RIP Gene Wilder (Mr Willy Wonka)

Very sad day as Gene Wilder passed away at the age of 82.    He was in some of the all time classic moves like “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles” but stared in countless other movies that shaped my childhood.  I remember watching “Silver Streak” and “Stir Crazy” with him and Richard Pryor countless times on HBO.   And I laughed every time I saw “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother


But it was his magnificent  portrayal as Mr. Willy Wonka in one of my all time favorite movies of all time “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory“.    I have tears in my eyes as I remember watching it during Thanksgiving at my cousins house years ago.  It has stuck with me ever since (the sign of a great movie) and I try to watch it ever so often.   So many times I will quote scenes from the movie (or have people quote thins to me)  (another sign of a great movie and actor)

And how many times has everybody thought of winning a Golden Ticket when opening a letter or package  – One of my friends once had a party and the invitations were actual chocolate bars with Wonk Wrappers and a Golden Ticket as the invite – pure genius

There is no words for the sadness I feel

Rest in Piece Mr. Wilder – You me laugh and forget about my problems for a while and  for that I thank you



Average Andy


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Bad New Bears

“The Bad News Bears”, and “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” are 2 of my favorite movies while growing up.   While in elementary school, I though Tanner Boyle (Christopher Barnes) was the coolest  kid.   Any always liked Kelly Leak (the great Jackie Earl Haley), who also was in “Breaking Away”, another one of my favorites

I was thrilled a few years back when Panini put out a Bad News Bears Subset as part of their Golden Age Card Set, which included autograph cards of some of the Bears.   I have been slowly adding them to my collection, with only a few more to go.

Panini – Bad News Bears (Golden-Age-Baseball)

Was sad that Tanner Boyle was not included, but not shocked as after the Bad News Bears movies, Christopher Barns stopped acting, and basically disappeared.   Over the years, I have tried to see if there was any way to contact him and thank him and  let him know how his character has stuck with me for over 40 years.

If anybody has any idea how to contact him, please let me know, it would really be appreciated.

Here is a fantastic article from this past April about the movie.   A great read for fans of the Bears.

Bad News Bears 40th Anniversary Article

And finally, here is a clip from one of my favorite scenes of all time.




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The new Marillion Album F.E.A.R  (Fuck Everyone And Run) will be released this September.

This is the bands 18th Studio album and they continue to evolve and create great music.

Have my tickets to their US show at the PlayStation Theater in New York City in November.

Try to see them if you get a chance as they always put on an awesome show.

Marillion 2016 Tour Dates


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Been a while

Sorry I haven’t written in a long time.   Lots has happened over the past 2 months.  Spent a week on vacation in San Francisco and Los Angeles with the family.  Great time was had.  Stayed at an Air B&B in San Francisco and really got the feel of local living.   Then drove to Sequoia National Park for a night and then on to LA where we got to see my wife’s brother and his family.   The highlight as a trip to Disney Land where they are celebrating Star Wars.

Here is a video my daughter put together of the trip (My wife and daughter actually spent some time in Idaho before I met them in San Francisco)

Been busy at work.  They did some re-organization and laid off one of my team members.  Was a great guy and kept the mood fresh at work.   Hopefully hes able to find a new (and better) job.   We are now down to 2 people on the team (and between us we I have to train the new people on what we do).

Going to hold judgement on the NY Mets until after the next weeks games against the NY Yankees.   After last years run to the World Series, this year feels a bit of letdown, but they actually have a better record then they did at this time.   Hopefully something clicks and they can go on a nice run to end the season.   They have a solid team, just need to put together a week of well played and well pitched games.

Really enjoying another season of Big Brother.   Don’t know why, but the show continues to suck me in year after year after year.

If you listen to Pod Casts, check out Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcome Gladwell- revisionisthistory

I really like his view on thing

Felt good to write this update and will defiantly write again soon



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Quick Update

Just want to share a link to a story that I read years ago and always remembered

Frederic Brown – “The Weapon”

Find it very timely with the discussions going on about guns


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Seasons End

Both The Amazing Race and Survivor ended there seasons this past week.  Both had enjoyable seasons and I am already looking forward to the fall when they start again

I really enjoyed the Amazing Race this season.  Was a little apprehensive when it was announced that the contestants would consist of team known for their on-line presence (You Tubers, and other On-Line video creators).   As mentioned before, I am never a big fan of Celebrity versions of any shows (was what ruined Who Wants to be a Millionaire), and feel the shows are at their best with average everyday people.   But was surprised how down to earth and normal this seasons famous contestants were.   Found myself really rooting for the them all.   Was a bit upset that Dana and Matt won, as I was rooting for the other 2 teams in the final 3 ahead of them.   But they ran a great race and deserved to win.

The final was a bit anticlimactic due to the challenge where they needed to jump off a building and grab the clue that was suspends in front of them.  I liked the challenge, but felt if separated the teams to much as only one team could go at a time, and once you missed it took a long time to try again.  Basically once Matt grabbed the clue, and both Korey and Sheri missed, the race was over.  There was no way for the other teams to catch up.  Add to that that the teams are now really smart and plan for the final challenge of remembering all the places that have been, and it lost some of the excitement.

