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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» Wednesday, December 31, 2003
What are We Doing New Year's...
...New Year's Eve...


» Monday, December 29, 2003
I got my Good Life (Good Neighbors) DVD from today. It was basically a "test case," (a) because we like the series, (b) because our videotape copy of the Christmas episode is just about falling apart, and (c) it was the cheapest thing I could try out to see if the region hack worked and it was worth my buying the Blake's 7 DVDs.

Report: region hacks work!


Love and Death In Middle Earth
Collecting my thoughts about Return of the King since yesterday.

Summary: Wow.

I have never read the Tolkien trilogy and still don't know if I ever will. Rings is one of several books I've been urged to read for years, started, and couldn't get through, like Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Kurtz' Derenyi books. Not ever been one for high fantasy with elves, dwarfs, and the usual supporting cast. I don't even like Camelot stories except for Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy.

And I've asked James if this or that thing happened in the book; it may be that I'll get curious enough--but with my book queue the way it is now, I dunno.

I've enjoyed the movies, though, whatever they've left out or amended...excellent narrative, heart-stopping scenes, absorbing characters, and tremendous visuals (not just the SFX; apparently when God was giving out scenery, New Zealand got in line three times--at least). And the music! Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Miscellaneous comments:

  • Aragorn looks really uncomfortable in king's robes.
  • Sigh...wouldn't it be nice to look like Arwen...or at least Eowyn...
  • It was both wonderful and sad watching Merry and Pippin grow up.
  • I could have killed Denethor myself. Twit.
  • If I didn't know any better, I'd say Peter Jackson was saying that Sam was actually the hero of the entire film. (Which wouldn't bother me a bit; Sam is my favorite character. It doesn't hurt that Sean Astin is So Damn Cute.)


Monday Madness

1. List three words to describe yourself.

Short, fat, and right now, depressed.

2. List three words to describe your job.

Frustrating, annoying, and dull. I hate numbers. And they keep dragging more at me (see last item of number 1).

3. List three words to describe your computer.

At home? Old, underpowered, and about good enough for what I want it to do (although I do wish it would play DVDs).


» Sunday, December 28, 2003
All right. I finished the painting projects tonight. But it's still not where I wanted to be.


How Quickly the World Spins
Last time I looked, I was clearing up the last of my work, putting an appropriate message on my work telephone and e-mail, and leaving for the beginning of ten days off.

In four hours that ten days will have ticked away. Christmas was much more pleasant than I expected, I had James home two extra days even if he wasn't feeling well, and I suppose I did get a few things accomplished, but not anywhere near what I wanted to get done. The new bookcases aren't up yet, and I haven't finished two of the three painting projects. The house is reasonably clean but it still has to be tidied for the party on Saturday.

Sigh. I'm depressed and I still haven't done rush hour tomorrow...


» Saturday, December 27, 2003
Shopping Again
I feel like I spend my entire weekend in the supermarket or a reasonable facsimile (Sam's, BJs, etc.). Today we had to do the monthly coupon shopping and go to BJ's for staples and more stuff for the party, which is next Saturday.

It will be fun next weekend, but exhausting, since we are scheduled to see James' mom, sister, and niece on the Sunday.


» Friday, December 26, 2003
Please Make Up Your Mind
The city of Marietta sends out a little flyer at the beginning of each year advising you of any changes in the trash pickup schedule. Since one of our trash pickup days is Monday, we get many pickup changes for Monday holidays. Occasionally other days are pre-empted as well. Our other collection day is Thursday, so on Thanksgiving week we usually have only one pickup.

This year, of course, Christmas was a Thursday, and this week was also scheduled as a one-pickup week. We hate this because James is an avid cook and the two of us somehow manage to fill up a big trash can full of cans. bottles, etc. in three or four days, despite ripping up boxes, squishing things as small as possible and other space-saving measures. We can't leave the "wet garbage" in the outside trash can, either, because we have so many feral cats in the neighborhood we would have smelly garbage scattered everywhere.

The kitchen trash can was chock full this morning. I had a garbage bag full of wrapping paper for Christmas and went around the house collecting paper trash from the rest of the house. This, a few other boxes, and a milk jug or two went into that bag, which I could put at the curb for Monday because the cats would ignore it.

