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The Joy Of Minutiae

Nope.  Not just Trivia!

When it comes to Hollywood entertainment, much like art, I may not know it, but I know what I like.

I love the back stories, the behind-the-scenes stuff.  And production people who pander to their audience.

An old-school example:  Remember The Man From UNCLE (you baby-boomers out there)?  Yeah, there were board games, and toys and books, and movies.  But I especially appreciated the minutiae.

We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible

Man, I loved that in the credits!  I knew they couldn’t put that statement there unless such an organization existed!

I remain a fan of the TV show Person of Interest (even though it’s ratings are down and IF it returns it will be later this year with only 13 episodes :-(  )  And I was trolling the Internet, looking for some tidbit of information regarding an actual start date and/or show renewal.

And I found THIS telephone number:

917-285-7362

(for the unitiated – or less obsessed – this is a number given by Mr. Finch to Shaw in an effort to recruit her in his efforts to save people using the machine – if this is meaningless to you, you really need to catch P.O.I. on You Tube or Netflix!)

Usually, fictional telephone numbers on TV or films are separated from the real by the inclusion of the prefix 555, which the telecoms have agreed means non-working and fictional, lest a real number be shown and people start calling someone’s real number.  (867-5309 or Pennsylvania 6-5000 ring any bells?  Yes, I know, I’m old…)

But, if you are a fan of POI, you should really call the number…

It goes to a Harold Wren of Universal Heritage Insurance (!) which is one of Finch’s covers.  (Of course, Finch isn’t his real name, either.)

But wait, there’s more – Universal Heritage Insurance has a website!

You see?  Minutiae.  And production people pandering to their audience.

(Obviously, I’ve too much time on my hands.)

:-)

Mixed Emotions

Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!

Of course, I love her and miss her.  Daily.

I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!

With a boy.

While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather.   And, of course, that never happened.

And I’m a little jealous.

I’m certain Molly is happy for them.

They’re Dropping Like Flies!

…but some are returning!  :-)

I’ve been reviewing my blog roll, TGBBL, and other lists of blogs, and have noticed many people are no longer blogging, or have not blogged in some time, or have died, or whatever…

And that makes me sad.

BUT, Peter wrote today that LAWDOG has been convinced to begin blogging again, AND plans on a BOOK regarding his adventures!

HUZZAH!

Please go welcome him back!

The LawDog Files

The Gun That Won The West?

Hardly.

The gun that really went nowhere.  Regardless, was VERY cool!

From JDZ

Expensive, But Very, Very Cool

, ,

WebleyFosbery

On Gun Broker:

Scarce Webley Fosbery M1901, with matching cylinder and low serial number, that is regimentally marked. SN: 486 Cal .455. Standard military configuration M1901 with 6” barrel having fixed front and rear sight. Top of rib marked “P.WEBLEY & SON. LONDON & BIRMINGHAM”. Left side of frame marked with the Webley logo followed by the caliber “455 CORDITE ONLY.” Above the caliber is the owner/regimental inscription “H.T. MUNN 38th L.V.” Each of the chambers and the right side of the frame is proofed, the serial number appearing on the right side of the frame. Original, checkered wood grips with the left panel having the brass plate “safe” under the safety. Lanyard ring present. Condition: VG-Excellent. Matte blue with oxidative changes on the left side of barrel, cylinder, and release lever suggesting storage on a moist surface. Excellent, near mirror bore with sharp rifling. Perfect manual mechanics. A highly desireable Webley Fosbery with a military provenance that deserves further research.

Starting at only $12,500!

The same model automatic revolver used by that naughty Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) to shoot Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) at Burrit Alley, just off Bush Street above the Stockton Tunnel, in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941).

MilesArchershot

An ‘automatic revolver’!

Who knew?

Christmas Movies

My roommate and I differ slightly in which movies we like to watch to commemorate the holidays.

My roommate likes everything Christmas, especially SANTA CLAUS related.  The three Santa Clause films (Tim Allen), Miracle On 34th Street (two versions), It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife – you name it, we’ve (I’ve) been subjected relegated thoroughly enjoyed them over the past week or so.  Some multiple times.

On DVD or BluRay, in Stereo High Fi…

Don’t get me wrong.  I like some of those, in small doses.  Some even get me a little misty…

But over-and-over tends to be a bit much.  (Sorry J.)

