Irate Movies

'Anabelle' sequel a massive improvement

Growing up, my grandmother had these two porcelain dolls. More...

Posted 8/17/2017 02:48 PM


Good fences, part 4

I wrote a Bramblings column a while back about good fences making good neighbors. More...

Posted 8/17/2017 02:04 PM


Sit back and enjoy the ride

I got up early to write. Instead, I cleaned up in the kitchen, folded some laundry, worked on some farm paperwork and did everything but write. I made myself some breakfast, fully intending to write as I ate. It did not happen. More...

Posted 8/10/2017 03:27 PM

Notes from the Garden

Getting ready for winter

Here it is, early August and I’ve just picked my first tomatoes, but I’m already thinking about winter. More...

Posted 8/10/2017 12:14 PM

Irate Movies

Part spy thriller part action film, 'Atomic Blonde' excels at neither

“I don’t care how you get it, who you upset, or where it takes you. Bring it home.”Above is a line straight from the graphic novel “The Coldest City,” by Anthony Johnston, and it perfectly sums up how I felt about its adaptation into “Atomic Blonde.” More...

Posted 8/3/2017 02:21 PM



Looking around the landscape here at the farm, the vegetation mix has subtly changed over the last few decades. More...

Posted 8/3/2017 01:23 PM

Irate Movies

'Dunkirk' is Christopher Nolan's masterpiece

What makes a movie a masterpiece?Since the very first full length narrative feature film “The Story of the Kelly Gang,” there have been a few movies classified as masterpieces.High on the list are “The Godfather Part II” and “Casablanca.” Others may More...

Posted 7/27/2017 03:20 PM


Diversity among raspberries is important — just like people

I have raspberries on the brain and will have for another week or two, as the raspberry picking is in full swing. More...

Posted 7/27/2017 02:01 PM

Book Nook

Go for a remarkable trip with 'Miss Norma'

The car’s all packed with your gear.The tent, sleeping bags, extra pillows, there was room for everything you’ll need and some things you won’t. You’ve really been looking forward to going. More...

Posted 7/27/2017 01:42 PM


Lessons from the berry patch

Raspberry season, when I have a moment to think, always brings back a flood of memories. More...

Posted 7/20/2017 01:50 PM

Irate Movies

Newest Spider-Man film the best iteration yet

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, dominating the box office like only a spider can.Yes, I remembered to put the hyphen in.“Spider-Man: Homecoming” finds Peter Parker returning home, eager and enthralled by his experience with the Avengers. More...

Posted 7/13/2017 02:05 PM


Full circle

This is one of my favorite times of year. The blood, sweat and tears of the past several months comes to fruition in the farm fields. Lettuce develops big, beautiful heads from almost invisible seeds that were planted in cool soil. More...

Posted 7/13/2017 01:30 PM

Irate Movies

'Baby Driver' a contender for driving movie of 2017

"It's funny honey, you don't care. You never listen, to my prayer"For me that prayer is the smell of gasoline and the sound of burning rubber. More...

Posted 7/6/2017 02:36 PM


The what-ifs of haying

I’ve learned that you must “seize the moment," “make hay when the sun shines” and take advantage of every moment. More...

Posted 7/6/2017 02:11 PM

Irate Movies

'47 Meters Down' fails to match the original summer shark movie

Every summer, without fail, there is a shark movie.Last year it was “The Shallows” starring Blake Lively. This year it is “47 Meters Down,” starring both Mandy Moore and Claire Holt. More...

Posted 6/29/2017 03:04 PM

Book Nook

'Be Free or Die' a slavery era thriller

It was a sure thing.A can’t-miss, a safe bet that you couldn’t possibly fail — or could you?  Isn’t there always a danger of losing in a gamble, or at least not winning?  What kind of odds would make you take a risky bet? More...

