Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Postcards Received Wednesday August 31

520.  A. Mucha's Window Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic
Ahoj (HI) Chris :-)
I truly hope you're well and happy.  I lived in England for 10 years and am going back to London in Feb. to celebrate my birthday there.  I can't wait.  I worked as an English tutor for 2 years, now I work at a pizza place and I enjoy it very much.  Let's smile at a stranger every day.  Take care and have a fab life as it's a gift - good and bad.  Monika

521.  Pensacola, FLORIDA
(Card is from somewhere in the US)
Thank you for letting me send you this card.  I have been holding on to it for awhile waiting to send it tot he right person.  I love the irony in your last name.  I recently traveled through Arizona and got some good jackalope postcards.  Devin

522.  The First meeting of Jane Eyre and Rochester by Thomas Davidson
Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth
Dear Chris,
Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland.  I hope you like my choice of postcard.  As a reader, I'm sure Jane Eyre is known to you.  Lovely story.  Edinburgh Book Festival is on at the mment, part of the yearly celebrations.  Best wishes, Pat

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

MOVIE - Secret Life of Pets

PG (1:30)
Wide release 7-8-16
Viewed end of August, just before returning to Tucson for the last time, with Ella and Tristan
RT Critic:  74  Audience:  62
Critic's Consensus:  Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Cag:  3  Liked it
Directed by Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Universal Pictures

My comments:  Cute.  Didn't drive me too crazy. Both the kids enjoyed it.  Really not too bad.....

RT/ IMDb Summary:      For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

46. Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron

listened to on Audible
2012 Minotaur Books
310 pgs.
Adult Mystery
Finished 8/30/16
Goodreads rating:  3.8 - 1,470 ratings
My rating:  4
Setting: Whitney, Washington County, Maine contemporary wintertime

First line/s:  "The last time I saw Lucas Sewall, he left a school notebook under the passenger seat of my truck."

My comments:  Washington County, Maine.  The Sunrise County.  Poor.  Isolated.  Long, cold winters. Beautiful in the summertime.  Jonesport-Beals.  Machias. Lubec.  I know the area well.  This story takes place in Whitney (Whiting?), Maine.  It was a good mystery.  It was quite believable.

Goodreads synopsis:  Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple. A raving and half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm. 
          But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his own friend who killed him. Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the strange child. 
          Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided to make the new warden’s life a living hell. Alone and outgunned, Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary bush pilot Charley Stevens. But in this snowbound landscape -— where smugglers wage blood feuds by night -— help seems very far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he possessed.

MOVIE - Finding Dory

PG (1:40)
Wide release 6/16/16
Viewed twice between August and September, 2016
RT Critic:  94  Audience:  84
Critic's Consensus:  Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Cag: 4 
Directed by Andrew Stanton and Angus Maclane
Walt Disney Studios/Pixar

My comments:  Although I saw this twice - once with each set of grandkids - I never wrote down my actual reaction/review at the time.  I don't usually like animated films, but this one was not too bad, 90% of them I'd never go to twice!

RT/ IMDb Summary:  "Finding Dory" reunites the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. The all-new big-screen adventure dives into theaters in 2016, taking moviegoers back to the extraordinary underwater world from the original film.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Postcards Received Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 - last week in PA

518.  An odd card to received from CHINA...
Hi Chris!  Greeting from China!  I'm Sophie, a 18 years old girl.  And I will enter college this Sep.  So excited!  I just can't stop dreaming about it!  Being a teacher must be cool.  Cause I have many cool teachers.  Thery are really nice.  Good day!