I blame commercial television.  Most networks essentially shut down production for the holidays, having fall or winter finales, promising new shows in February!

And giving us fewer choice in the likes of reruns, cartoons and the stuff enumerated above for our viewing pleasure.

It’s like Steve Martin said.  127 channels and nothing’s on.

For television addicts like me, it’s dire.

But, I found a way to counteract the Christmas movie doldrums.  I’ve included in the DVD rotation, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard!

As was recently stated on Facebook, it isn’t really Christmas until Hans Gruber is seen falling from Nakatomi Plaza!

Merry Christmas to all you movie fans like me out there…

Today Is Bill Of Rights Day!

(As posted on Cato.org)

Today Is Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day. So it’s an appropriate time to consider the state of our constitutional safeguards.

Let’s consider each amendment in turn.

The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” Government officials, however, have insisted that they can gag recipients of “national security letters” and censor broadcast ads in the name of campaign finance reformand arrest people for simply distributing pamphlets on a sidewalk.

The Second Amendment says the people have the right “to keep and bear arms.” Government officials, however, make it difficult to keep a gun in the home and make it a crime for a citizen to carry a gun for self-protection.

The Third Amendment says soldiers may not be quartered in our homes without the consent of the owners. This safeguard is one of the few that is in fine shape – so we can pause here for a laugh.

The Fourth Amendment says the people have the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. Government officials, however, insist that they can conductcommando-style raids on our homes and treat airline travelers like prison inmates by conducting virtual strip searches.

The Fifth Amendment says that private property shall not be taken “for public use without just compensation.” Government officials, however, insist that they can use eminent domain to take away our property and give it to other private parties who covet it.

The Sixth Amendment says that in criminal prosecutions, the person accused is guaranteed a right to trial by jury. Government officials, however, insist that they can punish people who want to have a trial—“throwing the book” at those who refuse to plead guilty—which explains why 95 percent of the criminal cases never go to trial.

The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil cases where the controversy “shall exceed twenty dollars.” Government officials, however, insist that they can impose draconian fines on people without jury trials.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. Government officials, however, insist that a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense is not cruel.

The Ninth Amendment says that the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights should not be construed to deny or disparage others “retained by the people.” Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what rights, if any, will beretained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment says that the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states, or to the people. Government officials, however, insist that they will decide for themselves what powers they possess, and have extended federal control over health care, crime, education, and other matters the Constitution reserves to the states and the people.

It’s a disturbing snapshot, to be sure, but not one the Framers of the Constitution would have found altogether surprising. They would sometimes refer to written constitutions as mere “parchment barriers,” or what we call “paper tigers.” They nevertheless concluded that having a written constitution was better than having nothing at all.

The key point is this: A free society does not just “happen.” It has to be deliberately created and deliberately maintained. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. To remind our fellow citizens of their responsibility in that regard, the Cato Institute has distributed more than six million copies of our pocket Constitution. At this time of year, it’ll make a great stocking stuffer.

Let’s enjoy the holidays (and remember many of the positive trends that are underway) but let’s also resolve to be more vigilant about defending our Constitution. To learn more about Cato’s work in defense of the Constitution, go here. To support the work of Cato, go here.

Presidential Proclamation — Bill of Rights Day, 2015  (Link – NOT posted here)

Why, you might ask, did I not post it here?

Well, the President fails to mention any of the First Ten Amendments specifically, but does mention The Civil Rights movement, LGBT rights, equality and ‘fairness’.

No mention of no-knock warrants, secret prisons, ‘enhanced’ interrogations or wholesale privacy erosions.

Or firearms.

You can go an read it for yourself, if you like.

How to celebrate the day?  I’d suggest reading the entire Bill of Rights aloud, then going shooting!  :-)

For My Jewish Friends

…and those who also celebrate them!  –  Guffaw

Off the Mark

Off the Mark

khannikuh

L’CHAIM!

The Cavalier Players

I was in high school, active in the (award-winning) choir, and in The Mystic Crystal (the magic club). And one of the kids in the neighborhood pointed me in the direction of an amateur troop of kids who performed free.  For people who needed entertainment.

And I thought what the heck.

They were called The Cavalier Players.  Founded by a quintessential stage mother to get her daughter’s (marginal) dance talents exposed further, they performed free for anyone who would have them.

And I signed up.

