There is a great reverence all should have to those who built the music industry in Nashville.

Cowboy Joe made sure to introduce me to many important movers and shakers in the Nashville music industry. Important music producers who you would not recognize their names – as well as entertainers who you would recognize … Porter Wagoner – Jack Greene – Connie Smith – The Hager Brothers – Sonny James – The Fox Brothers – Charlie Pride – and on and on and on …

Cowboy Joe referred to me when he would introduce me as “my mad scientist” – which I appreciated. Although I had other aspirations being based in Nashville away from the music industry (mainly in media and film) his leading me to get involved with the Nashville music scene was so very critical to my future work. But – my involvement in the music industry at the time was was sheer magical.

cowboy joe babcock album trail jazzIf only I had been born fifteen years or so sooner. Maybe my purpose would have been more towards the music industry in Nashville. It is a legacy so great for those like Cowboy Joe who lived and worked in the music industry here. A great time of history in music that could never be recaptured today.

I’m sure – right now – Cowboy Joe is riding his favorite horse on his 400 acre ranch just south of Nashville.

Cowboy Joe Babcock is one of the people you would never recognize. But – someone who was so instrumental in the fabric of the music industry in Nashville. You heard him sing on your favorite hit songs … you saw him every week on television.

Cowboy Joe is happy to be such a part of music history – but also happy to be in the shadows.

Nevertheless – Cowboy Joe has enjoyed a long life of success.

Cowboy Joe featured on the classic television show HEE HAW with the COWBOY QUARTET:

A humorous video of Cowboy Joe in his daily life today on his ranch –

USS Bergall Reunion Address – Fun For All in Nashville – Tony Rollo as Keynote Speaker – Submarine Veteran Reunion – USS Bergall Reunion in Nashville – American Submarine History

USS Bergall reunion 2017 banquet room

I was honored to be to be invited to be the keynote speaker to address the veterans of the USS Bergall American Nuclear Submarine reunion group in Nashville at their September 2017 reunion.

Tony Rollo keynote speaker USS Bergall reunion speechListen to my speech to these amazing American Veterans of the USS Bergall:

The 2017 USS Bergall submarine veteran reunion in Nashville was a fun time to reunite and enjoy Nashville for music, great sights and the great southern foods that Nashville has to offer.

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The Following information of the history of the USS Bergall is Courtesy Wikipedia –

The contract to build Bergall was awarded to General Dynamics Electric Boat on 9 March 1965 and her keel was laid down on 16 April 1966.

The American fast attack submarine USS Bergall was launched on 17 February 1968, sponsored by Mrs. Ray C. Needham, and commissioned on 13 June 1969 with Commander Billy F. Tally in command.

USS Bergall SSN 667 Nuclear Submarine

Ship’s Motto: “Invisible, Invulnerable, Invincible”

BERGALL is the second submarine to bear the name. The first was built by Electric Boat in 1944. During World War II, SS 320 made five war patrols and sank or damaged over 100,000 tons of enemy shipping. This is the reason for there being five stars on the SSN 667 Ship’s Crest.

USS Bergall Jim Sandman USS Bergall nuclear submarineThe USS Bergall (SSN 667) was a STURGEON Class, especially designed as an anti-submarine weapon.

The USS Bergall’s keel was laid on 4 April 1966 and she was launched 17 February 1968.

After completion of her sea trials she was commissioned on 13 June 1969.

She became the 84th nuclear submarine to enter the Fleet and the 43rd attack type.

Her assignment upon commissioning was to Submarine Development Group Two in Groton, Connecticut. This assignment was to fully test the Navy’s newest all-purpose sonar, the AN/BQS-13.

In 1970 Bergall became the first submarine to undergo the MK-48 torpedo conversion and in 1971 she was the first ship to carry the MK-48 torpedo in its operational warshot configuration.

The AN/BQQ-5 digital sonar system was temporarily installed for test and evaluation in 1972.

Bergall was awarded her first Navy Unit Commendation that year for her performance in the testing of the sonar systems and outstanding MK-48 torpedo proficiency.

The USS BERGALL has earned the Navy Unit Commendation (twice), Meritorious Unit Commendation (Four times), and numerous Battle Efficiency (“E”), Anti-submarine Warfare (“A”), Weapons Proficiency (“E”), Damage Control (“DC”) and Communications (“C”).

USS Bergall Timeline and points in history:

BERGALL was twice awarded the Commander, Sixth Fleet “Hook ‘Em” award during deployment to the Mediterranean in 1977 and 1982.

The USS BERGALL Appeared in two movies – “The Submarine” and “Topside Safety”.

USS BERGALL was the first east coast submarine to carry a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV).

USS BERGALL completed 14 deployments and various exercises and operations vital to the national security of the United States.

1983 – Deployed on North Atlantic Patrol for 3 months.

1983 – Upon return to Norfolk, VA, SUBRON 6, she immediately resupplied then got underway for a second North Atlantic Patrol taking the billet left vacant by another sub, unable to leave the pier due to engineering difficulties.

Summer 1984 Compliment of ships divers is made ready with qualification of crew members Matthew Cronley MM1SSDV, Curt Escher RM2SSDV and David Finch ET2SSDV.

October 1984 CDR Steven V. Mladineo turns over command to CDR Stephen Gibbs.

USS Bergall reunion Nashville BBQ foodJanuary 1985 – Deployed for the North Atlantic then after refit at Holy Loch, Scotland sailed for the Mediterranean where she performed several patrols in support of 6th fleet operations.

April 1985 – Refit Sardinia, Italy then returned to operations in support of the 6th fleet.

June 1985 – USS Bergall returned home to SUBRON 6 Norfolk, VA after 6 months away.

She was inactivated on August 4, 1995 and decommissioned 06/06/1996. She served with pride. 2016 is the 20th anniversary of decommissioning.

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The food in Nashville – Nashville Hot Chicken – Southern Fried Pickles – and especially the Nashville BBQ is quite amazing … Enjoyed to the fullest by the US Submariners reunion group of the USS Bergall.

Nashville USS Bergall reunion 2017

The Nashville Night Life is especially unique …

USS Bergall reunion Nashville music scene

The music scene in Nashville is unique to all America

USS Bergall reunion 2017 hotel Nashville Music Valley

The Hotel in Music Valley was the perfect location for the USS Bergall reunion

USS Bergall reunion Nashville riverboat entertainment

USS Bergall 2017 reunion Nashville fun

Yall come back – ya hear? Submariners are always welcome in Nashville !!!

Tony Rollo USS Bergall challenge coinAfter my speech, I was so very surprised to be given a USS Bergall challenge coin. This was an honor that I could never put into words.

I met so many great people that evening. So many characters and honorable people that are threads in the fabric that makes the United States so very unique in the world we live on.

The USS Bergall was a great boat because it had such strong and wonderful men who served her to make it among the best in our Navy. Her legacy will always live on in our great American history.

An Open Appeal To Charles Krauthammer – In These Last Few Weeks – Speak Your Mind Into An Audio Recorder

Charles Krauthammer 1

Charles Krauthammer 4Mr Charles Krauthammer –

Your message to us all about your condition is painful to us. We all appreciate it.

Please do this for us –

Take an audio recorder – a smart phone – dictaphone – whatever is your preference …. speak into it. Record your thoughts. Give us your final thoughts and instructions.

Record in audio your thoughts … You have the luxury now to tell us all your true intelligent thoughts. Let it flow.

You could fill hours of recording tape in this time with your most highest and deepest wisdom which in the past you had to guard and curate in the past. Now – you can let it out.

Do that honest flow of thought for us all. Just bleed your intellect as a musician improvises on a theme and creates in the moment of a jam session. Amaze us.

If you indeed have only a few weeks left to this life, please – let your thoughts flow. Record them into an audio recording device. Let your most trusted editor arrange your words into a book for us to read.

Let us know your deepest thoughts – unfettered. You now have no obligation to be polite or hold back. Please be bold and say everything that you can say and feel the need to be finally said in these days you have been forseen by your doctors.

Please see that you have been given a new freedom to be more honest than you have ever been. Please give us all your unfettered wisdom now. You have been given a gift of living where you have a limit of time. Please use this to let your thoughts flow so we may benefit and embrace your legacy of wisdom.

Give us a true gift of your wisdom. Give us the deepest thoughts you can muster.

Thanks so much.

Washington Post

Washington Post

Alan Bean the Astronaut – We Came In Peace For All Mankind – 3 Times The Charm – Fourth Man To Walk On The Moon – His Final Flight Into The Infinity Of The Universe

Alan Bean on the moon art painting

American Astronaut Alan Bean led a very interesting life. He was up front in some of the most exciting and important events in the 20th century. He had an extensive career in the US Navy and for NASA

Alan Bean astronaut artist painterAnd then later – he let out his true talent as a fine painter of art …

Alan Bean has taken the ultimate adventure and recently blasted off from this earthly launch pad on his final journey at age 86. A long life indeed. Traveling to the infinity we can all only expect to explore when our bodies finally decide to give up the ghost.

He was the fourth man to walk upon our moon.

After an amazing life experience, he “retired” to a life of art. Painting was his true talent. He used his experiences to make his art.

Alan Bean astronaut moon tools artist painterHe used the tools and elements of his time as an astronaut in his art. Literally using the tools of walking on the moon in his art. His actual moon boots to texture his paintings.

Moon dust shaken from these artifacts of his moon experience found way into the paints on his canvases.

Alan Bean astronaut Lunarcy 2012 film posterHow cool is THAT?!?

When I view his amazing paintings, I cannot help but think that a talented artist was sidetracked into a time where he ended up walking on the moon. Only then to come back to his true calling and obvious passion.

The most wonderful experience you can have about his life is to watch the wonderful documentary “LUNARCY!”. It is a wonderful movie about the passion and connection some people have with our moon. If you are a documentary filmmaker such as I – this feature documentary should be required viewing.

Alan Dean’s part in the feature documentary “LUNARCY!” is so beautiful and heartfelt. Such honesty that documentaries hope to capture like I did hope to capture in my feature documentary docudrama about the American Submariners and United States Submarine Force.

Godspeed US Navy Captain Bean. If you could only radio back about your ultimate journey of discovery in this universe and beyond time. Reach out and discover …

alan bean on the moon art painting

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Alan Bean nasa portraitPlease discover more at Alan Bean’s personal websitewww.AlanBean.com

ALSO – great information on his life on WIKIPEDIA

Bledsoe Colonial Fair – More Images – Divine Service – Serious Competition To Make Fire after the Shooting Match – Living History and the BEST Colonial Reenactors

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The annual Bledsoe Colonial Fair reveals much detail with those participants who present Living History. This is a premium event that is a lot of fun for the whole family. You will become drawn into a world of yesterday – while learning and discovering valuable information that will apply to your life today in the modern world.

To discover the first posting about this amazing event CLICK HERE – here are some more images and happenings from the Bledsoe Colonial Fair that should prove to be quite interesting and enlightening:

After the shooting match – which is so amazing to witness – the men who are pioneering the American wilderness gather under the main tent for a very serious competition –

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It is the time for fire starting competition. A very serious time for speed and precision.

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Survival in the wilderness depends on maintaining a camp fire. Starting a fire quickly is of high importance. This particular competition is all about speed and knowledge of technique.

Meanwhile – some distance away in the camp –

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A young colonial girl who is a sister in a camping family seems troubled. In the crisp air of the morning, she has already prepared herself for the day. Yet – she is watching her younger brothers create mischief. She wishes to have the authority as her mother possesses to bring discipline to those rowdy boys.

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Across the way, an elder consults with a younger man about word of activity of a possible attack from savages on Bledsoe Station.

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The younger man listens and considers the possible dangers and attack of Bledsoe Station. He considers the strategies needed.

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Suddenly – the crisp morning air of this Sunday is split by the chimes from the bell of Parson John. He is calling out that the Divine Service will begin in twenty minutes. Many have already taken their seats under the main tent.

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Parson John begins his message in this divine service. His book is an actual 1720s edition!

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Even the rough wilderness men attend while staying in the background. After their early morning shooting match and fire starting competition, they seem eager to hear what Parson John has to say.

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Even though Parson John had distributed a pamphlet for the divine service, some of the wilderness men who never learned to read can still hear and understand the deep meaning of the message.

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Words of truth can still inspire the most roughest man of the wilderness.

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A colonial woman who was an indentured servant all her life – hears the words spoken by Parson John. Truth about freedom of mind and spirit enter her ears for the first time in her life.

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Bledsoe-Colonial-Fair-2018-divine-service-parson-john-living-history-10Parson John continues to bring the powerful and inspirational message

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Frannie – seamstress of Fort Downing Clothing – listens to the powerful words from Parson John. She stands behind her husband who is a skilled hat maker. He is most respected in the world of the living history culture. His hats are not only period specific, but of high quality – traditionally made by his own hands.

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The Bledsoe Colonial Fair is an event for the individual interested in colonial history. It is also a fun event for the whole family to experience.

Bledsoe Colonial Fair – Living History – One of the Most Important Places To Be Every Year – American History Comes Alive

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Sumner County TennesseeThe Bledsoe Colonial Fair is a must attend event with those in the culture of the Living History world. This particular event has become a trade show event for everyone in this world.

Held on the grounds of a historic site – many historic buildings abound … populated in that time of the fair by presenters who are enthusiastic to explain all the historical significance to you.

If you are anybody and everybody in the world of living history – with wares to present – you MUST be present at this particular event. Of course – the general public that attends will be treated to such a special time … REAL family fun and a great time for all.

Blacksmiths – shoe makers – shooting matches – knife makers – antiques – food – a Divine Service on Sunday – pottery – clothing – table wares – hats – beautiful dresses – hand made fabrics and lace – pewter – craftsmen of all disciplines … they are all there – from the 1750 to 1799 period.

Bring your wife!she will LOVE IT !!! Bring your children! Your kids will have loads of fun !!! Bring yourself! You will have an experience that will forge memories that will last a lifetime …

Pictures say a thousand words … So – here are a lot of pictures with limited commentary –

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Historic reenactors camp and deeply enjoy this event

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Music abounds all over the area

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Minstrels continually perform in their camps and in a main tent location – even mesmerizing the children who also reenact with their families at the Bledsoe Colonial Fair

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Tall tales and stories can be heard – in every direction …

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The moment of a punch line in a hunting story

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Dennis Boggs – famous of his presentation of “Meet Mr Lincloln” nation wide makes an appearance as the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln – “Captain Lincoln” – and has a discussion with a colonial reenactor.

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A colonial reenactor and gunsmith craftsman explains his building of a classic Blunderbuss firearm. The barrel alone took 900 hours of labor to make!!! Parts of it are from an original “brown betty”

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Families are a large part of the Bledsoe Colonial Fair

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A great fellowship of men is also a large part of the Bledsoe Colonial Fair – classic firearms and knives in a historic view. Like minded people coming together to have fun and celebrate American history

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A handcrafted and fully functional historically accurate pistol for sale – for a bargain !!!

