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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» Friday, March 31, 2006
I Can't See Clearly Now...
...but it's deliberate, in Autumn Hollow.


Friday Five

The Boob Tube, The Silver Screen, & You

1) When you were little what was your favorite TV show?

Lassie, of course.

2) What was your favorite movie?

When I was little? Probably Lady and the Tramp (or 101 Dalmatians).

3) What is your favorite TV show currently?


4) What is the best movie you have seen so far this year?

Um, I haven't seen a movie yet this year. I guess The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the best I saw last year.

5) If someone was going to make a movie or TV show about your life, who would play you and why?

Hell, how would I know? Somebody really boring.


What's So Funny?
Interesting article about laughter:

What is Laughter, and Why Do We Do It?


» Thursday, March 30, 2006
Getting Things Seated...
...from games to chairs in Autumn Hollow.


Thursday Threesome

::External Hard Drive::

Onesome: External-- What sorts of gadgets do having hanging off your computer? We'll spot you that printer, but how about other goodies like scanners, card readers, cameras, MP3 players and such?

We have a scanner, but it's attached to James' computer, not mine. I have the docking station for my PDA, though.

Twosome: Hard-- What part of working with computers is hard for you? ...working with one particular piece of software? Getting that camera to connect? ...or dealing with the family members who don't understand what the deal is <g>?

LOL. I'd say the last, I suppose. Mom never figured out what I saw in this big box. It was funny, when I was in school, my dad urged me to "get into computers." He said they would be the going thing. But back then you had to get an A+ in math to be allowed near a computer and it was all coding and punch cards. (Word Perfect hadn't even been invented back then; how depressing is that? <g>)

At the moment I am having trouble getting files off and on my PDA. The unit usually synchronizes promptly to the computer when I put it in the cradle, but if I transfer files I have a problem. Usually after one or two it locks up Windows Explorer.

Threesome: Drive-- What drives you to the computer? Is it friends? Work? News? Recipes? The weather radar?

Weather and traffic in the morning. Bill pay anytime, and also book searches. Reading material otherwise.


Was This A Good Idea?
Not sure I should have come to work this morning—it still hurts back there. It's not the usual backache, which I expected since I twisted to the left when I fell. It's where I thwacked against the doorframe. Sitting back in the car seat was just a tad uncomfortable. James said I don't have a bruise back there, but it feels like when I was in the car accident and the seat belt got me across the chest.


» Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Bother. I was just finishing shelving books last night and fell backwards, thwacking my back soundly against the edge of the doorframe. I feel like a little old woman this morning; can't sit back comfortably, my back aches when I bend, and my shoulders are sore. Time to take more ibuprofin again.


» Tuesday, March 28, 2006
A Little Coffee in Your...Coke?
Coca-Cola Blak Arrives in the United States

Well, naturally I've heard of coffee milk, but coffee soda? LOL.


Tuesday Twosome

How did they know I was going to write about this? :-)

1. Do you suffer from allergies? If so, name it/them:

All of them? Good grief. Okay: dogs, cats, horses, wool, feathers, dust (household, saw-, plaster-, etc.), grass, ragweed, goldenrod, lamb's quarters (that's a weed; it showed up on my allergy test), tree pollen, flowers with scents (or as James puts it, "If it's growing outside, Linda's allergic to it"), and (dammit) penicillin now.

2. What two things does spring signify?

Sneezing. And that horrid summer is on its way. (Okay, the flowers are pretty. But they make me sneeze.)

3. Do you look forward to Spring? Why or why not?

No, because it means summer is coming. I like it best when it's in the 50s.

4. What are two negatives about spring?

Pollen and pollen. I was about to make my usually snarky comment this morning when I came upon these questions. I'll make it anyway.

Please hold your breath

I woke up this morning with my joints aching and my nose all stuffed. I used to think it was something peculiar with me until I mentioned it to the doctor and he told me that when you have plant allergies that pollen season will make you feel as if you had a mild case of the flu, right down to the aching joints. When I got to work I noticed a puddle of water from last night's showers was surrounded by yellow pine pollen scum. I looked upward at the pine trees and sure enough the pine tassels are full and heavy, quite yellow against the dark tree. Been reveling in the cold snap we had last week, but by tomorrow the temps will creep up into the 70s. Urgh.

5. Are you enjoying your current weather conditions? Why or why not?

Well, I was. We had a delightful cold snap; even had a hard frost yesterday morning. Now it's going into the 70s. In a succinct word: Ick.


31.25 %

My weblog owns 31.25 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

That's okay. There isn't anything better I like to do than write.


» Monday, March 27, 2006
Monday Madness

1. Do you use a bag/sachel/wallet?

I have a big purse I take to work and then carry a pouch on weekends.

2. Do you use the same bag/sachel/wallet everyday or change depending on your outfit?

Naw, I'm not into that. I like my bag for work: it has a pocket for my PDA and another for my clock and another pocket where I keep aspirin and my sewing kit and then a big central pocket where I can pop the pouch in.

