Monday, October 31, 2011

Ramona Epic #30: The Murder of Alessandro

Happy Halloween! The time has come for the final tragedy of Ramona and Alessandro. When I was planning this series out over a year ago I knew today was going to be the day this video would come up. In my mind, since the time I started this series, there has been a countdown until this day. So here we are...

In the book, Chapter 24 starts:

"THERE was no real healing for Alessandro. His hurts had gone too
deep. His passionate heart, ever secretly brooding on the wrongs
he had borne, the hopeless outlook for his people in the future, and
most of all on the probable destitution and suffering in store for
Ramona, consumed itself as by hidden fires. Speech, complaint,
active antagonism, might have saved him; but all these were
foreign to his self-contained, reticent, repressed nature. Slowly, so
slowly that Ramona could not tell on what hour or what day her
terrible fears first changed to an even more terrible certainty, his
brain gave way, and the thing, in dread of which he had cried out
the morning they left San Pasquale, came upon him. Strangely
enough, and mercifully, now that it had really come, he did not
know it. He knew that he suddenly came to his consciousness
sometimes, and discovered himself in strange and unexplained
situations; had no recollection of what had happened for an
interval of time, longer or shorter. But he thought it was only a sort
of sickness; he did not know that during those intervals his acts
were the acts of a madman; never violent, aggressive, or harmful
to any one; never destructive. It was piteous to see how in these
intervals his delusions were always shaped by the bitterest
experiences of his life."

In the book, Alessandro returns home to Ramona with the wrong horse. He left his own horse in Jim Farrar's corral down below the mountain. Ramona questions him about this right away, and Alessandro replies that it was a mistake due to his illness. He further reasons they (Farrar and others) would see that he took the wrong horse and not think he was intentionally stealing the horse. It was too late to return the horse so he intended to do it in the morning.

Unfortunately, that is not how Jim Farrar reasoned about this. Alessandro is awakened by dogs barking, runs out the house to see what the problem is, some shots are fired, and Ramona comes out just in time to see Alessandro drop to the ground dead. Ramona calmly holds him realizing there is nothing she could do.

One thing to point out, in the play it makes sense to have a bunch of people around observing the murder and a posse that quickly goes after Farrar. That did not happen like that in the book. Ramona is all alone after the murder takes place.

In a daze, she then decides to hike during the night to the Indian village of Cahuilla. In the village of Cahuilla, she and Alessandro had friends that would help them. I should note that at this point of the story Alessandro and Ramona do have another child which is called "Ramona" at the end of the book.

When I get back to this series in a week or two I will have a few blogs that cover the real historical incident that Helen Hunt Jackson based this on.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Monsters and Strangeness 2011

I thought I would review everything I did in the past two weeks and use this blog as the hub to link to everything. I realized last year that it would be foolish to try to outdo myself this year due to everything else I have going on. So, I had a few ideas and then revived some oldies. Speaking of which...

Some years back I covered the outdoor locations of Boris Karloff's The Mummy which was filmed at Red Rock Canyon. One thing I did not get quite right was the funeral procession that takes place on a cliff edge.

Unfortunately, when I went there this last time I forgot to bring the above picture with me. So, what I have is close, but not as fine-tuned as I would like. The deal is the above picture (and maybe mine too) is an optical illusion. It looks like the background is combined with the ramp area they are walking to make it look like they are on a cliff edge. The reality is there are two separate areas that have blended in together when you take a picture like this.Time to do a re-cap of my Halloween series for this year and provide the links:

1)Alien Murder at Corriganville!?!?!: this was a follow-up to something I discovered a few years ago while I was editing my Fort Apache video. It had to do with the tv show Bones having a few scenes at Corriganville that I thought was strange enough for this Halloween season. This just goes to show you that, although it is rare, sometimes modern tv shows and movies end up at the old classic locations.

a)Alien Murder at Corriganville!?!?! Blogs

b)Alien Murder at Corriganville?! (Youtube Version)

c)Alien Murder at Corriganville?! (Vimeo Version)

2)The Bridge to Nowhere: here I did a video for an area I had been to years ago. In fact, it was one of the original locations I used for my first Halloween series. The hike is rather easy (for me at least), but the trick is you have to cross the East Fork River at least six to maybe a dozen times to get to the final destination. For this video I used two different soundtracks for it. The one on youtube has the background music, while the vimeo version has the main theme from an old 70's b-movie called Werewolves on Wheels. I like both versions, but when I originally envisioned this video a few years ago I just imagined it with the foreboding Werewolves on Wheels theme.

a)The Bridge to Nowhere Blogs (from 2006!)

b)The Bridge to Nowhere (Youtube Version)

c)The Bridge to Nowhere (Vimeo Version)

One thing I wanted to mention here is that I experienced a lot more trash this time around on the ground doing this hike. This bothers me. If for some reason you are in the area or doing this hike please consider bringing a trash bag with you to pack some of it out. It is a popular hike, this sort of thing is to be expected there, but it still troubled me to see so much trash out there.

