What I watched: Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. I expected a movie with the two of them to be well written and acted and otherwise interesting and good. I was wrong. This movie was unfathomably dull, with terrible writing and a plot that was disjointed and went aimlessly nowhere. Save yourselves.
What I read: I’m finishing up Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. I’m not totally done yet but I’m close enough to the end that I can render a solid judgement on this book. Compared to Rendezvous with Rama, it is better and it is worse. The plot is much better. It has a slow start because they need to address the 70+ year time that has elapsed since the first book, but after that it gets going pretty easily. Which is more than I can say about the first book which read like it was in plot development until the last 50 pages. However, the prose in this book is much, much worse, to the point of being corny. I can only attribute this to Clarke’s decision to work with an untested author in Gentry Lee, because it reads like no other Clarke book I’ve read so far. So, this one is a mixed bag. I’ll let you know how the 3rd book in the series is next month.
What I listened to: I’ve been checking out Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam.
My back took a serious beating when I was younger. Between getting hit by a car, all the times I was thrown by horses, and the general beatings, it’s not in great shape. I’ve managed to mitigate most of the problems with good posture and body mechanics, but roughly once or twice a year my friend will come to visit for a few days. The most maddening part about it is that I won’t be doing anything particularly strenuous when it goes out. I could be getting a pitcher off a shelf, or putting trash in a dumpster, or—as in the case yesterday—just wake up in pain. So, no shower for me yesterday, I had to put my laptop on my dresser so I could stand up and work, and I never got out of my pajamas. Fortunately, I have my own personal savior in the form of a portable TENS unit. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation. Most people experience them at a physical therapist’s office and they’re the size of a small briefcase with lots of wires that attach to sticky electrodes on your body and you have to lay there for 30 minutes while it works its magic. Mine is the size of a pager and connects to two sticky electrodes. Many times I’m able to put it on myself, but that morning was so bad I had to have Mrs. Butcher do it. It short circuits the pain signal to the brain so I can function. There’s a dial that I can use to adjust the level of signal and never before did I need to go past 7. This time, I wished I had Nigel Tufnel’s amps that go to 11. But, it’s good enough to allow me to move around—and moving around is what helps most. So, I still plan to do some gardening today—mostly because there will be no time tomorrow as we are heading into town to visit Mrs. Butcher’s youngest daughter and her husband for a combination anniversary/birthday celebration. I won’t work too hard, but I also don’t plan to sit on my ass all day either.
So, Desplinterinarians, what have you been watching/reading/listening to? Any plans for the weekend? Any tingling legs that are on the mend? Let’s hear it.