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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» Thursday, February 28, 2008
Blast from the Past
We used to watch this every Sunday afternoon (unless it was interrupted by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—yes, Rudolph was first shown on Sunday afternoons). Even as a kid I would try to answer the questions; they were quite difficult!

This is from 1966.

GE College Bowl - Part 1 of 3
GE College Bowl - Part 2 of 3
GE College Bowl - Part 3 of 3

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Thanks for the surprise!

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Fun With Computers, The Work Edition
When I telework, I access my work files through a system called "Citrix" and a portal named Citgo (which always reminds me of the big old landmark "Citgo" sign in Boston). We changed to new servers a little while ago, the result of which was that I couldn't print anything accessed through the portal. I coped by printing major things at the office, and could save items like Word files and PDF files to my local computer and print them that way.

Recently they upgraded to Citgo2, so I can print again without workarounds, but the system is still "buggy." I went crazy yesterday trying to move around folders in ICE, which generates our purchase orders. I would highlight a folder to move it and instead it would move the folder or file next to it. After a half-hour (!!!) of this frustration I finally went in through the old portal and got it done that way.

This morning I had a sole source purchase to advertise, since the amount was over $25,000 (by law it has to be advertised over that amount unless it's on GSA or another purchase schedule). I had typed up the advertisement and spell checked it, then clicked through the portal menu to get to the CDC intranet page, which would link me to FedBizOpps. Instead it locked up and I had to close it using Task Manager in Windows. Unfortunately, Citgo2 is no better than Citgo the original, and when you close down one Windows application, Citgo closes them all down, so I lost everything I'd typed. So I logged back in, opened the FedBizOpps link first, then proceeded to re-type and re-check the advertisement. I imported it into the FedBizOpps announcement template fine.

There's a point in the template where you have to put the address of the end user. I usually use the Address Book in Outlook to get this info, since you don't get it on the purchase request form. Since I hadn't activated Outlook yet, I tried to do so and got a snippy message from Citgo that my connection was "in an inconsistent state" and I'd have to close out my browser and then log on again, which means I would have lost all the work I'd done on the announcement.

So I had to call up work and get someone to look that info up for me.

Of course, they're planning to change over from ICE to a new system called PRISM in the future, just, of course, after most of the bugs in ICE have been worked out and after all the money we spent having it developed. Not only that, but after much programming, ICE submits one mandatory report automatically, after years of our needing to submit it manually. PRISM doesn't do this, so we'll have to go back to the old-fashioned method again. What's that about improvements making jobs easier? :-)

Incidentally, we are not moving. Our branch chief discovered that we have an indefinite lease on the building where we are presently located. So he gave it to us as a vote. The disadvantages of the new building: more traffic, less room for workers, less room for files. The advantages: more conference space, covered parking, and close to restaurants. Big deal. 90 percent voted to stay. You betcha.

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» Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Been Reading a Lot
You can tell in A Cozy Nook to Read In.

(Incidentally, I found out that the library has the two books I looked at at Borders and didn't buy, America 1908 and Wait Till Next Year. Yay. If I like them I can wait for another good coupon and buy them.)

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Flakes?
Wow, it was actually snowing there for awhile, but it seems to have blown over and blue sky is peeping out again.

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Putting the "F" in February
"F" for "flurries," that is.

Monday night was so warm I slept in a nightshirt, just under the covers, with the fan in the window.

Last night was flannel pajamas, the duvet on top of the covers, and socks, fan out of the window, although it was still open, the shade flapping back and forth in the wind. It was low 50s at this time yesterday morning, 29°F right now.

During the night it was as if Mother Nature took a fingerful of confectioners' sugar and scattered it over the countryside. Unlike the last two snowstorms where the grass was covered immediately, but it took the deck longer to be enrobed, the deck and the sides of the roof and the canvas on Kyla's wooden play fort next door are scattered with the most snow. A little while ago, there were minute snowflakes in the air although the sky was blue and dotted with fluffy clouds, driven off the decks and the roofs by the wind, but now a dark cloud is overhead and it is flurrying in earnest, big lazy flakes dancing around the bird feeder and the covered grill.

Sadly, they say it's up to the 60s again in a few days. Surely the flowers that are already blooming will prefer that, and I wonder how they fared last night: all the pinky-purple cherry (I think) trees are in bloom, and several yards have daffodils sprung up waving bright yellow trumpets in the wind. One home on my route home has a stone retaining wall and on its length is already stretched a bouquet of purple phlox. I caught a forsythia bush starting to bloom on my way home from the library the other day and the maple tree in front of our work building had small tender leaves peeking from the buds yesterday.

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» Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Whatever Happened to "John-Boy"?
Found this link on www.the-waltons.com: Where are the Waltons?

(It should really say "where are the castmembers of The Waltons" but maybe the magazine it was published in had short headline space.)

