On laying hose

So you think you want to be a fireman, eh kid?

The hose that runs from the fire hydrant to the fire truck is called supply line. Most supply line is 3 inches or more in diameter, and in Central Florida, it’s usually 5 inches. (Orlando uses 4 inch, but that is because they typically have fire hydrants that are close together).

First, a bit of engineering.

The reason for this is hydrodynamics and friction loss. The average water main pressure is about 65 psi. At 1,000 gallons per minute, a 3 inch hose loses 80 pounds of pressure every 100 feet of hose length due to friction between the moving water and the hose itself, while a 4 inch diameter hose loses 20 pounds of pressure, and a 5 inch hose loses only 8 pounds. That means, if you want longer hose lays with high flow, the larger the diameter of your supply line, the better.

There is a lot of math involved in being the driver of a fire engine. You need to be able to calculate your friction losses in your head, rapidly, and remember that the lives of the guys in the burning building depend on you getting it correct. When you are flowing 2,000 gallons per minute through half a dozen different hose lines at 2 in the morning at a burning strip mall isn’t the time to realize that you are math deficient.

5 inch supply line has what is called a “sexless coupling” meaning that there is no male or female end, the couplings are interchangeable (butbutbut WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 872+ GENDERS?!?—M). This allows you to start laying from either the fire to the hydrant, called a reverse lay, or from the hydrant to the fire, called a forward lay. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but we won’t talk about that in this post.

My fire truck carried 1200 feet of 5 inch diameter supply line. That means with standard hydrant pressure, I could get a bit more than 800 gallons per minute into my engine without having to put another fire engine at the hydrant to boost pressure.

A whole bunch more fascinating stuff regarding what-all you need to know but almost certainly don’t when it comes to how fires are fought nowadays is included in this must-read post from Divemedic. Even if you never cared anything about being a fireman when you grew up—I didn’t, I admit, nor about being a cowboy, although being an astronaut did sound pretty cool—this stuff is just too good to miss out on reading, and you shouldn’t. There’s a video too, just for additional incentive to go check it out.

Back when I was working at the H-D shop, my boss Goose wanted desperately to be a fireman, but after failing the dummy-drag test three times he finally had to give it up as a lost cause. Goose practiced and strength-trained for months and months—and being a former USMC F4 mechanic, you know he wasn’t lacking in either intelligence or iron-willed determination—but in the end he’s a small, slight fella and those damned dummies are damned heavy. In fact, I think the dummy actually outweighed him by about twenty-thirty pounds.

At any rate, from hearing Goose talk about it, I probably know more than the average bear about what it takes to be a fireman, but even so DM still covers things I never heard about before.

Denominational cues ‘n’ clues

The handiest, most concise guide for the Christianity-curious you’ll ever find.

It can be so confusing, trying to figure out which of the 437 Christian denominations you want to join. In fact, scientists believe there are almost as many denominations as there are genders. That’s a lot of different ways to do church!

Luckily, we’re here to help you sort through them all. Here are the pros and cons of each of the major Christian denominations:


Pro: Potlucks

Con: Diabetes


Pro: Majestic old hymns that cause your soul to rejoice in God’s glory

Con: You are not allowed to move a single muscle while rejoicing in God’s glory

Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church

Pro: Positive, uplifting messages

Con: Hell

Eastern Orthodox

Pro: Full, robust beards

Con: The women have them too


Pro: Hit your step goal 20 minutes into service

Con: Non-zero chance of getting knocked over by the pastor and/or bitten by a snake


Pro: Can have a beer & cigar with your priest

Con: Decent chance your priest is a drag queen

United Methodist Church

Pro: Cool logo on church building

Con: Rainbow flag on church building


Pro: You can do whatever you want and there’s no God or hell

Con: Oh no! They’re wrong and now you’re in hell

Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to confirm whether the outlet from whence this excerpt was gleaned is a satire site or not, so you’ll just have to judge for yourselves.


Make it a for-real Black Friday this year…for THEM

Starve the Woke-corporation beast this holiday season.

Consumer Watchdog Lists 5 ‘Woke’ Companies to Avoid During Holiday Buying
Consumers’ Research issued a “Woke Alert” on Tuesday warning Americans not to buy from five prominent businesses in the country this holiday season.

The consumer watchdog listed Best Buy, Activision, Target, Nordstrom, and Home Depot as the firms to avoid while shopping. “These five companies went Woke, and now they’re vying for your business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep these companies’ woke antics in mind when you’re shopping for deals,” Consumers’ Research said. It advised people to “tell these companies to stop their woke ways.”

Follows, the naming of names, along with a brief summary of each PC retailer’s multiple offenses against decency, common sense, and Whypeepuh: Best Buy’s discriminatory restriction of its management-training program to non-caucasians only; Activision for same; Tarzhay you’ll doubtless be familiar with by now. The last two I hadn’t heard about before.

