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ARCHIVE > 10 DOWNING STREET: Off-topic Cafe (ARCHIVED)

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 20, 2009 05:33PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Since we will be starting Second World War - Volume One: The Gathering Storm on January 19, 2008; I thought it would be nice to begin anew with a new Off Topic Cafe with a title that had a British theme.

Most of the time conversations here should be tangentially connected to the book; but on this thread our many friends (old and new) are welcome to converse and share insights, information and just good conversation without the fear of any spoilers or other constraints of the Weekly non spoiler Book or Supplemental threads. Also, this is where there can be conversation related to other topics of personal or worldwide interest. All conversation must be respectful of all participants and their different or opposing frames of reference.

Enjoy the new Off-topic cafe with a British flair: 10 Downing Street.

~Bentley


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2008 LISTS:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

Thought you might like to check these out.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Antoine,

That sounds like you had quite a New Year's Eve. Last year I was in Paris; this year I spent it at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport. Both wonderful; but very different. Stayed at home for Christmas this year; was in Singapore last year, then London and finally Paris.

I think this year I found it more like old times; doing the decorations and putting up the tree. I found I enjoyed all of the familiar traditional ways.

The fireworks from Sydney were again spectacular this year; were you in a position to see them while you were there. The Kindle is spectacular and wouldn't it be great if there were a European version.

Glad to hear that the book looks promising. I was not familiar with Banjo Paterson until you mentioned him and I looked him up. Glad you are back safe and sound.

Bentley


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Antoine,

How interesting. I think everybody has heard and sung Waltzing Mathilda and probably still did not know who Paterson was. I personally have not heard or sung the other two but will try to find out more about them so that I can hear them and the lyrics.

Who would have thought that you were a Jakaroo ever on a sheep and cattle station in Western Australia 30 years ago. Wow. How did you ever get to be sent to do that? Going back with your family must have been like turning a big page in your life and with your family there it must have been the best New Years ever.

All best,

Bentley


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940 by Will Swift


The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940 by Will Swift


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 05, 2009 03:18PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
A Vision Splendid - The Complete Poetry of A.B. "Banjo" Paterson by A.B. Paterson Complete Poems (A&R Classics) by A.B. Paterson

The Old Bush Songs by A.B. Paterson

Quite a bit is found on him Antoine. I will have to pursue some of these. Thank you.

[image error]




message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 06, 2009 01:55AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Welcome; nice to have them listed in the thread and referenced on the goodreads board. I have not read the book myself but it does look interesting. Thanks.

Bentley


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
What did everyone think of inauguration day? Thoughts.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 21, 2009 09:00AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq wrote: "Did not get to see the ceremony at the time but watched the replays. I am still getting used to President Obama's voice cadence- he still sounds like he is on the campaign trail to me. Felt very ..."

I was able to get to a television during the actual swearing in ceremony and what a sight there was as far as the eye could see; I watched the remainder of the festivities after the fact. I think with Senator Kennedy getting so ill at the luncheon that there were some unavoidable delays in getting the parade underway. That went quite late. And it was getting quite cold in the later afternoon; I felt bad for the bands, etc. I watched the inauguration ball activities sporadically in the evening. I too am interested in how long it will take me to get used to his voice cadence. But an historic day nonetheless and it is a great step forward for the country in some ways.




message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Antoine wrote: "As you know, I favoured McCain. This morning driving my kids to school, one of them asked if Pres. Obama would succeed to fulfill all his promises; I answered that he would not, since he promised t..."

Antoine, I doubted him as well and my favorite was Clinton. I had favored McCain after the primary turned out as it had; but I just could not embrace Palin. I agree that campaign promises are simply that. But he does have some strong leadership capabilities which I could not deny. It is everyone's hope that he gets the country back on course; Bush and Cheney I think veered off into far reaching places not really in step with the US previous policies. He is the president now and during these times, I also hope that folks rally behind him. We can only hope.





message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq wrote: "Speaking of Cheney-- what is a man with his cardiac history doing moving boxes!!! I hope he feels better soon (and Kennedy as well)."