3. What do you carry in your bag/sachel/wallet?

I just answered most of the questions for the bag. I also have a tweezer and a pocket mirror and one of those craft gloves that support your hand and wrist for days that using the mouse is just Too Much. The pouch carries my wallet; on weekends I put the PDA in the back pocket and any coupons in the front pocket (I think I also have a bunch of Goodwill receipts in there now).

4. Do you check and change the contents of your bag/sachel/wallet before you go anywhere specific or do you take everything everywhere?

Oh, I check to make sure the PDA is there, since it usually has my to do lists in it and appointments.

5. How often do you have a good clean out of your bag/sachel/wallet?

My bag: once a week now since it sits on the secretary next to Pidgie's cage during the week. He tends to toss bird toys into it. :-) The pouch doesn't get all that untidy; I clean out the old coupons on Monday.


We went to Kroger yesterday morning for the monthly coupon shopping before we left for the Home Show. We hadn't done a monthly shopping in a while because we'd both just gotten so darn sick of it, but we had coupons for things we needed to stock up on, like toothpaste, oatmeal, and shampoo. They also had drumsticks and a few other meats on discount, so we got those, and Kroger had crackers on sale, which we bought for Atomicon, so the bill originally came to $150.00. Then I handed the cashier my Kroger "plus card." She waved it over the "laser death ray" and we watched in amusement as the price clicked down 25 dollars. Then I handed her the coupons. The price kicked down another 25 dollars. Wheee. Sometimes the couponing is worth it.

Anyway, when we decided we were going to attend the Home Show, I surfed to their site and found a $1 off each admission coupon. (I could have gotten a $2 off coupon at a Chapter 11 bookstore, but it would have taken at least 2 dollars worth of gas to drive to one, so I abandoned the idea.) We debated taking MARTA downtown instead of driving, but the Georgia World Congress Center's website said their parking lots never charged over ten dollars.

So let's see. MARTA fare is $1.75 one way, so it would be $7.00 for both of us round trip. We'd have to drive a minimum of 15 minutes to any MARTA station (if we drive down to Hightower, it's more like 20-25), then wait 15 minutes for the train (since we always miss the one that's in the station when we arrive <g> ). It's a half hour ride downtown. It's then of course another hour back home.

We can drive downtown (I-75 to Northside Drive) in less than 20 minutes. The parking lot is eight dollars and there's a free shuttle directly to the door of the GWCC.

Since we have to drive about 20 minutes using either route, explain to me again why I should use public transportation...


» Sunday, March 26, 2006
Domestic Pursuits...
...running hot, downtown, downstairs, and in various chambers in Autumn Hollow.


» Saturday, March 25, 2006
On Thursday I was editing my wishlist and noticed that Peter Haining's book Lassie: The Extraordinary Story of Eric Knight And the World's Best-Known Collie, which Amazon said was going to be released on April 15, was suddenly listed as available and "only one copy left." So I ordered it, along with a book I've wanted since I saw it several years ago in the National Park Service bookstore near the Old State House, Boston: A Topographical History. I ordered the books using Amazon's "super-saver shipping," which is free because the orders are basically shipped after all the first class and express mail orders have gone through.

Yesterday I got word that my order had been shipped already.

This morning as we walked out the door to go to the bank, there was the box from Amazon sitting on the porch!

This jaw-dropping appearance was compounded by the arrival of the mail that early in the day. In the past ten years I never saw our old mail carrier arrive any earlier than 1:30 p.m.; his usual hour was more between 3:30 and 4:30, and many was the night I arrived home after an hour and a half commute to find the mailbox still empty and the mailman's truck ambling up sometime after 6 p.m. Come to think of it, I haven't seen an early-morning mail delivery since I lived in Rhode Island; Dick used to arrive between 9 a.m. and ten with prompt regularity.


» Friday, March 24, 2006
Friday Five

1) Of the various cultures, ethnicities or nationalities you belong to, which most strongly do you consider yourself?

Well, gosh, I guess I'm American first...and then the only other answer is "Italian." As far as I know, it's been Italian going way, way back.

2) Is there a culture you cannot claim heritage from but which you feel quite close to?

Yes, British. I love British humor and reading books about Britain and would love to visit there sometime.

3) What's one language you wish you knew fluently?

Spanish, I guess, to understand the store clerks.

4) If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc., where would you go?

New Hampshire. Or maybe Alaska.

5) If you had a time machine, and could witness any one event without altering or disturbing it, what would you want to see?

Just one? That's cruel. I guess the Nativity, to see how it really was.


» Thursday, March 23, 2006
"Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax..."
...means we speak of many things in Autumn Hollow.


Learn Something Every Day
I didn't know that Belle and Sebastian, which I originally saw as an anime presentation, was originally a live-action series.


Thursday Threesome

::New Car Smell::

Onesome- New: What's new in your life? New car, new house, new job or new person, or even just a new toy you bought for yourself?

Well, the new house, of course. Major project, lots of playing in a useful way. It's all blogged here. Still need to put up artwork and things.

Twosome- Car: What kind of car do you drive? What kind of car would you like to drive if you could?

2004 PT Cruiser, Concord grape color. I call it "Twilight" after the first line in "Stardust." This is my dream car.

Threesome- Scent: Scents are great at bringing back memories. Is there a scent that any time you smell it you flash back to something in your past?

