The heat has fled and the long-range forecast suggests a "frozen mix" a week from Friday. It's also called a "Wintry Mix," which is more honest and sounds less like a drink. Before the sun went away a few days ago, one of those sunsets where Sol tries to coat the land with as much glory as it can muster.



See? Still looks green. Still is, except everywhere where it's not, which seems to be everywhere as well. On the way to pick up the Japanese Students today, a sure sig of fall: turkeys on the lam.



What's a group of Turkeys called? A domesticated group is called a "rafter." A wild group like this ought to be called a Gang, because there's something insolent and loutish about them, avian versions of the bikers in 50s movies who roared into town and hung around the malt shop playing rock 'n' roll and insouciently grooming themselves while scaring the squares, except for the one girl who's all right, and sees something in the leader that the townspeople don't.

I was listening to another one of those "juvenile delinquent" radio programs the other day - in this case, a father had made a citizen's arrest of his daughter after he found marijuana cigarettes in a coffee can in her room. She blamed Johnny, the boyfriend, but he was contemptuous of the cops: you ain't got uothin'! Why don't you blow? Ain't you got nuthin' to do but bother law-abidin' citizens?

It was an episode of "Suspense," which had many moods and shifts in style over the decades. Yes, decades: ran from the 40s to the 60s. You can tell when they got network pressure to be more realistic, like "Dragnet," the show that changed radio as much as "Miami Vice" changed TV. No more drawing-room murders or ghost stories, as in the early 40s; no more hard-boiled noir, like the later 40s. Now it was square-jawed compassionate cops up against a jungle bristling with switchblades and reefer-dealing kids who didn't want to live in this lousy world.

All of which must have struck the Greatest Generation types as utterly inexplicable. Sure, it's not a perfect world, but if you came up through the Depression and then spent the prime of your youth at war without gals or guarantees, mewling this lousy world must have made the older folk utter a dark bark of amusement. As for whether they considered the kids ungrateful, considering all they'd done, I can't say - but I have noticed something about the aftereffects of WW2 in the popular culture. The magazines, the ads, the radio show.

When it was done, it was done. The book was sealed and everyone moved on. LIFE did stories about European problems, but in general they just put the lid on that box and put it in the closet.

That's what happens when it was rough, and long, and you won.

As I said, went to get the students. Earlier than usual. We were going to go downtown, and I was going to show them City Hall. But the bus was 45 minutes late; it was raining; one of the kids fell asleep on the way home, and then -

Well. Here's the frightening thing about existence: when I dropped off the other student I stuck around to make sure someone answered the door; she rang the doorbell four times, and no one answered. Hmm. Well. Waved her back into the car, and thought I'd pick up Daughter, have her text her friend who's hosting the other student, and figure something out. As we later learned upon returning to the house, the doorbell is very soft, doesn't always buzz, and if the Mom had an appliance running in the kitchen she might not hear it.

So. Let's say there's a moment when the doorbell wires frayed a little. You can't say when. 2005. 1997. Set that aside. There was a moment this week when the Mom decided she'd make Dish X for dinner, and that required running the dicing appliance. Say that six months ago she'd signed up for a yoga class that met at 5, and so she was doing prep work for supper now. Go back a year and imagine the face of a student in Japan upon learning her mom said Yes to her trip to America. There's no way any of these things really have to do with each other, except that they combined at 3:54 PM, which delayed me by two minutes, which put my car square in the path of car that blew a stop sign a cross street at 3:56 PM and would have T-boned me if I hadn't floored it and the other driver hadn't braked ten inches from slamming into the back-seat area of my car.

Everyone would blame the driver of the other car, of course, but when you look at situations like this you find a dozen co-conspirators. They're all innocent. They're all complicit.

You like to think you're the author of your story, but there are days you realize you're just the narrator. At best.



I'm starting to enjoy this. It's so stupid and earnest. Nothing happens and there's no peril. But if you're ten, I suppose.

It just seems like a lot of work to entertain a ten-year-old.

Well, when last we met our heroes, they were in a tunnel that was starting to fill with Vultura’s most secret secret-weapon, FIRE. Because no one could just drop a rock on their heads or lean down and fill the hole with gunfire or even use a grenade.

How ever will they escape? Turns out that Fire on the planet Atoma is different from Fire on earth. It’s much cooler! It’s not a problem! Doesn’t matter anyway, because the two idiots charged with burning them up say “well, that’s enough” and turn it off and don’t bother to check if they’re dead, and sit down to write up a report.

That’s when our heroes surprise them, stun them with the Cosmic Vibrator - really, that’s the name:



I used this frame because it shows the Door.


You can tell it’s an alien planet by the shape of the door. And it’s locked! This would be a perfect time for Vultura to engage in some of his trademark overly confident, nonchalant taunting. For once, the dialogue makes sense:



Of course, they get out instantly using . . . the Ultrasonic Cromulator? The Frequency Montogrulation gun? No, the Cosmic Vibrator. They find a passage, which has a small room filled with the all-important knobs and dials, and a high-frequency machine.

This enables them to send a message back to the lab. Why? Because the previous episode took place in the lab, where they sent a message to Atoma. The locations go back and forth, and you forget why you were there the last time.

But! Vultura is listening!



The fact that every single attempt to kill Captain Video has been a near-instantaneous failure doesn't bother him at all; he sails from one attempt to the other with confidence and aplomb. Here He uses Captain Video’s voice to ensure that the Rangers back on earth assemble in one location, so he can kill them. They promptly rush to HQ, using the most advanced technology the future has:



Naturally, Vultura sends his image down to the place where he has Captain Video trapped, for some top-notch taunting:



In the fine tradition of villains everywhere, he tells Captain Video precisely what he has planned, so that his foe will die knowing he led his friends into death. This is part of the Code of Conduct if you're arching someone, you know.

Anyway, there is no possible escape! So after they escape, they return to the same old set with the rocket, now used for the third different location. Let me recap: they went down a tunnel, into a lab, then went from the lab through a cave to a small room which turned out to be an elevator, then left the elevator to enter another small room from which there was no escape, escaped, took the elevator back up to the cave to go to the lab.

They get aboard the ship with the bomb that will destroy all Rangers, and one of the minions fires the rockets. The ship is a missile with a Paralyzing Vapor Bomb on hand. Because, you know, a NUKE wouldn’t be any use if you’re trying to subdue a planet.

Then again:




Work blog around 12:30 and Tumblr as well. See you around.





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