Friday, November 24, 2017

Loving Pink: the little angels of Camay




Belong Movie Trailer





There's a very long story behind this, the story of a church meltdown and the crisis of leadership that caused it. But I can't tell it now, it's too long and harrowing, except to say that I was right in the middle of it. This was about 15 years ago, so it's truly incredible that the person at the centre of it is still posting "trailers" for a revenge movie which has gone through about four titles (including Church Bullies) and does not, in fact, exist. This in spite of the fact that it's listed with the IMDB and was announced as an entry in the Sundance Film Festival.

It just goes to show how long one person can hold a grudge. 


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Life in slow motion





































Frankenstein meets the Space Monster (1965) Trailer





It's better to watch just the trailers of these things, because the movies themselves are unbearably boring. They're made on a budget of about $200.00, so no wonder, but the monster effects are still gratifying to watch. They're so bad because they tried to be good. 

Do you notice the bald-headed guy looks just like Dr. Evil? 





Kitty up a tree (come rescue me!)





These rescued kitties all look alike - hugely dilated pupils, whiskers at full span, ears tensed, and they all meow in that "help me, help me!" way. 



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ringo Starr: silent movie





The original has a different format and just won't fit, but I made a couple of really handsome longer gifs of this short video. I like what he does with the flower. Watch them while you play this song:




I loved Ringo then, and I love Ringo now. From the sad-eyed mutt of the Beatles, he has become ultra-hip and cool without being obnoxious. And he still has his lovely Liverpool accent.


[Intro]
Huh-huh! Huh-huh
(Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
(Aye-aye-aye-aye)

[Verse 1]
A lady that I know just came from Colombia
She smiled because I did not understand
Then she held out some marijuana, ha ha!
She said it was the best in all the land

[Chorus]
And I said
"No, no, no, no, I don't smoke it no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door"





(Ah-ah-aye-aye)

[Verse 2]
A woman that I know just came from Majorca, Spain
She smiled because I did not understand (Parazzi! Parazzi!) (Olé!)
Then she held out a ten pound bag of cocaine
She said it was the finest in the land

[Chorus]
And I said
"No, no, no, no, I don't [sniff] no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door"

[Bridge]
(Aye-aye-aye-aye)
(Aye-aye-aye-aye)
(Aye-aye-aye-aye)
(Aye-aye-aye)





[Verse 3]
A man that I know just came from Nashville, Tennessee, oh (oh no!)
He smiled because I did not understand
Then he held out some moonshine whiskey, oh ho
He said it was the best in all the land (and he wasn't joking!)

[Chorus]
And I said
"No, no, no, no, I don't drink it no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door"





Well, I said
"No, no, no, no, I can't take it no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor

No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door"

[Outro]
Hey, yeah!
"I'll just have another drink, barman, have you got a large brandy?"






High School Hellcats -1958





This was a whole genre in the '50s, "bad girl" movies which showed young women in compromising situations - in other words, screwing their brains out, though it was always implied rather than shown. Usually they came to ruin, but it was fun watching them come to ruin, and also fun to sit there in judgement after being so highly entertained. Nothing more fascinating than watching someone skid out of bounds and crash, then say to yourself, "What can you expect? She had it coming." 

Though the '50s are thought of as a dull, Eisenhower-stifled time, they actually weren't. This type of low-budget, girls-going-wild movie was immensely popular, though few of them became mainstream (except the male-dominated Rebel Without a Cause and The Wild One). The Beat Generation was making itself known and heard. Elvis burst on the scene, a white man singing like a black man, and obscenely thrusting his pelvis so that Ed Sullivan had to show him only from the waist up. Civil rights suddenly became crucial, whereas in the 1940s people couldn't understand why black folks were so "uppity" and unappreciative of all they were allowed to do now that they were out of chains. Cultural metamorphosis was already unfolding, though after the '60s we looked back and saw it differently. The truth is, hippies represented a tiny fraction of the culture then, and the rest of us were paisley-coloured, bead-wearing wanna-be's.

