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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» Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Waiting
The hardest thing about buying things on e-Bay is waiting for them to come in the mail. :-) Still waiting on the Life set and the Tudor book; seems like an age; has actually only been less than a week, so it's only my own impatience that's making it long.

It's not like I can read them, as I haven't given myself permission to start any Christmas books until October 1. Even then, it's a jump on the season (although I have so many Christmas books now I would need to read at least one a week to read them all annually).

I picked up something called Uncle Toby's Christmas Book on e-Bay yesterday. It's from 1936, a collection of stories, poems, and poems. I'm thinking that, being from 1936, I may get something different from the run-of-the-mill Christmas stories that usually show up in anthologies, since the usual offerings like Pearl Buck's "Christmas Day in the Morning," Capote's "A Christmas Memory," the Christmas chapter from "Little House on the Prairie," and some other standards hadn't been written yet. I'm just afraid half of it will be A Christmas Carol, since most Christmas story anthologies stick that in since it's out of copyright.

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» Monday, September 29, 2008
Found on Google Books: St. Nicholas!
Check out A Cozy Nook to Read In.

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Sayyyyyy What?
History Channel has this series called Modern Marvels. As you'd expect, at first they covered things like skyscrapers, jets, locomotives, monuments, X-Ray machines, atomic bombs, etc.

I knew they were running out of things to do shows on, but..."mold and fungus" (tonight's offering)? How is that modern, never mind a marvel???

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» Sunday, September 28, 2008
Note to Self
No more "mixed baby greens" from Kroger. The Publix ones are good. The Kroger has spinach in it, and even when you remove the spinach you still have that metallic taste. It doesn't have friseé in it, either.

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Still Doesn't Work
Been watching Merlin for lack of anything else; I know some folks loved this, but it seems ridiculous still: except for Sam Neill and whomever is playing Nimue, the acting is all over the top—you might think Miranda Richardson was playing Mab as descended from her Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder. Morgan leFey is this silly lisping thing who is acts like a wimpy ancestor of Lily Von Schtupp, and Uther a wild-eyed nothing who reminds me of the Sheriff of Rottingham in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. It's a shame as Richardson is an excellent actress and could have given Mab a real sense of menace, rather than being a kohled refugee from the panto.

I dream of how good this would have been had they based it on the Mary Stewart trilogy...Sam Neill could have really had a good part as the adult Merlin. What a waste of a good actor.

(Okay, I gotta admit: Merlin's horse is gorgeous...but, enough of this awfulness...I'm putting on The Neanderthal Code...)

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Upsets
Urgh. Woke up this morning after a having a very strange dream: I had returned to Rhode Island to visit my friend Sherrye. Upon arriving I'd discovered I'd forgotten my medication and my camera. But no one was there to meet me because I had not told Sherrye I was coming. Finally I found her and said something very strange to her: "I don't even have my Dad's phone number." My Dad has been dead for 23 years!

When I did get up I felt like I had the flu. Had a stomachache and my eyes hurt as if I'd stayed up all night instead of having seven hours' sleep and I was hungry but I had an upset stomach at the same time. I thought if I ate it would help. We had breakfast at Sweet Tomatoes, but all I could manage were a bowl of Grape-Nuts and two mouthfuls of a waffle. I'd gotten some oatmeal but it tasted metallic. I finally gave up.

James wanted to look for a book at the Kennesaw Borders because the Austell store did not have a copy. On the way there we stopped at Costco. They had gas at $3.979, but it was a moderate line, and because the Costco folks were directing traffic and it's debit card payment only (no one has to run to the office to pay with cash), it only took about fifteen minutes at the most.

After we finished there we went into Costco for milk and for me to replace my card that I left behind in the Cumberland store a few weeks ago. I was fighting to be able to walk around a little; I wanted to get some exercise today. But I feel like I've gotten about two hours' sleep.

We were in Borders only a few minutes. James got his book, but there's nothing out right now that I want, so we went home via Barrett Parkway. None of the gas stations there have gasoline, although we did get a paper at an otherwise deserted RaceTrac.

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» Saturday, September 27, 2008
A Saturday Without Gas
Most of the stations were without gas, and the ones with gas had horrendous lines. James needs to get to work for the rest of the week, so we were on short commons.

We had Hair Day today; brought the Pesto Cheese Torte bought for the purpose last week at Trader Joe's along with their 12-grain wheat crackers, plus larger wheat crackers and some cheesy bacon spread made with Philly light. It seemed to be a popular appetizer. We had a lovely chat.

James dropped me off at the house and went to his IPMS meeting; I finished cataloging and tidying my stitching magazines. About the time I finished, the lawn mowing service showed up. So as not to breathe in all those lovely allergens, I closed with windows and turned the air conditioner back on—it's going to be in the 80s again at least until Wednesday, so I might as well surrender.

I have just noticed just how many trees are sporting bits of leaves changing color. I'd seen the other day that one of the trees in Susan and Josh's yard next door had several dozen leaves turning scarlet, but our trees are also dotted with yellow leaves, and as we drove into Brusters the underbrush under the trees lining the lot were a mixture of yellow, orange, and scarlet. Several of the dogwoods we saw today had the rusty leaves of autumn and a row of young maples near the aquatic center on Macland Road were also starting to turn or already turned a rich burgundy color.

We had such a large lunch courtesy Shannon's contribution of meatloaf, Phyllis' carrots, and Lin's wonderful Asian salad that we really didn't eat a supper. We went out to Hobby Lobby and had to skirt a god-awful traffic tie-up at the QT, which evidently received a shipment of gasoline. They had cars coming in three entries, which was ridiculous; there should have been one line in and one out. Evidently the Cobb County police thought so, too, as one police car was already onsite and two more came roaring up as we passed.