I thought the same thing Oldesq; he is a very proud man so maybe Lynn Cheney could not stop him. I hope both of them do better. I was also thinking how the presidency itself ages them; it you look at both Bush and Cheney when they first went into office and then look at them now; the aging is dramatic as it has been with all of the occupants of the White House. I wondered to myself what the stresses of the office would do to Obama.




message 12: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments I was home sick, so could watch the whole thing uninterrupted. I thought it was quite thrilling, and when various media reporters were in the crowd, talking to ordinary people there, and asking why they were there, it was so emotional for most of them; they HAD to be there, even if very far back, and having to watch via the video screens. It was quite a sight when the camera showed the crowd cheering after Obama took the oath of office, and the quiet focus of the crowd as he spoke.
I was surprised that Ted Kennedy looked as well as he did; he will die fighting for every second. And he must have been upset later that another seizure took him out of the luncheon. He's going to hang around and work as long as he can; he's not used to sitting, and he is still very powerful in the Senate, a position he has earned. I grew up in Massachusetts, as you know, and we in the SE part grew up with the Kennedy family, so to speak.
I thought Obama's speech was great; he gave hope, and yet was stern at the same time.
Their daughters were darling; so well behaved. They reflect beautifully on their parents. And they did act age-appropriate - talked to each other and their grandmother; got restless but not out of sight with it, etc.
I, too, wonder what the stresses will do to Obama; I saw pics comparing how Bush and Clinton looked at the time of election, and when they left the White House. They definitely did age, but don't forget, both had 8 years there, too, during a time of life where you do really start showing your age.
I don't imagine Lynn Cheney could stop him from moving stuff, but it is very ironic that he had to come to the inauguration in a wheelchair, and it wasn't because of his heart this time.


message 13: by Erica (new)

Erica DuBois yeah, i don't either.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Dick Cheney is not my favorite person; that is for sure and I have never voted for Bush; but I do hope for the sake of his family that his health improves and that he can live out his days in Wyoming with his many friends. I am not in favor of many of his policies nor Bush; but I still wish them all well. I think that is what is wonderful about America; we can all vehemently disagree; but at the end of the day it is a free country and we can all agree to disagree. Even though I am not one of them; remember there are still almost 50% of the country who still voted Republican in this last election (McCain). With Bush's low approval ratings, he would not have won re-election if he had run again; of course he could not have even had the opportunity; because we have term limits now.





message 15: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments I agree, Bentley; Cheney deserves peace and some decent health in his retirement, even after risking it in his stubbornness and lack of common sense incident.
Andrew Giuliani most definitely deserved a major spanking for his shenanigans that day in public. (I believe there is a major difference between abuse and a spanking, and he was 'begging' for a spanking.)
He has grown up to be a big, strapping young man but has not totally lost his 'mouth' re his comments some years ago about the family divorce and his new stepmother, and a golf sport/academics conflict he had at Duke. While I admire Giuliani's deeds, especially during 9/11, both he and Donna were far from ideal parents during their marriage breakup. I believe Andrew just about said that he was glad he was in an out-of-state private school at the time, though he seemed to be worried about his sister, who I believe was at Trinity or some other Manhattan private school.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I really feel this year that all of the performance are good but I do not recall a great one; maybe 2008 was just that kind of a movie year. Not that the movies were not enjoyable; they were.

Has anyone seen Slumdog Millionaire yet. I was in line at the movies and it sold out. Was wondering if you felt that it was best picture worthy. I am looking forward to seeing it soon.


message 17: by Virginia (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:49AM) (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments My hope is that Mickey Rourke gets an Oscar to go with his Golden Globe. He was unreal in this movie; long overdue performance and accolades. But he has real competition and his past reputation might sway the Oscar voters more than the Golden Globe voters.
I think Kate Winslett with Leonardo DiCaprio were fabulous as a pair in Revolutionary Road.
I guess it is assumed that Ledger will get the vote for Best Supporting.


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Oscars:

Has anybody seen any of the movies that have been nominated? Slumdog Millionaire seems to be getting all sorts of praise.

Bentley


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq wrote: "I saw Slumdog Millionaire before anyone I knew had even heard about it. I read about a list of "sleeper" must sees some time ago. It is deeply affecting, disgusting, moving, pitiable, comic, shoc..."

