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CrabAppleLane Sunday - Grindhouse Issue

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grindhouse.jpgFinally saw Grindhouse. It is about what I expected and that is an homage to the film scene that was around in the late 60s and early 70s. As someone who grew up in that era, I can attest that it is quite amazingly authentic in that regard. Then, there were drive-ins and low-budget theaters catering mostly to teens and young adults. The theaters would charge maybe 50 cents or a dollar per person and the drive-ins would charge about a dollar per carload.

What was shown in those venues was really low-budget, B-movies and it was, by far, mostly horror schlock. It didn't really matter if the movie was any good because only about half in attendance were even watching it. :)

Grindhouse somehow pretty faithfully recreates that late 60s, early 70s experience. All you need is stale popcorn, a pickle, and a watered-down soft drink. The difference between Grindhouse and those earlier films is that, in Grindhouse, it was done intentionally. GH is a double feature (If you don't know what a double feature is, ask your parents or grandparents). The two films inside the film are Planet Terror, written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, and Death Proof, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It has some of the old cheesy intros, the intermission, the previews of upcoming films, the film breakdowns, the hissing and popping, the really bad acting, bad writing, bad editing, bad directing, and even a cartoon. I don't think younger viewers will get it. That said, these kinds of movies are extinct for a reason. Grindhouse is gimmicky and the gimmick kind of wears on you sooner rather than later. Glad I finally saw it because it is worth seeing. Kinda sorry I spent money on it, though.

Today's QOTD is Tracy Porter talking about his famous Super Bowl play. Tracy and Peyton are now teammates in Denver.

Saints take on the Redskins today at noon. It will be the debut of RGIII for the Redskins. I expect him to have a nice career in the NFL ... starting tomorrow. As always, the formula for the Saints is a simple one. If they take care of the ball, they take care of the Redskins. Welcome to the NFL, kid. :)

Once more, I offer a familiar one from CrabAppleLane:


5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. The Grand Illusion - Styx - The Grand Illusion
  2. Thank God I'm A Country Boy - John Denver - Back Home Again
  3. Making Believe - Emmylou Harris - The Very Best Of Emmylou Harris
  4. Firelight Dancers - Al Reingold - After Erasmus
  5. 5:15 - The Who - Quadrophenia

Quote of the Day

Though we haven't talked about it, it's kind of understood that the play happened
Tracy Porter, Denver Broncos

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Relive some of those days by watching a cool doc about Jason Voorhees. The sweetest part about this is all the original cast members make an appearance to talk about their scenes. It's interesting to check out n see how they've all aged."

The CrabAppleLane yard is a mess. WST came out last night and removed the tree limb that was concerning me. They cut it down and left it on the ground for me to finish. Fair enough. That's project number 1 of 867 tasks to do at or around CrabAppleLane. It's not really that bad but I think I'll be in the yard the rest of the weekend. In all, we were lucky. Power is still out to a surprisingly large number of people in Hurricane Isaac's path. I know those guys are doing the best they can and they are better prepared than ever to deal with this sort of emergency but this situation seems peculiar. Isaac wasn't particularly strong. Some people have been without power since Tuesday night.

Good and short read about the differences in watching a hurricane and being in one.

The NFL season gets underway Wednesday night with the NFL Kickoff Classic. The Giants host the Cowboys. The defending champs record in this game is perfect and that streak figures to continue. The Giants are better than the Cowboys.

Missouri.jpgFinally got to see Battleship Friday night. It is CME, for sure, but not really good CME. The critics had it right. It's got lots of eye candy, though, and some neat special effects if you have HD. Doesn't save it from itself. It only has a passing similarity to the Hasbro game it's based on but the game is better. That said, it was delightful and quite moving to see The Mighty Mo again. That famous image of her (Left) firing her guns is one of my all-time faves. Click on it to enlarge. As ridiculous as the film is, it's still worth seeing. Patsy didn't care for it and I now owe her a few hundred more movies. I'll be watching chick flicks the rest of my life, I think. :)

I offer one that you are probably tired of seeing. Sorry for the glare.

The Saints take on RGIII and the Redskins next Sunday. It's going to be a fantastic atmosphere. Saints fans are mad at the NFL and the commissioner, in particular. They will take it out on visiting teams this season. Always a hostile environment for visitors, I think it will be even more so this season. Welcome to the NFL, RGIII.

3 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Down By the Water - The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
  2. Beggars Day - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  3. Hill Farmer's Blues - Mark Knopfler - The Ragpicker's Dream
  4. Choctaw Hayride - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live
  5. Wayfaring Stranger - Red Horse - Red Horse

Quote of the Day

Some of the more than 200 pieces of World War I ammunition which emerged from a melting glacier on a Trentino mountain peak are seen, Aug. 31. Each piece weighs between 7-10 kilos, and the 85-100 mm caliber explosive devices were found at an altitude of 3,200 meters, when a once-perennial glacier on the Ago de Nardis peak partially melted due to a recent heat wave that reached into Italy's highest peaks.
MSNBC

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The city’s biggest problems seemed to be downed power lines, scattered tree limbs and minor flooding. One person was reported killed, compared with 1,800 deaths from Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi. And police reported few problems with looting. Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew just to be sure."

hungergames.jpgWatched The Hunger Games yesterday. Patsy had started the book and put it down after one chapter. There is some disturbing imagery she didn't care for and she had no interest in seeing it at the theater or at home. The film has some, too, but I didn't think it was that bad. I never read the book but I may now.

The theme of the movie is thoroughly revolting. Two people, one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18, are chosen from 12 different areas called districts to compete in a coliseum-style fight to the finish, broadcast live throughout the land. The Hunger Games come complete with futuristic Romans, too, who sponsor and bet on the contestants. Jennifer Lawrence plays the heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She is excellent and completely carries the film. She is in almost every scene. I think the setup could have been a little shorter and the games a little longer but those are minor quibbles because I really enjoyed it. The ending suggested a sequel was coming. That was easy enough to confirm this morning online. I'm in.

For better or worse, the annual CrabAppleLane Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet for 2012. Hopefully, these cheat sheets serve you better than they usually serve me.

Was watching a Little League game the other day between Mexico and Canada. The sound was turned down at the restaurant I had chosen for lunch so I was kind of using my imagination about what was going on. I don't know Little League rules. I played playground baseball but never Little League. I take it they use some kind of pitch count because that stat was very prominent in the box score graphic.

I picked up the game in the bottom of the second inning. It was 8-8 and each pitcher's count was in the 50s. No idea how long those two kids lasted. My lunch hour was up. Pitch counts have become important to baseball in the last ten years or so and I think that's a good thing. I'm all for protecting the kids from themselves. They're eager to perform and don't always know when to stop. I'm also all for protecting their young arms from overzealous parents and coaches. More then a few of them out there. Pitchers need proper instruction from an early age. Damage from overthrowing, from bad mechanics, and from throwing exotic pitches like hard sliders can last a lifetime. No two kids are the same, though, and the rules may seem unfair to the ones who can manage higher pitch counts. Enforcing those rules may still result in some 27-22 final scores but I still think that it's a good idea.

Had a date with the yard this weekend but the relentless rain has made that impossible. Poured yesterday and there is a 70% chance of more today. For what it's worth, it only rains when I DO want to do yardwork, never when I don't. If the rain holds off for another hour or two, I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Today's photo below reminds me of a Night Gallery episode. Seeing a picture of Leslie Nielsen yesterday must have been part of the connection. You can watch the episode at the link. It's about 40 minutes long.

CrabAppleLane Yard - August 19, 2012
CrabAppleLane Yard - August 19, 2012

17 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Natural Thing - UFO - No Heavy Petting
  2. Take Me Home Country Roads - John Denver - Poems, Prayers & Promises
  3. Rebel Yell - Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
  4. Give A Little Love - The Mostar Diving Club - Triumph of Hope
  5. Don't Fear The Reaper - The Mutton Birds - The Frighteners Soundtrack

Quote of the Day

I think its one of the wonderful things about this opportunity, that even though you're here and even though its just for a little while, you get to enjoy all this.
Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "When Jennifer Lawrence was 14 she quit school because of bullies."

A place to get lost in nostalgia via my friend, Hyde. I was a regular at The Warehouse from about 1975 through about 1979 but I saw quite a few shows before 1975. The contributors who compiled that website are probably a few years older than me. Looks like they were regulars a bit earlier than me and tapered off later but I saw a lot of the same shows they did. There was a show there almost every week. Unfortunately, I didn't save anything. Didn't collect ticket stubs and the first merchandising I ever saw at a concert was at Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston in 1976. I only have two t-shirts from concerts. That Deep Purple w/Nazareth t-shirt and the one I got for Pink Floyd's Division Bell Tour. Some of those links have reviews. I think that's the real fun at the site. Seeing ticket stubs for $3.50 is kind of nostalgic, too.

Caught the last minute of the men's gold medal basketball game this morning. Afraid that was the only minute of these Olympics I saw live. Fun to see Chris Paul make a great play at the end. Love what the Hornets are doing now but I'm still a big fan of former Hornet, CP3.

About today's QOTD: It's from Fred Astaire to Adolphe Menjou and it's about Menjou's daughter in the film, Rita Hayworth. He had a point. There's pretty like Ginger Rogers and then there's 12 car pileup gorgeous like Rita Hayworth. You Were Never Lovelier is a lot of fun.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard. August is pretty dreary around here. Hot, hot, hot.

CrabAppleLane - August 12, 2012
CrabAppleLane - August 12, 2012

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Stranger - Katie Costello - Lamplight
  2. One Way - Rose Cousins - We Have Made a Spark
  3. Let Your Love Go - Bread - The Best of Bread
  4. Working Man - Rush - Rush
  5. Mistreated - Deep Purple - Burn

Quote of the Day

Have you gotten a good look at her lately?
Robert Davis, You Were Never Lovelier

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "There are about 60 over there, all these pretty-colored buses, and this is their last day today. It’s quite the sight to see all these buses there, and tomorrow morning, they’ll all be gone. We were just saying, just seeing all those buses there, we should have taken some pictures of them."

The New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals hook up tonight in the NFL Hall of Fame Game. It is the opening preseason game. First things first.

Congratulations to the Saints' Willie Roaf and the other inductees on their entrance to the NFL's Hall of Fame. All of you are deserving. I was still a Saints season ticket holder when they drafted Willie in 1993. I remember a game against the Eagles when Mike Mamula just ate his lunch. That is the only bad game I ever saw him have. He was a great player in New Orleans. He left here under unfortunate circumstances involving infidelity among other things. I'm glad to see him as a proud member of the Saints family again.

Condolences to the Andy Reid family. Very sad.

The HoF game starts at 7PM CDT. If you want to see NFL superstars Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald, and Jimmy Graham, I suggest you tune in early. I think Graham might play a while but I expect Brees and Fitzgerald to be off the field in a hurry. The Cards will be missing their two starting running backs and the Saints will be missing their two starting cornerbacks. If there was a game plan tonight, it would include "look for Fitzgerald and throw the ball to him lots". I expect this game to get really sloppy and really fast. Each team has 90 players and about 35 on each side will be doing something else in a few weeks. More thoughts on the Saints and the game here if you're interested.

Attn: NFL - Please lose Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Brian Baldinger, Joe Theismann, and Shannon Sharp. Bring in some new guys who don't try to be so cute with each other and the audience.

salmonfishing.jpgPatsy has wanted to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen since she heard about it. I suppose I did, too, even though it looked a little like any other typical romcom, except that it was British. That makes all the difference to me. They simply do small movies better than Americans. All romcoms are small movies to me but I love small movies so that, in itself, is never a dealbreaker for seeing something. The film has a lot of quiet moments and a few disquieting ones.

A rich sheik wants to introduce salmon to the Yemen River and he has the resources to do so. Money means nothing to him. He enlists a British salmon expert to oversee the project through the sheik's representatives in the British Isles. The fish expert thinks the project impossible mainly because it would be so ridiculously expensive and impractical even if it could be done. Political obstacles abound, too. The Yemen River locals see it as an attempt to westernize their land and the British fisherman don't want to give up the number of fish it would take to stock the river. The impossible dream part of the movie was OK. The relationship between the fish expert and the sheik's British representative, who are both already in relationships, make up the other part and that one turned out to be pretty sweet. It was a movie best seen in a quiet home rather than a chatty theater but definitely a movie worth seeing.

Speaking of fish, I usually don't order it at a restaurant. Not a big fish eater but I do like broiled or grilled trout. Last night, I decided to go with the grilled trout. It was disappointing but not for the usual reasons. It was grilled very nicely. It seemed to be fresh and a pretty nice piece of fish. Unfortunately, the last thing someone did before they brought it to me was douse it with lemon and I'm not talking about a little bit. It had to be a lot because it totally overpowered the fish. I was able to eat it anyway but it surely would have been better without that extra bit of juice. Restaurants should skip that last step or lemon very lightly and leave a wedge or two on the plate for the diner.

Today's BOTD is from Wendy Rodrigue, wife of George Rodrigue of Blue Dog fame.

31 days until football season ...

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard today. The wildlife has adjusted nicely to the new feeder. In addition to these three crested songbirds, I saw a hummingbird today on the newest feeder addition. Will probably start replacing all of them one by one over the next year or so.

CrabAppleLane Feeder - August 5, 2012
CrabAppleLane Feeder - August 5, 2012


5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Greenback Boogie - Ima Robot - Greenback Boogie
  2. Under My Wheels - Alice Cooper - Killer
  3. Black Mountain Side - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
  4. I'm In Love With My Car - Queen - A Night At The Opera
  5. No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

Quote of the Day

The fact that I grew up in Arkansas, went just two hours down the road and played ball at Louisiana Tech, and then played my pro career in New Orleans. I grew up and became a man in Louisiana and most of my ties are down there.
Willie Roaf, New Orleans Saints Hall-of-Famer

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "For George and me, this was an oddly welcome diversion from society, from fundraisers and dinner parties, from lectures and book signings, from the curiosity and gossip that accompany his fame."

searchers.jpgFinally saw The Searchers last night. It is on Roger Ebert's list of great movies. I'm not sure if it's because this film looks dated to me, or maybe because I need more than spectacular scenery, or maybe because I need better acting and a better screenplay but this movie just didn't do it for me. I started looking at the time 30 minutes in. This was a very long movie. I suppose there is some context missing because I'm only judging what I saw last night. I don't care what came before it or what has come since. I don't care what its place is in movie history. Its technical achievements and social commentary, if indeed that's what it was supposed to be, are really not that big a deal to me here in 2012 and maybe that's not fair.

The Searchers might have been something in 1956 but probably not to many of those 1956 audiences. "Ahead of its time" is what most current movie critics say about it. Would like to read some of the reviews of the time but not enough to go looking for them. Whatever ground it broke then is almost meaningless to me now and I'm sure that's not fair, either. I was looking for a Saturday night popcorn movie. The Searchers was a major disappointment on that score.

For what it's worth, I've never considered John Wayne a particularly good actor. I like most of his movies, though. For my money, he is best in light western fare like North To Alaska and McLlintock.

About today's iTunes shuffle: The Closer You Get is a rather obscure soundtrack from a rather obscure film but the wife and I just love the music. She liked the film much more than I did but we absolutely agree on the music. It's one of those understated, slice of life films that comes out of the British Isles regularly. The link brings you to a YouTube video that features the overture, I suppose. It has elements of all of the film's music.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard on this hot and humid CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Blue Jays - July 29, 2012
CrabAppleLane Blue Jays - July 29, 2012

38 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Allison Road - Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience
  2. Maria Maria - Santana - Supernatural
  3. The Closer You Get - Rachel Portman - The Closer You Get Soundtrack
  4. Song For The Life - Alan Jackson - Who I Am
  5. Most High - Page & Plant - Walking Into Clarksdale

Quote of the Day

Fetch what home? The leavings a Comanche buck sold time and again to the highest bidder, with savage brats of her own?
Laurie Jorgensen, The Searchers

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It’s a very good western. Most of the performances are weak, but the direction and storytelling are powerful."

From the Think-You-Could-Be-A-Major-League-Batter? Department: Look below at how Gordon Beckham hangs in the batter's box with an up and in fastball heading towards him.

From the CME Department:

lockout.jpgAfter working yesterday morning at my regular job and working in the CrabAppleLane yard yesterday afternoon in the blistering heat, I was in the mood for some CME. Lockout fit the bill. This movie's been done before. Many, many times. The formula is simple. Create a dangerous environment that you can't just "nuke from orbit" and make it known that only one man can do the job, however ludicrous the job is. Then, nuke it from orbit. Films like this are review-proof. If you don't have an idea of what it is by the trailer or the advertisements, you should get out more. The film doesn't take itself seriously and the hero certainly doesn't take himself seriously. That, alone, makes it pretty good CME for a Saturday night.


From the Second-Best-News-of-the-New-Orleans-Saints-Offseason Department: The best news, of course, is the Drew Brees signing. The second best news of the offseason is that it ends Tuesday. Veterans and rookies report. First practice Friday. First preseason game the following Sunday, August 5.

From the Things-That-Will-Never-Be-The-Same-Again Department: The Penn State University football program. I am NOT in favor of NCAA sanctions. They hurt the wrong people and do nothing to to the right people. The students, athletes, faculty, and administrators at Penn State now had nothing whatsoever to do with the criminal activity. They shouldn't be punished.

From the I-May-Have-To-Rethink-My-Position-On-Calzones Department: I should clarify that I do like calzones but I usually don't order them because they're too much like pizza. I prefer pizza. Most places that serve calzones also serve pizza so that's why I usually don't order them. I broke from that position last night at Italian Pie and ordered a Meatball Calzone. Delicious. The leftover is in the refrigerator calling to me now.

From the Fantasy-Football-Outlook-Saints-Edition Department: What to expect from the Saints fantasy-wise.

From the Last-Of-The-CrabAppleLane-Vegetable-Garden Department: I offer the image below.

Last of the CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - July 22, 2012
Last of the CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - July 22, 2012

From the It-Aint-There-No-More Department: I offer the image below.

CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - July 22, 2012
CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - July 22, 2012

45 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Prodigal's Return - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Uncle Charlie & His Dog
  2. TeddyUnchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers - AM Gold: The Mid-'60s
  3. A Kind Of Magic - Queen - Classic Queen
  4. Under The Boardwalk - Bette Midler - Beaches
  5. Im A Doun - Meav - Méav

Quote of the Day

Oh, it was coupon night and I was trampolining your wife.
Snow, Lockout

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Try a new restaurant. For the first time since I have lived in the great city of Austin, I ate at the popular Perlas restaurant located on South Congress. Right in the hoppin’ part of town and surrounded by trendy people this seafood and oyster bar definitely lived up to the hype, not to mention the seafood was fabulous!"

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is without a doubt the best film we are ever likely to see on the subject — unless there is a sequel, which is unlikely, because at the end, the Lincolns are on their way to the theater.


Talk about zero imagination? He is wrong, wrong, wrong. I'll even propose the title of the first of, quite possibly, many potential sequels. The most obvious one below:


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

If I thought of that, I'm sure a bazillion others did, too. It has become apparent to me that I will have to see that movie in 3D ... alone. Patsy will have none of it. I ask you. What could be better than watching Abraham Lincoln killing Confederate vampires with an axe?

We had a power outage for a little over an hour this morning. Was just making coffee. Bummer. Thankfully, it had been raining all night and morning and it hadn't gotten really hot yet. Once again, though, the outage occurred AFTER the big weather had already passed through. I have never understood why that happens and I wonder if they power down to work on the problem and then restart. The next time I see one of those guys, I'm going to ask them about that.

I offer one from this wet and dreary CrabAppleLane Sunday:

CrabAppleLane Back Deck - July 8, 2012
CrabAppleLane Back Deck - July 8, 2012

Today's QOTD and BOTD is from the dumbest festival on Earth.

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Momentary Thief - Chris Pureka - Dryland
  2. Stay - Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
  3. Phoenix - Wishbone Ash - Argus
  4. Surf Rider - The Lively Ones - Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
  5. Deceiver - Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny

Quote of the Day

Today was the first running of the bulls for this year's festivities and six people were injured in a race that lasted 2 minutes, 53 seconds.
MSNBC

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "A general view of Estafeta street crowded with runners or 'mozos', prior to the first bull run of the Sanfermines 2012 in Pamplona, northern Spain, July 7. Sanfermines is a week-long festival celebrated to honor San Fermin, the town's patron saint."

That first photo amazes me. What are the spectators hoping to see? -Rob

lfn.jpgFinally saw the original La Femme Nikita. A mini-rant is first up today, though. Film snobs, like Roger Ebert, lament that today's film goers avoid subtitled films like the plague. They are right when they say dubbed films suck. The dubbing is entirely too distracting. Subtitles are the preference here. That said, filmmakers or film distributors or whoever is responsible for the subtitles could do a much better job of it. They distract a little no matter what but placing them somewhere in a scene where they can't be read at all because they blend in with the scenery is annoying as all hell. Rant over. I saw the Bridget Fonda American version of this some years ago. That film lost its way toward the end. This original French film does, too. Anne Parillaud is excellent but the ending of the film just makes no sense. The early parts are fun, though.

Seems to me the American League roster is loaded. As usual.

Ate at the Olive Garden last night for the first time ever. Pretty good and very reasonable. I could do that again.

Upgraded and re-opened the CrabAppleLane Forum today to new user registration. Bogus registrations were wearing me out. It was closed to new registration for over a year. It was opened for all of 30 minutes today and five bogus registrations got through. I think I may have them beat now, though. I know. Famous last words. Just trying to kickstart some sports talk. ALL readers here are invited, of course.

About today's QOTD: Defiance is one thing. This is something else. I am so sick of politics.

About today's BOTD: There appears to be a slight difference between the movie version of La Femme Nikita and the television series version. In the television version, the quote says she is "falsely accused of manslaughter". In the original movie version, she is a coldblooded murderer.

66 days until football season ...

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane Backyard. Birds are starting to warm to the new feeder. Knew it was only a matter of time.

CrabAppleLane Cardinal - July 1, 2012
CrabAppleLane Cardinal - July 1, 2012

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. One - Three Dog Night - Captured Live At The Forum
  2. Jelly Jelly - The Allman Brothers Band - Brothers And Sisters
  3. Just Because - Earlimart - Mentor Tormentor
  4. Where the Devil Don't Stay - Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
  5. Beloved Freak - Garbage - Not Your Kind of People

Quote of the Day

Florida is not going to implement Obamacare. We are not going to expand Medicaid and we're not going to implement exchanges
Governor Rick Scott, Florida

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Nikita (Peta Wilson) is falsely accused of manslaughter and sentenced to life in prison. Soon thereafter, the government fakes her death and she is transformed into an expertly trained assassin for Section One."

Homeland

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homeland.jpgWe had a free Showtime weekend that ended today. They were doing a Homeland marathon to refresh its regular audience on last season's episodes and to perhaps give a new audience (Me) a taste of their original programming. I'd recommend it as CME only they take themselves way too seriously. Damien Lewis, fabulous in Band of Brothers and Life, can't save this one. The War on Terror has replaced The Cold War as filmdom's boogieman and I have yet to see a treatment that didn't lean one way or the other politically. Homeland leans left. The Vice President character is obviously based on Dick Cheney and there's a general underlying theme that taking action against terrorists creates more terrorists. The writers went totally over the top with that, though. The event that set the whole series in motion is a US drone attack aimed at a terrorist that killed the terrorist's son and 80+ other Arab children but missed the terrorist. It was ordered by the Vice President and was expunged from all records. As they would probably say on ESPN, "Come on, man". That's just a little too gratuitous to suit me.

Woke up in the middle of the night realizing I'd forgotten to take meds I was supposed to take yesterday. Then, I stressed that I had taken the meds and that I had double-dosed. Late is much preferable to double but neither is good. Counting the meds this morning revealed that I had forgotten yesterday. I didn't double up. I hate, hate, hate being on regular medication.

Saints players will have their appeals heard today in the Bounty probe. To quote the wise and noble Otter, "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.". The appeals have zero chance.

Today's QOTD comes from a character created by Times Picayune columnist James Gill.

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Radio Song - R.E.M. Feat. KRS-One - Out Of Time
  2. Brother Louie - Stories - AM Gold 1970-1974
  3. Panic In Detroit - David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
  4. Don't - Jewel - Pieces Of You
  5. Love Of My Life - Queen - A Night At The Opera

Quote of the Day

Quite, sir. He was an army general from Massachusetts who took command of New Orleans after its surrender during the Civil War. He immediately hanged a local for tearing down the union flag that flew over the U.S. Mint. He is vilified to this day hereabouts.
Manservant Joe

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Now the only question left hanging is whether our new ethics laws are useless by accident or design."

Happy Memorial Day
Happy Memorial Day Weekend


Got plans?


house527.jpgHouse came to an end Monday. The series finale was pretty lazy if you ask me. I guess the final message was that House is who he is and, no matter how much punishment he receives for doing what he does, nothing is ever going to change. Dramatic change appeared to be on the horizon in these last few episodes, though. If you don't know about House, I'm not sure I can adequately describe him. He is a brilliant doctor and a total ass. That, you pick up 5 minutes into just about any episode. He is also very self-destructive. In the series finale, House is about to lose Wilson, his best and only friend. We're left to wonder what that would have been like but I think we can all safely assume it would have been more of the same.

tmw.jpgThis Means War was last night's movie. As an action flick, it wasn't bad CME. As a romantic comedy, it was only so so. Reese Witherspoon was her usual excellent self and Chelsea Handler, as her best friend, was a lot of fun but the two guys were a little stiff. I also found Tom Hardy difficult to understand at times. When I have to turn on subtitles, the movie is fighting uphill. It was better than a poke in the eye so there's that.

Noble, but kind of sad, too. That uniform shouldn't belong to a private collector. The Baseball Hall-Of-Fame or the Yankees should buy it. If Yogi Berra's uniform for that game commanded $565k, Larsen's has to be worth well over a million.

With apologies to Casablanca, Alex Smith will always have 2011. He's got a point but I think he maybe should have kept it to himself because, with apologies to Cinderella, when he turns back into a pumpkin this season ...

I do someday want a FM transmitter for my iPhone. My truck's CD player ruins CDs and I don't want to spend the dollars to get it fixed. Unfortunately, every one I've researched receives mostly bad reviews ... like these.

Turns out my camera really is failing. I don't think it's some setting I accidentally changed and it's not the memory card. I took the two pics below on the exact same settings one after the other. The bottom one is cropped because I didn't really want the rest of the field in the image. I just wanted a relatively clean image. These fig trees are going on two full years old and still no figs. They seem healthy otherwise. Money is a bit too tight to upgrade but this is the one I like now.

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CrabAppleLane Failing Camera - May 27, 2012

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CrabAppleLane Fig Trees - May 27, 2012

101 days until football season ...

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Custard Pie - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
  2. Pieces Of April - Three Dog Night - The Best Of Three Dog Night
  3. Hold Back The Water - Bachman-Turner Overdrive - The Anthology
  4. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker - Joe Cocker!
  5. Driving North - Chris Pureka - Driving North

Quote of the Day

The hardest thing for me is leaving her, knowing that I won't get to marry her. To have kids together. To grow old together. That is what makes me sad.
Shaun Wilson-Miller

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "What brings the tears to my eyes is not just the bereaved young woman, but the Marine who stands behind her."

In Plain Sight wrapped up the series Friday night by tying up all loose ends and even putting on a nice bow. It was quite satisfying. Didn't reach Six Feet Under or Newhart finale status but, still, a good end to a pretty good series. The stories, themselves, were never all that great. What made the series worth watching was the interaction between characters, particularly the US Marshalls. The QOTD describes one of the more poignant scenes you will see on television. It was as perfect as it was unexpected. For all of Mary's toughness and as much as her family leaned on her, she was still very needy and leaned on the marshalls, particularly Marshall Marshall, a totally original character played by Frederick Welller. I've seen every episode. I won't be watching reruns. Tip of the cap to everyone involved with that production. Very well done.

I ordered Guts in the Clutch: 77 Legendary Triumphs, Heartbreaks, and Wild Finishes in 12 Sports for my Kindle last night. I've been looking for it for some time. The author had asked me for permission to use one of my stories. It was really Dad's story, not mine, but I feel safe that he wouldn't mind. I was quite flattered at the request and granted permission. I couldn't start reading last night because Patsy is still reading a book on it but I'm looking forward to seeing what it's got. I also downloaded it to my iPhone for the free Kindle app. 2012 technology is just amazing.

My pick for yesterday's Kentucky Derby, Take Charge Indy, is still running, I think. Finished 19th out of 20.

I offer three today from the CrabAppleLane yard.

CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012
CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012

CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012
CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012

CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012
CrabAppleLane - May 6, 2012

About today's BOTD: I've been recording and watching Rich Eisen's podcast for the last few months. I'm quite envious of his job. The show is not what anyone would call hard journalism. He does some current event NFL news but the show is mostly done in jest and it's a lot of fun.

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Rocky Ground - Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
  2. The Name Of The Game - ABBA - Gold
  3. Pieces Of April - Three Dog Night - The Best Of Three Dog Night
  4. My Strongest Weakness - Wynonna - Wynonna
  5. White Room - Cream - The Cream Of Clapton

Quote of the Day

Marshall asking Mary to “release” him actually made me tear up a little bit. I was confused at first but as he continued his plea, it made so much sense.
April Daley, PopWatch

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Tyler is hilarious and doesn’t hold back when Rich asks her which NFL players would be most appealing as guests on her aforementioned CBS daytime show, which is aimed mainly towards women."

From the It's All Marie's Fault Department: Today's iTunes shuffle, QOTD, and the video below. I have The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on vinyl. Still don't have it on CD, though. In the early 70s, a lot of artists were releasing "concept" albums. All of the songs relate to one another or a theme. Most of my favorite albums are from that period and are concept albums. One of the greatest musical transitions of all time is how he goes from Ziggy Stardust to Suffragette City. Unfortunately, that transition is unknown to anyone who hasn't heard the album. One of my faves.


From the CME Department: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

m_i_gp.jpgThis one provided last night's entertainment. The franchise is somewhat tainted by Tom Cruise's off-camera silliness as is just about everything he does these days but I think he gets it done here. He has a good cast around him this time, including the fantastic Jeremy Renner. Renner, Paula Patton, and Simon Pegg form Ethan Hunt's (Cruise) team. The film is focused on the team and the mission as I suppose it should be but this kind of thriller is usually only as good as the villain. The villain in this film is about as vanilla as they come. Still, it was perfect Saturday night fare. I enjoyed it.

From the One Decent Shot Department: I offer one from the CrabAppleLane garden below. The CrabAppleLane digital camera is going bad. Most of the pictures I've taken lately are messed up. Digital lines visible and mostly whited out images. Something is wrong. Might bring it in but I really don't want to spend much money to find out it's more expensive to fix than it's worth. The garden is starting to shape up. Got a second round of fertilizer down yesterday and got all of the bushes tied up in anticipation of the rain that never came.

CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - April 22, 2012
CrabAppleLane Spring Garden - April 22, 2012

5 song iTunes shuffle from the CrabAppleLane David Bowie collection:

  1. Rebel Rebel - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  2. Stay - David Bowie - Station To Station
  3. Suffragette City (Live) - David Bowie - David Live
  4. Cracked Actor - David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
  5. Diamond Dogs - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

Quote of the Day

Making love with his ego
Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band
Oh yeah
Ooh
Ziggy played guitar
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Sometime during his stay (allegedly after touring Hollywood Boulevard), Bowie wrote a song about an aging, debauched film star. The actor was once Hollywood’s golden boy, or so he claims, and now lives a twilight existence in Hollywood’s mortuary era, reveling in his fall."

Some TV ...

chuck.jpgFive years of Chuck ended on a bittersweet note Friday night. Patsy and I are big fans of the show. I'm sorry to see it go but it really did run out of steam towards the end. The first couple of seasons were very funny, very warm. The Chuck character was so much more fun to watch when he was geeky and insecure and trying to get the girl who was way out of his league. Confident, gun-toting Chuck wasn't as much fun. It was a great show for a while, though. By the end, it was just a good show.

Some personal stuff ...

Spent most of the day yesterday furniture shopping for our living room. We're getting more and more discouraged and disgusted with that process every day. Some of the online reviews we've read of the brands and products we're considering have been so overwhelmingly negative that I have to believe there is something to them. Our last buying experience in this area was also negative so our insecurity is just mounting while our current furniture continues to annoy us ... and continues to kill my knees and back. My $99 desk chair is the most comfortable piece of furniture in the house.

Speaking of knees, my left arthritic knee is in a bad way. Swollen and painful. I didn't contribute to this list of potential symptoms but I could have. I have them all. Tramping all over several furniture stores yesterday didn't help. I'll be seeing my orthopedist this week about them. Hopefully, all I need is a dose of cortisone. My right non-arthritic knee is sore mostly from compensating, I think. As I've said here a few times, there is little doubt in my mind that knee replacement surgery is in my future but I want to postpone it for as long as possible.

Some silly stuff ...

I unknowingly observed the "Twitter Blackout" yesterday.

I wonder how John Kerry got my email address. One paragraph sums up the gist of it:

We know all too well what’s coming. Republicans will attack, assail and lie to destroy President Obama and usher in one-party rule. If the thought of President Gingrich leading a GOP Congress scares you beyond belief, then I’m asking for your urgent help.

Says here a Gingrich-Obama election would have more people voting against one guy than voting for the other.

And some football stuff ...

The smart money says the Indianapolis Colts will be releasing Peyton Manning in the not-too-distant future. He'll have quite a few interested suitors and he'll command a sizable contract even though no one really knows if he'll ever be healthy enough to play again. Good Luck, Peyton ... and please stay in the AFC.

I will not watch the Pro Bowl today. If one of my favorite players gets hurt, I don't want to see it. Two of the Saints All-Pros, Carl Nicks and Drew Brees, don't even have a contract for next year. They'd better be careful. Brees dislocated his elbow in this game one year.

Finally, some CrabAppleLane Sunday stuff ...

I offer three from the backyard on this gorgeous CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Trail - January 29, 2012
CrabAppleLane Trail - January 29, 2012 – Needle bed coming along

CrabAppleLane Trail - January 29, 2012
CrabAppleLane Trail - January 29, 2012 – From the worm’s perspective

CrabAppleLane Backyard - January 29, 2012
CrabAppleLane Backyard - January 29, 2012 – Nothing but blue skies

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971
  2. Make It Last - Montrose - Montrose
  3. All Over You - Live - Throwing Copper
  4. Stargazer - Rainbow - Rising
  5. Crossroads - Ry Cooder - Crossroads

Quote of the Day

She really worked me over good
She was just like Jesse James
Yeah, she really worked me over good
She was a credit to her gender
She put me through some changes, Lord
Sort of like a Waring blender
Warren Zevon - Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I didn't ask my mother to buy me a trumpet or violin. I started right on the water hose."

Lulls continue

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From the Title-Says-It-All Department: I started this entry yesterday but lost steam almost immediately. I find a lot of things about my own personal blogging experience to be a bit discouraging. I'm discouraged at having to go to registration for commenting here because I can't get the blog to work right without doing so. The bright side of that? ZERO spam. I'm discouraged at the lack of time and inspiration I've been inflicted with lately. I attribute that to the new job and the fact that I haven't been sleeping very well. I'm discouraged at how the iTunes shuffle looks in IE9 unless I change to "compatibility view" (I just discovered that this morning). Most of all, I'm discouraged that I haven't been keeping up with my blogging friends' sites. I'm convinced it's only a temporary funk but it's been with me a good while now so maybe not.

From the Department-of-Redundancy Department: Trying hard here not to belabor a point but the best reason to have satellite/cable television right now is because some of those stations are still doing "scripted television". I HATE reality TV. If you ever watch Justified, you'll throw rocks at American Idol. You should be throwing rocks at American Idol anyway. The networks have totally forgotten how to do original hour-long dramas. They don't give anything a chance unless it's CSI: Something, NCIS: Something, or Law & Order: Something. NBC's Prime Suspect is just starting to mature into a good show despite the handicap of being compared to one of the all time great series, its' British predecessor. Naturally, NBC cancels it.

From the Funk-Could-Be-Related-To-Disappointing-Ends-To-Football-Seasons Department: There is no doubt that the end to LSU's football season was disappointing to me. I'm also very disappointed in the way the Saints season ended. Both teams were outplayed. Both teams were undone by long-standing issues. In LSU's case, it was erratic and inconsistent quarterback play. Entering the season, that situation was the biggest question mark. It never improved. In the Saints case, it was turnovers. All four of the Saints losses this year featured turnovers. In the Sean Payton era, the Saints only lose when they turn the ball over. On the bright side, both teams figure to be championship contenders again next season.

From the Procrastination-Doesn't-Always-Pay Department: I have some tractor maintenance and garage-cleaning to do and I can't get it done from the computer. Now, that would be a useful app that some computer geek could turn into a Gates-sized fortune.

From the CrabAppleLane-Foggy-Crystal-Ball Department: Says here both Harbaugh brothers lose tomorrow setting up a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl rematch every Patriot fan only thinks they want. The Giants are now the team to beat.

From the Search-For-Practical-And-Affordable-Furniture-Continues Department: One of the nice, but depressing, things about blogging is there is a chronicle here for me to check on. Depressing because we've been looking at living room furniture for nearly three years now.

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. Take Me Home Country Roads - John Denver - The Essential John Denver
  2. Give A Little Love - The Mostar Diving Club - Triumph of Hope
  3. That's The Way I've Always Heard - Carly Simon - Carly Simon
  4. Amazing Grace - Judy Collins - The Very Best Of Judy Collins
  5. Early Bird (Bonus Track) - Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky (Bonus Track Version)

Quote of the Day

Brees is expected to sign one of the richest deals in NFL history, with an annual value around $18 million per year. He said, however, that he doesn't want or expect his deal to prevent the Saints from retaining other key free agents such as guard Carl Nicks and receiver Marques Colston.
Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "A family spokesman says former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who is battling lung cancer, is in serious condition after experiencing health complications."

Columbiana

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columbiana.jpgLast night's CME was Columbiana. I've wanted to see this movie since I saw the trailer. The opening scene from the trailer features one of my old hangouts, Uncle Larry's. What surprised me about the film as it got started last night was the mostly unrecognizable cast names. Zoe Saldana has a little name recognition these days but the rest of the cast from Columbiana are mostly just familiar faces from TV and smaller roles in other movies. It's one of those movies where you know the faces but not the names. That guy was in Human Target and that other guy was in Castle. Anyway, Columbiana is surprisingly well done for a formula film with a largely unknown cast. Perfect CME for last night.

Just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, it appears some expect the Colts to be blown up in Indianapolis. I don't buy it. I could see how they might go for a cheaper, younger replacement for Reggie Wayne but I can't imagine Peyton Manning anywhere else ... yet.

5 song iTunes shuffle:

  1. People Are Strange - The Doors - Andrea's Gift Mix
  2. In The Flesh - Pink Floyd - The Wall
  3. Super Trouper - ABBA - Gold
  4. Sucker Row - Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La
  5. Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Christmas Attic

Quote of the Day

You gotta have a feel for the stuff that sells
Call it a skill
Mark Knopfler, Sucker Row

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Behind the line, the Saints are averaging 456.7 yards per game (first in the league), 331.4 yards passing (first) and 125.4 rushing (eighth)."

Cowboys and Aliens

cowboys.jpgLast night's CME was Cowboys and Aliens. Nice to see Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the same movie. It appears Craig is the heir apparent to Ford in the laconic, action hero roles. OK by me. He's excellent at it. It also has Olivia Wilde, who has been a fave of mine since her Black Donnellys days. Not that I would but I don't think I could be a spoiler for this film because the title pretty much gives away the plot. Just look at today's QOTD. That's CME of a high order. I liked it and give it four of five stars. Some didn't, though. See BOTD for a harsher critique.

If you missed this week's Castle season finale, the song below is the one that closed it out. Excellent. Great choice. Full disclosure: It will get in your head and stay there.


5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Give A Little Love - The Mostar Diving Club - Triumph of Hope
  2. You Are My Miracle - Roger Whittaker - New World In The Morning: The Encore Collection
  3. Down To The River To Pray - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live
  4. One Slip - Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
  5. Something's Happening - Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive!

Quote of the Day

Demons took your gold. When you get to Hell, you can ask for it back.
Jake Lonergan, Cowboys and Aliens

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Despite a premise that fused two once-reliable genres and a cast featuring both Indiana Jones and James Bond, Jon Favreau’s $163 million Cowboys & Aliens got smurfing smurfed at the box office over the weekend, opening to a measly $36.2 million — well below even the modest $45 million its makers had predicted."


American Horror Story

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AHS.jpgStarted recording and watching American Horror Story on the strength of its trailers and its stellar cast. I'm not a horror fan but the trailers looked interesting. The first two episodes WERE interesting. It has since devolved into non-stop, wall-to-wall, hard-to-watch creepiness. I suppose some people will revel in that but I'm done. I can't watch any more.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback - Week 10, 2011

The BOTD has a pretty remarkable stat. The next paragraph at the link is pretty cool, too.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Red Bats With Teeth - Angelo Badalamenti - Lost Highway
  2. Desperado - The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits
  3. Skellig - Loreena McKennitt - The Book Of Secrets
  4. Pandora's Box - Aerosmith - Get Your Wings
  5. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Quote of the Day

A 9-year-old North Carolina girl pinned in a wrecked car for almost two days ate Pop-Tarts and Gatorade to help her survive the single-car crash that killed her father, police and relatives said on Monday.
Associated Press via MSNBC.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "With the Saints losing both coin tosses in Sunday’s victory against the Falcons — the one before the game and the one before overtime — they have now lost all 11 tosses this season. The odds of that are 1 in 2,048."

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Crazy, Stupid, Love

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CrazyStupidLove.jpgWe watched Crazy, Stupid, Love yesterday because I owe Patsy a few hundred movies (According to her) for her indulgence on some of the movies I watch. And, now, we're even. CSL has moments. Emma Stone is adorable. All of her scenes are excellent. The problem with most romantic comedies is the film makers simply don't know how to end them. They try to tie up all the little stories into a nice, neat, happy ending for all and it just never works. The formula is broken.

Good win for the Saints yesterday over the rival Falcons. My thoughts, if you're interested.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. What Do You Want From Me - Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
  2. War - Bruce Springsteen - Live: 1975-85
  3. No One Came - Deep Purple - Fireball
  4. So I Need You - 3 Doors Down - The Better Life
  5. Summertime Blues - Blue Cheer - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969

Quote of the Day

That'll do it for the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles. Thanks for coming, drive safely, and someone make sure and hit the lights at Lincoln Financial Field.
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Real bodies. Forget the Dove ads."

Not sure what to make of the image. -Rob

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Page Eight - Part Two

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PageEight.jpgFinished Page Eight last night. The War on Terror has turned into the same kind of gold mine of material for the film industry that the Cold War was. The problem with this current gold mine is that there is always a question. The question is this: Is this a movie with a message or is it just a movie? When I went to see Three Days of the Condor or Day of the Jackal, I didn't ask myself that. As a movie, it has a fine plot, lots of intrigue, a couple of subplots, fine performances all around, and a fitting end. As a movie with a message, it has a lot of tired assumptions, a pretty good helping of fancy, and just enough realism to add credibility but only if you're inclined to believe the message. I watched it as just a movie and liked it. If you prefer the movie with a message perspective, you'll only like it if you like the message. I will always prefer to watch movies as simple entertainment. It should be playing on your local PBS station in America. See it for yourself.

Today's QOTD is my new favorite expression.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback - Week 9, 2011

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Someday Henry Gross - One More Tomorrow - The Best Of Henry Gross
  2. Private Investigations - Dire Straits - On The Night (LIVE)
  3. We Are The Dead - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  4. Astronomy Domine (Live) - Pink Floyd - Take It Back
  5. Crossroads - Cream - The Cream Of Clapton

Quote of the Day

Are you going to throw a wobbly?
Muna Hammami, Page Eight

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "South East London has always seemed to be an after-thought of where to go or live. However in recent times I have heard more and more people getting excited about it, even suggesting that it might be the 'New Hoxton / Shoreditch'."

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Page Eight

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PageEight.jpgStarted Page Eight last night but it was too late to finish it. I recorded it because of its stellar cast but I also pretty much a sucker for "Masterpiece anything" on PBS. Page Eight is being presented as Masterpiece Contemporary but it could have just as well been presented as Masterpiece Mystery. I have no idea what the difference is. Maybe the sponsors? No idea when I'll get to finish it. Anyway, just look at that cast. :)

Good weekend for Louisiana football. The LSU Tigers came away from Tuscaloosa with a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. The New Orleans Saints got a much-needed win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday. Former LSU star, Patrick Peterson, won the game for the Arizona Cardinals yesterday with an electrifying punt return for a touchdown in overtime and hometown hero, Eli Manning, led the New York Giants to a great win over the New England Patriots in Foxboro.

Penn State? They should have gotten out in front of that sooner.

Why does the media continue to give a guy like this the prestige he craves?

Love the nonchalance in the QOTD. Is that all?

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Underway - Fleetwood Mac - Then Play On
  2. Sweet Thing - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  3. Take It Easy - The Eagles - Their Greatest Hits
  4. Train In The Distance - Paul Simon - Negotiations And Love Songs 1971-1986
  5. You Didn't Have To Be So Nice - The Lovin' Spoonful - AM Gold 1966

Quote of the Day

Western Kentucky, which is now riding its first five-game winning streak since 2004, heads to Louisiana State next week for an out-of-conference matchup.
Chad Bishop, Bowling Green Daily News

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It's fun to watch LSU out-Saban Saban. You hate offense? Oh, we really hate offense. We hate offense more than you'll ever hate offense, Nick Saban. We hate offense so much we'll put Jordan Jefferson in at quarterback, but first let Jarrett Lee throw two picks just to give you what you want in the form of turnovers, but then take it away with good defense and suffocating your precious run game. We hate offense so much we kill both yours AND ours. That's how much we want to ironically be you, but even better."

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Network versus Provider Week

Our local CBS affiliate is once again in a high profile pissing match with a provider. This time, it's with DirecTV, my provider. Last time, it was with Cox Cable, a huge provider in the Greater New Orleans area. DirecTV is only saying that they're in negotiations. This one is on our local affiliate. Their parent company, BELO, is trying the same power play they tried on Cox Cable, Time Warner, and DISH. See BOTD. I don't really know who won that one with Cox but an agreement was reached without loss of service as far as I know. I have already made my position known to our local affiliate, WWL. I will do without them before I will do without DirecTV or ever invest in another antenna. I will watch the NBC, ABC, or Fox local affiliates and I will find the CBS programming I want elsewhere. If you advertise on WWL, bear this in mind. I'm most definitely not the only one in your target area that will never see your ads.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Pay Per View - Coyote Shivers - Shivers, Coyote
  2. Hold On, Hold On (Album Version) - Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
  3. Inside Of Me - Eric Clapton - Pilgrim
  4. Love Ain't for Keeping - The Who - Who's Next
  5. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M. - Out Of Time

Quote of the Day

Representatives of WWL-TV have attempted to negotiate with DIRECTV for months to reach an agreement to provide WWL-TV’s programming to DIRECTV customers. Unfortunately, to this point, DIRECTV and WWL-TV have been unable to reach an agreement. As a result DIRECTV subscribers may have a disruption in service effective midnight on Tuesday, November 1.
WWL-TV

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Tough talk aside, these kind of tussles are usually resolved well before the midnight hour. Just last fall, Belo was threatening to walk away from Time Warner and Dish Network, but they arrived at separate arrangements well before the go-dark deadline. Says DirecTV's message, "We value the Belo stations and are negotiating diligently to reach an equitable agreement with them.""

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Hanna

hanna.jpgHad a free pay-per-view movie coming so chose to see Hanna. No spoilers here. Nothing particularly unique about the first few minutes. Father and daughter living out in the woods and training for something. We've seen this before in many thrillers. We know there must be something special about the little girl. Saoirse Ronan does a pretty good job as a girl who grew up isolated and is well-trained for her mission but doesn't know how the world works. The misdirection father and daughter played on the team sent to get them was awesome. That was the best part of the movie. After that, pretty decent CME.

I suck at fantasy football. Not a new revelation.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams (feat. John Gallagher Jr., Rebecca Naomi Jones, Stark Sands & Company) - Green Day - American Idiot (The Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  2. Sample And Hold - Neil Young - Trans
  3. Where Is Love? - Lily Frost - Situation
  4. Superman (It's Not Easy) - Five for Fighting featuring John Ondrasik - America Town
  5. A Girl Like You - Edwyn Collins - Empire Records

Quote of the Day

I just missed your heart
Hanna

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I think his plan is really radical because it’s about creating a business based on people’s needs rather than a desire for profits. The kids who start the store will eventually own and run it themselves."

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Armadillo

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armadillo.jpgI caught the tail end of Armadillo on PBS while I was channel-surfing the other night. Made me want to see the whole movie so I saw the rest of it last night. I'm not sure I saw what the filmmakers intended me to see, though. It's a documentary that depicts six months of a Danish army unit stationed in Afghanistan. According to their remarks at the end of the film, they wanted to examine the perception of soldiers as heroes and there's a lot of footage of the unit just being ordinary guys. Fair enough.

There is also a good amount of footage of the men out on patrol, trying to gain the trust of the local civilian population, and of real, live, scary combat. There is a bit of controversy in Denmark over the actions of these Danish soldiers during the final firefight. I have no problem with it so, to me, they were quite rightfully exonerated. See it for yourself, though. It was hard to watch sometimes and the subtitles are hard to read at times but Armadillo was mesmerizing. Highly recommended.

6 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Devil Had a Hold of Me - Gillian Welch - Hell Among the Yearlings
  2. Why Aye Man - Mark Knopfler - The Ragpicker's Dream
  3. Right Down The Line - Gerry Rafferty - City To City
  4. Faraway Land - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live
  5. Mustang Sally - The Commitments - The Commitments

Quote of the Day

You're not wacko, just because you laugh at some irrelevant stuff.
Danish Medic, Armadillo

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We sailed, ate, walked and remembered. We saw, listened and smelled."

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The Time Traveler's Wife

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time_trav.jpgWe had a free Cinemax weekend. I recorded and watched two of the movies they offered. The second one was The Time Traveler's Wife. I was all prepared for a typical romantic comedy but this movie wasn't funny and it spent all of its time explaining but not really explaining the character's rules for time travel, which he not only has no control over but he keeps doing it even after it's established that he dies. About an hour in, you start looking at the time. This one never really knew where it was going or how to finish. Eric Bana seems too old for Rachel McAdams anyway. :)

24 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. I'd Love To Change The World - Alvin Lee - A Space In Time
  2. Changes - Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  3. Red Dirt Girl - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning
  4. American Heartbeat - Survivor - Greatest Hits
  5. Cut My Hair - The Who - Quadrophenia

Quote of the Day

I'm dressed right for a beach fight
But I just can't explain
Why that uncertain feeling
Is still here in my brain
The Who, Cut My Hair

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The Who - Dusseldorf 1975"

The poster is from a October 31, 1975 concert in Dusseldorf, Germany. A few weeks later (November 21, 1975), they were in Baton Rouge at the LSU Assembly Center. Probably the best concert I ever saw. -Rob

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Saturday Stuff - July 30, 2011 Issue

The sun is shining outside my window. I had almost forgotten what that looks like. Got about half the yard cut last night. It doesn't look great but it surely looks better.

About today's BOTD: I try not to read reviews of movies I absolutely want to see before I see them. I only read them afterwards to see if the reviewer was right. I usually only read reviews before I see something if it's a movie I know nothing about or if it's a movie that I need some coaxing to go see. In this case, I am dying to see Cowboys and Aliens at the theater but I'm certain I'll have to go alone. Not Patsy's kind of movie. Maybe I'll take her sister. Tehn, I'll read the review. :)

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Learning To Fly - Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
  2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow? - Carole King - Tapestry
  3. What's Goin' On Here - Deep Purple - Burn
  4. Rock Fever - Rainbow - Straight Between The Eyes
  5. Stormy Monday - The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East

Quote of the Day

But I am shocked -- shocked! -- that L'Oreal, the company behind both brands, had the audacity to imply via advertising that its products would achieve a cosmetic effect that might not be 100% guaranteed to make me look like a movie staaah.
Sara Benincasa, Special to CNN

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Gunfight at the OK Portal"

Super 8

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Super8.jpgWe took in Super 8 yesterday. No spoilers here. I had read that the film makers had intentionally withheld things from the trailer and I wanted to see the movie before I accidentally read about them. I find myself in complete agreement with Roger Ebert on this one and it's not often you'll hear me say that. The early two thirds of the movie, which was mostly centered on a group of kids making a film for a festival, is worth the price of admission. See it for that.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
  2. Beggars Day - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  3. Pictures Of Matchstick Men - Status Quo - STATUS QUO The Collection
  4. Going Home [Theme of the Local Hero] - Mark Knopfler - Local Hero
  5. Burnin' For You - Blue Oyster Cult - Fire of Unknown Origin

Quote of the Day

We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk
too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re
suspicious of others who don’t.
Chris Rose, New Orleans Times-Picayune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We're getting closer to June 10th and there have been a lot of new clips in the editing room so if you haven't checked them out I suggest you head on over there. There's also a new poster that appeared over at impawards.com which I've included above."

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takers.jpgWe're enjoying a free "Premium Movie Channel" weekend on DirecTV. Good thing I don't pay for these channels normally because my trees really block their transponders. Everything I've watched so far has a few moments of digitizing or fails because of a lost signal. If you have DirecTV or the Dish Network, you know what I'm talking about. I recorded Takers Friday because I wanted to see it when it originally came out. Unfortunately, it had a really short theater run and I just never got around to it. Takers is another in an increasingly long line of Tarentino-influenced caper movies. The strength of these kinds of movies are the cast and the dialogue. The plots are fairly predictable. Check reason and sense at the door and take the ride. Takers gives you a nice one.

I offer a few from around the yard on this beautiful CrabAppleLane Sunday. I had just finished the yard and gone inside when the rain came. I love it when that happens and it seems to happen a lot for me. We're having salads for lunch today. Patsy makes great salads. My bell peppers are turning orange. I have seen that kind at the market but have never bought them. I guess we'll see if they're any good. I've got a few watermelons in the garden and one of them has bite/scratch marks. Thinking the same enterprising raccoon that destroyed my corn crop is responsible. I removed a whole lot of Chinese privet in the back yard. Will remove quite a bit more next weekend. I'm thinking fruit trees in the cleared area but I don't want anything I'll have to protect from the cold.

About today's QOTD: I buy that. It explains a lot in my life. Please, let it be that.

CrabAppleLane Lunch - June 11, 2011
CrabAppleLane Lunch - June 11, 2011

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Deceiver - Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny
  2. Welcome to the Machine - Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  3. One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band - Eat A Peach
  4. White Wedding - Billy Idol - Billy Idol
  5. All Mixed Up - The Cars - The Cars

Quote of the Day

A recent Australian study showed a link between heavy coffee consumption, stress -- and auditory hallucinations.
Melissa Dahl, MSNBC

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This weekend is the Ithaca Festival, which marks the beginning of summer in our lively college town. The students are gone, causing the locals to rejoice at the amount of on street parking and reclaim the best swimming holes!"

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The Red Menace - 1949

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nola-joy theater canal
The Red Menace (1949)

I saw this turkey. It does for the fear of communism what Reefer Madness did for the fear of marijuana. It's a cult classic now.

A Movie and the NCAA

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shopa.jpgWe started Confessions of a Shopaholic Saturday night and I finished it, alone, Sunday night. It's a fairly predictable, fairly dull romantic comedy. When my wife bails on a romcom, it's not very good. It's notable, to me, mainly for the assembly of whatever-happened-to-them actors. I thought Joan Cusack, John Goodman, Kristen Scott Thomas, John Lithgow, and Julie Hagerty would always be in demand for good movies. It's a real shame that this was also Lynn Redgrave's last movie. From Georgie Girl to this? Kinda makes me wonder what the casting director had on them.

Sporting News has LSU rated as the top team in their 2011 rankings. It's all on QB Jordan Jefferson. If he has improved just slightly in consistency, a National Championship is possible. The team has a ton of talent around him. Anxious to see the opener against #3 Oregon at JerryWorld in Dallas.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star Playlist:

  1. Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show - Old Crow Medicine Show
  2. Mississippi Queen - Mountain - Hard N' Heavy: 70's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 1
  3. Robot Man - Scorpions - In Trance
  4. Megalomania - Black Sabbath - Sabotage (Remaster)
  5. Tea For The Tillerman - Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman

Quote of the Day

By the time she was sitting in the passenger seat of his car, her iPhone was practically buzzing out of her lap, teeming with messages of congratulation and requests for interviews. Gordon's now-famous photo of the space shuttle Endeavour soaring through the clouds got her an overwhelming amount of attention -- her 15 minutes of fame, Internet style. It also landed her smack in the middle of an ethical and legal debate that may be as important as the future of the Internet itself.
Bob Sullivan, Red Tape Chronicles

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I left with my bags, and took the twins over to the park. It was a gorgeous day and it gave me some time to ‘think.’ I thought to myself…maybe a text message would make it easier. (I’m reading it off of my phone right now. You are getting this all word for word.)"

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House

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house.jpgI've been recording House reruns so I have something to watch on Saturday nights. Before I started doing that, I don't think I ever watched a first-run episode from start to finish. It's one of Mom's faves. House is told at least once per episode that he's an ass because, well, he's an ass. He's a needy, selfish, sometimes cruel, and a self-destructive ass. He torments everyone near him but, by far, he torments his best friend, Wilson, the most. I don't understand what either of them get out of that relationship but it's fun to watch. By the way, some of those medical cases must run a million dollars. House is very well done, has a terrific cast, and the Dr Gregory House character, played by Hugh Laurie, is an original.

About today's QOTD: It's a view also shared by Dr House. Hawking's views on that topic are well-known so the quote doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is the rather large number of people that agree with him according to the poll on the same page.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Gone, Gone, Gone - Bad Company - Desolation Angels
  2. Tyrant (Live) - Judas Priest - Living After Midnight
  3. Pieces of a Story - Randy Edelman - The Last Of The Mohicans
  4. That Certain Female - Charlie Feathers - Kill Bill, Vol. 1
  5. Crossroads - Ry Cooder - Crossroads

Quote of the Day

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
Stephen Hawking, Physicist

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I have a little something to share about a fun new product with a wonderful company that makes a fabulous little machine that everybody should have to play with!"

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The King's Speech

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kingsspeech.jpgI finally saw The King's Speech last night. I wanted to see it even before it won all its awards and before all of my family and friends recommended it. This part of British history is fairly well known because of Edward's scandalous abdication of the throne to marry a twice-divorced woman, Wallis Simpson from Baltimore. The film portrays "Bertie (Colin Firth)", who became King George VI, as a much more decent man than his father or brother. He was certainly a better man than his brother. The film even suggests that Bertie's stammer was possibly a reaction to his father's and brother's intimidation. The film is mainly about how he overcame his stammer with the help of an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. Helena Bonham Carter is excellent as the person I always knew as The Queen Mother and the rest of the cast is portrayed by a who's who of British actors. It's an uplifting film but it doesn't really soar. That's OK by me. It deserves all the awards and praise it gets. It's excellent.

There is other news today, of course. It was announced last night that Osama bin Laden is dead. That's good news here. More on that can be found just about everywhere on the internet.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Can't You See - The Marshall Tucker Band - Greatest Hits
  2. Annabelle - Gillian Welch - Revival
  3. Lakky Lady - Status Quo - STATUS QUO The Collection
  4. Red Sector A - Rush - Chronicles
  5. Last Night I Laid Your Memory To Rest - John Anderson - Seminole Wind

Quote of the Day

Nonviolence is in total variance with the Al-Qaeda ideology … Osama and his men believed in violence … nothing but violence — no reconciliation — no dialogue.
Saudi journalist Jamal A. Khashoggi

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Many people think that the key to voiceover success lies with an agent. Once you get an agent, you just have to sit back and let the lucrative offers come in, right? Ah, if only it were so easy to make money at your microphone!"

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Bits and pieces

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Last night's episode of Justified ended with Gillian Welch's Annabelle playing in the background. It was so fantastically appropriate. A lot of Gillian Welch's songs and lyrics are very dark. Patsy and I are big fans of hers. Justified apparently sent a few people looking for the song title according to the comments.

Big sports night in New Orleans. While the Hornets will be in the city at the New Orleans Arena taking on the Lakers in the playoffs, the Saints will be in the suburbs participating in the NFL Draft.

GEAUX Hornets
GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Annabelle - Gillian Welch - Revival
  2. Laguna Sunrise - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
  3. Cajun Waltz - Sonny Landreth - South Of I-10
  4. Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
  5. Space Truckin' - Deep Purple - Machine Head (Roger Glover Remixes)

Quote of the Day

When I'm dead and buried I'll take a hard life of tears
For every day I've ever known
Anna's in the churchyard, she's got no life at all

She's only got these words on a stone
Gillian Welch, Annabelle

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "So, the next day I picked up my phone as my wife looked at me like I was crazy (she had missed out on the whole discussion) and forgave Google Maps and told it that it needs to do better next time."

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Video on Demand

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If you have cable TV or Satellite TV, you have a guide channel or a guide button on your remote that brings up a screen that tells you what's playing. That information is in your receiver. It is downloaded daily from your cable provider or satellite provider. I enabled "Video on Demand" last night. My receiver has been downloading guide information ever since ... about 12 hours now at DSL speeds. I'm told by one of DirecTV's instruction screens that it takes about 24 hours to download the entire guide. That's an awful lot of information. Hope it's worth it.

From Amazon this morning:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

Customers who have purchased or rated Soap - The Complete Third Season might like to know that Two & A Half Men: Complete Seasons 1-7 is now available. You can order yours for just $285.49 by following the link below.

I've seen Two & A Half Men a handful of times. With apologies to Quentin Tarantino, Soap and Two & A Half Men "ain't in the same fuckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same fuckin' sport". I paid about $40 for three seasons of Soap, which is $40 more than I'd give them for 7 seasons of Two & A Half Men.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Trawlerman's Song - Mark Knopfler - One Take Radio Sessions
  2. No Easy Road - Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four
  3. Robot Man - Scorpions - In Trance
  4. Lick Your Fingers Clean - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  5. Snowblind - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)

Quote of the Day

Crystal world with winter flowers
Turn my days to frozen hours
Lying snowblind in the sun
Will my ice age ever come
Black Sabbath, Snowblind

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Though President Obama refuses to authorize ground troops to upset the current stalemate, he has decided to support NATO's use of drone attacks to bring down the Gaddafi regime. Whether this action has any effect whatsoever has yet to be seen."

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Jonah Hex

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jonahhex.jpgThe movie of the weekend and last night was Jonah Hex. I must confess I have never read a graphic novel. I'm happy about that, I guess, because it looks to me like all of the big budget action pictures for the foreseeable future will be inspired by them and they won't suffer by comparison. That said, I guess these things are going to be cartoonish by design and I find that a bit tiresome. Jonah Hex is a post Civil War bounty hunter whose family was killed during the war by his former commander. That takes place at the very beginning of the film. The rest of it is Jonah seeking vengeance and delivering justice along the way. The film skips back and forth between dreams and reality and offers supposedly sage narration throughout. It was fun to a point and most of it made some sense. Some of the scenes dragged on way too long but that's a minor quibble. It took me three sittings to get through it. Never a good sign. Terrific soundtrack, though.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple - Machine Head (Roger Glover Remixes)
  2. I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) - The Moody Blues - Moody Blues Greatest Hits
  3. Promentory - Trevor Jones - The Last Of The Mohicans
  4. Bad Company - Bad Company - Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs
  5. Stargazer - Rainbow - Rising

Quote of the Day

Well, Jonah Hex doesn't know how to die. He'll have to be educated.
Quentin Turnbull, Jonah Hex

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We Interrupt This Blog ... to let you know if you mock literacy, bones will be broken!!"

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Elizabeth

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I'm sure I am now delving into sacrilege territory but I never got the fascination the public had for Ms Taylor. Certainly, she was beautiful. Most Hollywood starlets are but her beauty was uncommon even in the land of the beautiful. I'm sure her romances with Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton also fueled the public's thirst for knowledge of all things Elizabeth Taylor but that stuff never interested me. She hadn't done anything notable onstage or in film in a long time. I never saw her onstage and I didn't care for any of the movies that I saw that she was known for, especially Suddenly, Last Summer. There are similar careers that will never receive the fanfare hers did. Still sad to see her go, though. R.I.P., Elizabeth Taylor.

And, speaking of Taylors, about today's QOTD: I bet Lawrence Taylor will "card" the next one.

Image of the Day. If you're the driver, are you bailing or buckling up and hunkering down? I don't think I'm climbing out of that thing.

According to my TypePad, CrabAppleLane has crossed the 40,000 threshold. That's the number of spam comments that it has prevented on the blogs here. A thoroughly ridiculous number for this itsy, bitsy, tiny corner of the web.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Queen Of The Forest - Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent
  2. Part 3: Sound Check - Nazareth - Close Enough For Rock 'N' Roll
  3. Romeo And Juliet - Dire Straits - Alchemy
  4. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream - The Cream Of Clapton
  5. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans - The Andrews Sisters - 50th Anniversary Collection Volume One

Quote of the Day

You can only ask. I don't card them. I don't ask for a birth certificate.
Lawrence Taylor, NFL Hall-of-Famer

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Within the mini journal there will be “binding evidence” of my existence, though I have yet to fill it with journaling and words. I didn’t have time to do it this weekend!"

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Little Nikita

littlenikita.jpgWatched Little Nikita over the weekend. It's a Cold War era film about Cold War intrigues that today's younger audiences would find hopelessly outdated. I found it a little outdated, too. It features old monochrome computer terminals that say things like "Does Not Compute". Dave had mentioned it here a while back and I'd always wanted to see it. Sidney Poitier's career has always puzzled me. No one disputes he's a great actor and his early films through the 60s were fantastic. I'm certain he still has good roles presented to him. I wonder why he doesn't take some of those instead of the ones he does take. Little Nikita is only OK but that's mainly because of Poitier. Glad I finally saw it but it didn't do much for me other than satisfy my long-standing curiosity about it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Skellig - Loreena McKennitt - The Book Of Secrets
  2. Lions - Dire Straits - Dire Straits
  3. Reasons Why - Nickel Creek - Nickel Creek
  4. Invisible Sun - The Police - The Police Greatest Hits
  5. Over, Under, Sideways, Down - The Yardbirds - Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin'

Quote of the Day

The tsunami was too big, it washed out those evacuation centers with the people.
Kenichi Onodera

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Anyway, that's okay. It's nice to know that the English are still proud to be English. Maybe there will always be an England after all. And if not, I hope it is still there on March 26, because how very boring if our train shot over the border into nothingness."

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morningglory.jpgWe watched Morning Glory last night. I was in the mood for a light comedy. This one fits that bill to a T. Morning Glory is formula film. Person gets fired from a job, gets a job that's even worse, endures all of the things that make it worse, and transforms it through boundless energy and will power. We see everything that's coming from a mile away. Morning Glory works because of Rachel McAdams. She is in almost every scene and she simply carries it. Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton are on hand to lend box office but this one belongs to Rachel and it's a star maker. Well worth your time.

With the events that are going on in Japan and Libya, with no end in sight to a difficult economy, and with spring and tomato season upon me, I find it impossible to take the current NFL labor strife seriously. As someone once said, "I've got more important things to do than spend my time growing old with you". Get it done, don't get it done. If you're here in September, fine. If you're not, I'll do something else.

Congrats to the LSU Tigers on their sweep of the Cal State Fullerton Titans this weekend.

GEAUX Tigers

Two CrabAppleLane spring indicators below:

CrabAppleLane Red Tops - March 13, 2011
CrabAppleLane Red Tops - March 13, 2011

CrabAppleLane Gum Tree - March 13, 2011
CrabAppleLane Gum Tree - March 13, 2011

About today's QOTD: There are lessons here for all of us. The Japanese are managing or trying to manage an epic emergency without blaming citizens, government agencies, or leadership. The first person who snipes publicly should go straight to jail. DO NOT PASS GO. Hopefully, FEMA is helping or, at least, watching and learning.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Needle And The Damage Done - Neil Young - Harvest
  2. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Jo White - iTunes Download
  3. From This Moment On - Shania Twain - Come On Over
  4. Sussudio - Phil Collins - Hits
  5. Miracles - Jefferson Starship - At Their Best

Quote of the Day

Japan races to prevent nuclear reactor meltdowns
NBC, msnbc.com and news services

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "California Olive Ranch sent me this bottle. Hey ranch guys? Thanks. It’s fantastic. Bottom line? I will be buying this product in the future. Took my midday arugula and tuna salad up a whole notch. I save your oil for dipping bread, making sandwiches and on salads—not for cooking. The flavor is worthy of straight consumption."

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No comment

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I can offer no commentary today on The Devil's Rejects. It was on the other night but I didn't watch it. Something caught my eye, though. The Devil's Rejects was written and directed by Rob Zombie and stars Sheri Moon Zombie. A movie called The Devil's Rejects written, directed by, and starring Zombies??? I've never seen the movie and this type of film is not really my cup of tea but I think that's just awesome. Rob Zombie is a very capable film maker and he has found a niche in horror flicks. It's very likely to be well done. That's why I won't watch it. :) His is the BOTD. Fun pics.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. A Light In The Black - Rainbow - Rising
  2. Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band - Eat A Peach
  3. The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt - The Book Of Secrets
  4. Palisades Park - Freddy Cannon - The Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection: The 60's
  5. Ghost Dance - The Patti Smith Group - Easter
Quote of the Day
If the Super Bowl is the Ultimate Game, why are they playing it again next year?
Duane Thomas, Dallas Cowboys

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "POPCORN LOVING MOTHERFUCKERS"

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Not knowing what The Reader was about was the only way I would have watched it. The collective guilt of a generation of Germans over The Holocaust and the various degrees of moral outrage later generations of Germans feel towards that generation, except for maybe their own parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, is something I really have no desire to understand and the shame the two main characters felt over the choices they'd made didn't reach me. I don't care.

The performances in The Reader were OK but one casting choice was curious. David Kross as young Michael Berg speaks with a pronounced German accent and Ralph Fiennes as the not much older Michael Berg speaks with a posh British accent. I stayed to the end but it was all pretty depressing. Not what I'm looking for on a Saturday night.

Pulling for the Packers today and just ever so slightly for the Steelers. Don't really care about the AFC.

Caught the tail end of an Austin City Limits show featuring Band of Horses. I came in during the middle of the finale. It was a song called The Funeral. Fantastic. Enjoy.


Got rid of the smilies here. What a pain that was to accomplish. I may install a better version of them at some point or might install the version I have in a better way.

I offer a few from the CrabAppleLane Backyard.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - January 23, 2011
CrabAppleLane Backyard - January 23, 2011
Pretty sure the CrabAppleLane Bluebirds would consider this to be trespassing and no telling what the neighborhood association might think. Thankfully, they didn't see him and this little fella got a much needed rest. More below the jump if you're interested.


5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Funeral - Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
  2. I'd Love To Change The World - Alvin Lee - A Space In Time
  3. Tears - Rush - 2112
  4. Crossroads - Cream - The Cream Of Clapton
  5. Walk The Line - Live - Live At The Paradiso
Quote of the Day
What we feel isn't important. It's utterly unimportant. The only question is what we do. If people like you don't learn from what happened to people like me, then what the hell is the point of anything?
Professor Rohl, The Reader

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Here's some of what you'll see if you take a look at A Fire in My Belly, the video by David Wojnarowicz that the National Portrait Gallery removed from Hide/Seek, its current exhibit about "sexual difference" in American portraiture: a legless beggar dodging traffic on his stumps, a mouth being stitched shut with a needle and thread, a bowl of blood, and fire ants on a crucifix."

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Knowing

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Knowing is one of those movies that takes itself pretty seriously. Roger Ebert took it seriously and gave it four stars. I can't make up my mind if the filmmakers were just making a movie or trying to convey a message. The film has mysterious aliens, normally a reliable indicator of CME, and at least one spectacular action scene. I still cannot decide whether I liked it or not. I wanted to but it had so much of a Close Encounters of the Third Kind vibe to it that I was squirming in my seat toward the end. Close Encounters dropped me off at the second to last stop. So did Knowing.

Today's QOTD comes from an article titled "Why buying coffee with your iPhone matters". Not sure what Upton is talking about but I'm sure mobile phones are going to play a more prominent role in our lives. It will be a bigger nuisance than smoking ever was.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Why Ya Wanna Do Me? - Cowboy Mouth - Mercyland
  2. I've Had Enough - The Who - Quadrophenia
  3. Boom, Like That - Mark Knopfler - Live From The Ryman
  4. Rock 'N Roll Widow - Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four
  5. I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphys - The Warrior's Code
Quote of the Day
It does … give us some of the market differentiation in terms of consumer adoption, behavior, preferences (and) perceptions by moving to some of the other markets.
Michael Upton, Bank of America

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Anyhow, most if not all of my superiors pronounced it as “rae-vel-lee”.

The standard British pronunciation should be “ri-VAE-li”. The stress is on the second syllable."

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Political, religious, social commentary in this space ... deleted. Didn't like the way it was going and didn't care to deal with whomever may have stumbled upon it. Not what I like to do here.

The Kids Are All Right is the kind of movie, well, let's just say that I didn't pick this one last night. It is appropriately named but there's another part to the title. The Kids Are All Right ... The Adults Are Screwed Up. Movies that tend toward characters over stories get an extra star in all reviews. Bear that in mind if you're perusing them looking for a movie to rent or go see. This one had everything a critic wants but almost nothing an audience wants. Movies that want to make me think lose a star in my eyes unless they're very good. The Kids Are All Right does not reach that level.

After watching the Falcons get pummeled last night by the Packers, my guess is the Saints and their fans are seething even more this morning about that lousy defensive effort the team put forth last week. I know I am. They'd be playing the Bears in cold and snowy Chicago today and a tough win there would have sent the NFC Championship to the SuperDome. The Saints hung 51 points on the Packers the last time they played in the SuperDome. None of these would have been givens, of course. Sean Payton's Saints have never won a game in Chicago and the Bears are currently kicking the Seahawks asses, 28-0. These are fun ifs and buts and they're all moot because the defense DID put forth that lousy effort last week. Grrrr.

Homer alert: Today's QOTD comes from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It is quite an admission and he's right. I commented on the Saints mental toughness earlier this season. It goes into remission once in a while but they do have it and they'll be stronger next year because of it. The Falcons don't have it and their fortunes will still be tied to which way the ball bounces. The two playoff teams out of the NFC South next year (If there is a next year) will be the Saints and the Bucs.

I offer one from our lazy Sunday afternoon. The plan is to read a little or watch some TV and then go find an inexpensive place to eat.

A Lazy CrabAppleLane Sunday Afternoon - January 16, 2011
A Lazy CrabAppleLane Sunday Afternoon - January 16, 2011

5 song iTune shuffle from a CrabAppleLane iTunes "Genius" mix:

  1. Harry's Game - Clannad - Anam - New Age
  2. The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt - The Book Of Secrets - New Age
  3. Miss Clare Remembers - Enya - Watermark - New Age
  4. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve And Other Stories - Holiday
  5. Sacred Ground - Craig Chaquico - Harley-Davidson Cycles: Road Songs - Rock
Quote of the Day
They’re not as close as we thought they were.
Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's game day, and I'm sure you'll be in agreement with me when I say that this game makes me really nervous. We could easily win or lose this game based on just a few plays, so here's to hoping we bring our A game this week. Specifically our (A)aron Rodgers game. Har har har, see what I did there/shazam/etc."

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Salt

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I was a bachelor last night for a few hours while Patsy was out serving on her elementary school reunion party committee. Decided to watch a movie I knew she didn't want to see. Salt was about what I expected. Had some nifty action, some interesting twists, and ends up about where you expect it to. No Way Out did a better job of pretty much the same story. Nothing new or original to see here but a little better than a poke in the eye. About these deep undercover sleeper agents you see in spy novels and films: Ever wonder how reliable an enterprise that would be if it's really still done? You ask someone to create a life for themselves in a new land but be ready when we call. By then, they may prefer their new life to their old one.

Coolest tat ever ... even if you're not a Mark Knopfler fan. :)

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. On Every Street - Dire Straits - On Every Street
  2. I Can't Hold Back - Survivor - Greatest Hits
  3. Killer Queen - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
  4. The Load-Out - Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
  5. Somebody To Roll - Nazareth - Play 'N' The Game
Quote of the Day
Let me guess, you're one of those people who thinks everyone is who they say they are?
Evelyn Salt, Salt

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Last night was clear and bitterly cold in New York harbor. Wind chill from the northwesterly breeze made the temperature feel like it was in the single digits. A new layer of snow from a storm two days before added to the existing snowbanks. Nevertheless, as darkness fell, groups of hearty New Yorkers began lining up along the promenade at Battery Park to watch the Royal Rendezvous, the three Queens of the Cunard fleet sailing in company out of New York harbor to music and fireworks."

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Inglourious Basterds

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Showtime had one of their free weekends this past weekend and they happened to have Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds playing. Having to deal with their sales pitches that would come up and cover the subtitles was a minor nuisance. Tarantino makes the most stylish, most absurd, over-the-top films in cinema and this one is no exception. Christoph Waltz, who I'd never heard of, won all sorts of awards for his performance in this and it is that performance that I found simply amazing. A film is usually only as good as the villain and his SS Colonel Hans Landa conveys menace better than anyone I've seen in a long time. Every one of his conversations/interrogations is so well done that I found myself squirming. If you need another reason to see this movie, let me give you one. Inglourious Basterds is a hoot.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
  2. Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971
  3. I Will Find You - Clannad - The Last Of The Mohicans
  4. Christmas Canon Rock - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve
  5. Rock 'n Roll Soul [Live] - Grand Funk Railroad - Caught In The Act
Quote of the Day
Well, you don't got to be Stonewall Jackson to know you don't want to fight in a basement.
Lieutenant Aldo Raine, Inglorious Basterds

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Is there anyone out there in the world who doesn't like a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack? No need to raise your hands; just stop reading and move on to the next post if you're one of those fun-hating mutants. This isn't going to be big news for you."

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Human Target - Redux

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Just the theme music, though. They've added a couple of characters since I last posted about it and they've added a cool new element to the stories but that doesn't rate a post (As if anything here does ...). Human Target's New Theme vs Human Target's Old Theme. They're both pretty good but I like the new one better. There is considerably more debate about that than I might have imagined. For what it's worth, Human Target is the second best CME on television. Chuck is still the best.

About today's QOTD: I suppose it makes sense to have American women spying on Iran. Women have so much access there.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The Eyes Of Truth - Enigma - The Cross Of Changes
  2. Fading Lights - Genesis - We Can't Dance
  3. A Great Day For Freedom - Pink Floyd - Pulse
  4. Spooky - Classics IV - Am Gold 1968
  5. Wild World - Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman
Quote of the Day
Iranian authorities have detained a 55-year-old American woman on spying charges, a state-owned newspaper reported Thursday.
AP via USA Today

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "How important are Ivory and Thomas to the Saints offense? We'll just have to see how many second and longs Julius Jones puts the Saints into; How many blitzes Joique Bell fails to pick up."

Bell was picked up this week. No way will he be called on to pass protect Drew Brees. -Rob

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The American

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Someday, we're going to look back at the films George Clooney has made and marvel. They're almost always excellent. It's not just his performances that are superb. He makes great choices of which films to be in, too. The American is a mercenary craftsman, played by Clooney. He makes weapons for assassins. It's pretty dangerous work. His contact is a professional and his clients are professionals. He will always be a loose end. He will be the one person who can connect the contact and the assassin to the assassination. One of his clients does not want loose ends and spends the entire film trying to find him and kill him. The audience figures out what's going on as The American does. This is good Saturday night popcorn fare.

About today's QOTD: That's way too many.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "N”:

  1. Now I'm Here - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
  2. No Easy Road - Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four
  3. New Slang - The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
  4. Never Gonna Change - Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
  5. Natural Thing - UFO - No Heavy Petting
Quote of the Day
At least nine players will be questionable for the Saints (11-5) heading into the short week leading up to Saturday's wild-card game at Seattle (7-9), including three players that were knocked out of Sunday's loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers: safety Malcolm Jenkins (right knee), tailback Chris Ivory (left foot) and tight end Jimmy Graham (left ankle).
Mike Triplett,The Times-Picayune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Thanks to the play of team’s backup quarterback, Seattle is the NFC West’s champion and will host a playoff game for the first time since 2007."

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The Town

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The Town has an all star cast, a fabulous trailer, and a couple of plots winding through it. There wasn't much suspense, though. A busy, machine gun wielding, bank robbing crew can't just meld into the landscape forever. The film and director Ben Affleck both recognize that and it moves right along. On the way to its inevitable conclusion, it turns in a pretty good movie. The performances overwhelm the story. That's almost always the case with this kind of cast. Too bad. I think they had the ingredients here to make an unforgettable film. You know those films you've seen many times and still think about? The Town won't be one of those.

A tip of the cap to the Minnesota Vikings on a surprising effort last night. They didn't look like they had any life in them last week against the Bears but they slapped a very good Eagles team around last night at the Linc in Philadelphia. I don't know that Joe Webb is their long term answer at quarterback but he pretty much put Tarvaris Jackson out of business in Minnesota. As for the Eagles, I cannot get over how they laid such a big egg with so much at stake. They had a very good shot at a bye. Gone now. They'll very likely have to play the Packers, who beat them at the Linc way back in Week 1.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Live And Let Die - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
  2. So Many Things to Say - Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Four
  3. Fade To Black - Dire Straits - On Every Street
  4. All The King's Men - Tom Cochrane - Mad Mad World
  5. Country Girl: Whiskey Boot Hill/Down, Down, Down/Country Girl (I Think You're Pretty) - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu
Quote of the Day
This is the not fucking around crew so get me something that looks like a print because this not fucking around thing is about to go both ways.
FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley, The Town

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "What remains to be seen is whether the Saints go for broke and play all their starters for the duration of Sunday's game."

I think they will. -Rob

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Terriers Finale

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TerriersTerriers concluded their first season Wednesday night. The show spent the first half of this first season establishing the characters and the landscape. They spent the second half of the season on one big storyline. What I thought about the show a few weeks ago still stands. The characters and landscape are fantastic. It's set in San Diego and the characters look like real people, not movie stars. It's very gritty, modern noir. The storylines are still just OK, though. If the show makes it back next year, I'm in. Life was a better version of Terriers. Had one big storyline running throughout but also a weekly story with conclusion. I'd like Terriers to adopt that concept. Mystery/cop/PI dramas are better-suited for the USA Network or FX than they are for the big 4, who are almost entirely devoted to fake reality TV these days.

About today's QOTD: Something tells me that family will get by.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Getting In Tune - The Who - Who's Next
  2. True Love Will Never Fade - Mark Knopfler - Kill To Get Crimson
  3. What A Shame - Foghat - Rock & Roll
  4. Never Make Me Cry - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  5. I Got A Line On You - Spirit - Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin'
Quote of the Day
Corkett, who lives in a $1 million home with his wife and daughter in Huntington, N.Y., also has scaled back his lifestyle. He and his wife have stopped taking vacations, rarely go out to dinner and have replaced theater outings with movie rentals.
Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Are you a Saints or Bengals fan that has direct knowledge of the Who dat/Who dey controversy? If so leave a comment and tell us why you think your team deserves the credit."

Give it to the Bengals, please. I never liked it. -Rob

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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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We went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 yesterday. I won't put any spoilers in this entry. The comments, if I get any, may have some so beware. This Harry Potter film is, by far, the darkest and most grownup of the franchise so far yet there is still something truly wonderful that stirs when the lights go down and that opening scene music starts. Very rarely does a 2½-hour movie not seem like a 5½-hour movie to me but this one pulls it off. Part 1 did its job. It built strong momentum for a big finale. I hope the filmmakers are up to it.

Two matinee theater tickets, two large drinks, and a large, semi-scorched popcorn: $36. Pretty amazing, isn't it? We had two little girls in front of us at the concession stand. I'm guessing twelve and fourteen. Twelve paid with a Mastercard. Don't know who or how many they were buying for but the two of them could barely carry it all. It was $65-$70 worth of candy/popcorn/soda. Might have been just for them, though, and I'd kinda like to know what the final tally was for their afternoon. :)

I saw bits of NFL Films' tribute to Bill Parcells and I agree with the Tampa Tribune. He's a great coach and he did a great job with the Giants. They left one thing out, though. He's a quitter. Bit of a commitment-phobe, too. He quit on the Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys, and now, the Dolphins. He also bailed on a few teams before he even got started. Read somewhere that he wants to get back in the game as coach. He'll have suitors, too. I'm just glad my favorite team won't be one of them.

About today's QOTD: Ever get the impression that the question AND the answer are fairly obvious? Question: Why are the dogs dysfunctional? Answer: If someone thinks spending $3000 to housebreak their two dogs is normal, it kinda tells me the dogs aren't the main problem here. I think I could have successfully housebroken them for about half that :)

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane Baockyard.

CrabAppleLane Wildlife - November 28, 2010
CrabAppleLane Wildlife - November 28, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Sick And Tired - Eric Clapton - Pilgrim
  2. Help Me - Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark
  3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) - Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  4. Back To Tupelo - Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La
  5. Don't Damn Me - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
Quote of the Day
NO RUSH TO WALK DOGS They go inside, on paper. I think I have the only two dogs in the world who cross their legs when you take them outside; they’re dysfunctional! We spent $3,000 trying to get them trained to make outside, and the trainer finally told us, “I’m afraid there’s nothing else I can do.” But they’re such sweet dogs.
Dr. Patricia Wexler

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Fail to scoop your dog’s poop in the English borough of Walsall, and you could be fined a whopping £1,000 ($1,573) if the local Council approves proposed new rules. Let your dog off leash, and it would be another £1,000. Ouch. Leashless poopetrators beware!"

That's ridiculously excessive and will have horrific consequences. Dog owner about to receive a citation that carries a £1,000 fine: "He's not my dog". Off to the pound he goes and the family pet is adopted by someone else or put down. I'm OK with the former, especially if the new family is better for him, but not OK so much with the latter. -Rob

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The League

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I've now seen a few episodes of The League. From its website: "Set against the backdrop of Fantasy Football, The League is about friendship, marriage, parenting, and growing up or refusing to grow up.". That's fairly accurate from what I've seen so far. It has some really funny moments and it features enough fantasy football truth to make any player smile. I like that the show thinks there are enough of us to comprise a worthwhile audience because there is a lot of stuff in it that only fantasy football players will get. The show depicts a fantasy football league that hardly exists any more. There is razzing, trash-talking, and gamesmanship. Neither one of the leagues I'm in is much like that. I kinda wish they were. The League is CME for fantasy football players. What's not to like?

About today's QOTD: The Saints offense has not looked sharp for a whole game all season. They're overdue for a big performance.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "R”:

  1. Rockin' In The Free World - Neil Young - Freedom
  2. Red Staggerwing - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning
  3. Rock Bottom - UFO - Phenomenon
  4. Romeo And Juliet - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning
  5. Rollin' On - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning
Quote of the Day
Repeatedly using his deceptive eyes to move the Seahawks secondary out of position like pawns on a chessboard, Brees finally silenced a spoiled contingent of Who Dats (for this week, anyway) that grumbled aloud about why the Saints offense had yet to look like the Super Bowl Saints offense.
William Kalec, Tacoma News Tribune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Nobody's "cooler" than Jon Kitna."

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A few tidbits on a CrabAppleLane Sunday

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Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott give us a slightly different and slightly gritter version of Robin Hood. I don't think the title character is called Robin Hood even once in the film. Fair enough. It's not all grit and dirt and this-is-what-it-must-have-been-like, though. It's quite fanciful in its own way. The Sheriff of Nottingham is only a minor, whiny character in this tale. The real villain in this film is a double agent and that makes for an interesting twist. Crowe is fine as Robin Hood and Cate Blanchett is fantastic, as always, as Lady Marion. The legend of Robin Hood never really gets old with me but this particular film did. It was way too long ... but not at all bad. Thumbs up.

What an exciting game yesterday in Baton Rouge. Excellent win for the Tigers. Les Miles has been coaching in the shadow of Nick Saban since he's been at LSU. People, including a fair number of Tiger fans, were even somewhat skeptical of his national championship. Those skeptics say he did that with mostly Saban players. Well, yesterday, a team of his players beat a team of Nick Saban's players and he thoroughly outcoached Saban in the second half. Miles loves his team. His team doesn't always give anyone good reason to believe in them but he always does ... and just what the hell is wrong with that?

About today's QOTD: Someday, Tiger fans are going to miss Les Miles.

Carolina is not a very good team but they always play well against the Saints. I expect a tough one today in Charlotte.

GEAUX Saints

We fired up the wood pellet stove for the first time yesterday. Winter is around the corner at CrabAppleLane. I was very pleased with its performance, which is a relief if it continues. I had a lot of trouble with it last year. I have a better understanding of its operation today than I did yesterday thanks to a visit to The Woodstove Shop.

While cleaning the stove yesterday, I had to stop midway through the job due to a Buffy sighting. I'm not absolutely certain it's Buffy but it's definitely not a ruby-throated hummingbird. I washed my hands immediately and filled her feeders with fresh nectar. I didn't see him/her at all last winter. We don't know if Buffy is male or female but Patsy gave her the name so we're just referring to her as Buffy until we have conclusive proof that she should have a different name. No sign of her this morning, though, and that kinda bums me out. I was hoping for another winter with her. I'm keeping an eye out for her and I'll be keeping the nectar fresh. I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - November 7, 2010
CrabAppleLane Backyard - November 7, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn - Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live
  2. Victim Of Changes - Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny
  3. Clocks - Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
  4. Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I
  5. You Really Got Me - Van Halen - Van Halen
Quote of the Day
It wasn’t just that the Bayou Bengals came back twice from fourth-quarter deficits, or that they once again used some slight-of-hand trickeration to stay in the game, or Jarrett Lee‘s improbable 47-yard completion on third-and-13 with under 2:40 left and clinging to a three-point lead, or that… well… yes it was all of that, every damn bit of it that inexplicably worked in symphonic concert with that horseshoe the Mad Hatter has shoved somewhere on/up his person in 2010 that crushed the Tide’s hopes in Nick Saban‘s second return trip to the Bayou.
John Taylor, NBC Sports

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It is a rich and ancient legend, the popularity of which is no doubt sustained across the decades because of its fascinating links with contemporary affairs. Green issues? Environment? Recession? Banker’s bonuses? It’s all in there. Even, sadly, issues concerning East / West wars."

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Iron Man

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I was looking for some CME at the local library Saturday and thought I had found it. Not even close. What I found instead was highly-praised by moviegoers but quite disappointing to me. If you're looking for or need a reason to wean yourself off of these comic book to big screen films, Iron Man might be just the ticket. For one thing, there really is nothing all that cool about Iron Man. He's a kind of cross between Batman and Superman. He's a billionaire with all kinds of technology at his disposal like Batman and he sort of flies around like Superman. Robert Downey Jr makes a decent enough Iron Man and Gwyneth Paltrow makes for an excellent personal aide but the story didn't do anything for me and the quite predictable real villain was simply not on screen enough. Maybe they did better in the sequel but they did so poorly here that I may never see Iron Man 2.

One other thing on this election day:

Get out and vote


5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl - If I Should Fall from Grace with God
  2. Lookout Mountain - Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
  3. I Hear Them All - Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Iron World
  4. Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  5. Keep Yourself Alive - Queen - Queen
Quote of the Day
Now the time is here
For Iron Man to spread fear
Vengeance from the grave
Kill the people he once saved
Black Sabbath, Iron Man

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "My past experience in Moab, Utah (far uglier in damage), is that as a group, the motorized offroad ATV and motorcycle crowd is an environmental menace of mindless idiots, which I believe should be banned entirely from all public lands."

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Deception

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I saw one scene from Deception while channel-surfing a few nights ago and decided to record it the next time it came on. As I've probably told you a million times, it's one of the wondrous features of a DVR. As a rule, I don't care for my absurdity in small doses. If I'm going to have it, I'd prefer to immerse myself in it. Deception has too much absurdity to be a top notch thriller and not enough to be top notch CME. We have the patsy, Ewan McGregor. He's an auditor for a high-priced accounting firm and that's his whole life. We have the hustler, Hugh Jackman, who lures him into the world of sex clubs for executives. We're to believe that the hustler can move around in that world of high finance and know about various slush funds the company keeps in deeply hidden sub-accounts even though he doesn't have access to them. That last part is why he needs the patsy. Then, we're to believe that he can open an account in Madrid in his patsy's name, blackmail his patsy into wiring $20 million to that account from those various slush funds, and close the account and withdraw the $20 million in cash a week later. See, he plans to kill the patsy and steal his identity. Finally, we're also to believe that a shot could ring out in a Madrid park and no police would come running and no citizens would run away. Sorry, but these kinds of activities would have called a lot of more attention to themselves in real life than they did in the movie. Deception was better than a poke in the eye but that's about it.

Thankyou, Jason Witten. Good game for my team. It was a total team effort to overcome that monster game Kenny Brit had.

About today's QOTD: Love the lyrics in that song. Love the song, too.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) - Pink Floyd - The Wall
  2. The Real Me - The Who - Quadrophenia
  3. Knocking At Your Back Door - Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers
  4. Tunnel Of Love - Dire Straits - Alchemy: Dire Straits Live
  5. Ballroom Blitz - The Sweet - Desolation Boulevard
Quote of the Day
Back in the thirties when the dust bowl dried
And the woods in Alabama didn't see no light
My Daddy played poker by a hard wood fire
Squeezing all his luck from a hot copper wire
Drive-By Truckers, Where The Devil Don't Stay

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "At the beginning of 1923 postwar adjustments seemed to be over and the outlook was bright. By the end of the year, however, a dark cloud of depression hung once more over the industry. This time it lasted for a long period: 1925 and 1927 were two of the worst years in the history of American woolens."

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Terriers

TerriersI saw a small blurb a few weeks ago about a new TV show on the FX network called Terriers. They were advertising the pilot and it looked interesting. The pilot was good enough to get me to stick with it for at least another week. That was six weeks ago. I've seen every episode. The characters do not all look like movie stars. It also looks kinda low budget but I think that's intentional to give the show its gritty feel. The two main characters are unlicensed private investigators. One is a recovering alcoholic ex-cop and the other is a somewhat reformed thief. Yeah, it's a buddy show and that idea is not original. The stories, so far, have only been OK but I'm hoping that's because they're concentrating so much on establishing the characters first. If it survives the first season, it will do so on the strength of those characters. I like it so I give it little chance. Its blog is today's BOTD.

Today's QOTD is about Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns quarterback.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Crazy On You - Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  2. Red Staggerwing - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning
  3. Lick Your Fingers Clean - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  4. Alegria - Cirque du Soleil - Alegria
  5. The Saints Are Coming - Green Day & U2 - Saints-Falcons Pre-Game Show
Quote of the Day
Colt's a nice kid with a hot girlfriend and a bright future. Makes me sick. ;)
ESPN comment from Ravenous128

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Before you go thinking we have gone all mushy on you, there’s an investigative scene that has our boys showing up on the doorstep of a suspect, who just happens to have a ton of piercings. When asked about the ring, he starts pointing to different pieces of jewelry speared through his skin… and then he does the thing you really hope he’s not going to do… drop his pants. Yeah, turns out not to be the ring in question."

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Tuesday Tidbits - October 19, 2010 Issue

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Next time you find yourself saying something like "he drives like an old lady", keep this in mind.

Not usually a big fan of remakes of good films but remaking True Grit sounds interesting. The original film was only OK to me. There are better actors and, undoubtedly, it will be quite a bit darker this time. ALL modern westerns seem darker to me except for the kinda silly Silverado.

I flipped to the Jaguars-Titans game last night with about 7 minutes left. I had no interest in the game except that I needed a fantasy football player of mine to have a bigger night than he's ever had in his life. Didn't happen. I digress. The Jags were down, 23-3, and they were at the Titans 7yd line. They ran the ball on two successive downs for minimal or no gain and huddled after each play. No urgency whatsoever except maybe to hit the showers. Down by 3 scores, they ran over 2 of the remaining 7 minutes off the clock on those two idiotic calls. The handful of Jaguars fans left booed. I would have, too. Somehow, that team is 3-3, which includes a victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Last year at this time, the Vikings, Saints, and Colts were taking over the NFL. Nothing like that is happening this year.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Let's Live For Today - The Grass Roots - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of The Grass Roots
  2. Killer Queen - Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
  3. (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Öyster Cult - Agents of Fortune
  4. New Slang - The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
  5. The King Will Come - Wishbone Ash - Live Dates
Quote of the Day
She says, 'Daddy has a boo boo, but God and the doctors are making Daddy's boo boo all better
Dallas C. Wiens

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We keep hearing Mangini talking about how close this team is to turning the corner. He references the Patriot teams he coached. Sometime's all you need is a domino to fall in the right direction. Something to set off that chain reaction."

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CrabAppleLane Sunday - October 17, 2010 Issue

Yet another pissing match between a network affiliate and a cable company with the viewers/customers stuck right in the middle. There is no doubt that cable and satellite companies would like to bypass local affiliates. They'd like to find agreeable affiliates somewhere, anywhere and transmit their network broadcasts nationwide. By law, they can't. There is a good reason for this. Local affiliates, along with the local news and other local programming, would die. There is also no doubt that your local affiliates know the law protects them and that gives them a bargaining advantage. The loss of viewership in the market doesn't seem to bother either side much. Until the two sides have equal positions and equal motivation for a resolution of differences, we can all expect more contentious negotiations. Coming to a market near you ... .

Much like last week, I don't know what to expect from the Saints in today's Saints-Bucs game. The Saints offense has yet to put up a big game. There is no reason for them to be playing the way they are. They're dropping passes, they're turning the ball over, they're not blocking very well. They're just not playing smart. They absolutely can play better. The defense is playing OK. They're not the problem. Tampa is playing well, though. If the Saints play their C game today, they're going to come home with a loss. Time to pick it up, guys.

GEAUX Saints


About today's BOTD: The only thing I care to say is Good Job, Tim. I'm no lip reader but there are times I can make out what someone is saying. After the umpire called a ball on yet another pitch Lincecum wanted, the camera zoomed in just in time to see him mouthing, "Ball, my f@cking a$$". I like that kid. :) I'm pretty sure the Fox cameraman will have different instructions for his next start. :)

CrabAppleLane is in the midst of a drought. One of the by-products is succulent broccoli plants are vulnerable to disease. The two images below offer evidence of the almost always fatal disease known as rabbititus. Don't think we're going to have a successful fall garden here.

CrabAppleLane Broccoli plant - October 17, 2010
CrabAppleLane Broccoli plant - October 17, 2010

CrabAppleLane Broccoli plant - October 17, 2010
CrabAppleLane Broccoli plant - October 17, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who - Who's Next
  2. Back On The Road Again - REO Speedwagon - Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
  3. Christmas Canon Rock - Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve
  4. Smoke On The Water [Live] - Deep Purple - Made In Japan [Disc 1] [Live]
  5. Rock Bottom - UFO - Phenomenon
Quote of the Day
I am impatient because the world is not getting better fast enough, or for enough people.
Melinda Gates

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "We expect nothing less, Phillie fans. Now, don't you have preteen girls to vomit on?"

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Secretariat

I can't imagine how Disney's new movie, Secretariat, can improve my memory of the horse so I doubt I'll ever see it. There are some things in my memory that are simply perfect the way they are. My fond memory of Secretariat is like that. If you never saw him race in 1973, you should probably see the movie ... and if you come away from it thinking they portrayed him as bigger than life and too good to be true, they got it right.

Today's QOTD sums up Secretariat's performance in the 1973 Belmont Stakes about as well as words can.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Til I Hear It From You - Gin Blossoms - Empire Records
  2. Love To Love - UFO - Essential UFO
  3. Miss Misery - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  4. Speedway At Nazareth - Mark Knopfler - Live From The Ryman
  5. Classical Gas - Mason Williams - Am Gold 1968
Quote of the Day
SECRETARIAT, sent up along the inside to vie for the early lead with SHAM to the backstretch, disposed of that one after three-quarters, drew off at will rounding the far turn and was under a hand ride from Turcotte to establish a record in a tremendous performance.
Official notes made by the Chart Caller for the Daily Racing Form

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "With John Malkovich in all his quirkiness portraying trainer Lucien Laurin, and Diane Lane as Penny Chennery, "Secretariat" captures all the thrill of horse racing, and is a movie to be enjoyed whether you are part of the horse racing world, or a novice to this sport where horses reign supreme."

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Speaking of remakes

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I'm not sure which idea is worse. Re-releasing the Star Wars movies in 3D or remaking the Hawaii Five-O series.

Star Wars: 3D, really? I think Star Wars should be kept as is in a vault far away from George Lucas like a Walt Disney classic and re-released to theaters every few years for new generations of film goers. That's its proper role now.

Hawaii Five-O: I like Alex O'Loughlin. He was excellent in Moonlight. His Steve McGarrett doesn't have the melodramatic flair that his predecessor in the role, Jack Lord, had but who does? Here nor there, David Caruso is merely a pale imitation of Lord. About the QOTD: It is one of the most famous lines in all of TV. It just doesn't sound right coming from anyone but Jack Lord.

R.I.P., Tony Curtis. He hadn't done anything I cared much about since The Great Race but I'm still sad to see him go.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Tea For The Tillerman - Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman
  2. In The Light - Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti [Disc 2]
  3. Tarot Woman - Rainbow - Rising
  4. 2112 - Rush - 2112
  5. Burnin' For You - Blue Oyster Cult - Fire of Unknown Origin
Quote of the Day
Book 'em, Danno
Steve McGarrett, Hawaii Five-O

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It pains us to report that Tony Curtis, one of the most gifted actors of all time, is gone at age 85."

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CrabAppleLane Sunday & A Guilty Pleasure

How to describe The Good Guys? It's kind of a buddy cop show. Jack Bailey, played by Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks' son, is a decent cop. They've partnered him with Dan Stark, played by Bradley Whitford. Stark is an old school cop who doesn't do anything by the book. He and his former partner solved a big case many years ago and the department is pretty much forced to keep him on even though they think he's washed up. Stark is a loose cannon and Bailey is basically his babysitter. They've been assigned to the property crimes division aka cop purgatory mainly to keep them out of trouble. From there, they stumble and bumble their way ala Inspector Clouseau into bigger crimes. It galls their superiors and their colleagues. It's ridiculous and it will absolutely make you cringe sometimes but I dare you not to smile. The Good Guys will grow on you.

The Saints take on the Falcons today in the SuperDome. The two teams are old rivals. It figures to be another tight one and it also figures to be very physical. Both teams are pretty good and know each other very well. I expect the Falcons offense to have some success against the Saints defense. I'm very interested to see how the Falcons defense handles the Saints offense. They've played well in the first two games but Drew Brees is a few rungs up the QB ladder from Dennis Dixon and Derek Anderson. That will be the key today. The Falcons are a popular choice to upset the Saints today in the SuperDome and they seem to be a very confident bunch. It's a good test for the Saints.

GEAUX Saints

I offer two images from CrabAppleLane taken just a few minutes ago.

From the CrabAppleLane back deck - September 26, 2010
From the CrabAppleLane back deck - September 26, 2010

CrabAppleLane hummingbird heading back to her perch - September 26, 2010
CrabAppleLane hummingbird heading back to her perch - September 26, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Black Sabbath playlist:

  1. Snowblind - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
  2. Dirty Woman - Black Sabbath - Technical Ecstasy
  3. Paranoid - Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  4. Wheels Of Confusion / The Straightener - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
  5. Symptom Of The Universe - Black Sabbath - Sabotage (Remaster)
Quote of the Day
I guess in this world, we don't have a lot of people with backbones. Just because somebody pay you money don't mean they'll make you do whatever they want. I mean, that means everything is for sale. I mean, I'm not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but just because, that don't mean I'm for sale or a slave or whatever.
Albert Haynesworth, Washington Redskins

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This game is a proving grounds for the Falcons."

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Unnecessary footage and righteousness

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I'm a big fan of Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. It is the best documentary I ever saw. I'm not as big a fan of his documentary about baseball. It's a personal thing. The storytelling was fine but some of the interviews bugged me. There's an element to baseball that has always bothered me. They are the purists, the snobs, the asterisk crowd. They were a little too prominent in that film for my tastes. I digress. Burns is going into extra innings now and it looks like his new documentary will be mostly about what some are now calling "the steroids era". I'll pass.

Today's QOTD is about Reggie Bush, USC, and the NCAA. Reggie Bush is forfeiting his Heisman Trophy. He's basically telling everyone to go away. He wants to move on. If he was not as contrite as some would have liked, I would say too bad. His less-than-contrite posture was appropriate to USC's indignant posture and Mark Saxon's and the NCAA's sanctimonious posture. The sanctimonious NCAA took scholarships, bowl trips, and other lollies away from the indignant USC. That punishment does not befit the crime. It is horribly wrong to punish the kids in school today for something that happened five years ago. They're NOT GUILTY.

If the NCAA really wanted to clean up this problem, if indeed it is a problem, they need to be a little more serious about it. First, police this stuff while they're in school, not five years later. If caught, revoke their scholarship and eligibility and only theirs. If the school is involved, fine them a proportionate amount of their athletic revenue. Second, the rules need to make sense and be fair. Why can't a student athlete talk to an agent while he's in school? A drama student can talk to an agent without repercussion. A law student can take a summer job at a law firm. Military recruiters are on campus recruiting students for their life after university. The NCAA should at least bring their rules in line with other fields. A student athlete should have all of the same rights and opportunities that other students have and they shouldn't have to wait until they get out of school. I'll now step away from the soapbox.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "B”:

  1. Bleed Like Me - Garbage - Bleed Like Me
  2. Back On The Road Again - REO Speedwagon - Arch Allies: Live at Riverport
  3. Beachcombing - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All The Roadrunning
  4. Both Sides Now - Judy Collins - Wildflowers
  5. Because The Night - 10,000 Maniacs - MTV Unplugged
Quote of the Day
The 2010 and 2011 USC teams won't be able to compete for a BCS title or even enjoy a bowl game. Because of scholarship limitations, the BCS dreams might be out of reach for a decade or so. The Trojans are under probation through 2013.
Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I completely balked at the idea that I, Sab-not-yet-Mad, the free-spirited girl, was a control freak."

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Nice finish

Rizzoli and Isles closed out their first season with quite a bang last night. Good job. If they do another season, I'm in. I'm a little disappointed that 10 episodes constitutes a season these days but I suppose that's just as well. Hard to keep the writing up or my gnat-like attention span for 22-24 episodes. The Dick Van Dyke Show did 30-32 quality episodes every season for five years but that kind of quality and talent is rare. By the way, the cool Irish music for this show is supposedly not The Dropkick Murphys. Whoever it is below, enjoy. :)

One of the many problems of calling a lot of media attention to yourself is that they'll sometimes pay a lot of attention. Some of the media won't want to report what everyone else is reporting so they'll look elsewhere for a story. If there is one, they'll probably find it. That item would have gone unnoticed forever had The Good Pastor not thrust himself into the limelight. It's not going away now.

About last night's ALL-AFC Monday Night NFL doubleheader: I only watched about 10 minutes of each game so take what I say with a few pounds of salt. Three of the four teams were playoff teams last season and fancy themselves as Super Bowl contenders this season but, by far, the most exciting team I saw last night was the fourth team, the Kansas City Chiefs. They have some exciting young players and are going to be a handful for anyone in Arrowhead. Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster are a blast to watch. Enjoy that team, KC. They're a fun bunch.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. You Love The Thunder - Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
  2. Closer - Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
  3. The Flower Of Carnage - 梶芽衣子 - Kill Bill, Vol. 1
  4. Mister Superstar - Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar
  5. Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2]
Quote of the Day
Whether it’s truly a new era or the Chiefs are merely better swimmers than the San Diego Chargers will be determined in subsequent weeks.
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Star

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Confounded by poor communication, the 49ers might cut out the middle man. Coach Mike Singletary on Monday said offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye could be on the sideline rather than the coaching booth next week when the team faces the New Orleans Saints."

Not understanding how those issues weren't resolved during the preseason. -Rob

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This Whitest Kids U'Know skit made me laugh last week. Some, maybe most, of their shtick is crude for crude's sake and gets old rather quickly and some, like the one linked, are too long and don't finish well. It's like they needed to fill some air time. If they'd do less, they'd do better.

I offer two from the CrabAppleLane yard this morning. The two bushes below were the same size when I bought them. One thrived, the other not so much. I transplanted the one not doing so well. I'm hoping that a change of scenery is all it needed.

CrabAppleLane - August 22, 2010
CrabAppleLane - August 22, 2010

CrabAppleLane - August 22, 2010
CrabAppleLane - August 22, 2010

Still only preseason but I think most Saints fans are a little more upbeat after last night's game with the Texans than they were after last week's game with the Patriots. A few thoughts:

I have to wonder what the Saints are going to do with Adrian Arrington. I doubt they can trade him but he's too good to release. I hope they can keep him as insurance if one of the other four (Colston, Meachem, Henderson, Moore) in front of him gets hurt.

Ladell Betts had better get his butt on the field. Chris Ivory and P.J. Hill both look like they can run the ball. Don't know if I trust either of them to protect Drew in the passing game, though.

About today's QOTD: The Redskins are stuck with Haynesworth. That much is pretty clear. If they release him, they eat his ridiculous contract and he plays somewhere else. A trade is unlikely because no one wants to assume that contract.

Mario Williams is Julius Peppers. He plays a monster game two or three times a year and then disappears the rest of the time. There's money in that. I don't think his name was called once last night. I'm glad the Texans chose him and passed on Reggie Bush. Reggie's name was called quite a few times last night.

18 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Mark Knopfler playlist:

  1. So Far From The Clyde - Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky
  2. Golden Heart - Mark Knopfler - Golden Heart
  3. Whistle Theme - Mark Knopfler & Alan Clark - Local Hero
  4. Whoop De Doo - Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La
  5. In The Sky - Mark Knopfler - Kill To Get Crimson
Quote of the Day
I don't know. I guess make yourself look good, I don't know. Make me look bad for not going to their offseason conditioning program. But, I mean, next year I'm not coming either. I'll be on my trainer again, and I'll get back in the same shape I'm in, and feel good about myself.
Albert Haynesworth, Washington Redskins

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The Texans kicked the Saints' butts on kickoff returns. They averaged 32.8 yards on six returns. The Saints averaged 21 yards on five returns."

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Hot August Night

With apologies to Neil Diamond, the title here refers to last night. Even though I had been out running errands in the morning and for a bike ride in the afternoon, I still found myself with a case of cabin fever last night. We decided to hit the Tap Room for dinner and head out somewhere and tinker with night photography. I'm still fairly awful at it but these didn't turn out too bad. There was an outdoor movie playing last night in Abita Springs. I've never seen any of them so I can't be sure but I'm guessing it was one of the Toy Story movies. I suppose this is about the closest thing you can have to a true, old time drive-in movie experience these days ... except there weren't any cars. It had to be 85º last night with nearly 100% humidity. I remember nights in the station wagon just like that. The heat, humidity, and the bugs didn't seem to be bothering anyone, though. These free events are a nice novelty, a curiosity for the kids, maybe some nostalgia for some of the older parents and grandparents, or just something to do on a Saturday night. Nice turnout. More below the jump if you're interested.

Abita Springs - August 7, 2010
Abita Springs - August 7, 2010

The first preseason (Don't call it an exhibition) game is tonight. Why on Earth the NFL or NBC wants to broadcast this game in Primetime is beyond me. Bengals v Cowboys would be a good match except that most of the guys you'll see in the game tonight won't be Bengals or Cowboys in a few weeks.

The Saints are heading to New England tomorrow to work out with the Patriots for a few days before their game Thursday night. They'll stop at the White House along the way. Would love to be in on the meetings the two head coaches are having with their teams leading up to this. Both teams fancy themselves as contenders and I think it's fair to say they are. "This is what you can talk about with them and this is what you can't". I expect both teams will be holding back a lot. The game Thursday night will be nothing like that Monday night game they played last November, which the Boston Globe's Adam Kilgore described like this:

The Saints attacked the Patriots defense in every manner. They scored on long drives. They scored on a 75-yard strike. They scored on screen passes, on long post patterns, on a dump to their third tight end. They emptied both barrels.

32 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Angel - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  2. Boulder To Birmingham - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning
  3. Changin' Times - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  4. Photograph - Def Leppard - Pyromania
  5. Romeo and Juliet - Mark Knopfler - Live From The Ryman

About today's QOTD: Ricky Jackson is maybe the worst public speaker of all time but there is nothing phony about him. You'll find profound nuggets in what he says if you can bear the rest of it.

Quote of the Day
We need to keep football going. Can't let football get away. I mean you can get where the product can be so good, you can lose sight and let it get away.
Ricky Jackson, Saints Hall-of-Famer

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Riders making their way through the mist, across the hay field. I am well behind this pack....somewhere...."

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The Gates

The GatesI've been watching The Gates because there isn't much else on TV on Sunday nights when I'm winding down the weekend. We dropped HBO a few months ago and the only thing I really miss is their original programming, which mostly aired on Sunday nights. I just couldn't see paying premium prices (HBO is the priciest of all of the pay channels on DirecTV) for a few shows that air 10-12 episodes and then go on an 18-month hiatus (Talking about you, Sopranos). Anyway, The Gates qualifies as CME even though it's not particularly entertaining. It's sort of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the camp or the humor.

"The Gates" refers to the gated community where the show is set. Everyone in The Gates has a secret and there are all sorts of supernatural beings. There are vampires, werewolves, something called a succubus, and a police officer with a secret we don't even know yet. The vampires walk about in broad daylight sometimes but also sometimes singe when sunlight hits them. The police chief knows enough about vampires that he knows one vampire suspect was trying to "turn" a victim but he doesn't know that pointing a gun at her is rather futile. He doesn't know about the succubus, the werewolves, or his junior police officer yet. He's in way over his head. So am I but I'm just marking time on Sundays until next month.

About Brett Favre: The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Jim Souhan has a point in his article but he didn't really have to take a cheap shot at Mississippi.

He's been in Hattiesburg since January, he'll be back by February, and if and when he does retire, he'll be there for the rest of his life, and there isn't much to do in central Mississippi, anyway, other than sweat and wish you lived someplace else.

I've been all over Mississippi. There is plenty to do in Central Mississippi.

38 days until football season ...

About today's QOTD: Swizz Beatz?

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. River Of Tears - Eric Clapton - Pilgrim
  2. A Song Simply Remixed - Elijah Bossenbroek - Carpe Lumen
  3. Cornucopia - Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (Remaster)
  4. Loves Me Like A Rock - Paul Simon - Negotiations And Love Songs 1971-1986
  5. The Lonely Shepherd - Gheorghe Zamfir - Kill Bill, Vol. 1
Quote of the Day
Alicia Keys has wed Swizz Beatz, her rep confirms to UsMagazine.com.
MSNBC.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This is the continuing story of the Succubi called Storm Clouds…"

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CrabAppleLane Sunday - The Last Waltz

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I started watching The Last Waltz last night. I've never been a great fan of The Band. I like some of their songs but that's about it. I have seen this film before and I didn't think much of it but I kinda got hooked on watching it again last night while waiting for something better to come on. Seeing it again after all these years and on a better TV with a better stereo has made a world of difference. Could be also that I'm a little older and more mature than I was the first time I saw it and it could also be the sound quality has been dramatically improved. The second part is certain. The film I'm watching now is fantastic in both sound and picture quality.

The film is not just about their music and that may have also contributed to why I didn't think much of it the first time. I didn't care about the interviews then. Just get on with the music. I appreciate what Martin Scorsese was doing now. The film is more about the guys being a band and being on tour for 16 years. I can't wait to finish watching it this afternoon. Just fantastic. Didn't even mind the 70s leisure suits. :) I still only like a handful of their songs but I have a new appreciation for The Band this morning and much greater appreciation for the film. Enjoy the little taste below and see The Last Waltz when you can, particularly if you have a good TV and stereo.


I usually don't care for tight-fitting clothes. Unfortunately, a lot of my clothes fit tightly these days (Be nice). Anyway, I do wear tight clothes while doing yardwork. Too many spinning objects and too many sharp blades can grab. After 2½ hours in the heat here, though, you pretty much have to cut them off of me. I offer a few today in the order I took them from around the CrabAppleLane backyard, where I spent 2½ hours ... yesterday and today.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 1, 2010
The garden is resting

CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 1, 2010
The fairway - Water trap on the left - Par 2

CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 1, 2010
The view

CrabAppleLane Backyard - August 1, 2010
The branch had turned and followed the sun until it was brushing against the bluebird house

CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - August 1, 2010
CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - August 1, 2010

Enough with the NFL training camp injuries already ... and stay the hell away from here. There are still ...

39 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. Already Gone - The Eagles - On The Border
  2. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down - The Better Life
  3. Madame Geneva's - Mark Knopfler - Kill To Get Crimson
  4. Mississippi Queen - Mountain - Hard N' Heavy: 70's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 1
  5. '39 - Queen - A Night At The Opera
Quote of the Day
In the winter of '65
We were hungry
Just barely alive
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell
It's a time I remember, oh so well
The Band, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "One of the reasons that I hadn't ever seen The Last Waltz, was because I wasn't a fan of The Band."

Just like me except with a better reason. They weren't before my time. -Rob

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Yep, very bad

Watched the free five-minute preview of New Moon yesterday because my nephew trashed the Twilight series of books and movies and I just had to see if it could be as bad as all that. Craig Ferguson trashes them relentlessly on his show but I thought he was just being funny. The only thing I can tell you, for sure, after five minutes is that I did not want to see five more. One user at IMDb said the acting was "so wooden I got splinters". That pretty much sums up what I saw, too. The rest of the film may be Citizen Kane but I'll never know because what I saw was MST3K bad. Read a few of what IMDb calls "Memorable Quotes".

52 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "M" :

  1. Madame Geneva's - Mark Knopfler - Kill To Get Crimson
  2. The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo) - Manfred Mann - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  3. Maybe Not - Cat Power - You Are Free
  4. Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
  5. Mr. Bojangles - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy
Quote of the Day
You can't really run with vampires. They're very fast.
Bella Swan, New Moon

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has officially hit the quarter billion dollar mark in domestic sales and it will soon be making half a billion dollars worldwide!"

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Inception

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Patsy had a gift coupon or certificate for two free movie passes and I talked her into Inception last night. I owe her the next 8 or 10 movies now. Inception was much more my type of movie than hers. Director Christopher Nolan also did Memento. The two films share two traits. The first one is that they are both utterly bewildering for the first half and Nolan never slows down. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) leads a team of dream invaders. They insert themselves into peoples' dreams to discover secrets or intentions and there are all sorts of rules and techniques that are explained throughout. Once the rules have been established for the audience, the team embarks on a mission of "inception", thought to be impossible and dangerous. They plan to plant an idea into someone's head without that person's knowledge or consent. Check your ethics at the door, please.

The rest of the film is about that mission. It is very well done and here is where I started to catch up but Nolan still has a few twists up his sleeve. The subject has built up defenses against people doing what Cobb and his team wants to do and Cobb has demons of his own that only Ariadne (Ellen Page), the newest member of the team, has discovered. The other trait Inception shares with Memento is that its worth your time. It's a whale of a ride. Loved the ending.

I offer the only relevant image from the CrabAppleLane Backyard, where the yardwork was canceled this week due to rain. The mirlitons are loving it, though.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - July 18, 2010
CrabAppleLane Backyard - July 18, 2010

Some other tidbits for a CrabAppleLane Sunday:

So far, the oil cap is still holding but no one is calling it a success yet. A delightful and heartbreaking series from the Times Picayune told from a Brown Pelican's point of view. I cannot look at any more real pictures or video of Brown Pelicans covered in oil. It kills me.

Joe Montana's son was arrested for underage drinking and, somehow, that passes for news. Nate Montana is 20. I'm shocked, shocked to learn that underage drinking occurs amongst college students. Come on. Besides the kid and his parents, who else should care about this?

The Saints finally signed a draft pick this past week. Training camp starts next week. What's the hurry?

53 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "L" :

  1. Long Distance Runaround - Yes - Fragile
  2. Love To Love - UFO - Essential UFO
  3. Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
  4. Love, Reign O'er Me - The Who - Quadrophenia [Disc 2]
  5. The Load-Out - Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
Quote of the Day
Long distance runaround
Long time waiting to feel the sound
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Yes, Long Distance Runaround

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' hits theaters today, and with glowing reviews it's poised to become this summer's intellectual blockbuster -- a mind-bending experience that will dazzle you as much as it will make you scratch your head. (In its review, Entertainment Weekly called the film "brainiacally engaging.")"

"Brainiacally engaging"? See, this is why I can't review movies professionally. I don't have the necessary vocabulary. -Rob

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Green Zone

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I watched Green Zone last night on DirecTV "On Demand" Pay-Per-View. "On Demand" is really cool. You click on it any time you want (No waiting for a scheduled time) and the movie starts. You get a five minute free preview before you decide whether you want to pay to see the rest. Unfortunately, I think it will change how movies are made. I think studios will pressure filmmakers to hook an audience in the first five minutes for its Pay-Per-View market. Anyway, Green Zone is a film about the various agendas on the ground in Iraq immediately after Saddam's government was toppled. If you focus on the politics, one way or the other, you'll be missing a great movie.

Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon): I thought we were all on the same side.
Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson): Don't be naive.

That exchange pretty much sums up the film's premise. I don't really know how accurate the depictions of the various agendas are and it's not important to me. This is a movie and, as such, it works ... big time. Green Zone is a first-rate thriller. There are two main factions at work throughout the film. One who wants to know the truth and the other who knows it. They are both racing to find the one person who can verify what one faction knows and the other suspects. One wants to talk to him and the other wants to silence him. There's a third main faction that appears toward the end and I will not spoil it. Green Zone doesn't have the same buzz about it as The Hurt Locker did last year and it surely doesn't have as cool a title but it's every bit as good a film. I loved it. Highly recommended.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist:

  1. The Weight - The Band - Music from Big Pink
  2. Black Betty - Ram Jam - Ram Jam
  3. Jane - Jefferson Starship - Freedom at Point Zero
  4. Fall Down - Toad the Wet Sprocket - Dulcinea
  5. Happy Home - Garbage - Bleed Like Me
Quote of the Day
Genetic engineers, move over: the latest scheme for creating children to a parent’s specifications requires no DNA tinkering, but merely giving mom a steroid while she’s pregnant, and presto—no chance that her daughters will be lesbians or (worse?) ‘uppity.’
Sharon Begley, Newsweek

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "So the Falcon Club endures the suspicions of Iraqi soldiers at Mosul’s innumerable checkpoints who have never heard of a paraglider, have never seen a hot air balloon outside of an American movie and who believe — reasonably — that Iraq is dangerous enough without courting death."

