“I think the dampness and dead air of your land is more suited for rats and moles.”

This morning was busy for me. I woke up early, read one of my papers then went to vote in the state primary. More people than I expected were there as a low turnout was predicted. Next, at nine, was my monthly library board meeting. It lasted an hour. I came home, made coffee and finished reading the second paper.

It is a chilly morning with a strong breeze. The sun held sway earlier but clouds have appeared. The day is darkening. Rain is expected.

When I was a kid, Saturday morning TV would show old movie serials. Each week we’d see a new episode. The one I remember the best was The Phantom Empire starring Gene Autry as himself, the singing cowboy. Gene stumbles on a subterranean civilization called Murania. The serial then becomes a mix of the west and science fiction, and that’s why I love it. Gene is kidnapped by the Thunder Riders from Murania, who often ride above ground wearing breathing masks. You know they’re around as their horses’ hooves make a thunderous sound. Gene is brought underground. I remember he rode a see-through elevator tube that went from above ground to miles underground where there were ray guns, robots, a queen, moving sidewalks and male workers wearing skimpy outfits. It was the west meets science fiction. There are bad guys, there are always bad guys, who want Autry’s Radio Ranch so they can strip mind the land for radium. They keep trying to kidnap him so he misses his show and loses the ranch, and if they aren’t kidnapping him, the Thunder Riders are so poor Gene hustles from deep underground to the surface during many of the episodes.

Like most serials this one always ended with a cliff hanger so we had to wait a week to see the good guys triumph as we already knew they would.

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16 Comments on ““I think the dampness and dead air of your land is more suited for rats and moles.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    I haven’t seen The Phantom Empire and it seems to be funny. I found it online, liked the first minutes with the singing cowboy and saved the link for later.
    (with links to chapter 1-12)
    First a quick trip to the supermarket, we ran out of ice cream. As you know it’s impossible to live without ice cream.

    • katry Says:

      Thanks for finding that. I haven’t seen it in a long while. I can’t say I love his first song, but the effects were pretty good for 1935.I’ll watch one a day and keep it like a serial.

      The description is wonderful: musical, western, Sci-Fi and serial.

  2. Hedley Says:

    U2 “Songs of Innocence”

    Exclusively for KTCC readers go over to the local iTunes Store and there will be a free download of the brand new U2 album. Make sure you mention Kat’s name and listen to their first release since 2009’s “no line on the horizon”


    • katry Says:

      Happy Birthday, My Dear Hedley, many happy returns for the day1

      I found the album on iTunes and it said I had already purchased it, and I could find it in my iTunes library. Liar, liar! I could not find it there and there didn’t seem to be a place to download again (considering they said I had already). What shall I do?

      • Hedley Says:

        Most odd, the U2 album was made available today.

      • katry Says:

        Most odd it is, but what do you suggest as a solution?

      • im6 Says:

        Supposedly the album is going to be automatically available for iTunes users and will be automatically put in your iTunes account. Guess you need to click around and you’ll probably find it. That’s what they said on the streaming video at today’s announcement. Of course that was at the end of a presentation with WAY too much information about too many products at one time, if you ask me. I think technology has officially passed me by and I’ll never catch up (or want to). The audience in the auditorium really seemed to eat it all up, however. Especially when Bono said, “I want to be sure and say Happy Birthday to me mate, Hedley.”

      • katry Says:

        Thanks for finding out. I will keep checking my iTunes music to see if I have it yet. I did do a lot of clicking early on when I first saw downloaded, but I’ll try again.

        Good old Hedley and his friend Bono!

      • Hedley Says:

        Im6 and Kat, I went to iTunes and hit the download prompt and it showed up on my iPad, Bono always remembers my birthday (unlike Lennie)

      • katry Says:

        When I go to that page, there is no download prompt. It just says purchased.

    • Birgit Says:

      Thanks, Hedley. For the few non i-tunes users (like me), the first songs from this album already found their way to YouTube. A U2 tribute to the Ramones, Clash and other sounds interesting. I hope more songs will appear.
      Happy birthday! The best wishes and a short firework from Bochum for your special day:

      • Hedley Says:

        Thank you Birgit, I have enjoyed my Bochum Birthday Firework display.
        Not sure why U2 dumped the album but I have downloaded it and will give it a listen…ok, now I get it.

        Almost time for more gifts and cake. This has been a good celebration

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t remember any serials in the movies. I know I went. Nothing stuck, I guess, except the way the theatre looked and smelled.
    Saturday mornings were TV time at my house. We watched cartoons and wrestling. Wrestling was funnier. I only remember Haystack Calhoun with the big horseshoe necklace and the overalls. 🙂

    The Phantom Empire sounds like a take off of one of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. It might have been a Tarzan one. He goes underground, too. It was not a memorable novel. No wonderful phrases like the hurtling moons of Barsoom.

    It was sunny when I went out to vote this morning. Now it’s cloudy. Finally managed to remove the laundry from the dryer and haul it upstairs. I did so only because the water department showed up to replace the water meter and I had to go down cellar to let them in. Lazy? Moi? Pffft. 😀
    I now know that the shut off from the water main to the house is NOT under the sidewalk as they claimed. It’s under the grass.

    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I never saw it in the movies either. It was on Saturday mornings. They also showed Flash Gordon and one about Martians which has Leonard Nimoy in a minor roll.

      I read all the Tarzan books and all of the John Carter on Mars books, and they do have some things in common with Phantom but I think many of them had similar items.

      It was the same here with the sun and clouds. Coincidentally, I also finally brought the clothes upstairs from the dryer. It had to do with me not being able to take another day of stuff sitting in front of the cellar waiting to be brought downstairs. I too seem to have a lazy streak!

      Have a great evening!

      • Caryn Says:

        I remember Flash Gordon but not the Martian one or the Phantom Empire.
        John Carter was the name I was trying to remember while writing but couldn’t pull it up. There’s another book that I swear is a Tarzan on Mars story but all I remember for sure is the horses’ names; Steeltooth and Two Color Tail. Memory is a fickle thing. 🙂

  4. katry Says:

    I couldn’t find anything about Tarzan being on Mars, and I spent some time searching only because I got caught up with what I found about John Carter. I ask googles the horses but nothing came up.

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