"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition
Get the ebook edition here! (Click image.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama Playing Race Card - Again!

“Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck," said Rick Davis, Sen. John McCain's campaign manager, in a statement issued today. "It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.”

Davis was responding to comments made by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois in Rolla, Missouri, and then blatantly stating in Union, Missouri that McCain is running a campaign of fear with catchwords that [Obama's] "got a funny name and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills." Meaning, that he's black.

This is the exact same tactic Obama used against Sen. Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary campaign, to which former President Bill Clinton declared was "planned." Back then, it was the "by the way, he's black" comment. Now Obama has dusted this tactic off and is trying to use it against Sen. McCain.

It appears that since Obama's tour in Europe and the Middle East, his poll numbers are down and is getting desperate. Didn't Obama say he was a "uniter, not a divider"? He sure doesn't sound like a uniter now, does he?

UPDATE: Despite Obama's prior protestations to the contrary, he now admits his comments did have racial overtones.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rodan Locations

Source: Armand Vaquer

Images and Text Copyright 2008 by Armand Vaquer

Rodan is set for a deluxe DVD release September 9 (paired with War of the Gargantuas) by Classic Media.

Rodan was produced by Toho Co., Ltd. in 1956. It is a story about two flying repties (of the pteranodon family) revived (it is speculated in the movie by H-bomb tests) in a huge cavern that was penetrated by a coal mine on the island of Kyushu. The mine is located at or near the Mt. Aso volcano. Hideous creatures (meganeurons) attack miners and are a source of food for the baby Rodans.

The movie was released in the United States in 1957 in an edited and dubbed form.

In 2007, I visited Mt. Aso Volcano National park while on vacation in Japan. I could not see much as the park was in the midst of a blizzard. However, the trip wasn't wasted as the visitor center has interesting displays, some interactive, for visitors to see. They also have live camera views of the volcano's caldera.

Also, I visited three other locations from Rodan: Saikai Bridge, the Hario Wireless Towers and Sasebo Catholic Church. The bridge and towers are located at the Hario Seto Straits, noted for its swift currents and whirlpools.

Saikai Bridge (above) is a fixed-brace arch bridge 244 meters in length and 1,927 meters tall. The bridge was completed in 1955 and now has a companion bridge that was completed in 2006. The first, or Rodan's Saikai Bridge, spans the Hario Seto Straits. At the time of its completion, it was the longest arch-type bridge in the world. The scene when the waters of the Ohmura Bay flow out through this narrow strait at ebb tide is very dramatic.

Nearby, the three Hario Wireless Towers (below), which transmitted the coded message that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor and triggered the Pacific War on December 7, 1941 can still be seen. These towers also could be seen in Rodan, with one of the Rodans flying in the distance.

A couple of blocks from the JR Sasebo Station is the Sasebo Catholic Church, which was also seen in Rodan. The main street in which the church stands has been built-up over the years with buildings towering over the chuch.

Sasebo City is situated between Nagasaki and Fukuoka and is easily accessible by JR Kyushu Railways. It is a pleasant ride to get to Sasebo from Nagasaki as the train skirts along seaside towns with views of offshore islands. Sasebo is well worth a visit by Rodan fans.

A special edition of G-FAN is now in the works focusing on the "nuts & bolts" of getting to these and other kaiju-related locations.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama's Nightmare: Trip Backfires, McCain Leads

In trying to look "presidential" while on his "world tour," Barack Obama's poll numbers indicate that the trip to the Middle East and Europe didn't help him. In fact, the trip may have caused a backlash.

The USA Today/Gallup poll shows McCain leading Obama by four points, 49 percent to Obama's 45 percent, among likely voters.

The very same poll in June had McCain trailing by six points to the Illinois senator. Among registered voters, McCain polled just three points behind Obama, which is a statistical dead heat.

The USA Today/Gallup poll is also consistent with the findings of the Rasmussen tracking poll, that shows Obama with a three-point lead, again, a statistical tie.

Two things could be in play here. One, Obama was overexposed by the media, thereby turning off voters by the fawning coverage. Two, the apparent arrogance of Obama appears to be becoming more obvious to viewers, especially with his "citizen of the world" speech in Berlin.

