and Cathy McArthur on
the Road 2006: 3
We began a period of home residence on January 12th, so "On the Road" isn't quite the right title. This particular January Thursday was a warm and beautiful day. Bill spotted some of our winter birds: Scoters and Red-throated Loons. We took a 6 mile walk along the Bay, with the last mile on the beach. We found some interesting stones and Bill finally found an arrowhead after over 10 years of looking. Later in the day, Bill donned his full wetsuit for the first time in a long while, and paddled his kayak 6 miles to the canal and back. The only other life on the water were several Surf Scoters and a couple of Red Throated Loons.
On Friday we met with Cathy's former colleagues for a mediocre dinner at Chef Ted's Offshore Cafe and then attended a wonderful play at the Vo-Tech, directed by Margaret Lloyd. On Saturday we drove to Doylestown to babysit for Rachel on Saturday night. On Sunday we breakfasted at Starbucks and then we attended mass at the Doylestown Episcopal Church. Later, we visited Sue Beatty's mother Kay. She was very sharp-witted for a women of any age, incredible since she was 91 years old. We enjoyed doing some mental puzzles together; she held her own. It was a windy and cold day, so Bill spent some time on the computer and bought a Sirius radio to move us into satellite radio. Rachel had a "Eureka" experience similar to that of Archimedes when she discovered that her bouyancy could help her pull herself up to standing for the first time. Katie and Tom hooked us on the TV show "24" which premiered in its 5th season with 2 hour segments on Sunday and Monday. On Monday morning we breakfasted at Starbucks again before heading back to Cape May Beach. We signed up again at North Beach Health Club and attended Becky's step aerobics class at 5:30 PM. We watched 2 episodes of "Deadwood" which Bill received for Christmas while recording "24" and "Lincoln" on our DVR.
Bill spent a couple of hours at Steve Tecco's house on Tuesday morning installing the Front Desk program for Armada By-the-Sea motel on a new computer. Steve and his wife Bonny just returned from a Hawaii cruise on the same ship that we cruised on last spring. Later in the afternoon, Bill helped Joe Landue reprogram the bingo machine at St. John of God's bingo hall. Tuesday night we watched "24" in high definition and no commercials - good stuff! On Wednesday, we had rain and wind. We went to see "Brokeback Mountain" at Hamilton Commons, preceded by a good lunch at the Amazon Cafe (owned by a former executive chef at Congress Hall). Bill surprised himself by thoroughly enjoying the movie. He thought is was a good story, beautiful scenery, realistic depiction of bleak western living by the rural poor, well cast, and well acted. It's too bad that the movie is dismissed as being about "Gay Cowboys"; that isn't an accurate description and the movie is much more interesting and complex. Bill highly recommends the movie for his reluctant straight male friends and family. We both thought that "Broke Back Mountain" deserved its Golden Globes.
There was a delightful run of record-breaking warmth from 1/19-1/21. We stayed outside as much as we could, but also kept up our step aerobics. On Thursday night, 1/19, we found that the Pier House Restaurant is not a great place to eat during these slow winter weeks. Bill and Jim Sosna took a wonderfully warm bike ride on Friday, 1/20. We got the news via telephone and email that our niece Julie gave birth to triplets, two girls and a boy, all under four pounds, but doing well. We received our Sirius radio and are enjoying it as we write. Our neighbors Joy and Tom invited us to join them for dinner at the Villas Fishing Club on the windy night of 1/21. There is a new chef there now and our dinners were much better than others that we have had in the past. On Sunday, we recorded the Pittsburgh-Denver game on our DVR and were able to enjoy the game commercial-free in high definition. Later, we watched a couple of episodes of "Deadwood"; by now, we know the characters and are "hooked" by the show. On Monday morning, while it rained, Bill had to return to Steve's house in Wildwood Crest to tweak the printing by the Front Desk program. On the ride, Bill tuned in to Howard Stern on Sirius and found it to be a total bore, punctuated by swearing, cursing, scatology. and obscenity. Howard should study the movies of Kevin Smith to learn that the words that the FCC doesn't allow don't, by themselves, produce entertainment. Bill is trying to get back into Yoga and practiced a few Sun Salutations of Astanga Yoga.
We finished watching "Deadwood" on DVD and prepared to watch the second season on HBO by reading the summaries of Episodes 13-16, which we had missed. We viewed a couple of movies in theaters: "Syriana", which we found to be too confusing to be entertaining, and "Walk the Line", which we enjoyed thoroughly and were amazed by the performances of the lead actors. We also viewed "Cinderella Man" on DVD. We liked the movie and were especially impressed with the acting. As January wound down, we had lots of wind and cold to contend with. We continued to take step classes at the gym and Bill worked on his Yoga practice. Bill got out for some kayaking on a very calm Bay on Saturday, January 29. We attended mass at the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in the Villas. This is the church that has the art group that puts on its yearly show at the home of one of our neighbors.
We viewed "Capote" in a theater and were amazed at the way Phillip Seymour Hoffman nailed the title character. Bill remembered seeing Truman Capote on many talk shows and found the characterization to be eerily on target. We also rented and viewed "Crash" again. We felt that the movie was outstanding, but the story technique has been done before, so we still give our vote to "Brokeback Mountain" for best movie of the year. On February 3, the temperature soared to 65°. We took advantage of the nice day and walked on the Wildwood Boardwalk. It was nice to look at the ocean and feel warm. We went to Doylestown to visit Katie, Tom, and Rachel. While we were there we viewed "Goodnight and Good Luck" in a theater. It was a good movie and true to history, but there was too much use of old TV shows. Bill ranks it lowest of the 4 of 5 "Oscar" movies that we've seen so far.