Archive for August 2016

Brewing   Leave a comment

A rainbow follows a fleeting storm at Colorado National Monument. Photo by Dawn Morrow. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/1/16.

A rainbow follows a fleeting storm at Colorado National Monument. Photo by Dawn Morrow. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/1/16.

Posted August 21, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2   2 comments

 

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MrsMowryI feel like I must start this post with a disclaimer…I am an avid Harry Potter fan. I spent my childhood attending midnight book releases at Barnes and Noble and sitting in lines for hours to see movie premieres. I recently cleaned out my closet and found more than 10 Harry Potter shirts…and forced myself to donate the one that really didn’t fit. It wasn’t easy. With all of this in mind, it’s hard to write a non-biased review of a new addition to a series I already love, but here goes nothing.

 

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

I’ll start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself into the Harry Potter world once again. These are characters I know and love, and some of my issues with the plot were easy to ignore when I had the chance to read these old names on new pages.

The script picks up right where the books finish, opening with the Potter and Granger-Weasley families shepherding their children onto the Hogwarts Express. From there, we’re taken on an adventure across time, literally, starring Harry’s moody and petulant son, Albus. A member of Slytherin, Albus has been convinced by Delphi Diggory, cousin of Cedric Diggory, that Cedric’s life needs to be saved in order to get some of the blood off of Harry’s hands (um, what?).  In order to carry out this death wish, Albus, Delphi, and Scorpio (Malfoy’s son) break into the Ministry of Magic to steal one of the only remaining Time Turners from Hermione, the Minister of Magic. From here, the story takes on the qualities of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The trio travel back in time three times, suffering the consequences that occur when a small change in the past drastically changes the future: Voldemort World, Cedric the Death Eater, and Ron and Hermione’s tragic lost love. Albus and Scorpious must find a way to fix the future with the help of our original favorite trio, while facing a new and incredibly dangerous enemy, one who was a friend.

While each separate adventure had its own bit of fun, I found the idea of the plot to be a little contrived. I know that this is a script, and therefore has a different life when it’s not being performed on a stage (as it is intended), but the idea of Cedric becoming a Death Eater because he was humiliated by his loss at the Triwizard Tournament seemed ludicrous to me. I also really hated the idea that Ron and Hermione would have remained friends just because they didn’t have a fight at the Yule Ball. At times it felt like this play was created purely to help us wade in a bit of nostalgia, bringing back old characters we loved and loved to hate and giving them a moment to shine again. The worst of which was Ron Weasley: we all love Ron because he’s a bit of a doofus. However, Ron’s character in this script was a complete joke. He was turned into an idiot with terrible timing, a feeble demeanor, and sub par dad jokes. After seven novels, I felt like Ron was not a static character. As he faced each challenge with Harry and Hermione, he grew to become a more skilled and capable wizard. Now he feels like the version of Ron we met on the Hogwarts Express as an 11-year-old, in other words, a buffoon. Not my favorite.

Some of the altered futures however, were amazing to imagine. When Umbridge shows up in Scorpio’s face, demanding he stop fooling around in the lake and help her celebrate Voldemort Day, I was giddy. Yes, that meant the tragic death of everyone we loved from the original series, but the world was so dark and fascinating. The Nazi-esque Death Eaters chanting “For Voldemort and Valor!” To one another was pretty exciting. I’m not a Slytherin myself, but I enjoyed the new version of Hogwarts, complete with muggle murder dungeons and Dementors as castle guests.

In the unaltered reality, I loved Hermione in all of her glory. She felt like the star of the play, and after the horrible race issues surrounding the casting of her role, I felt even more pride for how amazing her character is. Hermione is the new Minister of Magic. She’s powerful, but kind, skilled but humble, and a caring boss. She understands the seriousness of the situation and uses collaboration to save the day. She is by far the best character of the series, and luckily HPATCC doesn’t change that.

Finally, and most importantly, I loved that this play was still filled with magic. It is no easy feat to put on a show filled with magic spells, disappearing humans, flying wizards, and characters walking around stage with their exact replicas, and yet, HPATCC does it all. Reading the script, even with its flaws, made me want to see the show even more than I already did. From what I’ve heard, it is a truly magical experience.

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Posted August 20, 2016 by mrsmowry in Reading

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The Mountains Are Calling   Leave a comment

Sunset over California's Lassen National Park. Photo by Beth Young. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/9/16.

Sunset over California’s Lassen National Park. Photo by Beth Young. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/9/16.

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Lassen Volcanic National Park

Snow!

Posted August 19, 2016 by henrymowry in California

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A Rocky Sunset   Leave a comment

A Utah gem worth exploring is theGrand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, shown here at sunset. Photo by Phill Monson. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/9/16.

A Utah gem worth exploring is the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, shown here at sunset. Photo by Phill Monson. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 8/9/16.

Posted August 18, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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A Rocky Sunrise   1 comment

The first sun rays at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah cast light and shade over a stone forest of amazing rock formations, called Hoodoos. Photographer Daniel Madrigal was at the park to shoot this inspiring scene. “The shadow, texture and color explosion that is Bryce is absolutely stunning. The light changes by the minute. One could spend a lifetime there and never capture the same thing twice.” Photo by Daniel Madrigal. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/6/16.

The first sun rays at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah cast light and shade over a stone forest of amazing rock formations, called Hoodoos. Photographer Daniel Madrigal was at the park to shoot this inspiring scene. “The shadow, texture and color explosion that is Bryce is absolutely stunning. The light changes by the minute. One could spend a lifetime there and never capture the same thing twice.” Photo by Daniel Madrigal. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/6/16.

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Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoo Sunrise

Hoo Doos

Snowy Hoo Doos

Posted August 17, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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The Ocean   Leave a comment

Oceans cover over 70 percent of our planet’s surface and contain 99 percent of the living space on earth, making them hotspots of biodiversity. The National Park of American Samoa – a remote park located on four volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean – protects coral reefs, rainforest and a strong Samoan cultural component. Coral reef studies at the park are helping scientists understand how warming waters are affecting these and other reef systems. Photo by National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/4/16.

Oceans cover over 70 percent of our planet’s surface and contain 99 percent of the living space on earth, making them hotspots of biodiversity. The National Park of American Samoa – a remote park located on four volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean – protects coral reefs, rainforest and a strong Samoan cultural component. Coral reef studies at the park are helping scientists understand how warming waters are affecting these and other reef systems. Photo by National Park Service. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 8/4/16.

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National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa Territory

Posted August 16, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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The Valley So Low   Leave a comment

Posted August 15, 2016 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Water   1 comment

Posted August 14, 2016 by henrymowry in Photography

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Colorific   Leave a comment

Ends, Odds & Others   1 comment

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeAfter producing nearly 100 pieces in the shop over the last few weeks, my parade of new stuff is almost at an end. I had a few odds & ends that didn’t fit into any of my other posts, and here are 2 small boards and 4 clipboards, submitted for your consideration.

I do have one more new product that isn’t quite done … so that unique treat will be on its way to you in a week or three; we’ll see.

My next cycle of making starts this evening. I finally found some 8/4 Jatoba (with would be 2″ thick Jatoba if you don’t speak lumber), so that will be used quickly, I’m sure.

I’m going to do this next batch of boards without getting any more new lumber, so that may propel me into some new ideas. I may actually use my boxes of short end cuts to make the long-awaited routed bowl collection.

Or maybe I should clean out the off-cuts in the barrel to see what that might create.

I love beginnings.

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