"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.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

"You have the strength of a hundred men! More than enough for trick or treating!"

Happy Halloween!

Scozzfava Drops Out

Politico.com is reporting that liberal GOP candidate Dede Scozzfava is dropping out of the race in New York's 23 District special election:

Republican Dede Scozzafava has suspended her bid in next Tuesday’s NY 23 special election, a huge development that dramatically shakes up the race. She did not endorse either of her two opponents -- Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman or Democrat Bill Owens.

The decision to suspend her campaign is a boost for Hoffman, who already had the support of 50 percent of GOP voters, according to a newly-released Siena poll, and is now well-positioned to wn over the 25 percent of Republicans who had been sticking with Scozzafava.

Scozzfava was endorsed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Hoffman was endorsed by former Senator Fred Thompson, former Gov. Sarah Palin and others. Conservative talk radio has been a big booster for Hoffman with Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity leading the charge.

Scozzafava was chosen by some GOP party hacks to be the GOP nominee in the special election despite having a voting record that supported the Democrat radical agenda.

UPDATE (11/2/09): Scozzfava endorsed her Democrat opponent Bill Owens. This proves once and for all that RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) have no principles and cannot be trusted to be party loyalists.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Japan Trip Memories - Part Two

Above, the Imperial Palace moat.

First Japan Trip Memories - Part Two

by Armand Vaquer

Zig-zagging on side streets from Shibuya to Nakano in Tokyo at night (and in the rain) was an interesting experience. But we made it safely to Nakano for a dinner party at a Chinese restaurant at the Broadway Mall, which is famous for the several Mandarake and other Japanese toy stores.

The gathering consisted of about 25-30 of us and included Ken Satsuma, the Heisei series Godzilla suit actor. Also attending were Hiroko Sakurai from the Ultra Q television series and the Doughertys of Clawmark Toys.

Above, Hiroko Sakurai at the dinner party in Nakano. Photo courtesy of Clawmark Toys.

The next day, I elected to take a jaunt on the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Atami and then catch a local commuter train from there to do some picture-taking of Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, the skies were cloudy and the mountain was obscured.

I headed back to Atami and wandered around in its outside shopping mall and the shore. From Atami's shoreline, one can see Oshima Island in the distance with Mt. Mihara. This was the location in Return of Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla 1985) where Godzilla is lured to the island and topples into the volcano's caldera.

Above, Oshima Island from Atami.

From the shore, I took pictures of Atami Castle, which is perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. Atami Castle was destroyed at the end of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).

Above, Atami Castle overlooks the town.

The next day, I considered making a trip to Sendai to see the city where my dad was stationed briefly during the Korean War, but I was coming down with a flu, so I stayed in Tokyo instead. I eventually went to Sendai in 2006. I wandered around the Diet Building and The Imperial Palace. I also went to Nakano to the Mandarake stores and picked up a few G-goods.

Above, the Imperial Palace moat.

That evening, the flu hit hard and I didn't feel like doing anything but sleep. The next day, I wasn't feeling that much better, but went with Richard Pusateri and Dave Chapple to Nakano for more shopping at the toy stores there. The flu sapped my energy and all I wanted to do was sleep. So I sat in an out-of-way place (as much as possible) and took a snooze. Richard said I looked like a homeless person there.

We went to a coffee shop at the Broadway Mall and it as there that I started feeling better and my energy was returning. I suspect that I caught the bug on the plane to Japan. Since then, I start a regimen a week or two before a trip by taking Vitamin C every day and continue to do so during the trip to build up my resistance. I have not gotten sick since on any subsequent Japan vacations. Plus, I take along home remedies for any possible maladies that may crop up, just in case. One learns from experience!

The last day of the trip was the next day and I spent it wandering around Ginza, Tokyo Tower and the Zojo-ji Temple.

As I was in-between jobs during the trip (I should write a book on "International Travel While Unemployed"), I had to make this trip a short one. But it was still a great experience to go to another country. Except for the 24-hour flu bug I came down with, it was an enjoyable trip. I eventually returned to Japan in 2004 with G-TOUR.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Japan Trip Memories - Part One

First Japan Trip Memories - Part One

by Armand Vaquer

Tomorrow marks eight years since I first went to Japan. The trip coincided with the premiere at the 2001 Tokyo International Film Festival of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (GMK), directed by Shusuke Kaneko.

This was my first overseas flight.

Being that the trip was almost two months since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the National Guard was in full force at Los Angeles International Airport. The flight from L.A. to Narita International Airport takes roughly eleven hours (the return trip only takes about eight hours as we are going with the Trade Winds coming back). The airline was United Airlines. I've always favored United for their service and their meals. On this trip, I was not disappointed in their service.

Richard Pusateri was already in Japan and we agreed to meet up the night of my arrival at the Hachiko Statue at Shibuya Station. The photo below is the first picture taken in Japan.

I decided to try out a Japanese ryokan (Japanese inn) to see what it was like. I stayed at the Hotel Fukudaya in Shibuya (which came in handy as the film festival screening was at the Orchard Hall in Shibuya). Their rooms were comfortable and the rates reasonable, about $50.00 per night.

On the first night, Richard and I roamed around Shibuya, taking in the sights. I got an Ultraman figure from a capsule toy machine that night.

After a few hours of roaming around Shibuya, we decided to call it a night and set up a meeting point at the Godzilla statue in Hibiya before going over to Toho International's offices to meet up with Shozo Watanabe the next morning for our visit to Toho Studios.

