Sunday, June 30, 2013

Joss Whedon's Much Ado

Just back from a lovely afternoon in Stamford with Crisp and Jake to see Much Ado at the wonderful little non-profit Avon Theater (followed by a great burger at Lucky's across the street). Two very enthusiastic thumbs up from Jake and me... a little less enthusiasm from CJ, who it seems isn't a huge fan of Shakespeare in a modern setting, but it kept his attention and he certainly seemed to enjoy it :)

Shot in black and white over 12 days at his house in California with many friends from other projects this is Joss Whedon's take on probably my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies. Kenneth Brannagh did it in '93 and I have always liked his version, but I think this is better. It's truer to the text and the stunning black and white cinematography and the intimacy of shooting it in one house all contribute to a very satisfying whole. The performances are all good (if I had to pick a couple of standouts they would be Fran Kranz as Claudio and Clark Gregg as Leonato- and a special mention to Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk as Dogberry and Verges, marvelously underplayed compared with the ridiculous Michael Keaton in the Branagh version!).

Joss Whedon is truly multitalented, just look at his list of blockbuster achievements here- and then he does this beautiful, affectionate, intimate treatment of Shakespeare, I'm blown away.

I wish this movie was on wider release, although seeing it in a little art house cinema with people who know how to behave was part of the joy today... if you can go and see it, do, but if you can't get out to see it make sure you make a note to rent or buy it when it hits the on-demand world- this is a blu-ray that will certainly go into my collection.

...and boy do I want Joss Whedon's house (Jackie says she'd settle for just the kitchen)!

At the movies

At the Avon Theater in Stamford for the 4 o'clock screening of Joss Whedon's Much Ado. What a civilized way to go to the movies- we shall come here again!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Holly's having a sleepover

We just got back from dropping Holly off at the Heffernan's for a trial sleepover (if all goes well she'll be staying there while we're in the UK) and Nancy just sent us this picture. It looks like everyone's settling down nicely together- if Sparrow's tail is anything to go by :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Warm day in the woods...

... but Holly's in her stream so all's right with the world :)

Mission accomplished :)

Back from a morning trip to Ridge Hill in Yonkers to get new walking shoes for Jake and CJ (clearance from LLBean) and new raincoats for all three of us (on sale at Dick's Sporting Goods). All in preparation for our summer trip to the UK in 6 weeks ;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pissy cat

This is Sasha's "I'm condescending to grace your lap with my presence, but try to pet me and there will be blood" face

CJs self portrait

I asked Crisp for a picture I could use as wallpaper for my new phone, and he decided to do a self portrait of him and Holly- I love it!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013


From Wikipedia- "A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the moon's disk as seen from Earth."

This happened tonight, so Colin and decided to grab our cameras and see if we could get some shots of it :)

Supermoon- a clear shot

Then the clouds started to drift in

Supermoon over Long Island Sound

Beach umbrellas by Supermoonlight

Old Glory against the sky

Then I got bored...

...and started taking pictures of Colin...

...taking pictures of the Supermoon :)

Busy Dog

Holly has had a very busy weekend! We did not go to the woods today as she was still pretty tired from yesterdays shenanigans, instead she got to run about and play outside at Natalie's birthday party :)

Holly got to wish Natalie a happy birthday

And play in the pool with Jack

Meanwhile CJ decided to try out the hammock...

...which didn't go...

...exactly as planned...


He survived unscathed though :)

Bruce was not crazy about Holly visiting

But she had a great time and was very well behaved!

Even if we couldn't keep her out of the pool :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tired Doggy!

After her normal walk at lunchtime, and then an afternoon playing with Sparrow and Violet, chasing a ball with Dennis, and dipping her toes in the pool, Holly is pretty much wiped- she hasn't really moved since we got home :)

And a couple more...

...from a wonderful, lazy afternoon :)

Thanks Nancy, Gabby and Dennis (and not forgetting Violet & Sparrow the dogs)!

Pool panorama...

...and a "tiny planet" of their back yard :)

At the Heffernans

Lazing by the pool and playing with the dogs :)

More Moving Up Day pictures

Here are a few more pictures of CJs Middle School graduation :)

Walking in, looking sharp!

And taking his seat

A dark suit in a sea of shirts-n-khakis

Getting his RHS bag from Joe DeRuvo (Asst. Principal)...

...and a handshake from Dr. Edwards (Principal)

It's a big class- 271 in his grade this year!

Reception following- photobomb by Jason :)

Crispian and his gang :)
Paul     Teddy     CJ     Jason     Thomas

Sharp dressed man!
(recognize the tie, Grandma?)

Saying Goodbye to his two favourite Middle School teachers
John Griffin (7th Gr. Science) & Lisa Irvine (8th Gr. Science)

So it's farewell Middle School...

...hello High School :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Nexus 4 Phone :)

My new Nexus 4 phone arrived today- it's an awesome phone made by LG to Google's specifications and sold, unlocked (!) direct from Google at a bargain price (in fact many suspect that Google is losing money on each one they sell).

I'm not eligible for an upgrade on my T-Mobile account yet, but as this is an unlocked phone I just popped in my SIM card (well, after trimming it down to "micro" SIM size) and it just works :)

The phone is pure Android with no added bloat from a cell provider and will get the latest OS upgrade direct from Google as soon as it comes out, it has a lightning fast, quad-core processor and as it's running Android all my contacts, calendar items and emails just appeared right on it as soon as I set up my Gmail accounts.

It also has an amazing 8 megapixel camera- with lots of new modes I haven't even begun to play with yet. Over on my Saxon Woods blog is an HDR picture of the bridge, and here is my first try at a "photosphere" in the same spot-

(click and hold your left mouse button mouse over the picture to move around, click and roll your mouse wheel to zoom in and out, or click on the funny symbol in the top left to view it full-screen)

And here is the same picture rendered (in the phone!) as what they call a "tiny planet"-

(click the picture as usual to see it bigger)
The stitching of the panorama is not perfect (some of the trees don't exactly line up), but a lot of that is probably down to the operator (me), so for a first attempt I'm really impressed!

All in all I'm really happy I went with this phone- it looks like a definite winner!

Growing up

Crispy has his "moving up" ceremony tomorrow as he leaves middle school and goes to high school in the fall, so tonight he is shaving for the first time- where does the time go?