Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Great Minds Think Alike," Part One ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post

Welcome to the latest installment of our sporadic feature, "Comical Wednesday," fellow babies! For those of you who are unfamiliar with "Comical Wednesday," it consists of articles about comic books, comic strips, or both.

For today's post, I'll be offering the first chapter of an eventual three-parter called "Great Minds Think Alike." It'll touch upon three instances in comic history where two similar characters or groups of characters debuted in such a short span of time, it ensured that neither was copied from the other.

To begin today's "lesson," I'd like to tell you about two comic characters named Dennis the Menace. Now, that name may conjure up one of two very different images (both shown above).

If you're British, Dennis is a dark-haired chap whose original persona was rather vicious. That's when he first appeared in the pages of The Beano, issue 452, dated March 17th of 1951. This Dennis was created by Beano editor Ian Chisholm and artist Davey Law.

If you live in the USA, as I do, you may be familiar with an entirely different Dennis the Menace, one introduced in the comic strips five days earlier, on March 12, 1951! This Dennis was created by writer/artist Hank Ketcham and named after Ketcham's son Dennis. The USA's version was more of a "mischief-maker" than an actual troublemaker.

In the interests of an unaccustomed brevity (for me), I'm going to spare you a lengthy entry on the UK Dennis or his American counterpart. If you'd like more information on the British brat, click here, and if you'd like to read up on the USA's Dennis Mitchell. click here.

Don't worry, I'll make up for my "short-windedness" in my next two chapters! (But don't hold your breath waiting for them.) See you then.

Thanks for your time, and Happy New Year (for those who care about that sort of thing)!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feel Free to Use This...

There are three little goals I have every year, starting in October and ending in December.

1. I try to make it through the Halloween "season" without hearing "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. I like the song, but after 50+ years, I'm sick of it.

2. I try to get through the Christmas season without hearing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." The first half-dozen times or so that I heard it, those long years ago, it was cute. Now, not so much.

3. I try to get through the last few weeks of the year without having anyone say "See you next year!" to me. That one's really annoying.

Needless to say, every year my "survival rate" for all three sucks, because I have such little control over each.

However, this year, I came up with a handy-dandy reply to #3, one which I give you permission to use:

"Not if I kill you, now."

As I said, feel free to quote me... if you tell people where you heard it.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

For the Holidays

Just because I have white hair and a beard does NOT mean I like being compared to Santa Claus. Keep those comparisons to yourself. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. Keep that in mind, fellow babies, before you say something similar to any bearded, white-haired gent. And don't try to push it by saying "But you should take it as a compliment! Everyone loves Santa Claus!" or remarks like that.

(If you really want to give it a positive spin, offer the guy a job as Santa on the spot.)

Anyway, I was feeling decidedly UN-Santa-ish four years ago today when I posted the following original poem. Please excuse the grammatically-incorrect line, "I'm not him!":

I'm not Santy Claus!
You can call me Anti-Claus!
Don't bunch up your panties, 'cause...
I'm not him!

Going quite insane, here.
Love to cause you pain, dear!
What's for breakfast? Reindeer!
(I'm not him.)

I see you when you're sleeping,
I know when you're awake,
I see you when you're naked,
So give that tail a shake!

Lumps of coal to all o'you.
Anti-Claus will follow you,
Eat you up, and swallow you!
I'm not "him!"

Ask for toys, you'll get a slap.
Don't give me that "giving" crap,
And put yo' Mama on my lap!
I'm not him!

I deleted a reference to the TSA which was a lot funnier then -- it was more timely four years ago -- believe me.

If you want to read the original post, which included more holiday stuff, click here. If, instead, you'd like to see a whole sleigh-full of YouTube videos (and a few dead links) for the 2009 season, and some lengthy ruminations on Christmas songs in general, click here instead.

Or don't click on either link. Just don't tell me.

So, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to those of you who celebrate something, anything, this time of year. That includes Pagans, Muslims, Jews... even atheists and agnostics. (Some of them enjoy the holiday season, too, ya know!)

I'm the one on the right. On the right, I said!

Thanks for your time, fellow babies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Joe Cocker, 1944-2014, R.I.P.

Singer Joe Cocker has died at age 70, after a battle with lung cancer.
Like many of us, I first became aware of Joe Cocker's work shortly after he appeared at Woodstock in 1969. No one who's heard his version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" will ever forget it.

