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Viewing Blog: D.M. Anderson's Free Kittens, Most Recent at Top
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Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Author D.M. Anderson's site of fiction, cartoons, reviews, opinions, lists, fun. His first young adult novel, "Killer Cows," from Quake/Echelon Press, can be found at retailers everywhere. His second, "Shaken," will be published in 2011.
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1. My 3rd book WITH THE WICKED, coming in 2013

This is Charlie...

These are his friends...

Discover the fun they have together in D.M. Anderson's upcoming book, With the Wicked.
COMING IN 2013 from ECHELON PRESS.

0 Comments on My 3rd book WITH THE WICKED, coming in 2013 as of 12/4/2012 7:11:00 PM
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2. My 3rd book WITH THE WICKED, coming in 2013

This is Charlie...

These are his friends...

Discover the fun they have together in D.M. Anderson's upcoming book, With the Wicked.
COMING IN 2013 from ECHELON PRESS.

0 Comments on My 3rd book WITH THE WICKED, coming in 2013 as of 1/1/1900
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3. Things Which Will Become Extinct in Our Lifetime...

PHYSICAL BOOKS - Already dying. As a writer, I do lament the passing of physical books (love the smell of printed paper), but Kindles are pretty cool and the books are cheaper. On the downside of that, now that just about anyone can write and e-publish a book without and agent or publisher (Smashwords will do it for you for free), the number of available books out there (shitty or otherwise) has exploded exponentially. One of the self-published children’s books currently available on Amazon was written by a convicted serial killer, who likes to write in the dark while naked, and his books are listed right up there with the John Grishams and Stephen Kings. There are so many books out there right now that my first novel only had to sell about five copies to rank number two on one e-book retailer’s bestseller list. Need more proof? Not long ago, several well-known authors collaborated to write an intentionally lousy book, loaded with typos, consistency errors and several chapters repeated twice. It was still published by a company called PublishAmerica, who specialize in convincing would-be authors they can actually write, while bilking them for thousands.

ALBUMS - Already dying. We knew this day was coming, and while I still mourn the demise of vinyl records, I have to admit CDs generally sound better and don’t wear out as fast. And they still sound better than compressed downloads. But services like iTunes are killing the album itself as an art form. Sure, some artists are best appreciated for their individual songs, but what about those who create music in which the songs are best listened to within the context of the other songs on the album? And say goodbye to the concept album, folks. On a related note…

RECORD COMPANIES - Musical snobs, who have always considered record companies as corporate machines appealing to the mindless masses weaned on American Idol, must be ready to cut their wrists by now. Now even those evil record labels are dying-on-the-vine, since every wannabe with a drum machine or a working knowledge of the tambourine can put their shit up for sale without their help. On a related note…

MUSICIANSHIP - Sure, you spent years honing your skills on a particular instrument. But who cares, now that anyone who knows how to click a mouse can compose their own music with same level of virtuosity? I’ve created five albums-worth of music (complete with orchestral background and blindingly-fast solos) with music software created in 2002. On a related note…

MUSICIANSHIP, PART II - Look at the sheer number of people who have spent countless days locked in their bedrooms mastering the most difficult songs on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, time which would have been once spent actually learning to play an instrument. On a related note...

ROCK STARS - What was once a possible way for the truly talented to make a living will become just another hobby, because a lot of people refuse to pay for music anymore.

DVD & BLU-RAY - Cannibalism in action. DVD quickly replaced VHS with its better picture quality, convenience and oodles of bonus features appealing to movie geeks. Then came Blu-Ray, which offered most of the same shit, only with a better look at Kevin Costner’s pockmarks. Now it looks like Blu-Ray might enjoy a shorter shelf-life than 8-Track tapes, since it turns out that most folks don’t really give a damn about a $30 Blu-Ray disc when they can catch it on demand for four bucks. Or better yet, steal it online. This is also proof-positive that the average person doesn’t care as much about picture-quality as they do about convenience.

NETWORK/CABLE/SATELLITE TELEVISION - Boxed sets, TiVo, the internet…you do not have to catch the latest episode on regular TV. Watch it whenever you want…commercial free. Never mind the fact that it is commercials which make this shit free to begin with. On a related note…

COMMERCIALS - Even without flipping to another channel, there are countless ways to avoid them now. But regardless of what you think of them, their demise will be a catalyst for the end of nearly everything you hold dear on your TV. The more you ignore the commercials, the more everything is going to cost.

THEATRICAL MOVIES - Technology vs. technology. The more advanced movie technology gets, the more advanced the handheld technology available to moviegoers gets, along with the self-righteous conceit that it is people’s God-given right to use said-technology whenever it suits them. And yes, I‘m talking about cell phones, the number ONE reason I now prefer to watch movies at home (and considering I'm a die-hard cinemaphile who feels movies are best seen in theaters, that is saying a lot). On a related note…

3-D - Already dying. Just as it was introduced in the 50s to combat the introduction of television, this is a last-ditch attempt by Hollywood to bilk moviegoers into shelling out $15 for a slew movies which,10 years ago, might have gone straight to DVD. With jacked-up ticket prices (to pay for glasses you can’t reuse for other 3-D films you might decide to see later on), Hollywood makes it obvious they don’t really give a damn about their product, and assumes you’re a dumbshit for buying it.

EDITORIALS - There was once a time when an editorial was printed in a newspaper as a commentary on current events, usually written by someone well-skilled in persuasive writing. Now anyone can vomit their opinions on any topic, and because of the resources available on the internet, they can present their ramblings with the visual professionalism of an essay by Walter Cronkite. On a related note…

CRITICS - Everyone is a critic now. Need proof? Check out the website, Ain’t It Cool News, written by guys with no regard for the basic mechanics of written English, but held in enough regard by studios that its founder, Harry Knowles, has been invited to movie premieres.

CIGARETTES - This one is actually one of the positives. Being a former smoker, I know this from experience. I tried for years to quit, and it wasn’t until someone turned me onto the E-cigarette (an electronic device which dispenses water vapor in place of tar and chemicals), that I was able to stop - cold turkey - and never smoke again.

LIVE SPORTS - It used to be fun (and relatively inexpensive) to attend live sporting events. But, like everything else, the cost of cheering on your home team has increased dramatically. That, and with the television coverage often providing a better view of the action from every conceivable angle (which you can often choose).

MALLS - Once the bastion for all of your shopping and socializing needs, malls currently have little to offer aside from the occasional novelty kiosk, the chance for individual family members to choose their own restaurant, and a place for the elderly to exercise without braving the elements.

MP3s & PORTABLE GAMING DEVICES - At this point, most phones allow you to listen to music and play games. Some people still use them to make actual phone calls. On a related note…

WRITTEN ENGLISH - Texting, where proper English is optional, is currently condensing the language into a series of numbers, abbreviations and acronyms. The only time punctuation is required is when the sender wants to include a stupid smiley face. Think I’m exaggerating? I teach middle school, and you’d be stunned to discover the number of students who think using such text terms as IMHO and OMG are perfectly acceptable to include in writing assignments. On a related note…

LITERACY - Why bother learning to read when you can just tap a symbol or picture? The ability to read is not required. That’s a picture of a printer…that must mean I can print. On a related note…

PERSONAL PRINTERS - I have a printer, but almost never use it. Almost any document I create, either for personal or professional reasons, I can either send as an attachment or transfer to my flash drive, to be printed out by someone else.

ACTUAL COMPUTER SKILLS - Aside from the folks who design the new techno-toys which make our current ones obsolete within six months, or the lonely hacks currently trying to create a virus that will make them all crash, most of us know truly little about how the technology we depend on actually works. We’re always hearing about how today’s kids are so-much more technically savvy than the previous generation. Really? Hey, I’ve seen kids use computers. Try taking away their mouse or touch pad and watch most of them flop around like a dolphin caught in a fisherman’s net.

SNAIL MAIL - Already dying. Just think…the number of angry, out-of-work postal employees will increase exponentially.

THIN PEOPLE - Pixar’s Wall-E may end up being the most prophetic movie of all time.

SNOW DAYS - There is going to reach a moment in time when most kids get their schooling online. While that may initially sound pretty cool, kids, think about this. There could be an apocalyptic blizzard outside, but online schools never close.

SKILLED DRIVERS - Already dying. Rants about people who talk or text on their phones while driving is already a cliché.

TRUE SCANDALS - Thanks to increasing technology, even a minor indiscretion by a famous person is a media-fueled scandal. An embezzling stock-trader is a scandal. Justin Beiber being slapped with a paternity suit isn’t a scandal. That’s a typical 17-year-old forgetting to use a condom. On a related note…

CELEBRITIES WHO ARE FAMOUS FOR A REASON - All you need to be famous today are, A) a rich and famous parent, B) a hot body, or C) being the biggest douche bag on a reality TV show. Andy Warhol may have had it right…someday we may all have our few minutes of fame.

