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, February 28, 2006
Damn Upgrades
I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school on most things.

This weekend my bank upgraded its internet banking site from "online banking" to "an online banking experience." (Forgive me, guys, but I don't want an "online banking experience." I just want to see my balance and pay my bills.)

If I log in using Mozilla Firefox, I get into to the old system, but still can't use Bill Pay. I can't get in at all using Internet Explorer, which does work with Bill Pay. It says they can't upgrade my account. Arrrgh!


Must Be a blog Thing This Week in Memes...
Tuesday Twosome

1. How long have you had your blog/site? What is the main purpose you opened your blog/site up?

Which one? This is the oldest; I started it in January 2002 after I tore the ligaments in my right foot, for want of something to do. This is just general comments. Holiday Harbour is about fall and winter holidays. A Cozy Nook to Read In is occasional commentary about books. Our Dream Home is about the new house we just bought.

2. Do you prefer elaborate or simple layouts? Explain:

Simple. I always go cross-eyed when I do the "next blog" button at the top and come on some site that is brightly colored and often plastered with a big, slow-loading graphic of anime characters, with a tiny scroll somewhere on the screen where the person is chatting.

3. List the two main things that annoy you when visiting other sites.

What I just mentioned in #2. Also lots of misspellings and texting abbreviations cuz its ok.

4. Do you solicit visitors to your blog/site (rotations/plug sites/etc.)? Do you return comments left on your site?

Nope. Come read if you like. If you don't and don't return, okay. And, sure, if they're not trolls.

5. Do you belong to any internet cliques and if so, how many?

I guess I'm behind the times. What's an internet clique?


Fun to Read
The Fanfiction Glossary.


» Monday, February 27, 2006
Monday Madness

1. What time of year do you blog the most?

Fall and winter because I post things in Holiday Harbour then as well.

2. What time of year do you seem to blog the least?

Erm...I can't even say "vacation" because there's a running vacation report.

3. What time of DAY do you do your most blogging?


4. When blog-hopping, do you tend to look at your blogroll list (or fave blogs) to see which ones have been updated, or do you visit your faves on a regular basis regardless?

I just hit all my faves. I have them on my personal toolbar in a folder in Firefox and tell it just to open all of them in tabs.

5. Do you change your blogroll often?

Just when I hear a friend or relative has a blog.

6. How many times a day, after writing a new post, do you check for new comments?

A couple, I guess.

7. Do you leave comments on others' blogs, or are you more of a lurker?

Lurker, mostly. I comment if I feel I have something worthwhile to contribute.


The Third "D"
There was a rather ghoulish thread going on in about the "death comes in threes" superstition after the announcements of the deaths of Don Knotts and Darren McGavin, and several people suggested that the third person's name might also begin with a "D." Creepily enough, the third person's name did.

McCloud Star Dead at 81


A Familiar Name
WW II Fighter Ace Scott Dies at 97

James' family lives in Warner Robins and I also lived there for several years and worked at Robins ALC. We watched the museum grow from a big Quonset-hut like structure to a complex of several buildings and outdoor displays. The mother of a friend of ours worked there as a volunteer until she had a stroke. General Scott's spirit will always be present at the Robins Museum of Aviation.


I'd forgotten all about this cool applet.


Ducks in a Row and Blossoms in Progress
Someone at the Post Awful is supposed to call me back after eleven.

Circuit City Guy comes to look at the Marvelously Not Responding TV next week.

Earthlink will take another two weeks to set us up with DSL. Sheesh. The Bell South guy could have given it to us immediately. Talk about an incentive to switch!

Meanwhile, that white glow has appeared over Georgia again. Nope, not snow or frost—the Bradford pear trees are starting to bloom. I never heard of these decorative trees before I moved to Georgia, so I don't know if they just grow well down here only or if they have now spread north. These grow naturally in an egg shape and in the spring are covered with white blossoms so they look like giant snowballs.

(I don't believe they are native to Georgia; I vaguely remember a local horticulturist complaining on a news show several years back about the Bradford pears overwhelming the native flowering trees, like the dogwood, and shrubs.)


» Sunday, February 26, 2006
Sunday, Sunday
What a change from yesterday, which was gloomy and suicidal, with bouts of hard rain. Today it was brilliant and cold, with a sharp wind that got under your collar and coat, but the sky was bright blue and the bracing air made you feel alive. We did various errands and enjoyed every moment of it, since it is due to climb up into the 60s tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Trees and flowers are blooming here apace.

