Audiobook Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 Garrison Keillor, 2002A pleasant diversion, read by the author.
Film: (DVD) Animal House John Landis, 1978Not sure how I escaped seeing this earlier. Not really worth the wait though. If you ever wonder what the word "sophomoric" means, just watch this film.
eBook: At All Costs ARC David Weber, 2005Another Honor Harrington book , not too different from the others. Never did figure out what "ARC" in the title means...
Film: (DVD) The Awful Truth Leo McCarey, 1937A classic screwball comedy with Cary Grant, Irene Dunn and Ralph Bellamy. Not their best work.
Sailing in Boston HarborGot a call last week from Woody, a friend from Revels, asking if I wanted to go sailing. I said "Sure!" so I hopped on my Raleigh International and rode in to meet him this afternoon at the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown. They have Rhodes 19s , bigger boats than I'm used to, but nothing too hard to handle. I sailed down the harbor to the Black Falcon Terminal, where we ducked in to ogle the QE2 which was docked there, last in a row of 4 big cruise ships. We switched over there, Woody took the helm and I worked the jib. We went out and around Spectacle Island, then back to Charlestown. It was a gorgeous late-summer day, good wind (though a bit fluky) and a virtually cloudless sky. I brought along a sweatshirt and long pants, but never needed to put them on. A very enjoyable outing with one of my favorite people.
In addition to the sail I got a nice 12 mile ride in each direction. Went in via Memorial Drive and the Prison Point Bridge, but took the PDW bike path home...I get kinda nervous on the roads when I'm heading straight into the setting sun.
Had a somewhat bizarre encounter on the way home though. Just as I got to my own block, I noticed a car stopped by the side of the road, and that one of the brake lights was not working. I stopped next to the driver and tried to get her attention, but she didn't hear me until I tapped on her window. She then reacted with a piercing scream of panic...am I really that scary looking? Or was it Igor? I dunno. Anyway, I told her I was sorry I startled her, but wanted to let her know that one of her brake lights was out. Her reaction was to flip me the bird. I rode away, and as I did she opened her door and screamed "F*** you, a**hole!" I can only guess that she must have been on drugs...
My brother was in town, came by in the afternoon. I finally got around to updating his Website, including his recent portrait of me:
Click for larger version and more of my brother's paintings
eBook: Sharpe's Havoc Bernard CornwellAnother of the Sharpe's Rifles series. If you liked any of the other Sharpe's books, you'll like this one too.
Film: (DVD) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Kerry Conran, 2004This is basically a video comic book, set in an alternate version of the late 1930s, where our hero has to save the world from the robotic creation of a mad scientist. What was interesting was that this is the first feature film to be entirely shot in blue screen. The CGI backgrounds were dark and mysterious, but not enough to make up for the hackneyed plot.
The writing was pretty sloppy too, including two references to the "First" World War, at a time when it would really have been called the Great War.
Film: (DVD) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Garth Jennings, 2005This was OK, though somewhat inferior to the British TV series (and vastly inferior to the original radio drama.
The director seems to have concentrated more on the plot and special effects, and made insufficient use of the brilliantly funny material Douglas Adams wrote as excerpts from the Book. It was generally quite watered down and did not do justice to the material.
eBook: Sharpe's Eagle Bernard CornwellAnother of the Sharpe's Rifles series, dealing with the battle of Talavera in 1809. If you liked any of the other Sharpe's books, you'll like this one too.
Film: (DVD) I [heart] Huckabee's David O. Russell, 2004A somewhat Dada-esque comedy with Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman as "existential detectives." This was quite good, though not much laugh-out-loud material.
Vintage British Bike RideMet a gang of fellow fans of older British bikes in Cambridge for a ride on vintage English steel. I rode my Raleigh Competition. A good time was had by all, though I didn't much like the route that was chosen, which was mostly on narrow sidewalk-type bike paths with bad pavement.
Here's a photo by a drafted passerby on the shore of Jamaica Pond:
eBook Sharpe's Gold Bernard CornwellWellington has been pushed back into Portugal by the French, and needs cash to build essential fortifications. It appears that the Peninsular War is on the verge of a French victory, but then Our Hero saves the day, with the help of a nubile Spanish guerilla leader.
RiversingCycled over to Cambridge for the annual Revels "Riversing" production. This is a free antiphonal production on opposite sides of the Charles River and on the Weeks footbridge.