Hobby Lobby was delightfully filled with all sorts of autumn and Christmas decorations. I found a lovely little metal rocking horse of Victorian style that will go with my little feather tree, plus a beaded pumpkin and fall branch to go with the candle arrangement. We also strolled through Lowes, having seen their display of Christmas trees through the window last night when we were at Borders, then had our dessert first with a cone of chocolate ice cream at Brusters. This was made with Hershey's special dark and was quite good. It reminded us of the Ben & Jerry's "chocolate therapy" we had in Rhode Island one of the hot nights when we were cleaning out the house after my mom passed away.

On the way home James got some chili from Wendys and I had a baked potato, and we watched the last episode on the Rosemary and Thyme second season third disk, plus the third part of John Adams.

I have just given Schuyler half of a grape. She came down immediately from the rear perch when I clipped it up and began to nibble on it. Definitely something she likes!

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» Friday, September 26, 2008
A Fly is A'Flew
Evidently when I went to fill the bird feeder I let a fly into the house; Willow has apparently glued herself to me permanently...

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30 Year Old Flashbacks
So there I was, waiting 40 minutes for gas...and fuming (pun perhaps intended). Maybe it was just all the SUVs in line, guzzling, guzzling, guzzling...and I remember the 1970s, and waiting in the lines, not for gas for pleasure, but just to get to work—which is why I was in line today in the first place, not for gallivanting purposes, but to cover the 55 miles round-trip next week (I had enough gas for Monday, but I was unsure whether I would find gas for Tuesday). Out of ten gas stations I passed, eight were out of gas (even BJs). I was stuck at the RaceTrac; passed the other station, a QT, on the way home; tons of people there, too. After the gas crisis in the 1970s everyone wailed "we understand, we understand," and the car manufacturers geared up and built small fuel-efficient cars...then everyone forgot and started the nonsense over again.

James reminded me that probably most of the people buying gas today were born during the late 60s or 70s, so they don't remember...they were a minor part of the crowd at the RaceTrac, actually. Yeah, the young guy in back of me had an Exhibition...cough...sorry, ARTC joke...but a lot of the folks in the land barges were my age or older.

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» Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Found out a few minutes ago that a co-worker collapsed during the silent auction we were having to earn funds for the Christmas party. My supervisor told me that she was taken away by ambulance and the EMTs were doing chest compression on her.

I don't want to mention her name, but if you could say a prayer for her, it would be appreciated. God will know.

[2:15 p.m. She didn't make it...damndamndamndamn...]

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Fresh Air Fun
All the windows are open once again! It's sunny, but it's cool! The birds are chittering at the feeder. Schuyler attempts to make contact; they are concentrating on their eating, however. I'm trying to sort out a modification which is signed but doesn't seem to be forwarding in the computer portion of the approval process. It's just told me to come back later. If you say so.

I scored two coups yesterday. I found The Life Book of Christmas (actually a three volume set) on e-Bay and a reasonably-priced copy of Tasha Tudor's Take Joy! Christmas book from a Barnes & Noble approved seller. Total less than $15. Cool! I've always wanted the Tudor; I love her beautiful, delicate watercolors. I bought The Secret Garden in hardcover just to get the lovely color plates.

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» Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Crazy Roads
This morning was...surreal. This gas thing is getting out of hand. There's a Marathon station I pass in the morning; occasionally I have stopped there to get a couple of gallons to make sure I make it home and I have always been the only car there for gas (others have stopped, but they've run in for coffee or cigarettes). This morning, all the pumps are full and there's people waiting. Ditto the Shell station on Spring Road at Campbell.

Traffic was skittery. I always take I-75 south/I-85 north in the morning because trucks aren't allowed inside the perimeter unless they are delivering to or coming from a delivery location, and because on I-285 the equation of allthose18wheelers + nearlypitchdark = scary, but there were dozens of trucks on I-85 north this morning, I think because of the tractor-trailer fire at the intersection of I-85 and I-285 (otherwise known as "Spaghetti Junction" for its tangle of overpasses).

Not to mention I was so sleepy that I'd forgotten to have my milk before I left. My stomach was growling so fiercely as I caught the occasional whiff of breakfast from an interstate-side restaurant that I was afraid it was going to leap out at the nearest McDonalds (and I hate McDonalds). The scent of pork chops from the OK Café nearly did me in. :-)

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» Monday, September 22, 2008
You Know Me, I'm Not an Professional Sports Fan...
...but...Yankee Stadium...isn't this a bit like abandoning the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center? Yow.

Yankee Stadium Going, Going, Gone After 85 Years

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Sometimes Quality Will Triumph, Even on Television...
So richly deserved!
John Adams set an Emmy record Sunday night, with 13 wins overall—eight Creative Arts awards and five on the prime-time presentation including outstanding miniseries.

The HBO program, which had led all nominees with 23 nods, also earned trophies for Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and writer Kirk Ellis.
Other Emmy Award Results

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» Sunday, September 21, 2008
Quiet Sunday
The big excitement today was cleaning and washing the floors in the bathrooms on the main floor. :-) Also finished a couple of craft projects, cleaned my craft table, cut coupons, read my groups, dubbed off What's My Line?, swapped out towels...real exciting stuff.

For supper we had another Asian salad with turkey breast...yum!...and finished watching Rosemary & Thyme.

