Thursday, November 24, 2016

I've Got Just The Place for It

Some family heirlooms now grace the man cave...

My father sent me a table hand-made by my Great-Great-Grandfather shortly after he immigrated to the United States from Ireland.  The side chair was purchased later, perhaps by my Great-Grandfather Michael.  It was re-upholstered by my mother Kay in our generation.
 They look just right under the stairs.  

Andy’s Leather Holding Black Friday and Christmas Sales

Our friend and benefactor is having a sale...

The popular Rhodesian Sling in use.

The press release:

Save 10 percent off all leather goods from now through Dec. 24 and 15 percent off all products, including slings, belts, jingle bells, holsters and accessories, from Nov. 24 – 28, 2016 at 
Nebo, N.C. (November 2016) – Andy’s Leather, purveyor of fine leatherwork for rifles, Scout rifle slings and accessories, is pleased to announce two special sales just in time for the holidays. From now through Dec. 24, save 10 percent off all leather goods during its Christmas sale (use code “Christmas” at checkout). For Black Friday, customers can save 15 percent off all products from Nov. 24 – 28, 2016, including the popular Rhodesian Sling, belts, jingle bells, holsters and accessories (use code “BlackFriday” at checkout). These special offers can be taken advantage of by shopping at (Offers cannot be combined.) 
“I’ve found myself in the giving spirit this season and have decided to offer not one, but two exclusive sales, to customers who buy my products direct at Whether you’re looking for rifle slings or holsters or simply a special, handmade belt to give to dad, I’ve got you covered this year. Come check out what we have and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by our pricing,” remarked Andy Langlois, founder and owner of Andy’s Leather.
Andy’s Leather’s fine products are also carried by Ruger®, Gunsite Academy, A.H. Larsen (Denmark), Brownells® and Acme Armament. Holiday discounts and sales may vary by dealer.
For more information on Andy’s Leather, visit

My personal experience:

Andy Langlois' work and materials are of the finest quality.  His service and commitment to clients is second to none.  Buy with confidence.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tonto National Monument

Spent Sunday visiting some cliff dwellings...

The Tonto National Monument, located in Roosevelt, AZ, is about a two and a half hour drive southwest from Prescott. We met the rest of our party, who arrived from Phoenix, at about 9:30 am. The ranger guided tour to the upper dwellings, which is offered November through April, started at 10:00 AM and concluded at about 1:00 PM. Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Bring water, a wide-brimmed hat, a walking stick, and your camera of course...

The pre-history of the American Southwest is fascinating. Where did its people come from? How did they live? How were they affected by their environment? Why did they leave? Where did they go? I've been reading a few books on these and similar questions lately.

Cactus? The climate was cooler and wetter during the time the cliff dwelling were occupied as many as 300 people and thousands more lived, farmed, and manufactured pottery in the Tonto Basin.  
Those of you unfamiliar with the topography of the Southwest may be surprised to learn we have to drive an hour or two to see the Saguaro cactus many non-Southwesterners might assume we all have in our backyards.

If you're looking for a substantial and tasty meal after your walk up to and down from these well-preserved upper or lower cliff dwellings, drive south on State Route 188 to Boston's Lake House Grill. Everyone at the table liked what they had.  Three of us had the pulled pork sandwich and were delighted.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Monsoon III

Watch this...

...and all of Mike Olbinski's marvelous short films.

Monsoon III is very much like what living in Arizona during the monsoon season is like, only faster.

As a bonus Kerry Muzzey's music accompanies and compliments the visuals.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Best Movie Of The Year

If you like your science fiction evocative, Arrival will deliver...

There have been (or will be) perhaps a dozen good movies in 2016, and Last Days in the Desert was excellent, but Arrival may be the only great film I've seen this year.

This compelling story of first contact, based on the Nebula Award winning novella "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang, runs with the likes of 2013's Upstream Color, 2014's Interstellar and 2015's Ex Machina.

A team is urgently assembled to make first contact with whoever or whatever has arrived in the alien craft now hovering over a remote valley in Montana, as are eleven others at different locations around the planet.  On the American team is Amy Adams, a renowned linguist whose passion for communication is tempered by personal loss.  Jeremy Renner plays an amiable astrophysicist who chooses to follow her lead.  Forest Whitaker's performance as a dour Army officer was so rigidly subdued I didn't recognize him at first.

I can't say a word more without giving away too much.  You deserve to experience this lushly beautiful, deeply thoughtful, and rigorously imaginative film the way director Denis Villeneuve intended, without preconception.

I'll be seeing it again, at least once.  See it cold, then let's talk.

PS, The final theatrical trailer even gives to much away.  The first trailer does not.

UPDATE 11/11/16: Saw it again today.  Even better the second time.  I'm ordering the anthology in which the source material was first published in 1998.

UPDATE 11/18/16: Chiang's "Story of Your Life" was innovative and well-written, but it turns out the screenplay by Eric Heisserer improves upon it in many significant ways.

UPDATE: 11/22/16:
Watched it again last night. Third time is the charm. What a marvelously well-crafted film.