Local television giant, Eddie Driscoll, has passed away. Here's a part of one obit piece:
Quiet and more reserved when not on camera, Driscoll morphed into another personality, dozens of personalities over the years, once he hit the sound stage.
"As soon as that camera came on he just turned into a totally different person," said Margo Cobb, former general manager and vice president of WLBZ 2 in Bangor.
Through his slapstick, visual comedy style and quirky characters such as the baggy-dressed Margaret, the dim-witted Bruce Budworm and the lovable Mason Mutt, Driscoll became a household name in Maine and the Maritime Provinces. [Bangor Daily News: TV pioneer Eddie Driscoll dies at 81]
I remember Mason Mutt, and I once witnessed Driscoll's his "quiet and more reserved" off-camera persona. When in elementary school I once became awestruck upon seeing him at a dingy local shopping center. I couldn't bring myself to speak to him, but seeing the glow of adulation on my face, he simply smiled graciously.
I mostly remember watching him on The Great Money Movie when I was a little bit older; calling people at random during the breaks to ask if they knew the word that had flashed up on the screen during the movie; dialing the numbers with the flair required to make operating a rotary telephone on TV entertaining; and narrating the call as he waited for the person to pick up, "One ringy-dingy . . . Two ringy-dingy . . ." For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I loved that shtick. I was scarred by watching Hitchcock's The Birds on the Great Money Movie, but I most looked forward to Battlestar Galactica week, and the Woody Woodpecker and Chilly Willy cartoons they showed to fill up the airtime allotted for the program.
But there was more to the man than what I remember. Long before my time, he cut his teeth in the early days of television. Here's a bit of a retrospective piece from a couple of years ago:
Eddie had one of the first TV morning shows. He'd do interviews and comedy bits and, of course, the commercials. Cobb says no one thought the morning show would work, "The powers-that-be decided that no one would watch television in the morning."
Eddie Driscoll was a natural TV performer and a natural comedian in his prime in the era of the legendary TV comics like Sid Cesar. "He was as good as they were," says Cobb, "Regrettably he lived in Bangor, Maine and didn't have the promoter to push him into New York." [aroundmaine.com: The Genius of Eddie Driscoll]
And apparently he was among the first television performers to be hassled by uptight company censors:
Sometimes Eddie would push the envelope. "He needed a censor." Margo Cobb says, "Unless you really got on top of him he could be a little naughty." Eddie wasn’t above letting humorous double entendre slip out over the pristine air of WLBZ. Green agrees sometime Eddie let things slip that maybe shouldn’t have been said on TV. [Ibid.]
Sadly, in his fifties, the changed nature of the television business and early effects of Alzheimer's disease, meant less opportunity for him to shine. He retired from the business in 1987 after 33 years. Over time, Alzheimer’s would take a heartbreaking toll and rob Driscoll of the ability to communicate.
Over the years, quite often, Eddie Driscoll entered my thoughts. I wondered. "Whatever happened to him?" Today, I know it is time to mourn the suffering he and his family endured, mark his death, but most importantly, continue celebrating his career. Farewell, Eddie Driscoll.
[The image, and much of the biographical information comes from that aroundmaine.com link.]
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993 . . . & etc. forever.
Archimedes' constant. It's the ratio of a pie's circumference to its diameter. Very useful for determining how much pie you have: Simply multiply the square of your pie's radius by Archimedes' constant (pi) to find the surface area. Multiply that by the thickness to find the volume! Note: your pie pan is probably not a cylinder. For precision, be careful to measure the radius on a plane half way up the pie's thickness.
In a tense stand-off on Monday, Montag surrounded the governmental palace of Doodle Bean -- formerly revered originator and leader of "I Miss Fafblog, Spot!" -- with tanks and armored personnel carriers. Today, after running out of Yoo-hoo and Cheetohs, Doodle Bean surrendered and was whisked away to a secret prison in Khajikistan.
Doodle Bean now realizes that all the money should have gone to armaments instead of toward that luxurious lifestyle! Darn!
Today Was Talk Like a Pirate Day And Constitution Day!
We the Salty tars of the United States, in Order to be formin' a more perfect Union, establishin' Justice, insurin' domestic Tranquility, providin' for the common defence, promotin' the general Welfare, and securin' the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our bonnie lads and lasses what comes after us, be ordainin' and establishin' this Constitution for the United States of 'Merica. Arrrrrrrrrrr!
GIZ: Exactly! He's capitulating to the envirofascists and surrendering in the face of climaterrorism! He's weak and it's time to correct course.
FAL: But Gizzard, the Constitution says the President "shall hold his Office during the Term a four Years" and it hasn't been four years since the last Presidential election yet.
GIZ: The Constitution also gives the President absolute Unitary Executive power to rule over every aspect of the country and its people! But when the President fails to do that duty, it becomes our "duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for (our) future security."
FAL: Wait a sec, Gizzard. Do you think the President hasn't done enough on wielding absolute power over the country and people?!
GIZ: Are you kidding, Falkor? What kind of "Unitary Executive" crawls pleading, to Congress,begging for permission to spy on and detain the very terrorists he declares are terrorists with all the impunity necessary for the battle?
