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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» Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Holy Love of Mike!
Rhode Island Swamped in Floods “Unprecedented” in State’s History (check out the comment by Paul Paliotta!)

This is the exit to the airport.

This is very rare weather in Rhode Island; the state has been flooded, but it usually comes from a hurricane.

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» Monday, March 29, 2010
Commuting Tales
Somewhere in Atlanta tonight there is a truck driver who hates me.

I was changing lanes before reaching Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. When I moved in front of the truck there was a good distance between him and myself; then the BMcedes in front of me, who was trying to get into the right lanes, abruptly jammed on his brakes because the inevitable slowdown and the PIB exit (the right lane backs up, the drivers in the lane to the left of the right lane see all the brake lights and jam on their brakes, too, even if there is no need to). I almost ended up with a truck in my back seat. It would not have been a pleasant thing. I could hear the grind of his gearshift as his windshield loomed up in my rear window. Urf.

Today was my day for seeing unusual cars. This morning I was in the turn lane next to a MiniCooper painted to look like the British flag. This evening I drove about six miles behind a 60s-vintage Plymouth that looked a lot like an old Impala without the chrome. On the passenger-side window was a decal of "the boys" from the old Beatles cartoon series of the 60s.

Ew. Smelled like a 60s car, too. Funny, I don't remember cars smelling that bad when I was a kid, unless they were physically blowing grey or black smoke out their tailpipe, or it was a diesel that went by. I remember the scent of fresh-cut grass, dirt, the tar stink of building roofs being redone, cooking scents from neighbors' windows, the sweet scent outside the Gansett Bakery and the rich tomatoey scent of Marcello's, the hot smell coming out of the cleansers, the faint scent of the Burger Chef if the wind was just right, Z'Maria's grapes in the warm sun, Mom's flowers and Padina Lillian's hydrangeas, hot concrete on a summer day, but not a lot of regular car exhaust. Maybe we were just inured to all the exhaust odors back then?

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» Sunday, March 28, 2010
Life and Life
A rainy, fifties day was predicted today. Imagine our surprise when we got only fitful spatters, a threatening sky only once, and one rush of rain which beat on the chimney top for fifteen minutes, then vanished.

We were at Publix early enough that we just strolled through the aisles and picked up what we needed. Since we only needed one gallon of milk, we just bought it there and didn't go to Kroger. After putting the groceries away, we went to Ikea.

The place was packed. There wasn't any type of sale, so I can only figure that everyone thought it was going to be a rotten day weatherwise and decided to check out Ikea. Both lines were open at the restaurant. The meal was less pleasing. Their smallest Swedish meatball plate is now fifteen meatballs. I can't eat more than ten and ended up wasting four of them (and I gave two to James!). They don't have chicken marsala anymore, but breaded and fried chicken "tenders." Ugh. I would have had the salmon but I didn't feel like burping fish all afternoon.

Ikea is undergoing major remodeling, and there were a lot of empty spaces. We bought a metal shelf to go over the baker's rack. The idea is to put the stock pot up there and also the turkey roaster, leaving room on the rack itself for other things. I also got another set of nesting wicker baskets. They have quit making the very small one and instead have a larger one in the quartet. Those tiny baskets have been useful, so I'm reluctant to see them go. They also don't seem to have the single piece wooden shelves like we have in our bedroom and in the laundry room. I wanted a couple more.

So we had a nice workout strolling the place, then came home via a new restaurant for James to pick up some dinner. I still had my creamy chicken vegetable from Fresh2Order, which I had with French bread. First we watched the latest edition of Stossel and read the paper.

Annoyingly, my desktop computer is still locking up. This started the night of the switch to DST, when I downloaded the new version of Java so I could consult time.gov. If the computer sits doing nothing for any amount of time it quits responding to the mouse and the keyboard. I can't even use CTRL/ALT/DELETE; I have to just shut it off. It's also locked up as I was switching messages in Eudora, in Firefox, and at the welcome screen. I uninstalled the Java update, and when that didn't work, I did a System Restore to the point before I installed it. It was fine all day yesterday, but turning it on this morning it locked up at the welcome screen again, and later after I left it with Firefox open. Bother.

Our post-prandial amusement was a new American's Funniest Home Videos and the next two episodes of Life, "Mammals" and "Fish." I especially enjoyed the sequence with the elephant herd: a newborn elephant calf was stuck in a mudhole and his mother was ineffectual in helping extricate it. Finally the grandmother elephant strode over, pushed the mother out of the way and was prepared to help the baby, but it finally struggled out on its own. They also showed "sea dragons" in the "Fish" segment; we saw some of them at the Georgia Aquarium last year.

