Maybe this’ll stop the Euro-gasms. Maybe.

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GermanJudeYou ever notice how the left just loves Europe? They want to be just like Europe.

I’ve been listening to crap for years where otherwise seemingly nice and smart people talk with such glowing terms about who wonderful Europe is and how we could learn from them and how … Well, a phrase to describe what overcomes would be “Euro-gasm.”

Yeah, that may sound all … ewwwww … but it really fits. And I bet you know people like that, too.

Well, maybe this’ll put a stop to that.

Turns out that in the Netherlands that is hiring — are you paying attention here, left-wingers? — Whites only:

Wesley de Laat, owner of Budget Cleaning Brabant, has been lambasted for his “whites only” stance and his later defense. “White workers are better than non-white workers,” he told the media this week. “I don’t discriminate,” he went on. “I just don’t invite them for interview. Poles, Moroccans, any non-whites are not going to be hired to work for this company. Ahmed and Ali are probably very good people, but I don’t want them working for me.”

Now, this isn’t the first recent incident of this kind of discrimination. Just one of the most recent.

And, if I understand my history any, I think that others in Europe have had issues with different races from time to time. To time. To time. All the time.

Well, perhaps this will open the left’s eyes that the way things happen in Europe isn’t the way to emulate. This country, when we act like Americans, can do pretty good coming up with things on our own.

But, it probably won’t. The left can’t learn anything. That would involve paying attention and learning from history and experience. The left simply has an ideology and then is shocked and stunned when reality intervenes. And the results are often catastrophic.

There is a cycle to things. But, it’s not inevitable. At least, not if you do something about it. But if you repeat the same mistakes, you’ll get the same results. Racial discrimination is nothing new. It’s just the result of what the left is doing, and those of no moral fiber have done, for years.

Here’s the other thing. The left has been having a Euro-gasm for years. And they’re looking to keep that feeling going. Only, I have the bad feeling that someone’s gonna end up getting screwed.

Classic Doctor Who Season 16

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DoctorWhoCast16The 16th season of the classic Doctor Who show was a bit harder to watch than the previous seasons. One of the hardest in a while. And that kind of surprised me.

I first saw Doctor Who episodes on PBS back in the late 1970s and 1980s. In late 1982 or early 1983, I first saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on PBS. I discovered it because I occasionally watched some of the shows the network carried, on GPTV (in Georgia, now GPB) and FPB (in Florida). And, though I can’t be sure, I think I saw some Doctor Who episodes before I saw The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Certainly, though, around the time Hitchhiker’s Guide aired, I was watching more on PBS, particularly GPTV.

What’s Hitchhiker’s Guide got to do with Doctor Who you ask. Really, go ahead and ask.

I’ll wait.

Oh, well, since you asked, it turns out that the new Script Editor for Doctor Who beginning with Season 16 was Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy franchise. When I discovered that, I just knew I’d love Season 16 of Doctor Who. I didn’t.

Oh, I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t love it. It was, at best, Mostly Harmless.

Maybe the problem I had with the season was K-9. I never did like that character. Or, maybe it’s Tom Baker’s habit of occasionally looking at the camera and laughing. I don’t care for that kind of stuff.

The season introduced a new character, Romana (Mary Tamm), as well as the new version of K-9, which looks to me like the same character. Romana was a Time Lord (Time Lady) from Gallifrey who was sent on a quest with The Doctor by the White Guardian. The White Guardian is … heck, I don’t know. I never could figure it out. Maybe it’s supposed to be the Gallifrey version of God.

Anyway, the White Guardian sends The Doctor and Romana on a quest to secure the parts of the Key To Time, which is … a MacGuffin, as far as I can tell. The Doctor and Romana spent the entire Season 16 searching for the thing because it was so important, and then, in order to keep it out of the hands of the Black Guardian, The Doctor scattered it back across space and time. Which is where it was to begin with.

Tom Taker sported an injury for much of the season. He was bitten on the lip by a dog belonging to one of the guest actors in the first serial, The Ribos Operation (4 episodes). They covered it with makeup for the remaining day’s shots, and wrote a rough landing into the next serial, The Pirate Planet (4 episodes), so that The Doctor would injure his mouth, creating a reason in the storyline for the wound.

The series’ 100th serial aired during the season. The Stones of Blood (4 episodes) was the milestone serial, and it aired during the shows’s 15th anniversary.

