Sunday Sloth

I’m way too busy to be writing this. I’m working on four new websites, and my existing clients have requested massive amounts of updates via every conceivable method of delivery, including email, FTP, hand-delivery, and USPS. One client just dropped off nine (9!) CDs of updates. If the Pony Express still ran, I’ve no doubt they’d be galloping by and throwing leather satchels full of disks onto my front porch.

In addition, the lawn needs mowing, the floor vacuuming, and the clothes launding. Laundrying. Laundering.

Faced with this unmanageable array of responsibilities yesterday afternoon, I had no choice but to resort to the time-honored strategy perfected by American males everywhere, planted myself in the recliner, and watched seven consecutive hours of westerns on TV.
AMC was running a cowboy movie marathon leading up to the premier of its much-ballyhooed (well, by AMC, anyway) “original movie event,” Broken Trail, which stars Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. I turned on the tube in time to catch the final extended gun battle in Open Range (more Robert Duvall, plus Kevin Costner, but it’s a fine movie anyway), followed by Viggo in Hidalgo, which I’d somehow never seen (and I remain perplexed by the irony that a culture that so reveres horses would subject them to such a punishing event as a 3,000 mile race across the desert).

The evening concluded with the first half of Broken Trail (I’d provide a link but the website is one of those extraordinarily inconsiderate ones that has the audacity to automatically resize your browser window, and not being content with having taken control of your desktop, it then freezes your browser so as to prevent anything else from occurring, including the completion of the first draft of this post), which is formulaic and features Robert Duvall playing Robert Duvall, a role for which he’s eminently qualified and which isn’t an unpleasant prospect for the viewer but, really, it’s been done before with much better scripts. Still, one Duvall is worth a dozen Costners, and Haden Church makes a remarkably effective cowpoke who knows the value of a good rope.

I mentioned the script, and I’m perhaps overly harsh with it. It really does have some scenes of ranch life that you likely haven’t seen before. The opening sequence involving the “cutting” of calves will perplex some city slickers, and the scene where Duvall’s character gets hold of a box of “therapeutic papers” (“guaranteed to be free of wood chips and splinters”) is an old west vignette not often portrayed in film. Anyway, part two is tonight, and I plan to watch it.

But, until then, I’m really too busy to do anything else, including blog.


  1. Howdy, pardner. Yep, them thar western shows beat the heck outta most anything else on teevee.
    I agree the script leaves a bit to be desired but much of the graphic content in Broken Trail is almost as good as that of Lonesome Dove. Robert Duvall is as predictable as wind in West Texas but his characters always bring a smile to my face, a weird drawl to my voice and some strange expressions. After the show last night, in conversation about a young relative, I was almost embarrassed to have used the phrase “he keeps trying to spit the bit” when explaining the kid’s propensity to shun authority. My wife just hates when I talk like that.

  2. YESSSS!!!!! Another western movie fan. Does YLB ever ask – “Haven’t you seen that one 9,000 times?”. I’ll have to catch the rest of Broken Trail another day. I left about half way through to attend to a certain 3 year old. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall…i’ll watch any and all of them in a western when I get the chance!

  3. We love westerns, too. Just so you know you weren’t alone on your day of procrastination, we also watched Open Range…but darn it, had to leave the casa before Broken Trail started. Hopefully, we’ll catch another showing.

  4. So how long were you guys going to let me go without pointing out that I’d misspelled “Sunday” in the post title? Did you think it was just a cowboy colloquialism? 😉
    Anyway, the concluding episode of Broken Trail wasn’t as good as the first part. In what is all too typical in made-for-TV productions, the ending didn’t seem to get nearly as much attention as the build-up.
    I also felt that in the end, the Chinese girls were just a plot detail. Their characters were never developed to the extent they deserved.
    It’s almost as if they ran out of money toward the end, and it’s a shame. Another thirty minutes of well-thought-out material could have transformed a rather mediocre presentation into a rather good one, if not a classic.

  5. “massive amounts of updates via every conceivable method of delivery, including email, FTP, hand-delivery, and USPS. One client just dropped off nine (9!) CDs of updates.”

  6. Well, she’s a professional photographer and she has me put her proofs online for her clients to review. We’ll upload around a 1,000 photos each month…more during wedding season.
    So, have you decided to become anonymous again? 😉

  7. As far as westerns go, you just can’t beat a trip to the Ponderosa. My first childhood crush was on Little Joe. Along with Hoss, Adam and Ben Cartwright, the occasional Candy, and Hop Sing it just never got better. They wore the same clothes every week, their horses were beautiful and no one ever got dirty. Life was beautiful in the Sierra Nevadas.

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