NEWSPAPERS & MAGAZINES - Already dying. We know why, too. I’ll be the first to agree the demise of physical periodicals would do a lot to save trees and put-off global warming. There isn’t a single magazine or newspaper today that is worth hanging onto for more than a week or two. But, on a related note…

FACTS - The so-called Information Age has given-way to the Too Much Information Age, and Google doesn’t separate factual news from someone’s personal rants on the same subject. And the sad fact remains that a lot of people assume what they read or watch must be true. Don’t believe me? Try talking to someone who gets all their information from Fox News Channel.

SECRETS - Already dead. Everything you have ever done with a computer is still floating around out there, waiting for someone to grab. And I mean everything.

TV WEATHER PERSONALITIES - Unless you are damn good looking, your days as a weather forecaster are numbered, especially if you’re one of those who spend the first several minutes of your segment engaging in humorous banter with your on-air colleagues. It's a hell of a lot faster to get a forecast online.

MILITARY SERVICE - We’re already using pilot less spy planes, attack drones and smart bombs. There’s gonna reach a point when the military doesn’t actually need soldiers.

STRIP CLUBS - These are depressing places to hang out, anyway. Now, as long as you have a Visa card, you don’t even have to leave your house. And you can ‘finish the job’ without being arrested for indecent exposure.

SOCIALIZING & DATING, PART 1 - Not to sound like an old fogey, but I met my wife the old fashioned way, by actually being there in-person and impressing her enough to want to go out with me. I didn’t need some computerized service using data to match me up with someone it deemed compatible. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have hooked me up with her at all. Now you can skip all the rituals and formalities of traditional mating rituals and cut to the chase…is she gonna sleep with me or not?

SOCIALIZING & DATING, PART 2 - Again, not to sound like an old fogey, but we used to actually hang out at various places (sometimes even engaging in the ancient art of cruising) in order to socialize with our peers and hang out together. Now you can go on Facebook or Twitter and do the same thing…and you don’t even have to dress up for it. My own daughter has a ton of friends she never really interacts with outside of Facebook. On a related note…

CLASS REUNIONS - Granted, class reunions have historically been excuses for people to show-off what they have accomplished in their lives and see who's gotten balder or fatter. I didn’t attend my 25-year reunion because most of the people I actually wanted to contact again I’ve done so through Facebook. The best part is that I only have to show the best photos of myself I choose to post, so they don’t see how fat I’ve gotten.

LIVE CONCERTS - I used to attend a lot of concerts before they became so expensive that I needed to refinance my home just to go to one. The last concert I went to was Kiss a few years ago, and when the lights went down, it wasn’t a sea of lighters illuminating the arena. It was a sea of cell phone screens capturing the event. And indeed, every song the band performed was made available on YouTube the very next day.

CARS & OIL - The more we can accomplish without ever leaving the house, the less we will rely on these things.

PEOPLE WHO CREATE MUSIC, BOOKS, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES FOR A LIVING - Sure, we love getting them for free. Ask yourself this…would you do your job for free? Neither will they.

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4. Things Which Will Become Extinct in Our Lifetime...

PHYSICAL BOOKS - Already dying. As a writer, I do lament the passing of physical books (love the smell of printed paper), but Kindles are pretty cool and the books are cheaper. On the downside of that, now that just about anyone can write and e-publish a book without and agent or publisher (Smashwords will do it for you for free), the number of available books out there (shitty or otherwise) has exploded exponentially. One of the self-published children’s books currently available on Amazon was written by a convicted serial killer, who likes to write in the dark while naked, and his books are listed right up there with the John Grishams and Stephen Kings. There are so many books out there right now that my first novel only had to sell about five copies to rank number two on one e-book retailer’s bestseller list. Need more proof? Not long ago, several well-known authors collaborated to write an intentionally lousy book, loaded with typos, consistency errors and several chapters repeated twice. It was still published by a company called PublishAmerica, who specialize in convincing would-be authors they can actually write, while bilking them for thousands.

ALBUMS - Already dying. We knew this day was coming, and while I still mourn the demise of vinyl records, I have to admit CDs generally sound better and don’t wear out as fast. And they still sound better than compressed downloads. But services like iTunes are killing the album itself as an art form. Sure, some artists are best appreciated for their individual songs, but what about those who create music in which the songs are best listened to within the context of the other songs on the album? And say goodbye to the concept album, folks. On a related note…

RECORD COMPANIES - Musical snobs, who have always considered record companies as corporate machines appealing to the mindless masses weaned on American Idol, must be ready to cut their wrists by now. Now even those evil record labels are dying-on-the-vine, since every wannabe with a drum machine or a working knowledge of the tambourine can put their shit up for sale without their help. On a related note…

MUSICIANSHIP - Sure, you spent years honing your skills on a particular instrument. But who cares, now that anyone who knows how to click a mouse can compose their own music with same level of virtuosity? I’ve created five albums-worth of music (complete with orchestral background and blindingly-fast solos) with music software created in 2002. On a related note…

MUSICIANSHIP, PART II - Look at the sheer number of people who have spent countless days locked in their bedrooms mastering the most difficult songs on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, time which would have been once spent actually learning to play an instrument. On a related note...

ROCK STARS - What was once a possible way for the truly talented to make a living will become just another hobby, because a lot of people refuse to pay for music anymore.

DVD & BLU-RAY - Cannibalism in action. DVD quickly replaced VHS with its better picture quality, convenience and oodles of bonus features appealing to movie geeks. Then came Blu-Ray, which offered most of the same shit, only with a better look at Kevin Costner’s pockmarks. Now it looks like Blu-Ray might enjoy a shorter shelf-life than 8-Track tapes, since it turns out that most folks don’t really give a damn about a $30 Blu-Ray disc when they can catch it on demand for four bucks. Or better yet, steal it online. This is also proof-positive that the average person doesn’t care as much about picture-quality as they do about convenience.

NETWORK/CABLE/SATELLITE TELEVISION - Boxed sets, TiVo, the internet…you do not have to catch the latest episode on regular TV. Watch it whenever you want…commercial free. Never mind the fact that it is commercials which make this shit free to begin with. On a related note…

COMMERCIALS - Even without flipping to another channel, there are countless ways to avoid them now. But regardless of what you think of them, their demise will be a catalyst for the end of nearly everything you hold dear on your TV. The more you ignore the commercials, the more everything is going to cost.

THEATRICAL MOVIES - Technology vs. technology. The more advanced movie technology gets, the more advanced the handheld technology available to moviegoers gets, along with the self-righteous conceit that it is people’s God-given right to use said-technology whenever it suits them. And yes, I‘m talking about cell phones, the number ONE reason I now prefer to watch movies at home (and considering I'm a die-hard cinemaphile who feels movies are best seen in theaters, that is saying a lot). On a related note…

3-D - Already dying. Just as it was introduced in the 50s to combat the introduction of television, this is a last-ditch attempt by Hollywood to bilk moviegoers into shelling out $15 for a slew movies which,10 years ago, might have gone straight to DVD. With jacked-up ticket prices (to pay for glasses you can’t reuse for other 3-D films you might decide to see later on), Hollywood makes it obvious they don’t really give a damn about their product, and assumes you’re a dumbshit for buying it.

EDITORIALS - There was once a time when an editorial was printed in a newspaper as a commentary on current events, usually written by someone well-skilled in persuasive writing. Now anyone can vomit their opinions on any topic, and because of the resources available on the internet, they can present their ramblings with the visual professionalism of an essay by Walter Cronkite. On a related note…

CRITICS - Everyone is a critic now. Need proof? Check out the website, Ain’t It Cool News, written by guys with no regard for the basic mechanics of written English, but held in enough regard by studios that its founder, Harry Knowles, has been invited to movie premieres.

CIGARETTES - This one is actually one of the positives. Being a former smoker, I know this from experience. I tried for years to quit, and it wasn’t until someone turned me onto the E-cigarette (an electronic device which dispenses water vapor in place of tar and chemicals), that I was able to stop - cold turkey - and never smoke again.

LIVE SPORTS - It used to be fun (and relatively inexpensive) to attend live sporting events. But, like everything else, the cost of cheering on your home team has increased dramatically. That, and with the television coverage often providing a better view of the action from every conceivable angle (which you can often choose).

MALLS - Once the bastion for all of your shopping and socializing needs, malls currently have little to offer aside from the occasional novelty kiosk, the chance for individual family members to choose their own restaurant, and a place for the elderly to exercise without braving the elements.

