Book-Crichton's "Pirate Latitudes"; Movie-"African Cats"; Kaitlyn the Capitalist; Political Notes, The Dung Beetle and His Ball of Poop

We have a review of the Disney documentary “African Cats”. Marvelous camera work but not for every 7 year old.

Also, it was the last book written before his death, Michael Crichton’s “Pirate Latitudes” is full of action, color and a true history or pirates and Jamaica.

Kaitlyn pays a visit to grandmother and what a capitalist the child turns out to be. But she works hard and earns some big bucks. Her “art”, however…well she calls it “abstract”.

Some miscellany for smiles and opinions. What’s with Chastity Bono? Can anybody really change their sex?

Also, the story of the dung beetle and his ball of poop-a lesson on sharing the “wealth” and a very different definition of “wealth” at that.

Finally, some politics, the Obama’s goofy trip to England and the Republican candidates begin to step up to podium for the party nomination. Why they leave me ready to puke.

Pic of the Day

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”Pirate Latitudes” by Michael Crichton

Let us begin with some interesting background. The manuscript for this book was allegedly found on Crichton’s computer AFTER his death. It’s not clear if the manuscript was complete because, as I figure, if it was surely he would have submitted it for publication. Crichton is a well known author of considerable acclaim and the manuscript would have been accepted for publication no doubt without any hesitation.

Next, I too consider Crichton a formidable and talented novelist. My first exposure to Crichton’s word was “The Andromeda Strain” and then there’s “Jurassic Park” and on to the long-running television series “ER”.

A major difference between a very successful writer like Crichton and the more mundane is good writers, those who are actually WRITING a book instead of a screenplay, write prose, not stage/movie dialogue.

“Pirate Latitudes” is not written for the big screen though research shows the rights to this book have been purchased by Spielberg and it will no doubt be a movie soon enough.

And what a movie it will be as it was quite a book.
The book is based loosely on some real people living in 17th century Jamaica. The story begins with a bit of background, the establishment of Jamaica as an English colony, the worldwide presence of Spanish galleons, on to a society that frowned on piracy and considered it a crime.

Yet when Captain Charles Hunter began his journey to capture a Spanish galleon from a nearby Spanish island fortress, he did so at the behest, and with the financing, of the Governor of Jamaica.

The story of the trip begins and it’s action-packed with every passing word. Hunter’s ship is first taken over by a Spanish warship. After escaping this horror, the crew arrives at the Spanish island fortress of Matanceros. The story then keeps the reader sitting at the edge of the seat as Hunter’s crew climbs mighty cliffs and suffers nature’s most horrific to finally arrive at their destination.

The Spanish ship is plundered of its treasure but escape is a bit more than a quick jaunt away by Hunter’s ship.

Coral-filled coves must be negotiated, cannons must be jury-rigged and retrofitted, enemy ships must be commandeered and to add to it all, before the reader can even begin to relax, a giant monster of the sea, a Karaken, believed to be giant squid.

Hunter finally makes it back to Jamaica but more surprises await. For the Governor of Jamaica has been removed and the governance of the island has been taken over by a nasty fellow. Hunter is surprised at how he is greeted upon his return, booty in tow.

A final heart-breaking betrayal begins the story’s finale as the reader still chews fingernails in torment.

There’s not much more need be said except the book is written by one of the best, it’s a real page-turner, it’s filled with drama, history, action and yes, there’s some romance.

What more could the reader want?
Movie review header

”African Cats”s
IMDB site for this movie

I was initially skeptical that this movie would be suitable for a 7-year old. Of course it was suitable in that in terms of graphic sex or violent content it was rated “G”. But a G-rating does not necessarily keep a 7-year-old mesmerized in her seat for an hour and a half.

Two things: first there were no other suitable movie alternatives that particular weekend and second, it was a Disney movie.

Understand that said 7-year-old child was also promised a trip to the local Play McDonald’s before Obamer kills off Ronald McDonald so my assertion that toward the end the child did get a tad restless is not to be blamed on the movie.

This same 7-year-old child, not to belabor the point, is normally an exceptionally well-behaved child thus adding all these factors together, were I the mother/grandmother of an especially rambunctious youngster under, say, aged ten, I’d think about waiting until this movie comes out in DVD before expecting active youngster muscles to sit through this thing quietly. Let them watch it in the comfort of their own living rooms where they can pause and pee as needed.

