Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two Rare Diamonds in the Rough...

Any of you that know me, know of my love of human spaceflight, space, and all things astronaut. Late last month, I had the opportunity to organize my garage and the DVD that got put into the portable DVD player, was the series of discs from HBO, "From the Earth to the Moon," a series that debuted more than 10 years ago, but is simply one of the best series ever provided in the medium.

While the "journey" and "race" to space surely contains enough excitement and adventure for me to listen to while working hard, I have to tell you, the music and score from that series are PURE GENIUS. The score (the music that drives the series, not the hits from that period that are also included) is one that makes the mind soar with positive thought, smiles and provides me with zeal to "accomplish" things. Sadly, the score itself had never been released on DVD, and only the lead intro track and the credits track were included on the "official" soundtrack available to the public.

"Who CARES what you think of music, Mike? What is this posting about?" you're all asking yourselves...

Recently while surfing again to see if there had been an update in regard to the score, I happened upon a website of one of the many composers that put together that score, and BEHOLD!

There were two links to tracks to two of the great pieces of score music from The Earth to the Moon!

One is from the classic episode, "SPIDER" which chronicles the contemplation and successful construction of the many in carnations of the "Lunar Excursion Module", the LEM. It is the one thing I think of when partaking a new project and exemplifies the meaning of the word teamwork. The track OOZES accomplishment, pride, and reflection on one's past. Magical.

The second is from the episode "Is That All There Is" chronicling the trip of the late, one and only Pete Conrad, Al Bean and Dick Gordon's to the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission. The episode is dripping with the same "infectious sense of humor and grin" that Pete Conrad was very well-known for, and this track provides you with a big toothy-yet-gap-showcased grin - just like Pete had. :)

I sent a thank you that I've saved below to The Mason Daring Website owners where I found these tracks, in hopes that it arrives to someone that can help me secure not only these tiny two pieces of priceless audio, but the entire score that accompanied one of the best mini-series in television history.

Enjoy the music, this short letter, and tell me what YOU think of them, the feelings that they provide to you, and your thoughts about when we're going to make the epic Journey again, From the Earth to The Moon...

Titled: Somewhat As a Voice in the Wilderness...

Hello from the Midwest!

My name is Mike Wilkerson and I am contacting you in regard to something very dear that I just found my way to.

I was very pleased to find the two grand tracks from the HBO series, "From the Earth to the Moon" - a series that I watch/listen to at least every couple of weeks when I'm reaching back into my pouch for more creative and confident juices with which to finish an every increasing stack of projects.

Is there any chance at all that we can latch onto more of the great music that was showcased inside of the "background" of From the Earth to the Moon?

I hate to think that the only way I can listen to it is by putting this great series in my DVD player and I would love to be able to share your and the other musician's talents with my young daughter whom I have always dreamed of seeing in Astronaut gear.

Again, my thanks for a boost of creative spirit once again.

Miles and Miles and Miles...

Mike Wilkerson
Father/Graphic Designer/Talk Show Host
The 2GuysTalking Podcast
The 2GuysTalking Podcast Network

The Impossible During the Holiday...

This will be the first Thanksgiving in a long time that we haven't had visitors, which usually translates to eating out, rather than taking part/creating a vast orgasmic meal experience at the house on Thursday evening.

This afternoon during lunch while surfing, I saw a note about the "942 Calorie Thanksgiving Dinner" and I wanted to give it the once-over review for depositing the link. Read on and be sure to read the original article below. It's all doable, folks!

-- Wine: Easy! I don't drink. Consider me 120 caloies lighter already, that could be >koff< inserted in another of the listings here to "make up for" and not be cheated on the holiday.

-- Turkey: Yet another bonus! I like the white meat they mention better than the dark meat, and it's always tasty.

-- Gravy: While I like gravy, I've never been one to smother all over things, so once again, we're in the clear here too. The rest of my family? WHoooo boy - this one would rock their world.

