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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» Sunday, May 31, 2009
Three at One Blow
Holy cats, what a day! I woke up with my left elbow aching. I hurt it packing contract files into boxes back when we moved from Buckhead to Koger in 1999. Sometimes it hurts like the dickens, and this morning was one of those days.

It was still aching when we went to Kroger for milk and whatever. Then at Kroger I started having bellyaches. So we went home and instead of going to see Star Trek I visited the bathroom instead. Gah.

Ironically, after I carried the shopping bags up the stairs, my elbow quit hurting.

About four o'clock I felt better and we went to BJs as we had run out of mushrooms and shredded cheese. It was hot but breezy, and would have been nice if it was cloudy!

We came home and noticed the 2009 Kitchen and Bath exhibition was showing on HGTV, so I backed up the DVR (handy gadget, even if sometimes it drives me nuts). This was filmed at the Georgia World Congress Center. Lots of cool stuff. Some ugly stuff. Some absolutely insanely-priced stuff.

This was about halfway through when my nose started to run and I started to sneeze, out of nowhere. This carried on until we had dinner (leftover chicken, corn on the cob, and salad). For dessert we each had the chocolate chocolate chip cookie we bought at the bakery yesterday. I was very surprised because usually bakery cookies are overly sweet, but this was sweetened just enough to take the bitterness from the dark chocolate and that's all, which was perfect as far as I'm concerned! I hate sugary foods.

Otherwise than the HGTV show, we have been watching What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth all afternoon. Now we're going to put The Last Detective on. This is the last of them.

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The "Forgotten" Star Trek
Here's a nice Guide to Animated Star Trek.

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Where's My Flying Car?
Why Our "Amazing" Science Fiction Future Fizzled

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» Saturday, May 30, 2009
Oh, Cool!
We used one of our Restaurant.com coupons and went to My Cousin Vinny's for supper. We hadn't been there in a while. They used to have a nice restaurant on the corner of US41 and Bells Ferry Road, but that closed several years ago and they reopened in a storefront near Town Center Road. The decor changed and the menu was greatly reduced, and after we went there once, we haven't gone back.

Tonight was quite nice, though. We had stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer, and James had a chicken/proscuitto/cheese concoction with a lovely wine sauce and I had shrimp linguini. Delicious and lots of shrimp. We both brought lunches home.

We also stopped at Borders. Too cool! There is a new American Girl: her name is Rebecca Rubin and she is growing up in New York of 1914 and wants to be in the movies. For once the whole set has come out at once. I'll have to check at Costco or BJs, where it might be cheaper.

Check out Cozy Nook for more Rebecca info and links.

We drove home with the setting sun mostly to our right. The air grew cool the moment the sun reached the horizon and it was lovely with the windows down and lights blossoming in homes and outside developments and in churches. This is my favorite time of day.

We stopped at Publix to see if they had the sugar-free cookies that Kroger has quit carrying (no dice), but did get some things on sale, including a nice London broil James will slice up for "steaklets" for Monday dinner. When we emerged the air was soft and dark. Haven't seen any fireflies yet, but it's getting to be that season.

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Color Out and In
Oh, cool...Get Color is back on HGTV, except now it's called Colour Confidential. I love this show. This is the series with Jane Lockhart using the color wheel that draws a palette from the owners' interests. Even if I don't like the owners' style in decorating, the colors always come out looking superb.

(Ugh, now Candice Olsen is messing up a beautiful 1920s era house by putting in 1960s-type fixtures and new tile on the fireplace. And putting a desk in front of the radiator? Um, genius, it's going to block the heat and in the winter anyone working there is going to swelter—and if they're using a computer the heat is bad for it! And there she goes, like all the others, using books for decorations again. Books are for reading! They are not plant stands, focal points, lamp stands, candy dish holders, or anything else but books!)

Anyway, I have ironed my work clothes, vacuumed again, and gone about with a squirt bottle of peroxide attacking more spots on the carpet, especially those stupid Georgia red clay smears on the stairs. No matter how much you wipe your feet, especially when it's wet, or wear slippers outside to walk the dog, the damn stuff gets caught in the bottoms of your shoes and comes along.

When James gets home from his IPMS meeting we can go out to supper.

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Finds
Another morning James didn't wake up early! I can see we'll have to set the alarm to make the farmer's market on time. By the time we got there (9:45 a.m.) all the free parking was taken and I could see as we went by that some of the vegetable stands looked picked over. (I gotta admit we did well getting out of the house: I woke us up at 9:17 and we were out of the house by 9:35.)

James had an overpayment check, so we just drove to the bank in Smyrna to deposit that, and we checked out the new Smyrna farmer's market. It's...very small. LOL. Only two farm stands (one that sold honey, too), someone selling bread, and a salsa/tamale stand. James got a tamale for breakfast and I bought two ears of corn and a couple of fresh tomatoes. It's so nice to eat tomatoes that smell like tomatoes. The ones in the supermarket...eh.

No cucumbers, but you can get a halfway decent one in the supermarket.

We also stopped at McIntyre's bakery. They don't carry French bread, it looks like, although they do make sandwiches and soup for lunch. We got two chocolate chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The soup wasn't ready and I didn't see anything I wanted in the sandwiches.

So we came home and James had his tamale with chili and I had oatmeal and yogurt.

It's nice out right now, despite the sun: cool and with a breeze. Won't be cool long. I think I preferred the clouds!

(Oh, speaking of shopping...did you ever have something just jump in front of your eyes and scream "buy me for _____________"? That happened last night! So, Jen, you have a small surprise coming in August...heh)

I put some show on PBS on called Save Money Now! Geez, what a joke! Three or four tips and the host and hostess start shilling for either the DVD package you get for pledging or just pledging period. I don't think they actually filled fifteen minutes with the money-saving stuff! You get more info on Clark Howard's show even with the dingbat commercials.

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The Final Tonight Show With Jay Leno
From bad jokes to great monologues, from Jaywalking to Things from the 99 Cent Store, from celebrity guests to all those great animal encounters, from joking with Kevin to picking on John, and our favorite, Headlines...thanks, Jay...we had a ball.

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» Friday, May 29, 2009
Pressed and Published
Boy, did I need the sleep-in this morning. Remember lots of dreams, no details memorable. Had breakfast, then gathered up my library books, my book to read (the Disney bio), my coupons, a granola bar, and a small bottle of deodorant *, and was on my way: returned the books, got some cash, then stopped at the Austell Borders, since I'd gotten a nice sheaf of coupons yesterday due to the brake repair on the car and I have found myself enamored of the Robin Paige Victorian mysteries (read the first book between panels at Timegate). I was able to pick up one.

Also noticed the big map at the front of the store talking about how they are remodeling to provide more books and other items since they have reduced their movies and music sections. Looks like a bigger bargain book section and a "wellness center," a new area for biographies, etc.

Then tooled to Kaiser and had the mammogram (or as I referred to it to someone, having my breasts pressed). The tech was super-nice and the room was nice and cool (she said it was for ladies with hot flashes). Well, for those of you who haven't gone through the procedure, the positioning takes a certain bit of manipulation. At one point I was locked in the machine and she was very close in, positioning my arm, and I started getting that "oh, hell, I'm trapped!" feeling and for two seconds was ready to panic! I can't believe this. It's never happened during a mammogram. I've generally had positive experiences, except for the jerk in Macon, and that's because he was so offhand rather than it being painful. (There are apparently hundreds of women who won't go in for mammograms because they are afraid it will hurt. Honest to God, it's uncomfortable, but it never hurts...unless the technician doesn't know what he or she is doing.) The tech picked right up on it and let the glass plate up and made me sit down, even though the feeling passed the moment she moved away.

There's also a new thing where they put a little sticker with a tiny metal ball on it on the tip of each breast. The tech says it helps the doctor pinpoint the perimeter of the breast. Interesting.

Slipped out the back way to the freeway and went to the Borders at Town Center to get the next Robin Paige book. It wasn't on the shelf and I asked a gentleman stocking the shelves if he knew where it was, as it was listed as "likely in store." Well, he looked using his search function, and the book turned out to be on the cart he had! How funny!

I went into the back corner of the store where the CDs were kept and every single one was gone! Wow. I guess they sell too little music because of Ipods and all that. I really want my music on hard media, but I guess buying/downloading .mp3s is the modern thing. Maybe I am going to have to download any future Christmas music purchases from Amazon...

