Five Films To Watch To Put You In The Holiday Spirit

Many different forms of Christmas movies have been created with the intention of stimulating the full and vivid cornucopia of memories the season can easily conjure. From sappy romantic comedies to straight up horror, there are many ways to make a good and proper Christmas flick. The best ones often create a magical fantasy world that encompasses the complete holiday spirit and these movies are no different. Here are five films to watch to put you in the holiday spirit.

1. Krampus

Although this is technically a horror movie, Krampus has all the components for a long lasting must-watch Christmas film. Max, a big-hearted young boy with pure Christmas spirit, has to deal with his dysfunctional family and being bullied by his tom-boy cousins. When his anger causes him to lose his holiday spirit, he tears up a note to Santa and hurls it out the window. The ancient European folklore warns of a horned beast who terrorizes naughty children who lack the festive spirit and Max’s discarded note unleashes the full force of Krampus and his goons. Now they must stick together if they are to survive.

2. Home Alone

This classic comedy about 8 year old Kevin McCallister, who is accidentally left in the attic after his parents and large family leave for a trip to Paris, is one of the quintessential holiday movies. Kevin awakens to find his entire family gone- a wish of his come true. He enjoys being the man of the house until two burglars who plan to rob his home, threaten the festivities. Using his wits and booby trapping skills, Kevin must fight off the greedy and goofy crooks, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, before he loses more than just his holiday spirit.

3. A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story has become a cult favorite for the season. The movie tells the story of Ralphie Parker, an awkward boy who has to contend with school bullies, his parents, and his waning enthusiasm for the season. With a strong desire to achieve his ultimate goal, receiving an Red Ryder air rifle from Santa, Ralphie strives to make it to Christmas day without accidentally shooting his eye out or crushing his dreams.

4. Elf

Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human who was brought to the North Pole as a toddler and raised by Santa’s elves. Overtime, Buddy begins to sense that he is different from his elvin brothers and sisters and he eventually embarks on a journey to New York City to find his real father- a morally bankrupt businessman named Walter Hobbs. After much fuss and a DNA test, Buddy and Walter attempt to rekindle their father/son relationship with disastrous effects.

5. Die Hard

This action movie tells the story of John McClaine, an off duty police officer who is visiting his estranged wife during a company Christmas shindig in a large and fancy high rise building- the headquarters of the company. When a gang of terrorists hijack the building and take hostages, John realizes he is all that stands in the way of the terrorists and is his wife’s only hope for survival.

Watch any of these great five movies to get into the spirit this holiday season.

Advantages of Listening to Radio Stations

The radio is an extremely handy device for listening to music and entertainment wherever you go. It is a small device that catches radio frequency which is a different bandwidth than the ones we use for mobile or satellite communication. Radios are widely seen installed in many other devices as a collaborated part. All mp3 players have the ability to turn on the radio. The computer, the internet and even your mobile phone has the capacity. Radio is a favorite amongst many and can be found in almost every household. Even the regular music players have the radio facility. The radio has been known to be used by almost all the populous in any given area. Every city has its own radio channel and citizens from around the world have a radio station and radio jockey they love and identify most with.

Radio has many advantages attached to it which makes it so much more popular. Every city in the world has a radio station which is tailored for their people. Radio is actually a radio frequency that we transmitted onto a device. This device is very small and extremely portable. It is inexpensive and does not take up too much space or weigh you down. Most of the times people who listen to radio, prefer it over other music option because it is a more fun experience. They do not have to make a playlist of their own or have to worry about changing the songs. The radio jockey on the other side does this for you. In case there is a song you don’t like in particular, all you have to do is change the radio channel or station. There is no hard and fast rule of you having to stick to one. Radios always have a very catchy playlist and have the newer tracks on their lists. Sometimes radios are the first ones to have access to some tracks, even before music stores get them.

