Daily Barks 06.06 cataroo.com
The Daily Bark: June 2006

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June 30, 2006
Watched Tim Burton's ED WOOD tonight. The film stars Johnny Depp as the popular cult director of some of Hollywood's most notorious films - including PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE. The film is amusing and quirky, and Depp shows again what a versatile actor he is. However, the film almost appears to have been made by Wood... except on a huge budget. The story is strictly a series of incidents, a common fault in many film bios. However, with Burton in command, I would have expected something a bit more twisted... or at least original. Knowing what little I do about Wood, the film was like watching a newsreel on the character. Ironically, the film regularly references Orson Welles and CITIZEN KANE. It made me think of the newsreel in the beginning of that cinema classic. When the newsreel ends, a producer complains all the newsreel showed was that Charles Foster Kane was dead. To get behind the man, the producer asks a reporter to investigate Kane's final words, "Rosebud". Sadly, Burton did not feel the need for a similarly deeper look at Wood.
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"I don't think there's one word that can describe a mans life."
Charles Foster Kane

June 29, 2006
Long day... very tired. But did put some new stuff up on eBay.
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"If you want to make enemies, try to change something."
Woodrow Wilson, President

June 28, 2006
Finally have been able to spend some time putting together a new page, My Pitches for TV and features. This will be a collection of my many attempts to sell a series or movie. I got into the business of pitching during the late 1970s while working at the Disney Studio Archives. Since college, I assumed my career would be in writing. But other jobs kept coming along. While at the Archives, I became friendly with several execs and began suggesting ideas for movies. Some were well received. However, when I left the studio, projects disappeared. Once I was fully employed in animation, I continued pitching ideas for movies, shows and videogames. (I actually began my career in animation as a writer who did production work on occasion.) After taking a script writing class at Hanna-Barbera, the studio asked me to pitch ideas for their current series as well as new series. At Film Roman there was no development department, but in spare time ideas were generated and pitched at various networks and clients. As the years went by, I pitched to Warner Bros, Hanna-Barbera, Disney Feature, Disney TV, FOX, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and more. I pitched original ideas, projects based on classic characters, productions starring celebrities and even adaptations of current properties. Some ideas were dismissed pretty quickly, and I will admit, deservedly. Others were seriously considered and almost put into production. My pitch for TOM THUMB at Disney Features in the 1980s received a lot of interest. But with a change in management and a new "direction" for animation, the project was allowed to fade away. At the moment, I only have around a dozen of these pitches up. I hope to get as many as possible. After that, I may try to get my spec scripts and series episode pitches online. Take a peak. And if any folks are interested, please feel free to contact me. They are still available.
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"By the year 2000, people will work no more than four days a week and less than eight hours a day."
New York Times, 1967

June 27, 2006

Just a few things here and there. Added some pix to the Costume Characters and Costume Performer pages. Included is a snap of me in my first female role - Mrs. Easter Bunny. I had originally been scheduled to play Mr., but my partner turned out to be taller than me, and the Park preferred Mrs. to be shorter than Mr. I have never been a fan of performing as females, though it was fun playing Miss Bianca (from THE RESCUERS) becuase you could "camp" it up so much. Oh... and on a political note. Just recently the Republican run houses vetoed an attempt to raise the minimum wage. A rate that has not gone up in around a decade. However, that same body is set to give themselves a raise. Something they have done several times since the last minimum wage bump. Perhaps we should make it a law that, as bank loans are tied to the "prime", government pay raises should be tied to the minimum wage.
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"We already know the winners of the next election. They'll be old white men who don't care about you or your problems."
Craig Kilborn, humorist.

June 26, 2006
A couple of thoughts for the day. After a stop at the doctor, Rachel is doing a bit better thanks to some pain killers and nerve pills. Seems some vertebrae are closing up and causing issues in her arm from extreme pain to tingling. She will be needing therapy for several weeks. Right now she is getting some rest, her first real rest since last Thursday. Star is being very sweet. Rachel asked her to come over and lay next to her. Even though the mattress is small, and the room is still warm (another hot day), Star is laying there. You can see Star is not really comfortable, but Star has her 'working face' on. Star is there because she thinks she should be to make Rachel feel better. Star is that good a 'mom'. Returned THE TIME TUNNEL first disc to Netflix. Another series that was as cheesy as I remembered it... perhaps a bit more. Sadly, though the idea of the show was interesting, it was destroyed by pretty much single minded plotting: Time Travelers land in a time; they quickly discover an upcoming disaster and try to warn people; no one believes them; disaster happens and the travellers go to a new time. But it had some retro fun. Even Rachel noted the "time machine" of Dr. Evil was based on this series' set piece. Am planning on adding a new page soon. Should be of interest to folks of 'rare' animation. Should be up by next week.
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"Life is a tragedy when seen in close up, but a comedy in a long shot."
Charlie Chaplin, filmmaker

