Monday, January 31, 2005

Attention: Doctor Who Fans

I was at the McFarland & Company Publishers website were I found this bit of information. For those of you who don't want to click the link, a new Dr Who book is coming out in Spring/Summer 2005 entitled, The Doctor Who Error Finder: Plot, Continuity and Production Mistakes in the Television Series and Films by R.H. Langley.

From the website:


In Episode Four of Doctor Who’s “Stones of Blood,” 14 minutes and 22 seconds into the show, a crow lands on a large “rock,” causing it to shake. In Episode One of “State of Decay,” at 9:37, the hole in Aldric’s pants mysteriously grows a patch. 32 minutes and 26 seconds into the first episode of “Attack of the Cybermen,” one notices that the Cyberman in the left rear seems to be intoxicated. This work is the largest existing collection of errors appearing in Doctor Who, from every episode of the original television series, the movies, and the spin-offs. Presenting over 4000 errors, plus about 1500 other items of interest to fans, it includes transmitted bloopers such as microphones or equipment visible in a shot, obvious strings, anachronisms, unsteady sets, and actors having trouble walking. This book not only presents bloopers not previously recorded, but also corrects errors in other lists.

The work is divided by Doctor (from the first to the eighth); each story begins with the title, official BBC codes, alternate titles, writer and directors, media in which the episode is available, running times, highlights including characters and actors, and questions to keep in mind. The individual episodes in each story each include date of first transmission and a list of errors and trivia, each with an approximate time in the episode. The work also includes errors from the untransmitted parts of the pilot episode and Shada; it concludes with “the forgotten doctor,” and related programs such as K-9 and Company, Dimensions in Time, and The Curse of the Fatal Death.

ISBN 0-7864-1990-3, index, [320]pp., softcover (7 x 10), $49.95

Photos From Amsterdam (5)

While walking down Raadhuisstratt one afternoon my sister and I came across a music store and saw this accordion just inside the door. As you can see it is a Paolo Soprani, one of the best accordion makers in the world. A gentleman can up as we were looking at it and said it was an older Paolo Soprani. I found out later that the original company was taken over by another company in the 1980's and that those accordions are not considered as good as the originals.

We quized him about accordions and he happily answered all our questions. My sister asked if he played and he went behind the counter and picked up a smaller accordion and asked us if we were English. No, American. He thought a minute and then started playing America (My Country 'Tis of Thee). Which is this song:

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen;
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.

with these lyrics:

My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside
let freedom ring!

A sweet memory given to us by a sweet man.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Photos From Amsterdam (4)

These are photos my sister took on our walk around her neighborhood on New Year's Day. One of them is the aftermath of a string of 300,000 firecrackers exploding the night before. Later that week she talked to the Indonesian man who set them off. He said he set so many off to drive away evil spirits and bring luck for the new year. It wasn't until later we realized that the horrible consequence of the tsunami in his homeland may have had something to do with the number of firecrackers he detonated.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Short Post

The wind is blowing with gusts up to 32mph this afternoon. When that happens our electricity starts acting up. We have what my husband calls a "dirty" electrical supply. That means the electrical current is not steady. We have a surge protector to guard against high voltage spikes and something called a UPS Backup to protect against low ones. The UPS starts beeping when the current drops which is a warning to shut down the computer because the electricity may fail. I am not getting the beep but I am getting a flicker on the computer monitor every time the washing machine starts and stops so I am signing off until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Goodness Gracious!

I stayed up late last night to watch Great Balls Of Fire!, a biopic about the rise and fall of Rock and Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. I stumbled across it while channel surfing and after the first 15 minutes could not stop watching. A major part of the movie covers Jerry Lee's relationship with his thirteen-year-old cousin Myra Brown. Dennis Quaid plays Jerry Lee and Winona Ryder plays his cousin Myra.

Now, I love biopics about musicians, some of my favorites are; Gary Busey as Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story, Jessica Lange as Pasty Cline in Sweet Dreams, Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens in La Bamba, Sissy Spacek as Lorreta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, George Hamilton as Hank Williams in Your Cheatin' Heart, and Kurt Russell as Elvis in a movie simply called Elvis. (Hey, when you make a movie about the King all you need his name.)

My all time favorite is American Hot Wax, a biopic about Alan Freed the man who first used the term "Rock and Roll" to describe the new type of rhythm and blues music being played and sung by white performer in the 1950's.

But Great Balls Of Fire! is strange. First of all it's creepy. This is the story of a pedophile who also happened to be a early Rock and Roll star. When Jerry Lee married his thirteen-year-old cousin he was twenty-two. Dennis Quaid was almost 35 when he made this movie and he looks it. Winona Ryder was seventeen and looks young enough to be thirteen. Let me tell you their loves scenes were pretty uncomfortable to watch.

