The Glory of Internet

The really nice thing about the internet? Despite the porn spam, despite the horrorshow you can find behind any given Google, despite the agony and the ecstasy and the idiocy and everything else–I can still go to Google and type “Mucha” and if I poke around I will find works by Alphonse Mucha that I have never seen before. And believe me, I have seen a lot of Mucha. Usually the pages where they show up are in some incomprehensible Eastern European language, but still. That’s just kinda a cool thing.

So I went and saw “Goblet of Fire” t’other day, when on vacation.

Meh.

The basic problem with the Harry Potter movies is that they’re not meant to be movies, they’re meant to be a sort of moving pictorial synopsis of highlights from the books. It’s like the “Harry Pottery Companion” cinema version. If you’ve read the books, they’re fun. They’re worth plugging money out for. If you hadn’t read the books, I don’t know if they’d be even remotely coherent as stories.

I actually rather liked the third one because it struggled somewhat free of the trap–it at least tried to act like a movie, not like a rundown of book bits. But they switched out directors again, and here we are again. It’s fun, it’s just not a good movie. And to be fair, it’d be nearly impossible to make people happy and make a good movie–there’s far, far too much source material that would have to be cut, and the minute you hack out anything, book-to-movie purists begin thumping their dog-eared copies and chanting for blood. Peter Jackson pulled off a bloody miracle cramming books that fat into movies that short, and miracles like that are few and far between.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t kick Lucius Malfoy out of bed for sacrificing bunnies. Raowr.

I mention this because despite my frequently rehashed ambivalences towards C.S. Lewis–which, so help me GOD, we are not rehashing again here, or I’m getting Aslan tattooed on my left buttock to prove a point, and I don’t even know what point I’m proving, but HA! That’ll show…somebody or other. Err. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I’m looking forward to “The Lion…” movie. I re-read the book yesterday, and yup, I think it’ll work better. It’s a helluva lot shorter. I could read the book in less time than the movie will require to run. This is a good thing. It is straightforward and easily plotted. It could be done gracefully and well. I have hope.

And then I think “Man, they should do “Prince Caspian,” not because it was fabulous, but because they could then do “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” and then I think “God, I don’t think I can live through the waves of Reepicheep porn that would hit the internet,” and I die a little inside, because no matter what you think of religion or Lewis or the price of tea in China, Reepicheep was really rockin’. Damnit.

The Case of the Missing Suet

The day before we went on vacation, I popped a suet cake in the feeder. In the morning, it was gone.

Yesterday, I popped a suet cake into the feeder, and this morning, it is gone.

Generally it takes most of a week for the woodpeckers and squirrels and whatnot to wolf down a suet cake, so this is pretty extraordinary. And–here’s the important bit–the little metal cage is still fastened.

Whatever has removed the suet has either opened and then re-latched the cage, or in a fit of staggering voraciousness, ate the entire thing in one night.

I am leaning towards the latter. The former would require the agency of thumbs, or with squirrels, multiple cohorts. It boggles the mind that someone in the sleepy middle-class suburb in which I dwell would stoop to theft that petty–and mushy and greasy and generally unpleasant. While I can believe many things of squirrels, and even more of raccoons, and can easily see them getting it open, I cannot imagine they would close the little cage up afterwards. Raccoons are stunning thieves, granted, and I have watched one crack its knuckles and twirl open a cooler lock with the professional calm of a safecracker, but it didn’t bother to put the lid back on afterwards.

This leaves the possibility that at some point in the evening, a beast (or multiple beasts) leapt ‘pon the suet cage and with hungry tongues, proceeded to lick a half-pound of rendered fat and seeds into oblivion. Possible? Certainly. Surprising? A bit, yes. Something out there is hungry.

Occasionally I wish I was in a different line of work–one that used night vision cameras, for example. I could not begin to justify the expense merely to satisfy my curiousity, but occasionally I do wonder what oddities I’d find if I was able to tape the goings-on at night.