TUESDAY, Sept. 16

Yes, I know, it wasn’t Dame Judith Anderson in Amok Time. And by “I know” I mean I didn’t, and was duly corrected 1,345 times. Thank you for your kind nudging. It was, of course, Irene Ryan who played T’Pau.

Jolly day. Woke up this morning, as the blues song has it, and went to Natalie’s school for a bike event, as the blues song never has it. Guys in blues songs never wake up to do things for their kids. Come to think of it, the majority of problems in blues songs would be avoided if the singer simply did not wake up in the morning, but slept until noon. Anyway.  Two of the third-grade classes were heading around the lakes, and we took the tandem bike, also known as the Wobbler, to enjoy the crisp sunny day. As the only parent along on the trip, I was charged with stopping traffic so all sixty kids could cross the street. As I said on twitter (I mention that only because I want to be honest when I’m repeating myself – and from now on I’ll use the perfectly sensible acronyn AISOT) I stood on a busy street and held up traffic with giant red flags – and we’re talking Soviet May-Day-size – while the kids crossed; took three light cycles. Only one person honked. That’s Minnesota. Once we got to the lake we paused halfway, and AISOT I told the kids to smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Puzzled looks. No tradition, this generation.

Back home, back to buzz.mn for the rest of the day. Made a wretched “Mexican Lasagna” for dinner that was just a stacked taco, I suppose, but it had an enchilada sauce which, to be fair, contained only a small portion of turpentine. There were also two “cheese” sauces that lacked only a picture of Elmer on the pouch. The included tortillas curled up when cooked, so the thing looked like a taco-cake you’d give to a satellite dish repairman on his birthday. I’ve had worse. I’ve made worse. I will not make that again.

“Why didn’t you just make tacos?” Natalie asked.

“I wanted to try something different,” I said, in the weary voice of a parent who believed, for a moment, that a box of Mexican Lasagna would expand our dining options by a few millimeters.

“It’s different,” she said. Seeking perhaps to make me feel better, she said “It’s only sorta bad.”

Here’s your Sarah Palin overreaction of the day. Presumably she took out the entrails, dried them, and used them to lynch librarians. It’s really obvious, isn’t it? She wants to kill Lady Liberty and all she represents. The plane is included in the picture because she personally shoots polar bears from above, like she’s GOD OR SOMETHING. The comments have the usual reasoned evaluations – she’s a PSYCHO, a LUNATIC. That picture is so sad and so true.

I don’t know if anyone’s stated the obvious yet, but this might be the first time people have become unhinged in advance over a vice-presidential candidate. Not to say some aren’t painting McCain as something the devil blurted out in a distracted moment during his daily conference call with Cheney, but a Veep? It took a while for people to believe that Cheney commissioned private snuff films with runaways dressed up to resemble a portion of the Bill of Rights, but Palin is She-Wolf of the Tundra right off the bat. And god help us she can use email, which means she will control the government. The most Spy ever did with Quayle was stick him in a dunce hat. By the time we reach the election Oliphant will probably draw Palin sodomizing by an oil derrick with guns for arms. I have to confess: I think Palin is an interesting politician, but the people she's driving batty are much more fascinating.

imagine 12 years of this.

And now, 100 Mysteries.

Simply put: my wife got me a collection of 100 Mystery movies on DVD for my birthday, and I’m going to watch them all. This feature will run at least once a week, and will range from the boring – like our first one, alas – to the really, really bad. Ready?

Looks like a Xerox of a Polaroid of the movie projected on a sheet. Says the description:

"Bulldog Drummond (John Howard) along with his pal Algy Longworth and fiancée Phyllis Claverling, come upon a severed arm that is still attached to a valise filled with high explosives. Their investigation put them on the trail of the evil Dravan Nogais, who has run off with the top secret formula for the explosives. As usual, Bulldog is aided by Colonel Nelson of Scotland Yard, and his trusty servant."

If this is indicative of the rest of other 99, this is going to be tough going. The quality of the print isn’t unwatchable, but everything else – the plot, the humor, the acting - is grainy. The science is grainy. John Howard plays Bulldog as a super-civilized sleuth, instead of the pug-ugly rough ‘n’ ready Briton he was supposed to be. He had one super-power, and that was the Zelig-like ability to take on the racial identity of anyone he meets:

Drummond’s Trusty Servant has a comic specialty, namely, having a stroke:

Inadvertent Documentary moments: rear-screen projection drive through London; nice shot of Piccadily circus in ’37.

Bov is probably Bovril, a British mood enhancer for anthropomorphic vegetables:

Bulldog suspends his wedding plans to go after the valise; apparently he did this several times in the series before he finally ran off with his "sidekick." Here’s the lovely lass he declines to wed. Phillis Claverling. Oy’ll bet she did, oy’ll bet she did. In this image she is  being consumed by the furry mandibles of a Madagascar Train Spider:

If you’re wondering what Dravan Nogais looks like, wonder no more.
The second half of the movie takes place on a train, which is to say narrow interchangeable staterooms, and Nogais attempts to evade detection in the classic British fashion, which is to say by dressing up as a woman. Why, it’s Monty Python’s Terry Jones in an exciting new dramatic role:

It says something about England in the 30s that he thought he could get away with this.

Next week: another Bulldog Drummond movie. Rating for this one: five stars out of ten, although I suspect that scale will suffer many adjustments before we reach the end . . . of 100 Mysteries.

New Comic up - this one just gave me an immediate start, and perhaps it will have the same effect on you. See you at buzz.mn!