Archive for July, 2016

Strange though it is, a frequent traveler like this reviewer gets attached to his travel-doc wallet. The passports, the frequent-flyer cards the lounge-membership cards …

They’ve been everywhere, in in the garden-variety travel crises, the will-you-please-forget-your-script-and-listen impasses, the private million-mile milestones. So it was hard for me to leave my ragged old docs wallet and order a new one.

51+zaG0c1sL.jpgThis product has made the past forgettable. It’s sturdily built, has space for more than one thick document (like passports), and is altogether serviceable as a new leather travel companion.

A strong product. I’m a satisfied customer.

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Like an inexpensive Pinot Grigio that is refreshing for an evening but not long remembered, this Ashley Judd film is entertaining, good for lots of smiles and a few laughs.

51W0ZXYaLiL._SS300_The film is clearly designed to showcase Judd’s beauty and talent. She’s not short on either, but the enterprise stretches itself a bit to make the point.

Big Stone Gap leads us through an unlikely scenario in Virginian Appalachia with a certain brio. The plot is spelled out in many online reviews, so I’ll tread lightly on that in this reviewer’s note. The sentimental value is high, and there are some genuine tear-jerker moments, prominently in the last five minutes.

Among the actors and actresses going small-town, Anthony LaPaglia is likely to escape mention for his role as small-town lawyer Spec Broadwater and friend-like-brother to Judd’s Ave Marie Mulligan. But he should not. He plays it like a man on the verge of long-term depression who never quite gives in, somehow maintaining a focus on others rather than on his own deep darkness. Jasmine Guy’s small role as Leah Grimes is also well turned.

This light flick is not one for the ages. But there’s nothing wrong with store-bought Pinot Grigio on a summer evening.

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Not rocket science. Good, simple pencils. Great price. Quick delivery. What’s not to like?



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This reviewer played around for some years with fountain pens. I love’em, and I think they are an avenue to rescue the fine art of penmanship and personal notes. But they’re impractical for daily work at high volume.
51W3yZQl6cL._AC_UL320_SR320,320_The Pilot Varsity Disposable Fountain Pen makes a middle aground accessible: you can get near fountain-pen quality without the complications of an ink well. I’d say you can get 75% of the way to beautiful writing with this pen.I experience only two downsides. First, the ink does not flow quickly upon first writing. Sometimes substantial ‘warming up’ is required. Second, over the approximately four orders I’ve for these pens, the quality has been uneven. One of the orders, if it was in fact the legitimate item, had significant quality-control issues.

I’m a fan, but with the aforementioned caveats.

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Perhaps 5,000 Hoosiers gathered at Conner Prairie’s amphitheatre on Saturday night, July 23, for an evening of Billy Joel’s and Elton John’s music as the sun descended, set, and disappeared.

‘Magical’ is too light a word for it. (more…)

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In the judgement of the Hebrew Bible’s two great histories of Israel and Judah, these kingdoms were dismally served by their kings. When the reader happens upon a noble king in the chronology of monarchs, he breathes fresh air. For a moment, the sky clears itself of its gray steel. (more…)

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The thing with introducing a new dog to the pack is, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.

When the dog being introduced is a little black fur ball of uncertain origins and the anxiously awaiting family members are big Rhodesian Ridgebacks, one of whom has had his eyes surgically removed, you really don’t know what you’ll get. (more…)

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Along the bumpy path, a Dad stumbles upon brief, sunlit clearings in which it is right to look to the sunny sky and feel satisfaction’s warmth. The IMG_2168soldier on the right is my son, a soldier among four soldiers that have surprised us in this generation. He stands with a college buddy at my son’s graduation from the U.S. Army’s Pathfinder School. (more…)

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The Hebrew Bible’s core claim about YHWH is that ‘there is no one like you’. He is incomparable.

Nowhere is YHWH’s singularity more apparent than when nothing and on one but YHWH could possible save his people from their proximate peril. (more…)

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Yesterday, a man drove a delivery truck over a crowd of people celebrating France’s Bastille Day. 84 people are dead.

As I write this, the New York Times digital edition screams

Coup Attempt Plunges Turkey Into Chaos; President, on iPhone, Urges Resistance

A neighbor intercepted me for a pleasant chat as Rhea and I trudged back just now from our evening run. A pleasant woman, a decent soul, a salt-of-the-earth neighbor, no wide-eyed fanatic, she. ‘We are spinning down incredibly fast’, she commented. (more…)

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