swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Aug. 3rd, 2016 00:23)
So, [personal profile] heartonsnow said that I had to post something. That was more than a week ago actually, but I still haven't thought of anything worth posting. Still, let's see where this goes. I'll start with books, as that's easy.

... )
I have dug everything. Everywhere. If there was something you didn't want dug, sorry. It's too late now, you should have said. Everything is now planted in the allotment, but turns out that watering is accomplished by hanging over the riverbank, and dipping a bucket into the water. So that's my job, as there's no way my mother can do that. If you hear a splash, it's me.

Elsewhere (a different river), I was out walking again, watching the bouncing fishes, and look look!

... )
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( May. 28th, 2016 20:45)
A book meme ganked off [personal profile] liadtbunny, and general rambling about life, the universe and everything stuff.

... )
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( Mar. 15th, 2016 21:22)
Well, maybe not recs as such. I have especially enjoyed these three books just recently, but I do admit that the first one is a bit niche, and it seems that most of you have read the second one anyway. But still! Book recs!

Books! )
Dear Simon & Simon producers. Please stop making Jameson Parker take his shirt off. I'll grant you that he's got the physique for it, but it's painfully obvious that he's not the shirtless type. He's approximately brown from the elbows down and the neck up, but everything in between is a quite hilarious shade of lily white. It makes him look like an off-kilter chessboard.

In other news, I have discovered season one of The Young Riders on YouTube! Probably only [personal profile] emeraldarrows knows what I'm talking about there, but it's good, honest. I think only season one ever aired in the UK. I remember looking it up when I first got online a hundred years ago, and being baffled by talk of the Kid and Lou getting married. Presumably he also got a real name then, or maybe she was Mrs Kid? Anyway. I have no knowledge of such things. Season one is brill, anyways. ITV aired it at about four o'clock in the morning in the mid '90s, back when I had forgotten what sleep was, or was trying to forget, so my memory was blurry to say the least. So far it's proving to be just as good as I thought it was though. It has cowboys and shooting. Huzzah.

Um... Yes. That is all, shutting up.
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Dec. 20th, 2015 20:16)
I hated 2003. It was officially the worst year ever. Blanking on it almost totally, although that doesn't seem to be unusual lately! The 2000s, scientifically proven to be the most forgettable decade on record. I do know that Bob Hope died this year. He was 100. I was listening to Mark Goodier on Radio 1, and heard it announced there (that's not an amazing feat of memory - I'd been listening to him since the eighties, and if I heard something on the radio, it's pretty much guaranteed it was from him). Sheb Wooley died too, though with far less fanfare. He played Pete Nolan on Rawhide, the 1950s Western series that gave Clint Eastwood his big break. Everybody remembers Eastwood, but Sheb Wooley was far better! He had a website way back in the 90s, and was very hands on with it. I remember him announcing there that he had leukaemia, probably in '01 or '02.

Otherwise, I had to resort to Wiki to help me out with 2003. Mick Jagger was knighted apparently! Boy do times change. Even as recently as twenty years previously, he was still seen as the bad boy of rock music. Or one of them anyway. It was also the year of David Kelly, the guy who blew the whistle on the fact that the government had lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to press for a war. Or a not war. They were still insisting that it wasn't actually a war, although quite what they think the difference is, I don't know. Twelve years on, I don't think anything has happened about that yet. Tony Blair still seems to be walking around free anyway.

It was the year when Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended! Two years too late, one might argue. I was sorry to see it go though, even if I was largely left cold by those last two years. It's a show that I haven't seen in ages, and I would love to do a rewatch sometimes (it can join a long and growing list - where did all the time go?! Days used to be twenty-four hours long. I'm sure they did), but I don't know if I would bother with seasons six and seven again. Except for the musical episode, obviously. Still, everything tails off eventually, and it was a heck of a series.

I had a look through the year's top #100. Ouch. When did SClub7 become SClub8? Like seven of them wasn't already too much? How many people do you need to do synchronised movements to a rubbish song?! Anyway, they split up apparently, so the poor eighth member clearly didn't have a very long career. Um. Oh, I give up!

... )
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Dec. 7th, 2015 21:10)
The nineties came in with a flurry of absurd fashions, if I'm remembering things right. Long hair with centre partings and lots of floppy fringes. Ridiculously baggy clothing. MC Hammer with the world's stupidest trousers in the video for U Can't Touch This. One of those decades when I could be very grateful for not being fashionable! Better stuff going on in other avenues though. Nelson Mandela was freed this year, which was a great thing to see. Brian Keenan was released as well, after four and a half years in Lebanon. The British public actually managed to accomplish something constructive this year as well, standing up to the Poll Tax, and eventually forcing Margaret Thatcher out of office. Why can't we do that kind of thing anymore? Her resignation was one of those great moments in history (I fully accept that other political viewpoints do exist, but the important thing to remember is that they're wrong).

