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, August 31, 2004
"A Cozy Nook to Read In" Redecoration Complete
Wanted it warm and snuggly like an old-fashioned library. It's old-fashioned, anyway. :-)

Check out the online fanfic based on the old Dana Girls series books. It's quite good!


Bambi Comes to DVD
Bambi Platinum Edition DVD Press Release

Wow, there are apparently deleted sequences, plus a profile of the Disney Studios during 1942.


New post in Cozy Nook (which I continue to redecorate).


I'd heard rumors about this earlier in the summer, but it's confirmed: Bitty Schram is leaving the cast of Monk.

I like Monk and enjoy the relationship between Monk and Sharona (I'm not a "'shipper," however), so this is rather disappointing news. I'll reserve judgment on the series when it resumes, but I hope if they pick a new companion for Adrian, it's not the dorky Kevin Dorfman who they tried out a few weeks ago, or the "sassy" African-American lady who acted as a substitute for Sharona before that. I felt the latter was a very objectionable stereotype.


» Monday, August 30, 2004
New posts in Holiday Harbour and A Cozy Nook to Read in. I've redecorated Cozy Nook as well, after finding this appropriate blogskin. I'm still tinkering with it, though.


Monday Madness

Name 3 of your favorite.......
1. Colors

Blue, lilac, and mint green.

2. Pizza Toppings

Bacon, black olives, and pepperoni. Oh, and that's without cheese. I hate mozarella cheese. It reminds me of...

...wait, you're not eating now, right?...


...mozarella cheese reminds me of mucus. To me it tastes a lot like mucus, too.

3. Department Stores

Um...Walmart. I don't really like department stores anymore. My three favorite stores are Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Michael's. Now if you'd asked me that 35 years ago, I could have answered that easily: The Outlet Company, Shepard's, and Jordan Marsh.

4. Flavors of Candy

Dark chocolate, watermelon (Jolly Rancher), and...dark chocolate.

5. Scents of Candles

Spice, lilac, and apple. (Please, take the vanilla-scented ones away.)

6. Days of the Week

Saturday, Sunday, and Friday.

7. Vegetables

Cucumbers, tomatoes, and chicory lettuce.

8. Fruits

Cherries, Granny Smith apples, and California navel oranges.

9. Meals to cook

Cook? ::blink::

10. Kitchen Gadgets

Ask James; he uses 'em.

11. Olympic Sports

Horse jumping, dressage, and three-day eventing.


» Saturday, August 28, 2004
The "Cabbages and Kings" Post
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To speak of many things,
"Of ships and shoes and sealing wax
"And cabbages and kings..."
. . . . . . Lewis Carroll
So this post speaks of many things:

Pidge: Baby bird has lost the stripes down his head that designate him as a youngster. As with all young male budgies, he's merrily making love to anything that stands still in his cage: his mirror, his water dish, his millet clip. He leads a very full life. I bought a book on Friday called My Parakeet and Me in which the author says about seven times on one page alone that having one bird isn't healthy for the bird. Well, Mr. Pigwidgeon seems to like it.

New Storage: First thing James did this morning--with me handing him things--was to mount a new shelf in the downstairs bath. This room is pocket size--toilet, sink, and 7 inches of wall making up the back wall and then the shower under the angle of the stairs above. It has a sink with storage under it, but never quite enough. We use most of our paper towels either in that bath or upstairs 5 steps into the kitchen, but the storage for the towels was upstairs in the linen closet. We didn't mind the stair climb; it was the fact that sometimes a paper towel grab is an emergency and having to race upstairs is sometimes not quick enough. Plus the wasted space up to the ceiling annoyed me. So now there's a big wide shelf up there, big enough to hold an 8-pack of Brawny, a 12-pack of ScotTissue, plus some boxes of Kleenex and Swiffer dusters.

Eventually we need to paint in there. It is pink on the bottom and cream on the top with a border of lush pink roses on blue. I loathe pink and the pretty roses just don't match the vinyl floor, which is a country checkerboard pattern of stenciled tulips. So when window opening time comes, and Pidge is secure enough here to go upstairs for a couple of nights (I'll probably invest in the low odor paint), we can do a paint job. But the closet upstairs needs to get done first. We have a Closet Butler organizer that needs to go in our master bedroom.

A Good Night's Sleep: Unfortunately, James and I are no lightweights, so our thirteen-year-old mattress has had it kinda hard. Even a Sealy Posturepedic Firm would have trouble with our fat carcasses. Anyway, it's seemed in the last six months that it was getting more and more uncomfortable to sleep. So today we went up to The Mattress Firm and bought a new queen set. We tried out the Sealy Posturepedic Firm, and another Sealy Extra Firm, but for the same money as the latter, there was a Beautyrest Firm with the same, as James puts it, "upholstered board" feeling. Not only that, but the Beautyrest had motion buffers; when James or I lay down and the other one then got on the bed, you couldn't tell the other had gotten on. This is extremly good because James has a semi-occurring leg twitch and I'm a restless sleeper. This should help--except when I scream in the middle of the night, which happens about once a fortnight. But there's nothing the mattress can do about that.

