Two weeks ago, we went to Massachusetts to have lunch with prince_corwin and prince_eric (and also prince_eric's child; I'd provide a suitable nickname except I can't remember if Eric of Amber had any children and can't be bothered to look. Anyway, really frighteningly cute child.). On the way back, Chad was bopped over the head by the Cold Fairy; his cold lasted about a week, mine started in very slow gear about the time his ended, and this weekend decided to really settle in (after quietly sapping my energy for a week, thank you so much). I've done a first draft of our federal taxes and some laundry, and that's about as productive as I can be today, so I might as well do a quick recap of the last four weeks before I need to take the next dose of cold pills.
Work: I've been at the new job for two weeks, and so far it's going very well. Quieter than it will usually be (I'm mostly waiting for other people to do things that will start my deadlines running), but I'm certainly keeping busy, and the relatively slow start is a luxury.
Football: yeah, I shouldn't have blocked off the Saturday night to watch the game, because I was (and still am) a bitter, bitter woman over the Bizarro Patriots, together with their close friend the Fumble Fairy, showing up in Denver. However, the next day I took great joy in listening to the last few minutes of the Steelers beating the Colts, and I'll be pleased to root for them tonight.
Books and tech: with the use of a USB number pad, I spent a couple of hours last Saturday typing in ISBNs for LibraryThing's consumption. The service is going through some growing pains, but I'm generally happy with it; when I've got everything in, I'll turn it public and point y'all to it.
Finally, we watched the March of the Penguins DVD, and in particular the "Of Penguins and Men" extra. Which is 53 minutes long (a sizable fraction of the movie itself) and mostly consists of repeat footage and sappy raptures about the penguins. So, as a public service, here's everything that's new or notable in "Of Penguins and Men":
- The French research base was very close by to the penguins' breeding grounds, which explains how filming was possible.
- There were three guys working on the film (or maybe 2 + 1 to tape the making-of).
- It took them 30 minutes to get dressed in 6 layers.
- Despite the dangerous cold, they could frequently be seen with their hands and faces bare to adjust their cameras, etc., which I thought was the height of stupidity.
- It took the penguins two weeks to choose their mates.
- The making-of shows a bit more of the copulation, which looks even more comic than such things usually do.
- One-quarter of the eggs don't hatch.
- After the mothers leave for food the first time, the colony moves to a new site because the ground is soiled from their droppings. And, as Chad points out, in the final cut of the movie, somehow they managed not to show the penguins that are filthy.
- The film guys used a weather balloon to get really freaky aerial views that aren't in the movie.
- When the penguins huddle up, it's almost 60 degrees (they didn't specific F or C) in the middle.
- The ocean under the ice sometimes raised up, causing the ice to groan and the penguins to be nervous.
- There are some cool night shots of the moon and the penguins.
- At one point after the hatchings, the team got lost in a whiteout and lost a month to recovering from frostbite and a knee injury.
- There was a lot more death than they showed in the movie, sad babies on the verge of death when they got back, etc.
- The bird was a giant petrel, which usually eats carrion but since all the carrion was frozen . . .
- BABY SEALS! At 48 minutes in. So cute!
Fifty-three minutes for just that, good grief. (There's also a National Geographic "critter-cam" extra, and a Bugs Bunny cartoon; we watched the latter but skipped the former because we were exhausted.)