Theory and Toy Traders

For the second time in two days, old friends have popped out of the woodwork and sent me texts. It’s pretty cool to know that you are randomly thought of. Anyhow, on with today’s blog.

Back in September of 2015, our son took part in a short video about a local toy store. It was made by a former coworker friend of mine from back in my Movie Theater days. Late Friday night my friend shot me a text linking to the YouTube video. I had completely forgotten that they made this.

2015 at age nine

It was a great experience for my son. He was literally a kid in a toy store. All he did was talk about the toys while a camera followed him around. They did this for hours and my son enjoyed every minute of it. My friend had a ton of footage to go through.

Check out the short pilot video here: Toy Traders – Trade Fever.

My friend Dan loves films. He was a collector of many movies and watches almost everything. This was his foray into making his own. I like the premise of what he made. It was in a style similar to Comic Book Men. Which by the way is made by Kevin Smith who also loves visiting Toy Traders as seen here: Kevin Smith Live at Toy Traders.

I hope Dan keeps creating films and shows. He is extremely passionate about the medium.

The Nothing

Today I have nothing to write about. This nothing is turning into something as I write about nothing. I suppose I could write about “The Nothing” from “The Neverending Story”. But even that would be something.

My Nothing really isn’t anything. So I’m ending my musings by stating nothing about nothing.

Good Omens

Back in the mid-nineties, my girlfriend’s brother gave me a book- “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. This novel introduced me to the fantastic and humorous imitations of two of my favorite authors. I became a lifelong fan.

I have kept my paperback version of the novel and over the past few months, two of my three children have read the book. Both loved it so much that they have asked me for more book recommendations. I guess dad isn’t out of touch with good writing.

I have decided to pick up the book and read through it again. There are only a handful of novels that I am willing to pick up numerous times- this is one of them. This will be my fourth or fifth time reading it. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m hoping to finish it before Friday. Amazon Prime has created the novel into a six part show. 20 Years ago, a friend of mine and I used to discuss which books we’d love to see made into films- this is one of them. I’m excited to see it finally come to fruition and hope to be satisfied with the results.

With Queen being used as the soundtrack to the ads- how could it possibly be bad?

Towel Day

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy


“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.”

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

The Restaurant at the End of The Universe


“Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple.”

-Life, the Universe and Everything


“There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind.

-So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish


“Anything that happens, happens.”

“Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.”

“Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.”

“It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order though.”

Mostly Harmless


Douglas Adams was a fantastic writer of sci-fi and humor. His five novels of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy inspired my family’s life. That’s right, five books in the trilogy. Don’t ask, that’s part of the charm of his story telling. My wife and I were so inspired by his works that we named our first born, Random, after one of his characters. From that name sprouted her siblings names- Darwin and Theory.

As well, 42 is an important number to our family. Each of us constantly pointing it out wherever it may appear. As if the Universe is telling us something. Be it good or bad. But as life goes on, I am encouraged by two words written by Douglas Adams…

Don’t Panic

Batman 30 Years Later

This weekend, the Cineplex theaters cross Canada are showing limited screenings of Batman from 1989. Naturally I had to go and see it on the big screen again. I love this version of the caped crusader.

Back when I was thirteen, this version of Batman was my first foray into seeing comic book superhero films on the big screen. (Seeing Superman IV in 1987 doesn’t count as it was an extremely bad film.) My mother was gracious enough to take me to this film on opening night. She knew I loved the magic of cinematic story telling. My mother always made sure that I saw films opening weekend so that I wouldn’t miss out. Seeing movies was something my mother always did for me. It probably played a big role into why I wanted to be a projectionist- a goal that came to fruition many years later. A job which I enjoyed tremendously. (Thanks mom.)

Coming back to today’s blog…

For DC Comics, Batman has always been a safe bet. I became obsessed with Keaton’s Batman. I learned everything I could about the film- buying magazines and comics- which I still own. As well, I watched any interview or tv spot about the film. Did I mention the Prince soundtrack? I listened to that on cassette for months on end. So much so that I have memorized every lyric as well as when the audio clips show up in the film. Nerd alert.

Batman has always been important to me. Probably the only DC superhero that I like. Going to the multiplex to watch a 30 year old film when there’s newer/ flashier films out there seemed counterproductive. Ya, we saw Avengers:Endgame on opening night, but seeing Tim Burton’s Batman once more on the big screen was important to me. I shared this moment with my two youngest children. In a theater that holds 234 people- seven of us watched a screening of Batman.

For a film that brought forth some of the greatest aspects of the Batman franchise -like Keaton’s line “I’m Batman” or the theme music still used in the LEGO Batman series- it surprised me that the theater was empty. Why is this? I dunno.

Earlier in the day, I was walking around town and on two separate occasions, young kids pointed out my Batman shirt. Everyone from kids to parents know Batman. Why not share a cinematic joy like the 1989 version?

In a few days Cineplex will be showing the sequel. I won’t be seeing it on the big screen again. When I was younger, I saw Batman Returns THREE TIMES ON OPENING DAY back in 1992 at the old Willowbrook 6 theater. I think they got my money’s worth back then. As well, don’t expect me to watch the other two sequels they have planned for next week. Keaton’s Batman is the best of this series.