June 25, 2006
Another hot day. And another day of being sleepy. Rachel had a medical condition erupt on Friday that is causing great pain in her right arm. It oddly parallels the pain, and eventual temporary loss of use, of my left arm. The doctors are just now figuring out what may have caused it - spinal irritation of a nerve. That was over three years ago, and still have trouble with my left hand. For Rachel, she is in almost constant pain. So she is getting little sleep. And I am getting little sleep. Luckily, she has improved some since Friday. It took me several weeks before I could function. I am hoping hers will clear up quickly with the help of time and therapy. Hopefully physical therapy can bring her arm back.
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"The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him."
Robert Benchley, author & humorist

June 24, 2006
Hot. Just plain hot. The temps in the area today reached over 100, and up in our area it was in the upper 80s. It meant a lot of panting pups and limited activities. Did pick up the kids food down the mountain, where we got to go 'face to face' with 108 degrees. UGH. Might be having thunderstorms the next few evenings. Hope the heat streak breaks, as promised, next week.
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"We're having a heat wave."
Irving Berlin

June 23, 2006
Saw the recent biofilm on Cole Porter, DE-LOVELY. It is a remarkable movie, but one that did not arrive "as advertised". I recall all the ads stating how it was a visual tour de force, filled with big musical numbers with big name stars. It sounded to be another CHICAGO. What it really is, is a very powerful, generally truthful, biography of Cole Porter's life. It starts from his marriage to a socialite lady, even though he found most of his physical pleasure with men, to his death. Most of the musical numbers are staged very plainly. The one exception is a show-stopping rendition of "Be A Clown" on the back lot of MGM. I enjoyed the film a lot. Rachel was working on the computer, but still enjoyed all the songs. After all, Porter is one of those songwriters who created so many standards, he is in a class of very few (Berlin, Hart, Gershwin to name a few). From "Let's Do It" to "Night and Day" to "Another Open'ng" the movie really picked some great songs from the Porter catalog. I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had been set for a dark, thoughtful bio instead of a flashy musical. Certainly worth watching.
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"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."
Jonathan Winters

June 22, 2006
If you drive, don't think. Though many find this easy to do, especially those with cel phones, I have long known that I do most of my thinking while driving. Which is not always the best thing. I believe it has to do with the the total isolation one gets one driving alone in a vehicle. The hum of the road and the audio enhancement from radio or sound system all tend to make my mind begin to soar in all directions. I run through various movie and TV ideas, some "under construction" since the early 1990s. I consider updates to my web pages. I plan mini-trips and vacations. I conjur up romantic interludes with Rachel. I sing my favorite songs, sometimes with new lyrics. I plan how to spend my big lottery win, when it finally arrives. I even replay films, TV shows and happy events in my head. Those are the good things. The dark side is that I also dwell on how little I really will get done. (As mentioned, some of my desired books, scripts, articles and development ideas have been lieing dormant for over a decade.) I replay moments of frustrations, bad decisions, "should have saids", "should have dones" and other such negative vibes. I contemplate sad futures, and even sadder options. The drive up the mountain from the train station was often steeped with depression. It is moments like these that Baby has to work his hardest... and the fact that when I do get home I am, at worst, "tired" is a testament to his strength. At least while driving I also keep my mind on the road. So I guess I am better than those with cel phones or multiple passengers that keep other drivers looking behind them or to their side rather than the road. Yes, thinking is a good thing. But like any entity, it needs to be controlled lest it turn to mischief or evil.
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"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."
Hedy Lamarr, actress

