Monthly Archives: July 2011

Whip It

Cheap excuse to include Devo in a post!

Whip it real good!

Couldn’t help singing Devo.

In reality, the post is about Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut with the roller derby movie “Whip It,” starring Ellen Page.  I’ve been a fan of Drew Barrymore for as long as I can remember.  I had remembered being interested in seeing her first feature as a director.  But, like many things, I got busy, and never got around to it.

It’s a fun movie.  It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be.

It’s got Drew’s fingerprints all over it of course.  But, it also has fun characters performed by some great people.

Like the rest of the world, I have quickly become a fan of Ellen Page, from the moment I saw her in Juno.  She didn’t disappoint me in “Whip It.”  And, that was just the tip of the iceberg on great people.  Juliette Lewis (who is great in everything), Jimmy Fallon (funny man – playing a great character), and Zoe Bell.  Zoe Bell is a fucking fantastic stunt woman & was in by far one of the best action sequences ever filmed in “Death Proof.”  If you have seen any Tarantino flick since Kill Bill (she was the Bride’s stunt double), you have seen her work.  She also appears to have a great onscreen presence & personality.  I’m pretty sure she is just being herself.  And, she’s pretty fucking funny.

Add in some fun roller derby scenes.  Some partying.  Some underwater loving.  Yup, fun fucking movie. Good times.

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Movies


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Back to Monadnock

At the trailhead

I’ve been talking to the kids about hiking mountains, lately. We had gone on a short hike while camping a couple of weeks ago & that had been met with mixed reviews. But, it was just a hike through swamp land, and over a couple of brooks. It was not challenging. Nor was it particularly interesting for a 9, 7, & 5 year old.  So, I had told them about my recent hike up Mount Monadnock, and tried to gauge their interest.  The boys weren’t really hearing any of it.  But, Syd was interested.

As it turned out, Syd had a dance exhibition she was going to be performing in back in Gloucester, MA on a Saturday night.  It was not going to be finished very early, and the boys already wanted to stay back with my parents and enjoy a party with their cousins.  So, it was easy to convince the girls (Syd & Drea) to go hiking on Sunday.

But, because it was the last day of my week with the kids, I didn’t want to be away from the boys ALL day.  So, the disconcerting caveat to my loves-to-sleep-in girlfriend was that we’d be up EARLY.  So, on Sunday, July 17th, I was up at 5, prepping sandwiches and water bottles. (Snacks had already been put aside the night before.)  At 5:20, I rousted the ladies and we were off and running by 5:45.  We got to the mountain at about 7:15 and were hiking by 7:30.

Since I had some recent history with the mountain, I decided to attack the Halfway House Trail, to the White Arrow Trail for a nice, but challenging 4.4 mile hike.  Particularly the last bit of the White Arrow Trail.  It is steep & technical.  But, Syd has been dreaming of rock climbing.  So, I figured I’d give her her chance.

On the way up, we stopped for a quick water break at the Halfway House Site.  Then, the fun of the White Arrow Trail began.  Syd & Drea were troopers and both did excellent.  Once things got technical, we stopped for a snack break.  And, as these things go, we stopped about 100 yards short of a spot that would have had a nice view.  Oh well.

But, after we passed that out cropping, we started getting out of the trees and into the real rock climbing.  Syd was having a blast & even pretended to go “surfing” at one point.  She was definitely getting tired towards the top & her and Drea began making fun of my distance estimates.  For much of the way up, Drea had also dubbed me “Tour Guide Scott.”  Apparently, she thought it was funny that I had read up on the mountain after I had hiked it the first time.  But, hey!  The mountain has an interesting history & I thought I’d share it.

Once on the summit, we found a nice spot to relax, enjoy the views, and the breeze.  We ate our sandwiches and soaked up the rays.  Syd explored a little bit, walking around the summit, and pulling herself up on rocks that she wasn’t sure she could.

At the summit

On the way down, Syd was in rare form.  It was pretty clear the endorphin high had kicked in.  She was being a little comedian and making jokes at my expense with quite a bit of frequency.  It was actually quite funny.

"Rock Surfing"

Both Drea & Syd were getting pretty tired & complaining that their legs were burning.  We stopped for a water break just before the Halfway House Site.  Then down onto the Halfway House Trail & back to the car.  We were done & Sydney had completed her first ever mountain hike.  She was happy with it.  She said she liked it.  And, when I asked if she would do it again with me, she responded, “Well, not right now!”

Then we drove over to Kimball Farms & had, by far, the largest ice cream cones I’ve ever been served.  We didn’t manage to get pictures of them because our hands were so full.  But, trust me.  We ordered the small size cones and they had to have about 4-5 scoops of ice cream piled on them.  The “kiddie” size that we saw some other people get had about 3 scoops!  Crazy!  But, it was pretty yummy.  The girls each got a mint variety.  I went with strawberry.  The strawberry wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.  Next time, I’ll try a different flavor.

All in all, a great hike with my two girls.  I can’t wait to get Syd back out there.  And, Drea… she maybe hiking again before she realizes it.

—–Hike Stats—–

  • Date: 7/17/11
  • Elevation: 3165
  • Elev Gain: 1807
  • Mileage: 4.4
  • Trails: Halfway House Trail -> White Arrow (& same return)
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Hiking, Kids


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Part of a viral campaign for Limitless

Another, pretty good movie.  I liked the concept of it.  How great would that drug be – you know, minus the horrid side effects… like death.

But, there were definitely some large holes.  And, I’m not talking about the usual sci-fi suspend disbelief holes.  I’m talking about the NYPD being the most inept police department on the planet.  Who calls in a murder, is discovered at the scene, and is allowed to leave w tons of cash in large crisp bills & a bag with a LOT of drugs in it?  And, then that same person is involved with a murder of three other known criminals & it’s just chalked up to the mistaken identity?  I mean… really?

But, aside from those kinds of things… the movie was actually a pretty fun ride.  I loved the use of colors to depict when he was on the drug & when he wasn’t.  I loved the psychadelic effects illustrated throughout.

The ending… blah.  But, I enjoyed the movie nonetheless.


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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Movies


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2011 Mongol Rally is Underway

I wrote a  quick snippet about the Mongol Rally recently.  The 2011 version is underway, & although I am not involved with it, I am definitely following it. (Much like one would follow the Tour de France, but with less coverage on Versus.)

In short, it is this crazy 4-6 week adventure where you take a shitty little shoe box of a vehicle from Goodwood, UK over 10,000 miles, including countless countries and two continents, to Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia.

You do it for your own personal adventure reasons.  (Here is a great article about the reality of the seriousness of the adventure.)

And, you do it for charity.  At the end of the rally (it’s not a race), if your car has not blown up in the steppes of Mongolia, or on the (non)roads in Kazikstan, it is auctioned off.  Automobiles are in high demand out there, and your beaten up vehicle fetches much more than a similarly-conditioned vehicle would cost in America.  For example, many teams purchase vehicles for less than $1500, and then they are auctioned off for 4 times that much.  All of that money is donated to charity to help children in Mongolia.  In addition, you raise funds on the lead-up to the rally, again to be donated to charity.

The organization that runs the event, the Adventurists, have a great tongue-in-cheek website about what the rally is.  But, the are also sincere about the risks involved in your mere participation in the rally.

For example, check out this video of a current rallier reading the “official warning” from the Adventurists.  (It’s posted on blip & I have no embed capabilities as far as I know, so link to it, you lazy shit.)

The rallier in that video is travel author & tv host, Leon Logothetis.  He’s known as a solo traveller, so he is doing the rally only with his camera man accompanying him.  He is posting short updates on his daily travels on the LA Times.  You can also follow him on his twitter.

There are hundreds of other teams including a team from Salem, MA.  Another is the Social Media Syndicate, which is a team made up of a woman that quit her career a few years ago simply to travel the world & 4 relative strangers.

Those three seem to be posting with relative frequency via their various outlets.  I’m going to keep tabs on them & plan on tackling this adventure sometime down the road.

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Outdoor Adventures


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Aquarium Adventures

In a previous post, I highlighted my attempt at taking care of some fish fry.

Well, this morning Syd excitedly reported that we had some more. So, we grabbed the baby net and scooped up about 16 fry. I’m pretty sure they will be safe in there.

But, that doesn’t mean that the frogs aren’t going to try!


Hungry frog wedged between the net & glass. Black specs to the right are the fry.

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Random


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The Haunting in Connecticut

I finally got around to watching “The Haunting in Connecticut.”

I remember seeing this poster in theaters & ads and wondering what the fuck was coming out of that kids mouth.  Well, now, I know.

The movie wasn’t bad.  In fact, it was pretty entertaining.  I certainly jumped a few times and was kept guessing as to what was going on, or what was going to happen.

Loved the thought of what was left in the house… But, I’m certain someone would have gotten into the back room long before them.  Even if the door was jammed.

At any rate, a fun psycho thriller.

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Movies


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I’m in a country bar. Me!

A mediocre country cover band is playing.

With a cousin I don’t hang out with.

And, a kid I haven’t hung around in 20+ years.

This is a fucking strange vortex.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Random

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