Obama's gaffe in Baghdad in disclosing contents of his conversations with the leadership there may also be a factor. It exposed him to be the amateur that he is and that he's too much of a lightweight for the White House.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Obama Cancels Wounded Troop Visit

Senator Barack Obama cancelled a visit with wounded members of the armed forces at a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Obama campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs disclosed the campaign had been planning for weeks a visit to the hospital.

However, the Pentagon expressed concerns that the visit would be exploiting the wounded troops for political purposes by the Obama campaign.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Obama was told he could go to Landstuhl, but the visit would have to conform to Defense Department guidelines that forbids any political activity on a military installation. That meant campaign staff would have been barred from accompanying him, he said.

Whitman also said, "The Pentagon certainly did not tell the senator he could not visit Landstuhl."

This then became a controversy as the Obama campaign issued two statements on Thursaday. Gibbs said in the first that Obama "decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign."

Then a few hours later, the campaign issued another statement in the name of retired Gen. Scott Gration, an adviser to Obama, that mentioned the Pentagon's involvement.

Senator McCain, for his part, said that Obama made a mistake in cancelling his visit and said that visits with wounded troops are never "inappropriate."

The reason Obama backed out was that he did want to make this a campaign event and backed out after the Pentagon objected.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Shame: Obama Banners At Western Wall

Senator Barack Obama visited the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), a holy site for orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.

Having American politicians visit the holy site is nothing new. But what is new were the blatant cheap political images the Obama Campaign hoped to get out of it. However, he managed to upset a lot of people in the process.

Here's another photo:

The man has no shame! Small wonder he was heckled with cries of, "Jerusalem is not for sale!"

Neither A Kennedy Nor A Reagan

An interesting article has been posted at the Investor's Business Daily website. Looks like the "Two-hundred thousand people!" the media has been fawning over heard nothing but a bunch of platitudes.

Please go to the link below to read it:

Neither A Kennedy Nor A Reagan

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama At Phallic Symbol of Nazi Terror

Victory Column

Source: Spiegel Online

It is interesting that Barack Obama spoke today at the phallic symbol of Nazi history.

The Victory Column, or The Siegessäule, was chosen for Obama's speech as the Brandenburg Gate was "unavailable."

"The Siegessäule in Berlin was moved to where it is now by Adolf Hitler. He saw it as a symbol of German superiority and of the victorious wars against Denmark, Austria and France," the deputy leader of the Free Democrats, Rainer Brüderle, told Bild am Sonntag. He raised the question as to "whether Barack Obama was advised correctly in his choice of the Siegessäule as the site to hold a speech on his vision for a more cooperative world."

Andreas Schockenhoff of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said, "the Siegessäule in Berlin is dedicated to a victory over neighbors who are today our European friends and allies. It is a problematic symbol."

This will also eventually prove to be probematic for The Messiah.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Justice For Kelsey

In surprise development today, Edwin Hall, the accused killer of Kelsey Smith plead guilty today at a hearing which originally was to hear a change of venue plea.

Hall was convicted (or convicted himself) of murder, rape, aggravated kidnapping of Kelsey Smith, 18, of Overland Park, Kansas. Kelsey was abducted from a Target store near her home. This spares Hall the death penalty and his sentence will be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

I have followed this case from the beginning in June 2007. It also drew nationwide attention.

This plea is the best possible recourse and it spares the Smith Family the ordeal of a trial, which was scheduled to take place on September 16. Instead, the sentence will be handed down on that date.

While the case involving Hall is just about over, the work to prevent other occurrences such as this goes on. The Smith Family has established the Kelsey Smith Foundation www.kelseysarmy.org and is doing wonderful work in Kelsey's honor and memory.

There is no joy in today's outcome, but at least justice has been done that's humanly possible. As D.A. Phill Kline said, "This should never have happened."

It is my intention to do whatever I can to aid the Foundation. Once I am gainfully employed, I intend to do a lot more.

Kansas City Star Article: Guilty Plea Ends Case

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

National Enquirer: Edwards Has Mistress & Love Child

Ex-Presidential candidate and possible vice-presidential running-mate for Barack Obama John Edwards has been reported to have a mistress and love child by the National Enquirer.

Edwards was caught sneaking in and out of the Beverly Hilton to rendevous with Rielle Hunter. Both parties denied the story. Developing.