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WalMart or Bust
The heck with it. I was supposed to go to WalMart and BJs; I just got the milk and mandarin oranges at the former instead.

WalMart is no longer officially the cheapest place to go, either. James grabbed a box of bulk Sweet'n'Low at Publix yesterday, with the understanding I would get one or two more where it was "cheaper." Well, it was "cheaper"—by a penny! When WalMart prices are up to Publix prices, they ain't cheap no more. Sheesh...I remember when the Campbell's chicken broth was 78 cents, now it's $1.14!

On the other hand, they are still the only place that carries Hood's Calorie Countdown chocolate milk or whole wheat low-carb tortillas that don't taste like they were made of ground-up sawdust mixed with a little water and burned on a cookie sheet.

The WalMart closest to us is remodeling to look more like the newer WallyWorld on Powder Springs/East-West Connector. They seem to have less stuff, too. <wry grin> Actually, it looks like a K-Mart now, which is really sad. They have moved the seasonal aisles to the front and they were crowded with Hallowe'en stuff and a few fall things. No Christmas yet, but areas in the garden center have been cleared for the trees.

On the way home I passed the new CVS on the corner of Hicks and the Connector; in the grass sward at the back of the store was a flock of at least a dozen Canada geese. You could almost see their little minds working: "But this was wild grass and hilly last year when we migrated!" Indeed it was...

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70th Anniversary
Hurricane of '38 Devastates New England (reprint of a 1988 article from Yankee magazine).

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» Saturday, September 20, 2008
Stop'n'Go Saturday
I had a nice long sleep this morning despite getting woken by the neighbors' lawn mower. Unfortunately this meant we didn't get going on our errands until almost noon.

We stopped by Publix to check out the "twofers"; such a big choice this week we had to get a cart. I also stopped by the Hallmark store to see when my Ornament Club choices are coming in. From there we went out to Trader Joe's after stopping at Borders and Michaels. We've decided to have another Asian salad tomorrow night after James gets home from work. I found a real bargain at Borders: the Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker in softcover for only $10. (Yes, I know most of the cartoons are on the discs that came with the book—it would be huge if they weren't. Nevertheless, all the most famous cartoons are in the book, including the infamous "I say it's spinach and I say to hell with it.")

Oh, on the way to Publix, it was demonstrated that some people learn nothing from news events, in this case the horrible commuter train crash in Los Angeles. There was a car driving a bit erratically ahead of us, and as we passed it, we beheld the driver text messaging with both hands!!!! If you want to kill yourself, fine. Just don't take others with you!

At Michaels I finally decided, having seen some of the miniature ornaments, that I am going for the vintage glass look rather than the rustic look for my feather tree; the decision was made after seeing some wonderful little rocking reindeer ornaments and some teardrop shapes that emulated vintage baubles. Of course they are only plastic, but...

We came home by the hobby shop and then had to go home to put up the groceries. We decided to eat supper at home, then went out for ice cream for dessert. When we got home it was so nice and cool we took a few turns around the street with the bikes, then came in to watch two of the three Rosemary and Thyme episodes we got from Netflix. I wasn't all that fond of the France-set one, although the scenery was smashing—the plot seemed very thin. The boys' school episode was better—although I kept looking at the Latin master, annoyed because I couldn't remember who that was. Turned out to be Anthony Andrews, looking very Mr. Chips-ish. :-)

Now we are watching one of the March of Time VHS tapes I bought yesterday. The first was "Uncle Sam: The Farmer" talked about how the farmer was prospering due to war sales and government subsidies after the price crashes and the Dust Bowl. The second is "The Ramparts We Watch," which is very reminiscent of the docudramas we do today, tracing the effect war has on a community in World War I. Citizens polarize, for and against, U.S. citizens of German descent fight prejudice, and early volunteers die in re-created scenes side-by-side with super archival footage of Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, the Kaiser, King George V, the Czar, etc.

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» Friday, September 19, 2008
Friday Fun
Spent my day off close to home to save gas, mostly orbiting around Cumberland Mall to go to Borders and Michaels. I bought Ideals Thanksgiving and Ideals Christmas, the latter now placed in a stack with two new Christmas books I am waiting to read (I'm still waiting for a third in the mail). Also dropped in at Cost Plus Warehouse, having heard they had some Christmas things in (they do, but nothing of much account yet).

Also checked out the new Anna's Linen (nothing I needed, but nice to see that they display their curtains like the department stores used to do so you can see what they look like!) and then next door to the new Dollar Tree. Alas, they have the Colgate toothbrushes I like, the ones I usually drive out to Acworth for, but only in soft. I hate soft toothbrushes; my teeth not only don't feel clean, but they usually aren't. I did find a lovely Christmas basket to put a gift in, some cling gels in leaf form to use on my flameless candles in a fall arrangement, and three VHS tapes (yeah, I know—how quaint!). One was Animaniacs Christmas (we haven't bought the DVD sets) and two were of the old newsreels The March of Time, which ran from 1935 through 1951, narrated by Westbrook van Voorhis (isn't that a marvelous name)? Both concern aspects of World War II.

Dropped in on the Akers Mill Barnes & Noble for the first time in several months. I was able to pick up the Entertainment Weekly with Hugh Laurie on the cover and also a compilation of MAD magazine television/movie/magazine spoofs, MAD for Decades.