-- Stuffing: A whole half cup? This would be TOUGH. Bring a bread man is a tough road to hoe on holidays like Thanksgiving, but I think I could accomplish this - if the dressing were then put into a refrigerated safe, rolled into a high-altitude airplane, and flown around the world for a week until the rest of the leftovers are consumed. THEN, I'd be just dandy.

-- Sweet Potato: This one again is destroyed by the variety bug. I'll take the planet's saltiest, most abruptly cooked mashed potatoes any day of the week over Sweet Potatoes. I'm not sure if it's the consistency, or just the added gooney sweetness, but it's something I've had little interest in - ever.

-- Green Bean Casserole: Oh my, am I a sucker for this dish. Thankfully a good sized portion does it for me, though I am known to pick away the almonds that are often included with this dish that are still left in the bowl. I know, you're amazed that I like nuts, right.

-- Pumpkin Pie: Again, the consistency usually gets me on this one. I even have issues with "pumpkin pie ice cream" so it's one of those across-the-board things that are difficult to deal with. THANKFULLY, there is always an APPLE pie that makes it's way to our table, and usually it's sugar free so BONUS!

All-in-all, as you can see, I don't think I'd have any trouble at all with the 942 calorie Thanksgiving dinner. Except of course that I'd never be able to meet it. ;)

What are your thoughts on the article linked below? Could you make yourself a participant in the 942 Thanksgiving Movement? Chime in below and let me know what YOU think!

Link to MSNBCs 942 Calorie Thanksgiving Day Feast:

It Makes My Pen Weep - 'Nawlins Story...

While it's safe to say that all of us have had a gaffe here and there in the realm of writing, I was dismayed when I clicked a link that mentioned police officers shooting people they thought were dead.

Check out the link below and see what is currently passing as a "news-worthy" reporting style.

My pen weeps.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

November Introspective - 2007

I finished up work this afternoon (I work every Saturday taking a half day during the week, usually on Thursdays), and I thought I would take an inventory of things that I saw as I was leaving for the day to supplement a blog that's been strangely unupdated lately. Enjoy the listing below and be sure to chime in with your thoughts on mine - it's always great to see other perspectives...

- Guitar: Also known at "Tar" in our house, I pulled out the Estaban Brand Guitar and took it to work today to show it to a coworker that simply has much more musical talent than I do currently. For those that have forgotten, I purchased the set a year ago last week, and other than learning several chords, the guitar has sat patiently while my family life, my work life and my podcasting life have continued on a breakneck pace. I still have interest and every intention to become more "guitar" able and another fellow coworker has recently started to play the guitar so SURELY - after making a competition of it, I'll learn more about playing. For those that are curious about the guitar I bought, be sure to check out Esteban's Website to learn more and potentially "get inspired" just as I did one early morn.

- Burton in Wonderland: I heard a wonderful piece of news on the radio as I pulled into to get a sandwich at a local Culver's down the street from my workplace. Apparetly Tim Burton of Batman, Ed Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, a flurry of others fame has been tapped by Disney to do his version of "Alice in Wonderland" which should just be an awesome experience. I look forward to a dark, twisted scary rollercoaster that truly takes us down the rabbit hole.

- Gas Prices: As I write from my cheeseburger and soda pop perch, I see that gas has mysteriously dipped down another 11 cents - for noparticular reason - just as it rose 18 cents in a day a week ago today. Does anyone know of a good website that gives more direction, insight and "what the hell goes on" with gas prices? I know I've been to GasBuddy.Com to see more in the way of what prices are nationwide currently, their trends, etc, but I'm looking for something more outside the box that gives us theories (both reasonable and not so) about why things are like they are with gas prices currently. Send me your thoughts on that and tell me what YOU think.

- Shrek 3: It may have been just because I've been working so hard all over the place, but wow - I saw in front of the television last nite after dinner, put in the DVD, gathered around with my family with an nice cold soda pop and - fell directly to sleep. I awoke when I heard the catterwalling complints of Donkey 3/4 of the way though the story and I've no idea where the story was. Has anyone else noted the un-noteworthyness of Shrek 3 yet?

