Random flotsam from the shattered windmills of my mind

Me, history, politics, Washington D.C., photography, sex

I knew a teen bodybuilder in high school. He did it solely because he loved touching his own muscles. I watched him masturbate at a sleep-over once: He caressed his biceps, pecs, nipples, abs, and legs like a lover. As he touched a new body area, he'd moan -- as if someone else were touching him. His hand worked his diamond-hard cock, his fist grasping the shaft so tightly you could see the veins in his arms standing out. He loved his own pecs and abs most of all, and powerfully ejaculated while his fingertips caressed his hard pecs and danced across his nipples. The semen landed on his neck, chest, arms, and belly, and there was so much of it that he had to remove the sheet from the bed.

He was completely disinterested in both boys and girls. Completely. He admitted to masturbating four times a day (morning, once at school, after school, and at night in bed), sometimes more. But not once did he ever evince interest in sex.

The Lady From Shanghai

The Lady From Shanghai is a superb film noir released in 1947 by Columbia Pictures. It was written by Orson Welles, William Castle, Charles Lederer, and Fletcher Markle, and directed by Welles. It starred Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, and Ted de Corsia. In the highly convoluted plot, down-and-out sailor Michael O'Hara (Welles) helps foil a mugging aimed at Elsa Bannister (Hayworth). She's the wife of invalid criminal defense attorney Arthur Bannister (Sloane), who invites O'Hara to sail from New York City through the Panama Canal to San Francisco with them. O'Hara, infatuated with Elsa, agrees. Joining them on the trip is Bannister's law partner, the sleazy George Grisby (Anders). It's clear there's something horribly wrong with the Bannister marriage, as Elsa can barely stand to be touched by her husband, who is sarcastically over-solicitous of her. Bannister seems very aware of his wife's attraction to O'Hara, and yet is oddly tolerant of it. When they reach Acapulco, Grisby makes O'Hara a proposition: Grisby is tired of the law, and has a $10,000 life insurance policy. He proposes that O'Hara "murder" him (it'll be a fake murder). Since no corpse will be found (Grisby is still alive), O'Hara could never be convicted of murder. (Murder laws at the time required a corpse as proof of murder.) Grisby will name O'Hara as his beneficiary, and they will split the money. To ensure that the life insurance company pays out, Grisby has O'Hara sign a paper confessing to the murder.

They arrive in San Francisco. At this point in the film, a private detective named Sidney Broome shows up. He's been hired by Arthur to follow Elsa, and find out if she's adulterous. Instead, he confronts Grisby......... I don't know why. There's this confused scene in the Bannister kitchen, and Grisby shoots Broome. Elsa arrives before Broome dies, and tells her that Grisby is setting her and O'Hara up....... somehow.

O'Hara, unaware of this, arrives at Bannister's law office to find Grisby dead. The police haul O'Hara off -- having found his confession -- and put him on trial for murder. The district attorney hypothesizes that O'Hara wanted to kill Bannister and marry Elsa, but shot Grisby by mistake. Bannister decides to defend his wife and O'Hara. It's clear, however, that he is aware of his wife's infidelity with O'Hara and ensures that his defense is full of holes: He's sending them both to the gas chamber!

I've never quite understood the middle of this picture, and it's quite confusing to me.

However, the ending is nothing shot of an astonishing visual tour-de-force in a Hall of Mirrors at a carnival.

The Lady From Shanghai is out on blu-ray, in case you wanted a copy.

The Trumpet of the Swan

When I was seven or eight years old, my paternal grandmother gave me a boxed set of the works of E.B. White. I read Charlotte's Web first, because I had seen the animated movie. I read Stuart Little next, because my grandmother liked it so much and said it reminded her of Tom Thumb. I read The Trumpet of the Swan last, because no one said anything about it and I assumed it wasn't very good. I was maybe 10 when I finally read it.

I fell in love with it, much more so than the other books.

