Cover of "Singin' in the Rain (Two-Disc S...

Turner Classics was playing “Singin’ in the Rain,” so of course, we had to watch it. It wasn’t raining, but it didn’t matter. We never get tired of it. It has been remastered it, so it looks brand new.

Sometimes, it’s not hard to figure out why a movie becomes a classic. Singin’ in the Rain is an MGM musical comedy made in 1952. It stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography, It is magic.

There’s quite of bit of back story and gossip attached to the movie. Debbie Reynolds hasn’t been shy about sharing her story. The dissatisfaction of Gene Kelly at having to work with Debbie Reynolds — who he had to teach to dance for her role.

By the end of each day of shooting, Debbie’s feet would be bleeding. Kelly was a perfectionist and no kinder than he had to be, but it’s hard to argue with the result.

Whatever was going on behind the scenes, the result is a masterpiece. Sixty-one years after the original opening, it’s fresh and funny, and the choreography is a wonder and carefully works around Debbie Reynolds more limited dancing skills. If you watch “Good Morning” carefully, notice how often she is posed while Kelly and O’Connor carry the complex dance numbers.

The plot is a light-hearted look at the movie business during the transition from silent to talking movies.

There had been several versions of Singing In the Rain before, but none of them enjoyed the success of the 1952 MGM production. How you could improve on perfection?

After more than 60 years, it still plays beautifully. A pleasure to watch and a family favorite. Many great musicals have been produced since this classic. Many were and are brilliant, but although they may be as good, they are not better. In many way, Singing in the Rain set the bar.

Until they make a new Gene Kelly, they won’t improve on it.

English: Gene Kelly and girls in Singin' in th...

It was greeted with no great enthusiasm when released, yet with each passing year, its popularity grows. That is, perhaps, the true definition of a classic when the years only increase respect for a film. Time has not diminished Singin’ In the Rain. 


4 NOVEMBER 2015: nearly naked


The World Series is over with the Kansas City Royals taking their first World Series Championship in 30 years. They almost did it last year, so this year must have been very satisfying for the fans. It was a good series, though I’d have liked at least one more game.


Halloween passed into memory. We had our usual number of trick-or-treaters, which is to say — none. We are too far off the beaten path. It’s dark here in the woods. Little ghosties and goblins — or whatever they are pretending to be these days — don’t want to be genuinely scared. They want to play at scariness, not be really terrified.


It’s still warm. Cold at night, but  warming up to cozy during the day. These are my favorite days, with crispy nights and golden afternoons.

I hope it goes on for a long time.


I’ve included Garry’s pictures too, so if you want to know who took which pictures, you can tell from the signature.


Should you decide to accept this challenge, you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture or make something up, using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.

This is the easiest prompt in the world.


We have a lot of cameras in this house. I’m not sure how many, but a lot. I have five … six if you include the one I never use. Garry’s got two and I don’t know how many Bob has got, but all told, it’s quite a few.

Yet somehow, Bonnie has eluded our lenses and believe me, we have tried. Garry and I have been trying for 7 years. I have many blurry pictures of Bonnie’s butt as she runs out the doggie door.

Bonnie by Bob Mielke. Our little black rag bag. Are those eyes or something stuck in her coat?

Bonnie by Bob Mielke. Our little black rag-bag. Are those eyes or something stuck in her coat?

I have pictures of Bonnie asleep — which is the only time she is still — and I think at least one of her begging for something to eat. Otherwise, all the pictures of Bonnie have been with Garry firmly holding her. Sometimes it looks like he is strangling her.

Bonnie -- By Bob Mielke. Look world, she has eyes!

Bonnie — By Bob Mielke. Look world, she has eyes!

Bob’s been here just a month, but has managed to get two really good pictures of Bonnie. One shows her before her haircut. The other, afterwards. And you can see her eyes!

The first shot shows her in her natural state — looking like a pile of dirty black rags. Sometimes with eyes, often without any indication that there’s a dog in that mess.

We are hoping for future shots that show her more gloriously Scottie-ish. We will all keep trying. And she will keep running away before we can press the shutter.