519.  "North of Silver Hill in Connecticut, the Appalachina Trail wanders through woods still growing up from 19th century overtimbering"
Card sent from TEXAS
Howdy from Texas.  I picked up this card on our trip last fall - we enjoyed it very much.  We plan to visit Maine and see some of the islands - any suggestions?  Figured we need to hire a bout and driver for part of it.  Enjoy travel - we do and hope to do even more.  Keys in Florida are next.
Cheers, Johny

Sunday, August 28, 2016

MOVIE - Jason Bourne

PG-13 (2:03)
Wide release 7/29/16
Viewed On Sunday, August 28, 2016 at Gettysburg Outlets
RT Critic:  56  Audience:  61
Critic's Consensus:  Jason Bourne delivers fans of the franchise more of what they've come to expect -- which is this sequel's biggest selling point as well as its greatest flaw.
Cag: 3/Liked it
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Universal Studio

Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, 

My comments:  75% crazy ridiculous car chases, 20% eye-rolling CIA garbage, and 5% traveling the world (with Matt Damon as eye candy).  Since I don't like stupid car chases, the movie was only....okay.

MovieFone Summary:  It's been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Quilt Shop Road Trip: 6 Shops In Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Since this is probably my last chance to shop hop before I leave to return to Arizona, and with the rest of the family away (including Bender!), I decided to hit the road for a few new shops.  Left at 9, returned at 8, and saw some beautiful Pennsylvania farmlands including a large number of Amish farms and legit horse & buggies.  Gorgeous day!

One of my stops was at Smucker's Goard Farm in Kinzers, a tiny bit northeast of Intercourse and southeast of Blue Ball.  Run by an Amish family, there were literally thousands and thousands of gourds, most in their natural state, many painted, and all for sale.  They also sold lacquer, paints, tools, and canned preserves and pickles.  The oh-so-nice female proprieter and her three-year old daughter waited on me.  Although the child only speaks Pennsylvania Dutch, her mother told me that she's heard enough English that she understands a lot and will continue to learn English as her second language.  She has two daughters that are teachers in one room schoolhouses, where they only teach English.  I purchased three gourds that were cut like bowls (for a buck apiece), some spray-on lacquer, and a jar of kosher dill pickles.  Always closed on Sunday, they're open the rest of the week from 8 to 5; except from Nov. 1 to Mar. 1 when they're also closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I'll be back!

What was I looking for?  Yellows to back my "Few of My Favorite Things" rag quilt, fat quarters for the fronts of the same quilt, Christmas fabrics for the Advent Calendar Quilt that Dede and I are going to make next week.....

First stop:  Stitch & Craft in Manheim, PA.  Unimpressive selection of fabrics, and the proprieters - 3 Menonite women - were way out back, unseen and unheard, until I went looking for them.  I did purchase a half yard of insulite batting to make a few potholders with Ella before I leave.  $2.39

Stop #2:  Weaver's Dry Good in Lititz.  The front of the shop was full of cutesy country - style gifts with lots of wooden signs with fun sayings.  Tons and tons of novelty fabrics a lot of lines of fabric that were noted with the fabric line.  I was a little disconcerted upon checking out - as I'd been walking around the shop browsing, I heard the proprietor telling another woman she would cut fat quarters for an extra $ .25.  Seemed reasonable.  When I got to the countere and asked her to cut two of my bolts into fat quarters, she told me they don't cut fat quarters.  hmmmmmm.  Behind me was an entire wall of fat quarters for sale.  Wonder where they came from?  This did not give any extra points to an otherwise very nice quilt shop.  This one, too, is run by Mennonite women.
  Purchased:  3/8 yd. shops novelty fabric ("My Hometown")
                      3/8 yd. postcard novelty fabric ("Home Away from Home")
                      5/8 yd. tiny yellow flowers from Little House on the Prairie collection
                      5/8 yd. of another yellow fabric ("Adalee's Garden")      $18.98

Stop #3:  Family Farm Fabrics in East Earl (possibly in Blue Ball).  Very likable shop.  Nice prices, large amount of up-to-date fabrics at reasonable prices, very personable young woman at the counter (Mennonite again, cool!)  A little bit of everything.
    Purchased:  3/8 yd. of daisies in canning jars with the words "laugh - live - love"
                        5/8 yd. yellow (w/tiny bit of orange) geometry pattern
                        fat quarter:  watermelon seeds
                        fate quarter:  jumbo shrimp on black
                        Moda Mini-charm pack:  Prairie     $18.13

