Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir - In This Cold Place

(From Badtux)

Media Coverage of the Health Care Debate Remains Awful

As Josh notes, the Democrats and the Republicans have irreconcilable differences here. There will never be a compromise, ever. Why can't the media acknowledge that simple reality?:
Pretending that both parties just have very different approaches to solving a commonly agreed upon problem is really just a lie. It’s not true. One side is looking for ways to increase the number of people who have real health insurance and thus reasonable access to health care and the other is trying to get the government out of the health care provision business with the inevitable result that the opposite will be the case.

If you’re not clear on this fundamentally point, the whole thing does get really confusing. How can it be that both sides flatly refuse to work together at all? As Bash puts it, “Why can’t these parties work together on something that is such a huge part of the economy, that is something that is so vital to everybody’s lives, all of their constituents’ lives, [it’s] mind boggling.”

If you had an old building and one group wanted to refurbish and preserve it and the other wanted to tear it down, it wouldn’t surprise you that the two groups couldn’t work together on a solution. It’s an either/or. You’re trying to do two fundamentally opposite things, diametrically opposed. There’s no basis for cooperation or compromise because the fundamental goal is different. This entire health care debate has essentially been the same. Only the coverage has rarely captured that. That’s a big failure. It also explains why people get confused and even fed up.

Democrats Now Have ALL The Leverage

Health vote delayed:
Trump was too stupid to understand this up front, so he went along with a plan that not only would break some of his more important campaign promises, but which is polling just above the Ebola virus. Maybe Trump doesn’t realize it, but one major reason he won over so many Obama Democrats is because he distinguished himself from ordinary Republicans like Paul Ryan who have built their entire careers around destroying the safety net.

But his strategy was idiotic for another reason, which was that it should have been obvious that the Republican Party can’t operate as a unified borg anymore. They basically ran John Boehner and Eric Cantor out of town because they couldn’t get behind their leadership and forced them to go running to Nancy Pelosi for help over and over again.

That A/B Normal Brain Implant Running Amok, I Presume

Seventies Frame of Mind

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Streamline Moderne and Jimmy McGill" (June 2017 update)

This week, I will release the Fourth Edition of my book, "A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character." But first, here's an update to a video I first made in February regarding the uses of architecture and symbolism in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul."

Albuquerque's architecture itself is telling plot-supporting stories and influencing the filming-location-selection process. It is possible to “read” the background of scenes and catch subtle revelations, even years in advance of the plot. Puzzling location-selection decisions can finally be understood.

One such story is a cautionary tale about the excesses and corruptions of modern life, as refracted through the history of the City of Chicago, particularly its “Century of Progress.” In their different ways, both Walter White and Saul Goodman are perfect children of Chicago’s “Century of Progress.” As it happens, Albuquerque received many of its architectural features straight from Chicago, so the city can serve as an effective showcase of Chicago’s influence on America and the world.

Another story concerns window technology. The television shows recapitulate the recent history of how glass windows were modified to introduce more sunlight into the recesses of large buildings, and reciprocally, once electrical lighting technology improved, how large buildings became beacons and lanterns in the night. The City of Chicago had an out-sized role in this process. Private worlds were rendered less private, turning even inner life into a kind of theatrical performance, with all the attendant temptations and dangers. Among these widespread window innovations in Albuquerque, and useful as Chicago callbacks, are Glass Block Windows and Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows. Even plate glass windows have their place.

The creative teams also use Albuquerque’s Pueblo Deco architecture, particularly archways and ceilings, as foreshadowing elements. Traditional church architecture, such as clerestory windows, are also used, as are other Christian symbols.

Understanding the crystalline labyrinth of Vince Gilligan’s Albuquerque deepens one’s appreciation for the real city: the Aged Sapphire of the Southwest!


Monday, June 26, 2017

He's Got a Mouth on Him

Pharma Bro Shkreli doesn't follow his lawyer's advice to SHUT UP!:
The 34-year-old Shkreli "travels to the beat of a very unique drummer," exasperated-sounding defense attorney Benjamin Brafman said at a pretrial hearing this month.

