Looking for Ceiling Cat, from attics to foundations

For the past two to three months or so, the pain in my hands and fingertips made it virtually impossible to sit down and type. But I’m finally getting used to spending the day wrestling with tools, cutting sheet metal, pulling and bending recalcitrant panels off furnaces in order to service them.

With my current job, the first stop of the day’s a warm up, working out the kinks and pushing through the aches and pains. I do enjoy climbing up into attics and crawling under foundations, places with a gothic feel, in spite of rat turds, fiberglass insulation mixed with rodents’ crap and sometimes their decaying carcasses.

Blake was right, long is the way, and hard that leads to Ceiling Cat…

Keep your head down or look like Hellraiser's Pinhead...
Keep your head down or look like Hellraiser’s Pinhead…

I once had to scrape off Mickey Maus’ dessicated corpse off a furnace blower it was ‘stuck’ to, almost rested my head on a mummified rat which looked like gloopy foam insulation, and breathed the stench from the bloated, whitened corpses of a bunch of rats laid in rat poison.

mummified rat
The rat formerly known as Squeaky Fromage…

I could have used a cat or two at times, especially under foundations, if only for the company. Last week, I had to use another technician’s van since he’d called off sick. On my second appointment, I finished after the customers had left the house. I duly locked up everything, got back in the van and realized I’d left my clipboard with paperwork and payment on the kitchen counter. Ooops. I Walked around the house, trying windows (all locked), in a hurry in case neighbors got suspicious, until I found the doggie door in the back. I reached in and unlocked the handle, but the door refused to budge, stuck as it was in its misaligned frame.

The dog even stopped barking, cocking his head sideways “whatcha gonna do?!?

I managed to wriggle myself through the doggie door, made it to the kitchen, grabbed my stuff and back out through the front door again… At my next and last stop, I inspected the furnace, and went to check what size filter they would need. The intake was on the ceiling, but no problem! I’d grab the ladder from -… Ooops. I’d left the ladder on the porch of the previous home. In another city...

I’ve found a couple of sayings in HVAC to be true. One is “on this job, you’re gonna bleed”. And sure enough there’s dried blood stains on our seats and steering wheels. Another expression is “get ready to s..k the day’s d..k”. As Bart Simpson put it,  sometimes “it blows and sucks at the same time, what I thought was a physical impossibility”

Oh but, this is what I look forward to, coming home to this every day, in this case, Miss Jenny on catnip…. Until

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Midnight Movie Madness: “the grapes of death”, egg yolks and Beaujolais

The grapes of death” – (85 minutes, France – NR)

Thirty years before the excellent comedy “Bottle Shock” came out, this little known gem drew its inspiration from the troubled French wine industry. Question is: was it a diamond in the rough or straight up zirconium?

Marking a return to the Midnight Movie Madness review format is this bit of a curio from 1970s France, written and directed by Jean Rollin. I found this looking through Z-movie listings (I mean Zombies), although “grapes of death” isn’t exactly about zombies created by bad wine made worse by overused pesticides, it could have been called “les dégueulasses“, as country folk develop extremely bad acne, smearing it everywhere from car windows to… Well, anywhere.

Grapes of death blind girl
Blind village girl with Elisabeth (L2R) Praise Jesus and pass the L’Oreal…

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Burke and Hare”

Burke and Hare” – (91 minutes, UK, 2010)

Funny story. Two Irish guys, both named William, go to Edinburgh circa 1827 and… Well, “Burke and Hare” tells of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), scraping by in a city experiencing a sort of Renaissance in scientific studies, particularly medicine. As it happens, two rival surgeons, Doctors Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Alexander Monro (Tim Curry), are in stiff competition for fresh human meat to dissect.

Burke Pegg Hare Serkis
Burke (left) and Hare (right)

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Friday Night Cats Blogging: Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Paraskevidekatriaphobia, the irrational and morbid fear that something really, really, but really bad is going to happen when the calendar turns to Friday the 13th.
Irrational? But there is a greater fear about a more definite and immediate threat of getting your head ‘sploded by cats. And there’s no name for that yet.

Friday 13 Tito and Maz
0927 hrs - 1/13/2011: they stopped speaking as I walked into the kitchen

Even Miss Jenny was excluded from their conversation… Whatever, man… ‘Spect the ‘stache…

Walrus? Walpurgis? Tom Selleck?
Walrus? Walpurgis? Tom Selleck?