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Something Good Comes Out of It
Storms, Shifting Sands Give Oregon New Look at History

Plus another interesting story:

German Police Dogs Now Wear Shoes

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Can You Beat That?
Severe thunderstorm warnings right now, chance of snow flurries tonight!

The rain is beating across the chimney cover like drumsticks. I don't think I want to leave for work until the squall line has passed...

[Later: Glad I waited the half hour. A tree fell across the two right lanes of I-75S on the route I usually take. They were still getting the wood out of the way as we inched by. Much news of debris on the roads and other trees down, but no more on my way to work.]

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» Monday, February 25, 2008
Memories of Dana
I can't do better than what I wrote in 2004, a year after her death (with a minor update and correction):
One of the delights of Remember WENN were the fans that emerged as a family via e-mail and newsgroup. Some of them were still high-school students, others were professionals, one or two were even in the military. The show crossed all ages and all fandoms.

One of the people I "met," initially on the Internet, was a woman named Dana Sherman. Dana was about 10 years my junior, a librarian going for her Master's degree, married to a "swell" guy named Alan. She was crazy about the 1940s, swing music, and old radio shows, even though she hadn't heard many of the latter. So naturally she loved the entire concept of WENN, from the period setting to the literate scripts. Dana also loved reading about the British Royal Family and participated heavily in the Royalty newsgroup.

Anyone who was in the group at that time remembered Dana's joy at becoming pregnant for the first time. She loved children and wanted a nice little family all her own. I was able to meet her in person, along with her new baby, during a layover she had at the Atlanta airport. She later accompanied her husband on a business trip to Atlanta and accompanied us to a friends' wedding. In 2001 we visited her and her husband and daughter in New York.

During the first two meetings I was struck by how thin she was, but didn't think it was polite to ask nosy questions. Our friends even expressed concern about her at the wedding. I found out only after she was pregnant with her second child that she had a congenital heart defect. But she had come through her daughter's birth okay; there wasn't any reason for any of us to believe she would have a problem with a second birth.

The Saturday before her son was born, Dana signed off from our weekly chat session early, complaining that she wasn't feeling very well. On the Tuesday following we found out she had been rushed to the hospital with an infection in her aorta that would eventually mean an aortic transplant. On Wednesday the decision was made to take the baby by Caesarian section to take the strain off Dana's heart.

The gamble didn't work. Dana passed away five years ago today. Today Alan is standing strong, but he still misses her always. Their little daughter is in third grade and, like her peers, loves Hannah Montana. Their son is happy and healthy, but will never know the mother who adored him. His dad says "His [nursery school] teachers call him smiley because he always has a big smile on his face."

I still see things she would have liked that remind me of her. I just finished reading Daily Life in America, 1920-1940 and think of how much she would have enjoyed it.

The day after she died, I woke up the following morning with a Big Band tune running through my head, I thought it was merely because of the Big Band disc I had listened to earlier in the week, then I realized the version of "We'll Meet Again" on my CD was sung by the Ink Spots. The voice I could hear clearly in my head was sung by a woman. Vera Lynn perhaps? Or Jo Stafford?

No matter. I'd like to think it was Dana trying to tell me something.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

So will you please say hello to the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long.
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song…
We miss you, Dana. Can't tell you what it would be like some night to log on chat and see you there and realize it had all been a bad dream.

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Tired of Plastic
Grumbling as I refill the printer this morning: the paper we used to get in a paper wrapper is now wrapped in plastic, which I don't suppose is recycleable. I spent needless minutes loading the paper since I didn't have my Swiss Army Knife scissors to cut the plastic and the flaps on the side refused to pop apart like the old plastic ones. With all this call for green living, why wrap the damn reams in plastic anyway?

If they want to go more green they should outlaw those frippin' blister packs, too. I loathe the wretched things. It was perfectly okay for products to come in plain boxes. Not to mention I can't tell you how many times I've cut myself on the damn edges. I don't suppose that plastic is recycleable either.

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» Sunday, February 24, 2008
Weekenders
A quiet weekend since James still wasn't feeling well. On Saturday we did go by the hobby shop and the cleaners, made a brief stop at Book Nook for an Easter volume I had seen two weeks ago, then stopped at Borders and JoAnn. James stayed in the truck and nursed his sore throat at Book Nook and JoAnn, but came in Borders. I managed to find a gift I was looking for, so that's taken care of for May. On the way home we stopped at Publix, which surprisingly at least had the chocolate Yoplait Whips, and had some ice cream to further soothe his throat.

We tried the Papa John's new whole wheat crust pizza for supper and watched the newest (well, newest here) Torchwood. Hmn. Let's tear everyone's hearts out this week, I see.

