"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Green visits the Hub of the Universe

That would be Boston, for all of you outsiders, or the Hub for us local types.

Whenever I'm required to travel into the city of Boston, I like to take advantage of public transportation (a thoroughly wise idea), as was the case a couple of weeks ago. On that day I went into the city by a route I've never used before.

Normally I drive to Alewife MBTA Station on the Arlington/Cambridge line and take the Red Line into the city. From there I can change to any one of the other subway lines which will take me wherever I need to go. Today, however, I drove to Medford and parked at the Wellington MBTA Station and took the Orange line into the city.

My destination on that day was the 14th floor of the Prudential Building (picture, left, courtesy of www.aviewoncities.com). I got off the subway at the Back Bay stop. At the Pru, as it's called locally, you have to check in at security, so they can give you a visitor's id badge. There are two sets of elevators. The first services the first 10 floors or so and the other one goes right to the top, skipping the lower floors. Of course I proceeded to head towards the wrong elevator. A kindly looking security guard asked me where I was going and headed me off in the right direction.

From where I got off of the subway, I was afforded the opportunity to walk the length of the Copley Square Mall, which I rarely get to do. As I was walking the Mall, the major thought going through my head was how expensive the rent would be to have a store in this Mall and how expensive all of the stuff is here. We're talking ritzy stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Niemann Marcus, to name a few.

If people watching is your thing then a major mall in the downtown hub of a major city would definitely be a good place to go about it. Unfortunately I did not have the time to engage in this activity. I also did not have time (or the cash on hand, $11 bucks a pop) to go to the top of the Tower to look out the windows which offer some of the best land-based aerial views of Boston and surrounds. From what I remember, on a clear day you can see all the way into Canada. I haven't been up there in so long. One of the radio stations I occasionally listen to has its studio at the top of the Pru. Combined with 50,000 watts of power, that station's signal carries pretty far.

I still don't know the ultimate end result of that meeting and it's frustrating.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Bill Walsh (1931-2007)

I never liked the San Francisco 49ers because they were too good. And they were always winning Super Bowls when I was a kid, so naturally I rooted against them. Every time.

But as a football fan I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of a coaching legend. Bill Walsh died today at his home in California after a long battle with Leukemia.

The impact that the 75 year old Walsh had on today's National Football League is undeniable. Many of today's head coaches both at the collegiate level and in the NFL coached under Walsh and exported his "West Coast Offense" to cities and colleges throughout the country.

The impact goes even further. Many of today's players grew up, as I did, watching Bill Walsh's teams. The present quarterback for my beloved New England Patriots, Tom Brady, grew up in northern California and idolized Walsh and his star QB Joe Montana. If it weren't for the success of the Walsh era in San Francisco, would Brady have had a passion for football and gone on to play professionally? Would my Patriots have been able to get to, let alone win, three Super Bowls this decade with out Tom Brady?

Not likely.

So while the world beats on, the football world is saddened by the loss of one of its own.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Walsh. God bless.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

SNMR 3.19: "The Shop Around the Corner"

The fourth and final film in SNMR's tribute to James Stewart is "The Shop Around The Corner" (1940, NR, 99 minutes, B&W), starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, Frank Morgan and Joseph Schildkraut. The film was directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

As with most of Jimmy Stewart's films, I had never watched this movie until I rented it from the library recently. There still are many of his films that I'd love to see.

From the DVD's dust case:
Tell bickering Budapest gift-shop workers Alfred and Klara that they love each other and they might call you crazy. No lovers can compare to the romantic, secret pen pals each knows only as Dear Friend. What Alfred and Klara don't know, of course, is that they are each other's Dear Friend.
In the third of their four luminous screen pairings, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart star in this valentine to love wrapped in the ribbon of director Ernst Lubitsch's trademark touch: wit instead of buffoonery, sentiment ahead of sentimentality, affection instead of attitude. As enchanting today as it was yesterday, The Shop Around The Corner was breezily updated to the electronic age when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan clicked together in You've Got Mail. In any age, your patronage will be cheerfully rewarded.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 1019:
A charming period comedy dealing with the lives of two people who work in the same Budapest shop and become loving pen pals. MGM later remade this picture as In the Good Old Summertime, and it formed the basis of the stage musical.

