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It’s Thor’s Day! Time To Put Mjolnir Down! Ka-Boom?

Yeah, I hadta look it up but “Mjolnir” is the name of Thor’s hammer. – that implement/weapon which only he can lift – and when he does…KaBOOM!

It’s January 22nd and we are entering “Cabin Fever” time. Football’s just about over. Yeah, there’s hockey and basketball but really…and the weather is, well, not conducive to doing outdoor stuff. While there ain’t no tune about “Cabin Fever” that I know of, there’s the old rock stand-by, “Chest Fever”, which was recorded by The Band and Three Dog Night. Some, well at least one of you had, mentioned you did not recall ever hearing it, so here it is. BTW, they never use the words of the title in the song…

Three Dog Night – Chest Fever

                                                                                            WABBIT STHEASTHON

Hey, Wat! What day is it? It’s…

“National Celebration of Life” day. It’s been designated that we should all celebrate the lives of our children, which we should. After all, they are our scions.

…and…

“National Blonde Brownie Day”.  Well, the pic with this makes them appear like chocolate chip bar cookies. But hey, who cares? The’re great!

Our friends at histornet.com have pretty much all “war” stuff for what’s happened on this date but here are a few which aren’t necessarily that…

1879,   Some may have seen the 1964 film, “Zulu”, which detailed how 82 Brit soldiers held off a siege by 4000 Zulus at an outpost in South Africa’s Rorke Drift, which actually took place on this date.

1912,   The second Monte Carlo auto race was held. Nothing said about the first.

1939,   The Nazis removed the military officers’ “caste”, thereby tying them to their Party…not independent of politics. Keep moving. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

WHY I STILL AVOID THE BS OF CABLE TV-NEWS…

-So, there’s an item in t’day’s paper that the Speaker of the House has invited Israeli PM, Benji Netanyahu to address Congress. Why? Well, see, the Speaker and his party, disagree with Barry’s approach to sanctions levied on Iran. OK, fair enough. Time to play “Let’s Pretend”. Let’s pretend Mittsy won in ’12 but while doing so, he lost the House and then in ’16, the Senate, too. Then Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, invites Raul Castro to address the Congress as she and her party disagree with Mittsy’s on the sanctions being levied on Cuba. The caterwauling would be heard on Pluto!

My understanding is the President conducts foreign policy under the advice and consent of the Senate and our “foreign minister” is the SecState…not the Speaker of the House. The House controls any funding of the Prez’s foreign policy initiatives, so, they can and may show their displeasure when appropriations are set for a vote by voting against them. But they do NOT invite foreign leaders..especially those with an ax to grind involved with one of the country’s in such discussions…to address our houses of government.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE MOVER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH…RAHMBO?

-The words about, “…moving heaven and earth…” are Rahmbie’s. But, you may ask, for what reason(s) would he “move heaven and earth”? Will he do that to…

-Improve the Chicago Public Schools? Nope.

-Find a way to cure ChiTown’s pension crisis, which apparently isn’t so bad, as, well, that ain’t it neither.

-Got it! Reduce violent crime and gun deaths! Easy-peasey! Nope!

OK, what is it then? Well…and this is a quote in t’day’s S-T: “On Wednesday, Emanuel vowed to “move heaven and earth” to make certain New York doesn’t move ahead of Chicago in the Obama library sweepstakes.”

You go, Rahmbo! Way to go, Man! That’s what we need! Screw better schools; financial stability; or safer streets. They can wait. What we…maybe more, you…need is that Presidential Liberry!…and crew them N’Yawkehs and their bid.

ECON 101…

-One of the first and most basic things we learn in economics class is the law of supply and demand, i.e., If supply is high and demand is low, prices drop. Conversely, if supply is low and demand is high, prices rise. If both are pretty much equal, prices are stable. So, was I the only one who was told repeatedly how natural gas is so abundant that, we, the USA, were exporting it? That because of “fracking” and other technologies, we are probably well set for a long, long time? OK, then what the flibberty-jibbet is the Illinois Commerce Commission doing approving a rate hike for Peoples Gas?