Well, what should appear about eleven o'clock but the trash collectors! The dog shrilled and I shrieked, dragging the overflowing trash bag from the can and fumbling with the lock on the front door. There I was in just sweatpants, sweatshirt and slippers, a fat late-forties woman chasing after the garbage truck, feeling like something out of a comic strip! Luckily one of our male neighbors, who was also trying to shag down the truck, offered to take it to the truck for me as it stopped. I was blowing like a racehorse, but managed to thank him profusely.

Sheeesh, guys, if I'd known you were coming I'd have had it out there ready for you!


Friday Five

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Getting some un-needed furniture and junk out of the house. Decluttering proceeds apace.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

That all the modern medicine in the world couldn't save a friend I liked. :-(

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

Better health and a cleaner house.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

To declutter and clean more--but I won't make them resolutions. I always break them.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Some friends of ours have a party.


» Thursday, December 25, 2003
Home Alone on Christmas Day?
Naw, there's me and the critters and a full complement of videos: check out my progress in the December 25 entry of Holiday Harbour.

But now I think I'm going to leave the Yule Log on and warm up my lunch!


Only One a Week? Is She Illiterate?
Jerry Lawson comments about this story, too, which I found hilarious:

So Many Books, Make the Time

Only one book a week? I don't make the time to read; I have to make the time not to read.


» Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Not Your Usual Christmas Eve...
...but mostly "kringly" nonetheless at Holiday Harbour.


» Tuesday, December 23, 2003
The Scent of Christmas...
...sugar? spice? Would you believe spaghetti sauce?


» Monday, December 22, 2003
The Toy That Grew Up
A silent movie Christmas at Holiday Harbour.

(Does anyone else remember "The Toy That Grew Up," a series of silent movies shown back in the 1960s on PBS when it was originally NET?)


A Break in the Flow
Sorry I'm not as voluble as usual; James isn't feeling well and I'm trying to come down with a cold myself. It's cold at the computer, as it's next to the door. Today I cleaned out under the printer in the vain hope of incorporating some of the stationery on the bookcase I want to replace under the printer. I did manage some of it, but not enough.

Ran out to get a prescription and made an appointment for a checkup, which I'm overdue for, got a new dish drainer pad in Linens'n'Things, couldn't find this year's airplane ornament any longer at Hallmark (sorry, sweetie), got some paint at Michael's, and "fed" the car.

Did manage to get two bags of trash out of the house besides the usual Monday trash. This is the only pickup this week.

The one bright spot was stopping, before the abortive Hallmark visit, at one of those "giant book sale" places. I found Elizabeth Peters' newest book on remainder for $8. Considering it will come out in paperback in April at $7.99, I figured it wasn't a bad deal...


Monday Madness

"Each of the questions below begin with 'How much would YOU pay for'...:"

1. a pair of dress shoes Beats me. How much are dress shoes these days? The last pair of high heels I bought was about 20 years ago; I don't even wear them on holidays anymore. My work shoes are officially Hush Puppies and I think they cost about $35.

2. a pair of jeans Nothing. I don't wear jeans. The waist never fits right.

3. a pound of ground round James! What do you pay for ground round? (He gets the kind with less fat.) I wouldn't buy ground round. I hate hamburger.

4. a music cd Lessee, I think I paid $16 each for my two new Revels Christmas CDs.

5. a computer If I had the money, I'd get the best one they had. Since I don't have the money, maybe $500-$600.

6. a loaf of bread Urgh. I pay $2.49 for my buns at Kroger (sometimes they're 2-for-1). I was buying really cheap sandwich bread at Food Depot and then figured out having lunch at work is bad enough without eating bad bread. So now I get the buns at Kroger.

7. a dvd movie $20.

8. an ironing board Good grief, how would I know? I've had my ironing board for 20 years.

9. a hair cut Nothing. James trims my hair.

10. a magazine Most of them, nothing. But I do pay $8.40 for Best of British...


» Sunday, December 21, 2003
That Your Heart, on the Tree, on That Dial
Christmas lights and specials in Holiday Harbour.


» Saturday, December 20, 2003
Bandit's Diary
Hmmm. What might it sound like?

10:00 a.m. Mama Hen is getting up late AGAIN. I start calling to her. (Mama Hen says I am one of the 12 Days of Christmas birds, one of the calling birds. I want to meet a French hen. I've heard about French hens. Ooh-la-la!) Eventually she uncovers me and puts on my teevee.

