Men in Black Movie Marathon

Sena and I have favorite movies. We both like “Up” and “WALL-E.” My favorites are the Men in Black trilogy. That doesn’t mean I think the 4th sequel was bad. But I have lost count of the number of times I’ve watched the first three.

I haven’t watched them in the last several months because I couldn’t find them on cable for some reason. I’ve just learned that that there will be a marathon of the trilogy on January 14, 2023 beginning at 2:30 PM. They’ll be on the Comedy Central channel.

I’m a fan of comedy and I like the chemistry between the two main characters, Agent J and Agent K.

I have favorite lines from each movie. In the first Men in Black film, I like the exchange between the two agents after the recruitment scene following Edwards’ (the soon to be Agent J) first visit to the MIB Headquarters. They’re sitting on a park bench and K is talking about people and what they don’t know about them and extraterrestrials.

Edwards: Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

Agent K: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.

Another favorite where Agent K is showing Edwards a universal translator, one of the many wonders in the extraterrestrial technology room, which gives us a perspective on how humans rank in the universe:

Agent K: We’re not even supposed to have it. I’ll tell you why. Human thought is so primitive it’s looked upon as an infectious disease in some of the better galaxies.

In MIB II, the dialogue between Newton and the Agents makes you wonder what extraterrestrials really want from us:

Newton: Gentlemen, before I play the tape, there’s just one question I need to ask; what’s up with anal probing? I mean, aliens travel billions of light years just to check out our…

Agent J: Boy, move!

This is part of the Men in Black 3 dialog between Agent J and Jeffrey Price about how to use the time travel device:

Jeffrey Price: Do not lose that time device, or you will be stuck in 1969! It wasn’t the best time for your people. I’m just saying. It’s a lot cooler now.

I remember 1969. Things are not perfect now, but they are better. What we don’t need is a “big ass neutralizer.” As long as we remember what dark times were like, we have a chance to make cooler times.

I’m Running on a Tight Schedule

Because I’m running on a tight schedule today, I’ll have to write this holiday flower-oriented post with lightning speed. There could be minor mistakes and you’ll just have to live with them.

First, we need to talk about the meaning of the usual Christmas holiday flowers. One of them is the Amaryllis, about which I’ve already given the important details in a previous post.

The other flower is the poinsettia, properly pronounced “flower.” Sena brought one home yesterday and it’s a beauty. The lore surrounding this holiday favorite is a bit convoluted. An angel ordered a peasant woman named Maria to gather roadside weeds. Maria was a little hard of hearing and thought the angel said “weed,” so she dug up a lot of marijuana growing wild in the ditches.

She took them to a little church, where the members of the congregation and the preacher lit them up with a little fire at the altar. The smoke got a little thick and everybody got a little confused and really hungry. They giggled a lot and their eyes burned a little, making everything look like it had a reddish color, including the “weeds.” Somebody knocked over the altar, spilling them all over the floor, which everybody swore they could feel through their shoes.

The poinsettia was known by the Aztecs who originally called it “Cuetlaxochitl,” which means “flower you can feel through your shoes, dude!”

There’s another version of the origin of the name of poinsettia. Some botanist in South Carolina named Poinsett (get that, har!) called it the “Mexican flame thrower,” probably because there was a legend in Mexico that extraterrestrials brought a plant with them that shot fire from its flowers, scorching all of the weed for miles.

Anyway, I think that’s how the history goes.

Sasquatch Cribbage Board Game!

Today was the inaugural game on our new Sasquatch cribbage board. It’s a very handsome item, made of walnut by the maker, David Sprouse, in Ferndale, Washington. His website is 3MoonsMakerSpace and he markets the boards on Etsy. It was delivered only a couple of weeks ago. It came with pegs and deck of cards. It has a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, if you want.

We played the game to 61 just for the sake of brevity since the point was to show off the board itself.

I don’t know really what to make of Bigfoot stories. Many claim to have spotted the creature way out in places like Washington state and elsewhere. There are reports of a few sightings even in Iowa.

I wonder why you never find corpses or even fossils of Sasquatch? Probably because extraterrestrials beam them up too quickly in order to harvest the fur for throw rugs for their space ships. The usual problem, of course, is getting the smell of beef jerky out of them.

