Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net
. . . . .
. . . . .
» Tuesday, July 31, 2007Unbelievable
The Yin and the Yang of It
I could still see the moon this morning as I left for work. It had not yet set and was sitting cool and silver in the still dark-blue sky of the southwest. The air outside was still cool, a rarity on summer mornings when even at 6:20 a.m. a smothery heat smacks you in the face immediately when you open the door.
The eastern sky was already spread with rosy orange streaks, but it was only when I turned north on I-85 that I could actually see the sun, looking as if it were out of some desert scene (or the sunset scene of Star Wars, low in the sky and brilliant orange crossed with ever-shifting lines of grey. By the time I reached work the air was already beginning to warm through the haze.
The haze has been oppressive the last few days. When we drove to Ikea yesterday it hung like a great grey blanket over the city, muffling any breeze.
» Monday, July 30, 2007Traffic and All That
Note to the people who tailgated/passed me on the right this morning: the speed limit inside the Perimeter is 55 mph. I was going 70.
Just how fast do you want me to go?
» Sunday, July 29, 2007When Characters Fight Back
Gerald Page passed this along on the ARTC list. This is probably one of the cleverest things I've ever seen. Reminds me a bit of "The Dot and the Line."
"Animator vs. Animation"
(Note: You must have Flash installed on your computer to see it.)
You Have Got to Be Kidding
The mistake we made this morning was getting up late. For my part, I needed the sleep. I'd had popcorn at the movie last night without munching a couple of PeptoBismols (I don't like to take antacids after I take my heart pill) and awoke in the wee hours with what I call "a popcorn stomach." This is quite painful and interrupts quite a bit of sleep.
We needed a few things at WalMart, so we got there about noon, before, as the lady who was in line with us later on put it, "before the Baptists got out of church." However, by the time we had made it through the store, not even a half hour, the lines were ten to fifteen carts long. There was one express line open, with twenty people already in it, so that people with five or six items were in line with people with full carts, and out of twenty lines total, only about six open. The cashier we had was not particular slow, but not particularly quick enough for this type of workload, either. She really was going as fast as she could, but the lady at the head of the line seemed to be dividing her purchases into different payments and was unloading her overfull cart one item at a time, consulting a list as if she couldn't read very well.
It probably would have been a good idea to skip Wally World at this hour anyway, but they are the only reliable place that stocks low-carb whole wheat tortillas. I've checked Food Depot, Publix, and Kroger...the latter stocks the regular kind only and the other two have low-fat, and spinach flavored and pesto flavored, but no low-carb. The other WalMart (Powder Springs and the East-West Connector) is usually less crowed, but also crappily stockedtheir oatmeal department is barely existent and is almost always out of low sugar varieties, half the time they don't have the yogurt flavors I like, they don't stock the Hood Calorie Countdown chocolate milk James likes.
So we left there feeling a bit the worse for wear and went to Ikea. I wanted to get the table James wants for downstairs and the last bookcase we needed. After over 20 years, you would think I'd be used to the weird school year here, but "September" and "school" are firmly entrenched. Ikea was a mess; people shopping for college. More long lines.
We had a small respite and went to Bruster's for an ice cream cone. After coming a cropper at WalMart and hoping Lowe's would fill in the gap, we discovered they were out of safflower seed, too. We like to put safflower in with the regular birdseed (along with hot pepper) in the bird feeder because the squirrels don't like it. I did find Laurien Berenson's Chow Down out in paperback at Border's, so that helped.
When we got home it was after six. Most of the six hours had been spent in line. Whew.
Later we watched Friday's Doctor Who ("Daleks in Manhattan," okay, but no great shakes) and Monk. The latter makes me wonder why I even stick with this show. This was "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man," and was possibly the stupidest episode of this show I have ever seen (and there have been some dillies in the past couple of years). I had high hopes for Randy Disher about season 2 in the episode with his mother; it seemed like he was always going to have his odd obsessions, but it looked like they might be making him not so stupid. Disher spent all of "Naked Man" messing with an iPod, to the point where he endangered someone's life with it. I'm surprised Stottelmeyer didn't deck him and then fire him. Monk started out as a serious show with humorous moments engendered by Monk's fears, but, especially in the pilot movie, Monk also knew that his obsessive-compulsive behavior was a detriment to his quality of life and sometimes it was rather sad. Now it's all played for laughs and Monk gets regular Emmy nominations for "Best Comedy Show."
Unfortunately, it's not funny, it's pathetic.
We came home about an hour ago after seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Not bad, although it really is a Readers Digest condensed version; although it's a bit hard to include everything in a 135 minute movie from an 800+ page book! As Dorothy says in the film version of The Wizard of Oz, "People come and go so quickly here!"
Harry's sense of loneliness and oppression, however, is quite well done, and Imelda Staunton is Dolores Umbridge to the hilt. The fact that she looks like someone's kindly auntie makes her cruelty more appalling.
But my favorite person in this movie is Luna Lovegood. Evanna Lynch is brilliant playing the slightly spacy, but wonderfully perceptive and gentle girl.
There's so much to get through that most of the favorites, from McGonagall to Lupin to Tonks get short shrift, but the story moves along rapidly and there are some magical scenes, especially when the students learn to produce their first Patronuses. Grawp, Hagrid's half-brother the giant, is also well done, if he looks a tad bit "cuter" than described in the book.
1. What item would you be embarrassed for people to know you own?
I'll never tell. :-)
2. What is something you splurged on just for you?
Recently? The big Doctor Who book I bought at Timegate two weeks ago.
3. What is something that you own with no real world value that is priceless to you?
Photos of family.