Stop #4:  Cedar Lane Dry Goods in New Holland.  This was a shop-for-all-your-needs Amish/Mennonite type shop, where you could purchase anything to make clothing from snaps and hooks to polyester fabric.  They also had a nice selection of fabrics.  The shop itself is the large front part of a house set back quite aways from the street, so I had a hard time finding it.
     Purchased:  fat quarter:  thread, buttons, and tape measures on black
                         fat quarter:  tiny chickadee fabric that I used on Brendan's quilt and want for mine
                         correction tape (I told you they had everything!)     $5.82

Since one of the biggest things I was after today was Christmas fabric to make my Advent calendar and I hadn't been thrilled with the fabrics I'd seen so far, I decided to go the the Log Cabin Quilt Shop in Bird-in-Hand because I remembered seeing a large assortment there.  So that's where I headed.
Stop #5:  Log Cabin Quilt Shop in Bird-in-Hand.  (One of my favorite quilt shops.  I wrote a Yelp review after I left.)  This shop is part handmade gifts made by local artisans; part fabric shop; and part charm, mini charm, strip (etc.) warehouse.  Lots of woolie stuff here, too.  Always pleasant personel. Really do like this place.
     Purchased:  3/8 yd. "Quilting Treasures" fabric
                         5/8 yd. Yellow hexies from Timeless Treasures collection
                         Moda "candies" (2/5 in. squares) "The Potting Shed
                         Precut 3.5 x 5 inch barn fabric
                         10 postcards
                         Fat quarter - purple and black "Amish Fat Quarter"
                         Pattern:  Village by Jumble/Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. (houses made from charms)
                         Mini-quilt (mug mat) Nine patch with tiny nine patches
                         3 Bobbin Buddies                      $39.87

Still unhappy about not getting my Christmas fabric, I backtracked 4 miles to the Old Country Store in Intercourse for my last quilt shop stop.  I did find the fabric I wanted, but came out feeling a bit unhappy....the pattern called for cuts of 1/8 yd, 2/3 yards, etc. and they'll only cut quarter yards.  That means purchasing more fabric than needed.  What a racket!  They seem pretty tight-wadded in there, and for the second time I got a sort-of-grumpy person to cut my fabric.
     Purchased:  4 pieces of fabric for advent calendar:
                   3/4 yd. beige with red berries and green leaves,
                   1 3/4 yd. cranberry with holly and berries,
                   1/2 yd. words (peace, love, joy) on dark cream, and
                   1/2 yd. metallic gold sprigs on dark cream
                   3/4 yd. yellow with white lace
                   1/4 yd. small colorful birds
                    small pop-up refill for "fat quarter pop up"
                   velcro pocket-purse with safety pin atop
                   red Tovolo scoop n' strainer from the kitchen part of the store - for my own kitchen!  $61.08


Friday, August 26, 2016

Postcards Received Friday, August 26, 2016

516.  Spokane, Washington
Postal greetings from my home in spokane, WA.  Did this make you laugh?  Smile a little?  I love to hike/bike and walk.  We have wild fires right now so the smokey conditions mean I stay inside.  Congrats on your retirement.  Colleen

517.  Zamosc, Poland
Hello Chris!  I'm Paulina, 23, from Poland.  I study at university of technology.  This card shows my native town.  It's a beautiful old town.  This year I'm getting married!
Take care, Paula

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Postcards Received Thursday, August 25, 2016

512.  Hanko, FINLAND
Hello Chris!  My name is Ulrika, I am 47 years old.  I live in the sourthern most town of Finland: Hanko.  It is a small town but we have 30 km of beaches over here.  Have a wonderful day! Ulrika

513.  St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
Hi!  Greetings from rainy city St. Petersburg.  This is not a doorway, but a cool window frame!
Daria and Kirill