The Androids of Tara (4 episodes) appears to have been based on The Prisoner of Zenda. There’s a scene where, after he is told of the plan to have a look-alike, an android in this story, act as a decoy, The Doctor says, “It’s been done before.”

The final serial of the season, The Armageddon Factor (6 episodes) introduced yet another renegade Time Lord. Drax knew The Doctor at the Academy, and knew his as Theta Sigma. The Doctor insisted on Drax not calling him by that name, but by “Doctor” instead.

The serial concluded the season-long arc of The Doctor and Romana searching for the Key To Time, finding it, then dispersing the parts. Except for the last part, which was actually a person, the Princess Astra. Actress Lalla Ward, who later married Tom Baker, played Astra. She’d play another character in later seasons. With the dispersal, Princess Astra was restored. The Doctor installed a randomizing unit in the TARDIS, meaning he’d never know where he was heading, in order to avoid the Black Guardian, who was now after The Doctor, after the dispersal of the Key.

And that pretty much wrapped up the first season with Douglas Adams as Script Editor. I expected more. Silly me.

Maybe things will improve in Season 17.

Life Without Archie

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LifeWithArchie36CoverRemember Archie? From the comic books?

Yeah, he’s gonna die.

Really.

They’re killing off Archie Andrews in issue 36 of “Life With Archie,” a comic book about Archie and the gang after they graduated Riverdale High.

Now, I gotta admit that I was never a fan of the comic books. Superman. Batman. Spiderman. Archie. Richie Rich. None of ‘em.

I don’t know why. Sure, if I saw one on the wood slat benches at the redneck barber shop I got took to as a kid, I’d pick it up and read one. It was either read that or the Thunderbolt. I made the right decision.

But still, I never read a lot of comic books. Don’t know if I ever bought any. Might have got someone to buy some for me, but I’m not sure. Comic books weren’t that big a deal to me. And, neither were the characters in the comic books.

But, they sure were — and are — to many people. And, now they’re killing off Archie.

Is that a good thing? Should they be killing off comic book characters? Archie always kinda struck me as a non-serious comic character. Sure, they’ve tried to make social commentary over the years, particularly recently. But, should comics — non-serious comics, that is — try to be serious? It’s like one of those A Very Special Blossom shows.

And, perhaps a better question would be, who would be a better comic book character to kill off? And don’t say Caspar the Friendly Ghost. That’s cheating.

Let’s go with that question instead. What comic book character would you like to see killed off?

More spider attacks

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SpiderwebRemember when we told you about spiders causing air bags in Toyotas to deploy?

Well, those eight-legged beasties are at it again. Now, they’re targeting Mazda cars, according to a Reuters report.

Here’s the deal.

There’s something called a Yellow Sac spider. I’m assuming it’s yellow. And that it is from Omaha. Not sure about that part. But, it is a spider. And that tells you that it’s evil.

Spiders are sneaky little buggers. They’ll crawl up in your ears when you’re asleep. They’ll hide on the back side of the toilet paper roll. And, while I can’t prove this, I think they hide your car keys. And take socks from the dryer. They have way too many legs to be trustworthy. I mean, why do they need all those legs. Well, it’s not for anything good, I’m here to tell you.

Anyway, those Yellow Sac spiders like the smell of gasoline. Now, unlike that fellow from the eighth grade that walked kinda funny, they don’t sit on the porch and huff gasoline. No, those little spiders crawl up inside a gas tank and spin their little webs in the tubing. That causes the tanks to not vent properly and that messes up the pressure, which can then cause the tanks to crack and leak. Then, when you least expect it … BOOM! … you have the end to a Mel Gibson movie.

Anyway, they’re recalling a bunch of Mazda cars on account of this.

I wonder if they search the pages of the Obamacare law, if they’ll find spiders spinning webs in all that. If they do, you think they’ll be able to recall it, too?

Might be worth a look.

Classic Doctor Who Season 15

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DoctorWhoCast15I’ve been watching the classic Doctor Who series, beginning with the start of the show in 1963. I’m up to Season 15, which aired from late 1977 to Spring 1978. That’s half-way through the adventures of the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker).

Behind the scenes, the show was experiencing some major problems. A change in the leadership of the staff running the show, as well as late delivery of scripts, plus the BBC canceling a vampire-related script because it would have aired close to major Dracula production of the the network. Add to this, Tom Baker hated the character of Leela, and the actress, Louise Jameson, took the brunt of his dislike. They finally had it out in the second serial taped (but the first serial aired), and the actors’ relationship improved somewhat. Still, Jameson left the show at the end of the season.

