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  1. Jeff Corey (1914-2002) is another fine character actor who merits his own thread (if I see about five different performances, I'm going to give any of these talented actors and actresses their own thread - they deserve it). For those of you who've heard the term, but have never really heard it defined, a "character actor" is someone whose face you've seen a million times, but can't come up with the person's name - there are a lot more of them, both in Hollywood and on television, than you think, and Jeff Corey was certainly one of them. This is but a small portion of what he has done - just what *I've* personally seen in the past couple of years, which should tell you he's done a *lot* more than this. Actively involved in television in the 1960s (Corey was blacklisted from Hollywood for refusing to name names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s), he played a major role as Byron Lomax in the somewhat Orwellian, 1963 episode of "The Outer Limits," - "O.B.I.T": It's fitting that Corey played in Hollywood during the seminal year of 1967, as Mr. Hickock (Dick Hickock's father), in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood": In 1969, Corey played High Advisor Plasus in an episode of "Star Trek" clearly influenced by Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" - "The Cloud Minders": Back in Hollywood, he plays a vital role in the 1969 film, "True Grit," as Tom Chaney, committing the murder near the very beginning which is the raison d'ĂȘtre of the entire film: From that same, fertile year for Corey, 1969, he played Sheriff Bledsoe in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid": The following year, 1970, he would play a well-received role as the logical Dr. Miles Talmadge on "Night Gallery's" "The Dead Man":
  2. Heading to San Francisco next weekend for a friend's b-day. Dinners are already set at the Cortez [Purchased by Ron Silberstein in 2008, Closed Aug 10, 2009], at the Hotel Adagio and at Lemongrass. Can anyone recommend anything I need to order at these places? I'll also have Sunday evening to myself so is there a not miss restaurant open on Sunday night for someone who just plans on ordering at the bar?
  3. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Sometime in the late 1960s, we were visiting my Aunt Kitty and Uncle Ben in Detroit, and were out for a walk. We walked past a park, and Uncle Ben (who knew I was a baseball savant) asked me to guess who the park was named after - I immediately said "Ty Cobb,: and he (in his 70s at the time) said, "No, no, no! Ty Cobb wasn't loved here in Detroit - this park is named for Harry Heilmann!" (With his accent, I thought he had said "Harry Hahmann," and I never got the name right for the next twenty years). Uncle Ben had lived in Detroit for decades, and remembered both players very well - he said how much Heilmann was loved by the residents of Detroit - little did I know that Heilmann was also arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of all-time (apologies to Rogers Hornsby). He's the only player ever to be in the .400 / 40 club (with 40 Doubles) - I may be wrong about this: Someone please let me know if I am. If you're unfamiliar with Heilmann, look at his batting statistics in the 1920s! Maybe the greatest hitter you've never heard of? Nobody has ever hit .400 in four seasons, but people say that if Heilmann - whose nickname was "slug" - wasn't so slow afoot, he'd be the one who had done it: He was a total of 8 hits away - 8 infield hits away - from accomplishing the feat, had he hit them judiciously in 1921, 1925, and 1927.
  4. Ted Williams is the only person who can claim - along with Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb - to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. Here are some statistics which are so mind-boggling that they simply do not compute: * Williams had a lifetime batting average of .344 - the highest of any player with more than 302 home runs. * Williams had 521 home runs. * Williams missed 3 seasons in the prime of his career due to WWII. The three years before, he batted .344, .406 and .356; the three years after, he batted .342, .343, and .369. * Missing those 3 seasons cost him at least 100 home runs - he would have hit 625 for his career. * Even more remarkable than the above? His *career* on-base percentage was .482. That is not a misprint. * Perhaps even *more* remarkable? Not once did he ever have 200 hits in a season. See for yourselves. How can that be? I guess it's because he walked so much (he had 20-12 vision). There are *three people* on that list of *525-different 200-hit seasons* named Williams, none of which is Ted. * If Williams had played 20 years earlier, I might be able to comprehend these numbers, but he was a *generation* after the big-numbers hitters of the 1920s. * His batting average, his home runs, and his walks - in my mind - make him a perfectly legitimate choice for the moniker: Greatest Hitter of All-Time.
  5. This article claims that Yelp has offered to remove negative restaurant reviews for $299 a month. I really want to make some sort of joke here about running a $249 special on donrockwell.com, but instead I'll just shake my head in disbelief over the accusations. Cheers, Rocks.
  6. JLK

    San Diego, CA

    I will be in San Diego and La Jolla for an upcoming weekend. If you have any recommendations for moderately-priced restaurants with lively atmospheres, send 'em my way. Taco stand suggestions also appreciated.
  7. Jonathan Gold was the best food critic in the United States. "Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold Dies at 57" by Andrea Chang on latimes.com
  8. Most people of a certain age know that George Reeves played "Superman" in the original television series. Many people know that he died of suicide, by a suspicious gunshot. But who knew that he spoke the very first lines in "Gone with the Wind?!"