                                                                                     DUCK SEASON

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. 2-and 31/32nds stars. 2:24 running time.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! I may mention a few events from the film. If you have yet to have seen it, you may wish to skip this.

This was a decent film. But as I watched it, I wondered just how long it would have lasted sans the cachet of J.R.R. Tolkein? What’s worse, other than using the characters from Tolkein’s “The Hobbit” and some of the settings, it really wasn’t much of a retelling of the book. So much so, that at the Credits at the film’s end, it says it was “…based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s, ‘The Hobbit’ “. Read  that as Hollywood’s way of saying they’ve taken one source; amalgamated it into something else they had in mind and made a movie out of it.

The epic sweep; the archetypal struggles between good and evil; courage and cowardice; selfish greed and selflessness…all hallmarks of Tolkein’s writing are there. Perhaps it’s the fact that this is the 6th film in TLOTR series, which is another problem. The original TLOTR films are each based on books which are a good 700-pages in length. They HAD to be lengthy. These past three-Hobbit films are based on a single book; which is 360 or 380 pages in length. Methinks this was more the studio’s thinking than anything else.

To the story. It opens with Smaug…the fire-breathing dragon…which had been quite content sleeping on its horde of Dwarf gold in Erebor…but left at the end of “The Desoltaion of Smaug”, to wreak havoc on Laketown…eventually destroying it…which lies in a valley of the Mountain. Brad, the Bowman, kills Smaug with the “iron arrow”, which is more like a bolt from a catapult, by striking Smaug in its one and only weak spot, as its scales are impervious to anything else.

While this is going on, Thorin…the dwarf King…lays claim to the gold…which makes Scrooge McDuck’s seem pauper-like…but he falls under what the film refers to as “dragon fever”, which is another way of saying insatiable greed. He loses his perspective; doesn’t care that other dwarfs are being killed by Smaug…and this continues when the Orc army arrives to take the gold for themselves and the forces of evil. In one of the “Battles” of the title, Thorin’s cousin, Dain, played by comedian Bill Connelly and his arm of dwarfs, along with the Elves, the men of Laketown; Bilbo, the hobbit and Gandalf, are being slaughtered by one overwhelming host of Orcs after another, along with Trolls and “ground-eaters”. All the while, Thorin is only concerned with protecting his…and he means, “HIS”…gold. He also is looking for the “Arkenstone”, which is supposed to be the symbol of his power. This, however, was pilfered by Bilbo in film #2. Thorin’s greed is so overwhelming he even turns down an offer of peace which included the Arkenstone. Finally, he comes to his senses; the men of Laketown, Thorin’s dwarfs; the Elves…more on them later; Bilbo, Gandalf and eventually Gandalf’s fellow wizard Radagast, join forces and win…which we know will be only for the time being, as TLOTR follows.

Another problem was with the CGI. In TLOTR films, the Orcs, trolls, whatever,were easily identifiable in comparison to the elves, dwarfs, hobbits, etc.In this film, other than the trolls, which are YUGE, they are all clad in drab, grey armor, nearly indistinguishable from each other. OK, a quibble. Maybe so. But it made it hard to decipher who the good guys or bad guys were.

So, what was good about it?

Bard the Bowman, (Luke Evans), looking like a blend of Clark Gable, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, was very good as a courageous, devoted, widowed father of three.

Tauriel, (Evangeline Lilly)…a Stephanie Powers look-alike, comported herself well in her outwrad battles with Orcs and trolls, as well as inward with her love for Kili, a dwarf, whom as he dies cries out: “If this is love, I do not wish for it. It is far too painful”. It was quite touching.

Bilbo, (Martin Freeman), played as a hobbit-like “Everyman”, clever, resourceful, impish, brave and unafraid to speak his mind to those who may not appreciate that, e.g., his BS-ing of Smaug in #2; his challenging Thorin over his greed are two examples.

Legolas, (Orlando Bloom, reprising his TLOTR role) was as expected.

Gandalf, (Ian McKellen) was, well, Gandalf.

Saruman, (Christopher Lee), pre-Suaron-follower. He did rather well in his battle alongside Gandalf, exiling Sauron to the “East…to the “Land of Mordor where the shadows lie”. It should be noted, Mr. Lee is 93-years old.

