by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

I mean…

Starting Five


President Trump sent a classic “I Can’t Believe She Ghosted Me!” letter yesterday to Nancy Pelosi that you can read here. Only five paragraphs end with an exclamation point (!) so it’s nice to see that he’s maturing.

The letter is strewn with lies, misleading statements and one very presidential “motherf****r” reference. On the other hand, it’s refreshing to see Trump end a relationship with a woman that does not include a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

By the way, this from Frank Bruni in The New York Times, “Twas The Eve of Impeachment,” is the best thing we’ll read today.

You Had One Job!

Is this Boeing’s next model?

Building airplanes. That is what Boeing does. That’s it only job. And building airplanes has made the winged-flight manufacturer a Fortune 500 company and a pillar of the Dow Jones’ 30 companies. It’s not as if every country has an airplane builder. They’re a little more time-intensive to construct than, say, automobiles.

You know what’s a terrific feature in an airplane? The ability to stay aloft, and that is a feature that has seemingly eluded Boeing’s latest model, the 737 Max. The design flaw (“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”) has resulted in two crashes and hundreds of needless deaths (note: how pissed off would you be if you were one of those who perished? Quotes we never get but, man, if there were a post-mortem beat reporter who could obtain them…).

So now Boeing has announced that it is suspending production of the 737. That would be kinda like Fruit Loops saying they’re no longer making Fruit Loops because they’ve misplaced the formula that makes them fruity. Or loopy.

Anyway, shares of Boeing are down more than 25%, from $446 to $328, since March 1st. Meanwhile, company executive huddle in their worldwide headquarters in Chicago (not Seattle) listening to Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly.”

The Old Man and The See How He Runs*

*The judges, back from an extended Cancun getaway, will also accept “The Iceman Runneth”

That’s 84 year-old Roy Svenningsen, who last week completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 11 hours and change. Svenningsen, from Edmonton, has run in some 50 marathons over the past 55 years with his best time being an extremely fast 2:38 in Helsinki (likely back in the Sixties).

He is the oldest person to finish this race, although the news reports here are sketchy at best. This used to be known, when I ran it in 1997, as the Antarctica Marathon. News reports say that the man who won the race set a new record of 3:34, which is slower than the time several runners (self included) did back in ’97. Anyway, good for old Roy.

Adventure Quest

The good folks at Outside magazine have a feature titled “7 Adventures To Start The New Decade With A Bang.” None of them involve shooting guns, oddly. Anyway, here’s their list: Watch a Total Solar Eclipse (next one in the States is in 2024), Ride Across A State (I assume bike ride? May I suggest Rhode Island), Attend a Far-Flung Festival, Make A Pilgrimage (those two are nearly the same, no?), See A Waterfall That Looks Like It’s On Fire (an excuse to visit Yosemite, which I highly recommend), See The Northern Lights (this one tops our own bucket list), Sleep In Space (if you’re sleeping, what’s the point?).

Five Films: 1977

For a third consecutive year, a Hollywood film dominated the zeitgeist. The exception here, however, is that in 1977 not one but two films did. In my 6th grade class, every girl knew all the words to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and every boy was scribbling X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon on the back of his spiral notebook (bad artist that I am, I was two years behind, still attempting to master a dorsal fin). What a time to be alive.

  1. Annie Hall: Forget the zeitgeist for a moment and consider Woody Allen’s masterpiece, and Best Picture winner, about being young and single and neurotic in Manhattan. Not only was this an inspired love letter to NYC, but also to humor itself. The scene in which Alvy Singer steps out of the theater line and speaks to us, the audience? Genius. The final scene of the film takes place on the corner of 63rd and Amsterdam, a spot I often stop at (just across the street from P.J. Clarke’s) and ruminate on life’s deeper meanings. La di da, la di da, la la. 2. Star Wars: I’m nowhere near the fan boy that most of you are, but I enjoyed it. If you can ever unearth the Siskel & Ebert clip in which they deconstruct the movie and posit that it’s really just a classic Western taking place in a galaxy far, far away, it’s worth your time. And no, I’ll never refer to it as Episode IV: A New Hope. 3. Saturday Night Fever: A better soundtrack than film, but only because it’s the best-selling soundtrack ever and stayed at No. 1 on the album charts for 24 weeks, nearly six consecutive months. There’s a good reason for this: the Bee Gees’ songs were great. 4. Slap Shot: Is this the first great cynical sports film? Paul Newman is wonderful as the aging player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs minor-league hockey team and the cult-hero, Hansen brothers, I’ve always thought, had to be inspired by The Ramones. 5. High Anxiety: There are a couple of Richard Dreyfuss films vying for this fifth spot, but for sheer guffaws give us Mel Brooks’ riffing on Alfred Hitchcock with the help of Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman (as Nurse Diesel). Not his best, but still very funny.

