By Grabthar’s Hammer, By The Suns of Worvan,…

You shall be … remembered.

If you haven’t heard, Alan Rickman has died. A true loss for the entertainment community, and for everyone who loves good movies and good plays. From his early, dripping-with-elegance-and-venom Hans Gruber in “Die Hard”, to his turns in the Harry Potter films, to his delightfully over-the-top Sheriff of Nottingham that completely eclipsed Kevin Costner in “Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves”, Rickman  was perhaps the finest villian ever to grace the screen. He was also a prolific stage actor, appearing in numerous plays. But he’ll always have a special place in my heart for his turn in the film “Galaxy Quest”. His turn as actor Alan Dane, a Shakespearean trained actor (much like Patrick Stewart) forced to continually reprise his role as the Spock-like Dr. Lazarus in the fictional series “Galaxy Quest” (convenient, having the TV series in the film with the same name as the movie itself), allowed him to show off a wide range of emotion both in and out of character. The movie is a must-see for everyone, but particularly delightful for us Trekkies (and you trying-to-be-respectable Trekkers) who have seen our favourites from the original series fight the same battle against typecasting. (Sadly, none of the original series cast has ever admitted to me if they had been abducted by aliens. Though I’ve always wondered about Walter Koenig – a great guy and funny as all get-out, but with a strange thing about cheesecake….. ;) )

So tonight, if your skies are clear, go out and look up. We’ve lost a great talent down here on Earth, but there’s a new star in the heavens. Farewell, and RIP, Alan Rickman. You shall be remembered – and mourned.

Posted in Current Events, Obituary, Science Fiction | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Day to Remember.

Today has been an odd day. one of those days that leave me sad and happy, fearful and yet fearless for the future. Two notable events stand out.

First, it has been a year since the Charlie Hebdo magazine shootings in Paris. Though hardly an event to remember with joy, the strong outpouring of support following the terrible event can still warm even the most fear-frozen heart. A great retrospective of both photos and editorial cartoons has been posted on the site of the UK’s newspaper “The Independent”. Go to www.independent.co.uk – there’s a link on the main page on the left-hand side, down about 3/4 of a scroll. While some of the cartoons aren’t exactly PG-rated, all of them evoke a sense of hope out of the tragic event.

Second, last night was the Peoples’ Choice Award. While I don’t care for awards shows, there was a truly touching event. You may not know the “Fast and Furious” franchise, nor know who Vin Diesel or Paul Walker are. Paul died before the 7th and latest installment was finished, but despite this severe handicap, the film was finished, and last night won two awards. Vin Diesel accepted the awards, and that’s all I’m going to tell you. Just Google “Vin Diesel PCA Speech”, and watch the video. Even if you don’t know the actors or the characters they portray, you’ll see something truly wonderful. And if you are a fan of the series and the two men, as I am, grab a towel. You don’t have enough Kleenexes on hand, trust me – I bawled like a two-year-old, and I’ll admit that openly. And Vin does make a hint about at least three more films – the hope for us fans. For the rest of you, well, deal with it. (And please, PLEASE get a copy of the movie “Eight Below” with Paul Walker. If you subscribe to the theory that dogs are the best judges of character, then Paul Walker earned his halo and harp with zero effort.)

That’s it for now. Maybe when I get over the last month-long bout of killer migraines, I’ll give you my colour commentary from my first-row seats at an honest-to-God eviction. Yep, the rednecks across the drive are outta there, 5th group in 8-plus years. (Well, except for hubby, who’s been cooling his heels in jail since 1:30 a.m. on December 24th. Alcoholic wife-beater with a single digit IQ, his second trip to the slammer in 3 months. Who says country living is boring? :D )

Posted in Current Events | Tagged | 2 Comments

What do Arizona, Oklahoma, And Utah Have In Common?

As US battleships, they were all lost 74 years ago today. Yes, it’s Pearl Harbor Day, that day of infamy when the US Pacific fleet was bombed at its’ anchorage in Pearl Horbor, Hawaii. Through a lucky chance, the three aircraft carriers that would stop the Japanese advance through the Pacific were not in port and thus survived, as did the vast fuel oil reserves that the Japanese ignored, much to their later peril.

Ironically, it was the mighty battleships that suffered the worst fates. Cruisers, destroyers, and auxiliary ships were hit but none sunk. Most of the casualties came from the two battleships Arizona and Oklahoma, and the poor forgotten naval gunnery training ship Utah (who, numbered as AG-17, still continued to bear her commissioned name from her days as a WW1 battleship). The Army Air Corps suffered losses as well, over 200 aircraft and dozens of crews. Even civilian aircraft were not safe – three were shot down by Japanese fighters. Yet the United States’ great manufacturing capability would make these losses good – and then some – in less than 16 months.