Legal experts say there are obvious reasons lawyers want clients facing serious criminal charges to keep quiet.

"It's twofold: You don't want to antagonize the judge and you don't want to get the attention of the jury in a way that hurts your case," said veteran New York City defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt.

Columbia law professor John Coffee compared the situation to President Donald Trump's unruly tweeting habits. "A lawyer can caution him," he said. "But just like Trump, he doesn't have to listen."

Pregnant Women, Unbound

Beware the baby bump:
New Hampshire Republicans tried to reassure critics by including exemptions designed to protect from prosecution doctors and women seeking abortions. The bill’s original language stated that “any act committed by the pregnant woman” or a doctor acting in his professional capacity wouldn’t apply in cases of second-degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. Unfortunately, “any act” implied, well, any act. The bill “allows a pregnant woman to commit homicide without consequences,” Republican representative J.R. Hoell told the Concord Monitor. “Although that was never the intent, that is the clear reading of the language.” *blooper sound effect*

Pepper Launches His Book

Pepper Von, enjoying the launch of his new book, "From God, Through Me, To You: Reflections on My Life."

Story of My Life

Always wondering where that damned pumpkin rolled off to this time.

Emerging Artists

Checking out "Emerging Artists" at Target. Hmmm.... 'Fleetwood Mac.' I wonder what they sound like?

One of my Facebook commenters notes:

"What's an Emerging Artist?"

"I dunno, someone that plays music and thinks they're a caterpillar about to pupate or something."

Hard to market the Emerging Artist....

Nice Blaize Magazine Interview with Kamila


Nice Blaize Magazine interview with Kamila Szczepaniak, aka Kamila Emilia, aka, KESFit (p. 107). Congratulations, Kamila!


I'm surprised I'm in the background....

Sunday, June 25, 2017

When Seaweed Touches My Foot

Taylor Hartsfield Stars in Theatre Aspen's "Hairspray"



This is pretty darn cool! She was our Kim McAfee in DMTC's 2011 "Bye, Bye Birdie"!:
The musical "Hairspray" changed Taylor Hartsfield's life, both professionally and personally. As the 23-year-old Los Angeles-based actress prepares to star in Theatre Aspen's summer production of the Broadway smash, she said, her long relationship with the show is coming full circle.

A recent graduate of California State University in Fullerton, Hartsfield is playing the lead role of the plump and plucky dance-show sensation Tracy Turnblad in Theatre Aspen's summer-long production of the endearingly upbeat tale of '60s nostalgia, racial integration and body-positivity. Previews begin today.

...Hartsfield's history with "Hairspray" goes back to when she was 15 and was cast in a community theater production in Northern California as an ensemble member.

"Then I hit puberty and all of a sudden I was Tracy-typed," she said with a laugh.

Her first run as Tracy was in a 2015 production at Chance Theater in Anaheim. That stripped-down version, without big sets and technical flourishes, forced her to immerse herself in the character and the message of "Hairspray." It was a transformative experience.

"It gave me a lot of insight beyond the fluff of what we see," she said, "into the story and how important it is. That changed my life in theater, because it changed my view of myself as a performer. My relationship with my family and friends blossomed because I was able to stop feeling so self-deprecating in this world that's all about your appearance and how you fit in."

Here is a picture from DMTC's 2011 "Bye, Bye Birdie"!:


"How Lovely To Be A Woman": Taylor Hartsfield as Kim McAfee.

More photos:

Final dress rehearsal

Wednesday night tech week rehearsal

Performance by Olena Podluzhnaya

Big Pharma Plays Both Sides

Unbelievable:
A major asthma drugmaker has been quietly investing in coal on the side.

