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Random Awesomeness (part 2019.4)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.


Purchase the debut album from The End Machine!
(The End Machine features classic-era Dokken members George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown, with current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason behind the microphone.)

1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die edited by Paul Condon (2015)

1001 TV Shows

1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die
edited by Paul Condon
Universe Publishing, 2015
960 pages

Be careful when you tell someone they must do something; that demanding language often backfires. The premise of 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die is a good one, chronicling many of the culturally significant programs that have appeared across the world. There are many obvious choices, from The A-Team to Zorro, but the omissions are sometimes more significant.

How anyone could include Keeping Up with the Kardashians rather than Family Ties is a mystery. Other shows missing include Growing Pains, Home Improvement, and One Day at a Time. It is nice to see some shows that I had forgotten, like Alien Nation, and I was happy to see that The Dukes of Hazzard made the cut despite the inane political correctness that is sweeping the earth these days.

Make no mistake, 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die is a good book with solid write-ups, but it is dangerously misnamed.

Learn more about Universe Publishing.

Purchase 1001 TV Shows You Must Watch Before You Die edited by Paul Condon.

R.I.P. James Best

(July 26, 1926 – April 6, 2015)

Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, James Best passed away yesterday from complications of pneumonia at the age of 88.

R.I.P., Duke Boy

Do you remember the fifth season of “Dukes of Hazzard”? I sure do, and not just because I have it on DVD. I remember watching it on television back in the 1980s! The fifth season was the show’s black eye, with the “replacement Duke Boys” Coy and Vance. You really can’t blame Byron Cherry (Coy) and Christopher Mayer (Vance)…who wouldn’t jump at the chance to be on one of the greatest TV shows? But the ratings suffered, and even after Bo and Luke were brought back, the program only lasted two more seasons.

See Coy and Vance’s final scene on the show here.

Christopher Mayer passed away Saturday evening, July 23, at the age of 57. The news reports are rare and no cause of death has been reported by the media, other than the death was unexpected.

This is at least the fourth major Dukes death that I can think of. Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) and Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) were the first to pass, several years ago. Lulu Hogg (Peggy Rea) left us earlier this year from complications from congestive heart failure on February 5. (Am I missing anyone?)

Several surviving members of the cast are scheduled to appear at the Hazzard Homecoming in Sperryville, Virginia, in a couple of weeks. If I wasn’t working that weekend and it wasn’t so far away (almost 9 hours from my house!), I would be tempted to go since I don’t have John Schneider’s autograph yet.

I do have all the others listed on the site, plus Byron Cherry and Don Pedro Colley, who portrayed Sheriff Little from Chickasaw County, acquired at the Smoky Mountains Fan Fest in Sevierville, Tennessee, two summers ago.

My childhood is slowing dying.

Day 29 of the 30 Day Song Challenge

day 29 – your favorite television theme song

Waylon Jennings “Good Ol’ Boys” (from the Dukes of Hazzard)

My favorite TV show of all-time, and my favorite theme song.

(click here for the 30 Day Song Challenge)

A great weekend…

Last weekend, my family traveled down to the Smoky Mountains to visit some good ol’ boys (and a good ol’ girl) from a little place called Hazzard County. Seven stars from the Dukes of Hazzard were at the Smoky Mountains Fan Fest: Coy and Daisy Duke, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, Deputies Enos Strate and Cletus Hogg, the mechanic Cooter Davenport, and Sheriff Little from Chickasaw County. My boys and I enjoyed meeting the cast members of one of the greatest television programs ever produced, and got several autographs to boot.

Joshua got his new Dukes of Hazzard “01” baseball cap signed by all 7 stars, while he had his mother get a few signatures on an old Dukes trading card…

Derek got a few signatures on a coloring book that I gave him…

And I had five of the Hazzardians sign my season 5 box (the only season that Coy and Vance were on the show)…

To be honest, we were quite disappointed Saturday morning when we got there. Sure, there were a ton of General Lee cars parked out front, and a few Hazzard sheriff cars, a couple of Roadrunners, Daisy’s Jeep, and even a Chickasaw County cruiser. Once inside, we made a beeline to Coy’s line because that’s who Joshua wanted first. We hopped over to Rosco from there, then Cooter. Cooter’s line was extremely long, and took quite a bit of time to get through it because Ben Jones was visiting with everyone. He sat and talked to my boys for a good 3-4 minutes while signing our items, and he didn’t charge for a single thing (more on charging later).

