Friday, January 23, 2009

Just call me Anthony

It's Monday in my world, so for today's edition I'm serving up a recap of my weekend. No more cat attacks, so overall it went well. Despite my still sore paws, I did manage to get some chores done:

The roses got their annual winter pruning. This reduced some of them from nearly six feet tall to less than half of that. I also cleaned up a lot of the underbrush that some of them had accumulated with low lateral canes and suckers. The resulting plants look denuded in comparison to what they were, and it took four trips to the dumpster with my muck bucket to clean up all the detritus.

The next day I spent puttering about in the hangar, doing some work on the Baron and some general cleaning up. About a year's worth of stuff I'd accumulated for Goodwill got loaded into the back of the Rover and delivered. Goodwill, I learned, will not accept used computer printers - even if they're still packaged in their original boxes with manuals. So those went to the electronic recycling place near the airport. While I was there, I saw a huge warehouse, easily the size of a Costco or Super Walmart, filled with pallets of old computers, monitors, printers, and TVs. All of it now destined to not end up in a landfill somewhere. As an aside, a developer in the LA area is now developing a site that was once a landfill. Apparently the hundred acres of real estate with about a half-mile of freeway
frontage was too valuable; they're now reclaiming about half of the area for development. What was once a large hill has been reduced to grade level. I wonder where it all went . . .

And yesterday, after having lunch with a friend and giving him his overdue Christmas present, I headed home for an evening of watching the latest season of Mythbusters (thanks Pop!). It was while I was washing dishes (after first replacing all the guts in the faucet) that I realized that I still had another friend's Pyrex dish from our New Year's Eve get-together. A quick call ascertained that she would be at the theater for rehearsal, so we coordinated a meeting there. I have a bit of history with the Long Beach Shakespeare Company, so I stuck around to meet the show's director and watch the rehearsal. The show in the works is the last of the successful Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas, The Gondoliers. They were working on the blocking, which is where people enter, where (and how and when) they go, and where they exit. Or at least that's how it started out. There was also some work done on lines and lyrics as well as costumes. The director was a little thwarted by the absence of one of the principals, though, and in a moment of directorial frustration he turned in my direction and said "Steve, would you mind standing over there as Giuseppe please?" While my name isn't Steve, I obliged - after all, the guy had eaten some of my birthday cake (the one I didn't get) and signed the card. A short time later, while working through a scene in the second act where Giuseppe actually is supposed to say something, he asked "Matthew, can you read lines?" So then I had a script in my hands as well. A bit further on, we got to a scene with a song and dance. Since I don't know much about dancing and they hadn't yet choreographed the dances anyway, I had to make it up as I went. And while I had a script, I hadn't the song lyrics. Fortunately the song in this particular scene was a choral number; I discovered that the words "chiquita banana" fit nicely in lieu of whatever they were supposed to be, and everyone seemed happy with that! At the end of the evening, as the director was finishing up with his notes to the cast, he said "And thanks to Anthony for stepping in tonight - Great job!" So, call me Anthony . . .

And now, for all you aviation folks, something new: My first attempt at video. My current camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ18, has the ability to shoot video as well as stills (and probably a whole plethora of other features that I have yet to stumble upon). I dabbled with this a bit the other day, and managed to catch a few arrivals on the north side. Here's the best of the lot, the arrival of a Korean Air B747-400 on runway 24 right:


video

Okay, maybe not the most exciting thing to see, but hopefully not too bad for a first attempt at both capturing video and incorporating it into the blog.

And that's the news. Here's another link for more about The Gondoliers

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