Tag Archives: Jim Dale

Hey, I think something’s happening today

Now what was it? I know it had something to do with one of my geek obsessions. I’m getting a book vibe, no! A movie vibe. Wait – both?!

Oh yeah, nothing big. Just part one of the last Harry Potter movie. As Ted Mosby would say, “Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.”

Yeah, I know. Makes no sense.

But yeah, I was just reminded that today is November 19th and it struck me that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 comes out today and I actually gasped. (I’m such a dork).

I’ve seen all the movies in the theater except the first and I hope to finish them that way, but getting to the movies has proven difficult for us the past few years. There’s the cost, yes, but mostly it’s because we hate dealing with people. We won’t be happy going to the theater again until cell phones are banned inside the building and ushers actually kick assholes out. Don’t see that happening anytime soon so we just don’t go.

We missed Toy Story 3, The Expendables, Scott Prilgrim Versus the World. Hell, we’ve missed most everything for two years now. The last movie we saw in the theater was Iron Man 2 and before that, I think it was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

I’ve been re-reading the books. I haven’t been in a voracious reading mood lately so it’s going a little slow, which is good, actually. I’m processing more. Picking up on those little clues, names, etc. I’m on number four now, my least favorite of the series, but I’m enjoying it more this time than I ever have. I decided to re-read them because I’ve been following Mark Reads Harry Potter and I realized I remember so very little from Deathly Hallows. I’ve only read that one twice.

I can’t count how many times I’ve read the others, especially the first three. When I started with my current employer five years ago, all I did all day was scan documents. This was very boring so I listened to audio books. I don’t have many audio books – about ten – so I listened to them all many times. I had the first three Potter books (read by the spectacular Jim Dale) and I listened to them over and over. Never got bored with them. That’s really saying something.

J.K. Rowling may have her writing flaws – those pesky adverbs being one, but really, what writer doesn’t have that problem? – but her storytelling is off the chart. She also managed to create a hero that is so very human while still being a great HERO. Very rarely in these types of long stories is the main character my favorite character, but Harry is my favorite. He is very much a normal kid – average grades, typical pre-teen/teen hangups, all the flaws that come with that. But he rises above all that and does what he has to do to save the world, utilizing his strengths and having the intelligence and humility to turn to others for help when his own abilities aren’t enough.

Here’s to Harry Potter (via J.K. Rowling) – for changing the world for the better by teaching kids (and adults) about tolerance, true friendship and the importance of standing up for what you think is right.

A bad walk with a happy ending

We have a dog so every day, after work, the pooch gets a long walk so she can…ahem, ‘use the facilities.’ Today’s walk was such an exemplary example of why I want to leave Florida.

I wasn’t even halfway down the block when I saw a young couple, in their mid-teens, arguing in the street. Yes, in the street, not on the sidewalk. I try not to eavesdrop, but I was soon about to turn back to call the police because the boy was obviously harassing the poor girl. Fortunately, he finally gave up and went home.

Fine, good. We get to the corner and this young man on a bike says excuse me and cycles past. Half a minute later, I hear a screech and I turn around fast, thinking the punk came back to harass the girl and she’s screaming. Nope, it’s another biker, this one a real idiot, going too fast, riding on a walking trail and almost plowing me and my dog over.

I keep walking to find that the two bikers (obviously together) had stopped to listen to two people, who were also walking their dogs, argue. The bikers didn’t know either of the people (you could tell by the way the two were looking at the bikers) they were just there for the show. Then the two bikers got back onto the walking path, in front of me, and stopped dead to talk. I cursed rather loudly, which is something I rarely do in public, did an about-face and went the other way.

I take China over to the large field that is part of the apartment complex and she’s finally able to relieve herself. I turned to walk her back home when I see some woman letting her large dog loose onto the field. There are leash laws, it’s against the apartment complex rules to have unleashed dogs and I didn’t know that dog from Adam. If it attacked my dog, there wasn’t much I could do to stop it. So, I hike all the way around just to avoid the bimbo and her dog. (The dog was probably perfectly fine, but I won’t risk it. I needed the extra exercise anyway.)

So, there it is in a nutshell, why I hate South Florida. The simplest things can turn into a nightmare and 9 times out of 10 it’s because of morons who have no regard for anyone but themselves. Yes, I am perfectly aware that there are morons everywhere, probably even in Maine, but I can certainly guarantee you that there are less and maybe even less in proportion.

As for the good news: Hot Lead and Cold Feet is on DVD and I didn’t even know it was going to be released! Woo hoo!

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One of my favorite Disney movies, it stars Jim Dale in a triple role as twin brothers and their cranky father. The film also stars Don Knotts and Jack Elam, but Jim Dale shines in his roles, playing each one so convincingly different that it is easy to forget that one man played all three parts. I have been a fan of Mr. Dale’s ever since I saw this film when I was a child and he’s equally as good in his other Disney films, Pete’s Dragon and The Unidentified Flying Oddball (aka A Spaceman in King Arthur’s Court). He is most famous currently, however, for performing the American audio books of all the Harry Potter novels.

So, if you enjoy comedy westerns made for the family with a 70’s Disney flavor, I highly recomend Hot Lead and Cold Feet. It’s a lot of fun full of great performances!