Film: (DVD) Toy Story 2 Lee Unkrich, John Lasseter 1999Unspeakably wonderful, don't miss it! Very, very highly recommended!
Film: (DVD) Raising Arizona Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 1987I found this rather disappointing, not up to the standard of the other Coen brothers films I've seen (Fargo; Brother, Where Art Thou?, and the incomparable The Big Lebowski
Film: (DVD) Dead Again Kenneth Branagh 1991A noir psychological thriller, involving reincarnation. The film moves back and forth from 1949 to the "present" in Los Angeles, with most of the leads playing two roles. Branagh is more convincing as the 1949 composer/conductor/convicted murder than he is faking an American accent as a red-Corvette-convertibl-driving private eye. Emma Thompson is as delectable as ever both as a 1949 concert pianist and an amnesia victim. This film also features an excellent performance from Derek Jacobi, and also has Wayne Knight, before he became ubiquitous.
Film: (DVD) A Bug's Life John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton 1998Fine Pixar computer animation, but not quite up to the level of Toy Story 2
Film: (DVD) Shadows and Fog Woody Allen 1992A dark black & white homage to Fritz Lang, with music adapted from Kurt Weill. Very pretentious, far from Allen's best work.
Got my new domain and Web space sheldonbrown.ORG . Using a new provider called simonweb.com --I've got 500 MB on this site, and plan to gradually move most of my personal stuff to this site from sheldonbrown.COM.
Lots of work on sheldonbrown.ORG.
Film: (DVD) The Big Sleep Howard Hawks 1946What a great film! I've seen this a bunch of times before, but it wears well. The DVD has two versions, the original 1945 version and the revised 1946 release. We watched the 1945 version, which I hadn't seen before. The "bonus materials" included with the DVD include a comparison of the differences.
Several scenes were reshot over a year after the original shooting. The main difference is a greater emphasis on Lauren Bacall interacting with Bogey (who is in every scene!) The original also featured a scene with the district attorney and a police captain, which helped clarify the famously obscure plot.
Film: (DVD) A River Runs Through It Robert Redford 1992A coming-of-age story set in Montana before WWI. Tom Skerrit is the paterfamilias, a Presbyterian Minister. His two sons are played by Craig Sheffer (the older, steadier one) and Brad Pitt (the young, wild one.) They all share the religion of Fly Fishing. Beautiful scenery helps, but this isn't a film for those who prefer a happy ending.
September 11, 2001
Film: (DVD) Vivement Dimanche (Confidentially Yours)Francois Truffaut 1983A Hitchcockesque film noir, with a Marseille real estate agent accused of a string of murders, including that of his wife and one of her former lovers. He is helped by his secretary, the blazingly sexy Fanny Ardant . Mlle. Ardant makes the film worthwhile, otherwise there wouldn't be much to recommend it. I had not even heard of her until seeing Balzac: A Life of Passion back in June, and I haven't been as knocked out by an actress since the first time I saw Emma Thompson in Much Ado About Nothing.
This is the most primitive DVD I've yet seen. There's nothing on it but the film, not even any chapter selection screen. The subtitles are part of the image, no choice about them.
Film: (VHS) Separate but Equal George Stevens Jr. 1991Sidney Poitier stars in this made-for-TV film as Thurgood Marshal arguing Brown vs. Board of Education in the early '50s. A compelling story, but I don't have much idea how accurate it might be.
Film: (VHS) Kind Hearts and Coronets Robert Hamer 1949One of the classic Ealing Studios comedies, starring a very young Alec Guinnes in a large number of roles. A poor relation to a duke, 14th in line of succession, he snuff's 'em one at a time (all played by Guiness). For the period the split screen stuff is done very well--there are quite a few scenes where he's on screen simultaneously in two different roles, but the seams don't show.
CD: Mes Souliers sont Rouges: ProchesI had found this group's Website a couple of years ago while surfing for the lyrics to some French folk songs. They have online samples, and I liked what I heard, but had been unable to find an online source that would ship to the U.S.
A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to try Amazon.fr, the French version of Amazon.com, and sure enough, there's a new live CD that is being carried by this site. I ordered a copy in, and it came last week. It is well worth the wait!
