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 theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Monday, August 19, 2019
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
...ugh, the sun has come out. The sky was covered with mackerel clouds this morning, and high clouds earlier, but now the nasty thing is out again. I like the sun in winter, when it makes things warm. I hate it in summer, when it makes things sizzle.

I am thinking...
...still thinking about the insect that scurried out of the sofa at me last night. I don't think I caught him; the upholstery "gives" too much. It was on the coffee table last night and I missed killing it. I hope it's not pregnant! Another reason to hate summer: no matter how clean you keep things down here and how often the exterminator comes, crawly things come through the doors. I had to stomp on a palmetto bug in the kitchen last night.

I am thankful...
...I'm done cleaning out the sofa. I vacuumed the crumbs out, sprayed it down with Lysol, and washed all the throws and the flannel fitted sheet I have as a cushion cover. That's about all I can do.

In the kitchen...
...we had the teriyaki chicken legs I cooked last week for Monday dinner, with some of all that bread we bought for Hair Day as a starch side. I just seasoned the chicken with onion and garlic powder, Litehouse salad bits, and sweet soy sauce. It came out pretty well.

I am wearing... and white flowered top, black shorts, and white socks.

I am creating...
...a watercolor head portrait of a collie on a black watercolor paper card. I'm sending it as a thank you note to someone.

I am going... have to go to the post office to mail the card because it's going to Canada.

I am wondering...
...if I'll ever get rid of these awful dreams about having to get up again and go to work!

I am reading...
...dead tree or electronic? 😀 Magazine: the June "Early American Life." Real book: um, Off the Map (about the history of maps and about whomever draws them then making the rules and the names) and About Time: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who, volume nine. Oh, and I've started Bonzo's War about pets in Great Britain during World War II. E-magazine: the August issue of the British edition of "Country Living." E-book: the second horseshoer mystery, Dead Blow.

I am hoping...
...not to get stressed over upcoming things. Like DragonCon. I want to go, but looking forward to it always stresses me out. I wish we could afford a pet-friendly hotel downtown!

I am looking forward to...
...DragonCon, but really looking forward to AUTUMN!!!!!!! Summer sucks so much. The sun gives me migraines and rashes, the heat makes me ill, the flowers make me sneeze.

I am learning...
...LOL, judging by the card I made, watercolor painting still...and very slowly.

Around the house...
...behind me James is teleworking and he's on the phone right now. I'm listening to Saturday's "The Tech Guy" podcast at a very low volume. Most interesting question: a guy hopes to work his Mom's TV (she's in California, he's in Washington) remote, because she had a stroke and can't use the remote. I wonder if something like an Echo Dot or Google Home could do that. We're supposed to be able to give the Dot instructions and it will give commands to the TV.

I am pondering...
...why people enjoy summer when all it is is swelter and sweat and sun.

A favorite quote for today...
I found this looking for quotes about hating summer:

“It was one of those sweltering summer days in which the air itself seems to decline as a haze suffocates the outside world. It is painfully bright whether you are looking up at that ball of burning hydrogen or down at its vivid reflection on sheer pavement.”
Moonshine Noire

One of my favorite things...
...I'm sitting watching it: the "Tech Guy" podcast. Snowy loves listening to Leo!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work for James. Hoping there are good BOGOs on Wednesday. Chilling out before the chaos that is DragonCon.

A peek into my day...
Snowy, as if he's chirbling to Leo LaPorte.

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.



» Saturday, August 17, 2019
O Where, O Where, is My Ott Bulb Gone?

No sleeping late or long dog walks today: up early to go to Hair Day. We were on the go earlier than usual because we were supplying the bread for deli sandwiches and we wanted to get it fresh at Lidl. So Tucker was chivvied outside, then back in, we ate, then were off to Lidl. We got wheat sourdough, farmer's bread, and cibatta, then headed to the Butlers.

There was a small crowd today. Distributed birthday gifts (Ron and Phyllis), folks got their hair cut, and then we had lunch early since Sheri (the hairdresser) is leaving on her vacation this afternoon. Turned out we brought far too much bread even with the little we bought. Saw most of Sing while we were there. Cute inspirational film with performing animals.

We were off at noon so James could get to to his club meeting (it was this week because last week was the National contest—suitably appropriate for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, an exquisitely detailed model of the LM ran away with all the prizes). I loaded the chair for him, then he was off, and I went to JoAnn. I had a 60 percent off coupon and hoped to get a spare bulb for my Ott Light so I wouldn't be caught short. Alas, the bulbs come in two varieties, A and E, each with a different ballast mount, and I didn't know which I had. Tried to find my model light on the web in the hope I could find what bulb it took and evidently they don't make it anymore. [eyeroll] I got myself a set of crafting tweezers instead, replacement bulbs for the window candles, and some BOGO journaling stickers. By the time I walked back out to the parking lot it was melting temperature and I wondered why in Sam Hill I'd even stepped out the door. I could have vacuumed.