4. Do you collect anything?
St. Nicholas magazine, collie figurines, Christmas books (not craft or cooking).
5. What item belonging to a friend/family member do you covet?
Liz' home town.
» Thursday, July 26, 2007J.K. Rowling Talks to Today
Major spoilers if you haven't finished the book, so if you're still in progress, do not highlight between the dots.
Tip of the hat to Alice!!!
Finished ‘Potter’? Rowling tells what happens next
» Tuesday, July 24, 2007Those Things You Talk About While Getting Ready for Bed
We were discussing Hermione's parents last night. James believed they had been named in the book and I didn't think so. Per the lexicon they had not been named previously.
I'd be willing to bet now, having read #7, that the names are Hugo and Rose. :-)
Labels: Harry Potter
(Late because I was almighty sick yesterday, I think from my sandwich, and didn't want to think about food.)
1. Are there any weird "food rules" you have? Feel free to list as many as you like.
"Weird"? I don't know if they're "weird." I don't like my food mixed together. No, I don't want Adrian Monk preciseness, but I like to taste the individual foodspresumably I'm eating them because I like themnot carrots mixed with mashed potatoes, etc. I wish they'd quit putting raspberries in everything. Ugh!
When I eat Chex snack mix, I do eat all the other stuff first and leave the wheat Chex for last. This is because my mom always told me that if there was something on the plate I didn't like, I should eat it first, and it follows that you should eat your favorite last. So I do.
2. When you were growing up, what ONE thing did your parents always remind you of, when it came to meal time (or cooking)?
The usual: sit up straight, eat your vegetables, and no, you can't have another piece of bread. LOL.
3. Is there anyone you know whose food you won't eat (for one reason or another)?
A particular person? No. I don't like certain foods, like Mexican, especially the ones that irritate my stomach.
4. Is there anything you "specialize" in cooking, that people actually ask for?
I don't cook much, so, no.
5. When you were growing up, what one meal do you remember as being your favorite?
Mom's chicken cacciatore. With Italian bread from the Gansett Bakery, or, after it went out of business, from Garzilli's. ::drool::
6. Today, what is your IDEAL meal?
I dunno. A small "Renegade" at Longhorn, I guess, since Olive Garden doesn't have the shrimp ravioli anymore.
We're Hoping It's Letterboxed...
One of James' favorite movies is on Turner Classic Movies tonight, in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Air Force.
TCM has been showing aviation movies every Tuesday this month.
» Monday, July 23, 2007The Final Call
» Sunday, July 22, 2007Her Birdness
I have forgotten to mention one thing: Schuyler is starting her first moult! She has at least a half-dozen little pinfeathers on her forehead.
She gets very close to my hand, but then panics if I get that last two inches. The funny thing is that in avoiding my hand she has touched my arm or hand innumerable times, but she still is not comfortable with it.
On the other hand she burbles and plays with her toys and has found a friend in the swing on the lower level. She sometimes relaxes next to it with her head fluffed up against it.
I wish there was some way to tell her we aren't going to eat her.
We had a nice sleep in, and after grocery errands, decided to go see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Usually they do not allow passes the first two weekends of a movie, but the Barrett Commons AMC theatre, both in the newspaper and on the AMC website, showed no restrictions. James didn't have any money, but he did have the two passes he received as a bonus at work.
Unfortunately when we got there we found out both the paper and the website were wrong, so we ended up at Town Center Mall, where we walked and also stopped at the Discovery Channel Store, which is going out of business.
We had a big ooops tonight; James felt like having chili dogs, so we had purchased some all-beef hot dogs and he already had the chili. He had just finished warming it up and was taking it out of the microwave when the bowl slipped from his hand. Gawd! Chili down the side of the smaller microwave, on the floor, on the baseboard, on the wall under the window. So he cleaned up the excess of the chili and then I had to scrub all the affected portions and wipe off the baker's rack shelves and legs, and the microwave with Lysol disinfecting wipes. Of course here we have dumped food in an area that had roaches wandering around not a week ago! I didn't know what else to do, so I also wiped the floor down with vinegar hoping it would destroy any food scent left. Hope it works.
At the present Willow is lying under my feet. There's a fly in the house and she's terrified...
» Saturday, July 21, 2007Pottering...And Other Stories
Scott showed up early with a new gel for roaches. Ironically, I had just been reading about it on DoItYourselfPestControl.com. It's called Avert, or something like that, and comes out like a thin thread of Neosporin, only it's dark brown. He put it everywhere there was a crack he could get it in, like at the doors to the pantry and under some of the baseboard. Apparently it's very effective.
He also treated a fire ant bed in the side yard, and sprayed something called "Wasp Freeze" over the yellow jacket nest in the trees. James had warned me there was a yellow jacket nest at the foot of one of the trees weeks ago and I had been careful when walking Willow. After he sprayed, Scott said that we should not walk her back there because the yellow jackets, coming back to their nest tonight, would be angry, but that the spray should work.
This was a little after noon. After he left I took my lunch early and drove out to the Perimeter Mall Borders to get our Harry Potter wristbands. They started giving them out at nine, so by the time I got there the first, orange ones, were out and they had started on silver. I also stopped at Michael's.
It was spoiling for rain when I left Border's and by the time I left Michael's it was pouring. It made me late in getting home so that I had to work later than I wanted. I intended to go for six, but at a little after 5:30 ICE locked up on me completely. Sigh.
It was pouring at three, and perfectly sunny at four, when the lawn folks showed up. I had asked Scott if it was okay if they mowed the back yard and he said yes, that the yellow jackets would just swarm around the nest. So I didn't pay much attention as they mowed, trimmed, and cleaned up and when the knock on the door came, I just brought down the money, asked how he'd been, some more chit-chat, and went back to work.
