Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Frame" The Partners

Finally got around to preparing my "Partners" slideshow from "Frame" although, since Bobby was off on his own a lot and Eames was investigating Frank's death and Bobby's "supposed" involvement therein, there weren't as many shots of them it were.

I thought Bobby was looking particularly fine in the gray suit against the gray condo background. But I have to say, if that was "really" Phoenix, I'll eat my hat...heck...I'll eat your hat. I only say that because my friend, Sara, was visiting from Phoenix recently, and her "live-in" (as her mother refers to him) was positively fascinated by all the brick and stone houses back here he put it...all they have in Phoenix is stucco...lots and lots of stucco. That's all I'm saying.

Anyway, coming soon to a computer screen near you will be my tribute to Bobby in this episode. I am still eliminating blurry and duplicate caps. I got to the final scene with Declan and decided to stop and do this post. He looks so "vulnerable" and teary-eyed through that entire he could fall apart at any moment...I needed a break. do we let ourselves get so caught up in the life of a fictional character...anybody?

Partners Slideshow From "Frame"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Dreaded Doctor Appointment

A few weeks ago, about the time my friend Betty invited me to Columbus for the weekend, the skin around a mole on my right shoulder started to “itch.” I didn’t think much about it at first, but then every couple of days or so, the itching would return.

Now, the thing about me is I subscribe to the school of thought that says, "if I ignore it, it will go away.” But it didn't go away. In fact, the itching grew more persistent until a couple of Sunday nights ago when I ran my finger along the edge of the mole…it appeared crusty…and a piece of it actually broke off and the area bled…just a little. So, now I can no longer ignore it, right? One would think so, but still I resisted until Wednesday of that week.

Then the mole itself started to radiate pain, not a lot, just enough to be…annoying. Why is it that, when you’re single, things like this always show up on a part of your body that you cannot visually examine yourself. When the pain started, I asked Angie – a work colleague – to look at it. (Thank God it wasn't in a "delicate" area. I mean, there is only so much one can ask of a friend, you know?) She said the skin was inflamed and the mole itself didn’t “look right” and that I needed to make a doctor’s appointment.

Ah, call the doctor. The three most dreaded words in the English language…at least for me. They rank right up there with "eat your spinach" and "it's not you" and "this won't hurt" and...well, you fill in the blank. There are few things in this life I look forward to less than a trip to the doctor. Mainly because, being a very large woman, most physicians take one look at me and instantly decide that all my troubles could be cured if I…just lost some weight. Now, why didn’t I think of that? I firmly believe that if I walked into a doctor’s office with a freakin’ gunshot wound, the arrogant doctor would look down from his/her lofty perch and tell me the bleeding would stop if I…just lost some weight. But I digress.

Perhaps even more stressful than the actual face-to-face confrontation with the doctor, however, is obtaining that elusive appointment to start with. So, the Russian Roulette game of selecting a dermatologist began. First, I had to check with our insurance provider to find a physician who was in our “plan” or pay the difference myself. After maneuvering through the maze of possibilities on the United Health Care website, I finally found a list of “in-network” dermatologists.

After reviewing the coveted list, I found a name I recognized, so I decided to start there first. Now, I have firsthand experience with trying to make an appointment with a dermatologist and was fully expecting to be told that the first available appointment would be six months down the road. “November,” I was told. Okay, so only three months, but still longer than I wanted to wait. I mean, by November, I am fairly certain the gnarly thing on my shoulder would have transformed itself into something akin to a sizable "hump" and not looking forward to being called “Quasimodo” by my work colleagues, I pressed on.

I mentioned that I had been a patient at one time of Dr. Greenwald, but that was so long ago…six years, in fact…I doubted that I would still be in their system. The very nice voice on the other end of the phone volunteered to check and a couple of moments later, she announced that…wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles…my name was still in their records. The next available appointment for Dr. Greenwald was the following Wednesday. Happily, my wait went from three months to one week. Our health system, folks…it’s easier to die than try to fight your way through it.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is…I went to the dermatologist this past Wednesday. I got there early because I knew I would have to update some paperwork. My appointment was at 9:30a.m. They called me back to the exam room at 9:15a.m., which is unheard of in the medical profession. I had to wait…maybe…all of five minutes before the doctor walked in. (Okay, about this time, I’m thinking I need to check outside for any telltale sign of the Four Horseman approaching because this just does not happen.)

So, Dr. Greenwald walked in, we exchanged a few pleasantries, then got down to the crux of the matter; i.e., the reason for my presence in her exam room. She took one look at the offending mole and assured me that she was ninety-nine percent sure…it was nothing. Meaning…not skin cancer. (Okay…time to breathe a sigh of relief. I’m not dying today…well…at least not from a melanoma.)

Fifteen minutes later, the mole on my shoulder had been removed, along with a “blood blister” on my now I only slightly resemble the witch from "Hansel And Gretel"…and I was on my way back to the office. Not a bad experience insofar as doctor appointments go.

And the best part…Dr. Greenwald didn't tell me I could have avoided the whole putrid mole condition if...I just lost some weight.

Eames & Ross From "Frame"

Well, six days after it aired and more than 1,500 screen caps...yes, you read that correctly...later, I am finally ready to post the first of my three "Frame" related slideshows. At least I know Music Wench will enjoy this one.

Oh, and those 1,500 caps will eventually be whittled down to a more manageable number when I "scrub" my file. This episode was quite simply a screen cappers "dream" what with all the extended close-ups of Bobby. And since Eames and Ross were featured more in this one, I had trouble limiting their photos to the 50 in this slideshow.

Eames & Ross Slideshow

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nicole Wallace: Is She...Or Isn't She?

