Friday, February 26, 2010


Go to for a clip of our new show, "Behind The Seeds with Spencer Christian"

The site is under construction so forgive me but I wanted it to be up so people could see it.


Thanks and have fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a...

...Green Springtime!

Oy...the snow.

I know..."You don't like the weather? Move!"

I wish I could.

But I can't so I should just make the best of it...right?

Snowball fights. Snowmen. Skiing. Hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.


Shovelling snow. Dirty snowbanks. Cold. Too many clothes.

But I do have to admit that the Currier and Ives of it all is a little bit of a reward. When I looked out the window this morning it was, I'll concede, very beautiful.

The evergreen branches were drooping under the weight of the snow. The yard was covered as if it had been freshly painted, hiding the brown spots.

The neighborhood was quiet and we were cozy...yes, in front of the fire, lapdog and coffee in hand and peaceful.

Dreaming of spring. The smell of the flowers and the lawn. The freshness of the air. The warmth. Just a sweater or a light jacket. The beach...

I love spring. It's my favorite season, moreso than summer. It's the perfect temperature and the bugs aren't out yet. The winter is gone and the long months of summer await.

May and then June...heaven on Earth.

But, in the spirit of generosity and optimism, I'll try to enjoy today. Today is what I have now. Right now. Tomorrow is yet to come.

Today works. Today is good.

I'm dreaming of a...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thanks A Lot Clarence!

So there I was...watching "This Week" with Jonathan Karl on ABC. He was interviewing former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Normally I would have hissed and booed and turned it off. I am not a big Cheney fan.

But, for some reason...maybe to be as informed as I can be...I watched and listened. I tried to listen with an open mind.

Karl questioned, Cheney responded. I looked everywhere for horns and flames and I looked especially closely at his ears to see if there was any smoke coming out.

I couldn't find anything. No horns, no smoke...nothing.

I listened to an apparently intelligent man talk cogently about terrorism, Obama, Guantanamo and a host of other topics.

The surprising thing was that he made sense. He wasn't offensive nor was he an angry soldier of the Right.

He was making an argument that seemed to make sense. It didn't seem that he was criticising Obama out of hand but, instead, he seemed to making his observations based on experience and a realistic and plausible point of that shouldn't be negated simply because it was coming from him...Mr. Very Low Poll Numbers Satan Incarnate himself.

Now I know that it is fashionable in Left leaning intellectual circles to deride Cheney and his friends...Palin, McConnell and McCain to name a few.

But he was making some sense to me.

But then again...maybe it was like that moment in Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life" when George Bailey is being lured by Mr. Potter to take a job worth a lot of money. George is listening and being persuaded by Potter's deference and charm.

And then all of a sudden George jumps up and declares that he doesn't have to take time to make up his mind about Potter's offer.

He knows right then and there how he feels. He rejects Potter and storms off.

Is Cheney Potter? Am I George Bailey?

I don't know. I still don't really like him but it was, and is, hard to dismiss him as a Right Wing crank with dollar signs for eyes.

The world is a frightening place. We are in trouble. We don't seem to have the answers.

But information is king and the only way out. For a brief moment I let my guard down and shelved my predeterminations and listened.

I'm just not sure what I heard.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Windbags of Change

My daughter accused me of being a windbag the other day...lovingly but nonetheless.

Guilty as charged. I can drone on when trying to impart my wisdom to her beautiful little 13 year old self. But as my wonderful wife says, "the only thing you can't give your children is wisdom."

Point taken...all I can do is try.

But the TV punditry...oh my God! They must not have daughters...or any kids at all for that matter...or loving wives or husbands.

Holy Mother of God!

I happen to admire Keith Olbermann and share a lot of his views. I happen to abhor Glush Beckbaugh and don't share many of his values...but Jeeeez!

None of these guys know when to shut up!

Mies van der Rohe:

"Less is More"

Hmmmmm....maybe our beatified political commentators can take a page from his playbook.

Maybe they can talk less and say more. Maybe they would be more persuasive if they chose their words more carefully and delivered their message in intelligent and succint ways rather than the endless blather that fills the 24/7 cycle.

But, after all, that is more the problem than the motormouths themselves. The broadcast media feels that they have to assault us with talk and vocal observation for each and every minute of the broadcast day.

