Sunday, August 31, 2014

Walkin' in Memphis...

but this time we were nowhere near Beale. The Daughter and I drove out to Shelby Farms Park to the trail head of the Greenline, a project that's transforming abandoned railroads into bike/pedestrian trails.

Starting at this end may not be the best idea if you aren't going to walk the entire 6 1/2 mile stretch. There's precious little shade at this end. There are some flowers, though:

Two different people warned me about snakes as I was taking those pictures, but I'm honestly not worried about snakes. I was making plenty of noise, and I was not off the trail in the flowers. The first person acted so shocked at my response that I just said, "Thank you," to the second.

The trail crosses the Wolf River:

There's some woodland:

and even more water:

and what looks like the beginnings of a "love locks" bridge:

but the one in France collapsed from the weight, so let's not get too carried away.

We ran into some construction on/over the trail:

There were signs instructing cyclists to dismount when traveling through the construction zone, but not a single one did. In fact the cyclists were, with very few exceptions, very rude, speeding by within touching distance. The few who said, "On your left," as they approached were refreshing. The entitled bastard who yelled, "Get back!" as he raced past leaving us reeling in his wake was more typical. It's not like we were hogging the trail; we were clearly occupying less than half of it, staying as far to the right as possible. I swear, I'm beginning to believe that "cyclists" is to "pedestrians" as "car drivers" is to "cyclists". They complain about the exact same abuse from car drivers that they then turn around and heap on pedestrians.

Ah, well, all I can do is try to obey the road rules as they apply to me and try to treat my fellow travellers with some kindness and courtesy. I'm not sure why I resent the cyclists' rudeness so much. Maybe it's because they do complain so much about their treatment by folks in cars.

We found one piece of public art (though this may be no more than simple tagging graffiti) on this section of the greenline:

We stopped at this intersection:

which was about 2 1/2 miles in. We'll start here next time. We're hoping for more shade the further west we go. This trail is used by commuters and fitness walkers and explorers -pedestrians and cyclists alike. It really is a wonderful addition to the city.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Doctor Who Cosplay

The Daughter, The Younger Son and I were quite excited about the theater showing of the new Doctor Who episode premier. We love Capaldi for the role, and -even though we don't get a TV channel that airs the series- we faithfully follow the news online and buy the DVDs as soon as they're released. I've been a fan since back in the day when the series aired on PBS. We wanted to be a part of this.

It was assumed we would go dressed appropriately for the experience. The Daughter and I each dressed as The Doctor we consider our own, and The Son went as Captain Jack. My garb was accumulated from several Goodwill store trips around town, except for the scarf (purchased from the Doctor Who rack at the local Spin Street) and the hat (Stein Mart). I feel like I hit the jackpot with this combination. I love the jacket.

This is the Fourth Doctor look I was trying to imitate:

The look I achieved is at the top of the post. Not bad, right?

The Daughter wore this dress from Hot Topic with red high-top Converse shoes to be the Tenth Doctor:

and combined it with the fez. Yes, the fez, which her Doctor does put on in one of his scenes. In fact, there's a fez connection to several of the Doctors.

The Younger Son found the perfect thrift store coat, changed the buttons from navy to gold and added some stripes to the shoulders and was transformed into Captain Jack Harkness. He went with the vest instead of suspenders.

We all had such great fun. There were other people who also came in themed attire: a couple of people dressed as the TARDIS, there were a few Tenth Doctors. The only drawback was the distance. We drove to Little Rock, Arkansas, for the show, which was our closest option. Why, oh why, didn't they offer this in Memphis?

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Secret of Roan Inish

The Secret of Roan Inish is a 1994 John Sayles film about selkies, tragic creatures who live most of their lives as seals but who can shed their skins to appear as humans. It's a sad story -lost children, lost culture, hope delayed and beautifully told.

via youtube:


Moria praises the performances. Rolling Stone says, "Alive with beauty, spirit and wit, Roan Inish is pure magic." Spirituality & Practice calls it a "lyrical film" and says, "The delicate and parabolic story speaks volumes about the spiritual longing for home and the deep meanings which can be conveyed by family stories, communication with animals, and a magical connection with a place." Time Out says, "Tales within tales, a subtle sense of economic and social realities, fine landscape photography and strong performances make for an engrossing, unusual fantasy." Empire Online gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, "Not so much a children's film as an adult film in which the children and animals are graceful presences, this is a charming, genuinely moving gem". EW gives it a B+ and says, "Only when the last seal has looked squarely into the camera do you realize how notably unsentimental and casually magical Inish is". DVD Verdict says, "It is rare to find a movie so simple yet so beautifully complex and one that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what generation they come from." Roger Ebert gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and says,
Of course this is a wonderful "family film," if that term has not been corrupted to mean simpleminded and shallow. Children deserve not lesser films but greater ones, because their imaginations can take in larger truths and bigger ideas.... It is also for adults, of course, except for those who think they do not want to see a film about anything so preposterous as a seal-woman, and who will get what they deserve.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics review of 98%.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Hunt for Red October

The Hunt for Red October is Tom Clancy's 1984 debut novel, a thriller made into a Sean Connery film in 1990. The film was faithful to the spirit of the book but was much simpler with many fewer sub-plots and plot elements. The book was enjoyable and an interesting, easy read.

from the back of the book:
Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading west.