Which is my most diplomatic effort to praise this movie for its appeal to the younger of us but with caveats to pay attention to the child and circumstances that the “G” rating does not lull one into thinking this to be a captivating animated film especially designed for youngsters.

It is, however, a riveting film featuring amazing camera work that did keep my particular 7-year-old mostly quiet and focused for the movie’s duration. Myself enjoyed every second of the film but then I love animal type of documentaries so we’ll call it a draw for granddaughter Kaitlyn and myself between a cartoon and an adult romance made to mostly appeal to both of us.

The production company for this movie is DisneyNature. Disney does produce movies with the best camera work and this film is no different.
The movie follows the life of a lion, Fang, a lion cub, Mara, and a Cheetah, Sita, as they live their lives, fight their battles, yes, meet their death.

I was very happy that my granddaughter was able to witness, up front and personal, how God’s creatures too struggle to train and raise their young to survival, like humans. God’s creatures too struggle to survive, they are vanquished, they perish.

The whole thing is treated qquite delicately. There are no bloody scenes, no long minutes of watching death, no humiliating vignettes of defeat and banishment. Yet it all happens in the movie, as it must, as would be expected from a real movie about nature realistically depicted.

Sita struggles to raise her cheetah cubs. They start in the movie as adorable cheetah kittens and throughout the viewer sees them grow strong, tall and able, nurtured by the dedication of their mother and trained to survive on their own as required. Sita did lose two of her five cubs, a sad thing again, handled delicately so as not to needlessly bring pain to young hearts.

Mira is a lion cub raised by her weakening and dying mother. Mira’s mother too struggles to raise her daughter to live and grow strong. When Mira loses her mother she is driven out of the lion pride by an upheaval that shows, gently, how fleeting power is, how the stronger will win the battles that their genes continue on.

Mira survives her banishment and is eventually reunited with her pride, said lion pride taken over by a stronger pack of male lions. Mira goes on to bear and raise the cubs of the victors, the old and scarred male, Fang, having been driven off for his weakness.

The movie features amazing camera work, beautiful vistas of the habitat of the African Cats, close-ups that amaze, true story lines that will teach as well as entertain.

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Kaitlyn the Capitalist
It was Kaitlyn’s mother’s birthday and she, along with Kaitlyn’s Dad wanted to spend a weekend with the ticks and the heat in a nearby park. So Kaitlyn stayed with me and we had a great time.

I had some serious gardening work and figured it was time for 7-year-old Kaitlyn to learn the basics of such as hoses, tree saplings and plants that become so overgrown they no longer bloom.

We began with the garden hose as this is, as any gardener knows, the centerpiece tool of the garden. I plugged in one of those containers of fertilizer and its hose adapter to the hose. The knob can be turned to “feed” or to “water”. The feed side will send a controlled amount of the liquid fertilizer out with the water. The water side sends out, duh, only water.

I taught Kaitlyn to only use the “feed” side when she was specifically trying to fertilize a plant and that I want. I instructed her which plants to feed and which plants to only water. To clean out the garden fountain required to turn on the hose full force, sink it under the water and let it run for about five minutes until all the debris is flushed out and washed out of the fountain via the water overflow.

So Kaitlyn dutifully finished all the garden watering and she did a marvelous job. In fact she was such a help that I promised her some money if she continued working for me so hard in this fashion. And she did. I dug up overgrown Iris and remarked what a shame it was to have so many of these plants and be unable to use them.

“We can sell them for a dollar a piece, Mom-Mom,” Kaitlyn said. I had to smile because what, we going to stand by the roadside and tell passers-by that right here we have Iris for sale? I did ask her to run next door and ask the neighbor lady if she wanted some Iris. Kaitlyn returned and said the neighbor lady said she did not need any Iris. I remarked to Kaitlyn that, dag, we can’t even give the Iris away. “But Mom-Mom, we can still sell them, for a quarter a piece,” the child shouted, evidently determined to make a profit off of these plants and learning a bit about economic supply and demand along the way.

