Tuesday, July 13, 2004

July 13, 2003
This morning we had the plumber come out to fix the water lines for our irrigation and for the new refrigerator which gets installed on Friday ($305 house account). Spending money like water, or should that be, on water?

Had a staff meeting at 8:30 and critiqued the newest issue. Many staffers actually liked the dead man cover (that was a surprise), but almost everyone hated the ad on page 71 (that was even more shocking, because everyone, except Gus, cringed). Love that Gus.

Crystal and Brittany just got back from a gargantuan roping road trip to Texas. They hit Amarillo, Fort Worth, Abiline, Denton and Midland. Gave out a ton of magazines and even sold one Maniac membership with a $50 tip thrown in, to boot. Crazy girls, both. Love them too.

I’m flying to Wichita tomorrow night for another History Channel taping. It’s Kurtis again, and this time he’s doing the Daltons. Looking forward to the cool weather in Kansas.

Just joking.

Tommy is back in Spain from Egypt. He leaves in the morning to return to the U.S. Here’s his last check-in from Valencia, Spain:

“Thanks for the advice with girls Dad. That´s so true about giving them compliments. I would´ve thought she heard that stuff all the time but apparently I´m the first ever! Your book (“A Caring Father”) sounds like a book a lot of people will be interested in, especially Lutherans. See you in a week.

“Egypt was pretty amazing. They claim to have 2/3 of the world’s ancient monuments. The highlights were the temple of Abu Simbel and the pyramids. The pyramid keops, which is the last remaining ancient wonder in the world, was mind boggling. Even driving up to them you don´t get a real idea of what they are. Not until you walk up and stand next to it does it sink in. One ton bricks, each as tall as me, cut before iron and moved before the wheel. We’re talking 3 million of these. You look up it and it looks just like a wall going into the sky. Keep in mind this was 5,000 years ago! I´ll be home soon so I´ll tell you the rest when I get back.

“I´m getting very anxious. I can´t drink coffee because I´m all jacked up. It´s like an intense jumble of excitement, nervousness and just plain stress.”

Last night I watched the finale of “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.” It was magnificent. The gunfight in the graveyard is just as spectacular as it was the first time I saw it at the Midway Drive-in in Tucson (1967). It’s got the expanse of “Gone With The Wind” and the style of David Lean meets Andy Warhol. Just so damn artistic and zany and Big as all outdoors. The bug-eyed close-ups, the twitching fingers (by the way, the accompanying doc told how Lee Van Cleef had a digit missing on his hand and Sergio Leone loved that and showed it whenever he could, and I never would have noticed if it weren’t for the DVD!). After it was over and I listened to the entire end song, I checked out the other special features and there is another version where movie critic Richard Schickle (sp?) talks over the entire movie and I’m watching that now, soaking up all the tidbits: Eastwood took Wallach under his wing on the shoot and protected him. This was Eastwood’s third Leone-Italian film and he was quite suspicious about what he perceived as a lack of safety on the set. In one scene, Tuco (Wallach’s character) runs down a road and Blondie, on horseback, picks him up on the run. Eastwood recommended they use a stunt double. Stuff like that. I’m just nutty for this stuff, and it applies directly to my job. Hey, I’m studying the Classics.

Forget Homer, Leone is The Father, The Son and The Holy Son of a Bitch who made Westerns fun again.

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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