Italian bread baking. Saturday mornings, visiting my grandpa with my dad, stopping at the chicken market and the bakery. Mmmn.


The Lion Does Sleep Tonight
"Lion" Daughters Win Landmark Case


» Wednesday, March 22, 2006
All Decked Out...
...inside and out in Autumn Hollow.


Interesting But Chilling...
...especially for those of us who remember all those "duck and cover" drills.

Cold War Bunker Found in Brooklyn Bridge


» Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Tuesday Twosome

1. If you had the choice, and could only listen to two songs over and over again for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Richard Kiley singing "The Impossible Dream" and Rupert Holmes' "The Old School."

2. If you had the choice, and could only eat two food items over and over again for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Pork fried rice from Dragon 168 and chocolate cake.

3. If you had the choice, and could only wear two items over and over again for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Any one of my sweatpants and sweatshirts (okay, I guess my Myriad sweatshirt and the dark grey sweatpants with the pockets). But then I would have to move somewhere way north or I'd suffocate in the summer.

4. If you had the choice, and could only travel to two places on earth, where would it be?

That's easy: Newport and Boston.

5. If you had the choice, and could only read two books/magazines over and over again for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy and Kate Seredy's The Open Gate.


Can't Resist a Cute Face
I can hear my mom giving a big sigh. :-)

I bought a stuffed animal on Sunday, Ty Classics "Squirt the dog"—how could I resist? It looks a lot like Willow, especially the big eyes.


» Monday, March 20, 2006
Monday Madness

1. When driving in my car, my radio station is usually tuned to the traffic report on Sirius satellite radio; if I'm not consulting that I'm listening to Radio Classics or Standards or Jazz Cafe.
2. When I turn my television on, even if I'm not really paying close attention to it, it's usually on channel whatever James has left on for Pidgie; I'll usually put HGTV on if there's nothing on.
3. If I owned a pet, I would own a a budgie (which I do own), because I've always had budgies; my mom even had one when she was expecting me—oh, and a dog, because I've always loved them; I'd have a cat, too, but my allergy to them is too bad.
4. I own a laser printer. I bought it because I was sick of buying ink cartridges for that absurd inkjet printer and Fry's had a good sale.
5. You can find all kinds of books in my bookshelves, but mostly this type: I guess it's mostly the old children's books I collect; I also have SF/fantasy, "cozy" mysteries, and nonfiction history, animal books, trivia, biographies, and travel.
6. I take about a dozen pictures every month. (Nowhere as much as I used to.)
7. I blog about one hundred times a month.
8. I've been really busy unpacking! lol lately.


One Ringy-Dingy Again
Someone called very late last night from Food Depot—he'd been closing up at the store and found James' phone!


The Yard Menagerie...
...gains one in Autumn Hollow.


» Sunday, March 19, 2006
Into Each Life...
It was supposed to rain today, so we went out early-ish for a paper and a few groceries, then came home to read the paper. We then went out to do a few errands. I needed a small clock battery, so we went to Radio Shack. James discovered there that he had not put his cell phone on—or it had dropped off (the belt clip hasn't been working properly, but I thought I had fixed it yesterday). I phoned his phone before we left Radio Shack, but heard no responding ring. James figured he had left it at home and we went on with our errands.

But it wasn't at home when we got there. I called the phone again and noticed it was going directly to voice mail. So someone was either using it or the battery is dead. Great. So I went to Verizon's website where they have a record of our calls. It doesn't say there is any activity—yet. I knew we'd had it at the hobby shop, so we called every place we had gone after that, especially the vet, as Willow had been squirming around so much when we were there that it could have gotten kicked off. The only place that was closed was the deli. No one we called has the phone. We couldn't reach Food Depot, so James drove there, and I searched the yard in case it fell off during one of Willow's walks. No dice. Well, damn...


» Saturday, March 18, 2006
Fully Vetted
One of the things we did today was take the fids to the vet. Willow had the moles on her back checked out—probably "old dog" moles, they said; she was eight yesterday—and we made arrangements for her to have her teeth cleaned. The estimate was sticker shock; a little over $500. The bulk of the bill is for bloodwork. Whew.

Pidgie had his first exam and did very well, considering a complete stranger grabbed his wings, enfolding him in his deadly enemy, the paper towel, and poked at his tummy and examined his crop, then gave him a shot! (He has to have the shot to board next month.) He glared at me on the way home, but seems to have forgotten about it now.


The Books Have It
The library has reached a workable plateau in Autumn Hollow.


» Friday, March 17, 2006
A Little Late, Aren't You?
Just got an e-mail from Earthlink informing me that our DSL service has been resumed.

Well, duh. We've only been using it for twelve days now.

I miss Mindspring. Earthlink is just another bunch of goons, no matter what their peppy little commercials say.


He's Baaaaaaack!
Nice review, Bill!

"The Return of the Doctor" by William Alan Ritch

Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on the Sci-Fi Channel (unfortunately interrupted by a lot of sucky commercials, but that's life).


"Marian the Librarian"
Or something like that, in Autumn Hollow. "The books are afoot, Watson!" (Or actually "ashelf.")


