December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas To All

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Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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December 22, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

...a day early!

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)

Synopsis: In this movie loosely based on Frances Mayes's best-selling memoir of the same title, Diane Lane stars as Frances, a newly divorced American writer who heads for the Italian region of Tuscany to make limonita out of life's lemons. Having just quit her high-pressure job and ended her heartbreaking marriage, she buys a decrepit-but-charming house in Cortona on impulse, rebuilding it piece by piece -- and herself along with it.

Gary's take: Diane is darling in this one. Supported by a terrific ensemble of character actors, this is a really charming and funny story set in the beautiful Italian countryside. At this stage in her career, Diane Lane seems to be playing a lot of woman who's husbands have left them - which is a very tough concept to get my head around.

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Happy "Life Day" To All

Some of you folks will remember this: The Star Wars Holiday Special. The rest of you will ask "WTF?".

Broadcast only one time at Christmas in 1978, this feature was once thought to have been destroyed by George Lucas. But many Bothan spies lost their lives to smuggle VHS copies out of Skywalker Ranch so that capitalist insurgents could sell them on eBay.

For those too young to have seen it, I recommend it for the sheer awfulness of this production.

Check out the intro here:

Who knew Chewbacca had a wife, a son who looked like a hairy Gary Coleman and a father who liked to watch holographic space porn?

And check out the guest star list: Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, Harvey Korman and...the Jefferson Starship? Oh yeah. It's that bad.

It's the kind of thing that almost makes you appreciate the crap they have on TV around the holidays these days. If you can get your hands on a copy, the vintage commercial breaks alone are worth the cost of shipping.

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December 21, 2006

"Rocky Balboa" Is A Winner: My Review

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When I first heard about this project, I (like most of you out there) was very skeptical – and even a little cynical – about it. My first thought was “why?”.

The last Rocky movie was very disappointing on so many levels that I couldnÂ’t imagine another installment of this franchise being worth seeing. IÂ’m sure there are a lot of you out there who feel the same way.

Well, I saw “Rocky Balboa” last night in a packed theater full of enthusiastic people who wanted – and fully expected – a satisfying experience. They got what they paid for. more...

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December 20, 2006

In The Spirit Of The Holidays

One of my all-time favorite "South Park" moments. A big thank you to Steve the Llamabutcher for finding it.

Merry F@$#ING Christmas, y'all!

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I've Got Nothing

But Melissa's got it going on...

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Enjoy.

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December 19, 2006

"There's No Need To Fight Evil When Appeasement Will Do Just Fine."

David Zucker comes up with another classic - comparing James Baker to Neville Chamberlain. The whole negotiation bit with Ahmadinejad would be hilarious if it weren't so damn serious.

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December 16, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Indian Summer (1993)

Synopsis:
Settle in for a heartwarming, slice-of-life comedy, as eight friends reunite at their beloved summer camp after 20 years. Overshadowing the reunion, however, is the knowledge that the camp's owner is ready to close it down forever. A talented cast -- including Alan Arkin, Sam Raimi, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins and more -- help to make this summer unforgettable.

Gary's take: Think "The Big Chill" for Generation X only with a lot less self-absorbed navel-gazing. A gang of thirty-somethings share their fond memories of summer camp and come to grips with the fact that, yes, you have to grow up sometime. Getting old is a bitch, isn't it? Look for "Spider-man" director, Sam Raimi, in a bit role as the clumsy camp caretaker.

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December 15, 2006

BSG Mid-Season Finale Tonight

"Mid-season finale" sounds like an oxymoron, I know. But it looks like the show will take its holiday break after tonight and pick up with the second half of the season in January.

They did this last year with "Pegasus", only that was a much longer break. It would be another FIFTEEN weeks before we would get to "Resurrection Ship: Part One". Sheesh.

Being as tonight's episode is number 11 of Season Three, I'm hoping this means we're in for another 11 episodes starting January 21st (which is the new night, Sunday).

To tide you over a fairly well-done Lee & Kara Viper battle montage set to Yello's "Oh Yeah". (you know, the "ow, ow...ch..chiketa..chik...ahhh...ow...ow" song from the closing credits of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"):

So get ready: Cylons and Humans rumble over what may be a newly-discovered secret about how to find Earth.

"The Eye of Jupiter"
9pm on Sci-Fi

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Fidel Fading Fast

So says U.S. Intelligence chief John Negroponte. It'd be ironic if he assumed room temperature in the early hours of January 1, which would be the 48th anniversary of Fulgencio Batista's fleeing the island nation from Castro's insurgency.

And, as all devout fans of the "Godfather" films will recall, it would also be the moment in the story when Al Pacino delivered his famous line:

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"I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!".

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December 14, 2006

Amanda's Back

Former RocketBoom.com videoblogger Amanda Congdon has signed on with ABCNews.com for a weekly video segment.

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For those of you not familiar with Amanda, she's smart, funny, irreverent and...yes...aptly fits my definition of eye candy. Her link is here.

More Amanda below the fold... more...

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December 13, 2006

SD Senator Suffers Stroke

Democrat Senator Tim Johnson has been hospitalized after apparently suffering a stroke. No word on his condition, but the political buzz is already making the rounds: South Dakota's Governor, Mike Rounds, is a Republican.

Should Johnson be incapacitated, Rounds would appoint a replacement (presumably a Republican) to finish out his term which expires at the end of 2008. In other words, there's a chance that the Senate could be tied at 50-50 with Dick Cheney being the tiebreaker - effectively giving control of the Senate to the GOP for the next two years.

