Productivity Parade

Another busy weekend. Bob and I rode on Saturday (a mere 8.9 miles, as I was pressed for time), then Laura and I went to the Schoonovers’ annual “Sometime ‘Round Labor Day” Picnic and stuffed all manner of grilled food into our faces. She’s eating for two now. I’ve been eating for two since 1995.

On Sunday we bought a couple of new bookshelves so I’d have a place to put all of my books in the office downstairs. We spent most of the day sorting through and moving mountains of stuff from one office to the other. I also wound up mucking with the innards of Laura’s computer early, early Monday morning in order to give her a better modem and a working floppy drive. I don’t think I was at all successful in the latter effort, but wound up mangling my thumb in the attempt.

Yesterday we bought another bookshelf, this one to replace the bulky entertainment center “bookshelf” in the upstairs office. Laura spent most of the day organizing the metric ton of papers and such in her new office, and managed to make it look more like an office and less like a document storage closet. In the evening, I mowed the lawn, took out the trash and then inexplicably found myself watching the tail end of GSN‘s The Amazing Race marathon.

Still to do:

  • Buy and install some wall-mounted shelves in both offices for additional books and (in my case) toys.
  • Move the cedar chest from the guest bedroom to Laura’s office to make room for a crib. A crib. The kind in which a baby sleeps.
  • Get a damn haircut. Seriously, I’m way overdue.

Movie Review: Sahara (2005)

SaharaSahara (2005)

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz, William H. Macy, Delroy Lindo and The Merovingian.

Written by Clive Cussler (novel) and Thomas Dean Donnelly (screenplay).

Directed by Breck Eisner.

It’s been quite some time since I last read one of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels. I remember “discovering” them in my late teens and plowing through several of them (Raise the Titanic!, Iceberg and a couple others). Like most of what I read in those days, I can recall only vague details of the stories. What I do remember is that I enjoyed them a great deal. Dirk Pitt was the quintessential man’s man, and his best friend/sidekick Al Giordino was fiercely loyal and utterly dependable.

When I saw the trailer for Sahara several months ago, I was very interested to see how Pitt, Giordino and the other regulars from the series would translate to the screen. I don’t know that Matthew McConaughey would have been my first choice to portray Pitt, but I was more concerned that casting Steve Zahn as Al Giordino would relegate the character to comic relief. The Al that I remember was a short, stocky guy with dark hair and dark skin. The Al living the back of my head was usually quiet and serious; more Kato than C-3PO. In other words, not Steve Zahn.

Whatever Al should have been, I can’t say that I was too disappointed with Zahn in the film version of Sahara (I never read the book, to my recollection). As I expected, he provided a lot of comic relief, but it worked fairly well against McConaughey’s Pitt.

I remember even less about the Admiral Sandecker (William H. Macy) and Rudi Gunn (Rainn Wilson, who reminds me a lot of Steven Page from Barenaked Ladies) characters than I do about Giordino, so I don’t suppose I can make any kind of comparison between their film and print versions. On screen, I really had no problem with either performance.

Overall, Sahara proved to be an entertaining action flick; not great, but not terrible. I did think that the music was a bit too James Bond-y at times, and the hundred-fifty-year-old treasure a bit too shiny. More than anything, the movie made me want to crack open a Dirk Pitt novel and see whether McConaughey was really a good choice for Pitt and whether or not Al Giordino was as goofy as Steve Zahn.