Dropped in at Michael's for a minute to check if they had something, then headed home through the park—two people only out walking when this place is usually mobbed on Saturdays!

James arrived home about an hour later, we had sandwiches for supper, and our weekend ended (poof! three days over once again!) with—yes,  you guessed it!—more Perry Mason.

[P.S. I messaged someone at Publix about the peach pie pickle. They are sending us a gift card for our inconvenience!]

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When is a Peach Not an Apple, and Other Tales

Alas, the clouds were not so cooperative today when I took the dog out, although it was not as warming starting out as it had been. We needed to get on the road to get the grocery shopping done, so it was a short walk, a quick breakfast, and then off to Publix. There were several great BOGOs this week, and we also got more hummus as a snack. They were offering it at a sample last week, and we both wanted something healthier to snack on. James got a chili-flavored one, which he has on "Pain de Fleurs" flatbread, which is low carb. I got "everything bagel" flavor which I have with pretzel sticks. They also had small pies on BOGO and I picked up an apple and a blueberry after wading through over a dozen peach pies.

Came home to put the perishables away and wait a bit, then off to West Cobb Diner for lunch. James and Phyllis were talking at Hair Day about how much they missed getting together for lunch when we used to have "Myriad lunch" with all of us who worked at CDC. So when we go out to lunch on Friday we send out a text to anyone who wants to come. It's had a rocky start, but today we had a nice crowd at West Cobb: Alice and Ken, Aubrey, Juanita, and Jessie. (We less liked having to navigate the parking lot, which was half blocked off for repaving.) We were talking a lot about the Little League World Series because Alice and Juanita had gone to see one of the preliminary games. (I discovered later on that a team from Barrington, RI, was also participating.) Since we are "old pharts" now, we also talked about going to the doctor a lot.

We finally broke up a couple of hours later (Alice said the waitress was giving us a gimlet eye) and Alice and Ken, at least, headed off to Hobby Lobby. We, alas, had to go to Sam's Club. James needed more mandarin orange cups for his morning drink and I needed more Skinny Pop. Well...puckernuts. They don't have the multipacks of mandarin oranges in juice anymore (just in gel—ugh). We got mixed fruit instead and James says it's not bad. We hope Costco still has the oranges (when we can afford to re-up the membership). Got popcorn and American cheese and I bought a fall magazine since there's a big discount on magazines there.

By then it was midafternoon, the sun was blazing like the center of a blast furnace, and we skipped putting gasoline in the truck and just came home.

Puttering around in the craft room a little, and it's still a mess, even after I cleaned it out in the spring to get alternative use out of the loveseat I can't seem to dump. Urgh. Later on we watched more Perry Mason and I wrapped birthday gifts for tomorrow's Hair Day.

Had a rude surprise after supper: we decided to have a piece of the apple pie. Even though the label said apple, it was a peach pie. Arrrgh.

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» Thursday, August 15, 2019
A Meat Rave and a Bad Strip

It's so August. Now of course I was tired of summer back when June started, but by August I have about had it. The worst part is having to roust myself out of bed at 7:30 because I have to hotfoot it outside to walk the dog and get my exercise. The later I wait, the higher the sun is. I find myself postponing breakfast and plotting the walk so Tucker and I will be in the most shade. This morning we got lucky. There were patchy mackerel clouds which hid the sun, so we were not being scorched on our walk. Not that it was exactly cool, but skin didn't sizzle, and nature is starting to fight with the sun about what season it is. By the flora and fauna, summer is closing. Crickets only are chirping, there were no cicadas screaming, and near those unkempt thickets across the street are showing yellowing leaves, berries and scuppernong grapes are ripening on the vine, and with the fruit and dwindling foliage, it smells almost like fall, that faint grap-y scent I remember from Zia Maria's grapevine arbor in her back yard next door. It's welcome yet maddening in the heat, making me long for autumn.

Once the dog was walked and breakfast eaten, we went to Patak's. This is a butcher shop we discovered several years ago through friends raving about it. They're open only weekdays and the first Saturday of every month, so we haven't been there much. But with our new weekends we can go. Today we wanted to get more sweet Italian sausage—theirs is remarkably low in salt!—and stew beef (which James actually stir fries). Well, we got those. And more mortadella. And pastrami. And stew pork. And breakfast sausage. Plus we found peppermint Ritter bars. (Should have left those. They are cheaper at Nam Dae Mun.)

We'd brought one of those freezer chill blocks, so we could, even in the stifling heat, stop at Kroger and Lidl. Just got a few things at Lidl: bread, mostly, and some chocolate. Kroger had milk on sale, so we went in for that, and no-salt mushrooms, and, even though we had bought all that meat, we found some bargain beef in the manager's special slot.

And then we came home to chill (literally) for the remainder of the day.

