Midway: The Boomers’ new album

Posted in Blogcritics Entry, Reviews on April 23rd 2003 by Randy Reichardt

From Blogcritics.org: Ian Thomas is one of my favorite Canadian songwriters, ever. He burst onto the Canadian scene in 1973 with the tune, “Painted Ladies“, and has remained a fixture ever since, albeit somewhat quietly at times. Thomas’s regional hit single, “I’ll Do You Right“, from his 1984 album Riders on Dark Horses, is my favorite singalong-in-the-car song, and a brilliant love song as well.
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Molly and Me

Posted in Film on April 21st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

I know…in my dreams, flyboy. But for a fleeting moment in time recently, I was able to spend five minutes with the amazing Molly Parker. *sigh* How did this happen?

Molly Parker and me, Myer Horowitz Theatre, U Alberta, 13 March 2003

Well, it took place at the recent Edmonton International Film Festival, and you can read all about it here, in case you missed the entry last month. Suffice it to say, I attended a gala screening of a film in which she is the star, and arrived knowing full well that the chances of her appearing were slim to none. While waiting for the film to start, I asked an usher which actor would be in attendance, and he said, “Molly Parker”, and I went, like, “Oh really?”, and he said, “Yep”, to which I replied, “Cool.”

Please try to see her new movie, Marion Bridge, it’s worth the effort. Also watch for her supporting role in Max, the disturbing new movie starring John Cusack and Noah Taylor.

All Over The Place

Posted in Mixed Bag Special, Music, Pop Culture, Random Thoughts on April 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ I just finished a workout, 30 minutes on the cross-trainer, and it felt excrutiating. But upon returning home, the sun has just appeared, and that feels so nice.

¦¦ Here’s a fascinating proposal: A barn-raising for civilization.

¦¦ I’ve never played a round of golf, but like millions of Canadians last weekend, I was thrilled when Mike Weir won the Masters. It was a nice diversion from the rest of the world’s woes, and a morale boost for the country. Nice to also hear that he’s made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

¦¦ This is interesting: QuickTopic, a service which allows users to create their own one-topic bulleting boards/group discussion space. Also offered is a service called Quick Doc Review, to allow collaborative review of HTML or Word documents.

¦¦ What Liberal Media?, sez Eric Alterman.

¦¦ Another Canadian band worth supporting: The Boomers, led by Ian Thomas, brother of Dave (SCTV) Thomas, and a Canadian music icon in his own right. Here is a good, concise “omni” of their musical output to date. Their newest album is called Midway. Thomas’s lyrics focus on love, life, and getting older, and the music is laid-back but intricate and multi-layered.

Tim Robbins censored on The Today Show (NBC)

Posted in Observations on April 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ I’m tiring of posting negative stuff lately, but this is just too weird to pass up. I was reading Jen’s blog this morning, and came upon this entry from April 14 (her archives aren’t working, so I can’t link to the exact post):

Just as I was leaving for work today, I caught the first half of “The Today Show” interview between Matt Lauer and Tim Robbins, who came on the show to discuss his affiliation with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Predictably, the discussion turned to politics. Lauer and Robbins debated back and forth for a few minutes until it was obvious the censors were going to unleash their cruel powers. Just as Robbins started, “And what about the war in Afghanistan? Did we all forget about that?” the bad theme music interjected and the program segued into commercial.

Robbins has already made the news recently when Dale Petroskey, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a former Reagan aide, cancelled a 15th anniversary celebration of the movie “Bull Durham“, scheduled for 26-27 April. The reason for cancelling, according to Petroskey, was that the Hall is not a place for pro- or anti-war statements, and that given Robbin’s and Susan Sarandon’s track record of criticizing the Bush administration, the Hall didn’t want the take the chance that one or both of them might actually say something in an anti-war vein. (Robbins responded, noting that he was looking forward to “a weekend away from politics and war.” Also, baseball writer Roger Kahn cancelled an appearance at the Hall in protest of Petroskey’s actions.)

But getting back to the Today show incident, here’s the weird part: try searching for reports on this incident – there’s nothing out there. I searched Google News, Poynter/Jim Romenesko, I Want Media, AlterNet.org, CNN, Reuters, AP, Drudge, NYTimes, etc etc etc., to no avail. Are news reporting agencies self-censoring this story? Is there collusion? When is it going to warm up in Edmonton?

The day after he was censored while being interviewed on live television, Robbins spoke to the National Press Club in DC.

All RSS, All The Time

Posted in Blogging, Observations on April 16th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ Props to Heavy G for his extended entry on RSS (Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary – where RDF means Resource Description Framework). Head hurting already? Well, mine has been for some time, as I try to stay on the information superhighway, rather than in the ditch, changing a virtual flat tire.

Geoff cuts through the quagmire of RSS, RDF, XML with a few timely tips and lucid explanations. (Am I lucky that his office is right next to mine? Duh.) Take the time to read his posting and you’ll see a reference to an experiment I tried a few days ago. Suffice it to say that it hasn’t worked, but it was worth the try. I realized afterwards that trying to move an extended discussion spanning five listservs at once, over to a blog set up to collate the responses, isn’t going to work unless you convince the participants to join you, in advance. That said, the idea of creating a subject-specific library blog for, say, engineering librarians, continues to intrigue me.

I am working through Geoff’s entry in an attempt to learn more about this subject and its applications. If you are interested as well, take the time and learn from an up-and-coming master.

¦¦ In other exciting news, I met with the sports physician today re: my continuing tennis elbow condition in my left arm. While it could take months to heal, I can play guitar and mandolin without too much difficulty, while at the same time abandoning free and machine weight exercises involving those muscles for the time being. I will return for a shot of cortisone in May, which given the area of injection, is predicted by the doctor to be very painful. Am I having fun yet?

The good news is that after six weeks of Stott Pilates classes, I’m already noticing an improvement in the form of the absence of lower back pain and stronger muscles in the abs region.

Iraq National Library razed by fire

Posted in Library on April 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

¦¦ The sickening, unfortunate news from Iraq continues unabated. In addition to 170,000 artifacts in the National Museum having been looted or destroyed, the Iraq National Library was in flames as well on April 13. The building was so thoroughly torched that heat still radiated 50 paces from the front door. From the April 13 NYTimes:

By tonight, virtually nothing was left of the library and its tens of thousands of old manuscripts and books, and of archives like Iraqi newspapers tracing the country’s turbulent history from the era of Ottoman rule through to Mr. Hussein. Reading rooms and the stacks where the collections were stored were reduced to smoking vistas of blackened rubble

The US Administration has finally acknowledged the seriousness of the destruction and looting, and has pledged to recover and repair antiquities. One wonders if this will happen.

The destruction of libraries continued with the Islamic Library of Qur’ans set ablaze. Here is an account from the Arab News. I hope all librarians around the world will gather together to help Iraq rebuild its history.

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