Read the full story:

National Enquirer's John Edwards Has Mistress & Love Child Story

Obama Screws Up, Gergen Says

Former Reagan and Clinton operative and political pundit David Gergen said on CNN last night the Senator Barack Obama made a big mistake in disclosing contents of converations between him and Iraqui Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They make it seem that Obama was negotiating with al-Maliki and opens himself up to charges of meddling.

According to United Press International:

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- Political pundit David Gergen said U.S. Sen. Barack Obama should have kept the contents of his discussions with Iraq's prime minister confidential.

Gergen told CNN it was a mistake for Obama to release a statement detailing "exactly" what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told him.

"We have a long tradition in this country that we only have one president at a time," the former White House speech writer said Monday. "He's the commander in chief and the negotiator in chief. I cannot remember a campaign which a rival seeking the presidency has been in a position negotiating a war that's under way with another party outside the country. I think he leaves himself open to the charge … that he's meddling, that this is not his role, that he can be the critic, but he's not the negotiator."

Before leaving Iraq for Jordan, Obama issued a statement saying Maliki told him he hoped U.S. troops could be out of Iraq in 2010 and the Iraqis are looking for a time line with a clear date for U.S. troops to exit.

This shows that Obama is a lightweight who's in over his head in running for president. His lack of any practical experience is really showing and it is dangerous.

McCain Campaign Unveils "Obama Love" Video Ad

The John McCain campaign unveiled today a new video ad, called "Obama Love." It is a montage of embarrassing comments that the fawning media have made over Barack Obama over the past several months.

This should make the legs of McCain partisans "tingle."

The campaign has posted two online videos, filled with clips of journalists saying nice things about McCain's opponent, and an e-mail message to reporters declaring: "It's pretty obvious that the media has a bizarre fascination with Barack Obama. Some may even say it's a love affair.... If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny."

To view the video:
"Obama Love"

Obama: Audacity of Arrogance

Sen. Barack Obama gave a press conference this morning and stumbled around and made absolutely no sense. But that's not what I found interesting today.

This morning, in a background briefing, reporters jousted with the campaign's senior advisers on the characterization of Obama’s Victory Column speech in Berlin Thursday as a campaign rally. They quibbled on what is and what isn't a political speech. (Since Obama is running for president, what else could it be since they expect thousands of people to attend?)

“It is not going to be a political speech,” said an Obama foreign policy adviser, who spoke to reporters on background. “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.

A reporter had to remind the Obama advisor, “But he is not president of the United States.”

The last time I checked, George W. Bush is president of the United States until January 20, 2009.

Now the campaign and surrogates are saying that the surge in Iraq "isn't important." They refuse to concede that the surge worked and it was due to its success that Obama was able to travel safely through Iraq. Obama opposed the surge from the beginning and resuses to admit he was wrong.

He credited everything else except for the successful efforts of the military.

"I have no doubts about my ability to apply sound judgment," Obama said. That's not very comforting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

G-FAN Special Update

It's been a while since the last update, but things are still happening.

The text for what we're tentatively calling the special, "G-FAN Guide To Kaiju Japan," had been delivered to G-FAN editor/publisher J. D. Lees at G-FEST XV two weeks ago and he has already begun the layout work.

Today, I sent him a possible layout for the cover. A notice will be included in the upcoming G-FAN, including ordering information, etc. It will not be a part of the subscription issues as there may be some subscribers not interested in having a travel guide to Japanese monster locations in place of a regular issue.

Those of you with kaiju-related businesses, who are interested in placing an ad in the special, contact me for ad rate info, etc. Also, if you wish to be a retailer for the special, you can contact J. D. at johnlees@mts.net. Eventually, we plan to have it available through Diamond Distributors. But other arrangements may be made for ordering before we get it to Diamond.

We are aiming for a Fall release.

More updates to follow as things develop.

Congress Plans Federal Gas Tax Hike

Source: Fox News

Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail proposed a federal gas tax "holiday" to help ease the burden of high gas prices for American drivers. Senator Barack Obama rejected this proposal, calling it a "gimmick."

Now we find that the Democrats in Congress are planning to raise the federal gasoline tax ten cents per gallon.