Dead...I mean. I so want to believe that my dear Bobby is finally rid of that menacing, conniving, dastardly, snake-in-the-grass SPAWN OF SATAN once and for all, but somewhere buried deep in the nether regions of my soul, there remains a "nagging" sensation. It's kind of like the burning, sickening feeling I get in the pit of my stomach at three in the morning after having luncheoned on Skyline's not a pleasant sensation.

Anyway, when Rodgers told Bobby that it was Nicole's heart, and he said it wasn't...that if anyone could fake this, it was Nicole...I was right there in his corner cheering him on. I was on his side. Never mind the fact that Declan later confessed to Bobby that he had killed her. As my friend Linda so astutely pointed out...Declan is a crazy old geezer. What's that saying about the "thin line between genius and insanity?" (Yeh, I know that could one day be Bobby, too, but that's way down the road.)

This morning I woke up thinking about this...among other things... and it suddenly dawned on me. Murdoc! Nicole is another Murdoc. He was the pain in the butt nemesis who haunted/taunted Richard Dean Anderson in "MacGyver" from 1987-1991. I mean, he fell off a freakin' mountain and down a mine name a couple of things...and still returned to make MacGyver's life a living hell.

So, I'm thinking, what's a little heart ripped out of a chest in comparison to that? Besides the cockroach, I'm quite certain Nicole would survive a nuclear Holocaust...seems about right... cockroach/ Nicole; it's hard to tell the difference. Besides, where's the body?

Bobby Doubts Nicole's Demise Slideshow

MacGyver vs. Murdoc

YouTube vid by MacPhoenix

See what I mean? "A psychopathic killer against a formidable hero." You just wait and see if my Bobby isn't right.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bobby's Spittin' Fire

At least that is the implication from the new video I found from Shaylah Shmoo, who is fast becoming one of my faves. Since I haven't even started capping "Frame" yet for my own enjoyment...if no one else's...I thought I would post this.

It includes one of the best scenes from Sunday's episode; i.e., the "stare down" between Goren and Ross. I have to admit that Ross held his own against a most formidable-looking Bobby, but I loved that little tweak of the eyebrow and the devilish glint in Bobby's eye that he gave at the very last second. Almost as if to say: "Who knows, maybe...just maybe...I am capable of all this mayhem, after all." Good stuff.

And so is this video called "Spitfire."

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Frame" -- What I Didn't Like

Okay, despite the post title, I have to say that I thought this was a very good episode. Perhaps not my favorite, but definitely in the top ten…if not top five. I need to watch it a few more times in order to process everything completely. It could have…hands down…been catapulted to the heralded position of Numero Uno had it not been for a couple of...for me...glaring faux pas.

First, Frances Goren’s birthday was not in the middle of summer with the trees in full bloom and the birds singing and everyone wearing summer togs. According to “Brother’s Keeper,” her birthday took place in a much colder month because when Bobby was talking to Frank about it, one could actually “see” their breath in the frigid air. Bobby took off his coat and wrapped it around his brother because he said he must be cold.

Granted, it did not detract from the overall plot of the show, but it is a clear indication of sloppy writing. And if the writers don’t care enough about the show to keep their facts straight, then why am I supposed to care enough about their show to watch it? That's all I'm saying.

Second, and this is the bigger of the two blunders for me, is how they contrived to “do away with” the Nicole Wallace character. Don’t get me wrong, I am excessively happy to be finally rid of storylines related to that evil witch. I’ve even considered renting space on a billboard on I-75 to express my glee, but having said all that, I cannot help but feel somehow…cheated. Yes, I said cheated.

I mean, come on, we’re talking Nicole Wallace here. She’s been the proverbial thorn in Bobby’s side since Season 2, a criminal mastermind…and it pains me to admit that…whose evil genius could “outsmart” Bobby’s superior intellect. So, how do the LOCI writers choose to dispatch such a cunning, resourceful villain…by “phoning it in.” At least, that’s how it appeared to me.

Way back in the day when I used to both read and write historical romance novels, there was an author (she may still be around today) named Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I used to be a huge fan; especially of her first two books: “The Flame And The Flower” and “The Wolf And The Dove.” One of her later books, and I have long since forgotten the title, served to forever squelch my interest in her writing, however.

Basically, she created a dastardly female antagonist who “tricked” the hero of the story into believing he had “defiled” her. Being an honorable sort, he married her instead of the heroine of the story and took his bride off to Minnesota or some such place. A bit later in the book, the heroine receives a letter for her erstwhile love, stating that Deborah (I believe that was her name) had died in the night from influenza, or something like that, thereby allowing for their ultimate union.

This is the point when I hurled the book across the room in anger having felt...yep you guessed it...cheated. I mean this author had created a villain so completely appalling that it made me want to reach inside the pages of the book and wring her neck, and we...the reader...get a lousy letter? I wanted to wring Woodiwiss’ neck. I wanted my money back. To me, this was an indication that the writer had written herself into a corner and, instead of coming up with a viable solution, opted to take the easy way out.

I never read another one of her books. As a devoted reader, I thought I deserved better, and that is precisely how I feel about the ultimate demise of the nefarious, heartless (pun intended), completely diabolical Nicole Wallace character on LOCI.

As a devoted viewer, I deserved better than a heart in a box. I want my money back.

Well, in spite of all this, I have to say there were a lot of good things about this episode, but I will save those comments for when I get around to capping it and posting my slideshows. Not sure when that will be because I’m done obsessing about this show for a while…well…at least until November.

Now I can start obsessing about that mole on my shoulder that has gone all hinky all of a sudden, or about little Bella…my three year old great-niece…who has to have an MRI on her kidneys this Friday because of a suspicious mass the doctor has found. Granted, I’d much rather obsess about a certain brooding tall drink of fictional water from New York, but there comes a time when real life steps in and the fantasy life has to take a back seat. Dang it.

