Saturday, December 06, 2003

A snowy afternoon with the Royal Navy

I neglected to mention that the silence of a winter snowstorm on 1st Avenue is periodically interrupted by the sound of multiple snowplow trucks passing by. These garbage truck-like behemoths sound like a tank battalion, and last night they went by about every half hour. Today they've been less frequent, but it's still noisier than I like. Of course, it's always noisy living above this avenue.

I spent the afternoon watching Horatio Hornblower: Duty, recorded a few nights ago on A&E. My father is a fan of the Hornblower novels and has recommended them to me on several occasions. And after seeing Master and Commander the other day, I thought I'd explore the British naval tradition further. The Hornblower movie was quite exciting, if the level of suspension of disbelief was sometimes high. At one point an artillery cannon on shore hits a moving rowboat with its first shot. I thought that you needed ranging fire first with old cannons like that. Otherwise, the production looked better than I expected for a cable network, and the actors (who have played these roles several times before) all were excellent. A&E is re-running another Hornblower movie tomorrow morning, so I'll get another opportunity to enjoy the story. I wouldn't have wanted to serve aboard a wooden vessel in that time period, given the many nasty ways a person could be maimed or killed in battle, but I like watching it on TV. And while I'll ask my father if I can borrow his 6-DVD set of the first series of Hornblower movies, I suspect he'll offer me some of his collection of the original C.S. Forester novels instead. If the stories are as good on paper as they are on screen, I'll take him up on it.

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