Friday, January 15, 2021

If you only watch one YouTube video this month...

 ...make it this one.  This is GENIUS.  Wish I'd have thought of it :-D




Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A prediction

Five years from now Twitter will barely exist.  If it still does its market value will be significantly wiped out compared to today.

The board of that company needs to fire Jack Dorsey, now.

Even worse than other tech giants, Twitter is trying to be both publisher and platform.  It's not sustainably possible.  And it's heading toward disaster.

Expect an ever larger exodus of users from Twitter to competitors like Gab and Parler (the latter is supposed to be back online soon after its web services was yanked by Amazon, arguably against the terms of the service contract).

Saturday, January 09, 2021

A riot? Really?

Regarding the events a few days ago on January 6th at the Capitol in Washington D.C.:

I'm going to share some thoughts found on another forum.  And I think there's a very valid point being made. It's something that, to my shame, I had not realized. And I wish that I had already because it doesn't reflect well on my studies of media...

There was no "riot" at all. What we have seen was through the lenses of several cameras that were transmitting streaming video from inside the Capitol. There were a lot of people inside because Capitol police had respectfully allowed them inside. The acts of vandalism, the breaking into the Senate chambers, the smearing of feces (eeewwww...) etc., those were the works of a few agitators and there is speculation now that they were already poised well in advance of any who had attended the actual rally. Perhaps a few thousand dollars of damage was done.
 
The ones who perpetrated the acts of vandalism - like "horn-head guy" - have been or are being arrested and will be made to face justice. But other than those relatively few, there was no criminal or seditious behavior on the part of those present.
 
As usually happens, perceptions get magnified by the camera. It occurs all too often. Except this time, maybe by virtue of it being streamed live in close proximity to the action, those perceptions were made even larger. Our eyes were focused on the inside of the Capitol. Outside the Capitol the scene was much less raucous. There were no torches and pitchforks carried by an unruly mob. The people from the rally were doing what they in large part had intended to do all along: mass outside the Capitol.
 
I'm looking anew at some of the footage of what happened. It's like the difference between night and day, in contrast to what I saw a few days ago.
 
It's something I'm going to try to be more mindful of from now on.
 
 

Friday, January 08, 2021

I'm now on Parler

Today has been Red Wedding for a lot of online presence.  It began more or less with Facebook wiping out the #WalkAway movement this morning, a few days after banning President Trump.  Then Twitter banned Trump apparently for life (which makes me wonder if that might be breaking the law, since Trump's tweets could be considered public record).  And now it's Apple and Google threatening Twitter alternative Parler.

It's the night of the long knives in cyberspace.

Well, I've decided to begin migrating my microblogging to Parler.  I signed up for an account some months ago but in light of recent events it may be wise to prepare for the worst.  I was mostly using Twitter for the embedded feed on this blog.  Parler doesn't seem to have that capability yet but I'm hopeful.

Anyhoo, here I am on Parler @theknightshift.




Project: Ghostbuster, Part 2

A few days ago I posted the start of my newest endeavor: the assembling together a Ghostbusters uniform and gear, as close to screen accurate as possible.  I said then that this is going to take some time and I'm not in any particular rush to get it done, but I think that's for the best.  In the end, this getup is going to kick serious paranormal boo-tay!

The jumpsuit upon which to sew my new patches is coming.  That's still going to be the first element that gets some attention.  In the meantime I put some Amazon gift cards received for Christmas to good use.  Check out this bad boy that arrived this afternoon:


The officially licensed Spirit brand Ghostbusters Deluxe Replica Proton Pack.  Easily the most accurate reproduction of the Ghostbusters' signature piece of equipment available in mass production.  And we are going to upgrade this out the wazoo.  Painting, adding new lights, replacing some wires and cabling, mounting it on a military-grade backpack frame... this is the basic model and by the time we're done it's going to be the fully-loaded GT.  The only really glaring inaccuracy is that it's about 20% smaller than the packs used in the Ghostbusters movies.  But I figure that as technology improved over time it meant that the tools were able to reduce in size.  That's how I'm figuring it, until one day when I break down and spend about $900 to go all the way.  Until then, the Spirit proton pack is the way to go.

Next up: the jumpsuit.


Wednesday, January 06, 2021

My most serious prediction ever

Make a note of this.  January the Sixth, Two Thousand and Twenty-One.  Just before 1 p.m. EST.

If I'm wrong about this I'll eat my fedora.  No really, I will.

Here it is:

I do declare that four years from today, the United States will be in the WORST condition it has been in, in at least the past fifty years.

Hold me to this.  Do it.

I am dead-#@%$ serious.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Project: Ghostbuster, Part 1

Ed bedecked in finest Ghostbusters attire
Blame Ed Woody: one of my besties/occasional filmmaking collaborator/partner in crime (incidentally his little girl just turned one year old :-).

