Random Blatherationings for September 18th

Looking for enlightenment, bubbie? If you look here you’ll be enlightened about the “rules” of this exercise. (I haven’t looked recently, so I may be breaking every rule – although I think there’s a rule requiring me to break the rules, so…) The three random seed words (from a NEW random word generating site) are “pail”, “garlic”, and “trailer”.

Pail – The first few dozen random Google hits are either for Garbage Pail Kid dolls on Ebay or for diaper pails on every retail site on the internet. Who knew that diaper pails were such a big business these days? But finally I hit a listing for “PAIL” which is the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) airport code for Iliamna Airport in Alaska. It looks like a mid-sized, regional airport with two runways, 5086 feet and 4800 feet long respectively. No tower, but I doubt that’s unusual in most places in Alaska. At least the runways are paved!

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the series “Flying Wild Alaska“. It was on the Discovery Channel for three years and I really enjoyed watching it. It was a hoot watching the Tweto family and their family of Era Alaska employees fly around through fall, winter, spring, and summer. (They apparently don’t have a regular route to Iliamna, though.) It really gave a good idea of what bush flying is all about and how critical general aviation is to just maintaining the basic necessities of modern life in a state bigger than Texas where there are fewer paved roads than in some counties down in the lower forty-eight. I’ll admit, sometimes they got all “reality TV” on you, building up some relatively minor thing (like a go-around) into a huge crisis. But there were plenty of other times when I was watching folks try to land on an ice runway in a Caravan or twin Otter with a fifty-knot cross wind in instrument conditions and I had nothing but total respect for the pilots who can do that!

Garlic – Yeah, yeah, yeah, world’s healthiest food, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Out here on the west coast, if you’ve been anywhere near the Bay Area or driven from LA to San Jose, you know about Gilroy, which bills itself as the “Garlic Capital of the World”. Going west on California Route 152, up over the coastal mountains from I-5, past the San Luis Reservoir and Pacheco State Park, you can smell the garlic ten miles before you get into town.

But today Google randomly led me to the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, which seems to be the east coast equivalent of Gilroy. And it’s coming up on September 28th and 29th! Serendipity Rears Its Ugly Head Yet Again! Food, drinks, musicians (including Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers!), games for the kids, and more! What’s not to love? And really, I say that sincerely, because if I were in the area and didn’t have other more pressing plans, I would be there because that all sounds wonderful.

Except for the Morris dancers. I never knew of Morris dancers or Morris dancing until I heard Stan Rogers talk about it on his live album, “Home In Halifax“. Track six, you know the one I’m talking about.

Wait, what? You don’t know who Stan Rogers is? Please go and instantaneously (or sooner) listen and learn to love all of his albums, then come back. We’ll wait…

OK, now that you know why you need to beware of the Morris dancers (WARNING – this link will take you to a video that shows that every horrible and terrifying thing said about them is true) and you have a deep and abiding love of Stan Rogers’ music, go and have a great time at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival (New York State Thruway exit #20, mile marker 101).

Say hello to Captain Squeeze for me!

Trailer – A word with two major meanings so Google either gives me a place to rent or buy something to haul behind my car or lets me look at upcoming movies. Rather than pick any one movie or television show trailer, I want to do a mini-rant about the movie trailer art form in general and one old one and one new one in particular.

First of all, I love movie trailers. I think that it’s brilliant how someone can take a couple dozen tiny little clips of a movie that lasts two hours and get you in the mood to plop down hard-earned cash to see the film when it comes out. I also think it’s extremely clever how some people in this day and age can mess with trailers and re-cut them to be for a completely different mood. The first one of these I remember seeing was a faux trailer for “The Shining” done as a romantic comedy, but just this week I saw another great one for “Monty Python & The Holy Grail” done as a serious medieval battle flick.

However, this is a power that can be used for evil as well as for good. In 2001 there was a trailer that is on my short list for the best ever made. It made me want to see a movie so bad it hurt. I had tears in my eyes every time I saw the trailer. Looking at all of the pictures of planes and incredible flying, I just wanted to let all of that flying SPFX wonderfulness just swallow me up and surround me for two hours. I knew that “Pearl Harbor” was going to be spectacular! Um, yeah, that “Pearl Harbor”. The one that turned out to be a film that I could barely sit through, one of the worst movies I had seen in years. Still a fantastic trailer, but a good example of a trailer that is 1000% better than the film it advertises.

Now, everywhere I look at the theater, online, or on television, there are new trailers for “Gravity“, which opens in the US on October 4th. They are all intense, gripping, spectacular, amazing, utterly terrifying, and I haven’t wanted to see a movie this badly since the original “Lord of the Rings” films first came out. I really, Really, REALLY want to see this film! I keep seeing comments from NASA folk and science fiction people who have seen sneak previews, and every single one of them says that it’s one of the most spectacular thing that they’ve ever seen.

I hope so. I need it. I couldn’t take another “Pearl Harbor”.

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Filed under Flying, Movies, Music, Random Blatherationings, Science Fiction

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