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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» Friday, September 30, 2005
Oh, yeah, and there's a new post in Holiday Harbour I didn't get to upload earlier because of the hot dog from Hell...

Flourish

The Hot Dog That Done Me Wrong
I tried to post this morning, and Blogger said they were down for maintenance, which would last from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT. The fact that it was 10:30 a.m. EDT rather perturbed me. So I haven't posted all day.

Yesterday was a trip of the sort I didn't want to take. We had our annual branch picnic yesterday. It's usually the first Thursday in October, but they changed it for some reason. Usually it's too warm even the first Thursday in October but I go anyway (my favorite picnic was two years ago when we had a cold spell and it was cloudy and in the high 50's; I even had to wear a jacket—it was a nice day!). I wasn't planning to go because the weather report said it was going to be in the mid to high 80s until the day got closer. I decided to go because it said it would be cloudy and breezy and only up to 77°F.

Instead it was mid-80s and the breeze didn't penetrate under the pavilion roof. With about 130 people there it was too hot and too noisy. But I had a hot dog and some salad veggies with co-workers and a piece of cake. I kept seeing water bottles but couldn't find the water, only iced tea (ugh), so I didn't drink anything. The hot dog seemed greasy, but I'd taken my Prilosec and shouldn't have had to worry.

During the Cake Walk, which is usually my favorite event, I got very queasy and started to perspire. I went to the bathroom and splashed cold water on myself, but I didn't help. So I took a walk along the woods path and sat on one of the picnic tables in the trees to cool off. It helped, but I was still queasy and also feeling a bit woozy. So I came home, undressed, crawled into bed—it was 2 p.m.—and promptly crashed until James got home at seven! We had supper, but it tasted "off." Didn't sleep well, and then couldn't get out of the house this morning for having to run to the bathroom.

To keep from being totally a slug, I dubbed off the first six episodes of Centennial. Boy, these are in mediocre shape. The first one jumps a bit every so often. Most of the others have little bits in them where "REC" and the counter count and the speed were actually written into the picture. I have no idea why; I don't remember the VCR doing that.

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Friday Five

1. What kind of computer do you have? (Mac, iBook, Dell, etc.)

Um, it's name is Victor, as in Frankenstein because James built it out of parts. It has an Asus motherboard, I think.

2. How old is it? Are you happy with it?

It's at least six years old. And yes, it works okay, but it's not fast enough. I have DVD player, but can't watch the DVDs because they jerk around.

3. How many computers are in your household? (at home if you are away at school)

Um, counting or not counting the PDAs? There's two working computers, the old computer, the laptop, and the two PDAs.

4. What are your favorite games/timewasters on your computer?

I play Jumpman and Bookworm in games. I have Sheep and the Last Express and have never played either. My favorite timewaster is updating my domain!

5. If money were no object, what kind of computer would you like to have?

I used to think a Dell, but I hear their customer service sucks now. But I guess that's everyone. I'd like to have the fastest one with all the gadgets they make. An HP is okay, I guess.

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» Thursday, September 29, 2005
Rating: "Z" as in "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
Review of the New Night Stalker

I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with this guy. I hear the next one is an improvement. I don't know if I have the interest to go on.

Carl Kolchak originally was this middle-aged world-weary guy who kept running into the supernatural. The series had a little bit of welcome humor in it. Stuart Townsend is just a boring, broody young guy who's trying to figure out the supernatural because "something" killed his wife and unborn child. And, sadly, I don't care. It's very sad not to care about about someone who's murdered, but I don't, because the whole plot makes a comic book page look 3D.

And oh, look, we have a Government agent trying to cover up something. [eyes roll] To quote John Hurt in Spaceballs, "Oh, no, not again."

If they wanted to do another Night Stalker series, why couldn't Townsend just have been Herbert Q. Morris or someone and his boss been Tom McGillicuddy? Maybe Carl Kolchak was Townsend's great uncle and he picked up his interest in the supernatual from him, then his wife was killed. This way it could have been a sequel of sorts and still stood on his own. But to take a great actor like Darren McGavin and have him replaced with this bland silhouette is just sad, sad, sad.

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Thursday Threesome

::Little Lost Sheep::


Onesome: Little-- by little we work our way through the week. Do you have anything fun coming up this weekend or in the next week? ...or maybe you're ready for a little relaxation?

It’s time for our monthly visit to WallyWorld. We need chicken broth and oatmeal and a dozen other things that are cheapest there. We’re also going to some kind of incentive event they’re having at the housing development. Supposedly they are offering $2000 worth of furniture from Rooms to Go. We really don’t want to patronize RTG since they treated one of our friends who worked there very shabbily. The agent suggested maybe they would change it to Ikea? $2000 at Ikea would give us all the bookcases we needed, a new bedstead, the china cabinet, and the buffet.

Twosome: Lost-- Do you get lost easily? ...or are you one of those people who always seems to know where they are?

I wouldn’t say easily, but I have been lost. If I know in which direction I’m supposed to be going, I will follow the sun, and now I have a compass in my car, too. If I’m really lost I’ll stop at a fire station. If the firefighters don’t know where things are, people are in trouble.

Threesome: Sheep-- ...and goats and rabbits and, and, and: What is the favorite critter you look forward to seeing at the petting zoo (if you're a fair goer)? ...and if not, well, which one would just as soon not run across on a walk around the block? I mean, if you were the type who walked around the block and the farm animals escaped from Farmer John's truck on his way to the Fair...

I don’t go to fairs, but I like sheep (although I’d take care with a ram) and the little Toggenburg goats are cute. The animal I wouldn’t want to run into if he were loose would be a bull. Mary O’Hara says in one of her books that the most dangerous animal in the country is a purebred dairy bull.

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» Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Too Cool...
Well, I contacted two of the three preferred lenders via e-mail and one responded. I sent some info back and they say we qualify as long as we have that down payment. Great.

And America is on its way from England. The domestic order is being held up by Christmas Ideals. It's funny, I didn't like the old Ideals books; the artwork was badly done and they tinted the pages some really ugly colors. The new books have beautiful photographs—the fall photos look good enough to eat—and the artwork used is usually attractive.

We noticed when we went to Sam's last week that they'd "redecorated" again...but their DVD section is now huge. Costco used to have the best, but it has been diminished over time (more Playstation stuff now), and BJ's is pretty good, with an emphasis on older movies, but the new Sam's selection blows them both away. We were looking at the new From the Earth to the Moon set. We have the original set of just the episodes (I got them from a rental place that was going belly-up and we didn't get the fourth disk with the extras), which were not widescreen as originally filmed and broadcast, and watch this one so much we were toying about getting it. We didn't have the funds last week, though. Hope it's there for a while.

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» Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Tuesday Twosome

What are the last two...

1. TV shows you watched?


Darn, I don't remember besides Jeopardy last night. It's a Dog's Life was recording when I got home and nothing was on so we watched the DVD of Island in the Sky with John Wayne—oh, yeah, I had time to dub off the one episode that I kept of a really bad series called Mr. Merlin, so that would be the other.

2. household chores you finished?

Washing clothes and cleaning the master bathroom.

3. food items you ate?

Oatmeal and Chex snack mix (the oatmeal is for breakfast, the salties to wake me up).

4. websites (before here) you visited?

Was reading blogs, so Tony Figueroa's blog and Sue's Live Journal.

5. things you do before you go to sleep?

Put the book down and shut off the light!

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» Monday, September 26, 2005
Memories of Max
I grew up in a small house: parlor and parents' bedroom to the front, bathroom in the middle, kitchen and my bedroom to the rear. Like most kids in the early 1960s, I had to be in bed early, but my bedroom door was always open. The soft murmur of the television usually lulled me to sleep.

One Sunday, though, I jumped out of bed and pattered the short hallway to the parlor where Mom and Dad were watching The Bill Dana Show.

"Who's that?" I asked. "I heard Tennessee Tuxedo talking!" (Tennessee being a scheming penguin character I watched on Saturday morning.)

"It's Don Adams," my mother said. "Get back to bed."

I didn't see any more of this fascinating character until the 1965 Fall Preview TV Guide, where I found out he and someone named Barbara Feldon who did commercials where she sprawled on a tigerskin rug would be in a new spy spoof, Get Smart! The Man from UNCLE and the James Bond flicks were big hits and it was logical one of the networks would launch some type of spy spoof.

From the first show I saw, I was hooked. I was madly and for all time in love with Don Adams and his alter ego, Maxwell Smart. Don Adams was my first real crush; I was all of nine years old. I wanted to be 99 so I could go on adventures with Max. Mom viewed my first crush with bemusement but Dad was puzzled: why did I like this stupid git who talked to his shoe and spilled things? I collected the old movie magazines like Photoplay and Screen Stories for their odd article on Don Adams and the first newspaper clipping I ever saved was a full-page article about Adams from the Providence Journal. My TV scrapbooks were full of Don: Get Smart, his other series, Bob Hope specials he appeared on (anyone remember the all-star "Murder at NBC"?), and even old photos of him appearing with Perry Como.

All the snow and ice and hail the postal worker is supposed to go through was nothing next to the obstacles between me and Get Smart. My parents bowled on Saturday nights. I had to conquer insurmountable shyness to ask the guys behind the counter to change the channel on the TV (also behind the counter) so I could see Get Smart, which I then stood and watched rapt for a half-hour, leaning on the counter in reality but off in another world in my mind. On nights the Providence College Friars played I didn't get to watch Get Smart at all. I still haven't gotten over my loathing for basketball.

