Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at yetanotherjournal (at) mindspring (dot) com

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» Sunday, September 21, 2014
Let Us Eat Cake

We had a lovely sleep-in this morning and then I took Tucker for his walk. It was sunny outside with an autumn sky that, sadly, vanished as the day went on, and about 71°F with a nice breeze. Tucker decided not to growl at the big dogs at the end of the street (they look like mastiffs, but are black), which I appreciated.

We went off to Kroger with the rollator still in the back of the truck from last night; a good thing because it was after eleven and all the handicapped parking spaces were SRO. Once James was inside, he got the cart and I walked the rollator around. We got groceries for the week and soup for supper. It was even handy for getting the groceries out to the truck.

Once the groceries were put up, we took a little ride out to Acworth with a Books-a-Million coupon. We had found the missing free dessert coupon from Longhorn that James got for his birthday, so we were going to split a dinner and then have the dessert. We decided to have ribs...and they were all out! So we shared a big ribeye instead, and then got the Chocolate Stampede. As always, we ate the ice cream and took the huge slices of cake home, as that will be dessert for two nights for both of us.

The Books-a-Million trip was underwhelming. I did get a new "Chicken Soup" book with dog stories, and a gift for someone, a magazine about Theodore Roosevelt, and a cross-stitch magazine. By te time we'd eaten and perused, and then drove home, it was after four. For dinner watched last night's Doctor Who, "Time Heist," which was a good episode but not particularly memorable, Too Cute, and then, because nothing else was good on, put the McBride movie marathon on Hallmark on. Good grief! Hallmark is starting their Christmas movies on Hallowe'en this year!

I'm sad this weekend is over. We had such a nice time together, and with friends.

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» Saturday, September 20, 2014
Words With Friends

We have had a pleasantly busy day, although it started much too early. :-) We were presenting the lunch centerpiece, pork cacciatore (and some chicken cacciatore for Mel and Phyllis, who do not eat pork) and Hair Day, but everything is cooked and we just packed it in an insulated bag and went on. We feasted on two cheese balls and some veggie dip and fruit dip and deviled eggs until it was time for dinner, which included our cacciatore, pasta, a big salad, and garlic bread. It came out very well, but I needed to cook the pork more, or definitely use boneless pork ribs.

We came home for the afternoon, and tried to set up a multi-use printer I got in return for doing a review on it. Well, it connected to the network okay and prints, but the scanner works not at all, and that was primarily what I wanted it for. I tried calling Epson, but the tech didn't seem to know what to tell me, and we had to leave for supper before we had time to troubleshoot.

And then we ended up waiting an entire hour to be seated. I didn't get the whole story, but apparently even though Juanita had called ahead, they let another party have our table, or part of our table. To make up, they gave the table free appetizers, and they didn't charge Juanita and David. By then it was after seven and we were ravenous. Had a bit of this and that, and then salad, and then supper, chatting all the while. David passed around his birthday cards, and they brought him a free dessert, plus a plate with "Happy Birthday" drawn on it.

It was a nice day, but a bit exhausting. Have put tonight's Doctor Who on hold to watch the final part of The Roosevelts.

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» Friday, September 19, 2014
The Friday Flit

When last we met, James worked Saturday, but had today off, so I dipped into my leave and also took the day off, as we had some business at the bank we needed to take care of. But the first order of business was getting at least eight hours sleep. In my case, nature called at seven-and-a-half hours. Dammit.

I walked the dog and we had breakfast, and then James gave Kaiser a call, hopping from one department to another like an agile but frustrated squirrel. It sounds as if they are going to give him the mobility scooter, so we got the paperwork ready to mail.

Our first stop was at the bank, where we spoke to someone and got the information we needed, then we went on to mail the letter. Next, we drove out to the old site of the hobby shop to drop off James' kilt and some dress shirts at the cleaner; James likes the place, it's been at this same shopping center since the 1950s, so we go back there with our dry cleaning. We were planning to finish up our errand route at Barnes & Noble, so we came back via Lower Roswell Road and stopped at MicroCenter. I was looking for a USB electrical plug. Also found a USB car charger, two eyeglass repair kits, some photo print paper, and a telescoping wand with a magnet at the end, for those tiny metal things you drop in corners.

When we reached Cumberland Mall it was lunchtime, so we parked at Fresh2Order and had lunch. When we go there on Friday nights it's always so deserted I worry about the place staying open, but it was massively crowded for lunch. I had the bowl of creamy chicken vegetable soup, which is thick and closer to a stew than a soup, with big chunks of chicken, lots of carrot slices, and bits of onion, with some sort of herb flavoring that I can't identify. It's definitely a full meal. James had a smaller bowl with half a panini. After eating we crossed the mall for a necessary repair: one of the nose pads had fallen off my glasses. Since one of the nose pads had already fallen off my spare pair of glasses, I brought both and got them upgraded.

Our final stop was at Barnes & Noble, where James was looking for a new David Weber/Timothy Zahn book he heard was due out after DragonCon. Turns out it was due out way after DragonCon, like October. But they let him use the coupon he had today to order it now and it will be mailed to him for free when it's released. I picked up the new "TV Guide," mainly for the full-page photo of Ichabod and Abbie. :-) Also a winter crafts magazine that did have some cross-stitch in it. With my coupon I got Engines of War, a novel featuring the War Doctor.

James' knees had about given out, so we headed home. It was already three o'clock and we weren't home long before I took Tucker out in the back yard for a while. As we walked in the gate he spotted the black and white feral cat at the edge of the trees and took off after it. His leash got caught in a fallen tree branch—I really need to ask Paolo to clean out back there!—and it started "following," scaring the yelps out of him. After we came in, I changed clothes and then tried Snowy out in the carry box. Tucker did not want to leave him alone; I didn't mind when he had his paws on my knee staring at him, but when he started to jump in my lap it was a bit much. Snowy still doesn't like the carry box much, but this time he sat right on the perches and eventually moved over to the mirror to peck at it. I think it at least needs a shiny new toy and a spring of millet to engage him. I sang a little to him and we watched Kaley Cuoco on Ellen with her new pixie cut.

James also fixed the pole lamp in the living room, which died last weekend when the switch finally clicked its last. The switch has been "soft" for months and you had to turn it "juuuuuust right" for the light to go on. The bottom part of the switch was apparently one whole piece and would not come apart, so we just matched the gold top part of the replacement switch with the silver bottom part and said the hell with it. The light now lights and it doesn't look like we have a single gas lamp like Sherlock Holmes anymore, with the rest of the room swimming in darkness. I had to put the shades up while I was working this week and it only made it hotter in the living room.

Later it was Jeopardy, parts three and four of "The Dominators" on Doctor Who, and the penultimate part of The Roosevelts.

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» Saturday, September 13, 2014
Me and the Dog and Snowy Makes Three

Tiresomely, James had to work today, which put a hobble on our plans to go to Taste of Smyrna. It's on through eight o'clock, so perhaps we'll get to have something, at least. As for me, I tried to get eight hours sleep, but not sure I succeeded. It was still overcast at nine o'clock, so Tucker and I had a nice walk and breakfast. Next I had an annoying task: I had to hand-wash seven pieces of silverware and four different frying pans—one pan is too big to go into the dishwasher, but the rest of the things had been run through the dishwasher twice and the wretched thing still had not cleaned them. That $500 Bosch is looking really good!

