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Lance Mannion
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Shadows cast beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, seen from a stable roof, May 6, 1918 pic.twitter.com/7g987IeoJ5— TheAngryHistoryShow (@AngryHistory) July 22, 2014 Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Lance Mannion
Updated below. Tuesday morning. July 22, 2014. By now most of you have probably caught up with this awful story about the criminally incompetent investigation of a rape at Hobart and William Smith Colleges that ended with no one being punished except the victim who became the target of the wrath of other students who decided she was the one guilty of a crime---the crime of accusing popular football players of being rapists during a championship season. I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I taught at Hobart and William Smith for four years back in the 90s.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
Along the roadside, 8 AM. First sightings: Early Goldenrod, Purple Loosestrife, Queen Anne’s Lace. Notes from head: Early Goldenrod’s not so early this summer. Can never get over that Queen Anne’s Lace is a carrot. Purple Loosestrife is a villain. Considered invasive and weedy in nearly all areas; banned or noxious wherever it occurs. Infestations result in dramatic disruption in water flow in rivers and canals, and a sharp decline in biological diversity as native food and cover plant species, notably cattails, are completely crowded out, and the life cycles of organisms from waterfowl to amphibians to algae are affected.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
El Jefe: Crud. Put my eulogy in the wrong thread. El Jefe, easily taken care of. Here you are: Oh God. Of course it's been coming a long time but like watching first your grandparents and then parents fade away it's always, always too soon. The last of my four celebrity "anchors" from my childhood is gone. Jim Henson we lost far too long ago and Johnny Costa too (who along with my Mammaw brought me to the piano and damn near gave me my taste in music as his lyrical hard bop put the breath in Fred Rogers' make-believe machine), and of course more recently Lena Horne. But Jim? I feel the same weight on my heart that I did when my actual favorite uncle died, the one who in such a Garnerish way used to take me out for strawberry milkshakes in his leather-plated Volvo sportscast he'd picked up as an Army officer in West Germany. Now I know how te Siren felt when Peter Falk passed (who I mourned too, but big Jim was my favorite. Support Your Local Sheriff is, eternally, one of my five favorite movies. Very nicely put. Thank you.
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James Garner is gone. Here is my review from 2006 of what’s either my second or third favorite of his movies. I go back and forth. “Garner…sets the pace, slow and steady. Too steady. Inhumanly steady. Scarily steady.” James Garner (right) as a morally self-compromised Wyatt Earp in John Sturges’ 1967 revenge Western, Hour of the Gun. Plodding shouldn't be a complimentary way to describe a movie, but offhand I can't think of a better word for the pacing of John Sturges' revenge Western, Hour of the Gun, starring James Garner as Wyatt Earp and Jason Robards as Doc Holliday.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
What are people thinking when they come flying into a parking lot at road speed? There’s a cable like on an aircraft carrier that’ll catch their back wheels before they cream somebody? “Jackass!” I yelled, stopping just in time to avoid getting creamed. The jackass was a priest. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Hedges needed trimming but with my back it’s work I can’t do myself. So I had a man in… He did a good job, and you can’t beat his price. Ken Mannion fights back the creeping greenery. Our house. Half an hour ago. 3:00 PM. Saturday. July 19, 2014. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
Don, thanks for the heads up! Definitely want to see/read/listen to that. Some quick googling hasn't turned it up though. Is it online? I did find my way to Sibley's Facebook page and liked that and there I watched this video, David Allen Sibley sketches a Townsend's Warbler, which of course has a slew of videos associated with it, so there goes the rest of my day!
Link, thanks for reminding me. There's another medical test I need to submit myself to soon! How did yours turn out? Eyes ok?
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on Inside the MRI… at Lance Mannion
…there’s not much to do but lie there and try to zone out or Zen out and pray you don’t get an itch or have to sneeze. I whiled away some of the time this morning by trying to memorize all the noises the scanner made, and it is noisy in there. I was hoping to hear a good old reliable ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa. But, nope. Mostly it was random electronic and mechanical burps blips bangs and pops. There were times when the noises verged on becoming musical and other times when they seemed deliberately comic, sounding like Gru’s minions from Despicable... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Searching online for James Thurber’s short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” tonight, I came across my own review of Ben Stiller’s movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and it surprised me on two counts. The first was that I liked the review. I usually don't like my reviews when I re-read them long after having posted them. I have a tendency to disagree with me. Vehemently. The second surprise was that I made myself want to see the movie again, which I thought I wouldn't want to after seeing it the first time. Anyway, see what you... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
I have heard artists say they are channeling God. You would have to have a really good gallery to say that. ---from The Painter by Peter Heller. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
Los Angeles, 1935 (1st drive-in theatre in the state). pic.twitter.com/A927zM4l9l— ClassicPics (@History_Pics) July 16, 2014 Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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One of my favorite paintings from the Impressionists’ heyday, Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte, has been restored and put back on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. Technically, Caillebotte wasn’t an Impressionist, although he was friends with many of them. He was much more of a realist and much more interested in the daily life of Paris. He liked taking people going about their routine business as his subject. Here’s another of my favorites, The House Painters. But it turns out Caillebotte wasn’t a professional painter, at any rate not in the sense his friends Manet, Monet,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Lance Mannion
The ultimate goal is to set the poor old people adrift on ice floes but in order for there to be ice floes something will have to be done about global warming. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Lance Mannion
wwolfe: " this is at the top of my list of movies I want to see on the big screen. (Well, this and the re-issue of "A Hard Day's Night," which involves a somewhat different take on the superhero genre.)" :) Thanks, wwolfe, that's good to know. I'm not sure how much good I've done with this blog, but I am proud of having helped people find their way to and enjoy some things they might not have without me, like Discworld and now the Marvel movies. Let us know what you think of Winter Soldier and AHDN.