Luxury store chain Nordstrom is affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which runs the “Welcoming School Program.”

The program aims to “create LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.” HRC gives Nordstrom a 100/100 score for its promotion of LGBT policies at the workplace.

Over the past years, Nordstrom has donated almost $1 million to support LGBT activities. It has taken part in over 35 Pride festivals and parades across the nation.

Home Depot
Home Depot has also teamed up with HRC for the Welcoming Schools Program, which Consumers’ Research says is “specifically geared towards indoctrinating schools on how to promote LGBT ideology among vulnerable students under the guise of ‘inclusivity.’”

Sheesh. One wonders what, if anything, selling plywood sheets, 2x4s, hand tools, and assorted hardware has to do with LGBTQXR1369SKNXXX ideology. Which uncertainty, apparently, would reveal oneself as evil, unevolved, and not fit to walk around free amongst one’s ethical and intellectual betters.

Whatever happened to simply offering quality merchandise to interested customers at reasonable prices, your wares displayed in clean, well-organized stores staffed by courteous and competent personnel, pray tell? At what point did pimping the Progressivist ideological agenda become the most important part of your corporate mission? Do you malignant dickweeds actually believe your customers want you:

  • Proselytizing bizarre psychosexual dementia to their children
  • Officiously scolding them for their presumed racism, sexism, and/or homo-trans-Neegrow-Islamophobia
  • Udermining their family’s values, religious faith, and their childrens’ respect for and loyalty to their parents?
  • Deriding them for the deadly threat posed by their callous, unenlightened indifference to the climate, the culture, victimized minorities, world peace, “progress,” and general comity and civic well-being?

When did operating a chain of retail outlets become morally objectionable, the center of corporate focus shifted to political posturing rather than simply turning a profit for its shareholders? Has giving consumers value for their hard-earned money really become just très, très passé? Do you think your preaching, hectoring, and supercilious Woke-itude enhances the shopping experience for your customer base? Are you so deluded, so blissfully stoned-out on primo Leftist dope, that you seriously imagine the average customer has no choice but to buy from you and not your competitors?

Exactly what business do you shitheel CEOs think you’re in nowadays, anyway?

Update! Home Depot’s co-founder has to be quite displeased with the dark, dismal turn his former company has taken.

At 94, Home Depot Co-Founder Explains Why He’s ‘Never Been More Frightened for This Country’
“If you look at what’s going on around you, you know that we’re falling apart. Our economy is falling apart,” he told an audience in Palm Beach, Florida during an event for Job Creators Network, which he founded 10 years ago.

“I get up every morning, I swear to God, and I say, ‘what the hell is [President Biden] going to do today to kill our country? And he never fails to disappoint me. Something always happens every day that makes this country weaker, not stronger,” Marcus added.

He explained how different America was when he started Home Depot. Of course it was challenging, but the world then allowed them to succeed. Now, small businesses are being crushed by inflation.

Marcus called on all those in attendance to do everything possible to save the free market from socialism—because under such a system, small businesses “will not survive.”

Marcus said going back to the “old America” is key, which is in line with his recent endorsement of former President Trump as the right man for the job.

“We have to go back. Trump was right,” he said. “We have to clean the place out. And we need someone who’s going to have a lot of cojones to do it.”

A lot of cojones—and Level IV body armor, and armed security teams, and constant head-on-a-swivel SA, among other things.


I say it again: Enemies, Domestic

Not just enemies of Real Americans, not just enemies of America That Was, not just enemies of Christian, heterosexuals, and/or White Menz. Enemies of absolutely everything true, good, decent, and sane.

Antifa-linked far-left militants are fundraising for the release and legal aid of a Florida far-left trans activist accused of murdering a man, setting fire to his home and burglarizing his property. 

Matthew Daniel Temael, who uses the alias and trans name “Dandelion,” was arrested in September over the March murder of a man in Hawthorne, Putnam County, Fla. The 23-year-old Minnesota native is accused of stabbing Louis Stackhouse to death and then setting his mobile home on fire before going on the run with the victim’s vehicle. Temael was found driving the stolen 2008 Saturn Sky in Tampa during a traffic stop. Temael attempted to flee but was caught.

The website of extremist antifa-linked group, Anarchist Federation, put out a fundraising notice on Nov. 19 about Temael, who uses “she/her” pronouns.

“Dandelion is a transfemme Palauan youth anarchist incarcerated in Florida,” reads the post. “We aim to free her and help support her needs while she is inside.” 

Temael was indicted by a Putnam County grand jury on charges of first-degree homicide, first-degree arson, burglary and vehicle theft. Because a judge denied Temael bond, the far-left activists say funds raised for their comrade will go to “maintaining inside contact, software, or other materials,” as well as support for other “marginalized relatives in captivity with her.” Toward the end of the campaign, it says the money will also go to the unnamed people running the campaign.

