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November 07, 2008

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Did I know you were coming here? Have fun!

Nope. Very quick trip down to see some friends' new baby and to attend a filk concert which is a benefit for leukemia research in honor of a friend's son who recently died of it. No extra time for wandering about. I'll be back in a few weeks for Darkovercon, though, and most likely will come by Boltbus again, since I'm really liking this wireless-bus thing!

hail Boltbus!

That sounds like an exclamation from Flash Gordon.

Boltbus is one of the better-respected "Chinese Buses." They originally started going from the Chinatown in one city to another, but most have added more stops as they get more non-Chinese folk.

Oops, should be "Chinatown Buses."

I used to work on apazines while traveling around on buses in the late 70s. Though I never actually tried to type ditto masters while hurtling down the freeway. Hooray for progress!

Back on the Boltbus, with a very amusing bus driver named Kevin ("Not 'hey, bus driver!'") making announcements covering everything from cell phone use to lavatory hygiene to the issue of smelly feet relative to DOT regulations. I haven't heard a better transportation-employee speech since my first time on Southwest Airlines.

Since Megabus comes to the same stop in downtown DC, I've discovered that they now have WiFi on their buses as well, which just decided me on how I'm getting to Darkovercon. (Boltbus doesn't go to Baltimore, so I hadn't been sure if I would drive or not. Megabus goes to Baltimore.)

Megabus?

Megabus is another of the myriad cheap bus brands that are sprouting all over the east coast. After this trip, I am a total fan of the concept. I'm going to make my reservations for Darkovercon ASAP.

I promised myself that if I got back to NYC in time I would go to a dance class here from 12-4. The bus was supposed to arrive at 11:45, so I thought it would probably be late and I'd miss it. But it's 11:19 and we are already in the city, so I suppose I am going to grab lunch and go take class. This probably puts me offline until I get home this evening. I wish Metro-North would get WiFi for its trains!

Also on the bus, I watched bits of a very nice movie, Something the Lord Made, about Vivien Thomas, who was the black researcher who, without a college degree or any background in medicine, was the practical mind behind the development of techniques for cardiac and vascular surgery back in the 1940s, in conjunction with (white) surgeon Alfred Blalock. I googled while I watched, and ended up reading this article, which I highly recommend to everyone. It all made me cry.

I just mentionned this to my wife, who said she just recently had put it on our NetFlix queue. That's a fascinating story. I was struck by the fact that, outside of the work place, neither of them violated Society's taboos about race. I've never understood how people can compartimentalize.

Chinatown bus list/schedule.

Marilee:
I could wish that list had the information I really want, which is which lines have WiFi.

That certainly sounds like a futuristic bus. All it really needs is to be a nuclear powered Big Bus and I'll really believe the 21st Century has arrived.

Neil Willcox... Stockard Channing and René Auberjonois? Need we more?

Serge:

Whether we need more or not, we have them: Larry Hagman, Lynn Redgrave, and José Ferrer!

Neil, have you actually seen it? Is it good? Awful? So awful it's good?

(BTW, one might comment at H&K if one were allowed to do so with a name/url instead of having to have a Google or OpenID account...)

Susan, I'm having the same problem with some other blogs because LJ has screwed up their OpenID software. They keep telling me it's fixed, and I try it on a few Bloggers, and it's not.

Susan... José Ferrer too? Oh my. By the way, I have no idea if the movie is any good, or even good cheese, but its director is the same guy who directed "Q". No, that wasn't about John Delancie or about James Bond's gadgeteer. You see, Quetzalcoatl has decided to lay a few eggs inside the structure at the top of the Chrysler Building and...

I saw The Big Bus at a young age and had literally never seen anything like it. When I saw it again a few years later I had seen something like it: it's like a prototype for Airplane set on a bus. There's one clip on Youtube which includes a couple of funny jokes.

I have adjusted the settings on H&K, but our movie night irregulars are more irregular than usual, which is my excuse for not updating it.

Neil:
I desperately wanted to comment on the Modesty Blaise movie review at H&K. Even if I have nothing original to say, I always want to comment any time anyone posts about anything to do with MB!

I will try to remember to rent The Big Bus next time I need some brainless fun. Maybe over Thanksgiving, before I head off to Baltimore (on a bus!) Maybe to watch on the bus, if I remember my earphones!

Serge:
I am trying to figure out how even a flying serpent can possibly lay eggs inside a tall pointy skyscraper. Isn't that a little, um, awkward? Or is the egg-laying bit kept offscreen?

Susan... It's been a long time since I saw the movie, but, if I remember correctly, it showed the Chrysler Building's distinctive top structure as being totally empty and unused. Even if that were true, I'd still wonder why the tenants of the floor below didn't hear the kind of thumping that a many-ton creature would inflict when it moves around. Oh, and "Q" really was a winged lizard, not a serpent.

I don't think Q actually had wings, mythologically. Just a feathered serpent. I was picturing a Kong-sized Q wrapped around the top of the Chrysler building, not one that would fit inside it! I am crushed with disappointment.

Yeah, it wound up looking just like your typical Skiffy Channel dragon but without the firebreathing. There are better ways to waste one's movie time.

Serge:
What astonishes me is the amount of time you've somehow managed to put into seeing all these awful movies!

The Big Bus has become "relevant" again as the "plot" revolves around oil sheiks trying to stop the bus as a fleet of nuclear buses would stop people buying their expensive oil. Or something.

And as for having to comment on MB, it seems S M Stirling has the same compulsion. And he likes airships (In fact there's a post in drafts about that).

Susan... On the other hand, I'm 13 years older than you are, and I do own a TV, both of which gave me greater opportunities to watch crappy movies. I don't really seek those out much these days, probably for the same reason that I don't finish a book anymore if I think it sucks: life is too short, especially when one is 53 years old, not to spend on good stuff. Besides, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has gone off the air for nearly a decade, and it was often the only way that some of those movies were watchable. Which reminds me that, as temperatures are getting colder, I should watch MST3K's treatment of the Kalevala aka The Day The Earth Froze.

It took me a long time to stop reading books when they were too awful. I felt I had to finish everyone to give a reasonable review, but now I can just say "one third in, it hit the wall" and why.

Serge:
Well, MST3K (which I saw once or twice) was in fact a good reason to watch bad movies. I just find it hard in my life to make time even to watch good movies/TV!

Susan... MST3K indeed was a good reason to watch bad movies. I stumbled into it one day, channel-surfing, and I came across something that looked like an early 1970s Japanese ripoff of Planet of the Apes, and there was this guy and two robots throwing jokes at the movie, and I went "Huh?"

Megabus is good and so is Bolt Bus. Most of the good buses you can find on BusJunction, it's a search engine for bus tickets that leans towards the better quality buses.

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