This is a decent movie and very watchable. However, James Stewart will never be confused for anything but an American, and especially not a Hungarian. The only reason that I can see that would allow the film to be set in Budapest is that the writer is Hungarian and has a familiarity with that city. Otherwise it serves no other purpose and has absolutely no bearing on the film whatsoever. This film could easily have been set anywhere and more reasonably somewhere in the United States. I'm not sure if I like Margaret Sullavan or not, as I've not seen her in anything else. I will say that it was quite weird seeing Frank Morgan in another role apart from Professor Marvel and the Wizard (of Oz fame, which came out a mere 4 1/2 months earlier.) Still, the script is decent and carries on at a nice pace.

If you are a fan of Stewart, as I am, then you'll like this movie. I'll give it three and a half out of five stars.


Friday, July 27, 2007

I must be....

...the biggest loser in the world. I honestly think I'm the only one matriculating the blogosphereTM on a Friday night. Well it seems like that anyway. Aaaah one of the few drawbacks to having kids.... no weekend social life. Not that I have much of a social life during the week, mind you...

Honestly, though this is the first real time of peace and quiet I've had all day to just wander about on the net. Aside from a few quick checks during the day, I spent most of the day outside at the pool with V and M. Met ex at Marshalls in Bedford at 10 this morning. Made the kiddo exchange and were off to see the wizard by 11:00. Usually the kiddo exchange happens around suppertime, so it was nice to get in a full afternoon of pool use.

Pool water today: between 83-86 degrees. Air temp was in the low 90's, so the pool water felt like bath water. An absolutely gorgeous day for non-productivity.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Things that happened on my birthday

I've been tagged by the incomparable bluez for this assignment.

I should clarify that today is not my birthday. That happened just about a month ago.... ;>)

I have to find my birthday on Wikipedia and list three events, birthdays and a holiday that happen on that day. I've added three deaths too, just to be a trifle morbid.

June 25th is the 176th day of the year (177th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 189 days remaining in the calendar year after this date.

Three Events that happened on June 25th:
1788 - Virginia becomes the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1876 - Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
1947- The Diary of Anne Frank is published.

Three births that occurred on June 25th:
1903 - George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer (d. 1950)
1945 - Carly Simon, American singer
1947 - Jimmie Walker, American actor (Good Times - "Dy-No-Mite!")
1969 - yours truly.

Three deaths that occurred on June 25th:
1533 - Mary Tudor, queen consort of Louis XII of France (b. 1496)
1673 - Charles de Batz-Castelmore, Comte d'Artagnan, Captain of the Musketeers under Louis XIV of France (b. 1611)
1997 - Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French oceanographer and explorer (b. 1910)

One holiday/observance that occurred on June 25th:
Holiday - Mozambique's Independence Day
Observance - National Catfish Day

Ok, Since I haven't tagged anyone for anything in a while, I'm going to tag: AM,
Southern Sweetheart, Kayla, Kristi, Lee Ann, and JLee.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

15 Questions...

I found this quiz on Southern Sweetheart's blog, back when I was reading her archives. I may have answered a quiz like this at some point in the last two years of blogging but can't remember. I'm not tagging anyone else to do it. Play along at your own risk.

1) Name a CD in your car that you are embarrassed to admit that you have: I don't get embarrassed by the CD's I listen to. I have them because I like them. I don't care what others think.

2) Name a song currently on the radio that you sing to in your car, that you are embarrassed to admit that you know the words to and like: I sing along with a lot of songs on the radio, when I'm in the car alone. I'd be embarrassed for others to hear me "sing".

3) TV show(s) that you secretly watch that you are embarrassed to admit: While I'm not an addict, I like Entertainment Tonight, Hard Copy... Hollywood tabloid shows like that.