Oh, and I saw one of the male goldfinches at the feeder, and it looks as if it has started to go through its fall moult! One of our trees has leaves turning yellow as well. I'm so chuffed!

Finally I dressed and went to Costco to nab some SkinnyPop; while I was there I could get milk as well, and the BreatheRight strips that were on sale, and I wanted to hunt up another three-pack of Classico tomato-and-basil, as we have volunteered lunch for Hair Day this month and I had an idea for lunch. Got the first three, but they are now carrying other tomato-and-basil sauces that have wretched black pepper in them. Grrrr. They also had long sleeved plaid flannel shirts; I got three for James. Plus two pair of the softest sweatpants ever. I'm longing for cold weather even more, just to wear them.

Plus I was bad: they had the DVD set of Edward the King (Edward the Seventh in the U.K.), and it's one of my favorite miniseries, with a stellar cast: Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, and Timothy West as the adult "Bertie," otherwise Edward VII. (Charles Sturridge, now a director who did the 2005 remake of Lassie Come Home, plays the teenaged Bertie.) They already had the companion book to Ken Burns' The Roosevelts out, and, as James is always saying he doesn't know what to get me for our anniversary/my birthday/Christmas, I sent him a text about it.

I had the milk in an insulated bag, so I felt comfortable enough to run into Barnes & Noble to see if the fall issues of Landscape and Landlove were in; the former was, the latter wasn't, but I did find the Fall Preview TV Guide. Ah, well, all the breathless anticipation of this I had as a kid has gone away. I noticed there are at least three new Twelfth Doctor novels out! Also bought the newest Calvin Coolidge biography, which was on the remainder table.

Back home, I had many things I might do, but first I ate lunch, and then I did something I've been putting off since the idea has scared me so much. I put the television on in the spare room, took a book in there, and Snowy's cage, shut the door, and opened his cage door. He didn't come out on his own, so I gently brought him out, and let him fly around the room. Snowy's escaped a couple of times before, and it's really hard on him because he can't perch properly, but I feel guilty keeping him cooped up. So this time it was Tucker who had to curl up and wait. He found a first perch up on the curtains, but I finally got him down, and he flew a bit lower. You can tell he isn't used to flying; oh, how he was panting! After a little of that, I put him back in the cage, and then brought back the carry box.

Schuyler traveled everywhere in her cage, for seven years. She even managed going up that mindbendingly steep road up to the cabin in Gatlinburg in 2007. But he can't do that; he won't be able to balance. Plus there will be no coping with Tucker if he has to sit next to a birdcage with a bird in it; it triggers all his crazy hunting instincts. So Snowy needs to learn to ride in the carry box.

I put a big sprig of millet into it before I tucked him in there, and for many minutes he sat on the bottom of the box and bit at the small perches that were meant to help a bird get between the two larger perches. He eventually got on one of the big perches, and then the other, pecked at the mirror, and ate a couple of kernels of millet. It didn't make him very happy, but he managed it. After about a half hour I put him back in the cage and we watched the first part of Edward the King. (He doesn't seem much the worse for wear; he's behind me now, singing his head off while we watch How the States Got Their Shapes.)

About four I took Tucker outside, tried to play with him a little bit, but he eventually retreated to his "cave" under the table.

[Later: I was dressed and ready when James arrived home, with hat on my head and our chill cloths soaked in cold water and in a ziplock bag. We got "Topper" in the truck and grabbed my seat cane and were off to Taste of Smyrna in a trice. It was pretty crowded when we arrived, so I left James getting some Jamaican jerk while I ran down to the Atkins Park booth and got what looked like two of the last four servings of "drunken pork" and sweet cheese grits. By the time I strolled back to him he was making his way toward me, and we got something from the Thai booth (pad thai for me and a spicy chicken dish for him with a stick of chicken satay). We found a seat at a table, and then I ran down to Williamson Brothers Barbecue for a pulled pork sandwich for each of us. (Turned out the food we had was so filling we are saving the barbecue for tomorrow.) I was sitting at one of the two chairs still at the table when a lady came along with two preschool age grandchildren; she sat them down on the other chair, so I gave her the one I had and sat on my cane seat instead. Those two kids were cute as little bugs; one reminded me of Keshia Knight Pulliam when she was on The Cosby Show.

It wasn't really bad warm when we got there, but the minute the sun got below the tree line it became heavenly, especially when the breeze picked up. We finished our food feeling cool and happy instead of fried like last week at Yellow Daisy, and then tossed our trash, put our sandwiches in the Rollator's underseat carrier, and walked down the line of booths until we reached Bruster's and I bought us two cones of ice cream. We sat under a red maple tree with our dessert and watched the kids on the bungee ropes and in the bounce house and enjoyed the breeze.

Drove home with the windows open and then I took Tucker for a walk; while we were out there I heard fireworks. The announcement said nothing about fireworks at Taste of Smyrna...if we'd known we would have stayed!

Totally creepy Doctor Who tonight called "Listen" about things that go bump in the night that hang out under your bed, including a jaw-dropping episode in a barn that linked to the 50th anniversary special. Hmn. We haven't seen the mysterious Missy in two weeks; wonder where she's lurking. And what's up with Danny Pink (besides the fact that he can't talk to Clara without inserting his foot into his mouth)?]

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» Friday, September 12, 2014
Real Deals...Even Sleeping Late

The six most beautiful words in the English language: "The alarm clock is shut off." I slept until nine! And I was still tired and sore.

I'd had a call yesterday from TruGreen saying they were coming today, but I resolved to only wait until noon; I had a list and errands to run. It was at least cloudy, but hideously sticky, when I took Tucker for his walk, and then we both had breakfast, and I checked out what FETV had rerun of Lassie this morning, which reminded me to post the 60th anniversary notice on Facebook and the Lassie group. Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, and wiped down some of the counters. Tossed all the dog's toys back into his toy box. The clock ticked. Read the comics. Read Emma's blog. Put up the autumn banner, wreath, and basket on the front porch.

Left at almost noon. And he never did show up.

I wasn't going far, and saw a treat on the way there: a 1930s Chevrolet in a beautiful bottle green, like a mallard's head. I arrived at a traffic light just behind it and was able to snap a pic, sadly through a grimy, rain-spattered windshield. Finally I arrived at Petsmart, for a bag of dog food, two clickers, and a bone to hold plastic bags (I want one for each leash), and then I stopped at Lowe's. My mass picture-hanging had cleaned me out of 1 1/4 nails and it looked like I needed 1 inch brads as well. I got some longer brads, too, and checked out the garden section; cheered when I saw an employee clearing all the shelves out, which means they're prepping for Christmas. Wandered among the Hallowe'en decorations and the light bulbs as well, and noticed they had a very nice Bosch dishwasher for only $500.