The third day was totally devoted to the Tokyo International Film Festival. It was held, as mentioned above, at the Orchard Hall theater in the Bunkamura (below) in Shibuya. The Bunkamura is Shibuya's shopping and entertainment complex.

I got to the Bunkamura a little early and roamed around the shops across the street from it. While doing so, I saw a huge black raven playing with a brochure of some sort in a tree. I was near a sidewalk cafe and a young Japanese mother was at a table with her baby. I asked if I could set my camera bag on her table to take a picture of the raven and she nodded okay. I then took a couple of photos of the bird.

After this, she asked (in very broken English) what I was in Japan for. I said I was there for the screening of the new Godzilla movie. She could not understand what I said and then I pointed to a film festival banner that was hanging from a nearby street light and said, "Gojira eiga." Her eyes brighted up and then got up from her chair and started walking around like Godzilla while saying the notes of the "Godzilla March" by Akira Ifukube ("do-do-do, do-do-do..."). At that point, I wished I had a video camera with me. Her husband came out of the restaurant while she as doing this and he just looked at her and shook his head. It was a hilarious sight.

The screening of GMK in the Orchard Hall was packed. Fortunately, I obtained a press pass (as I was covering the event for G-FAN), so I was able to go up to the front of the theater for the pre-screening appearance of Kaneko and some of the stars of the movie and, also, for Godzilla's appearance (below). The movie was not totally finished, and the sound system in Orchard Hall was a little inadequate. Nonetheless, the audience loved the movie.

After the screening, we exited the theater and mingled outside under the building's awnings to keep out of the rain. I congratulated Toho executive producer Shogo Tomiyama on the movie. Haruo Nakajima also attended and Richard and I had a photo taken with him. Hideyo Amamoto walked by and Richard and I greeted him and shook his hand.

It started raining as we waited in line for the screening and it was raining harder when it ended. A dinner party was organized at a Chinese restaurant in Nakano and a group of us hailed a taxi to get to it. It was an interesting experience. As Japanese cars and roads are like England's (the driver sits on the right instead of on the left), I rode up front with the driver. It was raining hard and it was nighttime. We darted around in the taxi on side streets to get to Nakano. It seemed like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland.

Fortunately for us, we got to the dinner party in one piece. More on that in Part Two.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boulder Raps!

I Look Like Soupahman, Why Don't I Sound Like Soupahman?

Here's an interesting montage/music video of Boulder Raps:

By Charles Thaxton and Ted Newsom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"The Fly" In The Spiderweb

In G-FAN #88, David Hedison was interviewed by yours truly and he mentioned that he didn't like the "falsetto" sound of his voice in the spiderweb scene in 1958's The Fly.

I first saw this at age 5 (during the movie's first run) and the scene is as scary now as it was then. I have to disagree with David, the voice didn't ruin the scene at all.

Here it is:

"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" In Concert

Above, Bela Lugosi and Lou Costello.

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, here's the suite from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein performed live in concert:

Thanks goes to Ted Newsom for finding this goodie!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Godzilla On Legendary Pictures List Of "To Dos"?

Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Godzilla On Legendary Pictures List Of "To Dos"?

by Armand Vaquer

In a recent issue of Rue Morgue magazine, Michael Dougherty was interviewed about his new movie, Trick R Treat.

In the interview, Dougherty said this:

Every project I do goes back to what I was exposed to as a kid: X-Men, Superman, Halloween. I can't elaborate too much on my next film, but I will just say my other passion growing up was Godzilla. I'm crossing off the checklist that I first wrote when I was about nine.

Longtime Godzilla fan John DeSentis noted on his Facebook blog:

What does that have to do with anything? Simply that Michael Dougherty has been a collaborator of Bryan Singer's since X2 and Singer's LEGENDARY PICTURES produced Trick R Treat. Now the rumors would SEEM to have a bit more too them...even if nothing is set nor might be set.

So it appears that this may be a not-too-subtle hint that the rumored Legendary Pictures' Godzilla project is next to be "checked off" on Dougherty's list of "to dos." We'll see.

In the words of Toho's L.A. office, "No comment. [Snicker!]"

[Special thanks to John DeSentis for the head's up on this.]

UPDATE (10/27/09): Avery Guerra posted this over at the Monster Zero forum:

OK, Michael Dougherty is NOT attached to this project. My contact contacted him about it yesterday [even though we already knew the answer]. He said no. He was referring to "Calling All Robots". I thought that I had already cleared that up.

If "we" already knew the answer, then why the necessity to check? Apparently, the rumor had some legs to it and there was a possibility that it could just be true after all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"I Keep Watching The Skies: B-Movies And Me" At Big Hollywood

The White Pongo Report

There's an interesting article on B-movie science-fiction movies over at Big Hollywood entitled, "I Keep Watching The Skies: B-Movies And Me."

It is a good read and thoroughly enjoyable. It is a nice stroll down memory lane. Even the comments by readers is enjoyable!

To read it, go here.

“The Mysterious Cube”: Does It Fit?

“The Mysterious Cube”: Does It Fit?

by Armand Vaquer

Michael Hayde’s book, Flights of Fantasy, on radio’s and television’s Adventures of Superman, described two 1957 episodes of the television series as “controversial” as they allegedly give the Man of Steel “new abilities beyond those established by his comic book persona.” Those episodes are “Divide and Conquer” and “The Mysterious Cube.”

In these episodes, Superman (George Reeves) is assisted by Professor Lucerne (Everett Glass, no relation to Carl). In both, Superman is perplexed by either a situation or substance that only the scientific advice by Lucerne can provide him with the solution to overcome each one.