Quotes From "The Extra Man"

It's 2:15a.m. and while I wait for to make "Frame" available as a download, I thought I would go ahead and put the finishing touches on "The Extra Man." My intention is to devote the bulk of tomorrow...technically, I suppose that would be "today" capping and organizing my thoughts on the season finale.

I like to put together a summary on each episode as I post my "memorable" quotes for the particular show, but it's late, the pain pill I took for my right arm/hand kicked in about ten minutes ago, so my brain is a bit fuzzy, and I'm emotionally drained from all the hype leading up to "Frame" and the relief now that it's over. How the hell did I ever let my piddly life get so wrapped-up in a fictional detective...that's what I'd like to know.

Anyway, what did I find out about my Bobby-boy in this episode from Season 1? Well, for starters, he had a "boo-boo" on the middle finger of his left hand...a little nick near the first knuckle.

He...evidently...isn't willing to spend money on champagne and strawberries for a hooker. Not that I think the man has to resort to that element for female companionship, but these are things he knows, apparently.

I discovered that Detective Goren is as good at questioning, intimidating, and completely demoralizing a suspect over the phone as he is in the cold, gray/blue confines of the interrogation room.

But perhaps the most telling thing I learned about Bobby came at the end of the episode and related...perhaps...more to his own life than the culprit's. It was at the very end when Bobby told Carver that having two people...I'm assuming he's talking about parents here since Didier was an your life who think you're special makes a difference. Carver replies, "Some people get by on a lot less." And Bobby counters with, "They shouldn't have to."

This was "back in the day" wayyyyy before we knew anything about Bobby's childhood. Well, now that I know precisely the sort of parents he had, that tag line becomes significantly more pertinent in my understanding of the character. I know he's not "real," but I still want to give him a hug.

Part I

Part II

Part III

There are, most likely, several other observations that could and should be made about this episode, but this is all I can muster for now. Perhaps after a few hours of sleep, the old noggin' will be back in "think" mode.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let The Joyous News Be Spread...

...the wicked old witch at last is dead!!!

At least, that's what "they" want us to believe. Wow! What a roller coaster ride. I need to digest it a bit and watch "Frame" a couple of more times before I gather my thoughts on the eppy in some sort of coherent post.

Until then, I leave you with this..."ding dong the witch is dead!" Actually, I've been singing it ever since I had a glimmer of hope that Bobby was finally going to be rid of that wretched woman once and for all.

YouTube vid by TerpMister.

Just Bobby & "The Extra Man"

After a nice, long nap I'm back to playing around with Bobby. This slideshow features the crafty detective from "The Extra Man" with a little "tongue" thrown in for good measure. And the countdown has arrived at just over two hours.

Partners Pursuing "The Extra Man"

Not much to say about this. Simply, here are a few shots of Goren & Eames sorting out the clues as they track down the bad guy; i.e., Dupont/Didier.

Oh, and the countdown for "Frame" has officially begun...for me at any rate. I'm well into the first hour of the ten hour "Bobbython" on USA. The end of "Legacy" is playing at the moment with the magic of "Vanishing Act" on deck and "Please Note" in the hole. (That's baseball terminology, folks.)

But for now...that blast from the past..."The Extra Man."

Eames From "The Extra Man"

I've been working on my quotes and various slideshows for "The Extra Man," so thought I would go ahead and post the caps I snagged of Eames. Perhaps this will help assuage Music Wench's apprehension over tomorrow night's eppy. Probably not, but thought I would give it the old college try.

Just look how young and innocent Eames looked back in the good ol', angst-free days of Season One.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Walls By Angie

In keeping with my determination to avoid all things "Frame" today, I noticed that Angie's Vincent D'Onofrio's Wallpaper website had posted a couple of new walls from LOCI's Season 7.

What can I say? Beautiful...absolutely beautiful.

Laughter...The Best Medicine

Don't know about you, but I need a small respite from all the angst and pre-worry and anxiety over tomorrow night's LOCI season finale. The following showed up in my email this morning from my friend Cathy. Now, how did she know I needed a good belly laugh?

Not quite sure how the Olympic Judges would score these routines for technical merit and artistic content, but they get a solid Gold Medal from me for the "Laugh Factor." Actually, this guy is pretty amazing. Here he is on the balance beam.

And, of course, this video led to the discovery of another...only this time...he is performing a floor exercise. I believe the announcer said the guy...Paul Hunt...was thirty-five. Pretty impressive and funny.

And, finally, here "he" is on the uneven bars.

I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin have nothing to worry about. I wonder if he is any good at syncronized swimming? (All YouTube vids by MizMamie.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beggin'...Don't Hurt MY Bobby!

Just killin' time this evening, combing the Internet for any promos or clips USA might have released on Law & Order CI's season finale. Alas, my search proved to be in vain. Guess they're hellbent to keep us in torturous, agonizing suspense until Sunday. "Sigh."

I did, however, find the following YouTube vid that highlights bits from "Betrayed," "Please Note," "Vanishing Act," and "Legacy." The song is "Beggin" and to paraphrase, "Put your lovin' hand out, BOBBY!"

And LOCI writers, I'm beggin' you, please don't hurt my Bobby.

Vid by Shaylah Shmoo

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holy CRAP Batman!!

Well, if this article that came to me in a "Google Alert" for Vincent D'Onofrio is accurate, that she-witch Nicole IS back after all. All the wild speculation and outrageous conjectures of "is it or isn't it Nicole" may now be laid to rest...unless...we're being "punked."

Suddenly, I'm no longer intrigued...I'm pissed. I am no longer anxiously awaiting the 9:00p.m. hour on Sunday evening with all the out-of-control fervor akin to that dog in the "Purina Beggin' Strips" commercial. Instead, my disposition has been transformed into something rather more like that poor wretched-looking woman in the "Cymbalta" ad.

