May 142020

With Alice Cooper at the Grand Ole Opry, August 4, 2019

I’ve been very lucky to get to meet and to know, to some degree, Alice Cooper.

After the opening of his Theatre of Death Tour in 2009, his managers, Shep Gordon and Toby Mamis, invited me to write a blog post about the night for Alice’s website. I did, and then I wrote similar posts for three other great experiences I had.

The First Time I Met Alice Cooper – September 30, 2000

Wonders in AliceLand – July 30, 2009

The Opening of the No More Mr. Nice Guy Tour – May 12, 2011 (the time our intrepid hero had his own personal concert)

The Original Alice Cooper Group – May 14, 2017 (and Lynda Carter, too!)

I’ve seen a total of 30 Alice Cooper concerts, plus two dress rehearsals and the original group performance described in the 2017 post above.

Concerts I’ve attended

 Posted by at 8:16 pm
May 132020

Two in one day! My fourth VAX Professional article was about the callable TPU interface. TPU stands for Text Processing Utility, and it was a language introduced in VAX/VMS V4.2 for writing editors. The EVE editor was written in TPU, and it was easy to extend or modify EVE by writing new TPU routines or modifying the existing routines. My FLIST program was also written in TPU (and C).

In addition to describing the callable interface, I provided a MACRO module that provided a simplified callable TPU interface. The article describes why I did that.

VAX Professional: The Callable TPU Interface

 Posted by at 10:54 am
May 132020

After way too long, I’ve finally posted another of my vintage articles originally published in VAX Professional.

The Extended LOGIN Program details a MACRO program I wrote to perform the functions of my LOGIN.COM. Back when I was working on a VAX 11/785 and a VAX 11/730, some serious performance gains could be achieved by replacing LOGIN.COM with a program, depending on what your LOGIN.COM did. Mine defined dozens of logicals and symbols, set terminal characteristics, and lots more. As noted in the article, the head of Professional Press told me that his login time dropped from 15 seconds to 5 seconds when he replaced his LOGIN.COM with LOGIN.MAR.

You won’t see those kinds of dramatic increases on modern OpenVMS systems, but it’s still a lot faster and more efficient to use a program.


 Posted by at 9:50 am
Nov 082019

Rick Baker has had an amazing career, and I’ve been a fan of his for ages. He has a new, two-volume book out now, Metamorphosis, and he’s been doing interviews to promote it. Great stuff here!

The video below is a 20-minute excerpt from Joe Rogan’s interview with Rick that’s all about An American Werewolf in London.

Some of the other, long interviews recently are:

Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast

WTF with Marc Maron

The full Joe Rogan interview

Kevin Smith

 Posted by at 9:39 am
Oct 012019

My friend and favorite author, Robert McCammon, is the featured author in the October 2019 issue of Alabama Living magazine, which is the official statewide publication of the electric cooperatives in Alabama and the largest magazine of its type in the state, reaching some 400,000 electric cooperative consumers.

The article is titled “Alabama’s Own ‘Great American Read’” and can be read on their website. You can read the entire digital issue online at The McCammon article is on page 24.

 Posted by at 10:18 am
Nov 302018

Note: These have been removed from, but I’m leaving the post because I do love these books….

One of my first hardcover book purchases was Making a Monster, by Al Taylor and Sue Roy. The 1980 book looks at all of the great film makeup effects of the 20th century and the creators behind the effects. I can’t tell you how many times I pored over this book. I still do.

The book has been out-of-print for many years, and copies can be hard to find. Though no doubt illegally uploaded, scans of the book are available on I highly recommend it!

Speaking of books on, this wonderful book about the making of the 1933 King Kong is also available there. There are newer editions of this book that are in-print and expanded, but this is the original 1975 publication.


 Posted by at 7:55 am
Oct 292018

KISS announced the dates of the first leg of their End of the Road Tour today. They’re playing both Louisville and Nashville. Twenty-five years ago, I’d have already secured tickets for both shows. Today, I couldn’t care less.

From 1976 through 1995, I was a die-hard KISS fan. I was a KISS nut through middle school and high school. One needs only to read my classmates’ scrawlings in my yearbooks to see how big a KISS freak I was. I was lucky to get to see KISS twice in 1977, and once in 1979. I stuck with KISS through the post-Dynasty era, when they’d become a joke, through the non-makeup years, up until the point that they ditched it all to reunite for a huge payday in 1996. They lost me then. I couldn’t care less about the reunion tour, or the Psycho Circus tour, or the Farewell Tour. They kicked out the two best musicians the band had ever had to reunite with two people who could no longer play.

After Ace and Peter had been replaced by Tommy and Eric—both wearing Ace’s and Peter’s makeup and costumes, respectively—I did break down and go see them in 2004 so that my then-15-year-old daughter could see them. It was actually a fun show. I decided to make the trek again in 2009, and again in 2012, when they were touring with Motley Crue. Each show had diminishing returns for me. By 2012, Paul’s voice was shot, the show was stale, and worst of all, they were boring.

I decided then that I was finished, and how I feel about today’s announcement confirms it. I wish I still wanted to go. I still go see Alice Cooper every chance I get. But Alice’s shows are still great.

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Oct 102018

A few months back, the NWF Daily News posted 180 snapshots from behind the scenes of the filming of Jaws 2. Because the page is difficult to locate on their site (they keep changing the URLs, and their search engine doesn’t show them), I’ve collected all 180 photos in a single Zip file that can be downloaded here:

JAWS 2 Snapshots from NWF Daily News

From the site:

PHOTOS: Newly discovered Jaws II photos

These photos were shared from a collection owned by David Mann from the set of “JAWS II” filmed on the Emerald Coast and came out in theaters in 1978.

 Posted by at 4:37 am
Sep 242018

Due to popular demand—no, really!—I plan to post all of my VAX ProfessionalDigital Systems Journal articles over the coming weeks. I’ve already posted the “MACRO Made Easy” series and the “Writing OpenVMS Privileged Code” series.

I’ve just posted “A DEBUG Register Display Fix,” which was my first VAX Professional article.

2018-09-25: I’ve also posted DCL Command RECALL Extensions and DCL Key Defintion Routines

VAX Professional articles

 Posted by at 8:56 am
Sep 222018

Over the past month and a half, I’ve added a slew of stuff to Hunter’s Planet of the Apes Archive. Check it out!

I’ve also uploaded some Apes-related videos of Roddy McDowall to YouTube. They can be found on the Archive, too.

The first video is over an hour of raw footage recorded of Roddy as host of “Apes Week”. The second video is the footage that actually aired, and the third video is footage from when the TV series was aired.

Enjoy, and thanks to the people who sent me that footage many moons ago!

 Posted by at 9:56 am