In Case You Were Wondering What Mack Bolan’s War Wagon Looks Like….

Ms. K. has a photo of a GMC motorhome from the early 1970s.

Apparently, its missile racks are retracted for urban operations camouflage. But I presume they’re there.

(Footnote: In a number of the later Pendleton titles, Mack Bolan drives one of these, somehow inconspicuously, to the hardsites he wants to hit. And no one seems to catch on that one of these was nearby during the climactic finales of each book.)

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Not Mentioned: Gorean Communities Violate Internet Terms of Service

Anachronomicon has a short post in a series on real banned books covering John Norman’s Gor novels.

Kulak mentions how Gorean communities for, erm, role-play sprang up. But Kulak does not mention, or probably know, that such communities violate at least one Internet Service Provider’s terms of service as late as 2021.

I told the story of how I first encountered Gor books back when I was actively dealing on Ebay and found a number of first and second printings for a quarter each and made quite the multiplier on them (I told the story, briefly, in my review of The Priest-Kings of Gor in 2006).

I later filled out a set of the first ten(?) at Patten Books back in the day, and I think I’m down to my last one or two (I read the eighth, Hunter of Gor in 2020). I think I only have one left on the to-read shelf along with Time Slave, a non-Gor book by Norman, which I have tried to pick up a time or two since I bought it in 2017.

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Wow. That Long.

Today, Pergelator posts a bit about having watched Drunken Master II, also known as The Legend of the Drunken Master.

You know, I just watched that. Well, “just” being January of last year. The older I get, the longer the periods of time known as “just” and “recently” become.

With both agree on Anita Mui, but only I, gentle reader, posted pictures. Because I care about you. And because one of these days I’m going to remember to submit such posts to the Rule 5 link fests on TheOtherMcCain.

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Wherein I Don’t Get To Brag I Recognized It

In his “Have I Got A Line For You” column from April 17, Benton County Enterprise publisher James Mahlon White mentions the The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám:

Ran across a special on the Titanic last night. It sank 110 years ago on April 14, 1912. Part of the cargo was a jeweled copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The only verse I can recall is from the middle of that poem. It started out with, “Up to the 7th Gate I Rose.”

Unlike when I ran across a rubāʿiyāt in After Worlds Collide and recognized the source, I don’t recollect the quattrain that begins “Up to the 7th gate I rose” even though I likely read it three times recently.

Oh, and in unrelated news, Chuck P. included a clip from the movie version of When Worlds Collide last weekend. It was top-of-mind, of course, because I’d just read the sequel several decades after reading When Worlds Collide. I’ve never seen the film before, though.

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If You Can Still Read This

To be honest, I am not sure about the hype about the solar eclipse this year and the cicado broods coming out.

I was a little arch this morning when I said I’d seen this movie before, but I have seen solar eclipses and cicadas before 2024.

I mean, we had a solar eclipse only seven years ago (another curmudgeon remembers). We had another once-in-a-lifetime concurrence of cicada broods emerging in 2015.

I hate to be all old manny about it, but I’ve been at Nogglestead for coming up on fifteen years, so I’ve been here to compare things year-to-year in the same place. And I am coming to learn how much of the noise in the news and on the Internet are written by young people or vagabonds who lack that experience, so every experience in their new location is the first, best, superlativest thing ever.

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It Has Been Weeks Since I Quoted Repo Man

Wilder goes down the list of films of 1984, including Repo Man:

Repo Man – A movie about an alien in the trunk of a car being driven around by the physicist who developed the neutron bomb. In a weird twist, the movie was actually one of the favorites of the actual inventor of the neutron bomb. The movie still holds up. There’s one in every car.

My son bought a set of vanilla-lemon pine tree deodorizers and put one in the truck he takes to school. When I saw it, I pointed to it and said, “Find one in every car. You’ll see.” Even though I had not seen the film in nearly thirty years; it was Glenn‘s favorite movie, so we watched it when I stayed with him ca 1994 or 1995.

