It Will What?

City of Springfield seeks application authorization to end youth homelessness

One cannot make sense of the headline, but if one clicks through and reads the story, it makes sense.

Springfield City Council will meet Tuesday and vote on the approval of an application for a grant to end youth homelessness.

Senior planner Bob Atchley is seeking authorization from the city council to apply for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If awarded, the minimum the city would receive is $1 million.

“This would potentially be huge for youth homelessness in our community,” said Atchley. “It literally will allow us to develop a plan to hopefully end youth homelessness in our community.”

It’s about applying for a one million dollar grant, which some government and governmentish people will spend to create a plan to “end” youth homelessness.

The skeptical amongst us know this will not “end” anything, but certainly it will spend the million dollars. And maybe even yield a paper requiring further ongoing funding to implement. To not “end” anything, because the end would also be the end of the funding.

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You Will Never Hear It The Same Again

Facebook showed me this ad, which spurred a revelation.

“Moon River” is a cult song.

So it really is about worshipping the moon and offering sacrifices to achieve one’s goals. I didn’t know it, but I know it now, and I’ll never here the song the same way again. Also, I will make a gesture warding against il malocchio whenever I hear Andy Williams from now on. Just to be safe.

Here is Émie Morissette doing her invocation:

Apparently, she is only 22 years old. So I checked to see if she is Alanis Morissette’s daughter. Because the math would work out, old man. But she is not. She must be part of the same Céline Dion cloning project that gave us Alanis Morissette. And Justin Bieber and Michael Bublé. I am pleased to see that the Canadian government is getting better, as Morissete2 is better than the others.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, instead of a single gag with a music video, this has turned into a “Know the Difference” post. During the course of the research in this post, which was mainly making sure I got the accent marks correct on the French Canadian names above (Fun fact: I am one-eighth French Canadian–it’s the second most pure line in my blood after German, which gets one-eighth on one side and smaller fractions elsewhere–but I never earned an accent mark in my name, and my surname is actually Welsh), as I was saying, during my research, I discovered a one-name artist Morissette:

Although she also goes by Morissette Amon, and probably now Morissette Amon-Lamar, her married name.

She falls between the other Morissettes in age and might be better than them both. More research is needed.

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Brian J.’s Recycler Tour Visits Arkham

From 2018:

I’ve just learned to play a miskatonic scale on my guitar.

Now, what am I to do with all these chthonians I’ve drawn from below?

Yeah, I have not picked up that guitar in a while. I learned a few chords, but I was not very good at changing cords in time as I still had to look at the frets to place my fingers.

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The Jazzy Pajama Pants Of Nogglestead

Every Christmas, I give the family warm pajamas in their current sizes (which will sometime soon be settling into their permanent sizes, as the boys are finta stop growing soon). This year, I gave everyone kinda fuzzy pajamas, which we soon learned should be line-dried instead of run through the dryer, where they started to deteriorate with one or two tumbles. So we hang them in the bathrooms of Nogglestead to dry. My beautiful wife’s garments get hung in the master bath, and the boys’ things get hung in the hall bath. As they are now using the hall shower, we can no longer use the shower curtain rod as a clothesline, so I’ve put the top on the towel hook and the pants on the towel bar.

Which leads to some motion when the air conditioner cycles on.

I can’t walk by that and not here the synth keyboards of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”:

You know, that music video creeped me out when it came out. I was but a wee lad of eleven with a vivid imagination for things that go bump in the night, and the discombobulated mannequins tripped my switch. The song, and video, was popular when we lived in my aunt’s basement; we saw it on KHTR’s Hot Hit Video television program which came on after the news on Saturday nights (we could stay up that late, but not late enough for Friday Night Videos on Friday nights). That’s how kids who did not have access to cable and MTV watched videos. Unlike today, where kids with or without access to cable go to YouTube because MTV started playing its original, insipid, and cheaper, content instead of music videos.