He's Done It All!
Actually, this was a very funny special, about how Star Trek technology has somewhat come to pass in the modern world (flip phones, etc.). Shatner hams it up, very tongue-in-cheek.

How William Shatner Changed the World


» Thursday, March 16, 2006
A Holiday of Home (and Homecoming) and Hospitality
We prepare for St. Joseph's Day in Holiday Harbour.


Thursday Threesome

::Erin go Braugh!::

Onesome: Erin--
Quick, toss out two names that sound the same yet are spelled differently! We'll spot you "Erin" and "Aaron" to get you going...

Good heavens, I don't know. Someone in another blog said "Kerry and Carrie." But to me, neither pair "sounds alike." Erin is "Errrr-in," Aaron is "Aaa-ron," Kerry is "KErrr-rie," Carrie is "CArrr-eee."

Twosome: go-- ...going to do anything special this Friday? Green pancakes for breakfast perhaps? (Seriously, I know someone who does that...)

Good heavens, why? I'm Italian, not Irish; our day is on Sunday. I don't have anything green that's wearable to work anyway. I used to have a shamrock pin, but have no idea what happened to it. Maybe I'll play some Celtic music. I have "Songs of the Irish Whistle" that is very pretty.

Threesome: Braugh-- Erin go Braugh! There are many sayings for St. Patrick's Day. What is one you've heard and liked?

I like the Irish blessing, but otherwise don't remember any other.


You are an African Grey!
You are an African Grey!

What Type of Parrot Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

What? No budgies? :-) (Not that I'd be one; I've never been that extroverted.)


» Wednesday, March 15, 2006
More Boxes Down...
...more to go, in Autumn Hollow. But for now I'm going back to rereading Chamber of Secrets...


What Part of "No, Thank You" Don't You Understand???
I've just had an aggravating, nearly half-hour conversation with AT&T.

I received a bill for long distance service for the old house. Now, when I called up Bell South, they told me I didn't have to contact AT&T to cancel the service. But here was the bill, so I phoned AT&T. I not only spent over ten minutes on hold, but when I finally did talk to a customer service person, she was constantly trying to sell me AT&T local and long distance service. I told her the first time, politely, no, thank you, and she kept bringing it up! "But you can get cheaper service..." "No thank you, I just want to cancel the account at this number." "Are you sure you don't want to take advantage of our..." Finally I said, very loudly, "NO, THANK YOU! I just want to cancel the account at this number."

She seemed put out. Sheesh.


I Love the Internet
Pete Fornatale of WFUV did a one-hour interview with Rupert Holmes on his regular series "Mixed Bag Radio" that was also broadcast on XM radio. Needless to say, I would have missed it, except it's online in streaming audio format. Yay! Great interview: he chats about his career (including how he came up with the infamous "Escape") and about music in general, sings a few songs, and speaks about the loss of his daughter.

"Mixed Bag Radio" with Rupert Holmes

Linked from his website.


I'd love to see this, but then I'd love to go to Alaska anyway. If I ever took a cruise, it wouldn't be to some hot, sweaty Caribbean island; I'd want to go on an Alaskan cruise. (There's an ad on today that says "It's 80 degrees somewhere. Time to think about retirement." Retirement,'s time to think about staying away from 80 degrees!)

Look at those dog pictures...those guys are ready to go!

King Wins Fourth Iditarod Sled Dog Race


The Several-Thousand-Step Program
Otherwise known as the book-shelving exercise program! Read all about it in Autumn Hollow.


» Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Tuesday Twosome

If you were locked in a room for 24 hours...

1. Who would you want to be locked in with? Why?

Well, James, of course. (It would be too much to ask for Hugh Laurie...LOL.)

2. Who would you not want to be locked in with? Why?

Geez. Where's my list? Although surely Gilbert Gottfried can't be that obnoxious in real life. Oh, a jock or a "princess" type airhead girl, or a politician, or someone who would proselytize about their religion like Tom Cruise.

3. What two items would you need?

A fat book and an .mp3 player with some radio shows on it (dibs on Fibber McGee and Molly!).

4. What two things would you miss the most?

Freedom and fresh air (I'm assuming this is one of those obnoxious modern hotel rooms where you can't open the windows, even when it is nice outside).

5. What two things would make your stay unbearable?

Heat and insects crawling around.


...more fiddly things done in Autumn Hollow, with a digression about shower heads. :-)


» Monday, March 13, 2006
Those Canadian Children's Series!
Here's a blast from the past if you are my age: remember The Forest Rangers? It was syndicated to various US stations; usually it showed on UHF stations early in the morning or on Saturdays.

Another Forest Rangers article.

On a similar theme: Adventures in Rainbow Country.

How about the Canadian version of Swiss Family Robinson? I remember that being syndicated here after the Prime Time Access rule took effect. Channel 6 in New Bedford showed it, and I think Channel 56 (WLVI, but still WKGB back then) in Boston.

This is a German page (translated) about the series with episode titles.


Monday Madness

Using the letters in the word 'MONDAY,' list things that you do (or would like to do) in your spare time.
end some clothing
Open more boxes...
N' put them away :-)
Dog walking
A cross-stitch project
Yawn and nap :-)


Farewell to Maureen Stapleton
She's done such fine work in many stories, but I particularly remember her as Inez Guerrero in Airport and also in a wonderful, award-winning television movie called Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, and of course the beautiful Christmas film The Gathering.