MP3s & PORTABLE GAMING DEVICES - At this point, most phones allow you to listen to music and play games. Some people still use them to make actual phone calls. On a related note…

WRITTEN ENGLISH - Texting, where proper English is optional, is currently condensing the language into a series of numbers, abbreviations and acronyms. The only time punctuation is required is when the sender wants to include a stupid smiley face. Think I’m exaggerating? I teach middle school, and you’d be stunned to discover the number of students who think using such text terms as IMHO and OMG are perfectly acceptable to include in writing assignments. On a related note…

LITERACY - Why bother learning to read when you can just tap a symbol or picture? The ability to read is not required. That’s a picture of a printer…that must mean I can print. On a related note…

PERSONAL PRINTERS - I have a printer, but almost never use it. Almost any document I create, either for personal or professional reasons, I can either send as an attachment or transfer to my flash drive, to be printed out by someone else.

ACTUAL COMPUTER SKILLS - Aside from the folks who design the new techno-toys which make our current ones obsolete within six months, or the lonely hacks currently trying to create a virus that will make them all crash, most of us know truly little about how the technology we depend on actually works. We’re always hearing about how today’s kids are so-much more technically savvy than the previous generation. Really? Hey, I’ve seen kids use computers. Try taking away their mouse or touch pad and watch most of them flop around like a dolphin caught in a fisherman’s net.

SNAIL MAIL - Already dying. Just think…the number of angry, out-of-work postal employees will increase exponentially.

THIN PEOPLE - Pixar’s Wall-E may end up being the most prophetic movie of all time.

SNOW DAYS - There is going to reach a moment in time when most kids get their schooling online. While that may initially sound pretty cool, kids, think about this. There could be an apocalyptic blizzard outside, but online schools never close.

SKILLED DRIVERS - Already dying. Rants about people who talk or text on their phones while driving is already a cliché.

TRUE SCANDALS - Thanks to increasing technology, even a minor indiscretion by a famous person is a media-fueled scandal. An embezzling stock-trader is a scandal. Justin Beiber being slapped with a paternity suit isn’t a scandal. That’s a typical 17-year-old forgetting to use a condom. On a related note…

CELEBRITIES WHO ARE FAMOUS FOR A REASON - All you need to be famous today are, A) a rich and famous parent, B) a hot body, or C) being the biggest douche bag on a reality TV show. Andy Warhol may have had it right…someday we may all have our few minutes of fame.

NEWSPAPERS & MAGAZINES - Already dying. We know why, too. I’ll be the first to agree the demise of physical periodicals would do a lot to save trees and put-off global warming. There isn’t a single magazine or newspaper today that is worth hanging onto for more than a week or two. But, on a related note…

FACTS - The so-called Information Age has given-way to the Too Much Information Age, and Google doesn’t separate factual news from someone’s personal rants on the same subject. And the sad fact remains that a lot of people assume what they read or watch must be true. Don’t believe me? Try talking to someone who gets all their information from Fox News Channel.

SECRETS - Already dead. Everything you have ever done with a computer is still floating around out there, waiting for someone to grab. And I mean everything.

TV WEATHER PERSONALITIES - Unless you are damn good looking, your days as a weather forecaster are numbered, especially if you’re one of those who spend the first several minutes of your segment engaging in humorous banter with your on-air colleagues. It's a hell of a lot faster to get a forecast online.

MILITARY SERVICE - We’re already using pilot less spy planes, attack drones and smart bombs. There’s gonna reach a point when the military doesn’t actually need soldiers.

STRIP CLUBS - These are depressing places to hang out, anyway. Now, as long as you have a Visa card, you don’t even have to leave your house. And you can ‘finish the job’ without being arrested for indecent exposure.

SOCIALIZING & DATING, PART 1 - Not to sound like an old fogey, but I met my wife the old fashioned way, by actually being there in-person and impressing her enough to want to go out with me. I didn’t need some computerized service using data to match me up with someone it deemed compatible. I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t have hooked me up with her at all. Now you can skip all the rituals and formalities of traditional mating rituals and cut to the chase…is she gonna sleep with me or not?

SOCIALIZING & DATING, PART 2 - Again, not to sound like an old fogey, but we used to actually hang out at various places (sometimes even engaging in the ancient art of cruising) in order to socialize with our peers and hang out together. Now you can go on Facebook or Twitter and do the same thing…and you don’t even have to dress up for it. My own daughter has a ton of friends she never really interacts with outside of Facebook. On a related note…

CLASS REUNIONS - Granted, class reunions have historically been excuses for people to show-off what they have accomplished in their lives and see who's gotten balder or fatter. I didn’t attend my 25-year reunion because most of the people I actually wanted to contact again I’ve done so through Facebook. The best part is that I only have to show the best photos of myself I choose to post, so they don’t see how fat I’ve gotten.

LIVE CONCERTS - I used to attend a lot of concerts before they became so expensive that I needed to refinance my home just to go to one. The last concert I went to was Kiss a few years ago, and when the lights went down, it wasn’t a sea of lighters illuminating the arena. It was a sea of cell phone screens capturing the event. And indeed, every song the band performed was made available on YouTube the very next day.

CARS & OIL - The more we can accomplish without ever leaving the house, the less we will rely on these things.

PEOPLE WHO CREATE MUSIC, BOOKS, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES FOR A LIVING - Sure, we love getting them for free. Ask yourself this…would you do your job for free? Neither will they.

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5. KITTEN KIBBLES


I wonder if spiders sometimes see their reflection and go, "AHHH!!!"

My daughter, a quite observational young lady, suggested that the pronunciation word fire should be officially changed to fiyah! (exclamation included), being that’s how it’s always pronounced in every fantasy movie and heavy metal song ever made. It does sound cooler that way.

Peanut Butter makes damn near everything taste better.

Stop acting outraged by crap spewed by people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly. You are reacting exactly like they want you to. Haven’t you figure it out yet? What they are doing is an act (just like Andrew Dice Clay in the 90s). No one but the truly insane would boast being that jingoistic, racist, homophobic, misinformed, apathetic & misogynistic unless they are doing it for attention.

You know what's so cool about Ozzy Osbourne? The fact that he's not really a great singer, he knows he's not really a great singer, and he's open about the fact he's not really a great singer. Still, try to imagine anyone else singing his songs. Can't be done.

As a professional educator, of course I understand the importance of reading and math skills, but not at the expense of everything else necessary to function in the real world, such as being able to read a non-digital clock. Every year, not only do I have an increasing number of students unable to tell time, but they think it's totally reasonable to lack such a rudimentary skill.

More people need to be hit over the head with a shovel.

The number of folks who snap a picture of themselves for their own Facebook page shows just how alone so many of them really are.

Maybe if some people stopped spending their waking hours looking for racism, it would simply go away.

Try this experiment sometime...go to a mall, or simply walk down the street, and count the number of people you physically bump into because they automatically expect you to move out of their way.

I wish my iPad knew when my finger accidentally touched a link I didn’t intend to.

I would have enjoyed the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics a lot more if the NBC announcers would have just shut the hell up once in awhile.

To those of you douchbags who love to claim you’re ‘keepin’ it real’...what exactly are you keeping real?

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6. KITTEN KIBBLES


I wonder if spiders sometimes see their reflection and go, "AHHH!!!"

My daughter, a quite observational young lady, suggested that the pronunciation word fire should be officially changed to fiyah! (exclamation included), being that’s how it’s always pronounced in every fantasy movie and heavy metal song ever made. It does sound cooler that way.

Peanut Butter makes damn near everything taste better.

Stop acting outraged by crap spewed by people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly. You are reacting exactly like they want you to. Haven’t you figure it out yet? What they are doing is an act (just like Andrew Dice Clay in the 90s). No one but the truly insane would boast being that jingoistic, racist, homophobic, misinformed, apathetic & misogynistic unless they are doing it for attention.

You know what's so cool about Ozzy Osbourne? The fact that he's not really a great singer, he knows he's not really a great singer, and he's open about the fact he's not really a great singer. Still, try to imagine anyone else singing his songs. Can't be done.

As a professional educator, of course I understand the importance of reading and math skills, but not at the expense of everything else necessary to function in the real world, such as being able to read a non-digital clock. Every year, not only do I have an increasing number of students unable to tell time, but they think it's totally reasonable to lack such a rudimentary skill.

More people need to be hit over the head with a shovel.

The number of folks who snap a picture of themselves for their own Facebook page shows just how alone so many of them really are.

Maybe if some people stopped spending their waking hours looking for racism, it would simply go away.

Try this experiment sometime...go to a mall, or simply walk down the street, and count the number of people you physically bump into because they automatically expect you to move out of their way.

I wish my iPad knew when my finger accidentally touched a link I didn’t intend to.

I would have enjoyed the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics a lot more if the NBC announcers would have just shut the hell up once in awhile.

