Quiz Question

Number 175 of a series

No hard Quiz Question this week. This is going to be a search into the history of recent technology.

The image above is a computer file with the name “Math-Domination-01.gif.” The question is about the ending of the file name—.gif. Where did the convention of file names ending in .xxx originate? Those who grew up as computer technology was coming of age will know the history and will be able to supply the answer. Share your comments below.

This is your President speaking.

Number 154 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Beto O’Rourke is a total lightweight compared to Ted Cruz, and he comes nowhere near representing the values and desires of the people of the Great State of Texas. He will never be allowed to turn Texas into Venezuela!

To further quote:
In the case of Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Lyin’ Ted…
Lies, oh, he lies.
You know Ted, he brings the Bible, holds it high, puts it down, lies
Texas values.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 242 of a series

I need to check on this. Yes, it was on Wednesday I posted a review of Ghostbusters from 1984. Of course there needed to be a sequel, and there was. Here it is. From 1989, here is Ghostbusters II, with much of the same cast and crew.

Like its predecessor, this is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, the source of these screen shots. It’s from Columbia Pictures. Details are from Wikipedia.

The opening title shot tells this is “5 years later.” There is a crack in a New York City sidewalk, and a slimy ooze emerges and spreads. Along comes the enchanting Ms. Barrett, since married, since divorced, not arriving at her apartment, carrying her groceries, pushing her new baby, Oscar (William T. Deutschendorf and Hank J. Deutschendorf II) in a carriage. There is a special place in hell for parents who name a child Oscar, but that’s another matter. Anyhow, the carriage wheels roll through the ooze, and as Dana engages with the building superintendent, the carriage starts to roll away. Not just roll away, but on and into Midtown traffic while the frantic mother chases after it. It rolls and dodges traffic, as if by luck (or magic) and finally stops. Dana is curious, and she considers calling her old friends with the Ghostbusters.

And we see the new logo. Number 2.

The five years have not been good for the Ghostbusters. The luster has come off the business, and they are reduced to doing birthday parties. Even the sixth graders think this stuff is a big hoax.

Dana stops by Spengler’s research lab to try to get some answers. She does not want Peter involved, since she wound up marrying a musician instead of him (he never asked her).

She is now working as an art restorer at a museum, under the direction of Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol). He’s the nerd’s definition of a nerd, and his attempts at cozying up to Dana are brutally inept.

But in the museum is a painting of Vigo the Carpathian, a European tyrant from centuries past. Alone in the museum, Janosz is accosted by the spirit of Vigo coming out of the painting. He is commanded to obtain a baby to enable his rebirth. We know which baby this is going to be.

The Ghostbusters, following up on Dana’s request, check out her apartment. Peter checks out Dana. He is enchanted by the baby he figures should have been his. Then the team moves to the sidewalk, where they discover a sinister presence underground. Bypassing the city’s permit process, they set themselves up as a repair crew and proceed to punch a hole in the street to locate the sinister force.

They are successful in the first part. They find beneath a river of ooze and recover a sample. In the second part they sever a main power cable and punch the Big Apple into darkness, leading to a criminal trial. As evidence, the police bring along stuff they found in the Ghostbusters wagon, including a beaker full of the ooze.

The ooze is strange stuff. It reacts to human emotion, and as the judge starts to pronounce sentence he becomes more enraged, and the beaker becomes more volatile, finally erupting into the ghosts of the Scaleri Brothers, the pair of which the judge previously sent to the electric chair.

Anyhow, the Ghostbusters are (temporarily) vindicated, but things are not going well for Dana. Mysteriously, Oscar climbs out on the building ledge, where an apparition, apparently in the employ of Vigo, snatches him and carries him away.

I won’t stretch out a deconstruction of the plot, but suffice it to say the Ghostbusters figure the mysterious ooze can be turned around and made to work for them. They accumulate a boatload of the stuff and apply it to the Statue of Liberty, and they activate it with soothing vibes. This animates the statue, which wades the Hudson and comes to Manhattan to do battle with Vigo.

The Ghostbusters triumph. End of movie.

Five years after the original, much of the charm had worn off the concept, but this production still earned $112.5 million in the American market and $215.4 million world wide. It was the eighth best grossing movie of that year.

The script is by Aykroyd and Ramis, those two in the middle above. We saw a lot more of Peter McNicol later, as he played Professor Larry Fleinhardt for six seasons of Numb3rs. Also, he was a camp supervisor in Addams Family Values.

I’m not going to review any additional Ghostbuster sequels.

Houston, we have a problem.

Number 5 of a series

Another email from Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, excerpted:

From: Greg Abbott <info@gregabbott.com>
To: [Actually not to me but to Barbara Jean]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:00 AM
Subject: Defending law and order

I know that the fight to defend our communities starts at the border. An unsecured border leaves us vulnerable to a variety of offenses, including violence from gangs and cartels. Too many have experienced firsthand the catastrophic damage dangerous gangs like MS-13 can cause in our communities.

That’s why I remain committed to securing our border and keeping Texans safe. I am working to crack down on violent gangs at our border and throughout our state. Because your safety is my priority, we passed the toughest border security laws in the nation. But there is more we must do to keep Texans safe.

And that’s it. Nothing about passing legislation to enforce who gets to use which public toilets:

AUSTIN — Late in last year’s legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott signaled that he would sign a bathroom bill.

But earlier in the year, Rep. Byron Cook says, then-Abbott Chief of Staff Daniel Hodge told him and leaders of Texas industry that “the governor did not want that bill on his desk.”

The bill to restrict transgender Texans’ use of restrooms posed a big threat to the state’s prosperity, according to Cook.

Nothing about the evils of Planned Parenthood:

Allegations have come out that Planned Parenthood is harvesting baby body parts. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sued Planned Parenthood for Medicaid fraud in the past, and has now directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to conduct an immediate investigation.

Sign your name if you support the investigation of Planned Parenthood

Nothing about Jade Helm 15:

GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT
April 28, 2015

Major General Gerald “Jake” Betty
Commander, Texas State Guard
Texas Military Forces
2200 West 35th Street
Austin, Texas 78763

Dear General Betty:

To address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15. During the Operation’s eight-week training period from July 2015 to September 2015, I expect to receive regular updates on the progress and safety of the Operation.

No, the new approach to Texas governance, so far as Governor Abbott and Texas Republicans figure it, is to stoke fear of foreigners and leverage off that.

An unsecured border leaves us vulnerable to a variety of offenses, including violence from gangs and cartels.

And these are foreigners, and securing our borders is going to fix the problem?

Too many have experienced firsthand the catastrophic damage dangerous gangs like MS-13 can cause in our communities.

Governor, I hate to be the one to bring you this surprising news, but MS-13 sprang out of the streets of Los Angeles, California, back in the 1980s. Although it has since spread across much of this continent, keeping MS-13 out of Texas is going to require securing our border with California. But wait, California doesn’t border on Texas, so what we are going to have to do is secure our borders with Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Talk about a wall!

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suggested President Donald Trump and both houses of Congress use federal money withheld from defunded cities, counties and states with so-called “sanctuary” policies to help fund a border wall, during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Abbott, who has withheld state funds from Travis County in Texas because of its sanctuary policies, urged the president to use federal criminal grants stripped away from localities adopting these policies to aid in securing the border.

Of course, I exaggerate. I likely will not need my passport when returning to Texas from Oklahoma, a place I have not visited in over 60 years. I will just swim the Red River and enter Texas as a wetback.

Just think how it would be if we could get our governor, and the rest of Texas government, to concentrate on matters that mean the most to Texas citizens, including, perhaps, doing something about the fake crisis pregnancy centers being funded by the government

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Savanah Low — a staunch pro-choice advocate who works with Jane’s Due Process, volunteers at Planned Parenthood, and protested at the Texas state legislature last session in a Handmaid’s Tale red robe and white bonnet — once accidentally volunteered at a “crisis pregnancy center.”

