Greg's Occasional News & Views

14 February 2010

So, the snow started to fall as I began to watch the Superbowl and continued throughout the duration. I guess it really is true – hell has frozen over and the New Orleans Saints are Superbowl champions. Who would have thought it? The snow stayed until Friday when the temperature finally crawled above freezing and the sun shone at least long enough to get rid of most of the remaining evidence. Still, nowhere near the quantity those of you in the East seem to have enjoyed (although it seems that whenever I speak with Mom and Dad all the snow seems to have fallen elsewhere). Well, wherever it has fallen, they are welcome to it – we’ve had enough to keep us more than satisfied.

We had the opportunity on Tuesday evening of attending another free preview screening courtesy of our satellite provider. This time the film was Everybody’s Fine with Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell. It’s about a man (De Niro) who has recently lost his wife and tries to reconnect with his children. They are scattered all over the continental US and so, when they come up with a range of excuses to avoid coming to see him, he sets off on a road trip across America by train and bus intending to surprise each of them in turn. Each of the children has their own set of problems and circumstances but they are anxious not to “worry” their father, particularly since their mother passed away as it was she in whom they always confided. Eventually, they recognise that their father is reaching out to them and they realise that he can handle the imperfections in their lives. Good film with a strong cast and excellent acting, particularly De Niro, unsurprisingly.

I have to say that there was almost carnage in the cinema when Ms Playchute spotted the e-ticket I had printed to enable us to secure free entry to the film. The ticket read “Everybodys Fine”, i.e., no apostrophe! This precipitated a rant which might have resulted in violence directed at the cinema staff had I not spotted that the poster advertising the film did possess the missing apostrophe. It was clearly our satellite provider who was incapable of using correct English. Whew!

Learning from last time, we avoided the “all you can eat” establishments and instead patronised the local branch of Frankie & Benny’s, an allegedly “New York Italian 50s style” chain which was fine. Speaking, as we were, of missing apostrophes, whilst dining we enjoyed another such moment although this one did not precipitate a rant. A gentleman walked past our table wearing a T-shirt on which was printed: “I’m drunk but your still ugly!” One glance at the man and the T-shirt he was wearing was enough to confirm, in our minds anyway, that he probably would not be aware of the error he was broadcasting to the world.

The other excitement of the week was Molly’s visit to the vets. A few weeks ago we noticed that she was limping quite significantly and, upon investigation we could see that she had a very swollen left front foot which seemed inflamed as if it was infected. Penny took her to the vets and they squeezed the sore spot and managed to expel some foreign matter which probably had originally been a thorn or similar. They gave her some antibiotics and told us that they “hoped” that would be the end of it.

Alas, it was not to be. On Tuesday she was limping again and the foot was similarly inflamed so, on Wednesday, they had her in to open it up and see if there was anything left. It seems, in the end, that there wasn’t anything left and so, presumably, the antibiotics had not quite got rid of the infection. So, she’s now on more antibiotics and, of course, had to be dissuaded from licking the wound necessitating the application of the famous satellite collar which is so beloved of small animals everywhere. If it weren’t so sad it could have been quite amusing to watch as she wandered around the house continually bumping into furniture and door frames. After a day of that we resorted to the black sock over the affected foot which seems to have worked well. The wound is much improved and she seems not to have much inclination to lick it.

Finally, here is wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s day. There is a short history of Valentine’s day here and, if you are so inclined, you can have a go at a Dating through the Ages game here. Alternatively, enjoy a little Valentine’s trivia:

Valentine’s Trivia about Flowers and Chocolates

  • Be My Valentine110 million roses, the majority colour red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
  • The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red stands for strong feelings
  • California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • While 75% of chocolate purchases are made by women all year long, during the days and minutes before Valentine’s Day, 75% of the chocolate purchases are made by men.
  • Over $1billion USD worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day.
  • One-third of all Valentine cards are accompanied by gifts.
  • An estimated 25% of Valentine’s Day cards are humorous.
  • 70% of those celebrating the holiday give a card, followed by a telephone call [49%], gift [48%], special dinner [37%], candy [33%] restaurant meal [30%], and flowers [19%].
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets. (Probably chocolate.)
  • The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife.

Well, I’ve not built her the Taj Mahal but I was thinking, in the Spring, that I would make her a compost bin – do you think that will work?

Love to you all,

Greg

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