More from Andy Ngo.

Because of COURSE he/she/theythem/it was. As Ace quips, gotta get them racistly-low white male crime stats up somehow, right?


True Hollywood stories

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll during the making of the Blues Brothers movie. Even more great behind-the-scenes tales than is usual in the movie biz, which is justly famous for them, with this long 2013 article, to wit:

One night at three, while filming on a deserted lot in Harvey, Illinois, Belushi disappears. He does this sometimes. On a hunch, Aykroyd follows a grassy path until he spies a house with a light on.

“Uh, we’re shooting a film over here,” Aykroyd tells the homeowner. “We’re looking for one of our actors.”

“Oh, you mean Belushi?” the man replies. “He came in here an hour ago and raided my fridge. He’s asleep on my couch.”

Only Belushi could pull this off. “America’s Guest,” Aykroyd calls him.

“John,” Aykroyd says, awakening Belushi, “we have to go back to work.”

Belushi nods and rises. They walk back to the set as if nothing happened.

Well, in Belushi World, nothing much had. Another:

Filming finishes in Los Angeles, in and around the Universal lot, where Aykroyd again takes up residence. John and Judy rent a house in Coldwater Canyon. “By the time we got to Los Angeles,” Aykroyd says, “[the shoot] was a well-oiled machine.”

By comparison, anyway. Production goes more or less on schedule, and Los Angeles injects its energy: parties at the Playboy Mansion, nights with De Niro and Nicholson.

Belushi summons periods of sobriety. By now he has met Smokey Wendell, a kind of bodyguard/anti-drug enforcer for Joe Walsh, a guitarist for the Eagles. “If I don’t do something now,” Belushi tells Wendell, “I’m going to be dead in a year or two.”

Belushi is on his best behavior while in the presence of the movie’s other musical stars: Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Cab Calloway. They, too, are in fine form. Even Charles, the crankiest of the bunch, laughs and laughs, usually while retelling the same dirty joke. The Blues Brothers presents a real opportunity for all of them, since all but Charles are in commercial ruts.

Not that this changes any of them. Marini, one of the horn players, spots Franklin taking a cigarette break. He approaches sheepishly, saying, “I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your work.” Franklin turns, glancing at the number on Marini’s football jersey. “Sixty-nine, huh?” she says, and turns away.

One day Aykroyd and Belushi raid the wardrobe department. Tanen happens to be in Wasserman’s office when Wasserman takes a call notifying him that two of Universal’s biggest stars, dressed as Nazi SS officers, have driven off the lot and onto the freeway. Tanen finds this hilarious. Wasserman does not.

Behind the scenes, it’s a different story. Daniel and Weiss are spent. And now they’re confronting the movie’s climactic concert scene. The finale requires Belushi and Aykroyd to do cartwheels, dance steps—the whole deal. It requires hundreds of extras. It requires the Hollywood Palladium.

Daniel gets a call from Weiss. “You better get down here,” Weiss says. When Daniel arrives, Weiss explains. A kid had ridden past Belushi on a skateboard. Belushi asked to ride the board. Belushi fell off the board.

Daniel finds the star clutching his knee and in serious pain. “This was bad,” Daniel recalls. “We had to deal with it in the most effective and emergency-like way. And there was one person who was wired into the Los Angeles medical community better than anyone else.” Wasserman. “I was one of the last people he wanted to hear from,” Daniel says. “The only thing he wanted to hear from me was ‘We’re done.’ ”

Wasserman calls the top orthopedist in town. “It’s Thanksgiving weekend,” the doctor points out. “I’m on my way to Palm Springs.”

“Not yet,” Wasserman replies.

Thirty minutes later, the orthopedist wraps and injects Belushi, who then grits his way through the finale.

End of story.

Or not.

It’s not; still tons more fascinating, entertaining inside dope left here, of which you should read the all.


Credit where due

Ken Layne always runs such great memes, I must say; in fact, I’ve swiped a good many of the tremendous backlog currently clogging my hard drive from his excellent establishment, and am grateful indeed for the opportunity. Just now I glommed a particularly good ‘un I’m gonna to dedicate to responsible adult and placental mammal Diogenes Sarcastica, who I am pleased and privileged to consider a blog-pal, just because I’m confident she’ll get a chuckle out of it when it runs here tomorrow evening.

As I like to tell myself I am, Miz DS is a weirdo in all the very best ways, which is why I figger she’ll pick up on it. No, I ain’t gonna say which meme it is, that would spoil the whole thing for everybody. Y’all will just have to figure that out for yourselves.

The Pissing Tree of Montenegro

I thought this vid was pretty funny, and no way was I going to miss out on using that title, which sprang to my warped mind immediately upon seeing it. “Sprang,” get it? A-HENH!