Oh, there was a car accident on Barrett Parkway two lanes away from the turn up to Borders. An Acura had banged into the back of a Ford Escape. The Escape had scratches on its bumper. The Acura had lost its front plastic bumper and the bumper under it, and the front of the car was all crumpled in! Wow, what a cheap front end!

Came home by BJs for gas. Must have gotten the slowest pump in creation. Thankfully it had clouded over and there was a nice breeze with a slight dampness in it. In fact, had there been a briny scent along with it, it would have been like a nice day at the shore.

Gah. Schuyler is watching Deal or No Deal, the world's most boring game show...


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* Note to those who don't know: you can't wear deodorant when you have a mammo...it interferes with the process.

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» Thursday, May 28, 2009
Blah, Books and Blurbs
It's just been a blah day. After getting a lot done yesterday, today seemed a hard slog. Did meet my new team lead yesterday; she's nice. We had a funny branch meeting today. Got an order done. Sorted attachments to order.

Yep, blah.

My books from Amazon did come: a bio of Walt Disney and another of Laura Ingalls Wilder, both which have gotten smash reviews. I also got the newest Sarah Brandt/Frank Malloy Victorian mystery in hardback because I'd intended to buy it next week in paperback for $8...the hardback was only $6 on Amazon.

My credit card bills came and it turns out I now have $25 in Amazon credit. Yay.

I also ordered two books via Amazon Vine. These are free as long as I review them. Cool, eh? Got a story of an American girl in Africa and also a World War I story. I thought I could get another, but couldn't. Had I known I would have given up one or the other, as the one I wanted (about a lost archaeological artifact) sounded really good.

Once in a while I surf the television for new channels; today I was revolving around "All Subscribed" when I came again upon the Reel Channel. It's movies and movie review shows. Discovered At the Movies, the remnant of what was the original Siskel and Ebert series, runs here. They had a nice review of the new Night at the Museum film, and now Leonard Maltin is talking about underrated films on a show called Secret's Out. The next show is supposed to have a trailer from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

[Later: re preview: zoweeeee!]

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Found While Surfing
Merv Griffin Salutes Wrath of Khan, pt 1, with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and Bibi Besch. Boy, does the "Merv" theme take me back! We used to watch it almost every weeknight.

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» Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Day After
I worked at home today due to some digestive problems last night. It was a productive day; I got four orders done including a rush order I was waiting on, did some purchase authorizations, and dispensed some advice. We had some thunder, the dog barked frantically at the guys cutting the lawn, and Schuyler chattered intermittently. I'll have to go in tomorrow and I hope the traffic in the evening isn't massively awful—I chose my telework days for good reason!

The mail brought a bumper crop of items held up from yesterday, including the new Smithsonian with an article about the new Night at the Museum film as well as a great article on the old Roman roads in the south of France.

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» Monday, May 25, 2009
Time Comes and Goes So Quickly Here
Five days off and it's all over already.

Everyone's gone home and everything's all cleaned up once again. We had a lovely cookout and it didn't rain until we had finished using the grill—hurrah! Juanita just had some surgery, so we seated her in James' recliner and all brought her things. The girls pestered each other and we ate chicken and steak (the pre-marinated chicken we got from Kroger was delicious!) and potato salad and cucumber/tomato salad, and talked about work and medical problems and all those other damn things you talk about when you get to be an adult (and slash fiction; not sure how that one got in there!). Schuyler sang along with the noise and Willow cadged food (of course), and got to chase the chihuahua as everyone was leaving.

Now I'm watching Antiques Roadshow.

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Memorial Day
We're chilling out before the cookout; did all the vacuuming this morning and washed the towels and swept the kitchen floor and pulled out the paper products and set up the sodas and cleared off the coffee table.

Once we were done we went to Petsmart to get Miss Schuyler some seed and millet, and dropped in Michaels. I bought a little appropriate table centerpiece for Memorial Day: a clay pot with silk red-white-and-blue carnation and babies' breath, with a small flag in the center. Also stopped at Borders with our 40 percent off coupon. I got Tony Horwitz's book A Voyage Long and Strange, which I've been drooling over for some weeks now. Here's the description from the back of the book: "What happened in North America between Columbus's sail in 1492 and the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620? On a visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he doesn't have a clue, nor do most Americans. So he sets off across the continent to rediscover the wild era when Europeans first roamed the New World in quest of gold, glory, converts, and eternal youth. Horwitz tells the story of these brave and often crazed explorers while retracing their steps on his own epic trek--an odyssey that takes him inside an Indian sweat lodge in subarctic Canada, down the Mississippi in a canoe, on a road trip fueled by buffalo meat, and into sixty pounds of armor as a conquistador re-enactor in Florida." History—gotta love it!

Later James put Steve Canyon on and played "The Gift," the Christmas episode, about the airmen hosting a Christmas tree for European children who have been displaced or orphaned. One sad little girl has never celebrated Christmas and Steve essays to show her what it means. It is very touching because the explanation is very spiritual but does not particularly focus on one specific religion. It was very sweet.

And the kicker? It was written by Ray Bradbury! Lovely, lovely story. And the Nathan Scott music fits this series so perfectly, the way it fit the Lassie forest ranger episodes. I loved the Les Baxter/Sid Sidney music they had with Timmy—you could pretty much listen to the series and tell what was going on by the musical themes—but it wouldn't have fit the action of the Corey Stuart, etc. episodes.

While you are grilling your chicken or steaks or burgers or franks this afternoon and evening, give a moment to the men and women who made it possible for you to do so. Who made it possible for you to say your government sucks and your taxes are too high. Who made it possible for you to worship (or not) at the venue of your choice and read whatever you like. Who gave their lives so you could wake up feeling safe tomorrow morning. Thanks, folks...for everything.

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Today's "Shoe" by Jeff McNelly


[falls over with tears of helpless laughter::wheeze::cough::chortle::]

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» Sunday, May 24, 2009
Timegate, Day 3, The Coda
Been doing more party prep, so I'm late logging in on the remainder of the convention. Anyway, we chatted quite a bit at the Young Adult Lit panel, and then stayed around for the Irwin Allen panel. James and I and another man comprised the entire audience, so the five of us (with the panel moderators) talked about each of the series, mostly focusing on Lost in Space. I do truly think that even with Dr. Smith being a git there were some great episodes after he went from evil to idiot, even the much-maligned third season with "Great Vegetable Rebellion" (second season had even worse aliens, which is why I didn't get it, since there was only one episode I actually liked, "A Visit to Hades"): "Condemned of Space," "The Haunted Lightship," "Visit to a Hostile Planet," "Hunter's Moon," "The Anti-Matter Man" (the last two featuring Guy Williams).

We had our last dinner at the hotel restaurant. Didn't want anything big, so just had a bowl of the beef vegetable soup with some bread. James had the same with some chicken quesadillas. Should have done this last night instead of the spaghetti.

The final panel was the convention wrap-up, and everyone giving feedback on the con and suggestions for next year. They are talking about inviting Paul McGann, who would be really cool. Apparently Terrance and Mary had a good time, which was nice. Also lots of complaints about the hotel restaurant.

Sadly, it was much better than last year...

Anyway, we had a grand time. While we were in the 80s panel, James slipped out to get some water to take something for his headache and announced when he came back that we had memberships for next year. Grand!

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Timegate, Day 3, Part 4
Well, I should have stayed for the Stephen Moffat panel, but I was getting antsy in my chair and needed a drink. So I did those things and then did a circuit of the Dealer's Room. I did get the first Gallifrey CD, the first UNIT CD, the Jago and Litefoot adventure, and also a Blake's 7 about Vila that takes place before he meets Blake.

James and I hooked up again and sat about in the lobby until it was time for the "I Love the 80s" Who panel. This was fun, but we never got through the 80s...LOL. Peter Davison had just regenerated by the time the panel ended. In the meantime, Adric was defended (partially), and "Kinda" and "Snakedance" were cheered, John Nathan Turner's ideas were hashed over.

Now we're attending the Young Adult Fantasy Literature, wondering why there aren't more fantasy aimed at boys.