  9. San Francisco is so expensive servers are priced out of the housing market: Hence full service restaurants and no wait staff. "San Francisco Restaurants Can't Afford Waiters. So They're Putting Diners To Work" by Emily Badget on mobile.nytimes.com
  10. I'm heading to Monterey in October for a long weekend (Thursday-Monday). Are there any dining options in Monterey, Carmel or Big Sur that you recommend? It is possible that I will have one big blow out meal, but i'm mostly looking for casually elegant places and hole-in-the-wall regional spots. I will not be heading to S.F. on this trip. As always, thanks for your help!
  11. In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Warriors have beaten the Houston Rockets twice; once in which Stephen Curry played only 20 minutes, lit up the scoring, then got hurt and sat for the rest of the rout(game). In the 2nd match up, Curry didn't play due to injury...opening up tremendous opportunities for Houston. Didn't pan out though as the Golden State Warriors won again, even without Curry. Of course there could be a variety of reasons for the results...but one suggestion is that James Harden's defense is simply not that stellar. Below a video of some of his shining moments on defense: "Great Moments in James Harden Defensive History" on espn.go.com
  12. Can you believe that there is no general thread (at least none that I can find) here about Facebook? The reason I'm starting one now is because I've noticed a somewhat disturbing trend in the past few days. A few days ago, a Friend (whom I've only met once in my life, but who did a favor for me long ago) posted that for his birthday, he'd like people to donate to his favorite charity. I thought, "Well, what a nice thing to do. Sure, why not?" So I donated $20 out of respect, and wished him a Happy Birthday! I'd forgotten all about this - until I saw another Friend do a similar thing a couple of days ago. And another. And now another. Has anyone else noticed this on Facebook in the past week? Changing the subject a bit, the last two times I've donated money - once on Facebook, once on GoFundMe - including having given a fairly ample sum to a person who doesn't even seem to like me, but who seemed desperate - both times, I got not so much as a thank you, or even a "Like." Really? I don't expect anything in return when I give people something, but what has happened to common courtesy? The flip-side of this is that I gave a pretty substantial sum to an old high school buddy who really *was* desperate - he needed a kidney transplant, pronto. And a couple months ago, he got one, and is doing much better now - we haven't seen each other in 40 years, but now we've reconnected, and that makes all of this worthwhile.
  13. I only just learned of this exhibit via an article in today's Washington Post. I recall the day and the TV coverage of the slow mournful movement of this train carry the slain Robert Kennedy from a service in NYC to Washington DC where he was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery next to his brother. It was painfully breathtaking. Millions lined the train tracks from NY to DC all along the route, in every state and small hamlet. The scenes were haunting. It was a spontaneous response from people of all walks of life. The exhibit is running currently and through June 10 at San Francisco MOMA. I have no current plans to visit San Fran during this period but if I were I'd visit the museum and the exhibit. I hope this display travels to other museums. It was a mournful haunting moment in American history.
  14. I suspect many of our readers have never heard of Zach Britton, despite him pitching up I-95 for the Baltimore Orioles. An equal number of readers may be wondering why I'm starting a thread on him. As it turns out, Britton is the owner of some fairly impressive feats: * He was an All-Star in 2015 and 2016 * He was the American League Saves leader in 2016, with 47. Upping the "Impressive" factor ... * He is the all-time American League record holder in Consecutive Saves with 60. Apr 15, 2017 - "Britton Ties AL Record with 54 Consecutive Saves" by Dhiren Mahiben on mlb.com * He is the only American League pitcher to hit a home run this decade. [Oops, I'm wrong about that]: Jul 21, 2015 - "Nathan Karns Hits First HR by American League Pitcher in 4 Years" by Eric Stephen on sbnation.com
  15. Half Moon Bay I'm going to be in Half Moon Bay, CA over a long weekend in August as part of a work trip. It looks like an hour's drive could get me to San Fran for dinner -- or a day trip. Do you think I could get to Napa and back in a day? And if you've been there, do you have any recommendations?
  16. I am staying at the Pickwick Hotel in San Francisco, which is a combination boutique and dive. But for convenience sake, one of its restaurants is Soma, and I've been there about 3-4 times this week. When busy, Soma tops 90 decibels. But it's food is surprisingly good. The menu trends Mediterranean, with hints of NoCal here and there. I have had the carpaccio at happy hour, and it's $7 price tag is the steal of San Francisco. It's ridiculously good for that price. The chicken kabob comes with remarkably good fresh vegetables and a perfect mold of jasmine rice. The New York strip is so perfect to look at -- appears formed from chopped meat -- but comes out of the kitchen a perfect medium rare to rare, juicy and delicious. Pizza is perfect San Francisco pizza -- nice puffy crust with fresh and abundant toppings. Meatballs are a hit, and almost every table orders them. Combination lamb and beef burger is the best burger within 5 blocks of the Moscone Center. I'm not saying this is fine dining as far as the San Francisco dining scene is concerned. But this is my last night in San Francisco on this trip, and I can Uber anywhere, but I'm going downstairs to Soma.
