Monday, 31 July 2017

RECOMMENDED EATING: CHEESE & ONION PASTY...



Had a cheese & onion pasty yesterday - superb.  Where can
you get such a culinary delight I hear you ask?  Where else but
your local GREGGS Bakery.  Rush 'round and buy one today.

BATMAN AND ROBIN ARE BACK - PLUS THE VILLAINS...


BATMAN, ROBIN & CATWOMAN copyright DC COMICS

I showed you this DVD back in December, but have only now
got around to watching it.  Know what?  I really rather enjoyed it and
would heartily recommend it to all fans of the '60s BATMAN TV show.
CATWOMAN is seriously sexy for an animated drawing, and there's a
great moment when ADAM WEST uses the MICHAEL KEATON line
"You wanna get nuts...?  Let's get nuts!" from the 1989 movie.  The only
reservation I have is that Adam West does sound a bit old at times (well,
he was in his 80s), but I believe that technology exists for making people
sound younger (utilised in the CAPTAIN SCARLET TV ads featuring
FRANCIS MATTHEWS and ED BISHOP in the early '90s) so it's a
shame it wasn't used in this instance.  However, that's a minor thing,
and it's simply great to hear West and Ward playing the CAPED
CRUSADERS again.  And the other voice artists do a great
job sounding like the villains.  Well worth having.
   

Great to see the '60s BATMAN logo again

The opening credits are great - and don't miss the end ones

ADAM and BURT spy on JULIE's bedroom (he lied)

You'll gasp at some of the positions she assumes

LEE, JULIE and EARTHA - though only Julie's voice is the original

Saturday, 29 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - LINDA THORSON...



LINDA THORSON certainly has
a great pair of sea legs - shipshape and
Bristol fashion.  She definitely took the
wind out of my sails, let me tell you.

THE GAME OF LIFE (YOUNG ALBERT)...



Young Albert was a shyish lad, who didn't mix too well,
and when he started his new school, his classmates made life hell.
He liked to draw, he liked to write, he liked to read, and think,
the others liked football and sports, so he was 'out-of-sync'.

The other pupils thought him odd, they mocked his speech, his looks;
he had no friends among his peers, his only friends were books.
But there was one to whom he dearly wished he could relate,
a girl he hoped to find the nerve to ask out on a date.

A mere three desks away from him sat lovely Lucy Brown,
at last the lad dared ask her out - she flatly turned him down.
"I don't go out with geeks or freaks," she had so cruelly said,
in his humiliation Albert wished that he was dead.

A bitter lesson Albert learned on that most fateful day,
the game of life is one that's sometimes very hard to play.
So he withdrew into himself and set his face like stone,
and where he walked, fate had decreed that he should walk alone.

In school one day, the teacher said "A poem all shall write.
Profundity should be your aim - avoid the bland or trite."
Young Albert set to work and lo, at his endeavour's end,
he'd far exceeded teacher's goal, a mighty work he'd penned.

His poem spoke of life and love, of all its hopes and fears,
and all who read the poignant work, could scarce hold back their tears.
In stately rhyme, young Albert's words had struck a common cord,
with phrase so keen, he proved the pen cuts deeper than the sword.

The poem's fame soon spread beyond the confines of the class,
some said his verse would wring a tear from eyes made out of glass.
It didn't take too long 'til it was known throughout the school,
They hailed it as a masterpiece, regarded it as "Cool".

"Best ode we've ever read," they said, "such first-class poetry.
It should be printed in a book, for all posterity."
At last a publisher was sought to set the work in print,
"Should write some more," their spokesman said, "you'd make yourself a mint."

But Albert never wrote again - he'd hit 'creator's slump'.
The fact was that, in truth, he was a 'spring' and not a 'pump'.
In that one burst of brilliance he'd said all he had to say,
and what he'd said could not be said in any better way.

Young Albert died at seventeen, struck down by some 'malaise',
But God, we're told, so often moves in such mysterious ways.
In years to come, when his school chums have fallen prey to time,
they'll be forgot - but Albert's name will live on through his rhyme.

Friday, 28 July 2017

ARE YOU SINGING THE OLD-AGE BLUES...?

     

                                        Bald and toothless, growing old,
                                        hard of hearing, bent and stooped;
                                        my limbs won't do a thing they're told,
                                        and in my boxers I've just pooped.  
                                        Although I creak when I get up
                                        and walking can be quite a grind,
                                        and through a straw my soup I sup,
                                        and cannot keep a thought in mind;
                                        I try to keep stiff upper lip,
                                        and not to let things get me down,
                                        but there's no firmness in my grip,
                                        and gravity gives me a frown.

