Sony Reader

At last! The Sony Reader is on the market. I’ve been waiting for this to come out for a long time. The price is steep, though: $349.99.

It’s been a while since I’ve craved a new gadget, and this one is hard to resist. I love the idea of being able to carry all the books I want to read in the palm of my hand while holding a cup of coffee in the other.

Christmas is too far away.

Home repairs

Our gate fell off its hinges on Wednesday. With all those framers and all that wood and all those banging hammers next door I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, someone would pop over the driveway and fix it.


John‘s just done a magnificent job fixing it himself, don’t you think? Look at those huge hinges.

The Trip to Bountiful

While we’re on the subject of theatre, we also went to the A.D. Players‘ performance of “The Trip to Bountiful” the weekend before last. No singing in this one. Perhaps some of you have seen the movie? I hadn’t. Set in Houston in 1953, it’s the story of a woman who wants to go to her home town of Bountiful one more time before she dies, but her wussy son and bitchy daughter-in-law won’t spring for the bus ticket. The lead was played by Jeannette Clift George. She is also the founder of the A. D. Players. It was the first time we’d seen her play a part, and golly, she’s good! Her performance was moving — so moving that I wanted to reach out to her in her rocking chair and give her a hug. Yes, I was close enough to do that!

Anyway, if you’re reading this and live anywhere close to Houston, this play comes highly recommended. GO SEE!

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The Masquerade Theatre company lost their home in The Heights last year. I think Jim was the only Hab fortunate to visit the tiny theatre with the even tinier car park. Anyway, the company has since been leasing space at the Hobby Center downtown. On Wednesday we went to see their opening night performance of Sweeney Todd. It was John‘s and my first visit to their new location, and the second time we’d seen them perform Sweeney Todd. I think the first was back in 2002. It was just as good, except everything was bigger — the stage, the seats, the orchestra, the ticket prices . . . The ushers wore tuxedoes and we weren’t allowed to take our drinks to our seats. And the performers wore microphones. Never seen that.

The show was excellent. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the story, but it’s gruesome. If I told you that a barber in London was slitting his customers’ throats and sending them down a hatch to be ground up and put into pies, you might laugh. However, there’s not a good belly laugh during the whole show — only nervous titters. My vote for best peformance was for the Chorus, all 12 of whom were creepy, loud, in tune, and each oozing with talent. What the heck, I’m going to name them. I have the program: Luke Anthony, Stephanie Bradow, Jeff Denison, Libby Evans, Laura Gray, Allison Sumrall Hunt, Catherine Kahl, Emilio Laredo, Nathan Lin, Andrew Reich, Brad Scarborough, and Kristen Warren. Rebekah Dahl who played Mrs. Lovett (the lady who sells the pies) was my favourite soloist. She has a great voice, and was the only singer who really mastered (or even attempted to adopt) a cockney accent. I did point out to the director during the intermission that the sign on the shop had misspelled “PARLOUR” (they left the “U” out), but he didn’t seem too worried.

Their next show will be “Hello, Dolly”. I think there will be a large contingent of John’s family going to that around Thanksgiving.

Fantasy Baseball

It’s also the last day of Baseball Manager‘s fantasy Baseball season. My two teams have not done well this year. My Pinetar Panthers, who were relegated to the Pegasus League last season, barely escaped relegation again, finishing in 8th place. My Riverstick Aces RiverChicks finished fifth. The RiverChicks had one memorable game in which they scored 18 runs. You can study the box score here.

I’m hoping that during the offseason I’ll finally have time to try out my copy of Out of the Park Baseball, purchased many months ago from that top notch company in London, Sports Interactive.

Astros still alive

It’s the last day of Baseball’s regular season. Most teams are playing Game No. 162. And most people gave up on the Astros a long time ago.

However . . .

(drum roll)

. . . the Astros, who are in second place, have won 10 of their last 11 games, including a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals, who are in first place, have lost 8 of their last 11 games, including getting swept by the Astros. Currently the Cardinals are 83-77, and the Astros are 82-79. The Cardinals have 2 games to play and the Astros have 1.

So . . . you can see that the Astros have a chance of tying for first place.

Sorry if I’ve made your heads hurt, Habs and other foreigners. Rest assured, I’m not exactly calm right now.