View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: June 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007


Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

This was on Fox Movie Channel the other night, and I watched it for about the 20th time.

"The act of death has caused another life to be reborn.
Together, we share the wonder of human existence.
And let there be no doubt that all of us are brothers.
There can be no beginning or ending that does in some way not touch another.
For our actions affect the lives and destinies of the many.
Z-Man: He forgot that life has many levels...
...and by choosing to live on only one, lost sight of reality.
Ashley: Men were toys for her amusement.
Her total disregard for their feelings made love a stranger to her.
Lance Rocke: He never gave of himself.
Those who only take must be prepared to pay the highest price of all.
Porter Hall used his profession to mask selfish interests... betray the trust|that should have been sacred.
Susan Lake: Perhaps too pure.
Excessive goodness can often blind us... the human failings of those less perfect.
Emerson found that something as precious as love...
...brings with it a demand for greater understanding.
Casey and Roxanne: Light and shadow.
Theirs was not an evil relationship. But evil did come because of it.
Otto: An end to Martin Bormann?
Harris: He forgot that yesterday is only for remembering.
Those who choose to live there lose sight of tomorrow.
Pet's mistake: A fleeting thing, born of emotion...
...yet it almost ruined the lives of two others.
Randy's body: A cage for an animal. It lifted him to the top of his field...
...but in the end, the beast almost killed him.
And Kelly? Her selfish involvement... ready to turn her back on friendship. The road back is painful.
But by her pain, she will never again forget.
You must each decide what your life will be.
You must always know that a hand extended to your fellow man... a gesture of love.
Love that asks nothing, expects nothing. It is simply there.
And if love is in you, then gentle will be all your steps... you walk beyond this valley."

Roger Ebert is a genius.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Route 146 rainstorm

Ran into a storm on the way home from work tonight.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Karl's on the Quad

Found this photo at UNH's online alumni magazine site.

I think I spent half the 80's standing in line at Karl's. I can still reel off the KarlSpeak that was required for ordering. At some point after I graduated, Karl was forced to move his truck to somewhere over near Stoke. The 80's may have officially ended at that point. This photo looks like it may be from the later years, judging from the style of dress. UNH is an excellent academic institution, but individual style of dress was never its strong suit. It never is at any place with a lot of frats. Back when I went there, the students all dressed in a uniform style of Izod shirts, chinos, wayfarer sunglasses and docksiders. This photo appears to be early-90's. Flannel shirts, untucked, but not shabby. So grunge was just making its first inroads and was edging out the preppy look, but it hadn't gotten totally frayed yet. And the kids are wearing their baseball caps straight, not reversed, so it's not the late 90's yet. NOT a school that embraces the unconventional.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Albany: June 19th, 2007, 12:52pm


The Boston Herald is Creepy

There used to be a games store in Cambridge. I think it was called "Games People Play". It was a pretty interesting store, with great selection of rare and imported games, but the real reason I used to go there was because the woman who worked there was so weird. She had this huge, theatrical, over-the-top personality. She had this self-image that was lifted straight out of some British drawing-room drama. Game boxes weren't torn, they were "distressed". The winter weather outside wasn't bad, it was "objectionable". This woman was so affected it was like talking with someone from another time. In the end, she was kind of creepy.

The Boston Herald is like that. I read the Herald every day. It's not a bad paper. Certainly there are worse out there. And certainly there are better. The Boston Globe is a better paper. The Wall Street Journal is a better paper. But the Herald is an easy read and its web page is one of the best-designed newspaper web pages I've come across.

But, man... the Herald has some creepy affectations. One of the most prominent is its use of the word "jakes" for firefighters. I have never heard anyone use this word in normal conversation. Neither have you. But the Herald will go out of its way to find an opportunity to put the word "jakes" on its pages. It's like you're reading a newspaper where all the reporters wear fedoras with a press card tucked into the hat band. It's weird and annoying. I know headline space makes the word "firefighters" a challenge, but find some way around it that makes sense. Jeez. They even use it on their web page, where space restrictions aren't an issue. It's an affectation.

The Herald's other creepy feature is Howie Carr. I want Howie Carr's job. I could knock out a column in five minutes. No problem at all. Every day it's the same column: "Hack. Hack. Hacks. Hack. Fat Matt. Hack-a-rama. Moonbat Deval. Hack Hack hacks hackhackhack buch of hacks. citizens for limited taxation. hack hack Dukakis hack-a-rama back when Jerry Williams hack hack hacks..." Wouldn't you be embarassed to pick up a fat paycheck every Friday for writing this same crap week in and week out? And yet his sycophants love it. Maybe Howie had some chops back in the day, but he's long since become some sort of creepy touchstone for a strange talk-show subculture. Come back, Jim Dempsey. You could write circles around this tub of lard lameass in your sleep.

