Category Archives: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!
MY GENERAL AND/OR CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND ME.
It became my earworm of the day after I saw the latest video of the STL ZOO’s new baby elephant with her big sister Maliha who is now six and her mother Ellie who stopped counting birthdays when she was 35.
By popular vote, the new little pachyderm will be named Priya. Willow, my choice, came in second. Hopefully, it will stop raining sometime this year and then I go see if I can get some photos myself.
Well, the Saint Louis Zoo had another blessed event over the weekend, and they only had to wait 21 months for the arrival. Ellie, the Indian Elephant, (41) gave birth to her second daughter. The is the fourth daughter for Raja, the father, who was the first elephant born at the zoo 20 years ago. Young stud!
You are allowed two AHH!!s for the 251 pound baby.
The public is invited for vote for the name of the new baby girl …CAI rhymes with high and means feminine, VIOLET, WILLOW, HARPER, or PRIYA which means dear. Personally, I voted for WILLOW.
Everyday hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people visit the Art Museum in Saint Museum. By a wonder how many of them actually look up at the sculpture directly over the main entrance door. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, but if you asked me to describe it … I’d draw a blank. I know that it hasseveral figures in it. But I have no idea what they’re doing. Well, here’s that sculpture.
It is the work of Hermon A. MacNeil who created it for renowned Beaux Arts architect, Cass Gilbert’s Palace of Fine Arts at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, more commonly known as THE SAINT LOUIS WORLD’S FAIR. Today it is just the Saint Louis Art Museum. MacNeil had a very successful career as a sculptor and his works can be seen all across the US.
In case you’re wondering, ARS ARTIUM OMNIUM is Latin that translates “The Art Of All Arts.”
Is it just me, or does it look like the sculpture was cut in half and reassemble when it was attached to the front of the building. By the way, the Palace of Fine Arts was the only permanent stone structure built for the fair. Also an exact duplicate of the building only made of wood and plaster and horse hair stood across from this building. It was for the exhibiting of paintings.
Now I guess I’ll have to go back and photograph the other two panels of the work.
Almost everyone in the county and a lot of people around the world will recognize this riverfront cityscape as Saint Louis. This is mainly because of the Gateway Arch that is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial which is a National Park that runs along the riverfront.
Well, as of next month, this might no longer be the case. It seems like a new cable series will be starting on the SyFy Network that has our planet being invaded by nasties from another planet. Yeah, I know, it seems like this has been happening several times each season in the past few years, but this time they’re getting close to me in West Walnut Manor which happens to be one of Saint Louis’ nicer suburbs.
Don’t know what happened to the river, but the Arch in now in center of desolation and destruction as far as the eyes can see. I guess those mountains are actually supposed to be piles of rubble, because while Saint Louis does have a number of hill, it really doesn’t have a lot of mountains around the Arch.
Now apparently the aliens weren’t able to get the blueprints showing the foundations of the Arch, because then they would have known that it would take a whole lot of whacking to bring that giant stainless steel croquet wicket down. I was able to get access to copy of the super-secret original plans …
And this is what keeps the whole thing standing!
SO ALIENS BEWARE! THE WICKET CITY IS WAITING FOR YOU!
Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the gas heat’s so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Though it’s slushy and melting on paved surfaces, the trees and lawns have accumulated yet another two inches of fluffy white stuff. At times this morning it was coming down so thick and heavy, it looked like the angels were having pillow-fights. You know you’re getting old when things your mother used to tell you when you were a wee wisp of a boy start popping into your memory. Yes, those little grey cells are in time machine mode again. Actually the snow was coming down so thick, Mlle. Renee refuse to go out this morning. She just gave me her “I’ll hold it in.” look. Oh, well, just heard we spring forward to Daylight Saving Time this weekend. Didn’t we just fall back four months ago? Since I really don’t want to miss an hour of sleep again, maybe I’ll throw an overnight Charlie Chan Classic Film party Saturday/Sunday. Wise man say, “If you do not sleep, do you really loose an hour of same?”
I’ve actually collected most of the Chan films made during the 30s and 40s on DVD with three different actors playing the title character … Warner Oland (1931-1938), Sidney Toler (1938-1947), and Roland Winters (1947-1949). They were favorites of mine at the Friday night double features at the old Salisbury Theater. (It still exists, only now as revival church.) Admission was just a dime, and my Aunt Edna took me and my brother every Friday. The Charlie Chan character actually originated in a series of mystery novels written by Earl Derr Biggers in the mid-twenties. I have a couple of the novels that were reprinted a couple of years ago.
Note on the snowscape illustration … as a Hanukkah gift for my great-nephew Jake in 2011 when he was four, I made of craft/play project for him consisting of a stack of different winter snowscapes which I printed out on 8 x 10 heavy-stock photo paper. I added a box of adhesive-backed winter themed foam cutouts. He used them to make Christmas gifts for the family. The photo is a scan of the one he made for me.
It’s now 1:00 pm and while there are still a few flurries outside it seem the heavy snowfall has ended.
