July 26th, 2007

krazy koati

The grownups might look at him with fright

We had other activities for the weekend, besides just wandering around a battlefield and trying to find space for rcoony to sleep. (That he slept inside the study amid the fortress of boxes startled my parents; my father still can't figure out how he did it.) One for example was stopping at the Freehold Raceway Mall, which is quite close to the Monmouth Battlefield but -- going against rcoony's suspicions -- hasn't got a single bit of merchandise which ties in to the historical event in the area, and now I'm curious why they don't. They have got a large, double-deck carousel, though, which I keep meaning to photograph for bunny_hugger but never actually do. The mall, nearly two decades old now, is in the process of renovating and so there are wide swaths where the old tile is torn off, or replaced with plywood, or there are experimentally placed new tiles with spray-painted marks explaining where the new tiles were wrong, or the like.

Our main goal going there was to get something to drink. We ended up at the food court Wendy's, taking in milkshakes, which don't seem to be called Frosties anymore. The large sizes don't seen to be named Biggies anymore either, making me wonder if it ever actually was possible to order a ``Biggie Frosty'' or if that was just something the Wendy's corporation slipped subtly into the menu boards in order to see if they could get anyone to ask for a ``Biggie Frosty''. After several hours tromping around in the sun, though, it was very welcome.

A secondary goal was going to the comic book shop I've mentioned here a few times, the one that's open to people wandering in casually and doesn't try scaring them off. One of the new items in the store is a collection of something like twenty years' worth of Casper the Friendly Ghost comic books, which if I weren't trying so sternly to restrain my unread-books pile I'd have picked up immediately. (This one story in which Casper flies out of his comic to interact with the new artist drawing the comic book -- who's bringing novel concepts to the art like having a squirrel with wheels instead of legs -- alone would compel its purchase.) In the slender color section up front is an early story where Casper helps a heartbroken raccoon get revenge on the group of hunters who've (paraphrasing) ``turned my brothers into hats''. The story has that intended-to-be-heartwarming, yet clearly-setting-the-raccoon-up-for-a-future-offscreen-death tone that makes Casper such an innocently sick comic. I can't wait until I have the book queue space for it.

Trivia: Apollo 15's lunar rover could run for 65 kilometers on the power of two 36-volt batteries. Source: Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, Charles D Benson, William Barnaby Faherty. NASA SP-4204.

Currently Reading: The Ancient Engineers, L Sprague de Camp. This was on a Barnes and Noble discount table, where in the buying the price dropped from the $9.98 cover price to about three dollars, which is not bad even if you're not quite sure about the material. The book originally came out in the early 60s. As I understand it without actually studying the history of recent archaeology discoveries, everything about ancient civilizations that we thought we knew before about 1992 could not have been more wrong if we were deliberately trying to screw it all up. Still, it's several hundred pages; at least some of it has to still be right.