514.  The Netherlands
Hello, Although not a postbox, this card shows the post (wo)man.  In the Netherlands he often comes by bike.  I live in Apolder, about 5 meters below Scalevd, on the former seabord (hard to read the writing).  My birthday is also on 30th of April.
Happy postcrossing and best wishes, Koen

515.  Penang Hill, MALAYSIA
Hi Chris, Greetings from Malaysia.  This is the Penay Hill tram.  I went up the hill last year and it was rather a nice ride.  Up on the Penay Hill one can see far out to the horizon.  
Best Wishes, Raymond Law

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Postcards Received Wednesday, August 24, 2016

510.  Luxembourg, August 18, 2016
 A Postallove Card!
Dear Chris, I send you the postcard from Luxembourg-city.  My hobbies are art, photography, and travelling to Paris (only 2 hours by high speed train).  I wish you all the best.  Many greetings!  
Jean Moni

511.  Poland, Gdynia; 28 06 2016
Warmest greetings from Poland, Magdelana
Welcome to Poland - a country famous for the hospitality of cordiality of its people, delicious cuisine and beautiful colours during all seasons of the year.  
the positive changes that have taken place in recent years are bound to make your stay in Poland even more eventful :-)  So come :-) ...You have a lot of spare time?  That's easily taken care of.  Especially that the possibilities are varied and huge; mountain hikes, water sports (Baltic Sea has amazing beaches), horse riding and cycling tourism, modern cinemas, and the best quality in entertainment.  These are only some of the many possibilities.  Poland has survived centuries of conflict to emerge as a proud, independent country, ready to assume her new role in modern history.  Visitors ot Poland are discovering what the locals have long known, that Poland is a country rich in fine culture, scenic landscapes and extraordinary historical sites.  Whether exploring the nation's vibrant cities, the lakes and forest of her picturesque countryside or some of the other tourist attractions in Poland, visitors are sure to bring away rich memories.  PS.  And so delicious food - you have to try :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Postcards Received Tuesday, August 23, 2016

507.  Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Chris,
Queenstown is a beautiful resort town in the south island of New Zealand.  It is 2 hours drive from where I grew up.  You can ski at Coronet Peak or the Remarkables (which has a steep scary road - well, it did last time I was there probably 20 years ago).  We went night skiing at C. Peak a couple of years ago.  In the summer you can waterski, bungy jump, and hike.  This photo was taken from a hill with a skyline restaurant and a gondola to get there.
Best wishes, Denise

508.  Port Moody, British Columbia, CANADA
Hello!  Greetings from the north!  I live in the small city of Port Moody, which is near Vancouver in the lower mainland of BC.  I'm very happy to call it home.  Carmen

509.  Rayrinki, FINLAND
Hello Chris!  Greetings from Finland.  My name is Marika.  I live in a small village called Rayrinki and work at our organic farm.  I hope you like this card.
Best wishes, Marika

Monday, August 22, 2016

45. Wolf Lake: a novel by John Verdon

#5 Dave Gurney, upstate New York detective
listened on Audible
2016, Counterpoint
375 pgs.
Adult Murder Mystery
Finished 8/22/16
Goodreads rating:  3.92 - 562 ratings
My rating:  4
Setting: Contemporary Adirondacks resort during a blizzard

First line/s:  "The porcupine's behavior was making no sense.  There was something deeply disturbing about its lack of logical purpose - disturbing at last to Dave Guerney."

My comments:  Number five in the Dave Guerney series did not disappoint, but I don't think any will affect me like the first, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Intricate mystery solver, decorated ex-NY state police detective now-retired, takes on the mystery of why four people could commit suicide in the exact same manner after having the exact same frightening dream.  The cast of characters is not really large, so solving the mystery isn't hugely difficult if the reader's paying close attention.  Good story, I gobbled it up in two long sittings.  The reader (I listened to this one) was excellent. The setting is during a blizzard in the Adirondacks, which I'm happy to read about as long as I'm not enduring the actuality. A great part of this particular novel is about Gurney's wife, Madeline, who I've never really felt drawn to (I don't really understand their relationship at all, or her weird, silent attitude towards her husband and anything he does that she doesn't agree with).  However, she's drawn me in - a tiny bit more - in this story.  Now I have to wait another year for then next sequel!