At any rate, to sum up, if you don’t click either of the above videos to play them, the pants move a little when the air conditioner comes on and the vent below them starts blowing cool air, and the Herbie Hancock video has pants kicking in time with the music at various other parts.

I don’t have any Herbie Hancock records, and I assure you, Future Shock, which I assume has similar pre-electronica stylings, will not be my first. Unless, of course, I find a vinyl copy for a dollar.


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On We’re No Angels (1954)

Book coverC’mon, man, you know this is the 1954 film starring Humphrey Bogart in one of his later roles and not the 1989 De Niro and Penn film. I mean, I guess I could watch that, too, since it is an oldie now–characterized not so much by black and white or bright Technicolor, but the lack of CGI and the presence of a plot.

The plot centers on three convicts who escape, in 1895, from a prison on an island off of French Guiana and arrive at a seaport where a bunch of other recently freed convicts or prisoners on work release work, so they kind of blend in. They offer to “fix” the leaking roof of a local shop–in reality, they just want to hide out until they can stow away on an outbound vessel. But they come to feel some affection for the family running the store as the store’s owner comes from France to check in on the operation–the store is struggling, as it is the only one in town offering credit, and townspeople are taking advantage of it and of the shopkeeper. So they help sell, help cook the books, and help take care of the shop’s normally in absentia owner.

The heroes of the story are actually convicted felons and murderers who sometimes joke about it–so they’re anti-heroes in 1954, which I am assured by popular culture is impossible. Also, it’s a a movie based on a stage play, which you can kind of tell by the limited number of sets, the wordplay, and the talk of going to other locations but not actually going there (the governor’s garden, unseen, is a source for flowers, for example). It’s not badly paced, as the wordplay and humorous situations come with frequency, but it is paced for the middle of the 20th century, so probably a bit slow for the TikTok generation.

It featured Joan Bennett as the shopkeeper’s wife.

Continue reading “On We’re No Angels (1954)”

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I’m Not Saying It’s The Mormons, But….

‘Mind blowing’ ancient settlements uncovered in the Amazon

It’s been a while since I’ve delved into The Book of Mormon, but one of the things I recollect from it is that it’s predicated on family that escapes from Israel before its fall to the Chaldeans who then settle in South America.

Of course, contemporary archeologists and historians discount it, partially because of the known prehistorical “record” of what archeologists have found.

So far.

(Link via Blogodidact on Facebook.)

Which reminds me: I never did finish reading The Book of Mormon. Perhaps I should dig back into it, perhaps after some of the other series/sets I’m working on.

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On Semi-Pro (2008)

Book coverThis film is from the Ferrellverse of the early part of the 21st century, so it features some faces you’re familiar with if you’ve watched Anchorman or Old School, but no Wilsons or Vince Vaughn. It also has Andre 3000 from Outkast in an afro, perhaps a wig, in the height of his “Hey Ya” success. I didn’t recognize him.

The story: The owner, coach, player, and announcer of a fictional ABA team, the Flint (Michigan) Tropics, played by Will Ferrell, learns that the league will be merged into the NBA with only four teams making the move. When he learns that his team is not included, he proposes that the top four teams in the league make the leap instead–even though his team is in last place. A majority of the other owners agree, so Will Ferrell trades for a minor NBA player (Woody Harrellson; this is not his best basketball movie) who eventually becomes coach and teaches the group to play as a team. They start climbing the standings, with all of it coming down to the last game, where they can get into fourth place and maybe the NBA with a win. Unfortunately, the commissioner of the ABA says that the agreement is null, and the original four teams chosen will go to the NBA, so the Tropics play for their pride–without their best player, whom Will Ferrell trades to their opponent, the Spurs, a team going to the NBA.

So it’s amusing in spots, but, ultimately, I am less a fan of Will Ferrell’s boy-man characters than I am of Adam Sandler’s. Sandler plays Little Nicky, Happy Gilmore, and Big Daddy with a bit of vulnerability and pathos; Ferrell is just loud and obnoxious.