The True Options Pregnancy Center, a business in Sherman, Texas where Low volunteered years ago, presents as a family planning clinic, but has no obstetrician or gynecologist on site. On its website, the center says it offers abortion information, but it doesn’t actually refer anyone to abortion if they come in and ask about it.

Even when people don’t want an abortion, the clinic isn’t very helpful. “Women come in asking to use [the ultrasound machine] to see if their baby is healthy and find out the sex. She turns them down because the only purpose of that ultrasound machine is to convince people not to have an abortion. They provide no medical service,” Low said. True Options staff told ThinkProgress that their nurses aren’t trained to determine a baby’s sex, and are only able to identify if a person is pregnant.

If Governor Abbot will quit playing fast and loose with the truth and get around to doing something of value to Texans, then I will quit parading his off-kilter campaign appeals for others’ amusement.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

A man comes home from work to find his wife packing her bags. “Where are you going?” he asks.

“I’m going to Las Vegas,” she responds. “There are women there who get paid $400 for what I do for you for free.”

The man starts packing his bags. She asks, “Where are you going?”

He replies, “I’m going to Las Vegas, too. I want to see somebody try to live on $800 a year.”

The Years of Living Stupidly

Number 10 in a series

Forgive me for plowing under last year’s crop, but this came to my attention only yesterday. Also forgive me for posting two of these on consecutive days—makes it appear I’m in a rut. The fact is, unfortunately, that the stupid is strong and is likely to remain so. To the story:

“I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year–you know the rotation of the earth,” Wagner said. “We’re moving closer to the sun.”

That was “gubernatorial hopeful, Scott Wagner” shilling for the natural gas industry last year. I assure you, readers, that Mr. Wagner’s being a Republican candidate has nothing to do with his support for fossil fuels and his opposition to the idea of AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Typical, maybe, consequential, well… Well you have me there. Placed against a wall and facing a firing squad I would be unable to name somebody professing to deny AGW who is not a Republican in this country. The stupidity I throw that in for free.

Some facts. AGW, a rise in global temperatures as a consequence of human activity, is well-documented, and is shown to not correlate well with solar activity. It’s not that solar activity would be unable to affect global temperatures, it is that the sun is relatively quiet compared to the activities of humans on the planet. And, yes, Earth does get closer to the sun, but then it gets farther away. That’s because Earth’s path around the sun is not a circle but is an ellipse. There is a closest point and there is a farthest point (perihelion and aphelion), and the closest point this year was January 2.

Mr. Wagner says it has been a long time since he was in a science class, and it appears it has been some time since he was in any language class related to English. Earth rotates (spins) about its axis, and it revolves about the sun.

And that is about all the stupid I can handle for now. More to come. Keep reading.

The Years of Living Stupidly

Number 9 in a series

So this is the situation we’re in right now. In times past we had presidents who were not clued in on science, thought matters of science were negotiable. Some even thought creationism should be taught in public schools. Things are different now. With Donald Trump we have a president who has not only a great appreciation for science, but also appears to know more about it than most scientisst. By his own admission he is a very stable genius.

Anyhow, the ICCP is out with its report on recent studies, and their conclusion is that the planet will reach a tipping point about 2030 if greenhouse gas levels are not brought to heel by then. Luckily our president has the insight and the power to rein in this kind of nonsense. Here is what he had to say in an interview with an reporter for the Associated Press:

I said the worst hurricane was 50 years ago, far worse than what this one was. Then, in 1890, they had one that was even worse. This was No. 3 or 4 or 5. We had worse hurricanes in 1890, we had worse, a worse hurricane 50 years ago. We’ve gone through a period, actually, fairly recently, where we have very few. I live in Florida to a large extent and spend a lot of time in Florida, and we had a period of time where we went years without having any major problem. And then you have a problem and it goes in cycles, and I want absolutely crystal clear water and I want the cleanest air on the planet and our air now is cleaner than it’s ever been. Very important to me. But what I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows. And you have scientists on both sides of the issue. And I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth. So we’ll see.

