Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15, 2007 Bonus Blog
Kathy is in Ensenada, Mexico (right below Tijuana and San Diego) and they take off south on Sunday. She is writing a blog at if you want to track her progress or make a comment.

And speaking of web stuff, here's an AOL update. My email finally started loading when I got back from Helper, but it is very slow. Takes maybe 30 seconds to load each email and sending takes the same amount of time. Also, some have complained that my new account at has been bouncing emails, so I'm a bit at a loss and for the time being, and am keeping both accounts going, just to see which one is worse. So far, it's a tie. Ha.

Henry Beck our Westerns editor, alerted me to a showing of "Two-Lane Blacktop" which will be running tomorrow night at 8 P.M. on Starz (so if you have the Westerns Channel, you can get it). This is a road picture by legendary director Monte Hellman done in 1971 and starring James Taylor (yes, that James Taylor), Dennis Wilson (of the Beach Boys), Laurie Bird and Warren Oates. It's basically a road picture and a Route 66 trip in reverse (most 66 movies go from east to west, but this one starts in LA, and moves east). It is quite wooden and badly acted (Hellman insisted on showing the actors only the page they were working on and since neither Wilson nor Taylor are actors, well, you get the picture). But the movie has an amazing charm for me for a couple of reasons. For one, they actually filmed the trip in actual cars (not studio shells) in the actual locations. Most Hollywood road pictures cheat and utilize Southern California for several states and then maybe hire a second unit to drive to New Mexico and take some pan shots to splice in ("Thelma And Lousie" is a good example with some location shooting in Moab and Winslow and then everything else is San Fernando Valley).

Not "Two-lane." Nope, they're right on Route 66, getting gas in Needles, driving up thru Perfume Pass outside Kingman (KAAA—K-Triple-A, is on the radio), Flagstaff, New Mexico, Oklahoma. Warren Oates is a hoot as a bullshitting loudmouth driving a hot GTO (Wilson and Taylor are in a souped up '55 Chevy). In a great scene he runs out in the rain, and it's really raining! Movie makers hate rain, so that's why you get really bad, fake rain like in "Tombstone" where Kurt Russell is screaming up at the sky and the "rain" stops fifteen feet away because the sprinkler won't cover the entire shot.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite road pictures. Tragically, all the stars are dead, except James Taylor. Laurie Bird commited suicide, Warren Oates-heart attack (some suspicion it was cocaine related) and Dennis Wilson drowned while diving under his boat (alcohol and drugs suspected). So Sweet Baby James, the heroin addict survives. Is there a moral in there somewhere? Not really. Come to think of it, you are going to hate this movie, so don't even watch it. The ending got booed out of the drive-in I first saw it in. Terrible flick. A piece of crap. Sorry, I brought it up.

Classic Onion Headline de Jour
Hot Rock-And-Roll Chick Totally Married

Channeling Or Cheating?
"I just watched a show on Documentary channel and I have to ask...Is BBB channeling the spirit of Frederic Remington? His paintings are remarkably vivid and carry the same depth of life and spirit of men and animal. I'm glad he is around to bring the lives of the past words and visions."
—Anthony Dembek, Enfield, CT

"If there is anything the matter with your eyes, you hasten to get it put right; but if anything is the matter with your mind, you put off treatment for a year."

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