3)Ancient Monsters: this was a bunch of blogs that took up most of the series this year. Dinosaurs are fascinating to most people, and with the new dino exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum I thought it would be a good idea to include this one this year.

a)Ancient Monsters Blogs

b)I did five videos for this that are both on youtube and vimeo. They are linked in each blog, or go down to the very bottom of this blog and click my Halloween video collection to find them.

4)The Mummy at Red Rock Canyon: of course, I have covered this before on a previous Halloween series. It was just time to create a new video for this one to replace the old lower quality one that was on the old youtube channel.

a)The Mummy at Red Rock Canyon Blogs (note: this blog is included with that so don't get confused)

b)The Mummy at Red Rock Canyon (Youtube Version)

c)The Mummy at Red Rock Canyon (Vimeo Version)

Finally, I thought I would link to my various October blogs where I had at least something a little strange for Halloween up from previous years:

October 2006

October 2008

October 2009

October 2010 (after clicking this one check out the blog archive on right side for the rest of the links. Not all the blogs fit on one page the way I have it set up...there were too many of them)

All my Halloween themed videos can be found on one of these:

The Silence of Halloween Locations (Youtube Version)

The Silent Halloween Themes (Vimeo Version)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ancient Monsters: Sea Creatures

To wrap this up I thought I would mention the two big sea dinosaurs they have at the museum. Both are hanging from the ceiling and you might have seen glimpses of them in the first blog I did for this because they are in the first room.

One is Plotosaurus which was around about 66 million years ago:The other one has a very long neck! It is a Plesiosaur called Morenosaurus. It too lived around 67-65 million year ago.

Ancient Monsters: Sea Creatures (Youtube Version)

Ancient Monsters: Sea Creatures (Vimeo Version)

Some external links:

Plotosaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Morenosarus (or Muraenosaurus) (Wikipedia Article)

L.A. Natural History Museum

On the day I did this I must have spent a few hours exploring and taking videos/pictures of all that I saw in the dino exhibit. I then spent an addition hour quickly going through the rest of the museum. I still felt there was more I could have spent additional time on. Even in the dino exhibit I felt I rushed at some points because I did not read signs they had out. There was much more I could have shown on here as well. So, at some point I will go back there, and if you are ever in Los Angeles I would suggest you do to.

The title of the song used in the video is Shamanistic from

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ancient Monsters: Air Creatures

I am just going to cover two creatures in this one, but in the video I show a few more of the airborne dinosaurs. Not everyone I show could fly, but scientists classify them together much like they classify ostrich and penguins as birds even though they do not fly.

The first one is a creature I have always been curious about. It is one that has been quite controversial as to what it actually is. It is known as Archaeopteryx:Living somewhere between 150-146 million years ago, it is theorized that it primarily used its wings to glide from trees and not fly like we think of modern birds doing. It was one of the first dinosaurs to have feathers.Right of Archaepteryx is the Velociraptor which lived somewhere between 75-65 million years ago. Got to love those claws:The Velociraptor is well known from being portrayed in the movie Jurassic Park. However, one thing they lacked in the movie that they had while they existed was feathers. However, we do know they were fierce fighting creatures like that movie! Check out the link down below for more on that. Here there are in the exhibit side by side with another bird-like dinosaur.

In the video I also show a few others like the popular Pteranodon.

Ancient Monsters: Air Creatures (Youtube Version)

Ancient Monsters: Air Creatures (Vimeo Version)

Two links:

Archaeopterxy (Wikipedia Article)

Velociraptor (Wikipedia Article)

Velociraptor vs. Protoceratops (Fossils Captured in Combat!)

The title of the music used is called Spacial Winds by

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ancient Monsters: Stegosaurus and Allosaurus

After the T-Rex area one can turn around and encounter two other dinosaurs. One is Stegosaurus from the late Jurassic period: 155-150 million years ago:

Right next to Stegosaurus is Allosaurus that lived at the same time:From above:In the video I show a few other things. One is this exhibit about dinosaur sounds and Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus. I mentioned last time no one knows what dinosaurs sounded like, but scientists think they have some ideas about these two creatures. This has to do with the way the "horns" on their heads were shaped. Watch the video for the computer simulation at the end about this.
Ancient Monsters: Stegosaurus and Allosaurus (Youtube Version)

Ancient Monsters: Stegosaurus and Allosaurus (Vimeo Version)

A few external links:

Stegosaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Allosaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Corythosaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Parasaurolophus (Wikipedia Article)

The L.A. Natural History Museum

The titles of the music used in the video are called Aftermath and Unnatural Situation from

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ancient Monsters: T-Rex

The next part of the exhibit is the main hall where the T-Rex's and a few other dinosaurs are. Let me hit some of the highlights in this blog. I continue it in the next one.

