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Taking Out A Sentry

So, a guy walks up to a sentry and asks, “Hi, sentry, new in town?”

Back-in-the-day, when I was young and foolish (I’m not so young, anymore) I used to read Soldier Of Fortune magazine.  (In addition to Shotgun News, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Guns Magazine and pretty much every firearms periodical I could find!)  This was before they were sued for facilitating a hitman in their classifieds, and LTC Robert Brown (founder and publisher – U.S.Army-Retired) reportedly discharged a 1911 underwater at a Scottsdale resort pool.  Just to see if it would function.  Rumor was some alcohol was involved.

For me, being unable to get into the military, I was, as Brown described it, truly an armchair adventurer.

And, unlike Playboy’s centerfold (that used to be nude women – sigh), SOF had a centerfold with a different focus.  Sentry removal.

I’m certain Michael Echanis, premier martial arts editor, had something to do with the content.

It would illustrate techniques like the Turkish twist, and judiciously-lethal dagger placement, as though all the readership had been to the CIA’s ‘Farm’ or Ranger School.

Like we were all spec-ops assassins just aching to ‘take out a sentry’, silently.

Of course, we weren’t, but enjoyed reading such macho fodder, nevertheless.

And we’d do the joke about ‘taking out’ sentries whenever a new issue arrived on the newsstand.

And absorb tales of mercenaries world-wide, new gun reviews, read about the latest in electronic surveillance gear, U.S. and foreign military actions and macho TV and movies.

Mike Echanis died in a plane crash en route training in Central America.  And more lawsuits continued.

April 2016 was the last paper edition of SOF.  It continues to be available online.

I’ve not read it regularly for some years.  For me, just getting out of the armchair requires effort enough.  Forget adventure or sentries.sof

FTC – I bought my own.  Get your own!

 

“Don’t Go! It’s A COOKBOOK!”

to serve man

I awaken middle of the night and I’m cold.  Not just cool – cold.  This may have something to do with the fact that I’m laying on top of the top sheet, and not wearing much.  (I know – TMI)

Why am I doing this?

Well, I reside in The Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix Arizona area).  And we’re experiencing a cold streak.  It’s reportedly going to be 103° F, today.

It was 118° a week-and-a-half ago!  (Unofficially at a friend’s – 123°, on his back patio!)

And being in the Western side of the townhouse, I get the PM Sun exposure.  Usually 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house!

SO…I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, so the A/C may do her best work!

But, the body cools during sleep, and sometimes the combination of forced colder air and a cooler body equals…?

NO, this is not a replay of the Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode wherein the Earth’s orbit changed, and it is moving ever-closer to the Sun.  When, in fact, the TV character’s fever broke and he began getting colder, and in fact the Earth was moving AWAY from the Sun!

I was just getting cold last night.  So I moved the fan.

Which has nothing to do with the post’s title, except that’s another TZ episode.  The tag line from which popped into my head upon awakening cold. 🙂

My roommate said I watched too much TV as a child.  I’m beginning to think she was right.

Sometimes these posts write themselves!

The Politically-Incorrect On Television

I’ve gotten used to seeing political correctness on TV.  Not that I like it, but have come to the realization that most of the TV show writers, producers and networks foster an agenda.  Nowhere near that of a constitutional republic.

And many times, it’s not based in fact – it’s based on what is perceived as popular and liberal.

An aside on a sitcom about the prevalence of global warming; the presence of a gun – in and of itself – shown as evil and dangerous.  The whole BLM agenda, as well.

But, occasionally, some differing opinions slip through the cracks!

Last Man Standing – a sitcom with Tim Allen as a beleaguered conservative business owner, surrounded by liberals and mostly conservative females.  Making statements against The President’s policies and Secretary Clinton’s lack-of-action about Benghazi.  And, still remaining a comedy!

Blue Bloods – a Tom Selleck (a Gunsite graduate) cop family vehicle including Catholicism, proper gun handling instruction, and the difficult balancing of policing with civil liberties.  Tom plays the current police commissioner.

Criminal Minds – The FBI against serial killers, with Joe Mantegna (another Gunsite graduate) showing off many his many skills.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders – Another FBI vehicle, this time offshore, with Gary Sinise (a champion for the American Veteran).  In a recent episode, they helped capture a duo of American mass murderers in Cuba (!)  Sinise gave a passionate spiel about the Communist propaganda prevalent on our college campuses, and the ubiquitiousness of that vile t-shirt celebrating a murdering bigot Che’!

So, there IS hope…

Sadly, watching Blue Bloods, with Mr. Selleck as the Police Commissioner, I’m reminded of watching the movie Air Force One (in the 80’s), wherein Harrison Ford plays a President who had been a Green Beret (I remember).  He stands up to terrorists and kicks a**!

I left the theater feeling good.  Until I remembered Bill Clinton was (then) the actual President!

And the current P.C. of NYC is no Tom Selleck!  :-(

Cellular Telephone Security

Remember the old adage, “Never put anything into email you don’t want someone else to read.”

