Daughter, I was told, needed a light for her bike. If she biked to work she would need a light to get home, and that made sense. In my day you had a light to be cool, not for safety; my gold Schwinn, my favorite bike ever, had two headlights in the . . . the bar thing between the seat and the handlebars. I’ll find a picture. No helmets. We survived. I had a spectacular wipeout when I tried to ride it sidesaddle for an entire block - got up a good head of speed, did a partial dismount, pushed the bike to the side to balance, and went on momentum until I hit a sewer grate and it was complete and total ass over tea kettle; over the bars, came down on the curb, scraped knees and shins, blood everywhere. Awesome!

Anyway. She biked to work at 3. After dinner I went to Target to get a light. It has 66 lumens. Seemed enough. Went home; wife was back from tennis, and I said daughter biked to work.

But she doesn’t have a light.

I held up the package: she does now! I opened the package to put in the batteries, and learned that it did not come with batteries. It took 2530s.

It took EIGHT.

Gah. So. Drove to the drugstore, found the last two packages of batteries, bought them, wincing at the price. Had the presence of mind to ask the clerk for a scissors so I could cut open the package, which was designed to keep people from popping out a few batteries when no one was looking. I drove to the lake, parked by the bandshell, and sat in my car, taking out the batteries, removing the labels which covered each one for some got-damned reason, then put them all into the lights. I had a screwdriver to take out the bracket for attachment . . .

Except OF COURSE because bikes are so FARGIN’ EURO COOL they used the hex things. Now. I had bought Daughter a set of hex things for her backpack in case the bike needed adjustment, and I could either assume she brought them, and they would be in her backpack at work, and I could go to the pavilion, stand in line, and ask for them, or I could assume she had left them in her room on the end table where I last saw them.

I drove home. I got the hex thing from the shelf in the garage, and drove back. Parked in the lot. You have to pay. You have to enter your license plate number. I don’t have a license plate yet. So we hope and move fast. Among the dozens and dozens of bikes - people had come for the evening movie at the bandshell - I found hers, and set about unscrewing the light so I could attach it.

Whereupon I noticed that she had a front light.

And it worked.

WELL NOW SHE HAS ANOTHER. Unscrewed the back light assembly, tried to find a place to put it - hey, there’s something here that looks a lot like a back light AND INDEED IT IS. And it worked.

Well. At this point I just laughed and said “this was an evening of bootless endeavors” and drove home. Put the hex set back in the garage, thinking “should I bring it in? I might need it inside.”

Went outside and noticed that the door handle to the back door had fallen off. It required a hex thing to fix. Went down to the garage and got it and fixed the door.

Night fell. She was supposed to get off at 9, but they kept serving, and she was on duty until ten, at which point it was stone deep dark out, and Wife was concerned about her riding home.

But she has a light. By God, she has lights, I can vouch for that. What are we worried about? Predators? Traffic?

Predators in traffic. There’s a dark part in the estuary, someone could be lying in wait.

Oh for -

But she’s right. Well, I will drive back to the lake for the third time, and keep pace as she drives home and if anything happens she can scream, how about that?

Which is what I ended up doing. But! I thought we might get the bike in the car - it hasn’t the space of the Element, but who knows. Huzzah, it fit. Barely. I was concerned about it leaving marks, because you want your new car not to be scratched for a few weeks, you know? When we got home we discovered the iron law of bikes: while it may be one thing to get it in the vehicle, it is another thing entirely to get it out, and I was furious with frustration because it wouldn’t come out and I was going to MAR THE INTERIOR

But the interior was not marred, and eventually I got the bike out, and it was 10:37 PM and I said:

I am going to have a whiskey.

And I did.



Here we go again. The non-serial serial.

What's the peril this month? Oh nothing big

We start off in the lab / throne room / rumpus area where The Ruler, aka the dude who’s trying to take over the Earth, is looking into his still.

We get a look at his HQ:

They have a special ray that’s making the sun fade away. You’d think they would have used this first. Isolated storms is one thing, but shutting off all light and heat on a global basis gets everyone’s attention. There are “frantic mobs” demanding action by the authorities; the rivers freeze so there’s no hydroelectric power; crops die. And so on.

At least it gives away the Ruler’s position, we're told. They triangulated! Cody and the gang, which got rid of William Schallert eps ago and said nothing, perhaps because he was executed for treason, drive off to the rocket. It should be noted that no one looks particular cold, or has visible breath. This after several days without any warmth from the sun.

Once they get up in the rocket ship, it starts to overheat:

One hundred and thirty degrees. So they have to land. Meanwhile, according to the news, the world’s pretty much over; no farming, no power, no food. Worse: the ship overheated because the cosmic particles that protect the earth - Cody’s invention - have been neutralized, or something. This means sabotage! Cody goes to the plant where the cosmic particles are made.

He finds the quisling, beats him stupid, then gets a name out of him. Baylor. And here we see the deductive power of our Commando:

Turns out the sun-blocking ray is located on Planet M-22, which Cody’s ship can easily reach. That’s where the Ruler is at the moment, and he orders an “invisible block” to stop the ship. Cody has to Wocketman his way down to the planet's suface, but he’s not going without an ace up his sleeve:

Nice to have those handy. After he lands and sets the detonator, of course there’s a fight, or rather some drunken kicking:

Personally, I’d prefer an ATOMIC BOMB with a longer timer.

But: Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a rare double Wilheim.

Not really. But close.

Oh, a little clean-up: time to kill everyone who wasn’t wiped out by the nuke. Note how quickly Planet M-22 looks like Germany:


Meanwhile, back home:



Hey what were they saying Cody you turned it off so fast like you didn't want us to hear something

Aw never mind hahahahahaha


That'll do; see you around.





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