I wonder how many prudish young women watched movies like these and then just decided to burst their chains and become High School Hellcats. Doesn't seem too likely, but maybe somebody did.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Mothra: THE RETURN!







I was going to post old Mothra gifs/videos with these, but why? They are so sublime the way they are. Moths are spookier than butterflies, dustier, furrier, with thicker bodies and legs like one of those exotic, plushy Amazon spiders. I believe these are both cecropia moths, which I had never heard of, though for some reason I was aware of the cecropia beetle. Metamorphosis is a strange thing, and I don't know why anything in nature happens the way it does. Is there a God? Too early in the morning to contemplate such a question (even though it isn't early at all), but it knows how to happen, which sorrows me all the more that we seem to be systematically destroying the natural world. The puzzlement over how this can possibly be, as if it too is just happening all by itself and can't be stopped, dismays me most of all. But the internet asks only that we enjoy these images, even marvel at them, and then get on with our day.


The ruins of happiness








Now I know why some places are considered "haunted" - not just because they look creepy, but because past joy and vibrant life have fled. People see shapes moving about in these places, feel creepiness and cold spots where normal physics has caved in. This does not happen by itself. People leave for all kinds of reasons, but a lot of it (like those abandoned malls popping up everywhere) is financial. These places just don't pay any more, or are out of date or too expensive to keep up. So people move on to some other playground, which in turn will also be abandoned. The human race gobbles through pleasure and resources until it all collapses, wonders what could have happened, then moves on to some newer, finer place to exploit. 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

"Why? Why did you leave me?"






I must admit I've never heard of MaraNatha almond butter (and in fact, I thought Maranatha was some sort of religious reference) until last night, when I saw this ad while watching Dateline. 

I thought it was pretty cool, and wanted to make a gif of it and then reanimate it. This involves shifting the order of the frames, subtracting frames and duplicating others, changing the speed, and going forwards and backwards. 

Below is the gif from the original ad, and then the reanimated version I made from it.







P. S. I was right about Maranatha:


maranatha [mar-uh-nath-uh]

Word Origin

interjection

O Lord, come: used as an invocation in I Cor. 16:22.

Another translation:

Word Origin and History for maranatha

Expand

Maranatha


late 14c., a Bible word, from Greek maranatha, untranslated Semitic word in Cor. xvi:22, where it follows Greek anathema, and therefore has been taken as par
t of a phrase and used as "a curse." Usually assumed to be from Aramaic maran atha "Our Lord has come," which would make the common usage erroneous (see OED entry), but possibly it is a falsetransliteration of Hebrew mohoram atta "you are put under the ban,"which would make more sense in the context. [Klein]


. . . So what does all this have to do with almond butter?



Giant Cat Japanese Commercial (2014)









The only thing better than a giant cat head is a giant cat. For some reason, ads from Japan are so much more clever and imaginitive than anything we produce here. I guess this is an ad for gum, but who cares? It could be an ad for anything.

My cat attacked me tonight, and I'm worried about it. He's usually so gentle and sweet. He kept jumping up into my new office chair every time I got up to do anything. When I tried to pick him up to turf him out of it, the way his claws all shot out at once reminded me alarmingly of the shark's teeth in Jaws. He had taken such possession of my arm that I had to pull it back out of my sweater sleeve for self-protection.




Bentley!! 

Is it the fact it's a new chair and therefore foreign to him, weird-smelling? An intruder in the familiar territory of my office? Is he trying to protect me from it? I think it's more likely he's trying to own it. It got so bad tonight that Bill had to tip the chair almost upside-down to get him out of there. I was even afraid to go in the room.

We have since made up, but it was a reminder once more that no matter how sweet and loving, a cat's a cat. For a' that.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Books I haven't forgotten




This, my friends, is the whole reason I began this blog. The Glass Character, in case you haven't heard, is the name Harold Lloyd gave to his glasses-wearing screen persona (and why he said glass instead of glasses, nobody knows, but it was a hell of a lot more poetical). It is also the title of my third novel, which practically no one has read. I gave up on posting links to Amazon, my author's page, etc. because it made no difference whatsoever. I sold, like, three copies last year. Nevertheless, it IS a good novel, even my daughter liked it (and like Mikey, she hates everything), and though it quickly disappeared into oblivion, and the Lloyd family treated it like some sort of poison, I am still proud of it because I am basically out of touch with reality. 





