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The Daily Jim

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Archive for July, 2010

Can You Tell Me How to Get …

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Thedailyjim.com welcomes back contributor, JimHill, who is fresh from a sweaty pilgrimage through the wilds of Pennsylvania’s Sesame Place, all to make his kids happy (and honor his hero, Mr. Hooper).

Can You Tell Me How to Get …

So like any other masochist where do we spend 4th of July weekend?  Home in the AC?  In the yard getting blind?  No.  How about Sesame Place in beautiful Nowhere, PA?  Yeah this sounds good to me.  The only problem is the crowds and the heat and the long lines.  Well, that’s not the “only” problem.  I just feel out of place visiting there. First, I showered and was groomed before I went.  Second, I don’t have a tattoo on the body fat that does not fit in my spandex.

But, the real gripe is the other characters, the one’s in costume.   Now, I have two small daughters and have been subjected to this new hybrid Street that still goes by the same name.  The trouble is, there is no more street, and the quick memorable one-minute bits (“loaf of bread, a container of milk, and…”) are all gone.  What we’re left with are some old friends, like Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, who are fighting for face time with Elmo (whose “Elmo’s World” runs over ten minutes long) Abby Cadabby (who teaches my children black magic), and Baby Bear (who… don’t even get me started on that baby-talking little punk).

It started early on in our visit to The Place.  I had the girls on the Carousel when “Somebody Come And Play” came over the speakers in the park.  I immediately started crying, because it’s the saddest song ever, and makes me remember being sad listening to it when I was four.  Now I don’t want my children to be sad, or subjected to anything that will make them sad, but Sesame Street is so void of any emotion since Mr. Hooper died.  Most children’s programming has become this way, (see Kai Lan). They simply have no memorable moments that kids will be talking about 20 years from now. They teach the kids to be tolerant of others while at the same time teaching them how to speak with impediments (damn you, Baby Bear).  Do I need this?  No; so we don’t let them watch certain shows (Wonder Pets) and encourage others (Yo Gabba Gabba).

So we ended up also going to Philly on the 4th and had a blast, The Place was OK, worth the two-hour trip.  My girls kind of liked it.  I just wish that Kermit was there to tell them about the struggles of being green.

Baby Bear, just moments before being beaten within an inch of his life by an unidentified father of two.

Baby Bear, just moments before being beaten within an inch of his life by an unidentified father of two.

Prince Closes the Internet!

Monday, July 12th, 2010

In a recent interview with Peter Willis of Britain’s Daily Mirror, the five foot, purple embodiment of awesomeness, Prince, declared that he would soon be closing up shop on the Internet.  “The Internet’s like MTV.  At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good.  They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.

I didn’t know Prince was in charge of the Internet, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  The guy has never made a bad move in his life (sure it’s easy to goof on “Batdance” now, but you and your mullet loved it in 1989)!  So if he says, “shut it down,” Mark Zuckerberg should start thinking about opening that Taco Bell franchise.

Although he has yet to announce a date of closure, he indicated that he would start with iTunes, then (I assume) move incrementally through the rest of the Net giving us plenty of time to pack up our blogs, re-invest in the vinyl of Sign o’ the Times, and work on our cursive writing.

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Read Peter Willis’ full Mirror article HERE.

Little House on the Prairie: One Man’s Defense

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

When my wife explained the premise of Little House on the Prairie to our British friend, Action Man, he stopped drinking his over-sized beer and said {insert English accent}, “That sounds like a show for ladies.”  This inadvertently forced me to reveal my secret love of the show by defending it.  I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but instead I slipped into some sort of automated, Y chromosome, justification system; scrolling through the show’s numerous points of manly interest (that said, Almanzo “Manly” Wilder will be included nowhere in this list).

1.  When Laura met God, it turned out to be Ernest Borgnine.
2.  Albert the bastard pretended he was a werewolf to get the girl.
3.  Pa built his own house, played the fiddle, an kept making kids while his existing children slept in the loft above.
4.  Johnny freakin’ Cash showed up in Season 3 as a con man/preacher.
5.  Based on the song he would sing when he was excited, Mr. Edwards was probably drunker than we realized:
“Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man
He washed his face in the frying pan
He combed his hair with a wagon wheel
And died of the toothache in his heel.”
6.  Mary, Mary, Mary.
7.  Pa became a “powder monkey” for one episode and got to blow stuff up (including unfortunate stereotypical ethnic characters).
8.  Albert the bastard’s addiction to, and miraculous recovery from, morphine all in one episode.
9.  Willie Oleson was like the “George Costanza” of Walnut Grove; you knew he was gonna screw up, it was just a matter of how.
10. They actually blew up the town at the end of the series.  Take that Happy Days!
11. Rams Hall of Famer, Merlin Olsen, was living in Walnut Grove, and providing extra muscle for Pa for almost four seasons.
12. The long term payoff: Melissa Gilbert turns out to be hot soup as an adult, no longer needing to resort to hiding apples in her dress.