11:00 a.m. Mama Hen carries Sister upstairs to have a bath. Sister has her tail tucked between her legs. She's so funny.

11:30 a.m. Sister's bath is over. Mama Hen brings her in my room to dry her off and tells me not to laugh at her. I do but not out loud.

12:00 p.m. Mama Hen rests her back on my futon. I sing to her. Hens need lots of singing.

12:30 p.m. Mama Hen starts using the bizippy thing [trans. vacuuming]. Sister starts to bark at the bizippy thing. Boy, she's loud.

3:00 p.m. Mama Hen finishes using the bizippy thing. Then we watch Little House on the Prairie have a Merry Chrisbird. I ask Mama Hen if she would sell me to buy a stove for Grandma Hen. She says no. I love my Mama Hen and would not like to belong to Nellie Oleson!

5:00 p.m. I watch Mama Hen wrap Merry Chrisbird presents. This is boring. I put my head under my wing and go to sleep.

7:00 p.m. Daddy comes home and they go out to eat. I am left watching the Nest Channel [trans. HGTV].

9:30 p.m. They are back. I am 'nuggling on Mama Hen's neck.

10:30 p.m. Still 'nuggling.

11:30 p.m. Still 'nuggling.


Revisiting Plum Creek... Holiday Harbour.


It's Not Easy Being Clean...
Gawd, I'm pooped. Gave the bathtub insert a good scrub today, followed by scrubbing the dog. She likes some parts of the bath, hates others, and I usually manage to strain my back pulling her close enough to get her all rinsed off so she won't itch. Today was no exception. I also vacuumed the entire house, including the kitchen and the stairs (ah, moving furniture, how I love it) and wrapped family and friend presents. Oh, and washed and dried four loads of clothes. How on earth do two people use so many clothes? And I'm not even a "clothes horse."


» Friday, December 19, 2003
Friday Five

1. List your five favorite beverages.

Milk. Milk. Milk. Coffee milk. And lemon-lime KoolAid.

2. List your five favorite websites. And the Georgia-Navigator site. It saves my buns at rush hour.

3. List your five favorite snack foods.

Does it have chocolate in it? If so I eat it. Also brown-sugar cinnamon PopTarts (no frosting) and Chex Snack Mix.

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.

Uno. Scrabble. Uh, and that's about it.

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.

Jumpman. The Bookworm game at Popcap. That's all I can think of.


» Thursday, December 18, 2003
Play Along...
James and I have gotten hooked on Lingo, the word game on Game Show Network. You have to guess the correct five-letter word from the first letter on a gridded board. For every word you guess correctly, you get to pick a number. The object is to make a "lingo," a "bingo" across-down-diagonal on the random number board they have given you. James is very good at it.

The only thing that took us aback was the recent addition of a new cast member. Previously Chuck Woolery did all the announcing duties. Now this lightly dressed blonde gives out the Lingo boards and sets the new puzzle. I guess she's a nice person, but our reaction still is "What's the bimbo for?"


I'm Still Here...
...annoying monthly visitor crimping my well-being, as always. And that was probably more than you needed to know. I'm busily reading my way through my monthly magazines (although Best of British hasn't turned up yet). I got Ideal Home's Christmas issue. Boy, these folks must be all stay-at-home types to decorate or even thinking of decorating like this.


Thursday Threesome
More holiday questions in Holiday Harbour.


» Monday, December 15, 2003
Twas Two Weekends Before Christmas... Holiday Harbour.


Monday Madness

This is a weird one, but I'll try it:

"It's all about color. For the following 10 items, name the color that, in your opinion, best describes it."

1. your mood: Right now? Navy blue.

2. your personality: Also navy blue.

3. your job (or your past job) OR your school: Rainy-sky gray.

4. your home: LOL. Brown.

5. your imagination: Bright blue.

6. nature: Green. (Well, there's a super-obvious answer. LOL. Lilac, maybe?)

7. your name: Gray. Urgh. I've always hated my name.

8. wealth: Nice metallic gold.

9. the perfect car: Silver.

10. good health: Bright blue and lilac.


» Friday, December 12, 2003
The Bestest Present
I've been homesick for "real fried rice" for 20 years.

