Monday, January 22, 2018


This is the title of seven-part series on Netflix. Scott Tobias covers this show on Rolling Stone under the title, Godless; Why Netflix's brutal timely western is a must-see. Tobias delivers a good deal of insider information about the writer and directors and producers, their previous works, what specific elements compare to other Hollywood productions, the actors and their previous work, such as, I did not know one of the main characters, the personality that gathers a private army of thirty scoundrels and raises them from boys and trains them as a Boy Scout troop leader/preacher/outlaw, the most menacing character is actually Jeff Daniels.

Two young boys are are on their own and the oldest abandons his brother. The abandonment is psychologically devastating. The character development here and throughout is outstanding. Because there are none of the usual social structures that shape our behavior, our thoughts, our deeds, our outlooks, the characters all do strange and outrageous things. The boys hear a rustling in the bushes at night at their camp, they jolt alert and swear at the person creeping up on them. They let loose swear phrases strung together far beyond what's heard from boy their ages. Turns out it's a female preacher. She doesn't judge the boys, rather, she takes them in. They finally have something resembling a family. The woman is odd as the boys.

The boys are separated. The youngest steals a horse in the clumsiest way imaginable. He get on and rides the horse at a gentle walk right past its owner sleeping on a porch. The man sitting next to him barely awake himself, "Hey, isn't that your horse?" The man, Jeff Daniels, but we do not know that, wakens slowly and sees the boy riding the horse through the gates far beyond. Too far to chase. He lifts his fingers to his mouth and whistles sharply. The horse stops short. The boy falls to the ground and breaks his arm. The two men approach the boy on the ground and softly interrogate him with no sense of animosity but with tremendous menace. The boy whips out his pistol too large to handle. The man says, "You ain't gonna kill me. I seen my own death. I lived it. And this ain't it." He takes away the gun from the boy. The boy spits in his eye like a snake. The theft, the whistle, the fall, the gun, the spit, all occur in two minutes and it is honestly the best western writing that I've ever seen. Each scene is like this, scene upon scene, with outstanding dialogue and utterly unique writing and its depictions of life in societies just forming, where people make their reality as they go and where law does not help them, are the reasons this show is a must see.

Another element. Another fine touch. A beautiful young German woman escaped her marriage in Mexico. Her husband sent a detective to find her. Pinkerton agency, I think. He's determined to find her. Another woman who I took for standard lesbian character, turns out to be the wife of the mayor who died. She's wearing his clothing. It's all much clearer now that I know this, but I rather liked thinking of her as western lesbian. And I think she still might be. She sleeps with an ex-prostitute. She's level-headed, non-emotional, clear thinking, straight talking, rational, and she handles the crisis situations. The other women rely on her judgement and on her organizational skill. She lies to the Pinkerton detective, then visits the German woman to warn her to keep out of sight. There she sees the German woman is painting scenes of western women. And they are all beautiful. The mayor's wife who looks lesbian is struck by the paintings. The German woman painted one for her. The mayor's wife is too humble, too humiliated, too unselfconscious to accept it. She doesn't even know when her own birthday is. The detective bursts open the door and stands in the doorway threateningly. The German woman shoots him in the leg, drags him inside, and ties his hands together. While bound and near to the German woman and having her hand on him, the detective confesses his love for her. He fell in love with her picture. The detective wanted to find her for himself. She keeps him. That twist in this side story is just wonderful to watch. Three fantastic characters pulled together tightly into one scene. The mayor's wife is an odd character. The German woman is an odd anachronistic character. The Pinkerton detective is an odd character. It's a very convincing depiction of what early western life really must have been like.

The Jeff Daniels character is convinced he's seen his own death so he remains calm in chaotic scenes, on his horse in the open as his posse shoots up the town. He is an odd combination of tenderness and malevolence. He thinks God is removed from the west yet prays and they mention Christianity, Jesus and God throughout the series. The town is shown building a church, and you realize, wow, so that really is how all those churches got built. The entire town built them like Habitat for Humanity.