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When in Rome

When in Rome was the movie choice last night. We both liked the trailers we saw of this film when it came out but it didn't thrill us enough to pay theater prices. When in Rome is a romantic comedy that thrives almost exclusively on the strength and likability of the two leads, Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. They are both up to the task and I should say that's a bit unusual for me. Typically, it's the leads' best friends or siblings that makes these movies for me. Anjelica Huston and Danny DeVito are on hand to lend adult supervision, I suppose. I wonder how they were approached for this. They're both a bit overqualified for their roles. When in Rome has a lot of good moments and not too many syrupy ones. Worth your time.

Another draw for the US team in the World Cup? I can feel soccer's popularity soaring in the hearts and minds of all sport-loving Americans ... maybe 30-40-50 years from now.

5 song iTune shuffle from the CrabAppleLane Five Star playlist starting with "B":

  1. Blowin' Free - Wishbone Ash - Argus
  2. Burn - Deep Purple - Burn
  3. Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell - Ladies Of The Canyon (Remastered)
  4. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III
  5. Burnin' For You - Blue Oyster Cult - Fire of Unknown Origin
Quote of the Day
We knew going into the game that we would give ourselves a great chance to advance with a win. Our goal was to win; our mentality was to win. But it was still a situation where we couldn't lose, and … at the end of the day, the tie keeps us alive, and that's the most important thing.
Bob Bradley, US Team Manager

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "She appears in the café
like a Spanish exclamation mark
softened by a panama hat.
"

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Put me on board for having Commissioner Bud Selig overturn this horrible call. I'm not normally a fan of selective intervention but baseball did overturn the call against George Brett and the Royals in the pine tar game. Precedent is there. That decision changed a result, wasn't the end of the world, and didn't lead baseball down the slippery slope to whatever is at the bottom of that slippery slope. This one would only change a box score and would have zero impact on the standings or anything else except that which only matters to baseball's purists. Perfect games just don't come along all that often ... except for this year. Took over a hundred years to record the first 18. Took two months, actually just three weeks since the first one came on Mother's Day, to record the last 3 this season. This error is fixable. Give the perfect game to Armando Galarraga because he earned it and fix the scoring on the last two batters. It's really not as big a deal to do as you'll make it out to be so don't wait months or years to do it. Get it done before his next start.

I think maybe the Sex and the City franchise may have finally run its course. I never really got it but that's another story. Most of the reviews I've seen are like this one, only not as funny.

98 days until football season ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Make It Last - Montrose - Montrose
  2. Sorrow [Live] - Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound Of Thunder [Disc 1]
  3. Solid Rock - Dire Straits - Making Movies
  4. Never Forget - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  5. Heaven Is In Your Mind - Three Dog Night - Captured Live At The Forum
Quote of the Day
I just cost the kid a perfect game.
Jim Joyce, MLB Umpire

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This should be a proud moment for baseball."

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I've now seen two trailers for the movie, Killers. This is the latest one. It looks a little like a remake of True Lies with the innocent wife drawn into the unbeknown to her spy world of her husband. True Lies occupies a special place on my CME list. It is the first movie I ever watched in surround sound at home. I digress. My concern these days with ALL movies is that the trailer probably gives up every good moment in the film. Hope that's not the case here. I'm in need of a CME fix.

I ran across today's BOTD at Disarranging Mine. Awesome.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. A Song Simply Remixed - Elijah Bossenbroek - Carpe Lumen
  2. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
  3. Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band - Eat A Peach
  4. All The Roadrunning - Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning
  5. Terminal Frost - Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

About today's QOTD: With apologies to my Viking fan friends and relatives, I just couldn't resist that line from the "NFL Expert". I wouldn't have expressed that sentiment that way but I'm no expert.

Quote of the Day
You can find so much to like about the Vikings that you would be hard-pressed not to call Minnesota the prettiest girl in the NFC.
Dan Pompei, MSNBC NFL Expert

Blog of the day via Marie is here.

Quote from said blog: "And at breakfast this morning we discovered that they’re good friends with the family of one of my high school buddies!"

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I was sad to hear about Dennis Hopper yesterday. He had an enormous body of work. There is a little something there for everyone, I suppose. I liked him in most of the movies I saw that had him in it. Like a few other excellent actors, though, I just wish he had done more movies I cared to see. His signature film, Easy Rider, seemed a bit amateurish to me when I finally saw it and I thought one of his other famous movies, Blue Velvet, was awful. He was easily the best thing in both of them so there's that. He was fantastic in Waterworld, True Romance, and Speed ... all CME that I liked. Yes, I liked Waterworld. R.I.P., Dennis.

The LSU Tigers, who stumbled played their way into the SEC Tournament on the last weekend of the regular season, have turned in three excellent games and are playing for the SEC Championship today. Because they're playing in Alabama against Alabama and because both teams have great fans, there figures to be a very large crowd. GEAUX Tigers.

I offer a few from around the house on this hot and muggy CrabAppleLane Sunday and then we're off to a barbecue.

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010
CrabAppleLane - Sunday, May 30, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Hide In Your Shell - Supertramp - The Autobiography Of Supertramp
  2. 20th Century Boy - Placebo - Velvet Goldmine
  3. Gotta Get To Know You - Foghat - Foghat
  4. Heartbreaker [Live] - Grand Funk Railroad - Caught In The Act
  5. Never Before - Deep Purple - Machine Head (Roger Glover Remixes) [Disc 2]

About today's QOTD: Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

Quote of the Day
The first-round pick, Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson, got torched on the first route he defended Thursday
James Varney, The Times-Picayune

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Dennis Hopper, whose portrayals of drug-addled, often deranged misfits in the landmark films “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” drew on his early out-of-control experiences as part of a new generation of Hollywood rebel, died at his home in Venice, Calif., on Saturday. He was 74."

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Friday Flash Forward

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If you've been watching ABC's Flash Forward, you have to think either 1) they have the most elaborate story plan in television history or 2) they didn't think they were going to have to go beyond a few episodes. After looking back at what I thought of the first episode back in September, an element Lana mentioned and that I had forgotten about, the kangaroo(s), seems to have been abandoned but who knows if they might bring it back next year? Another element I hadn't seen in a while, the blue hand groups, made a reappearance in last night's episode. The show's first episode in March after a lengthy hiatus was entirely devoted to bringing their audience back up to speed with the story. That's typically done with a short segment at the beginning of each episode. I don't really mind that they're veering away from CME into headier territory but they'd better slow down a tad. I know I'm not the only fan who is swimming just a little.

In another development, someone left a spam comment here overnight using the following email address:

no-spam@gmail.com

Is that cool or what? A spammer who doesn't like spam?

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. The British Arrival - Randy Edelman - The Last Of The Mohicans
  2. One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band - Eat A Peach
  3. Stormbringer - Deep Purple - Stormbringer
  4. Robot Man - Scorpions - In Trance
  5. Delilah - The Cranberries - Bury The Hatchet
Quote of the Day
Look ... professionally, if the Bureau's violating someone's due process, that's uncool. But personally, if that woman has anything to do with the blackout, I really hope you're getting all Dick Cheney on her ass to find out what she knows.
Zoey, Flash Forward

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Demetri and Agent Banks (Alex Kingston) attempt to track down a killer as questions arise about the universe course-correcting itself, when people who thought they’d escaped their fates are found dead"

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Crash - 1996 & 2004

I've now seen two movies that have no relation to each other except their identical titles and that they are both excruciating to watch. The name of the film is Crash. The one I watched yesterday is the 2004 film. The title refers to the overriding theme that one of its characters states this way:

"In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."

I suppose that sums it up. People in the film are put into a lot of difficult situations and just about all of them have quite a bit of personal baggage. It has some light moments but it's not a light movie at all. Good film but kind of a downer. Not what I was looking for yesterday.

The other Crash I refer to is a 1996 film. Although I have this film on VHS, I haven't seen it since it came out. It's been in my dusty VHS collection collecting its share until the day I have to throw them all away because I won't have a VHS player any more. This one is about a group of people who are sexually aroused when they're involved in a car crash. There's also an element of the group that gets off on recreating famous car crashes like the ones that killed James Dean and Jayne Mansfield. This film is quite disturbing if it has any basis in fact and I would bet almost anything that it does. Not light fare at all. It's a good film, too, but seeing it once was enough.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. In The Gallery - Dire Straits - Dire Straits
  2. Rose In The Heather - Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  3. Bad Apples - Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
  4. Think About Me - Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
  5. The Cure - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy
Quote of the Day
What did God say? Go forth, my son, and leave big slobbery suction rings on every dashboard you find?
Anthony, Crash (2004)

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "That night before my show in San Francisco we brought our cameras to the bar and he taught me how to shoot a bit while hitting on women. Okay, while we both hit on women. After having said goodbye and walking our separate ways, I turned around and asked him to give me the “Johnny Cash” and he obliged."

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The Young Americans

The Young Americans looked like my kind of movie. It figured to be a gritty crime drama set in London's tough neighborhoods and I suppose it was. I recorded it off of the Independent Film Channel. I don't know if I was watching a bad print, if the darkness and soft focus were intentional, or if it was just a poor production. A lot of the films shown on that channel are artsy or low budget so I may be thinking too much. The film had enough problems without that, though. For instance, unless you consider Viggo Mortensen a "young American", there are no young Americans in this so I don't know what that's about. A bad guy comes to London and uses young, disaffected, directionless kids to do his bidding and the main law enforcement character, played by Harvey Keitel, uses a young, disaffected, directionless kid to do his bidding to catch the bad guy. I guess the film was trying to show that the good guys aren't much better than the bad guys but the movie was such a mess that I'm not sure. On the bright side, this film features a very young, almost unrecognizable Thandie Newton.

Day 3 of CrabAppleLane PC recovery ...

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Lightning Crashes - Throwing Copper - Live
  2. Drowned - Quadrophenia [Disc 2] - The Who
  3. Paranoid - Live Album - Grand Funk Railroad
  4. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) - The Wall [Disc 1] - Pink Floyd
  5. Fairytale of New York - If I Should Fall from Grace with God - The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl
Quote of the Day
If you don't eat yer meat
You can't have any pudding
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat
You ... Yes, you behind the bike sheds
Stand still laddy
Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Over the last three years, I have predicted that Medicare reform would pave the way for health care reform, and this bill makes that possible. Under the legislation, Congress will no longer be in a position to thwart Medicare’s efforts to rein in spending by eliminating waste. Not everyone is happy about this. Over at Politico.com former Republican Senator Bill Frist and former Democratic Senator John Breaux register their protest in a column titled "Keep Medicare in Congress' Hands.""

The Hurt Locker and CrabAppleLane Sunday

The Hurt Locker is pretty much everything I thought it would be. It's a glimpse into the everyday lives of soldiers doing their jobs in combat. The film follows a team whose job is disarming IEDs in Iraq. One guy disarms the bombs while the other two keep people away and watch for bad guys. Since this is urban warfare, the enemy, including the bomber, himself, could be anywhere ... watching from a window, an alley, or a rooftop. The opening scenes shows the audience what that's about. How those guys function day to day, both on the job and away from the job, when the job demands sharp focus that's fueled by danger, anxiety, fear, and adrenalin, is what this film is about. I don't know how accurate the portrayal is because I can't know. The film, itself, is flawless. Kathryn Bigelow's Academy Awards are well-deserved. This is a great film.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane Backyard this gorgeous almost spring Sunday. The Bradford Pear trees are in full bloom and are covered with honeybees. Everyone has watched a honeybee go about her business from flower to flower. Ever wonder who is going to harvest the honey she's working on? I wondered that this morning. Not sure why. I must get out in that sunshine and mild temps this afternoon. Enjoy.

CrabAppleLane Bradford Pear and blue sky - March 14, 2010
CrabAppleLane Bradford Pear and blue sky - March 14, 2010

CrabAppleLane is trying Twitter again but it is already frustrating me.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Hoedown - Béla Fleck & The Flecktones - Live At The Quick
  2. I Wanna Go To The Sun - Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive! [Disc 1]
  3. Somebody To Roll (Edit) - Nazareth - Play 'N' The Game
  4. White Lightning & Wine - Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  5. Lady Double Dealer - Deep Purple - Stormbringer
Quote of the Day
Well, the uh, guy over there with the red thing on his head, he threw it at someone.
Contractor Team Leader, The Hurt Locker

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I figure they did that to please the masses, whatever the reason I feel it was a huge mistake."

CrabAppleLane Sunday - March 7, 2010

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Says here that Avatar will win more awards than it should. It will win because of its box office more than its worthiness. Up In The Air is getting lost in all of the hoopla. Patsy and I both thought this was the best movie we saw last year. George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick were all fantastic. On another Oscar-related note, I am dying to see The Hurt Locker.

Pissing matches between networks and cable/satellite carriers are becoming a little too common. Yet another one. I'll bet there is a resolution of sorts before the broadcast.

The Saints lost linebacker Scott Fujita to the Cleveland Browns today. Scott is a good guy who has strong ties in the New Orleans community and was a great ambassador for the city and the team. He was an unrestricted free agent. I'm not surprised that it happened so much but I am surprised that it happened so quickly. He scheduled his visit for today and signed today. Terms haven't been released yet but I'm guessing the Browns threw a lot of money at him. This makes next years Saints-Browns game in the SuperDome a little more interesting. Good Luck, Scott.

I doubt I'll upgrade to Movable Type 5.0+ any time soon or ever. It looks like a major pain. I'm coming up on the 7th anniversary of the CrabAppleLane Blog in a about 3½ weeks and my activities haven't changed much over the years. Growth is not important to me. What I'm using now is fine and will probably serve me until I decide to move on to something else ... hopefully, more productive.

I offer one from the backyard. Spring is almost here.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - March 7, 2010
CrabAppleLane Backyard - March 7, 2010

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Homeward Bound [Live] - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
  2. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Joe White - Unknown Album (5/7/2005 4:20:15 PM)
  3. Heavy Fuel - Dire Straits - On The Night (LIVE)
  4. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension - AM Gold: The '60s Generation
  5. Rudiger - Mark Knopfler - Live From The Ryman
Quote of the Day
When the moon
Is in the 7th house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then Peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of The Age of Aquarius
The Fifth Dimension, Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Or maybe it's because of the one I saw the other day wearing a men's suit two sizes too big for her and bad flat hair that made her look like she was trying to look like a man. Or maybe it's the opposite, the ones who look all sexy and pretty and I gotta wonder if men watching and listening to them are watching or listening to them. I don't know, I just have disharmony with the whole women sportscaster thing and then I have shame and disharmony for feeling that way."

CrabAppleLane Sunday - February 28, 2010

We started Irma LaDouce yesterday. I have never seen it but I have known about it forever. We're about halfway through this 2 hour 37 minute film and I don't know if I want to plow through to the end or cut my losses and delete it. I'm sure I have some profound defect when it comes to movies because I have never been a fan of Billy Wilder or Jack Lemmon. They've done a few together but they just don't do much for me. I'm about 100 minutes into Irma and it had better get better soon.. There has been about 15 minutes worth of interesting or funny stuff and the rest has been repetitious filler. Disappointing.

Off to watch some hockey now.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. 30 Days In The Hole - Humble Pie - A&M Records Classics Vol. 14
  2. Hannah - Robin Trower - Essential
  3. The Show Must Go On - Queen - Classic Queen
  4. Cajun Song - Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience
  5. Word On A Wing - David Bowie - Station To Station [Bonus Tracks]

I offer a few on this lovely CrabAppleLane Sunday. Not wild about still needing heat here on the last day of February but our cats don't seem to mind.

Priscilla enjoying the stove - February 28, 2010
Priscilla enjoying the stove - February 28, 2010

CrabAppleLane End of Winter Textures - February 28, 2010
CrabAppleLane End of Winter Textures - February 28, 2010

The Clearing Project - February 28, 2010
The Clearing Project - February 28, 2010

The Clearing Project - February 28, 2010
The Clearing Project - February 28, 2010

Quote of the Day
If you live on the road
Well there's a new highway code
You take the urban noise with some Durban Poison
It's gonna lessen your load
30 days in the hole
That's what they give you now
30 days in the hole
Oh, yeah
Humble Pie, 30 Days In The Hole

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "When the debate about great leaders in sports comes about, Mark Messier's name is almost always given. His glare, as seen on the cover to the left, is legendary, and the stories of his leadership make him sound more like a Greek god than a mortal hockey player."

The Final Cut (2004)

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No, not the dreadful last Roger Waters Pink Floyd effort. This is 2004's The Final Cut with Robin Williams. I had recorded it a few weeks ago off of the Independent Film Channel. This is a surprisingly intriguing film. Imagine being implanted with a device that will record everything you see and hear for your entire life. Your parents do this if they can afford it and then they tell you about it at some point in your life when they think you can handle it. When you die, a person called a "cutter" removes the implant and reduces the footage to a few select good memories that your loved ones want to see and they present them in a "rememory" ceremony, which is basically a movie of your life with all of the bad stuff edited out. Robin Williams plays a cutter. The film briefly explores some of the moral and ethical dilemmas of that technology (See QOTD) while also telling his story, which includes a very dark episode in his past. This isn't normally my kind of film and the "science fiction" description in its listing almost kept me away from it but I'm glad it didn't. I liked it a lot.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Walking Towards Paradise - Robert Plant - Now And Zen
  2. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam - Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  3. Massacre/Canoes - Trevor Jones - The Last Of The Mohicans Soundtrack
  4. Stormtroopin' - Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent
  5. Hymn 43 - Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Quote of the Day
This girl was a complete wreck - drinking, drugs, in and out of schools. Then she turns 21... and she finds out about her Zoe implant. Complete 180. She's born again. Her knowing that someone would one day watch... transforms her into this kind, gentle, loving person.
Hasan, The Final Cut

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "It was about 2-3 minutes into this film, that I realized that I am not the target audience for this film."

I know that experience well. -Rob

Conclusion Confusion - Dollhouse

I know I'm not the only person who thought Dollhouse descended into confusing weirdness. It could be that some, like me, just don't have the required background to enjoy it. My initial thoughts on Dollhouse were that it was confusing but showed promise. I'm not a big fan of sci-fi or pondering "alternate realities" so I'm not sure I had much chance here. I'm also not sure whose decision it was to wrap the series up after two seasons but that could have contributed to the less-than-satisfactory, to me, direction it took. I think it needed more time to develop and reach its conclusion. Another review has a totally different take than mine. I liked the first season better than the second. In the first season, it looked like the show was going to develop characters and a storyline for a 4 or 5 year run. I think the second season was rushed to cram a lot of information into its final few episodes and that just added to the confusion. I'm a fan of Joss Whedon but I don't think Dollhouse was a great effort.

A thought about something else: I don't think anyone was particularly worried that Peyton Manning was going to get a pretty good deal with his next contract. He looks like he's got 4 or 5 great years left and maybe more. If he were to hit the free agent market, 28 teams would have representatives camping out on his lawn. Good for him. He's earned it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Paranoid 2:53 Black Sabbath Paranoid
  2. Cabaret (Single Version) 2:48 Louis Armstrong & All His Stars Sings - Back Through The Years/A Centennial Celebration (Disc 1)
  3. Without You 4:41 Badfinger The Very Best Of Badfinger
  4. Where Have You Been All My Life 4:04 Ted Nugent Ted Nugent
  5. Bright As Yellow 3:34 The Innocence Mission Empire Records Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
I peek outside the curtains toward the intracoastal waterway. There is a curious yellow orb in the sky. After a few months of Indiana winter, I'm not quite sure what it is, but it looks inviting.
Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "This past weekend I was at a grocery store and they had Saints and Colts logos plastered all over the checkout lanes. Keep in mind that I live in Pennsylvania. It was almost surreal."

Avatar 3D and a Monday Morning Quarterback

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We went to see Avatar 3D yesterday. Patsy didn't want to see it at first. She finally relented probably only because I said I wanted to see it so many times. The 3D part is pretty cool and 3D glasses have come a long way since those cheesy cardboard versions of the 50s and 60s. Avatar 3D is glorious CME. It is a special effects extravaganza and all James Cameron fans will recognize the Aliens influence. There's a standard Cameron didn't follow, though. In films that have heroes and villains, the quality of the film is always directly proportionate to the quality of the villain. There was no villain here that compared to the creatures in Aliens. That's its only shortcoming. See it on the big screen or in IMAX, if you can.

The only thing any football fan can say about the Cardinals-Packers playoff game yesterday is WOW. Those two teams put on a great show. Looking forward to a great game this Saturday in the SuperDome, too. The Cards are a tough opponent for the Saints. Both defenses will be tested. If either team can play any, that will be the difference.

GEAUX Saints

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me (1983 Satchmo Version) 3:31 Louis Armstrong Sings - Back Through The Years/A Centennial Celebration (Disc 1)
  2. You Know Who You Are 4:50 Survivor Greatest Hits
  3. Oh Well 9:02 Fleetwood Mac Then Play On
  4. Bomb 3:23 Bush Sixteen Stone
  5. My Sharona 4:03 The Knack Rock Of The 70's

I don't agree with today's QOTD. The Packers have a terrific offense with Aaron Rodgers.

Quote of the Day
Now, the saint of Arizona football must face a team of Saints. The New Orleans offense makes the Packers look dull. Buckle up, folks. The fun has just begun.
Dan Bickley, The Arizona Republic

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "One of the most exciting games in recent memory ended amid controversy Sunday evening. Karlos Dansby's fumble return for a touchdown gave the Cardinals a 51-45 victory over the Packers, but Packer Nation is up in arms with two specific no-calls."

I'm usually a fan of letting the players play but I think there were way too many non-calls in that game. Larry Fitzgerald should have been called for offensive pass interference on both of his touchdowns. he knocked his defenders down to the ground. -Rob

So we saw Sherlock Holmes yesterday. My hope is this film is merely the setup for the next one because that's pretty much all it seemed to be. Director Guy Ritchie was introducing us to Sherlock Holmes and his world as Guy Ritchie sees it or wants it to be. There were two stories running throughout ... one for this movie, one for the next. The one for this film was only barely discernible amongst the stuff being thrown at us. The one for the next film was tantalizing and mysterious. Robert Downey Jr's Holmes is as physical as he is cerebral but we knew that from the trailer and Ritchie's turn-of-the-century London is industrious, gritty, and very dusty. This movie was only OK, a little too frenetic to suit me at times, but introductions are now out of the way and the next installment, assuming there will be one, will determine if Sherlock Holmes is the blockbuster franchise it should be.

Pictured below is an album cover that contains a bootleg album I spent about $5.99 on in 1975 or 1976. That was about $1 more than the record store charged for their regular albums. I blogged about this album a few months ago. I just finally got my USB turntable hooked up where it's usable. More on that another day. Hearing the jabber on this album now some 30+ years later is the only thing I like about it. Click on it to hear it. Bootlegs were ripoffs even in 1976 but more for the consumer than the artist. There's about 30 seconds of music in this clip. The recording quality is not very good. It was probably done by someone who sneaked in an old time cassette recorder. Added to that quality issue is the normal quality issue of a 30+ year old album that's been moved around more than a few times. If you don't recognize the hissing and popping of a vinyl album that's been mostly sitting around, then you're just too young and I envy you a little. :)



The Saints are playing for the top seed in the NFC playoffs today. They're at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and are 15pt favorites. I'd like to see them win the game this afternoon like they're 15pt favorites. It would give them a chance to start gearing up for the playoffs in three weeks. They'll be able to rest people who need rest, work people who need work, and give some of their banged-up starters a chance to heal.

GEAUX Saints

I offer one today from the CrabAppleLane backyard. We're gritty and dusty here today, too, and the birds are industrious.

CrabAppleLane Chipping Sparrows - December 27, 2009
CrabAppleLane Chipping Sparrows - December 27, 2009

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Whole Lotta Love 5:34 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
  2. Scotch & Chocolate 3:08 Nickel Creek Why Should The Fire Die?
  3. Under The Boardwalk 4:18 Bette Midler Beaches
  4. Sunny Cellophane Skies 2:43 Status Quo STATUS QUO The Collection
  5. At The Dance 3:33 Various Artists Closer You Get, The - Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
You've been learnin'
Baby, I been learnin'
All them good times, baby, baby
I've been yearn, yearnin'
Way, way down inside
Honey, you need I
I'm gonna give you my love
I'm gonna give you my love
Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "So, I found out yesterday afternoon that a whole bunch of new people are discovering this site on a regular basis. Understand when I tell you that there was an annoying amount of "Whoop Whooping" when I heard. Sometimes it can feel like one is simply pressing the publish button and sending stuff out into the ether and in actual fact NOBODY knows it's out there and NO ONE is reading."

I know that feeling very well. -Rob

Up In The Air

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The plan was to see Sherlock Holmes on opening day. We got to the ticket window only to find the showing we wanted to see was sold out as was the next one. We were there. What to do? We decided to go see Up In The Air instead.

The three main characters in Up In The Air are played by George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick. Clooney and Kendrick are in a tough business. Firms hire them to lay their workers off and they're shown telling the workers some of the most ridiculous things like "Don't take it personal" and there's another one I won't quote that is even more ridiculous. Business is bad for everyone else so business is good for Clooney and his young associate. They spend most of their time flying from one job to the next. Farmiga plays a love interest of sorts for Clooney. He meets her in a hotel bar and they swap travel anecdotes. They hook up on the road as their paths cross. They're always on the go but you think one or both of them may want something more. Clooney turns in his usual excellent performance. He's money in the bank for most film goers these days. If he's in it, it's bound to be good. What surprised me was how well the two women were able to keep up. The three of them should all get academy awards if you ask me. There's more to this fantastic, smart film for adults than those three delicious performances but I don't want to spoil it for you. See it when you can. We'll see Sherlock Holmes tomorrow but it's got a very tough act to follow.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. We Can Get Wild 4:19 Mark Knopfler Kill To Get Crimson
  2. Telegraph Road 14:19 Dire Straits Love Over Gold
  3. The Closer You Get 3:28 Rachel Portman Closer You Get, The - Soundtrack
  4. Like To Get To Know You 3:20 Spanky & Our Gang Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  5. Gemini Dream 4:09 The Moody Blues Moody Blues Greatest Hits
Quote of the Day
When Father Tim Jones advised his poorest parishioners in York that they should shoplift in supermarkets for things they need this Christmas, because that was better than mugging or burglary to pay for them, he introduced a fascinating new relativism into the Ten Commandments.
Giles Coren, London Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Aside from best film (drama), "Up in the Air" also earned a nomination for Clooney as best actor (drama) and nominations for best supporting actress for Vera Farmiga (who plays Clooney's mirror-image romantic interest) and Anna Kendrick (who plays Clooney's colleague)."

CrabAppleLane Sunday - December 20, 2009 Issue

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Tip of the cap to the Cowboys on a great game last night. They put together an excellent game plan and executed it. It was an inspired effort on their part and their quarterback, Tony Romo, played a great, mistake-free game. Disappointed here in the loss but it's just one and I know the Saints can play better than they did last night. Back to work for our guys. It's a tough loss but I expect them to put this one behind them and move on to the next one. No time to wallow in sorrow.

After the Saints game last night, I was only up for some CME. The new Star Trek fit that bill nicely. For what it's worth, I was done with the whole Star Trek franchise after the last New Generation film (The one where Commander Data died). I thought they had nothing new to offer until I saw the trailer for this one, which looked like a special effects extravaganza, except for the costumes. Nothing like super advanced civilizations that still dress like cave people.

Chris Pine did a pretty nice job with his James T Kirk in a mostly thankless role. William Shatner is so intertwined with that character that anyone else playing him will almost necessarily have to border on parody. Pine walked to that line without going over it and I give him lots of credit for that. There are holes in the story so big you could drive a starship through but I don't think anyone watches a Star Trek movie for the story any more. I surely don't. See Roger Ebert's QOTD for a description befitting the film. Ebert is both a fan and practitioner of CME. I watched it for the action and the special effects. It delivers on that score. Get yourself a big bowl of popcorn and surrender yourself to its absurdity ... and sign up for the next one.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. People Got To Be Free 3:01 The Rascals Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
  2. Snowblind 5:31 Black Sabbath We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'N' Roll
  3. Joy/Angels We Have Heard on High 4:19 Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Christmas Attic
  4. Everybody Wants To Rule The World 4:11 Tears For Fears Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92)
  5. Something Wicked This Way Comes [Clean] 2:55 Barry Adamson Lost Highway Soundtrack

I offer one from the backyard today. It features a chipping sparrow pondering the universe at his/her favorite watering hole and some much-needed sunshine.

CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 20, 2009
CrabAppleLane Backyard - December 20, 2009

Quote of the Day
But the franchise has become much of a muchness.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "The following movie trailer advertises yet another inspirational dance flick, right? No, no, wait. It actually advertises an emotional disease-of-the-week movie, right? No, no, wait. What the hell is this? And why is Satan in this movie?"

Bizarre movie trailer. -Rob

Ladykillers

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Ladykillers is a Coen Brothers movie that I have been avoiding for a while now. Since Fargo, which I liked a lot, I've found that I love some of the references, some of the scenes, some of the plot devices in their movies but I hardly ever leave one of them satisfied. Ladykillers is one of those. It's a caper film base on a previous film of the same name that starred Alec Guinness. I saw that one, too. It wasn't any better. Tom Hanks leads a band of silly criminals. Their plan is to tunnel into a bank from the basement of a house where Hanks has rented a room. The owner of the house is a little gullible and thinks the criminals are playing music in her basement. The Coens spend the first two thirds of the movie setting up the final events and I was interested in how it will turn out until the first event happened. After that, the rest are too predictable and take way too long. Despite a stellar cast and some funny moments, Ladykillers is a waste of time.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. One Thing On My Mind 3:41 Montrose Montrose
  2. I Count The Tears 2:14 The Drifters 16 Greatest Hits
  3. Holy Man 4:30 Deep Purple Stormbringer
  4. Flashbacks 1:10 Danny Elfman The Frighteners Soundtrack
  5. Boomtown [Variation Louis' Favourite] 4:12 Mark Knopfler Local Hero Soundtrack
Quote of the Day
I don't want my NFL owner to give injury updates. I don't want him on the sidelines or in the locker room. I want him up in his box, and I want him to stay there. I want him to hire a strong personality with expertise and fire, and preferably lots of experience. Then I want the owner to get out of the way, period.
Michael Ventre, MSNBC.com

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "Since his poor outing in Week 2 against the Giants, Romo has thrown 18 touchdowns and just four interceptions while averaging close to 280 passing yards per contest. Friends, that is flat-out elite quarterbacking."

Reminded of something

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Something came up today and I was instantly reminded of a scene from Northern Exposure. Through the glory of YouTube, here it is:

What a great show that was.

Monk - 2002-2009

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A few years ago, we caught a bit of Monk while channel surfing. The episode was well underway and it was kinda cute but we didn't watch it all. Our gnat attention spans went on to other things and that was that. TV networks like to give you a sample preview on what's coming next so you will stay tuned. One of those convinced us to stay tuned one time and that's how we caught our first whole episode of Monk. If you're not familiar with the Monk character, the IMDb has a decent summary. He is a thoroughly original creation. We enjoyed that first episode so much that we programmed our DVR to record the series. The USA Network puts on "marathons", where they will run episode after episode of a program for 24 hours straight. The DVR recorded several of those and we caught up with 5-6 years of that program in a few months and we've kept up ever since. We think we've seen them all.