Another fun night on chat with Emma, Katie, Rodney and Mike, but a very late night; not in bed until after 2:30. So it was nice to snuggle up and sleep in this morning. We just went to the International Farmer's Market and Costco today. For supper James made Ginger-Pineapple Chicken in the crock pot, a recipe out of "Backwoods Home." It was quite good, but we had tons more ginger-pineapple sauce than we needed, so now is saved for another time. (The name is a bit of a misnomer, since the principal liquid in this was orange juice, but it did also have a tin of pineapple and the juice, as well as crasins and a little honey.)

Fascinating offering on Nature tonight: studying raptors to build more responsive aircraft. They built light (the smallest was 2.4 ounces) combination camera/battery/transmitter units that went on the birds' backs so we could get a "bird's eye view" as they flew. Beautiful birds: peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, Harris hawks, bald and golden eagles, several kinds of owls, redtails.

And laundry got finished. Yay.

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» Friday, February 22, 2008
In Sickness and In Health
James has been spoiling for a cold all week and this morning he woke with swollen glands and a severely sore throat, so he stayed at home swilling ibuprofin and hot drinks. I finally got a good night's sleep and took my time doing my running around. I had to go to the bank and got a shock going into the SunTrust branch on the East-West Connector; they had completely redone the inside in spare, modern furniture and faux stone floor. I hope they let them put up some artwork because it's so bare there it gives one the shivers. What a bare, desolate design!

I had stopped at Borders to use a coupon and found a real bargain: a word-oriented hand-held game that I had seen at another store for $20. This does four games: word search, anagrams, a word version of Tetris, and "Letter Train," where you form words not in a straight line. Borders had it marked down 75 percent, so I grabbed it. Also found a 75 percent off "Golden Compass" version of Uno.

Went to BJs—still no big bags of regular Chex mix. Nuts. Did get more mandarin oranges, especially for James with his cold.

Since I had to go by Cumberland Mall anyway, I stopped and got us something good for dinner: more pork and mashed sweet potatoes dinners from Fresh to Order. On the way home I picked up the first of my interlibrary loan books, Henry Jenkins' Fans, Bloggers and Gamers.

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Note to Chevrolet
After the continuous Presidents Day sale ads with the obnoxious rendition of "Hail to the Chief" music, I swear I will never, ever buy one of your cars again.

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Yahoooooo!
Check out the center entry:

Walt Disney Treasures 2008

The set, according to some information I found, is going to include an interview with Patrick McGoohan, who has said previously that of all the acting jobs he has had in his career, the ones he was the proudest of were The Prisoner and "the two films I did for Disney" (Three Lives of Thomasina and Dr. Syn).

Release date is the day after our anniversary; I think I know what I'm getting for a gift this year. :-)

A very big tip of the hat to Emma!

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» Thursday, February 21, 2008
Damp and Chill
It's been raining all day, and, although it isn't very cold out (45°F most of the day), the chill is seeping in more than it did back when it was in the 20s outside. I finally gave up and bumped the thermostat up to 69 since my feet feel like little blocks of ice despite thick fuzzy socks. Even my fingers are cold despite working on my second summary for FedBizOpps. I just finished up a bit of leftover steak and Rice'a'Roni for lunch and was munching a small biscuit while watching the rain fall on the chimney of the house next door. Hoping for a good rainfall to restore the depletion of Lakes Lanier and Allatoona. I don't care if I ever get to water the lawn—if God means the grass to grow, He will make it rain—but I sure would like to wash off those dirty chairs in the back yard!

Despite the wet the birds are flocking to the feeder, mostly the usual crowd of the two different nuthatches, chickadees, sparrows and titmice, but I did spy the wren and the pine warblers out there as well. I love the chickadees in their little dapper suits and the wren with his upturned tail!

They are playing the Star Wars theme on Sirius Pops, which is the background theme du jour and in my head I am totting up the errands tomorrow, which include a run to the library (one of my interlibrary loans is in, Fans, Bloggers and Gamers by Henry Jenkins). I am fit to be tied that I will no longer be able to find the yogurt I like while I am out. I have searched three grocery stores and the WalMart and it appears none of them are carrying/Yoplait has quit carrying my two favorite flavors of Whips, the latte and the chocolate/chocolate mint. All that is left in the stores are those abysmal fruit-flavor mixes. I love fruit, but I want to eat it "straight." I certainly don't want it mixed with sugar ick as it looks like the remainder of the Whips are; two of the three flavors left are "[fruit name] and cream," which generally means they are either treacly sweet or that nauseating mixture of sour and sweet that is supposed to pass for tasty. I'm sure the orange and cream tastes like a Dreamsicle. ::shudder::

On the other hand, I'm glad it's Friday so we'll be able to catch the end of "Mr. Monk is on the Run," which I found notable for its casting: on opposites sides we have the "two Alan Shepards." (Scott Glenn, playing the sheriff that has blackmailed Adrian Monk, was Alan Shepard in The Right Stuff, and Ted Levine, Captain Stottlemeyer, was Alan Shepard in From the Earth to the Moon. I wonder if they laughed over that during the filming!)

