austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Only place that he's ever been

They sent people around with several buckets of paint, to touch up the walls around the floor access card readers. My floor, as it happens, doesn't have access card readers: you just go through the doors. This may explain why one painter was standing by my door, looking at the nearby floor entrance, looking uncertain and irritated.

Thomas Pung received Queen Elizabeth II today, and did give her a fresh drink out of the glass she used in 1972. According to the evening news, the Queen drank out of it in 1972 too. Pung, last time, lived with his mother in a two-room Toa Payoh (north-central suburb) Housing Development Board flat; now he and his wife own a five-room HDB flat also in Toa Payoh. He had other memorabilia, such as a collection of miniature brandy bottles which he collected back then since brandy bottles were impressive (don't ask me, it wasn't my news report), and she'd asked about them then, so he wanted to show them to her again. The Queen was surprised that he'd kept even the drinking glasses. Mr Pung's wife just got flowers to give Elizabeth, as she only speaks Chinese and has no idea what you talk about with European Royalty.

Meanwhile People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activist Jodi Ruckley attempted to protest the Queen's Guard's use of Canadian bear fur for their ceremonial hats. Her form of protest was to dress in a bear costume and hold a sign reading, ``God Save The Bears,'' while standing outside the Istana (the President's palace). From there it was a race between heat stroke -- there's been a bit of a heat wave, although I didn't realize until they read the temperature records on the evening news -- and the police, and the police got her after about five minutes, and released her a few hours later. The Queen apparently did not see her.

The 17th, I'd forgotten, was the 50th anniversary of the death of comedian Fred Allen. The 18th, more cheerily, is the 25th anniversary of the debut of The Greatest American Hero. Believe it or not.

Trivia: Whitelaw Reid, then-publisher of The New York Tribune -- which, editorially, opposed starting the War on Spain -- was named to the United States's five-man Peace Commission for that war, and ultimately dominated negotiations with Spain. Source: The Paper, Richard Kluger.

Currently Reading: The Aluminum Man, G C Edmonson. What a strange science fiction book: the protagonists get a bacteria capable of fixing the aluminum out of ores without that pesky power-intensive procedure of bauxite mining, and mostly seek a way to use this to make money.


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