Cartoon Gravity/Road Runner

Among the many subjects on which I am tutoring my grandson is cartoon gravity, as best exhibited by the Road Runner cartoons. That is, when the Coyote runs off the edge of a cliff, he doesn’t fall until he looks down. I am also slowly teaching him the nine Roadrunner rules (which, if you’ve never deduced them, include the roadrunner staying on the road and never being caught, and all the Coyote’s tat comes from Acme).

Chuck Jones, the director of the majority of the Road Runner shorts (and ALL of the good ones), developed the rules. If you missed the director credit, you would know a cartoon was directed by some ham-handed second-stringer off the bench when the coyote holds up a sign, like “Not again.” It makes the cartoon unintelligible to four year olds and foreigners, unlike the Jones cartoons, which can be understood at any age and in any country.

Radio Swiss Classic Lifestyle

I have mentioned it before in passing, Vicki and I lead the Radio Swiss Classic lifestyle. Which is to say, we have it on in the car and the house almost all the time. Because Switzerland has four official languages, the service is available in three languages: French, Italian and German (apparently, no Romanch service). Since Vicki is a francophone, we listen to the French service; Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch, but a person back announcing music in German sounds like an excerpt from a Hitler speech,

We prefer our music with minimal chatter and no programs: just music. Most Internet streams of music do not meet these requirements. BBC Radio 3, for example, is wonderful, but programmed like one of those classical stations we used to have in America on FM in the 1960s (without the tasteful commercials, of course) and lots of non-musical programming. The Dutch service, Nederland 3, met this requirement, but the government slashed public radio funding and the service was discontinued.

We have an Internet Radio, but you can also stream it through any PC or telephone (necessary for listening in the car). Heartily recommended.

Longshot/Netflix ****


They had me at Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen.

Some things  change in Hollywood;  others not so much. Many films still feature stunning women falling in love with trolls Makes you wonder what men in Hollywood look like. Probably like most of us.

This is a RomCom that does not follow RomCom rules. The first kiss, usually saved for the last scene,  comes early as does the first sex. There’s a fair amount of sex in this film, some of it funny,  some of it disgusting (no spoilers here).

It’s almost an inverted mystery (Columbo style): you know how it is going to end, you still want to watch and see if the scriptwriters can get there in a clever way. It contains the best candidacy announcement speech in any movie ever. Despite its predictability, you will be entertained and amused at the process. Poor Seth Rogen; talk about typecast. He is probably crying all the way to the bank, and looking for his chance to play Hamlet.

Why four stars? Regulars know I don’t think there is any film story that can’t be told in 90 minutes; Longshot runs over two hours. Hello Hollywood! This is the 21st century. Short attention spans much?

One Hip Dude

I will soon be one hip dude (although I have always thought of myself that way) when my right hip is replaced by a titanium and ceramic concoction they tell me will eliminate most, if not all, of my physical pain. (I’ve developed lower back pain too, likely as a result of trying to compensate for the hip pain)

On a scale of 1-10, my pain while standing or walking has reached a level of 6 or 7 all waking day, every day. I need a walker or a cane to move for more than a few feet or few minutes. The slide into geezerhood was rather more rapid than I expected.

Yes, I did try pain shots and physical therapy, but that was increasingly not doing the trick, as the amount of separation between the bones my hip gradually vanished. I can still walk upstairs, with a cane, but I can’t take the garbage cans down the hill.

The regular question was, “does the pain restrict your daily activities.” “Yes, I can no longer walk an hour every day with my wife and that has been true for six months.”

“Maybe a hip replacement, which comes with the usual risks of surgery, is extreme if that’s your need.”

Then, a month ago, my answer became, “No. I have trouble sleeping with the pain, and I try to stand up and move only when necessary.”

Because of my heart meds, I can’t take aspirin, and acetaminophen seems to be getting gradually less effective. My GP just prescribed a muscle relaxant, which has a list of side effects only slightly less frightening than the Saw movies, including hallucinations. If it works (I can stand minor side effects like nausea, blurred vision, runny nose and constipation, and painful urination), I’m on it like white on rice. Better some pain at the toilet then constant pain while awake.

Of course if it doesn’t work, I’m off it like George Santos off a seat in the house and I won’t need no 2/3 majority.

Grandchildren: Words and Cooking

The vocabularies of both my grandchildren continue to grow apace. My grandson, for example, has discovered the word optional, and applies it frequently and accurately to many of the things around him―at least in his opinion.

My toddler granddaughter served as her dad’s sous chef this week as he prepared food. He role was limited, but she pitched in and the dish turned out fine. If you say “Roar,” my 18-month-old granddaughter points at her stuffed lion. If she sees a picture of a lion (or even a tiger) she roars and points.

Things My Mother Said

I have decided to share some of my mother’s wisdom with you under the rubric Things my Mother Said.

Mom Said: Oxfordians, Pheh .

When I first heard the theory that the Earl of Oxford had written the plays of Shakespeare, I mentioned it to my mother. To my surprise, she took great umbrage. “What a load of elitist claptrap. Shakespeare couldn’t have written the plays? Just because he was a commoner? Talent is not a matter of class; in fact, it is often the inverse.”

Mom Said: Idiots
For some reason, I used to complain that I was “Surrounded by Idiots.” Mom’s response was, “What does that say about you?”

Mom Said: Idiots, Again
I was bullied in school because I was perceived as gay. Mom’s advice: “Ignore them, they are idiots.” I know a lot of people are scarred by childhood bullying; I was lucky I took my mom’s word for it.

This and That

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Amais Nin

Ringo Starr: Drum God
I’ve heard it both ways about Ringo Starr, but my son-in-law pointed me at the definitive video, which could be entitled Ringo Starr, Drum God.

Best Links
I give up. I can’t compete with Branden Leonard. My links are good, his are amazing. Rather than picking a few I’ll just send you to  Semi-Rad when the links particularly catch my eye. Attention baseball fans.

Right Column Redux: Larry King: Letters From Europe

The column to the right on this blog contains permanent content, most of which has appeared at one time or another in the main body. I’ve decided to include a reminder.

(My late, great friend Larry King was based in Europe as a journalist and sent me chatty, incisive correspondence about shenanigans across the pond)

Larry King: Letters From Europe