r.i.p., rod taylor

It came to my attention over the weekend that actor Rod Taylor died last week. Taylor is best known for his role’s in George Pal’s The Time Machine and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Here’s the trailer for The Time Machine, a movie I need to watch again.

More recently, Taylor made a cameo appearance as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Here’s his scene from that movie.

prison break fail

Last September 11th, there was a prison break at Ohio’s Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution. Three inmates, including convicted school shooter TJ Lane, used a makeshift ladder to scale the fence during evening recreation. They made a run for it. The first guy was captured within nine minutes. The next guy, Lane, was in custody just after 1 AM. The third managed three more hours of freedom.

Looks like what we have here is just another example of crooks not thinking ahead. They worked for months on their plan to get over the fence, but had no plan to get them away from the prison once they were out. This is not uncommon, which is probably a good thing for society. Hell, the guys who busted out of Eastern State in 1945 dug a tunnel for a about year and a half, but apparently never bothered to work out a plan for what to do after getting out. Like most escapees, they were focused solely on getting over the wall, Or in that case, under it.

Security camera video of the escape has been released. It shows the escaped cons fleeing after getting over the fence. Sadly, there is no video of them using their ladder. The camera that would have captured that moment in time that was disabled by lightning in June and never repaired. I guess the three escapees weren’t the only ones in this equation who failed to think ahead. At about the 1:40 mark, you can see the first man captured being marched back to the slammer.

Remember kids, prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

sad news from the world of rock and roll

There has been speculation for months now about the medical condition of AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. This week, we finally got an answer. And it isn’t good news.

The family of founding AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has confirmed the illness that forced the 61-year-old to quit the band. “Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy,” they said in a statement, according to People.

The group had previously announced in April that Young would be taking a break from the band and that it would be recording a new record without him. When AC/DC announced that it would be putting out the record, Rock or Bust, this fall, they confirmed that Young would not be returning to the band, “due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition.” They did not go into the specifics of the illness.

Young’s nephew, Stevie Young, played rhythm guitar in Malcolm’s stead on Rock or Bust. He will also be filling in for the elder Young on the group’s upcoming world tour in 2015.

Wow, that’s a tough break. Godspeed, Malcolm Young. Thank you for the years of rocking awesomeness.

principles and principals, they’re not interchangeable

A teen mother, living in poverty; she works hard to extricate herself from her situation, eventually earning two masters degrees. She becomes a teacher and goes on to become a public school principal. Pretty inspiring story, isn’t it? But the ending is a little less than inspiring.

Meet Sadie Silver, principal of Public School 28 in Brooklyn, NY. She and her boyfriend, Michael Acosta, were arrested for trying to smuggle heroin and suboxone into Coxsackie Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Just to add a little icing to this layer cake of shame, they had a 10 year old child with them when they tried to pass the drugs to an inmate in the facility’s visiting room. Nice, huh?

Both were charged with promoting prison contraband and possession of a controlled substance. They were arraigned and released on bond. The NYC school system has “reassigned” Ms. Silver pending the outcome of her case. But don’t worry, she’ll still be collecting her paycheck (to the tune of $129K per year, by the way) while she waits for the wheels of justice to turn. Is this a great country or what?

rip, james garner

JamesGarner

Sad news from the west coast this morning:

James Garner, Witty, Handsome Leading Man, Dies at 86

James Garner, the wry and handsome leading man who slid seamlessly between television and the movies but was best known as the amiable gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s western “Maverick” and the cranky sleuth Jim Rockford in the 1970s series “The Rockford Files,” was found dead in his California home on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed on Sunday. He was 86.

Sad news, indeed. I’ve always been a huge James Garner fan. I watched The Rockford Files when it first aired in the 1970s. It was, in my opinion, the best PI show ever. Later, I discovered Maverick, a western that had more comedy than shootouts. Then there were the movies; Support Your Local Sheriff, Support Your Local Gunfighter (they were essentially the same movie with several plot elements reworked), and The Great Escape. In his later years came Victor Victoria, Space Cowboys, and the big screen adaptation of Maverick. Garner just had this laid back screen presence that made him slip effortlessly into any role he played.

Here are a few of my favorite James Garner scenes. This one is from Support Your Local Sheriff:

Testing some moonshine for a 4th of July celebration in The Great Escape:

Jim Rockford, having at it with his frequent foil, Lt. Chapman:

And here’s a compilation of the answering machine messages from the first season of The Rockford Files:

moving through some changes

If you’re one of my regular readers, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been slacking here lately. Well, this week I have a really good excuse. Tuesday night, my daughter gave birth to a baby girl. Her name is Gabriella. She weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces. Between getting the house ready for her arrival (I put together a stroller last night, which is something I haven’t done in a couple DECADES) and visiting the hospital (my daughter couldn’t pick one of the two hospitals that’s less than 15 minutes from home), I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

I usually don’t post pictures of family members on the blog, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

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Programming note: The Friday Movie Quote post will be up at ten o’clock.

kiss off

So KISS is finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. About damned time, I say! Sadly, the band will not be performing at the ceremony. Apparently there’s some controversy over what lineup should perform. And there’s also still some animosity toward former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Bummer. I’d like to see another performance by the original lineup. But hey, we’ll always have Youtube.