Saturday, December 24, 2016

New Festivals!

Thrilled to say that Why We Went to the Moon (2015) has been made an Official Selection of the RAW Science Film Festival in Los Angeles, the RapidLion Film Festival in Johannesburg, and at the Short Movie Club Festival in Minsk, Belarus.

Watch this space for more news about RAW Science.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

More Film Festival News

In the past few weeks my 2015 short Why We Went to the Moon, has been made an Official Selection at three very diverse film festivals. In late September, WWWttM makes its Canadian debut at the Hamilton (ONT) Music and Film Festival. 

Later this fall the film will screen as part of the Guam International Film Festival in Hagatna, Guam. I just received notice that the work has been selected by the Slash and Bash Film Festival of Topeka KS. This will be the twelfth edition of the festival. Prior attendeees have included Adrienne Barbeau of Swamp Thing fame.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mission accomplished!

Old Silver Beach in Falmouth. We have just about closed the loop here. OSB is on Buzzard's Bay. Continuing up the Bay would get us back to Bourne. (Remember Day 1?) Warm, but rough waters here at the mouth of the Bay.

Sixteen beaches in two days! And now for a relaxing dinner with friends and a long, dry ride home. Thanks to Jan for her more than generous hosting.

Only one more beach to conquer!

It's South Cape Beach in Mashpee. Number 15 out of 16. South Cape is just about the only public beach in the town of Mashpee. Run by the Commonwealth. They wanted to collect a parking fee but the machine was broken. Last of the Sound side beaches.

Faces glow as the end draws near

Beach #14, Craigville in Barnstable, accomplished with flair. My only memory of going on vacation with my hardworking father was coming here for a few days when I was very young. Nice big parking lot and more warm Sound waters.

Happier and happier

Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth makes #13. I lived up the street from this beach for two summers while in college in the 1970's. Betsy wisely decides that no picnic lunch will succeed at any place with the word "Seagull" in it. We make a picnic of tuna sandwiches and cokes in a nice little public park on the south side of Route 28 instead.

Beach 12 and it's almost noon

Lookin' good at Red River in Harwich. We have turned the corner and are heading west along Nantucket Sound. An entirely different aspect with some vegetation growing in the water at the shoreline, much calmer and somewhat warmer water. More people on the beaches too.

And another one

Happy faces at beach #10, Chatham Light. When we were kids and came to Chatham there was no beach here. Just the parking lot, a steep cliff and rocks. Several breaches of the bar since have made a sandy beach with dunes. They say that the beach here is often covered with seals - aka shark food.

Day Two: Beach 10

Nauset Light in Eastham. Another NPS beach working our way south. The Aquanuts look refreshed and ready for the day's adventures. Some of us should have used more sunscreen Day 1. (Hey, who is taking all these pictures?) (Note: At each beach we found willing photographers. Most were very amused at our trip. Many were European visitors enjoying our beautiful land.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nine is fine

Last of the day! Cahoon Hollow in Wellfleet. VERY steep walk down the cliff face to the beach. We could see a sand bar just off shore and a seal swimming outside the bar. Brian noted two shark spottings at Marconi, just south of here. We were VERY cautious in the water.

Nevertheless, this might have been my favorite of them all.  Clearest water. I always called it "Cahoon's" Hollow and always heard it called that. Sometime since the '70's it must have changed. Still early, but most of us got up in the middle of the night to start this trek, so we decide to head to the motel (Eventide in Wellfleet - two thumbs up!) for a "siesta."
Dinner at Mac's Shack to follow. (Mac's Shack gets at least two and a half thumbs up. Never had a better oyster.)

Beach 8: Halfway there

Head of the Meadow Beach - Truro. Another NPS beach on the outside. A really fine location heading south down the forearm of the Cape.

Number 7, check it off!

Race Point in Provincetown. Ran up Route 6 to the tip of the Cape so we could start to work our way back. Race Point is a National Seashore beach with a big parking lot. Great sun, sand and surf.

It's number six!

Nauset in Orleans and the Aquanuts are still going strong! Met Betsy's friend Ronna here who was just giddy in explaining to us all of the shark sightings lately. Tipped Brian to a phone app called "Sharktivity" with updated shark sightings. Stopped here for lunch to amortize the $20 parking fee collected by the Town of Orleans. This was the only fee, so the average cost to park was $1.25 per stop.  We are now on the outside - the Atlantic coast - the real ocean. Some wave action and a little colder water. (Pictured from left - Ned, Betsy, Cindy Brian)

And Beach five!

Brewster, done! We are at Ellis Landing Beach in Brewster, the last of the Bay side beaches for this trip. The public beach is right next to the ritzy Ocean Edge resort. The tide recedes a long way at this point and we are lucky to be here early.

An hour has passed

Another beach has been conquered.

Beach four: Corporation Beach in Dennis. The sunshine is warming both the air and the water as we work our way eastward along the inside of the Cape.

The early birds get the beaches

It is 8:35 and already the hardy crew has crossed off three beaches in the early morning sunlight.