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Timegate, Day 3, Part 3
The panel with Terrance Dicks and Mary Tamm was quite fun, as they played off each other back and forth. Many jokes about Mary's penchant for shopping, including for her grandchild. More questions about Romana's dresses, and which would she like to be wearing in a Romana action fiction. Terrance had a very funny story about him answering questions on a panel with Katy Manning, who once posed nude with a Dalek, and getting a question about it posed to him instead!

Mary talked a bit about her training as an actress and which was her favorite role, and Terrance was asked about being around as the Doctors were being chosen. Some funny chatter about Matt Smith, the new Doctor, who, Mary states, looks about twelve. LOL.

Am now in the Companions panel (what makes a good one, and who was the best and was there really a worst)?

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Timegate, Day 3, Part 2
Well, phooey, the network connection is down. First it wouldn't go anywhere after I clicked the "accept" link. Finally it just said "connection interrupted." And of course it's Sunday and they probably don't have anyone around who knows about computers.

Well, I shall write my entries as if I were online anyway.

Anyway, Louis Robinson's Hound of the Baskervilles panel was super as always. This year he had some clips from various productions of the Hound, including a 1980s Russian version which was apparently very popular there, and a silent version, and of course the scenes with Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce and with Jeremy Brett. He also had a neat book about Hound which is like The Annotated Christmas Carol in which there is more commentary than story! :-) Oh, and a Hound teapot!

Then sat out in the lobby trying fruitlessly to get on; figured by the time I did, it would be time to get up and go watch Mary Tamm and Terrance Dicks. Sure enough, it is!

Hate to go...someone is playing the lobby piano...much better than the emo/whatever tripe on the loudspeakers. Where do they get these canned music packages?

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Timegate, Day 3, Part 1
Urgh. "Bathroom event" last night. As always, when I wanted to get to bed so to be up at 8:30 so we could eat breakfast and then attend the "Season 4.5" panel. Well, we're at the end of that panel, anyway. Didn't get up until nine. Didn't leave till 9:30, then had to do breakfast. Just had oatmeal, corn flakes and toast. They had low-fat milk this morning, thankfully.

Spoilers ahoy!

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» Saturday, May 23, 2009
Timegate, Day 2, Part 5
I had a wild hare to see the masquerade, since we haven't gone to one in years, but it was preceded by the cabaret, which I didn't think to get tickets for and hadn't planned to see. Everyone else we were talking to went, however, and it started an hour late. Finally we just headed home. We have something to do at midnight, which I don't care to do, but since we're having a cookout we really need to wash off the deck. We can't use the water outside except on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday between midnight and ten. I keep forgetting to get up early on Thursday and on Sunday we sleep late because of chat. So we'll have to go outside at midnight to use the hose to clean off the deck.

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Timegate, Day 2, Part 4
We went to two of the guest panels earlier. The first was Terrance Dicks, who has written Doctor Who scripts and novelizations based on those scripts (and others' scripts), been script editor, and written original novels based on the series. I saw Dicks for the first time back in 1980, when he was a guest at Noreascon II (the Worldcon) in Boston. He is older but no less pleasant, and it was an entertaining hour, including his talk about his friendship with fellow Who producer Barry Letts, the Target novels, etc.

Once the panel was over, we had supper at the hotel restaurant. The food was okay—I had spaghetti, which was as I expected in an American restaurant, sweet and overcooked, but I figured—but it took forever to check out because their credit card machine was still broken from yesterday. They had to run it the old way with the machine. I gave James my leftovers and asked him to save me a seat and take the leftover box, since my hands were full, but he only heard the last and went to put it in the truck.

So I sat in the back for part of the Mary Tamm panel, then moved up to the front. Mary chattered about all sorts of things besides her part as the original Romana on Doctor Who: especially her grandchild, who is now four and half and loves the series, and her favorite play she has worked in (Private Lives), her favorite dresses that she wore as Romana, favorite women directors, her favorite medium (stage), if she would come back to the series, the BigFinish productions, her friendship with Lalla Ward (whom she recommended for the role), the book she is writing, etc.

Now we are sitting around the lobby chatting with Mel and Phyllis, Jake and Nancy, and Sue.

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Timegate, Day 2, Part 3
Just finished watching "The Next Doctor," this year's Christmas special, in the video room. I know all the folks in the know have probably already downloaded this (Linda waves at...well, he knows who he is), but it was my first time watching. Enjoyed this muchly, Doctor Who meets steampunk. All very Dickensian, too, with workhouse children and a lost child, and David Morrissey was excellent as the future Doctor. (And heavens, they didn't go all PC and did have Lake think of Rosita as a nursemaid, not a love interest. The latter just wouldn't have happened then.)

In the Torchwood, series 3 now, listening to rumors...no, I won't spoil. But the moderators suspect this might be the last series as well. Snellfrocky. Now we're going over each episode of the past and its merits or detractions.

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Timegate, Day 2, Part 2
First panel was about Space: 1999, very sparsely attended, but we chatted a bit about the series and the reimagining that they are doing, Space: 2099.

James went off somewhere and I attended the "Adieu, Tennant" panel, talking about the end of Tennant's tenure, favorite episodes, and "what about Matt Smith?" :-) Everyone is very hopeful about Smith's tenure, as Stephen Moffat is the producer. It was a fun discussion.

Spent about an hour listening to Terrance Dicks' commentary on his "The Five Doctors" (lots about Peter Davison wingheing about fainting...LOL), then wandered out to the hotel lobby. I'm sitting with Nancy and Sue and Phyllis (Jake and Mel were here, but they have wandered off), and James joined us after his Apocalypse panel.

Nancy has bought a neat "steampunk" laser sonic screwdriver, with a bolt as the base.

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Timegate, Day 2, Part 1
Having breakfast at the hotel buffet. No Kashi cereal this year; rats. Have settled for plain oatmeal, with Kellogg's Corn Flakes as a chaser and some cantaloupe.

Slept well last night for a change despite the headache I had from the glasses rubbing a spot on my nose, only woken once when the power blinked off and on (the usual Saturday thing, except it had gotten better in the last year). Gave Schuyler some millet and Willow an extra cookie for leaving them and left Skye watching RTN.

Looks like Smyrna is having a farmer's market now, too. We'll have to check it out one Saturday.

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» Friday, May 22, 2009
Timegate, Day 1, Part 3
Waiting for the last panel, sitting out in the hall and listening to unbelievably tripey lounge music coming from the restaurant...ugggh.

The "Doctor Who That Could Have Been" was about all the unproduced scripts over the years, ranging from "Shada," which everyone Whoish knows about, to scripts that ranged back to when William Hartnell was the original Doctor, including one about Japan that wasn't ready in time, so a substitute story was made: Terry Nation's original Daleks story. As the moderators pointed out, what a different Doctor Who it would have been! Some of the stories sounded really silly, but none, as I had also read long ago in "Starlog," the ones that they put together for the 1996 film. One had Cardinal Borusa as the Doctor's grandfather and the Master as his brother. There's the usual stereotypical take on "sibling rivalry!"

There was supposed to be a trivia game show next, but it didn't seem to be taking place. The Dealer's Room is very small, so I took a turn around it and then went back to the next panel that was running, about the audio adventures. The BBC has done a few of these, but the majority have been done by a production company authorized by the Beeb, "Big Finish." They have several series, including one about UNIT, stories told from the companions' POV, one about the Daleks and a separate one about Davros, etc. They also have audio adventures of past Doctors done by the same actors, and apparently Colin Baker gets his due in the audio stories, as his tenure as the Doctor was definitely not well liked (certainly not by me).

After the panel I walked around the dealers again. Someone has a very nice cast photo of House, except Stacy is in the picture. <wry g> I asked the dealer if he had any of Castle, but not yet. Did stop at the Big Finish table. They have several of the CDs on sale, so I am thinking I might get the first of the "Gallifrey" series with Romana as Lord President (these also feature Leela) and one of the UNIT ones (featuring the Brigadier, who is desperately trying to retire), and also the one featuring Professor Litefoot and Henry Gordon Jago from "Talons of Weng-Chiang." I always did love those two.

Nipped up to the con suite for a bit of cake and now it's time for the final panel of the night (at least for us), a review of the Paul McGann film.

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Timegate, Day 1, Part 2
Onsite blogging! Waiting for a panel about "The Doctor Who That Never Was." James is off somewhere talking about Armageddon or some other "end-of-the-world" scenario. Our friends Jake and Nancy are here. The other panel is just ending and we're chatting about David Tennant and Blackpool.