The first one you see is that of Camptosaurus. This dinosaur lived in the late Jurassic period. Somewhere around 160-145 million years ago. Right next to the above dinosaur is Carnotaurus. He has bull-like horns on top of his head. Carnotaurus lived in the late Cretaceous about 75 million years ago.The above two are cool, but the dinosaur I was very curious about was the Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the exhibit. They have a bunch, but the main one I wanted to focus on is the one they call "Thomas". He is the star of the whole exhibit and is one of the most complete T-Rex fossils in existence. Here is his skull: A different angle through the glass case they have the skull in.What it looks like they did is they keep the skull separate from the rest of his body for this exhibit. So, what you see in the next picture is a fossilized model attached the real fossilized body.They have a few T-Rex's in the middle of the main exhibit hall to show you the sizes of them compared to the ages they think they were. It goes from about two years of age to roughly around 17 years of age when it comes to "Thomas". This one is supposed to be around 14 years old.This is "Thomas" standing over the one that is supposed to be around two years old:Another view of "Thomas". He was found in Montana and lived roughly around 67-65 million years ago.

Ancient Monsters: T-Rex (Youtube Version)

Ancient Monsters: T-Rex (Vimeo Version)

A few links for you. There are enough books out there on dinosaurs that I should not do this. However, if you want a quick reference then these Wikipedia articles should get you started:

Camptosaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Carnotaurus (Wikipedia Article)

Tyrannosaurus Rex (Wikipedia Article)

The L.A. Natural History Museum

I put this in my video notes, but I should do it here too:

1)Most of the dates I give are very broad based on a few local library and online sources. I just wanted to get the periods they lived right. So, if you are a hardcore dinosaur person, and I am not as precise as you would like, then sorry. ;)

2)No one knows what these creatures actually sounded like. The sounds are just used for artistic effect.

The titles of the music used are Deep Noise, Blue Sizzle, and Interloper from songs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ancient Monsters: Triceratops and Mamenchisaurus

This blog begins a series of blogs about my most recent visit to the L.A. Natural History Museum. It had probably been a good 15 years since I was last there. What brought me back is the new dinosaur exhibit they opened during the summer.

Since we are getting close to the day when little monsters will be wandering around at night I thought now would be a good idea to share this. Even though these creatures are not the traditional ones you think about during Halloween, I am considering this part of this years Halloween Monsters and Strangeness series.

One thing that I remember about this new exhibit is that it opened on the weekend of July 16, and that was when the infamous Carmageddon situation regarding the closing of part of the 405 freeway. Everyone was told to stay home, and nothing really happened that weekend. However, I remember seeing people on the news say that whoever thought of opening this new exhibit probably did not think it through. As it was, it did not really matter as many people showed up there. I did not go because I did not want to get stuck on the freeway. ;) So, I went at a later time.

As soon as you enter the new exhibit you get to see a favorite dinosaur of many: Triceratops. Roughly around 68-65 million years ago this creature was running around. With this particular reconstruction you are seeing four different animal specimens combined into one. It is very rare to get a complete animal fossil set. So, what you see at this exhibit is usually either a few real fossils combined with a model, a lot of real fossils combined with model, or just a model itself just to illustrate what the dinosaur would have looked like. They have signs that indicate which parts of the dinosaur are the original real fossils and which are just part of a reconstructed model.
This right leg and foot were found on a dig in southeastern Montana. The skull was also found at the same dig and is part of the same animal. The other fossils you see that were used to make up this composite were found at three other spots in either southeastern Montana or northeastern Wyoming.Another look at the Triceratops (aka the three-horned face). This creature would have been living just east of the Rockies in a warm area that would have had lots of plants to eat.Now if you look at the above picture there is a tall and long necked dinosaur in the background. This is Mamenchisaurus. This one lived around 160-145 million years ago. It was a plant eater, and fossils of this animal are known to be found in China.This particular fossil specimen was the hardest to get into a picture or video of because it is just so long. Check out that neck:

Ancient Monsters: Triceratops and Mamenchisaurus (Youtube Version)

Ancient Monsters: Triceratops and Mamenchisaurus (Vimeo Version)

As I do this I will list a few links, but as you would guess there is so much out there on dinosaurs that I really do not think I have to do this. When I was preparing the videos for this one I just spent some time at a local library along with what they had at the museum.

Triceratops (Wiki Article)

Mamenchisaurus (Wiki Article)

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum (Official Site)

For this series I referred to a couple of sources at the library along with a few things online, but my basic reference was the book Dinofile by Richard Moody.

The title of the music used is the video is Invariance from

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ramona Epic #29: Eyes of the Sky is Dead!