For a treat I stopped at Hobby Lobby and immersed myself in fall, Christmas, and just plain crafts. I bought a couple of fall crafts things (on sale), some metallic embroidery floss (on clearance), and a set of Command hooks (with a coupon). I checked out their Christmas trees, but I didn't see a one I liked; all the good ones are too tall. I want nothing over six feet. Need to check out Kmart once they have their trees out; they had some good ones last year.

Came home to look over my treasures, eat some rice in broth for lunch, and decide whether I wanted to go out again. Finally decided it was too hot, but I did take Tucker for another walk. The sun was out in full force now and I was glad for my hat. He yanked the leash out of my hand chasing a squirrel and brought up big blue bruises on my left fingertips. Serves me right for collecting the mail first and having my hands occupied. I wish these extendable leashes had a loop as well!

Put all the purchases up, made the bed, put most of the dishes away, waited for James. Of course he got a late call. It was almost six before we headed out to dinner. Went to Folks in Hiram, where they served up a yummy salad, a small portion of french fries that were potato tasting rather than greasy, and two nicely-grilled pork chops, one of which came home with me. James enjoyed some gizzards with Brunswick stew.

Then it was off to Michael's, where I was overjoyed to see that the poster frames were still on sale for $8 each! I bought two more, because the poster frame in the living room with the fall scene in it has already come apart once and nearly broke Mother's clock on the mantel, and the one holding "the Wizard of Speed and Time" poster in the foyer is twisted and the bottom part of the frame has been falling off for over a year. These poster frames have a frame that is all of one piece rather than four individual sides that snap on. I used the 50 percent off coupon I'd intended to use on a frame to complete a Christmas gift.

James hadn't brought "Topper" with him, and his knees seized up halfway through the store, so I went into Five Below alone. Brought some caribiners to fasten the clickers to the leashes and a USB wall charger. But the best thing was the brilliant orange sunset painted across the western sky.

And then home in the dark to walk the dog one more time—this time he was racing off after a stray chihuaha that appeared from nowhere—and try to relax before bed.

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» Sunday, September 07, 2014
We Just Keep Rolling Along

So, when we left our story, we were hoping for a new mechanical addition to the family. But this didn't solve the problem of the Yellow Daisy Festival, or Taste of Smyrna. (Well, if I knew then what I know now about Yellow Daisy...but...) I spent time on Amazon, but by the time James said he might not mind one of those rolling walkers with the seat (they're called "rollators," and that may be capitalized), it was too late to get one from Amazon Prime before Sunday. So on Thursday during lunch I drove to the local medical supply store and ordered one for him. It cost more than on Amazon, but that included overnight shipping and assembly, and the people at the store would properly adjust it for James. When I got home I also ordered a cane seat for me; it's a cane and it opens into a stool, so when he stopped to rest at Yellow Daisy, I could sit, too.

Friday started out fine until I got a peculiar pain in my stomach. I've had this before when I ate things that bothered my digestion, like sausage, but never on just a plain old workday. All I'd eaten was oatmeal, yogurt, some milk, and a granola bar, so the worsening of the symptoms was puzzling. I thought it might have been because I was hungry, so I had my chicken sandwich. That definitely didn't make it any better; I should have had some plain broth. Finally I just asked to go home and ended up asleep for the rest of the afternoon. James called in for Chinese; I just ate a big bowl of wonton soup and a couple of chicken wings, still feeling a bit sore. We went to bed early.

Wasn't feeling 100 percent this morning, but we did go to the Farmer's Market with Tucker in tow. It was a lot busier than last time, and he didn't know which way to look, or sniff for that matter. His nose was moving like a rabbit's and filled with the scents of vegetables and fruit, breads, pot pies, bacon and sausage, desserts, chocolate, grains, dried pasta, honey, shea butter, lemonade, almond butter, pastries, and people, people, people, many with canine companions. It seemed like every ten steps we ran into someone with a dog; several we encountered twice. The tiny, almost humorously aggressive Yorkie wasn't here this week, though. We bought a cucumber, some tomatoes, sweet corn, chicken salad, dog biscuits, and two chocolate chip brownie muffins. James used "Topper" (I figured if he was being "Hopalong," his trusty "steed" could be "Topper") the rollator, and said it did help him stand up straighter and it was good to be able to sit down when the pain was too overwhelming.

We actually didn't do anything after that but come home and have breakfast. I was still a bit nauseated and felt a bit feverish; when I took my temperature I did have a low-grade fever, so I stoked up on some ibuprofen and stretched out under the fan in the living room until it was time to leave for supper.

We usually go to Longhorn on the last day of DragonCon, but we were so wiped this year we passed on it. Instead, James decided he would like to go to Outback, and we sent out an e-mail asking folks to join us if they were so inclined. Juanita and David, sadly, got stuck in traffic on the way back from Athens, but we still had a nice crowd: the Boulers, the Spiveys including Aubrey with her newly-dyed purple hair, and the Boroses. We tried the bloomin' onion; frankly, it's overrated—we had some super, golden-brown sweet onion rings somewhere and no one's been able to top them. However, the steak was delicious, and James had a side of shrimp with his. I enjoyed the potato soup, though, although the potatoes seemed a bit scanty! Salad was okay, too. The best part was talking with everyone, and we had a great waiter, too, and tipped accordingly.

We had stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond on the way there to pick up a new Misto; after the dinner broke up we went to Michael's to spend a coupon. I was going to buy a poster frame for the Doctor Who poster James brought me back in February, and I found them on a super sale. (I'm now kicking myself for not buying two more, because the poster frame around the autumn poster in our living room is falling apart, as is the one surrounding "the Wizard of Speed and Time" in the foyer.) I got a poster frame and an 8x10 frame for the Andy Runton Owly Doctor Who print and the new "Christmas Ideas" and two items for a project for less than $20. And then we had a nice drive home through the park, and watched last week's "Into the Dalek" (so we could actually hear it; I missed the Fantastic Voyage joke completely) and "Robot of Sherwood" before bed. (Enjoyed this serio-comic ep, although the Doctor and Robin Hood in a "pissing match" got old fast.)

7:45 a.m. came much too early this morning, and we still weren't on the road officially until nine, since we had to stop for gasoline and for cash. However, the freeway was freewheeling out to Stone Mountain, so it was a quick ride.

We found out when we got to the Yellow Daisy Festival site proper that they were renting scooters and James was sorely tempted. But he toughed it out and tested out the rollator under field conditions. He admitted it was convenient to sit when he needed to, but it was hard slogging for him.

Had it been about sixty degrees with a bit of a breeze, I think we both would have ended up in better shape. He had to stop every hundred or so yards due to the pain, so we seemed to crawl past the sales booths. While the trail through the woods where the booths are located is paved, it's bumpy and hilly. And when we eventually arrived at the "end" it turned out that we had missed an entire trail, which was important because we wanted to buy more "Smack Yo Mama" barbecue sauce and that's where they were located. (We also didn't see several favorite vendors, the person who sets up near "Country Pickins" with the jellies who has a "pumpkin pie butter" James loves, and the woman I call "the mint lady" because she carries the most delicious mint jelly with bits of spearmint leaves in it.) So I went back on a scouting mission and found them, of course, on the summit of the hill. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been so thirsty and damp all over—we're used to it being hot on Yellow Daisy weekend, but hot and humid was just misery on top of it. We stopped for some ice-cold lemonade and also had water, and it just wasn't enough. Also, I liked the cane seat, but I hated carrying it around, and the slower I walk, the worse my back hurts.