One of the jobs I had today was a bit grotty. The plastic strip at the bottom of the shower door (also called a "T sweep" because that's the shape it is) is disintegrating again. We replaced the current one several years ago from a generic shower maintenance kit we got at Lowes, so we went back to get another a few weeks ago. Surprise! They don't carry them anymore, and they only had two other kinds of "sweep." Both looked too large. I bought the smaller one, and when I pulled the current one out I realized it was still too big, and the top "T" was too wide. This had three potential "T's" at the top, and I had to cut the two bigger T-slides on the top off to put the T-slide that looked the correct size at the top—but I either cut away too much, or it's a teeny bit too small and falls out of the groove the "T" portion goes into. Spent some time afterward at the computer searching on line for one like the one we had and can't find one anywhere. Now what do we do???

Spent the evening watching Perry Mason and reading.

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» Sunday, August 11, 2019
And So to Shopping and Sunday

So it was a short weekend due to the doctors' appointments. While James worked on Thursday, I toddled over to Lidl to get the usual bread and found boneless pork ribs. I've been wanting to make gravy, so I got enough to make three batches. Also bought cucumbers, milk, and juice for James. I was on the "Floyd Road Supermarket Mall," so in a trice I was across the street at Kroger. I wanted to top off James' mushrooms, but I was after the Jennie-O pre-made turkey burgers. These are great quick lunches when you don't have time for anything else, especially with the Meadowcroft Farms sweet onion relish we get at the Yellow Daisy Festival, but they are expensive. Kroger had all Jennie-O products on BOGO. So I got my mushrooms and burgers and got off home.

Since we couldn't grocery shop on Thursday we had to do it on Friday after our doctor's appointment and before lunch. So we stopped at Publix on the way home from Kaiser.

By the time we got home at the end of the day on Friday, it was sweltering in the mid 90s, and we were resolved not to go out on Saturday, and that's what we did. I made gravy, reviewed books, and pottered about. James had just started taking the steroids, so he was still in a lot of pain, and didn't do much but totter around.

The one fun thing James did do on Friday was use his Amazon points to order a new Monster Hunter International book and the new Blu-ray set of Jonny Quest. So they arrived today, in time for dinner, so that we could watch a few episodes at lunch, and more tonight after James quit work. As he toiled at his telephone, I washed the master bath, washed the towels, sorted medications, fixed some things in the library, and also went to WalMart. I had to return a tank top that didn't fit and wanted to get some paper towels; eighteen items later I was trying to get in line, and only one was open and that cashier was going on break. Three people were in line at another cashier station because they'd been told a cashier was coming. I just threw  up my hands and did self-check, which was mostly what everyone else was doing. I remembered the various stories on the news lately about people walking out of Wally World with stuff. You know, WalMart, if you want people to buy stuff rather than shoplifting it, you might want to open more checkouts!

And to add insult to injury, someone had spilt something like a milkshake all over the parking space I was in. I had to go into the house in bare feet and wash off the soles of my shoes so I didn't get sticky crap on the floor.

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» Friday, August 09, 2019
Doctorial Dissertations

Alas, this was our week for doctor's appointments.

James swapped working on Wednesday to work on Thursday, so he didn't have to take time off for his cardiologist appointment. So Wednesday morning we were driving out to Glenlake (an annoying proposition at any time of the day). The place was nearly SRO and we had to park up on the deck. Of course the doctor was concerned about the emergency room visit and has put in a referral for a stress test. Bad news is that it's at Emory Midtown. There's always construction around there and traffic is a nightmare. However, Marilyn and Phyllis tell us the staff is nice. We have to wait for them to call.

I also had to pick a bone with someone at the pharmacy. I got all my prescriptions filled at the same time in June, at Glenlake, and I was supposed to have ninety fenofibrate in the bottle to last through September 22. What I got would only last until the 29th of August. So we had to wait until I got the rest of my pills. The pharmacist was upset because the bottles are pre-made and should have had ninety pills in it, and a seal on it. Shoot. I got these back in June; I guess they had a seal on them.

Discovered on the way home that I had a BOGO coupon for Boston Market, so we picked up lunch, and then came home and I had enough time to do the laundry on its usual Wednesday. Also, got home in time to be there when Alex came to do the lawn so we could pay him.

On Friday we both had appointments in rheumatology with Dr. Salazar. James was there for a followup, and I had made my first appointment. A little over a month ago, I started having some problems with my right arm. I can wake up because it's hurting, or if I use it too much it hurts, and sometimes even if I'm sitting reading a book and keep my arm in the same position the pain becomes very bad. Also, when I reach up to get something on a high shelf, I have to push myself to reach, like there is something holding the  and it hurts.

So I had the first appointment and James had one after me, with a patient in between us, but the doctor took us both at once. He had me move my arm around a bit and it turns out I have a rotator cuff strain and need to be on super NSAIDs for six weeks. We will have a phone followup after the six weeks. James' problem was a little more complicated. When he was on the steroids everything improved, not just his stiff hands and his hips and his feet, but his knees where he's been having the shots. The doctor says if that's the case, he's going to give James another course of steroids, and if it does the same thing again, he's going to have to change the approach of his treatment. Well, that sounds like fun. Not.