The transfer to CBS solved that problem, but by then the show had gotten stale and the scripts were ridiculous. But my attachment to Don never waned. I wrote endless stories that I would later learn were called "fanfiction" where I made Max more serious and sent Max and 99 off on adventures in the near future. I missed the series The Partners because it was on at the same time we went to Saturday Mass. It wasn't that much of a series, but it was Don Adams.

I was a fan of Don Adams' Screen Test, which, since I liked old movies, I found pretty funny. It was Don Adams, after all, in the spoofs "The King Lives" and "To Sire, With Love," who helped me discover one of my favorite books (and films) of all time, The Prisoner of Zenda, and in my favorite Get Smart episode "The Island of the Darned," turned me on to Richard Connell's Most Dangerous Game, made into a 1930s movie with Joel McCrea.

Sorry to say I wasn't interested enough in the premise to watch Check It Out, which I found stupid and vapid. But the greatest joy were those seemingly endless (and unfortunately edited) reruns of Get Smart, collected on audio tape and later videotape. Somewhere in the videoverse Don Adams is still out there, thwarting KAOS, flirting with the ladies, tempting Agent 99 and frustrating the Chief.

As they say, he will be missed.

CNN: Don Adams of Get Smart Dead

E!: Get Smart Star Adams Dies

ABC News: Don Adams of Get Smart Dies at 82

Flourish

Monday Madness

1. Ice cream or Yogurt?

Ice cream. The only type of yogurt I eat is the chocolate frozen yogurt at Sweet Tomatoes. Regular yogurt...ugh. If they want me to eat it can't they make something that's not in impossibly sweet fruit flavors like strawberry, blueberry, and (ugh) raspberry? Coffee-flavored yogurt, or chocolate mint, or maple, or apple and cinnamon?

2. What's your favorite board game?

Scrabble, of course.

3. Do you play video games? If yes, what game system(s) do you use?

No. Only computer games. I play Jumpman Lives.

4. If you were given a chance to change your name, would you do it? If yes, what would your new name be?

I have never liked my name, but I don't know what I'd change it to. I have always liked Melissa, but I don't feel like a Melissa.

5. What are the last 2 blogs that you've visited? Please share the links with us so we can check them out.

Tony's Child of Television and Sue's LiveJournal Going Through the Motions (IE puts them in alphabetical order, so those are the two I read last).

6. What's your biggest frustration?

Just one? Numbers. Numbers suck almost as much as summer. (Yeehah: supposedly Thursday it will only be 77°F with the low of 47°F. Maybe that bitch summer will finally get her butt pushed out of here at last.)

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So, I Took the Plunge...
Since we're going to be spending money near the end of the year I ordered Alistair Cooke's America from Amazon.uk now. I have loved this series from its first broadcast in 1972 and would jump through hoops for it.

I love to watch the price reduction when you hit the checkout at Amazon.uk. Whatever the price is on the item, it's not what you actually pay. I think it's because as a non-Briton I don't have to pay the VAT. America was actually four pounds less than stated on its page, and The Best of Dave Allen about a pound less. (I also ordered an aviation film, Reaching for the Sky with Kenneth More, for James.) Dave Allen was a must-have. I used to adore his show, which WSBK-38 showed latenight. His memories are tangled up with the "old" 38, Ask the Manager, Movie Loft, Dana Hersey and Joe Dimino and Dan Berkery and Cliff Allen. Anything that takes me back there is welcome.

Ironically it looks like my Amazon.uk order will get delivered before my regular Amazon order. I can't remember which item is actually the delayed one: it's my annual Christmas and Thanksgiving Ideals order, plus Earl Hamner's bio, Eleanor and Franklin (I hope, hope, hope they release the sequel, The White House Years since my copy was recorded off WSBK before we had a booster on our antenna and it's exceedingly snowy—I see Jane Alexander is still winning Emmy awards for playing Roosevelts!), and Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, which I've heard about for years and I finally want to see what all the chatter is about.

Flourish

» Sunday, September 25, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
After errands, James was back to making breakfast burritos and when I finished with housework, I went back to the routine: the episode of Designing Women with Lewis Grizzard and the Odd Couple story where Oscar ran for city councilman (it's the one with the running Rhode Island joke). Also some funny commercials, a PM Magazine profile of John Moschitta, and a segment at the end of an NBC news broadcast about a television-watching dog.

Now I'm doing Voyagers!, the 1980s NBC kids' show about a time-travelling adventurer and former pirate, Phineas Bogg, who by accident links up with a 12-year-old boy from 1982 New York. The series was made for children, so it has the usual stupid bits network shows put in kids' shows, but it had a devoted adult following, too. I have five eps: "Merry Christmas, Bogg," which I've already dubbed off, the pilot show (which, except for its really stupid device of having the Wright brothers abandon work on the airplane because they were fighting over a girl—the brothers were already married at the time—was action-packed and fun), "Voyagers of the Titanic," "Jack's Back" (which featured the return of Voyagers! most hated villain), and the bread-and-butter show "The Trial of Phineas Bogg," which is my favorite episode of all, and probably one of the series' best remembered eps.

A "bread and butter" show is one that primarily shows clips from previous episodes; it's a budget-saver for the studio. The canny writer of this story, Jill Sherman, featured the clips in a framework that had Bogg and Jeffrey summoned back to Voyagers headquarters so that Bogg could face charges of having violated their codes. The story introduced the villanous Drake, who was trying to take over the Voyager council by manufacturing evidence against operatives he didn't like. Drake was played to perfection by Stephen Liska. He was one of those people, I always said, that Lassie would growl at the moment she saw him. :-) (Heck, Lassie would have jumped at his throat and attacked him.) Drake is the menace who returns in "Jack's Back."

There are a couple of eps I really didn't like, but several others I wish I'd kept, like the Wernher Von Braun story and the one about Mabel Hubbard (plus my copy of the pilot was from the syndication run, where they cut out Jeffrey telling Bogg what happened to his parents), so I do wish there would be a series set, despite still having my favorites.

BTW, I guess I'm thick, but it took me a while to understand why Bogg always had to romance the obligatory girl involved in the story. :-)

Flourish

» Saturday, September 24, 2005
Well, Wish Us Luck...
We're going to try for it. Next week we'll contact some of the preferred lenders and see if we can get prequalified for a mortgage.

I seem to have made a slight mistake. The prospectus from the development doesn't tell you where it actually is. Because it was so near to the store where James used to work, I assumed it was in Smyrna. But apparently it's still in Marietta (if we're reading the maps correctly, the mailing address is Marietta, but Trellis Oaks is not within the city limits; it's just in Cobb County). Oh, well, we'll just have to walk around the mall instead of a walking track.

(Oddly, if you look at a Marietta zoning map, we aren't in the city of Marietta here, either, at least not for most tax purposes. We're surrounded by the city, but not in it. Marietta sanitation picks up our trash and we pay a school tax, but if we call the police or the fire we get Cobb County respondents, not city of Marietta. Weird, eh, considering we're three miles from downtown!)

We will, if we get in, be able to pick things our way. This means no nasty dusty wall-to-wall carpeting and no nasty burning fluorescent light in the kitchen. James thinks there is a network connection throughout the house (we didn't have a Cat5 cable to test it with) and the agent says she thinks it's not just a gas starter in the fireplace but a gas log (which is nice, but we can always buy a gas log if not).

We had a slight pause when we ran the address through Earthlink's online gizmo that tells you if DSL is available. It said no. Just as a joke, however, I ran our present address through it. It says DSL isn't available here. Um...what is it I'm talking here on, then? Ooooh, it's magic!

So we actually don't know if it's available in that area or not. Hm. The development is so new the street isn't on Google or MapQuest.

Flourish

» Friday, September 23, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Doctor Who: "Dragonfire" and "Silver Nemesis" and its accompanying documentary, The Making of Doctor Who. And Sylvester McCoy on the local Atlanta Noonday; it was filmed the weekend he made his debut as the Doctor.

Flourish

From One Extreme to the Other
Today has been totally frustrating and totally good at the same time.

I planned my errands today to use the least gas and started out at Border's to pick up Revenge of Anguished English—except that the coupon which has been in my car since last Saturday and which I saw yesterday...was gone. I hunted all over the car. How annoying. I skipped Borders (found another copy at a Borders near where we'll have supper tonight and printed out another coupon when I got home) and went on to Michael's. After a two-month's search, I finally found an appropriately autumn-ish vase for the Chinese lanterns and cattails I bought up in Rhode Island. There were 50 percent off coupons this week, which I appreciate with the vase.

Nothing else remarkable except I stopped at a new store called Rowan's at the Town and Country Shopping Center on Roswell Road; they have used and remaindered books, DVDs, music, and some other stuff on the other side of the stores that I didn't even look at. They had Elizabeth Peters' latest Amelia Peabody book for $5. Cool.

When I got home, the corrected death certificates were finally in the mail. I got all the documents together that I needed to send besides them, and then went crazy looking for the right address. I knew I had seen it just recently. I finally called and left a message, and calmed myself down—and then realized the address was on the appraisal. DUH. So that's in the mail with delivery confirmation and insurance.

I kept one certificate to send in to the insurance company which with my mom had a policy that we didn't know about. Not much of a claim but it will help shore up my depleted savings account a little. Filled it out...felt kinda funny writing my mom's name all those times. I still have dreams about her.

When I was making out the envelope I noticed it was going to Houston. I guess there's no use in sending that one priority mail. I hope Rita is kinder to Port Arthur than Katrina was to New Orleans (although Rita's rain has already flooded the Big Easy again). It's just a hurricane year...

Flourish

» Thursday, September 22, 2005
So There!
I finally finished all my orders about fifteen minutes ago and they are ready for signature.

Since then I have been deliriously happy shoving summer stuff back in the drawer and putting out all the fall things. I have a garland of maple leaves at the opening to my cubicle, a little bouquet of fall leaves and fruits in the "calm" corner where I keep James' pic and my cross stitch of "To everything there is a season...," fall photos and old Linda Nelson Stocks calendar fall paintings hung around me, a big vaseful of artificial autumn branches in their mottled orange vase, and a Charles Wysocki calendar picture called "Amish Autumn" magneted to the filing cabinet.

In honor of the arrival of fall there is Edith Osborne's "An Autumn Carol" in Holiday Harbour.

'Scuse me while I hunt up George Winston's "Autumn" here...

Flourish

» Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Snoopy Dancing
Was stuck in traffic—who in the seven names of Hell scheduled road construction on the top end perimeter during rush hour? and why didn't the supposed-to-be-useful signs on the road not say there was an obstruction ahead?—so had to take the long way home. Figured I deserved a treat after an hour of stop and go traffic and stopped at Barnes & Noble. Looking to see if Mercedes Lackey's third Elemental Masters novel was out in paperback yet (nope, October 4) or if by any chance the paperback copy of Laurien Berenson's Jingle Bell Bark had been released early (no dice)—but ended up emerging with the fourth Magickers book and The War of the Worlds Murders by Max Allan Collins. (How could I resist a book that involved OTR?)

The Snoopy dance part is finding out that Richard Lederer has a new book out: Revenge of Anguished English. I found it at Borders and put it on reserve because I have a 20 percent off one hardback coupon.

Speaking of Mercedes Lackey, she has a page on her site that talks about the people who believe the subjects she writes about in her urban fantasies are true and all the problems they have caused her. Three of these books are the Diana Tregarde Investigations, which are horror novels. (I don't usually read horror, as they creep me out, but I made an exception for the Tregarde stuff, even though some of the horror parts were hard slogging.) Anyway, Lackey says there had been rumors that she didn't write any more of the books because what she wrote about was true and she had been forced into not writing any more, because she was giving away secrets! She sharply pooh-poohed that and said she quit writing them because they didn't sell well. She had to make a living and she just wasn't getting income from them.

Well, someone must be interested in them again, because I noticed both Dark Water and Children of the Night have been reprinted, both in paperback and trade paper. Diana's lover in two of the three novels is a charming, sexy vampire named Andre, so maybe they're being republished to fall in with the trend of charming sexy vampires in fiction books and in television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. But after the fuss she made about them not selling well, it was a surprise to see them back on the racks.

Flourish

New post in Holiday Harbour.

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In the Shadow of Rita
Today is the 67th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938. My parents and their families lived through this terrible storm, but many were not so fortunate. Six hundred and eighty people from Long Island to eastern Massachusetts died and $4.7 billion dollars (in today's money) damage was done. They had no warning because the upper echelons at the Weather Bureau said that hurricanes never struck New England and that the storm would assuredly go out to sea. The hurricane crushed homes, lighthouses, and fishing fleets. The train from New York to Boston was nearly overwhelmed by the storm surge. The wind and rain even did damage inland: it destroyed 25 percent of Vermont's maple trees and ruined lumbering in New Hampshire. Traditional New England towns with tree-lined streets and church steeples were changed forever. Downtown Providence was under seventeen feet of water. Looters appeared as soon as darkness fell. One woman drowned in her car in a parking lot only yards from safety.

The American Experience: "The Hurricane of '38"

United States Hurricanes: Hurricane of 1938

Stamford [CT] History: Hurricane of '38

A true story from the Hurricane of 1938

R.A. Scotti's Sudden Sea, a beautifully written—and chilling—history of the storm

Everett S. Allen's A Wind to Shake the World, written by a newspaper reporter who started work on September 21, 1938

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» Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Tuesday Twosome

Birthdays...

1. Is your birthday something you look forward to or try to ignore? Why?


Well, I wish I could ignore the years...but on the other hand, it means I'm still here. I'll take the birthdays, thanks.

2. When asked how old you are, do you answer without hesitation or are you not so willing to say? Why?

Why lie? Despite all that goop some women smear on their faces or the annual plastic surgery, you still get old.

3. For your birthday, are you the type to want to party or not? Why?

What kind of party? It would be nice to get together with friends. But "party" as in drinking and carousing? No.

4. What two birthdays were the best for you? Why?

Oh, probably twelfth and fifteenth. I was in sixth and ninth grade respectively. I was still at home, had no responsibilities save for daily chores and schoolwork, had good parents, good grades, and our class was on "top."

5. What two birthdays were the worst for you? Why?

My 25th; I fractured my nose two days before my birthday. I can't remember another really bad birthday.

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DVD Transfer Diary
The Punky Brewster episode about "Challenger," guest starring Buzz Aldrin and a short interview with Elya Baskin from PM Magazine (whatever happened to Elya Baskin; you used to see him everywhere). And the television version of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (yes, I know it's on DVD but I don't like it that much; my favorite version is the original radio show, which I taped off WGBH). I need something humorous and SF-themed to finish that disc—will probably stick "Hardware Wars" on it since I didn't have room for it on the other disk with the Star Wars material on it.

I must start finishing some of these DVDs! There is a double pile of them on the coffee table. I have several tapes, too, with just a few minutes of stuff left to come off, like the Sylvester McCoy interview from Noonday. But I'm trying to keep material together with like material, which means I have to copy off the two McCoy Dr. Who stories before I can pop Sylvester somewhere.

If you look at my video list it seems I don't have as much to do as it does if you look at the video cabinet because of these dribs and drabs I'm trying to categorize. Dr. Who is scattered everywhere, and some of them are interrupted with GPTV fundraising I want to keep because our friends are answering phones (heck, there's a couple with James and I answering phones). The four other Voyagers! eps (I've already dubbed off "Merry Christmas, Bogg") are on three different tapes. I'm keeping movies like It's a Dog's Life, and not dubbing them off because TCM will be re-showing them soon in letterbox format.

Ah, wouldn't it be nice if this would be the most trouble I ever have...

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About What I Figured, Too
Although politically I think they're all damn crooks, no matter which party affiliation.

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(65% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian




Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Flourish

» Monday, September 19, 2005
Monday Madness

1. When you're stressed out, what do you do to relieve your stress?

Most of the time when I'm stressed nothing will relieve it. I try to read or sit at the computer and end up getting up and down and wandering about. If I'm really stressed, I either cry or clean house.

2. Are you normally a patient person, or is patience NOT one of your virtues?

Normally I'm patient. Or at least I look patient and am about to explode underneath it all.

3. How many times a week do you blog?

Every day if possible.

4. How many memes a week do you participate in?

Four.

5. Describe the perfect day, weather-wise.

It's partly cloudy, but not dark. There's a nice fresh breeze so you can hear the leaves on the trees rustling. It is cold enough that I can wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt with my jacket on, but open.

6. Would you rather be too hot, or too cold?

Too cold. I can put clothes on. You can only take off so much without scaring the horses. :-) Besides, heat makes me feel sick and I get a rash.

7. Do you eat out often, and if so, what type of restaurants do you frequent?

Friday evenings, Saturday night, and usually lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Oh, we like Chinese, Sweet Tomatoes, Sonny's barbecue, Golden Corral, Ryan's (steak, but not as much as we used to), the Copacabana Grill (Brazilian, lots of meat!), Subway, Blimpie, Olive Garden, Atlanta Bread Company...

But if you are ever in Cranston, RI, you need to go to T's on Park Avenue and have their chicken soup. Mmmmnnnnn!

8. If you could run your own business, what type of business would it be?

I'd create web pages for small businesses who don't need anything elaborate in the way of online shopping.

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» Sunday, September 18, 2005
:-( -- Sorta
Well, Hugh Laurie didn't win, but David Shore did win for "Three Stories," one of the best hours of television ever. The Lost Prince also won a deserved award for Best Miniseries and Tony Shalhoub was Best Actor in a Comedy Series (funny, I never thought of Monk as a comedy series; at least it wasn't when it first came on).

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So Here I Sit...
...waiting to see if Hugh Laurie will win the Emmy he so richly deserves. Egads. What was that opening song? I went to put some books away so I wouldn't have to hear it. And as much as I enjoy Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, her opening routine was pretty dull.

We did go to Ikea, and got James a very simple floor lamp so he can read in his recliner. (We got silver.) We also picked up more Swedish meatballs and drooled over the Billy bookcases again.

We went to a Blue Ribbon Affair, the small craft show at Jim Miller Park, before heading downtown. The Ginny's guy told us they had 25 percent fewer attendees at the Yellow Daisy Festival this year after we remarked that there weren't as many vendors at BRA this year; there was no one out on the grass as there had been in previous years. We did notice, as I commented, that there were several regular vendors who didn't show up at Yellow Daisy; wonder if they were from southern Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama?