However, my oldest joined me in watching the film, so it was a shared experience, which is so rare these days.

Also, the film featured Maura Tierney as the love interest of Harrelson’s character, who signs with the Flint team because she lives in Flint.

Continue reading “On Semi-Pro (2008)”

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Nogglestead Offers Its Own Experts

The story at the New York Post is Your cat does actually love you, it just doesn’t want to be petted. Comma splice aside, our experts on being cats at Nogglestead do want to be petted.

Roark jumped up and demanded attention while I was reading the story, and Chimera got pushy for attention as I wrote this blog post. No photo of Chimera in front of the story, though, as he is more of a roll-around-on-the-desk attention seeker, not a sit-between-you-and-the-keyboard-and-meow attention seeker.

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The Order In Which You Read The Internet Answers Your Quizzes

I saw this on the front page of The Sun: THORPLAY Brit A-lister unrecognisable in new Thor film – can you guess who it is?

I guessed Ralph Fiennes, but no.

If only I had read the New York Post first.

Which is a good reason to not read the Post first. So I can guess.

With this, Bale becomes the latest to appear in both the Marvel and the DC movies. Remember back when, maybe only a decade ago, when this set of actors was small enough to fit into a single trivia question?

Perhaps I should do a study of people who go from DC to Marvel and vice versa to see if there’s a pattern. Keaton and Bale went from Batman to DC villain. Affleck went from Daredevil to Batman. Perhaps we could discover or invent a heirarchy and comment on how actors are progressing on them.

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On Casino Royale (1967)

Book coverAs you might know, gentle reader, my boys and I a couple of years ago went through the main line of James Bond movies in order, starting with Dr. No and culminating in the end of the Pierce Brosnan years. Actually, I started them with the first appearance of James Bond in an American television episode of Climax! that introduced Jimmy Bond. We also watched Never Say Never Again, another studio’s rendition of Thunderball! that brought Sean Connery back after Roger Moore had taken over. We did not, however, watch this fillm, which is a late 1960s spoof starring David Niven, Ursula Andress, and Woody Allen.

I invited the boys to watch it, but they demurred, as they’d already seen it; the episode of Climax is entitled Casino Royale and is based upon the book, loosely, as is this film, much more loosely.

The 1960s were rife with these spy-movie romps. Kids today, and by “kids,” I mean people of a certain age who think they’re still young but are not, think Mike Myers invented the spy spoof when he did Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (actual kids these days don’t watch old movies like Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery). But you’ve got the Flynn movies and the Dean Martin Matt Helm movies, so they existed, although they were lost in the 1970s pop culture dark age.

So: In this film, the original James Bond has retired. But SMERSH is killing the MI6’s and other agencies’ agents, so they try to lure him out of retirement to help tackle the terror organization. He refuses but changes his mind after his mansion is destroyed–at the orders of M, who is killed in the attack. So Bond takes over MI6, renames all of the other agents James Bond 007 to confuse SMERSH, and takes M’s remains to his estate in Scotland, which has been infiltrated by SMERSH. Women agents try to seduce Bond to knock the shine off of his celibate gentleman reputation, but cannot. He learns that the other agents have been seduced and led to their deaths, so he strives to find an agent impervious to female charms to beat a gambling-debt-ridden SMERSH agent at baccarat.

So that’s the basic outline that leads to the Casino Royale of the title. The film is full of silly scenes and escapades, lots of attractive women, and ends on a note that presages the grimness of 1970s cinema.

So I thought it was interesting to watch as a cultural artifact and in the name of Bond cinema completeness. I was amused in spots, but I don’t think my boys would have liked it–again, they’re a bit young to understand what’s being spoofed.

But it did include beautiful women.