Goodreads synopsis:  Could a nightmare be used as a murder weapon? That’s the provocative question confronting Gurney in the thrilling new installment in this series of international bestsellers. The former NYPD star homicide detective is called upon to solve a baffling puzzle: Four people who live in different parts of the country and who seem to have little in common, report having had the same dream—a terrifying nightmare involving a bloody dagger with a carved wolf’s head on the handle. All four are subsequently found with their wrists cut — apparent suicides — and the weapon used in each case was a wolf’s head dagger.
       Police zero in quickly on Richard Hammond, a controversial psychologist who conducts hypnotherapy sessions at a spooky old Adirondack inn called Wolf Lake Lodge. It seems that each of the victims had gone there to meet with Hammond shortly before turning up dead. 
       Troubled by odd holes in the official approach to the case, Gurney begins his own investigation — an action that puts him in the crosshairs of not only an icy murderer and the local police but the darkest corner of the federal government. As ruthless as the blizzard trapping him in the sinister eeriness of Wolf Lake, Gurney’s enemies set out to keep him from the truth at any cost — including an all-out assault on the sanity of his beloved wife Madeleine.
       With his emotional resources strained to the breaking point, Gurney must throw himself into a deadly battle of wits with the most frightening opponent he has ever faced.
       Wolf Lake is the page-turning new work by a writer hailed by the New York Times as “masterly” — and it furthers the adventures of Dave Gurney, a detective reviewers have compared to Sherlock Holmes.

Postcards Received Monday, August 22, 2016

503.  New Orleans, Louisiana
Hi Chris, My name is Kathy Lea and I live in Louisiana.  I like to travel, read, garden, and postcrossing.  I've never been up north, it is way too cold for me.  I love the tropical weather we have down here.  Hope you have a great day!

504.  Russia
Hello!  My name is Alena.  I live in Russia, in a small village.  Our house is on the shore of the lake.  All the children spend the summer on the lake, swim and sunbathe.  Wish you a happy summer!

505. Chicago, Illinois
Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844 - 1926)
Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading, 1876
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hi Chris!  Congrats on your retirement, I hope you're loving it!  I love that you mentioned in your bio that you loave to drink ice-cold Diet Coke.  Thaq's my big vice as well!  Sometimes with a lemon in it if I'm feeling fancy.  I hope you like this postcard - Mary Cassatt is one of my favorite American painters.  Hope you're having a lovely summer!

506.  Birkeland, Norway
Hello Chris !  Greetings from Norway.  My name is Inger and I'm a medical secretary who loves reading, glue books, art journaling, cross stitching & trips to our cabin.  I love strawberries, blueberries & blackberries.  There are lots of them around here.
Best wishes, Inger

Sunday, August 21, 2016

MOVIE - Anthropoid

R (2:00)
Limited release 8/12/16
Viewed  8/21/16 at Midtown Cinemas, Harrisburg, PA
RT Critic:  58  Audience:  73
Critic's Consensus:  No consensus yet. (8/29/16)
Cag:  4 - Liked most of it very much
Directed by Sean Ellis
LD Entertainment

Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy

My comments:  How can you watch any movie that includes Nazis and not feel hatred?  This movie was the retelling of how parachutists return to their native Czechoslovakia trained to and with orders to kill the third in the Nazi command.  Because it's based on a true story and knowing the reality of the time, there are no doubts about how the story will end.  Therefore, there is no shock, but plenty of revulsion.  I'm glad these stories are being told, they should never be forgotten or untold.And this time it was the whole country of Czechoslovakia and not just its Jewish inhabitants that were targeted.  Realizing that this sort of thing still goes on in our world makes me feel so helpless.  Hatred.  Greed.  Power.    And, a side note:after watching Jamie Dornan in 50 Shades of Grey, and The Fall, it was difficult relating to him as one of the operatives....I kept seeing him as a 2015 sex god or serial killer....