The playlists are not monotonous, as they would be if you were to make a list of your own. Apart from this radio channels also make certain announcements and advertisements which make people aware of the cities on goings. Radio channels also give you a brief news section. Some radio channels have a news break where they tell you the headlines and the day’s happenings. Sometimes when on long drives, you may feel alone and lonely. However the radio jockey will always be there chatting away to you on the other side and make you feel comforted and not so uneasy. Radio channels also have quizzes and competitions which give away free prizes for audience participation. They organize interviews with celebrities and are able to bring you all the entertainment news and gossip. They review movies and tell you of all yap coming events of the day.

If there has been n accident the radio will be able to tell you how to avoid that road by giving you prior information. Sometimes Radio stations also give you a time update. if you are not wearing a watch or need to change the time on your system all you have to do is listen in to the radio and it will give you a detailed time update!

For all these reasons people like to listen to the radio!

Of Bluegrass and Barbers

Where else but in Bristol, Virginia, the birthplace of country music, would you find a fiddling barber? Where else would you find a barber often featured in Jim Scancarelli’s comic strip “Gasoline Alley”? In what other barber shop in America can you find a barber with over 50 years’ experience in both cutting hair and making bluegrass music?

Every Thursday morning, a group of some of the most talented musicians this side of Nashville gather amid the Vitalis, Osage Rub, and Pinaud Clubman Talc to give Star Barber Shop patrons a free concert. They even take requests.

Gene Boyd began the Star Barber Shop business in 1950, and his relationship with music goes back even farther. He began playing bluegrass around age 10 and performed with such local groups as the Holston Valley Gang, the Boys from Hickory Tree and Leon Kiser and the Holston Mountain Boys. Mr. Boyd has performed with Bill Monroe, Jim and Jessee and Roni Stoneman. Fellow Bristolian Ernie Ford was a disc jockey when Mr. Boyd played bluegrass on the radio. Mr. Boyd was awarded a BCMA Lifetime Achievement Award by the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance in 1998. He also appears in an English film company video titled “Crawdaddy-from Bristol to Bristol.”

Music provides a strong bond between the musicians who frequent the Star Barber Shop and their families. On the Thursday morning that I visited the shop, one guitar player’s daughter had accompanied him to the shop and proudly declared to me, “That’s my daddy!”

Another Star Barber Shop regular player showed me a guitar that had been handmade by his son. The guitar featured beautifully inlaid tiny mosaic tiles around the base and down the neck.

“Does he do that for a living?” I asked.

The man laughed. “Nah. He works at Eastman.”

Mr. Boyd’s own fiddle is a lovely piece of his own craftsmanship. The only place some of the cherry finish has worn thin is where Mr. Boyd’s left hand holds the neck. This is a fiddle that has been played often and with a great deal of love and respect for the instrument and for the music it emits.

If you’re ever in Bristol, Virginia, on a Thursday morning, go by the Star Barber Shop at 1003 West State Street. You’ll be welcomed with a cup of coffee, a song, and a haircut, if you want one.

Everyone Welcome…Except Maybe Big Maude

You might think that Floyd’s City Barber Shop with its homespun charm and “two chairs, no waiting” exists only in The Andy Griffith Show reruns. After all, who can run a successful business and still take time to shoot the breeze with passersby? Well, don’t tell anyone that you heard it from me, but Russell Hiatt can.

Want a good haircut and all the latest gossip about the fine folks from Mayberry? Then stop in at Floyd’s City Barber Shop on Main Street in Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina. I did. I didn’t get a haircut, but I did get a few interesting tales. Now, here again, you didn’t hear any of this from me, but Andy recently came home to dedicate a stretch of road named in his honor. It’s officially called The Andy Griffith Parkway, but some people are already calling it “Andy’s Road.” They’re not really ones to put on the dog in Mayberry, you know…er, I mean, Mount Airy. And you know Hal Smith who played Otis the town drunk on the show? He confessed to Mr. Hiatt that he’d never drank in his life. And Ernest T. Bass? He isn’t a nutty little troublemaker at all. He’s a really nice guy named Howard Morris who has visited Floyd’s City Barber Shop a number of times. Helen Crump (a/k/a Aneta Corsaut) came for a visit once and brought along about 500 people from a tour in Winston-Salem. That visit provided the inspiration for Mr. Hiatt’s “Wall of Fame.”