BTW, I have read the first chapter of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I love it already. Flavia could be Wednesday Addams' best friend. LOL.

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Timegate, Day 1, Part 1
We are sitting here in the Bristol Room, or whatever it is, at the Holiday Inn Select, just having finished dinner. We treated ourselves to 8-ounce sirloins, which came with a very nice vegetable beef soup. Yum!

Left the house about three, knowing we would have to plough our way through traffic. Luckily James knows all the surface roads, because every freeway in the area is lit up red like the proverbial Christmas tree on the traffic map. We snaked across the river and through the toney neighborhoods north of I-285 (wondering why at least half of the homes had big green ribbons on their mailboxes or front gates; yeah, this is the type of neighborhood that has a front gate) and finally to Mt. Vernon Highway, in back of Perimeter Mall, and thus to Borders (we had 40 percent off coupons). James found a hardback book he was looking at last week and I bought The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which is about a precocious 11-year-old English girl who gets involved in a mysterious murder. Sounded fascinating on Dani's book blog and looks yummy.

By the time we emerged from Borders, the traffic, at least on Mt. Vernon, had subsided a bit and it took us almost no time at all to get to Chamblee Dunwoody Road and down, cross the freeway and get to the hotel.

And the restaurant opened on time, too. I hope this is a good sign! The steak was quite good, even if it did have pepper on it, and I have a leftover for lunch next week.

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The Grocery Gang
I slept in, and when I emerged from the bedroom James was nowhere to be found and neither was Willow. Odd. Maybe he'd just taken her out. But they're never out this long. Finally I intercommed James' hobby room. Gosh, he was down there and so was Willow. I guess she figured I was in bed and didn't need to be guarded. She usually won't stay down there.

Ah. I made oatmeal and she reappeared.

We went out to do the grocery shopping before the true madness that is Memorial Day weekend food purchasing. Still a lot of people stocking up on sodas and things. James had already made burgers for the cookout, but as we came in Kroger we saw pre-marinated chicken leg quarters of either some type of barbecue/spicy and sweet Bourbon. Yum! We can save the burgers. We also got a great closeout deal on razors that James likes, and I'm trying some lemon-lime syrup although I'm not holding out any hope it's as good as Zarex.

However, they had no chocolate yogurt and the sugar-free chocolate syrup James likes is only at Publix, so we crossed Macland and also went to Publix. Got the yogurt and syrup, and twofers on beans and green beans and a couple of other things. There on the shelf was some Dannon coffee yogurt! I grabbed one and am eating it now. Trouble is, it tastes like black coffee. I miss the Yoplait cafe au lait! I can't believe they ditched it and the chocolate mint and kept the chocolate raspberry. Raspberry. Yuk!

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» Thursday, May 21, 2009
This is the Way We Tidy The House
Finished the laundry and washed and dried the dog's towels and bedding. Washed the floor in the foyer. Cleaned all in the hall bath. James cleaned the stove and the counters and did a load of dishes. I filled up the empty juice bottles to go in the water stash downstairs. It's Thursday so we did the trash.

Wallander was again melancholic. Sheesh...and they say Peter Boyle has a temper!

I have surrendered. The windows are closed and the A/C is back on. James went out on the deck to check out the stars and says there is cool out there, but it's just not coming in here!

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Out of Pocket
Trying to sleep without the A/C was hard, and a bit fruitless. It was warm, so I tried the sheet only. Woke up mid-sleep too cold. Of course by the time it was cool enough it was also time to get up. ::sigh::

James followed me to the NAPA tire place to have Twilight "shod," then we had breakfast at Waffle House and wandered around Big Lots for a bit. When we went back to pick up the car I was told my brakes were in bad shape.

This wasn't exactly a big surprise. The car's nearly five years old and is a few miles short of 50,000. It's been twice to Rhode Island and once to Washington, DC and once to Owensboro and once to Gatlinburg (where it was required to do an imitation of a mountain goat) and a couple of times to Helen and points north, and that doesn't count all those 56-miles-a-weekday trips. Naturally this requires a lot of brake work. So I left the car behind since they said they could finish the work by the end of the day.

We came back to the house so I could grab a coupon (which I ended up not using) and put the clothes in the washer. Then we went to the hobby shop for a while. I brought the Mouse with me, but ended up just reading Revolution at the Table. Then we went out to Merchants Walk after picking up a burger at Wendys. (Gah. What did they do to the burgers? Salt city!) Made a couple of stops, including Borders where I picked up a bargain book about the planets/stargazing.

Then we came home and no sooner had we sat down at our respective computers than they called to say the car was ready. We took Willow with us and she sat happily panting between us, her nose working like a rabbit's. So Twi has two pretty new tires and new brakes and I have lots of points toward more Borders coupons. I should have used my Amazon card; I only need 49 more points to get a $25 coupon.

On the way to the hobby shop we had stopped at Harry's for potatoes and slivered almonds. Oh, goody—cherries! cherries! cherries! We sampled the fruits and James picked up some barbecue brisket of beef, and we got little things we needed, like Romano cheese. So, after watching a couple of backlogged Ellen episodes, for supper I had the left-over pork chop from Tuesday with leftover rice-and-sauce and James had the brisket with mac-and-cheese. Watched the news and then Jeopardy. Maybe will watch this week's Wallander next.

The newscasters were bitching and whining about the weather today. It was nice, cloudy and breezy, even if it was in the low 70s. It drizzled briefly a couple of times, but nothing major to spoil anyone's fun.

But right now I'm going to take the clothes out of the dryer...

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» Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Summerday
Today was frustrating.

Oh, not work. Work was fine. I did three orders and a modification, gave someone advice on how to write a sole source justification, asked where two other SSJs were, did a payment authorization, and a bunch of other little things.

For lunch I went to the library (I know—other people go to restaurants...LOL). I borrowed Revolution at the Table and Paradox of Plenty (American eating habits) by Harvey Levenstein and "Just a Housewife": The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America by Glenna Matthews (a sociological study).

When I got done with work I stripped the spring decorations down and turned everything back to autumn, except for the little table and the plaques in the foyer. The table now has seashore-themed things on it and the plaques are of lilacs. Also washed the bathroom floor. Got some tidying up to do before Monday, when we're hosting a cookout (which we hope doesn't get rained out).

No, the frustrating part was having the windows open. As much as I despise summer, there's always a point when one morning you open up a window because it's cool and that peripatetic breeze comes in, calling you. It's what I call the "vacation smell," that cool scent of grass and wind and longing that marks an early summer morning. Dad always insisted that we start on vacation about six in the morning and this was the very breeze that lured me out of bed to answer the siren song of the road. Never mind that I don't want to go anywhere anymore when it's warm. Never mind that with James' work's new vacation plan he won't get anymore time off until October or November. That old seducer the summer vacation breeze is working his alchemy. Memories flit in my head: Disneyland, driving across Nebraska or Wyoming, Williamsburg, Disney World, the coolness of the Flume in New Hampshire, and, oh, Lord, Lake George...my dearest Lake George and Lee's Motel and miniature golf and Fort William Henry and the excursion boats and driving up to Fort Ticonderoga...

Not fair, not fair, not fair.

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» Tuesday, May 19, 2009
What's the Problem?

Okay, if it's "required reading," which is usually horrendously depressing or dull, I understand...

But this reminds me of the last day of school at Hugh B. Bain...during the summer you could take out up to ten books...ten of my favorite books! For the whole summer! I not only remember this custom with love, but remember most of the books I took out every summer:
• The Story of Walt Disney by Diane Disney Miller
• The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss
• What Katy Did and What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge (this was a tiny book with thin, thin pages, almost as if it were meant to be tucked in a large pocket like in a jumper)
• The Morning of Mankind by Robert Silverberg (an anthropology book)
• Especially Dogs by Gladys Taber
• Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein
• A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
• The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

Well, can't remember the other two...does it surprise you that I now own all these books? Not me! :-)

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Yay!
ABC renews Castle.

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My Sentiments Exactly

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I've Got Me Under My...Blanket
So hard to get out of bed this morning; when the alarm went off my arm snaked out of the blankets and...wow, how low did James put the A/C? Then I remembered this was Real Live Air. It had gone down to the 40s last night and with the fans going in the room it was quite lovely to sleep. I could have done with another couple of hours of that, thanks.

