December 11th, 2005

krazy koati

Just like the ones I used to know

To spruce things up for the holiday season pretty near every mall in Singapore has added some festive event. Suntec City, for example -- besides holding a Meet the Care Bears event -- has dropped bunches of a capella singers into, it appears, each of the lobbies (the mall/office tower complex has five bases, corresponding vaguely to the fingers of a hand). One of them, as I passed, had just started in singing, ``I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.''

Unfortunately, I was several stores down before it struck me that it'd be a good question to ask when, exactly, any of the singers used to know a white Christmas, since Singapore's never recorded a temperature below about 67 Fahrenheit, and I didn't feel like fighting my way upstream against the crowd to ask a question that would only show my unwillingness to get into the spirit. Out front, at a display of Samsung electronics (including TVs showing, for some reason, The Tux) they had the DJ playing a heavy-bass dance mix of ``Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.'' That's not relevant, but it did also distract me.

I did stop in at a hobby shop and bought another two of the (Japanese) Royal Museum of Science Startales spaceship toys. These are sold in identical boxes with no hint which of nine toys are inside, a common way to get collectors to spend even more money. One turned out to be a Saturn V at liftoff. I don't want to sound ungrateful for it, but I'm practically lousy with Saturn V's nowadays. In Singapore I've got -- counting the new one -- five Saturn V's, and one more unbuilt model. I'm almost Saturn V-poor.

But the other one was an undisputed score: Voyager 1. It's my first Vejur, and I've been hoping I'd get it for a while. Although the instructions were a bit vague on how to snap it together (all those long booms, you know), it looks mighty nice all fit into place. Still left to get: Viking lander; Lunar Orbiter; Sputnik 1; Lunokhod; and the Gemini-Agena. Maybe I should give in and buy the whole box of all the toys together, but it's kind of fun to take my chances.

Trivia: Harold Lloyd left Keystone when the Hal Roach studios offered him US$50 per week, and Mack Sennett declined to match the offer. Source: Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Simon Louvish.

Currently Reading: Narrating Utopia, Chris Ferns.