bobquasit: (Default)
A very nice weekend. On Saturday we took Sebastian to a penguin class at the zoo - he got to see them and draw them. I picked up a cap at the gift shop that actually fit my head, for a wonder.

Later, Sebastian and I drove up to Boston. We got choreg and lahmejun from a couple of Armenian markets in Watertown, then went over to my parents' place.

We had a nice family get-together at my sister and brother-in-law's new place (they have a harpsichord, which sounds amazing - I played the one song I know, and it came out great) and then drove home.

It was pretty late, but Sebastian stayed awake through the drive. He'd read the first Harry Potter book all the way to Boston, and finished it on the way home.

On Sunday we went to Foxwoods with Teri's mother. I hung out with Sebastian while they gambled. We went back and forth several on some people-movers (like the ones they have in airports). Then we spent some time at the arcade. After dinner at the Hard Rock cafe, we headed home.

I was pleased with myself tonight. Sebastian was watching a live-action Scooby Doo that he's seen before, but I insisted on a family movie night; we had Mary Poppins from Netflix. Neither he nor Teri had seen it before, and in no time he was laughing and laughing. Teri really liked it too, although she fell asleep before the end. Now Sebastian is interested in reading the Mary Poppins books.

Now everyone is asleep. My computer is still in the shop (I hope it will be ready tomorrow), so I'm going to sleep too. Good night!

Posted via LjBeetle
bobquasit: (Default)
A very nice weekend. On Saturday we took Sebastian to a penguin class at the zoo - he got to see them and draw them. I picked up a cap at the gift shop that actually fit my head, for a wonder.

Later, Sebastian and I drove up to Boston. We got choreg and lahmejun from a couple of Armenian markets in Watertown, then went over to my parents' place.

We had a nice family get-together at my sister and brother-in-law's new place (they have a harpsichord, which sounds amazing - I played the one song I know, and it came out great) and then drove home.

It was pretty late, but Sebastian stayed awake through the drive. He'd read the first Harry Potter book all the way to Boston, and finished it on the way home.

On Sunday we went to Foxwoods with Teri's mother. I hung out with Sebastian while they gambled. We went back and forth several on some people-movers (like the ones they have in airports). Then we spent some time at the arcade. After dinner at the Hard Rock cafe, we headed home.

I was pleased with myself tonight. Sebastian was watching a live-action Scooby Doo that he's seen before, but I insisted on a family movie night; we had Mary Poppins from Netflix. Neither he nor Teri had seen it before, and in no time he was laughing and laughing. Teri really liked it too, although she fell asleep before the end. Now Sebastian is interested in reading the Mary Poppins books.

Now everyone is asleep. My computer is still in the shop (I hope it will be ready tomorrow), so I'm going to sleep too. Good night!

Posted via LjBeetle
bobquasit: (Chris Elliot)
Sebastian asked me to read more of Cheaper By the Dozen this afternoon. I was happy to do it, since it meant that the TV wouldn't be on. So the three of us sat in the living room for several hours while I read. Teri slept for about two hours, but woke up in time to hear the last three chapters, as I hope she would.

It's a very fun book to read, but also physically challenging. The father, Frank Gilbreth, is a grand character, and I read him with a booming, hearty voice - it's really the only way to do it. After a while I started to feel as if I'd been lightly sandpapering my throat. But after a short break or two, I continued. I ended up reading the whole second half, and finished it.

He loves the book; he laughed and laughed. But I knew that the last three chapters would be tricky. While much of the rest of the book deals with the family members as children, in the two penultimate chapters the older girls have started to grow up. I knew that much of those chapters would go over his head.

And as for the last chapter...well, I don't want to spoil the book, so here's a spoiler warning. )
After that we watched the 1950 movie adaptation of Cheaper By the Dozen on Netflix - it was available to watch via instantly. If you don't know, let me say up front that the execrable Steve Martin movies that go under the same name have nothing whatever to do with the book - other than the title, and that they feature a family with twelve children. It's just another case of Hollywood taking something nice and crapping all over it, as they always do.

We'd all seen bits of the movie before, but never the whole thing. It was nice to all sit down together and watch it, particularly since we'd just finished the book. The movie was considerably more faithful to the book than any movie adaptation I've seen in the last twenty years; certainly far more faithful than Peter Jackson's inexcusably awful Lord of the Rings movies. The father was played by the slender and sprightly Clifton Webb, who was not a good physical match for the real Frank Gilbreth (he was tall and quite overweight, according to the book), but Webb played the part well enough. A romantic subplot was shoehorned in, but it's relatively minor and inoffensive. Likewise, a small running "suspense" plot was added too; it didn't really work, but didn't harm the movie much either.

The names of a few secondary characters were changed for no obvious reason, and much of the action in general was telescoped. The first half of the book was essentially cherry-picked and packed into the first quarter of the movie, with the more adult final sections being expanded quite a bit to fill in the remaining three-quarters of the film. Also, some lines were given to different characters than in the book, and a few key lines were slightly amended. But all in all, I was surprised by how faithful the movie was to the novel.

