10 Things Tuesday

Tower of Babble, Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Every year or so I take and publish a picture of this building, which remains incomplete, with no visible work going on. An on-air minister of some sort wheedled money out of people for this eyesore, and got the city fathers to approve it. I think it was to be a a broadcast center. All I think about is all those donations which didn’t go to the poor. Christianity indeed.

1. Today my Honey and I did a little yard work. Feeding, weeding, and such like stuff. Much more to go. We are getting new shrubs next week I think to replace those killed off this past winter. To save money we are re-arranging some of the surviving shrubs (as opposed to leaving everything still alive and filling in the bare spots with all new plants).

2. Honey’s niece (and my niece too, now) is graduating from high school next month in Worcester, MA (“graduating high school” for those of a different vernacular). She is a lovely young lady, raised by her father (Honey’s brother). In the fall she’ll matriculate at Syracuse. We went out today to get her a graduation gift (from the four of us: Honey, BlueMoon, NewMoon/Babycakes, Me). We won’t be there for the graduation, unfortunately, but we’ll doubtless see her at Cape Cod this summer. She’s a facebook friend, so those of you who are also Facebook friends of mine can look her up.

3. I allowed myself some time pursuing the news today. Wish I hadn’t. It seems popular these days, when alluding to a person in power with whom one doesn’t agree, to invoke the names of some really bad guys from the past, mostly Stalin and Hitler. I think our national dialog would be much more erudite-sounding if we broadened our demonizing horizons. I’m thinking Tamerlane, Torquemada, Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun, Pol Pot, Tojo, Idi Amin Dada, Papa Doc Duvalier (not to discriminate against Baby Doc), Fulgencio Batista, etc. I’m sure there are many others to color up the language.

4. I was missing my old generation One iPod. Couldn’t find it anywhere. So, of course, it turned up in a drawer, and a drawer where such tings might be likely to turn up. My prior search was apparently flawed. I’m charging it up to see if it still works. It’s big (by current standards), it’s clunky, but I’m not planning to use it to impress girls so it doesn’t matter. We also turned up Honey’s little iPod mini, which wasn’t nearly so missing, and it charged up ready to work.

5. I think my favorite TV show is “Fringe.” Because of our schedule, and the modern technology of the DVR, I’ve gotten to watch three new episodes in a short period of time. I’m not much of a fanboy when it comes to celebrities of any stripe or gender, but Anna Torv is intriguing. Perfect casting in my opinion.

6. Not so sure about “Flash Forward.” I faithfully watched the first several episodes, then started relegating the show to the DVRs (we have two). I now have two shows from prior to the mid-season break I haven’t watched, and several since. This also happened, in the past, with “Lost” and “V.” I am not sure yet whether the “Flash Forward” saved shows are going to get the same treatment as the other two: erased without viewing.

7. I recently completed reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson (It is not related in any way to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander). I’m not sure this book is gonna rank up there with the monuments of literature, but I enjoyed it while I was reading it. I followed up with Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann, author of Zoli and Dancer, neither of which I’ve ever heard of. I might rank it a little higher than the Adamson effort, which was apparently a first novel. As usual, I’m not going to really work these books over. I have no idea what sort of reading entertains anyone but me. My only brief for them is that I read them end to end without taking an inordinate amount of time, without interrupting them with other books, and without feeling the urge to throw them against the wall.

8. Still on books, I move to a different kettle of fish entirely: Drood by Dan Simmons. The Dickens fan (I am one, I consider Bleak House my “desert island” book) will immediately, of course, pick up on the title and remember The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the unfinished novel by Mr. Dickens. The Simmons Drood picks up on this.

The blurb: “On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, fifty-three-year-old Charles Dickens–at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world–hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. Did Dickens begin living a double life after the accident? Where his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, lime pits, and a hidden London-beneath-London mere research  .  .  .  or something much darker? Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens’s life and narrated by Wilkie Collins–Dickens’s friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-esque secret rival–Drood explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the author’s last years and may provide the key to his final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” [For those unfamiliar with Wilkie Collins, read the Wikipedia article.]

I’m certainly intrigued, and will try really hard to overlook the anachronistic “you, Dear Reader” stylistic conceit of the book. More later.

9. I’ve accumulated two Facebook “friends” I admit I don’t know, and that nobody I know knows. One of them asked to be my friend, and I left the request pending for a while, glancing at it occasionally. One day the little random collection of that person’s friends which appears on the home page include me! Well, not really, but it was Gerry Rosser (a female). I figured this was fate, accepted the friend request and sent a short note to my new “friend” and to Gerry Rosser. No replies. Someone who my brother had on his list, who he barely knows, asked me to friend, and I did. She went to my high school, graduating 6 years later, and said she knew someone who lived down the street, who I also don’t remember. Gotta love Facebook.

10. I’m out of gas.

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