4) TV or Movie Star that you would sleep with but are too embarrassed to admit that you would, because he/she is not your “normal” type: After thinking about it long and hard, my type or not, I'd sleep with the Jennifer trio: Garner, Aniston and Love Hewitt. Not to mention the English Kates: Winslet and Beckinsale. And even though she's on the young side for me, add a little Natalie Portman in for good measure. Elisha Cuthbert, too. Definitely.

5) Musician that you would sleep with but are too embarrassed to admit that you would, because he/she is not your “normal” type: As a youth I always thought Cyndi Lauper was sexy, so yeah her.

7) Admit HONESTLY what REALLY attracts you to the opposite sex at first site: I'm a boob man BUT if she doesn't have an attractive face/body then it doesn't matter how sweet her rack is.

8) Even though you are not gay, admit HONESTLY someone of the same sex who you would have sex with if you were gay: Umm, the thought of having sex with another man never crosses my mind. Ever.

9) Name an Olympic sport that you are embarrassed to admit that you like watching: Gymnastics in the Summer Games, Women's Figure Skating in the Winter Games.

10) Have you ever masturbated in a public place? Yes.

11) Have you ever had a job that no one knew about? If yes, what was it? No.

12) If you could be invisible for one day, who would you spy on? You babe. Only you.

13) Be honest… Have you ever had phone sex? No. What a waste of time.

14) Be honest… Have you ever hooked up with a friend of your gf/bf while you were dating? No.

15) Have you ever hooked up with someone that you would never tell your friends? No.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

SNMR 3.18: "Harvey"

The third feature in this month's SNMR tribute to James Stewart is "Harvey" (1950, NR, 105 min., B&W) starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Charles Drake, Cecil Kellaway, Jesse White, Victoria Horne, Wallace Ford and Peggy Dow. The film was directed by Henry Koster.

The only scene I had ever seen from this movie was a short clip near the beginning of "Field of Dreams" and had always wondered which of Stewart's films it was from. Now I know.

From the DVD's dust case:

James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood's obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead.
It's up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his "imaginary" friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award-winning performance by Josephine Hull.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 485:

James Stewart has one of his best screen roles as Elwood P. Dowd, a delightful drunk whose best friend is a six-foot rabbit named Harvey. Josephine Hull is the concerned relative who wants Elwood committed to a mental institution and Cecil Kellaway is the psychiatrist who discovers there's more magic than madness to our hero's illusion.

I hadn't bought a DVD in quite a while until circumstances forced me to buy this one. I'm glad I did, too. Jimmy Stewart's performance as the quirky Elwood P. Dowd, is simply flawless, fabulous and most definitely Oscar-worthy. In fact, he was nominated for Best Actor in 1951 but lost out to Humphrey Bogart (The African Queen). The supporting cast is excellent. The story is original and charming. The screen adaptation is flawless because it was written by the playwright and thus moves at a crisp pace. A bonus to the DVD is that Jimmy Stewart himself gives a voice over introduction to the film (recorded 3/8/90), claiming it as one of his favorite all-time roles.

If you've never watched this classic film before, I strongly recommend that you do and feel confident that it will quickly become one of your favorites. You can get it at Amazon.com for under $12. I'll give this film five out of five stars.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Yours truly as a "Simpsons" character

My Simpsons character at Moe's Tavern.

I couldn't decide which facial hair I liked best, so I made me with both.
You can create your own Simpsons avatar here.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Way too many fun little quizzes all at once

Deal with it. I've got nothing else for you today.

You Have Good Karma

In general, you like to do the right thing when it comes to others.
Your caring personality really shines through.
Sure, you have your moments of weakness - and occasionally act out.
But, all in all, you're karma is good... even with those few dark spots.

You Are a Turkey Sandwich

Conservative and a bit shy, you tend to stick with what you know and trust.
You are very introverted, and you prefer to blend in whenever possible.
Though you may be hard to know well, anyone who does know you considers you a true friend.

