Saturday, December 30, 2006

600 miles

Tonight, I reached my hiking goal of six hundred miles for the year. Seven miles was all it took, the last of one hundred and forty nine miles since the beginning of November. It's a good kinda tired.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Take Him to the Bridge...

Merry Christmas, James Brown is dead. I'm a big fan of JB and will sorely miss him. I'll spare you the cliche's of legend, myth and "true American original". Love him or not, you got to recognize the huge cultural impact that he has had in this country and the world, if anything as a sample source for a million rappers and Eddie Murphy's career. I saw him once in concert, back in 1984 at the Scope arena in downtown Norfolk, Va. I got front row seats and it is one of my favorite concerts of all time. JB did it all that night, the camel walk, the splits, shrugged off the cape a few times and sweated gallons. At the end of the show, the audience rushed the stage and I was right there with them, one of the few white faces in a sea of middle-aged black folks. I got to shake his hand. So, here's a great clip of the man. Enjoy.


  JB, thanks' for getting up and doin' your thang. You will be missed brother. zahdah, OK HW

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays

My wife, Janet Shaughnessy did our card this year.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.


Monday, December 11, 2006

November Hiking Report

Things were looking tough for me going into November on the hiking front. My laziness had left me with 149 miles to hike in the last 61 days of the year, so it was time to crank it up a notch or three and pound some sand. Despite all the turkey and football on the tube, I managed to drag myself out and knock down 77 miles to put me at 528 for the year. As of December 1, I had a mere 72 miles to go to hit the goal, I say "had" as I've been chewing hard on that number and it is a good bit smaller now. Some people think it's weird that I do this, that I set a hiking goal and that's o.k. they think what they want. Setting a hard number keeps me honest and motivates my butt to get out and do this thing that keeps my body, mind and soul right. Hiking, art, film, creativity, all of it is connected. If you are an artist or writer and find you're blocked, burned out or just plain disgusted, then lace up your boots and get out into the world. You'll be glad you did.


P.S. Hello Claire!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Happy Wire

photo courtesy of Master Builder Films copyright 2006

More "Happy Walter" news. Zoje, the director, has finished the film and has been submitted to the following film festivals: Sundance, SXSW (Austin, TX), Birds Eye View Film Festival (London), Silver Lake Film Festival (Los Angeles), and The World of Comedy International Film Festival (Toronto). Best of luck (sorry, couldn't resist Z) to Zoje and I'll be anxious to hear which festivals have the intelligence and fine taste to program this little gem. Would you like to get a little sneak peak of the flick? Well now you can, as the first two clips have been posted on The Master Builder Films web site.

Clip One is a brief introduction to Happy Walter. Note; yours truly created the magazine covers that trace Happy's career.

Clip Two is a chase sequence. Who is chasing whom and why? Well, that's where the drama part comes in. Watch the clip and decide for yourself.

More news as it becomes less available...


Thursday, November 09, 2006

October Hiking Report

34 miles, that's it, that's all I managed. Now, I could bore you with various excuses and reasons why I put up such lame numbers for the month, but I won't 'cause it doesn't matter. What does matter is I have 149 miles left to hike this year if I want to make my goal of 600 miles. 149 miles in about 54 days. Time to strap on the boots and pound some turf.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Obligatory My-Laptop-Died Post

After years of faithful service, my little old iBook's hard drive went senile, then kaput. Luckily (guess it wasn't luck, I did pay for it) I had the AppleCare Protection and so they fixed it up in no time flat, so here I am back at it. Besides replacing the hard drive, the technician also loaded Tiger (I was using Panther) and swapped out my aging battery with a better, longer-life one, so thank you repair person.

Much has been happening since my last post A MONTH AND A HALF AGO. Man, how did that happen? I'm amazed to see this old blog continues to get hits despite my long neglect and I must admit I'd probably drop the sucker if absolutely no one were reading it, so thanks' to those few folks who check in regularly to see if I'm still alive.

No new news on Happy Walter. I finished up the last of the graphics I needed to do for Zoje and she's busy getting the PR campaign together and entering festivals. Probably won't be any news for awhile until the festivals start to respond. It should be interesting.

Working on a Halloween project with my pal, Sam Hundley. Every year Sam goes all out decking his yard and front porch out with a themed display to amuse the adults and thrill the kids (or is it the other way around?). This year we're working on an alien autopsy thing. Photos soon.