It was about fourteen years ago that Ms. Crump paid that visit. Since then, Mr. Hiatt has put 23,000 photographs on his wall (and has another 1,800 ready to be placed, though finding 1,800 empty spaces might pose a problem). These photographs include everyday people (like me), a Cleveland, Ohio woman (who was the first to be photographed for the “Wall of Fame”), governors, major league ballplayers and officials, Oprah Winfrey (whose father Vernon is a barber in Nashville, Tennessee), and even “The Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno.

“Now that one fills up a barber chair,” observes Mr. Hiatt, pointing out the photo of Lou Ferrigno.

It’s true. I’ll bet even Aunt Bee and Clara peeped around the corner from Snappy Lunch in order to get a better look at the muscle-bound, smiling actor.

Mr. Hiatt has had a lot of fun over the past 56 years being “Floyd the barber.” Who’d have thought that cutting Andy Griffith’s hair when Andy was in college would play such a role in shaping Mr. Hiatt’s life? Howard McNear who played Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show suffered a stroke in the show’s last year, 1968. Mr. McNear died on January 3, 1969. Thus, the real life “Floyd” attends Mayberry’s reunions and celebrations. When he gets back home, he once again gets out the scissors and the comb and goes back to work.

I have to say, Russell Hiatt is a real Mayberry kind of guy. He faithfully visits his mother-now 98-in the nursing home; and every other Sunday, he helps cook dinner for the entire family (23 in all). And much like Floyd Lawson, you can’t one-up him no matter how hard you try. I showed him photographs of my boy-girl twins, and danged if he didn’t turn right around and point out a photograph of his boy-girl twins (just two of his ten great-grandchildren).

In 2000, Mr. Hiatt was inducted into the Barbering Hall of Fame. “If I’d retired, I’d have missed that,” he told me. “And if I’d stayed home today, I’d have missed you…and I wouldn’t have missed that for the world.”

That said, consider yourself warned about visiting Mount Airy/Mayberry. We watch The Andy Griffith Show, and we get preconceived notions about what these townspeople might be like. Then you go there and find that it’s really better than anything Hollywood could concoct. You go to the Visitor’s Center and Ann and Millie make you feel like a VIP, and then Mr. Hiatt treats you like family. I was almost surprised that no deputy stopped me on the way out of town to give me a jar of pickles…but then again, someone did mention that that particular deputy was mostly on duty on Fridays.

Special Things to Do in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities, if not the biggest city, on the west coast. Because of its massive size, there are hundreds of fun things to do in L.A. It can get a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry. Listed here are the top eleven things to do on your Los Angeles trip. From tours, to theme parks, to beholding nature, there’s something for everyone to do in this great city. All you need is a little imagination and movie magic.

1. Brunch on the Beach

In Los Angeles’ beaches there are dozens of restaurants that offer brunch on the beach. Enjoy eating brunch classics in an open air patio that faces the ocean. Everything tastes better when it’s eaten in the fresh ocean air.

2. Hollywood Tour

Los Angeles is perhaps best known as the city for celebrities. Because of this there are dozens of tours that visit celebrity houses and places. One of the most prominent tours is the TMZ Tour, which travels to the restaurants, clubs, and other places that celebrities like to hang out. There are a lot of things to do in LA, but this one shouldn’t be missed.

3. Segway on the Beaches

Los Angeles is known for its beaches in Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Venice. Many of these beaches offer Segway rentals that allow you to go see the sights without tiring out your legs. Feel the ocean breeze as you ride along and explore the dozens of shops and restaurants on the boardwalk. Nothing could be better.

4. Horseback Riding Tour

Have you ever wanted to see the Hollywood sign up close? Have you ever wanted to see the Hollywood sign up close while on horseback? Well now you can, with Sunset Ranch’s horseback tour to Mount Hollywood. You’ll not only see the Hollywood sign, but also amazing views of Los Angeles, San Fernando, and the Pacific Ocean. Best of all, the will be catered barbecue waiting for you back at the ranch when you return.