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"Felicity" Movie in November
Last year it was Samantha, this year it's "Lissie" coming to the movies. I hope the WB does a better job on the commercial breaks and doesn't give away the ending to the story like they did with the Samantha film. Gawd, that was aggravating.

At least they've picked a more interesting character this time!

More info here: American Girl Movie Headquarters

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Movies I'd Like to Find
A made-for-TV film starring Alan Arkin and Graham Greene, Cooperstown. On TNT several years ago. I actually never got to see the whole thing at one sitting: TV Guide would say it was running from this hour to this hour, I'd set the proper hours on the VCR, and I'd either miss the beginning or the end. By dint of this happening several times, I actually got to see the whole thing. Apparently the only place it was ever released on video (no DVD) was Germany.

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» Saturday, September 17, 2005
Emma! You're alive!

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Saturday
There's a Brooklyn Bridge ep by that name; thought it was an appropriate header since I finished dubbing off that series today. Also dubbed off Brian's Song (the real one, not the remake—although, okay, I hear the remake wasn't bad). (Now I'm doing The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation to the Next, on the same disk with my two favorite Deep Space Nine eps, "Trials and Tribble-ations" and "Our Man Bashir.")

Flitted many places today: Barnes & Noble for Quick & Easy (cross stitch mag from England), Petco for more bird toys for Pidge (his keep getting stepped on), JoAnn for some scrapbook refills (hopefully if we move somewhere, I'll have a room of my own to do crafts in, like James' hobby room, and I can try to make some order of all these pictures), Costco for soy isoflavones (they're the only ones who have big bottles at 50mg doses) and gas (2.449/gallon), Home Depot for a new touch-lamp gadget (we found one at Lowe's, but it had a timer on it which made it freaky; it kept using the timer feature without us turning it on and kept coming on by itself in the middle of the night), Food Depot for more oatmeal, the cleaner for James' shirts. And then I had to vacuum. But first I finished with Brooklyn Bridge. Found myself in tears after the episode about Sophie's cousin Jacob, played by Joel Grey, who lost his wife and two sons to concentration camps (he himself was in Treblinka) and also when Mr. Monaghan relented in the episode where Colleen found out she was pregnant.

Had supper at Spaghetti Warehouse because we had a coupon. We kinda got derailed using our Entertainment coupon book this summer, and we want to use more before the book expires (November ). Still have lots of miniature golf coupons, but it's still too darn hot to go outside to play golf.

In the middle of one side of the Spaghetti Warehouse floor, there's a trolley you can eat in. Neither of us can tell if it's a real, decommissioned trolley or one built for this sort of restaurant, but we like to eat in it. I thought of George and Phyllis riding the trolley, way back in World War II...

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» Friday, September 16, 2005
Children Out of Control
I had lunch with some friends and from our table we could see another table with two young women with two small children, a girl and a boy. I'm terrible at ages. I think the boy was about three or four. Anyway, he sat during the entire meal with the salt shaker in his mouth, sucking on it or tipping salt in his mouth. Now heavens knows who's touched the salt shaker, and it can't be good for a small child to be eating salt, but think of the next people to come to this table, to shake salt out of a shaker that someone has slobbered all over!

We were there for a half hour and the adults never at any time took the salt shaker away from the little boy. They just sat there and ate and ignored him. We just shook our heads.

Finally one of my friends called over the waitress and explained to her what was happening. She hoped that the waitress would wait until the people left to take the salt shaker away to be washed, but the waitress instead went to bus a table nearby, and in passing by the table with the little boy and the uncaring adults, she just picked up the salt shaker and left with it. One of the women gave her a very dirty look. I don't know if she didn't realize what the kid was doing was unsanitary and wondered why the waitress was swiping her salt, or she was getting huffy because how dare this woman take something away from her child!

Unbelieveable. Right up there with people who go to the toilet and then don't wash their hands afterwards. Ugh.

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He's Hooked!
James wants to go to Ikea again. :-)

(Ow! Ow! Twist my arm. Make me go...)

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"That Place Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge..."
I'm into second season dubbing of BB right now. I wish this show had stayed on longer. I would have loved to watch Alan and Natey grow up and see if "love lasted" with Katie or not. Probably not, but it's fun to speculate. I also love George and Phyllis' relationship. Wonder what Peter Friedman is doing these days? I saw him last on one of the Law & Orders a couple of years ago.

I would have done more yesterday, but I spent about an hour fast forwarding through them to see what time of year the episode took place. Most television series set everything in some indeterminate spring or summer setting so they don't have to bother with coats (except on Christmas Eve, as Mad magazine so pointedly commented years ago, "when it snows everywhere"). Gary David Goldberg crafted the series so it had a chronological order (it was broadcast in this order except for one episode) and there were clues in all the episodes in first season that told you when they took place, even if it was something as small as a pumpkin in a window or someone's Christmas lights in the background. The second season had these, too, but the pointers were even more subtle, and CBS broadcast them with an early fall ep, a late fall ep next, a winter one, back to fall, etc. The very last episode broadcast was in the spring and it was the episode about Sputnik (taking place the first week of October). So I scanned and checked; it looked like when Bravo broadcast them they actually did make an attempt to put them in chronological order and only a few are actually out of sequence.

I wouldn't do this for many series (I didn't even try it with my Lassie episodes; just put the dates on them instead), but Brooklyn Bridge is worth it.
A world of its own,
The streets where we played,
The friends on every corner were the best we ever made.
The backyards, and the school yards
And the trees that watched us grow,
The days of love when dinner time was all you had to know.
Whenever I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see,
That place just over the Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me.
It'll always be home to me
.

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Friday Five

Can You Hear Me Now?

1. Who is your mobile phone provider, and how many minutes are in your plan?


Verizon. We started with them when they were Airtouch and had our first cell phones for seven years. We just got "modern" ones last December. We are on the 450 minutes a month plan. It's sufficient for our needs. Never have even gotten near the limit.

2. What program do you primarily use for instant messaging?

You mean on the computer? I have Instant Messenger. Used to use it a lot, but haven't in months now. Occasionally I'll use it to talk to Laura out in Colorado Springs. {Waves at Laura.}

3. Who do you send and receive text messages from most?

Don't have it and don't do it and can't imaging why you would want to do it.

4. What area code do you live in?

770.

5. What year did you first get an e-mail address and do you still use it?

1996. Before that we were on GEnie. (I miss GEnie. Newsgroups just aren't the same.) No, we had to dump our primary e-mail address two years ago after we got severely spammed. Our new one is pretty close to it, though.

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» Thursday, September 15, 2005
Speaking of Pidgie...
His fun thing is to stand on top of his cage and toss all his "flying saucers" (small round plastic toys with three stems; the packaging actually calls this a "flower" but they look like flying saucers to us) and little barbells off. (It's a budgie thing; Frisky, the budgie we had when I was a kid, used to run around on the tabletop where my mother was doing "homework"—doing jewelry work for my cousin—and grab the beads and spacers and toss them on the rug and then exclaim "Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!")

Pidge's carry box sits next to his cage and I open the top of it because occasionally he likes to go in there and talk to the mirror inside. He's gotten to the point where he will toss the toys in there, although he still likes best to run over the top of the cage and toss them off the other side; they bounce further.

As a joke last night I put all the various toys on top of the cage and then held my two hands cupped in front of the cage, about six inches down and an inch away and said, "Come on, Pidge, toss it in my hands." He looked at me strangely and then did it! We did this about eighteen more times and he got at least half of them in my hands! Several more were so close they bounced off my fingers. Only twice did he actually completely miss (once definitely on purpose I think he was bored). It was funny how many times he "made a basket" and how he understood I wanted him to toss the toys there and not in the open box or off the side of the cage.

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Thursday Threesome

::Daily Dilly Dally::

Onesome: Daily-- Hmmm... The tough one first? Sure! What part of your daily routine could you simply not do without? ...and just to make it interesting, your morning coffee is a given, so try something else!

I don't drink coffee. It gives me heart palpitations. (Decaf gives me heartburn.) So I'd have to say my morning milk. I get really grumpy if I don't have my milk in the morning. Also breakfast. I don't know how working people skip breakfast; my stomach is growling and hurting from the time I get up.

Twosome: Dilly-- Okay, fess up; what's the latest really good one you've pulled? Well, at least something you can share with the gang here <g>.

Are we talking a prank or doing something stupid? It would have to be the latter because I don't play pranks; I think they're cruel. Doing something stupid—that seems to be normal. The stupidest thing I've done lately is dub off an episode of Brooklyn Bridge with the line setting on, so what I ended up with was 23 minutes of blank space. Good thing you can erase before the disk is finalized! The stupidest thing I did in the span of a year or so was the Saturday I left Pidge's cage open and he got out while we were at trivia. Luckily his wings were still clipped at the time. He still could have been killed.

Threesome: Dally-- What is your favorite way to dally away some time instead of working on a project? Do you read, play games, look for lost kittens, study cloud formations? Come on...

Um, read. Or work on a web page. Or play Jumpman or Bookworm.

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» Wednesday, September 14, 2005
This Is Sweet...
"How We Got Engaged!"

Thanks for sending this link, Rodney.

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Progress? And Other Topics
Well, the mortuary people have cashed my check, so I hope this means the death certificate correction has been sent to the proper authorities. The appraiser has been at my Mom's house and it turned out to be about what we were told it would be. I can't believe a house with only one bathroom and an unfinished attic would sell for that amount, but property values are high in New England. I don't see how people afford to live up there: their salaries are either very high or, again like the guy in the commercial, "I'm in debt up to my eyeballs."