It was about $100 more than I wanted to spend, but I also want a good night's sleep and I'm not getting it now. So we bought it. We had the opportunity to have it delivered on Monday, but since they are pushing end-of-fiscal year to this coming Tuesday this year, because of the new system going online at CDC's financial management office, I don't feel comfortable having to take time off Monday or Tuesday. So it's coming Wednesday instead.

:-) If I'd known we would actually be buying today, I wouldn't have changed the bed.

(Oh, we got a new mattress pad, coated and waterproofed on one side, terrycloth on the other, partially because if the mattress gets stained, it violates the 15-year warranty, and partially because our poor old mattress pad is about dead; it's frayed at two corners, but we didn't want to give it up because we could never find another one like it. It was felt-type fabric instead of being quilted like most mattress pads, fitted better, and didn't melt in the dryer if you forgot and put the temp on too high. It's lasted a good ten years. The new one is also hypoallergenic, which is good.)


» Thursday, August 26, 2004
Thursday Threesome

::Cool, blue mornings:

Onesome: Cool-- Well, summer is almost gone (except for those Down Under who are expecting it soon), and the cooler weather is coming. ...and other than those who live in places like Hawai'i, things are about to change. Which do you prefer, the coolness of Winter where you live or the warmth of your Summer?

Summer almost gone? Naw. We've got another month before we get to shut the A/C off.

Now you don't want me to start the "summer sucks" rant again, right? :-) Let's say it will be nice actually having "cool blue mornings" in the future. Right now you walk out of the house in the morning and the air is like a hot, wet washcloth hitting you in the face. And it smells bad. I can't describe the scent, but I would venture a guess at "moldy."

Twosome: Blue-- Today's softball: blue or green? Pick one! ...okay, if it's a tie (high or low), what color do you prefer for decorating or accents?

If left to my own devices, probably everything would be blue. Really, I like having the rooms different colors. The spare room is very cheerful in yellow (although we hadn't planned on so strident a yellow). I would like to paint the living room a pale orange to go with the autumn theme. The kitchen will be apple green, maybe--some day when we can get the energy to remove that nasty wallpaper. Same with the hall bath which will be a bluish-grey and have a sea/lighthouse theme.

Threesome: Mornings-- Mornings, afternoons, evenings, nights... What's your favorite time of day? ...and what makes it so for you?

I like evenings and nights. It means the family is all together, having supper, reading or playing a game or watching the idiot box, but all there under one roof. The dog is underfoot and the bird sings. Morning--ugh. A rush out the door, too much light too early.


» Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The Wood-Burning Internet Connection
Our DSL has been down all night--yo, Earthlink, what's up? (come to think of it, it's probably been down since the Comcast truck was parked in front of the neighbor's house--wonder what they did to our connection?)--so I'm on dial-up, the Internet version of the wood-burning computer. :-)

Just came on to link Ray Testa's neat Rhode Island website...


A new post--in fact, two new posts, one from Sunday--in "Cozy Nook."


Tuesday Twosome
Tuesday Twosome

What's in a name...

1. What is your middle name and what does it mean?

Maria, because I'm a good Italian Catholic girl and most Catholic girls had "Mary" in their name in some way or the other back then.

2. What are your favorite boy and girl names?

I'm rather "classic" when it comes to names. I like Matthew, Mark, John, James and David for boys and Melissa, Tessa, Ellen and Christina for girls.

3. What are your least favorite boy and girl names?

Oh, names like "Moon Unit" and "Zweezil" will do it. :-)

4. If you could change your name, what would it be and why did you choose that name?

I've always loved the name "Melissa" and would be "Lissa" for short. I just think it's pretty. I've never liked Linda. Everybody seemed to be named Linda in the late 1950s. There were two other Lindas in my first grade class and I had a cousin Linda as well.

5. What two nicknames are you most often called?

Nobody calls me by a nickname but James and he calls me "Pup" as in "puppy."


» Sunday, August 22, 2004
This Stinks, Literally
About two or three years after we moved into the house, we started having trouble with feral cats around our house. Please understand that both James and I like cats and might probably have one if (a) we didn't have a bird and (b) weren't so darn allergic to them. Not sure about James' cat allergy, but mine is very volatile. I remember coming home from my best friend Sherrye's house on Saturday nights when she was in college (she'd come home for the weekend and we'd spend the night watching the shows she liked, Starsky and Hutch and S.W.A.T.) and having to leave my clothes out on the porch when I got home to "deodorize," even though I loved the attentions of Twiggy the Siamese and Zipper the black Angora.

But I do not like feral cats. They use our yard as a litterbox and kill the birds at our feeder. And then there's the other thing.

Hey, call Animal Control, I hear you say.

