Texans & Oh’s – Tuesday, October 7, 2019

So far this season, the Texans are something of an enigma. I really can’t tell what we have on the defensive side of the ball. While J.J. Watt is certainly rounding into regular form, this team still hasn’t turned out a great defensive performance. And while they had a number of great plays and stops against the Atlanta Falcons this week, they still allowed 32 points to a 1-4 team.

The offense, on the other hand, appears to be a juggernaut as long as Deshawn Watson stays vertical during the game. After the debacle last week against the Panthers, Watson turned the closest thing to a perfect game by ANY player in NFL history. For the record, he is the first player in NFL history to pass for 400+ yards and 5 touchdowns with 5 or less incompletions.

However, this being the Texans, we have our infamous nemesis, the Indianapolis Colts, to thank for possibly making things much more difficult next week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only did they hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season, they shut them down at home so badly they are likely to coming into this weeks matchup against the Texans looking for blood.

The good news is they may have also provided some dirt on how to shut down the unstoppable Chiefs offense. Of course, if the Watson and the Texans offense can start putting up the same kinds of numbers from Sunday, the defense can get away with letting the Chiefs score thirty or more points with abandon.

Season Says

After five weeks, the Texans are 3-2. I still believe they will win the division, and make the playoffs with a final record of 10-6. That’s a somewhat optimistic take built on what I hope to be the Texans’ first 6-0 season against the AFC South. We’ll see.

Super Bowl Pick

Right now I’m going with New England vs Green Bay.

That’s all my prognostication I’m prepared to print for now. See you next Tuesday.

The Bondium – James Bond Rankings

James Bond Rankings

  1. Daniel Craig
  2. Pierce Brosnan
  3. Roger Moore
  4. Sean Connery
  5. George Lazenby
  6. Timothy Dalton

Daniel Craig is the best Bond simply because from his first scene, he shook, not stirred, the concept of James Bond. He is also the star of, in my opinion, the two best Bond movies of all time. (see below) The Daniel Craig canon also incorporates an incredible amount of homage to the previous Bond movies. (Again, see below)

Many may scoff at my choice of Pierce Brosnan as the second best Bond. I welcome those arguments, but say this; without Pierce Brosnan, we may not have any Bond films today. The Bond franchise was totally wrecked after Timothy Dalton, a choice made because Pierce was not available (see: Remington Steele), took on the mantle. He resurrected the franchise before franchises became the currency of Hollywood blockbusters.

Roger Moore has the distinction of starring in more Bond movies than any other actor. Most, if not all, of his movies carry more than a bit of camp, but (mostly) hold up over time as some of the most enjoyable films of the franchise.

Yes, Sean Connery is the fourth best Bond. While I am always a connoisseur of the original being the best, I have found a number of problems with Connery’s Bond. The first is his character rapes Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. The second is the racism of Bond being camouflaged as a “Japanese” in You Only Live Twice. While both films contribute a great amount to the Bond oeuvre, they do not hold up well over time.

George Lazenby play James Bond once. However, that one film is better than most of the Bond canon. It is the only movie where James Bond gets married, and it featured the first “Bond Girl” who not only held her own against the secret agent, but could kick some serious ass. Diana Rigg (aka Mama Tyrell for you Game of Thrones), we applaud you.

Timothy Dalton is without a doubt the worst of all Bonds. I must admit, I LOVE License to Kill. However, The Living Daylights is the absolute WORST Bond movie of all time. It’s so bad, I skipped it during this past binge.

The Bondium – Pierce Brosnan Film Rankings

I credit Pierce Brosnan with saving the James Bond franchise. After Timothy Dalton, it took six years, the longest gap between any two Bond movies, for producers to finally resurrect James Bond for a 90’s audience.

Pierce Brosnan Film Rankings

  1. Goldeneye
  2. Tomorrow Never Dies
  3. The World is Not Enough
  4. Die Another Day

The Pierce Brosnan movies ushered in an era of higher production values for the Bond franchise. For one, they feature two Oscar winning actresses, Judi Dench and Halle Berry; and another nominee, Rosamund Pike. It’s ironic the movie featuring all three is the worst movie of Brosnan’s tenure.

Goldeneye is the Goldfinger of modern Bond. It creates a wonderful storyline of conflict between 00’s, while adhering to the tried and true James Bond formula. You have Famke Jansen playing Xenia Onatopp, Desmond Llewelyn as Q, and the introduction of the the first female (and BEST) M. Oh, and let’s not forget Tina Turner’s AMAZING song.

Tomorrow Never Dies is ALMOST as good as Goldeneye. After one Bond film, Pierce Brosnan settles into the role, combining the beguiling charm with a respectable amount of humor. In an early scene, Tomorrow Never Dies delivers two of the most Bondian lines of all time:

“I’m just brushing up on a little Danish.”
“Oh James, you were always a cunning linguist.”