So we stopped at the pharmacy (again, although different pharmacy from Wednesday; we were at Cumberland on Friday) and then had lunch at Hibachi Grill, followed by a trip to Barnes & Noble. Found a 20 percent off mystery book called Singapore Sapphire taking place in 1910.

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» Saturday, August 03, 2019
...And the Rest of the Story

We decided to combine business with pleasure on Friday morning and, after breakfast and the necessary perambulation of the pooch, headed to the Barnes & Noble on Dallas Highway. Spied a light at the end of the endless hell that is summer: saw the autumn edition of "Country Sampler" out. I've seen a couple of other autumn magazines out, but haven't gotten them—they're the pretentious ones with the expensive homes, furniture and knicknacks (and at least half of one of the magazines is recipes...ugh; having to cook now that James is on four ten-hour days is bad enough, I don't want to look at recipes, too). Not much else out now.

We came home by Lidl and got milk, also ground turkey on sale, more chicken legs, and, of course, bread. I also bought an assortment of sewing threads and more needles since they were only $2/pack for about forty.

Spent the evening watching Airdogs on Amazon Prime (it's a Canadian series about two pilots, one with a lot of experience and one who's a beginner, who travel around doing interesting things like flying with the Snowbirds, receiving lessons from a stunt pilot who lands his small biplane on a moving camper, etc.). Well, James was mostly watching. I was alternately reading the 1880 bound volume of "St. Nicholas" and working on a polar bear cub cross-stitch. morning we went over to the "Comic Con" being held at the American Legion Hall on Concord Road. Our friend Phyllis was divesting herself of some of the items in her science fiction collection; she had Star Trek and Babylon 5 items mostly. We stopped and talked to Bobby Nash, who writes science fiction and alternative history, and just had a short story published in an anthology based on the old-time radio series Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. We were talking about trying to explain things to younger people, based on a hilarious experience I had yesterday trying to explain an old cartoon to a group of people on Facebook. No one knew what it meant, and the young man who originally posted it was afraid to post it because he was afraid it had sexual connotations. One woman, trying to analyze it, made it all about the devaluation of women in society! What it was was a drawing of a nurse "goosing" a patient with a cold bedpan! Bobby said he has had to explain to a bunch of  young women who Alan Alda was, because they had never seen M*A*S*H!

James bought me one inexpensive little item: a sticker of a rather rumpled post-apocalypse Lassie holding a small boy's arm (clad in a red-and-white checked shirt!) in her mouth. I got a great kick out of it.

After that we had nothing to do, and really no money to do it with anyway. So we came home and James went down to the "man cave," and I repurposed an Amazon box to hold a Goodwill donation, and listened to a bunch more of the Colonial Williamsburg podcasts. (I'm so sorry they quit doing these! I really loved them.) For supper we went up to Fried Tomato Buffet for barbecue pork ribs and chicken and dumplings (well, that's why I go there, anyway), then came home by Baskin-Robbins for ice cream, riding between rainshowers.

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» Thursday, August 01, 2019
We Interrupt This Grocery Shopping Expedition...

Ah, intestinal problems again. Hate it when I don't get to walk the dog until 11 a.m. in summer. Too hot. But I wouldn't have been able to get very far anyway.

So we didn't get to Publix until almost noon. Just a normal old grocery trip, thankfully, even if I had to make a strategic retreat at the store, and then again when I came home. Rested a bit after stashing the refrigerables. We still needed milk, so that meant a Lidl trip, but I wasn't feeling up to going out again. Instead we took down the old shower head in the hall bath and put up the new magnetic one. The old one will go out with the trash; it never was very good.

Well, since the shower head was up, might as well toss the dog in the bathtub...

Shower head does not leak, first time out! I can get it down without having to climb on the side of the bathtub, and put it back up, ditto. Alas, the hose is only five feet long. This means I can't put the shower head on the lowest output and then rest it on the bottom of the tub while scrubbing the dog and have to shut the water off instead, and I have to sit on the toilet to scrub him with my legs braced against the tub, which hurts. But I managed it. So Tucker is clean and I am wiped out. 😉

(We checked out other hoses online. Longer ones don't seem to match...and they cost more than the complete shower head did!)

Spent other parts of the afternoon playing computer games and listening to the Colonial Williamsburg podcast (I finally caught up to where I started listening to it back when I was teleworking, in a story about the oxen at Williamsburg), and rustled up pot-lucks for supper.

James also got a call back from Kaiser. The cardiologist had asked him to make an appointment as soon as possible. We could only find one in September. So James made it, then e-mailed back. They called today saying they had an opening for him next Wednesday. I am crossing fingers. The doctor said he might have to take another stress test. 😔

We spent the evening watching Perry Mason. A big storm roared up about 9:30 and sent Tucker hiding under either my feet or James.' Poor baby. First he gets "drowned" and now the sky is growling at him.