I wish Oprah had script approval, though. I got really tired of her repeating how faithful mammal mothers were. They love their babies; we get it. Enough already.

OMG! 79°F on Friday? That's air conditioner weather. Heck, the heat was on yesterday it was so damp.

Of course we'll have to turn the A/C on soon enough, as the pine pollen dust will be starting soon.

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» Saturday, March 27, 2010
Tech Talk and Trevails
Surprise! When I emerged from the bedroom this morning there was a package from Amazon on the back of the sofa. It was one of the two books I ordered from Amazon Vine on Thursday. They must have stuck it in a box the moment I ordered it! (It's Winging It, about a family and their neurotic parrot.)

I helped James clean the kitchen this morning and we tidied up the counters a bit, and I also cleaned the bathrooms while he was loading the dishwasher and cleaning the stove. Finally he went off to his IPMS meeting.

Now, I had several ideas of what to do this afternoon. I thought about updating some of my web pages. I also wanted to put the living room decorations back up after clearing the winter things out of the area, and put up the Easter decorations.

First I had to get rid of the headache. It's from the arthritis in my neck.

So I kick the headache, then decide to see if I can figure out why my laptop can get on the internet via the network, but can't see any of the other computers on the network. I haven't been able to access any of the network computers for a while. I thought it was back during vacation, but it turns out I was able to edit a file on my desktop via my laptop as late as January (the list of my cross-stitch magazines). Then it quit connecting. Don't know why.

I thought if I compared the network setup on the "Mouse," my netbook, to the setup on the laptop, I might figure out what was wrong, since the netbook sees the other computers. So does James' little EEEPC. No dice. The Mouse gets on our network automatically; the laptop won't do that—it has to have a static IP address to work. I messed around so much with the laptop that when James came home from his meeting he had to make me another network key so I could at least log back onto the the internet. Still can't see the other computers. Can see the router, but not the computers on it.

In the meantime, I was trying to download the new version of AVG on the Mouse. It locked up in the middle of the download, and locked up Firefox completely as well, to the point where I couldn't go into Firefox without it locking up. I finally had to uninstall and reinstall it. Gah.

Finally I abandoned both of them, cleaned off the divider and the hearth, and put up all the nice autumny things back up to battle against approaching summer. Put some dividers I bought at the Container Store down on the bottom shelf of James' side table so he could place books and magazines vertically in the space rather than horizontally and use the space more efficiently.

After James arrived home we went to Fresh2Order for supper. Mmmn, that was good. I got the bourbon beef in a panini sandwich. I forgot their panini sandwiches were so large and ordered soup on the side. So now I have the soup for supper tomorrow night. Along with some nice crusty French bread on what is supposed to be a rainy evening, it will be so nice!

From there we drove back to the Brookwood area (what we call "the Triangle" because it used to be home of the Kmart, the Walmart, and Target; Kmart is gone, but we still call it that) to go to Borders. James wanted to get the Indiana Jones Lego set. I found The Greatest Game Ever Played book for $4 (the story of Francis Ouimet, a shopkeeper's son who became a champion golf player back when golf was a game for the wealthy—Ouimet use to write golf articles for St. Nicholas in the 1920s), and bought Good Book (another Easter read). I discovered the April edition of "Early American Life" in the magazine racks and realized I'd missed the February issue. Damn. And they did an article about colonial reading, too. (I really should subscribe. And to Yankee, too. I buy it every month and it's silly to waste the money.)

We listened to the podcast of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on the way home, and then listened to a December edition of "This Week in Tech." Wow. Apparently Farmville has more players than Twitter has members. That's absolutely mindbending.

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You Can Lead a Moose to Water
A moose fawn and a backyard sprinkler...

Via Cindy Gustafson on Facebook...this is so cute!

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» Friday, March 26, 2010
Working' and Hopin'
Did get things done this week, but the more I do, the more I get. Do six orders, get five orders. Everything's crazy this year...more recovery act money. However, the majority of my orders continue to be maintenance orders.

Ever since it got warmer, I have been having a dreadful time sleeping. The pollen is making my joints ache, and several nights this week it was so warm at bedtime it was hard to fall asleep. When it's cold and my arms get warm, I can just shift them under the covers to a cooler spot. With the weather warmer at night I have to stick my arm out from under the covers so the breeze from the fan can hit them.

So today was a treat, as it was overcast and cool, and by the time James got home tonight, I had to wear my heavy jacket and ear protection. I'm breathing in the nice cool air while I can! :-) We ate supper at home tonight, and then went to MicroCenter. I bought a PC cable and mini-jack audio cable to try something.

