I am apparently the only person in the United States who saw this film when it came out. I don't get it.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who spends a lot of time in the pool just like Kiefer Sutherland.
by Bob Wallace, who is going "Wooba wooba wooba!"
Richard Widmark died a few years ago at 93. I had seen all of his movies except the first one, which has the classic scene of Widmark pushing an old lady down the stairs. I finally saw it, and Widmark came across as a really good psycho killer!
Posted by Bob Wallace, who wishes guys still wore cool hats.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who sez, Wooba! Wooba! Wooba!
When I was in college the best salesman in the world talked me into buying a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes -- specifically the Malverns. They cost $75.
They were the best shoes I ever had. Unfortunately I didn't take particularly good care of them. I wore them every day, I once dried them on the heat register (the toes curled straight up), and I didn't moisturize them enough. Still, they lasted ten years.
Had I take proper care of them, and have the company rebuild them, I'd still have them. Maybe they wouldn't look so great, but I'd still have them (I wish I still had my '67 Pontiac Tempest slant-4).
Then I bought another pair of Malverns. By then they were up to $150. They lasted about 13 years. I still didn't take very good care of them, specifically wearing them every day, which is a big no-no for shoes.
A week for so ago I checked on the price of Malverns.
I blame this almost exclusively on the Federal Reserve Bank, which is not federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank. It is in fact a legal counterfeiter which has 100% control over our money supply.
Of course, the Fed is thoroughly unconstitutional. The Constitution forbids anything but gold or silver being money On top of that, it also forbids Bills of Credit, i.e., paper money.
Central banks were tried in the U.S. in the past. Andrew Jackson, for one, swore eternal enmity against them.
"The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it," he once said. "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out."
Jackson engaged in a lot of duels. Perhaps we need dueling to be legal today, especially for traitors.
Since the creation of the Fed in 1917, the dollar has lost 99% of its value. That means what cost one penny is 1916 costs one dollar today. In 1890, for example, one silver dime would get you a seven-course meal at a fancy hotel. Today, a quarter will get you a piece of bubble-gum out of a machine.
Perhaps without the Feds Malverns today would cost..maybe a quarter? Fifty cents?
This acceleration of this loss of value really took off in 1973, two years after Richard Nixon went completely off the gold standard in 1971.
Not surprisingly, wages stopped going up in 1973, and have been flat or declining ever since. Except for course, for the one percent whose income has been skyrocketing -- and they accomplished this by using the State to enrich themselves at everyone else's expense.
Fortunately, Allen Edmonds is still an American company. And thank God for that. They haven't fled to China, where the workers make a dollar day, work 12 hour shifts, and live in dormitories.
Lots of American workers appear to make good money -- in nominal wages. If the Fed had never existed, the average wage might be $10,000 a year -- and houses might cost $10,000 (my parents told me they rented a two-story farmhouse in '67 for $60 a month, and they paid $141 a month for a 30-year mortgage).
American companies wouldn't be hemorrhaging jobs to foreign companies if it wasn't for this huge disparity in wages.
Sooner or later, the Fed will go. The first two American central banks had 20-year charters, and then they were gone. The current one needs to go. Sooner or later, it will go.
Unfortunately, I expect pretty much a complete collapse of the economy before the Fed is eliminated.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who is not happy about all of this.
This is my family coats-of-arms. I've always found it interesting. "Pro libertate" means "For liberty," which only comes from having a shield (on which the coat-of-arms was imprinted) and a sword to defend yourself, and a lion (called a rampant lion) with it's claws out, ready to strike.
To keep your liberty you must always be on guard, and have the ability to strike and defend.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who sez, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I've read two of his other novels but Dwellers is the best one. It's not science-fiction but Lost World science-fantasy.
It's got tenacled monsters who want maidens sacrificed to him, seductive witch-women, and battles galore. Blood, Beasts and Breasts, as Joe Bob Briggs said is essential to good movies and good literature.
He was of course right!
Posted by Bob Wallace, who still dreams of Kalk-ru.
A kinetic bombardment is the act of attacking a planetary surface with an inert projectile, where the destructive force comes from the kinetic energy of the projectile impacting at very high velocities. The concept is encountered in science fiction and is thought to have originated during the Cold War. Non-orbital bombardments with kinetic projectiles, such as lobbing stones with siege engines such as catapults or trebuchets are considered siege warfare, not kinetic bombardment.
Project Thor is an idea for a weapons system that launches kinetic projectiles from Earth orbit to damage targets on the ground. Jerry Pournelle originated the concept while working in operations research at Boeing in the 1950s before becoming a science-fiction writer.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who heard about this from Jerry Pournelle
The Cobra story
I was languishing in English 101, as old Miss Bulterrier sat in front of the class reading us “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea”. Back then the thought of bringing a gun to school was frowned upon, not for fear of a student going on a rampage as they are so inclined to do today, but the administration who was well aware of Miss Bulterriers’; “Not soon enough for me to get away from these miserable little rodents” attitude about her impending retirement. The fear was that after an hour of Miss Bulterriers’ monotone droning of Jules Verne that a student would turn the gun on themselves, and no teacher wanted to send that note home to your parents.
I stared out the school windows and dreamed of being ten miles away up amid the pines and firs on Birch Mountain (to the best of my knowledge there has never been a birch tree on Birch Mountain. It’s a little bit like a Kansas City real estate developer naming your cul-d-sac Marina Bay View Drive) when suddenly I was snapped back to the classroom.
“Mr. Speedwell? Mr. Speedwell!! Your book report is due a week from next Monday. Have you selected a novel yet?”
“Oh, uh…I was heading to the library right after class.” (Hey, I didn’t know if the school even had a library!)”
“Never mind that… here.” she said tossing me a paperback. “I want a report on that in ten days.”
My mind was racing. “How was I going to get out of this?”; when I happened to see the title on the dog-eared cover; “The Cobra Story”…written by, yes, the old man himself, Carroll Shelby! The book that had just landed in my hands looked bigger, and bigger as my saucer sized eyes tried to take it all in. I frantically thumbed through the pages while, for the next half hour, old Miss Bulterrier slogged through the rest of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. Who needed to dream about playing on Burch Mountain? I was suddenly transported to Riverside, standing in the pits next to Carroll who was readying the Cobra for Dan Gurney. I could hear the roar of the powerful overhead valve engines as they fired up and rolled to the starting line, when suddenly I saw it; the center section of the book… complete with pictures! (Now THAT'S my kind of book!). There she was, the car of my dreams, a 289 Cobra! She was the size of Dave Brubaker’s Austin Healey Sprite (Dave who wasn’t old enough to drive, well… legally, aptly named the sixty dollar Sprite; “Gutless Horace”) but had an engine as big as my mom’s Cadillac! (Well… almost). She had curves more lusty than Rachael O’Dell, who when I tired of dreaming about Birch Mountain, I would look three desks up to the right and stare at Rachael’s curvy backside. Forget Rachael! This thing was gorgeous, and it HAD to be mine!
I had just spent a year scavenging pop bottles on the side of the road so I could buy my first guitar. I wanted the well-worn ’61 Les Paul down at Belmont Music, but it was sixty bucks! Sixty stinkin’ dollars!! And.... And!… the finish was worn through on part of the neck! No way! Beaney must have been out of his mind to charge that kind of money for a guitar! So I settled for the thirty dollar Harmony sold at Western Auto. Yeah, I know….
My troubles grew worse. The Cobra was more than twice the price of a ’64½ Mustang. Four cents for a pop bottle, and at sixty five hundred dollars… ok, I needed a new plan.
That evening I was wringing my hands in desperation when I noticed my mother opening a can of Jolly Green Giant green beans. That can. Steel…and tin plated so it wouldn’t rust. Hammered out flat it was about fifty square inches. The total body area of the Cobra is about... divided by fifty inches…. I had my plan! That Cobra would soon be mine! I suddenly saw myself driving north out of L.A. on Pacific Coast Highway with the top down and by far the hottest girl in school, Lisa Morrow at my side. The oh-so-slightly muffled 289, the smell of the Pacific, and Lisa. Over and over that scenario played in my head, and in a matter of months the Cobra would be finished AND I would be old enough to drive…well, legally. The future was closer than I thought and I owed it all to the Jolly Green Giant! Ho, ho, ho!!
In slow motion I saw my mom’s hand release the green bean can as it slowly glided down to the garbage. Flying through the air I intercepted that can like a Chicago bears wide receiver. “Max, what are..?” “Never mind, Mom….” My words dropped off as I ran out the door. I checked out the rest of the garbage, I hit-up Eleanor Brubaker, I hit-up Mrs. Dodson, I collected cans like the end of the world was coming. Of course I didn’t rinse them out. The brazing process would burn-off the residue of the old tuna fish. I found a spot in the top of the garage, and hid my stash there. Occasionally I would use the tin snips and open the cans and hammer them out flat. Only a few hundred cans to go and I could then begin brazing them into a quilt of steel that would become the body of my new Cobra. It wouldn’t be long now. Should I tell Lisa to begin packing? I was almost there… I could smell it. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who could smell it. The garage attic was hot…very hot, and the smell of rotten green beans, and tuna soon caught my dad’s attention.
As the day to assembling my cans drew near I began to prepare. Flux, brass rod, plenty of acetylene, and oxygen. I went to the garage attic to collect my cans…
My trip up Pacific coast highway…gone!
Lisa’s long hair trailing in the wind......GONE!!
The smell of stale tuna hung in the air as I frantically rifled through the attic. Panicked, I ran into the house. “Mom!! Quick, what happened to my cans?”
“What cans, Max?”
“My Cobra cans in the top of the garage!”
“You stored snake innards in those cans? No wonder they stunk so bad. Besides, we don’t have cobra’s around here, it was probably a bull snake. Your father threw them out on garbage night.”
Dejected I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling all night. How would I ever break the news to Lisa?
The next morning I walked through the school halls, and saw Lisa coming towards me. Her long hair flowed in slow motion like a Breck girl, and she had full pouty lips long before they were fashionable on Southern California housewives. How could I ever tell her? (To this day I'm not sure if Lisa ever knew I was alive. I sure would like to look her up & down again, but you can't go back. My guess is the gorgeous Lisa is looking very matronly).
My hopes shattered, I walked into English 101 and plopped my backside down into the desk.
“Ahem… Mr. Speedwell? Your report?
“Uh… oh… Somehow I may have lost it somewhere in “The Valley of the Jolly.”
Retrospectively submitted by Max Speedwell who never did have his way with the Cobra, or Lisa.
(the names have been changed to keep Lisa from ever looking me up!)
I saw "Real Steel" a few days ago and it's better than I thought it would be. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson, who wrote "I am Legend," which so far has been filmed three times. Then there is "The incredible Shrinking Man."
The movie has guy stuff -- gigantic robots pounding each other into scrap. Then there's the girl stuff - the relationship between father, son and girlfriend. So they cover all the bases.
Posted by bob Wallace, who doesn't have a fighting robot, darn it.
Get three pounds of Twizzlers for Christmas and you'll be too pre-occupied with peeling the wrappers and eating them to notice how dark it is outside already for a month and you'll never get that seasonal whatchamacallit thing.
posted by Tom Novak who estimates he'll be avoiding SAD until sometime in late February.