The Manchurian Candidate

Last night, I watched The Manchurian Candidate on
(which has become my favorite movie channel). I have of late been remiss and
reluctant to sit down and blog. The sense of inertia has been great. But I
just got done googling the movie title, wondering, and not being sure, when it
was made. If it was made in 1964, that would be one. If it was made before
1963, that would be quite another. 1962. The book was published in 1959.


I had never seen the whole movie. I knew it was difficult. Dorothea had agreed
to watch it with me. She made it to the first shooting, and left. The
children, including a school friend of Madeline’s and now neighbor, were
downstairs watching DVDs of episodes of the
The OC. So I brought the
old, portable TV up, plugged it in to the cable extension that usually lays
coiled up under the couch, and set it on a chair. The movie was from 1962, the
couch from 2000, the TV from 1989, the chair from 1936.


The parallel that I draw is between the movie’s line, delivered by the Angela
Lansbury character, something to the effect that the security state that will
come into being will make that would make
seem like
The Wikipedia
on the book refers to the

–McCarthyism. I suppose that the first Red Scare is that after the First
World War.


Continue reading The Manchurian Candidate

Woolgatherer sent me

Now it is official–most of the people visiting my blog have been referred by Woolgather. Which is cool. It is an amazing phenomenon. And I recently received about twenty comments, though they are all spam. I found the other day that my junk comments was full of over one thousand comments, and I had a couple of hundred other spam ones. I run my mt-close.cgi program then and again this morning. If thiis continues, I will have to consider other messages.
I got our Sears clothes dryer salesman to apologize and give a $60 discount on our dryer. That was satisfying. The message is saved on my work voicemail. I played it for Dorothea last night. The troops are getting restless, though; even the Frenchie is complaining.

To: CAROLFORTUNE First snow in Minnesota

As always, I am not sure that this email is going to get to you. But I
figure, if I don’t hear back from you, I will turn it into a blog
post. Might just do that anyway.
For some unfathomable reason, for the last couple of days I have been
obsessed with getting kubuntu linux running on my (now getting old)
laptop. I should have been studying for my PMI certification. Classic
procrastination. Maybe it was an article I read about Microsoft Vista.
I always get messed up burning the ISO to CD. And then, for the
finale, my wireless connection works. (Granted, I turned off my WEP.
Have to turn that back on.) But here I am in bed, emailing on the
Just got joined by the dog, Stella, a cockapoo. I guess that she is
getting too heavy and we’ll have to cut back on her food. I feel bad
for her. She has made herself comfortable.
Tonight it is snowing. Our house guest is out at her night class and
she biked. So she is pretty tough, perhaps getting tougher by the
Here, we are all good. How are you? (Ping, pong.)

Clothes dryer, cont’d

The dryer was declared dead on this Friday past. The children had their music lessons on Monday. I don’t know why we didn’t go dryer shopping on Saturday or Sunday. On Tuesday, we went to Appliance Mart–scratch and dent–and Sears. Both our current washer and current dryer have a dimension of 25 1/2 inches on one side. The tape measure indicates that we have 26 1/2 inches at the top of the basement stairs. I trust the appliance dimensions more than I trust my measuring.
The repair person recommended Kenmore or Whirlpool (they are the same now, I guess.) And, lo and behold, at Sears is a 25 1/2 dryer with the same, slightly updated, features of our now dead 1979 model. All told, it will be $500.
I thought about doing the gas detachment and hookup myself. Until just a few minutes ago, when I tried unsuccessfully to close the gasline shutoff value to the dryer. Stuck. Thirty years stuck. Going to call my Realtor sister-in-law about her current handiman.

Shall We Gather at the River

Liam and I watched the folks in the Metrodome watching the game in Detroit. Just like Madeline’s two-page essay “Is the American Dream Alive or Dead?” (alive), anything can happen.
In yesterday’s post, I didn’t get to the Quaker meeting. I went. Often I don’t go on the day of the Twin Cities Marathon simply because it is too hard to get around. But yesterday, I went. A friend talked about support systems, running the marathon (he had–ten times). He wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. His knees and shoulders hurt. That was all he could think about, plus he knew his time wasn’t going to be good enough. But then someone came up and started talking to him. Because of the conversation, he forgot about his aches and pains, and came around the corner to the finally, downhill, stretch ot the Finish line. (It is the talking while running part that I have trouble with. But you’re supposed to be able to talk while running.) To me, the Buhdist part is the experience but not winning part.
That led another friend to talk about the death of his mother ten years ago. He was at her bedside, she apparently saw some other people in the room, and then said that he should leave, go home. Which he did. Well, that was a near death experience, because she died that night.
Then he recounted how he visited the country grave of his grandmother. The car radio began to the song Shall We Gather at the River, which he had picked to be sung at his mother’s funeral ten years before. And, recounting the near-death visions of his mother, he was certain that what she saw in her hospital room was her mother. Some in the Quaker meeting, a man with a good voice, broke into Shall We Gather at the River.

Vikings–the Middle Ages kind

Yuna, Liam, and I ended up at the Science Museum last night. We went to the latest showing of Vikings: Journey to New Worlds. Which was entertaining and I think would be okay as Medival history. We saw not one but two of Liam’s teachers there. I wandered around the Mississippi River exhibit for the short time that we had before the movie. Yuna ended up sticking with Liam. Not sure that was her first choice, but Liam just kind of drew her in. It is clear that Liam sees her as a buddy.
Our museum visit was short because we went to Tanpopo Noodle Shop . The food is great, the environment okay, the service–very slow. Plus, I parked by the musuem, and the walk to the restaurant was almost a mile. Poor reckoning.
The absolute highlight though was the brief glimpse we got of the half-moon just as it was rising. That was spectacular.