Still, its such a fun show to watch as it shows the world in ways not usually portrayed in school or the media.  I really believe kids in school (and older folks as well) should be made to watch and be exposed to places that they have hopefully heard of but probably never seen, or have a set perception of.   The world is an amazing place and I thank all involved in The Amazing Race (The producers, the crew, the cast, and of course Phil Keoghan) for showing me the the wonders of the world each season

As for Survivor, it was a good, but a bit slow season.  Nobody really hit me as a great or memorable contestant.   Tai started off strong, but kind of got old to me.  Winner Michele Fitzgerald  (Congratulations to another winner from the great state of New Jersey- joining Tony Vlachos and Natalie Anderson) started off slow, and was basically a after though until the last few episodes.   If I had to vote on the final 3, I probably would have voted for Aubry, as I felt she played the best game, always being aware of what was going on, and making moves and decisions that helped her get the the end.  And she was one tough competitor, fighting in every challenge.

I didn’t really like the surprise twits of giving one of the final 3 a chance to vote out one of the jury members.  I felt is changed the core of the game (Being able to vote off your tribe mates,  while convincing them to vote for you to win).   I like when they change the game up (Tribal switches, Exile Island, and even the super idol this season).   These things keep the contestants from getting to comfortable with the same patterns at philosophy’s each season.    But changing the core of the game seems like a desperate move to create drama that doesn’t need to created.   I know Jeff Probst says they review each season for what works and what doesn’t.  Hopefully they see that this twist has more down sides than upsides and is not used in future episodes.

Speaking of Jeff Probst, he continues to  be one of the best Reality TV hosts, and does a great job with the live Reunion Show.   I shiver every time I think of the early seasons when CBS threw Btyant Gumbal out there whit no real connection to the show, and how they made a great decision on letting Jeff become the host for Season 5

Survivor Reunion Show Wiki

Looking forward to next season, and like the idea of pitting Older Generation X  Contestants (1961 – 1981, where Average Andy fits) against younger Millennials (1980 – 2000).   Should be interesting to see which group is better suited for the setting and challenges of Survivor.

Back to writing about other things in the next few weeks, including my take on Matt Harvey and what the Mets need to do with him.   Its more mental than anything.   He needs to get rid of Scott Boros, who has messed him up by convincing him he will be the highest paid pitcher of all time and putting to much pressure on him.  I think now every time Harvey gives up a run, or loses a game, his main concern is not the Mets, but that he just loss some bargaining power and a few million dollars of his big free agent contract.

He needs to step back and just have fun pitching.  He has the talent, and his big payday will come if he pitches like he is capable of.

Pictures of some of the cards I picked up at the Philly Non Sports Card Show next week to come as I am finishing up opening a few boxes of the Star Trek 50th set, and sorting through some of the free prom cards I picked up.   It was a fun show as usual



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Lots going on

Tonight is the Season Finale of The Amazing Race.   I have really enjoyed this season.   Of the 3 teams left, I’m routing for Tyler and Korey to win, but would not mind if Cole and Sheri were to win.   I love Cole’s attitude;  he is always positive and having a good time.  His comment about it not mattering if they got eliminated because he had the opportunity to ride those scooters in China is what the Amazing Race is really about.   I have always felt that the experience is worth more than the Million Dollars

As a show note, last week was one of the 1st times where they actually fooled me with the editing.   It felt like Burnie and Ashley were way ahead of Cole and Sheri, and I was shocked when they showed Cole and Sheri come up the stairs.

On Survivor, another contestant was medically eliminated from the game.  That was the 3rd person this season (and 2nd on the Jury) to leave and not be officially voted off.  Its not like the challenges have been super hard or dangerous.   Now its down to the final 4, with the finale next Wednesday.  My vote would be for Michele.   Mainly because I don’t really like Aubry or Cydney, and Tai has become annoying.    Nobody in the final 4 really played a super game this year. (Aubry probably played the game the most).    And with all the excitement of the Super Idol, the Idols in general did not have a big impact on the game.  And the advantage of the extra vote again was not utilized.   Just like the last few seasons, It has never been used to change anything.   Need to reevaluate it.  Maybe the advantage should be you get to stop somebody from voting.   That would be fun to see.

As mentioned last post, will be heading out the Allentown PA for the Philly Non Sport Show this weekend.  Will also be attending the Card Talk gathering on Sunday.  Will be discussion the recent acquisition of Non Sport Update by Beckett Media.  Will be interesting to see there vision for the magazine going forward.

The NY Mets are doing what they need to do on a long west coast trip.   Much more enjoyable the past few years then in the past where they would go 2 – 9 and limp back to CitiField.   It would be great if they could take 2 of 3 in Colorado, and have a 6 -5 road trip before taking on the Nationals next Tuesday.   Should be a good test an a lot of fun

Finishing up the books I’m reading / listening to and will try to write a review when Im done.

Was not able to listen to all of Journeys’ Albums as planned as the last 2 albums were released exclusively  by Wall Mart and are not available for streaming on Apple Music or other streaming services.  I did enjoy listening to the rest of the albums.   Going to start with a new artist next week.   Was thinking about trying Fleetwood Mac.   Will keep you updated.

Hope  everybody has a great weekend







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