Top Ten Quotes from King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

#1 – “Wealth is good, and if it comes our way we will take it; but a gentleman does not sell himself for wealth.”

#2 – “Listen! What is life? It is a feather, it is the seed of the grass, blown hither and thither, sometimes multiplying itself and dying in the act, sometimes carried away into the heavens. But if that seed be good and heavy it may perchance travel a little way on the road it wills. It is well to try and journey one’s road and to fight with the air. Man must die. At the worst he can but die a little sooner.”

#3 – “It is a curious thing that at my age — fifty-five last birthday — I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it — I don’t yet know how big — but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence; moreover, I am almost sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the “Ingoldsby Legends.” Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any.”

#4 – “The Garden of Eden, no doubt, looked fair before man was, but I always think that it must have been fairer when Eve adorned it.”

#5 – “The moon grows black before your eyes; soon there will be darkness—ay, darkness in the hour of the full moon. Ye have asked for a sign; it is given to you. Grow dark, O Moon! withdraw thy light, thou pure and holy One; bring the proud heart of usurping murderers to the dust, and eat up the world with shadows.”

#6 – “On, on we went, till at last the east began to blush like the cheek of a girl. Then there came faint rays of primrose light, that changed presently to golden bars, through which the dawn glided out across the desert. The stars grew pale and paler still, till at last they vanished; the golden moon waxed wan, and her mountain ridges stood out against her sickly face like the bones on the cheek of a dying man. Then came spear upon spear of light flashing far away across the boundless wilderness, piercing and firing the veils of mist, till the desert was draped in a tremulous golden glow, and it was day.”

#7 – “Ignosi bound the diadem upon his brows. Then advancing, he placed his foot upon the broad chest of his headless foe and broke out into a chant, or rather a pæan of triumph, so beautiful, and yet so utterly savage, that I despair of being able to give an adequate version of his words. Once I heard a scholar with a fine voice read aloud from the Greek poet Homer, and I remember that the sound of the rolling lines seemed to make my blood stand still. Ignosi’s chant, uttered as it was in a language as beautiful and sonorous as the old Greek, produced exactly the same effect on me, although I was exhausted with toil and many emotions.”

#8 – “Presently Good came up to Sir Henry and myself.   “Good-bye, you fellows,” he said; “I am off with the right wing according to orders; and so I have come to shake hands, in case we should not meet again, you know,” he added significantly.   We shook hands in silence, and not without the exhibition of as much emotion as Anglo-Saxons are wont to show.”

#9 – “Out of the vast main aisle there opened here and there smaller caves, exactly, Sir Henry said, as chapels open out of great cathedrals. Some were large, but one or two—and this is a wonderful instance of how nature carries out her handiwork by the same unvarying laws, utterly irrespective of size—were tiny. One little nook, for instance, was no larger than an unusually big doll’s house, and yet it might have been a model for the whole place, for the water dropped, tiny icicles hung, and spar columns were forming in just the same way.”

#10 – “Then I saw that the birds were a flock of pauw or bustards, and that they would pass within fifty yards of my head. Taking one of the repeating Winchesters, I waited till they were nearly over us, and then jumped to my feet. On seeing me the pauw bunched up together, as I expected that they would, and I fired two shots straight into the thick of them, and, as luck would have it, brought one down, a fine fellow, that weighed about twenty pounds. In half an hour we had a fire made of dry melon stalks, and he was toasting over it, and we made such a feed as we had not tasted for a week. We ate that pauw; nothing was left of him but his leg-bones and his beak, and we felt not a little the better afterwards.”

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

Ideas to Increase Traffic to This Fine Blog

I would like to monetize this exceptional blog and get some moolah flowing in.  Mainly, ‘d like to sign up for Word Ads or Google Adsense, but I have read that unless you have thousands of views per month, don’t bother.  I don’t know the exact figures so I don’t want to discourage any of you, but I have read that you need tens of thousands of views a month before you make any worthwhile money.