RT Summary:  ANTHROPOID is based on the extraordinary true story of "Operation Anthropoid," the code name for the Czechoslovakian operatives' mission to assassinate SS officer Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution, was the Reich's third in command behind Hitler and Himmler and the leader of Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia. The film follows two soldiers from the Czechoslovakian army-in-exile, Josef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubis (Jamie Dornan), who are parachuted into their occupied homeland in December 1941. With limited intelligence and little equipment in a city under lock down, they must find a way to assassinate Heydrich, an operation that would change the face of Europe forever.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Postcards Received Friday, August 19, 2016

500th Card!!!  RUSSIA
Hi Chris, My name is Olga.  I live in the ancient Russian city of Pskov.  I'm an engineer.  I really hope that you like this postcard.  Best wishes, Olga

501.  Tuscany, Italy
Hallo chris,  I am Antonella, I write from Italy and the card shows the little country where I live, in Tuscany.  I am 45 years old, mother and wife.  I love to read, travel, collect postcards and little bottles of sand.  Many greetings from Italy and Happy
summer!  Antonella

502.   Alberta, CANADA
Greetings from Alberta, Canada.  Hope this made you smile.  Have a Great Day!  David

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Postcard Received Wednesday, August 17, 2016

499.  Taitung, Taiwan
Hello!  Greetings from a city called Taitung, located on the eastern coast of Taiwan, R. Co. C.  My home is not far from the sea, so it is very nice around here.  I love reading and traveling, too.  Best wishes for you!
good luck, Sung

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Postcard Received Tuesday, August 16, 2016

498. Germany
Hi Chris, I find it somewhat difficult to describe (the) Germany...we think live to work and are very connected to the traditions.
Greetings, Nadine

Monday, August 15, 2016

MOVIE - Nine Lives

PG (1;27)
Wide release 8/5/16
Viewed Monday, August 15, 2016 at the Carlisle-8
RT Critic:  8  Audience:  44
Critic's Consensus:  Not meow, not ever.
Cag:  3.5 Great fun even if not top-notch literature
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner

My comments: For such a low-rated film, Ella and I certainly enjoyed it! It was light family entertainment...even any nail-biting parts were not actually nail-biting because it was the kind of film that you knew everything would come out all right in the end.  Well worth a couple of hours in recliners with a big bucket of popcorn!

RT Summary:  Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a daredevil billionaire at the top of his game. His eponymous company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement to date - the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere. But Tom's workaholic lifestyle has disconnected him from his family, particularly his beautiful wife Lara (Jennifer Garner) and his adoring daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). Rebecca's 11th birthday is here, and she wants the gift she wants every year, a cat. Tom hates cats, but he is without a gift and time is running out. His GPS directs him to a mystical pet store brimming with odd and exotic cats- where the store's eccentric owner- Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken), presents him with a majestic tomcat, named Mr. Fuzzypants. En route to his daughter's party, Tom has a terrible accident. When he regains consciousness he discovers that somehow, he has become trapped inside the body of the cat. Adopted by his own family, he begins to experience what life is truly like for the family pet, and as a cat, Tom begins to see his family and his life through a new and unexpected perspective. Meanwhile, his family adjusts to life with an odd and stubborn cat, and his son David (Robbie Amell), steps up in ways Tom never expected. If any hope exists of returning to his family as the husband and father they deserve, Tom will have to learn why he has been placed in this peculiar situation and the great lengths he must go to earn back his human existence

Postcards Received Monday, August 15, 2016

496.  Girl Reading - Krasnodar, Russia
Hello, Chris!
My name is Natali.  I live in the city of Krasnodar, Russia.  I like reading books, to listen to goos music, and nature.  Ihope you enjoy this card.  with bet wishes!

