"Even Nazis can’t kill that fast." (Casablanca, 1942)

Victor Laszlo: And what if you track down these men and kill them, what if you killed all of us? From every corner of Europe, hundreds, thousands would rise up to take our places. Even Nazis can’t kill that fast.

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A garden-variety politician (From BROKEN WATCH)

Bob Grant was your garden-variety politician: a bully, a hypocrite, and an opportunist. A real throw-back, he was adept at getting things done for his neighbors and his core supporters. But on the flip side, he preferred strong-arm tactics to negotiation.

Also a garden-variety racist, he would let a white guy breeze through the hackney licensing drill. But when a Chinese couple wanted to install a free vintage pinball machine in their laundromat (to keep the kids occupied and to keep them from riding in the laundry carts), he harangued them for what seemed to be hours. A few of their regular customers, who had been watching the meeting on TV, showed up in Aldrich Chambers and stood up to Grant, in support of the couple.

As all bullies are cowards, Grant quickly backed down.

~ End of excerpt ~


All politics is … deadly.

Frank Corcoran is your typical pain in the ass — with a very, very dark side. A prolific blogger, Frank doesn’t stand in front of the First Amendment, protecting it from all adversaries. He hides behind it and attacks, slanders, and harasses his own victims. He is an “injustice collector,” railing against all real and (mostly) imagined slights. But when he stumbles on a legitimate scandal, he pays for his delusions and venom … with his life.
It’s up to Maeve Gallagher, no fan by any means, to find Frank’s killer, especially when the finger of suspicion points to … Maeve herself.

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21 May 2018 will be my “Cut the Cord” Day

12 May 2018
Winchester Public Library
Winchester, MA, USA

CtCD – 9*

*”Cut the Cord Day” minus Nine

To paraphrase a well-known saying, “No one ever looked back on their life and said, “I wish I had spent more time on the internet.”

Well, I don’t want to look back on my life and say that I spent too much time on the internet. I’ve already wasted too much time. Oh, my friends and family will say, “But what about all those adorable baby pictures? And those pictures of so-and-so’s trip?”

They’ll still be there whether I slouch onto my ‘social media’ sites every day or once a week or once a month.

One of my dreams was to find a place to write without distractions: no TV, no internet, no phones. And for a long time, I knew of just such a place. Until now, I was, in my heart, fearful of that place, not because it was unfamiliar, but because it was very familiar.

That place was my home. All I would have to do is get rid of my cable bundle. If I did need the internet to, for instance, upload this article to my WordPress site – the free one, of course – I would have to plan my week so that I would be at a place that had free wifi.

My work has free wifi, but I don’t want to spend any more time there than I had to. My first choice is the library. I could go twice a week, on Wednesdays (after work) and Saturday late morning, and take care of all my internet needs: mail, social sites, etc. I could also upload any articles I had written.  Finally, I would post the link to my articles on my social sites. And that’s about all I’d post to my social sites.

My blog site also allows me to ‘time’ my posts. For instance, this post probably won’t be uploaded for a couple of days, but I can set the posting date for today.

At this point in time, the internet is little more than reality-TV on steroids. People stroke each other or bleat at each other, self-perpetuating the cesspool it has become. “Look at this! Isn’t it wonderful?” Or, “Look at this! Isn’t this horrible?”

“This just happened, and it’s wonderful / horrible. But you’ll have to click on the link to find out where it is. And when you find out that it’s in China or Australia or India, you’ll be pissed. But we’ll keep posting this click-bait, and you’ll be back for more.”

But it took a relatively minor occurrence to finally get me to make the decision to go bundle-free at home. My cable provider took away my Adult Swim. I don’t even watch it that often. I like to watch King of the Hill and Bob’s Burgers occasionally, but that’s it.

And that’s not the only reason I am finally going to ‘cut the cord’. Another go-to network, Turner Classic Movies, has been showing either really crappy movies or the same movies over and over and over again. I could recite Sunset Boulevard, backwards and in Latin.

My Friday night habit, Live PD, is nothing more than a vehicle for cross-promotion, not to mention that fact that it has become very boring. How many times can one watch cops hassling black people – yes, cops do hassle black people – or watch them pick up yet another drunk off of the sidewalk?