The third creepy thing about the Herald is the constant logrolling relationship it has with WEEI. Or at least I assume it does. I stopped tuning in to WEEI about a year ago. The morning show is unlistenable. The afternoon show is a bunch of guys yelling over each other for 4 hours. The late night show is a snoozefest. Only Dale and Holly are interesting.I long ago moved on to Patriots and Red Sox podcasts. But the one thing all WEEI's shows have in common in their unwavering slobbering over whatever the Herald has written that day. It's a symbiotic business relationship that WEEI's talkers try to pass off as a symbiotic editorial relationship. There is a world of difference between the two and passing the former off as the latter is...


Friday, June 22, 2007


The Legend of the North Country

I may be the last person to have heard the news... but apparently Billy Chinnock has died.

Chinnock was part of the soundtrack to my college years. He was one of the originals of the 70's Asbury Park scene, and then in late part of that decade he moved to Maine, and he became a huge cult figure in northern New England. He'd sell out the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. His songs were in heavy rotation on 102.9, (107.5 back then) WBLM - "The Rock and Roll Blimp". I had most of his albums, though the famous bootleg from the 1978 Bates College show with Southside Johnny I was never able to track down. He married the daughter of Maine music legend Dick "Tombstone Every Mile" Curless.

Mike Raymond tells a story about the time he was moving furniture in a Maine apartment building and, going up in the elevator, was singing a Chinnock tune. He sang the line "The mill closed down today.." and the elevator doors opened and the two businessmen standing there looked at him and, together sang, "three thousand men were turned away..", the next line in the song.

In grad school, I made a music video to the title track off his album "Dime Store Heroes". It's on a half-inch tape somewhere in the cellar. I will try to find it and post it here.

Chinnock took his own life after years of untreated Lyme Disease. The virus got into his brain and made him an invalid. I guess he just couldn't deal with being so sick anymore.

Bill Chinnock was 59 years old.


One Minute of Random Camcorder Video from 1985

I discovered this snippet of video on an ancient VHS tape at the bottom of a dusty cardboard box in my cellar.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Yet Another Player in the Cheese-in-a-Can Wars

This one is "Leland" brand American cheese-in-a-can. I've never heard of it, but it's sold by Aldi Stores. Aldi is the bargain version of Trader Joe's.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


2006 Alouettes Trip

Thursday, June 14, 2007


One Minute at The Palace

This is from March. We'd just landed in Dublin, were jet-lagged and stopped into one of the city's greatest bars for our first Guinness of the trip.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


This Will Make You Queasy

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Ranking the Bond Movies

Everyone does this list. Here's my take.

1. The Living Daylights

- I know, I know. A lot of people hate Timothy Dalton's portrayal of Bond, but I abide by the prevailing wisdom that his Bond was closest to Fleming's archetype. He might actually be closer to John Gardner's Bond. This movie rates at the top because of several factors: The cargo net scene, the Gibraltar scene, Maryam D'Abo, and the Karachi line. The Aston Martin is sweet. Bond is digging some cool jazz in a 2-second throw-away shot. And glorifying the Mujahadin is such an epic blunder it's actually kind of endearing. Aw, look how innocent we were back in 1987.

2. Diamonds Are Forever

- It had Mister Kidd and Mister Wint. What more can you ask for? Plus: the Bombe Suprise. The tart's handkerchief line. "Hi, I'm Plenty. But of course you are." And Willard Whyte. Lots of fun, plus the oil platform scene at the end, which "24" ripped off this year.

3. Thunderball

-Everyone's favorite. Connery in top form, and the rapelling scene. Plus, classic Blofeld. The guy who plays Felix is pretty good. Great pacing. Some nice MI6 details.

4. Casino Royale

- Bond is back after Brosnan's lackluster tenure. Daniel Craig is tough and brutal, a Bond for the 21st century. Best line: "Ow." Worst line: "No." (Craig somehow says it wrong, IIRC) An excellent femme fatale, and Felix was pretty good too.

5. Live and Let Die

-It's REALLY dated now, but Moore's first Bond outing remains exotic, funky and enjoyably weird. I still love the sword-on-the-headstone gimmick. AND you get Geoffrey Holder. Try doing that with a cola nut.

6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

-Lazenby's solo stab at 007 has grown in stature over the years. I have no problems with his performance, and I like the tragic ending, but years of Kojak reruns have made Savalas a tough sell as ESB.

7. The Spy Who Loved Me

- Great theme song, great pre-credits action sequence. That awesome Lotus that converts into a submarine. Moore hitting his stride, before he became too cartoonish.

8. Goldfinger

- Slow in spots, but a top Connery outing. The crop-duster scene is a classic. You have that laser, and Auric Goldfinger delivers perhaps the greatest line of any Bond villain ever. You know.

9. GoldenEye

- Brosnan's first and best Bond flick. The pre-credits sequence is fantastic, and the establishing shot is dark and gray and threatening. Alan Cumming, Joe Don Baker and Robbie Coltrane add to the fun.