Your best friend: The Ham Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

You've Been a Little Ruined by American Culture

Whether you live in the US or not, deep down you're a little American.
And there's nothing wrong with loving American culture, but it may have negative effects on your life.
Slow down and enjoy what you have. Reconnect with life's simple pleasures.
You don't need to be in a consumerist rat race. Life's too short to overwork yourself!

You Are a Freedom Rocker!

You're stuck in the 70s - for better or worse
Crazy hair, pot soaked clothes, and tons of groupies
Your kind showed the world how to rock
Is that freedom rock?... Well turn it up man!

Your Kissing Technique Is: Perfect

Your kissing technique is amazing - and you know it.
You have the confidence to make the first move.
And you always seem to know what kissing style is going to work best.
Sometimes you're passionate, sometimes you're a tease. And you're always amazing!

Your Blog Should Be Green

Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.
You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.
However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

You Are a Beagle Puppy

Cheerful, energetic, and happy go lucky.
And you're sense of smell is absolutely amazing!

You Aren't a Natural Entrepreneur

But you could be an entrepreneur with some work.
You've got the vision and guts to make it happen.
You just need a little more practice in the business world.
Find out what you truly love to do, and the money will follow.

You Were Born Under:

Resourceful and practical, you are a quick thinker.
You are very observant - and it's hard to get anything past you!
A total perfectionist, you are especially picky about looking your best.
You're a big dreamer - such a big dreamer that reality can disappoint you.

You are most compatible with an Ox or Snake.

Star Wars Horoscope for Cancer

You may whine at times, but you've developed a thick hard shell (like that of a crab).

You are strong willed and persistent - until you get what you want.

You never shy away from a fight, even when things get dangerous.

Mentally sharp, you are starting to master the elements of mind manipulation.

Star wars character you are most like: Luke Skywalker

People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.

You Are Not Destined to Rule the World

You are destined for something else...
Like inventing a new type of dessert.
You just don't have the stomach for brutality.
But watch out - because many people do!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

SNMR 3.17: "Rope"

The second feature in this month's SNMR tribute to James Stewart is "Rope" (1948, NR, 81 minutes), starring James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Joan Chandler, Constance Collier, Edith Evanson and Douglas Dick. The film was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

I haven't seen this film since I was in that film history and appreciation class in college, so I don't remember much about this movie. It'll be just like I'm watching it for the first time tonight.

From the DVD's dust case:
James Stewart stars with Farley Granger and John Dall in a highly charged thriller inspired by the real-life Leopold-Loeb murder case. Granger and Dall give riveting performances as two friends who strangle a classmate for intellectual thrills, then proceed to throw a party for the victim's family and friends - with the body stuffed inside the trunk they use for a buffet table. As the killers turn the conversation to committing the "perfect murder", their former teacher (Stewart) becomes increasingly suspicious. Before the night is over, the professor will discover how brutally his students have turned his academic theories into chilling reality in Hitchcock's spellbinding excursion into the macabre.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p.962:
Recently resurrected Alfred Hitchcock film is based in part on the famous Leopold-Loeb thrill-murder case in Chicago in the 1920's. In it, the two killers divulge clues to their horrific escapade at a dinner party, to the growing suspicion of the other guests. It's one of Hitchcock's best.

This was an excellent film with an interesting premise and excellent script. John Dall is excellent as the creepy, overconfident Brandon and Farley Granger is good as Philip, the conspirator with the cracking conscience. Joan Chandler (Janet Walker) reminded me very much of Donna Reed in mannerism and looks. Stewart's performance once again is solid. Alfred Hitchcock does a masterful job at controlling what we see and when to keep the suspense taut. This is the first of four Stewart/Hitchcock collaborations and is a worthwhile viewing experience. I'll give this film four out of five stars.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gratuitously Cute Dog Pictures

Since I don't currently own any pets, here are some pictures of my sister's dog. She's a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. Her name is Candy. She's a sweet dog but very high strung.

