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This new book by Robert B. Parker is a western. I'm a Parker fan, but not particularly a fan of this genre.

At first I was slightly worried that the protagonists here would be clones of Spenser and Hawk; this turned out to not be a problem. Virgil Cole and his sidekick Everett (the narrator) are gunmen specializing in bringing order to lawless towns. Unfortunately in the small mining town of Appaloosa, they come close to meeting their match in a ruthless bad guy named Bragg. Complicating things somewhat is Allie, an untalented piano player with whom Cole falls in love. Unfortunately, her character is flawed enough that even the whores look down on her.

Like most Parker books, the reading is smooth and easy. And this was a welcome departure from his usual characters.

Last Modified 2024-02-04 5:11 AM EDT

Flight of the Phoenix

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[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link]

I must admit I haven't seen the 1965 original. Story in a nutshell is: plane crashes in the desert; the survivors discover that the only way to save themselves is to build a smaller plane out of the wreckage and fly out.

This version is OK. Dennis Quaid's performance as the prideful pilot is OK. Hugh Laurie is better than OK. Giovanni Ribisi is near-unrecognizable as the unlikeable aircraft designer with a Secret (which, once revealed, is pretty funny, but his co-passengers are understandably peeved).

Special effects, including a harrowing airplane crash in a sandstorm, are pretty good. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see this, but it's not bad if it's the only thing at the video store.

Last Modified 2024-02-04 5:11 AM EDT

I Took An Online Quiz And …

[2012 Update: The "What military aircraft are you?" said I was an F-15. Sure, why not. But I gave up on trying to make the "results" HTML5-compliant. The quiz, should you want to take it is here.

Last Modified 2012-10-26 12:21 PM EDT

URL Du Jour (6/18/2005)

So I know you, every so often, look at Katie Couric and wonder: how did we get here, she and I; she, making gazillions of dollars; I, sitting on the couch, somehow indirectly kicking into that cash flow. Well, you can find the answer to that question, like so many others, on the World Wide Web.