Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Having finally dragged people to see JW:FK, I decided it was an important event.

So I wore my "Blue Dino Claws" gloves and my "I Love Blue" t-shirt.

Back during the Yalta Conference at the end of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said he had forged a personal friendshiip with Josef Stalin, claiming that he "had the measure of the man". Stalin was a dictator and murderer, but Roosevelt believed that the two had become so close that Stalin could be trusted when he said he'd hold free elections in Eastern Europe.

Republicans excoriated Roosevelt, claiming him to be a "sick old man" who foolishly believed in "personal diplomacy" instead of "realpolitik" (realistic, pragmatic politics).

The GOP today has declared itself "disappointed" in Donald Trump's statements in Helsinki. But, you know, that's not really enough to oppose him. You know.
He must be very popular.

Jefferson Memorial at twilight

Jefferson Memorial sunset 005 - Washington DC - 2014-04-10

I think we are in a McCarthyite period. McCarthy made his claims about Commies in the government for FOUR YEARS before he was censured. The "red scare" lasted that long and the repercussions even longer.

In the 1950s, no Republican dated speak out against McCarthy for fear of looking "weak on communism". I think the GOP is in the same boat this time. They are terrified of losing office, and so simply will not challenge Trump -- at least, not until voters have already done so.
It's really the only way to get an underarm tan.

Monday, July 16, 2018

President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Rather than defend America against those would threaten it, he attacked his own citizens and institutions while hailing the leader of a hostile power.

"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant," Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, said in a statement.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Thomas Brodie-Sangster. He's 28 years old. He's not a little boy. He's all man, all stud, pure sex. I'd let him bone me all night long, and if he asked for more I'd willingly give it -- sore or not.

What a face. I love that mouth, those eyes... Oh, what I wouldn't give to -- oh well.

That time Superboy discovered his parents alive.

In Superboy Vol 1., #158 (July 1969), Superboy receives a radio message from his father, Jor-El. Flying into space, Superboy discovers that the source of the message is a space capsule containing the bodies of his parents, Jor-El and Lara. Superboy tries to get close, but some bombs hidden in space-rocks nearby go off -- nearly knocking him into some kryptonite asteroids that would have killed him.

Dr. Krylo, a Kryptonian scientist, arrives in a spaceship. Krylo reveals that he believed Jor-El's warnings about the imminent destruction of Krypton, and developed a form of suspended animation. As Krypton died, Krylo knocked out Jor-El and Lara and placed them in a suspended animation capsule. Seconds later, Krylo's robots did the same procedure for him and placed him in another space capsule. Both capsules were rocketed into space only minutes before Krypton exploded.

Xonar (formerly Khai-Zor) was a Kryptonian criminal who stole Jor-El's rocketship plans and built a rocket for himself. Xonar survived the destruction of Krypton, located Krylo's capsule, and revived him. He forced Krylo to help him find the El capsule, and had hoped to trick Superboy into approaching it and dying.

Xonar shows up, and in the ensuing battle Xonar and Krylo kill one another using kryptonite.

Superboy discovers there is more to Jor-El's message. It seems that Jor-El had plunged deep into Krypton's interior to discover if the planet was really dying. He received a lethal dose of radiation, but did not know it. When he returned to the surface, his radioactive body gave Lara a fatal dose of radiation, too. Baby Kal-El, safe with a nurse, did not get get irradiated. Although Jor-El was able to remove the radiation, allowing he and Lara to interact with baby Kal again, they both were dying. Jor-El says he knows of Krylo's plan to secretly put them in suspended animation. He says he's going to allow the scientist to carry out his plan. But Jor-El asks that no one revive them. Neither he nor Lara wants to die a painful, lingering death from radiation poisoning.

A sad Superboy sends the capsule back into space.
He's pleased as punch.

This is funny as all hell. Not only is the guy incredibly good looking and has an eye-poppingly wonderful body, but what happens is goddamned hilarious! I particularly love the way the towel slowly, slowly slides off... and how he grins for the camera at the end.

He makes my mouth fall open, and my tongue lick the screen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Yes, he has fantastic legs. Yes, he's rather handsome. Yes, that's a nice body. And yes, that's a massive cock he's got half-hard in those too-tight shorts.

This is Grant Mitchell, a really popular character actor in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

This is the grave of Grant Mitchell (born John Grant Mitchell Jr.) at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. His father was a general in the Civil War; Grant is buried next to his mom and dad.

John G Mitchell Jr - Green Lawn Cemetery

Mitchell family plot - Green Lawn Cemetery
The Hayden mausoleum at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Built for banker Charles H. Hayden in 1904, it is the cemetery's largest mausoleum. A large number of Haydens are interred there.

It's haunted. If you knock on the door, sometimes the spirits within will answer with their own series of knocks.

Be thankful the doors are chained shut.

Oh, that's lovely.

The Onion used my image for one of their articles!!!

Here is the original image I took.

