Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Traffic light

On the way to my horse-feeding job, there's a traffic light that I'm convinced is controlled by a gremlin. If there's only one person stopped at the traffic light, it will turn green and stay green for a more or less standard amount of time. If, on the other hand, there's a line of four or five cars stopped at the light, it turns green just barely long enough for the first person to start moving, and then it turns red again. I'm not joking about this. The light is yellow for longer than it is green sometimes. I once pulled up behind two cars that were stopped at the light, and I watched the light go red-green-yellow-red so fast that the guy second in line had to rush through the yellow, and I had to stop and wait for the light to change again.

I bet the gremlin that works the light thinks that's just the funniest thing in the whole world. I sure do.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I made a song!

To the tune of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee":

I have a puppy dog.
Her picture's on my blog.
She's really neat.

She knows to sit and stay
When food is on its way.
She does this twice a day;
She loves to eat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lord of the Rings

Jack and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the course of the last several days. I figured this would be a good place to post my opinions regarding the cast of the movie. We'll start with what I like the least and work our way up from there.

I can't decide which I like less, Arwen or Frodo. The actor who played Frodo seems to have been chosen primarily for his ability to make that grimace of extreme pain.


Seriously, he makes this face or one very similar to it for practically the entire movie. When he's not making that face, he's making this one:


This is the one I call the I-love-you-Sam face. In addition, the actor can't seem to figure out whether he wants his character to be timid or authoritative, and I don't think that has to do with the ring. I can't blame the actor too terribly much, though, since the character himself is pretty lame. I think just about the only useful thing he does in any of the movies is solve the "Speak, friend, and enter" riddle to open the door into Moria. Other than that, the character is pretty wimpy. I mean, in the first few movies, he offers the magic ring of power and utmost evil to pretty much anyone taller than he is. Sam is constantly saving his sorry butt, and all Frodo really does is make one bad decision after another. The character doesn't seem to have any particularly redeeming qualities. But he's got a pretty face and brilliant blue eyes, so I guess he's always got that going for him.

The other character/actor I really don't like is Arwen. Seriously, I don't know what Aragorn sees in that chick. The character is completely useless in the movies. The only thing she does that is remotely cool is that little bit of fancy riding to get to Rivendell with Frodo, when she outrides the ringwraiths and then summons the water to wash them down the river. Okay, that was awesome. But in the books, that wasn't even Arwen; it was Glorfindel. After that, all she does is cry a lot and be seductive when she has the chance.

The actress made the wimpy character so much worse. Firstly, I never thought she was quite pretty/graceful enough to be an elf. I always imagined elves with more delicate, slightly pointy facial features, and her face is much too round. That aside, it's really annoying how she never raises her voice above a whisper. And unlike Frodo, who could at least make two different facial expressions, she only has the one. I mean, this is the most intense her face gets:


That's supposed to be the face of someone who is riding a horse at full gallop with nine ringwraiths in hot pursuit, almost on top of her. She's trying to balance a wounded, delirious hobbit (Frodo, of course) on the saddle, and she has to outrun the ringwraiths and get Frodo to Rivendell because if she doesn't keep the ring away from the ringwraiths, the entire world will be destroyed. Pretty intense, right? Maybe I'm crazy, but I just really don't see that reflected in her face.

Also, this is her angry face:


That's also her sad face, her neutral face, and her seductive face. And PS, that dress is horrendously ugly.

One more thing: Galadriel was super creepy.


Okay, now on to the characters and actors I really liked.

They picked a perfect actor for Gimli. He was phenomenal. Also, I can't, in good conscience, finish this post without mentioning how much I liked Faramir. Even though you felt bad for the guy because of the way his father treated him, he was still incredibly lovable. His eyes, like Frodo's, were a brilliant blue, but unlike Frodo's, Faramir's eyes were very expressive. They had a twinkle in them that could turn to sorrow so intense it made viewers sad too. Or maybe the sorrow came from seeing the twinkle leave those eyes, which was almost symbolic of watching darkness cover the land, as it would if the quest to destroy the ring failed.