But then I don't know how people afford to live down here either without living somewhere that's more than an hour's commute from work. Folks must be making six-figure salaries (or a cohabitating couple must be making that together); James and I together fall very short of that mark. That's one of the reasons we were attracted to the homes in Trellis Oaks; they were actually of what is now around here at a "reasonable price" and they're a few miles closer to work (although to get to the freeway there are more surface roads, which would probably make the commute the same or even longer). Plus the benefits of living in Smyrna. I would love to live somewhere around Perimeter Mall, or in that same area south of the Perimeter (I-285, which circles Atlanta), to be "between things" and closer to work, our vet and trivia. But the property rates are $$$$ in that area. (I have a house in Brookhaven that I'm just crazy about: it's done in stonework and is roomy without being a McMansion—and, I confess, one of the reasons I love it is because it would look fabulous being decorated for autumn, Thanksgiving, and Christmas... But knowing that neighborhood it's probably at least in the $500,000s.)

I am crossing my fingers that Eddie will be able to get the house. I know he will be respectful of the neighborhood (since he lives there) and my godmother and Dotty next door. If I have to give it up, I would be glad that it went to him. I hope some other kid has a chance to grow up there and have as nice a time as I did. (He/she won't have Tom's Superette and the Gansett Bakery and the sound of the train in the distance and a cool historic fence from the 1920s...but, oh, well, times change...)

Speaking of Trellis Oaks, I was looking at the floor plans again last night and I did notice that none of the kitchens are very big; they're certainly not for gourmet cooks, that's for sure. If we were to move there all of James' kitchen gadgets would have to be pared down. Of course we have some we can already get rid of, like the two hand food mills he doesn't use anymore since we got the Magic Bullet. If nothing else, we could do as my mom always did and keep extra supplies downstairs. Certainly the turkey roaster and other holiday things could be stored elsewhere.

Huh! I don't think I've ever mentioned the Magic Bullet. One of the channels up in Providence has paid programming at eleven a.m. during the week. (You know, the scary thing about these paid programming gigs is that they're almost all so well-produced these days that some of them are more entertaining than prime time programming.) We usually click them off, but we were interested in this Magic Bullet gadget when it came on. It's basically a small food processor that can also be used as a juicer or a blender. James had a small food processor that someone had given to my mom but she didn't use, so she gave it to him. The motor burned out a bit after Christmas and he really missed it, but we never got around to buying another. The Magic Bullet was being sold for the same price as the small processors in the stores around here, and if you bought one you got a second one, so we chanced it and ordered one that day. James loves it. In fact one of the first things he did with it was make frozen lemonade. Del's makes a kit you can buy to make their frozen lemonade at home. The Magic Bullet ground the ice to just the right consistency. All it was missing was the small pieces of lemon peel in the mix.

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» Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Not a Good Day
Not sure what's wrong. I think I slept okay, although James said I talked in my sleep. I woke up not only feeling very hungry, but depressed, as if I were on the verge of tears. I had my usual oatmeal, but am now quite queasy despite having taken a Pepto Bismol, which usually helps.

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» Monday, September 12, 2005
On This Day...
It's H.L. Mencken's birthday. His two-volume study of the American Language is famous in linguistic circles. Also today:

1609 - Henry Hudson discovers the Hudson River
1940 - Cave paintings discovered in Lascaux, France

I find the latter especially interesting as I have always been interested in archaology and anthropology and have devoured books on the subject since junior high school.

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Monday Madness

1. I'm at my best in the early morning.

False. Sorry, unlike my cousin Donna [waves}, I am not a morning person and have been like this ever since I was a kid. My mom discovered the easiest way to assure I got enough sleep was to put me outside the kitchen window in the baby carriage with a sunscreen over me. Full daylight and fresh air just make me sleepy. I get my best sleep between six and eight a.m. For years my very favorite line from the television series M*A*S*H has been “No wonder they shoot people at sunrise. Who wants to live at six in the morning?”

2. I start each day with a healthy breakfast.

True…sorta. I usually have skim milk and oatmeal, that’s a start. I think you’re supposed to have a fruit, too, but going to work I don’t want to have to get up any earlier to fix myself an apple, too (although I don’t mind them brown; I could fix it the night before if I wanted). I’d rather have more sleep than extra breakfast. At work after I have my oatmeal I usually end up eating my Chex snack mix. I need the salt to help me wake up. (I’ve always heard about people with sugar highs. I’ve never had one of those in my life. Eating too much sugar just makes me sick to my stomach; it doesn’t give me any energy.)

3. I'm always sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

False. I don’t think I’m even getting that much on weekends anymore. I’ve always been a very restless sleeper, but a few years after we moved into the house I started having trouble sleeping in earnest. I remember those halcyon days back in the apartment when we’d go to bed at two a.m. and not get up until eleven or noon. And now I have hot flashes that wake me up more.

4. I enjoy my job.

False. I liked doing support work. I don’t like doing purchase orders. But they told me to do it, so I do it. It pays the bills and buys the books.

5. I get along with most everyone.

True. But I’m not much of a social butterfly, either. I like to have good times with my friends, but I don’t like to drink or go clubbing.

6. I'm looking forward to the new season of tv shows this year.

True, if just to see more episodes of House. James bought me the first season DVD on Saturday. We were at the Media Play at Stone Mountain, which is closing this Friday. I remember that was the first one that opened and we would make special trips out to the east side of town to go there. Of course when it opened it was simply crammed with books. You had to get on a stepladder to reach the top shelf of books, and they had titles no one else had. Now they have nearly no books at all. :-(

7. I make sure I take some time for myself every day.

True. That’s when I’m dubbing off videotapes or updating my web pages. I'm doing Brooklyn Bridge right now. That was a great series.

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Dark?
What goes with my work computer? I was checking e-mail this morning when everything flashed and it just shut off. The APC started to beep. I had to restart the CPU. A few minutes ago, it didn't flash, but the APC started to beep first, then it went "click" and the screen went dark. I had to crawl under my desk (the APC is not in range of my feet, so I couldn't have kicked the switch accidentally) and turn the APC back on before I could reboot this time.

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» Sunday, September 11, 2005
Busy, Busy Day
We were up at eight to eat before heading out to Stone Mountain for the last day of the Yellow Daisy Festival. This is a humongous crafts fair annually held the weekend after Labor Day. Booths are set up along little paths mostly under the trees. James and I were both short of shuteye—I had another screaming nightmare and afterwards he couldn't get back to sleep—so we wandered around a bit sleepily for a while.

I can't say it was a disappointment, but I notice that many of the people that we used to like to see and have bought from in the past weren't there: none of the bread knife people and only one of the collapsible wooden basket people were there. The Alabama gentleman we bought our table and chairs and medicine cabinet from hasn't come since 2003. The people with the wasabi ginger sauce weren't there and the person who made the German pyramids (I had resolved to buy one this year; I've always wanted one and the prices were good, rather than $300-$500 from German importers) was also absent. So was the lady I bought my cute little "fox in the canoe" from. There was a lot more art, some of it not our taste, some quite beautiful, but out of our price range. There was also a lot more of "cutesy kids' stuff" like quilted rompers or dresses the baby will grow out of after one wearing.

Other stuff, had I not been out of work for two months, I would have bought: one of the collapsible wooden bread bowls, the bird feeders on top of copper poles with glass bead trimming, another one of the Christmas CDs (I bought the hammered dulcimer one, but went by the bamboo flute one reluctantly; I would have liked to have bought some of the hammered dulcimer Celtic music, too), one of the leaf bottles of maple syrup (after we use the syrup, the leaf would be a great fall motif decoration with some orange-food-colored water in it). We did get some more Big Kahuna barbecue sauce (this will last for a year at the rate we use it) and I got an 8" pine lazy susan for the kitchen table. We also got our yearly sampler of eight pieces of Ginny's fudge; we'll have half a square for dessert until it runs out.

On the way home we stopped back at Trellis Oaks to see the Stonemont model, which had been locked yesterday. It's basically a bigger main floor version of the Dubois we saw yesterday; the bonus room downstairs is also huge, but the bedroom with it is smaller and doesn't have a walk-in closet, and the laundry room is smaller. The master bedroom is a tiny bit bigger but ironically the bathroom is a tiny bit smaller. The dining room has a trey ceiling. Big deal. The kitchen did have a few more cabinets. And it didn't have the little front porch.

We also went back in the Dubois and had fun pretending to lay it out.

We had to stop at Lowe's, so on our way home from there we stopped at something called Brookwood Park, which the sign said was "from the mid-200s." When we actually got to the place, the sign out front said "from the 290s" (and when we went in the model home, the cheapest house they had for sale was $333,000). It was kind of a neat complex, in that it had its own private park, with a gazebo and a playground; it was big enough to look like a park in a little town. And also its own private walking trail.

The model house looked like something out of Designer's Challenge, which is the HGTV series where people actually have spent $35,000 to redecorate their teenage daughter's room. You walked in this huge foyer and to your left was a little office where the salesperson was and a small bathroom. To your right was a formal dining room with wainscoting. In front of you was a big living room/den with a cathedral ceiling. (Let me say that I consider cathedral ceilings a waste of good space which can be used for another room.)

