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Tuesday/ Jupiter’s auroras

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s a time to change, hey
Since the return of her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey
Hey, hey-yeah

[Chorus]
But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
And tell me, did you fall from a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were
Looking for yourself out there?

-Lyrics from ‘Drops of Jupiter'(2001) by Train


I am trying out the new James Webb telescope of Jupiter and its auroras as wallpaper for my phone.

Webb NIRCam composite image of Jupiter from two filters – F212N (orange) and F335M (cyan).
[Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt].

Monday/ the slap that was seen around the world

I did not watch the Oscars, and so I missed the storm in the teacup.
Clips of it was all over Twitter, of course.
I don’t think Will Smith is looking good, and I don’t know if his apology of today will help his damaged image.
He was obnoxious as he sat in his seat after the slap, yelling f-words at Chris Rock.

Saturday/ keep guessing

 

 

I solved today’s Wordle on the very last of the six tries I had.

I would have had it in three tries if I were luckier with my guesses .. or four, or five.

Caturday

Here is a young Marlon Brando (31) with his cat, from a write-up in Look magazine from May 17, 1955.
‘I live in my cat’s house’, said Brando at the time.

Brando was nominated for an Academy Award seven times, and won the Award twice: for Best Actor in ‘On the Waterfront (1954)’ and for Best Actor in ‘The Godfather (1972)’.

Thursday/ the puzzle that’s a puzzle

I found a puzzle (wonder what had happened), and R2-D2 depicted on a card, on my walk today.
I was too far from my house to pick either up/ clean it up*, and besides that: I only have one hand. 🙂

*If it’s on my block, especially on the sidewalk or street at the front of the house, it doesn’t matter what it is; I feel compelled to clean it up. Broken beer bottle, dead crow, dog poop, empty cannabis packets.

Was there a tug-of-war between two people, with the puzzle in the middle, and the box was torn open? Who knows.
R2-D2 (say Artoo Deetoo) is a fictional robot character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. He has appeared in eleven of the twelve theatrical Star Wars films to date.

Thursday/ what’s today’s WORDLE?

A new word game called WORDLE* is all the buzz on Twitter.
It’s online and free, with a new word you have to guess every day, so I had to check it out.

*Launched publicly in October last year, the game was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Wales living in New York, for his partner, Palak Shah, who loves puzzles. At first, the game was played by family, before it was rolled out globally, Wardle told the New York Times.

The rules are simple.
You have 6 tries to guess the mystery 5-letter word.
After every guess, a green letter says the letter & its position is correct.
Yellow means the letter is in the word, but in the wrong place.
Grey means the letter is not in the word. The little keyboard at the bottom is updated after every word.
See my approach? I put frequently used letters in the first two words, and that thins out the possibilities dramatically, from the third guess onwards.
On Tuesday, Julia Fine, a 33-year-old novelist in Chicago, went with what she knows: QUERY, as in the letters aspiring authors send while seeking a literary agent. She got five green boxes on the first try, a Wordle hole-in-one. Astounded, she posted her victory on Twitter, reasoning: “What can I do with this other than share?” – from the Washington Post

Tuesday/ a song called Mississippi

Pussycat was a Dutch country and pop group led by the three Kowalczyk sisters: Toni, Betty and Marianne. They had a monster hit in South Africa with their song Mississippi.

The year was 1977. I was in high school, with no inkling that the year 1995 would find me living on the banks of the Mississippi (in St Louis, Missouri).

I had long scoured secondhand CD stores for music from the group ⁠—with no success. So it was time for the nuclear option: order one from overseas on Discogs.com.

The cover of the CD that arrived on my doorstep, from a seller in Germany. Nooo, I thought, this will not do as the artwork for the album in my Apple Music collection. That Art Deco font does not work for me.  And how did MISSISSIPPI with one P make it onto the cover?
This album cover is much better, and I uploaded this one. Very 70’s with the lettering, their hair, their clothes and even the furniture.

Thursday/ a friendly reindeer

I was at Bellevue Square shopping mall today.
The Microsoft store had closed down. The Apple store upstairs is still open, and the Tesla showroom is still there as well.
(Funny, how it felt like ‘old news’, looking at the Model 3 and the two Model Ys on display— now that I have had my own car for 6 months).

The display window of the LEGO store in Bellevue Square. Let’s see what Santa is up to, right there on perched on the nose (Rudolph’s nose?) ..
Santa is enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with Mrs. Claus.

Wednesday/ no check for proof of vaccination

Bryan, Gary and I made our way down to The Chieftain for a beer and a bite tonight.

There’s no one at the door to check for masks & proof of vaccination, and it was not done at the table, either. At this point, all bars and restaurants in King County with inside seating— no matter how small — must check for proof of vaccination. We let it slide .. the waiter wore a mask, and the tables are very far apart. King County is 75% fully vaccinated per the New York Times.
Many other counties in Washington State lag far behind, with numbers like 65% (Snohomish), 59% (Pierce), 57% (Yakima), 51% (Kittitas).  