Yep. Cobb County Animal Control. Cobb County Animal Control who ignored me and put me off so many times when I called them when the problem first started. The nadir came when one of the perpetually pregnant females had kittens under our backyard shed. When they were old enough, she moved them under our front porch, which is open. I found them there one day, four adorable, wide-eyed kittens. One was so close to the stairs I could have grabbed it had I a good pair of gloves; get close to these little guys and they defend themselves in fear, scratching and biting. God knows what kind of disease they might be harboring, having had no shots and no care.

I finally decided to call Animal Control. I knew they had those sticks with the noose on them. A quick swish and all four kittens could have been taken back to the shelter, bathed, treated for fleas, given shots, and found wonderful homes.

The guy at Animal Control said there was no way they could come get them. I explained the porch was open; all they had to do was reach under with the pole.

"For us to come pick them up," he said, "they have to be contained."

Excuse me? Isn't that the job of Animal Control, to contain animals? Another time I called they said, diffidently, "Oh, we could let you have a cat trap." Not "we'll bring over a cat trap and some cat food for bait and set it up and have you monitor it." Nope, if I wanted to get rid of the cats, I had to drive to the animal shelter, pick up the cat trap myself, and set it up myself.

I don't pretend I pay a lot of taxes on this tiny bit of property, but I do pay taxes. And part of those taxes go for animal control. So what is it I am paying for?

The saddest part came about six months later. One of the kittens was distinctively marked and I recognized it as it crossed the street. It was a thin and bony tom and its ears were ripped and its tail torn. It could have possibly had a good home had these "humane" people from a supposedly "humane" animal control come to pick it up. Now it was starving and fighting for food and territory. Nice call, guys.

The other problem happened again tonight. It happened last Saturday and it happens every spring. There are days in the spring we can't even keep the windows open. The marauding toms come around and spray everything, our sliding glass door, our front porch, and, tonight, the door to our den. At this moment, even though we have no overflowing litter boxes and no unneutered tom in the house, our den reeks of cat urine, as our kitchen did last Saturday (the smell at that time was so strong that I could smell it on the second floor). How'd you like to eat breakfast with that odor up your nose?

If you go to Cobb County's website, you'll see lots of nice color photos at the top of the page of boating and recreation. Funny, I don't see them promoting the neighborhoods that reek of cat piss because they refuse to do anything about the problem! But that wouldn't be good press now, would it?

It's just bad press for those of us who have to endure it.


» Thursday, August 19, 2004
New post in A Cozy Nook to Read In.


Well, That's Interesting
I noticed the other day that I had something different at the top of my blog. I thought it was just when I was logged in, but no, James sees it when he goes to my blog as well.

Instead of the blogspot ad on top, I have a toolbar. First there's the blogger logo, which is linked back to the main page. Then I have a search block, in which I can search within that blog. Next to it is the "Blog This!" link.

To the right there are two buttons, "Get Your Own Blog," and then the most intriguing of all, a button that says "Next Blog." If I press it, it goes to a random blog, just as if I were on a web ring. And the next blog also has this toolbar, so I can just keep surfing from blog to blog. If I use the back button on...let's call it Blog goes back to the previous blog I surfed, but if I press "Next Blog" again, I don't go back to Blog A, but a totally new blog.

Has anyone else out there got this bar? I'm hosted on Blogspot, not on my own site. But other friends I know who are hosted on Blogspot still have the ad. Anyone know why I have the bar? I'm curious!


» Tuesday, August 17, 2004
New post in Holiday Harbour.


Nothing I Didn't Expect...
Dr. Phil's Test

Your total score is 31

Interpretation of Results
Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.


What Were They Thinking?
ABC did an occasionally amusing show last night called The Best TV Shows You Never Saw, basically failed pilots that were submitted to the networks. Most of the ideas were so mind-bogglingly dreadful that you wondered how a reasonable set of human beings could have even proposed the idea, let alone persuaded some good actors (like Scott Bakula, Robert Urich, Lou Gossett, etc.) to appear in them.

I was annoyed to see that Roddenberry's Questor Tapes had gotten lumped into the mix--while it needed some smoothing out, I thought the idea had promise. This show edited some key scenes to make it sound like Questor was only after sex. (Well, that figures. It's network television, after all.)

The scary part was that at times it got difficult to tell apart the actual failed pilots and the television shows being promo'd by ABC for their new fall season...


Tuesday Twosome

Back To School.....
(What you prefer now or preferred when you were in school)

1. Cafeteria or sack lunch:

Sack lunch. The cafeteria always had icky stuff like meat loaf and chicken ala king.

2. CliffsNotes or read the book:

Read the book, although in the case of a few of them (like Joyce Carol Oates' Wonderland) I wish I had read the Cliffsnotes instead. (I settled for throwing Wonderland up against a wall.)

3. Uniforms or wear whatever you want:

I was the crazy one. I would have loved uniforms. Then no one could have made fun of what you were wearing and I wouldn't have had to wear miniskirts. Ugh!