Germans Humiliated After Winning World Cup 6.38 Seconds Behind Schedule http://t.co/kDnTElMq5t pic.twitter.com/58HjCFvPSK— The Onion (@TheOnion) July 13, 2014 Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Bill, I'm sorry to say I haven't seen any of TD yet. I was going to start watching it as soon as it came out on DVD but the summer's not working out as I'd planned. But I promise to get to it soon.
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Just found out about this one last night. Good to see Tim Robbins back at work and doesn’t he look wonderfully sleazy? And I’m hoping this is another sign Jennifer Aniston has finished with her string of Watch Another Leading Man Fall Madly in Love With Me, Brad Pitt movies and gone back to acting. Life of Crime’s based on Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, which is the prequel to Rum Punch, the Leonard novel Jackie Brown’s based on (Technically, it’s the other way round. The Switch was published first, so Rum Punch is the sequel.), which makes Life of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at Lance Mannion
paintedjaguar, You'll have to ask my conservative readers if I've been ignoring what the Republicans have been up to for, oh, the last 10 years. I don't have a lot of those readers. They don't like to come over to hear themselves being railed at and insulted. Can't say I blame them. I wish they'd at least stop by for the movie reviews, but I feel their pain and understand. As for the courtesy, if the President's party holds the Senate, the courtesy isn't necessary, as a simple majority is all that's needed to confirm. The Republicans had the majority when Bush put Alito and Roberts on the bench. Obama had it when he nominated Kagan and Sotomayor. He very well may not have it after January 1, so if he has to appoint another justice, he'll need some Republicans to be courteous. And then, unless the Democrats take back the Senate in 2016, future President Clinton will need some courteous Republicans too to get her justices appointed. Since I don't trust the Republicans to extend that courtesy, the best thing to do is, like I said, see that Obama and Clinton don't need to rely on it.
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Just about every shot in the trailer for Wild perfectly evokes a scene or image from the book it’s based on, Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir of a thousand mile plus hike she took in 1995 when she was twenty-six to cure herself of grief, heartbreak, and various addictions, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. That doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be a good movie. Sometimes movies based on books can be too faithful to their originals. But it’s a reminder of what a terrific book it is. I walked all day, falling and skidding and trudging... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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Two believers at Shea Stadium, Summer of 1973. Mets won their third straight against the Braves last night. Still not getting my hopes up for the rest of this season. You gotta believe, said Tug but that was easier to do when Tug himself was out there. The Mets radio announcers were talking about the 1973 pennant-winning season. They recalled that the Mets were in worse shape at this same point that year. Arguably. There were only the two divisions, no inter-league play, so the Mets had more chances against their division rivals, and it was an embarrassingly weak division.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Lance Mannion
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That’s the title of a section in my new Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Emberizine Sparrows and Their Allies. I like that. I like the idea of sparrows having allies. I’m picturing those small, feisty birds gathering their armies against hawks and cats and other members of what sparrows would regard as the Axis of Evil. Emberizine sparrows, Sibley informs me, are “a large group [consisting] mostly small,streaked brownish birds of grassy and brushy areas” and they include rufous-sided towhees and dark-eyed juncos, neither of which are brownish birds, along with all sorts of sparrows---chipping sparrows,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Put in a call this morning to Steve Kuusisto up in the wilds of Syracuse to find out how he’s doing and what’s going on in his world these days. He’s doing fine, he reported in answer to the first question, and Nothing, nothing’s going on, he said to the second. “My life is boring. I’m boring.” He was being hard on himself. Steve’s writing a memoir about his first guide dog, Corky, and he’s been working away at it doggedly. (Sometimes I just crack myself up.) Every day he gets up, walks the dogs, Nila and Harley, has a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at Lance Mannion
Dear grouchy conservative middle-aged men, They don’t need your permission to be young and beautiful and full of the joy of life. Your friend, Another grouchy middle-aged man. This morning’s errands took me up to the little college town north of here where---a not unusual phenomenon this time of year---in the space of one block I passed four attractive young women dressed down for summer in their own particular ways, two in summer dresses on their way to class, one in gym shorts and a t-shirt cooling down from a run, and one in a camisole top out walking her... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at Lance Mannion