Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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8/31/2006


“Psycho” Scribe Joseph Stefano Dies

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 3:46 pm

“Psycho” Scribe Stefano Dies

From the article: “[Joseph] Stefano went on to cocreate and executive produce the sci-fi series The Outer Limits in 1963 and later served as a consultant on the 1995 remake of the show, which lasted until 2002.”

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8/30/2006


Jonathan Thomas - Episode 26

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:40 pm

Episode #26 - Going home.

This is the last episode of Jonathan Thomas, and his Christmas on the Moon. I hope you enjoyed the series as much as we did!

(And again, thanks to Kermyt Anderson for the one-line episode descriptions!)

icon for podpress  Jonathan Thomas - Episode 26 [12:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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8/29/2006


‘For sale’ sign up on Gilligan’s boat

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 11:56 pm

From CNN: ‘For sale’ sign up on Gilligan’s boat

From the article: “According to the Gilligan’s Island Web site (www.gilligansisle.com), the boat is the third of four vessels used in the show. Taylor’s Minnow was used in the opening credits of the second season.” Oookkkk.

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8/28/2006


I Deal in Crime - The William Davis Case

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 7:15 am

Dr. Joseph Webb posted a file containing these I Deal in Crime episodes to the Internet OTR Digest, so we’re running them here to make it easier for folks to listen and download.

This episode: The William Davis Case, broadcast April 15, 1946.

From our friend Jack French, he of all things Private-Eye:

I Deal in Crime ran for almost two years on ABC network radio and starred the very capable radio and Hollywood actor, William Gargan. In this, one of his many PI radio series (he’s best known, of course, for his role as Martin Kane), Gargan played Ross Dolan, described as a veteran detective who returned to his sleuthing job after his WW II service as a sailor. Or as Dolan puts it, “a hitch in Uncle Sugar’s Navy.”

icon for podpress  I Deal in Crime - The William Davis Case [28:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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8/27/2006


XM gets FCC OK for 3 radios

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 2:39 pm

From Reuters via Yahoo: XM gets FCC OK for 3 radios

Well, it’s about time. From the article: “As a result of the new certifications XM, the top U.S. satellite radio operator, said three primary products — the Xpress from Audiovox Corp., the RoadyXT from Delphi Corp. and the XM Sportscaster — would be available to consumers during the holiday shopping season.”

Of course, if you want a radio with a slightly stronger FM transmitter (please don’t annoy the neighbors!), check out the Delphi MyFi available for $69.95 at The Geeks…

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Man seen dangling from power line

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:35 am

From BBC News: Man seen dangling from power line

From the article: “Shocking pictures of a young man ‘lucky to be alive’ after he dangled from overhead rail cables have been issued by transport police.”

What a knucklehead!

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8/26/2006


I Deal in Crime - A Dame Like a Dream

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:57 pm

Dr. Joseph Webb posted a file containing these I Deal in Crime episodes to the Internet OTR Digest, so we’re running them here to make it easier for folks to listen and download.

This episode: A Dame Like a Dream, the audition from January 21, 1946.

From our friend Jack French, he of all things Private-Eye:

I Deal in Crime ran for almost two years on ABC network radio and starred the very capable radio and Hollywood actor, William Gargan. In this, one of his many PI radio series (he’s best known, of course, for his role as Martin Kane), Gargan played Ross Dolan, described as a veteran detective who returned to his sleuthing job after his WW II service as a sailor. Or as Dolan puts it, “a hitch in Uncle Sugar’s Navy.”

icon for podpress  I Deal in Crime - A Dame Like a Dream (Audition) [29:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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8/25/2006


Breaking: Annie and Katie and the Orioles

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 8:40 pm

Katie and Annie (along with my parents) are at Camden Yards tonight, watching the Orioles play the Devil Rays. I’ll post pics as they come into the phone…


Katie doesn’t look like she’s enjoying the game…


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Jonathan Thomas - Episode 25

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:22 am

Episode #25 - Rescuing Santa Claus.