I remained a fan of Mr. Cocker's as long as he remained on the charts, and after.
There was a lot of talk about the strange gestures Cocker used when he performed. After a close look at the film of his antics at Woodstock, it appeared to me that what he was actually doing was playing air guitar. I was curious as to why I'd never seen that referenced anywhere. (I'm sure it was, and that I missed it. After all, even I can't read everything.)
But if it'll make you feel any better, this article about Cocker's death did mention that he was playing air guitar, and "air piano" as well!
I'd like to close this brief tribute piece with something rather uplifting. It has to be seen to be appreciated!

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Five Years Gone

I'm participating in this week's Sepia Saturday, and just squeaked by under the prompt photo's theme, which is that of "families, festivities, trees, candles and wine." So I guess that keeps me from being a Sepia Scrooge.

I'd like to do a little tribute to my mother, who passed away five years ago today (December 20th) at the age of ninety-two.

For a year or so, after she died, I'd do little pieces based on the fact of her loss. The first Mother's Day without her, the first birthday she wasn't here to celebrate with us, etc.  Then I suggested to myself that I should stop being so maudlin and attempt to get on with my life.

But I thought that, for this five-year "anniversary" of sorts, my readers would excuse me if I published one more little remembrance of the woman who raised me.
My mother was born Anita Hartman on October 20th, 1917. And, as I've said before...

There were more technological advances during the span of my mother's life than I could list, even in a post of my usual entry's length...

My mom lived to see high-definition, flat-screen televisions. When she was born, radio hadn't even entered its golden age. Commercial air travel hadn't even gotten off the ground... errr... so to speak. And I could go on.

...but I won't.

I'm just going to share a few photos of my mother, spanning roughly 92 years.

The earliest existing photo of Anita
Hartman (center), at approximately age 3.

(Close-up of same.)

Mom at roughly 41/2, being held by her older sister Josie.

Mom's rather unusual haircut above was "designed" by my
mom herself, on a day when she ran amok with a pair of scissors.

Yearbook senior photo, 1935

Mom's autograph, from that same yearbook, a yearbook my mother never owned.

Mom and Dad on their wedding day, September 28th, 1940.

Circa 1943

Mom and Grammy Josephine, mid-1950s. Photo taken by my young sister, Kathy, hence the upward angle.

Mom at approximately fifty, late 1960s.

And the above photo is one of my favorites of my mother!

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Bad, Bad Idea

I love coffee.

I like potato chips.

Recently, someone gave me a bag of the Cappuccino-flavored potato chips shown above. (I never would have bought a bag!)

I made the mistake of trying them, skeptical though I was.

Never again!

They're vile, fellow babies, vile!!!

As today's post title says, this was a bad, bad idea.

Shame on you, Lay's.

Thanks for your time. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Quick Question

Why the hell do some bloggers sign up to follow their own blogs???

I mean, don't you know when you post?

If you're one of them, please tell me! I really wanna know!

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's Wrong with This Picture?

The above-pictured postcard showed up in my sister's mail several weeks ago.

Now, I realize that these companies target endless numbers of families, and the names are computer-generated, but really...

”Lynch” is not a Polish name!

If the card had offered “Irish Apparel JUST FOR YOU!” it wouldn't have surprised me a bit. (In fact, I've received mailings like that in the past.)

So next time, guys, have your computer do its homework.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Angus Lennie, 1930-2014, R.I.P.

Long-time readers of this blog – meaning those who've been with me since last Thursday or so – may recall my claiming to have a rather unique “kiss of death” power when it comes to various celebrities.
Here's how it works:

 Every so often, I'll think about some celebrity – actor, singer, politician – who hasn't crossed my mind in years. And I'll wonder whatever happened to him or her. Well, with the handy-dandy nature of the internet, it's easy enough to do a quick search and find out whatever did happen to him or her.

Unfortunately, in the great majority of those instances, I'll learn that the celebrity in question has died. Recently.

Or, in a similar vein, I'll be watching a DVD of some old movie or tv show and wonder whatever happened to an actor or actress. Then I do an internet search on him or her, and again, discover that the person in question has passed away. Recently.

It's almost as if my sudden interest in a person either causes their death, or perhaps is in response to their death. I'm kidding, of course, kinda/sorta, but sometimes I wonder!

Anyway, the other night I was watching my DVD of 1963's The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and an impressive ensemble cast.

The first time I ever saw that movie, it was in the late 1960s, a few years after its 1963 release. It was broadcast in two parts, on consecutive evenings, on the NBC network. Part One ended dramatically with the attempted escape and machine-gunning to death of a character named Archibald Ives, nicknamed "the Mole."

Ives was played by Angus Lennie.

Ives the Mole was probably Lennie's best-known role during his long career, although he also appeared in the cast of the British soap opera Crossroads from 1974 to 1981... so my British readers may also know him from there.

Wouldn't you know it, but just a few nights ago, as I watched the movie, I wondered whatever became of Mr. Lennie. After all, the movie was made 51 years ago, and those who played most of the principal characters -- McQueen, Garner, James Coburn, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, even director John Sturges -- are no longer with us.

So on a whim, I did a Google search for Angus Lennie, only to find -- you guessed it -- that he had passed away on September 14. Recently.

Anyway I decided to write a rather long-winded post about the death of "Ives," whose cinematic demise made such an impression upon my young self... and to spin the tale once again about my tendency to "off" celebrities!

Thanks for your time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fifty Questions, Part Five

Here we go, folks! The last installment of Fifty Questions!

41. Last time you were insulted?

Wow, it's been years since I've really been insulted, unless you count instances where someone insulted my intelligence by their actions or words.

Occasionally, I've been misjudged, certainly, and there was one rather immature idiot who began referring to me as "Davey" because she knew I didn't like it, and thought it would anger me.

(She failed miserably, by the way. Heh.)

42. Favorite flavor of sweet?

Not really much for sweets in general, which is good because I'm diabetic. I used to like Hershey's Cookies'n'Creme candy bar, though, not to mention several different brands that existed when I was a child. No, wait. If I'm going to mention candies I liked as a kid, I'd probably say Zero! (See photo at top.)

43. What instruments do you play?

I've been the lead singer in a handful of rock'n'roll bands. So I guess my instrument would be what, throat? Sounds rather suggestive...
44. Favorite piece of jewelry?

I rarely if ever wear jewelry. I'd have to say a pocket watch that belonged to my great-grandfather (IIRC). I never carry it, it's packed away safely.

45. Last sport you played?

Probably baseball. And it would have been many years ago. I don't particularly like sports.
Not bad. This picture sleeve features a barely-recognizable
photo of Paul, and it mis-labels "If I Fell" as "If I Feel!"

46. Last song you sang?

That's a tough one. My favorite radio station plays a huge variety of songs from the 1950s through the 1970s. (Unfortunately, it's hard to get good reception if you're outside of their parking lot.) I sing along with some of the stuff they play, so I'm going to say it was "I Should Have Known Better" by the Beatles!

47. Favorite chat up line?

("Chat-up?" Did this survey originate in Great Britain?)  In the USA, that's a "pick-up line," and I don't like them, don't believe in them, and never use them.

48. Have you ever used it?

As a great man once said, "I don't like them, don't believe in them, and never use them. "
49.  Last time you hung out with anyone?

That would be my best friend, John.

50. Who should answer these questions next?

Ah, there's a loaded question. I don't want to turn this into any more of a chain-letter thing than it is already, so how about if I do not pass the baton any further?

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fifty Questions, Part Four

Howdy, fellow babies! Here I am with the penultimate offering in my "Fifty Questions" series!

31. Last book you read?

When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative Collection -- Norman R. Yetman (Editor)

An exceptionally poignant quote from the book, here... Delicia Patterson, a former slave, was 92 years old when interviewed in 1937. She was quoted as saying "I think the time will soon be when people won't be looked on as regards to whether you are black or white, but all on the same equality. I may not live to see it but it is on the way. Many don't believe it, but I know it." Well, things have improved, but we're still waiting.
32. Book you are currently reading?

33. Last show you watched?

Person of Interest.

34. Last person you talked to?

As of this writing? (Things will have changed by the time this sees publication!) The librarian who gave me extra time on the library computer.

35. The relationship between you and the person you just texted?

Jenni. I call her my "daughter." In reality, she's like a daughter to me. I was engaged to her mom for several years while she was growing up, and helped to raise her.

36. Favorite food?

Four-way tie: Fried oysters, boneless Chinese spareribs (very well done), McDonald's Filet-o-Fish, boneless buffalo wings.
37. Place you want to visit?


38. Last place you were?

The library in Webster, Massachusetts.

39.  Do you have a crush?

Not nowadays. When I was younger, I had celebrity crushes now and then. My very first celebrity crush was an actress named Noelle Adam, and my first "real-world" crush was with an older girl -- she must have been nine or ten years old, when I was around six -- named Crystal.

40. Last time you kissed someone?

Damn, that's been weeks, anyway...  What a depressing note on which to end.