The pharmaceutical company that just months ago was embroiled in a price-gouging scandal over its life-saving EpiPen now finds itself at the center of another potential controversy. According to Reuters’ Michael Erman, Mylan N.V. has for the last six years been buying up refined coal in order to reduce its tax bill and boost its bottom line:

Since 2011, Mylan has bought 99 percent stakes in five companies across the U.S. that own plants which process coal to reduce smog-causing emissions. It then sells the coal at a loss to power plants to generate the real benefit for the drug company: credits that allow Mylan to lower its own tax bill.

...The story gets even sketchier. Mylan Chief Executive Heather Bresch, Erman notes, “is the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the second largest coal-producing state in the country.” And Mylan would not explain to Erman why it adopted this particular strategy, though an anonymous source said the coal operations “have increased Mylan’s net earnings by around $40 million to $50 million in each of the past two years.” Mylan is apparently the only publicly traded pharmaceutical company to partake in this type of tax aversion strategy.

...[T]wo out of Mylan’s five specialty brand-name drugs treat pulmonary problems that are exacerbated by air pollution, a lot of which comes from coal. The company makes Perforomist, an inhaler that treats symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as prevents asthma attacks and exercise-induced bronchial spasm. Multiple studies have linked exacerbated COPD symptoms to air pollution, though those links are suggestive and not conclusive. Mylan is also in the asthma treatment market; the company makes EasiVent, which attaches to asthma inhalers to help the medicine more easily reach the lungs, and it recently failed to get regulatory approval for a generic version of the blockbuster asthma drug Advair. Peer-reviewed science has been linking coal combustion to more severe asthma since at least 1972.

Syrian Humor

Peer Pressure and Black Panthers

Drifted asleep, and dreamed about entering my bedroom and discovering a black panther half-hidden behind a couch. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I put on a black leather jacket, got into bed, and tried to fit in.

Scott sends this:
The Panther
By Ogden Nash

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don't anther.

Upcoming Monopoly Tournament

Once again, I'm scheduled to be a banker:

'Rite of Spring' Riot - Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

The impact of the modern!

I want to have a show opening like this one day (portraying the remarkable events of May 29, 1913):



This episode has been portrayed in several recent films from several different countries. People love it so much!

Olga Preobajenska, and Her Legacy



Video of ballet teacher, Olga Preobajenska.

Ballet is a rather new art, and ballet educational lineages are fairly-short. Since Preobajenska directly taught the globe-trotting dancers of the Ballet Russe, many of whom settled in the United States when its ballet tradition was yet forming, most American ballet dancers today can trace their educational lineage directly to her.

Even better:

"The Lady Dances" (1936)

Last Sunday's Record Temperatures

National Weather Service in Sacramento says:

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO, CA
0540 PM PDT SUN JUN 18 2017

...RECORD HIGHS ACROSS INTERIOR NORCAL SUNDAY...

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT REDDING AIRPORT CA...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 110 DEGREES WAS SET AT REDDING AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 102 SET IN 1988. THE DOWNTOWN REDDING RECORD FOR THIS DAY WAS 108 SET IN 1959.

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT RED BLUFF AIRPORT CA...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 111 DEGREES WAS SET AT RED BLUFF AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 109 SET IN 1959.

IN SACRAMENTO...NEW DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE ESTABLISHED AT BOTH THE EXECUTIVE AIRPORT AND IN DOWNTOWN (CITY) SACRAMENTO.

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 106 DEGREES WAS SET AT SACRAMENTO EXEC. AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 102 SET IN 1988.

THE DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO HIGH TEMPERATURE REACHED 106 DEGREES BREAKING THE OLD RECORD FOR THE DATE OF 105 IN 1945.

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT STOCKTON AIRPORT CA...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 108 DEGREES WAS SET AT STOCKTON AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 104 SET IN 1981.

...RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT MODESTO CA...

A RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 105 DEGREES WAS SET AT MODESTO CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 104 SET IN 1957.

...RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURES ACROSS INTERIOR NORCAL JUNE 18TH...