By this time it was lunchtime and my oatmeal had long worn off, so I came home to a sandwich of leftover turkey from dinner last night. This was yummy turkey thigh and brought me back to when my best friend and I would go out to eat at a place called The Roast House. The original place was at Lincoln Mall, but there was later one at Warwick Mall. The restaurant in its original incarnation was wonderful: they sold turkey carved right off the bird and you could ask for dark or white meat. I always had the "turkey sandwich special," dark meat on a kaiser roll, a bowl of fresh turkey soup, and a large drink (coffee milk always!). Sadly, they eventually got rid of the special and then started serving only turkey breast (ugh).

I spent the rest of the afternoon putting my craft room in order. I'd already picked up all the packing padding that was strewn about (from old Amazon boxes and kept for shipping Christmas gifts), but there were other things out of place. I sorted my scrapbooking papers, pens, glue, tape, and other things, plus cleaned off my drawing table and painted a frame. By the time I finished it was nearly dinnertime and also time to take Willow outside.

Wow! Now that the sun had gone down it was cool and breezy outside. As Willow ran around the back yard, I thought, "We ought to go somewhere where we can eat outside." So we did; we had supper at Italian Oven. They have an outdoor eating area which is strung with white "fairy lights" as the British call them, and it was nice and breezy out there. I had just plain linguini with marinara sauce, but preceded it with what I thought was a cup of Italian wedding soup. It was instead a very delicious bowl, so now I have some linguini for lunch next week. :-)

Came home to watch Cesar Millan's 100th Dog Whisperer program. All his former "clients" were on, and some of the problem dogs were featured. Near the end of the program, Cesar got to meet his childhood hero: Lassie! Following this: more What's My Line? and The Name's the Same (and now we're caught up), including a hilarious edition of the latter where the girl was named "A. Flea" and a "gotcha" for Bennett Cerf: one of the WML guests was the gentleman who had recently taken his passport photo!

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» Thursday, September 18, 2008
Scary
A local woman was kidnapped from a shopping center parking lot, stabbed, stuffed back in her own car, and apparently driven to Florida, which was where she was found. She is in critical condition in a Florida hospital. The monster who did this to her was found and arrested this morning.

The place she was kidnapped was the little shopping center on Barrett Parkway where the Michaels, Olive Garden, Party City, etc. is—I go there all the time and the place is always crowded. Frightening. It could have been anyone.

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» Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Daytime
Glorioski, it was nice today. It never got over 68°F and there was a small breeze. I had the windows wide open all day. The birds were running riot out at the feeder; the big red-headed woodpecker was back several times today.

Work was very relaxed; I could catch up on customer service and other small items, and did one of the two modifications left. Not having to slog the long road home meant I could also catch up on some housework that has been delayed in the past two weeks: I washed the kitchen floor, put up a decoration I had bought over a month ago, cleaned off the dining room table and the coffee table, and started to tidy up the craft room. At lunch time I also transferred birthdays into my computer organizer and watched something I had recorded months ago, "The Plow That Broke the Plains," the famous 1936 documentary about the Dust Bowl. Since I recently finished the book The Worst Hard Time I wanted to check out the documentary, as one of the men profiled in the book, Bam White, is shown in the film.

I think we're going to try open windows tonight. Not sure if it's going to work, since I was still sweltering last night with the A/C down to 69.

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» Monday, September 15, 2008
Guess What I'm Doing Right Now!
Sitting with the windows open! Woohoo!

Will still be too warm tonight to go without A/C, but it's very nice right now. There'll be lots of setbacks...but "it's comin' by gum, you can feel it come..." (And it's not June busting out all over, either.)

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Way to Go, Cold Front!
It pushed through while I was at lunch and is now four degrees cooler than it was when I went out two hours ago. The breeze was tremendous! I wish it were as nice inside; 80°F again in my cubicle and I have the fan on high. I understand now why I get backaches when I'm here; I have to keep my body hunched to get the full benefit of the fan. In the meanwhile, I cope with payment authorizations. I'm not sure which is worse, payment authorizations or fleas. I hate numbers; they're God's way of punishing us for our sins.

Have cheered the place up by stripping out the summer decor for autumn; much nicer now with the oranges, reds and yellows.

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» Sunday, September 14, 2008
Hot and Cold
I had a brief "bathroom bout" in the wee hours of the morning and now am seriously wondering if I am allergic to crab. Although these incidents seem to be happening every other Saturday evening. Odd, since Saturday is such a hit-or-miss day here; I can't think of any one thing in common that might trigger it.

We started out at Publix to scan the "twofer" items (a bumper crop of good staples today including juice and macaroni) and get a little cash to go to a Blue Ribbon Affair. We passed several gas stations whose prices have risen alarmingly since Friday. (I must confess that, as coughing and wheezy as I was on Friday, I did go out briefly for gasoline since I received several e-mails from friends about price increases. I didn't get the bargain 3.50s of Wednesday and Thursday, but did manage a reasonable 3.649 at BJs. On the way home, the QT stations were already up to 3.799. I wasn't afraid of the price increase as much as I was of people running out in panic to get gasoline, leaving the stations empty when I needed to fill my tank to get to work, and my instincts were sound, as Saturday morning most of the gas stations we passed were out of gas.)

Blue Ribbon Affair was made nicer this year by a nice brisk breeze James said was caused by compression from Ike's rampage out west. It was still in the mid 80s and humid, though, so tramping about between the stalls of sellers was warm work. We got the last of our fudge for the year and bought a small treat of home-made dog biscuits for Willow. As we were leaving, we stopped by a stall that sold mostly wooden products like trays, napkin holders, plate holders, etc., and there was this adorable little feather tree, just about a foot high and no wider than 8 inches, with red beads on the tip of each branch, and a block painted with a holly graphic for a base. It was quite inexpensive, so I brought it home. How I wish Yellow Daisy and Blue Ribbon had been reversed, as the Country Pickin's people's miniature things would have been perfect for this little fellow. I would want it to look like a pioneer's tree with home-made ornaments or perhaps a 1920s vintage-type tree. Will have to think about an appropriate decorating scheme.