You see, for the past number of years I've been watching as Ed assembled his screen-quality Ghostbusters uniform.  It looks AMAZING up close and in person.  The pics do it no justice.  Just about every minutiae of detail has been replicated on his getup.  Right down to the yellow hose, which for some reason I've never noticed before.  As you can see it features the signature proton pack with neutrona wand (with modifications that make the prop light up).  And as you can see Ed has even added the special goggles that we see Ray Stantz wearing in the movie.

It is an astounding piece of work.  And ever since watching the results emerge from Ed's labors, I began to wonder if I could also have my own Ghostbusters costume.  I realized that I did.  It would be fun for the two of us to go out and bust some heads (metaphysically speaking of course).  And there are "franchises" - fan groups in many geographical areas - where people with uniforms and props do things like visit children's hospitals and help with charity work.  That would also be a fun use for a Ghostbusters outfit.

So on Christmas day, during a Facetime on our phones I opened the box that Ed and his family sent me for Christmas.  And look what was inside:

 

Not only a patch of the Ghostbusters logo, but a custom-made name patch.

Did Ed have any concept of the terrible, terrible beast he has unleashed?  But, there's no going back.  I gotta do something with those patches.  They look terrific!  Especially the "KNIGHT" one.

So with the patches in hand, I have decided to embark on a new project that will be chronicled on this blog: the putting together, piece by piece, of a set of Ghostbusters uniform and accompanying tools.

It's not going to be overnight.  Actually, I don't want it to be immediately.  Having a Jedi Knight costume was simple.  This is going to be much more intricate and involved.  It's going to be a study in detail and function.  It will likely take a few years before it's anywhere near complete.  But it's going to be fun.

So, what I have are two patches: the very start of the project.  The goal now is to build up the uniform beneath them.  Until at last there is going to be a photo of me wearing my own Ghostbusters costume.

It's already begun.  Since getting the patches I've spent much of the past week looking at the work of others, and catching details I'd never noticed at all before (like the "belt gizmo").  Last night I watched the original 1984 film, only this time casting a studious eye upon the costumes that Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson are wearing.  I noticed things that I'd never given any thought to before, like the frame upon which the proton pack sits.

This is going to take at least a year, maybe two.  But I think the results are going to be worth it.

First item we'll be working on: the jumpsuit.  I'm about to order it.  Let's see what those patches look like on real clothing.  Let's also see if I can sew them on without jabbing my finger with the needle.

Stay tuned.  There will be more to come.







Yay! Happy New Year!

Now, let us NEVER do that again.


EDIT 12:30 am EST:  As an aside, this blog saw 69 posts made during 2020.  That's the most since 2015!  Yes, The Knight Shift IS thriving again :-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Playing Christmas music... after Christmas


Today is December 30th.  And there is a major radio station nearby that is still playing wall to wall Christmas music.  My supervisor told me that they don't stop until New Year's Day.

At first I thought that was a little overkill.  Something that I touched upon in a post from last year.  I still believe that starting up the Christmas season earlier and earlier makes the entire year go by much too fast.

But while listening to the music while dining out last night (I still think that "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney sounds too much like the theme from A Clockwork Orange), it gradually dawned on me: that letting the songs play on after Christmas Day, is truly honoring the holiday and everything about it.

And the more I ponder it, the more I like it.  There is something just very right about letting Christmas run its course.  It shouldn't come to an abrupt halting stop on Christmas Night, take down the ornaments until next year.  Christmas Day should be the centerpiece of something larger.  It's better to have that day, and then enjoy the rest at a nice, easy pace.  Letting it wind down in peace, instead of making the big shopping to-do on the day after Christmas.

I don't know if playing Christmas music is something that should carry on through the full Twelve Days of Christmas, but it could still lead up to New Year's Day.  And when you think about it, that brings us gentiles on equal footing in comparison to our Jewish brethren and their eight days of Hanukah!

Maybe in years to come we will come to appreciate Christmas as but the most significant of an entire period of joy and celebration.  It is certainly something that I will be mindful of and endeavoring to honor.  And hey, it gives all the more compelling reason to keep watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation after the presents have been unwrapped.

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Winter Solstice Conjunction of 2020


 

Tonight is the Great Conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn. It's visible just over the south-westsern horizon, and will be there for a little while longer if you want to catch it. This pic was taken by my friend Steven Glaspie. His phone camera is a bit better than mine :-)

 

 

 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

To the young lady who came to the blog from the American Thinker article and asked if I was taken...

 Kindest miss,

Good lady, you make me blush furiously!

Sad to say, I am not taken.  But I would never stop thanking God if he did bring into my life some wonderful lass to court and woo and come to be joined in matrimony with.