I suppose this would be as good a place as any to issue a SPOILER WARNING. Advance at your own peril.

To quote the article, "it does, however, deliver a series of astonishing shocks not unlike the ones you would receive if you repeatedly drove your car into a power transformer." (OMG!!!)

"She (Nicole) is still the cunning and wily awesome psycho be-yotch she's always been. Goren is in her sights, but now so is everyone who is even remotely related to Goren, including his brother Frank. Only, given her murderous ways of the past, what happens with her is not at all what you would imagine. What I Can Tell You: Goren is a suspect. Eames is a suspect. What's in the box that arrives about halfway through the episode is just awful. The title, "Frame," should give you a hint." (Oh, the humanity!!)

"If you're a CI fan, you must watch USA on Sunday night at 9 p.m.—it ties together a ton of long-running storylines, it's totally bizarre, and it's completely captivating."

Jeez...just what I need...something more to obsess about. Would somebody please just shoot me now and put me out of my misery? The only thing I have to say about all of this is...if there is a God...then, please God, let it be that crazy blonde bitch in the body bag. And for an added touch, let Bobby be the one who put her a completely legal, self-defense kind of way.

YouTube vid by Shaylah Shmoo

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Detective Goren Has A Birthday!

While most rational people celebrate Vincent D’Onofrio’s birthday in June, I…having never, ever claimed to be a “rational” person…choose to observe Detective Robert Goren’s birthday instead. I mean, Vincent’s okay, but I adore Bobby.

Bobby’s birthday is actually tomorrow…August 20th. But since I’m tired and ready for bed and have a very full day ahead of me come the morning, I decided to go ahead and post my birthday wishes for the dashing detective a couple of hours early.

So, to Bobby, I say…thank you for seven wonderful, spellbinding years of this intriguing, mystifying, complex man. It has been a pleasure watching you cajole, wheedle, out smart, out maneuver, and downright bully so many criminals into submission. For seven years, you have shared your triumphs, your tragedies, your successes and…yes…your failures with me. To hope for seven more would be, I’m sure…a pipedream…but a girl has to have something upon which to hitch her wildest fantasies.

Happy Birthday, Bobby!
Click to play Bobby's Birthday!
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Oh, and these guys just popped in to wish you a “nuk nuk” kind of day.

Video by SabreHell7.

My Dad

Sixteen years ago today, my father passed away. I’ve been thinking about this post for a few days now, and what I want to say about my dad. Where to start? I believe I shall begin with his eyes. My daddy had the prettiest cornflower blue eyes that truly shown to perfection when he smiled. I miss those eyes.

My mom liked to tell the story of the first time she ever laid eyes on my dad. She and her best friend were coming out of Kresge’s, what we used to call the Dime Store, in downtown Ironton, and Dad was walking down the sidewalk toward them. Evidently, after they were safely out of earshot, Mom and her friend started “arguing”…as girlfriends are wont to do when it comes to boys…over who was going to get a date with him first.

Mom was eighteen and Dad was twenty-four when they eloped on Valentine’s Day in 1936. Their first child, Richard Lee, died the day after he was born. No one ever talked about it much as I was growing up. I mean, I knew I had an older brother who did not survive infancy. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned his death came as the result of the doctor punching a hole in his skull when he used forceps to help the delivery along.

Nowadays, that would be a gift-wrapped malpractice suit. Back then, it was just a horrible accident…a terrible tragedy. I remember my brother, Leland, recounting that story as we all sat around the intensive care waiting room when Mom was in the hospital…dying. He broke down in tears and sobbed how losing the baby…we always referred to Richard as “the baby”…nearly killed her. But she and Dad survived it and ultimately settled down on a farm in rural southern Ohio where they raised four pretty good kids…I must say.

My dad was not an educated man in the traditional sense of “book learning.” He was number four out of eight children, having four sisters and three brothers. So, when his dad, Fonce…isn’t that a great name…died when Dad was thirteen, he quit school to go to work to help provide for the rest of the family. I remember when I called my Aunt Dora to tell her that Dad had died, she broke down in tears and said, “You know, he never got to have a childhood…he had to become a man at an early age.”

I guess the main thing I want to get across is that my dad…above all else…was a good man. He and Mom lived through The Great Depression, so saving was a paramount concern for them. We didn’t have a lot of frivolous things growing up, but we always had the essentials...the basics. We were by no means wealthy, but neither were we poor. We had enough.

He was a good provider. The job that Dad took when he quit school at thirteen was with a local farmer. That knowledge would serve him…and a whole lot of other people…well in later years. My daddy truly was blessed with a green thumb. He could grow anything. He built a sort of make-shift greenhouse from which he started tomato plants and pepper plants and such. People would come from far and wide to buy his plants and a similar number would come to the house to buy greens and vegetables when they were ready for harvest. Of course, Dad gave away as much as he sold to family, friends, and neighbors.

Farming was not his main job. Actually, it was his love. No, Dad worked in a foundry that made brake parts and other car parts for Ford or GM…I can’t remember which…for thirty-seven years. The plant had an open house once when I was in high school. I was a smart-mouthed, know-it-all, obnoxious teenager at the time and had absolutely no interest whatsoever in taking a tour of my dad’s workplace. Luckily for me, my mother “made” me go with her.

I can still remember walking through that incredibly loud plant with the huge, fiery furnaces pouring out big buckets of melted steel into moulds. As we were walking along, Dad spotted us and pulled us aside, so he could show us what he did. He stood before this monster of a machine that had a razor-sharp blade. He had two big bins on either side of him. As we watched, he picked up one of the parts, held it in place, and tripped the machine, so that this blade came down and sheared off the roughened edges. He inspected it, then tossed it into the other bin and picked up another one.

