Friday, May 30, 2008

WTF - Isn't This A Sign of the Impending Apocalypse???

Isn't it one of the signs of the Apocalypse when a demon of the Bush Administration finds itself in the company of... well... THE DEMON?!?

SOURCE: Yahoo News/The Associate Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The Kiss Army has an enthusiastic new recruit: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice was in the Swedish capital Thursday for an international conference on Iraq. Kiss had a sold-out concert to play Friday.

"I was thrilled," Rice said of her late-night encounter with Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and bandmates Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer in the executive lounge of the Sheraton Hotel where they signed autographs and handed out backstage passes and T-shirts to her staff.

"It was really fun to meet Kiss and Gene Simmons," she told reporters, noting that they seemed well-informed about current events. The band had asked if she could stop by after she finished dinner with the Swedish foreign minister and Rice readily agreed, she said.

Rice, a classically trained pianist, said she has eclectic musical tastes ranging from Beethoven to Bruce Springsteen.

Hard rockers such as Kiss are included in the mix, and Rice said her favorite Kiss tune is "Rock and Roll All Nite."

But, Rice conceded, she has never seen the band in concert.

Editorial note: While FTANG! hopes Gene wasn't in his "total jag mode"... it's certainly not holding its breath.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Celebrity Death - Harvey Korman - May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman - May 29, 2008

Comedian, television star, film actor, Chicagoan, and Super-"C" grade Celebrity, Harvey Korman, has died after complications to the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm he suffered four months ago. He was 81.

His most memorable film role was as the outlandish Hedy Hedley Lamarr in Mel Brooks' 1974 Western satire, "Blazing Saddles."

"A world without Harvey Korman -- it's a more serious world," Brooks said. "It was very dangerous for me to work with him because if our eyes met we'd crash to the floor in comic ecstasy. It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh."

Brooks described Korman as a "dazzling" comic talent.

"You could get rock-solid comedy out of him. He could lift the material. He always made it real, always made it work, always believed in characters he was doing," he said.

"He fought until the very end. He didn't want to die. He fought for months and months," said Kate Korman, his daughter.

Rather than post any number of Blazing Saddle clips featuring Harvey's performance as Hedy Hedley Lamarr... here’s two brief minutes of Harvey as Count de Monet in "History of the World Part 1."

Don’t get saucy with me, Bernaise!

Celebrity Death - Luc Bourdon - May 29, 2008

Luc Bourdon - May 29, 2008

Luc Bourdon, a promising rookie defenseman with the Vancouver Canucks, was killed in a motorcycle crash near his hometown. He was 21. Police reports indicate that Bourdon lost control of his motorcycle before hitting a tractor-trailer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ian Fleming at 100

It's Ian Fleming's centenary today! He, of course, is the man who gave us the super-secret agent, 007, James Bond. He also gave us Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Fleming died in 1964, at 56, of complications from pleurisy after playing a round of golf in Oxfordshire... although he did have a heavy cold. The real culprits were years of smoking up to 80 cigarettes a day, and a fondness for drinking. Because of the difficulty he found in resisting life’s indulgences, he adopted a strict writing routine in his last 12 years, the period in which he wrote more than a dozen Bond novels that spawned the multibillion-dollar film franchise.

Fleming saw 40 million copies of his books sold in his lifetime but died before the Bond franchise exploded onto film screens.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Celebrity Death - Earle Hagen - May 26, 2008

Earle Hagen - May 26, 2008

Celebrity two-fer on Memorial Day. Earle Hagen, who composed memorable themes for "The Andy Griffith Show," "I Spy," "The Mod Squad" and other TV shows, died after having been in ill health for several months. He was 88. Hagen is the voice heard whistling the tune for "The Andy Griffith Show

Celebrity Death - Sydney Pollack - May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack - May 26, 2008

Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack, who achieved commercial and critical success with the gender-bending comedy "Tootsie" and the period drama (as well as FTANG! fave) "Out of Africa, has died of cancer. He was 73.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


TOWEL DAY – Friday May 25, 2008

From the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.
Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Celebrity Death - Dick Martin - May 24, 2008

Dick Martin - May 24, 2008

Dick Martin, the zany half of the comedy team that created "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" has died of respiratory complications. He was 86.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FTANG! - Musical Moment - I Wanna Be Sedated (Old School)

What with the economy being what it is... if FTANG! is ever fortunate enough to be even able to retire to an assisted living community, this is what it would be like!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When Underage Morons Go For A Ride

Source: The Associated Press

HARTMAN, Ark. - - An Arkansas preteen faces a drunken driving charge after he and a friend drank his parents' beer, "got liquored up" and crashed his stepfather's pickup truck, a Johnson County sheriff said.