Oh, well, back to work.

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Whatever Happened to Playtime?
James and I were listening to this story this morning on NPR: Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills.

I didn't realize The Mickey Mouse Club was the first children's program to feature a non-Christmas toy commercial, but now that I think back on it, most of the sponsors of kids' programs back then seemed to be food-oriented: breakfast cereals like Trix and Cocoa Puffs, Malt O'Meal and Maypo (okay, who remembers Marty Maypo?) or Kool-Aid or mixes for drinks like Nestle's Quik and Bosco (in Rhode Island there was also Eclipse syrups—"You'll smack your lips when it's Eclipse"), plus things like Wonder Bread and Peter Pan peanut butter.

Are children today amazed to hear that we went everywhere with minimal supervision as kids? It must seem monumental and, given all the news stories about child abductions and close calls, fairly dangerous! James remembers going off on bicycles with his buddies and being away all day, with no problem as long as he was home for supper. Sometimes they bicycled many miles away from home. As an only child and a girl, I was more sheltered, but I remember just going to friends' homes or hanging out walking around the neighborhood, no cell phone to have to report in, as long as I came home at the hour specified. We climbed the big fence around the Cranston Stadium once, went to Tom's Superette in one direction or Joe's Spa in the other, played war in Billy Campanini's backyard or tag or kickball in the street in front of Penny's house, no grownups around to make rules, stick us in uniforms, make us practice. We just had fun, and we did pretend that items were other things: tree branches made great rifles, or walking sticks; a nice flexible willow branch made a great whip for playing circus, and a stick could also be a horse.

I really feel bad for kids now with all these classes and organized activities with parents butting in! If you didn't win the game, it was just a game, not going for some big championship. If we were bored we made our own fun or stayed bored.

I thought it was very funny that the sidebar to this article about kids developing self-regulation skills advised all sorts of ways that parents could direct kids to develop it. Wasn't the whole point of the story to point out that parents are doing too much of the planning and that kids needed to be left alone?

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» Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Found: One Writer
Cool. I rediscovered the link to an article about Gail Rock, creator of the Addie Mills character of The House Without a Christmas Tree and its sequels. It's in Holiday Harbour.

Now if I could find that Tennessean article about Lisa Lucas again, I'd be a happy camper.

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» Monday, February 18, 2008
President's Promenade
Look what was in e-mail this morning: a 40 percent off any book coupon from Borders, good today and tomorrow.

One caveat: purchase must be over $20.

I cut it out and said "We'll see," then went up to Town Center, where I popped in at Michael's and then at JoAnn. The latter had all their Easter things 40 percent off, so I used the additional 10 percent off coupon to replace a few things that had broken when the storage boxes fell off the shelves a few weeks ago—just small things. I also was able to get two 3.5oz Lindt dark chocolate rabbits to put away for an Easter treat.

Linens'n'Thing was having a buy one pillow or mattress cover, get another of either type free, so I took the opportunity to replace my old feather pillows, which have been sadly stained and grotted by midnight menopausal hot flashes and warm nights (like last night, which left me tossing and turning). These are hypoallergenic like the last ones. (Outsmarted myself by not stopping here first, though: could have gotten the Lindt bunnies here at 20 percent off. Oh, well.)

I did stop at Borders and decided to indulge in The Sweet Far Thing, which I had not purchased back in December, but needed $3 to bring it up to $20. I found a huge book, 11 1/2" and 9 1/2" coffee table size, at least two inches thick, of the most notable offerings from "Harpers" magazine in its past 150 years for only $5 on the remainder table. This includes excerpts from Mark Twains Diaries of Adam and Eve, Roald Dahl's classic "Lamb to the Slaughter," a James Thurber piece, and many other intriguing offerings, including a really gross one about heroin use.

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» Sunday, February 17, 2008
Cloudy Skies and Sunday Excursions
We woke to grey skies that were the harbinger of this afternoon's storms. James made biscuits for breakfast and then we ticked off what was needed: a visit to Costco for milk and other necessities of life (like Prilosec) and also the Sunday paper. But before commencing the chores we decided to have a bit of fun and drove into Buckhead for a stop at Richard's Variety Store. Richard's has all sorts of goofy things along with the type of stuff Woolworth's used to sell, and I was looking for a novelty item for sometime later in the year to accompany a serious gift. We did find one there as well as finding a couple more items for the library "Literary Christmas Tree": a Robin Hood figure and an otter (from Ring of Bright Water).

We had a coupon, so we treated ourselves to ice cream and then drove to the Borders, which usually has books you can find nowhere else. I found a good one: Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940 and also looked at a couple of others, America 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T and the Making of a Modern Nation (but that is still in hardback) and Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin, who wrote No Ordinary Time, a memoir of growing up in the 1950s in Brooklyn as a baseball fan.

