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Sheldon Brown's Journal

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May 3, 2006

Two more MRIs, this time the pelvis and right femur.

Revels Pub Sing, Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain

I went alone to this one, Harriet has just started a watercolor class on Wednesdays that conflicted with it.

Had a good time anyway. One of the songs was Waltzing Matilda to which I added the final verse:

See the jolly monster, sleeping by the sandy shore,
Dreaming his dreams by the azure blue sea,
And he dreamt, as he slept, of maidens fair inviting him:
"Please come a waltzing, Godzilla with me!
Waltzing Godzilla, waltzing Godzilla, please come a waltzing Godzilla with me!"
And they sang, as they stomped through the vacant streets of Tokyo,
"Please come a waltzing, Godzilla, with me!"

I hope my nephew Daniel will forgive me for pronouncing "Tokyo" with three syllables, but that's the only way it scans.

I also did a solo on I am the Man, the Very Fat Man, That Waters the Workers' Beer.

May 4, 2006

Film: (DVD) Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee, 2005

A very fine film, a great love story, beautifully photographed.

One thing that struck me particularly about this film is the contrast between the gorgeous western scenery and the disgusting squalor of all of the man-made dwellings and objects.

May 5, 2006

Travel: Aurora, Indiana

I was invited to speak at at the Aurora Public Library to commemorate the dedication of a new bike path in this little Ohio River town, so off I flew.

I had a great time, and have made a separate group of pages about this trip.

Aurora Indiana View

Click here for the details.

May 10, 2006

Film: (DVD) Love Actually Richard Curtis, 2003

An absolutely delightful romantic comedy, great fun. The film follows the somewhat overlapping love affairs of 8 English couples, including Hugh Grant as the bachelor Prime Minister.

Particularly hilarious are the scenes of a couple of movie standins, who are constantly simulating intercourse so the lighting can be checked for the cameras, while chatting away with banal small talk. Highly recommended.

May 11, 2006

Film: (DVD) The Poseidon Adventure Robert Neame, 1972

I recall deliberately missing this back in '72, but my sister recently recommended it, especially for the performance of Shelly Winters.

Rarely has my sister steered me wrong, but this is one of the times. What a clinker! The writing is astonishingly bad, and the acting perpetually way over the top. Yuck!

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May 16, 2006

Film: (DVD) North Country Niki Caro, 2005

Gritty film about the sexual integration of the Minnesota iron/taconite mines, set in 1989. Based on historical incidents, this was a landmark case about sexual harassment.

Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under's Nathaniel Fisher Sr.) is great in the meaty role of Charlize Theron's father, who starts out despicable but becomes a hero by the end of the film.

May 17, 2006

Lumbar Puncture (spinal tap)

Not much fun to experience, but surprisingly the removal of a bunch of spinal fluid seems to have actually improved my condition, much to my surprise.

Film: (DVD) To Drive the Dark Away: A Vision of John Langstaff David Nath, 2006

Went to the première of this Revels film at the Capitol in Arlington. A good film bio of Jack, lots of familiar faces to be seen.

May 20, 2006

Harriet and I went out to dinner at the West Street Grill (now West Street Tavern and Restaurant), down in The Lake, lured by a two for one coupon we got in the mail. This is a neighborhood bar/restaurant not a mile from our house, but we never even knew it existed, despite living here for 27 years! What a delightful, funky little place! Food was excellent, ambiance was classic neighborhood Irish bar. We will be back!

Film: (HBO) Batman Begins Christopher Nolan, 2005

Not my favorite genre, but this was a pretty good one, though I found the fights boring. Nice visuals, good concept and writing.

May 21, 2006

Chantey Sing at M.I.T.

Harriet and I rode down to the M.I.T. Sailing Pavilion for this informal sing, it was a very pleasant group, we enjoyed singing with them and saw a few familiar faces as well. I led a somewhat hoarse version of Barrett's Privateers.

We went in by bike, round trip of about 19 miles which was a lot for me in my current medical state, especially as we had the traditional New England Revolving Headwind, which got very stiff on the return trip, accompanied by intermittent rain.

May 23, 2006

Singing-John Brewer's

Cycled over to John Brewer's in Watertown to meet up with some of the folks from the Summer Revels (some of them gather there on Tuesday evenings after rehearsal for singing and malt beverages.) Only half a dozen folks there tonight, but it was nice to see the familiar faces and sing some of the old songs together.

