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January 1, 2003

New Years Day party at the Plaisteds, fun as usual. Rufus's trademark roast lamb was better than ever, but I was good about avoiding the sweets.

Film: (DVD) Star Trek V1 The Undiscovered Country

Not the best of the series.

January 11, 2003

Digitized my recording of the 1993 Midsummer Revels. I'll be putting MP3s on the site soon.

Film: (DVD) Cider House Rules

A fine film based on a John Irving novel, set in a Maine orphanage during WW2.

Video: (DVD) Once and Again Season One

I dearly loved this show when it was on the tube, and it's a delight to get to see it once again on DVD. It was so sad when they cancelled it...I wish somebody would write a novel following the characters on past the untimely end of the series! The acting and writing are SO good! The characters are unforgettable.

January 12, 2003

Today I had to make a new hole in my belt to keep my pants from falling down. That's 4 belt holes gained (lost) since I started the Atkins Diet 2 1/2 months ago! On top of that, I feel terrific!

eBook War of Honor David Weber 2002

The most recent of the Honor Harrington novels finds the beaten People's Republic of Haven transformed into a fragile constitutional democracy, but the new Manticoran regime refuses to make peace for base political reasons. Harrington's party is out of power, and she's shuffled off to a backwater assignment with inadequate resources while the Havenites are rebuilding their naval strength for a counterattack...

January 13, 2003

239 pounds.

January 14, 2003

Film: (DVD) The Lady Eve Preston Sturges, 1941

A classic screwball/romantic comedy with Barbara Stanwyck as a crooked gambler who falls for the wealthy son of a beer magnate, played by an impossibly young Henry Fonda. This is a good one!.

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January 18, 2003

Down to 237 pounds!

Spent most of the day digitizing some rare old vinyl LPs. I had picked up a rather nice Fisher computerized turntable at a yard sale for $3. Needed a belt, and I replaced the stylus on general principals. I've got this set up upstairs by the computer so I can easily copy records. The new Powerbook has the memory, speed and storage to let me do this in the background while I work on other stuff.

I'm using a very nice, inexpensive software package called Felt Tip Sound Studio, makes it very easy to create excellent digital files.

Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra Bach and Haydn

Ton Koopman guested for the first time, starting with a sparkling performance of Bach's Orchestral Suite #3. Then came the Cantata #170, with countertenor Andreas Scholl. This was not my cup of tea; for one thing, I'm not a fan of countertenor voices, and Scholl was mostly drowned out by the 16 piece orchestra and portative organ except in his highest register. This piece also has a nasty religious text about how the author wishes to die so he could get away from the evil, sinful world.

After the intermission, they did Haydn's 99th symphony (the first to use clarinets!) This was quite satisfying, though the concert was a bit skimpy, ending about 9:36.

January 21, 2003

Film: (DVD) 10 Things I Hate About You

A superficial take on The Taming of the Shrew, set in a Seattle High school. An entertaining comedy, not great.

January 22, 2003

An evening with the versatile Will Smith.

Film: (DVD) Enemy of The State

This is a paranoid's delight, with our Hero caught between evil rogue N.S.A. operatives and The Mob. Lots of action, lots of older motor vehicles get wrecked.

Film: (DVD) Men in Black II

Lacks the surprise element of the original, which seemed to come out of nowhere, but fun nevertheless. Lara Flynn Boyle makes a fine villainess.

January 23, 2003

Harriet's off to visit her mother in Florida. I drove her to Logan Airport through the new I90 connector tunnel that just opened last weekend. This is a huge improvement! 35 minutes round trip from my driveway, including a hug and kisses at the terminal! Thanks Tip!

January 26, 2003

Film: (DVD) 84 Charing Cross Road David Hugh Jones 1987

I really loved this film. Anne Bancroft plays an American writer and fan of English literature. Anthony Hopkins works in an antiquarian bookshop in London (the title is the address.) The film is mostly in the form of letters between them over the period from 1949 to the mid 1960s. Very highly recommended!

January 31, 2003

Film: (DVD) What Planet Are You From

Low comedy, not particularly good.

Film: (DVD) Another Man's Poison Irving Rapper 1952

A British murder tale set on the Yorkshire Moors. Bette Davis is very evil. This one wasn't much good either.

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February 1, 2003

Spent most of the day glued to the TV, hungry for news of the spaceship Columbia. What a disaster!

I continue to believe that in the Big Picture, the development of space flight is the most important historical development of the millenium. I certainly hope this setback doesn't knock us too far back.

I'm comforted to know that the Chinese and Japanese are also both working on space travel, so even if the U.S. loses its nerve for a while, the race should continue the progress essential for the long-term survival of humanity.

