Violet, Your turning Violet, Violet

Very sad to read of the passing of Denise Nickerson, the actress who played Violet Beauregarde in 1971’s classic, and one of my favorite all time movies “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”

Denise Nickerson – 1957 – 2019

It really stings when somebody of my youth passes away, and makes me realize I am getting older and older as the years go by.   I have fond memories of watching Willy Wonka at my cousins each Thanksgiving when I was growing up, and would like to thank Denise, Gene Wilder, and the everybody else involved in the movie for making us smile and laugh.  A piece of my childhood has been removed, but will never be forgotten.

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Mets – Let them Pitch

Its tough these days to be a NY Mets fan.   The team is no good and it looks like another season of meaningless baseball after this weeks All Star Game.   After losing to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the one-game wild card play-off in 2016, it has been a steady decline to where they are now.    The starting pitching has never lived up to the hype.  deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz and Wheeler should be dominating, but instead they have been mediocre at best.   Other teams should be intimidated when looking at the Mets staff, feeling that they would be lucky if they could scratch out a win, but instead they are not worried at all, treating the Mets starters as just another average bunch of pitchers.  This to me is the biggest issue.  In order to be considered a great pitcher, you need the other team to fear you and believe they have no shot at beating you  For too long now, the Mets starters have been looked at as average pitchers that teams know they can beat.

The Mets should go the these pitchers and tell them to forget about pitch counts and all other meaningless stats, that they trust them, and then just let them pitch.  Let them go 8 or 9 innings and throw 125 – 150 pitches.   The great pitchers of the past threw lots of innings, and got hurt a lot less.   Maybe they need to look back and readjust their thinking.  I don’t understand why teams sign players to long term deals, and then baby them through the contract as to not ‘ruin their investment’ at the expense of losing year after year.  I would push my players while I have them and try and win now, and not worry about the fact the may develop arm issues in 4 or 5 years.

The Mets are a flawed team, and have always over estimated there players true talent. This is a team that stated they had no interest in Giancarlo Stanton because they had a better player already in Brandon Nimmo.   They are also bad at bringing in players that simply do not fit (The brought in Jay Bruce twice even though they didn’t need him either time).  But its the pitching that needs to carry them and until the front office and the overwhelmed Manager forget about the advanced statistics, the long term outlook, and their feelings and just let them pitch, the Mets will waist another generations of pitchers that could have been.

 

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Designated Survivor / My Bodyguard

Finished watching Season 3 of “Designated Survivor” on Neflix and really enjoyed it. I was a big fan of the show when in was on broadcast TV (ABC) and am grateful to Netflix, as well as the cast and crew, for bring taking a risk and bringing the show back for Season 3.  While I’m not big fan of streaming episodes of a show in a short window (I actually like some time between episodes), this show was so well done that It got me hooked and I watched all 10 episodes of Season 3 in a little over 1 week.   With a great cast, playing great characters, the show was able to tackle a lot of hot button topics in a very realistic setting.  I always liked TV shows that made me have to think after each episode, and this season of Designated Survivor was one of the best at it.   Another great role for Kiefer Sutherland who is one of my favorite actors.   Looking forward for him and the rest of cast to return for Season 4 sometime in 2020

Recently saw that Adam Baldwin was at the Philadelphia Wizardworld convention and it immediately made me think of one of my all time favorite movies “My Bodyguard”   He played Ricky Linderman, a troubled teen who becomes friends with Clifford Peach (played by Chris Makepeace) a shy high school student.  The movie also stars Matt Dillon as Melvin Moody as the school bully.

Its one of the best teenage movies ever made and anybody who has not seen it should take some time to find it and watch it.    Its well acted, and a very touching and emotional portrayal of growing up a teenager in a new high school

Here is the one of the best scenes from the move (Spoil Alerts – This is near the end)


One last thing. Cliffords friends in the movie (Carson) was played by actor Paul Quandt.  While he had a small role, he had some scenes that I still remember and can quote today just like it was 1980 (almost 40 years ago).  Looking at his IMDB Profile, My Bodyguard is the only movie he ever appeared in.  I did a little research and could not find any relevant information on where he might be these days (June 2019).