Actress Maureen Stapleton Dies at 80


» Sunday, March 12, 2006
...or rather "Bookcasin'" in Autumn Hollow.


You're Nobody Till Some Bunny Loves You
I forgot to mention that I bought the cutest thing at Hobby Lobby last night (I had a coupon): it's a resin rabbit about nine inches tall. He's sitting on his hind legs amid some tulips, with one ear lopping down a little, and he's got such big eyes he reminds me of Fiver in Watership Down.

I can put him in the Easter basket for an appropriate decoration, but keep him out during the spring, too.


» Saturday, March 11, 2006
WOOHOO! The Wild Wild West - The Complete First Season.


This Sucks...'s been 80°F today and the A/C doesn't work. Oh, the inside fan works fine, but the compressor won't come on because the breaker is off and can't be turned on. I remember during the walk through the builder said that when "A/C season" started, they'd have the HVAC guy come back, check it out and turn it on. Well, "A/C season" has come a little sooner than planned, even if it's (I hope!) just until Tuesday! To make it worse, the builder is off the site today, so there was no one who could do anything. I went to Linens'n'Things and bought another fan.

Hell's bells, it's hot.

But I've still managed to get some things done.


Good Reading Online...
...linked in A Cozy Nook.


» Friday, March 10, 2006
Well, Phooey...
I had shelved all the St. Nicholas volumes and was vacuuming up after myself and all of a sudden there was a horrible stench from the vacuum cleaner. The belt that drives the beater bar on the power head had cracked and gotten caught. No smoke or anything of that sort, but a terrible smell of burning whatever and rubber.

The kicker is that the only place around here that sells belts for a Kirby is in this obscure little vacuum cleaner shop that is open for about two hours on Saturday. Urgh. Exactly in the opposite direction of where I needed to go tomorrow.


Friday Five

1) 10 years ago what did you think you would be doing now?

Still doing support work would have been fine. I liked doing support work. Web authoring would have been better. Purchase

2) Where do you think you will be in 5 years from now?

Working toward my retirement.

3) Do you live life one day at a time or look to the future.

I try to enjoy one day at a time, but plan for the future. Want to get some money invested as soon as things settle down.

4) Do you wish you could go back in time and undo something in your life?

Yes, a few misunderstandings. Wish I could have had more time with my dad. Wish I'd asked for more family stories and written them down.

5) If you could send a message back in time and give a younger version of yourself some advice, what would it be?

"Go to Brown, even if you have to pay off $20,000 when you graduate."


Looking Down to See...
...the floor! in Autumn Hollow.


» Thursday, March 09, 2006
Advanced Bookmoving...
...taking place in Autumn Hollow.


Box and (Storage) Bay
I'm collecting "Xerox™ boxes" again.

Yes, we still have a bunch that need to be emptied, but they are strained and battered from the move and have box contents scrawled on top. I'm getting a few fresh ones to use for permanent storage.

The photocopy paper box is the most useful object known to man. It can be carried even by large children, and unless you put ironmongery in it, it's pretty hard to overload. This is what makes it the perfect book-packing box.

Two of the boxes will be fresh "Christmas boxes" to store the gifts I purchase all year long. (Birthday presents as well.) This really cuts down on January debt and I enjoy finding little things here and there during the year that may not appear in November and December. I'm also getting a box for the things that used to be in my computer desk, software backup and manuals that I hardly look at, but might be needed if I get a new computer. (This is becoming a necessity: not only is it slower every day, but the main battery is failing and now my PDA won't synch with it at all, at least not to transfer more than one file—it has made getting rid of e-books I've read and loading new ones impossible.)

Might snag one or two for the old souvenirs from Mom's attic since the boxes are battered from being moved a thousand miles, seven months in a storage shed, and yet another move.


Thursday Threesome

::On the Nightstand::

Onesome: On-- a clear day I can see all the way to Stone Mountain, of course !

This is an Atlanta joke. Stone Mountain can be seen for miles, except in a rainstorm and when we have smog alerts (which is most of the summer).

Twosome: the-- very next project I'm going to work on is unpacking all the books! . ...and why would that be ?

You have to have a reason to unpack books? :-) I can get to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, all my St. Nicholas magazines, and my Pam Young and Peggy Jones books.

Threesome: Nightstand-- What are you reading this time of year? A thriller? Romance? The tax code?

Tax code? Good heavens, we had our taxes done in January. Next year...heh. That's another story. I am presently reading Edward Rutherfurd's Sarum, which I have wanted to read for years.


If my sinus headache is any indication, we are about to have a whopper of a storm tonight. Hope it isn't as bad as they are predicting and no one gets hurt.


» Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Too Cool...
You could hear an owl hooting in our back yard tonight.