Okay, I had to admit the kitchen was gorgeous: big tall cabinets with four shelves instead of three, an island in the middle, room for a huge fridge, double ovens. And there was room for a tall bar table with two stools and a small breakfast nook table with four chairs with lots of floor space left over. Needless to say, James the chef drooled over that kitchen.

The master bedroom was huge. Our whole upper floor would fit in it. Then there was the bathroom, which looked like a bathroom in an expensive hotel suite. The shower was big enough for two {nudge, nudge, wink, wink} and the garden tub was a jacuzzi.

Upstairs there were two bedrooms, a smaller child's room, and a bigger room that was evidently for the daughter of the house: it was decorated in hideous pink and lime green and had a walk-in closet big enough to have a window in it. There was also an extra bedroom/office, and a bathroom. At the top of the stairs was a bit open to the upper part of the living room, lined with a railing. I had to laugh. I could see Pidgie flying around and perching up on that railing while I bellowed "Pigwidgeon Errol Young! Get down from there! Willow! Go get brother!"

Just too "wow," man.

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God Bless...
World Trade Center.

The Pentagon.

Flight 93.

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» Saturday, September 10, 2005
A House to Be a Home
After we finished errands today, we went following house signs again. Again, it was difficult to find the $200,000 and under places as opposed to the groves of $300,000 and up places. One of the developments had houses for $800,000. Wow, these people must make great salaries or they're like the guy in the commercial "up to his eyeballs in debt." There are some signs that say $150,000 to $170,000 but these are condos, not houses.

We tracked all the way out on Dallas Highway out to Paulding County (for those in the know, behind the Hardy Chevrolet dealership) and there was a very nice development out there, but we didn't stop. Heck, it takes me 45 minutes to get to work now; this would add an extra half hour to my commute (at least).

A little further down on Macland (to friends: just before the turn for Ron and Lin's house) we found another promising development; we went through one house that actually had a partial basement and another that for some reason had a two-car garage and then another one car garage at a 90 degree angle from it. This one was more finished and we were looking around with a bit of interest until we saw the kitchen. Electric stove! We hightailed it out of there without another word. Ewwww.

Well, we ended up back at Trellis Oaks. The place is so darn convenient. And I would love to live in Smyrna again. In addition to being able to use the Cobb County library you can also use the Smyrna library and there is an indoor walking track and gym at the community complex free to all residents of the city.

Today we went into a house we had not gone into last time. I think we like this one almost as well or even a bit better. Its layout name is "the Dubois" (which is the married name of my cousin Linda) and it actually has a tiny bit of a front porch; well, maybe two people could sit out there in small chairs. But it has an entryway where you could actually do something novel like leave coats, hats, boots, umbrellas and walking sticks rather than having them hung up in the corner of your den because there's no other place for them to go. You go downstairs, where there's a nice size hallway (enough room for Wil to have her "home" down there) leading to the door to the garage is. (It's a two car garage with a room in the back for the HVAC unit and a little bit of storage as well.) There is also the laundry room, a big closet, a nice size room with a small walk in closet ("For my unbuilt models," said James), a little full bath, and a big room with no closet. ("For the books!" I said.)

Upstairs it's a combo living-dining (with fireplace) and a compact kitchen with a nice-size pantry closet. (Note: there's enough room downstairs in the laundry room that we might also have a small freezer we could stock with meat on sale.) Door from the dining room leads out to a nice size deck. Master bedroom has a walk in closet, and there is another closet (zoweee!) in the master bath, which has double sinks, a separate shower, and a "garden tub" (which my perpetually aching right shoulder would love to replace with a jacuzzi tub, thank you). Then there are two other bedrooms as well (guest room and craft room for me).

But they expect that one to be finished by the end of October and certainly someone will claim it soon. It is already scheduled to be "finished" anyway, so even if we had the money for it now, it wouldn't be the way we wanted it. They're putting wall-to-wall in it. Pale beige. Ugh. If we can do this, I want to do it right and I don't want a speck of freaking, dusty, dirty carpeting in the house. When I want to clean the floor I just want to pull out the dustmop and do it. No dragging a heavy vacuum cleaner everywhere. It can be hardwood or it can be Pergo (and vinyl in the kitchen and baths), but carpet...pffft!

And the %@#!$#@$!!$! fluorescent light in the kitchen would have to go. Not to mention the big, heavy, awkward looking chandelier they've seen fit to weigh down the dining area with. Yuck. We want ceiling fans in all the rooms. Nice little ones with "schoolhouse light" fixtures.

The agent there did have some hopeful news: there are still some empty lots that the construction company hasn't decided what model will go on which. The county inspector apparently has to approve it based on how much room there is. There is a good chance that another Dubois will go up on another lot. If things would just work out...maybe that would work out.

I get tired of things being so hard. I don't mean I don't want to work for it. I know there will be forms to be filled out, fees to be paid, a pile of papers to sign, approvals, meetings, money transferred, packing, moving, the whole nine yards. It's a batch of work and it will be tiring and frustrating, but we're both willing to do it. We're just tired of barrels being thrown in our path. We fill out all the right forms, pay all the right fees, and despite all our best efforts, it turns out wrong.

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» Friday, September 09, 2005
No Service is No Service
James and I were both feeling like Italian, so we thought we'd try Vincent's Restaurant, a new place on Barrett Parkway very close to Dallas Highway. This place had previously been a Chinese restaurant, a barbecue place, and something called the Ridgeway Grill (the road used to be named Ridgeway Road) which seemed to open and close in the same week. It suffers the handicap of being on a road with a solid median divider, so you either have to approach it from the east, or you have to turn around down the street to get to it (you can't make U-turns at the two closest breaks in the median). Most people won't take the effort to turn around once past.

We arrived there to find it well attended and people waiting to be seated. The hostess told us it would be 15-20 minutes. It turned out to be a half hour and although at least eight or ten people left, only two people were seated in that entire time. Several couples walked away. They finally called our name and we were seated in a booth with two menus.

And that was it. We sat fifteen solid minutes. No one greeted us, no one offered us any water. They had a help wanted sign outside, and had there only been one or two servers running around, we would have figured they were understaffed and doing their best. I could see at least four male servers and two females walking back and forth and around, and only one of them seemed to be doing anything. He was walking to each of the tables he served asking the diners if they needed anything; the rest of them just seemed to be wandering about aimlessly, including one blond guy who seemed to be trying his best to do nothing while looking busy.

The people behind us were complaining to the guy who was doing all the work and he was apologizing, saying the kitchen was disorganized. When he went away to see what happened to their food, the couple across from them told them they had gotten their salad after their entree and had never received their rolls (we saw them—common brown-and-serve garlic rolls, nothing fancy). Servers walked by and completely ignored us.

Finally, thirsty and starving, we walked out and went to Brooklyn Pizza Department.

Incidentally, Vincent's menu labels themselves as a "New York Italian Restaurant." I understand why they left. New Yorkers would never tolerate such poor service.

Rating: F-.

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Room Enough
I bought some magazines today, about half because of the fall pictures (open new issue of Yankee at double page spread of golden orange maple tree on pages 14-15, drink in beauty, and enjoy!). I was paging through them taking out those damn cardboard inserts—I hate those things—and was stopped dead by an article about people buying "smaller" homes. It said that most people were now looking for homes under 2,600 square feet. Say what? 2,600 square feet is small? I'm living in a house that's only 1,500—is this now considered cottage size? Heck, I grew up in a house that was probably 1,000 square feet in actual living space; what was that? A hovel? Wow.

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Hello...McFly?
Hmn. Earthlink's webspace and mail service both seem to have crashed. I hope it doesn't hurt our DSL service. James is in the middle of a big download (Linspire) and even at DSL speed it has taken all night and there is still an hour and a half to go.

(You think it's Bill Gates trying to stop all those downloads? LOL.)

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Best Laid Plans...
So much for doing my errands early...I pulled out of the driveway and the car sounded weird. Yep, I've got a flat. Luckily the warranty I purchased on the car also comes with "free" roadside assistance, so I've called them and am waiting for a callback. Oh, well, I can go upstairs and do my afternoon chores now. I just wanted to go out before it got hot.

Luckily this didn't happen enroute to Rhode Island or back, with Wil and Pidgie in the car in the heat.

...wow, they've already had the automated "bot" call me and say it should be 35 minutes...

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» Thursday, September 08, 2005
If You Like Craft Shows...
...and you're in the Atlanta area:

Yellow Daisy Festival

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Thursday Threesome

::Reading, Writing and Aritmetic::


Onesome- Reading: What's on your reading list this fall? Are you one of those people that has a stack of books waiting to be read on your nightstand? Or do you prefer to savor one read at a time?

Actually, the stacks of books end up on the back of the sofa. I always have books waiting in the wings. One book I am waiting for this fall is the next Laurien Berenson mystery, Jingle Bell Bark in paperback. It was supposed to be out in August, but got pushed back to October. I'm also looking forward to this year's Thanksgiving and Christmas Ideals, and would like to get out a couple more library books, including The Children's Blizzard.

Twosome- Writing: Do you write letters anymore? Or do you prefer the ease of e-mail? Do you keep up with your correspondence? And what's your stance on writing thank-you notes?

Sigh. I've got a bunch of thank you notes to go out and I really shouldn't tarry on them. But it's finding the minutes to write a meaningful one that I don't seem to be able to do. It just hurts too much to think about this summer anymore.

Threesome- Arithmatic: What school subject did you do the best in? Which was your worst subject? Which subject did you like the best?