Piss on, O mighty Pissing Tree! Even the angle at which it leans gently back while the internal pressure is, um, relieved is perfect. The only thing missing is one branch thrown forward, arm-like, as if to brace itself against the bathroom wall above the pot.

Good thing trees don’t wear pants, as the wet spot left thereon by the splashback from such a copious flow would be quite embarrassing—a spot which not even the most extravagantly long untucked shirttail would be adequate to conceal from disdainful public scrutiny after exiting the facilities. The blushful stagger back to the bar is always a Walk Of Shame of sorts, made with one’s head hung down in hopes that no one will see his face and recognize him.

Trees being immobile, our friend PToM is also cruelly robbed of one of the primary pleasures of stand-up urination, namely writing one’s initials in the snow. Every man reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about here. And is probably smiling at the memory of the last time he did it.

Via our esteemed chum KT, whose own title is a real gem of sly, understated wit in its own right: Ah, Nature. Ahhh, indeed.


A little good news

Contra the self-obsessed blubbing of shitlib idiot and sportsball also-ran Megan Rapinoe, God is real, and He’s laughing His almighty ass off.

Guest Column: God Here. Megan Rapinoe’s Career-Ending Injury Is Proof That I’m Real.
I thought it would be hilarious, and it was.

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN—Hey, folks. God here. I’m writing in response to recent comments from Megan Rapinoe, a human female best known for playing the so-called sport of soccer, or “Satan’s Folly” as we call it up here.

Rapinoe invoked my name on Saturday after injuring her Achilles tendon in the opening minutes of the National Women’s Soccer League Championship. It was the final game of her professional career.

“I’m not a religious person or anything and if there was a God, like, this is proof that there isn’t,” Rapinoe told the demonic cretins you call journalists during the post-game press conference. “This is f—ed up. It’s just f—ed up. Six minutes in and I eat my Achilles.”


I knew this would happen, obviously, but that doesn’t make it any less hilarious. The last game of Rapinoe’s career—the league championship, no less—and she injures herself immediately then has to watch her team lose from the sidelines. I’m still laughing about it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I technically “created” Rapinoe and “love” her the same as all my “children,” even the ones who deny my existence. Even the ones who worship Satan and play soccer, to the extent there is a difference.

Nevertheless, I think we can all agree Megan Rapinoe is an obnoxious shrew who had it coming. Right? I’m willing to forgive almost anything, but one thing I simply can’t abide is disrespect for my country, the United States of America. Just ask Gabe Kapler or Colin Kaepernick.

Did I take it too far? Maybe. When the U.S. women’s soccer team protested the National Anthem during the World Cup earlier this year, I made sure they were humiliated by Sweden, an inferior country. I engineered it so Rapinoe, playing in her final World Cup, would contribute to the loss by whiffing a penalty kick, one of the easiest shots ever invented in the history of sports.

“That’s like a sick joke,” Rapinoe said after the crushing defeat. It sure was. “Sick” as in awesome.

Heh. Seconded from here below, dearest Lord. Many humble thanks for checking in and keeping Your obedient, devoted children hip to the Heavenly haps like this.



Man bites dog.

BLM Leader Stumps for Trump Because He Is the ‘Best Candidate We Have’

*Shakes head dazedly, rubs forehead in puzzlement, gulps audibly several times* Wait….whut…whut…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUUU…

The co-founder and former Senior Director of the Rhode Island chapter of BLM, Mark Fisher, is now on tour stumping for Donald Trump and advocating for the rights of the Jan. 6 protestors.

In an interview with political analyst Kim Iverson earlier this week, Fisher called the policies of Democrats anti-capitalist and disastrous for blacks. 

“We want to create wealth. We want to gain wealth, leave something for our children, you know.” Fisher also spoke out against abortion and liberal policies that promote it, saying that the act “goes against the laws of nature” and the “laws of procreation.”

Then, taking aim at the Democrats and whether or not they benefit the black community, he added, “I’m not here to judge anybody, or to hate on anybody. I’m just telling you what’s beneficial and what’s not for my community, and the Democratic Party is not.”

Fisher believes that black Americans have “been mental slaves” who have historically pledged universal loyalty to the Democratic Party. However, that party has not delivered results or tangible improvements in return.

He lamented that “we’ve been used and abused for so long by that party. They don’t value our vote. Their policies are basically racist policies, and I believe it’s a racist party that strikes at the heart of the black family and the nuclear family in general.”

Fisher’s comments come as the Biden campaign and Democrats in general face a crisis with black voters who are leaving the radical left in droves as illegals continue to flood urban areas. Inflation is unchecked and many in the black community feel abandoned and ignored by their representatives.

