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November 9, 2019:

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO HAINESHISWAY.COM

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, on November 9, 2001 an event of such great importance happened that the online world would never be quite the same.  On that day those many years ago, this here website and these here notes premiered.  Some would call these here notes a blog, but of course those in the know frequently call the notes a slog or a bog or that they cause them to be agog and in a fog.  That very first week, I did not write the notes on that weekend, but beginning on that following Monday, I have never missed a single day of writing these here notes.  Not a day goes by, not a single day, without these here notes, and that makes us the longest-running daily blog in the history of the Internet.  Some have looked askance and refused to believe that astonishing statistic that should but us in the Guiness Book of World Records, but they are wrong and can never provide proof of anything that’s been a daily blog without interruption, every single day, for this long.  And going into our nineteenth year I think I can say without fear of contradiction that soon we will be the most popular site on all the Internet.

Some of our dear readers have been here since the beginning, which is amazing.  We’ve gotten through births, deaths, illnesses, and we’ve weathered that which came after us (I’m looking at you, Facebook).  Some have chosen to make Facebook their homes and don’t come here anymore, and that’s fine for them if it makes them happy.  Some have left because of disagreements or politics, but in the end,  this is, I like to think, a happy and safe place, a close-knit group of disparate and wonderful folks.

From the very beginning, for reasons I cannot fathom, this here site became very popular with the populace.  There really weren’t many places like this in 2001 and let us remember and thank Donald Feltham, who’s been here from the start with his fabulous The Broadway Radio Show, which has thousands of fans all over the world.  I’m always amazed when I get e-mails from people who write to ask about something in the notes, or to say hello, or whatever, and that happens a lot.  I’m also amazed that my occasional rants somehow reach the eyes of those I’m ranting about (“Hey, I read your blog today” – really?), so I have learned to be more circumspect than I used to be.  So, people come, people go, like Grand Hotel, and to paraphrase my close personal friend, Mr. Stephen Sondheim, we’re still here.

The stats here have always boggled my already boggled mind.  Going into our nineteenth year, we’ve had 1,271,055 postings on our discussion board as of this moment (and remember, the discussion board as we know it wasn’t there at the beginning – I believe the board as we know it happened a year or so in).  Our average views per day on our board is close to 20,000.  That’s an average.  The most postings we’ve had in a single day is 2,062 in our glory days when people actually watched the Oscars – that was back in 2007.  The most views of a topic on the board in a single day is 86,626 – that was in 2007 as well, and just three weeks prior to that Oscarcast.  Our total page views in 2019 thus far – and this is the most mind-boggling of all – 12,792,125, which is already a record-setter and two million more than any previous year.  Several years ago, after the site got a new design and a ton of updating, I invited critic Rob Stevens to have this be his home for his reviews – that’s his very own corner of the site, which I have nothing to do with, but we’re happy he’s here and reviewing.

Finally, this here site was born out of great turmoil and pain – most of you know that story.  While I began these here notes to combat what was being done and all the falsehoods being spread, we became so much more so fast, which was a good thing.  And while the entity that caused the turmoil and pain is long gone, we, to paraphrase my close personal friend, Mr. Stephen Sondheim, are still here.  Math is not my strong suit, but the average notes are usually three typed single-spaced pages in Word.  Sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more.  So, I suspect I have written more than 19,000 pages of notes.  It really does boggle the mind, doesn’t it?

I began this here site two weeks after I finished my first novel, Benjamin Kritzer, so you dear readers have been here for all of the nineteen books I’ve written so far.  In any case, here’s how we began on that very first day of notes:

Well, hello dear readers, and welcome to Haines His Way, the official website for my friend Guy Haines. Do you know that if you hit the wrong letter when you type Guy Haines you get Buy Haines? Just asking. I am very flattered indeed to have been asked to keep a daily journal here on the Guy Haines website. I used to have weekly notes elsewhere, but those notes disappeared into the ether, hence we now have new notes, or bk’s notes II, the sequel. So, now I shall have daily notes right here at Haineshisway.com. Well, perhaps not daily notes, perhaps every other day notes, or bi-weekly notes, or whatever suits my fancy. 