This is similar to Chris Barnes who played my all time favorite character Tanner Boyle in the first two Bad News Bears movies, and then after a few small roles, basically disappeared from show business

While I respect their decision and privacy, If anybody has any information on either one of these actors, or any suggestions on how to reach out to them, it would truly be appreciated.   I would love to just be able to tell them how their roles have remained with me all these years to thank them for making my life a bit more fulfilled


Average Andy

 

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Television, Movies, Music, and Sports

Just some random thoughts on various topics since I haven’t written much lately.

Television

Was glad to see that “Designated Survivor” has been revived and Season 3 is now available on Netflix.   Was sad when ABC decided to cancel it after 2 seasons, as I really enjoyed it.  I have to admit, its a bit strange watching it on Netflix.   I am still a bit old school and actually enjoy waiting a week between episodes (The network and premium channel standard).  Give me some time to reflect and think about the episode.  It’s weird to me when once an episode ends, the next one is immediately ready to go.  Also was taken aback when some of the characters used words and language that would not be allowed in network TV.   Not that I was offended, it just took me out of character the first few times.  Would be like watching an R rated episode of “The Big Bang Theory”, and hearing Sheldon say something like “What the Fuck happened to my Star Trek DVD collection” to  Leonard.   Totally out of your perception of the character.

Also, we are getting to the end of “The Amazing Race” as there are only 5 teams left.   This season has been very entertaining, despite my early reservation of having all returning Reality TV contestants.    Of the remaining teams, I’m rooting for Team Fun to at least make it to the Final 3 and getting a chance to race to the end.

Not much else with TV as were basically dealing with re-runs and there are none of the summer mini-series like in the past (or if they do, have not caught my attention).

Movies

Got to see “Rocket Man” and really enjoyed it.   I went in thinking it would be similar to the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and was pleasantly surprised that it was not at all.  To me it reminded me of “La La Land” as it was more of a musical fantasy than a documentary.   Go see it if you get the chance.

Been watching a bunch of 80s movies lately as my daughter is discovering them and wanting to watch and experience them.   I actually just completed the book “You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Could” by Susana Gore which the story of John Hughes and how his movies of the 80’s shaped a generation.   Was interesting to read the behind the scenes storied of movies like “Sixteen Candles”, “The Breakfast Club” and “St Elmo’s Fire”.    A must read for anybody to grew up during the 80’s and was influenced by these classics

Had a good discussion the other day regarding how a lot of movies in the 80’s have scenes that were acceptable at the time, but would be considered unacceptable now.  Think of the beginning of “Fast Times at Ridgemount High” where a 24 year old is in a pizza parlor picking up a 15 year old Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), or in “Heathers”, when J.D. (Christian Slater) pulls out a gun in his high school cafeteria to scare of some students.   These scenes would never be allowed today as they would be considered way to offensive and insensitive to a number of groups

Music

On the Flip side, think about how music has changed since the 1980’s regarding lyrics and vulgarity.    Most of the early 1980s music simply fun pop-songs, but then groups started to push the envelope with their lyrics to the point where groups fought to have labels placed on records and CDs as lyrics were determined to be too explicit for younger listeners.   But fast forward to today, and it seems every other song has some sort of obscene or cure word in it.   Some music companies have gotten away from the labels saying they no longer are needed or serve a purpose.

Does the Parental Advisory Label still matter?

So while we are more and more concerned about movies these days, making sure everything is politically correct, we are less and less concerned about music, where anything seems to go as far as lyrics.

Few other music notes:

Want to wish a happy belated birthday to Boy George, lead singer of Culture Club.   If you get a chance, take a listen to his solo albums, as well as the latest Culture Club Album (Yes – They had a new album in 2018) – Culture Club Discography

I have heard rumblings that the next big musical biopic (after Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocket Man) is going to be about Boy George.   Good for him.

I have been listening to the new Bruce Springsteen Album Western Stars and am really enjoying it.   I have never been a crazy Bruce Springsteen Fan (even as a true New Jersey’n) but have  always enjoyed his music and think he deserves all the accolades he has received over the years as one of the greatest songwriters and performers of our generation.  And just like boy George – Good for him.