What started in the last video in the story is confirmed in this one. Another tragedy for Ramona and Alessandro...

It seems liked we just blessed Eyes of the Sky. The book explains further that the problem is the doctor could have, but did not travel the distance to help their daughter.

Alessandro has been really tortured about all of this. The death of the members of his family, the wandering from one place to another without a permanent home, and the death of his daughter has started to cause him to lose it mentally.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ramona Epic #28: Alessandro!

During this scene the mic was going in and out on one of the actors, but you should be able to follow what is happening:

Ramona Epic #28: Alessandro (Vimeo Version)

To sum up, something is wrong with Eyes in the Sky and Alessandro gets told about the man harrassing his wife. The next video should be up by tomrrow on this.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alien Murder at Corriganville!?!?! (Corriganville Series)

Well, here we are again at that time of the year where I live, that the days start to get darker earlier, strange monsters start to appear, and the locations start to get spooky looking. Usually, I try to spend the whole month of October reading Halloween stories, and watching a few old and new Halloween themed movies. Due to the overall crazyness of my life right now I am just now getting into my Halloween mood. I have two weeks for the fun and I intend to use them.

In the past, if all goes well in October, I like to put up my version of Halloween fun. Normally, the locations are not really scary, but just a little unusual or weird. I think last year was the highpoint of me doing this, and I realized it would be very difficult to outdo what I did last year. Also, I knew last year that October was going to be a VERY CRITICAL part of my presentation of my Ramona series which will still be going on as I do this.

So, what I am doing this time around is adding some new things, but also reviving some of my old classics. There are a couple that I am doing that are just videos with no need for a new blog since I did them some years back. So, if you care about those then check my video channels for the next two weeks, but I should have a summary blog up around the day before Halloween with links to everything I have done for this year. In any case, I am going to refer to this series with the tag of Halloween Monsters and Strangeness 2011. It won't be too traditional, but I think you will see it all fits.

In this blog I going into more detail over something I discovered a few years ago during the time I was editing my Fort Apache video. At that time, the tv show Bones had an episode called The X in the File that I noticed had the Fort Apache portion of Corriganville in the episode. I do not really watch this tv show, but was intrigued that a modern tv show would use this location. So, not too long ago, I decided to go back and figure out what they did.

I will link my original blog about this at the bottom, but the reason I am using this one as part of this years Halloween series is because the investigators appear to have found a dead alien! Then they think it could have been murdered!

At the start they show one of the investigators come around from the northern side (which I noted in the previous blog on this). He greets a police officer near these rocks.Something like this:As the two investigators try to figure out what happened to this "murdered alien" a lady shows up with her shotgun telling them they are trespassing on her property. The police officer tells her to put the gun down since it is official law enforcement business.My picture is not exact, but you should be able to see most of the same rocks.The camera shows a different angle.Close enough for our purposes. The "murdered alien" would have been have been lying over the bottom rock.Later on in the episode they come back to this rock formation and give you a different look:These are those rocks. I always remember that rock to the left because it reminds me of a tatooed side-face on the rock.This episode was in the season 5 of Bones. So, if you are curious about this episode then you need to watch it as a re-run on tv, find the dvd of this episode, or purchase it from Amazon down below. Note the amazon preview trailer linked below shows up some of footage of the same area when some guys encounter the "alien body" at night for the first time.

Alien Murder at Corriganville (Youtube Version)

Alien Murder at Corriganville (Vimeo Version)

Previous blog on this X in the File episode

IMDB reference to this episode (check out the picture they have)

At this time you can also find the episode preview and purchase it to watch here on

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ramona Epic #26: Aunt Ri

Now we get to the an important character at the end of the novel, but only has this appearance in the play.

In this scene, you get to see some of Aunt Ri's concerns about the U.S. policy towards the Indians. In the novel, she ends up confronting the Indian agent bureaucrat in the story in an attempt to complain about the U.S. policy. It is thought by many that Aunt Ri represents Helen Hunt Jackson herself. In other words, this is Ms. Jackson as her viewpoints come out through this character.

Although the character is interesting, one thing Ms. Jackson did was give her an accent in the novel that is difficult, for me, to read through. Near the end of the novel many pages are written in this phonetic-type of "hillbilly" english. I read the novel rather quickly, but during the long conversations with this character near the end I really slowed down. So, I did not enjoy it as much, but she may have done this on purpose to force one to read it slowly to make sure her points were hammered home.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ramona Epic #25: Enter Jim Farrar

The real villain of the story appears:

Ramona Epic #25: Enter Jim Farrar (Vimeo Version)

The character of Ysidro is a cousin of Alessandro. As seen in the video, he did have a paper for his property, but that was signed under Mexican rule and the current U.S. paperwork needed is what Farrar had. You get the idea of the type of personality Farrar has with this video.