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, June 30, 2006
Yankee Doodle Doggie
Willow in Independence Day finery:

Willow in red-white-and-blue bandanna


» Tuesday, June 27, 2006
As you face our house, the home on the right has been occupied pretty much since we moved in. Looks like a bunch of younger people sharing the house. These are the folks that own "Willow's dreaded enemy, the Lhasa Apso." Actually, the Lhasa Apso may be perfectly friendly; Wil is just so wary of other dogs that the Lhasa senses she's afraid and goes after her.

The house on the left was still under construction when we moved in, but soon had an "under contract" sign on it. The prospective homeowners had paid the extra to have a set of French doors downstairs exiting under the deck, which they'd had a concrete pad put under.

Unfortunately it looks like their loan fell through; the house went back on sale.

In the last week there had been a flurry of various activities around the house: people going in and out, the telephone installed. Over the weekend I saw someone upstairs working at the windows and workmen were inside stripping out the carpet and putting in wood floors. The "under contract" sign had disappeared and we saw Elizabeth (the agent) walking up with the Private Residence Sign.

Today I got home and saw chairs and plants on the front porch, two cars from Texas in the driveway, a grill on the deck and some chairs and a metal firepot. And someone was there fencing in the back yard. Blinds are up.

By George, I think we have new neighbors at last. :-) They seem to have a Darwin fish on one of their cars. Maybe they're fannish? (N.B. Nope, not a Darwin fish. Oh, well.)


Will Harry "Buy the Farm"?
Rowling Hints Harry Potter Might Die
"Author J.K. Rowling said two characters will die in the last installment of her boy wizard series, and she hinted Harry Potter might not survive either...Rowling declined to commit herself about Harry, saying she doesn't want to receive hate mail."
[eyes roll] Like she's not going to receive hate mail for even hinting she might kill off Harry. Sadly, there are people out there who will do it.

Granted, I don't want Harry to die—heck, I still have the old copy of Podkayne of Mars because I didn't like the idea that Heinlein killed her off and I still like to believe that somewhere Vila and Avon are still alive—but I'm not going off the deep end about it. It's a story, guys.

Any guesses who the "two characters" might be? So far most of the odds on Usenet is that one of them is Snape. I'm thinking that's a good guess, but I'm terrible at predicting things like this. I had a feeling Dumbledore was going to die before the end of the series—that's the archetype in these coming-of-age stories, the lead character's mentor usually dies before the "quest," whatever it is, is over, leaving the young hero to have to finish without guidance.—but it's difficult to predict anything else.

One of the front runners is not quiet, mousy Neville Longbottom, but I'm wondering if he is one of the ones who gets bumped off. We did find out that the prophecy talked about a child born late in July, which could have also been Neville as well as Harry, and while he is still retiring, Neville has grown from that bumbling kid under the thumb of his domineering grandmother. Perhaps Neville discovers that he could have been the child of the prophecy and tries to take on Voldemort?

Maybe we even discover that Neville was the actual child referred to in the prophecy and it was actually him Voldemort should have been going after all along?

So many possibilities...

Just hope they don't kill off Hermione; she's my favorite. :-)


» Monday, June 26, 2006
"Heading Off to Iscandar..."
Interesting: "20 Years Later: The Legacy of Star Blazers" by Anthony Leong

The Cosmo Primer is good, too, and there are more links.


Bigger Ain't Better!
Chrysler ponders PT Cruiser Version 2.0

Owwwww! They can't make it larger; the car's whole charm factor is that it's a small car that's incredibly roomy inside—James is tall and still fits. Maybe they could make it a little longer and make it a hybrid. I would like a hybrid PT. But not a big PT. Who wants to drive a frappin' land barge?


Monday Madness

This week's questions are all about photography! Have fun and thanks for playing! =)

1. Do you own a digital camera?

Two, actually. But they're old—we don't even megapixel. James has the old Sony Mavica with the 10X zoom and I have the first one they did that took MPEGs. Both save to floppy disk.

2. What is your camera of choice?

LOL. One with a wonderful telephoto lens. I had a nice Pentax manual 35mm once, but I broke the standard lens the day we went to see Intrepid (the aircraft carrier parked in NYC). I could never find another one. James had a Nikon, but they were both broken (James's still leaked light into the film compartment and the shutter didn't work properly on mine on speeds over 250 even though we'd had them both fixed, so we got rid of them when we moved.

3. If you're a digital camera fan, do you print your own photos, or do you send them in to be printed? If you send them in, do you have a favorite place?

Print? Print? Do you know how much the ink for that costs????? I put 'em up on our web site or our blog. If I want to send pics to people—I sent some to my aunt and my godmother just recently—I buy a disposable camera and take real photos with it.

4. How many pictures do you take a month?

Depends. If we go on a trip we can take a couple hundred. Average? Maybe ten?

5. How many of those pictures actually get printed?

As I said, none!

6. Are you planning on purchasing a new camera in the near future?

Nope, not unless one breaks.

7. CHALLENGE: Go check out Favorite Five Photos and Foto Pherrets and choose just ONE photo to share.

Look! Robin fledgelings!


» Sunday, June 25, 2006
Doing Those Home Things
After miserable heat most of the week, the weather broke last night. The dark clouds gathered above and, finally, as usually happens with these storms, we lost satellite signal. This almost always takes at the most five minutes, but this time it lasted 90 minutes. The cable companies always use this occurance to try to buffalo you out of satellite service. who cares? It's only television. If we'd been all that bored we could have put a DVD on anyway. Instead, we opened the back door to the deck and watched the storm. The lightning was quite spectacular. Oddly, not a tree in the back was moving. Usually during these storms the trees bow and sway like chorus line dancers. We could hear the great rush of the rain striking the leaves.

When the rain started to splash in, we abandoned the back and went to sit on the porch to continue watching the light show. Willow insisted on coming with us although she is afraid of thunder and spent the half hour cuddled in James' arms.

It was a lot of fun.

Today the storm started again just after we got home with the groceries. No sweat: we read the paper, did the curtain work down in James' hobby room, then got ready to eat. The clouds remained, but the rain stopped and we watched the parade of birds assail the feeder. During supper we watched Eight Below.

Mighty nice all round.


One Pic Left Over... Autumn Hollow.


Meet the Newest Family Member!
Robert Heinlein wrote a novel called The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. The hero, Colonel Colin Campbell, a.k.a. Richard Ames, owns a bonsai tree that survives all his adventures. He calls the plant "Tree-San."

When we were living in the apartment in Smyrna, we went to Harry's one day and found an assortment of miniature roses. We bought one and named it "Rose-San" and it lived well on the windowsill of our kitchen for several years, and then it got some type of insect infestation, mites or something. I treated it, the insects disappeared and the plant rallied, then died.

I wanted another rose, but the kitchen in the old house was always dark. The window over the sink got some sun in the morning, but the house next door blocked the sun most of that time. The bedroom windows facing west would have been too hot for a plant in the summer time and it would have been forgotten upstairs.

But the dining room windows now face east.

So here's a new Rose-San. She's actually Canadian, bred in gardens in Ontario.

Rose-San in her window

And to go with Pidgie's snapshot last week, here's Willow:



» Saturday, June 24, 2006
Siblings at Heart
I thought two weeks ago was a fluke, but it happened again today.

Wil went back to the vet today to have her stitches removed, get the remainder of her shots, and get her complementary bath. We dropped her off at nine o'clock and collected her at six; she was basically away all day like two weeks ago when she had her teeth cleaned.

Pidgie basically picked at his seed both today and two weeks ago, where he usually has it all eaten by six o'clock.

And just like last week, the moment Willow got home, he dug into the seed and ate the rest.

I guess he just missed his sister...


Okay, Rodney, You Wanted Pictures... got pictures, in Autumn Hollow.


» Friday, June 23, 2006
Eating It Before It Eats You First
I got so used to Bandit being people-food phobic (except for Uncle Ben's rice; he loved rice) for nine years that it's still a surprise when Pidgie realizes (1) a human has food and (2) I want some of it. Start to eat dinner or munch on a handful of nuts and you suddenly have little claws in your shoulder and this little budgie body is sidling down (or sometimes scolding and attacking outright) to get at your food.

I have a 1/4 cup nuts when I get home at the suggestion of my doctor to curb munchies for more fattening snacks. If I've opened Pidge's door I also have a budgie on my hand, pecking at the nuts and then clucking at the saltiness. I usually crack a small one in half (they're cashews) and let him munch on the smaller end. His little black eyes narrow up, focusing just on that morsel of nut.

Last night James made Italian sausage and boiled potatoes—LOL, not "bangers and mash" since we never do that to the potatoes—for supper and he wasn't settled in his chair yet to watch Jeopardy when Pidge skidded to a stop on his shoulder and then crept down his arm to perch on the side of the plate and help himself to the potatoes. It's so funny to watch the little beak going a mile a minute.

Oh, and Mr. Pigwidgeon shares something in common with the owl he's named after: he loves chicken, or rather chicken soup. Bandit used to pick out the rice; Pidge just guzzles the soup!


"Gimme a Transfer, Please"
Well, I went and did the deed last night: put in my request for transferrance of my domain from Yahoo servers to servers. Once Yahoo quit paying my domain registration like they promised to do, in writing, I knew I was outta there. I did look at their new rates and also that of Hare Link, but just gave me the most bang for my buck, so to speak.

I'll get 100GB of webspace rather than 100MB at two thirds the price and also have options to set up chat rooms, forums, and newsletters if I care to do any such thing. There are canned CGI scripts that require no programming knowledge. I get something like 500 e-mail addresses (if for some reason I needed that many...). I get three domains (.com, .net, .org—mine are .org) registered for free.

The feature I like best is the 200 subdomains the account comes with. I've already used a couple of them on my Lassie site (one for the episode guide and one for the fanfiction) and two for the Remember WENN site (fanfiction and "The Buttery," a.k.a. The Remember WENN cookbook). Now each of my sections will have their own subdomain—for instance the albums will be—the photo albums, "On the Road," my nostalgia pages, and the seasons pages, and also the remainder of the television shows: the Addie Mills specials, Ask the Manager, America, From the Earth to the Moon, The Good Life (Good Neighbors), Brooklyn Bridge, Flambards, Gallegher, My World and Welcome to It and The Waltons.

The Mindspring stuff will remain where it is.

The literature says the transferrance takes from seven to ten days, and then the new site will come up blank. I've spent the last few evenings updating all the pages with the links to be, but of course the proof won't be in the pudding until everything is uploaded and I actually try the links "for real." And of course I can't set up the FTP until the transferance takes place although I already have the webspace directories in place for the subdomains. So we'll see what the actual work will be post-transfer.


» Thursday, June 22, 2006
Evil Inventor
I'm continuing to enjoy my collection of Wild Wild West on DVD, but realized last night that at least one of these episodes must have a factual basis.

In "The Night of the Howling Light," James West is kidnapped by a Dr. Ocularis for the purpose of brainwashing him into shooting a Native American chieftain. He uses the continual clang of bells, starvation, lack of sleep, and other conditioning to his purpose, but his most insidious torture is to tie the victim up in front of the lamp of the lighthouse he has taken over and expose the person to the burning blaze of the light—even with eyes closed tight shut the blazing light penetrates, causing intense pain, making the eyes feel swollen and gritty, making the victim dizzy with continual headaches.

Evidently Dr. Ocularis went on to discover and market the fluorescent light.


Thursday Threesome

::Hurry up... and wait::

Onesome: Hurry- What kind of driver are you? Always in a hurry, speeding to your destination, or going along with the flow whilst sticking to the speed limit exactly? Or are you somewhere in between? If you don't drive, are you always in a hurry, more laid back or some where in between, personally?

I must admit that sometimes I do drive too fast, but never to the point that I "outdrag" anyone on the road. I am usually keeping pace with the traffic, which goes at tremendously high speeds here. I am usually doing 70-75 mph on the way to work and have people tailgating me and/or passing me. This morning in the left lane because the exit for I-85 North is on the left, I was passed by someone using the HOV lane as a passing lane. This happens more often than you might think.

I used to like to drive, but not anymore, unless I'm on vacation. Everything around here seems to be 45 minutes away from everything else. (We're at least just 5 minutes drive from a grocery store—but it's Food Depot and not all that good a grocery store—and a Dollar General.) It's at least 45 minutes to work, most of that done at 75 mph. Scary sometimes, especially when you see the accidents at the side of the road.

Twosome: up- What drives you up a wall when you are driving? If you don't drive, just tell us your biggest pet peeve.

CELL PHONES! I mean, everyone seems to have these damn little warts surgically attached to their ears (and one hand). I was behind a guy on Tuesday whose car looked utterly bizarre as it jerked and slowed and then sped up during a left turn. I could see the guy yapping on the cell holding the phone with his right hand and trying to make the left turn with only his left hand! Others are so into their call they are clueless and miss signal lights and stop signs.

I can't say I've never used my phone in the car, but I only talk at stop lights and hang up immediately when it looks like the light is going to change. It's very rare and usually a 30-second conversation with James calling to ask me to get something or pick up something. I don't carry on long conversations as I've seen some people do, five and ten minutes at the time as I drive behind them or next to them.

One of my contacts told me yesterday that he was on "drive time" and was using it to catch up on all his voice mail. How on earth can he concentrate on the road if he's concentrating on his cell phone?????

Threesome: and wait- You rushed to get where you needed to go on time, and now you face a wait. Your date's not ready, your table in the restaurant you booked isn't ready, or the doctor is running behind, whatever it is, you were on time, but they aren't. How do you react? Do you complain, sit and wait, all the while silently fuming, or just settle in and wait, accepting it as part of life?

It depends on what's holding things up. The doctor's always late; it's a given—I bring a book. But a lot of times you end up waiting because of inattention. For instance, the last time I went to the doctor they told me the doctor was on time. Yet I didn't get called for my appointment until 30 minutes after the time, and only after I went up to the desk to ask...I think the clerk forgot to put me in their little computerized queue, because she was messing with the computer after I asked her, saying she "couldn't get it to come up." Uh-huh. Sure. I do stew some; my time is valuable and a lot of these places have the attitude that the only thing better you have to do with your time is wait.