                                        Oh, curse old age and all it brings,
                                        it doesn't come alone, it's true,
                                        I'd need a whole new set of springs,
                                        in order to keep up with you.
                                        I'm past my prime and on the heap,
                                        I've got a case of "old-age blues",
                                        recalling my last "lover's leap",
                                        it never would've made the news.
                                        I never had much luck with dames,
                                        they always went for other men,
                                        but lust no longer now inflames
                                        my passions past a count of ten.

                                        I'm yellow, wrinkled, cannot see,
                                        and fear the doctor when he calls;
                                        I'll doubtless fail my "M.O.T.",
                                        but must accept whate'er befalls.
                                        When old friends die and are despatched,
                                        it's not compassion that I lack;
                                        from funerals I stay detached,
                                        at my age, not worth coming back.
                                        So pity me, my life's near done;
                                        this battle I'm destined to lose,
                                        and listen to my words, my son -
                                        one day you'll sing the "old-age blues".

SOME POINTS TO PONDER...




Saw this on YouTube while looking for the DOCTOR WHO
Christmas Trailer.  I offer it without comment for your consideration.
You can make up your own minds (and I'm sure you will).

THE SADDEST WORDS...



Three friends were sitting at the bar,
by late hour undeterred.
"Tell me, my friends," said I, "what are
the saddest words you've heard?"
"Could they be 'we are closed'," said one,
"when trying to buy a drink?
Or how about 'we're dry' my son,"
said the other with a wink.

"But no," said I, "the saddest sound
that you will ever hear,
is two words very often bound
with thoughts of one held dear.
See, once I loved a gal so fair -
in fact I love her yet -
with love that was beyond compare,
though seasoned with regret."

"She loved a better man than I,
saw me as 'just a friend',
she never knew each night I'd cry,
so I had to pretend.
Yes, pretend that she meant nothing,
and didn't hold my heart,
oh, but lads, the strain of bluffing
almost tore me apart."

"We've all been down that road I'm sure,
that well-worn, travelled track,
Where we've no choice but to endure
someone not loving back.
Ah, if only she had loved me,
if only she had dared,
if only she had wanted me,
if only she had cared."

"If only she had needed me,
as living things need air,
if only she had longed for me,
I wouldn't know despair.
Another time, another place,
who knows what might've been?
The look of love upon her face
is what I might've seen."

"Despite my heartache I'll be brave,
though there's no worse fate than this -
of trudging onward to the grave,
and never knowing her kiss.
The saddest words you'll ever hear -
the anthem of the lonely -
come with a sigh and oft a tear -
two whispered words - 'If only'."  

Thursday, 27 July 2017

DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS TRAILER...



Ah, if only DAVID BRADLEY had been signed
up as DOCTOR WHO full-time.  What a wonderful
Christmas that would've been - for me at least.  The
two saddest words you'll ever hear - "if only."  Any-
way, roll on Christmas Day says this old fart.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - LINDA THORSON...



I think it's shocking that the lovely LINDA
THORSON is the only AVENGERS gal that
hasn't been a BOND girl.  They should give her
a cameo (as a baddie perhaps) in the next 007
outing and redress that little oversight.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CALLISTO...



I think I got my first CALLISTO for Christmas '68 or '69.
Can't quite recall whether I got him before Sgt. STORM, who,
along with DOUG DAVIS, JEFF JONES, and the over-sized
Captain LAZER, were all part of Major MATT MASON's
band of astronaut buddies.  And for a while in my childhood,
some of them were my buddies as well.  Any memories of
any of these toys, Criv-ites?  Let's hear from you.

(No, I haven't forgotten SCORPIO, but I'm not sure
whether he was friend or foe.  Too lazy to  look it up.)

Monday, 24 July 2017

FAREWELL TO FABULOUS FLO (R.I.P.)...



Just learned from NICK CAPUTO's blog that
STAN LEE's gal Friday in the '60s, Fabulous FLO
STEINBERG, died yesterday.  A bit of MARVEL
died with her.  Rest in peace Flo.  (To read Nick's
more detailed look at Flo's career, click here.)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - ELKE SOMMER...



Remember that classic scene in Dr. NO when
SEAN CONNERY first utters the immortal line
"Bond... James Bond" ?  Well, here's how it might
have looked had James Bond been Jane Bond in-
stead.  ELKE SOMMER is certainly prettier than
big Tam, so there's no way anyone would ever
say "No" to her - not even a doctor.

(Winner of 2017's Most Tenuous Pun award.)

KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER...



Anyone remember the wooden DAVY CROCKETT
huts that used to be in Scottish swing-parks?  I think they
were removed in the early 1970s, but I'd love to see a photo
of one to remind me of happy days gone by.  Anybody got
one I could copy?  Let me know, Criv-ites.

Friday, 21 July 2017

THE STAIRWAY TO 'HEAVEN' LEADS DOWN, NOT UP (UPDATED - AGAIN)...


