Tag Archives: Los Angeles

LA to Vegas – a diamond in the rough

Greetings, readers. I don’t very often watch shows on Demand, but a couple of months ago I caught the pilot episode … no pun intended … of LA to Vegas on Fox. I watched the first episode of this show and thought, How stupid, and didn’t give it another look. The other night I had nothing to do and thought, you know what, let’s go back and give that show a fair shake. I’m very glad I did. As the title says, it is a diamond in the rough.

The premise is quite simple. It is the cabin crew of four, a pilot, co-pilot, and two flight attendants, flying their regulars from L.A. to Las Vegas on Friday and back again on Sunday, on the fictitious Jackpot Airlines. On any given episode, as in most shows, the story will center around one character’s goings on, such as flight attendant Ronnie getting kicked out of her apartment, or Captain Dave not being able to fly because of a broken wrist. Although the 737 is full of passengers, there are a handful of frequent flyers. I shall now describe a few of them.

There is Nicole the stripper, who’s been lying to her mother about going to school while she works in a strip dance club on the weekend for extra money. She is sweet, smart, and very attractive. She is played by Olivia Macklin. Then there is Artern, played by Peter Stormare. I’ll be honest I don’t know if that is his true accent or not so I won’t even hazard to guess, but he is the bookie-loan shark character who is always getting into everyone else’s business. Even though that sounds like a bad thing, he can be kind, helpful at times, and is generally harmless. Next is flight attendant Ronnie. She is played by Kim Matula. She is my favorite character – and no, not just for her physique. Everyone turns to Ronnie to help them solve their problems, and she always puts herself second and comes to their rescue.

The other major players are co-pilot Alan played by Amir Talai, flight attendant Bernard, passenger Colin played by Ed Weeks, and last but not least good old Captain Dave played by Dylan McDermott. Yes, they do only use first names on this show. Alan lacks self-confidence of any kind. Colin the Brit likes to keep to himself but always ends up caught up in the middle of something. Bernard, the flight attendant, openly gay, is actually one of my favorite characters. He’s strong, knows what he wants, and is brilliantly played by Nathan Lee Graham. Last but not least, there is the arrogant, oozing with confidence Captain Dave, who thinks he is God’s gift to everything. This is where my title comes in to play the most. I cannot emphasis enough how much I hated this character in the pilot episode, but by the season finale he had mellowed and realized that this cast of characters were his family, whom he cared about. If you like Dylan McDermott, you will like this show. I gave the pilot a 0, but after watching all of season one, I give the series a solid 7-and-a-half stars out of 10. It is well worth a watch.

There is my entry for today. Until tomorrow, I hope you enjoy, stay cool if you are in the heat, and as always, happy reading.

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Top ten list of things I have difficulty or am unable to do because of seizures and my cerebral palsy

Greetings, readers. Today, we are going to have a top ten list, a long overdue top ten list, and I think I’ve found an interesting topic. It is jobs and hobbies that I have difficulty doing or am not allowed to do by law because of my health issues and medication. As almost all of you know, I have cerebral palsy, and every great once in a while one of the side effects of it is a petit mal seizure. There are many professions I dreamt of doing and would have loved to do but at age 16, when the first seizure hit, those doors were slammed shut. Those professions will be featured in choices two and one. Okay, so here we go, let’s start it off.

#10. Circus performer. [Now, I know some of you are thinking, why did this even make the list. I’ve never dreamt of being a circus performer; however, with my bad balance due to my CP and that minute risk of a seizure, anything like a trapeze artist or a high wire act is absolutely out of the question. I could be a clown or some other act on the ground, but really the whole circus thing really wouldn’t appeal to me.]

#9. Mountain climber. [Again, I have absolutely no desire to go climb a mountain, but if I did, it would be one of the most unsafe hobbies I could try. You need two strong hands to grab on to the rocks; I only have one strong hand.]

#8. City high-rise window washer. [If I lived in New York City or Los Angeles, that could be a job that I could try, but I think my bad balance and fear of heights would petrify me so much that I would freeze in one spot and not be able to move. Now I know there is harness equipment to keep you from falling to the ground, but I don’t think that would be enough to overcome the blind panic.]

#7. Police officer. [A police officer has to be strong, well-coordinated, and able to run fast. I am none of those things. Oh, I could drive the police car, no problem, but if we were chasing someone in a car at 80 miles an hour, my bad coordination would come in to play and I would most likely wrap the squad car around a light pole. It would be a fun job, but … no, not for me.]

