Home

Table of contents

Animation Cels

Art Gallery

Articles

Auctions

Banks

Betty Page Theater

Cartoon Theater

CDs

Comedy Club

Disney

DVDs

Freebies

Links

Mamie's Column

Memorabilia

Models

Movie Trailers

Movies/TV

Film/TV Pix

Serials

Major Andersen's SP Museum

Original Art

Parody Theater

Posters Lobby Cards

Radio

Ray Guns

Records

Reproductions

Saturday Morning TV

Sci-Fi Apparel

Space Patrol Gold

Spotlight On 

Star Trek

Star Wars

Statues

Sunday Comics

Swap Talk

Toys

Sci-Fi Toys

Toy Vehicles

UFO Report

Vid Juke Box 

Wolfs Page

3D Gallery

3D Theater

80s Rock Scene

 

Contact Us: Swapsale@aol.com

EDITORIAL

FTP ISSUES

Swapsale has gone without update for a while because of issues with our hosting provider. Things seem to be in working order again -- knock on wood.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-19-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELECTION DAY IS NEAR!

Fitting with the near end of this tumultuous election season, this week's feature covers a timeline of key events from the campaign trail, as well as a look back at past presidential concession speeches. Will Trump be making such a concession speech if he loses? That remains to be seen. Enjoy the update!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-7-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Based on the past couple weeks, you may surmise that our new publishing date is Monday, but this has just been to suit my schedule during this time. Next week, we should continue our regular publishing updates on Sunday.

As today is Halloween, I have made this week's update a special Halloween edition. This week's features include an article exploring the science of being scared and this year's top trending costumes.

In addition, I have posted perhaps the scariest film of the year (that is, at least, to most scientists), Leonardo DiCaprio's exploratory documentary on climate change, Before The Flood, now available to stream free worldwide.

You can watch that here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-31-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A COUPLE WEEKS LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT

It's been a couple weeks since the last update but it doesn't mean I've forgotten about you. I've been dealing with an illness as well as an extended outage of my internet lasting several days, setting me back quite a bit. I've also been exploring ways of achieving what I discussed during the last editorial.

That said, I hope you enjoy this week's update.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-24-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW CHANGES?

Sorry for my absence. You may have noticed sporadic updates from time to time, but I think the past few weeks have been coming together quite nicely as far as regular updates are concerned, albeit no editorial.

Before my father passed, we had been exploring ways of improving on the website while still retaining the magazine format he had always envisioned. In an effort to provide regular, automatic updates to our readership, I feel like it is time to follow through. This may mean a transition to Wordpress software, allowing Swapsale to be displayed in uniform on every operating device (including mobile devices), cleaner layout for easy browsing, a search function, user comments, higher indexing in search engines, and easier publishing ability for myself.

The transition will probably be a massive workload, but I think it just might be worth it. What do you think?

In case you're wondering, we have been using Microsoft Front Page (a now obsolete technology) to update Swapsale ever since it's inception in 1999. It's like designing a layout in Microsoft Word, except with hundred of pages -- way time intensive, not at all automatic, and prone to problems -- making it a difficult part-time job for one man.

Is it time for Swapsale to adapt to Web 2.0? Send me a comment below.

By the way, last week's update included Warren Chaney's final chapter of his three part article on Tommy Cook. If you missed it, check it out here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-9-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BACK ON TRACK

As some of you may have noticed, Swapsale has gone without update for quite sometime. This was due to a major crash of the Swapsale computer as well as an array of personal issues that have prevented me from spending more time on resolving this particular problem. It has been a bit of an adjustment period now that the duty of publishing this website has fallen solely on me. For those of you who have been itching for a Swapsale update, I really do apologize. Fortunately, the problem has been resolved and things seem to be back on track.

Now for some good news. For this week's publication, Warren Chaney has contributed an article on Tommy Cook, radio star of the 40s and 50s and the original Little Beaver of Red Ryder fame. This is a multi-part undertaking by Warren so be sure to check back next week for part two. I've also listed a number of cool items for auction this week ranging from space rockets to vintage collectible toys, some of which you can see below.

Space-Age-Rocket-Model-1009-Space-Tub-Desk-Sculpture-Cool-Rockets-Jeff-Brewer Buck-Rogers-Battle-Cruiser-Space-Ship-Resin-Model-Limited-Edition-1940s-Replica

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-28-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING BRUCE DAVID

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my father and founder of Swapsale.com, Bruce David. He passed away peacefully during the afternoon of June 17 with my brother and I at his side. In the days since his death, I have been touched by the outpouring of love and support from friends, acquaintances, and those who knew him. It has become clear by those who shared memories of my father that he had a greatly positive impact on the people he encountered.

Although I am beyond devastated by the loss of my father, I find comfort in the fact that he lived a rich and fruitful life, full of adventure and accomplishments. Not only was he the founder of Swapsale, but he was also a brilliant artist, writer, publisher, and journalist -- a man of many talents.

He made his mark on the world as editor-in-chief of Hustler Magazine, publishing consequential investigative pieces and political commentary that championed the working class and First Amendment. His editorial edge pushed the boundaries far beyond the scope of your typical sex magazine, always making sure to feature articles of mainstream importance.

As a screenwriter during the 1980s, he helped make people laugh, adding his wit to shows like Family Ties and Alf, among others. Moreover, since 1999, he has dedicated his time toward publishing Swapsale -- the online magazine that you are reading now -- providing an outlet for fans of retro television, nostalgia, and all things fandom.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the vital role he has played in my life. He was the best father I could have asked for and the greatest man I've ever known -- my mentor, my hero. He will be missed dearly, always and forever. Please feel free to celebrate his life in whatever way you can.

In his memory, I will continue to run Swapsale and RetroGuideBook as he would have wanted.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-26-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDITORIAL

ABOUT ROSS PEROT

In 1992 billionaire business man Ross Perot, largely opposed to the NAFTA trade agreement supported by both the Republican and Democratic party, decided to run for president  as an independent third party candidate.  His opposition was based on what he described a "giant sucking sound" as American jobs headed south to Mexico and elsewhere thereby devastating our economy.  History has proven him right as Senator Bernie Sanders has repeatedly pointed out. That being said, I thought this would be a good time to look back at that campaign and the issues raised by the candidates involved.  You can find that feature here.

Meanwhile, for those of you who prefer material that is a little more light weight we have our regular lineup of retro items including our feature on Janis Joplin, one of the most amazing singers ever.  Have fun.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-8-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Yep! Today (May 1, 2016) is my birthday.  I'm not gonna say how old I am -- except that I am older than the cold wind. But the 1950s is the decade that resonates with me the most. 

Meanwhile, check out  this week's TV Previews which features the new season of Ancient Aliens.  I think the accompanying video is terrific.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-1-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE ABOUT THE 28 PAGES

Last week (scroll down) I mentioned that, according to the TV show 60 Minutes, the redacted 28 pages within the President's report investigating 9/11 are believed to strongly suggest the Saudi government was behind the attacks.  Given that, our congress is trying to pass a bill which would make it legal for victims of 9/11 to sue the Saudis.  Really?   The Saudi's attack us, killing 3000 Americans, and our response is to take them to court? 

I understand that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is complex and that a direct military attack against them would be unwise.  But it seems to me that, given the nature of their deed, a weak response is equally unwise.  We certainly don't want the rest of the world thinking that if they attack us, inflicting great damage, all they have to fear is a lawsuit.  After all, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, I doubt FDR's first words were "get my lawyers on the phone."

It's true I'm out for blood.  So it's a good thing I'm not the one running things in this regard. But I sincerely hope that the CIA, which has overthrown country after country in the past, can come up with something better than a lawsuit for the Saudis.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-24-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE 28 PAGES

Those of us who pay attention to foreign affairs have known for some time that our government has covered up the Saudi Arabian connection to the 9/11 attack on our country.  The cover up includes the whisking away of highly placed Saudi family members immediately after the attack (before the FBI could interrogate them) despite the grounding of all other flights in our country.  Additionally, our government has refused to release the classified 28 pages -- an entire chapter in the 838-page report of a joint House-Senate intelligence inquiry into 9/11 conducted in 2002 by the George W. Bush administration -- because they clearly linked the Saudis to the attack on our country.  Instead of striking back at the people who attacked us, we launched a war against Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with the horror perpetrated against us.

Now, at last, thanks to the TV show 60 minute, the Saudi connection to the attack is finally being exposed.  You can get all the pertinent information here, in this week's feature article on the report which leaves no doubt about the Saudi involvement.  So only two questions remain: (1) When will the 28 pages be released by the Obama Administration and (2) when will we show the Saudis' they cannot kill 3000 American citizens with impunity. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-17-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUTLANDER RETURNS

The Starz TV series returned after nearly a year absence yesterday, 4-9-16.  Sorry I didn't let you know last week but it escaped my notice.  Anyway, as regular readers of this site know, I've become quite a fan of the show which is about a married woman from the 1940s who accidently travels back in time to Scotland in the 1700s where she meets the man of her dreams, marries him and becomes pregnant.  This season opens with her transported back to the 1940s where, needless to say, she has a lot of explaining to do.  Once again, I suggest watching it.  You can catch the preview trailer here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-10-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WEEKLY CARTOON

I don't always have something to say each week.   When that happens I've elected to publish a political cartoon such as the one below:

http://politicsandfinance.blogspot.com/2014/10/linus-and-lucy-discuss-politics-cartoons.html

Let me know what you think.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-3-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BERNIE V. TRUMP

There's one thing I like about both candidates; their targeting of Wall Street for having corrupted the political process.  However, it is clear that while Donald Trump may know about Wall Street (I'm not sure he does) he knows nothing about other important other things like, for one example, foreign policy, while Bernie Sanders, a life long politician, does.  (Just check out this recent Trump interview in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-foreign-policy.html?_r=0  

 I'll be able to sleep a lot better at night knowing that the man who has his finger on the nuclear trigger knows what he is doing. 

Meanwhile, you can check out what Bernie has to say about Wall Street  right here:

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-27-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ARCHER TV SERIES

Archer, the animated TV series is back! Finally!  You can catch it on FX Thursday March 31.   I thought for a while that it might have been cancelled which, as far as I'm concerned, would have been a tragedy.  I find Archer to be quite funny. Interesting characters, good satire, first rate animation.  So, in case you haven't seen the show, consider this my recommendation for a show you might want to check out.   Just a suggestion.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-20-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VERY BUSY

Not much to say this week.  As most of you know this site is put together each week by me and one of my two boys.  Considering the size of this site I'm sure you will agree that this is a a remarkable amount to work for so small a crew.  Thus, I'm sure you will forgive us if we fall behind from time to time.  This week, for example, as we get ready to publish, you'll note that there are still a few Swapsale/Retro Guide Book sections to be updated. Hopefully that will be done no later than tomorrow.  Keep in mind we are doing the best that we can.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-13-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING BILLY GRAY

As it turns out, the Nancy Davis movie, "Talk About A Stranger," (see this issue) also features the child star Billy Gray.  I knew him back in the day when I would throw large parties at my Laurel Canyon home.  A nice guy who, as I recall, was always there ready to start chatting about the old days when he used to do TV (Father Knows Best) and made movies like the film we're featuring in this issue of Retro Guide Book or -- my favorite -- "The Boy With Green Hair."  I'm kind of sorry that we didn't connect in some way.  Don't know what happened to him although he's still alive and, according to Wikipedia, maintains a large collection of motorcycles.  Back then I believe he was still trying to get back into movies or TV.  But then so was I, as a writer/producer.  Where ever he is I wish him well.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-6-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACADEMY AWARDS

Busy watching the Oscars -- as you probably are.  See you next week.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-28-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOOD FOR A LAUGH

And so it goes...

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-21-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BEYOND MARS

Let me draw your attention to our latest Sunday Comics feature, Beyond Mars, which originally ran in the New  York Daily News back in the early fifties.  Some years ago I ran a number of the early Beyond Mars pages on this website but they have since become lost.  The ones I have here, pulled off the (Internet from the strips last days) are, alas, not as good as the early ones.  Still, I think they are well worth your time.  See what you think by clicking here

Until next week...

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-14-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DEAD STRAIGHT

Al Markim, the actor who played Astro on  TV's ground breaking 1950's Tom Corbett Space Cadet, has died.  Actually, he died in November of last year but I just found out about it from Cadet Ed of the Solar Guard.  Frankie Thomas told me that, unlike he and Jan Merlin, Markim had not embraced the old Tom Corbett show.  (I  never met Markim because of that and the fact that he lived back East.)  Of course no one embraced the show like Frankie -- he still had his old uniform  (in fact, was buried in it) -- but Jan also seemed quite comfortable with his place in TV history.  Thank God Jan is still with us -- I always liked him, maybe because he was my favorite character on the show (always screwing up just like me) but probably because he has a quiet charm about him.  I'm sorry I've fallen out of contact with him.

Anyway, Time marches on.  None of us is getting any younger.  All we can do is try our best to preserve the pop history we loved as we grew up. Huh-Ha!

By the way, the reason we published early this week is because of the Super Bowl.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-7-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR AUCTIONS ARE BACK

It's been a while but we are finally once again posting auctions on this site, some old -- meaning they have been previously posted but not told -- and some new.  The ones that were previously posted have -- no surprise -- had their opening bid reduced, although we believe their original opening bid was pretty reasonable.  Take the Batman animation cel for example; that was originally $400, then $350 (now $300) despite the fact that it comes with it's original painted background and features a full size Batman on its overlay.  Still, there's no arguing with the results; if it doesn't sell it's over priced.

On another matter, let me point out our feature on Jefferson Airplane.  I had forgotten what a great group they were.  If it's been a while since you heard White Rabbit, make sure you check them out.   I got goose bumps.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-31-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHECK THE TIME

Well, what do you know?  We actually published on time this week. Of course there are a few updates yet to come but we expect to have them posted by the end of the day.  No promises but we're gonna try.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-24-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PUTTING BACK THE PIECES

We're back on schedule.  That is to say we are once again publishing on Sunday evening.  As long as I'm well enough I'll stick to that schedule.  Also, you'll have noticed that we finally have a new movie serial available for you: Dick Tracy Vs. Crime Inc.  And we've at log last  updated the Games column.  Other changes, less noticeable, are underway.  In that regard, I'd appreciate your help pointing out anything that I miss.  As usual, I depend on reader help.

Finally, a message to loyal reader Sal:  We'll be getting back to making the copies we owe you shortly.  Thanks for your patience.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-17-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

i'M BACK!

Well, I don't want to  put the cart in front of the horse but after months of being in and out of the hospital I seem to be getting my energy back.  Knock on wood I can keep this up.  In that regard I want to thank my kid, Taylor, for his help in maintaining this site while I recuperated and Warren Chaney, who, as always, jumped in with interesting articles, most recently with two pieces on Red Ryder.  (He says there are more to come.  Wha-Hoo!) Of course things have gotten a little jumbled up while I've been gone -- the Movie Serial Theater for example -- but I'm going to start straightening that out ASAP.  As for my loyal site visitors, thanks again for hanging in there with me.  Much appreciated.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-11-16

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LATE UPDATE

Sorry for the late update. Internet has been unreliable up here in the mountains.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-16-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW PUBLISHING DATE

My father has been recuperating from an illness so I've been continuing to take over his duties with the weekly update. As a result, the publishing date has been changed from Sunday to Monday to accommodate my schedule. Something to look forward to on our update next Monday will be an article on Fred Harman, an artist best known for his popular Red Ryder comic strip, penned by our friend Warren Chaney. Until then, be sure to check out this weeks feature article on the fate of Luke Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars film.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-30-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UNDER THE WEATHER

My dad has been under the weather this week.

My brother and I have been picking up the slack.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Taylor David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-15-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOOD OLD COUNTRY LIVING

We made the national news this past week.  Heavy rains caused mudslides on the I 5 -- the main highway to my secret mountain top retreat.  Fortunately most of the damage occurred North of my location so the inconvenience has been minimal -- so far.  But more rain is on the way. 

1016 socal floods.jpg

http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2015/10/16/southern-california-storm-causes-flash-flooding/

My guess is that it's going to be a rough winter.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-18-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ZELDA TO APPEAR ON STEPHEN COLBERT

Something I thought you would want to know:

The Legend of Zelda symphony to appear on Late Show with Stephen Colbert Oct. 13

After hosting YouTube sensation PewDiePie and No Man's Sky developer Sean Murray, comedian Stephen Colbert plans to bring the music of The Legend of Zelda to his late night talk show. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, Nintendo's touring concert, will make an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS next week.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is scheduled to be the musical performance on The Late Show on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The symphony will appear alongside comedian Sarah Silverman and actor Elijah Wood.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/10/5/9458577/the-legend-of-zelda-symphony-goddesses-colbert-late-show

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-11-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOOK WHAT WARREN DID

It's right up there at the top of the screen.  The new Retro Guidebook logo.  Is that cool or what?  It couldn't have been more than a day of two after I posted the original logo (and new Retro access page) that Warren offered to add his masterful touch, an offer that I immediately and without hesitation, accepted.  I don't turn down offers from talented people.

I doubt that there is a regular site visitor who doesn't recognize the name of Warren Chaney.  An early supporter of this website, Warren has made many contributions to what we offer here, most recently (and most spectacularly) his Space Patrol Chronicles, an awesome work that has blown everybody away, given the amount of time, effort, and creativity that has gone in to it.  I don't know where he gets all the energy -- he has other projects currently in the works, both for me and for other people as well -- but God Bless him.  I am humbled by his efforts on my behalf.

Anyway, as of this writing Warren's logo has yet to be posted on the Retro Guidebook access page.  Hopefully that will be done by the time you are reading this but no promises.  Keeping up with Warren is no easy task.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-4-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UP AND RUNNING

That's right, our new home page -- www.RetroGuidebook.com -- is up and running.  As we told you several weeks ago, this is part of our attempt to change the name of this site from Swapsale to Retro Guidebook, a name that more accurately reflects that we are a magazine, dedicated to providing you with the latest information regarding all things retro, not a site out to sell collectibles (although we will continue to do that too.)  Both home pages will continue to run simultaneously for the foreseeable future.  As it stands right now you will, no doubt, notice some bugs on the new home page.  Rest assured, we're working to solve those problems.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-27-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT DONALD TRUMP

In a nutshell, I like the fact that Donald Trump -- with the exception of Bernie Sanders -- is the only politician who speaks the truth about our corrupt political system.  As he says, all our elected offcials are bought and paid for.  They are in Congress to do what their benefactors tell them to do.  Failure to do their bidding means the money to finance their political campaigns will dry up -- or worse -- that money will be used to run someone against them.  If you need any proof regarding Trumps claim, just ask yourself why none of the other candidates -- either Republican or Democrat -- have addressed the the real estate mogul's assertions.  They can't.  That's because if they admit he's right then they admit to being puppets.  And if they promise to fix the system, they risk losing their funding.

The TV pundits are in the same quandary.  Try as they might to solve the mystery to Trump's popularity, none of them have stated the obvious:  The ruling class own our elected officials.  Statements like that would cost them some serious advertizing revenue.   Better to ignore the elephant in the room.  Better to just sit back and watch the sad Kabuki theater.

For what it's worth, I like watching them squirm.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-20-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THINGS I MISSED

Walt before Mickey is a movie that was given a low key release back in August so maybe I can be forgiven for missing that release date.  But, based on clips I've seen, I sure don't want to miss the movie itself.  As the title suggests, it's about Walt Disney before, in a desperate attempt to save his company from bankruptcy, he created Mickey Mouse.  That's right -- Disney was not always the successful animator we know of today; in the early days he faced failure on more than one occasion. 

Another thing I missed was the premiere date of the final season Continuum, a sci-fi- series I got totally caught up in.  In this instance it was certainly not my fault.  The producers of this Canadian series put two release dates on the net --  7-26-15 and 8-4-15 -- neither of which turned out to be correct.  However, it's out now on the SYFY network.   Give it a shot.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-13-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RARE AUCTION ITEMS

I just want to draw your attention to this week's very rare auction items on Swapsale.  There are three of them, all of which are no longer in production, meaning you can only get then through collectors like me.  They are the Weta Dr. Grordbort's F.M.O.M. Wave Disrupter Gun (Limited Edition), the Frank Frazetta Egyptian Queen statue (Limited Edition), and the Frazetta Sun Goddess (Limited Edition) statue.  Regarding the Frazetta Egyption Queen statue, that one is an "artists proof."  That means it is one that was not part of the original limited edition offering because the artist did not think the colors were a close enough match to what he was aiming for.  So you can argue that either way; one the one hand it's not as good as having the original offering or, on the other hand, it's better because it is truly a one of a kind item.  (In this case the "artist proof" is #16 of 25.  In either case, since this item is no longer in production (in other words they sold out), it's all that may be available.)

 

Naturally, the opening bid reflects the rarity of the item.  But don't forget, the longer they are off market the more valuable these items become. 

Enjoy the auction.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-6-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'M BACK!

My kids have been running things in my absence.  I think they did a pretty good job, all things considered.  But there have been a few rough edges.  Hopefully that will change with my return.  I say hopefully because, in all honesty, even when I'm here running things, we've had rough spots now and again.  So fingers crossed.

Nice to be back, by the way.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-30-15

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ON VACATION

Editorial will return next week.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-16-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOUGH WEEK

As most of you know, Swapsale is published from a rural mountain top community in Southern California.  Recently we had some rain storms that caused landslides which cut us off from the rest of the world.  While that was inconvenient, it was certainly manageable.  However, when road crews began digging us out they apparently cut our internet cable.  At least that's what we were told.  As a result we were unable to access the internet from Tuesday through Saturday.  Hence, this week's limited edition of Swapsale.  It all had to be done today, the day we publish.

Sorry we are unable to bring you our normal wealth of retro news but we should be back on track by next week. Meanwhile we have plenty of material in our archives to (hopefully) keep you entertained.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-9-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FLIGHT 370

With the recent recovery of wreckage from the missing Malaysia Flight 370 I'm hearing more and more speculation that the crash was likely the result of actions taken in the plane's cockpit, meaning action taken by either one or both of the pilots, even though there is nothing in their backgrounds to suggest a motive.  However, I have an even more frightening notion. I think the plane's controls might have been hacked by computer, maybe one a thousand miles away.  Or maybe one controlled by a Jihadists passenger in the cabin of the plane.

You may have heard the recent news report about a Jeep Cherokee that was completely taken over by hackers as an experiment, just to prove it could be done. (Click here: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/)  If they can do that to a car, why not a plane?  The implications of such a scenario are terrifying. 

Of course you'd have to wonder why the perpetrators haven't taken credit for such a dastardly act.  That would only make sense if they were preparing for a much bigger, single day attack.  I really hope I'm wrong.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-2-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OF THINGS TO COME

I think most of you know that Swapsale was originally conceived of as a kind of Swapmeet for all things Space Patrol and Tom Corbett.  But it soon became apparent that such parameters were way too narrow, so we slowly but surely began covering pretty much all things collectible.  However, even that wasn't working to my satisfaction. I finally had to acknowledge that I was actually publishing a weekly magazine, not a swapmeet.   That left only one more change to make: The name of the website.  Thus, a couple of week's ago I picked out a name that's more appropriate for a magazine, Retro Guide Book.  Granted, it's not the best name possible, but it was the best of those not yet taken.

So here's the deal.  In  the near future (I hope it will be in  the near future) there will be two ways to enter this site -- the one designated "Swapsale" that we all use now, and a new one featuring the new name.  Both portals will bring you to this website.  Eventually, when everyone had made the transition to the new portal, the old Swapsale portal will be closed down.  Ta-Da!  We will then have made our final transition to a full blown magazine -- which, of course is what we've actually been for a few years now.

Well anyway that's the plan.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-26-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A PAIN IN THE NECK

Okay, here's the reason I took off last week:  After waking up with a severe pain in my neck over a week ago I figured a week off, combined with a visit to my doctor and a prescription for the right medication, would put me back in the saddle again.  But now it appears I was wrong.  Modern medicine seems unable to deal with what my doc describes as arthritic bone degeneration in my neck.  So I'm turning to the smartest people I know -- you, the loyal Swapsale supporter.    If any one of you has had a similar problem, please email me at www.swapsale@aol.com. The subject box -- to avoid my confusing your email for spam -- should read "Pain in the neck." 

I would be very grateful for any advice you can give me. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-19-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ON VACATION

Editorial will be back next week!

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-112-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

GUEST EDITORIAL:

DR. WARREN CHANEY ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Politics are a mess, huh?  Here I thought we won in the vote to halt the “treaty” but the established political classes paid no attention and have gone around us and are doing it anyway.
 
For the first time in a long time, I believe that it is the obligation of Americans to leave their political party and only vote for those whom they truly feel will keep their word.
 
As we have all learned the hard way, character counts. As a nation we must avoid voting for any knowingly corrupt politician. Doing that eliminates most of the political candidates running for office. After character, we should vote for smarts. A stupid person cannot lead. Of course, how does one judge that? The media seems to get it all wrong. Anyone stepping back and thinking logically would have automatically eliminated both Barack Obama and John McCain. Judge them by what they do, not say.
 
We are a nation that needs to come together, less on ideology and more on the country’s needs. Let’s face it, we are in major trouble economically and internationally. Social issues really don’t matter if you are broke or in serious physical danger. As a country we need to get out of the bedrooms and barnyards and back into the business of the nation’s business. Socialism doesn’t work and never has. Neither does corrupt capitalism.
 
Sadly all of the above requires that voters begin to think for themselves and not let some media, any media do it for them.
 
All the best,
      Warren

ABOUT THE TPP: http://www.exposethetpp.org/

It is Swapsale policy to occasionally run guest editorials without comment regarding content.  Dr. Warren Chaney is the writer, movie director, and Space Patrol Historian who created The Space Patrol Chronicals.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-5-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE

I'd like to draw your attention to our Sunday Comics section this week, which currently features Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie.  I don't believe I ever read the strip as a kid growing up in the fifties -- Dick Tracy and Terry and the Pirates were more my cup of tea.   But now, as an adult, reading what I believe is a series of Daily strips which were republished in comic book form in the early 1940s, I'm kind of impressed.  Although not not a great artist, Gray was, in my opinion, an excellent story teller.  For what it's worth, I suggest checking the Little Orphan Annie strips out if you haven't already.  Like me, you might be pleasantly surprised.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-28-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOOD NEWS

We've found a few more Space Patrol volume one DVDs.  Not a lot -- just eight that come in their original clamshell boxes with original cover art.  So we will keep listing them on eBay for the time being. We also found about 50 SP volume one DVDs without boxes -- they come in a plain paper sleeve.  So we have the option of selling them as is at a reduced rate or putting them in clamshell boxes with original cover art (more work and expense for us) and selling them at their regular price.  Which would you prefer?

We found a few more Tom Corbett volume one DVDs as well -- just fourteen.  So we'll continue selling them on eBay for the time being.  Of course, we are still searching for more SP and TC DVDs.  We believe there are more including additional volumes -- but we're not certain.  (Things got lost in our big move.  Then too, we had too much inventory to keep track of.)  So for now, to the best of our knowledge, this is our total inventory.

Finally, thanks to Sal Lamanna, we are in the process of transferring some of our old VHS SP tapes to DVDs.  (Sal lent us his VHS copies since our original VHS masters are also missing.) These are volumes we used to sell on VHS but never transferred because the quality was, well, not the best.  However, despite the quality problems I've gotten a lot of request to put them on DVDs.  So we'll probably be selling those as well.  Keep your eyes peeled.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-21-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' PART 2

After having given it a great deal of thought we have decided to deal with eBay's new policy changes (scroll down to  last week's Editorial) by creating a bargain discount page for DVDs on our site, thereby foregoing the auction site completely.  Well, not completely.  We'll still be listing DVDs on eBay, just not as many.  And if they don't sell in a reasonable amount of time, we'll put them on Swapsale's own BARGAIN DVDs site. 

Here's the thing about the slower selling DVDs.  Some of them, A Like Date With The Angels, starring Betty White, are important moments in TV history.  These DVDs may not be the most sought after by collectors, but there are people out there who will snap 'em up if they come upon them.  So we're just gonna leave them there, at a bargain price, until the right person comes along, even though we know that person would probably pay a lot more.  We're not here to get rich.  We're here to preserve the past -- to hand it off to those who care.  So keep your eye on our new Bargain DVD feature.  Sooner or later you'll see something there that strikes your fancy.  Let's keep the past alive.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-14-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'

You probably have already noticed that we're not listing a whole bunch of items for auction this week.  That's because eBay has made some policy changes that increase the costs of our listings.  As it was, we were hardly making a killing with our listings anyway.  Since the collapse of our economy in 2007/08 sales on eBay have tanked.  So these new costs are forcing us to re examine our approach to eBay.

I'm hopeful that we'll be able to increase the number of items we're listing but for the moment -- as we look at our options -- this is all we're willing to put up.  For Space Patrol and Tom Corbett fans that means -- at least for the time being -- you'll have to order your DVDs directly through us.  You can find them by clicking on the orange links we've provided below.  We will, however, continue to sell the SP Lost Episodes on eBay.

SPACE PATROL DVD WITH   LENTICULAR BOX COVER! 

TOM CORBETT DVDs

SPACE PATROL LOST EPISODES ON DVD

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-7-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAL IS BACK!

That's right, long time DVD collector Sal Lamanna has returned to Swapsale with a brand new batch of classic television shows.  Regular readers already know that Sal has previously offered a number of great shows and classic films at auction through Swapsale so it wont be a big surprise to learn that his latest batch -- I'm only putting four up this week -- is no different.  In fact, one of his DVDs, Golden Years of Television Classic Comedy Vol. 2 inspired me to produce one of this week's feature articles, Mr. Peepers.  Sharp eyed readers will note that a Mr. Peepers episode can be found on Sal's DVD.

I had almost forgotten about that show and yet it is almost certainly the very first sitcom I ever watched as a kid.  Certainly it was a pivotal moment in the early days of television with a great cast that included (along with Wally Cox), Tony Randall and Jack Warden.  We are presenting the very first episode in this week's Feature Articles section and you can bid on The Golden Years of Classic Comedy Vol. 2 at this week's auctions.

Meanwhile, more new DVDs from Sal next week!  Hoo-Hah!

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-31-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JUST SO YOU KNOW

If you've been paying attention to our auctions you probably know that we are running out of Space Patrol and Tom Corbett DVDs.  The reason for this has to do with our big move in 2013.  Both the masters, some of the DVDs, and the very expensive equipment we used for duplicating the DVDs were lost somewhere in storage.  We believe we have finally recovered the duplicating equipment but it remains to be seen if it is still working.  However, even assuming it is in good condition does not mean we will soon be able to start pumping them out.  We are a very small operation and everything we do takes time.  If we started producing them tomorrow we still have a problem with missing art work for the boxes.  Recreating that art will be another time consuming matter.  Beyond that, the demand for these DVDs is very limited.  The only reason we would make them is for the fans who, like me, want to keep the shows alive.  So, honestly, my motivation is not all that it could be.

VOL. 4 -- OUT OF STOCK

Here's where we stand to date:  We are completely out of Space Patrol Gold Vol. 1.  SP Gold volumes 2 and 3 are lost in storage.  Space Patrol The Lost Episodes volume 4 is out of stock and the masters are lost, at least for now.  We are running low of all the remaining SP and TC DVDs we have listed.  So for the time being, at least, if you want any of the remaining DVDs we have listed, time is not on your side.

For warned is forearmed.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-24-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DEAL!

This kinda sucks for those of us who where early purchasers of the Space Patrol Chronicles deal.  But for those of you who were holding back, well, now is the time to act.  The publisher's of Dr. Warren Chaney's ground breaking two volume book and card sets have upped the offer.  Take a look:

Word to the wise: strike now while the iron is hot by clicking here.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-17-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE PROOF THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS BROKEN

Here is what Erin Brockovich has to say about a new chemical law reform bill that would preempt states rights:

Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich is calling legislation introduced Tuesday to reform the nation’s toxic chemical laws an industry bill.  

“This bill does not make chemicals safer,” she said. “I wouldn’t even consider it in my opinion a [Toxic Chemicals Control Act, or TSCA] bill. It’s an industry bill.”

Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) unveiled the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act on Tuesday. It’s the latest push to reform the TSCA of 1976, which is widely considered broken and unenforceable.

But in a press call led by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Wednesday, Brockovich said the bill would take away states’ rights in regulating harmful chemicals like asbestos.

“If we take away states rights and dump this back on the EPA, which is already overburdened, understaffed and without state funds, to me that’s insanity,” she said.

Brockovich is best know for building the case against the California-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in 1993. Despite a lack of formal education, she exposed the company for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into the ground water and poisoning residents in the town of Hinkley. Julia Roberts won an Oscar playing Brockovich in the 2000 movie.

Now Brockovich is now an advocate for environmental issues.

MORE: http://thehill.com/regulation/235346-erin-brockovich-denounces-latest-chemical-law-reform-bill

To be clear, according to Brockovich (appearing on last week's Bill Maher show), this law, if passed, would make it impossible for any of us -- or the state -- to have legal redress if adversely effected by some chemical. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-10-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GUEST EDITORIAL BY DR. WARREN CHANEY

Your commentary about NAFTA is spot on. However, this shouldn't be either a liberal or conservative issue. Either position that's taken by the right or left is an accurate one. The political support for NAFTA comes, as it always has, from the almost invisible "political" class. By that I'm talking about the "Insiders" who engineer the primaries to get the institutional candidate elected. That's how Republicans end up with a Bob Dole or John McCain or in the Democrats corner, the soon to be nominated Hilary Clinton. It's these same candidates who -- despite how they campaign -- usher in things like this. NAFTA began under an Institutional Republican but was supported and carried into law by an Institutional Democrat.  Who were the candidates who opposed this entire concept: H.Ross Perot (Republican) and Jay Rockefeller (Democrat).
 
The act has been an unmitigated disaster with Mexico owning the automobile industry and South America rising in Textile.  There's no accounting for political insanity. Ummm, wait a minute. Yes there is. It's called "Wall Street Bankers" -- loved and favored by both parties. Readers would be shocked to see where the trillions in stimulus money to create shovel ready jobs went. Few if any jobs were created – but the money via the feds was funneled into the Wall Street Banks, too big to fail. The banks were the ones buying stock that caused the market rise the past 6 years. About 8 months ago, you will notice the banks began selling off the stocks to us. Hmmm?  Do they know something that we don't? Possibly?  Probably?