In “Divide and Conquer,” Superman is jailed for suspicion (a phony charge by an evil and ambitious vice president in a fictional Latin American country) of being behind an attempt on the president’s life. Superman cannot not be in a jail cell and still preserve his Clark Kent identity at the same time, unless he can be at two places at the same time. He accomplishes this by the help of Lucerne who tells him that he can accomplish this if he expands his atomic structure by driving the molecules farther apart and then separate them. And then, as Lucerne says, “There might be two of you instead of one.”

Naturally, Superman purists would object to this on the grounds that this ability was never established in the comics.

The second episode, “The Mysterious Cube,” is about a criminal who is in a room-sized cube (for seven years) made of a strange alloy that Superman cannot penetrate so he can be declared legally dead and escape the charges against him. (It is interesting that Superman’s x-ray/heat vision or super-strength has no effect on the cube, but a jar of acid does.) This is the case until Superman discusses his problem with Lucerne (above).

Superman tells Lucerne that he can’t see though the cube or even smash through it. Lucerne comes up with the idea of having Superman rearrange his molecules to that they join with the cube’s molecules. If Superman can accomplish this, he might be able to pass through it. Superman gives it a try, and finds that, after much concentration, he can do it.

Mike Hayde, in his book, stated that both these abilities (splitting into two and passing though solid objects) were not established abilities in the Superman canon in the comics or otherwise. He is correct. At the time (1957), Superman was unable to perform these feats. To this date, he is still unable to split into two people in the comics.

However, Superman has been able to pass through walls in the comic books. How?

In the comic books, the Silver Age Superman has been able to pass though walls by vibrating his molecular structure. In a comic book in the 1970s, Superman stated that he was taught this ability by The Flash (Barry Allen). Vibrating through walls at super-speed has always been an ability of The Flash. Since Superman also has the ability of super-speed, he should be able to do this as well. Because his molecular structure is different from ordinary human beings, he probably needed to be taught to do this (and get around his differences) from someone who already knew how to accomplish it. Naturally, The Flash was the perfect teacher.

Although the word “vibrate” was never stated in “The Mysterious Cube,” it is clear that some vibration is needed for Superman to “rearrange” his molecules to allow him to pass through the cube’s walls.

So, is Michael Hayde is right or wrong concerning this?  Hayde is correct that as of 1957, Superman did not have this ability to pass through a wall. But he is incorrect as this ability was acquired by Superman (thanks to the tutoring by The Flash) in the 1970s and, therefore, is now a part of the established Superman canon. Hayde probably missed this little bit of trivia before writing his book.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Soupy Sales Dies At 83

Another television icon has passed away.

Soupy Sales, who made the pie-in-the-face schtick a running gag throughout his career has died.

Yahoo News reported:

DETROIT – Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, has died. He was 83.

Sales died Thursday night at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, New York, said his former manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, Usher said.

At the peak of his fame in the 1950s and '60s, Sales was one of the best-known faces in the nation, Usher said.

"If President Eisenhower would have walked down the street, no one would have recognized him as much as Soupy," Usher said.

At the same time, Sales retained an openness to fans that turned every restaurant meal into an endless autograph-signing session, Usher said.

"He was just good to people," said Usher, a former jazz music producer who managed Sales in the 1950s and now owns Detroit-based Marine Pollution Control.

Sales began his TV career in Cincinnati and Cleveland, then moved to Detroit, where he drew a large audience on WXYZ-TV. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961.

The comic's pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities lined up to take one on the chin alongside Sales. During the early 1960s, stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine received their just desserts side-by-side with the comedian on his television show.

Who can forget his early 1960s shows featuring his sidekicks White Fang and Black Tooth?

Visiting Bela, Bing and Sharon

Worked a 12-hour shift yesterday. I spent about 3 hours of it riding along with a co-worker.

We were heading into Culver City at one point and came to the entrance to Holy Cross Cemetery and asked her if she wanted to see "Dracula's" grave (i.e., Bela Lugosi). She initially declined and then said, "Why not?"

So we went in and we first visited Lugosi's grave. From there, about 2-3 steps in the same row, we visited Bing Crosby's grave. Then we went over to the next section and found Sharon Tate's.

From there we made a stop at one of our client's locations and then proceeded to Tito's Tacos for lunch.

Not a bad day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Obamacare Is Unconstitutional!

The Mark Levin Show today was interesting (they usually are). But today, Mark Levin discussed how the Obama Administration and the Democrats in congress have no constitutional authority to impose Obamacare (i.e., a single-payer health plan) on the American people.

Obamacare, if enacted, would force individual citizens to purchase a good or service, whether they want it or not, or would rather do something else. It would be an unprecedented move by the federal government.

The Democrats are relying upon the "general welfare clause" of the constitution for their authority, which does not apply. Also, the Commerce Clause also does not apply. For more, see this and this.

Levin noted that Obamacare would add a condition to U.S. citizenship. It would require that to be a citizen, a person has to purchase health insurance, government-run or otherwise. Again, this would be an unprecedented move by the federal government.

It would be saying, "In order to live here, you must buy health insurance."

This would be giving the federal government broad, virtual dictatorial powers that the constitutional does not allow. This is a direct assault on federalism. Some states have already passed resolutions telling the federal government that socialized healthcare will not fly in their states based on the Tenth Amendment.

Alexandria "Allie" Phipps Missing

Authorities fear that a 15-year-old high school student has been abducted while walking to school.

