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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» Sunday, August 30, 2009After the Deluge...More Deluge
We planned to mix business with pleasure today: we had a Kroger stop to make, but we thought we would use the one on Mars Hill Road, near Stilesboro, on the way to Books-A-Million. So we did, after first making our weekly trip to see how The Ditch (the underpass they are building smack through the middle of Jim Miller Park) is coming. They have repaved the original road, which looks like they are making it ready for the North Georgia State Fair in four weeks. (Yow...DragonCon next weekend, Yellow Daisy Festival the week after, Blue Ribbon Affair in three weeks...yes, four weeks, that's right.)
It was drizzling as we set out, but began raining harder as we went through Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park, and by the time we reached Dallas Highway past the Avenue at West Cobb the sky had lowered, it was as dark as twilight, and it was pouring. By the time we got to Kroger it was in Georgia Monsoon Season mode and detouring for gasoline made no difference. We made a mad dash into the store and squelched about picking up milk, bananas, and other necessary items, damp straight through.
Since we were two doors down from Petco, went in to get Schuyler more seed, a new gravel perch, and a couple of new toys. There was a cute white budgie, with little black stripes just in spots on his head and a bit of blue near his vent area, who caught our eye and who was quite curious about us. He was so adorable!
Books-A-Million was a bit of a disappointment as usual. This one doesn't seem to get all the same stock as the others. The only Country magazine they had was from March! Now's the time I really want them. I did get a new Just Cross Stitch and Stoney Creek Cross Stitch. The autumn issue of Blue Ridge Country is totally blah; no good fall pictures at all. Also found the first part of Jean Little's biography for a dollar.
I miss the Joe Muggs coffee/newstand in Buckhead...they always had everything!
Made a brief stop at Michaels, then went to Borders at Town Center to pick up the book James wanted, and I found the newest Beatrix Potter mystery in paperback. Alas, the cash registers had crashed and they could only take cash or a check. James had cash, but it was his cash for the week and he would have had to stop at his bank again. I'd spent all mine. So we just left everything behind and brought the milk home. We didn't want to leave it too much longer in the insulated bag, as the sun was struggling to come out.
Of course by the time we got home it started to rain again.
I am beginning to have trouble with my cell phone. I swear they make these things deliberately to last only a couple of years. Every time I charge it up, it loses the picture of Schuyler I have set as wallpaper. I had to take the photos off it anywayI was astonished to see that I still had the photos of last October's Mistletoe Market on it!so I reseated the battery when I put the MicroSD card back in after removing the pics, and then reset Schuyler's pic (on the card) as wallpaper. The moment I plugged it in, the picture changed again and now it's not recognizing the MicroSD card at all. Bother.
» Saturday, August 29, 2009New Products and Old Friends
Up relatively early to go to the Farmer's Market. It was still cloudy and cool and we took full enjoyment of it with the windows down. I still wore my hat, and good thing, as it peeped out several times. Otherwise it was good strolling weather.
We bought six ears of corn and some tomatoes and cucumbers; also a baguette and some breakfast, plus I bought some goat cheese, and admired all the dogs wandering about at heel at the market. Not a lot of greyhounds at the rescue stand today.
After tucking that all away, we went to BJs for weekly supplies and sandwich meats for DragonCon. Had a couple of samples and checked out the books, and then the DVDs. To my surprise, I saw two old favorites and bought them. One was the first season of the British series The Adventures of Black Beauty (not the Australian follow-on series, but the original with Judi Bowker as Victoria Gordon, William Lucas as her father Dr. Gordon, Roderick Shaw as her brother Kevin, and Charlotte Mitchell as their often-exasperated but motherly housekeeper Amy Mitchell. (In the second season Bowker left the show and was replaced by Stacy Dorning as her sister Jenny, who was explained as having been at boarding school during the first season; I never felt those episodes were as good.) The other was the first season of Rhoda, which, I'll admit, I purchased just to have an uncut copy of "Rhoda's Wedding."
People have comfort foodfor my own part it's chicken soup with rice, or a glass of milk and a Hershey's Special Dark barand comfort activities, like curling up before a fire, doing yoga, or needlework. There is also comfort television for most of us who have grown up with "the idiot's lantern." My audio copy of "Rhoda's Wedding" has always been one of my favorite "comfort TV" offerings. I videotaped a syndicated copy, but it had all my favorite lines neatly excised, like Lou Grant's deadpan "cute...cute as hell" and most of Georgette's opening scene.
Rhoda as a series ran five years, but it rather failed the character. The entire humor of Rhoda Morganstern, late of the Bronx, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was that she was a fish out of water in Minneapolis, plus that she was overweight and had horrendous luck on dates. After a while, Valerie Harper lost what little extra poundage she had (her costuming on Moore's show always made her look more frumpy than she actually was), then decamped to New York, where she promptly met and married Joe Gerard after eight episodes. Rhoda happily married was Rhoda boring, and eventually Rhoda and Joe divorced. But the first season was fun, and the wedding hilarious. I can still recite it almost line for line.
While watching it this time, I noted the words of Rhoda's little confession to Joe on the night before their marriage and had to laugh even more.
Because except for the crack about her mother, and the line where she mentions that some days she talks about nothing but food, I could have made the same confession to James before we got married! Especially "you'll never understand me until you learn to be insecure"! (Maybe for food I could have substituted "books." Or "Lassie." LOL.)Joe: Why should it be hard for you to ask me anything?
So now I'm watching Black Beauty and eating a slice of French bread with goat cheese and honey. I feel rather like Heidi. The Adventures of Black Beauty first ran in syndication during the mid-1970s after the passage of the prime-time access rule, and then was shown on Nickelodeon along with the classic favorites like Lassie and Belle and Sebastian in the 1980s. It's an ambling, old-fashioned type story, with no flashing special effects and 3-D animation, but it suits me just fine.
» Friday, August 28, 2009After the Deluge...
How it rained! It rumbled last evening and rained all night and poured all morning. At a couple of points during the commute I had to slow down to forty miles per hour because the freeway ahead of me was a blob of still black sky, rain, red brake lights, headlight glow, and those odd stridently bright LED billboards. It was still as dark as twilight at 10 a.m. and still drizzling when I went out for lunch, but it had ceased by the time lunch was over.
