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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

3rd:   Show nothing to your friend that may affright him..

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Bump As You Go
 Wasn't It Yesterday When They Were Small?
2002:  Whatever Happened to...?
2003:  A Hair-Raising Tale


by Paul Monnette


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chuckit2.jpg (30570 bytes)

Hey--she's finally learned how to throw a ball!

Sheila Video 1 ("See Sheila Run")
Sheila Video 2 ("Meet Barkley")
Sheila Video 3 ("Play time")



26 August 2004

It is roughly 60 steps from one end of the dog park to the other. I know this because I walked it ‘lebendy-seben times this morning.

Jeri was here over the weekend (but was gone before I got home, so I didn’t see her). While she was here, she decided to buy a present for Sheila and bought one of those "chuck-it" thingies, which propel a ball farther than I can throw it.

Sheila and I went back to the dog park this morning, chuck-it in hand and we played 45 minutes of "fetch-tag."

She loved having a ball that would go farther than a few feet from where I throw it and she’d run full out across the park to chase the ball, but then get distracted by park equipment, birds, joggers, the leaves in a tree she’d never noticed before, blades of grass, or her own thoughts.

Sometimes she’d actually get as far as the ball, pick it up, drop it and then wander off again, while I walked across the park to get the ball again. Then I’d toss it once more and she’d go racing again. Over and over and over again. We both got our exercise this morning!

It was also a learning experience for me. Sports technique doesn’t come naturally for me (if throwing a rubber ball via a chuck-it can even be remotely connected to "sport") and it took me half an hour to realize that if I actually put my fingers in the neatly carved finger ridges that (a) the ball would go farther, and (b) I wouldn’t be getting calouses on my fingers.

It’s not quite as stupid a realization as it sounds. One would think that an otherwise intelligent person would figure out that the finger ridges are there for a purpose. But when you are left-handed your brain automatically discards the things that are put there for the purpose of a "natural hold." You hold scissors differently because they are designed for right handed people and you have to get past that. You hold an iron differently (assuming that you actually iron things) because most irons are designed for right handed people.

However, I discovered that a chuck it would work equally well, left or right handed if held the way it was designed and I got some distance on that baby after awhile. The nicest part of using a chuck-it is that I didn’t have to deal with dog slobber. Thank you, Jeri!!!!

We did not, unfortunately, meet any dogs this morning, except the Huskie who hates dogs, who left the park as we arrived. But there was enough other activity going on that Sheila hardly noticed and she definitely got a good workout.

Last night I reviewed the last of this year’s Music Circus offerings, Jesus Christ Superstar. I’ve seen the show a couple of times before and quite frankly didn’t like it all that much. This is a "rock opera"with a couple of well known songs (most notably "I don’t know how to love him," sung by Mary Magdalen).

This production changed my mind. It was riveting from start to finish. Amazing what you can do with no sets whatsoever (other than a table for the Last Supper, and a cross for the crucifixion). I gave a big rave review to the lighting designer and the scenic designer. The lighting designer specifically did a fantastic job of creating a mood without sets.

The Music Circus stage is round, but there is a lot of equipment under it. A section of it rotates, pieces rise up on an hydraulic lift to varying heights. They literally pulled out all the stops last night and there was hardly a scene that didn’t play on some height variation on the stage.

The interesting thing about Jesus Christ Superstar is that it’s really Judas’ story. Imagine Judas was working for some televangelist who started growing too big for his britches, who started holding huge sanctifying salvation circuses where people worshiped him, where he supposedly healed infirmities, where backstage he had a bunch of flunkies who did everything he asked and a woman of easy virtue madly in love with him. Imagine Judas as a devout man whose heart was breaking to see this person he’d worshipped be carried away with all the hoopla. A person who suddenly starts talking about being a god.

That’s the position that Superstar takes and it explains Judas’ betrayal of Jesus--not for the money, which he says he doesn’t want, but to prevent Jesus from going too far. The guy who played Judas (Charlie Pollock) was just terrific. I have to admit that he reminded me a lot of Ned from time to time.

It occurred to me that I might just possibly be experiencing a bit of "jet lag" since even with my long nap yesterday I was still kind of sleepy during the show, but it was riveting enough that I didn’t have any difficulty staying awake. I’m just glad that the review wrote itself fairly quickly and I was able to get to bed by midnight. I’d hate to have missed my opportunity to get up at the crack of dawn and walk back and forth across the dog park chasing balls for Sheila.


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The inset shows a plaque on a bench in Philadelphia.  
I wonder if this is what the Frezel Family had in mind.


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