NOT Outlander or General Commentary

BLACK SAILS FINALE – originally posted April 3, 2017

This post was written by my partner  ( @BlkOps6 on Twitter)  and, since he doesn’t have a good space to post something like this and I completely agree with what he has written, I’ve given him space here.

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Thoughts about the final episode of Black Sails.

One of the most striking aspects of the series finale for Black Sails is the almost unbelievable way that the writers were able to pull everything together for the finale. I was completely convinced after watching last week’s episode that there was absolutely no way that they could do a credible job in wrapping things up in only one night. I was horribly wrong. While so many story threads were left hanging out there to be finalized, the final hour not only pulled them all together, it did so in a way that didn’t seem rushed or contrived. Amazing work from the entire crew that puts this show together both in front of, and behind the camera.

Epic performances by the cast as usual but in the finale they took this to an entirely new level. One of my favorite aspects of this show is how they managed to portray pirates as real people with intelligence, emotion, passion. They were not at all “Disneyfied” as they are in most shows of this type. Instead the creators of Black Sails managed to make our hero’s and villain’s (sometimes the same character) real and not a caricature of the stereotypical pirate.

Each and every one of the characters in this show from season one’s opener to the series’ close, had an amazing journey. I love how they played on that in the finale with the Long John Silver and the cook hiding in the hold moment. So much to accomplish in this final hour and yet they managed to throw nuggets like that in. I can’t think of any other TV series that managed to do as well as this one for character development. Are the final characters that we watched last night anything like the ones we all met in episode one? Flint, Silver, Anne, Jack, and maybe the best example Billy Bones, could anyone have seen how these characters would evolve? I think not and that is the beauty and vision of the show’s creative team. Well done all.

The two things that stand out from the final show that disappoint me are that One: Billy hit the water and not the deck in his fall, and Two: Flint living out the rest of his life in captivity. I say that knowing it had to be that way and that maybe both are really for the best. Billy had to live on for the “Treasure Island” thread but man, I wanted him dead. Flint, with no war to fight and no direction to go from here would have been lost. In this way maybe he gets a semblance of peace. He truly did have to be “unmade”.

I would love to do a character study on each of the characters on this show but it would be redundant. It has already been done for us each and every week brought to us in vivid color by the show’s creators. They brought the depth and passion to the screen for us every episode. The cast gave us all the detail in their magnificent portrayals. Anything that I would write would pale in comparison to what they have already given us. Not only did they give us characters that I would be proud to “raise the black” and follow but they also gave us ones that we love to hate. That is such a hard thing to pull off but they did it admirably.

As someone living on a sailboat on the start of a trip around the world, of course this show would resonate in my bones, but if I were an actor, what they managed to accomplish in four seasons would make me proud to be a part of. In my opinion each of the cast on this show did amazing work to bring to life an incredible story. They should all be applauded.

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Twitter Q & A with Zach McGowan – originally posted March 24, 2016

For those not on Twitter, I captured the Q & A Zach did today so others could see it. Some really great questions and answers!

Screenshot - 3_24_2016 , 9_48_21 AMTwitter 24 March 2016 A

Twitter 24 March 2016 B

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Would Love an “IN DEATH” Series – Who to cast for Eve/Roarke?!
Originally posted July 28, 2015

The “In Death” Series by J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

During an extended visit to my dad, I was looking for reading material. I finished the novel I was writing and wanted a nice break. My aunt had gotten my dad hooked on this series so he had most of the books there waiting to be read. This particular series moved very quickly when I ran a book department, but I had not gotten around to them in my huge list of things I wanted to read.

I am having a great time with this series, love the characters and am currently on book 25 out of 40! (EDIT: Have read all the published books, waiting for the next one.) These are murder mysteries that carry the same characters throughout the series. For most of the books it takes me 3/4 of the way through, at least, to figure out ‘who done it’. This is good as I can usually figure it out earlier than that and I love a challenge! In some of the books, the who is given early on, but the how and why is very elusive. One of my favorite things in these books, however is the character interaction. The characters are layered and ‘real’ – they grow and evolve as the series is progressing. Being set a bit into the future lets the author have a bit of fun with things too.