When I got to work, I figured if it was going to be cloudy all day I would park near the Yale Building (across the parking lot entrance from my own building). I usually park in the corner if it's not raining; I avoid it when it does rain because the water near the sidewalk is about ankle deep. A full-size pickup truck was already parked there and it was almost awashthe water was up to the center of its front hubcaps!
ICE seemed to be a little less crawly today...I got four orders done! Also discussed a big conference order with the end users, talked to my team lead about an order that has been bothering me, and set up all the large business orders that I have ready to go. I had this sneaking suspicion that, with all the input of orders, I had ones that I had missednot printed out and worked on at all. I am so glad I finally got to this point where I could account for all of them, because I was right: I had missed one. (I was relieved because I thought there were more.) This particular order, when I originally looked it up, said it was not located in my workspace, so I couldn't print it out. Well, it was there now, so I quickly printed it and sent it out for quotations. It's specialty software and licenses, so I'm hoping it generates little traffic.
My ride home was...absolutely gorgeous! You couldn't hope for a better day in the latter days of August: it was about 71-73, a nice cool breeze, and mostly cloudy, so I had the windows and the sunroof wide open. I leave at 3:30 when I go into work on a Friday, so traffic was fine. I stopped for gas at Costco, playing cool jazz from Watercolors as I tossed the trash and monitored the pump; later I switched to 40s on 4.
By the time I'd gotten changed and walked the dog, James was home. We had twofers at Ruby Tuesday, so went there, then went out to the Borders at East Cobb to use this week's coupons. Wow! The ride out there is much nicer on a Friday night than on a Saturday afternoon! Plus it was still cool, and everything looked washed clean. Even Lockheed's buildings looked like bright and new.
So I got the new version of Arial, plus a book about the Federal Theatre Program during the Depression, and another "Sisters Grimm" tale and a Stephen Hawking juvenile about a boy learning about the solar system that just looks darn cool. James found a Chieftains CD, and we drove home playing the alternately lively and melancholy tunes. I've always intended to get more Chieftains music; I have their Christmas album and love it.
(Drat! I forgot to check if George Winston had anything new out!)
Plus the new Yankee was out, with lots of fall foliage articles and the autumn issue of Vermont Life, which has mixed foliage with bicycling. And a Small Room Decorating, which I haven't bought in a couple of years.
Came home to watch Monk: A different kind of episode, not centered around a mystery, but about Monk's change in personality when he is asked to impersonate a hit man. The premise was far out, but it was interesting watching Monk's assertive side come out the deeper he got into the role.
He can't even make Windows work properly and he wants to control hurricanes????
Can Bill Gates Stop Hurricanes? Scientists Doubt It
» Thursday, August 27, 2009How Cute!
Where Does the Time Go?
At work, it goes into waiting for ICE to move. I talked to someone about how slow it is and she said, "Oh, it's always like that this time of year." I really, really disagree. It's been slow...but it's glacial. Slothful. If I want to move an order folder into another folder, it takes a minimum of two minutes. (Yes, I timed it.) Today I was trying to do some price research for an order. It took me fifteen minutes to search for and actually get into one single order to look at it. Two years ago, with easier orders, I could bap out twelve a day. The orders are more complicated now, but if I get out three a day I'm having a good day! Today I did two! It's absolutely frustrating. I keep hitting the mouse button like it's going to do something to make the damn thing go. Followed by my usual expletive: "Damn useless piece of Microslop-based junk!"
And then there's the DragonCon schedule. James and I were sitting with the pocket program tonight entering things into our PDAs. It's an embarrassment of riches: I'm pretty much clocked around the Brit track (especially Louis Robinson's panels), the alternative history track, a couple of Trek things (I really, really would like to see William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy on Friday morningthey were part of my childhood), a few YA lit panels, an Apollo 11 retrospective, the Saturday night ARTC performance (sorry, guys, I'm skipping Cthulu on Sunday), and, oh, yeah, Dean Haglund's improv if possible (it's usually so funny I get a headache from laughing). James is top-heavy with apocalypse and alternative history and a couple of writers' panels.
Plus there needs to be enough time for a quick run around the art show, and a stroll of the dealers' and exhibition rooms, and a visit to Andy Runton's table in Artist's Alley...I think there's a new Owly out, and one must have Owly!
I figure to do this we are going to have to come up with one of Hermione's time-turners...each!
» Wednesday, August 26, 2009Can't Wait for This!
The National Parks
Complete with Teddy Roosevelt! Bully!
(Some great stuff coming up this fall on PBS: American Experience doing a sequence of 1930s-set specials, a Nova special on anthropology, and some super-looking stuff on Nature, including another "Cloud" sequel and an episode on hummingbirds.)
» Tuesday, August 25, 2009Waiting for the Chirp, Chirp, Chirp
I heard something Sunday night when James took Willow out that I hadn't heard in months: crickets! During the summer the sound of the cicadas and the tree frogs overwhelm everything else; I don't think the crickets even try to compete. It's a very small sign that fall is approaching; next the acorns will be dropping out of the trees in the parking lot at workseveral have already tapped their autumn drumbeats on the roof of my carand the silvery spiders' webs will appear in the mornings.
I am crossing fingers that we will have a nice DragonCon like last year. About halfway through August last year we had a rainstorm, and after it passed it was still hot, in the 80s, but the heat had been tempered. Temps this week are supposed to get close to 90, but not pass ithope that's true. Makes walking between all those hotels much more palatable!
And the nice cool mornings are nice, too!
» Monday, August 24, 2009No Clue for YOU!
DragonCon's pushed back the online schedule till Wednesday. Same old story, I see.
» Sunday, August 23, 2009Day of Rest, My Foot!
Whomever says that doesn't have a job plus a house that needs cleaning.
I'd imagined that if I began early enough, I might even have some time to sit down and cross stitch! Imagine that!
Yeah...like, right. I was up at nine and while it was still lovely and cool ran to Food Depot for sugar-free Blue Bunny ice cream bars. Since the only reason I would be going to Kroger was for milk, I grabbed some there. Also bought James a birthday cardless than two weeks away!and the newspaper.
