Hungry Man Meals (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
Excerpt from "Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil Travelog"
(Part 3) (travelogue by Mark Leeper)
This Week's Reading (Friends of the Library book sales)
(book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)
TOPIC: Excerpt from "Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil Travelog"
(Part 3) (travelogue by Mark Leeper)
[continued from last week]
We left by the same double doors we came in by. Next on the
tour was a microsoftus. Or is it two microsofti?
(microsoftuses?) I was anxious to see this since it was one of
the rarer and lessor known dinosaurs in Maple White Plateau. It
was in a caged area with grass and they had walls around him. I
guess he couldn't come out. This was one of the reasons we were
supposed to watch the jungle. This little fellow wasn't known
until maybe six years ago. Nobody had ever found fossils of
them. I don't even know if they had found theropods this small.
(A theropod walks on two legs like a tyrannosaurus.) He is a
greenish color so he blended in with the jungle leaves and he
was somewhat shy of people. They eat mostly insects and rodents
our guide told us. He has like six boney fins coming out of his
face. There are two rows of three going from the eyebrows to
the snout. The nature programs show them very active, but these
two animals sort of stood around dazed. These dinosaurs are all
warm-blooded animals, so they should be active. We have tapes
of them in the wild showing they are active. But these
microsofti in the zoo mostly just stand around.
The pen with the apatosaurus was equally discouraging. At least
here I could see and understand why. Hadn't noticed on the
dinosaurs previously but this one actually was hobbled. There
were manacles chaining the front legs together. The disposition
seems to be mild enough, but they are taking no chances that
this thing is going to walk out on them. I think they do more
than that. I think they drug them. Certainly the dinosaurs
seemed to take very little interest in the people coming by.
The films I had seen did not show them being so sedentary. It
probably has something to do with their captivity.
The last we saw was the tyrannosaurus. I think this is their
big attraction and they have only the one. Here too it did not
move as I was expecting. It just sort of stood around. Thank
goodness. Those teeth were as long as water glasses. He (she?)
I could see had a manacle around his foot and a chain that acted
like a tether. There was dried blood on the metal band. He
looked kind of glassy-eyed. Each of the animals had a different
smell and each smelled disgusting it its own way. The pen
needed a cleaning. The skin looks almost like army camouflage.
It is green and brown. I guess it serves about the same
purpose. If you looked at the head there was like a cloud of
some small flying insect. The dinosaur didn't seem to notice.
If it didn't blink its eyes every minute or so and breathe you
would not have known it wasn't mechanical. He just seemed to be
waiting or bored.
I wish they had some way for us to go into the jungle and see
the dinosaurs that are not captive. That is probably too
dangerous. They probably stay away from this end of the plateau
anyway. They are a little shy of anything people do. This zoo
is kind of a pitiful way of seeing these dinosaurs in captivity.
These things were the Lords of the Earth. As big and as
powerful as they look, they sort of evoke pity. Somehow this
was not the emotion I was expecting from this part of the trip.
It was now about 3:50 and we had to start heading back. I think
we were all kind of hungry, but caramel corn, which was all they
had for sale, was not what we were in the mood for. The cable
cars took the same 25 minutes to get down. Evelyn and I were in
the lead car and Jim and Ellen and the two Toms were in the
other. OK, so we had seen dinosaurs now with our own eyes.
Somehow I felt a little ashamed.
Gil had packed some sandwiches in the jeeps. The same meat that
we had for lunch yesterday. The grease had soaked into the
bread. There were some bottles of warm Coke. The Coke was more
welcome after standing around in the heat with only our
canteens. The bottles were not easy to drink from as we went
over those rocky, bumpy roads. The trip back might have been a
little faster. We were going downhill more of the way. I think
traveling a path you have already traveled just make it seem
shorter. We got back to Roxton Camp about 6:30. We got washed
up and the Indians laid a table for us. Roast chicken for
dinner. Gil didn't even join us for dinner. I think he has his
own food packed and frequently opts for that. Back at the tent
we packed most of our stuff so we could get an early start in
the morning. Evelyn read and I worked on my log. I still feel
kind of down.
[In case you couldn't tell, this log is not a real travelogue,
but fiction based on THE LOST WORLD.]
TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)
I went to the library a few weeks ago to pick up a book that had
arrived for me, and moseyed over to the sale section. They were
still having their $5-a-bag sale--I suspect it may be at least
semi-permanent. I saw a book that looked like something Mark would
like: JAMES BOND--THE LEGACY, a giant coffee-table book covering
all the Bonds through 2002. But this meant I had to fill the rest
of the bag. :-)
Since I had already bought five bags in the last few months, the
supply was somewhat depleted. But there were some new additions
from recent donations, which helped.
So what did we get? Well, we got all four seasons of JEEVES &
WOOSTER, the 1943 "Batman" serial, the AMC mini-series THE PRISONER
(a remake of the classic 1960's show of the same name), the boxed
set HBO mini-series MILDRED PIERCE (with both DVD and Bluray), NO
COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (both DVD and Bluray, but separate packaging),
Blurays of LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and SOURCE CODE, two Disney films
(BEAUTY AND THE BEAST ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS and CINDERELLA), JASON
BOURNE, and half a dozen other films.
I also got several DVDs to sell or give away: "42" for my
sportswriter brother, a twenty-film Alfred Hitchcock collection for
my niece taking a Hitchcock course, an eight-film British cinema
Collection, a four-film Martin Scorsese collection, the theatrical
versions of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and a few others. (I
wasn't sure if I had already gotten "42" in a previous batch, but
it turns out that was "61*".)
What I did not get--but have in the past--were cases missing their
discs, cases with the wrong discs, discs that were Region 2 discs,
or bootleg discs. (I got one once that I claimed gave you the true
theater experience, including seeing the seat backs in front of
you, and having the "EXIT" sign visible in your upper left!
But I did get one of those increasingly rare paper bags that the
grocery used to give out for free. :-) [-ecl]