These banks contributed heavily to Republicans when they held office and today they are the largest contributors to Democrats, President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Not my opinion…it's online information, if one cares to dig through it all.

BUT HEY – I digress.  Just pointing out that on this issue, we're on the same side . . . the side that all Americans should be on, if they'd study the stats.

Dr. Warren Chaney

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-3-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CLEARANCE SALE

To put it simply, when it comes to DVDs at auction, I'm awash in inventory.  Despite the low, low opening bids I offer, some of the DVDs have been listed for months on end without attracting any interest.  I know the market for DVDs has gone soft but we're talking about 3 and 4 DVD sets featuring classic TV shows with major stars like Steve McQueen and Red Skelton -- appearing in shows that were important moments in TV history.  We're talking about great programming that can't be recaptured without a time machine -- or at least a DVD.  And effective this week I'm discounting these DVDs to an opening bid of just 99 cents.  I hate to do it but I absolutely have to make room for new inventory.  It's that simple. 

Here's the list:

   

3 DVD SET: THE BEST OF THE CISCO KID 35 EPISODES

5 DVD SET: CRIME STORY  SEASON ONE

3 DVD SET: CRIME STORY SEASON TWO

4 DVD SET: STEVE McQUEEN WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE SEASON 1

4 DVD SET: STEVE McQUEEN WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE SEASON 2

2 DVD SET: RED SKELTON  AMERICA'S CLOWN PRINCE

Although previously viewed, all the above DVDs are in excellent condition -- like new!  And you, dear reader are practically getting them for free.  Check them out here along with all the other great bargains being offered up for auction this (and every) week.  It's your chance to practically steal some great moments from the past.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-26-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN AMERICAN HERO

For my money, Doug Hughes, the Florida postal worker who landed his gyrocopter on the U.S. Capitol lawn Wednesday (4-15-15), should be given a medal.  At a time when most Americans sit quietly as our democracy is being stolen from us by big money, he took bold action to highlight the problem -- at great risk to himself.  Instead of a medal he was arrested and may be up on serious charges for violating the no fly zone around our nation's capital.

Whether you are on the left or the right it must be obvious that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which allows unlimited money from super rich campaign donors perverts the election process.  Thanks to Citizens United, big business and the Plutocrats are picking the politicians who run for office -- candidates who favor their own interests;  Wall Street and big oil (as an example) -- not the interests of the vast number of us who keep wondering why we're not getting congressmen and senators, much less presidents, who represent our concerns.   As average Americans we have lost our ability to influence the election process.  Candidates who don't curry favor from big business not only lose their funding -- they can be certain that the rich and powerful will spend money just to defeat them.

We are on the verge of becoming an oligarchy, not unlike Russia.  Bold action is required. The least we can do is support this brave postal worker.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-19-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAPTAIN MARVEL, STAN FREBERG AND DORIS DAY

A quick word about the Captain Marvel linen banner being offered at Emovie Poster's Thursday auction:  I think I used to own it.  I did, in fact own a banner just like it -- the kind that would hang under the movie marquee when they were showing the Saturday morning serials.  Unfortunately when the Writers Guild went on strike shutting down all movie and TV production in Hollywood, I had to put it (along with a number of other items) up for auction.  It was either that or let my family starve.  Anyway, it was a thing of beauty.  I may even try to get it back.

As for Stan Freberg, if you, like me, were a teenager in the 1950s looking for hip laughs there was Mad magazine, Ernie Kovacs, Bob & Ray and Stan Freberg.  I was a big fan of Freberg's and to this very day believe he was ahead of his time.  However, I have to admit, not all of his stuff stands the test of time.  That's why I want to urge you to check out Green Christmas when perusing the Freberg feature.  It's a gem -- in my view, the best of an uneven but still very fine selection of Freberg material.

Regarding Doris Day's music, I was never a big fan.  But as I put together this issue of Swapsale I was surprised at just how many really good songs she was responsible for.  If I had been a little older I'm sure I would have appreciated them more.  But back then it was rock n roll or nothing.  Today my tastes are a little more sophisticated.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-12-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY WE COVER THE AUTO SHOWS

It must have been in New York City in the 1950s.  I remember being with my dad at an auto show that featured the latest model cars plus -- and this was the big thing -- something called concept cars -- cars of the future.  As a kid, I was blown away.  The designs were fantastic; bubble dome cars right out of a science fiction movie.  Of course, the concept cars were never put into production.  They never arrived in the showroom. 

As for today's auto shows, well, it can be argued that looking to the future hardly qualifies as nostalgia but, in this context at least, it is a link to the past.  Besides, what guy doesn't like looking at super sexy hot cars?

By the way, if you want to actually look at some of the old dream cars offered up in the 1950s, you can find them here.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-5-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHO WANTS TO WRITE A GUEST EDITORIAL?

This is not a contest.  Simply put, I'm willing to -- on a one time basis -- turn this page over to anyone out there who has something to say on any subject.   That includes people who have something to say about this website, be it positive or negative.  Just keep it down to 250 words and I will publish it without comment, whether I agree with you or not. That's the deal.

Any takers?

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-29-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GMO POTATOES

The U. S. Department of Agriculture has approved a genetically modified potato.  GMO corn, soy, and tomatoes have been on the market for years, as have certain herbs and spices.  Scientists for big AG say the new breed of potato will, among other things, contain 50 to 75 percent less of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide.  Obviously that's a good thing.

Here's the problem as I see it:  There are a significant number of scientists who are concerned about the long term health effects of GMO food.  They argue that our bodies have adopted to the foods we eat over millions of years.  Introducing these new genetically modifies crops is simply an experiment using people as guinea pigs. Unfortunately, as with their GMO predecessors, these new potatoes will not be labeled.  That's because the food and seed industry have spent millions of dollars to defeat pro labeling ballet initiatives.  If these new products are so wonderful, why are they hiding this info?  Isn't it a basic right to know what we are eating?

FACT CHECK:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/business/genetically-modified-potato-from-simplot-approved-by-usda.html?_r=0

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-22-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAN SEN. BERNIE SANDERS BEAT HILLARY?

Here's what he has to say about income inequality:

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-15-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ELVIS LIVES!

I remember sitting in my sister's New York City apartment in 1968 when Elvis Presley's Live From Los Vegas comeback special came on the TV.  My first thought was, who cares?  He's yesterday's news. By 1968 it was all about the Beatles, the Stones and psychedelics.   But then Elvis came on the TV and I was blown away.  He was at the top of his game.  Simply awesome.  So when I discovered the special on YouTube last week I just knew I had to share with all of you.  Yes, it comes with commercial interruptions, but trust me, if you were ever an Elvis fan, they're well worth it.  Enjoy.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-8-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOLAR POWER

I believe I mentioned some time ago that I was planning to have solar panels put on my new mountain top retreat.  Well, that's finally been taken care of and I'm delighted to report the results.  The last Southern California Edison bill for my non solar all electric powered house was almost $600.  My new bill from Edison, reflecting the installation of the solar panels came to $1.43.   The panels themselves, which I bought outright from a company called SunRun, cost me $15,000, an investment that I consider to be well worth it.

This is not my first experience with solar panels.  When I was married, living in a really big five bedroom house with a pool and hot tub in Castaic, California, our electric bill would range from $400 to $700 a month, depending on the time of year.  Once we had solar panels installed our bill went down to $400 for the year.  While you might think the $42,000 the panels cost us (with the rebates factored in) to be pricy, consider this:  That same $42,000 in the bank had only been making us $42 a month in interest.  So we were immediately ahead of the game.

That's why I say go solar.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-1-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A NEW DEAL

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.  Warren Chaney tells me that his publisher has sold out of the Space Patrol Chronicles 2 volume book set with the 2 sets of SP cards.  So if you put off ordering them because of the $500 price tag, well, you missed your chance.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that the publisher is now offering the two volume set of books for a mere $119.99 dollars (without the cards).  As I understand it some of the books are even autographed by Dr. Chaney although no guarantee is being made that you will get one of those copies.  Anyway, if you are a Space Patrol fan do yourself a favor; don't let this offer pass you by as well.  Chaney has written a great story that he has lavishly illustrated.  It's more than worth the price.

You'll find the 2 volume book set here:

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Space-Patrol-Chronicles-Volumes-1-2-Hardcover-Illustrated-Signed-/181668576038?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:3160

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-22-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT BRIAN WILLIAMS

Here's what I think:

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-15-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OBAMA'S BETRAYAL

Many people on the political right, fearing the specter of a one-world government, have been wringing their hands over what they see as the increasing power of the United Nations.  But the threat of a one-world government isn't coming from the U.N.; it's coming from the World Trade Organization through NAFTA and now, thanks to President Barrack Obama, the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP .  If it's ratified (and it looks like a shoe-in), the TPP will allow corporations from around the world to overturn our country's laws if just three judges (members of the WTO), working in secret behind closed doors, find that the law interferes with a corporations ability to make a profit.  Don't want your child playing with a toy made from radioactive material?  Too bad.  Any federal, state or local laws in that regard could be overturned, and you, the citizens of this once great country, would have nothing to say about it. 

But that's not even the half of it.  More American jobs will be shipped overseas, further devastating our economy.  TPP will impose limits on food safety regulations. An extension of patent protections would allow big Pharma to prevent rival companies from making generic versions of their drugs.  Think about that next time you are getting your prescription filled.  For those of you who want to reduce the power of our government, congratulations are in order; TPP puts the corporations in control. 

Of course, this all started with NAFTA but TPP is NAFTA on steroids.  And what's really screwed up in that the media isn't reporting on what clearly looks like the end of our democracy.  It's time to get active.  It's time to save our country.  It's time for a national strike.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TPP GO TO:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2015/02/what-corporate-media-isn%E2%80%99t-telling-you-about-tpp

http://www.citizen.org/TPP

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-8-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WEEK THREE OF OUR TWO WEEK WINTER SCHEDULE

Okay, so our reduced winter schedule has gotten a little wobbly. Still, another week or two and we should be done with it.

Meanwhile, we're still putting out a good amount of new material.  In that regard we welcome back Sal Lamanna who has just sent us another batch of first rate DVDs for auction, some of which we are posting this week: Three seasons of Wanted Dead or Alive and two DVDs featuring Sherlock Holmes.  But that's just scratching the surface.  Next week we'll start listing some of his other DVDs: three seasons of Have Gun Will Travel, two seasons of Abbott and Costello plus more Sherlock Holmes.  And I haven't even opened the second box yet.

If you haven't noticed, Sal has an impressive collection of old TV shows and movies, many of which are no longer available through normal channels.  We're lucky to have him as part of the Swapsale family. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-1-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WINTER SCHEDULE: WEEK TWO

Week one of our reduced winter schedule didn't go off without it's glitches although, in my defense, some of the glitches had more to do with the antique publishing program that we are using then with the short cuts we are taking.  Hopefully this week will see fewer problems.

On the other hand, it looks like our reduced two week schedule may continue for perhaps another three or four weeks.  That's because we underestimated the number of things we have to take care of during this semi hiatus.  But you can be certain I will make every effort to get through the winter schedule as quickly as possible.  Promise.

(If you are at all confused, scroll down to last week's editorial.)

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-25-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT OUR REDUCED WINTER SCHEDULE

For the next two weeks we will be on a reduced winter schedule.  What that means is that, in order for us to take care of personal issues, we will be using shortcuts regarding our weekly updates.  Hopefully you will not notice any difference in the amount and quality of the material you are getting.  The most likely thing you might notice is that regarding Swap Talk, not all images will be swapped out.  If, for example, a comic auction from the previous week is still running, we will not update the images the way we usually do.  That's because there is no need to; all links and auctions are still current. Normally we would swap out the images just to give you new eye candy.

Our reduced schedule is our way of continuing to provide you with a weekly website without interruption.  We appreciate your understanding. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-18-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I AM CHARLIE

Let me make this perfectly clear to people in the western media who think that "sensible freedom of speech" should have been used by the editors of Charlie Hebdo in France.  That's nonsense.  In the case of the satirical magazin, Islamic radicals threatened them with death if they published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and death to anyone who reprinted the cartoon while reporting on it.  Charlie Hebdo defied that threat as any self respecting journalist would have to.  You either have free speech or you don't.  Bow down to that demand and what comes next?  A demand to publish the Koran?

Yes, the staff at Charlie Hebdo paid a dreadful price.  But they might not have had to if the response to the threats against them (and others) had been met by worldwide show of courage in the media.  Every media outlet in the Western world should have published the supposedly offensive Mohammad cartoon (or cartoons) as an act of defiance and a show of solidarity.  Instead, for the most part, they demurred.  But now the media have a second chance.  An act of courage now could demonstrate that future threats against freedom of speech by Muslim fanatics will have no impact.  Why would these depraved fanatics continue to use a strategy that doesn't work?  In any case, we have no option other then to defend and protect our right to speak freely, even if that means standing up to terrorists.

There is more to be said about a group of people who are so backward that they repress women, reject education and freedom while embracing ignorance and anti-Semitism but I'll save that for another time.  Right now the question is, when will the Western media get some balls?

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-11-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LILY TOMLIN

I was never a big fans of hers...until now.  Reviewing her career as a result of the Kennedy Center Honors, I was surprised by how good she was and how much of her talent I missed when she was winning praise from everyone else.  Anyway, for what it's worth, I urge you to check this week's Lily Tomlin feature.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-4-15

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Best wishes for the new year to all Swapsale regulars.  Your support has meant a great deal to me.  That's especially true of the help I've gotten from Warren Chaney, Elliott Swanson, and Sal Lamanna.  Chaney, most recently, previewed his Space Patrol Chronicles on this website.   Like wise, Swanson's most recent Swapsale feature was the Sakura-Con pictorial in 3-D.  Lamanna, on the other hand, is responsible for a constant supply of DVDs which I pass onto you at super discount prices.  Most of the ones at auction this week are his.

I'd also like to welcome Lee Quarnstrom to this website.  He's an old friend but a new site visitor whose feature article this week is about his adventures with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.  (I don't know many people who have lived a more interesting life.)   It's a great read.

Finally, as we enter the new year, let me pledge that with all of your continued support, I will do everything in my power to make this website your go-to choice for the best in retro information and entertainment.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-28--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This Christmas card (scroll down) is from Dr. Warren Chaney, the author/creator of The Space Patrol Chronicles, the two volume novel and card set that has everybody talking...and ordering a once in a lifetime deal.  He sends out great cards every Christmas but now you can see why I refer to him as Space Patrol's very own da Vinci.  (The two volume novel is filled with illustrations like this.)

So, in the spirit of Warren's terrific card, let me wish you all a Happy Space Patroller's Holiday Season.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-21--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR HOLIDAY AUCTIONS

You might think that, regarding our Swapsale auctions, things would be booming here during the holiday season.  You might think that but you would be wrong.  Year after year we have seen interest in our auctions drop off significantly over the month of December, undoubtedly because people looking for Christmas gifts are not looking for collectables.  However, in January, with all gift obligations taken care, and cash once again available for those who wish to be self indulgent, our auctions pick up markedly.  So for that reason we are scaling back on our current auctions, mostly relisting items that have failed to sell up to now (if that makes any sense at all).  Our big push will start around the first of the year.  Keep your eyes peeled for some great deals: we have some big plans for the new year. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-14--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I TOLD YOU SO!

Now comes word from Remington-Collier, Warren Chaney's publisher, that some people buying The Space Patrol Chronicles are putting the repro Space Patrol cards on eBay where they are going for more than the cost of the complete set of cards and books.  (There are ninety cards total, only 40 of which are the SP repro cards.  The other cards are all new, masterfully created by Chaney himself.)  One wag says that, after selling the cards on eBay, he had $100 left over.  So, as I've been saying all along, the $500 price tag for the SP Chronicles is a real bargain.

SAMPLE CARD

As for me, I already have two sets  of Warren's epic opus, but the idea of selling one of them is just too painful.  Maybe I'll change my mind in a few years from now when they are worth even more.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-7--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIME TRAVELERS I HAVE KNOWN

I was in my late twenties, leaving my sister's New York City apartment, when I stopped to ask an old woman -- I say "old woman" but she was probably younger than I am now -- for directions to the Seventh Avenue Subway.  She smiled, pointed up the block, and, as I was walking away she yelled "the first train that comes into the station wont be yours."  I waved back as if I understood her strange message but because I was late for something -- don't remember what -- I pressed on.

Heading down the stairs to the subway I heard a train coming into the station.  I started to run, then slowed down.  That lady had said the first train wouldn't be mine.  And in fact, I got to the subway platform in time to see that it wasn't.  Curious, no?

Then there was a guy I worked with, scary smart -- too smart be working for our company.  I thought he was undercover CIA or FBI.   (The company had been publishing some exposes about the government.)  But now I think he might have been a time traveler because he never spoke about his past in anything but the most cursory way.  I mean, if you are a time traveler, you really can't go into the story about your dad crashing the flying car.

However, my most profound encounter with a time traveler occurred in the early sixties when I was in the Air Force.  Walter was a friend of mine in the army detachment at our base.  He claimed to be from Venus.  If you are a time traveler and you want to be able to talk about your past, claiming to be from Venus is a perfect cover.  Of course, that certainly doesn't constitute proof that he was a time traveler.   But what about this:  Walter told me that by the end of the century our planet would be caught in catastrophic climate change that would threaten all life on Earth.  How could he possibly know that in 1962?

The good news is, assuming I'm right and we are being visited by human time travelers, then humanity does have a future.  

So I'm sending this editorial into the future -- by way of the internet --  with a request that I receive at least one more visit.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-30--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY FIRST SELFIE

I got it!  Warren Chaney's Space Patrol Chronicles finally arrived in the mail!  My mouth is hanging open because it's even better than I expected.  It's a feast, one that I am going to savor slowly.  I'll probably start with the cards.  Well, actually, I've already gone through everything once.  But now I'm going start over -- slowly -- so I can carefully absorb this fantastic set, starting with the cards.

Right away I can tell you the cards are a mind blower. Both the restored reproduction of the originals -- just wonderful -- and the brand new cards created by Warren.  But you know what?  I prefer the new ones.  Warren is the da Vinci of Space Patrol.  

Of course, I'm saving the books for last.  I'm thinking maybe I'll just take a week off, so I can properly immerse myself in the two volume, illustrated Space Patrol adventure. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-23--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE NAME DROPPING

Glen Larson, the creator and producer of "Quincy," "Magnum P.I. and "Battlestar Galacttica," died this week.  He's another dead person I used to know.  It was back in the 1980s when my writing partner and I tried to sell him a pilot script for a TV sitcom.  He was interested enough to take meetings with us and give notes.  Things were looking good until one of those notes included having our main character engage in a knife fight. We were appalled.  It was a sitcom, after all.

I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I do remember one very intense argument with him about that scene. The argument pretty much ended our relationship.  I never gave the incident a second thought but, in retrospect, we probably could have finessed the knife fight.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-16--14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A CAUTIONARY NOTE

I can't tell you how often readers of this site have told me how sorry they were that they hadn't orders a Space Patrol shirt or jacket or belt and holster set while we had them.  Those were all one of a kind items that once they were gone...they were gone.  That's true for Warren Chaney's Space Patrol Chronicles as well.  It's a limited edition set (only 1500 made) that you'll never be able to order again once they are sold out. 

Some of you have commented that at $499 the price is kind of high. Nonsense.  The compete set of restored SP cards (a selection of which are seen here) are worth more than that.  Then there are the brand new cards created by Chaney  and his two volume, lavishly illustrated novelization of the show--autographed.  All terrific stuff. 

Anyway, I've ordered mine.  And I hope those of you who are on the fence will order yours.  Because, trust me, you don't want to be one of those Swapsale people who tell me a year from now how much you regret missing what is -- truly -- a once in a lifetime opportunity.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-9-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OOPS!

Attention Space Patrol fans:  If you tried to order Dr. Warren Chaney's major opus -- the limited edition Space Patrol Chronicles -- anytime this past week you may have noticed that the button for ordering wasn't working.  My apologies.  I understand the frustration you must have felt given the once in a lifetime bargain that the good doctor has provided us with.  So rest assured, as of this week, the problem has been fixed.

You can find a working ordering button here, among other places. So hurry while supplies last.  Remember, only 1500 autographed hard backs of the Space Patrol two volume novelization -- plus the two sets of Space Patrol cards (90 total) -- have been printed -- or ever will be.  And if you order from this site, you also get a free limited edition Space Patrol DVD with a 3-D lenticular box cover.  No glasses needed.

Hoo-hah!

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-2-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAN SWAPSALE HELP RESTORE YOUR YOUTH

According to a recent article in the New York Times the answer is yes:

What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?

One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer.

The subjects were in good health, but aging had left its mark. “This was before 75 was the new 55,” says Langer, who is 67 and the longest-serving professor of psychology at Harvard. Before arriving, the men were assessed on such measures as dexterity, grip strength, flexibility, hearing and vision, memory and cognition — probably the closest things the gerontologists of the time could come to the testable biomarkers of age. Langer predicted the numbers would be quite different after five days, when the subjects emerged from what was to be a fairly intense psychological intervention.

Langer had already undertaken a couple of studies involving elderly patients. In one, she found that nursing-home residents who had exhibited early stages of memory loss were able to do better on memory tests when they were given incentives to remember — showing that in many cases, indifference was being mistaken for brain deterioration. In another, now considered a classic of social psychology, Langer gave houseplants to two groups of nursing-home residents. She told one group that they were responsible for keeping the plant alive and that they could also make choices about their schedules during the day. She told the other group that the staff would care for the plants, and they were not given any choice in their schedules. Eighteen months later, twice as many subjects in the plant-caring, decision-making group were still alive than in the control group.

MORE:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/magazine/what-if-age-is-nothing-but-a-mind-set.html?_r=0

If you read the entire article you will have learned that....

At the end of their stay, the men were tested again. On several measures, they outperformed a control group that came earlier to the monastery but didn’t imagine themselves back into the skin of their younger selves, though they were encouraged to reminisce. They were suppler, showed greater manual dexterity and sat taller — just as Langer had guessed. Perhaps most improbable, their sight improved. Independent judges said they looked younger. The experimental subjects, Langer told me, had “put their mind in an earlier time,” and their bodies went along for the ride.

So it looks as if the more times you visit our website, the healthier (and younger) you will be.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-26-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LENNY BRUCE AND ME

I was still in high school when I discovered Lenny Bruce.  It was at the local record shop in Boonton, New Jersey where I found his first album; it pictured Bruce having a picnic at a cemetery.  How could I resist?  Back home, I was blown away by his satire, most especially by the one called "Religion, Incorporated."

Years later, when I was in my twenties, I actually got to see Lenny at the East Village Theater in New York City.  By then he was deeply mired in court cases charging him with performing an obscene act.  That evening he spent virtually all of his time on stage reading the obscenity charges from court transcripts, then commenting on them in his own unique fashion.  On my way home, my sister, who had accompanied me to the show, railed against Bruce and against me for having exposed her to his performance which, perforce, had been filled with four letter words.  (She denies this now, maintaining that she was never so unsophisticated as be offended by mere curse words but, in fact, she also got mad at me at the 1964 New York World's Fair when I shouted "fuck communism" as the Abraham Lincoln automaton finished his stirring speech about the greatness of America.)     

Anyway,  you can find both his "Religion Incorporated" routine and an act where he defends himself against the obscenity charges -- very much like what my sister and I saw at the East Village theater that night -- by clicking on this week's feature article on Lenny Bruce

I doubt any of Swapsale's readers will be offended.  There's nothing he says that can't be heard on cable these days. It's a measure of how much times have changed.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-19-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

Once again we present an important moment in film history with the first (of only two) feature length animated movies produced by Max Fleischer Studios.  Most people don't realize this but there was a time when Walt Disney was looking over his shoulders at the Fleischer brothers.  Both were famous for their short animated cartoons so it was only natural that when Disney came out with Snow White, the world's first feature length animated movie, that the Fleischer's would follow with an offering of their own.

Gulliver's Travels was not the big success that Snow White was but it is a beautiful example of Max and Dave Fleischer's fine animation skills.  For people who care about the history of movie animation, it's a must see film. 

We're delighted to be presenting it to you.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-12-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BIG NEWS!

Remember a few years back when Dr. Warren Chaney delighted us with his new, updated novelization of Space Patrol, delivered on this website (exclusively) a chapter a week?  Bet you thought that was the end of it, no?  Well, as it turns out that was just a prelude.  Now he is about to deliver the main event.  And it's a doozy.

Remington-Collier is about to publish the book -- reworked and expanded -- in a two-volume set accompanied by -- prepare to have your mind blown --  a totally restored version of the original 40 Space Patrol trading cards that collectors have come to prize.   And that's not all; not satisfied with restoring the original cards, Chaney went on to create 50 new Space Patrol cards!  (I swear, he never sleeps.)  I've seen the cards and, take it from me, they are beautiful -- exactly the kind of labor of love we've come to expect from the good doctor. 

The deluxe set of books and cards will be coming out soon.  When it does, you'll hear about it here first.  So keep checking back with us -- only 1500 of this incredible set are to be printed and no real Space Patrol collector will want to miss out on them. 

God Bless Warren Chaney!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-5-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE FRONT PAGE

This week's movie posting, The Front Page, is one of my favorite classics.  Written by newspaper reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, this pre-code film gives us a fly on the wall view of the newspaper business in 1931 America.  Although you probably have never seen this version of The Front Page you may very well be familiar with the 1940 remake, Howard Hawks His Girl Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.  Both films are excellent but, although they basically tell the same story, they are also surprisingly different.  If you've seen one that shouldn't prevent you from watching the other.  I hope you'll give it a try.  I think you'll find The Front Page to be very smart and funny.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-28-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WINTER WINDS

Up here in mountain country, a winter chill is already in the air.  In preparation for what's to come I've had my winter clothing dry cleaned, ordered new boots online and had my windows (which leak air) sealed.  Tomorrow, Monday the 22nd, I'm finally having solar panels put on my roof.  Given the fact that my house is all electric, that's the most important step in preparation for the coming cold.  Last year my monthly electric bill reached $600 and it might have gone higher if I hadn't started using my pellet stove.  They tell me last winter was mild for these parts but, even so, I was snowed in twice. 

Regarding the solar panels, in my last house they reduced my rate from $400/$700 a month (depending on the time of year) down to $400 for the entire year.  (It was a big house with a pool, hot tub, a wife and two kids, the latter of whom never turned the lights out.  Now it's just me.)  I'll let you know if I get similar results this time.

Fingers crossed.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-21-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PISSED OFF AT OUTLANDER

Outlander is a series that appears on Starz.  It's about a young English women in 1945 who slips 200 years back in time while on a trip to Scotland.  I'm hooked on it.  But this past week, while watching the sixth episode, I discovered there are only two more episodes left before the season ends.  What the Eff?!!!  Eight episodes is not a season.  And I know for a fact that Starz signed on for 16 episodes.  And that they've agreed to renew the show for a second season.  So what's going on here?  I certainly have no idea.Cutting the 16 episode season in half just as the show is really getting good makes no sense, unless you want to frustrate your loyal audience. 

So once again I reach out to Swapsale's loyal fans:  What are Starz and the producers of Outlander up to?  And most important, when will the series return?  Please email me at swapsale@aol.com

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-14-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IT'S AMAZING

I've been a life-long collector.  Although my wicked stepmother threw out most of my early stuff -- E.C. comics, bubble gum cards, etc. -- I slowly rebuilt my original collection after college, then began adding to it.  Over the years, as the collection grew, more and more of it had to be boxed and stored.  Now, in the twilight of my life, it's slowly being unboxed and what I'm finding is amazing material I've long forgotten I had...and have no idea how I obtained it.

Take the first issue of Hugo Gernsback's Science Wonder stories from 1929.  What a find!  Sure, it's far from mint, but still...what an important part of sci-fi publishing history.  Gernsback founded the world's first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, then, after losing control of that publication, went on to publish Science Wonder Stories and Air Wonder stories which eventually merged into Wonder Stories.  (For more on Gernsback click here for this week's feature article on him.)  When I pulled Science Wonder Stories #1 -- the very first issue published! -- out of a box of magazines this past week, I was nothing short of (ahem) amazed.

I have no idea as to the value of this premier edition.  A Google search failed to turn up anything useful but considering it's age and importance as a part of science fiction publishing, I have to believe it's very valuable.  Even so, I'm only listing it at $500.  That may be over priced, or it may be way undervalued.  I just don't know.  Science Wonder Stories #1 is certainly very rare. In any case, we'll see what happens at this week's auction.

BTW, I also found a 1934 issue of Pep Stories -- a nudie-cutie magazine -- while going through that box.  You can bid on that and/or Science Wonder Stories here.

Meanwhile, I'm still un-boxing my collection.  Who knows what I'll find next.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-7-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLEASE CRITICIZE US

That's right, we're looking for criticism.  Reader feedback is the best way to improve this site.  More than that, the site has just gotten too big for us to police all the pages we have.  I'm constantly finding pages that have somehow gotten junked up; pictures that have accidently been eliminated, Youtube videos that are no longer available,  That sort of thing. 

If you see anything like that, an e-mail alerting us to that fact would be greatly appreciated. 

Then to, there's the type of features we run.  How are we doing in that regard?  Do you find the information we present useful?  Entertaining? Informative?  Are there things we don't cover -- or don't cover enough -- that you would like to see?  Let us know.  This site is all about you.  If we are not giving you what you want, then we have failed.  So don't hesitate to tell us how we can improve.  We need your feedback.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-31-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HERE'S THE SCOOP

I've given Scoop it's own page.  I should have done that years ago.  Yes, Scoop and Swap Talk both cover the same stuff but, jeez, the page is way too long with both sections folded into it.  Besides, we generate our own material and so does Scoop.  Separate but equal.  Of course, this will make our Table of Contents page (previously known as Page One) a bit longer -- something I'm fighting all the time -- but so be it.  I guess you can call it a trade off.

Anyway, to be totally honest, there's another reason I decided to break up the two sections: For some reason lately the html I've been getting from Scoop blows my type completely off the page.  It really messes me up.  Now, with Scoop on it's own page, the damage will be confined.  Makes sense, right?

Ironically, while putting together this edition of Swapsale, the Scoop code worked perfectly.  Not that I'm complaining.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-24-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ROBIN WILLIAMS

I used to party with Robin Williams.  It was back when he was doing Mork & Mindy.  He would come over to my house in the Hollywood Hills with Richard Belzer and some other people from the Comedy Store.  That was because we had a mutual friend who Sublette the downstairs unit from me and, well, because my place was bigger and more conducive to partying.  I don't think Robin and I ever said more than "hello" to each other.  But then I don't remember ever seeing Robin in conversation with anyone, except when he was performing.  And that's basically what the partying was about: performing. 

Belzer and Robin, along with maybe one or two other comics -- depending on who was there that night -- would just start riffing with one another the way Jazz musicians might riff in a jam session.  Jokes would go flying back and forth at nearly the speed of light, or so it seemed, each joke building on the previous one.  Belzer and Robin were brilliant and those of us who were just there to watch were kept in stitches, literally for hours.  Williams in particular was at the top of his game; we all knew we were watching something very unique and special.  I was honored to be there.

Hearing about Robin Williams' battle with depression, I think back on those long ago days remembering how quiet he was when not performing.  It was like he had an on/off switch and, when the switch was off, he would disappear.  So I find myself wondering if, due to a lack of selfworth, he felt he only had value as a performer-- that he had no value as a person.  Given that, it's not unreasonable to ask if his whole life wasn't simply a series of performances, even including his roles as friend, husband and father.  That would explain both his genius and his depression.   

But like I said, I don't claim to have known Robin Williams,  so you can take my speculation for what it's worth, which may not be much.  It's just a notion I have.

Meanwhile, you can take a trip back in time to catch at least some of Robin's magic on the very first episode of Mork and Mindy.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-17-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A MATTER OF TIMING

Time is relative.  So when I say we published ontime last week I mean we published on the day we were supposed to, although about four hours late.  Of course regular site visitors have, no doubt, already noticed that we've been publishing later and later each Sunday.  That's because the site has become much more complex and, also because I depend on my kid to help me on Sunday's and, due to conflicts in his schedule, he's been arriving here later and later.  That will probably continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future.  But the problem two weeks ago was our need to publish using FTP.  (Scroll down to read last weeks editorial.)  That learning curve, despite my kid's involvement, cost us an entire day.

This week, following my kid's carefully written directions, I will be publishing this site (using FTP) on my own.  So it remains to be seen how that works out.  You will know about the same time I do.  Fingers crossed.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-10-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY WE PUBLISHED LATE

Maybe you didn't notice that almost 24 hours passed before we managed to get our weekly version of Swapsale on the web last week.  We, on the other hand, were frantic about the problem.  To keep it as simple as possible, the program we use to make this website is woefully out of date.  As a result our web hosting service will no longer support it -- indeed most (if not all) web hosting services wont support it.  The only way I could get it up was by using FTP.  And I have no idea how to use FTP.  I don't even know what FTP stands for.  Thankfully, my kid does, and after almost 24 hours had passed, with my kid doing his best to get us online-- success!  But it was a struggle, even for him, given the size of this site.

What made the whole thing so frustrating was that we wanted to be the first online -- or at least among the first -- to give our readers a retrospective look at this years San Diego Comic Con.  Hopefully you have noticed that we put some real effort into it.  Believe me, each hour we delayed getting it up took another year off my life.  So I doubt I'll live to a hundred.

Anyway, now I'm learning to do FTP and my kid is looking to find a new program for web publishing that suits our needs.  Transferring files from our current program to a new one will, of course, be a whole other headache.   But what the hell; the whole process of learning to use and work on the Internet has been one long headache. (You should have seen me when I was learning to se Photoshop.)

I just hope we've gotten this week's edition up on time.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-3-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COMIC CON 2014

The big news this week is, of course, all about the San Diego Comic Con.  In that regard I think we have done our readers who couldn't attend -- that's most of us, right?  -- some justice, given all the Youtube Con videos we've assembled for our lead feature article this week and CraveOnLine's detailed coverage of the world's largest, most famous Comic Con.  Between their coverage and our coverage, you'll almost feel like you were there, at least that's our hope. 

But that's not the end of it; next week we expect to have more coverage of this event.   So see you then.  

