Thursday, July 27, 2006

Queerly Beloved, Too Hot to Handle, -and- Who Let the Pigs In?

Queerly Beloved - same-sex marriage on rocks with voters
Too Hot to Handle - lightning catches girl's pajamas on fire
Who Let the Pigs In? - pub accused of cruelty for letting pigs drink beer

On this day in history: July 27, 1890 - At the Chateau d'Auvers, Vincent van Gogh presses a revolver to his chest and pulls the trigger. Somehow, the bullet misses the vital organs, and the painter manages to stumble over to a friend's house. The following night, Van Gogh dies of an infection in the arms of his brother Theo.

Born on this day in history: July 27, 1906 - Leo Durocher (1906 - 1991) baseball player, manager. He was an infielder, 1928-1941; manager for 24 years; coined the phrase "Nice guys finish last."

As I predicted, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. reported a wider loss for its second quarter Thursday as it absorbed charges for restructuring its debt. The company again lowered its estimates for full-year subscriber counts. XM lost $231.7 million or 87 cents per share in the three months ending June 30, versus a loss of $148.8 million or 70 cents per share in the comparable period a year ago.

We watched The Road Virus Heads North. [Starring Tom Berenger, Marsha Mason; teleplay by Peter Filardi; based on the short story by Stephen King; directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan. Richard Kinnell (Berenger) is a famous writer who, at a doctor's visit, learns he may soon have to deal with his own mortality. On the drive back to his home, he buys a mysterious painting. Each time he looks at it, it changes to become more menacing and sinister. He pieces together that the painting is trying to kill him - but not if he can destroy it first.] I was familiar with the King story on which this production was based, having read it a several years ago. The show followed King's story closely, and the acting and production were very good.

We watched The Fifth Quarter. [Starring Jeremy Sisto, Samantha Mathis;
teleplay by Alan Sharp; based on the short story by Stephen King; directed by Rob Bowman. Willie (Sisto), a just-released convict, learns from his dying friend of a map in four parts that reveals the location of several million dollars from a robbery. Seeking revenge for the death of his friend and the money, as well, Willie hunts down the others who hold the remaining three parts to the map, risking his family and his freedom.] This was a B-grade crime drama, devoid of eeriness and lacking suspense. Had I not known, I would never have imagined it was based on a Steven King story. The acting and photography were passable yet unimaginative, and the story was altogether too predictable.

Here is a photograph I took of Burney Falls, Northern California, approximately seven years ago. Click to enlarge.