Thursday, April 27, 2017

Return of the Sunshine

Began the day at work. It was still cloudy and a bit cool when I arrived. I spent the first 40 minutes or so returning carts. Got stuck in the registers for a little while after that so one cashier could get some other stuff done and another could go on break. Thankfully, I spent most of the rest of the day doing returns. We were occasionally steady, but never really that busy.

I suspect we were dead at least partly because the sun had come out. By the time I finished, it was a little cloudy, but far warmer and more humid than it has been, probably in the 70's. The sun returned as I headed home down Nicholson Road. Dodged a lot of cars today. I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted to take advantage of the weather.

When I got home, I changed, then put on more Rick Steves while eating lunch. Returned to Austria and Vienna this time, as we admired Renaissance painters and traveled up the (not-so-blue) Danube to check out wine country and an ancient abbey. Loved the amazing library at the abbey, with its centuries of books, and learning about Maria Theresa, empress of the Hapsburg Empire in the 1700's.

Worked on my story for the rest of the afternoon. Henry and Luke test a new device with Leia's help. It runs on khyber crystals, producing beams of light and signals that can aid navigation. To celebrate its successful test, they have a big lunch in the dining room. Luke and Henry then take Leia in the back to their servants' quarters. Henry has a workshop in the upper rooms, but he's skittish about showing it to Leia. Luke distracts her with the fencing practice area he's set up downstairs.

Broke around 6 for dinner. I decided to try something simple. Had Chicken-Spinach Salad - canned chicken on a bed of spinach, with cherry tomatoes, the last of the scallions, and a home-made honey- (cooking) wine dressing. Not bad. The dressing really brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Played video games after dinner (and after I pulled out the fan - it was almost 80 degrees in my living room). Decided to go back through all the worlds on Kirby's Epic Yarn and see what I missed. Not much, actually. So far, mostly just the music CDs in a few rounds. Got two out of three items in two rounds I hadn't gotten anything in. Seem to have done the best in Water World. Only one round was missing anything there, and that was one of the CDs.

Finished out Triple Trouble when I got off the Wii and replaced the batteries in my controller. The Bowery Boys are in major trouble in this prison tale. After being accused of robbing a store, Sach and Slip go undercover in prison to ferret out the real thieves. Whitey's newest hobby is amateur radio. He's been hearing someone on another line, saying what they're going to rob and when...including Louie's! While Louie panics, the boys get caught in a jail break before going after the thieves and their ringleader mother.

Switched to another comic crime tale to end my night. The Great Muppet Caper has Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo as reporters in London interviewing Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg), a glamorous fashion designer whose jewels were recently stolen. Miss Piggy at first lies to Kermit about being her. They do reconcile, but shortly afterwards, Holiday's shady brother (Charles Grodin) frames the pig for the theft. Now Kermit and the wacky residents of the dilapidated Happiness Hotel have to stop another jewel robbery from taking place...and Piggy has to save her frog from dastardly villains.

I had the soundtrack for this on before work this morning and figured I'd do the movie, too. One of the best Muppet movies, with enough fourth walls broken to stock a brick and siding store. Not bad music, either. Not as many cameos as the other Muppet movies, but the few that are there include Peter Ustinov, Peter Faulk, John Cleese, and briefly, Jim Henson himself.

If you're a fan of the Muppets, this is a no-brainer. Fun for kids, families, lovers of musicals and comic capers, and those who grew up watching it on cable and video, too.

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