Turning his attention to Trump, Fisher had this to say:

“Well, you know, I like Trump, and I think right now who we have sitting in the Oval Office is just a deep disappointment, you know? I deeply have disdain for him, and I really dislike the Vice President as well.”

He then added, “And I believe Donald Trump, he’s the opposite. He’s gonna tell you how it is. He’s gonna give it to you straight. He’s not gonna be a hypocrite and stab you in the back like the Democratic Party loves to do.”

Fisher has also been outspoken in his defense of those being held for the events that took place on January 6, 2021. In an interview with the Epoch Times, he said:

“They’re lambs led to slaughter to be sacrificed as an example for all who might want to dissent in the future. This is what the government does to those who express independent thought and want to stand up for what they believe.”

Okay, I am forced to admit at this point that this is yet another thing I did not no way no how see coming. I seem to be saying that a hell of a lot lately, but then I guess that’s just the kind of world we live in nowadays. At any rate, welcome to the party, Mr Fisher. Whatever else it might be, it’s certainly one hell of a ride, and we’re most glad to have ya along.


All kinds of UNEXPECTED!™

Haven’t run a Quora Digest story in quite a while now, so let’s remedy that lapse, shall we? This is a good ‘un, involving Metallica vocalist/rhythm guitarist James Hetfield.

What is James Hetfield like in person?
James Hetfield phoned me several years ago out of the blue regarding a vintage Airstream trailer I restored and was selling. The trailer was a 1948 Airstream Wee Wind. There were about 62 made and there aren’t that many survivors. (I designed Airstream’s 75th Anniversary trailer and also build custom trailers) He purchased the trailer, and I had it shipped to California. A couple months later I flew out to LA to do a book signing. When it was over, I drove up to San Francisco and met him plus his family at the Marin/Sonoma car show near his home. He lives somewhere around that area. Spent the afternoon with everyone. He had the trailer at the event which he towed behind a 1947 Lincoln Zephyr. No one really noticed him as he was dressed pretty conservatively. I found him to be a nice guy. Didn’t seem to have a giant ego and genuinely listened while I showed him the various aspects of the Airstream. He also introduced me to some other car collectors at the event. It was a very enjoyable day. I’ve had other business dealings with James since and my opinion hasn’t changed. He also has been very generous, comping me great seats when they are on tour, and even onstage seats to their concerts. Is James Hetfield a nice guy? Hell yes.

Hetfield, an Airstream guy? Damn, that’s another one I didn’t see coming. I’ve always heard that, with the (very) occasional exception of axeman Kirk Hammett, the Metallica guys can be a bit unpleasant, shall we say, as a general rule. After years and years of mega-stardom, hit record after hit record, and all that touring on the long, arduous slog to the tippy-top of the rock and roll slagheap, it’s kinda understandable, really. Nice to hear that t’ain’t necessarily so just the same.

No embed this time out—not because I have anything against ‘em, mind; I like their stuff just fine, ever since the Black Album at any rate. I just kinda burned myself out on ‘em around the time Garage Inc was released and “Whiskey In The Jar” got played into the fuckin’ ground, that’s all. I mean, they did a good job on it and all, but jeez-o-PETE, man.

It ain’t as if the band needs any promotional help from the likes of me anyhoo, so I’ll just hold my fire and wait for something more obscure, off-the-wall, and non-ubiquitous to cross my path, methinks.


National laughingstock

Everybody was getting in on the act of mocking our moronic, shambolic pRetend pResident for Halloween, even the kids.

Beaucoup more examples at the link, all of them hilarious. No capo, consigliere, confrere, or co-conspirator of the Bribem Crime Familia is spared, and it’s good stuff.


Tricky treat

Never bothered too much about doing Halloween-specific posts before, but this year I thought it might be cool to gather up some photographic examples of the XTreem Punkin’ Carver’s art and post ‘em up here. It’s just amazing what these über-creative Jack O’ Lanterneers are capable of doing with, basically, a large orange squarsh. Out of all this gin-yoo-wine artistic genius, I gotta admit I like the last one best of all. What can I say, I’m a 60’s kid, and always will be. Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful, y’all.

HWeen 1

HWeen 2

HWeen 3

HWeen 4

HWeen 6

HWeen 7

It’s sad, the way they’ve all but killed off Halloween altogether over puffed-up “safety” concerns, almost all of them completely mythical, like the hoary old “razor blade in your apple” hoax. For years now, the only Trick or Treaters to be found in CLT have been in the more affluent neighborhoods. Just about anyplace else around town, forget it: no lights on in the windows; no glowing Jack O’ Lanterns on front porches illuminated by a candle within; no gaggles of costumed kids ringing doorbells and shouting with glee as they race across lawns or down sidewalks under the watchful scrutiny of their parental escort. No fun either, of any kind.

Be saaaafe!