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-27-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY FAVORITE 1980s TV SHOW

It only lasted for three seasons, so I guess the audience wasn't there, at least not enough of an audience.  But I was there.  Every week.  I thought then -- and I still do now -- that The Greatest American Hero, created by Stephen J. Cannell, was the smartest and funniest TV show of the decade. Forget Cosby, forget Family Ties.  I was hooked on The Greatest American Hero.

For those who don't know, here's the basic premise: William Katt (playing a school teacher) is given a suit (by space aliens) that give him all the powers of a super hero.  Unfortunately, he immediately loses the instruction book.  To make matters worse, he's forced to team up with Robert Culp who plays a buy the book F.B.I. agent.  They're like oil and water.  Add Connie Sellecca to the mix and you've got some really great chemistry.  The three of them are terrific as they interact.  But the banter between Katt and Culp is particularly clever.

Anyway, I've posted a whole bunch of Youtube episodes of the show on Swapsale this week.  If you remember the GAH as fondly as I do, you'll want to see them all.  (I'm up to number fourteen, the best episode so far.)  If you never saw the show, here's your chance to decide if I'm right or if I've overstated the merits of the show.

Oh, one last thing, episode seven has a guest appearance by the Lone Ranger.  Of course, it's John Hart, not Clayton Moore, but still, it's The Lone Ranger!

PS: After I wrote this week's Editorial it was announced that James Garner had died.  Two additional TV shows you might want to check out are Maverick and The Rockford Files.  Both are excellent.  Incidentally, Stephen j. Cannell was co-creator of Rockford.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-20-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING HOPPY

I was a kid around nine or ten years-old, living in Manhattan when word got out that Hopalong Cassidy would be showing up at a local grocery store to promote Wonder Bread, which as sponsoring his TV show.  Even his horse, Topper, would be there, the flaks from Wonder Bread assured us.  My cousin and I waited for what seemed like hours and, in the end, Hoppy never showed.  We kids had to settle for pictures of Hoppy handed out by the Wonder Bread flaks.  They were the same pictures you could get just by buying a loaf of Wonder Bread, and, as I recall, they ran out of the pictures before I could get one.  Bummer.

When you think about it, the name Hopalong doesn't exactly suggest a western hero fighting for law and order in the wild west.  It's actually a rather silly name.  Yet we kids flocked to the William Boyd films about Hoppy.  Why was that?  I think it was basically because Hopalong Cassidy had the coolest outfit of any of the 1950s western stars, with the exception of The Lone Ranger.  It wasn't that the outfit was all black -- the Durango Kid dressed in black for example.  Quite side from being black, it was strikingly well accessorized: the neckerchief with a cow's skull, the guns, every bit as cool as the Lone Ranger's, Hoppy's unique hat and even the saddle and reins of his horse.  All Eye candy for us wannabe cowboys.  I think that's why we never gave his name a second thought.

Of course, the name Hopalong derived from Clarence E. Mulfred highly successful novel's which were optioned for the movies.  In the novels Hoppy had a limp, the result of a gun shot wound.  The producers of the films, wisely I think, lost the limp, but not the name.  After all, why option a character with huge name recognition only to change his name?

Anyway, for those of you who still remember Hoppy with a certain fondness, I recommend checking out this week's feature movie, Hidden Gold. It will likely transport you to a more innocent era.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-13-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GETTING TO THE GOOD STUFF

Check out this weeks auctions.  A few weeks ago I mentioned that when my kid got out of school the two of us were going to start opening some of the many, many boxes of collectibles we've had in storage.  Amazingly, my plan actually seems to be working.  Last week we put a Scooby Doo animation cel up for auction -- it sold for $91 -- and this week, along with a few other great finds, we're offing a 1965 Napoleon Solo action figure, complete in box.  Incredibly rare, it's clearly the crown jewel of this weeks offerings.

You can find it here.

Meanwhile, fingers crossed that my kid, who has just gotten a summer job, will help me keep this going.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-6-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PREDICTION #1

I predict that the 2016 presidential contest will focus almost exclusively on global climate change and here's why:

From the New York Times (6-24-14):

Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming

More than a million homes and businesses along the nation’s coasts could flood repeatedly before ultimately being destroyed. Entire states in the Southeast and the Corn Belt may lose much of their agriculture as farming shifts northward in a warming world. Heat and humidity will probably grow so intense that spending time outside will become physically dangerous, throwing industries like construction and tourism into turmoil.

That is a picture of what may happen to the United States economy in a world of unchecked global warming, according to a major new report released Tuesday by a coalition of senior political and economic figures from the left, right and center, including three Treasury secretaries stretching back to the Nixon administration.

At a time when the issue of climate change has divided the American political landscape, pitting Republicans against Democrats and even fellow party members against one another, the unusual bipartisan alliance of political veterans said that the country — and business leaders in particular — must wake up to the enormous scale of the economic risk.

“The big ice sheets are melting; something’s happening,” George P. Shultz, who was Treasury secretary under President Richard M. Nixon and secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview. He noted that he had grown concerned enough about global warming to put solar panels on his own California roof and to buy an electric car. “I say we should take out an insurance policy.”

The former Treasury secretaries — including Henry M. Paulson Jr., a Republican who served under President George W. Bush, and Robert E. Rubin, a Democrat in the Clinton administration — promised to help sound the alarm. All endorse putting a price on greenhouse gases, most likely by taxing emissions.

MORE:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/science/report-tallies-toll-on-economy-from-global-warming.html

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-29-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A MOUNTAIN LION WALKED ON MY CAR LAST NIGHT

Actually I'm not sure it was a mountain lion.  And it may not have happed at my house or at night.  It wasn't until I drove back from the dog park the next morning that I noticed the rather large paw prints on my car.  Whatever the creature was, I wouldn't want to run into it on my way to the car or while walking my dog on a mountain trail.  People up here in Pine Mountain tell me it's not the bears you have to watch out for, it's the mountain lions.  Regardless, here are two pix of the prints.  Maybe someone reading this can identify the kind of creature that made it.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-22-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIRED OF SUPERHEROES

Who is with me on this?  I am totally burned out on superhero movies.  Enough already. 

This is something of a sea-change for me.  For most of my life I've been a big fan of superhero comics and movies.  But these days, for me at least, these movies have lost their luster. That's partly because, in all their iterations, these movies seem to be exploring the same territory and they do it in pretty much the same way.  That's especially true of the Spider-man reboot.  Although, in my opinion, the reboot solves certain issues I had with the original films, at this point you have to ask if it's been worth the effort.

Then too, there's the CGI thing.  How many CGI battles do you want to sit through?  I'm pretty much done with it, especially when these battles clearly ignore the laws of physics. 

Of the most recent slew of superhero movies, I think the Iron Man films are probably the best.  But even with that, the magic is gone.  A superhero movie should be awe-inspiring but these days they are, in my view, just ho-hum.  Beyond that, all the best superheroes have already been put to film.  Now they are scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Here. for example, is what Warner Bros. is scheduled to shoot in the next couple of years: 

May 2016Batman v Superman
July 2016Shazam
Christmas 2016 Sandman
May 2017 Justice League
July 2017Wonder Woman
Christmas 2017 Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018Man Of Steel 2

Looking back, it seems to me that the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie is the only film in this genre that really really captured the magic superheroes are supposed to inspire.  It's time for Hollywood to move on to the next big thing, whatever that may be.  Any suggestions?

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-15-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NET NEUTRALITY

For some time now I've been sounding the alarm about Net Neutrality and what our politicians are planning to do to it.  To date no one reading those editorials has seemed very impressed.  So, once again, I'm going to let John Oliver speak for me.  I don't think anyone else could do a better job of explaining why you should be alarmed.

I'll try not to run many more of Oliver's rants on this page but, simply put, there's no one on TV these days who is making important commentary in such a clear -- and entertaining -- fashion.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-8-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

John Oliver speaks for me.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-1-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MEMORIAL DAY

It's certainly ironic that on this particular Memorial Day Weekend the biggest story in the newsmedia has to do with the VA's near criminal double bookkeeping as regards our veterans waiting time to see a doctor.  Obviously this situation has to be fixed.  But based on past government attempts to fix problems at the VA, this will not happen overnight.  So here's my proposal:  Until our veterans are able to get in to see a doctor within the federally mandated 18 days, said vets should automatically received a voucher that would allow them to go to a private doctor at government expense.  As regards the double bookkeeping, anyone at the VA caught involved in such activity should be put on trial and, if convicted, serve some serious jail time. 

I'll bet, under those circumstances, the problems at the VA would get fixed rather promptly.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-25-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONTINUING TO LOVE CONTINUUM

If you haven't been watching the TV show Continuum on the SyFy channel you've been missing some very sophisticated science fiction.  In season one we discovered that Kiera, a Protector (cop) from the future has pursued a gang of anarchist criminals (Liber8) back to our time period.  Once here, she meets up with a youthful Alec Sadler, the very person who will create the corporate controlled time period she comes from.  Meanwhile the anarchist set about trying to change the future by attacking the things in our present that will ultimately lead to the future they come from.   In the process they start an anti-corporate movement among college students across the country (which happens to be Canada). 

Sound complicated?  Well, that's not the half of it.  Midway through season one we discover their are other time travelers, not affiliated with the bad guys (who may not be all that bad after all).  Now, with season two, we find out that one of the group of non Liber8 time travelers is dedicated to keeping the main timeline from being changed.  And it's not clear (at least to me) that Kiera is actually from that timeline).  To make things even more complicated, the young Alec, having  found a way to travel in time, goes back a week into the past in an effort to save his girlfriend's life.  This means there are now two Alecs in the same time period and for some reason (not clear to me at this point) two Kieras, one of whom is dead.

 As you can no doubt tell by now, Continuum is a real mind bender.   So be warned: Watching the show may cause you to repeatedly blurt out the word "Huh?."   If you are okay with that,  you'll probably really enjoy this unique SyFy show.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-18-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLACKHAWK

Next week we return to our regular Movie Serial Theater schedule with chapter one of Blackhawk starring Kirk Alyn.  It's a great print, very crisp and sharp.  More than that, unlike so many of the other serials, it's tightly edited.   I don't know if the fast paced editing is original to the serial or if it was done more recently, perhaps by the person who posted it on Youtube.  Whatever the case, the serial is better for it. 

Meanwhile, don't forget to check out this week's Movie Serial Theater rerun of Buck Rogers starring Buster Crabbe.  It is beyond a doubt,  one of the best serials ever made, along with Flash Gordon, of course, (also starring Buster Crabbe).

So until next week, I'll just say: Hawk-aaaah!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-11-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STILL DIGGING OUT

I moved up to my new secret mountain top location last September.  So you'd probably think I'd have gotten things under control by now.  But, no, as it turns out that's not exactly the case.  To be honest, the only rooms that are not still stacked with boxes of collectables are my living room, kitchen and bathroom.  Every other room is still a work in progress.

 

Why am I telling you this?  Probably a complete lack of good sense on my part.  But also, in all honesty, I couldn't think of anything else to write about this week.   Anyway, this mess explains why I'm going to start discounting -- in a major way -- all the collectibles I'll be putting up for sale over the summer.  Why over the summer?  Well, my kid (one of them) will have graduated college and I'll need his help putting everything up online and then dealing with the anticipated increase in sales. 

Let me know if you see anything here you like.  I'll put it up first.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-4-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

VISIONS OF ROSALIE

Arlene McQuade died this week.  I remember her as Rosalie from the early 1950s TV show "The Goldbergs."  Although I watched the show on our Dumont TV set, my memories of Rosalie have more to do with the fact that she lived in my neighborhood.  I'd see her from time to time in Inwood Hill Park, just a block from my apartment building at 230 Seaman Avenue.  In her teens, she'd come down to the park to watch the older guys play touch football, always wearing makeup and dressed like a young professional on her way to work, never in casual wear.  Of course we all thought she was hot and the older guys would flirt with her.  Being only nine or ten myself, I merely watched.  It's funny but lately my mind has been flooded with images of Rosalie in the park, maybe because of that new TV show also titled "The Goldberg's.  Whatever the reason I was sorry to hear of her death, probably because it marks the passing of a more innocent time.  But that's true of so many things these days.  (See In Memoriam for more info on Arlene McQuade.)

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-27-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY I HATE J.J. ABRAMS

I was not a big fan of the Abrams TV shows Lost and Fringe.  Sure, the individual episodes were well written but, with both shows, there was no consistent overall story arch that hung the individual episodes together.  Clearly, Abrams had no long term plan for the show; he just made it up as he went along.  Thus both Lost and Fringe became a hodge-podge and inconsistent mess as the shows continued. 

Although I feared the worst when the first Abrams Star Trek movie came out, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.  It's hard for me to imagine how anyone could have made a better reboot.  That's why I was caught so flat footed with the ST sequel "Into Darkness."  It was just fuking awful.  The basic story was, lets just say, uninspired.  But for me that wasn't the worst of it. 

Here are my two most basic complaints: (1) Abrams had our crew land on an planetoid with a breathable atmosphere, a near scientific impossibility.  But even worst, (2) he now has them able to teleport across the galaxy, not just down to a planet they are orbiting.  Why do I find that so galling?  Because the franchise is called Star Trek.  Trek means "a long arduous journey."  With this new technology, Abrams has eliminated the need for spaceships and, the "long arduous journey."  He has, in fact, eliminated the need for the franchise.  Gene Roddenberry would crap his pants.

How could someone as talented as Abrams create such a fiasco?  The only explanation I can think of is that he wanted to make Star Trek his own special creation by eliminating the basic underpinning of Roddenberry's concept.  In short he wanted to take Roddenberry completely out of the picture.

Regarding Abrams taking the helm of Star Wars, I'm not predicting he'll ruin the franchise.  George Lucas already did that.  But I seriously doubt he can save it.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Honestly, I hope I am.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-20-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING JACK PAAR

I was 16 when Paar first came on the air so I didn't get to see his show all that often.  After high school I joined the Air Force, spending half of my four year tour in Germany, so again, my Tonight Show viewing was spotty at best.  But here's what I remember about the show which was done live, at least for its first few years: Unlike today's late night talk shows which are tightly formatted and squeezed into short, safe (and frequently dull) segments, Paar's version of the show was free-wheeling, with guests allowed to stay on for as long as the host found them interesting.  Even then, they simply moved down the couch to make room for the next guest.  Nor did they sit on the couch passively; after a (usually) decent interval, they would join in on the conversation, setting off a round-robin which continued when the next guest came on.  The highly emotional Paar -- a gifted comedian, interviewer and raconteur -- would occasionally go off the rails himself, adding to the mayhem -- all of which made the show delightfully unpredictable.  Even the occasional train wreck was riviting TV viewing.  That was the best part of Paar's Tonight Show -- you never knew what was going to happen!

It remains to be seen how Stephen Colbert will handle the Tonight Show.  But I, for one, would like to see a return to the Paar format. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-13-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SNOW...AGAIN!

It April and yet, there's more snow, right here in Southern California.  Sure, I'm in the mountains but I'm told  by the locals it's still unusual for this time of year.  In anycase I hope this will be the end of it.  Sure it looks pretty but damn, it's cold.  And driving can be pretty darn scary, especially if you're on the road when it's coming down.  They say it's spring but I'm still waiting to see evidence of that.

From our (cold) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-6-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...

Well, despite my optimism, the Shatner life Bust didn't sell, despite a 100 people having checked it out.  Frankly, I'm shocked; a Shatner life mask at Christie's sold for $6000 and this is Shatner's entire head, for gosh sake!  With an opening bid of only $3999!  Anyway, I'm relisting it this week for only 3499.  If it doesn't sell this time I'm taking it to an L.A. auction house so they can deal with it.  Same for the Klingon headpiece (which will remain live until 4-2-14), if that doesn't sell.  Ditto Leonard Nimoy's ear molds which I'm listing this week, if they don't sell.  So this is your last chance to get these items directly from me. 

 

Anyone interested can just click here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-30-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER HUGE STAR TREK ITEM UP FOR AUCTION

As of this writing the William Shatner life bust which we put up last week as a ten day auction has been getting a lot of attention.  So far 74 people have looked at the bust and five people are actively watching it.  Given past performance with this kind of item we believe at least a couple of those people will bid, probably at the last minute, which is how most of the pros do it.  Our confidence is bolstered by the fact that a Shatner life mask sold at Christie's for $6000 and that was just the face while we have an entire bust with a starting bid of only $3,999.99.  How could any true Star Trek collector pass that up?   (The Shatner auction ends at 5pm West Coast time on 3-26-14.)

This week we're doubling down with (what we believe is a screen worn) Klingon headpiece from Star Trek The Movie.  We got it from the same person who sold us the Shatner bust, so we have high confidence in it's authenticity.  Beyond that we've seen Klingon headpieces from TV shows like Deep Space Nine with an estimated value of over a thousand dollars while our opening bid is just $799.99.  And our headpiece is from the first movie -- the very picture that renewed the Star Trek franchise.  Again, we ask, how could any true Star Trek collector pass up an item like this?

You can check out our Klingon and Shatner auctions here.

Meanwhile, no lie, despite our confidence, we are nervous.  These are two great items and we really hope they get the kind of action they deserve.  But with auctions you can never be certain.
 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-23-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY THREE CAPTAIN VIDEO STORIES

I've told these stories before, but given the passing of Richard Coogan this past week, I think you'll forgive me for repeating myself. 

STORY #1.  When I was a kid in New York I sent away for a Captain Video ring being offered by (I think) Powerhouse candy bars, a sponsor of the show.  However, by the time my ring arrived, Coogan had already been replaced by Al Hodge.  So I wound up with a ring that had a picture of someone who used to be Captain Video.  Even as a kid, I knew I'd been screwed. 

STORY #2.  I was a college student hitch-hiking from my part time job on route 46 in New Jersey to my rented apartment when I got picked up by an actor who spoke the Kings English, something the true thespian  proudly pointed out to me.  Along the way he recounted how he had once been forced -- due to economic necessity -- to play the roll of a villain on Captain Video.  "I had a gun that shot around corners," he said with discernable bitterness.  "Every time I fired it the crew broke up laughing."  This was back in the mid sixties and he was still pissed about it.

STORY #3.  Back in the 1980s I was fortunate enough to have lunch a couple of times with Richard Webb, the actor who played Captain Midnight on TV.  Webb, who was very proud of that roll, loved being called "Captain."  So it was only natural that when he bumped into Richard Coogan at a golf course one day, he yelled out "Hey, Captain!" to the former Captain Video star.  Coogan blanched, holding his finger to his lips.  Even though over thirty years had passed since he'd played that roll, he was still embarrassed to be associated with it.

What Coogan and the Thespian failed to realize is that they were part of a moment in TV history that had a significant impact on America's youth.  Even now, all these years later, those of us who were there tip our hats to them.  I, however, still feel screwed about the ring.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-16-14

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COMING NEXT WEEK

This is a big deal for us here at Swapsale.  We're putting our Captain Kirk/William Shatner  bust, made from an actual mold of the actor's face, up for auction.  We'll probably be putting Leonard Nimoy's ear mold up at the same time, as part of the package.  That's because we have very limited provenance on the ears.  All we can tell you is that we got the ears from the same make-up artist that sold us the Shatner bust, which needs no provenance since you can clearly see that it is Shatner's face.  We believe that the ears are genuinely Nimoy's and we are offering comparisons of his actual ears as seen in photos.  You'll have to judge if you think it's a match.  (You can check out the photo matches here.)

We're not sure how involved the make-up artist was with the making of the first Star Trek movie, but he was involved enough to get me onto the Paramount sound stage which housed the interior sets of the star ship Enterprise.  Both items have been among my most prized possessions and I wouldn't be auctioning them up if I wasn't struggling to put my 2 kids through college.  Anyway, it's a win win; my kids get to graduate and some lucky person out there gets a really great collectible.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-9-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLAME IT ON THE WEATHER

THE VIEW FROM MY BACK PORCH

You probably noticed there are no auctions this week.  That's, in part, because of the snow.  Although I'm not snowed in, the winding mountain roads out here are very dangerous, given the combination of snow and ice.  And while I can stay here and work on the website, I don't want my son, Taylor, driving out here under these conditions.  He helps me publish the site every Sunday.  Without his help I can't get everything done, given all the departments that we've added to the website over the last few years.  So I dropped the auctions for this week.  But don't be alarmed -- the auctions will be back next Sunday, bigger and better than ever.  Seriously: we are starting a new and very cool auction cycle that will include some of the best items we've been holding back (as seen in Future Auctions).

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-2-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLAME IT ON THE DOG

You may notice more errors than usual on this edition of Swapsale.  And a little less diligence as regards our ongoing features. (Even this editorial is being rushed.)  That's because I went to the Animal shelter least week to adopt a dog.  They told me he was a stray, approximately nine-year old German Shepherd.  I figured in dog years he's about the same age as me.  So, like me, he'll probably be pretty mellow.  Also, as a nine year old, it seemed his chances of getting adopted were pretty slim.  So this would be one old guy helping another old guy out.

He's a great dog: smart, house broken, affectionate.  However, he is not as low energy as I had hoped.  I'm starting to suspect he is nowhere near nine-years old.  All he wants to do is go outside to explore and mark his territory.  You can't tell from this picture but he's big --  too big for me to pick up and weigh.  When I walk him he pulls me like a rag doll.  He's going to be a handful.  But I'm not complaining.  Just explaining why I've been distracted.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-23-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GROWING UP WITH CAESAR

I'll bet a lot of you had the same experience I did as a kid; watching Your Show of Shows (and later Caesar's Hour) on your TV once a week.  I loved that show.  In many ways it was a forerunner to Harvey Kurtzman's Mad magazine.  In fact, I suspect Mad was inspired by the kind of satire and parody Caesar and his brilliant writers (Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, etc.) did.

Back in the 1980s I worked in Los Angeles where I would see a stylist -- you know, a barber that you'd pay twenty, thirty bucks to cut your hair.  As it turned out, he was also Caesar's barber.  I don't know why, but I was surprised to find out Caesar was still alive   (He was probably younger than I am now.)  My barber, seeing how awestruck I was, offered to introduce me to the comic legend but I passed on the offer, figuring I'd just gush and fawn and totally humiliate myself in his presence.  Now, however,  I'm sorry I missed that opportunity.  Caesar deserved to have people fawning over him.

Anyway, for those who missed his TV shows and for those who'd like to revisit them, I direct you to a slightly updated feature we published a few years ago.  You'll find it here. Enjoy. (And don't miss Mel Brooks recollection of working with Caesar which you'll find at the bottom of the page.)

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-16-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER TOM SIMONTON MASTERPIECE

At the tail end of 2013 I offered up an original oil painting by the great comic book artist Tom Simonton.  In a week or two I'll be offering up yet another original painting by the same artist.   It is, in my estimation, an even better work of art than the Doc Savage painting that we sold last year.  What do you think?

You can find a larger image of this work of art here.

Tom's magnificent paintings have appeared in numerous magazines  and comics including Fantaco, Claypool (Elvira), AC Comics (Fem Force), Eclipse Comics, Hustler Comix, and  Science Fiction Magazine.  His most well known creation was the widely acclaimed Amazon Woman comic book series for Fantaco.  Tom is also widely praised for his gritty, realistic western art. See below.

(You can find more of his art here.)

I've always been a big fan of his and during my stint as editor of various publications I commissioned a number of pieces from him.  Likewise, as editor of Swapsale, I again reached out to him. You can see the results of that effort here.  Of course, if you Google Simonton you'll find other equally great pieces. 

Finally, on another matter entirely, I want to make sure you don't miss the terrific excepts from the above Dynamite books being reviewed this week.  Each feature article is packed with pages taken right out of the books being reviewed.  It's a bonanza of great art, well worth your time.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-9-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAXIMILIAN SCHELL AND ME

I first became aware of the actor in the early 1960s while station in Germany with the U.S. Air Force.  My father and step-mother had come to Germany on a business trip and somehow we all wound up in a movie theater that was playing a film called Der Eingeschlossenen (released in the states as The Condemned of Altona).  Although my command of the German language was more than a little shaky, I quickly realized that Maximilian Schell was an actor to take note of. Simply stated, he commanded the screen.  You couldn't take your eyes off him.

8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014

Some twenty-eight years later, while working on a TV pilot for ABC with Zev Braun Productions, I actually got to meet the Oscar winning actor (Judgment at Nuremberg) at Zev's home.  He and Schell had formed a life-long friendship while working together on the award winning 1974 film The Pedestrian.  Much older by then, Schell was no less imposing.  Despite his quiet and low key demeanor, he still commanded your attention just as he had in that movie theater in Germany.  You just knew you were in the presence of a remarkable talent.  Intimidated, I limited my interaction with him to a simple "Hello."   Though he has passed, his contributions as an actor have left us all a little richer.   (For more about Maximilian Schell click here: In Memoriam)

Regarding Zev Braun, he and his associate Philip Krupp (who also worked on that ABC pilot with me) have just released a remarkable biopic on Lifetime: The Gabby Douglas Story.  It is truly one of the best TV movies ever made.  Catch it on reruns if you can.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-2-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CARTOON BONANZA

Remember when you were a kid in the 1950s?  Saturday afternoon frequently saw us heading to the movie theater where the programming was just for us.  That could mean a Randolph Scott western (or a sci fi movie like Rocketship XM), plus a serial and, almost always, a slew of great cartoons:  Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye, Daffy Duck and the like.  That's probably why so many of us are still big fans of animated cartoons to this very day.  If you, like me, are one of those fans you might very well want to take advantage of the special cartoon bonanza we are offering with this week's auction.

 

Woody is there, along with Popeye, Casper and Daffy plus some cartoon classics you may not have seen in your local movie theater as a kid: we have three Van Beuren cartoon DVDs (remember Felix the Cat?), two Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from the early 1940s, a Betty Boop (from the 1930s) and a Marge's Little Lulu DVD (which I don't remember seeing in the movie theater but which I loved as a comic book). All told we are offering 12 cartoon classics on DVD, each one with a starting bid of a mere 99 cents.  If you're interested in any of these great classics just click here.

For the rest of you, there are some other cool items up for auction plus all our great regular features.  I'm particularly pumped about Dynamite's taking over the Flash Gordon comics which were, well, in my view, lack luster under its previous publisher.  Oh, and one more thing: I strongly recommend clicking on the Weekly Watch link this week.  I find it quite striking.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-26-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT I FOUND ON FACEBOOK

I only joined Facebook so I could keep track of my son, Jordan, who is an exchange student in Germany.  That's really all I use it for.  I don't even know how to post things on it although I suppose I could ask my other kid, Taylor, how to do that.  Maybe I will one of these days when I have the time but for now, I'm still trying to dig out from under the big move to my new secret mountain top location.  Facebook certainly would be a good way to promote this website.

That said, I occasionally find things on Facebook that I think might be of interest to Swapsale site visitors:  Here's one such example:

http://www.wimp.com/theinternet/

Basically it's a 1981 report on the future of the Internet.  Just click on the above link to access it. 

It's pretty amazing how far we've come regarding the internet in such a relatively short period of time.  Of course, as someone who can't really navigate Facebook, I have to admit, not all of us have travelled the same distance. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-19-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IT MUST BE THE ECONOMY

I don't get it!  Nobody beats my prices on eBay.  Each week, before I list something, I make sure that I have the lowest opening bid of anyone offering the same item.  Yet I'm frequently surprised to discover the item -- something I thought would be a slam dunk -- didn't sell.  Take the Jackie Wilson CD I had up for auction two weeks ago for an opening bid of $6.95.  How could that not sell?  I mean, it's JACKIE WILSON FOR GOD'S SAKE!  One of the rock n roll greats.  And the CD, although used, was like new!  Plus, as I've already  said, no one else on eBay could match the price!  Then there was the like new Platters two disc set listed for an opening bid of $9.95.  It even had the original booklet about the Platters.  Still no takers.  I mean, come on; it was a two disc set!  OF THE FREAKING PLATTERS!  This kind of thing even happens on CD's and DVDs that I list for 99 cents.  I mean, how could you not bid on a 99 cent listing for a CD featuring Bob Dylan, Los Lobos and The Grateful Dead -- all on the same CD!? I just don't get it.

Anyway, I'm relisting the Jackie Wilson and Platters CDs this week (along with some other equally cool unsold items), all at a further reduced price!  If they don't sell this time they'll wind up in my car.  As most of you know I live up in the mountains, an hours drive from any major shopping center or banks.  So I appreciate having good music available to me during those long drives.  I guess you could say either way I win.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-12-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOW I SPENT NEW YEARS EVE

I went to my community's club house where a NYE celebration was being held.  While there I fell into conversation with a local resident whose son is an environmental scientist.  His son, the man told me, claims that the ongoing Fukushima disaster -- yes it's still spewing out radiation --  is already killing people on the West Coast and it's only going to get worse.  The man I spoke with, using data from his son, is currently looking to relocate to a safer state, although, we both agreed, safety, in this context, is relative. 

Whether this man's dire predictions for our future prove to be accurate or not -- and one hopes they will not -- I don't trust our government or the media to tell us the truth about the crisis in Japan. 

Anyway, not feeling particularly happy, I decided to return home where I spent the the remainder of NYE watching the SyFy channel's Twilight Zone marathon with my son.  Very nice.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-5-14

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOOKING FORWARD

The approaching end of 2013 seems like as good a time as any to bring up a few things I have in mind for the new year.  Nothing earth shaking, mind you, but probably worth a mention.  For starters, I'm thinking of ending the weekly updates for the Saturday morning kids shows found here here.   Basically, I think I've done all the ones you guys would be interested in.  I know I've done all the ones I'm interested in.  But if I'm wrong -- if there are kids shows that you would still like to see -- let me know.  If I don't hear from you, starting next week, I'll move the Saturday Morning TV link to the vertical scroll on the left side of this site.  So you'll still be able to access what I've already posted.  I just wont be updating it.

Regarding Swapsale's weekly auctions, I will continue to (reluctantly) put up the best, most prized parts of my personal collection for bidding.  This is being done because of alimony payments and the fact that I have two kids in college.  This week I'm offering up these really cool Space Patrol binoculars.  I would be posting more such items with greater frequency but this process has been slowed down by two factors: (1) The recent move to my new location which caused some key items to once again get buried in storage and (2) my intention to put at least some of the pricier, rarer, items up with a major auction house.  I am currently in discussion with one such auction house regarding the William Shatner bust, the mold of Leonard Nimoy's ears and a few of the other items you've seen posted under Future Auctions.  Once that is taken care of, serious collectors will certainly want to be here for the auctions.

Finally, I'm wondering if anyone ever clicks on the Weekly Watch link.  Some of the things I post there are kind of cool.  Others are just lame.  It depends entirely on what I can find.  So let me know.  Should I keep it? Or deep six it? 

Until next week then, have a happy and prosperous new year!

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-29-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIS THE SEASON...

My deepest thanks to Warren for his very kind words (and his awesome contributions to this site) and to all the rest of you who have supported this humble effort of mine.  I wish you all the happiest of holidays.  God bless you.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-22-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOM SIMONTON'S DOC SAVAGE

While preparing this week's Doc Savage edition of Swapsale, it occurred to me that I had in my possession a Doc Savage oil painting by one of the great, unsung comic book artists of our time, Tom Simonton.  I've always been a big fan of his and during my stint as editor of various publications I commissioned a number of pieces from him.  Likewise, as editor of Swapsale, I again reached out to him. You can see the results of that effort here.  Go ahead and click on it; you'll find some great art there.

Of course, if you Google Simonton you'll find other equally great pieces.  I found the following piece at Comicartfans.com:

You can buy it for $675 by clicking here:  http://www.comicartfans.com/forsalesearchresult.asp?txtsearch=tom%20simonton

My piece, below, is admittedly, a lesser work.  But it's Doc Savage, for God's sake!  And Doc Savage is back!  Big time!  They even have a new movie in the works.  And with an opening bid of a mere $100, I don't see how a true comic art collector can pass up the chance to own it.

I have mixed feelings about putting it up for auction.  But I've had the pleasure of displaying it at my home for quite a few years now so I figure maybe it's time to let someone else enjoy it.  And this certainly seems like a good time to put it up for auction, what with all the Doc Save buzz in the comic book and movie industry.  If you're interested, you can bid on it here.  If it doesn't sell (how is that even possible?) I'll be more than happy to put it back on my wall.

Mark my words, one of these days Simonton will be right up there with Frazetta, Boris and Steranko.  At least that's what I think. 

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-15-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SNOWBOUND

You are looking at the view from my front porch yesterday morning.  This isn't in the Mid West, or New York or Maine.  It's Southern California, for God's sake!  I wasn't expecting this.  Sure, I'm in the mountains at 4000 ft elevation.  Sure, they told me it snowed here.  But I was thinking a light dusting.  Something that would melt when the sun came up.  This aint gonna melt, even if the sun does come up, which seems unlikely.

I've since learned that what I'm experiencing is not so unusual for Pine Mountain, even without a national cold front.  And since I don't have snow chains, I'm snowed in. (Not that I would ever try dealing with snow chains.  I probably wouldn't have tried putting them on even when I was a young man.  And I'm sure my kids wont do it.) 

As if that wasn't enough, it's cold up here, even when it's not snowing.  And since I have electric heating, my choice is to either freeze in my house or suffer an electric bill that brings me to tears.  (Actually, I'm trying to find a balance in between those two points.  I'll consider myself successful if I only utter profanities when the next bill arrives.)

I'm looking into solar but that comes with it's own set of problems.  Solar made sense in my last house for a number of reasons including the nice fat tax rebate.  But since I'm retired now, with no regular income, a tax rebate isn't going to cut it (unless I sell my screenplay).  Leasing, on the other hand, ties you into a 20 year contract, buy-out penalties (if they'll even let you do a buy-out), all for a twenty percent reduction the bill.  20% off my bill isn't going to do me much good.  (The reduction in my electric bill at the old house, the one with solar panels, was pretty close to a hundred percent.)

Despite all this, I'm still glad I moved here.  I just wish I had been better prepared.   

From my secret (snowbound) mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-8-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A FEW WORDS ABOUT DYNAMITE COMICS

Some Swapsale readers have questioned the way I promote Dynamite Entertainment's comic books.   So let me assure you, I do not have a deal with them.  They are not paying me to plug them and I get no kick backs.  I just give them a lot of play because, when it comes to retro comics -- the kind of comics Swapsale's site visitors are generally attracted to -- nobody does it better than Dynamite.  Their artists are spectacular, their stories solid.  And, of course, they have the best books: The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Red Sonja, Dark Shadows, Warlord of Mars...the kind of comics many of us grew up with.  So, yeah, I try to draw your attention to them.  But there is nothing cozy going on between me and them.

Actually, I recently sent them a detailed comic book pitch complete with about thirty pages of art (not my art, a real solid comic book artist's art) and they didn't even respond to me or to my follow-up query.  As a life-long writer I know that this kind of thing is not terribly unusual but when I was running a magazine, I always responded to a professionally delivered pitch.  The writer deserves that.

But that doesn't change the fact that, for my money, Dynamite has the most interesting and compelling comic books on the market today.  I find them much more interesting than the books put out by Marvel and DC.  You can check this week's offering out here.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-1-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DR. WHO'S 50TH

I'm still watching it, ,along with all its ancillary programming.  And boy, there's a lot of ancillary programming.

I'll get back to you next week.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-24-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UP GRADING MY AUCTIONS

Before the big move I mentioned that I considered the stuff I was putting up for auction to be mere "place holders," intended to remind site visitors that, yes, we will continue to have weekly auctions even through the change of address.  Mostly I was putting up DVDs and CDs because they were easy to get to and keep track of as we packed our boxes in preparation for the move.  But now with the move complete and with the process of unpacking boxes well underway, it's time to put more diverse -- and compelling -- items back up for your consideration.

Granted, the Scooby-Doo! plush pillow and the Bettie Page DVDs are hardly A list items (although that Bettie Page boxed set is pretty cool), but at least the process is underway.  As the weeks pass, and more boxes get unpacked, you'll be seeing a wider (and better) range of items going up for auction.  In that regard I've added a Star Wars bust of 3CPO to my list of Future Auctions.  I don't have any information on it -- it was obtained at a garage sale in a neighborhood where a lot of movie people live -- but it sure looks cool...and valuable.  I'll be checking with a local auction house to see what they think. 

Meanwhile, we'll still be offering great DVDs and CDs at terrific discounts. This week, for example, aside from the Bettie Page DVD boxed set, we are putting 5 brand new Bob Dylan CDs up for auction with very low opening bids. 

Our mission at Swapsale is to keep the past alive.  These auctions are one way of doing that.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

PS: Sorry about the delay in publishing this edition of Swapsale.  The Internet Service provider at our secret mountain top retreat is very unrelible.

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-17-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE TOP GRADE RARITIES

If you think last week's rare collectibles were something special, just take a look at what I've uncovered for you this week!

First up, a "life bust" -- I think that's what you'd call it -- of William Shatner from his Star Trek days.  I'm told it was made for the fitting of his toupee.  As if that wasn't enough to send you into warp drive, the next item I'm offering up are molds made of Leonard Nimoy's ears.  They did this so the Spock ears could be perfectly molded to fit him.  Two amazingly rare and valuable items ready for the auction block!

Well almost ready.  I'm thinking of putting them up through an actual auction house (which I would link to, of course).  That way these items should get the kind of exposure they deserve.  For now, however, more pix and additional information can be found here: FUTURE AUCTIONS.

And don't forget, there's a Klingon head piece in the mix as well, as soon as I find the box I packed it away in.

From my secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-10-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A PROMISED KEPT

A few months ago I promised that I'd start listing some of the very cool and rare items uncovered as a result of our big move to Pine Mountain, California. Well, starting this week I'm keeping that promise by posting the following two very rare items in the "Future Auctions" section of this website.

The Mattel Halloween batmobile:

The Tokyo DisneySea wood/resen framed picture for DisneySea made for Project Members:

To get the whole scoop, click here:  FUTURE AUCTIONS

And remember, this is just the beginning.

From our new secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-3-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Hope you like this week's edition of Swapsale.  We've made a sincere effort to give our Halloween edition the kind of coverage that comic book and horror movie fans deserve.  Halloween is, in fact, the perfect holiday for a website like this one.

On other matters, the unpacking continues -- at way too slow a pace, I fear -- and we have at least found the Space Patrol belt and holster set, or at least the material to make them.  (They are made to order, after all.)   Still no luck finding the Atomic Disintegrator kits, however.  But it's only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, next week (with a little luck) I should start posting at least a few of  the newly unearthed collectibles recovered as a result of the move.  Till then...

From our new secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-27-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIGGING THROUGH THE DETRITUS

We'll, I've found all the Tom Corbett and Space Patrol DVDs...I think.  And, of course, you can see by my auction listings that I've located other DVDs as well.  Slowly but surely I'm digging my way out of the mess created by the move.  However, I'm getting orders for things I can't find, such as the Space Patrol repro belt and holster and the Atomic Disintegrator model kits.  You might think, well how hard can it be to find these items, assuming the host of this site had the foresight to mark the boxes clearly.  You might think that.  But in fact, although the movers really did their best to follow the directions on the boxes, during the move things quickly got out of hand, despite my careful planning.  The garage, for example, got filled to the brim with shocking speed, leaving narrow pathways between rows of shelves stacked nearly to the ceiling.  (If I'm ever in there during an earthquake I will surely die.)  The overflow, logically, had no place else to go but my house where they are again piled ceiling high.  Since I labeled the top of the boxes instead of the sides all the boxes in both the house and garage have to be pulled down, one by one, just to discover what's inside.  A daunting task.  Still, I persevere, although it's clear now this is a job that will take some time.  Just know that I'm on it.  Now if I could only find where my dishes and silverware are located.

From our new secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-20-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

The move has been made.  I am now in my new digs.  However, boxes are everywhere.  I can't find even half the things I need much less the things I want. Chaos reigns. It's a minor miracle that we're able to publish.  (We were even able to put a few auctions up. Hoo-Ha!)

Hopefully things will be under control by next week. 

From our new secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-13-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WE ARE MOVING!

Finally!  If everything goes as planned our big move takes place this week -- Monday, the 7th.  Ideally you will notice no disruption.  Realistically there will be some glitches.  My main concern is my new Internet service provider.  Other than that, there will be the chaos of a few hundred packed boxes misplaced and hard to get at.  If we fail to publish on time next week -- or even worse, if we fail to publish at all -- please bear with us.  Just know that I am pulling my hair out trying to fix things. 

For now then, may the force be with me.

From our (soon to be old) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-6-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN PART 6 - THE HOMEOWNER STRIKES BACK!

The shelves are in!  Now the countdown begins in earnest.  On Monday of this week I expect to have a couple of moving companies give me an estimate.  Then the move.  It truly looks like the move will happen within the next two weeks.  Onward!

From our (soon to be old) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-29-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN PART 5 - REVENGE OF THE CONTRACTOR

I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that despite his promises to get the shelves up by last Sunday, that didn't happen.  Threats and counter threats have been issued.  War looms on the horizon.  However, he is in command of the Death Star and my X-Wing fighter is missing a wing.  (It's now a Y-Wing fighter.)  I'll let you know how things progress.

On the upside, I'd like to welcome Dynamite Entertainment to the Swapsale family.  We reached out to the comic book company a while ago but it's only been over the last couple of weeks that they've responded.  Regular site visitors will have noticed  their Red Sonja feature two weeks ago and the Dejah Thoris article last week.  Now I've given them their own page.  You'll find it's link right next to the Zenescope Entertainment folks on page one. 

Now, if you'll excuse me,  I have to polish up my light saber (and check book) in preparation for this week's encounter with Darth Contractor.  May the force be with me.

From our (soon to be old, I hope) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-22-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN PART 4

Yes, I'm still counting.  Right now everything depends on my contractor having done the shelves in the garage this past week as he promised.  I'll find out today, Sunday 9-15-13, after this edition of Swapsale is published.

Meanwhile you may have already noticed a change in Page One (the main page -- the page immediately after the home page, where all the fun stuff is listed).  As many of you know, the length of that page -- the way you can scroll down seemingly forever -- has bugged me for some time now and none of the fixes I've tried to date have solved that problem.   Well, the other night  I woke up with what I hope is an adequate solution.  Those features that I consider secondary to this site are now all clumped together as links toward the bottom of that page with a minimum of graphics.  The page is certainly shorter now but I'll need to hear from you to discover if the fix actually works.  Lemme know what you think.

Now it's back to packing boxes.  (yes, I'm still doing that.)  And praying that the shelves will be done by the time you are reading this.

From our (soon to be old, I hope) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-15-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN PART 3

Guess what?  Yep.  It's still two weeks until the targeted big move.  I could blame the contractor.  He was supposed to have the shelves built in the garage by now.  (They have to be done prior to the move or organizing the storage of my many, many collectibles will be a nightmare.) In truth, though, it's my fault.  I'm being pulled in too many different directions to oversee the move properly.  However, once the shelves are in place I should be good to go.  Hopefully they will be done this coming week.  Then it's off to my new secret mountain top retreat in Pine Mountain.

From our (soon to be old) secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-8-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN PART 2

It's unending.  Just when I think I'm zeroing in on the move to my new location, events conspire against me.  So I'm still looking to make the big move in two weeks even though I made that same claim last week.  Oh, well -- the important thing is to make the move without disrupting this sites weekly postings.  If that means delaying things by a week (or more), so be it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more boxes to pack.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-1-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COUNTDOWN

The big move to my new secret mountain top retreat is imminent.  Probably in the next two weeks.  You'll most likely have noticed that our weekly auctions are at a minimum this week.  It's the best we can do, given the number of boxed items and the overall state of disarray.  Hopefully we will still be able to bring the auctions to you -- at this reduced rate -- throughout the move, but that's not certain.  Nor is it certain that we will be able to bring you all of our weekly features without cutting back on them as well.  However, we certainly will attempt to keep everything as close to normal as possible.

That's all there is to report this week.  All our attention is focused on the move.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-25-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLACE HOLDERS

That's what I'm calling this week's auctions: Place Holders.  From now until the big move to our new location is complete, we will endeavor to keep our auction listings going, but at a reduced rate.  The few auctions that we put up from here on are there basically so that site visitors don't think we're not doing them any more.  We are in fact committed to doing them and as I said last week, once the dust has settled we will redouble our efforts in that regard, putting up more and even better auction items.  Promise.

For now, boxes are piled high with inventory.  With luck the actual move should take place in the next few weeks.   Until then, It's place holders.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-18-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOVING UP ON THE MOVE

As the big Swapsale move gets closer it's become more and more apparent that I'll have to start scaling back on what I put up for auction on this site.  Right now over half of our inventory is in boxes and it's getting harder and harder to keep track of things.  A worst case scenario would have me putting something up for auction that gets packed up before the auction ends.  So,  going forward,  I'm going to keep things simple until the move is made and I'm settled in.  Hopefully we'll still be able to put up some good stuff, but for certain there will be less of it in the following weeks.  However, when the dust has settled, I promise we're going to put up for auction some things that will blow your mind.  Spaceman's honor.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-11-13

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOST AND FOUND

The process of packing up inventory in preparation for our big move to our new secret mountain top retreat has -- I suppose not too surprisingly -- unearthed some items stored away years ago and forgotten about...to my detriment.  Case in point, a number of VHS video tapes including Star Wars The Phantom Menace and Tekkaman-Blade II.  No doubt I could have gotten more bucks if I'd put them on eBay before VHS became a dead technology.  That's especially true of the Phantom Menace VHS video boxed set which comes with some cool extras including a 35mm film strip from the movie and a collector's book: The Art of Episode 1.  Those last two items alone have to be worth something, no?  So I'm putting the boxed set up for auction. And to sweeten the deal I've added a lenticular 3-D VHS box to the mix (also found in storage).  We'll see if it sells.  If not, it still has value to me as a collector's item and a piece of film history.       

A second video item is -- thankfully -- a DVD.  It's a near mint 2 pack featuring Shrek 3-D and the first Shrek movie.  Released just before Shrek 2, it includes a lenticular 3-D sleeve of the box art which I do not believe is part of the Amazon offered double set of the same movies.  So hopefully this one will do well at auction this week.

Another painful find was the beautiful Taschen book 1000 Game Heroes.  Like The Phantom Menace, this lavishly produced 600 page book is mint.  However, its 2003 copyright means most of the information in it is woefully out of date. But again, if it doesn't sell, I'll probably hold on to it as a collector's item.  Surely it will be worth something someday.

There's a lot more being pulled from this forgotten treasure trove. Over the next few months most of those books and VHS tapes will probably be offered at auction for 99 cents.  You can check out this week's offerings here.  If you're not interested in my lost & found items, you might still want to check out the auction, especially for the life-size Woody doll from Toy Story.   It's really neat.  And, of course, not something in danger of losing its value.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-4-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HELP!

I've looked everywhere I could think of but after weeks of searching I've come up empty.  So it's time to admit defeat and ask for help.  You guys are my last hope in identifying the animation cel shown below.  Can someone out there tell me what TV show this cel comes from?

As you may have noticed, I kept pushing the auction date for this item back.  Now you know why.  I have no idea what I'm selling.  But I'm sure that at least some of my very smart readers do.  So this is my official S.O.S.

Help! Email me at Swapsale@aol.com

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-28-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE BIG MOVE!

After 26 years of marriage my wife and I have decided to part ways.  No acrimony, no ill will.  Just a calm recogition that the marriage is over.  Hence the Swapsale move to a new, even higher secret mountain top location, this one 4000 feet above sea level.  It's remote enough that there are even bear crossing signs on the winding roads leading to my new house.  Seriously.

Of course the move --involving all of our Swapsale inventory plus new internet arrangements and such --  will no doubt create some disruption to our weekly postings.  Exactly how much disruption wont be known until the move is made, but we are, naturally, making every effort to minimize those kinds of problems. To that end, some transference of inventory has already taken place.  With luck we should be fully ensconced in our new location by mid August.  Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, we will endeavor to keep you informed and entertained as usual with our weekly editions of Swapsale.  In that regard, let me direct your attention to this week's articles -- our detailed report on the San Diego Comi-Con and our lead feature on Herge's The Adventures of Tintin, a French/Canadian TV show from the early 1990s that I was completely unaware of (as I'm assuming were most of you).  I did, however, know about the Herge comic strip from which the TV show took it's characters and adventures.  Sadly, Steven Spielberg, despite his best efforts, failed to capture Herge's magic when he recently brought Tintin to the big screen.  Where Spielberg failed, in my opinion, the French/Canadian TV team succeeds.  See if you don't agree.

 From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-21-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN

Wow!  We've gotten a terrific response to Dr. Warren Chaney's series of Lone Ranger articles.  And that response can only grow with part three of that series (found here) which we are proud to present in this edition of Swapsale.  It's pretty amazing how much Warren knows about this subject -- and a bit humbling to discover how little the rest of us have known all these years.  You can find his previous articles here (Pt. 1) and here (Pt. 2).  Also still available, last week's Lone Ranger movie review.

 

FIND THESE ITEMS 0N THE SWAP TALK PAGE

Any way, in support of Warren and his series, let me point out that we are once again highlighting a bunch of Lone Ranger items being auctioned off at Hake's this month (see above) as well as offering our own LR item for auction; the 1939 movie serial The Lone Ranger Rides Again.  In that regard, you should know that this serial, thought to be lost for many years, was rescued from obscurity by none other than our own Dr. Chaney.   It's a bit rough, having been spliced together from Polish and Mexican versions of the serial,  but nobody else has a better copy.  You'll find that DVD at this weeks Swapsale Auctions.) Finally, as relates to the masked rider of the plains, here's a cartoon about the Lone Ranger movie, also supplied by the good doctor.

So come with us now to those thrilling days of yester-year!  The Lone Ranger rides again!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-14-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE LONE RANGER EDITION

Is this a great edition of Swapsale, or what?  Not only does Dr. Warren Chaney hit it out of the park with part two of his Lone Ranger retrospective, he also gives us a double header with his exclusive review of the new Lone Ranger movie starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.  Alas, the movie is not what Lone Ranger fans might have hoped for, as Chaney's incisive and thoughtful review makes clear.  Too bad.  I have no doubt that if Warren and I ever got together we could bang out a rip snorting screenplay in three weeks that would keep the masked rider of the plains mythos intact.  Who knows, it might even get made.  Both Warren and I have a background in the entertainment industry and recent reboots of Superman (a reboot of a reboot) and Spider-Man show that the usual 20 year wait between remakes no longer holds true.  I can dream, right?

Any way, as if Warren's contribution wasn't enough, let me direct you to an earlier Swapsale article on the LR edited by me.  It features a whole bunch of really cool LR stuff fans will certainly enjoy.  Just click here.  And then there's Craveonline's interviews with Jerry Bruckheimer, Ruth Wilson, and Armie Hammer about the Lone Ranger. Hoo-Hah!

Finally, to round things out for our Lone Ranger edition of Swapsale, I'm offering four Lone Ranger DVDs featuring TV shows starring Clayton Moore (the man who best defines the character) at auction with an opening bid of a mere 99 cents per DVD.  You can find them here.

Given the foregoing, I guess I'll just close by saying "Hi-yo Silver! Away!"

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-7-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER GREAT 50s COLLECTIBLE

A few weeks back I mentioned my reluctance to put my autographed Space Patrol cap up for auction.  But once it sold, I at least had the satisfaction of knowing it got a good home with a Swapsale site regular.  Congratulations, Sal.

In a couple of weeks I'll reluctantly be putting up yet another really, really cool item from my personal collection: A Tom Corbett Space Cadet Cosmic Vision Helmet with it's original box! Once again, the decision to sell this prized (and very rare) item has been forced on me, given the fact that I'm putting two kids through college. Again, my loss is your gain.  Or someone's gain.

You can check out a larger version of these pix (and bunch more pix of this item) here.  As you'll see, neither the helmet nor box are mint. But they are in surprisingly good shape considering they are approximately 60 years old. I'm not sure at this point what the opening bid will be but, as with the Space Patrol cap, it will be priced to move. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-30-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHANGING TIMES

While watching the TV sitcom Two Broke Girls the other night (there was nothing else on) I have to admit to being a little shocked by the number of vagina jokes I heard.  Of course, this is just part of a trend that started some time ago, even before Charlie Sheen's Two and a Half Men.  But I can remember having much tamer jokes of mine shot down during my brief stint as a sitcom writer during the 1980s and early 90s. 

I'm not a prude.  The jokes didn't offend me.  I even laughed at a few of them.  But I did feel a certain nostalgia for a more innocent time.  Back in the 1950s Lucy and Desi -- a married couple on the Lucile Ball Show and in real life -- had to sleep in separate beds and, when in the bed, they always had to have at least one foot on the floor.  That was silly, by any standard and I was certainly one of the people who pushed back on that kind of thing.  Still, speaking as a product of that time, it's clear that the gain in candor has to be measured against things lost.  We're a more cynical people now.  Less hopeful too.  Maybe even less caring, although I hope not.

I've always believed that the unrestricted flow of information is less harmful to us than information that is restricted.  I still believe that; I reject censorship in all forms.  But we have to recognize that all freedoms come at a price.  In this case the price is relatively small but it stings nonetheless, mostly because I'm forced to acknowledge that my generation is becoming increasingly irrelevant.  That's the simple truth of it.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-23-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW ON SYFY

Well, I guess my TV Previews page missed a few new shows.  One of those shows, Sinbad, which premiered last week, looks like it might be pretty good.  Check it out:

The other show, which also premiered last week, is more problematic.  It's based on an English show which aired on BBC America as Primevil.  Basically, featuring a monster of the week, it quickly became boring and predictable. Rebooted on SyFy, the show has been given a new title --  Primevil: New World -- presumably because it is now set in the U.S. -- and a new cast (except for one holdover from the original show).  It remains to be seen if they can avoid the monster of the week syndrome.  Take a look:

Sorry I'm late reporting on these two shows.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-16-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A NEW AUCTION PAGE

It's been an ongoing problem: the main page of this sight (designated as page one) has been just too big, or to put it another way, too deep, forcing site visitors to scroll down, and down, and down.   The last time I tried to solve this problem I created a new home page (ENTER YOUR TIME MACHINE HERE). But that did little to solve the problem.   More recently, the problem has been compounded by an increase in our auction activity which forced us to put even more items -- auction listings -- on the main page. Hence this week's creation of a new page (found here ) to highlight our weekly auctions.

Thus, going forward, you will find a much smaller notice on our main page regarding our weekly auctions.   But that notice will link you to everything you would have previously found there. And the new page will, in turn, take you to the auction listings themselves, just as before.

Hopefully, this small change will solve the problem with the overly big -- deep, long? -- main page.   If not, I'll just have to create a second main page -- part two, if you will -- to handle the overflow.  It's either that or eliminate some of our features.  I don't think any of us want that.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-9-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WE ARE MOVING

That's right, sometime over the next couple of months Swapsale will be relocating.  As a result we are forced to sell a number of items (that we cannot take with us) at incredible discounts.  That means big savings for you.  Starting now -- and continuing over the next few weeks -- we will be offering these items at auction for stupefying low, low opening bids.   Check them out here

This is a win/win.  We cut our inventory prior to the move.  You save big bucks.  Hoo-Hah!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-2-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTICE OF EVACUATION

Due to the increasing frequency of cataclysmic weather events worldwide, we have been forced to move up our plans for the evacuation of this time period.  We are still accepting reservations for the following time periods: Los Angeles 1947, New York 1950, and San Francisco 1956.  You will need appropriate clothing for the time period -- please check weather conditions for the month and day you will be transported to  --  as well as a way of purchasing currency for that time period.  Gold and diamonds are recommended.  Remember: carry-on luggage only.

The evacuations will begin this July and must be completed by June of 2014.  If you plan on riding out the events in this time period we wish to remind you that probes set to the year 2016 have not returned. 

You may continue to monitor this site for important updates.  Additional information can be obtained from your normal Time Relocation sources.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-26-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SPAGHETTI-O's

Had I been forced to guess, I'd have said Spaghetti-O's have always been with us -- that there has never been a time in my long life that they haven't been on the supermarket shelf.  But of course, there haven't always been supermarkets and, as it turns out, Spaghetti-O's first made their appearance on those shelves in May 1965. I am certain, however, that they helped get me through college and a number of lean years thereafter. 

I learned about Spaghetti-O's birthday on the news this week.  That's what passes for news these days. That and a whole bunch of stuff about Obama, Benghazi, the IRS, and AP's phone records.  But those are just distractions, to keep us from focusing on what's really going on.  Not in the news this week (unless you were really paying attention) is the fact that carbon dioxide levels have passed 400 parts per million.  They haven't been that high for 3 million years, a time when human beings didn't even exist.  Many scientist have long considered this level of CO2 to be a potential tipping point that could dramatically escalate global climate change.  As if things weren't already alarming.  Check out Ice Attack in this issue's Weekly Watch, and our feature article on Methane.

Meanwhile, Happy Birthday to Spaghetti-O's.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-19-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SWAPSALE SURVEY

Please help us make Swapsale.com a better website.  All you have to do is cut and paste the following survey into an email, fill it out, then send it to Swapsale@aol.com.  We will be forever grateful.

SWAPSALE SURVEY:

On a scale of one to ten, ten being best, here is how I rate the following Swapsale features.

IN MEMORIAM:____

CELEBRITY NEWS:____

SWAPSALE AUCTIONS:____

MOVIE TRAILER THEATER:____

SATURDAY MORNING TV SHOWS:____

FUNNY VIDEO CLIPS:____

CRAVEONLINE NEWS:____

SWAPSALE'S SERIAL THEATER:____

COSPLAY PIX OF THE WEEK:____

WEEKLY WATCH:____

ZENESCOPE COMIC BOOK RELEASES:____

GAMES:____

80s ROCK SCNE:____

TV PREVIEWS:____

WEEKLY DVD RELEASES:____

WEEKLY COMIC BOOK RELEASES:____

STATUES:____

SWAP TALK:____

WEEKLY OTR SHOWS:____

WEEKY SUNDAY COMICS:____

FEATURE ARTICLES:_____

My favorite Feature Articles are about FILM__, COMICS__, HEROES__, TELEVISION__, MUSIC__, PULPS__, MAGAZINES__, CHEESECAKE__, CARDS__, PIN-UP GIRLS__, BOOK REVIEWS__, SCIENCE__, PEOPLE__, HISTORY__, TRENDS__, ART__, SCI-FI__, PAPERBACKS__, TOYS__, CONSPIRACIES__  (You can check more than one item.)

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE______________________________________________________________

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE LESS_______________________________________________________________

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS__________________________________________________________________

Thanks for taking the time to help us make this a better website.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-12-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SPACE PATROL CAP UP FOR AUCTION

One of my most prized possessions has been a kids cap from the 1950s TV show, Space Patrol.  It was a premium give-a-way, and also sold in stores but very hard to find these days, especially one that's been autographed by the cast of the show.  I got this one over ten years ago on eBay from someone who clearly didn't know what he had.  He probably figured the writing on the cap detracted from it's value, no doubt written by the kid who owned it.  Wrong!  With help of Cadet Ed at the solarguard.com, I was able to verify the signatures are authentic.  

When I listed it for sale on this website back then, I put a price on it of $1200. That was what it would have taken for me to part with it without waking up in the middle of the night weeping.  So, no surprise, the listing has just been sitting there while I enjoyed the hat, displayed as you see it here, in my office. 

However, things change.  I've have two kids in college so I've got to get realistic about selling things, even those items I most prize.  I haven't decided on an opening bid yet -- it's a painful process -- but what;s certain is that this time it will be priced to move.  Space Patol fans take note:  This is a very rare and special item you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

For more pix and info click here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-5-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR CORRUPT CONGRESS

in 2011 the CBS news show 60 Minutes revealed that our Congress has been (for God knows how many years) legally doing something that, if caught, any other American would go to jail for: insider trading.  That's right, our elected Senators and Representatives (and their senior staffers) -- who regularly come into possession of information that will impact the stock market, have been routinely  profiting from their insider status, making can't miss stock buys.  The 60 Minutes revelation caused such a furer that -- amazingly enough -- our elected officials felt pressured to pass the Stock Act, making the practice illegal.  It was signed into law with great fanfare by President Obama.

What you may not know is that on Thursday April 11 the Congress quietly passed a new bill which more or less gutted the Stock Act.  Obama, with no fanfare this time, signed the bill into law on April 15, thus proving to anyone with half a brain that our elected officials are still above the law.

FACT CHECK:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/04/senate-guts-stock-act.html

http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/04/15/insider-dealing-for-insider-trading-congress-guts-stock-act-reporting-requirements/

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/stock-act-gets-gutted-why-care-173159298.html

Shame on them.  And shame on President Obama. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-28-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT THE BOSTON BOMBINGS

Out of the horror came a small miracle: the Boston police department, the FBI, Homeland Security and the American people all working together to quickly identify, track down and capture those responsible for so much pain and suffering.  God bless all of them.

And God bless America!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-21-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAKING THE OLD NEW AGAIN

The above words would seem to be more than appropriate for this week's installment of Swapsale.  Our weekly comic strip, Planet Patrol, which concluded last week, has been swapped out for an old favorite, 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.'  That 1940s strip from the Sunday funny pages should run for the next 57 weeks.  (You can find the first installment here.) While it's true that I ran this strip once before, that was quite a while ago.  We've acquired a bunch of new site visitors since then and, besides, I think it's worth a second look. 

We are also replacing the just concluded Flash Gordon movie serial with 'Undersea Kingdom' starring Ray 'Crash' Corrigan.  It will be running a chapter a week for the next 12 weeks.  You can find that at Swapsale's Serial Theater

Then there's this week's feature article on the 1960s TV show 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.'  The article includes a complete episode of that show.  (You'll find it here.)  And let's not forget the 'Rocky Jones' episode posted in this week's Saturday Morning TV feature.'

Of course, you could say that making the old new again is a weekly endeavour at this site. Still, this week's edition seems like a home run to me.

Finally, Space Patrol fans might want to check out Elliott Swanson's missive in this week's "Comments" section.  

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-14-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER SPACE PATROL NOVEL?

Dr. Warren Chaney, author of the Space Patrol novel (among other things), has inspired many fans of the 1950s TV show Space Patrol.  I'm one of them.  Now, it would seem, so is Elliot Swanson, another SP fan whose name may be familiar to Swapsale site visitors for his many appearances and contributions to this site.  For one thing, Swanson's the guy who actually made a working Bade Runner gun that shoots real bullets.  He's also the guy who made the 3-D lentcular art for the Space Patrol limited Edition DVD that we sell. (You can check that out here..) 

Elliott, it seems, has been inspired by Dr. Chaney to write his own Space Patrol novel, the first segment of which can be found here.  Based on what he's written so far, I love it every bit as much as I love Warren's.  But let me warn you about something: it's a very, very different take on the old space opera that's certain to create controversy among SP fans.  I, for one, can't wait to see the reaction.

Finally, speaking of Warren Chaney, don't miss his very thoughtful email this week.  You'll find it in the "Comments" section below.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-7-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PLANET PATROL ENDS NEXT WEEK

It's been a long run.  Over a hundred pages of story.  But Planet Patrol, my major comic book opus,  comes to an end next week.   It was a blast creating it.  And it was great hearing from those of you who egged me on.  Much obliged. But now it's time to once again start publishing some old Sunday classics.  Starting in two weeks, that will be some Buck Rogers strips from the 1940s.

For those of you who missed my strip, or who would like to revisit it, you can catch it from the beginning by clicking here.  For everyone else, it's onward and upward.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-31-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY FAVORITE SCI-FI SHOW (AT THE MOMENT)

"Continuum" first aired on the SyFy channel on Monday, January 14th.  It's about a group of future American Terrorists who manage to escape prison by time traveling into the past, along with a female police officer who is accidently transported with them.  Set in our own near future, the show follows the officer as she pursues the terrorists who are intent on implementing their radical agenda in their new time period, as a way of jump starting it.  But we soon divine that they have simply become the very people who started the resistance that would inspire them in the future.  But the time paradoxes don't end there.  Last week it was revealed that our female officer's trusted ally, the only person from our time period who knows her true identity, will become the very person in the future who engineers the terrorists' time traveling escape.  In short, the show is smart and entertaining.

There aren't a lot of TV shows I can say that about.  "Archer" comes to mind.  So does "Doctor Who."    If you like those shows, I certainly recommend you check out "Continuum."

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-24-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

First, the good. We've insituted a new feature: Games.   I  figured that, since so many cosplayers dress up as game characters, it was probably overdue. Let's see how you guys like it.

The bad: we've been getting a little sloppy lately.  It's the increased work load.  We keep adding features but our staff remains the same.  Basically, I hope site visitors don't notice the mistakes.  If they do notice, I hope they'll forgive them.

The ugly:  we start updating this website on Thursdays.  On Thursday, the seventh, as we were in the middle of making the updates for last week's edition, someone -- I'm not mentioning any names -- accidently published the site.  We scrambled to fix it as best we could but, some of the updates had to remain published.  As a result, many of you saw portions of this past week's updates a few days early.  I apologize for that confusion.  And I promise it won't happen again.

This site is a lot of work.  I wouldn't do it if it wasn't a labor of love.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-17-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: TOM CORBETT, SPACE PATROL, CAPTAIN VIDEO AND ROCKY JONES APPAREL.

Last week I mentioned that Mike Elmo, the guy who makes the above mentioned sci-fi apparel, had warned me he might not be able to produce these items in the future.  As it happens, just twenty-four hours after I published that editorial, Mike called to say his manufacturer had just notified him that, effective immediately, they would no longer produce the embroidered jackets and shirts.  There simply were not enough orders to make it worth their while, given the amount of effort involved.  So, as it turns out, not only will we no longer be offering any Major Mars shirts, now the only sci-fi apparel we have for sale are the red, long sleeve Space Patrol shirts made by me.  And, of course, the Space Patrol holster and belt which we'll soon be out of. Those of you who already have the shirts and jackets are lucky.  No one else is offering anything like them.  Those of you who waited to order them are just out of luck.  Sorry about that.

You do however, have one last chance to get a Mike Elmo embroidered item: the Major Mars shirt being put up for auction this week.  The opening bid ($125) is a bit high, but as I mentioned in last week's editorial, it's the only one Mike ever had made.  (I can be seen modeling it here.)  If it doesn't sell at that price I will gladly keep it. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Major Mars, click here for three MM episodes.  The MM auction can be found here.  Remember:  This is your very last chance to get any Mike Elmo items.

 From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-10-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Photo by Lance Wolf

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF MAJOR MARS' SHIRT

Back in the 1970s Bob Burns -- actor, producer, author (It Came From Bob's Basement), collector of movie props -- created a short 16 mm film called The Adventures of Major Mars.  It was a send-up of the old movie serials -- most notably King of the Rocket Men -- that many visitors to this site remember so fondly.  I've been told the movie was made in the hopes it would entice one of the major networks back then into picking it up as a series.  Alas, that never happened. However, the film itself, making the rounds of the various comic book conventions during the seventies and eighties, became a fan favorite.  Eventually it achieved legendary status.

That's why Mike Elmo, the man behind the Space Patrol, Rocky Jones, Captain Video and Tom Corbett jackets and shirts that we sell here, decided to make a Major Mars repro shirt.  That was quite a few years ago and, given the shirts niche nature, we probably shouldn't have been surprised that only one person ever ordered the shirt, and that was just last month.  But he returned it because it didn't come with the brass buttons the original Major Mars shirt has.  Meanwhile, Mike informed me that it's becoming increasingly difficult for him to manufacture the Space Patrol, Rocky Jones, Captain Video and Space Cadet outfits as well. So we've decided that, going forward, we will no longer offer the Major Mars shirts.  All we have is that one returned MM shirt, XL, seen here.  That's it. 

So here's the deal:  Next week I am going to put that shirt up for auction with a $125 opening bid and the guarantee no other MM shirts will ever be made.  Granted, the price is high but, given the fact that this shirt is truly a one of a kind item, I think fair.  Besides, I'll be more than happy to keep the shirt for myself if the it doesn't sell.  It's that cool.

In conjunction with the auction, I will also be running three episodes of The Further Adventures of Major Mars, recently created by Burns from portions of the original MM film.  If you love the old serials and have never seen the original MM film, you owe it to yourself to be here next week. For real!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-3-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TARGET EARTH!

