June 27th, 2014


HBO 19 -- Backdraft -- Lost In Space

Nineteenth session: Backdraft (conclusion)
Now we're investigating fires, DeNiro is showing young Baldwin about how fire is an animal, spraying a line of fuel on a crime scene to demonstrate, while Donald Sutherland helps young Baldwin with WHO. And is enchanted when he realizes the kid SAW the fire look at him before it killed his father. A great scene of making love on top of the hoses in the back of a fire truck -- which gets a call.

They apparently let anyone jump onto a moving fire truck and help out on a fire. (grin)

Weakest part is the Big huge chemical fire set piece at the end. The shooting Roman candles of 55 gallon drums. Has Mythbusters ever tried this? If you go, we go.

Still, they did a great job of making fire alive and breathe. It's beautiful. And it has 8-track tapes. (snicker)

Lost In Space
I'm skipping Jurassic Park from the movie list, because we're getting a new movie and we'll do a pre-lab next year. And I can revel in the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings any time I want.

As a kid, I watched Lost In Space first run. My favorite episode was the one where Will briefly got home long enough to get medicine -- and then the transporter broke. But William Hurt? What are you doing in this film?

Yesterday I found out that the transparent walls of the hyperbaric chambers are 1½" thick. And the huge latches on the hatch? Solid brass. Why brass? Brass tools don't make sparks.

My point is that there is more technology shown in the HBO unit than the entire first half of this movie. And it has a starship. You have a huge domed control room and the command chair can raise up some twenty feet on a piston so you can get to some important controls? Idiots!

And if the point of the whole expedition is to find humanity a new home because our overconsumption has trashed this planet, then why in the Sam Hell do the Robinsons live with so much opulence? Idiots! And for someone going on such a long mission and the night before they're still packing? Idiots!

And if I was going into space, I surely wouldn't want to go into hypersleep before the damned launch. And how come no one checked the robot? And why didn't the NRA confiscate those voice activated safety pistols?

So far, having not seen this film since its 1998 debut, the ONE redeeming thing I've found is Penny Robinson. Like her genius brother and older sister, she turns out to be not useless. Lacey Chabert was cute and a short 17 then. At 31 she's grown up -- and her résumé includes a lot of genre and animated work. So despite some of her other roles -- Party of Five -- at least she has a geeky tradition. This Penny is smart and ironic and gothette. Probably one of the more interesting daughters since Wednesday Addams.

Oh, and Wikipedia mentions that in addition to some original cast cameos, "Dick Tufeld returned to his role as the voice of the Robot, having played the voice of the Robot in the original program, as well as narrating the series." I mean, the robot was the star of the cheesy 60s TV series.

And grudgingly I'll give chameleon Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith some credit.

But these people are all Idiots!

Finish this after we board the unknown human ship where there shouldn't be one with an alien ship docked to it and start The Matrix next.


Managed the Lane Avenue flip and Ottawa Avenue loop without Suburban interference. Learned that I get a day off on the Fourth of July -- we'll probably go to a movie. It's the Fourth and surely something big must be opening.

On the drive home, stopped for $40 of gas -- half a tank -- at the newly boosted prices mentioned yesterday. Saturday we should earn a 75¢/gallon discount coupon, which by the beginning of July should bring us to about where gas used to be. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil


Alas, it appears that Chicago 7 Pizzeria -- home of the best Chicago stuffed pizza in Grand Rapids has closed as of Saturday. Once again...

Chicago 7 Pizzeria added 2 new photos.
21 hrs ·

WE have enjoyed being in Cascade even though we haven't been able to overcome the challenges this economic climate has presented us. As a result, we are faced with closing our doors. WE WILL MISS ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS!!! Have a wonderful summer!

Alas, Mrs. Dr. Phil never let me have enough. And for us, their latest location in Cascade is way on the other side of the city from us.


As Joe Chicago's Pizza by Rivertown Crossings Mall, I found out about them maybe 2½ years after they opened. All those pizzas we could have had! And not too hard to get to from the M-6 or I-196 on my way home from work. Then one day they were closed. And that was that.

But a fan of Joe Chicago's bought the place and Chicago stuffed pizza was back on our menu -- along with their marvelous sauce.

Alas again, they closed. Until I read a bit in the weekly Advance local paper that Chicago 7 had opened in Grandville on 28th Street. Turns out it was the same people. Alas again² they closed, not surprising considering the business climate on the west end of 28th. Hell, even Studio 28 couldn't stay open there.

But I guess it was last year during The Year Without Summer, that we checked their website and found Chicago 7 had moved to the east end of 28th in Cascade. Seemed promising, though the actual little shopping center they were in wasn't very busy looking. Anyway, I did get my Chicago 7 stuffed pizza for my birthday in hospital.

Our last Chicago deep dish pizza the other week was from Crust 54 in Holland, a lot easier for us and pretty decent stuff. But I so had a plan to nab a Chicago 7 pizza on the way to Detcon 1 next month, solving some of our dinner issues.

This has been the pizza joint that would not die. Opened and closed four times in three locations, one can only hope that they'll try again.

Chicago 7 has a great product. But is it location? Real estate costs? Or can Grand Rapids just not support such a glorious food? Holland seems to, with Crust 54, but they're front and center in downtown Holland, just a third of a block from Butch's.

Pardon me while I shed a tear from this tragic Facebook announcement...

Dr. Phil