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Speaking of historic craftsmen – a historic knife maker

Appearing every year at the Bleadsoe colonial fair event

Hand forged blades made in traditional labor

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A trader shows up to the camp

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The trader makes his best pitch to buy the craftsman’s works at a bargain –

A lot of haggling ensues – great fun to witness !!! It’s the real thing to see …

A bargain is the usual result – step up and get your bargain for real artistic treasures !!!

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The real deal – honest craftsmen with their traditionally made works – artists – ready to make a deal with you with the products of their labor. It could be iron – pottery – clothing – whatever… Step up an make your bid. It’s all real here while you go back in time. Get a one of a kind object here at Blesoe!

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The celebrated seamstress and historic clothing artist – Frannie – of Fort Downing Clothing – posing with a young fan with her laboriously recreated and historically accurate Scottish wedding gown…

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Fort Downing Clothing is among the best sought among reenactors. All hand made and historically accurate

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The Ft Downing tent is always a main attraction at colonial reenactment events

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This is where you can try on history and experience timeless beauty

Here is a typical interesting moment you will encounter at the Bledsoe Colonial Fair –
fun – yet frustrating moments that all families encounter …

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A typical morning for a colonial mother with active little boys – she is concerned with her rowdy sons as her daughters have already made themselves ready for the day …

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The young village blacksmith and his younger brother just happen to pass by. They see the young mother in a moment of distress and inquire if they can help.

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The young mother explains there is not problem.
It is just a case of how little boys are so easily distracted.
But it can become a nuisance when getting a group of children ready
to address the necessary work for the day.

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Look at that fat man! He is really fat!!!

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Little boys will be boys – as the mature people try to tolerate it …

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Meanwhile – as the men prepare for the shooting match – more tall tales are told

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Great historic effort is always on display

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Explore this amazing event and historic location on the World Wide Web –

Website: www.bledsoesfair.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bledsoesfair/

Bledsoe’s Lick Historic Society: www.bledsoeslick.com

Bledsoe Creek State Park – Tennessee: www.tnstateparks.com/parks/about/bledsoe-creek

Stanislavsky And His Acting Methodology – A Personal Modern Approach – The Importance Of The “Character Actor”

Marlon Brando Method Acting

Stanislavsky Tony Rollo Method ActingKonstantin Stanislavsky was a Russian theater professional who defined the method of acting first in the late 19th century. He was also a master of being a “character actor”

Let’s define the “character actor” right off.

There are many “leading actors” who come and go quickly in the theater and film. Those are who we know as the stars. Stars come and go as trends dictate, as what is popular at the time. The flavor of the month. Pop radio one hit wonders. It is the same on the screen or in the theater.

However – the “character actor” is one who is a craftsman. They can achieve a real life-long career in acting. They are the utility actor. They can achieve popularity but maybe not the “star power” needed to get a production made. They do sometimes achieve the lead role – but more often play a supporting role and are frequently the entire backbone that makes a production work well.

A good example would be Burgess Meredith. The Penguin in the original Batman TV series. Boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill in the original Rocky film series who trained, was counsel to and cheered on the Rocky character by the lead actor Sylvester Stallone. He had countless television and movie roles. A long life of longevity in the industry. My personal favorite actor of all times!

Burgess Meredith The Twilight Zone - Tony Rollo dot comBurgess Meredith – the epitome of the character actor – did get his time in a lead role. The best example is the classic Twilight Zone episode where he just wanted to read in “Time Enough At Last”..

Another great example would be from the movie “Silence Of The Lambs”. Jodie Foster was the lead actor – or was she? Anthony Hopkins played the devastatingly amazing character actor role of the fiendish Hannibal Lector. Who was the lead in that movie – really? Who drove the story? The young FBI agent determined to prove herself – or the devilish manipulator bent on gaining his freedom?

First off – is it Stanislavski or Stanislavsky?

It depends on the translator of Russian into English. I personally prefer and believe it should be “Stanislavski” but – let’s go with what is popular in the westStanislavsky. No need to split hairs.

Stanislavsky’s early works on method acting which modern actors around the world all study in almost religious terms, Stanislavski himself later in his life rejected and adapted his own method of acting

Stanislavsky saw the youthful flaws in his original concepts and streamlined his methodology in the 1930s in the new 20th century.

Yet – many still study his original concepts from the 19th century – which are flawed by the later teachings of Stanislavski himself – but maybe give teachers of theater a better income teaching those imaginary exercises … flawed concepts … imagining objects almost in a mime sense.

Nevertheless – it is only recently with my Benjamin Franklin living history production that I have seriously sought Stanislavski’s ideas.

To my surprise – my own concepts of what I call “internal dialog” by drawing out content in a script between the lines – was confirmed to be correct. Also – a few things I found to be new. A few nuts and bolts.

This personal idea of internalism goes beyond the necessity of finding the character in a script. There must be an internal dialog. More than discovering a backstory.

Internal dialog is something that happens while reacting. Internalism. Some call it reacting. It draws upon the character backstory, the written script, the director’s vision and one’s own living the character. This is something inspired by Stanislavski and is a personal journey made by the professional actor.

All that said –

Here is the Stanislavski method put into a great animated video by a Russian team recently: Enjoy!

jerry seinfeld on stageTalent cannot be taught. Talent is natural and something born into us.

Yet – Stanislavski sought to find a method where all could learn the craft of acting.

In scientific studies, it was found that the most terrifying thing in life was not facing death – but speaking in public before a crowd. Imagine that? Speaking before a crowd is something that is truly terrifying. Acting in a production is even more wrenching.

The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said most accurately – “At a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

Even the most celebrated professionals on stage and screen experience a lot of “butterflies in the stomach” before the curtain goes up!

carol burnett tarzan yellCelebrated actor and comedian Carrol Burnett said that if an actor DID NOT get nervous before a show – it was a sign that something was wrong!

Dig in.

Internalize.

Find the backstory of your character.

And also seek the lines between the lines of the script you have to work out.

A Rainy Day Crawl Of Thrift Stores For Vinyl Treasure

Pleasant surprises and finding treasure is one of those spices in life that keep things interesting.

Let me entertain you with the results. Not only did I discover some great historical recordings – I also brought home empty record jackets from classic albums from the Moody Blues and Blondie which will make great art for the walls of my dwelling which should give you some great ideas ….

jean locke lockean memory theory of personal identity

personal memoriesImagine having the pleasant surprise finding something that sparks a personal memory of a profound experience in music from 40 years ago.

We had one of those soaking, steady Nashville rains. Some get through it by reading a good book and some people binge watch videos. I decided to spend the afternoon visiting a few thrift stores up in Gallatin and Hendersonville and look for vinyl records.

We have some very good vintage record stores around Nashville. However, this trip is more about the chase. I get to feel like I’m Indiana Jones.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Among the majority of obscure Gospel albums in terrible condition, I did find some cool items for 49 cents and 99 cents. I did find some interesting jazz selections not in the best condition that I wasn’t sure about.

I snapped a few photos of the front and back jackets for research once home. While I don’t want to miss finding some rare jazz sides, I’m still a miser even at 49 cents to buy just anything for the sake of buying something.

haydn creation box set 1981My first surprise was a box set of the 1982 “Haydn The Creation” on London records in what appeared to be in an unplayed condition.

All the papers and program notes were there in perfect form. I’ve been a real “Haydn head” since I was around 20. So – this find was particularly exciting to me.

