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The dining room has always had a three-way switch, one of which is from the stone age and the other of which we put in a dimmer in the last great kitchen remodel. Now putting in a regular dimmer switch basically turns the other switch into an off switch unless the dimmer switch is on, in which case it can turn the light off and on. In short, it ain't very useful. After I bought the Lutron Caseta switch to replace the no-longer working remote switch for the upstairs upstairs light, and it worked, I got the idea to replace the dining room switches with the same thing. After the switch arrived, I watched their video on how to install the switch, which involved removing one three-way switch and wiring all the wires together, that I got cold feet. Anyway, we did and it works. Ittsa miracle!
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The Eyes of Orson Welles
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Mark Cousins
With an unapologetically personal approach, Mark Cousins finds new things to say about a filmmaker whose work has already prompted volumes.

NYT Critic’s Pick Drama, Romance, Thriller Directed by Yann Gonzalez
The film, directed by Yann Gonzalez, is a not-quite-nostalgic evocation of dangerous gay living in the pre-AIDS era.

The Juniper Tree
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama, Fantasy Directed by Nietzchka Keene
Nietzchka Keene wrote, directed and edited the movie, which was adapted from a Brothers Grimm tale.

Ash Is Purest White
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama, Romance Directed by Zhangke Jia
In Jia Zhangke’s enthralling new feature, Zhao Tao and Liao Fan portray an underworld power couple at the mercy of time and fate.
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So, the bad girl in the family wot sued the wrong man for paternity and won, Bethia Kemp, has a family tree going back to 350. That's a couple of years ago.
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So, Ancestral Night (White Space), has an AI named Singer who likes tea and lasers and something else that I'm not remembering. It's also dedicated to a Singer.
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Two things of possible interest, one free tonight (2019.03.08), one not free (2019.04.26):

Tonight (Friday, Mar. 8) at the O’Shaughnessy: Toshi Reagon: “I Have Seen the Good Worlds.” Especially if you have plans to see “Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower – The Concert Version” when it comes to the O’Shaughnessy on April 26 (one performance only!), catch this free talk by Toshi Reagon, who created the new opera with her mother, Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon. Her lecture is described as “notes on Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ and the Art of Prediction as Activation.” 7 p.m. Free, but tickets are required. P.S. Today is International Women’s Day.

The O'Shaughnessy Presents

Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower–The Concert Version
A Women of Substance Event
Friday, Apr 26 | 7:30 pm

In this genre-defying work featuring a powerhouse ensemble of 20 singers and musicians, Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower harnesses two centuries of Black music to give musical life to Butler’s acclaimed science fiction novel of the same name.

Written by Toshi Reagon, who Vibe Magazine called “one helluva rock’n’roller-coaster ride,” in collaboration with Bernice Johnson Reagon, the iconic singer, scholar and activist, Parable of the Sower becomes a mesmerizing theatrical work of rare power and beauty that reveals deep insights on gender, race and the future of human civilization.
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Gloria Bell
NYT Critic’s Pick R Drama, Romance Directed by Sebastián Lelio
The Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio finds a perfect partner in Moore for this fantastic remake of his 2013 movie “Gloria.”

NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Franco Rosso
This 1980 movie is just now being released in the United States, and it serves as a scrapbook of a particularly harsh moment in time.

3 Faces
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Jafar Panahi
In this pleasurably intelligent movie, Jafar Panahi explores the divide between fiction and documentary, past and present.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Gabrielle Brady
In Gabrielle Brady’s moving documentary, asylum seekers on Australia’s Christmas Island are viewed through the eyes of a compassionate trauma counselor.

An Elephant Sitting Still
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Bo Hu
This is the only feature from Hu Bo, a talented young Chinese director who died shortly after it was completed.

Black Mother
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Khalik Allah
In Khalik Allah’s poetic movie, the most prevalent perspective is not that of a documentarian, but of a filmmaker’s love.

-- Of Possible Interest --

Captain Marvel
PG-13 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
The newest member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes on a nostalgia trip in the company of Samuel L. Jackson and Annette Bening.

A Madea Family Funeral
PG-13 Comedy Directed by Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry puts on the floral-print dress for what he says is the last time. Sit up and pay attention.

The Photographer of Mauthausen
Biography, Drama, History, Thriller Directed by Mar Targarona
Set in a concentration camp, the film balances Hitchcock-like suspense with stark illustrations that some horrors cannot, and will not, be trivialized.
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NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Christian Petzold
In the latest from the German director Christian Petzold, a German refugee dodges bullets as German soldiers swarm into present-day Paris.

Woman at War
NYT Critic’s Pick Action, Drama, Thriller Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
A fearless eco-activist makes a critical choice in this clever, gorgeously shot film.