One chapter left, fellow babies. Hope you haven't been too bored.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fifty Questions, Part Three


Hello, fellow babies! Here we are with Part Three of Fifty Questions. Hope you're enjoying this. There are two more posts remaining after today's!

21.  How long does it take you to shower?

About three or four minutes... if I'm alone.

22.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Baby, I was born ready! Oh, you mean ready to go out and start my day? Twenty to thirty minutes.

23. Ever been in a physical fight?

Several. The outcomes varied.

24. Turn on?

Asian women, very slight overbites (think Gene Tierney, pictured above), green-eyed women. If I ever find a green-eyed Asian woman -- good luck -- with a very slight overbite... I'll marry her.

25. Turn-off?

People who call their loved ones "Boo" or "Boo-Boo." If your name isn't Arthur "Boo" Radley, I don't wanna hear it. And Yogi Bear's sidekick, Boo-Boo, is an annoying little twerp.

26. The reason you started blogging?

I wanted to share my brilliance with the world. *ahem*

 27. Fears?

Members of the Green Lantern Corps are not allowed to fear. (I didn't make that up... but someone else did...)

28. Last thing that made you cry?

Allergies, smartass.

29. Last time you said you loved someone?

To quote Rick in Casablanca, "That's so long ago, I don't remember."

30. Meaning behind the name of your blog (The Lair of the Silver Fox)?

One of my former readers gave me the "Silver Fox" nickname when I was writing my David'Z RantZ blog. When I started a new blog -- which was originally designed to showcase my "serious" writing -- I thought The Lair of the Silver Fox sounded clever.

That's it for now! Part Four in a couple of days!

Thanks for your time

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fifty Questions, Part Two

Well, here we are with Part Two of Fifty Questions... as it says above. Duh.

11. Something you miss?

The 1960s (and early 1970s). Not to relive the hippie era. I was a little too young for that. I'm referring to a very happy childhood which I wouldn't mind reliving. (Pictured above is one of the coolest toys I ever owned, the Horrorscope. When they show up, they sell for well over $1,000!)

12. Favorite Song?

Probably Stand By Me, but as much as I love all the versions I've heard, my favorite is by Spyder Turner.

13. How old are you?

57, but not for very much longer...

And you can cut me in half and count the rings, if you don't believe me!

14. Zodiac sign?


15. Quality to look for in a partner.

The ability to meet deadlines!!!

Oh, I thought you meant a writing partner! For a romantic partner... She has to understand my sense of humor, and that to me, few things are sacred.

(Notice how I amazingly answered that question without bringing up anything sexual?)

16. Favorite Quote? 

"Someone like you makes it hard to live without somebody else." -- Tim Hardin

17. Favorite Actor?

Robert De Niro.

18. Favorite Color?

Black. If you don't consider that a "real" color... green.

19. Loud music or soft?

Since when is that an either/or kinda thing? I have over 2,000 45s, over 1,000 LPs, hundreds of CDs, and there are a lot of songs I love which I don't own. It would be pretty incredible if I were only to like one type.

20. Where do you go when you are sad?

There's a nearby brothel that... Okay, okay, seriously? I usually just stay at home, or go out for a drive, gas tank permitting.

That's it for now. Part Three will be coming at ya in a couple of days!

Thanks for your time. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Separated at Birth?

A couple of weeks ago, I was binge-watching the entirety of the mid-1970s Ellery Queen TV show, which I own on DVD. (The series is highly recommended and available here.)

Anyway, one episode guest-starred Vincent Price. A different episode guest-starred Eve Arden.

Now, although the title of this post is "Separated at Birth?" I don't intend to suggest that Mr. Price and Ms. Arden look alike... but they sure do act alike! It's uncanny. Watching one after watching the other, you can't help but be struck by the similarities.

It's almost as if ol' Vinnie had dressed up in drag -- and it wouldn't be the first time, ya know? -- to play Eve's role!

Thanks for your time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fifty Questions, Part One

I've been issued a challenge! Janie Junebug, of the WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME blog, recently answered 50 -- count 'em, 50 -- nosy questions, which Janie referred to as "The Spanish Inquisition." The questions were sent to Janie by andi filante (who called them "50 freakin' questions") of the delusions of ingenuity blog, and Janie passed them to me.

I'm going to steal an idea from Janie and split these fifty questions and answers into multiple posts -- five, to be exact -- to spare you fellow babies from a really lonnng post! You're welcome.