4. Math or Science:

Science if I can have something like geology or what we called in eighth grade "earth science." That was my favorite science class; we made contour maps, studied fossils, learned about climates and weather, etc. Chemistry--ugh. Biology--double ugh. (Especially having to dissect the worm and watching frogs getting trepanned. Shudder.)

5. Homework or detention:

Homework. (Of course, where I went, you had to do your homework in detention. The kids who went to detention didn't think there was much of a difference!)


» Monday, August 16, 2004
Disney's Mary Poppins Special Edition Press Release
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke doing commentary.

Mary Poppins Press Release

Pity they couldn't have done this a few years ago when David Tomlinson could have participated. Mr. Banks was one of my favorite characters.

Would have loved to heard Glynis Johns, too. What an unusual voice she always had.

Ultimate Disney also reports that they're planning to release A Wrinkle in Time to DVD with the deleted scenes as bonus features. I would have preferred seeing it intact and hoping it possibly would have returned the story to making more sense!

They note Madeleine L'Engle is doing the commentary. Hmn, what, even after she said she hated it?


Monday Madness

1. If you could only take one item with you on to a desserted island what book, movie, music would you take?

Book, movie or music? I want to take James! We could eat the dessert! Okay, I know that was a typo--thing? Is there birdseed? I'll take Pidge. How about reams of paper and a set of pens? All right, one big unabridged dictionary. As Hawkeye Pierce once pointed out, all the words are in there.

2. What's the most disgusting thing that you have ever eaten or even just put in your mouth??


3. What one thing would you do differently if given the chance?

Stayed in college.

4. What political party, if any, do you belong to?

Oh, please. I don't affiliate myself with either of those losers.

5. Do you like icees?

No. Just Del's Frozen Lemonade--whole different animal.

6. East or West?

East or west what? East Coast, yes. Western Hemisphere, yes.

7. Will we ever "all" be happy with the current political situation????


8. Cookies or Crackers?

Oreos! (with the chocolate filling, of course)

9. What fun thing did you do today?

I'm at work, sweetie. The most fun thing I did today was take a nap at lunchtime.

...and #10 has nothing to do with any of the above questions.........

10. Why??

"Because we like you!"

Don't ask that question to a Mickey Mouse Club fan; you'll never get a straight answer. :-)


» Sunday, August 15, 2004
Updates and Downdrafts
Just really been answering memes mostly lately; when I get home from work I simply want to escape into a book. It's end of fiscal year again and it drives me wild--the rushing for last-moment spending and the hoops we have to jump through to spend it. I preferred support work; it was logical. Purchase orders are just annoying and aggravating, and I have no intention of aggravating myself in the hospital again like two years ago. Summer can aggravate me fine all by itself. The fact that EOFY and summer happen at the same time is an inopportune happenstance. On the other hand, having EOFY during fall or winter would just ruin it, so it's best left where it is--all the annoyances (sun, ants, sweat, heat rashes, mosquito bites, purchase orders, and an electric bill that looks like the national debt in one fell batch).

I try to take mini-vacations. For instance, James had to work today, so after picking up a few groceries and doing other errands, my time washing another load of clothes and vacuuming was interrupted by a matinee--rather a Lily Tomlin festival, actually, as I ended up watching The Late Show with Tomlin as a flaky young woman who has her cat kidnapped, involving her with Art Carney as a crusty old gumshoe who's looking for the thug who killed his ex-partner, and then Tea with Mussolini, in which she's an archaologist in Florence, Italy, among a colony of expatriot Englishmen and women who look down upon Americans, especially the rich and flamboyant Elsa, played by Cher.

Where was I? The car. The car is a blast to drive. I'm doing just what I'd hoped to do: when it's not quite so warm I open the windows and the moonroof rather than running the A/C. The moonroof is great for venting warm air out of the interior as well. I have the interior all arranged: a collapsible soft container for a trash basket and another to hold my car blanket and "Fred the traveling pillow" who's a godsend at weekday lunches when my eyes itch and burn from the fluorescent lights and I go take a nap under the trees in the back part of the lot. And more collapsible containers in the rear with the obligatory liter bottles of water and a quart of oil.

And Pidge--well, Pidge is what my mom would call a "hot sketch." After weeks of avoiding my hand as I tried to tame him, he suddenly decided it was okay to voluntarily sit on my finger. However, he feels it his bounden duty to assert his royal budgieness and assure me he's doing this under duress by nipping at my hand through the entire process. I'm not sure he doesn't prefer James to me--which would make sense since his breeder was male--but he won't stay with James, either. I took him upstairs yesterday for the first time and he looked at it with all the wide-eyed abandon of a five-year-old on his first trip to Disney World.

Otherwise he's funny. While the television is going he makes a constant chatter, whether singing to his mirror or his cuttlebone (don't ask) or lulling himself into a bird nap (it's the funniest sight: head under the wing, one foot up, and chattering away). The cage is large enough that he can hop from one perch to another and back again, tug or play on his rings, swing on his swings, and strengthen his growing wings by flapping them. He's an energetic flapper and sends himself to the floor of the cage with a great thump half the time. And of course he must preen. He seems to be going through his three-months molt already and is losing the baby stripes on his forehead.


