Thursday, December 29, 2016

We Saw Hidden Figures

Somehow, Hidden Figures went from an interesting preview - to a movie I wasn't that interesting in seeing. And I don't know what happened.

Perhaps it was the review that said it was formulaic - although it is a true story - so that is going to happen.  Maybe starring Kevin Costner, I was afraid it was going to be a "lesson" movie.  Which it wasn't.

Maybe it was the entire "NASA" story and I was annoyed to watch another one of those.

Whatever it was, I was wrong. It was a great little movie.

Taraji P. Henson as the Math Progeny.

The story of women who are math geniuses and help NASA is well done. The three main actresses give great performances of strength in the face of doubt. Partially because they were black in Virginia in the early 1960s and partially because they were women in Virginia int he early 1960s.

Kirsten Dunce and Jim Parsons are very good in roles where they are terrible people. And Kevin Costner is excellent in a role where he is oblivious to everything but results.
A mix of people (particularly Janelle MonĂ¡e) watching a problem on TV's on Main Street

And the triumph was not "black women prevail".  The triumph was "black women help the Space Program prevail for all Americans". It was nice to have a single bad guy again (the Soviet  Union). It was nice to see peopel helping each other as some small walls fell. It was great.
John Glenn (Glen Powell) goes down the line and meets everyone - including the Black Ladies Computing Division

Missed My Trip to England and Now Paying For It 24/7

Nothing pushes Donald out of the news. It is agony.

I try to ignore it all, but it won't go away.

I got sick and couldn't make the trip to England this year with Ed for Christmas. I missed my friends and the holidays and ended up here, in Trump Hell.

Oddly enough Eddie and I have been busy. We've seen movies and friends for lunches. But somehow, at the end of the day - the big Orange Ogre pushes through.

Carrie Fisher, Debbi Reynolds, George Micheal.  Superstars have died, and yet news proclaims his latest twitter rant about his large toenail. 

George Michael's "You Gotta Have Faith" barely finishes echoing off the TV, when we get a break in the news that Trump thinks the UN Vote was "SAD". It is hard to hold onto to "Faith" after that.

We are heartbroken to see the death of Carrie Fisher, who struggled with, enjoyed and lived in the spotlight, when Trump's tweet about the transition process "NOT" is sadness interuptus. Who ends a tweet with "NOT"? My 6 year old step-brother did than in the 1970s to annoy people.

We know our new President can't take a joke, can't not return a hit and can be taunted with impunity. But it seems like he can't concede the spotlight to anyone at anytime.  Eddie asked me if I thought there would be a war with someone soon and I thought it was a silly question.

But Ed is right. Let the new President keep his twitter feed. Without the constant attention he may start a war just to get the TV screens turned back on him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Maybe My Odd Little Brain WILL Save Me

The new President is giving me angina.

Which, by the way, rhymes with the way he pronounces China.

Angina also rhymes with vagina, which is where he brags of grabby women by, but in cruder terms.

Look, right there!  You see, my brain is a random conduit of connections that may break me or, hopefully, save my sanity for at least a few months of President Pussy-Grabber's reign.

I saw a picture this morning of a gorgeous detail from a building. Here is the glimmer of beauty I saw.
Look at the detail of the light, and the faux cravings of me along the entryway!  Cool, huh?

Now, you might say, "That is pretty, but how can that help you with your sanity?" (yes, intended echo reference back to Starry Starry Night).

Well, here is the picture where it grabbed my attention (actual size).

And I clicked through to see the detail. And my brain edited out the big orange thing in the middle.

My brain is working overtime to keep me sane.

Monday, December 26, 2016

One of the Best TV Shows of the Year

Sometimes things, unexpected, pop up. There were two TV shows that did that this year for me. Both of odd little basic cable channels.

First: Eyewitness.
Julianne Nicholson - an amazing actress

It was based on a Norwegian TV series. And it was sensational. Not in a splashy way, but in a quiet way.

