Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bentley in the jungle

               The best cat ever, spending some time on my plant stand.


This MUST be part of something much longer, and I'm dying to know what it is, but as usual I can't find the origin of it. It has just been shared and shared and passed around with no identifying marks on it. I've found various animations of The Scream, but none quite like this. God, I wish I could do real animation sometimes. Would it help to have talent?

Obsession: the case of the Bentley Embiricos

The 1938 Bentley Embiricos.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bigfoot jerky

Yowie is one of several names given to a hominid reputed to live in the Australian wilderness. The creature has its roots in Aboriginal oral history. In parts of Queensland, they are known as. . . 

quinkin (or as a type of quinkin), and as

joogabinna, in parts of New South Wales they are called






gulaga and

thoolagal. Other names include






jimbra and


(Gifs courtesy of a jerky company called Jack Links. Go figure.)


Friday, April 28, 2017

Cat rescue: big Nicky!

Treetop Cat Rescue was THE BEST TV show I ever saw, in my life, and it was only on for about 8 weeks. But we still have lots of videos of these Two Great Guys Rescuing Cats. They take wonderful videos and even better still pictures of their subjects, whom they obviously love.

Check out out. . .

Cat attacks singing card.

It's Foolish Friday, I've been busy watching dance competitions most of the week, so here's this. Kitty makes short work of a most annoying gizmo.

Kitty licks bunny!

And bunny is not too happy about it. Note the look of indignant surprise on the cat's face when the bunny pulls away: "Whatsamatter, rabbit, don't you appreciate having a free facial?"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sad-eyed kitty of the lowlands

NEVER do this with a horse!

Oh my God - that's HAROLD LLOYD!

Yes, I know this is a teeny thing and pretty poor quality. I try to make my gifs better than this, but the only video I could find was part of a great compilation of shredded-up old films. Not only that, but my gif program kept spitting the video out, so I had to use an atrocity called MakeaGif (and by the way, don't) which turns out jerky inferior things. But it was all I had.

The story is this. Before he became the beloved Glass Character who became world-famous and gave my novel/blog its name, Harold Lloyd was just a Hollywood bit player, finding work wherever he could. He had just started putting together a few short, no-budget "knockabout" comedies with his friend Hal Roach, when they had a falling-out, probably about money. Harold "walked", and fortunately he walked straight into the Mack Sennett studio. This was incredibly early in film history, only 1915, but the Keystone Kops were already a huge hit. I tried watching some of these things, and I have to say that they are an unwatchable mess. But back then, audiences loved anything that moved.

Harold as The Preacher in Her Painted Hero

Harold was immediately hired. He was good-looking, had a way about him in front of the camera, and could play the required straight man, so they plugged him in wherever they needed him. In this case, he's a preacher who comes around to perform a wedding that never happens. We see him only for a few seconds, when he walks in and out of the frame, but there is no mistaking that it's him: the way he carries himself, the ingratiating nod and handshake,  and - why does he keep looking over his shoulder like that? Probably something is going on over there, and his actor's instincts tell him to respond to it. Or not? He was paid something like five dollars a day, not bad for a neophyte like him.

Harold Lloyd was one of those people who had success written all over him. He would succeed at anything he tried, because as mild-mannered as he seemed, he had a volcano inside him. His immense creativity took many forms, and even after the talkies put him out of work, it spread out in so many directions most people couldn't keep up. His sheer intensity was a little bit frightening. Like Chaplin and Keaton, his childhood had been gruelling, sometimes humiliating, as his father continually failed in his ventures and dragged the family from small town to small town.

This kind of misery is the final ingredient that makes a brilliant man like Harold Lloyd into a genius. It tempers the steel, so to speak. The need to succeed, to excel, to surpass everyone else becomes overwhelming, imperative. It's also what tugs at us so powerfully. Chaplin had it, and Keaton, that sense of a deep unhealed hurt. Lloyd's comedy carried an unstated question: "Has this ever happened to you?" And we know the answer to that one. His was the comedy of awkwardness, discouragement and social humiliation, an extremely fine line to walk without making the audience become overly uncomfortable. It was only the expectation that he'd overcome all obstacles - including his own rather obvious inadequacies - that kept everyone watching.

There are only a couple of Sennett shorts on YouTube where Harold makes an appearance. I was astounded to find any at all. Court House Crooks was a fairly meaty role for him, in which he plays A YOUTH OUT OF WORK (not even given a name). It's interesting to see that even in this not-very-colorful role, the Lloyd mannerisms are beginning to evolve - the jumpiness, the flopping hair, the astonished facial expressions that convey incipient terror. Harold was 22 years old when he appeared in this movie, and already barrelling crazily towards a success that even he never dreamed of. None of it had happened yet, but in a sense, it already had. He had a date with destiny, an appointment with greatness, fulfilling all those cliches that are now (in these days of near-universal mediocrity) seldom true.