Oh, it is a time of sweeping change, dear readers. For example, I just emptied all the coins out of my pocket and swept them. I love sweeping change and I recommend it to everyone with a preponderance of coins. 

As you all are probably aware, there have been many events happening in my life. I’m not quite prepared to talk about them, however. Not quite yet. So, for now, I’d like to review one of my favorite movies, which has a wonderful special edition on DVD. Here is my review of Jaws.

Jaws is an excellent motion picture. It is about sharks. I hate sharks and this film teaches us that they can come from nowhere and bite you in your butt cheeks. Sharks are merciless creatures, eating machines, and you must avoid them at all costs, or so the movie would lead you to believe. Sharks are out for blood. There is really no reason for it, Robert Shaw says, it’s just in their nature. However, we learn by the end of the film that even though sharks attack over and over, you can survive by blowing them up. This is exactly what Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider do in Jaws, which, by the way, is about sharks. Steven Spielberg directed Jaws quite brilliantly – he really gets you to thinking how scary sharks are. Interestingly, the mechanical shark used in the making of the film was named Bruce. Mechanical sharks are not as scary as real sharks. A real shark would never be named Bruce. Perhaps we should have a contest and you readers could submit names you think would be good names for sharks. A must-see film, I rate it four stars (out of four stars). Next time I’ll be reviewing another great film: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, which has one of my favorite Hitchcockian scenes in it – the one in the bazaar where the guy gets stabbed in the back. I love that scene.

Yes, that’s how we began. In any case, happy anniversary to haineshisway.com and all its dear readers and its many lurkers.  Let us drink a toast to us.  Now wait just a darned minute – I just made some toast and tried to drink it – it was weird.

Yesterday was a ME day. I slept until noon, a total of nine hours of needed sleep.  Once up, I was quite lazy and just did the usual morning things even though it was the afternoon.  I went and picked up one little package and an important envelope, I did some banking, then came home.

I made some faux chicken stroganoff over bow tie pasta and ate it all up – it was very good.  Then I listened to music and did a few things on the computer.  Finally, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching The Fearless Vampire Killers, a film of Roman Polanski.  While the film looks great and has fun performances, it’s never been one of my favorites, but this excellent new transfer made me enjoy it more than I have before.  And a few of the set pieces really are great.

Then I watched a new Blu-ray of a 1957 film entitled Time Without Pity, starring Michael Redgrave, Alec MacGowen, Ann Todd, and Leo McKern, based on an Emlyn Williams play (with no credit to Mr. Williams in the main titles or anywhere else).  It was directed by Joseph Losey in the UK (he’d been blacklisted in the US).  All the Losey lovers and auteurists excuse everything about Losey’s lesser films, but since I am neither lover or auteurist, I don’t have to.  The writing by Ben Barzman (also blacklisted) is pretty terrible throughout.  Mr. Redgrave gives a great performance despite the bad writing, Alec MacGowen is fine in his first scene, but then the writing overcomes him and he has no chance in his second scene, and poor Leo McKern is so over the top it’s just laughable – credit writer and director for that one.  The photography is good (Freddie Francis), but the score by Tristram Cary is as bad as the writing.  Transfer is fine.  Can’t really recommend this to anyone but diehard Michael Redgrave fans, of which I’m one.

After that, I shaved so I don’t have to this morning, and then listened to more music.

Today, I must be up by eight-thirty, for she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early as well as early and bright.  I’ll mosey on over to the theater for our ten to two rehearsal.  After that, I may decide to have pizza at Dino’s for my meal o’ the day.  Then I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, come home, and relax and watch more motion pictures.

Tomorrow, it’s another ten to two rehearsal.  We’re off on Monday, and then we do six rehearsals in a row, which will be great.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up early, have a rehearsal, maybe have pizza, hopefully pick up packages, and then relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: Your favorite haineshisway.com memories and how and when you got here.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, as we enter the nineteenth year of haineshisway.com – happy anniversary to us!

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