Oh, and Wilder says:

Conan the Destroyer – Okay, a sequel. But by far a better movie than the first one. There was supposed to be a third, but that ended up being Kull, which was a pretty good 1990s movie with Sorbo. Arnie was also starting to learn to an actor, rather than just being huge.

I am pretty sure the third film turned out to be Red Sonja.

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How To Tell A Book From 20 Years Ago

Sarah Hoyt posts about hitting the sucker punch in a book:

I hit a substantial portion of the book, and the character is making fun of the names developers give to developments and how they make no sense. It could be a good funny thing, but the writer couldn’t help himself and had to say “And that’s why when developers became politicians they lied so much.”

Uh. Look, guys, until that point I thought I was reading something 20 years old at least, but at that point I went and looked at copyright and, son of a bitch, yep 2020.

She would not have avoided a sucker punch in a book from 2004. That’s where the era where we coined sucker punch (see also Marcia Muller and the Simple Art of Sucker Punch). Books from 2004 would have made their sucker punches at oilmen and those who had “I’m Proud Bush Is Our President” bumper stickers on their pickup trucks into the second Obama administration (ahem).

It is a phenomenon of the 21st century. I found it especially acute in Ed McBain’s books: Prior to 2000, some of his asides would rail against the powers that be, the men in Washington, and so on, but they became more personal in the Bush years.

Pretty much you have to presume now that books published during Republican administrations will rail at the president directly. And if it’s during a Democrat administration, the the Republicans, conservatives, and/or MAGA generally in some aside or bit of color.

See also a book report I’m working on with a book bearing a 2019 copyright date.

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We at MfBJN Know The Rest of the Story

Pardon me for Paul-Harveying this, but Stuff Nobody Cares About posted a picture of 1937 St. Louis Cardinals catchers at spring training.

Including Mickey Owen:

Of the three catchers Mickey Owen had the most successful career. In 1937 the 21-year-old rookie played in 80 games for the Cardinals. Owen would become the Cardinals starting catcher in 1938 playing with the team until 1940.

Mickey Owen would eventually play five seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers making the All-Star team four times. Owen played in the major leagues until 1954 and had a career .255 batting average. Owen died at age 89 in 2005.

As we here at MfBJN have mentioned, Owens moved to Greene County, Missouri, after his playing days. He opened a baseball school a little west of here that we passed taking my boy to a basketball game out in Avila (it’s still open), and he later ran for Greene County sheriff and served several terms. I know all this because I bought one of his re-election giveaways for a dime at a church garage sale a decade ago.

It’s just a little notepad. No telling what it’s worth, but given that he played almost a century ago, probably as much as a modern giveaway notepad. So less than the dime I paid for it likely.

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Jack Baruth Discovers Symphonic Metal

Atop Jack Baruth’s Avoidable Contact Forever yesterday, I saw a familiar face:

It’s Giada “Jade” Etro of the symphonic metal band Frozen Crown, of whom Baruth says:

As most of you know, music isn’t a full-time job for most people nowadays, so you’ll be pleased to know that Miss Etro has twelve years of experience as a dentist and orthodontist. How in God’s name have I had one implant, four veneers, and a dozen crowns… none from her. I don’t care if I die during the procedure like Ye’s mom did during her discount Mexican plastic surgery.

As I did with Kim du Toit, I welcome Baruth’s discovery of the genre, where all the bands have attractive women with pipes on the lead vocals.

And, then as now, I offer some further selections.

Vocalist:
Melissa Bonny
Mizuho Lin
Nicoletta Rossellini
Nationality:
Swiss
Brazilian
Italian
Bands:
Evenmore
Rage of Light
Ad Infinitum
The Dark Side of the Moon
Semblant
Kalidia
Walk in Darkness

Although I don’t put a lot of symphonic metal on my gym playlist (“What Lies Ahead” and “Mere Shadow” by Semblant, “Stay Black” by Battle Beast, “82nd All the Way” by Amaranthe), it’s what YouTube insists on feeding me on those occasions where I type in a song from a metal band (any metal band) and let it run. Which is not a good way to find more songs for my gym playlist, but it does introduce me to new symphonic metal bands. And the infrequent Spanish metal band thanks to Xeria.