Maybe this sounds odd, but Chinese restaurants make fried rice differently in the South than they do up North. What they serve in the South is what I think of as "food court fried rice," whitish-yellow or yellow rice mixed with peas and carrots, sometimes with bits of onion and chicken or pork in it. I find it very unpalatable and many times overly greasy. It just doesn't have the rich taste I'm used to: dark brown rice (lots of soy sauce) with bits of diced meat, bean sprouts, diced onion, occasionally pieces of egg--no mushy peas or too-sweet carrots. When I go visit my mom, my usual plan is to visit the Empress of China as many times as possible, chowing down on pork fried rice and nothing else. When my mom used to come down to visit, she'd always buy me a quart of pork fried rice ahead of time and bring it with her.

Yesterday at the Publix shopping center on Powder Springs and Macland we noticed that there was a new Chinese place. So since James knew I was going to come home and decorate the Christmas tree and that I wanted to be home for Holiday at Pops, he said he was going to come home by the new place and get us something to eat.

He came home just as I finished putting the final icicle on the tree, saying he'd gotten my usual roast pork with Chinese vegetables. It was a combo plate, and, he added, "You probably won't eat the fried rice. It's darker than usual, but it still has peas in it."

That's okay. I could see right off there were big thick slices of pork in...blink. What was this? The accompanying fried rice wasn't yellow, it wasn't pale, it was brown--not quite dark had bits of diced pork, diced onions, and bean sprouts. No carrots, and the green things James thought were peas were...scallions! I dug my fork in it.

Oh, my ears and whiskers!!!! It's not absolutely positively perfect, but Lordy God, it will do! I had tears in my eyes when I started eating it it was so good.

I left the pork for another time; I can have good Chinese pork anywhere. And I think I know where I'm going for lunch next Friday! Woohoo!


Cable TV...Oh, Please...
This morning I heard a Comcast shill babbling about "If you got a year's contract on satellite TV last year, it's expired and you can change to Comcast." Oh, please...why? We have a better picture on satellite and more channels for the same money.

Some folks have said, "Well, doesn't your signal go out when it rains?" Yep, since the storms around here generally come in from the same direction the dish is pointing, we will get a dropout for a few minutes. Once or twice in the three years we've had satellite it has been a little longer. Our cable would go out every time we had a hard rain--what's the difference? Plus our cable reception, by the time we got satellite, was abominable on some channels. All my fourth season Remember WENN episodes have snow. Comcast (at that point they were MediaOne) said it was our fault, something about the cable coming into the house. A cable they installed, incidentally. The switch box was in front of our house and once James bumped it with the lawn mower. Had he bumped me that lightly, he wouldn't have even have raised a bruise, but the cable was off for three days, and we had to argue to get it back that soon.

If nothing else I would avoid Comcast simply for being subjected to both radio and now television commercials of that obnoxious political-rally type "fast forward world" advert they're using now. And I thought the DeBeers and Jared commercials were disgusting...


James is Alight
Not as dangerous as it sounds. He just found out the Blue Angels will be performing at NAS Atlanta the weekend of Mother's Day.


Nostalgia of Two Sorts
Watching classics from 1964 and 1977 in Holiday Harbour.


Another Christmas Oriented "Friday Five"... you know where.


» Thursday, December 11, 2003
Another Year Shot to Hell...
It's my birthday today. I'm 48.

You know, I used to look at my mom and dad and admire how smart they were. I knew my dad had sort of a hardscrabble childhood and was handicapped by the lack of a high-school education, and my mom had an adolescence tempered by having to take care of her mom, so it was no surprise to me that by the time they were the age I was now, they seemed wise and settled, outside and in.

I have a horde of adult responsibilities which I try to perform with sober dispatch (some of them get more dispatched than others), but I don't feel any different than I did when I was fourteen. Was that because I was just a particularly serious fourteen year old (I mean, I always thought the other kids who were rebelling against their parents were stupid), or is this just the way it is--you really never change inside, you just learn how to act better? I recall in school a lot of the other students never "getting" "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," but I always knew just what he meant when he talked about putting on a face to meet all the other faces.


Thursday Threesome...
...setting up holiday keeping in Holiday Harbour again.