Get Your Tin Foil Hats Out for the Total Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow

I just found out this morning that there’s a total lunar eclipse that will be visible starting tomorrow morning. We saw the one in May this year, and we’re excited—about getting up early in the morning around 4:00 AM.

Although you don’t need to wear special eye protection for a lunar eclipse, you will need to get your tin foil hats on. This is to protect you from the extraterrestrials who will be looking for hapless earthlings who are distracted by the eclipse, and hypnotize them into cooking Thanksgiving turkey and dressing for them.

Since the event will be in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, we plan on getting up early to try to get some pictures. Good luck!

Evolutionary Thoughts

By now, you’ve probably read the digital news article describing how we’re all going to evolve into beings who resemble extraterrestrials (ETs) because of our preoccupation with digital technology.

The authors describe us as eventually developing another eyelid that’ll protect us from the blue light emanating from our gadgets. Our hands will become claw-like and permanently flexed because of the way we’re always gripping our smartphones.

You’ll also develop a third hand that protrudes from your butt so you can catch your cell phone as it slips out of the back pocket of your skinny jeans. Come to think of it, that’ll also give rise to a weird new meaning for the term “butt dialing.”

Of course, the article is a criticism of our preoccupation with our gadgets, but it’s still fascinating as speculation about how creatures, including humans, evolve in response to the pressures in our environment.

This kind of thing makes me wonder whatever happened to Neanderthal. The males were huge, especially their arms, which came from frequent arm wrestling with Sasquatch for the last shred of beef jerky. Neanderthal had a very prominent brow which developed to keep snow and pterodactyl droppings out of his eyes.

And this reminds me of the discovery of the fossil of a giant creature on the Greek island of Crete in 2003 (I think). The skull had a huge nasal opening in the center of the skull. That was probably for a trunk, as in elephant trunk. But paleontologists thought it might have been the explanation for why ancient Greeks came up with stories about the terrifying one-eyed cyclops.

And what about that carp with a human-like face on the top of its head? I saw that one a week ago on the show The Proof is Out There. I thought sure Michael Primeau, the forensic video analyst on the show, would dryly dismiss it (“This video is clearly faked.”). Instead, the other experts thought it was natural. Tony summarized it as an example of the “plastic” evolution, by which I think he meant phenotypic or evolutionary plasticity. These are changes in a creature’s appearance, morphology, or physiology in response to changes in its environment. Regarding the carp, one expert opined that the face would confuse its main predator, the eel, by confusing it.

I still don’t get that one. How would the carp species even begin the evolutionary process? Does the carp just think, “Huh, I think that eel might get confused if I had a face like a human”? I get it that the changes occur at the genetic level, but how exactly does it get started?

Could you google the answer? I couldn’t find anything specific, like x plus y equals human-like face on a fish that many humans would not care to eat.

And how about writing? I wrote this blog post longhand using pen and paper, something I gave up doing years ago but which I am sort of rediscovering gradually. I had an old typewriter for a while, which gave way to something called a word processor, which was a stand-alone device made writing and editing text, and eventually I got a computer—which really messed things up.

The thing is, I can remember getting something called writer’s cramp. If you remember that, then you probably recall how painful it was. Back then, did anyone ever wonder whether that would lead to the evolution of a claw like hand?

Could evolution have consequences pertinent to people who are always looking up at the sky looking for UFOs? Some of them, for some unexplained reason, never seem to have a smartphone with them. Anyway, could their eyes migrate, carp-like, to the top of their foreheads to counter neck strain? And could this lead to the evolution of a third eye in the center of the forehead? It would prevent falling into manholes. There are other consequences from evolving into a cyclops.

We would be adept at forging thunderbolts. We would be very talented at cultivating vineyards and herding sheep and goats. But our tempers would still be pretty bad, even worse. We would abandon courts of law and ignore justice. We would be violent giants, feasting on the flesh of ordinary humans. All this because we kept searching the sky, hoping to see UFOs and see ETs, which we would eventually resemble anyway because of our preoccupation with our devices.

I have a pretty good supply of pens and paper.