It took some fiddling, but I got the laptop connected to the television. I didn't exactly get it to work the way I wanted it to—what I wanted was to transfer the display from the laptop screen to the television, but all I could manage was to set it up so that the television became a second screen—but I could accomplish what I wanted: Netflix has this thing called "Instant Play." Certain things you can play right to your computer. I wanted to play them on the television instead. With the cables, I can do this. The quality is not the best, but it's still a pretty neat thing.

While I was working through my purchase order pile today, I was making good use of my Droid. I played some music via Pandora and listened to three podcasts: a fall edition of the WHOcast (after the broadcast of "Waters of Mars"), one of "Jud's New England Journal" entries about Lexington and Concord, and the latest "Inside the Magic," a podcast about the Disney parks. (Thanks for the tip, Biz.) Yesterday I listened to "A Way With Words." I'm going to be very sad when I've caught up on those. Just finished a "This Week in Tech (TWiT)" podcast from last November with Jerry Pournelle as a guest.

Did I mention that I bought my first app recently? I got the full version of MyPod, which will enable me to have more than six podcast feeds. I've played with it long enough to sorta get the hang of it.

Time for "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"...

And I even made some calls on it, too! LOL.

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» Tuesday, March 23, 2010
What Day is It Anyway?
I keep waking up in the wee hours on Tuesday morning thinking to myself, "What day is it? Is it Wednesday? Please tell me it's Wednesday." If it's Wednesday I get to sleep until seven; otherwise I must stagger up in the dark and blindly bumble to the bathroom where James has the light on "afterburner" (when I used to get up first I would wash and dress by the light of the nightlight). Anything but 180 watts at six a.m.!

But on Tuesdays I remember, crestfallen, that I watched House or Castle the previous night. Time for the longest day of the week. Tuesdays are always longer than Mondays.

The sun was still rising when I arrived at work. The office park is next to a wetlands and emerging from the car, you are bombarded by birdsong, at least a half-dozen individual songs. "Mine, mine, mine!" they cry as they claim territory.

It was a sunny ride home, though, and mostly harmless, except for an aggravating clot around Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and then at GA400, and then at Roswell Road, and finally before my exit. I eventually opened the sunroof because it was so warm (mid-60s). Ten degrees higher tomorrow. Urgh.

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» Sunday, March 21, 2010
Opposites Attract?
Saturday was sunny and in the low 70s, today was cloudy with periods of rain and in the high 50s. I much preferred today, although the breeze made yesterday bearable. The big problem was that I awoke with a sinus headache on Saturday and the sunlight was hard to take. Otherwise we had a nice day. Went to the hobby shop and out to Trader Joe's. That's always a fun trip. We also went to Microcenter again to return something James bought Friday night for the server. It now has USB, is networked, and James got on chat with it last night.

Today we did the grocery shopping: BJs to Publix to Kroger and home, then I finally got to work updating the copyright dates on my web pages. I've been really lazy about doing it; I usually work on it New Year's Day. But I wanted to fix the formatting on the pages as well—that works a little slower. Once I do all the copyright dates I really need to work on updating the pages. I miss working on my web pages. It seems like I never have time for anything anymore.

Around dinner time we had one clap of thunder and Georgia Monsoon Season, and then it was over. James made Salisbury steaks of ground turkey, which we had with Rice'a'Roni. Later on we watched two episodes of Life on the Discovery Channel. I don't think there are superlatives enough to describe the photography. I'm someone who remembers the grainy film photography used for Wild Kingdom in the 1960s! But I'm perverse enough to be nostalgic for Marlin Perkins, too! :-)

An unwelcome discovery at the bird feeder: the cowbirds are back. The male was eating out there today. They've lazed the winter away somewhere and now are back to lay their eggs in someone else's nest and have another bird raise their child.

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» Saturday, March 20, 2010
First Day of Spring...
...brings back memories in Holiday Harbour.

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» Friday, March 19, 2010
A Bright Spring Friday
Had a longer sleep-in than planned, so when I arrived at the Napa Auto Care Center, it was already full to the gills. Mike suggested I come back at eleven, so I decided to fill up the car first, then go to WalMart.

I don't know why I keep going to the WalMart on Powder Springs and the Connector; it drives me mad. Okay, I know why I like to go: it's not crowded. And I guess I know why: half the time they don't have what is needed—or at least what I need. They have my type of yogurt, but not my flavor. They had no Lite Salt. They had no...but why go on. I did get a few things, then hightailed it over to the WallyWorld near Floyd Road which had everything I needed.

Will you tell me why WalMart doesn't keep the rugs all together like they used to? At the WalMart on Powder Springs I found the kitchen rugs, and the bathroom rugs, but not rugs you put inside the door to wipe your feet. I had to ask where to find them at the other store. They were sort of off at the side. Unfortunately they didn't have the rugs I liked in the size I wanted. Gah. Why not have rugs all in the same place?

Then I zipped back to the car place to read Facebook and the book I brought with me until the car was ready.

He said, "I need to mention something to you." And I knew what it was. I've been seeing little dits and dots of oil on the garage floor. He confirmed that there's a leak somewhere, it's minor right now, and said he wanted to put some dye in the crankcase that will tell them where the leak is. I had him do it and have to go back in two weeks.

Well, after almost six years, 57,000+ miles, regular commuting and errands, two trips to Rhode Island, one to Washington DC, one to Pennsylvania, one to Owensboro, and twice to Gatlinburg (including once where it had to do an imitation of a mountain goat), I'd say the car has a right to an oil leak. :-)

So I brought the groceries home, grabbed the Michaels coupons and a Borders coupon, and went out again. I bought some sale flowers to freshen up the flower basket on the porch (the existing flowers are faded from being out in the Georgia sun all spring and summer) and used the coupon for a new calligraphy pen. Then nipped in next door and bought Schuyler more birdseed.

I decided to go to Borders and pick up the book Jesus, Interrupted. It looks like it might make good late Lenten/Easter reading. I have The Year of Living Biblically as well.

Came home and had some soup as a late lunch, vacuumed upstairs, and stripped the bed and set the bedclothes to washing, and dubbed off Seems Like Old Times from the DVR.

We had supper at Ruby Tuesday. We had twofer coupons and I treated myself to a "surf and turf," a seven-ounce steak and two lobster tails. I think they were baby lobsters. :-) But they were yummy. I had enough of the steak and mashed potatoes left for a lunch next week.

James wanted to pick up some gadgets for his server, so we went to MicroCenter. A nice half-hour wandering about Electronics Land. Yum.

So James is now downstairs working on his gadget and I'm dubbing off It's Murder, Madam. I'll get them all, eventually. :-)

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Happy St. Joseph's Day
I'd rather have pastry than green beer!

Some articles linked in Holiday Harbour!

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» Thursday, March 18, 2010
Gone West
Fess Parker, TV's Davy Crockett, Dies at 85

Fess Parker, Star Of Davy Crockett And Daniel Boone, Dies at 85

I was born just before the Christmas of the Davy Crockett coonskin cap rage, so I remember Davy only from reruns on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. I remember him more from his brief role as Jim Coates in Old Yeller and as Daniel Boone in the NBC series. My mom and dad watched every episode of Daniel Boone, and I often watched the series in the summer when I was allowed to stay up later (and as I got older—Boone was on at 7:30, which, when it first premiered in 1964, was my bedtime) I vividly remember the original cast: Ed Ames as Mingo (probably my favorite character), Patricia Blair as Rebecca Boone, Veronica Cartwright as Jemima Boone, Darby Hinton as Israel Boone, Albert Salmi as Yadkin, and Dallas McKennon as Cincinattus. Daniel never had all the adventures television ascribed to him, but they made entertaining watching.

Fess Parker projected a nice-guy image and I believe he was just as nice in real life. Today he hangs up his coonskin cap and vintner's goblet and goes to explore a new Frontier.

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» Wednesday, March 17, 2010
WhoFan? SheFan!
How funny! I have been listening to music and podcasts while I work, first John Denver, then an episode of A Way With Words and a WHOcast from last fall, and they are playing the Doctor Who theme and Schuyler is happily singing along. Have we mentioned Schuyler is in love with the Who theme? James has one version of it on his computer and when he plays it, she starts chirping loudly.

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» Monday, March 15, 2010
Batteries and Breezes
Today could have subbed for the background of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. The brisk breeze at lunch had not abated by quitting time; I emerged to tossing trees and immediately exclaimed, "Damn, where's my kite?" (I tried the pocket kite I got for Christmas when I got home; alas, the breeze was too erratic to keep it aloft.)

On the way home I heard XM's traffic report say something about an accident on Spring Road...listened harder to the report the second time round (after it was, of course, interrupted for the Miami traffic; damn them for picking up Sirius' double-channel traffic idiocy) and they said it was at Cobb Parkway and Spring Road, just where I needed to turn, so I avoided Spring Road—only to pass by the intersection in question on my way to go the long way around via Atlanta Road and seeing no accident at all. I don't even know why I bother listening—you could get better traffic reports from a pig.

Yesterday we found a nice cut of beef (about 2 1/2 pounds) marked down twice until it was $1.97 a pound. James browned it last night, then refrigerated it in the crock pot, and started it this morning with a little low sodium soy sauce, black sauce, garlic, and onions. By dinnertime it was falling-off-the-bones tender. We had it with egg noodles. Yum.