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» Sunday, July 28, 2019
Sparkly Thread and Sparkly Kids
Happily it was back to the routine today. James got up at seven to start work by eight. We'd gone to bed so early I put my alarm on, and it was set to ring at eight, but never went off. So I ended up sleeping till nine. Since it was still mid-70s out, I loaded the washer with the towels, took Tucker for our walk first, then had breakfast.

About 10:30 I popped the towels in the dryer—or thought I did; they were still in the washer when I got home—and ran up to Town Center. Costco had the cheapest gas, and the gas pump allowed me to get gas even though our membership has expired. I guess tossing you out of the line just holds up traffic. Then I went down the hill, past the old Borders Books—I still miss Borders—and across Barrett Parkway to JoAnn.

I had a 30 percent off entire purchase for JoAnn, and had remembered from our previous trip that they had DMC's new Etoile thread line. If you cross stitch and want your stitchery to have a little "sparkle" (like snow or stars), you have to add metallic thread into it, and metallic thread is notoriously difficult to work with. The Etoile line has the sparkle already added to it, as you can see below (ignore the artificially added "star" effect):

I received a free skein of the medium blue with a British cross stitch magazine and wanted to get more, but it popped up at JoAnn only recently. Of the colors above, I got the black,  palest grey/silver, white, kelly green, the milk chocolate brown, the yellow, the darker of the two golds, the true orange, an orange-red, the pure red, the navy blue, the purple, and the frost blue. The white and frost blue are for snow, the red and green for Christmas, then the rest of the spectrum, the brown, red-orange, and gold for autumn, and the navy and the black simply because they looked cool.

At home today I sorted meds; washed, dried, and put away the towels; and washed the master bathroom and charged all the gadgets in it. I warmed up the roast chicken legs I cooked last weekend and we had them with a cucumber salad.

Mostly I updated my blog, had North Woods Law (fish and game police in New Hampshire) on in the background, and watched the new PBS cartoon Molly of Denali. Molly is a young Native Alaskan girl living in the the fictional town of Qyah with her mom, a pilot, and her dad, who runs the local trading post, and her husky dog Suki. Her friends are Tooey, another Native boy, and Trini, a black girl originally from Texas. Molly has a vlog where she relates her adventures online. It encourages kids to read (and use technology usefully), but also to go outside and have contact with nature, to respect their past and enjoy their family. Some stories have to do with animals (Molly and Tooey fear there's a ghost in the bunkhouse, but it's only a lost owl, Molly and Trini go with their friend Nina to watch puffins), others with just fun kid stuff, but the best stories have to do with Molly's native heritage. One story concerned Molly wanting to have a Native name like her parents and grandparents, and she picks out what she thinks she wants her name to be. However, that honor is something a tribal elder gives to you, and she doesn't think her cross aunt will do her justice. In the process Molly makes a list of the village people's Native names, what they mean, and who gave the name to them. It's a very sweet story and the name Molly ends up with is very appropriate. "First Fish" is just plain funny, and illustrates the Native tradition of storytelling. But the most striking story was "Grandpa's Drum," in which Molly finds out why her Grandpa Nat refuses to sing. It's very touching (based on a true story) and I cried at the end.

Molly of Denali

So we just noshed for dinner and watched two episodes of Savage Builds. The airplane dogfight one was interesting, but I thought the food fight one was kind of dumb. Why waste all that food?

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» Saturday, July 27, 2019
Tale of the Unexpected

So Friday morning we had some chores to get to, and these commenced after breakfast.

We started out at Lowe's, finally buying a new toilet seat. The old one lost one of its bolts, and, even before that, had the disconcerting habit of sliding sideways when you sat on it, so with the bolt gone, the sideways effect was even worse. I also picked out a new shower head for the hall bath. We have a hand-held one there that is too high for anyone using the tub to get out of the holder, and it was in what was once a fashionable curve, but didn't work very well, according to at least one person who has used it. I also have to climb up on the side of the tub if I want to get it down to wash Tucker. So I picked out another magnetic one like we have in the master bath. Much cheaper than Bed, Bath & Beyond!

We'd no sooner walked out of the store that I noticed the cover of the box we had picked up. I'd chosen this specific toilet seat because it was nice thick wood, with a nice substantial lid. It also—and it wasn't included on the display copy that I so liked—had a built-in potty seat! So we had to go right back in and return it, then go down to plumbing again and find the correct one (like the one we have in the master bath).

From there we hopped over to Hobby Lobby, where I reveled in the autumn aisles, and I also found a very pretty birthday gift for Juanita, whose party we were going to on Saturday.

And finally we stopped at Batteries+Bulbs to get two new bulbs for the floodlights outside our neighborhood complex.

I had a "free stir fry bowl" for Tin Drum, so we picked up late lunch/early supper there: I ordered a regular teriyaki bowl, substituting steak, and James had the same, but I asked them to "spice it up." He said they did quite well.

Finished the evening with more Perry Mason, not staying up as late as last night because I was thinking if we just happened to wake up around eight we could go to the Farmer's Market.

Alas, it wasn't to be. I'd taken my shower and was in the bedroom while James had his. I heard him call, "Um, Linda..."

