Thursday, January 24, 2008

So, How's the Weather Where You Are?

The handy-dandy indoor/outdoor thermometer currently shows an outdoor reading of 4 degrees Fahrenheit. If that media slut of a marmota in Punxsutawney sees his shadow next week, I may snap and try to warm myself with a hearty groundhog stew. No, not Woodrow. He's an innocent marmota, who is currently hibernating under the barn like any sensible animal would be. I don't expect to see him for another couple of months.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Silent Movie Magic

I don't suppose anyone out there knows how the Clara Bow flick Get Your Man ends?

The local theater celebrated 80 years since its opening performance tonight by putting on a fairly reasonable facsimile of the first show. In keeping with the theater's use as a catch-all for stage plays, movies, symphony and orchestral performances, vaudeville, stand-up comedy and, yes, even the Superbowl, the show was a combination of an organ recital on the resident Wurlitzer, barbershop quartet performance, stand-up comedy, a vaudeville routine (if you've never seen a man juggle bowling pins while balancing a bowling ball atop a 6-foot toilet plunger perched on his forehead, all while cuing a 6-year-old holding a cymbal, you're missing out--and that wasn't even the act's finale...that was playing Dream the Impossible Dream on a red balloon), and the movie shown on that first night, Get Your Man, shown with live musical accompaniment on the Wurlitzer. That's really the only way to see silent movies.

According to the theater manager, there is one existing print of that movie on the planet. It is currently located in Germany. IMDB seems to be under the impression that there is also a print filed with the Library of Congress, but that print is missing reels 2 and 3 of the 6-reel flick. Since we saw reels 2 and 3, I think I can safely say we did not see the Library of Congress print. Notwithstanding a couple of moments where it looked like Clara Bow was getting zapped by the Jawas, we saw everything right up to the point that Buddy Rogers, who has had the hots for Clara for the last five reels (who hasn't?), stomped out of the room after finding out that Clara Bow had seduced and agreed to get engaged to the very much older Marquis, so that the Marquis would break the engagement between his daughter and Buddy Rogers, leaving the daughter free to go after her love, Henri, and Buddy Rogers free to go after Clara Bow...who has just engaged herself to the old guy. OK, so there is a slight flaw in the plan. The movie underwent the digital equivalent of a film meltdown before we got to see how she extracts herself from that to find happiness with Buddy Rogers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

OK, There is a Down Side

So, the former, more-penguin-shaped behind would have come in handy today. Seems that losing a couple inches off the rear end means that there is less padding in the landing zone when you slip while clearing the snow off the new asphalt driveway. Also, the decreasing layer of insulating blubber is throwing off internal thermoregulation, unless that is an unlisted side effect of taking a driveway to the noggin*.

*-since certain maternal penguins will worry, I'll assure you in advance that I checked and am reasonably certain I don't have a concussion, just a sore backside.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Life, The Universe and Everything

Today marks the 42nd straight day of me dragging my increasingly-less-penguin-shaped behind onto the treadmill. That's 6 solid weeks of me spending at least 20 minutes walking toward a green wall and, even after somewhere around 70 miles, never quite getting there.

My strategy for sticking with this is simple. I set my workout clothes (never underestimate the importance of this as a piece of exercise equipment)(unless you are a guy) out where I can just roll into them before grabbing my morning coffee. With sneakers laced up, I suck down the coffee and a cup of milk while checking the morning email, then head down the hall to the treadmill. I made a deal with myself that, for the first three weeks, all I had to do was power up the treadmill, poke the button for the easiest pre-set program (1 mile, 20 minutes) then not fall off the back. Show up, one button, and avoid landing on my face--it was that simple, and I usually started before I was alert enough to talk myself out of it. Even before the first three weeks were up, I had ventured off the pre-set and started to do longer and harder sessions. My deal with myself has graduated to doing at least 20 minutes at at least 3.5 mph. Most days, I do more, but it's nice, psychologically, to know that all I have to do is that, and I can do more as I feel like it. Usually, I do. Even today, sore from digging up parts of the yard yesterday, I did 30 minutes between 3.5 and 3.7 mph. That's not much for you performance athletes out there, but it's a big increase over my former "no exercise."

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Penguin Perspectives First

After four years and a few months, Penguin Perspectives is celebrating its first piece of comment spam in Portuguese! Whenever I need to name a random non-English language (happens more often than one might think), I fall back on Portuguese. Imagine my surprise when I found a comment in the Unmoderated Comments section that began, " Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre..." The remainder of the message encourages visiting a website, blah, blah. You know the drill. I'm not posting the comment--Portuguese or not, it's still comment spam and I'm not having that here--so if you wanted to make loads of money merely by connecting to the internet...sorry.

Tip of the beak to Babel Fish for providing a translation of both the comment and the page it spammed for so I could double-check my suspicions about the message's spamminess. Not that one needs to do too much checking when a blog written in English gets comments not in English containing a URL. While I can generally recognize a block of written Portuguese, I do not speak it...not even my Four Vital Phrases To Know In Any Language.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here's to a happy, healthy, prosperous arbitrary demarcation of one revolution of our planet around the parent star.