December 31, 2005

EarthCam's New Year's Eve Special Event

I've loved EarthCam since the first time I visited it. I still think it's extremely cool a person can be sitting at a computer in Texas and see live images of London or Paris or New York City. For the 10th consecutive year, EarthCam is featuring live coverage from Times Square on New Year's Eve. My favorite of the NYC cams since I got broadband is the streaming one. A while back, I was able to sort of feel cityrag's pain when the Howard Johnson's in Times Square shut down, because it was once clearly visible in an EarthCam cam I've frequently viewed.

EarthCam will probably be a little slower today due to increased site traffic, so be patient.

It was, at time of this post (8:45 am, central time), snowing down in Times Square.

Here are some images from other webcams you might like:

The Strand--Galveston, Texas

Harbor House at Pier 21--Galveston, Texas

Moody Gardens--Galveston, Texas

I was born and grew up on Galveston Island, so I love those!

La Grange, Texas

December 29, 2005

Come Blow Your Horn (part 3 of 3)

Alan realizes it's not Peggy (Jill St. John) at the door.

Buddy hides under the bar. Schmuck.

Sinatra holds his own in the scenes with Lee J. Cobb. Cobb was only four years older than Sinatra, yet he's playing Alan's father.

We find out the origin of the face grabbing.

Alan has been living on a steady diet of broad.

Just as Alan finally, through the use of deceit, trickery, and sheer lying, has his father convinced he's on the straight and narrow, Peggy (Jill St. John) arrives, ready to fulfill Alan's deep-seated Peter Pan fetish.

Pop leaves in a huff.

Later, Phyllis McGuire, playing Mrs. Eckman (a client of the family business with whom Alan (Sinatra) missed a meeting), makes a brief appearance. The father character (Lee J. Cobb) was so angry partly because Alan missed the meeting.

McGuire was Sam Giancana's girlfriend, and was given the part as a favor from Sinatra to Giancana.

I can't imagine why he didn't become a huge star.

Eventually, even the swingingest swingers must rest. Guess what color pajamas Alan (Sinatra) wears?

Yep. You guessed it, baby.

Not orange. What a Clyde.

Alan and Buddy awake the next morning, and I'm pretty sure Alan is hungover.

I guess Frank wore the more youthful toupe on this day.

Poor boy, he should be out playin' ball, or something.

And with a grab of Buddy's cheek, they're off to the swingercave:

First lesson of the day: "How to steal a cab"

What a guy!

Here's the musical interlude. One could break into song in the middle of a movie in 1963:

I wish I could make more of that available (UPDATE: now complete version)

"Come Blow Your Horn" was written by the great songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. They went way back with Sinatra.

...And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.

It's Frank Sinatra, Jr!

They end up at one of Sinatra's favorite mid-60s N.Y. hangouts,Toots Shor's, where they proceed to get sloshed at an astonishingly brutal pace.


By the way, there's an entire subplot dealing with the parents and another one of Alan's (Sinatra) girlfriends I've left out.

You might be suprised, but Come Blow Your Horn was not ignored when it came time for awards season in Hollywood.

Oscar nominated:
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color

    Golden Globe nominated:
  • Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy Frank Sinatra
  • Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy Jill St. John
  • Best Supporting Actor Lee J. Cobb

  • For what it's worth, Rotten Tomatoes gives it rating of "fresh" and a reading of 83%.

    December 27, 2005

    December 24, 2005

    Come Blow Your Horn (part 2 of 3)

    A typical "Clyde".

    Clyde-n. Rat Pack slang; used as a reference to someone who is "Dullsville" personified. A Clyde might reveal his essence by wearing the color brown (especially shoes) after twilight.

    And he's Alan's (Frank Sinatra) brother, straight outta:

    He's repressed by his domineering, Jewish mother, and his overbearing, Jewish father. So obviously, he turns to his irresponsible, playboy older brother. The character Buddy is played by a B-actor named Tony Bill. He had small parts in a couple of other Sinatra movies. Here is Tony Bill's nndb page. My theory is he was cast because of his slight resemblance to Frank Sinatra, Jr.

    At this point in the film, Frank brings out his secret acting weapon: the finger point.

    Note the pinky ring. This is likely to be the one given to him by this man:

    Giancana was a famous and powerful mafioso and boss of the Chicago Outfit from 1957-66.

    He could wiggle that finger and point with flourish. You can tell baby brother is in awe.

    Of course, Alan's bathroom is right out of the pages of early 60s era Esquire or Playboy.

    Frank is no doubt using the very latest, state-of-the-art portable, electric shaver.


    Just a glimpse of Sinatra's tan. He, like actor Yul Brynner, suntanned as much as possible. They had to wear less makeup on camera as a result.

    As far as little brother, Buddy, is concerned, Alan's (Sinatra) "How to be a swinger" class is in full session. First order of business is to get him into some sharp, casual duds. And what did any self-respecting playboy in the early '60s wear while he was loungin'? Why, a sweater, of course.

    Note the color.

    Frank settles for a lighter shade of orange.

    Now Alan performs a subtle, mini-lesson for Buddy, if he's paying attention. Back when men still carried handkerchiefs:

    But that one would have been for personal use. What about one for the ladies?

    Got it covered.

    Alan implores Buddy to pull his finger. He might just be pointin', though. You know Frank.

    The face-grabbing thing he does is getting a little bit odd.

    At this point, the "How to swing" class moves over to the bar. Alan prefers getting his little brother sloshed than listening to his whining about life back home in Yonkers, with mom and dad.

    C'mon, cheer up kid...booze!

    Just focus on the booze.

    In this shot, you can see detail of the forcep scarring Sinatra received moments after his birth. The forceps ripped off most of his left ear lobe, as well.

    The doorbell rings. It must be a broad! No, its:

    ...pop, played by Lee J. Cobb, and he's pissed off with Alan, and looking for Buddy.

  • Part three of three.