(Secretary Clinton, are you listening?)

Of course, with modern security software and pass codes (etc.) we needn’t worry about that with our smartphones, right?

(from Bayou Renaissance Man)

So you think your smartphone is secure?

Not according to CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ program.

Hering is a hacker himself, he’s the 30-something whiz who cofounded the mobile security company “Lookout” when he was 23. Lookout has developed a free app that scans your mobile phone for malware and alerts the user to an attack.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How likely is it that somebody’s phone has been hacked?

John Hering: In today’s world there’s really only — two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven’t.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How much do you think people have been kind of ignoring the security of their cellphones, thinking, “I’ve got a passcode, I must be fine?”

John Hering: I think that most people have not really thought about their phones as computers. And that’s really starting to shift.

Sharyn Alfonsi: And that’s what you think– it’s like having a laptop now?

John Hering: Oh absolutely. I mean, your mobile phone is effectively a supercomputer in your pocket. There’s more technology in your mobile phone than was in, you know, the space craft that took man to the moon. I mean, it’s — it’s really unbelievable.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Is everything hackable?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Everything?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: If somebody tells you, “You can’t do it.”

John Hering: I don’t believe it.

There’s much more at the link.  Highly recommended – and disturbing – reading.

Peter

So, about that porn you’ve been sneaking a peek at on your lunch hour…
PS – I saw a recent interview with Jim Caviezel, John Reese of Person of Interest (Season 5 – probably the last – starts TONIGHT 05/03/2016!).  He was asked if he changed any of his habits in real life, having done a political science fiction TV series about rampant surveillance.  He responded he is thoughtful regarding what he says in cellular telephone calls, and ELIMINATED THE INTERNET FROM HIS HOME!  Said he doesn’t need it!  Food for thought…

Spoiled

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.

She, of course, is correct.

I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example.  Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…

But these martial faux pas go back decades.

jbThe Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!)  And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example).  And the movies!  James Bond to Dirty Harry…

And thousands of other TV shows and films.

Weapon technique is terrible!  Cup-and-saucer.  Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand.  Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!

Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip!  Because it looks cool…

And the gun hand up next to the face.  Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!

And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!

And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’.  This is why women are generally better students.  They don’t have to unlearn as much.

We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.

But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy.  Remember T.J. Hooker?

Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television.  Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.

Spoiled?  Sometimes.

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.)

🙂

Surveillance, By The Numbers

(Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun. ()
Another twist on ‘the machine’ from TV’s Person of Interest.  Not video or audio surveillance, but data-mining to determine if a subject suspect person-of-interest is a potential danger.I wonder if it finds blog posts and comments and scores them with regard to potential danger, based on a peaceful expression of concern for governmental abuses?Guess I’m worthy of a bright red warning…h/t Liberty Headlines

NARCOS

Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar

We’ve been watching Netflix NARCOS, a docu-drama about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, for a time, the most wanted drug lord in the World.

He did take some of his ill-gotten gains and improved many communities with electric lighting for soccer fields, and support for national (versus foreign) made industries.

Cocaine aside.

This gave him a Robin Hood image, and allowed him access as a national legislator (for a short time).

By promising to give the people what they want.

Now, WE have this guy…

BernieSanders-1percent2

Not a criminal, murdering, drug smuggler, but still wanting to take money from corporations and individuals, and redistribute it.

By governmental force.

Because he believes government can and should.

To give (some of) the people what they want.

The current occupant of the White House is a middle-aged Black socialist, who wants to level the playing field (his words).

Now this pretender to the throne wants to do the same thing – and he’s an old, White guy!

And both keep referring to this nation as a democracy!

NOT voting for socialists is not a race issue.  It’s a Republic issue.

One doesn’t need to be a drug smuggler to see that.

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.  –  W. S. Gilbert

I saw a guy when I was at the store the other day.  And I recoiled.  Straggly, dirty hair, unkempt beard.  I didn’t get close enough, but I’d have bet my grocery money he smelled.

Of course, he might have been the kindest, sweetest gentleman on the planet!

I’ve gone to the store after working around the house and in the yard. Sweaty, dirty.  Unshaven.  With my Shao-Lin Temple style beard.  I’m certain, to the uninformed, I must appear as a derelict.

And I’d like to think I’m a good guy(?)

But, we all react to external appearances.  It’s in our DNA to do so.

Fast-forward to watching TV the other night.  The premiere of Chicago Med, completing the triumvirate of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.  With some of the same crossover characters and episodes, I’m sure…

And you know me and my love of character actors!

And there’s this guy.  Tiny, wormy, the kind who makes my skin crawl, just by showing up.

And I think to myself, “I know this guy!  A great character actor – always plays the same slimy weasel!”

Then he is introduced on the show…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago!rahm

You remember, previously The President’s Chief-of-Staff, who returned back to the nest to run for Mayor.

The guy who (in)famously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Sometimes, appearances are NOT deceiving!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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