(Thanks to Kermyt Anderson for the one-line episode descriptions!)

icon for podpress  Jonathan Thomas - Episode 25 [12:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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8/24/2006


Accident

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 2:12 am

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8/23/2006


Review: The Nine

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:20 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

The Nine; ABC, Wednesday, 10:00 PM

“Look…I woke up…I went to work, it was a regular day…and then I ended up in there…”

This is one of the more interesting, yet stranger new shows of this season. The program opens following two handfuls of people starting out the day…a day that will change all of them, and not necessarily for the better. Nick the cop (Timothy Daly, Wings, The Fugitive, Eyes), just coming off of a gambling problem, has a thing for teller Eva (Lourdes Benedicto, 24); Jeremy the doctor (Scott Wolf Everwood) is having another wonderful morning saving the sick, Assistant District Attorney Kathryn (Kim Raver, 24) is grabbing a morning quickie with her boss when her mother (Susan Sullivan, Dharma and Greg and yeah, Falcon Crest) calls from the bank complaining about the manager Malcolm (Chi McBride, Boston Public, Killer Instinct, and my personal favorite, The John Larroquette Show) who’s having his own problems with his daughter Felicia (Dana Davis, Veronica Mars) and another customer Egan (John Billingsley, Star Trek: Enterprise) who is secretly plotting suicide.


Malcolm (Chi McBride), Felicia (Dana Davis) and Nick (Timothy Daly)
find their ordeal is only beginning.

Meanwhile, outside the bank, brothers Randall (Jeffrey Pierce) and Lucas (Owain Yeoman, Kitchen Confidential) are planning a smash-and-grab robbery; they carefully plot everything to make certain they are in the bank only moments. They make the hit, and Lucas tells Nick, “Don’t try to be a hero, man…this’ll all be over in five minutes.”

You might want to go over all that again, since that’s a heckuva lot to absorb in only the first ten minutes.

Ok, so fifty-two hours later, the SWAT team launches an assault against the bank; with tear-gas everywhere and explosions destroying the glass front of the building, the remaining hostages are freed, Randall is shot while Lucas surrenders. Eva is rushed to the hospital with fatal wounds, while the others are all loaded onto a bus for debriefing at the police station…as Kathryn tells them, they are all suspects as well as victims.

“…and then I ended up in there. With all of these people. Most of us didn’t know each other…at all…but after what we went through…for the rest of our lives…”

Outside of the nine remaining hostages, no one can truly understand, and no one can comfort them. They find themselves slowly turning away from “outsiders;” wives, friends, and turning toward each other in large ways and small….Lizzie (Jessica Collins) the hospital social worker and vegetarian suddenly needs bacon, and no longer needs Jeremy; Felicia can’t remember anything that happened inside the bank; Kathryn believes she owes Nick for her mother’s life.

They gather at Eva’s funeral, where Jeremy and Franny hook up almost out of desperation, and Lizzie confesses to Kathryn that she’s pregnant with Jeremy’s child, but doesn’t want him to know. Nick is offered a promotion and medal so long as he keeps his mouth shut about the mistakes made by hostage negotiators. Egan and Lizzy organize a get-together at a local diner, so they don’t lose touch - when dishes are dropped, the entire table starts, then laughs with the shared understanding. Only Felicia couldn’t make it…she’s secretly going to the prison to see Lucas…

As you can see, this series is not so much about the bank robbery, although I’m absolutely certain we will continue to learn bits and pieces about what went on in there through flashbacks. This series is about The Nine, and how that fifty-two hours changed their lives.

And that, I think, is going to be the fatal flaw of this series. While the pilot is one of the most exciting and interesting of the current crop of new shows, the long-term view seems more…soap opera than thriller. Secrets held from outsiders, secrets held from other members of this exclusive club. But the drama will come not from the excitement of the chase, as in Vanished, but in the interraction of the people. In that respect, this pilot is the worst possible representation of the series, since the adrenal rush of the robbery is the focal point of this episode, and the cerebreal introspection of the robbery will be the focus of the rest of the series.

It might be interesting to watch this unfold, particularly with this solid cast of dependable performers giving it their A-game. But still, we won’t know until we get there, since this pilot isn’t representative of what the series will eventually hold.

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8/22/2006


Carmakers must tell consumers about “black boxes”

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 6:49 pm

From Ars Technica: Carmakers must tell consumers about “black boxes”

Most people don’t even know their new car is recording information about their driving; this requirement will change that. But I wish they were required to tell us how to turn them off.

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8/21/2006


Jonathan Thomas - Episode 24

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 10:50 am

Episode #24 - Captured by the Squeebubblians.

