November 12, 2019

Because Rusty2 Said So

When my rubber duckies start talking to me, telling me to do something, I'm gonna do it.  So when Rusty2 said "post that picture, I look good in it," I'm sure as heck not gonna say no.

Oh sure, like your rubber ducks don't talk to you?  

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March 02, 2017

Why A Duck: The Story Of An Obsession In Five Acts, Act I.

A few weeks back, reader David won the latest mystery ship contest.  As his prize, he chose to ask "why rubber ducks"?  What he didn't realize is that he has opened the vault to an epic tale... and, of course, since it's about me, it'll be fun for me to write about.  I mean, who doesn't think of themselves as the main character in the world?  I mean, other than self-actualized individuals, that is.  So grab a relaxing beverage of your choice, settle in to a comfortable chair, and enjoy The Story!

ACT I: Rise Of The Ducks
This tale begins, as so many of such things do, with a girl.  I was a theatre student at Duck U, around about 1990, living in the tower dorm.  Considering that I lived there, I spent very little time actually in my dorm room.  Instead, you could usually find me across campus in the theatre building.  At that time, the department had a thriving bunch of wannabe directors so it was a rare weekend that didn't have a student-run show going on.  Since I was the only lighting design student on campus, I tended to be the guy asked to help... I had that blackbox theater wrapped around my finger by the end of the first quarter, and an excellent stock design that, with just a few changes, could handle just about any show we loaded in.  All of that, however, meant that I would spend long hours over there... maybe in the drafting lab, maybe cutting gels, perhaps hanging and focussing lights, or on those really late nights, sleeping on one of the (remarkably comfortable) couches in the green room.  There were, of course, mens and womens dressing rooms off the green room, with showers... I learned to keep a couple changes of clothes down there.  Sometimes it was just way too convenient.  None of which has to do with ducks, or the girl, except in passing.  Or explaining why I came dragging out of the elevator onto the 6th floor of my dorm at 3am one late evening.

Imagine my surprise when I practically stumbled over... um... let's call her Ann, because that's not her name, sitting on the floor underneath the communal telephone, sobbing at what the person on the other end was telling her.  Let's get something straight here: Ann and I were not friends, not in any way that mattered.  We were both theatre people, were in the same (small) department, lived in the same dorm, went to the same parties thrown by the same people, but we weren't friends.  I suppose acquaintances would be the best way to describe us.  Don't get me wrong, we didn't dislike each other or anything like that.  We were friendly, but not friends.  I surely didn't know her well enough to intrude on her call or anything like that... but she was someone known to me, who had done me no ill in the past, and she was theatre person.  So I sat on the couch across from the phone and waited.  Even did a little bit of homework until she hung up the phone.  I gave her a moment, then asked if she wanted to talk about it.  She shook her head, said "family troubles", then gave me a surprised look... one of those "hey, this guy that I don't really know sat here for nearly an hour at ridiculous o'clock in the morning just to see if I was okay" looks of dawning realization.  "Thank you, though."  After telling her that if she wanted to talk, just to let me know, I went to my room and passed out. 

The next few days were spent at the Old Home Pond for reasons that currently escape me, but on the way back I stopped at a grocery store to get some stuff for my "beer fridge".... soda, some nukeable food for when the cafeteria was closed, y'know, that sort of thing... and there, in the children's aisle, was a rubber duck.  It was yellow, it squeaked, probably floated, and was cute.  All the things a rubber duck is for were there in that one particular duck.  Right there, even as I do now, I had the thought that a rubber duck is happiness.  Much like you can't sing a sad song when playing a banjo, it's very difficult to be glum when you have a rubber duck in your hands.  While Ann had not spoken to me of her issues, she was visibly having problems coping with them... so I bought that rubber duck and gave it to her the next day.  I refuse to believe that my giving her that little yellow duck cheered her up so much that she got over her problems overnight, but she did start looking and acting better.  Coincidence.

The semester carried on,  blasting by, show after show, resulting in a frazzled and exhausted me by Thanksgiving.  As I sat in my dorm room the Tuesday before turkeyday, sipping from a pocket bottle of cheap blackberry brandy while listening to Dire Straits' Love Over Gold cassette in the dim illumination from a string of christmastree lights, Ann walked in (I had the "c'mon in!" sign up on my door).  She was leaving for home early, but she wanted me to have... this.  "This" was... a rubber duck.  A different rubber duck than the one I had given her, it must be pointed out.  I thanked her, made sure she was doing okay, and off she went.  I promptly named that duck Scooter, for reasons that have disappeared into the mists of time.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  That duck's name was Scooter, true... but that was not its full name.  No, his full name was Scooter... (pause)... the Wonderduck.  And now you, my loyal readers, know the origin of my name.