Posted 6/29/2017 02:23 PM

Irate Movies

'Cars 3' fails to completely satisfy young or old viewers

Speeding into theaters last weekend was “Cars 3,” unseating “Wonder Woman” as top grossing movie for the weekend in the U.S.You can always count on a kids movie to make money and add to what has been a lackluster box office so far this summer. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 02:26 PM


Time and growth

It is amazing to watch things grow. Seeds planted just a couple of weeks ago are sprouting in some cases and are well on their way to maturity in others. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 01:59 PM

Notes from the Garden

Primroses and other great plants for shade

If I were to be consigned to life on a remote island, what one flower would I bring along with me? That’s a bit like asking you which child is your favorite, or which piece of music you could listen to for all eternity. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 03:22 PM


A spring delay

We farmin’ folk have enjoyed this week’s weather. The heat wave and lack of rain early in the week made it possible to finally get onto some land that was too wet to work.    More...

Posted 6/15/2017 01:39 PM

Notes from the Garden

Mulching: Hay, straw and more

If weeds are the bane of the gardener, mulch is the gardener’s friend. Not only that, mulch can hold in moisture in dry times, and give a nice, tidy look to the garden.Let’s start in the vegetable garden. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 01:36 PM

Book Nook

'The Cook Up' a raw look at the drug trade

Everything has a price.You say you’ll never sell your granddad’s watch, your dream car, or that collectible you coveted because it’s priceless — until it’s not, because everything is for sale. But in “The Cook-Up” by D. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 01:25 PM

Irate Movies

'Baywatch' reboot makes a bad story worse

Do you remember the 90s?Do you remember what you were watching in during the 90s?Was “Baywatch” on that list for you? More...

Posted 6/1/2017 04:35 PM


The bear facts

The local media outlets have been abuzz with stories about bears. Bears with cubs in Amherst have been a sensation for weeks on a local social media site, and recently hit the airwaves with a video submitted to the television news station. More...

Posted 6/1/2017 04:10 PM

Irate Movies

'Alien: Covenant' the best prequel in the franchise

Is there any more of an iconic scene in sci-fi than the Alien “chestburster” scene? Living up to the standard set by that scene and how iconic it has become over the years is a hard feat to accomplish. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 02:24 PM


Thoughts while weeding the rhubarb patch

One of my least favorite farm chores is weeding. We have already entered weeding season, with rhubarb ready to pick and hoop-house greens, onions and radishes already needing to be picked. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 01:42 PM

Notes from the Garden

Shady ladies: Hostas and other wonderful shade plants

It took me a long time to appreciate hostas. When I was a young gardener, I wanted bright flowers with lots of pizazz — roses, daffodils, peonies. More...

Posted 8/17/2017 02:17 PM

Book Nook

Settle in for an enjoyable ride with 'The Long Haul'

From here to there.That’s where you need to move your stuff: from point A to point B. Take it out of one place and put it in another, possibly many miles away. More...

Posted 8/17/2017 01:57 PM

Irate Movies

'The Dark Tower' fails to do the source material justice

Roughly 10 years ago, I read the first book in “The Dark Tower” series, “The Gunslinger.” I would go on to read the second book in the series, “The Drawing of the Three,” which is where it went off the rails for me and I never read another. More...

Posted 8/10/2017 12:34 PM

Book Nook

'This is How We Do It' a good introduction to the world for kids

This morning, you woke up to a big day.Like most days, you’ll eat breakfast and get ready to leave the house. Every hour is then packed with fun and excitement before you go to sleep in a comfortable bed tonight. More...

Posted 8/10/2017 12:05 PM

Notes from the Garden

8 chores for August

My late older sister, Ruth Anne, used to say, “The weeds always win.” And she was largely right. We all get tired of weeding after a few months of it. More...

Posted 8/3/2017 01:32 PM

Book Nook

Explore history's tidbits with 'On This Date'

It’s going to be a great day.You woke up this morning (always a good thing) and you’ve got big plans, which is exciting. There’s food in the fridge, gas in the tank, and a roof over your head. More...

Posted 8/3/2017 01:16 PM

Notes from the Garden

Vines worth growing

As a boy I was fascinated by the idea that Tarzan the Ape Man could move through the jungle above the forest floor by swinging from vine to vine. I doubt that I ever saw a real Tarzan movie, but my imagination was good. More...

