Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's like trying to take down a bomber with a peashooter

But it's all we got.

Just tuned in to the last 15 minutes of the current Twilight Zone episode at the Sci Fi Channel. As usual, for a holiday, they'showing marathons, and also as usual, it's the Twilight Zone.

Unlike usually, or unusually I suppose I should say, the TV guide on my TV (I"ve got satellite) is no help. It tells me that I"m watching Twilight Zone, but doesn't give the title. Most annoying.

Anyway, a police officer and a woman are being terrorized by something out in the dark. All kinds of stilted dialog - you know right away Rod Serling wrote this episode. At the end, the woman runs...and of course she falls. Anytime in a 1950s tv series - heck, probably even up to the 80s, anytime a woman runs she will inevitably fall so that the man can arrive and protect her from whatever it is she's runnng from (or allow her to be captured so the man can rescue her).

Then, we see this giant spaceman, 40 stories taller than they are. Just standing there, not making any threatening moves.

The cop says all he's got is a gun, and that trying to take down the alien with it is "like trying to take down a bomber with a peashooter, but it's all we've got."

And so he starts shooting with this "peashooter" - at an alien that's doing nothing more than standing still, making no threatening moves, but fortunately it's not an alien but a balloon, and so it crumples.

Then they find a teeny tiny flying saucer, and fortunatley the two aliens inside speak English as they beg to be able to return home, as the Earth people aren't frightened.

To put it bluntly, not one of TZ's better episodes.

Anyway, starred Mark Richman, an actor with a recognizable face, but I couldn't place the name to it until the end. Took me slightly less time with Hazel Court, although she did look a bit more aged than in The Raven (Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Jack Nicholson) which is the onl thing I've ever seen her in.

Most of the Twilight Zone episodes are a lot of fun. Several of 'em have "morals" or "messages" that could be well-considered today, but I must say that Rod Serling's dialog does run a little stilted and/or ...grandileloquent isn't the word I'm looking for but the proper word is escaping me for some reason...pompous? It takes great actors to be able to say those lines with a straight face, or convincingly.

Just c hecked the IMDB, and found that this episode, filmed in the 5th season, 1964, was the last episode of Twilight Zone to be filmed. The last episode to be aired was The Bewitchin Pool.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NCIS Fan Fiction

I don't watch a lot of new TV... for various and sundry reasons, but I typically catch up with them during holidays like 4th of July, News Years Eve, Christmas, etc., when every channel has a marathon going on.

I think it was this 4th of July that I first saw NCIS (Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Sasha Alexander, Cote De Pablo, Sean Murphy), in a marathon, and liked it. And, for the past two months, as I've been struggling with depression regarding those %^&$%^&* adsense people, when I didn't feel like doing any work, I'd write instead.

So a lot of my fiction is at Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) NCIS is one of the most popular targets of fan fiction, with 20 stories or so added every day, so my excellent offerings get buried. So, I decided to start a blog for my fanfiction, called The People Out There, which is the title of one of my stories, and will share material there.

And I also created a fan video, a little story of how Cait and Gibbs got together.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Science fiction at BBC Radio 7, Dec 29

Well, one of my many new year's resolutions is to post in this blog without missing a single day of 2009.

I've also got some new plans for coordinating this blog with its companion webzine, The Thunder Child, so stay tuned for those.

And as always, please support this site by purchasing items through my Ebay links. (If the wealth hasn't been spread your way, find what you need on Ebay.) I invented that slogan, and I like it!

So what's on BBC 7 digital radio for today, Monday, December 29, which will in turn be available to listen to for the next 7 days. (Not to mention, rebroadcast probably two months from now, so if you miss something, dn't despair.)

Doctor Who: The Commentaries. The Doctor Who cast and crew discuss the Christmas special, The Next Doctor.

The Voice of God, by Simon Bovey, is being broadcast again. Unnatural earthquakes in Australia signal disaster for the world. In addition to a great script, I really love the music in this.

Saturday's offerings are still avaialable, of course.