Kaitlyn continued to help me with garden chores beyond watering, to include dragging black walnut saplings that sprang from that tree’s trunk, determined, evidently, to repopulate the planet with black walnut trees all right in my own front yard. Then there was that rather strange pine tree thing that sprouted up from God knows where, with a circumference of some 15 inches round such had it grown all happy in the yard corner and unbeknownst to me.

It was quite a job to drag those cuttings up the front yard rise to the backyard fence, then to lift the things up and over that fence. The next morning, during early morn exercises, Kaitlyn then continued to drag these cuttings to the backyard fence but this time I had to lift them up and throw them over as that fence was a bit too high for the 7 year old.

Still I had to admire that hard work ethic of the child and I did, indeed, reward her with $10.00 at the end of her visit, money she earned handily both for her hours of yard work and her weekend tasks of minding the dog, emptying litter pans and massaging Mom-Mom’s legs.
Kaitlyn and I also made some garden stepping stones from a purchased kit for that purpose, plus some creations of sand art from a kit purchased at the dollar store. While Kaitlyn’s sand art creation is attractive, that garden stone thing she created resembles sponge bob squarepants on an LSD trip.

Kaitlyn stepping stones:

Kaitlyn sand art:

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Chastity Bono
I chanced to see a story about Cher’s daughter, Chastity Bono, on some gossip channel or another.

Folks, I know there are people out there who are convinced they are not, physically, the sex they were meant to be.

Sorry. I don’t buy it.

You are the sex you are as indicated by your genitals, NOT by some nutzoid obsession in your mind of what you SHOULD be.

I also know that a lot of folks disagree with me and yes, I’ve crossed paths over the years with people who definitely do seem to be more in line with the sex opposite of that with which they were born.

Still, serious, ripping off someone’s genitals, or as in the case of Chastity, somehow adding some fake genitalia, is way beyond the province of mankind.

Not to mention, as I suggest softly, that as the case in California, the demand is for all health care providers to insure this service as the do a heart bypass and yeah, it becomes OUR issue.

And even if we all agree that surgery to “fix” the sex of someone born, as they see it, with the wrong genitalia, should be on the person requesting the operation, even at that, it’s just not right. Human surgeons, no mind the medical advancements, cannot change the sex of an individual to a fully functioning manner as God originally intended. Chastity will never, for example, father a child. And a male changed into a female will never bear a child. These natural functions cannot be created with scalpel or by mankind.
Time for a Muse and a Smile-

The Dung Beetle and His Ball of Poop
Every morning I spend an hour and a half exercising in my yard. As such I am quite acquainted with my little eco-system: the birds, the flora, the fauna, even the bugs.

I was jogging around my track and I noted on each circuit some kind of bug thing. It was hurrying along on the same jogging track and I pondered whether to stomp on it or not on the next go-round. Except, as I’d noted on each quick pass, the little creature seemed to be carrying some kind of big ball of something, or perhaps it was an egg sac about to burst as my jogging brain tried to process.

So I completed the circuit and upon a subsequent slower stroll I searched for the creature and soon I found it. It was a dung beetle and it was pushing a ball of poop maybe five times its size. Indeed like Sisyphus pushing that rock, the dung beetle dutifully pushed his ball of poop, hurrying along to take his prize…well I don’t know where he was taking his prize but he was in a hurry to get there.

I marveled at how perfectly spherical his ball of poop was and pondered how on earth that little bug managed to craft such a wonder out of that pile of haphazard dog turds left over in the leaves by the dog.
So Wikipedia informs me:
Sometimes dung beetles will try to steal the dung ball of another beetle, so the dung beetles have to move rapidly away from a dung pile once they have rolled their ball to prevent it from being stolen. Dung beetles can roll up to 50 times their weight.

Well I just couldn’t wait to show husband this marvel of nature. And, indeed, husband did respond to my urgings and came around the walking track to peek down at the dung beetle. Only the little guy wasn’t pushing his precious ball of poop during my show-and-tell time. I snatched up a little twig and prodded the dung beetle. Only the little guy didn’t like my stick and he dropped off of his poop ball and curled up into a little ball of his own. I explained to husband what this was, pointing to that exquisite perfectly rounded ball of poop and how cute it was to see this beetle hurrying along pushing that thing so many times its size.