A friend of mine wondered why I was so hurt when he wrote an article about The Glass Character in a feature called Friday's Forgotten Novels. He simply could not understand it, and thought I should appreciate the attention and publicity. Hey, no one remembers this book at all! I'm sure that would make you rush out to buy it.

But never mind all that, it WOULD make a good feature film, because it's about Harold Lloyd, and no one has ever made a feature film about Harold Lloyd, or ANY sort of film. Eventually, someone will, and if it is ripped off of my novel, which it might be, there is really nothing I can do about it.





Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

This squirrel needs Dr. Now





Fattest squirrel I have ever seen. They're never exactly thin, but in the fall they begin to fatten up for a winter that never really arrives. Oh, sometimes we get a dump or two of snow, but to call that "winter" in Canada is an insult. But it's hardwired into these creatures to squirrel away food, to gather it and leap around with it in their mouths for a while, to look industrious, then scrabble away in the dirt and bury it, almost immediately forgetting where it is, then digging up some other squirrel's plunder and eating it on the spot. They don't hibernate around here, any more than the geese migrate, so they just keep on eating all winter and getting fatter. I don't hear all the swearing and scolding now that I did in September-October, but I'm not sure what that means. (Most bizarre moment: hearing a sound kind of like a squirrel scolding, then turning around and realizing it was a Steller's jay imitating a squirrel). I also haven't heard that nasty little red squirrel for a while (click on bottom to watch it on YouTube):




This guy was just furious for a couple of months, though at first I was sure it was some territorial bird. The red squirrel appeared to own the clump of bushes in the corner of the yard, though once I saw THREE black squirrels in there, thumbing their little black noses at the red squirrel, who went absolutely insane. Squirrels do this on purpose, just to be annoying.




I hear a lot less chattering and squeaking and swearing now, but I see a whole lot more eating.


Cats do nothing





                                               Cats do nothing.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hercules: NOT the Disney version!





Is this the worst animation in recorded history?




I have a certain fascination with "worsts", though it's often a matter of personal opinion just what constitutes a worst. But this must be one of them.

I mean.

I found this animated Italian version of Hercules several years go, then promptly forgot all about it. I think I featured it in my Festival of Bad Animation at some point, but it was only a snippet. This is an attempt to make three 45-second gifs from it (nine full-length ones in all, a real spectacle) representing the "highlights" of the story, which isn't really a story at all but a series of vignettes vaguely based on some kind of Greek myth about somebody. (Don't worry about sound, or the lack of it, because the soundtrack is completely unintelligible anyway). This thing makes the old Trans-Lux TV series The Mighty Hercules look like high art.




Though I had a few excerpts, I wasn't able to track down the whole movie for the longest time, because I kept searching under Hercules and getting that wretched Disney version. I finally took a screenshot of one of the videos, put it through Google reverse image, and matched it to another video I didn't know about, and found the magic word in the description that unlocked the mystery.

DINGO!

No, not "bingo". Dingo is the name of the animation studio which turned out this baffling thing, and many others which are almost worse. Armed with that information, I found the whole movie in Italian, without subtitles (for don't the characters tell the story? Sort of), plus another version dubbed in Finnish! 

This is an international production, obviously, for Dingo Pictures isn't Italian OR Finnish.  After a lot of digging around, I was able to find this snippet on an animation fan site:




Dingo Pictures is a German animation company, consisting of the husband and wife team Ludwig Ickert and Simone Greiss. The studio is infamous for creating traditionally-animated cartoons based on fairy tales and concepts plagiarizing the works of Disney, Pixar, Don Bluth, and DreamWorks. These cartoons are highly regarded as some of the worst animated films ever, with extremely low-budget animation,  disjointed plot lines that almost always go nowhere, repetitive dialogue, reuse of music and sound effects, lack of dub actors (usually two voice actors, one male and one female, in some cases only one), and shoddy character design, often looking as if it were traced from another cartoon.They have gained a cult following over time.





