Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Stranger Among Bears

I want to tell you about a show that I have just finished watching on the Animal Planet channel called "Stranger Among Bears".
"Stranger Among Bears" is about an extraordinary man called Charlie Vandergaw. Charlie is a 70 year old retired science high school teacher from Alaska who spends his summers in a cabin in the Alaskan woods called "Bear Haven". Charlie has been spending his summers at Bear Haven for 20 years. During this time he has formed a remarkable relationship with the bears that come to visit "Bear Haven".

The thing that makes Charlie an amazing human being is that he is able to interact with the bears and they have seemingly accepted him into their world. The only protective device Charlie takes with him is a big stick and if one of the bears gets a bit obnoxious he gives them a whack across the nose. Otherwise the bears are happy just to walk along with Charlie or watch him canoe down the river.

Charlie actually was at one stage a hunter of bears. His relationship changed with them 20 years ago when a black bear appeared on his yard and crawled up to him on its belly. According to the Animal Planet Web site, Charlie reciprocated, and the encounter started "a long-lasting love affair" with bears.

Charlie has got himself in trouble with the law as he openly admits that he feeds the bears (a big no no in Alaska). The last piece of information that I could find was that Charlie was fighting this in court.
He could spend a year in jail for feeding the bears. His plane that he uses to access "Bear Haven" has been confiscated by authorities.

This show was filmed over six months at "Bear Haven" by British cameraman Richard Terry. Richard found out pretty early on in the piece to approach his subjects with the utmost respect and caution. Richard was delivered a nasty bite when he tried to get in between a mother and cub black bear. Richard freely admits that it wasn't the brightest thing to do at the time but he was more focussed on getting the shot.

I'm not entirely sure why this show touched me so much. By the time Charlie left Bear Haven for the last time I was crying like a baby. I guess it seemed to me that Charlie had found his own little piece of paradise. Something that he got so much enjoyment and happiness from. How many of us can say that we have ever experienced this? He seems like such a serene man just interacting with nature that it appears to me an injustice not to let this man live the rest of his days with the bears.

Even though so many people think Charlie is a nutter, he is my hero. He has a love and acceptance of animals that more of us should at least try to understand.

Unfortunately most of the clip packages of this show aim at demonstrating the ferocious nature of bears. In the entire 6 month filming I think Charlie had maybe 3 instances where the bears got a bit testy but they use those same clips over and over again.

I wish they played over the scenes where Charlie and a huge black bear are having a nap on the lawn or a sow is nursing her young on the lawn. Or when a bear comes inside to his bar and he says "of all the bars in all the world you had to come into mine."

I have a clip which focuses on the episode where Charlie confronts hunters at Bear Haven. Showdown at Bear Haven: Hunters Arrive

If you want to watch anymore clips you can at Animal Planet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

10 Reasons Why I Love Karl Lagerfeld

I find Karl Lagerfeld (uber famous fashion designer that reinvented Chanel) very intriguing.

I have a soft spot for people who are completely and utterly UN PC.
Sure he is a bit of a douche but truly doesn't that come with the territory of the fashion world? A high opinion of oneself and distain for the minions?
Even though I may not agree with everything he says, I respect someone who just spits the truth as they see it. Uncle Karl is forever getting in trouble with animal rights activists for his use of fur (unashamedly), and curvy women.

Just out of interest I had a look at his Twitter page and I really don't think it is his publicist writing it for him.
It is pure Uncle Karl.

So taken off his twitter page here are 10 reasons why I love Karl Lagerfeld:
1. Florals are for middle-aged women with weight problems.
2. Believe it or not, I love rap.
3. Nothing scares me more than people with some doll collection. As a child, I never played with anything like toys. I wanted to be a grown-up.
4. A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul.
5. I'm open to everything. When you start to criticize the times you live in, your time is over.
6. Don't look to the approval of others for your mental stability.
7. Forgiveness is too easy. I can forget by indifference, but not forgive. I prefer revenge.
8. I hate the word “avant-garde.” It was used, overused, and often used for useless things. So I do not use that word any longer.
9. Loving someone is fine, but they have to love you back or it doesn’t work.
10.I think I'm going to have a dinner party where no one speaks. I'll give all my guests pens and pads instead of the usual dinner conversation

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Dog and Cat Diary

I have to share this email that I received quite some time ago but I keep going back to read it.

I am proudly owned by a cat (a beautiful blue spotted tabby Bengal called Indy) who will appear as the cat picture for better effect.

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary......

8:00 am - Dog food! My favourite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favourite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favourite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favourite thing!
6:00 pm - Oooh, Bath. Bummer.
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favourite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Diary......

Day 983 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of.
However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight.
I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event.
However, I could hear the noises and smell the food.
I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.'
I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking.
I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges.
He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return.
He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant.
I observe him communicating with the guards regularly.
I am certain that he reports my every move.
My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.
For now................

Monday, October 12, 2009

Madonna -Who's that Girl/Causing a Commotion

Last week I was getting a bit nostalgic watching “Desperately Seeking Susan” on cable. As with most Madonna movies, it isn’t very good but it inspired me to go out and buy some wayfarer sunglasses when I was in Melbourne over the weekend (ok ok, they are fake wayfarers but in my defence I either sit on or lose every pair of sunglasses I own. Less money – less pain).

It got me to thinking about other dreadful Madonna movies such as “Who’s that girl”.

I have a bit of a confession though.
You know the type of movie where in your heart you acknowledge:
a. It is really bad
b. Would never win any type of award other than a Razzie
c. The acting is tragic
d. The plot is thin
e. The laughs are weak
BUT……you still like it? This is how I am with this movie.

I was doing an online search and the whole movie is on Youtube (in 5 parts). So if you want to have a reminder take a look. I’m not going to embed them all but you can watch it here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Here are some very silly lines from the movie:
Nurse: What's your husband's name?
Nikki: Louden

Nurse: Louden what? (looking for last name)
Nikki: Clear
Nurse: Loudenclear

Nikki - You'll never know how relieved me and mama was when we found out Louden was getting married. Louden? Marrying a WOMAN???

Louden: We did one of your things. We killed the pimp and the fat guy. Now it is time to do one of my things.

Nikki Finn: [pointing at wall with "dead end sign" into which she has just crashed a car] I'm sorry officer but my husband, see, he's having a heart attack and I had to rush him to the hospital and I must not have been paying attention because I took a wrong turn and is this the way?

Today’s track is obviously from the movie “Who’s that girl”. Not the title track as that would be a bit too obvious. I always loved Madonna’s live rendition of “Causing a Commotion” in Turin which was released in 1987. This was way before Madonna got all OTT with the stage props. All she had here was basically an airport style travelator as her stage addition.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Three 6 Mafia - Slob on my knob

I have been meaning to post this track for some time. As you can imagine, with a song title such as "Slob on my knob" there isn't an official video to accompany the track. Heaven only knows what they could have shown.

This type of track really illustrates the intense depth in which song writing has evolved with such lines as:
"First find a mate
Second find a place
Third find a bag to hide the ho face"
It's really quite Shakespearean....

So this track is pretty nasty but HELLA funny. I remember watching an episode of "Girls of the Playboy Mansion" where Hef's (then) yougest girlfriend Kendra recites the lyrics to him. Hef looks direct to camera and says "It's so romantic. It reminds me of the moon in June songs back in my day." Well said Hef.

So here is Three 6 Mafia.