» Wednesday, December 10, 2003
It's A Dog, Charlie Brown...
Sorry, I didn't like the new "Peanuts" special.


The Snurgle Express and (As)sorted Tapes
The one reason that I hate the fact that doctors quit making house calls is that it forces sick people to traipse out to their various medical facilities, scattering germs as they go. I know, because I've had to do it myself.

And I seem to have been caught by it, too. Saturday I went by Kaiser to pick up my thyroid pills and the line at the pharmacy was filled with people sniffling and coughing.

I was going at high speed all weekend and didn't go into work feeling all that well on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday I was pretty zoned out. I'd wait for ICE (our purchasing software) to do something and come to about ten minutes later. Last night, in a last-ditch effort to feel better, we went up to bed early. I slept mostly through the night (woke up once, but went right back to sleep), but still got up at six feeling exhausted, runny-nosed and clearing my throat.

After calling in sick, checking e-mail, and clicking the dishwasher on, I discovered I'd used up what was left of my energy and went back to bed. I woke briefly when James did, again at 9:30, and finally became conscious for real about 11:45. This was about 12 hours sleep total.

I hate being useless when I have to stay home, so after another few hours rest on the sofa watching Christmas episodes of Ask the Manager, I put a rag over my nose and tackled the disordered entertainment center and a nearby pile of videotapes. There were boxes without videotapes and videotapes without boxes, unlabed videotapes, time-shift tapes that I didn't know what was on them, etc. One by one I sampled each of the tapes, decided if they could be reused or should be saved, tossed out a broken one, and matched them up with boxes.

I also "unhitched" the main VCR and attached all the appropriate cords to the second unit, which we bought five years ago to use for dubbing. I still have stuff to dub off, but the main unit is no longer playing or recording properly, so it needs to go; it's either nine or ten years old, which is a good long haul for a VCR. I haven't recorded a couple of things I wanted, like "Horatio's Ride," because the second VCR wasn't set up properly. So that is done as well.


» Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Cheaper by the Dozen (the real one, not that Steve Martin abortion) and The Late Show are coming out on DVD in the spring!

Looks like someone is doing a collection of the old Jack Benny and Burns and Allen shows. I saw one for Make Room for Daddy as well.

Okay, guys, I saw The Glenn Miller Story. If you're doing Jimmy Stewart, where's Strategic Air Command for James?

Speaking of airplane movies, there's something called "The Airport Terminal Pack" coming out in February: all the Airport movies. Can't find anywhere that tells me whether these are the widescreen versions or not. If they are, might be worth getting: Airport is great and well worth watching anytime, if nothing else just for Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, and George Kennedy. I recall Airport '77 as not bad, although my most vivid memory of the film was actually the audience we saw it with: at one point with the plane trapped underwater, one character who has been bitching and whining and thoroughly unlikeable throughout gets claustrophobic and tries to open an emergency door--pilot Jack Lemmon decks him/her and the entire audience cheered and clapped. Airport 1975 and The Concorde are worth watching simply for camp value--there are so many Airport 1975 jokes in Airplane! that it's fun just to see their origin.

Speaking of Airplane! and Airport 1975, Dana Andrews plays the pilot of the small plane in the latter movie, but in an old black-and-white film called Zero Hour, he's aboard the aircraft that is in danger due to food poisoning among the flight crew. Airplane! is pretty much a send-up of Zero Hour with Airport 1975 elements added. (Andrews' character is even named Ted Stryker.)

The real kicker to this is that Zero Hour originally saw life as a teleplay for one of the live television dramas of the 1950s, Playhouse 90 possibly, as "Flight into Danger." "Flight into Danger" was then lengthened into a novel by its original author...Arthur Hailey, who later wrote Airport!

(For those of you who are curious, Hailey had nothing to do with the three sequel movies--a fact painfully obvious with #2 and #4. He learned about Airport 1975 from a news release and only then discovered his literary agent hadn't retained the rights to any sequels.

All this is from Sheila Hailey's absolutely delightful I Married a Best Seller, which is a highly recommended used book find.)


Well, Christmas carded anyway: today in Holiday Harbour.


Bringing New Meaning to Being Broke At Christmas
Today's rather an odd anniversary--it's 23 years ago today that I fractured my nose.