» Saturday, August 14, 2004
Internet Addict Test

I am pretty addicted, but there is hope. I think I'm just well connected to the internet and technology, but it's really a start of a drug-like addiction. I must act now! Unplug this computer!


» Thursday, August 12, 2004
Thursday Threesome

From's Word of the Day for August 12, 2004:

Flaneur \flah-NUR\, noun:

Onesome: One who strolls- How do you primarily get from place to place? Do you walk locally and only drive for distances? Ride your bike around campus or the neighborhood? Or hop in the car to run errands?

Technically we could walk to the grocery store or the Dollar Store, but we don't. I don't walk anywhere in the summer I don't have to. The sun gives me a headache and the air is too thick to breathe.

Twosome: about aimlessly; When you have time, do you like to do things outdoors like hike or take long walks? Do you wander rather aimlessly or do you have a destination in mind and the sooner you get there the better?

I'd rather have a destination in mind unless it's somewhere nice like in the woods. I always wonder if I could wander around the grounds of the Atlanta History Center without buying a ticket to get into the museum. They have some lovely grounds.

Threesome: a lounger; a loafer. Or do you prefer to spend your spare time relaxing, lounging on the couch with a good book or a TV program? Or, since the football season is upon us again, do you plop down in the recliner and cheer on your favorite team?

I'm afraid I do prefer the book or the tube. It's not good for me.


» Tuesday, August 10, 2004
She Scores!
I hate team sports, okay? But I loved Bend It Like Beckham, which I saw for the first time last night.

Of course the film isn't really about football/soccer anyway. It's about having a dream that doesn't fit in with the traditionalist view of your family, whether it's parents who feel you should follow the customs of the old country or a mom who wants you to be "girlie."

BTW, James watched the Sikh marriage ceremony with interest. "What's the difference between this and an Italian wedding?" :-) Besides the clothing, the food, and the language--not much. All tradional ethnic weddings seem to be like this--a formal situation followed by merry singing, dancing, and eating. It's only the humorless weddings we have today, with everything stiff and formal and planned activities for photographic moments and expensive outfits and dinners that seem to have lost all the spontaneous joy out of the event.

I may have to get the DVD...


Tuesday Twosome

Do you prefer (pick the least annoying)...

(boy, talk about "the lesser of two evils" in some cases...)

1. Low carb/No carb or Low-fat dieting?

Low-fat. I can live without french fries, but I can't live without bread. (Sometimes when my digestion is messed up enough, even with the Protonix, it's about the only thing that doesn't make me sick.)

2. Reality TV or Crime-solving Spin-offs (CSI:Miami, CSI: New York, L&O:SVU, L&O:Criminal Intent)?

Or as I call it, Law & Order: SUV because I wish someone would drive over it. (Really, SVU creeps me out.) It depends on the "reality TV." (Hmn, is this like the definition of "is"?) I watch a lot of what is "reality TV": decorating shows on HGTV, Food Network programs, stuff on the History Channel and PBS and National Geographic, Airline and I like it. But if you mean "reality TV" as the networks present it, with these staged "contests" where people get voted off the island or engaged or marry a millionaire or stuck in a house with weirdoes...naw, I'll take the creeps on SVU, thanks. At least they're not real!

3. Knee-high socks with tennis shoes or socks with sandals?

Socks with sandals? Ugh. Do I look like a seventy-year-old Florida transplant?

4. Spam Emails or SPAM the "meat" product?

I'd pick the latter, but only if I don't have to eat it. I'll give it to James; he loves it.

5. Long lines to a drive-thru or long lines to a public restroom?

Long lines at the drive-through. I don't have to eat (well, unless James is passing out from low blood sugar). But if you're in line for the public restroom, you gotta go.


» Monday, August 09, 2004
A Few Things Found While Surfing for Other Things
I love hyperlinks:

What's Cooking America page on chocolate

Galveston Hurricane of 1900 (I'm reading Isaac's Storm right now, so this is particularly interesting)

Lisa's Country Clipart

For fans of 1776: Biography of Stephen Hopkins, written in 1841

1895 map of Rhode Island (check out the Providence inset map: lower-left corner, the oval labeled "Narragansett Trotting Track"--in the 1920s this became a car race track, then was sold as plats for housing and was known as the "Speedway" section of parents built their house on the edge of this area in 1951)


New post in Holiday Harbour.


Monday Madness

1. What's "it" all about, anyway?

That depends on your definition of "it." :-) (Ooops, sorry. Bill Clinton moment...)

2. What radical political ideas do you have, if any?

That people should take responsibility for their own actions. Strange, eh?

3. Do you believe that you 'fit' the profile of your astrological star sign?

Occasionally. I haven't read a horoscope for years, though.

The thing that has come closest in my life to analyzing my personality was a cheapy piece of software way back when everyone in our office first got PCs (previously only the secretaries had Wang word processors). The software was on those "new" 5 1/4 floppy disks. A co-worker brought it in and everyone took it. I found the results astounding.

