Thursday, August 31, 2017

Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center

It has taken me longer than I expected to get my vacation photos from my phone to my computer and then labeled. The Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, Mississippi, was our last stop before we got home to Memphis from the trip we took last month. has some photos and information.

There's a long walkway leading from the parking lot up to the museum, and it's punctuated by interesting reminders of the times:

Inside, there are numerous displays and educational information on the battle and how the people's lives were affected.

Some of the exhibits had life-sized sculptures:

Some were interactive:

There were touching insights into what the soldiers went through:

The museum was easy to navigate and had staff available to answer questions.

There was a courtyard with a water feature:

Here's a 2-minute video introduction uploaded by Corinth, MS:

To be honest, all the recent talk about how moving those statues of Confederate generals destroys history makes no sense to me. The statues aren't history and don't aid in the understanding of history. Move the statues to museums and battlefields where there's context and an effort to provide an educational setting. There'd be room for one out in this area outside this museum, I think:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Leopard Man

The Leopard Man is a 1943 Jacques Tourneur (Out of the Past, Cat People) horror film produced by Val Lewton. There's an escaped black panther on the loose. People are being killed, but is the big cat guilty? Well worth watching.


It can be watched free online here.

Slant Magazine gives it 4 out of 4 stars. Bright Lights Film Journal has a positive review and extensive exploration of the film. Time Out calls it "a stylistic tour de force. A film for lovers of pools of darkness."

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 88%.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Scallywags Grill

Scallywags Grill is another of the eat-out outings we took while on our recent vacation. It's on the town square in Winchester, TN.

That spiral staircase in the photo below is functional and leads to a space that used to be an additional dining area. Now there's no public access, and it's used for storage.

I had the hamburger, onion rings, and a coke. Very good! And the service (we sat at the counter) was pleasant and prompt. I can't find the menu online, but the prices were quite reasonable.

We like these outings into nearby towns when we're on vacation, especially when the park doesn't have an onsite restaurant.

I'm joining the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth. Please join us and share a drink of your choice.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Brooks Museum Centennial

To celebrate the centennial of the Brooks Museum, generous donors gave 100 Gifts for 100 Years. Yesterday was the last day for this exhibition.

The ones that particularly struck me as I toured the exhibit and that I could find photos of were these:

Untitled [Tree/Autumn Leaves] by Walter Anderson c/1960

Tabard 15th Century (feathers and cotton textile) Inca Peru

Mandara by Lino Tagliapietra 2005

This 16-minute video shows all 100 pieces:

This sculpture was placed outside with no label:

Entry to the museum is free on Wednesdays and I usually go then, but I'd let this deadline slip up on me. The place was by no means crowded, but there were people in every room I entered. I'm always glad to see art appreciation taking place.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Les Misérables

Les Misérables is a 1952 film inspired by the book. It condenses the story greatly, so if that bothers you look elsewhere for a movie that includes all those subplots. I liked the focus of this one just fine. It stars Michael Rennie, Debra Paget, Robert Newton, and Edmund Gwenn. Cameron Mitchell is Marius. Rhys Williams is Brevet.

part 1:

part 2:

TCM has an article that says, "There are many deviations from the source novel throughout but the movie holds true to the spirit intended," saying that it "retains the sense of moral struggle and redemption that so informs the book." Time names it as one of the "Les Mizzes Better Than the New Les Miz." The NYT has a mixed review from the time of the film's release.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Final Destination

Final Destination is a 2000 horror film, first in a long-running franchise. When a high school trip to Paris is disrupted by one of the students in a panic screaming that the plane will explode, several of the students and one chaperone are removed from the flight before takeoff. The plane then explodes right after takeoff. After a memorial service for the lost students, one of the survivors is found dead in his home. The other survivors begin dying one by one. This is a suspenseful movie well worth watching.


The BBC gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, "this is far better than your regular fodder -a fun romp with some genuinely chilling shocks." The NYT has a negative review.

