Happy New Year!!
Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy 2007.
We spent New Year's Eve watching a fairly mindless thrill ride of a movie, TWISTER, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as "tornado chasers."
The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys has called on District Attorney Mike Nifong to recuse himself from the Duke lacrosse case.
THE CHRISTMAS CARD is a cozy, feel-good original TV movie production by the Hallmark Channel.
My family thoroughly enjoyed watching SUPERMAN together this evening. It was the first viewing for all but one of my children. My eight-year-old son has recently developed a fascination with Superman, thanks to some books containing the old comic strips, so he watched it wide-eyed.
There will be no mail service next week on Monday or Tuesday.
Last year my comments on a local news story, the demotion of KTLA's longtime Rose Parade co-anchor Stephanie Edwards, brought some of this blog's biggest-ever traffic. Stephanie must have a lot of fans out there, as those posts have continued to draw regular hits over the course of 2006.
The North Carolina State Bar today filed ethics charges against District Attorney Mike Nifong, who has been conducting what can only be called a sham prosecution against three Duke lacrosse players.
John Kerry is in Iraq this week, and it appears he was not made particularly welcome by the troops who are, in Kerry's words, "stuck in Iraq." And is it any wonder?
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can't be bothered to attend the funeral of former President Gerald Ford.
Breaking news this evening...I link above to the Google News page on this story, which will be constantly updated.
A Vanderbilt University music professor is in the process of producing 10 CDs which will contain recordings of all 126 songs mentioned in Laura Ingalls Wilder's LITTLE HOUSE books.
Though it's not precisely a "Christmas" movie, BACHELOR MOTHER's story takes place between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, which makes it perfect seasonal viewing.
Merry Christmas to the wonderful folks at North American Aerospace Defense Command!
The original Rudolph and Santa puppets from 1964's RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, which resided in an attic for many years, have been restored and are on display in Atlanta.
I felt a real thrill of discovery this evening watching REMEMBER THE NIGHT. As a film fan, it's exciting to watch a movie for the very first time and realize that it's something extra-special. Directed by Mitchell Leisen from a wonderfully original script by the great Preston Sturges, REMEMBER THE NIGHT tells the story of a shoplifter who ends up spending Christmas at the home of the district attorney who is prosecuting her case. Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray portray the shoplifter and the D.A., four years before they costarred in the classic DOUBLE INDEMNITY.
...just the title, not the book!
Over the years I have avoided Best Buy as much as possible, due to a series of poor customer service experiences. There were a couple times in particular where the shelves were empty of a particular item and the sales guy shrugged his shoulders and offered no further help. I prefer to buy online or, in a pinch, my husband has kindly done the shopping there and dealt with the customer service know-nothings.
New details have come out about the methodology former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger used to steal classified documents from the National Archives.
At regular intervals over the last half-decade there have been new releases in a remarkable DVD series, WALT DISNEY TREASURES, hosted by Leonard Maltin. Each set contains Disney rareties, such as documentaries on DISNEYLAND USA or TOMORROWLAND, which mixed Imagineer Ward Kimball's programs on space with documentaries on Walt's futuristic designs for EPCOT. ON THE FRONT LINES featured Disney's WWII cartoons. The DVDs are packaged in special tins and typically have newly produced extras included along with the older material.
One of my early childhood memories is of Perry Como's smiling face staring out of an ornament on the cover of his record MERRY CHRISTMAS MUSIC. When I was about preschool age I had a little record player on which I played that album year-round. I especially loved his telling of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and the song "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S."
You won't be able to get through this story with dry eyes, but you should read it and contemplate the sacrifices made by so many of our nation's brave men and women. We owe all of them a great debt.
I have been skeptical of Mitt Romney's conservatism for some time now and have been unable to understand the adulation many conservatives feel for Romney. I suspect there is a bit of "Obama Syndrome" when it comes to Romney -- some party loyalists are anxious to rally around a personable candidate and see what they want to see when looking at Romney. Each party is looking for a fresh candidate who can snowball down the hill into victory, but I think both Romney and Obama are going to have some difficulty under closer scrutiny.
Michael Barone muses on Barack Obama, and concludes: "Obama has the ability to be a strong candidate. But it's not clear, perhaps not even to himself, whether he has the capacity to be a strong and effective president."