February 2, 2003

Film: (DVD) The Two Jakes Jack Nicholson 1990

How did I miss ever seeing this before? Chinatown is one of my all-time faves, and this is the sequel, set 10 years later (1948). This time it's oil, not water. Not as good as Chinatown...but how many films are? Recommended, but only if you've already seen Chinatown.

February 6, 2003

Film: (DVD) Death Becomes Her Robert Zemeckis 1992

Bruce Wills as a nebbish, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn as zombies, talk about casting against type! This was pretty entertaining, though not a masterpiece.

February 8, 2003

Film: (DVD) Bandits Barry Levinson 2001

This is a delightful road comedy, with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton as a couple of bank robbers working their trade at various scenic locations on the Oregon and northern California coast. Kate Blanchet is their hostage/accomplice. Thornton's hypochondria is particularly hilarious, but it's generally an excellent ensemble piece. Highly recommended.

February 9, 2003

Today was the first Patience rehearsal with full cast and orchestra together. Sounding very good!

February 11, 2003

Film: (DVD) Shot to Pieces

This was very disappointing. The hype from Netflix made it sound half decent, but it turned out to be aa startlingly amateurish documentary about a many-times-wounded Massachusetts officer in the Slavery War. This was a real clinker. The hero's wife was depicted with very short hair, such as no 19th century woman would dream of wearing. There was hardly any dialogue, it was mostly silent film with boring narration and portentous background music. The writing was really, really bad. One of the cheesiest films I've seen in a long time. It stank.

Bikers' Banquet

Went to the Bikers' Banquet in Waltham, an annual gathering of bike shop folks and reps. A jolly old time was had by all. I won a GT baseball cap, a nice Kryptonite jersey that even fits, and a couple of fancy latex mtb inner tubes in the raffle. Also raffled of my Powerwheel, one less piece of clutter for my house!

Film: (DVD) Sharpe's Rifles Tom Clegg 1993

This is the first of a 14 DVD series set in the Napoleonic wars (mainly the Peninsular Campaign.) Our hero, Richard Sharpe is a tough and gritty enlisted man who single-handedly saves Wellington's life when the latter is attacked by 3 French cavalrymen. Wellington promotes him to Lieutenant, and he gradually rises in rank through the series. A major theme of this series is the conflict that Sharpe faces as a lower-class man placed among "officers and gentlemen" most of whom are too snobbish to accept him.

I've actually seen all 14 of these, enjoyed them thoroughly.

February 12, 2003

Film: (DVD) For Love of the Game Sam Raimi 1999

This was a fine example of the classic baseball film genre, quite satisfying.

February 15, 2003

Today was put-in of the set for Patience, opening night is next Friday!

Down to 233 pounds. Had to punch another hole in my belt today, total of 5 belt holes since I started the Atkins diet 3 1/2 months ago!

Video: (DVD) Six Feet Under 2002

This is an excellent HBO series, following the travails of a family-owned funeral home in Los Angeles. A very fine piece of work, highly recommended if black humor appeals to your.

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February 16, 2003

"Monster Sunday" Patience rehearsal, two complete shows, first time on the actual set.

February 17, 2003

Big snow! Never made it in to the shop, partly because the AirPort has broken down, so the network (and DSL connection) is down.

This was the night of the local Shimano XTR seminar, out in Burlington. Although most people were too scared to brave the roads, the show did go on, and I drove to it. I picked a slightly longer route to avoid hills, made it OK. Although the roads were all covered with packed snow, it was perfectly manageable at 35-40 mph. I'm pretty good at getting around in snow, as long as I don't get caught in a traffic jam. Fortunately, the roads were nearly deserted, so I had no problem.

The new XTR stuff is very impressive, the group should be very well received. The new crank set is a really slick design. One thing about it, though--it uses separate bearings for each side, so it will once again be important to pay attention to facing the bottom bracket shell, since this will affect the alignment of each bearing unit. The bearings are actually located out past the ends of the shell. This wider stance, and also the larger inside diameter of these bearings permits a lighter, stiffer axle, and should be quite long-lived.

The new XTR brifters are very nice ergonomically, and I think this is finally going to bring acceptance to the low-normal ("Rapid Rise" rear derailer setup.)

The XTR disc brake is also really slick.

February 19, 2003

Video: (DVD) Six Feet Under

We've been watching the first season of this HBO production on DVD, and Harriet and I are both very impressed with it. The stories are off-beat and fascinating, as are the characters, mainly a family who own a Los Angeles funeral home. Acting and direction are first rate. Very highly recommended.

February 20, 2003

Film: (DVD) 8 Femmes (8 Women) François Ozon 2002

This was highly recommended by critics, among them my nephew, but I was rather disappointed in it. Like some other French musicals I've seen the acting was rather over-stylized and generally over the top.