Jonathan Pryce is glorious as a media mogul bent on world domination. As a lover of an iPad, this film always delights me with a scene predicting the idea of such a device.

The World is Not Enough is the Bond family motto. It was originally mentioned in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Honestly, I would place this above Tomorrow Never Dies as its plot is one of the best in the franchise, but it suffers from Denies Richards’ Christmas Jones. A regrettably terrible Bond girl and character. Nevertheless, its villain is one of the best of the series.

Die Another Day should have been a great Bond movie, but loses itself in a terrible premise and writing. Still, it did bring back the Aston Martin.

The Bondium – Other Bond Film Rankings

George Lazenby holds a unique distinction of being starring in a single Bond film. Timothy Dalton wasn’t the first choice when he became Bond, producers were hoping for Pierce Brosnan, who eventually took on the mantle long after Dalton’s short two film stint. Together, they are the Other Bonds.

Other Bond Film Rankings

  1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  2. License to Kill
  3. The Living Daylights

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is one of my favorite Bond films. George Lazenby, taking over for the now legendary Sean Connery, performs admirably as the new Bond. The film itself adheres to the Bond oeuvre wonderfully, and introduces the first empowered Bond girl in Diane Rigg’s Contessa Tracy di Vicenzo.

Most fans today are more likely to recognize Rigg from her role as Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones. In case, Tracy holds another distinction as the only woman James Bond marries in the entire franchise.

Despite my poor opinion of Timothy Dalton as Bond, I must say I do enjoy watching License to Kill. It pulls out all the stops of a Bond movie with over the top stunts and and infamous death scene involving a decompression chamber. And it’s hard to forget Benicio Del Toro’s role as a zany assassin sidekick.

The Living Daylights is the worst Bond film of all time. I refused to watch it during my second time through, and doubt I’ll ever watch it again.

The Bondium – Roger Moore Bond Film Rankings

While I turned away from the Sean Connery Films, I found myself delighting in the campy schtick of the Roger Moore films. They do, of course, lather on more than a bit of misogyny. However, over time, they come off charming compared to the previous Bond.

Roger Moore Bond Films

  1. The Man with the Golden Gun
  2. View to a Kill
  3. The Spy Who Loved Me
  4. For Your Eyes Only
  5. Moonraker
  6. Live and Let Die
  7. Octopussy

Without a doubt, The Man with the Golden Gun is my favorite Roger Moore Bond film. Christopher Lee, as Scaramanga, plays one of the best Bond villains as an assassin who kills with a single shot from his eponymous Golden Gun.

He’s driven to prove himself the best assassin in the world by challenging James Bond to a duel. The Man with the Golden Gun is a rare Bond movie with a reasonably dramatic plot. It’s also a great example of how Bond movies regularly use emerging technology, in this case solar energy, as McGuffins in various films.

View to a Kill is a PERFECT Bond movie. It has everything that makes a great Bond movie: A totally insane villain played wonderfully by Christopher Walken, the filigreed setting of Château de Chantilly as the backdrop of a high stakes thoroughbred auction., a devious plot to destroy Silicon Valley, and one FABULOUS Grace Jones as the Amazonian assassin May Day. That doesn’t even cover it’s theme by Duran Duran, one of the best Bond songs of the franchise.

The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only are basically Roger Moore standards. Enjoyable if you like his Bond oeuvre, mostly tolerable.

Moonraker is an interesting entry in the Bond canon as it actually cut ahead of For Your Eyes Only because the producers wanted to capitalize on the success of a little movie called Star Wars.

Live and Let Die is actually a quite enjoyable, but suffers from some racist stereotypes, and the introduction of the Jar Jar Binks of the Bond films, Sheriff Pepper. He is an offensive take on a rural Louisiana sheriff, and the most forgettable character to appear in Bond films.

Finally, we have Octopussy. The name alone is enough to put it at the bottom of this, or any, Bond list. It also features one of the worst Bond girl names, the eponymous Octopussy. It makes most dialogue involving her character cringeworthy.

The Bondium – Sean Connery Film Rankings

The Sean Connery Bond films hold a special place in the world of Bond as they helped build a the foundation for a film franchise of twenty-four movies and growing. However, despite their vaunted status, I feel they do not hold up well over time.

Sean Connery Bond Films Rankings

  1. Dr. No
  2. From Russia With Love
  3. Thunderball
  4. Goldfinger
  5. You Only Live Twice
  6. Diamonds Are Forever

Goldfinger encapsulates how Sean Connery’s films do not hold up over time. While you can chalk it up to the way it was back then, it’s hard to watch James Bond rape Pussy Galore in Goldfinger’s barn about halfway through the movie. Goldfinger also personifies the basest misogynistic tendencies of James Bond. There’s even a point where he almost ditches his mission because a pretty woman passes him on the road.

It’s for that reason I chose Dr. No as the best Sean Connery Bond film. It’s hard to argue against the original. It lays out the Bond formula pitting the suave, sexy secret agent against a maniacal villain bent on world domination.