IT IS UNLIKELY THE MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WILL BE LOWER THAN TODAY`S MORNING LOWS AT THE END OF THIS CALENDAR DAY.

IN REDDING...A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 83 WAS SET AT THE REDDING AREA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 78 IN 1959.

IN RED BLUFF...A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 82 WAS SET AT RED BLUFF AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 80 IN 1959.

IN SACRAMENTO...NEW DAILY HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE ESTABLISHED AT BOTH THE EXECUTIVE AIRPORT AND IN DOWNTOWN (CITY) SACRAMENTO...

A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 72 WAS SET AT SACRAMENTO EXEC. AIRPORT CA. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 64 IN 1993.

THE DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE REACHED 75 DEGREES BREAKING THE OLD RECORD FOR THE DATE OF 70 IN 1981.

IN STOCKTON...A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 71 WAS SET AT STOCKTON AIRPORT CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 68 IN 1993.

IN MODESTO...A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 72 WAS SET AT MODESTO CA TODAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 68 IN 1993.

Eddie Albert Can't Stop Dancing!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pushing to Finish Update on My "Breaking Bad" Book

Mired in making words obey, and slowing "Better Call Saul" news long enough to finish.

All I need - software troubles....

But getting close....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Woodland turkey, With Four Chicks

George Zoritch: So Grateful For Him!

This is delightful! Someone posted a YouTube video of some of my first ballet instructor's Hollywood performances!

George Zoritch danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for many years, and appeared in several motion picture musicals in the Forties (the closing credits of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" feature a duet with him), before running his own ballet studio in Los Angeles, and moving to Tucson to teach at the University of Arizona. He was interviewed in the 2005 documentary "Ballets Russes", where the great ballerina Maria Tallchief described him as, by far, the "most-handsome man I had ever seen!"

Since many Ballet Russe dancers were physically gifted and lived disciplined lives, they lived a long time, and had a vast influence. I was surprised, and vastly-pleased, to learn one of Jessica Arena's instructors in Marin County was the phenomenal Ballet Russe dancer, Marc Platt. Indeed, Jessica herself appears for a few seconds with Platt in the film "Ballets Russes".

Grumpy

Grumpy on a hot evening.

I'm unhappy, mostly because the Police Department has a portable Diesel Generator running in front of my house, in order to power camera equipment watching the speed humps there. I don't know why they are watching the speed humps. The speed humps seem to work fine and they don't move around much, but the police need to watch them anyway. As an air quality modeler, I'm aware of just how high concentrations of air toxics can be around portable Diesel Generators. My house reeks of exhaust. I posted a complaint just below the police decal asking where their permit is. It makes me grumpy.

I went out front to water plants at 1:45 a.m. A raccoon with a sleek furry look approached me from behind some shrubbery. I spun around and aimed the hose at the raccoon. The raccoon flinched and retreated. The raccoon stared at me from a distance, looking grumpy, before ambling sullenly away.

Grumpy is contagious on a hot evening.

If a Tree Falls On Fair Oaks Blvd., Everyone Can Hear It

On hot days like these have been, there are weird infrastructure fails, like power outages. Sometimes people fail. Early Saturday evening, a tree blocked Fair Oaks Blvd. Somebody lost their bearings in the heat and drove into it?

Spare the Rod?

Hmmm:
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call abut 9 a.m. reporting a mother attacking her child at Centerville beach near Ferndale. The caller said the mother was attempting to perform an exorcism. She had stripped the child naked and was shoving handfuls of sand in the youngster’s eyes and mouth, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. The woman reportedly stated that she was trying to remove demons from the child.

...The alleged assault was witnessed by a crowd of 10 to 12 people, the news release said. A local resident, John Marciel, stepped in and tried to restrain Felder. He struggled with her on the ground as Felder continued to attack the child, hitting the youngster in the head with a piece of driftwood, according to the news release.

A sheriff’s deputy arrived a short time later, pulled Felder away from the child and placed her in handcuffs.

...Felder was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse and aggravated mayhem.

