Friday, January 16, 2009


  • In the interest of full "moral clarity," -- a term which The Leaver seemed to have said last night with no clear intention of irony -- I may not have been the biggest fan of the man-caught-in-a-video-game movie Tron. In fact, I can't recall ever having sat through it in the theater, even though I was going to movies as a regular thing when it was first released.
  • No wait. I was going to foreign movies sponsored by the college film club because that's where the attractive upperclasswomen went to smoke. The works of Akira Kurosawa and Luis Buñuel I shall forever associate with the smell of Merit Ultra-Lights and L'Air du Temps perfume. And the odd clove cigarette from the really interesting dance major. (Did we have dance as a major? No matter, she was still really interesting, no matter the reason why she was always wearing legwarmers.)
  • I mean, I know that I remember some sequences from Tron which would not have been featured in clips shows or film retrospectives, because they were tedious. But I wasn't a huge Jeff Bridges fan yet, which is kind of essential in a movie where he's the only one who seems human. As much as I love Babylon5's CaptainCommanderPresidentWhatever Sheridan, Boxleitner never hits the right notes for me.
  • Plus, he's married to Melissa Gilbert. (camera 2, get a shot of me shaking my fist at the lighting grid and yelling to the sky: "BoxLEITner-rr-r!")
  • So, that's why I was surprised to learn that Jeff Bridges is in the new decades-later sequel, TR2N. It just keeps going around, don't it?
  • Tomorrow is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Paul Cuffe(e). I wish that everyone would learn more about Captain Cuffee, and this article by Jack Spillane is as good a place as any to start. Besides Jack's preternaturally obsessive need to wonder at the vagaries of the subject's name, his insistence upon the wrong dates (Cuffe's birthday is, according to other sources, January 17) and his discomfort at not being able to squeeze in a reference to Hillary Clinton, he thoroughly eulogizes the man that the New Bedford Whaling Museum's website calmly claims, "... built small boats, made short whaling cruises, and studied navigation and seamanship, working up to successively larger vessels and longer voyages -- until he emerged as an important whaling captain, merchant, and shipowner at Westport, Massachusetts."
  • While I was "working" at the Whaling Museum, I encountered Cuffee's story through a series of happy accidents (I had to research my miscast portrayal of a Wampanoag whaling captain in something) and reams of musty old and odd papers. Here's one. I still cannot understand why this guy's story isn't widely-known, since he was responsible for a letter to the Massachusetts legislature in 1780 that led the way for the 1783 abolition of slavery in the Commonwealth, and granting the vote to all free men. (All right, he did little for women's suffrage at the time, but he was building a whaling empire and trying to move everybody back to Sierra Leone.)
  • Since I've turned, well, let's just say I'm still in the mid forties, I am now the proud owner of a Large™Lanyard or fancy knot study guide. You see, The Sailsmaker is no mere idler; he puts his hands, some paracord, and galley table (apparently) to good use and fashions lanyards, among other useful things. A Large Lanyard I'll let him walk you through the rest of this:
    Starting at the top loop 3 strand braid (1), to a 6 strand Matthew Walker knot(2) then a 6 strand French Sinnet and another MW knot split to 3 strand braid to hold a STAR Knot (3, inset), another MW Knot, then a six strand half round sinnet(4), finish at the snap with a variation of wall and crown knots.(5) The loop and star knot form a detachable eye to go round your belt (upper left inset)
  • That sure would've come in handy at the Whaling Museum. I had like a million keys. But now, my keys are happier.


steve said...

Hail, hail the DVD, which allows us to continue watching Kurosawa and other greats while college memories fade into the distance. See Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress" once, drop your jaw at the thievery of Lucas and his "Star Wars" series. See "Hidden Fortress" twice, enjoy it for the cool flick it is.

ThirdMate said...

You're so right about that Lucass. "Tribute" I think he calls it. It's a damn ripping yarn, and that's why I had to go buy it.

Ran, however, needs a way bigger screen than my current meager 36". Thirty-six FEET is more better.

bigsam27 said...

I agree, the Merit Ultra-Lights/L'Air du Temps girls were, indeed, attractive. Not as much *ahem* fun, however, as the Marlboro Lights/Giorgio girls, but much safer to bring home to meet Mom.

ThirdMate said...

ACK! My secrets REVEALED!

Swanditch said...

Where did you get the pattern for the lanyard? I made that exact one out of a book twenty years ago.

PJ said...

That lanyard was built and given to me by a dear shipmate. Many details have been lost since this ship ran aground. Thanks for hopping aboard!