This is that original member of The Flock, Scooter the Wonderduck.  He's over 26 years old now, and age has taken a toll upon him.  His skin is less flexible than it was, and he's not as bright yellow as he had been nearly three decades ago.  That black mark on his chest is from when he fell off the dashboard of a U-Haul.  Scooter has seen a lot of stuff go down over the years, but he's still the same Duck of Happiness that he was back there in that corner room of the 6th floor of a Duck U dorm.

Scooter was not, though, the only duck.  There were a few other given to me as gifts while I was a student at Duck U., too... people saw Scooter sitting there on a shelf above my bed, and thought "hey, that's a good cheap gift!"  Those duckies made their way to Minnesota with me, but I have no idea what happened to them.  Only Scooter made it back to Duckford.  I sometimes wonder about those forgotten Ducks of the North... were they happy?  Were they loved?  Or were they neglected and uncared for?  It's thoughts like this that trouble me at night. 

Next time, Act II and more.

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March 01, 2017

Remember, You Asked For It

I've completed the first part of the "Why Ducks?" post.  If it goes on like this, it will be, far and away, the longest single post ever here at The Pond.  The current record holder is the 5200-word writeup of Gakkou Gurashi Ep04 and 05 combined.  If "Why Ducks?" doesn't break 6000 words, I'll be shocked.

That's a lotta duck.

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January 13, 2017

National Rubber Duckie Day 2017!

Some say there's something unfortunate about it being the 13th day of a month, and a Friday to boot.  To this, I say "Bah!"  The real thing to celebrate today is more than enough to overawe some dumb "unlucky" day.  For today is National Rubber Duckie Day!

With a cool duck like this, there is nothing to fear.  May your National Rubber Duckie Day be great!

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December 08, 2016

The One Where Wonderduck Squees Like A Japanese Schoolgirl

Over at the /r/rubberducks subreddit, a visitor put up a picture of a "christmas street shop" they saw the other day.  Here is that picture:

That's a lot of ducks, or as I like to put it, "a nice start".  Lots that I've never seen before, too.  I mean like those "ducks of the world" over there.  The frenchduck even has two baguettes!  Which is nice, but ducks don't much like French bread.  Or those British ducks, or... waitaminnit.

Is that...?  Ohmygawd...

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  IwantoneIwantoneIwantoneIwantoneIwantoneIwantoneofeachIwantoneofeach!!!

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May 08, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

It has seemed like, for whatever reason, the past few weeks have seen my usual entertainment sources swamped by Mother's Day reminders.  To a greater extent than normal, that is... just incessant.  Every break in a Cubs game on the radio?  There's a commercial for flowers, or chocolate, or chocolate flowers.  TV?  "Mother's day is coming up, and what better to get her than...".  Even the interwebz.

All of which has gone a long way to defeating my annual attempt at forgetting the day exists.  Not that I don't remember Momzerduck, I do!  It's just that this holiday makes me sad...

Just... call your mother.  Hug her if it's convenient.  She misses you, y'know.

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April 08, 2012

Easter 2012

Happy Easter!  Not much else to say, really...

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March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day 2012

Green!  Green everywhere!

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February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

There's no doubt in my mind that The Pond is the only place on the intarwebz where you're going to find this:

The combination of rubber duckies and Katawa Shoujo for Valentine's Day, exclusive to this little website.  And you get to see it... aren't you lucky?

Rin's opinion notwithstanding, of course.

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January 12, 2012

Ducks In Anime: Yarrrrrrr!

-Bodacious Space Pirates, Ep01

I'm... not sure about this show.  On the one hand, everything seems to be perfect.  The characters are believable, or at least they're as believable as a show like this ever gets, the artwork is quite appealing, the animation is acceptable, there seems to be plenty of room for both humor and drama, and there's a bodacious space pirate rubber duckie.  Oh, and "Bodacious Space Pirates" would be a great name for a band.  Like I said, perfect.

Bodacious Space Pirate Waitress
On the other hand, everything seems to be perfect, and that scares me.  This could go so very very wrong... which would actually be pretty fun.  I find that I'm quite looking forward to Ep02.

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December 25, 2011

The Twelfth Day Of Duckmas 2011

I can't really add anything to that. 