The sky darkened as the afternoon proceeded and by three, when we arrived at Costco, it was starting to rain. We picked up the newspaper on the way home. Not much later, except for the tornado-watch hour keeping an eye on the radar with one hand on a flashlight as the lights faded in and out: had home-made open-faced roast beef sandwiches, watched a Jeff Foxworthy comedy routine, and discovered that When Weather Changed History was not on tonight.

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How You Know It's Almost Spring in Georgia
The tornado siren goes off in the middle of a rainstorm.

In the meantime, we have trees blooming. Dammit.

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» Saturday, February 16, 2008
Day of Our Lives
Hair Day this morning, with some great grub: a breakfast casserole which I actually sampled (I'm just not an egg person) and kielbasa stew. Someone brought a mixed green salad, which was so tempting I had to have some; of the dressings offered, I chose the one I thought would least annoy my digestion. I love mixed greens, especially with Chinese endive in it. Alas, sick to my stomach all afternoon despite taking all my drugs. Wretched acid reflux.

I was quite amused at Ron's T-shirt, which proclaimed

Eat
Sleep
Breathe
Books

How true for all of us!

And got to see Daniel, safe and sound after an unusual encounter with an implanted defibrillator. (Details in his blog.)

We had to decamp immediately after eating since James' meeting was today; I had him drop me off at the corner and I walked the rest of the way home. It's in the 60s and supposed to rain tomorrow; uncomfortable and sticky. Nevertheless, I took down the Valentine decorations and repositioned the winter ones, which will stay in place, due to an early Easter, until a few weeks before. I will hardly have time to put my St. Joseph's Day altar up before I will need to take it down for Easter.

Also did laundry and finished The Time Travelers before James arrived home. We took a short trip to Love Street and then to Borders, where I bought the newest British "Country Living" and the sequel to Time Travelers with all my coupons.

To placate Mr. Stomach, had ricotta cheese and Wheat Thins for supper (suitably bland enough) and watched the first part of the Monk season finale and then Torchwood.

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» Thursday, February 14, 2008
Since It's The Day...
...that the birds traditionally pick their mates, and since budgies have a natural heart on their face formed by their beak and cere, I leave Miss Schuyler to wish you a

Happy Valentines Day

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A Moving Experience (NOT!)
They announced today that we actually are moving at work (or it sounds 90 percent final, anyway). They even have a date in April. Since before the last time we moved they told us we were moving every six months for at least five years, you can imagine that we were a bit...incredulous. By April we'll be into third quarter spending and everything will be absolute bedlam and we're going to move, too?

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» Wednesday, February 13, 2008
"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Daytime..."
Yesterday it was in the 60s. Today it's not supposed to get out of the 30s, and presently it is grey and gloomy outside, although the bird feeder sees flurries of activities. I think they said 60°F again for Friday. The weather's getting as choppy as the ocean on a stormy day. :-)

But we had rain last night and it's supposed to rain over the weekend, good news for parched Georgia.

[Later: It's like "Wuthering Heights" out there; every time I go near a window I can hear the wind winnowing around the house (and in the bathroom you can hear it rattle the flap of the air exhaust vent). Our little flag is horizontal most of the time and the temperature, rather than rising, has fallen. I had to close the windows in the master bedroom since it was 53 in there, and that's without the fan. The birds are gobbling the suet for energy, even the natty bluebird in his bright coat and his grey-winged mate.]

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The Barks Have It
Remember all those Lassie episodes where Lassie concluded the story with approving barks? Looks like this guy is following in her fictional footsteps for real.

Beagle Picks Up Westminster Win

Uno let out a salvo of barks at his group win and then again after winning best in show. James and I had particularly noted him because of the tip of his tail, which had a fuzzy patch that made his tail look as if it were waving a short banner. I've never seen a beagle with a tail like that before. He was one of our favorites, along with the stunning Akita.

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» Monday, February 11, 2008
Well, I'll Be Damned
I just got another call from Chase. Someone has already hacked into my new credit card! It's just about a month since the last time. This time the thief made a charge to a toy company for $4,000! Where on earth are they getting my number? I can't even blame an online leak since I haven't had time to place the account number online anywhere!

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Since We're Traveling in Time Anyway...
Rhode Island Radio and TV Personality Salty Brine profiled on PM Magazine.

Cool, even shots of Jeff and Salty's Shack, and Salty saying "Brush your teeth and say your prayers," his Shack signoff.

What, no "No School Foster Glocester"? LOL.

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Time Tripper
I am at the moment trying to keep cool. I was on my way into the building this morning when I had heart palpitations. Mildred from the second floor helped me to a seat in the break room and a combination of relaxing and taking an Atenolol made it go away. The pill's made me a bit fuzzy. Not sure what triggered it although I recall now that I did not take my Prilosec last night. But I did this morning.

Anyone remember the ABC Movie of the Week? If so, this will possibly make you nostalgic.