Thursday/ no Squid Game for me

Sorry — not sorry — Netflix, I did not sign up for shows like Squid Game.
I don’t care that it’s your No 1 show. I really don’t care.

For people that feel that they are missing out, Angela Haupt offers these tips in The Washington Post:
-Read a synopsis ahead of time.
-Focus on the corners of the screen.
-Think about something else during the stressful parts.
-Watch in small doses rather than all at once.
-Find a way to ground yourself in the present moment.
-Make up a backstory for the “scary” characters.
-Talk about it.

The article also says: If you truly don’t want to watch an uncomfortable show like “Squid Game,” experts say you shouldn’t force yourself — no matter how much you worry your social currency might drop.
Me: Have no fear. I will not force myself.

Thursday/ a LEGO Titanic set?

Rumor has it that a LEGO Titanic set is forthcoming, as early as November 1st (the LEGO company is mute).
The LEGO Creator Expert set #10294 is said to have 9,090 pieces, so it will be bigger than the Colosseum ($550, 9036 pieces)*.

*The 2021 LEGO World Map has 11,695 pieces, but it is a flat model with a large number of mosaic pieces.

(Unofficial, not confirmed by LEGO!) This is what the LEGO version of RMS Titanic, operated by the White Star Line, will look like. Reportedly it has no mini-figures (so no crew, and no Jack & Rose from the Titanic movie in the bow). It is also not known if the interior of the ship will show a few details such as part of the engine room, or the grand ballroom of the Titanic with its spiral staircase. 
[Picture from https://www.brickfinder.net/]

Tuesday/ more Looney Tunes characters

My LEGO Looney Tunes character collection of twelve little figures is almost complete.
(Daffy Duck got left behind when the package was shipped from Denmark, maybe the Bricklink seller there can send me one in an envelope).

Lola Bunny with her basket ball, Bugs Bunny’s love interest. She is a late addition to the Looney Tunes characters, debuting only in 1996 in ‘Space Jam’. She likes to say ‘Don’t ever call me ‘Doll’ ‘.
Tasmanian Devil (‘Taz’) is a scary character, moving like a whirlwind, short-tempered and with an insatiable appetite. Any music— just not Scottish bagpipes— will calm him down, though.
Marvin the Martian debuted in 1948. He has no mouth, nose or ears, and his outfit is loosely based on the Hoplites: the heavily armed foot soldiers of ancient Greece (helmet with the brush on, and skirt). The Hoplites did not have ray guns, of course.
Petunia Pig with teapot and tea cup. She debuted in 1937 in ‘Porky’s Romance’ as Porky Pig’s love interest. In the cartoon movie she has a spoiled pooch called Fluffnums and would have nothing to do with him.

Friday/ the insouciant rabbit

in·sou·ci·ant
/inˈso͞osēənt,inˈso͞oSHənt/
adjective
showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.
“an insouciant shrug”


My package from Kopenhagen, Denmark finally landed on the porch today.
Inside are the LEGO Looney Tunes figures that were still missing from my collection, plus a bunch of bricks for building trees and foliage. I will build one figure every day. Here is the first one: the famous rabbit.

Do I even need to introduce this rabbit? Per Wikipedia: ‘Bugs Bunny is an anthropo-morphic gray and white rabbit or hare who is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality’. He debuted in director Tex Avery’s Oscar-nominated cartoon film ‘A Wild Hare’ (1940).
P.S. That is an enormous carrot!

Wednesday/ stop cheating, Zoey!

I found a new version of Scrabble to play. I play against Zoey.
Zoey is a program, and I select her ‘Grand Master’ level. There is no point in playing her at any other level, is my reasoning.
Still, sometimes it really feels as if she cheats.
Examples: putting down 7 letters* for words such as GAZUNDER and spelling UMIAK as OOMIAK.
*Using all 7 letters earns the player a 50 point bonus.

Here is an explanation of the unusual words on the board (unusual for me⁠— my apologies for any insult rendered to the reader’s vocabulary):
GAZUNDER verb, informal, British: (of a buyer) lower the amount of an offer made on a property and accepted by (a seller) at the time of final negotiations, as in ‘the couple have just been gazundered in one of London’s most expensive areas’
TYEE noun, adjective: from Nootka Jargon tayi(s) < Nuu-chah-nulth tayi ‘elder’, ‘oldest son’, ‘older brother’, ‘senior’; allegedly resembles Inuktitut toyom ‘chief’
OOMIAK noun, from Inuit umiaq, variant spelling of ‘umiak’: an open boat made of a wooden frame covered with hide used especially by indigenous peoples of arctic Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and eastern Siberia
OE noun: a small island
NAV noun: short form of navigation
ODAH noun: a room in a harem
KEEVES noun, plural: a tub or vat especially for liquids (as a bleaching kier or dolly tub)
SETTS noun, plural: the den or burrow of a badger; also: the particular pattern of stripes in a tartan

Friday/ Lego City Sports Car

I was at Bartell Drugs (pharmacy) today, and hey! saw that they have a nice little set of LEGO offerings on the shelf with toys.