I had slept very badly Thursday night and so when work was over and everything tidied up, I stretched out on the sofa to nurse a headache. Next thing I knew James was home. I had already warned him about the yard, so he took Willow out with care. He returned to tell me that they had been in the woods and mowed down all the brush! He'd also approached the yellow jacket nest carefully and said it looked quiet. I guess the Wasp Freeze worked. Wow. I hope no one got stung and didn't say anything!
So we headed out to Perimeter, had supper at Fuddruckers, dropped briefly in at the Container Store, and then went to Barnes & Noble where the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company was doing readings from the Potter books, interspersed with trivia contests. We listened to some of the reading, but they had the folks shoved in a corner which was filled with kids, so mostly we walked about, examined the books, and schmoozed with Kim and Sue and Amy and Sarah and other friends. We had to leave early because the clerk at Border's had said they were not going to let people in much after midnight.
Borders was packed and warm, but going in the afternoon had paid off; we were out of there by 12:20. Once we got into the house we changed to comfy clothing and commenced reading; we both gave up about 2:30, showered, read some more in bed, then drifted off to sleep.
I must have been really tired, because by the time I woke up at noon James had already finished the book; this is the first time he's finished one before me. I continued reading through lunch and finished it at the hobby shop.
Without spoiling anything:
Very sad about departed characters, especially one non-human one.
Neville: Attaboy! I've been cheering for Neville the last few books.
Hermione: Quite touched by what she did to protect her parents.
Mrs. Weasley: You GO, girl!
» Friday, July 20, 2007
Summer time...and the living is easy!
1. Have you ever been to summer camp?
No, I wasn't allowed to go because of my allergies. There were no non-drowsy medications back then and had I gone I would have spent the entire time in a drugged-out haze.
2. Have you ever made a s'more?
I haven't personally; I had one for the first time when Daniel and Clair had their movie night last year. I really don't like chocolate warm, not even brownies or chocolate cake.
3. Have you ever slept under the stars (no tent/tarp)?
Nope, never camped at all.
4. Have you ever had a member of the opposite sex sleep over at your house?
LOL. Only my husband.
5. What type of bed do you have (queen, twin, bunk, etc.) ?
A queen-sized. I remember the first time we slept in a king, it was in Columbus, GA; we were there for Magnum Opus Con, and it was the convention that Patrick Troughton died at. :-( We had trouble finding each other during the night.
Selling What You Already Own
Will Collier on Harry Potter & eBay
A National Review columnist gets an early copy.
Tip of the hat to "The Mister."
Labels: Harry Potter
The Countdown Continues
» Thursday, July 19, 2007This is a Compliment?
On my list of television commercials that I absolutely loathe is a current one for NutriSystem. There are several of these, but in the particular one I hate, a woman who has lost weight brags "My husband calls me his 'trophy wife.'"
This is a compliment? The trophy wife is the bimbo he marries after Wife #1 works to put him through school while he's composing his doctoral thesis or sticks with him during the lean years of walk-up flats until he becomes a millionaire only to be shoved aside for the pretty young thing looking for her sugar daddy. I wouldn't consider that a positive description!
Lifted from Allison
Onesome: I love-- to hear about new music; do you have any new favorites for us this week?
Nope, still the same old ones. I don't tend to try new music. If I hear something I like, I may go search for it on Amazon. I'm certainly not interested in new music if it is rap, or hip-hop, or talks about "ho's" and "dudes."
Twosome: this-- is way past the half way point of Summer; how are vacation and other plans working out for you? Here's hoping you're doing well!
Not taking any more vacations in the summer unless we can go somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. And that ain't gonna happen.
Threesome: Book-- query: Whatcha' readin' this week? No, not "The Harry"! Arrgh! ...okay, if that's a big thing, sure <g>.
Actually, I have finished one and started another sociological study of media fandom and am also reading Lusitania by Diana Preston. But, yes, I'm waiting for midnight of the 21st...what of it?
U.S. Publisher Takes Action Over Harry Potter Leak
Apparently my old friend Deep Discount (now selling books as well as DVDs and CDs) was one of the offenders. Folks got the book from DD yesterday.
Labels: Harry Potter
» Wednesday, July 18, 2007"A Scathingly Brilliant Idea..."
The storm passed us by and I was finally able to get a copy of The Trouble With Angels on TCM. I've been waiting for it since they haven't shown it for a while and I do not want the DVD because it is pan-and-scan.
(Now if only TCM would have Good Morning, Miss Dove; If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium; and 23 Paces to Baker Street, all widescreen, of course. I have copies of them, but never have seen any of them widescreen. Belgium, especially, must be great widescreen, since it was filmed in Europe.)
There's only 10 minutes left on the disk, and I was about to finalize it when I remembered that TCM is supposed to show the cartoon "The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics," based on the little Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth) book, in September. I hope I'll be able to catch it and put this at the end of the DVD.
It's not the same as a DVD, but here it is on (where else?) YouTube: "The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics."
And So It Begins...
Harry Potter Spoilers Spread Over Internet
Presumably these folks work in bookstores or in the shipping warehouses. It's not like Scholastic is going to ship to the store Friday afternoon, after all; anyone could have opened the boxes. So not a surprise.
Other folks speculate about the end: Harry Potter's Hocus Pocus: Stronger Than Death Itself?
LOL. It can't been stronger than fanfic.
In the meantime there will be new "ducklings" in the House.
