Friday, January 27, 2017

Le Bad Cinema (Blogophilia 49.9)

I have to admit it. I like bad movies. I mean REALLY bad movies. The kind they show on Elvira and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Movies with plots so ridiculous and with cheesy, bad effects you can only laugh out loud at their absurdity. 
I was cruising around YouTube looking at clips about living off the grid and in converted vans when a movie came up:
I clicked on it, thinking it was the normal 1 to 5 minute clip, and realized it was a full 100 minute movie. I didn’t have anything better to do, so, I watched.
A quick synopsis: a ship (looking suspiciously like the SS Enterprise) with a crew of three scantily clad, incompetent women is lost in space and chooses to land for repairs in a remote corner of an English park. The landing is witnessed by an uptight Couple (Oliver and Prudence), a Swinging Single (Cliff) and a Wimpy Nerd (Willy), who go to investigate. They are lured on board and the fun and games begin.
The movie is from 1979 and aimed at the Drive-In crowd, so the humor and sensibilities are absolutely juvenile. The best description is if Richard O’Brien met Gene Roddenberry and they dropped acid, this would be the end product. Every bad trope from the Space and Horror genres is used, delivered with a droll, British style. Yes, everyone gets naked eventually. Yes, Willy the Nerd turns out to be the Stud with the Space Girls, while Cliff the Swinger is worn to a nub. Oliver and Prudence do get it right, with some help from Cosia, the Navigator’s wardrobe. This is a movie without a moral. It doesn’t need one. All that matters is everyone gets laid and the ship blows up in the end. 
So, if this is the kind of film that lights your fire; pull up a Bota Box, your Significant Other and lots of popcorn and forget the world. Who knows? You might just rediscover why you went to the Drive-In in the first place.
Topic-(I’d say Martien, but he doesn’t count), Jay Sole
Pic-Nina Nixon (Here’s hoping she’s feeling better)
Pic Guesses) Light My Fire (In blog), Light in the Attic, Put Your Light On, Fire in My Heart, Let My Little Light Shine), Candle in the Wind), Roxanne, I’ll Wait for You, Lovelight, Missing You.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fall Afternoon (Blogophilia 48.9)

It took fifteen minutes to find a parking space. The wind was cold against Emily's face as Kristy undid the buckles of the seat. With a tug, the pink jacket untangled and the little redheaded child tumbled to the ground, but she wasn't one of those whiny kids. She immediately bounced up and brushed the rough sand from her knees and inspected her tights. No tears, good. As she began to look around, the huge granite rock smiled at her over the tops of the trees with their red and yellow leaves. Emily excitedly pointed at it.

"Ooh, look at the big rock, Daddy."
"Yes, Sweetie. That's Stone Mountain."
"Can you climb up to the top?"
"Yes, you can and maybe we will another day. We're doing something else today."
"But I want to climb to the top!" Her face flushed. Jimmy knelt down to her level and in a quiet voice he said:
"If you act like that, we'll go home and you won't see nothing."
The blue eyes got wide. Daddy was serious and the little head quietly dropped. Crossing the parking lot the small family strode up to the admissions table. As they waited, the melancholy sounds of pipers warming up floated out of the woods. 
"What's that noise? It sounds like somebody stepped on a bunch of cats."
Kristy giggled and put a kiss on top of the curly head. It really was what they sounded like. Jimmy was getting irritated.
"They are bagpipes, Sweetie, and the players are warming up. They'll be marching on the field over there in a little while." He pointed to his left. "Now, hush until we get inside."
Jimmy paid the admission and they passed through a cardboard gate that was fashioned like a midieval castle with the initials RSCDS over the arch.

They passed a man with a hawk on his wrist.

He was giving a short talk on hunting birds of old and how they are used in modern times. Jimmy thought it was fascinating. Emily was sad the bird was on a leash and the talk was boring. Kristy sensed the tension and tugged on Daddy's sleeve to get him to move on. 
"Honey, lets go to the dance stages. I think Emily might like that. We can come back to Birdman later."
"Dance? Like ballet class?"
"Sort of, Emily. Every place in the world has their own ballet. Scotland is no different."
Jimmy grudgingly agreed. As they made their way, a group of men in full Regimental Uniform passed.

One was quite tall, with dark red hair and beard to match. The others were shorter, with much greyer beards. They were all of Clan McFarlaine, their tartans neatly pressed, daggers strapped to their ankles. The little girl was puzzled.
"Daddy, why are those men wearing skirts? Those are girl clothes."
The men laughed at that as Jimmy and Kristy cringed. The taller one got down to the little girl's level and with a smile, he gently explained:
"To put on my kilt is an honor, Lassie. Only the strongest, bravest men put their legs out to the weather and battle."
Emily thought about that a minute.
"But that's why you wear tights! It keeps them warm."
The men laughed harder. One of the older men spoke up.
"Oh, Lass. You are a hoot. But, you are right. See our socks." and he turned to Jimmy. "We spend the first years of their lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve to tell them to sit down and shut up."
Thoroughly embarrassed, Kristy and Jimmy agreed. And with that the men went on their way. 
There was a fork in the path. Looking at the map, the Junior Dance stage was off to the left. A group of teenagers were just beginning their set as they sat down to watch. It was Daddy's turn to be bored. He wanted to go over to the athletic field and watch the tabor competition. Emily, however, was immediately taken. Young boys and girls taking turns doing reels and jigs. They passed each other in circles and rows, greeting and smiling at each other.

Another group did a traditional line dance with taps, six pairs of legs working as one.

Emily grabbed Kristy's arm. "Mommy! That looks fun."
Kristy smiled.
"Yes, Emily it does. Can you see anything that looks familiar?"
"The girls go up on their tippytoes like Ms. Harley makes us."
"Uh huh. How about how they hold their arms?"
"It hurts when we have to hold 'em like that."
"It takes work to build them up. But it is fun, right?"
"Oh, yes. Especially when we get to do a whole dance."
The last girl dancing had flowing carrot hair, almost the same color as Emily's. She performed a sword dance. The sun reflection flashing competed with her hair to look like to flames fighting each other. When it was all over, Kristy and Emily jumped to their feet with their clapping, while Jimmy shook his head. With that, the morning dance session was over. 
The three of them went around the other side of the stage where there was an open platform. A woman with a red plaid tam o'shanter hailed them over.
"I couldn't help but notice the wee one here likes the dance. If'n you like, we have an introduction class that lasts about an hour. I can tell Dad there wants to be with the men. Let him go and we'll teach the two of you."
Mommy and Daddy looked at each other and nodded and Jimmy headed on down the hill. 
It was the most fun she'd ever had.

Pic Guess-On Broadway, Hot Time in the City, The City, Popsicles,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

This is kind of interesting.

Every now and then, you run across a local government trying to put a stretch in revenue collection. One of those sources is the issuance of a business license. Mind you, this really isn't a problem. In most cases, the County is providing a service to the business and must offset those costs. And often, there are zoning restriction on where the business can operate because of noise, traffic, etc.

But what about a business that is about nothing?

No, I'm not stealing Jerry Seinfeld's schtick. There are businesses that are both web and based and so specific they require virtually no services. Like this guy:

Professional Call of Duty Player cited for running a business out of his house.

Justin Chandler relocated his Team Kaliber operation from New York to the Atlanta suburbs, moving into a rather fancy home. It sounds like the NIMBY neighbors didn't like the slackers slumming up the place and tipped off the authorities. Cobb County, being the revenue positive kind of government we all love to hate, slid a C&D order to the group.

Now, I'm not a gamer, but I frankly don't see a problem here. Unless these guys are seriously party hardy, I doubt they are seen. And their Vlog and Website probably doesn't generate THAT much revenue. Other than a couple of kids, they wouldn't have a need for much infrastructure.

Maybe it's time for local governments to back off a bit.

It isn't like these guys cosplay COD.

At least I hope not.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Clickbait (Blogophilia 48.9)

You know it.

