May 22, 2018

Wildwood Park

Dave and I went to Wildwood Park last weekend. Not to be confused with Wildwood, NJ, this place is a lake and a wildlife sanctuary with trails near Harrisburg, PA.

You kind of have to tune out the highway noise, but it was a really nice day. A large section is composed of wetlands, so we saw plenty of egrets. Yay! It also seemed overrun with red-winged blackbirds, which are always cool to see. Dave said they were the bison of Wildwood Park. (I kept being excited by bison when we were in Wyoming, but Dave got sick of them. That reminds me, I haven't blogged about Wyoming.)

One section had a ton of painted turtles and many camouflaged frogs. OH, and we also saw a yellow warbler, possibly a flycatcher, and a green heron in a nest. A nice birdwatcher pointed out the nesting heron to me. Very cool. All in all, I'd recommend the place.

March 16, 2018

Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon

The Doctor and Jo take the TARDIS on a test run and end up on the planet Peladon. King Peladon (yes, the same name, not confusing at all) is petitioning the Galactic Federation for membership and the delegates are arriving. Also, someone is murdered and the high priest, Hepesh, is clearly evil, but the naive young king trusts him. The Doctor and Jo are mistaken for the Earth delegates, and he names her Princess Josephine of TARDIS.

Arcturus (head on a box), King Peladon, Jo, the Doctor, Alpha Centauri, and Hepesh

Oh, look, some Ice Warriors are here, too.

not so bad, really

They'll be convenient scapegoats for the clearly evil guy who doesn't want Peladon in the Galactic Federation. He has already been warning about the Beast of Peladon, Aggedor, coming to kill people. Yeah, that's enough of this. To be honest, I thought I remembered this story being better. I struggled to pay attention. I did like how the Ice Warrior had the Doctor's back. I hope The Sea Devils is fun like I remember.


Doctor: Third
Companions: Jo Grant
Episode: #61, "The Curse of Peladon," four parts
Adversary: Hepesh and Arcturus
Classic Lines: Jo, to the king: "I just don't understand you. I really don't. One minute you're condemning the Doctor to death, and the next minute you're proposing to me!"
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: King Peladon is played by David Troughton, the son of Patrick Troughton, the 2nd Doctor.
Next Up: "The Sea Devils"

March 8, 2018

Philadelphia Flower Show 2018: The Wonders of Water

My mom and I made our annual trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show last weekend.

This year's theme was The Wonders of Water. There were a lot of waterfalls and lush greenery. I also saw quite a few fake birds.

It was a nice show and I had fun, but it wasn't one of my favorites. This shot from underneath the watershed exhibit turned out neat.

Here's what it looks like from the side.

In the competition section, there was a book. I always like those.

There was a cool book last year, too. Of course, my heart was taken by this entry.

Dogs rule.

February 28, 2018

Danish String Quartet

Dave and I went to see the Danish String Quartet last night at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College.

They were truly fantastic. The Bartok was intense, the Danish folk tunes were fun and beautiful, and the Beethoven was brilliant. This was Dave's first classical music concert. I was worried that he wouldn't enjoy it, but he clearly loved it. Often after concerts, the Williams Center has refreshments and you can meet the artists. I generally can't talk to strangers, but we ran into Frederik Oland on the way out and told him he was great.

February 20, 2018

Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks

The Earth is on the brink of global war, but peace negotiators are trying to avoid it. Enter UNIT and the Doctor...and time travelling commandos from the 22nd century trying to assassinate the main British negotiator, Sir Reginald Styles.

The Doctor figures the commandos are desperate and trying to change history. Meanwhile, the Daleks and the candy man from Willy Wonka are trying to find the commandos.

Do Daleks like Wonka bars?
Jo gets sent to the future by accident and the creepy candy man (okay, the Controller) acts like her friend to get information. I should note, the Dalek voices aren't the usual voices. It's weird. Anyway, Daleks and Ogrons show up in the present, and the Doctor gets caught in a time field and sent to the future as the commandos escape.

Ogrons with a Dalek

The Doctor finds Jo, and she has been completely taken in by the Controller. But the future is pretty crappy. People are slaves, and the Daleks rule the Earth. The Daleks realize that the Doctor is THE Doctor, their old enemy. Oops. When he's strapped into a mind probe, it shows images of the First and Second Doctors, which I thought was neat. It takes until the fourth and final episode to finally find out what the heck is going on.

Jo, the Controller, and the Doctor

There were a series of wars at the end of the 20th century that lasted 100 years, and 7/8 of the world's population died. The Daleks saw an opportunity to take over the planet and did so. Now all humans work in factories or mines. The rebels rescue the Doctor and Jo, and we find out why they're trying to kill Styles.

In their history, a bomb explodes at the peace conference, which was taking place at Styles' estate. Accusations were made by all parties, and it sparked those years of war. The rebels blame Styles for the explosion, even though he was killed in the blast. So they stole a Dalek time machine and decided to change history. Except...they're still missing one man in the past. The Doctor figures out that the missing rebel is the one who caused the explosion. The rebels going back to the past is what caused the wars in the first place. Oooooo. It's an interesting concept.

The Doctor and Jo are about to return to their present when the Controller and some Ogrons catch them. The Doctor tells the Controller that he can stop the wars and all those years of suffering and the Dalek takeover. The Controller sends the Ogrons away and lets them go. The Daleks find out and extermine him. Just before they do, he says, "Who knows? I may have helped to extermine you."

the Doctor, Jo, the Brigadier, and Sir Reginald Styles

The Doctor arrives and UNIT evacuates the delegates and fights the arriving Daleks and Ogrons. The Doctor finds the missing rebel, who says to let the Daleks and the Ogrons into the house. The rebel detonates the bomb in the basement, blowing up the house and destroying the threat to the peace conference.

I like this story. It has an interesting premise, and I like that the Controller fits into a grey area, rather than just being a Dalek stooge. 


Doctor: Third
Companions: Jo Grant
Episode: #60, "Day of the Daleks," four parts
Adversary: the Daleks
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to the rebels: "You're trapped in a temporal paradox. Styles didn't cause that explosion and start the wars. You did it yourselves!" 
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor tells Jo that the Blinovitch Limitation Effect stops the rebels from travelling back to the same date again and again to try again. 
Next Up: "The Curse of Peladon"

February 12, 2018

Tea Runners rocks

I drink tea every day. Lots and lots of tea. I am by no means a tea connoisseur or a tea snob, but I do like a good cuppa. When I found out that tea subscriptions exist, I thought, sign me up! So I did my research and ordered a monthly subscription from Tea Runners. They seemed to have a good selection process, a good variety of teas, and generous portions for the price. I anxiously awaited my first box.

I got the all black tea box. You can also get herbal tea and the original variety box. The February teas are delicious! Earl Grey is my favorite tea so of course I like that one. I'm drinking the Wild Arbor Black right now, and wow. The Ruby Black was also good. I haven't tried Valentine Breakfast yet.

The portions are generous- even more so than I was expecting. I should get many pots of tea from each of the four packets. I like how each packet has information about the tea, steep time and temperature, caffeine level, how much tea to use per 8 oz., and whether it's pure or a blend. The box came with a nice note for the month, too. I can't wait for next month's teas!

An interesting side note: One of the people behind Tea Runners is Jewel Staite, Kaylee on Firefly. Go Browncoats! That's not why I picked Tea Runners to try a tea subscription, but it was a neat surprise.
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