Finally, I just returned from a trip south to Mississippi to visit my Dad on his birthday, then onto New Orleans for a few days hanging with my buddy Lord Nelson. For those into NFL football, turn green with envy because I got to see that killer Saints vs. Eagles game in the SuperDome, my first live game. There was a lot of love all over that soggy town after the Saints kicked that winning field goal with three seconds left. Yes, yes, a fine time it was.

So, that's me, how you doing?


Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Days are Here Again

Zoje Stage, the writer/director of "Happy Walter", has recently
updated the HW production blog, check it out:

Masterbuilder films blog

Quite a nail biter of an entry there, but all (so far) ends well.
Computers have made some tasks much easier and cheaper then before, film/video work being a perfect example. It's amazing to me the amount of control and power a computer gives one when it comes to
creating a movie and once you have the essential equipment and software, your major financial costs are covered and then it's just a matter of coming up with the idea and finding some actors (both tasks
easier said then done). Zoje just got a taste of the other side of technology, when computers go bad and all the ones and zeroes spill all over the floor, it's a shocking reminder of just how dependent we have all become on those glorified toasters. Unfortunately, we got the wolf by the ears now and it's hard to go back, but when the power goes off, what will we do without our Google?


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

August Hiking Report

...and so, what can I say? August was not a good month for hiking for
me. The combination of the heat, the move and the inertia of my
sloth-like tendencies got the better of me, so I only managed to
squeak out a measly 19 miles. Bah I say, BAH. So, I have my work cut
out for me the rest of the year, but that's alright, adds an element
of drama. Onward.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Swinging the Hammer

Tangled up in blue? Why am I blue? Hammer, please don't hurt'em. Wha?

So why am I blue and swinging a hammer. That's me acting in a indie feature called "Cold Readings" IMDB listing that premiered at the Virginia Film Festival back in 2004. Doug Bari wrote, directed and starred in this satirical look at the world of commercial psychics. I had a very small part as a murderous drifter named Bickerman, who (in a flashback, hence the tinting) kills an old man with, you guessed it, a hammer. I also got to do a little voice over work and run the camera a couple of times. It was a fun experience that delivered my first IMDB credit Unfortunately I missed the mentioned premiere as I was living in Ireland at the time and after that I heard nothing else about the project. Recently I contacted actor/writer/director Doug Bari to see what was going on and ask for a copy of the film as I still had not had a chance to see it. A few days later, I had a freshly burned copy spinning in the DVD player. So how is it? Not bad, in fact, much better then many direct to DVD efforts that I have paid to rent or buy. The story is interesting, entertaining with decent photography and generally very fine acting. "Cold Readings" breaks many of the no-budget rules, featuring a large cast and many locations. I wish I could link you to it's Netflix listing so you could check it out for yourself, but as far as I know, "Cold Readings" isn't available, in fact hasn't even been screened again publicly since 2004. And that is a damn shame as it is worthy of a bowl of popcorn. Maybe one day.


Monday, August 21, 2006

The Happy Update

The Happy log is rolling along. Talked with Zoje Stage, the writer/director of "Happy Walter" and she was heading off to Pittsburgh to shot the last few feet of Happy tape. Zoje is on a tight, high pressure deadline to get the thing finished so it will be ready for entry into a well-known film festival. Can't say which one, as this is, as I have to remind myself often, her "baby" and so have to respect which and what news to divulge. At any rate, she has updated the Master Builder web site with some cast shots, check it out:

Master Builder's Happy Walter page

Also, some of you are wondering what old Happy Walter is all about, so I've copied the synopsis from Zoje's site for you to read here:

Happy Walter is an artist renowned for making temporary sculptures out of toilet paper and art films featuring unmoving images. Though he is revered in the art world, the thirteen children who bear his name have rarely spoken with him. Wanting a father - and an explanation for his inexplicable success - Happy Walter, Jr. conceives of a documentary that gives her not only access to her father, but to his self-declared experts as well. The results: a hilarious look at a man who unintentionally spins straw into gold, and the eccentric array of people who don't - and do - see him as a naked emperor.

Lots of stuff to chew on for sure.

