Monday, January 15, 2024

Monday, Monday

Since Tracy and Jeff have occasional problems posting here, please copy your comments before posting and send them to me if they don't post ( I certainly miss it when I don't hear from all of you. 

Well, Winter arrived this week. It is 8 degrees here today. We had snow off and on for a few days and although it didn't amount to much, it was horrible for driving as it switched from sleet, to snow, to rain and the winds are ferocious. Of course, I don't drive so I look out here from the 8th floor and worry about accidents.

Watched MASTER GARDENER last night. This is the last of a trilogy by Paul Schrader about men who have committed terrible crimes but then sought to redeem themselves. I like this one but not as much as FIRST REFORMED or THE CARD COUNTER.

Finished up FOR ALL MANKIND (Apple), and although I will probably watch another season, I am tired of watching men floating about in space. And REACHER (Prime) has become disappointing with way too many scenes of extreme violence. Waiting for MONSIEUR SPADE and TRUE CRIME tonight although I will have to watch the Detroit Lions too. A show I have always enjoyed is BREEDERS on Hulu, although I think this is its last season. I will certainly miss SLOW HORSES (Apple). I am catching up with BEEF (Netflix) also.

Finished the SISKEL AND EBERT book, which somehow didn't spend enough time on some things I expected it to. Like looking analytically at why they so often differed in their opinions. I can't imagine there is enough to say for another book though. Still struggling to finish THE FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER, which is way too long. 

How about you?


Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...

If I had any influence on putting you onto BREEDERS, I'm glad. The last season (which played on cable's FX last year) is solid. Saw the season premiere of TRUE DETECTIVE, which lays pipe pretty heavily and tries to ramp up the easily-dispelled fantasy elements the series loves, which can be tiresome...SCOOBY-DOO, Or Is It? (Probably Is!) is not my favorite game. Also, though this is a personal piercing/needles difficulty, that the younger co-lead, the former combat athlete, wears (or had appliques that simulated) face-piercings makes me wince a bit every time she appears onscreen.

Roger Ebert was a fanboy grown up and Gene Siskel was a middlebrow cineaste, and that was most of how they were different...while both were shallow enough to fervently agree, for example, that When They, in the Industry, realized how to make Another 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, they did so with STAR WARS (aka when they realized how to make Another PERSONA, they did so with SINGLE WHITE FEMALE). Will be checking into the SPADE series, I think on FX as well.

Take care when you do venture out, Patti!

Todd Mason said...

Ah, AMC cablecast the SPADE premiere tonight...on-demand time. PBS stations have picked up MS. FISHER'S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES and FUNNY WOMAN, and am enjoying the rewatch of one and first viewing of the other.

Jerry House said...

A cold and rainy week, with a hellacious storm plunked right in the middle of it. Floods, school and road closings, tornadoes -- althoug no tornadoes near us; toprnadoes did hit Panama City though, a hop down the coast from us (Panama City was also nearly destroyed by Hurricane Michael a few years ago; sux to be them). No beach time this week. More than a bit of "let's hunker down" time, though. Mark had to work at the empty zoo during the storm; the aninmals were not happy.

Finished my Vera binge and just have to wait for Season 13 to show up on Britbox (David Leon returns as Jor Ashworth!).

Christina is still working on her muffin baking skills. The recipe fo raspberry muffins recommended that you measure the berries by weight, rather than volume; turns out you get more than twice the amount of berries that way and end with with muffined raspberries, rather than raspberry muffins.

Looking into family painting time for Erin's birthday next m onth. We have a choice of painting magnolias or a sasquatch, which seems strange...

Books read include James Lee Burke's NEW IBERIA BLUES (very good, as always), Lee & Andrew Child's THE SECRET (taking Reacher back to his army days), Janet & Peter Evanovich's Fox and O'Hare novel THE BIG KAHUNA (no way near as good as when Lee Goldberg was co-writing the series), Mike Lupica's first take on Spenser in ROBERT B. PARKER'S BROKEN TRUST (more pages, less white space, and smaller type than Parker's ;ater efforts, still a decent read, although Susan is still annoying), Robert Crais's latest Elvis Cole/Joe Pike RACING THE LIGHT and his standalone thriller paean to the wonder of dogs, SUSPECT (very good, both). J. Allan Dunn's 1916 pulp lost civilization novel THE TREASURE OF ATLANTIS ( a it creaky, but it was written over a century ago), and "Scott O'Neill's execrable science fiction collection pretending to be adult reading MARTIAN SEXPOT (my FFB, highly unrecommended). Collections read included three books derive for ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE -- COFFIN BREAK, GAMES KILLERS PLAY,and SKULL SESSION, as well as the very first (December 1956) issue of that magazine, and Richard M. Elam. Jr.'s juvenile SCIENCE FICTION STORIES (also published as TEEN-AGE SCIENCE FICTION STORIES and YOUNG READERS SCIENCE FICTION STORIES. Graphic novels read were Ryan North's adaptation of Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE and Ryan North's LAWRENCE BLOCK'S EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE(both worth my time).