Continue reading “On Casino Royale (1967)”

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A New George Carlin Joke, But From A Dream

From a dream I had last night:


I said this in my best George Carlin imitation in my dream. I was in a school bathroom. A repairman was working on the urinals, so I stepped into one of the stalls, and as I was doing so, a man in a suit came in. So I said this from the stall. And I noticed as I was starting to urinate that there were books in the toilet. So I stopped, and I took the books out of the toilet, and eventually there were 43. I mentioned it to some teachers, presumably after zipping up, but transitions are a little smoother in dreams, and they said it was one student’s book order, and sometimes the kids are afraid of books.


I don’t it’s based off of yesterday’s post or I just had to go to the bathroom (I awakened, and did).

But, c’mon, you can hear that in George Carlin’s delivery, can’t you?

Maybe I should include a TMI category on the blog.

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Tempus Fukit

Ah, gentle reader, what of our written legacies?

As you know, I have some published works that have not been scattered widely–it has sold only, what, 100 copies, and mostly in Kindle? John Donnelly’s Gold was so narrowly distributed that I could easily determine who traded them in at a used book store.

  • It looks like the copy I sent to Roberta X sold in Indianapolis, finally Well, alright, maybe that’s a bit optimistic; just because it’s no longer in the store’s inventory does not mean it sold–it could have gotten donated to a book sale or put in the dumpster to make room for something that might sell.
  • I see a copy in LA that I inscribed to a client in New York is up for sale for a reasonable price–I think I will order it.
  • There’s a copy in Washington–would that be one of the beta readers from almost 20 years ago that has moved up there to work for Microsoft.
  • Et cetera.

It’s kind of like how I know you’ve visited my blog, gentle reader. There’s not exactly a lot of noise in the stat counter to obscure you personally.

I was quite the letter writer in college; I sent out reams of letters to family and friends in those lonely years before the Internet. Although I have kept electronic copies of each, migrated as is my wont all the way up from the 286 PC clone I was running then (and another although, although I probably still have electronic copies of letters I produced with Bank Street Writer) on floppies in the store room. I have all the letters my friends and family sent me in hard copy, though, and I have electronic copies of letters I have written since, with modern computers, but I am pretty sure that the printed letters I’ve sent to my correspondents are in the landfill by now. They’re almost all dead by now.

The short stories, novel attempts, and recent poems (not included in Coffee House Memories) are on the computer in electronic form. I will carry them forward, computer to computer, and back them up, but.

Like this blog. I’ve used it as a running commentary on books, politics, life, and humor for almost twenty years. It has some good stuff on it, a lot of detritus, but when I pass on, it like the electronic copies of things I’ve written will be forgotten, hundreds of thousands of words unread, turned off. I will not even be ephemera in someone’s basement or an antique mall somewhere.

Why, yes, in researching a post, I saw that Charles Hill’s life’s work is gone, now forwarding to an amateur marketing site for some twee application.

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Book Report: The Old and the Beautiful by the residents of Arrow Senior Living (2020)

Book coverLast year, gentle reader, you might remember I read a collection of poetry written by residents of one or more nursing homes in the Beverly Enterprises (A Bend in the Road). Well, this year, as you might know, my mother-in-law moved into senior housing not too far from Nogglestead, and it turns out that two years ago, during the recent-malingering-unpleasantness of 2020, the residents there wrote a book of their own. Well, sort of: as my mother-in-law says, it was mostly the residence director of some sort and a resident, a professional writer, with some suggestions by other residents.

At any rate, the story is a soap-opera-style melodrama at a senior living facility. A mysterious count, complete with cape, comes, and secrets start spilling out about administrators and some of the residents. The chapters are short and punchy, and they end with cliffhangers as though they’re episodes of a soap opera. Unfortunately, the book itself acts only as a season of a soap opera, so most of the things within are not actually resolved, which leaves room for the next season and more intrigues.

As I understand it, they’ve begun work on the second book. Which will be interesting to see now that my mother-in-law, a former English teacher, is on site. One wonders whether she will collaborate closely with the current writer…. or take it over. Probably the former–she’s mellowed.