The temp has caused a small respite at work, as it's only 77°F in my cubicle right now...

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» Monday, May 18, 2009
What a Lovely Day!
It was cloudy in the morning, but high clouds, ones that cleared in the afternoon, and the temperature just brushed 70°F, all combined with a nice light breeze that kept it delightfully cool.

Unfortunately I was locked most of the day in a stuffy cubicle where it was 80. I never liked the drunks, but there was a lot to be said for the old building in Buckhead, which had real windows, the kind that open. A big razzberry for modern buildings that are hermetically sealed. Pfzzzzzt!

I came home to discover that James' Valentines Day gift had finally arrived (the second set of Steve Canyon episodes).

I had finished the story I was writing (finally) and posted it online this evening. It's an Addie Mills story that takes place before The House Without a Christmas Tree (right after VJ Day). If you're interested, it's here.

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» Sunday, May 17, 2009
Quiet Sunday
We slept until almost eleven, then had a leisurely breakfast. It was raining out most of the morning and in the early afternoon.

We went past the post awful, then stopped at Batteries Plus for me to get batteries for the little lights I have in my craft room cupboards. It would have been cheaper for me simply to buy new lights!

In fact, I found similar lights for $3 each when we stopped by MicroCenter. (No reason to go; just wanted to window-shop somewhere fun. We did look at APCs. Even with the cheapest, it would take about $200 to outfit everything. Ugh.) Then we picked up a newspaper and came home, where, typical of life, we never even looked at it. Instead we watched a couple of What's My Line/To Tell the Truth pairs, and then I put on the first episode of the fourth series of The Last Detective.

I also did a much-needed chore this afternoon: backing up my hard drive...or rather, backing up the two virtual storage drives. My hard drive is divided up into ten virtual drives, and drive J is for storage of everything else (web pages, music, tax forms, etc) and drive K is for all images (photos, scans, screencaps, web graphics). I backed those up, as well as my Eudora e-mail boxes.

James went downstairs for a little while to work on a model, and I should have been watching Wallander, but I just recorded it and read my Early American Life instead, with Schuyler's cage next to me. She kept wanting to gnaw on my shirt, but there was no way I could get it close to her without using my hands. Probably better anyway; who knows what's in those dyes?

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Cool Front
YESSSSSS! It's 65°F outside and that's as high as it's going to be today, and the low tonight is supposed to be 49! Wow, wow, wow!

It's raining right now, with a nice breeze...all the windows are open.

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» Saturday, May 16, 2009
All Done!
Yippee! The grocery shopping is all done! We finished on the way home from Town Center. Nothing to get tomorrow but the paper.

Had supper at Sweet Tomatoes and checked out the new Hobby Lobby near JoAnn. (The JoAnn folks aren't too happy about that, trust me.) In one little corner behind the Independence Day things are some fall garlands and wreaths, as a sign there is a light at the end of the tunnel of the suckage this is summer. :-) Got two small decorations among the things for the 4th that were appropriate for Memorial Day.

I'm watching Captain Sindbad right now. You know, this was much better when I was eleven...LOL. Guy Williams was still hot, though.

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Dub Dreams
Well, that was nice! Why can't I sleep like that during the night? At one point Willow was barking, and when I finally got up at 1:30, I saw that the deck was sopping wet. So it must have thundered and I didn't hear a thing (but Miss Wil you can always hear!).

I have had some oatmeal and some Mandarin oranges and feel a bit better. I'm just finishing my second What's My Line? dub. One of the guests was a Seneca Indian who designs Valentine cards and the mystery guest was Peter Lorre, plugging the film Scent of Mystery, which was the only fiction film, I believe, done in "Smell-O-Vision." (This was a very strange era in entertainment where television started stealing the box office profit from movies. The studios did everything they could to grab their audiences back, including widescreen movies—Cinerama, Cinemascope [two different processes, by the way], Todd-AO—and one of the strangest efforts was Smell-O-Vision, where the film was synched with equipment that sent different scents into the theatre. When an actor was smoking, you would smell a cigar, if the heroine was in a rose garden, you would smell roses, etc. Apparently it worked very badly and was a dismal failure.)

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A Cloudy Saturday Morning in May
James got up at some ridiculous hour to go to work today. The only positive to this is that he has Thursday off, then is taking Friday off for Timegate, and actually does have Monday off for Memorial Day. Wow. Five whole days off in a row. He doesn't know if he can stand it. LOL.

I slept better than last night, but still was a bit punch-drunk when I got up at 8:30 to go to the Farmer's Market. I had a meal bar and dragged myself rather reluctantly there. At least the weather was cooperating: there was a low, grey cloud cover and a nice breeze, although it was rather sticky for temps in the high 60s. The parking lot was crowded, but I managed to find a recently-vacated space, get my reusable Publix bag, and trudge across the railroad tracks to the part of the street that was blocked off.

Well, that explained the crowd: there was a 5K run for Tuberous Sclerosis going on. I thought for a moment that it was a small event for Cystic Fibrosis, since Great Strides is today, then saw the logo. Some of the runners actually just walked, and had little kids with them, and later there was a short race for the kids...the littlest ones were too cute.

Strolled about the Farmer's Market, had some samples (someday I am going to have to buy some of the energy bars from that one lady; she has a peanut butter chocolate bar that tastes almost like a Squirrel Nut, and probably a lot better for you, too!) and felt a little better, and bought a loaf of French bread, four ears of white corn, two cucumbers, and four of the nicest-smelling vine-ripe tomatoes you ever saw. When they're like this you can almost just eat them straight, like the fruit they are. Brings back all those September weekends when I had to help Mom preserve tomatoes for gravy...no, that's a really warm memory that I can do without. LOL.

There was a veritable dog show going on at the market as people trotted companion animals beside them: beside the Greyhound Rescue and a sprinkling of mutts, there was a blue-merle collie puppy (still pudgy, but just ready to get to the leggy phase, with one blue eye and one brown), an Airedale, a boxer, a black-and-white Springer spaniel, a cocoa-colored standard poodle in natural coat (so he looked like a dog, not goofy), an elderly pug, a border collie, of course a couple of Labradors, and a darling little Skipperke. We ought to bring Willow one morning, but it will take both of us, as she will probably be hiding behind us due to being surrounded by "wolves."

Also bought a little treat for dessert before I left.

We get something called "Georgia Magazine" in the mail because we are a member of Cobb EMC for our electric power. This usually has things going on around the state. This month's issue had an article about farmer's markets across the state, another article about a working dairy farm that accepts visitors, and another one about a local bakery. I had never heard of the latter, which is on Whitlock Avenue near the Kroger and also has sandwiches along with pastries. So I came home by there to scope it out. Mmmm...smelled delightfully of sandwiches. I bought a couple of creme de menthe brownies for dessert (the treat I bought from the Farmer's Market will keep until tomorrow)—they are very small, which is perfect.

I came home through Cheatham Hill Road through the park and discovered another surprise: it's going to be closed at the same time the road near us will be, for the same thing, bridge repairs. What a pain—that's such a nice drive. So I enjoyed it: windows open, the radio playing 40s music—Artie Shaw with "Star Dust," Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin,'" Fred Astaire doing "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Scatter-Brain," Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington—perfect for a cool cloudy day in May. The privet is still in full bloom, overwhelming even the honeysuckle bushes that are also clotting the roadsides. What a sweet, sweet, dreamy scent.

But damn, I am still sleepy...so this time I am going to take a nap...

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» Friday, May 15, 2009
Best-Laid Plans
I was up early with James this morning, intending to replace my right rear tire. The tread is getting scant and there is a slight external slit in the rubber right near one part of the tread.

We have been going to the Napa Service Center on Powder Springs Road for years, since they were West Cobb Tire, and I have gotten my last few tires or sets of tires from them. They were really nice to me when my mom was dying, actually coming to the house and fetching the car and then bringing it back because I couldn't leave the house, and they do good work, so I always go there first. But today they told me they only had five tires in stock and not the size for a PT Cruiser, so they would have to order them and I'd have to come back.