One of the reasons AMC claimed for cancelling Remember WENN was that they didn't think a series about 1940s radio was appropriate on a movie channel (which, of course, was ridiculous because movies and radio were hand-in-glove at the time, with movie adaptations appearing on Lux Radio Theatre and other series, which would have been obvious to them had they ever done some reading). So given that reasoning, why is AMC's new series, Mad Men, about 1960s advertising, pertinent to a channel that has movies? Oh, I forgot, AMC has commercials interrupting their movies every ten minutes now. Maybe that's the connection. Duh.
And in honor of TCM showing The Trouble With Angels this afternoon (letterboxed, unlike the DVDoh, yeah, and without commercials, too), here's Lindenwold Castle, which was St. Francis Academy in the film.
» Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!
Cool! (Well, being McGonagall...not the description.)
» Monday, July 16, 2007So He Said He Was Done...
...but I can't open attachments in e-mail or anything that had embedded images, which means I couldn't see the information of the source that our small business liaison sent, nor could I e-mail the purchase orders I had scanned.
Nor can I build an order in ICE, which is how the PO is generated in the first place.
So I'm back at someone else's desk again. The keyboard is on a high level and the mouse on a low one, which I find very awkward. The chair has arms, which gets in the way of my arm reaching for the mouse, and is tilted forward. But I'm not going to mess with her things.
Scott can't come until Friday (they can't spray within 10 days, which I understand, butjoy...).
And if the clouds are forming as usual, it will be raining by rush hour.
Ah well, at least the children don't all have dysentery, little Tom turning blue... :-)
Hmn. Armchair quarterback time again, I see.
1. Do you feel that children these days are disciplined enough?
No. Maybe it's not so much discipline as self-control sometimes, but other times it is children who just blithely ignore their parents, who do nothing about it. We were in Italian Oven one night next to a big family and they were just letting their little boy run around the table, getting in the way of waiters with full trays. Yet I bet if the tray fell on the child, the parents would have sued the restaurant. This kid even crawled under the feet of a family having dinner in a booth! A couple of times the woman said, "Now, you shouldn't be doing that, honey," but no one ever thought to get up, corral, and scold the little brat. Parents let their kids runor rollaround stores and never reprimand them. (God, I hate those roller skate sneakers!)
It seems a lot of times people want to have kids, and play with them, and be "buddies" with them, but don't want to take the time or attention to make them into decent human beings. Heaven forbid they should have to miss climbing the corporate ladder, their tennis game, their scrapbooking classes, their hour at the gym, or whatever. When you have a child, your most important job is raising that child. Nothing else. (And this isn't a sex thing; it goes for fathers as well as for mothers. Yeah, you worked overtime to get your kid fourteen Barbies and all the effluvia connected, or a Wii and fifteen overpriced games, or the best car money could buy and you were never home. Big deal. That's not being a good father, that's being an ATM.)
2. What are your thoughts about the "time out chair?"
I think it can work effectively with some children, but it depends on the child. Some are sensitive, some are not. The sensitive ones will take a time-out to heart.
Too often a kid is timed out in his room. With the stuff kids have today, that's no time out.
3. When YOU were a child, what form of discipline did your parents use most often?
LOL. All my mom had to do was start counting! If she got to "three" after she called me by my full name, I was in big trouble. When I was little I was spanked. No, I was not "beaten," "abused," "victimized," or anything horrible like that. I got a couple of swats on the backside and it did save me from things like being run over by a car or burning myself on the stove. Once I was about first grade age, though, Mom found out it hurt me a lot more if I wasn't allowed to play with my toys, or look at a book, or, especially, watch my favorite television problem. All she had to say was "If you keep that up there will be no Lassie on Sunday night" (or Daktari on Tuesday or whatever the program du jour was) and I was turned around.
Mom did brandish a wooden spoon at me many times. It was the classic threat of Italian mammas. She only swatted me on the fanny with it once. Once was enough.
4. Did your parents have to constantly remind you of the guidelines they set for you, or did they just have to LOOK at you as a "gentle" reminder?
You never saw my mom glare. I didn't need to be reminded most of the time. Unless it was to wipe the dishes. LOL.
5. What are your thoughts about screaming kids in public places?
Parents need to take the kids away. Yes, they punish themselves, too, but it was their decision to have a child. No one else should have to be miserable because their child is.
6. What do you feel is the BIGGEST mistake parents make when it comes to disciplining children?
They give in because the child keeps nagging. Sure it's easy. I remember how persistent I could be as a child. God, we could be such damn pests! Also, one parent not supporting the other parent's decision. (Granted, sometimes one parent does go overboard due to anger at a bad behavior. But the parents should discuss it and perhaps amend it without letting the child off.)
And Now For Something Completely Different
Namely, cheerful: A nice long interview/story about Captain Jack Harkness himself, John Barrowman, who has apparently been here in the States promoting Torchwood, starting on Sci-Fi in September.
(LOL. While we were getting ready for bed last night, I thought about watching Doctor Who and the latest Monk back-to-back and laughed. I told James, "Marcy flunked the companion test.")
Maybe I Shouldn't Be Worried
Been quite a morning so far.
Go to pack my lunch and there's tiny livestock wandering the kitchen floor. Aieeeee!
Get to work and my computer will not boot up. I tried it twice, then called the helpdesk. They sent over a technician. Apparently no security scripts will run. The tech cannot even make it work in administrator mode because they've made Windows so secure there's no way to access it. [eyes roll] So to get my computer going again they will have to reformat my hard drive. (Yes, you heard that right. Even the tech thinks it's absurd.) So presently I'm working at a co-worker's desk while she is in class.
I called the exterminator and their computers were down, so they can't schedule me for anything until they're working again. Gah.
Oh, and I was assigned ten more orders over the weekend.
Geez, and it's only ten o'clock...