To those of you douchbags who love to claim you’re ‘keepin’ it real’...what exactly are you keeping real?

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7. STAR WARS: The Much Shorter Director's Cut

Starring Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher & David Prowse.
Directed by George Lucas. Re-edited by D.M. Anderson.

"I want to know what you've done with those plans!"

"R2...Take these plans, get in the escape pod and find Obi Wan Kenobi. He's our only hope."


"Funny...the damage doesn't look as bad from out here."

"Lord Vader, an escape pod was just launched, but there are no life signs aboard."

"Eh, blow it up, anyway. Your boys could use the practice."

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8. STAR WARS: The Much Shorter Director's Cut

Starring Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher & David Prowse.
Directed by George Lucas. Re-edited by D.M. Anderson.

"I want to know what you've done with those plans!"

"R2...Take these plans, get in the escape pod and find Obi Wan Kenobi. He's our only hope."


"Funny...the damage doesn't look as bad from out here."

"Lord Vader, an escape pod was just launched, but there are no life signs aboard."

"Eh, blow it up, anyway. Your boys could use the practice."



EMPIRE WINS...THE END

For more movies essays, reviews, lists and humor,
visit FREE KITTENS MOVIE GUIDE

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9. DEAD IN TIME - The World's Shortest Zombie Tale


    Scott pried open their last case of Budweiser and passed one over. Nick leaned his rifle against the massive steel door protecting the compound and grabbed the bottle by the neck. After unscrewing and flicking away the cap, he downed almost half with a couple of big swallows. It was warm and bitter going down, but he was used to that by now. It had been years since he had a cold beer.
     Scott smirked. "Might wanna go easy, Nick. These may be the last beers we drink 'till we get outta here."
    Wiping his lips, Nick smiled grimly and shrugged. "Then why prolong the agony? Might was well pound it down right now." He finished it off and unceremoniously tossed the dead soldier to the cold stone floor, where it shattered into tiny shards. "Besides, we’re not ever getting out of here."
    "Why do you say that? Dr. Fassler's plan might work, you know."
    Nick leaned over and fished another bottle from the case, then regarded his nightly drinking buddy with amusement. "Really? A time machine? You really think that cockamamie idea is gonna work?”
    Despite his suggestion to nurse the beers, Scott had already polished off his first and grabbed a second. “Hey, you were at the same meeting I was. The undead have overrun the world. There’s too many of ‘em. This bunker we’re guarding might be all that’s left of civilization. It only makes sense to go back in time to stop it from happening in the first place. Makes sense, you know?”
    "Dr. Fassler's not as smart as he thinks he is. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
    Scott scowled hard. “Who are you to say he ain‘t smart? I’ll bet you couldn’t build a time machine. You’re just a glorified mall cop guarding the door to a bunker nobody left in the outside world knows even exists. We watched Fassler climb into his own machine not-even five minutes ago and vanish. You don’t believe your own eyes?”
    “Sure I do,” Nick replied, picking his rifle back up and slinging it over his shoulder. “Fassler’s a genius, and I’m damn sure he did manage to go back in time.”
    Scott slammed back the rest of his second beer, loudly belched, then eyeballed Nick. “So what’s your damage?”
    “Nobody knows where the infection started. You think a lab rat like Fassler is gonna trot the globe like James Bond and save us all? By building his time machine, the good doctor might have just killed us.”
    Scott was incredulous. “What? How? Did you suddenly get drunk off of two beers?”
    Nick smiled sadly. “You said nobody in the outside world knows our bunker exists, right?”
    “Yeah? So?”
    For the first time in three years, something suddenly pounded the outside of the bunker door, startling them both. Nick and Scott unslung their rifles and backed a few steps away. Both men clicked off their safeties in unison. As the noise bounced off the concrete walls of the complex, trailing off into oblivion, a new sound crept into their ears, a slow, hungry, guttural moan. This was joined by more voices of the undead, converging outside the door, pounding and clawing its steel surface in an effort to get inside.
    “Fassler knows we’re here,” Nick bitterly whispered. “And he’s brought along a few new friends f

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10. Free Kittens Movie Guide

The latest posts at
FREE KITTENS MOVIE GUIDE

20 Things We Learn from Watching INDEPENDENCE DAY
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/independence-day.html

ZOMBIE: A Review in Verse
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/zombie-zombi-2a-review-in-verse.html

TWO-MINUTE WARNING: The Pros and Cons of Cheap Sunglasses
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/two-minute-warning.html

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND: A Serious Case of the Crabs
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/mysterious-island-1961.html

APOLLO 18: Just You Thought You were Safe from Dumb People
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/apollo-18.html

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN: The Most Beloved Gorefest of All time
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/saving-private-ryan.html





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11. Free Kittens Movie Guide

The latest posts at
FREE KITTENS MOVIE GUIDE

20 Things We Learn from Watching INDEPENDENCE DAY
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/independence-day.html

ZOMBIE: A Review in Verse
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/zombie-zombi-2a-review-in-verse.html

TWO-MINUTE WARNING: The Pros and Cons of Cheap Sunglasses
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/07/two-minute-warning.html

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND: A Serious Case of the Crabs
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/mysterious-island-1961.html

APOLLO 18: Just You Thought You were Safe from Dumb People
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/apollo-18.html

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN: The Most Beloved Gorefest of All time
http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/saving-private-ryan.html





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12. 40 Reasons RUSH Still Rules



1. The song, “2112,” is arguably the most famous side-long epic ever recorded.

2. Rush was the first concert I ever went to. Tickets were only nine bucks. Imagine that. Nowadays, you can't even see a movie for that price.

3. They've never made the same album twice, even after Moving Pictures sold uber-millions of copies.

4. They kept the same line-up for almost 40 years.

5. It’s only three guys, but they sound like six.

6. They do not sound like anybody else. You know a Rush song when you hear it.

7. Rolling Stone magazine has always hated them.

8. They never really gave a damn if they any had hit singles.

9. Hey, just try playing “La Villa Strangiato.”

10. Neil Peart single-handedly inspired ‘air-drumming.’

11. They are one of the few so-called ‘classic rock’ artists who still regularly sell-out arenas.

12. Stage props have included giant rabbits, washing machines and chicken broilers.

13. Most of us would develop carpel-tunnel syndrome trying to learn their songs.

14. Rush in Rio! This DVD has to be seen to be believed.

15. They trail only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold records.

16. Never cool, and they never cared.

17. Geddy Lee’s nose.

18. One of the few bands never to feature photos of themselves on any album covers.

19. They wrote every song on all 20 of their albums.

20. The first band to ever appear on The Colbert Report.

21. Their shows are three hours long...with no opening act.

22. One of the few rock artists lucky enough to have made a massively-popular, critically-acclaimed album that everyone is now sick of hearing (Moving Pictures).

23. They sound just as good live as they do on record.

24. Geddy Lee’s instantly-identifiable vocals.

25. There isn’t a musician alive who doesn’t respect them.

26. Awesome album covers (well...maybe not Hemispheres).

27. They ended up becoming bigger than all of the bands they once opened up for.

28. Neil Peart had to overcome more unfathomable personal tragedy in a single year (the deaths of his wife and daughter) than most attention-starved celebrities can even imagine in a lifetime.

30. They seem to be pretty boring individuals, meaning they had to impress the world through actual talent.

31. One of the few bands that many parents are successfully able to get their kids to like.

32. Alex Lifeson is a really funny guy.

33. Even after being around 40 years, racking up 23 gold and 14 platinum albums, they’ve never even been nominated for entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, thus exposing the ‘honor’ for what it is...an elitist club determined by personal tastes of a select few, not an artist’s actual talent, success, musical influence or longetivity.

34. After their first three albums underperformed sales-wise, Mercury Records demanded something more commercial sounding for the fourth record. Rush responded with what may be the ultimate fuck you...2112.

35. By-Tor and the Snow Dog, the band’s first foray into lengthy, fantasy-tinged, multi-part epics, was inspired their manager’s German Shepherd, who

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13. 40 Reasons RUSH Still Rules



1. The song, “2112,” is arguably the most famous side-long epic ever recorded.

2. Rush was the first concert I ever went to. Tickets were only nine bucks. Imagine that. Nowadays, you can't even see a movie for that price.

