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Regular port-swiller CrisN sent along this nooz article spotted in the Atlanta papers:

Crowe considering new Master & Commander movie

Associated Press Writer

LONDON — Russell Crowe is in the early stages of negotiations to reprise the role of Jack Aubrey as a British sea captain in a new movie version from the Master & Commander series of novels.

Crowe told The Associated Press on Friday that a script based mostly on the eleventh novel of Patrick O’Brian’s 20-novel series, The Reverse of the Medal, had been written, but that discussions were at a very early stage.

“There’s still a long way to go,” the New Zealand-born actor told AP at a cricket match between England and Australia in London.  He said talks had been taking place with the owner of the rights to the novels.

The 44-year-old Crowe, who won a best actor Oscar for his starring role in Gladiator, is a keen cricket fan. His two cousins, Jeff and Martin, are former captains of the New Zealand national team. Jeff is now a senior cricket official and is in charge of the team of officials at the England-Australia match.

The Aubrey/Maturin novels consists of 20 books and one partly written before his death in 2000 by O’Brian, all set during the Napoleonic Wars.

The 2003 movie Master and Commander took material from several of the novels.  The Reverse of the Medal, published in 1986, sees Aubrey in the Caribbean in his ship HMS Surprise, where he meets his illegitimate son Samuel Panda, a Catholic priest born from an illicit liaison.

Crowe gave no indication of when filming could start but said it was one of a number of projects he is considering.

Which I hope he drops such considerin’ right quick-like! 

I have said it many, many times but I’m going to say it again:  I’ve nothing in particular against Russell Crowe, but he is all wrong for the part of Jack Aubrey.  Period.  End of report.  Finis.

Incidentally, I would point out that Jack never takes the Surprise into the Carribbean.  The story opens in port at Bridgetown, Barbados at the far eastern end of the West Indies.  Geologically speaking, it is located in the Atlantic, not the Carribbean.  Further, when Jack meets Sam Panda, Sam is not a Catholic priest, but instead is in minor orders. 

Small details to some, perhaps, but not to me.

GrillFor a long time now I’ve been content with the ol’ Webber 22″ circular grill out on the patio to handle all of my cookout duties.  However, due to the fact that a) the thing is about fifteen years old and starting to rust through on the sides and b) I suddenly find myself living with a family of young boa-constrictors and need much more cooking space, I feel that it is time to step up to the next level.   

So the question is:  What is that next level?  Basically, I need, as I say, more space.  I also need variable cooking temperatures, as Mrs. Robbo has developed a fondness for kabobs while I continue to prefer the 60 seconds-per-side flash-cooked rib-eye, while the gels have all of a sudden developed a taste for having their hotdog and hamburger buns toasted.   Of course, all of these need different levels of heat.  Also, the ability to accomodate everyone’s tastes is a critical selling point for getting this project past Mrs. Robbo in her capacity as Family CBO, so of course I need to be able to make good on my promises.

Basically, I’m thinking something along the lines of the model pictured above: a barrel-shaped contrivance with adjustable surfaces and a hinged top.  But if you’ve got suggestions for a particular make or model, I’d love to hear about them.

Oh, one other thing:  I am only interested in charcoal grills, gas grills being the work of the devil in my opinion, so please, no suggestions of the latter, thanks.



I spent some time a-berrying,

This pleasant July morn,

And found myself compary-ing

My run-ins with the thorn.


The blueberry ’tis a gentle bush,

Its branches smooth and spineless.

And if you need give them a push,

You’ll get your berries painless.


The raspberry, now, ’tis a bit more tough,

Its prickles middling bitchy.

Reach on in for fruit enough,

You’ll wind up tol’rable itchy.


The blackberry, tho’s, a vicious cuss,

All hooks and barbs right wicked.

And after all that bloody fuss,

You’ll wonder WHO got pickéd!


But snag or scrape or stinging scratch,

I really can’t complain-o.

For when I start to eat my catch,

B’Jove, it’s worth the pain-o!


Not Keats, perhaps, but it sums up my thoughts pretty nicely if I do say so myself.


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July 2009