There were Michaels coupons, so I took one along with my Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon that was running out tomorrow, and went out to BB&B for another, smaller glass cutting board. Now I have replaced both and I can get rid of those ugly ones. I cleaned them both up and they will go to Goodwill with a box full of stuff that's already ready. I also stopped at Barnes & Noble briefly to look at some books in a mystery series by an author named Penny. The newest one is offered on Amazon Vine this month and I wondered if I'd like it, since it takes place in Quebec. I don't know, though. I'm not much on police procedurals.
I did notice that Steven Boyett's Ariel is back in print! I got this edition when it was first released in 1983, and then noted a year or two ago that there was a new electronic version with deleted sequences and had planned to get it, but forgot. Now it is back in paperback formI notice the titular unicorn is not even on the cover; I guess they don't want people to think this is a girly-girly book instead of the gritty urban fantasy it is. Plus I notice Boyett has a sequel coming out in November, featuring what sounds like a child of the original protagonist. Terrific!
I passed on the book, though, until I could use a coupon at Borders. But really, it's a great book. Don't read "unicorn" and think "Disney princesses" or "Barbie," okay? It's not that kind of book.
Stopped at Michaels for a few stocking stuffer-type things along with some tulle circles like you use for wedding favors. Every time James brushes Willow he saves the fur. I'm going to try placing some of it in the tulle circles and tying them near the bird feeders in the hope that the scent will keep the squirrels away.
For the rest of the afternoon I cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed the carpet (gawd, this takes forever; I hate this vacuum cleanerit's like trying to drive a Mack truck and weighs nearly as much), vacuumed the stairs, swept the foyer and the downstairs hall and the kitchen and the bathrooms, sorted out the newspaper, washed and dried three loads of clothes, put most of them away, got part of my lunchbag ready, and got my clothes ready for the week.
James is home...now for our Asian chicken salad...and a nice comfy seat!
» Saturday, August 22, 2009In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Daytime...
Since James is working tomorrow, we "slept in" until almost nine, and then made our way to Hair Day. James baked more blueberry muffins and they were definitely a hit, along with the "Sun Goat Pesto" (with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese) from the Farmer's Market last week. We had a small crowd today, but a good time. The main course was deli meat and cheese, and Lin made the Asian salad from one of Paula Deen's cookbooks. I love this stuff, not the main cabbage (bok choy, I think), but the nuts, seeds, crispy Ramen noodles, and oranges that go with it, but predictably I was burping it up all afternoon.
Plus we got the good news that ARTC's "Rory Rammer, Space Marshal" will have a CD release for DragonCon (which is in two weeksyipe!).
From there we went to the hobby shop for a little while, then stopped at Wild Birds Unlimited and got another "arm" for the feeder hanger assembly. The bigger squirrel-proof feeder is just too big and heavy to be on the old, thin pole. Finally we stopped at Trader Joe's for tomorrow night's salad supper and got a few other things, including something for James to eat for lunch tomorrow, and then came home.
Installed the new arm immediately and also added a bag of safflower seed to the seed can. I had refilled the feeders and was putting up the suet feeder when one of the little brown-headed nuthatches flew up. I froze in place with my right arm up like the Statue of Liberty and he eyed me and I eyed him. We were so close I could have reached out and touched him (or her) if he had let me. Then I said softly, "Hi, sweetie," and he played it safe and flittered away.
Was feeling distinctly overheated by this time and was glad to rest under the ceiling fan and watch Colour Confidential with Jane designing a home office for a couple. Wow. Even I would want to work in what she designed.
Dozed off for a while, even, and kept company with Schuyler until it was time to go to trivia. Need to remember to get there earlier from now on.
We won tonight! At least one answer I pulled out of some dark memory (which book Forrest Gump carried in his briefcase [Curious George]), and the final question was about which Mercury astronaut did not get to fly in the Mercury programDeke Slayton, of course. One other was "The champion in what sport is commemorated by an Eclipse Award?" After my having read all her books, every Marguerite Henry fan in the world would have killed me had I gotten this one wrong! LOL. (It's horse racing; Eclipse was the ancestor of all of today's thoroughbreds.)
Now, right before we left for trivia, James took Willow outside and came back in saying, "Hey, you remember that noise we heard earlier and Willow started barking? Well, the front's come through. It was the flag [the banner on the front porch] snapping and changing directions."
It was nice outside. We drove to the restaurant with the windows down, and when we came out it was blessedly, delightfully, gorgeously cool! I had to pull my arm away from the window on the way home because it was chilly. Lovely, sweet and pure cool air!
Come quickly, O Fall! We miss you!
» Friday, August 21, 2009Marching Through Georgia
We had a great supper with Claudia, although most of our stuff was served when we were finished with dinner, so we brought most of it home. Big black clouds were building up in the north as we went off to Hobby Lobby. Walked in the door and was greeted with FALL! What a breath of fresh air! Checked out the Christmas ornaments, too, and came out with the September issue of "Country Sampler," with all the nice prim homes decked out in leaves, branches, crows and scarecrows, and nostalgic Hallowe'en decor.
We were home by the time the storm broke, watching Monk. Alas, it began halfway through, so we'll have to catch the rerun to see who killed the woman in the desert and if Natalie can get her car back without it costing her four figures, since Monk kept insulting the only repairman in town. Sometimes Adrian needs duct tape.
Quite a noisy storm, too. The lights dimmed a half dozen times and the internet connection crashed once, but otherwise it was fine.
James has made blueberry muffins for Hair Day tomorrow and the house smells lovely!
Sleep, Sweet Sleep
I slept until ten this morning! Talk about sucking up sleep like a sponge.
After that, an ordinary Friday. Went to WallyWorld for yogurt and bananas; got enough of the former to last until after DragonCon. Yoplait now has a coffee yogurt, so I'm trying it. The cashier was very chatty and telling me and the lady behind me about a recent customer who insisted on rearranging his bags, putting the bread on the bottom, with the eggs on top, and with the bug spray in the same bag! Ewww.
