Concealed weapons of destruction…

It’s little wonder that America is one of the most gun-lovin’ nations on the planet. When you walk around feeling powerless and impotent, the notion of holding a device in the palm of your hand that's capable of blowing a hole in a wall or snuffing out a human life with just a gentle tug on a trigger is intoxicating.

More bullets are fired during your average Hollywood blockbuster than over the course of a small war. There must be someone on the movie set whose only job is to sweep up the brass shell casings after a scene.

Guns were a big part of my entertainment diet as a child, only it seemed like fewer bullets were fired. Perhaps people used to be better shots.

On television shows like Mission: IMPOSSIBLE, Mannix, The Wild Wild West, Secret Agent Man, and Cannon, both the good guys and the bad carried small caliber handguns, and fired one or two shots at most. And this was back before the days of jamming a pistol in your belt, which I think Mel Gibson made really popular in his Lethal Weapon movies. Back in the day (the 1960s and 70s) real men carried their guns in shoulder holsters.

Toy manufactures back then really missed the boat. Western six-gun holsters were a dime a dozen in the toy store but I never saw secret agent-themed toy gun shoulder holsters. I SO would have gotten one (and this has nothing to do with the fact that most of the toy six-gun belts out there wouldn’t buckle around my tubby ten-year-old belly).

My mother never did a lot of really cool things for me, but one of them that she did do involved my desire for a shoulder holster to hold my arsenal toy guns.

I grew up in Chicago where during the winter months the term ‘wind chill factor’ was used regularly in talking about the temperature. Because it was so damn cold during the winters and the furnace could only do so much, it was common to wear a robe and slippers whilst in your ‘jammies. (One year my daughter, who has spent most of her thirteen years here in sunny California, received a fuzzy warm robe as a Christmas present from a friend of the family. She didn’t understand the purpose of the garment.) I had a favorite blue robe that I wore until it was a frayed rag, but when it was still in pretty good shape I somehow convinced my mother to sew a pocket inside the right chest area. It was important that it was on the right side, because I’m left handed. When she was done I could secretly stash my pistol of choice in it, and draw it at a moment’s notice.

I was a happy little boy. That gun holster saw a lot of action during covert missions that I’m not at liberty to discuss because of national security. When I wasn’t packing heat the hidden pocket was a great place to stash candy bars from the prying eyes of my older sisters.

If I was a kid today I’d probably be bugging my mom to sew me a back sling for a rocket launcher or my BFG.


Today's joke...

A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender looks at him and says, "Hey buddy, we don't serve your kind here, get out."

Mushroom looks at the bartender and say, "Why not? I'm a fungi"

LOST rocks my world...

The ending bit of the finale almost looked like a commercial. I wonder if anyone tuned out? If they did they missed a couple of French/Russian/Whatever scientists on one of the poles. Here's a shot of one of the scientists. Bad Twin indeed. What a great show.


Name the movie...

I don't really like this film all that much, but I've always been a fan of this little nugget of dialogue from it. Can you name the movie?

“They have a wide selection.”
“I can’t eat fish.”
“You can eat anything you want, Duane. You can eat meat and potatoes.”
“I couldn’t go anywhere I was expected to eat fish.”
“They got beans.”
“I can’t eat beans. I’d come out in a rash if I eat beans.”
“Look, Duane, they have a wide selection.”
“I think I’ll try the fish.”


Tiger's big secret...

One of our oldest cats, Tiger is his name, always seems to be unusually concerned with the exhaust fan in our upstairs bathroom.

From all appearances it’s identical to the one in the downstairs bathroom and the one in the laundry room, which also doubles as the cat’s bathroom.

The two downstairs fans don’t seem to bother him a whit, but whenever he’s in the upstairs bathroom and I turn on the fan, he turns his attention to it with unusual intensity.

(The reason I have occasion to see him in both bathrooms on a semi-regular basis is because Tiger is a bit fickle when it comes to his drinking water. Unlike our mentally deficient Dusty, who is happy to slurp out of the toilet or from pans and bowls soaking in the kitchen sink, or the rest of the gang who are content to drink from the bowl of fresh water we keep near their food bowls, Tiger will only drink from a coffee cup of water left on either of the bathroom counters. He’ll lap it up until the level gets too low for his head to fit in, then he’ll dip his paw in and lick the water off of it. I’m sure he’s aware of the big bowl of fresh water next to his food, but he’s simply not interested.)

So I’m a little concerned over Tiger’s concern over the upstairs bathroom exhaust fan. Do his extra sensitive cat ears detect something that my potato filled human ears is missing? Is there an electrical defect and he’s hearing the sputtering of a sparking short circuit that will result in a fire that will consume me and everyone I love?

He’s not talking, and unless Matt Murdock drops by for a wine tasting party in the near future, I guess I’ll have to haul the step stool upstairs and investigate. I’ll keep you posted, because everyone loves to be posted, right?

First time for everything...

This is the first Frank Frazetta piece of artwork that I fell in love with. Er. It's the first one that I became very much fond of. When I was first collecting comics in the early 70s I seem to recall some comic shop or distributor using this piece of art for an ad. That's when I first saw it. I didn't know who this guy was as the time but I knew he could draw. I came across it in a folder of artwork on my computer and got a little tingle of what I felt when I first saw it.

Just thought I'd share.


More cheese please…

The Encore channel is currently showing one of my weird guilty pleasure movies. It’s a film that I hate but that I always stop to watch, when it’s on.

Released in 1980, Xanadu was a critical and commercial flop that has survived over the years in a semi-cult status. Part of this is due to the soundtrack, which was a big hit then and still sells today.

Olivia Newton-John (my secret girlfriend) stars as a muse to a troubled painter. Gene Kelly stars as a rich old musician that wants to open a disco. The movie is set in a part of southern California where everyone wears colorful suspenders and gets around by roller-skating. The storyline is so full of cheese it’s tough not to gag while you watch it.

Half the soundtrack is provided by Olivia Newton-John, and the other is by Jeff Lynne and ELO.

The movie is a horribly flawed hunk of trash but it’s also a brilliant slice of the late 1970s.

It’s really horrible but I love it.