I always hated math, but did okay in it until we got to Algebra. I knew the formulas, but they never did come out properly for me. Conversely, I loved plane geometry. Of course Mrs. Monaghan was a great teacher, too. Wonder whatever happened to her? The baby she was expecting in 1973 would be almost 32 now. My favorite subjects were always English and history (and geography, when we had it—I took geography in college as well; always wondered what it would be like to be a cartographer—I'm sure they do all that on computer now).

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» Wednesday, September 07, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
I have my Lassie episodes done finally, the ones not on professional DVD. Twenty-three episodes with Jeff and the same number with Timmy. Taking a series break and dubbing off some nature documentaries now: Best of Wild America: The Babies and perhaps David Wolper's It's a Dog's World following. There's a documentary about the Chincoteague ponies somewhere as well.

When I get back into series mode I ought to do Brooklyn Bridge. I haven't visited with the Bergers and the Silvers for a while.

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Girly Girls
"It's Raining Estrogen" over at A Cozy Nook to Read In.

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Rachael Ray
Which Food Network chef are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

LOL. I don't know why I took this. I hate to cook.

A tip of the hat to Brent.

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» Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Wow!
Alistair Cooke's America on DVD

It's Region 2, from the BBC. (Ironically it's cheaper from the BBC itself than from Amazon.co.uk, which isn't always the case, but the BBC doesn't ship to the U.S. Sigh.) Maybe when I'm getting paid regularly again (I want to order the best of Dave Allen at Large as well) [Later that month, 2005—sorry, Start the Revolution Without Me joke: Hmn. There is a less expensive web source, Benson's World, whom Ivan recommends...]

Thanks to Steve Taylor, who tipped me off about this.

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"Addie's House" For Sale
This is the house that was used for exteriors in The House Without A Christmas Tree. A lot larger on the inside than it looked on TV.

Thanks to Peter Finney for sending me the link.

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Tuesday Twosome

Natural disasters...

1. Is your town/city/state prone to natural disaster(s) and if so, what?


Tornadoes are prevalent here. We've had the tornado alarm go off many times, but have been lucky till this point. The trouble with natural disasters is you never know.

2. Have you ever been affected by a natural disaster and if so, what?

Lived through Hurricane Donna in 1963. No power for three days and we had shingles come off the roof (I think that was when the chimney cracked; you can still see the crack to this day). I missed milk and Lassie the most.

3. What are two things about a natural disaster that worry you the most?

The danger to people and animals I love and the predeliction for some people, when things get bad, to go berserk.

4. If you lost all your personal belongings, what would you do and where would you go?

I'd have to stay put, wouldn't I, and go back to work?

5. What are the two most important things you would take if you had to leave your home?

Willow and Pidge, of course. After that the photos. And then the books if we could get them out.

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» Monday, September 05, 2005
DragonCon, Day 4
We were up early this morning to make Levar Burton's 10 a.m. panel. It was quite good: he talked not only about Star Trek: the Next Generation, but about Roots and Reading Rainbow (we all sang the theme at the end), the latter which I didn't know was originally just a summer series, to head off what teachers call "summer lag" in reading. He told us someone is trying to develop a "VISOR"-type gadget based on what his character Geordi LaForge used to wear on TNG, and it is called a "Geordi." (The character of Geordi was named after a real Star Trek fan who was confined to a wheelchair.)

When this panel was over, I went downstairs to hear Dean Haglund from X-Files/Lone Gunmen and James stayed up in the ballroom to listen to Marina Sirtis (also from TNG). Haglund as always was very funny; we were disappointed to find out his very amusing-sounding Celebrity Dungeons & Dragons series that he was pitching was a dead issue—apparently Hasbro (company that now owns the rights to Dungeons & Dragons™) just ignored it and let all the required milestones run out. He's involved with a film called Illumination which Patrick McGoohan is coming out of retirement to star in. It's the true story about Dr. Rife, a doctor who in 1935 supposedly discovered a machine that would cure cancer. He also had some stories about conspiracy theorists he has met.

I got upstairs in time to get some photos of Marina Sirtis and hear the end of her talk. She mentioned that she got into acting without the blessing of her parents, who were old-fashioned Greeks, to whom the word "actress" was equal to "prostitute." James told me she also had a very funny story about why she wore a different costume than the rest of the Enterprise-D crew. She is now going back to England, because there are no good parts for middle-aged women here in the US.

James and I then went to the Hilton to get memberships for next year (they're cheapest that way), and then did a last turn around the Dealer's Room and Exhibitors Hall. Dean Haglund mentioned he had made a DVD of the improv show he had done the night before, and than all proceeds from selling it was going to Hurricane Katrina relief. I wanted to contribute to the relief anyway, so I got the next to the last DVD.

One of the memes asked just recently if I collected anything and I said not really, except for the St. Nicholas volumes and collie statues. I forgot the very small collection of Pocket Dragons (now at six) that I have managed to accumulate. I don't really like dragons all that much, but these are too cute. We have only one of the original larger ones (what we call the "Leia dragon"—it has an Oreo hidden behind its back and the name of the sculpture is "What cookie?"); the others are the smaller ones, only about two inches high. I didn't get the one that reminded us of Willow (it looked guilty), but got two little dragons sitting back to back, each absorbed in a book. I thought it was appropriate!

We ended this year's convention with the Mighty Rassilon Art Players production of the new version of the original musical Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. (If that sounds familiar, it's inspired by one of the lines in Shakespeare in Love.) This was a riotous two hours of young love, mistaken and hidden identities, a queen who won't sing, sailors of peculiar gender, an airy sprite with a hidden agenda, and oh, yeah, yet more iambic pentameter. Very, very funny, with outstanding performances and soundtrack.

We headed home via Michael's (of course as it always happens when it's 50% off coupon day, I couldn't find what I really wanted) and Linens'n'Things. We had stopped at Linens on Saturday night to get some new chair pads for the kitchen chairs (these have non-skid bottoms instead of ties, which break off or rip when you actually sit on them). They only had five in the color I wanted, a cherry—or rather an apple—red to match the apple theme in the kitchen, but I had a 20 percent off entire purchase coupon, instead of the usual 20 percent off only one item, so I grabbed them, figuring I could get the sixth one at the Akers Mill store today. Surprise! The red ones must be very popular, because there were none at all. Hopefully they will restock.

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» Sunday, September 04, 2005
DragonCon, Day 3
We slept fairly late (9:30 a.m.) for a con morning, roused Ann, and were on our way downtown about eleven. We took her by the house; I didn't realize it the day we went to see it, but it's pale yellow, the same color our house was painted when I was a little girl.

After dropping Ann off, we got back onto the con floor and had lunch near the ARTC table. James then went off to see a "classic" Battlestar Galactica panel with Richard Hatch and Herb Jefferson while I attended the panel with Connor Trinneer, "Trip" of Enterprise. This panel was great fun. He talked about his feelings for the series' final season (he figured the minute they started doing scripts about things that happened on the original series, they were toast, and he hated the season finale and wasn't very fond of the "Mirror universe" stories) and discussed having love scenes. Oh, and he wears boxers. :-)

James then went to another BSG panel (it was supposed to be several cast members, but the only person there was the lady who hangs around in Baltar's head [if you watch the series, you'll understand]). I sat in on a Doctor Who panel, this about the original series. We found out that the new DVD releases, with all the goodies on them, are being restored by fan volunteers. (Wow.) No news when we in the US will see the new series.

James and I met back up and went on a long stroll to the Marriott to get away from the line of Firefly fans who were lined up on the Centennial Ballroom level and all the way out the door to see a big panel with all the cast. It was wild. Even James Marsters didn't have that kind of line. We ducked into the art show to buy a little booklet of Mike Cole cartoons which contained one of my favorites: Snoopy...uh, Porthos...standing on the bridge of Enterprise, then we walked around the dealer's room and the Walk of Fame. I told Ken Weatherwax, Lisa Loring, and Dean Stockwell that I had enjoyed their panels. James caught up on all the Robert Asprin "Myth" books he is missing in the Exhibitor's Hall and got them autographed by co-author Jody Lynn Nye. Robert Asprin at the moment is at a bar in the French Quarter in New Orleans with forty other people including about five or six policemen, waiting to be evacuated. Wryly, he has complained that the beer is warm.

Tonight was the Atlanta Radio Theatre's second performance, these of short subjects by some of their new writers—"Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment," "The Challenges of Brave Ragnar," and "The Brotherhood of Damn Sassy Mutants," the latter who were stuck dealing with quite mundane problems—and another installment of the perennial favorite "Rory Rammer, Space Marshal."

We were pooped by this time and just came home via Borders (we had 30 percent off coupons). And the new Vermont Life with autumn pictures was out! Eighteen days till fall!

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Too Weird
Somewhere back in the summer of 1998 the ceiling fan in our spare room quit working. We clicked switches, pushed, pulled, whatever you could do to a ceiling fan and, although the light still worked, the fan was gone. We just shrugged and figured we would have it fixed/replaced when we had money.

On September 7 of 1998, Labor Day, James got a call that his father was dying. He crammed clothes in a bag and headed down to Warner Robins. I worked on Tuesday, then came home to pack to go down there for the funeral. James had asked me to get something in the spare bedroom which was stored under the bed we had in there at that time. I turned on the light and bent down, then noticed a funny shadow.