Had two Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons to use up, so went to Cumberland Mall via the East-West Connector. Got another shelf for the cupboard under the counter and also a glass cutting board. I hate the one we have, with ugly pink and green flower patterns. This is clear. Also stopped at Barnes & Noble. Noticed a sign of hopethe autumn issue of "Midwest Living" is outbut didn't buy anything. Gad, half the paperbacks are vampire romances.
Was going to get gasoline at Costco, but the line was into next week. We are having supper tonight with friends at Pizza Hut, but most of what they serve there I can't eat without getting indigestion into next week. So I stopped at Fresh2Order and got a bowl of soup. (You really get stiffed on take-out, sadly, as the large bowl of soup is not as large as what you get if you eat in. Anyway, when I got home I added a little water to it, and the rest of the leftover rice. Yummy. Ate it just before James got home.)
Final stop was the QT for gas. The guy next to me had his windows half down, but had his stereo on so loud and the bass set so hard all I could hear was his car vibrating until he actually opened the door. Ow. Plus he had to squeal his wheels on the way out. Sorry you're impotent; have you tried Viagra?
Had cheese and crackers for lunch, then put up the cutting board and the shelf. I ended up cleaning out the cupboard and rinsing out all the pans we don't use that often. Then I sat down and watched most of Good Morning, Miss Dove. This is the first time I've seen it in the original widescreen!
» Wednesday, August 19, 2009The Good and the Bad, the Coda
The Bad: I never can get enough sleep. This morning Willow started barking, the short, sharp distress barks. She's on antibiotics for her sinus infection, or whatever it is, and usually that makes her need to "go" more, so James finally put on some shorts and a shirt and went to take her outside. It was 4:08 a.m.
But she didn't want to go out; he said she was flattened on the floor as far as she could go. He immediately suspected a fly, but saw none buzzing around the little lamp that is always lit. Didn't see anything when we turned the light on this morning, either, and they usually swarm for that light. Odd.
The Good: an impressionist's dream of a sunrise, all spread across the sky, soft-edged clouds of lemon yellow, and pale and bright oranges, with bands of purple. Lovely!
» Tuesday, August 18, 2009The Good and the Bad
The Good: I was supposed to meet someone at the house today. Since I would have had to take leave to do so, my supervisor said I could telework today (we're off telework until fiscal year is over). This was especially terrific since my home computer works like greased lightning next to the sad sallie at work, so I was able to do five...count 'em!...orders this morning, instead of the two or maybe three I might have managed.
The Bad: I counted on making just as good a rate this afternoon and then the ICE server crashed like an Imperial Walker on Hoth a little after three and hasn't been seen since. Since I can't do purchase orders without ICE...this is a Bad thing.
Not to mention the person who was supposed to come by didn't bother knocking on the door, so by the time I looked outside again, they were gone. Dammit.
The Good: I had to get gasoline for the rest of the week, so went to Kroger. I must have had the funniest shopping cart there all day: birdseed, niger seed, Gas-X, and leg quarters for James to grill for supper. I put the seed and niger up before it thundered and rained, and already the finches seem to be coming out of the woodwork.
Oh, and really Good news, Ivan: Good Morning, Miss Dove was letterboxed!
» Monday, August 17, 2009Interesting Skies
Wow. We got the tail-end of the clouds from Claudine or Claudette or whatever the tropical storm that hit the panhandle of Florida. No rain at all, far as I can tell, but the cloud formations as I drove home, especially as I got into Smyrna, were magnificent. Big grey and silver and white cathedrals of clouds, layered one upon the other, with definite edges. Very cool.
» Sunday, August 16, 2009BJs and Books
Oh...damn...dog barking...morning already?
Sadly, it was. At least it was cool enough to get to BJs with windows open. We picked up things we needed, a few things on coupons, and some boneless pork, which we badly needed (the only other pork in the house is sausage). Then to Kroger for the usual things: milk, bananas, other fruit, etc.
Once we had everything put up, we had an enjoyable afternoon. James had found out that the late Hank Reinhardt's Book of Swords was at the Borders store in Buckhead. A mystery that Dani had recommended, a novel about mystery author Josephine Tey solving a crime in 1930s England, was also there, so we took a nice ride into town via the back route, through the little community of Vinings, down the country-like tranquility of Paces Ferry, and then into Buckhead through West Paces Ferry and past our old building, The Container Store, and Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza.
We like coming to this Borders because it is the largest store and has the best selection of books, including a wonderful collection of history books. It was pretty crowded upstairs because Nancy Grace was doing a book signing. Then we came home via Chastain Park and Mount Paran Road (wow...must be an off-season, as "Mr. Inflatable" has nothing on his lawn!), and read the paper. James made home-made pizzas for supper: hamburger cut with TVP, cheddar cheese, and fresh tomatoes on nice crisp crusts and tomato sauce. Watched Merlin and other things we'd DVR'd, like Colour Confidential, Clark Howard, and Lock and Load with R. Lee Ermey.
» Saturday, August 15, 2009Tomes and Terriers
So we ended up eating at home Friday because the heat at work did a number on me; I went from traffic to bathroom in very quick succession. James brought grilled chicken home from KFC instead of us going out to dinner. Later I was recovered enough so we could go to Borders. There are 40 percent off paperback coupons this week. I found the first book in what looks like an interesting new series, about magic users during the Revolutionary War.
(Apparently it was interesting enough to me, because I started it last night and finished it this afternoon! The first book is The Patriot Witch, about a young man descended from Salem witches who is a minuteman, and just discovering there is more to his powers that he can use for the good of the Revolution, against evil magic-users who are allied with the British.)
We were up early for the farmer's market this morning. Had to pretty much buy all new veggies as the ones we bought last week were left in the car too long and spoilt. We had samples and bought corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, some pesto spread for Hair Day next week, chicken salad for James, and a baguette and two croissants. This we immediately took home.
Willow has had this moldy-looking growth thing on her nose for over two weeks. Until I gave her a bath I was convinced it was dirt until it wouldn't come off. We continued washing her nose all week but it never came off, so we both started worrying that it was some type of growth, since she has "old dog" warts all over her body. We called the vet when Jen and Meg were here, but there were no doctors in the office on Sunday; we had to wait until today. So she excitedly followed us into the truck and we drove out to Dunwoody.