To the future-


Saturday, August 12, 2006

July Hiking Report

...And so, here we are a third of the way through August and I'm finally getting around to the July hiking report. I have been busy, but also have been making room to relax a bit and recharge my batteries. Might be time to replace'em or get some solar panels installed. Whatever I do I need to replenish the well. Hiking is something that does for that for me and unfortunately, I have not had much time to hike, lately, but that'll change today. I do miss the hikes along the Genesee River in Rochester. In the nine months we were there, I got to know that trail pretty well, in warm weather and cold and look forward to visiting it whenever we get back to Rochester. Now I have the beach walk here near our home on the bay. A wonderful four mile round trip that is always different, always changing. Sometimes I imagine I'm a beachcomber on a deserted island and scan the sand for treasures. One time I actually found ten dollars sticking out of the sand, which I really appreciated as I was unemployed at that moment. Treasure comes in many forms and one of my favorite is to see the dolphins swimming to or from the Atlantic or spot an Osprey swoop and catch a fish. Those little gifts are what keep me returning to the big hike of life.

So the July numbers were good, 51 miles bringing me to a year to date total of 351, just a mile over where I need to be. Despite the brutal heat and humidity, I managed to use the moving delay to get a last hike or two in by the river and I am glad for it.

Time to stretch and get out there.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Escape from New York (A Rant - you have been warned)

We've decide to move back to our beach home in Virginia Beach, rising oceans and hurricanes be damned. Rochester has been wonderful in many ways, but we miss our house and our friends in Va., not to mention that the winters are a little easier to deal with and the taxes are a fair bit lower. The last few weeks have been a mad dash of packing and goodbye's, the usual transition routine. My wife and I both have jobs lined up beginning this week and the original plan was to load the rental truck Saturday, get up early Sunday morning and hit the road. Arrive in Va. Beach in time for some dinner and maybe a little unloading. The fact that it's Tuesday afternoon and I'm typing this from our empty, very hot apartment in Rochester might be a clue that things didn't quite go like we thought.

Plot twist #1: I don't want to name names, so I'll just refer to the truck rental company as "U-HELL", they called Friday afternoon to let me know that they didn't have my "equipment" available for Saturday morning and would call sometime Saturday whenever it would be ready. I asked the nice lady, "So, if I haven't heard from you by noon, should I give you a call?". With more then a slight hint of irony in her voice she replied, "Ah, sure, if you like.". The next day, I got up early and finished packing and started cleaning, still hopeful that I'd get a call, but noon came and went. I tried calling the number I was given and sat on hold for over a half hour before giving up. I tried several times throughout the day to get through, but no joy. Ultimately, I would not receive a call from them until 5:35 pm Sunday afternoon. When the happy chap who called asked, "When would you like to pick-up the truck?", I replied, "Yesterday morning at 8 am.". I got a real problem with poorly run corporations who think it's o.k. to screw their "customers" over as was done in this case and will not give old U-HELL anymore of my hard earned money. If a company causes me great inconvenience and pain, then they had better be prepared to share that pain by offering discounts or something. Also, I received exactly two calls from them, one Friday night and one Sunday night, nothing in between to provide an update or status report. Bye bye U-HELL.

Plot Twist #2: As the truckless Saturday sunk in, we became resigned to the schedule shifting a day and went out to eat Saturday night. We had a lovely meal at a wonderful restaurant called "Basha" here in Rochester. Pay'em a visit if you ever visit. The great food and wine worked wonders on relieving the tensions of the day, until we got in the car to go home and the damn thing wouldn't start. I won't bore you with the details of the night, waiting for the tow truck in the rain and all of that. Let's just say I was wondering why God or whomever was picking on me, but then again, switching the news on put these small inconveniences into perspective, but even so, we all feel 100% of our own grief. The punchline is, "$720.00 plus tax and it won't be ready until Tuesday afternoon". Am I getting ripped off? Who knows, at this point, I'm a tad shell shocked and just want to get out of this frickin' town. BTW, the car is an old SAAB (pronounced SOB, as in what you do when you get the bill) and any repair seems to run $500-$900, I know, because we've had to take it to the shop too many times in the last year.

So the morals of the story are, never use U-HELL and never own a SAAB (unless you have loads of money you wish to give away).

Next post, hopefully will be from an air-conditioned place somewhere far south of here.