This particular box set was hailed as one of the best works by Haydn while the orchestra director, Sir Georg Solti, at 70 years old made his greatest contribution to his craft.

When I slipped the discs out of their anti-static sleeves, the surfaces were shiny and so carbon black as if I was the first to do so. 99 cents!!!

Another discovery I took home for 99 cents was one of those Longines Symphonette Society collections from the early transition to stereo LPs in perfect condition. The number is LWS 112A for side one and LWS 112B for side 2. The disc label says “RECORD 5” …

longines front sleeveSo – the jacket is obviously generic for that series of recording and record product.

The best part is the very long description on the back of the jacket describing the process from start to finish. How they recorded on the latest 4 track Ampex tape recorders at 30 IPS and pressed limited albums direct from the metal master! Inside the jacket was a three year guarantee and other papers.

Once I got home, three of those one sided flexible plastic discs slid out. Demos that were NOT FOR SALE. A Judy Garland performance – Romantic Guitars – and “sweet music for dancing and dreaming”. What a find! If only for the sake of history in recording.

longines back sleeveNowhere inside or out is a copyright date or year of manufacture.

This was really frustrating … but points to a time of very late 1950s or very early 1960s.

The graphics and packaging – along with paperwork with coupons to “add 50 cents to order stereo records” tells me initially it’s manufacture is the late 1950s.

Apparently this was a series that was direct to consumer. Maybe a subscription?

The disc itself is of great quality.

Well crafted with perfection!

Trimmed with precision and so precisely manufactured. I mainly brought this home mainly for the amazing quality of the manufacturing along with the perfect condition and its obvious historic content.

Also – along with the promise – according to the jacket, they were first to use the new 4 track 30 IPS Ampex machines to record and then mix down to stereo.

I guess I need to wait for Antique Road Show to come to Nashville …

Here – is enlarged detail images of the back jacket describing the process –

longines back sleeve A - Tony Rollo
longines back sleeve B - Tony Rollo

Doctor Zhivago Original Soundtrck vinylI also brought home –

A pressing of music from the Doctor Zhivago movie on a single disc.

The jacket opens up with a booklet promoting the movie.

Lots of production stills and info about most all the actors.

While the outer jacket is damaged and the disc is good but has a dirty finish – which should be able to be brought back with a proper cleaning – the rest is well preserved.

I also found a sampler from the late 1970s from Myrrh Records of early Christian Rock. The sleeve is full of info of artists such as DeGarmo & Key, Fireworks, Farrell & Farrell, Steve Camp and many others.

Myrrh Records sampler 1978No Jacket! However – There may have been no jacket as it was promotional only. My digging through info from Google does reveal this is one of the greatest pressings of 1978!

Also – some experts in the field say this pressing is in the top 100 CCM records of all times! And to think I found it in a thrift store for 49 cents !?!

The record itself is in pretty good condition without scratches. This era of Christian Rock is quite collectible. I have quite a good collection from that era bought new and in perfect condition because of my early days as a “controversial” DJ of that time for that genre.

The most interesting aspect is the description of a Nashville native 18 year old new artist named Amy Grant (on the back side on the bottom corner) with details of her first album along with her promotional photo. We all know how she turned out in the professional world!

I did not dig through all the bins in that particular thrift store. So – I will return soon and I just may find the jacket for that sampler album if it exists – but evidence initially shows it may have been only distributed in a very limited quantity without a jacket – only in a sleeve. Dig that?!? But – even without the jacket in its clean condition with the original sleeve with such a great original condition – it is obviously a valuable find.

Actually – the most expensive part of manufacturing a vinyl album is the jacket! The vinyl pressing in quantity – even 1000 pressings at a time is quite inexpensive. It is the packaging – the jacket – the greatest cost.

Maxell tape Rock Sampler vinylSpeaking of samplers –

Maxell recording tape released a series of vinyl albums to advertise and promote their magnetic tape products. Reel to reel and various cassette formulations. IRONIC as they were promoting recording tape by distributing vinyl LP albums … ?!?!

I found this copy of the ROCK sampler album. I knew I already had a copy – but I bought it anyway knowing its rarity and quality.

I remember vividly when these samplers were released back in the day. They also did a jazz sampler and classical sampler and some others … I bought them all back then. So it only behooves me to grab them up is I find them now.

Maybe I’m more of a vinyl expert that I realize? At least for that era around 1978 to 1982.

That era of 1978 to 1982 was the pinnacle of the recording arts of all times. I would be so inclined to resort to fisticuffs with any fool in a back alley who would dare to oppose that viewpoint ….

It was a time where magnetic recording was at its maximum achievement. Also – musicians had to actually have skill to play their instruments – even synthesizers and any device of electronic music. When quantizing came into play – it was the end of skill and true musicianship. Even DEVO had good chops!

American Music SpectacularBut – I digress –

My BIG SCOREas far as I am concerned for my listening pleasure – was a perfectly new condition box set from RCA promoted by Readers Digest:

“American Music Spectacular”

Ten albums in a double box set – individually sleeved set.

Obviously in a completely unplayed conditiongleaming vinyl. It screams to be played with a high quality cartridge on a quality vintage stereo system.

TONS of music tracks – all original tracks from Bing Crosby doing “Puttin’ On The Ritz” to the Andrews Sisters with “Bugie Woogie Bugel Boy Of Company B” to Ed Ames with his “How Deep Is The Ocean” to “The Lord’s Prayer” by the Billy Graham Crusade Choir to “Rose Marie” by Nelson Eddie to “Hello Dolly” by Carrol Channing to the “Theme From Star Wars” by the National Philharmonic Orchestra to “Rhapsody In Blue” by Author Fiedler and the Boston Pops … and tons more that you could never imagine

Perfectly new condition all complete. I’ve seen this on Ebay with missing discs … or in really rough condition. This may not be a big dollar collectable – but it is big in content. Yet – this is probably one of the best surviving editions … A REAL keeper to enjoy!

Blondie AutoamericanBUT – The best couple of finds were empty jackets with no vinyl discs !!!

Right off I found an original jacket for the Moody Blues “Octave” album – with no disc …

I also found a copy of Blondie “AutoAmerican” album without a disc …

No disc? Just the jacket?

I negotiated with the thrift store owner who came to the bottom line of 49 cents each.

I was good with that price.

They would make really cool art projects after all …

See – That is what a major part of vinyl records were. The art of the album jacket. They were real works of art for those who took it seriously at the time. The sound on the recording was art – but also the packaging was art and a tremendous opportunity in promotion.

There are books devoted to album art. The images on the jacket and the liner noted were very important … it added to the experience.

I will say that again – The album art added to the experience!

And this is where I had an amazing blast from the past in that thrift store…

moody blues octave cover

I attended the tour for this album at the Atlanta, Georgia show at the Omni arena. Just 17 years old and off on my first adventure to a destination 500 miles away from my home with two buddies who were also 17 years old to experience a great adventure. It was a true quest. We were not interested in anything else – rejecting food other than drive through burgers – no female interest – but the great goal we were dedicated to do.

SO – because of the great art the jackets that albums provided … and that this album found in that thrift store had no disc … better yet … in its perfect condition – for 49 cents …

HERE is how it will now hang on my wall under glass and framed:

moody blues octave inside

Art for art’s sake found in a thrift store – with no disc – evoking such wonderful memories – now to hang on the wall in my dwelling under glass and framed –

To give me not only inspiration but also great memories of the past …

Living the real purpose of its art as it was intended so long ago …

Requiem For A Beloved Pet – Rest In Peace My LG G3 Smartphone (true humor)

It’s always a sad day when a beloved pet goes to that big doghouse in the sky. My pet smartphone just died after years of loyalty. My LG G3 that was so loyal and trouble free up to that terrible day!