Sports

First, I want to take the time to remember one of the greats, Bill Buckner, who passes away few weeks back.    While he will always be remembers as a key player in the 10th inning of the 1986 Mets / Red Sox World Series, it should not be his only legacy.  He was a great MLB player and should be remembered for that as well.   RIP Bill Buckner, you will be missed.

As far as the current New York Mets, it is starting to look like another lost season and the bullpen has been unable to get anybody out the past few weeks.  This includes closer Edwin Diaz, who the Mets picket up during the off-season from the Seattle Mariners of a fantastic last year.   His struggles got me thinking about the life span of a closer.   Most closers seem to only have 1 or 2 great years during their career.  The all-time greats (Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersly, Bruce Sutter) seem more like exceptions than the norm.

Here are the closers with the most team saves from the last 10 years from the World Series Winners

2009  Yankees      Mariano Rivera
2010  Giants         Brian Wilson
2011  Cardinals   Fernando Salas
2012  Giants         Santiago Casilla
2013  Red Sox      Koji Uehara
2014  Giants         Sergio Romo
2015  Royals         Greg Holland
2016 Cubs             Héctor Rondón
2017 Astos             Ken Giles
2018 Red Sox        Craig Kimbrel

While some of these have some name recognition, and some are still playing (bouncing around from club to club), it seems that closers are basically a crap shoot year after year,  If I were a General Manager of a club, I would not rely on any closer to replicated his statistics year after year.   I would start the season with a bunch of low payed closers and just keep swapping out the guys who are not good and hope to find somebody who clicks and has a career year.  Any other way is simply wishful thinking and proven to not work

That’s all for now.

Will try to write more soon

Average Andy

Posted in Amazing Race, Baseball, Big Bang Theory, Bohemian Rhapsody, Boston Red Sox, Bruce Springsteen, Culture Club, Designated Survivor, Music, NY Mets, Phil Keoghan, Reality Shows, Rocket Man, Sports, Television, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 4:30 Movie on WABC-TV Channel 7

As I am home looking for a new job, I am trying to keep myself from sleeping late, or watching TV during the day.  I,m trying to keep myself on a professional schedule, spending time doing research and training to eventually find a new position.

During a recent lunch break (World Famous Sloppy Joes from the Millburn Delicatessen), I was thinking about what was actually on TV during the day when I was growing up.  The one thing that came to mind was the 4:30 Movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 (NYC).  I vividly remember watching movies such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, or “The Fantastic Voyage”, as well as all the original “Planet of the Apes” movies.

The 4:30 Movie on WABC-TV – Channel 7

Its amazing that I still remember watching these movies, having not seen some of them in over 35 Years.

 

 

Really needed a little break and this look back really helped.

I hope it brings back memories to anybody who remembers coming home from school in the 1970s and 1980s and having some ice cream and watching the 4:30 Movie

AverageAndy

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Thoughts on Survivor Finale

It’s taken me a few days to reflect on the Survivor: Extinction Island finale and come up with my thoughts.  While watching it, I will admit, I did not like the way things ended and was a bit upset on how things played out.  From having Chris win while actually getting voted out 3rd and spending 2/3 of his time hanging out with jury (and being able to mend any hard feelings), to having the entire season come down to who can build a fire faster, it just did not seem fair and in the true spirit is Survivor.  I know things change and I like the fact they change things up each season to keep the contestants off guard, but there must be better ways then what happened this season (and actually the last few seasons with the final four fire making).  Outwit, Outplay, Outlast should no be boiled down to only “Outplay at making Fire and You Win”

I think it was totally unfair to have everybody voted off be part of the jury while still being part of the game.  I thought Gavin summed it up the best when he mentioned that both him and Julie had never even met Reem, while she spent 25+ days at Extinction Island with Chris, so who did you think she would vote for?   And in this case there was nothing Gavin or Julie could have done to change that. They had no opportunity to interact with Reem and explain or apologize for voting her out, while Chris was able to mend all wounds with the jury so they had already forgiven him for voting them out.