I remember many elder care facilities, some like Phoenix’s The Beatitudes – the top of the spectrum. Others where the only thing in memory was the smell of urine.

And one Thanksgiving at the St. Vincent De Paul dining hall, packed to the brim with the unfortunate.

Other members included dancers, singers, gymnasts, and piano players.  On one occasion, the tape deck with needed music broke, so (Geez!  What the hell was her name?) the stage mom stepped out on stage, announced “I-AM-THE-ORCHESTRA!” and began humming so the dancer could continue with her performance!

Another time, Debbie J. (a gymnast) performed the splits, but had not stretched sufficiently.  She reached the bottom of her split, but was unable to come back up.  And began screaming and crying.  The EMTs were called.  She had torn some ligaments.  YIKES!

Being a magician, my only faux pas were dropping my concealed handcuff key (loudly, on a wooden stage), and having one of my juggling balls bounce off the stage toward the audience.

At least I was able to exit the stage, pick up the ball in mid-bounce and continue juggling!  I was much more mobile and faster, then.

I performed with them a couple years in high school.  It did teach me a little about the less fortunate, and about the show going on.

We even made the local paper, with a photo!  Sadly, in the pre-digital age, my likeness was over-done with ink, making me appear as a minstrel show player!  Not very cavalier…

The stage mom and her daughter moved a couple years later.  I never saw them again – guess the daughter never ‘made it’?

Thanksgiving

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my dislike of this holiday.  NOT with the sentiment!  :-)

Make certain you hold each other close, honor each other, show each other you care and respect each other at todays gatherings.

And tell them you love them.

It’s not such a bad idea other days of the year, as well.

Because you never know…

And, it’s a good idea to make a list, even if it’s just in your head, of those things and people for which you are grateful.

I’ve a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a car – albeit a beater car.  But she runs (kinda)!

Many people don’t have such things.

And today’s feast is traditional with me:

Salad, garlic toast, and mostaccioli!

mostaccioli

MANJA!

and Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, family and blogfriends™!

 

The Magic Club

I’ve posted before about my childhood foray in legerdemain.  Magic.  Sleight-of-hand.  Conjuring.

While I enjoyed a certain status in my childhood neighborhood – performing at kid’s birthday parties, and all – it was a lonely proposition.  There were no other kids nearby who loved magic as I did.  Of course, this was pre-Internet.  And I was too young to drive and go into Phoenix to the Rabbits In Our Hats Club.

The Summer between junior high and high school my leg disability developed.  Crutches and a leg brace for a year.  And I missed my first semester of high school as a result.  I was hanging around the neighborhood a lot, including my friends – most of whom were younger than I.

And something magical happened.  We formed a magic club!

Looking back, it might have been because I was the oldest and that was my thing, but who knows?

img003

THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL—– The guy in the tux is Guffaw!

We named it THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL.  The name gleaned from the song Aquarius lyrics ♫Mystic Crystal revelations…♫.

Jim, his younger brother John, John’s best friend Steve, and, later, David M and Ken.

There was a constitution, officers, dues, meetings, a newsletter and food!

Our officer’s titles all were prefaced with the beginning The Great Almighty (in an effort to resemble a men’s lodge or secret society).  I.E. the treasurer was The Great Almighty Keeper of the Dough!  :-)

We met monthly, rotating through the respective member’s homes.

Practicing magic, hanging-out, BS-ing, eating food, talking about girls.  Sometimes (if a piano was present) David M. would play for our amusement.  We made a club sign, silk-screened t-shirts (which we erroneously called bowling shirts) and spent much time goofing-off.

And we attended the annual International Brotherhood of Magicians chapter banquet.

And we would discuss and plan our first magic show, at length.

But we never performed, as a club!

Some of us did some charity shows; some made a few bucks semi-pro.

But we just never got around to performing as a group.  Certainly family and school activities took precedent.

Upon reflection, I, for one, continue to be astounded that all of our parents allowed us to get together, monthly, often on a school-night, to eat snacks and goof around as only boys in junior high and high school can!

I guess they saw it as harmless fun, versus popping our collars, wearing leather jackets and smoking cigarettes on the corner until all hours of the morning.

The club lasted from 1966 to 1971.  And we all eventually went our separate ways.  College, marriage, children, divorce.  Life.

Afterward, Ken did perform for a few years professionally as a clown!  At least one of us made the cut…

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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