July 11th, 2014


HBO 27 -- Braveheart -- Virus

Twenty-seventh session: Braveheart (conclusion)

Always hard to watch the execution, but it leads to Robert the Bruce finally taking charge.

The score is one of a series of great scores by James Horner in the 90s -- Braveheart, Titanic, Zorro, Apollo 13, Deep Impact -- which I have on CDs and often use for writing music. Zorro is very good for grading. Zzz-slash! And the photography, the Highlands, the huge armies and battle scenes. Historically inaccurate? Sure. So what. Hollywood cares not for such things.

Definitely a movie to see over and over.

The listing in the printout didn't give a year, just a title and a running time, so I wasn't sure which of several possibilities I'd get. Turns out it actually wasn't an Ebola, anthrax, plague or killer flu at all. No, we are the virus.

I first ran into this 1999 film maybe two years ago on cable. Huge Jamie Lee Curtis fan, excuse me, The Right Honourable Jamie Lee Curtis, Lady Haden-Guest. And Donald Sutherland makes another HBO Film Series appearance as the drunk and greedy captain of an ocean going tug. Plus one of the Baldwin boys.

It's a terrible movie, with a few cool visuals. They had a real satellite ship, the USNS Vandenberg to stand in for the Russian ship prior to it being sunk to create an artificial reef, I believe. Apparently some of the Cyrillic lettering is still on the ship.

Next up The Princess Bride, because... oh hell, who needs a REASON?


Complication on Wednesday, or at least a potential one. We're doing daily bandage changes on my foot and part of the dressing is a little piece of hydraferra blue (or something like that). But when Mrs. Dr. Phil unwrapped my left foot, she couldn't find the little piece of packing. We know there is some undermining around the wound -- not serious at last report -- but could the piece of packing have slipped under the thick heel skin? That could cause problems like when a surgical sponge gets left inside.

So the Wound Clinic uses a room nearby to examine HBO patients. The doctor and nurse came over from across the street and I had my foot looked at. Couldn't find the piece. As near as we can tell, it probably fell off while Mrs. Dr. Phil was dealing with some tape stuck to her gloves and tossed with the old dressing on Tuesday, so there was nothing to find on Wednesday. The hydraferra blue is moistened with saline solution before being applied and the deep color drains out as the blue is absorbed. There was a little piece of hydraferra blue in the trash can, which was still suspiciously dark in color, so I think this is a good explanation.

And everyone said I did the right thing in calling the problem in. I don't need any more setbacks. (grin)

Dr. Phil

HBO 28 -- The Princess Bride -- Willow

Twenty-eighth session: The Princess Bride
On the greatest films ever made -- perfect cast and every single line is quotable. The Science Fiction list includes Fantasy, but this movie wasn't there. Instead it was listed under Romance. What? This movie is about pirates, sports, fighting, fencing, torture, miracles, revenge. It isn't about kissing. What were they thinking? Oh wait, it's listed under Comedy. Never mind...

It not a long movie, which makes it being edited for television even more of a tragedy. Last summer Hope College's Knickerbocker Theatre ran a series of free films and Mrs. Dr. Phil and her middle sister went off to see it. I, of course, didn't have a summer last year, so I missed it on the big screen.

Mandy Patankin, Andre the Giant in his greatest screen role, Cary Ewles, Robin Wright, Carol Kane & Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, Fred Savage -- the decision to make a wrapper story that explicitly mentions the book. Priceless.

"Promise me anything... I want my father."


I know a number of people who love this 1988 collaboration between Ron Howard and George Lucas, with yet another James Horner score. Back then I was in grad school -- not sure that we saw it in the theatre. I think we rented it in Laurium, but I think the VHS tape was damaged. So I don't remember much about this film besides a viewing on cable maybe ten years ago.

Opens with a sort of Moses story and the biggest village of little people I've seen since Oz or perhaps Middle Earth.

Didn't get too far, so finish tomorrow.


This must be the week for entropy. Yesterday it was the case of the missing packing. Today it was the hole in the PICC line dressing, as one of the sutures decided to poke through. Spectrum Home Nursing came by in the morning to redo the dressing. Some six weeks in, the stitches are just deciding to itch. Have checked the area around the PICC line and there's no redness, no swelling, no heat.

Tina was going to come close to 8am, so I'd have plenty of time for the morning IV. Alas, no good battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Tina called saying she'd gotten a page regarding a more serious case. No problem, but I didn't get to start the IV until after 9:30am.

And it was a gas day, so I had to fill up the Blazer. Regular was $3.56.9/gallon, less a 5¢/gal discount coupon. Naturally, just four hours later, as I looped through Allendale to pick up some Flonase, gas dropped to $3.47.9/gal. Of course it did. At least Mrs. Dr. Phil got the lower rate.

Dr. Phil