Posted 7/27/2017 03:05 PM

Notes from the Garden

How to minimize tomato blight

John Denver introduced me to a Guy Clark song called, “Home Grown Tomatoes” with a refrain that goes, “Only two things money can't buy. That's true love and homegrown tomatoes." How true. More...

Posted 7/20/2017 02:03 PM

Book Nook

'When the English Fall' a unique post-apocalyptic perspective

Your parents taught you to share.You have enough to give some away. Don’t be stingy or selfish. Be good. Be generous. Be friends. More...

Posted 7/20/2017 01:39 PM

Notes from the Garden

12 fabulous annual flowers I love to grow

I want colorful flowers growing alongside my front walkway every day from May to November, and generally have them. I do so by growing annual flowers. More...

Posted 7/13/2017 01:45 PM

Book Nook

'Woolly': A look at pushing the boundaries of genetic science

Your closet is filled with yesterday’s fashions.You’re reluctant to donate a thread of it, though, because hey, they could bring back skinny ties, Hammer pants, or shoulder pads any day now, right? More...

Posted 7/13/2017 01:21 PM

Notes from the Garden

Veggies you can plant now for fall eating

Most gardeners don’t think of July as the time to plant seeds in the vegetable garden. But it should be. This is a good time to plant many things including broccoli, Happy Rich, lettuce, kohlrabi, fall radishes, carrots and beets. More...

Posted 7/6/2017 02:19 PM

Book Nook

The history and future of marketing examined in 'The End of Advertising'

Say goodbye to your money.You need that new gadget, so adios.  New bling is too irresistible, so ta-ta.  Upgrade that device, see ya later salary. More...

Posted 7/6/2017 02:05 PM

Notes from the Garden

When good flowers get out of control

Every garden has a few thugs. Nice flowers with handsome flowers that somehow get too rambunctious and take over. They can choke out other plants as easily as weeds. That happens, in part, because we are reluctant to pull them. More...

Posted 6/29/2017 02:30 PM


Mountains out of molehills

“The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get,” my Mom has said on occasion.   Yes, indeed. My list of late has been long, very long, and it seems I never get accomplished in a day what I hope. More...

Posted 6/29/2017 02:18 PM

Notes from the Garden

5 things you MUST DO in the vegetable garden this weekend — or soon

Okay, nobody likes to be told what they have to do, or when they have to do it, so I apologize for telling you what to do. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 02:08 PM

Book Nook

'Dreaming the Beatles' the ultimate Fab Four fantasy

There are places you remember. More...

Posted 6/22/2017 01:45 PM

Irate Movies

My top 10 documentary films

Every now and then you just have to switch things up. After last week and the splendor that was “Wonder Woman,” I did not want to see a bad movie. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 03:47 PM

Book Nook

'Once a Cop' a story of two halves

You’ve changed your mind.That’s allowed, you know. You can go in a different direction, pick something else, try another thing, have do-overs, or have two. More...

Posted 6/15/2017 01:32 PM

Irate Movies

'Wonder Woman' wraps great storytelling with a powerful message

“Wonder Woman” is simply put, wonderful.In a column or two I have stated that the single most important element to a good movie is a great story. Even more than that — a great story with substance, with sincerity. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 02:25 PM


When to drop a dime

Farm life demands much driving. It seems that one or the other of us is always on the go. We run to pick up feed for animals. We drive to hardware stores for supplies. We trek to parts stores for vehicle and equipment repairs. More...

Posted 6/8/2017 01:19 PM

Notes from the Garden

The Chelsea Flower Show

It would be a bit of an exaggeration to say that I have always wanted to attend the Chelsea Flower Show in London. But not much. More...

Posted 6/1/2017 04:19 PM

Book Nook

'The Broken Road' an intriguing rags-to-riches story

The road is a long one.Like most, it’s rarely smooth and straight. Signs warn of curves and detours ahead, rough terrain, and rest stops for the weary — there are potholes, and jagged asphalt. More...

Posted 6/1/2017 04:01 PM

Notes from the Garden

It’s (almost) time to plant tomatoes

Maybe you’ve already planted your tomatoes. I have not. I’m waiting until June 10. By then, even in my cold Zone 4 garden, I know there will be no more frost and the ground will be above 60 degrees. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 01:54 PM