Monday, July 31, 2017

Tims Ford State Park Old Spann House Trail

This trail begins at the Visitor Center and wanders down past the campground. We never did see a snake, but other kinds of wildlife were around. Smaller creatures were visible as well as the ever-present deer.

There was a bit of running water through this trail....

In case you're thinking the park is too rustic for you, I offer this find from the side of the trail:

We crossed a paved bike trail on this walk and eventually came back to it. We crossed the red Tims Ford bridge again on this walk and ended up back at the picnic grounds instead of back at the Visitor Center.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Desperate Hours

The Desperate Hours is a 1955 film noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March. Also here are Arthur Kennedy, Martha Scott, Gig Young, and Whit Bissell. William Wyler directs. I like noir and watch them when I come across them. This is a right treat.


The New York Times has a mixed review. DVD Talk calls it "a 'safe & sane' thriller".

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 83%.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tims Ford State Park Bridge

On all the promotional material for Tims Ford State Park there are photos of this bridge:

and it's on a paved trail that goes from the cabins around to the Visitor Center so we decided to talk a walk and see it.

This is the view from the bridge:

These delightful pieces were hanging near the Visitor Center:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Wolves of the Calla, The Dark Tower, book 5

Wolves of the Calla is book 5 in Stephen King's Dark Tower series. This one was long. Very long. I enjoyed it, but I'm losing hope of finishing the series before the film comes out.

There's nothing on the back of the book by way of plot information, so I offer this from Wikipedia:
This book continues the story of Roland Deschain, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean, Jake Chambers, and Oy as they make their way toward the Dark Tower.
The full plot description there is too detailed to include here.

The Guardian says,
New readers are advised to start at the beginning, but to recap, briefly, this extended dark fantasy features Roland Deschain, sixgun-toting knight errant in an apocalyptic, Sergio Leone desert world, and his quest to reach the threatened Dark Tower, which is some kind of linchpin holding reality together. The stark, compelling Gunslinger pits Roland against a mysterious "man in black", who demands that our hero betrays a boy-child he loves, and in return tells him his fortune in Tarot cards. The next episodes - The Drawing Of The Three; The Waste Lands; Wizard and Glass - are more conventionally Stephen King in style and girth, and move gropingly, almost blindly, through picaresque adventure towards a sense of what Roland's quest may mean.

The New York Times
has a mixed review. SF Site said, "Stephen King's fifth book in The Dark Tower cycle ... is as strange, powerfully written and utterly weird as it predecessors, but foremost, it is King's tribute to the great action films and cultural archetypes that descended from Kurosawa's magnum opus". Fantasy Book Review says, "If you've enjoyed the previous four books in the series then you will not be disappointed with number five. As was the case with Wizard and Glass, it is almost a self-contained story, complete with a whole new set of new and memorable characters." Publishers Weekly says, "The high suspense and extensive character development here (especially concerning Jake's coming-of-age), plus the enormity of King's ever-expanding universe, will surely keep his "Constant Readers" in awe."

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tims Ford State Park Lost Creek Overlook Trail

The park staff claim this trail is well-marked, but I found several people also trying to navigate it who agreed with me that that's not an accurate representation. It's marked, but never where paths diverge; so you end up at forks with several choices as to which way to go and nary a marker in sight. Getting dangerously lost isn't likely, but losing the trail is.

The trail begins at the Visitor Center here and is 1.3 miles to the overlook:

The story about the car is that back in the day when this land was private property and the car was almost new some kids were playing in the car and knocked it out of gear. The car rolled down the hill, hitting the tree, and the owners weren't able to recover it:

There are several bridges:

Very little of this trail is close enough for good views of the water, but the woodland is pretty:

and there are some water views:

I saw deer:

You wouldn't call the deer tame, but there weren't particularly skittish and would stick around if I stopped walking or if we stopped the car to watch them. We saw a couple of fawns, one with a doe and one by itself. I'm sure the mother was keeping an eye on it.

The trail was blocked by a couple of downed trees at one point, but climbing over wasn't hard:

Reaching the overlook:

there are a couple of other trails that branch off, but we went back to the Visitor Center and sat in rockers for a bit

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Drag Me to Hell

Drag Me to Hell is a 2009 horror film about what happens if you offend a gypsy. Take my advice: Do not ever offend a gypsy. This movie is directed by Sam Raimi, who also has an uncredited cameo appearance.


The New York Times gives it a positive review and calls it "A feast of flies, phlegm, fisticuffs and embalming fluid." The Guardian gives it a positive review but faults the "stereotypical depiction of gypsies". The Telegraph describes it as "undemanding fun."

Empire Online concludes, "Thrilling and often hilarious, it’s good to see one of Hollywood’s most inventive directors fully reinvigorated." Moria says, "... did Drag Me to Hell not come with the pedigree of Sam Raimi’s name attached, there is precious little about it that would have made it anything other than another direct-to-dvd horror film, let alone a cinematic release."

Richard Roeper begins his review with this: "If you can sit through the repeated gross-out scenes in "Drag Me to Hell" without once closing your eyes, cringing or looking away, congratulations: You may have a career as a biohazard removal/crime scene cleanup worker." Roger Ebert gives it 3 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 92%.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Martha's Menu

We went through Corinth, MS, on our way to the state park on our recent vacation, and we stopped at Martha's Menu for lunch. We were warmly greeted and asked to seat ourselves

We looked at the menu,

but were encouraged to select one of the daily specials, so I had the fried chicken:

Delicious! I'm glad we came across it. Corinth is only 1 1/2 hours away, and there are several museums there. I'll have to go back sometime.

Please join the T is for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth and share a drink with us.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tims Ford State Park

We just got back from a week-long trip to Tims Ford State Park in Middle Tennessee. We picked what must have been the hottest week of the year to go, but we had a great time in spite of the sweltering heat. They call it a "rustic" park, but I'm not sure what that means unless it means they don't have a lodge and restaurant on site. The cabin was quite comfortable:

It was the noisiest state park we've ever stayed in, with boaters settling in off the bank behind our cabin with loud music playing on three different days and the sounds along the trails of mowing and traffic. That said, it was a lovely park with nicely sited lake-side cabins and woodland trails.

Here's the view from the cabin:

This is the visitor center:

There's a bird rehab facility next to it:

I won't put all my trail photos in this post, but there's a sweet lake-front trail between the cabins and the marina: