Saturday, March 08, 2014

Hugging the bowl

It took a while for me to get beyond Bryn's birthday this year.

Between that, and an exceptionally busy work week, and the Boy's continuing story, and a personal fascination with whatever-the-hell is going on in the Crimea I just haven't had the time to get back to this blog.


Blogging will be light for the next week, too, as I will be working on the Battle for this month: Glorieta Pass, 1863.

But I did want to poke my head up and look around so's you didn't think I'd gone into hibernation or something.

So, some minor bloggage.

Fucking CPAC.

What a goddamn shitshow. The fact that these idiots invited, and then cheered, Ollie Fucking North pretty much puts a stake in whatever-functions-as-the-organ-that-conservatives-have-instead-of-a-heart. Certainly not a brain; anyone who would do anything in the vicinity of Ollie Fucking North other than spit on him is a damn lunatic. The man is a walking skid mark on a U.S. Marine uniform pant.

And to top that there's Scooter Fucking Libby? And Bernie Fucking Kerik? Is this supposed to be a conservative convention or a damn parole board meeting?

Pretty much sums up modern U.S. movement conservatism, though. Neither benevolent nor intelligent, just a seething, wretched hive of angry, vindictive scum and villainy. Not with Extra Felons.


And in other "conservative" news..."conservative Christians" are upset because of "historical inaccuracies" in a movie about...Noah?



No, this isn't "The Onion".

Seriously, Jesus-pesterers are having kitten-fits because this movie, whatever else the hell it does, doesn't fit the version of a made-up ancient Hebrew version of an older made-up Sumerian tale about a guy who builds a big-ass boat and stuffs animals in it?
(Extra points to the Jesus-pesterers who seem to have spent a ridiculous amount of wasted time trying to reconcile the logistical requirements of a gajillion animals by trying to hammer the Hebrew word "kind" (as in "two of each kind") as ever-larger phylogenetic categories. Apparently there's even a special Jesus-pesterer term for this - "baraminology" - which is essentially the same thing as the "science" of describing the types of ponies in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.)
The linked article at The Panda's Thumb is made of 100% awesomesauce, BTW; check it out.

"Historical inaccuracies."


Speaking of dead conservatives...or were we?

Whatever. Point is, Shirley Temple Black kicked the bucket last month.

I know, I know...she's a film icon, the prototype Child Star and bigger in American film history than Lassie. My problem is that I discovered her in my teenage years and from the lofty maturity of fifteen her juvenile films always seemed cloying, childish, and twee. I've since developed a greater appreciation for her early talents but never quite to the point of loving her or her child work.

My loss, I suppose.

Thing is, I love the heck out of her late Forties work. After the war Shirley had matured into a damn good little comic actress.

She goes toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and is wonderful as a teenager in Since You Went Away. I've also seen her do delightful work in a piece of postwar comic nonsense called Honeymoon; she really had the chops to make it as an actress in light comedy. It's too bad she didn't manage to keep working past the late Forties, and you have to wonder if her childhood success didn't have something to do with that.

Seriously, think about it. Here was a young actress who was attractive, sexually attractive, but who was indelibly associated with the audiences of the late Forties and Fifties with a six-year-old girl. I mean, imagine; the ick-factor of getting a boner looking a little Curly Top?

Yeah, that.

I should add, though, that it's also probably good for her memory that Pete McCloskey beat her for the 11th Congressional District in 1967.

She ran to his right - she was a pretty conservative Republican for the middle Sixties (not that she'd be considered "conservative" today, mind you) and so we remember the child star, the promising young actress, and the gracious apolitical hostess and not a more divisive conservative Congresswoman in the Nixon (and possibly the Reagan) Era.

My favorite story about her?

Anne Edwards' biography says that when she was invited to the White House in 1935 she shot Eleanor Roosevelt in the ass:
"Temple and her parents traveled to Washington, D.C., late in 1935 to meet President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. The presidential couple invited the Temple family to a cook-out at their home in Hyde Park, New York, where Eleanor, bending over an outdoor grill, was hit smartly in the rear with a pebble from the slingshot Temple carried everywhere in her little lace purse." (Edwards, p. 81)
So maybe even then little Bubbles was a red-meat Republican.

