Sneaking Suspicions
Archives-- November 5-18, 2006

This page includes posts from November 5-18, 2006 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

November 18, 2006
Shameless promotion

Last month I bought a replacement PC for an increasingly balky Dell that I had used for four years.

The folks at Ameritechnologies* were very helpful, and I ended up with a Lenovo 3000 J Series that is working fine.

Transferring programs and files was perhaps the biggest concern that I had in making the switch, especially for the website pages for two sites and the uploading software I use for that purpose (FrontPage 2002 and WS_FTP).

The other possible complication was that I use two different web site hosting services, each of which has it's own uploading protocol.

As you can tell, this turned out to be not much of an issue for this blog site, but I wasn't as confident about the more complex requirements for Hole By Hole.

Between that mild concern and other demands on time, I didn't update the golf site with the weekly columns for over a month.

Now it's up to date, and available for your perusal:

Bob McCurry will be missed but not forgotten
November 17, 2006

A few months after beginning this column in 1999, someone suggested I should speak with Bob McCurry about junior golf. More..

Golf now playing at the Movies at Midway
November 10, 2006

If you look at the marquee in front of the Movies at Midway, you couldn’t tell there’s a movie playing this weekend in which golf plays a critical role. More..

Family tragedy marks Pete Oakley's 2006 season
November 3, 2006

This past golf season was like no other for Pete Oakley.

The Director of Golf for The Rookery had high hopes for the 2006 competitive season, with a few events on the PGA Champions Tour and plans for a full schedule on the PGA European Tour with his older brother David. More..

Short subjects
October 27, 2006

This week’s column is in several parts, none of which have much to do with each other—except for the golf part, that is. More..

The first part of a very different twelve-step program
October 20, 2006

A recent column discussed how some Cape Region golfers succumb to "sandbagger-ish" tendencies, when they realize that the golf handicap they carry at the end of October will last until April. These folks might be mostly honest about their scores the rest of the year, but it’s hard for them to avoid trying to puff up their handicaps to enhance their betting opportunities over the winter. More..

Hope you like them.

*(Don't let the company's relatively cheesy web design bother you. They might not be webheads with the flashiest approach to modern web site appearance, but they know what they know).

November 15, 2006
The Film Festival

Blogging was even lighter than usual this past week, as I spent a startling number of hours working on various aspects of this year’s Independent Film Festival

Much of my time was spent with some great volunteers at the Box Office, handling the demands for thousands of tickets. At least once a day, however, I was able to take a break in the action at the Festival tent and go see some movies. 

The big surprise this year is that there were six sell-outs before the doors opened for the gala event on Wednesday night. Fifty-two more sell-outs occurred during the rest of the four-day extravaganza, a new record in the event's nine-year history. On the other hand, most of the nearly one hundred features, documentaries, and shorts were shown at least twice, if not three times. A few of the audience feature favorites ran four times, and sold out on each occasion. 

The opening night party was highlighted by a showing of a restored copy of Lon Chaney’s 1929 edition of The Phantom of the Opera.

The partially colorized print was accompanied by Dorothy J. Papadakos, the former Cathedral Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and a lively, witty performer.

As in prior years, below are mini-reviews of the movies I saw during the Festival, with links if possible. I also use the five-step ratings used to determine the Festival award winners, who were announced at the closing night party on Sunday.

Sweet Land--Outstanding. It won the Festival award for Best Debut Feature.

Cave of the Yellow Dog--Outstanding. This is a classic film festival feature. Where else are you likely to find a German-made movie about a nomadic Mongolian family, their herd of sheep, and a young dog and his little mistress?

Keeping Mum—Outstanding. This Maggie Smith/Rowan Atkinson comedy took second place in the Best Feature category.

Estamos Aqui--Very good. A fairly balanced documentary overview of a troubling local issue--the burgeoning Guatemalan presence in southern Delaware.

French Language Shorts

The Genie in the Tin of Ravioli--Very good bit of claymation comedy.

The Naked Race--Very good satire. Athletic young woman is “incentivized” to streak at sporting events for an aggressive marketing campaign.

Men from Older Space--Good. Night of the living seniors horror show, in southern France.

Banquise--Very good. Sad animated feature about an obese young girl.

Monsieur Etienne--Outstanding. An old man on a tropical island deals with the passing of his two best friends.

Speaking the Same Language Shorts

Rent Control--Very good. A young woman needs to move out of her apartment, and will go to great lengths for that purpose.

Hoosiers II--Very good. An overlong but amusing fake trailer for the sequel to Hoosiers, with Matthew Perry.

Hundred Dollar Bill--Good. Traces a Franklin around Ocean City, Maryland on a foggy off-season day.

Dog Years Chapter I: Love--Outstanding. Very funny exploration of a dog’s existence, from the dog’s perspective.

Dog Years Chapter II: Health--Outstanding. Even better than I. Who knew a middle-aged dog could be this matter of fact? This won Second place in the Best Short category at the Festival.