HAPPY HOLIDAYS WITH BING AND FRANK is a wonderful 25 minutes of Christmas music. This 1957 TV special, in which Bing comes to Frank's for a Christmas meal, has snippets of dialogue that are a little hokey, but the show is wonderfully "retro" in appearance, and you can't beat the almost nonstop singing of the two great masters of 20th Century popular music.
Jimmy Hawkins, who at age four played little Tommy Bailey in the 1946 film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, has written a children's book inspired by the movie.
Thomas Sowell dissects Justice Stephen Breyer's recent claim that laws are "not clear," so judges must base their verdicts on "values" rather than the plain words in front of them.
Tonight we enjoyed the 2004 TV musical production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The Washington Post has published an extensive cookie baking guide which is sure to put anyone in the mood to bake Christmas cookies this weekend.
According to London's Daily Mail, Queen Elizabeth II and others at Buckingham Palace approve of THE QUEEN.
A wonderful column by Tony Blankley. Don't miss it.
Today was our family's annual all-day Christmas visit to Disneyland. We start off by splurging on breakfast at River Belle Terrace. Who can resist Mickey pancakes?
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, originally reviewed here last July, was released on DVD today.
Only now, unfortunately, he's California's incoming Attorney General, and his stated priority, out of all the issues facing our state, is enforcing global warming legislation.
UCLA has had the files of approximately 800,000 students and alumni hacked in what may be the largest breach of computer security at a U.S. university.
Rumor has it that WKRP is coming to DVD next April.
U.S. intelligence agencies during the Clinton Administration were bugging Diana, Princess of Wales?
I've been without an Internet connection much of the weekend. For some reason our Verizon DSL always goes out when it rains. Verizon tech support never has an answer on the reason for that.
I videotaped ONE SPECIAL NIGHT when it first aired on CBS seven years ago. At the time I recorded it, I was very much looking forward to seeing the reunion of James Garner and Julie Andrews, 35 years after they first appeared together in THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY -- and 17 years after VICTOR/VICTORIA -- yet somehow the tape ended up almost forgotten in the back of our video cupboard. (It might have something to do with the fact that at the time the tape was made, the youngest of my four children was a year old and we were in the middle of a major remodel of our home...I'm pretty sure at the time I had walls, floors, and ceilings missing!)
HarperCollins, in a misguided move to make Laura Ingalls Wilder's LITTLE HOUSE books more "relevant," is removing the classic illustrations by Garth Williams from upcoming paperback editions.
Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the plane which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, has written an excellent editorial about the recent events with the six imams in Minnesota.
New York City is banning trans fats, including margarine, from the city's restaurants.
As I wrote on this date last year, pausing in our Advent journey to remember St. Nicholas is something our family particularly enjoys each December. Once again the shoes are lined up in the hall awaiting a chocolate St. Nicholas and other small treats.
Walt Disney was born on this date in 1901. How fitting that his nature films, True Life Adventures, have been released today.
I was sorry to learn today that one of my favorite homeschooling blogs, Spunky Homeschool, is shutting down. This was a great site for both information and discussion regarding a wide range of homeschooling issues.
Last October I noted the passing of tuba player Tommy Johnson. As I wrote then, you may not have heard his name, but you've heard him -- if nowhere else, playing the "shark music" in JAWS.
I've been a fan of Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers since I first heard their songs when I was in college. The combination of Larry's songwriting talent and the beautiful blending of the brothers' voices never fails to wow me. I've been fortunate to see them in concert several times, and they are true showmen; they always give fans their money's worth and then some, including lingering after concerts to greet fans and sign photos.
Contrasting opinions on rising Democrat star Barack Obama today from Kevin McCullough and Ed Morrissey.
The Supreme Court will soon be hearing a case regarding Seattle's race-based admissions plans for its public schools.
Spunky Homeschool points out a new education initiative for England's schools, announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair: graduates should not just know the "3 R's" but have "life skills" which include being able to "cook a meal...enjoy the theatre and use the internet."
The story of the six imams kicked off a flight in Minnesota a few days ago continues to intrigue, in part because their behavior makes one wonder what the terrorists in our midst may be up to. An eyewitness account reported at Pajamas Media is interesting reading. (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.)