Probably just as well we'll never know.

This was kind of intriguing in a very odd way:
"China Southern flight CZ628, operating as a code-share with Japan Airlines Co. (9201) as flight JL5021, was headed to Shenyang, China from Narita airport in Japan when North Korea fired the missile at 4:17 p.m. yesterday, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said today by phone. The jet was over international water at an altitude of 10 kilometers (32,800 feet) at 4:24 p.m. when it crossed the trajectory of the missile, which reached a height of 20 kilometers, Kim said."
Despite what the article says the two objects were not actually very close in time; seven minutes is a hell of a long time at 400 miles per hour (or more, for the missile).

This wasn't a close call.

The odd part about this for me was that when we used to range fire on Fort Lewis, Washington part of our ballistic arc for high-angle fire was within the flight path for aircraft landing at SeaTac Airport in Seattle. Range Control would close the range for some time, ten minutes before or after (I forget the exact envelope) when an aircraft was scheduled to fly over.

That used to drive us bugnuts. The phrase you'd hear repeatedly was "Little bullet, big sky". But there was no room for any sort of miscalculation when a freakish mishap might kill 200-plus people.

We didn't shoot.

The corollary to this - for me, anyway - isn't that the Norks barely missed a civilian airliner. They misse by a mile. It's that they just didn't give a shit; their impact area was downrange of a commercial air corridor and they just popped off rounds without bothering to check and see if there even WAS anyone out there to hit.

That's almost scarier than if they were trying.

It's Saturday morning and if I thought that the end of the week would bring some relief I was kidding myself. Friday is the kids' "game night", so there were video games played from sunset to damn near midnight (okay, 10:30, but close enough...).

Then it was the Boy's "night to sleep with mommy", which is a toddlerhood ritual that he loves to reenact when he can. But the Girl tends to toddle out to the couch - which is where I sleep when the Boy is doing his Oedipus Junior thing - at the wee hours of the morning, so Peep-Mommy Night is always on a night I can sleep in the next morning.

Usually everybody is happy with this, so it was a bit surprising to be awakened sometime in the dark predawn by the sound of someone being violently ill.

It was my Bride, who was wretchedly hugging the porcelain chalice, shivering and gulping. In the Little House it's hard to escape one another so her struggles were everyone else's. The Boy retreated into his bedroom and shut the door (he's still in there at 9:30...), the Girl toddled out to ask what she could do, and I lay down in our bed listening to the sweet little voice and her mother's strained answers.

The Bride is back asleep now, finally at rest, the Girl is watching some sort of bizarre Minecraft video, and I need to get dressed and wake the Boy so we can go to futsal in a moment.

Just another day, and I promise; more substantive blogging when I return.


Syrbal/Labrys said...

I find it a bit crazy-coincidental that the North Koreans carelessly shoot a missile anywhere near a corridor for civilian jets in the same week that a Maylasian Boeing 777 vanishes suddenly. Nary a word about any problem ---just "poof" GONE.

Latest words is sighting an oil slick in the waters of the South China Sea…

We supposedly KNOW when that crazy bastard in N. Korea is playing with his rocket launchers, right?

FDChief said...

You'd think that would be the case. Even a lunatic dictator would seem to want to avoid becoming SUCH a lunatic public menace as to make everyone around him willing to risk his lunatic anger by smashing his ability to shoot passing airliners out of the sky - if that's what happened.

I honestly think that these two are unconnected. But the China airliner incident sure suggests that the Nork missileers are careless, at best. And having careless people shooting missiles around the China Sea just seems like a REAL bad idea...

Syrbal/Labrys said...

It seems unlikely they shot the missing jet down, I mean…one would think our satellite coverage would have caught the 'boom'. I sure do wonder what because of it, though.

But IF this makes China look at that fat little crazy bastard with a jaundiced eye? It won't break my heart.

basilbeast said...

Of course, there are some folk who don't know what they're doing and still score a "success"