- Hollywood Video: Have I just missed the boat or is Hollywood Video now out of business? One that's within eyeshot has been converted into a wholesale Halloween place (that's now closed too not so strangely) - but clearly the building was once a Hollywood Video store. I found a July 4th, 2007 article that talks more about it on USAToday.Com and I guess that just shows you how out of the overall rental game my family is. We've been utilizing Blockbuster's Total Access plan for a couple of years now and really get a lot out of it. Are you using an online or local rental program? What are you using?

As I take down the laptop to prepare for the short journey home, I also wanted to note the weather - today is strangely bright, clear, and a balmy 66 degrees out today! That's right - it's mid-November and while this week has been brisk, with a bit of rain at the beginning, there's neary a sign of fall, other than the changing of the color of the leaves in the trees of the landscape around me. When will "Winter" arrive? Will we see if before the holiday next week? Will Chester realize the mistakes he's made and be able to salvage his relationship with Jessica? Tune in next time when we learn about that and more on Grab the Wheel!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Best Movies Few Will See

In the last two weeks or so, I've seen a variety of writers/movie critics writing about how some of the best movie that will never be seen are coming out in/have come out in the last month. I wrote to one of them today and wanted to share the story with the readers of my blog as well. Tell me what you think about it - are you using any of the DVD-renting services? Do you think that "Hollywood is in trouble?" Let me know what you think!

"To Joe Williams - St. Louis Post Dispatch Movie Reviewer

Greetings, Joe!

I just finished reading your most recent piece and I wanted to interject a perspective that I thought might initiate some great banter. I've recently fleshed out my theater at home, "The Shire" (I've included a photo of it in this Email) and when you consider that the timetable for even major blockbusters arriving on DVD and (YUMMY!) HD-DVD is now 4 months, I wonder if Hollywood and the movie-making folks in general have not only begun to realize that while grand box office are there to be had, and are short-lived, there is even more money to be made when introducing those films to the after markets of DVD media, HBO, Cinemax, showtime, pay-per-view, etc.

At the end of your article you'd mentioned money and it truly does make the movie world go round. So with people creating "theaters" (like mine at home), with the prices of electronics, even the best ones coming down, doesn't that directly effect where people are going to put their money in general? When you consider even gigantic movie offerings like "TRANSFORMERS" which I saw a couple of times in the digital theater at The Galaxy here in STL, becoming recurring DVD-sensations (ie cha-ching), I think the proliferation of theaters in people's homes really does play into today's movie landscape more than people want to admit.

Something else that bears mention: There are many DVD-renting services available. We take advantage of our BlockBuster Total Access plan heartily in out household. We'll get the three we get when initiating the program, we'll finish those out (usually a couple of movies for my wife and I and then one for our daughter, Jade), and then march them back into BlockBuster, select three more movies, hand them our done movies and walk out paying nothing but the money it takes for gas to get there. It's decidedly satisfying, too. By the time we've finished two movies it's been a day and we're into another set of three that usually arrive in our mail box the next day. And so on, and so on, and so on.

So how do we "help the movie industry back on it's feet?" The answer is easy - we don't need to. This year alone, Hollywood had so many banner marks that it's hard to imagine "Hollywood needing a boost" so let's not bother with that, and get back to what matters: enjoying the hearty entertainment goodness of sitting with ones family and friends in a grand home theater sharing in some of the best entertainment available - until of course it's time to head out to the theater to see a new movie that is.

Thanks for the article and I look forward to your next piece.

-- Mike Wilkerson
Co-Creator/Talk Show Host - The 2GuysTalking: 24 Podcast
Home of the "24 in 60+!" An Ultra-Quick Review of Each Episode of "24!" 2GuysTalking Original Content Podcast Network
mike@2GuysTalking.ComThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it -- 314.229.7683"