Roger Ebert

I’ve become too self-conscious about my writing to tackle a worthy tribute to the great Roger Ebert. I don’t know of great writers because I am a failed reader. But, over the years, I’ve read virtually every movie review by Roger Ebert for virtually every movie I’ve seen. His opinion and his analysis trumped all others. With his insightful and humorous words, he’d tell me why I liked or disliked a film when I couldn’t find the words. (I make a habit of reading reviews AFTER I’ve seen a movie, though I generally don’t go out of my way to see films that have been panned by the top critics.) I had really enjoyed his commentaries on politics and the nature of life and death and love over the last few years on his blog, and I had been amazed by both how prolific and how positive he generally remained as he battled cancer and its cruel repercussions.

And, in the days before the internet and DVRs, growing up, I did dig through the TV Guide as my local stations would shuffle At The Movies around on the schedule, because it was one of my must-see programs each week. Siskel & Ebert were the best.

There are thousands of wonderful writings that Roger Ebert has left. There is so much great stuff being posted around the internet today. This 2012 blog post about his wife Chaz makes me smile.

Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron 1941-2012

Meg Ryan dining roomContrary to the belief of most who know me, I don’t like chick flicks. I don’t even like most romantic comedies. When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle set the bar too high. There hasn’t been anything as brilliant since. And this was 20 years ago.

One of my favorite scenes from any movie (just about every scene from When Harry Met Sally is a favorite scene):

And then here’s one from Sleepless:

Dick Clark

Yeah, he was the “New Year’s Eve icon”, but he was so much more. He produced over a hundred television specials. He hosted American Bandstand for 25 years. He hosted various incarnations of Pyramid for over two decades, for thousands of episodes. He hosted the Bloopers & Practical Jokes shows with Ed McMahon for many years. Even if there had never been a Rockin’ Eve, he’d have been an icon. But, yes, he was iconic for braving the crowds and the weather for 25 years. And then he braved the judgments of many who thought he had no business going on camera to host after he had suffered a massive stroke.

So long to one of the greats.

Check out his IMDB resume.

Steve Jobs

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for the Apple II Plus, aka the Apple ][ Plus, which I spent roughly 10000 hours with from the early to late 1980s. On that revolutionary machine (a precursor to the better-known Apple IIc), I enjoyed…let’s see…

Apple Writer, which I believe may have been only version 1.0 or 1.1, since I distinctly remember the 1979 copywrite date, and I think I did have the press the ESC key to toggle CAPS on and off.

Writing BASIC programs. The one I was most proud of was a Mad Libs program, because it combined the logic of Mad Libs stories with what I thought were cool 40-color graphics (using tags like HCOLOR; that’s all I can remember).

Micro League Baseball


I’d create leagues and play through schedules and keep stats with paper and pencil, and at the end of the season, I’d type up the standings and statistics on Apple Writer II. I’d even calculate the batting averages, since all I had were hash marks of at-bats and hits.

Olympic Decathlon


Thousands of hours on this…

Karateka


Wow, I am truly delighted by what one can find on YouTube…
Let’s say hundreds of hours on this…

Cannonball Blitz


Hundreds? Thousands?

Some more:
Ghostbusters

Chivalry

Mystery House

Ok, so this wasn’t really about Steve Jobs. You’ve probably already read plenty about him.