Celebrating Conrad Janis

Hi Zeitgeisters,

Conrad Janis is best known the world over for the role of bald, bow-tie wearing, Fred McConnell (Mindy’s father) in the worldwide hit sitcom MORK AND MINDY (1978-82). He has appeared in numerous other television series over the years such as DIAGNOSIS MURDER and FRASIER and is also a well-regarded jazz trombonist (Why not search for his music on the ‘net? Buy it, if you’re into jazz or tromboning.)

Conrad’s Fred McConnell was given very few truly comic lines and in episode after episode was encouraged to blast through these with the sarcasm dialled up high (think Darren 2 from BEWITCHED). But despite all this he made an important contribution to the show. This became evident after Fred was removed from the series for all of season 2. He was returned from season 3.

Conrad Janis celebrated his 78th birthday a week ago (11th February) so let us celebrate his Fredness and his jazz stylings.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Shoes Life

Hail Zeitgeisters,

Sometimes bad shows will throw up good lines. I was watching a new episode of LAS VEGAS on the Free-2-Air. Don’t know why. I have no excuses. Was it some fugitive Cheryl Ladd infatuation left over from my 70s boyhood? Nope. My favourite Charlie’s Angel was Tanya Roberts.

Did I think James Caan was going to rediscover his KILLER ELITE persona and whip out some pumping semi-automatic PECKINPAH-style firearm action and shoot everyone down? Nope. This blog doesn’t condone such shenanigans no-how.

I had no good reason apart from sheer potato-couchiness for not flipping the channel to discover a gem of broadcasting that would expand my mind as it cleaned my insides.

Thus I was stayed there slack-jawed with incipient moronic drool as the characters of Danny McCoy and Mike Cannon (love those names) decided who should enter the hotel suite of scary new casino boss Monica Mancuso. Danny is Mike’s superior and Mike kept coming up with pathetic reasons why Danny was the more appropriate choice to go through the door until Danny said, “Are you trying to pull lower rank on me?”

I think I might have attempted something similar in my working life before. Except not in a Vegas or casino-style environment. Although like Cannon and McCoy, I do have a cool name (ie Mr Trivia).


Everyone (that is to say no-one), has been asking about my band “To Be Continued”. After doing a little more research on Imelda Marcos, the First Lady of Phillipines’ former dictator the late Ferdinand Marcos, I was reminded of how crap they both were. So I’m scrapping all references to her and her shoe fetish (see earlier February Posts) and am searching for a new title for the album and a new cover image.

Meanwhile here are some lines I penned moments ago for a song from the new untitled album. I think I’ll call it SAD ABOUT SADNESS


Tears well in my eyes
They fill a well with water
I remember every flower
And icy Coke I bought her.

Grief rises in my heart
I don’t think I can hack it
I remember words of love
Over a burger packet


Sad, sad, unhappy about sadness.
Sad, sad, unhappy about sadness.
Always sad, sad, sad in my sadness.
Never glad or happy about sadness.

It’s a work in progress, friends. I’ll bring you more as I write. One shouldn’t rush these things, though.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Poker Playing Dogs

Hail Zeitgeisters,

I have been literally swamped by people asking me what Poker Playing Dogs? since the last post.Okay, no one has asked me about them at all.But in case you were thinking about asking, here’s the deal.

The Poker Playing Dogs, as we usually think of them, were apparently painted as calendar art by CM Coolidge in the U.S. in the 1920s. The most famous of these is “A Friend In Need” (pictured).

If you wish to know more, then Google it, my friend, like I did.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

Stone Cold Art

Hail Zeitgeisters,

Cast your mind back to the last time you read Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung (the so-called “Little Red Book”).

Mao wrote the following: “The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man’s will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, sooner or later revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph.”Continue reading →

Issue A Denial

Hi Zeitgeisters,

Just saw a movie on the old free-to-air telly (if I call it that, people think I have cable) called PLAYING BY HEART. It asked me to believe that Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands were the parents of three daughters, Madeleine Stowe, Gillian Anderson and Angelina Jolie. And these daughters hooked up with Denis Quaid, Jon Stewart and Ryan Philippe respectively. I couldn’t accept this all-star family for even a nano-second. I can barely believe those people comfortably getting through the entrée at a dinner party.Continue reading →

Hail to Thee

Just flying through, Zeitgeisters, on my way to empty out my storage locker down at the Koala Facility in O’Connor. (Will I get my $90 Australian back?). The locker is empty, the only thing of mine down there, is the padlock I bought to keep people from wandering inside to check out the dusty concrete floor.

Still, locking things is MOST important. If we forget that, we descend to living like lemurs or baboons. And I’m not talking cute, anthropomorphic, Disney-esque primates either (Think: LION KING, then forget it and the Elton John soundtrack).

Time only to say Hail to Thee. I’m new here as you can see. Don’t have anything much deeper to offer than greetings or salutations at the moment. Or maybe ever…

I, like many of us in the Blogosphere often have sweet F— A– to say, but I think saying it with style is a statement in itself. As Paris Hilton might utter, “That’s Hot”. Apparently that’s her trademark phrase.

Those of you who recall hearing those two and half words before Ms Hilton “trademarked” them should really have put your money down first, eh? Easy enough to invent the light bulb after Edison showed us how. Or to quote Homer Simpson: “I don’t know, Herb, why don’t you take an existing invention and put a clock in it?”

Which is to say, Invention is difficult; Re-invention is easier and Plagiarism is easiest of all.

Shoot! My time is almost up. Just like to highlight the following; the remade movie Rollerball is on free-to-air telly in Perth tonite. Chris Klein and LL Cool J, together again for the first time! Those suits sure know how to cast a picture!

I’d like to end with some words I heard last night while watching the Grammys telecast. I was washing dishes at the time so I don’t have every nuance, but bear with me.

Jay Z and Linkin Park won a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy for their Numb/Encore mash-up. Apparently it came together in a beautifully organic fashion when MTV went to Jay Z and suggested he find someone to a mash-up with. The commercially shrewd and million-selling Jay Z chose the million-selling Linkin Park as the partner for this arranged marriage. Exciting, no?

The Linkin Park guy (don’t know his name – my back was to the TV) ended by thanking, “Everyone in the management and legal teams that made this record happen – because it was nightmare.”

Ah, musicians complaining about the legal logistics of creating an award-winning hit recording. It’s like the rough and ready days of Punk are back! or not.

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia