Recently, my wife and I have enjoyed looking out the bay window in front of our house. (Photo at left.) The days have been sunny, the new sod lawn we had installed in November is now green and lush, the new driveway is uncracked and clean and the windows we had recently professionally washed make everything crystal clear. Nice!
So it was a matter of some interest to see my neighbor's 2005 VW convertible Beetle sitting at the curb across the street; it normally lives in his garage. "What's that doing there?" I wondered. When I saw the new battery sitting on the ground in front of it, I knew: battery replacement. I did this same job last year; it was by far the most difficult battery replacement job I have ever done. There are all sorts of considerations and items to be removed, and the battery doesn't fit directly down on the plate, no, it must be slid in sideways at an angle. It was such a pain that I wrote up a detailed "how to" for the newbeetle.org forum.
So, I decided to walk out and chat up my neighbor, to see if he needed any help. "Well, it was a real pain," he said, "So I downloaded these detailed directions off the Internet." Sure enough, they were mine - ha ha! He made the same mistake I did: he dropped the metal clamp which secures the battery to the plate: clink, clink, where is it? I don't see it on the ground. But this time he had my borrowed magnetic LED device to find it and grab it from the innards of the engine - I didn't have the tool at the time. I think I may add a postscript to my directions, suggesting its usefulness!
(Correction: I looked at my directions again. They're not the same as the one my neighbor used, after all; mine are a lot better! But do I erase the above paragraphs and start over? No.)
I watched a good old British war film last night, Frieda (1947). The plot: a downed RAF pilot escapes capture via a German girl, whom he marries. He takes her back home to England, but she faces discrimination and hate from the locals. The war ends and things start to get better, but the situation suddenly worsens when her unreconstructed Nazi brother shows up. Part of the fun was watching three of the excellent crop of postwar British actors: David Farrar, Glynis Johns and Flora Robson. Good flick! My noir pal Michael Keaney gives this four stars, and I agree. I'm not entirely convinced it's film noir, however... it seems more of a war film to me. But there are no hard and fast rules concerning what's noir and what isn't, let alone what makes a film cross genres from being a war film to a noir. Noirheads bicker about what's noir and what isn't continually.
I am now reading Who Put the Butter in Butterfly - and Other Fearless Investigations Into Our Illogical Language by David Feldman. It's one of those books which describe how odd words and phrases came to be. I think I have four or five of Feldman's books from yard sales and library sales. I read these, take in a bunch of interesting word and phrase origins, think, "That's interesting - I'm glad to have learned that" and then promptly forget what I've read as life moves on.
An example of an odd phrase? How about "Scot free?" At first glance you might think this has something to do with a Scotsman's legendary thrift, but no. The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon scotfre... well, this article explains it all, and even has a nice photo of Dred Scott. Go there, read and know.
I listened to the Glazunov Violin Concerto on the way into work this morning. Movements one and two seem rather academic and are lacking in drama or any memorable themes. Movement three is quite good, however - I have the melodies bouncing around in my head as I type - and the violin writing is quite flashy.
Spring break! So no Webelos scouts meeting tonight. Instead... what? I don't know. Movies, reading and piano practice. I need to track down an intermittent water leak under my kitchen sink. Let joy be unconfined.
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