Oh, and one friendly warning. Some of these questions are very personal, and to paraphrase Tina Turner, I nevah, evah do nothin' very personal -- not on my blog, certainly -- so whenever a really serious, in-depth question arises... I'll probably lie.

Okay, here goes nothing...

1. What are you wearing? 

Black, of course. Okay, truth be told, black jeans, black socks, a black t-shirt and a navy blue button-down shirt, for that unexpected splash of color. *ahem*

2. Ever been in love?

Of course. When I was seventeen, I had a brief fling with a circus acrobat named Talia. She taught me something called The Heimlicker Maneuver (sic) and I fell in love with it... and her, by extension.

3. Ever have a terrible break-up?

Does a restraining order count? (Oh. Sorry. That "answering a question with a question" is an Irish thing.)

4. How tall are you?


5. How much do you weigh?

Now, you see? That's precisely the kind of question I don't intend to answer. Heh.

6. Any tattoos?

No... but if I were ever to get one, I know what it would be. The tattoo would be of a scorpion, with a baby dragon sleeping in the curve of the scorpion's tail. The baby dragon would be sleeping with one eye open.

7. Any piercings?

No. I've pierced a few other people, but only during physical altercations.

8. OTP (One true pair, favorite fictional couple?)

It's a tie. Hermie and Dorothy, from Summer of '42 (the book) and Summer of '42 (the movie), and Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca. (I was going to put Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but you didn't mean that kind of couple, did you?)

9. Favorite Show?

Modern? Breaking Bad.

10. Favorite Bands?

Oh, I get more than one? Good. (Let's go totally crazy and include solo artists, too!) These are from my Blogger profile: The Doors, The (early) Beatles, Roy Orbison, Gene Pitney, Herman's Hermits, The Guess Who, (early) Led Zeppelin, Oingo Boingo, U-2, Barbara Lewis, Ray Charles, Wynonie Harris, Lesley Gore, Graham Nash, The Beach Boys, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Billie Holiday, Willie Dixon, Jay and the Americans (but ONLY IF the "Jay" is Jay Black or Jay Traynor), Muddy Waters, Jim Croce, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Joe South, Bad Company, Hoodoo Gurus, John Denver, Big Daddy, Redd Kross, Shonen Knife, Velvet Mafia, Dan Fogelberg, and Pink Floyd.

That's it for today, fellow babies. I'll have Part Two ready for ya in a few days... after a brief, totally strange post.

Thanks for your time.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Absent-Minded Abe?

I was watching a documentary about Abraham Lincoln recently, a documentary which quoted heavily from the Emancipation Proclamation.

Part of that document reads as follows:

"Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States..."

Hm. Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy.

 What's the matter, Abe? Did you forget about the Air Force?  :)

 Thanks for your time.

COMING MONDAY: Fifty Questions, Part One!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Birthday Memory, Just for the Hell of It

This -- well, one like it -- was the main present I got for my 11th birthday, many long years ago. (That was also the only year I got to invite friends over for a real birthday party.) Innit cool?

For some reason, that very same tiger illustration found its way onto a child's wastebasket. I found -- and bought -- one at a flea market a few years ago. As for the drum set, I'm still looking for one of those. An affordable one, that is. Last one I found on eBay had a starting bid of $400!

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Short Shorts

1. Marcia Strassman, 1948-2014, R.I.P.

Actress and (sometime) singer Marcia Strassman, best known as the wife of Gabe Kaplan's character on Welcome Back, Kotter, passed away last Friday at the age of 66, following a seven-year battle with cancer. Miss Strassman was also known as Diane Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels, and for the recurring role of  Margie Cutler during the first season of  TV's M*A*S*H.

Funny thing... I heard about Miss Strassman's death on Monday. Only the day before, I was staring at her face on the cover of a 1970's issue of TV Guide (pictured above), an issue I have for sale at my flea market booth. Strange...

2. A Little King?

An Elvis baby? A baby Elvis? Or something? They're making a lot of fuss over this ten-week-old's natural hairstyle. What do you think? Return of the King?

Thanks for your time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

All the Dirt That's Fit to Print...

Nepotism time here, fellow babies!

My sister Kathy has recently decided to plunge into the waves of the internet and start her own blog. It's a blog (primarily) about gardening, called The Dirt, appropriately enough. (Click on that bold-faced link to go there!) If you have any interest in gardening, please check it out, as Kathy is looking forward to amassing readers. For that matter, if you recommend that any friends or relatives check it out as well, that will be greatly appreciated!

"I'm Kathy Lynch, and I approve this message."
(Sorry, watching too many political ads on TV lately!)