He had been finishing rinsing off and started having chest pains between his shoulders (moderately painful, no jaw, arm pain, no chest pressure, no shortness of breath), in front. So he stayed sitting on the toilet and I got him a nitroglycerin tablet and set the timer for five minutes as we had been instructed. When the five minutes was over I gave him another—and then started to get ready to leave: threw some computer gadgets in a bag and a charge cord and the phones, then got snacks and started pulling on clothes. By then five minutes was up and he was still hurting. I was already dressed, he pulled on a shirt and pants and shoes, and we went off to the emergency room at Cobb General. He took a third nitro on the way there. No help.

Of course they took an EKG immediately, and then moved us into the back. Not much to tell after that: they hooked him up to a blood pressure monitor, and started taking blood tests. Eventually the pain went away and we kind of chilled out. At one point we were so bored—bored was good, but it was 3 a.m. and we were exhausted—I put an episode of Perry Mason on my tablet. The first blood test was slightly elevated, but the doctor told us that he had seen James' chart and knew he had kidney problems, and sometimes this enzyme is elevated in kidney-problem people. He also said James' EKG looked okay. In between I tried to doze, but the chair was so uncomfortable. I think they do this on purpose to drum up business for orthopedics!

After Perry Mason and flopping back down, they did a second blood test and this came out completely normal, so they discharged James with instructions to contact his cardiologist, and we made it home about 7 a.m., witnessing a really gorgeous sunrise. I walked the dog, then stripped off my clothes, found a blanket, and staggered to bed. James had had a couple of naps while he was lying on the hospital bed, and he tried to sleep, but finally got back up. He was up most of the day, only dozing off a couple of times, which amazed me, as I was pretty much nonfunctional all day: I got up around eleven, ate breakfast, sat back down on the sofa,  and fell asleep again. I woke up with my back hurting, so retired to the futon. I figured I would hear James' furosimide alarm go off, but keep forgetting it only rings during the workweek. So he woke me up at 4:30 to go to Juanita's birthday dinner at 5:30, and I had to scramble because I still hadn't wrapped her gift or found a card in our collection. I managed to do this in ten minutes and then another ten to get dressed.

Well, we got there on time, and had a great dinner. Lots of folks came and we talked and hugged each other, and watched Juanita open her gifts and cards.

We weren't up very long after we got home. James "ran out of gas" about 9:30 and we went off to bed not soon after. No recurrence of the pain. Tomorrow James will telework and send an e-mail to his doctor. I want him to telework until we hear from the doctor and find out if he wants to see James, or have him take further tests. I think it will be safest.

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» Thursday, July 25, 2019
Tale of the Buckhead Trip

Since I'd done shopping at Lidl earlier in the week, we needed little at Publix. James got more lunchmeat, we picked up twofers, and finally got bread and yogurt. Groceries away, what shall we do the rest of the day?

We went into Buckhead to visit the Barnes & Noble. I had one coupon left and since they seem to have the most stock, I was hoping to find something unusual.

James came home with about four magazines and a discounted game. I didn't realize Tasha Alexander's Uneasy Lies the Crown was out in paperback, but it was already discounted. So was a book about an introvert who works in a bookstore, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. To use with the coupon I found a nifty travel book, I Married Adventure, first published in 1940, about a woman who accompanied her husband and his airplane on all sorts of nifty places: Africa, Bali, etc.

Also got the "Just Cross Stitch" Hallowe'en issue, which has several patterns that are just fall, or can be made into just fall (including a cute sheep bookmark).

Otherwise it was a quiet day. Finished up the day watching Perry Mason.

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» Sunday, July 21, 2019
"I Am So Over the Moon"

I am never over the moon--
She is my constant companion
On nocturnal ramblings
(Since the dog is occupied with
Matters aromatic).
Sometimes her face is veiled
With clouds of wisp-ered tatters,
Or heavier curtains of moist vapor
Through which she manages to glow
A damp greeting.
And when, once monthly,
she turns her face away as if embarrassed,
I content myself with awaiting
A fresh curvette of light
As she gains her composure
To smile again at her freedom,
And me at the end of a leash.

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» Saturday, July 20, 2019
Happy 50th Anniversary, Apollo 11!

Here are the "moon brownies" we took to Hair Day. The "moon rocks" are edible, candy-coated like M&Ms. (Lunch was roast chicken and pork roast, James' green beans, and scalloped potatoes. Lin bought Moonpies and moon themed Oreos, which we also brought.)

