Friday, October 27, 2006

Cardinals Win!

Well, it's all over and the St. Louis Cardinals have won the World Series. I feel bad for the Tigers, but at least I saw them whip the Damned Yankees. :-)

Wonder what company will be using the team in promotions? Expect to see some ads hitting the airwaves in the next few days.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Review: A Time to Run by Barbara Boxer

Personally, I like Senator Boxer but that has nothing to do with my review. Again, it is one of those books that I get sent by the Joe Bob Briggs folks that I don't feel fits the 'thriller/suspense' genre I'm supposed to be reviewing.

Oh, and in case you're wondering I'm rooting for the Detroit Tigers.


A TIME TO RUN by Barbara Boxer with Mary-Rose Hayes
Published by Chronicle Books; ISBN: 0-8118-5043-9

The first novel by Senator Barbara Boxer is set in a world she knows very well, namely the insider world of Washington, D.C., with the usual suspects. You have the ‘good’ liberal Senator from California, first-timer Ellen Fischer and her staff, up against the ‘evil’ former GOP member whose seat she won, long-time political wheeler-dealer Carl Satcher. This takes place during hearings for a Supreme Court nominee, the ultra-conservative, Frieda Hernandez who just may be the one to swing the Court votes over on a number of issues.

Senator Boxer, aided by Mary-Rose Hayes (who has several romance novels to her credit), certainly knows what it’s like in the nation’s capital, but we can only hope that political decisions there are not made in the fashion described in this book. Frankly, it appears that the authors really wanted to write a straight romance novel about three people who meet in college and become friends. Since there is one gal and two guys it is evident that both men will fall in love and when the lady chooses one guy the other spends the rest of his life trying to win her back. After they got that part down, Boxer & Hayes probably figured that throwing in a bit of politics would help, given the Senator’s name on the cover.

The novel begins in 2001, several months before 9/11 and sets up the plot of Fischer being given documents showing that the Associate Justice nominee may be guilty of child abuse against her own daughter, going back years. It doesn’t take long to discover that the ‘evidence’ may not be all it appears and that the Senator is being set up by old foe Satcher. We then jump back to 1974, where Ellen meets Josh (who would become her husband) and his friend Greg (who would become a muck-racking journalist and eventual cause of Josh’s death), all of whom are attending Berkeley at the same time. The rest of the story weaves through the next several decades following the lives of the three characters until we get back to the current situation.

The story of whether Ellen falls into the trap set by her enemies, or is able to rise above it, sort of disappears while Boxer & Hayes spend most of the book in a Harlequin Romance tale of love & betrayal. Not badly written and actually more interesting than I would have expected, still not the political novel that folks would seem to be looking for given the well-known author.

Two and a half stars.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

So much for that Subway series, huh?

While there wasn't a lot of joy this post-season for me as a Red Sox fan, it is great to see the Mets doing so well. I know that Donna, Fran and Donna's Aunt Marge couldn't be happier. Also, my friend Sue Raboy and my ex will be delighted I'm sure.

For me, of course, the icing on the cake was seeing the Damned Yankees once again fall short after the season ended. There won't be many tears shed west of Queens on that account. :-)

I think a Detroit/New York series would be pretty interesting myself, but we still have to see the Mets through one more NCS. Fingers crossed for Willie's boys!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Remote viewing: the fall season

Haven't been able to catch all the new shows and not sure that I'd want to. It was so much simpler back when there were only the three networks and a few syndicated shows. Now it seems that everybody from Animal Planet to The Weather Channel are bring in new programming at the same time. Thankfully USA won't be showing new episodes of MONK, PSYCH & THE 4400 for a couple of months.

Caught one episode each of THE CLASS, 'TIL DEATH and SMITH. Not sure that I'd set the DVR for any of them at this point. The first two episodes of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, both of which I enjoyed. Matthew Perry & Bradley Whitford are both doing great jobs as the writing/producing partners out to save a threatened network comedy show. However, I just don't see this as drawing in the audience that the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin captured with WEST WING. Come Emmy time the show might garner some nominations, but I don't know if the show itself will still be around.

I really like JERICHO, especially as they are keeping much of what actually happened to the U.S. a mystery. Two episodes in and there are several characters, including Skeet Urich (as Jake Green) the lead who has about five years in his past that he is keeping hidden. It appears that Robert Hawkins (played by Lennie James) is hiding things for some unknown reason from the rest of the town also, including just where the bombs may have gone off.

I'm sure you're surprised that a fanboy like me hasn't seen even a single episode of HEROES. Maybe I'll eventually have a chance, but as in the case of CSI: MIAMI the show is on opposite something else that Donna and I are watching.

Probably have more to say on television later, but that's it for now!