Archive for the ‘hobbies’ Category

My reviews of Stephen Budiansky’s soon to be released volume Perilous Fight America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas 1812-1815 are now available both at Lunch.com here and at Amazon.com via the Amazon vine program here.

If you are looking for a book that is a play by play of the cannon balls of the fleet such as Preble’s boys you will likely be disappointed but Budiansky does cover a lot of aspects of the War that have been given short shift by other historians.

Oh and I suspect the William Bainbridge fan club will take Budiansky off their Christmas list.

But I have to agree with hyacinth girl concerning Pete Postlethwaite:

Spielberg called him the best actor in the world, a statement I cannot dismiss as hyperbolic; he was an amazing actor. He was anyone, anything, any time — for someone with such a distinctive face, he had the uncanny ability to blend into and become a part of the fabric of any film he was part of, while never becoming invisible. He simply was whatever character he was cast as, and he never once seemed to be acting. You believed he was whomever he claimed to be, and he was riveting.

My primary memory of him is from the Sharpe Series as Sgt Obadiah Hakeswill. He was also excellent as a lawyer in Amistad and as George Merry in the best version of Treasure Island there ever was (with Charlton Heston as Long John Silver).

I do not ever remember him giving a bad performance and thanks to the miracle of video he will be enjoyed many generations after his death.

Thanks Pete, well done!

You know it when you dream that your wife has taken you to a shop that specializes in Doctor Who stuff and in the dream the owner hands you a 14 foot Tom Baker Scarf and you wake up just as he hands it to you and am about to put it on!

You would think at age 47 I wouldn’t wake up with a huge smile at that point but I did. Sometimes I think men at heart never stop being kids. (The proof is yesterday my youngest got the Complete Three Stooges Yesterday and when he went to call his 55-year-old uncle to tell him his delight that same uncle shared his own delight at the very same gift!)

Speaking of which don’t think we didn’t notice that during yesterday’s Doctor Who Christmas special A Christmas Carol (which BBC America sneakily put on at the same time as my show, so I had to watch the steam online several hours earlier) that the little kid was wearing a Baker scarf at one point given to him by the 11th Doctor.

Other than the opening which makes Christmas simply the “winter solstice” (consist with the praying to Santa nonsense in The Eleventh Hour and the ignoring of the consequences of non-timelords meeting themselves in a time-line (Maudwin Undead) it was a cute sentimental story that is very enjoyable.

However I didn’t find it timeless, I have a nasty feeling that Steven Moffat is stuck on the same gimmick and can’t get off of it. You will like it but will you want to watch it again and again?

There’s the rub.

The 6th of our Advertisers of Christmas series.

Putnam Street lanes is on Putnam street Fitchburg and has been there for 120 years. For those of you who don’t know how Candle Pin bowling works here is a quick peek:

Then again sometimes the wood gives it back:

That doesn’t happen to me too often but it’s stuff like this that makes candlepin bowling such a challenge and why there has never been a perfect game in candlepin and the smaller balls are easier for kids and the elderly to keep rolling.