Wish me luck.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Happy No More

Finished my acting commitment to the "Happy Walter" project. This was the third Sunday in a row of shooting and I'm sad it's over as I was getting used to putting on the wacky clothes and slipping into Mr. Walter's skin for a few hours. Zoje Stage, the writer/director of this flick really made it easy for me, exhibiting buckets of patiences and providing lots of guidance to help me be "Happy". She's a great person to work with. I salute you Zoje! I haven't seen any of the footage yet, actually avoided watching any of the dailies while we were shooting as I feared seeing myself being "Happy" might throw me into a self-conscious zombie meltdown the next time I had to be on camera. Now that I have finished my bit, I'm going to check out some of the footage later this week. I got to say that I've really enjoyed getting to take on such a substantial and colorful role. It was a good opportunity to stretch my acting legs and see what I could really do. I feel satisfied with the work that I did, satisfied because it has fed a part of my creative soul that has gone hungry too long. I am at my best when I'm creating something, when I'm stepping into the arena and accepting the challenge of simply living my life as close to my true nature as I can.



Monday, July 10, 2006


Today was the first day of production for "Happy Walter". I was pretty nervous as this was the biggest acting gig I have ever attempted and I had a fair chunk of dialogue to work with today. I worked hard to know my lines and it paid off when the camera rolled I was able to deliver the goods. It was a great way to begin the production. We had some minor drama early in the day when we were politely ejected from what we thought was a public park but turned out to be private property for an institution that will remain nameless. It probably provided the old security a good opportunity to use the golf cart and drive out and "handle a situation", though to his credit, he was respectful and patient. Hopefully that will be the last of the reality intrusions to the shoot, but you never know. Back to my lines studying lines.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Who is Happy Walter?

This is the biggest film making news that I've had to share in a long time. I've been invited to play the lead role in a film called "Happy Walter", a Master Builder Production written and directed by Zoje Stage. Here's the official announcement from Zoje's site:

"- I am currently in production on a new feature-length film, a mockumentary called "Happy Walter"!!! Hal Weaver stars in the leading role, along with more than a dozen other Rochester & Pittsburgh residents (shooting will take place in both cities). The film will feature original music by Jonathan Young. This is a very exciting time for us! Check the website for more info."

I don't want to give anything away, but it's a cool idea with plenty of room for humor, commentary on the art world and dissection of Daddy issues. I'll keep you posted as more details come to light. Maybe Zoje will let me post a clip or two up here. I'm really looking forward to having another acting role and this one is the biggest yet. Although I have had a little acting experience (heck I even have an IMDB credit page), I'm glad that Zoje has an acting background and will be able to coach me if I start ACTING too much (gotta keep my Shatner under control).

OK, nuff said. I got to go practice being Happy.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

June Hiking Report

And this is the point where I say, "my, where did that month go?". Ahem. Well then, I barely squeaked in my miles for the big halfway point for 2006. Had to snap on the boots and hit the river trail for a quick 5 miles Friday, but it was a beautiful, warm day, and refreshing break from the roving thunder drenchers that have been making drive by dump and runs on upper state New York this week (and from what I see much of the east coast). I don't mind hiking in the rain, but do mind the lightening and not find of high winds, so I've been off the trail too much in the last couple of weeks. Onward.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

May Hiking Report

Got some good miles in last month including some time walking all over both sides of Niagara Falls with my visiting Mom and sister Darlene. Hit 41 miles for the month, bringing the yearly total so far to 252. Just need 48 miles this month to meet the 50% mark. Should do that and more. Looking to do some longer hikes this month. Some more stuff along the Eerie canal and would love to get back in the hills, been doing too much flat walking lately.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another African Mask Drawing

I'm in love with primitive art, especially African Masks. They radiate a purity, sincerity and power that I don't find in most fine art today. I believe that's because the motivates for creating art are less clear now. In tribal cultures, art had a definite value and role to play in societies well-being. Contemporary fine art (I'm speaking specifically about the USA here) on the other hand, is something shut away in museums and galleries and plays a tiny role in most people's daily life. The average Joe looks at "high art" as some kind of con game or puzzle that's too much effort for too little pay-off. Fine art also has some ass-kicking competition today from movies, TV, the internet, video games, etc., that primitive art never had to worry about. In fact, primitive art was the movies/TV/ internet of it's time, more fantastically interactive and 3-D then anything we have now, it literally danced-the-dance. So, another drawing from the pages of "Masks of Black Africa" by Ladislas Segy. This a " Mahongue" from Gabon and the caption reads, "This mask, known as elimba, has bold, angular forms, two square eyes, one for the mouth, and triangular forms for the nose and forehead." . O.K. not much info there. I like it because it reminds me of an old friend who used to wear his hair in a pompadour. So why copy a photograph of a mask from a book? Because it's my own ritual, my own dance of ink on paper going down into that trance state where words and rational thought are unwanted and the drums roll and roll. These drawings come out of the simplest, natural part of my soul, a place of purity and sincerity and power. I make this drawing because it is my essential nature. I make it because it just feels good. I make it because it makes me feel alive.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

