Monday, December 22, 2014

The Sign On The 50-Caliber Rifle Case:

"In case of alien attack: remove from case, load, point directly at menace and squeeze trigger slowly. There will be a loud sound. Repeat until problem is eliminated.  Hearing protection required." 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

You Know You're Reclusive...

     ...When you dread the human contact of opening your mail.

     Sheesh.  I'm a monster.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's Saturday

     Shouldn't you be playing outside, or in traffic, or something?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dead Leader Films: Then vs. Now, Us vs. Them

     2004: Team America: World Police is released.  North Korea's high and mighty whatever for life Kim Jong-Il never commented publicly, though his government did ask the Czech Republic to  ban it.  They refused, somewhat dismissively.

     2006: some Brits produce Death Of A President, a mockumentary about the assassination of George W. Bush.  It wins the Prize of the International Critics at the Toronto Film Festival. Senator Hilary Clinton, no fan of the then-serving President tells the press, "I think it's despicable. I think it's absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick."
     The U. S. Federal government does....nothing.  There is no computer hacking of the studio that made it, no drone strike on writer, producer or director, and Senator Clinton's comments are typical of the most violent reaction out of Washington.

     2010: the Red Dawn remake, with Red China cast as the aggressor, is about to be released.  Leaked copies of the script find their way to the People's Republic of China, which complains in state-rune newspapers.  MGM goes through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Studio suddenly decides the film would play a lot better in the PRC if they weren't the bad guys.  At least, that's what MGM says.  Lots of post-production later, the invader is now North Korea.  Released in 2012, film does not do well at the box office.

     2012: Innocence of Muslims, a 14-minute film clip, is released on YouTube and is blamed for widespread rioting in the Middle East by people already much inclined to anti-U.S. rioting.  Murder and misplaced apologizing ensue. 

     2014: Sony prepares to release The Interview, a film about the assassination of the North Korea's leader, gets hacked by claimed agents of same, backs down.  Some cinemas attempt to replace The Interview with Team America: World Police, a plan which is nixed by Paramount.

     ...Sudden Spinelessness Syndrome?  Norks tired of being the bad guys?  (Yeah, well -- shoe fits, donnit?)  Film studios continuing their spiral into nebbishy irrelevance?

     Whatever.  This doesn't look like where we came in but the picture is getting terribly dull.  Hey, didja hear the one about the auteur who turned a charming (and relatively short) fantasy novel for children into a film trilogy with huge, bloody battles between orcs, elves, humans, dwarves, hobbits, dragons, wizards and whatever else he could throw into it?  Or the SF film that tossed science out the window in favor of fancy images and the Transforming Power Of Love?

     I'll try to barf quietly.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

THINK, Dammit!

     Most politicans and a sadly-high proportion of leader-type "activists" are scam or con artists of some stripes.  They deserve to be argued with, debated, questioned severely.  But your neighbors -- even that [INSERT NAME OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OR PARTY HERE] you keep running into at the grocery or hairdresser's/barber shop -- are largely sincere.

    I saw an interesting bumper sticker yesterday evening, a U.S. flag-like graphic with the stars in the blue field replaced by the word "Think" and below the stripes, the phase continues, "it's patriotic."

      A quick check online shows it being marketed to the liberal/Democrat folks, but really-- I know it's fun to claim one's political opponent are unthinking, lock-step fools and dupes, but that's utter BS. "The science is clear..." "Anyone with half a brain will realize..." No. There are some smart cookies out there who have -- at least by their lights -- thought things through and yet they came to conclusions utterly at odds with your own.

     We all like to think we're clever, smartest rats in the maze; and if there's a thing or two you're especially good at, you might be, at least with regard to those things. On everything else, you're just like the rest of us nekkid apes: you've got some information and you are making your very best guess.

     Surprise, we don't all guess -- pardon me, reason -- our way to the same place. It's not necessarily due to stupidity, or conformity or lack of trying. It sure doesn't mean you shouldn't think.

     Think -- and realize the other bozos on the bus are thinking too, at least as often as not. Think, and understand that even with the best will in the world and the greatest determination to be guided by fact, we still don't all end up with the same notions on anything more complicated than which way is down. And that's okay; we've got centuries of working out how to get along in a nation and world full of disagreement.

     Think. It really is patriotic. It beats the alternative.

Good In An Omelet

     How about ham, pastrami, BellaVitano and Jarlsberg Swiss cheeses?  Oh, it's fine!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Things Seen In A Photo

     No, Rickn8or, it's not a cat but a bat!  --A plush toy bat, that is:
     The photo was taken in low light, with a cameraphone.  Looks like a chalk drawing.

     NJT and Garrett Lee: well spotted!  The typewriter is indeed a Remington Portable.
     It's my "axe," man. One of them, anyway.

Cats, Books, Christmas

     The holidays are an especially cluttered time at Roseholme Cottage:
     I think we're going to need some larger shelves.  Huck and Rannie are right at home, in new play/scratching structures.

     Yes, the shelving projects are nowhere near done. That far wall around the windows?  Going to be full of bookshelves.  The other side of the archway is about a third done, and the wall behind the couch will eventually get a set of display shelves, most with plexiglass doors.  That was going to be an Ikea hack and may still be, though they discontinued my first choice.  For some of us, it takes years to really "move in" to a new home.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breakfast Photo Op Lost

     Again.  I made Swedish Pancakes this morning and each one is a different map of another new planet, cratered or covered in shifting hues like Mars.  They're lovely, but they're also better hot than at room temperature and when you are running a batch through the same skillet, there's no time while cooking to go fetch a camera.

     So I got a tasty breakfast, but alas, mapping the uncharted moons of a distant star will have to wait for another time.

     Sidenote 1: I used one of those non-stick green ceramic pans; they sell a pancake-specific flipover version, essentially two frying pans hinged together.  The non-stick performs as advertised, and the close-to-flip arrangement works fine.  Found the gadget at the drugstore with a low, low price and a big "As seen on TV" label, and decided to give it a try.

     Sidenote 2: My sort of crepe-like "Swedish" pancakes are thin and a bit heavy, just flour, milk and egg, roughly one cup of the first two items and two eggs, scaled linearly for however much you want.  Served stacked high, with butter and sugar or jam between layers, it'll cure what ails you on a chilly morning.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Get Me Tired And...

     This is pretty much what the inside of my head sounds like:


Dear BATFE and DHS:

     When you've lost public radio....  (In fairness, Ira Glass is pretty skeptical about, well, just about everything, as close as this generation gets to H. L. Mencken.)

Oh, Darn It!

     Tam just started watching the classic, incredible The X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space," and I don't have time to sit down and watch it.  Truly one of television's finest moments and The X-Files at the top of its form.