It was grueling, treacherous work. I found out just how treacherous it could be when Dad arrived home early from work one day, his hand bandaged when he had misjudged the machine and it nearly cut off three fingers. Let’s just say I walked away from that “Visitors Day” with a good deal more humility and appreciation and respect for my father than when I walked into that plant. I was glad my mom made me go.

As I’ve said, my dad was a good man, a good provider. He took care of his family. I was the youngest. Mom was just a few days shy of thirty-four when I was born, so that means Dad was almost forty, so a lot of the stuff I’m talking about has trickled down to me through stories told again and again at various family get-togethers. I know that he and Mom didn’t turn anyone away…at least two of Dad’s brothers and their wives lived with Mom & Dad after they wed until they could get on their feet. Different cousins have told us how there were times when they would not have had a Christmas had it not been for the gifts of food and candy and nuts and small presents that came from Uncle Ralph and Aunt Mary.

I will say that my dad had a temper…all the Waldens have a temper. It’s like a bolt of lightning…it flashes hot and fierce…then fizzles out the next instant. I realized a long time ago that I had my daddy’s temper, and I have made a concerted effort through the years to keep it under control. Sometimes I’m successful…others…not so much. Again, it was my Aunt Dora who, when we were discussing something that someone said in the heat of the moment, said, “Oh, they’re all like that. They don’t mean anything by it.”

We kids always said that Dad had one tone…grouchy. Bless his heart. Even though he came across as a gruff old bird, he really was a sweetheart. And though he may have had a stern tone when talking to us sometimes, he never abused us…verbally or physically. As a kid, I don’t ever recall being spanked…except one time…and believe me, I deserved it.

I repeat…I was a mouthy, obnoxious teenager. I had a tendency to talk back to my mom. This particular incident occurred after Christmas one year. By this time, I was the only kid left at home, and Mom wanted me to take down the Christmas tree. Now, I had every intention of doing so…I just wanted to do it on my timetable…not hers. So, Dad overheard me make some snotty comment to Mom and the next thing I know he’s stomping down the hall toward me, yelling at me, as he’s loosening his belt and whipping it out of the belt loops.

Today, whenever I tell this story, I lapse into fits of laughter. I mean, Dad had hold of me with one hand and he’s trying to spank me with the belt in the other. Now, I’m prancing and dancing around…screaming…trying to avoid being hit by the flailing strap of leather, which…to be honest…maybe landed two or three blows at the most. I learned from my brother, Tom, that the trick was to start crying immediately and Dad would stop the spanking. Unfortunately, brother Harold was the stubborn one, and he’d pucker up his face, determined not to cry.

Oh, what memories, what memories. Needless to say, the Christmas tree came down and the ornaments were stored away that afternoon.

Now, while I am the first to admit that my dad was a crusty curmudgeon, he could also be an old softy; especially where my Mom was concerned. For example, my Dad started smoking when he was thirteen years-old and did so up until about seven years before he died. He was diagnosed with emphysema when I was a junior in college, but did that persuade him to quit? No. It did, however, serve as the catalyst that encouraged my brother, Tom, to quit smoking. That’s one blessing.

For years, we kids nagged Dad to quit, but to no avail. Mom had lived with the cigarette smoke for all their married life, and she never said much about it…never complained. After she had her first heart attack in 1985, however, the smoke bothered her. We are creatures of habit, you know. Mom had her favorite chair and Dad had his, right next to Mom’s with a coffee table between them. Dad’s ashtray sat on that table and the smoke wafted up in her direction.

So, one day, Mom asked Dad if he would mind moving his ashtray to the table on his left, which he did. The next day, however, the ashtray was back on the other table because he was right handed and that was easier for him. We’re back to that “creatures of habit” thing. Anyway, Mom asked him again if he would mind moving the ashtray.

Well, the next day…he quit. Now, he didn’t tell anybody he quit, he just stopped smoking…cold turkey. I was still living in Wheelersburg at the time, which is about thirty-five miles away. I came home for a visit that weekend and later, when I was talking to Mom on the phone, I said, “Is Dad even grouchier than usual?” That is when she told me he had quit smoking. The thing is, Mom didn’t even notice it, and she lived with him. I guess Dad snapped at her one day, and she commented about it and that’s when he told her he had quit smoking five days earlier, so he was a bit on edge. I guess one is entitled to be a trifle testy when quitting a lifelong habit spontaneously…and no one has the courtesy to notice it, let alone acknowledge it.

The way my dad did it was a bit unorthodox, I must say. You see, for months afterwards, he kept a pack of cigarettes on the coffee table by his chair. He also kept a pack in his shirt pocket when he was out working in the tomato patch or the cornfield, or while he was cutting grass. When I asked him about it, he said, “Just in case I have to have one.” But he never did.

Now, folks, let me put this in perspective. That would be like me announcing that I’m going on a diet, but I’m going to carry around a five pound box of Godiva Chocolates… “just in case.” One little glitch in my day and I promise you that box of candy would be history.

I wish I had an ounce of my daddy’s willpower.

Besides his family, there were two things that Dad loved most in this world…farming and baseball; specifically the Reds. My father would put in eight hours in that hot, stifling foundry, then come home and work in the fields until sundown. No doubt about it, he could outwork all his kids put together. When he died, my brother, Leland, sat down in the rocking chair in the living room, and he reached underneath the doily on the table beside him and pulled out two things: “The Farmer's Almanac” and the Reds schedule for that year. Both of those items were safely tucked inside Dad’s breast pocket and sent off with him through eternity.

Dad had been in the hospital two months to the day when he passed away. Harold called me just before five o’clock to tell me the news. We knew it was coming…it was just a matter of when. You see, we learned from experience with Mom, and this time, Dad had a living will. So, when they wanted to cut him open and insert an intravenous line, my brothers and I said, “no.” If it would have saved his life…that was one thing…but this would have just prolonged the inevitable…the agony…the anguish.