February 21, 2003

Patience opening night

"Another op'ning, another show..." All is going well, the audience was receptive.

February 24, 2003

Film: (DVD) Paint Your Wagon Joshua Logan 1969

Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seburg head the all-star cast of this big-budget western musical. The plot is very different from the original Broadway version, but most of the great songs are there, and it was a lot of fun. Marvin gets to pull out his Drunk Cowboy act that he used so effectively in Cat Ballou 4 years earlier, even if he can't sing a lick.

February 25, 2003

Film: (DVD) Six Feet Under Season 1, Disc 3

Really enjoying this series!

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November-December, 1998 April-May, 1975


The overall Booklist has been moved to a separate page.

Books reviewed on this page:
War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy5/26/03
War of HonorDavid Weber1/12/03


The overall film list has been moved to a separate page.

Films reviewed on this page:
Another Man's PoisonJanuary 31, 2003
BanditsFebruary 8, 2003
The Cider House RulesJanuary 11, 2003
Death Becomes HerFebruary 6, 2003
Enemy of the StateJanuary 22, 2003
84 Charing Cross RoadJanuary 26, 2003
For Love of the GameFebruary 12, 2003
The Lady EveJanuary 14, 2003
Men in Black IIJanuary 22, 2003
Once and AgainJanuary 11, 2003
Sharpe's RiflesFebruary 11, 2003
Shot to PiecesFebruary 11, 2003
Six Feet UnderFebruary 15, 2003
Star Trek VI The Undiscovered CountryJanuary 1, 2003
10 Things I Hate About YouJanuary 21, 2003
The Two JakesFebruary 2, 2003
What Planet are You From?January 31, 2003


The overall music list has been moved to a separate page.

Music reviewed on this page:
Feb -March 1, 2003 Gilbert & Sullivan: PatienceSudbury Savoyards
January 18, 2003 B.S.O., Ton Koopman, Andreas SchollBach, Haydn


November 29, 2002Lorraine BraccoThe Graduate
November 23, 2001Helen Mirren, Ian McKellnThe Dance of Death-August Strindberg
September 30, 2000Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell UniversityThe Maids-Jean Genet
May 30, 2000Kelsey Grammer/Colonial TheatreMacbeth
May 26, 2000The Huntington Theatre Co.King Hedley II
September 3, 1999The Publick TheatreNine
August 21, 1999Orange Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.Sonata
August 13, 1999Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You
May 22-29Newton South/North High SchoolsRichard III
December 18, 1998Newton North High SchoolThe Bone Violin, May Flies
November 12, 1998Newton North High SchoolTo Kill a Mockingbird


November 21-24, 2007Plantation, Florida
September 25-28, 2007Las Vegas, Nevada
August 18-25, 2007Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
November 22-26, 2006Plantation, Florida
September 25-28, 2006Las Vegas (Interbike)
June 10-20, 2006Santa Cruz, California
May 5-7, 2006Aurora, Indiana
November 23, 2005Plantation, Florida
September 26-29, 2005Interbike, Las Vegas, Nevada
August 26-28, 2005'Bentride 2005, Bath, N.Y.
July 21-24, 2005Family Reunion, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
April 29, 2005Cirque de Cyclisme, Greensboro, N.C.
February 16, 2005Indianapolis
November 24, 2004Plantation, Florida
October 8, 2004Santa Cruz, California
October 4, 2004Las Vegas, Nevada
June 8, 2004France, England
December 22, 2003Halifax, Nova Scotia
November 27, 2003Florida
October 31, 2003Potomac, Maryland
October 10, 2003Las Vegas, Nevada
September 21, 2003New York, N.Y.
November 27-30, 2002New York, N.Y.
October 8-13, 2002Evanston, Illinois
October 4-8, 2002Las Vegas, Nevada
July 3-9, 2002Canso, Nova Scotia
May 24-27, 2002Long Island, New York
November 21-24, 2001New York City
October 16-19, 2001Cape Cod, Massachusetts
September 29-October 3, 2001Las Vegas, Nevada (Interbike Show)
June 16-23, 2001Nags Head, North Carolina
October 5-14, 2000Evanston, Illinois
September 30-October 2, 2000Ithaca, New York
June 22-25, 2000Urbanna, Virginia
October 7-13, 1999Chicago/Evanston, Illinois
August 19-28, 1999Ithaca, New York
August 12-13, 1999Ithaca, New York
July 23-25, 1999Bridgeton, Maine
November 25-28, 1998Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1988-89France, England
1980Yucatan, Mexico
1975England, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Turkey

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Last Updated: by Harriet Fell