Monday, January 22, 2018

Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 award-winning horror western starring Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, David Arquette, Sid Haig, and Sean Young. This is an underappreciated sub-genre, and I love seeing good ones released.


The New York Times has a positive review. The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars and describes it as a "twist on John Ford’s The Searchers". Variety describes it: "a gleefully grisly genre gazpacho that matches a rousing sense of Old West derring-do to a comic sensibility as dark as chewing tobacco —and at least as much of an acquired taste. But for those with a head for loopily discursive humor (not to mention a stomach for some inspired grotesquerie), S. Craig Zahler’s debut feature will come as a most violent delight."

Empire Online says, "A mash-up of The Searchers and Cannibal Ferox, this is a pretty strong prairie stew." Roger Ebert's site calls it "a surprisingly sturdy Western" and concludes, "[Director] Zahler and his talented cast are willing to take this journey deep into the heart of darkness, and it’s their commitment that makes the entire project more than skin-deep." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 90%.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

42 on a Post

This 42 is on a post close to the used bookstore on McLean.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Children of Time

Children of Time is a 2015 award-winning science fiction novel by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I read it because it won the Arthur C. Clarke award, and I was not disappointed. I was enthralled by this story of the end of the human race and the attempt to make a place on another planet. You might think it would be hard to draw fully formed characters when the scope of the novel covers such a long period of time, but you'd be wrong. The world-building is also good, envisioning an alien culture in a way that draws you in. This author is better known for his fantasy works, but as I prefer science fiction I hadn't read anything by him.

from the back of the book:
Who will inherit this new earth?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home. Following their ancestors' star maps, they discovered the greatest treasure of a past age -a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course and must fight to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?
The Guardian has a review which quotes the Clarke Awards director as saying the book "has a universal scale and sense of wonder reminiscent of Clarke himself, combined with one of the best science fictional extrapolations of a not-so-alien species and their evolving society". Financial Times says, "This is superior stuff, tackling big themes — gods, messiahs, artificial intelligence, alienness — with brio."

SF Signal says, "BOTTOM LINE: An entertaining and thought provoking novel of post humanity, survival and legacy." SFF World closes a positive review (and detailed plot description) by calling it "A pleasingly, entertainingly solid read." SF Books concludes, "Children of Time has that essence of the classic science fiction novels, that sense of wonder and unfettered imagination but combined with this is the charm of a writer who really knows how to entertain, how to spin a good story. Essential science fiction, a book not to be missed."

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 movie based on Hunter Thompson's book. It's directed by Terry Gilliam and stars Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. I know it's got a great reputation, but I found this tedious.


The New York Times has a negative review. Roger Ebert gives it 1 out of 4 stars and says, "The result is a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 49%.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lake Austell Trail

The Lake Austell Trail begins at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is not -for us, anyway- within walking distance from the cabins. One striking thing about this state park is that walking trails are not generally within walking distance of the cabins. This is a problem for me that will keep me from going back to this park. I can't drive The Husband's car, and he does not hike, so that leaves me needing him to drive me to a trailhead and then pick me up afterwards in an area where cell phone coverage is spotty at best.

It is a pretty trail.

It's a fairly easy hike but has some steep sections and some sections with steep steps.

There was a bench:

but I'll admit a few more benches would've been welcome.

There's another entrance to this trail at a lovely picnic area overlooking lake and woodland. You can see a pavilion over this rise:

The Lake Austell Trail connects to the Military Road Trail, which will be a post for another day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Village Creek State Park Lake Dunn Trail

The Village Creek State Park Lake Dunn Trail begins -you won't be surprised to hear- at Lake Dunn. Before you get to the trail's true beginning you pass fishing, boating, and picnicking areas:

The brochure specifically mentions the "popular swinging bridge". We watched for signs of the bridge as we walked.

No sign of the swinging bridge, but hope springs eternal.

Enjoying the hike though we were, we still looked without success for direction signs to the one attraction noted in the brochure. We did come across this remarkable creature:

which I promptly christened The Venerable Beded One. But no swinging bridge. Forging ahead...

Along the way I enjoyed the various fungi

And back to the beginning

with no sign of a swinging bridge. Strange. We saw deer, turkeys, many different kinds of birds, but I couldn't get video. I did get a video of an armadillo:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Colby's Cafe

We stopped for lunch at Colby's Cafe in Wynne, Arkansas, on our way to Village Creek State Park for our vacation. We didn't know what to expect from Wynne and were pleasantly surprised by the number of our choices here. This was a nice lunch spot.

I loved the bright interior with all the windows. You order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. You can view their menu here, but they don't seem to have a website of their own. I had the club sandwich and onion rings and Pepsi:

It was too much to eat, which was a shame because it was delicious. Service was attentive, which we don't really expect when we order at a counter. We'd go back if we lived around there.

We didn't explore Wynne, but the town's website lists their library as an "attraction". I find that an endearing feature.

Please join the weekly T Tuesday blogger gathering. Share a link to a post with a drink in it and visit some new friends.

Meanwhile, back home in Memphis, it has snowed. Again! And it's 14 degrees F!