Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#288 Pope-Leighey House

"There are certain things a man wants during life, and, of life. Material things and things of the spirit. The writer has one fervent wish that includes both. It is for a house created by you."
- Loren Pope to Frank Lloyd Wright, August 1939

That letter is how Loren Pope, a Virginia newspaperman of modest means, convinced Frank Lloyd Wright to build for him an affordable custom home.
The resulting Usonian home, the Pope-Leighey House, is artful, modest, approachable, and open for tours. It’s one of Wright’s best. It’s in Virginia.

Yours in wishing my pen could be as productive as that of Mr. Pope,

Monday, May 26, 2008

#287 Then She Found Me

How far would you go to see a Colin Firth movie?

10 miles? 50 miles? 100 miles?

Don't forget gas costs $4 per gallon.

And don't forget you've got a lot of important stuff on your to-do list.

We threw reality out the car window this weekend and drove the 111 miles to see Then She Found Me. It was worth the trip.
Yours in recommending Then She Found Me if it is playing at a theater 'near' you,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

#286 Indy Super Bowl 2012

Congratulations to Indy on winning the 2012 Super Bowl bid!
In honor of the occasion, I'm sharing a family football photo taken in front of our Christmas cabin in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains. We had no Lucas Oil Stadium, so we had to resort to playing on the driveway.

Yours in celebrating any way we can,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

#285 Thirty thousand and two

Thirty thousand people congregated in Charlottesville this weekend for the UVa graduation. Sam and Shannon came to Charlottesville this weekend too and our focus was on competitions rather than commencements. ...who holds reference librarian contests? ...where's the Tribond championship? Sam or Kelly better at keeping a kite airborne when the wind dies? many people can fit in a cell phone booth?
After touring Monticello, lunching outside on the downtown mall, and walking the UVa grounds, we declare Sam and Shannon the winners of our inaugural "best graduation weekend visitors" competition.
Yours in enjoying an award-filled weekend,

Friday, May 09, 2008

#284 GPS - paper and electronic

In 2008, we wear GPS satellite receivers on our wrist to tell us where we are.
In 1927, we wore tiny paper map scrolls on our wrist to tell us where we were.
Yours in appreciating the power of maps, both paper and electronic,

Thursday, May 08, 2008

#283 The Weirdness of Fans

Our nephew, on the left below, is a 13-year-old rising filmmaker. He has just released his latest film, The Weirdness of Fans.
His most recent minute-and-41-second documentary is destined to become a classic. For a short time (or maybe forever), it is available for viewing on YouTube at The Weirdness of Fans. Even though our nephew is actively promoting this new film, my favorite remains one of his earlier works, The Handy Stick.

And for you aspiring film critics, here's your chance to shine! Just drop your review in the comments as we've done.

Yours in promoting young filmmakers that we're related to,

Saturday, May 03, 2008

#282 The White Nights in St. Petersburg

"From late May to early July the nights are bright in St Petersburg, with the brightest period, the White Nights, normally lasting from June 11th to July 2nd. The White Nights (Beliye Nochi) are a curious phenomenon caused by St. Petersburg’s very northerly geographical location - at 59 degrees 57' North (roughly on the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, the southern tip of Greenland and Seward, Alaska). St. Petersburg is the world's most northern city with a population over 1 million, and its stands at such a high latitude that the sun does not descend below the horizon enough for the sky to grow dark. In fact night becomes curiously indistinguishable from day, so much so that the authorities never need to turn the city’s streetlights on!" - from

We're off this summer to enjoy the white nights in St. Petersburg! Along with 600 students, we'll be sailing on the summer voyage of Semester at Sea to Norway, Russia, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Croatia.
Yours in looking forward to being unable to distinguish night from day,