So I went down to my old standby, Merlin's, the place we got James' tire and battery at short notice a few months ago. I must have had "rube" written on my face this morning, because the guy—John Clark, who used to own the franchise, doesn't seem to be there anymore—behind the counter told me that the only tire they had was an 80,000-mile tire and it was $126 before the installation and the balancing and it was warrantied for the life of the car only if I followed the rotation schedule precisely. Um. I don't think so.

So I went back to the Napa place and told them to order the tires and made an appointment for next Thursday which I'd planned to take off anyway because James has it off. The guy said he would look for the best deal for me and call me back on my cell phone. So I went to Wally World to top off the groceries and get yogurt (back to 50¢ again, I see) and bananas and all the other weekly necessities, and was at BJs getting gas when he called back with prices on 50,000-mile tires, including Dunlops like I have on the front, which is what I got (I always get tires in pairs; the Dunlops are newest, with still good treads, and those can go in the back and they can have the bad tire and the not-so-bad tire in the rear to recycle).

Got Mandarin oranges and (God help me) milk at BJs, then came home, where I shoved everything in the fridge and ran out to Food Depot for sugar-free ice-cream bars before it got any warmer (and since it was 11:45 and already 77°F...). Got a get-well card for my branch chief in Dollar General next door before getting the bars and dashed home again to shove them in the freezer.

Now I slept really badly last night and my plan was to dub Seems Like Old Times, recorded off TCM a week or so back, on DVD. I could start this and go take a nap for an hour and a half. But when I came in the house the television was on and the satellite box was off. I turned it back on and it was fine, but...why was it off? Then when I started to play Seems Like Old Times the thing started jerking in the middle of the credits and then completely locked up the box and reset it.

::glare::

It came back up, but the movie still didn't play worth a damn, so I erased it. The box shut itself off last week, too.

Which explains why, instead of taking a nap, I am trying to get as many What's My Line? episodes left off the disk, in case the idiot thing is preparing to go belly-up. I had thought about doing this, but James likes to watch them, too, and To Tell the Truth, but if you think I'm going to lose them you have another thing coming. I would rather watch these reruns than all but a handful of stuff on television right now, and GSN has quit showing them, thinking we'd rather watch more boring Richard Dawson slobbering all over Family Feud guests, Millionaire, and ::snore:: poker games.

The one I am watching right now is interesting as one of the guests is a woman who is a television cameraman. Evidently, from the conversation, this was not only a rarity at this time (I think this is around 1960), but it appears it was against union rules! John Charles Daly explained that she worked at a very small television station in Virginia, and also that she only worked part time at night (during the day she was employed at a missile plant!).

(Later: I haven't erased them...just stopped them at To Tell The Truth...there's been one with Arlene Dahl promoting one of my favorite films, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and one with Maureen O'Hara...we'll have to show it to Rusty...soooo sleepy...that damn DVR better not mess up Captain Sindbad—I haven't seen it in years...and I do mean "years"...back when it was shown on Off to See the Wizard in 1967...)

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» Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Anya Beware! *
James was grilling dinner tonight (we had steak and a salad) when he called me out on the deck. There in the neighbor's backyard was a cottontail rabbit.

I'm sure it could hear us talking, but it just remained there for a few minutes...

Waiting for the humans to leave

...then hopped a foot or two away as I was taking its picture...

I'm all ears

...looked a bit wary...

Is the coast clear?

...but finally settled down...

I'm very still

...checked out the area a bit more...

I'm sure I heard a noise

...before starting to groom itself...

When you've got an itch...

...not forgetting that cute little cottontail!

Mustn't forget the tail



* One of the running gags on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was vengeance demon Anya's fear that "the bunnies" were evil and plotting to take over the world.

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» Monday, May 11, 2009
Familiarity Breeds...Recognition
"Everything is connected to everything else. That's what makes it so hard to keep a secret."
Author David Gerrold used to have a regular column in Starlog in which he discussed all and sundry having to do with science fiction. Occasionally he would provide aphorisms alà Woodrow Wilson Smith, a.k.a. Lazarus Long, the long-lived Howard families' most famous member (LOL...perhaps at least in his own mind), via his creator Robert Heinlein. Gerrold called his sage "Solomon Short" in homage to Bob Heinlein and came up with things like "Half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at," "The only perfection in the universe is death. Once you're perfectly dead, you stop making mistakes," “A diploma only proves that you know how to look up answers,” and “The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky.”

One of my favorites of the Solomon Short collection was the quotation above, which I thought of on Friday when Ivan mentioned in his blog that Deep Discount (formerly Deep Discount DVD) was having a sale on DVDs in $3, $5, $7, and $9 increments. I went searching in the collection and found cool stuff I'd watched as a kid, like Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion, a couple of future gifts, and, for $7, the entire collection of Narnia stories as done on the BBC and presented on PBS in the 1980s under the Wonderworks banner. (What happened to those Wonderworks presentations anyway? And the stories shown on Once Upon a Classic? I would love to have their version of What Katy Did.) They're not as flashy as the new Dreamworks ones, but they were quite good and Tom Baker is Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair.

The one thing that made me excited was what looked like a second volume of episodes of The Littlest Hobo. This was the original 1960s series, not the remake from the late 1970s, about a peripatetic German Shepherd who "made stops along the road without end" to help humans. If Lassie was Mary Worth, London as "the littlest hobo" was more like a canine Dr. Phil who wordlessly guided the errant humans. I used to love the series. It came on Friday nights where we were, so that a typical Friday evening in 1965 would be The Littlest Hobo (I think on Channel 6, then WTEV, now WLNE), followed by Wild, Wild West and finally Hogan's Heroes—what a lineup! In addition, about every six to nine months, London and his trainer, Charles Eisenmann, would show up on The Mike Douglas Show, and Eisenmann would put the big German Shepherd through his paces. (London was not the typical black-saddled tan German Shepherd we kids knew from the Rin Tin Tin TV series, but a coloration called "black and silver" which gave him very wolfish markings. He was a gorgeous dog!)

I'd only watched a few of the episodes on the 12-episode Hobo DVD set I already had, and there were no titles on the packaging, so I popped the second disk in the DVD player to check if the episodes they had listed on this "volume 2" appearing on Deep Discount were different. Sadly, they were the same episodes as I had. But I was arrested immediately by the production logo at the very end of one of the programs: it was made to look like a signboard hanging from a decorative metal holder, like an old wayside inn sign, in a form that looked very familiar, and had the name Storer Programs, Inc. on it.

It couldn't be.

So I looked it up, and laughed. Storer Programs, Inc., who distributed the program I so loved when I was between eight and ten, was the company of the same Mr. George Storer who founded WSBK-TV38 in Boston, creators of the television show I fell in love with at age 25: the one and only Ask the Manager.

Everything is indeed connected to everything else!

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The Sunday Night Conspiracy
It's usually about not being able to fall asleep on Sunday nights, but not always—but there always seems to be a conspiracy about us getting any more than four hours sleep on a Sunday night. Case in point: We were in bed moderately ontime and I assume both fell asleep immediately, since I can't speak for James, and sometime after four I awoke with a dry throat. I managed to rouse enough saliva to keep from getting up, steadfastly refusing to look at the clock, thinking it was probably twenty minutes of six and I had only a few sleeping minutes left.

I was just about to fall back to sleep when there was a rumble of thunder. Then a second one. No dog. Good!

RUMBLE! "Bark, bark, bark, bark!"

Sigh. I finally looked at the clock. It was 4:45. Oh, good. Some more time to sleep if Wil will ever be quiet. James finally "barked" back and she went silent.

I hit the snooze alarm twice and darned if I didn't fall the second time right into REM sleep: two pretentious voices psychologically analyzing a song in depth was on the radio when James walked in the room and asked "What's that?" I said, "Oh, some music show—check out what they're analyzing!" and "Escape" (the "Pina Colada" song) started playing!

By the time I drove to work the clouds were in tatters, although the weather report indicated it was still raining south of town and there was a drizzle downtown. The best part of the ride was passing Cumberland Mall into the little hilly area amongst which office buildings are scattered: there was mist pooled in the hollows giving the area a dreamy quality.

I'm wearing my new shoes and my feet feel stiff and regimented. At least these fit so I can wiggle my toes. I always remember my first week at school every year with new shoes. They were always suede Hush Puppies made of the softest leather and back then HP still made wide widths in small sizes (size 6), so they actually fit. Still, I had to wear Band-Aids on my small toes and on my heels for at least the first week or I would come home with hellacious blisters. And people wondered why I hated buying shoes!

Ah, yes, and here it is thirteen hours after dinner last night and I'm still tasting pizza...

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» Sunday, May 10, 2009
Sun and Shadow
It was sunny but cool when we set upon our errands this morning after having a good sleep in after a late night (stayed up watching the enhanced version of "The Doomsday Machine"), so we could ride with the windows down. We went down Smyrna-Powder Springs Road, which we found out will be closed starting next week for the rest of the summer. We think they're going to fix the little bridge that goes over the creek down there, as bridge repairs seem to be rampant lately.

We went to BJs for Chex mix and some hydrogen peroxide, walked about, and tasted some samples. We weren't in very long, and when we came outside, the sky was completely overcast and the wind was freshening. We stopped at Publix to check out the twofers—some good ones: canned veggies, juice—and then went on to Kroger for James' prescriptions and the usual yogurt (I had a coupon). Duh...I'd forgotten the oatmeal at Publix, so we crossed Macland Road and went back to pick that up. I wouldn't have cared, but I am completely out at work.

We left the house late, so by the time we got home it was three o'clock. I cleaned out the shower stall and washed the towels. I also swapped out my shoes. I always wear the same shoes, black leather Reeboks that look a little like Oxfords, and the pairs I was wearing over the weekend were my work shoes until I bought new pairs back in July of 2006. They were pretty work out; the right side of the heels worn down, and the tread on part of the foot worn down, and the bottom of the sole beginning to come detached. The pairs I am wearing to work are still fairly new since I only wear them two days a week, or if I run out to do an errand doing the week.

This took longer than it sounds because I keep colored laces on the weekend shoes, so had to take the colored laces off the weekend shoes, then took the laces off the present work shoes and put the colored laces on them. One set of laces went back on the best of the two pair of weekend shoes, to be put aside in case I have a grubby job in the yard or something similar. Then I put the former work shoes, now weekend shoes, in the closet and put the new shoes out of the box where I can get at them tomorrow morning in the dark. See?—simple!

(It eventually did rain, but not much.)

We had pizza for supper since we hadn't had any for a while and watched "Remembrance of the Daleks." I had forgotten how Sylvester McCoy used to rolllllll his r's with his lovely Scots accent! And of course all the self-referential remarks within the story. I do hate the Daleks, though.

Anyone catch "Wallander" (based on books by Henning Mankell) on Masterpiece Mystery tonight? This is the first of three parts of a series made in Great Britain, after it was made as a series in its native country. In the British version the world-weary, almost too empathic detective is played by Kenneth Brannagh, looking his tiredest and most world-weary. The series was filmed on location in Sweden and the cinematography is moody and often abstract. And I thought The Last Detective wandered into melancholia! This is gritty alà Waking the Dead (Wallander is as driven as Peter Boyle.) The mystery aspect was excellent, beginning with a 15-year-old in a rapeseed field who sets herself afire before Wallender's horrified eyes and concerning a killer who is "taking scalps" after murdering several prominent men. A nice plus: David Warner plays Wallender's father, an artist in the early stages of Alzheimers.

I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day! My "fids" (via James) bought me two stuffed animals: a Jack Russell terrier and a budgie.

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» Saturday, May 09, 2009
On the Road
We drove down to Warner Robins today to visit James' mom for Mother's Day (James figured it would be easier to get into a restaurant today). As always, we planned to leave early, but we were up late last night loading some photos on the digital photo ornament we bought for Mom at Christmas, but forgot to bring her.

We never did find the Mother's Day card we bought last week. Sigh.

It was a nice day for a drive south: cloudy and cool. On the way down we stopped at the Tanger Outlet to go to the Corning/Revere store for more custard cups. They don't make the very small ones anymore, but all the Pyrex was buy two get one free, so instead of four I got six. We also found some new dinner plates. The dinner plates on my china set are 10" plates. The larger the plates the more you eat. We've been eating for years on the nice 8 1/2 inch Rubbermaid plates we had, but those had all broken but one. We found a stash of the nice plastic plates that you used to get in LeMenu dinners after Mom died. But those are breaking or getting warped. We found a nice 9 inch Corelle plate with an inset area, on sale 40 percent off and bought eight.

We'll just try not to drop them. Corelle doesn't break easily, but, oh, dear God, when they do...what a mess.

The downside to driving to Warner Robins on Saturday is that the traffic everywhere is appalling. So we tried to find a back way out of Tanger and ended up on a gravel road. Wasn't sure if we should turn around, then James asked the GPS unit to plot us back to the freeway. It worked, too: we emerged from the wilderness seven miles south at the Griffin exit.

Anyway, we had a nice visit. Took James' mom and sister to Applebees (with a stop at Walmart since I forgot to take my Prilosec this morning and I had none in my pouch). Almost too soon it was six o'clock and we had to make the return journey. The clouds had gone away by then and we had to ride most of the way with air conditioning. By the time we got to the city limits, though, we could go back on open air, which was a relief because I was falling asleep.

The privet, incidentally, is in full bloom, and the entire length of I-75 smells heavenly (unless you're stuck behind a truck!).

We arrived home to find two police cars searching for the people down the street. Apparently you can't escape these yahoos anywhere no matter where you live. These are the folks with the chihuahua that Willow chases out of our yard.

I have spent the evening watching backlogged Ellen DeGeneres Show episodes. Wow, the expectant moms in the audience made out: baby food, diaper bags, cameras, dishwashers, cribs, car seats, baby monitors, strollers, etc. One unemployed lady won a car.

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» Friday, May 08, 2009
Freaky Friday
I simply could not log into ICE this morning.

I could get into e-mail, into the intranet...heck, I could get into stuff I don't use, like Excel, IMPACII (it's a Grants thing), and even the mainframe, which is going away soon. But ICE, which I needed, wouldn't awaken. I rebooted twice, and finally, in frustration, cleared out my Internet Explorer cache.

Well, that seemed to work.

But this explained why I was working until after 5:30 when I'm supposed to knock off at 4:30 on Fridays. Otherwise it wasn't bad. I got three more orders done, set up one more, sent e-mails about the others. During lunch I dubbed off Castle and also made a discovery: you can get spots out of the carpet without using carpet cleaner. Sadly, the carpet is champagne-colored; all the darker ones cost more. We had several spots on the carpet: a couple of places where the dog barfed and it left a stain. There were some spots in the dining room and between the couch and the computer that showed up after a party or game night, and they looked grey. I kept meaning to buy some spray carpet cleaner, but never did.

But about two months ago I had gotten really tired of a spot in the hallway where Willow had committed an indescretion and we didn't see it. It was dried by the time we found it and although we used the Urine Gone on it, it left a darker spot with a pronounced edge. In a fit of pique I had dumped some peroxide on it and rubbed it a bit.

Surprisingly (well, to me anyway), the spot lightened so much, but not enough to actually whiten the carpet, that, if you didn't know where it was, you probably couldn't see it. So today, curious, I tried it on the other spots, especially the grey ones, which I suspected were oil-based, and...wow. You can still see the shadows of the grey spots if the carpet nap is pointed the right way, but the "barf marks" and other fainter spots have disappeared.

I can see some others I need to treat, especially the Georgia red clay marks on the stairs.

James stopped on the way home and got us something from Fresh2Order. I had him get me a large bowl of the chicken vegetable soup. While he was on his way I made some little macaroni shells we found at Dollar General, and when I got the soup I put it into a larger bowl and added some of the shells and also some water, because this stuff is thick enough to be stew: nice pieces of chicken, lots of carrot slices, and other veggie bits. Boy, that filled me up. I enjoyed going to Borders to walk around.

Attracted bargain books, too, only $4 each—an illustrated volume about working class Britain 1900-1950 and a memoir called Parish the Thought about growing up Catholic in the 1960s (hey, been there, done that...LOL). In fact, in a fit of nostalgia, when we got home I put on From the Earth to the Moon ("Spider," of course...and "1968").

Oh, and I found the new Early American Life, too.

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» Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Amazing Service!
The arrival of the last book in a series in A Cozy Nook to Read In.

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Monkey Off My Back
The troublesome order is gone. It was signed and sent yesterday. Of course they will need another in September. I asked please get this one to us earlier so it doesn't have to be done in such a rush.