The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on...

Here is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career. A military thriller so gripping in its action and so convincing in its accuracy that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House, Its theme: The greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: The chase for a top secret Russian missile sub. It's title: The Hunt for Red October.
Memphis Reads closes its review with this: "The story keeps the reader on edge from beginning to end, and gives an inside view of U.S. intelligence operations and executive decision making. Adventure readers are sure to enjoy this submarine drama." The Washington Post calls it "a tremendously enjoyable and gripping novel of naval derring-do".

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Courtesy Counts

Walking downtown recently, we saw this sign. Nearby we saw 2 examples that seem to illustrate the point. Instead of fussy "no littering" signs, someone has placed these:

We got such a kick out of this wonderfully courteous way of reminding people of how to be courteous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tamp & Tap

I had been to Tamp & Tap before (I had their espresso that time), but The Daughter had never been. Earlier this summer we went so she could see what it was like. We got pour over coffee, and The Daughter got raspberry biscotti:

We like their cups. This was the first time I've had pour over coffee out anywhere, and I must say it was as good as I had hoped. I'm seeing it on more menus lately, so I guess it's the new "thing". I'm on board with it! We sat on their patio people-watching. There was a woman parked around the corner unloading her car. We thought she might be moving into Van Vleet Flats. I think it would be great fun to live downtown. I'm not sure where the closest decent-sized grocery store would be, but that's the only drawback I can see to living downtown.

Please join the Tea Tuesday gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth, where's there's talk of tisanes among a variety of other topics..

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Rich Man and the Poor Man

The Rich Man and the Poor Man:

by Bob Miller, native Memphian, who died on August 26 in 1955.

There's just two kind of people, the sinner and the saint;
There's one that gets and always got while the other poor one ain't.
Oh, the rich man drives his Lincoln past the red light with a grin,
And the poor man follows right behind in his little hunk of tin.
There's a motorcycle copper following upon their trail;
Oh, the rich man tears his ticket, but the poor man goes to jail.
Oh, the rich man takes the high road anywhere that he may go,
But when the poor man's travelin' he must always take the low.
So if you're rich you'll travel snug as peas are in the pod;
Oh, the rich man rides a cushion and the poor man rides the rods.

Oh, the rich man when he's ailing stays at home and calls the doc,
But the poor man has to go to work, be in time to punch a clock.
The rich man takes his medicine, has his doctors and his nurse;
So the rich man he gets better but the poor man he gets worse!

Oh, the rich man steals a million from the bank that he controls,
While the poor man steals a loaf of bread or a penny's worth of rolls.
They take them to the courthouse, one is laughing, one's in tears;
Oh, the rich man gets an apology while the poor man gets ten years!

Oh, the rich man gets a lawyer and the lawyer pleads his case,
While the poor man asks for sympathy but of that there is no trace.
So if you're rich don't worry but the poor must give up hope;
Oh, the rich man gets acquitted while the poor man gets the rope!

Oh, the rich man when he kicks off has a casket made of gold,
While the poor man has a wooden box and his grave looks mighty cold.
The rich man gets a sermon but here's one thing that's sure,
When the rich man takes that last long ride he's as much dead as the poor!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

300 (film)

300. Ah, 300. I had seen this film before, of course, but it's just such great fun watching all these nearly-naked warriors battle those whatever-they-are. I'll skip the sequel unless somebody puts in the DVD while I'm sitting here anyway.

In honor of the film, I share this "It's Raining 300 Men" tribute:

"We're in for one wild night."
ah oo! ah oo! ah oo!

or, if you just can't get enough, here's the full version:

lyrics excerpt:
It's raining men
It's raining men

I'm gonna go out
I'm gonna let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet

It's raining men
It's raining men
Every specimen

Tall, blonde, dark, and lean
Rough, and tough, and strong, and mean

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Robots in the Streets of Memphis

Literally in the street, painted on pedestrian crosswalks downtown.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The 10th Victim

The 10th Victim is a 1965 science fiction film, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress. It's an Italian/French co-production. from Wikipedia:
In the near future, big wars are avoided by giving individuals with violent tendencies a chance to kill in the Big Hunt. The Hunt is the most popular form of entertainment in the world and also attracts participants who are looking for fame and fortune. It includes ten rounds for each competitor, five as the hunter and five as the victim. The survivor of ten rounds becomes extremely wealthy and retires.
Incredibly dated, but the satire still works. The version embedded below is dubbed in English.

via Daily Motion:

Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 5 stars, calls it "a pop-art melting pot," and says, "Elio Petri's trenchant social satire, co-written by the director and frequent Antonioni collaborator Tonino Guerra, takes aim at consumer capitalism and the society of the spectacle". DVD Talk calls it "a clever and insightful satire on modern morality and Western culture's fascination for violence." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 83%.