5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

Opened on April 7th, 2016, the Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter allows you to experience what it would be like to be a wizard at Hogwarts. Also included are other famous places from the book, like Diagon Alley, and Gringotts bank, where an exhilarating ride awaits.

6. Skyslide

Skyspace is California’s tallest open air observation deck. 1,000 feet above the city in the US Bank Tower, you can see an amazing view of the entirety of Los Angeles. Skyspace also has the world’s first sky slide, a slide that goes from the observation deck, to a lower part of the tower. This slide is made completely out of glass, and takes you over the city.

7. Warner Brothers Studio Tour Hollywood

There are many Los Angeles activities to take part in, but you would be remiss to pass up the chance to tour an actual movie studio. In their deluxe tour, guides will take you through sound stages, TV houses, and lots where some of your favorite movies and TV shows are made. You’ll also visit Stage 48: Script to Screen, where you will see key phases of the production process.

8. Whale Watching

There are dozens of whale watching tours on the shores of Los Angeles. These tours will take you far into the Pacific Ocean, where you will have the pleasure of seeing these elegant creatures so close you could almost touch them. If you love animals and nature, then this is one of the best things to do in LA.

9. Catalina Island

Off the coast of Los Angeles is a small island, a jewel of nature called Catalina Island. If you’re a nature-lover, then this is a must see. With lots of activities like hiking, fishing or surfing this place is a must for the outdoors type.

10. Farmers Market

Just because Los Angeles is a huge city, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have fresh produce. Farmers markets can be found all over the city, but the biggest one takes place in the downtown area every week during the spring and summer. If you’re looking for fresh produce or handcrafted items, then look no further.

11. Dance Cruise

Do you love to dance and explore exotic locations? Then you should try the Aventura Dance Cruise – the world’s largest Latin dance cruise. This cruise leaves Long Beach, California and travels to Ensenada, Mexico. On the way, you’ll be treated to amazing food, dance workshops and classes, and fun beach parties that last well into the night. If you want to have fun, then look no further.

7 Best Witch Movies of All Time

In researching my upcoming novel, not only do I have to read everything I can about witchcraft, but every once in a while I get to settle in and even watch a movie based on witches. I&39;ve compiled a list of my top 7 favorite witch movies below.

The Blair Witch Project – Top honors have to go to this film! Even though you never see the witch on film, she remains more terrifying than any other. This film created an illusion of truth through its marketing and presentation (shaky film footage) that left some audience members trembling in their seats and others physically ill. No wonder it was the most successful independent movie of all time.

The Harry Potter Movies – Okay, I&39;ll admit it, I&39;m a total Harry Potter geek. What kid did dream of being a witch or wizard after seeing those films?

Practical Magic – This is one of my favorite movies. I love all of the crazy spells and the "signs" that they see in the moon. Throw in a little romance, kidnapping, and murder, and it makes for a great Saturday night!

The Witches of Eastwick – A classic! Three women discover their magical powers by accident when they are seduced by the same devil-like man. From sharing a man to taking back control of their lives, it&39;s a fun movie to watch.

The Craft – Take the new girl at school and throw her in with a group of misfit witches and it&39;s the Breakfast Club meets the Witches of Eastwick. What is not to like?

Beautiful Creatures – Okay, I know it&39;s not everyone&39;s favorite, but I loved the entire idea about a witch coming of age and being claimed by the light or the dark based on her "true nature". How many of us could pass a test like that?

Dark Shadows – Oh, I can almost hear the groan from the peanut gallery, but I honestly enjoy this film. I love the idea of ​​a witch as a scorned lover and seeking her revenge. It does not hurt that the man in question is the always sexy Johnny Depp, but the overall lesson is there. That will teach a man not to love &39;em and leave&39; em.

There you have it. My list of the best witch movies to watch again and again. I don&39;t call it procrastinating, I call it research. Who knew research could be so much fun?