The basic plot is a mining town having experienced devastation and nearly all the men died so the town is run by their survivors. The dynamics is women taking the roles of men. The story follows the youngest of two brothers and the people who take him up, adopt him, the preacher woman, the Jeff Daniels character, a female ranch woman who is outcast from the other town women.

When I got to the end of the seventh installment, I turned right back to the first. I missed some important portions, and now that I know all the characters, and they're all sympathetic, it's good enough to see all over again. I just finished the scene where the main character, the boy now grown up, trains a wild horse in the manner of horse whisperer. The first viewing I saw only one horse. The second viewing I notice the horse's faces have different markings, it's not just one horse shown laying down from different angles, it's all the horses in the corral laying down.The camera pulls back and all the horses in the corral are laying in the dirt. He whispered them all to sleep. Their way of showing he tamed them all. That ability came from the menacing posse leader, knowledgeable about various natures of men and of horses. He told the boy that horses are prey animals so it's not a matter of beating into them you are the boss, rather, it's a matter of allaying their prey-animal instincts. He exhausts them and gets them to the ground, a position they resist because they cannot bolt, and then comforts them. Strokes them. Talks to them softy. Assures them that he will not harm them, he will protect them, feed them, water them, and never abandon them. While the horse is down, he straddles the horse and vocally clicks him up, and now he riding him. This resonates with the boy, and now at the woman's ranch he copies that technique and makes himself useful for selling her wild horses. But he got all that from the worst character. There is no conflation about good and bad while both traits are shown in all characters. It is a beautiful blending. It is authentic writing. It is liberal in its acceptance. I like this show a lot. I thought it would have more episodes and I'm disappointed it won't have any more seasons. I understand Colorado history more meaningfully by having watched this. No western I've seen is more convincing about reality of life in those circumstances.

AllenS Foto Funnies:

Physics! The Coriolis Effect

Instapundit says, I'm a pretty good shot for a law professor. But this is the biggest of the big leagues: The world's longest sniper kill: The enemy shot dead at 3,871 yards (over 2 miles away)

The professor's regular confident self-affirmation is charming.

The link goes to National Interest, The Buzz.
To understand the complexity of the shot, it’s best to start with a sniper maxim: sniping is weaponized math. Although a .50 caliber sniper rifle bullet can fly as far as five miles, a host of factors including gravity, wind speed and direction, altitude, barometric pressure, humidity and even the Coriolis Effect act upon the bullet as it travels. 
Okay, wait a minute. I heard of that before. What is it again? The Coriolis Effect. The bullet spins and turns it into a gyroscope. Right? But instead of keeping it steady and balanced, the spin pulls the forward motion to the side. Right?

The whole story is interesting, and a bit frightening, but this bit seemed particularly so. Imagine being a sniper and needing to account for this, to intuit it. If you asked the sniper directly (Canadian), he'd go, "Lucky shot." And seeing how this basketball moves with so little spin you can see how that would take a lot of practice.


This is a pop-up book written by Maurice Sendak one his last collaborations with Arthur Yorinks, before he died. Pop-up engineering by brilliant Matthew Reinhart. There is another video of the three working together. A treasure, no doubt, for Reinhart.

A boy in his pajamas looks for his mommy and encounters monsters along the way. Each monster is accidentally tripped by the encounter with the boy until the last page where all the monsters are brought together in a chaotic pop-up tour de force at the moment the boy finds his mommy who turns out to be a bride of Frankenstein type.

The book is complex with layered pop-up devices. While the idea of introducing individuals and bringing them together at the end has universal application. The same idea is used for the pop-up book, Welcome to the Neighborwood that I bought just now where individual woodland species are described to children and the final pop-up shows all the species together. That book was shown here already and it is simple in pop-up mechanics and art and design. But there are words. Whole paragraphs. So, it's a children's book to read with simple pop-up enhancement.