The Sheriff’s Office commended Marciel for intervening, saying he likely prevented the youngster from being killed. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting that Marciel be recognized with the Red Cross Life Saving Award for his actions, the news release said.

"All Eyez On Me"



Movie selection has been wretched for months. The Tupac biopic, "All Eyez on Me," premiering tonight, is the first glimmer of light for a while. I'm not even a Tupac fan. I just want to see a non-stupid movie.

I'm cooling my heels for the moment. I got the last ticket, but not for the 9:00 show, but the 10:40 show. This film is shaping up to be POPULAR!

This renovated theater is something else!


Curious movie. Curious redone theater. Tall seats made it seem empty even though it was full. Sacramento County Sheriffs in the lobby. A little overacted for my taste. Tupac was a mass of contradictions. My understanding of rap history is pretty sketchy, so like Adam foretold, I was befuddled at times. Glad they delved into the Black Panther mind set - people forget those days too easily. Smiled when the audience laughed at the appearance of Snoop Dogg. Smiled more at Digital Underground: I had no idea Tupac was with them. The Humpty Dance reminds of a street corner in Salt Lake City - Mormonland, 1990! Like it was yesterday! Thought I recognized one of the extras, but there's no trace of credits for extras I can find on the Internet. I hope it was her. Love Vegas, even under dark circumstances. In any event, the movie is kind of a first - a major-release historical rap biopic, and for that reason alone will be a big hit.





Southern Baptists Do The Right Thing, But In a Really Strange Way

I was pleased with the Southern Baptist resolution at their convention against the Alt-Right. The resolution caused confusion, however, because a majority of the delegates had never heard of the Alt-Right (!!!). They had to learn about the Alt-Right on the fly from repugnant Alt-Right attacks on the Southern Baptist Twitter feed (!!!!!!):
Trying to reorient America’s largest Protestant denomination has not been an easy matter for anti-racist advocates. They have been helped along by necessity: There has been a major decline in religiosity among white Americans (who remain by far the largest demographic among Southern Baptists) and also an influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries where Evangelical Christianity has flourished in recent years.

Faced with a very real struggle to maintain the Southern Baptists’ membership and ministerial mission in a country that is extremely different from the segregationist South once defended by the likes of Jerry Falwell Sr., internal crusaders like Russell Moore, president of the denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Center, have sought to remake the church into a place for people of all races.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lawyerly Advice

A Facebook friend who is a lawyer writes (lightly-edited):
Trump is so screwed if he keeps tweeting about the Russia investigation. I have hundreds of stories where "innocent" remarks, or even denials, got people convicted. I once represented a client who burglarized a residence and a road house with a juvenile accomplice. The kid confessed and ratted. But we had a complete defense: you may not convict based on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice alone. Unfortunately, when they were releasing my client, the releasing officer said "You really did the road house burglary, didn't you?" to which my smart-ass little client replied, sarcastically, "Yeah, sure!" At trial, I objected to introduction of this statement on the grounds that it was not an admission, but functionally a denial. The judge, with a slight smile, said, "Unfortunately, it's up to the jury to decide how he meant it."

The jury convicted, of course. We appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the residential burglary - no corroboration. They upheld the conviction for the road house burglary - the jury could have taken his statement as an admission thus sufficient corroboration. Justice was done.

If you are being investigated for a crime, shut up. Don't say you did it. Don't say you didn't do it. Don't say you were in Poughkeepsie. Just shut up.

Reaping the Whirlwind


I am remarkably pleased with recent events. The proper response delivered to the proper people, for once.

Do these guys think they can keep gun laws loose and strip health insurance from more than 20 million people, causing the early death of tens of thousands, just to provide tax cuts to their rich campaign contributors, and not be held accountable? Apparently so.