FAL: Uhhh... OK, Gizzard. We'll just set aside the Constitutional issues. What's your platform?
GIZ: Complete Safety. When I'm President, I will not rest until every last one of my underlings is completely safe from terror, no matter how insignificant.
FAL: You make a valid point there, Gizzard. The risk of any particular person becoming a victim a terrorism is kinda insignificant.
GIZ: No! Everyone, everywhere -- even though safer than before -- still must walk this life fraught with grave, terrifying, palpable danger! It's my underlings that are insignificant.
FAL: Oh. But is it productive for people to walk through life worryin about somethin happenin that's about as likely as gettin struck by lightenin?
GIZ: Falkor, you misperceive an essential truth. Sure, the odds against being struck by lightning at any given time are very great. But if you stand on high ground during a thunder storm where the worst of it is coming down, your odds become more grim, no? I call this the Lightning Rod Principle.
GIZ: Well, living in the greatest country in the world during an International War on Terror is exactly the same. Freedom is our lightning rod: a lightning rod for terror! This is why we must forge a lightning rod for terror out of the mettle of freedom in Iraq. A well constructed one will draw the terrorist current away from the homeland. It's kind of like flypaper -- only with FIRE!
FAL: Don't you mean metal? The lightning rod for terror in Iraq should be forged out a metal?
GIZ: No, mettle of freedom. Mettle of freedom!
FAL: Good idea! Those Medals a Freedom are a dime a dozen lately! You could make all a them guys who messed up Iraq in the first place give em back for the good a the project.
GIZ: METTLE. We need mettle. The grit and fortitude and perseverance to fight the forever war for Victory! For the Iraq of tomorrow.
FAL: "Forever War?!" I don't think that's such a great election slogan, Gizzard.
GIZ: No. I'm calling it the "Tomorrow War." Much more bright and optimistic, right?
FAL: Tomorrow, tomorrow, you're only a day away.
GIZ: Yeah. Now you're getting it.
FAL: See, don't you think a message of hope is more hopeful than a fearful message of fear? You seem pretty to be layin it on pretty thick.
GIZ: Falkor, fear is natural and necessary for survival. If you do not heed your fear, you will eventually die. So embrace your fear: VOTE GIZZARD, and keep on living!
FAL: Well, you've certainly convinced me! You've got my vote in November!
GIZ: Thanks! Thank you for your support.
The events and characters depicted in this bloggoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living, dead or bloginary, is purely coincidental... Or is it intentional? I always forget how that goes.
The simple act of teaching a child to read or an adult to read has the capacity to transform nations and yield the peace we all want," the president said at the White House Conference on Global Literacy being hosted in New York by the first lady. "You can't realize the blessings of liberty if you can't read a ballot.
DEAR DOODLE: I am trying to find out if my marriage is something I can stay in and still remain sane. My husband has a very demanding job which takes all his time. He is also responsible for making a lot of very important decisions.
He is regarded by many as "perfect". He is a strong Christian even though he doesn't go to church unless I make him. He wants to make all the decisions about everything - including what I wear and who I see, but he doesn't always know the right thing to do. He feels it is his job to take care of me and everybody else in the country. Lately, a lot fewer people like him, so it's had an impact.
In short, he is drinking again. He had a wild youth until he was 40 or so, but he found the Lord and stopped all the drinking, drugs and wild behavior. Our marriage has been pretty solid and my only complaint up until recently was his love of fart jokes. I always thought he was immature but he always told me to loosen up. So, I did for the sake of my marriage.
But his recent behavior is too much. He forgets he is married to me and forgets he has a lot of people relying on him. And he is starting to do really stupid things. Like he got drunk before we commemorated a really important anniversary last week and ended up doing some things which drove me crazy -- like stepping on the American flag and staggering on the way to a commemorative pool where we were supposed to put a wreath (it was the anniversary of some deaths). I had to do all the work because he was about to pass out. Then he blacked out and didn't remember these things, so I showed him the news photographs. Then he started yelling about 'photoshopping', whatever that is. (Shopping for photos?)
He has been afraid for some time that I'll stop off somewhere and "meet up with someone." But he is the one who is having a long-term affair with a co-worker (he doesn't think I know, but I do). This has all become completely exhausting. We obviously fight a lot because of his drinking and these issues. Then his bodyguards step in when I start to yell so I can't even let him know what I think.
I am trying hard to make this work, but everything inside of me says this will not change, this is not normal, and no one can continue like this. Your thoughts?
DEAR DRAINED: My thoughts are that he either sees a couples therapist with you, or you see a lawyer on your own. There is something wrong with this man, and you are correct that you cannot live like this. And what is with the bodyguards? Is he paranoid?
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to live with an alcoholic with their grandiosity, controlling behavior, blackouts and criticism. The problem is his to fix. If he fixes it, then you can see what remains.
Q. How are you, Secretary Rumsfeld? A. Could I be doing better? Yes. Am I still sleeping at night despite the intense criticism I've been receiving in the past several months? Yes. Am I using any drugs to get to sleep during this difficult time? No. Alcohol is NOT a drug!
