Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just a funny

Something I found and wanted to share...



Monday, December 27, 2010

Dallas Stars Blood Drive

The Dallas Stars are doing a blood drive on Friday 1/7/11.
Sign up on line to reserve a spot.
As a reward for giving up a pint you could receive a signed hockey puck from a player.
The Stars have always been good about community events and always very willing to interact with the fans.
This is a very easy way to get an autograph and do some good.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kiowa Gordon – Twilight’s Embry

I’m sure you all know who Kiowa is.  I’m sure you’ve watched Twilight (did you realize they pumped out 3 movies already?) a dozen times. I’m sure you wear your Team Edward and Team Jacob t-shirts to bed every night.

Me – I’m the guy that wears the shirt – Buffy staked Edward – End of story…so I had no clue who Kiowa Gordon was.  I saw the first movie. I didn’t know they had 3 of them on DVD already. 
So I came across a web posting about Kiowa Gordon signing. Okay. I flipped past it. Then somewhere in the back of my little Autograph Hound’s mind I registered: Twilight.
I paused. I questioned myself. Did I see the site mention he was in Twilight? That he was a Werewolf? Was he the Team Jacob mascot? I’m thinking, holy cow. I need to get that autograph.
Yeah, that is the disease of autograph hunting. You get a celebrities autograph even when you don’t know who he is.
So I go to the page I passed and get the details.
While slightly disappointed to find out he’s not Jacob I did decide to stand in line. The signing is the next day at 6PM and the line starts at 4PM.
I’m an experienced hunter. I know how big Twilight is, even though it’s not my thing. I know the DVD has only been out a few days and it’s on a lot of Christmas lists.  So I decide to show up at Noon.
I get to the store expecting to find people already standing outside. No line. Okay, maybe the store took pity on the fans and brought them inside. I entered and walk through the store and didn’t see anything that remotely looked like a line. I scan through the aisles looking for the autograph setup. Nothing.
Huh. Did I get the wrong store? That would be a bad thing. By the time I get to the other store I’d be way back in line. I asked an employee. She didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. Not a good sign. I asked another employee and got the same response. As I’m about to leave the store to check the address, I asked the guy that checks the receipts. He said yes, this is the place. Come back at 4PM. I started to ask another question and he interrupted me to repeat – come back at 4.
So I go back to my car and hang out for a while. I read. At 1PM I enter to see if a line has started. Nope.
I come back at 2PM. Same results. Although I did see where the line will start.
At 3PM I notice about a dozen teenage girls hanging out and spying on the signing table. Like Musical chairs – they are circling; they don’t want to get in line but they don’t want to be caught when the music stops and they need to find a chair.
At 3:30PM I get in line. About 20 people are ahead of me. There is a dad. We are the lone males. There is a mom.   That is total of 3 adults. The rest are girls barely in high school or younger. 
At 4PM the crowd has swelled to 30 people.  They passed out wrist bands to ensure we would be one of the first 200 to get our special gift.
At 4:15 Kiowa arrived with bodyguards and the estrogen level is now insanely high. With these levels of estrogen I fear my biological clock will start ticking. The girls are jumping up and down and one is actually crying with excitement. Mom is crying because she is laughing so hard at her own daughter.
The crowd is now 50.
Kiowa is friendly. He allows the girls to pose all they want with him. He talks and they idolize him. The line is slow as molasses but that makes sense because of the amount of time he is spending with each girl.
My turn, I had over my DVD cover and he looks around me expecting to see my daughter hiding behind me; my phantom daughter that is too shy to come out.  He doesn’t find her and signs my cover. He mumbles a ‘thanks for coming out’ and I mumble an embarrassed ‘thank you’. We shake hands and I’m surprised by his rock hard shake.
I move aside for the next girl and stand in the line to get my gift. I got a Twilight t-shirt.
I left, slightly embarrassed but I got my signature and my story.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tron – the autograph session that never was

Disney was promoting Tron Legacy at the 2010 ComicCon.  They had a panel scheduled. They had actors in attendance. They had a Light Cycle and a Recognizer on the convention floor.

