The Bloated Magpie …

22 Jan

I’ve recently discovered a new Species of MagpieThe Bloated Magpie (illum turgentis sanie picave).
I am filing my discovery with the appropriate authorities.

The Bloated Magpie seems to be found in only one location: our back step – by the catfood dish. They are readily recognized by their robust and rotund size (Fat) – and the smell of catfood on their breathe!

Bloated Magpies have evolved. Though ‘Bloats’ (as I call them) sometimes utter a burping sound, they are unusually quiet. Instead of the usual noxious cackling associated with the Common Magpie, they have learned the art of stealth! They are able to consume a whole dish of catfood without making a sound! The only evidence of their presence is telltale Magpie footprints around the dish. Astonishing!

Bloats also seem able to consume 3 times their normal body weight in catfood (their only known food source) which, however, renders them unable to fly. One day, as I approached the step, I witnessed a Bloat roll off the step and attempt to hide in a snowbank.

Above: Shameless Bloat attempting to hide in a snowbank!

I expect National Geographic to contact me shortly.

 

Nuthin’ to it!

Holy Mackinaw! SLAPSHOT!

21 Jan

I was just watching clips from one of my ‘Guilty Pleasure’ movies – for the hundredth time (this may not be an exaggeration):

SLAPSHOT !!! (1977)

Slapstick Hockey?
among other things. 

“Certain language may be too strong for children”

There’s a ton of stuff in this movie that is probably
too strong for most anybody. 

People probably think this movie exaggerates things.
Not much.
In the Minors, Hockey can be many things.
And ‘gentile’ is not one of them. 

“Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?”

Initial TV showings of Slapshot were massively censored. In it’s uncensored state Slapshot is vulgar, obscene, profane, ribald, irreverent, and R Rated. It spans the gauntlet from Porn to Slapstick. I’ve walked out the theaters – or changed channels – for far less. It’s pretty well everything I normally hate in movies – and avoid.
Yet, in spite of all this (LoL) this darn thing is hilarious.

Paul Newman himself stated on many occasions
that of all the films he’d been in,
Slap Shot was by far the most fun and his personal favorite.
“I’m not usually happy with my work,” he once said, “but I loved that movie. It rates very high as something in which
I took great personal satisfaction.”
But there was one annoying side effect:
“Ever since Slap Shot, I’ve been swearing more. You get a hangover from a character like [Reggie Dunlop], and you simply don’t get rid of it. I knew I had a problem when I turned to my daughter one day and said, ‘Please pass the f*ckng salt.’”

Maybe you to have to love Hockey and have been brought up in Hockey culture to enjoy this … ???
I think that helps … but I don’t know?

The Hansons

These guys make the movie. 
The amazing so-called Hanson Brothers:

Via Slapshot they became celebrities and for years were in demand to appear at Hockey games and reprise their comic goonery.
I hope they made a few bucks out of it. I do know they raised some money for Charities.
Who knew?

And before you accuse us Canadians of anything, I gotta tell ya that most everybody in this movie is an American.
Yep.

Reviews

In general, the initial Reviews of Slapshot (1977) were not favorable.
Yet as years have gone by, this has changed. For example:
Wikipedia: “Film critic Gene Siskel noted that his greatest regret as a critic was giving a mediocre review to this movie when it was first released.
After viewing it several more times, he grew to like it more and later listed it as one of the greatest American comedy movies of all time.” 

Some interesting Slapshot Trivia: 

The Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts is playing in the opening of the hotel scene.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)

Screenwriter Nancy Dowd originally intended the film to be a documentary, but Director George Roy Hill convinced her that it would be better served as a feature-length comedy.
Uh … WOW.

Al Pacino was wanted Newman’s role and was interviewed for it. However Director George Roy Hill
refused him because he figured Pacino couldn’t skate.

Actor Peter Strauss also auditioned, but broke his leg whilst skating in the audition. 
Yeah, skating is sort of important in a Hockey movie.

John Wayne in Idol of the Crowds (1937)

Henry Hathaway Director of Westerns / The Shepard of the Hills / 1941

13 Jan


wayfaring stranger

The Shepard of the Hills / 1941

BEAUTIFUL AS OUR WOODS AND ROLLING HILLS.
STRONG AS THE RUGGED HEARTS THAT LIVE AMONG THEM

John Wayne was 34 in 1941.
Iconic. This is a pretty famous image of John. 
Wayne was about as photogenic as you get. 

I’m going to say that’s the same kind of rifle John
used in Stagecoach in 1948.
The lever loop is larger … but it’s the same kind of rifle.

Trivia (IMDB)

Shepherd of the Hills was the first film in which John Wayne worked with director Henry Hathaway. They didn’t work together again for another 19 years and then in the Sixties did four films culminating with Wayne’s Oscar winning performance in True Grit.

The Shepherd of the Hills is is the first John Wayne film in Technicolor. A high budget film, a rarity in the Depression-era.

Henry Hathaway directs this first talkie remake of two prior films versions of The Shepherd of the Hills filmed in 1919 and 1928.

The Hayes Office were shocked and appalled by the scene in which Sammy (Betty Field) removes her shirt and displays her bare back to the camera. Director Henry Hathaway assured the Office that it was actually a man doubling for Betty Field during that particular moment. Field, as well as John Wayne, corroborated this. Years later, Field revealed that it was indeed her own bare back that was shown.

Churchill / Man of Destiny

11 Jan


Rule Britannia

“Britons never, never, never will be slaves.”

God and my right (the motto of the British monarch)

No Sir. But YOU sure the hell did. 

Churchill / Warrior

Winston Churchill fought in the Mahdist War (Anglo–Sudan War), the Second Boer War, World War 1 and World War 2.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently
overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
KG OM CH TD PCc DL FRS RA
(30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965)

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say,
‘This was their finest hour.”

“We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it has been said, it is the quality
which guarantees all others.”

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender.”
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory,
there is no survival.”

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming
might of the enemy.”

“There is only one duty, only one safe course, and that is to try to be right and not to fear to do or say what
you believe to be right.”

Darkest Hour / A Triumph

9 Jan

A great movie – and an important one in our time
when the question of Leadership is large on the table. 

Canadian Juniors Prevail …

6 Jan

I didn’t even know the game was on. I thought it was tomorrow! 
 I flipped on the TV and there was 5 minutes left – game tied 1 to 1. 

Here’s what happened:

After losing 2 years in a row by the most contrived non-sport solution
to any sporting event (or tournament no less) – a shootout –

Canada wins in regulation time over Sweden 3 to 1.
(I guess these guys have never heard of Sudden Death Overtime?
It’s only been around a hundred years.) 

The tournament was in Buffalo.
And though this is some of the greatest hockey you

will ever see, not once was the rink full.
Most games less than half full.

You know … I can laugh …
or I can cry …
But I just kinda shake my head. 

Mighty Niagara / photo essay 2

6 Jan


i can see clearly now / johnny nash

Niagara by Day

      Our nights shots were essentially a failure. We didn’t know how to operate our cameras. So next day we head back …

Not award winning shots,
but it’s still hard to take a lousy picture at Niagara. 

That’s not rain. The spray from the Falls can soak you. 
And your camera.

Found a vantage point. 

American Falls and bridge in the distance.

Had another nice day. 

WOW!

If if wasn’t for the water we’d be able to see the Falls.

 

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