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07/18/2004 Creativity
07/15/2004 Ice Cream Report
07/11/2004 Tour de France, Baby
07/03/2004 Cicadas, again

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The most recent entries are first. If you haven't been here for a while scroll down or click on a date. And remember most pictures are links to a larger version.

Comments? Your movie reviews? I would love to hear from you!

Enough about you, let's talk about me....

July 18, 2004

The three climate control convectors in our apartment are going to be replaced in the next month so we had to reaarange our furniture to make room for the workers to get to the new convectors through the apartment as well as to accommodate the new larger size. As kids Lyla and I used to love to rearrange our bedroom. There was something new and exciting about it and I believe it was an early sign of creativity. I have thought about creativity alot recently. I had a discussion with one of the lighting guys on the Bollywood movie set about creativity and I realized that I really admire those who can envision. I am not an envisioner. I can be creative when I have a set of materials to work with - such as a selection of beads to make a bracelet, footage from my father's video camera or several pieces of furniture to move around. I rarely have an idea that I see in my head after which I gather all the necessary materials and create something. I wish I did and I suppose one can train to be an envisioner but at this time I am happy with my nicely rearranged living room.
A bracelet Earrings
Some more movie/DVD reviews
The Anniversary Party
A film about actors made by actors starring lots of famous actors. The plot involves 2 characters, Joe (Alan Cumming) and Sally (Jennifer Jason Leigh), celebrating their wedding anniversary with a party after almost splitting up. New and old problems surface as more champagne is poured and all hell breaks loose when the X is passed around. The movie was not great although I did like the relationships between several of the characters including that of Joe's best friend (played by Jennifer Beals) and jealous but trying to be tolerant Sally.

July 15, 2004

Ice Cream Report
We made a peach ice cream with fresh peaches and lime sorbet. Both were very good and were good together.
Peach and Lime  Ice Cream

July 11, 2004

Tour de France, Baby
It is Sunday late afternoon. I am on the balcony with a gin & tonic and a nice breeze. I did the Triathlon For The Rest Of Us again today and it is nice to be sitting down. Between the triathlon events we watched the CBS network coverage of the Tour de France today which was lame. (We don't have cable.) It was pretty much the Lance Armstrong show with a short mention of 3 of his serious competitors and an important interview with Lance's celebrity girlfriend, Cheryl Crow. We are, of course, rooting for Lance but it was nice that an Estonian (Latvia's neighbor) won one of the first stages (no mention of this in the coverage). So to see real coverage we have to wait about 6 months after the tour ends for the DVD. The DVD is very professionally filmed and is 3-12 hours long with step by step commentary by a team led by Brit Phil Liggett who was a racer long ago. Ligget is the "Voice of the Tour de France".

This past week a friend of Joe's lent us a DVD called "Tour de France, Baby". He said it was a behind-the-scenes look at the Tour. I knew from the title that it was not going to be anywhere near as professional as the offical Tour DVDs and it wasn't. But it was really good. This guy named Scott from California went there for the 2000 race with a camcorder and a French Canadian friend and was going to try to film what he could for 2 weeks. They rented a van to sleep in and for the first day or two just tried to get as close as they could to the action. His enthusiasm and friendliness got him a press pass and he then kept getting better and better passes. He started out doing things like inspecting the contents of a food bag that are handed out to the cyclists. He was able to get one because it had been run over by one of the team cars. And he interviewed some of the pretty podium girls who present awards to the stage winners. (Agatha seemed to be his favorite.) By the time the race was over (he had extended his trip) he had been in the Postal Service trailer, talked to the team including Lance, and gotten Robin Williams and Phil Liggett and numerous cuurent and past competitors and to plug the project. He is now selling the DVD and is donating proceeds to the Lance Foundation (

Not much else is going on. I had dinner with some old friends that I used to work with Friday night. Everyone is doing well and we had fun catching up. One of the old friends (Jan) also brews beer. She put me to shame when she told me she brews beer for her church's Octoberfest (I did not know churches held Octoberfests). She makes about 6 cases of all different kinds for the event. I was truly impressed. I have had several of her beers at a mutual friend's (Lorella) house. It is always good and served in interesting bottles nicely tagged with the beer type (ale, porter,etc).I think I do a little better in the label department. I'll add the labels for my last brew in December when I find them. I think they must be on one of our external hard drives.

In the meantime here is another neighborhood picture Joe took on one of his walks:

Cicada Damage

July 3, 2004

Cicadas, again
So a couple of weeks ago I noticed what seemed to be a number of trees near where we live in bloom. I don't remember so many flowering trees. I soon realized that this was cicada damage. The cicadas are long gone but they have laid their eggs in branches of trees nears the end of limbs. The ends of the limbs turn yellow (looking like blossoms), then brown and then eventually fall off. the hatched cicadas fall to the ground too and dig into the ground where they will wait 17 years plotting ways to terrorize me. I will be 17 years older so I suspect I will be even more terrorized than I was this year. Here's a picture of the trees.
Cicada Damage

And here's me in my kitchen wearing netting from a bag of avocados. I'll have to save this liitle hat. I could probably terrorize the cicadas when they come back before they terrorize me.

Cicada Damage

Some more movie/DVD reviews
Ginger Snaps
This is supposed to be a new take on the Teenage Werewolf movie. It was more female centric than most I've seen (although I can't say I have seen that many). Two sisters who hate the world and all their classmates drift apart when one of them is attacked by a werewolf. The relationship between the two sisters was interesting and their antics to shock and gross out their parents and teachers were fun. The slow transition of one of the sisters into a werewolf was good and creepy. But the movie sort of fizzled out at the end. And it was much better when the werewolf was something you almost catch a glimpse of rather the cheesy computer graphics you see chasing them at the end.

The Big Lebowski
What fun! Lots of great characters. There's the washed up surfer-type dude named Dude played by Jeff Bridges, the ready-to-lose-it-war-vet type played by John Goodman and their dim sidekick played by Steve Buscemi. John Turturro plays a great minor character - a sort of gay latin lover bowler named Jesus whose lack of command of the English language results in some hilarious insults. And the bowling alley is so nicely decorated. There are some great lines and some great situations. There's even some song and dance numbers. I think I'll put this one right after #1 Fargo on my list of favorite Coen Brothers movies.

Overrated. I did like some of the dancing, particularly the last number, but the story was tired. I kept thinking how it was a bit like Cabaret but Cabaret was so much better. I know my nephew liked this movie and maybe it is because it is different from his usual Pokeman and kids-with-cool-gadgets movies. I wonder if he would like Cabaret.

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