I went to volunteering at the food bank this morning, dragging myself somewhat unwillingly out of bed. I was glad I did go, as we were short-handed (a lot of teenagers/young adults who help are away on summer camp, I assume as camp leaders) and one of the organisers described me as an expert in sorting the large bags of non-perishable food. I’m not quite sure where expertise comes into it, as I just follow a list of what’s needed, but I was grateful for the compliment.

I also did a stock check, which made me rather nervous about miscounting, or rather mis-estimating, as I was often dealing with large quantities of food, counting packets in large plastic crates and then multiplying by the number of crates, something that would only work if all the crates had equal amounts of food in them, or if I noticed and took into account which crates had more or less than average. I think I did OK, though, and I don’t think it has to be hugely accurate, just to indicate what we need to stock up on before next week.

I did make the mistake of saying that a parking space was free when the area was supposed to be used later, which I felt bad about.

In the afternoon I spent a while working on my devar Torah. I’m not sure if my idea this week was any good, but I’m committed to it now. I also had therapy, so I didn’t have any time to work on my novel; as I said yesterday, I expected this and did some extra work yesterday to balance it. I did some ironing in the evening, so it was a pretty full day.


I mentioned yesterday that E and I are watching Doctor Who in sync. As she can’t watch every night, and sometimes I’m tired enough to watch more than forty-five minutes of TV, I recently bought a couple of DVDs to watch by myself. I bought somewhat on impulse some programmes I hadn’t seen before. I’m getting a little better at taking a chance on TV I haven’t seen.

When I was younger, I used to watch a lot of wildlife documentaries, but over the years I drifted away from them. I bought The Blue Planet to see if I could get back into them. I watched the first episode tonight. It was interesting, and breath-takingly filmed, but I think my attention-span was small when watching to unwind after a busy day and I didn’t take much of it in. Still, it was good to watch whales, even if they were attacking and eating other whales; I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that killer whales eat other whales (I thought they eat seals and the like), but I guess the clue is in the name.

The other DVD I bought was season one of The Twilight Zone. I thought if I’m into eerie vintage TV science fiction, then I should really give this a try, this being the urtext in many ways, at least for American television (the UK had the Quatermass serials before The Twilight Zone aired. I really like those too). So far I’ve watched the first four self-contained episodes. They held my attention, but weren’t especially eerie or scary, with the partial exception of the first episode, which might have been more mysterious if I hadn’t remembered a spoiler that I must have read years ago. To be fair, most of them weren’t trying to be scary, which makes me wonder when the programme started going down that route. I’ll probably watch at least one more episode tonight, as it’s too early for bed, but I’m too tired to read. To my surprise, the DVD came with a free book about the series which looks interesting, although it has mixed reviews on Goodreads. I’m more likely to read a physical book than to read production notes subtitles or watch a DVD special features documentary, so this seemed a nice bonus.

Speaking of reading, I started The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov at the weekend. A bit like The Twilight Zone, it’s holding my attention, but I’m not quite sure why. It feels like it’s supposed to be a comedy, but I feel I don’t quite get the author’s sense of humour, like watching Monty Python when you sort of get it, but not quite. I’ll persevere for a bit and see what happens.


Not that I would ever go for such a job, but I saw an advert for a “Gag Gift and Prank Product Developer”. I do wonder what you would get asked in an interview for that job! I mean, presumably you would want to seem irreverent and mischievous, but not to the extent that you would swindle the company or get them into trouble with some misconceived/offensive/dangerous idea.

17 thoughts on “Packing, Watching, Reading

  1. I got into watching wildlife documentaries last year! If you decide you want more, check out Spy in the Wild – they build animatronic versions of whatever animal they’re filming, and embed cameras in them, so they can get super up-close footage untarnished by human interference, which is cool, but also the robot animals and the way the real animals interact with them is hilarious. There was one where they had a robot hummingbird filming a butterfly migration and it was AMAZING.

    I also watched a really cool one on Lapland that sort of made me want to go there, but then I remembered how much I hate extreme weather…

    Also I didn’t know killer whales eat each other either. I thought “killer” referred to killing other species…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “killer whales” are orcas and they do not really eat whales, I don’t think. They eat sharks, fish, birds, and other things. My kid went through an Orca phase so I know things about Orcas that I can never unknow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy watching wildlife and geography documentaries but they sometimes have dire messages about the environment and extinctions which depress me for days.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That job site also has a design fairy posting and a flavour regulatory specialist.

    I hadn’t heard of killer whales eating other whales. I don’t think it’ something the Southern Resident orcas in this neck of the woods do.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. According to Google, there is only one person identifying himself as a “flavor regulatory specialist.” His name is Ajay Singh, and on Quora he answers questions like “If 99x-9=90, what is x?” Clearly, some high level thinking required for flavour regulating. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve worked in product development before (although not in gag gifts and pranks!). The job is a lot more executing and tracking to timelines. I suspect that the interview questions would focus on how do you communicate with suppliers and stakeholders, manage timelines, ensure the product complies with the relevant regulations (in this case, the relevant regulations could be related to children’s products), etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Master and Margarita is interesting and thoughtful reading. Also Twilight Zone, and similar shows like Tales from the Darkside weren’t really meant to be ‘scary” per se. They were meant to be twisted and insighful. The horror was meant to come from the horror of the human condition, not scary monsters in a conventionally scary setup. More thought provoking than simple horror, almost. Tales from the Crypt was mostly meant to be creepy horror. Which accounts for why I don’t care for it as much. (except the episodes that are less creepy horrory and more human conditiony.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, but most of the episodes so far did not even have that kind of psychological horror, which surprised me a bit, just from what I thought I knew about the programme.


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