I've discovered that I can carry my cane on the bike by strapping it to the underside of the top tube with a couple of toe straps.

May 25, 2006

Film: (DVD) The New World Terence Malick, 2006

John Smith and Pocahontas in Jamestown, 1607. A very pretty film, but awfully slow moving. Loved the paint on the Indian characters, and the film did a great job showing how bizarre England looked to the Indians brought back to meet the king. Nice use of music from Das Rheingold.

May 27, 2006

Film: (DVD) Wedding Crashers David Dobkin, 2005

A diverting romantic comedy. I liked it.

May 28, 2006

eBook: The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., 1858

It was fun to re-read this. Oliver Wendell Holmes was a prominent physician as well as one of America's most prominent literary figures in the mid 19th century. The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table is a collection of hugely popular columns that originally appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. It's a mixture of humorous and serious essays and poems. Some doesn't hold up too well, being dependent on the pop culture of the day, or the issues of saddle horses vs driving horses. Holmes was something of a snob, but justifies it on grounds very similar to the theories of Darwin, which appeared the year after this book.

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June 1, 2006

Film: (DVD) Good Night and Good Luck George Clooney, 2005

Edward R. Murrow vs Joe McCarthy. Quite well done semi-documentary, black and white so archival footage could be spliced in.

June 3, 2006

Film: (DVD) Munich Stephen Spielberg, 2006

Grim story of the Mossad's vengeance on the perpetrators of the Munich Olympic massacre in 1972. Quite well done, but what else would you expect from Spielberg?

June 7, 2006

Film: (HBO) Six Feet Under Alan Ball, 2001-2005

Harriet and I have been watching the re-broadcast on HBO for the last few weeks. They have been re-running 5 episodes per week, and we caught almost all of them. We had seen most of them the first time around as well, but this is a show that is worth seeing again. Tonight was the glorious finale. Six Feet Under might well be the finest piece of work ever made for TV. Everything about it is first-rate, but most especially the writing and acting. This is an absolute masterpiece.

June 10, 2006

Off to California

Flying out for Tova's graduation from U.C.Santa Cruz. 10 hours traveling with a 3 hour layover in Dallas. However, I'm proud to say that I crossed the Rocky Mountains barefoot!.

Met Whit & Mary, went to dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant, La Riata in Palo Alto.

June 11, 2006

Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, Santa Cruz

Breakfasted at Hobee's, had a pretty yummy "breakfast quesadilla." One of the things I most look forward to in California is eating lots of Mexican food. Mmmm-mmm!

Drove over to Walnut Creek to pick up a bike. Grant lent me a 58 cm Atlantis, with moustache bars, 37 mm Paselas. I brought my own SPD pedals. Fortunately we upgraded our rental car to a Dodge Grand Caravan, so we have room for a couple of bikes as well as the suitcases.



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Harriet points out that Grant and I have matching expressions in her photos in the bottom row...

Drove down to Santa Cruz, met some of her housemates at the Coop and Also borrowed her bike for Harriet to ride. Had lunch in the Taqueria Vallarta with Tova where there were the boldest pigeons I've ever met!


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Tova still has a lot work to finish before graduation so we need to let her alone for a couple of days. Sure is good to see her though. She seems healthy and happy.

June 12, 2006

Santa Cruz

scb-jobst-by-h ramjet-organ1 Jobst rode down from Palo Alto to meet us, and we (Jobst, Harriet and I) took a gentle ride along the oceanside northward from Santa Cruz. It was very nice of Jobst to ride 65 miles each way to spend some time pootling around with a gimp like me. We visited the Marine Sciences school of USCC, saw a couple of whale skeletons, and Jobst regaled us with bird lore among other things. Also took us to see what might be the loudest musical instrument ever, "Satan's Calliope " an organ made of tuned pulse jet engines, only played at Burning Man.

Later went for a local ride with Harriet, visiting The Spokesman in search of grease for the seatpost bolt of the Atlantis. It felt as if it were going to strip out if I tried to tighten it enough to keep the seatpost from slipping down.

From there we explored the riverside bike path along levees next to the San Lorenzo river...turns out to be a pretty useful one, because it dips under all of the bridges as it parallels the main drag, providing a good through route.

Unfortunately, we tried to access it from the end of Cathcart Street where there's a super steep "on ramp" and I stalled out and fell over trying to climb it. Minor scrapes to my skin, but did a nasty job on the Brooks B17 Champion Special on the Atlantis.

Dropped by the Bike Church, an all-volunteer bicycle repair co-op where one of Tova's housemates works regularly. Looks like fun place! Very laid back, lots of used parts and good will.

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bikechurch-6-12-06-15 There was the cutest little soccer-playing dachshund hanging around! He had his own little soccer ball, and would roll it to anybody who would kick it back to him with great skill and persistence.

Film: The Da Vinci Code Ron Howard, 2006

I really didn't expect too much from this film, so I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't that crazy about the book either.

I did catch two errors in the film though (Spoiler Warning!):

Aside from that, the film is, of course, totally accurate... ;-)

June 13, 2006

Monterey, Big Sur

Harriet and I drove down to Monterey with bikes in the back of the van, parked at the visitors' center just south of Fisherman's Wharf. Rode along the coast up and around the peninsula as far as "Joe's Point."

The first section is crowded bike path along near Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. Not a great ride due to frequent cross streets. Once we got past Cannery Row, it got a lot better and the scenery became quite spectacular, especially along Asilomar Beach. We passed within about 15 feet of a deer at one point! Probably about 18 miles all together. The return trip turned out to be even more scenic, even though we were on the side of the road opposite the shore, because we could see across the bay to the Santa Cruz mountains.

Even ran into a fellow cyclist who had heard me speak in Indianapolis last February!

When we got back we went out onto Fisherman's Wharf to buy a couple of servings of "chowder in a bread bowl." There are probably half a dozen places serving this in this particular tourist trap. The chowder was pretty good, but the bread was sourdough bread, not to my taste.




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From Monterey, we drove down U.S. 1 to the Big Sur region, where the scenery was mind bogglingly beautiful. Had a bit of a scare because we got very close to running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, but eventually found a place with regular for $3.95/gallon.
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From there we drove up to San José to meet George, who was flying in from Madison. We had a room in the Clarion Hotel near the airport.


June 14, 2006

The 38th anniversary of my last cigarette!

Back to Santa Cruz

We're booked into the Guest House Pacific for the next four days, same place I stayed the last time I was here.

While we're here we enjoy the wonderful breakfasts at the Santa Cruz Diner. We just love this place, it's everything a home-town diner should be, with great food and a super customer-satisfaction attitude!

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Big Basin State Park

We wanted to see big redwoods, so we drove out to Big Basin State Park, a looooong, very twisty drive through beautiful forest. It was worth the trip. Harriet and George went walking, I took the Atlantis along North Escape Road, which had been recommended to me. It was quite nice, a paved road closed to motor traffic. Somewhat neglected, with a substantial layer of fallen needles and twigs on much of it. I went maybe 3-4 miles in until I got to a climbing section that just went on too much for me to handle, turned around and headed back to the car where I listened to Bach piano music and read Eric Flint while waiting for H & G to return.

Back in Santa Cruz, we drove around the campus, then out to dinner at a different Taqueria Vallarta (turns out there are 4 of them in and around Santa Cruz.)

A trip out the wharf to show George the sea lions and back to the hotel for the evening.

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June 16, 2006

Film: (DVD) Prairie Home Companion Robert Altman, 2006

I'm a long time fan of the radio show, was eager to see the new film. We enjoyed it, but it isn't as good as Nashville.

June 17, 2006

Tova Graduates from U.S. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Amusement Park

Tova Brown Graduating University of California at Santa Cruz

Click Here for brief Video



The commencement speech at Tova's graduation by Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez was politically right-on, but astonishingly incoherent...

eBook: 1635: The Cannon Law Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis, 2006

The latest in the 1632 series, has the new United States of Europe saving the Pope from Spain and the Spanish Jesuits. I just love this series, but this isn't the place to start.

June 18, 2006

To San Francisco

Drove up the coast to Saint Frank, had to divert inland at Half Moon Bay because of a landslide that blocked Route 1.

Had lunch in a grotesquely overpriced bakery/cafe in Half Moon Bay.

My first ever visit to S.F. Stayed at the Mark Twain Hotel near Union Square

June 19, 2006

San Francisco

Got up early and drove over the Bay Bridge to Walnut Creek to return Grant's bike.