1000 Misspent Hours concludes a positive review with this: "in these dark days of neurotic public concern over violence and morbidity in entertainment, the sheer fact of the movie’s existence is startling. That it would also be so good is even more so." Moria says the "parade of novelty deaths become progressively more absurd." recommends it and has screen shots.

Roger Ebert gives it a 3-star review and says, "this movie is too good to be the end of the road. I have visions of my own." Rotten Tomatoes has a bad critics score but audiences seem to like it.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Death of a Salesman (1951)

Death of a Salesman is an award-winning 1951 adaptation, the first filmed adaptation, of the 1949 Arthur Miller play. In the main, the cast is the same as that from the Broadway play. Fredric March is Willy Loman and Cameron Mitchell plays younger son Happy. This is a tragic story of a life and a way of life.

The New York Times says, ""Death of a Salesman" is dismally depressing, but it must be acclaimed a film that whips you about in a whirlpool somewhere close to the center of life."

Thursday, August 24, 2017


I forgot to take a photo of this book before returning it to my son, and now I don't care enough to find one online. Susannah is the 6th book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This book is completely devoted to my least favorite character in the entire series and not much happens. I'm not even going to look up reviews. Somebody out there probably liked it, but I can't for the life of me imagine why.

My son is encouraging me to read the last book, and it's on my bedside table (under a few other things), but I'm not feeling it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trump Countdown

7 months down, 41 to go.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Swiss Pantry

The staff at the state park where we stayed on vacation last month recommended the Swiss Pantry as a good place to eat, so one day we checked it out. The food looked good, but we had sadly already eaten lunch. We did have room for dessert:

They offered free coffee and a small seating area.

There was a small bakery section and sweets galore. You can take a virtual tour:

and see photos of their products at their website here. They have a Facebook page.

This little side-stop was a fun addition to our week at Tims Ford State Park.

Back at home now, we looked forward to the eclipse. Memphis got the eclipse at 93%, and we were prepared with our home-made viewers:

As it got close to time, though, the cloud cover increased:

The rain began soon after:

The next total eclipse will be viewable from Hot Springs, and I plan on going for it!

Please join the weekly blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth where we share a post that includes a drink.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Stargate Atlantis 42

from the season 4 Stargate Atlantis episode Quarantine:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Memphis in the Meantime

Memphis in the Meantime:

from John Hiatt, who celebrates a birthday today.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ghost Month

Ghost Month by Ed Lin, is a 2014 mystery novel that takes place in Taiwan. I enjoyed the book -the characters were people you got to know and cared about, the plot was focused (if slow-moving), and the setting was well-developed. I learned a lot about the culture and food of Taipei, and I love reading books that take place in areas I'm not familiar with.

From the back of the book:
August is Ghost Month in Taiwan -a time to pay respects to the dead and avoid unlucky omens. Jing-nan,
who runs a food stall in a bustling Taipei night market, isn't superstitious, but this August will haunt him. He learns that his high school sweetheart has been murdered -found scantily clad near a highway where she had been selling betel nuts. "Betel nut beauties" are typically women in desperate circumstances, but Julia Huang was high school valedictorian, and the last time Jing-nan spoke to her, she was far away, happily enrolled in NYU's hjonor program. The facts don't add up. Julia's parents don't think so, either, but the police seem to have closed the case without asking any questions. The Huangs beg Jing-nan to do some investigating, but nothing can prepare him for what he is about to learn, or how it will change his life.
Kirkus Reviews concludes, "The teeming Taipei setting and the tormented hero combine to create a furious energy that transcends a whodunit plot too mundane even to capture Jing-nan’s full attention." The Boston Globe says, "Come for the exotic food and fascinating setting; stay for the characters." Mysterious Reviews didn't like it and says, "Ghost Month is an odd crime novel in which the mystery of who killed Jenny and why is completely secondary to a running commentary from Jing-nan on all things Taiwanese." Publishers Weekly hopes for a sequel.

NPRhas an interview with the author.