Spent the afternoon watching the ABC news coverage of Apollo 11 that I found the other day on YouTube. We'd already watched NBC's coverage, with all the familiar faces I remember: David Brinkley and Frank McGee, and even Floyd Kalber. The ABC coverage was interesting. While the assembled NBC coverage pretty much stuck to covering the launch, spacewalk, and recovery, with a few things like Floyd Kalber interviewing a guy who was down on Merritt Island for the launch, ABC's combined footage has a whole bunch of interesting things besides monitoring the flight: Peter Jennings doing the news (Chappaquiddick), a conversation between Bill Moyers and Marshall McLuhan and another guy whose name I didn't catch about the worth of the space program, a minister praying, Duke Ellington performing an original moon song, and Rod Serling interviewing SF Frederick Pohl, Isaac Asimov, and John Pierce (who I'd never heard of), and interviews with the public: people watching on the streets of NYC, listening on the beach in LA, and the White Sox stopping their game to announce the moon landing and to say a prayer for the astronauts. ABC's animations were better, though.

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» Friday, July 19, 2019
Lunch Amongst the Chores

Oh, my, I could have slept later. But then I always say that.

Once breakfast was eaten and dogwalking was completed, we decided to make a quick trip to Kroger. Milk was on sale, and we needed to pick up a few more things. At almost eleven on a Friday the parking lot was still packed. We took the car since we could be sure of carts, and did our shopping. Found a small chuck roast to cook up in the small crock pot, and also bacon-flavor maple syrup on clearance.  We do have another pork roast in the freezer...

Put up the groceries and did some tidying, then were off to Top Spice for lunch. I've been wanting to go back since we ate here for Betty's birthday in 2017. James and Phyllis had been chatting at the last Hair Day about how much he missed Myriad lunches, so yesterday I had sent out a clumsy group text asking several people if they wanted to join us. We only heard from Alice and Ken, so I must either assume I had wrong phone numbers or something else went wrong. I'll have to ask at Hair Day tomorrow.

Anyway, we had a nice meal and a good chat. Alas, Alice and Ken had to go off to Kaiser at Glenlake to discuss some medical problems as soon as we finished. Nothing better than trucking eastbound in Atlanta on a Friday afternoon. {that's sarcasm, folks}

We took care of two HOA errands on the way home. One was going to the bank, as James has been unable to access the HOA account online for over a year. We had a rough idea how much was in the account from the last time we were at the bank, but I had just bought a new account book for keeping track of the funds and I wanted an accurate number. Our previous treasurer used a bank for the HOA account that she went to frequently for work, as combining the tasks was efficient for her. It's damn near impossible for anyone working nine to five, as this bank has no late or Saturday hours at all and is around an obscure corner behind Cumberland Mall. I think we need to move the whole account to somewhere closer and friendlier, like the LGE credit union, because the place always makes me feel like I'm too poor to even walk in the door. However, the teller was very nice and got everything straightened out for us. [Later: However, we still never received an e-mail to reset the password!]

Once we got an accurate accounting from the bank (I wasn't too far off, and the real total is in the account's favor), we stopped at the post office to renew the post office box for the HOA for another year. The line moved quickly, which was good for James' back, hips, and knees (we didn't have the power chair), and the post office people nice, but we discovered that the change of account that James and the old secretary did two years ago was nowhere to be found in the paperwork. So the person had to call the previous secretary up and make sure this was legit, and then we redid the paperwork so the box is now in James' name.

We had one more HOA thing to do—pick up some light bulbs for the two spotlights at the development entrance; they have them at Batteries Plus—but James was starting to twitch in pain, so we headed home instead; we can go another day.

Spent the afternoon watching the NBC coverage of Apollo 11 that I found on YouTube. Lunch was so big (I got another meal's worth of leftovers!) that I just had a sandwich and James had some soup. Later I baked some "moon brownies" for Hair Day tomorrow, similar to the "moon cake" from six years ago (Hair Day was July 20 that Saturday, too) and we watched three more episodes of From the Earth to the Moon.

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» Thursday, July 18, 2019
The Heat, the Rain, and Other Things (Like Toilet Tissue)

So the first morning of the first day of our weekend was spent shopping. Alas, it was stock-up time at Sam's Club, so it was an expensive trip. We needed toilet tissue, Swiffer floor wipes, mandarin orange cups, and about six other things. James also gassed up the truck there. By the time we got there it was almost eleven and things had begun to simmer: it was already up in the high eighties with the heat index several degrees higher. What saved the day from being an oven were an abundance of big fluffy clouds and a nice breeze (but there was change on the horizon).

We stuffed everything in the back of the truck and went to Publix for assorted twofers and things that can only be bought at Publix (like Toufeyan wraps, as it's burrito-making time for James again). As we arrived, just opposite us was an SUV with a handicapped tag. One of the store carts was parked next to the open car door, but the woman driving the vehicle didn't seem to be getting out. Anyway, we got James' chair off the lift and he went directly inside; as he did, I looked toward the woman and she called out "Can you help me?"

Well, it turned out some kind person had brought one of the store mobility carts to her, but had parked it too close to the door before moving on. Try as she might, there was no room for her feet between the SUV and the cart, so she couldn't maneuver to turn and sit down on it. She asked if I could move the cart forward a little and then back it up so there was some space for her to get out of the seat. Sure! Happy to do it, too.