And as for the rest of the year - we lost Sammy Davis Jr, which was a terrible shame. I don't know quite when I first latched on to the whole Rat Pack thing - certainly it all started with Dino, but the other two weren't that far behind; and Sammy was a heck of a talent. Elsewhere, Sue the T. rex was found in the hills of Dakota, a truly beautiful discovery. This was the pop video that everybody was talking about. Woman dances seamlessly with cartoon! It looked really impressive. Guess I hadn't seen this yet. Not that it cheapens Opposites Attract exactly, but when you've seen Gene Kelly dance with a cartoon, Paula Abdul seriously ain't gonna cut it anymore. You know, that's either one gigantic mouse, or Gene Kelly was a lot shorter than I've been led to believe...

Good year for the telly. The Mary Whitehouse Experience transferred from Radio 1. I loved it because it was funny, but I must admit that I also loved it because my mother wholly disapproved of the theme music. When you're fifteen, you know a TV show is good if even just the theme tune makes your mother bristle! Fry & Laurie were still doing their sketch show for the BBC, but also started the excellent Jeeves & Wooster for the other side. And they filmed bits of it near here. I didn't see them, but there was much local excitement! Quantum Leap aired for the first time, and Drop The Dead Donkey as well. Probably not all at the same time. I was still watching a lot of TV in those days, but even I couldn't have handled that. I think Have I Got News For You started in 1990 too. It was still watchable then, before they sacked Angus.

But for me, one thing above all else sums up 1990. On August 8th, my mother decided that we had been without a cat for long enough, and we went to visit the local branch of the Cats Protection League. There was a little tabby there, with half a tail, and a whole lot of personality. I can't claim that it was love at first sight, as she'd been badly treated by somebody, and was a little bundle of nerves to begin with, but we got over that in time. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. The 8th August 1990 was a Good Day.

Music time )
In an attempt to make Remington Steele last a bit longer (blasted old shows, and their finite number of episodes!), I have been mining YouTube for Robert Young films. I don't think he's terribly well known, but he's one of my favourite actors. America apparently knows him best for a TV show that he did in the seventies, but I've never seen that, and instead know him for the string of above average B-movies that he made in the forties and fifties. Anyway, one of the ones that I've watched is one that I thought might appeal to a few people.

It's called Relentless, and it dates from 1948. Young plays a wandering cowboy trying to clear his name of a murder charge, but underneath that it's like Feminism: The Western (well, okay. Not really). The heroine gets a great speech about how being expected to give up your life to look after a husband is a rubbish goal for a young woman. Usually this would be followed by the hero buying her a dress, at which point she would gasp at its beauty, and realise that actually there's nothing she'd like more than looking after a man for the rest of her life. Oh, the power of a tight bodice and a few frills. In this film though, the hero agrees. She then basically spends the whole film bailing him out of trouble, including one terrific, high-speed wagon sequence, where she gets to be properly heroic (and he doesn't save her once). Then it all ends with her pretty much proposing to him. Sometimes, ye olde movies get it right.

The film's embedded beneath the cut )

Mind you, just to ram home the fact that old TV and movies do love making us wince, I followed it up with Second Woman, from 1950. Is Robert Young paranoid, or is somebody really out to get him?! It's actually a nice little film for the most part, but about halfway through, when Young is worrying over whether a Mexican waiter has been lurking in his garden, his ex-father-in-law tells him to think nothing of it, because "these fellows all look the same unless you know them". Gee, thanks 1950. There's nothing quite like ruining a movie with a little throwaway racism.

And even that pales into comparison with Western Union. This is a great fun little Western from 1941, in which a baby Robert Young somehow manages to get top billing above Randolph Scott. It really is very entertaining - until, again about halfway through, which is clearly the danger point with these films - they suddenly dig out the crass "Injun" stereotypes. And if they're not agonising enough on their own, they're made even more so by the fact that there are two highly dignified-looking genuine native chiefs in the cast. I know they needed the money back then, but yeesh. What a way to make a living.

So yeah, that's been my week. A holiday from terrifying bouffants, which started out well, but got sinister thanks to creaky old sensibilities. I shall always love old movies, but I wish they loved me a little more in return. Is it really so hard to go ninety minutes without insulting entire civilisations?! Apparently so.

I still like Robert Young though; even when he keeps being in colour. Being in colour when you're Robert Young is just unnatural. Actors can be strangely uncooperative that way.
Thanks go to [personal profile] liadtbunny this time!

In 2015, swordznsorcery resolves to...
Go to the fossils every month.
Drink four glasses of music every day.
Overcome my secret fear of Kronos.
Find a new Manimal.
Take evening classes in solitude.
Give up Westerns.

Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

I definitely promise to drink four glasses of music a day. I wasn't aware that I actually was afraid of Kronos; that's how big of a secret it is. But I shall nonetheless boldly overcome it. The fact that that irritating do-gooder Duncan MacLeod beheaded the poor warmongering maniac will probably help there. Kronos, how I do miss thee.

Find a new Manimal. :( Yeah. Have to, I suppose. I wonder if the big screen remake will ever come about? It would make a good film, in the right hands. But there is no replacing Simon Mac.

Evening classes in solitude not needed thanks. Got that one off to a fine art! And I am not giving up Westerns! Dean Martin would never forgive me; let alone Joe Cartwright, Jess Harper and Manolito Montoya. They live in my head. It would be rude.
Ye gods, with all the thanks in the world to [livejournal.com profile] sabethea for putting me on to this one...

On the twelfth day of Christmas, swordznsorcery sent to me...
Twelve dragons drumming
Eleven Methos piping
Ten books a-leaping
Nine trilobites dancing
Eight megalodons a-milking
Seven sharks a-writing
Six pirates a-reading
Five fo-o-o-ossils
Four dinosaurs
Three Westerns
Two Kronos
...and a Highlander in an I Love Lucy.
Get your own Twelve Days:

Best. Christmas. Song. Ever. :) And two Kronoses. Kroni? At any rate, it's just as well I have eleven piping Methoses to keep them all in order. The mind boggles. But is happy while it does it. And dancing trilobites, hurrah. C'mon, everyone. Let's see yours!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and find out how to milk a megalodon. John Barrowman might know...
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Aug. 14th, 2014 20:51)
So, I was watching Kojak, and who should turn up as a guest star but Henry Darrow. I knew he was in it somewhere, as I've seen it all before, but I can never remember which one he's in. And then suddenly there he was! This makes me happy. And he was very Manolito-like, except in modern clothes and without the suntan. So for those who are interested (ie: me), here is Manolito Montoya Henry Darrow being a jaunty jewel thief in New York, c. 1974. He's aged damned well, given that he's usually hanging around Arizona, c. 1870.

He's not quite as jaunty as usual here, as Kojak has just revealed a plan to use him as bait to catch a contract killer.

And here's Kojak, not looking at all impressed by the fact that he's standing right next to Manolito Montoya, damn it! You could at least smile, Theo.

A slightly happier jewel thief. The clothes look all wrong, even though I've seen him in modern things before. They killed him once in Hart To Hart, and that was in the seventies too. I was most unimpressed. And he was in Simon & Simon twice in the eighties. He just looks so very Mano here though. It was only just after The High Chaparral ended, which probably explains it. Mackadoo is clearly waiting just off camera for a quick getaway, as Buck lays down some covering fire.

*happy thoughts*
Day six, your favourite episode of your favourite TV show. But we already established that I don't have one of them! *grumble* Still, I chickened out last time, so this time I'll behave.

It's not my favourite show (except when it is), but one show that has always been very special to me is Bonanza. It was on a lot when I was a kid, and the character of Joe Cartwright was a pretty major part of my childhood. He and Manolito Montoya, his opposite number over on The High Chaparral, were everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. I thought the world of Joe. And there is one episode of Bonanza which I discovered recently on YouTube - having not really had the opportunity to see the show in years - which just brilliantly sums up everything I used to love about it, and everything that made me think so highly of Joe. The episode is called "Different Pines, Same Wind", and it's the first episode of season ten. It really couldn't be more perfect. Joe is trying to protect some forests from a ruthless logging merchant (the Cartwrights were environmentalists long before it was fashionable), and in the process he finds a lonely old widow living in a log cabin. During the course of forty-seven minutes, he befriends her, saves her beloved forest, defeats a despicable bad guy, helps a doctor to rediscover his calling, and has a splendid no-holds-barred battle with a gang of heavies. Michael Landon was an accredited stuntman, and his fist fights were always awesome. Plus, as a special bonus, Ben and Hoss, the best father and big brother you could hope for, come dashing to the rescue to save the day at the last possible moment. It also has the nice blend of comedy and drama for which Bonanza came to be known.

It's wonderful, it really is. It's everything I loved about the show growing up, and Joe is every inch the hero I idolised so much as a child. So, even if it lacks the depth of a favourite episode of The West Wing, or the brilliant comedy-drama mix of a favourite episode of Buffy, I'm choosing this one. It's awesome. And, for the record, I still want to be Joe Cartwright (and Manolito Montoya). It looks like I always will.
swordznsorcery: (true blood)
( Apr. 23rd, 2012 23:36)
True Blood has announced its return date, although I think they actually did that several weeks ago, and I've only just noticed. Also there's a trailer! Well, more of a glimpse, but they call it a trailer. It'll be nice to have True Blood back. I've given up on The Mentalist now, Hawaii 5-0 decided that we weren't going to be friends anymore, and Ringer has gone away. Probably forever, as I was the only person who watched it. So True Blood could be the only television that I watch until Steven Moffat decides to give me Doctor Who back. There are Worries, however. Seasons one, two and three of True Blood were awesome in every way, except for how there was altogether too much Sookie. Season four was rubbish, though. And this will be season five, and I am suspicious of season fives by their very nature. Should that be seasons five? No, I don't think so. Consider the evidence, anyway:

The rather-too-involved Universal Theory Of Season Five. Also True Blood trailerage in screencappery. )
Given some of the utter tosh that I've watched over the years, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me to discover that I've also taped a lot of utter tosh. Mind you, even knowing that, it's weird what colonises the ends of video tapes, lurking in forgotten nooks and crannies, from back in the days when I used to use the things regularly. Some things are reasonable enough, if long forgotten. Others are just downright bizarre.

... )
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( Mar. 10th, 2012 15:34)
From [community profile] fannish5. What are your five favourite sibling relationships?

In no particular order:

1. Hoss & Little Joe Cartwright (Bonanza). This is probably the ultimate sibling relationship for me. They were perfect as brothers. Hoss was the older brother that everybody wanted, which helped, and the very real brotherly love between actors Dan Blocker and Michael Landon made it even better. By the time they'd been making the show for a few years, their rapport was excellent, and the chemistry was just perfect.

2. Bray and Zoot (The Tribe). A somewhat flawed, low budget teen drama from New Zealand, The Tribe isn't too well known. The ideas in it really grabbed me though, and it's like crack for a writer. A virus has killed off all the adults, and the world has gone Lord Of The Flies. Enter Bray, a loner who has always been better with books than people, estranged from his once beloved, now-turned-psycho-cult-leader, younger brother Zoot. Some of the acting in the show was a little rocky; theirs never was. We rarely saw them together on screen, but their relationship largely defined Bray's character.

3. Rick & AJ Simon (Simon & Simon). Another pair of screen brothers who were close friends in real life. These two gelled perfectly. Chemistry, mannerisms, everything. Rick's protectiveness towards AJ, and the way that AJ naturally looked to Rick in everything, all told with a touch or a look or a gesture. So well done.

4. Victoria & Manolito Montoya (The High Chaparral). I loved these two as a kid, and they're still just as good now. The children of a rich, Mexican landowner, they'd grown up privileged but isolated, and had only ever had each other. Victoria, the eldest, was responsible and respectable; Manolito was anything but. They fought tooth and nail, usually in wild, improvised Spanish, as their chemistry was so good that they didn't need a script. Their shared affection was wonderful, though. Chalk and cheese, but shoulder to shoulder against the rest of the world. They had a shared respect for others, too, banding together to care for wounded Apache when nobody else cared. Always wished that they'd been the focus for that show, rather than the Cannon family.

5. Frank & Joe Hardy (The Hardy Boys). Though I grew up with the books, and loved most of them, I mean the TV series mostly here. In the books they could be a little interchangeable at times, no doubt the result of there being so many writers over the years. In the TV series they had much more distinct personalities, and the actors sparked nicely. Frank was the devil-may-care adventure junkie, hurling himself into danger with a smile, and Joe had a lovely line in dry humour, as he tried to suggest caution. I had a rewatch fairly recently, and really loved that dynamic.
In episodes twenty-two and twenty-three, The Time Tunnel suddenly turns into a show tailor-made for me, and comes up with just about everything that I could want. That anybody could want, really. If there's anybody alive who doesn't think that pirates and cowboys are just about the most excitingest things ever, then they're probably somebody confused and disillusioned, and soon to see the error of their ways. Oh yes.

... )
It's Irwin Allen. The silver paint was bound to come out at some point. I just wish he didn't go quite so nuts with the spangles.

... )
The time tunnel has some kind of Western fixation, it must have. Naturally I approve of this wholeheartedly. Who can dislike a show that mixes sci-fi, Westerns and enthusiastic silliness, with James Darren and lots of explosions? The command crew have way outstayed their welcome, though. I'm beginning to wish great violence upon each one of them.

... )
Doug and Tony are truly remarkable. As they fall from disaster to disaster and catastrophe to catastrophe, not only do they never once appear fazed, but their astounding stores of knowledge never seem to fail them. Whatever the subject, one of them is an expert in it. Doug's a Vulcanologist, Tony speaks fluent Malay. Why Malay?! Is this a language often taught in American schools, or is it just another of the things that Doctors of Physics pick up, alongside combat techniques and escapology?

... )
I like James Darren. I don't know what it is about him and his Amazing Green Pullover Of Time, but they make a very engaging duo. He (and the green pullover as well, possibly) should be on TV more. Actually, come to think of it, he should be the next Doctor Who. He'd be awesome fighting Daleks, he really would.

... )



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