» Wednesday, June 21, 2006
A Quick Rotation
Ceiling fans take shape in Autumn Hollow.


It's supposed to be 97°F today!

Summer sucks! Summer sucks! Summer sucks!


"On the Cape of Cod"
As Radar O'Reilly would say...

Classic Cape Cod

I've never seen any of these things. My Dad wouldn't go out on the Cape in summer on a bet (frankly, I didn't blame him because getting out to the Cape in the summer consists of spending hours in literally bumper-to-bumper traffic via Route 3—we'd watch the scenes on the news). The furthest we'd gotten out on the Cape was the couple of times we went to the Cape Cod Canal when the smeltings or whatever kind of fish it was were migrating. I wasn't much interested in fish. We did drive out to Hyannisport during one of those trips so we could stare at the Kennedy Compound, which I remember being behind a small body of water and a big tall electrified fence. Otherwise we never made it past the "muscle" of the "arm" of the Cape.

A few years ago when we were on vacation we did drive out to the "elbow" to see Chatham Light (weather reports in RI always include a report from Chatham and I'd always wanted to see what it looked like). Poor Mom, elimination...problems so we left very late and didn't get any further than that. The oceanfront from the lighthouse (which, surprisingly, was very small) was all I could have imagined, a breathtaking interface of blue sea, sand beach and wild grass.

Would love to go again...offseason!...sometime.


» Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Multicolor Hair and Face Paints
Sports Illustrated Online has a photo essay of how fans dress themselves up for the World Cup games.

And they say science fiction fans are weird... :-)


Tuesday Twosome

1. Do you possess any family heirlooms, and if so, what two heirlooms do you value the most:

I do now: Mom's china that she never used, the tier table that's now in our foyer (along with this end table/bookshelf bit of furniture), a big old steamer trunk with Mom's wedding dress and some other textiles in it that used to be in our cellar, some Fifties Christmas ornaments, and some Trifari jewelry pieces. I'd have to say I love them all, but the one that means the most is the manger set. It's not Fontanini or anything like that (I actually don't like the Fontanini sets), but pieces that were bought from Woolworth's and Grant's one and two pieces at the time. They are mostly ceramic but there's still a couple of rubber ones. I have a collectors' book that says they were made in Japan. They're all chipped, but I love them.

Right now they're in the trunk. At least I hope they're in the trunk since I haven't seen them since we packed up Mom's house last August...

2. Did you have a childhood hide-out, and if so, describe it:

Yeah, after my dad fixed the cellar I had a corner of it. There was my child-sized roll-top desk and chair and a couple of bookcases and my paint-by-numbers on the wall and a shelf above the desk for more books.

3. Describe your relationship with your immediate family and how it makes you feel:

I think "immediate family" means brothers and sisters and parents, and I never had the first two and the latter are gone. I miss them. We had a lot of fun together.

4. Do you and/or your family do anything for the needy, and if so, explain:

Before or now? Mom was always giving to different charities, especially diseases and religious ones. It was sad, really. She gave what she could afford to ten or twelve charities and they just deluged her with more requests for money. When we transferred her mail to our address we got six or seven of these requests every day. I opened them at first and was appalled at the minimum "suggested amounts." Some of these folks wanted at least $100. Even the church envelopes used to suggest you give a certain amount. My mom was living on a small pension.

I like to give to the Can Bank at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wish Kroger and the other markets would leave the Can Bank bins up all year. People don't just get hungry at the holidays. I know you can go by a certain church or place and donate food but it would be so easy for people to just buy a few extra groceries each time they went shopping and then put it in the Can Bank box and they could come pick it up. I think they'd get more donations that way.

5. Did you have a close relationship(s) with any of your grandparents? Describe your relationship(s):

The only grandparent I had who survived into my adulthood was my father's dad, my Papà. He was from the old country and was very brusque at times and didn't speak English, only Italian, most of the time. Sometimes I didn't mind, but sometimes I found him scary, especially when I was smaller. He used to have a wonderful vegetable garden and grew the most delicious tomatoes, and also made wine that Mom and I used to bake wine biscuits.

Dad's mom died when I was three, so I don't remember her at all. My mother's parents died within a few weeks of each other when I was seven. I remember loving to go visit with them. Grandma had always been sick with coal dust lungs she got when my grandfather worked in the mines. Grandpa went blind from cataracts and I remember him just sitting in the living room all the time listening to the television.


Not Even Summer Yet
For at least 24 hours, and it's going up into the 90s again, and will be there at least for the next three days. The heat hangs like a pall over everything and the horizon is a sullen brownish color with the haze. The trees are motionless and the still air is like a hot blanket.

Can't even escape inside. It's 82°F in my cubicle. I have the fan under my chair pointing straight up at me.

How many days till fall again? <wry grin>


» Monday, June 19, 2006
Monday Madness

1. How many cop shows can you name?

There are cop shows besides all the flavors of CSI and Law & Order??? :-) Well, there's Monk, The Closer, Cold Case, Bones, NCIS (I guess they're cops; Naval cops, but cops), Medium (I guess, never seen the show; she works with cops, doesn't she?). Does the Ghost Whisperer work with the police? On PBS there's Inspector Lynley and Waking the Dead (which I should hunt down again, because I enjoyed it). I know there's more. Do you want me to name old cop shows? Here, take yourself back: Arrest and Trial, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Highway Patrol, Naked City, Sarge, McCloud, McMillan and Wife, Quincy, The Blue Knight, Police Story, Tenafly...

2. Do you send text messages?


3. If you could be on a gameshow (current or old), which one would you be on and why?

Jeopardy. I wanted to be on Jeopardy from when it premiered on NBC with Art Fleming.

4. What are some of your favorite websites?

Oh, too many to name. They're listed on our homepage. One I really appreciate I will use as soon as I complete this,!

5. What are your favorite things about the internet?

Talking to people who like the same things you do.

6. What about least favorite?


7. What are some good ways to deal with a pet loss?

Cry. Have a funeral for the pet, if you can. Look at old pictures and cry, but remember the good times.

And when you have mourned sufficiently and feel ready, get another pet.


» Sunday, June 18, 2006
Saved From the Well!

Today we went out to Lilburn to meet Lassie. He (because Lassie has always been a male) is touring the country in a big beautiful motorhome promoting a new dog food called "Natural Way." (No, you're not hallucinating. Lassie already had a dog food way back, a canned food called "Recipe," supposedly based on the stew Betty Weatherwax used to cook for her husband's dogs. And he originally promoted Red Heart dog food, which used to sponsor the Lassie radio show.) The appearance was supposed to be from 9 through 3 p.m.; we arrived armed with water and cameras.

Unfortunately, we had to wait because Lassie had put in an appearance on CNN this morning as well as doing some type of webcast and had "gotten sick" on the elevator. (I don't blame him; I don't like elevators, either.) The vet had to make sure he was okay before he could make the appearance, since it was so hot.