We arrived very early, so spent 40 minutes total in the vets office with Willow hyperventilating madly. She panted, whined, tried to escape, and it took three tries to get her on the scale. She's lost a pound since Aprilyay! The ten-minute wait in the examination room seemed to last an hour. Then Dr. Mike came in, looked at the "growth" and scraped it off with his fingernail. It was...dried snot, basically. I had thought about trying to scrape it off, but was afraid to do it, especially when it wouldn't loosen up when I bathed her!
We did notice that she was sneezing a lot last weekend; Dr. Mike thinks she's just had a cold or an allergy causing the grey discharge, so he gave her 10 days worth of antibiotics.
Now, at the vet's office and at Petsmart we have always tried to offer Willow the free dog biscuits they have out. She's always so nervous she won't eat them. But today Dr. Mike put the first pill in a Greenies "Pill Pouch" and she gobbled it up! James and I looked at her in shock! Later he said, "There must be dog catnip in it!"
We stopped at the Perimeter Borders on the way back. I stayed outside with Willow while James went inside, walking her back and forth and sitting at one of the Seattle Coffee tables for a while. We like to show her a car trip isn't all trauma. When James came out, I went in, and emerged (with another "Traitor to the Crown" book), he was sitting on the wall reading his acquisition with Wil lying down next to him.
From there we stopped at Wendy's for lunch. Got Wil and I both a junior hamburger plain; she had hers without the bun. :-) She was very good and let both James and I eat without harassment, and I fed her the burger when I got done with mine. Also gave her a mandarin orange and the juice left in the bowl. Once we got to the hobby shopshe had a swell time; a bunch of the guys were petting herI gave her some water in the orange cup.
Finally, over her trauma, she arrived home and sacked out on the carpet. Frankly, I sacked out, too, on the sofa, due to a sinus headache that was getting worse by the minute. When I'd conquered the headache, I finished Patriot Witch, and by then it was time for dinner. James was in the mood for Chinese, so we went to Oriental Cafe and had a Mandarin Trio: big shrimp, chicken, and beef over rice noodles with an oyster sauce which has been coming up on me all night.
Well, we were going to stop at Borders in Austell so I could get the third of the "Traitor" books, then go to BJs and then Kroger. We got to Borders and there was one of our friends, Phyllis, who told us they were playing trivia on our side of town now, at the Vinings Grill. Well, cool! We quit going to trivia way before Pigwidgeon died because the new place they were playing was a bar that was wayyyyyy too noisy and they allowed smoking. We brought our leftovers home and joined them. There was another friend there we hadn't seen in years. Since we had already eaten, we just had dessert...and were in time for chat in the bargain.
» Friday, August 14, 2009What's With Today's Google Doodle?
"Someday I'm Going to Murder the Bugler..."
James looked balefully in the mirror this morning as he shaved and said, "I hate that alarm clock."
So what was there to do but sing bits of Irving Berlin's World War I classic, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning":
My dad, the WWII infantry man, always pointed out that "the other pup" was the poor schmuck who'd been on guard duty all night, so he deserved a break! :-)The other day I chanced to meet a soldier friend of mine.
My favorite line about "o'dark thirty" as James calls it, is the wonderful one given to Hawkeye Pierce in an episode of M*A*S*H: "Now I know why they shoot people at sunrise. Who wants to live at six in the morning?"
» Thursday, August 13, 2009Well...Finally...
DragonCon has a clue! They have announced that the panel schedules will be posted online on August 24. I usually spend the last week of August waiting for the online post and firing off an inquiring note to the tune of "some of us like to plan ahead, y'know."
Many of the individual tracks already have schedules up. Ooooh, Alternative History track has a Sherlock Holmes panel...
» Wednesday, August 12, 2009Foreign Champs
If the reviews on Amazon.co.uk are correct, there's an entire generation of English children that remember a 1950s American children's television show better than I do, which I find bizarre.
Deep Discount (neè Deep Discount DVD) had a sale a few months ago (of which I was tipped off by Ivan Shreve). For $5 each, I got a box set of the BBC Narnia movies (originally shown on Wonderworks on PBS), six episodes of Shirley Temple's Storybook (these are from the early 60s, when Temple had a series that dramatized fairy tales and children's books--the episodes I received included Pippi Longstocking, Kim, and Madeleine), and two box sets each of 10 episodes of Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion and The Adventures of Champion.
Captain Gallant I remember from childhood. In the case of most 1950s series, I can return to the wonder in which I watched the frequently creaky plots and cliched characters and enjoy the heck out of them anyway. I watched all of the 1950s/1960s animal series and most of the Western ones: Lassie, Fury, My Friend Flicka, National Velvet, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin, The Littlest Hobo, The Roy Rogers Show, Annie Oakley, The Gene Autry Show, even stuff like The Adventures of Robin Hood from England, and the more adult shows like Jim Bowie, Sea Hunt, and Judge Roy Bean, and I still enjoy watching them now.
Captain Gallant, frankly, was a disappointment after all these years. The show makes a big deal in the credits of mentioning that it was filmed with the cooperation of the French Foreign Legion and in the camps, and actual Foreign Legion soldiers are shown in some of the clips, but the show is not only pretty standard, but for a kids' show of the time it turned out to be downright boring. Lots of static bits with people talking. Buster Crabbe might have been a good Flash Gordon, Olympic swimmer, and even Tarzan, but as Captain Gallant he was pretty dull. His son Cullen played "Cuffy," the little orphan boy Gallant was guardian to, and this kid had to be the blandest kid ever on film. Evidently Crabbe had something in his contract that said he would be the hero of the episodes, so Cuffy has little to do, unlike Timmy Martin or Jeff Miller, or Joey Newton, or even Ricky North (see below).
Ironically, the shows in the set are edited, so they had five minutes clipped out of each episode and were still overlong. Now that's sad.