One of the most bizarre Disney ripoff appearances in this movie is Pongo, the leading dog of 101 Dalmatians. No kidding, right in the middle of Greek mythology we have this handsome spotted dog sitting there, totally out of place, and - yes - looking very much like he has been traced. I was also to discover - oh, this just gets worse and worse - that they DID do a ripoff of that movie, called Dalmatians, a pastiche of every dog movie ever made, including Lady and the Tramp, Rin Tin Tin, and Lassie Come Home. 

Though it does not quite sink to the rock-bottom level of Paddy the Pelican, which looks like a pencil test for something which was never actually made, Hercules is still pretty bad, with lots of laughs to get you over the boring parts. And there ARE boring parts. Believe me.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Retro recipes: taste or dare!












There are lots of web pages - not to mention YouTube channels - about retro recipes, mostly those horrendous gelatine "salads" of the '40s and '50s, when leftovers were not scraped into the garbage but encased in various flavours of Jello. The modern palate can't cope with this, as witness these really cool gifs depicting women tasting some of this stuff. Myself, I've made Sunshine Salad the odd time, though my kids looked at it in horror and wouldn't touch it. My husband kind of likes it, so maybe it's a generational thing? 




Monday, November 13, 2017

Howard Dean Scream








Every day, and in every way, I am learning more and more about things that are of no use to me whatsoever. I learn most of it from that torrent of misinformation, the internet, and from YouTube in particular, just cuz it's such a great source of distraction.

I stumbled across the Howard Dean scream some time ago - I didn't even know who he was, and am still not sure, but that sound he made was enough to end his political career. But then I became aware of the Wilhelm Scream. A character in a Western (presumably named Wilhelm) from some time in the 1950s was shot, and gave off this sound, this highly-unlikely, high-pitched, strangled male scream, not unlike the squeal of an injured dog. Sound technicians across Hollywood must be in a special sort of union, because the Wilhelm Scream has been dubbed into countless other movies, and is still being used today as a sort of sly auditory in-joke.

But my theory is that Howard Dean somehow got rigged up to the wrong sound equipment, so that a  Wilhelm Scream issued involuntarily out of his own capacious, seemingly-sincere, highly political mouth.

Sounds a bit like a rebel yell to me, but being a Canadian, how would I ever know?





Sunday, November 12, 2017

FUDGE WARS!




I was YouTubing around (late at night, like always) and began to look at fudge recipes, as my last two batches hadn't turned out very well. I found the following jaw-dropping exchange between what could only be called a fudge scientist, and a few other people who were obviously having him on: but what made it even more delicious (pardon the pun) is that he had NO IDEA they were having him on. He took them entirely seriously in their earnest questions about the specific gravity of the fudge he was making - even asking him for a copy of his spreadsheet! - and just continued to pontificate, a self-involved, know-it-all, university-certified crashing bore, the type you never want to get caught with at a party. He ripped into the one person who had something intelligent (not to mention relevant) to say about the whole thing, accusing her of finding spiritual fulfillment in failure. Ain't YouTube grand?


MrSwanley2 years ago (edited)
I have tried making fudge many times, and found it near impossible to get consistent results using this technique. Then, being an engineer, I realised that both temperature and soft ball tests are (unreliable) ways to estimate water content. If you knew the target water content you could just measure it directly by weighing the pot and contents, before and after - there is no need to estimate it. I now believe that perfect fudge has a water content of around 10.5%. Hence with this recipe your starting weight is 1094g (+pot) and I predict that if you cook it until you reduce to 931g (+pot), leave to cool for 8 mins, beat for 5 minutes and pour... you should end up with perfect fudge every time. I made myself a little spreadsheet to calculate moisture content of common ingredients, and so far I've hit the nail every time I've followed it. In fact this method is precise enough to go for a particular type of fudge, e.g. moist or slightly dry.
Show less
Reply 5





Hide replies

AnyaLake1 year ago
+MrSwanley well good for you, you just took the joy out of it!
Reply 4

MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+anyalake The joy comes from eating and gifting perfectly made fudge, in fact I'm not aware of what other joy there is to be had. However, if you get some kind of spiritual fulfillment from failure then you can just keep on doing what you're doing. Nobody is forcing you.
Reply 9

Joseph Mory1 year ago
+MrSwanley from one engineer to another, would you care sharing that spreadsheet?
Reply 1

MrSwanley1 year ago
+Joseph Mory I'm willing, but I don't know how to get a file to you. I don't use any file sharing sites and I believe YT would block the URL anyway. I don't see a personal message system either. Besides which, the spreadsheet is nothing special. It's just a list of ingredients by weight (g), for each ingredient I input an estimated water % and use that to calculate the water grams. I sum the columns to calculate total weight and total water %, and a final section allows me to enter a target water% and predict what the total weight should be when that amount of water is removed. Basic assumption that all mass lost is water vapour. My water% estimates for important ingredients are milk(87%), sweetened condensed milk(33%), butter(15%). That's in the UK: different parts of the world have different standards for solids content of dairy products, so I would double check those.
Show less
Reply 1

Joseph Mory1 year ago
I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out, thanks for the input!
Reply




AnyaLake1 year ago
a spiritually fulfilled person would have sent a PM, exchanged emails or even posted onto google docs given that everyone posting here by definition has a google account. Right back to failing in life I go ...
Reply 1

MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+anyalake I am here trying to share ideas with other people who are interested in making fudge. You seem to be intent on nothing except picking a fight - for no good reason that I can see. Thanks for reminding me about Google: I just used it to mute any further posts from you.
Reply 3

Fyfy zyzy1 year ago
+MrSwanley I was wondering your calculations include the pot, how much does your pot weigh? Just so I could calculate and get exact results every time but with using my pot weight. Thank you for sharing what you have discovered.
Reply

MrSwanley1 year ago (edited)
+Fyfy zyzy The weights I gave don't include the pot, that's why I say (+pot) beside them. They are just the sum of the weights of the recipe ingredients, before and after removing water. Add the weight of your own pot to both.
Reply





Sam LSD1 year ago
thanks for that scientific calculation about moisture content.
Reply

Zilliz 0002 months ago
MrSwanley or....you could just use a candy thermometer! !
Reply 1

ferociousgumby20 hours ago
Woah!
Reply


FUDGE WARS, ROUND 2!: I just perused a few more fudge recipes on YouTube, and you wouldn't believe who popped up in the comments, giving everyone even more grief about the sacred science of fudge-making. Some poor lady, obviously just trying to be helpful, posted a conversion from British weight measurement to the standard North American dry measure system (cups instead of ounces/mls). And once again, the Fudge Grinch popped up. . . 

Abigail Skelton2 years ago
FOR EVERYONE IN AMERICA, HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter 2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup milk about 1 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk what recipe should I convert next?
Show less
Reply 130

Abigail Skelton2 years ago
+thecraftyzebra Your welcome! Any suggestions for another recipe to convert?
Reply 1 







MrSwanley2 years ago
+the wild one I hate it when people use liquid volumetric measures for solids such as butter, and things with variable density, such as sugar. Even in America I'd have thought people would want to use sensible, repeatable measures. So, no more conversions please.
Reply 5

Sheree Hyde1 year ago
+the wild one Thank you for converting this for us in the US! Love these recipes! Please do caramel tarts!

Reply 2

Sheree Hyde1 year ago
+MrSwanley Speak for yourself only. I appreciate the conversions!
Reply 6

Tabitha Crouse1 year ago
Thank you so much! That is extremely helpful!
Reply 3

E Winter1 year ago

I know right. mrswanley has a lot of nerve speaking for everyone. Needs to mind his business if the conversations aren't useful for him.
Reply

Melatina771 year ago (edited)
Great tasting fudge and easy to make!
Reply

MrSwanley1 year ago
+E Winter It would help if you learned to speak and interpret English before making a fool of yourself. I clearly said "_I_ hate it", not "_we_ hate it", i.e. at no time did I claim to speak for anyone except myself. And I stand by what I said, which most people with a brain will recognize as common sense.
Reply 2


Woahhh!!