However, there was a bit of serendipity on returning from my "seek and ye shall find" barbecue sauce mission. I had picked up a gift for someone, James had found sugarless taffy, and we got the first of our fall fudge for the year. (They had peppermint fudge...yes! but alas, no orange-flavored dark chocolate like last year.) We tasted innumerable soups and dips, a good thing, too, because we hadn't eaten breakfast. And as I cut through the back of the booths to get back to James with the barbecue sauce, I came past a jewelry stand that we had passed earlier. I don't usually look at jewelry vendors because there's nothing I want and most of the time the pretty things I want to buy for friends are too expensive for our budget. But I was arrested by a plain black headband that had blue- and clear-beaded decorations—including a blue Police Box. Yes, I did buy it. Now with my TARDIS headband and TARDIS necklace, I will be well-dressed for Anachrocon and Timegate. :-)

The last obstacle was the big meadow in full sun. Since the radioactive iodine treatment, I can't stay in the sun too long and the minute it hit my skin it felt like I'd put it on a sizzling skillet. We therefore headed for the car as fast as James could limp. The air conditioning in the truck felt so good!

We had a late lunch at Panera, which got some nice salty chicken soup and some ice water into me and perked us both up enough to drop off the fudge and go to Kroger for the weekly shopping. And since then we've been chilling, literally, under the ceiling fan on high watching Rehab Addict (except for the thirty minutes when an ominously charcoal grey sky burst into drumrolls, flashing lights, and finally a deluge of rain). James finished his sandwich from Panera for supper and I had a bowl of Cheerios because I wasn't about to provoke Tummykins again, and the peppermint fudge for dessert was a delicious coda.

Now we're watching a new special about the Palace of Westminster.

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» Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Count Your Blessings

James had an appointment at the Shepherd Center today to see if we can get Kaiser to contribute to getting him a scooter or a power chair for times we need to walk longer than a hundred yards or so. I decided I should go along because whatever way this turns out, it's going to make a dent in our finances: co-pay, a carrier for the car, etc. So he went to work this morning because he's only one of two people covering the phones at that time. I got up, walked the dog, cleaned the two upstairs bathrooms, and ran very quickly to Walmart to get a new bulb for the refrigerator, a couple of frames, and a rug to put down at the back door. I got home just in time for James to come pick me up.

The GPS took us on a dippy back way; if we'd known exactly where it was (just north of the Benihana), we would have just gotten off the freeway at Northside Drive and gone through Peachtree Battle. But we got there okay and settled down to wait. I've never seen so many people in wheelchairs in my life, and it made me feel very blessed to still be ambulatory. Many were elderly, but there were also many younger people. As we waited, I was next to a wheelchair-bound man who was talking to a woman and her teenage son, the latter also in a wheelchair. He appeared speech impaired and I didn't know if he might have had cerebral palsy or a muscular disease, or if he had been in some type of accident. They were talking about pain management and the man said he meditated an hour a day to work with it.

We talked to the assessor and discussed chairs vs. scooters, and he put in the paperwork, and now...we'll see. We came home by Panera and had an early supper, then came home. Now we're watching Hurricane 360, about Hurricane Katrina survivors. Count your blessings indeed.

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» Monday, September 01, 2014
DragonCon, Day 4...or "Doesn't She Look Tired?"

Hurrah! It was cooler this morning with no fog, so we could go with open windows so James could rest his sore elbow on the window frame. We got it right on the fourth try and finally got to Peachtree Center earlier, even after picking up the scooter (yes, indeed, we got a four-wheeler today, and this one was red and the beeper worked); of course it is Monday and anyone still here is probably checking out of their room. So it was no trouble getting through the line at Cafe Momo this morning, though I was thankful for Bill being in front of me as I couldn't reach the styrofoam tray. A pain being short sometimes.

This meant we could make our way leisurely through the ramp to the Marriott and then back to the Hyatt for the Sci-Fi literature track "What is Fandom?" panel. Bill was on this panel as well, as well as Anya Martin, Rhetta Akamatsu, and Daniel Logan, who was the young member of the panel, and a fan, among other things, of theme parks. So, what is fandom? Just a collection of people who are enthusiastic about a certain subject? Is fandom family? It depends on the fandom, and the friends you make within the fandom. (And sometimes you have conflicts within your family as serious as the ones within fandoms.) How has science fiction fandom changed? Originally it was mostly men; it was mainly Star Trek that brought women into fandom, and, as Anya pointed out, many girls were fans back then, but you didn't talk about it because you were made fun of. For my part, fandom is part of my real life. I am the most alive there. Work is the place I must put on a face to meet the other faces, like Prufrock. But the latter is what supports the former, even if the former makes me happier.

Anyway, lively panel, and very enjoyable!

Made certain James got back up in the elevator—with the smaller crowds, the people left were much more helpful today—so he could go over to the Merchandise Mart, and then ran down to Artist's Alley to get Andy Runton to sign the only Owly print I had without a signature (ironically, my favorite of the seasonal prints, the autumn one). I noted a graphic novel collection at the artist booth next to Andy's, which was selling the Lost in Space conclusion that Bill Mumy wrote some years back. I remember him talking about it and it had sounded interesting, so I bought it.

Finally I scampered (LOL, easier said than done) outside and down John Portman and then right on Courtland to the Sheraton and the British audios panel. Mostly we talked about the Big Finish productions, but Sacha echoed my own opinion: go to the BBC's website! Find Radio 4 and 4X! Listen!

When the hour was over, and they have been ticking down so quickly today, I hotfooted it over to the Hilton Grand Ballroom for a panel about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode in review. There was a line for this, but it didn't last long, and, amazingly, I managed to telephone James during the interim. (This, of course, was because he wasn't in the Hyatt!) Again, another funny panel. As far as I'm concerned, the 50th anniversary episode completely eclipsed the regeneration episode, which was a bit sad. I could have done with less of Doctor Ten and his Elizabeth I romance, but only because I loved everyone else so much, especially John Hurt as the War Doctor. What a wonderful bit of casting and a terrific performance! (We also touched a bit upon the amazing "Night of the Doctor," which, when I first saw it, made me shriek in delight at the presence of Paul McGann.)

And then it was time...the saddest time of the weekend...the very final panel, which is always the BritTrack feedback panel (I preferred the old title, though: "So long, and thanks for all the fish"). James was already there, having divested himself of the scooter down on the first floor and just having found a seat. It was a happy farewell, with Rob With the Hat without the hat, Caro with an exceedingly hoarse voice, and Robert anchoring the other end of the table. They took suggestions and heard comments, and I was very envious of the night events that, alas, we wouldn't have been able to attend, sodas were given out, and farewells were finally made. We left at 3:30, extracted the truck from the garage, and drove to Barnes & Noble because we had coupons. James got a model, but I couldn't find anything right now; the Sleepy Hollow book isn't due out for weeks.