Sheriff Jimmy Dorney said the 12-year-old boy and his 10-year-old friend drove off in the truck to find a girl they met at a rodeo. The boys made it about 10 miles before the 12-year-old lost control of the truck.

Dorney said the truck hit and jumped over a guardrail, sending it careening 50 feet down a steep hill into a forest.

Clark James, 46, who lives down the road from the crash site, said he answered the boys' banging at his front door with shotgun in hand about 2:30 a.m.

"I opened the door and the first thing (the 12-year-old) said to me was, 'I'm drunk and I had a wreck,'" James said. "I looked at him and I thought 'You're kind of young to be out drinking. And you sure shouldn't be driving.'"

Neither boy was seriously injured.

County prosecutor Bruce Wilson said that he will charge the 12-year- old boy with drunken driving and several other misdemeanor charges. Wilson also said the 12-year-old could face a variety of sanctions ranging from probation, to court-mandated community service and alcohol rehabilitation, to commitment to the state Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services.

James bets that both Johnson County boys are grounded for life.

"If not, then they should be," he said.

Monday, May 19, 2008

When Dueling Morons Use Tasers

Source: The Associated Press

BOULDER, Colorado -- Police say a security company supervisor and a restaurateur shot each other with Tasers in a "bonehead" confrontation over parking.

Police reports say Harvey Epstein, co-owner of Mamacitas restaurant and Casey M. Dane, a supervisor for Colorado Security Services Inc., were arguing over a metal boot that one of Dane's guards had clamped on a wheel of a van parked behind Mamacitas.

Dane told police he was afraid Epstein was going to hit him with a 2-foot-long pair of bolt cutters. Epstein told police he had only tried to remove the boot with the bolt cutters and hadn't threatened anyone with them.

Epstein told police Dane put his hand on a holstered pistol and threatened to shoot him. Dane told The Associated Press by telephone that he did put his hand on the holstered pistol but never threatened to shoot Epstein.

Both men drew Tasers.

"They shot each other," Police Sgt. Pat Wyton told the Camera newspaper. "It was just kind of a bonehead deal."

The guard claimed the van, owned by a Mamacitas employee, was on property he was hired to patrol. The van owner denied that.

Epstein, 36, said he took out his Taser only after Dane pointed his at him and his mother, who was also outside. Epstein also said Dane repeatedly told him he was a police officer and that failing to comply with his orders was a federal offense, allegations that Dane denies.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Celebrity Death - Joseph Pevney - May 18, 2008

A double whammy for the Trek nerds! Three days following the passing of the gentleman who composed the theme song comes this...

Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the best-loved episodes of the original "Star Trek" television series, has died. He was 96.

Pevney directed 14 episodes of the series, including "The City on the Edge of Forever," in which Capt. Kirk and Spock travel back in time (Ah hah!! Doctor Who copyright infringement!! For shame!!) to the Depression, and "The Trouble With Tribbles," in which the starship Enterprise is infested with the furry creatures.

No photo was available of Mr. Pevney, so here’s a list of some of the other notable television shows he directed:

Trapper John M.D. (8 episodes)
The Paper Chase (2 episodes)
Little House on the Prairie (1 episode)
The Rockford Files (1 episode)
The Incredible Hulk (2 episodes)
Fantasy Island (1 episode)
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (7 episodes)
Petrocelli (7episodes)
Emergency! (7 episodes)
Bonanza (6 episodes)
Adam-12 (10 episodes)
The Munsters (11 episodes)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Not Quite A Celebrity Death - Robert Mondavi - May 16, 2008

Robert Mondavi - May 16, 2008

Robert Mondavi, the pioneering vintner who helped put California wine country on the map, died at his Napa Valley home Friday. He was 94.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Celebrity Death - Alexander Courage - May 15, 2008

Alexander Courage - May 15, 2008

While FTANG! is an unapologetic and unabashed Doctor Who fan, this needs to be addressed for those Trek nerds out there. I've heard there are a few of you still walking around.

Alexander "Sandy" Courage, an Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated arranger, orchestrator and the composer who created the otherworldly theme for the classic "Star Trek" TV show, has died at an assisted-living facility. He was 88 and had been in poor health for a number of years.

Among many other projects he also provided the orchestration for such movies as "The Poseidon Adventure," "Jurassic Park," "Basic Instinct" and "The Mummy".

Beginning in the 1960s he composed music for TV shows, including "The Waltons," "Lost in Space" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," although the only themes he created were for "Star Trek" and "Judd For the Defense."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Celebrity Death - John Philip Law - May 13, 2008

John Philip Law - May 13, 2008

John Phillip Law, who portrayed an angel in "Barbarella" has died. He was 70.

