Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Top 10 Favorite TV Shows of 2014: We Must Like Sex and Violence

Greetings to our blog readers in the Netherlands, Croatia and Yemen (is our blog available there? Yeah, I don't know either), and a special Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun to our friends in Turkey, my late father's country.

Here is our top ten (amended Jan. 4, 2014):

1. Rectified. Sundance Channel. Second Season. (image #1, the show deals with an inmate coming home to his zip code in small town Georgia, hence the reason for the prison cell)

2. Maron. IFC-TV. Second Season. (Mark Maron continues to impress us, but he could probably care less)

3. The Americans. F/X. Second Season (the reason for the middle image of Ronald and Nancy Reagan)

4. Halt and Catch Fire. AMC. First Season

5. The Affair. Showtime. First Season. (image #3, a postcard of a hotel room from yesteryear)

6. Master of Sex. Showtime. Second Season.

7. Homeland. Showtime. Fourth Season

8. Mad Men. AMC. Eighth Season

9. Orphan Black. BBC America. Second Season

10. Portlandia. IFC-TV. Fourth Season. (Fifth Season starts Thurs., Jan. 8th)

UPDATE: We revised this from the dubious initial version in which we thought it would be a good idea to include three shows we've never seen! They were: 1) Game of Thrones; 2) Orange is the New Black and 3) The Waling Dead, but we shall keep The Game of Thrones tags anyway.......:)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Favorte Comic Strips from Sunday, Dec. 14th Roanoke Times: Drones Away

Greetings to our blog readers in Cuba, Estonia and New Zealand.....

Today, we turn our attention to our 10 favorite comic strips from the Sunday, Dec. 14th edition of "The Roanoke Times" in Roanoke, Va. (yes, we are a bit behind schedule).

Our top choice is "Pearls Before Swine," in which Rat, one of the three title characters along with Goat and Pig, promises that if he is elected president that he will get one drone to spy on every person on earth at all times; hey, I'd still vote for him over Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney! (forgive the political humor).

"Speed Bump" has a hilarious take on what modern tech would have been like in medieval times, and these means trouble for Sir Textalot as he faces an opponent in a horseback joust in Dave Coverly's single-panel comic strip. Hence, the reason for our image of a "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" poster.

Lastly, "Family Circus" makes a rare appearance in our top ten with a strip that depicts every parent in a grade school auditorium taking photos and videos with mobile devices, we thought it would be humorous to go with an image of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" (middle) as this would assuredly be a difficult play for youngsters to perform.

Here is our top ten:

1) Pearls Before Swine

2) Speed Bump

3) Doonesbury

4) Garfield

5) Dilbert

6) Zits

7) Get Fuzzy

8) Funky Winkerbean

9) Non-Sequitur

10) Family Circus

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top Ten Things We Should Blog About More in 2015 (our tenth anniversary year!)........: Soccer and Politics

Greetings to our blog readers in the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Vietnam, three places where we are surprisingly more popular than we could have ever expected! Perhaps, you guys will catch up with Slovenia (for my fellow Americans who flunked geography that's a former Yugoslav republic, yeah, that probably doesn't assist you any.......)

For the 109th time this year, we once again make fun of Cong. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va; pict. top) who is apparently fighting for companies like Amazon who don't have to pay taxes. Assuredly, this means he will have to take Jeff Bezos out for pizza the next time he's in Washington, D.C., where one may also run into Vice President Joe Biden (pictured bottom, hopefully, those of you going to Princeton University know he's the second man in charge at The White House.).

The man in the middle is Chelsea star Didier Drogba, a star player from the Ivory Coast, who also had a stint with the Istanbul soccer powerhouse Galatasaray, our favorite team. And, since the men in red and yellow tied Ankara GB 1-1 on Thursday, we presume, he is greatly missed.

Here are the top ten things we SHOULD blog more about in 2015, a year in which we will mark our tenth year of blogging!:

1. European soccer

2. Fox News nonsense

3. Israel/Palestinian nonsense

4. Cong. Bob Goodlatte

5. The Rev. Johnny Robertson of Martinsville, Va. (our favorite crazy Baptist minister)

6. Joe Biden

7. Taylor Swift

8. "Family Circus"

9. Global Warming

10. The death penalty/doing my laundry (tie)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Top Ten Films of 2014 (rough draft): Of course, we went with "Boyhood"

It is a bit premature perhaps to be doing this as I have yet to see many of the top films of 2014 as many of them will of course as always be released on or after Christmas Day, but since everyone else is posting their top 10 films of 2014 list, I may as well go for it.