LG G3 tech drawing

It left me in a lurch while I was driving and listening to “Comedy 800” KBFP radio out of Bakersfield, California just a few moments before I arrived at the HQ of a music company where I would need convenient communication to let the guy I was there to meet with know I had arrived and meet me in the lobby.

Suddenly – I had to resort to the old fashioned and embarrassing method of walking in the front door to announce my arrival to the receptionist !!! And – to also be forced to sit in the rack of chairs in the reception area like I was a plebe shopping a demo tape while reading outdated issues of Mix magazine!

My beloved pet LG G3

No big problem all things considered. I am always diligent in backing up my smartphone weekly to a computer. This includes photos, videos and all those sound files I record daily making voice notes of ideas and people who want to give me their contact info I meet.

LG G3 help me pleaseI was not at fault at the moment of demise.

However – I could have possibly been responsible for causing overheating the device as I found it convenient to stick the phone overhead in the car visor to listen better and may have caused less air to flow around the phone. Maybe?

I kept the phone in a nice, leather folding case bought on a trip in Korea. I didn’t throw it around. I didn’t treat it with “kit gloves” either. It was a tough, solid beast that replaced countless devices I regularly used in my daily life. From an alarm clock to a sound pressure meter to a waveform function generator to a voice recorder to a chess board to kill time when needed to a note pad and to everything in between…

Yet – after years of trouble free use, my beloved LG G3 decided to crash and refuse to restart. Even the experts at the Sprint store could not figure out why. The great tech sites and Android gurus had no idea why. With all my years of field engineering – I have no freaking idea! My virtual pet’s death seemed to be quite unique.

I never had the dreaded “black screen of death”. Never had the other screens of death either – it just tries to boot up and freezes. Stops at the “Sprint Spark” screen …

LG G3 insideLast year – I hacked my daughter’s LG G3 after it quit from excessive processor heat when she went crazy over youtube videos and streaming music – driving the poor snapdragon processor into thermal runaway.

I created a heat sink with aluminum foil that not only provided a way to absorb heat – but also hold a little pressure in the housing allowing the processor to regain connection on the circuit board. It worked for a few months and then went to the point of no return – obviously the surface mounted CPU had developed cold soldier joints. So it was replaced by an LG V20 which she still uses to this day – responsibly … The LG V20 is awesome! I dreamed of the day I would upgrade to a V20 – but my G3 was still loyal and faithful to me. Why loose a good pet while it is still alive and so loyal to me?

And then – my crash – No problem … I had just made a backup of data two days before the crash.

warhol in astonishmentExcept for one thing:

My phone contacts!

All those private numbers one gets moving and shaking around Nashville circles!

Yikes!

Private numbers where promises were made never to share them. Secret numbers exchanged to enable instant results.

Double YIKES!

Then – as I was trying to appreciate my new replacement of an LG V30+ over the weekend because the V20 was no longer being made … reload the apps that were so useful from memory while perusing the app store – sinking hours of weekend time when I could be spending more useful time watching my ROKU on the youtube channel for new conure parrot videos or streaming forgotten episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 … adjusting the look and feel – complaining to myself this new smartphone was just too dang colorful … something interesting happened.

I began receiving calls from several of those super secret numbers as I usually did from time to time with those wanting to “keep in touch”. I started learning that there are those who I have regular meaningful business and friendly relationships from and I realized that a lot of the other contact numbers were just esoteric.

I suddenly had a realization in the order of an epiphany !!!

Lately, I have been trying to clean out a lot of stuff that has been just sitting around or in storage. A custom wired Marshall stack unused for years. Percussion instruments collecting dust. A 1978 ARP Odyssey I bought new after having the job of washing Post Office trucks for a year and saving every penny towards that purchase. A LOT of good crap that had use back in the day – but is just modern dust collectors to me now. Someone else would appreciate it and use it.

LG G3 colorsAlso – a lot of other stuff needs to go. A lot of stuff that could only be put in the trash bin. Of course – because I have to make room for all those vinyl records I find here and there entering my record collection.

Suddenly I realized that phone contacts are the same. Some of them need to just go in the digital trash heap. A lot of them I kept so when the caller ID came up – I would know when NOT to answer the phone. That may be the only tragic loss to my database of phone contacts.

So – if time goes by and if you are one of those who haven’t heard from me in a while and are wondering why?…. Your number was eaten by technology – for the good or the bad! Maybe you should call me? Maybe not?

It may be a good thing to clean out our cluttered closet from time to time on our smartphone contact list … or just wait for our phones to die and then just move on.

Believe it or not – as many know me as a tech guru and “mad scientist” (as once Cowboy Joe introduced me to Sonny James at the June Carter Cash funeral as the local Nashville “mad scientist”)That LG G3 was my first smartphone! For good reason

smartphones are toys animationUntil that time for me, smartphones were just toys.

The LG G3 was the first phone IMHO that was the first real useful smartphone device.

It proved its worth over years of pleasure and reliable service. I am loyal to LG. I had an LG flip phone many years ago that was bullet proof. All LG devices I have owned never broke or had problems. This included the V700 tablet I still use for everything from games to script prompting when recording voice parts in my booth.

Let’s just see if this LG V30+ serves me as well. So far so good! It’s just so dang colorful!!!

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – Moody Blues

Moody Blues rock music hall of fame

Why wait until these rockers are so very old to honor them to be in the Rock-N-Roll hall of fame?

Justin Hayward still handsomeIf they did something great and had a fantastic career in the Music Industry – honor them sooner rather than later … why not make the honor when these guys are in their 50s? Why wait until they are in their 70s?

The Moody Blues should have been inducted much earlier than 2018.

They were not in the same vein as the Stones or the Who – they made their own contribution to music history. I’m sure their fans feel the same way.

The Moody Blues were in a category alone in the Music Industry. Innovators and music warriors.

Orchestral Rock was their basic trade mark. No other music group did what they achieved.

Justin Hayward John Lodge Moody Blues hall of fame

So – they were true originals. The idea of a “concept album” was a guide in every album they did – at least until the early 1980s. “Days Of Future Past” has been something important in my life and took me across the blues of many rainy days on my turntable …

I will admit being a true fan – going on a pilgrimage at 17 years old with two other buddies to Atlanta, Georgia on November 14th in 1978 to see them live at the Omni. Packed out capacity crowd. Interesting that they just came from doing a show at MTSU in Tennessee at their arena – much smaller.

On that 1978 tour – I still have the official T-shirt for the tour in new condition which my daughter has worn more times now than I did then. I treated that shirt as a sacred object … also – having acquired two copies of the program book – both still in perfect condition. Stored in safety.

Moody Blues 1978 tour shirtA show is a show – in the theatrical business…

When I first became a fan – they had just “broken up”. So sad that I would never get anything else from them. Then – “Octave” was released. And I was able to see them live in 1978. It was also my first experience to see a major band live in a large venue.

I have always experienced the music of the Moody Blues in a sober state. The music made me high – understood in my attentive mind.

While in later years learned that some associated their music with being in a state of recreational drugs in order to truly enjoy the music. I certainly do not agree with that. The complexity of the music and the expert engineering mix by Tony Clarke should be appreciated in one’s full attention.

Finally – the Moody Blues are recognized appropriately. Too late as far as I am concerned!