It is decidedly gloomy outside, although not as dark as it was an hour ago. Thunderstorms are expected later, which means the dog will be attached to my leg. But there's air here. The ceiling fan circles above, circulating the air. I don't have to crouch in my chair to be in range of the fan.

And I've just put on a Sun&Sand candle. The etagere where I keep the candles has such a delightful mishmash of scents: mint, Coppertone, coffee, lilac.

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» Monday, May 04, 2009
Dismal
Goodness, what a day already! I've had about four hours sleep, it's 84...no, wait, 82 degrees in my cubicle, it's dark as twilight outside and pouring pitchforks and little fishes outside, and I found out when I got into e-mail that my branch chief had a heart attack on Friday when he was on leave. He called 911 and is okay right now. Ed's one of the pleasantest persons you want to meet. Hope he's okay.

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» Sunday, May 03, 2009
Chilling Out...Almost
After yesterday's odyssey, much easier today: just a bit of grocery shopping/getting gasoline, and buying a newspaper. Came home, did a little ironing, watched a couple of What's My Line/To Tell the Truth pairs, plus Clark Howard and yesterday's Jeopardy, read my Yankee.

Just before dinner, we had a line of thunderstorms come stomping through. James arrived back in the house after taking Willow out just as the storm broke and blotted the power again. Of course I'd just reset all the clocks from the pinpoint blackout while we were out yesterday! It blew through with a furor that lasted less than a half hour, although the television coverage of the storm progress lasted for quite a while. There were several photos of tornado-like clouds west of us, and the news tonight is showing downed trees, one through the roof of a bank.

Had Asian grilled chicken salad for supper and finally watched the last of The Librarian television films: Curse of the Judas Chalice. Still no redeeming social value. Still fun. Stana Katic, now Detective Beckett on Castle, was in this entry. The SFX weren't quite up to the original film, but there were some good moments. Not to mention the revelation about Judson (Bob Newhart) at the end.

And Noah Wyle is always cute. :-)

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IQ Drop
Good grief. The new Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks like USA Today. Or like it's about to be passed over for a Newbery medal.

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» Saturday, May 02, 2009
Out for the Day
Man, I am pooped! We left the house at quarter to nine and didn't get home until around seven.

We had hair day this morning and, before going there, went to the first farmer's market of the season at Marietta Square. The booths were all squished between the train tracks and Church Street because of the arts and crafts festival going on on the actual square. We ate some samples, James bought a ham and cheese croissant for breakfast, and we bought corn on the cob, vine-ripe tomatoes, and cucumbers. It was nice and cloudy and we would have loved to linger, but instead we circumvented the repair crew on Powder Springs Road and went on our way via Dallas Highway and Villa Rica Road. James stopped at Kroger for gasoline, so I ran inside to get celery and salad dressing and some baby greens (so we could add it to cucumber and tomato for a salad at hair day), a loaf of cinnamon bread, and bananas and bread for next week's lunch.

Anyway, the usual great time at hair day. We brought Colin his graduation gift—stuff for college (two bath sheets, facecloths, toothbrush and soap holder, collapsible hamper, a magnetic dry erase board with some magnets and dry erase markers, highlighters and Post-It note strips, all packed in a wastebasket) and two fun things: a small model Corvette and a book on Corvettes), which he seemed to enjoy. Lunch was sloppy joes, two kinds of macaroni salad plus our green salad, and some roast chicken, plus the mini ice cream sandwiches for dessert. "A good time was had by all," as they say.

Oh, and those vine-ripened tomatoes were first-rate! Sometimes they say they're vine-ripened and they turn out to be disgustingly mealy. These were juicy and tasty.

Kroger had milk for under $2/gallon, so we stopped there before dropping everything off at home, then went to the hobby shop. I love the new place—I can go sit in the meeting room with the "Mouse" while James talks with his friends.

We still had the 40 percent off coupons for Borders, so I suggested if James didn't mind driving, we could go into Buckhead to the big store. They have choices the smaller stores don't have. I was hoping I would find a recent biography of Walt Disney, but they didn't have it. However, we each found a more obscure volume; mine was another book of essays by Harlan Ellison, these about the movies. I don't always agree with Harlan, but I love reading his rants: they are at least literate and intelligent. I also picked up two bargain books, one about the Transcendentalists in Concord, MA (Emerson, Alcott, Thoreau, etc.) and one about Roald Dahl and the British secret service during WWII.

By now it was after six and we were starting to get peckish. We exercised adult choice and had dessert before dinner (Brusters), then stopped at Nuts and Berries to see if they had chunk TVP rather than flaked, but no luck. Since we were there we did get some of the flaked to top off our container.

On the way home we picked up something from Shane's Rib Shack and came home to make Willow's and Schuyler's evening and watched Star Trek: the Motion Picture (after reading John Kenneth Muir's recent retro review of it, thought I would like to see it again).

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» Friday, May 01, 2009
Snow Trouble at All (Not!)
Just finishing watching something on History Channel about the January 1977 blizzards in Buffalo, NY. Boy, do I remember that winter! What Buffalo went through was national news and even Johnny Carson was making jokes about snow and Buffalo.

It was just that next year when we got clobbered by the Blizzard of '78 and if you hadn't sympathized with Buffalo before, you finally did then!

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Booked Solid
The subheading for this entry is: "I Only Went Into Borders To Buy Something for Colin!"

This was the East Cobb store; they usually have a good selection of books. Well, dang it, they are having another of their remainder sales: books for either $3.99 or $5.99. And there were some great books, too.

I also stopped at Hancock Fabrics. James is looking for those thin cotton gloves. Not snow gloves or dress gloves, these light cotton loose-weave type things. I have usually seen these in use for handling quilts (to keep the skin oil off the fabric) or in museums to handle antiques. Oh, and I've seen them used to handle jewelry. So I thought Hancock Fabrics might have them. They referred me to online, or a hobby store! (Anyone know where you get these?)

The other reason I was out at East Cobb was to stop at Trader Joe's. I wanted to get more chicken apple sausage and also more of the wonderful Triple Nuts & Flakes cereal that I have fallen in love with. By this time it was going on two, so I bought a bowl of their chicken noodle soup and a baguette.

Made the mistake of stopping by the Parkway Pointe Borders on the way home. Oh, goodness, more good stuff—including a nice hardback version of one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth! I was just able to record the film off TCM a few months ago—but the book is much, much better.

Which explains why I am sitting here now, at 3:35, just eating lunch—hey, this is good soup! especially with a piece of baguette "zooped" in it—and watching Ellen's 1000th show.

Oh, yeah, the books:
Three gifts for James
One for Ken
One for Emma
One for someone I haven't decided yet

• Six Golden Guides (of course the one I wanted most, about Trees, wasn't on sale! I got Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Rocks Gems and Minerals, Seashells of the World, The Sky Observer's Guide, Wildflowers)
• Bread and Roses, Too, a Katherine Paterson YA novel about the labor movement
• The Lost Blogs, a humor book, blog entries of historical people.
• Last year's Farmer's Almanac, which still has good advice
• We Band of Angels, about the American nurses on Bataan
• The Mislaid Magician, which is the third novel in the "Sorcery and Cecelia" cycle...I bought the original book years ago, when it was labeled a fantasy book; it's been republished as a young adult and given birth to sequels; they're basically Regency romances with fantasy elements
• Don't Eat This Book, the sequel to Supersize Me
• The Boston Italians, which I've toyed with buying for a while; author is Stephen Puleo, whose book about the Great Molasses Disaster (Dark Tide) I already have
• Black Potatoes, YA nonfiction with engravings from the era about the Irish Potato Famine
• Don't Throw It Out, a Yankee book about preserving what you have and recycling
• Last year's Birnbaum's Disney World book, which is definitely wishful thinking at this time—we haven't been to WDW since 1989!
• A new Atlas, finally! Mine was from the 1970s.
• Christmas Sucks—yeah, weird me, the Christmas lover, buying a book with this title, but actually it is about what you can do to get around the things about Christmas that do suck (overspending, manic shoppers, etc.) to have an enjoyable holiday season
and with my 40 percent off coupon, something I've been longingly looking at: Women's Letters, from the Revolutionary War to the Present, a collection of both famous and ordinary people

Plus I also found the new Yankee—yay!

Incidentally, I did get Colin's gift...LOL!

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