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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» Monday, October 31, 2005
...With a Whimper
Well, it was a quiet night. I didn't even give away half of the original 36 candies I had; I needn't have had to buy an extra package. I didn't even see any big kids; they were all tiny ones, some in arms. We had a cute little princess and several who just goggled. "Wow, you ask and you get free candy?"


"An' the Gobble-uns'll Git You..."
The real "little orphant Annie" in Holiday Harbour.


"Tonight, on The American Experience..."
"Race to the Moon"

This is the story of the Apollo 8 voyage.


Not a Hallowe'en Post
Amazingly, no trick or treat questions in Monday Madness.

1. Name 1 comedy movie you've seen.

Galaxy Quest

2. Name 2 black and white films you remember seeing.

Miracle on 34th Street, The Prisoner of Zenda with Ronald Colman

3. Name 3 dramas you thought were worth watching.

"Were" being interpreted as "in the past": The Waltons, Ellery Queen, St. Elsewhere

4. Name 4 television shows you watch on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.

House, Monk, Jeopardy, American Experience

5. Name 5 things that, in your opinion, are advertised on television too frequently.

#1: Male enhancement drugs (although I gotta admit the one with "Bob" at the airport was funny as hell). Also depression drugs, ambulance-chasing lawyers, teeth whitening junk, and any product being described with a loud voice or accompanied by loud music.

Oh, and that creepy guy for Six Flags. Eww.


Tales for Hallowe'en
Linked in Holiday Harbour.


I'm The Cat's Meow... Holiday Harbour.


Happy Birthday, Nicki!
James' niece Nicki is 21 today.


» Sunday, October 30, 2005
Why is That Old Jack O'Lantern So Small?
Find out in Holiday Harbour.


Autumn Hollow
Look Ma--no more dirt pile: Autumn Hollow.


Dust There Is
We did the fall cleaning of our bedroom today. I turned the ceiling fan off the other day because it was caked with so much dust it was throwing it around. Since we had the vacuum cleaner up there anyway, I cleaned off the stuffed animals as well and we cleaned off both chest of drawers and the bookcases and the chifforobe and my nighttable and Pledged it all and vacuumed the carpet.

Our room is simply a problem child when it comes to dust. I have no idea why; the only thing I can think of is that it's James' C-PAP machine. While my mom was sick and staying in there, because I didn't want to bother her, I only dusted the spare bedroom once in five weeks. When we finally got back from Rhode Island after four weeks after that, there was hardly a trace of dust in the spare room.

But our bedroom, if I skip one week dusting it, it looks like someone's attic. I am talking about a visible white coating all over everything. It has to be the C-PAP. None of the other rooms even come close to being that bad after a couple of weeks.

Anyone else with a C-PAP notice this problem?


Stupid Prilosec
I need to tell the doctor this stupid stuff doesn't work like it's supposed to.

Kaiser took me off Protonix because it wasn't in their "formulary" any longer and told me to take Prilosec. But it doesn't work all that well all the time.

And I don't understand what the difference from one day to another is. Friday we had supper at Italian Oven. I had plain old linguini in marinara sauce. Yeah, it came up on me (it always does), but I could taste the salad dressing more than the tomato.

I had the leftovers of it tonight, after having some chicken broth with oyster crackers. Now I have heartburn and am burping.

What bugs me is that when I eat something like this that comes up on me, sometimes I get a rapid heartbeat. Not a racing heartbeat like the time I went to the hospital, but up around 90. That's why the doctor gave me the Protonix in the first place. It's scary. It's happening now. If I was eating something really spicy it would be different. It's just plain old spaghetti sauce.


A Broken Chain
By now everyone who has an e-mail address is used to chain letters. Sometimes they come with nice stories or something funny, but they're all the same: they say send to X amount of people and you will have good luck or something good will happen, etc.

Truth to tell, I laugh at the funny ones and enjoy the funny pictures but do not pass them on. I don't know if my friends want this sort of thing sent to their e-mail boxes (some of them are quite large, with photos), so I don't.

But does anyone remember real chain letters? They used to arrive by mail and ask you to make five or ten copies of the letter and send to friends and you would have good luck. If not you would break the chain and have bad luck.

Some asked for money, like put a dollar, and add your name to a list and you would eventually get money back. Superstitious people lost money this way and the post office finally declared chain letters illegal. If you were found out originating a chain letter you could be fined or even sent to prison.

I hadn't seen one of the original version in years. Lo and behold (an old practice deserves an old clichè), we got one in the mail the other day.

The kicker was that it was in our forwarded mail and it was addressed to my father!

Got news for ya, buddy. My dad—and my mom—don't need good luck anymore: they already have it; they're in Heaven.


Back to real time, finally!

I'm going to hate 2007. How can we kill G.W. and all those dimwits in Congress for extending freaking Daylight Savings Time? May they all have to drive to work in pitch darkness forever.


Crater Filled?
This is old news, but I hadn't read it until now. James found the info on someone's blog. Judge Crater was a joke all my life.

Judge Crater Found?

Judge Crater Disappearance Possibly Solved


Remember These?
Collier's Junior Classics in A Cozy Nook.


» Friday, October 28, 2005
A Spot of Bad News
Check out the house blog.


You Are What You Read?
Changing tastes in food in A Cozy Nook.


Friday Five

1. If you had all the money in the world and could choose to own anything, what you would get and why?

You know, I can't think of anything. I'm sure there's something I want, but it doesn't seem to matter.

2. If you were to do something that scares you, what would it be?

Get my breasts reduced (I'm always scared of surgery).

3. What was your first pet?

A green budgie named Pretty Boy. I was two.

4. What's the farthest you've traveled?

In or out of the country? In: California. Out: Ontario.

5. If you were a season, which one would you be and why?

Autumn. I'd be cool and refreshing and have clothing of pretty colors.

Extra one: If you were a song, which one would you be and why?

Rupert Holmes' "The Old School." Because it's about preserving past memories.


I need the Christmas music today. I'm feeling decidedly depressed with the urge to burst into tears. I guess it's hormonal. I want to call up my mother and can't.

I think I need an all-day hug, but that would be impractical.

Sometimes Willow lies on the floor with her head between her paws and her eyes big and gives a great big loud sigh. I know how she feels.


"Need a Little Christmas? Right This Very Minute..."
Check out the Live365 links in Holiday Harbour.

Listening to: "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen.


» Thursday, October 27, 2005
A Colorful Past
After yesterday's marathon, I'm taking a little dubbing vacation and watching America instead. The picture is so beautiful—I don't think it looked that good on our brand-new color set in 1973! And boy, is it colorful, even Alistair Cooke's apartment. I didn't realize the paint on the walls of his study was a bright red and the carpet and furniture was a bright green. The beautiful blue sky over the church at Acoma is breathtaking.


What A Difference a Week Makes!
Last Thursday the high was 84°F and the air conditioner was roaring away. Now we've got the heat on! I can't tell you how much nicer it is to go outside now. It was sunny and low 60s at lunchtime, but it's clouded over and the temp is already falling. I can have the windows of the car open and the sunroof as well if I want, something I didn't get to enjoy last fall because of that bozo who hit my car.


Santa Search!
In Holiday Harbour.


The Dreaded Bottle
Ohmygosh, there's that dreaded Fletcher's Castoria bottle. There's a whole history for advertising of the wretched stuff at


Thursday Threesome

::Painted Garden Gnomes::

Onesome: Painted-- Hey! Are you getting all painted up on Monday and going out and about? What are you dressing up as? ...or are you staying home and handing out goodies? ...or sitting in the dark and wishing they would all just go away? Come on <g>!

When we lived in the apartment we used to shut off all the lights and watch a movie and ignore it. Since we’ve had the house I do do trick or treat, but I get so bored upstairs, even listening to The Shadow, while James is downstairs with “der kinder.” I’m not much into Hallowe’en anyway, although I do have a costume of sorts now: I wear my black sweats, white sneakers, white Confirmation gloves, and put on a black and white cat mask—voila, “jellicle cat.” But it has to be cool to wear this outfit. I’m crossing fingers that it’s only going to be in the low 60s during the day and then drop the moment it gets dark; then I can wear it while doing treats and also to work. Heck, it’s only finally gotten cool enough at work for me to turn off my fan…

Twosome: Garden-- In the garden of your mind, where do you go to relax for a few moments? Off to the beach? the mountains? a different world? ...or maybe a stroll though an old Victorian landscape?