Moody Blues young

Art Bell Is Dead … Who? Good Question…

art bell in hospital

art bellLet me begin this way:

Art Bell should have an honorable place in the history of broadcasting.

Despite what his legacy should demand, his flavor of subject matters or considering the target of his core audience he was shooting for.

While I am watching a replay of “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” on a Saturday night MeTV channel about a crazed samurai biker who cuts the heads off his victims …

Art Bell WorldI learned via BING.com news feed that Art Bell has resumed room temperature.

As I have always been a night creature – in the early 1990s and continuing to today.

I tuned into this weird radio show over night to have some sound going on while I explored the digital coding of this new thing designated as HTML … I was faithful as a listener night after night.

I listened for a few years – and finally quit.

I found myself freaked out by all the talk of UFOs – bigfoot – goat suckers – demons – crazy callers to this radio show. I do admit having his show get under my skin but finally realizing it was all a schtick … a ruse – a clever trick – an artifice of showmanship. While I came to the conclusion that there could be a vast number of listeners who took the content of his show as Gospel …

Art Bell and wifeI did realize that Art Bell was a master at creating a cult of personality. While at the same time agreeing to weather the burden to take that load onto his life. I do respect him for that undertaking. To create a strange form of theater while understanding that a lot of people would believe it was all real. Art Bell was indeed the Wizard Of OZ … The man behind the curtain.

Brilliant as far as broadcasting and radio history. Truckers and third shift workers underserved as an audience. Appealing to the least common denominator. Generating and supporting conspiracy theories as if it was science. Supporting careers of writers who self-published independent books about the paranormal who would never have a way to make a living without the support and way to reach the public without Art Bell.

Art Bell should have an honorable place in the history of broadcasting. With his affinity toward young Philipeno women to marry a couple of times and a fascination of the absurd subjects to explore – put aside. Let’s just celebrate his mastery of the airwaves.

Remember his style for what it was – BOO!!!

Houston – We Have A Problem – Today In American History

Apollo 13

Is the number 13 really unlucky? Was Apollo 13 and the 13th day of the month something NASA should have taken into consideration? Logic and common sense dictates that superstition is just that – superstition.

As a kid in the 1960s, I was particularly interested in the NASA Apollo space missions. I can remember staying up late to see the live video images of the first steps on the moon with Apollo 11. Yet – in the wonder of being a kid – unlike the rest of the majority of people began to loose interest in the Apollo missions as they appeared to become routine, I was enamored by every mission.

In the 5th grade, my class made a field trip to the Florida capitol building where NASA loaned a display with a moon rock. The rock was small, ugly and grey. Yet – it amazed me and I pressed my face up against the plexiglass barrier to get as close as I could to something that was once 250 million miles away until men from America brought it back.

Apollo 13 Prime CrewThen – along came Apollo 13

SO – on this day in history, Apollo 13 was launched and then had that mysterious explosion. Another opportunity to see another mission on TV. But something went very wrong.

As we watched – we felt something went wrong as the television commentary became short and long moments of silence … at first because there was less coverage at first when the problem happened … routine was expected – but it was obvious when something went wrong.

At least – when the media had the facts and were ready to convey those facts to the public watching their little television screens – the press let us all know collectively. A stark contrast to today’s press that races to put on air anything that will scoop their competition.

This following image has to be the most frustrating photo ever made. As Apollo 13 passed around the moon and the crew knew they would never set foot there as planned –

Apollo 13 passing the moon

The rest is history – even a great movie everyone should see. Bottom line is the men came back alive.

Mission Control Celebrates Apollo 13 splashdown

Mission Control Celebrates Apollo 13 splashdown

It is so very interesting to think back to that time. The wonder of pure innocence mixed with the pure innocence and wonder of taking the best in science and engineering to so something amazing.

Life is fragile. Exploration into the unknown is never routine.

Is Our Purpose In Life Determined ?

The great question is if we have a destiny and purpose? While we have a destiny for us – we also have freedom of choice. Freedom to choose to not follow what burns in our heart or to work to follow what our desires push us to accomplish.

hans christian anderson tony rollo editHans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) Danish poet and novelist once said –

“Every man’s life is a fairy-tale
written by God’s fingers.”

God’s fingers who wrote our story from the beginning is the deliberate idea He writes for our purpose …

It is up to us to first – find out what burns in our heart to do with our talents and desires.

Then – to ask ourselves how we can utilize His purpose to fit into this life and world – thus to be happy and fulfill our purpose … or to fail Him who wrote our purpose by accepting a mediocracy for our life …

It is our choice after all …

We are not all called to be a Sir Richard Branson or a George Washington. We may be called to be the best employee at something we find interesting or to the honorable ability to provide building a stable family. Regardless of the calling we individually feel from an early age, is there not a purpose to life? If we find ourselves in a later year in our life and suddenly realize our true calling – there is always opportunity.

There is always time to get started.

CD and Vinyl Music Sales Pass Digital & My 1979 Setup

record shop

According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), sales of music in physical form has passed digital download sales for the first time since 2012. This is great news! While CD and vinyl sales are up, digital download sales DROPPED 25% last year in 2017. Wow!

Perhaps younger music consumers are beginning to discover that recorded music on a form you can hold in you hand does sound better. All the burpy, buzzy and squashed MP3s have finally met their match. Could it be vinyl that has won the day for the Music Industry?

I can remember the good times of the 1970s when the recording industry was at the peak of its analog art form. The big toy to have was the best component stereo one could afford. Slowly we saved up to trade in for a better amplifier, turntable and speakers.

My setup in 1979? I had a Pioneer SA-8500 for the amp. My turntable was a Techniques SL-D2 direct drive with an expensive AT cartridge which I can’t remember the model number. I had great speakers from a new company called Polk Audio – they only had 4 speaker systems at the time. Discwasher D3 DisckitI had the “Monitor 5” pair which I still have stored in the original boxes. An AKAI GX head cassette – but I can’t remember the model.

At the time I had a TEAC 2340-SX 4 track reel to reel for my early songwriting recordings and experiments. I also had a Pioneer RT-701 reel to reel to mix down to and for listening.

Also – a small Yamaha 6 channel mixer with spring reverb and all the basics like panning. The signal was pretty clean through it. 60db S/N was great to get back then!

I always used my Discwasher cleaner and stylus cleaner before every play. It was quite a reverent ritual to go through without fail!

We had listening parties at the friend’s house who had the best listening environment. Sometimes we would put together a killer stereo system by bringing along our best component to add to the party.

vinyl record on turntableIn the ambient light of candles, we would listen to an entire album side from start to finish. A quick break if nature called only while the album was being flipped over while others refreshed their beverage of choice.

Music was truly an experience then. It should be experienced like that once again. Let dad get out his old copy of a Moody Blues album. Maybe “2112” by Rush? Try “Aja” by Steely Dan!

Good music knows no generation gap …

Are those days back? Bravo! Some day I want to rebuild my old setup and drag out some of the old vinyl I’ve still been carting around for all these years…

record-shop-600x300

“American Stories – Humor And Heroic” New Audio Book Collection featuring The Mighty American Art Players

American Stories Humor and Heroic audio book

“American Stories – Humor and Heroic” from Great Books Alive is now complete and will come available very soon on Amazon.com, American Family Mall and other retail outlets.

It’s literally hot off the presses. It has been tested with and evaluation audience and has been greeted very well.

More than an audio book, this collection of short works features The Mighty American Art Players with great characters and music. It is a 2 disc CD audio set and I am particularly proud of the sound quality.

Check back next week for streaming samples to hear. Just wanted to let everyone know!