Totally Sirius
Looking over XM satellite radio's selections, I wish we'd chosen them instead sometimes. XM originally didn't have an old-time radio channel, which is why I wanted Sirius initially; now XM has one as well. Sirius already disappointed me by combining the Swing music channel with the Standards channel; someone there really doesn't know music—they are two different animals. Their New Age channel, which I'd been looking forward to, plays the most lugibrious selections I've ever heard. And frankly I don't care about Sirius' most touted features, like two Howard Stern channels (one is enough if you must have Stern at all!), an Elvis channel, a Rolling Stone channel, a Jimmy Buffett channel, and Martha Stewart...zzzzzz... Granted, I do like Cousin Brucie's show on Saturday nights on 60s Vibrations and enjoy listening to Jerry Doyle occasionally.

XM not only keeps their 40s music separate from their standards (although both XM and Sirius have this unfortunate obsession for stocking both with too much damn Frank Sinatra—hey, guys, how about more Perry Como and Bing Crosby?), but they also have a channel called "Sunny," which is just beautiful music like WLKW in Providence did many years ago. They not only have a Broadway showtunes channel, but one devoted to movie scores as well. Their Atlanta traffic channel is a dedicated channel, not shared with another city.

Ah, well, just another "had I but known" situation. Am at least looking forward to Sirius' Blue-Collar Comedy channel, coming whenever...


» Tuesday, March 07, 2006
[black look] House pre-empted for two weeks? For American Idol? Bluntly...that sucks. [black look]


Tuesday Twosome

1. Do you have stickers on your car? If so, what are they of?

I've always had bumper stickers on my car. I'm probably wayyyy off, but I think they prevent the car from being stolen. A car full of stickers is a lot more noticeable than a plain vanilla one. Besides, I like it when people enjoy reading my stickers. I particularly identify with "So many books. So little time."

2. Do you have posters/art in your bedroom? If so, what are they of?

Well, not right now. All our artwork is in a box. I think I'm going to put the collie sketch and the fox sketch in my craft room. But we have a lovely cross-stitched marriage announcement that my best friend Sherrye made for us, as well as a cross-stitch I did of the 23rd Psalm. Then there are two cross-stitches that James' sister did of our birthplaces: for me Rhode Island and for James Japan, and I have a lovely framed print of an old farmhouse in the snow. And my dreamcatcher and a cross-stitch I did of a kitten and puppy sleeping together on a quilt with the caption "Love will keep us warm."

3. Do you tend to be outspoken about all you believe or are you cautious in expressing your opinions? Why?

No, I'm pretty circumspect. I don't like or enjoy confrontations and many times keep my opinions to myself.

4. When you hear misinformation, are you more likely to correct it or let it go? Why?

I will correct it if I think it may hurt someone. If someone wants to believe the earth is flat, I suppose that's their business.

5. What is more annoying to you, someone that is so passionate about their beliefs, they tend to express their beliefs all of the time, or someone that is passive?

Neither, unless the passionate person is intrusive.


Monday Madness (a day late and all that...)

1. How many hobbies do you have?

Probably too many! I read, I write, I create web pages, I cross-stitch, I do cross-patch puzzles and love mazes, and I do glass painting and some craft painting.

2. Name at least one of your hobbies.

See Line 1.

3. What do you like about your hobby?

LOL. Which? They all capture my attention. I don't think there's anything better than finishing a story; it's a natural high. As for the cross-stitching and painting, I like to create pretty things or make plain things look a little brighter.

4. What keeps you from spending more time on any one of your hobbies?

I'd say work, but that isn't strictly the truth: there's also housework, weekly errands, and, right now, putting everything to rights in the new house.

5. Do you have any hobbies that you haven't taken up yet, but would like to?

Can't think of one now, but I'd like to get back into ceramics.

6. Have you ever decided to give up a hobby? If so, why?

I think I tossed out most of my fabric paints when we moved. There just aren't enough good iron-on patterns to embellish any longer. I remember when Michael's and Hobby Lobby had racks of different types of iron-on motifs, but now they have about ten, all flowers or cutesy kittens.


It's such a relief to be on DSL again. I can check the weather and traffic without having to dial up and I have my data nearly instantly.

James says Pidgie looked fine to him and was eating when I called. I wonder if it is safe for me to stop by Circuit City this afternoon for a copy of Goblet of Fire.

The weather report is downright depressing: pollen count is high already and it will be 80°F by Sunday. That's bad enough in May; in March it's disgusting.

The good news is that our mail is finally being forwarded to us, although it is weird: instead of the envelopes coming with little yellow stickers on them, someone at the post office just stuck all the mail in a larger envelope and mailed it to us. Odd.


» Monday, March 06, 2006
Bed Postscript...
...and sick stuff in Autumn Hollow.


We have DSL back, finally. James had tried over the weekend, but it wasn't on then. He tried again tonight.

I wish I could be a bit happier. Pidgie acts like he's not feeling well. The windows were open today and I'm wondering if he got a draft. He's eating and crooning to "Girlfriend" and flying when he comes out and preening, and his droppings are okay, but he acts tired and is fluffed a little and occasionally raises his wings, but not like he's warm. Of course, looking at the number of feathers at the bottom of his cage, it could be just his spring moult. They do get very down when that happens.


» Sunday, March 05, 2006
Bed and Bath...
...take up all our time, but it looks great in Autumn Hollow.