Oh…Lake George sometimes…but mostly Newport on a fall blustery day when the tourists have skipped town…

Threesome: Gnomes-- Okay, we have to know: what do you think about garden gnomes and pink flamingos and such? I mean other than there seems to be a local ordinance that you have to have at least one or the other in your front yard if you live in South Florida?

LOL. I like the gnome on the commercial. I don’t like flamingos or anything that looks tropical. I noticed my godmother had some cute little statues in her front yard. I wouldn’t have cherubs—too cutesy but I’d love to have a pair of little birds or a little dog. (James wants the dog backside and I think it’s cute too: it’s a statue that looks like a little terrier is digging a hole in your garden and all you see is his hind end.) Or maybe a “Nessie.”


» Wednesday, October 26, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary Coda
I ended up doing Sole Survivor, a 1970 television movie that, from the comments on the IMDb, is very popular with people who remember it and are trying to find a copy! (Apparently there was someone selling a DVD.)

My copy is terrible (it was taken off WSBK-TV38 before we had a booster on our antenna and is exceedingly snowy), but at least I can watch it. Sole Survivor opens in the Libyan desert where five World War II pilots wait beside their crashed B-25, apparently waiting for rescue, until you realize from their comments that they are dead. It is 17 years after the crash, and when the plane is found, an investigation team, including the sole survivor from the mission, is sent out. As Major Devlin (Vince Edwards) and Lt. Colonel Gronke (William Shatner) look into the site, however, General Hamner's (Richard Basehart) story doesn't add up. In the meantime, the crew is helpless to let the investigators know that it was Hamner's fault that they crashed in the desert.

My main reason for recording this movie is because of the outstanding performance by one of my favorite actors (and directors), Lou Antonio, who plays Tony, the man who made it back to the airplane from where the crew had bailed out only to have the unstable tail section fall upon him and trap him. His role in the poignant ending scene is outstanding.


DVD Transfer Diary
(accompanying lots of soup and ibuprofin)

Yes, Italians in America, plus "Castrovalva" and "Mawdryn Undead" from Doctor Who and K-9 and Company, a 10-minute piece of Jerry Doyle being interviewed on Jim J. and Ann, Secrets of the Titanic, finally (by using the other VCR), and Nova's famous "The Miracle of Life."

Then it will be time to take a break and watch Jeopardy.


Oh, great. I've caught James' cold. Luckily dubbing can be done with your eyes half closed and ears ringing.

Oh, yeah. Last night I did New York: the Way It Was, Lost Atlanta, and a stray Holiday at Pops! I found at the end of my Brooklyn Bridge tape.

I guess I'll start with Italians in America...


» Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Always Building
So many folks have been curious at the dips and dabs of house chatter we've put in here that I've set up a separate blog for the [prospective] new house.

As in any other blog, start at the bottom and work up for the story from the beginning.

Enter here.


"Can You Guess Whodunnit?"
Anyone remember the super 1975 series The Adventures of Ellery Queen which was broadcast on NBC for [unfortunately] only one season? Jim Hutton played Ellery charmingly as an absent-minded but at the same time astute observer, with character actor David Wayne as his father, Inspector Richard Queen of the New York City police force. The show was set in 1947 (the first episode was set on New Year's Eve of 1946) and it looked great. The scripts were in general great puzzlers, with well-known actors of the time as guest stars, with a welcome touch of humor to them. The best of them all, "The Adventure of the Mad Tea Party," was the only story adapted from an actual Ellery Queen story, but the writers did quite well.

I remember watching this and keeping score on how many times I solved the mysteries. I think I got 40 percent correct for the whole season; I had a half a point, I remember, for guessing in one episode where the murder weapon was hidden, but I missed who the murderer was.

At the time the series aired, The National Enquirer used to have a T-shirt they gave out for being a TV blooper spotter. I remember earning one for an Ellery Queen episode—don't remember which, but it happened when Ellery was walking from one room to another. On one side of the doorway he had his hat on, on the other side it was gone (he didn't take it off, either; his hands were empty).

Talk about wishing a show would come out on DVD! I have some recorded from the A&E run, but they cut off the clever openings and bits out of the episodes. They showed them uncut on Encore Mystery once, but it was before we got Dish Network. :-(

Anyway, this was prompted by the November Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which has a super color photo of Hutton and Wayne on the cover. The article inside is very short and only mentions the 1975 show in a couple of paragraphs, but it certainly brought back memories!


Yucky Medicines
James Lileks posted a link to his newest book, Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice. I laughed at his comments about parents' obsession with children's constipation in the 1940s.

It wasn't just the 1940s. I remember being dosed with Fletcher's Castoria on many a Friday evening. My mom would say, "Be thankful it's not castor oil," but it still tasted horrible, a thick sweetish brown taste that stuck to your tongue and left a gluey aftertaste. I think it had senna in it. Mom was the child of Victorian parents, and never mind the 1940s—Victorians were the real obsessive maniacs about proper bowel movements. Heck, I guess I was lucky I wasn't born a century earlier, back when you were sick they'd dose you with stuff that was poisonous, like calomel (a mercury derivative that settled in your joints; it's what caused Louisa May Alcott's chronic poor health in her later years) just to keep you "cleaned out."


Tuesday Twosome

1. Who was your best friend when you were a child? Who is your best friend now?

When I was very young, it was Linda Azzoli. We even traded mothers for Confirmation! Then our interests diverged about fifth grade and I met Sherrye Davis. We both liked animals and mostly the same television programs. I still consider her a best friend, but my best friend now is James, of course!

2. What is the longest crush/relationship you have had? What is the shortest crush/relationship you have had?

Well, I'm still in the longest relationship I ever had. :-) I hope it stays that way. As for "crushes," I still have one. :-) (Heh. What makes you think I'm going to tell who?)

3. What is your first thought when waking up in the morning? What is your first thought before you go to bed?

In the morning I'm thinking I just want a couple of more hours sleep! At night it's more like "Do I have to stop reading already?"

4. Do you get along with your family? Are you easy to get along with?

Gosh, yes, I love my family, and my in-laws, too. I never understood kids who didn't get along with their parents (but then I had nice parents; I know kids who didn't—it was very sad). We had our arguments, but we were like the Three Musketeers most of the time. My mom used to say I kept them young. Ironically I was the one that broke up the trio.

5. What is one thing scientists should invent? What is one thing you wish scientists did not invent?

A cure for cancer.

And I don't think a scientist invented it, but when I first read that question, the answer that popped into my brain immediately was "Leaf blowers." <g>


Nothing in the Dark
The only way to "beat" traffic around here is to get up very early for work. I don't think it would bother me so much if it wasn't pitch dark when I got up and, most of the time, when I drove to work. I still feel like I should be curled up under my blankets blissfully asleep instead of trudging out with the crickets still chirping and the streetlights on. It's dark even in the summer because of #$!#$#%! daylight saving time, and those stupid idiots in Congress and Bush sighed that extension crap starting in 2007 so we'll have more pitch darkness soon.

You get spoiled growing up at a higher latitude. Even in the highest part of winter it's at least sunrise when you get up at 6 a.m. In summer, even with daylight savings time in effect, it's full daylight by the time that hour rolls around.

It was a miserable morning anyway. James has a bad cold and is finally going to stay home today, but he was moving around restlessly, and I was in the middle of a dream when the alarm rang. I had packed and traveled and had just arrived, and was just going to open the door and greet my mother when I got woken up. I was crying in the bathroom; I wish I'd gotten to open that door!

Plus I took I-285 because they were just clearing an accident on I-85 North and traffic was backed up, but got held up anyway because someone had stalled out in the middle lane just before GA400. What with this and it taking five minutes just to get on Powder Springs Road—will the last persons out of Powder Springs and Austell please turn out the lights?—I was very late to work.

If there's anything positive, it's that I had to put the heat on last night and the new furnace works flawlessly. It started out slowly, I think because of the variable-speed motor, but the rooms were soon warm. We had changed the filter on Sunday, too, and I noted with interest that with the new furnace that nasty, metallic and dusty smell that used to fill the house for the first ten or fifteen minutes the first time you put the heat on for the season is no longer there.


» Monday, October 24, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Oh, yeah, Boston: The Way It Was, volumes I and II. The Boston Braves, Southie, the Cocoanut Grove fire, the "Gahden," etc. Still have to do New York: The Way It Was and Lost Atlanta.