Submariners Feature Documentary Theatrical Premiere

The feature documentary movie “Submariners: The Men Of The Silent Service” had its theatrical premiere not long ago. It had been a long labor for me to make the feature and quite a relief to see it run without a hitch on the big screen. We also beat two Hollywood movies for attendance that week in the theater.

As the feature begins its journey to theaters across the country, I am reminded why the term “release” is used in the movie business. It is no longer “my” movie – it is the audience’s movie now.

Submariners at Premiere 6 Theaters world theatrical premiere

Submariners submarine documentary Barco projectorIt was quite an experience for me to observe people reacting during the few showings I attended. The theater personnel assured me that the audiences stood and applauded at the end of each showing. It was quite an experience seeing total strangers enjoying something that I had labored on and was so intimately involved with for such a long time. We had received some limited press attendance and articles as well as mention on the radio during the premiere week. The County Historian attended one night along with radio hosts and some politicians.

To my delight and surprise, some audience members had driven from miles away to attend. Some returned later that week from as far away as Knoxville. I selected Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the premiere to honor the submarine veterans who were in the cast. I was proud to have Premiere 6 Theaters offer to host the showings. The owner and General Manager, Bill Brooks, is a veteran of the theater business. He shared a lot of movie theater history and inside business workings with me during the premiere week.

Submariners coming soon movie poster theater lobby submarine documentary

Submariners submarine documentary theater wall Deadpool Gods Of EgyptIt was an amazing feeling to have the movie poster go up in the lobby with the other “coming soon” Hollywood movies. That was only surpassed by puling up to the theater on opening night to see the poster on the outside of the Theater next to Deadpool, Gods Of Egypt, Star Wars and the rest!

The support from the media and radio was deeply appreciated. The Submarine Veteran group helped by getting the word out to the community and social media. From that we had quite an upswing on Amazon.com and American Family Mall for those who heard about it and were far away. We then received requests for the movie to come to cities across the nation and even as far away as Sydney Australia. Hopefully proper distribution will come to serve those desires soon.

Submariners movie poster Sams  Club JeremiahWe are also very thankful to Sam’s Club for allowing a display of the movie premiere just inside the entrance of the local store. Everyone entering could see it. The management team, especially Jeremiah and Brandon were most gracious and we can never thank them enough. Also to the Submarine Veteran community and especially to Jim Sandman, a nuclear submarine veteran who went above and beyond assisting the premiere’s success.

It is said that film is a collaborative effort. That saying is also true once a movie is made available to the public. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie take on a life of its own as it finds more and more cities to be presented in and then on to other media outlets. There is an amazing amount of logistics involved in the distribution phase and we are making sure the movie has quality involvement all along the way.

The real task was preparing the movie for the new digital projection method that has become the standard in just the last few years. I had a very short few weeks to convert the master due to the coming busy season where studios release the big budget movies. Just as with any industry, there a peak times. I ended up studying the process and doing the technical conversion myself. It was quite harrowing, but the end results worked perfectly. Those Barco digital projectors ate it up and made the image strong and clear!

The theater allowed me to come the week before to do a test before the regular showing schedule. The image was perfect but the surround sound needed a bit of work. That gave me the opportunity to hear the sound in the real world and make the adjustments in time for the opening night. Without that gracious permission by the theater, I would have needed a 10.1 surround studio to make the proper master. And even with that – there is nothing like the real world to reveal the scars and bumps that need to be worked out and healed.

Submarine documentary loading Barco projector

Actually witnessing the upload to the digital server and projectors was quite nerve racking as technology is a wonderful thing – when it works! It did work. At least I can create the DCP files (the standard for digital theaters) and play just as the Hollywood movies processed by the film labs.

Be sure to visit www.SubmarineDocumentary.com for more on the theatrical version of the movie. For those Submarine Veterans interested in the special two DVD set veteran version, you can find it directly by CLICKING HERE: AMAZON.COM link to DVD Set

www.SubmarineDocumentary.com – www.SubmarineMovie.com

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Good Night Sir George Martin – A Great Influence On Me

George-Martin-in-studio

Parlophone_LP_PMC_1202Living to 90 is a great, long life.

Contributing to popular culture and art for many decades is arguably more important to simply living to be 90 years old.

Having a unique experience gives a person a unique aspect to creating art. Sir George Martin certainly had a unique experience. Without his unique experience, the Beatles may have just been another Dave Clark Five …

His family made the ridiculous decision to purchase a piano for the family home when George as a mere six years old.

When he was a young teen, a person in school authority made the ridiculous decision to invite a symphony orchestra to perform for his school.

If it had not been for these sparks of music in Sir George’s young life – would we have a lot of the music we have enjoyed over a long period in the latter 20th century? I say not. Art is important in the young experience.

He began with symphonic music. He then tripped into doing countless comedy recordings in the 1950s. It could be these comedy performance recordings with Peter Sellers and Peter Ustinov (as well as other comedy greats) so early that allowed him to digest pop music later.

Those spoken comedy recordings no doubt gave him a great understanding of producing the voice well in recordings. His early work in classical music is maybe why the early Beatles recordings had a more “brittle” sound of the instruments while the singing voices were so well done.

800px-Beatles_and_George_Martin_in_studio_1966OK – I will say it – Sir George Martin never seemed to understand how to properly record a bass instrument.

If he had, Paul McCartney on his Hofner electric bass would have been better pronounced. It was always just a deep thud with a quick decay. No sustain. No definition. But to be fair – on radio and in recordings in those days, the playback could rarely define anything below 400 hertz other than reproducing sonic mud.

George Martin brought class to the Beatles. The Beatles brought a pop ear to George Martin.

As I and many in the world celebrate Sir George Martin’s life and musical achievements, I can’t help thinking how small influences add up to big achievements.

little-kid-on-pianoGo out and make the ridiculous decision to buy a real piano for your home that has little children present. Take them to a symphony concert when they are young teens. Bear the burden of your young child plinkling all those bad notes … Do it for them!

Who knows the end result?

You will be investing in the world’s future! At the very least, you will be investing in your own future no matter what your children turn out to be.

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Submariners – Feature Documentary Movie – WGNS Radio Show World Premiere

Submariners: The Men Of The Silent Service – the original feature documentary movie

IN THEATERS NOW – CLICK HERE for an article about the theatrical premiere

SUBMARINER_POSTER_Theatrical_300wA link to the on demand radio show –

The Truman Show on WGNS

SUBMARINERS Feature Documentary

Dr Bill Ford – Jim Sandman – US Navy Submarine Service – World War 2 Diesel Submariner – Nuclear Submarine veterans – Cold War veterans of the US Navy join Nashville based Producer / Director Tony Rollo to discuss the United States Submarine Service and the new feature documentary movie.

World theatrical premiere of the feature documentary “Submariners: The Men Of The Silent Service”

Click HERE for the radio show

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World Theatrical Premiere – Coming to a theater near you – Contact us for more information

IN THEATERS NOW – CLICK HERE for an article about the theatrical premiere

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World War One U-Boat Submarine Found and Identified as U-31

WWI German Submarine U-boat

An amazing discovery resting deep on the bottom of the ocean has now been identified.

In 2012, a wind farm company was preparing to build a large wind turbine farm off the coast of Norfolk – East Anglia about 91 kilometers east and almost the same distance west from Amsterdam. ScottishPower Renewables company divers discovered the wreck 30 meters underwater but its identity was a mystery.

The U-31 launched on January 13th, 1915 – a century ago – and never returned to port. It was a mystery then to what happened. It is believed now that it struck a mine. All hands were lost.

The wreck of the U-31 should be reverenced as a grave site. It should not be raised.

WWI-U-boat-U-31CLICK HERE to discover the particular specifications for this U-boat submarine from our friends at uboat.net – This early German U-boat was still quite sophisticated for the times.

CLICK HERE for more details in The Guardian.

CLICK HERE for a video report and very interesting images from The Mirror in the UK.

A message from Robert Griffin III – NFL Quarterback for the Washington Redskins

In some professions – injuries cost a lot in lost wages. Knee injuries can take away income from talented people such as mail deliverers, carpet layers and even injuries suffered by NFL quarterbacks.

Here is a message left to his teammates by Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins NFL football team (NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year of 2012) after he cleaned out his locker –

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The frame above the poster left is from Phillippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Goodnight David Bowie

David_Bowie_holywood_CC_Sir-JamesHalf an hour ago – I began having flashes of memories when I first discovered the music of David Bowie for myself. Not liking everything but appreciating it all.

I can appreciate the work of an artist without appreciating an artist’s conduct outside of their works of art. David Bowie was a great inspiration of creating quality music.

Half an hour ago is when the news came in across the wire from the BBC that David Bowie is no longer with us. It was a shock to me as if a respected leader of the Free World had suddenly passed.

David Bowie knew how to reinvent himself again and again. Then go back and start it all over again.

Even his extreme shift to be “just another member” of Tin Machine – I bought and enjoyed it just as much as his 1983 album “Let’s Dance” the same day those albums were released … no other artist has ever done that with me.

The quality of his music reached out across genres and ages. The best example was the Christmas duet with Bing Crosby with “Little Drummer Boy” in 1977 which I remember very well.

I’m sure that in the far off distance when 20th century music is studied, he will be regarded in the same way we look back and appreciate Hayden, Bach and Mozart.

CLICK HERE for the obituary from the BBC.

Appreciate the art – we can separate the conduct from the artistic product.

Vilmos Zsigmond has Left the Planet

Vilmos_Zsigmond_WIDE_KVIFF_Petr-Novak-Wikipedia

Vilmos ZsigmondI have to acknowledge my favorite cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond has passed at 85 years young.

I have tried to not turn this blog into an obituary, but seeing great heroes pass demands comment. I’ve been so busy I have neglected my personal blog for two years. Time to get back to it.

CLICK HERE to see when I last commented about Vilmos Zsigmond back in 2012.

He received an Oscar for “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”, but I feel his best work was on “The Deer Hunter” and “McCabe & Mrs. Miller”. The latter was among the first to achieve special colorization which is common now, but new then and misunderstood by a lot of studio suits at the time.

It still seems ironic to me how he escaped communist invaders in his home country to come to the USA and have his first film credit on “The Sadist”. We all have to start somewhere!

Making Up Benjamin Franklin Quotes – A Rare Rant

This is a touchy pet peeve of mine to the point of being a bete noire and plague to my senses! It seems every time I turn around, another misquote or fabricated quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin is watching you 1000w

exploding tvJane Fonda didn’t ruin my Christmas cheer tonight with family. My mistake was to turn on the television to one of the old networks.

To allow someone ruin something of yours is to give them power over one’s own control of self. I should instead have a feeling of pity on her if what she claimed wasn’t such a travesty of truth and reason.

I had tuned in to CBS to catch the rerun of the Andrew Lloyd Webber interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. I tuned in just in time to see Jane Fonda hawking a new film she is in.

Jane Fonda said on national television… that Benjamin Franklin said “Revolution begins in the muscles”. Say WHAT?

Jane – stop this crazy thing! Please reference that quote for us. Jane Fonda can’t provide a reference because Benjamin Franklin NEVER said or wrote that in even a remote fashion.

So then – why did Jane Fonda go out of her way to say the quote was true? Is there an agenda or a simple case of trying to sound smart ? Why would Steven Colbert allow something like that on his show on CBS?

Is destroying history and language the new sport? Is this some kind of ignorant manipulation of a mentality that seeks to augment the true meanings of things? For example, destroying language by attempting to change the word “decadent” to mean something so tasty that it’s sinful. Changing the word’s real meaning of something that is bad and rotting. “That apple is decadent. You better not eat it or you’ll get sick!”

Misquoting historical figures should offend anyone who even remotely appreciates history. The audacity to not only make up a Benjamin Franklin quote – but to go out of the way to emphasize the error (deliberate or otherwise) by vehemently claiming the quote was true is beyond comprehension. And to have this broadcasted on the very network that was once the yardstick of news reporting in the days of Walter Cronkite?

Simone de Beauvoir The closest quote that is even remote to what Jane Fonda said might be from Simone De Beauvoir who DID write that “Anger or revolt that does not get into the muscles remains a figment of the imagination.” Beauvoir was the offspring of a pagan religion practicing father who said that his daughter “thought like a man”. Imagine a daughter having to grow up with a father who thinks a girl can’t be smart unless she “thinks like a man”?!? Beauvoir was an obscure 20th century feminist / philosopher known more for her scandals and a sad life of turmoil. Is that where the confusion and misquote of Jane’s originated from?

Why is Benjamin Franklin so misquoted these days? Why is it important to be accurate with our history? Good questions to ask. Benjamin Franklin isn’t around today to defend himself from those who would distort his brilliance. Are there ulterior motives at work to do harm to history while pretending to be backed up by a truth that is manufactured in order to manipulate public thought? Is this just a simple, innocent error of distorted history? That is why the lovers of true history need to be vigilant.

Maybe Benjamin Franklin would answer with something he actually did say and write:

Benjamin Franklin is watching you“Half a truth is often a great lie.”

– Benjamin Franklin (July 1758)

Benjamin Franklin also wrote that “Craft must be at charge for clothes, but Truth can go naked.” (Benjamin Franklin as Poor Richard in Poor Richard’s Almanac 1747)

Which is to say in today’s modern English: Truth does not need to be dressed up, but lies need to be carefully dressed up to be appealing enough to be swallowed.

Benjamin Franklin is watching you!

The Sandman Catches Up with my Writing Hero George Clayton Johnson – Writer for Star Trek / Twilight Zone / and more…

I was quite sad to learn George Clayton Johnson passed on Christmas day at 86 years old.

Logans_RunHe was the force behind the best that SciFi was about in the 20th century. He wrote some of the best stories ever conceived. Writing is what makes SciFi so amazing – not the SFX.

He wrote “The Man Trap” episode of the original Star Trek. He wrote some of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone. He co-wrote one of my favorite SciFi books of all time.

Pretty good success for being born in a barn.

I will never forget the impact on my mind by the book Logan’s Run. I had read a lot of SciFi before reading that book. But going from “The Green Ghost” by Alfred Hitchcock and other books in his series of books intended for young readers to something like Logan’s Run was quite a jump to make. At least it wasn’t as graphic as Robert Silverberg’s “The World Inside” which I found and read in my middle school library in the 8th grade!

I was a very young teen when I read Logan’s Run.

I still have and cherish the very copy of Logan’s Run I read. I wouldn’t suggest that novel to young teens, but since Johnson wrote the first episode of the original Star Trek television series, I had to read it. It certainly wasn’t intended for YA readers.

When the SciFi novel Logan’s Run came out, YA hadn’t been invented yet. Young SciFi readers such as myself had to contend with certain concepts before we really wanted to. However, the premise of the book captured my mind.

This talented writer did quite well for himself considering he was born in a barn in Wyoming and dropped out of school after the eighth grade. He became a hit after writing an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents program in 1959.