True Story--Very good. Old woman remembers her past involving two young kittens and a misplaced use of sympathy.

Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot--Very good. Startling animated morality tale Charles Addams would have loved.

My Last Confession--Very good. Young Catholic boy works up the nerve to go to confession in late 60s, with mixed results.

Christmas Wish List--Outstanding. Charming fable of a self-absorbed lawyer and the lesson he learns from a young doctor and her patient. It won Best Short at the Festival.

International Shorts

One Too Many--Very good. A man and his son are reduced to desperate measures when the wife/mother moves out with a vengeance. Spain.

Sexy Thing--Very good. Young pre-teen in a whirlwind of young love, imagination, and wretched familial brutality. Australia.

Exploding Buds--Outstanding, if also incredibly bizarre German fantasy. Think Sprockets on happy pills.

The Legend of the Scarecrow--Outstanding Spanish animated version of the folk tale. 

Hiro--Very good chase movie about a bug collector’s unintended conflict with gangsters and a young girl. Canadian.

El Gran Zambini--Outstanding Spanish story of a father’s need to have his son remain proud of his past.

Crash--Very good Spanish comedy about men, competition, and their utter cluelessness about women.

November 8, 2006
An unexpectedly stirring ceremony

A while ago, my wife saw a notice in the local paper, seeking World War II veterans who had qualified for a Bronze Star but hadn’t yet received it. 

It just so happened that she had recently gone through her late father’s papers and saw that he fit this unusual description. 

As noted here previously, Mr. Bill served with distinction in the U.S. Army’s 77th Division in the Pacific Theater, earning his staff sergeant's stripes before his honorable discharge in 1946. In 1952 Congress enacted a law awarding a Bronze Star to every infantryman involved in direct combat operations during the war under conditions that had already qualified them for the Combat Infantryman Badge. My wife had found that badge, as well as the notice that Mr. Bill had earned the Bronze Star, but the medal itself was nowhere to be found.

She followed up on the announcement, and today we accompanied her mother to a surprisingly full gymnasium for the award ceremony.

Four World War II veterans or their survivors had responded to the notice. My mother-in-law was one of the very proud recipients of a huge ovation from the entire high school student body, including dozens of junior ROTC members, as she gracefully accepted the medal and certificate.

In addition to the Bronze Star awards, the assembly also included a special recognition for school district staff who were veterans of the five military services, as well as a moving speech by the mother of a recent Cape grad who died while serving in Iraq. 

Just before the ceremony began, I chatted with George Stone, the school district superintendent, who came to the Cape district a little more than a year ago. He told me that he was surprised to learn last November that the school did not hold any special assemblies or other commemorations for Veterans Day.

It appears that he did something about this perception.

It was very much appreciated.

November 7, 2006
Slow and steady

Voting today was pretty uneventful.

I had spent most of the morning fixing up a new batch of oatmeal raisin cookies for the upcoming Film Festival, and writing my weekly golf column. Once both of those were finished, we made the short hop over to Rehoboth Beach Elementary School to vote.

Thanks to Christine O'Donnell's write-in campaign, the volunteers seemed really anxious to make sure there were no problems for anyone trying to use that feature instead of the usual button-pushing. It seemed as if they made an announcement to the assembled multitude (about a dozen to fifteen voters) after every third voter entered the booths.

From what I've heard thus far, the day's voting was fairly slow and steady elsewhere throughout the state.

The quiet atmosphere inside the school was in stark contrast to what was on display outside.

Election signs outside Rehoboth Elementary, November 7 2006

November 6, 2006
Persistence in the face of tyranny

I’m not usually a one-issue voter--but this year I’m making an exception.

Like some other folks, I could be described as a Lieberman Democrat, although I don’t subscribe to all of the Connecticut senator’s views on domestic matters. Nonetheless, we’ve adopted the same hawkish stance about the primary threat we face from those who want to see us all dead, liberal or conservative, mostly because we don’t or won’t adhere to their troubled interpretation of their religion.

I was sorry to see Lieberman lose in his Senate primary, because it signaled that too many fellow Democrats just don’t seem to appreciate the real source of danger to their way of life as Americans.

No matter what they say, the risk is not coming from a former frat boy from flyover country, whose initial election to high office was largely a result of a wholly different collection of Democratic miscues. To continue to adopt this stance at this late date is to show that their powers of denial remain too influential.

Fortunately, the citizens of Connecticut seem to have a better grasp on reality. From the information noted by Tom Maguire and others it looks like the Joementum will return with a vengeance by tomorrow night.

It also appears that a lot of other folks share this view about the primary importance of persistence in continuing the fight against Islamofascists. This group also includes some other Democratic bloggers such as Ann Althouse, Donald Sensing, and Orson Scott Card.

If you have an opportunity to show that you agree with us tomorrow, please do so. Maybe yet another loss at the polls will help the current Democratic leadership finally come around to our way of thinking about the true menace to our existence.


Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969

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© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2006