All the while, the British economy, under the leadership of the Labour Party, was in shambles. The show had its budget cut because of other expenses the network experienced due to the economy. In the winter following the airing of this season, the country was hit by several strikes, the “Winter of Discontent,” leading to the Conservative Party’s victory early the next year. And, in case you forgot, that’s when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. Remember the Brigadier speaking with “Madame” Prime Minsiter in Season 13? Now you know who he was talking to.

The season began with a story at a creepy old lighthouse, and people dropping like flies. No, it wasn’t Tom Stewart but an alien knocking folks off. We finally met the Rutans, who have been in a war against the Sontarans, in Horror of Fang Rock (4 episodes). At the end of the episode, Leela’s eyes changed color from the effects of an explosion. That allowed Louise Jameson to not have to wear the brown contacts she had been wearing ever since her character was introduced. And, it’s the episode where Jameson and Tom Baker finally had their confrontation.

The second serial (though the first one produced in Season 15) also introduced K-9. I know a lot of people liked K-9, but I wasn’t one of those. I remember the character from when I saw Doctor Who episodes 30-something years ago. I thought it was silly then. They did a good job of explaining why it looked like a dog: the scientist who built it always wanted a dog, so he made his robot look like one.

Fans of Sherlock, or of Benedict Cumberbatch, might find it interesting that his mom appeared in the serial Image of the Fendahl (4 episodes) as a major character. Wanda Ventham had appeared in Season Four’s The Faceless Ones. Yeah, she was hot. Oh, and she’s still acting. She and her husband recently appeared in Sherlock as the title character’s parents.

By the way, the serial Image of the Fendahl was airing during the week of Hallowe’en 1977. As such, it had a theme appropriate to that time of year. The story involved a skull with a pentagram, a seer, a coven of aliens, and a big slimy worm that looked like it was dressed for Mardi Gras.

I found The Sun Makers (4 episodes) very interesting. The script writer was having a row with Inland Revenue (the British agency that functions as the IRS does in the U.S.) and wrote the serial. In the story, those running the show and imposing the heavy taxes were overthrown. Of course, being British, they had a race of aliens running a “Company” that was responsible for high taxes. Unlike reality where it’s a government that imposes taxes. So, even though it was the British government that was imposing the taxes that inspired the script writer, the left-leaning of those involved with the show turned the villain into a capitalist venture.

The Doctor battled the Sontarans (and won) in the final serial of the season, The Invasion of Time (6 episodes). The Doctor lost two companions in the process. No, Leela and K-9 didn’t die. They stayed behind when The Doctor left, after saving Gallifrey. He also took office as President of Gallifrey. It seems that nobody thought to hold the election that was to pit The Doctor against Chancellor Goth in Season 14′s The Deadly Assassin. Since Goth died at the end of that serial, and The Doctor hopped in his TARDIS and went on other adventures, nobody assumed office. Well, The Doctor came back to Gallifrey to claim the office, since he was still officially a candidate, and, with Goth’s demise, the only candiate, he took office.

After defeating the Sontarans and saving the known universe, he left again. They kinda left it up in the air about his being president. I suppose we’ll see what happens with that — or not — as well as meet the new K-9 that was still in the box at the end of the series, when the next season starts.

Amazon Fire TV

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Got a new toy. Yay!

This week, Amazon introduced a streaming box. They call it the Amazon Fire TV.

Now, I already have a Roku. And an Apple TV. And a Chromecast. Oh, and a TiVo. So, why do I need another streaming device? Well, I don’t. But I got one anyway. And, I spent a good deal of last night looking it over, trying it out.

Unboxing the Amazon Fire TV

Unboxing the Amazon Fire TV

I opened the box, hooked up an HDMI cable (not included), plugged it in, and was ready to play.

Of course, there’s the updates that it has to download. Seems even a brand new item — released on Wednesday, connected on Thursday — has to have updates. So, there’s that irritant.

But, the device itself? Yeah, it’s a good little streaming box.

Couple of things I noticed. The remote has no dedicated 10-second rewind button, like you get on Roku. Rather, the standard rewind mode is in 10-second leaps. To rewind 10 seconds, you have to hit rewind and then very quickly hit Play. At least, on Hulu Plus and Netflix, you do. On Amazon content, pressing Rewind a single time (a single click) achieves a 10-second rewind. Not a major deal, just something to get used to.

