Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Short Takes

President Obama at NATO summit: reject isolationism.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell convicted on corruption charges.

BP found “reckless” in Gulf spill; faces $18 billion fine.

Federal judge blocks Ohio early-voting change.

Kansas A.G. blocks Democratic candidate’s withdrawal from Senate race.

R.I.P. Joan Rivers, 81, comedian, director, and producer.

The Tigers beat Cleveland 11-4 in extra innings.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Short Takes

President Obama will allow surveillance flights over Syria.

Egypt and U.A.E. bombing militants in Libya.

Thousands gathered for the funeral for Michael Brown in St. Louis.

Rick Perry’s lawyers seek dismissal of charges.

Congratulations to the Emmy winners.

Tropical Update: Hurricane Cristobal heads off to the east; still keeping an eye in Invest 97L.

The Tigers had the night off.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Short Takes

Journalist held hostage in Syria freed.

6.0 earthquake hits Napa Valley; three people critically injured.

Britain identifies man who killed James Foley.

Oh, goody!  Paul Ryan wants to run for president.

R.I.P. Richard Attenborough, 90, actor (The Great Escape) and director (Gandhi).

Tropical Update: It’s now Tropical Storm Cristobal, but it looks like it will miss the U.S. mainland.

The Tigers beat the Twins 13-4.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Short Takes

Ferguson: The curfew has been lifted and a grand jury will hear testimony in the shooting of Michael Brown.

Iraqi dam re-taken by Iraqi and Kurdish forces from ISIS.

No deal yet on Israel-Gaza peace talks.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets mugged.

R.I.P. Former Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont; Radio and TV announcer Don Pardo, 96; voice of S.N.L. and countless shows.

The Tigers had the night off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall

A lady who defined class and knew how to whistle.

Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89.

Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart. “Her life speaks for itself,” Mr. Bogart said. “She lived a wonderful life, a magical life.”

With an insinuating pose and a seductive, throaty voice — her simplest remark sounded like a jungle mating call, one critic said — Ms. Bacall shot to fame in 1944 with her first movie, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not,” playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, who became her lover on the set and later her husband.

It was a smashing debut sealed with a handful of lines now engraved in Hollywood history.

“You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve,” her character says to Bogart’s in the movie’s most memorable scene. “You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

[...]

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske in Brooklyn on Sept. 16, 1924, the daughter of William and Natalie Perske, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Romania. Her parents were divorced when she was 6 years old, and her mother moved to Manhattan and adopted the second half of her maiden name, Weinstein-Bacal.

“I didn’t really have any love in my growing-up life, except for my mother and grandmother,” Ms. Bacall said in the Vanity Fair interview. Her father, she said, “did not treat my mother well.”

From then until her move to Hollywood, Ms. Bacall was known as Betty Bacal; she added an “l” to her name because, she said, the single “l” caused “too much irregularity of pronunciation.” The name Lauren was given her by Howard Hawks before the release of her first film, but family and old friends called her Betty throughout her life, and to Bogart she was always Baby.

I never met her, but I sat behind her at a performance of “Richard III” at the Stratford Festival in 1980 when Brian Bedford was playing the lead.  Later we saw her at the next table at The Church restaurant.  She and I were both born on September 16.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Genie

The brilliance of Robin Williams will always be with us.

There are literally thousands of moments that demonstrate the wit and spontaneity.  His voice work on Aladdin was just a small part of it, but they’re some of my favorites.

“Made you look.”

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams

This is a terrible shock.

Oscar winner and comedian Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Williams, who won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting, will reprise his role as Theodore Roosevelt in the third installment of Night at the Museum this December. He had recently signed on to reprise his beloved role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel to be directed by Chris Columbus, and was last seen opposite Annette Bening in the indie film The Face of Love. His sitcom The Crazy Ones premiered on CBS last fall, but was not picked up for a second season.

According to a press release issued by the Marin County Coronor’s office, the Sheriff’s office suspects the death to be “suicide due to asphyxia.” The 9-1-1 phone call came in just before noon today.

Words fail me at the moment.

Obituary from The New York Times here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

James Brady

James Brady, the former press secretary for Ronald Reagan who was severely wounded in the March 1981 assassination attempt, has died at age 73.

He and his wife Sarah became champions of handgun control legislation and earned the enmity of the N.R.A. but never backed down.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sam

He died twelve years ago today.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Short Takes

Egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

The U.N. is pulling staff out of Libya in the face of civil struggle.

Citigroup has agreed to a $7 billion fine for their part in the mortgage crisis of 2008.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been returned to active duty.

R.I.P. Nadine Gordimer, Nobel laureate writer from South Africa.

The Tigers are getting ready for the All-Star game tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Short Takes

President Obama to nominate former P&G CEO Bob McDonald as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Marine who disappeared in Iraq in 2004 is back in the U.S.

European leaders meet to discuss continued fighting in Ukraine.

Crews fighting wildfires in Arizona get relief from the winds.

Tropical Update: We have our first potential disturbance in the Atlantic.

R.I.P. Meshach Taylor, 67, actor on Designing Women.

The Tigers lost to the Astros 6-4.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Short Takes

Droning on in Iraq: Political leaders are looking for someone to replace the current prime minister.

Syria: President Obama requests $500 million for rebels.

SCOTUS: The Court ruled against President Obama’s recess appointments and struck down abortion clinic buffer zones.

Arizona firefighter families sue over deaths.

End of the road for India’s iconic Ambassador automobile.

R.I.P. Howard Baker, 88, former Republican Senator from Tennessee.  Classy guy who couldn’t get nominated in the G.O.P. today.

The Tigers swept the Rangers 6-0 and extend their streak to seven wins.