Monday, June 30, 2003

Stone Reader

I saw the film documentary Stone Reader last week. It was a very satisfying reflection on the reading life.

Books can move us, though this is rarely portrayed in movies. Some time ago, I watched Orange County, and in the first few minutes of that movie, the lead character spends a summer reading and rereading a book that makes him decide he wants to be a writer. The book simply changes his life, and it's the launch pad for the main plot of that movie.

Mark Moskovitz's documentary is in a similar vein. The book The Stones of Summer captured his imagination in a such a forceful way that he wanted to read other books by the same author, Dow Mossman. However, as he dove into the library, and the Internet, he not only discovered that the author didn't publish anything else, there was barely anything published about the author. So Mark goes on a journey to try to learn all that there is about the author.

Along the way, we learn about book publishing, book reading, and book reviewing. We learn about Mr. Moskovitz's deep love of reading, and the books that have affected him. We learn (or are we reminded?) that in the reverie of reading, the mind is actively constructing a world that the author builds, and this intimate action is incredibly unique, and incredibly engaging. Finally, we do learn about Dow Mossman, and the price of creativity, coupled with commerce.

This was a wonderful, thoughtful movie.

Friday, June 20, 2003

All The President's Men

Last night, I rented the DVD of All the President's Men. I was mentioning this at work near the coffee station, and an older gentleman remarked that it was the anniversary of the break-in at Watergate just the other day (June 17, 1972). He said to the group of us that we probably hadn't even been born when this happened. Not so! I was four years old.

The movie is dying for a director's commentary, an actor's commentary, a screen writer's commentary, and a historical critique commentary. Perhaps the kind folks at Criterion could spin this up. I'd buy it.

The impulse to watch it again was from reading the Boston Globe's profile on Senator John Kerry. When he was running for Congress back in early 1972, he felt Nixon operatives were at work to derail his nomination. "That Nixon sure was evil!" I thought. Then I started thinking about the movie. "I should see it again." Next thing you know, it's 11PM, and I start the two-hour movie. I couldn't break away from it.

I highly recommend this movie. You never would think that a movie whose primary action consists of phone calls and furious typing would be so compelling, but it is.

Thursday, June 19, 2003


While searching for a computer part, I chanced upon another custom computer cabinet, this one geared to play MAME.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


An old friend pointed me to the iMike, a complete PC built into a very customized case (a PC monitor). It's cool watching the gradual creation of this computer. The builder has worked with cabinetry before. It took him three months to make this PC, and it's very cool looking. Hats off!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Father's Day

It's Father's Day tomorrow. I'm a Dad, so I look forward to it. Jenn said that she and Mia would be taking me out for brunch.

However, I can't rely on one day of the year to "feel special" about being Dad. I seek out Father's Moments during my week. Sometimes it's in the way Mia will grab my hand when we're out walking. Or, at the height of play, she'll be laughing and squealing, and she'll say breathlessly "Daddy!" Or the way she'll smile when I turn around to look at her when we're at a stop light.

Being a Dad can be about hardship, exhaustion, frayed feelings. I'm tormented by the simple question: "Am I doing enough?" But it's also filled with moments of joy and pride and love. Tomorrow is the national recognition of those positive feelings, but after tomorrow, it'll be up to me to continue seeking out these precious moments.

Friday, June 6, 2003


I was pulled over this morning for speeding. Speeding! I was going 75 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, but I was cruising in a road designated as a construction site. I could have been looking at double the normal fine. The trooper claimed I was at 81 MPH on the radar.

He certainly made me wait as he writing up the ticket. I sat contrite, fuming at myself. I kept thinking about the moments before I saw the flashing lights immediately behind me. I remember blowing by someone in the passing lane, and forgetting to decelerate. I saw the trooper pull out as I blowing by, and I knew that he was pulling out for me.

In the end, he gave me a citation, and $100 fine. He told me that this was the minimum fine, and that I should just be careful. Aye aye.