In the neighborhood where I grew up, though, Halloween was a Big Honkin’ Deal—for us kids, our oh-so-jaded teenage siblings, and the grownups alike. Everybody, and I do mean EVERYBODY, got decked out in this year’s costume—spooky, funny, or completely off-the-wall, store-bought or homemade—made the candy-collection rounds, then gathered at Mayor Black’s house atop the hill midway along Cedar Lane for the annual Halloween Party. It started off small, strictly a neighborhood event, but pretty soon crashers started coming from all over Mount Holly for it, more and more each year as word got around. The last few years, there were more than a hundred of ‘em. Nobody minded provided the newcomers were respectful of the neighborhood and the family-friendly nature of our humble get-together; all were warmly welcomed by the original Cedar Lane Gang.

The Black’s attached garage was re-made into a Haunted House for the shindig, elaborately rigged with scary black lighting, the classic Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House LP piped over outside speakers, a narrow, twisty maze created by old bedsheets hung from the ceiling. After all interested parties had gotten their chance to be traumatized for life by a walk-through of this chamber of horrors, the annual Telling of the Ghost Story commenced.

The huge back patio/deck/whatever (Inline update: NOT a deck, in fact; this was many years before those came into vogue) would be decorated to the nines, an arduous all-day labor for several neighborhood volunteers. After the Garage of Ghastliness was closed down for the night, everyone sat knee-to-knee, Indian-style, on the patio pavement in a large circle. A king-size sheet was draped over our laps for concealment, and various scarifying objects were passed hand-to-hand underneath the sheet as they came into the tale. To wit: a small bowl with two peeled grapes representing the eyeballs torn by some fiend or other from the sockets of one hapless character; a large bowl full of ooey-gooey spaghetti noodles for a human brain eaten by the marauding zombie horde; a skinned section of carrot appropriately sized as a stand-in for a finger ripped by a blood-drunk werewolf from yet another victim’s hand, etc.

Every October 31st, affrighted shrieks, moans of dread, shouts of warning, and peal after peal of raucous laughter pierced the night of our ordinarily tranquil small-town community right on into the wee hours. Everybody you knew would be out and about; you were guaranteed to run into all of your friends sooner or later as the evening progressed, although depending on your confrere‘s level of costume-crafting acumen it could sometimes be almost impossible to ascertain who it was you might be talking to at any given moment. Once, when I was 14, my next-door neighbor Michelle seized me fiercely from behind this enormous hedge on the Black’s front lawn, yanked me in tight against her, and planted a long, passionate soul-kiss on my flabbergasted self without me having the slightest idea of who it was I’d just been so pleasantly molested by.

Then she pulled her crazy fright-wig off her head, rubbed the now-smeared Ghoul Girl makeup off her face with her sleeve, and grinned merrily at me. So naturally, once the identity of my mysterious assailant had been revealed, I avenged my stolen honor in full with some serious smooching-back of my own…among other unmentionable indecencies. Michelle was a year younger than me, and by then we had already been indulging in a great deal of similar sin and wickedness any time we could sneak off for a little private together-time.

These days, though? The local constabulary would have the handcuffs on my wrists and my young ass locked in the back of a black-and-white and whizzing off to the jug before I could so much as wipe her blood-red lipstick off my mouth. Next morning, I’d be hauled before a whey-faced judge to answer charges of

  • 1st Degree Sexual Harrassment of a Pyrrsnzz Of Vagina
  • Knowingly Disrespecting a Strong, Brave Wrymrynzzz With Malicious Intent
  • Multiple counts of Felonious Heterosexual Conduct Absent Proper Consent Documents, duly completed, signed, and registered in septuplicate with the County Magistrate
  • Getting Teenage Kicks Right Thru The Nite without the required license, tax stamp, and accreditation
  • Aggravated Subjugation by Male Gaze
  • Unlawful Mutual Attraction
  • Toxic Masculinity Causing Grievous Bodily Injury, Emotional Distress, and Fainting Dead Away to Authorized Nookie-Code Enforcement Officers

and a whole slew of other Hate Atrocities. Even worse, all our hubba-hubba heavy breathing as we rounded Second Base and slid spikes-up into Third introduced a serious surfeit of deadly CO2 emissions (The Silent Killer!!©) into our extremely fragile planetary atmosphere, irreparably scrambling Nature’s Perfect Harmonious Balance for the first time in Earth’s history and thereby helping to destroy poor Mother Gaia even worse than She otherwise would have been.

Sad? Hell, it’s downright pathetic.

Update! Almost forgot about one consistent H-Ween tradition here at Ye Aulde Colde Furye Blogge: the annual reposting of these Fright Night favorites. Whether you’re trick-or-treating, soaping windows, or rolling houses, these songs should be the soundtrack music.