High strung.... an understatement if there ever was one...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10-0-1 and home field advantage

The American League still hasn't lost an All-Star Game since 1996. It doesn't bother me that the AL has been the victor in this game for so long. As a fan from an AL city, watching this game as a kid was rough because the NL always won (11 in a row from 1972-1982 and 14 of 16 from '72-'87, excluding '83 and '86). The National League still leads the all time All-Star Game series 40-36-2. Next year's game is at Yankee Stadium in New York.

The AL barely held on for a 5-4 win in this year's game, played in San Francisco, which ended just a few minutes ago.

Japan's own Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners won the Ted Williams MVP Award, going 3 for 3 including the first ever inside-the-park home run in the 78th edition of this summer classic.

Home field advantage in the 2007 World Series will again go to the American League, as winner of the All-Star Game. Home field advantage in the World Series has been awarded to the winner of this game since 2003. This is also something I don't mind because I think it changes the way the game is played and managed if there is something at stake in the outcome.

The players are forced to take the game more seriously and the managers actually have to use strategy in order to win. Prior to and especially including the tie in Milwaukee in 2002, the managers would just try and get everyone into the game and the outcome was secondary. Now it matters. I think that's a good thing for baseball and especially the fans who pay the players salaries...

Did any of you watch the game?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I love this game

This game is called "Nobunaga's Ambition" by Koei of Japan and it's for the original, classic Nintendo NES system. I've been playing this game off and on since 1989, when it first came out. After 18 years, it is just as good as it was when I played it in college.

The game begins in the Spring of 1560, during Japan's Warring States period. The goal of the game is to unite the Islands of Japan under one ruler, called a daimyo. You.

How you play is simple, or is it? Every season you get to make one decision per fief or territory that you own. Your decisions range the gamut: from buying rice at the market to building your town, maintaining your dams and growing crops to hiring and maintaining an army in order to conquer other fiefs. You can hire ninjas and do stealth damage to other daimyo's fiefs, too. But beware, you can also have ninjas sent against you. You must also avoid disasters, like being struck by typhoons or the plague, which damage your fief. Occasionally your peasants or troops will revolt against you, so you must keep them happy. You win when you unite the country under your leadership - you lose when your daimyo is killed.

Of course, there are many other things that you must do to win the game. I have given you but a sampling. The game comes with a 17 or 50 fief option, so you can either conquer central Japan or all four islands. There are five skill levels and up to eight people can play during any one game. The challenge now for me is conquering the whole island with each daimyo and to do it in as few seasons as possible. Each daimyo has his own set of strengths and weaknesses with which you must contend.

When I was in college, I beat the 17 fief game playing for six hours straight. The 50 fief game takes considerably longer and is by far more challenging. Fortunately, the cartridge allows one game to be saved at a time. There is no score in this game. The picture above is a screen shot of what you see when you actually win the game.

When I bought this game originally the cart cost me $60. Now you can find them on eBay for considerably less. You can even find on occasion, a copy of this game still shrink-wrapped in the original packaging, which is what I was able to do to replace my original cart. If you have an old Nintendo NES system lying around, you should make a small investment in this game. I emailed Koei a few years ago and asked them if this game was available for any other system or in any other format, hoping that there would be a PC version that I could buy. Unfortunately they said no. Oh, well - as long as my NES works, I'll be fine...

Do any of you still own a Nintendo machine from the late 80's - early 90's? (You can pick one up and tons of games on eBay.) If so, what games do you like to play?


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tagged 'n' bagged.

As one of the contributors to GvD, Jason Hughes tagged me a while ago to do this and Priscilla just tagged me with it on Saturday. I know I've done similar posts before but here goes again:

Yes! It's a dream come true (no it isn't, if truth be told) and here are da rules: 1. You MUST post these rules at the beginning of your post. (okay) 2. Those tagged must give up eight secrets that most of us bloggers don't know squat about. (sounds fair since that's the purpose of this thing) 3. At the conclusion of your post, you have to name 8 other people you are tagging and link to their sites. (sorry, no can do compadre - see below) 4. If you don't follow these rules those of us who did will hunt you down and beat you, but in a nice way. ;) (make my day boy-o.)

8 more things about me that you may not know, though I wouldn't necessarily call them weird:

1. I have no musical talent whatsoever (and don't want any). I was forcibly made to learn to play the trumpet and coronet as a ute, but could never catch on to NOT being able to puff out my cheeks. One Sunday, I left the thing in a storage closet at church, told my parents I couldn't/wouldn't learn how to play anymore and have never picked up a brass instrument since. I'm still traumatized by it to some (admittedly very small) degree, and that was more than 25 years ago.

2. From 1973-1988, I spent my summers at The Salvation Army's Camp Wonderland in Sharon, MA. My family went there at first because my mom's boss was the Camp Director and she had to work there because dats where da boss man was. From 1982-1988 I worked there myself. For the most part, I've got fond memories of the place. In the spring of '89, I convinced a college friend to apply for work there during the summer, telling him I was going to work there too, but then I didn't. He did though and had a good time.

3. I was a virgin until I was almost 22 years old. To this day I've only been sexually intimate with one woman: my ex-wife (girlfriend at that period in history.)

4. I turned 22 while I was working in Budapest, Hungary for The Salvation Army's Summer Service Corps. That's the only birthday I've celebrated while outside the continental US.

5. Normally I hate to go shopping for pretty much anything, especially for clothes. When I get depressed, though I like to shop and spend money (hello credit card bills!)

6. I had never been admitted to a hospital for any reason nor had any surgery at all until I had my kidney stone surgeries in the fall of 2005 at age 36.

7. I've worn glasses since the summer before I started 6th grade. During this time, I've had all kinds of frames made from plastic and metal. As long as they make them, I'll never change from the style of glasses I wear now. When it comes to glasses, minimalism is always best.

8. I was facial hair-less until my daughter was born in 1997, when I grew my moustache. I grew the Fu-Manchu style beard after my Russian woman debacle in 2005. It would take some pretty hard convincing by an extremely attractive woman to ever get me to shave them completely away. I think I look better (and older) with them than without them.

9. I'm not proud of the fact that I used to be quite the little thief as a ute. I worked at a store in my hometown called Paperama (which since has corporately gone out of business) that had no security system whatsoever. I made myself quit that job for fear I might get caught shoplifting.

10. It was at Paperama that I tried smoking for the first time. There was always a pack of cigarettes and a lighter on the table in the employees break room. One day I lit up a cigarette, took two puffs, gagged uncontrollably and thought to myself, "How in the world can anyone enjoy this nasty, gross, disgusting habit?" I've never picked up a cigarette since, or had any desire to start. Plus, I'm super sensitive to secondhand smoke.

There you go. I even added two bonus things, 'cuz you're special. I'm not tagging anyone, since everyone I know on blogger has done this at least once, maybe twice, possibly thrice.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

SNMR 3.16: "The Philadelphia Story"

The first feature in this month's SNMR tribute to James Stewart is "The Philadelphia Story" (1940, NR, 112 minutes, B&W), starring James Stewart, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Ruth Hussey and John Howard. The film was directed by George Cukor. Jimmy Stewart won his only Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this film.

I had never heard of or seen this film before I checked it out of the library the other day. How could I resist, with such a powerful trio of leading actors? Truth is I couldn't, and neither should you.

From the DVD's dust case:
Sophisticated romantic comedy achieved it's pinnacle in this timeless classic voted one of the top 100 American Films of All Time by the American Film Institute. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Best Actor Academy Award Winner James Stewart star in the masterful comedy (directed by George Cukor) about a fault finding, bride-to-be socialite who gets her comeuppance. (Writer Donald Ogden Stewart won the film's second Oscar for his adaptation of Philip Barry's play.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 871:
This is one of the best comedies to come out of Hollywood. From the first scene where Tracy Lord (Hepburn) deposits her ex-husband's (Grant) golf clubs in a heap at her front door and in return, Grant deposits Hepburn in a heap right next to the clubs, the 1940's version of The Taming of the Shrew proceeds at a blistering pace. Grand entertainment.

