Explain why Ben-Hur needed to be remade?

I know Hollywood likes ideas that have worked before. It costs a fortune to make a big blockbuster movie, so you need to believe the one you’re pitching has a ready-made audience.

Some movies wouldn’t seem to need a remake, though. I’m sure with today’s CGI techniques the gladiator fights and the chariot race will look great, but they looked pretty good in the one that first appeared in 1959 too. (Did you know that was a remake of a 1925 version? It’s true.)

Maybe I’m just a stick-in-the-mud, but I don’t see a need for this movie.

The Apocalypse is Nigh

I saw this headline and thought to myself “Nah. Not even Trump could be that stupid.”

I was wrong.

“This Is Not A Drill: Trump Turns To Bachmann For Foreign Policy Advice” screams the headline at Talking Points Memo.

Good grief. The Bachmann cited is Michelle Bachmann, former US House Rep. from Minnesota. Her sole acquaintance with foreign policy is that the President doesn’t call Muslims Radical Islamic Terrorists and she will, by golly.

Trump might get smarter advice from another Bachman — Randy, of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.


I guess the Tempur-Pedic Mattress company wasn’t kidding when it advertised limited-time-only 3-year financing deals for its products. My goodness. I just looked at the firm’s website and the mattress prices range from $1,699 to $3,699.

It’s a damned good thing mine is in good shape.

Bicycle helmets

I just saw a Back to School ad showing a kid strapping on a helmet before he hopped on his bike to ride to school. I began riding a bike in New London, Connecticut, in 1957 or thereabouts and I rode one to school from fourth grade through my senior year of high school. Never once did I put on a helmet. When I briefly had my little 50cc motorbike I wore an open-face helmet with a shield and D-ring strap.

I rode two-lane roads to high school in Alexandria, Va., busy six-lane boulevards in Los Angeles, roads through the woods in Monterey, Ca. (and then straight down the hill to my driveway when school was out). I rode residential streets to fifth grade in San Pedro, Ca. and to seventh and eighth grades in Annandale, Va.

I suspect I’d have rebelled if told I should wear one, unless I was told it was the law.

Were helmets mandatory by the time you started riding a bike?


The repeat medalists at these Games are the ones that amaze me the most. Michael Phelps in his fifth (!) Olympics and still winning gold medals. Usain Bolt in his third Olympics winning the same races in each appearance. Phillip Dutton in his sixth (!!) Olympics and getting a bronze medal in Eventing. Kim Rhode, who has now won medals for shooting in six straight Olympics. Uzbekistan’s 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitin, who competed against the girls of the Final Five in gymnastics last week.

All honor to them.

“Let Trump be Trump!”

The trouble is, when his fans said “Let Manny be Manny!” about Manny Ramirez, their guy often produced in home runs, excitement and good results for the Red Sox. Letting Trump be Trump, which seems to be the message the millionaire’s campaign is trying to send with its new hires overnight, is likely to show him in an ever-more unhinged light. Hiring Steve Bannon in particular is a indicator that rage and fury will be at the front of Trump’s new message; those have been Bannon’s stock-in-trade while he’s led Breitbart News after the death of its founder a few years ago. He’s also turned the right-wing website into an all-Trump-all-the-time outlet, which may explain why another Trump campaign staffer says this anonymously:

“He hasn’t had Trump’s ear forever, but Trump respects him,” said a campaign source, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “If you counted all the lipstick on Trump’s backside, most of it would be Breitbart red. So he’s earned his way to where he is.”

What did Trump say today?

What new madness did The Vulgar Talking Yam spout today? Has the RNC lost any more members? Did any more Republican Senators or House members come out against the buffoon today?

The Party of Lincoln has devolved into The Party of Bigotry , Racism and Hatred. Trump has gathered up the elderly white middle class and somehow persuaded them that they’ve been screwed by society. Maybe some of them have, but the people who have really gotten screwed over the past 10 years are the poor black and Hispanic families who are living under the Federal poverty line.

Retro musical grocery shopping

I don’t know who’s in charge of the in-store music system at the Navy Commissary at Pearl Harbor, but the playlist today was smoking. It was all 70s rock n’ roll, and the first song I noticed was “Take It Easy” by The Eagles.

The next song was “Rockin’ Me” by Steve Miller Band.

After that the noise inside the store got louder and I only heard bits and pieces, but it was pretty cool shopping and humming along.

I voted, did you?

Probably you didn’t. I suspect Hawai’i is the only state in the country which held statewide primary elections today.

We had races for Honolulu Mayor, State House Representative, US House Representative, and US Senate to think about while filling out our ballots. Since it was a primary we had to pick which party’s candidates we’d be voting for. I was startled to see that in addition to the Republicans, the Democrats, the Greens and the Libertarians, the American Shopping Party fielded a candidate this time around. Its candidate says

the goal is not to end consumerism, but to introduce conscientious consumption. Buying American Made is but the first step to all things of care from buying local, to self sustainability and then on to the other areas of consideration such as fair wages, environmental impacts etc.

Okay. That’s commendable, I guess. I stuck with the Democrats.