They even had a small autograph session planned. Well, that is what we all thought.  We got to the convention at 7AM that morning and found the lady holding the bag of wining raffle tickets.
After a few times through the line I got my winning ticket and my cryptic wrist band telling me the room and time to show up.
The only thing we were told was the wrist bands were for a Disney movie.  Disney hadn’t told ComicCon what movie they were holding the signing for but what else could it be?  
Were they promoting Cars 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Toy Story 3?  No.  They were promoting Tron.  It was the long awaited sequel. It was even promoted the year before at ComicCon when Disney took over a small video arcade and converted it into Flynn’s.
Disney was selling and we were all excited about getting this chance to for some Tron related autographs.
The excitement was electric among us. We were all there at the designated room early.
Without much fanfare we were herded into the room. A lone man was signing at the table. He was busy signing his name at the bottom of a poster.  No one recognized him. From across the room, the poster did not look Tron-ish.  You could sense the frustration from the people working the room. You could feel the disappointment from the ‘winners’ as they walked to the table and picked up a movie poster for 999 Ghosts.
This, if I’m correct, is not a movie but a new ride at Disney World.
We left crestfallen.
The next day we heard about some issue with the actors. Since all of them couldn’t attend the signing, they cancelled it. Then later that next day another group of lucky winners got a poster signed by the cast.
It was a letdown but that’s how things work. So many times I luck into something; it’s only natural for me to luck out of something.
PS – Just got back from the movie and I loved it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Batman and Robin

Adam West and Burt Ward attended Wizard World’s ComicCon in Austin. 
Adam West was first. He was gracious and asked what I did for a living. As I told him, I started to explain the job functions and he calmly stopped me.  He told me knew what I did. Was I skeptical?  Yeah.  I figured he didn’t want to hear it. I don’t blame him. Did he see the skepticism on my face?  Maybe.  He then started to describe what he thought I did. And he wasn’t too far off.
And somehow we started talking about outsourcing and how I was working with guys In Egypt. His comment was – Oh that must be tough. You can’t drink there.  I really laughed.
I then slid on over to Burt Ward. He wore a Gentle Giants shirt which I figured was for the movie studio. He was busy entertaining a few people. He had his smart phone out and showing everyone the photos. They were photos of his dogs.
Over the last 15 years he had been a rescue person and he mentioned he has saved over 10,000 dogs.  The name of his organization was Gentle Giants.   He had photos of 20 huge dogs in bed with him and the wife. He had a photo of a Great Dane on its hind legs towering over him. The other photos were of the herds of dogs everywhere in the house and on the land.
He mentioned he was currently working on a reality TV show with Adam West narrating about his dog rescue. It was still in the pilot stage and being shopped around so it hasn’t sold to a network yet. It seems a natural for Animal Planet though.
You heard it here first.
He was so passionate about his dogs. It was fun to see and it made you feel good as you walked away.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank you

Merry Christmas!
This is a shout out and a public thank you to my neighbor.
She is the one that created the first image in my title banner. Now she updated it for Christmas.
You should be seeing a cute little bulldog with a Santa’s cap and some snow.
If you’re not, then clear your cache.  That should get you the current banner.
My neighbor is amazing.
So Thank You kind Neighbor!  I hope Santa is nice to you this year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

