top of page
  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 4/12/21

Good morning! OLD GRANDMOTHER’S TALES The other day our friend Dana Gordon was visiting. As I was making breakfast and tossing the eggshells in the disposal, she exclaimed, “You can’t do that. It’s bad for the garbage disposal.” I responded that this was ridiculous and unfounded. We then both looked at each other, seemingly on cue, uttering simultaneously, “it’s just some bubbemeiser” (buh-buh-my-sir). That two people would know that word, much less use it at the same time, is pretty extraordinary. A bubbemeiser (and I’m not sure at all of the spelling) is a “grandmothers’ tale,” in Yiddish. It is another way of saying it is folklore that likely is untrue. We are all products of the strange superstitions passed on from prior generations—not really knowing why we follow them. Black cats, walking under ladders, not stepping on cracks—there are many of these. I don’t believe in superstition or fate and yet, to this day, I am incapable of putting a hat on a bed. Jessica would never allow it and that’s good enough for me! MOVIES TO RETURN TO Tor Kenward recently waxed poetic about movies that one likes to “return to.” I like that phrase. We all have those movies (and books) that are like old friends, sparking fond memories of when we saw them last—and with whom we shared them. We return to those movies that are profound, moving, clever, or just plain fun. They remind us of the times we previously enjoyed them and allow us to practice those great lines over and over (e.g., “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”). Brief aside: Those of us of a certain age will recall that some movies only showed up on broadcast TV once a year. For those too young to remember, the “dial” consisted of channels 2-13. No one ever explained the absence of a “1.” Every time one moved from one number to another, there was a hard “click.” When UHF came around, those channels were “tuned in” via a dial that did not have a hard click, so one tuned much as one would tune a radio. For the moment, I’ll spare the lecture on the TV repair man with the myriad vacuum tubes in his kit and getting up on the roof to readjust the antenna. It was the dark ages. Anyway, back to movies to return to. Broadcast TV only allowed occasional screening of classic movies. If you missed or slept through The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington or It’s a Wonderful Life—well, you had to wait a year! One of the benefits of our current era is that these “old friends” can be revisited at any time. Tor is all about justice—he loves the movies where good guys win and bad guys suffer their just desserts. He cites a few movies that he says he likes to “return to” including Red River, High Noon and Rio Bravo. He describes these as films where men and women possess a moral compass and will not be compromised. He also questions whether there are very many of such people living in Washington, D.C. these days… MOVIES I RETURN TO I suppose I have a few “go-tos” that never seem to grow old. These include Casablanca, Back to the Future, Silverado, The Outlaw Josie Wales, True Grit (either version) Star Trek IV—The Voyage Home, North by Northwest, The Princess Bride, It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Memento, Goodfellas, The Godfather, the Departed, Die Hard, and The Usual Suspects. Throw in some sophomoric comedies like Zoolander, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Fifty First Dates, Dodgeball, Anchorman, The Big Lebowski, Stepbrothers, and Major League. Finally, add anything by Christopher Guest or Christopher Nolan and I could have a very happy week alone in a screening room…


After my musing on following space travel since I was a kid, Peter Bain notes: “Do not ever waste one more second worrying about your place in the Nerd Hall of Fame.” Great, I made it. Meanwhile, I am not alone… Brandon Smith suggests the excellent Interstellar for one of the top space-oriented movies. He says, “in addition to the great themes of the movie - father-daughter connections, humanity striving for its greatest potential, love and sacrifice, the great Christopher Nolan really nerds out on time relativity, worm holes, and the depicting the most detailed black hole in history...”: And a remembrance of a real space shuttle event from Ben Reznik: My thrill was the first STS mission following the disaster of the STS. Everyone was nervous, as was I. I stayed up all night for the re-entry. It was announced that the re-entry has to be diverted to California due to weather conditions in Florida. Then I saw that the re-entry flight path was west of my house. As I had the NASA channel on and tracking the shuttle, I went out on my bedroom balcony, which faces west, and waited. Then the sonic boom. Literally, it went right though my body, almost knocked me over. And the finale was the most beautiful site as the shuttle glided just west of my house. At first it was like a locomotive coming at you, with that big round light on its nose. As it’s gliding, nothing but silence, me and the shuttle. It was so low that I could see the cockpit. I was awe struck. My next thought was that I hope he has enough altitude to make it to Edwards AFB, that’s how low he was. End of story. Have a great week (and maybe get a movie in…), Glenn

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Good morning friends, You may note that the name is changed and the “clock” has been set back. 401 days after the publication of the original Musing from the Bunker. It seems appropriate that the days

Happy weekend! It’s a wrap! This is the 400th Musing from the Bunker—and the last. Tomorrow is the beginning of the next chapter. It seems that, with nearly 40% of Americans now vaccinated, projected

Good morning! DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON ANTHROPOLOGY From Bob Badal: “If you are interested in evolution, take a look at Richard Dawkins' book, The Ancestor's Tale. Combining traditional fossil

bottom of page