TV Party tells the story of the ABC Movie of the Week, including its famous slit-screen credits with the very 70s Peignot font (also used for The Mary Tyler Moore Show).

I have Marill's Movies Made for Television, but according to Amazon, there is a book out totally devoted to the ABC Movie of the Week.

Some of the more famous movies to come out of that series: Steven Spielberg's Duel, the Carl Kolchak films The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler (plus a herd of minor horror films like Crowhaven Farm and Satan's School for Girls that people still recall scaring the dickens out them as children/teens), and the award-winning Brian's Song.

Anyone remember these others?:
• Isn't It Shocking? with Alan Alda, Louise Lasser, Ruth Gordon and Edmond O'Brien, about murders in a small town.
• The Over the Hill Gang and The Over the Hill Gang Rides Again, vintage Western stars appearing in stories about elderly unslingers reuniting (Fred Astaire was in least one; Walter Brennan in both, or the first one).
• All My Darling Daughters and My Darling Daughters Anniversary, Dan Dailey and four (?) daughters who plan to get married on the same day.
• The Girls of Huntington House with Sissy Spacek and Pamela Sue Martin as two of the girls in a house for unwed mothers, with Shirley Jones as their English teacher.
• Crawlspace with Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright and Scott Jacoby, an elderly couple find a teenage boy living in their crawlspace.
• Wake Me When the War is Over, truly insipid WWII comedy with Ken Berry and Eva Gabor.
• But I Don't Want to Get Married, romantic comedy with Herschel Bernardi and Shirley Jones.
• Shirts/Skins in which a friendly basketball competition among male friends gets out of hand (McLean Stevenson was in it, and Doug McClure).
• Playmates, with McClure, Larry Hagman, Barbara Feldon, romantic story again (with a little spouse-swapping undercurrent).
• Two on the Run, Herschel Bernardi and Scott Jacoby as grandfather and grandson about to be separated by social workers.
• Seven in Darkness about seven blind people who are the only survivors of a plane crash (I seem to remember this was the first film they broadcast).
• Second Chances (seen on the YouTube clip), Brian Keith buys a ghost town and invites people to live there who are trying to start new lives.
• Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole, which I believe was Susan Hayward's final film; she played a doctor who is dying of cancer as Hayward was. Darren McGavin co starred and featured a theme song by Dusty Springfield.
• A Cold Night's Death (sometimes pops up on TV as The Zero Factor) with Robert Culp and Eli Wallach sent to an Arctic research facility to find out whey communications suddenly ceased.

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» Sunday, February 10, 2008
Old Times and Quiet Days
We had a delightful time on chat last night. Rodney, Mike and I are the last mainstays of the weekly Saturday Remember WENN chat (James sometimes comes in as well), but last night Katie (who is now teaching preschool), Rita (I'm sorry, Rita, I've forgotten where you work), and Cammie (studying for her bar exam) all arrived for a visit. I could think of no way of instant messaging Emma, but just for the heck of it I sent her an e-mail, which was received and she arrived not long afterward. We talked about what we were doing, old books (Rodney has begun collecting old series books like Tom Swift), some about the series, etc.

The LiveJournal WENN group is going to begin rewatching and discussing the series next Saturday, so it would be fun if folks started turning up again.

The reunion lasted until two, we weren't in bed until three, and Willow woke us barking at 8:30. Argh. Went back to sleep for an hour, but had to get up before ten or I wouldn't sleep tonight. (Although I could get four hours of sleep on Saturday night and still have trouble sleeping on Sunday night. My supervisor has the same problem and we spent one Monday morning commiserating about it.)

Costco had been out of Chex mix, so as morning changed to afternoon we went to BJs hoping they had restocked since last week, but no dice. We bought a small bag at Food Depot, with the prerequisite weekly bananas and yogurt (they were out of the coffee flavor, sadly). I also spied a package of about nine ounces of thinly-sliced steaks. James doesn't usually like to cook on Sunday night, but these looked easy, so we bought them. We just finished them, just cooking them lightly with a little kosher salt and garlic powder and serving them in low-carb tortillas with Trader Joe's Thai Ginger carrots on the side. Just right for a Sunday night supper.

After the supermarket errands we returned home. James was feeling a bit under the weather, but Willow (whom I had bathed to her great dismay this morning) and I went out for a walk. It was about 60°F, but the wind is blustering so that it did not feel warm, just refreshing.

I am finishing Master of Sunnybank and also perusing a nutrition book we bought at BJs. It is written by the editor of "Men's Health" and is called Eat This, Not That." It tells you what are the best nutritional choices at restaurants, special occasions, and of traditional foods, and shows you "how to read a menu." Some of these revelations are surprising. For instance, If you have to eat at McDonald's, recommended is the Quarter Pounder over the Premium Grilled Chicken Club. The QP has 160 fewer calories, 2 fewer grams of fat (although both have 7 grams of saturated fat), and one thousand (that's right, 1000) milligrams of salt less than the chicken club. If you must eat bacon, turkey bacon is better for you, correct? Nope. Oscar Meyer bacon and turkey bacon has the same amount of calories and the same amount of fat—but the turkey has 100 more milligrams of sodium. In many places, it's very illuminating.