I was working out in East Providence, in the shipping room of the costume jewelry manufacturers Trifari, which by then had been "assimilated" by Hallmark. My dad had retired by then after working there for 29 years, from the time he got back from World War II. He'd worked upstairs in the factory, polishing the jewelry before it was plated, and we rarely saw each other.

While this wasn't the most mentally challenging of jobs, I was with a really nice bunch of people. We worked from an order list and packed the jewelry for shipping in boxes of orders that might range from six pieces to many thousands. I learned to put cardboard boxes together at the snap of a wrist. The only packing jobs we all hated were J.C. Penney's. Their jewelry had to be packed a certain way in long narrow boxes. This was called a "basic" and everyone would avoid the cart with a "basic" on it until it was the only thing next in the queue and if you were done you had to take it. You could work on packing basics and some of the bigger jobs for a couple of days. I used to like the smaller jobs, not because I was lazy, but because I got more of them done and it made me feel as if I'd accomplished something at day's end.

By the beginning of December the Christmas rush was over and things had slowed down. By the end of the month we'd be reduced to pulling labels off the earring cards so they could be replaced with new labels of higher prices (we did this every six months--why they put the prices on the label was beyond me; it seemed such a hideous waste of paper, plastic bags, and labor). Then if we were lucky, they'd put us "on stagger," working one week on, one week off. The women I worked with, mostly married, looked forward to this time to spend extra time cleaning house and being with their kids. Me, it was a week or two to be footloose and fancy free: I could go to the zoo, or downtown or to Thayer Street to visit the Brown Bookstore, or drive down to South County to see my best friend (she worked night shift at the hospital), even if you had to spend the Monday of every week you were off standing in line at "Security," which was what our parents and all the older folks called the unemployment office. Me, I brought a book and a good temper, since the employees at Security were only a little less grumpy than the infamous grouches at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Anyway, the big ordeal before peeling off earring labels and then stagger was inventory. Twice a year we had to count all the jewelry in stock. I hated counting. I would always have to watch myself because I had a tendency to go from 60 to 80 or from 79 to 90. And you could get stuck with the worst chore of all: chains!

You see, the tagged and bagged finished jewelry pieces were kept in bins, 48 trays to a bin. You got assigned a bin. If you were lucky, it turned out to be carded earrings or pins or cuff-type bracelets or the big chunky necklaces. The most earring cards/bracelet cards that could fit in a tray were about six hundred. Chain necklaces and bracelets, on the other hand, were simply packed in plastic bags, not carded. There could be six thousand (or more) chains in a tray.

And woe if you didn't count them exactly. A spotter would come behind you and pick three trays at random to recount. If more than one was wrong, you had to recount the entire bin.

It was then I decided I knew what hell was. It's Eternal Inventory, and what you're counting is chain bracelets...

To get to the nose part: I was headed upstairs to take my turn at counting. The morning shift was longer than the afternoon shift, but you got to swap around with the other half of the room the next day. I wasn't running, but I was taking very long steps, and my right knee locked; it was if my right foot was stuck to the floor. When I went to take the next step my leg wasn't there to land on and I fell face-first on the polished concrete floor. Astonishingly my glasses stayed intact, but I was bleeding copiously from a long horizontal cut on my nose. I can't even remember now who took me to the hospital; I had three stitches and a tetanus shot and they sent me home.

The impact also knocked my nose out of shape a little. People assume when they see the hump on my nose that it's the result of the fall. Nope, sorry, I inherited my Papa's big Italian nose--the hump's always been there. But after the fall, the hump was uneven; the right side is now a little higher than the left. Blue Cross and the Workmen's Comp folks sent me to a plastic surgeon to make sure I could breath properly out of it; I could, so they wouldn't pay to have it fixed. The right nasal passage has been narrower than the left since then.

It would have been simply painful and that was it; all I needed to do was stay home a few days and not wear my glasses, which had plastic frames and safety lenses, so were very heavy. But two days later was my birthday and my mom was treating me to A Christmas Carol at the Trinity Square Playhouse. This would be my first time in the old Majestic Theatre since 1970 and it was converted into a theatrical venue, and I sure wasn't going to waste it. A Christmas Carol was wonderful, but it was embarrassing going to the theatre with a big white blob of surgical tape on my nose and boy, did it hurt!