You might think of Jumpin’ Gene Simmons as just another one-hit wonder, but t’ain’t necessarily so; in the RaB world, he’s well-known for quite a few other excellent selections.

Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s hilarious mugging and facial clowning throughout really brings this one to (undead) life nicely, don’tcha think?

Hey hey hey, it’s Screamin’ Jay—what more can you say? Actually, quite a lot: as with Simmons, there’s much more than meets the eye to this brilliant performer.

Jalacy J. “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins (July 18, 1929 – February 12, 2000) was an American singer-songwriter, musician, actor, film producer, and boxer. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances of songs such as “I Put a Spell on You”, he sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him an early pioneer of shock rock. He received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance in the 1989 indie film Mystery Train.

Hawkins was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. At the age of 18 months, Hawkins was put up for adoption and shortly thereafter was adopted and raised by Blackfoot Confederacy. Hawkins studied classical piano as a child and learned guitar in his 20s. In a 1993 interview, Hawkins recounts telling his music tutor,

…to leave before I make your life miserable […] because with the type of music I want to play. The things I want to do with music and don’t want to do it the old conventional way that everybody knows. I want to come up with my own ideas. I’ve got all the information that I need to get from you to do what I want, now if you stick around, I’m going to make your life miserable.

He attended the Ohio Conservatory of Music, where he studied opera. His initial goal was to become an opera singer (Hawkins cited Paul Robeson as his musical idol in interviews), but when his initial ambitions failed, he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist. Other influences included Mario Lanza, Enrico Caruso, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Brown, Amos Milburn, Wynonie Harris, Nellie Lutcher, Roy Brown, Jimmy Witherspoon, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Roy Milton, Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins and H-Bomb Ferguson.

He joined the US Army with a forged birth certificate in 1942 (aged 13), and allegedly served in a combat role, with his fellow soldiers and higher-ups around him ignoring the fact he was substantially underage. During this time, he also entertained the troops as part of his service. In 1944, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, being honorably discharged in 1952. Hawkins was an avid and formidable boxer during his years in the US Army (and later Air Force) boxing circuit. In 1949, he was the middleweight boxing champion of Alaska.

See what I mean? And even yet, that’s still but a small part of the much-larger story. This next vid backs my contention regarding the man’s creative genius impeccably, I think.

I repeat: see what I mean?

Movietime update! Don’t know how well or even if this will work, but it’s worth a try. A while back, my cousin/BPs drummer Mark gave me a flash drive on which were reformatted copies of some old Super-8 home movies his dad filmed way back when, which Mark had had converted to digital—including this footage from one of those wonderful Halloween parties chez Black. At just shy of 90 megs, the file might not play all that nicely with Ye Aulde CF Blogge, but I hope it does.

Yes, my younger self is sure to be in there somewhere, but I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly where.

Don’t know what year this was, so I don’t know whether to be looking for myself as a wee lad or a teen or tween or what. I was able pick out a few familiar faces though, including one pretty little girl I’m fairly sure was my friend Michelle, so that would tend to indicate that I woulda been just a young ‘un, and that the footage was taken around 66 or 67, maybe.

A LIGHT DAWNS update! Oh holy SHIT, the kid in the coonskin Dan’l Boon cap at 3:36 just about has to be my little brother Jeff; he’s there and gone again so fast it’s impossible to tell for certain. The replica blunderbuss he’s carrying Mark and I both also had, with matching flintlock-style pistols to complete the set, but I don’t recall any other among the neighborhood youths ever wearing a coonskin cap but my brother. And HIM, you could no way no how induce to take the darn thing off, he wore it constantly until it was nothing but a tattered, battered old rag.

So, y’know, there’s that. If it IS Jeff, from the looks of his likely age the movie would’ve been shot around 1970 or ‘71, probably. That would make me 10 or 11 years old at the time; Jeff would be 8 or 9, Michelle 9 or 10. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Further review update! Okay, at 1:22 you can DEFINITELY see Michelle’s baby brother Lee front and center, with what’s probably middle-sister Jackie bouncing up behind. So it can only be my dear little Michelle standing beside him there, as I’d thought. She looks to be chomping on a mouthful of bubblegum, which would have been just like her budding-wild-child self in those days. Then, suddenly, she grew a whole shirtful of fabulous knockers, and before you could say Bob’s your uncle it was off to the races for me and her.

Last time I spoke with Michelle ma belle, she was a semi-bigshot with Capitol Records out in LA and doing very well for her Born Bad self, thank you, after a cpl-three unsuccessful marriages followed by a brief but, ummm, intriguing experiment with lipstick-lesbianism—which she told me all about in knee-weakening, cheek-reddening detail, as had always been her wont. That conversation must’ve been, jeez, 25-30 years ago now. Like her mom Pat before her, she’d always been rebellious, rowdy, ferociously independent, and fond of saying and/or doing outrageous things for the shock value alone. It’s a real mystery why the two of us got along so famously right from the start. Can’t figure that one out. A-HENH!

