The Eiger Sanction

Someone in my social circles recommended The Eiger Sanction to me, which is a 1975 Clint Eastwood movie revolving around a government agency man (Johnathan Hemlock, played by Eastwood) who takes a job trying to find out who killed a colleague of his. George Kennedy plays a supporting role in the movie – another solid actor from a bygone era. I’ve never George in anything bad, I’ll put it that way.

No, I’m not going to spoil the plot of the movie for you entirely. Go get the movie if you want to see it.

One other note I have is the appearance in the movie of Brenda Venus in the role of George, Hemlock’s quiet exercise coach. Venus goes topless at a couple of points during the film, sporting what appear to be augmented mammary glands. That was a bit rare for a 1975 film, I reckoned – although augmentation goes back about a decade earlier and was made popular by a model named Carol Doda.

Anyway, if you’re into old school movies, The Eiger Sanction is worth your time.


Footnotes To Victory

I made it back to home base on Tuesday night just in time to watch the first World Series game, which the Dodgers won last night by a score of 3-1 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Here’s my little review of Victory Cruises, which I can now give you with the trip in my rear view mirror: it was the best gambling ship experience I’ve had, but not as good as casinos I’ve been to on terra firma, including the Hard Rock in Tampa. It was a nice getaway, yes, but they are in an area (East Central Florida) where no one is competing with them with what they offer.

The buffet really wasn’t a buffet where items are laid out and you can pick and choose what you could get. It was more like a lunch you’d get in school if you’re my age or a little older, and the whole setup was rushed and confusing. The servers are offering you food and I was trying to figure out what everything was, leaving me continuously asking, “What’s that?”

The slot machines looked on the old side. Didn’t see any of the newer games I’ve been seeing on Brian Christopher’s YouTube page, which prepared me a bit for this trip. It’s not like there’s some grandiose strategy you need to beat the slot machines. You hit the button, or you pull the lever, and you get a result.

They made a big deal out of everyone who won. “Congratulations, Mary. You won $600 playing (name of the slot game) on the second deck.” I’m glad I didn’t win – I don’t think I would have been okay with my win being publicized like that! It also gave the impression that people were winning small, but that no one was winning big. It would just seem to me as an outsider that if they did the reverse of what they were doing, they’d be fine.

Would I recommend going? If you were close by, yes.

Out Of The Park, Again


If it’s the baseball season, I can probably be found at night immersed in a little computer program called Out Of The Park Baseball. It is a baseball simulation of enormous depth created by German developer Markus Heinsohn, with the 18th version (known amongst fans as OOTP 18) just having been released a few weeks ago. The game is so popular, owners and players have been known to play it, and it’s even been used in schools to teach business economics.

With each new version comes new bells and whistles. When version 17 came out last year, it added a minor league historical database along with the major leaguers so you could get a more accurate account of what the baseball world looked like in a given year. This year’s improvement added the Negro Leagues, setting up what-if scenarios that now included baseball not having a color barrier prior to 1947. But that’s just ONE thing you can do. You can even play the standard game and manage or be a general manager of teams in the modern MLB, the minors, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, or beyond. Wherever you want to go, OOTP can likely take you there.

My personal favorite enterprise the last few seasons have been the ability to have players debut randomly. For instance, what if Evan Longoria played in the first decade of the 20th century as opposed to the 21st, or if Clayton Kershaw pitched back then, when starting pitchers usually went the full nine innings?

There’s a lot less you can do as oppose to what you can do, including the ability to create fictional leagues and structures within and play commissioner, proprietor, and God. It’s not just a sim but a baseball laboratory any fan would enjoy.


The Man In The High Castle

Kindle Unlimited was offering a free 30-day trial, so I thought I’d take advantage and read a couple of books. Right now, it’s The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. The book’s been put into televised form, available on Amazon

Not only is this an alternate reality/universe book, depicting what would happen in the United States had the Germans and Japanese won World War II, assuming FDR was assassinated long before he could serve three terms as President (and the beginning of a fourth term), the characters are reading their own alternate history in the form of a banned book: what if the Americans had won the same war?

I’m a little past the midway point in the book, and so far it’s been very good. I totally recommend it to all you book worms out there.


The Podcast Rules

Back before Thanksgiving, I had mentioned the podcasts I was listening to at that given time. Since then, I’ve developed a few rules about the podcasts I listen to in order to make sure I’m getting a wider field of knowledge, and thus making sure I’m not listening to the same topics or bands.

My rules are:

  • Only one podcast to a topic.
  • Only one podcast from any one company. (For example, only one podcast from NPR.)
  • I try to listen to at one show with a topic or host I disagree with.
  • I don’t try to listen to podcasts with a very open political bias that’s a strong point of the show.
  • If I have no podcasts with current episodes to listen to, I allow myself to add a new one.
  • But, I’m also allowed to waive any of those rules…you guessed it…one time.

Notice how the number “one” keeps coming up? Hmmm.

And so, my current list looks like this:

  • 6:05 Superpodcast (comes out every 10 days or so, but the host, Brian Last, puts out exceptional work, so worth the added wait)
  • The Jim Cornette Experience (yep, used my “waiver” on classic wrestling, a lot more fun then than it is now…)
  • The Big Listen (NPR’s podcast about other podcasts with the fun and snarky Lauren Ober)
  • Lionel Nation
  • Dead Fantasy (The Johnny Cash podcast stopped putting out new episodes sometime in July)
  • Five Hundy By Midnight
  • Three Moves Ahead
  • Common Sense With Dan Carlin
  • Freakonomics Radio
  • Gambler’s Book Club (sporadically does podcasts, but puts out good stuff when they’re on)
  • Penn’s Sunday School
  • Brain Samich
  • Flash Forward
  • This Week In Tech (I still think Leo Laporte is an ass, but you gotta keep up with current technology somehow)
  • The Minimalist

This list will get refined over time with my tastes, but it’s a good starting point as 2017 dawns.


Solitary Sage

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing Sage Solitaire lately.

The game combines elements of both solitaire and poker. You remove cards from this three by three board by making either two, three, four, or five card hands. Straights can be made with three cards (like an 8-9-10) but straight flushes require five cards.

The goal of the game is to clear the board with made hands using one card from at least two columns. You’re allowed to trash cards along the way if hands can’t be made, but if there are no hands on the board after two straight trashes, the game ends

Pretty addicting, really. Free to try on your smartphone of choice.


Diary Of A Chambermaid

You mean to tell me that Netflix had a French movie without nudity in it? Why yes, yes they did. It did have a couple of sex scenes in it, but nope, no body parts went flopping around.

I’ve only seen Lea Seydoux in three movies, but it is starting to dawn on me that she’s a pretty decent actress. In this movie, she plays the role of Celestine, a maid who works in a few houses in Victorian-era France. Times are tough, but her colleagues are even tougher and rougher, including an anti-Semetic caretaker who falls in love with Seydoux’s character.

Don’t want to mention too much more, as it would give the story away. Not a bad flick, if you don’t mind reading subtitles for roughly an hour and a half.