497.  Peti Surat (Postbox) - Malaysia
Dear Chris,
Greetings from Malaysia.  Good day to you.  Sending you thig mailbox shaped card.  Hope you like it.
     Happy Postcard Uniting.  Love, Isabella

Sunday, August 14, 2016

MOVIE - Captain Fantastic

R (1:59)
7/8/16 Limited Release
Viewed Sunday, 8/14/16 at Carlisle Theater on High Street, Carlisl
RT Critic: 79   Audience:  85
Critic's Consensus:  Fantastic's thought-provoking themes -- and an absorbing starring turn from Viggo Mortensen -- add up to an above-average family drama with unexpected twists.
Cag:  5.5 Wonderful, thought provoking movie which I really loved (though a tear jerker in places)
Directed by Matt Ross
Electric City Entertainment

Viggo Mortensen

My comments:This was a wonderful movie to watch.  Pulled me right in, I was there, laughing and crying and relating and commiserating. The whole cast really worked, and Viggo Mortensen was fabulous.

IMBd Summary:  Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, isolated from society, a devoted father dedicates his life to transforming his six young children into extraordinary adults. But when a tragedy strikes the family, they are forced to leave this self-created paradise and begin a journey into the outside world that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent and brings into question everything he's taught them.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Postcards Received Saturday, August 13, 2016

494.  Karabuk / Safranbolu, Turkey
This was in response to a swap card that I sent in May.  This was mailed on May 29th and forwarded from Tucson to Mt. Holly Springs, and it took all this time!
May 29, 2016
Hello Chris,
Thanks for the very lovely cards you sent me, I especially appreciate the guacamole recipe!  As you may know, letter writing or the post in general is not exactly popular in Turkey so it's quite difficult to get interesting cards.  This is one of the "Safranbolu" , a recent heirtage site popular because of its unique architecture.  It's about four hours awayu from Ankara.
Best wishes, Beren

495. HAND DRAWN CARD!!!  Praha, Ceska Replublika
Hello Chris,
Your post was first time I heard about jackalopes.  Buyt I find tghem terribly cute.
Wish you a great summer,

Friday, August 12, 2016

Postcards Received 8/12/16 - After Vacation in Maine

474.  Europa MAP from Lithuania
Hello!  Greetings from Lithuania!  I'm Rilo and I live in Vilnees with my family & dog & rabbit.  I like many things but my passion is traveling and exploring new places/countries.  Maps always make the feeling of travelling, right?  I've been in many countries in Europe also visited Thailand and Egyupt.  I wish to go to America as well.!  Best wishes, Rilo

475.  Groeten uit Holland (Greetings from Holland)
Hi Chris!  It's my bike!  Typical for Holland.  I like knitting too.  Where I live is a small village, it has 2000 residents.  Heb het goed = All the best!

476.  Bavaria, GERMANY
Hi Chris,
I'm Lotte, 25 years old and live in Bavaria which is a southern region of Germany.
Best Wishes

477.  My Romania - Bucharest
Dear Chris,
This is one of the eight UNESCO painted churches in Romania, unique for the 500 years old paintings all ove their external walls. 
Regards, Marius

478.  Old Books: Greetings from Latvia!
Hello Chris!  My name is Zanda.  I live in the Labvian capital Riga together with my 3 children and 4 hamsters.  My hobby is collect interesting candles and various things with angels.  In my collection is more than 500 variety of candles.  Zanda

479.  Greetings from Belarus!
Hello Chris, my name is Yana and I live in Belarus.  My country is in the centre of Europe, near Russia.  Actgually, we speak Russian, but we have our national language tgoo - Belarussian.  Our symbols are teh bird-stork and the flower - vasilek.   sometimes people from other countries call our country "Blye eyes," because we have a lot of lakes and rivers.  We also have a lot of castles and our national animals -zubrs (they look like bisons).  Thank you for the interest in my country.

480.  Greetings from Russia
Hello, my name is Katerina.  I was born in Moscow and have lived there all my life.  My home town is very gib.  I come from a small family.  I have mother, father, and sister.  We get on well with each other.  My family is very important to me.
     Have a great day!