According to Fox News:

Despite calls from the presidential campaign trail for a Memorial Day-to-Labor Day tax freeze, lawmakers quickly concluded — with a prod from the construction industry — that having $9 billion less to spend on highways could create a pre-election specter of thousands of lost jobs.

Now, lawmakers quietly are talking about raising fuel taxes by a dime from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel fuel.

Senate Democrats in May tried to add $5 billion to an aviation overhaul bill to replenish the highway trust fund next year; Republicans objected. Democrats tried again in June, but this time for $8 billion; Republicans objected to that, too.

Congress should first reduce spending on pet projects, known as earmarks, argued Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. "I'm not going to let the Senate spend all this money when nobody is looking, especially when we refuse to stop wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on earmarks."

With gasoline prices over $4.00/gallon, hiking gasoline taxes on the already over-burdened taxpayers now is adding insult to injury. Small wonder the taxpayers feel they're being screwed.

Now who's got the best interests of the American people in mind?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama Gives Foreign Press Cold Shoulder

Source: Washington Post

Senator Barack Obama is in the middle of his Mideast/European "happening" (as a fawning network anchor refers to it). However, it appears that The Messiah is giving the foreign press the cold shoulder. And they are resenting it.

German correspondent Christoph von Marschall writes in today's Washington Post:

Barack Obama is on his way to Europe, where an adoring public awaits. But I wonder if the reception would be quite so enthusiastic if Obama's fans across the Atlantic knew a dirty little secret of his remarkable presidential campaign: Although Obama portrays himself as the best candidate to engage the rest of the world and restore America's image abroad, and many Americans support him for that reason, so far he has almost completely refused to answer questions from foreign journalists. When the press plane leaves tonight for his trip, there will be, as far as I know, no foreign media aboard. The Obama campaign has refused multiple requests from international reporters to travel with the candidate.

As a German correspondent in Washington, I am accustomed to the fact that American politicians spare little of their limited time for reporters from abroad. This is understandable: Our readers, viewers and listeners cannot vote in U.S. elections. Even so, Obama's opponents have managed to make at least a small amount of time for international journalists. John McCain has given many interviews. Hillary Clinton gave a few. President Bush regularly holds round-table interviews with media from the countries to which he travels. Only Obama dismisses us so consistently.

One of his campaign advisers told me recently: "Why should we take the time for foreign media, since there is Obamania around the world?"

Sounds like another case of the "Audacity of Vanity" that Charles Krauthammer wrote of last weekend, or, as Marschall writes, "Or perhaps we're witnessing the arrogance that comes from being so close to power."

Once the foreign press smells blood, they will take off after Obama mercilessly. We shall soon see.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dark Shadows Festival In Burbank - A Review

Above, Lara "Angelique" Parker.

This year's Dark Shadows Festival was held this weekend at the Burbank Marriott Hotel Convention Center. The theme was Dark Shadows Resurrected. The convention was not exactly a "resurrection."

The last Dark Shadows Festival I attended was back around 1992 at the LAX Marriott Hotel. That convention was well-attended and the convention had a main session hall, banquets, a big dealers room, video room, art room and other things for attendees to occupy their time with. Plus, the attendees had easy access to the guests. It was an impressive convention with a lot of enthusiasm.

Above, Kathryn Leigh "Maggie Evans/Josette" Scott.

Unfortunately, the Dark Shadows Festival at the Burbank Marriott (next to the Bob Hope Airport) was sparsely-attended (maybe 400 tops), had a tiny dealers room (with not all tables occupied), a main hall and not much else. In the lobby area, there were some displays of photos, memorabilia and fan art. It also contained the tables for the celebrities to autograph programs and memorabilia for the fans. The Dark Shadows celebrities present were Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker and Marie Wallace.

David Selby was scheduled to have a session at 3:00 and Jonathan Frid was scheduled for a 4:30 session.

Sorry folks, there was just not enough there to keep my interest up to hang around for the aforementioned sessions.

Recently, I was part of a committee that put on the annual G-FEST convention for Godzilla enthusiasts in Chicago. G-FEST has far more things for attendees to do, including a huge dealers room, more than one session room for panels, video gaming, G-Pardy games, video room, a special room for small-fry activities, etc. In other words, G-FEST had more "bang for the buck" than did the Dark Shadows Festival.