We then went to Kroger and luckily found milk on sale so we didn't have to go to BJs. This left the rest of the afternoon for blessed repose, since a few hours in the sun had done me no good—my fingers were so swollen from the heat I could barely make a fist. We put the groceries up and then I caught up on my group reading.

James had marinated some beef short ribs and we had them done on the grill as I continued dubbing off What's My Line? to get the DVR a bit more "uncrowded." Frankly, I wanted to copy off the episode done after Fred Allen had died before the silly DVR possibly hiccuped and croaked like the previous two had. Damn. Fred Allen died over 52 years ago and this one still makes me choke up. He never liked television although his mastery over radio was unparalleled, but he enlivened the show with his ridiculous puns that gave Bennett Cerf a run for his money and it was a somber leave-taking.

Need to put the last Rosemary and Thyme on so that James can pop the disc into the mail tomorrow.

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Crafters Anonymous Pledge
(Thanks to Wendy on "Christmas to the Max")

 1. I will not stuff craft supplies in every corner of my house.
 2. I will not keep nine projects going at one time.
 3. I will not pick up more buttons, lace or fabric when I have a ton at home.
 4. I will not let my crafting area look like a condemned area.
 5. I will not relegate the kitchen table to crafts.
 6. I will not attend craft shows just to pick up more ideas.
 7. I will not stock up on more craft supplies just because they are on sale.
 8. I will not go off on a tangent when anyone mentions that little word "import."
 9. I will not let my crafting distract me from fixing dinner.
10. I will not stay up all night crafting.
11. I will not save dryer lint, empty cereal boxes, detergent scoops, etc.
12. I will not buy every craft magazine I see.
13. I will not make promises I cannot keep.

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» Saturday, September 13, 2008
Dani--Have You Seen This?
Bibliochaise.

Clever, actually. If you click "Gallery" there are more photos of both colors and, if you scroll down, there's a photo of the chair with a matching ottoman.

Thanks for the link, Rodney!

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Coughing Up a Storm
I suppose that's what I got for congratulating myself for not getting sick during DragonCon as always. Instead I've been sick since Wednesday. At least I got through work on Wednesday, which was CDC's self-declared end of fiscal year except for emergency projects. It started as just feeling "off," a little queasy and sleepy. A nap at lunch seemed to solve the problem, but it then veered into a sore throat that even cold water wouldn't soothe. By Thursday morning I was coughing hard enough to have trouble breathing and Friday was no better. I slept most of the time. It was like two days with a severe allergy attack.

Apparently I tossed enough sleep and doses of cough syrup and ibuprofin at it, since the sore throat and the cough have finally abated. I only coughed minimally this morning and less this afternoon and was able to go to JoAnn for a couple of things. We got a pair of lovely metal Debbie Mumm autumn leaf trays that will be nice for game nights or parties. Bought the newest Beatrix Potter mystery in paperback at Borders. Dropped James' shirts off at the cleaner and visited the hobby shop. That was about enough for today.

We did have lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. We've wanted to try it at lunch time. Alas, their lunch menu is only Monday through Friday and their prices are about like Red Lobster. So James had a shrimp sandwich and I had clam chowder and a salad, and we shared some crab dip that was quite delicious.

The cough's coming only intermittently now, so I hope I've dodged that bullet—most of these things that start with a sore throat and turn in into a cough usually turn into a not-so-jolly case of bronchitis. We spent the dinner hour watching a Doctor Who we had apparently missed on the Sci-Fi Channel, "Gridlock," and now we're back to What's My Line? and The Name's the Same. These programs are still so humorous and such fun to watch.

We've spent a lot of last night and some of this morning watching the Weather Channel reports on Hurricane Ike. James has family and friends in Texas, but not directly in the path of the full force of the storm, although they will get rain. The weather report from Chicago boggles the mind—they're not having hurricane weather, but have had over seven inches of rain!

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» Friday, September 12, 2008
You Can Find Anything Online: Doctor Who Edition
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» Tuesday, September 09, 2008
One Quarter at the Time
When James walked in tonight he handed me the Alaska quarter...woohoo! Only one to go.

Incidentally, someone read my story about the Shane's Rib Shack employee who hunted up the New Mexico quarter for me and asked for the location, so the guy could be given an "attaboy." Cool.

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Oh, Yeah...
...new web page here.

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» Monday, September 08, 2008
The WML Files
Here's part one of the 1975 What's My Line? retrospective on YouTube: What's My Line? at 25—other parts are linked on right.

Just found a WML Yahoo group...will see how that is.

And, OMG, a big long interview with Bennett Cerf...

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» Sunday, September 07, 2008
Dreaming...
"Wishing for color,
     Ripe apples, warm sox—
We count the days
     Till equinox!"

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What a Daisy!
We had a fiercely hot summer, but after it climbed into the 90s at the beginning of August and then we had a bout of rain, it was as if the weather "softened." Oh, it still was hot—even nudged into the 90s—but the sun didn't seem as fierce. It didn't have that infrared feeling like it was slicing through your skin. Even last weekend, when we were tramping from hotel to hotel, it wasn't overbearing.

Sadly, that couldn't be said about today, although we were able to drive out to Stone Mountain with the windows down. The moment the sun got overhead it was a roaster.