With all the animal series I watched, I do not remember Champion at all. Amazon.co.uk is filled with about a dozen delighted reviews of this 26-episode series (which was replaced by My Friend Flicka) from now-adults who remember watching "Champ" on Saturdays during the summers well into the 1970s. A spin-off, of sorts, of Gene Autry's 1950-1955 television series, his horse Champion starred as a wild stallion who, nevertheless along with the responsibilities of guarding his own herd of wild mares, was friends with 12-year-old orphan Ricky North, who lived with his uncle Sandy and his German Shepherd dog Rebel in the American Southwest (lots of scenes apparently filmed at Vasquez Rocks, where Lassie and Timmy later hung out). Ricky is the only one Champ will allow to ride him and comes at Ricky's whistle. Talk about a kids' dream come true!
Of course Champion helps Ricky and Rebel and Uncle Sandy foil rustlers, robbers, and the like. The animals were coollike Fury, Champ could outrun the outlaws and rear and slash his forefeet with good effect, and like Lassie and Rinty, Rebel was always good for leaping out of nowhere to get the villain's gun handbut Barry Curtis as Ricky was a pretty dull child actor (I guess because Champ and Rebel were the real stars of the series). Uncle Sandy, incidentally, was played by Jim Bannon of radio's I Love a Mystery fame, the father of Jack Bannon who played Art Donovan on Lou Grant.
The first episode of the series had lots of ties to Lassie"Beulah" the traveling saddle-tramp's donkey was "Lucky" in three episodes, the episode was directed by frequent Lassie director George Archainbaud, and Robert Schaeffer and Eric Freiwald, Lassie's most prolific writers along with Sumner Long, were the writers.
There's also an unintentionally funny scene where the old saddle-tramp is telling Ricky a story about his "ambush" by Indians. He does something that "stops them in their tracks" and the film freeze-frames a clip of attacking Indians evidently culled from some old Western film!
» Tuesday, August 11, 2009Berry Good!
One of the lovely things Jen and Meg brought us (along with some genuine Pacific salmon and a Breyer "Lassie" statue) were a little over two quarts of fresh blueberries from their grandparents' property in North Carolina. Last night James went through his Bisquik cookbook and found a recipe for blueberry muffins. Actually, instead of making "muffins," he did them in the divided brownie pan, and made them with the Splenda/sugar mix. They came out lovely, moist and sweet without being sickly sweet like those awful blueberry muffins you get in grocery stores that taste like half the sugar bowl was dumped into them. Yummy! Thanks, guys!
Steam and Scream
Horrible day. High 90s with the heat index hitting 100°F. At least there was a breeze. With two cold compresses and the car parked under the trees lunch hour was just bearable.
Work is more frustrating than the weather. Half our systems are operating at the speed of a brain-damaged snail. Once the order is complete, I should be able to build it and print out all the supporting items bang-bang-bang, one after the other. Instead it is taking me one or two minutes just to get into folders. I can print out six documents and the order still hasn't completed. Everything is taking forever. I just want to get things done for people.
We were watching Animal Cops: Phoenix last night and the situation would have been comical if the dog involved hadn't been in pain:
The humane society was called about an injured puppy that had come into a vet clinic. The owner admitted he had accidentally stepped on the puppy's leg and broken it. He took it to the vet, who diagnosed a fracture. Instead of having the fracture treated, the guy said he could do it himself and took it home. When the HS rep got there, it turned out the guy's "treatment" was a finger splint tied onto the wrong part of the dog's leg with an inadequate as well as too-tight bandage that was making the puppy's foot swell. They confiscated the puppy and the guy was required to appear in court. The judge asked what experience he had in treating medical problems in animals. He seemed rather indignant that they could question his expertise. He was a college graduate, after all, and owned his own business!
(If he was trained as a paramedic, maybe, I could see. Or a nurse. Even had a Boy Scout First Aid badge...)
Maybe Mr. College-Graduate-With-His-Own-Business should hook up with this gal.
» Monday, August 10, 2009Winged Visitors
The male goldfinch has been back to the feeder at least twice. If he has a mate, she has probably been out there as well, but the female looks a lot like a sparrow and I've probably mistaken her for such. I wonder if they'll stick around for the winter. I'll have to check for the wing pattern then, since the male goldfinch goes through a complete winter molt and looks like the female during the cold months of the year.
» Sunday, August 09, 2009I'm Melting...
Well, it feels like it, anyway.
Jen was going to knock on our bedroom door when they rose, but we were both already awake when their alarms rang at 7 a.m. I offered them milk, they checked the map to make sure where they were going to turn northwest after Birmingham, and then they were off with us waving them on their way.
I would have liked nothing better than to go back to bed, but it seemed silly. So we had breakfast, then started on our errands. Deposited checks at the bank. Check. Safflower seeds for the birds. Check. Trip to BJs for cheese, eggs, etc. Check. Trip to Kroger for gasoline, and the rest of the things we needed: milk, bread, James' prescription. Home! We could spend the afternoon (for it was after noon by then) as we liked.
Well, almost. We forgot the one thing we really went to Kroger for: dog food!
There were 40 percent off Borders coupons anyway, so we drove out to the one at Merchant's Walk (passing by a Kroger on the way to pick up a bag of dog food and a box of dog biscuits while we were at it), which is the best one around these days except for the story at Buckhead. I didn't see anything that "floated my boat," but James found three, so I bought one for him, about surviving in case of disaster. He also got an Eric Flint anthology and an urban fantasy anthology.
By this time we were both exhausted. We had a lot of fun this weekend, but the heat has done its nasty work. We both feel as if we've had every bit of energy siphoned from our bodies, and I've been nauseated most of the day unless I am quiet and cool. Right now I am just finishing one of the DVDs I bought from Amazon.com, one of the old Bell Science Series specials from 1959, The Alphabet Conspiracy, in which a little girl named Judy, frustrated by her English homework, almost falls for the Mad Hatter's (Hans Conreid) plan to destroy the alphabet to get away from the frustration of grammar, until Dr. Linguistics (Bell Lab's Dr. Frank Baxter, who starred in a series of these science hours) convinces her otherwise. There are two other science shorts on the DVD as well: "The Gift of Green," about photosynthesis, and "The Adventures of Junior Raindrop," a Forest Service film which talks about erosion (I could tell it was a Forest Service film without even looking at the credits; it sounded like a 60s forest ranger episode of Lassie).