As for my telephone, the only people who call me are telemarketers. There’s one person, I’ll call them Leslie, who is nice enough, but can be a real soul-sucker. Leslie also loves nothing more than the sound of their own voice. They’re the type that says, things like, “Someone should do something about X, Y, and Z.” Never will they say, “I did something about X, Y, and Z.”

So, nine days from now, I’ll call my cable provider and spend the better part of an hour cancelling my service. I’ll have already loaded the equipment into my truck so I can take it directly from work. And I will have already installed an over-the-air (OTA) antenna so I can watch my free TV, like I used to do when I was a kid.

On my library jaunts, I could also get DVDs out. And book – remember them?

I’ll have to pay the early termination fee, which pales in comparison to the $140+ I’ll save each month.

“Cut the Cord” Day is 21 May 2018.


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JOURNAL: When ‘friends’ call you to talk on the phone when THEY want to.

I called my friend earlier last evening. She had called me twice before, once when I was at work — she doesn’t work — and once at about 9:40 p.m.

If she had called me just to gab for ten minutes or so, I would have gladly answered the phone. But she calls me to gab about three minutes and to listen to the sound of her own voice for about thirty. So I have to steel myself when I do call her.

I also have to call her at a more convenient time for me. I called her about 7:30. I was going to watch the Celtics game while I listened to her admiring the sound of her own voice. But she, supposedly, and just taken something out of the microwave.

“I’ll call you back in about five minutes,” she had said.

I sank into me new recliner, turned on our classical music station, and waited. Fifteen minute later, still no call. I knew what was going to happen.

At about 9 o’clock, the phone rang. I looked at my caller ID — thank God for caller ID! — and, yep, it was her. Or is that “It was she”?

I let the call go to the answering machine. (Another thing I still hold onto is my answering machine. I want to hear the messages without having to calling the central office.)

First, her mother had hopped onto the phone and had stayed on for a long time. Well, since her mother pays most of the bills in their home, she’s entitled.

Then, she herself had fallen asleep. Oh well, I’ll have to find a time convenient for me to return the call.

~ Julie

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Filmmaking resources.

Shot Types from MediaCollege.com

The Color of Light from Wikipedia.

Basic Guide to Shooting Video from JISC Digital Media

The Rule of Thirds from Merlin Locations

Camera Pan from http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/pan.html

Editing: Wicked pissa scene from The Aviator.

Dolly/zoom: From Goodfellas. (Keep your eye on the background.)

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Dr Hillenbrand (#87)

Dr Hillenbrand

It has been three days since Agatha disappeared.

I look again at the ticket. I don’t know how it got into my wallet. I didn’t even go out the night before.

When was the last time I looked in my wallet? Yesterday morning, when I was in the coffee shop? Noon, when I bought an Italian sausage with onions and peppers from the bodega in Union Square?

The ticket says, “Friday, June 9th. 9:08 PM to 11:42 PM. It’s such an odd time, like something on British TV. And there is no location.

Agatha and I had gone to some crazy vaudeville-type show, in the back room of one of the Union Square bars. It was Monday. No, Tuesday.

The next morning, she had left a note on our bed, which said, “Will be back in a bit.” Nothing more.

She hadn’t come back by the time I left for work that day. She wasn’t home when I got home, around seven o’clock. The last time I actually saw her was when we went to bed the night before. Continue reading

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A Bunny In Winter (#32)

A Bunny In Winter

I stopped along the walkway which cut across the snow-covered lawn. I had wanted to get to the Hayden Library at M.I.T. before the snow really started falling.

But a gray rabbit caught my eye.

He was long, about the size of a full-grown cat. I approached him — all animals are male until proven otherwise — but he kept nibbling the small patch of grass he had cleared.

I was afraid that if I got any closer that he’d run. But I guess his winter-time hunger was stronger than any fear of humans.

“You’re going to have to clear your own patch,” he said.


“Seriously, I’ve been at M.I.T. for six years now. Of course, I can converse.”

“In how many languages?” I asked, still incredulous.

“In addition to English, I speak both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, German, Russian, as well as several Indian dialects. I picked this up from the engineering students. They love to talk!” Continue reading

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