My question is: What happened to the great Dark Shadows Festivals of yore? Frankly, I was greatly disappointed. With a $15/day admission price and a $12/day parking charge, one would expect that the promotors would have put on a better show. They must have lost some key organizers over the years. The little contact with the convention's staff I had gave me the impression that they lacked enthusiasm. One guy, who led a session on the new Johnny Depp Dark Shadows movie, was snarky to some convention attendees who were having a quiet conversation in back of the main hall before he took the stage. Nothing like making your customers feel welcome!

At least Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Marie Wallace were gracious to the conventioneers. As one who has been a part of convention organizing and planning, I felt embarrassed for them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Krauthammer's "Audacity of Vanity"

Charles Krauthammer has a new column titled, "The Audacity of Vanity." He begins the piece with:

"Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast -- a cheering audience and a few fainting frauleins -- would be a picturesque way to bolster his foreign policy credentials."

This is a very revealing article and should be read by everyone.

Here's the link to the article: The Audacity of Vanity

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nancy Pelosi: Drop Dead America!

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview today that she would not allow a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives to allow offshore oil drilling. President Bush rescinded an executive order banning such drilling earlier this week.

When asked in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer if she would allow a vote to allow offshore drilling, Pelosi said, "I have no plans to do so." Here's the transcript:

BLITZER: There are a lot of people out there, including plenty of Democrats, who say one of the most important things to do right now is to resume offshore drilling off the coast of California, Florida, elsewhere around the United States. Take a look at this poll that CNN/Opinion Research Corporation recently did.

“Do you favor offshore drilling?” Seventy-three percent said yes. “Do you oppose offshore drilling?” Only 27 percent.

You’re among the 27 percent. … Are you afraid if this comes up for a vote in the House you will lose, given the support for offshore oil drilling among these so-called blue dogs, or moderate Democrats, who will join with Republicans?

PELOSI: Afraid is not a word that is in my vocabulary.

BLITZER: Will you let it come up for a vote?

PELOSI: You know, I mean, the point is, is we are putting forth the alternatives that we need to put forth, and that is, drill, use it or lose it. …

BLITZER: So let me get — will you allow this issue, offshore oil drilling, to come up for a vote on the floor of the House?

PELOSI: We’re going to exhaust our other remedies in terms of increasing supply in America by…

BLITZER: So the answer is no?

PELOSI: I have no plans to do so.

This follows a vote in the House that defeated a Democratic bill to require energy companies to explore their existing oil and gas leases or lose them. The so-called “use-it-or-lose-it” bill (HR 6515) was the Democratic leadership’s response to a drumbeat of Republican calls for legislation to open up new public lands and offshore areas to oil and gas drilling.

It was a retread of a prior bill (HR 6251) that Democrats rushed to the floor ahead of the July 4 recess under suspension of the rules, an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The 223-195 vote on that bill June 26 fell 56 votes short of that target.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi in essence said, "Drop dead, America! Get used to high gas prices!"

Obama Refuses Town Hall Appearance

The New York Times is reporting that Senator Barack Obama has refused to attend a town hall-style appearance with Senator John McCain sponsored by members of the military and veterans. Senator McCain accepted the invitation.

The organizers include American Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans for Common Sense and Military Spouse Corporate Career Network. The FRA recently joined with the the 2008 Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium.

The meeting would be covered by CBS News, who will broadcast the meeting live from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Aug. 11. The two candidates would face questions directly from an audience of 6,000 people, made up of veterans, service members and military families from the base.

Senator McCain proposed several town hall meetings when he clinched the GOP presidential nomination, but Barack Obama has not agreed to attend a single one. Why is Obama refusing to debate the issues with Senator McCain? Why is he hiding? Could it be that he's helpless without a telepromptor in front of him?

As the late William F. Buckley would say, "Why does the baloney avoid the slicer?"

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Yorker Cover: Giving Obama Camp Fits

The cover of the latest edition of the left-wing magazine, The New Yorker satirizes the "unfair" charges against Senator Barack Obama. Only the Obama campaign isn't laughing.

The cover depicts the alleged "right wing smears" that Obama is a “secret Muslim” who hates America, Michelle is a ’60s-style black militant in an Angela Davis afro and showing Osama bin Laden's portrait over an Oval Office fireplace with a burning American flag.

