Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Life: RIP Uncle Ballbat

It must be something in the water.  Just when everything seems to be running along smoothly and my cigarette boat is headed for port with a lucrative cargo - Wham!  The howler monkey at the helm tears out the bottom on a derelict that everyone knew was there, but which obstacle that very same everyone had forgotten about.

I had two uncles; Uncle Sardonicus, who I have written about in the past, and a second maternal uncle, Uncle Ballbat, who up until recently lived out in Colorado with his wife, Aunt Quakerlife.  Uncle Ballbat passed away last Friday.  He was a good man and I saw him a whole lot less than I'd have liked, but Denver, Colorado is 1,200 miles West and one mile up, and that tends to make a difference.  Added to that is Uncle Ballbat's health, which precluded any extended travel.  Of course now that he's gone I wish I'd made the effort to spend a little more time in Colorado.

The funeral and services will be held in Colorado, so some of the family will be traveling.  In a flurry of contradictory orders from a few of my familial Elders and in the face of adversity, I skipped my afternoon bourbon and as a result my common sense departed in a snit.  Timing being everything in this world (except money) that's just exactly when Auntie Annie applied her size 13 to the posterior of Uncle Sardonicus and announced to all and sundry that they would be handling all travel arrangements.  It was only then that I began to wonder if Xanax, Percocet and bourbon would have any life threatening side effects on my mother's favorite son, and if so, how certain and how severe.

Rant: Neighborhood Thugs

I haven't written lately mainly because I'm pissed off and am very likely leading an interesting life, which I will rant about later on.  My rant here has to do with neighborhood thugs, petty thieves and career criminals who have burglarized Chatelaine's home yet again.  This is the second time in three months - I wrote about the first occurrence here (My Life: RFI from LEO) and here (My Life: RFI from LEO - Updates).  Since then a few decisions have been made.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Death Penalty and Our Screwed Up Justice System

In the immortal words of Richard Milhouse Nixon, “Let me make this crystal clear...”

I am not opposed to the death penalty.  There are people in this world that, by their own actions, have proven themselves to be sufficiently evil to warrant being taken to a convenient location and, with all due ceremony, shot to death.  Their remains should be cremated and the ashes disposed of in a secret location so as to help prevent some twisted form of hero worship or equally despicable martyrdom.  What I object to is the current process, from beginning to end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Mother's Next Quilt

As some of you may know and others can discover, my own dear mother made a quilt for my younger brother, Shotgun Bob.  Having stifled the inevitable whines of the younger sibling (and any of you that has one knows exactly what I'm talking about) mom made his first, then made another quilt for her favorite son, Mad Jack.  You can read all about and see the photos here: On Mothers and Quilts.  That finished, mom made another quilt for Shotgun Bob's wife, The Girl.  Finished with that Herculean effort she's now tackling another quilt, this time for Main Lady.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Film Review: Immortals (2011)

Immortals (2011)
Rated: R
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Genre(s): Action, Drama, Fantasy

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Cavill as Theseus (Our Hero!)
Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion (Our Villain!)
Stephen Dorff as Stavros (Another Villain)
Freida Pinto as Phaedra (Our Virginal Crystal Ball)
Luke Evans as Zeus (Need you ask?)
John Hurt as Old Man (Zeus in Disguise)
Joseph Morgan as Lysander (Our Traitorous Villain)
Anne Day-Jones as Aethra (Hottie)
Greg Bryk as The Monk (Minor Ally to Our Hero!)
Alan Van Sprang as Dareios (Wimp)
Peter Stebbings as Helios (Greek God of Something)
Daniel Sharman as Aries (Actor paid to wear a funny hat that won't stay on)
Isabel Lucas as Athena (Hottie and Goddess)
Kellan Lutz as Poseidon (Divine Water Boy)
Steve Byers as Heracles (or Hercules. Divine Manual Laborer, infamous for completing the following contracts on schedule and arguably under budget:
1) Kill the Nemean Lion
2) Kill the Hydra
3) Capture the Cerynean Stag
4) Cage the Erymanthian Boar
5) Clean the Augean Stables
6) Kill the Stymphalian Birds
7) Claim the Mares of Diomedes
8) Pen the Cretan Bull
9) Seize the girdle of the Amazon Hippolyte
10) Take Geryon's cattle
11) Fetch the golden apples of the Hesperides
12) Impound Cerberus, the hound of hell)