I also, felt it was very unfair to give Chris (Or whoever came back – and we all know it was set up for Joe) any sort of advantage (and especially this late in the game) when they reentered the REAL game.   Why not just set things up so past fan favorites all enter the game on Day 35 with an idol and basically hand them the win.   This way CBS / Survivor would not not have to keep bringing some players back for a 4th, 5th or 6th time to assure them a win.  In the world of sports, they use to have players or teams get free passes to later rounds of the playoffs, but found they it took away a lot of the spirit and competition of the game itself, so changed things to force all teams to compete throughout the playoffs.   Also, team don’t get to make the playoffs year after year based on their likability or past history.   They need to earn it year after year

I do believe that part of this issue with this season was that the audience never really got a true sense of  Extinction Island and how it played out (physically and mentally) for the players.  But if this was such a bid part of this season, then why not show more of it so we could get a better feeling of what the voted off players were going through.   They didn’t because it just would not of correlated well for TV.   If 1/2 of each episode was just watching the players on Extinction Island sitting around, waiting for their return challenge, the TV audience would be probably simply tune out.

Right now, Survivor needs to take an honest look at what works and what doesn’t (for both the contestants and the TV audience) to try and come up with a game that is fair to play, but also fun to watch.   Seem that the only thing that the fans seem to remember about the last 4 seasons was the dislike of the Fire Making Final 4 and how the winners were given to many unfair advantages.    This will start to become a problem as people will lose interest or not care about the first 2/3 rds of the season, or worse, start to think the game if rigged (which is a really bad thing)

I will continue to watch as I still find the game fascinating on a personal level.   I will also continue to apply as a contestant.  I think the main reason I want to be on the show now is to able to see the game from the players side of things, and to get a better understanding of contestants actually view the game.   I hope that the producers make some tweaks to get things back towards Outwit, Outplay, Outlast and having the winner be somebody that everybody agrees played the best game on all levels for all 39 days and not just made one big move or won one challenge at the end.

Average Andy

PS – Be sure to check out the Ponderosa Videos on CBS.com as well as Jeff Probts and Dalton Ross’s weekly and season recaps on EW.com.   Gives you a different but very entertaining perspective on Survivor and the contestants

Dalton Ross – Edge of Extinction Recap

 

 

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Crash Course on Average Andys Music

During my time looking for a new job, I have been trying to go on walks / runs to keep my mind and body fresh.   Most of the time I listen to music and like to mix things up and not just listen to the same things over and over.   Last time out, I listened to a few stations on Pandora – Started with “Passanger” Radio, and then followed things up with some classic “Marillion” Radio

Below are the songs played

Passenger Radio

Riptide – Vance Joy
Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
The A Team – Ed Sheeran – This guy is really good.  Going to listen to more of him
Let her Go – Passenger – Awesome singer / songwriter
Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Give me Love – Ed Sheeran
I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab For Cutie
Hello – Adele – Say what you want, but this lady can really sing
I See Fire- Ed Sheeran
The Boxer (Jerry Douglas / Mumford and Sons)
Facebook – Passenger

Marillion Radio

Trap The Spark – Marillion
Back on My Feet Again – The Babys
Red Rain – Peter Gabriel
Plague of Ghosts (V) – Rain Gods With Zippos – Fish
Kayleigh – Marillion – One of the great underrated songs from my all time favorite band

Listening to these fantastic songs made for a great walk on one of the best days weather wise of the year.

For those off you unfamiliar with Marillion,  you can check out their web page (http://www.marillion.com) and even download a free sampling for free – Simply go to the music tab to read about the band, and look for the Crash Course Free Download

Below is the video for Kayleigh featuring original singer Fish.   He was an integral part of their early years and then was replaced by the incredible Steve Hogarth who has fronted the band for he past 30 years as they continue to release new music and tour.   Highly recommend you check them out.

 

 

Also check out Passengers website at – https://passengermusic.com/.   He is an incredible and generous artist who also does incredible things for his community – All profits from his new album “Sometimes it’s Something, Sometimes it’s nothing at All” will be donated to Shelter .

“Shelter is an amazing uk based homeless charity . For those of you that are interested you can read about the fantastic work that they do here https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/passenger”

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