3. They've never made the same album twice, even after Moving Pictures sold uber-millions of copies.

4. They kept the same line-up for almost 40 years.

5. It’s only three guys, but they sound like six.

6. They do not sound like anybody else. You know a Rush song when you hear it.

7. Rolling Stone magazine has always hated them.

8. They never really gave a damn if they any had hit singles.

9. Hey, just try playing “La Villa Strangiato.”

10. Neil Peart single-handedly inspired ‘air-drumming.’

11. They are one of the few so-called ‘classic rock’ artists who still regularly sell-out arenas.

12. Stage props have included giant rabbits, washing machines and chicken broilers.

13. Most of us would develop carpel-tunnel syndrome trying to learn their songs.

14. Rush in Rio! This DVD has to be seen to be believed.

15. They trail only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold records.

16. Never cool, and they never cared.

17. Geddy Lee’s nose.

18. One of the few bands never to feature photos of themselves on any album covers.

19. They wrote every song on all 20 of their albums.

20. The first band to ever appear on The Colbert Report.

21. Their shows are three hours long...with no opening act.

22. One of the few rock artists lucky enough to have made a massively-popular, critically-acclaimed album that everyone is now sick of hearing (Moving Pictures).

23. They sound just as good live as they do on record.

24. Geddy Lee’s instantly-identifiable vocals.

25. There isn’t a musician alive who doesn’t respect them.

26. Awesome album covers (well...maybe not Hemispheres).

27. They ended up becoming bigger than all of the bands they once opened up for.

28. Neil Peart had to overcome more unfathomable personal tragedy in a single year (the deaths of his wife and daughter) than most attention-starved celebrities can even imagine in a lifetime.

30. They seem to be pretty boring individuals, meaning they had to impress the world through actual talent.

31. One of the few bands that many parents are successfully able to get their kids to like.

32. Alex Lifeson is a really funny guy.

33. Even after being around 40 years, racking up 23 gold and 14 platinum albums, they’ve never even been nominated for entry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, thus exposing the ‘honor’ for what it is...an elitist club determined by personal tastes of a select few, not an artist’s actual talent, success, musical influence or longetivity.

34. After their first three albums underperformed sales-wise, Mercury Records demanded something more commercial sounding for the fourth record. Rush responded with what may be the ultimate fuck you...2112.

35. By-Tor and the Snow Dog, the band’s first foray into lengthy, fantasy-tinged, multi-part epics, was inspired their manager’s German Shepherd, who growled at a roadie.

36. Neil Peart’s drum kit would fill up most people’s living rooms.

37. They are aging gracefully for a hard rock band.

38. Rush fans worldwide are always in constant fear that the band’s most recent album will be their last.

39. Rush is a fucking awesome name for a band.

40. Their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels, is actually their first true concept album (an album where all the songs tell a single story), and it debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts.

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14. The Tale of Kevin

Kevin
For the past year and a half, I’ve been sharing a bed with Kevin. Even though my wife and I have been married nearly 24 years, and we get along just fine, she’s okay with that. In fact, because I tend to snore pretty loud, she prefers I bed-down for the night with Kevin instead. That way she can get a good night’s sleep and not spend the next day searching the web for the cheapest divorce lawyer. So, I guess I don’t actually share a bed with Kevin; most nights we share the living room couch. That’s okay, because Kevin doesn’t take up a lot of room and doesn’t get all pissy when I snore like a busted chainsaw.

And when the family travels elsewhere, like to my mother-in-law’s house about six weekends a year, Kevin comes along because I’m now used to sleeping with him. If he’s not there for me to wrap my arms around, it’s hard for me to fall asleep. Sometimes my dependence on Kevin has my mother-in-law looking at me funny, but that’s okay. She’s seen me say and do weirder things, some of which probably made her wonder why her daughter ever married me.

I’m a middle school teacher, and earlier this year we had a ‘Pajama Day’ fundraiser, when staff and students could donate a couple of dollars and come to school in their pajamas (you know, grocery shopping attire for some of us). I brought Kevin along that day, and even though I live & work in Portland (hipster capital of the world), most of my students found my companion strange and amusing, especially at my age. As for me, I personally found it amusing that, in a town with more lesbians-per-capita than an Indigo Girls concert, some of them found my relationship so bizarre.

Even though Kevin is starting to get a bit dingy, and bathes far less than the rest of us (in fact, he’s never bathed), my wife, kids and dog (who sometimes chases him when I throw him down the hall) all like him very much.

In case you haven’t figured it out, Kevin is a stuffed animal. More specifically, he’s a stuffed Yeti, just like the one from the Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. My parents gave him to me when I was in the hospital in late 2010. I was initially admitted for what appeared to be pneumonia, but it ended up being something life-threatening which required open-heart surgery. I was in the hospital for two months, drifting in-and-out of medically-induced comas and eventually having to re-learn such simple tasks as getting out of bed and bathing myself (when you’ve got 30 staples in your chest, that shit‘s easier said than done).

Anyway, I was in the hospital during the winter holidays, miserable, in pain and feeling sorry for myself as I spent endless sleepless nights channel-surfing through 60 channels of what the hospital euphemistically called cable TV. Lots of people - family, friends, co-workers - would visit, often bringing gifts, cards and food packages. Karen, the publisher of my books, managed to send me a care package containing a stuffed cow and several hundred dollars which fellow authors graciously donated. My co-worker and dear friend, Laura, arrived with literally hundreds of cards, letters and gifts from students and colleagues. As someone who, for years, has cultivated an image as being the hard-ass teacher-from-hell, that kinda knocked my defenses down.

Then Kevin showed up in my mom’s arms, still neatly packaged in his Buil

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15. The Tale of Kevin

Kevin
For the past year and a half, I’ve been sharing a bed with Kevin. Even though my wife and I have been married nearly 24 years, and we get along just fine, she’s okay with that. In fact, because I tend to snore pretty loud, she prefers I bed-down for the night with Kevin instead. That way she can get a good night’s sleep and not spend the next day searching the web for the cheapest divorce lawyer. So, I guess I don’t actually share a bed with Kevin; most nights we share the living room couch. That’s okay, because Kevin doesn’t take up a lot of room and doesn’t get all pissy when I snore like a busted chainsaw.

And when the family travels elsewhere, like to my mother-in-law’s house about six weekends a year, Kevin comes along because I’m now used to sleeping with him. If he’s not there for me to wrap my arms around, it’s hard for me to fall asleep. Sometimes my dependence on Kevin has my mother-in-law looking at me funny, but that’s okay. She’s seen me say and do weirder things, some of which probably made her wonder why her daughter ever married me.

I’m a middle school teacher, and earlier this year we had a ‘Pajama Day’ fundraiser, when staff and students could donate a couple of dollars and come to school in their pajamas (you know, grocery shopping attire for some of us). I brought Kevin along that day, and even though I live & work in Portland (hipster capital of the world), most of my students found my companion strange and amusing, especially at my age. As for me, I personally found it amusing that, in a town with more lesbians-per-capita than an Indigo Girls concert, some of them found my relationship so bizarre.

Even though Kevin is starting to get a bit dingy, and bathes far less than the rest of us (in fact, he’s never bathed), my wife, kids and dog (who sometimes chases him when I throw him down the hall) all like him very much.

In case you haven’t figured it out, Kevin is a stuffed animal. More specifically, he’s a stuffed Yeti, just like the one from the Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. My parents gave him to me when I was in the hospital in late 2010. I was initially admitted for what appeared to be pneumonia, but it ended up being something life-threatening which required open-heart surgery. I was in the hospital for two months, drifting in-and-out of medically-induced comas and eventually having to re-learn such simple tasks as getting out of bed and bathing myself (when you’ve got 30 staples in your chest, that shit‘s easier said than done).

Anyway, I was in the hospital during the winter holidays, miserable, in pain and feeling sorry for myself as I spent endless sleepless nights channel-surfing through 60 channels of what the hospital euphemistically called cable TV. Lots of people - family, friends, co-workers - would visit, often bringing gifts, cards and food packages. Karen, the publisher of my books, managed to send me a care package containing a stuffed cow and several hundred dollars which fellow authors graciously donated. My co-worker and dear friend, Laura, arrived with literally hundreds of cards, letters and gifts from students and colleagues. As someone who, for years, has cultivated an image as being the hard-ass teacher-from-hell, that kinda knocked my defenses down.

Then Kevin showed up in my mom’s arms, still neatly packaged in his Build-A-Bear box, wearing jammies and slippers. I smiled and said thanks, of course, then had her stack it with all the other gifts piling up in my hospital room. Like the monstrous Yeti in Rudolph, he had no name at that time. By the way, when I was a little kid, that Yeti scared the shit out of me every holiday season when the show aired.

During my lengthy rehab period, I was forced to get out of bed with the aid of a sturdy, heart-shaped pillow, which I had to hug to my chest whenever I moved around. I was also instructed to keep it close to my chest while sleeping or whenever my chest hurt.

Anyway, one day, out of boredom, I took Kevin out of his box and found his soft furry body to be far more comforting than the heart-pillow, so I soon took to using him in its place. I don’t know what prompted me to eventually give him a name, and why I chose Kevin. I guess I just thought it was a funny name to give an inanimate object.