481.  "Awkward Family" Newburyport, MA
Hi, Chris!  I'm Nathan and it's nice to meet you.  This is a funny card I got out of a set.  They habe a very funny wibsite, too.  Have a good rest of the summer!

482.  Zeeland: Holland
Hallo!  The only nice thing about Holland is seaside and Zeeland is province with the nicest beaches I know.  To get nice weather is the other thing - this summer we had 1 week sun, the rest only rain...  Today also...
Greetings!  Poli

483.  Russia MAP
Hello Chris!  Next week I'll go to Spain.  And last month I visited Monaco.
With best wishes, Olga

484.  "The Bookworm" Siberia, RUSSIA
Hello Chris!
My name is Valeriya.  I live in Small Siberian town Seversk.  I'm a visiting nurse in children's polyclinic.  I like my job although I gave too little free time.  I love to read too.  At present I prefer fantasy.  Maybe I'm so tired of real life problems that I would like fairy tales :)  But the most favourite book is "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov.  One can read this book time after time and each time this book is perceived differently...warm greetings from cold Siberia!

485.  Zdar nad Sazavou, Czech Republic
Hi Chris,  Greetings from Zdar nad Sazavou, Czech Republic.  This card is from my team-building in Trebon region.  We had cycling weekend around lakes.  I've meen in Maine for two summers in Camp Winona.
Happy Postcrossing, Tom

486.  Pon XIX Jawa Barat 2016 - Indonesia
Hi Chris,
Greetings from Indfonesia.  My name is Krisna.  I really want to visit your country.  The Liberty status is really famous - Happy Postcarduniting!  Krisna

487.  Colours of Medan, Indonesia
Hello!  APA Kabar?  How are you?  Greeting from Indonesia.   Happy Postcard Unititn!!!
Medan City is the capital of North Sumatra Province, Indonesia.  Interesting places are Sun Plaza, Medan Post office, Misjid Raya, Red Cross building and Kualanamu Airport.

488.  Chinese Bridge in Alexander Park, St. Petersburg, Russia
Greetings from St. Petersburg, Russia!  My name is Anja, I'm 21 years old and I'm going to be an aviation engineer.  Happy postcardunited!

489.  St. John's, Newfoundland, CANADA
Hi Chris,
Greetings from St. John's NL in Canada.  I get a kick out of this card because it's so 'stereotypical Canada' but being from Maine you are probably familiar.
    I hope you're having a great day!  Sabina

490.  Prospect Hill Park (est. 1421), Beijing, CHINA
Hello, Chris!  Greetings from Beijing!  On this card is the Jingshan Hill.  It's only about 60 m high, but the panoram view of Forbidden City there is great!
Zhang Yuyu

491.  Zombie Cookbook Cover - Frankfurt, GERMANY
Hello Chris.  My name is Rike and I live near Frankfurt Main.  Do I understand it correctly that you like zombies?  Me too!  The postcards shows the cover of a Zombie cookbook from Germany.  It's full of humorous zombie stories AND recipes for vegetarian zombies who do no like to eat brains.  Unfortunately, you can get the book only in German language.  Nevertheless, the cover is great.  Undead greetings, Rika
PS:  Great surname!!

 492.  Russian Folktale
Hello Chris, My name is Elya, I'm from Moscow.  The p;ostcard is showing the characters of a Russian folk tale called "Fox, Rabbit and Rooster."  The rabbit and the rooster lived together, and the rabbit did not allow the rooster to look out the window. so that the fox could ot see hom.  Once he broke the ban, and the fox dragged him into her burrow.  But everything went well.  Here you can see the less popular option of tale with a cat and thrush instead of a rabbit.
Best Regards,  Elya

493.  Piestany, Slovakia
My name is Olga.  I live in Slovakia in spa town.  I like flowers, dolphins, parrots, towns, and sew.  Happy postcrossing.