I don’t think husband was impressed.

In due course husband finished his own morning exercises. I continued on and to my surprise once again I see the dung beetle pushing his ball of poop. This time I act nonchalant and continue on. I call husband on the cell phone and tell him to get out here, quick. Husband says okay and emits an audible sigh I could hear over the cellular waves.

I mean here I am showing him nature like he’ll never see except on the Discovery channel maybe.

Husband comes over to the dung beetle and he did see the little bug pushing his ball of poop but the dog, by this time, gets all interested in this bug and bear in mind that it is HER poop then fashioned into that perfect orb. Dogs are notoriously protective of their own poop and dog was now highly agitated by this bug all busy with what the dog knew, by smell as dogs do, was her poop. I must imagine the dog knew full well that this spherical ball of poop did not come out of her in that round form and dog begins a serious sniff to figure out just what the hell was her poop doing in this ball form way over in this side of the yard being pushed by some weird ass bug.

I pull the dog back off of the poop ball. The beetle, for his part, is obviously weary and he lays splat still on top of his ball of precious poop, tired of sticks and dog noses bothering him when all he’d been doing was moving his ball of poop to somewhere safe.

But the dung beetle’s trials and tribulations were not over. From out of nowhere a big black fly comes in for a crash landing on this marvelous ball of poop. Husband and I watch this bit of drama and try to hide our smiles. The dung beetle then jumps straight up in the air and off his ball of poop to make way for the fly.

We imagine the fly was definitely a bro from the ghetto, a bully bug he was, taking the dung beetle’s ball of poop. And it did seem a bit unfair because the fly didn’t particularly care what size the poop comes in but he’s got to steal the dung beetle’s perfectly round orb of fecal perfection.

Husband, dog and I left the scene by then, leaving it up to the fly and dung beetle to handle their issues in the manner as determined by nature.

It was a harrowing morning for that little dung beetle. Husband was, by this time, quite happy I insisted on getting him involved and for the remainder of the day we ponder the fly’s conversation with the dung beetle, the dung beetle’s heartbreak and torment, Obama’s pledge to spread the wealth around and wonder if that includes flies, dung beetles and insulted dogs.

The Obamas Go to France
It’s too easy to make fun of the Obamas. And know that it’s not just because I don’t like these people. For they have a slew of people to advise them on all matters diplomatic, including the entire United States State Department for God’s sake.
Obama screws up the toast to the queen and Moochelle has some real bad hair days.

Couldn’t someone have told Obamer how to properly toast the queen of England? Or maybe somebody did and this arrogant putz didn’t listen?

Below, a video of Obama’s toast-to-the-queen gaffe.

The Republican Primary Warms Up

Sarah Palin, as of this writing, is going on tour in a big bus. She’s driving the Lamestream media insane because she won’t tell them where she’s going. And those self-important a-holes don’t like it so screw them. I’m enjoying their humiliation more than you can imagine.

Newt Gingrich needs a fork stuck in him, he’s done. He calls Paul Ryan’s proposal to fix Medicare, which not be perfect but it’s a start, “right-wing social engineering” so now we know Newt’s a freaking Rino who’ll never get my vote.


Yes, precious Mitt Romney who not only brought us Romneycare in Massachusetts, now thinks the world is warming up and it’s because of humankind.

I’ll not vote for this RINO either, I don’t care how much money he can raise from those Blue Blood Ruling Class elites.
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Rod Mollise said...

Damned shame. An otherwise good and well-written review is made to sound like the work of a racist pinhead with, "Understand that said 7-year-old child was also promised a trip to the local Play McDonald’s before Obamer kills off Ronald McDonald." Like I said, "shame." You are a good writer who needs to outgrow the juvenile. :-(

Pat Fish-Kaitlyn's Grandma said...

See, this is what you get when a liberal pinhead insists that anything you say about a president will make you be accused of being a racist.

you can disagree with my sentiment, but how it makes me a racist eludes me.

But it's how the liberals win....can't say nothing bad...cause we'll call you a racist.

Don't have to hire an army, don't need to spend a dime. Just scare and shame them into silence then you can do what you want.

It's genius.