We usually have supper at Longhorn on the last night of DragonCon, but we are going to postpone until the weekend, and just went to Kroger to get the few groceries we needed (milk!!!) and some soup for our evening meal. James took Tucker outside, and then we were able to sit and eat. I played a few episodes of Too Cute, then we watched the end of Jeopardy, and parts one and two of "The Space Museum" on Doctor Who.

So, am tired but happy, despite worrying about James on his scooter all weekend, especially after his tip-over last night. Time has flashed by like nothing—it seems like only hours ago I was finishing up my orders at work and we were making our way through the mob scene downtown to go to Registration. I suppose it's a good thing special occasions only come so rarely and ordinary time goes so slowly, or our lives would be over in minutes.

Still, tossed out of Narnia again... ::sigh::

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» Sunday, August 31, 2014
DragonCon, Day 3...In Which the Elevators Work, but Things Still Fall Apart

Third verse, same as the first. Got up ten minutes earlier this morning, though, and still didn't leave until eight. From Spring Road until we passed the river, we were driving through dense fog—if it had been Christmas Eve, Santa Claus would have needed Rudolph to light the way. :-) The line at Cafe Momo was a little shorter today, and I got a wheat bagel for variety. I've got Momo-meals down pat: in the styrofoam container, oatmeal in one of the small partitions, roast potatoes in the other (they're outstanding), two slices of French toast, no more than three slices of bacon, three slices of orange, three of kiwi fruit, a bagel and cream cheese, and a pint of milk. Super.

James and I went to our first panel together, a Babylon 5 21st anniversary tribute featuring Walter Koenig. Of course the questions were mostly about his character, Al Bester, the sinister Psi Corps operative. He had nice things to say about the cast, especially Jerry Doyle, but admitted to being intimidated by both Doyle and Bruce Boxleitner because they were so tall.

I made certain James got on the elevator to go back to the Hyatt—people were much friendlier today than Friday—then stopped by Lost and Found to see if someone had turned my owl visor in. No luck. So I went off to the Sheraton and the Colin Baker panel, which was conducted by Alan Siler. Alan had collected a bunch of clips of Colin, the first from Blake's 7, the next his guest starring role on Doctor Who as Commander Maxil, and finally clips of him from his various seasons. After each clip Colin would comment about it. Despite what people may think of his Doctor Who tenure—and I admit I recall very little of it—Colin is a super guest. He's grown a beard and reminds me so much of Timothy West when he did Edward the Seventh. Alan even played the very funny clip from the Big Finish audio production where the Doctor sings about being a "Gallifreyan buccaneer" to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Model of a Modern Major General," and a film clip of Colin and Nicola Bryant in much different circumstances from the series "The Stranger." They were in a bed and doing things a Doctor and a Companion would not have thought to do in the 1980s!

Next it was a hike all the way back to the Hyatt to go to the animation track panel tribute to Rankin-Bass. I sat with Kelley Ceccato and we enjoyed the clips the track manager showed, not just the Christmas specials, but the Saturday morning cartoons they did, like Jackson 5ive and The Osmonds, and dang, we sang along to King Kong. There were also clips of the sublime, a.k.a. The Last Unicorn, to the interesting (Return of the King) to the abysmal—an absolutely terrible cartoon called The Red Baron with an Alsatian baron, a cat mechanic, and a doddery old dachshund. Still, I wish we'd been able to discuss the work, not just watch clips.

And now the course reversed back through the Marriott and all the way to the Hilton where the Sherlock panel was being held. I waited patiently for the end of the line and was rewarded by a seat at the back of the panel. And it was an interesting panel, with mostly talk about season three, the surprise of a likeable Mary Morstan, the Moriarty appearance, etc. Sadly, it was so warm in the room that I dozed off for about ten minutes, leaning on my backpack. I was glad, at least, that the person who was sitting near me who apparently drowned him/herself in clove-scented perfume had left early!

Then I hiked back toward the Hyatt, but took a left turn at Peachtree Center so I could spend as little time as possible outside, where it was a burning, hellish inferno made worse by concrete streets and sidewalks. I'd gone crazy looking for a panel on Sleepy Hollow this weekend, and ended up finding it in the Horror track. Keith DeCandido, of course, since he has written a Sleepy Hollow novel, was on the panel, and it was a good lively one, about the mixing of history in with horror elements, and the fact that most people don't consider this a horror series. The news is that second season has a few more episodes than first season (at thirteen) did. We're still waiting to see how Abbie and Ichabod get out of being tied to a tree by the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse, who turns out to be the son of Ichabod and his witch wife Katrina!

I'd thought about going to the Casey Kasem tribute panel, but instead I wandered back into the Merchandise Mart. This time I was not thirsty and sunstruck, so I actually did wander around the dealer's tables and bought a lovely 2015 Doctor Who calendar which even includes the Eighth Doctor and the War Doctor. It's very spiffy. And a TARDIS necklace to boot. And, of course, despite what I said yesterday, I went back to McFarland and bought two books, Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, and Diversity in Disney Films.

From the Merchandise Mart I crossed back over to the Hyatt and went back to the Art Show. Actually I went to Comics Alley first because I thought Andy Runton wasn't here this year, but I saw someone with two of his books yesterday. So I found him and he had the most adorable drawing of Owly dressed as the Eleventh Doctor, with Wormy as K-9 and Owly's other forest friends as Who characters including the rabbit as River Song. And then I saw a smaller piece of art that was being sold as a charity benefit for an animal shelter. Pictured on it was a little dog, a wheaten-colored Cairn, who was being treated there, and the real-life dog's photo looked so much like Willow that my heart melted and I had to buy it as well. I mentioned to Andy that Willow had died and he remembered petting her at Timegate. That was so sweet.

And just before the art show closed, I went into the print shop and bought the small artwork of the winter stag I liked so much.

Then I just went over to Regency VI-VII to wait for James to meet me at the ARTC performance. I sat next to a lady named Megan and we chatted for awhile until James showed up. Aubrey and Jessie showed up both with those little fur dragons you perch on your shoulder and there's a little cord which makes it move its head up and down. Jessie's looked more like it was out of Dark Crystal, but Aubrey's resembled a dragon that had been crossed with a furry grey cat. Quite adorable.

ARTC did two performances tonight, a very short, funny "Rory Rammer, Space Marshal" where Rory and his sidekick Skip Sagan are called to a crime scene where a bunch of visiting detectives are making totally wrong deductions about a dead Martian. The longer dramatic production was "Call of Cthulu," which always makes one shiver. Ron mentioned so many familiar places in his adaptation (Providence, a professor Angell [Angell Street is on the East Side of Providence, which used to be a swank neighborhood], and even Waterman Street, which was where my allergist used to be) it was like old home week—if you want to go to an old home haunted by Cthulu, that is. LOL.

