Cycling race: Tour of America's Dairyland at Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, June 21, 2023
Cycling race: Tour of America’s Dairyland at Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, June 21, 2023. Photo by Amy Czerniec.

Another Week: Number 26

by | June 25, 2023

This was the first “out” week of Amy’s chemotherapy, and it was an active return to the kind of social life we haven’t enjoyed in years, between COVID and politics and whatnot. Friends and relatives visited, Amy visited them, and we even attended a bike race — something we used to do regularly every summer all over southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois.

The event was Wednesday’s Mount Pleasant Momentum, the seventh of the eleven stages of the Kwik Trip Tour of America’s Dairyland. The race site, on the Mount Pleasant Campus, was remote, shade-deficient, and awkward to walk. Food, beverages, and porta potties were limited. Attendance was sparse.

Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We found a suitable tree, broke out a brand new pair of Coleman Cooler Quad Chairs, and dialed up the race announcers’ streaming web feed on my iPhone. Cyclists from all over the world whizzed by right in front of us every few minutes, with a light clatter of carbon fiber wheels.

It was like the good old days again for a little while.


Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)

Monday evening I came across Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris in some list of things worth watching on Amazon Prime Video, so we gave it a try.

Adapted from a 1958 novel, it’s the story of a humble London war widow and housecleaner whose mind is set on possessing an haute couture dress by Christian Dior.

Lesley Manville plays Mrs. Ada Harris, the widow, and she’s adorable, but the role is mostly the same note of humble determination throughout.

The 1957 sets and costumes are wonderful. The story alternates between misfortune and good fortune a few too many times.

This may not be a great movie, but it was watchable enough.


The Grand Tour: Season 5

I understand that The Grand Tour is a very popular “motoring” series in the UK and many other nations. We came to it having previously watched James May: Our Man in Japan, as well as Clarkson’s Farm.

We jumped in for the latest season, Season 5, rather than going back to older seasons and different formats. Season 5 to date consists of two episodes — The Grand Tour: A Scandi Flick, and The Grand Tour: Eurocrash. Each is under two hours long.

In addition to Jeremy Clarkson and James May, The Grand Tour includes Richard Hammond.

It’s basically The Three Stooges, on the road, abusing motor vehicles as well as each other.

The “Scandi Flick” special was a road trip from Norway, through Sweden, to Finland in harsh winter conditions, while the “Eurocrash” one unfolded through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia.

Very little flavor from these European locales makes it onto the screen. Most of the time is spent on deadpan gags, overtaxed machinery, and staged catastrophes. We’re supposed to accept it all as reality, more or less, but most of the astonishing moments are clearly concocted — like when the boys accidentally wander into a top-secret submarine base, with coverage from multiple cameras.

We stuck it out and finished both episodes, but I don’t think we’ll be returning.




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