The only thing I can think of is changing the theme so that this blog is more mobile friendly.  Apparently, Google will put your site lower in the search results if your blog isn’t mobile friendly.  I have been afraid to change for many years as I fear this fine blog would lose its comic booky charm but perhaps I have no choice.  Still, I doubt that would give me the views I need to monetize.

Tagged , , ,

Movie Review – Triple Frontier (2019)

Money is the root of all evil, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Triple Frontier.

This is a first for Netflix – an action film that’s worthy of a movie theater, with a cast of big names – Oscar Isaac, Pablo Pascal, Garret Hedlund, Charlie Hunnam and Ben Affleck being one of the bigger names that everyone’s favorite streaming service has landed in recent memory.

It’s clear Netflix wants to take a big bite out of the traditional movie theater to rental to cable station pipeline most movies go through, and if they keep it up, they’ll get their.  Hollywood big shots might just be shaking in their boots over movies like this.

The plot?  Santiago (Isaac) is still in the field, while his former special forces buddies are all long retired and struggling to make ends meet.  There’s a powerful message in there where one of the ex-soldiers says something like (I’ll botch the line, sorry) “If we had accomplished what we did in any other profession, we’d be set for life by now, but no, this man can’t even afford to send his kid to college.”

Some truth there and if any politicians happen to be listening – yeah.  Definitely.  War is something the majority of us just can’t or won’t do and the people who do it should be taken care of.

Anyway.  Santiago identifies a big score – a secluded house where a drug cartel keeps its money, located in the Amazon jungle where three countries meet – Peru, Columbia and Brazil.  No cops, no military to deal with so it should be an easy gig.  Use their skills to help themselves for once and live like kings.

From here, (SPOILER ALERT) the movie gets silly, which is a shame because they’re playing it straight.  The trek across the Andes mountains to a new life proves more dangerous than previously anticipated, and a combination of bad decisions, infighting and downright greed proves to make matters so much worse.

It’s almost comical how much of the cold, hard cash gets lost along the way – (SPOILERS) – falling out of a chopper, falling off a ledge while attached to a donkey, burnt for warmth, tossed into a ravine and so on.  At some point, it gets absurd.  I mean, I’m the furthest thing from a special ops soldier but in that predicament, I would just grab as much money as I could carry and then bury the rest in a safe location to return to once the heat dies down.

But I suppose the money serves as a metaphor for how greed complicates our lives and turns us into monsters.

Ben Affleck is good in this.  For a moment I actually bought that he was an entirely different person, i.e. a depressed loser dad seeking redemption through ill gotten loot.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Good start.  Silly though entertaining middle.  Admirable though unlikely ending.  Netflix is really stealing big cinema’s thunder.

Tagged , , , ,

A Rap Song in My Honor

I paid to have a rap song rapped in my honor, so every once in awhile I must trot it out for my 3.5 readers.

Tagged , , ,

More Complaints About the College Admissions Scandal

I think this has just brought up a lot of complaints I have about the college process in general.  I know a lot of punditry shows I watch/listen to have been saying the same thing.

My main complaint is you have these rich parents who put down anywhere between 500,000 to 1 million in some cases.  Some put less and some put more but those are some of the bigger figures I’ve heard in the news reports.

Here’s my question.  You’re a rich person.  Your dopey kid didn’t take advantage of the opportunities you provided in high school to become impressive young adults.  Why not just use 500,000 to set them up in a business, or start a trust fund so they can just go out and live life and have fun and get some money doled out occasionally and are taken care of.  Maybe they’ll eventually grow up and buckle down.

Hell, I never went to an impressive college but sometimes I wish my parents had taken what they spent on college for me and just, I don’t know, given it to me and I could have put down a down payment on a small condo or maybe a Subway sandwich shop franchise or something.

Seriously here’s my 1990s college experience:

CRANBERRIES’ KISS ME PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND:

1990s ERA YOUNG WOMEN: You are rejected.

1990s ERA PROFESSORS: I’d teach you but really you could just teach yourself?  It’s all in your mind already, at least that makes sense to me because my brain’s been baked since Woodstock, man!