Me and the Deer Caught in the Critter Cam Lights

I reset the mode of our critter cam to shoot both pictures and videos yesterday. One viewer suggested I walk around our yard as a check to see how this works. I did get up and traipse around this chilly morning shortly after 6:00 AM, took pictures of bright objects in the night sky (funny how celestial bodies can induce a sense of lost time…), and listened to an owl hoot and a dog bark.

The drain tile grate was still undisturbed. It was dark but I didn’t step in any poop; I checked my shoes. The specimen I shoveled up the other day was probably just dog poop.

Also, we caught some deer trotting through the yard as well. The video and pictures look pretty good. You can see the garden grasses blowing in what was probably a 14 mph wind out of the northwest.

That’s more like it. I set it for video mode only and we’ll see what happens tonight. You may want to turn up the volume on your audio speakers to hear the sounds in the video below.

Attack of the Giant Fried Rubber Chicken Livers!

Have you ever wondered if anyone ever made a movie about an attack on planet earth by fried rubber chicken livers? Boy, am I glad I’m not the only one. I suppose I could check the MeTV channel to if any such film was ever aired by Svengoolie.

What do you mean you never heard of Svengoolie?

I used to watch Svengoolie a long time ago. It’s this guy called Svengoolie, played by Rich Koz, who hosts really awful horror movies. I could watch them for about 10 minutes before I had to switch to something which wouldn’t bore me or make me gag—which I realize often can’t be done nowadays.

Svengoolie would make corny jokes and get rubber chickens thrown at him. That was actually the best part of the show.

Part of what made me think about this was reminiscing about the early 1970s when I lived at the YMCA and worked for a consulting engineer company called WHKS & Co.

You got a single sleeping room at the YMCA and there was no kitchen. Frankly, it was for old guys who had no place else to go and for young guys trying to find out how to go somewhere else.

I ate in cafes a lot. I also picked up a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken take out. I realize it’s called KFC nowadays. But back in the 1970s you could openly buy a box of fried chicken livers as a side dish at KFC. I think I began eating them because they’re actually a pretty healthy food item if you prepare them right. You could get a generous serving of them. They were occasionally a little tough to chew—a little on the rubbery side.

You can’t get any franchise owners to admit they sell them now. You’ll see web articles that mention you can still get them at what they call certain “regional” stores. You can also maybe still get KFC chicken gizzards. Neither is on any official menu.

The connection here is fried tough chicken livers and bad old horror movies hosted by Svengoolie who makes corny jokes and dodges rubber chickens. I can easily imagine somebody making a throwback classic B Horror movie called “Attack of the Giant Fried Rubber Chicken Livers.”

Wouldn’t that be great?

Try watching Svengoolie sometime. You might not like the movie, but you’ll get a big kick out of Svengoolie.

What’s Up with No Critter Cam Pictures Last Night?

Things did not go according to plan last night with the critter cam. It took zero pictures. What gives? I’m sure I had the timer settings right. It’s a 24-hr. military time clock and it was set for 1930 to 0730 starting yesterday evening. The grate was undisturbed and maybe that’s the explanation.

Could there be a problem with taking night time pictures? I checked a web site about that, “Trail Camera Not Taking Night Photos? 7 Things to check.” As far as I can tell from the list, there is nothing seriously amiss.

The area of interest is well within our camera’s 65-foot detection range. I suppose the problem might be the alkaline batteries, but it took pictures in dim light of me just fine. The memory card is brand new, formatted and I deleted any test pictures I took so there was plenty of storage. The camera is rated to 13 degrees below zero and it didn’t get close to that last night. It’s not shooting black pictures—it’s taking no pictures.

I could be wrong, of course, but I don’t think it had anything to do with night time. It took pictures of me in dim light and daylight just fine. The camera was pointed in the right direction according to the daylight test shot I took this morning.

No pictures might just mean no action. That doesn’t mean unusual things can’t happen. I ran across a headline today on the web, “Mountain Lion sighting in South Central Iowa.” The animal was filmed in Madison County, which is not far southwest of Des Moines.

Anyhow, I got an idea about a different approach today. I think I figured out how to mount the camera on the stand with base included in the box. Feel free to point out any mistakes I made putting it together. The manual didn’t include instructions on how to assemble it. I also could not find any YouTube or other internet guidance. It’s like nobody else thought it was important enough to tell newbies how to do basic things with trail camera field mounting.