The selection of apps is kinda sparse, compared to Roku, but it has more available than Apple TV, although there is not a complete overlap. It does have Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Vevo, Vimeo, YouTube, Crackle, Bloomberg, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Showtime Anytime, TuneIn Radio, Plex, plus a decent selection of games.

Some major missing channels include Sky News (Roku, Apple TV), The Weather Channel (Apple TV), PBS (Roku, Apple TV), WWE (Roku, Apple TV), Yahoo! Screen (Roku, Apple TV), HBO GO (Roku, Apple TV), Watch ABC (Apple TV), MLB.TV (Roku, Apple TV), VUDU (Roku), Dailymotion (Roku), and some others.

Oh, about the games. I don’t care about games. But, if you like playing games, it lets you. There’s an optional game controller you can buy, if you want to play games. I don’t. But you go ahead.

Again, Roku is king of content. It has almost everything, including a lot of stuff with limited appeal. Apple TV has limited content, but most of it is good content with wide appeal. Amazon Fire TV is closer to Apple TV in the limited content, but most of the good stuff, but it seems it really wants to be Roku.

Hulu Plus and Netflix, two of the biggest subscription services, don’t come pre-loaded. But, they’re easy enough to find and add. Especially if you already have them installed on a Kindle Fire tablet. Even if not, they’re easy to find.

Both work similar to the way they work on Roku. The experience of navigating the menus is consistent. Once difference is that, unlike Roku, you do have the “Play from beginning” option on Netflix content.

The Amazon Fire TV is also very responsive. You press a button, it responds. Quickly.

They do a very good job of integrating the non-Amazon content in the menus. For example, on Roku, if you go to Movies or TV on the Main Menu, you are essentially in the M-GO app. However, on the Fire TV, while the emphasis is on Amazon, you also get access to non-Amazon content.

For instance, I’ve been watching the old Doctor Who episodes. So, when I go to TV, then scroll to “Your TV Shows” section, I see shows I own or have in my Watchlist, including The Mentalist, Star Trek, Major Crimes, and, of course, Doctor Who. When I select Doctor Who, I see episodes that are on Amazon Prime, and episodes that are on Hulu Plus. I didn’t see any Netflix episodes, but I think that’s because all the episodes available on Netflix are also available on Amazon Prime.

Again, they did a good job of integrating non-Amazon content into the menus, but only for content that other services offer they Amazon doesn’t.

Let’s get right to it: is it worth it?

Well, if you already have a Roku or Apple TV, it would be hard to make the case for a Fire TV box. It makes more sense to add it to an Apple TV setup than it does a Roku setup. But replace either? I wouldn’t give one up for it.

If you were interested in your first streaming box, I’d still recommend a Roku (particularly the Roku 3), if I had to pick just one. But, if you chose an Apple TV instead, you’d be making a good choice. And, now I’m comfortable saying that if you chose Amazon Fire TV, you’d be making a good choice.

Before this week, online streaming boxes were Roku, Apple TV, and then everybody else. Now, it’s Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and then everybody else.

Habit forming shampoo

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The other day, I realize I was running low on shampoo. That, of course, meant that I needed to pick up some more at the store some time. Before I was completely out.

Used to be that you’d simply pick up shampoo. There was a brand, and that brand had one shampoo. Maybe two. But today, each brand has more types of shampoo than you can manage. Or more than I can manage.

Some time back, I received a Dove Care Men Plus or something named sorta like that, as a gift. It had soap, body wash, and shampoo. And, I liked it. So, when I needed more soap, body wash, or shampoo, I’d get the Dove Plus Care Men stuff.

So, as I said, I needed shampoo. So, I saw the Dove Plus Men Care stuff on a shelf in the store. Only, I wasn’t sure which one. The one with one shade of sorta green. The one with a different shade of sorta green. Or maybe this other shade of sorta green.

Anyway, I grabbed one that was maybe the same as the one I had been using and liked.

Wrong one. Of course, I didn’t find this out until days later when my shampoo ran out and I opened the new bottle and used it.

I knew right away it was different. My head felt odd. I stopped, rinsed my face off so I could see without getting shampoo in my eyes, and looked to see what that was I had put on my head.

IMG_0052

Sure enough, it was shampoo. But, then I read the label and didn’t look at the pretty colors. And the label said, “With Caffeine And Menthol.”

Great. I’m now putting the equivalent of Maxwell House and a pack of Kools on my head.