John Lennon – 30 years ago today

This is not autograph related. This is one of those – ‘where were you when’ stories. Feel free to comment on the blog – where were you when…
I know I’m a day late. But I didn’t find out about the assassination until the morning after. Thirty years ago I was 17 and in high school. It was a school night and I didn’t watch football. If I wasn’t already asleep, I was reading. So I found out the next morning.
I woke the morning after and turned on the radio. It was a cold dark winter morning and Give Peace a Chance was playing. Almost psychically I knew something was wrong. The radio usually had the DJ’s talking at that time.  At the end of the song the DJ gave a brief recap about Lennon’s death. Then they played Give Peace a Chance again.
I was stunned. Although I loved a lot of Lennon songs particularly, he wasn’t my favorite Beatle.  I was still in the blame game about John and Yoko splitting up the band.
When I was a kid, I went through a phase where music had no meaning to me. I never listened unless it was on someone else’s radio. I didn’t hum or sing along. I didn’t buy or swap records with friends.  I missed the rise of ELO, Kansas, Kiss, and Aerosmith. The middle years of The Who and The Rolling Stones occurred without me noticing.  It was just a hole in my life.
 About 6th grade or so I came out of this music coma and discovered the Beatles.  I still remember how amazed I was that the music was so vibrant. It was 3 dimensional while other music was 2 dimensional.  I slowly accumulated the Beatles albums and with every album I found something so intriguing that I listened none stop.
If you know me from high school or college, you know I have a brass Beatles belt buckle. I wore it all the time for over 10 years.  My dad bought it at a car show and gave it to me. I’m sure it was a random purchase but I loved it. I had a lot of people comment on it over the years. It was a great ice breaker when people first met me. I must have had a dozen offers to buy that belt buckle and maybe another dozen to trade me for it. I still have it.
30 years ago today, I was saddened. The hopes of a Beatles’ reunion were dashed. The hopes of more music from John were destroyed.  It ended so simply because of a crazy man with a gun.
That day, I dressed and really didn’t know how I could tell the world I was sad.  I didn’t know how I could make a statement. I was a nerd and geek. Most people didn’t talk to me at school. I thought about wearing an arm band but then it suddenly occurred to me: my belt buckle. The buckle dad bought me and I never sold. The brass buckle with simply the word ‘Beatles’ engraved on it; the letters were painted black in the simple Beatles font they used on their album covers.  The belt buckled I had already worn for years and everyone knew me by it.
I pulled my belt from the loops and re-threaded it backwards. Instead of left to right, I threaded my belt from right to left so the buckle was upside down. That was my silent nod to the death of Lennon and my cue to the world I was mourning.
My best friend understood right away. My English teach got it right away. But a surprisingly large amount of people told me that I put my belt on the wrong way that day. Typical clueless teenagers. I guess I should have been glad they even noticed me.
It was a silly gesture. Most gestures are silly in the long run. Lennon was just a musician. He knew that better than most. He knew that better than the fans that still idolize him. But it was still a very sad day.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Erin Gray part II

Link to Part I if you haven’t read it.
When I attended the Wizard World ComicCon in Austin a few months back, I got a chance to talk to Erin Gray again.
It was Friday and the crowds were very light.  I wondered over and mentioned that I saw her on Hollywood Treasure.  Hollywood Treasure is a reality show on the SyFy channel about collecting old movie memorabilia and then selling it at auction.  She got very excited and mentioned that a lot of people had seen her on the show.
Erin had a prop from Buck Rodgers that they were interested in. She was willing to let them look it over and possibly auction it off. After the experts examined her prop, the value wasn’t nearly what they estimated. She took the news with aplomb. I think I would have had tears in my eyes if I heard the news. Having hopes dashed against the rocks is always had to accept and she did it so gracefully.
We talked about her disappointment and how she really was going to use that money for her daughter’s tuition.
Just then a few people came over and I didn’t want to dwell on the negative nor keep her from working so I said good bye and walked away.
I went over to Gil Gerard who had a table next to Erin. This made sense as they were both in Buck Rodgers and they even had photos that both of them could sign.
He was very friendly and open. I mentioned I didn’t get a chance to see him in San Diego as every time I walked by he was busy. I replied that I must not have walked by much. That was a slow show for him. I asked if he was going back next year but he wasn’t sure yet. He was thinking about going to New Orleans for a show as it’s been a while since he’d been there.  When he was acting, he never got a chance to explore the town, so he hoped he’d get some free time.  I told him the next time he was in Austin he needed to see the bats fly from under the bridge. He had heard about them and asked if they filled the sky like people say. I told him, no but it’s still impressive to see 100’s of thousands of bats make black streamers in the sky as they woke and left to go hunting.
As we were talking he mentioned he was writing a book based on some unused scripts from Buck Rodgers; which I thought would be interesting. He said the show was canceled before they were filmed.
I did pose with him for a photo. Again my camera caused some chaos; due more to user error than the camera itself.  I did remember to suck in my gut and smile. 
So I had my Gil Gerard autograph in hand. The photo had both him and Erin in it. So I went back to Erin and got her to sign it.  I posed with her too but forgot to suck in and smile. Oh well.