One annoying thing: our Wii's wifi connection completely failed with four minutes left to go in the movie, just after a very dramatic moment indeed. I had to run upstairs and pull the plug on both our cable modem and our router for 30 seconds. After that, we were able to finish watching the movie.

Sebastian liked both the book and the movie very much, and gave them both five stars. All in all, a very pleasant night for the family!

Our next step will be to read AND watch "Belles On Their Toes", the sequel to Cheaper By the Dozen. The movie can be ordered as a disc from Netflix; there's no streaming option, unfortunately. Our local library doesn't have a copy of the book, but the Rhode Island library network has many. I've requested a copy, and I imagine it should arrive soon. I'll put the movie at the top of our Netflix queue in time to have it just when I finish reading the book to Sebastian.
bobquasit: (Chris Elliot)
Sebastian asked me to read more of Cheaper By the Dozen this afternoon. I was happy to do it, since it meant that the TV wouldn't be on. So the three of us sat in the living room for several hours while I read. Teri slept for about two hours, but woke up in time to hear the last three chapters, as I hope she would.

It's a very fun book to read, but also physically challenging. The father, Frank Gilbreth, is a grand character, and I read him with a booming, hearty voice - it's really the only way to do it. After a while I started to feel as if I'd been lightly sandpapering my throat. But after a short break or two, I continued. I ended up reading the whole second half, and finished it.

He loves the book; he laughed and laughed. But I knew that the last three chapters would be tricky. While much of the rest of the book deals with the family members as children, in the two penultimate chapters the older girls have started to grow up. I knew that much of those chapters would go over his head.

And as for the last chapter...well, I don't want to spoil the book, so here's a spoiler warning. )
After that we watched the 1950 movie adaptation of Cheaper By the Dozen on Netflix - it was available to watch via instantly. If you don't know, let me say up front that the execrable Steve Martin movies that go under the same name have nothing whatever to do with the book - other than the title, and that they feature a family with twelve children. It's just another case of Hollywood taking something nice and crapping all over it, as they always do.

We'd all seen bits of the movie before, but never the whole thing. It was nice to all sit down together and watch it, particularly since we'd just finished the book. The movie was considerably more faithful to the book than any movie adaptation I've seen in the last twenty years; certainly far more faithful than Peter Jackson's inexcusably awful Lord of the Rings movies. The father was played by the slender and sprightly Clifton Webb, who was not a good physical match for the real Frank Gilbreth (he was tall and quite overweight, according to the book), but Webb played the part well enough. A romantic subplot was shoehorned in, but it's relatively minor and inoffensive. Likewise, a small running "suspense" plot was added too; it didn't really work, but didn't harm the movie much either.

The names of a few secondary characters were changed for no obvious reason, and much of the action in general was telescoped. The first half of the book was essentially cherry-picked and packed into the first quarter of the movie, with the more adult final sections being expanded quite a bit to fill in the remaining three-quarters of the film. Also, some lines were given to different characters than in the book, and a few key lines were slightly amended. But all in all, I was surprised by how faithful the movie was to the novel.

One annoying thing: our Wii's wifi connection completely failed with four minutes left to go in the movie, just after a very dramatic moment indeed. I had to run upstairs and pull the plug on both our cable modem and our router for 30 seconds. After that, we were able to finish watching the movie.

Sebastian liked both the book and the movie very much, and gave them both five stars. All in all, a very pleasant night for the family!

Our next step will be to read AND watch "Belles On Their Toes", the sequel to Cheaper By the Dozen. The movie can be ordered as a disc from Netflix; there's no streaming option, unfortunately. Our local library doesn't have a copy of the book, but the Rhode Island library network has many. I've requested a copy, and I imagine it should arrive soon. I'll put the movie at the top of our Netflix queue in time to have it just when I finish reading the book to Sebastian.
bobquasit: (Default)
First, I have to say that as a long-time Bostonian, it's really good to see a movie set in Boston that was actually FILMED in Boston. It was a real kick to see my former workplace and other old familiar spots in the background. Attention, Hollywood: Toronto is NOT a dead ringer for Beantown!

It was also rather a relief that none of the actors in the film attempted the obligatory and almost always lame imitation of a Boston accent.

As for the movie itself: the concepts aren't new. Keith Laumer could probably have sued the author of the original comic book miniseries that the movie was based on for plagiarism. The series (and therefore the movie) has much in common with Laumer's 1966 story "The Body Builders". By coincidence, the story is available online, legally, as part of the Baen Free Library; Google "Baen free library Laumer", and it will come up as "Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side". The story starts on page 31.

But the idea of a remote robotic body is probably new to most non-science fiction fans. And in any case, complete originality is certainly not mandatory. The movie is paced nicely, the acting is pretty well-done, and although there's not much that's terribly surprising in the plot, it is handled well.

If it weren't for the Boston element, I might have given Surrogates three stars - but the authenticity of the setting gave it just the extra boost needed to move it up to four.

