Because someone mentioned it on Twitter, I watched an episode of Columbo last night. Admission: never watched it when it was on. Once or twice, perhaps. It’s one of those shows that you feel as if you watched, because you knew the cliches and catch-phrases. This was pretty good for Seventies TV, which might have had something to do with the director: some kid named Spielman, Speilenberg, something like that. Jack Cassidy as the bad guy. Jack was one smooth and sad character - nuts from hooch at the end of it, from the sound of things, and died in a fire he probably set by accident. Wikipedia: “His frequent professional persona was that of an urbane, super-confident egotist with a dramatic flair,” and yes that sums it up. He could be empty or evil, but also quite sad. Too damn smooth, that was his problem.

Still trying to get my head around the fact that he was David Cassidy’s father, then divorced her mother, THEN married Shirley Jones, who played David Cassidy’s mother. Hollywood: a kaleidoscope of rutting and coincidence.

Perfect 70s detail: “n the early morning hours of December 12, Cassidy lit a cigarette and fell asleep on his Naugahyde couch.”

Anyway. I have to be the last person in the world who is going to binge watch Columbo.

I had a reminder this morning that said EDIT COWS so I edited the cow video. There are also pigs involved, but not many. It smelled too bad. I don’t mind barn funk, and in fact there are some farm aromas that are pleasant in an earthy, honest, primal sort of way, and you’re transported back to a simpler time of rustic virtues OH I STEPPED IN IT YUCK IT’S STUCK IN THE - THE, WHAT ARE THESE PARTS OF THE SHOE? IS IT THE TREAD?

Went back to the Fair tonight, of course, because the Fair is going on and I am duty bound to go to the Fair and wander around with a tripod looking foolish. One carny called out “that’s the biggest selfie stick I’ve ever seen!” because I had the phone mounted on a tripod with all legs extended. Going for the overhead smooth tracking shot for some reason. I mean, I’m not going to get an Emmy for these. Not even a local Emmy. But I am proud when I get some stuff I like.

Tonight was shoot-the-midway-as-the-sun-sets night, and while I could use previous year’s footage, that would be wrong. Things are in different places from year to year, and depending on the weather I can get some nifty shots.

For a while I just shot time-lapse and slo-mo, filler I can use in the final goodbye video. Already planning that. Looking forward to it, frankly, Oh, I’m enjoying it; always do. Love the Fair. But it feels more like a chore this year. Then again, everything does. Too much rote sleepwalking and not enough New Exciting Things, which I’m sure is entirely my fault. Don’t quite know whose else it could be.

Annnnnd thank you for today’s chipper, uplifting Bleat! You’re quite welcome. As I said, Fair rules. Short, exhausted, irritable Bleats, and all over the road. Here’s yesterday’s video, if you’re so inclined.





Return with us now to the thrilling days of yore! Or stay behind and ask us how it went when we get back. It's The Black Widow, the most expensive serial Republic had made to date - and one that stars a hero no one had heard before, Steve Colt. A mystery writer who, naturally, is hired by a newspaper, naturally, to break an international cabal bent on world domination. Because the previous example of that had turned out so well.

The story so far: we've had the car crash, the car explosion, and the vat of acid; time for some aerial fun.

Let’s reacquaint ourselves with how the previous installment ended.

Now let’s look at how episode 5 treats that.

Of course: turns out that wasn’t the trunk she was in.

Just in case you’d forgotten that our two-fisted hero really can’t stand Joyce, we have the serial equivalent of snappy hardboiled “Front-Page” style repartee.

And here’s some more warmth and love between our two protagonists:

God, what a pill he is.

Note the moving camera: there’s a nice level of expertise to this one; it was, after all, the most expensive serial ever made.

Anyway, our hero suggests planting a false story about the plane crashing, and this makes Sondra, the Black Widow, say they should investigate the wreck in the hills. That means another desert installment. So Steve and Joyce drive about ten miles out of Los Angeles - er, to Arizona:

The Black Widow gang is looking for the wreck, but they can’t find it. Ah, the days before radio:

I guess that just couldn’t wait. (Edited slightly; took him forever to get out of the back seat.)

Hold on, the Mine? Man, there’s always a mine. At least this time they get around on carts with Star Trek doors:

Steve and Joyce walk right into the place, and that means exactly what you think it’s going to mean. Gunplay! But first, banter. Sandra is standing there, waiting, but she’s disguised, so they won’t know she’s the fortune-teller lady whose path they keep crossing. Never occur to them. She buys her disguises at the Clark Kent Eyeglass Store, I guess.

Steve and Joyce escape on a car, but this gives the Black Widow the opportunity for the best piece of quick-thinking I’ve seen in a long time.

Odd thing to have rigged up so close to the lab, but damn if it doesn’t come in handy.

And it seems to work.

I don't want to spoil anything, and I haven't seen the next one, but I'll bet the doors open in time.



That'll do! Won't it? Please tell me it will. See you around.


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