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Puppets Commandeer the Los Angeles Freeway

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

When I’m stuck in traffic, do you know what I wish for?  A puppet show to be played out in the rear of the sketchy white truck in front of me (Actually, more times than not, I wish for a bathroom; but only because I never remember to go before I leave the house.).

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If you live in LA, then the fellas over at LAXART are fulfilling all of your rush hour puppetry needs with Superclogger. By distracting highway drivers, they hope “to briefly halt the progression of chaos by temporarily drawing the audience out of the commute experience and placing them within an intimate space of engagement…”  Seriously?  This doesn’t sound dangerous to anyone else? Using my phone in the car diverts my attention from driving, but watching children’s  theater is supposed to help me focus on the task at hand?

In my experience, people tend to slam on the breaks for puppets!  “Sorry about the pile-up on The 401, officer.  My bad.  But I needed to see the third act of ‘Mr. Googlie Eyes has a Bad Day.’  As it turns out, he had love in his heart all along.  Whadda ya mean, ‘jail?'”

I’ll Drink to Your Leg: Jaws Celebrates 35 Years of Panicking 4th of July Beachgoers

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

In the summer of  1975, Mayor Vaughn tried to calm our fears by stating to the press, “I’m pleased and happy to repeat the news that we have, in fact, caught and killed a large predator that supposedly injured some bathers. But, as you see, it’s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time. Amity, as you know, means ‘friendship.'”  It didn’t go so well after that.  Or did it?

Sure, a couple more “bathers” got eaten “injured,” and a surly sea captain was bitten in half, but it worked out pretty well for the rest of us.  We learned that the scientific name for a Great White is “Carcharodon Carcharias” and that it’s “a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all.”  We were told that on a boat “Front, bow. Back, stern. If ya don’t get it right,” the captain has an obligation to “throw your ass out the little round window on the side;” when tying a bowline knot the, “Little brown eel comes out of the cave… Swims into the hole… Comes out of the hole… Goes back into the cave again” – although it wasn’t as easy as it looked.  We saw (kind of) or first autopsies, one on poor Chrissie Watkins and another, “half-assed” one, on a fish.  We learned that the Indianapolis, not only delivered “the bomb,” but that it sank in 12 minutes and sharks killed many seamen; that not seeing your enemy for 3/4 of a movie doesn’t mean he’s not there; and repeating the E and F notes on a piano means you should get the hell out of the freakin’ water.

Maybe Brody was right, and we’ll be a shark smörgåsbord this July 4th on the beaches.  Maybe? But where else would I “go swimmin’ with bowlegged women?”

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Lessons in Bad Media Franchising and Merchandising

1) Saw 8: The Reality Television Gameshow 2)Live action movie of Hungry, Hungry Hippos 3)The Tonight Show, starring Chewbacca 4) Deadpool vs. Punisher: The Musical 5) The Human Centipede sleeping bag 6) C-Span Live Action Role Playing Group 7) The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre ride at Six Flags Over Texas 8) Your Parents Basement is Always […]

Where is Our Modern Barney Miller?

The single camera glory that was Barney Miller can probably never be reproduced.  There’s heavy debate in the office whether it should be or not. It was essentially a 22-minute, 3-act play with minimal characters and only one set (after Season One that also featured Barney’s dining room at home).  The thing is, the writing […]

Non-John Hughes High School Movies from the ’80s

Yep. Most of the high school biggies were our man, Hughes. But if you can name the 1980s high school movie quotes listed below, your might have been paying attention to something else in ’88 other than the MTV Beach House and that cute girl with freckles in your 11th grade Chemistry class. 5)”Last night, […]

Mark Your Calendar, Nerds!!!

This Weekend is legendary Indy 500.  Please don’t think geekdom is limited to cosplay and app programming.  Oh no, my friends. Two years ago our Mid-West correspondent, Billy D, and I watched those car dorks jump a humongous Hot Wheels truck  over a bunch of school busses and twice as many drunks while Florence Henderson […]

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Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…