Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pentatonix makes the big time...

Entertainment Weekly October 17, 2014, Chart Attack section:

Top albums [10 listed]

Number 7:  PTX, Vol. III,  PENTATONIX


You can hear a terrific track from the album right here, presently at 6,331,559 YouTube views.  Looks great on full-screen view.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A shout out for Yogi

When I was a kid, I spent first grade through fourth grade in Bend, Oregon.  There was no TV, and the only sports teams were fielded from the town's high school.  Thus, the only sport I grew up with, (and played in Bend's Little League) was baseball.  And, the majority of games we got on the radio were Yankee games.  So, I became a pretty rabid little Yankee fan continuing through our move to the Bay Area in California where I started fifth grade.  Like a lot of my buddies I was an admirer of Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, but unlike those buddies, my favorite Yankee was Yogi Berra.  Even though I was not deeply into statistics at that time and age, I sensed that Yogi truly was a great ball player who was especially productive in clutch situations.  He was the MVP in 1951, 1954, and 1955, which today most people don't remember.  But let's  dig a little deeper.  Here are his stats for 1950, the year before his first MVP.  The reason I'm choosing 1950 will be explained later.

At Bats =597
Runs = 116
Hits = 192
Doubles = 30
Triples = 6
Home runs = 28
RBI's = 124
Stolen bases = 4
Walks = 55
Strike outs = 12
Batting average = .322
On base percentage = .383
Slugging percentage = .533
On base + slugging (OPS) = .915

These are stats today's ball players would kill for.  An OPS even in the low eight hundreds is considered excellent. Yogi's is in the nine hundreds!  But, you may have overlooked the most amazing stat he put up in 1950, which was:  Strike outs = 12!!  That amazes me every time I think about it.  Out of 597 times at bat he only struck out 12 times.  True, Joe Sewell of the 1925 Indians struck out only 4 times in 608 at bats, but it was a different game than it was in 1950.  Any way you slice it a mere 12 strike outs in a season is very rare.

Yogi was an awesome player, and as we all know, his "Yogi-isms" are legendary. For instance:

"You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours."

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."

 Recall most of them right here. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Discovered sweet movie site

Hey check out this very cool web site.  I'm just getting into it, but I can already see that I'm going to spend some time there in the future.

For instance, for Netflix subscribers, by all means check out 18 Best Movies on Netflix You Haven't Seen.  I am surprised that I have not seen more of them, but now I have a nice list of movies to watch at my leisure.  My track record on these movies?

18.  Nowhere Boy - Nope
17.  Tell No One  - Sorry
16.  Francis Ha - No
15.  Broken - Another no
14.  Ice Storm - At last, one I've seen and liked a lot
13.  I Saw the Devil - No, but I actually have it waiting on my Netflix list
12.  Samsara - I'm guessing most, like me, have not seen it, but sounds cool.
11.  Mr. Nobody -  I'm a nobody on this one.
10.  Boy - Geez, where have I been?
09.  Get the Gringo -  Missed this one too.
08.  Gattaca -  Hooray.  One of my favorites.
07.  Headhunters - Striking out again
06.  Exit Through the Gift Shop - Yes, yes, yes.
05.  Detachment - Alas, no
04.  The Station Agent - Two huge thumbs up.  Dinklage is awesome
03.  Dear Zachary - Negatron
02.  Senna - Loved it
01.  Short Term 12 -  No, but the list-maker says one of best in last 20 years.

I'm kinda hanging my head in shame, but I'll try to find time to watch these flicks.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shout out for Paula Malcomson

I've been busy the last few days, and am still a bit short of time.  Anyway, a couple of nights ago I watched the season 2 finale of "Ray Donovan," a  terrific Showtime series that I have watched from its beginning.  One of the characters is Abby Donovan, the protagonist's wife.  The part is a juicy role, played by Paula Malcomson.  She is simply mesmerizing in this role, especially in the last several episodes where the character gets amped up and hubris closes in on her.  It's some of the finest acting I've seen.

I have always enjoyed Paula Malcomson, starting with her major role as "Trixie" in 36 episodes of the legendary "Deadwood" series.  Then I saw her later playing the part of an Irish woman in "The Sons of Anarchy" in a 10 episode story arc taking place mostly in Ireland.  It turns out that Paula is indeed an Irish actor, having been born in Belfast.  I was totally on board with her performance in that milieu. You can read all about her and her filmography right here.

As you can see, she also plays the role of Mrs. Everdeen in the Hunger Games movies.

But, circling back, it was her role as Abby Donovan that in the end had me shaking my head and saying to myself, this woman is a fierce, powerful actor, with a range of emotions that merits our admiration.  Some of the scenes with Liev Schreiber (Ray) are so intense they are almost unbearable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nostalgia comes in many forms...

There is certainly something to be said for this!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Successful surgery (and check out the hardware!)

Hey all:

The surgery yesterday was a total success.  Even though I am sore and have some pain because of the new incision to remove the hardware, it is not nearly at the level it was after the primary surgery on May 30th.  And, I could immediately feel the difference of having the plate and screws removed.  I feel great and am pretty sure I'll be totally recovered in a couple of weeks.

The doc was kind enough to give me the plate and the seven screws that I was carrying around inside my shoulder for 3-1/2 months.  I was shocked at the size of the plate, but what really sort of freaked me out was the size of the screws, which of course were screwed into my actual collar bone.  Having seen them, I can see why they refer to the plate and screws as "hardware!"  I realized I could share this with you by photographing the hardware.  Here it is.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Final surgery tomorrow

Tomorrow, (Friday), I go in for more surgery to remove the plate and screws that were put in during the original surgery on May 30.  According to my doc the fracture has healed and removal of what he calls "the hardware" will allow me to gain full mobility.  Also, the surgery will only take about 20 minutes, although there is still going to be a healing period of about 10 days.  So, I'm armed with my bottle of percocet and the remotes for my TV and DVR.

Speaking of TV, I have to put in a plug for a show I recently discovered:  "Your The Worst" on FX.  This show is truly hilarious.  The chemistry between the lead players is wonderful and the writing is so sharp and cutting that it often leaves me with a mixture of laughter and literary admiration.  Also, another nice feature is that the episodes are only 30 minutes long, which means that you can sneak in a watch here and there where you wouldn't be able to squeeze in something longer.  Do yourself a favor and check out the show.  Unless your sense of humor has been excised, you will do your fair share of laughing your ass off.