(If you guys are still around, this is a big "hi" to Eleanor Horton, Bernice and Claire, Terry, Lisa [Arnesia], Norma Carr, Natalie, Don Goss, Michael, and Denny--and everyone else whose name I've forgotten!)


» Monday, December 08, 2003
Monday Madness

All you have to do for this week's questions is put a number (1-10) as your answer; 1 being worse or lowest, 10 being best or highest. Let's have some fun! The following questions all begin with

On a scale from one to ten . . .

1. How proficient are you in typing? 9. I'm not that fast and certainly have lost my speed and especially accuracy over the years working on a word processor. You don't have to worry about spoiling paper in a word processor!

2. How well-organized are you? 5. Depends on how tired I am.

3. How adventurous are you? 5. I like exploring new things, but only if they are pretty tame. I like travel and museums, but I wouldn't go white-water rafting or mountain climbing, for example.

4. How cool is the outfit that you're wearing right now? 1. Oh, please. I don't wear clothes to be cool. (Although it's pretty coll temperaturewise in here now; I feel like I'm up to my knees in ice water.)

5. How well do you sing in the shower? ??? I don't.

6. How cool do your kids think you are? 8. My "kids" are an adoring budgie and a slightly less adoring terrier. Willow saves her adoration for her daddy.

7. How well do you manage your money? 9. Bookstores tend to make me lose my head, though.

8. How efficient are you when it comes to meeting deadlines? 8. I try.

9. How much do you like winter? 10. Hate summer. If it were legally possible to ban any temperature over 70 degrees, I would. Frankly I'd prefer it not over 60. Summer sucks. Summer sucks so badly it should be renamed "Hoover."

10. How big of a 'pack-rat' are you? 8. A few months ago I would have said 10. I'm getting better.


» Sunday, December 07, 2003
Pausing Christmas
Finished the table this morning; did touch-ups and let it dry while we went on errands. Once we got home I placed some rub-on gold leaves on the top and on top of the shelf below, and then clear-coated both these flat surfaces. While I was out there I spray-painted a stool that's been sitting unpainted for over a year; it's for getting to the top books on the media bookshelves.

It's getting to be time to put up the Christmas tree in the living room, but part of what was sitting there at the moment was the box with our new stereo receiver and speakers. James 20+ year old receiver had blown a left speaker months ago; we used the one working speaker only when we watched DVDs, although previously we'd had the television shunted through there as well.

Well, there was no way to get the box out of the living room except by assembling and hitching up the new receiver, so that's what James did. He pulled the old unit and speakers out and re-attached the wires, and in about an hour we had the television and the DVD again working. The radio still isn't working properly, but we've played the radio maybe once in the past year anyway.

Well, the smaller speakers need something to sit on. And that meant James needed to also assemble the DVD towers we bought on sale several months ago. These are 60" inch high, 12-inch wide towers from Office Max (or Office Depot or Staples; how can one remember after all these months?). But first, with Willow perched between us wearing her new red bandanna with the holly applique, we carted the receiver, which was still good, with the speakers and a note about the left one, to Goodwill, then treated ourselves to Bruster's ice cream and Willow to a doggie sundae.

When we got home it was back to work. James assembled the main part of the DVD towers and then I got to hammer the backs on and fix up the shelves. One on either side of the entertainment center, and we were done. Well, James was done with that--he still had to go upstairs and cook himself breakfast burritos. I got to load the shelves and tidy up the leftover papers.

By then we were both beat. I had James make me some canned soup, whereupon I sat down with my supper to watch the The Waltons Pearl Harbor episode, "Day of Infamy." The hair still raises on my arms when I hear the news bulletins. It's a wonderful episode that still makes me cry.

Despite being dog tired, I did put up a few decorations.

The den will need a lot more work, but this is just the next step in whipping it into shape. James was disappointed that we did not connect all the speakers today (it has six; we put in left, right and center leaving the two rear speakers and the subwoofer for another time)--he says it's a guy thing. :-)

BTW, we got to test a theory of mine today and it turned out I was right. When we bought the DVD player two years ago, one of the perks of the Apex 600A we purchased was that it was supposed to play .mp3s. Imagine my disappointment when it didn't. The book said it was "capable" of playing .mp3s, but referenced having a receiver that could play Dolby Digital 5.1. James' receiver, as I said, was 20+ years old--no Dolby 5.1 back then. This receiver was a cheap one from Sam's, but it did have the requisite Dolby.