June 21, 2006
Had another one of those, "why did I like that" moment while watching the first disc of BACKSTAIRS AT THE WHITE HOUSE. (Thanks to netflix) This 1970s mini-series was the only one I ever watched as a kid. I generally could not get into the miniseries phenomenon due to my schedule never allowing me to sit in front of the TV with any regularity. But unlike other minis that ran night after night, BACKSTAIRS ran every Sunday. So ones I could not make, I could tape. Hence I saw it all. The story follows the housekeepers of the White House during most of the 1900s. It used stunt casting (ie big names) to play the presidents. I recalled numerous neat scenes between the staff and the leader of our nation. Upon watching the first disc, I found my memory had done an excellent job of editing. The moments between the staff and the presidents were still intriguing. I even found that my memories were dead on, recalling some line for line. (Pretty good for a show not seen by me in nearly three decades!) However, what my mind had happily erased was all the long, soap opera sequences of the main housekeeper and her family. In fact, the show opened with an prolonged "daddy's going away" scene. It was so long that Rachel lost interest before the characters ever got to the White House. Sadly, as much as I enjoyed seeing the likes of Victor Buono and Robert Vaughn as presidents, after around two hours, even I tired of the long, seemingly never ending family drama moments. I stopped the disc before completing the first part. I will not be getting the rest of the series. I already have the best moments in my head. I don't feel like wallowing through all the gunk to get to them on a dvd.
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"You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn't that we were swept away by the Macarena."
John Stewart, Political Humorist

June 20, 2006
Got good news on Rachel today. So that part of life can now be moved on from. All see needs to do is let the wound heal. In all the waiting for news and celebrating dad's day, forgot to mention that despite health issues, Rachel did hit a dog show near San Diego over the weekend. Eagle won reserve. His second. Rachel also did initial handling on another Dane, Journey. She took him to reserve at an earlier show. I have always thought Rachel was good in the ring. She has a natural command of critters, and is able to get almost any dog to look good in the ring. It helps that she always considers the most important thing IS making the dog look good. Some handlers are more worried about their image, than the dog's. So the good med news was simply the cherry on the cake. Now if we can get some good news on my job front (or the lottery front) things will be very fine.
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"I am against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
Mitch Hedberg, Comic

June 19, 2006
Saw OVER THE HEDGE in what seemed like a cgi-critter festival. Before the feature there were trailers for THE BARNYARD (cgi farm animals from Nickelodeon), HAPPY FEET (cgi penquins from Warner Bros) and FLUSHED AWAY (cgi from Dreamworks and Aardman Animation - creators of Wallace & Gromit). As for the film, my first thought was that it was nice to see the folks who wrote TV animation in the 1980s were still working. The film is so predictable, that only those who have never seen animated features or TV cartoons will be surprised. The plot, the characters, and even the personal bits have all be done before... and frequently. This is not to say that OVER THE HEDGE does not do them well. The film is briskly paced and pleasant to watch. There are some clever lines of dialogue, a few well thought out sight gags, and a few well done voices. It is just not original or laugh invoking. The trailer for THE BARNYARD got more laughs than the entire OVER THE EDGE. Probably what caught my attention was how similar a character and key gag in the film was to HOODWINKED. In fact, when I recall how so many online animation sites hated HOODWINKED and praised OVER THE HEDGE, it seems folks are able to overlook "same old" from Dreamworks or Pixar, but not from smaller companies (or even Disney). Will probably rent it for Rachel to see. As mentioned it is not bad. It is just not fresh... or funny. I have seen animated films that are worse. I have seen animated films that are better. It is just that I have seen too many animated films that are similar. Oh, the other trailers were for two live action films. One, THE SANTA CLAUSE 3 looked to be as lame as most sequels of so-so films. The other HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS is based on a popular children's book (that I have not read) and was a string of "gross out" scenes of people cooking and eating worms. Guess OVER THE HEDGE wasn't so bad.
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"Everything is okay in the end. And if it is not okay, then it's not the end."

June 18, 2006
Happy father's day. For the first time in years, was able to spend time with my dad on this day. We went to the movies. He wanted to see OVER THE HEDGE. He enjoyed the film... but hated the ads and some of the trailers. Then we had a snack at McDonalds. Chatted a bit and then let him and mom rest. Was nice spending time with them.
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"Some people have a large circle of friends while others have only friends they like."

