Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

McDonalds Gone Retro

Recently, the McDonald's in my neighborhood began an exterior renovation that transformed it from the age-old angled roof style to the new square design.  Completed just a few weeks ago, a recent evening drive past the restaurant revealed that some interior redecorating had also occurred.  Curious, my daughter and I visited the establishment to check out the new look.  Having grown up in the 1960's and 1970's, all I can say is!  I felt like I had time traveled.  The new brown paneling looked like the stuff the Big Three automakers used to glue to the sides of vans;  the wallpaper reminded me of lava lamps;  and the color scheme was...well, bright.  The only missing ingredient was a Happy Meal doodle pad sporting art from the Yellow Submarine.

Query:  why does brown paneling look upscale in Starbucks and horribly dated in McDonald's?

For more information about the new look, check out the following news articles:
Mickey D's McMakeover
McDonald's Restaurant - Exterior Design & Implementation
Modern Restaurant Design:  McDonald's?  We're Luvin' It!
A McDonald's for Architecture Snobs
McDonald's Redesign:  A New Era for Fast-Food Restaurants

Note:  I have been in two other updated McDonald's in my local area.  Their new looks did not disturb me quite as much as the one in my neighborhood.  I think it may be the colors/materials chosen by my nearby franchisee.  I do like some of the interiors shown in the articles listed above.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Christmas Concert #1

This afternoon began the 2011-2012 Christmas concert season of Shoreline Ringers, the handbell choir that my daughter has played with for nearly six years.  It was a good start today.  The audience was average size (i.e., not too small, not too big, but just right), full of interesting questions, and much appreciative of the program selelctions:

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel
Noels Ringing, Tidings Bringing
The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came
Sing We Now of Christmas
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Carol of the Bells
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Joy to the World

If you are out and about his holiday season and are in the mood for an hour of musical relaxation, consider attending one of these concerts:

December 10, 2011, 7:00 PM @ Somers Congregational Church, Somers, CT
December 17, 2011, 3:00 PM @ Niantic Community Church, Niantic, CT
January 8, 2012, 7:00 PM @ Central Baptist Church, Norwich, CT

Admission is free.  That said, the group does accept donations to cover travel costs, etc.  For a preview, here they are playing "Pat-a-Pan" from last season.