Apollo 11
NYT Critic’s Pick G Documentary Directed by Todd Douglas Miller
A new documentary uses previously unseen archival footage to show how astronauts first walked on the moon. It’s awe-inspiring.
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‘The Competition’ Review: Vying for a Slot in an Elite Film School
The Competition NYT Critic's Pick Directed by Claire Simon Documentary 2h 1m
By Glenn Kenny

‘Wrestle’ Review: On the Mat, Fighting for a Future
Wrestle NYT Critic's Pick Directed by Suzannah Herbert, Lauren Belfer Documentary, Sport 1h 36m
By Jeannette Catsoulis

-- Of Possible Interest --

‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Review: A Series Scales Up
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Directed by Dean DeBlois Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy PG 1h 44m
By Ben Kenigsberg

‘The Wandering Earth’ Review: Planetary Disaster Goes Global
The Wandering Earth Directed by Frant Gwo Sci-Fi 2h 5m
By Ben Kenigsberg

-- Oscar! Oscar! Oscar! --

Oscars 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win Best Picture, Actor and Actress
Our expert has been closely following the races and the voters, all season. Here’s what he thinks will happen at the ceremony on Sunday.
By Kyle Buchanan

A Pocket Guide to the Oscars’ Beefiest Controversies
How to navigate a fractious, scandal-plagued year at the movies.
By Reggie Ugwu

Watch: An Inside Look at 2019’s Oscar-Nominated Films
Hear from directors of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
By Mekado Murphy

No Thanks. Really, Oscar Winners, Skip That Part.
The academy stumbled onto its latest innovation: the Non-Hosted Oscars. Cutting thank-yous should be next.
By Peter Mehlman
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More pics than you can shake a stick at from Upper and Lower Egypt as far as Cairo, including temples from drownd Nubia:
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A Tuba to Cuba
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary, History, Music Directed by T.G. Herrington, Danny Clinch, T.G. Herrington
This joyous documentary follows the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Cuba for a celebration of musical history and common bonds.

Fighting with My Family
NYT Critic’s Pick PG-13 Biography, Comedy, Drama, Sport Directed by Stephen Merchant
Dwayne Johnson helped produce this charming comedy about a family of professional wrestlers, their chops, drops and drama.

Clara's Ghost
NYT Critic’s Pick Not Rated Comedy, Drama, Family, Thriller Directed by Bridey Elliott
This unhinged comedy shines a spotlight on a family’s maladjusted dynamics.

Sorry Angel
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama, Romance Directed by Christophe Honoré
Set in early 1990s Paris, Christophe Honoré’s new film presents us with a middle-aged, H.I.V.-stricken writer falling, wearily, for a bookish 20-something.

Pájaros de verano
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra follow their Oscar-nominated “Embrace of the Serpent” with a saga of the drug trade set amid the Wayuu of northern Colombia.

High Flying Bird
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama, Sport Directed by Steven Soderbergh
The director Steven Soderbergh teams up with Tarell Alvin McCraney and André Holland to take on the contradictions of modern sports culture.

One Million American Dreams
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Brendan Byrne
This haunting documentary guides viewers through heartbreaking tales of the lost souls buried on Hart Island.

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2019: Animation
NYT Critic’s Pick
This year’s Oscar-nominated shorts will make you cry, laugh, cry, think, cry, wonder, and cry some more. Have we mentioned they might also make you cry?

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2019: Documentary
NYT Critic’s Pick
This year’s Oscar-nominated shorts will make you cry, laugh, cry, think, cry, wonder, and cry some more. Have we mentioned they might also make you cry?

Daughter of Mine
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Laura Bispuri
Ardent and primal, Laura Bispuri’s drama addresses complicated ideas with head-clearing simplicity.

Velvet Buzzsaw
NYT Critic’s Pick R Horror, Thriller Directed by Dan Gilroy
In this bilious satire, Jake Gyllenhaal plays an art critic on the edge of sanity as the paintings he covets turn murderous.

Never Fear
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Ida Lupino
“Never Fear,” a 1949 movie directed by Lupino that has been superbly restored, tells the story of a dancer felled by polio.

The Image Book
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film is a gloomy, lively essay on some disturbing history, cinema and himself.

The 5 Browns
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Ben Niles
A new documentary tells the painful but ultimately hopeful story of a classical music quintet of siblings, three of whom were molested by their father.

-- Interlude in Egypt --

I've been off cavorting in Egypt for a couple of weeks, well, back last Wednesday to be more accurate. The weather turned as we got to Minneapolis and my sister, who was also on the trip, was stuck here either waiting for planes or waiting at the airport until she finally got a flight out to Fargo 250 miles away. We all thought they coulda made it with a plane, but then again, we don't fly planes. The highways were closed off and on. I'm sure she now knows the Minneapolis airport better than I do. We spent a remarkable amount of time toing and froing from the airport at rush hour as that seems to always be the time something came to a no-go. With the nearest Interstate entrance ramp twenty-five blocks away and a constant state of snow or blowing snow, moving around always took longer than anticipated. We did drag her to see Sunken Cities at the MIA, which was interesting after two weeks in Egypt at Cairo and points south of there.

I bought a big new Sony camera to take with me to Egypt and took a few pictures. I've gotten about five days up on Facebook. The albums are public, but my profile is private, so I'm not sure how to get people past one and into the other. My attempts using an incognito browser ain't been a great success.