Before I left, I mentioned the adventure in San Diego many years ago. I gave her a brief recap leaving out the part where I hoped my friend would ask her out to the ball game. She seemed to really brighten hearing about the story. She thanked me for sharing and said it was nice to hear the positive stuff.
I left before my welcome was worn out.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ghost Hunters

This is actually my parent’s tale but since they don’t have a blog, I’m stealing it.
Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are longtime friends and are the lead investigates on Ghost Hunters which airs on SyFy. Over the last 5 or 6 years it’s a franchise.
I enjoy the show. I’m skeptical about ghosts and even the show’s findings but I watch. I enjoy it. It’s something I find relaxing. It’s a guilty pleasure.  Before you point a finger at my guilty pleasure – what about your guilty pleasure?  I bet you watch Idol, don’t you?
A few years back, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson came to San Diego for ComicCon.  The Ghost Hunters’ team even did an episode while there. The two of them were scheduled for a panel and to answer fan’s questions. At the last minute they no showed. Frustrating.  I was disappointed as I hoped there would have also had a signing.
Now they published a book, Ghost Hunt: Chilling Tales of the Unknown and they had a book signing scheduled.  I’m excited.  The only problem – it was in Jersey. I’m in Texas.
The signing was at Book Ends.  I have to admit, this is one of my favorite book stores and I’ve NEVER been in it. The store has a lot of big names that come in for signings. It’s the Autograph Hound’s dream come true. If a celebrity has written a book and they have a limited tour, Book Ends will be one of the few stops. It’s amazing the connections they must have to get those big names time after time. A small local book store that brings in top shelf names to sign and they even have extra copies to purchase afterwards.
I found out about Book Ends through the internet. I saved their website and now and then I’ll check out who is scheduled to appear. Once a year or so, I’ll ask my parents to make the drive and get me a book. 
I know Jersey is small but getting anywhere takes twice as long as you’d think. It’s not like driving down the street to get a gallon of milk. It’s a trip for my parents. They are always obliging and willing. But I don’t want to abuse them either.
Mom and Dad tell me it’s exciting.  The hunt of the autograph doesn’t affect them but getting out and seeing the crowd and interacting with the people in line is fun for them. Plus it’s a chance to do something for their favorite son - that’s me by the way. Don’t let the fact that I’m their only son side track the issue that I’m their favorite son.
I do feel guilty sending them out to do my job. Standing in lines for several hours is never fun.  It’s a long drive; usually with a lot of traffic. Coming home afterwards is at night. Often the line is wrapped around the building so they are exposed to the heat or cold or whatnot. That’s why I try to limit them to one excursion a year.
Mom doesn’t have a clue who these guys are. Dad watches SyFy a lot and knows of them but he doesn’t watch their show. My parents have nothing vested in this other than the love for their FAVORITE son. Kind of makes you all choked up, huh?
Dad brought the camera and Mom got the book signed. She was about to leave as she had nothing to say.  Jason stopped her and asked how she was. Then thanked her for coming out to see them.  Then Grant piped up and told her how much they appreciated her being there.  Mom was charmed.
I’m also charmed.  Jason and Grant had already signed a ton of books. They knew there was a long line outside but they made sure to take a few seconds to say hello and say thank you.
So that’s my parent’s tale I told while it wasn’t mine to tell.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leslie Nielson

I picked up Leslie Nielson’s autograph at Chiller Theater in New Jersey a few years ago.
I remember a very old man; grandfatherly in appearance and countenance.  
He was willing to sign anything although at times you could see the confusion on his face as he signed some items; like a copy of Playboy with Priscilla Presley in it or a Dracula cape. Yes, they are connections there but it’s thin.  Who know what other things he signed?  You could tell he was more interested in signing the Forbidden Planet, Naked Gun, and the Airplane photos and DVDs.
He was obviously a fan favorite. 
At the time I was just happy to get the autograph. After a very long wait in a very long line, I just said thanks and left.
Not my normal kind of post but I just wanted to say something as he was so iconic over the last 30 years.