I mean, you know, I am a person that believes very, very strongly in the environment. I am truly an environmentalist. I know some people might not think of me as that, but I’m an environmentalist. Everything I want and everything I have is clean. Clean is very important — water, air. But I also want jobs for our country. And if we would have, as an example, entered certain agreements with other countries, I actually think that we’re doing it so they could have an economic advantage. Because we would have had a tremendous— we would have been at a tremendous economic disadvantage if we entered into certain agreements.

It is so heartening we now have a president who is concerned with the environment, apparently more concerned than any president has been in the past. And he wants clean. He likes clean. He is, however, level-headed enough to know that we must never sacrifice profit for clean. I am reassured. Maybe  Scott Pruitt can get back his job at the EPA.

The AP reporter followed up by reminding the president about the tipping point. He had a ready, and very stable, response.

No, no. Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.

President Trump’s natural instinct for science is going to be the world’s salvation. I feel it in my bones.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 134

The reason we are plagued by gun violence is because we have removed God from our public life. That I have been told. I have also been told it’s because we have removed God from our schools. It’s a good thing we have not yet removed God from our churches:

Gunman fatally shoots Pennsylvania churchgoer after fight over seat at Sunday service

All of which leaves us to ask, “What gun would Jesus choose?”

This is your President speaking.

Number 152 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit versus Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees.” Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con!

When have we ever had a president who exhibited such class, such eloquence? A national treasure, dear readers.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

This is one that completely blind-sided me. I moved back to Texas in 1984 and was working for a defense contractor. A group in my section was working on a project called “Tankbreaker.” It was a little missile that would home in on a tank and wipe it out. Anyhow, we were called to a section meeting, and two of the executive assistants had composed this cute presentation. It was a slide show accompanied by music, and there was a cute tune. The graphics showed a Soviet tank superimposed with a crossed-out circle, “no tanks.” And the tune played, and when it got around to the part where it said, “Who’re you gonna call?” they substituted in “Tankbreaker.”

So I told one of the gals who did this that it was a nice tune, but where did it come from. Did I ever get a roasting. Had I never heard of Ghostbusters?

Anyhow, I subsequently caught the movie when it came on TV, and it’s now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained these screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia. Here’s a rundown of the plot.

The opening sequence has a prim lady librarian in the New York City Public Library, and she is moving with a measured pace among the stacks. She has a cart, and she is reshelving books. Behind her back books start moving themselves from one shelf to another. She doesn’t notice at first. Then in the card file system (they don’t have these anymore), the drawers start opening by themselves, and presently cards are flying out of the drawers and spraying amongst the rows. The noise alerts the librarian, and she turns around and sees the chaos. She screams and runs in panic. Then comes on the title graphic and the theme music starts to play.

Only, at this point in the movie there is (are) no Ghostbusters. There are three odd-ball researchers living off grants at Columbia University.  Two are doing research into supernatural phenomena, such as ghosts. The other, is Professor Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), who is conducting research into psychic abilities. Here he has hired two students to participate in his work, which is to explore whether negative feedback can bring out latent abilities. He has two students, one a nerdy guy, and the other a comely coed, and it’s obvious he’s making a play at the girl. He has a set of Zenner cards, of which there are five kinds, each with a different symbol. He alternates between the boy and the girl, and when the boy guesses wrong he throws a switch, delivering a painful shock to the boy. The girl never gets it right, but Venkman conceals this and always rewards her with praise.

The boy quits in disgust and charges out of the room. Venkman tells the girl they need to do more research after hours.

Then Venkman’s two friends charge in with a report from the library. They have their instruments, and they want Venkman to come with them to look for a ghost in the library. The two friends are Dan Aykroyd as Raymond “Ray” Stantz and Harold Ramis as Egon Spengler. It’s during this sequence we get to hear Venkman utter those immortal words, “Back off, man. I’m a scientist.”