I think Obama's camp protests too much since the accompanying article is favorable to them. But it's the images depicted that has them up in an uproar. I guess it doesn't portray the Messiah in proper light.

My big question is: Will the New Yorker give John McCain equal time in pointing out the unfair charges leveled against him?

SIDENOTE: A new Newsweek poll shows Obama's big lead over McCain is gone. It shows Obama with a 3% lead, which is a statistical dead heat.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow Dies

Tony Snow, former Fox News Sunday host and White House Press Secretary, died early this morning at 2:00 at Georgetown University Hospital from cancer. He was 53.

"It's a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it's also a loss for the country," said Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News.

Snow's career spanned more than 30 years that included being a syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician. He also was a fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh before becoming Press Secretary in 2006.

He had a friendly demeanor about him and was well-prepared when he faced the press in the White House press room. He will be missed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

O'Hare Airport With Nakajima

Thursday, July 3 saw Brett Homenick and I heading over to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport to pick up G-FEST XV's special guest Haruo Nakajima and his daughter Sonoe. They were scheduled to arrive at 4:08 PM on All Nippon Airways (ANA) according to a note from J. D. Lees (the head of G-FEST and publisher of G-FAN magazine).

However, there was no arriving ANA flight scheduled per the electronic board in the international terminal. But there was a flight coming in at that time via United Airlines. Since we could not reach J. D. (he was at the Pickwick Theater for the screening of Matango and Destroy All Monsters), we figured we'd hang around the terminal in case the Nakajimas did come in with that United flight.

It takes roughly an hour for persons arriving on international flights to go though Immigration and Customs, so we had a little bit of a wait.

A lot of Asian faces came though the doors into the terminal's arrival lobby, but not the Nakajimas. As Brett was having a case of sore feet, I suggested that he go sit down and I would stand by for the Nakajimas.

Within five minutes after Brett went to sit down, I spotted Mr. Nakajima standing alone along the walkway just outside the exit doors from Customs. I approached him and told him I was there to meet them (it was then Sonoe approached). Since I don't speak Japanese (neither does Brett), it took quite a bit of doing to tell him I was from G-FEST. He didn't seem to recognize me despite having met at G-FEST 2000 in Los Angeles and again at the 2001 Tokyo International Film Festival. But Sonoe knows some English and I convinced them that I was there to take them to the hotel. I took his bag and we headed towards the exit.

Spotting Brett in the seating area nearby, I waved to him that I had the Nakajimas and he joined us. Although we took the hotel's shuttle bus to get to the airport, we decided not to take the long walk to the shuttle stop across the street from the O'Hare Hilton Hotel and hailed a taxi.

We shortly arrived back at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare International Hotel, the convention's hotel and got the Nakajimas checked in. J. D. reserved a two-bedroom suite for them and we were handed three sets of key cards. We opened up their rooms and the connecting doors. Their eyes seemed to bug out as the suite was large with a living room, dining room, kitchenette and the two bedrooms. However, Mr. Nakajima was a little disappointed as it was on a non-smoking floor. He brought with him from Japan two cartons of cigarettes. He thoroughly enjoys smoking. But since he's 79, it's a little too late to convince him to quit smoking.

After taking some photos with the Nakajimas in their suite (one of which is above), he tried to ask about "Robert." Brett thought he meant John Rocco Roberto, a former G-Con organizer who had recently passed away from cancer. Brett kept trying to tell Nakajima that "he's dead." Then it dawned on us that he meant the translator/guest Robert Scott Field. The Nakajimas probably thought we were crazy. After telling them that Scott had arrived but we did not know where he was at that moment, we left them to relax and unpack.

As we were walking to the elevator, Brett and I couldn't stop laughing over the "He's dead!" responses. At least we got the Nakajimas into their suite in one piece.

Armand's Corner of the Net Updated

The ol' homepage,
Armand's Corner of the Net has been updated with G-FEST XV and kaiju news tidbits.

Also, the "Nakajima 2008" campaign-style buttons that were sold at G-FEST XV are still available (I've about 20 left). Go to the above link for more information.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

G-FAN Makes Chicago Tribune's 50 Favorite Magazines List

It was a surprise to me to find that the Chicago Tribune's website listed G-FAN magazine as one of their fifty favorite magazines. In the introduction of the list, they wrote:

Once again we've gathered around the magazine racks in our minds and pulled out our favorites. We are a mixed bag of folks, and the list reflects that, ranging from the inevitability of the New Yorker to the surprise of G-Fan, a magazine for Godzilla aficionados. We like magazines that instruct, entertain, take us places we'd otherwise never know.

