Headachey and weary all day, as if the great crest of energy and enthusiasm of the past two weeks crashed on the rocks of the two-week anniversary of the start of Christmas. Better tomorrow, if i get some decent sleep, instead of the indecent sort I’ve had lately. Really, it’s been scandalous. Shocking to proper society, I dare say.
So this will not be epic length, although there’s epicness below.
First, a confession: I have bank anxiety. I can’t help but think that once they call up my account there will be furrowed brows, and the teller will say “I’m sorry, I don’t see anything here under that name.” You can obsessively check your balance online, but then you read that Yahoo! somehow managed to transmit a virus that logged your keystrokes while accessing your bank account. But it doesn’t affect the US or Macs. So. You’re relieved, until the next one. There will be another one, because there are thieves.
In the olden times they would have made a movie about the G-men or T-men who relentlessly pursued these criminals and smashed their crime rings, but now I guess the “hacker” has some sort of outlaw cred, and it’s hard to dramatize going to the boss with a request to fly to Bulgaria, and being turned down because Interpol is handling that.
“Interpol? You mean the organization listed on the don’t-pirate-this-movie screen where they say they have expressed strong concern?”
“Yes, those fellows.
“Right. Do we know if there is actually an Interpol, or did someone make that up for a movie in the 60s and it stuck?”
“I doubt it. Anyway, Interpol is on the matter, and so is ZOWIE and UNCLE. As usual, we suspect THRUSH is behind it.”
Anyway. The credit union released one of those apps that lets you deposit a check by smartphone. This means I need never go to the bank to deposit a check again. Not that I’d been going to the bank much: they have a deposit slot outside for after-hours, and and for people with Bank Anxiety. I was always fascinated by those slots when I was a kid; they had an eagle embossed on the front, making it vaguely Federal. My father would make deposits in long cloth bags provided by the bank.
It never occurred to me until this moment: how did he get them back? Your question: does that remarkable late 60s building still exist? Well, it's unfortunate.
I can understand doing that to a 60s building if the reactor regulators failed and the core melted and the entire thing had to be draped in a lead caul to prevent radiation from leaking out. Otherwise, no.
Lest you think downtown Fargo is all vacant soulless expanses, bereft of human interaction:
That view is indistinguishable from the Fargo I knew growing up. Angle parking!
Anyway, I downloaded the app and took pictures of the check. Error message: bank is closed, unable to process, but they'll get to it during working hours. I suppose I could drop in the bank tomorrow and see if it was posted, but, well, you know.
"Well, I see you used the app, but this says you used it to trasnfer everything to Tansmania, and the account was closed. There's nothing left."
"You can't be serious."
"No, that's not quite right. There's a transfer fee. You owe $37.65."
Confession: the Captain Video series started out as a lark, a one-off, a joke about the cheapness of old serials - but then something happened. I started to look forward to it. I was sad when it ended. Well, it’s not as if they didn’t make more. Lord no. The serials are quite numerous, and I expect that most of them share the characteristics we saw in Captain Video: ridiculous villains, abrupt solutions, incredibly convenient technology, DEATH after 14 minutes, and then “never mind” ion the first minute of the next installment.
So I bought enough to keep this feature going for a year! You’ve no choice!
This opens with Machinery, so it’s going to be full of science . .
. . . Indeed.
So it's a technological monarchy of the future? Let's meet the cast:
There’s a bracing name: Tristam Coffin. Wikipedia:"In 1954, Coffin committed a noted blooper on the Climax! live television anthology series, in "The Long Goodbye", in which Coffin's character was depicted as lying dead. The actor did not realize he was still on frame, resurrected himself, and walked off camera."
This is either the Atomical Disitegramagor, or a robot dog:
We'll find out. Let's get to the action! Remember the last one? A scientist, who was a traitor to Earth, in league with an extraterrestrial foe?
It starts with a brief shot of a plane crash, which must have been taken from some other movie; if they’d done it, they would have shown more. It cuts right to the delivery of the city’s leading daily, the Plot-Advancer, which buries the lede:
Unless plane crashes are just so common that it’s only news when a chemist perishes. There’s a profession that doesn’t have the same cachet; back then a Chemist was an inventor who came up with Serums and Wonder Substances and so forth.
The copy of the story says “The membership of Science Associates, Incorporated, ws again reduced yesterday afternoon.” Rather cold-blooded way to put it. But there’s more!
THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a newspaper. Soon we meet a shadowy figure:
And here i’m thinking you know, this could be better than okay. This could be great. The Shadowy Figure is manipulating the controls on a remote-viewing device; he kidnaps a scientist and forces his car over the cliff. A perfectly good car. Shiny and everything. The budget on that one scene exceeded the entirety of Captain Video plus catering. Then another scientist is offed! That’s four!
This is great! Except that it skids to a halt the moment the explosions and whirling newspapers are finished; there’s a thrilling Board Meeting of Science Associates to see why their top men are getting offed. One of the guys was working on some sort of rocket-suit.
We can’t get to the suit too quickly; there has to be henchmen from Dr. Vulcan, and a rousing fistfight. This fellow seems rocket-powered as it is:
Yes, that's low-res, because you don't want to spend a lot of bandwidth to watch a guy slide across the table. The quality on the disk is actually quite sharp. Anyway, The object of Dr. Vulcan isn’t the suit, but a guided missile so important to national security it’s guarded by the obligatory Old Security Guy everyone no doubt calls Pops. After it’s been stolen, our hero - whatever his name is, I didn’t catch it - dons THE SUIT.
It's Captain Dismay from the International League of Sudden Regret!
Careful with those hair-trigger controls:
FX? Not bad. Not bad at all.
The secret missile is launched from the truck that stole it; Rocketman pursues, and you’d think this would be a great place for the cliffhanger. But no: he get out a pistol . . .
. . . and shoots it while both are flying: crack shot, this scientist who’d never been up in the flying suit before. The shock knocks him senseless and shuts off his rockets!
This, I think, will be fun.
Updates on the right - we start the year-long examination of the hidden messages of the Richie Rich comic book. Work Blog between noon and one, but it'll be a short one.