Presently they spot the ghost, a wisp of vapor in the form of a lady librarian left over from the 19th century. They initially draw back, but then they decide to approach her. She shows her true nature, and they flee into the street.

Meanwhile, Columbia has become fed up the three hangers on and has withdrawn their grants, closed their facilities, and banished them from the campus. Staring unemployment in the face, they decide to go private. They form Ghostbusters, adopting the logo shown above. They move into an unused firehouse, and they hire a woman to answer the phone. Then they wait for the phone to ring. And they wait.

Enter Dana Barrett played by Sigourney Weaver, a sharp contrast from Warrant Officer Ripley of the space tug Nostromo. Now she’s a concert cellist, returning to her Central Park West apartment by cab with a load of groceries. When she enters her apartment, the TV is mysteriously on, and a commercial for the newly-minted Ghostbusters is playing. She looks. She think’s that’s strange. She starts putting away the food stocks, when mysteriously the egg carton springs open, and eggs start exploding and cooking themselves on the counter top. She hears a noise coming from the refrigerator. She cautiously approaches it. People in the audience are screaming at her, “No, no! Don”t open that door!” She opens the door and is greeted by hideous monster, which description and background I won’t get into.

We next see Dana showing up at the Ghostbusters store seeking resolution. Peter, still pining for the days of coeds gone by, leaps into the breech. He insists on coming by Dana’s apartment to check out things. He gets nowhere with Dana.

The phone actually rings. The manager of a swank hotel has a ghost problem. Can Ghostbusters help? They come charging, arriving in their Ghostbusters wagon, lights flashing and sirens blaring. They approach the assignment like a squad of Navy SEALs.

The first encounter—not so good. Peter comes, Peter sees, Peter gets slimed. Get ready for it. Here it comes. “He slimed me.”

But there is success, and the team departs the hotel with the bad fellow locked safely in an apparition-restraining box. More good news. Peter gets a date with Dana. Before he can arrive she encounters difficulties. It turns out her upscale apartment building was originally constructed as a conduit to an ancient goblin. As she sits in a chair, hands come out through the fabric and restrain her, and the chair slides into her bedroom, from which emanates an unearthly light.

Peter arrives for the date to find Dana much transformed.

He coaxes her to bed, but that only reveals additional surprises.

To cut to the conclusion, a smart aleck EPA official orders Ghost busters to cease operations forthwith, and he commands a technician to shut off the power to the goblin containment facility. All hell breaks loose, and goblins run rampant through midtown Manhattan. The Park West building erupts, spewing lightning and masonry.

When the ghost busters arrive they find Dana and her nerdy neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) transformed into manifestations of the evil goblin. It’s a great opportunity to show off Weaver’s fantastic legs.

You guessed it. The ghost busters are triumphant, and they deploy their proton pack weapons to defeat the demigod Zuul and save the day.

They are heroes (for the moment) and Peter and Dana are a couple (for the moment). We see in the sequel that the moment has come and gone, and I will be posting a review of the sequel on Sunday. Keep reading.

Dying to Believe

Number 127 in a series

The world of Christian Science is rich to mine when I’m assembling stories of people killed by faith. Here is one more:

Elizabeth King, a 12-year-old in Phoenix, developed a tumor near her knee in the fall of 1987. Her parents called in a Christian Science practitioner. By the time the local authorities learned of the girl’s condition, the tumor had ballooned; one nurse compared it in size to two watermelons. She died four weeks later. Her parents pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless endangerment.

Think about this whenever you ponder the story of Abraham being commanded by God to murder his son. There really are people like that.

Quiz Question

Number 174 of a series

This is from the Mensa quiz that appeared in the September issue of American Way magazine.

First unscramble the following to obtain the five disguised words.

Then tell which of the five is least like the others. It’s semantics only, not form.