It's So Nice Out!
It's 55°F at this time of afternoon. The sky is a beautiful, pale jewel of blue arching overhead with wisps of clouds dotted here and there. Between the cold air come down from Canada and the disturbance wrought by Hurricane Wilma (stay safe, all of you in South Florida!), the breeze is up and the trees are rustling with chatter to each other and tossing their leaves like Italian men having a heated conversation. I had a nice brisk walk in it. Whee!


Why Eat There?
James Lileks has a post this morning about eating at the Cheesecake Factory and really hating it: the service was poor and he doesn't like the food. So why eat there?

Okay, the obvious answer is because his wife wanted to go there, which I believe is why he was there.

But why do people go to these places anyway? James and I call them "Yuppie restaurants" and neither of us can understand the appeal. I've been to the Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta with a group from work. Everyone raved about it. I found very little I found appealing on the menu and the service sucked. It took the waitress a half hour just to take our order and another hour for the food to come out and then it wasn't even that good.

We have the same problem with these places like Chili's and O'Charley's and, god in heaven, Crackerbarrel. People wait hours to get in these places and I have no idea why. Their food is overpriced, it's okay, but not outstanding. People will wait hours on Sunday mornings to get into Crackerbarrel for breakfast and evenings for supper, once you get to the table it takes another hour or so to actually get your food, and their food is no better than anywhere else. We went to Chili's one night with some friends. We waited an hour to get in, almost 45 minutes before the waitress ever took our order, all we could afford were hamburgers or salad and even those were overpriced, and it took more than another half hour before we even got our food. Plus the "ambiance" music was blaring so loudly that we had to yell at each other to talk.

I repeat: I just don't get it.


Monday Madness

1. diamonds or pearls?

Pearls. I hate diamonds. They're ugly.

2. paperback or hardcover books?

Oh, if I could afford hardcovers, I'd buy 'em. I do buy Madeleine L'Engle in hardcover. Oh, and Rupert Holmes, but that goes without saying.

3. carpet or hardwood floors?

Did they choose this question especially for me? :-) HARDWOOD FLOORS!!!!! I hate carpeting. Hate, hate, hate. No matter how much you vacuum and take off your shoes and clean it, it always seems dirty to me.

4. dogs or cats?

I like both, but I prefer dogs.

5. fluffy or firm pillow?

Um, both. I want something soft enough that I won't get a headache, but firm enough to keep my head up.

6. fine point or medium point pens?

Mmmmmm. Fine points! I love having a nice sleek handwriting.

7. clocks a little fast or on time?

On time. James runs his watch 10-15 minutes fast. Drives me crazy. I want to know the real time.

8. mahjong or spider solitaire (or other)?


9. wall calendar or desk calendar?

Wall calendar.

10. 'Survivor' or 'The Amazing Race?'

Don't watch them. Um...Animal Precinct.


» Sunday, October 23, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
A Disney evening:

"Dateline: Disneyland," which was the black-and-white special about the opening of the park in July 1955, hosted by Art Linkletter. When compared against the videotaped handycam things today, it looks very amateurish; because the commentator can't see what he's commenting about, you're often seeing one thing, like "Adventure Through Inner Space," while they are talking about the moon rocket. Hard to believe that Bob Cummings was such a big celebrity back then. Another host is Ronald Reagan, back from his General Electric Theatre days. The big guests everyone are waiting for are Davy Crockett and Georgie Russell, played, as they were on the Disneyland series, by Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen. "Davy" sings a song about his rifle, "Old Betsy"; can you see someone doing that today on children's programming? Linkletter talks to celebrities of the day all around the park: Irene Dunne, Don DeFore, Jeanne Crain. And you get to see the original Frontierland and Fantasyland, with the pack mule ride and the stagecoach and the Casey Jr circus train and the canal boats through the little village.

The Mickey Mouse Club Story: Narrated by Frankie Avalon. Nice garden-variety sort of reminisce-special. Sad to see Annette Funicello speaking so haltingly.

"Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair," one of the old World of Color sequences from 1964. Shows the dinosaur ride, "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" (the facial design was made from an actual life mask of Lincoln), my favorite "Progressland" (a.k.a. the Carousel of Progress) with the "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" song, and of course, "It's a Small World" (my dad's favorite).


Would You Believe...
...Christmas lights?


» Saturday, October 22, 2005
Busy, Busy Day
Ran bunches of errands (cleaner, donating books to library, mailing stuff) and went to the hobby shop, then descended upon JoAnn with 60 percent off coupons and also stopped at a place called Progressive Lighting which has the biggest selection of lamps and light fixtures I've ever seen. They even have faux Tiffany lamps and crystal chandeliers. The builders suggested them as people who could provide ceiling fans for the house; they actually have some for a reasonable price with the schoolhouse light kit we like. We tried to go there yesterday, but they close at six.

It was delightfully chilly! I even had to wear a jacket for a while this morning.

We left for supper early intending to go to the Christmas store M.C. Twinklin, but by the time we had supper they'd already closed. Sheesh. As bad as Progressive. We had stopped at Trellis Oaks first, so we were running late.

We were on our way to the other side of town to go to "the drive-in." Not a real one, though, although this was more fun. Some friends of ours bought a DVD projection unit along with a screen. They mounted the screen on their garage door and we sat in the driveway and watched a movie: Galaxy Quest, with a cartoon (an old Fleischer "Superman") and a short subject (Wallace and Gromit, "A Grand Day Out"). It was fun, if chilly—the high yesterday was 80-something with a low of 61°F; today we were lucky if it got up to 60°F. It was wonderful, but I'm glad I brought the car blanket along with my jacket and scarf and hat.

We had a treat after the movie was over; another friend brought the new Doctor Who series with him. We only got to watch the first one, "Rose," but it was quite fun: lots of action and the BBC has actually given it a budget this time.


Waving "Thank You" to Tina...
...who sent us some chocolate from abroad. To paraphrase Mrs. Polouvicka on To the Manor Born, "'We have a saying in old Czechoslovakia'...the chocolate is delicious!"


It's Cool! It's Cool!
It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool! It's cool...


» Friday, October 21, 2005
Someone Thinks of Good Service
After being ignored by e-mails to numerous companies, I did at least get a response from Walgreen's: they are holding one of the sofa table trays for me.


DVD Transfer Diary
Not as much done today as I wanted. I woke up with a nagging headache—sinus, possibly, from the upcoming change in the weather (from 82°F today to a forecast of 68°F tomorrow.) which wasn't touched by Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve—and went painfully through my checkerboard of trips from Michael's to JoAnn (they had 60 percent off coupons and it was a zoo) to Linens'n'Things to Costco for gas and finally home).

I did clear two videotapes and dubbed off the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who episode, "Inferno," Doctor Who's Who's Who GPTV special, and GPTV's coverage of the 1988 Dixie Trek, with Terry Nation and Nicholas Courtney.


Friday Five is Seasonal... it's in Holiday Harbour.


» Thursday, October 20, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Now accompanying Carol Burnett and the Messrs Rodgers and Hammerstein is Hollywood's Amazing Animal Actors.

Started a new disk with yet another bio of my favorite President, The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt, with a score by John Philip Sousa. I tried to add Secrets of the Titanic afterwards, but the tape has some type of glitch in it the same as The Mystery of Edward Sims did and it cuts off after about fifteen minutes warning me that it can't duplicate copyrighted material (despite the fact that it was actually taped off PBS).

I'll have to use the old Sharp with the line-in cord like I did with Sims and see if that works.

Incredibly I have run out of historical documentaries to finish up this disk, unless Italians in America will fit on it.


Here's Somewhere I'd Love to Go
Orkney Islands: Step Back in Time at Scotland's Tip

The Italian Chapel was featured in the final part of the wonderful British miniseries Oliver's Travels, starring the late Alan Bates.


"That Plastic World We [Have to] Live In" in Holiday Harbour.


Has Anyone Ever Seen This Before?
National Novel Writing Month

Apparently it's been done every year since 1999. You sign up with them and from November 1 through November 30, you write a 50,000 word novel of whatever persuasion. As they say, they're looking for "quantity not quality" so it can even be the world's worst story.