So remember, remember, the Seventh of December. Remember the day that pushed the US from (technically) neutrality into war. Remember all those lost on that infamous day. And, as a favor to me, remember poor Utah, decommissioned by treaties from her status as a battleship to a gunnery school, robbed of her mighty guns yet still serving her country proudly. And know that even 74 years later, men from a mass grave of those lost on the Oklahoma are being identified and individually interred in proper single graves. A final farewell to brave souls lost, but never forgotten.

Posted in Military, Military History | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Cat Math, or Feline Freakout Formula

Our algebra problem for tonight:

Take one outside cat, represented by “C”.

Take one house, with a basement, “B-sub-H”.

Take one window in basement, “W (B-sub-H)”.

Add one person, waving at cat, “J”.

Therefore, C + (J * W (B-sub-H)) = C * F,

where “F” stands for one TOTALLY freaked out cat.

 

Tomorrow, we’ll factor out how dog (“D”) plus cat (“C”) plus tree (“T”) equals cat on a cold tin roof. And take notes, there may be a test on this later. ;)

Posted in Humor | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Shut Up, And Let’s Hear It From The Source!

As the terrible events unfold tonight in Paris, the cacophony has already begun. Different groups claiming responsibility, because “we punish unbelievers as Allah tells us!”.

Really? That kind of codswallop is the same as we hear from far-righters in this country who espouse killing abortion doctors. It’s the same twaddle in Myanmar that has Buddhist monks attacking Rohynga Muslims. (Rohinga? I’ve seen it both ways.) And it’s at the base of that old turmoil in Palestine/Israel, each side claiming they speak for their supreme being.

Here’s a novel idea. SHUT UP! Let God/Allah/Jehovah/Buddha or whoever you worship, speak for themselves. There is love for your fellow man (or woman, or alien in my case) aplenty in both Christ’s gospels and the Koran (Quran?). i can’t speak for the rest, but aren’t Buddhists supposed to be the epitome of chill? I’ve read a lot of books on various religions, including many pagan variations, and most of them have FAR more to say about getting along with your fellow being than in waging war on them. I’m tired of whackjobs telling me what plans the Supreme Being has for me. I don’t want to hear it at gunpoint, or over the blast 0f a bomb, or ducking incoming rocket or mortar fire. And for the ultimate bottom line – if you don’t want me blowing YOU up for whatever I believe, why can’t the same be true in reverse?

Sadly, I know my pleas will fall on logical ears (pointed or otherwise), and will never reach those who need to hear it most. But what a wonderful thought to end this horrific day with – don’t tell me what the big Somebody Else wants to tell me, let me get it straight from the source. It translates much better that way – and nobody has to die in the process.

And may the sunrise of Saturday wash the Parisian streets with the light and warmth of millions of caring souls sending prayers and best wishes from around the world, and may it let the whole world see that the evening of Friday the 13th was just a single, brief, sad nightmare, and that the weeks to come will overcome hate with love. Bon Noir!

Posted in Current Events | Tagged | 2 Comments

Je Suis Paris.

A truly horrible Friday the 13th, with (by some counts) as many as 140+ people dead in the French capitol. Hold the City of Lights in your thoughts tonight. And think of this wonderful image, from the Twitter feed of Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) via the BBC’s online feed:

One World Trade Center 🇫🇷

One World Trade Center 🇫🇷

Blue, white, and red – the French flags colour in order, top to bottom. One World Trade Center stands with Paris tonight. As we all should.

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A Conspiracy Theory To Beat the Band.

(Disclaimer: I am not making fun of the tragedy of the Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai desert. I also don’t really believe this bundle of bushwa I’m about to drop. But I think it’s a fun exploration of the lunacy behind conspiracy theories.)

A representative of the Russian airline, Metrojet, has stated the crash of the Airbus A321 in the Sinai desert had to be caused by “outside influences”, i.e. not due to faults with the plane or crew. But that suggests a shoot-down. In light of the theories springing up from the dual Malaysian losses of MH17 and MH370, what is the most unlikely cause for this incident?

Schwinn did it.

Here’s how it goes. Many Syrian refugees have found a “back door” into Europe, via a small border crossing between Norway and Russia way, WAY up north. The trick is, the Norwegian laws forbid walking across, so the refugees have to buy bicycles. Once across the border, the Norwegians crush the bikes. (Whimper!) So … Schwinn arranged to supply missiles to IS that could reach the altitude the Metrojet flight was at. This will cause Russia to get pissier than usual, and move more troops to southern climes around the Middle East. This will decrease the number of border guards available in the North, allowing the refugees an easier passing to the border crossing in the far North, requiring a larger supply of expendable bicycles, thus giving Schwinn a huge windfall selling bikes to the people smugglers who sell them to the refugees. Advantage: Schwinn!

Now, for my next trick, I’ll explain why gas prices go up the MOMENT the price of crude oil rises, but remains high when crude prices drop. Stay tuned – I’ll need a faster connection to shovel such a copious load of crap. :D

Posted in Current Events, Humor | Tagged , | 3 Comments