Sunday, March 28, 2010

But As If To Knock Me Down, Reality Came Around

Knocked out by a sinus infection as winter slowly releases its grip on the Heartland of America.  Dwelling on happier days seems to help.  And, despite what was said on a recent episode of "Parks and Recreation" about time-shares in Muncie (yes, I am still vigilantly watching for slights against my hometown, Amy Poehler, and I died a little inside) we are hoping for sunshine soon.

A recent search on Bing, neighbor's daughter shows up at my door with debris from oak trees screaming, has to be an all-time classic and I'm sure has a complicated story all its own.  But sometimes people come here with questions about other John Daltons who have done much better than me in life.  But, as a public service, I will try to answer these questions as best I know how.

how tough is a hickory stump?
 I've had to pull a few stumps in my day, and there's no such thing as an easy stump.

 great criminal detective books?
So many, but here's five off of the top of my head:  The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich, The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett, The Heat's On by Chester Himes, When the Sacred Ginmill Closes by Lawrence Block.

unusual or whacky eating establishments in indiana?
I've tried many, but what comes to mind right away is Maid Rites just across the border in Greenville Ohio.

what other accompelments did john dalton have in his career?
Well, in addition to my sordid life in b-movies, I also like to draw comics.

Until later, I am at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Life In A High-Rise Can Make You Hungry

We keep hearing that the Arts in Indiana are in trouble, and perhaps the evidence is finally here; I have been asked to serve again on the Media Panel of the Indiana Arts Commission and will be once more judging the Phantoscope Film Festival.

I enjoy judging Phantoscope. It is a regional high school film festival hosted in the town where I work It's great to meet the future filmmakers who are going to kick me off of the narrow precipice I stand on.

Since judging this Fest, I have seriously met one pretty talented young filmmaker and one insanely talented young filmmaker. And loyal readers know I was talking up this dude about five years ago (now he's in Sundance) and gave this young lady her first chance at play-by-play announcing (now she works for Fox Sports). So despite my other shortcomings and failings, I do have a good eye for talent.

I'm not sure you can say the same for Knopf Publishing, who apparently think I am a great and powerful blogger of note. They sent me a nice proof of Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest as a thank you for hosting a contest for his last book. I am not normally one of those bloggers who try to grab freebies with both hands (which are plentiful in the blogosphere) so the only thing I can figure is Knopf knows how much I loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and that have told many people that with no hope for reward. Strangely, I was just finishing up Arnaldur Indridason's The Draining Lake when this showed up in the mail and I have jumped right into it. Thanks to Knopf for bringing great Scandinavian mysteries to these shores and cheering up my long winter nights.

Until later, I am at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Stars That Fell From The Sky, Living Up On The Hill

Loyal readers of my blog know that I spent a few summer vacations working at the Microcinema Film Festival in Rapid City SD and later in Palatine IL; now that beloved Palatine crew have launched their own festival right here. These folks ran a nice fest, and I always enjoyed my visits to this lovely Chicago burb, so any of my filmmaking peeps reading, submit away.

We are finally coming out of a long cold sucko winter. It was so bad I actually felt better after watching The Seventh Seal on cable. I think I put a nail in winter's coffin after coming back from Fort Myers Florida yesterday, visiting my in-laws in a retirement community there. Feeling the sun on my face meant so much it doesn't even bother me that I got food poisoning and vomited one night.

I don't have a lot of wisdom to offer, but one thing I know is that you have to keep your mouth closed when you fill the water softener and change the cat litter. To this list I can also add that you should never eat at a seafood place that is adjacent to a flea market.

Speaking of microcinema, an old pal, Canadian filmmaker Jon Ashby, answers some of my earlier philosophical rants here (at least I think he wrote this after reading my blog).

I too hope I am coming out of a long hibernation. For the second time in the last five years I made monumental changes in my day job and took a year off from the freelancing world. Somehow, the direct-to-DVD market and Fangoria Magazine survived my absence. But that year is almost up, marking a triumphant return to a world that didn't notice I was gone.

More later; until then, give me a shout at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Canned Heat

Edison-Ford Winter Estates, Spring Break 2010. Who knew Henry Ford liked square dancing so much?