I know the stand is supposed to be secured to something with screws, but I couldn’t find a suitable place to install the tiny wood screws with funny looking plastic sleeves.

Instead, I placed the camera with the stand along with a couple of heavy rocks on the base on a patio block. I took some test pictures, which looked OK. You can tell which pictures are which by the time stamp. The post mounting shot was at 9:46 AM; the stand on the block picture was at 11:23 AM. I think the latter would be as secure as the post mount.

There were either no trigger events or there was a malfunction. I doubt it was the latter, but I’m not the handyman or modern age Daniel Boone kind of guy.

For now, my new plan is to use the critter cam stand and rocks setup and try again, maybe tonight. I can just hear people groaning, “Rocks, are you joking? Extraterrestrials will just blast them with their ray guns!”

 I would like to try video, but for now I want to just make sure it’ll take photos as programmed.

Extraterrestrials Want to Cut a Deal with The Daily Crave

We tried The Daily Crave Spicy Sriracha Lentil Chips and they’re pretty good. Extraterrestrials like the snacks and are apparently interested in cutting a deal with Jared Edy, who I think owns the stores. They want a piece of the action. They are bringing satchels of cash to the table along with proposals to cease and desist corn tassel abductions, which are old-fashioned in any case.

Their history of the corn tassel controversy is complicated. It’s based on the aliens’ misunderstanding of detasseling. In their corner of a galaxy far, far away, corn tassels are alive and kept as pets. They think they are rescuing the tassels by abducting them. They think walking corn fields to detassel corn, which involves yanking out the tassels at the top of the plant, amounts to cruelty to animals.

Time for the short story about detasseling from an Iowan who has done it. The tassel is the male part of the corn plant. It pollinates the corn ears, which are female parts. To make corn hybrids, farmers and seed companies must cross pollinate the corn. To make sure the right pollen from one type of corn gets to another, they must hire hundreds of people (often college students) to detassel the corn which isn’t earmarked (get it?) for cross-pollination.

I’ve done detasseling and it’s one heck of a chore. At the end of the day, my hands and arms were so sore I could barely lift them. I was exhausted, but when I tried to close my eyes at night, all I saw were endless acres of corn.

It turns out that careful explanations of what detasseling corn is all about on this planet cleared this up for aliens.

There are many stores across the country selling The Daily Crave chips. Several are in Iowa, mainly in the Des Moines area. That may be why some Iowans occasionally see UFOs.

Extraterrestrials Need Lentils Anonymous Program

Sena bought a bag of Spicy Sriracha Lentil Chips yesterday. They’re at the center of an extraterrestrial news flash on the web site of the company, The Daily Crave, which sells a lot of healthier snack food items. They’re mainly plant-based.

Apparently, extraterrestrials are known to have a tendency to get addicted to lentils. What proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the website listing for The Daily Crave is directly below the website listing for the Reddit description of the Star Trek: Next Generation episode (S01E19) which details the sale of lentils to aliens. Lentils are a highly addictive drug to extraterrestrials, although they tend to bore me—and a lot of other snackers. Funny, I can’t find anything about it in the Wikipedia entry for that 1988 episode entitled “Coming of Age.” And I didn’t watch it.

Can you beat that? I love science!

The Daily Crave news item (“Crop Circles coincide with missing new snack displays”) on the website differs from what’s on our bag, which has the headline “Missing Snack Displays Blamed on Aliens.”

There’s also a Lentils meme for the Ancient Aliens hair guy, Giorgio Tsoukalos. It’s like almost all of the memes: a picture of him with his wild hair and a weird fake quote. This one has the word “Lentils” on it. What more proof do you need to support government funding of a Lentils Anonymous (LA) program for aliens?

On the other hand, you have to wonder whether dusting a little sriracha on lentil chips would make them taste zestier instead of just making me load them up with chip dip, a substance known to instantaneously transform humans into aliens.

There are also several flavors for Quinoa Chips (pronounced KEEN-wah). Quinoa is also very good for you. Contrary to popular belief, Himalayan Salt Quinoa Chips will not grow hair on your chest, according to many extraterrestrial scientists.

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