Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6, 2006
Well, it’s my personal opinion that Heath Ledger got screwed twice. Once in the tent scene and the other last night at the Oscars. Heath was heads down the best actor in that muy gay field of thespians.

Last Saturday, Kathy took me on a date to see “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” Wow! My kind of picture and it was filmed almost entirely in the country I just got back from.

As you know, last weekend I was in Alpine, Texas and one of the cowboys I met there told me that Tommy Lee Jones is a friend of his. When I asked what Al Gore’s college roommate is like, he said, “Tommy Lee Jones is a deeply intelligent man,” which seemed an odd thing for a cowboy to say, but then, Tommy Lee has that rep. I also asked him where Tommy Lee’s ranch is located and he said when I drove back towards Van Horn, about a mile west of Kent I’ll see a sign for “Boracho,” and that’s where his ranch was. He added that Jones just sold it..

In the movie, there is a reference to “Boracho Peak” (Spanish for Drunkard's Peak?) and it appears the town scenes were filmed in Van Horn (see last Saturday’s blog posting). About half the film is in Spanish with subtitles, and Tommy Lee is a joy to watch in his muy cowboy mannerisms and his authentic Spanish sounding lingo (remember the guy who said, “Get ready for a wave of Mexican Westerns”? Oh, wait, that was me!). I really liked this movie. Very Western and muy Mexican. The wave, my friends is upon us.

My new Dominatrix Organizer, Darci, came out this morning at seven and we bailed into the studio, plowing and pillaging from the front to the back. With her urging I threw away a ton of old business paper and correspondence, consolidated here and nuked paper there. Actually got to the bottom of one desk. Also liberated a half-dozen cubby spaces in my morgue area. Found my long, lost box of Apache photos (hundreds of images and reference art!). It was “hidden” in plain sight. Sigh.

Luf-ley Reasons to Blog, Ah One Und Ah Two. . .
I was reading a book this weekend entitled CHAMPAGNE MUSIC—THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW. An Affectionate Look at America's Most-Beloved Television Program.

“Be patient ... after reading this you will find a message.

"Would anyone have gambled on the bet that this dirt-poor child with no social or economic advantages would one day become America' premier bandleader with a television cast of several dozen people and a top draw in concerts around the country, making him one of the wealthiest men in show business with an empire generating an estimated $25 million annually?

"The fact that Welk's climb was so seemingly unlikely has only further endeared him to the millions of fans who were uncommonly loyal to Welk and The Lawrence Welk Show for the several decades of its run.

“Welk was born in a sod house on March 3, 1903 in North Dakota. His parents were German immigrants ‘They brought with them nothing but their prayer books, their high hopes and their utter belief in freedom and democracy.’

“Of the eight children born to Christina and Ludwig Welk, Lawrence was ill-suited for the rigors of farm life. Rather, young Lawrence had an intense passion for music.

“In exchange for Lawrence remaining on the farm for four additional years his father presented him with four hundred dollars to purchase an accordion. In 1924 Lawrence left the farm on his 21st birthday ‘dressed in my best and ready to tackle the world.’

“While there were struggles in his early career, Lawrence eventually found hard work, dedication and his intense devotion to music paid off. He loved his audience. He never lost his popularity. Welk believed in listening to his audience. "He had secretaries answering his mail and every letter that had suggestions or comments was listed. When requests came in, they listed how many times a song was requested. He gave people what they wanted to hear." Welk had a deep reverence for his public. From his days on the road he would send a postcard "Dear so and so, I'm going to be in your hometown.' Everybody who got a card, would think, 'Hey he's acknowledged me."

“He catered to people. He mingled with the people. "Fans are a tremendously important part of our daily business life. What they think and what they want is of vital importance to us." Sometime 600 to 800 people were in line to see a show. Welk would sign autographs and chat until the last person left.

"One of the earlier traditions, and an example of how things go wrong and turn out unpredictably right during the broadcast , was the cast members' spouses and children joining them on camera for the Christmas show. As Welk remembers, the first Christmas show was a disaster. He began the tradition by inviting the band to bring their children down to appear on the broadcast. Much grabbing of the spotlight resulted as doting parents made certain that the proud grandparents at home got a good close-up look at all of them. By air time, tempers flared and the babies were fidgeting and crying to such a degree that the show's timing was off. By the time Santa Claus appeared pulling his sleigh loaded with presents, time had run out. The program ended with the yelling and tears of indignant children demanding presents. Welk considered the whole show to be so terrible that he seriously thought about calling the sponsor and offering to resign. At Sunday Mass the following morning, however, the parishioners at St. Martin of Tours Church in Brentwood applauded Welk, remarking how much they enjoyed the Christmas show and adding that the same things happened at their houses. 'It was just like home.' Welk observed almost with surprise "how much the human touch counts."

“And that, Boze, is why the blog is not a waste of time. It provides a human touch to the publishing business."

Where’s There’s A Will There’s A Clever Answer
“Okay, I waste too much time blogging, too. But we've got to waste some time. We've got to have something to do that we feel guilty about doing so then we'll buckle down to the things we need to do.

“Yes, our distractions can get out of control. That's why you need to do the periodic assessment: If I die in a month, what do I want to have done? (I don't like the "die tomorrow" test, 'cause if I know I'm dying tomorrow, screw work; I'm spending the day with Emma.)

“So cut back on blogging if you want. Shoot for every other day, or twice a week, or weekly. You might combine your blog and your work a little more, feeling more free to run early drafts of editorials or articles as blog posts. If you know the right folks, you might turn your blog into a group blog, the western equivalent of I get the impression you get a lot of traffic by western afficianado standards. I do understand the desire to keep folks coming back.

“Also, if you need some money from the blog to justify doing it, try putting some ads in a sidebar. I don't know if you'd make anything, but when I tried Google's Adsense (which sends ads inspired by the words in your post), some of the results were amusing. I dropped the ads because I think it's better to do something for free than to do it for almost free, but you've got a much more targeted audience than I do, so it could be worth the test.”
—Will Shetterly

If you want to check out Will's blog, here's the link, plus a bonus link:

Also, since I mentioned, here're their links to a
working robot mule being developed for the military:

Mules are True West, even if they're robots.

”If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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