KTLA News is reporting:

THOUSAND OAKS -- Authorities are asking for the public's help in the search for a 15-year-old girl who was last seen walking to Westlake High School Monday morning. It's feared the teen may have been abducted, officials said.

Alexandria "Allie" Phipps left her Thousand Oaks, home around 7 a.m. Monday to walk to the school, which is about a mile and a half away from her home, according to Det. Eric Buchow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

She never arrived at the school, he said.

Phipps is 5-foot 8-inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has red hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a gold tank top with multicolor horizontal lines, a blue jacket or hoodie with angel wings on the back, blue jeans, black shoes and was carrying a black and red backpack.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Thousand Oaks police at (805) 494-8216.

To read the full article, go here.

UPDATE: Alexandria Phipps was found safe in a Los Angeles youth center. She apparently took a bus to downtown L.A. instead of going to school, KFI-AM just reported.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bela!

Today, on October 20, 1882, famed horror screen actor Bela Lugosi was born in Hungary.

Happy Birthday, Bela!

Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda - Now Available!

Peter H. Brothers's book, Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda is now available!

The book is now available at AuthorHouse. Here's what they say about it:

Here, for the first time in English print, is the inspiring story of a humble and soft-spoken man who became one of the most-prolific directors in the history of fantasy films. Raised in a primitive Japanese village by a Buddhist monk, Ishiro Honda fell in love with films at a young age and soon enrolled in film school with the intent of one day becoming a director. Called to enlist in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, he returned with a knowledge of the futility of war and a dread of the atomic age. A dedicated craftsman who directed over 80 films during a remarkable 60-plus year career, Honda is undeservedly remembered mostly as the "greatest director" of the famous Japanese monster film series; however, he was in fact much more. Utilizing a wide-variety of source material never before assembled into one volume, Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men is an objective critical analysis and definitve study of a man whose fantasy films -- when seen in their original versions -- are "beautiful nightmares" of quality and subtext which transcend the visceral thrill of watching monsters destroying cities. Honda's admirers include George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and his films are masterpieces of entertainment that have enthralled audiences for generations . . . and will for generations to come.

To place your order, go here. It will be soon available at Amazon.com.

Joseph Wiseman, "Dr. No", Dies

The first big-screen villain for British Secret Service agent James Bond (Sean Connery) has died.

The New York Times is reporting that "Dr. No" actor Joseph Wiseman has died:

Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and screen actor most widely known for playing the villainous title character in "Dr. No," the first feature film about James Bond, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.

His daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, confirmed the death, saying her father had recently been in declining health.

Released in 1962, "Dr. No" was the first in what proved to be a decades-long string of Bond movies. Starring Sean Connery and Ursula Andress, the film featured Mr. Wiseman as Dr. Julius No, the sinister scientist who was Bond's first big-screen adversary.

Mr. Wiseman's other film credits include "Detective Story" (1951); "Viva Zapata!" (1952); "The Garment Jungle" (1957); "The Unforgiven" (1960); "The Night They Raided Minsky's" (1968) and "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974).

He had guest roles on many television shows, among them "Law & Order," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Untouchables" and "The Twilight Zone." In the late 1980s, he had a recurring role as the crime boss Manny Weisbord on the NBC drama "Crime Story."

Wiseman was also the voice (uncredited) for Bond's S.P.E.C.T.R.E. villian Blofeld in the 1965 film, "Thunderball."

Wiseman was the last of the surviving James Bond villains during Connery's turn as agent 007 for Eon Productions/United Artists.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan Cover

I received the final version (above) of the Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan cover from Archie Waugh. Great job!

As mentioned before, there would be a change or two from the version previously posted. It was due to pixel issues with one of the photos that it had to be changed. It wouldn't have reproduced or printed as good.

This one will pose no problems.

So that's settled!

2nd Amendment Rights Under Attack By H. R. 45

Congressional tyrants are now trying to take away your gun rights, bit by bit, piece by piece with their soft tyranny policies.

H. R. 45, Blair Holt's Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 was introduced January 9, 2009.

Here is a letter from Congressman Paul Broun, R-GA:

Dear Concerned American,

The great pay-back has begun, and it's going to be ugly.

The gun grabbers in Congress are paying back the anti-gun extremists who put them and Barack Obama in office.

Hi, this is Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia. I wish I had better news, but you and I are facing an assault on our gun rights like we’ve never seen before.

You see, H.R. 45 is Barack Obama’s gun control package, and it includes the most vile anti-gun measures he’s supported over the years.

It's only the first step...

...but it's a HUGE step.

H.R. 45 establishes a NATIONAL gun registry database of every gun and its owner -- for the whole county! Your private information and every gun you own would be in the system.

But that’s only if you succeed in buying a gun in the first place!

And since H.R. 45 dramatically increases requirements for firearms purchases far beyond those ever proposed, you just might find youself incapable of buying a firearm once this bill takes effect.

And it gets worse too.

The National Association for Gun Rights has a survey ready for you to complete, but I want you to understand just how dangerous this bill is before I give you the link. Please bear with me for a moment.

You see, H.R. 45 would establish a national gun registry database which would:

Increase requirements for firearms purchases, far beyond those ever proposed.

Create a national firearms registry overseen by the Federal Government.

Invoke Draconian penalties for bookkeeping errors related to the Federal Firearms Database.

It gets worse though.

Sarah Brady and her allies in Congress want to force you to take a written exam to prove that you are "fit" to exercise your Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

I'm outraged by this, and I know you are too.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that gun registration has historically laid the groundwork for total firearm confiscation. Citizen disarmament is the watchword of tyrants everywhere.