April Hiking Report

April was a good month for hiking for me. The weather was generally friendlier and the days got much longer. I can now hike after work, which is always an option, but I prefer to hike during the day. I knocked down 72 miles last month, bringing my YTD total to 211, 35% of my goal. I was 11 miles off my average going into the month and I came out the other side with 11 miles in the bank. I believe that trend will continue through May. How many miles have you hiked lately?


Monday, May 01, 2006

Zank Hits the Big Screen

My film "Zank" has been accepted to be shown at The Little Theater's Emerging Filmmakers Series. Here are the details:

The Weaverwerx produced short animated film, "Zank" will be shown May 22, 2006 at 9:15 PM as part of The Little Theater's ongoing Emerging Filmmakers Series.

"Zank" is a 3 minute, stop motion animation Dadaist journey featuring everything from a screaming nun to tiki mugs and a special appearance by the Buddha. It is the tale of one small beings journey to find peace and acceptance in a world filled with false gods and worldly temptations.

Originally created for Richmond, Va Flicker'’s "Attack of the 50ft Reels"”, "Zank" was transferred to video and polished up with new titles and a little editing. Featuring an original music score by Neil Spencer Bruce, the new version of "Zank" was completed June 2005.

"Zank" being accepted to this series is a solid boost to my morale. And to think that I nearly didn't submit my stuff. Yeah, it's true, I almost let that little old fear of rejection demon talk me into leaving that tape on the shelf. So if you are out there and you are doubting whether to throw your hat, poem, film, painting, whatever into the crazy arena of life, I say go for it. It's not enough to make stuff, you got to share it with your fellow humans, it is part of the dance.

I hope to see you on the 22nd. If not, you can watch "Zank" on the really tiny screen by clicking on the link to the right (maybe down the page a little, yeah, there it is).


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Links like this...

I find the best web sites more often through links and not search engines, particularly when it comes to personal, artistic sites. Links create that friend-of-a-friend atmosphere, so if you like one persons blog, their links will lead to even more good reading. With all that in mind, here's some places to explore:

First up is my pal Sam Hundley. Sam is an artist and an illustrator and around Halloween every year, becomes a madman.

Another fine artist and long time friend, Foust creates wonderful linoleum block prints that are self-contained little tales.

The Wishjar Journal is a great blog written by Keri Smith. I've never met Ms. Smith, but find her musings on art, creativity and inspiration to be motivating.

Under "Film Stuff", I've added the always informative Mondo Schlocko run by Tim Shrum. One of my favorite features on this blog is the podcast, which is always a good mix of great indie music and horror movie talk.

Finally, under "Humor, Research, Whatever", I added Boing Boing, Digg, and Screenhead. Three web sites designed to suck your time and life away, but in a very entertaining and frequently informative manner.



Monday, April 03, 2006

March hiking report

In between rubbing elbows with the Celebes and working the job, I did manage to squeak out a few miles, 45 to be exact. Just shy of the average 50 I need to keep on top of it. The ytd (year to date) total is 139; 11 miles under where I should be right now, so time to get hoofing. Picked up 10 miles over the weekend and now that daylight savings in effect, I'll be able to get hikes in after work.

In other hiking related news, I uploaded photos from a hiking adventure from January 2003 when I hiked the West Highland Way in sunny Scotland. You can check them out by following the Flickr link on the lower right side of this page. Enjoy.

And where have you hiked lately?


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sometimes Dreams Do Come True

