“They say you die twice,” Daughter said. “Once when you go, and once when someone says your name for the last time.”

Don’t ask me how this came up. We were doing dishes.

“You only live twice, too.” I said. “Alexa, play ‘You Only Live Twice.’”

“You Only Live Twice,” said Alexa. “By Nancy Sinatra.”

It was the over-orchestrated version; not so good. I explained to daughter how much of an impact the movie had on me when I was a kid, how my dad took me to see it to show me The Ways of the World, how it had EVERYTHING from Space ships to Volcano bases to ninjas in volcano bases to cigarettes that shot bullets to a man in a grey suit stroking a white cat (her eyes widened - yes, child, that’s where that’s from) who dispatched inefficient minions with a specially built bridge in his office that fed bad employees to pirañas.


It was the best.


In retrospect it makes me wonder how Blofeld kept his job after that incredibly expensive cock-up. The interview may have gone something . . . like this.

Ernst, we’ve been looking over the after-mission report, and we have some questions.

There are no questions. Only answers.

Uhh . . yeah. So you hollowed out a volcano without anyone finding out, that was top work. But aside from the automated gun emplacements, you didn’t seem to have any recon outside the facility to detect the ninjas.

Bond was dead. All of our reports from trusted sources confirmed it.

Right, right, we all signed off on that, but just because Bond was dead doesn’t mean no one else could have showed up.

If you look at the timeline of the operation you will note that both the Americans and the Russians were at maximum alert after our last interception. War was imminent. Hitherto the security procedures were utterly sufficient.

Well, we’ll get back to that. Now, on your expense account, there was the matter of your office. Very large, very nice, as of course a man of your stature and taste requires. But there’s this item for a bridge over a pond. In your office. And there’s a tropical fish bill for $65,000.

It was for discipline.

So the bridge, if I’m looking at these schematics right, the bridge would collapse, and the person you wanted to discipline would . . . drown?

They would be eaten by rare, vicious fish of my own selection.

You couldn’t have just shot them?

They would stain the rug. It was Flemish, 17th century.

Right, right, I see that on the expense account too.I know we've been going for the cultured lair look ever since Dr. No raised the bar, but I think we’re going to need to claw back some of that. It says here you had to throw a side of beef into the pond every day, and it says you required Kobe.

It is the finest beef on the planet. It honed the appetites of the fish to a murderous pitch.

Right, but we’re back to the whole discipline thing again. I’m just trying to establish a cost-benefit ratio. How many times did you use the trick bridge?



I tried to use it before, but the bridge jammed, and the minion walked on and returned to his post. I had him transferred to maintenance and killed in an electrical . . . accident.

What did you do about the bridge?

I had the employees responsible for its maintenance transferred to our Piz Gloria facility and buried in an avalanche.

Again, I’m wondering why you just didn’t have them shot.

That is for crude minds who cannot see the art in what we do. What I do.

Okay, last point here. Everyone in SPECTRE is glad you made it out, and you were the only one to escape the entire calamity. That’s because you had a private monorail train constructed to take you out of the facility if things went south. That wasn’t in the original budget.

I . . . shifted some funds.

From where?


From where, Ernst? Help me out here, I just have to cross all the ts and dot the is.

From Volcano Perimeter Security.

Okay. Well, I think we’re done, but let me just say I think the board is going to have more questions, and the next time there’s a general assembly - oh, you need a light? Here, I have a Zippo.

(lights Blofeld’s cigarette)

(dart shoots out of cigarette and embeds in accountant’s forehead, whose eyes go wide with shock)

(Blofeld takes Zippo from his hand, burns the documents the account had been falling out)

(Smoke alarm goes off)

(Guards burst in a minute later to find half-naked Blofeld fanning the smoke detector with his shirt)

I hate these people so much


Of course you can't explain them or figure them out; you're historical illiterates slaving in a click-bait factory, puking up chum every half-hour.

Text when you get to the actual webshite:

Strange Historical Photos That NEEDs To Be Explained…

The weirdest historical photos ever existed. Not even we can explain what’s truly going on and why. #21 is so inconspicuous, but there’s something about it that will definitely make you smile.

Here's #21.

If you're wondering about the first Vintage Historical Photo that NEEDs to be explained that they can't figure out, it was this:

Man, that's a baffler. Remember: anything from Frank151.com is garbage. Don't click. Leave that to me.

Anything happen on Shark Tank that rocked the nation?


That was two weeks ago.

  I love, and loathe, the idea of "social media" as a hive-mind or a bird-flock or a fish-school that has a consciousness. It's just people not doing anything but looking at their phones.

Do you remember this?

Was the event so traumatic that we have wiped it from our collective consciousness?



I hate these people so much


Long and broad now, a welcome addition to the street:


The usual shot from the Library second floor window. This one is taking forever to get off the ground, it seems - but that's because it's tall.

Well, by our standards.

KA is looking good:

I wrote a piece about watching buildings go up; you might want to read it.





As noted, I'm going through the entire Gildersleeve series this year - and there's a lot. We're still in the early days, when the show had found its footing.



More of the bridges to get them from opening to the show. Same intro, then different music.


  But then the announcer starts to set the stage.


  It still has that early 40s radio feel. Hard to describe, but if you the era, you know what I mean.

At this point the show was firing away as good as it would - the characters were more than catch phrases, the situations amusing and relatively realistic, and there was a strong female character to send the plots caroming here and there. But we'll get to her.


AD: Momma's little baby drank too much last night.




From the golden age of Gaelic cliches, a song about a policeman's club.


Sure, and he used to beat me with it too:

Sure with the same old shillelagh me father could lick a dozen men
As fast as they'd get up be gory, he'd knock 'em down again
And many's the time he used it on me to make me understand
The same old shillelagh me father brought from Ireland


  And so we end the week.

There you have it! Hope you enjoyed your visits this week, and we'll see you Monday and do it allllll again.



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