NW side 003 - Valor - Arts of War - Arlington Memorial Bridge - 2013-09-30
Here is a radical suggestion: Don't oppose Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
(a) Lacking anything close to a majority in the Senate, Democrats cannot stop the confirmation anyway. A better strategy would be to allow Senate Democrats to make the best arguments they can. On voting day, they should boycott the Senate. Allow only enough Democratic leaders to show up on the floor to (i) give the Senate a quorum, (ii) move for a voice vote, and (iii) vote loudly and vociferously "NO". (This has the added benefit of not forcing Red State Dems into voting against Kavanaugh.)

(b) Trump will use the battle to rally his midterm troops. Don't give him the opportunity.

(c) If Kavanaugh is defeated, Trump will use the opportunity to rally his mid-term troops.

(d) Even if Kavanaugh is defeated, Trump will merely propose someone equally as bad, if not worse. This person, or the next, or the next, will make it onto the Court.

(e) Democrats and progressives should save their energy for the mid-term elections.

Monday, July 9, 2018

I've always liked these cut-off baby-doll t-shirts. And when a guy is acting erotically in public, especially in a place unexpected, well...

I love history, and that inevitably means cemeteries. Most historic figures were rarely depicted (and with little accuracy, if they were). A historic person's house? Now a strip mall. But in a large number of cases, a grave remains.

looking W across sec L - Green Lawn Cemetery

Cemetery photos aren't just about illustrating an article about Jane Doe, Famous For Whatever. They're time capsules of memory and art. They reflect time, place, and socio-economic realities. They show us what people believe about themselves, and their after-life.

American cemeteries in particular are wonderful places. The idea of the cemetery in the U.S. has been dominated since the 1830s by the concept of the "garden" cemetery -- a beautiful, lush, parklike setting with winding paths, many trees, luxurious funerary art, and in many cases water features like fountains or ponds. Until the 1940s, American cemeteries were designed for the living, not the dead: People picnicked there, strolled there, wooed there, enjoyed concerts there. They served as open-air art museums where the unwashed could see good-quality sculpture and bas-reliefs normally only available to the wealthy in private homes or galleries. They were places were most people spent holidays -- enjoying the day with their decedents, fireworks, speeches, cold drinks, food, and entertainment.

As American culture has become terrified of death, so the role of the cemetery has changed. For nearly half a century, the emphasis was on "ease of maintenance" -- the lawn cemetery, with headstones flush with the earth so lawnmowers could more easily respect the dead... er, cut the grass. Trees became equated with dead limbs, fall leaf removal costs, and deadwood falling over and destroying headstones. Out, damned spot!

Many cemeteries became bleak.

For someone like me, passionate about what history can say, I'm glad I get to go into these older cemeteries.

When I "discover" a cemetery -- that is, when I start to write about a historic cemetery on the NRHP or realize that a cemetery contains a number of historic graves -- I don't just stroll in lah-dee-dah with my camera and take a couple snaps.

I research who is buried there. That means more than just using that half-assed Find-a-Grave site.

I research WHERE in the cemetery these people are buried. Many 19th cemeteries are pretty vast, consisting of 200 acres in a lot of cases. One had better know the exact location -- section, plot and quarter-plot -- of a grave if you're going to find it. It's extremely useful to know who is buried around the grave, as a great many graves are unmarked, have had their markers removed (due to destruction or repair), or are part of a "family plot" and hence represented by a large memorial rather than a headstone.

I try to see if someone else has already taken a picture of the grave. I uses these as on-site finding-aids, and then take my own photo.

I have to know the days and times the cemetery is open, where parking is available, whether I'll be doing lots of walking or not, what the weather will be like the day I show up, where the cemetery office is, if the cemetery staff will help me locate graves (Catholic cemtery staff usually will not; instead, they'll kick you out), how to get there, and whether I should bring water or not. (Hot summer days make for sweaty, heat-exhaustion-inducing cemetery trips.)

It's extremely common for me to have to visit a large cemetery like Columbus' Green Lawn, or Cleveland's Riverside, or D.C.'s Oak Ridge, anywhere from three to seven times in order to get all the photos I want.
I learned the origin of the name "bread-and-butter pickles" today.

Their origin is obscure, of course, as people have been making these kind of pickles for millennia. But the name "bread-and-butter pickles" is easily attributed to Omar and Cora Fanning, Illinois cucumber farmers who started selling sweet and sour pickles in the 1920s. They trademarked the name "Fanning's Bread and Butter Pickles" in 1923.

The story goes that during the post-World War I agricultural slump, the Fannings survived by using undersized cucumbers and bartering them with their grocer for staples such as bread and butter.

Bread-and-butter pickles are a sweet pickle. They consist of cucumbers marinated in vinegar, sugar, and spices. They can be canned or refrigerated.

There are four major kinds of pickle: Dill, Sour/Half Sour, Sweet (with the subsets bread-and-butter and the even sweeter candied), and Pickled Peppers.

Other kinds of pickled vegetables, nuts, or fruits are "pickled [fill in the blank]", apparently.

It's that narrow, taut torso that I like.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The heat and humidity has left me with a roaring headache. Although, for some inexplicable reason, I do feel better.