» Sunday, July 15, 2007House Work
James had to work today, so I slept until nine, had some breakfast, then got the rest of the groceries at BJs. Yow! One of the reasons we belong to the wholesale clubs is that the difference between the price of a gallon of milk there and at the supermarket pays for our membership for the year (the rest of the stuff is gravy). But their milk has gone up to $3.00, according to their sign, because of a big rise in the price of milk. Has it gone up that much at the grocery store, too?
It's always puzzling to me that everything that is good for you that you should eat and drink (chicken breast, milk, organic greens, baked snacks, etc.) are expensive, and junk like cola and fried chips and fatty hamburger are cheap. It's not a big incentive to eat in a healthy manner if you don't have a lot of money.
I spent the rest of the day alternating housework with a short game on the computer or a chapter in a book. In this way I did a load of clothes, cleaned out the master bathroom and swapped out the towels, made the bed, folded the laundry and got my clothes ready for work, vacuumed the entire upstairs, swept the stairs and the foyer, cleaned out the pedestal under the washer (detergent had dripped in it), and cleaned most of the kitchen, which is still suffering from "little visitors." I killed four this morning and missed two more, and when James helped me finish up tonight we killed at least a half-dozen more. I don't know if that warrants another call or not. What on earth is Scott going to do? He's dusted, baited, and sprayed. Lots. And there's been no food hanging around, and now even the smallest crumb is gone.
Finally watched Friday's Doctor Who ("The Shakespeare Code") and "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan." (I think offing Marcy would have been justifiable homicide...) Loved the Harry Potter jokes in "Shakespeare." It wasn't great art as an episode, but was a lot of fun.
» Saturday, July 14, 2007Small But Happy
We had a busy day today. We started out at the Hallmark Christmas ornament premiere, where I accumulated some ornaments for the library tree I am planning. James got the new airplane ornament, a silver Cessna with blue trim.
There was another item we were planning to get as a gift, but which was not at the Hallmark store we went to. Apparently the Hallmark people only sent them four of this item, and they were all gone by the time we got there at 9:45 (they could be bought as a set or individually). They told us the store up at Town Center had received "extra," so we went there and did find it.
After a brief visit to the hobby shop, we went to Timegate, a small Doctor Who/Stargate oriented convention. We attended last year's and had a wonderful time; it was like the small fan-run cons I attended when I first moved to Georgia. This year was just as good: we went to three panels, all about Doctor Who, one about the third season, a "how-I-did-it" by an gentleman who built his own full-size Dalek with nothing but photo references from the series, and a wonderful panel featuring Louis Robinson, who worked for the BBC as a film editor on Doctor Who, The Onedin Line, and others and did other work for the BBC. He showed us slides of the different places and people he associated with during those years, along with some very funny stories about not only Doctor Who cast and crew, but about his film school days (one of his lecturers was Alfred Hitchcock and another was John Frankenheimer). He had worked at the old Ealing Studios as well as at the BCC Television Centre and had a variety of slides of places and the most wonderful old "Radio Times" covers.
The convention also serves supper, so we enjoyed that as well, sitting with our friends from ARTC, but unfortunately had to leave early since James has to be up at 7:30 tomorrow to go in to work. We would have liked to have stayed and played trivia.
I did meet my Waterloo in the very small dealer's room. One of the vendors had a beautiful thick, full-color volume called Doctor Who: The Legend Continues and also Andrew Cartmel's Through Time. (Is there anyone else out there who looks at books with greedy eyes the way the DeBeers people look at diamonds? <g>) James bought me a sonic screwdriver, too. I bought him a T-shirt, so we swapped. I couldn't resist: it was a helpdesk character rolled as if it were running in a roleplaying game42 Armor, +20 Intellect, etc.
The sonic screwdriver is cool since it is also a pen and comes with two different pen points, one black and one "UV" that writes in "invisible ink" on the included ID folder with "psychic paper" (read, of course, with the blue light from the other end of the sonic screwdriver). I've always wanted a sonic screwdriver; pity it's not realI would love to give my computer at work an adjustment!!
However, the thing that made me laugh the longest was a black T-shirt with the following on it (Rodney, you'll like this one):
<GEEK LOVE LETTER>
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
</GEEK LOVE LETTER>
Absolutely wicked funny.
» Thursday, July 12, 2007
This one struck a nerve...LOL.
Been a busy week. I thought I did many more orders than I did do, when I added them up tonight. It seemed like I never had a break, except for lunch, on most of the days.
Tuesday Scott came. He figured the same thing I had: having been sprayed, baited, and dusted from under the fridge and the stove, the invasion had taken refuge in the dead square between the sink and the dishwasher. While we were talking, a brown-striped roach scuttled out. He got the message and treated...a lot. He dusted so much that when he closed the door to the dishwasher, a cloud of dust rose up like talcum powder. He opened the back door so Schuyler wouldn't get sick and I kept it open until late in the afternoon.
Later on I rinsed off the sink and anything else that had been in the area, cleaned the crumbs out of the toasters. When James came home and started to cook, a mass exodus started from under the sink. I killed at least a half-dozen of each variety. There were baby brown-stripes inside the little scale we use when we portion the meat. Ick.
A co-worker told me Monday, "Well, this is the South. Everyone's house has roaches." Right. Just what I wanted to hear.
That night I had horrible nightmares and woke up screaming. Sigh.
Next day neither Willow nor Schuyler suffered adverse effects from the persistent scent of cloves from the kitchen. Scott has pets himself and is very sensitive to other pet owners' concerns. I, on the other hand, sneezed all day.