This was an exceptional year for film in every capacity.

For those of you new to this blog, I always go with an image referring to something about the film rather than an image of the film itself.

We are also using the word 'Rough Draft' in the title as a joke, everyone feels the urge to change these lists when they have seen more films from the year of release (here in the United States).

Here is the list:

1) Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater, image #1 is of the 1969 children's show "H.R. Pufnstuf)

2) Gone Girl (dir. David Fincher, the middle image is the universal symbol for women)

3) Birdman (dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the bottom image is of the early anime cartoon "Battle of the Planets")

4) The Grand Hotel Budapest (dir: Wes Anderson)

5) Life Itself (documentary. dir: Steve James. Will air on CNN in January)

6) The Unknown Known (doc. dir: Errol Morris)

7) Blue Ruin (dir: Jeremy Sauhier)

8) Begin Again (dir: John Carney)

9) Interstellar (dir: Christopher Nolan)

10) "A Most Wanted Man" (dir: Anton Corbijn)

Worst Movie of the Year: "Wrong" (appropriately titled, dir: Quentin Dupieux)

Most Underrated: "The Skeleton Twins"

Most Overrated: "Snowpiercer"

Most Disappointing: "Only Lovers Left Alive"

A Most Impressive Debut: "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night"

Most Interesting Mediocre Movie: "Life After Beth"

New and Improved Top Ten American Cities We'd Like to Visit: From Miami to Vancouver

Since we returned back from Costa Rica on Black Friday, we've been thinking about where else would like to travel during our time here on earth, and if we die a premature death like Austrian pop star Falco, we hope we can come back to life as the Buddhistst suggest, so we can visit Detroit (actually a city which just missed making this life).

For this list, we are focusing on North American cities, and our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" we look at cities we would like to visit in Europe.

It should be pointed that cities we adore, like Denver, New York and Baltimore are not on this list because we wanted to focus on cities we've never visited.

And, without any further interruptions, here is the list:

1) Miami, Florida ("Miami Vice" is pictured top)

2) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (The logo for the Vancouver Canucks is pictured center)

2) Seattle, Washington (pictured bottom)

4) San Francisco, California

5) Portland, Oregon (but, we have been to Portland, Maine, this Portland is the one where "Portlandia" takes place)

6) Guadalajara, Mexico

7) Los Angeles, California

8) Minneapolis, Minnesota

9) Dallas, Texas

10, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Ten Songs We Heard on Steve-FM in Roanoke, Va.

Here are ten songs in a row that we heard while listening to 106.1 Steve-FM (Roanoke, Va.) on Monday afternoon between the hours of 3:00-4:00 p.m.; we did omit one song from Bon Jovi to make this list seem a tad bit niftier.

Steve-FM is part of the national I Heart Radio chain, and apparently there is another Steve-FM in Spartanburg, SC

The image of Bill Clinton is used not for political reasons (even though we voted for him....twice!) but because "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac was his 1992 presidential campaign theme song. We are using Pink Panther because there is a song by the singer Pink (we need to get more familiar with her work), a Basil Ratbone's Sherlock Holmes refers to the smash hit "Private Eyes" by Hall and OAtes, our favorite musical act to perform karaoke to.

Here are the ten songs in order:

1) Don't Stop. Fleetwood Mac. 1977

2) Wild Thing. Tone Loc. 1988

3) Cherry Bomb. John Cougar Mellencamp. 1987

4) So What. Pink. 2008.

5) When Doves Cry. Prince. 1984

6) Breakdown. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. 1976,

7) Private Eyes. Hall and Oates. 1981

8) Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Eurythmics. 1983.

9) Long Train Running (Without Love). The Doobie Brothers. 1973.

10) Stray Cat Strut. Stray Cats. 1982.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Top Sunday Washington Post Comics of the Week for Dec. 7th

Greetings to our blog readers in Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia!