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As I Read Bernard Cornwell Books….

I know who the Duke of Wellington was:

I KNOW nothing should surprise us these days about dumbed-down Britain. But an article on the moronic Mail Online website the other day had me choking on my cornflakes.

It read: ‘In 2020, Mandy Lieu, 38, bought 935-acre Ewhurst Park in Hampshire, once owned by the inventor of the wellington boot, the Duke of Wellington, and vowed to turn it into a world-class organic farm and nature reserve.’

The inventor of the wellington boot!

Good grief, I know teaching of British history is nowadays outrageously skewed and bowdlerised, but I didn’t realise things had got this bad.

Sharpe’s Trafalgar only mentions the duke in passing. The pompous politician or his wife is a distant cousin.

By the end of the year I shall know a heckuva lot more about the Napoleonic wars, and I should probably read the firsthand account of his retreat from Russia that I have around here somewhere.

(Link via Sarah Hoyt on Instapundit.)

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Keeping His Memory Alive

In his Sunday Night Open Thread post (subscribers only), Jack Baruth mentions Dustbury:

I was right about it, and most of my peers were wrong. But, as my old friend Charles G Hill once said, it hardly matters now.

He links to his post eulogizing Charles Hill (available to the public).

We bloggers, no matter what media, have to keep each others’ memories alive since they’re more ephemeral than most ephemera.

Doiing my bit, on Facebook on this day in 2011, I posted:

Brian J. Noggle confesses that, whenever he sees a Hyundai Equus, he wants to smash its headlights.

and Charles got it, commenting:

Way too literary for this crowd.

Definitely a well-read fellow.

Oh, and I’ve only subscribed to four or five Substacks in my time, and Avoidable Contact is the only subscription I’ve kept up. Make of that what you will, but you should make it into an endorsement.

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Proper Music For The Reading

Yesterday, Severian started a post by talking about Michael McDonald (What a Fool Believes).

WSIE provided the proper music for the occasion.

Although, to be honest, WSIE plays a hella lot of McDonald, whether with the Doobie Brothers, with a single other Doobie Brother (depicted), solo, or with James Ingram. WSIE has a pretty small playlist, and no matter how often I send a message on the request line to play the Pitch Pockets, no, here’s Steely Dan with “Aja” again.

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Hindrocket Jinxes Me

In a post about the debate last night (didn’t see it, not interested), he said:

Doug Burgum tore his Achilles tendon yesterday morning playing pick-up basketball. His participation was evidence of his determination and pain tolerance, but he was not up to par. Men older than 50 should not play pick-up basketball. I know several middle-aged men who have suddenly torn Achilles tendons, in every case playing basketball. They should stick to HORSE.

And here I promised my oldest son, who is now two inches taller and maybe twenty pounds heavier than I am, a basketball game this week.

When I tear my Achilles, I will know whom to blame.

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And Now You Know…. The Rest Of The Story

Not so much the rest of the story as an epilogue. Bayou Renaissance Man asks: Do you remember the Gimli Glider?

Gentle reader, of course I do. I read the book about it, Freefall, in 2004 on a plane on a trip to Florida, where I spent some time talking to my beautiful wife’s uncle, a former Pratt and Whitney engineer who could tell you what happened in any number of air disasters. Because I don’t like to fly, you see.

At any rate, the epilogue is that the pilot and one of the passengers some decades later met at a reunion and got together. How sweet.

And not as crazy as the stewardess who stayed in the industry and recounted how she flew in that plane again during the course of her career (which is in the book). One such incident, and I would have found another line of work. I have not even had one such incident, and I still prefer driving vacations even when the driving takes me on narrow Arkansas highways.

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