Monthly Archives: July 2020

TV & movies on my desert island

One of my Facebook friends had asked what three TV series we would want to take with us to our desert island. I chose Star Trek: Voyager, Flash, and, after binge-watching Glee, put it at #3. Someone else mentioned Leverage, and I just finished binge-watching it. I put it at #4.

I have been a huge science fiction fan all my life, having got started in first grade when I was reading fourth grade science fiction, to the consternation of the school librarian. Then, along came Star Trek. I was a Trekker for life. Then the Star Wars and Star Trek films. None of the films disappointed me, but a few episodes of Star TrekStar Trek: Next Generation, and Star Trek: Enterprise did. I was not disappointed by a single episode of Star Trek: Voyager, so with my intense interest in science fiction, that series claims #1.

Ever since Stan Lee died on November 22, 2018, I have been watching all of the films based on Marvel Comics and DC Comics. That’s how Flash got up there to #2. Not a single episode disappointed me. I found Star Trek: Voyager to be a little more realistic than Flash, so Flash claimed the #2 spot.

I started piano lessons under my mother when I was 2, started violin lessons when I was 6, and started voice lessons when I was 10. Thus, it should be no surprise how Glee got the #3 spot.

Leverage almost tied Glee for #3, but there were two episodes that I thought were lacking, so it fell to #4.

This morning I started watching The Protectors, a 1972-73 series starring Robert Vaughn. I was addicted to Vaughn in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Not sure how I missed The Protectors.

I tried watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E. a few months ago but found the quality of the filming to be lacking. Same with The Protectors, which I will not finish watching. Not really surprising considering how much I love the special effects and such from the science fiction movies.

The Time Tunnel is another series that I watched in my youth but just doesn’t measure up now.

I don’t have any other TV series on my To Watch list, so I guess it’s on to movies for a few days, beginning with Omega Doom from 1997 about a post-holocaust world. Sounds like my kind of movie.

SNIPPETS (7/26/20)

Snippets

1

Plants in our small gardens rarely have the room to grow as big as they do in their native habitats. The pictures below are Ferocactus cylindraceus, the first one from my small garden and the second one from its native habitat in California’s Mojave Desert.

Ferocactus cylindraceus

Ferocactus cylindraceus

2

Little Queen Olivia was in one of her weird moods earlier this morning, rolling all over the living room floor showing me her Sunday morning yoga poses.

Little Queen Olivia

Little Queen Olivia

Little Queen Olivia

3

Seems that lots of people, including me, are doing genealogical research during their pandemic self-isolation. I think I found my roots.

Tree roots

4

Whenever I asked my wise old grandmother if I could do something that she didn’t approve of, her answer often was “When pigs fly!” I think 2020 is the year when we just might see pigs fly.

When pigs fly

5

I saw a couple of days ago that the fortune of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, grew by $13 billion in a single day. Boggles my mind that so many people are angry at unemployed workers getting $600/week in unemployment. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that capitalism needs a serious makeover. Perhaps it’s time for the people to stop fighting over scraps from the table and overthrow the damn table. How much is enough?

Halls of History—Whites Only

Halls of History

I grew up in South Texas in the ’60s in the little farming and ranching community of Kingsville. To say that Kingsville was a little behind the times might be an understatement. I remember my wise old grandmother taking me to see The Sound of Music when it finally came to our movie theater. That was 1968, three years after the film was released.

I remember downtown Kingsville being segregated in 1968. The donut shop, which was owned by my maternal grandfather, and the ice cream bar at the drugstore next door were Whites Only.

Even though I didn’t know the term racism, I obviously understood what it was because I never went to the drugstore for ice cream, and I didn’t go to my grandfather’s donut shop even though I could get free donuts.

Something about them just didn’t feel right to me.

Here I am 52 years later, and there’s still something in society that just doesn’t feel right to me.

