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 CountryNot the best of the series.
Digitized my recording of the 1993 Midsummer Revels. I'll be putting MP3s on the site soon.
Film: (DVD) Cider House RulesA fine film based on a John Irving novel, set in a Maine orphanage during WW2.
Video: (DVD) Once and Again Season OneI 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.
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 2002The 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...
Film: (DVD) The Lady Eve Preston Sturges, 1941A 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!.
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 HaydnTon 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.
Film: (DVD) 10 Things I Hate About YouA superficial take on The Taming of the Shrew, set in a Seattle High school. An entertaining comedy, not great.
An evening with the versatile Will Smith.
Film: (DVD) Enemy of The StateThis 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 IILacks the surprise element of the original, which seemed to come out of nowhere, but fun nevertheless. Lara Flynn Boyle makes a fine villainess.
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!
Film: (DVD) 84 Charing Cross Road David Hugh Jones 1987I 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!
Film: (DVD) What Planet Are You FromLow comedy, not particularly good.
Film: (DVD) Another Man's Poison Irving Rapper 1952A British murder tale set on the Yorkshire Moors. Bette Davis is very evil. This one wasn't much good either.
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.
Film: (DVD) The Two Jakes Jack Nicholson 1990How 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.
Film: (DVD) Death Becomes Her Robert Zemeckis 1992Bruce Wills as a nebbish, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn as zombies, talk about casting against type! This was pretty entertaining, though not a masterpiece.
Film: (DVD) Bandits Barry Levinson 2001This 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.
Today was the first Patience rehearsal with full cast and orchestra together. Sounding very good!
Film: (DVD) Shot to PiecesThis 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' BanquetWent 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 1993This 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.
Film: (DVD) For Love of the Game Sam Raimi 1999This was a fine example of the classic baseball film genre, quite satisfying.
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 2002This 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.
"Monster Sunday" Patience rehearsal, two complete shows, first time on the actual set.
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.
Video: (DVD) Six Feet UnderWe'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.
Film: (DVD) 8 Femmes (8 Women) François Ozon 2002This 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.
Patience opening night"Another op'ning, another show..." All is going well, the audience was receptive.
Film: (DVD) Paint Your Wagon Joshua Logan 1969Lee 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.
Film: (DVD) Six Feet Under Season 1, Disc 3Really enjoying this series!
|November-December, 1998||April-May, 1975|
|Books reviewed on this page:|
|War and Peace||Leo Tolstoy||5/26/03|
|War of Honor||David Weber||1/12/03|
|Films reviewed on this page:|
|Another Man's Poison||January 31, 2003|
|Bandits||February 8, 2003|
|The Cider House Rules||January 11, 2003|
|Death Becomes Her||February 6, 2003|
|Enemy of the State||January 22, 2003|
|84 Charing Cross Road||January 26, 2003|
|For Love of the Game||February 12, 2003|
|The Lady Eve||January 14, 2003|
|Men in Black II||January 22, 2003|
|Once and Again||January 11, 2003|
|Sharpe's Rifles||February 11, 2003|
|Shot to Pieces||February 11, 2003|
|Six Feet Under||February 15, 2003|
|Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country||January 1, 2003|
|10 Things I Hate About You||January 21, 2003|
|The Two Jakes||February 2, 2003|
|What Planet are You From?||January 31, 2003|
|Music reviewed on this page:|
|Feb -March 1, 2003||Gilbert & Sullivan: Patience||Sudbury Savoyards|
|January 18, 2003||B.S.O., Ton Koopman, Andreas Scholl||Bach, Haydn|
|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|