You are currently browsing the daily archive for Monday, May 31, 2010.

Since Friday, I have attempted to grab bits and pieces of the three disc DVD of the HBO miniseries, JOHN ADAMS.

I am on the fourth part, and Ambassador Adams just completed his first meeting with King George… I cannot imagine being the first USA ambassador to The Court of St. James immediately following the Revolutionary War! The moment was incredibly intense, yet there was an air of honest sincerity.

The actors portraying Adams, Abigail Adams and Jefferson were superbly cast, and the detail to accuracy throughout the series is much to my liking.

I have always loved the early relationship between John & Abigail Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. They were dear friends, and the movie captured their devotion, humor, and intimacy beautifully during their time together in Paris.

It is a very touching moment watching President Washington’s inauguration on this Memorial Day. How far we have come since that day in April.

I am so enjoying this miniseries, which I am finding quite remarkable.

Paul Giamatti


John Adams

John Adams

Laura Linney as Abigail Adams; Abigail Adams

It is 8:40 on the last evening of May, and the long, extraordinarily fun-filled weekend has come to a close.

From last Friday evening until an hour ago, Jose and I have been non-stop, and how wonderful it has been! Though I am short on sleep, I feel refreshed, not drained.

I had anticipated making this day one of absolute quiet, and not leaving the house; however, we received an invitation to the Lockhart home for a 4:00pm cookout. With schedules running crazy, I have not seen Valerie for several months, and Mike has been only a few “hello’s” when he has arrived to pick up Sophie from a lesson. Jackson picked up Sophie this past Friday so I was finally able to see him.

We had the best time, as always, and after a delicious dinner, we sat on the patio chatting. Eventually, a water-fight broke out with the teenagers, and the three adults survived with nary a drop!

We returned home, and I decided to water the plants since the skies were clear, and beautiful. We had threats of thunderstorms for this day, but the skies indicated nothing. Not more than fifteen minutes of watering the plants, the wind picked up and the skies clouded over… and the deluge began.

Jose was in the basement and called down to see if he would like to walk to Speedway for a slushie. He bounded up the stairs, and saw the heavy shower.

He laughingly turned to me, saying, “You’re such a dick!”

Thus ends the weekend, and begins the first official day of summer!

From HISTORY CHANNELS: This Day in History

May 31: General Interest
1859 : Big Ben goes into operation in London

The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster–the headquarters of the British Parliament–in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock atop a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While many clockmakers dismissed this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a formidable barrister known for his expertise in horology, or the science of measuring time.

Denison’s design, built by the company E.J. Dent & Co., was completed in 1854; five years later, St. Stephen’s Tower itself was finished. Weighing in at more than 13 tons, its massive bell was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. Once it was installed, Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker designed by Denison cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.

The name “Big Ben” originally just applied to the bell but later came to refer to the clock itself. Two main stories exist about how Big Ben got its name. Many claim it was named after the famously long-winded Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time it was built. Another famous story argues that the bell was named for the popular heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, because it was the largest of its kind.

Even after an incendiary bomb destroyed the chamber of the House of Commons during the Second World War, St. Stephen’s Tower survived, and Big Ben continued to function. Its famously accurate timekeeping is regulated by a stack of coins placed on the clock’s huge pendulum, ensuring a steady movement of the clock hands at all times. At night, all four of the clock’s faces, each one 23 feet across, are illuminated. A light above Big Ben is also lit to let the public know when Parliament is in session.

Having gone to bed at 3:00am Sunday morning, I was up, and moving right along by 7:ooam.

12:30pm, Jose and I headed to Delco Park in Kettering for the first event – Jill Cordonnier’s graduation party. It was great to see her parents, Mike & Joan Cordonnier, as well as Jill’s boyfriends, one of my favorite theatre tech geniuses,  Jackson “Jack” Gallagher.

After approximately thirty minutes, we departed for our next event and arrived home by 1:45pm to head next door for the cookout.

As always, it was an absolute thrill to be in the company of some of the most wonderful neighbors in the world. I was blessed with wonderful neighbors (Herndons, Fortners and others) while growing up in Elwood, Indiana, and I have been more than blessed with the kindest, most hilarious neighbors here in Kettering. Kay Moore, and her family Don, Laura, Jozi and Kelley Parker, and the Stephensons – Bob, Chris, Henry and Frank and I sat around the table and howled.

Jose left with Branden Witten to go to a grad party while I remained next door. Due to crossed-wires, we got off to a late start for Old River Park and Carillon Park; therefore, we postponed the canoeing, and went straight to Carillon Park for the concert and fireworks.

Man, oh man! I was not prepared for the enormous line of cars!

I got to see a ton of people, and had a nice, long conversation with Myra Michaels. The Pollocks arrived, missing the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s SOUTH PACIFIC medley. We sat behind the Kress family, and enjoyed the fireworks, and the light show and bell music from the carillon.


You really should read this Dayton Daily News article: Carillon’s Heritage Festival makes history by featuring new bell system.

When the fireworks ended, I chatted a bit with Amy Kress, and her parents. The Pollocks, Brandon, Jose and I walked all the way back to the NCR parking lot where we stood talking for a good thirty minutes.

Now, I sitting up in bed with my laptop, cooled off from the refreshing shower. Jose is spending the night with Brandon.

I am finally ready to sleep!

But what a WONDERFUL day this was! Many thanks to all those wonderful friends who contributed to making this a fantastic day!

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May 2010
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