Another Duckmas season has come and gone.  The Flock have already opened their gifts and are busy doing what duckies do on Duckmas morning: having a breakfast of freshly baked rye bread and orange juice (duckies love orange juice).  Their party gives me a chance to sneak off and wish you, my readers, happiness and security for the coming year.

And ducks.  Lots and lots of ducks.

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December 24, 2011

The Eleventh Day Of Duckmas 2011

Did you know it takes 49 minutes to wrap a rubber duckie?  I know that sounds unlikely, but that's how long it took to get the purple devil duckie ready for this picture.  Fortunately, wrapping easy, simple shapes, like boxes, tesseracts and klein bottles takes much less time than wrapping a duckie, so I should be able to get everything ready for Christmas.

I don't know about you, my readers, but I do have a little tradition when it comes to gift-wrapping.  I do it late on Christmas Eve, mug of hot chocolate (complete with immersed candycane) at the ready, whilst listening to WGN-AM out of Chicago.  In the past, the overnight team has a high school choir in the studio with them, so I wrap while they sing and banter.  It just occurred to me, however, that I won't be able to do that this year, as the overnight show is only on weekdays, and they have someone else on the weekend.  Woe is I.

It's kind of amazing how fast the Twelve Days of Duckmas has gone this year.  While much more challenging than normal due to the lack of winter weather (and I'm probably the only person in Duckford complaining about the lack of snow), I think it's turned out okay.  Hopefully you've gotten a kick out of it; the Twelve Days is just about the only time of year I can really be artistically creative, so I enjoy it quite a bit.  Even if it does disrupt normal blogging here at The Pond.

Big finale on Sunday... see you then!

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December 23, 2011

The Tenth Day Of Duckmas 2011

Lack of snow gotcha down, Binky?  Have I got a solution for you... Insta-Snow!  Just add water and voila!  A lovely snow-like substance... except in my case, because I bought a cheap knockoff ("Insty-Sno") and ended up with a not-as-lovely slush-like substance that eventually ended up looking like well-packed snow.

Y'know, I have to admit that I was surprised at how much it looks like snow "on camera".  However, I am saddened to announce that Insty-Sno did a number on my blackbox setup, and I had to throw it in the dumpster.  Not like that's a big deal or anything... it's just a cardboard box with posterboard lining the inside, I can recreate that at will.  The old setup was pretty worn out anyway.

If you want to see what this picture looked like from a different angle, just click "more"!


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December 22, 2011

The Ninth Day Of Duckmas 2011

"Eight wings!  Eight freakin' wings!"
The annual sojourn to the local shopping mall!  I can state for the record that, at least in Duckford, the whole shopping frenzy is alive and well.  On an aside, I'd like to say "hello" to Stephanie, the young lady who cut my hair Wednesday night.  Good job, it looks great... or at least as "great" as my hair ever looks.

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December 21, 2011

The Eighth Day Of Duckmas 2011

A tree needs to be decorated and trimmed, even if there's no snow on the ground.  Right?

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December 20, 2011

The Seventh Day Of Duckmas 2011

Happy Hanukkah to all of The Pond's Jewish readers.  May you get lots of gelt and eat lots of latkes and pontshkes over the next eight days!  Mmmmmmm... latkes... there's very little as good as a latke with sour cream.  Excuse me while I drool.

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December 19, 2011

The Sixth Day Of Duckmas 2011

"Merry Christmas!  Out upon merry Christmas! What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart."
-Ebeneezer Scrooge, from A Duckmas Carol.

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December 18, 2011

The Fifth Day Of Duckmas 2011

If you wanted to whistle music from The Nutcracker as you look at this picture, I wouldn't blame you.

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December 17, 2011

The Fourth Day Of Duckmas 2011

If there's one thing that just about every college or university student can agree on, it's that the food in the cafeteria is never good enough.  I actually rather like the food service at Duck U, m'self.  Sure, it's no gourmet five-star restaurant, but it's good, tasty food with a wide and varied selection every day.  Nevertheless, it's probably written in the handbook that a college student has the god-given right to complain about the food at their school, and the student body at Duck U does so at every opportunity.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, none of it is acceptable.

Except for the desserts.  Those earn universal praise.  Cookies, cakes, ice creams, donuts, scones (om nom nom!), puddings, and on and on... all of it made right there in the Duck U kitchens.  The ducklings are lucky, and they know it. 

There was a lot of "soooooo cute!!!"ing at the sight of the gingerbread duckies that day.  It was kinda funny, actually.

We got less than a quarter-inch of snow last night.  It's already melting away.

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December 16, 2011

The Third Day Of Duckmas 2011

When the snowducks begin to grumble, you know there's something big going down.

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