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. “It’s just your JIVE TALKIN’
    You’re TELLING US LIES, yeah
    Jive talkin’
    You wearin a disguise
    So misunderstood… huh?
    Jive Talkin’
    You really no good”.

    Really, REALLY – you list Annie Hall as #1?! 1st of all, 1977 was the quintessential 70’s film year & the TWO movies that are the tent poles are STAR WARS & SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER! My god, one represented a window on the then current DISCO culture & its music & the other has impacted film for 40 FREAKIN YEARS & you list a movie that is barely known outside of Baby Boomers & Gen X?

    “Burn baby burn! Disco inferno!
    Burn baby burn! Burn that mother down!
    Burn baby burn! Disco Inferno!”

    “What you doin’ on your back, aah?

    Sure, I liked Annie Hall & laugh-snorted my way thru Slap Shot & I agree, the soundtrack of SNF was superior to the movie (although there are scenes that are unforgettable – Travolta’s opening strut down the street & ‘the POSE’, the POSE, my god, every damn guy on a dance floor for 5/10/15 years just HAD to do the POSE!) & Star Wars is “Star Wars” forevermore & those that dare call it “A New Hope” in my presence can “GET OUTTA MY CAR RIGHT THIS MINUTE” 🙂 , but come onnnnnn. I can maybe understand why SNF isn’t given its just due since you were only 11, but Star Wars? YOU were in the perfect demographic for that flick – an 11 year old boy, HOW were you NOT gaga over this movie? Did you not have a poster? Any action figures? Badger your parents for a light saber for Xmas?

    The one thing that actually shocks me is that Star Wars & Saturday Night Fever were in the same year. I guess because I saw the former in the summer & the latter over Xmas break (possibly even during the 1st week of 1978) so in my memory, they were of 2 different ‘years’.

    Anyhoo, other GREAT movies of that year include :

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Speilberg, Drefus. That mountain of mashed potatoes. Those musical notes of “communication” – I can hear them now!

    The Turning Point – NY ballet world, MacLaine & Bancroft slap fight, Baryshinkov.

    Fun With Dick & Jane – George Segal & Jane Fonda. The older I’ve become & the longer I have worked, the harder I laugh when I rewatch this movie.

    The Goodbye Girl – Dreyfus again. Was this guy on a roll or what the past few years?!

    Julia – based on Lillian Hellman’s friendship with a girl who grew up to become a woman who fought (& died at the hands of) the Nazis. Starred Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave.

    Smokey & the Bandit – Burt Reynolds at his peak. Also starred Sally Fields. I believe certain parts of this country may have looked at this as a documentary with humor. 🙂

    A Bridge Too Far – WWII flick.

    Airport 77 – because I can’t help myself. This edition starred Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart , a bunch of others & of course, George Kennedy.

    Well, gotta get back to work but lemme sing you out –

    “Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
    Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’

  2. Never owned any Star Wars gear or wanted any. I was a Planet Of The Apes kid but by 1977 I was mostly into sports and, of course, scrapbooking.

  3. NVDA. 20-BAGGER REDUX. 🙂 The question is – will it reach the heady heights of August 2018 when it crossed $280?
    Ah, ha, ha, ha STAYIN’ ALIIIIIIIIVE. 🙂

    Meanwhile, over in 401-K land : at yesterday’s close, my balance crossed my self-designated “number” where I was to move some of the money in my 4 largest stock funds to a couple bonds funds, to “lock in” the gain. Annnnnd, I’m rethinking to maybe hold off a bit. And driving myself crazy. If I was still 9 or 10 years away from ‘the transfer portal’ (ahem), I’d never think about it, but seeing as I’m less than 4 & I KNOW a correction or crash is eventually coming, I need to “de-risk” a bit or more than a bit, for the 1st time. The scariest thing is if it turns into 3 straight years of double-digit losses as in 2000-2002, which took 7-8 YEARS for my funds to recover. And which would be devastating to a portfolio that one is no longer adding to but pulling from. Any thoughts?

    Oddly enough, I keep flashing back to when I was 7 or 8 & I was determined to jump off the 10 meter platform at one of the outdoor pools my Aunt took us to during the summer (before I started going to camp). My older sister & none of her friends would go with me, so I was on my own. I climb up there & my, oh my it was HIGH. I could swear birds were whizzing past my ears. But I was jumping, no matter what, just had to find the right “spot”. Back & forth I trod, 3 or 4 times, finally went to edge, looked out & shouted “this is it!” & off I went. The, er ‘flight down’ was better than the landing but I scrambled outta that pool the BIG DOG of the day, with a smile plastered on my face, ear to ear. I was far more gutsy as a little girl than I am now, but after trodding back & forth on ‘the edge’ for months now, I’m slowing getting my toes in place.

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