Haruo Nakajima – The man inside the monster

The man in the original Godzilla costume walked off into the sea.  Haruo Nakajima died of pneumonia on August 7th.  He was 88-years-old and had been in the Godzilla suit 12 times from 1954 to 1972, first donning the famous Godzilla suit for the 1954 movie “Godzilla“.

Godzilla has always been a favorite of mine.  He always stomped a city like the true king he is and Haruo Nakajima was behind that majestic stomp.

Nakajima last played Godzilla in 1972 for the film “Godzilla vs Gigan“; however, he played a number of other monsters (as well as other roles, including a bandit in “Seven Samurai“) during his career, including King Kong in “King Kong Escapes“.  An Andy Serkis for the giant monster set.

He has played Rodan – a giant Pteranodon (a monster he almost drown portraying), Moguera – a giant fighting mecha beast, Varan – a gliding lizard Godzilla wanna be, Baragon , a liquid person H-Man, Magma – a giant walrus, a mutated mushroom Matango, a flying lion, a giant rat, and Gezora – a giant cuttlefish.

That’s a lot of monstering for one guy.

In honor of the man who first brought Godzilla, that lovable metaphor, symbol and pop icon to life on-screen (go ahead and take a moment to remember Nagasaki today – 72 years later), I decided to watch one of Nakajima’s non-Godzilla films, “The War of the Gargantuas“.

“The War of the Gargantuas” is a semi-sequel to “Frankenstein Conquers the World” with Nakajima as one of two Frankensteins (Gargantuan in the US version) born from the cells of the titular monster in the first film.

The two giant brothers battle it out.  Nakajima is the violent, green, sea gargantua, Gaira.  The gentle, brown, mountain brother Sanda is the defender of Tokyo.

I just got back from a family gathering this past weekend.  When I heard that Nakajima had passed, naturally I thought of brothers fighting and so to “The War of the Gargantuas”.  I’m still not sure which brother I am.  I guess we’ll just have to duke it out.  Winner gets to be the hero.


Sanda (Yû Sekita) on the left and Gaira (Haruo Nakajima) on the right.

Is it any wonder that the brother grew up mean when little Sanda was getting the full spoiled little monster treatment?  Gaira really excels in throwing angry tantrums, but Sanda still loved the big, green galoot.  At least until he found Gaira eating some boaters.  I guess Sanda doesn’t like between meal snacking.


Can you believe that little nugget is going to grow up to be a gargantua?

This movie gets overlooked in the pantheon of Japanese monster flicks, but it’s one of the better ones.  Any movie that starts with a kraken attack is solid in my book.

You might recognize Russ Tamblyn (you might not, I certainly never did), the actor playing gargantua expert Dr. Paul Stewart, as Riff, the leader of the Jets in West Side Story.  See how far you can go if you leave the streets behind?

Dr. Paul’s assistant Akemi Togawa is played by Kumi Mizuno, a legend in Godzilla films who may or may not have been romanced by Godzilla in Godzilla vs the Sea Monster – a movie that was originally meant to have Kong, who we know is quite the player.  Nakajima wore a wetsuit under the Godzilla outfit for all the scenes Godzilla was in the water ripping the claws off the giant lobster.  Nakajima was a pro.  I’m sure there was a vat of clarified butter already warming over a fire pit.

Two brothers fighting, a city under attack, a Pan Am flight, probing into secrets, Science!, and the great maser ray gun.  As the trailer says, “filmed in absolute realism”.  You just can’t beat that.

It all ends in smoke and fire, but what doesn’t?

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Solstice, not just a bad movie

It’s also one long ass day.

The summer solstice.  Good times.  11:24 pm CDT.

I was looking for a good solstice related movie.  There’s a few to choose from.  I read an article in which the author questioned why anyone would make a movie featuring the summer solstice, called all the movies listed in the article boring, then mentioned not having watched any of them.

This is why we let our soul-stice fly, people.  Don’t let the wankers bring you down.