In fact, the most brutal dictators of the last century were famous for their gun registration and confiscation schemes.

But H.R. 45, Obama's National Gun Registry and Citizen Disarmament Act, is more than just a forced registration of all firearms in America.

The bill also makes it increasingly difficult to buy a gun in the first place.

Taken right out of Sarah Brady's Christmas wish list, H.R. 45 includes a laundry list of new restrictions on firearms purchases.

In addition to the outrageous national gun registration requirement, H.R. 45 also requires you to:

Pass a written examination to purchase a firearm.

Release your medical records -- including confidential mental health records -- to the government to get your "fitness" to own a firearm approved.

Observe a two-day waiting period before all firearms purchases.

Pay a gun tax of $25 or more on all firearm purchases.
Moreover, H.R. 45 bans all private firearms sales and maximizes penalties for minor clerical errors in dealing with the national gun registry.

The list goes on and on. It's enough to turn your stomach.

I know I don't have to tell you, but these restrictions make a mockery of the Constitution. "The Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" might as well say: "You have no rights."

If a two-day waiting period, a written exam and a gun tax aren't infringing our rights, I don't know what is!

Even the Supreme Court’s recent Heller decision guaranteeing an individual’s right to own a firearm doesn’t hamper Barack Obama’s agenda one bit.

In fact, it emboldens gun grabbers to pass legislation taxing ammunition, increasing registration requirements, and drastically limiting when, how and where you can use your firearm.

That’s why I’ve decided to stand with the National Association for Gun Rights fight back against this radical scheme.

They're fully committed to stopping the efforts of the gun grabbers, but they need the help of grassroots gun owners like you.

With liberals calling the shots in Washington, all supporters of the Second Amendment must join together, draw a line in the sand, and fight this battle to the end.

We must make this gun-grab expensive and politically painful for the enemies of freedom. If we do, they'll flinch ... and LOSE.

By mobilizing hundreds of thousands of grassroots gun owners across the country, the National Association for Gun Rights can put anti-gun politicians on the hot seat.

Are you opposed to national gun registration?

Are you opposed to a written examination to buy a gun?

Are you opposed to a new $25 gun tax?

Are you opposed to a total ban on private firearm sales?

If you said "Yes" to these questions, click here to fill out a special survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

Your survey will put you squarely on the record AGAINST Barack Obama’s gun control package.

Stopping un-Constitutional gun control bills like H.R. 45 may be NAGR’s top priority, but they need your help.

Along with your signed survey, please send the National Association for Gun Rights a generous contribution to help finance this battle. You will have the opportunity to donate right after you fill out the survey.

The truth is, H.R. 45 is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sarah Brady and her cohorts in Congress now have the support of a willing White House and won't stop until they've reached their ultimate goal: A virtual ban on private, individual firearm ownership.

That is why NAGR simply must hear from you immediately.

Please take a moment to fill out NAGR's H.R. 45 survey, and, if at all possible, send a contribution of $200, $150, $100 or maybe just $25 to help the National Association for Gun Rights fight H.R. 45 and Sarah Brady's gun control wish list.

I know this is a lot to ask, but inaction could very well lead to defeat and the loss of our right to keep and bear arms.

Whether you can afford $200 or a lesser amount of $50 or $25, please contribute what you can.

It's critical we do all we can.

Thank you in advance for contributing your time and money towards defending our Second Amendment rights.

For Freedom and Liberty,

Paul Broun
U.S. Congressman (R-GA)
National Association for Gun Rights

P.S. The anti-gun extremists who helped put Obama in power are itching for pay-back -- and here it comes.

H.R. 45 is the most sweeping gun control proposal ever offered in America. And under this administration, it might just pass -- so please act today!

This is only part of the five steps that the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party are taking for their domination of our lives:

Step 1- control financial system - money (the banks and Wall Street)

Step 2- control key industrial markets - labor/production (the auto industry was just the beginning)

Step 3- control healthcare - life (Obamacare will decide who will or won't get treated)

Step 4- control guns - resistance (the tyrants in Washington fear an armed populace)

Step 5- control religion - allegiance

There's also Step 6- control of the media. Obama's left wing allies in the mainstream media do not criticize or question any of his policies. The only media opposition is Fox News, the Internet and talk radio. The Obama Administration has been engaged in attacks on Fox News recently and Democrats have been trying to impose new restrictions on talk radio (Fairness Doctrine, etc.). They are also trying to gain control over the Internet.

November 2010 cannot come quickly enough!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan News Release


For Immediate Release

A new travel guide targeted at fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies is being prepared by Armand Vaquer, contributing writer for G-FAN magazine, called "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan."

The guide will be in magazine format and will include the locations shown in Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies over the past 55 years. It will tell how to get to each location, where to stay and what tourist attractions are nearby.

""The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" was started in early 2008 and we have now completed the cover and the page layouts are 90% complete," said author Armand Vaquer. "There have been plenty of books about the movies, but nobody has ever put together a guide for people to go see the locations shown in the movies until now."

The guide will be 52 pages long and will also include travel tips and articles on Japanese customs and immigration policies and information on currency exchange, weather and other topics.

The "Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" is slated be published this coming month. It will retail at $15.00 a copy.

For additional information, log onto http://armandsrancho.blogspot.com/.


Advertising space is available. For details, go here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

JFK Death Car At Century Plaza Hotel

Above, the 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine during the Kennedy years.

Here's a little bit of historical trivia for you.