Thursday Threesome

::Butterflies are Free::

Onesome: Butterflies-- 'Tis the end of butterfly season, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere (hey, we have readers and respondents in the Southern); what are [you] looking forward to seeing around the yards and neighborhoods in the next few months. (...besides snow, unless that's all you have staring back at you during the Winter months!)

Autumn leaves with beautiful blue, non-hazy skies above! And grass that doesn’t grow three inches a week.

Twosome: are-- Are your sports teams doing okay this Fall? Baseball is down to the final stretch and it's time to chose up sides! ...and football is darned interesting at the six-week mark? No interest? How about curling <g>?

Doing okay? I hope they all lose.

Threesome: Free-- What is your favorite "freebie"? That 'buy one, get one free' sale? ...the ice cream cone from your local shop on your birthday? The samples at Starbucks? Inquiring minds and all that...

Buy-one-get-one-free of anything is always good, except of vitamins. I buy two different kinds, one that is half price of the other, so half price on them is more economical than buy-one-get-one. I’d say anything that’s buy-one-get-one-free of chocolate would be best. :-) (Plain tickets and hotel rooms would be nice, too!)


» Wednesday, October 19, 2005
SF Geek Films
From James' blog: Bold the ones you saw and liked, skip the ones you didn't care about, and strike out the ones you didn't like.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers
The Fly

Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes
(1968 version)
(1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds
(1953 version)


DVD Transfer Diary
It's a very strange disk: after three Mark Russell specials I had just enough room for the three Simpsons (not Christmas and not Treehouse of Horror) that I kept: "Homer the Vigilante" (because of Sam Neill's voice), "And Maggie Makes Three" (the most heartwarming Simpsons I can think of), and "The Springfield Files" (an X-Files spoof with David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Leonard Nimoy that I think was the last totally funny episode they ever did).

Now for something completely different: Men, Movies and Carol and Rodgers and Hammerstein: The Sound of American Music.


Toe In the Water
Well, I put in the money for the upgrades (deadbolts, ceiling fan mounts, etc.) today. Our closing date is on the whiteboard.

And a little bulldozer looked like it was working on our dirt pile.


» Tuesday, October 18, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Well, I've finished three more videotapes and one disk and started another.

After the Muppet 30th anniversary show, I placed the Mary Tyler Moore 20th Anniversary Show and then the monumental 20th Century Fox: the First Fifty Years.

Then I started a new disk of Mark Russell specials: Mark Russell's England has the raconteur visiting all the sights (Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, the Imperial War Museum, Greenwich and more), taking a taxi ride—and spending the entire hour looking for ice, and then Mark Russell's Irish Fling!, where Mark learns about legal bookies and the Irish passion, horses, curling, the cliffs of County Clare, the Blarney Stone, and limericks, among others.

I'll need to add Mark Russell's Viva Italia! next, then don't know what else to do; I'm out of Russell's specials and don't think I have any more travel bits. Whatever.


Good Grief...
Massachusetts Dam Concerns Prompt Evacuations

Taunton is where Readmore Bookstore is. They have a beautiful town square.

Hope no one is hurt if the dam does break. This is what happens when the Dumbocrats and Repulsivecans vote themselves pay raises and fund pork barrel projects and don't take care of the important things with collected taxes.


The Magazine Files...
...part 1 and part 2, in "A Cozy Nook."


"O The Weather Outside Is Not Yet Delightful..."
...but more Christmas book links of interest are fluttering about Holiday Harbour.


Oh, Wonderful ::sneeze::
I think I have a cold. People have been sneezing right and left at work for the last week and last night my nose clogged up, this morning I had a minute nosebleed, and now I feel like thirty pounds of cotton has taken up residence in my right sinus and my ear is ringing louder than usual and my nose is running. What fun.


» Monday, October 17, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Doctor Who: "Invasion of Time" plus the final two parts of "Armageddon Factor" (I didn't much like the Key to Time sequence, but I liked these two parts because they featured Drax, a Time Lord who reminded me of Vila on Blake's 7).

Two shorts: Merv Griffin interviewing Dwight Schultz at the time he was playing "Howling Mad" Murdock on The A-Team and the "Tupper's wares" joke from The Charmings.

Plus The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. This is on a new disk of which will be entertainment shows, probably Men, Movies and Carol and the Mary Tyler Moore Show's anniversary special. Maybe Rogers and Hammerstein: the Sound of American Music if it fits.

I cleared three videotapes tonight.


Operation Cleanup
I finally got all those old Period Living magazines out of the house. These are outstanding magazines if you are trying to restore an old house and I loved reading about them, but the expense just got too much. These magazines are printed on good solid heavy paper: Saturday I was bringing about six more downstairs and those weighed more than the four trade paperback computer books that I was carrying in the other arm! I'm down to the magazines I want to keep: Best of British, Reminisce, and odd decorating magazines and a few old Yankees that are not fall or Christmas issues that do not even fill two magazine holders. (The fall magazines are downstairs in a fall basket on the hearth. The Christmas magazines are in three magazine holders on top of the bookcase with the Christmas and holiday books.)

Didn't get much cleaned up myself on Saturday because I was so sick to my stomach, but James cleaned out two piles of magazines and must have had about 60 pounds of ones he didn't want for the "Magic Men" this morning.

It's amazing the things that are just scattered about the house. We seem to have an overabundance of carry straps everywhere, from small camera cases that have been used to carry PDAs and James' OneTouch kit. Plus short lengths of phone cord which I swear breed in the closet. Coat hangers have nothing on these guys.


Well, looks like I can do a young Fairuza Balk film festival now: I have Worst Witch and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever committed from VHS to DVD and yesterday I bought Return to Oz with a coupon. This latter has always received mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it; will be nice to see a widescreen version, which I never have. The Oz purists complain because several books were mixed together and those expecting a sunny little musical like the 1939 film were upset as well. The shock treatment business at the beginning was more frightening than the Oz portions and must have given them real pause.

(I think the main reason people have problems with this film is that they consider it a sequel to The Wizard of Oz. It's not. It's a sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—the book!—complete to how Dorothy is actually younger in Return to Oz because the Dorothy of the books was younger.)


Everything New is Old Again
Last night I was re-reading Crump's Christmas Encyclopedia and smiled during one of his song entries when he commented that "hop" was a 1950s teenage term for a dance.

Actually, "hop" for "dance," I discovered while reading a St. Nicholas some time ago, goes back to the 1880s; it was in a serial story about young military cadets, and in one chapter the boys were preparing for their first "hop" with some young ladies from a nearby finishing school.

Today I was reading Ethel Hollister's Second Summer as a Campfire Girl, published 1912. She greeted her well-dressed Aunt Susan in one chapter as being "out of sight"! Okay, all those who thought that was a 1960s term raise your hand! :-)


Monday Madness

Which one?

1. Lemonade or Iced Tea?

Lemonade. Tea tastes terrible to me, even with gallons of sugar in it. To me it’s kinda like beer—how do you drink anything that smells that bad?

2. DVD or VHS?

Getting to be more and more DVD…

3. Gold or Silver?

Gold, but I like silver with something blue.

4. Baseball or Tennis?

Neither! They’re both boring. Dog agility contests!

5. Spring or Autumn?

Autumn. Spring is pretty, but full of flowering plants that make me sneeze. Also, spring means summer is coming.

6. Diet or Regular?

You mean soda? I don’t drink soda. Well, not voluntarily, anyway.

7. Hearts or Stars?


8. Snail Mail or Email?

E-mail. It’s faster.

9. Shop: Online or In-Store?

Online; it’s usually cheaper. But I like browsing bookstores as well.

10. Credit Card or Check?

Credit card. I get points for books that way! (I discovered when I was helping my mother pay bills how much I absolutely despised writing out checks.)


» Sunday, October 16, 2005
Hurrah! It's Cool!
I was cold last night! How lovely! We've had the windows open all day and the attic fan going in the afternoon when it got warmer. It was a much better day than yesterday: I don't know if it was the tuna salad sandwich at Baldino's or if I had something coming on, but I was sick most of the evening and finally fell asleep on the sofa for a few hours before going on chat. My tummy was still upset today, but we did get some things done: I now have a copy of Super Scrabble which I got on discount at Media Play (for triple points!). Anyone play this yet? It's a larger Scrabble board with quadruple word and letter score squares, 200 tiles instead of 100, and 441 squares rather than 225.

We did have a frustrating bit: the Walgreens flyer advertised they had two different types of trays on sale, the regular sort of fold-up tray table, and what they call a sofa server. This has long legs on an L-shape rather than crossways so the tray can go right over your chair or whatever you're seated on. We've been wanting a couple of these for ages. But we went to three different Walgreens around us and not one of them had the sofa server. In fact, only one of them even had the folding tray tables, and then it was just two up on a high shelf almost out of sight. We talked to the manager at one place and he said he'd never had such a thing in stock and they had never been shipped to them even for the sale! I wrote Walgreens a rather perturbed e-mail.

Sprayed around the doors before supper and oh, Lord, despite all that nice cool air out there, I came in dripping wet and covered with mosquito bites. I wish we could find someone to rake out the yard! Just raking the leaves back from the back steps makes my back cramp.

For supper we had beef strips and veggies and watched the new restored version of McLintock! Much fun, and I enjoyed the little features afterwards. God bless Maureen O'Hara, she still looks strong and well, and her Irish burr comes out occasionally and sounds lovely.


» Friday, October 14, 2005
Interesting Blog
Goodness, is actually good for something: just found John Kenneth Muir's blog. I have two of his books for McFarland, the A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television and the A History and Critical Analysis of Blake's 7.


Whew! (Me Versus the Zombies)
You made it. Barely.
Congratulations! You scored 55%!
Whether it was the fact that you could run faster, or were just plain lucky, you made it out alive. Even you aren't sure why. But you're sure as hell not going back, or risking your ass for anyone else from now on.
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 12% on survivalpoints
Link: The Zombie Scenario Survivor Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
Thought you'd like this one, sweetie. :-)

Hey, Clay, wanna try this one?


I Guess I Won't Be Going to Hogwarts Any Time Soon
You scored 16% Slytherin, 44% Ravenclaw, 28% Gryffindor, and 36% Hufflepuff!
Are you sure that you belong at Hogwarts? You show no defined personal characteristics and therefore no house preference. Perhaps you should seriously consider a lucrative career in dentistry or tax preparation—or allow the Sorting Hat to redetermine your place at a later date.
My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 9% on Slytherin
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 90% on Ravenclaw
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 19% on Gryffindor
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 67% on Hufflepuff
Link: The Sorting Hat Test written by leeannslytherin on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Like most little girls, I had the occasional dream of having a horse. Not all little girls go through this phase, but enough of them do that horsey novels are favorites of the little girl set. Some girls in the country get ponies and even in the city there are ways to keep a horse, if the parental units attached to said girl have enough money. Even the most economically kitted-out horse and ride cost a tidy sum if you want your horsey cared for and fed properly.

I fell out of the horse dream quickly enough: Dad worked in a factory and we had a teeny back yard. Besides, while some of the little girls were simply dreaming about galloping through flowery meadows and winning rosettes at gymkhanas, I looked at it realistically: keeping a horse neat and clean was just too much darn work.

Besides, I really preferred dogs...

So I stuck with reading books about horses. One of my favorites when I got older was Don Stanford's marvelous The Horsemasters, which is unflinching at telling you, despite the joy of riding, that a horse is one big piece of responsibility.

However, in all my years reading about jumping, galloping, and grooming this beast, I never realized you had to do this to a gelding. (Um, warning, although this is written in humorous fashions with euphemisms and is quite funny, it's still a bit...graphic, depending on your taste.)


New post in Holiday Harbour.


DVD Transfer Diary
Last night was "guilty pleasure" bad "scary movie" night. I don't watch what people consider "really scary movies." I was the kid who wasn't allowed to watch The Wizard of Oz until she was about twelve because the first time I saw it the witch gave me screaming nightmares.

(Oddly it wasn't the witch flying, or threatening Dorothy, or setting the Scarecrow on fire that bothered me. I still remember the nightmare clearly: I was afraid the witch could see me in her magic crystal ball like she could see Dorothy.)

So when I watch "horror" movies it's usually one that is so bad it's laughable or something made for children. I had one of each last night.

Midnight Offerings is a 1980s TV movie starring Mary McDonough (Erin from The Waltons) as Robin Prentiss, a girl who moves into a new town and starts school off on the wrong foot: she befriends now bad-boy Dave, who got arrested for drunk driving three weeks earlier and is now persona non grata even on the football team where he was a star player. But it's not Dave that's the problem, it's Dave's former girlfriend, Vivian Sutherland, who turns out to be a practicing witch. We're not talking Glinda here, we're talking Wicked Witch of the West: she's a practicing Satanist and has already "gotten" the biology teacher who planned to flunk Dave, the former star of the football team, and anyone else who got in the way of what she wants. She even has her doting, clueless father wrapped around her little finger (she made his foreman have a heart attack so he could be considered for the position) and her mother knows what's going on, but hasn't exercised her powers (Vivian's the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter) and can't seem to overcome her.

Turns out, however, that Robin is a witch, too (also seventh daughter of seventh daughter). She has always run away from her powers; in fact, that's why she and her father moved, to get away from wagging tongues in their old neighborhood. And of course Robin ends up fighting Vivian, with small help from another "white witch" played by Marion Ross, and also Dave, who knows what Vivian is. Vivian fights dirty: she sents a raven to attack Dave and Erin—I mean Robin—in his van, she tries to put a spell on Robin that hits Robin's father instead, she gets her familiar—a black cat, natch—to set a fire in Robin's bedroom (conveniently, there's a working fireplace in Robin's room, blazing away even though it's September in southern California).

The kicker in this is that Vivian is played with malicious and delightful glee by Melissa Sue Anderson, fresh from her Goody-Two-Shoes portrayal of Mary Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Here she sports short curly hair and enough eye shadow to sink a battleship. It's great fun to watch her chew the scenery after watching her play angelic little Mary.

The other movie was HBO's cute little production of Jill Murphy's book, The Worst Witch. I've seen reviews that compare this story to the Harry Potter saga, and there are similiarities: it's a boarding school for witches (but only girls) and there's one teacher who has it in for the main character and there's the Draco Malfoy clone to torment our heroine and the loyal friend to stick up for her. But to me the similiarity stops there: there's the entire Voldemort subplot and other stories wandering about in the Potter books; The Worst Witch is simply about untidy, accident-prone Mildred Hubble, who's just trying to do her best, and her interactions with the other girls, including snotty Ethel Hallow and Mildred's best friend, Maud. (American reviewers who point out these similaries with a "Rowling stole this idea" attitude have forgotten that boys' and girls' boarding school stories used to be enormously popular, even with Americans in the early part of the 20th century, and it doesn't take much of a twitch to turn a plain old boarding school into one for "exceptional pupils" of whatever stripe.)

Worst Witch is a mindbending mixture of the ordinary—Mildred's school troubles—with rather cheesy cheap special effects, a non-threating group of witches who are planning to take over the school (one who is the headmistress' evil twin sister—Charlotte Rae in both roles—who has a really bad western accent and pink hair), and guest star Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard who all the girls are drooly over. Curry sings a song that is accompanied by luridly colored "special effects" that look like the SFX department was on a bad LSD trip.

On the other hand, Diana Rigg is positively creepy as Miss Hardbroom, the potions teacher who hates Mildred, and Fairuza Balk is appealing as poor Mildred, who can't even keep her hair tidy, let alone do a decent spell. (Anna Kipling is also terrific as the snooty Ethel Hallow—as a review I read pointed out, she'd make a great wife for Draco Malfoy—and Danielle Batchellor is funny and cute as Maud.)

Plus a fillip for Dr. Who fans: Bonnie Langford, Melanie, sings the title song.

(I see by a photo search on Google that Fairuza Balk has gone the road of Lindsay Lohan: they were both beautiful young ladies who now weigh their faces down with makeup and dress like sluts. In all the photos I've found, Lohan looks like she's turning tricks at a Nevada bordello and Balk appears as if she's working as a dominatrix at a Goth-themed whorehouse.)


» Thursday, October 13, 2005
These Look Fascinating
I was clicking through an old bookmarks list from 2000 (how fast URLs disappear or change owners!) and found EarthStation1, "Vintage and Historical DVD Video, MP3, Audio CD and Photo CD Multimedia." Anyone ever order from these folks?


Thursday Threesome

::County Library System::

Onesome: County-- The wild card for today: Do you know approximately how many people live in your county? It used to be that information was only available at the library; I'm betting most of us will be looking it up on the net!