4. Will blogging survive 2005 or is it a fad?

I think it will survive because people like to talk about themselves or express their opinions. Some people who really don't like writing will drop out, others will join.

5. Do you Ebay? If so, what and how often? Is it a full-time job, part-time hobby, or just to clear the junk from your house?

Selling, no. Although I should sell off the extra St. Nicholas bound volumes I've managed to accumulate over the years. They are best sold to people who will appreciate them; I don't think they're donate-able.

6. True or False: When I vote, I am all for one party.

False. I vote for the least objectionable candidate. (Which I think is quite depressing, actually.)

7. Meat or veggie sauce on your spaghetti?

Meat. Vegetables. Ugh.

8. Would you ever be on a TV Reality Show?

No. Their ability to entertain depends on people being stupid or arrogant. Who wants to be either?

9. What is one thing (or place) that you would like to do (or see) that you have not yet done (or seen?)

I would like to go to Great Britain.

10. Do you answer memes honestly?

If I can't answer them honestly I don't do them. :-)


» Sunday, August 08, 2004
"Digitally Remastered" is The New Buzzword
We also went by Dollar Tree today...nothing much we needed, but they did have several racks of DVDs in plain paper sleeves. Mostly these were of old television series: Burns and Allen, Adventures of Robin Hood with Richard Greene, things like that. There were some old movies in the bunch, and some fairly new stuff, including the infamous 1968 Heidi that pre-empted the end of a critical football game. And of course, being at Dollar Tree, they were $1 each.

For a dollar each, you don't expect much, but for a dollar, you can take a chance. So I plucked up Mr. & Mrs. North, a 1950s mystery series about husband and wife sleuths that I've read a lot about, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and a copy of Tales of Tomorrow. (This ToT has an interesting history. It contains an adaptation of Frankenstein starring Lon Chaney Jr. The show was performed live, but on this particular broadcast, Chaney, who was apparently drunk at the time, thought it was the dress rehearsal, so he misses cues, lifts furniture instead of breaking it, and generally muffs the entire thing.)

I played the Sergeant Preston tonight. I must mention that all of these cheap sleeves are emblazoned with the words "digitally remastered." It's the standard promotion today to indicate to folks that a formerly bad picture has been cleaned, corrected, and generally made spiffy. Old television programs must certainly need a lot of this--a lot of them were filmed live and only kinescopes--copies filmed from the television screen itself--exist. Others--well, they were only old television shows, and in black and white to boot. Who cared about keeping good copies?

They care now, because the market for nostalgia is huge. So every DVD and its mother :-) is emblazoned "digitally remastered" so you'll think it looks the same as the day it was broadcast on NBC, ABC, CBS or Dumont.

If Preston was "digitally remastered," then I hate to think of what the original copies of these episodes looked like. The color has shifted so that yellow tinges the prints and blue is faded. The red of Preston's coat is red, but an odd red. The scenes are either dark or faded, or have a shadow in one corner of the screen.

Which is a shame because these were filmed in color, even though it was the 1950s, and were filmed up in the mountains of Colorado and California, so the snow scenes look authentic. I used to love this show, and although it has that 1950s early television stiffness, it was a cracking good adventure story (And, as a dog lover, Yukon King was a pretty big draw, too) unlike the garbage kids get to watch today--especially the girly junk like The Princess Diaries that tell you if you quit reading books and wear makeup and take off your glasses you will be able to have a boyfriend, or that stupid Disney Princesses stuff where they all dress up pretty to impress the guy.


Sweets That Are Sour
Since James got diagnosed with diabetes, we've searched for sugarless treats that don't have aspartame in them, since aspartame gives James headaches. We've found that the Hershey's and Russell Stover sugar-free candies, sweetened with Splenda, are actually quite good. Also, the Blue Bunny frozen novelties, both ice cream bars and their version of "Fudgsicles" are excellent.

James has even made some cookie recipes off the Splenda website that have been great.

But we ran into the other end of the spectrum today. We stopped at Big Lots and saw something we hadn't seen before in the supermarket, sugar-free chocolate Hunts pudding cups, made with sucralose. Hey, for a dollar, we could try it.

Now we know why it was it was at Big Lots. All the chocolate in the world couldn't disguise the terrible chalky flavor. I couldn't take more than five spoonfuls before I had to quit and James disposed of them posthaste and got us some Blue Bunny bars for dessert instead.


» Friday, August 06, 2004
Inside Jokes Is Us
I love inside jokes, whether it's Tony Shalhoub's Monk running into his old Wings co-star Tim Daly on a plane and saying he's never heard of the show to other sly references in this manner. I think the funniest inside joke I ever remember, because it was just so darn obscure, was a scene in Norman Lear's twisted soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Tom Hartman (Greg Mullavey) is at a bar, about to meet Mae, played by Salome Jens, who he'll later have an affair with. Playing in the background was a song I found intensely familiar--then realized in a flash it was an instrumental version of the theme song to a syrupy television movie Mullavey had appeared in the year before, Having Babies. I always wondered how many other viewers got the joke.