Eventually, Maz ambled back into the living room and “parked” himself in front of the television until…

melon go kablooie
I make melon go kablooie

Maz being nothing if not excessive, he ‘sploded another head, lifting his paw under the strain. Either that or he was passing gas.

Kapow Maz blows hedds
See what I did there? No? Watch again!

For those who haven’t mastered their powers yet, and I pray they don’t, Tito recommends starting with something easy like the photobomb…

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“I saw the devil” – (2010, South Korea, 141 minutes – NR)

School bus driver Kyung-Chul (Min-Sik Choi) has a nice little toy affixed to the rear view mirror of his van: plastic angel wings which light up in cool blue. It’s cute looking and probably helps put the young women and girls he picks up at ease.
Yellow school van and little blue wings.

Choi as serial killer Kyung

But Kyung is a serial killer who brings his victims back to his lair to carve them up after raping them. He then provides a cannibalistic associate of his with their meat to consume.

Watch the trailer here:

One snowy night in the countryside, Kyung drives up to a station wagon stopped by the side of the road with a flat tire.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Black Death” 2010

“Black death” – (2010), UK/Germany, 97 minutes – rated R)

In 1348, the plague known as ‘black death’ is cutting wide and deep through the populations of Europe and has reached England with a vengeance. Some men have taken to question God, while others blame Him outright, forcing the Catholic Church to take drastic measures to assert itself.

Watch the trailer here:

Those communities not yet affected by the disease come under suspicion of witchcraft and emissaries are sent to investigate and return proof to the religious authorities.

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“Doghouse”: with “friends” like these…

“Doghouse” – (2009, UK, 89 minutes – NR)

Bloke is being divorced by his wife, so his mates, who all have ‘spousal’ issues of their own, decide to take him on a wild weekend in the village of Moodley, where women outnumber men by four to one.
They’re all hoping for some Hoo-Hoo-Hee-Haa, wa-hey-hey sexy times I guess.
As our heroes are about to find out, the women of the village have been turned into demonic, zombie-like mutants with cannibalistic tendencies by a military experiment gone very wrong.

Watch the trailer here:

Marooned in the village with the last survivor of the military team, our gang will try its best to survive in creative and funny ways. Such as putting a severed head in a radio controlled truck for the zombirds to chase after, or filling a squirt gun with flammable fuel for the RC truck and spraying a zombird with it (a one time use, but hey…).

Matt (Lee Ingleby) preps his fiery squirt gun

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“The last winter” – (2006, USA/Iceland, 101 minutes – NR)

Ed Pollack (Ron Perlman) has a tough job: he flies back to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska from the US on a mission. The small party he has waiting for him at their base camp will be tasked with laying the ground work for a new pipeline.

Ron Perlman as Ed Pollack

Matters are complicated by the presence of James Hoffman (James LeGros), a concession from the oil company KIK to political interests and environmentalists.

James LeGros as James Hoffman is watching the skies

Hoffman has observed and documented fluctuating temperatures preventing any notion of building a road as the ground would be too soft, and has a theory about strange behavior and visions affecting group members: Hoffman believes that climate change causes sour gas, a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen sulfide, to seep from the ground.

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Midnight Movie Madness: “Evil Aliens”, bloody close encounters

“Evil Aliens” – (2005, UK, 93 minutes – rated R)

On an island off the coast of Wales, Cat Williams (Jennifer Evans) and her boyfriend are making sexy times in a field when they are abducted by aliens. On the aliens’ ship, the boyfriend gets a most gruesome anal drilling before getting killed, while Cat is implanted with a baby alien and released.
To put it in perspective, Eric Cartman had it real easy by comparison.

Watch the trailer here:

A week later, tabloid TV reporter Michelle Fox (Emily Booth) sells her editor on the idea of doing a report on Cat’s story for Weird Worlde, their “reality” show investigating yetis, aliens and other tabloid fodder.

Michelle Fox and Jack Campbell

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Midnight Movie Madness: “isolation” or why every farm should have a cat

“Isolation” – (2005, UK/Ireland, 95 minutes – NR)

Irish farmer Dan Reilly (John Lynch) has fallen on hard times and agreed to let an obscure biotech concern conduct fertility experiments on his cows.
The idea is to speed up the maturation process while simultaneously increasing the animals’ fertility. The research is conducted by a non-too-friendly scientist named John (Marcel Iures), assisted by local vet Orla (Essie Davis).

Marcel Iures as “John”

Dan, the farmer, doesn’t quite understand the science behind the program and probably wouldn’t care if he actually saw the money he was promised. But both he and the vet, Orla, have yet to see some dough.

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