Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day culture - fringe and a movie

This long weekend, in addition to working on upcoming trials and putting a roof rack/bike rack on the car, we've done a decent job of enjoying others' company and art-works.
First the Fringe performance of Flamingo/Winnebago. JoeZ accompanied us to the Painted Bride and the 90-minute show was rocked out, musical, dance, movement, road-movie extravaganza. Politics, humor, and a kicking band with the best name, all combined to make a great show. Just four performers took us from the planes and dessert to Vegas, all on pretty much the last day anyone will ever be able to buy gas or use anything requiring fossil-fuels. It's a lot to take in, but the energy level is contagious and by the time you get to the classic rock sing-a-long finale, it's pretty much worth a cheer.
We also got a very gracious invitation from our neighbors down the street. We sat on their roof deck while watching The Good Shepherd. Although a bit bleak, it's good psychological drama. Robert DeNiro's direction shows strong awareness of his love of classic movies, without looking derivative. I was expecting more of an espionage thriller, but this was understated and very deliberately paced. I particularly like Oleg Shtefanko as Matt Damon's super-spook counterpart.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Marlon Anderson goes apeshit as he is called for interference on the last play of the game. Endy Chavez would have scored easily, but Shawn Green got doubled up as a result of Anderson's ill-advised 'take-out' slide. Actually, Anderson tried to tackle Phils' 2B Iguchi. Game over.
I celebrating by listening to WFAN, your flagship station for the crying, weeping, moaning, complaining New York Mets fan.
Thanks to my Dad, I'll be there for the fourth and final game of this crucial series. More on that later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A quick shout to Neil Gaiman

His work is proving to be a constant source of delight and wonderment. For me it all started with American Gods, but his true masterpiece is the comic series Sandman, now collected in ten beautiful graphic novels. He's a compulsive story teller and keeps his online journal with great regularity. I can't recommend his work enough. I just finished Ananzi Boys and, of course, loved it.

How about this guy for AG?

I know I was hoping that Kimi would be able to pull it out this season, but how do you not love his diminutive teammate Felipe Massa? Here he is on the center spot of the podium after the Turkish Grand Prix. Bravo on pole and a solid victory. Felipe is the real deal.
Ferarri started this year fastest and then all this nonsense with the spying and the cheating and the in-fighting (at McLaren) came up. It may generate copy and keep people interested during the summer break (which has just ended), but it's silly and it takes away from the racing. I read a great interview in the August issue of F1Racing with Pat Symonds, top racing engineer at Renault. He suggested, and editor Matt Bishop agreed, that McLaren had gotten a bit luck with their aero calculations this year and ended up with a car that was slightly faster than expected. Good for them, I say. But would Ferrari, now without the other-worldly focus and talent of Michael Schumacher, lose itself and its advantage in light of unexpected success from McLaren, and partciularly Lewis Hamilton? It sure looked that way a month or so ago. Then, as all the silly-ness of the scandals and the egos and the pouting, Ferrari quietly suggested that it might very well win the rest of the races this year. Well, that's one down, 5 to go.
P.S. Symonds also suggested that the best thing Schumacher could do now is offer his services as a driver's teacher so that these cowboys, these daredevils, these egomaniacs (not all of them) could learn the artistry and the engineering and the humility that brings success in this sport. What a wonderful idea!!

Not gonna miss this guy...

For me, he was a symbol of everything I dislike about this inept administration, particularly that feeling that they are above the law. The only question is, why now?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Heating Up...

Well, it's actually been hot for quite a while, but that's not what I'm talking about. You've got the Phillies heating up, with 9 wins in their last ten games. Cole Hamels pitched beautifully, but we may have lost Victorino and Michael Bourne for a little while, so that could be a problem. But, hey, a little adversity can provide a lot of inspiration for this team.