Back in 1985 President Ronald Reagan noted how easy it would be to achieve world peace if we were suddenly confronted with a threat from outer space.   Last week, on February 15, we may have seen evidence of that threat to humanity, not in the form of space aliens as Reagan speculated, but a meteor strike.  The meteor came down in the Ural mountains section of Russia's Siberia, exploding with the force of 30 atomic bombs, according to some sources. The fact that the meteor strike occurred just one day after another meteor passed perilously close to our planet is difficult to dismiss as mere coincidence.  Considering that last year we had four near Earth meteor flybys, one has to ask if we are entering a period of increased meteor bombardment.  Disturbingly, the answer may well be that we are.

Astronomers have announced that we will be visited by two comets within the next 12 months.  (Two comets so close together is unheard of.)  The first one will make its closest approach this March (the best dates to see it will will be March 12-13) while the second flyby will occur during November 2013 thru January 2014.  Both objects will be visible with the naked eye. The second comet, scientists say, could be as bright as the moon if it doesn't breakup on it's way into our solar system. 

THE OORT CLOUD

http://deepspaceexplorers.org/

While neither comet poses a threat to our planet, the very fact that we are seeing so much activity from meteors and comets suggests something is going on in the Oort cloud, believed by the vast majority of scientists to exist at the outer region of our solar system.  Composed of icy planetesimals,  it is suspected that many of these celestial visitors originate from that region of space. Indeed, recent scientific speculation suggests some gravitational force may be disturbing the Oort cloud, quite possibly knocking these objects out of their normal orbits and hurtling into our solar system and toward our planet. 

Whatever the case, Earth has been subject to meteor and comet bombardment since it's creation.  Consider the map below, composed from Meteoritical Society data, which shows every meteor known to have hit the Earth since 2300 B.C.  One of those strikes -- the last big object to hit Earth -- was, curiously, also in Russia's Siberia.  The year was 1908 and it took out 1000 square miles of mostly trees. Had it come down near a major city, it would have been the worst day on Earth since our civilization began.

Assuming a worst case scenario -- a meteor or comet big enough to wipe out our civilization or maybe only knock us back to the 1800s -- we would be defenseless.  Equally disturbing, the number of people in America working on detecting planet killing near Earth objects would only staff a McDonald's.  So maybe it's time to take Ronald Reagan's words to heart: the citizens of our planet should put aside their -- relatively speaking -- petty differences and recognize we are all vulnerable to larger threats. 

Our worldwide civilization is no more than 5000 years old.  Consider the possibility that the past 5000 years were a period of relative calm, geologically speaking.   Meteors and comets may be just one possible threat to our planet but, unlike super volcanoes and gamma ray bursts, they are a threat we have the technological skill to deal with.  The question is, do we have the will?

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-24-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SPACE BARTON.

When I was a kid living in NewYork City in the early 1950s, one of the shows I remember watching on my Dumont TV was called Space Barton.  It was one part of a 15 minute program which featured two other shows, none of which were longer than four or five minutes in length. Although these were shows that  featured comic book type art, they were not really animated cartoons.  They were more like comic books with actors doing voiceovers in lieu of word balloons.  Though very low tech, I never forgot the show.

Four of five years ago I tried to find it on the Internet.  No luck.  But last week, when I tried again, I hit pay dirt.  Not only did I find Space Barton, I also found the two other shows that came with the package: Kid Champion (a boxer) and Danny March (a detective) -- names I had completely forgotten.  So this week I'm pleased to present three chapters of Space Barton, to be followed in the next two weeks by Kid Champion and then Danny March. You'll find them In our Saturday Morning TV Shows section even though, as I recall, the show's played weekdays, after school had let out.  Despite the program's primitive nature, I still think it's pretty cool.  Let me know what you think.  And if any of you even remember the show. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-17-13

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A FEW WORDS ABOUT ROD THORP

As you may have noticed, this week CraveOnLine begins a retrospective on Die Hard, the movie series starring Bruce Willis.  The movies are based on a novel by Roderick Thorp called Nothing Lasts Forever (1979).  Thorp, who had also written The Detective (1966) which became a movie starring Frank Sinatra, was a friend of mine.  We were both living in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles on the afternoon  the fires broke out in 1979.  At a party in Malibu when word of the fire reached me, I raced back to save my dog.  However, when I got there, the police refused to let me drive to my house even though the fire hadn't reached my section of the canyon. 

Thorp, who had been at his house on Grandview Drive when the fire broke out, elected to stay and fight the blaze, despite threats of arrest from the police.  Working on his roof in the mid September heat with nothing more than a garden hose, Thorp battled the blaze hour after hour, his only assistance coming from water dropping planes which, as Thorp later put it, "were a godsend."  When it was finally over his house was still standing while most of his neighbors homes, including those of photographer Phil Groves and blues singer John Mayall (also friends of mine), had burned to the ground.   Thorp also managed to save the house immediately to his right, owned by Patrick Wayne (John Wayne's son), who was out of town at the time of the fire.  The fire missed my section of the canyon completely.

Ironically, Thorp lost his home a short while after that when he fell behind in his mortgage payments.  It wasn't until the first Die Hard movie (1988) that his career really rebounded.  Although he never got a shot at writing the screenplay for Die Hard, he got some nice royalty checks for selling the rights to his book.  Of course, with each successive movie the checks became less and less.  At some point Thorp referred to them as "chump change."  Rainbow Drive (1986) and Devlin (1988) became movies for HBO.  Yet despite a career that most writers would be proud to claim as their own, when he died in 1999 Thorp was broke.

That, unfortunately, is the fate of many, perhaps most mid level writers these days.  Unless you're Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, surviving as a writer is a struggle, largely because the publishing houses have found there's more money in self-help and tell-all books.  Thorp started out as a New Jersey college professor teaching creative writing.  But with the Success of The Detective, caught up in the glamour of Hollywood, he moved to L.A.  He would have been smart to have kept his professorship as a safety net.  But his life would have been less interesting, and, arguably, his writing less productive.  Writers without a safety net can never stop writing.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-10-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE 65TH ANNUAL DGA AWARDS CEREMONY

Occasionally I get invited to awards ceremonies.  Some of the events I've attended have featured speakers like Olivia Wilde, Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson.  Nothing against those people but for the most part the ceremonies were pretty dull.  That, however, was not the case with last night's 65th Annual Directors Guild Awards Dinner held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center. 

Host Kelsey Grammer, kicked things off with a series of one liners that had everyone cracking up, including me.  This set the tone for the rest of the evening with each speaker, presenter and award winner -- Ben Affleck, Steven Spielberg, Lena Dunham, Ang Lee, Michael Apted, Kathryn Bigelo, to name a few -- displaying uncommon charm, wit and intelligence as they addressed their peers.  This was a group of very smart people.  And, of course, a group of very famous people, both on stage and in the audience.  Honestly, it was dazzling.

Attendees were advised in advance not to bring cameras.  However I noticed that many of the people there had brought their cameras  -- they're directors after all.  I, on the other hand, having obeyed the directive, I missed my chance to capture the many celebrities on film.  Still, my cancelation prize was pretty cool; each attendee got a tiny statuette featuring a gold director's chair with their name on the base.  Pretty cool. 

It goes without saying that this was the best awards ceremony I've ever been to. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get invited to next year's event.

For more on the DGA awards click here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-3-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

53 YEARS AGO

I entered the United States Air Force on January 1960.  After basic training I was assigned to McCord Air Force Base just outside of Tacoma Washington.  Those were very formative years for me.  For the first time in my life I met people with diverse views and backgrounds, not proscribed by the provincial attitudes of small town America.  One of the people who had the most influence on me was Walter Landfair, an army enlisted man attached to our air base.  Walter was short -- maybe only five four -- and I was tall, all of six two.  Together we looked like Mutt and Jeff.

Walter was brilliant. He taught me how to think critically and logically.  He was also more than a little weird, insisting he came from Venus.  (Back then it was believed Venus might be habitable.)  Yes, Walter agreed, he was human.  But back in the 1800's, according to him, a small group of scientists on Earth, having discovered the secret of anti gravity, immigrated to Venus where they set up their own society, based in science.  Occasionally Walter would drop this façade and talk about growing up in San Francisco but even then -- when this apparent inconsistency was pointed out to him -- he'd maintain the fiction that he was a Venusian who would occasionally visit Earth.

I never heard from Walter after he was discharged. However, for many years after that I assumed I'd see his name again, probably on the cover of a science fiction magazine like Analog or Galaxy. Alas, that never happened.

I've always wondered what happened to him.  So I'm writing this editorial in the hope that somebody reading this might have the answer.  After all, they say all of us are only separated from someone else by six intermediaries.  Anyone out there know Walter Landfair?

For more on the six degrees of separation concept, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-27-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE BIG DAY!

Well, we think today is special.  This is the day we've expanded the number of items we put up for auction each week and also the number of days we list new auctions.  Going forward this site will list our Big Auction every Sunday -- we're switching back to Sunday from our Monday auctions, an experiment that didn't produce the results we anticipated -- plus we'll list at least one new auction item every day after that.  That's right; we will now have daily auction listings.  You can click here to see all our mew auctions.

This new auction format means a lot more work for us and, frankly, since we're a small operation, may turn out to be another failed experiment.  But for now, we are giving it our all.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-20-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR NEXT BIG MOVE

Yes, we've got more big plans for this website.  In fact, they're so big, I'm not even sure what they are exactly -- even though we plan to launch this new feature next week.  I can, however, tell you the upgrade will involve our auctions.  Expect more items, cooler items and maybe even daily auctions.  Not sure yet.

BTW, the above item -- a "3D Movie Poster" from A Nightmare On Elm Street -- is actually a molded sculpture, beautifully rendered, a real work of art.  But that's just a teaser.  Other items will be from Star Trek, Family Guy and Hot Wheels, just for starters.  They will not supplant our current auction format.  These auctions will be in addition to what we've been doing all along.  So check us out next week.  And get ready to bid .

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-13-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEXT WEEK'S NEW MOVIE SERIAL

Twelve weeks ago, when I announced that we would once again be running complete movie serials -- a chapter a week -- on this website, I said that our first feature, Captain Marvel Vs. The Scorpion, was one of the best.  Actually, upon reflection, there are a number of serials that are better qualified to be listed as among the best: Phantom Empire, Buck Rogers, and the Fash Gordon serials above all.  So I'm happy to announce that starting next week, the original Flash Gordon will be appearing in Swapsale's Serial Theater.

I don't know what I was thinking when I said Captain Marvel was one of the best.  I still think it's damn good.  But a lot of them are good.  (And many more are not.)  Flash Gordon, however, tops my personal list.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-6-13

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PREDICTING THE END OF THE WORLD

Well, as it turns out, the Mayans blew it -- the world didn't end, we're all still here.  However, there will certainly be other predictions of this sort in the future so I got to thinking, why don't we, the Swapsale audience, try our hand at making our own prediction. 

Sound crazy?

After the recent election cycle I wrote an editorial about the wisdom of crowds.  Here's a slightly revised version of what I wrote:

In 1906 British scientist Francis Galton came upon a weight guessing contest involving a fat ox.  Eight hundred mostly average people participated in the contest, few of whom had any expertise regarding Oxen. He later made the comparison to a democratic election; "The average competitor was probably as well fitted for making a just estimate of the dressed weight of the ox, as an average voter is of judging the merits of most political issues on which he votes," he wrote. When the contest was over Galton gathered the tickets from the organizers and calculated the mean of the groups guesses.  While no individual guessed the ox's weight, the 800 participants, averaged together, pretty much got it on the nose. The ox weighted 1,198 pounds.  The group guess was 1,197.  So Galton postulated that the crowd was smarter than even the smartest individual in it.

That got me to wondering about other applications -- aside from judging the weight of an ox or how many jelly beans are in a Jar -- the wisdom of crowds could be applied to.  Could it, for example, predict future events?  Did Nate Silver of the New York Times use the wisdom of crowds supposition to predict the November election results with such stunning accuracy? According to Ravi Iyer & Jessie Graham at the University of Southern California "Wise crowds...have been shown to be better than political scientists at predicting election outcomes (Sjoberg, 2009) and as good as FIFA [Federation Internationale de Football Association] at predicting soccer outcomes (Herzog & Hertwig, 2011)."  

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Nine years ago, Congress blocked a Pentagon agency from setting up a website that would have allowed anyone with a credit card to bet on the likelihood of foreign assassinations, coups and terrorist attacks. The idea was to take advantage of the "wisdom of crowds," a social science maxim that contends the average of a group of forecasters, under certain circumstances, tends to be more accurate than even the most knowledgeable single forecaster."

So here's my proposal: Let's see if we can predict when the world (as we know it) will come to an end.  Yes, I understand that at first blush this sounds crazy.  Unlike guessing the weight of an ox or the number of jelly beans in a jar, there's, at least on appearance, a complete lack of data.  Or is there? One could argue we are surrounded by data; the science, the politics, the environment, the social movements -- all those things that make up our world.  It doesn't strike me as being significantly different from predicting an assassination or terrorist attack. 

Then there's the notion of the collective unconscious postulated by Carl Gustav Jung, the noted Swiss Psychotherapist.  He believed we are all connected to a higher level of wisdom that we can occasionally tap into. 

But how, you might ask, will we know if the prediction is correct?  If the result states that the world will end in a million years, we'll have to wait a long time for confirmation.  If the prediction is that the world will end in our life time, winning will be scant consolation.  Only a losing prediction will answer if we were accurate or not.  But we will learn, in any case, the group state of mind.  Optimistic? Or pessimistic?

One last thing: to be at all credible, we'll need a large response.  Research at Carnegie Mellon University showed that "small but powerful groups can easily distort what the "crowd" really thinks."  So please email (to swapsale@aol.com) how many years you think we have until it all comes crashing down and any additional notions you might have about the ending of the world.   And ask your friends to do the same. The more respondents we get, the greater our accuracy.

This is just an experiment. It will be interesting to see the result.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:

http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~jessegra/papers/IG.2012.Wisdomofcrowds.PI.pdf

CARNEGIE MELLON:

http://readwrite.com/2009/09/17/the_dirty_little_secret_about_the_wisdom_of_the_crowds

LOS ANGELES TIMES:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/21/nation/la-na-cia-crowds-20120821

CARL JUNG:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-30-12

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE

Hopefully you haven't noticed, but this is a slightly abbreviated edition of Swapsale.com, due to the holiday season and the onslaught of relatives due to arrive on Christmas eve.  (And believe me, onslaught is the right word.)   What with all the preparation for their arrival -- house cleaning, setting up the tree, buying presents, preparing the turkey -- there was far less time to devote to our humble internet operation. So, as you noticed last week, we've suspended our auctions until December 31, 2012 (although in truth we've found this is not a good time of year for them anyway, what with everyone else being preoccupied with the same things we are) and taken a few other short cuts as well. We've also published this week's edition a little earlier than usual so we'd be able to help with the Christmas preparations. 

Anyway, we think this is still a pretty good issue and would especially like to draw your attention to this week's Feature Article: A 1950s Christmas.   It's a trip back to a different (and some would say better) time where all we had to worry about was being nuked by the Russians.  Who knew they would be the "good old days"?

Next week, we'll once again be running at full tilt.  Meanwhile, we hope you all enjoy the Holidays. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-23-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The holiday season has been darkened by the unspeakably horrible, gut wrenching mass shooting this December 14th at the Sandy Hook Connecticut grammar school, one of thirteen mass shootings this year, depending on how you measure such events. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/us-mass-shootings-2012/)  Back in the 1950s, when I was a kid, it was a better world.  That's not to say everything was perfect; we had our Texas Tower shooting and Charles Manson, but nothing like this -- nothing so unrelenting and apparently ingrained in the very fabric of our society, to the point where you have to fear going to the mall, to work, or sending your kids to school.  Something is wrong with us as a nation.

Of course the first thing the news media wants to focus on is gun regulation. As a gun owner who strongly supports the second amendment, I approach this issue with trepidation and note that in a number of recent cases background checks would have made no difference.  Nonetheless I concede that our gun laws in many states are way too loose.  We should fix that.

However, we have a deeper problem in this country than lax gun regulation.  There is a rot that has taken hold which has cast neighbor against neighbor, state against state, race against race, class against class, and urban against rural.  The American people are angry and frustrated by a system which has cast them adrift at a time when predators such as banks, government agencies and mega businesses are out to screw them.  If you come down with a catastrophic illness, good luck with that health insurance you've been paying into for the last thirty years.  And if you are mentally ill, just try getting help.  We have become a nation of us against them and "them" is everyone and everything that is beyond our control -- which is most everything.

Nothing will change in any meaningful way until we stop reacting defensively and with fear.  We should, as a nation, resolve to see even the lowliest among us as our brothers and sisters, reaching out to them any way we reasonably can.  We should be kinder, gentler and more loving.  We should ask, not what is best for us, but what is best for the majority.  We must become a nation of people again, not a nation of disparate groups seeking to protect their own self interest.  It is anger, isolation and desperation that drives  people to the edge of sanity.

Should we undertake such an endeavor, we will certainly fail from time to time but, over all, if we persist, we will most certainly become better people.  And a better country.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-16-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Finally saw it this weekend OnDemand.  Excellent movie.  So much better than the Tim Burton films that kicked off the franchise.  Indeed, this whole reboot has been just what was  needed, in my view, to pay proper homage to the Batman; smart story and character development.

However, I do have one minor nit-pick: the drawn out defeat of the Batman and his consequent imprisonment.  It was way too drawn out.  I'm not even sure it was needed.  Yes, I understand that the story line demanded Batman be defeated but I'm sure there was a better, quicker way to get there.  Here's the problem: when Batman becomes a character from Les Miserables, it is no longer a Batman movie.  We saw that with the second Chris Reeve Superman movie.  When Superman gives up his powers he is no longer Superman.  Thus the movie loses the very character that brought the audience to the theater.

Anyway, as I said, that's a nit-pick.  Over all the film is good enough to survive this false step.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-9-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

ON THE ROAD

I was in high school in the 1950s when I stumbled upon the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac.  It was about Kerouac's true-life adventures hitch-hiking and driving cars across America with his pal Dean Moriarity (actually Neal Cassidy).  The book was a life changer for me; before I turned 27 I had hitched-hiked (and hopped freight trains) across county 9 times, my final journey taking me from New York to Seattle to San Francisco during the Summer of Peace and Love.  Hitch-hiking back east from San Francisco at the end of that summer I was picked up in Iowa by a psychopath who had just been released from San Quentin. Without going into a lot of detail, I'll just say I was lucky to escape with my life.  That's why I never hitch-hiked again.

Nonetheless, it was a great time for me.  Despite lacking the funds, I could travel anywhere in the country just by sticking out my thumb.  What a wonderful sense of freedom.  During that time I met some great people and had some great adventures while discovering a world far beyond the boundaries of Boonton, New Jersey, the town I grew up in.  And yes, there were drugs and, like our current president, I inhaled. 

When it came time to settle down I headed to New York's Greenwich Village where I helped start Interview magazine for Andy Warhol (still being published to this day) and did a comic strip for an underground newspaper.   It was a path I have pretty much stuck to.

I mention all this because of the movie, On The Road, based on the Kerouac novel, due to be released December 21.  Frankly, I can't wait to see it.  I might even drag my 71-year-old ass out of the house and to a movie theater (rather than wait for it to appear on TV as is my wont)-- assuming the Mayans don't screw things up.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

LAST WEEK TO ENTER!  NOTHING TO LOSE!

Click on banner to win three free Zenescope trade paperbacks!

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-2-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

TEARS FOR CAREN

My Hollywood agent, Caren Bohrman, passed away this week.  (See In Memoriam.) Although we hadn't worked together for a very long time she always took my calls.  And she made it clear that if I ever got serious about reentering the entertainment business, she was ready to represent me.  Which is why I've considered her to be my agent for the last twenty years.

It was Caren who got me my pilot with ABC.  And Caren who, in an industry filled with sharks, introduced me to people I'm still friends with today.  I've had other agents and they all disappointed me in one way or another.  But even when things turned to sh*t, Caren continued to believe in me.  Or at least made me feel that she did -- which was good enough.  I've never met anyone who didn't like her.

I've lost an agent.  But the world has lost a warm, loving and creative person.  There's no doubt she will be missed.

CAREN BOHRMAN INTERVIEW: http://www.scriptologist.com/Magazine/Interviews/Caren/Caren_pf/caren_pf.html

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

Click on banner to win three free Zenescope trade paperbacks!

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-25-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

I finally got to watch The Amazing Spider-Man on my 70 inch 3-D TV.  To my delight, I found the comic book reboot to be (almost) everything I want and demand from a superhero movie. Most importantly, it had a story and well thought out characters.  For my money, the previous three Spider-Man films paid more attention to special effects than to story and character.  Even worse, the effects depicted scenes that simply defied physics.  In order for a superhero movie to succeed, it is, in my view, crucial that it not strain credulity.  You are already asking the audience to take a major leap of faith just with the basic premise that your hero has super powers.

When the first series of Spider-Man films came out I was odd man out in my feelings about it.  Most of the people I know -- many of whom are comic book geeks like myself -- loved them (the first two, anyway).  I thought they were just okay for reasons already articulated.  But now I see a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 73% for this new film and an audience rating of A-. Not bad. Hopefully all this -- including the smart Iron Man and rebooted Batman films -- mark a new trend for superhero movies.  Fingers crossed.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-18-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

WIN 3 ZENESCOPE TRADE PAPERBACK COMIC BOOKS!

I'm delighted to announce that Swapsale, in conjunction with Zenescope Entertainment, will be giving away 3 trade paperbacks worth a total of $41.97.  (For more information on the contest, click here.)  But that's just the first of many contests we'll be offering.  Over the next several months -- if not longer -- we will be offering more comic book give-a-ways as well some DVD contests and, if things work out, a few nifty surprises not yet nailed down.  It's our way of saying thank you to all the many people who have supported this site by visiting it on a regular basis. 

ON OTHER MATTERS

Regarding the election, let me draw your attention to something called The Wisdom of Crowds: In 1906 British scientist Francis Calton came upon a weight guessing contest involving a fat ox.  Eight hundred mostly average people participated in the contest, few of whom had any expertise regarding Oxen. He later made the comparison to a democratic election; "The average competitor was probably as well fitted for making a just estimate of the dressed weight of the ox, as an average voter is of judging the merits of most political issues on which he votes," he wrote. When the contest was over Calton gathered the tickets from the organizers and calculated the mean of the groups guesses.  While no individual guessed the ox's weight, the 800 participants, averaged together, pretty much got it on the nose. The ox weighted 1,198 pounds.  The group guess was 1,197.  So if your candidate lost you might take some solace from the fact that the crowd was smarter than even the smartest individual in it.

FACT CHECK:

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/06/wisdom-of-crowds/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds

Finally, for those concerned about my sister and her husband, victims of hurricane Sandy (see last week's Editorial), they are fine although their electrical power has been intermittent since it's restoration about a week after the storm hit.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-11-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

HURRICANE SANDY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ELECTION

We've all watched in horror as the East Coast got slammed by what we used to call a hundred year storm but which now occurs every few years.  I've been particularly concerned about my sister who lives in Manhattan on 14th street right next to the Con-Ed substation that blew up during the storm.  I haven't heard from her since the storm hit. 

14th Street and Avenue C

There's no question that we are witnessing the effects of global climate change caused by our planet's overall warming, the result of human activity.  The only scientists who argue that point are those in the pay of the fossil fuel industry including Exxon and the Kock brothers.  Ditto the politicians who get their campaigns financed by these people. 

FACT CHECK:

http://news.yahoo.com/scientists-look-climate-change-superstorm-223342829.html

When I think about my 66-year-old sister an her husband dealing with the nightmare of lower Manhattan, Mitt Romney's words mocking President Obama over climate change at the Republican convention really aggravate me. "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet," he said derisively. "My promise ... is to help you and your family." On Meet the Press Romney told David Gregory "I'm not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet. I'm in this race to help the American people."  Slowing global warming would help the American people.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Romney has said he favors privatizing FEMA. 

FACT CHECK: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/paul-krugman-mitt-romney-fema_n_2050113.html

How, exactly, would that work?  Will you have to write a check before they rescue you from your roof?  It's a fact that at least one privatized fire department let a home burn down because the home's owner hadn't paid a yearly fee for fire protection -- even though he offered to pay them on the spot.  Given that, how hard is it to imagine a privatized FEMA letting people drown?  There are some things the government simply must be responsible for. 

FACT CHECK:

http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-the-ground-104052668.html

I'm not a big Obama fan.  But Romney scares the hell out of me.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-4-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

WHY I'M VOTING DEMOCRATIC

There are a number of reasons why I feel the Dems are the better bet.  Here are a few of them:

1. Republicans, including Romney, believe in "trickle down economics," more accurately known as "supply side economics."  That's the belief that tax breaks for the rich creates jobs because the more money these job creators have the more likely they are to hire people.  We've had that policy pretty much starting with Reagan all the way through George W. Bush. During that time we've seen a great transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich.  It destroyed our economy in 2007-2008.    Democrats, on the other hand, believe in Keynesian Economics which postulates that big business will only hire more workers if there is more demand for their products.  Hence, the government creates jobs -- building roads and bridges, for example -- which gives the middle class money to spend on goods and services, which, in turn, creates demand that fires up the factories once again.  FDR used Keynesian Economics to get us out of the Great Depression.

FACT CHECK:

http://factchecked.org/2009/dictionary/keynesian-economics/

http://factchecked.bootnetworks.com/Dictionary.aspx?myTerm=Supply-side+Economics

2. The Romney-Ryan plan to "save" Medicare, in essence, gives us a choice between traditional Medicare and a voucher program. According to FactCheck.org It's likely that under the Republican plan "as current beneficiaries get older, they’re increasingly going to be the only ones left in traditional Medicare. For them, then the cost of the program will likely rise faster.” Additionally, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly six in 10 Medicare recipients would pay higher premiums under a hypothetical privatized system like the Romney-Ryan plan.  They also note that there could be "striking regional differences that could lead to big premium hikes in some states and counties." The Kaiser Family had one caveat: their analysis was hampered by the lack of detail in the Romney-Ryan proposal. (The lack of detail in their plan should be of concern to all of us.)  Ultimately the Romney Ryan plan would likely destroy traditional Medicare over the long term.

FACT CHECK: 

http://factcheck.org/2012/08/a-campaign-full-of-mediscare/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/15/romney-ryan-medicare-privatized-system_n_1967285.html

http://tinyurl.com/8bj3l6h

3.  It seems as if Mitt Romney  will say anything to get elected.  Sure, you can say that about most politicians, maybe all of them.  But from where I sit, Romney has taken this trait to a new level. 

FACT CHECK:

http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/10/23/another-debate-another-litany-of-romney-falseho/190860

http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/10/04/romneys-debate-dishonesty-came-straight-from-fo/190360

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/10/16/challenging-the-12-million-jobs-claim-and-chang/190676

http://nashriggins.com/2012/09/07/the-evolution-theory-mitt-romney-republicans-abortion/

4. The Republicans got us into two unfunded wars and destroyed the economy.  Seventeen of Romney's  twenty-four foreign policy advisers are George W. Bush neo-cons.  I don't want to go back there.

FACT CHECK:

http://www.policymic.com/articles/11219/mitt-romney-foreign-policy-team-17-of-24-advisors-are-bush-neocons

5. I'm for Obama Care which is the same as Romney Care, the plan Mitt Romney put in place when he was Governor of Massachusetts.  It's working fine there so I see no reason why it wont work for the rest of the country.  Governor Romney has promised to get rid of Obama Care including the part about preexisting conditions (unless you already have insurance).

FACT CHECK:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/05/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-his-health-care-plan-covers-pre-e/

Finally, you might want to check out this week's feature article on the Detroit bailout.  It's about hedge funds, one of which Romney is involved with.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-28-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE RETURN OF SWAPSALE'S SERIAL THEATER

I'm pumped!  After the passage of way too many years, we are bringing back Swapsale's Serial Theater.  And this time it's free!  Each week -- starting now -- we'll be adding a new episode of the 12 chapter  Adventures of Captain Marvel starring Tom Tyler, for my money one of the best movie serils ever made.  Just click here, then click on the ticket booth to enter the theater.

Yeah, we should have done this a long time ago but, well, we're a small operation and, hopefully you'll agree, we have been upgrading this site all along anyway, adding new features like CraveOnLine, 80s Rock Scene, Celebrity News, Cosplay Pix of the Week and more.  Nonetheless, Swapsale's Serial Theater is pretty darn cool, right?

But here's the best news: We do not intend to rest on our laurels. Sometime in the next few weeks -- in collaboration with Zenescope Entertainment, we will be raffling off a whole bunch of really cool comic books.  And that will be followed by even more free prizes. Keep your eyes peeled for that.  Hoo-Hah!

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-21-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE RYAN/BIDEN DEBATE

I call it a draw. Again, both sides omitted key facts and misrepresented others.  However, as a senior citizen collecting Social Security (and who will soon be getting Medicare) my primary concern was (and is) the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan. 

That's a complicated issue.  Medicare is going broke.  And neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have, in my opinion, a satisfactory solution to the problem.  So the question is, which plan is worse.  For my money that would be the Republican plan.  Here's how the L.A. Times sums it up:

"[The Republican] proposal says that Medicare beneficiaries entering the program after 2022 should get a fixed amount of federal money to buy either a private insurance plan or the traditional Medicare plan.

Although the Romney-Ryan plan preserves Medicare as an option, the voucher will not necessarily be adequate to pay for it.

Under the GOP plan, the value of the voucher will be tied to available plans in different areas in the country, assuring that it is sufficient for the two lowest-cost options. If a senior wants a more costly health plan, he or she would have to pay the difference.

That means that if Medicare is not one of the two low-cost options, the voucher would not be adequate to guarantee Medicare coverage."

For the entire article click here:  http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-fact-check-ryan-medicare-debate-20121011,0,1064609.story

For those of you who don't trust the Times (and there's good reason for that), there's FactCheck.org:   http://www.factcheck.org/2012/08/a-campaign-full-of-mediscare/  Be warned, however: The analysis is very detailed; you will really be wading through the weeds here.  Patience and concentration a must.

As for me, I'm convinced that the Romney/Ryan plan -- with its voucher option -- is not workable.  If you're sixty-five or over, I think it might be hard (or impossible) to find an insurance company which will give you the same kind of coverage you get from Medicare at a rate you can afford.  More than that, a voucher option takes money from Medicare, assuring that it will go bankrupt. Finally, AARP has endorsed the Obama Health care plan including the Medicare spending cuts. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-14-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

No doubt about it, Obama got his clock cleaned.  However, while both candidates made misstatements and omitted key facts, it was Romney who came off as a "serial exaggerator," says factcheck.org.  (Noble prize winning economist Paul Krugman was less kind regarding Romney's "facts." See his comments here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/opinion/krugman-romneys-sick-joke.html?_r=0.)

Case in point: The 5 trillion (actually 4.8 trillion) dollar tax cut.  According to factcheck.org Romney's 20% tax cuts actually would add up to [approximately] 5 trillion dollars if extrapolated over a ten year period.  Additionally, while it's true that Romney has repeatedly said his rate cuts and tax eliminations would be offset and the deficit wouldn’t increase, the Tax Policy Center concluded that it wasn’t mathematically possible for Romney's plan to make these cuts without either favoring the wealthy [at the expense of the middle class] or increasing the federal deficit.  Of the six "other studies" Romney pointed to, two were from pro Romney bloggers and only one was non partisan.  The non partisan study, says factcheck.org, could only be pulled off if you assume "an extra 3 percent “growth effect” to the economy resulting from Romney’s rate cuts. That’s an extremely aggressive assumption, and in conflict with recent experience."  

To see the entire analysis of the debate, click here: http://factcheck.org/2012/10/dubious-denver-debate-declarations/  You will find detailed criticism of both men, logically explained.  Read it carefully and read it all.  If you intend to vote you owe it to yourself to study this report.  Actually, if you're going to vote you owe it to all of us to study this report. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-7-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THE WEALTH GAP

We keep hearing talk about the "redistribution of wealth."  It comes from the Republicans who maintain that increasing taxes on the rich is class warfare because it takes money from them and redistributes it to the poor and middle class.  That is, in fact, quite true.  However, what is omitted from the dialogue is that for the past 30 odd years the tax breaks for the rich have taken money from the poor and middle class (mostly the middle class) and redistributed it to the rich.  Just look at this chart compiled by the Congressional Budget Office:

What you are looking at is the wealth gap, created by tax breaks for the rich.  As you can see the disparity between rich Americans and the middle class was far less dramatic in the 1970s when (incidentally) the economy was doing relatively well.  The money the rich saved in taxes came out of the hide of working class people in the form of cuts to the funding of schools, infrastructure improvements, hospitals (which used to be nonprofit), entitlements (such as Social Security and Medicare which is why we keep hearing that these entitlements are going broke) and the like. 

However you vote this November, please keep these facts in mind.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-23-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

ATTENTION STAR WARS FANS

Aside from the Varan lobby card that's up for auction this week, please note that we are also offering a very rare, hard to get Star Wars Stormtrooper collectible timepiece.  If you can find it on eBay -- or anywhere -- it usually goes for around fifty bucks.  We're offering it for an opening bid of $39.95.

This item is way cool!  Aside from its rarity, the time piece comes with a Millennium Falcon watch case. The back of the blister pack has a cool pic of the troopers plus info on the troopers and the shooting of the movie.  If you are a Star Wars collector, this is a must have item.  For more info click here.

BTW, we also think the Varan lobby card, with an opening bid of $29.00 is a bargain as well.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-16-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

REMEMBERING CHESTY MORGAN

Last week, if you read the CraveOnLine section of this site, you saw a pic of Chesty Morgan as she appears on a just released DVD of her 3 movies -- not Academy Awards contenders. (To see that article click here and scroll down to 9-2-12.) This week, with little to write about -- the speakers at the Democratic National Convention, while prone to exaggeration and hyperbole, were more or less free of outright lies -- I thought I'd talk about my one encounter with the famous stripper.

It was the early 1970s in New York City.  I was interviewing her at a Times Square restaurant for a tabloid I was working for.  The first thing I noticed about her -- well, okay, the second thing -- was that she had a lovely face.  The problem was, that's not the portion of her body your eyes were drawn to.  Just walking over to the restaurant with her was an experience; men were bumping into each other as she walked past.  And in case you are wondering, by all accounts including Chesty's, her remarkable breasts were 100% natural.