From Russia With Love is a classic Bond movie. It introduces the infamous Bond nemesis, Ernst Blofeld, sports a ridiculously campy gypsy woman fight scene, and introduces the train as an iconic Bond fight scene backdrop.

Thunderball is, possibly, the first Bond film to introduce exotic locations as part of the Bond canon. This is nothing to say about the names of the villain, Largo, and his yacht, the Disco Volante.

You Only Live Twice suffers from a racist concept of trying to place James Bond undercover as a Japanese fisherman. The ludicrousness of the idea is only surpassed by its execution.

Diamonds Are Forever is the least unwatchable film from the Sean Connery era. It is mostly a footnote as Connery was brought back (in desperation?) after George Lazenby elected not to do another Bond film. It lacks any substance, but does claim the title of the best Bond Girl names in the entire franchise; Tiffany Case, Plenty O’Toole and Bambi and Thumper.

For my part, Tiffany Case is the most exquisite name of all Bond Girls. It’s a shame her character and the movie were so forgettable.

Daniel Craig Bond Films

  1. Skyfall
  2. Casino Royale
  3. Spectre
  4. Quantum of Solace

Top 007 Bond Films

  1. Skyfall
  2. Casino Royale
  3. Dr. No
  4. Spectre
  5. Goldeneye
  6. The Man With the Golden Gun
  7. Tomorrow Never Dies

Top 007 Bond Villains

  1. Blofeld (Multiple Films)
  2. Mr. Silver (Skyfall)
  3. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
  4. Scaramanga (The Man with the Golden Gun)
  5. Elektra King (The World is Not Enough)
  6. Dr. No
  7. Elliot Carver

Top 007 Bond Girls

  1. M (Multiple Films)
  2. Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
  3. Tracy (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
  4. Money Penny (Multiple Films)
  5. Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
  6. Wai Lin (Tomorrow Never Dies)
  7. May Day (View to a Kill)

Top 007 Bond Songs

  1. Skyfall
  2. Writing’s On the Wall
  3. Diamonds Are Forever
  4. Nobody Does It Better
  5. View to a Kill
  6. Goldeneye
  7. Live and Let Die

Top 007 Bond Cars

  1. Aston Martin (Multiple Films)
  2. Lotus
  3. Scaramanga’s Flying Car (Man With the Golden Gun)

Top 007 Bond Gadgets

  1. Watch
  2. Pen (Goldeneye)
  3. Briefcase (From Russia with Love)
  4. Radio Transmitter
  5. BMW Remote (Tomorrow Never Dies)

Q Branch

M-sights

Where Do We Go From Here?

We’re at the crossroads, my dear
Where do we go from here?

After Imelda, I’m afraid we have to start having a serious conversation about the future of Houston.

Look at this list:

  • Memorial Day Flood – May 2015
  • Tax Day Flood – April 2016
  • Hurricane Harvey – August 2017
  • Tropical Storm Imelda – September 2019

Catastrophic floods are coming to Houston at an unprecedented clip, and it’s only a matter of time before parts of city will be underwater again.

Maybe you won’t go, maybe you’ll stay
Oh I know I’m gonna miss you either ways
It’s such a lonely road

The Houston Chronicle published an article asking if it’s worth staying in Houston after these floods. Personally, I not sure I would want to stay in Houston if my home flooded during two or more of the events above. The problem is how do you identify the areas that need to be closed permanently, and then how can you force people to stop rebuilding and/or forcing them from their homes.

The easiest way to pick a fight with a Texan is to threaten their land.

Where do we go from here?
All I can do is, follow the tracks of my tears

That is nothing to say of the particularly troubling realities of relocating heavily flooded neighborhoods like Meyerland. Meyerland has long been the proverbial home of Houston’s Jewish community. It has been wrecked by all of the aforementioned floods, and has led to a “loss of faith” within our Jewish communities.

But even if we believe the best solution is to close off large parts of Meyerland, how do we also protect the Jewish community, and everything it does for all Houstonians?

This is only part of the greater conversation about how Houston must respond to future flood events. In the cases of the Memorial and Tax Day floods, it’s not clear there is much that can be done to prepare. However, in the case of tropical storms and hurricanes, I feel it may be necessary to start shutting down the city ahead of such events. I know it may seem ridiculous, and it would most certainly result in the occasional false alarm, but think about the alternative.

I was talking to a friend about Imelda. Her son was trapped, but very safe at his school. She wasn’t worried about him, but she felt an acute anxiety about the idea of not being able to reach her child.

What if things had been worse? What if children had been trapped late into the evening or over night? What about this?

I refuse to believe needlessly keeping children home in the face of a storm threat is worse than putting children in this or similar danger.

It will take considerable thought and consideration, but it needs to happen. After all, putting the safety and well being of our citizens is the most Houstonian act of all.

Where do we go from here?
All I can do is, follow the tracks of my tears