Category Archives: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING!

MY GENERAL AND/OR CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND ME.

BUT I’M STILL HERE!

Well, my 700th WP post looked like it would be my last post for a while. All weekend I had been struggling with a diminishing internet connection. It was acting like it was a dial-up connection, and shortly after my Monday morning post it died with a brief blink. Because we had stormy weather (again) I gave it a chance to return. OK, I hate having the cable company’s telephone android lead me through the checklist of finding out what was wrong with my system. Finally after reaching the point of becoming a blithering, babbling fool, the system switched my to a genuine live agent who said … sound like your modem died. He ask if eight this morning would be OK for a service man to visit. Hell, yes!

He not only replaced the old modem with a sleek new version, he also checked out all the cable connections in the house including the cable DVR and receiver an even climbed the pole to check the downlink from the cable line. Great service.

OK, so what did I miss in the past three days other than the backlog of email spam.

AND AFTER THE STORM MOVED ON …

Well, I’ll be honest, I’ve had a very erratic sleep pattern the last couple of days. And almost all of it had to do with our recent stormy weather. That, and the fact that Mlle. Renee felt she had to sleep with me … to protect me from … whatever. And frankly, Renee is a bed hog who thinks my legs and feet are the perfect pillow for her to use as a head rest. Also, I didn’t have a trust in the weather wizards’ claims that the storms were over for the night. At least not when you can hear thunder rumbling and grumbling throughout the night. Come morning I was more than willing to sleep in until noon or more. Unfortunately, the TV stations were spreading non-stop damage and destruction reports about the northern reaches of the metropolitan area … and friends and relatives started calling to see if I was still there. After assuring all that I was still here, I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I had a bowl of puffed wheat with red, black and blue berries. The berries are always eaten separately and never in the cereal bowl. And I, too, watched the endless replays of the previous evening. The weather folk hadn’t been able to get their act together on whether our weather had been three separate tornadoes along a 23-mile long stretch, or one really twisted twister that had hop-scotched across the area.

Finally I decided that after I had been telling everyone I had been damage free, I should actually get dressed and go out and do a visual inspection. Here’s the 200+ degree panoramic  shot (moving right to left) covering the north, west and south views from my house.BackYardPan

You can click on the photo to enlarge it for easier viewing. Yes, I always ask myself if it is wise to live in middle of a virtual forest in the midst of tornado alley. The shade is so nice though. And the only damage I could find were …DSC07371

… a few fallen leaves and twirlers …

DSC07372… and a couple of short undeveloped branches.

Also the western end of the property look like it was pretending to be a bog or swamp in waiting.DSC07373

The bad news was …

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Yes, the invasion of the invasive honeysuckle in the middle of my yew hedge!

JUST WHAT I NEEDED!

Anyway, I went inside and took an afternoon nap. And then I couldn’t fall asleep last night. It’s a little cooler today, but that’s because we have a heavy cloud cover.

 

ODDS AND ENDS ON A RAINY SATURDAY AFTERNOON

It’s damp, gloomy and chilly outside and Mlle. Renee is napping on my bed … so I decided to clean out the photo folders on my computer desk top.

First, there’s this photo of an awning sign that’s over a chain of Wicket City restaurants …

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What exactly is St. Louis fish and chicken Chicago style?

And have you ever wondered why I seldom post family photos?The Unavengers

The Unavengers‽

And if you thought a talking clock was scary …

clock

Is this what they mean about lost in the woods?DSC06137

The first musical I saw on Broadway on my first night in New York City …1776

It was staged on a thrust stage that projected out over the orchestra pit and into the audience, and my seat was exactly in the center of the first row about a foot from the stage. It was like William Daniels (John Adams) was talking directly to me.

A memento that hung on the wall of the cubicle where I pounded an old Royal typewriter, an IBM electric typewriter, and two different computers for a lot of years.P7110010

I worked in the in-house advertising agency of a retail shoe company that specialized in women’s footwear … as a copywriter, sales promotion director, events planning director and broadcast producer and director. Well, it was over quite a few years.

From my freaks and geeks collection …Freaks and Geeks

ROY BLUNT

Why are these men always laughing?

Just because I thought this one went with the last two …Frogs

SPAM!!!SPAM

Really, Rob, really!

And I was saving this for a post when I was really hopping mad …leapman

And last, but not least … a self-portrait …TrekID

I was actually considering this for yesterday’s IN THE BACKGROUND photo challenge.

Well, that cleans out all the junk that was cluttering up my desktop and the sun has come out again. Enjoy!

BABY ELEPHANT WALK

Ellie, Malia and Priya Does anyone remember that Henry Mancini song?

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.

WHO’S NEW AT THE ZOO?

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 new baby is the fourth daughter for Raja, the father, who was the first elephant born at the zoo 20 years ago. Young stud!Baby

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.

The Zoo now has a three generation family herd of 12, much like elephants in the wild. In addition to their River’s Edge naturalistic habitat where the public can see them, the herd also has their private secluded Elephant Woods where they can romp and rumpus as if they were in the wild.

IN PLAIN VIEW, BUT SELDOM SEEN!

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.Culture

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.

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Now I guess I’ll have to go back and photograph the other two panels of the work.

DON’T GO KNOCKING THE ARCH DOWN!

STLCityscape

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.

Thanks to CGI effects, this is what the Arch will look like in the series.defiance

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.

STLfuture

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!

ArchFoundation

SO ALIENS BEWARE! THE WICKET CITY IS WAITING FOR YOU!

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!

Oh the weather outside is frightful

But the gas heat’s so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!LetItSnow 1_2

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. chancolorWise 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.

LEONARDO’S NINE TO FIVE JOB

On several posts recently, Leonardo da Vinci made a special guest appearance. In case you wondered what he does the rest of the time …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe stands around on the family photo shelf trying to put an enigmatic smile on my face in my official portrait.

THE RUNNER-UP

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.

camellias

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.

(Built in 1882, the Linnean House is the oldest continuously operated public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River.)LinnaenHouse1890

Every February, the camellias that grow there are in full bloom. DSC05476

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.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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