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 theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Tuesday, July 30, 2002
I Hate a Mystery

Got home tonight expecting to find James already there; there was an accident on 85 South so I had to cut through Buckhead to get home and then got stuck behind not one, but two people doing 10 mph under the speed limit.

Well, he was already there.

Not to mention six, count 'em, six police cars at the house across the street from us. Someone--I assumed it was the gentleman who owned the house--was outside leaned against the door, holding his head. James said a policeman asked him if he had seen a certain color vehicle at the house.

They were gone finally about an hour later...hmmm.


» Monday, July 29, 2002
I happened to switch to CBS's Early Show this morning to see a rather innocuous-looking fellow being interviewed. If I had never seen Jerry Mathers grown up, and if this man had not looked a little bit younger than he should be, I might have almost imagined this was "the Beaver" as an adult. He was speaking very intelligently and quietly of his new movie...

Imagine my surprise when I realized this was Mike Myers! I've never been a fan of Myers or the Austin Powers flicks and after all this time had never seen him in his "civvies." Wow.


» Thursday, July 25, 2002
Urf. A/C fixed for now. (Every chance it could happen again. The repairman said the motor is so old they would have to order a new one specially.) We had a broken capacitor and the compressor was coming on, but not the fan; it had seized up. He replaced the capacitor, oiled the motor and the fan, and refreshed the freon. Voíla, cold air.

BTW, never been so glad for that service contract. The fellow told me that most people as of today have a two-week wait!

Had to vacuum everywhere he stepped since there was dirt from the backyard all over the carpet and kitchen floor. It has odd silvery grains in it. The glass doors are virtually broken and I don't think we've opened them since the dryer caught fire. Imagine my astonishment when I slid open the door to let the repairman into the back yard and found a wasps' nest between the glass door and the screen (which I only now noticed was not replaced correctly). I squirted the thing with Raid; one wasp croaked, one staggeringly flew away, and one was driven off--cross fingers none of them got inside!


» Monday, July 22, 2002
Listening to an imported three-CD set of Bing Crosby I bought at Media Play on Friday. The low price tag ($10) got me, but those of you who like Crosby but want "high fidelity," give the album a skip: the songs sound as if they were burned directly from 78s, with no attempt to reduce surface noise, hiss, etc., although the quality is not all that bad. It's chiefly just in mono, not in stereo.

But I'm enjoying them: I like them sounding as if they're playing on an old Victrola or on a low-powered AM station sometime back in the 1930s. Rather like time-traveling.

I had kind of a time getting to play the set at all: when I brought the one I originally bought home and opened it, I discovered I had two copies of the #3 CD, one #2, and none of #1! I was lucky to find another set when I returned it.


Library Finds

Janet Gillespie, With a Merry Heart: Memoirs of Gillespie's New England girlhood with her minister father, mother, younger siblings, and aristocratic grandmother, pre World War I to the early 20's, with the emphasis on her Cape Cod summers. Charming, nostalgic light reading, with a memorable cast of characters. I'll have to see if the library has her first book, A Joyful Noise.

{7/25: They don't. It figures.}


Sweating in a Summer Wonderland

I remember those long hot summer days without air conditioning. My mother has ceiling fans now, but we relied on the floor models when I was little, roaring in the hallway and tripping everyone. I loved being out of school during the summer, but despised the heat and the sun gave me screaming headaches. Worst were the summer nights that were so humid that I slept upside down in bed to be closer to the breeze from the two windows. Luckily back then you could leave your doors open without fear of burglars and a crossdraft came through the front door and down the house to the back porch. Many nights I was still restlessly awake in the wee hours watching my dad wander from one door to the other like some wraith, looking for a breath of air.

I'm getting all sorts of flashbacks now: the A/C conked out Saturday afternoon and our repair company tells me that it will be Thursday before someone can come around. (We're apparently lucky: people sans maintenance contracts have to wait until next Monday.) They gave me scant hope that there might be a cancellation this morning, so I stayed home--mostly I needed to be here all day to determine the best place to keep Bandit and if it's okay for Willow to remain in the kitchen.