Her story was remarkable.  When she was married, Chesty insisted, she would only make love with the lights out.  That's how shy she was.  Then her husband was killed by a robber.  Unable to pay the bills, and at the urging of a friend, she eventually agreed to try stripping.  Her life (and attitude toward her own body) changed almost overnight.  She laughed when she told me how once, when her car broke down on the Bell Parkway, three cars slammed on their brakes at the same time as she waved her handkerchief in distress. I had no trouble believing that.

As it turns out, Chesty is still alive, retired in Florida.  It's not known how old she is but I'd guess she's at least in her eighties.  I wouldn't mind interviewing her again.  That would give me an excuse to run the 3-D pic I have of her.  It came from the book that is up for auction this week: The Big Book of Breasts 3-D.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-9-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

JUST THE FACTS, MAM

Those of us on the left and those of us on the right agree that there's a lot riding on this years presidential election.  So I'm sure we can also agree that, as Joe Friday would say on Dragnet all those many years ago, our politicians should stick to "just the facts."  Regretably, the facts were in short supply at last week's Republican National Convention.

Here are some of the patently false things that were said by various speakers at the convention:

*Obama has raised taxes on the middle class.  In fact he has cut takes for that segment of the population.

*Obama swiped 716 billion dollars from Medicare.  Actually, he took that money from Medicare providers; it will have no impact on Medicare recipients.  Also, V.P. Candidate Paul Ryan takes the exact same amount of money from Medicare but it's not from the providers and it's at best unclear where that savings would go.

*Ryan has said he wants to protect Medicare for future recipients.  In fact, he would turn it into a voucher system.  It would no longer be Medicare.

The were more falsehoods, unfortunately, but you don't have to take my word for it.  Here's what Factcheck.org had to say about the following speeches:

Romney's-

http://factcheck.org/2012/08/romneys-big-night/

Ryan's-

http://factcheck.org/2012/08/ryans-vp-spin/

Santorum's-

http://factcheck.org/2012/08/santorums-distorted-dependency-claims/

Christi's-

http://factcheck.org/2012/08/christies-fact-free-keynote/

There are important arguments to be made on both sides of the aisle.  But a debate filled with lies and half truths is not worth having.  Indeed, it is not a debate at all.  It's a tragedy.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-2-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

A SMALL FILING PROBLEM

Some of you may remember how, a while back, I mentioned that this website had 26000 files on it -- way too many.  That happened because, well, back in the early days of site publishing, I had no idea what I was doing, or, more to the point, how to eliminate images.  I thought that if I just took them off the site, they were deleted.  Yes, in retrospect, that was pretty stupid.  It was an act of stupidity which left me with a problem.  26000 files.

I started on the problem some months ago.  Working diligently I knocked the files back from 26000 to 23000.  Not bad.  But then I took my foot off the gas.  Next time I checked, thanks to all the new images I had added, I was back up to 25000, a disaster from my point of view.  So for the last two weeks I have renewed my file cleansing efforts.

But there's a problem: Given the size of my site and the almost 12 years that I have been publishing, and with so many files to eliminate, I can't be sure that I'm not accidently eliminating files that I've still got posted.  So that's where you come in.  I'm asking site visitors to alert me if they see a problem anywhere on this massive site, mostly regarding missing images. 

There are simply too many pages, too many departments, for me to accurately check them all, especially as I keep my focus on eliminating all those old, out of date files that still remain.  In the past you guys have been very generous when it comes to giving me a heads-up.  So I'm really counting on you now.  If you see a problem just email me at: swapsale@aol.com

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-26-12

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JUST IN: SPACE PATROL VOLUME 15

Some months ago, with the release of Space Patrol, The Lost Episodes volume 14, I announced that there would be more DVDs to come.  Well, it's been a slow and painful process, but I'm pleased to announce that volume 15 has finally been added to our listings.  The episodes on this volume are The Black Falcon of Planet X (#144), Destruction From Planet X (#145), The Ice Demon of Planet X (146), Slaves of Planet X (147).

You can buy SP Volume 15 on this site for $12.95 by clicking here.  Or you can bid on this DVD on eBay where we are listing it with a starting bid of $5.95.   Either way, it's a bargain.

Finally, regarding Space Patrol, it looks as though Dr. Warren Chaney -- the author of the Space Patrol novel that we've been running in serialized form --  will be writing and perhaps directing a feature length movie.  You can find out more about that in this week's edition of Swap Talk.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-19-12

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALF AND ME

According to CraveOnLine.com, Sony Pictures is making a feature length movie based on the 1980s TV show about a cat eating alien living with a human family.  's review of the show for CraveOnLine isn't very kind but I enjoyed the early episodes.  In fact,  I wrote a couple of episodes for the show.

ALF was produced by Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco.  Patchett was my guy.  I never met Fusco who was the puppeteer and usually on set.  Rumor had it that Patchett and Fusco didn't get along.  Indeed, by the time I handed in my second episode Patchett had left the show.  With Fusco in charge my first episode got changed from Alf accidently swallows a bomb to Alf gets a cold.  I thought the idea was lame but did the rewrite as instructed, giving it my best shot.  When it aired all my best jokes had been removed. The second episode I wrote, Alf builds a time machine out of a lawnmower, never got produced. 

Naturally, I consider Patchett to have been the brains of the show.  In fact, his writing credits include The Bob Newhart Show, The Tony Randall Show and The Carol Burnett Show to name only a few.  He was also the executive producer of a number of other fine shows including Bagdad Cafe with Woopie Goldberg.  Although that show wasn't a hit, I mention it because the other producer on the show was Zev Braun.  I worked with Zev on a pilot for ABC in the early 90s.  We are friends to this day. 

I wish Patchett well with the movie.  It could be great if only they lose the puppet.  After all everything is CGI these days. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-12-12

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MARILYN MONROE FIFTY YEARS LATER

I was never a big Marilyn Monroe fan.  Jayne Mansfield was more my type.  But there's no doubt, mine was a minority view.  Fifty years after her death (on August 5th 1962) Marilyn remains the definitive sex icon of her genertion and, arguably, all generations since.  If you only counted her singing "Happy Birthday Mister President," she would be indelibly stencilled on our minds.  But, in point of fact, she has left behind an impressive body of work that includes "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "The Seven Year Itch."  Given that this is the fiftieth anniversary of her death, I'm reminding you we have an in-depth article about her posted on this site.  You can find it here.  

On another matter, I was sad to learn of author, political curmudgeon Gore Videl's death.  I interviewed him a few years back for a magazine feature I was working on.  The interview was conducted at his home in the Hollywood Hills where the literary legend graciously had his personal chef make us an really extraordinary lunch.  Although already in his 80's, I found Vidal to be as sharp as a tack and as irascible as ever.  Whatever you think of his politics you have to take your hat off to a guy who defined life is his own terms.  There was never a time when Vidal didn't tell people exactly what he was thinking.  You can find a just posted Swapsale article on him here.

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-5-12

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NAZIS ON THE MOON?

If you've checked out this week's Preview Theater, you've seen the trailer for Iron Sky, a sci fi comedy  about Nazis escaping Earth in 1945 to hide out on the moon.  What could be more cool, in terms of a feature movie?  The problem is, I was totally unaware of this film until today.  Given it's 7-25-12 release date, I should have had this up at least a week ago.   In my defense, however, it's a German, Finnish, Australian movie that's only getting a limited release in the U.S. 

Based on the response to this film in Europe and the trailer on the Preview Theater page on this site, Iron Sky is a pretty cool satire, even if it does take shots at us Americans.  I can't wait for it to be released on OnDemand.  If, however, you want it to play in your community, you might try going here: http://www.ironsky.net/site/   They are trying to build demand for the film's wider release. 

From our secret mountain top retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off.   

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-29-12

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE HORROR AT AURORA, COLORADO

What has happened to us?  Columbine.  Virginia Tech.  Tucson.  The list goes on.  For a while it seemed like mass shootings were limited to the U.S. but recently we saw a mall shooting in Canada and that terrible shooting of all those kids in Norway.  I remember a better time.  Sure, there was Charles Whitman, the Texas Tower shooter back in 1966.  But as horrible as that was, we all knew it was an aberration.  Something that wouldn't be repeated -- at last not for a long, long time.  These days you're almost afraid to leave your house.

I certainly have no answers. I'm not anti-gun.  I own a couple of weapons.  I do think the NRA has too much power.  They seem more concerned with selling weapons than protecting people.  I certainly don't want to see guns sold to people who are mentally unstable or criminals.  The NRA has no such concern.

But I think the problem is deeper than that.  We have become meaner as a people: our politics, our policies, our survival of the fittest, screw the other guy attitudes.  And yes, even our media, including entertainment with its increasingly unbridled depictions of violence.  We need to soften our attitudes. We need to reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens.  If people are struggling with economic realities or mental illness, the easy availability of guns adds a toxic mix to this soup.  How we fix this is a topic for debate.  But it's a debate we must have.

One final thing: In light of the Aurora tragedy, the Batman poster seen here, seems uncomfortably appropriate: shattered glass.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-22-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

THE PSYCHEDELIC 60S

This week I've listed for auction, Magic Mystery, a DVD about Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and, more to the point here, creator of the Merry Pranksters, the group of hippies that traveled the country in a psychedelic school bus turning people on to LSD.  The DVD is a documentary put together from footage shot by Kesey and the Pranksters as they traveled in the bus which they had named "Further." 

Although I was not on the bus and never met Kesey, I found this movie to be a trip into the past, at least in part because it features some of the icons that influenced me as a kid growing up in Boonton, New Jersey.  Jack Kerouac appears in the documentary when Kesey and the Pranksters show up in New York. Kerouac was a major influence on me in high school, due to his book, On The Road, about his adventures driving cars and hitch-hiking across country with his pal Dean Moriarity (real name Neil Cassidy).  By the time I was 26 I had hitch-hiked across country five times, the last trip being to San Francisco during the summer of Peace and Love (1967). 

The Poet Allen Ginsberg also makes a few appearances.  His poem Howl go me writing and actually reading poetry in the Cafe Bizarre in Greenwich Village for a short period of time. I got to meet Ginsberg when, as a college student, I invited him to give a reading at  my school.   

I met Timothy Leary years later and also someone who had actually been on the bus with Kesey, Lee Quanstrum.  Lee told me enough stories about those days to almost make me feel as if I knew Kesey and Neil Cassidy. 

Rounding out the DVD is the music and the footage of the Pranksters themselves, high and a bit crazy.  They'll remind a lot of oldsters like myself of old friends and lovers.  Most of us never went as far out as the Pranksters, but I think anyone who was caught up in those Electric Kool Aid Acid Test days -- even a little -- will agree that this DVD is the next best thing to a time machine.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-15-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

THE HIGGS BOSON: ANTIGRAVITY ANSWER?

Like most people, my knowledge of quantum physics is very, very limited.  But that doesn't stop me from speculating.  So here's my question: given the fact that the Higgs boson is the reason we have mass, and given the fact that mass creates gravity (or at least influences gravity), does the discovery of the Higgs boson -- if that is indeed what they have discovered -- mean that our scientists will soon be able to unlock the secret of antigravity?  You know, by finding a way of canceling out the Higgs boson.  Maybe by creating some kind of anti-Higgs boson field?

Just wondering.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-8-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

ANOTHER HERB DEEKS ROCKET KIT

I told you a couple of weeks ago I'd check with model maker extraordinaire Herb Deeks to see if there were any other kits of his missing from this site. (Scroll down to see "Sheriff's Rocket," the first kit I discovered I was missing.)  Well, it turns out there was another Deeks kit; the Martian rocket from Zombies of the Stratosphere

Happily, I can now report, problem solved.  You can order this kit here.  It's really cool.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-1-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FALLING SKIES

I watched the two hour season 2 premier of the Spielberg produced show last weekend.  Unlike season one, I thought the presentation was pretty good.  They added some complexity to the storyline so there's less chuffa this time around.  That means less padding with bull crap birthday parties and the like.  That stuff was painful to watch.  There are still some quibbles I have with the show but given the dearth of good sci-fi on TV, I'm willing to overlook them.

Back in the 1990s the show's director (and co-executive producer) Greg Beeman directed a pilot I was producing and writing for ABC.  The show didn't make it to the fall season but that certainly wasn't Greg's fault.  He's a pro.  It was a pleasure working with him.

Given Falling Skies on screen and off screen talent, plus their recent changes in direction, I think season two has real possibilities.

One last thing: fans of Space Patrol and Warren Chaney's Space Patrol novel won't want to miss this week's article by Warren about the reconstruction of the Terra V.  You can find it here:

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE TERRA V

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-24-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COMMANDO CODY ROCKET

Proving once again that I'm not the sharpest knife in the draw, I only recently discovered that model maker extraordinaire Herb Deeks has had a Commando Cody Sky Marshall of the Universe rocketship kit available for years.  In fact, he's had this kit available for so long that, according to Deeks, "the mold is about shot and once it goes I wont be making another one."  

If you want to grab one while they're still available, I've listed the kit on the Models page.  Meanwhile I'll be checking with Herb to see what other cool kits I've been missing.  Talk about having egg on your face.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-17-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ABOUT THE MOVIE JOHN CARTER

I watched John Carter this weekend on my 3-D TV. I wasn't expecting much; the critics were not kind to this film and I believe it was a box office flop.  So I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw on screen.  Great special effects, a solid storyline and some pretty impressive 3-D.  Even my wife, who is not a sci-fi fan, agreed the movie was pretty good.

If I have any criticism of John Carter it's that once our hero got on Mars it took too long for him to hook up with Princess Dejah Thoris, and thus thrust the action forward.  But that's a minor quibble.  As it stands, the poor box office showing will probably negate any follow-up films of what could have been a cool franchise.  That's too bad.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-10-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW SPACE PATROL DVD

It's been a while in coming but we've finally made another transfer from our VHS collection of Space Patrol Lost Episode videos: #14.  You can buy it here for our regular price of $12.95.  However, this week only we are putting it up for auction with a starting bid of a mere $5.95.  Episodes on the DVD are: The Underwater Spaceship Graveyard (June 18, 1954, #182)  The Primitive Men of Planet X (Sept. 12, 1953, #142), The Hate Machine of Planet X (Sept. 19 1953, #143).  Also on this DVD is a rare bonus: a 1952 March of Dimes pitch by Buzz and Carol shown in theatres that year.  plus the original commercials including one for the Ralston rocket. 

The transfer of this VHS tape is part of a new push on our part; over the next few months we will slowly be transferring the rest of the VHS versions we have to DVD as well.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-3-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY TOUR OF DUTY

I joined the Air Force in January 1960.  I spent the first half of my four year tour at McCord AF Base in Tacoma, Washington.  I was there for the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.  It was a tense time, although my involvement as an artist on the base meant my role was limited to doing charts for the pilots daily weather briefings.  Not exactly Top Gun stuff. 

The second half of my tour was spent at Hahn AF base in Germany.  That was a great assignment for me -- I spent much of my free time in the economy with my German relatives who welcomed me with open arms.  Driving my 1952 Mercedes Benz -- which I bought for $250 -- I got to see a great deal of the country.  I even hopped an AF flight to Berlin, then took a tour bus past the Berlin Wall into East Berlin.  My only negative memory is of the day Kennedy was assassinated.  The German people were, for the most part, genuinely moved to tears.  That was not the case with all of my fellow Airmen. Upon hearing the news of Kennedy's assasination, one young man in my barracks gave out out a celebratory whoop, then said, "We always said we'd get him if he came down south."

I was lucky to be in the service at a time of relative peace.  Vietnam was just starting to heat up as I got out to go to college.  Yes, I joined the anti war protesters.  However, I never protested against the men and women in service to their country.  I have nothing but respect for our country's warriors.  I don't know that I could have followed in their footsteps.  I thank God I didn't have to.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-27-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY FIRST CAR

Recently my sister, Marlene, sent me a bunch of pictures from the family album. They show an era long past so I'll probably post more of them in the future, although I'm not sure where.  The Features Department under History?  Or Trends?  An About Me page?  For now, however, I'm just posting a picture of my first car.  It was taken -- I think -- on Owls Head Court in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a working class neighborhood near Shore Road.  We moved to a dead end street off of Shore Road shortly after this picture was taken which was right around the end of WWII.  That's my father went from slicing baloney in a delicatessen to running his own import/export business.  (I wrote something about that last Father's Day, if you care to scroll down.)

Thanks, Marlene, for sending the pix.  The memories are bitter sweet.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-20-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANOTHER NEW FEATURE

Last week I announced the addition of an 80s rock section to this site.  This week we've added a Celebrity Newz feature.  Yeah, I know, it's a little low brow -- titillating gossip, for the most part, about today's movie stars and personalities.  Still, a lot of what we do on this site is pop culture, even if the primary focus is on things past.  And, as I said last week, our intent is to make visiting this site a fun, entertaining experience for as many people as possible.   BTW, Cher is one of the celebs we feature this week; check out her hairdo.  Wild!

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-13-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A NEW FEATURE

A month or so ago we added CraveOnLine to this site.  Those guys do a great job covering Film, TV and Comics from a more contemporary -- yet frequently still retro -- point of view.  This week, for example, they present us with a a Tippi Hedron Q&A, updates on Sherlock and True Blood plus a bunch of other stuff.  Last week I think the highlight was a John Cusack Q&A. 

Now  we're adding links to RockerZine, an online magazine that covers 80s rock, an era in music I don't know a lot about.  As stated when we added the CraveOnLine section, this is all part of our attempt to expand the reach of our site.  Nothing is being eliminated from the retro sections you expect to find here -- in fact we're adding to them too.  Saturday Morning Cartoons is one example of that. 

Let us know what you think.  We take reader suggestions very seriously.

 From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-6-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLACK MUSIC RADIO IN 1957

Last week I discussed Dick Clark and Alan Freed, two rock n roll media icons in the 50s.  For teenagers back then, listening to Freed and watching Clark was a must.  But for those of us in Boonton, New Jersey who were really into the music and its R&B roots, there were also the black radio stations broadcasting out of the Newark area, such as WNJR. I'm told that WNJR was the first station on the East Coast to feature a syndicated version of Alan Freed's show when he was still in Ohio, broadcasting as "Moondog," although I missed that.

These stations, though white owned, featured black on air talent which included Pat Conell (Pat the cat in the switchin kitchen), Jocko (e to the o, this is your rocketship, Jocko), and Bruce Raymon (I am the Bruce called Raymon the chatterer). If you could deal with the ridiculous number of ads -- Reach for Dixie Peach hair pomade --  you could listen to rhythm and blues artists not played on Freed or Clark's shows.  That's where I first heard "Without a Friend" by the Strangers, "Honest I Do" by Jimmy Reed and many more great but obscure records. 

These on air jocks were pioneers who, unfortunately, are all but forgotten now.  In researching this editorial (to make sure I had my facts right) I found very little.  Here's the best of what I came across:

http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/WNJR.html

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njsrhps/newsletters/srhpsnews4_08.pdf

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-29-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBERING DICK CLARK

Back in the 1950s, if you were a teenager in Boonton, New Jersey, chances were good that, after school, you went home to watch Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  In fact, since Boonton wasn't all that far from Philadelphia, the city Bandstand broadcast from, you might have actually appeared on the show.  One of my friends did.  

Of course we all knew that Clark was not hip.  He was way too white bread.  But being white bread was a plus for Rock n Roll in the 50s.  Until Dick Clark came along Rock was considered dangerous, the music of Juvenile delinquents.  Clark made Rock n Roll safe.  Parents could relax.

The other media representative for Rock n Roll in the 50s was Alan Freed, broadcasting out of WINS radio in New York and later WABC.  Freed was hip.  In fact, he was the father of Rock n Roll, having coined the term and having produced the very first all rhythm and blues radio show (for white Americans) on WJW in Cleveland, Ohio.  When the payola scandals hit around 1959, ABC had two big fish under investigation for accepting bribes to play records (a common practice back then).  Clark and Freed.   The way I heard it, ABC decided to sacrifice the guy who made the least amount of money for them.  Freed was gone.

For the record (as it were), I know for a fact that Freed took Payola.  Two of my friends -- Pete and Jimmy -- made a record while still in High School and, if you can find a copy of it, you'll see that Freed is credited as a co-writer of their songs.  That's the way it worked for the DJ; it's shocking how many records from that era have Freed listed as co-writer.  I have no idea if Clark took payola.

You can find Pete and Jimmy's record here.

If you'd like to read more about Bandstand, click here.

Clark's obit is here.

More on Freed here.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-22-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING ON TV

I hated TNT's Falling Skies last year.  A big disappointment, especially since it had Steven Spielberg attached to it.  But then so was Terror Nova on Fox, also a Spielberg backed project.  So why give Falling Skies another chance when it resumes in June?  Because they hooked me with the season ending which saw our hero (whatever his name is) taken away in an alien space craft.  I doubt I'll be happy with this new plot twist but I can hope.

This Tuesday, however, I'll be watching SyFy's Fact or Faked.  The preview trailer is certainly compelling enough.  You can check that out at TV Previews.  (The Falling Skies preview which is also on that page doesn't give anything away -- it's just people running and shooting.)  Full disclosure: I believe in psychic phenomena, UFO's (although I don't know what they are) and the possibility that Ancient Aliens (as seen on H2) have visited our planet.  So Fact or Faked is right up my alley. 

Regarding Awake on NBC and Touch on Fox -- They're both a big yawn for my money.  Anyone remember 2007's Journeyman on Fox?  That's the last sci fi show I can remember really liking. (Except for Doctor Who, of course.)  And they yanked that fast enough.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-15-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE PROBLEM WITH CALIFORNIA

Fair warning: don't read this week's editorial if you don't like hearing bad news.

In a new study, the Journal Environmental Science and Technology reported that California, especially the central and southern part of it, is being slammed with radiation from the ongoing Fukushima disaster in Japan.  Although our government has reassured us that Fukushima -- now generally agreed to be worse than Chernobyl -- is no threat to Americans, the Journal's investigation revealed that seaweed tested off the California coast had a radiation count 500% higher than normal.  Here's a sample of their report:

Projected paths of the radioactive atmospheric plume emanating from the Fukushima reactors, best described as airborne particles or aerosols for 131I, 137Cs, and 35S, and subsequent atmospheric monitoring showed it coming in contact with the North American continent at California, with greatest exposure in central and southern California. Government monitoring sites in Anaheim (southern California) recorded peak airborne concentrations of 131I at 1.9 pCi m−3

For more on this go here: http://www.infowars.com/california-slammed-with-fukushima-radiation/

As if that wasn't bad enough, we're now told that California's San Onofre Nuclear Power Station -- located near Disneyland -- has been shut down due to radiation leaking from corroded pipes.  North County Times reported the following:

Unexpected amounts of wear have been detected inside San Onofre's brand new steam generators and the NRC will not allow the plant to restart until the cause of the unexpected wear is known.

You can get the rest of that report here:  

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/san-onofre-nuke-plant-will-remain-shut-down-until-problems/article_239565ae-366e-53d8-8193-92c6ddbc22ce.html

But that's not the end of it.  I live 20  minutes (as the crow flies)  from Rocketdyne in Simi Valley, the site of a nuclear meltdown -- to be specific a "partial core meldown," exactly what happened at Chernobyl -- that occurred in 1959 and which has been covered up ever since.  On the positive side, the Rocketdyne reactor was much smaller than the one at Chernobyl so much less radiation escaped. 

You can check that out here: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=06-P13-00003&segmentID=1

Then there's the late Jay M. Gould, a statistician and epidemiologist -- as well as an appointee to President Jimmy Carter's environmental protection agency advisory board --  who repeatedly warned that people living near nuclear power stations have a higher risk of cancer.  He told me personally that women living within fifty miles of a nuclear power plant have significantly higher rates of breast cancer. 

You can learn more about Jay M. Gould here: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/19/nyregion/19gould.html

The problem with all of the foregoing is that the the government seems to prefer cover-ups and the media refuses to report on these events and facts in any meaningful way. Until they do the citizens of our great country will have no idea just how dangerous nuclear power is.  Most of the power plants in this country have reached their expected lifetime usage -- forty years.  Now the nuclear power industry wants their licenses renewed for another forty years.  That's not a good idea. 

Actually, it's a really, really bad idea.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-8-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WE ARE EXPANDING

You've probably noticed that over the past year -- especially the last few months -- we have been regularly adding new features to this site.  Funny Videos is one, Saturday Morning TV Shows is another.  Last week we hooked up with CraveOnLine.com, a super cool website that focuses on a lot of the same things we do -- comics, film, TV -- but with a greater focus on current events, as compared to our focus on things from the past.  We think they are the perfect compliment to Swapsale.com, giving us a range we have been missing up until now.  We urge you to check out their weekly updates.

Of course we want to assure our regular followers that we not subtracting anything from this site.  Everything you've always liked about Swapsale.com will remain the same.  We're just getting bigger -- and hopefully better.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-1-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NO LONGER RUNNING AWAY

Despite a life story that would make most people just give up, Cherie Currie of the 1970's rock legends The Runnaways is back bigger and better than ever.  Most recently she wrote the recent hit movie, The Runnaways.  The movie, based on her autobiographic book, Neon Angel, was executive produced by her former band mate Joan Jett.  Now she's working on an album produced by current Velvet Revolver drummer, ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum.

 

In between The book, movie and album and her days with The Runnaways, Cherie has -- literally -- carved out a reputation as a premier chainsaw artist.  Check out this sample of her work:

You can see more of her awesome art here: http://www.chainsawchick.com/

As you might assume based on the forgoing, Cherie is an amazingly talented and intelligent woman.  It was a pleasure meeting her.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-25-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE FUTURE OF TV

Happily, I can report that despite the tension in the David household last weekend as we tried to set up our new 3-D TV, I'm still married.  As it turns out I'll always be married, at least if I want to stay plugged into this digital age.  Without the help of my wife I would have never been able to hook up our new Sharp 3-D TV with the shutter type (active) glasses.  Indeed, if we ever did get divorced -- given the fact that our tech age is getting more and more complex -- I would probably wind up watching an old black and white Dumont TV. 

Of course the $64,000 question is was all that tension worth it.  I can report emphatically, it was!  Having finally gotten the system hooked up properly we went to OnDemand and bought the 3-D version of Hugo.  Within minutes it was snowing in our TV room.  Seriously.  The snow in the opening sequence of that movie appeared to be outside the frame of the screen falling on our floor.  Way cool.

I know I said a few weeks ago that I planned on rushing out to my local movie theater to see John Carter.  That plan is now void.  In fact I doubt I'll ever go to a movie theater again.  Sure, I'll have to wait a little longer to see that movie but this way I can watch it while laying on my couch.  Besides, I have to justify the cost of the TV -- it wasn't cheap.  Given the rising cost of theater tickets, I should break even in say five or six years.

Speaking of John Carter, check out this week's feature article on the art inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars.  Julie Bell, Boris, Jusko and more are represented. Great eye candy.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS 

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-18-12

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TELEVISION, MOVIES AND 3-D TV

As noted in previous editorials, we've been making an effort to post complete episodes of TV shows that we profile in the Television section of our featured articles.  We started with Richard Diamond, then did Gunsmoke, then Maverick and, last week, Peter Gun.  This week we've gone back to one of our earlier television articles, the one on 77 Sunset Strip, to put a complete episode there as well. If you're interested, you can view it here.

Meanwhile, to coincide with the movie release of John Carter this week, we're featuring an article on Amazing Stories, the magazine which published a number of John Carter of Mars stories.  You can check that out here.

Finally, we just bought a 3-D TV.  We're hooking it up now.  If it works out as well as I hope it will, I'll never go to another movie theater again.  However, hooking the thing up aint that easy.  A lot of tension in the David household right now.  I'll let you know how it goes.  And if I'm still married next week.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-11-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN EMAIL FROM MIKE ELMO

I've made a number of friends through this site.  Politically they're a varied lot but all of them have a passion for the golden days of radio and television.  Mike "Rocky" Elmo has a particular passion for Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, although his golden days interests are not limited to that.  He also has a habit of sending very cool emails which I don't always post although I probably should.  A couple weeks ago he sent one that I absolutely should have published immediately but didn't.  What can I say?  I get distracted.

Well, this week I'm finally posting it in the "Comments" section of this site.  Check it out.  It's worth your time.

BTW, I recommend checking the Comments section, at least every so often. If you don't you might miss something really cool.  Like Mike's email.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-4-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT'S NEW

You have probably noticed that we are making a major attempt to bring you classic TV shows that are complete episodes, much as we do with our Old Time Radio shows.   This has been most obvious with our newest segment, Saturday Morning TV Shows.  However, if you have been paying attention we've also started including complete TV episodes in the Television section of our featured articles.  It started with Richard Diamond.  Last week we added a complete Gunsmoke episode and with this posting, you'll find a complete episode of Maverick, the 1950s show starring James Garner.  Ironically, the Maverick episode is a parody of Gunsmoke.  I remember being blown away by that episode as a teenager living in Boonton, New Jersey.

I should also point out that we are once again offering Space Patrol Gold Volume 1 on DVD.   It's been out of stock for a while because our duplicator was no longer able to offer the DVDs to us at a unit price that made sense.  So, after doing some panicky research, we have now gone into the duplication business ourselves, purchasing top of the line machines identical to what our duplicator used.  You can order any of our SP Gold Editions here.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-26-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

JOHN CARTER

I can't wait for the movie to come out (3-9-12).  Of course, I have my fingers crossed. I suppose I should mention that there is no connection between the Warlord of Mars comic from Dynamite and the movie (aside from the fact that they are both based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic).  I'm not sure how the copyright laws work in regard to the Burroughs estate but there does seem to be some wiggle room.  Dynamite is apparently not able to use the name John Carter on it's cover but that's not a problem inside the book.

The writer of the Warlord comics, Arvid Nelson, told me that Dynamite intentionally stayed close to the story's pulp origin.  That's what I'm praying the movie will do as well.  There hasn't been a good pulp style adventure sci-fi flick since the original Star Wars movies (well, the first two, anyway) and the early Indiana Jones movies, although I suppose you could argue IJ wasn't really sci-fi.  It was their pulp/movie serial basis that made them great.  That and the fact that they were all well written. 

Nelson's done a good job with the comic.  Hopefully the movie will be as good.  Whatever else, at least it will be in 3-D (at selected theaters).

You can find the trailer for this movie here.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-19-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TERROR OF VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine's Day was originally created to honor early Christian martyrs named Valentine. (Apparently there was more than one.)  But in what's referred to as the High Middle Ages, thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer, it became associated with the notion of romantic love.   Ever since then men, both married and single, have been thrown into a state of panicked confusion (if not outright terror) every February 14th.  The over riding question: what the heck to I have to buy her to get off the hook?

Regardless of the nature of your relationship, the answer is never easy.   If you're courting, rule of thumb says you'll have to go bigger (and spend more money).  However, if you go too big you risk looking stupid.  Even married men have to take this occasion seriously. I've been married twenty-five years but God forbid I should forget to buy a card and a box of candy and maybe some balloons. 

Speaking from the married male's point of view, we look at February 14th as the day we have to do something to keep the woman in our life from going all PMS on us. That's it. Single men, of course, are praying for easy sex.  Romance smowmance.

Of course the reign of terror doesn't end on February 15th.  Next up: Mother's Day.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-12-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOME COMMENTS ON THE PASSING OF DIRECTOR JOHN RICH

I knew John Rich (see In MEMORIAM).  I didn't know him well but we worked together on 12 episodes of a Henry Winkler produced TV sitcom called Mr. Sunshine starring Jeffrey Tambor.  This was not a high point for me; I'm a smoker and the year was 1986 when, it seemed to me, smokers became pariahs overnight.  I immediately became the outcast among the writers of the show.  And I responded by withdrawing socially, a move that only made things worse for me.  Add to that the stress of going through nicotine withdrawal. Despite my floundering, Winkler was always nice to me and so was Gene Reynolds of Mash fame but only John Rich ever came to my defense.  I believe he saw my value to the show. I've always appreciated that.

When the show ended Paramount had no interest in picking up my contract so I bounced over to Fox studios where I worked as a producer for a year.  During that time I got a three page humor comic published in Playboy.  That apparently got the attention of my former Mr. Sunshine mates.  I was told by my agent at the time that they were wondering if they had let the wrong person go.  Probably not.  I still smoke.  But it was nice to hear my stock over there had risen, if only slightly. 

Like I said, I didn't know John Rich well but in a business filled with sharks, ready to attack when they smell blood in the water, he ranks high on my list of good guys.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-5-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY SECOND MOST FAVORITE TV SHOW

If you click on TV Previews this week you'll notice that the animated FX show, Archer, actually premiered it's new season on January 19th.  My bad.  I'd been looking forward to the new season of Archer for some time but for somehow it never occurred to me to announce it on this website.  That's particularly curious because this website, for the most part, reflects my interests.  Old age maybe.  And over work.

For those who have not seen the show, Archer is a -- in my view -- a very funny (and sexy) spy spoof featuring the agents of ISIS: Sterling Archer, Malory Archer (his mother and boss), Lana Kane, Archer's beautiful ex girlfriend (and constant critic), Pam Poovey, HR Director and office gossip, Cyril Figgis, the ISIS Comptroller (he has trust issues), and Cheryl Tunt, Malory's secretary, ditzy, independently wealthy but unable to access her fortune. 

None of the foregoing does justice to the show.  But if you like smart humor and cool animation, I just suggest you give it a try. (Full disclosure: From my view point, Archer is a spy version of my sci fi opus, Planet Patrol.)

Oh, as regards my number one favorite TV show, that's Doctor Who, of course.

 From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-29-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CENSORING THE INTERNET

There is no doubt in my mind that the big guys -- the movie industry, the comic book industry, virtually any publisher -- and the government, for that matter -- would like nothing better than to get control of the Internet.  In that regard, they almost succeeded last week with two bills: SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act.  These acts would have allowed the government to block access (shut down, in effect) any site where a copyright owner -- or anyone really -- claimed copyrighted material was being pirated.  Thankfully, a huge internet protest launched by Wikipedia and Google and supported by a whole bunch of other Internet websites brought that effort to a grinding halt last Wednesday the 18th of January.  Wikipedia shut itself down for 24 hours. Google, which directed people to email their protest to the Congress, had a black banner over the illustrated part of it's opening page.  As a result the politicians who were championing the bill (almost all of them, Republican and Democrat) freaked out and the bill was put on hold.