Maybe the word comedy had a different meaning in 1940, when this film was released. Sure it's romantic and has its humorous moments, but it is far from what we moderns would consider a comedy. The script is good with some witty dialogue and the acting is supreme all the way down to the surprise ending (at least I wasn't expecting it!) Cukor does an excellent job directing such luminous stars and the story moves along crisply in their capable hands. As far as this being the best comedy to come out of Hollywood? Not a chance. Still, this is a very good and highly entertaining piece of cinematic history that I recommend. You'll either need to go to a rather large specialty video store, either on-line or otherwise or the library to find this movie, but it is well worth the effort. I'll give this film four out of five stars.


What does it mean?

.....Nothing. That's what.

What am I talking about?

Today is 07/07/07, of course.

What did you think I was talking about?

I'm not into reading into dates and all that Nostradamus, false prophecy crapola.

Today's date is an interesting coincidence, and nothing more than that. After all, it's just another day....

(Now I'm thinking of that Oingo Boingo song [lyrics below] from one of my favorite CD's)
{ok, ok, ok, I had the cassette tape long before CD's became popular... so sue me!}

and my only niece happens to turn 12 today. Happy Birthday, J!

Just Another Day

Oingo Boingo
from "Dead Man's Party" (c) 1985 MCA Records

(There's life underground)

I feel it all around / I feel it in my bones
My life is on the line / When I'm away from home
When I step out the door / The jungle is alive
I do not trust my ears / I don't believe my eyes
I will not fall in love / I cannot risk the bet
Cause hearts are fragile toys / so easy to forget

It's just another day / There's murder in the air
It drags me when I walk / I smell it everywhere
It's just another day / Where people cling to light
To drive away the fear / That comes with every night

It's just another . . . . . . . It's just another day
It's just another . . . . . . . It's just another day . . .

It's just another day--When people wake from dreams
With voices in their ears--That will not go away

I had a dream last night / The world was set on fire
And everywhere I ran / There wasn't any water
The temperature increased / The sky was crimson red
The clouds turned into smoke / And everyone was dead
(but) There's a smile on my face . . . For everyone
There's a golden coin . . . That reflects the sun
There's a lonely place . . . That's always cold
There's a place in the stars . . . For when you get old

There's razors in my bed / That come out late at night
They always disappear / Before the morning light
I'm dreaming again / Of life underground
It doesn't ever move / It doesn't make a sound
And just when I think--That things are in their place
The heavens are secure--The whole thing explodes in my face


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Friday, July 06, 2007


You astronomy buffs out there will no doubt know that's the distance the earth is today from the sun (in miles)- the farthest away we'll ever get this year. The technical term is APHELION, for those of us non astronomy buffs, like yours truly. This time us northern hemisphere types have the favorable warm weather angle.

You can figure out what that works out to be in kilometers, if you're so inclined. I'm certainly not.

The opposite, PERIHELION, was on January 3, 2007.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Have a happy and safe 4th of July, everyone!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What I did last night

The Lowell Spinners are a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The Tri-City Valley Cats are a Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Both teams play in the New York-Penn League

Kalish's blast powers Spinners

Lowell, MA - (July 2, 2007) Ryan Kalish smacked a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning as Lowell rallied past visiting Tri-City, 8-4, on Monday.
Trailing, 4-3, Kade Keowen singled and scored on Kalish's first long ball of the season for the Spinners (9-4).

Jorge Jimenez and Carlos Fernandez-Oliva each had two hits and scored twice and Tyler Weeden drove in two runs for Lowell.

Spinners reliever Jordan Craft (2-0) allowed two runs on one hit while striking out three and walking two in two innings. Christopher Province fanned two over the final two frames for his first save. Starter Joseph Guerra gave up two runs on seven hits while fanning one in five innings.