When I lived in France, I was surprised and dismayed by how little awareness there is in Metropolitan France of Québecois culture, and even folk fans that I met there had little or no knowldedge of the active Québecois folk scene. Mes Souliers sont Rouges ("My Slippers are Red") is an exception. Their repertoire includes Québecois and Cajun material, as well as some original material. The arrangements are fresh and the performances brisk and lively. If you like La Bottine Souriante or Beau Soleil, you'll like these 5 gars from Normandy. Very highly recommended!
I like this disc so much I did a more exhaustive Google search, and found a very cool U.S. Website called Wooden Ships Music that has their first two albums. I've got them on order. This site, which I had not previously known of, is irresistable for fans of seafaring music.
Film: (DVD) Gone With The Wind Sam Wood, George Cukor 1939A great piece of film making, a tear-jerker of a story, if you can overlook the racism and sexism that pervades it. It was a treat to see this on the new TV on a nice clean DVD image.
I recently read a Web article that maintained that this book and film greatly exaggerated the excesses of Sherman's famous "march to the Sea" and that his reputation was unjustly sullied by Mitchell's hatchet job.
Film: (VHS) North to Alaska Henry Hathaway 1960John Wayne, Stewart GrangerCapucine and teen heartthrob Fabian star in this Western, or should I say, Northern comedy. Pretty silly, also featuring Ernie Kovacs as the villian, lots of fistfights for those who like that sort of thing.
Film: (DVD) Rope Alfred Hitchcock 1948Hickock's first color film, this one-set version of a stage play is a technical tour de force. Filmed as one continuous scene, or as close to it as he could do with cameras that only held 10 minutes of film, it is minutely choreographed with a very complex set--walls and furniture had to be constantly moved in and out of position as the bulky early Technicolor camerast were tracked around.
Very loosely based on Leopold and Loeb, Jimmy Stewart is somewhat miscast as a subtle and crafty follower of Nietsche, who taught the culprits in prep school. Sick and twisted, but quite entertaining anyway. Recommended for Hithcock fans.
I'm disappointed to see the sudden outpouring of public religiosity in the wake of the WTC attacks. It was religion that motivated these attacks, and I'd have hoped that more people would have recoiled from this baleful ideology that blames human failings on supposed supernatural beings.
Film: (DVD) Big Deal on Madonna Stret Mario Monicelli 1956A charming "caper" farce set in '50s Italy. Highly recommended
Film: (DVD) Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Robert Zemeckis 1988I've seen this before, but it was a treat to see it again. It's a brilliant blend of animation and live-action, as "film noir" set in '30s Los Angeles. It's amazing that there hasn't been aa sequel yet. Very highly recommended.
Music: Revels - Singing in SolidarityThis was a community sing whipped up on short notice by Revels, Inc. , a benefit for the September 11 fund. Quite a nice event, at Sanders Theatre. Saw lots of old familiar faces, sang a bunch of old familiar songs, also some old unfamiliar ones.
I lost it today at lunchtime. I went to the local sub shop, and, as usual, while waiting for them to make my sub, I took out my Visor PDA to pass the time. I clicked on Avantgo and todays New York Times, and started to read an article about the thousands of orphans created by the attack on the World Trade Center. I got my sandwich, and had made it halfway back to the shop when it all caught up to me, and I started bawling like a baby. I guess the fact that I lost my own dad when I was 9 may make me hypersensitive on this, but it took several minutes before I was able to get myself back under control.
Film: (VHS) Waterloo Bridge Mervyn LeRoy 1940A 1940s tear jerker, with Vivian Leigh and Ronald Coleman as star-crossed lovers during World War I. After believing her fiancé dead, Leigh is driven by economic necessity to prostitution to support herself. Due to the strictures of the Hays office, this is only referred to by the most elaborate indirection, though it's the central problem of the plot.
Film: (DVD) Sense and Sensbility Ang Lee 1995Hard to believe I hadn't seen this before, I'm such a Jane Austen and Emma Thompson fan. The delectable Ms. Thompson not only starred, but wrote the screenplay, which is superb. Wonderful acting by all hands, including Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet, beautifully directed by Ang Lee.
The DVD also features delightful commentary from Ms. Thompson.
TV EnterpriseI don't usually watch TV "real-time" but for the premiere of the new Star Trek series, I was too impatient to wait to watch on tape without commercials. Looks like a winner to me! The character chemistry looks good, and the basic concept of starfaring at the beginning of star travel, under the excessively sheltering patronage of the Vulcans is promising. It could do with rather less fisticuffs and fewer gunfights, these get a bit tedious.
