Tuesday, July 28, 2009

batdisc drop

An email from my friend Bean boasted about the guests they interviewed on KROQ last week. On consecutive days they had Rhys Darby, Weird Al Yankovic and Adam West.

During the interview, which is available on Friday's Kevin & Bean podcast, Adam says that he has a newly redesigned website and is now on Twitter. Adam was calling from Comic-Con, where he debuted his new DVD.

In "Adam West Naked," the actor talks about each of the 120 episodes of my favorite television show, "Batman." If the classic program were legally available on DVD, this could be the commentary track. The disc was exclusively for sale at Comic-Con. It will soon be available at the store on AdamWest.com, which, by the way, would be a perfect place for my relatives to do their Christmas shopping this year.

The same day that TV's Batman was on KROQ, I had a bat-encounter of my own. Check out the most recent little critter that I saved from drowning in my pool. He doesn't look that great in these pictures but he eventually dried off and flew away.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

rough riders

The embargo is lifted. I saw "The Dark Knight" yesterday and can now read articles and watch shows about the film. The movie is amazing. It's so full of action and plot that it's almost like two movies in one. I want to see it a second time just to enjoy a spectacular scene with the Batpod and an eighteen wheeler again. The action is great but my favorite scene was a superbly acted conversation between Batman and the Joker.

I'm glad I waited until today to watch "Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight" on History. It included a lot of footage from both "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" as experts discussed the mental states of Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent, Catwoman, the Joker and others. According to the show, director Christopher Nolan feels that Bruce Wayne is a lot like President Theodore Roosevelt. T.R.'s father was also a rich philanthropist. When the future president experienced great personal tragedy, he went off to the Dakota badlands, possibly with the intention of killing himself. Instead he came back a determined man. He became police commissioner of New York and rode a bicycle through the streets at night to deter crime.

The release of each new Batman movie brings the opportunity for some collateral publicity for the 1966 classic camp version. The best thing I've recently read about the old Adam West series was an article in Variety by Lorenzo Semple Jr. He describes the process of writing the show as well as some other backstage anecdotes. And the best thing I've seen about my childhood hero lately was a photo of Batman riding an elephant. Seriously.

Since "The Dark Knight" is a somber movie, I'll end this blog entry with some sad news about bats. Researchers are trying to determine the cause of a white nose syndrome that is killing off bats in the Northeast. It has nothing to do with Studio 54.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today's high temperature was 90° yet I needed my Alpaca sweater from Peru. Why? Because it was only 58° where I was, 126 feet underground in a cave. My son and I went to Cherokee Caverns for a media preview of their upcoming Cool Down in the Cave on July 12. For a (suggested) $5 donation, you can escape the summer heat that day.

There will be another media preview tomorrow. I suggested to the cavern volunteers that they may want to offer the tour to bloggers as well. It seemed to work for the Knoxville Symphony and for Gentlemen's Top Cuts. If any of you bloggers can make it on Thursday evening, contact Jennifer or Jim through the Cherokee Caverns website for an invitation.

Our tour guide was Jim Whidby, who has done a lot to preserve the cave and to make it accessible to visitors. As our tour began, we learned that this will be the final year for the Haunted Cave, a Halloween tradition that has raised money to pay for cave upkeep. Now I wish I had gone to it in the past. I'll have to make my first (and last) visit to the Haunted Cave this October.

Jim told us about the Eastern Pipistrelle Bats which he re-introduced to the cave. The previous population of bats were smoked out after vandals got in to the cave and burned some tires. Dummies. I was hoping to see some live bats, but they must have all been out feasting on mosquitoes. However, Jim had a dead one in his pocket. Near the end of the tour, my son spotted a live Cave Salamander trying to hide from us.

Jim showed us some ancient cave drawings made by prehistoric cavemen Bill Landry for an April Fool's bit.

The natural rock formations were much more interesting. My favorite was the face in the rock. Their largest stalagmite is known as the Capitol Dome, although I thought it looked more like Jabba the Hut.

There were two bullet holes visible in one of the stalactites, probably evidence of the vandalism that occurred during the 1980s. Fortunately the vandals didn't destroy the connected stalactite and stalagmite (the column on the left), which took thousands of years to meet.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

echolocation, location, location

There must be something in the bat-mosphere. Sure, "Superman Returns" is getting all the hype this week but Batman will not be forgotten! My good friend Bean devoted a good chunk of his blog entry today (thanks for the name check, by the way) to an art exhibit and sale by TV's Batman, Adam West. Coincidentally, TV's Robin is selling his autograph in Knoxville this weekend. Furthermore, this weekend's "Access Hollywood" included a segment about "Batman" on its "TV Retro Hour."

In other bat-news, my kids and I had some fun watching a pair of the winged mammals this evening around dusk. The bats were dive bombing for bugs while we were swimming. We splashed some water droplets into the air, which the bats chased after. The last bat-sign came inside a large envelope my mother sent me in the mail. It was a 29-year-old photograph of my parents taken at the Bacardi Corporation headquarters in San Juan.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

just in time for Halloween

There was a scene in "Batman Begins" that made me pause for a second and realize how much I was enjoying the film. It happens when Batman is surrounded by a swarm of actual bats. I've had an interest in bats since I was a kid. Of course, I watched the daily syndicated reruns of the classic TV "Batman." Plus, my father handled public relations for Bacardi Rum in the 1960s and '70s. We always had items with the Bacardi Bat Device around the house.

We have some bats in our neighborhood. I usually see them at dusk during the summer months as they sweep down to eat bugs. A recent newspaper article mentioned some pro-bat websites that are worth a look: Bat World and Bat Conservation International. Some day I want to get a bat house for the back yard.

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