Dorothea, Liam, and I walked to Cadenza Music. Liam wanted to get the drumsticks and music book for band, which he started yesterday. He is doing his homework now at the other end of the diningroom table.
We had been waiting for Liam to finish his homework, which usually doesn’t take very long. But tonght it was taking longer. I figured because he was having fun with Yuna. Dorothea and I were watching the beginning of the movie Tranamerica while we were waiting.
He was still working on his homework when Dorothea and I were going to walk down there with Stella, the dog–get that walk in too. (Flashlight required, because it is already dark.) Liam wanted extrememly to come along, too. So it was the three of us.
Now it is on to Liam practicing his guitar. Week 3, I think.

P.S.: Liam took his drumsticks to bed with him.

Swipper Hell

Saturday morning. Raining. Cool. We haven’t had this sort of weather for quite awhile. I am so accustomed to thinking it is always going to be 100° F. (And so at war the ASCII code for the degree symbol. Just had to look it up. Such is the power of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Why don’t they just put the darn thing on the keyboard? I wonder if I can map it to a key?)
Dorothea left for a morning shift at one of her many jobs. I don’t recall her saying goodbye. I imagine that I was being unpleasant, and couldn’t blame, and also doubt it is true. I must have blodded out.
Liam came down. Checked on how the Twins are doing, and made himself some oatmeal in the microwave. That process can take awhile, especially the part where he is pouring maple syrup into the bowl. After, I asked and he compliantly practiced his guitar. (Wonder if he washed his hands?)
I made some coffee, loaded the dishwasher. Though not quite full, I ran it anyway. (I am evil.) I also ran it on “Pot Scrubber” mode. I am hoping that’ll help the pot I scorched on Thursday steaming beans and it ran out of water.
Dorothea took the stove off the appliance health care plan and put the washer on it. The washer is a top loader. It has been leaking water into the drum, and I have been concerned about it going “off balance” during spin cycles. I was hoping that there was a way to get it to shutoff automatically when it goes off balance, but the guy said that there’s only one brand that has such, and it isn’t ours. He propped a piece of wood under one of the feet of the washer to even it out. I didn’t hear if he fixed the leak.
Of course, growing up, someone in our families would have dealt with these issues. Fathers, brothers, maybe even neighborhood handymen would have jumped in. No more.
The kitchen floor is sticky to the barefoot. So I vacuumed it. Never really did that before. But I am such a crappy sweeper, I thought vacuuming has got to be better. Then came a long ordeal with the Swipper mop. The pad was ucky. Changing that was okay, though it was the last pad. But then it became apparent that the batteries were dead. Liam actually found four “AA” batteries. We were still alive. (Finding, opening the battery compartment, removing old batteries, inserting new, and closing the compartment–none of these were gimmes.) The soap bottle was empty. No replacement. I know that Dorothea hates that stuff. She is probably right. So I went to the basement, to the workbench corner, what was probably once the male heart and center of the house, and clumsily pounded a nail into the bottle to create a hole so I could pour soap in. We don’t have a little funnel. The pouring in didn’t work out to well. I gave up after awhile of attempting to pour soapy water into the hole, but little went in, and of that, most ran out the bottom again.
Liam finished Swippering the floor.

Goofy morning

This morning is a goofy morning. How’s that for poetry? I am still at home and Dorothea is long gone to a meeting. I am to escort Liam to the bus. I am still quite foggy. The virtuous thing to do would study for my Project Management Certification exam, or call or email someone, or to go take the clothes out of the dryer. Or even to blog. (Hey.) But before I got to the blogging, I updated my site tracking software, extremetracking, for no other reason than I was told to by the software.
On Monday, a cable guy came. The television reception had been bad for some time–the picture was static-y and fuzzy. I didn’t mind this enough to do anything about, especially since I just figured that if watching TV were slightly unpleasant, the children wouldn’t watch it as much. But we were all watching the Twins, and after that the US Open, and the picture was so bad that we couldn’t see the ball in either. But the last straw was that our internet stopped working. That was intolerable. So I phoned in a ticket.
He replaced the line for the pole to the house. (Squirrel damage, perhaps?) We think that this is a least the second time for that problem. Hard to figure. But, now we have good cable, if you know what I mean. I have become a Twins junky. Watched them again last night. And would have watched them on Monday night, except that I watched the Vikings on what had previously been a foggy channel.
Liam hailed me from the basement. He wanted to know if I’d help him with the videotape machine. His aunt, who is working as a sort of portable nurse out east, was going to be in the audience of the David Letterman show. The idea was to tape the show. Liam was quite keen on this. The problem is that we have an ancient video machine, and getting it to do the job was problematic, so much so that I didn’t even want to get started on the task. So it fell to Dorothea. (Though I did spend quite a bit of time tinkering with it anyway.) Still don’t know if it worked, though don’t expect that it did. I told Liam that I didn’t want to monkey with it.
Disappointed, but he seemed to get over it. Since I was up, I had him bring down his laundry and we started a load. And we emptied the dishwasher. And now, if I was truly virtuous, I’d make my lunch. And take the dog for a walk.

Saint Paul Classic

The pictures, good, bad, and ugly–over-exposed, out-of-focus, true-to-life. Text to follow. For now, just to say that riding 40 miles in the “mist,” never quite a drizzle, was
a) Quite a contrast from the 6% humidity in Salt Lake
b) Made me feel alive
Many, many people opted for the 15.