To my surprise both my spare phone battery and the cradle for the phone came today. I had some Amazon credit and decided to use it on hardware instead of books, since the to-be-read piles are starting to tilt like the tower at Pisa. The cradle keeps the phone in "dock mode" where it serves as a bedside clock/alarm/music player/weather station, plus it has a space at the back to charge an extra battery. I am thinking ahead to DragonCon.

Anyone catch House tonight? I loved the one thing Wilson picked out for the apartment: an organ for House! And it was a real organ, too, like the one I learned on, one with stops that slide in and out. I clapped when I saw it.

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"Thanks, Jim...Thanks a Lot!"
Mission: Impossible Actor Peter Graves Dead at 83

Peter Graves Remembered by Co-Stars

Seattle Times, At Least, Mentions My Favorite Peter Graves' Role

While most of the news reports are, of course, mentioning Peter Graves' most famous role as Jim Phelps on Mission: Impossible, his part in Stalag 17, and his later comedic turn in Airplane, I've always remembered him most in the role of another Jim, that of Jim Newton in the classic children's series Fury. Jim Newton was one of the greatest television dads: principled, yet open and friendly, always ready to lend a hand or a sympathetic ear, a man who put behind his grief over the death of a wife and son to give a home to an orphan boy, a father closer to today's relaxed dads than to the classic 1950s fathers like Alex Stone or Jim Anderson. He brooked no nonsense, but stood up for rights, whether they be for people or animals, and was a good neighbor, a shining example for fathers everywhere.

Good-bye, Mr. Graves. We'll miss you.

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» Sunday, March 14, 2010
If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait a Minute...and Other Weekend Tales
I was relieved when I got done with work on Friday. I did get several orders done this week, got another order straightened out—but yet another order is setting up to be a problem, and an order I thought was completed may be a problem as well. The latter is bothering me because I thought the communication had gone well. I don't relish having to face it again on Monday.

James got home late because he brought home a server from a co-worker whose sister's company was discarding them. We're recycling it to use for backup files.

We used the last coupon we got from Restaurant.com last year to have dinner at My Cousin Vinny's. This used to be a nice restaurant on US41, but the place changed hands—I think the family sold the name—and now it's in a storefront near Town Center Mall. The food is good, but not great like it used to be, although the young servers are pretty efficient. We had bruscetta for an appetizer and I got five nasty oil spots on my shirt. Dabbed them with water, hoping for the best. Unfortunately my shrimp over linguine in marinara sauce was peppered. Not highly, but I hate pepper period and had to soldier through it despite the taste being good under the pepper sting.

After dinner we went to the mall since I had a Yankee Candle coupon. I finally found more cafè au lait tea lights and got some hazelnut coffee tea lights as well, and also some car fresheners. We walked down the mall and then back for some exercise, dipping into Brookstone to look at the cool gadgets. I was surprised to see Waldenbooks still open because I'd been told by someone that they were closing. Maybe it's just in their area.

When I got home I scrubbed the shirt front with soap and water, but the spots remained. So I surfed a bit and saw recommended treating the shirt with Dawn, since cutting oil is one of the things it's supposed to do. So I saturated the spots with Dawn and let it dry. They seemed to be gone.

We woke up Saturday to partly cloudy skies, but by the time we went out, it was cloudy. By the time we got through the day, we'd had those two kinds of weather, then heavy low clouds, then hail (with and without rain), and then partly cloudy skies with rain spritzing. I was waiting for it to snow to complete the cycle! Most of the day it was overcast and nicely chilly.

We went to pick up the new squirrel-proof bird feeder, hit the Publix next door for twofers, then went to the hobby shop. That's where it started to hail, little tiny pellets of white (smaller than LeSueur peas) for a good two or three minutes. The sky was an angry steel grey at one side, only light clouds opposite. It was bizarre.

From the hobby shop we went to JoAnn, where they were holding a "coupon commotion." I bought a cross-stitch pattern book, a bread cloth, patches in four different colors, and the new Country Sampler Tour of Homes edition. I love this issue because CS is devoting more of their space to prims these days and I love the layouts they show. The issue covers a year, so there are even fall- and Christmas-decorated homes at the back of the magazine.

Stopped at Borders, where I picked about a neat-looking book about life in Alaska.

On the way home we stopped by Dragon¨ to pick up Chinese for supper. Naturally, Willow was very attentive when we got home!

Later on James downstairs to set up the server and test it. I sat happily listening to A Way With Words and talking with folks on chat. I mentioned that the TWiT podcast we were listening to earlier was awash in nostalgia: Leo LaPorte and the others were talking about Prodigy, Delphi, GEnie, Archie, Gopher, Mosaic...so we started wandering down Memory Lane on chat, too, about the early Remember WENN websites, fans, actor stories, etc. Sadly, most of them disappeared when AOL Hometown and GeoCities shut down.