Now as I am really in the mood for something mindless, I have put on National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon.
Jen and Meg Just Left...
...about ten minutes ago, heading for I-20 via Austell and Thornton Roads. Whahhhhh... We had such a good time!
As the Amish elder said to John Book at the end of Witness, "You be careful out there amongst the English."
» Saturday, August 08, 2009So Here We Are...
...the four of us, sitting in the living room, watching Remember WENN, and three of us on chat.
We're relaxing from a long day. We started by being up at eight and going to the farmer's market. Had some wonderful fruit samples and also some pot pie and pesto and smoked chicken spread, and James and I got breakfast. We picked up breakfast for Jen and Meg on the way downtown to the aquarium. Since the freeway was undergoing repavement, we went through Northside Drive and wandered around for a few minutes finding our way. But shortly we were parked and in the short line, and entered the aquarium just before eleven.
I'm not much of a "fish person," but this was "swell," as Betty Roberts would say. There are different galleries and we visited each in turn; the first was "Tropical Diver," a tropical reef, of course, with myriads of colorful fish. "Ocean Voyager" is the next attraction, with the largest tank. This includes four whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. This gallery features an impressive overhead view of the tank (several of the galleries have these overhead passages), with manta rays and other fishes swirling overhead.
Next was "Coldwater Quest," cold water and arctic sea life. This included not only some impressively large grouper, but otters. The female was gliding around her pool on her back, contentedly sucking on one paw. She moved so quickly I never did get a decent photo! James did get a very dark picture of the whiskery face of the male. There were also smaller, Asiatic otters later in the gallery, but they were all asleep in a pile, like a litter of kittens.
"River Scout" was freshwater river fishincluding some whoppers of catfish. At this point James' blood sugar was beginning to flag, so we decamped to the cafe in the center of the aquarium. Luckily we didn't care to have anything from the grill (burgers or hot dogs or pizza) which was hip deep and got sandwiches instead. We really had to hustle for a table, though, as the place was packed. I'm not sure if this is a normal crowd, or because Monday is the first day of school and everyone's having a last fling.
We finished up in the "Georgia Explorer," which is what it sounded like: a gallery of fish species native to Georgia. But first we joined the crowd at the tank where you could pet several different varieties of manta rays and also small hammerhead sharks. Meg seemed to develop quite a rapport with themand she has with Schuyler, too, who loves to listen to her whistle. Anyway, this gallery had a shy loggerhead turtle and a large school of lionfish, plus some shrimp that would never see the inside of Red Lobster.
By then it was almost two o'clock, so we went upstairs to get in line for the "Titanic Aquatic" exhibit. This was pretty cool. The story of the ship and its sinking were shown through artifacts recovered from the site where the ship ended up. You start at the shipyard with Irish music playing in the background, and as you proceed through the artifacts through each class of travel and the workings of the ship, the "soundtrack" changes. When you go into third class, for instance, the engine sounds get louder, as they would have been on the ship.
During the iceberg collision part of the exhibit, they have an actual large piece of ice to show you how frigid the water would have been, and also a computer simulation to see if you could have diverted the ship from hitting the iceberg. It's sort of like the Kobiyashi Maru test. :-)
You are given the card representing a passenger when you enter, with their name and a little about them. As you leave the exhibit, you see the roster of passengers who survived and who died, and you find out if you made it or not. All of us ladies made it, but James didn't. :-(
When we emerged back into the heat (after leaving, as you must, through the gift shopit's a state law...LOL), and finally left the aquarium, it was still too early for dinner, so instead we had our dessert first and then took Jen and Meg to Richard's Variety Store. This is the closest thing to an old-fashioned five-and-ten that's left, with unique items. I think they enjoyed it. :-)
Then we had dinner at the Colonnade.
Yes, of course I had the turkey. :-)
And then we sat down and watched Remember WENN...oh, and got on chat, of course. What better thing to do on a Saturday night?
Guess Where We Went Today!
» Friday, August 07, 2009Monk Final Season
Quite enjoyed the season premiere, thank you!
Interview: Tony Shalhoub Discusses Monk's Final Season
Waiting on Monk
We finished watching The Big Time and watched an episode of What's My Line? James arrived home as it ended.
James grilled some yummy pork ribs, which we had with corn on the cob and tomato and cucumber salad. Next James got everyone else on line, which I was assaulted by a bunch of new ribbons and gifts in Farmville. Our post prandial entertainment was reading Meg's "Lord of the Radio" story until it was time for Monk.
I Got a Picture of the Goldfinch!
Jen and Meggan are here! They came with me to pick up my new glasses at Sears, then we had lunch at Fresh2Order, and now I am showing them The Big Time. This movie had such potential...
» Thursday, August 06, 2009This Just Tickled Me
» Tuesday, August 04, 2009The Tide Keeps Coming In, But Never Ebbs
Sunday night I did not sleep long (six hours at the most), but it was a sound sleep and I awoke relaxed.
Last night I didn't, and I am jittery, nauseated, and the muscles in my neck are all tense. I wish I could stop the damn nightmares. I remember when I used to work with Microslop Access I would have recurring dreams about spending hours filling in fields, only to hit save, then reopen the table and find everything blank, re-fill in the fields, hit save, reopen to find it blank, over and over and over. I would wake up exhausted because I felt as if I had actually been typing all night.
Last night was a variation on this: I was given something to do that I thought was a rush, and throughout the dream I work, and work, and work on it, only to find out when I finish and have not worked on anything else that...someone gave me the wrong info and it's a Facebook game!
Plus I think I forgot to take my Atenolol last night...bother.
» Monday, August 03, 2009Sunny Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down
Actually, it's Tuesdays I hate...slowest day of the week...Monday you're still riding the crest of the weekend. However, every day of the week appears to be the slow one for my computer at work. It is getting absurd. I did a disk cleanup today, but we are not allowed to do a defrag of the hard drive, as that takes administrator privileges. I understand not being allowed to install softwareGod only knows what some people would put onbut I'm sure my hard disk could use a good defrag. It takes forever to process anything.