#6. Firefighter. [As a child I loved the show Emergency!, and later the short-lived series Code Red wasn’t bad either. It made me dream of wanting to be a firefighter. I’m sure I could hold the hose on the first floor, but carrying heavy things just isn’t going to happen. I would tip over and fall, or drop the heavy piece of equipment or person. Not good.]

#5. Drive a train. [I love my train simulator game, and I wonder what it would have been like to drive one in real life. My daily medication regiment makes that dream impossible. ]

#4. Play professional sports. [When I was a child, most boys, myself included, dreamt of playing sports. Ah, the dream of scoring the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or the game winning hit in game seven of the World Series. Now, I don’t mind telling you, I was a pretty fair Nerf football quarterback, but as far as going out for the high school team, forget about it. I was not strong enough, big enough, or coordinated enough.]

#3. Do all tasks of my job and do them fast. [At my fast food job, there are a few jobs I can’t do, like the take out window, because the drink lids are different from the coffee lids, and I will tend to spill the drinks when my shaking left hand gets in the way of my firm right hand. That tends to make my manager an unhappy camper if I goof up and spill a drink. I take pride in getting thinks correct. That means at the register I will take a couple of extra seconds with each customer. People have rewarded me through good reviews for my extra effort. If you want speed and accuracy, well I can’t count change as fast as anyone else. I might be one of their friendliest cashiers, but I am in no way the quickest. Every day I do get a little bit better, but with these fingers, I’ll only be able to get just so fast. I have to remember to stay within myself, and be the best me that I can be. What else can anybody ask of me.]

#2. Truck driver. [The thought of driving down the interstate in a big-rig filled my dreams many times, especially after watching Smokey and the Bandit thirteen consecutive Friday evenings at the movie theater. Yes, the movies were only $2 back then. When my seizures began, again there went that employment opportunity. I doubt highly that any trucking company would hire anyone with seizures and who is medicated to the point where at the end of the day his favorite word is nap. I guess I’ll just have to stick to playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 for my gaming channel.]

#1. Commercial airline pilot. [This was my big dream as a child. I loved airplanes and still do. I was in awe in big airports. Everything jumbo jet fascinated me. I wanted to fly for TWA or Pan Am. And again, then the seizures hit. Not to be too redundant, but no airline in their right mind would hire someone on four different types of seizure medications. Plus, with my weakness in my left side, yes I could lift the yoke up and get the plane to fly, however, if the hydraulics failed, I know right now I would not have the strength in the arms to keep that aluminum bird flying straight and level.]

Well, there you have it, the long overdue top ten list for today. I’m planning on taking a personal day tomorrow, so Rebecca will do the entry for Thursday. Until next time, have a great weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Hello from Panera

Greetings, readers. I was on a slightly different schedule this morning so I called Rebecca and had her meet me at Panera to start our shift. I just finished my breakfast and am now enjoying my coffee. I was hoping to keep the computer charged up but the plug is damaged and not working. Luckily the battery is new so we have plenty of power and time to type this blog entry.

First of all, congrats to the Houston Astros on their World Series championship. I did not think they would be able to win a game 7 versus the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but they did. So far I have seen a number of people wear Astros hats around town. Looks like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

While we are on the subject of baseball, I am still trying to resurrect my sim baseball league on Out of the Park Baseball 18, which crashed and burned a couple of weeks ago and the file was unable to be saved. I hope to have everything ready to restart within a month. The game got an update so it is even more fun to play. I can’t wait until I can get my league going again.

This morning I awakened to a grey rainy day, with the temperature in the low 40s. My injured leg did not like it. After yesterday’s blog about it still hurting, I had three people from Facebook yesterday tell me to head to my doctor immediately and get my leg checked out. If it’s not back to normal in another week, I will go.

Yesterday I did something very … well, stupid. I called my therapist very late and called off. It was raining, I didn’t feel particularly well, and yes, I have a fear of falling. So far she hasn’t called back. I hope she wasn’t too upset. I think I can smooth things over. When I talk to her, I will explain how I felt yesterday and hopefully she will understand. I’ve always had a good rapport with her so I don’t think I will have much of a problem.

At 1:00 I have an appointment for a manicure which won’t take long and which I won’t bail on. Because of my cerebral palsy, I have a weak left side and trouble with some fine motor skills, and clipping fingernails in next to impossible for me. I actually enjoy getting the pampering and my nails always look good for work. I can’t be at the register with long scratchy nails. I have shifts at work tomorrow and Saturday. A week from this Sunday is the Penn State football homecoming weekend and I’ve already volunteered to work both Saturday and Sunday. They gleefully accepted.