Then we had to offload all the stuff at home and put up the perishables. We both had a sandwich, then decided to do something more fun: go out to Hobby Lobby and Barnes & Noble. Looked around a bit at the bookstore and picked up the newest Sister Lou mystery. When we came out of the store there were many more clouds than there had been earlier and we could both see where it was raining north of us. So we made tracks over to Hobby Lobby. Happily it has been invaded by autumn—two full aisles and two half aisles of fall decorations already (and some standing displays as well, along with a back wall), and Christmas being stocked in the corners and around the side. I bought some discount autumn leaf stickers for my journal, and James found chocolate rocks for the "moon brownies" we are making for Hair Day on Saturday along with a couple of small modeling items on sale.

I had heard a clap of thunder while we were in the store, and the clouds were boiling and grey all around us with a spit of rain in the air. So we covered the power chair and no sooner had we banged the doors to the cab of the truck than it started to rain. Whew. Apparently, however, it was raining only over the Akers Mill shopping center because the rest of the ride was relatively dry and we didn't have to run for cover getting the chair back in the garage.

Tonight James cooked the Italian sausage we bought at Patak's for supper, which we had with the leftover potatoes from supper last night. It was outstanding, not peppery at all, just savory enough, and not even overly salty. We'll have to go back and get more.

Spent the rest of the night watching the new Blu-Ray presentation of HBO's Emmy-winning From the Earth to the Moon, which came in the mail yesterday. It's been completely restored from the original prints, and they redid all the special effects, which were all in standard definition, because they would have looked crummy on an otherwise HD-quality presentation. We did the first three episodes, "Can We Do This?," "Apollo 1," and "We Have Cleared the Tower" last night, and then five tonight: "1968," our favorite episode "Spider," "Mare Tranquillitatis," our second favorite "That's All There Is," and finally "We Interrupt This Program."

My reaction to the new special effects is mixed. I knew they had to revise them, but some of it works and some of it doesn't. Some shots look extraordinary, like the rocket launch of Freedom 7, where you can see every rivet of the Mercury capsule and the Redstone rocket. In general the spacecraft look good, except for the lunar modules. They've done the two stages in a matte flat grey that looks...well, flat. They look CGI, where a lot of the other stuff doesn't. The moonscapes are outstanding, but I think they've oversaturated most of the views of the Earth; the blue looks almost too blue, the continents too defined. We have an atmosphere that makes the edges of things look a bit fuzzy in real life, so the hard edges of a CGI Earth are unnatural-looking.

The re-do also ruined one of my favorite scenes at the very end of "Can We Do This?" in which Buzz Aldrin is maneuvering outside the Gemini 12 capsule and docked Agena. As the two spacecraft come toward the camera in the original, Buzz lifts his right hand and the blue flickers of St. Elmo's Fire (static electricity) dance on his gloves and between his fingers, and there is a close-up of him staring at it in wonder and flexing his fingers. It's very magical. In the reshot version, we see the blue fire on his hands only from a distance and, while it is obvious that he is looking at the hand, it doesn't have the air of magic that the close-up did.

The sound is brilliant. I listen to "The Tech Guy" every weekend and usually on the Saturday edition audio guy Scott Wilkinson is raving about Dolby ATMOS. Now I know why. It really sounds that good, and in the restoration they actually put some sounds in, like the gantries creaking in "We Have Cleared the Tower." When the spacecraft dock, you hear a "boom!" not a click, and the music fidelity is to die for (alas, we still did not get an isolated score; there seems no way to get HBO to release a score album for this show).

One thing that is surprising: the opening music to "Spider" has always been Barry Gray's jaunty Fireball XL-5 theme song, as recorded for the television series. On this restored version, the song is still used, but it's a different arrangement and singer. All we can think of is that HBO retained the rights to use the song, but not to use the original version.

If there is anything bad about rewatching this series, it's when you get to "We Interrupt This Program," which deals with Apollo 13. It's not the least interesting episode—to me that's the Apollo 11 episode (yeah, strange how they managed that)—but possibly the most painful one. Having been made only three years after the hit film with Tom Hanks, From the Earth to the Moon chose to go in a different direction with the Apollo 13 story rather than rehash the movie.

In the opening episode, a fictional television news reporter named Emmett Seaborn, played by veteran character actor Lane Smith, is established as a character who spans the entire series. He's a seasoned reporter of the old school, rather a cross between Walter Cronkite and ABC's science reporter Jules Bergman. "We Interrupt This Program" chronicles how the Apollo 13 crisis was handled by the news media, who already seemed bored with covering spaceflight—until it seems like death might be involved. Watching this episode means watching once again how a shit-faced sensation-mongering asshole named Brent Hutchings, with the full support of the new network suit, undermined an educated, real newsman like Emmett Seaborn, and realizing once more what happened to news reporting in this country when it slowly became more about ratings and innuendo and "if it bleeds it leads" instead of real journalism that tried to inform and educate rather than titillate. I always finish the episode angry and wanting to wash my brain out with soap.

And with that, I think I'll go off and take a shower and see if I can't get some of the soap to seep in there. Ugh.

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