Oldesq, just saw your comments; all I can say is wow. This is not normally the kind of movie which is considered best picture material...but then again No Country for Old Men won best pic last year. I guess I will have to see it but I have to say that I am a little apprehensive.




message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Virginia wrote: "My hope is that Mickey Rourke gets an Oscar to go with his Golden Globe. He was unreal in this movie; long overdue performance and accolades. But he has real competition and his past reputation m..."

Virginia, I was just hearing a commentary about him this evening. The Academy seems to have long memories you are right. I have no idea how I missed both your comments and Oldesq's. Sorry about that. I still seem to think that most of the performances that I saw were ho hum; but I have not seen Rourke.




message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I think I may go to the simulcast myself; and try once again to see Slumdog.





message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good for you; enjoy.


message 23: by Prunesquallor (new)

Prunesquallor | 37 comments Bentley, when you have a chance (if it has not already been done and I just have not found the proper spots) could you run up a "Quotation By and About Churchill"topic thread; and another thread just for "spoiler" discussion on "Churchill The Man Himself"? I found such topics very useful in the Herodotus discussion.

THANKS!


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I was actually about ready to open those up; but they are great idea. I think they also would be very useful. I will do that today. Both will not be spoiler threads but supplemental threads where we can discuss things in their entirety.


message 25: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments Am listening to Orfeo now; Blythe is stunning. Euridice is pretty good as well. Thank God for the Broadcasts, when you can't be there in person.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I have noticed that you can stream them to your computer as well. Video!


message 27: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments What did you think of Mickey Rourke's performance?


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Prunesquallor wrote: "Bentley, when you have a chance (if it has not already been done and I just have not found the proper spots) could you run up a "Quotation By and About Churchill"topic thread; and another thread ju..."

Prunesquallor, those threads have been opened this weekend; not sure if you are aware. Please feel free to post on both of them at any time. They are not non spoiler threads.




message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Weather:

Right now the weather in the metro NYC area is nasty, cold, snowy, slushy and now pure ice; what a combo. I think tonight with the frigid cold we should have an ice skating rink tomorrow. Not good; the weather is not tremendous at this point. I am not sure what the other board members are facing where they are but the last couple of days have been frigid.


message 30: by Prunesquallor (last edited Jan 29, 2009 07:50AM) (new)

Prunesquallor | 37 comments 62 degrees F in the valley, snow (where it SHOULD be) up on the mountain tops, a comfortable 12 miles away horizontally and 7,000 feet vertically. No lizards in the backyard yet, infallible sign of genuine Spring; but finches, thrushes, sparrows and cardinals are just outside, competing for the seed we scatter. Of course we'll pay for it all this summer with sledge-hammer days of 110 -- but I'm lovin' it right now!


message 31: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments Took a snow/vacation day yesterday, and watched 5 inches land in Yonkers, with a bit of ice underneath, and a layer on top with the sleet/freezing rain that came late morning. It was mid-afternoon before plain rain took over, and turned everything into slush. Housemate said walking home in the slush was slippery with black ice underneath.
The heavy wind of last night didn't dry everything out for this AM - there were black ice patches all over the road, and on still-wet-from-the-rain sidewalks. If one wants to walk/skate, you should try Fifth Avenue by Central Park - plenty of ice there in spite of the dirt the Parks Dept. laid yesterday/last night and even this morning. It will be around 40 by Sunday, so hopefully by then or before, all the black ice will be gone.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Prunesquallor wrote: "62 degrees F in the valley, snow (where it SHOULD be) up on the mountain tops, a comfortable 12 miles away horizontally and 7,000 feet vertically. No lizards in the backyard yet, infallible sign of..."

Prunesquallor, I am jealous.




message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq wrote: "Also in the NYC metro area-- skated to the end of my driveway to get the paper this morning- unintentionally of course the slush and sleet from late yesterday having frozen solid overnight-- what ..."

Hadn't thought what you would do for a crossword puzzle. (smile)




message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 29, 2009 01:16PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Virginia wrote: "Took a snow/vacation day yesterday, and watched 5 inches land in Yonkers, with a bit of ice underneath, and a layer on top with the sleet/freezing rain that came late morning. It was mid-afternoon..."