Anyone wanting to inquire further can reach me by email at theknightshift@gmail.com

What I'm looking for in a lady is not much: someone who loves God more than she would love me, won't mind that I'm a Star Wars geek, loves to travel, and believes in ideas over ideologies.  Also must love dogs. I have a miniature dachshund.  Extra points if she enjoys the music of "Weird Al" Yankovic.

For the right person I'd be willing to relocate just about anywhere.



New article at American Thinker: respect for a fraudulent president

American Thinker this morning published my latest article.  "Must We Respect a Fraudulent President" says what it means and means what it says: in light of the significant amount of evidence that chicanery most foul took place during the November 3rd election, how can anyone in Joseph Biden's position claim to have a mandate to be the leader of the free world?

Here's a clip:

The matter of unjust measures is brought up at least nine times in the Old Testament. “Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good,” reads Proverbs 20:23. Absent reverence for holy writings, it still is to be noted: the ballot box is sacred. To violate it is to breach the contract that countless Americans have fought and suffered and died for.

And so circumstance not seen for a century and more has come about. We are faced with someone who will be sworn in as President of the United States… but has not earned true authority.

As always, this blog and its eccentric master welcomes any and all newcomers.  And thank you for choosing to read my humble essay.  It means a lot to me :-)



Saturday, December 12, 2020

Have never embedded a video from Rumble before...

 All the cool kids are telling me that Rumble is where it's at for videos which might otherwise not fit on some other hosting services.  Gotta wonder why that is.

So this was a very important game for me to watch today. Not just because I was rooting for Navy (the branch that my dad served in) but today was the very first time that I watched an American football game... and actually understood its rules!! This game has always mystified me, until lately when I took it upon myself to read the rules of the game enough times that I can finally understand it. Hey, I had to do something to occupy my time during the plague.

Well anyhoo, here's the beautifully performed national anthem before today's Army-Navy football game:


 

 

"Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars..."

 Look, I love Star Wars as much as anyone (maybe far too much more than anyone.  But what came out of the Disney Investor Event a few days ago worries me:


Ten... count 'em TEN... new Star Wars projects going on for the next few years.  Those are in addition to The Mandalorian.  Most of these are likewise going to be streaming series on the Disney+ service.  Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic are said to be spinoffs of The Mandalorian.  We knew that Obi-Wan Kenobi was coming (it begins filming next month) as well as the series about Andor from the movie Rogue One.  Ditto the animated series about the Bad Batch (introduced in the final season of The Clone Wars).

Do we really need... or were we at all asking for... a series about young Lando Calrissian though?  No offense to Donald Glover, I thought he nailed it in Solo: A Star Wars Story.  But seriously, it's going to have to  be something special to keep me tuned in every week.  The Rogue Squadron movie to be directed by Patty Jenkins piques my curiosity.  Done right, it could be a real homage to the fighter pilots of World War II (which George Lucas based the space fights in the original trilogy off of).

But to be honest, the only ones from this list of Star Wars projects - along with The Mandalorian - are the Star Wars: Visions animated anthology series (I have long argued that Star Wars needs an anthology series of fresh stories and new perspectives) and The Acolyte.  The latter said to be set some two hundred years before the time of the Empire, and focusing on the Dark Side.

THAT is what I want most from Star Wars right now.  Some new eras to open up and explore.  Instead it's as if Disney is to afraid to move away from the well of the Clone Wars-Empire times.

How much more are they going to milk that?  When there is some twenty thousand years of potential Star Wars lore to draw from and expand out into?

I want more Star Wars, no doubt about it.  But of greater import I want good Star Wars.  I want a saga that is fresh and full of surprises.  And what came out of the investors event fell short of fueling anticipation for anything like that.

The good thing about Star Wars though, is that you don't have to imbibe of all of it.  There's a lot of freedom to pick and choose which parts of the saga you will follow along with and which don't really satisfy your appetite.  So I can maybe skip some and still thrill to The Mandalorian.  Just like I have come to disavow The Rise of Skywalker almost completely.

(Hey Disney, give us that rumored "Lucas cut" of that movie instead!)


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

He had the right stuff

 


Chuck Yeager

February 13 1923 ~ December 7 2020

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Couple of hilarious music videos I came across

Awright, we could all use some laughter right now, no matter who you are.  And in the past few days I've come across some really good videos worth sharing.

First there's this parody of "Sweet Child O' Mine", performed by Guns N Helmets featuring Axl Rose Grogu aka "Baby Yoda":


And then there is this fine piece of work: heavy metal guitar accompanying televangelist Kenneth Copeland (who has always been pretty creepy to me):


Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Maybe the last real post I make about this election

The following post isn't going to endear me to some people.  Indeed, I removed it for awhile after it drew fire from some who I greatly respect.  I sincerely hope that, as Thomas Jefferson beautifully put it, this will be no reason to depart from friendship.

