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The Best Movies You Never Heard of – Part 1

June 22, 2015

I’ve always had a taste for obscure and idiosyncratic movies. A long time ago there was a video store in Pasadena that was unlike any I’d ever seen before. Videodeon specialized in films for movie lovers. They had a large art film section, an even larger foreign film section, a healthy collection of little indie films, and a bunch of “drive-in classics.” As might be expected, the store only lasted a few years, but while it was there, we found ourselves exposed to a lot of interesting films, many of which don’t involve CGI monsters blowing things up. Here are a few of our favorite films you may not have seen or may have forgotten about.

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E.S.T. in the Slow Cooker

June 15, 2015

While both of my sisters are wonderful cooks, I think I just didn’t get that gene. I mean, I’m OK, I can read a recipe (following it is whole ‘nother thing), but mostly I just can’t be bothered. I do like my rice cooker but I admit, I love my slow cooker. I can just throw stuff in there, and at the end of the day, voilà! perfectly cooked food! Easy peasy. Most of my recipes are simple. VERY simple. That often means that they are also relatively inexpensive to make as well. I think they are tasty too. Easy, Simple, Tasty – how can you beat that?

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A Luxurious Afternoon Tea For 15 Cents!

June 4, 2015

  Afternoon Tea at the The Langham Hotel, Pasadena is like stepping through a glorious doorway to another time and continent. Relax in the beautiful surroundings overlooking the gardens while you savor a wonderful array of tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, tarts, luscious fruit, and delicate French macarons as you sip from the elegant Wedgwood […]

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Backroads Bookscouting

May 27, 2015

I should make it clear from the beginning that the way we do this isn’t the way real bookscouts do it.
The real ones—the ones who do it for a living—play hardball. For them it’s business. They have a set route of places they go to check for books, they’ve got client lists and handheld barcode scanners and a budget. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Professional bookscouts still love books—no one goes into the book business that doesn’t love books, the margins are too low. But it’s a business for the working bookscouts, they have bills to pay. For me and my wife, it’s just a hobby.

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The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be

May 20, 2015

I recently saw the new Disney film Tomorrowland (my review will be at GeekDad.com on Friday morning), and it got me to thinking about some of the themes that underlie the film. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here; I’m just talking about philosophy and the zeitgeist, not the movie.)

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

May 1, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a solid and well-crafted film in which writer/director Joss Whedon displays a deft hand at juggling a huge cast of characters and alternating between quiet character moments and big loud explodey action sequences. Lots of big loud explodey action sequences across three continents.

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A Strange Magic Musical Interlude

January 9, 2015

Since I’m going to visit Skywalker Ranch next week, the fine folks at Lucasfilm are giving me and the others on the trip some special previews and features before the general public sees them; in fact, the general public won’t see them until we bloggers do our part and share them. So here we go, a little snippet from Strange Magic.

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Off to Skywalker Ranch!

January 7, 2015

Once again I’m jetting off to the San Francisco Bay area for another sneak preview of some upcoming films, courtesy of the fine folks at Disney. On Monday, January 12, I and another couple dozen bloggers will pay a visit to the legendary Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas’ magic factory where Han Solo and Howard the […]

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GuerilLA: Causing Scenes

December 1, 2014

The central theme of “Blue Collar, Black Tie” has always been about experiences; getting to do fun things without spending a lot of money. Sometimes that means going to a concert, theatre or art gallery, and other times it means doing something silly in public just because you can. Today we’re going to talk about the latter.

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Costumes from Your Printer

October 27, 2014

Re-running an article from last year because it’s useful…. It’s the day before Halloween; you didn’t go to any parties over the weekend, you weren’t planning on doing anything special tomorrow, so you didn’t think you needed a costume this year. But you’ve just learned that you’re expected to dress up in costume for work […]

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