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

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

Book Nook &nbsp

'The Weekend Effect' a guide to time off for workaholics

Zzzzzzzzzip.That was the sound of your last weekend as it passed by, but it probably doesn’t matter anyhow: it was packed with work, to-dos and obligations, kids sports, and more work. Sometimes, you wonder why you even bother. More...

Posted 5/25/2017 01:34 PM

Notes from the Garden

Tips for growing better roses this summer

My grandmother and mom grew roses, even though their roses were often plagued by bugs and diseases. More...

Posted 5/18/2017 01:47 PM

Irate Movies &nbsp

'Guardians Vol. 2' makes for a decent sequel

Sequelitis is a disease that renders sequels unwatchable and often worse than the original.The list of those claimed by the disease is extensive: Jaws 2, Weekend at Bernie's 2, Grease 2, Hangover 2 and especially 3, Caddyshack 2, and the Exorcist 2, More...

Posted 5/11/2017 02:35 PM


Journey of the cucumber

I was shocked at the price of cucumbers when I went shopping early in the week. The store I was visiting was charging over $2 for each cuke. More...

Posted 5/11/2017 02:01 PM

Irate Movies

'The Circle': A look into the dark side of social media

Ever wonder what would happen if Google and Facebook merged and social media took over every aspect your life?Well, that is just the sort of premise in the plot of “The Circle.”“The Circle” stars Emma Watson as Mae Holland. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 02:10 PM


Nipped in the bud

We just finished the spring pruning of the raspberry patch. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 01:44 PM

Childhood science hero Bill Nye returns in Netflix series

There are wide variety of things in life that bring out passion in people and it is different for everyone. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 04:22 PM


Procrastination blues

It’s easy to procrastinate. Everyone has those little chores, those nagging details that should be attended, spouses who harp on a to-do list. Trim needs to be painted. Weeds need to be pulled. Lawns need to be mowed. Animal pens must be cleaned. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 12:55 PM

Irate Movies &nbsp

Terrible writing leaves 'Fate of the Furious' a dud

|width=317|height=317|link=node|align=right]High-octane, adrenaline-soaked action. Words that aptly describe every Fast and Furious movie in the franchise, well except maybe “Tokyo Drift.”   More...

Posted 4/20/2017 01:55 PM

Bramblings &nbsp

Timing is everything

Just as I interpreted last week despite the peepers not peeping in the farm pond, spring came. Longer sunlight hours brought on a whole set of events that bring spring. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 01:31 PM

Book Nook

'Wild Nights' a look at the way we sleep

Covers on. Covers off.That was you all last night — too hot, not warm enough. The pillow was hard, the mattress was soft, the neighbors were loud, the room was stuffy, you were thirsty, and something was tickling the back of your neck. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 01:19 PM

Notes from the Garden &nbsp

Planting for the unique umami flavor

Umami is the fifth flavor we humans can detect, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It is much more difficult to describe or quantify than the four standard flavors because we haven’t been raised to recognize it. More...

Posted 4/13/2017 10:49 AM

Irate Movies &nbsp

Americanized film a 'ghostly shell' of source material

As a child, my brothers and I were never above a little whitewashing.“Ghost in the Shell” suffers from a different kind of whitewashing. More...

Posted 4/6/2017 04:07 PM

Bramblings &nbsp

Signs of Spring

It’s hard to figure when spring will begin and winter will slip away here in the northern part of the country, despite the calendar declaration of spring a couple of weeks ago. More...

Posted 4/6/2017 03:30 PM

Irate Movies &nbsp

Artistic direction makes 'Get Out' a must-see

I would like as many people as possible to "Get Out" and go see this movie. The film shows why movies should be made. It shows what is artistic and creative in a director’s or person’s vision behind a movie. More...

Posted 3/30/2017 02:28 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


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

Irate Movies

The future is now: AI writes short films

What is the future of filmmaking?   Creative thinking is often considered a predominantly human trait, but what if it wasn’t?    More...

Posted 5/18/2017 02:28 PM

Book Nook

Explore the possibilities of extraterrestrial life with 'Aliens'

Who’s out there?On a dark, stormy night, you might ask yourself that if you hear scratching at the door. More...

Posted 5/18/2017 02:05 PM


What a difference a day makes

I was absolutely shocked to stumble out to the kitchen still groggy from sleep and glance out the window to snow covering everything on Mother’s Day. More...

Posted 5/18/2017 01:34 PM

Notes from the Garden

Spring lawn care

Lawns? My philosophy is this: If it’s green and you can mow it, it’s a lawn. Dandelions? Who cares? Their blossoms are cheerful. Creeping Charlie, plantain? Pests, but not awful. And so on. More...

Posted 5/11/2017 02:15 PM

Book Nook

'Into the Water' an unsettling novel that sucks you in

Row, row, row your boat.That’s not the only way to get around in the water, but it could be the driest one going gently down the stream. More...

Posted 5/11/2017 01:54 PM

Notes from the Garden

Cold frames and hot boxes

I’m ready for spring. I’m ready to start growing n- and eating - fresh veggies. Most years I wait until the soil warms up, but this year I planted lettuce, cabbage and spinach in April. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 01:55 PM

Book Nook

'Beartown: A Novel' by Fredrik Backman

Your favorite team cannot be beat.As soon as they hit the court, field, or rink, they play their hearts out to win. And win. And win. More...

Posted 5/4/2017 01:33 PM

Notes from the Garden

A taste of spring!

I’m already eating a few of my own fresh vegetables: ramps, dandelion greens and sorrel are ready, and soon will come those perennial delicacies, asparagus and rhubarb.It took me nearly 10 years, but I now have a patch of ramps that produces enough o More...

Posted 4/27/2017 01:04 PM

Book Nook

Business book features tips to unlocking 'Superfandom'

Collect them all. More...

Posted 4/27/2017 12:49 PM

Notes from the Garden

How to prune your blueberries

I recently spent half a day helping a friend prune her blueberries. Some rows hadn’t been tended too in a couple of years or more, and had gotten very bushy and overgrown. More...

Posted 4/20/2017 01:39 PM

Irate Movies &nbsp

'Prison Break' reboot off to a disappointing start

The brothers are back.Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield are back, along with Sarah Tancredi, Fernando Sucre, Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin, and unfortunately so is Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell. More...

Posted 4/13/2017 03:58 PM

Bramblings &nbsp

Spring craziness

It seems crazy, but we boiled sap on Wednesday. The two days prior had reached temps in the upper 70s, so the last thing we anticipated was a sap run. More...

Posted 4/13/2017 10:42 AM

Book Nook &nbsp

'The Unmade Bed' a meandering look at the roles of men and women over time

Your great-grandfather was a manly man.He got up with the sun and worked hard all day; with his hands and by the sweat of his brow, he made sure the family was safe, sheltered, and fed. More...

Posted 4/13/2017 10:34 AM

Notes from the Garden &nbsp

How to make a spring wreath

Mud season for many gardeners is bleak. Raw days of gray and rain mean it’s not fun to spend time outdoors, so we wither on the vine. More...

Posted 4/6/2017 03:39 PM

Book Nook &nbsp

'This Is How It Always Is' by Laurie Frankel

You must not tell.You cannot breathe a word to anyone who doesn’t already know. That Which Cannot Be Spoken must remain buried, put away, frozen, lips sealed, or in the closet. More...

Posted 4/6/2017 03:19 PM

Notes from the Garden &nbsp

Books by Sydney Eddison

I’m a fairly simple person. I like dogs and flowers and good food. Having friends is important. I like to grow vegetables from seed, and I revere trees that have survived longer than I have. More...

Posted 3/30/2017 01:45 PM