Second, the movie has a weird cartoon quality to it. The only person in it who acts like a real person is the Winona Ryder character. It's like the whole thing is really a nightmare being dreamed by thirteen-year-old Myra.

The final bizarreness is Dennis Quaid's interpretation of his character. At first I thought he was doing a really over the top impersonation of Jerry Lee but then I realized what he was actually doing was an impersonation of Daffy Duck playing Jerry Lee Lewis. Which, when you think about it, was a wise choice as it fits in with the cartoon quality of the movie very well.

As with all musical biopics the best part of the movie is the music. Jerry Lee Lewis himself sings all the songs and you get to hear some of his greatest; Great Balls Of Fire, Wild One, I'm On Fire, and Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Get Up, Stand Up For Your Rights

We sick an’ tired of-a your ism-skism game -
Dyin’ ’n’ goin’ to heaven in-a jesus’ name, lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty God is a living man.
You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can’t fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (what you gonna do? ),
We gonna stand up for our rights! (yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So you better:
Get up, stand up! (in the morning! git it up!)
Stand up for your rights! (stand up for our rights!)
Get up, stand up!
Don’t give up the fight! (don’t give it up, don’t give it up!)
Get up, stand up! (get up, stand up!)
Stand up for your rights! (get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! ( ... )
Don’t give up the fight! (get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! ( ... )
Stand up for your rights!Get up, stand up!
Don’t give up the fight!

-Bob Marley

Read this story and then this yesterday. These two stories, along with the checkpoint shooting that I wrote about on Wednesday, got me to go here and sign the Not In Our Name statement.

(Blogger has been acting up since yesterday and I am surprised I got this finished and online today.)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Photos From Amsterdam (3)

This was taken by my sister on the way to my brother-in-law's mother's house the day I arrived. I had been awake almost 24 hours at this point and this photo is a good representation of the dreamlike surreal view I had of my surrounding by then.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Photos From Amsterdam (2)

My sister's Christmas tree on New Year's Eve, Eve.

My sister's Christmas tree on New Year's Day.

SpongeBob SquarePants Scandal!

Give me a break. These people are idiots.
Go here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Iraqi Girl Loses Parents In Checkpoint Shooting

-Denver Post Headline January 19, 2005

The quality of the photo is not that good but those red splotches on the little girl are blood splashes. United States Marines opened fire on the car carrying the little girl, her four siblings, and her parents. All the children were sitting in the backseat and survived the shooting. The Marines fired on the car because the father failed to stop at the checkpoint they were manning. In an instant two people dead and five children orphaned.

There are people who would say the Marines were just doing their job. That they were in a dangerous situation. That they have to shoot and ask question later. That the man killed was crazy to try and speed though a military checkpoint with his family in the car. But...the question I have is why? Why did the man attempt to run the roadblock? Why did he decide that stopping was more dangerous than not stopping?

I am sick of this. I am sick of George Bush. I am sick of Donald Rumsfeld. I am sick of Condoleezza Rice. We have been lied to from the beginning. We were told we were going to war to uncover "weapons of mass destruction", to free a terrified people, to bring the wonderful gift of democracy, to give the Iraqi a better life. None of this has happened. We are suppose to be the good guys but as the above picture shows we are not. We are "killer angels" bringing death and destruction with us where ever we go.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Photos From Amsterdam (1)

My sister and me on a cold, cold, windy day.
(I don't know what's going on with my lip.)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Married Life

My husband and I just had one of those non-argument arguments.

Him: Where is the phone?

Me: I don't know.

Him: You had it last.

(I had used the phone in bed last night to call my sister.)

Me: It must be somewhere in the bed.

(We both go to the bedroom and start searching the bed. I find it at the end of the bed under the quilt. He takes the phone and walks away shaking his head.)

Me: Hey, it was on your side of the bed. How could you have missed it?

Him: (unbelievingly) It's my fault.

Me: Glad you can admit it.

(Both of us start laughing.)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Baby It's Cold Outside

The 99th Western Stock Show is going on in Denver this week. With it came what we call "Stock Show Weather." The polar express that always roars through the area when the Stock Show begins has arrived. The temps for the last three days have been in the low teens during the day and in the single digits (on either side of zero) at night.

Also with the Stock Show comes the Stock Show stories in the newspapers. Two of my favorite this week are below:

The first is a story connected to the 11th Annual Mexican Rodeo, an event that runs concurrent with the Stock Show, Mexican rodeo a dazzling show.