Of course the best source for any inside jokes was an episode of St. Elsewhere; each story was riddled with references to pop music lyrics and titles, old television series, movies, you name it.

Anyway, a few years ago, they did a makeover on the little orphan Annie story that began way back in the 1920s and started publishing a strip again. They had Annie completely changed at one point and people objected, so, although she's not in that red dress anymore and in jeans and a sweater instead, she still has curly, vaguely red hair, and those blank eyes. (The story goes that the artists originally gave the new Annie pupils. They finally changed it back after complaints from the readers: "She looks funny!")

I don't usually read "Annie," but I read something this morning that made me go track the strip down. Annie has been on a plane flight to Canada. The plane caught fire (not sure if this ia terrorist thing or what), landed in a Canadian lake, and Annie got clear, but was under cover when rescue copters surveyed the surrounding area. Now she's lost in the woods and apparently had lost her memory. This morning she took a drink of water from a mountain pool and saw her reflection. She is amazed to find out she's just a little girl for, as she exclaims, "I feel 80 years old!"


Friday Five

1) What animal best represents you?

I would like to say bird, but I'm hopelessly earthbound. A dog. I'm not brave enough to pay "the cat price."

2) What color best represents you?

Blue. (And right now that's my mood, too.)

3) What season best represents you?

Autumn. Cool but not cold, nature beginning to sleep, dreams of winter sky.

4) What emotion best represents you?

These days its like the channel changer going off every three seconds.

5) What flower/tree/plant best represents you?

I would love to be a lilac bush, lush and sweet smelling and pretty, but I'm afraid I'm just a cattail.


» Thursday, August 05, 2004
Thursday Threesome

::Surprises in the Mail::

Onesome: Surprises-- Hey, do you like surprises? ...and what kinds? Birthday parties, dinners out? ...or are you one of those people who absolutely has to know what's going on before it happens?

Well, yes, I like surprises. If they're good surprises. Usually they turn out to be ants invading the kitchen, broken pipes, flat tires, and other unpleasant things.

Twosome: in the-- nick of time: How do you keep track of birthdays and anniversaries and events you need to remember but only occur once a year? ...and where is your bailout place for cards and such when you've cut things a little too close?

This is why the good lord invented PDAs. :-) I also have all the birthdays and anniversaries written on my calendar at work and dutifully transcribe them to a new calendar each January. Cards? I get my cards at the Dollar Store. They actually have nice-looking ones, not cheap slick cards.

Threesome: Mail-- Mail Call! Did anything interesting show up lately besides the bills? ...and do letters and cards still make it to your place or have email and ecards taken it all over? Inquiring minds and all that...

Yes, I just got a book in the mail, Inventing Christmas, and have two more remaindered/used books on the way, Christmas at the New Yorker and The Readers Digest Book of Christmas. We still get cards on birthdays and at Christmas.


» Wednesday, August 04, 2004
SF Quizzes
Assorted ones on this page: some Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and other things:


Another Silly Questionnaire

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Dragon Guard by Emily Drake (part 3 of the Magickers series, sort of a poor man's Harry Potter)
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Just fabric. It's red.
6. FAVORITE SMELL? Baking bread
8. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? Only one? Pink, teal blue, that icky yellow color decorators call "gold," and last and definitely not least, beige
10. MOST IMPORTANT MATERIAL THING IN MY LIFE? Pigwidgeon the budgie--followed by the books
12. DO YOU BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT DAILY? Well, yeah, since there's always some nitwit tailgating me at 75 mph.
14. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? Both--I like storms, but worry about tornadoes
15. FAVORITE DRINK? Skim milk
16. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? December 11
17. FAVORITE VEGETABLES? Cucumbers, tomatoes, chicory, Chinese endive, celery
21. TOP THREE FAVORITE MOVIES (IN ORDER)? Good grief...The Homecoming, The Hunt for Red October, A Christmas Story
22. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? Of course--my 9th grade typing teacher made sure of that!
23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Lingerie, old vests, woollen stockings
24. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 38 (even though WSBK has been "Borg-ized" by UPN
27. FAVORITE CD OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? David Huntsinger's "Autumn in New England" (plus any Christmas CD)
28. FAVORITE TV SHOW OF ALL TIME & RIGHT NOW? All Time: Lassie; Right Now: Monk
29. HAMBURGERS OR HOT DOGS? Hot dogs--two plain pups from Krystal are cheap
30. THE COOLEST PLACES YOU'VE EVER BEEN? It's either the Smithsonian or Cape Canaveral
31. WHAT WALLPAPER AND/OR SCREENSAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? Photo of James and I with Rodney Walker and Rupert Holmes
32. DOES MCDONALD'S SKIMP ON YOUR FRIES & DO YOU CARE? I hate McDonald's--I go to Wendy's, and I usually don't order fries, just a plain junior hamburger with a packet of ketchup
34. IF YOU HAVE A BOY (OR HAVE ANOTHER BOY) WHAT WOULD YOU NAME HIM? "It's Jane Louise!" [sorry...joke} James Michael


» Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Tuesday Twosome

Be Real:
Your two favorite....