Q. Thanks for speaking with us today. Some have said.. A. Have some said I should resign? Yes. Have others said that I should be fired? Yes. Will I resign? No. Will I be fired? Can't tell. As far as I know, George is the only one who can fire me and he is still returning my calls.
Q. Ummmmm... O.K. I was wondering how you feel about... A. Do I feel great about the way the War in Iraq is going? No. Could it be going better? Of course. And showers of gold could be flowing like water out of my ears. But it's not going to happen. Will we stay the course until Iraq is free? Of course. Will it cost us? Yes. Do I feel great about that? No. The death or injury if any of our young men is a great burden to me.
Q. What about the death and injury of young women? A. What do you mean?
Q. Women are in the military too. A. Are they? Didn't know that. Are the deaths and injuries of our young men and women a great burden to me? Yes.
Q. Ummmmm.... You didn't even know there were women in the military? A. Do I know everything about our Armed Services? No. Nobody can know everything about our Armed Services. Do I have to know everything about the Armed Services in order to lead them? Not necessarily. General Macarthur didn't know squat about his Armed Forces and he is considered a great man and a great military leader today. As a matter of fact, I was just having a conversation with him about what we should do in Iraq. Did he say "Stay the course or the terrorists will have won"? Yes.
Q. Hmmmm... Secretary Rumsfeld, I don't know how to say this but... A. Do I feel bad about the injuries and deaths suffered by our brave young men in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yes...
Q. General Macarthur is dead, sir! A. Is Gen. Macarthur dead? Yes. Is this is shocking news? Yes. Was he a great man and a great leader? Yes.
Q. O.K., Secretary Rumsfeld. I'm going to end the int... A. Are you going to end the interview now? Yes. Am I going to thank you for your time? No. Are you going to thank me for my time...
Q. Thanks for your time, Secretary Rumsfeld. Get me outta here! A. Do I feel bad for the deaths and injuries of our brave young fighting men throughout the world?
And don't let them slippery Pennsylvania Dutch convince you it's their creation. It was born in Maine. Just like Paul Bunyan. (Don't start with me, Minnesota!)
I will say this: if it is to supplant the Black-Capped Chickadee as state bird, we're gonna have to do something about the filling. Try whipped cream rather than that shortening-based frosting. Too sugary! There's nothin worse than a greasy, sugary state bird.
We might have to move it to the refrigerated section, but a small price to pay if you ask me.
At the hour of the serpent (10 a.m.), on the day of his death, his disciples brought him an image of Amida, three feet high, and as they put it on the right side of his bed, asked him if he could see it. With his finger pointing to the sky he said, 'There is another Buddha here besides this one. Do you not see him?' Then he went on to say, 'As a result of the merit of repeating the sacred name, I have, for over ten years past, continually been gazing on the glory of the Pure Land, and the very forms of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but I have kept it secret and said nothing about it. Now, however, as I draw near the end, I disclose it to you.' The disciples then took a piece of cord made of five-colored strands, fastened it to the hand of the Buddha's image, and asked Honen to take hold of it." (Honen, the Buddhist Saint: His Life and Teaching, p.636.)
HELSINKI (Reuters) - A squirrel scampered into the bicycle wheel of an unlucky Finnish opera singer, causing him to fall, knock himself out and break his nose just ahead of the world premiere of a new opera. Esa Ruuttunen was pedalling his way to the Helsinki Opera House last month when the squirrel ran into his spokes. The singer ended up concussed and in a local hospital, rather than at his rehearsals for the Finnish opera Kaarmeen hetki (Hour of the Serpent), which opens on September 15. "He is not yet singing in rehearsals, but thinks he will be able to perform at the world premiere," Finnish National Opera spokeswoman Heidi Almi told Reuters. The squirrel died in the accident.
Coincidence? I think not. Now if the squirrel took out the singer at 10 a.m., then we would know for certain.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's world-leading opium cultivation rose a "staggering" 60 percent this year, the U.N. anti-drugs chief announced Saturday in urging the government to crack down on big traffickers and remove corrupt officials and police.
The record crop yielded 6,100 tons of opium, or enough to make 610 tons of heroin — outstripping the demand of the world's heroin users by a third, according to U.N. figures.
Hi Spot, here's another installment, even though I've been completely outclassed by Mickey in the comments (sigh) -
France stepped into the drawing room and there he was, Kofi, with a big bouquet of red roses. France caught her breath. Her lips parted. And then...
His cellphone rang. He tore his eyes away from hers (ouch!) and looked at the screen.
"It's Iran and Sudan, babe" he said, "I've gotta go! Love ya!"
France stood stock still for a long moment, then shrugged her shoulders. C'est la vie, she thought as she arranged the roses in a Lalique vase.
Meanwhile, back in D.C., Karl was yelling on the phone. "Why are you telling me all this? You know that is why we keep a stockpile of identical Oval Office rugs in the basement! What is the matter with you?! Don't you know who I am?!" He listened for a moment, then said, "Oh. We're running out. Just order some more then." and hung up. He walked down the hall to the drunk tank and peered through the bars at George. What a putz. Then he made the fateful call which officially launched Operation Goofy George, even though it had been going on for quite some time...