There are many women who would be flattered, maybe even enthralled to see a star with the talent and sophisticated good looks of Ralph Fiennes playing their father. Monica Hertwig is not among them. Monica, a stay-at-home caregiver who dotes on her young grandson and goes about her prosaic teutonic existence in a way that makes her appear not unlike any one of a hundred other women-next-door at the supermarket where you do your shopping. The difference is Monika has seen Ralph Fiennes dressed in the uniform her father wore, living in the house her father lived in, and indiscriminately exterminating his fellow humans with no more emotion than a man crushing an insect into the sidewalk.
Monika’s father was Amon Goeth, the SS Commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow, Poland. You know him as the sadistic killer in Steven Spielberg’s heart-wrenching docudrama, Schindler’s List. Continue reading
It’s official. JamieBeckett.com is getting a facelift. Not Jamie himself mind you. He’s going to continue to age, get wrinkly, lose what’s left of his hair and possibly even become a bit less warm and fuzzy in his old age. The site though, that’s a different story altogether. We’re dressing up a bit, taking a new look at ourselves, and considering how we might make a visit to the site a more enjoyable, enriching, life-affirming experience. Okay, we might be going a little overboard on that last bit – but you have to aim high, right?
So check back often, let us know what you think, and we’ll keep banging away at making JamieBeckett.com a place where you are happy to hang out.
It’s called, Just About Armageddon, and it’s almost here. Well, it’s here already, actually. I’ve been working on it furiously for months. It’s always been here in my head and on my computer. What’s more important is that it’s almost there, where you are. Without you, the mighty reader, I am just telling stories to myself. And that’s a little too sad for me to contemplate on a Friday morning.
Just About Armaggedon is the second installment in the Lifeboat Augusta seres. It accompanies the first installment, To the Lifeboats, which was released in September 2012. By the time it’s complete this five piece series will have entertained you for many hours, at least. If I’m lucky there will be disagreements amongst readers about what Randy Tagget’s true intentions are, or why Raphael Fuentes appeared to go mad in such a short time-frame after having been a rock-solid leader for so many years. That’s the sort of thing that entertains writers immensely. We get to see our work from an entirely new perspective, much like when a John Grisham book is turned into a movie. I suspect John watches the movie with great anticipation, wondering how the story will play out in this new format. Certainly, it won’t be the same as the book. Heavens to Betsy, they never have been before. Why start now? Continue reading
Iconic CBS newsman Walter Cronkite’s famous tag line seems to be coming back to haunt us. “And that’s the way it is…,” were the words Walter uttered at the conclusion of each broadcast. He was telling us something important, even if the method of communication was casual and concise. His message was simple – he’d just told us what happened. What really happened. He didn’t sugar coat it, or editorialize about why it happened, or what might happen next. Nope, Walter became the most trusted man in America for the simple reason that he reported the news. That’s all.
As I watch political battles being waged today, I miss Walter more than ever. Similarly, when I hear the comments made by Monday morning quarterbacks, political wannabes, and far too many pseudo-reporters, Walter’s words come back to me again. Because they don’t seem to understand the basics, and so they confuse themselves with inventions of their own that cloud issues, foster dissent, and occasionally lead to really bad knee-jerk political action based on fear rather than knowledge, insight, or legal precedent. Continue reading
Yep, it’s an Uncle Billy’s Enunciator Panel quick take. If you don’t know what a quick take is you’re in luck, because it will only take you five minutes to listen to the whole thing. The topic is a natural for an aviation oriented podcast – art. So if you’re curious about art with an aviation bent, this is just the quick take for you.
Check it out. Oh and by the way, this week’s episode is sponsored by…oops, no time for that. It’s show time.
BTW: if you can guess the name of the theme music or the artist who plays it, you get extra points.
With the final day of Sun ‘n Fun looming, Uncle Billy once again called on me to take over his podcast, Uncle Billy’s Enunciator Panel. With little time and less budget, I was fortunate to run into my old buddy Eric Crump in the Redbird simulator tent. I asked him to participate with me and he took the bait. I think I’ve found a stand-by host to work with when I’m in a pinch. It’s a good thing, too, because Eric is not only a pretty sharp guy, he’s got a sense of humor and I really enjoy spending time with him. It’s hardly work when Crump is on hand – even if the talk gets technical we seem to find a way to make it entertaining. At least it’s entertaining for us.
Click the link and listen if you wish. We may not be Uncle Billy, but we’re certainly a reasonable facsimile of the Uncle Billy experience – so for the moment at least, I guess Eric and I are the Enunciator Panel. Enjoy the show!
It’s been a busy Wednesday. But then every day is busy when Sun ‘n Fun is in town. This massive aviation oriented circus of activity rolls into Lakeland, Florida every Spring – filling restaurants and hotel rooms even as it empties the rental car lots. Something on the order of 200,000 people will wander through the gates of the International Fly-In an Expo hoping to see something spectacular, to meet a new friend, to run into an old acquaintance, or to learn something they never knew before. Few if any go away disappointed.
My good buddy Eric Crump and I were tapped to fill in for Uncle Billy on his podcast this week. We had a heck of a good time, even though we were last minute replacements and had absolutely no time to prepare for the program. Thankfully we had Uncle Billy’s notes to work from. Beyond that, we just winged it, if you’ll pardon the pun.
The program is called Uncle Billy’s Enunciator Panel. Click the link and listen, if you dare.
Eric is the director of the aerospace program at Polk State College here in central Florida. He got us into a great chat about aerospace education K-12. From there we launched off into a discussion of Sun ‘n Fun which shifts into high gear next week for their International Fly-In and Expo. And we wrapped it all up with a timely give and take about the pending tower closures that are going to turn the lights out on 149 air traffic control towers across the United States.
All in all we had a great time. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
If working in radio is this much fun, I’ll be happy to fill in for Uncle Billy, or anyone else, any time they ask.
On Saturday, March 30, 2013 a group of volunteers gathered at Gilbert Field in Winter Haven, Florida to paint a compass rose on the ramp. Just beyond the porch where breakfast patrons of Pappy’s Grill were munching on breakfast, the project took shape. By the end of the day it was complete. Many thanks are due to the 99s, EAA chapter members, local volunteers, and visitors from far off places who pitched in. A wonderful time was had by all – as you can plainly see from this video, compiled over the course of the
I tend to write upbeat stories that are intended to inspire and motivate. That’s not always practical, however. For instance, when your house bursts into flames because the turkey frier got out of hand, that’s probably not the best time to ask your guests if they’d like a bowl of ice-cream. Better than you get up from the table and go outside for awhile, no matter how quick a response time your local fire department can promise.
Sometimes something stupid happens. When that occurs, I often find myself fighting the urge to jot down a few words on the topic. Today is one of those days. Something stupid happened. Actually, something happened that is so stupid it is hard to measure even on an industrial scale.