Dark Horse

The documentary Dark Horse shows how a rag tag group of friends in Wales agree to pool their cash and breed a racehorse. Jan, a cleaner at a grocery store cum barmaid, has a fascination with breeding a thoroughbred. As a girl she learned to breed birds and whippets from there father. How much harder could it be to breed a race horse?

Jan’s friends and husband agree to contribute 10£ per week to the horse’s upkeep. The film consists of interviews on how Jan and the group made decisions and supported their horse Dream Alliance. Every step of the way, the group makes clever decisions to make the most of their money. For example, when choosing a trainer, Jan convinced the others that they had to get the best because a good trainer can do wonders with an average horse, but a mediocre trainer can ruin a good horse.

Dream Alliance surprises them all with his performance on the track and the film is a feel good movie with a healthy dose of realism. It’s fine for family viewing and I loved how these working class folks made a splash in the Sport of Kings.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Drinks

 

Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos of drinks.

For more black and white photos, click here.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Tools

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that depict tools. I’m sharing my set of tools for my computer. I got them at a good price from iFixit.com, a site that not only sells computer repair parts and tools, but offers clear directions on how to fix your PC or Mac.

(I see today – Weds. – that Ceen’ s prompt urged using colors. Obviously, mine didn’t but black, white and gray are colors and I’ve got lots more to blog about this week so there’s no time form for a change.)

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I’m sad that Halloween’s over. Soon the decorations will be gone, as will the vividly colored leaves. The rainy cold of November is hard for me to take.

I had three job interviews last week. Two were for part time jobs, with low pay. One of these was at the library for my hometown. It’s small and cosy and would be a good place to start working. Alas, it’s only 18 hours a week. It galls me because in Illinois for government jobs if you work 19 hours a week you get benefits. This rule turns out not to help anyone and it just means penny-pinching organizations will not give more hours to part timers. They’ll get the most they can. If you are scheduled to work 18 hours, you wind up working over 19 as you come into work a few minutes early and leaving a little late.

The other part time job interview was with an Apple Store. The two people I met were personable and authentic. There weren’t any trick questions. I felt at ease. However, I wonder if they’ll opt for someone with an “edgier” look.

The full time job was as an Instructional Designer for a manufacturer. The company makes steel pipes and fittings. It was a pretty good phone interview and I was blown away by the salary range — about double what full time librarians make. I wound up not getting called in for a face to face interview, which I attribute to my lack of industrial experience. As an Instructional Designer, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of the subject matter, the experts on the team do. However, there probably were candidates who did have more familiarity with that. The experience has made me think that Instructional Design is worth pursuing.

Saturday I got to see a wonderful production of Jane Eyre at Northwestern University. They have such talented students and the set and costumes were great. More on that soon.

I also saw three compelling films on DVD, all recommended by Sharon, my film guru in the A/V department at Skokie Public Library. They are: The Rocket, The Cave of the Yellow Dog and Kedi

I’m so tired of the election campaigning and the ads. I believe in democracy and care about elections, but the campaigns drag on and the TV ads are unrelenting. Tomorrow I’m an election judge, which I enjoy. I’ll also be in a safe, electioneering-free zone! I so look forward to respite from the ads, punches and counter-punches. I think there should be a few days before the 2020 would-be presidential candidates start their barrage.

I have just finished my television adaptation of an old (public domain) novel that’s another delightful American Downton Abbey. The bigger challenge is getting it to see the light of day, i.e. get produced. Now I’m going to start on a contemporary series idea. If I can finish that soon, I’ll have three submissions, two that are new, for the Act One Upfront. I hope to submit these before the Early Bird session is over.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I loved the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns where they display probably over 1,000 carved pumpkins that fit a variety of themes like sea creatures, optical illusions, monster couples, horror stories, sports, etc. The event typically sells out and this year was no different. We lucked out on weather as it was neither wet, nor cold. The event was a delight for all ages. Kudos to the garden for hosting this event.

I’d also tell you that I finished the Coursera.org called The Manager’s Toolkit: a Practical Guide to Managing People at Work. I learned a lot about hiring, resolving conflict, decision making and performance management. The six week course, which is offered throughout the year and takes about an hour a week, featured substantive articles and video content. I did gain insights that I probably wouldn’t have if I just searched for articles or books. I took the free version as I don’t think the certificate would help me that much for job hunting.

I’ve started an adaptation of a novel for the Act One Upfronts, a program for alumni where selected writers get to pitch their ideas to producers and agents. My aim is to meet the early deadline in November.

I’d toot my own horn to say that with only a few glitches I managed to change my MacBook Pro’s hard drive and so it operates much faster. However, I’d add that this did not fix the problem of the computer just shutting down at random times, not something I relish as it means I can lose pages of work I’ve completed. Fixing that issue, is my next challenge. Wish me well.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Strange Parts: Custom iPhones

This guy made his own standard iPhone a while back then he challenged himself to make a one-of-a-kind iPhone. In the top video you’ll see how he designed and got the back etched with a laser.

Below he shows how he got the back to glow and then me assembles the phone.