Monday, October 28, 2013


Watched last night Andrei Proshkin's Orda [The Horde] (2012), a story of the fourteenth-century conflict between the fledgling Christian Muscovites and the Muslim Tartar "horde," when Metropolitan Alexius is requested to come heal the eyesight of the Tartar queen mother. In many ways it feels like a standard "saint" film, a Christian vehicle to explain the reasons for beatification of an important religious figure, a film that likely wouldn't have been made or supported by the Russian state only a few decades ago. And as well a historical/mythmaking of the origins of the state. I don't know how accurate the filmmakers were in recreating the Russian world of this age, but it felt "right." I suspect the portrayal of the "barbarians" and their lifestyle may be biased, but I really don't know much about the time or region. I wasn't overly impressed with the acting or plot, but it was still interesting.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Joey, this morning, in his first JROTC uniform.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Watched tonight, I guess to celebrate the fast-approaching Diwali, Siddharth Anand's Bachna ae Haseeno (2008), an Indian Bollywood production about a ladies man (played by Ranbir Kapoor) who crushed two women's hearts, only to get crushed in turn himself. The plot was thin, but the music was good, and all three main actresses were very lovely. I liked Bipasha Basu best, but Joey liked Deepika Padukone. I was kind of surprised he watched the whole thing. There wasn't as many big dance numbers as I expected. I could not live on a diet of these movies, but once ina while they are entertaining. The second half of the movie was considerably better than the first part, more humor and better scenes. Overall, I enjoyed it.


Just because we wish it so, means not that it will pass;
this lesson’s one we all must learn in the Gamecock class.
Runs my blood, it’s red and black---garnet the deepest hue,
any orange is anathema, do not this misconstrue.

They always fought with all their heart, especially on game day,
ran out to strains two thousand one, sandstorm on white display,
from first kickoff to last tackle, they’d hit with abandon,
they feared no foe, this fact is true, but seldom champion.

Football saints are lively here, from Rogers to Norwood,
When Lattimore took the field, we always felt they could,
defeat all squads, from Florida to the great North land,
and many others in between, I’m sure you understand.

Jadeveon polished our fame, no one could say “Who dat?,”
he pulverized a Wolverine, and handed Smith his hat.
Sidney Rice and Sterling Sharpe could surely catch that ball,
while Alshon and McKinley too, flew often past them all.

Sheldon Brown and John Abraham were known to give a lick,
while Swearinger and Gilmore too, could make a tackle stick.
Ryan Brewer bowled them over, while Succop split the posts,
Connor Shaw and Phil Petty racked up the winning boasts.

So many more graced our field, their names are not forgot,
Wharton and Boyd, Culliver and Dunta, and even A. Pinnock.
Munnerlyn, DiMarco too, and who could forget Ace Sanders?
Ajiboye and Cunningham, were not gridiron outlanders.

Kalimba, Ko, Dunta and Zola, we’ve surely had strange names,
But on the field they won our hearts, and more than a few games.
Faison to Watson, and all others, who flashed their spurs with pride,
we celebrate each footballer who’s graced the Gamecock side!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


When chilled Carolina winds blow,
pecans discarded on ground below,
a thousand eyes are peering down,
on every branch a shattered crown.

Pine boughs clash in windy creak,
woodpeckers juicy worms do seek,
red-tails prowl for their errant prey
while lazy cats sleep day away.

Cooling temps and barbeque grills,
Cocky cheering garnet-black thrills,
College kids jam the local joints,
But it’s getting scary in Five Points.

Around Horseshoe some scholars walk,
while others sprint to professor’s talk,
dreams will recall the old brick walls,
and conjure back these special falls.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I saw this on Craigslist, and don't know who to credit, but I really loved it and had to post it on my blog, because it summed up my own thoughts about this group, which I have been calling the American Talibanis for quite a while. I think the picture is taken from a television show (obviously I don't watch it), and I am not sure who added the text:

Monday, October 14, 2013


OK, time for cute videos of Trena.