This could get ugly. And it's probably the last thing this country needs right now.

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December 12, 2006

Listening To The Troops

Sean Hannity had an impromptu conversation with our soldiers in Mosel. AllahPundit at HotAir.com clipped the video.

Some people believe the media. Some people believe the "Iraq Surrender Group".

I believe these guys. Case closed. God Bless 'em.

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The Political Polarization Of America

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the many conditions that have created the highly partisan environment that we live in today. Ever since the end of Ronald Reagan's term, it seems that there has been a constant ratcheting up of negativity between the two opposing sides. Yes, politics has always been a contentious subject and of course you can find plenty of examples throughout American history to support an argument that "it's always been this way". But I disagree.

When the next Presidential election arrives, the U.S. will have spent the previous twenty years with an occupant of the Oval Office with either the name Bush or Clinton. Many point to the first term of the elder Bush as about the time that things started to get really nasty. And I tend to agree. But I don't agree that blame lies with Bush 41, Clinton or Bush 43. During this time, a lot of changes have been taking place in the arena of politics. more...

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Christmas: 1, PC Bullsh*t: 0

Two cheers for the Port of Seattle commission who pulled their heads out of their asses and put those beeyooteefull Christmas trees back up at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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I don't blame Rabbi Bogomilsky for requesting a lighted Menorah. I just can't stand the fact that we live in such a litigious, knee-jerk, CYA, politically-correct age that the commission's first reaction was to take them down in the first place (which is why they only get two cheers).

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December 11, 2006

Why Do We Love Jack Bauer?

I've heard a lot about the appeal of "24" over the years, but this quote over at Libertas really nails it:

Jack Bauer is a hero in the oldest and truest sense: He believes in something bigger than himself and is willing to die for it. He believes in America, our government, and the office of the President. HeÂ’s not some reluctant figure pushed to heroism. He enters the breach willingly. He is a patriot and heaven help those who are not.
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And that's so damn refreshing in a world of crappy, narcissistic, politically-correct "entertainment".

34 more days until the premiere of Season Six.

But who's counting?

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December 09, 2006

Diane Lane Photo Of The Week

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And this week's Diane Lane Netflix Pick of the Week:

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Must Love Dogs (2005)

Synopsis:
Divorcée Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) isn't ready for romance. But when her sister (Elizabeth Perkins) signs her up for an online dating service, love-seeking mates come calling. While one Mr. Maybe (Dermot Mulroney) is rife with possibilities, another (John Cusack) is even more intriguing. Still, there's just one problem: While this second eligible bachelor's ad states that his dream woman "Must Love Dogs," neither he nor Sarah actually owns one.

Gary's take: Total chick flick about middle-aged dating from hell. But lots of fun and an ideal date movie. Cusack reprises the awkward, insecure (and quick-witted) type of leading man that he played in the film that made him a household name, "The Sure Thing". The photo above is a shot from the movie.

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December 08, 2006

Tonight...On BSG

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"I missed you, Lee."
"I missed you too, Kara."
"Sorry about kicking your ass in that boxing ring."
"Um, if memory serves, Starbuck, I believe I kicked your ass."
"Yeah, in your dreams."
"Shut-up and look serious for the camera."
"Wuss."

Okay, bygones...

Tonight's episode: Soylent Green is Cylons!

"The Passage"
9pm on Sci-Fi

I'm going to have to DVR this one and watch it late. Holiday stuff at the parent's condo, ya know.

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Boy Could We Use Someone Like Her At The U.N. Now

Former U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick has passed on at the age of 80. What a breath of fresh air she was at Turtle Bay.

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Another Ex-Donkey, Kirkpatrick gave a speech at the 1984 GOP Convention where she coined the term "blame America first" to describe the appeasement movement of squishy self-hating American Liberal Democrats who gathered for their own Convention in San Francisco one month before. A big chunk of that speech is posted at It Shines For All.

Here's a sample:

When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the "blame America first crowd" didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When the Soviet Union walked out of arms control negotiations, and refused even to discuss the issues, the San Francisco Democrats didn't blame Soviet intransigence. They blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.

But then, they always blame America first.

The American people know better.

The charge against the Liberal Democrat Party as blaming America first is now a generation old. As a not-yet-registered 17-year old Democrat in 1984, it made me wince. I didn't want to believe that. But the charge has stuck. Why? Because it's true. And it's rare to find anyone nowadays - not even most Democrats - who can credibly deny it.

When America loses such strong advocates for liberty and freedom throughout the world, it becomes a weaker nation unless others stand up to take their places.

R.I.P.

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"Combating Autism Act" Passes Both Houses Of Congress

Heads to the President's desk to be signed into law.

The summary of the bill can be found here. The full text is here. In a nutshell, this act provides $1 Billion for research, screening, intervention and education on this mysterious condition.

Special thanks goes to Senator Rick Santorum of PA who personally championed this effort.

As some of you may already know, Autism is an issue that touches me and my family personally. Autism and Austistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are currently being diagnosed at a rate of 1 out of every 166 children.

Think about that for a moment. 1 in 166. Even if you suspect this is an overestimation, the odds of an ASD possibly affecting your child is extremely high in proportion to those of any other diagnosed illness.

Take from my personal experience that the key to facing this challenge is early detection and early intervention. I urge all parents to educate themselves about autism. And if you even remotely suspect that your child may be affected, I strongly recommend that you get an evaluation. Don't let the fear of a label deter you. Every month, every week, every day that passes is critical.

Find out more at AutismSpeaks.org.

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