Wednesday, December 30

Holiday Tidings -

What happened to me? Where have I been?

Sorry about the Blog Hiatus! I had to find a new Internet Provider. The Clear company was acquired by Sprint and went out of business. I had been using a Clear Stick which looked liked a thumb drive and plugged into my laptop. I decided to continue with mobile broadband and had to make other arrangements.

I believe this was my longest hiatus away from my Blog since I started it. Not to worry - long time Bloggers don't just walk away from their Blogs and leave their readers hanging.

So, let's do a bit of catching up . . .

The long-awaited new episode of the Jesse Stone TV movies finally aired on one of the Hallmark cable channels this past fall. For aficionados of this series, it was like revisiting old friends, since the movies feature a continuous core ensemble of characters.

This series is more similar to the British TV Mystery Detective programs such as Vera, Inspector George Gently and DCI Banks than to current American versions of the genre.

The Jesse Stone stories are set in a small New England town which is a satellite of the Boston metropolitan area, comparable to the traditional English village settings. And there is a moody, atmospheric regional landscape featured, enhanced by the musical background.

The stories unwind in more than the usual American hour, affording more time for the exploration of motives and plot twists.

In contrast to the current American emphasis on technical evidence, this more old-fashioned approach relies more on human intelligence.

It is the only TV series I am inclined to binge-watch when the movies are aired one after another.

# Christmas was blissfully quiet in our house - for a change. We had a turkey with the traditional fixings and a sumptuous chocolate cake for dessert which one of the women baked.

A local TV chef shared her special recipe
for chestnut soup, which sounded interesting.

# There were the usual reruns and holiday movies on TV with only one surprise: a couple of obscure cable channels aired Hugo as a children's movie.

It is beautifully crafted cinema, but rather long, and I'm not sure it can be appreciated that much by children.

# Another surprise occurred Sunday evening on the CBS 60 Minutes program which featured an interview with Joaquin Garcia alias Jack Falcone. Who was Jack Falcone? He was like Donnie Brasco.

I must admit that I found it a bit unsettling to see him on national TV unexpectedly. Joaquin Garcia touched my life in a peculiar way. He led a special sting operation in my old neighborhood here in South Florida which extirpated my neighborhood cop and a few others.

One of the results of the ensuing mess was my tour of duty as a Neighborhood Crime Watcher in a rather blighted and dangerous area.

It is also notable because any mainstream media record of the episode is being inexorably erased from the Internet.

Archives of the local newspaper which covered the story, for example, may be removed from the Internet after a limited number of years.

Soon, there may be no trace of it for journalists, historians, or scholars to reference at all.

# A new fad seen around here this Christmas was a whimsical touch on automobiles - putting on a pair of stuffed brown reindeer antlers and a red nose on the front grill or hood ornament.

+ I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Let's try to count our blessings.