I've updated the main photo for my Web pages, with my new helmet:
I liked the snowy background of the old one very much, but the expression and color leave much to be desired. The new one is a better representative of what I look like now, gray-bearded and with different glasses.
Film: (DVD) Ferris Bueller's Day OffAn entertaining, if juvenile comedy, with wealthy, spoiled Winnetka (or maybe Kenilworth) teenagers hoodwinking thir feckless parents and contemptible high school principal. Lots of fun.
Film: (DVD) QuillsThis film covers some of the same ground as peter Brook's Marat/Sade but without the benefit of music. A well-made but grim and grisly film.
Flying out to Las Vegas for the Interbike show. I'm currently sitting out a 3 hour layover in Midway airport, and am due to arrive in Vegas about midnight local time (3 am for me!)
Airport security is at a high pitch in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack...
The lights of Chicago were beautiful on this clear night as the plane took off.
After a night at the Stratosphere, I've moved to the Frontier, which is rather closer to the Interbike show. The show is in the Sands Expo Center, behind the new and gorgeous "Venetian" hotel/casino. It was a longish, hot walk from the Frontier to the show, especially since I started out in the wrong direction.
The show sure is big! I only managed to circumnambulate the perimeter, interior booths will have to wait.
Went to dinner with Peter White in a Mexican restaurant in The Venetian. They've got a canal with gondolas going by, and a very convincing tromp l'oeil sky above th virtual Venetian buildings. Very pleasant atmosphere, good food, margaritas, lots of rememiscences. I was so footsore I took a cab back to the Frontier.
- A very nice sidecar child carrier from Québec, currently only in prototype stage.
- CatEye HL-EL100 L.E.D. headlight, claimed to get 30 hours on 4 AA cells.
- DiaTech double-sided singlespeed freehub, with left or right side drive.
- Wheels flatted 14 mm axles, which permit hubs with 14 mm axles (like the one above) to be used in conventional frames.
- DiaTech MX99 brake lever, a freestyle brake lever with a cable anchorage in it, a tinkerer's delight.
- Electra Commuter 7, a 700c wheel Nexus 7-speed bike, with matching fenders, rack. Uses the Shimano Rollerbrake ® for the rear, with a direct-pull cantilever in front, for well under $500. I expect to sell a LOT of these!
- Paul Components auxiliary brake levers, designed to mount on the tops of drop bars.
Wasted an hour trying to get online from the Frontier. I use the Harris Cyclery Earthlink account on the road, and had already set my computer up with the recommended Los Vegas dialup number, but it turned out to be impossible to call this number from the Frontier! Evidently this is a new exchange, and their internal phone system has to be reconfigured before it will permit access to this, even though it's a local call. After spending a lot of time being passed from one person to another at the hotel, then much navigation of Earthlink's voice mail, I finally got a couple of alternate Earthlink dialup numbers, which work but are sloooooow, 14,4 or less!
Another day at the show. This time I brought Harriet's wheeled suitcase to gather literature in, rather than the shoulder bag I used yesterday. Much, much better! Saw lots of cool stuff, had a very interesting chat with Alan Clarke, a 33 year veteran Sturmey-Archer executive, about the history and prospects of Sturmey-Archer.
Had a nice chat with Grant Petersen, and saw the new Ramboulliet prototype.
So far, the most exciting product I've seen has been a tire; I'v been nagging various tire manufacturers about this for several years, but it took Georgena Terry to finally get something done, and she will be offering the first 28-571 (650 x 28 c) tire soon. I ordered 50 of them, they should arrive sometime in February. There are so many cyclists stuck with 650 c bikes for which the only tires available have been skinny racing models, I expect to sell a LOT of these!
Other cool things include:
- Cyclink trailer hitch, turns any child's bike into a trailercycle.
- Various cool tools from Pedro's, including a chainless chain whip, a very nice looking pro chain tool, and a nice HG lockring socket, 3/8 drive.
- Soma fixed-gear frameset
- Joytech disc brake singlespeed hub
- Several new tools from United, including a really nifty dish stick with a spring loaded feeler, made from chainstays! Also, a dial-caliper device for truing brake discs, VAR 600 & 601 bottom bracket tools/pedal wrenches, and a super VAR chain whip.