The second is the kind of story you only see during the Stock Show, Whoa there, little lady, eyes forward.

Friday, January 14, 2005


And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again

-Elton John, Rocket Man

On Monday after 12 hours of sitting in airplanes and four hours of waiting in airports I arrived in Denver. Two hours later I was sitting at a table in a pizza place and for a moment I had the strangest feeling that I was in two places at once. I had traveled so fast and so far in one day some part of me was still back in Amsterdam. The feeling only lasted for a few seconds but it was a little disconcerting.

Only two weeks away and things look different. The cars are too big, the streets too wide, the sun too bright, the ground too brown, the refrigerator too cold, and my computer screen font too large. Things are just starting to look "normal" again but I still have that disconnected feeling. I guess I'm not ready to jump back into my regular life yet. I am slowly catching up on the blogs I read and hope to get back into the rhythm of writing entries in my own blog very soon.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Typing this at the airport. Going home after a wonderful two weeks. I am already missing my sister here and at the same time looking forward to seeing my other sister as I missed her while I was here. Will write soon.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

You Say It's Your Birthday!

You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.
Birrrth Day, du, du, du-du, du-da
Birrrth Day, du, du, du-du, du-da.

-The Beatles

Today is my sister's birthday. I am happy to write I am spending it with her.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Travel Notes 7

Yesterday was a very productive day. We went to the Anne Frank house and did not go in. We went to the Nieuwe Kerk for the Morroco exhibit and did not go in. Then we went to a gallery that was showing glamor photos of Hollywood movie stars and did not go in. One of the reasons we passed on all these places was because it was a beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine- watery sunshine and cloud streaked skies but better than gray skies and rain. Being inside on a day like that seemed wrong.

There were other reasons we did not go inside at any of these stops. At Anne Frank's house the line was long but moved fast and the closer we got to the entrance the more uncomfortable I felt. We bailed out of the line right inside the doorway. As we walked away I felt a great sense of relief. The sadness of the place got to me. At the Nieuwe Kerk the line was just too long and when we got to the gallery it was not open. But we did have a good time walking around.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A Lament For Lost Souls

I have not written anything about the disaster in Asia because the magnitude of it has been so...I can't even think of a word for how it makes me feel. Yesterday I looked at the list of blogs I read and clicked on Sharp Sand: Joseph Duemer Reads & Writes ( and scrolled back through his entries written after Christmas. I found this, lines from a poem called Chieu Hon or A Lament For Lost Souls:

In many Asian cultures, those who die without relatives to mourn for them & perform the ritse for the dead are thought to wander for eternity. In Vietnam, there is a day in Autumn dedicated to honoring those wandering souls:

Those persons bound for separate destinies,
stray souls and vagrant ghosts—where are they now?
They crouch against a dike, behind a bush.
They dwell where rivers spring, where earth meets sky.
They lurk in clumps of grass, in shade of trees.
They hover near this hostel, haunt that bridge.
They find asylum at some shrine, some church.
They make abode in market towns and ports. [ . . . ]
All creatures of ten classes, are you there?
Women and men, you young and old, all come!
All enter Buddha’s house and hear his word!
This life is just a bubble or a flash. [ . . . ]
At [Buddha’s] behest, we set a bowl of soup
and incense candles on the hallowed board.
We offer paper gold and paper clothes
to help you speed your heavenward ascent.
All who have come, be seated and partake:
spurn not these trifles, gifts of our goodwill. [ . . . ]
To all, he brings compassion and release:
no longer fear the curse of life and death . . . .

I don't know how long these lost souls will haunt me but I wish them a speedy ascent to heaven and peace.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Travel Notes 6

I guess it is good that I am going home on Monday. Things are getting down right mean at home. I have received these two messages from my husband about our dogs since Sunday :

Sunday, Jan 2nd
Yesterday "Emma" was being a little butthead out hunting, so I left her in her crate at one place while just "Kate" and I went.  Emma was crying and yipping in her crate.  Even Kate got tired of her.  Then I shot a pheasant and Kate picked it up, but wouldn't bring it to me.  Instead she ran back to the truck and up the ramp and sat holding it in front of Emma's crate.  Emma went nuts.  Then Kate took it into her crate and lied down with it. The next field Emma did much better. Love,...

Monday, Jan 3rd
Just to let you know that Kate has a new joy in life --- tormenting Emma.    She had so much fun teasing her with the pheasant that she has discovered a way to torment Emma with a Greenie.
(A Greenie is a healthly dog treat that my dogs love more than almost anything else to eat).  Kate gets her Greenie along with Emma, as you know, but Kate just sits with hers as Emma devours hers.  When Emma is done Kate sits holding her Greenie in front of Emma and acts like she just got a second one.  Emma barks and goes nuts.  Kate is happy since I won't give Emma another Greenie and really enjoys slowly eating hers in front of Emma.  I need you home soon to help with all this. 