Just wait until I get one of those laser pointers.


Took the boys tonight to the SC State Fair. I bought them the ride-at-one-price bracelet and let them at it. I told them to stick together and enjoy themselves, and I went off to do my thing. First I visited the art exhibits, my favorite place, and overall found the work enjoyable. There were a few times I thought better pictures (in my opinion)should have been given ribbons. The photography section was particularly good. Not as much watercolor this year. Not so impressed with the three-dimensional arts displayed. Student art was awesome. Then I went to listen to some music. The first band I saw was STAGBRIAR, and they were ok, although extremely loud (a definite problem in that stage). I thought the performers seemed mostly distand, not looking at the crowd, while one guitar player on the left side appeared to be in his own world, making the crazy jerking motions as if he were a thirteen-year old in his bedroom with his first instrument. Weird. Later I ate dinner (turkey leg) while listening to and watching FOREIGNER, and I especially liked the songs from back in my day. Then I tpped the night off with SAY BROTHER?, a rockabilly group (also, way too loud). They were interesting, but I was confused by one of the lead singers, who didn't have a mike, but just belted away on a tamborine and danced about like one of the drunk homeless guys at a free concert at Finlay Park). The band had a following, it seems, and some people were even dancing. This is where the boys found me at the end of the night. "We knew you'd be here."

In between the musical choices, I wandered about the crafts show, promotional exhibition, and a few of the outdoor shows. Only ride I had was the $5 for 15 minutes in some excellent massage chair. Worth every penny. Watched some gymastic group, the flying dogs (nothing much there), and then attended the beatbox/juggling/comedian Bronkar Lee's show, and found him quite entertaining. It was like watching your buddy go throuhg his routines in the basement of his house, but it was still fun. He had a good rapport with his audience and most people seemed to enjoy themselves. I avoided Ron Diamond's hypnotism show. The boys were tired at about 930, so we went and had sodas and returned home. They seemed to have fun on the midway. I wish the fair could change things up a little, and figure out ways to have more entertaining, but less stressful rides. Not sure how it could be done. And there really is a need for more adult, educational (like history, museum-like) stuff.

Here is a shot we took as we were heading out:

Friday, October 11, 2013


Here's a pic of Trena asleep on the comforter, with her head slowly lolling backward.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Joey (with a little help from me) finally finished his biology project. We decided to make a 3D model. I hope he might be one of the few to attempt that, and will get some extra credit for creativity. I think it looks pretty good, even better close up. Now. . .hopefully he will turn it in tomorrow. Sorry I sawed off the top part of his head.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Attended tonight First Thursday activities in downtown Columbia, especially the USC faculty show at Tapps. Some of the pieces were nice, especially the photography, but overall I was pretty disappointed in the work displayed. Nothing caught my attention and made me say "Wow." I was particularly bothered by most of the paintings, particularly a small grouping in which the canvasses were the size of stamps, held in frames the size of large postcards, which showed almost no effort or skill. As anyone who reads my stuff (two or so), you know I am not a fan of modernist art for the most part, unless it displays some level of obvious effort and skill. All I could think was "fraud." The ceramics for the most part were not that impressive either. I kind of liked the silvered overlay on carp, when you stepped back from it. The graphics guy had some cute zoo animals, that would appeal to kids. Still, it was nice to wander around and take in the sights. Didn't stay for any music.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Slate online magazine is one of my favorite reading spots; I tend to visit it daily, if not a few times daily. But the new format SUCKS! I HATE it. I so much liked the simple scroll down that allowed me to see what I had already read and where yesterdays contributions ended. Now the page has multiple links to the same articles, is way too busy and crowded. I don't even want to go to the page, and have found myself leaving it far quicker than I have in the past. They are not the only website to have recently changed causing me to not like the new look. CNN's site, for instance, sucks, especially the Sports section, with blatantly tries to suck you into articles that you have to hit twenty to thirty times to get through.