In September 1972, President Richard Nixon was running for re-election. On September 27, Nixon was scheduled to give a fundraising speech at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the welcoming of the President at the Century Plaza. (I covered this story a while ago on this blog.) Those of us with the Young Voters for the President were bused to the Century Plaza and were herded into roped-off areas in the parking lot for President Nixon's arrival via his Marine One helicopter.

After the Nixons exited Marine One, they were led to a presidential limousine which would then drive along the crowd, allowing them to shake hands with the throngs.

Until last night, it never occurred on me that the limousine Nixon was riding that day was the 1961 Lincoln Continental that President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated in Dallas. That is, until I looked at a contact sheet of photos from the National Archives of that day in 1972 and compared them to photos of the car today at the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village in Detroit.

Above, the 1961 Lincoln Presidential limousine at
 the Henry Ford Museum. Note the changes to the top.

After the assassination, the Lincoln was re-fit with armor and had the top modified with a permanent one so that it was no longer a convertible. The 1961 Lincoln, during the Kennedy years, had previously been modified with a 1962 Lincoln Continental grille. The car was equipped with a removable "bubble top" that wasn't used in Dallas. President Lyndon Johnson rarely used the car during his White House years. It was retired during the Carter Administration.

While the 1962 grille is still on the car, the front bumper on the car during the Nixon Administration and today is a different one. Also, the limousine had been repainted black. It was a dark blue during the Kennedy years.

Above, President and Mrs. Nixon greet the crowd in the
 Century Plaza Hotel's parking lot on September 27, 1972.

Below, the Limousine in front of the crowd at the Century Plaza Hotel. I am at the arrow.

When Nixon was first inaugurated as president in 1969, a new presidential Lincoln limousine awaited him. It went into service in the waning months of the Johnson Administration.

It is interesting that the limousine I saw President and Mrs. Nixon riding in was the same one that President Kennedy was killed in.  The limousine had the Secret Service code designation of SS 100 X.

UPDATE (10/18/09): A friend, attorney Tom Cotrel, sent me this photo link of the limousine's display sign:


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan Advertising Available

Advertise your business in The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan and reach people interested in visiting Japan.

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan has ad space available. Advertising should be related to Japanese science fiction or Japan travel. This is a one-shot publication.

Suitable businesses include:

1.) Airlines

2.) Travel Agencies

3.) Tour operators

4.) Japanese toy or model kit dealers

5.) Japanese science-fiction and fantasy DVD dealers

6.) Japanese hotel, ryokan, onsen and attractions operators

7.) Japanese visitor and convention bureaus

8.) Dealers of Japanese books, magazines and products

Ad rates are as follows (very reasonable):

Half-page: $75.00

Quarter page: $45.00

All you need to do is have your camera-ready ad (minimum 300 dpi) to me by Tuesday, November 24 (at least until the final layouts are received, which will probably be a little beyond November 24). Since the rates are so low, it should be an easy decision to make by then. Email me at AMVaquer@aol.com if interested and for payment information.

Also, if space allows, your ad will be placed in at least two locations!

Or, if you prefer, just send your business card with your check for $20.00 payable to Armand Vaquer, 18618 Collins St., #105, Tarzana, CA 91356 USA and we'll scan it to the layout!

What the fans are saying about The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan:

"Sounds like a terrific idea. Best of luck with it, Armand."

"I would buy that in a second. I would love to visit the sites associated with our beloved Godzilla films. Your book would be an invaluable reference."

"I'd buy that and send one to my friend who's living in Japan right now as a school teacher."

"This is a great idea! I only wish I had it a couple of months ago in Japan. I had a great time in Japan though… it was every thing I dreamed and more! When will this hit the stands? I’m returning to Japan next year, but this time no Kyoto…, just Tokyo."

"Looks really cool! Too bad this didn't come out sooner as I'm leaving for Japan in less than 36 hours!"

"Armand!! That is totally awesome!! Love it!!"

"Looks great! Put me down for one."

"Could of used this on my trip here now! But maybe next time. One suggestion if I may. Please add small detailed maps and Train or subway info. That would help out a lot. I know finding some places for us was difficult because of this. Good Luck with it."

Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan: Layouts Received

I received the layouts from J. D. Lees on The Monster Fan's Guide To Japan last night and only had a chance to look them over this morning.

I am very impressed with the results. A big, hearty thank-you to J. D. for an excellent job!

It should be noted, that a few of the pages have blank white areas. This is intentional so that visitors to Japan (and while bringing along the guide with them) can use the spaces for notes. That is something that has always irritated me with other travel guides, since I am a meticulous note-taker. They usually have little or no space for me to make notations (such as for dates, prices, background stories, etc.) for future reference (and future articles) and I detest tiny writing, especially if I am writing in a hurry or without a flat surface to write on.

Some minor changes are left to be made and then once completed, we're ready to go to the printer.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chickenshit Dave Checketts Drops Limbaugh

The Wall Street Journal reported that talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been dropped from the group seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams.

The WSJ.com reported:

With criticism mounting, Dave Checketts, the sports businessman leading a group vying for the National Football League franchise, dumped the controversial conservative talk show host just days after Mr. Limbaugh disclosed his intent to buy a minority interest in the team.

"Rush was to be a limited partner—as such, he would have had no say in the direction of the club or in any decisions regarding personnel or operations," Mr. Checketts, owner of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, said in a statement released Wednesday. "This was a role he enthusiastically embraced. However, it has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions; endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis. As such, we have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion."