Incidentally, we had planned to go to the garden show, hoping to meet some fencing companies. On Thursday I was looking at the flyer that came in the paper with a dollar-off coupon, which listed all the attendees. They were the same as at the home show; there wasn't a fence company in sight! How odd.

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Barking Mad
Here it is time for Westminster again and after years of broadcasting the show live, the powers-that-be have decided they will only show one hour of the judging on Monday, because they can't pre-empt wrestling, of all things. If you want to watch the rest of the Monday judging, you will have to switch to CNBC.

Sheesh, it's only once a year...

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» Saturday, February 09, 2008
Gourmet
Normal Saturday: James did a bank/Valentine errand, then we visited to the hobby shop, during which I read. When we got home, I discovered The Master of Sunnybank in the mail. Hurrah! Later we went to Love Street and also to Cumberland Mall, and got most of our grocery shopping done at Costco. Picked up the new edition of The Aristocats on DVD.

We also went to a new restaurant called "Fresh to Order" (abbreviated F2O) at Cumberland Mall. I never thought I'd be bragging about mall food, since unless you have something like Ruby Tuesday or another restaurant in the mall, the food court stuff is usually dreadful: cholesterol-soaked burgers, glops of greasy Chinese food, overly-sweet cookies, etc. But this was wonderful, like a high-class restaurant. We had grilled sliced pork in an apricot chutney sauce with a side of mashed sweet potatoes that were naturally rather than artificially sweet, topped with walnuts. James also had a half serving of chicken tortilla soup, which he said was not spicy, but a flavorful chicken broth with pieces of chicken and little strips of tortilla along with corn. They have several different kinds of chicken and a beef offering, as well as an Asian salad that sounds tremendous. We definitely want to go back. If Fresh to Order comes to your mall or even just your neighborhood, I heartily recommend it.

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» Friday, February 08, 2008
Library Lovers Month
I did this meme in my poor neglected LiveJournal, Scribblings, even though it properly belongs in Cozy Nook.

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Alarms and Excursions
I woke in the middle of the night with a start, sat up and was so convinced I smelled smoke that I woke James up. I wandered around the house and sniffed out the window—thought maybe it was someone with a fire in the fireplace and the scent was coming in through the open window, but at four in the morning?—but I couldn't smell it out there. Too odd.

I was woken this morning by the weather radio going off and the tornado siren. Since the forecast this morning was for temps in the 30s and cloudless skies, this was peculiar. Turned out it was a yearly test.

Anyway, off to the post awful and then to the library where I've finally requested interlibrary loan on the two Henry Jenkins media studies books they wouldn't let me have last fall since they were less than 13 months old, plus the book Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder. I found in the biography section the other Wilder book I have been wanting to read, Ghost in the Little House, a biography of Rose Wilder Lane. I've heard a lot about this book in that it is claimed that it is a hatchet job on LIW; that she was a terrible mother and not a nice person.

I stopped by Borders and found a small gift, the new TV Guide with Hugh Laurie on the cover (I wouldn't buy it otherwise—gad, it looks like People and when did it go up to $3?), a "hurt" book about a 1750s English servant who helps solve a mystery, and the newest Harry Dresden book in paperback. With my coupon and Borders Bucks, this nice purchase cost...zero. And I have $1.94 left.

Stopped at Hallmark with my coupon and bought a couple of cards. Didn't see anything else I wanted at first, but then saw a small vase with two artificial rosebuds in it. It was made to look like someone had cut two real rosebuds and put them in a tiny vase; there was even clear plastic in the bottom of the vase to simulate water. I bought that as well and when I came home put it next to Mom's picture in the foyer, since tomorrow would have been her birthday.

Had a good walk up and down the mall—good grief, what happened to FYE? and the pet shop?—and noticed that the new salad place is finally open; their Asian salad sounds quite delectable.

Came home to find that our association fee check had been misdirected and returned. We'll have to swing by the post awful again on the way to supper. Oh, well, I can mail the Valentine card I bought as well.

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» Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Thirty Years Ago Today...
Linda on top of snowplow pile

Who's that on top of that snowbank? Why, me of course! More photos and story:

Memories of the Blizzard of 1978

(You truly can find anything on the internet. Here's a photo of the camera that all the photos were taken with. It had an automatic film advance, which was really jazzy back then! <g> Talk about traveling back in time.

There's also a photo of a 110-cartridge camera; I had a similar model later, with a detachable flash, with which I took most of my first science fiction convention photos. Why do I suddenly hear Barbra Streisand singing "The Way We Were"????)