  • MTENGIP
  • EPRCA
  • SHUEO
  • MAGDO
  • SRCTATE

Submit your answer in the comments section below

Update and answer

Obviously the five words are

  • pigment
  • caper
  • house
  • dogma
  • scatter

Nicko comments (see below) that the odd word out is “house,” because all the others contain letters spelling an animal:

  • pig
  • ape
  • dog
  • cat

My answer is the odd word is “scatter,” because it’s a verb and all the others are nouns.

This is your President speaking.

Number 151 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Despite so many positive events and victories, Media Reseach Center reports that 92% of stories on Donald Trump are negative on ABC, CBS and ABC. It is FAKE NEWS! Don’t worry, the Failing New York Times didn’t even put the Brett Kavanaugh victory on the Front Page yesterday-A17!

My heart goes out to President Trump. Every president should have the mainstream news outlets working as his crowing section. That said, President Trump could be correct in his statement about what the Media Research Center reported. I attempt to keep track of their postings, but I may have missed that one. Take note: the MRC actually is President Trumps crowing section.

So, given that mainstream outlets are being unfair to the president, 92% of their coverage being negative, this is worth some investigation. Let’s see if this really is what’s going on.

I need to stop at this point. It could be the 92% figure is not far off the mark.

Thank you, Mr. President, for making my retirement so enjoyable.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 241 of a series

You knew eventually I would get around to this one. Here it is. Burt Reynolds died recently, and this was one of his more notorious movies. He met Sally Field here, and the two enjoyed one of those brief Hollywood marriages. That was 41 years ago. Now it’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video, where I obtained the screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

The title is Smokey and the Bandit, and that’s about the most excitement you’re going to get out of it. This was back in the days when trucker lore was the big rage, and everybody had a CB radio and knew all the highway jargon. “Smokey,” of course is the police, particularly the highway police, because they might be seen wearing these hats likes forest rangers wear, like Smokey the Bear wears. Get it? There used to be a thing called the Gum Ball Rally, and it was an off the books cross-country race engaged by those rich enough to have the fast cars and bold enough to defy the law. The story went that in Ohio if you got on your CB and asked for a smokey alert some patrol officer would come back that there were no smokeys here. This was not to be believed, because the reality was that “Ohio is wall-to-wall Smokey Bears.” Those were the legends of the times. Wait. In case you need further explanation, it was called the Gum Ball Rally, because of the lights on the top of cop cars that looked like gum ball machines.

Reynolds is “Bandit.” That’s his handle. His birth name is Bo Darville, another reason to use “Bandit” for a handle. He is so famous, so popular, he is paid by truck rally promoters just to show up and be there. At this one he accepts the proposition, for much cash, to drive to Texarkana (from Atlanta) and bring back a load of Coors. Some history is involved here.

In those days Coors was strictly from Golden, Colorado, and they limited distribution of their product, because it was not pasteurized, and they did not want to suffer quality defects from long transport times. In the late ’60s I lived in Austin, and you couldn’t get Coors that far east, but you could get it in west Texas, where I sometimes worked at the McDonald Observatory. People would take the charter flight out to Alpine, and they would sometimes bring back a shipment of Coors. We called it something like the Coors Express.

Eventually politically conservative commentator Ronald Reagan weighed in on the matter, because the FTC sued Coors for restraint of trade, and Reagan considered that companies should be allowed to restrain trade to any extent they desired.

So the opening scene shows a trucker being busted for transporting contraband, a load of Coors, east of Texas. The basis of this movie is no Coors east of Texas.

Bandit elicits some up-front for the run, an item of which is the star of the show, this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. Fact is, this plot is so thin, and the dialog so weak, this car is the move.

The scheme, which does not make any sense, is for Bandit to drive point in the Trans Am in order to smoke out all the mounties while his buddy Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) keeps a low profile and mothers the cargo.

On the trip back from Texarkana Bandit picks up runaway bride Carrie (Field). That adds romance to the movie and also to Reynolds’ private life.