Hmmn. The realtor web site I found says 457,000. It's a lot. I believe Cobb County has had the largest growth rate in the area for several years now.

Twosome: Library-- Do you use the library system where you live? ...or are you one of those who has to own the book (and can afford to)? Students: how good is your school library? ...and do use it or the net for most things?

Yes, I use the library all the time: sometimes for older books, many times for books I want to read but don't necessarily want to own. I have also "test driven" books at the library and bought them later.

Threesome: System-- Hey, what system do you use to store/keep track of your books and music and whatever it is that tends to outgrow its living area? Do you alphabetize? ...sort by color? ...genre?

This is embarrassing, because all my books used to be strictly alphabetized or at least categorized, even the paperbacks, but now there are too many in most cases, since the books are now resting two deep on some shelves. My St. Nicholas bound volumes are in chronological order. My Christmas books are in order by height in order to fit on the three different sized shelves they are on (one shelf has mostly paperbacks and small books and is two deep). Our humor books are alphabetized by author. The television books I have about specific programs are alphabetized by series title. I try to keep the linguistics books separate from the plain reference books, but they're squirming on each other's territory. With some it's just easier to do it by size since you don't have to have all tall shelves for things like The Century and the Reader's Digest coffee-table sized history books; just put them on one shelf and the smaller books on another.


» Wednesday, October 12, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Doctor Who: "Logopolis," two episodes of Hill Street Blues ("Freedom's Last Stand" with Dennis Dugan—whatever happened to Dennis "Richie Brockelman" Dugan [also Benny in Shadow Chasers]?—and "Domestic Beef"), and three Hill Street shorts: a PM Magazine piece (with Matt Lauer back when he was "a puppy" in hideous early 1980s fashions), the funny teaser with Howard Hunter and Henry's apple juice, and Saturday Night Live's Blues skit with Dan Travanti and a special appearance by Bruce Weitz.

When I look at my video log it seems I don't have a ton left to do, but there are still tapes, tapes, tapes, with one or two things left on them: goodies like Lost Atlanta and New York—the Way We Were and Boston—the Way We Were and Mark Russell's Irish Fling and Mark Russell's Viva Italia! and Italians in America and Men, Movies and Carol and two specials on Danny Kaye and Rogers and Hammerstein: the Sound of American Music...


Holiday Reading Ahoy!
New post in Holiday Harbour.


Well, Ducky...
...I guess I strained my back last night bringing the Period Livings downstairs (they're printed on very heavy paper and there were three years' worth and they weigh a ton). When I got up from sitting this morning my back gave a very definite twinge and now it feels like someone is poking ping-pong balls into the left side of my lower back. I have taken three ibuprofin and am trying to sit up straight, which is hard in this wretchedly uncomfortable chair.

::RANT::I still kick myself about my chair. I used to have a comfortable typist's chair—no arms. Then we got the news that everyone was getting new "ergonomic" chairs—I guess anyone can slap an "ergonomic" label on a chair if this one is any example—and to come downstairs and pick either the red chair or the grey chair. Both had arms, which I didn't like; chairs with arms aren't for people who type for a living. Don't remember which one I picked, just remember that I didn't get the one I picked, because they were out of them or quit making them, or some nonsense. I got the replacement. I should have hung onto that typist's chair with both hands. Not only do the arms interfere with me being comfortable when I type, but the back of the chair is not secured—it just notches up and down with no screw or lever to lock it and when you sit back against it too hard the back slides back down to the first position—and the arched part that is supposed to fit into the small of your back to support you is about two inches too low.::END RANT::

I just hope it doesn't get any worse...


» Tuesday, October 11, 2005
DVD Transfer Diary
Alakazam the Great! (American version of the Toei film about the legend of the Monkey King, with pretty bad songs by Les Baxter, who did the Lassie theme), Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, the first two episodes of Spaceketeers (which were awful but the Jesse Dart character is parallel to the Alakazam character in the first movie so it made a good bookend), An Empire of Reason (cool special presented to celebrate the 200th birthday of the US Constitution; the premise: if television had covered the ratification—includes Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, William F. Buckley—with appropriate commercials), and "City of Death" from Doctor Who (am I the only person who wished Duggan had gone on to travel with the Doctor?).


(Just a vent for my own sanity...feel free to ignore...)

Forgot my badge today. Don't mind except it's attached to my card key which makes it hard to go to the ladies' room; I have to wait for someone to come along to open a door to get back in. (There are no offices near the doors so you usually have to be rude and pound on the doors for anyone to hear you.) And the temp badge has sharp corners and itches...

I have things pending because people won't call me back. Drives me crazy.

Cool enough in here—in fact my hands are ice cold—and I still have the freakin' hot flashes.

Okay, I'm done. Anyone got cheese to go along with the w(h)ine?


Tuesday Twosome

1. When was the last time you cried during a movie? When was the last time you laughed out loud during a movie?

Movie? Oh, yeah, those things you play on DVD. Cried I don't remember. I laughed yesterday during 23 Paces to Baker Street. Mostly this is a dramatic mystery, but there's one wonderful scene where Bob returns sopping wet after following Alice MacDonald and reads his notes, pointedly commenting all the time about the rain.

2. Have you ever been in a car accident? Have you ever witnessed a car accident?

Yes, three times, and none of the times my fault, although I got a ticket for failing to yield right of way on the second one. It's hard to yield right of way in the dark to someone you didn't see coming because they didn't have their lights on.
I'm sure I've probably witnessed more than one, but the one I remember was on I-75 North many years ago. There was already an accident pulled over on the left shoulder and everyone was slowing down to gawp since the road wasn't blocked. I was checking my rear-view mirror just in time to see one of the gawpers rear-end someone else because he was so busy looking at the accident.

3. What is your favourite sport to play? What is your favourite sport to watch?

I like to play miniature golf. :-)
I like to watch dog agility trials and horse jumping.

4. How would you describe yourself? How would others describe you?

Too fat and too retiring and stubborn for my own good.
And beats me about the other; I hope it's something more positive.

5. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?

I can write well (most of the time).
I give up too easily and am shy in front of strangers.


Monday Madness (late because I spent yesterday afternoon writing out thank you cards)

1. Name one productive thing you accomplished this past weekend.

I clipped off most of the honeysuckle vines around the mailbox and low hanging tree branches and a vine that was growing up our porch.

2. Name two things that you look forward to doing.

Taking a nap and sleeping.

3. Name three things that gross you out.

Worms, snakes, and stories about child molesters.

4. Name four things that you normally do on a daily basis.

Bathe, brush teeth, eat, and take my vitamins.

5. Name five things that you own that you think you could get rid of and not miss.

All those spare computer parts in the furnace closet. All the telephone wire in the furnace closet. My copies of Period Living and Traditional Homes (which I am going to dump sometime this week). Whatever's on top of the refrigerator. Half the cooking things in the cupboards.


» Monday, October 10, 2005
Career Choices
They are doing the children's tournament on Jeopardy again: tonight's contestants were two girls and a boy. One of the girls, with reddish-brown curly hair, told Alex Trebek she wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice. He asked her if all the comfirmation hearings don't scare her away from the job and she said no. She said she'd like a job where her decisions would influence people's lives, she'd have a job for life, and black is slimming.

But, she said, if she didn't get the Supreme Court Justice job, she'd settle for being a trophy wife. LOL.


Fall Flowers... Holiday Harbour.


Another Drizzly Damp Day
Ordinarily it wouldn't matter much—it was nice and cool, after all—but I was hoping I could spray. It hasn't been done for a month, and I noticed with some dismay as I was pruning small branches off the dogwood and maple trees, cutting down most of the honeysuckle around the mailbox, and trimming the vine off the porch that a branch of the privet bush is touching the roof. Sigh.

Summer is still holding on with her nails: mosquitoes were buzzing around me and I had to slap one off my arm.

Thankfully I did my shopping early and was home by noon and could get this over with. I am back to dubbing off tapes: I'd finished five favorite Twilight Zone episodes and A Cold Night's Death on one disc together and now I am putting 23 Paces to Baker Street on after Seven-Per-Cent Solution (seemed appropo!).