Again, I want to thank all of our new readers and ask that you tell all your friends, so that everyone can enjoy this blog. That’s why Rebecca and I do it; not only to let me vent but to also to share my life experiences.

Finally, once again my condolences go out to families affected by violence, this time from a shooting in a Colorado Wal-Mart. I honestly do not remember a time when there was so much violence and strife in a span of a few days. I might blog next week about the differences of how people get their news today versus how we got it way back in the day, before we had internet.

Until next Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

I’m on the verge of a major writing idea :-)

Greetings, readers. I have enjoyed the series reboots of Fuller House and One Day at a Time on Netflix very much. That gave me an idea. Why not think of a series from the 1970s or 80s and write a pilot script for it? Hey, don’t laugh. I know lots of TV shows.

At first I didn’t like the idea of reboots, but they seem to be the in-thing in television entertainment. Let’s see what’s already been done: The Love Boat – disastrous!, Charlie’s Angels – even worse!!, The Bionic Woman… lol. My point is, I know reboots have a tendency not to work rather than to succeed. But I am encouraged to give it a go because of the overwhelming success of these recent Netflix original series’. I feel confident that I can find an old show and bring it back to life.

The key is to add enough new elements to the mix so as to make it my own idea. For instance, The new One Day at a Time‘s family is Cuban, where the original show’s was not. They live in Los Angeles, not Indianapolis, etc. If I can find the right series, with the perfect new angle, watch out! I will once again be in writer’s heaven.

Some of my favorite series’ that I have enjoyed are Cagney & Lacey, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, and Starsky and Hutch. My first idea this morning, I must confess, was a female version of The Rockford Files. Luckily, the original Rockford Files is on Netflix right now, so I can study the series in-depth. Then before I write my pilot script, I can peak and tweak, create my own new characters, and begin the first draft.

Whichever series I choose, it’s going to be fun. I feel like I am ever so close to finally getting into that writing groove that for so long I have been searching. I even found on Spotify music a movie soundtrack that I used to play over and over again while writing 15 years ago. I can’t tell you how many pages I cranked out to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back record one side two. 🙂

For those of you who were expecting the new top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes, that is still in the works and will be put up next week. I’m taking a personal day tomorrow but I will post a new entry a little bit later than usual in the day with Rebecca’s help in editing.

Until tomorrow, I bid you a good Wednesday afternoon, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite TV shows

Greetings, readers. Over my lifetime I have enjoyed many television programs from the 1970s right through the 90s. Though I have watched a few episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike and Molly, I just don’t get into network programing nearly as much as I used to. I have much more to do, and outlets such as Netflix streaming and YouTube give me all the entertainment I need. TV shows, movies, and even concerts are there on offer. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite TV shows. I’ll try to put them in order.

#10. Family Matters. [A very nice family show with the geeky boy next door whose wonderful catch phrase was, “Did I do that?” You got to love Steve Urkel.]

#9. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. [I’ve been a big fan of Will Smith, mostly from his movies, but this show was exceptional. The young boy from Philly who got sent to Bel Air to live with the rich aunt and uncle. Wouldn’t that be nice. As a side note, this is also one of my girlfriend’s favorites.]

#8. Maude. [This was Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan’s first TV venture together. I laughed with them in Maude, as well as in their later series The Golden Girls with Betty White and Estelle Getty.]

#7. The Love Boat. [All aboard on Captain Stubing’s love boat. I watched it each and every week for years. The first few seasons were from the port of L.A. down to Mexico and back. A whole cruise shown in an hour. In later seasons, guest stars got to fall in love while traveling to exotic and rare destinations.]

#6. Full House. Fuller House. [Now we are starting to get to my really favorite shows. I watched every episode of Full House and taped them all when they were on reruns. Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey helped guide the three girls through topics such as sharing a room, their first loves, and in a very poignant episode, where was their daddy during the San Francisco earthquake. It’s spin-off, Fuller House, which premiered last year on Netflix, picks up with D.J. Fuller widowed with three boys. The whole cast, except the Olsen twins, took part. As far as I know, there will be a second season. I can’t wait.]