James got a three-wheeled cart this morning instead of a four, and it went wonky the first time we tried to get on an elevator to head home. The second time everyone helped us and it was very nice. Instead of going over the bridges and possibly running into crowds, we just went out the lobby door and down John Portman Street (formerly Harris Avenue) back to Courtland Street. As I was scouting the pavement ahead—the Atlanta sidewalks are in horrendous shape; I've heard more than one story about people tripping on them today—James was behind me coming up the little "ramp" that they put on the corners so that wheelchairs/scooters can get up on them at Peachtree Center Avenue. His scooter hit an uneven patch on the "ramp" and the scooter tipped over. I heard a thump and people exclaiming and turned to find the scooter on its left side and James down on the street. Three strong guys helped him up and a couple of other ladies picked up the plastic basket at the front and James' backpack, and he was all put together and we were back on the way down in a trice. James has a scrape on his elbow and his knee, but nothing worse.

Ironically the right armrest on the scooter dropped off a minute or two later, not the left one that the scooter landed on. The attendant at the scooter rental told him to definitely request a four-wheel scooter tomorrow; James is really too long-legged for the three wheeled one anyway.

So we're home, and only one more day is left... ::sob::

In better news, tomorrow is September! Fall is coming! Hopefully that means better days are coming as well.

I sure hope so.

Incidentally, I can't mention how many steps I walked today because about two o'clock, after I was almost at 10,000 steps, the battery in the FitBit died. I've had it since last week and hadn't charged it in all that time!

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» Saturday, August 30, 2014
DragonCon, Day 2...or "We Don't Call It "The DragonCon Exercise Program for Nothing"

I walked over 17,000 steps, seven miles in total. And that was on 6 1/2 hours of sleep, thanks to a portion of my anatomy that I won't mention.

So this will be short; we did the usual, the Tucker did his thing, Snowy looked grumpy, and we left him watching the "Movies!" channel. Traffic was nicer today, but we still didn't finish breakfast until ten, which was okay, because neither of us had ten o'clock panels, and we didn't care about standing in the sun to watch the parade. They took out the chair lifts that go from Peachtree Center into the Hyatt, so you have to go to the Hyatt by way of the Marriott. This was longer but harmless and we sat in James' next panel room chilling out until Phyllis showed up. They compared scooter notes. Since he had company, I took off for the Hilton where they were having a review of the new Doctor, which turned into a review of the anniversary special and the Christmas special first. The room was packed! The usual discussion about favorite regenerations also happened.

Oh, and I won a prize! They gave away some things at the end for answering trivia questions; I knew who Peter Davison played in The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the Dish of the Day) and won seasons 1 and 2 of Dangermouse! On the way to my next panel I dropped the DVD and a book I picked up in the Sci-Fi Literature panel room's free library, the Virago book of ghost stories (by women). Thought it would make good Hallowe'en reading. Alice and Ken were just parking next to us and I walked with them to the Hyatt.

I never made the panel I wanted to see because they were lined up outside and I don't stand in the sun for anyone. Sorry to have missed Jim Butcher (and the "Dresden Files" panel afterwards was full, too), but I did get to see Larry Niven. So finally I gave up thinking I might fit in the room, because at 1:10 they still were "loading" from outside, and went down to the Art Show. I don't think I saw a spacescape at all this year: it was almost all fantasy! Thankfully, there was little of what James calls "intestinal art." Someone did a neat series of berry-based dragons, there were cats (of course), I drooled over the Celtic embossing art as always, looked at the handcrafted jewelry and some neat boxes made out of old Brownie cameras and other lovely sculptural things. My dead favorite piece was of a falcon, his back to the viewer, his wings slightly spread out, done all in autumn colors in the wings as well as in the background. But it was only for sale as artwork, not as a print, although there's a small winter deer print I'm quite fond of.

I also fought my way upstairs and across the street and into the Merchandise Mart to find McFarland Books, but I was a little disappointed. Everything I was really interested in I already had, and the book about Heinlein's juveniles was just an alphabetical index of his characters. I was amused by a book of essays about "Calvin and Hobbes," and still may go back for the book about racism in books from 1920-1960 (the "yellow peril" and all that). I didn't bother looking around anymore because I was warm and thirsty, and fled back into the Hyatt and found some quiet refuge in a small stairwell near the International Tower elevators.

At some point I apparently lost my owl visor which I bought years ago at Michael's; I guess it was there at the stairway, but I didn't see that I left anything behind. I wear it not just to keep the sun out of my eyes, but to keep the fluorescent lights out of them. So I was kinda bummed. Anyway, I walked over to the Marriott to see the rest of the Classic Doctor Who panel, with Rob Bowen, Robert Ray, Alan Siler, Ken Spivey, and two other gents. Same questions as always: favorite Doctors, favorite companions (to which Rob always responds "Romana II, because Lalla Ward is a goddess" LOL), least favorite villains. I'd enjoy this panel better if the sound actually worked better in Marriott 601-602. I still can hardly hear anything.

I had nothing planned for four, just wanted a nice cool panel room, so I ended up watching The Land of the Lost cast again, but they were fun and upbeat and it was what I needed. They told about at least one of Spencer Milligan's pranks. I do want to see their film Finding Spencer!

Now, the shortest way from the Marriott to the Hyatt and on to the Westin would be through the back doors, but Georgia Monsoon Season was roaring outside, the rain coming down in sheets. So I took the bridge. What a frippin' mob scene. It must have taken me twenty minutes to go across the bridge where crossing the street would have taken me about three. And no one at the information desk at the Hyatt had seen my owl visor. ::sigh::

So by the time I got to the Westin I was 20 minutes late for "Women Travelers of the 19th Century." I went looking for James instead; he was in a panel about survival foods in an emergency situation, with a bunch of the audience trying different self-heating MREs and some brief references to preserving and foraging.

When this was over we went directly down the hill to the Sheraton. BBC America was presenting a special showing of tonight's episode of Doctor Who, "Into the Dalek," at 7 p.m. James didn't have anything else he wanted to do, we had to turn in the scooter at the Sheraton anyway, and with the scooter we got to sit in the front. So we went. They didn't actually get started until 7:30 because it takes a while to get 1,800 people in a big ballroom! The sound was a bit obscure sometimes and Capaldi's Scottish accent tends to blur his words anyway, but it was a great story, and I was happy to see you could actually keep track of the plot. I loved Matt Smith but the episodes were becoming puzzle pieces. This one had bits of Fantastic Voyage, with some very funny scenes with Clara and the handsome new teacher at Coal Hill School, Danny Pink. Hm. I think I sense a pattern here. We've had two episodes here where a certain event is caused by the Doctor. The mysterious "Missy" appears. Do I see this happening in the remainder of the episodes? And the Doctor facing "Missy" in the season finale? And the word "larder" was mentioned again. Interesting.

Anyway, home, dog walking, and lots and lots of milk. Dehydration is not fun. Want bed. Better: want bed and sleep. It's sad that I slept better on a work night!

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» Friday, August 29, 2014
DragonCon, Day 1...or Sometimes Moving On Isn't Moving at All

I gave Tucker a nice long walk this morning in which he did all his good dogs. It took us awhile to get downtown, but it was still a work- and school-day, so we figured the day would start out with traffic backed up. We should have gone through Williams Street, though, and Ivan Allen Jr Boulevard, which brings you out on the garage side of Courtland Street rather than on the right. It took us no time to pick up the scooter at Disability Services at the Sheraton and then we went across the bridge to pick up breakfast at Cafe Momo. I went first and then took the scooter to hunt out a seat, since James could walk the short length from the restaurant to the table. Saw Alice and Juanita headed for the dealer's room, told them it didn't open until one. So they went back to get in line for Patrick Stewart.