It's a kind of nice idea, but the technology doesn't work out all that well.
Film: (DVD) 3rd Rock From The SunWe've been watching some old TV from Netflix. Got a few episodes of Mork and Mindy, which were kind of disappointing on second viewing. However 3rd Rock really holds up well, an absolutely hilarious show. Everybody involved had major comic talent, and the scripts were an absolute hoot. Very highly recommended.
Film: (DVD) The Big Lebowski by the Coen brothersI've seen this a couple of times before, but I never get tired of it, one of the funniest films ever made.
Film: (DVD) Gibraltar Earth Michael McCollumA mildly entertaining hard science fiction novel, very poorly written however.
Off to Las Vegas for InterbikeMy boss had lots of free miles, so I got to fly first class, which was a real treat.
My report can be found at http://sheldonbrown.com/lasvegas/2005
Film: Serenity Joss Whedon, 2005Harriet and I are big fans of the late, lamented Firefly series, and own the DVDs. We have been looking forward to the feature film ever since it was announced.
We enjoyed it, but not as much as we expected to. Basically seems like one of the one hour TV shows padded out with more fights, which we find much less interesting than Whedon's clever dialogue and characterizations.
Podcasts!I've jumped on the podcast bandwagon. See (or rather hear): http://sheldonbrown.com/podcasts
eBook Sharpe's Escape Bernard CornwellYet another of the Richard Sharpe series on the Peninsular War, this one set in 1812.
Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra Carter, Foss, Ives and Gershwin. James Levine, conductor; Dawn Upshaw, Soprano; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianoThe Ives Three Places in New England is a long-time favorite of mine, not sure I've ever heard it live before though. Good performance. Dawn Upshaw was wonderful as usual, in the Lucas Foss Time Cycle.
Carter is a composer I've never warmed to, I'm afraid. The Gershwin Concerto in F ended the program. A good performance, not one of my favorite pieces though.
eBook: The Lead Goat Veered Off Neil Anderson, 2000An entertaining cycle-touring memoir of a winter trip on Sardinia. The prose tends to be a bit purple from time to time, but I guess you have to expect that with a travel book. A more vigilant editor would have no doubt caught most of the malapropisms, but even so it's a pleasant read.
Film: (DVD) Mrs. Miniver William Wyler, 1942A classic, multiple-Oscar-winning WW2 propoganda tear jerker dealing with life on the British home front during Dunkirk and the Blitz. Not to be missed if you like this sort of thing, as I do.
iMac G5 CD Drive AngstOne of our suppliers had provided a CD rom price list, but I failed to notice that they had put a label on the CD that didn't have a hole in the middle! When I popped it into my CD it not only wouldn't mount, it also wouldn't eject!
I called The Computer Loft, my favorite Mac repair facility, who suggested a couple of things to try with software first, but nothing for it, I had to open up the computer, remove the drive and open up the drive to retrieve the offending disc.
In the end it all came out OK, though it was a bit scary. First time I've been that far into my new Mac...
Film: (HBO) Elephant 2005A fictionalized treatment of the Columbine shootings. Astonishingly boooooooring. Run away! Run away!
Christmas Revels wants me after all!I got a call from the director of The Christmas Revels. Although they have all of the basses they need for the chorus, he would like me to be in the Mummers' Play segments of the show. This is great news, and will be a bit less intense than doing the chorus as well.
Film: (DVD) Sharpe's Company Bernard CornwellAnother of the Sharpe's Rifles series.
Film: (DVD) Not on the Lips (Pas sur la Bouche) Alain Resnais, 2005This is a French operetta from 1925, a sex farce with a plot too complicated to detail. One of the main characters is an uptight American industrialist who has a pathological fear of being kissed on the lips.
Film: (iTunes) Desperate HousewivesI'm sure I taped the last two episodes of Desperate Housewives but I must not have labeled the tape. Fortunately, Apple came to my rescue, with their new iTunes Video system. I was able to download the missing episodes and watch them on the 20" screen of my iMac. Although the resolution is only 320 x 240 or something like that, it was quite watchable on the monitor.
I just love this show!
eBook: Grantville Gazette 2Another in the The Grantville Gazette series inspired by Eric Flint's 1632
Rosa ParksRosa Parks died today. She was one of my great heroes, glad she got to live a long and full life.
