May 20th, 2014

#4230: Thirty-odd years later, I got to see the movie.

Flash and Firecat, that is.

In 1983-ish, there was a night when there were three movies on TV at the same time that I wanted to see. In a world without DVRs, and in which a VCR cost as much as a home computer (Commodore 64, $200), there was no way I could record more than one movie. So I had to prioritize.

One movie got watched, another got taped, and the third--well, I just had to resolve to keep an eye out for the third in the movie listings. That's how it was.

Every Sunday thereafter, for years, I looked for the movie in the TV listings, and it was never, never, ever run again. I don't remember what the other two movies were now, but I know they've been shown on TV many times over in the intervening three decades. But Flash and Firecat never was.

Fast-forward to last year, when Mrs. Fungus bought me a VHS copy of the movie. Fast-forward one more time to last night, when we watched it.

Made in 1976, it's cheesy as all get-out, but it was a fun movie. Mrs. Fungus and I had a grand time watching it. I'm sure it must have been unintentional, but the inclusion of Richard Kiel (the 7'2" giant who played "Jaws" in a few James Bond films) added a comedic element the movie did not really need. Overall the whole thing was meant to be a comedy (rather than a tragedy) so the cracker sheriff (in California?) was already pretty much over the top.

We did enjoy it, even so. I have a feeling that I would have loved it if I'd seen it when I was 17; as it is I think it was pretty entertaining and will definitely watch it again.

I do have to admit it makes me want to build a sand rail. Dang.

One detail that bothered me, until I figured it out: both of the sand rails featured in the movie used VW engines and suspension components, but one of them had a radiator. That kept niggling at me, because WTF movie people trying to make something look like something it isn't but perhaps a third of the way through I realized that it was probably just an oil cooler, especially considering how the thing was plumbed. There's absolutely no reason why a sand rail can't have that sort of thing, and in fact it makes sense.

* * *

Last night I decided to dust off Diablo III and fiddle around with it. I made a demon hunter named "Lovelyfuuka". It's been long enough since I last played the game that I'd pretty much forgotten everything, so I'm starting from scratch.

...comparing that to D2 and the original game, though, I realize how far computer technology has come in the last 18 years. And in 30--the graphics in D3 could not have been done on the fastest computer in the world when I was in high school, at least not in real time.

I suppose that's how someone who was 17 in 1903 might have felt in the 1930s, about aircraft: "When I was 17, the Wright brothers did their thing. Now look!" Except computer technology has advanced faster than aircraft technology did.

* * *

Anticipating today's 80+ weather, I cold-soaked the bunker last night. Had to get up around 8 to hit the can, so I closed the windows; and now it's nice and cool inside even as it's seasonably warm outside. Got to love that.

#4231: It's in and solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Went to the welding shop to pick up the frame. The guy charged me $10, I paid him in cash, and came home to start reassembly.

I got two things wrong. The first was when I was reassembling the seat base and got the suspension in backwards, which didn't take too much time to fix and it was not-obvious how it went back in. Once that was corrected I trudged onward, until I had the seat back on and the plastic trim in place.

The second wrong thing was that I forgot to hook the seat belt wire up when I put the seat in the truck, and didn't realize it until I had two of the three (out of four, of course, but the rear outboard one is still broken) bolts torqued down. Had to pull the seat back out, hook up the wire, and then bolt it back in.

Got in, adjusted the seat, rocked around in it...solid. I'm going to replace the rear outboard bolt, of course, but the seat is more solid now than it was before I removed it, so it's not an emergency.

Overall this was actually a pretty simple job, even though it involved removing the upholstery from the seat base. It's designed to go together fast and easy at the factory, and I wasn't doing anything the guys on the assembly line don't do. It didn't involve any special tools, either--same reason--and though I had to cut a couple of hog rings they were not structural; they were there only to hold two parts together so they didn't get lost traveling down the assembly line, and had no further utility beyond that simple task.

A job well done, and it cost me $10. Can't complain.