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VirReturnsFromMinbar PM
Joined Jan '19

Finished watching seasons 1-10 of Columbo for the first time and it was very interesting. Peter Falk played the lead role of Homicide Detective Lieutenant Frank Columbo, although his first name was never said in any of the episodes, but his first name was displayed on his badge and he did tell a military academy instructor that he did have a first name, but only his wife called him that. The Columbo t.v. show was a bit different than the standard detective t.v. shows of today in that the commission of the crime was shown in the first act and the person who committed the crime was also shown and Columbo himself was never seen until the second act. A recurring theme of that show was his awful looking Peugeot car, which was his own car, equipped with a police radio, which he would drive to the scene and the characters in every episode would take digs at his car and ask him if he had another car, which he did, but his wife was the main one that drove it. The car would often break down or have issues, but Columbo would take it to the shop to get fixed. The car had a lot of issues in the later seasons, backfiring at least four times at one point in one episode. The episode would then go on to show Columbo arriving on scene, very often half asleep if it was a late evening or early morning call out and he would often have a hard boiled egg in his pocket and would ask for coffee, and whoever had arrived on scene before him would go and get it, and then once he had his coffee, he would be ready to listen to the preliminary briefing of what had happened and then he would meet with the survivor of the crime if there was a survivor and then meet the suspect and he would eventually wear the suspect down by being superficially pestering and relentless in questioning suspects and he would often visit suspects at their place of work or at their home, often multiple times during the case, and the relentless approach would often unsettle suspects so much that they would outright confess or self incrimination would come into play. He would often distract suspects by asking to sit behind the wheel of a luxury car if they had one and a lot of other little things as a distraction. His wife remained unseen for the whole series, but he would mention her in every episode, and if it was an early morning call out, there was always a hard boiled egg in the fridge that he could take with him. He never carried a gun in the first few seasons and would make up a lot of excuses as to why he didn't have one. He had a large extended family besides just his wife and kids and later his dog, which they named Dog, and his wife was very busy with her bowling league and other activities. Columbo had a good group of officers working with him and they would take very good care of him when he got called out to very early morning crime scenes and they would go off and get coffee for him and wait for him to have his hard boiled egg and coffee before giving him the preliminary briefing about what happened. His various catchphrases were "just one more thing", "there's something that's bothering me" or a variation of that "something's bothering me", and "my wife" and he would talk about something that his wife was doing that day or if the suspect was an actor, actress or author or any sort of famous person, he would call her from the scene and tell her who the suspect was, but she was mostly not at home and would be away from the house for the day doing whatever she was doing and he would do his preliminary work on the case and go back to the station to file his initial report and work the case for a few days until he resolved it. He was always very calm and even tempered and rarely, if ever, displayed anger towards his prime suspect, except with a couple suspects, and he was very sympathetic to any survivors the victim left behind. Another of his trademarks was a beige raincoat covering a suit and tie combo and in the pilot episode, tan shoes, which were later black, and the raincoat and suit and tie combo never varied throughout the whole series, except for a new raincoat in "Now You See Him", which his wife gave him as a birthday present and he showed up on scene wearing it and couldn't think in the new raincoat, so he took it off and then he tried to ditch it during the whole episode, but was able to retrieve the original raincoat later. He would also have a cigar on him, not always lit, and would smoke one during the initial briefing at the scene and then smoke another throughout the case, although there were some episodes where he attempted to quit, and then another episode where he was already smoking in the morning and he remarked to a witness "I don't know why I smoke these things so early in the morning, they taste terrible." He was very healthy during the whole series, despite him working nights and showing up half asleep to crime scenes. There were a couple episodes where he had allergies and was sneezing a lot, but he wouldn't take allergy medicine because it would just make him sleepy, and that was not good while working cases. There were also a couple episodes where he had colds, but they never slowed him down, and at least one episode where he ate bad clams at a restaurant the night before a case and was drinking Pepto Bismol throughout the briefing and Graham McVeigh commented on him looking queasy and he said "it was just something I ate, sir. I'm fine." and was nearly back to normal when he went to check on Graham later that evening. He also spoke Italian fluently since his family was originally from there, and had an encyclopedic knowledge about a lot of things. Despite often getting called out very late at night or early in the morning to crime scenes, he would eat very well. One of the places he would visit for lunch or a snack was Barney's Beanery, a casual restaurant with a pool table in back. He would often eat chili and he was very particular about it, complaining to Barney once that the chili he was eating tasted like it was nine years old. Barney himself would often hear about the case from Columbo himself or on the news and help Columbo work it out if he was stuck. Columbo mostly drank coffee and whoever arrived on scene first would go and get it for him, and he would drink that and be ready to listen to the initial briefing of what happened. He would also drink cream soda, or ginger ale or tea as well and never drank on duty and only drank wine when he was off duty at home or out to eat, so he was very disciplined in that regard.