I ended up watching Solstice.  I didn’t give the choice much thought.  I liked the look of the cast (good-looking folks, plus R. Lee Ermey) and it’s called Solstice, so it was one of the first search results.

It was either watch a movie or erect a bunch of huge stones in the back yard.  It’s hovered around 70ºF with a light breeze all day.  Pretty good weather for erecting huge slabs of stone.

Nevertheless, I’m betting Chicago requires a raft of permits for large stone erection and I didn’t want to get into it with them right now.  I’m trying to get my property taxes reduced.  Besides, I didn’t have enough beer to get through a project of that immensity.

Just some grilled corn and sweet potato, a few of those beers, and this freaking movie.

There was a Swedish version first, Midsommer.  I probably should have watched that one instead.  It didn’t have twins.

They movie teens are calling it St. John’s Eve because this movie transpires in N’awlins.  Also because the sister died six months prior.  There’s a John and Jesus thing going on there.  They were a thing way back when.  This will not come up again.  I can hear your sigh of relief from here.

Fortean Times makes an appearance.  That’s not your everyday movie prop.  There’s an article about the dead speaking.  This was not necessary in any way.  It could have been cut out.  It wasn’t.  That’s summer solstice for you.  Everyone thinks we’ve got plenty of time for useless shenanigans.

The dead twin has auburn hair (vs the main character’s blonde).  This is a blessing.  I don’t have to remember their names.

Right from the start, the movie is your standard ghost story.  Teens, lake house, swimming, sad girl, creepy local, hot local hick teen working at the classic two-pump old-timey gas station, funky mirror action, car trouble, goop coming out of the faucet, shadow under the door, moved objects, drinking games, vision complete with physical injury manifestation, nightmare, the significant object has been identified (it’s a keychain!) – and I’m barely 20 minutes into this Cajun ghost story thrill ride.

Just kidding, there aren’t any actual thrills.

I shouldn’t complain.  The sooner they got down to it, the better.  I only had the longest day of the year to watch this 91-minute-long movie.  A 90-minute movie earlier this week took me two days to finish.  Nothing is a given.  Time and space are warped, just like my mind.

Anyway, the movie…it moves quickly toward resolution, thank goodness.


There’s a missing girl poster at the gas station.  It could have been subtle, but it wasn’t.  More subtle than usual for these movies – nobody specifically asked about it, but the multiple shots framing the poster prominently in the background was a hard clue to miss.

A circle of young’uns in the water with a non-officiant chanting some voodoo mumbo to Papa Legba and pouring out a little red wine?  What could go wrong.

Don’t break the circle, kids.  How many times have you heard that, am I right?  Right up there with “mom always said, don’t play ball in the house” and “stop drowning the other children!”

They’re not even naked.  What kind of horror movie is this?

It’s not half as bad as it should have been and not half as good as I wanted it to be.  The story was ramshackle; however, the actors did a bang up job, or at least as well as could be expected given the circumstances.  The end wasn’t horrible, which was a shame because you kind of want horrible in a horror movie.

It certainly didn’t “hark back to elemental horror films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining” as writer/director Daniel Myrick hoped.  That’s the kind of thing you should keep to yourself.

I’ve seen worse.  Earlier this week as a matter of fact.  We’ll talk about that next time.

I finished watching just as the sun set.  That’s perfect.  The dark is my time.

Besides, it’s time to feed the lizard.  That’s not a euphemism.

Since I didn’t watch the Swedish film that inspired this one, I can at least leave you with some Swedish metal.  Let’s get out there and do some fire magick.

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That’s no space station…It’s a tiny moon

Today brings us the smallest full moon of the year.  The full moon crested at 9:10am Eastern Time, but it’s still out there being full right now.

The Flower Moon – or Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon.  If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the Oak Moon, Cold Moon or Long Night’s Moon.  That’s a lot of names for one moon.  Never trust a moon with many aliases.  Though I can respect a reminder about strawberry picking season, as coined by some Algonquin tribes.  Strawberries are my jam!  (Not really, I go for peach or cherry in my PBJ, but that’s not the point)

Either way, you can rest easy thinking all the wackadoos will be slightly less crazy for this full moon.  The were-creatures will be a little less bloodthirsty.  That irritating space Nazi moon base will be just a smidgen farther away today.  I’m pretty certain that’s how this works.

I got a lot of my moon knowledge from “Track of the Moon Beast,” which I’ve been told is quite reliable.  It has a meteor shower, a lizard man and Native American legends.  We really loved those creepy Native legends back in the 70s.  Thank god Johnny Longbow is there to save the day…with his bow and arrow.  No, I didn’t make that up, but some dumbass movie feller did.

This movie is in the running for worst asteroid on film ever and it happens within the first thirty seconds (before the opening credits!), immediately followed by Natives chanting with a rattle and drum.  The asteroid is on a collision course with the moon, but the news is pretty cavalier about it.  Perhaps they expected the Cold Moon to snuff out that lazily flaming fireball on a string.

It didn’t, and the resulting meteor shower rained down on Earth.  One meteorite shard even hit poor Paul. He didn’t even notice.  That’s definitely not groovy, but I’m positive he was just distracted by Leigh Drake’s legs.  You’ll see no shorter short shorts on any of the yutes today.

The stereotypical early TV “indian” music we get when Johnny Longbow is practicing with his bow is cringe-worthy, but Frank Larrabee singing “California Lady” might have been the best part of the film.  That is, if Paul hadn’t blown up at the end.

I love it when a man-lizard is consumed by mystickal fire after getting shot with a meteorite-arrowhead-tipped-arrow by a Native American university professor of anthropology under the dark of a full moon.  Damn, that’s a mouthful.

That and daytime moon shots.  I love moon shots.  And ice cream.  I really love ice cream.

And horrifically bad dialogue.

Police Captain “Mac” McCabe: “But he did manage to say something about a lizard…a big lizard…a big lizard that walked like a man.”

Johnny Longbow: “Seems to me I’ve heard that expression before.”

Police Captain “Mac” McCabe: *sensible chuckle*…”Maybe.”

Now all I need is some freakin’ ice cream.


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“Spring” has sprung, mud was flung, tentacle tongues

That vernal equinox thing happened.  Now it’s spring.  March tried to pretend this was a big shift by tossing down six inches of snow last week.

I made the most of it.

All that snow is gone now and spring is in full bloom.  That is, if full bloom means wetness and mud everywhere just like it’s been all winter.  To be fair, that’s exactly what spring in full bloom means here in Chicago.

What a time to be alive.

I used that time to watch the horror film Spring.

This movie has been on my list for a while, but I’ve ducked it until now.  I didn’t have high hopes for it despite generally good reviews.

The beginning didn’t change my mind.  I sighed and settled in for a movie I was going to tune out and wish would come to a conclusion sooner rather than later.

A funny thing happened on the way to The Forum.

The little Italian town was picturesque and felt like a place I would like to hang out in.  Nadia Hilker is the kind of monster I would have a drink with at some quaint, dusty cafe near a canal.  In case she needs to wet her siphon.

She plays the character well and the monster effects are solid.  Nadia, aka Louise, is not a monstrous monster, she’s just a living being trying to get by without getting run down by an angry mob with pitchforks, torches and no-knock warrants.

She’s got a back story and a way out of her immortality, if only she could fall in love.

This could be a classically shitty horror movie turn of events, but it really doesn’t matter.  This is the story of beings connecting.  Maybe she falls in love and doesn’t eat the guy in the end.  Nobody cares.  It’s all about the journey.

OK, I prefer the tentacled beast to eat its only chance at love under a beautiful Italian sunrise.  We don’t always get what we want.

But if you try sometimes, well you might find, you do get to feed.





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Is winter the end or the beginning?

It’s Groundhog Day and our furry buddy Phil grumpily announced that there would be a six-week extension to this winter season.

Though it was damn cold this morning, it hasn’t been cold in Chicago this winter other than a week in December and a week in January.  There has been almost no snow, but plenty of rain.

It hasn’t felt like winter at all.  Just an extended November of cold, but above freezing temps, rain and mud.  Dark and dreary.  Most certainly weary.

Perhaps Phil saw his shadow.  Perhaps Phil has been watching the news, heard everyone speaking in Pennsylvania German outside his hole and decided he would hunker down in preparation for a nuclear winter.  It’s been said that Phil was seen in late 2016 purchasing dry kibble in bulk and loading up on ammo.  Perhaps I made all that up, in which case it can still be cited as True Facts.

We can’t even agree if Phil is a poor prognosticator (as the NOAA states) or has an 80% accuracy rate (according to AccuWeather), so take his antics with a grain of secondary sources.

Might as well stay in and watch a movie, just in case.  Netflix and chill for real.

You’ve probably already seen the film Groundhog Day a thousand times so it would be appropriate to watch it yet again.

On the other hand, there are tons of time loop movies available.

Run, Lola, Run has a great musical score to accompany a nice lady who runs herself ragged in an attempt to pay back some money.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Repeaters doesn’t just hint at a lack of morality when faced with no consequences.  Those who don’t learn from the past and all that.  Plus a dash of harsh humanity.

Source Code – Just how far will the government go to stop a terror attack?  It’s all for the good of the many, I’m sure.  Pay no attention to the man behind the lab curtain.

Edge of Tomorrow is a soldier’s endless battle time loop.  Fight, die, do over.  Like a Battlefield 1 skirmish.  You can do it, Tommy!  Save the warrior cheerleader, save the world-ish.  Illegal aliens are taking over and something drastic has to be done.

I would go with Repeat Performance.  Who doesn’t want to relive 1946 over again?

Phil has the right idea.  American spring is on hold.  We’ll have to hunker down and ride out a little more winter.  Even if it doesn’t look exactly like the winter we’re used to seeing.



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It’s Friday, again, and it’s the 13th

This happens all the time.  We’re lucky it does.  It gives everyone a reason to think about all the silly things people think about when a Friday occurs on the thirteenth day of a month.

It’s special, but not that special.  It’ll happen again in October of this year.  A brand new Friday the 13th movie is supposed to be out then, which isn’t that special either.  We’ll be lucky if it’s good, but I’ll watch it either way.

If you look around today, you’ll see tons of articles posing the question “Is Friday the 13th really unlucky?” as if luck in itself, or lack thereof, is a legitimate concept to begin with.

There isn’t even consensus about why the day itself should be considered unlucky.

Maybe it was because that woman, Eve, who was crafted from a rib bone, tried to get smart on a Friday the 13th.  Obviously, knowledge is unlucky.  Women with knowledge is apparently unlucky enough to spawn all sorts of bad juju.

Maybe the Big Flood began on a Friday the 13th.  Maybe the Tower of Babel broke ground on a Friday the 13th.  There were 13 folks at Jesus’ first last earthly supper.  Judas’ seating place card had “Judas, 13th Guest” inscribed on it in fancy lettering.

It also could have been the Templars.  We saw all the unlucky shit that befell Tom Hanks.  The Templars have a toe in all waters.  Everyone says so.

Or it’s because numbers have power and thirteen wields its power most unpleasantly.  Twelve is complete – 12 hours on the clock, 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus.  Thirteen is thus guilty of being uppity.  Or more than complete, which is impossible and so the world descends into chaos.  Of course, who of us turns down a baker’s dozen of bear claws or croissants?  More is better, unless it isn’t.

Chaucer called Friday unlucky, but maybe he just meant not getting lucky…wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  “And on a Friday fell all this mischance,” just doesn’t sound that damning. Adding in the later passage doesn’t make it any more spooky.  The death of a royal is no reason to damn anything,

“Who, when your great King Richard was slain

By a bolt, lamented his death so sore,

Why have I not your wisdom and your lore,

To chide the day, a Friday, as did you?

– For he was slain upon a Friday too.”

Thomas W Lawson wrote about a character choosing a Friday the 13th to crash the stock market.  Later, a schooner named after him wrecked in 1907, on a Saturday the 14th around 2:30 am.  Of course, it was still Friday for Lawson back in Boston, so I guess we count that even though nothing unlucky actually happened to Lawson.  Maybe he couldn’t sleep.  Insomnia sucks.

Given all the tasks that are best avoided on a Friday the 13th (needlework, harvesting, launching a ship, beginning a journey, giving birth, getting married, recovering from illness, moving, starting a new job, and receiving news), I’m starting to think Friday the 13th drama was just an excuse to be idle.  Three-day weekends are the people’s balm, but we all know about idle hands.  No wonder it’s such a bad day.

Of course, the real proof of thirteen’s unlucky nature is that someone decided to have Glenn Danzig write a song for Johnny Cash.  Satan’s Child meets the Man in Black.

Salt your backs and lovingly stroke your rabbits’ feet, kids.  I’m going to watch the new Phantasm movie finally.  Maybe.

Who wore it better?





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The Last Winter before the longest night

I got up at quarter to four in the morning. This year’s Winter Solstice came due at 4:44 am, so I was outside to take it all in.

I didn’t specifically get up because of the solstice.  It’s just that I am one with nature.  Nature being the dog and the dog had to go out.  So we went and we ran and we were part of that weird pre-morning cityscape.  Between the worlds of a city night and day.

Outside, bathed in the ever-present glow of city light, it didn’t feel like the longest night of the year.  The solstice, that moment when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted the most from the sun (not distance from the sun), passed without any real break in the rhythm of the city.

The construction crew for the new storm drainage tunnel was already in action.  The physical therapy place at the hospital was open.  Traffic was yawning and rolling out of bed sluggishly, but with purpose.

The temperature was slightly above 30 degrees Fahrenheit with wind, but little to no wind chill factor.  It felt pretty good.  Less than a week ago it was below zero with negative 20 wind chills.  That is crisp air.  Your breath is stolen in gasps and you can see the cloaked ghost clouds swarming over the river.

Which brings me to the movie I watched last night, The Last Winter (2006).  I wanted to watch something wintry and bleak in honor of the solstice.

The movie was bleak, but mainly for its lack of substance.  A decent cast (Ron Perlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford) and a not terrible story, if overly familiar, did nothing to save a horrible, lazy ending.

Watching the trailer is a more satisfying version of the story than the full movie.

Sure, the movie was clichéd, but I can excuse that.  Movies set in the arctic tend to behave the same way.  We meet the team, see who is going to clash in the close living quarters (family tension, romantic tension, corporate vs environment tension), notice a Native in the background who will serve next to no purpose other than to interject a bit of ancient wisdom in one scene, then team building.  After that we’re off to find danger, not subtly hinted at during the intro about the drilling of a test well that was capped without further explanation and never reopened…until now.  DUN DUN DUN

I don’t need the usual dangers spelled out.  I make a habit out of reading accounts of arctic exploration.  The one thing the movie did decently was visually exhibit the whiteness.  How the horizon is wiped away and the white snow is indistinguishable from the sky.  I’m sure it was also a cheap film technique, but I liked it.  This was the bleak and lonely factor I wanted.  It was only in evidence fleetingly.

The movie quickly (for my sake) barreled through the warming issues, the corporate greed element and hints of mental issues cropping up through the typical heavily scribbled out notebook and fractured dream sequences.  We get the idea of an isolation that will compound every problem, and every problem did occur.  The story was thorough in that at least.

A brief look at a phantom herd and we know things are going wrong.  As if we didn’t pick it up before from the crazy journal rantings and the appearance of ravens.  Because we all know there is some mystical shit behind ravens, not that the movie bothered to pick any particular mystical shit.  But ravens eating eyeballs, man.  Something is up!  Or they’re just hungry.

The movie doesn’t bother with explanations, overt or subtle.  We know the weather is wrong and the prolonged high temperatures are bad for the stability of the arctic environment the crew inhabits.  What we don’t know is how that translates into a herd of mammoth-sized ghosts with elk-like skull heads and grasping claws instead of hooves.

The movie couldn’t decide if environmental disasters were enough of a scare, but didn’t bother to introduce the ghost herd other than visually.  Nobody watching will care to ponder too deeply about the phantoms because it’s just not worth the effort.

I guess the oil was angry.  You know how oil gets.

Anyway, nearly everyone dies.  Everyone but the Lone Survivor, who wakes up alone in a hospital a la Walking Dead or 28 Days Later to discover that Alaska is 71 degrees Fahrenheit.  The horror of it all made a doctor hang himself.

I was just glad the movie was finally over.

The sounds the Lone Survivor heard were no different from my solstice morning.  Wind sounding like Nazgûl screams, buffeting trees and street signs.  The never-ending sound of sirens and far-off, indistinct yelling (in my case, waterfowl).

I saw the tracks of animals among the trees.  A cat drunkenly trotting down a slushy alley. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see spectral, antlered beasts pawing through the overflowing garbage bins.

Four AM wakeups make for a long day even if the sunlight is in short supply.  The night only gets shorter from here until the next solstice.  I don’t mind, but I’m not cheering for it.  I kind of like the darkness.

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A Trip to Mars

Mars is so hot lately.

Some billionaire detailed a fantasy-level plan to colonize Mars. The world rejoiced.

Our little buddies Opportunity and Curiosity are roaming around looking for microorganisms, water and secret Nazi bases.

The Schiaparelli probe is scheduled to land on Mars tomorrow morning.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is leading a new mission to Mars called ExoMars, and it’s about to attempt to land a probe on the Red Planet’s surface. The probe is called Schiaparelli for the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, one of the first to map Mars’ surface in the late 1800s. What would Giovanni have thought if he could have watched the probe detach successfully from its mothership on Sunday (October 16, 2016)? The probe and mothership are both now barreling toward Mars. The Schiaparelli probe will make a controlled landing on Wednesday (October 19).

Watch it live via the ESA website or the livestream channel.

Scheduled as follows:

19 October – landing and arriving at Mars
Live coverage of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrival and Schiaparelli landing on Mars will begin with our Facebook Live Social TV programme (also streamed on Livestream.com) 13:00–15:15 GMT / 15:00–17:15 CEST on 19 October.

The ESA TV programme will be broadcast on this page in two parts on 19 October:

15:44–16:59 GMT / 17:44–18:59 CEST
18:25–20:03 GMT / 20:25–22:03 CEST

20 October – status report and first images
A press conference is scheduled for 20 October at 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST, when a mission status update is expected, along with the first images from the Schiaparelli descent camera. This will also be streamed live via the player above.

All of this activity had me thinking about Mars related movies.  Frankly, there aren’t that many worth noting.  Particularly lately.

The Martian wasn’t a bad film.  I wasn’t as enamored with it as many folks seemed to be, but it was good.  Damon is a good actor.  That’s all I have to say about it, really.

Beyond that, we have gotten the likes of John Carter, Ghosts of Mars, Mars Needs Moms, Christmas on Mars, Red Planet, Mission to Mars and Doom.

You could claim something like Total Recall (the first one) as a good Mars film, but Mars wasn’t really a main character.  Nevertheless, Total Recall broke a twenty-two year gap with no Mars movies at all.

Movie Mars of the 1950s and early 1960s were true to the science fiction of the times.  Goofy, but fun to watch.  It! The Terror From Beyond Space is pure joy and supposedly one of the inspirations for the Alien screenplay.

Who wouldn’t want to have all the bodily fluids sucked from their body by that stud.  He’s like a Martian version of the Creature From the Black Lagoon and you know I love that guy.

If we look far enough back, we get to 1910 and a film produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company.  We might call this the first American science fiction movie.  I’m not a movie historian, but I like the sound of it, so I’m just going with that.

A Trip to Mars is a short film about a chemist (with a wicked cool articulated skeleton) who discovers powders that reverse gravity and accidentally ends up on Mars.  Mars turns out to be a crazy place with giant, semi-humanoid trees.  Possibly ice-breathing Martian clown trees.

Such opium dreams this Mars was conceived in!

The movie clearly drew some inspiration from H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon and its gravity-negating cavorite.  You know what they say about Edison projects!  I didn’t say it, They said it.

Let’s hope the Schiaparelli probe avoids the Martian Wizard Clown Giants on its descent.  It’s only a matter of time before the Martians get tired of our unannounced drop-ins.  Ack ack ack!

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Equinox – the only equality happening today

The September equinox happened this morning.  Axis and orbit conspired to set things just right.  If only for a little while.

You probably already knew this if you happen to have an ancient stone observatory in your backyard.  Like folks do.

Enjoy this equality of day and night while it lasts.  The night will take over soon.

It might be a stark view, but winter is certainly coming.

Fomalhaut, the Solitary One, beams in the Southern sky during autumn.  It’s called the loneliest star, but it is home to the first exoplanet visible to the naked eye in photographs (announced in 2008)…maybe.  Maybe Fomalhaut b (groovy name, huh?) is just a gravitationally-bound collection of rubble.  Bring up the question at the next Astronomer’s Ice Cream Social you attend and watch the sprinkles fly.

There’s nothing wrong with being a gravitationally-bound collection of rubble aspiring to be all it can be.  Let Fomalhaut b be!

The Equinox should be celebrated primarily for being the name of the spectacular horror film Equinox.  If you don’t know it, you are missing out on one of cinema’s finest bits of crazy.  Allegedly one of the inspirations for The Evil Dead.  We are lucky to behold such wonders.

There are times when stop-motion effects and a bizarre story combine perfectly.  Equinox is something like that.  Fritz Lieber shows up briefly.  A dashing, young Frank Bonner (known to us all as WKRP’s own Herb Tarlek) makes a sharp sidekick for our hero.

Far out.

The oldest looking teenagers you’ve ever seen have a picnic by a creepy looking castle, which certainly must have its very own ancient stone observatory.

They toss fried chicken around and read an ancient book of magical stuff, kindly given to them by some old coot in a cave.

As you can imagine, things get weird.  Some fellow called Asmodeus wants his damn book back and he’s got a fancy looking magic ring shaped like a frog-squirrel and an army of freaky monsters to help him.

If he tries to kiss you, run.  Or throw rocks.  Maybe you can find a long stick.  What can I say, magical defenses are weird.

Aleister Crowley, Abdul Alhazred, Morgain le Fay, and Smaug had a four-way.  Asmodeus was the product of that unholy liaison.

In the words of our hero, “That’s a whole lifetime of nightmares.”

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The house is silent today.  As it was yesterday.

On Tuesday, dog lost her battle with cancer.

It’s been a long summer full of vet visits, pills, chemo treatments and very slow walks.  I loved every minute of it because the alternative is this silence.

Scout and I had a lifetime of adventures together.  She was a warrior to the very end.  I’m glad she’s at rest now.  Cancer is a real bitch.

Now I’m a bit lost.  Everything is the same, but it isn’t.  The world goes on, but I’m hovering in the schism of a brief moment on a Tuesday afternoon.

I told a friend Tuesday evening that I didn’t want another dog right now.  Too soon.  Maybe later.  Wednesday was so quiet and weird that I started thinking about it anyway.

Nobody can simply choose to replace a best friend, but perhaps some dog and I can rescue each other.

It was worth every second.  I’ll miss you, buddy.








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