Showing posts from July, 2009

Table Mountain hike

Yesterday I hiked Table Mountain, in front of the Grand Teton, with Scoutmaster George Bates, our sons Jacob, Phin, and other boys from their Boy Scout troop. Here we are at the top: Here Jacob took a picture of me while I was getting a little rest but trying not to fall off: Today was Battle of the Tetons back at Treasure Mountain Scout Camp, where boys tried to sink each other's canoes: Our troop didn't win, but made it to the finals.

Better Off Ted (ABC)

I forgot this show when I wrote that novel-length post about TV. Better Off Ted has hilarious fake commercials for the company depicted in the show. The rest of it is funny, too. I like it.

Procrastination II

Movies: Amazing Grace (2006). I didn't have very high expectations for this film (I don't know why), but I liked it pretty well. It's a good, family-friendly treatment of a serious subject. My kids liked it, too. State of Play (2009). I'm betting this will be one of the last newspaper films, and it's a good one. Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren are wonderful actors, and everybody else does a great job, too. I liked it a lot. The Soloist (2009). I just claimed State of Play would be one of the last newspaper films, but The Soloist is another, sort of. It's excellent, not trite or sappy, based on a true story. I recommend it. Expiration Date (2006). I think our local library must have purchased a bunch of little-known independent films in some kind of package deal, and this was one of them. (Our library is really small, and it's always immediately apparent when they've gotten new DVDs.) I thought it was surprisingly good. Maybe slightly

Everyone watch this!

Here's my brother, Colter, with his band Coconut. He plays drums and sings. I'm so proud! And not just because he's my brother. I really love the song. Music Video for Techno by Coconut from The Heap on Vimeo .

Procrastination I

One purpose of this blog is to record every book I've read and every movie I've seen since its beginning. And right now I'm behind by a lot. So this is part one of a couple of catch-up posts. Or possibly more than a couple. Reading: "The Depressed Person" and "Good People" and "Wiggle Room" by David Foster Wallace. Jon and I have wanted to read DFW's famous novel Infinite Jest for a long time, but it is really long. (What an excellent title, though, don't you think?) Then a friend of mine suggested "The Depressed Person" , complete with link, so I felt compelled to read it. It was (surprise!) depressing, but worth reading. It was nicely balanced by the transcript of a commencement address by DFW, also recommended by my friend. It's a great speech with insights that are potentially life-altering. (And since it has apparently been recently published in some book somewhere, it's possible that link won't wo

Anne Frank House

On my last post, I forgot to tell you guys about me and Dad going to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where she was in hiding for a long time. It was really cool! The Secret Annex, their hiding place, was bigger than I thought; I'm surprised that they could actually all fit in there and not be noticed. The stairs were so steep, they were more like ladders! The museum actually had the original diary, too! It was amazing to see all the old rooms and stuff. I actually just finished reading our copy of the diary myself, and it's really interesting. I can't post any pictures of the museum, though, because they didn't let us take any pictures. I did get a picture of Greenland, though, as we were flying over it on our way back to Minneapolis. Here it is: It's really cool, isn't it? This is my last post, I think, so see you later!

No shortage

Two things we don't seem to have a shortage of in our area at the moment. Orange juice (at Winco in Idaho Falls): I was really taken aback by the wall of orange juice options. And grateful! The other thing we're not currently lacking is baby chickens (15 baby hens about a week or two old, in our front yard):

I love online TV

On Hulu : Lie to Me : Based on the research of Paul Ekman , this show is about a deception expert whose consulting firm helps solve crimes by looking at microexpressions and other facial indications that people are lying. The main character is cranky and otherwise entertaining. The show just finished its first season. Burn Notice : Nice cinematography and some MacGyver elements that are especially entertaining. This is about a spy who's been "burned" and takes odd jobs while trying to figure out how to get his real job back. His odd jobs are the kind that require spy skillz, so there's a lot of action and fun. Also, good music. The third season started a few weeks ago. Southland : I've only watched a couple of these; it's pretty graphic, but graphic for broadcast TV, not graphic for cable. It's about a bunch of L.A. cops who are not particularly likable. Kind of painful to watch. In its first season. Royal Pains : A new USA show about an ER

The Dark Knight (2008)

Jon and I watched this on Blu-ray on his parents' giant flat screen TV. I'd been looking forward to it because I loved Batman Begins and I'd read some pretty good reviews of The Dark Knight . But it's not as good as Batman Begins , although it looked awesome on Blu-ray. I like Christian Bale as Batman. But I think my expectations were too high for the movie.

Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack

I started this yellow book while I was visiting my sister Ivy and then had to wrestle it from her as I was leaving, so I could finish it. (It's hers.) At that time, about a third into the book, I told her I thought I knew how it was going to end, and she wisely warned me not to be too sure. Granted, I'm not much of a reader of mysteries and therefore not known for my uncanny ability to guess the endings. (Although sometimes I can call surprise twists in movies and TV shows, I'm not sure that's the same thing.) Anyway, she was right, and the ending had a surprising twist that I only started to suspect just before it happened. (Now I have the phrase "surprising twist" running around in my head.) Here's an aside: I've always thought the ideal mystery would contain all the clues to solve the crime, so if you were Sherlock Holmes-like, you could figure it out along the way. But some mysteries just withhold information until the end, don't they? Whe

Going Home

Hey, everybody! On Thursday Morning in Amsterdam, we went around and saw some stuff. Then we had to go and catch our 8 hour long plane ride back to Minneapolis. On that plane flight, we flew over both Greenland and England. Here are a few photos: One of a canal in Amsterdam. They were really cool; I wish we had had enough time to go on a boat tour. Amsterdam also had a lot of houses that were leaning over really bad. Check it out! That's crazy, isn't it? There was also this really weird clock that went counterclockwise and had the numbers spaced all crazy. When we got to Jackson from Minneapolis, we drove home. Once we got there, I ate dinner, gave everybody their postcards, and then pretty much went to bed. I was pretty tired! I have pretty much gotten over my jet lag now, though. It was really fun in Europe, but I'm still glad to be home. Thanks for comments and stuff. See you all later!