Sunday, December 10, 2017

Is it St. Lucia's Day yet? Whadda ya mean, I gotta wait three more days???


We have a long way yet to sink...


I remember when I used to hang mistletoe, and kiss boys.


Normally, a man's ass doesn't attract me. As a bottom, I merely see it as competition. So when a man's ass does interest me, it has to be pretty spectacular...


Saturday, December 9, 2017

If my local bartenders had looked like this, I'd be an alcoholic today.


My, but dancers have nice legs.




Al Nozaki's design for the Fighting Machines in 1953's War of the Worlds.

Nozaki had worked with producer George Pal on When Worlds Collide, so it was no surprise that he would turn to Nozaki again. Pal initially wanted the Fighting Machines to walk, as they did in the book. Nozaki came up with a few designs, one of which was chosen by Pal. But test footage proved that this effect looked clunky and stilted on film. Nozaki then came up with the iconic "manta ray" design full-blown off the top of his head while doodling at home one Sunday afternoon. Nozaki based the head (really, the heat ray) on the head of a spitting cobra. (Not a lamp he had on his desk, as is commonly reported). Originally, the cobra-head heat ray came out the rear of the machine, curving over the front like a scorpion's tail. It was later moved to the top of the machine.






Gordon Jennings, head of the special effects team, brought the design to life. Ivyl Burks, head of the prop department, oversaw their actual manufacture. The builders were Paul Lerpae, Wallace Kelly, Jan Domela, and Irmin Roberts.



Three Fighting Machines were made. Each was 42 inches across, and the cobra necks turned and could flex downward. The body of each machine was made of copper, and a red paint applied to tinge the copper red (like the planet Mars). The heat ray of each machine consisted of a red plastic shield for the eye. Inside the head was a light and a small, slowly turning fan. As the blades moved in front of the light, the heat ray seemed to pulsate eerily.

Each Fighting Machine was suspended from an overhead track by 15 wires. The wires not only allowed the props to "fly" but also conveyed the electricity needed to power the prop's interior lighting.

Pal still wanted to simulate the effect of legs, so he asked the special effects team if "legs of electricity" could be rigged below each Fighting Machine. The effects and prop department rigged nearly invisible wires to reach from the bottom of each machine to a slot in the set. More than 1 million volts of electricity were generated by each wire, and a fan blew the sparks down the wire to the "ground". Tests went well, but the danger of fire was so great that the effect was dropped.

For the heat ray, Jennings held a wire in front of a blowtorch, and a fan blew the sparks outward. The effect was filmed and superimposed coming out of the cobra-head as the heat ray.

Glass domes, on which lights were flashed, were used to simluate the force field around the Fighting Machines. The effect was superimposed on the Fighting Machine footage.

The "skeletizing ray" which emitted from each Fighting Machine's wing-tip were matte paintings. Nearly a thousand of these were made, essentially acting like cel animation, to make the green energy emissions.

During the "Battle of Los Angles" scene when the Martians die, film cameras rolled at four times normal speed to make the explosions look realistic. The guide-wires of the Fighting Machines were visible when the machines crashed, so the machines were depicted crashing into telephone poles and lines to hide the guide-wires.

The film cost $2 million to make. $1.4 million was spent on special effects.













I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that the "Scenes of Revolutionary America" (a 1960 reproduction by Zuber et Cie of France of an early 1800s design) wallpaper in the President's Dining Room in the White House wa finally removed in 1997 after 34 years -- but that the new wallpapers haven't lasted more than 11 years?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Trapped by deep snow in a cabin for two weeks.

Heaven.


The brain is the sexiest organ. But only if it's encased in a sizzling hot body.


I'm tired of bullshit articles like this. Ninety percent of the piece documents what we already know: That poor neighborhoods suffer from extremely high rates of suicide, alcoholism, drug use, tobacco use, and so on.

This is not news.

The big claim comes in the final two paragraphs: "We should start with innovative public policies that spur investment, empower entrepreneurs, encourage mobility in the labor market, and restore economic dynamism neighborhood by neighborhood. Most such solutions must be enacted at the state and local level. ... Policymakers should be far bolder in pursuing new ideas designed for the current landscape—and stop trying to solve 21st century economic challenges with whatever is left of the 20th century policy toolkit."

Great! Awesome! Wow!

Except they can't come up with a single idea. The one idea they name, the "Investing in Opportunity Act", is merely a tweaked Enterprise Zone idea left over from the Reagan administration. Remember those? They gave massive regulatory and tax breaks to businesses in economically distressed areas. The idea was to revive these local neighborhoods through the training and hiring of the neighborhood unemployed and under-employed, and to retrain displaced workers.

Enterprise Zones benefitted large corporations, not small business (the driver of two-thirds of the economy). Local neighborhoods rarely benefitted. And over time, the economic growth succumbed to national and international economic pressures that tax exemptions, tax credits, and regulatory exemptions could not overcome.

By the end of the article, I'm still waiting for those "bold ideas". I love how these authors demand "21st century action" -- but can't come up with jack shit.
Why, yes! I would like you to hold me down and fuck the bejeezus out of me for 17 hours.


For almost three decades, this was my ideal man.


One thing I miss about D.C.: Model trains at Christmas. There was a huge one around the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse.

The Norwegian government sponored a massive Norwegian spruce tree and fantastic model train exhibit (complete with trolls under bridges!) at Union Station.

And over at the National Botanic Garden, they had the indoor and outdoor trains running.

Cleveland has nothing like this. Even though there is a very active model train club associated with the Midwest Railroad Preservation Society, and railroads were mega-important to Cleveland history.



model Christmas train 07 - Union Station - Washington DC - 2013-12-26


model train 16 - National Christmas Tree - Washington DC - 2013-12-31


Northern Pacific train on overhead bridge - Nat Botanic Garden - 2013-12-26
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer dropped yesterday!!!!

Squeeeeeeeeeeee!


Tannenbaums, or people? :)


Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's important to stay hydrated. So put it to your mouth, and drink. Repeatedly.


Biracial men turn me on. Here's a short, muscular, hair, half-Asian, half-Caucasian guy. I love his mohawk, and lover that he's into his nipples.


I wonder what he's doing down there...


Let it snow.

Liquid snow.


We were supposed to get snow in Cleveland. A good amount. Instead, the storm slid a hundred miles to the right. Now it's cold, sunny, and snowless.

Shit.


Good advice.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5, 1933 - The 21st Amendment is ratified, ending Prohibition in the United States.






Trump voters are the least informed of all voters, the most willing to believe, and the most willing to ignore counter-evidence.