I don’t know why I remember this, but when I started the car to drive over to the hospital that day to wait with Tom and Harold until the folks from the funeral home came to pick up Dad, the radio came on. And there was Elton John, warbling, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” Just felt like mentioning that.

At the funeral, my brothers and I were sitting together on the first row, listening diligently to the minister. Now, Dad was not much of a church goer, which is to say he didn’t go at all. He just could not stomach the hypocrisy of people going to church and acting all holier than thou, then coming out and acting…well…far from churchly. Yet another way in which I take after my dad. Needless to say, the minister did not know dad…at all. He had spoken with different family members prior to the service though, so he had some personal tidbits to interject in his eulogy.

One of things he talked about was Dad’s gardening ability and how so many people knew him for that. He said he had even stopped at the vegetable stand Dad had for a while in Ironton just outside the gates and across the street from Woodland Cemetery. Then he paused for a moment as if he were uncertain of what he was about to say, then he took a breath and said, “Now, most of you who knew Ralph knew he had a tendency to be…” again there was a long pause before he ventured, “…a little bit…grouchy.”

Well, my brothers and I just HOWLED with laughter at that pronouncement. A little bit grouchy? (Had he met my father?) What an understatement. Some of the attendees thought it was disrespectful, but we didn’t. It was Dad. And it is a memory…a good memory…I will take to my grave. Besides, the minister did go on to finish his thought by saying, “But that was just Ralph’s way. You knew if he was grouchin’ at you…that he loved you.”

About the time Dad died, there was a Reba McEntire song playing on the air waves called “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.” The first time I bothered to actually listen to the words, I bawled like a baby. You see, I don’t know if it was a trait of Dad’s generation or just Dad in particular, but he wasn’t one to express his softer emotions…at least not with words.

Mom always bought the birthday cards, so you can imagine my surprise when my next birthday rolled around after Mom died and Dad actually went shopping and bought me a card. I wasn’t expecting much, perhaps some generic, silly card. But no, he had picked out this beautiful card to a “Daughter” that expressed all his feelings for me through verse that he was unable to speak aloud.

And even though he never said the words “I love you” out loud, I know that he loved me/us because of the kind of man he was, the way he led his life with integrity and honor, the values he instilled in his children and his commitment and devotion to my mom for more than fifty-five years. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

This picture appeared on the front page of "The Ironton Tribune" several years before Dad passed away. Here he is in all his glory...doing what he loved best. I haven't had a decent tomato since he died. One correction, we were from South Point, not Ironton.

I have a couple of other photos to post, one of dad as a young lad and one of his parents and three older siblings, but "Blogger" is being contrary tonight, so I'll save those for another day.

Meanwhile, here is a short video of Reba McEntire, explaining why she wrote the song. It only has a few bars of the song, but her reason for writing the song in the first place is worth the listen. I have included the lyrics following the video. Video posted on YouTube by littlemack16.

“The Greatest Man I Never Knew”

The greatest man I never knew
Lived just down the hall,
And everyday we said hello
But never touched at all.
He was in his paper,
I was in my room.
How was I to know he thought I hung the moon.

The greatest man I never knew
Came home late every night.
He never had too much to say,
Too much was on his mind.
I never really knew him,
And now it seems so sad;
Everything he gave to us took all he had.

Then the days turned into years,
And the memories to black and white.
He grew cold like an old winter wind
Blowing across my life.

The greatest words I never heard
I guess I'll never hear.
The man I thought could never die
S'been dead almost a year.
He was good at business,
But there was business left to do.
He never said he loved me…
Guess he thought I knew.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Favorite Quote Of The Week

While scouring the Internet last night, searching for information and photos on Michael Phelps and the winning of his eighth gold medal, I happened upon the following "gem" of an article. It is about the Olympics and is entitled: "The Events TV Won't Show." It is written by the "Seattle Times" columnist Ron Judd.

I found it to be quite witty and contained the following humorous quote. "In an unfortunate bit of timing, Russia, its tanks fueled with biodiesel made from composted copies of the Olympic Truce, invades Georgia. The Bush administration sends a tank brigade to protect Atlanta."

Sadly, the man probably considered it.

This one is worth an honorable mention. "Track and field begins, with the sad spectacle of Marion Jones attempting to run the 200 meters in an orange jumpsuit with a home-confinement locator beacon strapped around her ankle."

If you possess a like-minded warped sense of humor and would like to read more, you can find the entire amusing Ron Judd article here.

Eight For Eight...Michael Phelps...Golden Boy

I haven't found myself "caught up" in the Olympics all that much this year like I normally do. Not sure why. I'm not a huge political activist, so I cannot proclaim that my indifference has to do with the deplorable way the Chinese government treats its citizens. They do, and I abhor it, but more than my has to do with the 12-hour time difference.

Even so, I did manage to catch the women's gymnastics all-around final as it occurred when Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson from the U.S. took the gold and silver respectively. I am inspired by Dara Torres, the 41 year-old mom who missed, by the narrowest of margins, her first "individual" gold medal in the 50 meter freestyle last night, which was really today, but it is now tomorrow in Beijing. Whew! Talk about your jet lag.

And one would have to be living under a freakin' rock to not have heard about Michael Phelps and what he has accomplished...with some help from his Beijing. Eight...count them... EIGHT gold medals. I'm sure a lot of people are heartily sick of seeing this young man's face "splashed" (pun intended) across their television screen or computer monitor, but hey, what have you...myself included...done lately in comparison? I don't know about you, but I consider it an accomplishment to drag my sorry butt out of bed every morning and take myself off to work.