- United featured a very nice cyclometer/light mount from Nitto.
Checked out the Fuji and Electra line. Fujis looks quite good this year, now with STI road bikes beginning at $425! The new version of their "Track" model has a more muted color scheme. The prototype Tracks have severe chainline problems, but I trust the problems will be ironed out before they actually ship. They now also make a "Track SE" with 571 mm (650C) wheels.
Electra has brought back the Commuter 7, a Nexus-7-equipped bike with a rack and matching painted fenders. It uses the Shimano roller brake in back and a direct-pull canti on the front, with a price-point well under $500. We should sell a LOT of these, if the supply is steady enough.
Went to dinner with Sonny at the Frontier, then headed up to my room to do email and update this journal.
Another day at the show. The highlight was a very nice talk with Richard Schwinn. It's now official, we're a Waterford dealer!
I also had a nice talk with Rob Bush of Shimano about the Nexus 7. He had traveled to Japan to speak to the inventor of the hub, and the inventor, whose name I didn't catch told him "This hub is my daughter; I'm counting on you to help her prosper in your country>"
Today Sonny and I checked out most of our main lines, viz: Giant, Marin, Raleigh, Bianchi. They all look pretty good. I don't know if it's because the manufacturers are hungry, or because of currency fluctuations, but prices are generally down across the board. The Marin ALP flat-bar road bikes look very nice, as do a number of the Bianchi models. Bianchi's singlespeed MTB is now called the "D.I.S.S." It is flat black with disc brakes.
Interesting items include:
- Surly showed a prototype track hub, cartridge bearings, standard (interchangeable) axle, double-sided fixed gear. It looks very nice, and is expected to retail for around $70. They're also working on an improved version of their 1 x 1 singlespeed MTB rear hub. There's a front hub intended to match either the fixed or singlespeed. They use a mid-flange design, neither large nor small.
- Adams Trail-a-pack, a rather elegant one-wheel cargo trailer. It is designed to attach a pannier rack to, and also has a pair of bottle cage braze-ons. Uses a 559 wheel.
- Ægis has a carbon road frame with bolt-on dropouts that converts it to work with 120 mm track hubs.
- Minoura has a bottle cage designed to work with half-liter bottles, also a nice "Space Grip" device to add room to attach extra doodads to your handlebars.
- Raleigh has revived the "Team", "Professional" and "International" model names, though the Columbus-tubed bikes bear no relation to the originals.
- Topeak has a very nice rack system. It is a seatpost-mount rack, with various clip-on carrying modules, including a shopping basket, a medium-sized pannier set, and a cool rack trunk. The rack trunk has what look like normal side pockets, in addition to the main compartment, but these are actually tuck-away mini panniers that dangle down the side when you unzip the compartment and pul them out! Gotta get me one of these!
Went out to dinner with the crew from Georgeng Terry Bicycles, at a southwestern restaurant called "Z Tejas." The food was excellent, but the margaritas were skimpy. I compensated by drinking four of them. I had the pleasure of being seated next to Portia Masterson, the most illustrious woman in bicycle retailing. She's threatening to leave the biz and move to Mongolia and live in a yurt; it will be a great loss to the industry if she follows through with this.
On my other side was a woman from Terry, I think named Jenny, who was also good company.
Sitting at gate 7 of McCarran Airport (how could they name an airport for such a reactionary troglodyte!?) waiting for my flight, updating some of the previous days' entries. My peace is bothered by the constant irregular bonging of some sort of electronic sucker-fleecing machine. I do find it quite depressing to have to constantly traverse casinos full of desperate losers throwing their money away, this is the worst part of Vegas.
Home safely. All 4 legs of this round trip have been in brand new ATA 737-800 aircraft. These are very nice planes with distinctive bent wingtips. Legroom is decent, and the headrests of the seats are particularly comfy, with various adjustable features. This plane is a real rocketship, and climbs like a bat out of hell!
Book: Procurator Kirk Mitchll, 2000(?)An alternate history novel in which the Roman Empire is still ruling Europe in the present day. Augustus's legions defeated the Germans in 9 A.D., and Pontius Pilate decided to pardon Jesus. The result is no Goth invasion, no Christianity, and the Empire lives, with early 19th century technology (railroads, tanks, radio.)