There are many comic strips which don't get into even the largest American newspapers, such as "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee," Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog," "The Flying McCoys," "The Fusco Brothers" and "Strange Brew," but here is a sample of comic strips which are in the "Washington Post."

The large metropolitan newspaper serving the nation's capital as well as much of Virginia and Maryland has an eclectic mix of legacy comic strips like "Beetle Bailey" and "Hagar the Horrible" as well as nationally established comic strips such as "Zits" and "Pearls Before Swine" as well as some trendy comic strips with cult followings like "Prickly City" and "Reply All."

"WUMO," a single panel import from Denmark, is perhaps our most favorite comic strip in the Sunday edition, but this Sunday's comic strip featuring a failed effort by a teenager to leap from the moon to earth didn't work for us, but some of our usual favorites, like "Lio," "Brewster's Rockit" and "Sherman's Lagoon" once again made the proverbial cut.

"Lio" focused on the title character having a false sense of confidence with his new paint by the numbers (hence the reason why we have the late Bob Ross for our top image), "Doonesbury," which came in second, focused on panels dedicated to each of the strip's anchor characters, and "Brewster's Rockit" featured a major brewhaha over a workplace coffee maker aboard a spaceship (Captain Kirk would be proud).

"Dustin," which has nothing do with Dustin Hoffman (bottom image), examined a father and son debating if an older man and a younger woman were romantically involved like the late Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon were back in the day or if they were father and daughter.

Meanwhile, "Sherman's Lagoon" also focused on dating, but for this comic strip, Jim Toomey had Sherman the Shark and Mrs. Shark going out on a date as a married couple who know each other just a bit too well.

Here is our top ten:

1) Lio

2) Doonesbury

3) Brewster Rockit

4) Dustin

5) Pearls Before Swine

6) Knight Life

7) Sherman's Lagoon

8) The Argyle Sweater

9) Foxtrot

10) Judge Parker

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Our New and Improved Countries We Want to Vist Bucket List

Greetings to our blog readers in Cambodia, Spain and Portugal, which are three countries which missed our cut.

Since we have recently arrived back from Costa Rica, a country that always made it onto my top 10 countries to visit list, we thought we'd provide an update, which once again has Iceland (see top image) at the top.

Morocco is second (middle image, strawberry vendor in Tangier) and Norway is third (bottom image of Bergen), and with some research as to suggestions by both Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide, countries like Georgia and Macedonia made it on to the list, as did one of the world's tiniest nations.

We were delighted to see Turkey, my late father's country, ranked high in the Rough Guide, but since we have been there 15 times, we thought we'd focus on countries we've never visited.

Here is the bucket list:

1) Iceland

2) Morocco

3) Norway

4) Georgia

5) Chile

6) Panama

7) Scotland

8) Malaysia

9) Macedonia

10) San Marino (the tiny country we were referring to)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roanoke Times Comics Survey: Get Fuzzy Edges Out Pearls Before Swine

Greetings to our beloved blog readers in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Tajikistan.......

Today, we look at our top ten favorite Sunday comic strips that were in the Nov. 30th edition of "The Roanoke Times." Traditionally, we survey both "The Roanoke Times" comic strips and "The Washington Post" comic strips, though we have had some big distractions lately. For our "Washington Post" comics survey, go to our sister blog:

This week, "Get Fuzzy" snugs the top slot just barely ahead of "Pearls Before Swine," both comic strips featured 12 panels this week, which is a bit risky and unusual.

"Get Fuzzy" which revolves around the spat between a Siamese cat named Bucky (top panel) and a clueless dog named Satchel. This week, the dog asks the cat how many cats it takes to screw in a light bulb and fireworks ensue.

In "Pearls Before Swine," the title character Rat (middle image) is stuck in calling center hell as he is trying to get a lower airline fare by pretending he needs to go to the funerals.........for several 'recently deceased' relatives.

In third place, "Zits" has parents arguing as to whether they should keep their son Jeremy's grade school art projects, which reminds me that a clay dinosaur (bottom image) I made in 1975 at an elementary school has been missing like an FBI fugitive for perhaps a full decade now!

Here is our top ten:

1) Get Fuzzy

2) Pearls Before Swine

3) Zits

4) Speed Bump

5) Garfield

6) Doonesbury

7) Jump Start

8) Dilbert

9) Agnes

10) Pickles