June 17, 2006
Doesn't look like a night for sleep or work. Some new neighbors are having a noisy night. They have a crying baby, and seem to be having a shouting contest with Mayor West (FAMILY GUY reference). This is making the kids on alert. (It doesn't help that Rachel is gone for the night and they think every car door or strange noise heralds her return.) So if they go out, they stare at the street and bark. So the make sure they do all their outside 'duties', I need to chaperone. It also means the distractions are causing them to need to go out almost every half hour. So my time is now spent mostly playing doorman and chaperone. Hopefully we can get everything done in time for bed. But I am expecting to be needed until at least midnight. It doesn't help that tomorrow is a busy day. The morning and early afternoon will be filled with Dad (fathers day). The late afternoon and evening will be filled picking up Rachel. Thought Sunday was a day of rest.

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"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other."
Ann Landers, columnist

June 16, 2006
It has now been six weeks since finishing my series at Cartoon Network. In order to keep in practice, maybe I should do a report on my current progress. Have been looking, but have not found a new series/studio yet. Have not found time to do any serious writing/creating. Have been putting things regularly on eBay and the Garage Sale page. Did get to Disneyland a few times. Rachel continues to improve from her surgery. The kids continue to get bigger. Have gotten some nice words of encouragement about the job... and words of concern for Rachel. Next week? I have some calls to make for work and Rachel drops by the doctor a few times. Am still keeping positive about the future.
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"The only thing that my husband and I have in common is that we were married on the same day."
Phyllis Diller

June 15, 2006
X-Men X. I joked about the title to Rachel as we passed a theater showing X-Men 3. She wondered if any movie series ever got to that many films. I started listing things like Blondie, Charlie Chan and Tarzan. She then asked if any modern series. I could only come up with two - James Bond, and THE LAND BEFORE TIME, though the animated one's sequels are mostly direct-to-videos. I later added the Star Trek films (via two series) and Harry Potter. Course in the early days of films, studios needed "b-movies", a film to play with a big film to complete a double feature. Series like Charlie Chan or Blondie might have two to four new movies a year. With the advent of TV, these quickie series evolved into TV series. Both Blondie and Chan had TV versions. But TV also gave us regular westerns, detectives, families and such. Movies became more focused on the big films. Bond and the Harry Potter series are two of the few big budget series still running. Of course lots of series are hoped for, but often the film is not the success desired and the series fizzles. I think one reason good movie series today have problems is the aging of actors. In a few years, an actor could make a dozen or more B-movies. But the big movies often take a year or two to make. In a few years, an actor might make two to three movies before they have outgrown the role - either by age, ego, or pricetag. Movie series like Batman or Superman, were only able to make two or three before the actors moved on. The best bet for long running series today are probably animated films. Like SHREK or TOY STORY. True, the voice actors might outgrow the roles, but it is easier to replace voice talent. So if there is an X-Men X, the cast will be quite different. I can't imagine Patrick Stewart or Hugh Jackman hanging around until 2020. But if they could change Tarzan, Charlie Chan, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond every few years, why not an X-men or two.
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"Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Actor/Governor

June 14, 2006
Well, I brought Rachel home from the hospital. Things went pretty smoothly... and unless we hear otherwise, we will assume all is well and not worry any more. Our mountain hospital is a very nice, friendly facility. Though I still hope we never need to visit it again. The hardest part at the hospital was noon. Rachel had fasted all night and morn. At noon, they began an employee barbercue and the smell of barbeque beef was all over the facility. At home the hardest part will be keeping Rachel and kids seperated while she recuperates. The kids will behave. Rachel? I will have to see.
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"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
Groucho Marx

June 13, 2006
Today, Disneyland. It was nice.
Tomorrow, well tomorrow will be rough. Will hope for the best.
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"He who takes whatever gods send with smile has learned life's hardest lesson."
Charlie Chan

June 12, 2006
It was my parents' 58th wedding anniversary today. Quite an achievement. We spent some time at the lake. Had lunch. Looked around at shops. I have seen mom and dad go through many changes. I have seen them handle many problems. I have seen them raise two pretty good kids. In some respect, they really raise the bar. When I hear of someone talk about "family values", I don't think about abortion, gay marriage or any other superficial issue meant to enrage and divide our society. I think about my folks who struggled to do the right thing for their family, for their friends and for their community. Whether it was helping set up a community volleball court, fighting intolerance as scout leaders (boy and girl), or simply trying to show my sister and I a good time, they promoted real values. Honesty. Caring. Love and respect. I only hope that Rachel and I can reach such a plateau.
Added even more items to the garage sale