To see the G-FAN listing, go here:

50 Magazines Page 2

Some may think their comments on G-FAN are condescending, I don't agree. Heck, if they bothered to list it as a favorite, then we must be doing something right!

Raymond Burr Stamp Unveiled

A postage stamp featuring Raymond Burr, the star of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! has been unveiled.


NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. - Canadian acting legend Raymond Burr, best known for his portrayal of defence attorney Perry Mason, is being commemorated in the form of a stamp.

Friends and family of New Westminster, B.C.-born Burr gathered for the unveiling.

The stamp is one in a set of four that will celebrate achievement of Canadians in Hollywood.

New Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright calls Burr one of the city's best known citizens.

Burr performed in more than 5,000 radio plays, 200 stage plays and 90 movies. He won two Emmy Awards for Perry Mason, which aired in the 1950s and 1960s.

Other stamps will feature Marie Dressler, Norma Shearer and Chief Dan George.
Raymond Burr Stamp Unveiled

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Letter From Shogo Tomiyama

During last weekend's G-FEST XV, Haruo Nakajima was honored with this year's "Mangled Skyscraper Award" for his career as a monster suit-actor. During the ceremony, several congratulatory letters were read (in English for the attendees, in Japanese to the Nakajimas).

Included in these letters was this one from Toho Pictures President and Executive Producter Shogo Tomiyama, which read as follows:

I would like to congratulate Mr. Nakajima on his Mangled Skyscraper Award.

For many Godzilla fans around the world, there is no greater joy than seeing you looking great and healthy.

For 54 years since his birth back in 1954, Godzilla has been roaring in the hearts of the people around the world who love "Sense of Wonder".

Sadly, the creators of Godzilla, the producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, the director Ishiro Honda, the special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya and the composer Akira Ifukube are no longer with us, making you, Mister Nakajima, a living legend in the world of Godzilla.

How fantastic is it that the American Godzilla fans inviting that living legend to Chicago and showing him gratitude and respect?

I would like to thank all of you Godzilla lovers who gathered here today.

Mister Nakajima,

Please stop by at the Toho Studio with the trophy when you get back to Tokyo.

We would love to take a picture of you in front of the Godzilla statue at the main gate.


Shogo Tomiyama
President & Executive Producer
Toho Pictues, Inc.

G-FEST XV In The History Books

Nakajima Suite

G-FEST XV is now in the history books!

The convention went well (despite some glitches involving the screening of "Godzilla vs. Biollante" and a fan film called "Godzilla Zero Hour"). But the attendees had a great time and they enjoyed meeting Mr. Nakajima and Don Frye from "Godzilla: Final Wars." They also were treated to sessions by Don Glut and August Ragone. Ragone also signed his book, "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters" and Clawmark Toys sold out about two boxes full of this book.

It was a pleasure to see Haruo Nakajima again (the last time was in 2001 at the Tokyo International Film Festival) and meeting his daughter. Here I am with the Nakajimas after bringing them to their suite at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (above). (Click on the photo to see the full frame.)

I am now starting my full, detailed report for the next G-FAN. I've posted some photos of the convention in my pictures section at MySpace. Feel free to peruse them and comment.

Oh, yes. I got my cell phone back from the Flyaway bus company. While getting out of their bus at LAX last Wednesday, it popped out of my shirt pocket. Fortunately, it was found after I called the bus company within minutes of exiting the bus. Whew!

Next year's G-FEST (number 16) will also be held on Independence Day weekend. Now's the time to save your pennies and plan on attending.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Haruo Nakajima Receives Mangled Skyscraper!

Legendary Godzilla suit-actor Haruo Nakajima received the "Mangled Skyscraper Award" today at a luncheon at the annual G-FEST convention in Rosemont, Illinois outside Chicago.

Nakajima received a standing-ovation by the luncheon attendees after several letters of congratulations from noted kaiju-celebrities including one from Toho Pictures President Shogo Tomiyama (arranged by yours truly).

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