So I popped a burned .mp3 CD into the player and to our surprise a menu appeared! It will play .mp3s now, but there's a little catch: the sampling rate on the files has to be 64 kbps or more, which most of mine aren't. However, it's good to know for future reference. We listened to "Gracie's Christmas Carol," 1936 outing on the Burns and Allen Show, and President Roosevelt making a Christmas address to the nation, those being the only two shows that were sampled over 64 kbps.


» Saturday, December 06, 2003
Tables and Christmas Presents...
...over in Holiday Harbour.


The Table That Ate My Afternoon
Well, not really; I did get to the cleaner, Michael's, and Kaiser to pick up my thyroid pills.

Most of the day I was painting a small, drop-leaf table I bought at JoAnn on a coupon some months ago. I've always wanted one of these little tables and now that we are trying to clear out the den a little I decided to get one. I'm tired of having our ceppo near the door where it was in the way/could get knocked over or on top of a bookcase where you really can't see it, and I'd love to have a place for seasonal flowers, the Easter tree, etc. I haven't put the Easter tree up for two years because there's no room for it.

The table is being done in three colors: a dark blue on top, and on the top of the shelf below. The outer sides and edges of the legs are "pinwheel blue," kind of a dark powder blue (saying "a dark light blue" would sound really silly), and the inside of the legs are a powder blue. I put little stick on wooden medallions on each side of the wide legs (it's a trestle table leg) for more interest.

When the entire thing is done I have some rub-on gold leaves to give the top a little interest, and then I will spray the top with clear Krylon to give it a little more shine (although it is Plaid gloss paint) and toughness.


Results...What Kind of Blogger are You?
Pens or keyboard, you just write.
You are the verbal virtuose that we would all like
to be. You read a lot and write effortlessly
and well. Everyone is waiting for your novel!

What kind of blogger are you?
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» Friday, December 05, 2003
Fleece'n the Hubby
:-) It isn't what you might think.

James got diagnosed with diabetes last April. Of course one of the things you have to be careful with with diabetes is your feet. He checks them often now, and wears slippers rather than going barefoot in summer.

He has noticed his feet get cold much easier now, however, and the corderoy slippers from WalMart just weren't doing the job. I found some Hush Puppies slippers at Bed, Bath & Beyond, unfortunately a "camel" color, but with a nice fleece lining and sturdy soles. They seem to be working, and it's a good time to check them out, as it's been damp and cold the past two days! Hard to believe it will be 61° (ugh) some time next week.


» Thursday, December 04, 2003
Razzleberry Dressing and Harness Bells
Nostalgia reigns in Holiday Harbour.


Thursday Threesome...
...resides over in Holiday Harbour today.


» Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Ah, I can see Christmas already has in a muddle. I had an order that should have shipped any time after yesterday, since one of the books I ordered was officially released Dec. 2 (I saw it Saturday at Borders, though). When I went to check on it today, it says "shipping soon," and I have received no "we have shipped your order" e-mail. However, it also has a post office tracking number on it and says it was mailed out of Lexington, KY, in the wee hours of this morning. We'll see...


Christmas Music is a'Playin'... Holiday Harbour. Grab some cocoa and check it out!


» Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Silence of the Spams
Just realized it's been a month since I changed our e-mail address. Not a speck of spam has come in that time.

I guess at some point they will somehow track us down, despite all the precautions I've now taken, but the quiet is nice for now, especially after those hideous pornographic messages.

I'm ready for filtering this time, should new spam finally arrive--I have a sound all ready to announce its transfer to the Trash bin.

It's Marian Jordan saying "Tain't funny, McGee." :-)


» Monday, December 01, 2003
Let the Decorating Commence!
Looking good on the outside in Holiday Harbour.


Monday Madness

1. How many memes do you participate in regularly?

Three. This one, Thursday Threesome, and Friday Five.

2. How do you decide which memes you participate in?

Ones with interesting questions that are not too personal.

3. Do you run one of your own meme? If so, please leave your link! If not, have you thought of running your own?

No, and yes, but then I'd have to think up questions every week.

4. Is there a certain day of the week that works better for you to answer memes than others?