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"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister

June 11, 2006
Another day at the show... and a big disappointment. Though there were moments of fun and laughter, the judge spoiled the day. Not only did she turn out to be color-blind (picking only fawns, except for a token mantle), but she seemed to have trouble keeping up with the show. At one point, after going over all the dogs in the ring, she began again! However, Rachel did handle Journey to a blue ribbon. And there were several good laughs - like the family who hid behind bushes everytime their dog went into the ring. But a bum judge can really drain the life out of a show. By the end, when things like brace, puppies, braces and such got their turn, many of the pups had gone home. She thought it was the weather... but it was mostly dogs of color who had vacated. A final laugh came when Rachel was waiting to take Star into the parade of veterans. The ring guides were trying to get various dogs in the ring. At one point, they looked at a Fawn and stated that that dog had to go into the ring. Then they noticed the numbers and realized that the dog they were looking at was the wrong Fawn. It took them a few seconds to pick out among the 'sea of brown', which dog was which. Such boring conformity does not exist in dogs of color.
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"An optimist is someone who tells you to cheer up when things are going his way."
Edward R. Murrow, Journalist

June 10, 2006
Another dog show day. And another day watching the extremes. So many officially there for the show seem so disinterested in their dogs, or "livestock" as many call it. I see dogs in pens, cages and crates. They are left there seemingly all day with little or no attention. Several were stuck in the sun with no shade and no concern from their two-legged owners. It is particularly see how veterans are treated. My mom joked that the senior citizens always get ignored... but she seemed correct. Though the show "honors" the elder canine statesmen with a parade, they do so at the end of the day. By the temperature is high and the level of crowd low. If they really wish to honor the canines that manage to reach a ripe old age, why not hold the parade first thing of the show. Let the old guys, and dolls, have their moment of glory with a full crowd and then get to rest the remainder of the day. And the other extreme? Those who drop by and feel compelled to share a moment they had with their Dane. The most memorable of the day is when a car stopped in the middle of the street and an aged gentleman got out. He could barely walk or stand, even with a cane, yet he came over to talk with us. He complimented me on our boy Eagle, and the spoke of a Dane he had in his youth. He talked of how he loved the dog, and of the pain he felt when he lost his canine companion. He stated he was to get another Dane, but he could not. So he went with a different large breed. As he spoke his eyes filled with tears. Suddenly a younger woman came out of the car, still in the middle of the street. She came over and the elder man began to leave with her. I told them that the show would also be here tomorrow. He smiled, and said he could not come. That he actually was not supposed to leave the house due to his condition. The young lady smiled, and said she had only taken him out to get a haircut. They went back to the car and drove off. Unlike others at the show, which was just another day to socialize and play 'one-upsmanship' with each other, here was someone who truly cared for the dogs. Who probably had his entire day made by just getting to see a few. Who felt lucky to have caught sight of the show. And, who loved Danes very much. It made the other nonsense seem unimportant. As well as seeing the beaming smile on Star's face after getting her special veteran's ribbon. For her parade, she had worn a ring of artificial roses. A rememberance of our first veteran, and her husband, Roku. So many dog show people just don't get it. How sad for them.
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"It's tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won't drink from my glass."
Rodney Dangerfield

June 9, 2006
Meercat Manor debuted on Animal Planet tonight. It is a good example of what is good and bad about modern docu-series. The good is that technology really allows filmmakers to take us every in the life of wildlife. The shots in the babies den are astounding. The bad is how graphic everything has to be. We get shots of the critters eating giant insects, battling other herds and being bitten by deadly snakes. When I complained of seeing such graphic footage, Rachel commented that it is what happens in real life. True. But people spend time on the toilet in real life. I do not need to see that happen in movies or on tv. Many naturalists complain about how simplified, and "sanitized" early documentaries by the likes of Disney and Mutual of Omaha were. I can understand that. Yet, I feel documentaries have now swung too far the other way. There are times I just want to see the 'beauty of nature'. I do not always need to be shown the "warts and all".
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"Wise men don't need advice; fools don't take it."
Benjamin Franklin