To be clear, I am not in favor of piracy, internet or other wise.  But these two bills gave total power to the big players with no legal recourse to little guys like me.  Or, for that matter, to some of the big players like Google and Wikipedia, both of which could have been severely hurt or even put out of business by these acts.  Just think of what these bills would have done to YouTube (owned by Google) if it had passed.  Shutting down YouTube -- or even a key part of it -- would have screwed things up for me too.  I doubt you'd be seeing anymore Saturday Morning TV Shows on this site.

But here's where I could really get hurt: When I started this site one of the first articles I ran was about how today's science might be used to actually replicate the powers of super heroes like, say, Superman.  To illustrate the article I used a cover from a Superman comic.  A week later, upon receiving a cease and desist from D.C. comics, I took that image down even though there is something called "Fair Usage."  In a court of law, my use of that image would almost certainly have been upheld because it was germane to the article and because I was not representing that I was the copyright holder and I was not making money by selling anything to profit from the article.  Of course I didn't have the money to fight D.C. in court so I folded but with these new laws even that option would have been taken off the table.

That said, I encourage those of you who care about free speech to investigate this further by going to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act and  http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/SOPA-PIPA-Online-Piracy-Lead-Weeks-Security-News-651755/

I leave you with this: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator,  in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, according to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-22-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

THE ART OF LORENZO SPERLONGA

I want to draw your attention to one of this week's feature articles.  I first met Lorenzo in the late 1990s, shortly after he had moved here from Italy.  Impressed with the sophistication of his art, I convinced him to work on several projects with me.  Then he hit the big time, hooking up with Kevin Eastman, publisher of Heavy Metal comics.

When Lorenzo stopped by my office recently-- we still work together on occasion --  he dropped off 6 door hangers, all like the one you see here.  They are, I think you'll agree, a nice sample of his work.  So, I want to offer them at no charge to the next six people who make a purchase from me.  However, since I don't want to offend anyone who thinks the art is too sexy, you will have to request it when you make the purchase.  This may require a separate email from you. 

Meanwhile you can see more of Lorenzo's art by clicking here.

Finally, let me remind you that last week's animation cel auction -- the Sonny and Cher cel and the Charlotte's Web cel will remain active until this Wednesday  (1-18-12) at 5 pm West Coast time.  You can review those auctions plus this week's auctions by clicking here.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-15-12

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUR BIG ANIMATION CEL AUCTION -- PART 2

Here's our press release:

Swapsale.com will kick off its next cycle of animation cel auctions on Sunday January 8, 2012 with a very rare production cel from the opening credits of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. The show, which premiered in August 1971 and ran through May 1974, was a major hit for CBS and only ended because of the couple's divorce.

The item up for bid contains two overlays, one of Sonny and one of Cher.

Also on the docket for January 8th will be a production cel featuring Templeton the rat from the 1973 Paramount picture Charlotte's Web. As with all the cels being offered by Swapsale, it is untrimmed with original peg holes.

The January 8 auction will be followed by five subsequent Sunday auctions. They will feature a Fred Flintstone animation cel and a Little Orphan Annie Ambersol commercial cel (Sunday, January 15), a Superman cel and a Batman and Robin cel, both from Super Friends (Sunday January 22), a Wilbur the pig cel from Charlotte's Web and a cel of Martin Luther King from the animated feature length film Our Friend Martin (Sunday January 29). This will be followed on Sunday February 5 with the auctioning of two Popeye cels, one featuring Popeye and the other Bluto from The All New Popeye Hour. The final auction in this cycle will take place on February 12 with a production cel from Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego.

The Martin Luther King and Carmen Sandiego cels also come with their original pencil underlay. The Superman, Batman and Robin, Popeye, and Bluto cels all contain two overlays.

Previous auctions held by Swapsale included a lot of three cels from the animated opening of Bewitched which sold for $2,550 and a Fred Flintstone cel which went for $674.71.

For more information go to their site and their future auctions listings.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS   

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-8-12

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAH!  HUMBUG!

It's Christmas once again at the David household. Every room of the house has been turned into a bedroom with every couch in every room (we have four of various sizes) doing duty as beds for visiting family members, encamped here for the holiday weekend.  There are kids under the age of six and dogs of various types (all small enough to trip over) and more opinions (about how to cook a turkey or when and even how to open presents) than you'll find at the United Nations.  And, like the United Nations, political tensions abound with armed camps -- those on the left and those on the right -- sending coded messages across the dining room table.  (It ultimately becomes a contest to see who can annoy the other fellow most.)  When it's over, with each family member having retreated back into their respective lives, we will all of us complain about the other.  And yet, despite the bruised egos and inconvenience, it's a certainty we will all do this again next year.

Happy Holidays!

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-25-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

A FEW THINGS

1.  I want to point out that, after many, many months of inaction, Dr. Warren Chaney has begun to pump out chapter after chapter of his upcoming Space Patrol novel, the pages of which are being published here, as part of Dr. Chaney's agreement to give Swapsale readers a first look.  You can find Chapter 5, his latest installment here:

2.  This site is so big that I sometimes forget about all the things I have posted here.  This past week I rediscovered the Bettie Page Theater.  Bettie Page fans should check it out.

BETTIE PAGE THEATER

3. When I mentioned meeting Batman producer Michael Uslan a couple weeks ago I had just begun to read his fine book, The Boy Who Loved Batman.  Even so, I could already tell it was going to be a great read.  Now that I'm well into the book, I can reaffirm that notion.  Uslan takes us through his life -- and his ongoing infatuation with comic books and Batman -- with wit and insight.  His detailed recollection of events -- many of which involve key comic book and entertainment industry luminaries  -- is nothing short of remarkable.  People who are into comic books, movies and even a good biography, will love this book.   

THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN

Happy Holidays!

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-18-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

BEAM ME UP!

Santa is being good to me this holiday season.  Last week I met Michael Uslan, the producer of the Batman movies.  This week it was William Shatner, aka, Captain Kirk.  He was kind enough to autograph a Star Trek standee for me (See image). He also took a look at some boots I bought about twenty years ago which I was told were his from Star Trek.  Unfortunately he couldn't confirm that.

I was surprised to discover that after Star Trek was cancelled Shatner fell on hard times.  At one point he was actually living in a camper in the San Fernando valley.  It was the Star Trek movies that got Shatner back on his feet and, of course, he went on to recreate himself as an actor, most recently playing the role of Denny Crane on David E. Kelly's Boston Legal.  He won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for that.  He had previously won an Emmy for the same character on Kelly's The Practice which preceded Boston Legal. 

So life is good.  I met William Katt (The Greatest American Hero) a couple years ago.  All I need now is to meet Doctor Who.  Either Matt Smith or David Tennant would do.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-11-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

BAT NEWS

I was delighted to have lunch with Michael Uslan last week.  He's the producer of the Batman movies -- all of them!  Terrific guy!  I don't think there's anything he doesn't know about comics.  (In fact, he's a recognized comic book historian.)  More importantly he understands what the super hero mythos is all about.  That's why he optioned the Batman rights from DC Comics.  But here's the deal: when he optioned Batman no one else realized what an important property it was. Go figure.

MICHAEL USLAN AND ME

Over lunch Michael told me something I found astounding.  It took him 12 years -- from the time he obtained the rights to Batman -- to get the first movie optioned and made.  All the studio heads could think of was the campy 1966 TV show.  And no explaining on Michael's part could get them to see beyond that.  Since I worked in the entertainment business for a while I shouldn't have found that surprising.  But I did.  I mean, it's Batman for God's sake!

Michael was in town to promote his book, The Boy Who Loved Batman.  (You'll find a review for it here.)  People who like comics will really dig it.  Actually, anyone who enjoys good story telling will like it. Michael gives us his life story -- and it's packed with fascinating information and anecdotes.

Sadly the lunch was rushed -- Michael had a lot of rounds to make for his book tour.  But I'm going to try and convince him Swapsale is his ticket to big book sales -- just so we can have lunch again.  That's how much I enjoyed our all too brief get together.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

12-4-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

THINGS CHANGE

I have moved the auctions info to it's own page.  This is part of my ongoing attempt to reduce the length of this site's main page.  As I've said in past editorials, I've received complaints about the main page "going on and on and on."  Hopefully this change will not cause any confusion.  I believe the link to the new "Auctions" page is big enough.

Also, I'm adding a new feature -- Saturday morning cartoon shows from the 1960s and beyond.  First up on the docket: Clutch Cargo.  It's a complete episode.  Next week it will be a complete Flash Gordon cartoon. 

The Science Channel is now cable casting sci-fi dramas.  They started by picking up the rebroadcast rights to 2002's Firefly.  Now, effective this past Saturday, they've picked up a 2004 Canadian series called ReGenesis.  Sorry I didn't get that info to you sooner but it just never occurred to me that ReGenesis was a sci-fi drama.  I mean, come on!  It's the Science Channel, not the Syfy Channel! 

There's one change I have little control over.  Recently YouTube has started putting ads in front of their offerings.  This is especially annoying when the ad pops up in front of a movie trailer.  Movie trailers are ads!  So, in effect, you have to watch an ad to watch an ad.  I try to avoid posting those trailers on our "Movie Trailer Theater" page but it's becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid them. 

Not all change is good but at this site we will always strive to change for the better.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-27-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

MEMORIES OF PALISADE AMUSEMENT PARK (AND BUSTER CRABBE)

Despite being a divorced working woman in Manhattan, my mom would frequently pile us kids -- me, my sister Marlene and cousin Rich -- into her 1948 green Ford coupe for a Saturday outing to Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey.   The big deal, aside from the rides and the giant salt water swimming pool was -- at least for a while -- the chance to get your picture taken with Buster Crabbe.  I guess posing with a bunch of screaming kids couldn't have been a high point in Buster   

                                                                                                                                          Rich, me, Buster and my sis

Crabbe's career but it was a pretty big deal for us kids.  We knew of the actor thanks to our Dumont TV on which we watched the old Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials.  I was hooked on them.

Although Palisades Amusement Park was torn down years ago, you'll be able to find it resurrected in this month's Features section, along with a second related article, this one about Buster Crabbe comics.  Enjoy.

Finally, this: Check out the "Comments" section for a very thoughtful (if critical) email from John Bassert.  Your comments are welcome.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-20-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

DOG DAYS OF AUTUMN

Nothing much to report this week. We did have a slight technical glitch with our old radio shows; Crime Does not Pay was supposed to go online this week but -- my apologies -- we will have to post it next Sunday.  Also, Dr. Warren Chaney has returned with the third chapter of his Space Patrol novel.  That too was supposed to get posted this week but be assured, it will be available at this site next weekend for sure. Meanwhile, since it's been a while since Warren wrote the first two chapters of his novel, may I suggest that SP fans refresh their memories of what has already transpired by clicking here.   It's a cool read with terrific graphics.

Until next week then.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-13-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

MORE OLD TIME RADIO

You may have noticed that we've added some new old time radio shows to our regular lineup: Gang Busters and Boston Blackie.  More will be forth coming.  Richard Diamond, Philo Vance, Dick Tracy and Crime Does Not Pay are already slated to appear within the next few weeks.  As usual they will be offered here each week for free.

Also, I'd like to take this time to thank Dr. Warren Chaney and First Sergeant (Ret.) David Cameron for their terrific contributions to our articles section; the recounting of their experiences during the early days of television (The Magic Mansion series, click here: TELEVISION) is something you're not going to get anywhere else.  And it's information that should not be lost to history.

Anyone else out there interested in making a contribution?  It doesn't have to be about television (although that would be nice) but it should add to our knowledge of pop culture.  I'll be waiting to hear.

 From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

11-6-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

ANIMATION AUCTION ENDS THIS CYCLE

We are ending our series of animation cel auctions for this cycle with the Batman and Robin offering. But not to worry, the next cycle will begin on Sunday, January 8, 2012. It will feature the animation cels we didn't get to this cycle plus a bunch of new cels which we will be listing in the weeks ahead.  Keep watching this site for updates.

Meanwhile, we have been experiencing some (hopefully) minor problems with our web site.  We think we have it under control but, with computers, you never know for sure.  So we're in the process of creating a backup site.  I'm giving you a heads up on this just in case things slip out of our control.

As I've mentioned before, part of the problem with our site has been the massive number of files we publish each week; 26,000 when our site went down about eight months ago.  We've eliminated over 4000 files since then but that's obviously a drop in the bucket when you've got the number of files we have.  Deleting the files has been a painful process; I hate to eliminate past listings which feature so many beautiful toys, movie posters, comic books, ect., even when the listing is out of date. So a word to the wise; if there's an image you really like on our site you might want to grab it rather than take a chance we will soon be deleting it.  That's especially true of the Swap Talk postings.  That's where we're making most of our cuts.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-30-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Growing up as a kid on Seaman avenue at the very top of Manhattan sixty years ago was pretty terrific.  Nobody worried about crime back then; kids roamed the streets like pack rats, without mothers worrying about where they were or what they were up to. So when Halloween came around my cousin, sister and I would go from apartment building to apartment building knocking on doors to say "trick or treat."

I was about nine or ten when my mother made me a Superman costume for Halloween.  It was beautiful.  A work of art.  I was really proud as we traveled around the neighborhood that night, filling our bags with candy. That is, until some big kids, walking down the hill behind us, yelled out "Get Superman."  No mistaking who they meant by that. 

I took off like a rocket.  Aided by the fact that I was running down a hill, I was almost flying, just like the man of steel, as I headed for my Fortress of Solitude, in this case, my apartment building.  I'm pleased to say I made it without further incident; nothing motivates like fear.

Years later, living in Hollywood, I did Superman once again, this time with Rod Thorp, the author of the Die Hard novel that became the basis for the Bruce Willis films.  Our girlfriends had decided to surprise us with those costumes but if they had asked I would have said one Superman is enough.  Batman would have worked for me.  Or maybe even a costume where I didn't have to keep my stomach sucked in all evening.

A few years later I dressed like a character from Planet of the Apes.  I actually had one of the ape costumes used in the movie, and the prosthetic mask to boot.  (It came in two pieces; the upper mask and lower jaw.)  Way cool.  However, I went to a party at rocker John Mayall's house (leader of the Bluesbreakers) that Jane Seymour was attending.  She was super hot back then, and I was sitting right next to her...in an ape suit with the prosthetic mask glued to my face.  Sensing that this was not the ideal outfit to woo her in, I ripped the mask from my face.  But that left my face covered in glue, creating the look of a leper.  She left with this British guy, a friend of mine, who had the good sense not to wear a costume. 

For all of that I've always loved Halloween and continued to dress up for it until I could no longer find a costume in my closet that fit.  But this year I've solved the problem; it's a Jedi robe.  I should be able to fit into it for years to come.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-23-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TRUE ORIGIN OF SUPERMAN

Did you know that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster originally conceived of Superman as a bald villain?  The year was 1933 and Siegel was publishing a fanzine in which his story about a telepathic villain bent on world domination appeared.  Called The Reign of the Superman, it was, of course, illustrated by Shuster.  Siegel then re-imagined the character as a hero who looked like Douglas Fairbanks Sr. but even with that, it wasn't until much later in Superman's evolution that the costume was added.  At one point Siegel, not satisfied with the progress he and Shuster had made in getting their character published, even sought the help of different artists.  What would Superman have looked like if Shuster hadn't drawn it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman

I'm mentioning all of this because we're excited about our latest animation cel offering; an original Superman cel from the Saturday morning TV show Super Friends.  Here's your chance to get a part of Superman's rich and ever evolving history.  If you think you might want to take advantage of that opportunity, just click here.  The opening bid is only $199.95.

Meanwhile, our current Flintstones animation cel auction is getting a lot of attention on eBay and while no one has bid yet we feel confident that the item will do well.  That auction will end on Wednesday, 5 pm October 19.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-16-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

FLINTSTONES REVIVAL SET FOR FOX

This past May Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland show, announced he will be producing a new Flintstones series for Fox to begin production now for airing in 2013.  One can barely imagine what this new iteration will look like, given Macfarlane's freaky sense of humor and past history.  I for one will be looking forward to its appearance.

The Flintstones, which first aired (in prime time, no less) on September 30, 1960, continued its run until April 1, 1966. It celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Animation cels from that show have become highly collectible; it's not unusual for them to sell for thousands of dollars.  One sad thing about MacFarlane's version of the Flintstones -- it's unlikely any animation cels will come out of it since everything is digitized these days.

Of course, you have a chance to get one of those original Flintstone animation cels right here this week.  If you're interested just click here.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-9-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

THE "OCCUPY WALL STREET" PROTEST

One of my boys, Jordan, flew to New York City to join the protesters on Wall Street.  (He took the photo seen here.) It's something he insisted on doing.  He even dropped a college semester to go there. I'm proud of him.

Whether on the left or the right, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with this movement.  It's the banks that caused the economic problems we are currently suffering through.  It was their actions which forced us to bail them out with our tax payer dollars.  How did they repay us?  By continuing to do exactly what they did when they caused our economy to collapse in the first place.  It's called casino capitalism.  They're raking in billions of dollars while giving nothing back.  They are, in fact, sucking the wealth out of our country and into their pockets.  And our bought and paid for politicians on both sides of the aisle are letting them get away with it.  Actually, they are helping them get away with it. If I was twenty years younger I'd be down there with the protesters myself.

I watch the CNN Sunday news shows every weekend.  Not one of them mentioned the events on Wall Street even though a mind boggling 700 protesters had been arrested a day earlier.  Shame on them.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

10-2-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

THOR: GOD OF BLUNDER

I finally got to see Thor on OnDemand.  That's one god awful movie, as it were.  In truth I was never a big Thor comic book fan -- was anybody? -- but I didn't hate the book.  I'd even buy it occasionally.  But the movie?  You have to ask yourself how this kind of crap gets made.  Well, I used to work as a producer and script writer in Hollywood, so I actually know how a movie with at least some potential can go off the rails.  Usually it's too many cooks.  But that doesn't explain how a class A actress like Natalie Portman gets roped into signing on for a film like this.  Did she think she'd come off like Margo Kidder in the first Superman movie?  That's my guess.

I suspect that the people who produced and wrote the film were not comic book geeks.  They had no idea of what makes a good superhero film.  Despite all the special effects, they lost the magic almost from the beginning.  But the biggest mistake, in my opinion, was dividing the movie into two segments; half of it takes place on Asgard, the other half on Earth.   So neither gets the attention it deserves.

Just as importantly, Superhero movies need at least a few magical moments, as when Superman rescues Lois Lane as she falls from the top of the Daily Planet building. "I've got you, Lois," Superman says. "You've got me?  Whose got you?" Lois gasps.

That's inspired.  That's what I want to see.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-18-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE NAME DROPPING

Danny Trejo is a movie tough guy who really is tough.  You have to be tough if you're serving time in San Quentin.  In fact, while in prison he became the California state prison champion in the lightweight and welterweight divisions.  That's tough.

Of course now he's known for a series of movie roles including, most recently, Machete.  Funny thing though, when you meet him the tattooed  tough guy comes across as a pussy cat.  Still, I wouldn't want to piss him off.

BTW, the reason I look so goofy is because I was holding my head out and up in an effort to minimize the jowls.  That kinda worked but at a price.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

9-4-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

CENSORSHIP ON EBAY

My apologies for the delisting of last week's auction, The Horror The Horror by Jim Trombetta with an intro by R.L. Stein.  However, it wasn't my fault.  It was taken down by eBay because, they claimed, the book contained adult material. I was, naturally, flummoxed. There is absolutely no sex or nudity in that book. So I contacted eBay.

A very nice young lady answered the phone.  I explained the situation to her, pointing out the irony that a book about comic book censorship in the 1950s is being censored by eBay in the 21st Century. In response, she informed me that a very careful and detailed review had been made by the appropriate eBay department.  They found that the material in the book had been censored by Congress.  "Yes," I said.  "In the 1950s. That's the point of the book; congress had once censored material that was perfectly harmless and, in any case, much tamer than many non adult comics today."  I encouraged her to "just Google the title; you'll find numerous reviews of the book with pictures of the comic covers in question." But no amount of reasoning had an impact, although, to her credit, she remained nauseatingly cheerful the whole time.  In any case, I will obviously not be relisting that book.

Instead, I'm offering it here. There's just one copy so the first person to email me will get it for a mere $14.95 plus $2.95 postage. (It's list price is $29.95.) If no one wants it, I'll just add The Horror The Horror to my personal collection. I was tempted to do that anyway. 

If you're interested, here's our review of the book: THE HORROR THE HORROR

Email me at: swapsale@aol.com

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-28-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SCI FI ON TV

This fall will see a bunch of new sci-fi TV shows.  I have my fingers crossed but based on this summer's programming I'm not optimistic.  Steven Spielberg's Falling Skies has been a major disappointment. So to Alphas on the SyFy channel and Torchwood on Starz. 

Falling Skies strikes me as just unbelievable.  Even if an alien invasion looked the way it's being depicted on that show (unlikely), the human response would not.  The show depicts humans gathered in communities (a high school currently) and driving down roads and highways without any apparent concern about alien aerial surveillance.  Really?  Even more annoying, the show plays out like a soap opera in which people still have the same petty concerns (birthday parties, for example) that they had pre invasion.  I don't buy that.  An invasion of that order would be transformative.  Survival would be the only concern.

Torchwood disappoints because, with the exception of the show's most recent episode, it bares no resemblance to the British version of the show.  Torchwood, in short, is not Torchwood.  It's an entirely different animal that, like some alien space creature, has absorbed and swallowed the original which it pretends to be.

Alphas is just sloppy with its logic and, ultimately, a big yawn.  Let's hope the fall offers something we can get behind.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-21-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

GUEST EDITORIAL 2

Not surprisingly, Warren Chaney has responded to my response to his response.  I'll just say that I disagree with most of what he says.  However, what bothers me most is that his "facts" and mine are, for the most part, not the same.  In that regard I'd like to point out that in 2009 Google personalized their search engine.  In other words, it's designed to give you what you want.  Warren and I could type in the same exact info and be lead to entirely different sites, depending on our biases.   Add to that cable shows like Fox News and MSNBC News -- both of which have a strong political bias -- and you can see why intelligent people frequently come to such fundamentally different conclusions.  Of course, I feel certain my facts are the correct ones.

Now, here's Warren:

THE ECONOMY - Right Yet Again
The “Right” Solution Would have Worked – The Left One Failed!


   Given that I called it right about the liberal’s handling of the economy last week, I started not to respond to the response but in the interest of reader fairness and liberal education, I changed my mind.

PARAGRAH ONE: ACORN is out of business because of phony right wing charges that were later disproved!

 Actually , none of the above is true unless one restricts their reading to left  wing commentary like say..ummm, The Nation or Huffington Post. The cited article provides no footnotes, no references and by extension, no facts. But the article cited does rave on marvelously about the Koch brothers. No facts again of course, but very nice raving. Liberals are excellent at that.

 Back to the facts. ACORN was defunded because of corruption caught on film. Liberals scream selected cuts but FOX NEWS played each video in its entirety. The are on line now and one may view them to their heart’s content. A Carter appointed Judge in New York (Nina Gershon) tried to overturn the Congressional mandate during her December 11, 2009 ruling but then she was overturned on August 13, 2010. On November 2, 2010 filled for liquidation. But were they? In 2010 they reorganized under a different name in Ohio, but in a settlement with the Buckeye Institute, agreed to “cease all Ohio activity” and surrender  it’s state business licenses. Hmmm. Not bad for a company claiming to be out of business.

 ACORN maintained it’s voter-registration arm, Projects Vote which was indicted for election-related activities in Nevada. Thus far the group continues to operate under the radar.  This year the House Oversight Committee concluded that “ACORN deliberately organized itself to escape legal and public scrutiny by hiding “behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate.” The Committee’s findings are online.

 Finally, never were the Congressional findings overturned. Never!

PARAGRAPH TWO:
Warren chooses to leave out a long list of corrupt Republican politicians.
Ah yes, a favorite “trick” of the far left as they chant, “Let’s not talk about what we are doing now, let’s talk about history.”

 There is a difference between the way Liberals handle scandals and the way Republicans do. Republicans force theirs out rather quickly. Democrats (same as liberals these days) obfuscate, cover-up and conceal. Vitter went immediately. Charlie Rangel did not and Maxine Waters continues in office. If one takes the time to investigate, there does appear to be a long list of Democrats currently sitting in jail or awaiting for corruption including a former Governor of Chicago, Mayor of New York, Mayor of DC, and the Dems former Vice Presidential Candidate. I’m not speaking of the one who jumped ship and supported a Republican candidate for President, but the one misusing campaign funds.

PARAGRAPH THREE:
Social Security is not bankrupt; it is solvent until the mid 2030s

 Hummm, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the fund cannot meet it’s current obligations. According to its First Quarter Report, the 2011 Social Security Administration, without additional funds, cannot meet payments. In short, according to President Barack Obama recently, the government must borrow money to pay benefits. Is the President lying? The same was echoed on the House Floor by Nancy Pelosi and by Harry Reid this month, on Face the Nation.

 The problems began the first time when liberal Jimmy Carter got a Dem congress to pass a major FICA tax increase to save SS from collapse. Oh yes, Carter also became the President to “tax” social security benefits.

 The Congressional Budget Office released a report in July, 2010 on the condition of existing Social Security trust finds. There are two funds: Old Age Insurance and Disability Insurance.  Combined, they are called OASDI. The report clearly exhibits that the funds are bankrupt ( http://www.cbo.gov/budget/factsheets/2009c/oasdiTrustfund.pdf). KEEP IN MIND THAT FUTURE GROWTH IS NOT FACTORED IT, meaning it will all come due sooner than later. Only in liberal minds, is insolvency insolvency – when the borrowing stops.

 The accounting scam of the Social Security Trust Fund has worked politically for a generation. It is not just the voters who are fooled. The best and the brightest in the media have been taken in. Here is an exchange that took place on the PBS show, Nightly Business Report, on March 25, 2009.
GERSH:
A negative cash flow does not mean Social Security is in crisis. The program has built up an enormous trust fund over two decades. Barbara Kennelly is president of the Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. She says the trust fund is more than enough to cover any short-term financial hit.

BARBARA KENNELLY, PRES., NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE:
The trustees look at it every single year, the report is going to come out at the end of this month. And you're going to still see that we can pay those benefits way out. Say it's not 2041, it's 2040 or 2039. But we have that money. There is $2.5 trillion in the trust fund for Social Security.

 No problem say the excuse maker! There is a $2.5 trillion asset base. The OASDI Trust Fund need only sell a few of these assets each year. The PBS interviewer was taken in  and the scam worked just as well yesterday as it does today. Remember she said: "We can pay those benefits way out." How?

 By selling trust fund assets.

 Well there is an old line from the financial world. "Sell!" "To whom?"

 To sell an asset, there must be a market. Here is the punch line, taken directly from the 2009 Report of the Trustees: "Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs." (In a printout, this appears on page 4 of the report):
The Department of the Treasury invests program revenues in special non-marketable securities of the U.S. Government on which a market rate of interest is credited. The trust funds represent the accumulated value, including interest, of all prior program annual surpluses and deficits, and provide automatic authority to pay benefits.

What, exactly, are "non-marketable securities"? They are IOU's issued by the Treasury on behalf of the U.S. government. As I mentioned, these IOU's are not recorded in the government's on-budget account. The revenues that purchase these IOU's are.

 But wait! There's more! Pay attention to these words: "on which a market rate of interest is credited." The Treasury applies a market rate of interest to a non-marketable security. There is no such rate. The Treasury can make it up as it goes along.

 So, the trust funds are filled with assets: non-marketable IOU's from the government, issued to a government agency. The trust funds are treated as marketable assets. They are indeed marketable: to the Treasury. The bill is passed along to Congress whenever the trust fund sells any of these assets.

 There are lots and lots of these IOU's in the Social Security OASDI Trust Fund. No problem!

 Liberal policies led the the first downgrade in the United States history. In 3 years we spent more than this nation did in all its years combined. The market for our IOUs vanished Friday.

PARAGRAPH FOUR & FIVE: Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" was deemed a success until politician on both sides of the aisle began chipping away at it.

 Only in a liberal’s mind. I stick with the original stats from our census bureau. The poverty level today is 2% higher than it was before Johnson’s failed policies.

PARAGRAPH SIX: Class war fare started when the Republicans lowered the tax rate under Reagan to 35 %

 I do remember those years, yes indeedy. Tax rates were at 90% at the $250G and up brackets. I remember working from May to December in Carter’s 3rd year in office....for nothing.

 To the contrary, Carter was the worst president in modern history till Obama came along. Aside for Carter’s massive foreign policy failures (sound familiar), Carter’s policies produced the nations first great inflation rate (up to 17% at one scary point); high unemployment of 14% w/35% in Detroit; spiraling out of control interest rates of 22% and climbing. Home loses were even greater then that now (though Obama has caught up rapidly). The nation’s GDP was zip, much as now.

 Actually – were I a liberal I certainly wouldn’t use Carter as an example of statesmanship. I won’t even go into his fiasco in Korea, debacle with the Suez Cannel, Mid-eastern failures or his disaster giving rise to today’s Iran. Fortunately, we had President Reagan following who knew how to govern and did so.

PARAGRAPH EIGHT: GM is an American company.  The idea was to save the American auto industry. “Bush gave the TARP funds to the banks with no restrictions”

 No, the idea was to save the union’s pension funds. Simply follow the money. Where did it go? You have your answer.

 Ford did need the money and though my liberal collegue forgets, did apply for it along with other companies. When they saw the strings attached, the declined. Today, GM cannot repay its loans and contrary to spin, has not. Once more – follow the money. This government last year made loans to GM which used the money to partially repay the loans. Gosh – how complicated is that? It’s the old borrow from Peter to pay Paul scam. Then at the end of 2010, the government was “given” new stock in payment. The stock failed in its offering and Americans are stuck with billions of losses.

 Re: Bush – he’s not a conservative but enough of that. TARP is the only thing that has been repaid. We still should not have done it, but.

 By they way did I see “The Nation” pop up as a reference once again? Hey can I start quoting “National Review” as my source. They do use footnote?

PARAGRAPH NINE:
Unions were in trouble because Wall Street tanked, taking Union investments with them.

 Not exactly the facts. Unions were already in trouble with their pension funds prior to 2008.  Organized crime dominated Teamsters through the 70s.  That’s what Hoffa was all about. They were forced into mergers  in recent years with a number of unions from other industries, including the Graphic Communications International Union,  the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, etc.

 IN 2006 S EIU members in Los Angeles were victimized by one of the most appalling cases of union corruption in recent history. Members saw their money illegally used to support the city council race of Martin Ludlow. Ludlow was sentenced for conspiracy to illegally funnel money from SEIU Local 99 to his campaign and ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution. Four of the last eight Teamsters union presidents WERE criminally indicted

 THE union, UNITE HERE was found guilty of invading employees’ privacy and ordered to pay $17 million for defaming medical professionals, and it has been sued by its own employees after the union slashed their staff’s key retirement benefit by 95%

 Union pension fund misuse was at the bottom of all the cases. However there is more:
 

  • In June 2006, the National Labor Relations Board found that SEIU interfered with the free choice of employees by illegally making promises to wave initiation fees – much like the union accuses employers of making promises to employees during union drives.
  • In June 2006, a federal judge ordered SEIU Local 1000 to pay $37,000 as punishment for failing to give members adequate information about how the union was spending employees’ agency fees (which are forced payments from employees who do not wish to union members).
  • In 2007, members of the powerful Local 503 in Oregon began circulating a petition to recall the union’s president, who was seeking to collect more than $100,000 in back pay that most members think he didn’t earn.
  • The Macon Telegraph reported that local SEIU officials lost control of their government-employee union after troubling questions were raised over $30,000 of cash withdrawals from the local’s bank account, lack of documentation for $90,000 in hotel, airline, food, telephone and other expenses, and $36,000 in vacation buyouts that were not authorized by the union’s board.
     

I could go on but space doesn’t permit.

 The stock market crashed because housing lenders were forced by a Democrat Congress to give loans to those who had no way to repay them. Under the leadership and guidance of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd untold sums of money went out the doors. The Freddie and Fannie Corps were in the back pockets of a Dem Congress. Dodd received  heavy preferential loans and did other congressional members for their loyal support to the future housing crisis.

 In 2005, President Bush pushed heavily to have congress reform Freddie and Fannie which were failing and stacking up loans. Frank and Dodd pushed back as did other corrupt Democrats like Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel. Reform failed.

 Wall Street does not escape either. BUT KEEP IN MIND THAT WALL STREET IS NOT REPUBICAN AS RUMOR GOES, BUT HEAVILY DEMOCRAT. How to know? Follow the money. Pick your favorite Wall Street firm and go online and check their donation records.

 Wall Street greed did benefit from the Federal Loan guarantees and they have continued to do so under President Obama. Again – follow the money!

PARAGRAPH TEN (My buddy skips eleven) and TWELVE are about Acorn again (I covered them earlier) and that the upper ten percent don’t pay a fair share of taxes.

 Just how much is fair? How much?  Let’s see, the top 25% pay 85% of all taxes.  Hmmmm!

 The bottom 52% pay no tax at all!!!

 This is from last year’s IRS Report. I don’t know about you but it seems that it’s the bottom 52% that are not being fair at all. But wait – are the liberals complaining out of fairness or us it because those who pay no taxes are a major part of their tax base.

 Bruce writes:
“The reason the bottom 50% of our country's wage earners don't pay taxes is because they are living in poverty.”

 Pretty bold statement my friend. I challenge you to prove it. Prove that we have 50% of the nation living in poverty.

 On the other hand, A NEW REPORT FROME THE IRS flatly states the based upon their analysis there are simply not enough rich to cover the deficit even if you confiscate everything they make for the foreseeable future.

 Here are the facts: A report from the Internal Revenue Service found that the rich — 8,274 people with incomes of $10 million per year or more — earned a total of $240 billion in 2009. Even of you confiscated every dime they earned, you would barely have enough money to cover government spending for 24 days. Interesting that it took a European paper to report what MSNBC, CBS and NBC would not. In fairness to CNN, ABC and FOX news, they did.

 The nation is in trouble when those who pay nothing can vote the pocket book of the earners. Such thinking and surrender of personal responsibility have led to where we are today. Under a far-far-left President and almost 8 years of a liberal congress, we are at the brink of financial destruction. As we can plain see from the weeks stock market disaster and Friday downgrading catastrophe, the Tea Party was right. There should have been no debt ceiling deal. There should have been cuts.

