Letter from Mark Twain. For a brilliant mind like Twain's, calling a man an "idiot" is far too simple. Writing, "You, sir, are the scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link" is much more like it!
I woke up at 5 AM this morning, after only 5 1/2 hours of sleep - and I didn't even take a nap yesterday. This post-sickness burst of energy is weird; I don't like it. It's just not me. My brain is racing and it seems as if there just aren't enough hours in the day.
We did some more hardwood flooring last night; we're almost done with the hallway. I have the closet to finish - easy - and then we need to work out a solution for some trim at the entrance to the stairs leading downwards. And a whole lot of nail holes to putty up and conceal. I think we should be done by this weekend. And then... the dining room. That's going to be a difficult demolition because the floor is tiled.
I had one of those little close calls last night that I sometimes have with power tools. (I have a long standing uneasy truce with power tools, which I fear and respect.)
I borrowed an old Craftsman table saw from a friend; the saw has a rather clunky plastic and metal saw shield, the purpose of which is to guard the rotating blade from fingers, hands, etc. (And, I suppose, the manufacturer from lawyers.) The problem is that it is poorly designed and it was scratching the wood surface as I pushed and generally impeding operation. So I removed it. No problem, right? I saw such a table saw among the tools at the Lee High School Theatre Department. If it was unsafe they wouldn't be exposing kids to it, right? In my mind, of course, was the thought, "This table saw is now probably more dangerous than it was before. You must be careful."
So last night I needed to rip a 1/2 inch section from a 24" flooring segment. As I looked at what I was about to do, a little voice told me, "Stand to the side, not in the front as usual. It will be safer for your fingers to push the stock." As I completed cutting the piece, WHAM! The spinning blade flung a spear of hardwood past where I would have stood, at the garage wall. Cari heard the noise and looked in the garage: "What was that?" she asked. "My Heavenly Father protecting me from harm," I replied. Mental note: Stand well clear of possible flying stock and take care to secure the cut wood!
I will be glad when this job is finished.
Last night I watched a top notch film noir, "The Breaking Point" (1950), with John Garfield. Garfield made a number of excellent noirs, but I think this one was his best. As usual, he plays a headstrong and acerbic but basically likable guy. Born Jacob Julius Garfinkle, he died way too young from long term heart problems at age 39. His funeral was mobbed by fans; the largest funeral attendance for an actor since Rudolph Valentino.
What struck me about this film was the refreshingly non-stereotypical treatment of a black man (named Wesley); the final scene of the man's son awaiting his return from a dodgy boat cruise was poignant.
Last night I watched an episode of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" (Cartoon Network) that was - there is no other word for it - delightful. In the opening five minutes Plastic Man and Elongated Man get all twisted up in a taffy puller while quibbling with one another as to who Batman prefers to work with. The Atom (a scientific genius) and Aquaman (a over-muscled dolt) shrink and venture into Batman's cells to cure him of a deadly toxin. Wow. I haven't had this much fun or laughed out loud watching a cartoon series since "The Tick." After that last Batman film I thought that they had pretty much burned out every possible enjoyable variation on the character - guess I was wrong.
Actually, in this series Batman is the professional, sober-sided foil for the real stars of the show, the minor heroes: Blue Beetle, the Atom, Aquaman, Plastic Man, etc. The characterization of Aquaman (who, let's face it, nobody really likes much) is hilarious: he's a somewhat dim-witted, action-addicted, pretentious oaf who shouts things like, "I'm the King of the Sea!"
I understand my favorite Batman villain, the incredibly underwhelming Calendar Man (real name: Julian Day), makes an appearance in one of these episodes. I am looking forward to it!
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