My cat and suicide prevention





Some thoughts, late at night (and when did I become such a night owl? I used to be in bed by 9:00 p.m., and up at 5:30). I'm re-reading a novel by Monica Dickens called The Listeners, a fictionalized account of the Samaritans, the first suicide prevention group which was started in the UK in the 1950s. As with a lot of books you first read a long time ago, the book has mysteriously changed. 

I have my own personal experiences with the Samaritans, and I can tell you how THEY have changed in the past 15 years or so. It's sad, to me, that it has become so corporate, with their web site so slickly generic it could be a site for any modern business. I suppose this has been done to make it appeal to the public by looking so contemporary. It even posts charts with the rate of suicides in Britain over the years, boasting that it's at a "six-year low", with a gloating sense that THEY are somehow responsible. 

Charts and graphs don't help people who are desperate and, as the Monica Dickens book puts it, "at the end of their tether". If I saw a graph like that, I'd immediately try to find something more human. It's not the warm, engaging site I read when I needed help so badly. How many people will NOT be helped because of it?


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Blackbird, bye-bye





From the time it first happened, it has always seemed magical to me that blackbirds fly down to eat out of your hand at Piper Spit, the dock on Burnaby Lake. I've even had a bird in each hand, but this time they took turns, not always graciously. I've never seen so many of them at one time, all of them greedy to be fed. For months I've noticed this flock, juvenile males who were probably hatched last spring, and they were too shy to come down, though they did take an interest. They seem to like to mass in a clump of bushes near the entrance of the dock, and even if you can't see them, you can hear that exquisite song. And when people walk by, they don't fly away. They know a good thing when they see it! But with the capricious habits of birds, we may not see them again until next spring. 


Who's that girl?





Friday, November 10, 2017

Jaws of death: or, why no one watches my YouTube channel




Has my bizarre experiment with primitive animation come to a close? Apparently not. This is based on my childhood fear that old cars would bite me. They had such. . . teeth. They even had faces. All cars have faces, even the bland modern ones, but in the 1940s the phenomenon reached a peak. I don't have a sound track for this, as I haven't learned how to do sound gifs yet. I may be getting tired of the whole thing, at last. It ain't exactly Disney, is it? - but making a still picture move still fascinates me.

I want to start doing mashups of gifs with still pictures and slide shows. This will take more work and concentration, and I am not sure I am up for it because my blog views are back down to about ten a day. The bizarre thing is, about a year ago I had a huge (for me) surge in views to about 800. Made no sense at all, as I don't think I was posting anything different, just the usual strange and eccentric stuff on a variety of topics. Back in the days when I really wrote - I mean, short stories and essays and stuff like that - I was lucky to get five views. So what happened?





It's capricious, like videos "going viral", when most of them are either offensive or dangerous or sicky-cute, or just damn dumb. I am dismayed to see YouTube views in the millions (and some are now reaching BILLIONS), when more worthy entries are virtually ignored. 

The video above is a case in point. Hey, I love the "double rainbow guy" as much as anybody - but is this stoned ramble really worthy of 44,709,406 views?





Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this jaw-dropping natural phenomenon, a complete rainbow (and yes, it's a double rainbow too) filmed in Ireland back in 2012. In five years it has attracted 60 views. The counter must have frozen, because I have revisited this one many times, and it still says 60 views. I have a feeling YouTube stops counting after a while, or at least decides that you don't count.

So it's pretty meaningless how many views you get, but the internet brings out the fragile heart of the forgotten child in each of us - well, in SOME of us - a few of us? - oh all right, in me. The child who wasn't invited to the party, for reasons that make no sense at all, except that she just wasn't liked.

I still go back and forth between really not giving a rip (which is true most of the time) and feeling bruised. Here all this hard work is going to waste, and nobody cares. You don't write something and then bury it in the garden to make sure no one sees it. But that's kind of what happened. I had three novels published which barely sold. What nobody tells you, when you decide you want to get published, is that your books MUST sell, or you will not really be considered an author. If you opened a restaurant and nobody came, it wouldn't speak well to the quality of the food. People would stay away because people were staying away.