What else... I'm reading a bunch of great sci-fi, including John Scalzi and John Twelve Hawks. Neil Gaiman continues to inspire, as do the Hellblazer and Swamp Thing graphic novels. That stuffs all been big this summer.
I don't know why there's a picture of Warren Oates here. Maybe because he was kind of a bad-ass in Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia and some other Sam Peckinpah movies.
Now that I've endorsed Kimi for F1 champion, he's cooling off a bit, but F1 has been a circus lately, what with the spy scandal and everything. They're in Badapest this weekend, so we'll see what happens. Scott Speed has been replaced by Sebastian Vettel at Toro Rosso. I wouldn't care so much, but Speed, in addition to being the only American driver in F1, also has ulcerative colitis, just like me. It's pretty cool that he managed to overcome his disease and get to the top of his sport. On the other hand, he's not been the best driver and certainly doesn't get along with team management. Hopefully he'll land on his feet and keep promoting UC awareness.
Now it's back to work - and there's a lot of it. Big civil trial coming up regading the Michael Simmons shooting. I look forward to reporting on that in mid-September. But I'm sure I'll have something else interesting soon.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Robert F. Simone 1933-2007

I had a few opportunities to hang out with the great Bobby Simone before his recent passing. You could tell how great he was, even in the last year or two. I just could feel that what this man did in a courtroom was the kind of stuff that made me want to be a lawyer in the first place. Not 'To Kill A Mockinbird' or 'Inherit the Wind'; this was the REAL thing.
The best thing to do is read it in his own words. His autobiography is an audacious history of Philadelphia, at times frightening, at times hilarious.
Bobby will be missed by so many people. I only wish I could have seen him in a Courtroom, where he had no equal.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Musical Inspiration

The funky, white (Jewish?) boyz are killing me right now1 Go buy these records. BUY THEM!! First is the Beastie Boys instrumental (that's right!) 'The Mix Up'. Over the past several releases, there's always been a little funky gem on there - now you got a whole album of it!
The other thing needs a little apology because I got sucker punched by NPR, but in a good way. Let me exlpain. On Sunday, 7/8/07, they ran this bit on weekend edition. I don't 100%subscribe to the NPR orthodoxy - blindly Tivo-ing Ira Glass TV shows and holding my breath until the next uprorious episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. That being said, I listen because I think much of what they (the NPR/Greenpeace/Amnesty/tax&spendliberals/environmetalistas /etc.) just makes good sense. So then I hear this funky action and this young guy talking about how his dad was an A&R man for Atlantic Records in the 60's and 70's, and, well, I was hooked. The album is called Cinco de Mowo and it's a joyous mish-mash of big band, latin, and funk. CHECK IT OUT!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Kimi - Iceman takes Silverstone

Well, this year's British Grand Prix wasn't the most exciting race ever, but I liked seeing Kimi win and it made me think how great it would be if he could take home the championship. Yes, everyone loves Lewis Hamilton, but he's so young. He'll certainly have his chance in due time. Kimi, on the other hand, has been toiling away for a good little while. Now he has a fantastically quick car and it would be great for him to finally take his place among the immortals.
As a side note, BMW continues to impress as the 'best of the rest' and my man Kubica scored a solid fouth place. Well done!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

French Grand Prix This Weekend

The Supreme Court of the United States is looking to overturn Brown v. Bd of Education, The Vice President has declared himself a separate branch of government, the war rages on with no end in sight, the world's gone mad and peak oil is around the corner.
And with all this, I still can't help my excitement for this weekend's French Grand Prix. Robert Kubica will return after his horrific crash in Motreal; Lewis Hamilton may continue his assault on history by winning his third consecutive race, and the once proud prancing horse of Ferrari appears to be in disarry, complete with fingers pointing and rumors flying. In short, it's all great entertainment with beautiful vehicle that travel at unheard of speeds around death-defying corners in the greatest racing series of them all - F1.

Monday, June 25, 2007

If that don't bring you back...!

UGH - it's been a long time. But I just found a James Booker video, so it's time to start sharing again. Here's the vid and some other cool James Booker stuff:

And check out this link for stuff on "Papa Was a Rascal" which is a great song that is on Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah, which you should buy now. This man was a genius.