Last night's episode was the series finale. It was a fitting end but I agree with the syndication experts when they say that conclusively wrapping up a series like that kinda spoils its syndication value. I have no desire to ever watch another episode of Monk, Six Feet Under, or The Sopranos (And their finale sucked).

CrabAppleLane had snow last night. It is totally gone this morning but I thought I'd share a couple of the not-so-great photos I took of it. It lasted for about an hour, I'd say.

CrabAppleLane Front Yard - December 4, 2009 10:15PM
CrabAppleLane Front Yard - December 4, 2009 10:15PM

CrabAppleLane Back Deck - December 4, 2009 10:20PM
CrabAppleLane Back Deck - December 4, 2009 10:20PM

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Little Jeannie 5:05 Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002 [Disc 2]
  2. Stranglehold 8:24 Ted Nugent Ted Nugent
  3. The Voice 5:17 The Moody Blues Moody Blues Greatest Hits
  4. Ships 4:38 Red Rider As Far As Siam
  5. Come On Say It 3:33 Henry Gross One More Tomorrow The Best Of Henry Gross
Quote of the Day
It's a gift... and a curse.
Adrian Monk

Blog of the day is here.

Quote from said blog: "I also stated that I'm proud of how our head coach has handled the situation and prepared the team to play hard every week. It's not an easy task for any coach and I feel like we have played hard and been in every game - even with the plethora of injuries."

The Illusionist

After the Saints game yesterday, I sat down and watched The Illusionist, hoping for CME. It's a film I recorded some days ago on the strength of its' cast and the Mystery/Crime description DirecTV's guide gave it. I had never heard of this movie and, for that, I am very thankful. Zero expectations is always best. Mystery/Crime is fitting but I really think it's more of a love story between childhood soul mates separated by their respective family's stations. She's destined for aristocracy. He isn't. After they're separated, he travels the world and becomes "Eisenheim The Illusionist". She assumes her aristocratic role. When they meet again, she is with a power-hungry, abusive prince. I won't say what happens from there. I love magic. I don't understand it so I can't say, for sure, if the illusions performed are even possible without the magic of modern film's special effects. They are that spectacular. This is a very good film. It's set in pre-WWI Austria/Hungary and I think that adds to its' delightful and dark flavor. Give it a try. It's not CME.

Having seen the three main rookie QBs in the NFL (Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman) play against the Saints this season, I will say unequivocally that Stafford is the best of that group. Easily. What a gutsy performance yesterday.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You 3:07 Louis Armstrong Back Through The Years (Disc 2)
  2. Helena 4:46 Nickel Creek Why Should The Fire Die?
  3. I'm Going Slightly Mad 4:23 Queen Classic Queen
  4. 29 4:20 Gin Blossoms New Miserable Experience
  5. Crimson And Clover 3:27 Tommy James & The Shondells Rock 'n Roll Relix 1968-1969
Quote of the Day
As a boy, I'm told, he had a chance encounter with a traveling magician.
Chief Inspector Uhl, The Illusionist

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Lots to still work on before we hit New Orleans next week, but let's enjoy this one for now."

A tip of the cap to the St Louis Rams for a terrific effort yesterday. My hope yesterday was to just get out of St Louis with a win and no injuries. Well, they got the win but I think they're going to lose starting cornerback, Tracy Porter, for the season. He was carted off of the field with a knee injury. Hope it's just sprained but I'm thinking it's more serious than that.

From the Boston Globe on last night's over-hyped-but-lived-up-to Pats-Colts game:

Here's the situation: With the Patriots leading, 34-28, and 2:08 remaining, Coach Hoodie elected to go for a first down rather than punt when he faced fourth and 2 from his 28-yard line. Guess he was afraid of what Peyton Manning might do.

It didn't work but I don't think it was the worst decision ever. Punting wasn't a great option, either. With that much time left, I don't think it mattered much where Peyton Manning and the Colts got the ball. It did show a terrible lack of trust in his defense, though.

Both of my fantasy teams pulled out come-from-behind wins and got off of the losing streak. Need them to start a new win streak. A bye for both teams is the goal.

If you liked Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, you will like his RocknRolla. It has a lot of the same kind of situational elements. Lots of different groups and agendas all intertwined but nothing going right for any of them. There are lots of laughs along the way. I won't spoil my favorite scene but it involved what happened to two guys showing each other their occupational hazard injuries. Anyway, this is a fun film. Not quite Lock, Stock but almost. Great soundtrack, too. I loved it.

5 song iTune shuffle:

  1. Slow Ride (Live Version) 8:21 Foghat Live
  2. Jump Start 4:53 Jethro Tull The Best Of Jethro Tull [Disc 2]
  3. Country Road 3:23 James Taylor Sweet Baby James
  4. Crazy Eyes 4:18 Old Crow Medicine Show Tennessee Pusher
  5. Dreams We Conceive 5:10 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Night Castle (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version)
Quote of the Day
People ask the question... what's a RocknRolla? And I tell 'em - it's not about drums, drugs, and hospital drips, oh no. There's more there than that, my friend. We all like a bit of the good life - some the money, some the drugs, other the sex game, the glamour, or the fame. But a RocknRolla, oh, he's different. Why? Because a real RocknRolla wants the fucking lot.
Archy, RocknRolla

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Every movie that Jason Stratham is in is the same (you could say the same for every Guy Ritchie movie, too). That said, this one had a more far fetched and interesting premise and I wasn't disappointed. Give it a shot."

I think I agree with that but I tend to like Stratham's and Ritchie's films. -Rob

The QOTD is attributed to Guy Ritchie in an article by Myrddin Gwynedd. Cool name. I think I object to his reference to Ritchie, 41, as a "gruff cockney geezer" unless "geezer" means something else in New Zealand. Speaking of Ritchie, have you seen the trailer for his film, Sherlock Holmes, opening on Christmas Day? I'm sure Kem won't approve. The trailer depiction depicts Ritchie's Holmes to be quite a bit more physical than cerebral. I'm not that much of a purist about Holmes although I think a good, modern movie in the Sherlock Holmes character, maybe with Kenneth Branagh and Geoffrey Rush as Holmes and Watson, would also do well. Ritchie's film looks like good, fun CME to me.

About Michael Crabtree and his negotiations with the 49ers: No other way to spin it. He won. Not only did he get a deal that was more to his liking, he lowered expectations on himself for this year and got to skip a grueling training camp. Essentially, he gets a relatively work-free season at a pretty healthy salary. As one of my old work colleagues used to say, "The only thing wrong with that is it's him and not me." or as the old song goes, "Nice work if you can get it".

Fairly dull day in the MLB playoffs yesterday. All of the home teams won. No late game heroics. Maybe they're saving the good stuff for the weekend. Hope so.

Quote of the Day
And, of course, here you go: I still love her ... but she's retarded, too
Guy Ritchie, Director and Madonna's ex-husband

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Two awesome directors are due to release movies this year."

Last of September 2009

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From USA Today about Toyota's gas pedal and safety problems:

The button must be depressed at least three seconds for the engine to shut off, an eternity if your car is barreling down the highway with the gas pedal jammed wide open.

I think Toyota is getting a pass here from the media and consumers that American car manufacturers don't get.

I think it's interesting that American newspaper websites have a section called "Sports" while overseas newspaper websites have a section called "Sport". I have numerous American newspaper websites bookmarked but I also read The London Times, The Guardian, and The New Zealand Herald. The latter three have a Sport section.

We like NCIS here at CrabAppleLane because of the superb ensemble cast. Not big fans of NCIS: Los Angeles. After two episodes, it seems to me that LL Cool J gets two lines per week. One of them is some variation of "I was a SEAL" that he gets to say 4-5 times.

Quote of the Day
Bill Safire was anything but a nattering nabob of negativity. He had none of the vile and vitriol of today's howling pack of conservative pundits: Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter and Malkin.
Maureen Dowd, New York Times

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "6 -- JETS (3-0) -- They continue to chat away, especially former Ravens LB Bart Scott, but that's acceptable as long as they keep backing it up. But don't think for a second many folks around the league will mind much if Brees and Co. serve up a helping of blackened Jets Sunday."

Sunshine Cleaning - CrabAppleLane Sunday

We'd been wanting to see Sunshine Cleaning since we saw the trailer on HDNet's Nothing But Trailers. The scene depicted in the image is hysterical. Amy Adams (35) doesn't look old enough, to me, to be Emily Blunt's (26) older sister and she certainly doesn't look old enough to be Steve Zahn's (41) high school sweetheart. She pulls it off by being more grown up around her sister and more vulnerable around her lover. Amy Adams has "superstar" written all over her. I've seen her in 4 or 5 things now and she is excellent in all of them. Emily Blunt is also a star in the making. The movie meanders a bit too much for my tastes but I just loved those two sister characters. Those two women made the film worth watching.

Starting today, the Saints take on the State of New York's football teams. They're in Buffalo to take on the Bills today, have the Jets in the SuperDome next week, and then the Giants in the SuperDome after their Week 5 bye. The Jets and Giants both play in New Jersey and the Bills want to play in Toronto but that's a story for another day. Not sure why the NFL decided to play this game at 3PM local time instead of the usual noon kickoff. I prefer noon. The formula is so basic that it's boring. It is this:

Saints take care of the ball, they take care of the Bills.

I offer a few from the CrabAppleLane garden. In the second image, you can see my little friend to the lower right. They smear the windows at night with their little fat suction cup bellies but the trade-off is worth it. Looks like he's bagged his share of mosquitoes.

CrabAppleLane Shampoo Ginger - September 27, 2009
CrabAppleLane Shampoo Ginger - September 27, 2009

CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - September 27, 2009
CrabAppleLane Blue Ginger - September 27, 2009

CrabAppleLane Frog - September 27, 2009
CrabAppleLane Frog - September 27, 2009

Quote of the Day
Now I'm rambling through this meadow
Happy as a man can be
Think I'll just lay me down
Under this old tree
On and on we go
Through this old world of shuffling
If you've got a truffle dog
You can go truffling
But you might get lucky now and then
Mark Knopfler, Get Lucky

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "New Orleans called former Missouri standout QB Chase Daniel up from the practice squad."

News to me. Didn't know there was a 3rd QB anywhere on the rosters. -Rob

FlashForward

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Did anyone else watch the premier of FlashForward last night? I think they call this kind of show "scripted television" now. The premise is pretty cool bordering on CME. Everyone on Earth passes out, has dreams or visions of a time 6 months in the future, and then wakes up unless, of course, they were in a moving car, a flying airplane, or an operating table when everyone passed out. The story moves along, every character tells their vision to someone, tells what they think it means or whether they want it to come true, and I'm starting to look at the clock. If this is it, I'm kinda bored already. Five minutes from the end, they show the hook. Not bad. Bought them another week. Note: Some are comparing it to Lost, which I've never seen. Don't know if that bodes well or not.

Quote of the Day
The duo wakes up in the middle of the city street, which resembles nothing short of a war zone. Chaos rules. Buildings are on fire, cars overturned, and planes have crashed.
Nix on FlashForward

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "What would you do if you were given a glimpse of the future? Would you accept what you saw and live life to its fullest, or would you do everything in your power to change your destiny?"

Charlie Wilson's War

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I recorded Charlie Wilson's War a few weeks ago. Just finally sat down and watched it on Labor Day. It's got the dreaded "Based on a true story" declaration in the opening credits. I suppose the purpose of that declaration is to make the story more compelling than it otherwise would be. I think it's unnecessary. The film is a lot of fun but has some serious overtones and a message, too. Written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing), the dialogue delivers. The fun is mostly between Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The two of them are fabulous and their performances, alone, are worth your time.

1 day until football season ...

Quote of the Day
You know you've reached rock bottom when you're told you have character flaws by a man who hanged his predecessor in a military coup.
Charlie Wilson, Charlie Wilson's War

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I would urge you to see the movie; it is done well and is entertaining. Tom Hanks plays Congressman Wilson, and Julia Roberts is the socialite Joanne Herring. The story itself is based on a true story, and since Wilson, Herring, and Avrakotos all cooperated with the filmmakers, I assume that it is a pretty good representation of how they saw themselves, warts and all."

Just Cause, Football, etc

Just Cause happens to be on one of the movie channels right now. I wanted to see it because of one of the comments Marie made about it recently. It features a star-studded cast, including a very young Scarlett Johansson. The movie is set in modern times but no one seems to use their air conditioning in the Florida summer heat. I suppose fans tell a better story or convey a mood the director wanted. Film makers do that with movies set in Louisiana, too. Aside from that bit of silliness, I liked it OK while I was watching it. It doesn't hold up well to reflection, though. I know Hollywood can't make a big budget movie that doesn't have a happy ending but this one shouldn't have. Spoiler below the jump. The film was OK but it could have been a lot better with that fantastic cast. It wasn't their fault. They did the best they could. Ed Harris, Laurence Fishburne, and Blair Underwood did good turns. Ruby Dee was overpowering in her few scenes as the devoted, dignified grandmother.

The Saints take on the Cincinnati Bengals tonight in their preseason opener. I'll watch a little bit of it but I won't be as attentive as I would for a regular season game. I'm in preseason mode, too. Caught the tail end of the Steelers-Cardinals game last night. Tyler Palko, who did a stint with the Saints, was in for the Cards in late mop up duty. He's a run first, throw second, left-hander that will probably not make it in the NFL. Fun to watch, though.

27 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I tried telling 'em there ain't no formula for people like me. What we are dealing with here is just predisposition for an appetite. Good parents, bad parents. No cause and effect. It's just appetite.
Blair Sullivan, Just Cause

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Roy Williams signed a $750,000 contract for one season. Paying $266 for a 42 inch screen television is a big deal?"

Appaloosa is another gritty western that seems to be coming out every few years. Ed Harris wrote, directed, produced, and starred in Appaloosa, based on a Robert B Parker novel that I haven't read. Harris has come a long way since I first saw him as John Glenn in The Right Stuff. He's one of the best actors in film today. He's excellent as the somewhat-less-than-benevolent city marshal and he assembled a mostly-terrific cast. Viggo Mortensen is fantastic as the always loyal deputy and sometime narrator of the story. Jeremy Irons is an always reliable bad guy and Bob Harris, Ed's father, does a terrific job in a relatively small role as a judge. Renée Zellweger didn't belong, though. She almost always bothers me and is not, in my opinion, the same caliber of actor as Harris, Mortensen, or Irons. Just about any one of the girls that appeared in Deadwood would have been better-suited to this film. As a fan of westerns, I enjoyed Appaloosa a lot despite that one casting quibble. It gave us fans everything we wanted. It had shootouts, a bar fight, a chase, a final confrontation, and even a cowboy riding off into the sunset. What else is there? It is very much worth your time.

Do you know anyone who has a Kindle? They seem to be all the rage but I haven't actually seen one yet. I wonder if they're easy on your eyes. I wonder why anyone would pay so much for one and then pay additional charges for content. The one pictured is the DX $499 model but the more popular Kindle is $299. I wonder why anyone would want to read a book, a magazine, or a newspaper like this. I wonder if it could ever be like turning the pages in a good book, an essential life experience in my view. Does this thing appeal to anyone but gadget lovers? I'll pass until the device and the content gets considerably more affordable but I'll especially want Amazon to stop deleting content from Kindles without their owner's consent before I even consider taking the plunge.

Very sad to hear of an old friend's passing last night. David Owens was a good friend of mine and we hung out together quite a bit in the 70s. His sister came across the foosball page and dropped me a line. He died a few days after Hurricane Katrina. I didn't know. When foosball died down, we both went on to other things and drifted apart as we got older as people sometimes do. That's two friends that I've heard about in the last month or so. Been a bad few weeks here. R.I.P., David.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard on this overcast and dreary Sunday. Any idea when they turn to lemony yellow?

CrabAppleLane Lemon Tree - August 9, 2009
CrabAppleLane Lemon Tree - August 9, 2009

32 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
No, it doesn't, and mostly innocent people don't get busted up, and if they do, it's because of who Virgil Cole is and what he is, and you hired him to be Virgil Cole.
Everett Hitch, Appaloosa

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "There's not much to the story. And in an era of revisionist westerns, this is a throwback to a style that offers little more than cowboy posturing and quicksilver gunplay. It's Harris's movie, and he does his usual solid stuff, while Viggo sits back on cruise control. Both are a pleasure to watch. But Zellweger's role is so underwritten you wonder what she's doing in the movie."

Mark Knopfler's Get Lucky is set to be released September 15. At one time, it was not unusual for artists to release an album of original material almost every year. Led Zeppelin released 7 albums from 1968 to 1977 and were pretty much done. Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Who, Rolling Stones, and Dire Straits, Knopfler's former band, did pretty much the same during their heyday. Very few artists, if any, are still doing that these days but Knopfler is putting them out about every other year and that's fine by his fans. We don't have to wait 4-5-6+ years for new offerings. I put it on order Friday. I don't need to hear any samples from his CDs before purchasing. He hasn't disappointed yet.

Went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday afternoon. Matinee tickets were $7/ea + $3 service charge for online purchase. We get the Number 2 concession special, which is a bucket of popcorn and two large drinks. With tax, that was $16+. A matinee for two with concessions used to be about $10. We're out $33 before we sit down these days. Enough of that. The first movie wasn't as good as its book counterpart. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th movies were actually better than their books in my opinion. Spoiler info below the jump. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is next, will be in two parts, and will have to be unbelievable to live up to the expectations it has.

We get free samples of various products in the mail. They come to us unsolicited. One of the more common samples we get is deodorant. I don't know what they're trying to tell me but I will tell my four readers here that I have that part of my life covered. I don't mind giving these products a whirl on nights or weekends when I'm not working. There are some on the market that burn my armpits but only about an hour after the application. That's about how long it takes to fully absorb. It's unpleasant when that happens and I don't ever want to experience that reaction when I'm stuck at work where I'd have limited options to deal with it. Anyway, I received a sample of Degree Men Cool Rush in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I've been using it at night and on weekends. I really like it and Patsy really likes it. They have a new customer. Score one for junk mail.

A couple of fights broke out yesterday, Day 2, at Saints training camp. It's hot, it's physical, and those guys are competing for jobs that pay very well. Fights are expected but it usually takes a little longer than two days. Three, at least.

About today's QOTD: It reminded me of Kem's lovely tribute to The C. F. Martin Guitar Company.

I offer one from the yard on this rainy CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Sunday - August 2, 2009
CrabAppleLane Sunday - August 2, 2009 - ½" of rain

39 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
One day there was this Fender Stratocaster in the window, and it was just a thing of magic. It was literally nose to the window. I think I was still in short trousers, and that's it, a little boy coming home from school, being completely fascinated by it. I still cross the road now to look into a guitar shop.
Mark Knopfler

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Get ready for the last of Harry Potter."

Slow Saturday - August 1, 2009

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R.I.P., Corazon Aquino. Ferdinand Marcos or one of that thug's henchman once said she was "just a woman" who belongs in the bedroom. The quote below is hers and I couldn't agree more.

It is not I who have been consigned to the bedroom of history.

Plan to do yard work and see Harry Potter some time this weekend. Got some house reorganization to do, too.

Today's QOTD is about the latest names popping up from an "anonymous" list of baseball players who tested positive in a drug survey MLB conducted in 2003. I wonder if anyone on the list who hasn't been named yet thinks he'll remain anonymous for the rest of his current career and the entirety of his post career. See, there's this bridge I know ...

40 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
At this point, the only person I'm entirely certain never used steroids is my hero, Duane Kuiper, who hit one home run in his lengthy career, and that one homer was wind-blown.
Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball's 2003 "survey" testing according to the New York Times' Michael Schmidt."

The Incredible Hulk - 2008

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I finished 2008's The Incredible Hulk last night. This is Hollywood's second swing at it in a 5 year span. I didn't see the 2003 version and I'm not sure if the 2008 could have improved much on a fairly uninteresting character and story. Both films had cameo appearances by Lou Ferrigno, the TV Hulk, and Stan Lee, the Hulk comics' creator. This one even had a cameo appearance by Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man) as Tony Stark. When a film has to resort to that level of cuteness, it didn't have much to begin with. The Incredible Hulk was a waste of time. I understand they're making a sequel. Count me out.

One other thing: Tim Roth is one of the best actors in film and easily one of the best bad guys but he's better at the sleazeball, manipulative, backstabber than he is at the in-your-face aggressive type. He wasn't the right guy for that role.

44 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
I didn't say I was unwilling. I just need informed consent. And you've given it.
Samuel Sterns, The Incredible Hulk

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Did you all see my new movie last year? They've made a couple of new ones about me in the past few years. I think they may have got it right this time. I can't believe Edward Norton is playing me, Dr. Bruce Banner."

Midweek junk - July 15, 2009

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I think we'll miss the Harry Potter premiers today but we'll probably go next weekend. We liked the books and the films have been even better. Some may disagree.

A little fun from The New Yorker:

Condemned souls who have to lie on their backs chained to a flat rock while a white-hot sheet of iron is lowered to within inches of their faces have stated that the rise in Hell's ambient temperature now makes the iron seem much closer to their faces than it actually is.

I'll try to read the rest of it later. The quote is from the first paragraph and I stopped there.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day for Monday. WOW.

After last year's one-run, 15-inning, exciting All-Star game, Major League Baseball offered up perhaps the dullest one-run game I ever saw last night and I watched all nine innings. On to the second half ...

57 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
a law dating back to 1942 in Switzerland permits foreigners to come and kill themselves. Cost for services: About $9200.00.
USA Today

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "As Olympic was leaving Southampton water on 20 September 1911 at the start of her fifth voyage to New York and back, still under the command of Captain Smith but with Trinity House pilot George William Bowyer effectively in control, she was rammed in the starboard quarter by the Royal Navy's old 7,350 ton armoured cruiser HMS Hawke . Both vessels were badly damaged in the collision."

Really cool-looking blog although I find the topic a tad tiresome. -Rob

Eagle Eye

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Eagle Eye was yesterday's CrabAppleLane matinee. This is one I wanted to see when it was in the theater but it just didn't happen. Eagle Eye qualifies as big budget CME, a perfect afternoon's entertainment. The best advice I can give you for this film is to just take the ride. The whole movie is driven by a voice on the phone, one that is reminiscent of George Orwell's Big Brother, only amped-up a few degrees. To say what that voice can do is impressive would be an understatement. The setup for it comes in one throwout line early in the movie about cell phones. The characters are mostly irrelevant. This film is all about having fun with the technology and the possibilities, however remote, that any of this could happen in real life. It's the type of stuff that the tin foil helmet types thrive on telling us about. I still enjoyed it. The BOTD has a similar take ... more or less. :)

59 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
She could probably derail a train, she could probably turn a train into a talking duck.
Jerry Shaw, Eagle Eye

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "There are plenty of special effects. There is enough suspense and drama. And even something to listen to while everything moves, shoots, thinks, and explodes."

DVD Collections

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We were big DVD collectors for a time. When I say big, I mean we'd buy one or two per month. We would never rent them. Still don't. That practice has ceased due to economics and convenience. We've not only stopped buying them, we've stopped watching them except for the occasional music/concert DVD. The DVR has pretty much become our favored way to watch ANYTHING. It is infinitely more convenient. You can stop a movie any time and resume a month later right where you left off. You can keep it recorded as long as you like and it never gathers dust. My only concern with our DVR right now is storage. They just don't store enough content. I am certain that concern is being addressed with the next generation DVR as I type. It's just like a computer in some ways. Even though you can store files offline on a CD or DVD, you'd rather have them on your hard drive available to you any time. I don't think the future is all that bright for DVD sales or rentals any more.

65 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Nothing wrong with college baseball, especially at the level LSU plays.
Dave E, Fish Fear Me

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A friend of mine once suggested a movie's greatness can be measured by how much you think about it after seeing it, along with the way it lingers in your memory over time."

The X Files: I Want to Believe

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I finally got through The X Files: I Want to Believe the other night. I thought maybe I had let too much time lapse since the last time I saw an X-Files episode. I was pretty much lost throughout this film. The X-Files have always been a bit murky and mysterious to me and, on reflection, I think maybe that's intentional on their part. Check out the QOTD. I was not a devoted fan, did not see all of the episodes, and further, did not watch the ones I did see in order so maybe I'm off base on the mysterious and murky and maybe devoted fans got more out of it than I did. Good for them, I suppose. For me, I just didn't get it and it was a waste of time. Cool theme music, though.

71 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Maybe that's the answer, in a larger answer.
Fox Mulder, The X Files: I Want to Believe

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But, hey, we're the faithful. We'll be there for you, Chris Carter. Sorry for the late start, but this means more concentrated, X-Files-ian goodness for you."

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

I mentioned I had started Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in yesterday's entry. I finished this third installment in the franchise yesterday afternoon. I suppose I let too much time lapse since I saw the second (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) because I had forgotten a lot of what had happened previously. I was lost at times. There is some fun sprinkled throughout the film but it is almost exclusively limited to the Johnny Depp scenes. No one else is particularly interesting and the film is entirely too long. Hopefully, the filmmakers find their way again and have a decent wrap up to the franchise with the next one.

Speaking of allowing too much time to lapse, I started The X Files: I Want to Believe yesterday. I'm a little past the halfway point. There was a lot I didn't know about the characters or remember from the show. To add to my confusion, I wasn't a devotee of the show. I've only seen a little more than a handful of episodes.

73 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
The Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the NCAA aren't supposed to play favorites. But I can guarantee you that when LSU makes the Series, a big cheer goes up downtown. Their fans come by the thousands and spend lots of money. When we open the box office every morning to sell just-released tickets, the parking lot is a sea of purple and gold.
Eddie Sobczyk, CWS ticket manager

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Considering that I live in a house that was built in 1913, I was pleasantly surprised that turning it on tripped no breakers."

I'd be pleasantly surprised that it HAD breakers. -Rob

Bruce Springsteen was booed in Glastonbury for not playing Born in the USA. People have always misinterpreted that song. Probably why he doesn't play it much any more. Aside from that, I'm wondering what kind of connection an audience of mostly Scots would have with Born in the USA. Reading that gave me a few thoughts.

Politics is under the impression that music influences people, mainly the youth I would think, so politicians try to figure out ways to use it or to prevent its use. The aforementioned Born in the USA was played at a Republican National Convention. I'm fairly certain that no one read the lyrics (See QOTD for the first verse of that song). That was a dumb way to use music to influence anyone.

Simon and Garfunkel's hit, Mrs Robinson, was censored for TV because someone didn't like the line, "Going to the candidates debate". Not sure whose side benefits from removing that verse but it seems to me like a dumb way to try to prevent the use of music.

Country Joe McDonald played his famous Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag at Woodstock. When very few joined in, he complained onstage that he didn't know how they were going to "stop a war" if they couldn't sing better. The war didn't stop. Country Joe was singing to the choir, anyway.

Of course, we all remember the political storm Natalie Maines and The Dixie Chicks stirred up six years ago. I didn't agree with their opinion then but I was absolutely appalled by the reaction to it. Disagreement and criticism is fine and there was plenty of it. Boycotts are fine although a bit silly. Vandalism and death threats have no place in democracy and there was plenty of that, too. The DC's actions weren't an immediately effective use of music but the way they stuck to their guns and their f*ck you stance to their critics won the day if you ask me and fickle public opinion has veered in their favor.

Speaking of music. I've seen Washboard Chaz at The French Quarter Festival in New Orleans. He is awesome.

I'm 40 minutes into the epic 170 minute Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. It had better get better soon.

I offer two from the very hot CrabAppleLane backyard.

CrabAppleLane Charlotte - June 28, 2009
CrabAppleLane Charlotte - June 28, 2009 - To fully appreciate

CrabAppleLane Trail - June 28, 2009
CrabAppleLane Trail - June 28, 2009

74 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up, now
Born in the U.S.A, I was
Born in the U.S.A, I was
Born in the U.S.A
Born in the U.S.A, now
Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "They were banned from radio. They received death threats. They were blacklisted by the record industry. People organized massive boycotts and destroyed their records. Talk Radio went nuts."

Made of Honor

After watching three straight nights of baseball, it was time to give in and watch Made of Honor. Going in, I knew this was going to be one of those light romantic, formulaic comedies (aka chick flicks) that Patsy likes so much. Admittedly, I don't mind them too much most of the time and even like them when they're done well. This one really wasn't very good and it's a shame it was the last movie Sydney Pollack made. None of the performances were particularly bad and some of the scenery, particularly the Scottish highlands, was spectacular. It was the story that was stale and this film brought nothing new to it (The BOTD says the same thing). Pollack was a very good producer/director/actor but I guess even one as talented as he didn't recognize the turkey from within or maybe he just wanted the paycheck.

76 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
He knows that he can just date right?
Hannah, Made of Honor

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I realize there aren't a whole lot of new ideas when it comes to romantic comedies, but it's not that hard to bring something new to the table."

Saturday Stuff - June 6, 2009 Issue

D-Day - 65 years ago
D-Day - 65 years ago

Craig Ferguson was right. He's Just Not That Into You is a stereotypical "chick flick". I kinda knew that going in because of the trailers that have passed through CrabAppleLane's TV for the last year and a half. It is one of the longest-running promotional campaigns I can remember. Unfortunately, if you've seen the trailers, you've seen the best bits of the film. The film, itself, added nothing to the trailers. The movie had moments but I'm glad I didn't spend night in the theater money on it.

LSU surprised me last night. Rice did everything LSU opponents have had success with. The Owls' starting pitcher, Mike Ojala, threw mostly off-speed stuff. When I saw the Tigers play earlier in the year against Illinois, they just never adjusted to Ben Reeser's off-speed pitching. They adjusted to it this time and Ojala was gone in the 5th inning. The Owls then brought in a left-hander to face back-to-back Tiger left-handed hitters, Ryan Schimpf and Blake Dean. Left-handers have been tough on the Tigers. Schimpf planted the second pitch over the right center wall for a three run homer and Dean singled. Looks like the Tigers have learned quite a bit over the long season. I don't see Rice beating them now. One last thing: Rice's freshman sensation, Anthony Rendon, was the best player on the field if you ask me. He looks like a big league hitter right now.

Start rant: The LSU-Rice game featured 6 errors and 2 balks. LSU made 4 of the errors. One of them was a nonchalant one-handed stab at a lazy fly ball to center field that subsequently dropped to the ground. How many errors like that will it take before coaches and managers start insisting on two-handed catches in the outfield? It used to be the norm. Most infielders still do it. Errors make me crazy but I can forgive throwing errors or infielders not getting their gloves down on a hard-hit grounder. I cannot forgive dropped fly balls, especially those due to lack of effort. Outs are too precious. Never give your opponent more than they already get. Rant over.

