Jun 06 2010

Spoleto (5 of 8)

This afternoon’s show was an add-on for me.   A few years ago I saw a marionette show of a prince fighting dragons to save his love on stage, and I was offered an opportunity to see Cinderella by The Colla Marionette Company of Italy.  It was terrific.   I was mainly fascinated by the movement, expression and operation of the puppets.  There was a live 6 piece orchestra and about 15 artists who made the puppets move.   I can just imagine the public enjoyment Cinderella being performed like this in the 1700’s and how fancifully it must have seemed.  Like someone today going to a movie. 

Lots of kids laughing, fun music, interesting costumes made this event my favorite so far.     Next year I will plan to see all the productions by this amazing stage company if I can.  After the show, patrons were allowed to go behind stage to see the overall operation.  What fun!

Jun 03 2010

Oil collection

I am presently taking a break from working on the plane so I had an opportunity to get a few projects done around the house.   I wanted to improve my cooking oil system to simply the off loading, filtering and pumping into the car.    Traveling up to Summerville to pick up some more cooking oil, I met Gerheart (a buddy from church) who is my “source”.  Gerheart is also burning cooking oil in his Mercedes car and while closely following him to his shop I  was almost overwhelmed by the strong smell of fryer grease.  I had to back off a 100 ft or so from the car for some fresh air.


He has a small storage/processing  system set up in a storage building facility he owns.  It is a kluge of hoses, pumps, filters and drums, what a nightmare.   As an engineer this system would drive me crazy.  I am sure all this  just evolved over time and while it works,  the system can certainly be improved and simplified.  Using plastic hoses and moving pump hoses between containers just doesn’t cut it with me.     We are planning to collaborate (which probably means, he buys and I do the work) on improving the collection / filtration / storage process as to make it easier on both of us.  Once the improvements are completed, it should make the processing of oil very easy and quick.

The bootie….60 gal of cooking oil.  Now I have to filter it at home…

Jun 02 2010

Spoleto (4 of 8)

The cello performance was “Block Ice & Propane” by Erik Friedlander at the Memminger Auditorium at 7 pm.     I was busy in the shop, mixed up my arrival time so I arrived 45 minutes late for my usher obligation.   Fortunately I arrived in time to meet the coordinator before he left and get acounted for as “late” instead of a “no show” (a black mark on my record). 

The artist was most interesting because while he occasionally used his bow on the cello, he mainly plucked it which made the instrument sound like a guitar.  Very interesting.  The performance and cop0ositions were woven around stories of his youth in a multimedia memoir of Friedlander family road trips complete with campers, tourist traps, truck stops, and visits to kooky relatives. 

It was most enjoyable.

Jun 01 2010

Spoleto (3 of 8)

Tonight’s show was “Present Laughter”  presented at the Dock Street Theatre  ($40 – $75)

The historic Dock Street Theatre reopens in 2010 after a three-year-long restoration – how better to commemorate the occasion than with the return of Spoleto favorite the Gate Theatre in an effervescent production of Noël Coward’s brilliant comedy of manners Present Laughter. Elegantly staged and luxuriously costumed, Present Laughter – an absolute sell-out success during a recent Dublin run – is a delight of barbed witticisms, ironic comedy, and, upon occasion, chaotic farce.   Approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes

This show started at 8:30 pm for and supposedly ended around midnight.  It had the typical drawn out British humor but I was really tired, the ushers had to sit on the floor and I was having a hard time understanding the strong British accent.  I left at intermission with 1.5 hrs to go.