10. You Only Live Twice

- Bond in "the Orient", before people stopped using that word. A fun flick, but a little sparse. Made at the height of astronaut coolness.

11. From Russia With Love

- I like this one, but a lot of fans decry the relative lack of action. It's a change of pace for the franchise, but the supporting cast, especially Robert Shaw, is great and John Barry's classic Bond theme makes its first appearance here.

12. For Your Eyes Only.

- I probably should rate this one higher. Perfectly paced and enjoyably derivative... this was perfect summer fare. I am a big fan of Anthony Zerbe, so that's a bonus. The twist in the middle comes off a little poorly, though. does anyone remember the furor the original poster caused?

13. License to Kill

- Someone said this was more like a "Lethal Weapon" movie than a Bond film, and I agree. It's a strange movie. Very 80's. But we get David Hedison back for another go-round as Felix, and Carey Lowell is perhaps the most under-rated Bond girl ever. The movie also gives Q something sunstantive to do for a change.

14. The World is Not Enough

- Points deducted for Denise Richards as the worst Bond girl ever, but TWINE gets bonus points for Sophie Marceau's performance, which is great scenery-chewing fun. And Robbie Coltrane's character goes out with a bang.

15. Casino Royale (1954)

- Cheaply staged, poorly lit, and no decent prints remain. But this is Bond's first screen appearance, and Barry Nelson does a nice job introducing the character to viewers. Nelson needs to be included in the Bond pantheon more often than he is. A lot of die-hards discount this one because Bond is portrayed as an American, but come on. Chill.

16. Tomorrow Never Dies

- I dunno. Michelle Yeoh is just okay. The helicopter chase scene is kind of stupid. Jonathan Pryce is way too WASPy to be truly megalomaniacal. Teri Hatcher is lame, and the car rental agency stunt is too cutesy. Vincent Schiavelli is awesome, though.

17. Never Say Never Again

- Boy is this dated. A re-make of Thunderball and produced outside the Broccoli realm. Connery's stunt-double on the motorcycle is laughable, and Desmond Llewellyn is sorely missed. Still, it's watchable.

18. The Man With the Golden Gun

- This should have been a lot better, but the franchise gets too cartoonish too quickly, helped not at all by the return of Sheriff JW Pepper. The use of AMCs as Bond vehicles is enjoyable and amusing at the same time, and this one has one of the great car stunts of all time.

19. Dr. No

- Memorable as Bond's first big-screen outing. But the pacing is glacial. And you need to suspend disbelief to convince yourself that's not McGarrett.

20. Die Another Day

- The invisible car. The invisible car made everyone realize they'd finally gone too far. Madonna. Ugh. Terrible theme song. The sword fight was pretty good. And Halle Berry and rosamund Pike were memorable. But the surf-riding scene was wince-inducing. And, as horrible as the invisible car was, we probably have it to thank for Casino Royale, because it made EVERYONE realize the franchise had gone over the edge.

21. Moonraker

- I was never a big Jaws fan, and the funicular scene is annoying. the special effects are not that special. The whole thing is too silly. I like the 'Heartbroken' line, though.

22. Octopussy

- Moore in a clown suit. Louis Jordan as the blandest Bond villian ever - and that's saying something, if you remember Jonathan Pryce. and Maude Adams as the blandest Bond girl ever. And Moore in a clown suit.

23. A View to a Kill

- Moore's way too old. The fire truck chase is embarassing. Grace Jones is embarassing. The script is embarassing. I would never begrudge Moore the paycheck, but its tough to sit through this one.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Technorati claim

Technorati Profile


Wormtown Rocks!!

Wow, does this seem like a lifetime ago or what?

(photo 1984 courtesy joeforjette)

Monday, June 04, 2007


The Scene Outside my House this Morning

That's pollen. If your allergies have been killing you lately, this is why.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Ice Road Truckers

The documentary is becoming a TV Series!

"Ice Road Truckers" is the story of the long-haul truck drivers who supply the mining companies up near the Arctic Circle. They drive in the wintertime, over roads carved out of the tundra and across endless frozen lakes. It's like being on another planet... and it's extremely dangerous.

The original documentary was made in 2000 and has aired repeatedly over the years. It is based on the book, "Denison's Ice Road" by Edith Iglauer, and covered the history of the operation, including an interview with Denison himself. The original ice road runs were done back in the 1940's.

Now the History Channel is turning the original idea into a documentary series, following 6 ice road truckers over the course of a season. It starts Sunday, June 17th. If you like "Deadliest Catch", you'll love this show. Set your Tivo now!

Friday, June 01, 2007


The Entertainment Schedule for May at the Worcester Jewish Healthcare Center

Let's see... do I want to see Doug the Monkey Guy on the 25th, or wait until later in the week when Martin Luther does his thing with the hammer and the nail...

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