Thursday, June 22, 2017

Welcome Summer!

Wednesday was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

It was also the opening reception for the Iconic Norwalk photograph competition. Jeff and I went to check it out. It was nice, but smaller than we expected.

Since it was the longest day for us, we took Lola to Taylor Farm for an evening visit.

Looking forward to a good summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Live Jazz Night

On Saturday night, Jeff and I went to a jazz show at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in Waveny Park in New Canaan. In addition to the jazz, we saw the current exhibit, and sampled some local spirits and chocolates.

There were a few problems. The venue was too hot; surprisingly that didn't effect me--maybe because I had a cold--but I could see that it bothered Jeff. More importantly, several people just milled around and talked through the entire performance--loudly. I tried to ignore them, but it was hard.

We left a little early because it was hot and I didn't feel well, but enjoyed the music. I expect we'll return to Carriage Barn Arts Center.

Goodbye Bill

Jeff and I went to a memorial service Saturday for our friend Bill who died at the end of April.

I've always thought that funerals are barbaric--gazing at the corpse--hearing people say the deceased looks good. Memorial services are much better. Maybe you can't escape the sadness, but the focus is on celebration.

We saw a slideshow of photographs over the years with the soundtrack of James Taylor's cover of You've Got a Friend and John Denver's Sunshine on my Shoulders. A minister who didn't know Bill led the service. Bill's sister Janet and two friends spoke. The minister ended the service by playing Bill's favorite hymn.

I was surprised to hear about some of Bill's travels. He had been to Nepal and climbed the pyramid at Chichen Itza. Jeff and I also climbed Chichen Itza--we could have shared memories.

I wonder what other friends' stories I've been missing.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Three with Margaret Lindsay

Here a a few of TCM's offerings that I saw over the last few days.

Caught a quickie--60 minutes long--yesterday: 1936's Isle of Fury. In addition to Margaret Lindsay, it stars Humphrey Bogart. The film begins with their wedding, which is interrupted by a shipwreck which brings a new arrival (Donald Woods) as a rival to Bogart. The problem is that the romantic rivalry is never really developed or possibly too subtle under the Production Code. Bogart and Woods become best buddies despite the underlying conflict between their positions. I can't discuss this film without mentioning the stupid octopus attack. The whole sequence makes no sense. Bogart is going pearl diving to show the natives it's not dangerous. But he wears a deep sea diving suit--they have no such equipment. The octopus is ludicrous. Then Woods dives in--sans suit--and saves Bogart. Strange.

I had previously seen and recently recorded Fog Over Frisco (1934.) This stars Lindsay and Woods along with the great Bette Davis. Davis is the "bad influence" sister of Lindsay and is involved in securities fraud. She pays for her crimes by dying halfway through the film. This is one of her few early films that Davis enjoyed. It's fast paced and fairly complex with good San Francisco location shots. Although some IMDB users compared Fog Over Frisco to Psycho, the comparisons are few. Both films involved the star stealing money and both stars died in the first half of the movie.

Today's film was Private Detective 62 (1933). This time Lindsay stars with William Powell. They had great chemistry. Come to think of it, I can't think of anyone Powell didn't have good chemistry with. (I would love to re-watch Fashions of 1934 to see him with Davis.) Powell plays a moral "private detective" in an immoral profession. He reluctantly takes a job to discredit Lindsay, but falls in love instead. He ultimately saves her from being framed for murder.

To sum up: Isle of Fury is only worth watching for fans of Bogart, Warner Brothers B films and bad octopi. The other two are much more enjoyable.

Congratulations Curtis on 300!

Last night Curtis Granderson hit his 300th career home run joining an elite group. 

It wasn't just a personal triumph for Curtis; he broke a 4-4 tie in the Mets' rubber match with the World Champion Cubs.The Mets exploded for five runs in the eighth inning for a 9-4 win.

Last night's win provides great momentum for an important four-game series against the Washington Nationals starting tonight. Dare I hope for a sweep? It will bring the Mets up to .500 and they'll close to 4.5 games behind the Nats in the National League East.

Last Sunday I overheard two guys at Southbury Dog Park discussing the Mets. One thought the Mets didn't have a chance to get back into the pennant race.

I want to hope. I want to believe. It will be tough, but stranger things have happened.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Connecticut Open House Day

Saturday was Open House Day here in Connecticut.

One local event was a tour of WPA murals as well as an outing on a oyster boat. I led one of the mural tours, and Jeff and I were psyched to get out to the Norwalk Harbor on a boat. It was a a beautiful day. We learned a lot about the oyster business.

We also went to the re-opening of Mill Hill. The grounds had been landscaped with new signage added. We also enjoyed an art show which included preliminary versions of Alexander Rummler's WPA murals.

After Mill Hill, we headed home to pick up Lola for an hour hike at Cranbury Park. To top off the day, the Mets swept the double header, and Jeff cooked dinner.

It was a good day.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mis-Scheduling

Last Sunday we bought a dishwasher. Our current machine hasn't been working properly for some time; it would stop in mid-cycle. It wasn't so bad if it happened once, but it got to he point that it took all day to run a full cycle.

I thought the dishwasher would be delivered today. I had selected an 8 to 12 window. But d'uh. The actual delivery date is next Thursday, the 15th. I was annoyed because I adjusted my schedule around the delivery time today. It's not a big deal; I worked on some things that I could do at home, but it wasn't the best use of time.

One of my most exasperating traits is that when I have extra time to get somewhere I manage to just make it or I'm a little late. Similarly when I have a full day to do something, I often don't accomplish anything.

Sometimes this failure to accomplish things extends into weeks. When I have a week free, I often waste most of it.

I've been working on this by tracking my time, making to-do lists and plans. But it's frustrating to see how easily I can be thrown off my game. Next week, I have to devote another morning home for the real delivery. Another day I have to take my mother to her ear doctor.

And so it goes