Daylight Savings Time got us on the road late this morning. I wanted to stop at Borders first to pick up the new Dan Simmons book, Drood, so we did that, then went to BJs for a couple of things, and finally finished up at Kroger. We found a nice piece of beef for pot roast which James will make in the crock pot tomorrow for dinner. The air had a bit of a nip in it, so we didn't have to rush home with the milk.

Spent the later afternoon reading the paper and dubbing off Best Defense episodes from the DVR, which is becoming cluttered. (Part of this was my fault; I discovered Hallmark Movie Channel was showing the McBride movies in HiDef, so I'm re-recording them. I wish they'd do more now that Boston Legal is over, but the cast probably now has other plans; I really enjoyed them. Real throwbacks to the old "NBC Mystery Movies.")

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» Saturday, March 13, 2010
LOL
Just saw these two funny ladies on the Tonight Show.

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» Friday, March 12, 2010
Pod Person
Whew! We've just had a thunderstorm blow through: evening dark, water lashing against the windows, the metal tops of the vents on the roof clanking up and down, rumblings accompanied by Willow crawling under the desk to be close to me. Now the sun is out and the birds are singing.

While I've been working and weathering the blow I've been listening to a podcast. I think I'm the last person who's computer literate to get into podcasting. I have three podcast feeds downloaded on my phone, TWiT (This Week in Tech) with Leo Laporte; DWO Whocast (Doctor Who, of course), and the public radio show A Way With Words. I was listening to TWiT initally, playing the oldest ones from last fall, when they are talking about the Droid premiere coming up on November 6 (2009). Which of course I'm listening to on a Droid. LOL. Just finishing a Whocast talking about "The Waters of Mars" (again, from last fall).

I can access the ARTC podcasts as well, but haven't yet. Anyone know any other good podcasts? I supposed folks know what I like: mystery books, dogs, cross-stitch, House, Castle, Jeopardy, WWII homefront history...

(BTW, quick and dirty holder for your Droid: I'm using my clear lucite business card holder. Won't hold it horizontally to use in dock mode because the charger port is in the way, but it will hold it up to listen to, or just charge, etc.)

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Birdpeeking
Since I'm working and don't have time for birdwatching. :-)

Check out Mr. [at left] and Mrs. Goldfinch: he's starting to get his summer coat!


Taken on my phone, so not as accurate as usual.

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» Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Rainy Days and Wednesdays Always Get Me Down
After two pretty springlike days, we are having a kiss with winter again, the kind of winter weather I loathe: cold rain! It was dank, damp and dreary all day as I attempted to resolve problems and actually sit down and do something. Unfortunately I discovered that one modification I thought I could do was incorrect and couldn't be fixed at my end. On the other hand, something we ordered and thought we might have to find another vendor for due to payment problems was resolved. I'm glad that worked out.

I've been wrestling against this backlog at work since Monday. Tuesday it was like a dam broke: all the pieces in about eight orders suddenly fell into place plus I was able to finish the order with 190 line items. Now I just have to find a minute to sit down and do the eight orders amid ever-burgeoning e-mails about this, that—oh, and the other, since they're a set.

Also did those wonderfully mundane things like wash two loads of clothes, and during lunch I fixed the little holder I have for the rabbit ears. This is one of those plastic bookholders/laptop holders/lap desk sort of things that unfolds and adjusts to different heights. I had it fastened with tape initially, intending to properly secure it when I had time, with the result that when the headcold came along and that plan went by the wayside, it fell down, cracking one of the antenna aerials. I fixed the aerial with floral wire and duct tape, then decided what position the shelf would go in. I pierced both parts on each side that needed to be fastened together, then fastened them permanently with floral wire (that stuff is really useful!). So the rabbit ears are back where they belong and working fairly well.

We are a bit worried about Willow and wondering if we are going to have to call the vet. She has been hobbling around all day with her right hind leg splayed out a bit. Both James and I have felt the leg and there is no swelling or heat associated with it. She was trotting around okay yesterday, so it's possible that during one of her headlong dashes down the stairs she twisted the leg. She'll be twelve next week and already has a bit of arthritis. It doesn't seem to have affected her appetite, but I suspected she wasn't feeling well this afternoon when she didn't want to chase the squirrel off the deck.

Last night and tonight she has also coughed a few times. She sounds as if she has a hairball.

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» Monday, March 08, 2010
Woohoo! Congratulations, Juan!
For any Remember WENN fan who's not on Facebook and hasn't seen C. J. Byrnes' post, Juan Jose Campanella won an Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film, The Secret In Their Eyes. Juan directed "On the Air," "Work Shift," the wonderful "World of Tomorrow," and others.

