Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Shape of Ducks to Come

A phone call awoke me around 9:30. It was Rose. In good news, she'd finally gotten the law firm job she'd been aiming for. In annoying news, she would not be able to join me at counseling like we'd previously discussed. She didn't want to take the time off work. I may see if I can get Jodie to come tomorrow. She also mentioned a possibility of snow or ice later in the day. I said we'd wait and see what Mother Nature did.

After I finished The Best Bear In the World (which was really a lot of fun, especially the story about Pooh meeting a Penguin and the one about Piglet and the "dragon") and writing in my journal, I checked my schedule. I don't know why I thought I was working at 10 today! Tomorrow's 10. Today, I worked at noon. That gave me the time to eat breakfast and make Pineapple-Rum Muffins (the rum being rum extract) for lunch.

Ran a couple of Scooby Doo winter-related episodes as I ate and worked. It's "A Scary Night With a Snow Beast Fright" in the mid-70's Scooby Doo Show. The gang is in Alaska, responding to a distress call from a professor. When they arrive, the professor is gone. The native village he was studying appears to have been destroyed by a massive dinosaur-like snow creature. While the kids figure out what happened to the professor and how the black puddles they keep finding tie into it, Scooby flirts with a pretty female sled-pulling dog.

"Alaskan King Coward" skips us ahead to Scooby and Scrappy Doo. We stay in Alaska, but this time, Shaggy and the dogs are out panning for gold in the Klondike. He and Scooby find and inadvertently defrost another lizard-like creature. Scrappy just thinks the monster is after their gold and sets up every trap he can think of to catch this scaly claim-jumper!

It was just cloudy and damp when I rode to work. Work was on-and-off busy. A lot of people must have heard the weather reports. We were only supposed to get a dusting of snow, if we got anything besides rain and a little ice, but it was enough to send folks scrambling for supplies anyway. 

I was mostly inside bagging, but they did send me out for a half-hour around 2:30 to help one of the college kids with the carts. It started snowing while I was out there. The shower lasted no more than ten minutes and did nothing besides look pretty. By the time I was buying skim milk and heading home, it was back to just being cloudy again.

The last of my Christmas orders greeted me when I arrived at home. I've wanted the Star Wars Shakespeare books ever since I saw them while on vacation in New England last summer. Basically, they're the original Star Wars movies, written in the language of Shakespearean plays. What I read of them is awesome. I can't wait for Han and Leia to bicker in iambic pentameter. (And they give Artoo these really hilarious asides. This could be your best chance to find out what the little blue and silver droid was really thinking throughout these movies.) There's books for the prequels, too, but those may have to wait until I can pick up more money.

Tried something different for dinner. I saw a recipe for Lasagna Soup that uses small lasagna noodles and ground beef on the side of a carton of chicken broth while I was bagging. I was originally going to make chili tonight, but why not try something different? I turned ground turkey, onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, spices, a can of Tomato-Basil Soup I've had around for a while, a half-cup of whole-wheat penne pasta, and Parmesan and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese  into Baked Ziti Soup. Yumm. It came out very well, zesty and flavorful.

I also tried something a little different with animation. Donald Duck's final appearances on the big screen until Fantasia 2000 were a series of edutainment featurettes about mathematics concepts and the wheel's contribution to progress. Donald in Mathmagic Land takes him to a world where math is everywhere, from music to nature to architecture to sports. (I loved the geometry/nature segment and Donald's attempts at billiards. I don't have the problems with geometry that I do with other math disciplines. I like shapes and volumes and ratios. They make sense.) 

Donald and the Wheel expands on the importance of geometry - specifically, the wheel - in everyday life. Donald is a cave duck who learns about how the wheel has aided mankind's progress through the centuries via two "Spirits of Progress." (The elder is voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft!) My favorite part of this short is the bouncy music, especially the Spirits' delightful duet "The Principal of the Thing."

Don's last regular shorts were two cartoons detailing how accidents occur in daily life and how to avoid them. To be honest, "How to Have an Accident at Home" feels more like a Goofy short re-written for Donald than a typical Donald short. That said, there's some very funny moments as weary narrator J.J Fate uses Donald's behavior to prove how carelessness can cause everything from overloaded electrical sockets to falling down stairs. 

And at press time, we have yet to see any more snow. I hasn't even rained. I was perfectly dry going home. It's not even that cold out there, probably in the mid-30's. 

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