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small purple square At the comic store, a new issue (#5) of Adrian Tomine's "Optic Nerve" is out; unlike the others this one's all one story. Like "Ghost World" and "Action Girl" these are not 'male' comics, but I like them anyway.

small blue square Was all set to visit the bike store & buy new wheels, but then procrastinated, as ever; knowing I have spare spokes at home and unwilling to update my archaic configuration (as I know I must eventually). So after returning from the shopping I took my tireless back wheel out of the trunk and got to work - removing the gear sprocket with the special tool, a big spanner, and a mighty grunt; threading in the new spokes; giving it a crude, by-feel truing <1>; then replacing the three rubbers: band-like rim-liner with its single hole, tire, and inner tube; spinning the gear cluster back on, pumping up the tube & finally replacing the wheel on my bike. Hence the inevitable serious visit to the bike store is postponed for a few more months (I have three spokes remaining). Sounds like I know what I'm doing, eh? Trouble is my Peddling Period was twenty years in the past, and I feel a little intimidated by contemporary bicycling in that I haven't kept up with recent developments since about 1981 (when I bought my first car).

small gray square The college radio station I monitor is KFJC, which comes from Foothill College, a small campus located just a few miles from my home. Every so often they have a "Psychotronix Film Festival"; tonight I went for the first time. Since my map showed it to be not even as far as work, and my bike was operational again, I rode up the slight grade in the setting sun, all the way thinking how much fun the downhill home-trip would be. Found the lecture hall just as the festivities began (passing the open door to the radio station along the way); it was to be in two parts, shorts first, then a feature; I ended up staying just for the shorts. (The feature film was "First Man Into Space" from 1959). These included old commercials (an early 70's for "Fab" made me guffaw); some cartoons, including a George Pal Puppetoon featuring the fascist screwball army in a different story from the one in "The Puppetoon Movie"; some bits from "The Marty Feldman Show" (watched faithfully in the summer of '71 by C, U and myself - this was why I went); a Johnny Sokko episode (Japanese live-action big-flying-robot show); some Laurel & Hardy, and some odd swimming films; and movie previews. One of my reference books is The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael Weldon; only one of five previews shown was mainstream-enough to appear in my (1983) edition. That was "Panic In The Year Zero" <2> - the others were "No Time To Tell" (noir), "One-Eyed Soldiers" (what was that?), plus two 'blaxploitation' movies: "That Man Bolt" and "Willie Dynamite". The festival's MC was actually the DJ of the film music program I listen to - it's always a shock to first see what radio people whose voices you know well really look like. He was chunky, older; I was for some reason incorrectly expecting younger, and wearing glasses.

psychotronic - " ... was originally meant to suggest a combination of weird horror films and electronic gadget-filled science fiction movies. I thought I'd made it up, but it later turned out I'd stolen it from "The Psychotronic Man", a Chicago-made film about a maniac barber who kills people with psychic energy. After a while, I began to use the term 'psychotronic' to describe all the different kinds of movies that interest me." <3>
MC - Master of Ceremonies
DJ - Disk Jockey

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<1>... thinking about those idle hours of the past, standing before the truing stand in the back room of Proteus Design Bicycles with a glistening, all-new wheel I'd 'woven', making the ever-finer adjustments with the sprocket wrench with the chorus themes from Eno's song <sub-1> playing in my mind's ear:
"We are the eight-oh-one, We are the central shaft"

<2>Do you know this movie? It was one of my first-ever cinema experiences, perhaps the first I remember. Incidentally, there's a Panic In The Year Zero Zero Y2K web site

<3>Michael Weldon in Christopher Cerf's Forward to the First Edition of the Encyclopedia

<sub-1> "The True Wheel" from Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)" Back