But I get it.  If you can buy your kid into an elite school then that gives the kid an air of sophistication and/or contacts that can help them in life.

Still, I don’t know.  If you’re dropping a million to get your kid into college…holy shit, just drop that million on a few McDonald’s franchises or some investment real estate, hire someone to manage it, tell your dumb kid to go pick out the window treatments so they can feel like they’re in charge of it or whatever.

Or just do it the way old money has always done it. Buy the college a fountain or a fancy building.

Yikes.  What a world.

Tagged , , ,

Buy My Book!

The Last Driver, Episode 1, 3.5 readers.  It’s on sale now on Amazon.

Globalists and Nationalists are fighting for power in the  future.  (Wait.  Doesn’t that sound like the present?)

Elderly ex-bank robbery getaway driver Frank Wylder is, in a world filled with self-driving cars, the last man who remembers how to drive one.  To the dystopian world government, that makes him an enemy.

Get your copy today:

Tagged , ,

The College Admissions Scandal

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I have to say that the college admissions scandal, in which rich, wealthy and even famous people including actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman, got nabbed cheating to help their kids get into top colleges surprised me.

3.5 READERS: Really, BQB?  The rich and powerful circumventing rules to give their kids a better shot at life than the average folk?

I detect sarcasm, 3.5 readers, but no, really, it does surprise me.

See, I think we all realized that there was all manner of semi-legit yet quasi-shady things going on in college admissions.  Rich person donates money to add a new wing to a college building, supposedly because that rich person really cares about that college and nothing more and oh, what a coincidence, that rich person’s kid was just admitted at the same time.

Either that or the rich and or powerful have connections and contacts or the school just sees a kid with a famous name and figures that kid is going places so let’s admit him or her and get our school’s name attached and so on.

On top of that, I just figured that rich and/or famous people have the time and/or money to coach their kids on everything they need to do to get into a top college.  Hire them personal tutors.  Get them into the best private high schools.  Get them all sorts of fancy opportunities.

What I’m saying is with all the legal ways that the rich and powerful can use to bilk the system, I’m surprised some felt they had to risk out and out cheating – i.e. faking credentials (faking that your kid was an athlete when they weren’t) or cheating on the SATS was something that rich people felt that they had to do.

I guess I just assumed college admissions officers were as star struck as the rest of us.  “What?  This applicant is the kid of the woman who played Aunt Becky on Full House!  Let her in!”

Hell, in a way it makes me feel better about not getting into an elite college.  If Aunt Becky has to gild the lilly to get her kid into a big name school then I probably never had a chance, what with my Uncle Hardass demanding that I work in the salt mines while I was trying to study for the SATs.

Weird.  I had straight A’s in my high school but my SATS were nothing to write home about.  I think my local public education system may have failed me, but that’s another rant for another time.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to pull yourself up from nothing, but sometimes I also do think that half of your life is decided for you before you’re even born – i.e. where you will grow up, who your parents are, how much help can and/or will they give you, what do you look like, and so on.  I suppose that’s another rant for another time.

Discuss, 3.5 readers, and don’t cheat and have someone else write your comment for you.

Tagged , , ,

When People Tell You to Smile

Apparently, this is something that pisses off women – when men tell them to smile.

Strangely, I can sympathize.  I’m a man but apparently my face is quite angry and/or unhappy looking because at least once a week, some random doofus will say something to me like, “Hey, smile!  It’s not so bad!” or “Wow, you look thrilled today!” or some such nonsense.

Usually, I just let it pass but once in awhile I get annoyed and say something like, “I don’t know what you want from me.  Am I supposed to be dancing a jig and laughing like a clown 24/7?”

It’s stupid.  Most people don’t run around with a smile like the Joker all the time.

I think when men do this to women it is just a lame pickup line.  They can’t think of anything else to say and are probably too dumb to realize that they are saying because the woman isn’t smiling at that precise moment she must be a raging bitch or something.

I don’t know why people do it to me though.  Am I the only man this happens to?  I must be a real depressed looking bastard.