Took a harbor cruise out through the Golden Gate and around Alcatraz.

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This intrepid board sailor wanted to surf on the tour boat's wake, or maybe just to show off to the tourists. The wind was very strong, so strong I took my glasses off for fear they would blow into the drink...the board sailors were moving at astonishing speeds when they were upright.

Drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, turned around and came back.

Toured around a bit by car. I really can't walk well enough to experience some of S.F., especially the slanty parts...

Went to dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant my daughter likes, but not much to my taste.

June 20, 2006

Flying home to Boston

Film: (Airliner) Failure to Launch Tom Dey, 2006

A light romantic comedy, good airline viewing, starring Sarah Jessica Parker.

June 21, 2006

Film: (DVD) Proof John Madden, 2004

Gwyneth Paltrow was super in this story of a mathematician and her relationship with her father, (Anthony Hopkins) also a mathematician and a schizophrenic. As the only non-mathematician in a family of four, I'm glad none of use are schizo...

June 22, 2006

Book (Actual Paper Book!) In High Places (Crosstime Traffic-Book Three) Harry Turtledove, 2005

I was browsing at the Newton Free Library for a book to read on the airplane, since they have those stupid rules about using a PDA in flight (also, my Clié's battery wouldn't have lasted all the way to California. I was delighted to find a new Turtledove!

The third book in the series begun with Gunpowder Empire. This is a "young adult" book in the spirit of Heinlein's "juveniles" but for die-hard Turtledove fans, its still a treat.

I had read Gunpowder Empire, but missed the second one, Curious Notions, which does not seem to be available as an eBook. I'll check the library to see if they have it...

June 23, 2006

Opera 9.0 Browser

I've been trying the latest version out, and I'm impressed. I'm still using Safari by default, but Opera has a lot of nice features, may win me over as I get more used to it (and get more of my passwords programmed had no problem importing my Safari bookmarks, but didn't import the passwords.)

It's the first Mac browser I've seen to offer a full-screen mode. The "fit to width" function is nice also, as are the view options offered.

I'm still hooked on Netscape for Newsgroup access though.

June 24, 2006

Summer Revels

Last year I was on stage for this, but this year I'm just a backstage volunteer, working security for the green room. Didn't see or hear any of the show, but I understand there was a decent crowd considering the rainy weather.

June 25, 2006

Summer Revels

I was in the audience for this one, despite the inclement weather. My cycling rain cape just covered me and my folding chair, so I was reasonably comfortable. The only did about 2/3 of the show, as the rain became too heavy toward the end so Paddy pulled the plug.

Film: (DVD) Bob Roberts Tim Robbins, 1992

A faux documentary of the imaginary senate campaign of a right-wing folksinger. Amusing in parts, but a bit heavy-handed.

June 29, 2006

Book (Actual Paper Book!) Vagabond Bernard Cornwell, 2002

The second book in the "Grail Quest" trilogy, following The Archer's Tale. It chronicles the adventures of an English longbow archer in the Hundred Years War. This one takes place in 1346 and 47, in England and Brittany.

Like other Cornwell books, a rousing yarn, full of action and excitement and class prejudice.

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The overall Booklist has been moved to a separate page.

Books reviewed on this page:
VagabondBernard Cornwell6/29/06
1635: The Cannon LawEric Flint and Andrew Dennis6/17/06
The Autocrat of the Breakfast TableOliver Wendell Holmes5/28/06
n High Places (Crosstime Traffic-Book Three)Harry Turtledove6/22/06


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

Films reviewed on this page:
Batman BeginsMay 20, 2006
Brokeback MountainMay 4, 2006
The Da Vinci CodeJune 12, 2006
Failure to LaunchJune 20, 2006
Good Night and Good LuckJune 1, 2006
Love ActuallyMay 10, 2006
MunichJune 3, 2006
The New WorldMay 25, 2006
North CountryMay 16, 2006
ProofJune 21, 2006
The Poseidon AdventureMay 11, 2006
Prairie Home CompanionJune 16, 2006
>Six Feet UnderJune 7, 2006
To Drive the Dark Away: A Vision of John LangstaffMay 17, 2006
Wedding CrashersMay 27, 2006


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

Music reviewed on this page:
May 21, 2006 Chantey Sing at M.I.T.
May 3, 2006 Revels Pub Sing at Doyles, Jamaica Plain


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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