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The Storm Has Begun
Willow is barking at the thunder. This is a nasty wall of thunderstorms advancing before a cold front and it's already caused tornado damage in Alabama. It was close and sultry last night and James reported a brilliant scarlet sunrise. "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning" is one of those old weather adages that is actually true.

(Thankfully, it passed over quickly. One clap of thunder, rain, and that was it. It's sunny now and the weather map shows the cold front almost upon us. The video of wrecked homes in Alabama this morning was a bit frightening. Apparently one of the tornadoes took out a men's dorm at Union College. )

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» Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Too Funny!
How long has this been going on? Since the 1970s.

Lake Superior State University Banned Words List

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» Monday, February 04, 2008
Hugh Laurie on Biography!
Wednesday night at 9—EST.

(Plus American Experience is doing a piece on Grand Central Terminal tonight. Majorly cool. I noticed the last time we watched that they had gone back to their old theme song, which I loved. The clips are different, so they don't have the shot that always made me homesick. Oh, well, I have my favorites, with the old credits, recorded.)

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One of the Men Involved in the Real "Great Escape"
Jimmy James, P.O.W. Plotter of Escapes, Is Dead at 92

Fascinating!

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» Sunday, February 03, 2008
That Was Strange
James was just making my lunch for tomorrow when something fell downstairs; sounded like a shelf. Turned out to be down in the holiday closet; all the boxes of Easter/spring things, one maybe 24" long box and then two smaller "sweater" boxes on top and a shoebox with the St. Joseph's Day things in it, had fallen down. These boxes have always been pretty secure, but not totally, so I can't say it was a big surprise that they fell, but...why now? Since I put the Easter things away I have been in that closet innumerable times, for the Independence Day things, fall and Thanksgiving things, and then of course for all the Christmas decorations. I moved things right next to all those containers several times between the first Sunday of Advent to January 13, bounced the shelves several times—not a quiver or a teeter. When Kristi and Kelly had the tree taken down in their yard during the fall, the house shook but that stuff didn't fall, but it did tonight. Weird.

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Book Magnet
They like me. :-)

James needs to quit working weekends; I only go out and attract books.

I went out a-hunting paper towels at Walgreen's and suet for the bird feeder yesterday and made a couple of fun stops (Trader Joe's for veggies to go with tonight's game night and Fuzziwigs). While at the latter, I noticed the nearby Borders had quite a few remainder books outside, so I went to look. I found a gift book, a 1920s spy saga for me, and—lucky I went!—the very last copy of "Yankee" they had (and the only January/February issue I had seen in searching stores since New Year's).

Paper towels and suet acquired, I stopped at Book Nook on the way home and found two nice used collections of Christmas stories and AMC's book about Christmas movies. (This last smells musty and has a water stain on it; I am going to have to put it in a bag with some baking soda to at least absorb the smell.) I also found Robert McCloskey's classic books about Homer Price in one omnibus edition, complete with McCloskey's illos.

As I approached Rowan's, I decided to stop by. They are going out of business and the sale will end in mid-February. Everything except the CDs and DVDs were 60 percent off (those were half price). The books were pretty much gone; the rows of bookshelves in the center of the room like library stacks were gone and all that was left were in the shelves lining the perimeter. I bought two beautiful books for gifts, plus a biography of Abigail Adams, Jim McKay's book, and three DVDs: Balto II and III and Disney's classic swashbuckler, The Fighting Prince of Donegal. Total cost was about $20.00.

Plus this morning I got a notice that the book I ordered via Amazon Marketplace had shipped. This is The Master of Sunnybank by Irving Litvag, a biography of Albert Payson Terhune. I've read Terhune's collie books since I was about twelve years old and always loved his thrilling language and expansive vocabulary—not to mention all those wonderful collies. There are two bios of Terhune and this is the better of the two; I've wanted it for years.

(Incidentally, predictably, there are more book reviews in A Cozy Nook to Read In.)

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Disoriented
Well, that sucks. James noticed on Magellan's web site that there was a map update for his GPS unit. Since our street doesn't show up on the map, we thought this would be useful. This was done via a software update which had to be downloaded, and then activated to load through the USB cable that came with the Maestro. James downloaded the proper file, then set it to download into the unit and came to sit down to watch the dog show since he didn't want to do anything else while the upload was taking place. The web site said the upload would take about 35 minutes.

James went to check it before the time was up and found a big pop-up message on the screen—the download had failed. Not only that, but it had also wiped out the information already on the GPS unit!

James started the download again. By that time it was bedtime, so we went to take our showers while it worked. He came back out to find the operation had failed again!

This morning he tried to find some answers, failed, and ended up sending an e-mail to Magellan since there is no phone number for them on the website. Right now we have a $200+—paperweight. Not amusing, guys.

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» Friday, February 01, 2008
Ain't It the Truth?
Brewster Rockit, Space Guy

Today's "Brewster Rockit, Space Guy" by Tim Rickard. Click for a better resolution version.

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