Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jousing in Fort Tryon

I took a walk up to Fort Tryon Park this afternoon to see if I could catch the tail end of the medieval festival. I got there at 4pm and was in plenty of time to see some fun entertainment. Lots of people in costumes, Irish folk singers on the flat bed truck (No Nay Never !!! No Nay Never No MOOOORE !!!), a fenced off area where a falconer had his birds on perches w/ the hoods over their eyes (and a couple of dachshund dogs scurrying around to scare off stray birds I guess), even a guy strumming his guitar singing Irish shanties near the food line.

I got to the main jousting area in time to see the end of one act... a funny exhibition of tortures and executions. They had a guy on a bed of nails, and they put a melon on his chest and sliced it in pieces w/ a sword... and the swordsman was blindfolded at the time.

Next up was a Pipe and Drum team who should have played a lot more... they just marched around the area once... took about 3 minutes. Then out came a Celtic dance team of about 7 lasses. Very graceful and lovely in their period costumes and rings of flowers in their hair. Funny thing was before the act, I saw one of them walking along the path signaling to the sound man that she's got something... there she was in full costume at waving her iPod w/ the RCA cables attached. A bit of an illusion breaker, but what the hell... it's NYC after all.

And then finally the main event... the Joust. Oh, but no... that had to wait until a bunch of MORONS in suits got up to the podium to give their thank you speeches, thanking the Mayor (who was not there), the local council members, the parks department chief, etc etc etc. At least four people came up to prattle on to a crowd that just wanted to see the horses. One jackass started telling stupid medieval riddles... "Where to you park your camels? Camelot. Why was King Arthur's table round? So nobody could back him into a corner." Yeah... it was THAT BAD. And it wasn't one or two jokes, this guy kept it up for five minutes.

Finally the joust got under way. I'm glad to see that Professional Wrestling was alive and well back in the middle ages. The balsa wood lances all split according to plan, the bad guy snuck up on the good guy and whacked him across the back w/ a big stick, and finally the good guys triumphed in the end. The whole joust, including target whacking and ring catching, didn't take more than 20 minutes... but it was enough action for everybody to see what they needed to see in a joust.

It was a bit awkward at the end, as the horses are trotting out, and all the actors are leaving, a few actors came out and did a bit of a fight that didn't seem to fit in w/ the rest of the show. It was cool though... a young female swordsman was fighting a heavy guy who looked like a dark wizard. He was in black, w/ a black cape and an evil looking armor helm. He blocked and parried her attacks with the help of his shield, but finally she got him in the gut. But before he went down for the count, he "used the force" to throw her backward, and was about to go in for his own crushing blow when another young swordsman jumped in and took him out. Then two more poeple came out and said they would take him prisoner and everybody walked off the field. It was soo wierd, because there were "squires" packing up the lances and the jousting grear all over the place, as if the show was over... and they were not even acknowledging this wizard/swordsman battle right next to them.

So.... all in all it was a great two hours in the park. Luckily there was no more than a quick drizzle of rain while I was there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just finished Matt Ruff's book, "Set This House in Order". I did not like it as much as his other three books, " Sewer, Gas, @ Electric ", " Bad Monkeys ", and Fool on the Hill ". The main character in this book has multiple personalities. I have always found this topic fascinating. In this book, rather than try to reintergrate the various personalities into one dominant primary one the character has opted to create a house in his mind where the souls can dwell together if not happily, than at least peacefully. It was written well enough, but the story never really gelled. The complexities and pain of this disorder is dealt with, but often it seems plot driven, and occasionally in a facile manner. It wasn't a bad book, but not as good as his other ones.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Marriage/Relationship In Trouble? Get A DVR!

Well J-man told me that his DVR and the toothpaste tube with the built in cap saved his marriage.

Study: DVRs save relationships

By Andrew Wallenstein

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Digital video recorders don't just save TV shows, according to a new survey; they save relationships.

Some 79 percent of 1,000 DVR owners reported that the technology has improved their relationship, according to the NDS DVR Report.

The statistic was just one of many presented by NDS, a manufacturer of DVR technology, suggesting the machines are becoming increasingly integral in U.S. households.

For instance, DVRs were cited as the second most essential household technology item they can't live without, second only to the mobile phone. Among non-technological household items, DVR was beaten out only by washing machine and microwave oven.

"The results show how fast the DVR has become an indispensable part of many people's lives in the US," said Steve Tranter, vice president, broadband and interactive delivery, NDS Americas. "It's one of those technologies that, once you use it, it makes you wonder how you coped before."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I cannot recommend the show Penn & Teller's Bullshit enough.
Not only is it really informative, it's really funny. If you don't have HBO or Showtime or whatever the hell it's on, go to
and pick one...anyone. I just watched the show on Global Warming and it was fascinating, as usual. Oh, and really, really vulgar. Penn curses up a storm. Very funny as well. One of my top 5 favorite shows, just because nothing is sacred, which I appreciate.

Raising The Bar

Can we PLEASE raise the bar on the courtroom drama? If you listen carefully, I think you can actually hear Perry Mason crying.

OK I admit it. I'm a fan of the courtroom drama genera, and I like most of Steve Bochco's work, so I had to give this one a look see for myself.

Gag... barf... puke... spit... choke...

Even this cutie Latina doesn't scratch the surface of making this show watchable.

If you really need an explanation, it's a re-hash of the old and tired LA Law theme, except set in New York and DUMBED DOWN... which is a feat in itself. The characters are all stereotypes... the selfish judge (played by Malcolm in the Middle's mom), the corrupt District Attorney who will do anything for a win, the young good looking lawyers who are starry eyed and naive and are disheartened by the corrupt system... which is apparently run by Cruella DeVille and The Heat Miser.

One young lawyer is willing to be put in jail for contempt of court while the judge and DA swear that if his client wasn't guilty of this, he must have been guilty of something else. Oh yeah... and all the pretty lawyers are fucking. And then the zinger... the evil judge's handsome clerk is also her boy toy... but unknown to everybody... he's gay. OH THE IRONY !!!

At least LA Law, The Practice, and the Law and Order shows would explore some interesting legal concepts in a gray world... not this one. All is black and white, the evil are running the asylum and the pretty young lawyers are the innocent inmates. Hell at least Boston Legal is self spoofing. And even they tackle some real issues that have some ambiguity. But this show seems to be taking itself seriously.

Damn, I even liked Zack-boy when he was on NYPD Blue, but now he's working with scripts that make Saved by the Bell look like William Fucking Shakespeare.

... and now with his douchebag hipster hair cut... all I can say is sorry dude... so sorry for that credibility you were trying to muster...

"He may be arrogant and abrasive... but he's a DAMN good lawyer !!!"


Flee... don't watch... delete... erase... do what you have to do... just MISS THIS SHOW !!!