96 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Golden polo rule #6: Hiding from the cameras never works. We will hunt you down and shoot you.
Tampen

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "A Day at the Beach -- Omaha Beach"

Knockaround Guys

I had recorded Knockaround Guys on the strength of one scene I stumbled across while channel surfing. It was a scene in a bar just before a big fight where Vin Diesel delivers a speech to the town tough guy. Diesel is in danger of being typecast because he does something like this in almost every one of his films. There's more to Vin than just action star. I doubt anyone in film today could do that scene as well as he did, except maybe Russell Crowe, because of the physical presence required and the acting at his disposal. Knockaround Guys has one of those inevitable shoot-em-up Tarantino scenes at the end (See True Romance, Reservoir Dogs, etc) but I liked the film anyway. With the stellar cast it had, though, I'm thinking it could have been more.

The crime in the QOTD was murder, I believe.

99 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
If I knew I'd get a laptop and WiFi in prison, my calculation about whether to commit crimes would change radically.
Ann Althouse

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "There is pleasure to be found in some of the performances. Barry Pepper is a plus as the conflicted Matty, a capable guy let down by the placement of his allegiances. Vin Diesel has yet to disappoint, and his tank shirted muscleman with a grinding-gears voice is no exception."

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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I started Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 20+ years ago and put it down because it just didn't hold much interest for me. Sci-fi is just not my thing and Dick's short story was sci-fi to me. The movie based on this short story, Blade Runner, had the same impact on me the first time I saw it. I dismissed it as typical sci-fi fare and forgot about it. The second time I saw the film was a totally different experience. I've blogged about that before. The film was OK the first time, off-the-charts-totally-WOW the second and every other time since. I was hoping for that same kind of transformation when I picked up the book again a week ago. It should be noted that it doesn't normally take me a week to read a 105-page short story (6 days ... tops) but I wanted to be thorough. What made the movie great was the detective story. In the film, Rick Deckard is a conflicted, hard-boiled, down-on-his-luck, in-over-his-head character that muddles through as best he can. In the book, he is just a fraction of that. He has a wife, Iran, in the book (That's her in the QOTD) and a love/hate relationship with Rachael Rosen. I couldn't quite sort out how Deckard really felt about either of them. Most of the animals on Earth have died in the war or in the radioactive dust that has consumed the planet in the aftermath. The film has the look of that but doesn't really explain it. Deckard has an obsession with "live" animals and a desire to get one in order to prove to himself that he is human. It is thought that androids can't give animals love and the animals die. The book never really gets out of sci-fi. I prefer the film. As for whether Deckard, himself, is an android/replicant ... beats me.

107 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
She stayed with him for a while and then returned to the kitchen and sat down. Next to her on the table, the electric toad was moving in its box. What did it eat? False flies, she decided.
Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Today those concerns have to a large extent abated, and instead Blade Runner now resonates with themes of construction of identity and how much of our own identity we own."

Slumdog Millionaire

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The buzz surrounding Slumdog Millionaire has been amazing. Everyone has now heard of the film and everyone has an idea of what the story is about. It won 8 Oscars. I recorded it Thursday night off of DirecTV's Pay-Per-View and watched it last night. Going in, it was impossible not to have some expectations. It is a very good film but it has to be much better on a bigger screen. I had to back it up a few times because of the placement of the subtitles. I don't mind subtitles unless you put them somewhere where they blend into the film. They have to stand apart. I'll never forget the white subtitles across the white naval uniforms in Tora! Tora! Tora!. I digress. Also, some of the panoramic shots of India were probably spectacular on the big screen but not quite as impressive on my 36", even in high-definition. Don't let these minor quibbles keep you from seeing it, though. Its appeal is universal and timeless. Very well done.

110 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Do you think I'm an android? I'm not. I've never been to Mars. I've never even seen an android.
Luba Luft, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But I have a feeling that the people protesting against the title either have not seen the movie, or have not understood the context in which the word was used. In the movie, the word "slumdog" is never used as a general description of the people of the slums."

Wallander

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Kenneth Branagh plays Kurt Wallander in the way that I picture most detectives. He's overworked, disheveled, and has a limited understanding of modern police technology. What personal life he has outside of work is a mess. He's a male version of Jane Tennison and, for me, that's the top of the chart. I've only seen the first two episodes (It's playing on Sunday nights on PBS here) of Wallander but I love what I've seen. It has a gritty noir-like feel to it. Wallander is based on a series of novels set in Sweden. You'll have to forgive the British accents. None of the characters look like movie stars. Turn out the lights and settle in. Wallander is perfect Sunday night fare.

115 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
We believe in silent sound
Yes we believe in upside down
Earlimart - Cold, Cold Heaven

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "And I gather that it was actually filmed in Ystad, Sweden, so it will be a treat to get a proper look at the landscape Mankell brings so vividly to life in the books."

Tuning in

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From USA Today: The business side of entertainment on display at the networks. ABout some of my faves: I knew about Eli Stone being canceled but I'm very disappointed to see Life in the "Gone or nearly dead" column and also very surprised and disappointed to see Chuck "On the bubble". I suppose there's only room on TV for reality shows and talk shows these days. I loathe both.

The Saints and the State of Louisiana have a big press conference scheduled for this morning to announce an agreement. By all accounts, it looks like a good deal for everyone. Anxious to see what the Saints will do when the economic environment improves and this deal doesn't look as good any more or when some other NFL team gets an extra cookie from their city. I really wasn't always this cynical.

About today's QOTD: She claims her dad was the Zodiac killer.

Quote of the Day
He kept telling me he was sick and he killed many, many people. I had no idea.
Deborah Perez

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Anyway, 70 stadiums were submitted to host and both the Superdome in New Orleans and Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge are among the venues that could nab World Cup matches."

Grey Gardens and Talladega

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HBO's Grey Gardens was what I watched yesterday afternoon rather than the excitement at Talladega. Grey Gardens is a film about Big Edie and Little Edie Beale. I had very limited knowledge of the two women and the story. The lives of socialites have never held much interest for me. What made these lives a little bit different was their family ties to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and a documentary of the same name that received critical acclaim. The making of the documentary is depicted in the HBO film. The HBO version will probably also receive critical acclaim but I found it to be a downer. It was difficult to get past the almost unbearably pathetic nature of their lives. I thought Drew Barrymore was a tad over-the-top with her accent and portrayal but then I saw a snippet of the real Little Edie Beale. She does OK with it and I guess I'm glad I saw it but I think I'd have rather watched the race at Talladega.

Quote of the Day
I guess we'll do this until somebody gets killed and then we'll change it, but that's the way it is.
Carl Edwards, NASCAR Driver

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The wrecks and injuries at Talladega prove it's time for drivers and NASCAR to sit down and talk about changes, Lee Spencer says."

CrabAppleLane Sunday and Mr Brooks

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I decided to watch Mr Brooks last night. Kevin Costner plays Mr Brooks, a devoted family man and pillar of the community. He is also a serial killer with a full-blown alter ego. He is so organized and so precise in his killing that he is more like a professional hit man but he makes a mistake in the first murders we see that Mr Smith (Dane Cook) decides to capitalize on. Rather than going to the police, he wants to go along with Mr Brooks to his next murder. Mr Smith is in way over his head and should have realized it the second time they met. Demi Moore plays the detective trying to catch Mr Brooks and Danielle Panabaker plays Mr Brooks daughter. They both have stories, too, but I won't reveal them here. The film makers do a decent job of bringing it all together although I think the ending was a little too predictable. It was a lot of fun, though. I liked it.

I offer two from the CrabAppleLane backyard on this very wet Sunday.

CrabAppleLane sidewalk - April 19, 2009
CrabAppleLane sidewalk - Love that shade of blue - April 19, 2009

Looking for some dry seed at the CrabAppleLane feeder - April 19, 2009
Looking for some dry seed at the CrabAppleLane feeder - April 19, 2009

Quote of the Day
It was fun, I thought, until I saw you kill them. And I have never, ever, felt a rush that like, ever.
Mr Smith, Mr Brooks

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ""Mr. Brooks" is a delightfully twisted and intelligent movie, and writer/director Bruce Evans deserves lots of kudos for creating such an impressive, engrossing murder story."

Blade Runner Mystery

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Above is one of the great scenes from one of the great movies, Blade Runner. Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) have spent the previous 5 minutes trying to kill each other. Deckard was beaten and dangling from the rooftop of the building by his fingers (Two of them broken by Roy). When he finally let go, Roy inexplicably saved him. Shown above is the scene that follows. More on that in a moment.

I bought the Blade Runner VHS tape as a gift for my dad. I don't know how long it took for movies to make it to video then but it was longer than it is now so I'm guessing this was 1983 or early 1984. Blade Runner was released in 1982. I don't remember if it was a birthday or Christmas present. We had no VCR of our own then (We got our first in 1984) and did not know that people rented movies rather than bought them. "New release" VHS movies were expensive then. I think we paid about $40 for this one but there were others going for $100. I think Dad watched it once, put it away, and never watched it again. I watched it, myself, after he did. I didn't think much of it the first time I saw it, either. To me, it was just a standard sci-fi action flick. All of this is a long way of saying that this was the original theatrical release and I'm not sure if I ever gave it back to Dad.

Many years later, I was up late at night and Blade Runner: The Director's Cut came on HBO/Showtime/Whatever but it was at an odd time. What I mean by odd is that it didn't start on the half-hour like most movies do. I figured I'd watch it until the top of the hour and switch to something else. That didn't happen. Something clicked in my pea brain this time and I was hooked. Maybe it was the time of night or the zero distractions but I was totally engrossed. It was awesome.

Some time after this, my brother-in-law asked if I still had the VHS tape. He's a big fan of the film and the book. He also knows a lot of the trivia surrounding the making of the film. I asked why he'd want to watch the VHS when the DC was out on DVD. He said the VHS is the original theatrical release and has Rick Deckard's narration throughout. Ridley Scott, the director, removed the narration for the DC. It had been a long time between my viewings of the original, when I didn't think much of it, and the DC, which I thought was awesome. I had not watched the original start-to-finish again since that first time but what had always intrigued me in my many subsequent viewings of the DC was why Roy saved Deckard near the end. They were trying to kill each other. Why save him?

In an email exchange with my brother-in-law the other day, I asked him if there was an explanation in the book. I haven't read it but he has. He didn't remember if there was an equivalent moment in the book. He then said he agreed with Deckard and then went on for a moment but again, something in my pea brain clicked. What? Deckard? I hadn't seen the finish of the original since that first time. That was at least 25 years ago and I didn't think the film was all that memorable then. I finally did watch it just the other night and there it was. Rick Deckard, himself, offered up an explanation via narration. I love how he alternates between calling Roy him and it. He does that with Rachel, too, when he asks Tyrell "how can it not know what it is" at the beginning but then falls in love with "her". If you're still with me, that's what the Quote of the Day is all about. I listened to it at least 10 times to make sure I had it right. It is Rick Deckard's opinion on why Roy saved him and all I can say is WOW.

Although I love the quote, I don't view this as the final word on the matter. Deckard is a mess. He survives the story not so much with "the old magic" as pure luck. He was in over his head from the beginning, makes mistakes, and is overmatched against all of the replicants, especially the two men, Leon and Roy. His opinion is worth more than mine, though. Enjoy.

Quote of the Day
I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life ... anybody's life ... my life. All it wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where do I come from? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.
Rick Deckard, Blade Runner

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "First and foremost shouts to my man Karma for lacing the new stickers lovely(and all Bladerunner related shiaaat)"

3:10 to Yuma and a CrabAppleLane Sunday

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I watched 3:10 to Yuma yesterday a few minutes at a time while I was also watching Pitt and Villanova go at it. This is a remake of a Glenn Ford movie of the same name from 1957. Dan Evans, Christian Bale, is a struggling rancher who signs up to help take the outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe), to catch the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. I never saw the original film and I guess I'm glad I didn't. The character who is very skilled at some things but also very reluctant to use those skills was pretty much invented by Glenn Ford in my mind. Crowe doesn't do reluctant nearly as well. I am also not high on Christian Bale as an actor. I find him a little too hard to understand, much like Joaquin Phoenix. That said, I'm not really sure why Ben Wade is reluctant in the first place. He stupidly gets caught although it's quite obvious he's not stupid. He has many, many opportunities to escape but chooses not to. You get a sense of atonement from him but he also spends a good bit of time and energy trying to corrupt Evans by offering him money to let him go. One of the things I like about westerns is that everyone who ever makes one tries to reinvent it. Unfortunately, most of them end up looking like pale imitations of Shane. 3:10 is well done and more than just a pale imitation but it's in no danger of becoming a classic.

About Villanova v Pitt: Not wild about the outcome but it was a great game. It was easily the best one I've seen in this tournament. Congrats to the Wildcats.

Finally saw a ruby-throated hummingbird this week. They are back. I had heard soem and Patsy even saw a few but I don't record it until I see it. This is the latest I've seen one since I started recording. Buffy, our buff-bellied friend who wintered here, is gone. Hope it comes back next winter.

March 14, 2001
March 17, 2002
March 10, 2003
March 20, 2004
March 12, 2005
March 12, 2006
March 11, 2007
March 9, 2008
March 26, 2009

I offer a few images from the CrabAppleLane yard on this gloriously mild spring Sunday. Pardon the redundant tomato images. I post them for my own benefit. I like to see how I'm progressing from one year to the next. They're further along this year than ever. I've never had to tie up tomato plants in March.

CrabAppleLane lizard - March 29, 2009
CrabAppleLane lizard - March 29, 2009

CrabAppleLane Iris - March 29, 2009
CrabAppleLane Iris - March 29, 2009

CrabAppleLane grape tomatoes - March 29, 2009
CrabAppleLane grape tomatoes - March 29, 2009

CrabAppleLane tomato garden - March 29, 2009
CrabAppleLane tomato garden - March 29, 2009

165 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
So she gave me a bible, sat me down in the train station, told me to read it. She was gonna get our tickets. Well, I did what she said. I read that bible from cover to cover. It took me three days. She never came back.
Ben Wade, 3:10 to Yuma

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Doug Reinhardt Fights for Paris Hilton, Says He Wants Babies".

Birthdays and movies


Happy Birthday, Scott

Above is one of the great scenes from one of the great movies, Blade Runner. Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) have spent the previous 5 minutes trying to kill each other. Deckard was beaten and dangling from the rooftop of the building by his fingers (Two of them broken by Roy). When he finally let go, Roy inexplicably saved him. Shown above is the scene that follows. If you've seen the film, I'd like to hear your theory on why Roy saved him. It might be explained in the book but I still haven't read it.

My favorite (So far) explanation comes from a comment by redclay at The Sheila Variations:

i think roy recognized his own desperate struggle and appetite for life in dekkerd
plus, who wants to die alone in the rain?

If you've never seen this film, here's my recommendation. Pop in the DVD at about 10 or 11PM when you have a completely quiet house/apartment/trailer/whatever, turn out all of the lights, and watch it with a big bowl of popcorn.

Oh, and the Happy Birthday is not for Blade Runner director, Ridley Scott, it's for my brother-in-law, Scott. Today is his. It's easy to remember because tomorrow's is my twin sisters birthdays.

Quote of the Day
It's too bad she won't live ... but then again, who does?
Gaff, Blade Runner

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Nasa reps have suggestively stated that despite the contest winner, at the end of the day Nasa will choose their own name and the online contest will simply be a consideration. I hope that the more fittingly inspirational name Serenity would be used if not to tribute the show, but at least to give a more suitable name that would reflect the quiet and peace of space."

The Ninth Gate

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DirecTV has rewarded us with three months of free Showtime on our anniversary with them. This is our 14th year as a subscriber. Not sure what significance 14 has and I'm also curious what they would have rewarded us with if we still had ALL of the channels but I can live with those unresolved mysteries. Go DirecTV.

I finished watching The Ninth Gate last night. Johnny Depp plays a somewhat unscrupulous rare book finder and he is excellent as the central character. The rest of the film is a bit silly. The film alternates between detective thriller and horror standard. His latest client, Frank Langella, wants to conjure the devil but he needs the right book and hires Depp. I am fairly convinced I had already seen this movie but decided to blog about it so I wouldn't accidentally watch it again. It has a few moments that are worthwhile and a few moments that are a tad cheesy but it is mostly forgettable. Roman Polanski doesn't do a thing for me as a film maker. The BOTD liked it a great deal more than I did.

Quote of the Day
You think the prince of Darkness would deign to manifest himself before the likes of you? He never has and he never will!
Boris Balkan, The Ninth Gate

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "With the almost singular purpose of heightening suspense, the soundtrack sadistically dances along, combining joyous glee with wicked mischief to create a greater sense of tedious unease."

In Bruges

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HDNET has a program called "Nothing but Trailers". The title says it all. It's a full 30 minutes of movie trailers. Sometimes, they do an "Ultimate" trailer show where they show older movie trailers or trailers to obscure movies you may not have heard of. I heard of In Bruges that way. Bruges is described as a medieval city in Belgium. The city is featured throughout the film and is magnificent. This movie is a very dark comedy about two Irish hit men hiding out "In Bruges" after their hit doesn't go according to plan. A great film has a lot of little moments. This one is almost nothing but great little moments and I need more films like this in my diet. In Bruges is one of the very best movies I have seen in a long time.

Quote of the Day
You can't sell horse tranquilizers to a midget.
Ray, In Bruges

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Now the end for the In Bruges Fansite is really approaching, simply because all that is left to report will be the outcome of the 2009 Academy Awards."

Ball of Confusion - Dollhouse

The series premier episode of Dollhouse last week was only so so. However, last night's episode was excellent. There are at least four distinct storylines now. The first storyline is the depiction of the organization of ethically questionable practices called "Dollhouse", the second is a about the FBI agent who is unofficially trying to uncover it and find the star doll for reasons still unknown, a third is that said star doll is becoming self-aware and each "treatment" is less complete than the last, and the fourth is about the escaped killer doll named "Alpha". Dollhouse was developed by Joss Whedon, who also did Firefly and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I'm saddened that it's on Fox. The network hardly lifted a finger to promote it and the ratings reflect it. If it weren't for Whedon fan sites, I doubt anyone would have tuned in. I heard about it from a fan. Looks to me like Fox is repeating the Firefly mistake. It will probably be yanked before it finds an audience but I will surely watch it until then.

Upgraded my Paint Shop Pro software this morning because my original version won't work on Vista. It was time anyway. In the instructions, I found the following:

Please note: due to the wide variety of Corel software, you might see the terms "Purchase Key", "Unlock Key" and "Serial Number" used in installation instructions for some products. They all mean the same thing and describe the same activation procedure.

Note to Corel from CrabAppleLane: Why? Decide on one, use from this day forward, eliminate need for this note, and eliminate needless potential confusion all in one move. No charge.

Quote of the Day
I agree that concentration is a bad thing, but that's what capitalism brings with it. The animal wants to keep eating and growing larger and larger. We could have easily prevented these massive mergers, but our free market philosophy prevented that from even being an option. And now we're seeing what happens when banks are "too big to fail."
Justin Gardner, Donklephant

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "We're churning out quality television for you lovely people!"

Not quality internet, though. That entry is the latest. It's from August of last year. -Rob

Vista and Fool's Gold at CrabAppleLane

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About a year and a half ago, lightning struck CrabAppleLane. It did a lot of damage. The surge hit our two computers but it didn't go through the power cord. It went through our network cables and fried the network port on both machines. Our insurance company asked us to have them examined to determine whether they should be fixed or replaced. The ports on both machines are integrated into the motherboards, which had "spots" all over them. Replace. Patsy chose to replace her desktop with a laptop and that ran a little more than they gave us so I decided to wait on mine for a while. My computer was working fine except for the network port so I just went wireless through a USB port. Over the last year and a half, I've noticed some erratic behavior from my PC. It doesn't always boot all the way up, it doesn't recognize things that I plug into the USB ports until I plug and unplug several times, it loses the printer, etc. It is dying.

The replacement arrived yesterday. First time I've ever replaced just the CPU and not the complete system. It has Windows Vista on it. So far, I haven't had any trouble except finding some of my software disks. One old program I own, Visual Page, doesn't want to install. I think I'll be looking for a new HTML program. Any ideas that won't break my very fragile bank?


Patsy and I both had the afternoon off yesterday. Decided to watch a movie instead of immediately getting to work on the computers. Fool's Gold was the choice. The first half of the movie was fun. It was funny and interesting and Kate Hudson is just fabulous. It has a very underused Donald Sutherland and a very overused Alexis Dziena but I could have forgiven that. It's a treasure hunt movie. Kate and Matthew McConaughey, newly divorced but still in love, are searching for the same treasure that Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset searched for in The Deep. Both films built a nice story around what they think happened. Unfortunately, at about the midway point, Fool's Gold goes way off the rails. What started as a light-hearted adventure comedy turned into a shoot-em-up killfest. What a disappointment. What a waste.

Quote of the Day
Hey, boats sink. No one knows why.
Finn Finnegan, Fool's Gold

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Sleeve art by FG's own Dust La Rock ain't too shabby either! Cop and enjoy."

There is a huge market for HD programming. There is simply not enough of it. Enter HDNet. As a bonus and a pretty good selling point, HDNet offers their subscribers sneak previews of some, mostly small, independent films for free ... in high-definition. This works for everyone. HDNet attracts subscribers, subscribers get first-run HD movies, and the film makers get something out of people who aren't likely to go see their films in theaters. We've seen two of their offerings now. We saw Mr Foe, whose trailer was far superior to the actual film, a few weeks ago and Two Lovers last night.

I'm not a big fan of Joaquin Phoenix and will never understand why he's a star. I find him difficult to understand. We had to back it up and go over what he said several times, sometimes with subtitles. In Two Lovers, he has one girl (Vinessa Shaw) who is attracted to him while he is attracted to another (Gwyneth Paltrow). Just me but if I were to go on looks alone, I think he outkicks his coverage by a couple of miles in both cases. The story from there is fairly standard. It's obvious why he's attracted to Gwyneth. She's an exciting, classic beauty. She's also a mess. He likes Vinessa, too, but she represents stability and his parents' approval. He knows Vinessa is the safer choice. The ending is just about right. I liked the film.

Some love advice I found at MSNBC a couple of days ago while they were in Valentine's Day frenzy:

Offer money, love and dependability

Gals want looks and smarts. While you men can't control those two characteristics much, take heart: Money and character are also important to women.

What? You were expecting useful insight?

I offer two from the CrabAppleLane front yard on this dreary Sunday. Spring and its yardwork are right around the corner here and some early blooms are in the works.

CrabAppleLane Redbud - February 15, 2009
CrabAppleLane Redbud - February 15, 2009

CrabAppleLane Azalea - February 15, 2009
CrabAppleLane Azalea - February 15, 2009

Quote of the Day
Years ago, one casting agent told me that the only roles I could play were lesbians and aliens.
Allison Janney

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Wow. Klimt, Dr Suess, Hundertwasser, Audrey Hepburn, Marie Antoinette... crazy beautiful/ugly."

CrabAppleLane Sunday and AVPR - February 8, 2009

2007's AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem was last night's entertainment. This is the sequel to 2004's AVP: Alien vs. Predator. Going by the titles, you'd think these films take themselves way too seriously but that's usually a good thing when you're looking for CME and I find myself looking for it a lot these days. The first one was fun CME. It was set in Antarctica with just a small human crew and a handful of Aliens and Predators. That was a blast. The sequel-makers, as they so often do, figured they'd just multiply everything. I can't think of a single time when that strategy has ever worked. They set this one in a small town instead of a remote location. It just wasn't very good.

I'd like to thank the BOTD for informing me that the first Alien we see in AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem was actually a ½ Alien-½ Predator cross breed. Even in HD, the action was so fast and so dark that I didn't notice the dreadlocks. When I learned that, I immediately jumped to the same thought she did. I wonder why that only works with Predators. Aliens spawned by human hosts aren't ½ human.

I offer some images taken this morning on a gorgeous CrabAppleLane Sunday.

Clouds - CrabAppleLane Sunday - February 8, 2009
Clouds - CrabAppleLane Sunday - February 8, 2009 - What I thought of when I saw these clouds

Buffy the nectar slayer - CrabAppleLane - February 8, 2009
Buffy the nectar slayer - CrabAppleLane - February 8, 2009
Blame my wife, Patsy, for that name. Buffy is a buff-bellied hummingbird that has been hanging around CrabAppleLane since late October. He/she has endured snow and freezing temps. Normally, I'm done with hummingbirds, almost all ruby-throats, in early October. This development has been a pleasant and very welcome surprise. Buffy is quite the charmer. Just chatters up a storm. More pictures of Buffy below the jump.

Quote of the Day
Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
She can ill afford the chances she must take
In rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, Turtle

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I'm not sure why the sequel to the first AVP has the added subtitle "Requiem." Sure there are a lot of dead but no one mourns or pays tribute to any of the deceased humans or aliens."

Man, is that ever true. The way to respond to the father/husband being viciously attacked by an Alien is not to help but to run. -Rob

CrabAppleLane Sunday - January 25, 2009

I know I can't be the only person who finds HBO's Big Love to be hilarious CME. What I wonder about is this: Is it intentionally funny? If you've never seen it, the show is about polygamists, how they live their lives, how they get along with each other, and how they get along with the outside world. There is also a little bit of intrigue, jealousy, double crosses, backstabbing, and a dash of religion. There are three worlds on display in this show. The first is the outside world, where polygamy is illegal. The second is the compound, where it is practiced. The outside world doesn't care what's going on in the compound and just leaves them alone as long as they stay inside it. The third encompasses the main character, who was forced off of the compound by his father, is a successful, very high-profile businessman but also a polygamist living in the outside world trying to keep his private life a secret. Got all that? The secrecy is not working. The situations this guy, his three current wives and a fourth prospective wife, and all of their children find themselves in are what I find funny. They're all self-inflicted and thoroughly ridiculous. There's a little intolerance from the outside world portrayed in the show but not very much. That's appropriate. Intolerance is pretty low on their list of problems. If I'm not supposed to be laughing at these situations, you can add that to their list.

Super Bowl Week begins. Yawn. I'll watch the game but don't expect much more than that from me, NFL, network execs, sports pundits, pre-game and halftime show producers, and to all who use any form of the phrase "breaking it down". I think that's easily the most overused, tiresome phrase in media. For those who watch and listen to the sports experts during Super Bowl Week to try and get a handle on what's going to happen next Sunday, think about this: The players and coaches of the five teams that lost to the Steelers and Cardinals in the playoffs are also experts, watched way more film than any of those clowns, had way more at stake, and still got it wrong.

I offer one from the CrabAppleLane backyard today. For an idea of what kind of day it is here, bear in mind that the image below is in color.

CrabAppleLane Gum Tree - January 25, 2009
CrabAppleLane Gum Tree - January 25, 2009

Quote of the Day
Scouts Inc. breaks down the Super Bowl offenses, defenses and players.
ESPN

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "First, raucous goober might be the most fitting description ever for Philip Rivers."

Rendition

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Rendition is a film that I'm guessing has a political point of view but I don't think it executes it very well. The film seems to argue against rendition and maybe torture, too, but I'm not certain about that one. Very curious quote attributed to then Vice-President Al Gore in that Wikipedia article. I digress. Everyone will be horrified by the man who is wrongly accused, hooded, and whisked away to some unknown location without knowing why. He's tortured and finally gives up false information because, well, he doesn't have any other kind. He's willing to admit anything just to get it to stop. So rendition is a despicable practice and torture doesn't work, right? Later in the film, another man is tortured and he does give up the information that is being sought. Now what? The methods employed were extreme in both cases. It's a decent movie and I can live without knowing the point it was trying to make.

Quote of the Day
Honey, this is nasty business. There are upwards of 7,000 people in central London alive tonight, because of information that we elicited just this way. So maybe you can put your head on your pillow and feel proud for saving one man while 7,000 perish, but I got grandkids in London, so I'm glad I'm doing this job... and you're not.
Corrine Whitman, Rendition

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ""Well you can't sell your home so you might as well enjoy it" is frequently heard from our customers as we discuss remodeling projects with them."

Antiques Roadshow

I'm watching Antiques Roadshow last night because I record this show and usually watch it a few minutes at a time while I'm doing something or waiting for something else to come on. If you've never seen the show, people bring in all sorts of antiques and collectibles and they tell the show's traveling group of appraisers what they know about it, what they paid for it or how they got it, and what they think it might be worth. The appraisers then support or dispute that knowledge, give their opinions, and put an estimated auction, retail, or insurance value on it. Sometimes, the appraisers can hardly contain their excitement. On a previous show, a guy brought in a Swiss watch he said was once appraised at about $6000. The roadshow expert could hardly keep his hands from shaking as he described the intricacies and functions of that watch. He then said it was the finest watch he ever held and that it was worth about a quarter of a million dollars.

Anyway, what got me last night was a collection of postcards, photographs, and letters from Louis Armstrong that someone brought in. That's a cool link. You can even watch the clip I'm referring to. This is why I watch that show. Louis had befriended this person's father-in-law. The pictures and postcards were nice but the centerpiece of the collection, for me, was an extremely personal eleven-page, front and back, handwritten letter from Louis that talked about his music, his new album, his work, and his wife. The appraiser put a value of $20,000 on the collection. I guess that's fair but if I had stuff like that from Louis Armstrong written to someone in my family, $20k wouldn't get near it. I'm not much of a jazz fan, particularly modern contemporary jazz, but I'm a big fan of Louis. I think he's probably the greatest entertainer of the 20th century.

Today's QOTD, well, never mind.

Quote of the Day
'We are being told we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to grab our ankles...because his father was black, because he's the first black president, we've got to accept this.
Rush Limbaugh

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "But some proponents of "alternative medicine" believe that drug companies actually conspire to keep people sick to reap profits."

CrabAppleLane Sunday, Spartan, and some pics

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I had never heard of 2004's Spartan but it had an interesting cast so I recorded it a couple of nights ago. It's a David Mamet movie and I tend to like those. Mamet's films tend to be wordy, like Glengarry Glen Ross, but not this one. Although the dialogue is all Mamet, intrigue was his main tool and he loaded it up. He lets the audience in on some of it and by that I mean we don't know exactly what's going on but we know something isn't right. He didn't quite finish the job, though. The conspiracy didn't completely unravel and there's at least one loose end and maybe two that wasn't addressed. It was still a good Saturday night popcorn movie. I liked it a lot. If you're interested, it's playing on HBO now.

I offer two pics from my afternoon walk on this gloriously mild CrabAppleLane Sunday. Temps are in the 60s and I plan to spend the afternoon cleaning a few things up in the yard.

CrabAppleLane Trail - January 18, 2009
CrabAppleLane Trail - January 18, 2009

Priscilla - January 18, 2009
Priscilla - January 18, 2009

Quote of the Day
Do you wanna gossip or do you wanna shoot somebody?
Jones, Spartan

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "DEEP in an archive, more than two dozen letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots, lie largely unseen for centuries."

The Scotsman is a newspaper in Scotland but their online version appears to be a three-column blog. -Rob

I watched Hitman last night because CME was the order of the day. Here's some CME trivia: When the heroes have to shoot at people to their left and right, they sometimes cross their arms (Notice the graphic to the left) so their right hand is shooting to the left and the left hand is shooting to the right. Sometimes, they just extend their arms right and left and shoot. I know almost nothing about shooting with weapons in both hands so I'd like to know what the rules are here. I'm guessing the reasons are more aesthetic than practical. Anyway, Hitman is a fun popcorn action movie with some great action scenes and a little humor. Worth your time.