I think that photo says it all. I wasn't the only one smiling like that. Yesterday at the Byrd Theater in Richmond, Va., there was a long line of beaming film fans, all patiently waiting for their turn to get a few books or DVDs signed and shake the hand of Ray Harryhausen. Everyone from large, rough punk rockers to graying middle-aged business types were reduced to fawning ten year olds as they got to spend a minute or two meeting the man himself. I was no different, thrilled and honored to shake his hand and thank him for all the inspiration that his work has provided. His fantastic work is part of why I became an artist. I want to thank the organizers of The James River Film Festival for arranging to bring Mr. Harryhausen to their fine festival. He was featured in two events on Saturday and provided to be a charming and unpretentious speaker, regaling the crowd with many wonderful stories including hanging out with his childhood pals Ray Bradbury and Forry Ackerman, working with his mentor Willis O'Brien on "Mighty Joe Young" and many others. The only disappointment during the second event was the theater projectionist inability to overcome some technical glitch that resulted in a mostly empty screen while the interviewer scrambled to try and move the program along at what was often a frustrating and confusing pace. The clips that were shown were often not insync with the discussion and were silent, with Mr. Harryhausen commenting multiple times about how the scenes are more effective if you could hear the music. I was looking forward to seeing clips from all (or most) of his films, particularly those that I haven't seen in a long time like "First Men In The Moon" and "Valley of the Gwangi , but as it turned out, we didn't even get to see one clip from any of the Sinbad films. No matter, what I'll always remember is getting to listen to Mr. Harryhausen tell his tales and getting to shake the hand of the man that created so many fantastic worlds for us to enjoy.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Uncle Ray is Coming to Town

Ray Harryhausen. That got your attention didn't it? The man is a legend. It's hard to imagine what the current state of fantasy and SF films would be like without his incredible contribution. A huge part of my childhood sense of wonder and adventure was shaped by watching his films. To this day I still get goose bumps when the 7th Voyage Cyclops or Golden Voyage Kali come on the screen. Ray's last film was "Clash of the Titans" way back in 1981. Since then he's authored a couple of books and supervised the completion of a pet project of short animated films. He has a new book coming out this year and will be on tour this spring in the USA supporting that project. He'll be the guest of honor at the James River Film Festival March 24, 25, check it out:

I'll be there and I hope to get to shake the man's hand and thank him for all the wonderful dreams and nightmares.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I like that phrase, it is a good motivator and cuts through the crap. I found it on a blog call "themudthebloodthebeer" written by John C. hailing from bean town. When I'll use that phrase (steal it I will, thank you John C), I may modify it to read "WHAT I DID TODAY THAT WILL HELP ME BE A BETTER ARTIST!" as my creative interests and endeavors reach beyond filmmaking right now. Like what? you might ask, and rightly so as I haven't seen fit to share whatever it is I'm up to with the likes of you two (or three) that stop by once a month. OK, the glove has been thrown down, so I guess it's put up or shut up time. Fine. Check this out.

What the hell is that? You might ask. Well, I'll tell you. That's a drawing (black ball point pen on paper) I recently did of an African mask from "Guere-Wobe, Liberia". It's copied from a photo in a great book called "Masks of Black Africa" by Ladislas Segy and according to the caption, "This mask was designed for the prevention of disease and for use in exorcism rituals.". It creeped me out the first time I saw it. There's something very dark about this mask, something mysterious. What compelled me to draw this piece was the fantastic textures and the bold shapes. I can noodle around losing myself in that stained fabric all day long and did.

So when I ask myself that question, "What did I do....etc", today, I have an answer.



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February Hiking Report

I fell six miles short of the 50 mile monthly average I need in order to hit my goal for the year. Not too big of a deal, but I need to be vigilant or that six miles will become sixty. Despite temperatures in the teens and twenties, I still managed to get out most weekends and I'm getting used to the cold weather hiking. As with most things, the biggest barrier to getting out is mental. If you think it's too cold to hike, then it will be. When I've been out there trudging through the snow covered trails and find my spirit sagging a bit, I think of Mt. Fuji, my current dream hike and how any slight discomfort I feel now, will help me be prepared for Fuji when the time comes. There's a quote (can't recall who said it) that goes, "Do a difficult thing when you can, so you are able to when you must." (my bolding). That saying never fails to motivate me, the truth of that thought is unavoidable. Onward.

Monday, February 20, 2006


I got a soft spot for crypto-related stuff. I'd like to believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs, makes the world a more interesting place. From time to time, I'll surf up a few favorite sites just to see what new weirdness is floating around. One of those sites was "Crypto-blog", a blogger site coming out of North Carolina that gathered some of the more interesting tidbits on Bigfoot and the rest. The last time I visited ole' CB, I noticed it was taken over by someone new, someone who wasn't interested in lake monsters and such. I didn't think much of it, sites, particularly blogs come and go all the time, so I clicked on the next link and moved on. Until today when I got an e-mail from Jeff, the creator of the Crypto-blog, letting me know he'd been hacked! Ouch. He's working on getting the site rolling again soon and I'll be sure to post an update. Hang in there Jeff.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'm not dead yet....