The middle building sits on what was once part of the garden.  A large
annexe hut could just be seen behind the church building on the right.
The stairs of the manse building on the left are new, the original ones
being well-worn, with a wall around them instead of a railing

As a teenager, I went through a phase where I developed
an interest in religion.  Y'know, the full "who am I, where did I
come from, why am I here, where am I going?" bit.  Consequently,
I attended a couple of church youth clubs with some pals, who weren't
quite so interested in religion, but were interested in the girls who fre-
quented such establishments.  We were regarded as 'neds', not because
we were (not real neds anyway), but because, compared to our fellows
(all saintly-minded believers who saw Jesus as their 'personal Saviour'
and who were liable to break into a chorus of 'Kumbaya' - with guitar
accompaniment - at the drop of a hat), we were seen as 'rough boys'
to be pitied and avoided if we couldn't be 'converted'.  (Not
in the recent Doctor Who way, I hasten to add.)

The basement fire exit.  Members came and went
through here to and from the garden.  The barred
window on the left is the one seen from inside the
basement's main room in the next photo

One such club was held in the basement of what used to be
the manse, within the same grounds as the church itself.  The
last time I recall being in that basement must've been around 1979
or '80 - almost 40 years ago.  Wow!  That's a hard one to get my head
around.  At the back of the church once stood an annexe hut, which was
replaced with a large extension a good number of years back, housing a
cafe and various other things.  I was in there yesterday for a coffee (first
time I've used the place), and after I'd finished, I took a wander into the
former manse and visited the basement.  It was pretty much as I re-
membered, though it looks like the kitchen has had a refit, and what
was once a window-sized opening into the kitchen from the
staircase has now actually had a window fitted.

If I recall rightly, an old radiator was affixed to the wall under the
window, and the seating was previously oblong wooden box-like
structures with square cushions on top for comfort 

As I stood looking around and drinking in the memories
of my teenage visits to the place with my friends (one of whom
died some years ago), I was struck by just how recent it all seemed
to have been.  Hard as it might be for you to believe, I was regarded
as what we Scots call the 'leader-aff' by my group, which was probably
good thing as I tended to rein them in a bit from indulging in the full
catalogue of youthful 'hijinks'.  Had all those years really elapsed since
I'd last stood in these low-ceilinged vaults?  It hardly seemed possible.
I was both cheered and saddened by the occasion, and returned this
afternoon with my camera and snapped a few photos for posterity.
However, yet again I'm reminded of just how fleeting the years
are, and how quickly events of the present become mere
echoes of the past in the haunting halls of memory.

I remember sitting in the room through the doorway back in the
'70s, but can't recall if it housed a pool table back then.  I dimly
see a table tennis table in my mind, but could be imagining it 

It's strange to think that what was once a very familiar
place to me on a weekly basis (perhaps even twice-weekly, as
there may've been a Wednesday meeting as well as a Sunday one)
for a couple of years or so, faded from my mind once I'd left it behind.
(I simply became too 'old' for a 'youth' club.)  However, I think there's
a difference between not thinking about something and truly forgetting
it, and all it takes is a sight (or a scent) of something familiar to bring it
all back to the forefront of one's thoughts as if it were only yesterday.
Ever had a similar experience while revisiting a place from your far-
away youth?  Then feel free to share your reminiscences with
all your fellow Criv-ites in the comments section.

A view of the garden - the building on the left once wasn't part of it,
and there used to be a huge tree roughly in the middle of the lawn

Taken from roughly the same spot (or near it) back in
the 1970s.  If you look really closely, you can see my
Coke can to the left of the tree.  The last tree in the
row may be the one in the above photo.  If not, it'll
be one of the ones in the background

In case you're interested, below are some more photos.  If I can
find ones I took back in the 1970s, I'll add them for comparison.
(Now done, but I'll add any more I find at a later date.)

The front of what  used to be the manse.  The extension on the
left sits on what was once part of the garden, as was the car park

The church (Baptist) building itself.  It's reported that the 'pastor' from
my time later 'moved on' after having affairs with female members of
his 'flock'.  Don't know if he left the ministry completely, but this was
the man who spoke to me like something he'd scraped off his shoe

This photo was taken from the bowling green on the other side of the
church in the above photo (that's it on the left).  You can see part of
the annexe hut to the right, which is where the extension now sits...

...as you can see from this recent photo

The Old Village Hall across the road from the church
was being transformed into a theatre at the time... 

