Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy 78th, Clint!

Clint Eastwood hits the big seven-eight today... This is merely an excuse to post this kickass picture of The Man with No Name.

Also, Chris Elliott hits the big four-eight today -- happy 48th, Chris! I liked him best as one of the regular writers/performers on Late Night with David Letterman in the '80s, and on Get a Life and in Cabin Boy in the '90s. But he can still bring it in the '00s -- watch him here as Skink the Bounty Hunter...

Even though he's a racist, hypermacho clown, I find Dog strangely compelling -- next to Boba Fett, he's my favorite bounty hunter! As a complement to the above clip, here's South Park's Cartman as Dog the Hallway Monitor...

Bringing things full-circle... According to Wikipedia: "George Lucas attributes the character of Boba Fett to The Man with No Name in the DVD commentary on The Empire Strikes Back. His armor is reminiscent of Eastwood's poncho... The most obvious similarity between the characters is that they are both bounty hunters. In true style of "a man with no name," Fett's name is not mentioned once in Empire. When he enters the scene on Cloud City, the clink of spurs can be heard clearly, even though the character does not wear spurs."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Pedro Borbon

Often a card's backside is more interesting than the front. That's certainly the case with this here 1970 Topps Pedro Borbon...

Wonder if he's pals with Michael Vick?

For good measure, here's what the front looks like.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We Hardly Knew Ye: Phil Hartman

You might remember him from such TV shows as Saturday Night Live (as Frank Sinatra, Burt Reynolds, Frankenstein, and loads more), The Simpsons (as Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure (seen here)), Pee-Wee's Playhouse (as Captain Carl), and a bunch of other stuff.

But then, ten years ago today, he was shot to death by his stupid coked-up wife. Too bad -- he was funny. Read more here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Steve's Autographs #6: Dave Winfield

February 2, 1980: Along with some of my Rainier Bank teammates (1979 Kent city champs -- I still have the trophy to prove it!), I went to Bellevue Community College for a winter baseball clinic starring Dave Winfield, Bruce Bochte, Rick Honeycutt and Willie Horton (no, not that Willie Horton). Except for Horton, who wore his street clothes, all dressed in their respective uniforms, which, for Winfield, meant the Padres' unfortunate Taco Bell-style uni.

They demonstrated batting and pitching techniques to us star-struck subjects, but the best part was the photo-op/autograph session. Horton beat a hasty retreat before it started, but my Seahawks sweatshirt prompted Winfield to ask me about the team, which just came off their first winning season (tho' their 9-7 record wasn't good enough to make the playoffs).

Afterwards, somebody tossed a basketball to six-foot-six Winfield, who dribbled it across the gymnasium court for a one-handed dunk (still in his Padres threads!). Fun fact: Besides being drafted by the Pads, Winfield was also drafted by the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, the ABA's Utah Stars, and the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Since then, he killed a seagull, feuded with George Steinbrenner, and was elected to the Hall of Fame.

My dad took this 8x10 photo and mailed it to Winfield, who sent it back with the greeting: "To my friend Steve, best wishes and happy birthday, David Winfield #31." My dad surprised me with it the following June upon my 11th birthday.

The next year's clinic wasn't nearly as good: the star attraction was Dennis Leonard.

Here's Dave Winfield's official site.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy 35th, Eliza!

Goodie Truitt hits the big three-five today... Woo!

Also, for all you music fans out there, popular folk/rock singer/songwriter Bob Dylan hits el grande 67.

Others celebrating a May 24 birthday: Gabriel Fahrenheit, Queen Victoria, Tommy Chong, Gary "Radar" Burghoff, Patti LaBelle, Priscilla Presley, Alfred Molina, Roseanne Cash, Michael Chabon, John C. Reilly, and Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Indiana Jones

The new Indiana Jones movie opened yesterday, and while I plan on seeing it in the theater, I'm not in any hurry.

Upon its 1981 release, Raiders of the Lost Ark was huge to me, as Indy's initial adventure was the first movie to seriously threaten Star Wars as my then-all-time favorite. The exploding heads and melting faces freaked me out (those were the most graphic onscreen images my eleven-year-old eyes had ever seen), but the opening sequence in the booby-trapped South American cave blew me away. It made me want to machete through jungles and swing from vines and flee giant boulders in search of ancient treasure. Or at least complete my 88-card Topps Raiders set, of which the above card is a sample.