When I was finally allowed to go home, I still needed a cane to walk around, still needed chest support while sleeping or getting out of bed. Kevin did latter the jobs just fine.

I was eventually able to ditch the cane, but I’d gotten so accustomed to having clutching Kevin to my chest that I found I was unable to go to sleep without him. Because I’ve always tossed and turned in my sleep, more often than not, Kevin would end up on the floor. Didn’t matter...I had to have him with me at bedtime.

A year and a half later, I still do. There have been occasions when I’ve torn the house apart looking for him before turning in for the night. He no longer wears the slippers and jammies he arrived in; he looks better without all that stuff. However, my wife did buy a pair of Build-A-Bear underpants for him last Christmas, which he still wears on occasion (usually when company comes over). He looks funny in underpants, and since I’ll likely never fulfill my lifelong dream of hanging around the house every day in my underpants, maybe I’m doing it vicariously through Kevin.

I think my irrational attachment to a stuffed toy has rubbed off on my family. And I don’t mean my kids. Hell, they both have enough stuffed animals to start their own colony of misfit toys. I mean my wife - not much younger than me - who decided she wanted a stuffed companion of her own as an anniversary gift. So, after a wonderful Sushi dinner to celebrate our 23rd anniversary, we went to Build-A-Bear, where she made and dressed a stuffed puppy, named Dave 2.

At any rate, here I am...a 48-year-old, married man with two children (one which has outgrown similar childhood friends), a mortgage, and a masters degree...with a stupid attachment to a stuffed animal, given to me on a whim during the most dire moment of my life. I’m not someone overly sentimental, nor do I consciously try to engage in charmingly-eccentric behavior. I’ve simply gotten used to Kevin always being around at bedtime.

How stupid is that?

He’s sitting next to me right now, resting from the photo session required for the picture you see above. He was initially snowy white, though not-so-much anymore. By the time I’m dead and he’s buried with me, Kevin will likely be brown enough to be more mistaken for a teddy bear than a snow monster. My wife suggested putting him in the washing machine once. But what if he sprang a leak and all his stuffing came out?

I dunno...I don’t think I could handle a deflated Kevin, and the last time I was at Build-A-Bear, there were no more Yetis to be found. Besides, even if there were, none of them would be Kevin, would they? We’ve literally been through too much together for me to simply replace him.

It ain’t like he’s some a goldfish you can just flush down the toilet and replace with another.

He’s Kevin, Dave’s Yeti.

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16. DMG: Dave's Movie Guide

Over the past few months, I've been posting essays/reviews under the title of Dave's Movie Guide, consisting of films I grew up with that had some kind of impact on my life, either because of the movies themselves or the events surrounding the times I first saw them. They are somewhat irreverent essays that are a cross between actual reviews and autobiographical narratives.

Anyway, because of the number of hits those essays have gotten on Free Kittens, I've started a new blogsite (DMG: Dave's Movie Guide) dedicated just to those. You can find it here: http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/

In addition to continuing looks back at some great and not-so-great films, there are lists, old movie posters, movie ads, screen shots and old theater marquees, mostly surrounding movies fromt he 70s and 80s.

Please check it out, follow the blog, pass it along and feel free to leave comments about movies influential on your life.

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17. DMG: Dave's Movie Guide

Over the past few months, I've been posting essays/reviews under the title of Dave's Movie Guide, consisting of films I grew up with that had some kind of impact on my life, either because of the movies themselves or the events surrounding the times I first saw them. They are somewhat irreverent essays that are a cross between actual reviews and autobiographical narratives.

Anyway, because of the number of hits those essays have gotten on Free Kittens, I've started a new blogsite (DMG: Dave's Movie Guide) dedicated just to those. You can find it here: http://davesmovieguide.blogspot.com/

In addition to continuing looks back at some great and not-so-great films, there are lists, old movie posters, movie ads, screen shots and old theater marquees, mostly surrounding movies fromt he 70s and 80s.

Please check it out, follow the blog, pass it along and feel free to leave comments about movies influential on your life.

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18. "Shaken" Novel Trailer


Click the tsunami to view the promotional trailer for my second young adult novel, Shaken.

Natalie, a self-centered girl, is dragged away by her family at the worst possible time.

Damien, a juvenile delinquent condemned as an accessory to murder.

Connor, an angry young man unable to get over the death of his father.

Three teenagers from different backgrounds, each suffering pain and loss, must now find strength, responsibility, and heroism they didn’t know they possessed when the worst disaster in American history, a 9.7 earthquake devastates the Pacific Northwest. Their struggle for survival will not only test their resolve; it will affect the lives of everyone around them.

Can they let go of their own personal issues and look beyond themselves before a massive tsunami destroys them all?

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19. What If David Lee Roth Had Never Left Van Halen?


Van Halen vs. Van Hagar. An argument as old as time, and just about as boring. Ever since 1985, when David Lee Roth either quit or was fired from Van Halen (depends on who you ask), you’ve had purists claiming the Roth-era is the only true Van Halen, and everything released with Sammy Hagar is watered down, synth-happy pop. Hagar performed on four VH albums over the next ten years, all of them reaching #1 on the Billboard charts, before he also quit and/or was fired (again, it depends on who you ask).

Of course those purists, after years of rumors and false-starts, got their wish when Roth reunited with Van Halen for a monumentally successful tour in 2007. It wasn’t a true reunion of the original band, though. In the ultimate act of rock & roll nepotism, longtime bassist Michael Anthony was unceremoniously dumped and replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s pudgy son, Wolfgang.

Since absolutely no record company was interested in signing the band without Roth or Hagar (the latter of whom ultimately burned those bridges with his amusing tell-all autobiography), this reunion was inevitable.

But where would Van Halen really be today if Roth never left to begin with? To answer this question, it is necessary to go back to what first made Van Halen a household name.

Eddie Van Halen fired the shot heard ‘round the world, at least in rock circles, when his instrumental workout, “Eruption,” was included on the band’s debut album in 1978. Usually coupled on radio with their cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” “Eruption” introduced an unsuspecting audience to an innovative and flashy guitarist who was different from traditional guitar heroes like Clapton, Page, Hendrix and Blackmore. First of all, he was really fucking fast, though much of his ‘speed’ stemmed from a finger-tapping technique which, while not actually fast, prompted many budding guitarists to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The point is that Eddie Van Halen, like Hendrix, was an innovator, a master of his instrument, and most listeners were exposed to that through “Eruption,” arguably the first-ever guitar solo that did not require prior knowledge of guitar technique to appreciate. With that one-and-a-half minute track, Eddie Van Halen inspired countless kids to pick up a guitar, and scared the shit out of others still trying to make it in the music business.

But with all due respect to Mr. Van Halen’s musical abilities (easily the MVP on their debut album), it was ultimately David Lee Roth who truly propelled the band to superstardom. No, the man couldn’t really sing very well, his so-called ability to scream paling in comparison to Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant or Ian Gillan (all of whom could sing). But what Roth had that the aforementioned didn’t was a sense of uninhibited, cocky showmanship, as well as enough self-depreciating humor to understand that rock wasn’t supposed to be art…it was supposed to be fun. How the lyrics sounded was a lot more important than the words themselves. He was the member of the band with all the good looks, the one who acted like a rock star, the one invited on all the talk shows, the one who hammed it up in VH's music videos, the one supplying an infinite number of quotable sound-bites for the press. By the time the band released their sixth album, the uberselling 1984, chutzpah and arrogance went a lot further than true talent and, for better or worse, Roth had both. If Eddie was the cake for success, but Roth was the frosting, most people’s favorite part.

Think about it, i

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20. New and Noteworthy from Echelon Press

DECEPTIONS - A Demonkin Novel
by Sean Hayden

The great State of California has elected themselves a new governor…and he’s a vampire!

Many hope it will bring some peace between the humans and vampires. Many don’t, which could be the reason someone is trying to kill him. Knowing they can’t protect him from supernatural terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security turns to the only people who can, the FBI. More importantly, their only vampire agent.

Ashlyn may be Governor Greer’s only hope, but can she keep him alive without starting a war of her own?

When the lines become blurred and it becomes difficult to separate her enemies from her allies, Ashlyn may end up doing just that.

Read an excerpt and purchase at https://www.omnilit.com/product-deceptions-772938-234.html

IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
by Reggie Ridgway     

Doctor Jonathan Anderson is having the worst day of his life.

Forced to resign from his prestigious position as chief of surgery, he goes home to find his wife in bed with another man. On the brink of suicide, his wife tries to wrestle the gun from him and is accidentally killed. Convicted for her murder, he finds himself in prison, but after managing to escape, he ends up in the same hospital he ran, this time as a patient.