The double doors that start off the book Mommy? took me twenty prototypes to figure out for the Angry Monkey pop-up card. By the end I returned to an earlier prototype and I didn't realize the art behind the doors is important as the doors themselves but I was too worn out and sick of the thing by then to draw an interior. The joke is, a couple on the sidewalk passes the doors. The girl says to the boy, "It's scientific fact that monkeys cannot turn a doorknob to open a door." The next page is a monkey flinging open the doors screaming, "Lies!" It was a cartoon that a British boy drew that put me in stitches. I copied his monkey. His arms are attached to the doors. The doors fling open his arms, not his arms fling the doors, but it looks like the same thing. I gave the card to my doctor and his nurse claimed it for herself. It was addressed to him, and she thanked me for sending her such a ridiculous laughable card. She was laughing when she thanked me.

Look how rich the first page is. A strip underneath the artwork is attached to the right side near the central fold that pulls across the whole left side when the card opens but you cannot see any of that One door opens sympathetic to the card opening. The opposite door is tugged with an attachment that transfers energy the opposite direction. Stone steps form under the doors when the card is opened.

Conversely, a V mechanism is set at a steep angle so one side is parallel with the central fold and instead of flipping both sides up it flips up only one side behind artwork and attached to new artwork so the mad science on the table appears to expand. But there are two such mechanisms along the central fold operating in opposite directions so the mad science art content attached to them  top and bottom behind the original art content expands in both directions up and down. The right side page edge is the center fold for another internal card concealing art content and pop-up mechanisms. It operates as a separate card while its art contributes to the dungeon science lab composition. When opened the scientist spreads. At the same time a similar mechanism behind the artwork drops a vampire to appear in the opening of the drawn fireplace upside down like a bat. So, we have the clever storytelling of Sendak, the charming artwork Yorinks and the pop-up éclat of Reinhart. Sendak and Yorinks cannot do pop-ups, and Reinhart is not any good at story telling and poor at art. Together the three make one big fat genius. Truly, the best of the best. And each page shows this same excellence.

This book is so cheap on Amazon it makes me ill. I paid over twice this and I considered it a bargain. I should buy half a dozen copies and give them away. I just might do that.

Several videos of this book on YouTube to show you. I'll have you know that I spared you the video of the woman showing off her deplorable lime green fingernails that she uses to scratch the surface of the book. Why she would do that, show off those disgusting fingernails and emphasize their annoyance in fingernails on chalkboard style, is beyond me. I hated her in two seconds flat and got out of there fast as I could.  I picked this video because a child is enjoying it. When little kids read it just blows my mind. They're so precious. And smart.

Cold Water Cowboys

This is a Discovery production, the 3rd season is available on Netflix presently. There are eight shows. The series follows Newfoundland fishermen in small short squat shrimp boats with the two long side rigging arrangements for double rig shrimp trawling. But they catch other species. The crew are dissimilar to the American crab fishing crews, and they're not like the British fishermen on similar television shows. They're more gentle in nature, their swears are Christian, and they're goofier, frankly. Their boats are ill equipped. There is no redundancy on board or anywhere throughout the show, they sail by the seat of their pants, they take too many unnecessary risks, their equipment continuously fails, to the point that the viewer (me) loses sympathy. We expect all technical things to fail. Ropes and netting are continuously becoming entangled in the prop so often that one wonders why there is no protection for the prop. Floats get stuck in the barrel that rolls up the net. Wenches get stuck and thousands of pounds of fish must be scooped out by hand, engines fail constantly, even a simple roller gets chewed through by its cable and there is no replacement on board so the boat must return. Expensive halibut is lost overboard as it's being loaded with gaffs, losing $1,500 in one single fail during an incredibly tight three-day season.