There's Space Hacks, about two journalists who live in a spaceship (Pauline Collins voice as the computer, Mother) trying to do as little work as possible for their employer, a great big mean ol' alien.

A two hour installment of His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (what the movie The Golden Compass was based on.)

Hordes of the Things: A JRR Tolkien parody

So be there or be a large, rectulanguar thing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New blogs for 2009

November and December are particularly bad months for the weight-challenged. It's so easy to gain weight, and very hard to lose weight, during this season.

I've started a new blog which will help people lose weight.

Check it out at:

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I've been struggling with depression for the last couple of weeks... not clinical depression, I hasten to add, just general depression because of the way Google Adsense screwed me over, and the fact that I has having no luck at all with Ebay, which is what I'd replaced Adsense with.

Well, today, just got an alert that I'd earned $9.91.

I don't know what for - Ebay's reporting system is not as sophisticated as Adsense, but sometime in the last few days someone went through one of my Ebay ads to buy something, and whatever it was was expensive enough to get me a $9.91 payout.

So I've got a long way to go to replace the lost income stream from Adsense, but at least this shows that there's the possibility of making some real money here. The most a single click from Adsense ever netted me was $2.00, or slightly less, and here I got $9.91.

So my enthusiasm is renewed and I'll get back to work at the first of the new year.

So easily is depression lifted!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Well...I haven't been posting here much lately.

Truth to tell, I'm still struggling with depression. As I posted a month or so ago, after three years of hard work to gradually bring my webzines (the thunder child and you fly girl) to a point where my Google Adsense ads were actually making me money, with every expectation that that income would continue to increase exponentially, Adsense cancelled my account, without warning or explanation.

I wasn't breaking TOS - and even if I was, couldn't they have sent me an email? Hey - you're doing this, which is a violation of TOS. Stop doing it in 24 hours or we'll cancel your account. And then I could have fixed...whatever it was.

But no. Instead I try to access my account and am told it's disabled. I search and search and find an email address where I can send an email asking to be reinstated. So I send this email, pointing out that I don't know why my account was disabled and to please explain. And I get no answer.

So my revenue stream is gone. Three years of hard work. Gone.

I replaced the Adsense ads with Ebay ads, which I actually had high hopes of, because it was the same thing where you could specifically target science fiction books, tvs or movies in the ads that would show up. But it's been a total waste of time. No money generated at all.

So I've got a couch stacked high with books, movies and TV shows I'd been intending to review, articles I'd intended to write, etc. etc.,and I just can't muster up the energy to do anything.

Then of course there's the state of the economy and the country and the world these days, which isn't doing my mood any good, either.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Beverly Garland at Williamsburg Film Festival

Beverly Garland was at the Williamsburg Film Festival in 2006 or so, and I videoed her as she introduced the screening of Not of this Earth, and then took questions afterwards.

Umfortunately, I had a brand new video camera and for some reason I decided I wanted her full body view instead of just her head and torso, so I turned the camera on its side. So of course she's sideways in 1/2 of the first video and all of the second, and I apologize for that.

However, she's fun, she's vivacious, and so I think you'll be able to enjoy anyway.

Here's the Intro to Not Of This Earth:

Part 2 of Beverly, Not of This Earth...all sideways

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Beverly Garland has died

I first saw her in person a couple of years ago, when she appeared at the Williamsburg Film Festival. I have a bit of video of her... unfortnately I was using a new digital camera and didnt' realize that if you held the camera sideways, the video would come out sideways...

I'm tempted to share it anyway...

Nevertheless, here is her obit.

Beverly Garland, versatile actress in film and TV, dies at 82

In a career spanning more than 50 years, she moved from B-movie cult stardom to scores of roles in television, notably on 'My Three Sons.' She also operated a namesake hotel in North Hollywood.
By Dennis McLellan
11:19 AM PST, December 6, 2008
Beverly Garland, whose long and varied acting career ranged from B-movie cult stardom in the 1950s portraying gutsy characters in movies such as "Not of This Earth" and "It Conquered the World" to playing Fred MacMurray's wife on the sitcom "My Three Sons," has died. She was 82.