Monday, January 03, 2005

Travel Notes 5

Yesterday we did the one thing I planned on doing while I was here in Amesterdam. We went to the Van Gogh Museum. In addition to over 200 hundred paintings by Van Gogh there are some by Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, Gauguin, Picasso, Seurat, and other artists. I was thrilled to see one sculpture by Camille Claudel in the Bing exhibit. The museum discribes the Bing exhibit as, "a major exhibition on the emergence of the French Art Nouveau movement viewed from the perspective of art dealer and collector Siegfried Bing (1838-1905)." That exhibit was an extra treat.

I have seen most of these works in art books but seeing them in person is just a different experience. It's like the difference between going to the zoo and and seeing a live wolf as compared to seeing a stuffed one at a natural history museum. I was so excited by what I had seen that I sat down and wrote my husband the following e-mail:

Good morning, honey.
We just got back from the Van Gogh Museum, it was worth the wait. Can we buy one of his paintings? It is 5:00pm and I am a little tired. I am still not sleeping well. I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at around 2:00am and could not get back to sleep until after 4:00am. I will be adjusted to Amsterdam time about the day I leave to come home. Still having a great time and wish you were here.

Later in the day I got the following message in reply:

Of course we may NOT buy a Van Gogh.  They must be stolen.  Get (your sister) to do it just in case.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Travel Notes 4

The three things that I will think about when ever I think of Amsterdam are, bikes, canals, and bricks. Almost all the houses are built of bricks. The streets are made of bricks and the sidewalks are made of bricks pavers. This may sound a bit monotonus but it isn't. The houses use different color bricks for trim and decorative accents and the streets and sidewalks use different color bricks for bike paths and parking areas.

The area my sister lives in is called Oud-Zuid (Old-South), an area developed in the 1920's and 1930's. There is one section of Oud-Zuid that is an island formed by the splitting of the Amsterlkanall into two different canals called the Noorder-Amstel-kanaal and the Zuider-Amstel-kannaal. There some of the streets are named after artists; Michelangelostraaat (Michelangelo Street), Botticellistraat, Leonardostraat, Raphaelstraat, Watteaustraat, Rubensstraat, Beethovenstraat, Schubertstraat, and Brahmsstraat are some of them. Other streets have been given names out of Greek mythology because the stadium (still standing) for the 1928 Olympics was built there. Street names include; Apollolaan (Apollo Lane), Marathonweg (Marathon Way), Herculesstraat, Amazonestraat, Achillesstraat, Minervialaan, and Jasonstraat. Walking on streets with the above names is somehow magical for me. Being able to answer Botticelli Street or Minerva Lane when asked your street address would make me feel special in a way that having to answer with something like 34th Street or a tree name does not.

I think I am falling in love with Amsterdam.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Travel Notes 3


Everyone feeling good this morning? I must say my first New Year in the Netherlands was not what I expected. The Dutch celebrate New Year's by some getting drunk (just like home) and some watching a cheesy variety show on TV waiting for the countdown till midnight (just like home), but then at midnight the fireworks that have been exploding off-and-on all day and night really intensify. At midnight it sounded like every firework in the world was set off. When I looked out the front window I saw all the neighbors gathered on the street corner at the end of my sister's block so she and I put on our coats and went down to join the fun.

When we got there the Christmas tree we had put out to be picked up on trash day (which is Monday) was in the middle of the intersection and burnt to a crisp but still smoldering. Now I understood why the recycle bins and the post boxes had been locked yesterday. Blue smoke from hundreds of firecrackers and other fireworks hung in the air and was drifting into the side streets. When I stepped into the intersection and looked both ways I could see each street intersection had someone shooting off great numbers of fireworks. My sister described the noise as "sound confetti," the overlap of explosions was deafening. There were so many being shot off I could not jerk my head around fast enough to see all of them. There were rockets that exploded into green, red, yellow, or blue starburst. There were whistlers that streaked into the sky and popped loudly. There were roman candles that shot great balls of fire. There were children holding large sparklers. And there were the millions of firecrackers, some set off one by one and others set off in groups of hundreds. After a half-hour the neighborhood quieted down compared to the noise level at midnight but when we went to bed at 1:30AM fireworks were still being set off, just not in such great numbers.

Amsterdam knows how to celebrate the New Year. I hope your New Year's Eve was just as exciting.