All this scootering and traffic meant James missed his ten o'clock panel, so we went over to the Sheraton and got in line for Walter Koenig's panel. We were in the disability line, so got to go in first. If it's good to start the day with a laugh, this was the best way ever. Garrett Wang from Star Trek: Voyager was the moderator and mugged for the audience, and Walter contributed his own bit of wry wit, and we laughed through most of the panel. As you can imagine, one of Walter's favorite movies is Star Trek IV. Garrett and Walter also talked about being "shatted" [snubbed by William Shatner] and he also spoke briefly about being the evil Alfred Bester on Babylon 5. Asked if he'd ever been to Russia, the homeplace of his most famous character Pavel Chekov, he said he was there a few years ago for a Babylon 5 convention. He got to meet the actor who dubs the voices of Chekov and Bester into Russian. He also talked about meeting Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the reboot movies. Yelchin's parents were there as well, and Yelchin shouted to him delightedly "I have an action figure!" LOL.

Next, I went to the 40th anniversary panel for Kolchak: the Night Stalker. (American Classic Sci-Fi track seems to be chiefly anniversary panels this year!) This was a nice lively panel about the two television movies and the series, the latter which mostly I haven't watched through yet. But I've always been a big fan of Darren McGavin. He could liven up just about anything he was ever in, and gave the Disney movies he starred in a twinkle and a little bit of larceny.

Rejoined James at the Hyatt for the Science Fiction 101 panel: basically, what books would you recommend to people wanting to read classic science fiction and what modern writers you would pair them with. This went back to Mary Shelley and Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, all the way through the Golden Age of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, relating them to similar, modern writers. A great panel with lots of discussion.

James didn't have anything he really cared to do next, so he went with me to the Quantum Leap anniversary panel. We went over the bridge from the Hyatt to the Marriott; the noise from the bar in the Hyatt was utterly horrendous and was worsened by the music being up at deafening levels. There was a jam on the bridge, and we made it to the panel a little late, but not much, in time to enjoy stories of favorite episodes, least favorite episodes, just how Sam "leaped," Al's crucial role, and all sorts of nice leaper goodness. Keith De Candido was on the panel and I learned that he has a Sleepy Hollow book out in September.

We had a good time, too, in the next panel, which was just across the way in the ballroom: it was a reunion panel for the kids' series Land of the Lost. I remember watching it although I was really "too old" for it at the time, in college, but I liked the fact that the stories were written by leading SF authors and often had some neat plots, like the ones about Enik the intelligent Sleestak [a lizard creature] or the pylons. All those SFX that look so primitive today were pretty expensive back then, and that was the main reason the show was canceled. They talked a little about Spencer Milligan, who played their dad for two seasons and who left the show because of salary disputes. He had just disappeared and just recently they found him again, and filmed the whole thing in something they're calling Finding Spencer. They said it was a great reunion: they laughed, cried, shouted, hugged, and laughed more. They're supposed to release this on video.

Previously Kathy Coleman ["Holly"] and Walker Edmiston ["Enik"] had come to DragonCon, but this year Kathy came with Wesley Eure, who played her older brother Will, and Philip Paley, who had played the little ape-like Pakuni boy, "Cha-ka." Paley got the part after being seen on Johnny Carson's show for being the youngest (nine years old) black belt in karate (his teacher was Chuck Norris), and I hadn't seen him since the series. He was cute back then and is still very easy on the eyes, and Wesley Eure still has those laughing blue eyes. It was a super panel.

And then the bottom fell out of everything. We were headed back to the Hyatt to see the Friday performance of the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, and we had a half hour to get there. So we went to the elevators to get back to the skybridge and every single elevator (except the broken one)—there were thirteen—was mobbed and people were waiting. We almost got on one elevator but the scooter wouldn't fit all the way in. Every other elevator that showed up was full and either no one got off, or not enough people got off to make room for a scooter. We had heard there were supposed to be people there to help you get on the elevators if you didn't make it on in a certain time, but we didn't see anyone.

After twenty minutes of waiting I noticed we were opposite the bridge going to the Hilton. Maybe their elevators were better? After going across the bridge and having a dickens of a time getting the scooter through the narrow ramp the Hilton had, we arrived at the elevators to discover theirs mobbed, too. We asked if there were other elevators and were told there were some at the opposite end, but I guess they meant the service elevators. I didn't think we could use them without someone allowing us to, although handicapped access is supposed to have use of them. So we waited a bit more and an elevator did come—and we ended up in a dead end at Trader Vic's! Luckily the receptionist was very nice and allowed us to go out their street door, which was right across the street from the garage.

By then we were thirsty and frustrated. We just took the scooter back to the Sheraton. I talked to the fellow at Disability Services who checked us in last night, and he said there were supposed to be security people at both the Marriott elevators and the Hilton elevators to help disability badged people. We told him there weren't any. Anyway, we just went home. Our reward was seeing a lovely sunset and having a happy puppy and birdie greet us when we got home. But I'm really upset about missing ARTC and the whole elevator situation. This isn't something new at conventions; the elevators are always a nightmare and have been for years, but we've never stayed at the hotel and just taken the escalators on the convention floors. And a bunch of those people at the Marriott and the Hyatt were going back to their rooms, so the crowd was justified. Why don't they have ramps on the convention floors at hotels for mobility impaired people instead of forcing them to take elevators (and have them wide enough; the one in the Hilton was barely navigable unless you had a wheelchair only)?

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» Thursday, August 28, 2014
I Made It Through The Rain...Sorta
I finished every single new purchase order I had in my queue by 3 p.m.—and that was even with a staff meeting shoved into the early afternoon. But I was so keyed up this morning after not sleeping well that I was bouncing off almost as many walls as Tucker. Walked him, worked five solid hours, then went in to work for a staff meeting and also to print out things since my @!$#%!#!$! scanner was scanning two pages as one. Glad to go to the staff meeting because I was screaming at my work computer, which took almost ten minutes to boot up, and the good scanner wasn't working...again.

Sadly, it's "sorta" because I couldn't get the two modifications finished, too, but at least one of the people had advised me that they wouldn't have the mod back until late tomorrow. I don't understand why they have to go through such a fol-de-rol about prices that were decided upon when the purchase order was issued originally, but—there you go.

James had today off, went to Costco and to Sam's, and bought all our lunch supplies, and spent the mid-afternoon making sandwiches for lunch for us for the weekend with roast beef and chicken for me, and the same plus ham for him. I brought out all the snacks: trail mix, nuts, crackers, Cheez-Its, Goldfish, etc. They're on the dining room table for us to put together a lunch tomorrow. But I forgot to tell him to look for juice boxes, and the ones in the grocery store are abysmal, so I guess we are stuck with water.

We set off for downtown with trepidation about five, because traffic was backed up all the way to the Brookwood Connector where I-75 and I-85 run together to go through downtown Atlanta. The GPS on my phone offered us a quicker route, which we took, and it was absolutely wonderful for a while: we went down Atlanta Road to Marietta Parkway, and then to Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, and then in and out of the small roads on the outskirts of Georgia Tech.