Just spent a week in Vail, Colorado as usual and loved it. Went horseback riding for the first time in many years and also saw lots more dogs than we did last year. My favorite was a Biewer Terrier puppy named Carter. We found out about the breed the next day when Mom and Dad and I went for a walk at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and we were sitting down for a minute and one of the local women was walking her two dogs and we complimented her on how well behaved they were and noticed that the second dog was a different breed and she told us what it was and said that a friend of hers was a breeder of those dogs and another friend of hers, who worked at Cos Bar, the perfume and cosmetics shop down the hill from our hotel, would bring the puppies with her to work, so we were in and out of Cos Bar every day except Sunday to play with Carter or his brother Louie. They were both very cute.

Went on our revised Viking Homelands cruise with Viking Ocean cruises last month and it was a very interesting cruise. We were not required to test for COVID before we left, which was a nice surprise, and masks were optional on the ship. My favorite excursion was the farm visit in Bergen. Our host came down to meet the bus after we arrived and we went for a walk on his property and saw the Dole Horses, Fjord Horses, Spel sheep and some chickens. The excursion would have been a bit more fun if it hadn't been raining. Our group was then invited into the main house, where we had tea or coffee and pastries and our host and the two women that worked with him showed off the Bergen version of the Bunad, which is their national costume, and it was very versatile. Our host also played the piano and sang, mostly Edvard Grieg's works, and we hadn't expected he would do that. He also talked about how he got his start with Viking and he had been doing a cruise with another cruise line and the cruise had returned to Bergen and he had seen Viking Star in the harbor and he had been so excited that his heart had skipped some extra beats and then he had gotten in touch with Torstien Hagen, the founder, who had gotten him set up as an excursion stop on the Bergen leg of that trip. We had post extensions in Bergen and Oslo and the breakfasts at both hotels were very elaborate, chipotle sausage, baked liver pate, black sausage, various breads and pastries and other things at the hotel in Bergen and basically the same thing at the hotel in Oslo. The train ride to Oslo was very scenic and we passed the Finse Plateau, which was the name sake for Karine Hagen's dog. The cruise would have been better if most of the passengers hadn't had COVID. There was no COVID testing, unlike the mandatory testing when Viking first started cruising again after they had to stop cruising during the pandemic, only if a passenger reported symptoms, and even then, if a passenger reported symptoms, they were encouraged to believe it was something else, or they could test for COVID, and if they tested positive, they would be confined to quarters for five days or they could just suck it up and endure it, so a lot of people chose not to report that they had COVID because they were afraid of the medical staff, so COVID was allowed to run wild on the ship, which took most of the fun out of the cruise, but nobody ever got very sick, just a lot of cold like symptoms for most people. The cruise was modified from the original stops in Finland, Estonia and Russia because of Russia's involvement in the invasion of Ukraine, and there were a couple Ukrainian crew members aboard, in addition to the usual ones from Malaysia, South Africa and a couple from Europe.