Hello Virginia,
I think you might be up our way in the metro NYC area. Sounds like you had the sleet combo after the snow with the ice forming underneath. It is very dangerous; be careful. Hopefully the warmer weather will do some melting by the weekend.

Be cautious while walking.






message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "Antoine wrote: "Just watched on TV the end of the Downfall (last days of Hitler's life in his bunker). Anyone intersted in WWII sould watch it."

I haven't seen it yet but I heard it was quite..."


Wow Kristen, Michigan is having even worst weather; take care of yourself. I cannot believe those temps!




message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Antoine wrote: "Just watched on TV the end of the Downfall (last days of Hitler's life in his bunker). Anyone intersted in WWII sould watch it."


Thanks Antoine for the heads up; it sounds good. And Oldesq thank you for pointing out that it is available for instant watching on Netflix. I will check it out.



message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "Luckily we're back up to the 'balmy' 20's this week. We've had approximately 50" of snow so far this year as well, it's been quite rough but perfect weather for staying inside with a good book. "

Wow once again...50' of snow and it is only January; two more winter months to go.




message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 01, 2009 10:36AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Heard that; I am sure it will be sold out. However, I think I would rather see the dogs at the Westminister Dog Show on February 9th and 10th.

Not to take anything away from Bruce who is great.

Do not want to sound sacrilegious; but I am not a football fan except for collegiate games; so no ads for me; would rather be watching an old movie or curled up with a book.


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq wrote: "Bentley, the old movie/curled up with a book is for when the football is on for me "

Were you rooting for the Steelers; I heard they won; understood...different members of the household like different things.



message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Good for you; getting Springsteen tickets. I have not set it up yet so don't worry.


message 41: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments There were no local teams in the Super Bowl this year, so I only kept an occasional eye on the score. But I did see the main part I wanted: Jennifer Hudson singing the National Anthem. She was fabulous, and this is one of the most difficult songs in the world to sing because of its range. She is truly back now. I've read that before this, Whitney Houston's performance in the 90's was considered the one to aim at, and Jennifer did and is now up there with Whitney.
I did want to see Bruce and hear his hits, but forgot to keep watch for his time.
During the game, I watched the CSI marathon on Spike, mixed in with Cold Case and Videos, lol.
I won't even try to get a Springsteen ticket, unless he's to be at MSG, and then it will be sold out quickly. I do have a Fleetwood Mac ticket for March at MSG, though. I'm happy.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 03, 2009 01:41PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hey Fleetwood Mac is good.


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod


Well that is good; your son is happy.

It could be that they are busy and this was just a mistake; I doubt that Kellifer for $298 total would have risked her reputation for that amount; she had to pay over $600 in penalties and interest and obviously would have done it. I think it was a mistake on her part; as far as Daschle I don't know. I think taxes since the beginning of this country have been a sore issue. I think if they pay them up; then I do not think it should be made a issue. What troubles me more is the lobbying for insurance companies; you can't work both sides of the issue. Not this one.

And you are right; this is not simply a Republican or Democratic problem; it is universal.


message 44: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 67 comments Hi everyone,

I am feeling pretty bad about dropping the ball on this book so far. I have a much better excuse this time than working too much. There is a new guy in my life and I've been enjoying having someone to spend time with and cook for. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I went through a very painful divorce a year ago and since then I've spent alot of time reading at home. Its kind of nice to get back out in the world again. I have started the book and am about 70 pages in. I'm flying to San Diego tomorrow so I should have plenty of time to catch up.

Sarah


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Great to hear from you Sarah and I am glad you are so much happier. I know you will catch up; sorry about your divorce a year ago.


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Oldesq, where is that? I would love to go. Send me a note.

Bentley





message 47: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (va-BBoomer) | 210 comments It's too late for me this year - have plans for today, but would love to know about this for next year (assuming it is done next year).


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I found out it is at the AMC theaters.


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Well what did you think about the nominees?


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Well it did!; I am not surprised; a lot of hype for it; plus it was different than the others. Kate Winslet can carry many movies and she won best actress, Sean Penn for his performance, Penelope Cruz (have never seen the movie she was in) and the departed Heath Ledger (was not sure about that selection); I think he did a great job but wonder whether a large part of it was in honor of his life and his overall contributions.


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