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» Sunday, June 19, 2011Weekend With Chips
Not "fish and..." It was Kelley and Matt (and several others) who had those. :-)
No Farmer's Market this morning; we had veggies already and felt like sleeping in. Plus we had a busy afternoon planned: it was the June edition of the [Dragoncon] Brittrack Meet'n'Greet at the Marlay House, the Irish pub in Decatur. So we went to the hobby shop for a little while, then headed for Midtown and the pub. We were very early and tried to sit outside until someone showed up, but it was smothery hot and unbearable outside. Instead we sat at the bar where we sipped water and read our Nooks until folks started arriving: Matt and Kelley Ceccato and several other folks whose names I sadly have jumbled. One woman had just gotten back from a two-week trip to Great Britain and had her photos done in a lovely album from Shutterfly! It was gorgeous. She had also gone to the Doctor Who exhibition and had more of those photos in a separate album.
The neatest part was that her trip coincided with the appearance of David Tennant and Catherine Tate on stage in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing; she had lovely photos from the stage door and had her photo taken with both David and Catherine. What a memory of a lifetime in so many ways!
There were about seventeen of us finally, I think, and we had a great lunch and conversation. Sadly, the lamb stew I was craving is considered a winter dish. We had brisket of beef marinated in Guinness and real mashed potatoes, chunks and all—Clay would have loved them.
On the way home we stopped at the Borders in midtown for James to return the book he ordered (he ordered the wrong title) and found a couple of good things on the remainder shelf. I can't believe they kept the midtown Borders and closed the Buckhead store! This store isn't a patch on the Buckhead location, which had more magazines, varieties of books, and was just a better looking and more comfortable store. The Buckhead store wasn't on the original closing list, either, so I always wondered what happened. But it sure was a sucky choice.
While we were in Borders the clouds clotted, boiled, and finally exploded with rain. We drove home in damp gloom, the clouds so low and dark it gave the impression of twilight. Later on we got on chat; Daniel showed up again, and we had a late visit from our new E3 petty officer, Jen!
Today we went grocery shopping and that was it. Have spent yesterday and all this afternoon watching my DVD of The Snoop Sisters, which arrived Friday. I had it ordered from when it showed up on Amazon. A couple reviewers complained it was too expensive, but with the wonderful memories this conjured up for me, it was worth it: back in 1973 this was my third favorite television program (after The Waltons and Faraday and Company). Helen Hayes is mystery writer Ernesta Snoop and Mildred Natwick is her widowed sister Gwendolyn "G" Snoop Nicholson, who takes dictation, keeps continuity, and otherwise assists Ernesta in her writing. Their nephew is New York police detective Lt. Stephen Ostrowski, and the ladies are chauffeured around town (and kept tabs on) by a gentleman named Barney. Of course, they become embroiled in mysteries which, while serious, are on the lighthearted side in the treatment, in some stories more than others.
The Snoop Sisters was made for the rotating NBC Wednesday (later Tuesday) Mystery Movie, along, originally, with Faraday and Company, Banacek, and Tenafly, and it was the best choice for all of these series, which really wouldn't have carried in weekly doses. The series was produced by the late, great Leonard Stern, and I noticed that Alan Shayne was listed as the series creator; he had worked a year earlier with Mildred Natwick in The House Without a Christmas Tree.
In the pilot movie, Stephen was played by Lawrence Pressman and the long-suffering Barney was a retired beat cop played by Art Carney. While I was always a fan of Art Carney, I really liked the change they made in the series. Bert Convy took over pretty convincingly as Stephen, but I adored the twist with Barney, who was now a younger ex-convict (petty theft type stuff) played by actor and director Lou Antonio. Barney wavered from comic relief to helpful accomplice to occasional defender as the sisters snooped into each crime, but he always cared about the pair.
(A year or two after this series aired I did a paint-by-number set of three little Yorkshire terrier-type dogs. Two were bouncing across the canvas and one was sitting looking tired, with his tongue hanging out. I named the two active dogs "Ernesta" and "Gwen" and the panting one "Barney." <g> Sometimes he never could keep up with 'em.)
I also watched some episodes from The Best of Password DVD I got off Hamilton Books...I really loved this game. Allen Ludden enjoyed being host and it showed, and the panelists had a lot of fun. The later version was flashier and also fun, but these quiet early episodes are definitely the favorites.
I was keeping myself amused with all this media while I completely made over my laptop. At three years old, it was becoming cranky. Speed wasn't a problem, but connectivity was. When I first bought it and set it up, it connected promptly with any wireless and also with the home network. After about a year it started getting cranky. For instance, I used to be able to use the laptop to correct my cross-stitch magazine database on my desktop. Suddenly I could pull up the file (or any other file) and correct it, but had to save it under a new name. After we went to Pennsylvania, it quit seeing the home network at all, and all my efforts to reconnect went spare.
Also in Pennsylvania, it wouldn't connect to the wireless network at the hotel. Good thing I'd brought a cable. The cable connection worked fine. Pretty soon the wireless connection didn't work and I was operating with a cable in the house. This meant I couldn't do things like catalog my books downstairs. Then on Wednesday when the thunderstorm fried James' network card, the laptop (which wasn't even plugged in or on) quit talking to the internet connection completely.
There was only one thing to do. I copied off all the files (especially the chat logs) and went into Lenovo's Repair and Recovery setting, and knocked it down to factory settings. I started at 9 p.m. and finally finished around 3 a.m. The actual re-do didn't take all that time; it was all the frippin' Windows updates since 2008! There were 78 malicious software removal downloads and 78 security updates. Then Windows rebooted and I took Norton off and put on Microslop Security Essentials. At least I tried to. It said it wouldn't go on until I downloaded Service Pack 3! Well, why in the wide, wide world of sports didn't you download Service Pack 3 when you downloaded all the other updates??? That download took so long I was able to simultaneously download and install Firefox 4, Chrome, Internet Explorer 8, and Audacity, and chat at the same time.
Today I loaded
HTML Assistant Pro 2000
WS-FTP (it's not set up yet, though)
Microsoft Photo Editor
Paint Shop Pro 5
Word Perfect 9 to write with
Word 97 to read documents from people who don't have a superior word processing program :-)
and set up Microslop Outlook Express to read my Christmas discussion group.
And now I'm pretty much computered out. Instead I think I'll read a book. Many thanks to Ernesta, G, Barney, Stephen, Allen Ludden and the members of the crew, the chat crowd, and James, Schuyler and Willow, who made the do-over bearable.