Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Bone Biddies

Yesterday, I stopped in at the Glenrock Dinosaur Museum (Paleon). It's a small musuem - but features only Wyoming Dinosaurs, unlike Thermopolis et al which was a "complete" dinosaur center featuring casts of bones and dinosaurs from around the world. In addition, the display cases were very distracting in that they slip apart from the middle out... so when closed there were two inches of overlapping glass in the center...made for lousy photographs.

Nevertheless, if you're a dinosaur enthusiast of any kind, you must visit this place, because you get to go into their restoration room and talk to the people there, most notably the "Bone Biddies" as Robert Bakker calls them. Women in their 70s and 80s (80s!) who have been volunteering at the museum for over 10 years and who cut bones out of their plastic jackets, and then clean and restore them, And they are delighted to talk to you and explain everything!

I haven't got time to upload any photos yet, but here's an article about the Bone Biddies:

Lou Lingle spoke with me for several minutes. I spoke with another woman, Helen Popp (not shown in the photo) she was definitely in her 80s, sharp as a tack, and skilled at her job.

I enjoyed talking to them very much, as well as the director of the museum, whose name unfortunately escapes me. We can blame that all on my 11-year old nephew, who allowed me perhaps 15 minutes to talk to them before he came in and started making a nuisance of himself that I had to go.

Anyway, more about this in subsequent entries.

Here's the website for the Glenrock museum:

Go. Talk to the people there. You'll love it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yet Another Reason To Have A Will

I was never a big fan of Michael Jackson's, but one couldn't help knowing about things, thanks to the ever-present Papperazzi that hounded him as well as other celebrities, and the gossip sites, like my own Google home page that more often than not has Gossip news as the main headlines of the day.

And so he's dead, and the headlines are, what's going to happen to his children? And I'm thinking...didn't he leave a will in which he stipulated guardians and such-like. Certainly he would have a business manager who would have done that for him, similar to what he would have done to take care of what little remained of his fortune?

The kids aren't Michael Jackson. Why do paperazzis even care about them, or how they grow up.

It's rather a tragic story, the story of the Jackson they did everything for money, even go under the plastic surgeon's knife to get a certain look...

As for Farrah Fawcett, again not a fan, but I always hate to hear of someone dying from cancer. But the recent spate of documentaries on her - even before she died - seemed so... calculated and exploitive. Then of course there's her stupid son Griffin - or is it her stepson? - in jail...

And then Ryan O'Neal was going to marry her...if she ever became "strong enough" to say yes. Hell, man why didn't you ask her three weeks ago, when she was strong enough? And why marry her at all? You've lived together and proved your comittment for 30 years. In the eyes of hte law youu're married and you probably get half her property thanks to California property law..

Hopefully she left a will so the State doesn't get it all.

On a side note, pray for the state of California. The bankrupt state of California. Its a microcosm of what the US is going to be like in 10 years unless Obama and the Dems are stopped.

Yeah, the Republicans are reeling because their "family values" party is turnkng out to house hyporcrites - not to mention idiots - Mark Sanford, what were you thinking? - but if they'd drop their stupid family values and just go with fiscal conservatism and a search for exceptionalism, they may be able to save this country.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"IT was shorter in Egyptian"

This is one of the best scenes in the movie Night at the Musuem: Battle of the Smithsonian.

Visit my Azaria website:

Hank Azaria does a great job with his lines, I'd really like to see outtakes to see if he was able to do the scene in one take or if everyone burst out laughing a few times.

He is arguing with Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) about giving him the tablet and the combinatin, and not crossing the no touching zone with his hand.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Simon Oates is dead


I checked my blog counter this morning and saw a lot of hits for Doomwatch - a TV show that starred Simon Oates. I wondered why the sudden rush... and so went to the IMDB. Sure enough, Simon Oates has died. Of course he died about 30 days ago, May 20, 2009.