So after we arrived home at two we are just sacking out and keeping cool for the rest of the day! I'm using the opportunity to catch up on What's My Line?/The Name's the Same episodes. The first we watched was from March 18, 1956, the day after Fred Allen died. John Charles Daly said they had planned to do a tribute, but Portland Hoffa Allen said Fred would want them to carry on, so Steve Allen was called in to substitute and all the panel were in somber colors. They each had a brief tribute to Fred at the end. Very moving.

We've also seen a Name's the Same with one of my favorite character actors, David Wayne (he was just opening on Broadway in Teahouse of the August Moon) and a hilarious show in which one of the contestants was named "A. Sailor." This was even funnier because the gentleman was in the U.S. Navy—yes, he was "Sailor Sailor"!—and his full initials were "I. M. A. Sailor."

So, we wandered the paths of the Yellow Daisy Festival for almost three hours; cool at the beginning, but increasingly uncomfortable as the time wore on. We remembered our hats and our water bottles, at least, although we forgot our reusable shopping bags, so could not heft our bags over our shoulder. As always, we started with the Azalea Circle path, and on the smaller A-loop path we found some chill bandannas (they have crystals in them; you soak them in cold water for 30 minutes then they keep you cool for several hours) like the ones I had planned to order from the Vermont Country Store. Sampled the dip flavorings and the soup mixes as well, but only brought home more garlic flavorings to make garlic butter.

I also bought a few more of the miniatures that I mentioned last year, which were put together to make this. This year I bought a couple of things to complete the winter display which I misplaced last year and never did use, but I also bought a little frame with an apple theme with some apple/food accessories and made a small display for the kitchen.

My attention was grabbed by some beautiful piano music, and I ended up with a 3-CD set of Christmas music by the O'Neill brothers, who apparently have performed on PBS, plus their "Autumn" album. Unfortunately, the other Christmas CD I bought I already had, although the artist said it was "new." She said if I did have it I could contact her and she would send me another album and a way to return the CD. She does have an album of Celtic music...

James stocked up on some of the "Smack Your Mama" barbecue sauce and we bought our yearly fudge treat. There are many custom soap sellers these days and I picked up some free samples, including some dog soap that is supposed to be good for the dog's skin, lathers well, and does not leave the dog with a "wet dog" odor.

There is a brick front on our house, and a rather bare wall on the porch. I have previously had a slate plaque on that wall, but a week ago the plaque fell and broke into several pieces. It was bought at minimum cost from JoAnn and was terribly faded, so it wasn't much of a loss, but I realized that if I wanted some decoration for this bare wall I should probably have something that resists discoloring, since the porch spends all afternoon in the sun. My idea was some sort of metal sculpture, perhaps in a form of a leaf. On the last path I found a gentleman who was selling sculptures of either branches with leaves or ones with butterflies and flowers; these were produced by heating copper until the heat brought out other colors. So I bought a small branch with five maple leaves. Now I just need to find out a method of attaching them to the bricks.

Before we headed home but after our annual roasted ear of corn, we stopped at the DeKalb Farmer's Market to pick up some boneless skinless turkey thighs as well as ground turkey (James likes the grind there better, as it is more coarse). We get on this side of town so rarely now, since we don't play trivia any longer, that it's expedient to stock up when we're there. I like to go back just before Christmas because they have all the ethnic holiday goodies.

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» Saturday, September 06, 2008
Errand Saturday
Since we're going to the Yellow Daisy Festival tomorrow, we had to get all our errands done today. We had to play catch-up a bit because of having last weekend off, so went to Kroger for the usual bananas and yogurt and found three nice discount steaks as well. James also got his prescriptions refilled; he found out that even with Kaiser's good prices, he could pay much less for about four of his meds by using the special prices at Kroger.

We crammed the perishables into an insulated bag and went to BJs for milk and cheese (oh, and omeprazole; at the rate I have to take it, I need to buy it every three weeks—I wish it came as a generic at Kroger or WalMart!). They've rearranged and have the DVDs near the greeting cards and books. Prices on seasons two and three of McHale's Navy are very tempting.

On the way home we stopped briefly for me to run inside Lowes for safflower seeds and suet cakes; we had bought seed for the wild birds at Kroger. Our flock empties the feeder once a day.

After we brought the groceries home and put them up, we could have a calmer afternoon. We stopped at the hobby shop for a little while, then went to Sports Authority. I wanted to get two of those plastic bottle holders that sling from your belt. Last year when we went to the Yellow Daisy Festival, I worked up some crude bottle holders made from wire so we could keep our hands free, but I wanted something more reliable this year. We didn't find anything like that, but we did find some non-BPA bottles that are insulated and come with a strap around the mouth that can be used as a hanger. I bought a set of three caribiners at JoAnn a few weeks back, and two of these can be used to hang the bottles at our belt. I'm planning to bring some of the Publix reusable bags with us as well.

By this time it was after four and neither of us had had lunch, so we stopped for supper at Shane's Rib Shack. I have been asking at every store for the past couple of weeks if they have a New Mexico quarter, since we have picked up an Arizona and an Oklahoma for this year, but never did find the one in the middle. When we were putting in our order, I asked the cashier at Shane's the inevitable question; he'd already closed the cash drawer and said he'd look when he opened it again. A few minutes later, after we were eating, he came over to our table wearing a grin and holding a quarter, asking if we wanted to trade. Woohoo!

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» Friday, September 05, 2008
Saturday Friday
James decided that this year he was going to take his birthday off. But since his birthday fell yesterday, on a Thursday, he decided he'd rather have a three-day weekend instead, so took today off. Since it fell on my Friday off, it worked out pretty well.