Has greatness eroded by now, so that the world can no longer produce comedic brilliance like this? The forces that brought it about - poverty, stigma, and a tremendous need to please - still exist in spades. But it's a different kind of world now. Harold's mind moved at light speed , but always with a purpose, focused on some creative endeavour. Everything moves much faster now, but with an idiotic lack of real purpose. Things move backwards more than they move forwards. Harold the staunch Republican would be absolutely horrified at the grotesque phenomenon of Donald Trump.

My solace is in being able to make bits of movies that last a few seconds, repeating over and over. I don't know whether Harold would have loved this technology or hated it. Genius is full of paradox, and perhaps he would have despised the technoverse. Either that, or he would have mastered it in seconds.

BLOGGER'S P. S.: Just rediscovered these cute little gifs which I made during my long-ago Gifsforum days. Actually, they look like shit! I have all these fond memories of Gifsforum (which suddenly expired a few years ago with no explanation), but maybe I remembered wrong - or, more likely, the overall technology has improved.  I suspect Gifsforum morphed into MakeaGif, which is REALLY a piece of shit.  Anyway, these are all of ten seconds apiece, but they show some of the more action-oriented scenes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


This is me in '89

You can tell everything about a vacation spot from its postcards. Can't you? In this case, Washington State is all about Really Big Fish.

"Are you sure this isn't Vancouver?" I asked my husband as the rain bucketed down. One grows an amphibious skin after awhile in these climes, but it's still depressing on vacation. 

When it's not about Really Big Fish, Washington is about Really Big Logs, or else the men are the size of ants. Actually, this COULD be a real log. I've heard they have Really Big Trees.

I haven't written about Bigfoot yet, but I'm going to. For a while, two of the grandgirls were obsessed with him, and the whole family would watch Finding Bigfoot to gales of laughter. There are actually people who are Squatchers or Sasquologists, or whatever they call them. Bigfooters? Privately funded, I assume.

Slugs are another feature of Washington, though they're no bigger than the footlong banana-boat suckers we have around here. The first time I saw one, I wondered who had run over an anaconda. There were guts everywhere. This card reminds me a bit of the creepy artwork of Robert Crumb. It's something to do with a Gold Slug Card.

Why did I keep these?

At any rate, here we are in Washington State, in the town of LaConner, home of Tom Robbins. Did I ever look like this? I'm practically a kid, and my kids (now in their 40s) are zygotes.

The atmosphere was fishy, froggy, amphibious. Wet. Wet, wet, wet.

Since Humptulips was mentioned in Tom Robbins' Another Roadside Attraction, I wanted to see if it really existed. It wasn't much, but I just had to be there. The nicest photo, in which I'm kneeling before the Humptulips sign, is gone. I gave it away. I got hooked into a Chain Art thing, a piece of nonsense that operated kind of like a chain letter. I dutifully sent off my poem about Humptulips, with photo, and never heard from anybody. Ever. It was eating lunch alone in the school cafeteria, all over again. 

I do wonder, sometimes (no I don't - I've forgotten all about it) whatever happened to the plans for Humptulips Valley Church. Maybe I should look it up. A lot has happened since 1989. For one thing, I've gained - umm - I don't want to think how many pounds. But I think I was on the too-thin side here and probably boomeranged, or bounced. 

The second-nicest photo of me standing by the Humptulips sign. The other one was discarded like a piece of trash. If you wanted a second print of something in those days, you had to rifle through a whole pile of slippery brown negatives and hold them up to the light, going, "No. . . no. . . no. . . ", until you got sick of the whole thing and gave up. 

And I apologize for any log-disparaging remarks I made: just look at this one! Jesus Christ, how do they MAKE logs this big? It looks as if it could swallow me up.

Romance in LaConner. Both of us looking ridiculously young.

I always try to find the community papers in any new place, because they tell you what's really going on. I kept a few memorable clippings, orange with age, but God these were hard to get into any sort of shape to post. I had to scan them, then sort of cut them apart, and the typeface ended up every different size. I especially like the Police Blotter - sounds like something out of Mayberry - and the lovely birthday tribute to Granmummu. I also like the fact that the Aberdeen News is called. . . 

POST-BLOG BLISS! I found that photo of the Humptulips sign! I must have made an extra copy of it, after all. I wish I had kept the accompanying poem that was meant to fulfill my obligation for "chain art". I got absolutely nothing back, and lost the poem. BUT I STILL HAVE THIS.