Sky of Blue, Sea of Green

When I was in grade school, the end of the school year was often marked by the grades 1-8 getting into school buses and driving to the nearest theater. In ’69, the powers that be decided that the kids might like that movie that the Beatles released the previous fall. It was animated and y’know, the kids like that long hair music. Also, I am sure it came cheap having been released almost half a year before. The powers that be hadn’t a clue what they were exposing us to.

The wonderful article below goes into not only the making of the film but the enormous influence its subversive animation had:

For me it was a paradigm shift. I was just getting out of the cartoon age but animation still had a strong pull. I loved the flat Hanna Barbera productions or the seminal Disney cartoons. But Yellow Submarine was different. The animation was both surreal and bizarre; at once fluid yet disjointed. I suspect it went over the heads of most of the kids in the theater that day. Hell, most were just trying to figure out the plot. For some reason it stayed with me even though I must confess I have never watched it in full since college. It opened…possibilities.

The one other thing that stuck with me was the bus ride back. Picture it. It’s late May and all these late baby boom kids are packed in buses. They’ve just been exposed to about an hour and a half of the catchiest music on the planet. And those poor bus drivers had to endure the twenty minute ride home with a full load of kids, Kids who only knew the chorus of Yellow Submarine but damn sure were going to repeat it at full volume the entire ride. I’m betting those drivers didn’t forget Yellow Submarine either.

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Everyday is Caturday


We have hit the cat days of summer. The cats spend a lot of time outside, only coming in when the afternoon sun gets too much. The front step is a popular spot for respite after hunting because it’s in the shade for most of the day. The concrete is quite cool, even on a ninety degree day.

Above are Luna Lovegood and Sansa. As you can see Sansa knows Luna can be a temperamental witch and Sansa is the type of cat that can and will push buttons. Which resulted in Sansa being the only cat on the cool concrete.


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The Gardening Never Ends


We have been getting rain on a somewhat regular basis this summer for the first time in years. As a result, things grow. Like the caragana hedge that borders our driveway. This thing gave my dad fits back in the day and it hasn’t gotten any better with age.

A couple days ago I took an electric hedge trimmer to the sides and created this lovely mess. Of course this raised hell with the tendinitis in my hands but it had to be done. And once done all the pets had to inspect the work.


I have two hedges in the back yard as well. Plus shrubs that need trimming or just cutting down. And weeds to pull in the garden. And a lawn to mow every 5-6 days. But I still don’t miss the drought days.

Stay green and have a good weekend.

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I’m Glaring at Your Red Rockets

Fourth of July fireworks

The Fourth of July is always nerve-wracking for our dogs. Merry, the chihuahua, is tremulous by design. She is so frightened of thunderstorms that she reacts to changes in barometric pressure or a few raindrops. Pippin, a Corgi/Pomeranian cross, is a rescue from a hoarder and has some residual anxiety issues. So four or five days of loud explosions, often going on for hours, set them on edge.

I used to like fireworks. I still like to watch a good display by people who know what they’re doing. But we’ve still got a fair amount of slack-jawed rednecks around here and they just like to blow shit up. For HOURS. And the result is my dogs spending HOURS one step away from shitting themselves.

I don’t enjoy the Fourth. I grilled burgers for us and had a couple of exceptional brews. But by six pm this town sounded like a city under siege and this was the fifth day in a row of this nonsense. I spent most of the evening wishing the Cletus families on either end of the street would blow off a few fingers so they’d quit early. At least a couple nights during the weekend we got thunderstorms that cut the nonsense short. The chihuahua was not enthused by the change in stimuli.

So I am now looking forward to a quiet weekend. I will grill again. I will drink beer again. And my dogs will sleep soundly.

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OK, I’m Gonna Need Those Guns Back

Last night I watched the last two episodes of The Expanse on SyFy and my geek heart is full of joy and wonder.

It wasn’t perfect but it came damn close. Due to the constraints of SyFy and network TV, they had to cram all of a rather large book into seven eps and make it work. The writers (with Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) did their best to pull it off. Going to Amazon means that there will be less of that nonsense (not to mention any restrictions on language and nudity are gone).

First of all, the acting. Just outstanding. I loved David Strathairn as Ashford. I follow the authors on Twitter and someone tweeted, “I’m starting to think that Ashford has a thing for Drummer” and Ty tweeted, “Ya think?!” Cara (Drummer) Gee and David were so solid in their roles, so effective at delivering nuance in what was a really compressed second half of the season. The episode from last week, where the pair was trapped in the cargo bay was killer. And here’s a clip from one earlier. Drummer makes a speech to her frightened crew and Ashford brings in that Belter stomp that just gets the whole ship ready to go through the Ring. Sharpness!

Amos/Anna – who would have thought those two would have a meeting of the minds. Elizabeth Mitchell has just been superior throughout this season (loved it when she slapped Melba) but her chemistry with Wes Chatham in those few scenes was incredible. Just two people who, with just a little conversation, completely understood each other.

The final scene was breath-taking. I won’t give much away but it was everything I love about science fiction, the hope and the promise of a wider horizon. Of course, we also have an underlying threat implied with that and it was chilling. I’m ready for season four.

I have to give another shout out to just science, fucking science. This is not dueling space wizards, this is actually science fiction with credible science and tech. For a long time I lamented the lack of actual science fiction and goddamn, the Expanse has given me what I longed for.

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Summer Looks Good on You

I just finished showering. OK, why is this TMI so important? Well, it means I finished working outside for the week just before lunch and I needed to wash off a layer of sweat mixed with insect repellent off. In addition to mowing the lawn I watered my burgeoning gardens and trees then trimmed a good section of the hedge in the backyard. So the rest of my week will be spent on “inside” work. The only thing I need to do outside is some watering and drinking beer in sun. Ah beer, sweet beer.

This is the new single by Cheap Trick. Yes, they’re still around. And still writing catchy songs. They will be one of the only rock acts at the moribund North Dakota State Fair. The fair prefers their grandstand entertainment to be one of two types – country or western. A few years ago they felt quite rebellious booking KISS. Kill.Me.Now. Anyway, this song is really good and I think you should play it.

I myself will listen to it several times. While drinking beer. Sweet beer.

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Caturday – Joffrey, Second of His Name


I put a wool blanket over the pillows by the Man Cave north window. Joffrey declared it his throne. Note the side-eye.


Note the utter disdain. He does live up to his name.

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