Now I have to decide if I want to finish off the bottle of shampoo, or go back to the store and try to find the right stuff. I do have the original flavor body wash and soap, so I could actually write down what it is I want. Or take a picture. And, I will do that when I pick up another bottle of shampoo.

Only, by then, will my head be addicted to the caffeine and menthol? Will I be up to three shampoos a day?

I may have to go on the patch.

Little Worlds art, No. 6

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A while ago, I received some art from 4of7, regular visitor and commenter on IMAO. He is an artist, and has his own blog, Little Worlds, where you can view some of his art.

Here’s another one of the pieces of art 4of7 shared, and that I’m please to now share with you.

Fun With Cubes #6 – Christmas Cubes. Copyright © 2013 Don Scholand. Used with permission.

Fun With Cubes #6 – Christmas Cubes. Copyright © 2013 Don Scholand. Used with permission.

Be sure to visit his Website to see more of his art.

Classic Doctor Who Season 14

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DoctorWho4LeelaI’m watching the classic Doctor Who episodes from the beginning. That’s from 1963. Been doing it for a bit now, because I’m up to the episodes that first aired in 1976-77. That’s Season 14, for those counting. Even if you’re not counting, it’s still Season 14. Math works that way: it doesn’t care about you; it still does what it does regardless of whether or not you’re paying attention.

Anyway, Season 14 is Tom Baker’s third in the role of The Doctor. And it’s the start of Elisabeth Sladen’s final season as Sarah Jane Smith. I’m gonna miss her.

The season featured something that hadn’t happened in some time: an historical episode, although it’s not as historical as the traditional ones from the show’s early years. The Masque of Mandragora (4 episodes) was set in 15th century Italy, but didn’t feature any on-screen appearances by any historical characters. Leonardo da Vinci was mentioned, but didn’t appear. The story featured a young man being usurped from his rightful place as ruler by his uncle. Maybe The Doctor will take that story idea forward to the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries and let William Shakespeare write something along that line. Nah. Probably never amount to anything.

One item about the serial I found interesting was that The Masque of Mandragora was filmed at Portmeirion, in Gwynedd, North Wales. That’s where the shots of The Village, from the TV show The Prisoner was filmed.

Sarah Jane left The Doctor at the end of the season’s second serial, The Hand of Fear. A pretty good, but not great, story that had a troubled history. It was originally supposed to be ready for Season 13, but the scriptwriters had difficulty with it. Along the way, the intent was to kill of The Brigadier and Sarah Jane, but that was eventually scrapped. In the end, the scriptwriters didn’t write Sarah Jane out of the series. They left that to Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen, who wrote Sarah Jane’s exit.

The Doctor had his first solo adventure in The Deadly Assassin (4 episodes), a serial that brought back The Master (though in a heavily decaying state). This serial also introduced the plotline of a 12 regeneration limit for Time Lords. It seems The Master was on his 13th form already and, with no 13th regeneration, would die. Only, there was some plot device using accoutrements of the office of President to restart the cycle. Along the line, there was a presidential assassination and a framing of The Doctor, a faked death, political intrigue. Both The Doctor and The Master live to fight again. One thing, though: I never completely understood why the Time Lord President didn’t regenerate.

The Doctor picked up a new companion, Leela (Louise Jameson), in the serial The Face of Evil (4 episodes). I didn’t remember much about it — heck, I didn’t remember anything about it — but I’m thinking I had seen it before. I remember the face of The Doctor in the mountain. Unless I’m thinking of an episode of Gilligan’s Island.

DoctorWhoFaceOfEvil

Anyway, Leela joined up with The Doctor. She’s the latest hot chick to join The Doctor in his travels across time and space. The serial was written by, and the character of Leela was created by, Chris Boucher, a talented writer, but a lover of the Labour Party and a hater of Margaret Thatcher. According to one report, he named Leela after a Palestinian hijacker.

Leela ran around in her “savage” costume most of the time, except for the season’s final serial, The Talons of Weng-Chiang (6 episodes), in which she and The Doctor dressed in a style more fitting Sherlock Holmes. The Doctor didn’t wear the scarf for which Tom Baker’s incarnation was known.

As I mentioned when I started this little journey, my first experience with Doctor Who was from the Tom Baker years. So far, I don’t remember having watched any of the Tom Baker episodes, with the possible exception of The Face of Evil, and I’m still not sure about that one.

Maybe I’ll be coming up on some soon. Or maybe my memory has failed. Much like some of the control of the TARDIS.