Film: (DVD) Sleeping with the Enemy Joseph Ruben, 1991Silly stereotyped thriller. Not recommended.
Film: (HBO) Warm Springs Joseph Sargent 2005This is a quite good film about Franklin Roosevelt's coming to terms with polio, starring Kenneth Branagh as FDR and Cynthia Nixon as Eleanor. Excellent film, recommended.
|November-December, 1998||April-May, 1975|
|Books reviewed on this page:|
|The Lead Goat Veered Off||Neil Anderson||10/9/05|
|Sharpe's Company||Bernard Cornwell||10/19/05|
|Sharpe's Gold||Bernard Cornwell||9/20/05|
|Sharpe's Eagle||Bernard Cornwell||10/15/05|
|Sharpe's Escape||Bernard Cornwell||10/3/05|
|Sharpe's Havoc||Bernard Cornwell||10/12/05|
|Grantville Gazette 2||Eric Flint||10/24/05|
|Lake Wobegon Summer 1956||Garrison Keillor||9/2/05|
|At All Costs ARC||David Weber||9/6/05|
|Films reviewed on this page:|
|Animal House||September 3, 2005|
|The Awful Truth||September 7, 2005|
|The Big Lebowski||September 24, 2005|
|Desperate Housewives||October 23, 2005|
|Elephant||October 17, 2005|
|The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy||September 14, 2005|
|I [heart] Huckabees||September 16, 2005|
|Mrs. Miniver||October 10, 2005|
|Not on the Lips (Pas sur la Bouche)||October 23, 2005|
|Serenity||October 1, 2005|
|Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||September 12, 2005|
|3rd Rock from the Sun||September 23, 2005|
|Warm Springs||October 28, 2005|
|Music reviewed on this page:|
|October 8, 2005||B.S.O., James Levine, Dawn Upshaw, Jean-Yves Thibaudet||Carter, Foss, Ives and Gershwin|
|November 29, 2002||Lorraine Bracco||The Graduate|
|November 23, 2001||Helen Mirren, Ian McKelln||The Dance of Death-August Strindberg|
|September 30, 2000||Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell University||The Maids-Jean Genet|
|May 30, 2000||Kelsey Grammer/Colonial Theatre||Macbeth|
|May 26, 2000||The Huntington Theatre Co.||King Hedley II|
|September 3, 1999||The Publick Theatre||Nine|
|August 21, 1999||Orange Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.||Sonata|
|August 13, 1999||Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.||Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You|
|May 22-29||Newton South/North High Schools||Richard III|
|December 18, 1998||Newton North High School||The Bone Violin, May F lies|
|November 12, 1998||Newton North High School||To Kill a Mockingbird|
|November 21-24, 2007||Plantation, Florida|
|September 25-28, 2007||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|August 18-25, 2007||Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts|
|November 22-26, 2006||Plantation, Florida|
|September 25-28, 2006||Las Vegas (Interbike)|
|June 10-20, 2006||Santa Cruz, California|
|May 5-7, 2006||Aurora, Indiana|
|November 23, 2005||Plantation, Florida|
|September 26-29, 2005||Interbike, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|August 26-28, 2005||'Bentride 2005, Bath, N.Y.|
|July 21-24, 2005||Family Reunion, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.|
|April 29, 2005||Cirque de Cyclisme, Greensboro, N.C.|
|February 16, 2005||Indianapolis|
|November 24, 2004||Plantation, Florida|
|October 8, 2004||Santa Cruz, California|
|October 4, 2004||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|June 8, 2004||France, England|
|December 22, 2003||Halifax, Nova Scotia|
|November 27, 2003||Florida|
|October 31, 2003||Potomac, Maryland|
|October 10, 2003||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|September 21, 2003||New York, N.Y.|
|November 27-30, 2002||New York, N.Y.|
|October 8-13, 2002||Evanston, Illinois|
|October 4-8, 2002||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|July 3-9, 2002||Canso, Nova Scotia|
|May 24-27, 2002||Long Island, New York|
|November 21-24, 2001||New York City|
|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, Illinois|
|August 19-28, 1999||Ithaca, New York|
|August 12-13, 1999||Ithaca, New York|
|July 23-25, 1999||Bridgeton, Maine|
|November 25-28, 1998||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|