I had to go to the Apple Store to get the hard drive removed from Daughter’s defunct laptop. It takes a T5. I had a T5, but it started to strip the screw, which indicated that I had purchased a cheap Chinese set of screwdrivers which were useless, but to whom do you complain? The Chinese Embassy? Hey: stop making crap k thnx

While I waited I looked at a video display of all the things my phone could do, and that I don’t use. I don’t send text messages that vibrate or cause a series of balloons to rise on the screen to indicate that one should have a happy birthday. Should do it on Daughter’s b-day, though. Coming from a parent, it doesn’t mean so much, because that’s what they do, being all parental and LOVING and stuff. I’ll do it anyway.

It all looked so fun and useful, though. All these things you can do to make life more vibrant! Life being defined as staring at your phone touching things.

Eventually I was helped, and the drive was removed. On the way out of the mall I stopped at J.C. Penneys, which is going out of business. This store, anyway. The rest? Give them time. I always buy my shirts at Penneys, because they have mad crazy colors I love, and they have stupid sales. I’ve mentioned this before - buy one, get a second for a penny. Buy two for half-off each. It’s all trickery. A few years ago a CEO imported from Apple did away with the sales, and instituted transparent pricing. People hated it. They wanted DEALS.

So now all the shirts are half off. That’s it. Period. Half. Off. They have new prices to reflect the fire-sale atmosphere, because Penneys has to sell everything in the store. They cannot move any merchandise to other stores in the neighborhood. Everything here is contaminated by failure.

I looked at the prices, did a swift calculation: I was paying exactly what I had paid before when they had sales.

The clerk toted everything up: $58.60 for three shirts. The register said that I had saved $58.60.

“Why, it’s like the shirts . . . they’re free!” I said.

The clerk laughed and said “That’s what some people think.”

But not enough people to keep the place a going concern.

By the back door:


It’s like a sale of robots stripped of their programming.

One more thing about this store, and I know this is getting into details too minor for anyone to ever care about. But they hadn’t changed the door handles since the Seventies. This style was once ubiquitous:

If you asked later-middle-aged people to describe the door handles of their teens and twenties, they would come up blank. They’d put their hands on these very handles a thousand times, but the style, the design - they’d faded into their brains without leaving a trace.

Reminded me of a trip I took Friday downtown; walked through the old Dayton’s, which eventually became Macy’s, and was closed a few months ago because it had gone downhill and no one wanted to shop there anymore. They built tunnels through the second floor so the skyways still connect, and for some reason they put up glass walls with the Macy’s star, so you could look at the abandoned store.

As if it was a museum about retail, and this was the diorama about 2017.


From the back of men's mags & general interest low-brow fiction: an entivement for nudie pix. Well, not exactly nude. They're wearing oven mitts.



Do you have one empty eye socket covered by scar tissue that frightens the childen? Make your fake choppers don't bang together, complicating your horrid impression. Glue 'em! Glue 'em hard






As I noted last week: did these a few years ago, but gave them short shrift. (Looking back at the whole site, I gave everything short shrift; I'm working on a complete replacement.)

Last week we were introduced to the Colossal Man. He died. Or did he? Or did he become something else? Well yes of course he did.


There's no war, and the beast is actually a man. To be exact, it's Glen Manning, the amazing colossal dude from another movie.



The movie has exactly one (1) thing to do, and that’s show a really big guy. The first movie, as we saw last week, had a certain poignancy. The effects were good for the budget, which was $4.98. The last part showed the Colossal Dude walking around Vegas staring at things and getting angry at signage.

How can this one top it? We’ll see.

We start in Mexico, where a truck has gone missing. What could it possibly be? There’s one woman who thinks “it could be my giant husband,” and after she sees the report on the local news - the local news about a truck in Mexico going missing - she talks to the man whose truck vanished.

The military is brought in right away. So they go down to Mexico to look for the Colossal Man, in case he wasn’t killed by the fall off Boulder Dam. Because when you drop a 60-foot man full of Plutonium into the water, you’re just going to let it rot.

So everyone pokes around the hills of Mexico looking for a stolen truck. We’re eighteen minutes into the movie, and it feels like it’s been about 40 minutes.

Then he shows up.

When he walks into the picture, it's a moment that must have loosened a few bladders. It really is one of the great shock moments of the B-movie sci-fi 50s genre:


He’s drugged with some food, and brought back to the United States. There’s an impressive scene where they put him on a C-30 Transport and bring him to a California base, and he wakes up, creating havoc -

Hah just kidding. We cut to a parade of Authorities passing the buck, not willing to take the Colossal Man for study.



It wouldn't be a sci-fi summer B-movie without a Television Broadcast that looks nothing like a Television Broadcast, but seems to show us a banker who is pretending he's on the air:


These guys are usually actual broadcasters, and that's the case here:

Announcer and host on early television in Los Angeles, California. Keith Hetherington appeared on station W6XYZ, its successor, KTLA, and on KTTV. In what is claimed to be the first remote live TV coverage of a breaking news event, Hetherington reported from the scene of the explosion of electroplating plant on Pico Boulevard on 27 February 1947.

He was also a writer of TV dramas. In this movie, he has a good larf about sightings of a giant. Boy, what a gag!

Eventually they put him in a hangar at the airport “until Washington decides what to do with him.”



The director doesn’t know what to do with him either, so they repeat the Vegas scene as a flashback. The he escapes, and it’s time for the Somewhat Translucent Colossal Man to walk around glaring at things:



I love the old planes - but what's with the G?



It means it was a "Super-G." Or a Connie, if you like.

They knock him out again and put him back in chains. We spend some time at his sister’s nicemodern apartment . . .


. . . and then the LA police have to put out a bulletin because he’s loose again. Look who:


Warren Frost, the father of the co-writer of Twin Peaks, and Doc Hayward in the TV show.

Some inadvertent documentary: I'm sure someone with some old LA directories could nail this down.



He ends up in Griffith Park, picks up a bus, and presents what really ought to be a more iconic image in monster-movie history. The blown-off face, the empty eye socket, the exposed teeth - these things gave me Costco-scale heebies when I was kid.



In the end he commits suicide by grabbing some powerlines, and this gives the director a chance to use the color film left over from another job.



Electricity: it can vaporize a 60-foot tall piece of meat.

It's not as good as the first - there's a surprise - but when you're 13, and it comes on the Saturday Night Sci-Fi late night show, you couldn't be happier.


That'll do; see you around. Matches await.


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