Broom is pretty

When I cycle around Vancouver Island, Broom is my favourite vegetation. Bright yellow. Cheery. Everywhere. 

Unfortunately many folks hate it. Broom spreads rapidly and densely, chokes out native species, and prevents reforestation. It is a fire hazard & toxic to animals and the soil. People volunteer to go cut it down while in bloom.

Broom is the English version of an olde German word for “thorny shrub”.

Use of the branches of these plants for sweeping gave rise to the term broom for sweeping tools in the 15th century …

Broom is pretty much a weed. It’s sometimes used for wasteland reclamation (e.g. mine tailings) and sand dune stabilising.  It grows in poor soil.

On the east and west coasts of North America, common broom (Cytisus scoparius) was introduced as an ornamental plant …

It is known in much of the pacific northwest as Scotch broom. It has become a naturalised invasive weed, and due to its aggressive seed dispersal broom removal has proved very difficult. …

 

 

The Last Dance – Michael Jordan documentary

Fantastic. 

Director Jason Hehir did a superb job putting this together.

Over 500 hours of all-access footage was filmed that final season. Jordan refused to let it be used until 2016.

The Bulls are one of the few professional sports teams I watched EVER. I mostly boycott pro sports. Brian and Jane were living in Chicago during their dynasty. A connection.

And my annual vacation week in Mazatlan coincided with the NBA Playoffs each year.

At the time, my favourite player was Scottie Pippin. I wish he would have negotiated a better contract.

Jordan was a clutch competitor. We all knew that. But the documentary revealed to me just how much a jerk he could be to teammates. I wouldn’t buy the man a drink.

My only complaint with the documentary is that I would like to have seen more of Dennis Rodman.  He contributed more than what we saw in The Last Dance.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The Irishman

It was fun to see Robert De NiroAl Pacino, and Joe Pesci together.

Pacino plays Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa

The acting is surprisingly minimalistic and understated. Even Pacino … for Pacino.

As a movie, I still found it too long. Too slow.

The Irishman is a 2019 American epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese …

… based on the 2004 nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.  …

With a production budget of $159 million and a runtime of 209 minutes, it is among the most expensive and longest films of Scorsese’s career.

Pesci was offered his role a reported 50 times before agreeing to take part, at first saying he did not want to do “the gangster thing again”, while Scorsese tried to persuade him The Irishman would be “different.”

De Niro played a big part in convincing Pesci to take the role, telling him “We gotta do this. Who knows if there’ll be anything after?” …

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

VIDEO – my 23 days cycling Patagonia in 4 minutes

For more than 3 weeks I cycled the Dictator’s Highway in Chile.

The Carretera Austral runs about 1,240 kilometers (770 mi) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins through (sparsely populated) rural Patagonia. …

This area is characterized by thick forestsfjordsglaciers, canals and steep mountains. …

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Starting with a side trip through the island of Chiloe, I made it as far as Coihaique. From there I continued on to the far south on foot (and bus).

See my trip report for the 23 days.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Literature. Nominated for the Man Booker.

Ondaatje is a fantastic writer. But would his latest be a pleasure to read?

Yes. Most of it for me.

The end was a bit of a letdown.

It’s non-linear reflections of a young man looking back at his upbringing in wartime London. What really happened when his parents left?

Michael Ondaatje is at the peak of his powers with the story of a man piecing together his troubled adolescence

Guardian review

Trump’s “America First”

The America First Committee (AFC) was the foremost United States non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II.

Started on September 4, 1940, it was dissolved on December 10, 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor …

Trump does not know history. But I can’t believe somebody didn’t let him know he was using the pacifist catch phrase.

“This is not ‘America First’”: Right wing rages at Trump over Syria strike