The road team had set up several tents, one with a stage and another with a low platform and a bench. Next to the stage tent, the DeKalb County animal rescue had a tent with some dogs looking for adoption. (It worked, too: a chow/GSD puppy and a Pomeranian went home with new owners.) James and I stayed under the stage tent the entire time, interacting with the dogs as the rescue people walked them. (A Corgi cross leaned on me and I petted her until she had a contented look; as I petted great swaths of white hair floated off her body! James got to cuddle with one of the chow/GSD puppies.)

There weren't that many people and many of the folks who knew about the appearance and showed up early with their dogs finally left because they didn't want the dogs out in the heat; the asphalt parking lot was sizzling by noon. To entertain the folks who were there, the road crew played an advance copy of Charles Sturridge's new version of Lassie Come Home, titled simply Lassie. I'm pretty sure we saw 90 percent or more of it, starting with a foxhunting sequence that introduced the villagers and the coal mine, all the way through to the credits. I'd had some doubts about it because of the changes Sturridge made in the script, but it was very good, following the spirit of the book well. The end was a bit drawn out and could have been more dramatic, but the countryside and score are breathtaking and the child actors playing Joe and Priscilla are excellent. Peter O'Toole, as the Duke of Rudling, is also outstanding. The dog playing Lassie actually isn't a "line dog," that is, descended from Rudd Weatherwax's collie "Pal" who originally starred in the 1942 Lassie Come Home and who "became" Lassie, but a Lassie descendant has a cameo in the movie.

The vet gave the okay and finally at 1:30 Lassie emerged with his trainer, Carol Riggins. (Robert Weatherwax, Rudd's son, no longer shows Lassie in public.) She let him off leash, then had him sit next to a bench and people who had little frisbees marked with an "X" could have their picture taken. And here I am:

I pose with Lassie

Yes, that beautiful fur is as soft as it looks. Someone puts in a great deal of time grooming this gorgeous dog.

James had his picture taken separately.

The photo session lasted about a half hour, then Carol had Lassie do a few simple routines on command before taking him back inside, probably for a well-deserved drink! James and I stood out in the sun the entire time taking pictures and got slightly sunburned for our pains; it was very hot and we weren't wearing a fur coat! It was a lot of fun but we were glad to get into the truck and under some air conditioning.


Well, I Took the Plunge
I'm about to ditch Yahoo and have signed up with another webspace provider. I get 100 times the space for $5 less per month; I call that a deal. And I get three free domain registrations with the lower price!

I haven't transferred the main domain over yet. I wanted to get the two new domains settled before I did so.

Hereby premiering are my most popular web pages

and my sentimental favorite

I think I have sorted out the Lassie site enough that all the links work, but I'm still working on updating all the Remember WENN links, so if you go there and a link goes nowhere, be assured I'm working on it.

Once those are stable, I'll give the word to transfer over.


» Saturday, June 17, 2006
How the Other Half Lives
For many months now, James and I have been passing one of the innumerable house development signs that say "Paper Chase Farms, from the 900s." We both expressed interest in seeing just what the heck cost $900,000.00 and today we had a little time to kill, so we turned off Barrett Parkway and drove a mile or two to this place.

It was set back in the woods, next to a big Spanish-style house with a broad expanse of lawn in front of it and a driveway lined with young firs and the ranch-style home next to it with two barns, a carriage house, and a huge horse paddock. We drove on the property and followed a sign that said "golf estates."

One big brick home was labeled "open," so we drove through the gates (the property was surrounded by a black iron fence) and parked on the driveway. The landscaping was quite beautiful, small fir bushes and various deciduous varieties mixed. The sidewalk up to the front door was bricked, and it was a wide solid wood front door. I felt underdressed! One should certainly have on a long white lawn frock with a small pearl necklace, dainty slippers, and your hair done up in a Psyche knot to walk through a front entryway that looked like that!

The front door opened onto a big square foyer with a stairway with spindles and bannisters to your right. All hardwood floors (not Pergo or laminate) on the main floor. If you walked to the left there was a formal dining room, then a short hall that included a butler's pantry. The kitchen was enormous. The island in the middle of it, with the kitchen sink, was nearly as big as the floor space in the kitchen of our house. There were plenty of cabinets with pull-out drawers and very tall (the ceilings must have been 12 feet), there was an industrial style stove in stainless steel, long granite counters, built-in convection and microwave ovens, and a Cold Spot refrigerator/freezer with paneling on the front. This was one "arm" of a huge L-shape area with room for a good-sized breakfast table and then a big open living room with a stone fireplace flanked either side with built-in bookcases and cabinets. A door from the breakfast nook led out to the deck, which had a narrow wooden pergola lining the side opposite from the house.

If you went back to the short hall it led to a huge den. There was another fireplace (wooden surround this time) and also a cabinet for a big television. The entire back wall was French doors which led out to the deck. (The deck had wooden steps leading down to not a huge, but a good-sized yard, again well-landscaped—it would fit a croquet course or a small badminton or tennis court, or big enough for Dad to play touch football with his sons.)

If you turned right when you came in the front door, the hall led past a half bath (I was quite disgusted to see that someone had pee'd in the toilet and then not flushed it; I did so by pulling up a finial-like flushing knob in the middle of the top of the toilet tank), then to a square, stolid dark-paneled room with another fireplace. This looked as if it could be a men's smoking room or even, if the owner was a lawyer or CPA, someplace where he could meet his clients at home. You could imagine it decorated with red-upholstered wing-back chairs, big leather armchairs with nailheads, hunting prints, brass accoutrements.

If you did not go into this room, but turned to the corridor on your right, this hall led directly into the master bedroom, which was next to the den and a door at the far end of the room also led out to the deck. Beautiful windows overlooked the back yard. In the opposite corner, there was an entrance to the master bath. Oh, my God! It had a stone-block floor, shower stall with multiple shower heads, a big Jacuzzi, a toilet stall, two sinks, one with a longer counter and a huge walk-in closet with his-and-her sides with California Closet inserts, all wood, and a big full-length mirror in the middle.

Back to the foyer and upstairs. At the head of the stairs was a smallish room with its own bath but a small closet. I guessed it was a nursery, although it could do duty as a small guest room. Doors at either end of the long hall led to attic space under the eaves. Down the hall was a large bedroom with a walk-in closet and its own full bath and then two smaller bedrooms with a full bath in the middle. One of the pair had two dormer windows and I could immediately imagine this being taken over by a ten-year-old girl, with window seats in the dormers, so she could curl up and look out over the property and pretending to be Anne Shirley at Green Gables or Rebecca Randall at the Brick House (at least that's what I would have done at that age!).

Also at the end of this hall was a stairway that led back downstairs to the kitchen. That's right, this place was so big it had front and back stairs.

