I'd forgotten that this weekend was the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Doesn't get much publicity over here on this side of the puddle, but at least Speed TV (Speedvision) bothers to show the whole thing live. There's six hours difference between Le Mans, France and Eastern Daylight Time, so when we ran into it around 9:15 pm EDT, it was 03:15 over there, just past the half-way point. Audi's three diesel R10's, cars 1, 2 and 3, looked to dominate. But Audi 1 was already out of contention, Audi 2 was leading by a comfortable number of laps, etc., etc. Just before I went to bed, 3am here, morning in France, Audi 2 lost a rear wheel and careened into a barrier. I remembered to turn on the TV at 9:15 am, not a normal Sunday occurrence around here, and the Audi 3 team was stepping up onto the podium. Looks like they finished in a pouring rain, and a Peugeot car was hot on the Audi's tail.
These days the four classes (Prototype 1, P2, GT1 and GT2) have a grouping of three lights next to their road numbers on the sides of the cars. If lit, they represent the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cars in their class -- red for P1, white for P2, green for GT1 and yellow for GT2, if I've got it right. I don't know who controls the lights, and I never saw any lead or place changes take place, so I never saw the lights change on a car. But I'm sure the pit crews are happy to see their car pull in for some gas and tires with one light lit. (grin)
Though it is outdated, I recommend the movie Le Mans for a taste of the flavor of the race. That and the somewhat melodramatic Grand Prix with James Garner stand as two impressive race car films, which probably could not be filmed in that manner today -- there's too much money at stake with all those cars.
Someday we'll remember the race is coming and camp out in the living room for an entire twenty-four hours... (grin)
Nancy Drew [PG]
But our Saturday was spent partly at Studio 28, because Mrs. Dr. Phil figured she had to go see the new Nancy Drew movie. My reluctance to go was not based on the subject matter, but because the producers had decided they needed a way for Nancy Drew to show up in modern L.A. (cringe) And dressed in 50s/60s retro fashions. (double-cringe) What is it about Hollywood that insists on wanting to go goofy with something that is well-established? Wasn't it The Brady Bunch Movie the other year which also featured a sort of temporal transplant cum fish-out-of-water story? And the Dragnet movie with a cartoonish SNL-alum Sgt. Friday. Why can't they do things straight? I saw a movie poster for the upcoming live-action Underdog movie. (sigh) Some icons need to be left alone if they aren't going to do them right.
However... if you can get past some of the unreasonable gags they've set up, Nancy Drew is probably one of the best PG movies you're going to run across this year. It's cute, it's clever, it's fun. The music isn't obnoxious. And it's all about the sleuthing. Okay, the opening scenes back home are a "little much", shall we say. But it gets better. And Nancy isn't a throwback to her roots in the 30s. She's tech savvy and clever and... only a wee bit naiive. The books, after all, were updated over the years. While my preference would've been for a "classic" Nancy Drew set completely in the 30s or 50s, Nancy and the odd assortment of characters who surround her are engaging and except for The Really Bad Guy, even the ones making fun of her retro outfits early on come around to accept Nancy.
Emma Roberts stars -- she's the daughter of Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts -- and is so on and perky and nearly too cute for words. Without being sickly saccharine. And that's a major plus here, given the minefields they could be plowing through. Nancy's "boyfriend" Ned is usually described as long-suffering, and he is, but there's a short/wide young man named Corky who is intrigued with Nancy and nearly steals the movie.
Recommended -- but if they do a sequel, please do it straight and away from La-La Land.
We've hit the part of the summer where the A.C. runs around the clock on the weekend -- we shut it off when we're not around -- and though it cools below 70degF at night, it's far too muggy to let any of that air into the house if one wants to actually sleep at night. I keep laughing at the forecasts, which go on about highs in the upper 80s and then pass thermometer after thermometer running 91... 93... 95... 96degF.
Both movie theatre and Meijer's on Saturday were not keeping up with the heat indoors. Our checkout girl at Meijer's was using a little battery powered handheld fan -- with LED lights providing patterns around the hub of the fan blades.
Why is it that you cannot shop at Meijer's without doing two complete run through the store left-to-right and front-to-back? (grin)
The Bill Arrived
We use one credit card not for credit, but simply to put a lot of our monthly purchases onto one bill and score a modest rebate at the same time. The June bill spiked up, a direct result of a summer of above-$3-a-gallon gasoline. What I resent is that this additional money we're forking out ISN'T GOING TO ANYONE OR FOR ANYTHING THAT I GIVE A GODDAMN ABOUT. It isn't saving the environment, it isn't making us cut down on the bulk of our gasoline usage (given my commute), it isn't being used to invest in alternative fuels or new refineries to alleviate the false shortages we're dealing with here. It's lining the bloody pockets of oil companies and their stockholders. I mean, when I buy a Sony laptop or an Apple iPod, part of the decision I make to buy something is supporting a company I believe did a good job and will presumably do something else good for me later. The oil companies are not cutting it for me in this regard.
And I resent making these bastards rich at my expense.