These days, with the red-blue divide, vote-suppression, and gerrymandering, Republican politicians are insulated to a remarkable extent from political challenge. No group of politicians has been as insulated from challenge in American history, ever. They can "fire a gun down 5th Avenue," and no one cares. They are Supermen. So, Rand can blubber about slavery in his narcissistic Libertarian way, just like all Libertarians do, as if that's even relevant to anything in the real world. But there are still ways to break through that bubble, as Rand himself experienced. The only question is whether he's learned anything.

I doubt it. We are at the beginning of a long educational process.

Classic Cars of Hollywood

Don't Let Them Out of the House

CORE- Lost Angles

The folks at CORE are the very best!

Plus, this work is very congenial to the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul aesthetic, with which I'm currently deeply preoccupied as I prepare my revised "Guidebook to Breaking Bad Filming Locations."
You could be a wolf one day
Just howling away
Don’t you look at me though
‘Cause I'm fine
I would never hurt you
Wait
You're how I get through
There's a reason
That people move
Or people don't
People change or people
Stay the same completely
When it's such a
It's such a shortened life
So why accumulate it
Only then to leave it
Is it better

Plus, it's nice to see Taylor Payne dancing. I've seen her dancing since she was a tween.

Choreography by Jared Baker
Videography by Andrea Cavaliere
Music by James Vincent McMorrow

Facebook is Coming For You

Mystified by Facebook. Nine months ago, I reported someone. Just now, they were chastised: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have warned the reported account against this type of behavior, and we kept your report anonymous. If they continue this behavior, their account may be blocked."

Watch out! Facebook will block you! Sometime after the next Olympics, maybe.

Complicit Productions Presents!

Excellent Time at Margaret's Crowdfunding Dance Day Special

New Ways to Look at the Old Problem Measuring Snowpacks

This is a superb article about new methods to measure the water content of snowpacks. There are lots of variables and current snowpack surveys don't always capture them:
The sampler is marked like a ruler on the outside to measure snow depth, while its hollow center digs out a “core” of snow. That snow is then weighed to determine how much water it contains.

“Manual measurements are still the backbone of the program and will be for the foreseeable future,” Gehrke said.

The technique has worked for more than a century, state water managers say, but it’s not 100% accurate. Since the surveyor must force the tube into the powder, the snow is compressed and over-sampled by about 10%, said Ned Bair, a UC Santa Barbara hydrologist.

The sampler is used on some 250 “snow courses,” or areas where folks like Gehrke and Armstrong will dip it into the snow 10 to 15 times along a 300-meter path.

The snow courses sometimes overlap with decades-old snow telemetry, or SNOTEL, stations. These sites use ultrasonic sensors to measure snow depth and large, antifreeze-filled bladders, or “snow pillows,” to measure the weight of snow gathered on top of them.

SNOTEL stations aren’t foolproof though. They can be smashed by falling trees or avalanches, or damaged by curious bears. The stations also generate inaccurate data when ice forms over a pillow and causes inaccurate weight readings, Armstrong said.

Estimation errors have also become more frequent in recent years, because none of California’s snow courses or SNOTEL sites are located above 12,000 feet altitude — a zone that is increasingly experiencing late-season snowmelt because of climate change.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"The Man With Icy Eyes"

Here is an unusual piece of Italian film noir, "The Man With Icy Eyes," filmed in Albuquerque in 1971, and starring Victor Buono and the beautiful Barbara Bouchet. The film shows many BrBa and BCS filming sites back in the days when neon signs still dominated Central Ave. For example, at the start of the film, the first victim dies at the house directly behind Jesse's (and briefly seen in BrBa). The framed shooter flees in a panic, and tries to run behind Chuck's House. Then there is the Courthouse too.

It's amusing how the needs of Hollywood don't change. They all look for a settled, wealthy, professional or upper-class neighborhood. In Albuquerque, that means they gravitate to the same suite of 20 or 30 homes, decade in and decade out.

I'm amused by the Italian-accented Spanish accents. I was intrigued when a witness suddenly gets a stroke and sits mute in a wheelchair (1:03:30). I wonder if this film influenced the development of Hector Salamanca's character?

