Friday, July 22, 2005
A all around great show.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
"The relationship between kids and their bikes is especially telling.
In 1995, 68% of children ages 7 to 11 rode a bike at least six times a year. Last year, only 47% did.
The sales of children's bikes fell from 12.4 million in 2000 to 9.8 million in 2004, a 21% decline, according to Bicycle Industry and Retailer News,an industry magazine."
The guest star was Wally Cox, who played a hit man named Little John Doe. He was mildly interesting, but nothing more.
I think this show lasted only about a year, and now I know why.
I remember The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with affection, but mainly for the first season. Seems to me that the first year was actually a pretty good action/adventure show, but that later it became almost as silly as Girl. At which point I stopped watching it. American Family Network is rerunning it, so I may take a look one of these days.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
And she's from my hometown!
Now the truth of the matter is that I have a great fondness for adverbs. I use a lot of them myself. But not as many as J. K. Rowling, whose characters are forever saying things "tartly" or "stubbornly" or "soothingly." And sometimes, as in the example above from page 259 of the latest Harry Potter opus, "quellingly." It doesn't wear well over the course of 652 pages.
And what's this about "apparition" classes? Harry and the gang have to learn to "apparate," which is teleporting by another name, so wouldn't they have "apparation" classes? I don't think this is Rowling's fault. It's bound to be a copy-editor's call, and it just seems wrong to me.
I have one other quibble. The book is too much of a set-up. You may be thinking, "Gee, Bill, that's a clever comment. What do you think the other five books were?" OK, you have a point. Still, I thought the ending was a little rushed. Lots of set-up and not enough pay-off.
All that being said, I enjoyed the book quite a bit, and I'm looking forward to the seventh and final one. I don't understand those people (and there are a lot of them) who say, "I'm an adult, with sophisticated adult reading tastes, and I just can't read those childish books." I have nothing against adults, and I'd always hoped I'd become one (didn't work out). We need adults to run things (too bad they're not in charge, though). But you'd think even an adult could enjoy a book written for young people. Maybe some adults can. If they can't, there's always John Irving's new novel, which is much, much longer than Rowling's book. The adults are welcome to it.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I'm guessing that this album fits in with the last item on the list below:
# A great earthquake.
# The sun turns black.
# The moon turn blood-red.
# The stars (meteorites) fall.
# The sky is rolled back as a scroll.
# Earth's population is terrified.
Yes, that's right, someone's created a wearable vibrator that works in harmony with your music player. Strap the silicone butterfly in place, plug it into your favourite music player and get jiggy with the musical beat. It will also work in rhythm with external noises from stereos or club sound systems, so you'll be able to get into the... er... groove and get off on it all at the same time. Ah, the joys of modern living... If that's not an example of technology making life better, we don't know what is. Get yours from the excellently-named Grand Opening for $70."
Monday, July 18, 2005
Today I watched an HBO special on Mickey Mantle. He came along at just the right time for me, when I was ten or eleven years old and in love with the game of baseball. Nobody I knew in Mexia, Texas, had ever seen a major league baseball game, but a lot of us kids listened to the games on the radio (Al Helfer and the Game of the Day) and collected baseball cards. Mantle's cards were the ones we prized most highly, and for some reason they were the hardest to find. I remember going to various little mom and pop stores around town (Goodrich Grocery, Trantham's Grocery, Hall's Grocery) and spending a nickel in each place, trying to get a Mantle card.
Mantle was a hero to me and to most of the kids I knew. We had no clues about what he was like off the field, and it was probably just as well. Some of us learned about things like that later of course, and watching the HBO program, I was saddened again to see what a broken, bitter man he became at one point in his life. I guess I still want my heroes to live up to my expectations, which he did at the very end of his life. I just wish he could have found the courage to kick the drinking habit about fifty years earlier than he did.
Life's hardly ever what we want it to be, I guess. Anyway, in my memory at least, he'll always be the Mickey Mantle of the '50s, hitting for power, beating out a bunt, roaming centerfield in Yankee Stadium.
In 2008 a powerful camera aboard a new spacecraft called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will photograph the moon's surface in fine detail - fine enough to pick out the Apollo 17 moon buggy abandoned 33 years ago, along with lunar landing platforms and other relics."
I can remember when NASA could put people on the moon instead of taking photos. And instead of having spacecraft that can't get off the ground.
The linked article is a libertarian take on the death of the western, interesting even if you don't agree with the political views.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE hit the shelves at one minute past midnight on Saturday (16JUL05) to queues of ecstatic fans, and has already sold two million copies by closing time today (17JUL05)."
I once made $36 in one day.