» Sunday, October 09, 2005
Cool Enough to Move
It was one of those grey, drizzly days that most people hate. I would have preferred it just be cool, but it was at least nice: we could bring the groceries in and put them up without being soaking wet and lightheaded from the heat. (I've got hot flashes to do that for me.) We had bought an inexpensive open set of three shelves that we plan to use for the printer and the scanner and brought it to the storage shed. I hate seeing my furniture in there. Hope I can get it out soon. (It's a pretty reddish color called "red maple." I don't see furniture that color any longer, but it was very fashionable in the late 50s. It has a big maple leaf etched into the side of the bureau drawer that says "made in Vermont"; I did some research on it and it came from Ethan Allen. My folks made sure it would last!)

We found boneless pork ribs at Sam's, so we had them crockpotted for supper in teriyaki and honey sauce. We spotted a box of Krusteaz pumpkin spice quick bread mix there and bought it. It'll soon be time to use it.

Speaking of fall, there's a new post in Holiday Harbour.


James went upstairs to work on a model and I slipped the first of the Alistair Cooke's America DVDs in to check out. The picture is quite lovely...listening to Alistair Cooke makes me happy.

The first episode in the British set is "The First Impact," where Cooke talks about the different things that attracted him about the United States so that he made his home here. (When the series was shown here, "Impact" was shown next-to-last.) It gave me a jolt when the episode opened with a pan of New York City and it showed the World Trade Center—Tower 2 was still under construction when they filmed it.

And in the next scene he's in New Orleans...


» Saturday, October 08, 2005
We stopped at the natural food store today to get James some more TVP. He cuts the lean ground beef in the chili and hamburger he makes half-and-half with beef-flavored TVP, which makes it better for you. (TVP is "texturized vegetable protein"; it's what's left after they squeeze the oil out of soybeans.) We found steel cut oats, which Alton Brown of Good Eats recommends. We'll try cooking them when it gets a little cooler.

Speaking of getting cooler, check out today's Holiday Harbour entry.


I bought Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul today—we have both of their other pet books—and I opened it up just now to the first story, which opens with "Albert Payson Terhune, the famed dog writer of the 1920s and 1930s who authored the Lassie books..."

No, no, NO. Dear God, how can you publish a book and not check your facts? Albert Payson Terhune wrote the Lad books (and at least a dozen other books about dogs, mostly about collies). Eric Knight wrote Lassie Come-Home, which is the only Lassie book unless you count the Whitman novels and Little Golden Books and a few paperbacks based on the television series and movies.


» Friday, October 07, 2005
HBO: Clueless With a Capital "C"
While I was wandering about Costco I saw that they were also selling From the Earth to the Moon. I didn't notice if the Sam's Club version had this perk, but the Costco package comes with the so-called "soundtrack" which brags right on the front "12 Classic Rock Hits!"

HBO still doesn't get it. As Ted E. Peck says, "Let me make it baby simple..."

We don't want the rock songs. We can hear them on the radio. (Heck, I have "Sugar, Sugar" on a 45!)

We want the soundtrack. All the soundtrack, not just the title and credits music.

We want Mason Daring's "Spider" music: the "alien" motif and the "engineering" music and the astronaut's theme that recurs in "Galileo Was Right." We want the alternate version of Michael Kamen's theme from the end of "Can We Do This?" We want Mark Isham's trumpet theme from "We Have Cleared the Tower." We want the wonderful jazz soundtrack from "For Miles and Miles." We want Marc Shaiman's sweet little motif from "The Original Wives Club."

If we wanted classic rock music we could listen to the radio.


Sheesh, guys, it's not rocket science! (yes, pun intended)


Writer's Cramp and Other Things
I went to the mortgage office this morning and started the first pile of papers I needed to sign (James got to sign his half when I got home). The mortgage company is associated with my bank and the agent is very nice. She referred me to a realtor (but only after I asked; she wasn't pushing one) so we'll see what happens with that.

I went various places today and stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I found a white enamel finish metal storage rack with one fairly solid metal shelf and two wire shelves (the kind that sits on the floor and goes over your toilet). It said it was "scratched/damaged" and was marked down to $15. I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it and bought it. It even comes with the hardware to fasten it to the wall for more support.


Friday Five

1. How long have you had your LiveJournal/blog?

Since January of 2002.

2. What do you consider to be the main purpose of your LiveJournal/blog?

LOL. The heading says it all—plus lots of complaining. :-)

3. If you could change something about your personal blogging style, what would it be?

I'd love to spin words like James Lileks all the time. These days I'm so tired I have occasional bursts of words but that's about it.

4. What are your criteria for adding someone to your friends list/blog roll?

Well, they're family, friends, or write about something I'm interested in.

5. Name one thing that you've never before written about in your LJ/blog.

Um. Navel lint. :-)


» Thursday, October 06, 2005
Thursday Threesome

::Humming Dragonfly Search::

Onesome: Humming-- Humming a little tune are we? Do you have any new musical finds to share with the group? ...or how about an oldie you wished you could find to add to your collection?

No, I don't buy new music that often, except at Christmastime. Revels has a new CD out this year of Irish and Scottish holiday music. I'd love a CD of more of Lou Monte's funny songs, although I did manage to find an .mp3 of "What Did Washington Say When He Crossed the Delaware."

Twosome: Dragonfly-- Do you have dragonflies where you live? If so, are there any local names you've heard of for them rather than the 'western classic'?

I don't know what they call them around here. At home we used to call them "sewing needles" and the big kids used to tell the little kids that's because if they caught you they would sew your lips up.

Threesome: Search-- Quick! What was the last thing you searched for on the Net? (...or around the house if you've been holding back here <g>. )

I think it was reviews about Phoenix and Ashes, which I was reading at the time.


» Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Ooops, Forgot
Well, here are the floor plans to our dream house (which we sincerely hope will be more than a dream):


You can see the kitchen is small so we'll have to pare down all the cooking gadgets to essentials. We're going to put up a baker's rack in the breakfast nook to hold the convection microwave and things like the bread machine so the counters won't be cluttered and get a kitchen cart with a prep top. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is the size of my old bedroom back in the trailer James and I first shared. I've never had a walk-in closet... One of those bedrooms will be my crafts room. No more cross stitch stuff in the middle of everything.


Despite the legend, the rooms downstairs will be finished. The "bonus" room is for the books and the other will be James' hobby room. We're talking about putting a small freezer on that empty wall next to the door of the laundry room (it will be a good place to sort clothes, too). And a garage! We won't have to swap cars at night...what a nice idea.


"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me..."
James always says he doesn't need to keep an address book or a day planner...he has me. :-) I guess this means husbands would rather get married than take social notes.

Anyway, I was paging through Mom's AARP magazine and found this poem by Judith Viorst at the very end. This sounds sooooooo familiar:

Why Marriage Was Invented

We're on our way to the party, our speed decreased
Because we can't remember out hostess's name.
I say it has three syllables at least.
He says it's like a boy's, but not the same.

I say it rhymes with "skirt" and starts with "R."
He says it ends with "a" and not with "t."
And just before we've finally parked the car,
We reach "Roberta" simultaneously.

In our long years together we have shared
One family and one life of joy and pain,
Not knowing that we've slowly been prepared
To--fifty/fifty--also share one brain.


» Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Time Machine Again...
I finished dubbing off Centennial tonight. That penultimate episode, about the dust bowl, is pretty grim. Robert Vaughn, before he descended into ambulance chasing, was fine as the villain of the piece in the final part.

The first and last part of Centennial were two and a half hours without commercials, so I finalized both of those disks when I finished recording them along with a partner episode which clocked in at 90 minutes. But other four disks, with two 90-minute stories on them, still had an hour on each one, and although the temptation was to make it an all Centennial set, I can't bear to waste that much space.

However, I do have something appropo for them: Westerns! I have two episodes of Bonanza, one with Lou Antonio and the other with Dean Stockwell, and then there were two episodes of Wild Wild West at the end of the Centennial tapes, "Night of the Big Blackmail" (with Harvey Korman) and "Night of the Sedgewick Curse." I dubbed off "Blackmail" and watched Ross Martin wistfully.

I think I've talked about musical pieces that set off bits of memory: "Him" by Rupert Holmes reminds me of riding down to the beach on Sunday, the theme to Mannix takes me back to Lake George in 1968, and more. Wild Wild West brings back one of the nicest memories, of Friday nights in front of the television with my mom and dad. I have the Littlest Hobo DVD set, and first season of Hogan's Heroes—all I'd need to do is have DVDs of Wild Wild West to make those old Fridays come back: Hobo at seven, on channel 6 (WTEV back then), and then Wild Wild West at 7:30 (before the prime-time access rule, remember?), and Hogan at 8:30. Funny, in most of those memories it's summer and the front door is open and the swish-swish-swish of cars keep going by.