There's a bit of E.S.P., but fortunately no magic or sorcery. There is a struggle against "barbarian" followers of an Islam-like religion. I enjoyed it, but I'm a particular fan of the genre (and also, concurrently reading Gibbon's Declne & Fall. )
Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra BrahmsWe almost missed this one! We had forgotten that we had tickets, so we missed the first half of the program. Hopped into the car and dashed in in time to hear Seiji Ozawa lead an excellent performance of the Brahms first symphony.
The piece calls for, among other things, three trombones. On of the tromones was the teeniest one I've ever seen. When the player was resting it on the floor, it only came up a bit above his belly button, while the other 2 'bones came up to their seated players' mouths.
We changed our seats this year, from the floor to the second balcony center, 3rd row. The new seats do seem to be an improvement all in all. Looking down, we have a better view of the orchestra, and th sound is excellent.
The attack on Al Qaeda and the Taliban has begun, but details are sketchy. Watched a statement from an Al Qaeda spokesman and also Osama Binladen, they basically admitted that they were the culprits of September 11.
Film: (DVD) Run Lola Run Tom Tykwer 1999A very edgy, very '90s German film, in 3 altrnate versions. It has the feel of a music video, and looks as if they had a lot of fun making the film.
Film: (DVD) HeartlandAn engrossing tale of a widow and her daughter who move to a Montana homestead in 1910.
Film: (DVD) Chariots of FireClassic sports film, the Old-Boy-Network and a couple of outsiders, one a Jew, the other a Christian fanatic Scot, and the 1924 Olympics.
Happy Palindrome Dauy! 10/11/01
Dropped the Chrysler minivan off for brake work this morning, it should be ready tomorrow. This evening I drove George back to Brandeis after morris dance practice in the Pontiac. On the way home, the electrical system started fading, and the car died at the corner of Crafts and Waltham, about a mile from home.
I hoofed it home, called AAA and hopped on a bike back to the car. Took an hour and a minute before the tow truck arrived, with the car hors-de-combat at a very bad spot on a blind curve with no lights. I leaned my bike up against the car with the headlight facing the overtaking traffic, and nobody hit it. After I had been waiting about 45 minutes a police car came by, and the cop set out a couple of flares, which was a comfort. He recognized my helmet...actually, I think all of the police in Newton know me by sight, because I cut throught their parking lot as part of my commute route.
I was saved from terminal boredom by my Handspring PDA, dividing the time between reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and playing Tetris.
Picked up the van ($660 worth of brake work!) just in time to head out to the Andover Country Club for the annual Northeastern University 25 Year Associates reception. A pleasant rubber-chicken event, where Harriet and I are probably among the younger people there.
Dan's Auto had fixed the Pontiac (new alternator, $262) so we're back to having two working cars.
Film: (DVD) Topsy Turvy Mike Leigh, 1999Even seeing it for the third time, the magic still remains. One of the greatest films of all time, and an amazingly true feeling look behind the scenes of Victorian theatre.
Film: (DVD) Trixie Alan Rudolph, Robert Altman 2000This one had slipped through under my radar, I'd never heard of it until I saw it on the shelf at the local library. I took it home 'cause it listed Emily Watson on the box. It's a hilarious comedy murder mystery, full of hilarious lines, mainly from Watson's character who's a champion malapropist, and from Nick Nolte as a corrupt state senator. Highly recommended.
Speaking of the Newton Free Library , they're currently running a small but very choice exhibition of photos by Peter Vanderwarker . They're mostly architectural 16 x 20s, including a great shot of the New York skyline at dusk featuring the late, lamented World Trade Center towers. There's a particularly striking image in one of the Big Dig tunnels with a shaft of sunlight slanting down.
I put up a quick-and-dirty Web page of a few pix from the Las Vegas show , using the new automatic Web software in Photoshop 6.0.
Off to Cape Cod for camping with Harriet, my sister Arlene and brother-in-law Mel. We had planned to camp at Nickerson State Park in Brewster--Harriet had checked with the ranger there who told her there would be no problem, and that reservations were not needed this time of year.
