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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 06:54 AM
Number of posts: 18,874

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This was a long read but interesting.

"Have you missed me? Trick question; I know you’ve missed me. Frankly, the main reason I haven’t been writing is laziness. I make no bones about it. The second reason is that I got hit by a car in April and broke four bones in my hand, and the third is that I had a very outdoorsy summer (after my hand healed), and the fourth is that I have a girlfriend to occupy my free time now, and the fifth is that the world has gone insane.

I mean, what am I even supposed to write about? What am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to point to one stupid thing to focus on — like the fact that Solar Roadways’ website suddenly doesn’t work because haha fuck them — when the real-life things that are happening are so much stupider? The world is an Onion headline and I can’t even pick a place to start.

So let’s start with some morons in a boat!

No politics here (though I’m sure if you squint you can find a way to accuse me of racism or sexism or something), just me and my lifetime of sailing experience, including nearly five years living on a boat, against these two idiots."

Balance of article at the link.
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Nov 10, 2017, 02:20 PM (3 replies)

John Hillerman, Higgins on 'Magnum, P.I.,' Dies at 84

"The Texan played the stuffy (but lovable) character on the Tom Selleck starrer, winning an Emmy in 1987, and appeared in 'Chinatown' and 'Blazing Saddles.'

John Hillerman, the actor who made a career out of playing snooty types, including Tom Selleck's fastidious estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum, P.I., died Thursday. He was 84.

Hillerman, who received four Emmy nominations in consecutive years for portraying Higgins and won in 1987, died at his home in Houston, family spokeswoman Lori De Waal told the Associated Press. She said the cause of death had not been determined.

His Higgins character was a natural extension of a part he played on the TV detective show Ellery Queen: Simon Brimmer, a radio personality and affected gent who fancied himself a savvy sleuth. Ironically, Hillerman, who often played condescending characters with more than a touch of the Tory Brit — the Mayfair accent — was a Texan from a tiny railroad town, the son of a gas station owner.

Hillerman also appeared as Higgins on episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Simon & Simon.

The actor also was recognized for his character on the 1977-78 sitcom The Betty White Show, in which he played the star's director and former spouse; as Sandy Duncan's father on Valerie's Family: The Hogans; and as Bonnie Franklin's crusty boss Mr. Connors at a PR firm on One Day at a Time.

Hillerman received his first onscreen credit in 1971 at the relatively advanced age of 39 off a part in the 1971 Western Lawman. Also that year, he had a small role as a teacher in Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show.

Later, he appeared for the director in What's Up, Doc? (1972), Paper Moon (1973) and At Long Last Love (1975).

Hillerman had roles in many top films, including such hits as Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974), where he played a chap named Howard Johnson, and Roman Polanski's noir classic Chinatown (1974), as Russ Yelburton, deputy chief of the water department.

Hillerman also performed in High Plains Drifter (1973), Lucky Lady (1975), Audrey Rose (1977) and another Brooks' film, History of the World: Part I (1981) and A Very Brady Sequel (1996).

John Benedict Hillerman was born Dec. 20, 1932, in Denison, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for three years before serving four years in the Air Force. During his tour of duty, he worked with theatrical groups. Upon his discharge, he moved to New York City to study at the American Theatre Wing.

He landed his first professional theatrical role in Middleton, Ohio, and went on to appear in productions at The Cincinnati Playhouse; it was there that he honed his British accent and natty style."

Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Nov 10, 2017, 07:48 AM (3 replies)

After Night of Drinking, F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun

Remember, only trained Law Enforcement can be trusted with firearms.

"WASHINGTON — An F.B.I. counterterrorism supervisor is under internal investigation after a woman stole his gun following a night of heavy drinking in a North Carolina hotel, according to documents and government officials.

In July, Robert Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 in cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte, N.C., according to a police report.

The episode is an embarrassing mishap for the F.B.I. As a unit chief assigned to the bureau’s headquarters, Mr. Manson oversees all terrorism investigations in the Midwest and the Carolinas. An F.B.I. spokesman, Michael P. Kortan, said the incident was the subject of an internal investigation and declined to give additional comment.

Mr. Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the episode. The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers, according to a second person who was briefed on the investigation but, like the first, was not authorized to discuss it publicly."

Balance of article at the link.
Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Nov 9, 2017, 01:28 PM (9 replies)

On this day, November 7, 100 years ago

"The Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace overthrowing Kerensky’s provisional government (no, the Bolsheviks did not overthrow the Czar, that was Kerensky), bringing about the nascent Soviet Union that would be the lurking shadow on world politics for the next 74 years with influence still seen today.

The train set in motion that day brought us:

The Red Terror, under Lenin. Up to 1.5 million killed.

The Holodomor under Stalin, up to 12 million killed.

The Great Purge, also under Stalin, another 200 to 600 thousand killed (almost trivial by comparison–but this included a lot of people like experienced military commanders which would come back to haunt them later).

The German-Soviet non aggression pact of 1939, giving Germany a period of peace to the East so he could focus his forces on the conquest of France to the west, thus helping encourage the start of World War II. Yes, WWII was pretty much inevitable by this point, but this may well have hastened the start, lengthened the war, and led to more death and destruction.

The Soviet invasion and subjugation of the Baltic States.

Millions of unnecessary deaths in World War II (those experienced commanders purged up above? Yeah. Those. Throwing masses of bodies at the enemy is no substitute for competent, experienced leadership. You might win in the end–as they admittedly did–but only at a far higher cost than otherwise.)

The subjugation and oppression of Eastern Europe under the Warsaw Pact.

The communist revolution in China, including the “Cultural Revolution” and “Great Leap Forward” (what an ironic name) that lead to the deaths of over a hundred million people.

Communist revolutions in Cuba and Central America, leading to yet more death, destruction, and oppression.

Communist revolutions in Southeast Asia, leading to the Khmer Rouge and the killing fields.

“Socialism” being imposed in Venezuela leading to widespread hunger and misery. (And at this point we’re only hitting select examples, the rot has spread so widely.)

All that, from the results of November 5 (Gregorian Calendar) 1917, making this arguably the blackest day in all of history."
Posted by Muddling Through | Wed Nov 8, 2017, 07:07 AM (5 replies)
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