The fan was working again. We joked that James' dad came by on his way to the hereafter and fixed it.

Last night when we took Ann upstairs...the fan was dead again. (It was working last Saturday when we cleaned out the closet, and during the week.) Seven years to the weekend when it started working again. I don't know if that means a thing, but the timing is just kinda odd...

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» Saturday, September 03, 2005
DragonCon, Day 2
We stopped by another housing development on the way out to Dragoncon this morning, by the same development company as building in Smyrna, but these are "traditional" houses, not split levels. Most of them we could have worked with, but none of the kitchens had enough storage. They all came with pantries but we like to buy in bulk. Where you could have put extra cabinets they all have breakfast nooks with big windows. They were all open-plan kitchens, which neither of us like.

Our first panel at D'Con was the one I had been looking forward to for months: Dean Stockwell. This was a fun panel. He was very personable and we had a nice hour of Q&A. His favorite roles are comedic ones and his favorite role of all time was his character in Married to the Mob. He told us the story about how he almost got the role of Michael in The Godfather. He talked a little about working on Blue Velvet in an old apartment and about his input into Al's costumes on Quantum Leap.

Next we saw "Growing Up Addams" with the kids from The Addams Family. Lisa Loring is still as cute and attractive as a woman as she was as a little girl. Ken Weatherwax, on the other hand, is almost unrecognizable except for his eyes; he is now trim and fit, and has arm tattoos. He has worked as a grip in Hollywood since his schooling was over. Lisa Loring now has a catering service. They had nothing but good memories about appearing on the show, although they did admit being a child actor make you grow up early.

Our last celebrity panel was with James and Oliver Phelps, who are Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films. They are just a pair of "regular guys," who aren't much into acting except on the films they were hired for, and who like to play golf and videogames. Oh, and they like Lucky Charms. :-)

We then took a turn around the art show; I'm losing interest in convention art shows as I get older. There are a few good artists, and fewer and fewer remarkable entries each year. Some of the 3D art is excellent, but nothing I would buy.

We also went back into the exhibition hall and committed McFarland again. I bought The Halloween Encyclopedia and James got a fascinating book about the old SF series Space Patrol, which has lots of sidebars about old-time radio and live television. James also bought me the two-volume Television Cartoon Series for Christmas.

Our last panel of the day was an exhibition of rapier and katana swordfighting. I hadn't planned on attending, but we found out our friend Clay Weaver was going to be one of the participants. He fought with both rapier and katana.

Clay and Ann hadn't eaten, so we headed home intending to meet them at our house. We almost didn't make it; traffic stopped dead in the middle of I-75 (six lanes across) just before our exit. They had to shut down the freeway for about 15 minutes to send the Lifeline helicopter in: a red Ford Explorer went on its side and someone was flung out of his seat (not wearing a seatbelt) and was killed.

The four of us had supper at Sweet Tomatoes and Ann is staying with us for the night so she won't have to drive back down to Warner Robins in the dark.

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» Friday, September 02, 2005
DragonCon, Day 1
Got one of my "leftover" orders done today, but besides that not a lot happened. There were some folks processing emergency purchases for hurricane relief, but otherwise it was very quiet. I got a letter written and supporting documents and a check for new death certificates.

James had forgotten he still had the day scheduled off, so he had the truck's oil changed and did some other chores. We had toyed with running downtown when he got off work, hoping to make the Atlanta Radio Theatre performance, but since I got off early because I worked late on Wednesday, we were able to head there about 3:30 instead. The registration line was very short and we spent most of the rest of the time wandering the dealer's room and the exhibit hall. It was very crowded and we didn't see a lot, but one dealer has a nice collection of Pocket Dragons with him and another has a wonderful collection of stuffed animals (they have things like fruit bats, badgers, llamas, and winged hamsters, but my favorite was a fox).

As in all these shows lately, there is a good deal of dealing in bootleg DVDs. If the folks who produced the DVDs could make a circuit of these dealers' rooms, they could see what people really want and will buy. They had Tales of the Gold Monkey and Voyagers, and complete sets of Get Smart and The Wild Wild West, and many science fiction series. My attention was arrested by a 4-DVD set of T.H.E. Cat, starring the supremely sexy Robert Loggia, a half-hour adventure series from the late 1960s. Needless to say, it's very tempting but unaffordable.

Also wandered longingly around the McFarland table: McFarland is a small press outfit that sells specialty books, mostly about the media, but also about books and other interests; they're the folks I got my St. Nicholas book from last year. I also have their Doctor Who and Blake's 7 critical history books and their Christmas encyclopedia. They have a two volume history of American animated programs that simply makes me drool.

I was disappointed that the fanzine seller "Agent With Style" was not there. I had seen DragonCon on their convention schedule a few months back. I guess they decided against it.

Finally we found a quiet corner of the Marriott convention floor near the ARTC table and ate our supper (we bring it with us) and then went into the performance room to wait for opening ceremonies and the ARTC performance of A.E. Van Vogt's "The Weapons Store." Van Vogt's widow was there to help introduce the production. I had never read any of Van Vogt's material and was quite absorbed in the story. Actor Richard Hatch played one of the supporting roles. They also did a funny skit about what happens to people who blurt out spoilers to movies in front of the crowd waiting to go in.

We usually linger after the performance, but I was up at six and James up at seven, so we decided discretion "was the better part of valor" and came home.

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Friday Five

1. What sport do you most enjoy watching on television (or tolerate most)?

Dog agility trials! And horse jumping. I'd like to watch polo, but I don't ever see that scheduled on TV.

2. If you could be really, really good at one sport (we're talking world elite here), what would it be?

Dog agility. Willow's smart enough to learn. I've just got so many other interests I've never taken the time to get into it.

3. Have you ever been active in some form of sports?

Voluntarily? Ugh. No. They force you to play softball and field hockey in gym class. I've played volleyball at school (horrible) and with friends (okay), but never really got into it. I like bicycling.

4. Would you rather be a computer geek or a sports geek?

Computer. I think it's important to be in shape—which I'm not and I know it's my fault—but I don't think being athletic is at all important.

5. What teams do you cheer for?

Anyone with a small dog. :-) (Ever watch terriers do agility? They are sooooo cute!)

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Ooooh, Cool...
Thanks, Ivan!

Katharine Hepburn
You scored 14% grit, 19% wit, 52% flair, and 28% class!
You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the Classic Leading Man Test.

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating

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» Thursday, September 01, 2005
The Confused In Pursuit of the Elusive
So the Georgia Mortuary people say to submit a letter requesting the changes along with a check for $65 (cost of new death certificates) and they will submit it.

However, the hospice says they are not sure the attending doctor will sign it because she did die in Georgia. (Yes, but she wasn't a resident of Georgia. If someone dies in a traffic accident while passing through Atlanta, they don't say the person is a resident of Georgia.)

I suppose this is my fault for needing emotional support while my mother is dying, right? (Sorry, I'm just in a suck-ass mood...)

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Misunderstood Breed
While looking around on the linked MSNBC sites for Hurricane Katrina charities, I found this on the Louisiana SPCA site: Pit Bulls Get a Bad Rap
"It was once the most popular dog in America. You may remember “Our Gang” or [the] Little Rascals television show. Their beloved dog was a pit bull [Pete the pup]. Teddy Roosevelt had a pit as well as Helen Keller. The most decorated World War I dog was “Stubby,” a dutiful pit bull. Pit bulls, or “bulldogs” as they were called in the late 1800’s, were bred for their devotion to people."
Another beloved real-life dog was also a pit bull: Jack, the faithful dog from Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books, portrayed on film as everything from a scruffy mutt to a sheepdog type, never as what breed he really was. (Surely when you read the books and saw Jack described as a "bulldog," you didn't think of the English breed, did you? Somehow I can't see one of them walking mile after mile after mile behind a covered wagon all the way from Wisconsin to southern Kansas and back.)

I grew up on the story of Stubby, in a well-worn beloved Whitman book called More Than Courage, true stories of dogs and horses.

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Begone!
Yesterday's Weather Channel report said that August 31 was the end of meterological summer. Well, good. I'll get rid of the darn pain in the butt in any format. It will still be weeks before we can shut the A/C off.

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Thursday Threesome

::Timber Wolves of the North::

Onesome: Timber Wolves-- What do you think about collectables? Do you have any geegaws like wolves or dragons or crystals or tea cups and such hanging around the place? ...or maybe on your back in the form of a shirt or jacket?

I've had odd collections over time: some gum cards (now "trading cards," expensive, and without the gum) and certain comic books (the wonderful Comico Jonny Quest and Quantum Leap, and I used to buy Superman and Detective Comics back in the 1970s when Clark Kent worked on TV), but most of that is by the wayside. I still collect affordable collie statues, Christmas books not about cooking or crafts, and bound issues of St. Nicholas magazine (although that collection is nearly complete).

Twosome: of the -- Speaking of the clothes on your back, what is your favorite 'lounge around' stuff? You know, the type of thing you put on to eat ice cream and watch an old movie?

In the summer it's a "duster" (sort of a cotton jumper-like pullover). In winter it's my sweatshirt and sweatpants.

Threesome: North-- What's "North" to you? Is it the Mason-Dixon line? ...the Canadian border? ...the Arctic Circle (for Mary) ...or something a little less defined? ...and how far "North" have you been?

Canada. I've been to the City of Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto (well, Canada's Wonderland; that's north of Toronto). I would like to see Alaska someday.

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