Today was a real "I need coffee, in an I.V." sort of day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

All about Robby!

In 1971, the original 1956 Robby the Robot was sold by MGM to Jim Brucker. He was displayed at Bruckner's Movie World/Cars of the Stars Museum, where he was often vandalized by visitors. Fred Barton restored Robby a few years later using original duplicate replacement parts made for the film Forbidden Planet. The robot continued to be vandalized, however.

When the museum closed in 1980, and Robby, his Forbidden Planet vehicle, and the remaining original spare parts were sold to William Malone. Malone was able to restore the prop using many of the remaining additional spares.

Robby was sold by Bonham's Auctioneers on November 21, 2017 for $5,375,000. It was the most expensive hero film prop ever sold at auction.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Robby's design was developed by production designer Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie, art director Arthur Lonergan, and writer Irving Block. Their concepts and sketches were refined by production illustrator Mentor Huebner and MGM staff production draughtsman and mechanical designer Robert Kinoshita.

Robby was built by MGM's prop department.

At $125,000 (equivalent to at least $1.1 million today), Robby was one of the most expensive single film props ever created up to that time. His cost represented nearly 7 percent of the film's total budget. His construction cost would be equalled only in 1968 by the construction of the 27-ton, 12 meter-in-diameter rotating set built for 2001: A Space Odyssey -- which cost proportionally the same.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Robby suit was constructed of metal, plastic, rubber, glass, and Plexiglas. Robby stands just over 7 feet tall. The suit is in three sections: Legs and lower torso, chest and arms section, and the head.

The plastic parts were created by vacuum-forming heated plastic over wooden molds. The parts were made from ABS plastic with the brand name "Royalite", a material mainly used at the time for making suitcases.

The plexiglass dome head covers a light at the very top; three white wire-frame spheres that rotate around a central wire-farm column (Robby's "gyroscopic stabilizers"), a pair of reciprocating arms in the shape of an inverted "V", multiple flashing lights, a horizontal array of moving levers (made from saxophone keys), two red globes, and four vertical and one horizontal glass pieces (similar to capacitors) on the end of thin tubes. Conical protuberances attached to each side of the head carry two small forward-facing blinking lights (his eyes) and two rotating chrome rings (one mounted vertically and the other horizontally) which represent Robby's audio detectors. The bottom front section of the head is a curved horizontal grille consisting of parallel rows of thin blue neon tubes, which light up in synchronization with Robby's voice. This neon grille also enabled the operator to both see out and to breathe. The joint between the head and chest section was fitted with a custom-made bearing that allowed the head to rotate 45 degrees in either direction.

Kinoshita had formerly designed washing machines, and Robby's torso is intended to look like a washing machine. The chest features a front panel fitted at the top with a rectangular flap. Beneath the flap are a horzontal row of flashing yellow lights, two rotating discs fitted with small flashing lights, and a row of five rectangular black buttons that move in and out.

Robby's arms were connected to the body with plastic ball-joints that fitted into matching sockets in the torso. This gave the arms a small amount of rotational movement. A concertina-type tubular rubber sheath covered the actor's arms, allowing them to be extended. Robby's three-fingered hands were also made of rubber, and finished with metallic paint.

The chest section attached to the leg section with special locking clips placed inside the suit. The bottom section of the suit hinged at the top of the legs, allowing Robby to both bend forward and swing each leg backward and forward -- enabling the actor to walk more realistically. Robby's legs were made from interlocking globes of vacuum-formed plastic which were connected by internal jointing that permitted the entire leg to bend slightly but concealed the movement of the hips and knees of the human operator inside.

* * * * * * * * * * *

To access the suit, the three sections were dismantled and the operator climbed into the legs. The torso was then placed around him, the two sections were secured with internal clips, and the operator was strapped into an internal harness. Finally, the head was fitted, the internal electronics were connected to an external power source on the back using cables, and the suit was switched on.

The suit's design made it possible to film Robby from any angle and for him to move about and carry out the actions required without either betraying the obvious presence of the operator inside or revealing how they got in and out.

Robby was operated by stuntmen Frankie Darro and Frankie Carpenter, both actors of short stature. (Darro was 5'3").

The many moving parts in the headpiece made a considerable amount of noise when Robby was powered up. This required extensive dubbing in post-production.

During shooting, Robby's voice was performed off-camera by an uncredited actor. A microphone fed signals to a voice-actuated circuit, which in turn was connected to the Robby suit by a cable that entered Robby's foot and then ran up to the neon tubes in Robby's head. This device synchronized the flashing of the neon tubes to the dialogue.

Robby's voice was then dubbed in post-production by actor Marvin Miller.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Whew, it's hot out today. Cool off by taking off some layers of clothing.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... six months after his death, a coroner revealed that Star Trek actor Jon Paul Steuer took his own life by holding a shotgun to his head?
Prometheus bound...

Sunday, July 1, 2018

It's Canada Day!

On this day in 1867, the Constitution Act came into force, uniting the separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion called Canada.