Eve Dallas is the lead character; a tough as nails homicide cop who has a lot of personal demons to deal with every time she walks on a scene. She’s been alone most her life and, as the series is progressing, is slowly starting to get a small, loyal group of friends around her that she isn’t quite sure what to do with. She’s a good cop with a sixth sense of getting inside the bad guys heads.

Roarke is Eve’s counterpoint in the books. Irish, brought up in very rough circumstances and chose not so legal ways of making his fortune. Tall, dark, handsome & rich – he’s more than a bit dangerous both to Eve and any that would hurt her. Robb has written some smoking sex scenes between these two, but it’s also appropriate to who the characters are and, while well done, doesn’t overpower or detract from the stories. (I mean, my dad reads these!) Roarke is a very complex and layered character that struggles between who he has always been; stepping over, around and sometimes through the law to achieve his goals – and this ‘by the book’ cop he suddenly can’t seem to live without. It is not always an easy pairing.

There is a medley of supporting characters that are unique and intrinsic to each story. These characters, too, travel through the books adding depth and a growing sense of family. The interaction between all the characters is a huge part of what keeps me reading these books. A person could probably pick up any of these books to read and enjoy it as a standalone story, but starting at the beginning and working through is preferable to get the ongoing story of the characters in order.

I don’t tend to get hard ‘pictures’ of characters in my head – probably why I didn’t flip out at the casting for Outlander. I have a sense of the character more than a face or an exact body type. I got to thinking though, there are plenty of books for several seasons of episodes; who could I see as Eve & Roarke if this were a series or movie. This is what I came up with.

MariaHill1-Avengers

EVE DALLAS – THE WOMAN BEHIND THE BADGE

Cobie Smulders plays Maria Hill on the Avengers movies. She seems (to me) to have about the right body type and height to play the kick ass Eve, though here hair would have to change to a mixed brown. She can definitely do the attitude and the moves that Eve is so known for.

For Roarke?

ROARKE – THE MAN BEHIND EVE

Now my guy came up with this thought for Roarke……must admit, the idea is growing on me.

Zach-McGowan-23 with credit

I could see Zach McGowan as Roarke…. the more I think about it the more I like it.

You can learn more about the books HERE

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PET PEEVE – MAKEUP (originally posted April 9, 2015)

I constantly see these ‘SEE STARS WITHOUT THEIR MAKEUP – SHOCKING PHOTOS’  I have so many issues about this but, I’ll try to address the important ones.

1) If they were honest they’d say ‘actresses’. Seriously are there EVER guys in these line-ups?

2) Most of these line-ups are just mean and very skewed in what is presented

3) These things are very, very damaging on several levels

 #1. I don’t KNOW this for a fact, but I’d be willing to bet any of the actors (meaning males) that walk red carpets and will be stopped for questions are wearing makeup. They almost have to. Having been on stage and worked on a couple of sets, I know what that harsh lighting does. Unless you have a perfect tan or naturally dark skin you get totally washed out. You look like a ghost and it comes across very badly on screen. So why do the guys never get put in these lineups?! 

Because there is such a big difference in the look. The guys use the makeup to not wash out, the gals are all about the glam. The carpet events are where you make it the best you can – OTT – more beautiful than is real. That is fine. The problem is when you compare it to the other end of the spectrum!

This leads directly to #2. They take a picture of some actress all glammed up for a red carpet event and the comparison photo is her coming out of the gym after a workout. So no makeup, hair messy, face puffy and/or blotchy….of course they are going to look worlds apart and the second photo is very unflattering. What ticks me off about it is how they make it these women are looking so awful when they have gone out of their way to find pictures that will do just that! The comments also tend to be very, snotty. Some of these women are damn pretty without makeup, yet the comments say very unkind things.

To be fair….I have seen a FEW – a very few – comments that are nice. ‘Such a fresh face’ or ‘beautiful eyes’….but overall, they are unkind and frankly, not true.

Which brings us to damaging. First of all, for people that have never had to wear performance makeup – you just have no idea. I’m sure it has improved over the years, but it’s still really BAD for the skin. Even ‘normal’ makeup isn’t good for you really. It can give a great look and make you ‘pretty’ – but at a cost. I’ve had many people compliment me on my skin – for years. People tend to guess my age at least 10 years younger than I am – more often 15 – 20 years younger. I know absolutely it’s because I almost never wear makeup. No, not even mascara. Blistex Silk & Shine for my lips. If a special occasion I’ll put on eye makeup and a touch of blush. Something REALLY special (say a wedding) where I might have pictures taken (though I avoid cameras usually because of my weight) I’ll wear foundation with the rest. I worked with a girl in her 20’s that had really horrible skin and caked on the make-up because of that. Just looking at her skin she looked much older. I finally convinced her that her skin was that bad because of the makeup and got her to drastically change how and what she applied. Within a month her skin had vastly improved.

These ladies can’t always have perfect skin because they ARE in makeup so much of the time! Besides, very few people in the world have ‘perfect’ skin – why should they? They are human beings with lives. Lovers, children, a career – a stressful career and we have no idea of their RL struggles.

The other thing that makes this so damaging (aside from, no matter how thick skinned someone gets working in Hollywood, those snotty comments have to sting if not downright hurt) is making it seem like that false beauty and perfection are better than the real person. What happened to standing up for the right thing and empowering women?! Stating – even passively – that made up, unreal beauty is better than who you really are is just……….not cool.

Honestly, on a couple of the ones I looked through, I thought many of the ladies looked BETTER without all the glam makeup! They had a natural beauty that was so much more appealing.

What I would love to see is some enterprising fashion or celebrity journalist do one of these ‘STARS WITHOUT MAKE-UP’ with a very different twist. Use the glam photos on one side, but on the other, have the ‘no makeup’ be just that. A posed shot taken by a photographer – just like for the glam shot. The lighting would have to be adjusted for that, but a truly comparable picture. Not catching them after exercise class or coming off a 15 hour flight or running out for an early morning coffee on the weekend! Make it a truly comparable thing!

A lot of big name actresses are doing ‘selfies’ on Twitter and FB and such – but it would be nice to see a known outlet do a real story on this celebrating what they can be all made up as the ‘actress’ AND the real woman they are at home. Heck, make it interesting and throw a few guys in maybe. Instead of saying THIS is more beautiful than THAT, have the person in question give an empowering quote or helpful tip about makeup or skincare or just care of yourself.

Just a thought.

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FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE – Originally posted Oct. 22, 2013

EDITED 2 November 2015

I got this in an email a long time ago. No idea who wrote it or where it originated…but I think it is very pertinent in the current climate. Thought I’d share.
“Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.”
Thomas Jefferson

FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE:

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. “Free” men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don’t know your rights you don’t have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.

11. What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

12. The 2nd Amendment in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911 – government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control — it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the “gun control laws” we HAVE, don’t make more.

24. When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would’ve never happened with gun control.

26. “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”

 

PLEASE PASS THIS “REFRESHER” ON TO FREE CITIZENS

 

2 November  2015

There was an armed robbery thwarted in Chicago yesterday by a citizen with a CC permit. The criminal was killed and no one else was hurt. There was question as to whether the man who kept the robbery – or any other possible crime – from happening would be charged.

As always, reading through the “Comments” section of the story in question is enlightening and educational about people. One poster included the following and I thought I’d share here:

The 13 Rules of Gun Fighting

These are the rules of gun fighting everyone should know

Have a gun.

Some words to the wise. Shooting Advice from various Concealed Carry Instructors. If you own a gun, you will appreciate this. If not, you should get one and learn how to use it.

1) Guns have only two enemies: rust and politicians.

2) It’s always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

3) Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you. (remember this truism at all times)

4) Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside arm’s length.

5) Never say “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off. (“Glock’s” are the exception to this rule…)

6) The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes, the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second. (the police are there to fill out the crime scene report…make sure that you are still there to so that it’s an accurate report)

7) The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win – cheat if necessary.

8) Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets…You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, cause it’ll be empty.

9) If you’re in a gun fight:
If you’re not shooting, you should be loading.
If you’re not loading, you should be moving.
If you’re not shooting, moving or loading, you’re probably dead… or soon to be.

10) In a life and death situation, do something…It may be wrong, but do something!

11) If you carry a gun, people call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?

12) You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or any other word, but a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s forehead is pretty much….. universal language.

13) You cannot save the planet, but you may be able to save yourself and your family.

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