Garland, who also was an involved owner of her namesake hotel in North Hollywood, died Friday evening after a lengthy illness at her Hollywood Hills home, said son-in-law Packy Smith.

In a more-than-50-year career that began with her film debut in a supporting role in the 1950 film noir classic "D.O.A.," Garland appeared in about 40 films and scores of television shows.

She was once called "one of the finest actresses in this windblown theater" by former Times TV critic Cecil Smith and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1955 for her performance as a leukemia patient in the pilot of the medical drama "Medic."

"Not only was she a terrific actress, she was one of those special gals who was fun to work with," said Mike Connors, who appeared with Garland in director Roger Corman's low-budget 1955 film "Swamp Women" and later worked with her when she made guest appearances on his TV detective series "Mannix."

"She had a great sense of humor, she was very thoughtful and had a great laugh," Connors said. "You couldn't help but laugh with her when she laughed."

Despite her reputation for doing heavy drama -- including playing a suicidal alcoholic in a "Dr. Kildare" episode -- Garland showed her lighter side playing Bing Crosby's wife in the short-lived situation comedy "The Bing Crosby Show" in the mid-'60s.

She returned to comedy in "My Three Sons" as the second wife of MacMurray's widower Steve Douglas during the last three seasons of the popular series that aired from 1960 to 1972.

"The only thing that bothers me is that everybody loves this character so much," Garland told The Times in 1969. "I don't remember anybody loving me all that much."

Garland also played her fair share of mothers in TV series. She was Stephanie Zimbalist's in the 1980s in "Remington Steele," Kate Jackson's in the 1980s in "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and Teri Hatcher's in the 1990s in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." She also had recurring roles in the TV shows "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," "7th Heaven" and the ABC soap opera "Port Charles."

Early in her career, Garland played undercover New York police officer Casey Jones in the 1957-59 syndicated series "Decoy," reportedly the first American TV police series built around a female protagonist. Garland's big-screen credits included roles in films such as "The Joker Is Wild" (1957), "Pretty Poison" (1968), "Where the Red Fern Grows" (1974) and "Airport 1975" (1974).

But her starring roles in low-budget exploitation films in the '50s such as "The Alligator People" gave her an enduring cult status.

For Corman, she starred in five films in the 1950s: "Gunslinger," "It Conquered the World," "Naked Paradise," "Not of This Earth" and "Swamp Women."

"Part of what made her a favorite of B-movie fans was that she was seldom a shrinking violet in her movies," Tom Weaver, a science fiction and fantasy film expert, told The Times. "In fact, she was just the opposite."

In "It Conquered the World," "she grabs a rifle and goes gunning for the monster in its own lair. In 'The Alligator People,' she chases an alligator man into the swamp, and so on," he said.

"She didn't play the demure, reserved heroines very well," Weaver said.

Garland acknowledged that in a 1985 interview with Weaver for Fangoria magazine.

"I never considered myself very much of a passive kind of actress," she said. "I was never very comfortable in love scenes, never comfortable playing a sweet, lovable lady."

She was born Beverly Fessenden in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Oct. 17, 1926, and grew up in Glendale, where she studied acting in high school and began working in little theater, which she continued after the family moved to Phoenix. She became Beverly Garland when she married actor Richard Garland; they were divorced in 1953 after less than four years of marriage. An earlier, brief marriage to Bob Campbell when she was 18 also ended in divorce.

In 1960, she married real estate developer Fillmore Crank, a widower with two children, Cathleen and Fillmore Jr. They had two more children, Carrington Goodman and James Crank.

In 1972, the couple built their mission-style hotel in North Hollywood, now called Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn. They also built a hotel in Sacramento that bore Garland's name in the '80s but later sold it.

Garland, whose husband died in 1999, remained involved in running the North Hollywood hotel.