My how the time does fly. To the three people who regularly hit this woefully neglected blog, I apologize for the lack of words in the last month. Have no excuse. Have had the time and many things occur to me to blog about, just don't make the leap to keyboard. I'll make no promises to post more in the future, why kid each other right? I'd only do that to let myself off the hook, talk is cheap after all. Walking the walking is what counts, which is my ultra smooth segue to LAST month's hiking report.

My hiking goal for 2006 is 600 miles, down 50 miles from last year, so need to average 50 miles a month. Started the year off right with 51 miles, some a tiny lead. February has been tougher and it's looking iffy as to whether I'll hit the mark. Have started a new, full time job, so no longer have all that free time that I didn't when I was a "man of leisure". Even so, no excuses, there is always a way to accomplish the things that need to be done.

A "Zank" update. Have entered the lad into two festivals; The Brooklyn Rooftop Film Festival Series and Richmond, Virginia's James River Festival. I'll keep you posted on what happens.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

I memed myself...

Picked up this Meme from Bill Cunningham's blog DISContent.

What was your earliest film-related memory?

Going to see the original Doctor Dolittle when I was about four years old. The scenes of the giant snail and moth really made an impression on me as did the ship wreck scene. Something about the furniture and parts of the ship all over the beach made sense to my wee little brain at the time.

Name two favorite lines from movies:

Dr. Sentz - "Everything was fine until dickless here shut off our containment grid."
NY Mayor - "Is that true?"
Dr. Venkman - "Yes it's true. This man has no dick."
Ghostbusters (1984)

[Norris' head grows legs and tries to walk away]
Palmer: You gotta be fucking kidding.
The Thing (1982)

(Guess I'm stuck in the eighties)

Jobs you'd do if you could not work in the "biz"

-- Forest Ranger
-- Book Store Owner
-- Travel Writer

Name four jobs you actually have held outside the industry:

-- Assistant Manager at a book store
-- Graphic Artist
-- Sculptor
-- Dish Washer

Three book authors I like:

-- Jack Kerouac
-- Charles Bukowski
-- William Gibson

Name two movies you would like to remake or properties you'd like to adapt:

1. Kamandi: Last Boy on Earth - This was a 70's DC comic series by Jack Kirby that basically was cashing in on the Planet of the Apes craze, but took things to the next level with all kinds of talking critters, mutants and aliens too.

2. Hollywood by Charles Bukowski - Probably his funniest novel and would make a great bookend to Barfly.

Name one screenwriter you think is underrated:

Richard Price particularly for "Color of Money"

Three people I'm tagging to answer this meme next:

Neil Bruce
John Oak Dalton

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Let the door knob hit ya 2005, where that dog should've bit ya. (Plus the year end 2005 hiking report)

Last week I was sitting in The 400 Club in Altoona, Wisconsin having a cold one and writing to my friend Lord Scott Nelson (Lord in nickname only) when two flannel shirt wearing locals started reflecting on the year 2005. "Worst fuckin' year ever! I'll be glad to see the ass end of it. Good riddances I say. 2006 has got to be better.". Hear, hear. While personally it wasn't a terrible year, globally a lot of folks suffered from all manner of catastrophe and I'm sure they too are glad to see 2005 come to a close. With the news dominated by one major crisis after another, at times it seemed the forces of doom and chaos were getting a leg up and all I got to say is Buddha bless Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for wringing laughs out of the misery. Lose your sense of humor and it's really over.
Onward. So, I'm sure you are hanging on the edge of your seat wondering, "Did Hal actually complete his hiking goal of 650 miles for 2005?". Well, as you can see from the progress bar to the right, I did indeed hit the mark and tacked on an extra mile for luck. The last miles fell on New Year's Eve, when I took a fine, eight mile hike out past the Erie Canal to the airport and back. I got to admit that I didn't feel like hiking much that day, but then that's the purpose of the goal, to keep me moving. For 2006, I've decided to scale back a little bit to 600 miles. I feel I need to balance my time better and have allowed my screenwriting and film ambitions slide too much, so the extra time and effort will go to that end.
As far as New Year's resolutions go, I prefer to choose more concrete goals and last year my enthusiasm got the better of me with thirteen goals, many of which were quickly neglected. This year focus will be the theme and I will keep the list shorter by half. I'll post that list soon, until then I here's wishing us all a safe, productive and gentle 2006.