AuthorJanice Dawley

Outdoorsy TV addict, artistic computer geek, loner who loves people.

End of an era


I’ve been watching with sickened fascination as Twitter has been ripped apart by a filthy rich individual who decided to buy it on a whim (which he tried to take back, but couldn’t) and on day one began “improving” it — mostly by firing people. A few weeks in, the place is a dumpster fire with only a third of its former workforce on the job and knowledgeable...

Battling Spongy Moth Caterpillars – Techniques that Work

Caterpillars Under Duct Tape

Here in Northwest Vermont, we’ve had outbreaks of spongy moths for the past two years. These pests eat vast quantities of leaves when in their caterpillar phase and especially love munching on oak trees. If their population is large enough on a given tree, the leaves can be entirely consumed by the end of June, leaving the tree bare if/until it can grow a new set of leaves later in the summer. My...

Memories of My Friend, Kevin Hill

Collage of Photos of Kevin Hill

Kevin died of Covid-19 on December 12th, 2021. These are some words I shared at his memorial ceremony on June 14th, 2022. Kevin and I met almost 40 years ago as students at Kimball Union Academy. We were both geeks, that is, socially awkward people who liked computers and cared about getting good grades. We fell in with a group of like-minded individuals and experienced a few years of gripping...

Noirvember, 2021

Humphey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon

Last month I learned about a movie-watching challenge called Noirvember that was founded by “cinema fanatic” Marya E. Gates. The goal is to watch one film noir movie a day during the month of November. It was a daunting prospect, but I’ve always been interested in the genre, and this month happened to be a mostly fallow period in my TV viewing schedule, so I jumped in by signing up for a 2-week...

Thor, Ten Years Later

Thor with Coffee Mug

After watching the first season of Loki on Disney+ (highly recommended!), I realized I barely remembered the events of the first Thor movie in which Loki was introduced. Plot points from the film are mentioned several times in the show, so I decided to rewatch it, and just for kicks write a full-on recap – an activity that is particularly fun when the film being recapped isn’t great art. Spoiler:...

Recent TV Viewing, May 2021


I’ve been watching quite a bit of television this spring, and some of it has been quite good! Read on for more about the highlights as well as my thoughts on a couple of mixed bags. Mare of Easttown Kate Winslet plays a dumpy detective in suburban Pennsylvania who is struggling to process the death of her son while also dealing with a lot of other family drama. And Jean Smart plays her...

2021 Oscars Best Picture Nominees


I didn’t make as much of an effort to prepare for the Academy Awards this year, because… pandemic. I’ve had less energy to engage in projects that take a lot of time and concentration, and I’ve been reluctant to shell out $20 to digitally “rent” some of the nominated films. However, I did manage to see six out of eight of the best picture nominees as well as a smattering of the rest. Below are...

2020 Oscars Best Picture Nominees


Despite all the craziness in the world recently (or perhaps because of it), I’ve been all about movies in the past few weeks. Specifically, prep for the Oscars! This year I made an effort to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the awards ceremony — and I succeeded! My thoughts on the films are presented below, in the order in which I watched them. There are some minor spoilers...

My Tolkien Fandom Oral History Interview

Lord of the Rings Book Cover

A few weeks ago, I learned of a massive audio interview project being conducted by Marquette University to gather the input of 6000 Tolkien lovers on what made them fans and what his work has meant to them. Each interview is limited to 3 minutes. I figured, why not? I’ll do it! As it turned out, I spent considerably longer than that writing up my notes ahead of time and editing repeatedly...

Thoughts on Star Trek: Discovery

Image from Star Trek Discovery's Opening Credits

To be clear before I start, I am a huge science fiction nerd, in all media forms — books, TV, movies, comics, games… everything. But I am not what I would call a fan of Star Trek. Have I watched a lot of it? Absolutely. For long stretches of time, Star Trek (in various incarnations) was the only SF on television, and for much of my life it has been a wonderful bonding experience to...


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