I plan to spend some of this week finishing books I started in the past month, but was interrupted in reading. And I have a pile of short story collections to go through.

Happy MLK Day to you, Patti! Stay safe.

Margot Kinberg said...

Please stay safe and warm, Patti. There's so much terrible weather out there!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for your warm wishes. The one plus with frigid weather is it usually sunny, the sun is a rare sight in Michigan in the winter. I have been watching BREEDERS for several years-maybe you originally mentioned it, Todd-I like that the kids are so much nicer than their parents. And that house- all glass and stairs -terrifies me. I guess this is the final season though.

Todd Mason said...

Patti--yes, they wrapped BREEDERS up with 3 seasons. Imagine they could do some more eventually, but no announced plans I'm aware of.

Wow, Jerry, the Lantern Press young-readers' anthologies (or collections masquerading as anthologies from one hack or another), including TEEN-AGE SF, did I hate that whole line, about to the same degree as you did MARTIAN SEXPOT.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I am watching the fourth season...their son has a baby? Or is that three.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, it is season four after a long gap.

Diane Kelley said...

Congratulations to the Lions on winning a Playoff game! Hope they win next week, too!

Lake Effect snow storms hit Western NY and shut everything down. Travel bans and white-out conditions caused the NFL to move the Steelers vs. Bills game from Sunday to Monday. Temps are in the single digits with windchills below ZERo.

Patti, I'm with you on SLOW HORSES. What a great series! Mick Herron's books are fun reading, too!

Diane and I continue to wear our N95 masks but everybody else seems mask averse. Meanwhile Covid-19, flu, and RSV is surging here.

More snow later this week with Arctic temps. Stay safe!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Congratulations on the Lions win. Glad they held on.

Jackie loves REACHER and says the extreme violence doesn't bother her. Of course, the bad guys are so bad they are asking for it. Last episode is this week. We did watch the last series (3) of PICARD, which Jackie liked a lot more than I did.

I enjoyed the first episode of MONSIEUR SPADE. It was definitely not the same old thing, though I am getting annoyed with all the smoking in these shows. At least this time, the doctor told him to stop, and he's trying.

Glad the third series of ASTRID is finally on PBS Masterpiece.

It's been a pretty quiet first week down here. Temperatures have been up and down, but thanks to El Nino we're getting a lot of rain. One waitress said it started before Christmas, with no end in sight. Looks like 70s all week (other than 81 tomorrow), which is fine with us, though a little more sun would be in order.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

The Lions won a nail bitter Sunday night. Good game though.
Liked the first episode of True Detective. Will watch Monsieur Spade today. Love Slow Horse. Binged all three seasons in two days. Next season not until next fall. Also like Fargo. Probably the best season. Don't care for Reacher. Don't find the writing very good, plus the lead who looks the part can't act.
Couldn't get through Master Gardner. Just dragged.
Finished Box88 by Charles Cummings. Now reading the sequel Judas62. Probably my favorite writer of spy novels right now. Also read stories from In Deep by Damon Knight and The Dead Man by Gene Wolfe.
As Patti said frigid temps here right now. One of the boilers in my building went out, so are heat is only slightly warm.

Gerard Saylor said...

High of 1° here today. Had 13"-14" of snow over weekend. Clearing the sidewalk, driveway, and back parking area took me two hours on Saturday. That evening I slogged over to run the high school concessions stand during a boy's basketball game. Snow cancellations had moved the game and no one was scheduled or available to open the stand. I was adamant that I was not going over there and run the thing by myself again. Good thing someone stepped in to assist me during halftime.

My wife is off work for the holiday. I am at work and have a Board meeting this afternoon. The dog stayed on the couch as I moved around the house before work. She dislikes cold and snow but still thinks I should walk her.

Finished Eric Ambler's COFFIN FOR DIMITRIOS and enjoyed the book quite a bit. I've read it described as an espionage novel and do not agree. It's a crime novel. Bough a Hard Case Crime novel a couple weeks ago and began that last night, LOWDOWN ROAD.