There are many personal touchstones: sitting in a sidewalk cafe on a frigid day (a stone's throw from where my mom started working in 1972), a glimpse of Lerners Shops (where I worked in 1974), and a wrestling poster featuring my childhood idol, Ricky Romero. Plus, the bad guys share my name.

The offices of a long-defunct newspaper, the Albuquerque News, were used for the Albuquerque Sentinel. When I was in high school, the father of a friend was a reporter there. We sometimes got advance info about the movements of politicians from him. No one seems to remember that newspaper anymore, even though it wasn't that long ago. Google was useless. The building is now gone. I had to query a website of Albuquerque antiquarians ("Albuquerque Memories") to find even one soul who remembered where that place formerly was.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

From the Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox

Republicans Turning the Senate Into a Joke

That's a Mama Dove!

Continuing to paint out front. Finishing the job might be problematic, though. It slowly dawned on me that the dove in the nest is not a baby. That's a mama dove, which means that baby won't be out of the nest for quite a while yet.

Happy Hummingbirds

Raccoon on the Roof

Raccoon on the roof; raccoon on the roof,
Ninja fur ball sneaking fast like a goof,
Your mask does not fit,
Breath like demon's pit,
Soon every dog will resound with a woof.

Julia has a follow-up:

Racoon on the roof, a sad refrain,
His nightly sojourns make me insane,
Across the shingles He patters,
But what really matters,
At least it's not snakes on a plane!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Kansas - Complete Repudiation of Republican Tax Policy

At the hands of desperate Republicans:
The legislation ends the “march to zero” income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor…

...The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto…

...The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position.
...This isn’t just a humiliation for Sam Brownback, it’s a complete repudiation of his two terms as governor delivered by members of his own party who resent him for making the whole state “a laughing stock.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Patriotic Hero

Reality Leigh Winner is a patriotic hero in the war against Russian control of the U.S., and for that reason, the U.S. Government will do everything in its power to bury her in prison forever:
Reports quickly emerged following the Justice Department’s issuance of a press release in the case that Winner is allegedly the source of a leaked NSA report published Monday afternoon by The Intercept documenting Russian military intelligence attempts to hack a U.S. voter registration software company and more than 100 local election officials. The NSA document is dated May 5, 2017, and the affidavit for Winner’s arrest alleges she “printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information and was dated on or about May 5, 2017.”

Draw Your Own Conclusions

So, Russian Hackers Went After Voting Machines After All!

Can one say illegitimate election?:
Though the report does not draw any conclusions on whether the cyberattack influenced the outcome of the election, it is the first piece of evidence that has come to light that not only did Russian hackers meddle in the 2016 election by stealing and distribute damaging campaign communications, but also went after America’s election infrastructure itself.

What's Up With This Insistent Dove Trying To Fly Up Under The Eaves?

Oh! Mama and baby! (Or mama and daddy.) I'll have to delay painting up there until baby is fledged!


I See Your Problem

It's Fun Seeing California Birds This Spring

Puzzled by the behavior of a pair of doves (here's one). They seemed to be house-hunting in an ivy-covered tree killed by the drought. They are usually shy, but the tree they're looking at is so close to people!

No One Wants To Be Trump's Lawyer

Better Call Saul:
Under ordinary circumstances, I can’t think of anything more prestigious for a law firm than to be able to say that when the shit hits the fan, they’re the ones who take the call from the president. But, with this president, they’re not even confident that the client won’t stiff them on their bill. They’re also savvy enough to realize that the Trump Organization is up to its ears in money laundering and that this will create a conflict with the large banking institutions they represent. And Trump is so toxic, guilty, and unsympathetic that simply advocating on his behalf would cause people to shun and disdain their whole organization. Plus, they’d lose the case anyway in part because their advice wouldn’t be followed. The result is that Trump is trying to use his divorce attorney Marc Kasowitz to represent him in a counterintelligence investigation that has the highest political stakes.