Seven-tenths of a mile from our destination we were stopped dead by blinking traffic lights and we spent the next hour trying to get around the mess. Seven-tenths of a mile. Around almost every corner the traffic lights weren't working. What a pain. And then when we got to the Courtland Street Garage they'd jacked up the parking "event" price to $30. What a bunch of opportunists! Let's screw all those science fiction fans and football fans and other people in town this weekend.

We did find a handicapped parking space right near the entrance, and made our way slowwwwwly to the Sheraton. We registered with disability services this year because James is renting a scooter for the weekend. They were super-nice: someone even goes to get your badge for you, and brings you a bag with a convention book and pocket program. James did pretty well tonight, if we had to go glacially slow. We had supper in Peachtree Center and then made our way slowly to the Westin Hotel, where Baen Books was having a book preview event. John Ringo was speaking when we came in and James enjoyed what he had to say. I just sat and read quietly after we'd talked to Teri Sears, who just came back from two weeks in England, Wales, and Ireland! She said it was 50°F when she left there. Oh, heaven!

Made it back to the car over the skybridge commenting about the motor homes parked in the lots below, and home in one piece, to walk the terrier and coo to the budgie and have something cold to drink.

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» Sunday, August 24, 2014
Costco and Chicken

The first thing I do on Sunday mornings are Sunday chores: putting all the towels in the laundry basket for a Tuesday wash, getting my clothes ready for work for the week, and sorting my pills into their weekly doses.

Oh, snellfrocky! Dirty socks! It wasn't toilet paper that was the necessity yesterday, it was omeprazole. I was completely out. So after I'd walked the dog and eaten breakfast, I headed back to Costco. My parking space wasn't as good as yesterday, but I was just going in and out, and that's what I did. The omeprazole is right on the aisle near the self-checkout, so it was pretty painless.

From there I went to Publix. James' favorite diced ham was on twofer and I wanted to pick up some French bread for supper.I found three fall magazines on the stand as well, and the "TV Guide" with Peter Capaldi on the cover. From there I went to Kroger, "fed the car," picked up the prescriptions I phoned in on Friday, and picked up a few other things, like yogurt and puddings. Found the fall edition of "Craftideas" with a nifty little four-seasons cross-stitch pattern, too.

When I got home there on the doorstep was my package from Amazon. I bought a Fitbit. Of course it arrived after I'd done crossing from one side of Kroger to the other, and one side of Publix to the other, as well as the short trot through Costco. I had no idea the actual gadget was that small; it's about the same size as the large joint in my pinky finger. All the programming has to be done on computer.

I am trying some "gummie" vitamins as well. They were buy-one-get-one at Kroger, and I am always forgetting to take my other ones because I choke on them when I take them. I hope these will work better.

I spent the rest of the day tidying up the kitchen, putting away some groceries, and finally watching "Deep Breath" again without those damn distracting commercials. The pacing is much better that way, and I hadn't caught the joke about the Doctor having a band the first time. LOL. I can't wait until the "regular" episodes start. Not sure what to make of "Missy," though—she's like Mary Poppins dripping with bile.

I followed up with a film I hadn't watched for a while, 84 Charing Cross Road. I love this movie and always cry at the end. I have the British edition because the American one was full-screen. I particularly love the scene at the beginning where Helene walks into the neighborhood grocery. The scene is from 1950 but these places were still around in the 1960s: the hand-lettered price signs, the checked linoleum floor with the odd replaced square whose color didn't match the rest, the wooden shelves up to the ceiling crammed with canned goods and boxes, the stocky cash register that rang when the cash drawer opened, the glass case with the gum and the penny candy. Oh, the labels on the cereal boxes and the soap canisters changed in the ten-plus years, but I can still smell the store: a bit of cheese and chicken and ham and fresh meat scent from the back, fresh-ground coffee, bits and bobs of sugar, gum, and floor wax and Spic'n'Span.

For supper I cooked two kinds of chicken, one to have for supper, and one to put away for later in the week. I am hoping to make it through the week without James having to do any cooking. I made one plain, with just parsley, chives, salt and ginger on it, and cacciatore with the other. We had the latter for supper while watching All Creatures Great and Small. I hadn't seen these in years; still smiling about the "battle Royal" between Seigfried and Miss Harbottle.

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» Saturday, August 23, 2014
The Day of the Doctor

James embarked on the next stage of a marathon today.

He'd already been scheduled to work Sunday to have the Friday of DragonCon off. Then they asked him to work Saturday, too, with the promise that he could have Thursday off. So he did it, which means this morning he started the second half of ten straight days of work. The only good thing about it is that he could sleep until 7:30 this morning and can do the same tomorrow.

I woke up just as the garage doors rose, and was so restive there was no use going back to sleep. I took Tucker out for a long walk, then we both had breakfast, and then it was time for errands, so he went back into his crate. I went to Costco and lucked out particularly by getting a parking space almost right outside the door. I bought toilet paper, milk, chicken legs, and a copy of Vicious. One thing I wasn't getting was gasoline; with the 3 cent Kroger discount, it was cheaper at Kroger.

I had a funny on the way home. I was stopped at the light on South Cobb Drive and aimlessly staring off toward the right. When I turned to the left, a woman in a big SUV stopped next to me was waving and gesticulating at me with the window rolled down. I rolled down my window and she shouted "New episode of Doctor Who tonight!" She had seen the magnetic "My other vehicle is a TARDIS" sign on the back of my car!

Once home, with the groceries put away, I gathered up some things I wanted to take to Goodwill and disposed of them, then ducked into Dollar General. They were stocking shelf after shelf with bags of Hallowe'en candy, and they had costumes and things out. I bought Tucker a cheap little shirt that said "Vampire Dog" on it (hey, I've felt his teeth!). Finally I stopped by Vickery Hardware, and then returned home.

I spent the rest of the afternoon alternating doing housework and watching the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America. I got everything vacuumed on the main floor and finally did the stairs and swept the foyer and the downstairs hall and the laundry room, plus cleared out Tucker's crate of the detritus of what he collects: wrapper bits, another toothpick, paper scraps. This morning I decanted James' new fan and five minutes after opening the box found part of the cardboard packing under the table being gnawed. I needed the breaks just to cool off; the Whoathon was just lagniappe.

We had a whopper of a thunderstorm late in the afternoon, but it only lasted about twenty minutes. The lightning bolt and the whipcrack of thunder right over the house got my attention, though! James got out at six and picked up dinner from Dragon 168 on the way home, and we ate it while watching the reprise of "The Time of the Doctor" before the big Peter Capaldi reveal.

I really enjoyed it, if the pacing in the middle was a little off. It was hard to tell if it was really the pacing because of so many damn commercials, but I like what I see so far! I hope Clara keeps the sarcastic spunk, and I hope they keep the not-bouncing-off-walls pace. I see we have another story arc developing as well. Next I want to watch it without those bloody commercials!

Watched Intruders afterwards, and was also intrigued, and nice to see John Simm slowed down to normal speed after playing the Master at fast forward.

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