Age 5+ said the box with the blue ‘Sports Car’ inside, and I thought
1. Well, I am 5+, so I qualify :), and
2. More to the point: I own a blue ‘sports car’ and therefore I have to buy the LEGO sports car. LEGO imitates life (and fantasy).

My plan is to build the little model, and then see if I can modify it so that it better resembles my Tesla Model 3.

Let’s see. The hood & general shape look OK. The headlights need to be round. The windshield will need to be extended (Tesla Model 3 has a  glass roof). The white chassis has to be blue, same as the car. Maybe I can modify the model to give it  4 doors .The wheels look OK; it might be hard to mimic the flat panels on my Aero wheels.
Back of the box. No exhaust pipes on the Tesla, of course, so those have to go. No spoiler on my car. The big brake light bar on the model’s back need to be changed. The lights on my car are up on the corners. As for the driver (me): brown or gray hair; definitely not blond!

Thursday/ the fastest mouse in Mexico

From Wikipedia:
Speedy Gonzales is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He is portrayed as “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” with his major traits being the ability to run extremely fast, speaking English with an exaggerated Mexican accent, and also speaking Spanish. He usually wears a yellow sombrero, white shirt and trousers (which was a common traditional outfit worn by men and boys of rural Mexican villages), and a red kerchief, similar to that of some traditional Mexican attires.

Cartoons featuring Speedy Gonzales were removed from the Cartoon Network TV channel in 1999— due to concerns that the little mouse’s sombrero and heavy accent insulted Mexicans. Speedy Gonzales fans were mightily upset, though, and successfully petitioned for his return to Cartoon Network three years later.

LEGO’s Speedy Gonzales minifigure, another one of the 12 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters in the set from LEGO.  The character first appeared in 1953 in  ‘Cat-Tails for Two’ (as an early version) and officially debuted in ‘Speedy Gonzales’ in 1955.

Tuesday/ a wily coyote

wil·y
/ˈwīlē/

adjective
skilled at gaining an advantage, especially deceitfully.


[Description taken from Wikipedia] Here’s Wile E. Coyote, the cunning, devious and constantly hungry Coyote that  repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat the Road Runner.

Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions (sometimes in the manner of Rube Goldberg) to try to catch his prey, which comically backfire, with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion. Many of the items for these contrivances are mail-ordered from a variety of companies that are all named Acme Corporation.

One running gag involves the Coyote trying (in vain) to shield himself with a little parasol against a great falling boulder that is about to crush him. Another running gag involves the Coyote falling from a high cliff. After he goes over the edge, the rest of the scene, shot from a bird’s-eye view, shows him falling into a canyon so deep, that his figure is eventually lost to sight. This is followed, a second or two later, by the rising of a dust cloud from the canyon floor as the Coyote hits.

The LEGO minifigure depiction of the Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote. He made his first appearance in 1949 with Road Runner. As his contraptions go (to take out Road Runner), this anvil is a pretty simple one.
P.S. Seattle residents report real coyote spottings from time to time, right here in the city.

Thursday/ ‘I tawt I taw a puddy tat!’

The LEGO packet I opened this morning had yet another Road Runner in – ugh.
Got to open another one, I thought. The next one had a Tweety bird in.
So 4 unique mini-figures out of 6 opened so far.

I actually have one more packet to open, but I already know I will ‘have to’* buy another handful of packets. I want a Bugs Bunny and a Wile E. Coyote.
*LEGO has landed me exactly where they wanted me: a collector with an incomplete collection.

From Wikipedia:
Tweety is a yellow canary in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated cartoons. The character first appeared in The Cagey Canary (early version; 1941) and A Tale of Two Kitties (official version; 1942).
“Tweety” is a play on words, as it originally meant “sweetie”, along with “tweet” being an English onomatopoeia for the sounds of birds.
Despite the perceptions that people may hold, owing to the long eyelashes and high-pitched voice (which Mel Blanc provided), Tweety is male— although his ambiguity was played with on occasion.

 ‘I tawt I taw a puddy tat!’ is one of Tweety’s signature lines. Sylvester the ‘puddy tat’ had better watch out. I don’t think his baseball bat is a match for this giant mallet hammer.

Wednesday/ ‘That’s all Folks!’

Porky Pig was one of the first of the animated characters in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. He first appeared in I Haven’t Got a Hat in 1935.

‘That’s all Folks!’ is Porky Pig’s signature line at the end of many shorts.

Tuesday/ Sylvester the Cat

I opened the second of my 6 LEGO Looney Tunes minifigure packets this morning and .. rats! it was another Road Runner. So I opened the third one, and inside was Sylvester the Cat.

Sylvester the Cat is another character from the golden age of American animation— full name Sylvester James Pussycat, Sr. His name “Sylvester” is a play on Felis silvestris, the scientific name for the European wildcat.

Sylvester the Cat, with his characteristic tuxedo black-and-white coat, baseball bat in hand. He first appeared in a 1945 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film directed by Friz Freleng. Most of his appearances have him chasing Tweety bird, Speedy Gonzales (‘fastest mouse in Mexico’), or Hippety Hopper (a young kangaroo).