Traffic was fine, but it's Monday. James made the prepared pork chops we bought at Kroger yesterday. Very mild seasoning, thank God, and the pork was tender.
And then I was doing some neglected dusting when there was a crash from downstairs.
Damn. The wire shelving in the garage that was holding James' boxes of rockets fell down. Again. I think this time it stayed up a year...I can't find where it happened previously. Obviously the shelving supports are not strong enough to hold the boxes (the shelf is fine; it's the supports that failed).
So we picked up everything in the garage (the boxes pretty much stayed shut; we only had to collect the contents of two of them) and really were only in there for not more than fifteen minutes, but it was so hot I was nauseated for the rest of the night.
Have I mentioned lately how much I loathe summer?
Honey, Get A Life
Alumna Sues College Because She Hasn't Found a Job
The world does not owe you a job, even if you had a perfect attendance record and a "2.7 grade point average."
...must there be loudness and obstruction?
» Sunday, August 02, 2009A Busy Sunday
Next in our saga of searching for twofer oatmeal...
Not much, really. We dropped James' prescriptions off at Kroger, went across the street to Publix. They had lots of my flavor oatmeal; we got more fruit cups, too. Came back to Kroger and found some nice steaks on the markdown shelf and also some pre-marinated pork chops, and of course the usual bananas, yogurt and milk. James got gasoline, we came home. Then I had to get gasoline, so we went down to the Borders in Austell, intending to get gas at the QTbut they didn't have what James was looking for, so we left there and went to the Borders at Parkway Pointe and got gas at Costco instead.
Spent the afternoon preparing for guests: cleaned the guest room and put new linens on the bed, washed the comforter and dusted everything. Also gave the hall bathroom a good scrub. Watched Clark Howard, read the paper, watched Merlin, then put up the steaks we had bought and tossed the trash.
We had planned to watch the third episode of The Tudors (we have the first disk from Netflix), but the disk jerked to a stop after three minutes and froze. We had been able to watch episode two, but only the first thirty minutes of episode one; the disk wasn't badly scratched, but you can clearly see a dent in it, like someone pushed a sharp point into it. Not sure if this happened in the mail or what. I wasn't going to ask for a new disk, but I have, since we have only gotten to see half of them! Had to laugh, though: in the first fifteen minutes of the first episode Henry had sex with two different gorgeous women! James looked at me solemnly and said "It's good to be the king." LOL.
For some reason the actor playing Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) reminds me of Christopher Eccleston. Sam Neill is Cardinal Wolsey and Jeremy Northam is Thomas More. :-) Nice cast there.
» Saturday, August 01, 2009Coupon Coups and Other Saturday Stories
Goodness, James was up early again. I heard him get upit's impossible to miss the loud hiss of a sleep apnea machine mask pulled offthen dozed off again until about eight o'clock and then debated with getting up until about 8:20, when it was close to the alarm going off.
It was "soft" outside, still overcast and cool when we left the house. We arrived at the Farmer's Market about 9:10; plenty of parking, but still crowded, so people must have parked right on the square. We got extra corn for company next weekend, a big tomato the size of a softball and two little cucumbers, French bread, an apple turnover, and breakfast for both of us (croissants), and visited the rescue greyhounds. They are so beautiful with their big liquid eyes. Like Basenjis, they always look a bit worried. "Did I leave the gas on? Maybe it was the iron..."
From the Farmer's Market we went out toward Merchant's Walk. James was looking for the new "Backwoods Home" and the East Cobb Borders is the most likely to have it. On the way to Borders we stopped at the Hallmark store. I had forgotten to look for their special miniatures gingerbread Santa and reindeer. Santa in his sleigh and Dasher and Dancer came out for the ornament premiere last month. Prancer and Vixen are due out next Saturday, Comet and Cupid on September 12 (the weekend of the Yellow Daisy Festival), and Donner and Blitzen on Columbus Day weekend. They will go well with my little gingerbread display in the kitchen.
Borders had a selection of coupons you could use, so I did very well. I found the new "Early American Life" ($2 off with coupon), the next "Sisters Grimm" book ($2 kids' book coupon), Doggie Day Care Murder in paperback ($2 coupon for fiction book), and The Perfect Summer, a book about pre-WWI England that Dani mentioned on her blog ($5 coupon for a history book). Thenjackpot! James found three Gaelic Storm CDs in the music department. Woohoo! Add $5 off coupon on any CD. Plus I had two rewards coupons. I'm really going to miss those things.
We hit Bed, Bath & Beyond briefly with a coupon ready to join the choir eternal in a couple of days. I found an adjustable shelf for one of our cupboards that doesn't have enough storage space. It fits on top of another space to make another surface to hold baking pans. Also stopped at Michaels and found a great amusing gift for a friend.
Stopped at Trader Joe's for Sunday supper, chicken salad, cereal, and other goodies, then headed to the hobby shop, where I sat in the conference room happily reading my "Early American Life." I wanted to stop by the Publix on Delk Roadthey have twofer oatmeal this weekend and I must get at least three boxes for work, but James turned the other way, so we stopped at the Publix at South Cobb instead. Nuts. I should have made him make a U-turn (he offered, but I was hungry and the heat that had been amplifying since we left the Farmers Market was making me nauseated), because there was no lower-sugar oatmeal there at all except for the apple cinnamon, which is too sweet for me. They had the weight control kind, but I wouldn't give that to the dog to eatyou open it and it reeks with a saccharine smell and tastes even worse.
So we came home to a blessedly cool house, just in time for Colour Confidential, and then I put on the recording I made of G4's Comicon coverage. It was okay, but the hosts were young and rather dippy. The Star Wars coverage was mildly interesting when Anthony Daniels was talking and they showed bits from Clone Wars, otherwise it was sorta boring. The three hours of floor coverage gradually got sillier and sillier, with the hosts appearing in different costumes.
James put the DVD he bought on afterwards: Japanese anime thing called The Sky Crawlers. I didn't watch the story, which ended on a depressing note, but James was watching it for the truly spectacular aviation animation, which was so close to real-life it was breathtaking. Also spectacularly animated clouds and ocean waves. Wow.