Wonder what might have become of Mitchy (a nom she adopted after she left her mom’s place to strike out on her own at the tender age of 22) since that last chat we had. Hope she’s still hale and hearty, enjoying herself, drinking deeply of life in all its heady richness. I can’t imagine her doing anything else.


The very best of the very best

Two absolute beauties via our bud KT, she of the Saturday Pet Thread, among other fine and wonderful things. First, Dame Judy Dench demonstrates why she’s considered one of the all-time greatest actresses, with a spellbinding from-memory presentation of a sonnet by the greatest writer of all time.

The entire spectrum of human emotion evoked in one gorgeous stroke of pure artistic genius, right there. The way Shakespeare shifts gears from the darkling pits of despair right to transcendent, unleavened joy at the lines “Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising/Haply I think on thee, and then my state…” is as pluperfect an example of the power and sweep of the English language—as well as both Shakespeare’s and Dame Judy’s command of it—as can possibly be imagined. If this sort of thing touches your heart as deeply as it does mine, you may find the room you’re in to be a lot dustier than you realized by the end of the vid. Graham Norton really says it all with his final word: “WOW!”

Next, Camille Saint-Saëns shows why he’s probably the all-time greatest of what’s known in some quarters as the Progressive Era of orchestral-music composers with his immortal Dans Macabre.

Many, many thanks to KT for posting these uplifting links for us.

The fabulous Flatiron

A Big Apple architectural icon is getting a makeover.

Flatiron Building, Famous New York Landmark, to Be Converted to Condos
The triangular 22-story building, which has been vacant since 2019, may be among the highest profile office-to-residential conversions

New York City’s historic Flatiron Building is officially preparing for its new life as a home to condos. 

Following an auction of the property earlier this year, The Brodsky Organization has most recently bought a stake in the landmarked building — which is owned by GFP Real Estate. The investment confirms that the building, which sits at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, will be converted into condos.

Sources confirmed Brodsky’s stake, as well as the “likely” conversion, to The Messenger. The deal was first reported by The Real Deal.

The triangular 22-story landmark located at 175 Fifth Avenue has a typical floorplan of 10,600 square feet, with a total square footage of 255,000 square feet, according to materials by GFP. At the May auction, GFP Chairman Jeffrey Gural estimated that the building would cost $100 million to renovate, in addition to the $161 million he dropped on the winning bid. 

Sources involved in similar investment sales say that the conversion will be rather pricey. It’s estimated that the developer would have to charge about $1,600 per square foot to break even and closer to $3,000 a square foot to turn a profit. The triangular floor plan may also make for oddly shaped apartments.

After the gorgeous Chrysler building, I have to say the modestly mid-rise skyscraper once derided as Burnham’s Folly stands second on my personal most-beloved list. So much did I dig it, in fact, that on my frequent long afternoon strolls around Lower Manhattan I usually made sure to arrange the route so it would take me by the dear old Flatiron at least once. When I did, I always had to stop for a few minutes and just gaze up at the oddly-shaped old gal from across Fifth Ave, drinking in her unique grace and beauty from the ground floor entrance to the add-on penthouse floor at the tippy-top.

For reasons I don’t pretend to understand, though, I never did go in to check out the interior. Go figger. But just you have yourself a gander at this pic and then tell me she ain’t a bona fide masterpiece of the architect’s art.

Flatiron Building

Funny story about the Flatiron that isn’t all that well-known, related to me years ago by Chris Pfouts, who definitely knew a thing or two about a thing or two concerning the classic structures of two once-great American cities, New Orleans and NYC: it enjoys the singular distinction of being the only skyscraper anywhere that was actually, literally stolen.

See, during the era when the Flatiron was being built, the Mafia had a certain renown for stealing materials, tools, and various fixtures from any construction site their crews were hired to work on (which was all of ‘em) to be resold elsewhere. So brazen and out of control had this New York tradition become that, while the Flatiron site was being prepared, those Cosa Nostra crews started jacking every girder, beam, door, and tiedown bolt they got their hands on, just as soon as the stuff was delivered to the site for later assembly.

Some city official totted up the losses years later and determined that such a ridiculously large quantity of material had disappeared that, in effect, two (2) Flatiron buildings could have been built. Sadly, New York ended up with just the one.

I’m glad she’s coming back, if only as exorbitantly-priced condos. Even after having stood vacant for several years, tearing the Flatiron down to puke up yet another nondescript glass box in her place would be unthinkable. I’m thankful that the new owner has smarts and vision enough to realize that the old girl has life left in her still, and I hope he makes himself a swoon-inducing bundle from the undertaking. New York just wouldn’t be the same without her.


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