I'm glad he ended up with Eowyn, who, by the way, was also totally awesome. The actress looked perfect for the role, if slightly older than she was in the books. According to the book, she was supposed to be like 18 or 20. So her crush on Aragorn was perfectly understandable. The hopeful look on her face as she fed him soup, hoping he would like it, although she was apparently an atrocious cook, was great. (About as great as the look on his face when he tasted it.) As she prepared Meri for war, she seemed just like a mother dressing up her young son for his first day of school.

There are several stories about women her age (-ish) dressing as men to go to battle and then doing something totally awesome to basically make their side win. This story was one of the best. She fought as well as any man, well enough to stay alive, which, in that kind of war, was feat enough. Then, to finish it up, she stabbed the Witch King, Sauron's most powerful pawn, right in the face. Frankly, I think she's easily the coolest chick in Middle Earth.


Finally, the guy who played Sam was fantastic. In the books, I didn't really like Sam much. Loyal as he was, he struck me as kind of clingy and a little annoying. In the movies, though, the actor breathed new life into Sam. You saw him playful, you saw him angry, you saw him crying, destitute because he had followed Frodo all the way to Mordor only to have Frodo tell Sam to go home as Frodo journeyed on with Gollum, who Sam knew wanted Frodo dead. (Did you follow that sentence?) If I were to pick one actor in the Lord of the Rings for the Best Acting Award, it would be the actor who played Sam.


Sam's character kicks butt. Without him, Frodo would never have gotten anywhere near Mordor. Sam saved Frodo's life so many times, and in the end, he carried Frodo up to Mount Doom, even though he had been journeying just as long and far as Frodo. He put up with more crap than anyone else in the trilogy, and struggled longer and harder, was more patient and focused, more loyal and devoted. Who wouldn't want a friend like Sam? In my opinion, Sam, not Frodo, should have been the celebrated hero at the end. I know he is in my head.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Electrocution

The horses I feed have this enormous watering trough. Lately, the water has been getting filthy as the horses drop grass and crud in it, and algae grows in the water. So for the last several days, I've been letting the water get low so that I can empty it out and scrub the trough. Today, I just used a bucket to bail out enough of the rest of the water that I could dump it and scrub it. Naturally, during the process, I got, if not soaked, then at least pretty wet.

Being the genius that I am, I thought I wouldn't have to turn off the electric fence for this process, nor would I have to duck under the fence to get into the right paddock to turn the water back off. Instead, I leaned across the fence to turn off the water pump, which ended up being slightly stuck in the "on" position. My knee got a little too close to the bottom part of the fence, and the next thing I knew, there was a flash of light and this big flash of pain in my chest and face as my heart and eyeballs tried to pop out of their respective places, and I was flat on my back about four feet away from where I was before. Lesson learned: Turn off the stupid fence next time. (It doesn't really hurt when it zaps me and I'm dry and not touching any metal, so I figured it wasn't a big deal. Silly me.)

Anyway, when I managed to stop twitching and get my heart rate under control, I went home and decided to look up whether there's anything you should do after you get zapped like that. I don't know why I bothered. I've been electrocuted before, worse than this, and I'm well aware that it's one of those things where if it doesn't kill you, then you're fine. But I tried anyway. Here's what came up:


If you have to, click on the image so you can see it full size, because it's worth reading.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Young Grasshopper

It's about fifty and drizzly outside, which is my idea of perfect weather. Blitzkrieg is on the back patio, and he just found a grasshopper. He went over to sniff it and it jumped away. He scrambled after it, picked it up gently in his mouth, and brought it back to where he first saw it. He set it down, and I thought it was dead until he poked at it with his paw and it hopped again. He's been bringing it back and poking it till it hops away for about five minutes now. It's the cutest thing, although I doubt the grasshopper agrees.

Update: The grasshopper didn't make it, and Blitzkrieg got a small afternoon snack.