austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And they're gonna fall big, and they're gonna fall loud

I was in the living room puttering around a problem in databases and web page constructs that I've been working indifferently on for months (although I think I'm getting closer to a breakthrough) and watching some History Channel-class show explain World War II in detail. I wonder if you watched all the World War II documentaries ever made, would last longer than the actual World War II? If you estimate the war as starting at the German invasion of Poland and ending at the Japanese surrender aboard the Missouri, that runs a total of something like 52,630 hours, which would be long even for Ken Burns. (I have to hedge since while there seems to be pretty good agreement when Germany invaded Poland, I can't find a reference to when the surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay, and by what clock that was. Writers of popular histories of wars have got to learn the importance of specifying time zones.) Still, someday probably the accumulated documentaries will exceed the war's length, and I wonder when.

While thus occupied, I heard a sliding and crashing noise from somewhere around my bedroom, although the most I could say was it was in that quarter of the house. Shortly afterward, out stepped the white (young, eager) cat, taking very deliberate paces and avoiding looking at me. Clearly, she'd broken something and was now trying to pretend no such thing had ever happened. I may not have kids, and in fact I don't, but I know that behavior pattern.

What I couldn't find was just what she had knocked over. Everything in my room seemed to be in order, and the closet doors were still slid shut, which meant she probably hadn't broke anything in there. The cats have been making great progress in their understanding of how doors work lately, but the sliding doors they haven't got down. The things piled in the hall were still piled there, too, so apparently the cat had managed to knock over things and then put them back in order, which is a silly thought. What it turned out to actually be: she had knocked over the extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. Probably she'd been jumping up to or down from the shower door and had a gravity-related incident.

Trivia: Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth 15 November 1577, with a secret commission. The sailors were not informed they were to pass through the Straits of Magellan. Source: In Quest of Spices, Sonia E Howe.

Currently Reading: Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, Caroline Elkins.

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