(Thanks to Kermyt Anderson for the one-line episode descriptions!)

icon for podpress  Jonathan Thomas - Episode 24 [11:57m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Got a reply from Hugh Panero last night…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 3:29 am

Yesterday, I sent a note to Hugh Panero, CEO of XM Satellite Radio dealing with…well, never mind, it was a personal letter, and just because I have a blog doesn’t mean I have to tell you, gentle reader, everything. Besides, my sending a note to Mr. Panero isn’t the important part.

Last evening, Sunday evening, I received a thoughtful and personal reply.

Now look, you might not agree with everything XM does (I know people who are still angry about Special X leaving the satellite service, and that’s been years now), and knowing me you know I don’t agree with everything they do (heck, look at back postings here on the blog). But when the CEO of a corporation that big takes time out of his Sunday evening to considerately respond to one of his customer’s comments, one customer out of more than seven million, you have to be impressed. This was no, “thanks for the comments” form letter, but an informative response (no, I’m not going to tell you what he had to say, because that’s personal, too).

I have no idea how the “other guys” think about customer service, but I’m d*mned sure the head of XM takes every one of his customers seriously.

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8/20/2006


Pet Peeve - “I know this is off-topic, but…”

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 2:31 pm

Ok, time for a listmaster rant. As most of you know, I am the maintainer of The Internet OTR Digest, which is the role occasionally referred to as the “list mom.” It’s my job to stay out of the way of the discussion, basically shepherding the list behind-the-scenes to make sure it stays focused and interesting.

One of my serious pet peeves are posts that begin with, “I know this is off-topic, but…” then proceed to discuss something that is off-topic. I have become so annoyed with them I am instantly rejecting any posting that starts that way (or any variation thereof). Seriously; if one knows something is off-topic, is so certain the posting is off-topic that it’s necessary to announce it starting out, why the devil would one post it in the first place?

I’ve gone so far as to offer some routine offenders of this policy space on the blog server, so they can do what I’ve done - blog about whatever strikes their fancy (hey, this is my blog, so nothing I think about is off-topic here). To date, no one has taken me up on it, yet I continue to receive posts that start out proclaiming they don’t belong on the Digest. Four in the last week, in fact.

There’s clearly no solution to this problem (I mean, I offer space on the server with no takers, so I don’t know what the heck else I can do), but at least now posters won’t be surprised to get their posts returned if they start out shouting that their post belongs somewhere else. Really…if you say that, I’ll simply believe you and treat the post appropriately.

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Review: The Class

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:43 am

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

The Class; CBS, Monday, 8:30 PM

Oh…my…god.

What the heck was James Burrows thinking, directing this humorless schlock? Has he contracted Alzheimer’s disease, or is he just desperate for the money?


A class-full of people you don’t want at your party…

Sorry, a review should always start with the good stuff. Oh, wait…there isn’t any. And I mean any. So instead, I’ll start with the obligatory plot setup; preppy Ethan (Jason Ritter, Joan of Arcadia) is calling up all of his third-grade classmates inviting them to a party on the 20th anniversary of the first day of school that year. The group is about as dysfunctional as it gets, so much so that if this is what third grade is like, for the first time in my life I am grateful I missed out on it. There’s Lina Warbler (Heather Goldenhersh doing a terrible Paula Poundstone impression) who’s in the middle of being dumped, her goth-ish sister Kat (Lizzy Caplan, Related) with a mouth like a sailor’s, the mama’s boy Duncan (Jon Bernthal, How I Met Your Mother) playing video games in his bedroom, the dweeb Ritchie (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) who is prevented from committing suicide by the telephone call, the gay man Kyle (Sean Maguire), the news-woman Holly (Lucy Punch)…oh, heck, just do a little research and find every other caucasian stereotype (no, we wouldn’t want to have any actual diversity or anything) and throw them into a blender.

Anyway, the group gathers and as expected sparks fly; the newswoman busts on the gay guy then introduces him to her effete husband, when the guest of honor arrives and is surprised not to know any of these people. She’s not thrilled about the attention, and leaves him in the middle of the party before the first commercial. (Oh, that I had been able to follow her out of this, but no, I had to remain to warn you off. It’s the sacrifice I make…) But we’re not yet done; suicide-dweeb and Poundstone-clone-gone-wrong get together, Nicole (Andrea Anders, Joey, hammering the final nail into the coffin of her career), married to a football jock who doesn’t love her, reacquaints herself (and we’re talking reacquaint - wink, wink, nudge, nudge) with her old boyfriend Duncan and his loud stereotype mother, goth-girl makes nice with the devastated preppy-dude, and everyone is acting way over the top. ‘Course, you can’t blame them with the insipid and unimaginative material, but still, it would be nice if someone was believable for just a moment or two.