...and here's the same view nearly 40 years later

The stairs to the basement

Basement seen from the doorway

View from inside the pool room

View of the main room from pool room doorway

The kitchen is situated around to the far right

This closed-off stairway is situated between the
previous scene and the next one.  It was thus in
my day too.  Teenagers used to sit here chatting

The stairway in the previous pic is to the left of the doorway

The kitchen looks surprisingly smaller than I remember it, but I
don't think it had so many cupboards and stuff as it does now 

The window on the right was once just an open frame, through which
members would take a shortcut into the kitchen from the staircase

Back around to the main room...

...and up the stairs to the outside world.  Our
visit's over, so "Th-th-that's all, folks!"

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION...



Saw this on MARK EVANIER's blog and thought
I'd share it with you.  Now that's what I call magic!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

COMMENT ON CONTROVERSY...



My previous post had a lot of good comments, but one
that I thought cut right to the heart of the matter in a simple,
matter-of-fact way was the one below by Dave S.  I thought
it deserved a spot of its own, so here it is.

******

I'm also disappointed that we've been given a female Doctor
apparently in the name of political correctness.  To me, the charac-
ter that I've been watching and reading about since at least 1980 is a
male, and I feel it will be difficult for me to adjust to a female playing
the role.  If anyone wants to label me a sexist over that, go right
ahead, I've been called worse.

What I find remarkable is that the views of me and people like
me are simply being dismissed as the ramblings of old fogies or met
with hostility - one comics professional (who I don't believe I've heard
of) can post on Twitter that anyone who doesn't like the casting can
'STFU and don't watch it' and this is not only tolerated, but con-
gratulated.

It seems as if some people have just decided that if they shout
louder than others, then their opinions become the default correct
viewpoint that everyone else should either adhere to or be dis-
missed and abused.

I do not want a female Doctor.  Should anyone want
 to take that personally and abuse me for it, go ahead.

Someone in the Daily Mail comments section made the point
that this casting is like Jackie Chan playing Poirot.  It reeks of
stunt casting, cheap sensationalism used in lieu of actual ideas.

I'm undecided right now whether I'll be watching the next
series.  Part of me wants to give it a try - it is after all something
that has meant a lot to me for almost my entire life, but part of me
also thinks that the Christmas special might be a good jumping-off
point.  If I switched off just as the regeneration scene starts, I would
have seen The Doctor in his final body, meeting his original self,
and passing away having fought the good fight so many times.

I'm also concerned at Chris Chibnall's comments that he
always intended to cast a female Doctor - shouldn't he be looking
for the best actor available, irrespective of anything else?  The fact
he's said that just confirms to me that this is a gimmick, a way of
causing controversy simply to get attention. 

Anyway, that's my thoughts for the mo.

Monday, 17 July 2017

THE DAY THE DOCTOR DIED...



Well, that's it for me.  Barring the Christmas Special -
which I'll only be tuning into to see DAVID BRADLEY as
the first Doctor - I won't be watching any episodes of the new
series of DOCTOR WHO when it's shown in 2018.  For several
years now there's been a gay agenda in various TV shows, Doctor
Who included (culminating in a lesbian kiss in the last episode of
the recent series), trying to brainwash us all into believing that
gender is unimportant, and sexual orientation is a flexible
condition that we should all experiment with and further
erode traditional male/female roles in society.

You see, it's all those 'luvvy' thespians (and writers,
directors, and producers) most of whom were never quite
sure which side of the floor they danced on, wanting to rewire 
society into their ideal version of what it should be.  However,
that's not the main reason The Doctor has now had a gender re-
assessment inflicted on him.  The show is in trouble, suffering de-
clining viewing figures and lack of interest from the general pub-
lic ('cos it's written for fanboys in anoraks who enjoying dress-
ing up as Doctor Who or his companions) and it needs a shot
in the arm to revive interest in order to keep merchan-
dise sales propping up Auntie Beeb.

With that in mind, what better time to embrace
misandrist philosophy and remake one of Britain's iconic
male heroes into a woman?  Can you see that happening to
TARZAN, or SHERLOCK HOLMES, or JAMES BOND,
or any other legendary male hero of TV, Cinema, or literature?
Once, it would have been unthinkable, but not any more, alas, in
the mad pursuit of higher viewing figures and more merchandise
revenue.  The fact that the BBC has taken this desperate step
demonstrates what I've suspected for some time.  They simply
don't quite know where to take the show next, so have de-
cided on controversy to try and give it a much-needed
shot in the arm.  I'd have preferred the show to be
euthanised.  It would've been far kinder.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

PART TWO OF HAUNTED HORROR COVER GALLERY...


Images copyright GUSSONI-YOE STUDIO, Inc.

Well, I know you don't come to this blog looking for edifying
exposition or informative explanations, so there's no point wearing
myself out trying to give you some.  Nope, you lot come here for the
palpitating piccies, of which we have 8 this time around for you to
savour and salivate over.  I won't hold you back - get goin'!







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