It looks like the sleazy and slanderous campaign led by poverty pimps Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other Leftists was successful. They used fabricated "quotes" to torpedo Limbaugh's effort to be a part owner of the St. Louis Rams.

It appears that Checketts turned chickenshit and dropped Limbaugh. St. Louis fans should voice their disapproval over this action and if Checkett's group does acquire the Rams, they should boycott the team.

And Rush Limbaugh ought to sue the pants off of those who spread the fabricated "quotes."

To read the WSJ's article, go here.

Also, this article on the controversy was published by the U.K. Telegraph. Leave to them to get it right!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan

This above is the cover design by Archie Waugh that I decided to go with. There will be a minor change or two in regard to the smaller photos, but this is essentially it.

You will notice that there's no reference to G-FAN or J. D. Lees on the cover. We discussed it and we made some changes.

On the first, J. D. felt that it should stand on its own and not possibly confuse people (thinking that it might be an issue of G-FAN) and, also, it's not J. D.'s work. He did do editing and the layouts. And since he feels he did "nothing of substance" on it (as if it were someone's G-FAN article), he feels that he should not be credited as an author. He is going to assist in the marketing of it.

Also, it was his suggestion to change the title from kaiju to monster as the average "Joe Doaks" wouldn't know what "kaiju" means and it is my intention to market the guide to non-kaiju fans besides hardcore kaiju fans. I agreed with his assessment. It is more to-the-point.

Finally, J. D. decided to turn down any compensation for the work he did, despite my protests that he should be compensated. So what he did for the guide is out of friendship and not monetary compensation. He is one hell of a good friend and I am indebted to him!

So, from hereafter, it will simply be known as The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

The layouts from J. D. should be coming soon and further announcements will come after I review them, etc.

"The Fog Horn" Movie From Japan

"The Fog Horn"

There's a new daikaiju movie from Japan that has not been released. The director needs your feedback on whether to release it in Japan and around the world (particularly in the U.S.). A fellow fan sent this to me and requested that it be posted.

The request is as follows (please forgive the all-caps as that is how I received it):



Here's the details: http://roberthood.net/blog/index.php/2009/10/14/new-daikaiju-appears-through-a-fog-of-obscurity/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Left Slandering Rush Limbaugh

The Looney Left Report

The Left can't debate on substance on anything, so they have to resort to slander.

When word came out that talk show host Rush Limbaugh is seeking ownership of the St. Louis Rams, the Sharp Knives of Slanderville came at him.

According to the Associated Press:

BOSTON (AP) -- Talk show host Rush Limbaugh, whose bid to buy the St. Louis Rams has run into opposition within the NFL, says he's a victim of "totally made-up and fabricated quotes" attributed to him.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, the conservative commentator calls reports about him "outrageous and slanderous." He notes he would be a minority owner in the prospective group, and adds that he is from Missouri and was saddened when the Cardinals left for Arizona. Limbaugh declared that he loves the National Football League.

Earlier today, Colts owner Jim Irsay vowed to vote against Limbaugh. League commissioner Roger Goodell said NFL insiders would not tolerate what he called "divisive" statements.

Several people were cited by Rush as spreading the fabricated quotes: Jesse Jackson; Al Sharpton; Chris Matthews; David Shuster; Dave Zirin from TheNation.com; Drew Sharp of ESPN; Rick Sanchez; Tamron Hall; James Carville; and "Mercury" Morris, former player for the Miami Dolphins.

For the full story, go here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jessica Lynne Gardner Appears On Karlos Borloff's Show

Jessica Lynne Gardner

This day is really turning out to be a very pleasant one! First, Archie Waugh came up with a fantastic cover idea for the G-FAN Guide To Kaiju Japan. Next, I just received word from my good friend, author Jessica Lynne Gardner, that she appeared today on Karlos Borloff's Monster Madhouse show in Fairfax.

I had told Jessica about Karlos Borloff's show last year after meeting him at G-FEST XV.

Jessica appeared on the show and read excerpts from her stories and Karlos worked it into the scheme of the show. "I had a lot of fun!" she says.

Who's Karlos Borloff? This is him (left) with Haruo Nakajima at G-FEST XV:

Jessica's website is www.JessicaLynneGardner.com

Karlos Borloff's Monster Madhouse website: www.monstermadhouse.com

G-FAN Travel Guide Cover Idea

We're nearing the home stretch in getting the G-FAN Travel Guide To Kaiju Japan completed, so now's the time to start thinking about an appropriate cover.

To differntiate the guide from a typical G-FAN issue, I think a photo cover would be the way to go (since G-FAN normally has artwork covers).

Here's one I came up with this morning. The photo is of the Godzilla statue in Hibiya, Tokyo that I took two years ago. I sent it to J. D. a little while ago, but I would appreciate your feedback (after all, three heads are better than one, or so says King Ghidorah).


(Click on image to see larger.)

UPDATE: A good friend of mine, Archie Waugh, who is a 20-year graphic designer, came up with this gem:

This certainly blows mine clear out of the water. I forwarded it to J. D. to get his opinion. Thanks a million, Archie!

UPDATE: Archie came up with a slightly different version:

Although I like the first one a little more, the second would be necessary to fit in the Daikaiju Enterprises logo at the upper left corner as shown.

Missouri Billboard

A friend sent me an email yesterday of a billboard seen outside of Kansas City, Missouri.

The message read in part:

This billboard has just been put up. It's on I-70 in Blue Springs, MO between Adams Dairy Parkway and the Grain Valley exit. It's readable to the east bound traffic. No person or group is listed.

