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November 2009 Archives

November 1, 2009

Yanks Pull Ahead


After a slow start in this World Series, the Yanks have impressed the last two games to lead the Phillies 2-1. This third game could turn out to be the turning point, I think.

November 5, 2009

Yanks In Six!


I'm not always right, but I did predict the Bronx Bombers would win their 27th World Series crown in six games. Nice to see the Yankees win in front of a New York crowd!

November 3, 2009

Some Compelling History


Gordon Wood's Empire Of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 arrived today; it's the latest volume in the excellent Oxford History of the United States series. (The Stanford Department of History was nice enough to give all of us Coe Fellows last summer a copy of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe--another first-rate entry in this series.) Looking forward to digging into this book.

November 2, 2009

In My Steven Spielberg Mode Once Again


I've been shooting video of the Choate cross country team the past couple weeks with the athletic department's new Canon GL2 camera (we had to replace one that mysteriously disappeared in 2008). About five to six years ago, I was producing 45-minute films documenting the season, which took a lot of work. I may not be able to generate something that ambitious again, but I have enough footage now to create something worthwhile, I think!

November 4, 2009

Autumnal Splendor


There may not be a better place to be than in a New England boarding school this time of year when the weather is good and the foliage is in all its colorful glory.

November 5, 2009

Gotta Love The Kindle


Seeing a new installment in Greg Rucka's Atticus Kodiak series of thrillers is available, I ordered it on Amazon for the Kindle and seconds later it has arrived. Too cool!

November 7, 2009

Period Piece


Saw An Education down in New Haven tonight and loved it. It captures the feel of 1961 Britain brilliantly. I like what Nick Hornby did with the script. This is a thoughtful, well acted movie. Recommended.

November 9, 2009

The Fall Of The Wall


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the momentous day when the citizens of Germany started dismantling the Berlin Wall, the physical embodiment of a forty-year Cold War. I visited the Wall less than a year later and hacked out a souvenir chunk for myself. Amazing to consider how different the world is from what I knew a quarter-century ago!

November 6, 2009

HBO's Documentary On The 2008 Election


I've been enjoying the chance to get caught up on By The People this week, watching it in chunks as I've had time; the documentary first aired on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Obama's election. It is an inside look at the Obama campaign, starting before his announcement to run, right on through the primaries, and the general election fight. A political junkie's dream!

November 8, 2009

The Djoker Wins In Roger's Back Yard


Novak Djokovic ended Roger Federer's three-year reign as champion of his hometown ATP event. The Serb won the Basel final in three sets earlier today, raising his 2009 record against the world #1 to 3-2.

November 10, 2009

Zach Snyder Day on Blu-ray


Amazon delivered two "ultimate edition" Blu-ray packages today: 300 and the expanded Watchmen cut (including the "Tales of the Black Freighter" animation interspersed with the rest of the film). Coincidentally, both are Zach Snyder directorial efforts.


November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today, the 11th of November, has been variously known as Veterans Day, Armistice Day, and Remembrance Day. It marks the cessation of hostilities at the end of the First World War. Whenever I've traveled to U.K. schools with our squash teams, I am struck by the memorials observing this war on the campuses; Americans have never seemed to appreciate fully the impact this conflict had on the peoples of Europe. I personally like the name Remembrance Day, perhaps because I am an historian. It's one of those holidays--like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving--that asks us to step beyond ourselves, for however brief a time, and be grateful to others.

November 12, 2009

My Next Indulgent Purchase . . .

. . . may be one of these CanAm Spyders. Saw this one parked near the football field on my way from breakfast to the office this morning and had to snap a shot.


The yellow matches the color of my Zuma!

November 24, 2009

Canadian 360°


I bought some floor tickets for the return of U2's 360° Tour to North America next summer. Specifically, I am heading up to Montreal for the July 17 show. Haven't seen U2 from ground level yet, but now I have to figure out if I really want to wait all day for a great location near the stage, especially if that means giving up a day in a great city.