[Netflix doesn't allow URLs, annoyingly - but the direct URL to the Laumer book is http://worldebookfair.org/eBooks/Baen_Library_Collection/0743435370.pdf]
bobquasit: (Default)
First, I have to say that as a long-time Bostonian, it's really good to see a movie set in Boston that was actually FILMED in Boston. It was a real kick to see my former workplace and other old familiar spots in the background. Attention, Hollywood: Toronto is NOT a dead ringer for Beantown!

It was also rather a relief that none of the actors in the film attempted the obligatory and almost always lame imitation of a Boston accent.

As for the movie itself: the concepts aren't new. Keith Laumer could probably have sued the author of the original comic book miniseries that the movie was based on for plagiarism. The series (and therefore the movie) has much in common with Laumer's 1966 story "The Body Builders". By coincidence, the story is available online, legally, as part of the Baen Free Library; Google "Baen free library Laumer", and it will come up as "Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side". The story starts on page 31.

But the idea of a remote robotic body is probably new to most non-science fiction fans. And in any case, complete originality is certainly not mandatory. The movie is paced nicely, the acting is pretty well-done, and although there's not much that's terribly surprising in the plot, it is handled well.

If it weren't for the Boston element, I might have given Surrogates three stars - but the authenticity of the setting gave it just the extra boost needed to move it up to four.

[Netflix doesn't allow URLs, annoyingly - but the direct URL to the Laumer book is http://worldebookfair.org/eBooks/Baen_Library_Collection/0743435370.pdf]
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
It wasn't easy, but tonight I finally managed to hook up the Roku Netflix player that my dad had given me a while ago. Let me tell you: it's a HELL of a lot easier to get Netflix to work with a Wii than with the Roku player! But eventually I got everything to work, so we can watch Netflix on the upstairs TV. All in all, I think we're all pleased with Netflix.

My parents got us a family membership to the Roger Williams Zoo the last time they visited us, so we used it by going to the zoo today. We also invited one of Sebastian's friends from school to join us on an impromptu play date. We all had a lot of fun, though neither Teri nor I was feeling our best. One odd thing: the zoo closes at 4PM! On a beautiful early-fall Saturday, that makes no sense at all.

We spent around three hours at the zoo, and only got to see about half of it. We told the boys that we could come back and see the rest of it soon.

I really need to unload the pictures and video from my phone and camera!
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
It wasn't easy, but tonight I finally managed to hook up the Roku Netflix player that my dad had given me a while ago. Let me tell you: it's a HELL of a lot easier to get Netflix to work with a Wii than with the Roku player! But eventually I got everything to work, so we can watch Netflix on the upstairs TV. All in all, I think we're all pleased with Netflix.

My parents got us a family membership to the Roger Williams Zoo the last time they visited us, so we used it by going to the zoo today. We also invited one of Sebastian's friends from school to join us on an impromptu play date. We all had a lot of fun, though neither Teri nor I was feeling our best. One odd thing: the zoo closes at 4PM! On a beautiful early-fall Saturday, that makes no sense at all.

We spent around three hours at the zoo, and only got to see about half of it. We told the boys that we could come back and see the rest of it soon.

I really need to unload the pictures and video from my phone and camera!
bobquasit: (Default)
We watched an episode of The Greatest American Hero tonight via Netflix on the Wii. Unfortunately the pilot isn't available for streaming, for some reason.

I was a fan of the show when it was on, but I'd forgotten how good it was! And what really surprised me was how much it reminded me of another of my favorites, The Rockford Files. But that's not surprising, in hindsight; it's a Stephen J. Cannell show, and a lot of the people from Rockford worked on it. Heck, even the theme is by Mike Post! There's really quite a Rockford feel to it.

Interesting thing: There's also a bit of a Sopranos feel to it! Many of the people who worked on Rockford also worked on the Sopranos. All three shows definitely share a similar "feel" and lineage.
bobquasit: (Default)
We watched an episode of The Greatest American Hero tonight via Netflix on the Wii. Unfortunately the pilot isn't available for streaming, for some reason.

I was a fan of the show when it was on, but I'd forgotten how good it was! And what really surprised me was how much it reminded me of another of my favorites, The Rockford Files. But that's not surprising, in hindsight; it's a Stephen J. Cannell show, and a lot of the people from Rockford worked on it. Heck, even the theme is by Mike Post! There's really quite a Rockford feel to it.

Interesting thing: There's also a bit of a Sopranos feel to it! Many of the people who worked on Rockford also worked on the Sopranos. All three shows definitely share a similar "feel" and lineage.

Netflix

Aug. 23rd, 2010 10:44 pm
bobquasit: (Laszlo Late)
So we signed up for Netflix a few days ago. I hadn't realized that we could stream movies to the Wii and my computer! Pretty cool...

Netflix

Aug. 23rd, 2010 10:44 pm
bobquasit: (Laszlo Late)
So we signed up for Netflix a few days ago. I hadn't realized that we could stream movies to the Wii and my computer! Pretty cool...

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