And if you're box office poison, a publisher would have to be a fool to take you on again. 





But I've kept this blog going a long time. I don't want to think how long, but six years comes to mind. There is something entertaining just in the act of putting a post together. It has to amuse me, first. I guess then I just set it out there. I don't look at stats for months at a time. I am not trying to make money with this, not trying to make anything, really. When it's working well, it's fun. No one would expect a concert pianist to play in an empty hall. But if you play for the sheer pleasure of it, because you want to, because it feels good to do something you know you're good at - maybe there's not so much need for paying customers.

But the inequities are baffling. The above short video of my adorable grandson Ryan has so far received 72,810 views, but lots of my stuff is still at zero (including, most unfairly, videos of the other kids' birthdays). Though it's a cute video, I have no idea why it seemed to draw so much attention when the others didn't. I have one blog post that still racks up attention, and I don't know why that is either: 

"I see dead people": Victorian post-mortem photography

I know there is much more interest in this subject now than when I wrote it in 2012, and even whole Facebook pages are devoted to spotting "fakes" (which one quasi-historian claimed most of my photos were). But that still doesn't explain the 118,490 views it has received. So far.

But then, who's counting?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Harold Lloyd blinks





Northern Lights - NOT in time lapse





Though I am now on Facebook Lite, trying to stay off the news feed because it irritates me so, I still do the occasional flip-through. I can't resist aurora borealis videos, and it's not true they're "all the same". What I like about this amazing light show over Reykjavik is that it is NOT in time lapse! It seems that looking at the normal speed of things is no longer fast enough, you've got to cram more and more into the few seconds you can spare. No shade of green is quite like this.

This video is better watched full-screen, with the sound on.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Marilyn Monroe - RARE Version Of "I Hate A Careless Man "





I wasn't looking for this, at all - but strangely enough, it relates to what I WAS looking for: pictures from a photo shoot Marilyn Monroe did with Harold Lloyd in 1953. As a matter of fact, this video was taken during one of those sessions, as I was to find out on another site:

"It has been a puzzle to Marilyn fans for many years: the brief video clip where a swimsuit-clad MM, reclining on a poolside lounger, purrs, ‘I hate a careless man.’ It was shot at the home of Harold Lloyd, the silent movie comedian turned cheesecake photographer, in 1953. But little more was known about it. Now Immortal Marilyn‘s April VeVea has found the source of the mystery footage…

“Recently I was going through Marilyn Monroe’s IMDB page under the ‘Archive Footage’ tab. I was surprised to see her listed under a 1995 documentary, narrated by William Shatner, called Trinity and Beyond – The Atomic Bomb Movie. In it, a short 1953 PSA [Public Service Announcement], that was only shown to members of the United States Air Force, called Security is Common Sense is shown at the 47:35 mark. The PSA talks about using common sense measures when dealing with government secrets such as ‘avoiding loose talk, safeguarding top secret information, reporting security violations at once, and avoiding writing about top secret information when writing home.’ At 48:39 who pops up but Marilyn herself to end the PSA!”







I am actually not a big Marilyn fan, but I need to keep feeding my Harold Lloyd Facebook page (for some reason - it has not resulted in a single book sale), so I decided to explore the Marilyn photo shoot a little further. What's surprising about these poses is the modesty of her strapless coral bathing suit, which she fills out with juicy peach-flesh sexiness - just Harold's kind of woman, busty and generous of thigh. But the really spectacular thing is - the shoes. The SHOES! I'm not even a shoe maven, but those towering Lucite platforms are enough to convert me. Tied on with Grecian crossed ribbons, they are truly the footwear of a goddess. I am sure in the above pose Harold was instructing her, "Now hold that foot out so they can see the shoe!" Whether Harold slept with her is a matter for conjecture, but apparently he "did" a lot of his models - or they did him, in some fashion, of which I have some idea. To be honest, Marilyn gave the best blow jobs in Hollywood, was not at all shy about performing them, and it took her very far.