Anyway, there was a scene in Captain Marvel where a random dingus tells her to smile and she responds by swiping his bike.  It made me think of my own tribulations with this tomfoolery.

Tagged

Movie Review – Captain Marvel (2019)

She’s just a girl in the world, 3.5 readers.  Is that all that you’ll let her be?

BQB here with a review of Captain Marvel.

Amnesia.  Past lives.  Going back in time.  Shapeshifters.  Aliens.  The 1990s.  This movie has a lot of moving parts and none of it is spoon fed to you.  Instead, you’re trusted to hold on and wait for it all to make sense.  Eventually, it does.

In that respect, this isn’t the typical Marvel movie.  Most superhero origin stories are linear, while this one jumps around more than a Quentin Tarantino script on acid.  At times, I wondered if I had missed something but all I can say is if you feel that way when you see it, just give it some time.

Honestly, I don’t know how to discuss the plot without giving it all away.  Brie Larson is Carol Danvers, but also Kree warrior Vers.  Vers has memories of a life on earth that she doesn’t recall living and can’t make sense of.  Alas, to save the day, she’ll have to go on some earthly escapades during the 1990s.  (I don’t know if this is so much as a SPOILER as it is me giving you help that wasn’t provided me but I spent half the movie thinking Vers time traveled to 1995 only to realize the movie just begins in 1995 and the beginning just looks like the future because it takes place in space.)

Along the way, she teams up with a young Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who is occasionally helped by a young Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg.)  This movie should get a special effects Oscar because the tech they use to make Jackson and Gregg look younger stays pretty tight throughout the movie.

Part of the film is a buddy cop situation where Vers and Fury team up to track down the alien baddies.  They bust jokes on each other and it is fun.  There are 1990s throwbacks throughout – dial up modems, grunge music, and aliens who are used to super computers are freaked out by a Windows 95 desktop that takes forever to load a file.  Also, there’s a kitty who is pretty much the star of the film.

We live in a political world and unfortunately, sometimes that bleeds into movies.  There’s been a lot of online turmoil about this movie.  Some fans say it’s a great day for women as there’s finally a superhero movie with a female lead role (Wonder Women gets pissed when she hears this.)  Some detractors say the movie sucks and critics are just propping it up to make women happy.

Personally, once the movie started, all that drama went out the door for me.  It grabs you.  It does confuse you but it does eventually make sense.  Typical Marvel action and humor and it does have positive messages for women.

Some detractors have complained that this film doesn’t follow the traditional superhero origin arc and therefore, Captain Marvel isn’t relatable.  In other words, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America are all flawed individuals and they have to figure out a way to do their jobs without letting their shortcomings get the best of them.

Captain Marvel, on the other hand, appears to have no shortcomings.  As Carol Danvers, she was already pretty special as fighter jet test pilot.  As Vers, she’s a skilled Kree warrior.  There’s never really a moment where she’s like, “Wow.  I’m a dick because I have X problem.  I should conquer that problem to be a better hero.”

Eh.  I mean, OK.  That might be a valid point but then again, what are we saying?  Well adjusted people who never picked up bad habits or character flaws should not be allowed to become superheroes?

Plus, she does face adversity, something that all watchable heroes must overcome.  As Carol Danvers, she has to deal with men telling her she shouldn’t become a pilot.  As Vers, she has to deal with her Kree boss (Jude Law) telling her one thing while her conscience tells her another and so on.

One criticism is I could have used more info on the Kree.  Why are some of them blue and others not blue?  Is there a blue race on the Kree planet?  How do they get their powers?  Lots of unanswered questions.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Good addition to the Avengers universe.  And honestly, when there is political drama over a film where some are saying it sucks because it is too political and others saying it doesn’t suck or whatever, I’ll be honest and say whether it sucks or not.  For example, I didn’t think the 2016 all-female Ghostbusters sucked so much as I just thought it was rather basic and forgettable.  Captain Marvel doesn’t suck and I’d watch it again so it is worth your time.

Tagged , , ,
Advertisements