I went to see Immortals late last night. I was restive and the film sounded promising, but so does a genuine $25,000 Rolex watch that you can buy anywhere in New York city for only $20.  I was disappointed, and here's why without spoilers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Triple Natural Weekend: Part 2

I spent most of the triple natural weekend in Columbus visiting my brother Big Mike.  During a round of sporting clays I discovered that I am an unrepentant white oppressor and that, as such, Moonbats have stopped inviting me to wine and cheese parties.  Well, I don't mind.  I'll have another manhattan and assuage my guilt that way.

Next on the agenda was a hockey game followed by dinner and drinking.  Prior to last weekend I'd never been to a hockey game and I found this one very informative.  By contrast, I've been out drinking before so there weren't any surprises there - surprising no one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Triple Natural Weekend: Part 1

My original plan was to put my car under me and point my nose Southbound early Friday afternoon.  Sadly, that plan did not work out.  About the time I started packing Mom needed me to go to the store for something or other, then Main Lady called and asked for some help with Centenarian.  One of us had to Centenarian-sit while the other ran errands... I elected to run errands, and before anyone gets all sentimental and misty eyed about my mother's favorite son and how helpful, chivalrous and beneficent I am, I encourage you to think again and remember what happens when a woman walks into a store.  Women shop, men buy stuff.  There's a four hour difference between the two.  So I ran the errands, took care of Excellent Rachmaninoff, fed the cats and then waited around for an hour and a half for a stupid, inconsiderate M.D. to call back with a prescription.  Which, by the way, the M.D. did not do - the prescription got canceled after due consideration.  Finally I got underway, and although I arrived at Big Mike's house later than expected, it was much better late than never.

I got to tour Big Mike's new home, have some excellent Mexican food, drink copious amounts of liquor and go shooting the next day where we shot sporting clays and, at long last, I found out just what I am.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Triple Natural!

For those of you living in a cave without a Gregorian calendar, connection to the Internet or access to commercial media, you'll never know that today is Triple Natural Day - 11/11/11.  See?  The odds of throwing an eleven with two six sided dice is 2 in 36, which is something of a long shot.  I thought about looking up the odds of living to see the triple natural, presuming a person was born sometime on or before 11/11/11, but then if I went back to year 1 things begin to look a little bleak.

I'm celebrating by heading South to Columbus to visit Big Mike in his new home.  Our R&R plan involves food, liquor, firearms and a hockey game.  I expect we'll take a slight rest between events; neither of us is as young as we used to be.  Certainly I'm not.

My plan is to return home Sunday afternoon, and finish out the evening by watching Masterpiece Theater with Main Lady and Excellent Rachmaninoff.  A man could do a whole lot worse than to spend Sunday evening with his woman and his dog.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cast of Characters

I've been considering this post for some time. I write about people and provide no easy reference as to their relationships or character, such as it might be. Here's my latest attempt at a comprehensive list.

Update: Times change.  I've revised this entry to reflect the state of the cast.  Those no longer with us, those that are still on the sunny side of the lawn, and those that in more interesting times, would be a doorstop.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Election Results and Ruminations

It's all over.  There's nothing left but the whistle and the steam, and thankfully the ingredients for a perfect manhattan to settle my nerves.

I'm talking about the recent election in Ohio, where I did not get the results I'd hoped for.  Well, why should I be surprised?  Most people watch TV, go to the gym regularly and carry as much credit card debt as they can afford interest payments for.  Just keep paying that vig, and I can carry you for another month.

Well, let's look at the damages.  Here are the elections and issues that I care about, along with my usual insightful commentary:

Friday, November 4, 2011

R.I.P.

The title seems kind of crude and unfeeling, but I can't think of anything else.