The young man set a goal for himself...and achieved it. He is, in fact, living his dream, and for that he earns my respect. So, here's a hearty "well done" Michael. The only thing is, I wonder what the lad will do now that he has realized his "dream" at the ripe old age of twenty-three.

A mini-slideshow I put together from various photos I snagged from "Google." I can see the "Wheaties" box already.

Video by the Associated Press from YouTube. (Everybody does YouTube...a sign of the times, I suppose.) This includes footage of Dara Torres.

Here's the proud Mama. I thought she was going to have a coronary in the stands, watching him compete in the 100 meter butterfly the other night. I know I sure was screaming my throaty words of encouragement at the television here in my little apartment. I was certain Cavic had beaten him, but by a mere one one-hundredths of a second Michael proved victorious. I still cannot believe it and I watched it.

Happy Birthday, Eliza

Uh, some hotshot New York City detective told me he wanted to get a birthday message to you, so here it is. He would have delivered it himself, but it seems that he is...umm...unavoidably detained... handcuffed to my it were. (I wish.) Enjoy!!!

Click to play Eliza's Birthday
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Oh, and these guys wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday, too!

It only sounds like The Beatles are singing Happy Birthday to the "Saturday Club." They're really saying, Eliza. This was posted on YouTube by edved10062.

Anyway, with many thanks for all the luscious photos, slideshows, and collages that you make available for the world to see, enjoy, appreciate, and salivate over of that most magnificent of all creatures...Vincent D'Onofrio. I realize the grammar and structure of that sentence is woefully sad, but it's late and one is to be forgiven, considering the subject matter; i.e., VDO.

Happy Birthday, Eliza! May you have a wonderful day with your family and friends. Do something fun...something special for just you. You deserve it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quotable "Jones"

Hmm, let’s see, just what did I learn about the huggy-bear Detective Goren in this episode? Well, for starters, he likes to dance. And he looks darn good doing it, I might add.

This tidbit isn’t about Bobby, but we discovered that Eames did not take her job at Major Case to “get noticed.”

Bobby is familiar with the scent of lavender and can detect it on a decaying corpse that has been “ripening” on the beach for – well, I can’t recall the exact amount of time. Suffice to say, no detail…no matter how small or seemingly insignificant…gets past this devilishly divine detective.

Detective Goren is not particularly shy…and spares no one’s feelings…when it comes to pointing out a person’s shortcomings. Case in point, the scene with Denise when he brutally informs her that her husband does not love her, but her money.

We learned that Bobby likes to find the “right button” on a person, so he can push it. To that I can but exclaim, “Oh, Bobby dear, do I have some “buttons” that are desperately in need of a good old-fashioned “pushing.”

And…glory hallelujah…we learned that Bobby likes to "take his time.” Oh, yeah…I can get on board with that.

What else did we discover about Detective Bobby? Well, he can be extremely persuasive…quite eloquent, in fact…when convincing a stanchly devoted wife to turn State’s evidence against her wuss of a husband.

But the single-most important thing we learned about Detective Robert Goren in this episode is that he wears a size 13 shoe, and is damn proud of it…boastful, in fact. This scene will no doubt go down in the annals of LOCI history as an undisputed “classic.” The image of the man plopping his size 13’s perfunctorily onto the interrogation table has lived on through seven seasons. It ultimately led to Bobby’s online moniker of “bigfoot” in this year’s episode called “Please Note, etc.” Nope, we won’t be forgetting that scene anytime soon.

Oh, and his hands. Those magnificently large and powerful hands. I can just hear it now, “Ooh, Detective Goren, what big hands you have.” And he replies, “All the better to…” Well, I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blank as you see fit. I already know how I want him to fill in my “blanks,” my dear.

Here are the slideshows…all three of them…and those big ol’ size 13’s consume the bulk of the third one.

Part I

Part II

Part III

"Frame" Photos

Okay, had already gone to bed, but fired up the laptop I keep by my bed for a quick look at something. One thing led to another and lookie what I found...a couple of still shots from "Frame." Declan has cut his hair and Bobby looks GREAT!!! Looks like the beard is gone, perhaps a bit of stubble, but his face is looking "nekked" to me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Bobby From "Jones"

It's late, I'm tired, and...believe it or not...I'm all out of words. I'm off to bed to...hopefully...have visions of the deliciously delectable Detective Robert Goren dancing in my dreams.

Bobby Slideshow from "Jones."

Team "Jones"

Here are a few "team" caps from "Jones." This set has one of my all-time favorite scenes; i.e., the one when Henry opens the door at the nurse's apartment to find Eames and Goren, with guns at the ready, in the aperture. And Bobby says, "Hey, Don Juan, you're under arrest."

Don't know why, but that line, and the way he delivers it, and the look on Bobby's face, and the way he's holding that has always appealed to me.

Eames & Goren

Eames Slideshow From "Jones"

Well, since I was doing the "quotes" thing for "Jones" and had to screen cap it anyway, I decided to go ahead and snag a few shots of Eames, so the Kathryn Erbe aka Alex Eames fans can see how she has changed over the years. I'm going to do a "team" post as well and my favorite quotes from the episode. Heck, I'll probably throw in a slideshow of the man himself along the way, too.

This is turning into quite the full-time job. Only problem's not a paying job, but it sure is fun looking at Bobby the live-long day...and into the night.

Eames Slideshow

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bobby's "Legacy"

Well, the first thing I noticed about this episode was Bobby...wearing jeans. He wears them so well, you know...and, he was all "tucked-in" and belted.

Then he walked straight up to the teacher, Ms. Nobile, looked her up and down and asked her to turn and then "spin" for him. (Gotta tell ya, he wouldn't have to ask me twice.) The way he was "checking her out" the moment he arrived and instantly noticed the paint flecks was vintage Bobby. Nothing gets past our boy.