The story is about Sam, an eight-year-old Native American boy in Canada who camps near a lake. He sees a trumpeter swan and its mate caring for their clutch of six young cygnets. While most of the cygnets beep at Sam, one cannot speak. He merely pulls on Sam's shoelaces. Sam realizes this swan is mute. As a mute trumpeter, the swan will be forever alone in life. Over the next few years, Sam returns to the lake, and visits the mute swan. Sam teaches the swan to read, using a small chalkboard and some chalk. Sam names the swan Louis, and Louis expresses his loneliness. Sam tells Louis that he wishes Louis knew how to play the trumpet, as then he could make the sounds he needed. Louis tells his father about the trumpet. While the swan family is over-wintering at Red Rocks Lake, Montana, Louis' dad flies to Billings, breaks through the window of a music store, and steals a trumpet. Louis learns to play the trumpet, and Sam slits the webbing in one of Louis' feet so he can play better. Louis has many adventures, becoming famous for his trumpet playing, performing in a club in New York City, and joining a zoo.

Louis finally finds a mate, and together they return to Canada. When Sam is about 20 years old, he is again camping in Canada and hears Louis playing taps to his children. He writes in his journal:
Tonight I heard Louis's horn. My father heard it, too. The wind was right, and I could hear the notes of taps, just as darkness fell. There is nothing in all the world I like better than the trumpet of the swan.

The ending of that book always made me cry.

John Updike thought The Trumpet of the Swan the best of White's novels. "The Trumpet of the Swan Swan has superior qualities of its own; it is the most spacious and serene of the three, the one most imbued with the author's sense of the precious instinctual heritage represented by wild nature".

Bear River National Wildlife Refuge

Nothing to the imagination
Nicely hung Element Lad!

Now to make my day awesome...

Oh Mr. Bieber...
This made me laugh all day.


Nicholas D'Agosto doing what I want him to do.

Harvey Dent
More GOTHAM stuff:

I love this shot. Last week, Oswald Cobblepot learned from Timothy (mobster Fish Moooney's personal assistant) that Fish had a spy in the Falcone organization. It didn't take much for Oswald to deduce who it was, as there is only one new person in Carmine Falcone's life: Liza. Oswald broke into Liza's apartment and learned that her favored perfume was lilacs. As Oswald leaves, Liza comes home. Oswald struggles up the stairs to escape her, and pauses so she won't her his waddling. It's an awesome cinematic moment!

Oswald visits Fish: Another great moment. Oswald uses his assumed creepiness as a means of covering up why he really is visiting Fish Mooney. Oswald knows Fish is bisexual, and he suspects that Fish is sleeping with Liza. And sure enough, he smells lilacs on Fish...

The episode was titled "Harvey Dent". But it is going to be known as "The One Where Alfred Smiles".

I love Nicholas D'Agosto. He's best know for a recurring role on Heroes as that franchise died an ugly death, and was a shirtless, muscled fratboy in the B-movies Fired Up! (2009) and Dirty Girl (2010). He's been on Masters of Sex since 2013, where he plays Dr. Ethan Haas. Directors seem to love him, as he's been cast in six unsold pilots in the past decade.

Penguin makes his revelation. Now, I don't understand this. Oswald knows that Liza is a spy for Fish Mooney. Why reveal himself to her? Liza would have kept working for Fish no matter what. His revelation actually upsets her, and could cause her to blab to Fish. It could also cause her to up and disappear. Why risk whatever Oswald has in mind??? I don't understand this.

Is this Hugo Strange we see getting off the prison bus to enter Arkham Asylum??? That'd be cool.

Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit who Barbara Keane sleeps with? This character is a complete waste of my time.

Ian Hargrove's doohickey
The title of last night's episode of GOTHAM was "Harvey Dent" -- soon to be known as "The One Where Alfred Finally Smiles". Ian Hargrove is a mentally bomb-maker who targets weapons manufacturers. He's busted out of Blackgate Prison by the Russian mafia, who want to use him to steal a couple million bucks from Carmine Falcone.

We're told right up front that Hargrove lit the Blackgate Prison kitchen on fire using matchstick shavings and some apple cider vinegar. Hargrove is shown spitting a pack of paper matches out of his mouth. He then turns it into this............


We later see Hargrove tossing the item into the bomb-cum-gift basket that is used to bomb the Gotham Munitions Factory and steal the HMX chemical (a military-grade liquid explosive 10 times more powerful than C-4).

He can't be throwing it in there as an identifying item, because he steals the metal nameplate to do that.

What the heck is this, then????????????????

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