Miss Schuyler has quite a good time for herself during the day. She is clambering up, playing with all her toys, jingling the bells and going in and out of the rings. She has discovered the top perch and, more importantly, the upper swing, which is the highest perch in the cage. The lower swing has become her "buddy." She sleeps next to it, fluffed and content. She is a prodigious scolder and we also whistle back and forth to each other. Sometimes I can come up next to the cage and she will stay relaxed and even whistle to me.
Other times she still flattens her feathers and her eyes grow huge. And she will have no truck with my finger.
I keep thinking the shyness is due to her being female, but all the female budgies I've known were feisty little things, like Adrian at Smyrna Police Distributors and Kay-Kay, Norm's budgie on GEnie's bird group.
I am concerned if she can't be tamed and happy with our company in time for vacation that we will have to board her instead of bringing her with us. And how will I get her into the carry box if she isn't feeling well or she is hurt? It will panic her more.
I did receive an aggravating message from the library: a book that has been in release less than thirteen months cannot be borrowed in an Interlibrary Loan. So one of the three books I have requested I will not be able to get for another year, and both Henry Jenkins books that I want also fall within that period. Sigh.
TV or no TV?
Onesome: The-- Food Channel: Yummy Goodness or Food Pr0N? Who do you like to watch (or love to hate <g> )?
We usually watch Food Network if there's nothing else on. I like Unwrapped, with the history of foods, occasionally enjoy Emeril, and love Good Eats because Alton Brown is so off-the-wall. I also like the specials they do at Thanksgiving and Christmas, like the one with Al Roker at Old Sturbridge Village or the Christmas one they did with Giardia about traditional Italian holiday foods.
Twosome: Food-- in the Summer? Cooking in the kitchen? Any tips to beat the heat for those in the gang literally baking in the heat?
James likes to grill. Me, I'll settle for soup warmed up in the microwave. :-)
Threesome: Channel-- some coolness our way: what is your favorite Summertime beverage (yes, mixed drinks work too...).
Del's frozen lemonade (only available in Rhode Island, unless you bought the kit, like we did). We bought some every night when we were cleaning up my Mom's house, just to get cool. I used to love lemon-lime Kool Aid, but they don't make it anymore. I have a few packets stashed in the pantry. Trouble is, I used the lemon-lime to get down that awful stuff I had to take before my surgery, so now I still connect the two. What I miss is Eclipse and, later, Zarex lemon-lime syrup. You didn't have to make a bottle all at once; you just poured a glass of water and put a couple of tablespoons-ful of the syrup in the glass and stirred it up. It was delicious. I've tried other things, like Crystal Light; the taste just isn't the same. :-(
» Wednesday, July 11, 2007No Longer to Menace Hooterville
Charles Lane, that most familiar of character actors, is no longer with us; they announced his passing this morning on Today. He was 102.
Brent McKee has a nice wrapup of Lane's career along with a clip of just a fraction of his roles:
Charles Lane 1905-2007
» Monday, July 09, 2007Brent's Tag
I Am A Child Of Television: It’s 8 About Me
Here are the rules.
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged must make a post about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them each a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
I'll think about if I tag anyone when I finish.
1. I have never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and, at this point, really don't care to. I've never been all that fond of high fantasy, although I do like some fantasy series. I have, however, read the entire World Book Encyclopedia. Several times, in fact.
2. I was once bitten by a camel. I believe it was August or September of 1968. Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick, RI, thought it would be a swell idea to have animals in Kiddieland: a camel, a donkey, and some other animal (maybe a goat; don't remember). They only had a short fence, about 3 1/2 feet high, around the animal enclosure. Along with several other kids, I was petting the donkey with my arm over the top of the fencewhich was allowedand the camel ambled over, grabbed my upper left arm and bit down hard. I screamed and my dad hit him hard under the jaw and he let me go. I went to the emergency room with a rainbow of bruises; even though the skin wasn't broken, you could see the mark of the camel's teeth on my arm for the next 20 years. Rocky Point paid the emergency room bill and also gave us $250.00 for "pain and suffering." Ironically, the camel later wandered too close to the junior roller coaster and was decapitated. (Yeah, I know...ugh.)
3. I conducted a survey about television viewing habits [waves at Brent] for a journalism class assignment in 11th grade. (The girls' favorite series in 1972: The Waltons. The boys' favorite: Kung-Fu. If that doesn't illustrate the differences between the sexes, I don't know what does. <g>) As a lark I sent the results to Jack Major, who was at that time the associate editor of the Providence Journal's entertainment department. Jack interviewed me at his office and I was the subject of one of his columns.
4. I came by my affinity for budgies in utero: Mom was given one as a gift by my Uncle Guido, who used to raise them, when Dad announced she was pregnant. She had always wanted one and he gave her the pick of the flock.
5. I have visited the set of a television series. When my Remember WENN web site was in its infancy [I've always wanted to say that], a friend of series creator Rupert Holmes' brought it to his attention. We corresponded, and when I told him James and I would be "up north" visiting my mother in 1998, he invited us on the set. It was super. We partook of the craft services table, were introduced to Melinda Mullins, Kevin O'Rourke, Hugh O'Gorman, Tom Beckett, and George Hall, watched them filming the episode "Work Shift," talked to director Juan Campanella, and had our photo taken with Carolee Carmello. At one point I ran out of film (I had taken the exposed rolls when we left home, rather than the blank ones) and one of the crew "found" another roll for me (I suspect he went out and bought it). Nicest. Folks. Ever.
6. I can still sing the theme song to My Mother the Car (without having to look up the words). (I was nine at the time. Gimme a break...)