We'd left the house at noon on Saturday and almost planned to stay out until after a visit to a friend's house, which would have gotten us home around seven. Thank God we finished our errands and got home about three instead: the thought of the poor bird and dog shut up in a closed house with hot air pouring out of the vents makes me ill.


» Thursday, July 18, 2002
Caught a story on Fox News' website yesterday about how special interest groups influence school textbooks. This has been standard for lo these many years for science and history texts, I knew, but these two paragraphs caught my eye:

"...In California, for example, health food activists convinced California lawmakers to outlaw mention of 'foods of low nutritive value' in its schoolbooks.

"That means the short story previously called 'A Perfect Day for Ice Cream' is now called 'A Perfect Day.' The reference to an ice-cream shop excursion has been edited out, and math word problems have been revised so that items like lollipops and candy bars are not included to teach kids arithmetic."

Structured play and adult supervision for games instead of just getting to run around and be kids, and now you can't even talk about going out and getting a treat? More and more I'm glad I'm not a child growing up today!


» Friday, July 12, 2002
There it is in the news again.

A "man" has been arrested for the beating death of a 2-year-old. The child's "crime"? He dirtied his pants.

I put the word "man" in quotation marks because what kind of man beats up a helpless kid for soiling his underwear? Isn't it bad enough these so called "men" feel it necessary to beat up adults who can, hopefully, at least defend themselves, that they have to strike small children, too?

My mother, in her old-fashioned way, would call the "man" an "animal." Sorry, Mom. Most animals are not nearly so loathsome. This so-called "man" is lower than what he beat up the child for leaving in his diaper.


Sigh. I'm so sick of running into Macromedia Flash banner ads. Or rather so sick of seeing the stupid message that asks me if I want to upgrade. Can I kill it now, can I, huh?


» Thursday, July 11, 2002
E-Books Read Lately:

Brother and Sister: Children's book from 1916 that makes the old Bobbsey Twin books (the original ones, before they solved mysteries), look like Nancy Drew. At least in the first Bobbsey Twin book, Freddie's locked in a department store overnight, Bert is called down for fighting and fears he might be accused of breaking a window, there's always the specter of bully Danny Rugg, and there's supposedly a ghost in the house. Nothing even this exciting happens to Roddy and Betty!

Dr. Syn: a Smuggler's Tale: Look, I knew Disney would have "cleaned" this one up when they turned it into the adventure The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, but this book is truly bizarre. The adolescent lead is fascinated by hangings and builds his own gibbet, there's a crazy madman who had his tongue cut out by a pirate, the Scarecrow's second-in-command is a coffin maker who likes to sleep in his coffins...

The Air Service Boys Over Enemy Lines; or The German Spy's Secret: Second of a series of six books about two young Americans fighting with the Lafayette Escadrille. You can tell just what kind of a book it will be when in the first ten paragraphs the two protagonists, Tom and Jack, sum up action in dialog that sounds like a bad radio series narration. Lots of period reference to the "gallant French" and those nasty Boches, and the boys get to rescue a plucky 12-year-old American girl and her mother, kidnapped by a German relative.

Bruce: Actually, I have the book, but I hadn't read it in a while and downloaded the e-book version. Terhune tells a much better World War I story than Charles Amory Beach, he of the Air Service Boys, making his prizewinning collie Bruce a messenger dog in the trenches.

The Outdoor Girls: A series the mythical "Laura Lee Hope" (The Bobbsey Twins) wrote for girls. There's Betty Nelson, the practical one, Grace Ford, the one who loves candy, Mollie Billette, the girl with the quick temper (she's French, you see), and Amy Stonington, the shy one. In one book they have adventures on a motor boat given to them by Betty's uncle, in another they spend part of their vacation at a mountain lodge. Pleasant stuff, although the mysteries they solve are so transparent you can see into the next county.

Just started The Go-Ahead Boys and the Racing Motor Boat.


Still here.

