Thursday, January 26, 2006

A round of applause for...

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) who has been named Humane Legislator of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States for legislation he authored to help crack down on animal fighting and to stop the slaughter of American horses for consumption.

HSUS also noted:

"Sen. Ensign didn't stop with those two bills. He also co-sponsored the Pet Animal Welfare Statute, S. 1139, which will require commercial breeders who sell directly to the public to follow the basic care standards outlined in the Animal Welfare Act. What's more, he co-sponsored the Captive Primate Safety Act, S. 1509, which would prohibit the interstate and foreign commerce in nonhuman primates (chimpanzees, monkeys, lemurs, and others) for the pet trade. The senator also supported millions of dollars in increased funding for the enforcement of existing animal welfare laws."

Other House and Senate members from both parties were also recognized as Humane Champion Award winners, Legislative Leader Award winners and Humane Advocate Award Winners.

Have a look here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

For those thrown off course

I feel bad when the search engines lead people astray and they land here when they were actually looking for other things.

When I mention something I usually try to cross link so that there's a one click-destination for more information, but sometimes people get here due to keyword combinations I've never expected. So I thought I'd put together a few links to help those of you who didn't mean to be here get where you're going.

Ambassador Sidney Williams
I couldn't find a definitive biography on former Ambassador Sidney Williams, but there's a pretty good synopsis of his service at the bottom of this page. Scroll on down until you see the heading Ambassador For Bahamas. And of course you can always read about his wife, Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Boy Named Sue Lyrics
A good source for the Johnny Cash song penned by Shel Silverstein can be found here.

Delphine LaLaurie
Learn more about her haunted New Orleans Mansion here.

The Colin Farrell/Jamie Fox Miami Vice video
Is now available on

Information on Hugh Laurie
Go to the Wikipedia entry for an good overview and photographs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Martha Stewart's Anti-fur Video

Martha Stewart is hosting and narrating one of the scariest videos I've seen in a while. Hostel and Wolf Creek have nothing on the shivers from her discussion of the fur industry.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Movie Options that Didn't Happen - The Scary Book

This was a long time ago. I'd just had a conversation with someone about how comedy and horror never mixed well, and we'd cited numerous movies that proved that fact. Then I got a call from my comics editor, Roland Mann.

"I want you to write a comedy horror comic," he said.

"Well," I said. "That's probably impossible to do well, but I'll give it a try."

It wound up being something I feel is one of my most interesting pieces. It died at one comics company, bloomed again at two others and was considered as a treatment at 20th Century Fox once upon a time.

Laugh at the devil
When I began the first outline, I decided to brew a mixture of every zany horror element I could find. The devil, usually no laughing matter, became a key figure along with is goat-horned office manager Baalberith.

In the story, due to a shipping error, the scary book of the title, fell into the wrong hands. It was a sorcery tome that really worked and was meant only for the most accomplished adepts.

Quickly, the wannabe sorcerers of the world shared it, invoking all of the demons from the pits at one time and bringing Hell itself to a standstill.

Angered by this problem, Satan ordered the hapless bookstore clerk who sold the book on the open market in the first place to get it back or face fiery retrobution. He sent a beautiful but damned soul to help him.

Proper British form
Malibu Graphics, later to be swallowed by Marvel, optioned it initially and had me script it in a British comic style with frequent cliffhangers in hopes of re-selling it abroad after its U.S. run.

Developing complications
I think we developed the complete four-issue miniseries, written by me and pencilled by Steve Willhite and inked by Dan Schaefer. Then some shakeup at Malibu killed it.

Roland felt so good about the project that he shuffled it over to Caliber, publisher of The Crow.

They put out two issues then stopped.

The Scary Book - The Graphic Novel
So Roland, not to be defeated, eventually formed a publishing arm of Silverline Comics which had previously been a packager for other publishers.

He brought out a complete-in-one-volume graphic novel version of The Scary Book.

Having worked for a while at Malibu, Roland knew quite a few people in the comics industry and he and Warren Ellis talked over a Silverline book with a title to be named later.

So flash forward to Comics-Con in San Diego: a Hollywood person stopped by Roland's table that year, caught wind of a possible Ellis property and started talking to him.

The result: 20th Century Fox asked for a list of Silverline titles and from that list they asked for a treatment of The Scary Book, which we gladly produced.

And that's about as far as it went, but it was certainly a fun and exciting experience and educational about how things happen.

I guess The Scary Book would not have been quite right for prime time or Pixar but it would have been fun to see what came about with say: Danny DeVito as the devil, Mike Myers as the hero and Jennifer Love Hewitt as his sultry sidekick (the cute one in the fedora in the sample page).

Oh well. Life goes on.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Whooo Who!

Dr. Who is coming to America, according to the BBC and The Sci Fi Channel. Looks like he'll be landing the Tardis where the Battlestar Galactica is now parked.

