Not A Review Of “Ad Astra”

So recently we started watching Ad Astra, a science fiction movie in which Tommy Lee Jones has gone from Space Cowboy to (maybe) Space Loony when, 30 years after his exploration ship vanishes*, powerful electromagnetic surges emanating from its last known location begin threatening to annihilate human civilization. So what do you do when you have a great big movie star who has gone missing? You send an even bigger movie star after him, of course.

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Closed Captionses

As I’ve mentioned several times before, back when Dennis the Vizsla had become a noisy-little-old-man-loudly-complaining-that-it’s-bedtime dog, we got in the habit of running videos with the closed-captioning turned on. Sometimes the closed-captioning has typos. Sometimes the typos are pretty amusing. And sometimes they may reveal something about the program you’re watching …

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Random Rejection: Dark Regions, “The Last Vacancy”

Realizing it has been a long, long time since I did a random rejection, this week, I decided to fire up the old random number generator and reach into the old accordion file of denials (and the occasional acceptance). This time I was told to take the 26th rejection from the “D” folder, and so here we have this one, from Dark Regions magazine (which is still around, and is now the specialty book publisher Dark Regions Press), for my short story “The Last Vacancy”:

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I Want Candy

So as I mentioned over on my other (much more popular) blog, when we had Dennis, our fearful vizsla, on Halloweens, we abandoned the practice of answering the door and handing out candy directly, instead putting out a big box of candy and a sign and dispensing it on the honor system*. Generally, this has worked out fine; there was only one year where, when we went to the collect the box at the end of the evening, we found its contents completely emptied (and, if I remember correctly, the box itself was out in the yard). This year, although there’s no Dennis around, there is a pandemic, and so there was no chance at all we would be interacting with ghosts and Batmen and princesses and whatnot**, and so, we put out the box and the sign and it was business as usual.

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The Early Years: Jim Was In A Play Once

Many, many years ago, I came across a casting advertisement for a play that was going to be put on at the outdoor stage in Hanna Park, a local park created by (I think) and named after (definitely) Ed Hanna, a colorful and notorious* former mayor of Utica, NY. The play was The Children’s Crusade, which, as you might imagine, was billed as some sort of heavy drama about—you guessed it!—the Children’s Crusade. According to the linked Wikipedia article, “The traditional narrative is likely conflated from some factual and mythical events which include the visions by a French boy and a German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery. Many children were tricked by merchants and sailed over to what they thought were the holy lands but, in reality, were slave markets.” Sounds cheerful, doesn’t it?

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Not a Review of “Adventures in Babysitting”

So the perspicacious reader may have noticed that there hasn’t been a “Not a Review” post in a while. For the most part, this is because we have temporarily canceled our Netflix streaming and disc-by-mail accounts, in order to save a few bucks* a month. The streaming part, we canceled because there’s literally** nothing on Netflix that my wife wants to watch, while I’m all caught up on Dark and The Umbrella Academy and Kingdom, and who knows when Stranger Things is going to come back, and when I tried to watch Warrior Nun I quickly concluded that it was more or less a Buffy wannabe, plus I immediately (and correctly) guessed what the big twist was going to be; and as for the discs, well, when they arrive I put them on the fireplace mantel until we watch them, which can sometimes take over a week, depending, and I kind of got tired of having red envelopes up there glaring at me and saying “You’re spending $10 a month for me to be sitting up here doing nothing.” (Under other circumstances, when we were not home all the time, one could tend to forget that the disc was there waiting; now, not so much.)

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