I've seen the second and third movies just once apiece, both upon their respective releases when I was 14 and 19, but I wasn't especially impressed by either one. Compared to the original Raiders, they both fell short and seemed fairly unnecessary, as I imagine this latest installment will be. I'm far more excited about the new Batman movie.

Helpful hint: A length of kelp found on an ocean beach may be fashioned into a disposable bullwhip.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Gil Hodges

The oldest card in my collection? This here '58 Topps is fiddy!

I got it from childhood friend who presumably nicked it from his dad's stash of cards collected during his youth. Maybe it was to atone for his incessant badgering of me to the point of tears (mine) to simply give him my '78 Ron Guidry. Which I didn't.

And Gil Hodges? He of the legendary Boys of Summer and skipper of the '69 Miracle Mets? Not to shabby.

Not 'til just now as I'm posting this did I make an obvious visual connection with the Kenji Johjima card that I like so much.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Marguerite Sutherland, 1910-2008

My 97-year-old grandma passed away this morning, on Mother's Day. Here we are together outside her Ellensburg house in 2000.

I'll post a short bio/obituary when I've finished writing it. Here it is, posted on June 11:

Marguerite Sutherland died peacefully on Mother’s Day morning, Sunday May 11, 2008 in Auburn, Washington. She was 97.

Marguerite Alice Snover was born to George Henry and Minnie Louise Snover on October 24, 1910, in the family farmhouse near Snohomish, Washington. She was the oldest of eight children.

In 1916 the family moved to Roche Harbor, where George was employed by the Roche Harbor Lime and Cement Company. Marguerite began school in Roche Harbor, but she missed a year of school due to the 1918 influenza outbreak.

Not long afterwards, the family moved to Hoquiam, where Marguerite graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1930. In 1935 she married Francis E. Jennings in Grays Harbor County, and the couple lived in Central Park. In 1937 they visited San Juan Island, where they bought property with the intention of someday making it their permanent residence. After the birth of two children, Marguerite Ann and Francis Edward, the family did finally move to Friday Harbor in 1946, establishing a business in the community.

Marguerite spent the next 41 years on the island. After a divorce from Francis, she lived in a house on Friday Harbor’s Marguerite Place, which was named after her. On November 16, 1973, she married island resident Walter L. Sutherland. The couple lived in a beachfront house at the end of Sutherland Road, from where regular ferry traffic in and out of Friday Harbor could be seen. Walter died in February 1977, but Marguerite continued to live in the house until 1987.

Marguerite was regularly visited there by her children and grandchildren, enjoying many fun times on the beach in front of her house. She also avidly pursued her favorite hobby, crafting handmade braided rugs, which often won blue ribbons at the San Juan County Fair. As a longtime member of Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church, she also had over 50 years' membership in the Order of the Eastern Star, in which she served as Worthy Matron.

In 1987, Marguerite moved off the island to a house in Ellensburg to be closer to her four younger sisters, Caroline, Myrtle, Geneva and Betty, and their families. She also had three younger brothers, George, Phillip and Stanley. While in Ellensburg, she expanded her crafting skills to quilt making, winning a grand prize at the Kittitas County Fair.

As her health had deteriorated in recent years, she moved to son Fran’s and wife Judy’s home in Bonney Lake in 2003. In 2005 she moved to the Tugade family’s home in Auburn, where she spent her final three years.

Marguerite’s sisters Geneva, Caroline and Wynona preceded her in death, as did brothers George and Stanley. She is survived by sister Myrtle Withers of Kettle Falls, Washington, brother Phillip Snover of Coupeville, Washington, daughter Margarite Jennings of Friday Harbor and son Francis (Judy) Jennings of Bonney Lake, Washington. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Linda Joanou (Rudolf Geissman), Cheryl Jennings (Richard Klima), Steve Mandich, Brady (Kendra) Jennings, Clark (Cara) Jennings, plus six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by all.

A memorial service was held at son Fran's Bonney Lake home on June 7.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Bigfoot Showdown!

From my 1987 Topps Harry & the Hendersons set.

See more instances of Bigfoot on film on my needing-a-serious-update Bigfoot on Film page.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Now I've Seen Everything #4: Ski Dance

From the 1987 stinktacular Fire and Ice.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Bubblegum Card of the Week: Jim Osterberg

Man, I wish this week's card an actual card, 'cause it's pretty killer. For now it's only available in digital form, along with the rest of this rock 'n' roll all-star squad... So where's the Cobain Mariners card?

Big thanks to Lex10 at GlyphJockey.