What disappointed us most was the lack of stuff to do. Yeah, they had a few stars signing and taking pictures, but that was it during the day. No vendors, no activities, nothing. We left after getting the three autographs in the morning to check into the hotel and eat. Joshua and I went back during the evening to get more autographs (Enos, Cletus, and Sheriff Little) and check out Cooter’s Garage Band. The next day, we returned to get Daisy’s signature and headed out.

The tickets were somewhat expensive, some of the stars charged for their autographs on top of the ticket price, and there was nothing else to do. I don’t know if it was poor organization or if my expectations were just too high, but I was not impressed with the event at all. As mentioned, Cooter did not charge for anything, and was just a genuinely kind person. Coy and Daisy both signed the first item for free, then charged $5 after that. I’m okay with that. But Rosco, Enos, Cletus, and even Sheriff Little all charged $5 per signature, and more if you wanted a posed photo with your own camera! That’s why we only had Cletus and Sheriff Little sign one item, and Enos only two. I love these guys, but I already dropped more than $50 just to get in the door.

Merle Haggard was scheduled to perform Saturday night, but due to health issues had to cancel out. Janie Fricke and Cooter’s Garage Band still played, and Cooter put on a great show. That was probably the best part of the event.

In all, I enjoyed it (despite what you might deduce from the above complaints). I’m not sure if I would spend that much money on it again (I probably would), but I hope that if they continue doing these they add more activities to occupy the time in between autographs.

Here are some videos from Cooter’s Garage Band…

“Mama Tried”

“Good Ol’ Boys”

Motivated again!

I have set a goal for myself: get my screenplay written by the end of May! It’s not as daunting as it sounds…I already have 18 pages written in one night, and I have plenty of nights to work on it! Screenplays are generally 90-120 pages in length, so I’m about 1/5 of the way there.

What about the novel, you ask? Well, I just got stuck…and at only 80 pages, I decided I’m not wordy enough. I can’t bring myself to describe minute details the way most novelists do, and I’m much more interested in dialogue, so I figure a screenplay is the way to go. I already have at least one person willing to read it when I’m finished, and I will of course register it with the WGA. My biggest concern is finding an agent or representative to shop it for me, since I don’t live in Hollywood (nor do I really want to). Hopefully it won’t be as difficult as I fear.

In other news, the radio program is really taking off. I’ve had some great guests on lately, including George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big). This Saturday I’ll have Joey Allen (Warrant) on the program, and I’m working on possibly getting Rob Halford (Judas Priest) in the near future. Check out the Hard Rock Nights blog and let me know what you think of what I’ve got going on over there.

And on the sports front, meh. I’ve lost so much interest in baseball it’s not funny. My 9-year old son and I will be attending Opening Day for the Reds, and that may rekindle some interest in the sport, but I’m not banking on it. My fandom has waned so much that I’ve canceled my trip to Cooperstown this summer and will instead be attending the Dukes of Hazzard Fan Fest in the Smokey Mountains. Merle Haggard is playing that weekend, so it will be a blast.

My movie watching has been insane lately. I’ve seen “Once Bitten,” “Vampire’s Kiss,” “Twilight,” “Queen Of The Damned,” all within the past two weeks…and those are just the vampire flicks. “Nosferatu” is on the screen right now. A classic, but a bit of a pain to follow at times. I much prefer “Shadow Of The Vampire,” but really some knowledge of “Nosferatu” is essential to enjoying that movie to its fullest.

That’s all for now. It will soon be bedtime, and then work tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to equal my productivity on the screenplay during my 12-hour shift.

Peace out.

The joys of the internet

Is there anything that can’t be done? You can play virtual Nintendo games, watch classic television shows, find baseball cards of your favorite player and toys that you got on Christmas as a kid for sale.

My latest find: Read the rest of this entry

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