Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Latest

-The Blues could easily be 9-2. Andy Murray is not happy with the 7-4 of reality. Everywhere I go people are talking about the team with great excitement. I hope the expectations aren't too high. While making the playoffs is a realistic goal for this season...let's remember that John Davidson and company are very early in a re-building process that A) I'd hate to see destroyed by trading some great prospects....and B) will be a few more years in developing into a fully legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

-Interesting to see that the Cardinals have contacted Curt Schilling's agent about a possible contract for next season. Might be a good fit. But at what price? New GM John Mozeliak has at least come out of the gate running.

-Jim Edmonds put out a challenge to himself on local TV Thursday evening while promoting his new restaurant. Jimmy Baseball said he feels better than he has in years and intends to prove that he's still an elite centerfielder in '08. Let's hope he's right, and he does.

-Clocks moving from savings to standard time. Can't we all agree on one time for the whole year? What am I missing?

-Saw the Sean Penn written and directed Into the Wild at the movie house the other night. Based on the true, post-collegiate adventures of Christopher McCandless in the early 90's, I found it to be a sad yet wonderful that you walk out of the theater knowing has deeply affected you...but also wishing the real-life, unhappy ending could be changed. I hope it will garner Penn some Oscar consideration for how beautifully it was shot and presented. Lead actor Emile Hirsch was also outstanding. And you might look for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for 70-something Hal Holbrook out of this one too.

-Speaking of outstanding performances. Talented niece Lindsay Heffernan did our family proud as Natasha in the Mascoutah High School presentation of Woody Allen's, Don't Drink the Water. (A TV movie with Michael J. Fox in the starring role was made from the play in 1994) Not only was Lindsay perfect as Natasha, but she had to learn the part in just a few weeks after being asked to jump into the role at the last minute. Lindsay is likely headed for Champaign-Urbana and the U. of I. in '08.

-Is anybody excited about any of the candidates for President in '08. Seems like Hillary is talked about most...but not because she's top dog. Mostly because she's a she. What I find interesting at this point is the groundswell that's beginning to form for underdog and GOP outsider candidate Dr. Ron Paul. It seems his message is starting to connect with a lot of folks...and mostly by way of the internet. More, if you're interested, by clicking his photo at right.

-Baffling in many ways. The case of the River Man, as he's being called by police. The body recovered from the Mississippi River in June that's been in the St. Louis morgue since. Noone has inquired about the man and nobody has any clue as to who he is. No fingerprint matches. No ID or papers on the body. Just a watch that he was wearing that they're hoping someone will recognize. Geez...someboy is missing a son, or grandson, or dad, or uncle and either doesn't know it...or doesn't care. Sad.

-So, son Stewart treks to Hollywood a couple of months ago to pursue an acting career. He gets great reviews in his first on-stage role out there...and Whammo...a writers strike. Because Stew is in the early stages of career growth, it's hard to say what impact the strike (set to start on Monday) will have on him. But here are some of the facts--(lifted from Reuters)--on the strike itself-

* Economists estimate a strike of the same duration as the 1988 walkout (22 weeks) would result in at least $1 billion in economic losses.
* The U.S. film and television industry employs more than 200,000 people -- from actors and directors to hairstylists, electricians, truck drivers and clerks.
* The motion picture and TV industry generates $30 billion in annual economic activity for Los Angeles County alone.
* One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the contract talks has been writers' demand for an increase in the "residual" fees they earn on the reuse of their work on DVDs -- from about 4 cents for every DVD to about 8 cents.
* The studios say members of the WGA West earned $56 million in DVD residuals last year.
* The union says the total compensation package sought by writers would cost $220 million over three years, a fraction of the $24.4 billion in revenues generated by U.S. DVD sales and rentals last year alone, according to accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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