So an amusing read, but probably most interesting if you have a personal connection to the home of the writers.

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Sadly, Again, Yes

I might have mentioned sometimes clicking crime news headlines to see if I know the people involved.

In the olden days, I would sometimes recognize the perpetrators. Of course, now that I’m of a certain age, all the people I would have known to be perpetrators are in prison or dead.

Unfortunately, I still sometimes see names I know.

Man charged in fatal shooting of Shaw resident in backyard

To be honest, I’ve only been in Facebook-touch with Chris in the last decade and a half, but he liked some of my posts, and I was pleased to see he married and adopted a child.

I am glad that we left St. Louis when we did. I am now wondering if we went far enough out.

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Book Report: Blood and Fire The Executioner #221 (1997)

Book coverWell, well, well: This is the second Executioner novel I’ve read in a row where the title is meaningful (the first was Tiger Stalk). One of the characters in the book uses “blood and fire” as a bit of an epithet. Spoiler alert: As his name is not Bolan, it’s Bolan fire and the speaker’s blood.

So some new Jamaican custom drugs are flooding the east coast, and when the usual law enforcement moves in, they make some minor busts, but cannot move up the chain because someone in law enforcement is tipping them off. So the feds turn to Bolan, who, along with a trustworthy agent, runs some unannounced operations which lead to a Swiss syndicate’s chemical plant in Jamaica. So the set pieces include operations in the US and on the Caribbean island.

And, you know what? It was a pretty good book. It checks in at the now-standard 220 pages (well, then-standard), but it moves along well. It makes me almost sad or nostalgic that I have but one more entry in the series–which is just as well–I read a contemporary Bolan book, and it was longer and again bloated. Some of the 220-pagers seemed bloated when the 160-page authors were padding them out, but the last couple fill those pages without fat. On the other hand, any book over 300 pages can’t really be punchy, and that’s what I prefer in my men’s adventure fiction.

I did tag a couple things that seemed odd.

A figure partially showed itself around the corner at the end of the passage, leading with a nickel-plated shotgun.

A nickel-plated shotgun? I have never heard of such a thing. Handguns, surely. But I guess they exist; I just did a search for them and found them online. So I’m learning something new instead of trying to teach something to an author who might be long-dead.

Also, remember what I said about “no padding”? Well, I see clearly that the author likes the rhythm of prepositional phrase strings. Which I use a lot myself. Which others (*cough, cough* Strunk) would probably call “padding.”

“How far do you figure?”

Grimaldi looked back. “Two klicks, two-and-a-half, maybe.”

The soldier took out a pair of gloves and a D-ring from his kit bag. He slung the bag, attached the ring to his belt, then clipped it around the rope. Lastly, he pulled on the gloves. “Meet me back here in half an hour,” he told the pilot, then he kicked out of the helicopter door.

Once again, someone lacks a sense of scale; I remember dinging Lee Child for pacing issues.

So say a 5 kilometer round trip. Even if Bolan runs six minute miles, that’s almost 20 minutes in transit time to and fro. And six minute miles tend to be run on a track, not in the jungle. So this would be a very speedy reconnaissance indeed.

Eh, you know what? In the best of these books, like this one, the little things, the inaccuracies, are a fun little find, but not debilitating to the plot or the adventure. In some, like a pondrous Jack Reacher book, though, they provide the second tap, the coup de grâce, to the enjoyment.

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The United States Begs To Differ

In an article called STEP IN TIME Where Mary Poppins cast are now – from tragic death at 21 to £35m fortune and moving cameo in film reboot, the Daily Star asserts:

IT may be 58 years since he high-kicked across the roofs of London to Chim Chim Cher-ee but Mary Poppins star Dick Van Dyke hasn’t forgotten his most iconic role.

C’mon, man. More iconic than Rob Petrie (from The Dick Van Dyke Show, you damned kids)? Not even more iconic than Dr. Sloan (from Diagnosis: Murder)? I think not.