Beach one. Whitehorse Beach Plymouth. Nice beach but forget about parking in season. There are about four public parking spaces in a tight residential neighborhood.

The life of an Aquanut is not without danger. Not the last shark warning we will see!

Beach two. Sagamore Beach in Bourne. This is still the Massachusetts Bay side and is the first of 15 towns in Barnstable County. Public parking and a seasonal snack bar.

Beach three. Town Neck Beach in Sandwich. Finally across the canal onto what I think of as the Cape. Chose this over Scusset as having a shorter walk to the water.

It begins!

It is 5:00am and the four intrepid Aquanuts are eager and alert (?) as their big adventure begins.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Aquanuts to attempt "Sixteen in '16"

Beginning at dawn tomorrow (September 12, 2016) a select group of Aquanuts will attempt to swim at sixteen Massachusetts ocean beaches in two days. These beaches will be in sixteen separate towns - Plymouth in Plymouth County and all 15 towns in Barnstable County.

The rough outline (subject to tides, weather, moodiness of participants, opportunities for clam rolls...) is to tackle a group of Bay side beaches as far as Race Point in Provincetown, and then come back down the Atlantic and Nantucket Sound sides of Cape Cod.

Live blogging will begin sometime after 5 a.m. (EDT) Monday

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Quick Impressions of Woodbine and The Queen's Plate

I had intended this to be more complete, but the last two weeks have been busy and distracting.

I like to go to the horse races. I like going as much as I like handicapping and wagering. Good thing, because (even with the help of some friends) my results the weekend of July 2 and 3 were disappointing.

What was not disappointing was the experience of Toronto/Woodbine. This was a very big deal event (The oldest continuously run sporting event in North America, for those of you keeping track.) and all the elements were in place. A modern, spotless venue, a festive crowd, and high quality races, including a number of turf stakes in addition to the feature.

While a cut below Royal Ascot or the Kentucky Derby (from what I can tell from watching on television) the crowd was stylin'. Foot fashion included a number of women in high, strappy sandals, like greaves. Men gravitated to the Bermuda shorts, blazer, man-bun end of the spectrum, though the "skingy brim" fad has not run its course up north and there were a number of very mis-placed top hats. Many young ladies were outfitted in clothing their grandmothers would have been scandalized to see at the beach on a hot day.

Attendance on Sunday was reported to be north of 35,000. Nonetheless crowd control was efficient, facilities like concessions and restrooms were adequate, and everybody I met must have gotten at least a B+ in "Plays Well With Others" when they were at school.

The Queen's Plate was attended with a fair degree of ceremony. Mounted lancers, the singing of O Canada (a great anthem), the arrival of the Royal representative, Lt. Governor of Ontario in an open landau, and a very impressive bandmaster. Not only did he conduct the band on horseback, but he saluted through the anthem in the same fashion. A triple threat.

I had the good fortune to run into racing journalist and publisher Ray Paulick and his wife Carol. Both were just as gracious as the native Canadians. Ray had presented the trophy to the owner of the winner of the King Edward Stakes on Saturday. Since this is horseracing, folks mostly called it "The King Eddie."

As I said, I like to go to the races. This means exploring new facilities. On Saturday the fatigue of travel was catching up with me and I decided to look at the casino which occupies the first floor. Just as garish and depressing as every other one I have ever been to. I took a stool at a vacant slot machine and watched the shoot-out at the end of the Germany/Italy match. While there, I saw a very ordinary middle-aged man come in and establish a position astride two machines. He fed a number of bills into each machine and pressed the buttons. Moments later, expressionless,  he repeated this exercise. Before the shootout was over, he did it again. It was at this point that I noticed the bills were $50's. This guy, affectless, poured $500 to $1,000 (Canadian) into the machines in about ten minutes. I don't get it.

In walking around the facility Sunday I saw a large number of well-groomed fillies with admirable conformation. Horses looked pretty good too.

Early action on Ticketmaster scored me a seat in the grandstand on Sunday. If this were Saratoga, your name would have to be Mary Lou Whitney, or maybe Larry Collmus to have the kind of view I enjoyed. The price was only $7.50 more than the walk-up General Admission price on the day.

While Equibase will tell you that Sir Dudley Digges won the Queen's Plate and paid $33.90, I will always remember Boeing crossing the line first in the Singspiel.

As if Brooklyn was not hip enough!

Glad to report that Why We Went to the Moon (2015) has been made an Official Selection of the BedStuy Pop-Up! (micro) Rogue Cinema Festival. This New York City premiere will take place at 33 Lafayette Ave Brooklyn on Friday August 27th.

Check these guys out at

Why We Went to the Moon will be making its North American Premiere earlier in the month up the Hudson in Ballston Spa NY at the Ballston Spa International Short Film Festival.
Screening will be at 7 p.m. on Friday August 5 at Ballston Spa High School.

Thanks to all the organizers of these Festivals. Hope to see you there!