You're wondering if there's anything more to the take of the Nice Bulbs escapade, inasmuch as it involves the ill-starred Gazebo genre. This gazebo - Mark IV, if you're playing at home - has served me well so far. Only the canopy had to be replaced. But there's a curse on the things that manifests itself anew each year in different form, and yesterday I wondered if I was tempting fate with these new fancy Nice Bulbs. I thought I might not have enough. Hah: I had plenty. The string was at least five bulbs longer than the perimeter of the gazebo, and that came in handy when I dropped the string while standing on the ladder, and one burst. I replaced it with one from the end and crossed my fingers: ah. They all worked.

Wife loved them. Hours later, though, she noted that one of them was a bit crooked. Just a bit. She stood on tiptoe to adjust it ever so slightly. It blinked. The light fluttered. And twenty feet of Nice Bulbs went dark.

I didn't do anything!

What are you, Bart Simpson? Of course you did.

I just touched them!

Ah, savor this moment. Well, obviously you overloaded the circuits, whatever you did.

But I couldn't maintain the stern lecture, because she'd just revealed that the lights might not be of the highest quality, despite being Nice, and that the busted bulb with the base still in the socket might have had something to do with it.

So after work I replaced the fuses. They came with extra fuses, which might have been a clue. They're nestled in a little fuse-coffin in the plug, and I had to use a screwdriver to poke the lid open. Oh, I didn't have to use a screwdriver. I could have used the sharp end of the nail-cleaning part of a nail-clipper. In fact I did. And it slipped and jabbed my thumb, of course, and I swore, of course, and numbered myself among the stupidest people on earth, of course, and that's when I got the screwdriver. Got out the spare screw, and six seconds later I wished I was a lizard with a long adhesive-tipped tongue, because if that was the case I would evolved to catch small objects in flight, LIKE THE FUSE WHICH FLIPPED OUT of the coffin. Got down, searched, found it, and put it back in. Decided not to test it. Later when the timers clicked on, I'd be pleasantly surprised, or not.

I was.

Wrote something substantial for the Bleat which you're not seeing today for good reasons. Save it for a column night. It's about the 1964 World's Fair, and a strange spasmodic reaction to something that no one actually said. But they were probably thinking it. Must be careful. You know the picture from the Simpsons of Grandpa Abe on the cover the local newspaper, waving his fist, and the headline says OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD - well, sometimes you don't know if you're angry at the same cloud for different reasons, or just angry at a different cloud. I mean, I got irritated with a Digg story about a Sizzler restaurant promo from 1991, on account of the subhead: BECAUSE AMERICA. Two words from another smirking drone-dolt that's supposed to say it all about ads and steak-chains amirite et cetera.

It may be necessary to defend the Sizzler Promo at the Work Blog on Wednesday. Having spent part of the evening dissecting a 1939 Del Monte green-pea promotional film I'm well-versed in the corporate promotion genre. (Yes, that is what I did tonight, among other things. It's for an upcoming site on industrial films, due the second week of July.)

Anything else? Well. It was a good day, a lazy day. Warm and bright. Walked outside the office and realized I had my choice of parks to sit in. There's the Government Center park, mounds of grass ringed by benches, and there's the sad park by the Lincoln Tower. (Which is not called that, but I can't help it. That's what it was originally named.) There's a park on the spot because the real estate market fell on its face at the end of the 80s, and they didn't build the second tower. Now it's grass and trees and sculpture. They put out chairs when it's warm.

And so I sat there, right in that chair and thought and wrote things in my head, then went back to the office and wrote them.

Like I said: a good day.



Here is the original art for the Bleat ban above.

That's the last thing he needs while he's doing them.





Commando Cody. I keep wanting to say Commander Cody, for some reason. Anyway:

However did he escape the blast from the ray-pistol that vaporized everything? Like this. Keep this move in mind should you find yourself in a similar situation.

That cracks me up every time. If you're wondering why he doesn't shoot again, it's because the damned ray-pistol takes forever to reload, something you'd think the Moon people would have fixed; it's like a revolver that shoots all its bullets at once and requires manual reloading of each chamber.

Back in the rocket ship, where everyone's relaxing as if the Moon people can't possibly find them, Commando Cody - who is wearing a tie under his Wockateah suit, something that makes me very happy - decides that they'll stay around to steal a ray-gun. He suits up and goes back to the lunar city:

. . . which is a ventilation exhaust-system showroom, apparently. Remember: this is the Moon.

Lucky for him, he has a canister of sleeping gas, and it puts President Retik right out. Because of course landing on a roof and gassing a random vent asphyxiates the President of the Moon.

But Retik has a gas mask, perhaps because he was aware of the strategic deficiencies of the vents on the roof and had put in a work order but you know what it's like to get things done around here. He wakes up while Cody's stealing the gun, and there's a fistfight because SCREW THAT RAY PISTOL. Cody wins, because we're still a few minutes away from the cliffhanger, and we get a look at that crack security provided for President Moon:

The guards follow in a Moon Car:

As chase scenes go, it's pretty good, because it's not two criminals (with hats) driving a car around in California. Since the Moon Car can't pursue Cody into the mountains, they set the Ray Gun on "Constant Heat," in order to melt the stone and seal them in forever.

That lava looks familiar, and I had to go back to check same stuff as we saw last year in the "King of the Rocketmen" serial. Annnnd cliffhanger!

This episode was brisk, efficient, well-shot, crisply edited and completely entertaining. I'm starting to think this might be the best moon-related serial yet.

But it's early.

Is there any other kind in these movies?

That'll do it! See you around.


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