#5. Charlie’s Angels. [When this show aired in 1976, I was 11 going on 12. Young, beautiful women in skimpy outfits or bikinis. Yes, I’m going to like it, shoot me. For any real Charlie’s Angels fan, I’m sure you’ll agree that most of their stories were good ones and well written. And let’s not forget David Doyle as Bosley and John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie. Two excellent actors.]

#4. Star Trek. ST: The Next Generation. ST: Deep Space Nine. ST: Voyager. ST: Enterprise. [Well, the secret is out; I am a Trekkie. I love the whole idea of the almost perfect future universe. I adore holodeck episodes; the idea that you can walk into a room and it becomes anything you wish fascinates me to no end. To be honest, I did not watch every episode of Enterprise, but most Trek fans did like it.]

#3. Cagney and Lacey. [A wonderful police drama in the 1980s about two women police detectives dealing with not only their jobs but their home lives. Mary Beth’s husband Harvey was a wonderful character and magnificently played by John Karlen. On a down note, midway through the series, Christine Cagney got a love interest, but for some unknown reason the writers made him an almost exact duplicate of Harvey. This did not go down well with me. This series dealt not only with police issues, but with Christine’s loss of her father and her own alcoholism, as well as the brilliantly written two-part episode dealing with Mary Beth’s breast cancer. If there was a down side to this series, it was the lackluster series finale. Apparently CBS didn’t know if it was being renewed or not, so the women were instructed by LT. Samuels to paint the ladies’ room. If they didn’t get promoted to the major cases squad, they would have a, “freshly painted bathroom to come back to.”]

#2. Reba. [This is a series I watched with my girlfriend Traci in reruns. I had heard about it but never watched it when it had its first run. The show deals with a divorced woman devotedly religious, played by Reba McEntire, as she struggles to make ends meet, fights with her ex-husband and his new wife, and loves and cares for her kids. The show is set in Houston, Texas, and in the early years, son-in-law Van plays high school and then college football. For a brief period, he turns pro, but an injury ends his career. That allows Reba and Van to partner up in a real-estate venture. Actress Scarlett Pomers dealt with an eating disorder fairly late in the series and missed a season. She triumphantly returned in the final season.]

#1. M.A.S.H. [The is quite possibly my favorite show of all time. I watched it religiously in prime time and in reruns as a teenager. For a half hour each night, I would picture myself there in Korea with all my friends; Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and all the rest. My favorite episode, which according to Loretta Swit changed the series, was called Comrades in Arms. Hawkeye and Margaret were sent to another M.A.S.H. unit, their jeep breaks down and they have to hide. When shelling of the hut they are hiding in starts near the end of part one, they embrace and seem to fall in love, though that is a misunderstanding. At the end of part two, they are not a couple, but the dynamics of the characters changed for the rest of the series.]

Well, there is my list. As usual, please chime in with your top ten list in the comments if you wish. Have a great Friday and weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite Super Bowls

Greetings, readers. I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite Super Bowls. This list might not contain the best Super Bowls ever, but it will contain the games that I loved to watch when they were played, and still enjoy seeing on the recap shows with the on-demand feature of my TV cable or on the NFL network. The games were originally titled using Roman numerals, but I am just using the numbers because it is easier for me. So here we go.

#10. Super Bowl #34, on January 30, 2000. At the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The St. Louis Rams scored 23 points, the Tennessee Titans scored 16. [Titans were stopped on the one yard line on the last play of the game. Poor Titans.]

#9. Super Bowl 32, January 25, 1998. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24. [The Broncos’ first win, with the owner’s famous quote, “This one is for John.” John Elway was the quarterback who suffered three Super Bowl defeats.]

#8. Super Bowl 37, February 3, 2013. Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31. [Long delay because of a power outage. Some thought that it shifted the momentum of the game.]

#7. Super Bowl 41, February 4, 2007. Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida. Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17. [Payton Manning’s first Super Bowl win.]

#6. Super Bowl 7, January 14, 1973. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7. [Garo Yepremian’s muffed field goal pass gave Washington their only score.]

#5. Super Bowl 9, January 12, 1975. Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6. [The Steelers’ first Super Bowl win and the Vikings’ third loss.]

#4. Super Bowl 13, January 21, 1979. Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31. [Dallas Cowboys’ back-up tight end Jackie Smith dropped a sure touch down pass that would have won the game.]

#3. Super Bowl 31, January 26, 1997. Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21. [The Packers’ return to prominence after winning the first two Super Bowls.]

#2. Super Bowl 25, January 27, 1991. Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19. [Bill’s place kicker Scott Norwood missed the game winning field goal with 3 seconds left. It was the ultimate wide right.]

