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Showing posts from December, 2017

Thoughts on a Birthday

"I've become aware that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind." -Jean-Pic Picard
Driving home from St. Louis today, I looked at my left hand, resting on the steering wheel. It looked older than I'd remembered. We see our hands every day, but we don't really look at them (at least I don't). My hands aren't those of an elderly person by any means, but the skin sits a little thinner on them than used to, and it hugs the bones just a tad bit more than before. A day after my birthday, looking at that left hand, I wearily thought to myself, "I suppose it's the hand of a 42-year-old."
Birthdays are always an occasion to think about where our lives have been, where they're at now, and where they're going. This year's anniversary of a trip around the sun was no different. I woke up yesterday with a slight ache in my back. It went away soon enough, and could very well have been caused by sleeping in a hotel bed my body wasn'…

A Little Christmas Music

It's Christmas Eve, and while stockings are hung by the chimney with care, families attend church services, St. Nick loads-up his sleigh in the North Pole somewhere, some of us are getting in the mood by listening to Christmas music. Here are are a few of my favorite holiday songs...

Pic of the Week

Here is Olympic gold medal-winning British diver Chris Mears, amongst some wrapped presents, sipping on hot cocoa (or tea). Merry Christmas!

The Top 10 Songs of 2017

Some years are better than others. This is one of those years. At least, it's a better year in what is, admittedly, my narrow definition of what constitutes good music. Sometimes, in years past, I'd be struggling to come up with ten songs that really spoke to me. Not so with this go-around. It was tough to narrow my favorite songs of 2017 to just ten, but here we are.
I share these lists with you once a year, dear reader, not out of any ego (well, perhaps a little), but because music has been, and continues to be, so important to me. Music is one of those enveloping  external forces that can transport us to another time and place, remind us of long ago (and current) loves, and basically warp our thoughts and emotions like very little else.
Here, then, are my Top 10 favorite songs of 2017. I hope you enjoy at least some of them.

The Last Opinion

I've had mixed feelings about The Last Jedi since seeing it opening night last week. It certainly has its moments, scenes which shock, dismay, and make you want to stand up and cheer. Alas, they are part of a film that feels disjointed and, if we're being honest, attempts to do too much. A lot happens in The Last Jedi, and it isn't always presented very well. Important moments occur, but they're not allowed to marinate, because we're on to the next one. And, finally, there are plot holes and plot devices galore.
Enough vagueness. Let's dig in to what works and what doesn't regarding the latest entry in the venerable Star Wars saga. What follows are, of course, SPOILERS. If you haven't yet watched the movie, then turn back now.

Pic of the Week

Our pic of the week is actor Adam Driver, now starring in the latest entry in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi. I can't wait to see it!

Prediction: 2020

It may seem odd to attempt to predict the outcome of a presidential election that is two years and eleven months away, but then I never claimed not to be a little odd. Politics is also something that is weighing on people's minds a lot these days, especially at the national level. The biggest focus is on the 2018 midterm elections, but I'm curious about 2020, as well.
A lot of folks -- though certainly not all -- are of the opinion that President Trump will be ousted (or will resign) during his first term, making a prediction of his 2020 re-election chances a moot point. I'm not so sure. If 2016 taught us anything, it's to never be too certain of anything. The pessimist in me thinks that Trump could possibly not only stay in office, but also be re-elected. Following is why -- at this particular juncture -- I think that is the case.
With a little help from the 270towin web site, let's look at how the Electoral College could shake-out in 2020. We're only focusin…

Falling In Love at the Movies

While many of us remember our first kiss, or falling in love for the first time, how many times have we been convinced of witnessing the depiction of those same emotions on the silver screen? Granted, it may not be something a lot of folks think about, but for me, romance in the movies can have the power to incredibly stir the soul, make me flinch awkwardly in my seat, or just flat-out laugh. After recently viewing the wonderful new movie Lady Bird, and being completely swept-up in the fledgling  romance of the title character and her classmate Danny, it reminded me of how I'm a sucker for a well-done movie romance.
In order for me to be convinced of the  adoration onscreen, pretty much everything has to be right -- the script, the acting, the score, the direction, editing, etc. It all has to set the right mood and believability. That isn't always an easy task. Most films run between 90 and 120 minutes. That isn't a terribly long time to introduce us to characters, advance…

Pic of the Week

Actor Lucas Hedges is our new Pic of the Week! Lucas is currently featured in two powerful films  -- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird -- and he is great in both movies. If you haven't seen them yet, I highly recommend finding time to see them.