Meanwhile, there are curtains and shades and other things happening in Autumn Hollow.


» Saturday, February 25, 2006
He Will Be Missed
One of Hollywood's consummate character actors passed away today. Darren McGavin has passed away at the age of 83. McGavin starred in several television series, including Riverboat and The Outsider, but of his series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which followed the two television movies The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler, was probably the most well known.

Millions of people see him once a year when TBS continually repeats A Christmas Story, in which he plays "The Old Man."

I also particularly liked him in a series of movies he did for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, including Boomerang: Dog of Many Talents and High-Flying Spy, the latter based on the real-life adventures of pioneering balloonist Thaddeus Lowe. He was always a treat to watch.


We were so busy today that I didn't remember until quite late tonight why today's date seemed so familiar. It was three years ago today that our friend Dana Sherman passed away right after the birth of her son. Still miss chatting with her.


!@#$%$#!!@%!!! POST OFFICE!
And they wonder why people are turning to e-mail more and more.

On Wednesday, February 15, the first thing I did that morning was go to the main post office and turn in a change of address card. If the mail forwarding did not start immediately, it didn't matter; we would be moving all through the weekend.

However, we were still getting mail at the old address as of yesterday and I was a little perturbed. So I drove back to the post office and, as luck had it, had the same clerk that I had on February 15. I told her I had filled out a change of address last week and asked how long it took for mail to be forwarded and she said seven to ten days. Should I still be getting mail at the old address? I asked. Now she looked surprised. Did you fill it out online? she asked. No, I said, I handed it to you!

She said we should not be having mail delivered at the old address any longer and asked me to fill out another change of address card, then wrote in large letters at the top "DUPLICATE" and highlighted it with pink highlighter. She then went into the back to put in on our carrier's station.

This afternoon, on a hunch, I went by the house.

The mailbox was full of our mail.

Also in the mailbox was the frappin' change of address card!!!!!!!

It was four o'clock by this time and the PO was closed, but I zipped there anyway, wrote a stern note on the front of the change of address card, and dropped it back into the mail slot. Maybe when the 5 p.m. pickup happens someone will actually read the thing. I'll have to call them up first thing on Monday, too.



» Friday, February 24, 2006
Finally Friday
Wow. A day off with nothing to do.

Just kidding.

I did get to sleep late, which was an utter relief. The arthritis in my knees and hips has gone nuts since the move, especially due to the damp rainy weather while we were carting everything. I took some arthritis-strength Tylenol and went back to bed for fifteen minutes. Thankfully it was clear today, with a gorgeous winter blue sky, but was very warm, in the 60s. The trees are blooming—lavender and pink blossoms—and there are daffodils in various yards.

I spent the morning straightening things, emptying boxes, and cutting them up. I had forgotten how much fun it was to do housework by music. I was bopping along to the soundtrack to Annie and then Due South (I love "Ride Forever"!). The firelogs are now in a big tin on the hearth; when it gets a bit cooler tomorrow we can have a fire. Another weekend with rain! I found a way to put up some of our music cassettes, too.

This afternoon we sold our old house. The closing was at two. We had all the papers signed in no time and were about to go to lunch and wait for the wire transfers of the money to go through when they called us back—all the transfers had been made. The last time we had a closing, the money had to wait to transfer over the weekend. So we were done before 3:30. Ain't technology wonderful?

We had lunch at Ted's Buffalo Grill. Ironically, James was the one who had the bison burger, which I had been curious about trying. He did give me a bite; it was very flavorful. I had the soup and salad and was surprised to receive a monster bowl of clam chowder; usually you get a cup when you order this combination. The salad was baby greens with diced tomatoes and parmesan croutons.

I had stopped by the old house earlier to see the new sliding glass door—one of the provisions for selling the house was to get the doors fixed; the seal was blown on one panel so that it was opaque and the doors had never opened (or locked) properly—and had forgotten to check the mail. Sure enough, we were still getting mail at the old house although I had taken the change-of-address form to the post office and handed it to the clerk last Wednesday. I got the same clerk and asked her how long it took the transfer to take place; she was mystified why the mail was still going to the old place. She had me fill out another change of address card and said she was going to put it on our carrier's desk. Well, I hope so. If my credit card bill gets lost I'm gonna be upset (I've actually already paid it, but it has my preferred reader coupons in it).