Album link:

My lazy-ass photo processing process ain't up to the level of the new camera yet, and I'm mostly trying to process pictures to jpgs, enchance them a bit, cut out the stupid, and post them. I am trying to post them in discreet groups rather than "Here's 600 pics from Aswan" that's my usual wont. For example, Abu Simbel - Rameses II - Inside -- it's still 600 pics from Aswan, but at least you know what you're getting into. ;-)

I was the resident self-appointed know-it-all for the group of six I was traveling with, the one that put Ramses the II in the Middle Kingdom at least once, but I think we all had a great time. Egypt was great, except for the traffic in Cairo. I could have stayed twice as long. We went Giza, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Lake Nasr, Aswan, Nile, Luxor, Cairo. I took too many pictures through the bus with the big Sony. I shoulda used my cell phone. I expected a larger number of out-of-focus pics, but I think I done good. It did seem like time's winged charriot always hovered near in the form of "Don't be the last one on the bus."

A couple of people had got something while we were there, but I survived fine until I got on the plane back home, when I could feel something settling around me. I'm doing a different antibiotic and I have a small jar of codeine cough syrup to see me through. (I wanted a gallon, but I'll take what I can get.) I denuded the house of chocolate one night and decided that "No, it does not work as well as codeine."

I am starting to load pics on fotki, where I have a few. Link Something between me and Photoshop and fotki is flipping pictures, so keep a limber neck. Pics from the Valley of the Queens and Valley of the Kings are up on Fotki, and I'll be adding more as time goes by, maybe even flipping the flipped ones back. With luck, this link goes to a full-screen version of the Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Hatshepsut


Feb. 12th, 2019 11:55 am
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I я now an expert on Ancient Egypt! I know the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom, the Intermediate Periods, and Alex & the Prolomies. One of these days I'll have to figure out dates and names and details like that.
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Who Will Write Our History
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary, History Directed by Roberta Grossman
The film, directed by Roberta Grossman, tells the story of Oyneg Shabes, a group of Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto who worked to document their culture.

Don't Come Back from the Moon
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Bruce Thierry Cheung
Blending shimmering photography and a compassionate tone, Bruce Thierry Cheung’s wistful tale of abandoned children is unexpectedly haunting.

The Heiresses
NYT Critic’s Pick Drama Directed by Marcelo Martinessi
Marcelo Martinessi’s debut feature from Paraguay will probably defy your initial expectations about the story.
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Grave of the Fireflies
NYT Critic’s Pick Not Rated Animation, Drama, War Directed by Isao Takahata
Isao Takahata’s 1988 masterpiece finally gets a proper theatrical run in New York.

The Venerable W.
NYT Critic’s Pick Documentary Directed by Barbet Schroeder
The director Barbet Schroeder follows Ashin Wirathu as he foments racial hatred and violence against Myanmar’s Muslim population.

-- Of Possible Interest --

And the 2019 Oscar Nominees Should Be…
Our critics share their lists of Oscar-worthy films and performances.
By Manohla Dargis & A.O. Scott
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NYT Critic’s Pick R Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller Directed by Karyn Kusama
In the latest from Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”), a corrupt female cop searches for a killer and possible redemption in the land of sunshine and noir.
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NYT Critic’s Pick PG-13 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Directed by Travis Knight
The actress Hailee Steinfeld and the director Travis Knight make this the most appealing film in the “Transformers” series.

Cold War
NYT Critic’s Pick R Drama, Music, Romance Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
In post-World War II Poland, a singer and a piano player find each other, fall in love and soon end up on opposite sides of history.

-- Of Possible Interest --

R Biography, Comedy, Drama, History Directed by Adam McKay
The star of “The Dark Knight” and the director of “Anchorman” join forces to make a real-life supervillain biopic.

Mary Poppins Returns
‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Review: A Truck Full of Sugar Can’t Make This Uplift Go Down
PG Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical Directed by Rob Marshall
In this charmless follow-up to the 1964 film, Mary Poppins is back to take matters firmly in hand. There will be discipline, and song.

PG-13 Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Directed by James Wan
James Wan’s film has Jason Momoa, but even he’s not enough to save this lackluster mash-up of “Thor,” “Black Panther” and “Avatar.”
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I'm sure it's hidden away on some piece of paper, but I either moved into this house on December 18, 1988 or December 28, 1988. I checked online, but it only gave the sale date, which was in October. The closing date was much closer to Christmas.

The house was a bit, err, older then With an old asbestos covered gigantic gravity gas furnace in the basement which had been converted from coal to gas. The furnace and its pipes took up a quarter of the basement. The four cold air return pipes were around two foot in diameter. The floors were either old maple, moss green carpet, or pretend delft tile in the kitchen. The kitchen dated to the early 50s, with an apartment sized gas stove. The third floor was a mother-in-law's apartment with its own gas heater and apartment sized gas stove. It was and still is knotty pine. The floors have been redone twice. It's been painted a few times, and there are newer shingles on it. The fireplace, where we burned most of the move-in boxes, now burns gas. It has new storm windows and storm doors, and a newer side entrance. Oh, and a newer furnace, that's now about fifteen years old.

Of course, the house itself was built in 1907, so it is a wee bit older.


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