As mentioned once, we get so much junk e-mail Bandit had learned to say "Bad spam!" There are the usual Viagra promotions, those interminable letters supposedly from Nigeria (Have you read one of these missives? Who would be dimwitted enough to fall for something so obvious--never mind, don't answer that.), buy our discounted whatever, etc.

Today there was a new one! A machine shop in Taiwan contacted us saying they mill metal parts, fittings, etc. Only thing I can think of is they used some spambot that searches on keywords, noted that part of our website title is "flying," and figured we might make airplanes....


» Saturday, July 06, 2002
Friday Five (a bit late):

1. Where are you right now?
Sitting at the computer, of course. (With a sleepy budgerigar on my shoulder.)

2. What have you lost recently?
My sanity, at work. At home, not weight. Sigh.

3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now?
Darned if I remember. I bet it was a Christmas album. I have about 50 of 'em. I do remember the first LP I ever bought out of my own money: it was the QB VII soundtrack.

4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen?
When I write and don't type...Schaefer.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee, of course. I am from Rhode Island after all.


» Wednesday, July 03, 2002
Article on this morning's Fox News webpage about coupon use being down. I had to laugh–we buy only the Sunday paper and only because of the coupons. While there's occasionally an interesting travel or "filler" article, the Atlanta paper seems like nothing more than "the weekly Rich's ad."

Some reasons cited for coupon clipping being down:

People using internet coupons. That's the one thing I haven't tried. Never cared enough to go to any of the coupon sites, and pretty sure that the moment I do we will get yet more useless spam. God knows what would happen if I ever clicked on any of those banner or pop-up ads! (Yep, just looked at one. You have to sign up to join, a sure way, even with clicking off the little boxes preset for you, to get your e-mail box stuffed with junk.)

Newspaper coupon fliers having too many collectible/non coupon ads. Hear, hear! Do the Bradford Exchange and the Franklin Mint create statues for everything? There are bird statues, wolf statues, dolphin statues, cute kid statues, Elvis tribute statues, etc. Or there are tiny china shoe collections, spice box houses, thimbles...yeesh, how much useless stuff can you get people to buy? (I guess a lot, since they're always coming up with new collections.)

Increase in multiple-item coupons. Annoying critters. Really, what's the use of 35 cents off five cans of Campbell's soup when the cans go for around 95 cents each? Even worse, the infamous 55 cents, which means the coupon is not subject to doubling, on two. Ugh.

Short use life. Another annoyance. Coupons formerly had a longer use life.

The article didn't really mention the one reason you might not use coupons at all–a cheaper source for your material! For instance, I use All detergent and hoard the 50 cent off coupons. The price in the various groceries around us for a jug of All is about $5.50. It's a little more at Kroger, $5.89, but they often have cents off for their Plus Card users and we have 50 cent coupons that can be doubled to a dollar, so that a jug is usually about $4.50.

And then Saturday while wandering the Super WalMart we noticed their regular price for the same jug of All was $3.92! Campbell's Soup is 20 cents a can cheaper than Kroger/Publix/Ingles. You can get six rolls of Brawny paper towels for merely 10 cents more the price Kroger charges for three. Milk is $3.15+/gallon at any of the supermarkets (except Food Depot); it's $2.09 at Sam's Club. Why pay $13 for a bottle of 250 Advil when generic ibuprofin, 500 to a bottle, is $10 at Sam's or Costco? At this rate we may end up giving up coupons, too, but not for the reasons cited!


» Monday, July 01, 2002
So Tom Cruise is leaving the United States, eh? I don't know whether to be happier that we're losing one third-rate American--or one fifth-rate actor.

[Darn. I heard somewhere else he's not leaving, just his kids. Life is terrible here, but not terrible enough to get off the gravy train, eh? Hypocrite.]


Ah, yet another smog alert this morning. Over the weekend, real estate expert John Adams, on his radio show, mentioned that by 2020, the metro Atlanta population would probably be seven to eight million. James simply groaned, "It's time to go to Vermont."