June 8, 2006
Well, the election is over (in California) and we have an official Democratic gubernatorial candidate to face off against the "the governator" (Schwarzeneger). I already feel the cause is lost. When I mentioned that, Rachel (who seldom reads my political rants, and this one is probably no exception... and I can't blame her this time) wondered if it was because, as the press is stating, there was so much mudslinging neither Dem sounded good. I replied, "No, it is due to the Dems once again nominating a bore." I don't get it. Didn't the Dems learn from 2000? 2004? Or even 1952 & 1956? Time and again the public has spoken. When there is a choice between a bookworm and a bmoc, the bmoc wins. Where are the Kennedies and Clintons? Are there no Democrats that have some dynamic attitude? Ever since the TV has become our key source of news (and I use the term very loosely), it is the flashy, glib, candidate that wins. It does not matter if the candidate knows the capital of a foreign country. It does not matter if the candidate is honest. What matters is how "fun" the candidate looks. An associate from years ago stated that all Presidents were bad. The only thing he hoped for was "a good show". Bush 1 was dull, so the southern charm of Clinton easily won out. Bush 2 is dim, but he is a happy-drunk kind of dim that people can laugh at. That is much more of a "show" than some guy who speaks several languages, knows about budgets, understands foreign policy and looks like a college professor. It seems like some sort of cruel twist on an old adage - "Those who can, teach. Those who can't get elected." I am not advocating the Dems nominate a batch of bimbos. But I wish they could come up with a candidate who didn't resemble the teacher's pet. Having been one at various times and running for school office, I can tell you, no one votes for them.
OH! Added a new button to Rachel's Cafe Press store full of nice items for folks who love dogs (especially Great Danes). Also dropped some new items into the Garage Sale.
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"You're confusing the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent."
Marlon Brando, Actor, to a modern "superstar"

June 7, 2006
Am not sure what to write about tonight. At first was going to mention the idea of a "golden age" of animation and how often the term is tossed around. So many critics and pros in the business seem to think if they say this is a "golden age", then it must be. However, most "golden ages" are discovered after the time has past. I also thought about writing about videogames and the way they have shifted in their position in our world. Then I thought I would write about some news that came today that could affect many things at home. But then considered how much I dislike it when someone uses an open forum to complain about their life. Then I was going to write nothing... because I was so tired. News and events of late have made sleep difficult... and concentration tough. But while having to do some quick updates on some sites, I suddenly got a burst of energy. So wanted to write something before it faded. Tomorrow will mean starting to prep for another show, so that will keep things active and distracted. May also try to pile a ton of stuff on eBay since they are having "listing sale". I seem torn between two thoughts: "Trouble rain on man already wet" (Charlie Chan) and "Supercalifragilisticexpialdocious" (Mary Poppins).
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"If the Republicans will stop telling lies about us, we will stop telling the truth about them."
Adlai Stevenson, Democrat

June 6, 2006
Very busy day. Took the van in for service, and got a bigger bill than expected. Sigh. But it got me to town for a lunch with some studio friends. The chat was full of news, gossip and fun. At one point, the conversation veered into sad territory with talk about bad producers, idiot studio execs, egotistical artists, no-nothing production folks and the like. Even wives and children of such folk were fair game. At one point, it struck me very sad. I was reminded of animator Shawn Keller's comment at Disney in the early-80s when the "larger than life" egos began to show in the business. After some discussion of frustrations, he stated, "You know, we're making cartoons. It should be the most fun job around." Even at that time we both knew a lot of the fun had been taken out by the same folks being grumbled about at today's lunch. I stated how sad it all sounded, and the table grew quiet. After just a beat, everyone began speaking up about how the job is really a great job, and the industry is fun to work in. Sometimes, no matter how "bad" things seem to have gotten, one should step back and enjoy the things that are going right. Lack of employment, health worries, unexpected bills and the like can really turn one's focus to the worst scenario. But thinking about home much time I'm spending with Rachel and the kids really counts for a lot. It is important to remember the things that matter most - family and friends. So even with some sad feelings after lunch, by the time I got home, I was in pretty good spirits. It was a good place to be.
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"Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal."
Charles Darwin, Scientist

June 5, 2006

Kids are restless tonight... so no concentration... and too late. No bark.