Hell-bent, Anderson seeks revenge on those responsible for ruining his life. Things are not as they should be, and a series of murders ups the stakes, but despite the work of two committed hospital employees and the investigating detective, the identity of the murderer and the motive for the heinous crimes may come too late to save any of them.

“A fast paced thriller with good story points and characters which are believable and worth reading about.” Author Scott Nicholson says. “You won’t want to go to the hospital again after reading In the Midnight Hour.”

Buy at http://www.omnilit.com/product-inthemidnighthour-770328-249.html

A HUMAN ELEMENT
by Donna Galanti    

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her special healing powers, there is nothing she can do to stop it. The killer haunts her dreams and leaves cryptic notes advising her to use her powers to save herself because she’s next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to her hometown and the site of a crashed meteorite. There she meets B

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21. "Shaken" Now Available in Paperback

Click cover to buy
My second young adult novel, Shaken, is now available in paperback. Click on the cover to order.

Natalie, a self-centered girl, is dragged away by her family at the worst possible time.

Damien, a juvenile delinquent condemned as an accessory to murder.

Connor, an angry young man unable to get over the death of his father.

Three teenagers from different backgrounds, each suffering pain and loss, must now find strength, responsibility, and heroism they didn’t know they possessed when the worst disaster in American history, a 9.7 earthquake devastates the Pacific Northwest. Their struggle for survival will not only test their resolve; it will affect the lives of everyone around them.

Can they let go of their own personal issues and look beyond themselves before a massive tsunami destroys them all?


A few review excerpts:

From Lavender Lines 
http://lavenderlines.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/shaken-d-m-anderson/ 

The way Anderson described the earthquake, and what happens after, made me feel like I was watching it happen. I could feel the tension, the hope, the desperation as characters struggled to deal with the aftermath and trying to survive. My heart was pounding during certain scenes, breaking during others.

Now, I don’t want you to think that this was just an action book, because that’s so not the case. There was some nice character development in Shaken. I enjoyed watching the teens grow and realize who they really are. I felt for these characters and I cared what happened to them.

Shaken was just a great all around read. For fans of disaster movies, disaster books and just great YA books, I recommend Shaken.

From Sabrina Sumsion
http://www.sabrinasumsion.com/index.php/writing-industry/15-book-reviews/18-shaken-by-d-m-anderson

Post trauma stories fascinate me. Imagine your world falling apart. What do you do? How do you survive? Do you let yourself fall apart? Do you do whatever it takes to survive? Do you find in yourself the strength to help others or crawl over their dying backs?

In Shaken, the story follows three teens who face these challenges. After a traumatic earthquake shakes the western coast of America, a small beach community tears asunder. One teen is a native, the other two are visitors who would have passed through with a few memories in normal life.

D.M. Anderson writes for teenagers using their slang and often showing an insight to their thoughts and maturity level that someone without access to teens regularly lacks. I felt sometimes he let too much slip into his narrative and weakened the flow of the story but luckily, the plot line contains plenty of action to keep a reader turning pages to find out what happens next.

For my cautious readers: I felt the story contained enough villainous acts to maintain a sense of danger without crossing the line into adult material. I only remember one word that would be considered profane. All in all, I am comfortable recommending this book to parents as a discussion book.


22. "Shaken" Novel Trailer


Click the tsunami to view the promotional trailer for my second young adult novel, Shaken.

Natalie, a self-centered girl, is dragged away by her family at the worst possible time.

Damien, a juvenile delinquent condemned as an accessory to murder.

Connor, an angry young man unable to get over the death of his father.

Three teenagers from different backgrounds, each suffering pain and loss, must now find strength, responsibility, and heroism they didn’t know they possessed when the worst disaster in American history, a 9.7 earthquake devastates the Pacific Northwest. Their struggle for survival will not only test their resolve; it will affect the lives of everyone around them.

Can they let go of their own personal issues and look beyond themselves before a massive tsunami destroys them all?

0 Comments on "Shaken" Novel Trailer as of 1/1/1900
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23. "Shaken" Now Available in Paperback

Click cover to buy
My second young adult novel, Shaken, is now available in paperback. Click on the cover to order.

Natalie, a self-centered girl, is dragged away by her family at the worst possible time.

Damien, a juvenile delinquent condemned as an accessory to murder.

Connor, an angry young man unable to get over the death of his father.

Three teenagers from different backgrounds, each suffering pain and loss, must now find strength, responsibility, and heroism they didn’t know they possessed when the worst disaster in American history, a 9.7 earthquake devastates the Pacific Northwest. Their struggle for survival will not only test their resolve; it will affect the lives of everyone around them.

Can they let go of their own personal issues and look beyond themselves before a massive tsunami destroys them all?


A few review excerpts:

From Lavender Lines 
http://lavenderlines.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/shaken-d-m-anderson/ 

The way Anderson described the earthquake, and what happens after, made me feel like I was watching it happen. I could feel the tension, the hope, the desperation as characters struggled to deal with the aftermath and trying to survive. My heart was pounding during certain scenes, breaking during others.

Now, I don’t want you to think that this was just an action book, because that’s so not the case. There was some nice character development in Shaken. I enjoyed watching the teens grow and realize who they really are. I felt for these characters and I cared what happened to them.

Shaken was just a great all around read. For fans of disaster movies, disaster books and just great YA books, I recommend Shaken.

From Sabrina Sumsion
http://www.sabrinasumsion.com/index.php/writing-industry/15-book-reviews/18-shaken-by-d-m-anderson

Post trauma stories fascinate me. Imagine your world falling apart. What do you do? How do you survive? Do you let yourself fall apart? Do you do whatever it takes to survive? Do you find in yourself the strength to help others or crawl over their dying backs?

In Shaken, the story follows three teens who face these challenges. After a traumatic earthquake shakes the western coast of America, a small beach community tears asunder. One teen is a native, the other two are visitors who would have passed through with a few memories in normal life.

D.M. Anderson writes for teenagers using their slang and often showing an insight to their thoughts and maturity level that someone without access to teens regularly lacks. I felt sometimes he let too much slip into his narrative and weakened the flow of the story but luckily, the plot line contains plenty of action to keep a reader turning pages to find out what happens next.

For my cautious readers: I felt the story contained enough villainous acts to maintain a sense of danger without crossing the line into adult material. I only remember one word that would be considered profane. All in all, I am comfortable recommending this book to parents as a discussion book.


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24. New and Noteworthy from Echelon Press

DECEPTIONS - A Demonkin Novel
by Sean Hayden

The great State of California has elected themselves a new governor…and he’s a vampire!

Many hope it will bring some peace between the humans and vampires. Many don’t, which could be the reason someone is trying to kill him. Knowing they can’t protect him from supernatural terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security turns to the only people who can, the FBI. More importantly, their only vampire agent.

Ashlyn may be Governor Greer’s only hope, but can she keep him alive without starting a war of her own?

When the lines become blurred and it becomes difficult to separate her enemies from her allies, Ashlyn may end up doing just that.

Read an excerpt and purchase at https://www.omnilit.com/product-deceptions-772938-234.html

IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
by Reggie Ridgway     

Doctor Jonathan Anderson is having the worst day of his life.

Forced to resign from his prestigious position as chief of surgery, he goes home to find his wife in bed with another man. On the brink of suicide, his wife tries to wrestle the gun from him and is accidentally killed. Convicted for her murder, he finds himself in prison, but after managing to escape, he ends up in the same hospital he ran, this time as a patient.

Hell-bent, Anderson seeks revenge on those responsible for ruining his life. Things are not as they should be, and a series of murders ups the stakes, but despite the work of two committed hospital employees and the investigating detective, the identity of the murderer and the motive for the heinous crimes may come too late to save any of them.

“A fast paced thriller with good story points and characters which are believable and worth reading about.” Author Scott Nicholson says. “You won’t want to go to the hospital again after reading In the Midnight Hour.”

Buy at http://www.omnilit.com/product-inthemidnighthour-770328-249.html

A HUMAN ELEMENT
by Donna Galanti    

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her special healing powers, there is nothing she can do to stop it. The killer haunts her dreams and leaves cryptic notes advising her to use her powers to save herself because she’s next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to her hometown and the site of a crashed meteorite. There she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening mystery that binds them together.

But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts her relationship with Ben in jeopardy and her pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to the stranger and she has two choices – redeem him or kill him.

Buy at https://www.omnilit.com/product-ahumanelement-750768-234.html

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25. What If David Lee Roth Had Never Left Van Halen?


Van Halen vs. Van Hagar. An argument as old as time, and just about as boring. Ever since 1985, when David Lee Roth either quit or was fired from Van Halen (depends on who you ask), you’ve had purists claiming the Roth-era is the only true Van Halen, and everything released with Sammy Hagar is watered down, synth-happy pop. Hagar performed on four VH albums over the next ten years, all of them reaching #1 on the Billboard charts, before he also quit and/or was fired (again, it depends on who you ask).