I feel for Jake Delhomme this morning. He had a really tough day at the office yesterday. It might cost him his job although I don't know who is out there that could beat him out of it unless the Panthers make a big play (Contract to Cassel and compensation to the Pats) for Matt Cassel. QB play in the NFL is such that I think Cassel is going to have more than a few suitors despite the franchise tag. Tip of the cap to the Cardinals, though. WOW.

I offer one from the backyard today. It was taken off of the side of one of our trails. We're told by the Louisiana Agricultural Extension Service that this is the time to plant trees. Mother Nature apparently agrees.

CrabAppleLane Oak Sapling - January 11, 2009
CrabAppleLane Oak Sapling - January 11, 2009

Quote of the Day
Stop talking or I'll put you back in the trunk.
Agent 47, Hitman

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Once again she is compared to a Hitchcock blonde, while her Mad Men character is described as 'uncorking a magnum of cool wrath.....emerging as the show's presiding enigma.....while inching along a hairline crack of hysteria.'"

Scrubs on Tuesdays

Scrubs starts its last season tonight on a new night, a new network, and in HD and I'm hoping it can capture some new magic. It has been warm, funny, irreverent, and quite poignant sometimes but lost a good deal of its charm last season. Zach Braff is leaving after this season and the show may continue without him but that's still undecided. For my money, his character is the most replaceable but I think the series has run its course. Time to call it quits and no need to tie up loose ends. No teary farewells, either. Good job on the series, though.

I've linked this before but below is one of my all-time favorite TV sequences. Thought it appropriate.

Quote of the Day
They hate you Bob. They hate from the bottom of your hooves to the top of your pitchfork. They hate you. By God, they hate you good.
Dr Cox, Scrubs

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: ""I'm getting Rowdy -- I get the dead dog," says an excited Zach Braff. As fans of SCRUBS may know, this is Braff's eighth and last season on SCRUBS."

An error or two

| 7 Comments

Is there any such thing as proofreading any more or is that service a victim of cutbacks? From USA Today:

On Oct. 5 in Baltimore, quarterback Kerry Collins led an 80-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarterback to lift Tennessee to a 13-10 win.

Fourth quarterback? Maybe they'll correct it when they see all of the traffic from CrabAppleLane. :)

I installed a software package on my PC the other day that had several, glaring spelling errors. "You" for "your" is one that I see way too much of or should I say way "to" much of. I came across both of those five minutes into the installation. When I see such things, it worries me a great deal that I'm putting such important things in their hands. I'm really not that much of a stickler about spelling. One could probably find questionable spelling and grammar here but it's really not OK anywhere and I think it's unprofessional when it's done in a professional context.

Today's BOTD references one of my favorite movies. A clip below:

Quote of the Day
We're going to Tennessee. Be there.
Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "So for my birthday, right after Christmas, he got me a real one, and it started my love affair with music, with jazz, and with Louis Armstrong."

I watched Jumper last night. I was in the mood for cheesy mindless entertainment (CME) and this one fits that bill to a T. A CME movie does not hold up to a moment's thought but it works when you're not in the mood to even give up that much. Hayden Christensen gets top billing and is the protagonist but Jamie Bell and Samuel L Jackson steal the show. A jumper is a person who can teleport from one place to another. There is an organization, led by Jackson, who would prefer that no one have that ability and their goal is to exterminate the jumpers. Best to just immerse yourself, revel in its absurdity, and eat plenty of popcorn. Keep an eye on Jamie Bell, though. I've seen him in a couple of things now. He's going to be a star.

The only thing worse than having substantial portions of my playoff teams eliminated yesterday (Spawn and Death on Two Legs) is not being very high in the standings afterward. Well, it's not like I know anything about football. Illustration: I liked the Colts chances of going to the Super Bowl and I thought the Falcons were a lock yesterday.

I offer two from the front yard on this balmy CrabAppleLane Sunday.

CrabAppleLane Needles - January 4, 2009
CrabAppleLane Needles - January 4, 2009

CrabAppleLane Ants - January 4, 2009
CrabAppleLane Ants - January 4, 2009

My neighbor and I were wrestling one day when I was a kid. He got the advantage and held me down in a red ant pile. It wasn't as big as this one and he didn't do that on purpose. I couldn't get up and they were biting me pretty good. It wasn't until he got bit that he let me up. I did a dance because there were ants in my pants. Red ant piles don't get this big in the city usually because people do something about them. Out here at CrabAppleLane, where parts of the yard can go untended for a few weeks, they are more like castles than piles.

Quote of the Day
I like to walk for a change. Makes me feel normal.
Griffin, Jumper

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Teleportation can make your day more interesting. Like having a break on the head of the Sphinx in Egypt."

Stupid Movie Weekend

The first of three disappointing movies I watched this weekend was The Golden Compass. I'll admit I have a high standard for these magical, fantasy-type movies. If they're done very well and there's a good story, like the Harry Potter series, I go for them. Otherwise, I get in a get-to-the-point-get-this-over-with mood. This one got there early. The makers left an opening for a sequel but they can count me out unless I hear a spectacular review from someone other than Roger Ebert, who gave this turkey 4 stars.

Next up was I Am Legend. I like Will Smith and this was entirely his movie. He was in almost every scene and mostly by himself. This is another film that was lacking a story. They set it up nicely but didn't know what to do with it. He plays a cat and mouse game with some vampire-like, former-human creatures that only come out at night. He's looking for a cure to save them. About those creatures: They're so brain-dead that they run into things until they break them but they're also smart enough to bait and spring a trap on Dr. Neville (Smith). Not quite as dull as The Golden Compass but not much better, either. Ebert gave this one 3 stars.

Yes, it was a long weekend. Finally, I decided to invest the time in Transformers. This one qualifies as cheesy mindless entertainment. It also qualifies as a guilty pleasure. It makes no bones about its absurdity and I liked that. Transformers is pure comic book. You don't have to work so hard at it, though, like the previous films mentioned here today. Ebert gave this one 3 stars, too. That's a little too high but I liked this one more than the other two. It was a long, dull weekend at CrabAppleLane with no yardwork and no football that I cared much about.

Quote of the Day
You know, that seat belt thing was a pretty smooth move.
Mikaela Banes, Transformers

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Transformers visiting ancient Earth (and not conquering it?) should make for an interesting story line."

P.S. I Love You

We watched P.S. I Love You last night. I knew going what kind of movie it was going in but I thought the cast might elevate it into something I'd like. The wife was in tears throughout but I kinda started watching the clock about an hour in. Hilary Swank, a great actor, wallows in grief at the loss of her young husband throughout the film. A scheme set in motion by said husband, which is supposed to get her to move on with her life, only prolongs the grief. That's OK for a few minutes but it gets tedious after an hour or so. IMDb lists it at 126 minutes. Seemed longer than that. Most reviews there disagree, though, so don't go by me.

So the Saints won yesterday. They still need a lot of help to play beyond December. They can help themselves a little by beating the Bears in Chicago Thursday night. Both teams are 7-6. They haven't played well versus the Bears the last two years in Chicago. The Saints have been inconsistent from week to week all year and this figures to be their down week. All indicators are the Bears will end their playoff hopes. Hope I'm wrong.

Quote of the Day
You know, I was in an off-Broadway play with Al god damn Pacino I don't need this shit. Want the balloons?
Leprechaun, P.S. I Love You

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I had Christmas music playing on the stereo, the house was (relatively) tidy and nothing was on fire."

Quantum of Solace

We went to see Quantum of Solace last night. We usually don't go to the prime time 7:30PM shows because they tend to be noisy and overcrowded. That was surely the case last night. There were long lines to get tickets at the single ticket window but someone finally got a clue and opened their other ticket window. There were long lines to get concessions, too. We ended up sitting in the front section of seats (3rd row center). All of that was OK. We were on time and looking forward to the movie. More about the film after the mini-rant.

During the previews for movies these days, a PSA comes on where you hear a cell phone ring and a baby cry. The point of the PSA is Don't Add Your Own Soundtrack, be courteous to others, etc. Someone didn't get the message. We had a toddler and an infant behind us who made noise throughout the movie and their clueless parents/guardians/whatever couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it. It was so loud and so frequent that it was impossible to ignore. I'm mad at the parents/guardians/whatever this morning but I'm also mad at the theater for even allowing them in. There was nothing in that film for those two kids but once they're inside, the only way to deal with it is to get up, go find a manager, and confront them. Not only will you miss a large chunk of the movie, they may decide to do nothing about it or you might end up in an even larger brouhaha. Who wants to do that? Back in the days of ushers, they would have been asked to leave. That theater is getting a letter from me but I doubt anything will change.

About the movie: It's a continuation of Casino Royale. The action is relentless, really fast, and the camera is right in the middle of it most of the time. It's so close that it's a little hard to follow. It wasn't as good as Casino Royale but I still liked it.

One from the CrabAppleLane front yard on this rather bleak Sunday afternoon.

Quote of the Day
I really think you people should find a better place to meet.
James Bond, Quantum of Solace

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I've raised this before as "bums on seats" was once suggested by tv film critic Barry Norman. If you paid say £4 to see Casino Royale 2 years ago and now pay £6.50 to see QOS, now times both by 1 or 10 million and you see where we're coming from."

The Dish is one of those films that gives joy in every one of its little moments. My kind of movie. They usually come from overseas because Hollywood doesn't know how to do little moments any more. It's about a radio telescope in Parkes, New South Wales, Australia and its team of scientists and technicians but it's also about the proud little town. They've been asked to support the Apollo 11 NASA moon mission. Parkes is one of those small towns that only exists in the movies. Everyone knows everyone. Lots of big wigs are descending on the quiet town to celebrate the participation. It creates a culture clash. NASA has armed the dish security guard, a bumbler who knows nothing about security, and I'm still laughing this morning at the national anthem of the United States that the local band had 48 hours to learn. I will not spoil that one. Sam Neill is perfect as the director of the satellite team. He's one of my favorite actors. His performances always seem so effortless. Patrick Warburton also gives a good performance as NASA representative Al Burnett.

Al Burnett: Not everyone at NASA is a hotshot college genius. The guy I most admire is from a one-horse town in Ohio.
Ross 'Mitch' Mitchell: And what's he do?
Al Burnett: Tomorrow he's gonna walk on the moon.

I admire him, too. The Dish is a delightful film. See it with a big bowl of popcorn.

Before I present the Sunday picture, I thought I'd give thanks to my friend, Kim, for this item on her blog. Say what you will about Texas but they are working to pass a law with the word "zombie" in it. Is your state? Go Texas.

I offer one from just outside my window this chilly CrabAppleLane Sunday morning. My little chatterbox friend is still here. Not at all sure what kind it is now. I first leaned toward buff-bellied then toward rufous but now I'm back on buff-bellied. Whatever it is, I think it may have decided to winter here. I'm OK with that.

CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - November 16, 2008
CrabAppleLane Hummingbird - November 16, 2008

Quote of the Day
Does mum know you have a gun?
Janine Kellerman, The Dish

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Look at the bill on this hummingbird! "

Life

I watched a few episodes of Life last year at the tail end of the season and then it disappeared. I don't read the gossip stuff or the fan forums so I had no idea what NBC's plans for it were. It has been my experience that TV moguls don't have the patience to allow smart, quirky shows to find an audience and I always assume that to be the case when I don't see something for a long time. My DVR is set to record it whenever it comes on and that saves me the grief of looking for it. The basic premise is that a cop named Crews (Damien Lewis from Band of Brothers) was wrongly convicted of a murder, spent 12 years of his "Life" sentence in prison, was exonerated by DNA, sued the city or the police department and received a large settlement, and was reinstated to the police force. Got all that? The crime he was convicted of turns out to be part of a much wider, more mysterious conspiracy, involving his partner Reese's estranged father, and each show reveals another part of it. In the meantime, Crews and Reese (Sarah Shahi) solve crimes. Their working relationship is a joy to watch. Reese is all business and would probably prefer to be on the job all the time. Her personal life is a bit of a mess. Crews is unorthodox, a bit eccentric, and obsessed with the conspiracy that sent him to jail for 12 years. I don't think she ever knows what he's going to say or do next but she catches on quickly and they make a great team. This kind of pairing has been done a million times but rarely this well and, even more rarely, this well on TV. Highly recommended. Watch a few episodes online and you'll see what I mean. See it before a TV mogul kills it.

Quote of the Day
Revenge is a poison meant for others that we swallow ourselves.
Charlie Crews, Life

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Brilliant and quirky storytelling in a compelling setting with great actors. What more could one wish for?"

We watched Casino Royale last night. We borrowed it from our local public library at my friend Lana's suggestion and we will undoubtedly foray into that area again. They've got a considerable collection. This Bond rewinds back to the beginning. Delightful. The formula has changed a little. There are still dinner jackets, beautiful girls, and exotic locations but the predictability is gone. I'm OK with that. The action is breathtaking (There is a foot chase like nothing I have ever seen) but there are breathers in between and you see a side of Bond not seen before. The end is the set up for the next installment, Quantum of Solace, and Casino Royale with Daniel Craig as Bond is one of the best I've seen in this franchise. Hell yeah, I'm in.

I'm loving the British coverage of today's Saints-Chargers game in London. There's not much of it but what is out there is refreshing. This from Martin Johnson of the BBC:

I was trying to explain how the positions equate to our sport. As a game, generally it's all about territory. It's about control of the ball, scoring points, deception. In some ways it's very different. In some ways you can see the similarities.

Not sure if last week's Saints game was a harbinger of things to come but I'm not feeling good about today's game. The news about Deuce broke my heart. "Say it aint so, Joe" comes to mind. Good Luck, Deuce.

One from the CrabAppleLane backyard.

Unknown CrabAppleLane hummingbird - October 26, 2008
Unknown CrabAppleLane hummingbird - October 26, 2008

Hadn't seen any hummingbirds in a week so I had neglected the feeders for a couple of days. Was quite surprised and delighted to see this little fellow flitting and flying around. Not sure what kind it is. All I captured clearly was that bright orange bill and you can see the orange tinge to his fanned-out tail. His chatter is less squeaky than the ruby-throats and he's quite a bit more skittish. Hope to have a better one of him as the day goes on but I'm off to watch the Saints right now.

Quote of the Day
I'm sorry. That last hand ... nearly killed me.
James Bond, Casino Royale

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Both teams are hoping for some good Karma since New York played there last year and then went on the claim the Super Bowl Championship title. Foe those Americans who are traveling across the sea to support their teams are in for a treat. Besides great football, there is so much more to do."

Tuesday Tidbits - October 21, 2008

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Dying to see Quantum of Solace mainly because of the first trailer released for the film but I think I need to see Daniel Craig's Casino Royale first. Since it's playing only on a pay station I don't get, looks like a rare trip to the video store is in order. Looks like Craig is continuing in the vein of Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan ... breathing life back into the franchise that Roger Moore almost killed. I like bigger-than-life adventure films best but a good spy thriller is a close second. Bond, except for the Moore years, has been pretty reliable in that regard for almost my whole life.

The Saints are in London this week for a "home" game with the Chargers. I'm thinking there won't be much of a home field advantage. After watching a little bit of the Pats' pummeling of the Broncos last night one week after they laid an egg in San Diego and watching Carolina do the same to the Saints over the weekend one week after they laid an egg in Tampa, I'm thinking that anyone that can find some consistency this season might find themselves in the Super Bowl.

One from lunch yesterday:

Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - October 20, 2008
Bogue Falaya Wayside Park - October 20, 2008

About today's QOTD: It's from Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel's recently deceased mother, June, on Charlie becoming manager of the Phillies. R.I.P., Mrs Manuel.

Quote of the Day
That's all well and fine. But somebody's got to take this trash out.
June Manuel

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's a team you don't play very often. The preparation from that standpoint, you have to zero in on them. It'll be a fun week, and hopefully it ends on a high note on Sunday."

The Express and some old memories

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Ernie Davis, the subject of The Express, is just a little bit beyond my memory reach. The first two football games I remember going to were in 1964, when I was 7. Davis played at Syracuse 1959-1961 and died in 1963. I understand the sometime need for "artistic license" when telling a story and some of the details changed for the movie are so trivial that no one will be bothered by them. By the same token, why'd they bother? For instance, changing Elmira Free Academy to Elmira High School. I haven't seen the film and don't know how often it's mentioned but it only adds three syllables. Would that have made the film too long? Also, why change the real life detail that is every bit as compelling as the fictional detail? He overcame his stuttering problem by reading sports books and school books aloud but the film makers decided he should overcome it by reading the Bible aloud.

Speaking of those 1964 games I saw, they were the oldest and fiercest rivalries in Louisiana at the time and they are both just fragments in my memory. According to Wikipedia, LSU played Tulane on November 21, 1964 in old Tulane Stadium. Dad took me to it. I don't remember anything about the game except the score (Tigers won 13-3), the green and white pom poms the Tulane fans waved, and that LSU wore their purple and gold jerseys. The Tigers prefer their white jerseys, even at home, because LSU fans think the purple jerseys are bad luck. The home team gets to choose what jerseys they'll wear and Tulane hadn't won a game in the series in a long time so I suppose they were trying to bother LSU. It didn't work. LSU's opponent today, Florida, has made the Tigers wear the purple jerseys in Gainesville in the past although I don't know why. They've gotten the better of the series for most of the years I've followed it since the Steve Spurrier QB days.

The other 1964 game was a high school game between Jesuit and Warren Easton, Dad's Alma Mater, at old City Park Stadium. The Warren Easton Eagles also wear purple and gold. I remember nothing about this game except the score, 20-19 Eagles, and a Jesuit player running all alone for a touchdown but I don't remember the play that got him all alone. This game was probably played before the LSU-Tulane game that year and is probably the first one I ever attended but I can't confirm it ... and I really don't want to. They're both precious memories.

Quote of the Day
We have to get seven when we're down there, we can't come away with threes.
Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Everyone probably remembers that certain teacher from high school -- the one who was young, cool and bursting with new ideas. The one who wanted to make a difference and did."

About Paul Newman

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Of all of the Paul Newman movies that I love, The Hustler is easily my favorite. The world depicted in that film is a world that I knew. There is a pool hall near where I grew up that could have come right out of that movie. I suspect most pool halls could have. Hustlers and cutthroats abound. Everyone is hustling and everyone is being hustled and, no matter how good you are, you don't know which one you are until you leave. There is ALWAYS someone better than you and skill is not the only or most important ingredient in pool anyway. The film makers and the actors got everything exactly right about that. I love the pure acknowledgment at the end:

Fast Eddie: Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.
Minnesota Fats: So do you, Fast Eddie.

Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats played two matches in the movie: once in the beginning and once in the end. Eddie was the hustled in the first match and was the hustler in the second. His transformation from one to the other was what the rest of the movie was about and was very sad in a way. The reason he wanted to play Fats in the first place was he wanted to prove he was the best. Shooting pool at a pool hall isn't about being the best, though. It's about winning. It's about the money. To beat Fats, he had to do it on those terms. He'll never know if he was the best. The table was always tilted one way or the other.

More tributes at Sheila's and at The Coalition.

RIP, Paul Newman.

Quote of the Day
How should I play that one, Bert? Play it safe? That's the way you always told me to play it: safe... play the percentage. Well, here we go: fast and loose. One ball, corner pocket. Yeah, percentage players die broke, too, don't they, Bert?
Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman), The Hustler

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The driving-with-animals bill was backed by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles but ridiculed as the "Paris Hilton bill" by critics who described it as unwarranted interference by government."

True Blood

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Giving True Blood a try mainly because of Alan Ball. Loved Six Feet Under and American Beauty. Been kind of bored with vampires for a while but they keep reappearing in books/film/tv. The first two episodes were OK and I love the music.

The Saints stunk it up yesterday in Washington. Thoroughly outplayed. Lots to get straightened out before they head to Denver.

Quote of the Day
We have no power. We have no gas. We have no communications. We're not sure when any of that will be up and running. Do not come back to Galveston. You cannot live here right now.
Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The much-hyped premiere of HBO's newest show, True Blood failed to capture much of an audience Sunday night, with only 1.44 million viewers. HBO pinned a lot of hopes on the show, from Six Feet Under's Alan Ball, to bring back their big Sunday night ratings, which have plummeted since the loss of The Sopranos and Six Feet Under."

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners used to come on at 10PM at our house. They were reruns. The kids in the house were in bed but we could hear it from our bedrooms. More about that in a moment. I started recording them a few weeks ago off of WGN TV in Chicago. One of the cool things our DirecTV guide provides is a "First Aired" date. The episode we watched last night first aired March 17, 1956. I love having that information. By the time we were listening to them from our bedrooms in the 60s, they were in syndication. There were only 39 episodes in syndication and they were coming on every weeknight so a little basic math will tell you that you've seen/heard them all after 8 weeks. In our house, this routine went on for years. As we all got older, we were able to stay up and watch them. I've seen them all but haven't watched an episode in its entirety in a long time. Seeing them again now after many years is like seeing an old friend. I still know what's going to happen, still know every punch line, and still laugh when it's delivered. They are outrageously dated. How many viewers have ever seen an icebox or a wind-up record player in real life? This one hasn't. The show is more than just classic comedy, as if that wouldn't be enough, and it's much more than just a blast from the past. It's Americana.

10 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
When you come down the street, there aint no other side!
Ed Norton, The Honeymooners

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Why were the Honeymooners so special and why does their magical chemistry still have a hold on television viewers today?"

Wonderland

I caught the last hour or so of Wonderland last night and can't imagine why I'd ever want to see the rest of it. It's a real downer of a movie. Val Kilmer's John Holmes is a worthless scumbag. He gets himself in league with one group of drug-dealing criminals to rob another group of drug-dealing criminals that he's also acquainted with. When he feels shortchanged on his cut of the robbery, he goes back to the robbed guys and tells them who did it. The retaliation is brutal and pretty graphic. The movie doesn't quite make clear why either group would tolerate him in their midst. He's a zero. This is the kind of gritty movie critics tend to love. I was glad when it was over.

I noticed something the other day at the grocery store. The milk is now more than the cereal. Two boxes of Corn Pops on sale for $4. One gallon of milk for $5.75. Amazing.

20 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
You're going to do to those guys on Wonderland, what you did to me.
Eddie Nash, Wonderland

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "It's like sucking on a toughcicle--this keeping up with a blog!"

Well, that's one way to put it. -Rob

Harp on

One of my family's favorite movies when I was growing up was McLintock. I was thinking about that this morning as I read the latest about Brett Favre in New York. It's been great theater in my estimation and I'll admit I've been harping on this story way too much since it started. It was my intention to not say any more about it. The truth of it is that I only read a fraction of the stories I see about him because there are just entirely too many and I've grown weary of it. If the headline catches my attention, I'll click on it and probably read a paragraph or two at most. The headline that caught my attention today contained this quote from my new favorite diva:

I felt 38 today. I'm not going to lie to you.

That brings me back to McLintock. I was reluctant to take yet another cheap shot at the Favre situation but I'm reminded of McLintock's reluctance: "Somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't, I won't. Awww, the hell I won't.". With apologies to John Wayne, I'd like to say that "I felt 38 today" is the last thing I'd want to hear out of a QB that my team just traded for and that only has one, maybe two, years to get them where I want them to go.

21 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Half the people in the world are women. Why does it have to be you that stirs me?
GW McLintock, McLintock

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "GM Mike Tannebaum along with Head Coach Eric Mangenius knew that to be successful on offense they needed a vertical threat to keep defenses honest (not 7-8 in the box & dink and dunk)."

BBC America's Robin Hood

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I've been watching/recording Robin Hood for the two seasons it's been on. When I first saw it, I wondered how long they could sustain it. To their credit, the first couple of episodes were excellent. Introduction to the marvelous characters and their motivations was wholly responsible for that. Once the characters were all introduced, the writers pretty much ran out of gas. That was midway through the first season but they somehow continued on into a second season contriving even sillier stories. One of the central characters has been killed twice. The second season finale indicates there will be a third season. Yeah, I'll probably continue watching.

30 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Teachers, regardless of the path they take into the classroom, are leaving in droves. Some 14% of all new teachers quit after their first year; almost 50% are gone within five years.
Donna Foote

Blog of the day via Pitcherlady is here.

Quote from said blog: "On the short walk over there, we didn't talk about what brought him to this place or the ninety degree heat, or the fact that he'd had to not only ask for food but also for the bus fare to get back across town."

The Dark Knight

A few weeks ago, I was wondering if it was possible for The Dark Knight to live up to its hype. We saw it yesterday and for me, it didn't. I liked it and am glad I saw it on the big screen. It was a good, very dark film and Heath Ledger's Joker is an excellent villain. I found some of the many action sequences a bit confusing. Wow, they were loud. Some of them were really cool, though. I guess I'm just not that big a fan of Batman or Gotham City but the film is worth seeing.

Speaking of jokers, a real live one touched down in Green Bay yesterday. I don't think there's any truth to reports that the Packers have asked the NFL for a draft do-over. They took two QBs because Brett Favre retired, one in the second round.

31 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Never start with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy.
The Joker, The Dark Knight

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "The movie takes one on a dark journey into the minds of the Batman and his nemesis, The Joker, exposing the underbelly of a violent society mired in chaos."

Vantage Point & CrabAppleLane Sunday

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We watched Vantage Point last night. It's a great idea for a movie. I guess that's why it disappointed me. I think this kind of movie has an obligation to the audience to ground itself in reality or fantasy and let us know at some point which it is. This one went for reality but left way too much out. One important character (QOTD) apparently had knowledge that the audience didn't know he had. Another important character had enough knowledge to complete a pretty demanding task but not enough knowledge to figure out what kind of people he was dealing with. It wasn't all bad, though. Bert would say, "It's better than a finger in the eye". Well, yeah.

I offer one from just outside the CrabAppleLane side door:

CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 3, 2008
CrabAppleLane Hummingbirds - August 3, 2008 - The camera lens was still a little fogged up but I kinda liked what it did here.

32 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Surprised to still see me alive?
Enrique, Vantage Point

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "

The Kingdom

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I watched The Kingdom Saturday night alone. It's just as well that Patsy was away. This is not her kind of movie. It's a Peter Berg film and I found the background music hauntingly similar to his Friday Night Lights. It's a thriller that pushes just about every hot button most Americans have about Saudi Arabia and terrorism. The last 30 minutes of the film are as taut as any I've ever seen. If you've already seen the film or don't ever care to see it, Wikipedia has sections on western reception and middle eastern reception that I found interesting. I wondered about that because The Kingdom looks like it was shot on location and it's not at all flattering to the two most influential groups in Saudi Arabia, the Royal Family and the religious extremists. The rest of the Wikipedia piece is loaded with spoilers so beware. I liked the film for the action but it was mainly the performances of Ashraf Barhom and Ali Suliman that set it apart.

45 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Does he know where Bin Laden is? That would be a huge promotion for me.
Ronald Fleury, The Kingdom

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "My sluggishness was soon remedied with a WONDERFUL breakfast sandwich from the deli down the street. Ohhhhh it was greasy goodness!"

The Dark Knight

I wonder if its possible for The Dark Knight to live up to its hype (See today's QOTD). Josh Tyler goes on to say about Heath Ledger's Joker, "He is at once funny and terrifying.". Bonus points if I'm ever terrified during this movie but I'll give Ledger this: Of the three Jokers I've seen and heard (Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger), Ledger has the best laugh. The laugh is such an important part of the Joker that it is reason enough for me to ante up. Circumstance has pretty much guaranteed that it will be this year's biggest blockbuster. I'll probably see it a week or two into its run. You?

51 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Forget the great things you've heard about The Dark Knight. No matter how lavish the praise or how determined the hyperbole, it's all understatement.
Josh Tyler, CinemaBlend.com

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Coming Soon have sat down and spoken with three members of The Dark Knight cast, Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart and Gary Oldman."

Wanted

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We went to see Wanted yesterday. What can I say? It was my turn to pick the movie. Today's sage words of advice from CrabAppleLane if you decide to see this film: Check your brains at the door, suspend your disbelief as high as you can, and just go along for the ride. The film is thoroughly absurd from start to finish. It's a blast. I knew about what to expect from Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie and they delivered fine performances but I was thoroughly impressed with James McAvoy. If they make a sequel to this with McAvoy, I'm in. I'll probably have to go alone, though. Bummer.

52 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Either you make sweaters or you kill people.
Wesley Gibson, Wanted

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "You know you're from New Orleans when... you know way more than one person who lived exactly this kind of life."

The Big Country

Patsy and I watched The Big Country last night. I hope there is a better print of this fine film somewhere. The one we saw was blurry throughout and very dark in some spots even though they seemed to be shot in broad daylight. I recorded it off of our local PBS station's broadcast but I doubt that had much to do with the poor quality. Very disappointing. This is a western with a very familiar theme and an all star cast. The performances elevate it. Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Chuck Connors, and Carroll Baker are all terrific and Jean Simmons could easily have won an Oscar for her performance. Burl Ives did win an Oscar for his fabulous performance in this. We enjoyed it a lot.

54 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
Treat her right. Take a bath sometime.
Rufus Hannassey, The Big Country

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "I know I don't have to go into much detail to explain why this would be scary, but I will anyway, cause what's more fun than talking about widespread public nudity?"

In Plain Sight

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Patsy and I have started watching In Plain Sight. Score one for advertising. The clips they've been showing since January did the trick for us. Mary McCormack and Frederick Weller play US Marshals working in the witness protection program. The stories are fairly standard. It's the characters that make the show work. Frederick Weller's droll Marshall Mann is reason enough to watch. Really fun stuff. It's also good to see Lesley Ann Warren. I know she's done lots of other things but I still remember her in Cinderella.

So the old lawn mower is dead. Not really but I have no desire to put any more money into it. I found one online that doesn't quite break the bank and I ordered it. It comes with free shipping but someone has to be home to sign for it. No problem. That can be arranged. A few days go by and there's no email or contact of any kind with tracking info. I call the company. I'm told it will be a few more days and that someone will call before delivery. I'm also told someone has to be home to help the driver unload. Excuse me. The plan was for Patsy to be home and this item weighs nearly 600 pounds. She'll be of little use to the driver. I wouldn't be of much use, either. In my best heavy lifting days (Long in the past), 600 pounds would have been a struggle for just one other person and myself. The operator says, "Here's what I'll do. I'll request a truck with a lift gate. There's no extra charge for this service." If that's true, I wonder why they use any other type of service. I wonder how often they get to their destination with heavy items they can't unload.

Well, only because Charlotte sez. And that's a half hour I'll never get back. Thanks, Charlotte. :)

66 days until football season ...

Quote of the Day
He got those kids off the boat. He's in a better place now.
Eric Stone

Blog of the day here.

Quote from said blog: "Sleep with one eye open"

Cool pic. My Casey does that, too. -Rob

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