June 4, 2006
Had a batch of thoughts for discussion earlier today... but as things have progressed, nothing comes to mind. So instead, I'll throw out some big money ideas for folks at Disney... Since I have no real way of contacting them. Disney pins. Want to create a strong selling set. Do a dog show collection and call it 'best in show'. Between 101 DALMATIANS, OLIVER AND COMPANY and LADY AND THE TRAMP you have over a dozen AKC breeds that could be pins - German Shepherd, St Bernard, Cocker Spaniel, Great Dane, Dalmatian, Bulldog and more. SONG OF THE SOUTH. Don't want any hassle? Edit the film down to just the animated sequences. Digital editing let you remove all of Pecos Bill's cigarettes. A bit of creative editing and you would end up with around 35-40 minutes of animation. And really, that's the best part of the film. If the voices bother you too much, re-dub. Either use more modern black voices or simply re-cast to be more multicultural. That way, animation fans get the great animation, and socially conscious folks do not need to worry about those nasty little details of history that we often like to forget. If you (disney) end up using any of those ideas, just send me a check.
New stuff on the Garage Sale page!
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"Age is nothing more than experience, and some of us are more experienced than others."
Mickey Rooney, actor

June 3, 2006
It is amazing. Even when one is "out of work", there seems little time to do other things. However, found a little time to add some fun stuff to the Garage Sale page, including cereal boxes, publicity photos and rare WB cartoon poster sheets. Am also trying to keep my eBay page fresh with some new items including buttons, Disney lps, studio promo items and more. Now if I could only find time to finish (actually start) a book I promised a publisher.
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"I'm a concert pianist. That's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."
Oscar Levant - pianist, actor, humorist

June 2, 2006
Jim Henson's DINOSAURS. The 1980s TV series was perhaps the first to have an almost entire "mascot" costumed cast. I remember when the series came out. It was a cute idea, with some fun characters. Perhaps the best known today is the baby who answered almost all problems with "I'm the baby. Gotta love me!" Trouble was the writing. Seemed as if each episode was a moral story about changing some long held tradition. (Sort of a costume FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.) It tended to give the series a bit of a flat, repetitious tone. As the series went on, I remember it getting a bit more clever. Well, the series is now out on dvd. Thanks to netflix, we just watched the first disc. Sad to say, my first reaction returned. From an episode about changing the practice of killing old folks, to changing the practice of how one gets a wife, to the ritual of howling, each episode showed how old traditions may not be right traditions. The result was I am not interested in seeing any more episodes. One of the extras showed how the series was created. The most interesting point made, was that after Jim Henson had worked with his team to come up the basic concepts, Jim Henson died. To keep the series going it was "decided" to bring in a Sitcom writer/producer. So instead of a wacky, offcenter comedy, which is typical of the classic Muppets under Jim Henson, the audience got a standard show, with standard characters, going through standard social issues of the day... like almost every other sitcom of the era. It's a shame. It had potential to be a good series. Though I must admit, the staring, glassy eyes of the costumes bothered me a lot more now then when I was younger.

Oh... and have updated the look of the 'stuff for sale' section and added a "Garage Sale" page. Hope to be adding a lot of nifty stuff in the next few days. Give it a click...
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"Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway. "
John Wayne, actor

June 1, 2006

Was reading some sites the other day and noticed one mentioned how THUNDERCATS was a series that debuted on Cartoon Network's Toonami. It made me remember other such statements from those of other generations. It is amazing, with the world of cable, video, downloads and such how people's perception of entertainment can be affected. While discussing the multiple seasons of THE FLINTSONES, a producer commented that Saturday morning shows always had long runs. They had first seen the shows repeated on Saturday morning and had no idea the series originally ran in primetime once a week. I can't count the number of folks I've met who grew up thinking shows on Nick at Night or in syndication were "new" at the time. I think the biggest "shock" I got was after we hired a young artist out of college for a series at Film Roman. We were discussing wanting a segment to be similar to STAR WARS. The artist popped right up, "I saw that video!" So for some, the same tv show might be something they first saw in primetime, or Saturday morning, or afternoon syndication or cable network. And a movie might be something first experienced in a theatre, on cable, on video, or even on iPod. How we first experience a work of art, or culture, will forever color what our perception of its origin and importance. Something to remember when someone speaks of a favorite film or series.
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"One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."
Joseph Stalin, Leader

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