Tied, at best, with Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You know, that one guy in that one kid’s movie you saw a couple of times. Not more iconic than something you might have seen dozens or hundreds of times on television or DVDs.

Maybe it’s iconic in Britain since it takes place in Britain.

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On The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss (2010)

Book coverI picked this book up on the dollar side of the Friends of the Library Book Sale this spring, and it’s the first of the courses/audio books I got that weekend that I loaded into the CD player in my main truck. It’s only three CDs, about 3.5 hours total, so I did not have to displace anything in the CD changer (which had three spots open).

Ferris is probably best known for The 4-Hour Work Week which he then turned into a little bit of a franchise–this book is one of several with similar titles, and it deals with exercise, diet, sex, and such things.

The sections, basically, deal with those things in that order. The first, exercise, explains how to get the most out of a minimalist exercise program. Basically, do a small set of exercises to failure, fewer exercises than even Rippletoe advocates, and then take plenty of time off to recover. The second section on diet talks a lot about body chemistry and includes supplements and whatnot. The third section deals with sex, mainly how to please a woman, and to be honest, it was a bit squicky, but I’ll get to that in depth. He also talks briefly about life extension strategies, like caloric restriction, but rightfully rejects this as impeding the quality of life for mere quantity.

So Ferris does a lot of research on the topics he writes on and then tries them out himself. So when it comes to the exercise, over the course of a couple of years, he tries various approaches and measures his body mass index and stuff. When it comes to supplements, he tries a variety of regimens and diets and self-reports that he has his blood tested frequently for various effects and markers. And when it comes to sex–well.

All right, when it comes to sex, he talks about how few women achieve orgasm, and then he attends a couple of training sessions or seminars involving actual sexual contact between the instructors, where you can actually get very close to the naughty bits to see exactly what they’re doing. Which is, in a word, weird. The tips Ferriss learns in the sex section, I’m pleased to say I already knew. Because I have had a sexual partner for a long time, and we communicate. I suppose you need this sort of abstraction if you’re changing partners quickly and don’t have the time to understand and explore with a single person. But as the section was targeted at pleasing women pretty exclusively, one must assume something about the target audience. That it’s young men, not middle-aged old folk like me (although Ferriss himself is only a couple years younger than I am).

So, what did I take away from the audio book?

  • When working out, remember to work to the point of exhaustion. I think he favors the 5×5 weight approach, which is five reps and then add five pounds for the next set, and do five sets. Maybe that makes it 5x5x5. I had been working sets of 10, but I was not exhausting the muscles. Now, I might not hit five sets, but I get to the point where I can’t lift all the way up, and I hold it at that position until I can’t any more. Of course, this is not an exercise for barbells you’re under if you lack a spotter. But I’ll try that for a while; I have heard about it from other sources as well, so the audiobook is only reinforcing other information.
  • Both this book and Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset extoll the virtues of cold showers, so I’ve started turning the temperature down in the shower after washing and shaving. Also, when I started listening to this book, I was getting ready for the annual “Pool is open in April” plunge into some cold water, and I wanted to minimize the chances of it killing me this year. The water in our pool has not really cleared, so I didn’t have to take the plunge before the Summer switched turned to on, but I’ve kept turning the water cold because of a couple things mentioned in the book: Specifically, that cold helps burn calories faster while working out (the shower is not exactly working out, but the body needs to spend to heat for that minute or so) and because something in Ferriss’s research indicated that cold on the neck produces a fat burning response. And, frankly, I have gone through a period of eating a lot of sandwiches recently, and I could use a little extra burn.

So that”s it. Basically, two things. But, still, not bad for a couple hours of interesting.

Note that my youngest listened to parts of the chapters on diet, and asked as he was getting out of the car, “This diet is supposed to make you shredded? I’m not going to do it.”

Me, either, kid. I’d rather eat what I want and work some of it off than try to make like a professional body builder.

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