A good friend of mine passed away today (Friday, the Fourth day of November in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Eleven, around 5:45 Ante Meridiem).  Rick Cooper played the keyboard at Angelo's Northwood Villa where Main Lady and I went dancing on a fairly regular basis.  Two weeks ago I learned that Rick had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about one month prior and decided to fight it.  The first round of chemotherapy caused Rick to go into dementia, which he very slowly shook off.  His nights were worse than his days, and when he was lucid too much visual stimulation or excitement would send him into fantasy land.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Film Review: In Time

In Time (2011)
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 109 min
Geners: Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Cast
Justin Timberlake as Will Salas (Our Hero!)
Olivia Wilde as Rachel Salas (Our Hero's Mother!)
Shyloh Oostwald as Maya
Johnny Galecki as Borel
Colin McGurk as Citizen
Will Harris as Ulysse
Michael William Freeman as Nardin
Jesse Lee Soffer as Webb
Aaron Perilo as Bell
Nick Lashaway as Ekman
William Peltz as Pierre
Ray Santiago as Victa
Matt Bomer as Henry Hamilton
Zuleyka Silver as Pasha
Laura Ashley Samuels as Sagita
Amanda Seyfried as Sylvia Weis (Our Heroine!)
Vincent Kartheiser as Philippe Weis (Our Evil Villain)
Cillian Murphy as The Timekeeper (Our Corrupt Villain)
and a host of others, all of whom are out of time.

I enjoy science fiction, both reading and in film.  What I don't like is bad sci-fi, and while In Time doesn't really qualify as bad, it comes pretty close to the bottom in places and I'm not sure it completely decompresses when it starts to surface.  Here's why, without spoilers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shameless Plug for Dr. Grumpy

I started reading Doctor Grumpy in the House.  The man purports to be a real medical doctor, which he may well be, but either way the stories he tells are hilarious.  Here's an example:
It is never good when the chart begins: "Patient suffered a head injury with intracranial bleeding when a fight broke out at his Bible study group."
Sounds like an elder's meeting at a Southern Baptist church.  If you want a few good laughs, here the link: Doctor Grumpy in the House

Hope you enjoy him as much as I do.

Halloween, a Time of Garden Hose Baptism

Well, they're at it again.  This happens every single year and I'm tired of it.  The Good People of the First Self-Righteous Church decry Halloween as a Pagan celebration that is seeking to corrupt the morals of our young people, especially young men, by exposing them to the worldliness of the world, which is all they'll allude to.  I suspect it's all they can allude to without giving themselves a collective apoplexy, which is what generally happens when you can't see the freight train because of your blind spot.

I'll spare everyone the righteous rant from the pulpit of Pastor Pissfire Pallbox.  If you're really all that curious, you can tune in to any television ministry on Sunday and get treated to a first class version.  I actually listened to about twenty minutes from one of these ministers and I thought I was watching a re-run of Saturday Night Live.  I couldn't believe anyone would take this guy seriously - I think it might have been Jerry Falwell, but I'm a long way from surety here.  Anyway, at some point after WWII and before yesterday, the Good Christian People of the U.S. of A. discovered that Halloween gave them something safe to hate and that they could criticize the people who celebrate Halloween without fear of reprisal.

Then, in spite of the separation of Church and State, they took their silly prejudice to the Bored of Education.  Now another holiday is being eliminated.

Cat and Mouse, The Sequel

Back in October cute little Ebony caught herself a snack, which I wrote about here: My Life: Playing Cat and Mouse. The long and short of this is that while Main Lady and Cottontail were over at Centenarian's house caring for her - she isn't doing well, but at 103 years old I'm not surprised - I saw Ebony, the little black cat, carry a mouse from the TV room to a clear area in the foyer where she could play with her new toy to her heart's content.  Which she did.  Last weekend Mopsy came to town to celebrate the completion of her board examinations (Mopsy is a physical therapist) and help Main Lady with Centenarian.  When Mopsy went over to take Excellent Rachmaninoff for a canine constitutional, she found something interesting.