Frank Denton - The Rogue Raven

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Finding Neverland

I watched Finding Neverland last evening. It was a movie that I had missed while on the road trip. I enjoyed the movie very much although I can’t say that it was a happy movie. And it made me wonder how much of it was true. I guess it will send me to the library to seek a biography of James Barrie. Julie Christie has aged pretty well but her role as mother was not a pleasant one, her character not pleasant at all. Johnny Depp is a favorite of mine. I suppose it’s because he doesn’t get typecast. He always seems to play someone different. After playing Willie Wonka, which was a walk in the park for him, I was glad to see him in a role where he had to reach a bit. And he seems to play well with children, does not run with scissors...oh, excuse me, I got carried away. I like his having just a hint of Scottish brogue. It reminded me of the soft Irish brogue that he had in Chocolat. The young boy who played thye role of Peter had a difficult role and he played it well. I missed his name in the credits which went by too quickly. The story of how Barrie's famous play, Peter Pan, came to be was a fascinating one. Something more to look into. Anyway, it’s a film I can recommend you see of DVD, just in case you didn’t see it in the theater.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Grey Cup

Yes, I've been away again. Just can't seem to stay home. We journeyed north to Vancouver, B.C. for Thanksgiving and a couple of day after. Vancouver, and more specifically B.C. Place, was the site of this year's Grey Cup. Grey Cup is Canadian football's version of the Super Bowl. It can be crazy in Vancouver or in any city where the Grey Cup game is being played. The game moves around amongst the cities which have teams in the CFL. I wanted to be home to enjoy the game in the comfort of my own couch. Canadian rules are a bit different from NFL rules. There are twelve players, a field that is 10 yards longer than our and wider. There are only three downs to make 10 yards for a first down. Missed field goal tries or punts have to be run out of the end zone by the receiving team or the other team wins a point. So what you get is a much faster game, in my humble opinion. Run one play, pass one play and punt if you don't make the yardage. I guess we're lucky in that we live close enough to the Canadian border to receive one television channel, CBUT. The Edmonton Eskimos played the Montreal Alouettes for the championship. It was a good game and I enjoyed it very much. Edmonton won a very close game in overtime by kicking a field goal.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Very Large Array

This evening I was thinking over some of the highlights of our recent trip. We stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a couple of days. We had dinner with old friend, Bob Vardeman. During our dinner conversation he asked us if we were going to visit the VLA. "VLA?" I asked. "Yes, the Very Large Array. Did you see the movie, Contact, with Jodie Foster?" The penny dropped and I finally knew what he was talking about. We did take his advice and drove the fifty miles west of Socorro. The array of twenty-seven radio telescopes is quite an awesome display. The discs are 82 feet in diameter and standing beside them you feel quite dwarfed. And there is quite an eerie feeling when all of a sudden all the telescopes silently turn a few degrees. Of course they are controlled by an operator in a control room. You can view a gallery of photos at It’s worth a look if you are interested. And, of course, you can always rent the movie.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shotgun House

On our recent vacation trip I carried in my shirt pocket a small notebook in which I wrote various things. Four pages are covered with things I came across or read about that piqued my interest. They were to remind me to look further into these subjects when I returned home. One of the things that I ran across while reading Jolie Blon’s Bounce by James Lee Burke was the term "shotgun house." I didn’t know what was meant. I’ve just now looked it up on the internet. It’s a house typical of certain areas of New Orleans in which the rooms are one behind the other. Supposedly you could fire a shotgun through the front door and it would exit at the back door. This is not quite true since the doorways in each room were usually not at the same place. But the idea is clear. A long narrow house just a single room wide and many rooms deep. The pictures I found were of quite attractive houses. Apparently they came about because of very narrow building lots in N.O. Let’s hope Katrina and Rita did not damage these houses irreparably.

On another note, the flu season is upon us. I got my flu shot today. Have you gotten yours yet?

Monday, November 07, 2005

An Evening in An Irish Pub

While we were away an Irish pub went into business in Burien. Our son, Sean, called and said his band was playing there on Saturday night. We had only been home a couple of days and hadn’t had a chance to look around and see what changes had occurred in the two months that we were gone. Nothing for it but to go down a couple of pints and listen to The Gryffyn Band. Four guys, three of them that played in a band of the same name when they were in high school. They played rock then; now it’s sort of a blues band. The place was packed, the crowd was appreciative, as were the owners. The music was good although Sean was feeling a bit under the weather. He called next day to thank us for coming and to tell us that, at age 51, he still got nervous playing before his parents. Silly guy! It sounded great to us. The band has put out a CD and sells it through He tells us that they are in the top 25 on a blues station in Amsterdam. And can be heard on a station in Rio de Janeiro. And have sold CDs in Japan and China. It was a fun night for the old folks.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm Back

Let's see if I remember how to do this. My wife and I have been on the road since the end of August. First it was to Chicago (by air) to attend Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. Then up to Racine, WI for a very short visit to my cousin Margaret. Then home to do the laundry and pack the car. And we've been on the road ever since, arriving home just two days ago. Four boxes of mail to be sorted and much of it thrown away. 'Tis the season for catalogues, you know. Writing checks before I was made to pay those exhorbitant late charges. And trying to find space for all the books I bought along the way. Gosh, it didn't seem like many when you buy them one or two at a time.

Just for fun, here are some statistics. Miles driven: 6696. Cost of gasoline: $615.09. This was not a good time for gas costs. Gallons of gas consumed: 221.51 gallons. Miles per gallon on my 2004 Chev Impala: 30.22 mpg. Ave. cost per gallon: $2.77.

I think that's enough for the first blog after returning. It is hoped that I will have something more interesting to say next time.