Knowing nothing about what's going on, their failures are easily predictable. Their plans are poorly thought through. For example, the captain cleverly saves a portion of each catch, packages it and freezes it to sell on nearby Labrador where prices are three times higher but he must haul it there by ferry and then through veritable wilderness, miles and miles of zero civilization, no gas station, no telephone connection, nothing, just them, their truck and their flatbed trailer. No road service whatsoever. And that calls for doubling of preparation but they do not do it. The captain must borrow a home-freezer from his grandmother but he never returns things. He takes it. It's beat up. It's dirty and scratched and in worse shape than an item in a garage sale. One of his items of fish, scallops, I think, must be kept frozen hard. The rest of haul can be on ice. The captain's solution is a generator.

Sitting at home the viewer (me) predicts generator failure. There is no back up generator. It must fail. And his biggest payoff must be ruined. I prepare myself to sneer and mock when it does. Along the way the trailer has a flat. No spare for the trailer. The generator does fail. Their trip is reduced to a crawl, they drag into the small town with sparks flying from their load pushing down the axle onto the road. They park at the edge of town in a space just off the road and make a few sales right off. They get money exchanged immediately. Word spreads through the whole town in mere minutes and the entire town shows up en mass to make purchases of frozen seafood at their triple prices. They very quickly sell their product with enough money for repairs. So the trip is a success. It really is a great idea. Still very poorly thought through and with zero preparation beyond the initial idea, so a string of unnecessary difficulties turning a pleasant trip into an ordeal fraught with uncertainty. The whole thing could have gone much smoother with proper updated equipment and with just a bit of redundancy on critical parts, and with tools. But no. They sail, drive, and fly by the seat of their pants.

As boys do.

I like this show a lot. It's fun to watch and see how the other half lives. But it's frustrating as it is charming. The people are backward as much as they're lovely. This last episode, #8 for season 3, a woman sets back feminism by at least five decades. She's on a boat with men. So there is equality right there. There is a small boat approaching. The boats generator dies and the woman waiting to connect bends in half and buries her face in her hands at her knees in fear and frustration. Not the reaction needed for this emergency situation. The narrator describes fear among sailors, and fire is the worst of their fears. The scene is shot at night, the approaching boat's generator that stopped then bursts into flames. The woman's voice rises four octaves to siren pitch and she utters sounds that are not language. The men race around the woman self-assembling to save the life of the incoming fisherman. I thought the imperiled fisherman was her husband judging by her reaction, but he's not. He's another of their crew. There is a 5 gallon gas tank on the small boat near the burning generator. There is no place for the fisherman to go. The water is ice cold. The woman continues screeching very high pitched sounds but she doesn't do anything to help the men. She has no idea how to be any help while the men figure out how to handle this situation. Instead, one of the men must now comfort the woman. So one less man to assist as he comforts the crying distraught woman. She buries her head in his shoulder. She became a screaming child in the face of adversity and the men had to rescue the fisherman.

I realize these are different cultures, but they're not so opposite our own. We speak the same language, they have access to the same technology. We had just had women's marches across the entire United States and beyond of women wearing pussy hats demanding equal pay for equal jobs along with other grievances, mostly pure resistance for the sake of it. And here is a job where the women are actually working with men. The men take care of the fire, save the fisherman's life, save the small boat, resolve the emergency situation, the result of poor planning no doubt, and the woman screams like a banshee and behaves exactly like an infant child.

I love women. I respect women. But this woman on this show represents women poorly.

I recommend this show. I think you'll find it interesting. It's a good peek into a similar yet significantly different culture.

Fakeout. They put cowboys in the title and that's an American thing. The nearest equivalent is Argentine gaucho. There isn't a cow to be seen. Not even a seacow. But they do rustle up fish. I must say, inefficiently, from American perspective.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

When I moved to Nebraska...

...I first heard the phrase "If you don't like the weather just wait five minutes."

And while I never found that to be true, changeability in the weather is a fact of life. I started shoveling snow last Wednesday, continued shoveling on Thursday and Friday, and today I left my house for the first time since last Tuesday. I went for a walk. It was 65 degrees outside. What the hey?

Amy Schumer is looking hot!

This is what is called the Schumer Shut down.

Looking at her shuts down your junk.