When I was picking out a photo for my WORDLESS WEDNESDAY post today I was looking for something that would brighten up a rather bleak and bland late winter day that was being punctuated with intermittent snow showers. My first choice was this photo.
It’s a picture I took a couple of weeks ago during a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden. While most visitors were concentrating on the superb annual orchid display, I stepped out to visit the Linnean House.
And since the camellia is the floral symbol of the Chinese New Year, I wanted to capture a few pictures of them. 新年快乐 Even though the official New Year celebration ended two days ago. So why did the camellias come in second to Mlle. Renee and the gladioli? Well, I thought Renee told a better story without words for Wordless Wednesday. BTW, my original title of the photo with Renee smelling the glads is TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES, which really doesn’t make any sense at all.
After a couple of days of gloom, snow and frosty weather the sun finally came out on Saturday. And since I had to replenish the bread and milk I purchased in advance of the weather, I had to go shopping. But before I could do that, I had to clear a path from my front steps to the street.
Not wanting to exert myself, I only cleared a path wide enough for me to walk through. The stores were really crowded. Guess people were either replenishing like me, or stocking up for the next snow storm that’s expected to arrive on Tuesday. Luckily the weather wizards are expecting rain and thunderstorms on Monday, so most of the snow on the ground now will be washed away by the time the new stuff arrives on Tuesday. Sounds like déjà vu all over again!
After picking up my groceries, I stopped at the Golden Arch’s for some take-out for lunch.Yeah, I finally had to try the Fish McBites. Surprisingly they weren’t molded from some pink goop like the McNuggets are. The bites are actually breaded cubes of fish fillets that looked like that once swam in Alaskan waters. I only bought the snack-pack size, but once I got home I realized I should have opted for one of the larger offerings. Renee smelled the fish as soon as walked into the house, and followed me from the front door to the kitchen where she sat on the floor and made moaning-growly noises at me. Yes, I shared with her, which is why I wished I had bought the larger size. Renee did not like her McBites dipped in tartar sauce.
THINGS YOU’D NEVER KNOW …
IF YOU DIDN’T ORDER TO GO!While I ate, I read the back of the carry-out bag. Did you know, the favorite Mickey D item in India is theMcALOO TIKKI potato burger? Guess this is a preferable option to order horse-meat burgers. And I’m sure they wash their lettuce twice.
After I ate, I decided I should also give my little feathered friends something to eat, too. Except for Renee’s footprints, the backyard is still covered with snow with a frosted crust of ice. Since I didn’t want to put my snowshoes back on, I decided to just fling the bird seed on top of the snow from the back deck. The little birds didn’t mind at all.
The ones with white cheek patches are the rare Eurasian Tree Sparrows that only exist in parts of the Saint Louis area. (They’re also almost extinct in Europe now.) The birds are ordinary house sparrows more commonly known as chippies.
This is called enjoying the nice side-effects of a snow storm.
Yes, Saint Louis is celebrating a birthday today … 249th at that. On February 15, 1764, a couple of French fur traders, Pierre Laclede and his stepson Auguste Chouteau established a small fur trading settlement on the west bank of the Mississippi River … just a little south of where the Missouri River joined the Mississippi. They called it Saint Louis after the Sainted King of France, Louis IX. They weren’t the first people to build a settlement there. Back in the tenth century the native Mississippian people had settled there and built giant mounds, temples and burial grounds, but we have no idea what they called it.
So for a long time it was part of the French colony of Louisiana.
And then after a war Spain won it …
And then France got it back …
But Napoleon needed some fast cash so he sold it to Tom Jefferson as part of the Louisiana Territory.
And suddenly the US of A was twice as large as it had been.
And thanks to the river, it became the starting point for all the settlers who were heading west. Actually, it got the nickname Gateway To The West sometime around about that time … and it just seemed to stick.
When my great-grandfather Franz arrived in 1865 from Alsenborn, Germany, it was the fourth largest city in the United States. Thanks to a bunch of politicians who didn’t want to pay for maintaining roads outside of core of the early city and drew a boundary line at the then limits of the city, the city soon lost its fourth largest status.
That’s what I said to myself this morning shortly after I asked myself, “What should we have for breakfast?” Naturally my constant companion, Mlle. Renee shouted out, “BACON!” And quickly followed up with, “BUTTERED TOAST!” Renee has a two-track mind when it comes to comfort breakfast food. “No, I want something completely different this morning,” I said. To which she replied, ” Oh, no, experimental breakfasts again — quick pass me the dogfood!”
Then I spread the bottom side with peanut butter which quickly melted into the warm dough and topped it with blackberry jam. You didn’t expect me to sacrifice such a royal roll to the plebeian likes of ordinary grape jelly? (Actually, I don’t even like grape jelly.) It was extraordinary!
Even Mlle. Renee was attracted back into the kitchen by the aroma of the toasted pretzel bun and the melting peanut butter. She even added a few long sniffs followed by a lip lick and said, “Actually, that smells pretty good.”
Yeah, I even saved the last bite for her.
Forgot to mention, it snowed last and we woke to find everything covered with a thick blanket of white.