Later this evening went to get James a vinyl rug protector for under his desk chair, then made another trip to Lowe's for more window shades, and finally went somewhere fun: Borders! There are 30 percent off coupons this weekend and I had some rewards coupons, so I got the box set of Reilly: Ace of Spies.


» Thursday, February 23, 2006
Thursday Threesome

::Visualize Whirled Peas::

Onesome: Visualize--
Hmmm...How are you on maps and mapping? Are you one of those people who can translate the paper version to what you're seeing on the road? ...or do you rely on a 'trusy native guide' (or GPS unit) to get you around someplace you've never been?

I'm pretty good with maps, and as long as the sun is out, I can usually find my direction. (One day after work all my usual routes home were blocked by accidents; I just kept traveling on roads going west knowing they'd take me to Cobb County. They did.)

I have learned not to follow the maps on the back of tourist brochures, though. We saw a lot of "Earl Hamner country" after doing that. :-)

Twosome: Whirled-- about in your head: did you ever have a phrase or song lyric you 'just got wrong'? You know, like that Hendrix 'Kiss this guy' malapropism...

Oh, you mean "Mondegreens"! Not songs so much, but I remember when I was a kid wondering why when my parents or relatives had an official document, they had to go to a "noted republic."

Threesome: Peas-- porridge hot? Even though we're looking to the end of Winter (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), what has been your favorite hot meal this past few months?

The usual comfort food: chicken soup with rice.


The Unpacking Schtick Again
Last night's update is in Autumn Hollow.


» Wednesday, February 22, 2006
North to Alaska
I've just found an interesting series on History Channel International, Klondike: Quest for Gold. Alá Colonial House and 1900 House and others of that ilk, it chronicles the travels and travails of a group of people reinacting the trip to the gold fields in the late 1800s. There is a woman in the group who plans to "make her living" as a seamstress and, as would have happened back then, a man is carrying her sewing machine for her. One gentleman is portaging a boat in pieces. Pretty cool.

Sitting for a bit and watching this is a relief. It's pouring outside and damp right into my bones, and the traffic was so bad it took me over 90 minutes to get home.


» Tuesday, February 21, 2006
In Fits and Starts
Putting the pieces together in Autumn Hollow.


No Right to Privacy
Just because he's a public figure doesn't mean he can't keep down a few private thoughts.

Prince in Diaries Secrecy Battle

Not surprised the person who copied the journal entries was sacked.


"And I realized, when you go through any endeavor, any journey, whether across town or to the moon and back, all that matters is that you share the experience with people you love. That's what makes life special. Because ultimately, that's all there is. That's really all there is."

. . . . . Alan Bean, From the Earth to the Moon

Thanks for the moving help, everyone.


» Monday, February 20, 2006
We finished the deep cleanup on the old house today—details in Autumn Hollow.

We also got our first telephone call at our new number. I made the mistake of picking it up instead of letting the machine take it; after all, we hadn't given the number out. Surprise! It was a freepin' telemarketer, selling magazines, and he called me by name. Back to screening the calls!

Bizarre episode of House, tonight, no?


» Sunday, February 19, 2006
We Play Cinderella...
... in Autumn Hollow.


Moving Update...
... in Autumn Hollow.


» Friday, February 17, 2006
WooHoo! Back Online!
Granted, it's on dial-up, but we're here.

The old house is a mess, the new house is a mess, we can't find a thing, Willow is confused (Pigwidgeon, bless him, is unflappable—pun intended—as long as he has seed, water, and his favorite toy ["Girlfriend"]), our backs are killing us and we're exhausted, and the television is acting berserk.

But we're watching From the Earth to the Moon (we needed "Spider" tonight).


» Thursday, February 16, 2006
We're going offline. May be back up Saturday. On dial-up. Ugh!


The movers are due in less than two hours. Not sure if this will be our last post for a while.


» Wednesday, February 15, 2006
A Packing I Will Go
I'm home emptying anything that is going to be moved. It seems insurmountable. James had to work. I don't know what to do with the stuff in the furnace closet and I'm running out of boxes.

Also gave Miss Wil a bath. When I finished she leaped into my arms so hard she let out a yelp and cried out when I tried to dry her ribs. For a while I was afraid she had broken one, but she seems to be okay now.


» Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Fond Memories of Youth...
...Woolworth Valentines, lots of library paste, some red construction paper, and a box full of magic in Holiday Harbour.


Sometimes Hearts and Flowers It Ain't
Hate Valentine's Day? You're Not Alone

I don't hate Valentines Day, but I will admit it puts particular pressure where it is not warranted. My own Valentines Day pet peeve is those stupid jewelry—specifically diamond—commercials which imply that if you don't buy your sweetie a diamond that costs $$$$, you don't love her. Particularly odious is the "He bought it at Jared" commercial.

Most women don't have to be force-fed expensive junk to know their husbands/SOs/boyfriends love them. Some of us actually like alternative (and much less budget-straining) gifts. Me, my parents worked in jewelry factories all their lives and I worked in them for three summers and then full time for three and a half years. Jewelry does nothing for me. I also despise pink, which I was forced into wearing a lot as a child because I was a little girl and girls wear pink, of course. Ugh.

I think it unkind and selfish to ask a man to put himself into debt to buy some hunk of compressed carbon for the woman he loves. (If he's got the cash, and she wants it and he wants to buy it for her, fine! But it's not obligatory to prove your devotion.) But then advertising exists to convince people to go into debt for things they don't need anyway.

(BTW, I also don't think this is fair:
“All the responsibility for Valentine’s Day falls on the guy," the Connecticut husband said. "If the guy and the girl both agree to do nothing, and the guy doesn’t come up with at least a flower and the girl doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t hold the same value.
It should hold the same value. If a decision has been made not to exchange gifts, then neither should expect anything. If "gifting" is a factor, there should be tokens exchanged, not just a guy dropping a bundle.)


» Monday, February 13, 2006
"Then What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear..."
It wasn't reindeer, but close: we had a dusting of snow last night. According to the Weather Channel, it came in between two and 2:30 a.m. It was just enought to frost the cars and the grass, but the pavement was relatively clear except where snow eddied from the roofs of cars and swirled behind them in spectacular slaloms as the cars drove on.

There was no snow 24 miles west of Cobb County as the proverbial crow flies, where I work. The grass is a nice healthy green.

The ironic thing about it having snowed is that it's supposed to be 67°F on Thursday!


Before Hallmark, Russell Stover, and FTD...
...there was Valentine's Day. More about this venerable holiday in (what else?) Holiday Harbour.


» Sunday, February 12, 2006
"Love" in a Box...
... in Holiday Harbour.


"It Looks Like a Billy Should Look..." Autumn Hollow.


» Saturday, February 11, 2006
Moving Along... Autumn Hollow.

Oh, I didn't we settled the last of one load of stuff in the house, we looked out the window...and it was snowing! Just flurries, only for a few moments, and then the sun came out.


» Friday, February 10, 2006
Adventures in Moving Part 1 AM Edition... Autumn Hollow.


» Thursday, February 09, 2006
Many Thanks
First step in moving in Autumn Hollow.


Mom's Birthday -- Coda
I remembered one thing that amused me today: my dad could never remember my mom's birthday. Oh, he didn't forget it altogether, like some guys. He always thought it was on Valentine's Day. She laughed about it; Dad was a softy, but he tried not to show it. He used to bring her a bouquet of roses until we found out I was allergic to flowers. And he'd bring her a box of candies, usually in a heart-shaped box. She kept one for a long time; it was covered in wine-red velveteen and the interior retained the rich chocolate scent for many weeks after we finished the candy. I used to like to take it out of the drawer and stroke the nap.


This One's For Emma...
"You Know You're From New Jersey When..."


Today would have been my mother's birthday.

I keep trying to struggle to the surface of this depression, but sometimes it's so hard. There's not a day in the week I don't want to call her and ask for advice. I know she'd be so happy over the new house, but I'd much prefer that she were here, now (but not in so much pain that she was). Despite James, despite Wil and Pidgie, despite our friends and our family, I'm lonesome. We were so close; I always told her everything (or almost everything; there's a couple of things that would have upset her too much). It's like being caught in the undertow and not able to get out.

There have been all sorts of speeches about Coretta Scott King in the past week saying how she is finally reunited with the husband she loved. And I know it's the same: my mom and dad are now reunited. But I still hurt. I still think about the last time she spoke coherently, to the hospice nurse. I was in the bathroom and could hear them talking: the nurse said I was doing a good job taking care of her and Mom agreed and then said she thought I was doing too much. How like her--since I thought I wasn't doing enough! No matter how much I tried, she was still in pain and slipping away. I felt so useless sometimes...