I haven't gotten to the kicker yet. Between the kitchen and the stairway is a hall. A door on the left leads to the garage. Then there's a closet. Then there's another area that looks like another butler's pantry (maybe it's where you're supposed to store the Christmas china, or where you have a small computer/office where you keep the household accounts. Next to this, at the end of the hall, is a big laundry room, with a laundry sink and cabinets on both sides of the room; you could keep sewing or crafts equipment here as well.

Across from the second butler's pantry is a glass paneled door. It opens up...

...and goes down to a huge, unfinished basement. I mean huge, and what they call a daylight basement, because there were small but full windows on at least two sides. There were six rooms down there and a utilities closet with two water heaters. One room obviously was set up to be a bathroom. Another was at the back of the house and had a door that led out to a bricked entryway and into the back yard, like those basement apartments in New York and London. One was small sized and looked as if it might be used as a storeroom. Two of the rooms were square and sizable. Another was very long, James figured thirty or thirty five feet. I thought it might be used as a games room with a billard table and an air hockey table, or maybe billiards and a large screen television or bar area. There was also a big closet under the stairs.

Well, now we know what you get for $900,000.00.

Evidently the other half earns a reeeeeally good salary. :-)


Upcoming Decor... Autumn Hollow.


» Thursday, June 15, 2006
All Things Whovian
Totally outstanding Doctor Who site: Outpost Gallifrey

Make sure you have an hour or so to kill. :-)

And yes, it's definite, Billie Piper is leaving the series.

She's at present working on an adaptation of Phillip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke, a Victorian thriller about Sally Lockhart, an orphan girl determined to find out how her father died. (It's a super book, and the third book of the trilogy, The Tiger in the Well, is one of the best thrillers I've ever read.)


Thursday Threesome

::Variations on a Theme::

Onesome: Variations-- Do you you dress the place (or yourself) up for the July 4th holiday? I've seen plates and napkins and such, but this year one store has red, white and blue string lights for the house! Is that a bit much?

Oh, I don't know. Independence Day is our nation's holiday and whether or not you agree with the current regime and policies, it's nice to celebrate the ideals the United States is founded on. That's what you're doing when you sing the national anthem or perform the Pledge of Allegiance, after all; you're not saying you support the present president, or the last, or the Dumbocrats or the Repulsivecans, you're saluting "We the People..." and all the ideas summed up in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. People refuse to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" or pledge the flag because they think it supports the war in Iraq or the President's energy policy. Nope. Neither have anything to do with Bush, or Clinton, or any president or any policy or any war.

But to stumble off the soapbox, yes, I'm planning to dress up the new house a little more. I didn't really have room to store many decorations in the old one (the Christmas stuff alone was about to burst one 30"x30" closet). So I've already bought a few things this year and plan to buy a few more. Not sure if lights will be part of the deal, but red-white-and-blue lights are fine with me.

When I was a teenager I had a set of blue shorts and a red and white blouse and would put red-white-and-blue ribbons in my hair. I have a red-white-and-blue hairbow now.

Twosome: on a-- wing and a prayer: How do you feel about flying? ...or do you prefer ground transport?

Actually I like to fly if I'm going somewhere and only a short time to do it in. A week's vacation and a long distance to go aren't conducive to a car trip. On the other hand, security at the airport and the cattle-car coach section is enough to drive anyone to...well, drive. I like car trips. You see the varied countryside, meet people from different areas of the country, etc.

Threesome: Theme-- The softball for this week: What is your favorite movie theme song or arrangement to listen to?

Oh, gosh. It's either Thomas Newman's Little Women score or Basil Poledoris's score for Lassie (the 1994 version). Television: winner hands down is David Fanshawe's Flambards score. "I'll sing you a song of Christina..." anyday!


» Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Living It Up While Others Mourn
Not that there aren't big problems on FEMA's end, but isn't it nice to know that there are wonderful people out there who will claim losses they didn't have in order to get possession of something that was intended for people who had lost everything?


FEMA Hurricane Cards Bought Jewelry, Erotica

I'd say "shame on them!" but there's no use in expecting people who would stoop so low to actually feel shame.


» Tuesday, June 13, 2006
What If...
Here's an interesting story:

Dimitri Tiomkin & The Wild Wild West: The Untold Story


Anyone catch the special on A&E last night about Superman? Of course the last part of it was publicity for the new movie, but it was really a nice overview of the character and the different media he has been featured in, at least as much conversation as you can fit into a two-hours-with-those-damn-commercials! While they didn't go into big deal about Silver Age/Golden Age/Earth 2 universes/all the retconning gone on in the comics during the year, they did talk abou the comics some and show a representation of art over the years. (I have to say I don't like the modern art that gives Superman a chin the size of a shovel. I mean, the guy's got a chin bigger than Jay Leno these days!)

One of the better tidbits was that the first appearance of an actor wearing a Superman suit took place at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Ray Middleton was the guy in the Supes suit. The name immediately struck me as familiar, but I couldn't place it, so looked him up on the IMDb. Ohmygosh, it was the gentleman who played Col. Thomas McKean in 1776!


» Monday, June 12, 2006
The You-Have-Got-to-Be-Kidding Department
The Rock Paper Scissors Championship?

Is television that hard-up for programming?


System Hog Decluttered
Warning: NEEP!

I've had various versions of Norton Anti-Virus on my computer for years, but lately have wondered if it isn't taking up more space than warranted all this time. James abandoned Norton for AVG, which is a free virus-scanning software for individuals only (businesses must pay a fee) available at AVG is highly touted by several reputable websites and also by the computer geek on the Atlanta newspaper.

Since James had messed with its "innards" so much during the upgrade, I took the opportunity Saturday to clean up the hard drive. I deleted all temp files and emptied the recycle bin and got rid of some other useless files, then booted the computer in safe mode, did a scan disk on drives C and D. (My hard disk is 20GB and divided into ten virtual drives, C through L. C is for Windows, D for the Internet, E for my publishing programs like WordPerfect, F for all the graphics programs, G  stereotypically enough for games, H for storage, I for MP3 storage, J for other larger programs and useful programs like Paradox and The Font Thing, and K for creative programs like the cross-stitch program and a greeting card maker. L is named "Fred" rather than Miscellaneous :-). I usually download programs to it before transferring them permanently to CD.) Then I defragged all the drives.

Expecting to now be zipping merrily along, I reboot normally. Activesync (for my PDA), AdSubtract, and Norton all load at startup and sit in my system tray. I click on System Resources and discover here I am with no programs on at all besides those already pre-loaded and my two system resources are already down to 75 percent and my GDI down to 80.

So I downloaded AVG, uninstalled Norton (boy, that thing hangs on; James walked me through going into the Windows Registry to remove a startup reference file that was still in the bootup sequence, leaving me with a chiding message from Windows each time I rebooted), and then installed AVG. How nice! Now on bootup I have 90 percent of both system resource measurements and 95 percent on my GDI.

Not only that, but along with the scan it does every time the computer boots up, AVG also did a complete initial system scan when it started up the first time and it found a possible Trojan Horse program in my files—from Lycos; that figures—and killed it. Norton updated constantly, did a deep scan once a week, and never found anything.


Ill Winds
And so it begins.

