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Lance Mannion
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Newburgh Riverfront. Seven-twenty Tuesday morning. August 4, 2015. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
Newburgh. 7:25 a.m. 71 degrees. At the Riverfront. They have WiFi here! What they don’t have are benches. Sitting on the wet grass, watching the ducks dabble. One young drake taking a snooze on the water, head turned nearly 180 degrees, bill tucked into his wing up to his tightly closed eyes, slowly spinning in circles as he drifts. Must feel it when he drifts close to the rocks. Without untucking his head or opening his eyes, he starts paddling. Paddles himself back out into the middle of the channel. Goes back to sleep. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Newburgh Waterfront. Looking south down the Hudson River. Seven-thirty Tuesday morning. August 4, 2014. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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President Richard Nixon and the bound copies of transcripts of the tapes he had hoped to keep hidden from Congress and the American people. He may have wanted to keep hidden his true character along with his criminal acts. Listen to the tapes and what you hear is a spiteful, angry, fearful, mean, vindictive, dangerous man. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, via Wikipedia. I’m reading three books about Nixon right now. One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner begins with a flat-out assertion that Nixon was a criminal and a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Our old blogging pal and comrade in pixels actor212 was on vacation in the Caribbean and took this one morning just to gloat. Island of Bonaire in the Leeward Antilles. Looking west. Around eight Saturday morning. August 15, 2015. Taken with an iPhone 5S. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
Back in grad school I taught a creative writing class for the university's correspondence degree program. I was teaching online before there was an online. A student, a wife and mother on a farm in the west of Iowa, out where the difference between Nebraska and Iowa is lost in the endless cornfields, submitted a long poem detailing her many hardships, troubles, and sorrows. And she had many. It was a heartbreaking poem. It was also a good one. But its last verse bewildered me. It was very upbeat. Literally her un-ironic riff on God's in in his heaven and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
The queue on the opening day of the first McDonald's restaurant in Moscow, 1990. pic.twitter.com/gZZknmgUZP — ClassicPics (@History_Pics) August 2, 2015 Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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The Biblical heroine Jael prepares to drive a nail into the head of the sleeping Canaanite general Sisera in this painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, Giaele e Sisara (1620), based on a story from the Book of Judges. Via Wikipedia. One of the things I like about Twitter is that from time to time it surprises me with things I wouldn't have known about otherwise. For example: just now I learned via a tweet by novelist Lynn Messina someone---not Messina---has published a novel about a Jewish prisoner falling in love with the Nazi officer in command of a concentration camp! And... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
Hemingway said that an important part of a writer’s job was to tell how the weather was. Start your book with a weather report like this, and you’ve got me hooked: The summer I spent as a reporter covering the war between the oysters and the wilderness, every night was a foggy one. The long days ended with a relief that arrived in two stages. The first came when the outstretched arm of Tomales Bay began to fill again in the late afternoons, submerging the gasping mud flats and exposed estuarine grasses as the little waves came lapping in, reaching... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Lance Mannion
A year ago we were visiting Art the Wonder Dog and his person Uncle Merlin north of Boston and we made a foray up to Cape Ann in search of lobster rolls and oceanscapes. Found both in Rockport on Cape Ann. Below are three postcards from the trip up: North by Northwest but the very opposite of mad, Lobster rolls at the Lobster Pool, and Kayaks at Tuna Wharf. Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Tuesday afternoon. August 19, 2014. Rockport, Massachusetts. This one was taken by Uncle Merlin. Art the Wonder Dog didn’t come with us to Rockport. Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Lobster Pool. Rockport, Massachusetts. Tuesday afternoon. August 19, 2014. Rockport, Massachusetts. Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Cape Ann. Looking north by northwest from Rockport across Ipswich Bay towards Plum Island and New Hampshire. Tuesday afternoon. August 19, 2014. Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2015 at Lance Mannion
8:45. Thursday morning. July 23, 2015. Mrs M's on the bus to New York City. I'm in my office already---on the front porch. We've been texting each other. NO! Not those kinds of texts! I was telling her about the hummingbird that just came to visit. She was telling me about the Wodehouse novel she's reading while her fellow commuters are hunched over their smart phones. We're a nice old married couple. We don't sext. Although once upon a time... Sometimes I make myself laugh and sometimes I cringe and sometimes I just sigh in relief thinking about what if... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Mining the notebooks. On the porch. Thursday morning. July 23, 2015. Heard a buzzing in the air close to my head just now and thought, That sounds like an awfully big bee. Wasn’t a bee. A hummingbird had come to visit. He was hovering about six feet above the porch floor, looking straight at me with what I took as an It’s about time look, as if he’d been there for a while, waiting for me to notice. So I noticed. “Hello, how are you doing?” I said, being neighborly. He seemed to nod, not so much in a return... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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As Mets radio announcer and Seinfeld fan Josh Lewin likes to say: "It's a Cespedes for the rest of us!" In last night’s wild game against the Rockies, Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes hit a single, a double, and three home runs, and drove in seven runs. Late in the game, this had Josh hoping for a Cespedes Miracle. That would have taken Cespedes adding a triple and and a fourth home run so that he'd have hit for the cycle and become the first Met to park four in a game. Didn’t happen. But Lewin didn’t air any grievances.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Not one of his more charming moments: Professor Bill Whitley (William Powell, right) doubts his doctor’s(Morris Ankrum) diagnosis of “a slight touch of asthma,” insisting he’s dying, while his wife Vicky (Hedy Lamarr) looks on with something less than complete sympathy in The Heavenly Body, a 1944 screwball comedy about an astronomer trying to win back the affections of his astrology-obsessed spouse whose horoscope says she will leave him for a tall, dark stranger. This will strike some classic movie buffs as a form of blasphemy, but sometimes William Powell could be a little too charming. In The Heavenly Body,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Porch reading. Late Friday night into very early Saturday morning. July 24-25, 2015. Pretty bold of E.L. Doctorow to name a character in his Faulkner-inflected Civil War novel The March “Satorious.” As if he’s daring comparisons to Faulkner’s novels featuring members of the “Sartoris” family. I can’t tell if Doctorow’s being meta with this or simply allusive and expecting his readers to have Faulkner at the backs of their minds the way Faulkner expected his to have the Bible and Shakespeare at the backs of theirs. Maybe I sould quit here and pick it up again after I've gone back... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at Lance Mannion
Finished Tim Weiner’s One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon. The morning was cloaked with clouds. A helicopter awaited on the lawn. Nixon left the White House, said farewell to Gerald Ford, and walked to the chopper. [NSC officer David Michael Ransom] stepped out onto a balcony to watch Nixon fly away. Two other people stood beside him. One was the White House chef, wearing his white uniform. The other was Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, smoking his pipe. “Nixon flashed his double-armed signal of departure with two fingers raised in a ‘V’ sign and then turned... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at Lance Mannion
One of the best Twitter feeds is that of Sarcastic Rover reporting from Mars on its lonely, forgotten study of the red planet. Although generally neglected by NASA, Sarcastic Rover somehow still gets news of goings on back here on Earth, and it's heard about Cecil the Lion. Why the hell am even bothering to look for signs of life when some impotent rich idiot will just rocket up and kill it with an arrow? — SarcasticRover (@SarcasticRover) July 28, 2015 Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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Thursday morning. July 23, 2015. Sometimes signs like this have to be taken as invitations. Took the back roads home again this morning after dropping Mrs M off at the bus depot and drove past this place sinking into the weeds and wildflowers and disappearing behind the scrubs. Not much to look at except something inside caught my eye and I had to stop, turn around, and investigate. Not sure if I should call it a small barn or a large shed. Probably shed. Doesn't look as though it was ever a home or shelter for livestock. Likely been doing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at Lance Mannion
More on that damn war from One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner: Congress was not ready to carry that burden---not yet. McGovern’s words shocked the sensibilities of some senators. His measure was defeated by a 55-39 margin. The strongest antiwar legislation enacted in 1971 was a call for an end to American military operations in Vietnam at “the earliest practicable date,” subject to the return of all American prisoners of war. But a dozen more stop-the-war amendments were under consideration in the fall of 1971. One in particular demanded a free and fair... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Lance Mannion
Have a feeling the movie A Walk in the Woods is not going to be good. Lots of “We’re too old for this” gags and Redford and Nolte doing the kind of comic mugging both had gone their whole long, distinguished careers to this point without having been forced to resort to. But I’m still going to go see it and I bet I enjoy it immensely. Once upon a time, Redford planned to direct this himself with Paul Newman as his co-star. I don’t know how that would have worked. Newman would have had a ball playing an old,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Lance Mannion
Every writer knows there are only 5 basic plots: * Man vs. man * Man vs. nature * Man vs. Batman * Batman vs. Superman * Spider-man (again)— Jason Lefkowitz (@jalefkowit) June 26, 2015 Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Lance Mannion
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For longtime very good friend of the blog Tom S. Say hello to his little friend: Genius and thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in his new role as a superhero discovers that among his superpowers is the ability to communicate with ants, a ridiculous comic book concept used to delightfully understated comic effect by director Peyton Reed in the heist movie that also happens to be a superhero movie Ant-Man. Ant-Man is the third best movie comedy I've seen since Stranger Than Fiction. That's not a hard distinction to achieve. Hollywood makes very few pure comedies anymore. The studios turn... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2015 at Lance Mannion