7. I once met Dave Allen. Dave Allen At Large ran on WSBK-TV 38 in Boston in the late 1970s/early 1980s and despite protests from conservative Catholics, the series did fairly well (not as well as The Benny Hill Show, sorry to say). One of the stops on Allen's 1981 one-man show in the United States was the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. I went with two friends, Steve and Liz, and after the show we went to the stage door (my first time doing so; both Steve and Liz attended plays in London and had done so numerous times). Anyway, we were invited inside and instead of just giving autographs, Dave Allen came out and talked with us for a while. He loved ghost stories and was fascinated to find out that Liz worked in the Witch House in Salem during the autumn. He was hoping he had a little time to visit Salem while he was in town.
8. I didn't get a bicycle until I was fifteen years old, and then I had to talk my doctor into recommending it to my parents. My dad was very overprotective and was afraid I would get hit by a car. (I wasn't allowed to have Tinkertoys, either. You know all those warnings your mom shouted at you about not running with a stick in your hand? My dad's sister actually did get her eye poked out with a stick when she was a child. Not a Tinkertoy stick, but this was dad's logic...)
Okay, not sure who will reply, but I tag
Cousin Donna (if she has time)
Elaine (but she doesn't have to respond during her vacation!)
and James, of course.
Brent, did you say Ivan's already been tagged?
Oh, yeah, and Nicki, if she's still reading out there in the Wild West. :-)
» Sunday, July 08, 2007Grrrrrr...
I wish I had never seen that stupid cheap bag of wild bird seed at Fred's in February! There wasn't a bug in this house for over a year except for a couple of ladybugs and the gnats that got past the screen door the night the power went out. I just went into the kitchen to get Schuyler some fresh water and killed two of those tiny roaches on the counterI'm sure there are more; the counter is black with speckles and anything dark is hard to seeand another got away. Scott sprayed so much under the refrigerator and stove that now it appears they have moved to the empty gap between the dishwasher and the sink, and there's no way to access that space. If I have to drill a hole in the baseboard so he can spray in that area I will. This is ridiculous. That part of the counter isn't even used for food prep, so there's no crumbs attracting them. We even had to toss out the little wicker basket from Ikea that we have been using to store the packaged tortillas; James lifted it up Tuesday night and found at least a dozen running around under there.
» Saturday, July 07, 2007Summer Saturday
James had to go in to work this morning to learn a new computer procedure, so I spent a pleasant (???) time giving the master bath a good scrub. Our water is not terribly hard, but it is not soft, either, and the shower gets rusty red marks.
We had a coupon from Longhorn that had been given to James on Father's Day, so we had lunch there. I now have two little steaklets and some sweet potato for lunch next week. We also visited Michael's and JoAnn, and had to go to both Kroger and the super WalMart because Kroger doesn't seem to be carrying the Hood's Calorie Countdown chocolate milk for James' breakfast anymore. Boooooo.
And Borders didn't have the book I wanted. Grump. Instead I am re-reading John Verney.
To gear up for the film version of Order of the Phoenix, we watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone tonight. I decided that Schuyler's middle name should be Hedwig since she's more white than anything else.
Tonight she was hanging upside down from the roof of her cage. Not exactly owl-ish. LOL.
» Friday, July 06, 2007
Hmn. Never noticed I didn't do last week's.
Presents for everyone!
1. What was the best gift you received?
This house. Thanks, Mom.
2. What was the worst gift you received?
Probably a book once that was nothing I was interested in. Not sure why the person bought it for me.
3. What gift did you wish for, but never got?
When I was a kid, I wanted a dog. Now...I didn't want Mom to leave so soon.
4. What was the best present you gave?
James' airplane ride when he turned forty.
5. What was the worst present you gave?
I don't know if I've given anything really bad, but I know a couple of books I gave one Christmas missed the mark, even though I considered the person's tastes. Oh, well.
And this week's.
1. What sets you apart from your friends?
They're all much more calm than I am!
2. What sets you apart from your family?
:-) I live 1100 miles away.
3. What sets you apart from your coworkers/fellow students?
They like their jobs.
4. What is the one thing about you that is most unique?
Don't think I have one anymore.
5. What is your most interesting quality?
Don't have one. Go to work, come home, it's all rut time. Need to be sensible and save for retirement or it's WalMart for me.
» Thursday, July 05, 2007
The Fifth Amendment:
Onesome: At-- the head of the line for the iPhones, were you? No? What do you think of all the hoopla. ...and the continuing hype? Just curious...
What's an iPhone? Seriously, if I hadn't seen commercials for them and news reports of people in line, I wouldn't know. I got a "snazzy" new phone over two years ago. It makes phone calls. It also takes photos, but really, what else do I need it for except to make phone calls?
Twosome: Long-- roads to forever... Do you have a favorite road/trail/path you like to travel just for the scenery?
The road up to Hiawassee in north Georgia is pretty nice. My favorite road like that is 9N, in New York, from Lake George to Fort Ticonderoga.
Threesome: Last-- year did you think you'd be doing what you ended up doing for the holiday yesterday? ...or did plans change a bit?
For the holiday, yes. For the holiday eve (ending up in the emergency room), no.
» Wednesday, July 04, 2007No Fireworks Except On Television
After last night's hospital fracas, it was, thankfully, a quiet day. Slept late, ran the vacuum cleaner to get up the birdseed, watched 1776 and the "Making a Revolution" sequence of Alistair Cooke's America, then got things ready for our cookout. The Spiveys and the Elders arrived, we grilled, ate chicken and steak with rice, fruit, and dark chocolate kisses, and talked Harry Potter, required reading (apparently poor Jessie is stuck with depressing summer reading about hopelessness and death), our various medical travails, and the other usual stuff.