I’m not panning this film. I do believe that it could have been trimmed back 40-minutes or so and it would have been more effective, to the extent that I would have given it 3+…not sure how much of a + but 3+-stars, nonetheless.That it was the last of the dual-three-peats, may have been the reason. Again, it’s good..not great…and again, I was left to wonder how long it would have raked in the cash without the Tolkein-cachet?

ON THE SMALL SCREEN, TONIGHT…

- Does anyone watch “Mom” on CBS? We don’t. Funny, as I like Anna Faris and Allison Janney but not this show. Same with “The McCarthys”. Really like ChiTowner, Laurie Metcalf but the jokes are so predictable, well…and 2-1/2 Men is nowhere near as funny as it once was. Sorry, Jake.

We do like “Elementary”, the TV-retelling of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

-AMC has “Casino Royale”…no, not the Peter Sellers version; Daniel Craig’s, followed by “Braveheart”. Trouble is, it’s AMC, so count on more commercials than grains of sand on a beach.

-TCM has the MGM classic, “Singin’ In the Rain”.

Which brings us to….

                                                                                AND NOW…SPORT!

DaBULLS..

-Our sputtering roundball squad hosts San Antonio, tonight. Will their “team meeting” have had an effect on their play? Coach T said something which he’d never admitted before. They’re hurting. Everyone’s talking about their lack of “D”. Well, if the Packers lost Clay Matthews, how would they look? The Bulls have been without the league’s best defender, Joakim Noah, for about a week due to a sprained ankle. Yes, Pau blocks shots…he’s 7″ 2″, he sposeta…but he’s no Noah. The Poodle’s a swinging gate on “D” leaving Jimmy Butler as about “it” for them on “D”. The get Dunleavy back tonight. No, he’s no stalwart defender but he IS a starter, which should help.

DaHAWKS…

-Tuned in with around 4-minutes left in a 2-2 tie; watched till the end of regulation and went to bed. They won in a shootout, with Toews and Kaner scoring two goals for the win. They are now off through All-Star weekend. Nice way to go out.

DaCUBS…

-You know it’s “Cabin Fever” time when the only topic on them is a federal lawsuit having been filed against them by the nefarious roofies.

Stipulated…there is a signed agreement. However, the team manintains said agreement has an “out clause” which they opted to exercise. Here’s a link…

Latest court filings in rooftop battle paint Cubs execs as snarling bullies – Chicago

Let me see…the Roofies filed a federal lawsuit because the Cubs bidniss guys played hardball with them? So? It’s not like they, the Roofies, had bent over backwards to accommodate the new owners. And, the last time I looked, there’s no law against hardball in business practices. One of the plaintiffs says Cubs bidniss VP, Crane Kenney asked him: “How hard is it going to be to sell tickets when you have no glimpse of Wrigley Field?” Aw, gee whiz! What a meanie-beanie!

I’d had opportunities to visit one of them but never had. I have, however, sat in the centerfield bleachers and folks, they’re a long way from home plate. Honestly, it seems these rooftops are nothing more than  beer gardens, which – at best – offer a “telescopic view” of the games. The closest – down the left field line – has a “450″ on it, indicating it is that far away from home plate. Those in left and right center have to be binocularly removed from seeing the game. Well, it’s visible but that’s about it.

Jeezus! You OuttaTowners have to be dumbstruck by this silliness.

DaSOX…

-”SoxFest” begins tomorrow. More on that then.

LOCAL CPS FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN THE SENIOR BOWL…

-The alma mater of DaWatettes’, Lane Tech, has two alumni attending The Senior Bowl, which is generally a stepping stone to the NFL. They are Louis Trica-Pasat, DL, Iowa and Lake Tomlinson, OG, Duke. Here’s a link. The only bad thing is the turd of a principal at the school will claim credit for this which has nothing to do with him, as their playing days at Lane pre-dated him. Here’s the link…

http://chicago.suntimes.com/bears-football/7/71/311200/lane-tech-stars-nfls-attention-senior-bowl

WHISKEY! TANGO! FOXTROT! is going on with DaBEARS?