I do wish I had my two favorite Wild Wild West episodes: the one about the crying house and the one with Sammy Davis Jr.

The only rotten part about the night was feeling something tickling my leg at one point and looking down to see another one of those half-budgie size palmetto bugs staring at me from the side of the couch! It was waving its antennae at me. I called Willow and she nosed it down, but it got away from her.

Sounds like it's time to spray the doors again.


I had coupons for the new Quaker Weight Control instant oatmeal, so I got a couple of boxes of the cinnamon flavor (I think the other is banana).

James and I were looking curiously at the label because while this is labeled "weight control" but it's actually 40 more calories than the lower sugar maple and brown sugar flavor I usually eat and has 5 calories more from fat and 4 grams more of carbs. However, you get a bit of a larger serving (consequently there are only eight packets in the box rather than ten), and there are 3 grams more dietary fiber and 3 grams more soluble fiber and 3 grams less sugar. It also has potassium in it.

My usual way of making instant at home has to put water in the bowl and mix it up, then "fire up" the microwave for one minute. The mixture comes out creamy this way. What I've been doing lately and also at work, because I have to, is boiling the water in the Hot Shot and then pouring it on the oatmeal. Fixed this way, the oat flakes stay intact and it has more of a toothier, nutty texture.

At least the lower sugar version does. The weight control Yesterday I put too little water in it and it turned to paste. This morning I was careful to make it a little soupy so after it had rested it would be a better texture. Well, it wasn't paste, but it's still sticky and gluey where the lower sugar, fixed the same way, is not. There's also, no matter how much I stir it up, sort of a dry grainy taste to it as if the mixture had flour dust on it.

Needless to say I'll eat 'em because I have 'em, but I think this is the last time.


Tuesday Twosome

1. When was the last time you cried? When was the last time you laughed?

Cried? Sometime Sunday before we straightened out things at the house. I laughed a few minutes ago reading the comics.

2. When was the last time you lied? When was the last time you were lied to?

The former? The last five weeks my mother was alive. Every day, through my teeth. “Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer.” I was lied to this morning: we forgot to put the gate up last night and when James went to the bathroom this morning he caught Willow asleep on the futon in the spare room. When I asked her this morning if she'd been on the futon she gave me this big, meltingly innocent look. "Who, me? I was here all night. What futon?" :-)

3. Who was the last person you had a crush on? Who was the last person who had a crush on you?

Oh, gosh, I think I still do and I’m not telling. :-) Who would want to have a crush on me?

4. How old were you when you received your first kiss? Who was your first kiss?

28. (It was my first date, too.) I won’t say. It was a horrendous date and a really bad kiss. I just went because I couldn’t get out of it.

5. What is the best compliment you have ever received? What is the meanest thing anyone has said about you?

James said he loved me. :-) As for the other, I won’t say. The circumstances were sad.


» Monday, October 03, 2005
“To Brave the Storm in a Skiff Made of Paper…"
That's us. (Thank you, Mr. Dickinson.)

Yes, we did it. We put down earnest money on the house yesterday. (And it's really earnest because I've pretty much cleaned out my savings account. Not that being on leave without pay for so long didn't do most of that anyway.) But I want it to be done. This is a very, very rare housing complex that stays in our price range (no more than $250,000) and is not out in Paulding County or beyond. All the other homes we found under that price are either condos/townhouses or twenty to thirty minutes further west or north from our house. I already have a 40-minute commute on a good traffic day; it's been known to go to ninety minutes or two hours on Thursdays or days before holidays. Another thirty minutes would be simply too much.

This is a leap of faith. We do not yet have the money for the upgrades we want (mostly the hardwood flooring). We'll need it before the house is framed. In a pinch we can just get the things we really need: the extra phone jack in the living room for the computers, the fixtures for ceiling fans, the deadbolt locks, the outside vent for the range, the extra electrical plug in the laundry room for a chest freezer, the hardwood stairs. And the other thing we don't need but do want: the jets in the tub. (The master bath has a separate shower and "garden tub." The only person who takes a bath rather than a shower in the house is Willow. If we leave the tub as is, it might as well be a planter. Besides, we're both getting older and we both have arthritis. There are days I've come home from being crouched up in the lousy chair I'm stuck with at work cramped up like Quasimodo.) Then we can pick a carpet color we can live with and have Lowe's or Ikea do a floor later.

Of course the sale is contingent upon the sale of my mother's house.

I keep thinking of Mrs. Brown's line in National Velvet: "I too believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life."

Anyway, here's what it will look like: Model Dubois. (This makes me chuckle as my cousin Linda's married name is DuBois. They've discontinued the nice smoky sea blue, though. We're going to get grey instead. It's a bluish grey. Our house was a dark grey during most of my early years, so to me it's a nice welcoming color.)

Right now, though, it looks like this.

We were up very, very late last night unable to sleep, talking. Started rambling on about my mother. There are lots of reasons to move: our street is a cut-through between two main roads and there are constantly speeding cars rushing through the neighborhood. It's become a rental community. I'm tired of the feral cats, which Animal Control refuses to come collect—they kill the birds at our feeder. I'm tired of the all-night parties (and the occasional gunshots) from the apartment complex behind us, and the people tossing trash in our back yard. (One of the times I went out there to rake this spring I found a wad of what looked like toilet paper. It was toilet paper: someone had scooped up their dog's poop and tossed it into our yard.) And the mosquitoes and palmetto bugs almost year round from the creek. (We had a big winged palmetto bug come blundering through the den last night; at first glance it looked half the size of Pidge. Willow killed it for us. Good dog!) And the ants. (The ants will have to work damn hard to get into the kitchen of the new house: it's on the second floor.)

But part of it is that I keep bumping into ghosts upstairs. I can't go into the hall bath anymore without looking in that mirror and remembering my mom looking at herself in it: at that horrible ugly black growth taking over the right side of her face and the swollen right eye and the bald, scarred head from numerous surgeries and radiation. She always took such good care of her face and skin. She wasn't vain about it, but every night she rubbed Deep Magic on her face to keep it soft and supple. Before she was sick people didn't believe she was that old, because she kept her face nice. She always took her medicines promptly and properly and took care of herself. How terrible was it for her to look at herself in the mirror those last few days and see an ambulatory skeleton? Especially with the fiction we'd concocted to get her to Georgia: that it would be a nice vacation and it might make her feel better.

It's almost as painful to go into the spare bedroom. But at least when I go in there I don't see that sad face staring back at me through a mirror.


Monday Madness

1. What's on your computer desk?

Here or at home? Here there's a phone and a couple of blotters and a blotter calendar and supplies and tapes and a tape player and interoffice envelopes and a Hot Shot to make my oatmeal and some in-out boxes, speakers, a fall bouquet, a pic of james, some old Federal Computer Week issues, my vitamins, "spots" for my nose so my glasses won't pinch, a file folder, two books, some CDs, a Pepto Bismol (I'm still sick from the branch picnic), stapler, staple remover, headphones for the phone, tape dispenser, rubber stamps, extra tape, container of paper clips...

At home? Arrrgh. Multiple computer books uptop (HTML, Word Perfect, various painting programs, etc.), program CDs, floppy disks, bills that haven't cleared online banking yet, coupons, a description of the format of my font for the nostalgia section of my website, a coaster for the obligatory glass of milk...oh, yeah, and seed, since Pidgie loves to jump on the keyboard and try to feed my fingers.

2. What does your computer desktop background look like?

Here it is a fall picture I found on Windows: a lovely fall lane between blazing-orange trees. At home it is the photo that Teressa took of us and Rodney and Rupert at the Irish pub in Nyack when we went to see Thumbs.

3. What's on your agenda for the upcoming week?

Talking to Anne (the loan person), collect photocopy paper boxes from the copy room, and daydream of the cooler weather they forecast for the end of the week.


» Saturday, October 01, 2005
A Needed Bit of Laughter
My parcel from came today. They mailed it from England on Monday.

The State of Georgia could take notes about timely mailings.

We're watching The Best of Dave Allen. Still hilarious after al these years. And it had my favoirte skit in it, about the electric fire.


I have a big, red, swollen zit on my chin. You'd think that at less than three months from being fifty years old I'd be rid of acne by now.