» Saturday, March 04, 2006
Too Short Saturday
Apparently there is a conspiracy against me getting more than six hours sleep. Sigh. The dog started barking constantly this morning, probably at the Lhasa Apso next door.

I wish weekend days were as long as weekday ones. By the time we finished all our errands there wasn't really time to do anything else. We sat down a bit before going to Ikea and I leaned back and fell fast asleep.

But, more house news in Autumn Hollow.


» Friday, March 03, 2006
Swags and Shelves
Curtains (and shelving in another post) take up thought in Autumn Hollow.


Shower Caps of All Persuasions
Anyone else have trouble with these guys? I'm talking, of course, about the habit the elastic around the cap has of getting too loose after only three months' use. Next thing you know your hair is slipping out the bottom or water is creeping into the top and your head is getting wet again.

Once I grumbling decided I was being too parsimonious and next time was going to buy an expensive shower cap instead of the WalMart/Kmart/Dollar Store special. I got a beauty and it cost me nearly $7, too. It had an inner liner and was extra large so you could put it over curlers or a bouffant hairdo (do people still have bouffant hairdos?). And the elastic was certainly tight. The first time I had to keep readjusting during the shower because it was pressing against my temples unpleasantly hard.

This wasn't the sign of a superior elastic band, alas. In two months it was baggier than the el cheapo variety. I looked like the baby Mr. Peanut in the ad with his top hat falling over his "ears." So I went back to the WalMart specials except for once: at some point many years ago I'd forgotten one of my cheapy shower caps when we went up to the lodge at Unicoi State Park and used and brought home the "flimsy" clear shower caps hotels give you as a courtesy. Since the elastic on it was then tighter than the latest bagged-out cheapo shower cap, I kept using it at home. The darn thing lasted nearly a year before the elastic finally gave up the ghost.

To sorta digress, several years ago Saran Wrap came out with these things called "Quick Covers." They were actually a new wrinkle—disposable—on the old elastic-band cotton and vinyl bowl covers they had back in the 1950s (or maybe it was earlier). If you had a can of vegetables or soup you didn't finish, or a bowl of something you wanted to keep and the container didn't come with a cover, you popped these bowl covers on. The old-timey ones often came in pastel colors or were decorated with fruit designs. For a long time after they disappeared from Woolworth's you could get them in the different catalogs, like Harriet Carter and Lillian Vernon.

Saran released these Quick Covers in a variety pack of three sizes (also in a pack of fourteen medium-size). The small ones were our favorites, as they either fitted well over the half can of Campbell's chicken broth I had left over until next week, or a can of mushrooms James had split. We bought a couple of boxes and washed them out after each use so they lasted longer, but eventually they were gone, except for the large size which we almost never used. Several were still tucked up in a cupboard when we moved.

Anyway, the first time I saw one of these things on the soup can I laughed and pointed out to James that "it looks like it's wearing a little shower cap." He laughed and it became one of our little jokes to ask for "little shower caps" as we were putting the leftovers up. (I knew my mom was losing it last spring when I found some of the Quick Covers in her cupboard and joked about her "shower caps." She was already so far gone she didn't understand the joke. ::sigh::)

The last time we went to look for more "Quick Covers," they had completely vanished from the supermarket shelves. We have checked Kroger, Publix, and WalMart and none of them carry them any longer. Damn.

Which is why I was happy this afternoon when I ducked into Dollar Tree after lunch and found boxes upon boxes of generic "Quick Covers."* I bought three!

I mention real shower caps at the beginning of this entry because along about last summer yet another one of those cheap WalMart shower caps went south on me. I noticed that the large Saran Wrap Quick Cover was the exact size of a shower cap and said I'd use one of those until I got back to WalMart.

I just tossed it two weeks ago when we moved into the new house. The elastic on it had just started to be loose for about a month.

I surrender. For a shower cap I'm using one of the three we found tucked up in the cupboard. At this rate, I won't need a new shower cap until about 2008.

Amy Dacyshyn would be proud. :-D

* In searching to see if Saran still sold Quick Covers (they do, they're on their website), I found the same generic bowl covers I bought at Dollar Tree for a buck each being sold by someone on eBay for two for $10! LOL. Wonder if they're going to sell!


Trafficking in Cars...With Dogs
There had been a fatality accident on I-75 southbound about 4 a.m. and they were still doing a criminal investigation (!!!) on it by the time I was driving to work, so I eschewed my usual route and took I-285 East instead. This gave me an opportunity to go through Windy Hill Road to the freeway, which a friend recommended to me as a good morning route. It's not too bad, although when you get across Cobb Parkway the traffic turns out to be slower than molasses in January because fast food places line the road on the right and everyone is turning in for their McBreakfast or whatever. Right now I like the other route better.

Every time I go down Windy Hill approaching Cobb Parkway, I always think of our former dog, Leia. (She got her name from her big ears, which, when she was a puppy, lopped down. We have a photo of her lying on the floor in what we called her "little princess" position, and those big ears just stood out, like Princess Leia's "earmuffs.")Leia and her ears One Christmas Eve when James was working and I was off, I decided to go run some errands and deliver some gifts. The first errand was at Petsmart, where I was buying some goodies for the fids, so I took Leia with me.

For some reason, since I never go that way, I went through Windy Hill, intending to then turn east on Cobb Parkway. I don't think it's there anymore, but there was at one time near where the QT gas station is now an entrance to a boarding kennel and small farm. That year the owners had decided to do a living Nativity every night and had enclosed the area near the road off and placed a stable with some sheep and a goat, who stayed there during the day as well.

Leia's mother was a beagle, but Leia herself looked like a half-sized German Shepherd. At the beginning, we always figured the dad was a Shep, but later we noticed her face had some Corgi resemblance and she also had the "fairy saddle" markings on her sides. We did figure by some of her actions that whatever daddy had been, he'd been a herding dog.

It was the luck of the draw where I was in traffic that when the light at Cobb Parkway went red, my car just happened to be in the right lane, directly in front of the stable and the sheep and goats. Leia would always get up and look around when we stopped, and this time was no exception. She usually didn't pay attention to any other animals, however, except cats; she was always looking for her "sister" (they were raised together), Spot, who still lived down in Warner Robins. was so funny...when she saw the sheep and goats she got really interested. She put her paws up on the bottom of the window and just stared. (The light at Cobb Parkway is two minutes or longer, so she had quite the opportunity.) I kept looking back at her and laughing. You could just see the wheels moving in her head. "I...know what those are...I think...I'm supposed to do something with them. Not sure what it is...but I know what those are..."

Years later, I still can't pass that spot without thinking of Leia and all her little sheepdog instincts emerging at those long minutes at a traffic light...

Anyway, so I was traveling eastbound all this morning, which gave me the most wonderful view of a spectacular sunrise. There were rows of clouds in the east, in several separate layers, and as the sun rose the undersides of the clouds were rippled with various shades of orange, from pumpkin color to the faintest of pale oranges, while the tops of the clouds ranged from dark mauve to grey. Just as I turned south on I-85 the sun was starting to edge the horizon, turning the pale orange at the bottom to liquid fire.

Too cool. Memories and a beautiful sunrise as well.


» Thursday, March 02, 2006
Remember Those Eagerly-Sought Sofa Tables?
They've proved a small problem in Autumn Hollow.


Thursday Threesome

::"The Shakiest Gun in the West"::

Onesome: The Shakiest-- comedian is gone! ...but not forgotten: what scene or what movie/TV show was your favorite Don Knotts piece?

I guess I'm an anomoly, but I never was much of a Don Knotts fan. His humor didn't appeal to me much, although he was kinda sweet on The Andy Griffith Show. I hear he was very nice in person and I would have liked to have met him.

Twosome: Gun-- Who handles the law enforcement powers in your neck of the woods? Is it a police department or a sheriff's office? ...or are you under military jurisdiction?

It was odd, but although we lived in the city limits before, the county police always responded to any emergencies. Now we are no longer in the city limits. If the city police show up, I'll be really surprised!

Threesome: In the West-- Okay, quickly now: your favorite scene in any western! Nope, not the movie, just the one scene you like best or is most memorable to you...

Oh, gosh, just one? And they'd all be from Big Jake... Okay, how about the one where James sasses Jacob by calling him "Daddy" and what ensues?


From the Files
I mentioned some months ago about dubbing off old black and white game shows, including my favorite, What's My Line? While rummaging around on an old floppy disk, found both The Time God Appeared on "What's My Line?" and The Time God Appeared on "To Tell The Truth."

I love the What's My Line? one. Neuman has the format and the celebrities' voices and style down pat. I can hear John Charles Daly saying "Oh, Robert!" at the end.

God also appears on You Bet Your Life and Meet the there's more stuff at Matt Neuman's site.


» Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Searching for Intelligent Signs of Life... the post office, but it's a hard slog.

Monday when there was no mail for us at the old house I was heartened. Yesterday there was no mail at all, but that wasn't new. I've seen the postman come as late as 6:30 p.m.

Today it was warm and I was looking forward to getting home from work to open the windows before I emptied out a few more boxes.

Instead I spent 45 minutes going past the old house, finding our final electric bill in the mailbox, and going to the post office again to complain.

The clerk (a different one this time) was clearly perturbed and not only filled out a third change of address for me, but wrote a note to the carrier repeating the info and asking the carrier to see her. She also gave me the name of the supervisor and the hours he was at the PO and told me to call.

This isn't rocket science, guys. Heck, I moved from Warner Robins to Atlanta in 1988 and didn't have a whit of trouble forwarding my mail. I didn't have to go back to my old mailbox at the Cubbyhole or at the apartments. What in Sam Hill is going on?


A Name I Hadn't Heard in Years
Anyone remember Mary Antin? Check out A Cozy Nook to Read In.


Ash Wednesday
The Lenten fast and other subjects at Holiday Harbour.


Sweetness Shock
Love cute animals? Try Cute Overload!

(Notice to others: you may go into cuteness shock viewing this site...)

Thanks to James for the link.


Pancakes Racing Through the Streets
Ooops, forgot to link this yesterday:

The origin of mardi gras and the tamer pursuits of Shrove Tuesday in Holiday Harbour.