I think USA under-sold it because it might be a little controversial in the gay-ness.  Wait before you tune me out, it's not a gay TV show.

It starts as two high school boys are fooling around in the cabin owned by one of their fathers. They aren't really "gay" at this point, but experimenting and dealing with their attractions. As they are there, a car drives up and they hide - afraid to be caught.  They witness a murder and the killer spots at least one of them.

The son of the cabin owner swears the other boy to secrecy because there is no good reason the two of them would be in the place alone.  And it kicks off from there.

But the reason I loved it LOVED IT! was Julianne Nicholson.  I have seen her off-Broadway many times and she is an amazing actress.  And her is one of the rare changes to see her act her ass off on TV.  It isn't showy and histrionic. It is a quiet and difficult role and she makes you believe every second of it.

She plays one of the kid's foster mom. And she is not maternal. In the least. She isn't a bad foster mom, but she is doing it only because her new husband wants to. She is also the town sheriff trying to solve a murder that the FBI has told her to stay out of. She is on a slow boil and you have to watch the entire series to she what a fantastic job she does. It's best watch an episode very night or other night - and easy to do it is on USA On Demand.
The boys. The blond is Bill Paxton's son.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone in the show is great. And it is very Hitchock at his slow burn best. Scary as hell, but not bloody or terribly violent.

And it gets young love right. Not young "gay" love, but that first aching, hurting love that you know will never come again no matter who it is (you're wrong, of course, but you would never believe it then).

The show and the secrets were wonderful and opened up to the viewer slowly. It also showed women (even secondary characters), their reactions, emotions and strengths in three dimensional ways that rarely happen on TV.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Festivus

So, it's that time again, the annual airing of grievances for Festivus.  So let's gather around the Festivus Pole and list or most annoying grievances.

1: The Media falling for ratings and attention grabbing headlines and ignoring actual issues during elections.  Examples, Trump and Duarate (Philippines).

2: Tom Hanks as Sully.  First off, no one was up for a movie that showed the horrible things a great American went through. I mean everyone loves him, come on!  And, second, Tom - just stop.

3: Liberals who don't vote - except sometimes for President. If you want to change the world, you can't just come out every 4th year to root for Bernie. You have to vote in by-elections. Asinine ideas (the Electoral College overturns the vote?!) just makes you lazy idiots look worse.

4: UCLA Football in 2016.  Just look away.
That's us. Losing to UTAH!!!
5: Trump's Cabinet. Who knew "draining the swamp" meet adding multiple generals and Goldman Sachs alums. Even more annoying is that the voters will someone support it.

6: North Carolina. Actually it's probably North Carolina's legislature, but the state voted them in.  They had a deal to repeal HB2, provided that Charlotte repealed their non-discrimination bill.  Charlie Brown repealded the city bill and the Lucy Legislature did NOT repeal HB2.  Surprise.  North Carolina also rushed through a lot of changes to the Governor's office after a Democrat won the election there.

7. Christians Who Were Loudly for Trump. A man who cheated on his first wife while married to her with his second wife. A man who talked about his ability to get away with grabbing women by the pussy (and no - that is NOT locker room talk). A man who does not believe in much beyound getting even.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Call to a Partner Who Can Create Posters!

Here's a Million Dollar Idea that will be immediately diluted so that no one can make money off it. - someone should create a set of posters for the New America. Based of tried and true work of the Soviets.

For example.  Use the image below, but replace the worker with an image of Trump, done in Red, White and Blue. The raining papers should be titled with items like "Tough on China", "Build the Wall" and "End NAFTA".

Some small changes to the cityscape background and make the words at the bottom MAKE AMERICA GREAT and ta-da.

Or how's this....

Change the flag below to a long stars and strips in red, white and blue. Photoshop the worker to be a little thinner (it is, after all, America) and change the Russian to English that says, "Free America Workers To Be The Best" on the flag and "Make American Great Again" on the bottom.

Random RoundUp

I do love walking around New York. I spot things all the time that fascinate me.  Some I Instagram (@scott9m) others I just take pictures of.  Here is a random sampling with some details.