I finished Season 3 of TRUE DETECTIVE a week ago and thought the cast was excellent.

Todd Mason said...

in re: BREEDERS...sorry, I'm in a punchy and innumerate state. Yup, the last season (maybe forever) is the one dealing with the newly grandparents in the protagonist couple. 4th does seem like it.

The deal, Jeff, to get ASTRID season 3 on PBS PASSPORT is probably also why it's in further rotation on PBS broadcast. The syndie vs. PBS feeds are, at times, getting very byzantine (no less because World Chennel is run by syndicators APT and NETA, but also runs a Lot of PBS network programs...APT and NETA also run the Create network, which has a smaller proportion of PBS network series.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We don't watch many comedies these days. Tried the first episode of BREEDERS and it wasn't for us, despite liking cast. Or maybe it's because we don't have kids...

Todd Mason said...

Washing clothes and patting cats rather than sleeping, while also writing a blogpost and emails--the new year keeps cutting down fantastica writers...David J. Skal (he and his partner hit early morning on 1 Jan by a drunk driver--almost husband was hanging in at the hospital at last report I've seen), Howard Waldrop and Tom Purdom just reported as having also died, both with problems which had been dogging them healthwise. Not youngsters, but not welcome news.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I need shows like BREEDERS as a palate cleanser from so many police dramas. Although the new one CRIMINAL RECORD on Apple does look promising. Always like Cush Jumbo and also Peter Capaldi.
Yes, to at least winning one playoff game was quite a treat although as Steve said, a nailbiter.
A lot of noroviruses going around too.
TRUE DETECTIVE is going to take my full attention-especially airing just once a week. So many characters already.
Hey, I am moving to the other side of the building so no more Woodward racetrack out my window. So odd too that the view from one side is totally urban and view from the new side, totally suburban with a park and friendly shops and houses. A pain to move but it will be worth it come spring-summer. And all the address changes just for a different apartment number. Eleventh floor. Hope not too many fire alarms.

TracyK said...

That is so cold, Patti. I don't know that I have ever experienced weather that cold. In a recent comment from Bill Selnes of Mysteries and More in Saskatchewan, he mentioned that they had a temperature of "-33C with a wind chill to -46C (about -52F)" in the mid-morning. Amazing.

I will send you a copy next time I have problems submitting a comment. Maybe it was too long, maybe there was something in it Google did not like.

I am combining reading for the last two weeks since mine did not come through last week.

From last week: I read CHILLED TO THE BONE (2013) by Quentin Bates. This is the third book in a police procedural series set in Iceland. The main character is a single mother who is also works in the Serious Crime Unit in Reykjav√≠k. Good story and the setting is great. I also finished Gabrielle Zevin’s TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW. I liked the book at lot. It is permeated with gaming and creating games, all the way through, but it is more about relationships and families than about gaming.

I am reading Japanese novels for a challenge, and I read TOKYO EXPRESS (also titled POINTS AND LINES) by Seicho Matsumoto. Published in 1958, so a good picture of postwar Japan.

Glen is reading two books:
HOLLYWOOD AND THE MOVIES OF THE FIFTIES by Foster Hirsch. He likes it but it is very long (672 pages and small print!).

His other book is STATIONS: AN IMAGINED JOURNEY by Michael Flanagan. This novel is a combination of images by the author with text that describes the history of the railroad and a family. Amazon description: "A Virginia farmer narrates the story of his family and of the railroad that has shaped the lives and fates of his family for generations."

pattinase (abbott) said...

You two really read widely. If I ever get through with this book club book, I am have some time. Although actually I am fairly admiring of it now. She has a good mystery and lots of interesting stuff about indigenous people in the UP in Michigan. (Firekeeper's Daughter). I would not have finished it without the group and I am glad I did,

Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...

And, belatedly.Happy ML King Jr. Day!

Hope the move is mostly untrying, Patti...

TracyK said...

Patti, I put Firekeeper's Daughter on my list (to look for at the book sale) after I checked into it when you mentioned it in the post. I am not going to buy any books (except ebooks) for a while.

I am glad you are moving to another apartment away from the Woodward racetrack in the summer.

Todd Mason said...

Well, M. SPADE starts well.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lots of style and a stunning final scene.

Todd Mason said...

And this season of FARGO ends pretty well, too, though the resolution of one aspect of it didn't ring quite true (given what one character already knew of another). The actual ending manages to almost pull off all of what it attempts, which isn't too easy (and isn't completely successful, but close enough to pass).

Since, of course, every season of FARGO is True.