I must admit I'm surprised. He was a big, athletic guy, and he was only 70... but like John Philip Law perhaps he had some kind of cancer. Meanwhile my own dad is 76 and looks about 66....

Well, anyway, I'm visiting my sister in Cheyenne, Wyoming and don't have access to my Avengers DVDs, otherwise I'd put together a tribute to Oates whom I've always liked, for all that I only saw a very tiny fraction of his work...

Here is a pic of him from the web, however:

He is on the cover of the English version of a TV guide, called The Radio Times. The title: Will Ridge Destroy the World? references his role as Ridge in Doomwatch.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Night at the Museujm 2 Redux

I went to see Night at the Musuem 2 again, with my sister this time, and her son, my 11-year-old nephew.

Enjoyed Hank Azaria's performance as Kahmunrah again, but now I think I know why I'm so obsessed with him now. (Relatively speaking, anyway.) Yes, nice body, nice Karloff impersonation...but it occurred to me at the beginning of his scenes that he reminds me of a British actor who has long been a favorite of mine, Clive Francis. And Azaria's delivery of his lines reminded me of Clive Francis's delivery of lines in the TV series The Piglet Files . Clive Francis is more handsome than Azaria, IMHO, but the delivery of lines, the self-confident stance - all reminded me of him.

So, for anyone who would want to check out Clive Francis, I have a website for him too, of course:

and of course my Azaria website - which does need to have more content added, admittedly, is at:

Funnily sister did not recognize Azaria's accent as that of Boris Karloff. I guess she's never seen a Karloff movie.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Azaria the Uncanny

As is my wont, when I see an actor I like, I put together a tribute website for him.

After seeing Hank Azaria in Night at the Museum, I've put together a small website, which will hopefully grow in future.

I don't actually care for most of his ouvre - I dislike the Simpsons, for example, but when he's been in the right role... sweet.

I think he first came to my attention as Agador in The Bird Cage - nice body, good comic timing. He's kept the body and is even more "ripped" now than he was then...

But really, any guy who can do a British accent gets my little heart going pit-a-pat!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hank Azaria Makes Night at the Museum 2

I was somewhat disappointed with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, for a variety of reasons.

First, although all the old exhibit cast are back, they have very little to do. Ricky Gervais doesn't get to do his schtick of never finishing a sentence, Jedediah and Octavius are separated for most of the movie so there's none of their comraderie, the character of Amelia Earhart is so far removed from her real character that it isn't even funny...

The man who made the movie was Hank Azaria as the villain of the piece Ankmunrah. He manages to be hilarious, and at times very menacing.

Throughout the movie, Azaria does his character with a Boris Karloff accent (doubtless since Karloff played "The Mummy" in 1933 and has one of the most distinctive voices of all time).

So when Kahmunrah is speaking with Darth Vader, and asks, "Why are you wearing the cape? Are we going to the opera? I don't think so." That is really funny. Because Karloff played an opera singer/suspected murderer in Charlie Chan at the Opera, in one of the best Chan movies... A bit of an in-joke there.

(It's the last few seconds of the trailer below)


At the beginning of the movie, Larry is rich. His gadgets have finally taken of. He hasn't been to the museum in 2 years. But when he learns his friends are being shipped into storage at the Smithsonian, and then that Jedehdia is in trouble, he hurries to Washington to help. All very well and good. But, at the end of the movie, Jedediah reveals that he didn't call Larry for help, but to help Larry, because all the money he's making is ruining his life.

(Okay, I can't rememver the exact dialog, but I was reminded of Obama and the Dem's speeches about not trying to get rich, going into the service professions, etc. etc. )

So at the end, Larry sells his business so he can make a huge donation to the museum to ensure that the exhibits remain there and on display. Here's the thing. If he hadn't spent two years creating his fortune, he wouldn't have had the amount of money needed to make the donation, and his friends would still be packed away at the Smithsonian. Nor would he be able to retire to go back to his old job as the Night Guard.