The only thing missing from this insipid mish-mash was a spit-take…I mean, good lord, one character was actually run over by another to the accompaniment of the loud and distracting laugh track (yet if it stops her awful Paula Poundstone impression, it’s a good thing).

Honest to goodness, I cannot say enough negative about this dreadful piece of television. It’s programs like this one people point to when they talk about the declining standards of taste. I cannot help but wonder what dunderhead executive at the network shepherded this nonsense, and whether or not this executive will end up sweeping the floor next season, since clearly they have no talent for choosing watchable television. Where usually I have to work on pithy insults for a review, in this case the program itself is the insult - to my intelligence and perception.

Even those who enjoy watching train wrecks will despise this program. Run away. Now.

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8/19/2006


Review: Vanished

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:00 pm

Ah, out with the old, in with the new. The television season is dead, long live the next television season. And to prepare for it, I’m going to review new shows as the pilots become available.

Vanished; FOX, Monday, 9:00 PM

A car drives through the night, reaching the Collins mansion (surely I am not the only one thinking of it as Collinswood); the Senator, Jeffrey Collins (John Allen Nelson, 24), greets his wife Sara (Joanne Kelly, Whiskey Echo) before leaving for a charity ball where she is to be honored. At the ball, she is called to the telephone and…

Vanished.


Senator Collins (John Allen Nelson) and Senior Agent
Kelton (Gale Harold) search for the truth

In backstory, we see Senior FBI Agent Graham Kelton (Gale Harold, Queer as Folk) on his last assignment, attempting to rescue a kidnapped child when everything goes horribly wrong, and explains his absence from the FBI. He’s the lead on this case, with agent Lin Mei (Ming-Na, er and yeah, I fondly remember her from her days on As the World Turns, why?) his partner. As the investigation begins, Marcy Collins (Margarita Levieva) begins reporting on the story, and generally mucking things up. The Senator’s daughter is missing, only to be found in flagrante with her boyfriend who, like everyone else including the kidnappee, has his own dark secrets.

Throughout the hour, the plot is set up carefully yet dramatically, culminating with the discovery of a freshly-killed ten-year-old corpse, and a man in Boston who may have been first to propose to the Senator’s wife

Of all the pilots I’ve seen this season, this show bears the most resemblance to 24; while no attempt here to run in “real time” (of course, 24 itself pretty much gave up on that last season, too), the show owes much to the visual style of 24. This show is tight and suspenseful, although Harold is no Jack Bauer. Indeed, he has an unfortunate resemblance to a caricature of a young Harry Hamlin, and isn’t seasoned enough to carry this show believably…most of the time, he’s either too flat, or over-the-top. But fortunately, there’s a strong supporting cast to handle the load.

And while the pilot is sky’s-the-limit on the budget, my guess is we’ll see something similar to 24 - a couple of tight studio-only episodes to save the money needed for the blow-the-wad helicopter-and-fighter-jet episodes.

The real question is, can the writing be maintained for an entire season? I can’t answer that, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be checking in weekly to find out. While, again, it’s no 24, it’s the closest attempt from any of the networks this season. When the pilot was finished, I wanted more…I’m not sure how else to measure “success” when it comes to a television program.

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Sweet Mary, mother of God?

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:56 pm

From CNN: Sweet Mary, mother of God?

From the article: “Workers at a chocolate company have discovered a 2-inch-tall (5-centimeter-tall) column of chocolate drippings that they believe bears a striking resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary.”

Ooookkkkkk…..

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8/18/2006


Jonathan Thomas - Episode 23

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:58 am

Episode #23 - The Dragon with 13 Tails (again).

(Thanks to Kermyt Anderson for the one-line episode descriptions!)

icon for podpress  Jonathan Thomas - Episode 23 [12:29m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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IRS puts bills in Oscar goodie bags

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:52 am

From CNN: IRS puts bills in Oscar goodie bags

From the article: “Movie stars enjoying the lavish gift bags handed out at this year’s Oscars will get some decidedly unglamorous notices: don’t forget to pay tax on the windfall.” Those poor folks get tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff for nuthin’, then are asked to pay taxes on it. How…cruel.

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