Not because of her weight. You know I love someone with some cushion for the pushin'

It is because she is just a pig. As are all of Hollywood. We need to let California secede from the Union and let them elect Amy Schumer or Meryl Streep or some nondescript unfunny Muslim comedian President of the new nation of California.

Be careful what you wish for.......

I have to laugh at the contretemps due to the God Emperor once again committing truth. When he asked the question "Why do we want people from these shithole countries" he put his finger on it. Just the way regular people talk in the bar or on the golf course or at the bowling alley. Of course the outrage machine and the social justice warriors went berserk. But the normals know what he means. And not just the old white men like me. Plenty of black and legal Hispanic men think the same thing. They are going to be the God Emperors next target. What I like best about him is that he plays for keeps. Witness this commercial:

The God Emperor of the Cherry Blossom Throne is going to continue to hold true to his promise. With all of that he has a heart. He will legalize the Dreamers through a law passed by Congress and not illegally as Obama did by executive order. In return he will get the Wall, an end to chain migration, an end to the lottery  and E-Verify. Or no deal.

We don't need more poor illiterate Democratic voters. We are not going to pay the Dane Geld the way they are doing to the evil Muslim hordes in Europe. We are going to keep America safe for Americans.

Oh and for Allen S this is the only comment I am going to make about football since I don't care about anymore. I just hear things in passing from the radio set to WFAN in the UPS guys truck when he is delivering packages. Just remember this:

Whose that side boob .....err I mean that girl

Just what the Doctor order she is good medicine so to speak. A carefree spirit who is very very young in this photo but still a beautiful woman to this day. She seems to be a happy person with a Live and Let Live attitude so to speak.

She has appeared in more movies and TV shows than I can count and is currently on the roster of the Hallmark Channel as she often appears in their TV movies. A tasty British crumpet that has never gone stale....whose that girl?

President Trump, Troll-in-Chief

Yesterday, Saturday, women's marches were organized across the land, and as I understand it, across other lands as well. Featuring pussy hats to commemorate the first anniversary of first march organized for the inauguration day of Donald Trump. The woman's march is as much Anti-Trump as it is anything else. The speeches were vehemently, wildly, anti-Trump including Madonna saying she'd like to bomb the White House. The organization is about resistance to Trump. Resistance to any and all things Tump, actual events, actual speeches, actual tweets notwithstanding. It doesn't matter what Trump says or accomplishes. They're against it. Their movement is defined by Trump.

A commenter said, "Hope Trump tweets something positive about oxygen so we can watch them all suffocate."

I glanced at a few signs held by women in the march in Denver covered by local news as I was turning it off, and the three signs were incoherent. Vague and vapid statements. "We take pride in our resistance."

Well, look at you. Somebody should who's not me.

Knowing the (global?) marches are about himself, Trump trolled them.

Precisely what we've come to expect. There doesn't seem anything particularly clever. This was covered at Instapundit yesterday and the comments the post evoked are the funniest thread that I've ever read over there. Such good spirits. Such good cheer. Such love for their masterful troller in chief. Commenters there regard him a genius. They view this troll tweet as evidence of his clear genius. I'm not so sure about that, but I admit it's fun having a president who rattles antagonists so severely. 

If you go to that tweet and read through Trump's own commenters sniping back at him for non comprehension you'll see how perfectly idiotic his antagonists are. He's left them senseless. And all that is pure gold. 

Back to Instapundit comments, there are gems like this:

There must have been more than one post on this because there were more than 70 comments and now I cannot find the jokes:

How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

One. To hold the lightbulb and wait for the world to turn underneath her.

Another countered. How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

That's not funny!

Saturday, January 20, 2018


Is this what Sixty would be like on a date?

P.S.: We know he likes redheads. Who doesn't?

The best LOL is lyrics that the band sings -- something about pickin' cotton all day long.

WKRLEM: Wait a cotton pickin' minute!

That's right. Ole Tom Cotton. He be the one!