November 13, 2009

Random Fate

Because I have a Connecticut license to drive "public service" vehicles--i.e., the school's mid-buses and suburbans--I am subject to a regimen of random drug testing to comply with state regulations. Theoretically, once every two years, I am told to report to the campus health center to provide a specimen. But it's a random process, so I had to do this today for the second time in less than six months. Not a big deal, really, but kind of a hassle.

November 20, 2009

New Moon


I got dragged to see New Moon tonight, sharing a theater full of tween girls and a random assortment of other folks. I never saw Twilight nor read any of these books, so this was pretty much lost on me. I don't really see the appeal.

November 17, 2009

Special Features


Spent some time poking through the pretty interesting "behind the scenes" features on the just-released Star Trek on Blu-ray. Using my PS3 as a Blu-ray player has worked out great; I love the picture quality on the 52" flat screen.

November 15, 2009



Now that the fall season is behind me--and just a few more days left in the fall term--I have started to digest the first season of Fringe. This is a pretty engaging show, not unlike the early days of The X-Files or Alias.

November 22, 2009

An Addictive Show


I am really getting into Fringe. I am working my way through the first season on Blu-Ray discs and impressed with the acting, writing, and production values. I am a sucker for these shows with a mysterious mythology that's slowly unfolding over the course of many episodes. Now that the term has wound down, it's easy to get sucked into watching three or four installments a day!

November 23, 2009

Meetings: The Practical Alternative To Work!

A day full of meetings (starting at 8 a.m.--ugh!) and other work commitments, as people are trying to convene groups and advance various projects before vacation kicks in mid-week.

November 19, 2009

Good Music For Free (Sort Of)


Starbucks, in conjunction with (RED), is offering a limited-edition CD, All You Need is Love. For putting $15 on my Starbucks card (you can make a purchase in that amount, too) I got this album, which features recordings U2, Dave Matthews Band, John Legend, and Playing for Change, who give the Beatles' "All You Need is Love" a reggae makeover.

November 14, 2009

The Fall Season Wraps Up


It was a cold, wet day up in Massachusetts. The proximity of the cross country New Englands at Northfield Mt. Hermon School and the rest of the Choate teams at Deerfield meant I could spend time on both campuses. Happily, Choate dominated its rival in the Emerald City, winning all but one of the varsity contests and we had a good day in the season-ending cross country meet as well.

November 18, 2009

New John Mayer


I've been listening to the cuts from the John Mayer album, Battle Studies, a lot in the past 24 hours or so. Pretty solid collection of tunes here, in my humble estimation. I bought the iTunes LP version, so on my AppleTV I can access videos, interviews, a discography, and such.

November 16, 2009

Squash Season Begins


Two days ago was the last cross country meet of the regular season. Today, winter sports begin at school. So it's now officially squash season!

November 21, 2009

A Different Kind Of Saturday

I am about to start my 71st consecutive season of prep school coaching, so I am not used to getting many free Saturdays during the school year, especially after I became an athletic director in 1996. I just sent our girls' volleyball team up to the New England tournament and now have an unscheduled day ahead of me. (I might have gone up to New Hampshire to see our top-seeded team compete, but I have been on the road the past two days and am still trying to shake an annoying cough.)

November 24, 2009

On Top For 2009


By winning his second round-robin match this week at the ATP Finals--combined with Rafael Nadal's dropping a round-robin match to nemesis Robin Soderling--Roger Federer has clinched the #1 ranking in men's tennis for the year. Nadal had a chance to eclipse the Swiss player in this final event of the year, but now will finish as #2. Federer earned this honor with an impressive win over Andy Murray today.

November 25, 2009

Heading To Jamaica In March


I nailed down my airfare this week for the 2010 Choate Tennis spring break training trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. As I recall from my last trip to the island many years back, I will need to pack some sunscreen!