-Let’s see, since the firing of “The Debilitant-Duo” of Trestman/Emery and putting an end to the debacle that was theirs, they have…

-Hired Ryan Pace as their new GM, who, in turn…

-Hired John Fox as soon as he became available, due to a fortuitous conincidence, who in turn…

-Hired 9ers D/C and “D”-guru, Vic Fangio,  as his D/C, and then…

-Hired former Denver O/C, Adam Gase as his O/C!

I may be a Packers fan but I live here and have watched this organization for as long as I can remember. Never in that time have I seen such decisiveness, much less such quick action from them! In some respects, it mirrors my Packers, who in 1991, hired Ron Wolf…the rest, as the say, is history.

-Good news/Bad news? Ravens H/C John HairBag says he passed on Gase and took, ahem, Trestman as his O/C over Gase, despite Gase’s “impressive” interview?

This could be some real fodder for future Twacks items next NFL season.

-GN/BN? Gase coached Denver’s WRs in ’09 and ’10. Guess who was one of those WRs? Uh-huh, Brandon Marshall…the Big BM…and I don’t mean his name with those initials. He Tweeted that Gase was, “…an excellent hire…”. High praise indeed. I keep hearing the team’s about had it with The Big-BM. That his act’s worn thin and as other teams have, they’re so tired of it, getting rid of him; his contract and his act are part of the plan. However, Fox has final say on that.

The guy’s got talent, no doubt. But does anyone hear the Lions talking about getting rid of Megatron…the Pack parting ways with Nelson or Cobb? He strikes me as the Bobby Bonds – Barry’s dad – of the NFL. Bonds, if you recall was supremely talented; averaging over 25-HRs a year, yet despite that, during his 13 year career he played on 6 different teams??????

Honestly, I don’t think the Bears would lose that much without him. They still have one of the better RBs in the League in Matt Forte…some may recall that prior to Eddie Lacy becoming a Packer, I lusted after Forte…Alshon Jeffery’s still a stud, as is Martellius Rex.

They still need to get their “D” in order, after allowing 442 points, which averages out to just under 28-points/game and finishing behind Green Bay, 12-4; Detroit, 11-5 and the Vikes, who may be the surprise team next season, 7-9.

GN/BN Part Tres…

-Not to piss into anyone’s beer but with Gase, we need to remember just who was on the Offense  he co-ordiniated last year, which included: Love or hate him, HOF-cinch Peton Manning, along with Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, among others.

All GN/BN aside, and as an “outsider” of sorts, from this guy’s perspective, I see nothing but improvement with this team. It may take awhile but the groundwork’s in place to move forward. Good luck.

WISH I’D SAID THIS: “BALLGHAZI! BALLGHAZI! BALLGHAZI!”

-Call this,  “Any attention is better than no attention!”

This morning, as the coffemaker brewed my daily ration of Caff/Decaf, my TV warmed up and lo and behold, there’s Matt Lauer on The Today Show, talking about “Ballghazi!”. (I’d left it on NBC, last night.) At first, I’m a-wunnerin’, WTF? Isn’t NBC carring the Super Bowl? Uh-huh. They are. Then it dawns on me. Theyy’re talking about it just for that reason and any way they can drum up attention, they will. Sorry, Emmanuel and Whitney, but the Pats aren’t universally loved. That’s partly due to Belly Chick. It doesn’t help that they have an equally disliked team from Seattle. Now for the important stuff: The Collective is charging $4,500,000.00 for a 30-second spot! They need all sortsa viewership and as loathe as I am to say this, despite Pepsi’s “Get Hyped For Halftime” with Katy Perry’s, it’s doubtful she’s gonna make up for that.

Back to “Ballghazi!”. As the S-T’s Rick Morrissey asked, “Cheating is a sin.” But those of us raised in a certain faith know there are venial sins and mortal sins. Which is this? Is it as bad as Lance Armstrong’s cheat…or is it more along the lines when opposing teams would employ lip-readers to be able to know what plays were being called by H/Cs on the sidelines? (The cover their mouths, now.)

Uh-huh., It’s “Cabin Fever” time. Oh well.

OK, time to go. remember, any day we wake up not looking up at daisy roots is a good one.

DaBigFatWat


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