Interest in the plot is introduced by way of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), whose son is the stranded groom. Sheriff Justice is, of course, relentless in his pursuit of Bandit in the Trans Am, having no clue as to the existence of the contraband Coors.

Of course, Bandit meets multiple smokeys along the way, allowing stunt driver Hal Needham, also the film’s director, to show us what the car can do. Here’s the Trans Am displaying considerable over-steer in the dirt.

To be sure, the plot involves destruction of multiple police cars, as they variously roll over, t-bone, or go into the drink.

Needham made this jump with Lada St. Edmund in the car, standing in for Field. Truth be told, if I were director Needham I would have used a mannequin and saved a movie credit and also an insurance premium.

I won’t leave readers hanging. This cop car eventually does go into the water.

And Bandit makes it back with the load, with Sheriff Justice close behind, by now his sheriff’s car missing both doors and the roof, that courtesy of a steel cable stretched across his path. Bandit and Frog (Carrie) taunt him on the CB from a few feet away as they head off on another exciting run, this time to bring clam chowder back from Boston.

To add edge to the plot, Bandit is required to make the Atlanta-Texarkana and back run in 28 hours., which leaves me in mystery. I’ve made the Dallas-Tucson run, about the same distance, in 15 hours, and that’s while keeping within the posted speed. OK, 85 mph in West Texas. To be sure, this movie was in the days when double-nickels was imposed by federal mandate.

My inclination was to be sorely offended by the bland dialog in this production. Here are some quotes, courtesy of IMDB:

  • Sheriff Branford: The fact that you are a sheriff is not germane to the situation.
  • Buford T. Justice: The god damn Germans got nothin’ to do with it.
  • Junior: What did he say?
  • Buford T. Justice: SHUT UP! ONE SHIT AT A TIME!
  • Junior: All right.

 

  • Junior: My hat blew off, daddy.
  • Buford T. Justice: I hope your goddamn head was in it.

 

  • Carrie: You have a great profile.
  • Bandit: Yeah, I do, don’t I? Especially from the side.
  • Carrie: Well, at least we agree on something.
  • Bandit: Yeah. We both like half of my face.

Wikipedia reports that the dialog was scripted on the set.

This has to be the worst movie I have reviewed that contained this much star power. Field came to the production with a best actress Oscar from Norma Rae, and Gleason had been nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for The Hustler. This was the second highest grossing film for 1977, after the Star Wars debut.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

A man is walking along the beach, and he finds a strange bottle washed up. He thinks, “What can it hurt?” so he rubs the bottle.

A genie appears and intones, “I am authorized to offer you one wish. What will it be, master?”

The man tells the genie, “I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I’m afraid to fly. Build me a highway from California to Hawaii.”

The genie is appalled. “Do you realize the amount of raw materials that would require? You need to be more realistic.”

The man thinks and then decides. “OK, I’ve never been successful with girls. Could you make it so girls find me attractive?”

“Two lanes or four?” the genie responds.

This is your President speaking.

Number 150 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

So nice, everyone wants Ivanka Trump to be the new United Nations Ambassador. She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism! We have great people that want the job.

Fortunately this is one of the times when I can allow words to fail me. Res ipsa loquitur.

The National Divide

There’s only so far I will go.

Did Barack Obama bring division to this country?

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans feel Barack Obama’s presidency divided the country than feel it brought people together, a new poll shows. Yet he leaves office held in high esteem by a solid majority.

Eight years after Obama’s historic election, just 27 percent see the U.S. as more united as a result of his presidency, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted after the 2016 election. Far more — 44 percent — say it’s more divided.

Let’s take it as a given that Obama is responsible for today’s divided America. Now let us be thankful for that division, and let’s choose up sides. Let me draw the line for you.

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

There is now a hard line that separates me from this:

It’s a hard line that defines what my country should be and what it should not be. Stand on one side or on the other. There is no middle ground.