Love you, Mama. I miss you.


» Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Oh, look, we're #4:

Scranton Tops List of Worst Asthma Cities
Leading this year’s list are:

Scranton, Pa., Richmond, Va., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee.

Before you read the full list, check out the standards used in formulating the list.

“Researchers developing this year’s rankings looked at 12 factors from three broad categories -- prevalence, risk, and medical factors,” states a foundation news release.

“All factors are weighted differently but the most important ones are the risk factors, which included annual pollution and ozone levels, pollen counts, public smoking bans, and more.”
The price of progress seems to be pollution, no matter how many rules the Feds set up. They mow down more trees and clear more pastures every year for homes and new shopping centers (the latter especially irritating when older ones are sitting half empty in many places). And of course spring is tough with the prevalence of flowering trees.


Recordings They Wish They'd Forgotten
Anyone who has participated in SF fandom in the past thirty-five years has heard about two recordings done by a couple of Star Trek principals back in the "swinging 60s." Both recordings were famous for their extreme kitsch factor.

Previously, one had to own the record albums these recordings had been immortalized on to hear these gems (or else hear about them second hand), but thanks to the Internet, no more! Sample, in all its 60s weirdness, a video done by Leonard Nimoy (with "flower power" chicks in pointed ears) to his (in)famous "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins".

And here's a video reminiscent of an acid trip, the even more infamous William Shatner recording of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" complete with groovy 60s icongraphy. Cool, man...


» Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Cool Smithsonian Site
Here's an online exhibition called America on the Move.


Sun After Deluge
Man, it rained yesterday. Like two inches worth. It was grey and sad and bone-chilling cold even if it never got lower than 35°F.

Today it's sunny and cold, and the sky you can see is the perfect blue of a winter's day.


» Monday, February 06, 2006
Whatever Happened to "Addie Mills"?
Here's an article from The Tennessean that briefly catches up with Lisa Lucas of The House Without a Christmas Tree, The Thanksgiving Treasure, etc.

Cool. It cites my Addie Mills page, too.


The snow and ice seems to be passing us by. It's for the best: I know we won't get snow, and I hate ice.

It's pretty cold here in my cubicle. I feel like Bob Cratchit because I've been wearing my scarf all morning long, plus a sweatband over my ears. Don't have anything for my knees and feet, though. I may have to drive around at lunchtime with the heater on to get 'em warm. [wry grin]

[4 p.m. Lord, my feet are colllllld...]


» Sunday, February 05, 2006
A Scent of Snow
We're supposed to get "wintry mix" tomorrow—no doubt it will peter out into a cold rain with the temp hovering at 34°F and people saying "At least it wasn't snow." Brrr. Rather have snow. Cold rain is just damn depressing and gets into your bones.

But it really does "smell" like snow out there...the cold air has that scent peculiar to before it snows. I used to be able to tell a snow sky, but a snow sky is different in the South than it is in the North. It doesn't get that dead very pale grey look in the clouds here before it snows; there is always a dark grey mixture instead.


You're Manny!
Take the "Which Poseidon character are you?" test at Hell in a Handbag Productions

Since Manny is my favorite Poseidon character anyway, and I'm a Jack Albertson fan, I like this answer!


» Saturday, February 04, 2006
Weather or Not
What a bizarre two days!

We've had a warm spell in the last week, culminating with yesterday, which was up to 67°F (Too Damn Warm). Last night a front came roaring through, with sheetlike rain and wind and, about 1 a.m., several blasts of thunder. We hit the high for the day at 5 a.m., which was 57°F, but for most of the day it was overcast and spattering rain (at one point the rain looked like it had been snow further up the line and at another looked like very wet sleet), and the wind had a bite to it. It was a good day to truck more books to the library to donate and then pick up more packing boxes.


» Friday, February 03, 2006
New Pics...
... in Autumn Hollow.


» Thursday, February 02, 2006
Wax and Woodchucks
What does Groundhog Day have to do with Candlemas, and other stories in Holiday Harbour.


» Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Another Computer Virus Set to Spring
Be on the lookout for any spam, but especially those items with sexual references.

New Worm Relies on Old Trick.


Sounds Like the Past
More voices from the Victorian/Edwardian era in Holiday Harbour.