 If liberals begin taking even more money out of the economy through its spread the wealth Robin Hood taxes, the economy will collapse to zero. Then liberals will get their precious parity. There will be no difference between Rockefeller and the Bob Smith. They both will have zero. Trouble is, Smith never hired any one.

 Well – have to go. I must park my yacht in the Hamptons to avoid taxes, move my money to Europe to avoid paying anything, and simply falsify my returns to avoid...WAIT A MINUTE!  WHEW!! It’s not me. I’m relieved.

 No – why it’s John Kerry, General Electric, and Timothy Geitner.  Hey – they’re liberals and they run our government. Uh oh!  Now, I’m not relieved any longer.


A Parting Thought!


   The arrest of 30 angry anti-capitalists from Art Uncut, the group who busted up a U2 concert at Glastonbury 2011 while toting a huge balloon insisting “U Pay Your Tax 2,” indicates that people are fed up with being dictated to by socialist-minded do-gooders who talk the talk but, in their own lives, refuse to walk the walk.

   The target of Uncut’s “Pay Up” irritation is U2’s lead singer Bono, a man who demands that international governments to support global aid organizations, but who allegedly refuses to contribute his share of the taxes needed to fund the good works he supports.

   With the help of rock stars and Hollywood collectivists, Marxist-minded politicians (translate Democrats) have hammered home the message that only by “sharing” can a person truly be caring.  Without realizing the ramifications of the share-the-wealth philosophy, those who’ve worked hard to portray capitalism as evil and promoted the merits of reordering the economic structure have invited the turmoil currently raining down upon their own heads. -- Warren Chaney


Warren does double duty today, offering us an article on the very early days of television. To read that article click here: MAGIC MANSION

Click on COMMENTS for another person's take on this ongoing political debate.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

8-7-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------

GUEST EDITORIAL

Last week I sounded off about the economy.  When I was finished I said I'd print a rebuttal, if anyone was inclined to send me one.  To my delight, my old friend Dr. Warren Chaney has taken up the challenge.  So here goes: 

Another Look at the Economy
The Right Way


The argument that the current president and congress are bought and paid for by big business and the super-rich has some merit – but few real facts to support that contention. One can logically argue that Wall Street owns the Democrat Party since it is one of their biggest donors. Only the unions and the various Soros organizations have outsized them. However, some on Wall Street have donated to the Republican Party. Contrary to popular belief, the Republicans have not had as cozy a relationship (donations are public records and the previous statements can be verified). On the other hand, if one asks whether there is an “elite” power controlling the government the answer is, “Yes - there is!” However, it is a political elite and it exists on both sides of the political aisle. There is no evidence that the President and Congress are owned by special interests (unions, ACORN, oil, etc., but one can see that they accede to special interest demands.  Politicians do so because they want to stay in power. They want money. Politicians at all levels feel they must spend increasing sums of money in their quest for power.

Let us first consider the party that has been out of power in congress for eight years and out of power in the White House for the past three. Republicans saw their numbers dwindle when they took the road to easy spending without being checked. President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program was little different from those pandered by Democrats. Both cost money that the nation did not have. In the end, it failed as most government programs do. This is nothing new. Couple that with several in the party forced out of office for corruption, etc., and it leads to their defeat. Democrats are not helped with their former Vice Presidential candidate and Mayor of Chicago headed for jail. Add to that the corruption problems of Charlie Rangel, Roland Burris, Maxine Waters, Bill Richardson and just last week, Dem Congressman Wu. So one can see the massive corruption problem the nation faces. This is not the fault of those seeking special favors. It is the fault of those paid off by them. Ultimately, it is our fault in voting for them.

The problems do not end with corruption they begin with failed government programs. Think about it. Social Security – bankrupt; Medicare – bankrupt; HUD – bankrupt; Post Office – bankrupt; Treasury – near bankrupt; and the list can legitimately go on. All of this is presidential and congressional failure. Everyone knew of the problems, no one wanted to fix them. The current housing crisis can easily be placed at the feet of three politicians in congress who blocked attempted reform. The same goes for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Congressional and Presidential failures stretch back to our early history but let us consider some of the major ones of the past 60 years. Specifically, let’s examine some of those that got us into our financial disaster.

Presidential failure, Lyndon Johnson waged a so-called War on Poverty at the same time he was embroiling the nation in the Vietnam War. The first war was nothing more than the usual social engineering. Johnson began with a 1960 15% poverty level. At the last census, the nation’s poverty level stood at 16%.  In between billions upon billions were spent with the nation receiving nothing for it. Well that is not quite true.  According to DOE statistics, reading is down 40% from 1960 as is student memory, focus and concentration, and listening retention. What is the term we use? Oh yeah, “The dumbing down of America!”

Republicans paid the price for their spending spree…twice! They lost power after having it for such a short time. Next, they paid during the past election cycle as traditional Republicans were challenged and defeated by the highly demonized Tea Party. A full 25% of seated Republicans lost their seats to newcomers seeking real change. In the current budget battle, the newcomers refused to give in. Although they were a small majority, they changed the entire debate from spending to cutting. This next election will see further changes as other Republican seats are challenged.

Democrats on the other hand, have swung almost entirely to the left hence we are bombarded by class-warfare; tax the rich, big oil is the enemy, big business is sucking the blood out of America, etc. Blatant falsehoods become facts, name calling replaces specificity, and misrepresentation is at the forefront.

Let us face it. Who really believes the mantra that this has been another “summer of recovery”? Are you feeling recovered? This has to go down with the “Arab Spring” being a good thing as Egypt moves into the welcoming arms of the Muslim Brotherhood. It does make you wonder where the press is now. However – that is another story.

To be sure, favoritism is shown some companies and not others. General Motor’s received billions but Ford and America Toyota did not. GM’s legitimate stockholders and bondholders were screwed as the unions were given the company and the investors to “take a hike.” Likewise banks that would not take the stimulus bucks were forced to close their doors while those that did, received the big bucks from the failed stimulus package. In the end, Americans were shocked three months ago to discover that contrary to the current administration’s claims; the loans were not paid off at all. Topping it was the startling revelation that the Federal Reserve took much of the stimulus money and gave it to foreign banks to prop them up.

Unions were close to bankruptcy because their pension funds had been so abused and misused. Where criminal investigations should have been initiated, they were openly dropped. Money poured into the union coffers from the stimulus funds and the union leaders became the most frequent visitors to the White House
(according to the published WH Visitor Log statistics).

Corrupt money sponges like ACORN, were permitted to reorganize and receive continuing funds. President Obama shut down drilling in the Gulf but gave billions of dollars of stimulus money to a South American country so that it could drill there. The biggest recipient of the nation’s largess was Obama’s friend, George Soros. His oil company became the primary beneficiary.  It appears that it is not only Republicans – that like big oil.

Sadly, the people deserving our support are not getting it. The new freshmen congressmen refused to budge and could not be bought off or corrupted by the “elite” Republican old guard. It is interesting that MSNBC was “shocked” that the usual “plum committee assignments” and benefits failed to bribe them.

The current so-called debt ceiling disaster is a fiasco. Because someone says he or she has a plan does not mean they have a plan. If there is a plan, we should be able to see it. Obama has no plan. Jay Carney under intense grilling by the press last week, admitted as much. The Senate has no plan; we can see that. The Reid plan is a piece of paper. One cannot read its details on line because they are not there. Three hours ago, Reid and his Democrats were filibustering their own bill. They emerged an hour ago to claim it is the Republicans doing the filibuster. Forget traditional definitions, everything is being made up on the fly.

What we are witnessing is congressional and presidential absurdity. One could not write a screenplay this silly. Until major changes are made, it will not bode well for this nation. Wednesday, Moody’s stated that none of the plans will stop a downgrade from the nation’s AAA rating. They stated that the U.S. must make major cuts or fast catastrophe.

The answer is not and never has been taxation. Our problem is not that we do not tax enough. It is that we spend far too much. The government could “take” all the money earned by the wealthy for the next twenty-years and it would not make a dent in the debt (according to the debt commission). What must be done is the following:


1.         Entitlement reform must be made immediately to include Medicare, Social Security, Welfare, etc.

2.         Shut down all bureaucratic departments that are proven failures including the Department of Education (Our school systems have failed under their ever-expanding guidance). Close down duplicate organizations and reduce administration of all remaining departments by 15%. (
Not my suggestion by the way. It is the Presidential panels’ – the one this President chose to ignore).

3.         Close the tax loopholes so that companies like GE (a major Democrat contributor) can't escape without paying taxes (this money they closed down several US plants, moving them to China and putting 50,000 Americans out of work). Close the same loopholes that permit any of the wealthy to avoid paying anything.

4.         Restructure the tax system so that everybody that lives in the United States pays taxes. The bottom 52% of our nation, pay no taxes. The top 10% pay over a third and the top 25% pay over 80%. Whenever anyone is in a position to vote another’s money into his or her own pocket – that society cannot survive.

5.         Cut spending immediately to 2004 levels (Better yet to the Reagan years). The nation’s economic problem is not the wealthy nor is it Wall Street. The problem is unfettered spending. Our government is addicted. Under this administration, the debt limit has been raised three times and the current Administration and past congress tripled our national debut in one year. No spin will alter that. The stimulus has failed. Only the Administration continues to cling to that fable.

I am running out of space before addressing the financial disaster and special interests payoffs involved with the Obamacare scam. That must wait for another time. The same is true for a frank and factual discussion of this nations’ wars. We were in two, now we are in five. Permit me to close by saying that I am in agreement with Swapsale’s editorial about an elite controlling – we just disagree about who it is. My recommendation is that we all begin to question any political side that attacks the other but fails to specifically spell out what is wrong with that side’s proposals. I would also recommend that we collectively “turn on the media” and hold it accountable. Both are the “right” right things to do. -- Warren Chaney

Permit me a brief response:

PARAGRAPH ONE: ACORN is out of business because of phony right wing charges that were later disproved. The January 21, 2010 Supreme Court decision -- Citizens United vs. the FEC -- allows corporations to spend as much money as they want to control the political process and win elections.  On the state level ALEC ( http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection ) has big business actually telling legislators what bills to introduce (in return for a nice contribution to their campaign)  Does anyone really believe that big business isn't in control of our electoral system?

PARAGRAPH TWO: Warren chooses to leave out a long list of corrupt Republican politicians starting with Ted Stevens. And if it was hypocrites we were listing, such as family values pols like Senator David Vitter, the list would probably reach the moon.

PARAGRAPH THREE: Social Security is not bankrupt; it is solvent until the mid 2030s. And it is not an entitlement.  We paid into that fund. If there is a problem with SS it can be solved by raising the cap.  Right now you don't pay into it after you've made $106,000.  So most of us pay into it for the whole year while the super rich might only pay into it for a couple of months, days or even hours.  

PARAGRAPH FOUR: Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" was deemed a success until politician on both sides of the aisle began chipping away at it.  It should be noted that most of that chipping took place from Ronald Reagan onward. Regarding the public school system, it worked fine until funds were cut in an attempt to push private schools so the private sector and people like Neil Bush (W's brother) could make money off of them.

PARAGRAPH SIX: Class war fare started when the Republicans lowered the tax rate under Reagan to 35 % (so there was less money for such things as infrastructure, schools, hospitals and the like) and it continues to this day in Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio (etc.) where unions are being dismantled.  It's the rich and powerful who are waging this class war and they are kicking our butts. Real earned income has declined over the last 35 years.  Now it takes two people in a family to maintain what one bread winner could contribute in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Actually, as recent events demonstrate, even two people can't handle it now.

PARAGRAPH EIGHT: GM is an American company.  The idea was to save the American auto industry, not the Japanese auto industry which is doing fine, thank you.  Ford refused the money.  They didn't need it.  Bush gave the TARP funds to the banks with no restrictions.  That that worked well, didn't it? Also, it wasn't the Fed that gave the money to foreign banks, it was Goldman Sachs and the rest of those crooks who owed money to those foreign banks because of credit default swaps ( http://www.thenation.com/article/156995/great-squid-hunt-matt-taibbi ).

PARAGRAPH NINE: Unions were in trouble because Wall Street tanked, taking Union investments with them.

PARAGRAPH TEN: ACORN is out of business.  All they were guilty of is registering poor people to vote. Obama is currently giving out drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico even though no new safety or oversight standards have been imposed.

PARAGRAPH TWELVE: We spend too much on the military industrial complex and too little on the people. True, you can't spend what you don't have but the reason we don't have it is because the top ten percent don't pay a fair share. Their taxes have never been lower.  In the 1950s the tax rate was 90% on people making over a million dollars and the economy was booming.  The reason the bottom 50% of our country's wage earners don't pay taxes is because they are living in poverty.

Well, that's a lot to consider.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-31-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------

THE ECONOMY

I sent an email to a Tea Party friend of mine.  Here is a slightly edited version of it:

Be assured I am not defending Obama or the Democrats.  And I'm not sure why you are defending the Republicans.  They are both bought and paid for by big business and the super rich.  Nor do I think you have to worry about the masses voting themselves such largess as Alexander Tyler warned about.  For the past 35 years the vast majority of the money in this country has gone to the top ten percent, and most of that to the top 2 percent. The middle class has been eviscerated.  The economic elite is doing quite well, thank you.  What you are really seeing is the the theft of our country's wealth by the ruling class, not the working class.  The working class is getting screwed.  It's called "class warfare" and we are losing the war.

The Republican plan for Medicare (put forth by Paul Ryan) will turn Medicare into a voucher program. Under that system, if you get hit with a serious illness you will not have enough money to cover your costs. And good luck getting any coverage in the first place -- at our age what health insurance company would want us? 

Medicare is a program we have all paid into.  Like Social Security, it is not an entitlement.  It's our money (FICA) and they are taking it from us.  It's going to people like Bill McGuire, the head of United Health Care who pocketed 1.6 billion dollars when he retired after ten years with the company.  That's money he made by denying coverage  -- citing B.S. "previous conditions" and the like -- to people who were insured with United.  There's no telling how many avoidable deaths he's responsible for.

BTW, as regards the debt ceiling: much of the money Obama spent went to bailing out Wall Street which continues to give massive bonuses to their executives.  Obama, like Bush, gave the money with no strings attached.  That's a good reason to dislike Obama.  And Bush.  And all those corrupt politicians in Washington.

It will be interesting to see what Obama finally does with the debt ceiling.  I wouldn't be surprised if he caves in to the Republicans, as he did with health care reform and the Bush tax cuts.  If he does, it will mean that working class people will pay down the debt with no real help from the ruling class, despite the fact that they have been the only real beneficiaries of our economy. (FYI: real earned income has been in decline for average Americans since the early eighties.)

If anyone reading this disagrees with me I would love to hear from you. In fact I'll give you equal time.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-24-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------

OUT OF THE WOODS?

As mentioned last week, our computer crashed but, following digital bread crumbs, we think we are almost out of the woods.  We certainly hope that's the case. 

Assuming we are correct, this issue of Swapsale contains chapter two of my comic, Planet Patrol.  This is when (in my humble opinion) the story gets interesting.  It seems, things at the Martian ruins did not go as well as we might have supposed.  Poor Britt is about to get a very unpleasant surprise.  And we get to meet a new character as Britt encounters an old nemesis.  I think the story is interesting and funny. But be warned, the humor is very dark.

Now I've got to get back to cleaning out some files.  It seems I over loaded the program used to publish this site.  Apparently 26000 files is more than the system can handle.  Who knew?

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

7-17-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW HOME PAGE

I've been getting complaints about how long the home page was.  So, as you have no doubt discovered, I've made a change.  What was the home page is now (see listings on the left side of this page, second one down) Page One. Apparently the home page is supposed to be like the cover of a magazine or the opening of a front door.  (I like the magazine analogy since I kinda look at this site as a weekly magazine.)  Page One, of course, is as long as ever.

Let me know if this works for you.  I can always switch it back.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-25-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

My father came to this country from Germany in the 1920s. His father back home owned a delicatessen so it was only natural that he found employment working in one here. He was still slicing baloney when I was born in Brooklyn in 1941 but by the time the war in Europe was winding down he had his own business: Trans-Oceanic. 

Here's how that came about: 

My dad and a coworker at the deli pooled their money to take out an ad in the Brooklyn Eagle. It offered to ship food packages to loved ones in war ravaged countries that were being liberated by the allies. The money started pouring in. Each time a country was liberated my dad and his partner would take out ads in papers in communities where those nationalities resided. In short order their business became so big that they began using Cunard Lines for shipping. We were rich.

My father repeated this process successfully until Germany was liberated. And while ads taken out in papers in German communities engendered the same response as the others had, this time my dad ran into a problem: The U.S. government would not let the ships leave the harbor. It turned out that there was something called the Morgenthau Plan which was designed to starve the German people down to 10% of their population. (If you look this up on Wikipedia you will get a very sanitized, revisionist version of this period in American history. Google it instead.)  As the food rotted in the harbor, my father and his partner, being honorable men, returned the money to the people who had paid for the packages. However, the IRS insisted that they still pay taxes on the money that had been paid to them. My dad was still being hounded by the IRS when I was in my teens.

Even so, my father remained an entrepreneur.  With his few remaining dollars he went to Germany where he made a deal on an invention called a Spirometer, a device designed to measure lung capacity. With that as the foundation, he started National Medial, Inc., a company that eventually branched out to include nebulizers and  vacuum pumps which he eventually engineered to perform at levels that had previously been thought unobtainable.  While that business never generated the money that his export business had, it was enough for us to live a comfortable middle class lifestyle.

Looking back on all that I realize I owe the old man a great debt, the main lesson being: Define your life in your own terms. I think I've done that.

Thanks, Dad.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-18-11

---------------------------------------------------------------------

ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT?

The World Trade Organization recently ruled against some U.S. labeling regulations for meat sold in supermarkets.  Since WTO laws supercede U.S. laws (by treaty) the American people will no longer be informed as to the country of origin when buying meat. This follows on the heels of another WTO decision making it illegal in the U.S. for tuna to be labeled "dolphin safe" even when dolphin safe methods are used to harvest the tuna. Both cases were the result of certain WTO member countries complaining that such labeling discriminated against them because, well, in the case of tuna, they didn't use dolphin safe methods (which might motivate people not to buy their product) and in the instance of meat labeling, some people might not want meat that came from Mexico, say, or Japan. Don't you want to know if the meat you're buying is from a country that has been contaminated by a massive nuclear meltdown? (Recent reports suggest the Japanese meltdown is already worse than Chernobyl and it's far from over.)

It's worth noting that the WTO decisions are made behind closed doors by a group of corporate CEOs. And they're made in favor of corporations over the needs of the people. Nothing about the process is democratic.  

For years people have been worried that the United Nations would lead to a one world government that would abrogate our constitution. In fact, the attack against our constitution is being waged by the WTO and no one seems to be paying attention.

You can get more information regarding the meat labeling here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2726031/posts?page=5

And you can read about dolphin safe labeling here: http://climate-connections.org/2011/05/27/u-s-dolphin-safe-tuna-labeling-rule-deemed-a-wto-violation/

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

6-11-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

THE ORIGIN OF PLANET PATROL

Back in 1986, working as a writer in the entertainment industry, I had an overall deal at 20th Century Fox studios.  My title was Producer and my job was to come up with concepts for TV shows.  One of those concepts was Planet Patrol, a kind of updated version of the 1950s TV show Space Patrol but with humor.  At the time Fox was in the process of creating the Fox network and they already had most of the shows for their introductory fall schedule.  For that reason and (I presume) others I never made the sale.  Later, after leaving Fox, I created a pilot episode for a show called WOOF at ABC which, though shot, was not picked up.  But all my attempts to sell Planet Patrol over the years fell on deaf ears. 

Then, in 1995, having started my own publishing company, I decided to produce Planet Patrol as a comic book, thinking maybe I could use it to interest someone in the project.  Alas, although the comic was sold in comic book shops across the country, the networks remained cool to the idea.  And that's pretty much where things have stayed.  

Still, Planet Patrol has always had a special place in my heart.  That's why I've recently brought it back as a feature on this site.  And now, I figure, since I'm publishing material that didn't make it into the original comic, why not offer site visitors the comic book itself with a story that hasn't been seen for many years.  You'll find the link to that offer at the bottom of this week's Planet Patrol episode.  

Meanwhile, here's the funny thing: as a result of putting this resurrected version of PP on this site, I've hooked up with another TV writer/producer, an Emmy winner, who thinks we might have a shot of turning it into a network TV show. You never know. 

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-28-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPERHERO MOVIES

I loved the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie.  I still think it stands as the single best movie of that genre ever made. And sure, the more recent Batman movie's are a lot better than the Tim Burton versions.  I also admit to liking the iron man films. But I don't really think Batman or Iron Man capture the magic of the first Superman film. Same for Spider-Man although I know a lot of folks liked those movies too.  

Now we have another spate of superhero films hitting the theaters.  Thor is already out, soon to be joined by X-Men, Green Lantern, and Captain America -- all second tier superhero characters, at least as far as I'm concerned. I doubt I'll be going to the theater for any of them, 3-D or not.  (I'll watch them on OnDemand.)

There is one upcoming film I'm anxious to see: Cowboys and Aliens.  It's not a superhero film but it speaks to the comic book geek in me.  I am, however, annoyed that ads for the movie, which wont be released until the end of July,  have already started popping up on my TV. I always try to get my postings for new movies up before they appear on TV but, given the advance push the studios are giving these films, that's getting harder and harder to do. I could have posted Cowboys and Aliens in the Movie trailer Theater this week but July 29 just seems like too much of an advance look.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe I'll post it next week.  We'll see.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-21-11

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SOME SAD NEWS

I don't usually discuss personal stuff on this site but I'm making an exception today.  Two weekends ago our two dogs were killed by one or more mountain lions.  (We really do live on a mountain top that not overly built up.) We had two Silky terriers, Sammy and Baby.  As we would do every morning when we got up, we let them out into our fenced in backyard. Usually they would come back scratching at the door when they wanted to be let back in.  But on this day, after 45 minutes had passed, my wife went out back looking for them.  Here's where it gets really disturbing:  There was nothing to be found but a huge pool of blood and some large pad prints which we later identified as belonging to a mountain lion.  No dogs, no fur, nothing but the blood.

Some how the predator (or predators) had jumped the fence, gaining entrance to the backyard, killed our pets and made off with them without making a sound -- all while my wife and I were in an area of the house adjacent to the yard. Of course we were devastated.  We loved those dogs. We had them for many years. And we'll miss them.  We take solace in the fact that they were well treated and had a good life.  Still, it's deeply disturbing to lose a good pet -- especially in such a fashion.

I'm sorry to burden you with this but it just didn't seem right not to mention an even that impacted our family so deeply.

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-14-11

-------------------------------------------------------------------

REGARDING THE GREEN HORNET

Okay, I know this is going to make novelist Wayne Greenough unhappy (see Comments Feb. 2011) but I finally watched the Green Hornet movie (it's now available on On Demand) and I have to admit that, for all of my complaining about Seth Rogen being cast as the masked avenger, I enjoyed it.  It was, for my money, a funny super hero movie. Of course, I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been called The Green Hornet -- the mythology that all of us cherished from childhood is violated from the very beginning of the film. In thinking about it, Rogen could have made pretty much the same movie without dipping into the Green Hornet franchise. After all, Batman has a car and a sidekick and Superman works at a newspaper.  I wish he'd called the film something else -- The Purple Prowler, maybe?

If you look back at all the superhero movies that have been made, how many haven't disappointed you?  In all honesty I can only site the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie and, pushing it a bit, the two Iron Man films.  Given that, I think Rogen's Green Hornet deserves a grudging thumbs up.  Sorry, Wayne.  

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

5-7-11

-------------------------------------------------------------------

MORE NAME DROPPING

I recently had the pleasure of meeting William H. Macy. The star of Fargo and whole lot of other really good movies, is currently getting glowing reviews for his portrayal of Frank Gallagher on the Showtime series Shameless. I recommend checking it out if you're not offended by nudity and strong language.  

As for my encounter with the star, I found him charming, relaxed and completely without guile.  I'm told that people who know him better than me would agree with that assessment.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-23-11

------------------------------------------------------

TED STURGEON AND ME

I knew him.  I should have mentioned that last week when I posted the article on Ted.   Already a well established giant in the science fiction field, he did a book review column for a magazine I was editing at the time.  Although I can't say we were great friends, we did share a lunch or two and I remember at least one evening when he and his wonderful wife -- referred to in all our time together only as Lady Jane --  were at my house.   Ted was an incredibly nice and giving person.  The same can be said for his wife who was also a gifted psychic.  Honestly, I don't think I've ever met nicer people.

That's really all I want to say.  Ted's work speaks for itself.  But people are seldom praised just for being nice. 

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-16-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

An article by Joseph Stiglitz in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair tells us everything we need to know.  Here's the opening pagagraph:

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

Close the government down?  It's never been opened, at least not to do the work of its citizens.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

4-9-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER

The problem in Japan is that the tsunami knocked out the back up generators which, in turn, prevented the plant operators from from getting water to the reactors.  Now they -- and indeed the rest of the world -- may have to deal with a series of nuclear meltdowns.  Most of the discussion I hear revolves around how no one could have foreseen that a tsunami might knock out the generators.  That strikes me as bull shit.  But here's something far worse that no one seems to have considered:  Scientist tell us we are approaching a solar maximum (a period of increased solar flares) that will be bigger than anything we've seen in possibly a hundred and fifty years.  And, they tell us, it could knock out the entire U.S. electrical grid for months if not years.  So my question is, what will happen to the 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. should this occur?

The backup generators are short term solutions.  If the grid goes down everything in the U.S. will come to a stop including the shipment of fuel across country.  Think I'm wrong?  Here's what astro-physicist Michio Kaku has to say about the imminent solar flare activity:

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-19-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CITIZENS UNITED VS. THE FEC

I found the following video on YouTube.  It explains the recent Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court better than I can:

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-12-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TWO SUNS IN CHINA?

As I get older I become less certain about what constitutes reality.  Are UFOs real?  Big Foot?  Ghosts?  Did ancient aliens visit the earth thousands of years ago?  Were the Mayans right about the world ending in 2012?   Now we get this report from China:

'Two suns' spotted in China defy explanation

Weeks after a story shot across the Web claiming that the imminent explosion of a nearby star would result in the appearance of a second sun in the sky — a story that was later debunked — two suns were caught on camera yesterday in China. The suns — one fuzzy and orange, the other a crisp yellow orb — appeared side-by-side, one slightly higher than the other.

What's going on? Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to Space.com, asked Jim Kaler, the University of Illinois astronomer who squelched the excitement over the aforementioned exploding Betelgeuse and who has written books on the day and night sky. The double sun image is an effect of optical refraction, Kaler said, but it's a "pretty darn rare" one, and one not fully explained by science.

MORE: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41927089/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Our ancesters would probably have taken the appearance of two suns in the sky as a sign of the apocalypse but we're too sophisticated for that.  Right?

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

3-5-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOOKING BACK

My sister jokes that she peaked when she was 12.  We were latchkey kids in the early 1950s in New York City.  Back then you could take a safe, clean subway anywhere in the city for five cents.  I remember going to the Hayden planetarium, the Bronx zoo, the Botanical Gardens and even Coney Island with my cousin and sometimes my sister when I was nine years old.  It was a great time to be a kid.  It was how I learned to be independent.

I wouldn't think it wise for a kid to do that now.  Times change and not always for the better.  

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-26-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY I SUPPORT THE WISCONSIN PROTESTERS

When Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin got into power his state had a significant surplus.  But the first thing he did was give tax breaks to the super rich, thus creating a deficit.  His solution:  make working class people pay for it.  In the process he also decided to destroy the public sector unions -- with the exception of the police and firemen -- by taking back their long standing right to collective bargaining.  His actions have sparked massive protests which are even being supported by the Walker exempt police and fireman unions.  

I don't get it.  Why is it okay for the rich to get tax breaks when the rest of us have to pay?  Tax breaks do not generate jobs.  Just look back at the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the rich got taxed at 90% and then 70%.  Our economy was booming then because rich people and corporations, rather than take the hit, were incentivized to reinvest that money into the economy which, in turn, created jobs.   

As for unions, for all their short comings, they created the middle class.  Without unions to set the floor on wages, everyone else's wages will fall as well.  If Walker gets his way, union busting will spread to include both the public and private sector in all the remaining 49 states.  Before you know it we all will be back in the 1920s.  That can't be a good thing. 

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

PS: DO YOURSELF A FAVOR -- CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S "COMMENTS."

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-19-11

------------------------------------------------------------------------

MY MASTER WORK

Well, to be honest, it's not exactly as if there was a ground swell of support when I first published Britt Burton of the PLANET PATROL back in 2001 on my now defunct SundayComicsOnline website.  But of all the writing I've done for all the different venues I've worked in, this is my favorite creation.  True, it's a little on the dark side and, I suppose, not to every bodies tastes, but the mix of 1950s style sci-fi adventure with odd ball humor really appeals to me.  

Given the foregoing I've decided to bring ole Britt and his crew back in their most epic and sprawling saga.  It starts off a little slow and traditional but don't be fooled; by the time the story ends, Britt's world -- and maybe yours -- will be turned upside down.  Hopefully this time it'll garner a little more popular support.  If you like it let me know.  If you hate it, well, I'd like to hear from you too.

The comic starts next week but you can get a hint of what's to come by clicking here.

Finally,  I recommend clicking on the "Comments" section (see below) this week.  There's some real cool stuff there, especially if you're a Space Patrol fan.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-12-11

------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW FEATURE

As you may have noticed, we are now linking directly to statues featuring comic book characters like Conan and Wonder Woman.  As with the all the comics and some of the DVDs featured on our Home Page, we get a small percentage of any sale made through us and you get a discount plus, of course, a great work of art.

Well, I guess you're not likely to see these statues in a fancy museum but I certainly consider them to be works of art.  Like the artist Robert Williams, someone I have a passing acquaintance with, I feel the art that comes from pop culture is every bit as valid as the stuff they hang in museums -- perhaps even more so.  When I was working with Andy Warhol many years ago I heard the story of how self described poet and Warhol hanger-on Gerard Malanga, stranded in Italy, squeegeed up a Warhol "original" in his hotel room which he sold for air fare back to the states.  Try doing that with original comic book art sometime.

Anyway, if you should have a mind to get one or more of these art pieces, we hope you'll order through us.  Every penny we make goes back into finding cool items that we offer to you for a nice discount.  In that regard, check out the Steampunk ray gun we have up for auction this week.  In mint condition it sells for $595.  We're offering it in near mint condition for an opening bid of $450.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

2-5-11

------------------------------------------------------------------------

PETE AND JIMMY AND THE RHYTHM KNIGHTS

Back in high school in Boonton, New Jersey, I was good friends with Jimmy Culleny and Pete Aceves.   Both of them learned to play guitars and the next thing I knew they had a record deal and were playing local gigs.  I became, well, I guess, a part of their entourage.

 (That's Jim on the extreme left and Peter on the extreme right.)  

For a kid growing up in Boonton in 1959 (without a shred of musical talent of his own), that was as good as it gets.  But we all graduated at the end of that year and Jim joined the Navy while Pete went on to college.  Six months later I was in the Air Force.  

Last week, while surfing the net I found one of the records they made on Youtube.  You can access it here.  You'll also find another cool song there: Without a Friend by the Strangers.  That one is also very rare.  Back in the 50s in Boonton you could only hear it on the black radio stations out of Newark.  Anyone remember Pat (The Cat) Kannell?  

While I was at it I also re-posted Blondie's Heart of Glass here. Great song, great recording artist.  Check it out before Youtube takes it down again.  And I reposted Earth Angel by the Penguins, the song that had every hip 13-year-old in Boonton running down to the record store.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-29-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE

No matter which political party you consider, it seems the plan is to eliminate the middle class.  Wall street blows up the economy, we (the tax payers) bail them out, they make record profits and we, the average Joe pays the bill.  How do we pay for it?  They're talking about cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicade.  They want to renege on retirement contracts that people were counting on for their old age.  Funding for schools, hospitals and roads has dried up in most states.  But they wont raise the tax rate on the rich or the cap on Social Security by even a few points. 

Here's what I know: the richest one-fifth own over four-fifths of our nations wealth.  According to Claude Fisher, writing for the Berkley Blog:  

The United States has the greatest inequality of income and wealth among affluent western nations. And that inequality has been increasing pretty steadily since about 1970 — more so than in other western nations – with a slowdown in the late 1990s and a few short-term fluctuations in wealth inequality due to swings in the stock market. This is pretty much understood by serious scholars (with a few outlying voices in dissent). It looks like Americans have been sensing rising inequality, too.  (http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2010/09/30/wealth-and-an-american-paradox/)

Statistics I've seen indicate you have a greater chance of achieving the American dream (transitioning from a lower to a higher income bracket) in Germany than you do here.  That's not the future I signed up for.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-22-11

--------------------------------------------------------------------

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE? BAH!  HUMBUG!

I've lived in Southern California since 1978.  And I've lived in my current neighborhood for the last 13 years.  In all that time I've never seen anything like this.  Nor, apparently have any other residents I know, many of whom have lived here their entire lives.  Yet there I stood last weekend, in front of my home, in the middle of what I would describe as a snow storm.  

Meanwhile there are worldwide reports of birds falling from the sky and fish (and crabs) washing up on beaches.  The vast majority of scientists around the world tell us climate change is real and it's here now.  I can't disagree.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-8-11

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXPLAINING LENTICULAR 3-D

Basically, lenticular 3-D is a three dimensional image that does not require glasses to be viewed.  But how can I show that to you in a two dimensional format such as your computer screen?  Here's my attempt:

Okay, the image is still two dimensional but, thanks to it's movement, you can get an idea of it's 3-D nature.  Anyway, that's basically what you get with the Space Patrol Limited Edition DVD case created by Elliott Swanson.  He's a long time Space Patroller and my 3-D expert who, coincidentally, also supplied the above motion sample.  

On other matters, we are introducing a new radio show to our line-up: Lux Radio Theater.   You can access that here.

Finally, the FCC has just, in my opinion, gutted Net Neutrality.  I'll have more on that in the coming weeks.

From our Secret Mountain Top Retreat in Southern California, this is Bruce David signing off. 

TO READ PAST COMMENTS CLICK HERE:  COMMENTS  

TO MAKE A COMMENT CLICK HERE: Swapsale@aol.com

1-1-11

---------------------------------------------------