We didn't do anything earth-shaking, just relaxed and did errands after last week's flurry of activity at DragonCon. Oh, and I got to sleep late.

I want to replace the old loveseat/fold-out bed in my craft room with a desk, so we stopped at Big Lots Furniture. I thought something like my present computer desk, which I found there, would do, especially as it was pretty inexpensive. But all they had were metal computer desks with little storage. Hm. Will need to think of something else.

We were going out to Trader Joe's to buy chicken salad and other good things (we got another Asian salad fixing kit for Sunday night), and stopped at Hallmark on the way. I had a coupon that gave me 1000 extra points if I spent $20. I found some little Christmas decorations at 75 percent off and also a Webkinz bat for a Hallowe'en decoration. He's adorable and his wings fold up. I was thinking of naming him "Belfry," but now I think I will call him "Renfield." We also stopped at Fuzziwig's and the East Cobb Borders, where I noticed the newest Beatrix Potter mystery was out.

We came home via Microcenter and by the bakery/butcher shop, where we bought more French bread and also more Italian sausage and pork schnitzel. (We had pork schnitzel for the first time a few weeks ago. I was worried about it because it looked like it was peppered, but it wasn't hot at all. Yes, we did serve it with noodles. This is actually funnier because that morning, walking into work just a little before seven, I heard honking—our office park is on the edge of a wetlands/bird sanctuary—and a big V of geese flew over, right under the still visible moon.)

Came home for a while where James went down to his "man cave" and worked on some models while I worked on a web page.

For dinner we tried a new restaurant (for us), the Bay Breeze Seafood Restaurant in Mableton. The place was very busy, but we got very nice service, especially for a Friday in a seafood restaurant. We both had broiled dishes, James jumbo and popcorn shrimp and myself jumbo shrimp and scallops. This was good, but I didn't care for the slightly peppery seasoning. It was about the same price as a Red Lobster.

On the way home we stopped at Borders, where I found the new Yankee and Early American Life. We had Bruster's for dessert before heading home.

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» Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Finished...
...despite WS-FTP giving me grief. (I had to upload the photos using 1and1's one-at-a-time loader.)

Dragoncon entries are finished and there are photos: here and here and here and here, or just scroll down if it's still possible.

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Aftermath
I was so tired and sick to my stomach last night I was seriously considering coming in late this morning, or not coming in at all, since almost everything is done (barring emergencies), so I never did add a postscript to the credit-card-hacking story (never mind finishing blogging about DragonCon). Of course I called up the bank to report the fraudulent charges and have the card cancelled, and found out there were more charges than the three that were listed. They were all small charges, not more than $200.00, for things like "four cheap CDs," electronics, computer supplies, etc. I won't know the full extent until I get the statement I have to sign.

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» Tuesday, September 02, 2008
What the Frak?
Heck, I've been using that word for years now.

The Curse Word That Battlestar Galactica Created

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RIP Don LaFontaine
Sure you know him: he even parodied himself in a Geico ad.

"In a World..." Voiceover Master Dies at 68

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Hack, Hack, Hack
And no, I'm not coughing.

So I get an e-mail today that my Government credit card has been selected for a random audit. This happens occasionally; you just copy all your paperwork and bundle it in a secured envelope and send it to the auditors.

Except one teeny-tiny detail: I haven't made a purchase since May of 2007 on the card and these charges were in July.

The person who notified me of the audit sent me a copy of the expense sheet. Both charges were made on a Thursday while I was teleworking. I did some surfing on the net and one charge is to a UK magazine subscription site and the other two are for a subscription for an EMAP tower, whatever the heck that is, also located in England (the charge says Peterborough).

Can you say "hack"? I knew you could.

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» Monday, September 01, 2008
Dragoncon, Day 4
The day began beautifully, in the low 70s, cloudy, with a breeze. You can't do much better on a summer day. In fact, it stayed cloudy all day as well. Woohoo! Made tramping between hotels downright easy, although I found I didn't mind it so much this year because it was not stiflingly hot.

I have to say we did quite good with supplies this year. We did not overbuy, and had low-cal meals all weekend, no fast food, and healthy breakfasts at home rather than relying on Burger King for Cinni-Minis as we had in the past (which makes what happened early Sunday morning all the more puzzling). I also had a better time with my shoulder this year. I put a shoulder pad from another item on my lunchbag and it worked quite well. Last year my shoulder began burning and hurting from carrying both my lunchbag and my camera, and my arm has not been the same since; it hurts when I lift it too high.

Downtown was even more deserted this morning than it was yesterday; you could have driven a herd of elephants down Courtland Street and almost no one would have been there to notice. James and I once again spent the day apart, as his interests diverge wildly from mine. I think he spent most of the weekend at the Apocalypse panels (the practical ones, not the ones involved with zombies. <g>). So we parted at the Courtland Garage entrance and I was once again on my way to the Sheraton, for the "Everything Who" panel at 10 a.m. The panel members, which included Alan Siler, organizer of TimeGate, and Rob Levy, arrived a little late, so we were all in a relaxed line outside waiting for the doors to open. I had a nice conversation with three other women around my age, partially about George Takei and partially about guests and their need or, sometimes, non-need, for convention escorts. One of them had seen Anthony Lewis and Gareth David Lloyd crossing from hotel to hotel without an escort, which she thought surprising.

This was the combined Who panel, so it was a bit tight for the room; I don't think they expected this many people at 10 a.m. on a Monday due to all the parties last night. So we were discussing all the Doctors and all the companions.