Since everyone has work tomorrow, the party broke up about eight. James watched a Mythbusters he hadn't seen while I continued reading Anne Perry's At Some Disputed Barricade, then we watched the Centennial Olympic Park fireworks. The fireworks themselves were great, especially in HD, but something fouled their soundtrack. On the fireworks special they said most fireworks displays these days are synched to computer music. Evidently the Centennial ones were accompanied by a tape recording, because about every 30 seconds the tape would slip and garble the sound. A pity, because the soundtrack wasn't bad.
The Boston Pops fireworks on CBS were...not bad, although it did not appear they were presented in HD (either that or it was all the raindrops on the camera lens, as it appeared to be raining up in the Hub, with Keith Lockhart in what looked like a fireman's waterproof). Fewer long audience cuts, although the cut during the finale annoyed me. They still haven't gotten the message that we're not interested in seeing crowd shots, but they're at least getting shorter. There were some lovely, small multicolor chrysanthemums during "This is My Country," a nice use of pink hearts and "waterfalls" during "Unchained Melody," the "Saturn shapes" (including some that had two rings, one at right angles to the other), and a wonderful finale done to the Independence Day film theme, but my personal favorite was the setup using the numbers "3" and "2" and fireworks looking like cubes during the Sesame Street theme. "Sponsored by the numbers 2 and 3 and the cube." Very clever!
Many thanks to Liberty Mutual for sponsoring the Pops fireworks without interruption!
Happy Independence Day...
We have been at the emergency room since about 11:30 p.m. I had just come back from the bathroom, went to sit down on the sofa to watch the rest of Animal Cops Detroit and I suddenly started getting palpitations. I had already taken my Atenolol and cannot take another, so we waited for a while and then went over to Wellstar, where they did the whole routine on me: an X-ray, electrolytes, electrocardiogram, pulse, blood pressure, etc. My heart rate started out at 170, but had already dropped into the 90s by the time I got into the treatment room and was back down to high 70s by the time they let me go.
I don't know what happened; I do know dinner had made me sick again (just like the last time) and I've been wound up tighter than a top today: first I did two orders before I left this afternoon, intending to submit them for signature, but could not because ICE [the purchase order document generator] did not save either of them; the contracting officer has to approve in ICE as well as sign, and the electronic version is forwarded to the financial management office, so both of those were dead in the water. Tonight we were loading the dishwasher and swiping down the counters preparatory for company tomorrow, and found at least a half dozen roaches running around the kitchen counter. This is doubly annoying because Scott came last week and sprayed thoroughly under the counters and placed baits under the sink and under the dishwasher.
Well, he told me to call him if it got worse. I know he won't be in tomorrow, but I left them a message to call me pronto Thursday morning. It's absurd to be paying an exterminator and having the bugs getting worse.
So I was sick and frazzled by the time 10:45 rolled around. Maybe that was it. Every day seems to be getting more stressful. I get upset at the smallest things anymore. No wonder Schuyler doesn't want to deal with me; half the time I'm sitting there screaming either at Microslop Word or someone who's asked me "Why do I need to do this?" for the thousandth time.
But my prayers were answered. They said everything checked out okay and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight...God willing.
» Tuesday, July 03, 2007From Roast to Warm
Only 78°F in my cubicle today, compared to yesterday when it was nearly 90. Mondays are always the worst because they do not leave the A/C going on the weekend.
I wish someone would think of the electronics as well as of us; my computer is not doing well in this heat. It is operating so slowly at times you might think there was a virus in the system. A sloth taking a nap would probably move faster.
» Monday, July 02, 2007Well...Okay
A tip of the hat to Daniel, who I am apparently Mortal Enemies with. LOL.
1. Do you do your own laundry or do you send it out?
Home. I have a nice front loader now that uses less water and a competent dryer.
2. Do you laundry at your home or a laundromat?
At home. I remember those Thursday nights at the laundromat. Yawn. Thank God for books! (And for the three and a half years I lived on my own, for bookstores right next door to the laundromat.)
3. Are there certain articles of clothing that you need to have dry-cleaned on a regular basis?
I don't buy clothing any more that needs dry cleaning. Even my coat can be washed now.
4. How often do you do laundry? Is there a certain day of the week that you consider "laundry day?"
Once or twice a week. Technically I do it when the laundry basket gets full. It's usually one on Friday and one on Sunday.
5. Do you iron your clothes as you pull them out of the dryer or do you wait until just before you wear the clothing to iron?
Iron? Iron? Isn't that an element? Yeah, here it is on the Periodic Table. Fe, Atomic Number 26. I don't iron anything; I take it out of the washer and hang it up. Occasionally I renew the creases on my work pants.
6. Do you hang your clothes outside to dry or do you dry them in a dryer?
Can't hang them outside; it's against the covenants. Besides, in the summer the air would be too dirty. I put them in the dryer on the minimum number of minutes it will take to dry.
7. Do you own things that need to be hand-washed or do you try to avoid buying things that you can't wash in the washing machine?
The latter. I do hand-wash nylons, but don't wear them much at all. (Last time was at my mother's funeral.)
For Monk Fans
» Sunday, July 01, 2007Interesting Harry Potter Image
I just happened to see the cover to the deluxe edition of Harry Potter, which is a different illustration from what we have been seeing at the bookstores/booksellers' sites. It may be a spoiler. Highlight between the dots if you are interested.
Harry is riding on the back of a dragon. Could this be Norbert? Was the sequence with Hagrid's dragon egg simply to show us that Hagrid had a soft spot for all creatures? Or might it have been some type of foreshadowing?
[N.B. 07/02/2007 Interesting, it is not just Harry, but all three of them. See entire cover here (spoiler warning still in effect). Not the only one with the same thought, either.]
Labels: Harry Potter