  17. I think, yes "I think" the biggest over priced item of the evening was your Kistler Pinot. What do you do with all the white wine you have to buy to get the Pinot.
  18. Victorville; Ontario Still talking to myself, hope it's useful. In Victorville, there is a great Middle Easten place called Ala' Al-Deen. It seems to be family run and the building itself is quite run-down (needs a new roof! or a newly painted roof or something), but the food is good and apportioned generously. The eggplant dip is very yogurty and almost unrecognizable as eggplant, but is tangy and refreshing. Actually, that would be a good way to describe our whole meal. We shared a small mixed platter which included eggplant and hummus dips, tabouleh and arabic salad, a pile of (unremarkable, but warmed) pita bread, asorted meats, a grilled tomato and onion, and some rice. We topped it off with an order of (relatively) light and crunchy felafel and had a feast for 2. The desserts ($1 baklava pieces) looked wonderful but we didn't have any room. In Ontario, there is a new Thai place in the Mountainview area called Lucky Elephant Thai. It is one of the prettiest Thai restaurants I've ever seen, with tons of wooden scrollwork and purple and gold decorations everywhere (not as garish as it sounds). The food is fine and they were out of eggplant (??!!) during our visit. They use dried rice noodles, which are thinner than the fresh noodles I'm accustomed to. The staff are extremely welcoming and attentive. I'm not sure it warrants seeking out, but it's certainly not a bad way to pass an evening if you're in the neighborhood and don't feel like visiting one of the zilions of chain restaurants nearby, and they may improve as they gain experience.
  19. In doing research for the 1970 World Series, I learned that Emmett Ashford was the first black umpire ever to officiate a World Series Game (I've updated my post about Game One of the World Series to reflect this fact.) Not only that, Ashford was the first black umpire ever to be in Major League Baseball - working from 1966-1970. Feb 7, 2011 - "Ashford Broke Barriers behind a Mask" by Danny Wild on milb.com (note milb, not mlb) Incredibly, Chuck Meriwether became the second black umpire in the American League - in 1993. In 2008, the donrockwell.com community was three-years old, and Barack Obama won the Presidential election. That same year, a pair of black umpires would work a major-league game for the first time. When I was younger, I thought affirmative action was demeaning and unnecessary; I could not have been more wrong. How is Emmett Ashford *not* in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Oct 10, 2009 - "Chapman Students Want Black Ump in Hall of Fame" by Doug Irving on ocregister.com
  20. Tickets are $25 each and include museum admission. I just picked up a pair this morning and there appears to be good availability left, although some days are completely sold out. The following description is from The Broad website:
  21. Instead of our obvious gut instinct that says, "Shoot them now, or force them to die a slow, painful death," I'm hoping that this discussion can focus on prevention. What can we do to stop things such as this from happening? I stress: Instead of an outlet for our anger, I'm hoping that this group can come up with ideas to ferret out people like this going forward; otherwise, there's no point in discussing this here, as so many other media outlets are undoubtedly having comments calling for these peoples' heads. I think it's pretty clear that this would have happened, even if the penalty was "Prolonged death by slow torture." Warning: Do not read this if you'll be traumatized by details of child abuse: "Horrific Details Emerge as Perris Parents Accused of Holding 13 Kids Captive Are Charged with Torture" by Paloma Esquivel, Sonali Kohli, and Joseph Serna on latimes.com One idea: Care about your neighbors, even if you've never met them before. Notice things, be a little nosy, and if you're proven wrong, apologize and simply explain why you were concerned - then introduce yourself, shake their hand, and invite them over for a glass of wine one day. If my neighbor did such a thing to me, for whatever reason, I would thank them. In fact, when I had a Little Brother (i.e., the Big Brothers program), I was questioned a couple of times by strangers (picture a white male in his 30s, walking through the woods with a black pre-teen), and I always thanked them for their concern, rather than resented their intrusiveness. Hell, when I crossed the Canadian border with my son, the authorities questioned him (not me), and I thanked them for it.
  22. Most people know Martin Milner as Officer Pete Malloy on Adam-12, some people know him as Tod Stiles on Route 66, and almost nobody knows what a *tremendous* actor he was. And I can prove it to you in one hour: There's one, single episode of Route 66 that should have won Milner an Emmy Award, and quite honestly, I can't fathom how it didn't. Season 2, Episode 11, "The Thin White Line" (here on Hulu) is an honest-to-God, one-man, tour-de-force by Milner, and it's unlike any other Route 66 episode. In my entire life, I have never seen such demands put on an actor in a single hour - Milner is drugged (with what turns out to be television's first-ever portrayal of LSD), and as you hear the physician describe the scenario that will play out over 6-8 hours, you know exactly what Milner will be going through in advance, and he gives an absolute virtuoso performance - one of the best acting roles I've seen in my life, in any medium. Do yourself a favor and watch "The Thin White Line." Milner himself said that this was his favorite episode, and the biggest challenge he ever faced as an actor. On a sadder note, Adam-12 radio dispatcher Shaaron Claridge (an actual LAPD radio dispatcher) actually made this radio call when Milner passed away: