The Subway franchise finally opened in the front of our building in downtown Gold Beach. I think half the town bought a sandwich the first day. I did too! Keith and Shannon Lawhorn, the father and son owners of the franchise, made up two huge six-foot long sandwiches and donated them to the Gold Beach High School football team, which will play for the 3A Class Championship in Portland Saturday. That’s a good way to get involved in the community right away.
We just sent out the pre-ordered copies of our 13th Year Anthology, so everyone who ordered them should get them for Christmas. Skids of the books arrived at our office yesterday, and the ladies worked all day to package them and get them to the post office.
If you haven’t ordered yours yet, you can do so by clicking this link . I notice the ad under the link says the anthology is expected to retail for $22.50. We decided to retail it, instead, for $21.95, so we’ll have to correct that ad. So instead of saving $7.50, you’ll save $6.95.
Hope you got your flu shot. Thirty thousand people a year die of flu. It only takes one unlucky season, or one particularly nasty flu, and you might wind up dead. You’ll at least get sicker than a dog. Lots of towns give the shots for free. Why take a chance? I got mine.
Claire Wolfe first alerted me to the movie, V for Vendetta, when she reviewed it in BHM’s Issue No. 98 (March/April 2006). Last night I watched it again with my family. Very enjoyable and inspiring, although it got a lot of nasty reviews when it came out because in the movie a terrorist is the hero. I think it’s the best movie about freedom I’ve ever seen. Since Claire’s review is not online, I’ve printed parts of it below. She wrote it before the movie was released, but it’s on target.
. . . By Claire Wolfe . . .
The movie is V for Vendetta, a tale of a mysterious vigilante battling an all-controlling paranoid security state. It takes place in a realistic near future where the people of the formerly free world live under fear and deprivation while their rulers enjoy lavish lives, protected by security walls, surveillance technology, and heavily armed security forces. It’s a world “where freedom was not lost, but surrendered willingly to a totalitarian regime that rose to power by exploiting the people’s worst fears.”
It’s the story of the destruction—and perhaps the rebirth?—of individual freedom and identity in an increasingly militarized and terrorized country.
V for Vendetta stars Natalie Portman (Padme from the second Star Wars series) and Hugo Weaving (Elrond from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Agent Smith from The Matrix trilogy).
She is Evey Hammond, a seemingly ordinary young woman caught up and tormented by the secret police. He is “V,” her mysterious rescuer whose face is always hidden by a jauntily grinning Guy Fawkes mask. (Fawkes, who in real life plotted to blow up the British Houses of Parliament and overthrow the king in 1603, is recalled each November 5 in England with bonfires and chants of “Remember, remember, the fifth of November—gunpowder, treason, and plot!”)
In addition to the eerie mask, V wears a Puritan black cape and hat as he fights the government with blades, a single dire threat of violence, and psychological warfare. Emerging from his shadowy stone crypt beneath ancient London (a crypt filled with books, art treasures, and pop-culture memorabilia salvaged from the destruction of war and oppression), his aim is not so much to defeat tyranny through violence, but to expose the ideology of enslavement and encourage people to take their freedom back.
The screenplay was written by Andy and Larry Wachowski, the brothers who first became famous for their brilliant creation of The Matrix, and soon became infamous for ruining the original’s legacy with two pompous, incoherent (but entertainingly effects-laden) sequels. They based their V for Vendetta script on the graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd.
. . .
I highly recommend V for Vendetta. It has a short lesbian scene that I’m sure will turn some people off to its message about freedom, and of course the parts that show a terrorist blowing up buildings will make some people very angry. It came out in March of 2006, so you can get it on DVD. Click here for details about the comic strip on which the movie was based. Click here for the movie’s official website.
My sister-in-law, Cindy Myers, who is staying with us for the Thanksgiving holidays, is an alpaca breeder and trainer. In case you don’t know, an alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It looks like a small llama, but unlike a llama, it is too small to be used as a pack animal. Instead, it is alpaca fiber that is prized by many people, especially knitters and weavers. The fiber is much softer than wool. I remember the extraordinarily soft feel of alpaca fiber when my daughter, Annie, was knitting with it a few months ago.
Cindy has started an alpaca business called Alpacas at Hum Sweet Hum. She has four animals right now, with two of them pregnant. She is also one of the few people who clicker trains them, which makes the skittish beasts more social and easier to handle. Annie just helped her launch her website, humsweethum.com. I’ve posted a photo with Cindy and my family in Hum Sweet Hum sweatshirts.
Subway will open in the front of the BHM Building the Monday after Thanksgiving Day. I expect it will bring us new subscribers as travelers stop to buy a Subway Sandwich, then accidentally discover Backwoods Home Magazine while eating on the convenient deck I intend to build onto the front of the office.
Today I asked Lorraine, our ad gal, to order a few mugs and tote bags with the BHM logo on them to see if we might sell some to Subway eaters. Might as well take advantage of the increased traffic flow. The way I look at it, every sale we make due to Subway’s presence increases the monthly rent BHM takes in from Subway. The Subway owners have even offered to put a BHM magazine stand in their eating area.
My boys have off from school until Monday. We have a 20-pound turkey waiting to be cooked for Thanksgiving. Lenie’s sister, Cindy, is coming up from Oxnard, California, about 900 miles away. I think I’ll go fishing in the morning if the ocean is okay. Forecast is for sunny skies and fairly warm.
I love small town life, and I especially love my small town of Gold Beach, Oregon. Last night was typical of the events we have here. It was the Fall Concert for the high school band and choir. Two of my sons were in the 23-member band, and my wife was the pianist for the 13-member choir. The sound the musical director, 23-year-old Michael Reetz, got out of this small group of kids was amazing.
What a delightful evening. I left as though I had just attended a performance of the Boston Symphony.
Michael Reetz is in his first year as a high school musical director, and he got those kids to perform beyond themselves. What a find for Gold Beach! In a town where the football team and the band and all the other small local events are the glue of the community, we get lucky and get a young talent like this. My son, Jacob, had quit the band last year because he didn’t care for the style of the interim musical director, but he rejoined this year when he saw how Reetz was running things. Reetz has the attention of these kids.
My wife, Ilene, played beautiful piano for the choir– the kind that is not just technical, but where she “feels” the music. I had been trying, without a lot of success, to get her to play more of the piano we have at home. But her editing and business duties at BHM require a lot of time so she never played much. Then she volunteered to play for the choir at the high school. It added a lot to her work load, but we’re both jazzed at the payoff of a wonderful performance from everyone. She plans to continue volunteering.
Deadline is over and so is my periodic colonoscopy. Thank goodness on both counts!
No sooner did we got off deadline for the upcoming Jan/Feb 2008 issue than I had to go in and get this necessary test. My father died of colon cancer at age 57, and ever since my brothers and I have had this colon checkup on a periodic basis.
So what is a colonoscopy?They put you to sleep and the doctor shoves a thin flexible tube up your butt so he can examine the colon for any potentially precancerous polyps. He even takes photos on the inside of the colon. It takes about 20 minutes and is completely painless, even if he finds a polyp or two and has to snip them off for a lab exam, which he had to do with me.
The only problem with having a colonoscopy is you have to drink two bottles of this awful cleansing goop before the procedure so you are completely flushed out. Not only does the goop taste terrible, but you’ll be sitting on the pot half the day until you are cleansed. For more details, click here.
But despite the taste of the goop, you still should get one, no matter if you are a man or a woman. Colon cancer is largely preventable if you eat a diet high in fiber, and it’s curable if it is caught early enough by one of these exams. Colon cancer used to kill a lot of people — my Dad for example — but it doesn’t kill so many now because many people have gotten wise to this easily accessible preventive measure. The procedure itself is simple and quick. They put you to sleep, so you feel nothing. It can be embarrassing to some folks, like me, but it’s over with so quick that it’s not that embarrassing. In another 10 years I’ll go in for my next one.
We’re all on deadline for the Jan/Feb, 2008 issue — Number 109. Very, very busy!
Meanwhile, a truck crashed into our building, impaling itself on the front where the new Subway franchise will open in a couple of weeks. It was delivering supplies to the new Subway. It shook the whole building so that everyone ran outside. We’ve already repaired the damage.
We’re so far behind for this deadline it’s ridiculous. But it’s like that for many issues. Annie is mixing her deadline duties with making a dress for the Marine Corps annual ball this Friday. Egad! Where are her priorities?