Maybe some beauty shots of waterfalls or birds in flight or waves breaking over pastel shores accompanied by Mozart or Bach or Moby or even The Moody Blues. Maybe that for 15 minutes every hour.

A respite. A sensory oasis in the otherwise cacophonous day.

Maybe monkeys will fly out of my....

"Francisco Franco remains dead. Story and expert commentary at 11:00.

...and 12...and 1...and 2...and 3....and...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Happened?

When we're little we're taught that lying is no good and that we should share our toys...and we shouldn't hit each other...or we'll go to bed without supper...or if we curse we'll get our mouths washed out with soap...Ivory...not Irish Spring...

What happened between then and our adult years?

What part of the life lessons that we were taught by our parents did we not get? Why is it that, when we are "grownups", we lie, cheat, steal, abuse and generally act like idiots?

Ok...not all of us...and not all of the time...but some of us, often...and some of us always...and almost all of us sometimes...ever given another driver the finger (under the dashboard) when he cuts you off? know who you are...almost everbody.

And what about the Golden unto others as you would have them do unto you...or its' cousin (my brother-in-law's interpretation)... don't do unto others what you wouldn't want them to do to you.

Out the window.

Why is it appropriate for kids...and why do parents teach those values, when they don't "practice what they preach?"

Kid = Honesty
Adult = Lying
Kid = Love
Adult = Hate
Kid = Compassion
Adult = Selfishness
Kid = "Come over and play in my backyard"
Adult = "NIMBY"

What happened?

All I know is that we had better let the kids have a crack at the world soon or we'll all be cooked geese...

Bring on the Play Doh...!

Friday, February 5, 2010


If your around sixty and are a boy you will probably remember Matchbox trucks. Even if you're a sixty year old girl you might remember. You may have had a brother or a cousin or a friend who had them. Maybe you had them too.

Who knows. Ultimately who cares. That's not the point.

I had Matchbox trucks. It was the highlight of my little life back then. Going, with my mother, to the store where they had the carousel which, when you turned it, revealed dozens of new, very cool, very colorful Matchbox trucks.

There were cars and bulldozers and ambulances and military jeeps and convertibles and jalopies and dumptrucks.

Oh GOD!!!

It was so exciting. I could pick out one and my mother would buy it and then I was all set. It wasn't about building a collection. I didn't care about that. It was about getting it home, making a road in the dirt in the back yard (or on the rug in winter) and reducing myself to miniature and then driving the car/truck/jeep/bulldozer all around accompanied, all the while, by the appropriate sound effects.

The sound effects were critical to the quality of the moment. But, then, have you ever met a little boy who didn't puncuate every experience with the appropriate sound effects for the moment?

I was good at it too. Just the right amount of whirr and pop and scroom. Not too much. Not too little. Just the right amount. My vehicles rocked!

Matchbox trucks. I loved 'em then and I love 'em now.

I have a friend in New York who is a high powered corporate executive. He's a wonderful guy. Very successful and just plain nice.

He's an afficionado. We had lunch once where I brought the remainders of my "collection", or as Paul Giamatti's Myles says to Maia (Virginia Madsen) in the wonderful film, Sideways, referring to his wine collection...a "gathering."

We looked at my trucks with such an affection that you would have thought we were looking at a newborn child. Love and sensitivity filled our eyes. Thoughts of our youth and generations past and legacy and history and a slight melancholy at moments seemingly gone forever.

But not so...I brought my trucks out again the other day. A yellow front end loader with gray metal wheels. A red double decker London bus. A green army transport with a Red Cross symbol on it (no doubt to carry my many wounded or decapitated or amputated or bent or crushed lead soldiers...) All "Made in England by Lesney" Real Matchbox trucks. Real collector's items. Real gems!

They were brilliant and sparkly and shiny and wonderful...even though all of the brightness, sparkle and shine is long gone after 50 years. But not in my mind.

They were, and are, no less wonderful. I love them. They remind me of those precious times with my mother who is now lost to dementia. They remind me of those dear moments with my father, who is now lost to memory, who laughed at my sound effects.

And they remind me that I am still capable of being childlike...even now with a 13 year old with her own sound effects. They remind me of those wonderful minutes I spent in my the dirt of my back yard...careening around corners and up breakneck speed...crashing and spinning and delivering my imaginary loads to whatever destinations I had constructed out of twigs and rocks.

I love my Matchbox trucks.