I found myself reminded of this old tune circa 1983 from the episode of Fraggle Rock that Christopher got to watch after eating lunch today, and it amuses me how whenever I watch these older Muppet works like Fraggle Rock or The Muppet Show or even the classic episodes of Sesame Street just how much Jim Henson himself bled through the characters that he played – with this one, it’s almost hard not to picture Jim himself playing that magical flute down in the Fraggle caves, singing his song of songs to anyone who cared to listen.

In fact, you can actually see some fun pictures of Jim posing and performing this character (Cantus the Minstrel) over on the Muppet Wiki!

The other day I was posed with the challenge of naming who my creative mentors would be if I were to gather them all around a table for their advice and wisdom, and though I’m probably going to write about the exercise later in greater detail because I really found it to be pretty interesting, I’ve got to say that at the time the very first person to pop into my mind was none other than Jim Henson. And I’m not entirely sure why, but what I’ve pieced together so far is that even though I’m not necessarily precisely where I’d like to be in my writing career at this point in my life, I can say that I’m trying to get there by embracing in these things that I’m the most passionate about and you don’t have to watch more than a couple of minutes of any Muppet act to know without a shadow of a doubt that Jim Henson lived creatively by doing exactly that.

It’s also interesting – and admittedly a bit relieving – to note that as epic as those regrettably short, last twenty years of his life were, looking at Jim Henson’s career, some of my absolute favorite things to come from the legend actually didn’t come to be until later on in his life:

  • Sesame Street first aired in 1969, when Jim was 33 years old
  • The Muppet Show first took roots in 1976 (40 years old)
  • The Muppet Movie hit theaters in 1979 (43 years old)
  • Fraggle Rock first aired on HBO in 1983 (47 years old)
  • And probably my personal favorite – A Muppet Family Christmas – was released in 1987 when Jim was 51 years old (only two years before his death)

I bring this up simply because lately it’s been easy to sort of look around and panic when I see that I’m 34 years old and I’m not exactly where I want to be in life, but I try to think of a guy like Jim Henson – one of my creative mentors – and not only acknowledge that some of his best works came far later in his life, but also – and more importantly – that frankly it’s hard not to look back at any of these moments in his career and not see just a happy, bubbly guy having the time of his life creating these bizarrely charming stories about wandering minstrels and strange, little creatures living just out of sight, and it kind of makes me stop and question my priorities and whether I should really be beating myself up for not being farther in life than I would like instead of simply living in the moment and enjoying every last step of the process along the way.

Hmmm. 🙂

Louis CK on Gay People

March 30, 2015 4:46pm
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I think this glorious video sums up everything that I could ever possibly say about gay people.

I think “How am I supposed to explain to my kid?” is my all-time favorite Louis CK quote. 😉

Up close and personal with flowing lava…

March 15, 2015 12:17pm
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This is kind of amazing – talk about the type of video that I’d like to watch in 4k! One of these days I’d love to see a volcano up close like this, assuming it’s possible for me to do so without getting burned into oblivion… 😉

Life is like a hurricane…

February 25, 2015 11:32am
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Woo-Hoo! A New DuckTales is Coming to Disney XD in 2017!
https://d23.com/woo-hoo-new-ducktales-coming-disney-xd-2017/

Yay – something new to watch with Christopher besides Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Muppet Show!!!

For celebratory sing-along purposes…  😉

Soarin’ Over Springfield!

January 19, 2015 7:51pm
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This is great! 🙂

Making The Lego Movie

January 13, 2015 10:30am
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Is it bad that I still haven’t actually seen this thing?!

Regardless, I did watch this 4:11 behind the scenes movie showing how they rendered the whole thing and it was pretty awesome! What I’ve seen of the movie looks fantastic visually and judging from the number of sets that they’ve released (several of which I do have), it seems like it was an obvious win for Lego to bridge film and merchandise.

I think it’s actually even on HBO or something now, so I suppose I really should just find an evening to get caught up with the rest of the world before the next one is already at our doorstep… 😛

I clearly live in the wrong neighborhood! 😛

Sierra Memories

December 6, 2014 12:05am
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I stumbled across this award show for video games tonight via a random tweet that somebody else posted – I really have no idea what the rest of the show covered, but it was neat to see these two veritable icons from my childhood get some recognition as vanguards in the video game industry some thirty years after their prime.

One of the earliest computer games that I ever played was a little text adventure called Mission Asteroid – despite it’s numbering, it was actually the third game that Sierra created for the Apple II. It was before I even had a Nintendo, so I must’ve only been six or seven at the time – I remember having to keep a notebook by the computer so that I could write down the various commands that worked as I progressed through the story! I don’t think that I ever actually made it to the asteroid – I could never seem to get the rocket to take off, but it sure was a fascinating experience to me and no doubt helped to spark a lifelong love for video games at large…

From there I played the same classics that everybody else played – King’s Quest, Space Quest, and when my parents weren’t around, Leisure Suit Larry! I was a HUGE Sierra fan, arguably almost a collector at my age because I would get their magazine that would have the Buy 1 Get 2 Free offers and end up ordering 6 or 9 games at a time until I literally had shelves of their game boxes in my room … the Hoyle games, the 3D Ultra games, you name it.

I remember playing Shivers for hours and hours before I could even figure out what I was supposed to be doing, though granted this was long before my need to watch scary movies with every light on in the house!

I also remember Phantasmagoria being something really special because this was around the time when Myst and other CD-based games just started to emerge, and it was kind of crazy to hold in your hands a game that required seven CD-roms to play!!!

Anyways, now that Ken and Roberta are well into retirement, I mostly read along in envy with their adventures in yachting on Ken’s Blog, it’s pretty awesome to see these two recognized as the pioneers in adventure gaming that they are, not to mention their little ceremonial passing of the torch to the crew that’s working on the next King’s Quest game.

Kinda makes me want to dig out some of those old game discs and spend a night exploring with Graham and Roger and Larry for old time’s sake… 😉

This is awesome!!!

November 28, 2014 5:32pm
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marc_summers

I’m not normally one to try and get celebrities’ attention online or anything, but apparently yesterday I got an @reply from Marc Summers on Twitter for Thanksgiving! Neat!!!  :mrgreen:

Famous Films in Lego!

October 20, 2014 12:59pm
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This is cool – I particularly liked Singin’ in the Rain and Wayne’s World! 🙂

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