Still discovering lots of interesting shows on my Netflix app. Started watching Anne With An E a couple weeks ago and am loving it. R.H. Thomson, the new version of Matthew, is very good, and since he is a native Canadian, he fits the role so well. The new version is quite a bit different than the old Sullivan Entertainment version, but it goes into a lot more detail. One of the major differences is that Matthew did have a heart attack, but under different circumstances this time around. The Dal Marie, a cargo ship, went down in a storm on the way to the Canadian mainland, with the Cuthbert's crops aboard, so Matthew lost all the money from the crops, so he took out a loan to save Green Gables and didn't tell Marilla about it and they had a lively discussion about it and he had his heart attack and collapsed, but since the doctor was sent for so quickly, he survived and is now back on his feet. He was very upset with Anne a couple episodes ago because she wrote back to Jeannie, his old girlfriend, as him and he found out about it and scolded her about it and that upset her, but he forgave her for it. One of my favorite moments was when Gilbert was making fun of Anne for her red hair and she smacked him across the face with her slate, cracking the slate, which was a departure from the old Sullivan Entertainment version where she broke her slate over his head, breaking her slate in the process.

Merry Christmas 2022, everybody! Hope you're all staying warm during this time of cold weather.

Finished watching season three of Anne With An E a couple weeks ago and it was very good. At the start of the season, Anne had her 16th birthday and had a very simple birthday with Matthew and Marilla and then had a more extravagant one with Diana and she was also longing to find out more about her parents and went back to the orphanage where she was raised after her parents died and the matron said that the mice had gotten into the records, which was discouraging, but Cole, a former classmate of hers who had moved to Charlottetown to live with Diana's aunt Josephine said that Anne could always go back next week and check the records at the church, which she did, and Marilla was not supportive of Anne's quest for researching her parents and Anne also made friends with a little girl her own age in the local Indian tribe and Marilla had another blow up and put Anne on lockdown and forbade her from going back to Charlottetown. Anne and her fellow students were also studying to go to Queen's College and one of Marilla's blow ups with Anne sent Anne to the barn to cry it out and Matthew found her in there and Anne said that she was looking forward to going to Queen's because, at the time, she wouldn't have to tolerate Marilla anymore and Marilla wouldn't have to tolerate her being around anymore and Matthew was so steamed at Marilla for upsetting Anne that he went into the house and he forgot to take his boots off and he took Marilla to task for upsetting Anne and they eventually worked everything out and Anne found that her parents had come from Scotland and they had indeed died when she was a few months old and that was a relief for her because she thought she had made that up. Anne's impending departure for Queen's was a bit of a challenge for Matthew and he inadvertently insulted her by selling Pride, one of their cows, to the Andrews, and the night before Anne's departure to Queen's, Matthew was settled in for the evening and Marilla had been in town to go to the post office because she had written to Mrs. Thomas, the woman Anne had been a servant for before being moved on to the Hammonds and then to them, had written her back and said that she might have some leftover things from Anne's parent's house, but wasn't sure and not very coherent in the letter and Marila inadvertently made Matthew feel a bit worse about Anne leaving and he broke down crying and Marilla knew that she had pushed him a bit too far and sat down on the bed with him and rubbed his back a bit and said that she knew that he wanted everything to work out for Anne and that she knew he was suffering due to her getting ready to leave and Matthew said that he didn't want Anne to worry about them and that he wanted her to step into the shoes of her own life and ran out of words and he was still upset and Marilla told him he needed to talk to Anne and tell her how he really felt and he was not into that because he was still too upset and Marilla patted his shoulder and then left him on his own to get settled in for the evening. A couple months later, Marilla and Matthew were back in Charlottetown visiting Anne at her boarding house and Matthew had put together a travel fund for Anne from the sale of Pride the cow so Anne could come back and forth to Green Gables whenever she liked and then explained to her that before she had left, he had been afraid to show her how he had truly felt about her leaving because he didn't want to hold her back, but in doing so, hurt her feelings and apologized and said that he would miss her every day and that he loved her and that resolved things between them and Anne and Matthew hugged and they both cried a bit. That was the last season of that show before it got canceled by Netflix. The 2019 version of Matthew is an improvement over the 1985 version of him because 1985 Matthew was not very emotional, but he always went out of his way to spoil Anne, and in that version, he had a heart attack after Anne had done her entrance exams for Queen's and died in the field in her arms. 2019 Matthew is more open emotionally and very devoted to Anne and got her the puffed sleeve dress she had been wanting, going into Carmody and enduring a rather uncomfortable reunion with his former girlfriend Jeannie. The 2019 version of Matthew was also very shy around women he didn't know, and also had a bit of anxiety in certain situations, including season two's Christmas pantomime that the children were performing. He was also very calm and mellow and even tempered and didn't mind having Anne around in the very first episode. One of my favorite parts of the first episode was when Marilla had gotten Anne settled in for the evening and he was smoking his pipe and reading the newspaper and Marilla said "that's a filthy habit." and Matthew said "I expect a man's got a right to smoke when his mind's burdened." which was his very subtle way of rebuking Marilla for being so severe with Anne earlier. When Marilla finally found her amethyst brooch that Anne said that she had lost, she ran out to tell Matthew and he went tearing off on the horse to make it to Bright River train station and missed the train and continued on horseback until the horse got tired and he had to leave it at the White Sands hotel and some friends of his were taking some food in their cart to the harbor in Charlottetown and he hitched a ride in the back of their wagon and was able to sleep and he finally arrived and was looking for Anne, even going to the extraordinary length of selling his pocket watch and then, since there is so much traffic in Charlottetown, he was trying to cross the road because he had seen a girl that looked like Anne and was almost run over by a cart and backed up and hit his head on a carriage window, breaking the window and knocking himself out in the process and the woman whose carriage it was took him in and even though he had a head injury, he was very determined to find Anne and arrived at the orphanage and since they were locked up for the night and he hadn't eaten anything and was still injured, he ran out of energy and fell asleep on the front door step. He eventually found Anne at the train station and she did not want to come back with him and she was causing a scene because she wasn't keeping her voice down and somebody asked if there was a problem and Matthew said that there was no problem and that Anne was his daughter and saying that came as a bit of a surprise for him, but Anne finally calmed down and hugged him and they made it safely back to Green Gables, which was a relief for Marilla, who had been sick with worry, but unable to express her emotions, which stemmed from the time that their brother Michael had died at a young age and their mother had taken to her bed with melancholia, which was just a fancy way of saying severe depression back then, and Matthew had shut down emotionally as well, so Anne coming into their lives was very healing for them.