When we arrived, however, we were informed that the park was closed for the season to camping except on the weekends! We were directed to a nearby private campground, Sweetwater Forest. This is a very nice spot, surprisinly busy for the time of year. One amazing thing is that their playground actually still has a see-saw! These are generally a very endangered species, and even when our kids were little enough to be playground habitueés they were mostly extinct, due, no doubt, to liability issues.
Arlene and Mel had mailed most of their impedimenta to their daughter's house in Charlestown, so as not to have to fly with excess baggage. It turned out that a woman who shall remain nameless had forgotten to pack the tent poles when they loaded their stuff into our van! They cadged some abandoned poles from the campground office, but they weren't the correct size. They managed to improvise a hovel-like shelter using those poles and a lot of string.
Harriet and I had our brand new Avid Outdoor brand tent, and even remembered all of the pieces.
(Click to Enlarge)
About 8 pm, the skies opened in torrential rain, which pelted down fiercely for about 3 hours, getting everybody pretty wet and miserable. Our new off-brand tent turned out to be not such a bargain after all, because there were leaky zippers that allowed a fair sized puddle to accumulate on one side of the tent, and steady dripping on the other side. Our tent actually got more rain in it than Arlene & Mel's Coleman without the proper poles! The rain slowed about 11, but continued most of the night. I'm not a big fan of camping, and this night did nothing to increase my taste for roughing it.
After a night like that, we were undecided whether to go to a motel, or home or whatever. In the event, we decided to drive back up to Charlestown and retrieve the poles, 2 hours each way.
In the afternoon we went for an 11.5 mile ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the nearby section between two sections that were torn up for reconstruction. Harriet rode her Bottecchis fixed gear, I my old Hercules with huge new Ritchey Moby Slick tires that only just barely cleared, Arlene rode my Nexus 7-speed Raleigh Competition, and Mel Harriet's Schwinn King Sting MTB.
We had dinner at the Brewster Fish House, which had been highly recommended, but was possibly a slight disappointment. Most of the dishes offered seemed to have lots of fancy kickshaw sauces that didn't appeal to me, so I just went with basic fish and chips.
Back at the campsite we had a cheery campfire, then admired the night sky--it was preternaturally clear, and one could actually see the Milky Way. I'm not aware of ever seeing the Milky Way before. Wished we had brought binocs or my little monocular.
They have a little playground with old timey equipment, even a see-saw! How long has it been since you've seen a see- ssaw? The lawyers have driven these nearly to extinction, and I think this was the first time Harriet and I were ever on one together.
Slept well, though a bit chilly. Drove up to Provincetown by a circuitous route, stopping at various beaches on the way, and winding around the back roads of Wellfleet. Picnicked on a bluff overlooking the ocean, but sheltering by a dune from the strong wind.
Wandered around Provincetown, doing a bit of shopping. I was surprised to be able to get out of Marine Specialties without buying anything, but the only things that caught my fancy were some cool military surplus hats--East German officers' hats and some sort of foreign sailors' hats--but they only had itty-bitty sizes, so I gave 'em a pass.
Dined on the "strip" of P'town in an unpretentious place called The Mayflower. I had a very excellent sirloin steak, the wimminfolk had lobsters which pleased them well. The Mayflower also had my favorite dessert, indian pudding, yumm! We liked The Mayflower a lot.
Back home in time for lunch. Found the Pontiac again hors-de-combat due to a dead battery. Tried to jump start it--but couldn't find the battery! It was actally the first time I've opened the hood, and there was no battery to be seen! Dave from Dan's Auto came over and showed me the just-barely-accessible positive terminal where the battery is hidden under the windshield-washer reservoir. Drove over to Dan's where they installed a new battery while I waited. Turned out to be quite an operation! The washer and reservoir had to be removed, a structural brace, the voltage regulator and air filter all had to be moved before the battery became accessible.
At the garage, there was a '66 Mustang parked next to the Pontiac, also with its hood open, and the contrast was startling. The Mustang had this slim straight 6 in the middle, and huge, cavernous empty spaces on either side of it, while the Pontiac's transverse v-6 and various ancillary bits filled the engine compartment solidly.
Film: (DVD) Throw Momma From The Train Danny de Vito, 1987A farcial send-up of Hitchcock films, starring Danny de Vito and Billy Crystal. A pleasant diversion, lots of laughs. Kate (Janewy of Voyager) Mullgrew plays Billy Crystal's ex-wife and the object of de Vito's murderous misunderstanding.