Of course those purists, after years of rumors and false-starts, got their wish when Roth reunited with Van Halen for a monumentally successful tour in 2007. It wasn’t a true reunion of the original band, though. In the ultimate act of rock & roll nepotism, longtime bassist Michael Anthony was unceremoniously dumped and replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s pudgy son, Wolfgang.

Since absolutely no record company was interested in signing the band without Roth or Hagar (the latter of whom ultimately burned those bridges with his amusing tell-all autobiography), this reunion was inevitable.

But where would Van Halen really be today if Roth never left to begin with? To answer this question, it is necessary to go back to what first made Van Halen a household name.

Eddie Van Halen fired the shot heard ‘round the world, at least in rock circles, when his instrumental workout, “Eruption,” was included on the band’s debut album in 1978. Usually coupled on radio with their cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” “Eruption” introduced an unsuspecting audience to an innovative and flashy guitarist who was different from traditional guitar heroes like Clapton, Page, Hendrix and Blackmore. First of all, he was really fucking fast, though much of his ‘speed’ stemmed from a finger-tapping technique which, while not actually fast, prompted many budding guitarists to say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The point is that Eddie Van Halen, like Hendrix, was an innovator, a master of his instrument, and most listeners were exposed to that through “Eruption,” arguably the first-ever guitar solo that did not require prior knowledge of guitar technique to appreciate. With that one-and-a-half minute track, Eddie Van Halen inspired countless kids to pick up a guitar, and scared the shit out of others still trying to make it in the music business.

But with all due respect to Mr. Van Halen’s musical abilities (easily the MVP on their debut album), it was ultimately David Lee Roth who truly propelled the band to superstardom. No, the man couldn’t really sing very well, his so-called ability to scream paling in comparison to Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant or Ian Gillan (all of whom could sing). But what Roth had that the aforementioned didn’t was a sense of uninhibited, cocky showmanship, as well as enough self-depreciating humor to understand that rock wasn’t supposed to be art…it was supposed to be fun. How the lyrics sounded was a lot more important than the words themselves. He was the member of the band with all the good looks, the one who acted like a rock star, the one invited on all the talk shows, the one who hammed it up in VH's music videos, the one supplying an infinite number of quotable sound-bites for the press. By the time the band released their sixth album, the uberselling 1984, chutzpah and arrogance went a lot further than true talent and, for better or worse, Roth had both. If Eddie was the cake for success, but Roth was the frosting, most people’s favorite part.

Think about it, if pure instrumental virtuosity was the only prerequisite for success, then Yngwie Malmsteen would be the biggest rock star of the 80s. If you don’t know who Yngwie Malmsteen is, then you’ve just confirmed my argument.

So when Roth left (in a very acrimonious break-up), many understandably assumed that was the end of the band. Historically, the simple fact is that many rock bands are most identified by the general public through their lead singers, not who writes all the songs or plays the guitar. And the bigger the band, the more daunting the task of replacing the singer. Very few mega-selling bands in rock history have been able to replace their high-profile lead singers in mid-career and continue the same level of success. One could argue that AC/DC, who were forced to replace the recently deceased Bon Scott with Brian Johnson, are one of the few exceptions. But even they weren't a household name at the time.

Van Halen already was, coming off of the biggest album of their career. Roth’s presence in the band (and the media) was so huge at the time it seemed inconceivable anyone could adequately take his place.

But that’s not how things turned out.

Roth went on to a solo career that, like a shooting star, shined ever-so-brightly before quickly flaming out. At the same time, the remaining members of Van Halen made the single smartest move of their career…they hooked up with Sammy Hagar, essentially turning Van Halen into an 80s version of the supergroup.

At the time, Hagar himself already enjoyed a lucrative solo career, having released several successful solo albums, some of which went platinum. Most rock fans already knew who he was, so this key line-up change was not nearly as big of a risk as replacing Roth with an unknown. Hagar may not have been as goofy or good-looking as Roth, but he could write music, play guitar and was a far-more accomplished vocalist, not to mention he brought along a respectable fan base of his own. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Hagar-era Van Halen albums, hiring Hagar was a great move. At the very least, 5150, the first album to feature Hagar, would sell a lot of copies based solely on the curiosity factor.

In the ensuing decade, longtime Roth fans continued to bitch ad-nauseum that the music of ‘Van Hagar’ was softer, more serious, more keyboard-driven, and it’s hard to argue with such a claim. But really, those same changes in the band’s sound are largely responsible for Van Halen’s continued chart success, long after many other 80s-era metal bands were dropping like flies due to the shifts in musical tastes. And even die-hard Roth zealots have to admit the band, as fronted by Roth, represented the same type of flashy, image-driven, hedonistic and over-the-top ideal that people began to turn away from in the early 90s. Not that Hagar was some sort of down-to-Earth dude who wrote deep introspective lyrics, but unlike Roth, he did often attempt to write about subjects other than sex, cars and getting shit-faced. During his time in VH, Roth was adamantly against adding keyboards to the mix; it has been well-documented he did not want “Jump” (their biggest single) to be included on 1984. Whether or not his stance was a catalyst for his eventual departure (or the surprise success of his EP of cover tunes, Crazy from the Heat) doesn‘t really matter. Simply put, Roth didn’t want VH to change from the tried and true, and Hagar was willing to adapt.

So, the argument here isn’t which version Van Halen is the better one. The argument is that if Roth had remained, Van Halen would probably have a few more platinum selling albums in the 80s before their fan base began to dwindle along with the Poisons, Motley Crues and Ratts. David Lee Roth was excess personified, both on and off-record, and was quite content to remain so, as evidenced by his solo records, which mostly continued the party he started in Van Halen. His first two records (Eat ‘Em and Smile & Skyscraper which sounded a lot like old school Van Halen albums) sold in big numbers. By the time the 90s rolled around, however, most of his fans had grown up and moved on, but he was still unwilling to let-go of his arrogant rock star persona and grow up along with them. Subsequent albums flopped. This provides a strong argument that, while Roth may have been the key to VH's initial superstardom, had he remained in the group, he would have been the catalyst to their downfall.

And what would have become of Sammy Hagar if Roth had remained in the band? Before joining Van Halen, he had a fairly consistent solo career with a reputation as a pretty entertaining live performer. His albums were mostly successful, often going gold and sometimes platinum, but never approaching VH’s numbers. He had a minor hit here and there, the most enduring being his ode to speed, “I Can’t Drive 55.” But when public taste in hard rock began to change, only the biggest of the big (most notably, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns ’N Roses, and Hagar-era Van Halen) roared into the 90s as though grunge never happened. Hagar’s pre-VH solo music is definitely a product of its time. He himself didn’t become more musically adventurous until he joined VH, which later helped his latter day solo career after he left, when he refashioned himself as a heavy metal Jimmy Buffet. It stands to reason that Hagar, having not hooked up with VH, would continue to be a fairly popular concert draw, but music-wise, he would have experienced a sizeable drop in record sales and popularity. In fact, while he continues to release solo albums on a regular basis, none of them have come close to equaling the sales of his VH albums, or even his 80s solo records.

David Lee Roth’s inevitable 2007 reunion with Van Halen suddenly put the band back in the spotlight after nearly a decade away (VH’s ill-fated attempt to carry-on with Extreme’s Gary Cherone replacing Hagar). The reunion tour, in which the band played nothing but songs from the first six albums, was one of the most successful of the decade, which would never have been the case if Roth hadn’t split back in 1985. Long-time die-hards could look at this as sort of a vindication, an argument that the Roth-era Van Halen is untouchable, and the band simply picked up where they left off in 1984.

There’s the age-old cliché, absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially in the first dozen years of the new century. Legends from the 60s (Cream), 70s (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath), 80s (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, The Cars, The Police) and 90s (Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More, Soundgarden) have regrouped (either permanently or for one-off shows/tours). For the most part, they've been welcomed back with open arms, mostly by those nostalgic for an era when rock music dominated the sales charts, concert halls and airwaves.

Van Halen are currently huge once again, having released the first Roth-era album in 28 years, A Different Kind of Truth, which literally does pick up where they left off in 1984. Many of the 'new' songs sprouted from demos dating as far back as 1978. But rather than being written off as dinosaurs, Van Halen have enjoyed some of the greatest praise of their entire career by returning to the sound which made them famous to begin with. But this doesn't necessarily make them musically relevant again. This is an album that, while debuting at #2 on the Billboard charts, is more a testament to the dedication of its 40-50-something fans than anything else. Hard rock isn't currently doing too well in the music business, so it'll be very interesting to see what happens with Van Halen once the novelty of Roth's return has worn off.

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