She was the honorary mayor of North Hollywood and served on the boards of the California Tourism Corp. and the Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Garland is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Forry Ackerman has died...

Read tributes to Forry at various message boards:


From the AP wire...

Sci-fi's grand old man, Forrest J Ackerman, dies

By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer John Rogers, Associated Press Writer - 10 mins ago

LOS ANGELES - Forrest J Ackerman, the sometime actor, literary agent, magazine editor and full-time bon vivant who discovered author Ray Bradbury and was widely credited with coining the term "sci-fi," has died. He was 92.

Ackerman died Thursday of heart failure at his Los Angeles home, said Kevin Burns, head of Prometheus Entertainment and a trustee of Ackerman's estate.

Although only marginally known to readers of mainstream literature, Ackerman was legendary in science-fiction circles as the founding editor of the pulp magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was also the owner of a huge private collection of science-fiction movie and literary memorabilia that for years filled every nook and cranny of a hillside mansion overlooking Los Angeles.

"He became the Pied Piper, the spiritual leader, of everything science fiction, fantasy and horror," Burns said Friday.

Every Saturday morning that he was home, Ackerman would open up the house to anyone who wanted to view his treasures. He sold some pieces and gave others away when he moved to a smaller house in 2002, but he continued to let people visit him every Saturday for as long as his health permitted.

"My wife used to say, 'How can you let strangers into our home?' But what's the point of having a collection like this if you can't let people enjoy it?" an exuberant Ackerman told The Associated Press as he conducted a spirited tour of the mansion on his 85th birthday.

His collection once included more than 50,000 books, thousands of science-fiction magazines and such items as Bela Lugosi's cape from the 1931 film "Dracula."

His greatest achievement, however, was likely discovering Bradbury, author of the literary classics "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Martian Chronicles." Ackerman had placed a flyer in a Los Angeles bookstore for a science-fiction club he was founding and a teenage Bradbury showed up.

Later, Ackerman gave Bradbury the money to start his own science-fiction magazine, Futuria Fantasia, and paid the author's way to New York for an authors meeting that Bradbury said helped launch his career.

"I hadn't published yet, and I met a lot of these people who encouraged me and helped me get my career started, and that was all because of Forry Ackerman," the author told the AP in 2005.

Later, as a literary agent, Ackerman represented Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and numerous other science-fiction writers.

He said the term "sci-fi" came to him in 1954 when he was listening to a car radio and heard an announcer mention the word "hi-fi."

"My dear wife said, 'Forget it, Forry, it will never catch on,'" he recalled.

Soon he was using it in Famous Monsters of Filmland, the magazine he helped found in 1958 and edited for 25 years.

Ackerman himself appeared in numerous films over the years, usually in bit parts. His credits include "Queen of Blood," "Dracula vs. Frankenstein," "Amazon Women on the Moon," "Vampirella," "Transylvania Twist," "The Howling" and the Michael Jackson "Thriller" video. More recently, he appeared in 2007's "The Dead Undead" and 2006's "The Boneyard Collection."

Ackerman returned briefly to Famous Monsters of Filmland in the 1990s, but he quickly fell out with the publisher over creative differences. He sued and was awarded a judgment of more than $375,000.

Forrest James Ackerman was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 1916. He fell in love with science-fiction, he once said, when he was 9 years old and saw a magazine called Amazing Stories. He would hold onto that publication for the rest of his life.

Ackerman, who had no children, was preceded in death by his wife, Wendayne.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What's on Radio, December 3

Today, and for the next seven days at the BBC 7 digital radio website, you can listen to:

Before the Screaming Begins, episode 2
Alien abductee Tom Harris is removed to protective custody. Wally K Daly's sci-fi trilogy stars James Laurenson

Out of the Silent Planet Episode 7
Ransom journeys into the mountains to find Augray's Tower and views, through a Malacandrian telescope, his own planet the Earth.

The website isnt' as easy to navigate as it once I'm providing the links in a different manner.