We had take-out pizza for dinner, and noticed that the Greek-run pizzaria we frequent has switched to new boxes that feature a large American flag and a prominent "God Bless America." I hope that they haven't felt forced to do this to avoid persecution--this is not a nice time to be a Mediterranean-looking person in the U.S., I'm afraid.
October 20, 2001
Film: (DVD) Pushing TinThis was quite a good film, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton struggling to be the alpha dog of a crew of macho New York air traffic controllers. It is unfortunately timed and set--the opening credits run over a large number of airliners zipping across the sky above Manhattan, with the late World Trade Center towers highly visible.
October 22, 2001The anthrax panic continues. Seems to me that it may be necesary to start putting serial numbers on postage stamps, and keeping track of who buys them.
October 23, 2001
Film: (DVD) For Whom the Bell Tolls
October 27, 2001Great mews! The Boston Globe reports that James Levine is to be Ozawa's successor as music director! I can't think of another living conductor I'd prefer.
October 31, 2001
eBook: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 Edward Gibbon, 1776This is widely regarded as one of the classic works of history, and with reason. It is very well written, and appears to have been scrupulously researched, given the resources available in the 18th century.
This edition has numerous commentaries and footnotes added by mid-19th century scholars, some of whom find Gibbon to be insufficiently reverent. This volume runs from the age of Augustus through Constine's consolidation of power in 324. It is with Constantine that Christianity becomes the established religion of the Empire.
|November-December, 1998||April-May, 1975|
|Books reviewed on this page:|
|The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol.1||Edward Gibbon||10/31/01|
|Films reviewed on this page:|
|Big Deal on Madonna Street||September 21, 2001|
|The Big Sleep||September 9, 2001|
|A Bug's Life||September 7, 2001|
|Chariots of Fire||October 10, 2001|
|Confidentially Yours (Vivement Dimanche)||September 13, 2001|
|Dead Again||September 4, 2001|
|Ferris Bueller's Day Off||September 27, 2001|
|Gone With the Wind||September 18, 2001|
|Heartland||October 8, 2001|
|Kind Hearts and Coronets||September 15, 2001|
|North to Alaska||September 19, 2001|
|Pushing Tin||October 20, 2001|
|Quills||September 28, 2001|
|Raising Arizona||September 3, 2001|
|A River Runs Through It||September 10, 2001|
|Rope||September 19, 2001|
|Run Lola Run||October 7, 2001|
|Separate but Equal||September 14, 2001|
|Shadows and Fog||September 8, 2001|
|Throw Momma From The Train||October 19, 2001|
|Topsy-Turvy||October 12, 2001|
|Trixie||October 13, 2001|
|Vivement Dimanche||September 13, 2001|
|Sense and Sensibility||September 25, 2001|
|Toy Story 2||September 1, 2001|
|Waterloo Bridge||September 25, 2001|
|Who Framed Roger Rabbit||September 22, 2001| Music: Date Performers Works
October 6, 2001 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa Brahms: Symphony #1
May 3-6, 2001 M.I.Tl G & S Players Gilbert & Sullivan: The Grand Duke
April 13, 2001 Harvard-Radcliffe G & S Gilbert & Sullivan: Utopia, Limited
March 4, 2001 Newton North High School Chorus
and Orchestra Haydn: Missa in Tempore Belli; Symphony #49 "La Pasione"
March 3, 2001 B.S.O., David Robertson Janácek Sinfonietta,
February 18, 2001 Theatre de Chatelet (DVD) Janácek, The Cunning Little Vixen
February 4, 2001 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Rowe
& Sullivan, The Zoo
February 3, 2001 B.S.O., James Levine Mahler Symphony #3
February 3, 2001 George and his band at
Harvey Finstein School of Music
December 27, 2000 The Christmas Revels,
Cambridge Appalchian/African-American Revels
December 23, 2000 San Carlo Opera
(DVD) Wagner, Tannhäuser
2000 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, The Sorceror November 16, 2000 Harvestfest, Newton North High
School November 2, 2000 B.S.O., Christoph Eschenbach Mozart: Piano
Concerto #23; Mahler Symphony #5
October 24, 2000 Leon
Rosselson Johnny D's
October 7, 2000 The
Savoy-Aires Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado
June 18, 2000 George and his band at Harvey Finstein School of Music
May 21, 2000 Small Ensemble
April 29, 2000 Spring Revels
April 22, 2000 B.S.O., André Previn, Pamela
Frank Previn: Diversions; Barber: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Symphony
March 10, 2000 Revels, Inc/Shakespeare & Co. The Mysteries
February 26, 2000 B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa, Christine Goerke, Ian
Bostridge, Thomas Quasthoff Britten: War Requiem
February 19, 2000 B.S.O., Bernard Haitink Mahler: Symphony
February 12, 2000 George and his band at
Harvey Finstein School of Music
January 29, 2000 B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle
Peter Donohoe, Piano
Dvorák: The Golden Spinning Wheel,
Bartók: Piano Concerto #1, Brahms: Symphony #2
January 8, 2000 George on
Trombone N.E. Regional Senior District Festival
December 19, 1999 The Christmas Revels,
Cambridge Italian Renaissance Revels
December 12, 1999 Pierre Boulez, Met
Opera (video) Wagner: Siegfried
November 19, 1999 Matapat, Lexington
November 18, 1999 Harvestfest, Newton
North High School St. Sæns Danse Macabre
November 7, 1999 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert &
Sullivan, Iolanthe November 4, 1999 George and his band at
October 2, 1999 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa
Florence Quivar, Mezzo; Paula Delligatti, Sop.
Mahler, Symphony #2
September 29, 1999 B.S.O., Seiji Ozawa,
Hildegarde Behrens, Soprano
Wagner: Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung
Strauss: Electra excerpt.
1999 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert & Sullivan, Crichton July 24, 1999 David Mallett June 19, 1999 The
Publick Theatre Gilbert & Sullivan The Yeomen of the Guard
April 13, 1999 Harvey Finstein School of Music
student groups George and Tova at Watch City
March 7, 1999 Newton North High School Chorus
and Orchestra Mozart: Requiem, Symphony #38 ("Prague").
March 5, 1999 Harvey Finstein School of Music student
groups George and Tova in Jazz recital at Newton Congregational Church.
March 4, 1999 Newton North High School various
February 6, 1999 B.S.O.,Seiji Ozawa,
Jacques Zoon (flute)
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande "Symphony"
Mozart: Flute Concerto #1 in G, K.313
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps.
January 30, 1999 B.S.O., Robert Spano,
Andreas Haefliger (piano)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #2
Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela, Symphony #3
January 16, 1999 B.S.O., Sir Simon Rattle,
Dawn Upshaw (sop.)
Knussen Flourish with Fireworks
Weir Natural History
Mahler Symphony #4
Schumann Piano Concerto
Christmas Revels, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge
December 12, 1998 Caroling with Nym
Cooke, Hardwick, Mass.
1998 B.S.O., Roberto Abbado,
Lief Ove Andsnes (piano)
Mahler Symphony #1
Schumann Piano Concerto
November 8, 1998 M.I.T.G.a.S.P. Gilbert &
Sullivan, The Mikado Plays:
September 30, 2000 Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell
University The Maids-Jean Genet
2000 Kelsey Grammer/Colonial Theatre Macbeth
May 26, 2000 The Huntington Theatre Co. King
September 3, 1999 The Publick
August 21, 1999 Orange
Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y. Sonata
1999 Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y. Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For
May 22-29 Newton South/North High
Schools Richard III
1998 Newton North High School The Bone Violin, May Flies
November 12, 1998 Newton North High School To
Kill a Mockingbird
October 16-19, 2001 Cape Cod, Massachusetts
September 29-October 3, 2001 Las Vegas, Nevada (Interbike Show)
June 16-23, 2001 Nags Head, North Carolina
October 5-14, 2000 Evanston, Illinois
September 30-October 2, 2000 Ithaca, New York
June 22-25, 2000 Urbanna, Virginia
October 7-13, 1999 Chicago/Evanston,
August 19-28, 1999 Ithaca, New
August 12-13, 1999 Ithaca, New York
July 23-25, 1999 Bridgeton, Maine
November 25-28, 1998 Fort Lauderdale,
1988-89 France, England
1980 Yucatan, Mexico
Belgium, Yugoslavia, Turkey Sheldon Brown's Personal Pages
# since November 8, 1998
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