ValleyCats reliever Carlos Ladeuth (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings. Starter Anthony Bello gave up three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two over five frames.

Catlin Everett and Cirilo Cruz each went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for Tri-City (3-10).[ --Steve Conley/MLB.com]

Here's the box score.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

In Memoriam- James Stewart (1908-1997)

Believe it or not, all American actor Jimmy Stewart died ten years ago today.

For the month of July, as a tribute to the great movie icon, the Saturday Night Movie Reviews feature of this blog will highlight four of his films. I hope you'll enjoy watching them as much as I will.

And as a bonus for you, it appears the Scribester has an interest in doing some additional joint reviews of some of Stewart's films over there on our movie review blog.

"I'd like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what he said." - James Stewart (1983)

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Books of the Month - July 2007

A few weeks ago I received an interesting email from a woman at Zondervan Publishers. She asked me if I'd be interested in promoting two books that were just recently released on my blog. Included in the email was a brief description of each book. I replied back that I would be happy to participate. I had never been asked to do such a thing before and I thought it would be neat. The bonus is that she sent me some copies of each book for free. Here's the cool part, which is one of the reasons for the whole promotion deal: I have two extra copies of each book that I want to give away to you, my loyal readers.

For those of you interested, here's how it will work. If you are among the first to email me with your name, mailing address and which book you are interested in, I'll send you a copy. Pretty easy, right? Sure it is. The only thing I ask is that you send me $3.00 for each book, which will cover my cost in mailing supplies and postage. As always, in the sidebar (on the left at this time) is a link to my email address.

The first title this month is 3 Seconds, by Dr. Les Parrott:

"Three seconds is all that stands between those who settle for "whatever" and those who insist on "whatever it takes." Award-winning author and psychologist Dr. Les Parrott reveals six common impulses that sabotage greatness in our lives. We can unleash our full potential and excellence when we learn how to give our first impulses a second thought.

Just three seconds. The time it takes to make a decision. That's all that lies between settling for "Whatever" ... or insisting on "Whatever it takes."

3 Seconds shows how to unleash the inner resources that can move you to a whole new level of success. It comes down to six predictable impulses that most of us automatically accept without a second thought. You can replace them with new impulses that lead toward impact and significance. For instance, it takes Three Seconds to ...

Disown Your Helplessness: The First Impulse: "There's nothing I can do about it." The Second Impulse: "I can't do everything, but I can do something."

Quit Stewing and Start Doing: The First Impulse: "Someday I'm going to do that." The Second Impulse: "I'm diving in ... starting today."

Fuel Your Passion: The First Impulse: "I'll do what happens to come my way." The Second Impulse: "I'll do what I'm designed to do."

Inhale ... exhale ... the difference of your lifetime can begin in the space of a single breath. The decision is yours. Start today."

3 Seconds Published June 15, 2007. Hardcover, 192 pages from Zondervan.

You can order a copy for yourself amazon.com or cbd.com.

The second selection is Holy Discontent, by Bill Hybels.

"What is the one aspect of this broken world that, when you see it, touch it, get near it, you just can't stand? Very likely, that firestorm of frustration reflects your holy discontent, a reality so troubling that you are thrust off the couch and into the game. It's during these defining times when your eyes open to the needs surrounding you and your heart hungers to respond that you hear God say, "I feel the same way about this problem. Now, let's go solve it together!"

Bill Hybels invites you to consider the dramatic impact your life will have when you allow your holy discontent to fuel instead of frustrate you. Using examples from the Bible, his own life, and the experiences of others, Hybels shows how you can find and feed your personal area of holy discontent, fight for it when things get risky, and follow it when it takes a mid-course turn. As you live from the energy of your holy discontent, you'll fulfill your role in setting what is wrong in this world right!"

Holy Discontent Published June 29, 2007. 128 pages from Zondervan.

Purchase a copy for yourself amazon.com or cbd.com.

7/23 update: jlee has claimed one copy of each book. Enjoy!!
8/1 update: The second copy of each book has been donated to my church library.