The most recent show on d.v.d. that I watched was seasons 1-8 of Inspector Morse. That show depicted an older policeman in Oxford, England in the '60's called Endeavour Morse, although he never said his first name, and the young policeman he worked with, Robbie Lewis. Morse was often irritated by Lewis, either by something he did or said, culminating in him saying "Lewis..." admonishingly, but they actually got along very well. Morse had a lot of health issues at the beginning of season eight, finishing up the season with a heart attack. My favorite moment from the last episode was when Lewis came to look in on Morse at the hospital and he started fussing about Morse's pillow being lopsided and tried to fix it, but Morse said "Lewis, just leave it." and then Lewis had to leave to go to the airport to capture one of the suspects in their case and he didn't want to leave Morse, and Chief Superintendent Strange said "put your skates on, matey. I'll stay with him." and Lewis went and Strange was as good as his word, staying with Morse and then after Morse died, Lewis came back to the hospital and had a few minutes alone with Morse's body and kissed him on the forehead and said "goodbye, sir." and the last scene of the series was a shot of Oxford, shrouded in fog. That was a fitting end to the series.

Just started watching seasons 3-4 of The Crown and it was fascinating to see the actress that portrayed Princess Diana.

Went on our Alaska cruise with Viking earlier this summer and had a great time. Most of the crew was new, including the Captain, but a couple of the housekeeping staff from our Australia to Thailand trip earlier this year were onboard, so it was fun to see them again. One of my favorite places to visit on that cruise was Ketchikan. I had already been there on Princess cruises a couple years ago, but it was nice to be back. One of the things that we purchased was a taxidermied ram's head, which was delivered yesterday by Saul, the shopkeeper that Mom and Dad met, and he and his guys brought the ram's head yesterday and even though I hadn't met Saul before, he gave me a hug and he and his guys got the ram's head all set up and he also brought some Alaskan salmon for us and Mom gave him some peanuts and candied jalapenos in return. The Eris variant of COVID paid the ship a visit and people were coughing with abandon, which was gross.

We adopted two kittens on Monday as company for our older cat Kip and Saul had a great time playing with them yesterday.

Wow, I can't believe I've been on this site for sixteen years already. I've actually been on this site longer than that, since before there were profile hit counters. That's the longest I've ever stayed on one website before.

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