Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 7 – The Next Generation

Well as Milo intimated a month ago, our rescued Mantis has laid an egg case.

Currently the proud mother is still alive although I suspect that after laying her eggs her life span may be limited.  I’ll put the egg case in a cold area for the winter and then put it outside in spring.  Princess Sack of Potatoes will probably equate this phenomenon to the story of Charlotte’s Web that we recently watched.  Well, I’ll have to say the project has really paid dividends.

Here’s mom.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) – An OCF Classic Movie Review

Cary Grant is Jim Blandings and Myrna Loy is his wife, Muriel.  Along with their two adolescent daughters they live in a cramped Manhattan apartment.  Muriel has been secretly planning to remodel the apartment with an architect for an estimated cost of $7,000.  When their friend Bill Cole (played by Melvyn Douglas) accidentally spills the beans in front of Jim he becomes outraged at spending so much money to continue living in such an unsuitable place.  He yearns to escape Manhattan and own a house out in the wide-open spaces of Connecticut.

The rest of the movie is a cautionary tale for any city dweller who contemplates becoming a rural homeowner.  Everything that can go wrong does and the combination of larcenous realtors and contractors and Jim and Muriel’s ignorance about building a house drive them to the edge of bankruptcy, unemployment and divorce.

Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas were three of the best actors Hollywood ever produced for the kind of light comedy this picture represents.  And the script writers provided them with plenty of scenes where they could fill out the characters they were playing.  Grant is the perfect harried husband.  He is constantly outguessed by his wife and hectored by his progressive-school-educated daughters.  His boss has given him an impossible assignment at work and every penny he ever saved has gone out the window building this house.  Myrna Loy is her usual sparkling self.  She is the dutiful wife but there is always a jaundiced eye and very often a sarcastic comment when Jim steers them off a cliff.  And Melvyn Douglas is the pessimistic lawyer friend warning them at every turn to abandon this fool’s errand and head back to the city.  He also becomes the object of Jim’s jealous suspicions when he always seems to be giving Muriel a kiss on the cheek whenever he leaves.  And when his daughters read in their mother’s diary that Muriel had been in love with Bill back in college Jim feels that his suspicions are justified.

This all sounds like a ridiculous movie.  And it is.  But it also represents a comical take on the experience of millions of Americans who fled the cities for the suburbs after World War II.  And the three stars of the film make the whole experience pleasant, funny and warm-hearted.  I can highly recommend this movie as an entertaining hour and a half.  I especially recommend it for a husband and wife who have bought their first home.  They’ll spend half the time nodding their heads in commiseration at the trials and tribulations of the Blandings and the other half laughing.

DeSantis Addresses the Waukesha Attack

In the middle of a news conference on law enforcement and the latest COVID nonsense (at about the 5 minute mark) Governor DeSantis takes the national news agencies to task for pretending that the Waukesha attack was some kind of accident.  He’s the first government official who clearly states that the driver was probably committing the attack out of anti-white hatred.  That’s actually a very bold position.  It’s also very honest and will resonate with people who sense that the networks are trying to control the facts about the case.  And as DeSantis states the networks tailor their facts to suit their bias when it comes to who is attacking whom.

DeSantis is a powerful force in our country right now.  I hope he has a chance to help the rest of the country in addition to Florida.

Note: The video quality in this clip is awful.

29NOV2021 – OCF Update – Special Book Review

Just received a copy of a book recently written by a very good friend of mine.  Justified Deadly Force and the Myth of Systemic Racism


He’s a veteran law enforcement officer and he’s put together a text book to go over the reality of the use of deadly force by police over the course of the last number of years.  I’ve just started it and will probably have several review posts about it.  The author wrote it primarily to be a text for Criminal Justice courses about the subject of deadly force.

Full disclosure, I do not receive any commission from the link.

Carville Advises Biden on Ingenious Strategy to Restore His Poll Numbers: Medically Induced Coma

James Carville, the “Ragin’ Cajun” carnival barker of democratic political advisors, this week counselled President Joe Biden to adopt a radical strategy to restore his presidency, medically induced coma.  The ingenious plan came to Carville when he analyzed micro polls that are taken every second of the day on the interwebs and register the meaningless momentary thoughts of very stupid people who constantly click on web polls.  During Dementia Joe’s colonoscopy Carville noted that Biden’s job approval trended continuously upward from 12.0% to a mind-boggling 12.6%.  Interestingly during this same time period when Kamala Harris was the de facto President of the United States her job approval rating went from 1.6% to 0.1%.

Carville immediately saw the possibilities and crafted the plan.  He advised Sleepy Joe to have himself placed in a medically induced coma for the remainder of his term in office.  By November of 2024 Carville calculated that Biden’s approval rating will be approximately 124.3%.  This should guarantee his reelection and allow him the mandate he’ll need to fundamentally transform the United States, again.

But when the plan was approved and announced to the Biden cabinet it spawned a firestorm of outrage.  Kamala Harris screamed, “He’s not leaving me holding the bag on this turkey of an administration.  I’ll beat him to the punch.  I’m gonna coma this afternoon.”  And just like that every member of the administration in the chain of succession to the presidency rushed to Walter Reed Medical Center to be induced into medical comas.  The only mishap was with Speaker Pelosi.  While setting up the IV, a few drops of her blood came in contact with a spark and because of the high alcohol content there was a flash back in which the Speaker of the House was incinerated.