You've seen it.
It is the ultimate masquerade. An eye catching headline inducing an unintended left finger movement. Whether It is article, slideshow or video, it is what the Internet has devolved into, a series of empty calorie diversion that bloat the mind. 
If you are a professional writer, you want those clicks to happen. Otherwise your lonely missives are lost in the ether. But like a slippery slope into an unending labyrinth, the process of creating them becomes an addiction for both writer and reader. A dark Gepetto pulling emotional strings for Pinocchio to react. 
Instead of reading filling, uplifting poetry and stories, we slide down a rabbit hole of 10 worst this, unbelievable that and gross something or another. Oh, we might click on a cute kitten or puppy vid, but for the most part we lean toward the tawdry and sadistic, and it isn't even pornography. Just humans being self centered and evil. And we all need a shower afterwards. 
Why? We claim we want justice, peace and love, yet love it when our President Elect is accused of abusive behavior towards women. And to a certain segment of our population, our outgoing President is a phony, a masquerading slave looming as a leader over his former masters. I'm not going to argue whether one is better than the other, but plenty of people will using Clickbaited half truths to say "Hooray for our side!". 
This is why all of our politicians take Aaron Burr's advice: "Don't let them know what your are for, are against." Any attempt to rewrite the game will be shot down on the field of honor. 
It is the American way. 
And only we can change it.

Topic-(Masquerade)-Jessica Brooke Miller
Pic Guesses-Labyrinth (in blog), Black Magic Woman, Evil Woman, Spider Web, Cruella De Vil, It’s a maze, Dark Star, Dark Death.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Geography Lesson (Blogophilia 46.9)

We should meet in another life, we should meet in the air, me and you.
Yes. The above infographic is true. The art of Geography has gone down the tubes. Nobody really cares, really. Do we (besides Trevor) really want to know that is the United Kingdom? Of course we do because some of us (sadly, not me) have been there. Being able to determine Cardiff from Glasgow and Birmingham from Cornwall is useful information when traveling the countryside or adventure might await you in some grimy industrial wasteland, when you would rather see sheep grazing in bucolic meadows. Or you could be like me and think abandoned factories are a great place to explore. It doesn’t matter where the geography is, it’s there for the taking.
I even know the four main subdivisions (Britain, Wales, Scotland and Ulster) by sight, but I’m a bit lost when you drill it down to the individual counties. I mean, I know Cumberland and Yorkshire are north, but other than that? I guess it would be a need to know basis. Maybe I’ll get there one day.
Maybe that is the problem. It is information that most younger people don’t need to know on a day to day basis. Google Maps show where some place is, and Wikipedia can provide detail if necessary.
I’ve learned where most of the provinces of Mexico are because of my neighbors. I have never been more than 50 miles from the border, it is comforting to know when I see a license plate from Sinaloa, Michoacon or Guanajato, I have a general idea where the driver is from (rather than just somewhere over there). It makes them less of a stranger.
Isn’t that really what we all want? To meet without consequence or expectation, our messages passing freely in the air? So many times people take offense at anything. Words of violence breaking the silence. It is a power game where points are scored but nothing is won. Life is too short for that.
I’d rather enjoy the silence.

Infographic courtesy of (c) 2014, 2017 (I’m assuming a Creative Commons license).
Pic guesses-Love shack, LaGrange, Our House, Sweet Home Alabama, Dollhouse, Burning Down the House, Homeward Bound,

Heath Insurace.

Let's have a health insurance rant.

We are all bitching about the Affordable Care Act (I refuse to call it Obamacare because he showed absolutely no leadership in how it was formed). How it is such a train wreck and what not. It IS a train wreck for a number of reasons, the main one is Congress made the stupid attempt to fix all the problems in one bill. But since that is how Congress works, we really should be surprised.

Health care is expensive. There is a lot of technology keeping us alive longer than nature intended (which is a argument for another day). But it is picture perfect example of the Peter Principle at work, except we replace time with money. All programs grow up to the level of resources provided. With A.C.A., it is assumed the resources are unlimited and that those who don't have the resources should have the same access as those who do. It is the only moral and ethical decision.

But I'm not arguing morals. What I am arguing is this misguided program has made the resource allocation problem situation worse. 

Get rid of it

The sooner the better.