Here's the billboard:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

U.S. Postal Service Malfunction

This story came to me via email:

The Postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama on it. Subsequently, it was noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and $1.73 million in congressional spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings:

The stamp is in perfect order.
There is nothing wrong with the glue.
People are spitting on the wrong side.

L.A. Times "Fans" of Obama

The Los Angeles Times editorialized on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize award today. While I don't disagree with their overall position of the prize, there is one thing that is really telling about the editorial policy of the Times itself.

They wrote in part:

For our part, we're fans of the president. We endorsed him for the job, and we greatly prefer him to his predecessor. [Italics mine.] But it's difficult to see why he deserves the peace prize so soon after taking office. The Nobel committee didn't just embarrass Obama, it diminished the credibility of the prize itself, which traditionally rotates among world leaders (Willy Brandt, Mikhail Gorbachev), charitable organizations (Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders) and humanitarians (Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa).

Note that the Times confessed that they are "fans" of Obama. How is a paper to remain editorially honest and also be credible in its news reporting if they are in Obama's pocket? That is an idiotic stance for any newspaper (or any news outlet) to take. Taking their own words from above, the Times "diminished the credibility" of their own paper by admitting they are "fans."

In a way, it is not surprising since the media in general has been in the tank for Obama. The slanted reporting and constant gushing during the 2008 campaign were obvious. Also, the L. A. Times is now owned by the Tribune Co. from Chicago, which is Obama's hometown (with all of its corrupt Democrat politics).

Perhaps it is time that the Los Angeles Times rids itself of its current editorial staff or is sold to an entity who has journalistic and editorial integrity. If they can't do either, then they should close down for good.

NOTE: I thought I'd take this opportunity to post my favorite political cartoon from last year's campaign on the subject of the media's love affair with Obama.

Leave It To The Irrepressible Damon Foster

Leave it to the irrepressible Damon Foster to have a little fun with my photography.

He saw my photos of Kenji Sahara and decided to do some further modifications to one of them:

Maybe I should title it, "This Sounds Like A Job For Toho's Lawyers!" I think Sahara would be holding up an Asahi or Sapporo beer bottle instead.

Damon is one interesting fellow. He used to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and is now in the Phoenix, Arizona area. He's also a filmmaker and we've had some hilarious times in his G-FEST suite dubbing over some old Asian cartoons. He's also the editor and publisher of Oriental Cinema, when he's in the mood to put one out.

Here's Damon with one of his pets:

Above, "Damon vs. Spiga."

When I first met Damon years ago, he reminded me of an old villain from the days of the run of the Legion of Super-Heroes in DC's Adventure Comics of the 1960s. Those comics featured the early writings of Jim Shooter and the magnificent artwork of Curt Swan (pencils) and George Klein (inks). The villain was Universo:

Above, I don't think Curt Swan had Damon Foster in mind as the model for Universo, Damon probably wasn't born yet.

Damon has several videos posted at YouTube, just type in Damon Foster in their search feature and it'll take you to them.

G-FEST Photo Changes By The Multi-Talented J. D. Lees

When I was working on the Mangled Skyscraper Award Quiz (go to the link on this page on the right) the other day, I noticed that a couple of my photos in the "G-FEST XVI Report" in G-FAN #89 seemed different.

So I compared them with the original photos and, lo and behold, they were changed.

I've always known that the editor-in-chief, J. D. Lees was talented, but it never occurred to me that he was also talented enough to improve photographs the way that he has.

Here is the original photo that I took of Kenji Sahara at G-FEST holding up his Mangled Skyscraper Award:

Here's the photo as it appeared in G-FAN #89:

The other photo that caught my attention was one that's a close-up of Sahara. But note that the hand on his shoulder is gone and Stan Hyde on the left of him is also gone.

Here's the original:

Here's the photo as it appeared in G-FAN #89:

The first changed photo looks good, but it was printed on regular paper. Had it been printed on glossy paper as is the second one was, it would have looked even better.

I was impressed with the changes. They were an improvement over the originals (it could not be avoided as several people were up at the dais with Kenji Sahara). With the changes, there are no distractions and the focus is more on Sahara.

I was impressed with J. D.'s improvements. (I don't have photoshop, so I have to rely upon the basic Windows Paint program to fix photos.) Damn, the man is good!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mangled Skyscraper Quiz

The following people were awarded the Mangled Skyscraper Award (which seems to have more meaning than the Nobel Peace Prize today, given the news that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing nothing) for their contributions to the daikaiju eiga genre.

They are (not in chronological order):







Each one contributed to the enjoyment of daikaiju eiga in differing ways. For fun, match the people above to the questions below. There are no prizes, but a test of your knowledge.

1. This person directed the Showa series of Gamera movies. Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

2. This person is known as "Mister G-FEST." Is it A, B, C, D, E or F?

3. Name the persons who worked for Toho. Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

4. Name the person(s) who worked as a director? Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

5. Name the person who was the original Godzilla suit-actor. Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

6. Who attended 11 consecutive G-FESTS? Was it A, B, C, D or E?

7. Name the persons who attended at least two G-FESTS. Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

8. Who was prompted to do a belly dance at his award ceremony? Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

9. Name the recipient and the year of their award.

10. Who is a filmmaker with his own production company? Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

11. Name the five who are still living.

12. Name the five who speaks/spoke fluent Japanese.

13. Which of the six received his award at the Radisson Hotel? Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

14. Name the person(s) who is still a working actor. Was it A, B, C, D, E or F?

Respond with your answers in the comments section for this blog. Have fun!

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