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Saturday, October 28, 2000

So I had this three-hour block of time today when I would have been watching game six of the World Series, had the Yankees required that many games to dispatch the hapless Mets. Did I take full advantage by diving into the piles of work I've been putting off for, oh, weeks? I did not.

I spent that time watching a movie. It's been so long since I've sat and watched something from beginning to end that I wasn't sure I could do it, but somehow I managed. As the driving rain outside slowly turned into a gray afternoon and then a pitch black night, I watched The Insider.

It was a big movie a year ago, but I missed it then. Now that I have 200 channels, I'm catching up with some of the films I didn't get around to seeing in theaters. With the east coast feed of Starz, I can watch the eight o'clock movie at five in the afternoon, giving me the rest of the evening to do something else. (Like all that work?)

This is a grim movie, isn't it? Maybe that's why it got a best picture nomination, because it's so relentlessly serious. I think I caught Al Pacino not overacting, which makes this particular production stand out. I also believe he might have been the only actor in the film not speaking with a phony accent of one sort or another.

These guys are heroes, the whistle blower and the impassioned news producer, putting truth and public good above personal interests. We need people like that. We need movies about them, to remind us that the free press, for all its faults and missteps, is key to the freedom of all.

We put up with the National Enquirer and Hard Copy so that we can have the Times and Frontline, and even 60 Minutes.

A democratic state cannot afford an atmosphere in which truth is in the sole possession of those with money and power, or locked away by fear or greed. You can never have too much knowledge to guide your beliefs, or too many facts to base your actions on.

Wow. That was almost as humorless as the movie. My head hurts.

It was apparently Russell Crowe night on Starz, since Mystery, Alaska was also shown. It's an oversexed trifle that wastes a cast full of good actors in roles that have little substance. The only character I connected with was the one played by Crowe, who is much more likeable and accessible here than he is in The Insider. Other than that, there's not much to recommend this one.

The rain and wind kept me in all day, but I did make use of my time. I still have a lot more to get done, but at least I feel good about how I spent my Saturday. The weather cleared up just long enough this afternoon to let me walk down to the road and collect my mail. I used a pair of old shoes to make this trip, but that won't work all winter. I'm going to need boots, definitely.

The fact that Sunday will be 25 hours long isn't going to help me much. I'll probably just spend the extra hour sleeping anyway.

Three more days until the end of the month. I still have a sales tax return, payroll taxes (state and federal), and small business certification forms to complete by Tuesday. I've had all month, natch. I put it off until it's almost too late because that's the way I've been managing my time lately. It's risky, but so far I haven't fallen down any rabbit holes while taking this route.

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