At 11:30 I walked back to the Marriott to catch a little of Micky Dolenz. I stopped at the Exhibition Hall on the way upstairs and checked to see if the sheep game was still there, but they were all gone. I considered another card game, then remembered we hadn't played all the new ones I have already, so left empty handed.

Micky DolenzI used to watch The Monkees off and on; Mike Nesmith was always my favorite. But I found Micky enjoyable, although I wasn't into the series in the depth in which the rest of the audience seemed to be, talking about different concerts. He talked some about several concerts, including what was apparently a famous one from Hawaii, the movie Head (which was panned by many of the fans at the time because it wasn't like the series), and his getting to meet the Beatles, dressed up in full hippie regalia, and finding himself in a bland room during a recording session. He did say that he and the others are not really close socially; they usually see each other just when someone arranges a reunion.

However, I did get a few pictures for Emma :-) before slipping out early. I wanted to hit pre-registration for next year so that we could have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves. This only took about ten minutes, including filling out the form, and I was headed back to the Sheraton, so I cut through the Marriott and did one last pass of the Dealer's Room, where I said hi to James' youngest sister Sabra, who was sitting waiting for the rest of her friends so they could go to lunch. I went back to the dealer who had the Pocket Dragons, but ended up buying a stuffed fox from him instead. He has a beautiful, open face, and is as large as a small cat. (There are two dealers here that sell "regular" stuffed animals—that is, as opposed to the dealers who sell stuffed dragons and vorpel bunnies, or stuffed animals with wings on them; I bought a winged terrier last year, which is a terrifying thought, especially if they also had opposable thumbs!—but not "cutesy" stuffed animals, Webkinz, or the standard variety dogs, cats, and rabbits. One was this company down in the Dealer's Room, and the other was the booth upstairs where I bought "Kuma," and they both carry a line of realistic wild animals, from ferrets and martens to ocelots, zebras, beavers, wolves, deer...)Kima and the fox

So my afternoon was spent at the Sheraton, with three BritTrack panels in a row. The first was devoted to Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks and the series Blake's 7 and The Survivors. They spent some time talking about the latter, which is about the survivors of a plague which nearly wipes out the human population of Earth. It strikes me that James might really enjoy this series. I've never seen it, although I've heard of it, and apocalyptic fiction isn't really my thing (Blake's 7 was as close as I got). We also did talk some about Blake and company, and about the cast's appearance on Doctor Who.

The next panel was "Doctor Who in Other Media" at 2:30 p.m., chiefly talking about the novels and audio productions. I still have some of my Who novels, especially some of the "Missing Adventures" involving my favorite Doctors, but many of them I gave up on after awhile because I didn't like the writing. Keith DeCandido was on the panel with some hardback copies of the newest "Short Trips" collection, Doctor Who short stories. I was doing a search on Amazon recently and had no idea that they had continued the "Short Trips" volumes because you never see them in the bookstores here, just the regular Doctor Who novels. I have the three original "Decalog" collections, which then degenerated into short stories not about Doctor Who, and at least one "Short Trips" paperback volume that I managed to find. Now they come out in hardback. I may hunt up a couple; it looks like they do a Christmas volume every year, which looks tempting.

James slipped in behind me for the BritTrack wrapup panel, "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" at 4 p.m.; he'd planned to go to the Apocalypse track wrapup, but he said they didn't look like they were going to do anything. (He briefly showed me his art show print purchases: a beautiful alien planet landscape with spaceships flying overhead, done in chrome yellows and dark blues, and a sketch of a rather-battered wizard. The legend is "Sometimes the magic doesn't fix everything," and the wizard is pointing a revolver at some offscreen enemy.) The wrapup panel usually consists of questions about what people liked and what they didn't like, what we might like to add, or not to do any longer. I think it's fairly positive that they didn't do any Whose Line Is It Anyway improvs at all! These were fine when they were once a day, but one year almost the entire BritTrack programming consisted of Whose Line. It was very, very obvious that the panel, which included Alan Siler, Rob Levy, Rob Bowen, track chair Caro McCully, and "the two Alexes," were exhausted, because the discussion of next year eventually devolved into sleep-deprived insanity which ended with
Rob Levy and Rob BowenRob and Rob doing dueling cartoon character voices, trying to outdo each other (they were actually hilarious, going from Yogi Bear and Alf to Mr. Burns and Smithers and even wandering into what sounded like Vizzini from Princess Bride). Someone was recording this, I believe, and I hope it ends up on YouTube, half because of the humor and half just to show what happens when you get so little sleep. :-)

Finally someone passed around TimeGate promos and told us it was time to go; I wailed, "But if we leave then we just have to go home and go to work tomorrow!"

It's always hard to leave a convention, but especially hard to leave this bunch. I've been watching Doctor Who since 1974 and other British programming for years, whether SF or not (The Good Life! Flambards!! All Creatures Great and Small! Doctor in the House! The Goodies! Fawlty Towers!), and I always feel as if the BritTrack is a bit of a spiritual home.

But it was time to go, so the three of us (James, me, and the fox <g>) made our way back to the garage and got on the road. We ate dinner, having "real food" (Longhorn! Cow! Sweet potato!), then made a short stop at Borders, since there was a 30 percent off coupon (James bought a book, but nothing I wanted was out yet), finally Bruster's for dessert (yay! coffee ice cream!). Then home to fids and more episodes of What's My Line and The Name's the Same.

And now it's bedtime.

(Next weekend, the Yellow Daisy Festival! Stay tuned if you like...)

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