Hurricane Warning Issued for Florida


Monday Madness

1. I have a picture of Gregory House on my computer desktop.

It's the Suzan Lovett pic I was raving about a few weeks ago; House and Holmes. Looks like the Jeremy Brett version of Holmes, plus a nice big center drawing of House and Wilson.

2. There are only two  pictures hanging on my living room walls.

We haven't put the Harry Potter poster and Babylon 5 poster (which I don't have a frame for—but there are Michael's coupons this week) up yet. I also have an autographed photo of Jerry Doyle and another of June Lockhart with Lassie to put up. I do have two things up behind the birdcage, "Pidge's pictures," as it were. One is a cute bit of artwork from a convention, a pink dragon with a little bird singing its heart out on his nose. The other is a framed card called "Honeymooners," two green budgies, a male and a female, with a tropical background, and he is preening her. It's so sweet.

3. My big goal for this week is to mail some photos out .

4. I plan to visit however many are on my blogroll blogs this week.

5. The weather we're having right now is stiflingly hot .

6. I really should dust more often.


» Sunday, June 11, 2006
The Wild, Wild Gordon
Finally got my Wild, Wild West first season set and have watched the first two episodes. Oh, that theme song brings me back, watching episodes on that old 19" Magnavox "portable" (portable in name only; it was called that because it stood on a cart and wasn't a console television)! I was nine years old when it premiered, and from the beginning, right through the last episode when I was age fourteen, my favorite character wasn't James West—oh, he was a great agent; I'd really want him on my side in a tight spot, but my heart belonged to Artemus Gordon. He could mix it up, too, maybe not as good as Jim, but he was also educated and well-read, an inventor, a master of disguises, a wine conneisseur, and a Shakespearean whiz and actor. Maybe Robert Conrad was the star, but Ross Martin was simply pure gold. As for me, I'll take the brains over the brawn any day.

I was thinking that I'd love to do a "Wild, Wild West According to Artemus Gordon" web page, with a list of all Artie's disguises and inventions and perhaps some quotations, especially from his infamous Aunt Maude. It would be fun to work on as (hopefully) all the seasons are released.

(And of course now I'm waiting for the second season to be released, with my two favorite episodes, "Night of the Man-Eating House" and "Night of the Returning Dead." Oh, yeah, and there's "Night of the Flying Pie Plate" with William Windom, too...)


» Saturday, June 10, 2006
Statuary Matters... Autumn Hollow.


The Patient is Recovering
Willow had her teeth cleaned this morning. This involved general anesthesia, and while she was under, they also removed three "old dog" moles growing on her skin and also trimmed her claws. Of course they had to shave where they removed the moles, so when we collected her she had a couple of shaved patches near her tail and a little patch near her collar area, as well as a really glazed look in her eyes. [wry grin] We were told to only let her drink and eat sparingly at first, so she has had a little bit of water and several small dog biscuits, a handful of dry dog food, and a little chicken broth with some rice in it. As the night has gone on, she's been more lively and looking more awake, but for a while she had the same expression on her face as someone who'd been taking antihistamines for an allergy attack.


» Friday, June 09, 2006
Friday Five

1. What is (or would be) your dream vacation?

Great Britain. The literary sites. The geographic ones. The historical ones. ::deep sigh::

2. What's one thing no vacation can do without?

Money. :-) Well, you have to stay somewhere and also have regular meals.

3. What has been the best trip of your life so far?

Oh, definitely the two trips I took cross country by car in 1975 and 1978. (The routes were similar.)

4. Who was with you on that trip and what is the role of that person in your life?

My parents. We had a grand time; I saw things I'd only read about or seen on television. Not just the big tourist attractions like Disneyland and Fisherman's Wharf and the St. Louis Arch, but things like sunrise in Western Wyoming, the stars in the incredible blackness of sky above on the old roads heading away from the Grand Canyon, the variable blue water of the Pacific and the rainbows of wildflowers in the Rockies and the "greengrass" of Wyoming that Mary O'Hara wrote about. Pronghorn antelope streaming across the prairie, slick seals sunning off the coast of California, contented Clydesdales in the paddocks at Grants Farm. California poppies and sagebrush and lupines and goldenrod, vast fields of corn in Nebraska and wheat in Kansas. Open vistas with purple mountains in the distance, woodland grottoes, bleak expanse of glaring desert, the stalwart sequoias. 115°F in Las Vegas and snow still under the trees at the Donner Pass at the end of June. Storm clouds and high white clouds, grey sky and heaven blue. Big hotels, tiny motels, cinderblock rows and individual cabins and campgrounds. Salt Lake City painted against the valley from the top of the Continental Divide, San Francisco under fog while Marin County is sunny and hot, the shady streets of Independence, Missouri and the old groves of Hyde Park, New York.

Oh, yeah, those were good trips.

5. What's the worst thing that can happen during a vacation?

Sickness. Money can only buy new tires and replace lost clothing.


Perfect Strangers Title Re-enactments
Emma! Have you seen this?

For All You Miller-Boyett Nostalgia Buffs


» Thursday, June 08, 2006
Music (?) To My Ears
In my time I've heard some strange music transformations, like Beatles songs making it to Muzak and "Living Strings" type arrangements for hard-rock tunes.

This afternoon had to be some kind of nadir. I heard Julie London doing a slow, lounge-version of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy." Oh. My. God.


Thursday Threesome

Since we're now in June and fully into wedding season...

Love and Marriage

Love- Tell us about your first love/crush. No, you don't have to name names, but why that person? ;)

Oh, that was Donald. His parents used to bowl with my parents in a league; this was when I was about twelve or thirteen. There were three of us hanging around while our parents bowled; the other girl was Jeannie, who was a little older than me, as was Donald. Her parents were my parents' first team partners. We used to sit at the tables in back of the lanes and talk and goof off. Sometimes Jeannie had her homework; she went to Catholic school and had tons of it, but they learned interesting things like anatomy. Sometimes we bowled if there was a lane available. If I didn't get more than two or three pins down after three balls (this was duckpins, not "big balls"), Don would let me have another try. He had dark curly hair and I thought he was quite cute.

and Marriage- Are you married or in a serious relationship? For how long? If not, do you want to get married or be in a serious relationship someday, or are you happy with your single status?

Yep, 15 1/2 years now.

And I was the one who wasn't going to be married, but have an apartment in Boston and write books.

Go together like a horse and carriage- What's the most romantic thing you've done, had someone do for you, or have seen done?

Gosh, we're not much for the romancy things you see in the films or television. I'm allergic to fresh flowers and I'm not much on jewelry (having two parents who worked in jewelry shops [factories] and then having worked in one yourself will do that to you). Diamonds are overpriced and not all that attractive to me; I prefer fire opals or sapphires. I remember we once sat and cuddled while we watched Always; that was pretty nice. (Since I usually have a book or a puzzle book or some cross-stitch in my hands when I watch TV, it was very atypical, too!) Little things like going outside and watching the stars, or singing along with Petula Clark's "My Love," stuff like that.

James did get down on one knee when he proposed. That was really sweet.


» Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Winnah and New Champeen!
James has conquered the Beast!

Last night he was at the computer again. Although he had attached the second power supply, the one we bought rather than the one that came with the case, to the motherboard/processor and tried it out, he had never actually installed it in the case. Since the unit wouldn't work anyway, he figured he had nothing to lose and actually installed the power supply.

And it worked!

So he began installing the different drives, one at a time.

And the machine came to a halt again.

"What did you do before it quit working?" I asked.

He'd plugged in the floppy drive. When he unplugged it, it worked again. Oh, well, we can get another.

He finished all the plug-ins, then installed the video card and the sound card. By this time it was 12:30 a.m. and even though he was off today (because of working Saturday), he figured he'd let it go for that moment.

But just for the heck of it, he plugged in the floppy drive again.

Whaddya know, this time the computer worked.

So today after getting the oil changed in the truck and buying new boots, he installed the network card, which was the last card. It didn't work—partially. Although it networked our computers together fine, it wouldn't connect with the DSL modem. Poor guy ended up calling up Earthlink support. The tech finally determined the card wasn't working with the DSL modem. Well, duh.

Luckily, the new motherboard came with an onboard network card. That likes both the network between the computers and the DSL modem just fine.

So I'm a'zippin' along now, and can go on with my plans to get a new webspace provider. Bye-bye, Ole Yahoo, I'm a'leavin' Cheyenne...


"Jingle Bells, Mr. Benny?"
News of an early radio Christmas in Holiday Harbour.


» Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Storming the Beaches
I'm listening to Edward R. Murrow reporting on the D-Day landings. XM Radio's channel 4, the 40's channel, is interrupting their music all day today with reports on the landings at Normandy at the time they happened. It's complete with static, scratches, mike drop-outs, and that funny warbly quality that overseas broadcasts always had in those day. Murrow has quotes from Churchill, DeGaulle, and even French and English pilots about the events. There are now reports that their have been allied landings on Jersey and Guernsey in the Channel Islands—oh, Murrow is over and now we are back at "Columbia" and CBS World News headquarters, and here is Douglas Edwards. I remember Edwards doing the evening news way, way back.

Imagine the families with children or other relatives and friends in the European Theatre listening tensely to these reports, knowing their loved ones might be involved and possibly might already be dead or wounded. No on-the-spot cameras, no cell phones, no World Wide Web reports. Just listening, waiting, praying...


Tuesday Twosome

1. Recall two good high school memories: Explain:

Do I have to talk about high school? It was pretty boring. I had a much better time in Junior High, and the school library was better, too! There was Mr. Abosamra's English class and Mr. Dwyer's English class (Mrs. Cooney's English class wasn't too bad; we read Johnny Tremain, which I already loved and did a nifty "project" on it where I got to draw Johnny on his horse Goblin) and Mrs. Schultz's art class and art activity class, and Miss Lichtman's (I think it was Lichtman) creative writing class and the ice cream bars in the cafeteria. High School didn't have anything near as good. We did do a story magazine in Mrs. Peskin's English class (my contribution was a mystery story about a private detective and his family and their part-collie dog; Mrs. Peskin told me it reminded her of McMillan and Wife, which was one of my favorite programs—that may have been intentional <g>, since Matt Brandenberg was based on David Wayne and the victim of the crime was based on Jack Albertson, both who appeared in many of the NBC Mystery Movie stories) and Miss Lorenzo's English class was terrific. I also enjoyed Mrs. Geller's study hall. And we did ceramics in art class.

2. Name two books that changed your life: Explain:

I don't know if any books ever "changed my life." Now there were television shows that turned me on to more books (yes, that was possible...LOL). I wouldn't have read The Prisoner of Zenda if it wasn't for Get Smart, or been turned on to James Thurber if it hadn't been for My World and Welcome to It. Eleanor and Franklin started me reading biographies about the Roosevelts (both sides of the family), The Waltons led me to Earl Hamner's books, etc.

3. List two of the most important things in any relationship: Explain:

Sharing and honesty. (Boy, that sounds cliche.) The best recommendation poor me can make on relationships is find someone who shares some of your interests. Don't go with him/her because of the way they look.

4. What are two ways you've changed in the last two years: Explain:

LOL. I walk a lot slower. My knees hurt. Seriously, I think I'm sadder. I miss my mom a lot. Feel lonely in a place James just can't fill.

5. List two things you really like about yourself: Explain:

Man, that's always been a problem. Never liked the way I looked—the funny humpy nose, the TFH, being so short, skin always breaking out. I'm afraid of too many things and it just gets worse the older I get. I'm moody and I "waffle" too much. I get headachy in the sun and woozy under fluorescents and can't rejoice about summer like everyone else and sometimes it seems there's nothing I can eat that won't give me indigestion.

I do have a good sense of humor. That's something, I guess.


Dangerous to Your Health?
It seems odd, but yesterday before I went to the doctor the only complaints I had were that my prescriptions were running out, the usual hot flashes, and that the Prilosec wasn't working properly.

After the doctor visit my sinuses hurt and I have a cough. What the...?

(The doctor says the Prilosec isn't working because I need to take two of them to be equivalent to one Protonix. Nice thing to tell me after I've been on them for eighteen months! She also prescribed something for me for the hot flashes—not a hormone replacement—but the pharmacy didn't have it. ::sigh::)


Numbers Theory
6-6-6: Is Our Number Really Up?

There's also 664 and 668, the neighbors of the Beast, and 667, the guy across the street from the Beast...

Fiddle. It's a good day: Wild, Wild West is finally out on DVD.


» Monday, June 05, 2006
Down and...Down
James completely pulled everything apart tonight. He had just replaced a slower motherboard and processor on his own machine—physically fine, but was just too slow—so he knew that worked. He installed that instead of the new motherboard and processor, in case those two were the culprits.

The green LED didn't come on this time at all. He saw one flicker of the hard disk light, but nothing else. No power supply fan, no internal fan, no sound, nada.

He is frankly baffled and doesn't know what to do next.


Computer Mystery Deepens
This morning James took everything out of the case except for the power supply, system board, and processor. We're still only getting the light—no power to the power supply fan.

Could this problem be caused by the motherboard or processor? Odd. You would think the power supply fan would work, at least.


Monday Madness

1. I have broken two bones in my lifetime.

This depends on who you ask. In 1980 I fell face-first on the concrete floor at work (my right knee locked up). I went to the emergency room and had stitches on my nose, but they said my nose was okay and nothing was broken. However, the right side of my nose has been uneven from that time, I have a narrowed nasal passage and it hurts when it rains. Sometime in the late 1980s I was trying to learn to roller skate and kept falling, catching myself on my hands. Both my elbows and lower arm and hands swelled up so badly I had to go to the emergency room. The doctors there told me my left elbow had a slight fracture. But the doctor they send me to after that said I didn't.

2. I have had to get three stitches.

In my nose.