It seemed for a while like the new Doctor, who (:-)) I guess is already sort of the old Doctor everywhere except the U.S. , was never going to get here.

BBC has a dandy flash animation on their site of the Tardis landing on the White House Lawn and a press release that explains how the deal was struck and that Sci Fi also has an option on Dr. Who Series 2.

Once upon a time in America
Once upon a time I knew people who thought it was heresy that Harlan Ellison said in his intro to the American Who novelizations that the series was better than Star Trek. I figured it must be. What could be better than Trek.

Then, finally, I got to see a few Whos and realized how right he was. I was introduced via the Jon Pertwee incarnation on PBS in my general assignment days -- I worked nights

Though saddled with rubber suits and videotape production values, the scripts were great science fiction stories, sometimes brilliant.

And in Britian the Doctor is/was considered children's programming. I know, so are Teletubbies.

But maybe there's something we could learn from that.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Church Sign!

I opened an e-mail from my friend Wayne and was a little alarmed at first glance. It looks quite real, doesn't it? Actually, as the sign says it's from You can put anything you want in the space, provided it doesn't have too many letters.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"House" provides Customer Service Training

Ironically, I've been assigned to find a good customer service video. I guess it's because I'm usually unhappy when I don't get good customer service. That's the reason I'm no longer a customer of my local cable company.

When I worked directly with customers once upon a time I tried to be good on that front.
I was often successful, except, you know, with people who bothered me.

Hugh Laurie teaches
In perusing titles and clips online, I ran across something that may interest House fans. Hugh Laurie appeared in a customer service series from Monty Python's John Cleese, I'm guessing in the late eighties by the size of the cordless phone he's holding in one clip.

I mention those here for the Hugh Laurie fans who occasionally get thrown off course and land on this blog because of the occasional mention since my wife is a fan. I hope the information is of value.

American viewers who've missed Laurie's guest shot in Friends or in roles such as Jeeves and Wooster will be a little surprised.

It's Bertie
He's a lot more Bertie Wooster in the clips. My favorite about internal customer service provides him a great line.

Samples seem to be all over the place, but the best I found are here. You'll also see Jennifer Saunders of Ab Fab in some scenes.

Scroll down (way down) to the John Cleese listings on this page to see clips of Hugh in several clips.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Bit Belatedly - My Resolutions

I resolve to take my time in 2006. I'm not talking about just slowing down, smelling the roses and seeking solace in peaceful silence.

I resolve to achieve an annoying level of slow. I've tried to be nice in the past and nobody's been considerate of me in return, so things are gonna change.

  • I will talk on my cell phone in the car, ignoring all others. I will cause people to miss lights while I drag under a yellow. I will bring traffic to a crawl as I babble about nothing.
  • I will take as much time as I want at the fast food drink fountains, filling my cup slowly with ice then slowly with a drink. And then I will take plenty of time selecting an affixing a plastic lid.
  • Ignoring the various opportunities to plan in advance--newspapers, phone, web--I will hover outside the theater box office deciding on the movie I want to see before purchasing a ticket while others wait.
  • Ditto cafeteria lines.
  • I'll be waddling in department stores and parking my buggy in front of the canned goods you want to browse at the super market.
I'll be adding to this list as the year progresses. It's no more Mr. Nice Guy.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Intimate New Year's Dinner

The intimate New Year's dinner Christine and I had planned at an elegant little restaurant went a bit awry.

We arrived to find they were serving only their New Year's Eve couple's package, a fact they didn't mention when I made the reservation. It involved enforced appetizers, wine, desserts and more. My thought was: If I wanted to eat off the rack I'd have gone to Micky D's.

After a brief conference in which we decided we didn't care for not being able to choose what we wanted from the menu in combinations that we wanted i.e. we were planning to skip appetizers and just have dessert, we developed a plan B -- Olive Garden.

Sure it's a chain and not exactly what you think of when you think elegant little dinner spots, but they were more than happy to provide a choice and combinations we could abide.

15 minutes
We only had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, though we were a little overdressed for OG. OK, I was wearing a shirt that was a fashion risk. Everything from jeans to tie and sports coat were represented, though, so I got away with it without many glances.

It proved to be a great evening - nice waiter and good food. I used to go to an Olive Garden in Lafayette, Louisiana where they were stingy with the breadsticks.

The waiter would bring about two in a basket then disappear for an hour. That was a bit disappointing since my first experience in an Olive Garden was in San Antonio where the waiter was there every couple of minutes to check on your needs.

Even though he was busy, our waiter was attentive last night.

I had their Chicken Vino Bianco for the first time and enjoyed it. Ate everything too fast as I am wont to do of late and resolved to take things a little slower in the new year.

I've also resolved to be less snobby about chains. And to be more thankful in general.

A lot of people didn't eat at any restaurant last night. Lot of people didn't eat at all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...