This is church housing right on Broadway, just south of Union Square. I love the church housing style.  It is so old school Gothic, but cozy.

Ever wonder what a "Home Depot" in New York looks like?  Well, you're looking at it. This is the Home Depot store on 23rd.

We are in between condos right now, and all of our Christmas stuff is in storage. So it is a light and easy holiday.

Random shots around Morningside Park as winter sets in.

I have no idea what this is. It was in the window of a stereo / vinyl record store so I think it is an Amp. But I can't be positive.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Who knew there was a Literary Landmark Registry

I was wandering around the grounds of St. John the Devine with Jen, the founder of the non-profit I work with. IN doing this we happened across this sign on the grounds.  It was fun happenstance.
 Cool huh?
I didn't even know there was a Literary Landmarks Register.  The actual Library is pictured below.

Other cool things walking around the grounds....
Garden statuary called "7 Generations" that is tied thematically to making sure that your life reverberates forward throughout the generations.

 Just one of the buildings on the property.  It is a gorgeous grounds, without taking into account the Cathedral itself.

Speaking of Looking Stupid - Shut Up Apple


I keep getting the message that my iCloud storage is nearly full and I can fix it by simply paying money.  Or fix it.

So I have turned off all backups, I don't share photos in the iCloud and I went to clean up anything I missed.

Here is the screen I got. Check the different notices on the top and in the body of the screen.

Sometimes I hate Apple

Stop It: You Look Stoopid

The election was lost fair and square.  Yes, the Founding Fathers conceived the Electoral College as way to provide a representative selection for President - in case of real errors, but this isn't that case.

The Constitution is no fount of wisdom in all things. In addition to providing for Electoral College, it provided support to slave owners (the actual reason there is an electoral college), assignment - not election - of Senators and enough internal inconsistencies to keep the Supreme Court in lawsuits ever since. So, simply pointing to the Constitution and saying "See!!" is not adequate.

The Constitution is a fine governing document - but the people of America must support the democratic process as implemented. And, as implemented, Donald Trump won. This might lead to the end of humanity or the end of democracy or maybe just an odd four years.

But invalidating the election, after the fact, WILL mean the end of American Democracy. And, love of hate Trump, it isn't worth loosing that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Party at the Explorer's Club

So last night we had a Christmas Party / Fundraiser at the Explorer's Club.  It was a lot of fund.  The non-profit I work for is .  The party went well and people really liked the Explorer's Club.
Great shot of many guests

Put skinny boys in front, not in back. Otherwise crop the hell out of it.

Food and fun

Tessa getting friendly with a Polar Bear

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Here's A Way To Convince Middle America Cares About Them...

So I hate to throw a wrench of reality into the Democratic National Chair race, but has someone wondered if Rep. Keith Elison is actual who we want running the party? And what kind of message that sends to the country.

He is a Muslim, which doesn't bug me but is associated with terrorism by much of America. I mean, it's all very Kum-bye-ya, but is it really the way to convince Americans that we are realistic?

The country is 70% Christian. And many of them believe religion as very very important. Is it really necessary to slap them all in the face.

Again - I don't have a horse in the religion race, but I am trying to be realistic.

And he was one of Bernie Sanders biggest cheerleaders.  So that's great. His previously stumped hard for a socialist that wasn't a member of the Democratic Party.

You CANNOT Make This Shit Up!


Rick Perry was just announced as the new head of the Dept. of Energy. That might sound vaguely familiar because the Dept of Energy was, famously, his "oops" agency.

He spoke about getting rid of 3 Departments of the Government: Education, Commerce and ...dead air for minutes as he struggled to find the name of the 3rd agency.  He remembered some 15 minutes later after he was coached from off stage and it was...(drum-roll please) the Department of Energy.

He is now the Head of it.  You can't make this shit up.