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Don't Feel So Guilty!

It's been over a month since my last post, fellow babies, but you know what? I can live with it.

There's a link at the top of this page -- or any other Blogger blog -- called "Next Blog," which can be clicked on when you want to go... elsewhere. Wherever Blogger decides to send you, that is.

I've been clicking on it lately, just for the hell of it, to see where I end up, and you know what? The vast majority of blogs I've been directed to have not been updated for a year or more. In fact, I just visited about a dozen blogs right before writing this post. The most recent posts on several of them were published in 2011. One was last updated in 2010. I only found one of these random blogs which was updated during this year, and that was back in April.

My "see you when I see you" blog looks pretty good by comparison, dunnit?

So, anyway... That tells me that I'm not the only Blogger-blogger out here who has writer's block, or better things to do, or both.

And I shudder to think that some of these bloggers are no longer with us, but if they have indeed passed on, they obviously didn't make arrangements to have someone inform their readership. Have you? (I even posted about my own "final post" here, by the way. Check it out, won'tcha?)

It's funny, but several of the blogs I follow nowadays are written by professional writers who are constantly encouraging their readers (and themselves) to keep on plugging away at their writing. Very inspiring stuff, most of it, but somehow all of that hasn't made a dent in my own creative issues. I sure am glad we don't all have these problems!

Anyway, aren't you glad to learn that my conscience is clear? No?

Thanks for your time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Let's Get It Straight

One of the blogs I read regularly is by author Stephanie Faris. Recently -- like, roughly two and a half months ago -- Stephanie wrote a very brief but entertaining post called "Writers Don't Use Typewriters."

In that post, Stephanie explained how "the typewriter continues to be the universal symbol of 'writer'," although most modern writers seem to have adapted quite well to that newfangled gadget called the "computer." (I assume you've heard of them.)

Similarly, the straight razor seems to be the universal razor for those who shave in movies or on television... and that's the real subject of today's post.

Most of the guys I know shave with one of those multi-blade monstrosities that have been on the market for half a century, more or less.

So. Let me ask all of you female readers something: Does your husband or boyfriend shave with a straight razor?

And to all my male readers: Do you shave with a straight razor?

I've heard that straight razor use is on the rise, but are they really that prevalent? Or is this just a purposeful misrepresentation, possibly to avoid publicizing any particular brand of multi-blade razor by showing it in use?

Just curious.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yeah, So...?

I've been so effin' apathetic and uninspired lately, I can't even write a good post about it.

Instead of checking out the many blogs on my blogroll 5-6 times weekly, I'm lucky if I crawl to the library 2 or 3 times a week lately. And if I bother to leave a comment for any of you, it's a lackluster one at best.

Just letting you all know why I've been MIA for the past month. I wish I could say it's because I have something exciting in the works that's keeping me from blogging. But I don't. And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. I don't even have the energy to recycle old RantZ.

This isn't just writer's block. It's spilled over into my day to day "activities." The only thing productive I've done lately is... Well, does watching one's entire DVD collection count?

(By the way, this post is the closest I'll ever get to "soul searching" -- a/k/a whining -- on this blog, fellow babies! Don't worry.)

So, I'll see you when I see you.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall, 1924-2014, R.I.P.

With all the (deserved) media outpouring over the untimely and tragic death of Robin Williams, I thought I might devote a moment or two to the passing of another one of my personal favorites, Lauren Bacall, who has left us at eighty-nine. (I'm sure you can find something about Robin Williams elsewhere on the internet if you try hard enough...)

Ms. Bacall was as feisty as anyone would have had to have been, to have been happily married to Humphrey Bogart... which she was, for an unfortunately short time -- from 1945 to 1957 -- due to his premature death from lung cancer.

No, no, no.... That's a cigarette; she's not giving
us the finger... But I'm not sure Ms. Bacall would
hesitate to do so given the right circumstances!

Ms. Bacall's prominence did not end with the death of her husband and occasional co-star, of course. In 1970 she won a Tony Award for Applause, and again in 1981 for Woman of the Year. She received a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for 1996's  The Mirror Has Two Faces.

She received an Honorary Academy Award "in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures" in 2009.

Usually, in my celebrity tributes, I try to inject a personal note explaining some sort of connection between myself and the subject, how he or she affected my life, or maybe an anecdote you may not have heard. I don't have any of that this time. All I can say is that Ms. Bacall was a reminder of Hollywood as it used to be, and a treasure that shall be missed.

Thanks for your time.
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