He also portrayed Sinbad in "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" starring opposite future Doctor Who Tom Baker and future Professional Martin Shaw.

And he starred in what would become the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 classic "Diabolik."

WTF?! Mmmmm. Beer.

Australian police pulled over a driver and were shocked to find he had secured a load of beer with a seat belt - but NOT a five-year-old boy.

Officers were appalled to find the man was more concerned about his 30 cans of brewskis than the child travelling with him. While the alcohol was safely buckled in, the boy was sitting on the floor in the back, unrestrained.

Police stopped the man after noticing that his car was unregistered.

"I haven't ever seen something like this before," said Constable Wayne Burnett, who stopped the driver on a desert highway south of Alice Springs.

He said police often stopped vehicles to look for beer, wine and spirits being illegally smuggled into 'dry' Aboriginal communities, where alcohol is banned.

"But this is the first time that the beer has taken priority over a child."

He said the driver of the car "just looked at me blankly" when he was handed a $700 fine for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, and for failing to ensure the child was wearing a seatbelt.

"He didn't get it," Constable Burnett said. "I asked him about the fact the child was unrestrained and the beer was, and he said he didn't know anything about it."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Eric Singer Turns 50

Eric Singer - May 12

FTANG! birthday wishes to The Catman Mark 2, KISS drummer Eric Singer, who turns the big 5-0 today! An extremely nice guy in person and one HELL of a drummer! Original Catman and drummer Peter Criss only wishes he could drum like this guy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Remembering Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams 1952-2001

The first few months of 2001 were dreadful ones for Ftang! Two personal idols of Ftang! passed away within a month of one another. Author Douglas Adams passed away seven years ago today.

Remember to celebrate Towel Day on May 25, 2008!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Celebrity Death - Eddy Arnold - May 8, 2008

Eddy Arnold - May 8, 2008

One of the founding fathers of country music, Eddy Arnold, died at the age of 89 at an assisted living facility. Billboard Magazine ranked Arnold (aka The Tennessee Plowboy) the number one country artist of all time.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

Not Quite A Celebrity Death - Irvine Robbins - May 5, 2008

Irvine Robbins - May 5, 2008

As with Herb Peterson's passing earlier this year, FTANG! doesn't consider this a true "Celebrity Death", and won't post it as such... but it still warrants a mention. Irvine Robbins, co-founder of Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream, has died of complications related to old age. He was 90.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Not Quite A Celebrity Death - Fredric Baur - May 4, 2008

Fredric Baur - May 4, 2008

The designer who invented the Pringles tube was so proud of his achievement that he's been buried in one.

Fredric J Baur asked for some of his ashes to be put in a tube and interred in a grave in his home city of Cincinnati. Baur, who died May 4th at the age of 89, created the tube and the curved system for stacking the potato snacks inside it in 1966.

Baur's children honored his request to bury him in one of the cans by placing part of his cremated remains in a Pringles container in his grave. The rest of his remains were placed in an urn buried along with the can.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Celebrity Death - Ted Kay - May 3, 2008

Ted Kay - May 3, 2008

Cartoonist Ted Key, whose comic strip "Hazel" about a bossy maid, has died after a 1-1/2-year battle with cancer. He was 95.

"Hazel" was a popular feature in The Saturday Evening Post from the time it debuted in 1943. It also evolved into a prime-time television series in 1961 and ran for four years on NBC and one year on CBS.

Key also created the characters Mr. Peabody and Sherman for producer Jay Ward. The time-traveling dog/scientist and his pet boy made their TV debuts in 1959 in segments on the animated show "Rocky and His Friends."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Celebrity Death - Bernard Archard - May 1, 2008

Bernard Archard - May 1, 2008

Very small ‘c’ celebrity - but known to Classic (Doctor Who) Series fans - actor Bernard Archard has died at the age of 91.

He appeared in such movies as Krull and The Sea Wolves (a FTANG! fave), as well as the following classic television shows (also FTANG! faves) - The Professionals, The Avengers, Keeping Up Appearances and two separate appearances in Doctor Who for the 2nd and 4th Doctor. His most notable appearance being Marcus Scarman in "The Pyramids of Mars." (Yes, FTANG! is cognizant of the fact that he looked 91 way back in 1975.)

Celebrity Death - Jim Hager - May 1, 2008

Jim Hager - May 1, 2008

Small ‘c’ celebrity Jim Hager (far right), one of "Hee Haw's" Hager Twins, collapsed in a coffee shop and died at the age of 66.

Well, he was probably considered a Big ‘C’ celebrity by the Blue Collar Comedy Tour folk.

Happy May Day!