#1. Super Bowl 3, January 12, 1969. Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7. [Conspiracy theories run rampant claiming that the Colts threw the game to give the American Football League’s New York Jets the American Football League’s first Super Bowl win right before the AFL-NFL merger. I prefer to think that the Jets won the game on their own.]

Well, there you have them. That’s my list. I know that 40 Super Bowls did not make this list; I could only choose 10. If you disagree with me or want to share your list, please leave it in the comment section or a post on Facebook.

Until next time, have a good day, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of places I want to visit or revisit

Greetings, readers. Something this morning made me think about all the places I’ve been and all the places I still wish to see before I die. I thought to myself, wow, there is a top ten list to work on today. Probably only the top three will be in order. So, without further ado, here we go.

#10. Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I would love to see the town made famous on Little House on the Prairie and visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum.

#9. Take a trip to Holland to visit the relatives.

#8. Catalina Island, California. I was there with my ex-wife Georgia once and it was beautiful.

#7. Los Angeles, California. Georgia and I did the tourist attraction bus tours. That was such fun. I would love to do it again.

#6. Wilmington, North Carolina. My friend David’s daughter is going to college there and she just loves it. It is about ten minutes away from the beach. If all goes well, I will see Wilmington at Emily’s graduation.

#5. Gottlieben, Switzerland and the Drakensberg castle, which I remember as a hotel. Gottlieben is a little town, and I do mean little, on the Rhine river. Back in the day, you could take boat rides to various points along the river.

#4. London, England. I would love to hop aboard a British Airways 747, fly to Heathrow airport, get on a double-decker tour bus and see the sights of London, including Big Ben and 65 Eaton Place.

#3. I would dearly love to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. Georgia and I had a wonderful ten-day cruise and it was one of the highlights of my life.

#2. While we are on the topic of cruising, two more ships come to mind. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (my parents and I traveled on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 when I was a child. I was too young to realize what a wonderful experience it was.) Also I would love to go aboard the Princess cruise line’s Pacific Princess, aka the Love Boat.

#1. To continue to go to Bear Spring Camps in Maine for as many years as I can. It is my favorite place in the world.

There you have it; an easy peasey top ten list for a Friday. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite football helmet logos

Greetings, readers. Since the NFL playoffs are in full swing and the Superbowl will soon be upon us, I thought it would be a good time to come up with the top ten list of my favorite helmet logos. So here they are, plus two. The first two are from the old United States Football League. We used a website called Collectible Supplies to confirm what the NFL helmets look like.

#10. The Pittsburgh Maulers from the United States Football League: An ironworker with a hardhat swinging a mallet.

#9. The Washington Federals from the USFL: A white helmet with a bird-shape, probably an eagle, with a white star in the bird’s neck, and three green strips flowing behind.

#8. The Houston Oilers from the National Football League: A white helmet with a tall dark blue oil well in a red outline.

#7. The Kansas City Chiefs from the NFL: A white arrowhead with the letters KC in red.

#6. Cincinnati Bengals from the NFL, the throwback design from the 60s and 70s: An orange helmet with words Bengals on both sides. [It was simple but it worked.]

#5. The Los Angeles Rams from the NFL, the throwbacks: Dark blue helmet with the lighter yellow or orange stripe depicting a ram’s horn. [Today’s version the ram’s horn is a darker mustard yellow.]

#4. The Miami Dolphins from the NFL, the new helmet brought out for the 2013 season: A white helmet with a big teal dolphin in an “S” shape in an orange ring, with no helmet on the dolphin’s head.

#3. The Minnesota Vikings from the NFL, any version: A purple helmet with a white plume to depict the horn on a viking’s hat.

#2. The New England Patriots from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a minute man in red uniform in position to snap the football.

#1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a creamsicle-orange pirate, with a sword in his mouth; his name was Buckle Bruce.

And two honorable mentions:

#2. The Philadelphia Eagles from the NFL, the throwback: The rare white helmet with the green eagle wing. [I wish they would change back; hint, hint.]

#1. The Pittsburgh Steelers from the NFL; Black helmet with a yellow stripe, and on the side of the helmet it says “Steelers” in black letters with three diamonds in yellow, red, and blue (signifying the three rivers coming together into one).

Well, there you go, hope we did an adequate job of describing them to you, if you didn’t follow the link yourself. Let the debates begin in the comments, and please feel free to share your top ten if you wish.

Until next time, take care, enjoy your day and happy reading.