November 26, 2009

Hope You Have An Enjoyable Big Bird


November 27, 2009

Disaster Flick


Saw 2012 tonight: a film about--more or less--the end of the world, allegedly predicted by the Mayans centuries ago (which is not quite true, it turns out). This follows the formula of 1970s disaster movies such as The Poseidon Adventure, Airport, or The Towering Inferno: get to know a few key characters--some in positions of authority and some "normal folks"--and see what happens to them when calamity strikes. Modern CGI allows the audience to watch civilization's landmarks--such as the White House--dramatically obliterated, too. (The director, Roland Emmerich, is the same guy who helmed Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow, after all!) This was pretty much mindless entertainment, but fun to watch because of all the visuals: sort of a roller coaster ride with plenty of eye candy.

The Old Stomping Grounds


"Starting from fish-shape Paumanok" began one of Walt Whitman's poems, referring to the Native American name for Long Island. I spent the first eighteen years of my life on the Island, returning regularly until my parents moved to Connecticut a few years back. I am heading back there overnight since the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Meet will be staged at Sunken Meadow State Park--my high school course!--since Van Cortlandt is undergoing construction.

November 28, 2009

Foot Locker 2009


Two of the Choate boys competed in this year's Northeast Regional meet and it was WINDY, with gusts of over 30 miles per hour on the Sunken Meadow course. It was pretty cool to be back at Sunken Meadow. Not only did I run here countless times as a high school runner, but the 2002 Choate team won an invitational meet here in fine fashion.

November 29, 2009

Live Ella Fitzgerald


Nice piece in today's New York Times about the Twelve Nights In Hollywood release documenting 1961 and 1962 performances by Ella Fitzgerald. The iTunes download price was two-thirds what Amazon was asking for this Verve collection, so I am already listening to it as I write these words!

November 28, 2009

Snake And Cardiac Await


Cross country in Sunken Meadow State Park this morning: just like old times!

November 29, 2009

Getting To #1 The Hard Way


Congrats to Bob and Mike Bryan, who cemented the year-end #1 ranking in men's doubles by winning their last match of the season today. This was an improbable result, as the twins entered the ATP Finals event with a huge deficit in ranking points and then promptly lost the first of their round-robin matches. The pair won four in a row, though, and threaded the needle by assembling just what they needed to win the tournament and recapture the top ranking.

Not What We Expected


Nikolay Davydenko ended up hoisting the singles trophy at this year's ATP Finals. Facing a semifinal matchup against Roger Federer--against whom he was 0-12 before this week--it is unlikely he could have foreseen this outcome. Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic didn't even make it out of the round-robin stage. And U.S. Open champ Del Potro was just outplayed by Davydenko in today's final.

So the 2009 season ends with a few big questions looming as the 2010 Aussie Open awaits on the other side of the New Year:

  • Have we seen Roger Federer at his peak, and will he succumb to a gradual slide from the top perch in the men's game or will his greatness continue?

  • Can Rafael Nadal bounce back from a rough 2009 (or at least the last nine months of it) to rule the roost as he did in 2008?

  • Will the next generation--Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro--become consistent enough to challenge for the crown?

  • Were Andy Roddick's best chances for a second Slam title dashed on the lawns of WImbledon last July?

Time will tell.

November 30, 2009

This Passes For Excitement Nowadays!


This may not be exciting to anyone but me, but new pillows and flannel sheets have arrived in today's mail from Lands' End. I expect to be cozy and warm (and stylish) as the nights get colder this winter.

A New Decade Just Around The Corner


I remember when this book, 2010, was published. It was the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey and since it was set in the far-distant year of 2010, it seemed to us even more exotically futuristic. Well now 2010 is a month away and it sure doesn't seem as different as it was supposed to be.

Of course totalitarianism didn't arrive on schedule as detailed in 1984, there were no Eugenics Wars in the mid-1990s to produce a Khan Noonien Singh to challenge Captain Kirk centuries later, and Earth's moon didn't leave orbit a decade ago as Space: 1999 led us to believe it would.

I concede there have been technological advances that have changed how we live and I don't have to look very far to find them (my iPhone, the Internet, etc.). But where's my flying car?

About November 2009

This page contains all entries posted to As Far As You Know in November 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2009 is the previous archive.

December 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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