Okay, so I was offline for four days until Spectrum came out and fixed the problem. No computer (couldn’t save files), no TV, no land line. During that time, some allegedly 3% human being lynched Gov. Beshear in effigy on the capitol lawn and threatened his life, 100 protesters--aka a mob--banged on the mansion front door, and swanned around with automatic weapons like some third world goons out to overthrow the elected government. State police officers stood around watching, apparently doing nothing. Why? I would like to know who these 100 are, and if they are the same 100 every time, and if they are being paid and by whom. If people are not reacting to this outrage (not politicians) it must be out of fear. Just remember this: “Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” Very scary.
Saturday, May 23, 2020
--according to Uhtred. I adore “The Last Kingdom.” It’s an enthralling story, filled with tension and surprises. Terrific battle scenes. Remarkable sense of place with the beautiful wilds of Hungary totally believable as Alfred the Great’s England in 900. EVERYTHING feels authentic, down to the smallest detail. Uhtred as POV character is a master storyteller, fearless warrior, brilliant strategist, and a philosopher torn between Saxon heaven and Danish Valhalla. Creator Bernard Cornwell is our greatest living historical novelist and writes solidly in the noble tradition of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brien. Seasons 1-3 were fabulous. More on season 4 later.
Friday, May 22, 2020
Uhtred doesn’t always win, which makes “The Last Kingdom” all the more credible. He’s always a force for good and civilization, however, even though he remains a pagan warrior. His attraction for me is odd, in a way, as I’m pacifistic by nature and peaceful whenever possible. But Cornwell’s character has a deep undeniable appeal. The show is predominately a male fantasy, but it features many strong and indelible female characters. Uhtred is no cave man. He respects and admires women. As Raymond Chandler might describe him, Uhtred is the best man in his world, and good enough for any.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
I’ve read all of Bernard Cornwell’s books and watched every episode of “The Last Kingdom” on tv. I was thrilled when I learned that season four had debuted in April and immediately binge-watched it all (started with season 1). Alexander Dreymon, the German actor who plays Uhtred of Bebbanburg, seemed wrongly cast at first. He was too small and too pretty to be the fiercest Viking warrior who ever lived. But I was wrong. He soon won me over and now I can’t imagine the character without seeing Dreymon. I have much more to say about this. How about you?
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Cleaned up two beautiful old Chinese checkers boards I hadn’t seen in years, “Ming Check” and “Hop Ching Checkers.” We played a game--still fun, like always. Corie cleaned up an old poker chip holder and found a two-deck Renaissance playing card pack faced with Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” and “Portrait of A Musician.” She says I bought them for her as a gift. We also dredged up two other ancient games never even opened--a dice bowling game (ages 8+) and a fingerboard tabletop football flick game (ages 5+). Maybe the football game next—dice game may be too advanced.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
I’m a hoppy beer man. But during the plague, I plan to make every drink in my grumpy old man drinks book. It requires stocking up on some special ingredients—i.e., sweet and dry vermouth, pineapple juice (“Godfrey Daniel! Some sidewinder put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice!”), bitters, grenadine, and of course maraschino cherry. Lots more stuff. And booze, naturally. Totally worth it. We had an Algonquin, named after the celebrated NYC hotel where literary luminaries gathered (2 oz rye, 1 oz dry vermouth, 1 oz pineapple juice, Maraschino cherry). Guaranteed to make you as witty as Dorothy Parker!
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
I vote in every election. As a citizen, so should you (unless you’re a Republican, that is, in which case stop reading now). This year, due to the plague, you can vote by absentee ballot by clicking on the link below. You’ll arrive at the Louisville Jefferson County Election Center page, where there’s a fill-in form with a menu of reasons (including the pandemic). Choose either a paper ballot or an email one. No more lines and harder to hack. There’s no longer any excuse not to vote. And voting has never been more important. So vote! Here’s the link:
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
To give Corie a once a week break from cooking (the alternative: my cooking—undesirable), we bought German takeout recently from my favorite brew pub (tipped heavily). Sauerbraten, Rouladen, Donder fries, and pretzel. Enjoyed it all hugely, especially the BIG pretzel with beer cheese. Could not eat all this, of course, though I gave it the old college try. Hence, leftovers the following night with the addition of Spatzle-like noodles and broccoli. Yum. Preceded by an un-German Grumpy Old Man drink, the Rob Roy (named for a minor character in an old musical: scotch, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, maraschino cherry).
Monday, May 4, 2020
Long time passing … long time ago. One of them is squatting in a self-made shack in Hampstead, a picturesque north London area. A seemingly conventional widow falls in love with him and the pair embark on a quixotic romantic/real estate adventure with a happy-ever-after ending. The closing image is right out of The African Queen. Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson are fine in their Hepburn-Bogart-esque performances. This 2017 Irish flick is named after the town. Where have all the flowers gone? / Young girls picked them every one / When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?