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Microslop Office 2007 is Here
Evidently Microsoft thinks we're all about six years old and need big colorful graphic buttons to use everything.

Is there any way to convert this dang thing so it looks like it used to look, i.e. software for an adult, not for an elementary school student?

[8:28 a.m. AHA! You transfer all the useful stuff from the ribbon to the quick access toolbar and then tell it not to show the ribbon.]

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» Sunday, March 07, 2010
Springing Through the Weekend
It was a nice sunny weekend full of nice ordinary things, including sleeping late.

When I refilled the bird feeders Saturday morning the larger feeder had sprouts growing in it. I figured it was time to get a second of the little squirrel-proof feeders, so we started our afternoon by going to Wild Birds Unlimited—only to find out they were out of them. Ah, well. I asked for a call when they come in. A woman there had beautiful photos of cedar waxwings in her yard.

Then to the hobby shop, where I read Bread and Circuses (Phryne Fisher mystery) as the guys talked, and finally back home until it was time to leave for trivia.

Stopped at Fry's on the way there; just walked around and I picked up a couple of magazines. We hadn't eaten since one o'clock and were starving. Good thing for the trail mix I've stocked under the seat of the truck. This is Planter's "energy mix," all nuts and edamame (sp?) covered in chocolate.

Mulligan's Grill has good food, but our hunger put the sauce on it. It was a fun game, and we won, and then arrived home for a nice evening on chat.

Today was sunnier, warmer—ah, it's back to worrying about getting the milk home fast—busier, with a treat: James made biscuits. He said it was so dry that it was hard to mix them. We did grocery shopping at BJs, Publix, and Kroger, then I put the Valentines Day decorations away and have all the winter decorations down, if not put away, and have the spring decorations up. Very depressing storing away the sparkly winter things. Spring...when a Southerner's thoughts turn to air conditioning, fans, pest control, Sevin dust, Roundup, and surgical masks to keep the pine pollen out of your mouth. LOL.

And finally I pulled out TurboTax and did the taxes. This year TurboTax needs you to download Microslop .NET to work—we've been using TT for at least a decade and the fool thing has never needed .NET. The taxes only took an hour to do, but it took nearly a half hour to download stupid .NET so TurboTax would work. Huh! Next year maybe I will try TaxCut, or whatever they're calling themselves now. I hope it uninstalls stupid .NET when I uninstall TurboTax.

They asked me to review the software when I was done with the process. Guess what I mentioned.

As last year, we are getting a refund from the feds, but owe the state a minor amount. Not sure why; since we've owned a home we've always gotten a state refund, until last year. Odd.

Pork chops and the final two parts of The Tudors (series three), followed by the most recent Sinbad special.

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» Friday, March 05, 2010
Not-So-Fresh Air
I must have spoken too soon. I thought I had a nagging headache because I was hungry (I was trying not to pick after a very small lunch of leftover barbecue and beef bits, with an orange for a chaser), but by the time we finished dinner I had a screaming headache and stomach pains, the latter from what I can't imagine because I had less than 6 ounces of prime rib, less than half my portion of real mashed potatoes, and two and a half grilled shrimp at Ted's. Stomach pain didn't quit until I'd taken a Gas-X and I still have the headache after three ibuprofin, though not as bad, and my sinuses are throbbing again.

I don't know what kind of a bug got me this time, but I wish it would fly north for the summer!

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Fresh Air
I just came up the stairs with a dozen books in my arms.

Okay, it was my own fault. I went back to the Sweetwater Library and got the only other two Phryne Fisher books that Cobb County owns. This time the Threadmill was open and I walked down the long corridor toward the central atrium, down the polished wood-beam floor. It looks as if there are several Cobb County and City of Austell offices in the building now as well.

I was parked out back and it occurred to me that they had not fixed the rear of the building as well as the front; from the rear it could be any old factory still in business, save for the quiet. It couldn't have been pleasant to work here in the days before air conditioning, with the air filled with cotton fiber dust from the threads, along with the constant racket of the spinning machines.

Came home by Borders to pick up the newest Harry Dresden book in paperback, and then, because I had seen the notification on the librarian's desk, went by Jim Miller Park for the spring edition of the library sale. I usually don't find much I want at these sales, but today there was a bumper crop of Christmas books—not craft or cookbooks, which I don't care for—plus a few more:

At Christmas the Heart Goes Home
The Christmas Book
(this is a British book I have taken out before; it has the most peculiar stories)
Pearl Buck's Book of Christmas
The Solstice Evergreen
A Williamsburg Christmas
The Night the Stars Sang
The Book of Lists: The 90s Edition
Pippa's Challenge
(Joy Adamson)
The Joy of Nature (a Readers Digest book that is really a neat combination of geography, geology, botany, and animalia)

I discovered something while I was out, something even more astonishing than a dozen books or a sunny day or the nice breeze: I feel better. I mean, better than I have since around February 9. I don't have a headache, sinus or otherwise, my nose isn't stuffed, my throat doesn't hurt, my teeth don't hurt, I'm not woozy, or sleepy, my eyes don't hurt, I'm not totally exhausted by anything that involves more than a walk around Kroger. It's been so long since I felt good...I've forgotten what it felt like.