This brilliant strategy has had one drawback.  Once the chain reaction of comas subsided it was discovered that the presidential succession devolved onto Cletus Burbank, the night janitor at the White House.  But the amazing thing is that despite Carville’s data once Burbank was installed as president his job approval rating soared to 94.1%.  When contacted to account for this anomalous success, interim President Burbank stated, “I make sure all the doors are locked before I leave in the morning and all the toilets are cleaned and have a roll of paper.  Everything else is somebody else’s problem, if you know what I mean.”

Republican strategists are working feverishly to counter this brilliant ploy and vow to have both the Republican members of Congress and the Republican Supreme Court appointees under medical comas within the week.  Mitch McConnel was heard to say, “If those bastards think we’ll take this lying down … well I guess they’re right.  Because I suppose you have to lie down when you’re in a coma.”

The upshot of this phenomenon in Washington is that the federal government has ground to a virtual standstill.  Coincidentally, GDP has soared and crime has dipped to its lowest level in 100 years.  No one in the government was available for comment.

Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 09 – The Tholian Web

The Enterprise is on a mission to find and aid a missing starship, the USS Defiant.  They locate the ship but it appears to be slipping in and out of some kind of interface between our universe and another.  So, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov beam aboard the Defiant wearing space suits.  They find the ship filled with dead crew.  It appears that they went mad and killed each other.  But the ship begins dematerializing so Kirk tells Scotty to beam them back to the Enterprise.  But only three of the transporter stations are functioning so Kirk stays while the others are beamed over.  When Kirk’s turn comes, he is halfway to being beamed over when the Defiant completely vanishes into the interface, never to be seen again in our universe.

Now Kirk is trapped between universes and won’t be close enough to rescue for a couple of hours.  Meanwhile Chekov goes mad and attacks Spock on the Enterprise bridge and has to be restrained in sick bay.  He is suffering from the same madness as the crew of the Defiant.  McCoy theorizes that the distortion of space-time where they are located is slowly damaging the brains of the humans exposed to it.  And one by one members of the crew go insane and have to be restrained.  McCoy begins trials to find a medicine that will halt and reverse the effects of the space-time rift on the crew.

A ship of the Tholian race approaches the Enterprise and informs them that they are trespassing.  Spock explains that they are waiting to retrieve a crew member who is trapped in an interface between universes and the rescue won’t occur for about two hours.  The Tholians agree to wait exactly that amount of time before attacking the Enterprise.  When the estimated time occurs, the transporter attempts to lock onto Kirk but he’s not there.  Spock speculates that the appearance of the Tholian ship disrupted the local space-time and offset Kirk’s location.  Spock speculates that it will be twenty more minutes before Kirk shows up.  Meanwhile the Tholian ship begins attacking the Enterprise and Spock orders a phaser bombardment.  This forces the Tholian ship to break off its attack.  Now a second Tholian ship shows up and docks with the first ship.  Afterwards it is seen that the two ships begin spinning a web between their ships to form a cage around the Enterprise made of energy.  Spock estimates that the cage will be complete at exactly the time that Kirk might show up again.

Not knowing if Kirk would return from the other universe to be rescued Spock convenes a ceremony for the crew to memorialize Kirk’s life.  Afterward McCoy berates Spock for not moving the ship out of the area before the Tholians attacked.  Spock basically tells him to mind his own business and find a cure for the madness.  But McCoy insists that before anything else he and Spock were duty bound to listen to a recording that Kirk had left for them.  It was instructions to them on the occasion of his death.  In the recording Kirk counsels Spock to go to McCoy whenever pure logic is insufficient to determine the right decision in a desperate circumstance.  He tells Spock to listen to McCoy’s advice and use his own judgement on its soundness.  And Kirk tells McCoy to advise Spock but never to forget that ultimately the captain had the responsibility to make the command decisions.

Now Kirk starts appearing inside the ship as a sort of phantom.  When Uhura sees him in her cabin she runs out and tells McCoy.  But he assumes that the madness is starting to affect her mind. Shortly afterwards McCoy comes up with a cure for the madness and gives it to the crew.  Now Scotty has a similar sighting of Kirk and based on this Spock prepares to enact a plan to lock a tractor beam onto Kirk and then throw the Enterprise into the time-space rift in order to escape the Tholian Web.  And it works.  The Enterprise is hurled blah, blah parsecs into space and when Kirk’s phantom appears in the bridge viewscreen Spock orders the transporter to capture Kirk.  And that works too.  McCoy is there to give Kirk an emergency oxygen blood boost and he quickly recovers his usual Shatnerian presence.  When he asks them afterward about listening to his “death tape,” Spock and McCoy lie and say they were too busy to listen to it.

Okay, so what about all that?  Well, for season three this has to be considered a pretty good story.  Sure, there’s some hokey stuff.  But the story is relatively coherent.  There actually is some dramatic tension around the menace to the ship versus losing Captain Kirk.  And the relationship between Kirk and his friends Spock and McCoy is handled in a clever and somewhat moving way.

The goofier aspects should be noted.  Chekov’s berserk attack on Spock and the howls he lets off once he’s restrained in sick bay are pretty weird.  And the phantom images of Kirk floating around the Enterprise in his space suit making spastic faces at the crew is pretty dopey looking.

But all things considered this is a solid episode and I was pleasantly surprised by it.  I’ll give this one a 7 // 5.