If you want to see any of these films, check out Cineplex Special Events to buy tickets. $6.99 a ticket isn’t a bad deal if only six other people are in the cinema with you. If Batman isn’t your thing- they have some Indian Jones going on as well this month.

What are you first memories of superhero films on the big screen?

Did you like Tim Burton’s Batman?

Let me know in the comments.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Back in 1988, I got a tape cassette for the “Cocktail” movie soundtrack. I had never seen the film- I was only thirteen at the time (I still haven’t seen it). Going to movies at that age were generally comedic or of a family style. But this film had a soundtrack that perfectly summed up that year.

I listened to it on my ghetto blaster over and over. A favorite song being, “Don’t Worry- Be Happy“. I played this soundtrack so much that a couple of years later- when my parents bought their first CD player- I was given the soundtrack again on CD.

To this day, I still like this soundtrack and that particular song. The advice is prevalent even more so in this day and age. So get out there and live life. The best way to do this-

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Super Easy. Barely an Inconvenience.

My kids have become obsessed with a YouTube channel these days. So much so that they are doing their best to incorporate some of the catchphrases into their daily routine. Which is “super easy, barely an inconvenience” if you ask my children.

Go and check out Screen Rant: Pitch Meetings and enjoy the banter of how your favorite films and tv shows got made. Or rather, a humorous take on how the film was created. Every video shows a “Producer” getting a pitch idea from a “Writer”. Oftentimes pointing out glaring plot holes and lazy movie making. You know, the stuff the studio doesn’t want you to think to hard about.

Whoops

Good YouTube channels are “Tight”. I highly recommend this one. I’ve even rewatched a few of the pitch meetings a couple of times. They are pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see their take on the next Marvel or Star Wars show.

Go and take some of your free time and enjoy Screen Rant. You won’t regret it.

Don Quixote

You think you can hide from me? We shall have such great adventures together.

On Wednesday April 10th, there was a limited screening of “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” by Terry Gilliam. I have been waiting years for this film. About a month ago, I found out this screening was happening- As I mentioned in My blog last month, I love Monty Python and Terry Gilliam. So I found someone else who equally appreciates these things and I bought two tickets to a film.

As I watched this film in an uncrowded cinema, I realized that his movies speak to a select audience. These aren’t Marvel or Star Wars. But it’s not exactly artsy either. It’s like having a dream come to life and everyone around is sharing it with you.

For my friend and I, this film did not disappoint. Terry Gilliam successfully shared a marvelous adventure through the art of celluloid. If you watch previous films of Mr. Gilliam, you can stitch together sensations from each of his pieces. As if this film is the culmination or even the pinnacle of his film making career.

Time Bandits

Brazil

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen

The Fisher King

12 Monkeys

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The Brothers Grimm

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus

All of these play a part in the cinematic experience that created Don Quixote. From dream sequences to the angle of the artistic shots. From humor to homelessness and helplessness. The way insanity spreads and takes over but somehow makes everything better.

So there you have it. No spoilers. No criticisms. Perhaps one day I shall read the book. A peasant like you cannot read. I will sound the words and you can look at the pictures.

To tell you that I enjoyed the film would be meaningless.

But I enjoyed the film.

Photography Runs in the Family

I loved taking photography classes back in high school. When Instagram came around- I fell in love with the idea of quickly manipulating photos and sharing them. Our oldest daughter has also been taking photography classes in school as well as being on the Yearbook committee. Over the past couple of months, she has gotten the Photoshop bug and has taken to creating some fun works of art.  So much so, that she requested that I write about it and share with you some of her pieces.

Back in November, our daughter had bought herself a brand new laptop. She had been saving up for months to do this.  Naturally, she has been using it to work on photos and music.  The photos she wants me to share mostly come from a site called Pexels that allows people free use of the images.

She loves blending colors and overlaying numerous images on top of one another. She is quite good with her use of lighting and shadows.  Her and I often discuss different techniques such as line of sight or even point of view.

sunset on the mountains

Her Photoshop skills have an air of fantasy about them. With many alternate views of reality or the world around us. One of my favorites is the one of her and her little sister from when they were younger.

Reading

I love how our children enjoy creating music and photos to share with others. If you wish to follow her skills as they grow and become better- she has a public account on Instagram under the name Frigid_Spark613. She would love to gain more followers.

Workplace Toys

Working in an office on a regular basis, one needs to add a bit of “flair” to make it more personalized. Since our work is a 24/7 operation- we share a workspace. As professional as we are, we still need a little break to show our humanity. So… we have toys scattered throughout the office.

Our fandoms get expressed in small doses. Just a friendly reminder of what we work towards- from gaming to movies. There’s a goal at the end of each day that keeps us laughing and going.

Even a missing ceiling tile gets a little buddy to watch over us. If it brings a even a brief smile to our workspace, it’s worth it.

Sometimes our doodles and artwork get put up. The moments of fun is what makes it all worthwhile. There is a plethora of talent here as well.

How do you decorate your workspace? What do you have that keeps you sane?