She loves me, she loves me not

Cats

Paw printsLittle Queen Olivia (LQO) is helping me with this blog post this morning, so you’ll have to overlook any typos, poor grammar, and, of course, paw prints.

The little queen definitely is one of those cats that is more awake from dusk to dawn than at any other time of the day. I learned from Jackson Galaxy on My Cat From Hell to play with the little one before I go to bed and to put out some food so that she will eat the food rather than waking me up to tell me that she wants food.

For the most part, it works. Today it didn’t. Here’s how the night went:

Paw printsMidnight — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

12:30 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

1:00 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

1:30 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

2:00 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

2:30 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

3:00 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

3:30 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down, eats some food, and wanders away.

4:00 a.m. — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down and eats the rest of the food, licking the dish so clean that I wondered if there ever had been food in it.

Paw prints4:30 a.m. (You’d think the little queen can tell time.) — LQO jumps up on the bed, jumps on me, and begs to be petted for 10 minutes while purring loudly, at which point she jumps down and stares at the empty food dish.

4:45 a.m. — After watching LQO stare at the empty food dish for 5 minutes, Russel gets up and puts some fresh food in the dish, puts it back in her overnight food spot, and lays back down to watch her eat. She proceeds to stare at the fresh food for 5 minutes and then wanders away without ever eating any of it.

4:50 a.m. — Russel gets up and heads to the home office to write this blog post.

5:00 a.m. — LQO joins me in the home office. Here she is helping me this morning:

Little Queen Olivia

Meanwhile, here’s her food dish, untouched and full of food:

Cat food

I guess sometimes she just wants to be with me, to know that I love her and will always take care of her.

Which reminds me.

I need to take her to the vet for her annual checkup.

I wonder if she will still think that I love her afterwards.

Hmmmmmm.

She loves me, she loves me not.

In the U.S.A. of 2020

A Piece Missing

President Bill Clinton unintentionally got the nation, and perhaps the world, talking about sex, sexual relations, and marriage. I thought that was a good thing. Not necessarily good the way he did it….

Twitler, intentionally or not, has the nation, and perhaps the world, talking about racism, white supremacy, fascism, Nazi and neo-Nazi, misogyny, anti-Semitism, ignorance, stupidity, cult, Hitler, traitor, authoritarianism, dictator, bully, bigot, corruption, conspiracy, fraud, demagogue, dishonesty, lying, incompetence, narcissist, nepotism, oligarchy, sociopath, ethics, qualifications.

I think it’s good that we can talk about those things. Not necessarily good the way Twitler has done it…. I never thought I’d see them in action in the United States of America of 2020, especially all at the same time.

I have been in self-isolation since March 14 because of Covid-19, and each day gets more depressing.

“Glee” the TV series—A review

I now am in Season 4 of Glee. What an awesome series. Each episode can stand on its own as far as the main story line goes, but I really do enjoy the subplots and character interaction from episode to episode.

What I find most impressive is how they touch on so many sensitive subjects and do it with emotion and, uh, sensitivity. There’s been racism, bullying, sexism, anti-semitism, pre-marital affairs, extra-marital affairs, abortion, excessive competition, gay/lesbian/transgender individuals, stereotypes, misogyny, and more.

So far, Episode 8 of Season 3, is my favorite. It resolves a subplot for Mike Chang, an Asian high school student, that began with Episode 3 of Season 3, a subplot that touched on the stereotype of the “Asian F” in school.

Mike’s dad wants him to become a doctor. Mike wants to dance.

When Mike gets an A- on a paper, the equivalent of an Asian F, Mike’s dad has a discussion with him that doesn’t exactly go well, ultimately resulting in dad/son estrangement.

It took 5 episodes to resolve the subplot with Mike’s dad sitting in the audience during a performance of West Side Story. The performance earned a standing ovation, and while Mike’s dad was the last to stand, ultimately he did.

That was just one episode that tugged on the heart strings of this openly gay man in a 26-year “non-traditional” marriage.