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Please don't support cruelty to
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Today in My History

2000:  Martha Doesn't Live Here
2001:  Where Have All the Flowers Gone
Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Men
An Old Waddle Family
A Charlie Brown Christmas
We. Are. Fam-i-ly
2006On Being an Idiot
2007: The Tradition of Service

2008:  One Week
2009:  Fore!
2010:  Santa Read My Letter
2011:  Party Animals

Our 2012 Christmas Letter

Bitter Hack
: 12/5
"A Christmas Carol"

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 12/6
"A Year in Provence"

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The Paul Picnic

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt

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Well, I think the watchword here is "don't take 'a few minutes' out to go watch something on TV when you are in the middle of writing a journal entry.

Next thing I knew it was nearly midnight, I staggered to the living room (totally forgetting I had not finished my entry), went to sleep, got up at 3, watched a bit of TV and at 5:30 remembered that I hadn't yet posted my entry.

Came in here and discovered the computer had reset itself overnight and I had lost the entry entirely.  So here I am at 6 a.m. trying to remember the brilliant observations I had made, certain that this re-do won't be NEARLY as wonderful as the original, and apologizing for it.

But what I was talking about before I was so rudely interrupted was the phenomenon of "waving."

What is it about human beings that we somehow feel the need to wave whenever there is a camera present?

I was watching The Today Show this morning.  Matt Lauer was conducting a somewhat serious interview, maybe about the fiscal cliff or something, while sitting in front of the window out to the plaza.  Behind him throughout the interview were a handfull of people standing there waving continually like idiots.   Very distracting.  Now, you expect people standing around the performance area of the plaza to wave when the cameras roll, because they are encouraged to, but those who see that a camera is on and stand there waving for all they're worth are just silly.  If you're all caught up in watching an interview, who wants to see somebody's Aunt Martha jumping up and down outside trying to grab attention away from the interview subject.

It must be difficult for the director and the camera man to subtly change camera angles to avoid the intrusive wavers.

Same holds true with interviews held live on the street.  A reporter is trying to ask the police officer how many people had been killed in the house in front of which they are standing and sure enough, some idiot will sneak in behind the interview subject and start waving furiously.  "Hi, Mom!  I'm at the crime scene.  See me??"

This business of waving must have come into the culture when movie cameras were first available to the average user.  I always wanted a movie camera as a kid, but we couldn't afford the camera, the film, and the projector to show movies, so we never had one, but Walt's family did.  When we went through his mother's old movies, what do you find?  Scene after scene of people lined up like they were going to have a regular photo taken, and they are all waving.  I think that pretty much describes the home movies of most people, even today.  You see someone whipping out the movie camera and immediately everyone starts waving.  Like we can't see you unless you are waving?

I guess we were lucky that our kids commandeered our movie/video camera when they were so young.  We became Reality TV for the amateur movie-maker.   There were cameras in our lives so often that you just didn't even think of them any more.  I think it would be rare to find home movies in our collection that have much waving in them.  Death-defying stunts, yes, but waving, probably not.

Maybe people wave because they know they are expected to do something to, you know, move and that's all they can think of, but it still doesn't excuse the rude behavior of those who insert themselves into places where they really should not be just to wave at the camera.

Yes, I'm sure this was much more brilliant before I fell asleep... :)

I had a lovely lunch yesterday.  Panera is my new favorite lunch spot.  The chain has newly opened a site here in Davis and I have been there now twice, with my friend Ruth.  I like their 2-fer lunch, which is half a sandwich and a bowl of soup and then a choice of chips, an apple, or a baguette to go along with it.

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Last time I tried their onion soup, which I didn't like all that much, but today I had the black bean soup, which was fabulous.  When my order was ready, they had given me a baguette, which I hadn't ordered, so they added an apple, but told me I could keep the baguette, since they would only have to throw it away.   Ruth, who always orders the baguette, so she can take it home after lunch, was thrilled when I gave her mine, so she could have two baguettes.

I know my toasted cheese sandwich was not really a good thing for me to have, but I'd been so good for several days and half a sandwich wouldn't kill me.   And it was so good.


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Santa got run over by a reindeer


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