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» Thursday, March 04, 2010
Motorola Droid Stuff


Read about Droids:

Droid Life

Droid Does

Talk Droid:

DroidForums

Find out what's in the Droid app market:

Android Library

I found a cool app tonight that makes four icons fit into the space of one.

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» Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Today Was Plain Awful
Despite the fuss they were making about icy roads last night, they were fine in this area. Had no trouble getting into work, and managed to get an essential order out, although I was rewriting part of it as I processed it. Sometimes people do not realize changes need to be made due to changed situations.

However, another order I was trying to work was fulfilling all my grim predictions about it, and a chat with someone just confirmed there was a bit of a slog ahead. Another order I had just be assigned needed to be done today, but there was a arithmetical error it took me several hours to get ironed out (in the end the performance period was changed, not the price). So it was that a fourth order could not be finished.

All this was complicated by the fact that a portion of my body began rebelling against my antibiotic. So not only was I stuck in the bathroom repeatedly, but the sinus headache was coming back with ferocity. I hung on until lunch, popped two Tylenol, and retreated to the car for a very welcome nap, which took care of the headache. About three, the third unwelcome guest showed up just as I was working on it-which-must-go-out-today: nausea. Joy. Luckily I was consulting with Charlene at the time about the hard-slog project and it took some of my mind off it.

I was very glad to get home. James brought me two small grilled chicken pieces and a biscuit from KFC. No fool I, I peeled the skin off before I even bit into them. I'm not used to chicken skin anymore; I bake mine without.

I'm feeling exhausted, and cold. I even turned up the heat to 70°F because my teeth were starting to chatter, and I almost never turn the heat up.

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» Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Television Tonight
Nova did a tongue-in-cheek presentation about Pluto's status downgrade called "The Pluto Files" tonight. Neil DeGrasse Tyson romped through an hour that included a visit to Clyde Tombaugh's home town and a visit to the family home, where he toured a collection of Tombaugh's home-built telescopes. There was also a church in his home town which has a beautiful stained glass window dedicated to Tombaugh. Wow. I did not know Tombaugh did not have a degree when he discovered Pluto; he was just a low-paid worker at Lowell Observatory.

Following we put on last night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno's return. The opening was a funny riff on The Wizard of Oz, with Jay in the Dorothy role and Betty White in a guest appearance, "filmed" in sepia.

Incidentally, I notice NBC has removed the clever opening skit from Conan O'Brien's first Tonight Show from their website. Can't be reminded of that decision, can they? ::snort::

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A Temporary World of White
It certainly doesn't look like meterological spring!

I'm sitting on the sofa and watching big fat snowflakes fall past the open curtains of the living room window. I've had all my meds, but sinuses are still giving me a pain. Ah, well, it takes three days for the antibiotics to kick in. If I look out the other window, I can see the occasional goldfinch, yellow-rumped warbler, and even the wren at the bird feeder.

Sure is pretty...hard to believe it will be 65° over the weekend.

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» Monday, March 01, 2010
The Amazing Mrs. Madison
American Experience did an interesting profile of Dolley Madison tonight, as is usual these days, with actors re-enacting the principals of her era: husband James Madison (her first husband and infant son died in the 1793 yellow fever epidemic), Thomas Jefferson (who greeted visitors at the White House in his bathrobe to illustrate the democratic ideals of the new republic), scandalized British envoys, family, friends, and finally her dissolute spoiled, eldest son, who bled his mother and stepfather dry in their old age.

Much has been written about Dolley's lively personality and this special certainly brought her to life. I quite enjoyed it. But what on earth has American Experience done to its theme song? It sounds like it was written by a group of untalented three-year-olds.

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Oooooo-kay...
It's going to be in the mid- to high 60s next weekend, but for tomorrow we have a winter storm warning?

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I...
...have a sinus infection and am on antibiotics. yippee

...finally registered all my bird counts. Yay me. Great Backyard Bird Count

...am soooo sleepy.

...need to eat lunch because I spent my breakfast hour in the doctor's office.

...enjoyed last night's closing ceremonies, but why did they have to interrupt the party with some dumb reality show?

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