Short stuff up top, but beauty galore in the update at the bottom.

Today was much ripping and jackhammering and pounding and cracking. I have no idea what they're doing up there, but Jeff assures me that everything is fine. It's not; there have been some complications with the plumbing, because of course the moment you rip everyting up you discover that the previous contractors were Moties and had their own ideas about doing things.

If you're wondering why I haven't been documenting this in endless painful boring detail, it's because I've resigned myself to this going on for months on end, and accepting it all as normal. But I really should bore you with some context. Here, then, the shower:

That's right. It has a window. So you see why a solid wall that goes all the way up wouldn't work; it would create a strange dark cave in the space between the wall and what the professionals call "The other wall."

I've been watching the Star Wars thing the last few nights. It's necessary. Because A) this is popular culture, and B) I can never shake the broad joy of my inner 14 year-old geek when the logo crashes on the screen and the score starts. Hope springs infernal, that's the problem; we got our hopes up for the first prequel and were just ecstatic because IT IS BACK OH JOY IT HAS RETURNED, and hearts sunk as the crawl revealed a new story that looked confusing and just plain dull. Uh - the Trade Federation. Tariffs. Negotiations. Two actors we knew well, being characters we knew they weren't. No one new Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher. They arrived as their characters, not actors playing characters.

Ah, but what of Alec Guiness? Some knew him; some didn't. He was just so good he could slide into the character and convince you entirely with a wave of his hand. Like, oh, Max Von Sydow?

That's what hit me when I first saw Force Awakens: it's Max Von Sydow as Alec Guiness! Wait, he's still alive? What is this franchise, the Old Revered Dude Employment Agency? Guiness, Plummer - horribly used, by the way; oh the shite Lucas made him say. But Von Sydow - this scene, it could be awful, in fact something in the back of my head is preparing for it to be awful. The dialogue's rushed, and expository; the actions portentious - HERE, TAKE THIS FLASH DRIVE, THE GALAXY DEPENDS ON IT. But I remember watching and thinking there is something else behind this that keeps it from sucking. Don't worry. Do. Not. Worry.

Watching it again I had the same reaction - something about the first scene just seemed . . . Lucasy. It's people sitting down, talking, which was the hallmark of the prequels. But it blows up fast real good, and the action's brisk and small-scale, and all the villagers get massacred so the ante's upped from just burning Aunt and Uncle. The moment we're on the Star Destroyer, and we have English-accented effete military officers, a guy in a helmet walking around with a distorted voice, mirrored floors, landing bays that ARE THE LANDING BAYS - it's the real thing 10X.

I know I know: same plot, retread, reboot, Mary Sue, all that. I don't care. When the prequels came out people said Yay! Now we get Star Wars! But it was stiff, stilted, juvenile, cliched, and utterly unworthy of everything that had been invested in the story by the audience. I have respect for some of Ep 2, but that's because the people who fleshed out Lucas' ideas were better than Lucas, in almost every instance.

Anyway. That was after watching 40 minutes. Now to continue.

LATER: There's really not a moment of this movie I don't enjoy, and I'm still amazed they got Harrison Ford to do some acting.

One dime, and oh by the way YOUR SOUL TOO

If everyone in your gang had a copy, could you truly mystify your friends? Did no one fear that their "handkerchief trick" could be easily explained by someone who had this tome, or one similar?

Lyle Douglas didn't even bother with a company name. Hell, it's just him and a mail drop. Maybe you'd get your book. Maybe you won't.

But I'm sure you did. He ran ads like this for a long time in the back of magazines; if there'd been enough complaints, he'd be out.




This week in the adventure of the Scientist with an Undefined Speciality vs. the Guy in an Ugly Mask:



When we last saw our Hero, he was in the process of hideous heart-stopping electrocution. A chair was thrown at his head and he fell into the machinery.


No, he didn't. He gets up and holds Ashe at gunpoint, but the Crimson Ghost has a great way of turning the tables: he tells Diana, aka All-Purpose Girl to remove her control collar, which of course will explode and kill her. So Duncan struggles with APG while Ashe escapes.

It's back to the Science Board Room while the Scientists discuss what has happened . . . annnnd there's a dissolve, and it's the clip show. But it's only 2/3rds of the show; then we're back to figuring out how to remove the collar.

The operating room looks rather familiar. It's the lab where we had the electrocution scare earlier.



Dr. Gage shows up, but . . . he doesn't quite seem himself. THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S ASHE, the henchman. As the procedure unfolds, Duncan says that it's vitally vital that the electricity not be interrupted, or the collar will ignite and paint the walls with APG's brains. (I'm paraphrasing.) Good thing there's no chance that the electricity won't be interrupted, it being so vital and everything.




Short one this week, because it's a clip show, but what an ending! Tune in next week.

And that will suffice. No, wait, it won't - there are ten splendid paintings to be found in the 1933 World's Fair section. And ten more next week. Why do I do this? In case the internet starts to leak and content drains away and we're left with nothing.



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