I am a historian and an observer of human nature.  And what comes now, is from a place I earnestly believe is an objective perch.  Or at least, I try to be objective.  I will write this and let future readers decide on the merits of this essay.  Because that's who I've always written for as much as those in the here and now.

 Ready?  Here goes:

My friends and family are well aware of a policy I have regarding elections.  It is very simple: I do not vote for a candidate who creates and broadcasts a negative campaign commercial aimed at an opponent.  And I keep to that no matter what.

Its genesis came about as a result of my running for board of education in 2006, and those wacky campaign ads I created.  Especially the "Star Wars" one.  There were three ads total.  None of them went negative.  Indeed, the third and final one was an "anti-negative ad" in response to another candidate's going all nasty.

I think I knew going in that I wasn't going to get elected (though with coming in 8th place out of 16 candidates, I nearly pulled it off).  But I was determined to make the campaign all my own.  To make people remember me long after the results came that night.  And I learned something from the experience: When you choose NOT to be negative, you become that much more creative.  You find ideas that you otherwise might have missed completely.

So long story short: I didn't vote for either of the two presidential frontrunners this past month.  They each blew their shot with me early on.

As I said, I keep to my policy no matter how much I may approve of how well a candidate has done in office.

Donald Trump?  I've never been a devotee of the man.  You'll never find me wearing a red "Make America Great Again" cap.  But I can and do recognize the good that the man accomplished in less than four years.  He did a lot to bring manufacturing jobs back to America.  He strengthened our borders.  Even now he's doing much to pull our men and women out of foreign wars they no longer belong in.  I could name a dozen or so things that the historian of my nature must admit are Trump's successes.

And no matter which man it was who was chosen by the people of the United States, I was going to support them and wish them well.  I would say that about anyone elected to such a high office.  Yes, even Biden.


That was assuming that the election was fair, without any evidence of impropriety.

But that is not the case, in the matter of the 2020 presidential election.

Indeed, the evidence has mounted from the wee hours of the morning following the election that there was a massive amount of impropriety.  I could recount them all here but Patrick Basham - among many others - has documented the puzzling irregularities better than I could.

And now?  I don't believe that Joseph Biden defeated Donald Trump.  And in a sane world I have no doubt that what Trump's attorneys are doing in pursuing every angle would fail to demonstrate that.

But it's not a sane world.

It is a corrupted world.  In ever facet of our culture.  Especially in our politics and our news media.  Oh bruddah, the things I could say about the media.  It almost makes me ashamed that I used to be a news journalist at all.

I'm enough of a realist to understand that come January 20th it's going to be Biden who takes the oath of office.

But I'm also enough of an observer of human nature to know that if Biden did indeed cheat, he isn't going to get away with it.

I remember the day the jury returned "not guilty" at O.J. Simpson's murder trial.  Our entire campus erupted in gasps of disbelief.  Nobody could believe that he had gotten away with it.  But as I told some fellow students: O.J. didn't get away with it.  "Someday, somehow, it will catch up with him. Maybe not in ways that we will ever see, but there will be justice meted out."

I see the same thing happening with Biden and Harris.

Oh yes, they are flush with victory now.  But the fact remains that there are between 70 and 80 million who did not vote for them.  And as the evidence of voter fraud grows, it's emboldening an asterisk next to Biden's name in the history books.

Personally, I don't see Biden lasting more than a year on the job.  Much less two.  He certainly will not run for re-election.

If this election was all on the up-and-up, I would be supporting Biden in his capacity as president.

But as things are now... I can't.  I just can't.  And neither will a lot of other Americans.

If there is a silver lining in all of this, it's that I believe in America enough to know that she bounces back from the worst.  Winston Churchill once remarked that the American people can always be counted upon to do the right thing after trying everything else and failed.

If there has been any wrongdoing at all in this election, it will not escape judgment.  I had no idea about Lyndon Johnson's "box 13" during his 1948 run for U.S. Senate.  But now?  He's an even bigger asshole than I originally thought.  Johnson is not well revered in the annals of modern American history.  And with each passing decade he is reviled more and more.

That is what I see happening to anyone who come to office as a result of fraud.

Joseph Biden may have wanted to be President.  But it may well be that sooner than later he will discover that wanting a thing is far different than having a thing.

 Again, speaking personally: I believe we are heading toward disaster.  There was no broad and unassailable mandate in Biden winning.  And as the evidence of vote massaging grows it's going to turn more and more people off from supporting Biden in any way.  He is set to become the most ill-regarded and unpopular President in any living memory.

I hope that I am wrong.