I have been meaning to mention this for a while now, but I love the interaction between Bobby and Rodgers. He is forever trying to mess with the corpses on the table, and she is forever shooing him aside...sometimes with a, "you'd better let me do that," and other times with a smack on the hand as if correcting a naughty child. This time, when they both reached for the sheet covering Paul's body, she just gave him a look that "implied" she wasn't in the mood for his shenanigans, and he backed off...with just a hint of a smile.

Then there was the "locker lean." (Pardon me while I pause to steady myself and catch my breath.) Nobody...and I do mean NOBODY..."holds up" a doorjamb or a wall, in this case...a locker like this man. I especially liked the part when the teacher snatched her daughter's laptop from the officer's hand and told Bobby they couldn't look at it without a search warrant. "That much I know," she said. Bobby just continued to lean his splendidly-broad shoulder against the locker, gave her a haughty look a matter-of-fact tone...scoffed, "Well, we'll get one."

Another "vintage" Bobby moment took place at Jack's house when they went there to question him in his father's presence. Bobby picked up a framed picture and kept fingering it...much to the annoyance of Jack's father who finally yanked it...with some resistance...from our dauntless detective's adroit fingers.

The next noteworthy scene took place in the administrative office of the Connecticut boarding school that "Joe Cool" allegedly attended. Granted, the office clerk was a wee bit on the acerbic side. It was obvious she was busy and didn't have time to be bothered with a couple of NYPD cops, but she was helpful. So, I thought it was just a tad uncharacteristically rude of Bobby to take the catalog without asking if it was all right or even thanking the woman for her trouble. Frankly, she responded the way I most likely would have...with a sarcastic, "You're welcome."

I absolutely loved the kid who got "stung" when he slid the envelope under Ms. Nobile's door. When Goren and Eames started questioning him, he just held up his hands in surrender and said, "Lawyer." Funny and sad at the same time. I suppose that is a sign of the times, huh? Bobby's facial expressions, as he studied the young lad, were positively priceless in this scene. I cannot tell you how many screen caps I ended up with from this sequence alone.

Was anyone else bothered by the claim of the attorney or the parent (I wasn't watching closely enough to determine who was what in this wasn't a Bobby scene, you know) that what the boys did were just "harmless schoolboy pranks?" These pranks included trying to entice a girl to strip on a webcam for a nonexistent boyfriend with the intention of causing a teacher to lose her job...her livelihood. I'm thinkin' someone needs to look up the definition of the word "harmless" in ye olde dictionary.

I'll leave you with this parting observation. I thought Bobby was looking particularly handsome when he strode into the room for the "gotcha" scene at the end. He was wearing dress slacks instead of jeans...again...tucked and belted. So, the scruffy, sloppy look of recent weeks was not as apparent in this episode. Yeah, he still has the beard, but he keeps it neatly trimmed, so I don't consider that "scruffy." No tie, but then who can blame him for that?

That reminds me of the time my friend Ralph and I were leaving a meeting in the middle of the "dog days" of summer. It was the end of the day, and we still had an hour's drive home ahead of us. (I was driving...I always drove in those days...I was kind of like Eames in that respect.) Ralph got in the car and asked if I minded if he removed his tie because it was choking him. I told him to go ahead...that I felt the same way about the pantyhose I was wearing. He just laughed and told me to do likewise. So, I suppose I'll just leave you to ponder...did she or didn't she?

Without further ado, I give you the wonderfulness that is Bobby as portrayed in "Legacy."

Legacy Part I

Legacy Part II

"Pucker Up" Bobby

While screen capping, one can "capture" some of the most unusual and sometimes unflattering facial expressions. When I "got" this one, I could think of but one suitable caption...that being..."Pucker up, darlin'."

And here we have a "gratuitous" groin shot for the ladies.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Team "Legacy"

Here are a few "team" shots from this week's episode. I've got to upload the rest of the caps into the Bucket, then I'll have a Bobby slideshow good to go.

Right now, I've got to go pack...which includes the computer I'm on at the moment...because I am heading home tomorrow. My friend, Sara, who now resides in the Phoenix area is home for a visit. We've been pals since the second grade, so tomorrow will be spent doing "girl" stuff. I'll get to meet her new beau and catch up on things. Two weekends in a row...I'm too old for all this running about.

Anyway, here are the LOCI partners doing what they do best; i.e., tracking down a perp.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Eames & Ross "Legacy"

I must be the slowest screen capper alive, I tell ya. I suppose I really should work on my process, but I go through the episode "almost" frame-by-frame. Then, when I see a Bobby expression that I simply must have, and the program won't "grab" the precise photo, I go back and keep trying until I'm successful. It's enough to make a saint swear...and I promise you...I'm no saint.

So, I finally got the Eames and Ross slideshow ready for those who might be interested in viewing that. I still have quite a bit of work to do on the "team" slideshow and...of Bobby-show. I like to take my time with Bobby.

Eames & Ross Slideshow from "Legacy."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Impromptu Road Trip

I just got a call here at work from my friend,, not the crazy "alleged" serial husband killer Cousin Betty...who lives in Columbus, inviting me up for the weekend. I told her I needed to think about it and would call her back. So, I thought about it for...oh, about two minutes...and called her back and said I would love to join her for the weekend.

Even though I will be taking my laptop with me, I'm not sure how much computer-time I will have, so I wanted to leave you with a little something "fun" that Kelly sent me this morning. All my kitty-loving friends are sure to get a kick out of this one.

It's called "Treadmill Kittens." The email Kelly sent was viewable in Windows Media Player, so I hunted it down on YouTube. It was posted there by MadhodMedia. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and I will be back in plenty of time Sunday evening to watch our Bobby...on that you may depend.