Monday, December 12, 2016

This is what is wrong with Airlines in General

So I was looking at condos in Spain (not that Trump is freaking me out or anything - but I love he and John Bolton's latest comment - the President Obama AND the CIA are lying about Russian hacking to feel better.  Bullshit, if they were lying they would be contesting the results. He's a dope.).

Anyway, I was looking to see how much flights were to Malaga - to look at condos. And I see that Alitalia has a flight, via Rome, for $645.  That's great, I think.

So I think, "Well, if it is that cheap to fly via Rome, maybe I should look at Rome because there are plenty of reasonable condos in Italy."

The same flights - EXACTLY THE SAME - except you don't get the second flights to Malaga in Spain is $971.

So, for $645, I can fly to Rome and then get a second flight to Malaga.  But if I don't want the second flight and want to stay in Rome - it's 50% more (actually 50.54% more).

Which is also to say, our President Elect is FREAKING ME OUT.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saw Dear Evan Hansen




Okay, it is not ground breaking like Hamilton, but I really loved it. It was one of those odd little musicals that don't really cover a "normal" musical topic. Much like Next to Normal (my favorite musical of all time). But it was nice and sweet and fun and sad and moving and wonderful at parts.

See it is you can.

Trip to Odd Places #4

So after Eddie left NBC Sports, the people still working there gave him a going away gift.

It was a gift certificate to the Mandarin Oriental Hotels. They are nice hotels all over the world. But for his Birthday the next year we thought, why not investigate the original in Hong Kong. After all, they had redone it recently.

The Hotel on Victoria Island. The "outlined" building is the HSBC building.

We went, had a great time at the Hotel, and an amazing time in Hong Kong.

The View from the top of Victoria Peak. On the right of the pictures, you can see the distinctive HSBC building, and our hotel was right below it.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Traveling to Odd Spots

We traveled to this next spot twice. The first time Eddie and I went because I had seen it (again) on where in the world is Matt Lauer. I mean I had wanted to go to Iceland before, but the Blue Lagoon gave a great reason.

Then on Lynn's 60th birthday, I choose this because Lynn loves a hot tub. When we had the houses in the desert, Lynn and I would sit outside in the jaquzi all the time. So we went for here birthday.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

As I have said, one cannot, nor should one, respond to every asinine tweet of Donald Trump - However...

As I have said, one cannot, nor should one, respond to every asinine tweet of Donald Trump - However...

It is also critical to understand when a tweet is not just wrong, but bad for the country.  For example, this one....

Apparently thousands (at least 133,000) believe this. Worse, in my book, Congressional Republicans and Rance Pribus shrug and say "who knows - I can't prove it isn't true".

We all know or should know it is bullshit. If YOU REALLY DON'T know Paul Ryan, you have a sworn Constitutional duty to investigate, right? Right, when you put your hand on the Bible and SWORE to uphold the laws of the country. Are you suggesting that you are ignoring your sworn duty?

And, normally I could ignore the bullshit that gets tweeted out. But see, here we are setting up a situation where the Republican (winner) says that 3 million people voted illegally.

What if the next Republican looses, but - say - 1 million votes. They have set up a policy where they get to claim voter fraud with a built in base of at least 133,000 that will believe them.

Our country fails when we lose that much trust in an electoral system.

Traveling to Odd Spots 3

The next odd spot came from the news and has blossomed into one of my favorite spots in the world.

In 2013 (I think) Eddie and I went on vacation with Jane, Barbara, Gareth and a bunch of fun Brits in Croatia. In checking where we were, I found we were close to Mostar.

I had heard about the destruction of the Mostar Bridge as one of the most idiotic of the acts of the Bosnian War. It was built by the Ottomans over 500 years ago. Which is twice as long as we have been a country. And the bombing of it was particularly strategic, just a random act of violence.

So Eddie, Jane and I went to Mostar. And, the rest, as they say, is history.
During the war on the 1990s, it was originally built in 1566.

After it's destruction

The rebuilt bridge in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


I always get a little cranky around this time of year.

I have OWS - Onset of Winter Syndrome.