3. The worst I've ever injured myself was when I tore the ligaments in my right foot .

4. I've had to go to the Emergency room five times.

I think it's five. My nose, my skating accident, the latest car accident, my tachycardia, and one time when I was two years old and fell out the car window onto the driveway (the car was parked at the time). My mom may have taken me to the emergency room the time I had bronchitis one of the times I was visiting for Christmas, but I remember it being a "doc in the box."

The car incident was the only time I went to the emergency room as a child. I never had earaches and the other times I was that badly sick the doctor came to the house. (Hey! Remember house calls?)

5. On a scale of 1 (being the highest) to 10 (being the lowest), my pain tolerance is a er, dunno .

I never was able to cope with my cramps well, but they were pretty bad. My after-surgery pain wasn't as bad as my cramps (and half that pain was due to my back aching from those dreadful hospital mattresses), nor was the cancer biopsy. Nothing's ever been as bad as the cramps, unless it was the pain I had the first time I had ovarian cysts.


» Sunday, June 04, 2006
It Doesn't Work
Everything's plugged in.

When you turn the unit on, the green LED light comes on at the front. That's it. The fan on the power supply doesn't go, or the processor fan. No post, no click, no nothing. What the hell?


James didn't have a whit of trouble installing a new motherboard and processor on his own unit, but apparently the installation instructions on this motherboard are pretty bad. There is no indication where the one memory stick is supposed to go (James says other boards are labeled where the first stick goes, then the next, etc.) and there is a sound connection cord and the instructions don't tell you where to plug it in. And this is a reputable manufacturer's motherboard! Imagine if we'd purchased the generic special!

In the meantime, since he installed his new motherboard, his PowerDVD will not play. I figured since he was being nice enough to put a computer together for me, I could reload PowerDVD for him.

Stopped in mid-install: we don't have a CD Key. On every other piece of software we own, the CD Key is written on the back of the disk holder or on the disk. Guess which disk isn't like that. [sigh] So I've fired off a scan of the DVD to Cyberlink (to prove we own it) and now have to wait for them to answer us. It's possible the Key is written on James' copy of the DVD (we bought two units, so we have two DVDs—theoretically, anyway) but we can't find it; it seems to have disappeared in the move. [double sigh]

I supposed it's wherever the timers for the lights are!

But since we emptied all the boxes

and didn't leave anything behind at the other house

where on God's green earth is that?


The new equipment will not fit in the old case.

So we had to run to Fry's to get a new case since all MicroCenter had were these expensive and really ugly cases. That put James behind two hours since we then had to eat supper.

He's still messing with it; it doesn't look like the heat sink is going on properly.

I've had to clean off my desk; I always have had a desktop case, but the only desktop cases that both MicroCenter and Fry's had were over $120! So I bought something to keep the CD-ROMs in, and the tower case will go where the CDs used to be.


Well, here we go...James is about to upgrade my computer...

As Samuel L. Jackson says in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts..."


Speaking of birds...heeere's Pidgie:

Pigwidgeon, a.k.a. Pidge


Flock at the Feeder
While we had no suet cake, the bird population at the feeder decreased sharply. Occasionally a chickadee or two would pass by and sometimes what looked like a blackbird (not a starling).

Now that there's a new suet cake in place, the chickadees turn up in the early morning. Right now there seems to be a flock out there—two of them are quarreling with each other. We've been seeing this little bird for several days but could never get close enough to ID it. Friday I managed to spy him closer from the bathroom window. Aha, looks like a nuthatch.

I noticed a little bird with spots on his breast sitting on one of the arms of the feeder support. I could get very close to the window without him fleeing if I stayed very still. Later I was a bit further away and another bird flew up to feed him. So it was a young bird...then mama turned. It was a bluebird and her baby, similar to this.


» Friday, June 02, 2006
An Enchantment of Books
Look what James spotted at Border's tonight!

The American Home Front: 1941-1942 by Alistair Cooke

I have to go back tomorrow with my coupon and get it.

I am overflowing with books again. I have Anne Perry's Dark Assassin from the library, plus Murder on Lenox Hill (new "Gaslight Mystery" with midwife Sarah Brandt) and Dead Beat (new Harry Dresden), plus two paperbacks I got from Dollar General, one about Grail short-stories and another about Halloween decorating and parties. I also found a nifty book about digital scrapbooking at Hobby Lobby which had some great graphics ideas in it.

Plus a new Best of British and a copy of this month's American History which has articles about the Nome diphtheria epidemic of 1925 (the real Balto story) and also about how the ice industry in New England changed the world's need for refrigeration.


Well, the vet called about the results of Wil's followup blood tests. The infection seems to be gone, but there is one level that is still too high. They are going to clean her teeth next week, but then she is going to need a biopsy. The vet suspects she may have Cushing's Disease. This is an abnormality of the adrenal gland and, if she has it, will be very serious. At the least it means medication for the rest of her life, which will probably be shortened.

But we don't know yet.



» Thursday, June 01, 2006
Familiar Face
So Whose Line is It Anyway? ends and BBC America starts a program called Waking the Dead, which they describe as being similar to Cold Case.

And there in the credits...and then a bearded Trevor Eve, "Professor Jonathan MacKensie" from Shadow Chasers himself.

This one's definitely creepier than Shadow Chasers...


"Don't You Understand Dog?"
I sleep as late as I can, dress quickly, and grab my already-made lunch from the fridge, stuff my lunchbox, and leave. Usually Willow is sound asleep when I emerge from the bedroom at 6:15, but this morning she was at the gate waiting for me. When I opened the gate she raced for the bedroom, pushed the door open, and went to dance at James' side of the bed! I called her out and, even though I really didn't have time, took her out—she acted like she really had to go! When we got back in and I unsnapped the leash, she ran back to the bedroom trying to get James' attention (he doesn't have to get up until seven). I got her to come out and shooed her back behind the baby gate and left.

When I called James before he left he told me what had been wrong: she was out of water. But she never led me to the empty water dish; she wanted him to get her water. Too funny.


Thursday Threesome

::Gone Fishin'!::

Onesome: Gone-- "Gone with the Wind"? Do you have a new "must see" movie for this Summer?

There are "must see" movies anymore? Um, nope, not a one. The British remake of Lassie Come Home, Lassie, doesn't open until September.

(Unless Sam Neill or Hugh Laurie or Jerry Doyle have a movie out there that I don't know about...)

I have a lot of must-read books, though: Dead Beat, the newest Anne Perry (on hold at the library), the newest Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody (on reserve at the library), and Victoria Thompson's latest Gaslight mystery (due out next week). (The latest Melanie Travis mystery in paperback and the new "Ghost and Mrs. MacLure" aren't due out until September.)

Probably should check out the copy of the Fair Tax book James bought, too, and I have yet to finish the Collier books.

Twosome: Fish-- Do you fish? What, where (and who cleans <g> )?

Uggggh. I hate fish (the kind with the fins and tails, anyway; I love shellfish) and I'm afraid of worms. Smelly, nasty things (the fish, that is). I'd rather let them swim free.

Threesome: in'-- coming! Do you have any Summer visitors headed your way? ...or are you the one(s) doing the traveling?

Not that I know of, unless Shari gets her car in working order and wants to stay in our spare room sometime.