1. Brands of shoes:

Hush Puppies and Reeboks.

2. Brands of clothes:

Clothes come in brands? :-) Seriously, I don't pay attention to brands of clothes. Whatever fits me that I can afford works.

3. Restaurants:

Olive Garden and... Is Dunkin Donuts considered a restaurant? :-) How about "any Chinese restaurant that doesn't serve pale/yellow fried rice with peas and carrots in it"?

4. Brands of electronic equipment (Sony, Toshiba, JVC, etc.):

Panasonic. Period.

5. Department stores:

Gosh. WalMart's a discount store, not a department store, right? Or is it both? I don't really like "department stores" (like Penney's or Macy's) anymore; they don't have all the things they used to have. The Outlet Company and Shepard's had books and a bakery and a stationery department and candy and pet supplies and a lunch counter/tea room along with the clothes, shoes, appliances, electronics, and hardware. Sears, I guess.


» Monday, August 02, 2004
New post in Holiday Harbour.


Distracted by Books and Nostalgia
I swear, I went to the library just to get an ISBN number. Cross my heart.

I came out with three books, even though I still have a bunch to read of my own.

One was quick reading, Say Goodnight Gracie!, which, despite the secondary title, "The Story of Burns and Allen," is primarily about the television series rather than their vaudeville or radio careers. I found out something that has been puzzling me about my DVD set, which has 11 series episodes: for years I've read about George's "magic" television, in which he could watch what was going on "downstairs." But I'd never seen the "magic" TV in any of my DVD broadcasts.

Well, that's because the series ran eight seasons and I have early episodes. The "magic" television was only in the final two seasons.

I'm presently reading the book about Amos'n'Andy.

The third book I've just skimmed, reading the pertinent parts or interesting bits. It's called Hi, There, Boys and Girls!, about local television children's hosts. Of course I immediately turned to Rhode Island and there before me was the bastion of local television, Walter Brine of WPRO. Don't recognize the name and you're from RI? You know him better as "Salty" Brine, a nickname he's had since the 1940s and the name given to one of the state beaches to honor this state institution. Salty had a longtime children's show called Salty's Shack, but children also remember him as the voice of "snow days," as his sonorous voice read off the list of school closings on WPRO radio. Unfortunately he usually only announced that there was no school in Foster and Glocester. These two towns are out in the RI hinterlands and while us city kids were tramping to school in the snow, the kids in "Fostaglosta" were usually out playing in it. We all wanted to live in the magic land of "Fostaglosta" during the winter.

Of course they had the entire horde of hosts from Boston, too: WSBK's Willie Whistle, whose shrill voice drove me crazy; Boston's local Bozo the Clown, played by Frank Averuch, who later hosted movies ala Robert Osborne on TCM; WNAC's "astronaut" Major Mudd, played by Ed O'Donnell; and of course the most famous Boston children's personality of all, Rex Trailer of Boomtown. Rex and his horse Gold Rush and his saddle pals were famous all over Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island--they owned Saturday mornings on WBZ-TV for years. Every year, those of Rex's fans who could afford it went to California with him for a week to visit Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, and the rest of us could only think in envy of the great time they were having.


Monday Madness

1. I always exercise my right to vote. (If you are under 18, 'I will always exercise my right to vote as soon as I am old enough to.')

True. I have no patience with people who complain about government leadership and who are then too lazy to get off their butts and vote. I do it even if I do have to vote for the least objectionable candidate, not the one I like most.

2. I pay little or no attention to the campaign ads aired on television prior to a presidential election.

True. I don't pay attention to commercials anyway.

3. I can see myself running for some type of political office someday.

False. I don't want to be in charge of anything. Paying a mortgage and trying to ride herd on the fids is enough.

4. I believe we will see a woman become president in my lifetime.

Um...maybe. I can't think of a smart woman stupid enough to want the job.

5. I try to keep an open mind regarding all political issues.

False. My mind is closed. All politicians are thieves, liars, and cheats. They're like a horny guy on a date. He'll use any line to get you to do what he wants. Then he dumps you.

6. I believe the drinking age should be raised.

I don't care. The idiots who want to get drunk will always find a way to do it.

7. I think the legal age to vote should be raised.

False. If you're old enough to serve in the service or go away to college, you ought to be old enough to vote. Being smart enough to vote is something different--and many people in their 70s can't even claim that!

8. I thought these qustions were interesting.

Actually, no. I hate politics. Politics suck almost as much as summer.

9. I will be back to play again!


~Bonus Question~ (stole this idea from wild fl0w3r!)
10. If I was the moderator of this meme, one question I would ask is........

Why is everyone always arguing about politicians?