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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» Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Long Day's Journey into Day
A long, long day. Had a rush order, another order that didn't go well, two I was prepping, and more e-mails than a barrel of monkeys. During lunch hour I finished putting up the Independence Day decorations (yeah, I've been a slug, but when I go into work, I'm dog tired when I get home and my eyes ache like the dickens, and I don't want to do anything but take off my glasses), cleaned off the dining room table, and quickly sanded the three unpainted corner shelves. It occurred to me while I was fiddling around with them that I am like my dad: I hate doing the prep work. I love doing the painting and the flourishes, but the sanding, the priming, the fix-up, the's all dullness up to the Big Show. Dad was like that, too: he always wanted to make nice things, but he got impatient during the prep. I have to curb my impatience.

But I never did eat lunch, and when I finished work, I vacuumed upstairs, swept the foyer, put up several of the white corner shelves in the laundry room where they actually fit and stocked them (sponges, light bulbs, other light things), started a load of clothes, took some boxes downstairs, and walked the dog. So by the time I finally ate, I was feeling decidedly odd—probably low blood sugar—and my heart was going pitty-pat a bit quickly. So James was nice enough to put the clothes in the dryer for me, and I cooled off and felt better after a while.

Watched the pilot movie to Banacek tonight, Detour to Nowhere. It was actually a bit overlong, but we did find out how Banacek met his chauffeur Jay Drury (real name D'Annuzzio) and also why he was always thumbing his nose at insurance companies and modern gadgets (one hired his father, then replaced him with a computer), and also showed him scornful of Government Center, because he'd grown up in Scollay Square. Interesting background while Banacek is sculling on the Charles: there behind him is the new John Hancock Tower, under construction (before all the glass windows started merrily popping out).

Oh, during lunch I also downloaded the free Kindle app for Android. It's a nice interface: the typeface looks a lot like the Aldiko Reader I already have on the phone, and you can choose three different backgrounds at different levels of brightness. I scrolled through the free books and found a "Girls' Own" magazine from the 1800s. Not sure if I would ever actually buy an e-book; the closest I came was the e-book release of Ariel a few years ago, which had an extra chapter and some other passages that had been cut, but I never got around to it and now it's been republished like that. I mean, if I spend money on a book I want a book, not an e-book. I know folks that love their Kindles, or Sony Readers...a co-worker was just talking about getting hers...and I know it would be nice not to carry books on vacation...but–

I guess I'm just old-fashioned. I like the covers, the paper, the scent of the ink. I just like books as well as what's in them.

I guess in that way I'm a little like Banacek myself. :-)

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» Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So The Madness Begins...
I had fifteen orders assigned to me yesterday and today. Half of them are over $25,000 and need to be advertised. The others have questions, or need quotations, etc. Not an "easy" one among them all. Fun City, folks.

Did see something lovely this morning: the last few weeks I have heard the same hawk cries at work that we hear outside around the deck. The birds at the feeder snatch a seed and sit there crunching it with their heads cocked, one eye full up to the sky.

This morning as I drove into the little hollow where I park under the trees, I could see the hawk swooping right in front of me, landing on a low-slung, broken tree branch. Then, to my surprise, I saw a second hawk fly from that area in the opposite direction, to disappear into the trees. I hauled all my stuff out of the car and walked down the parking lot, not getting too close, but closer to see the hawk, who just stared back at me curiously. I wonder if it is a male and a female and they will be raising chicks? That would be so cool...

The weather report has noted something astounding: a high of only mid-80s predicted tomorrow! It's been in the 90s for most of the month of June. It's a sad commentary when you're happy because it's "only" going to be 85°F!

Watched DVR'd Leno (what, no Headlines????) and Stossel tonight, but am having a hard time pulling my nose out of The Fourth Part of the World. Super book!

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» Sunday, June 27, 2010
West Meets East
We went back in time this morning. Well, at least one hour. We drove to Alabama to get some supplies for Independence Day, and I was amused to watch my Droid reset to Central Time as we crossed the border. Otherwise we listened to yesterday's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Didn't buy much, didn't stay very long. Came back by Arbor Place Mall, stopped, and took a stroll around the mall for some exercise. Stopped at the Yankee Candle store and discovered they have a couple of nice new scents: maple pancake and spiced orange. Listened to This Week in Tech (the iPad premiere week segment) on the way home and now am watching Banacek.

[LATER: Cool! "Rocket to Oblivion" featured Roy Poole, who played Stephen Hopkins in 1776. Second season seemed to show more Boston filming. "Rocket" sure looks like the externals were filmed at Hynes Auditorium. Also spied the Esplanade and one corner of the Common (not sure if it was near Beacon or Park Streets). One of the opening shots was a pan of City Hall Plaza (and that plug-ugly City Hall) when it was barely five years old.]

Incidentally, I've talked about a book called The Next Exit. Apparently there's an iPhone app that does the same thing, iExit. Sadly, it's only for iPhones. However, if you own a smartphone with a web browser, you can use a version of the app here.

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» Saturday, June 26, 2010
The Lone Ranger
James was up at some ungodly hour to go to the local IPMS hobby show being held at the Cobb County Civic Center today. Me, I lounged in bed until eight, then had breakfast. Willow was already at the top of the stairs, looking depressed.

The first thing I had to do today, before the sun swapped sides of the house and turned the front porch into a big pizza oven, was put up the Independence Day decorations. I wasn't out there that long, but came away drenched anyway, as it was hellishly humid outside. The sky was patchworked with more mackerel clouds than I'd ever seen at one time. Once that was finished, I went out to Books-a-Million, which was having a sale today. I was hoping to find some games or other things that might be put away for Christmas/birthday gifts, but the pickings were slim. I did get two cross-stitch magazines and a "last chance" book about growing up in the 1940s.

Came home by Kroger, merrily playing "40s on 4," got gasoline, and did the shopping so we won't have to go tomorrow morning. Sadly, the sun broke through the clouds while I was in the store, so I had to drive home with the air conditioner roaring to keep the milk cool. Munched a peach on the way home: also bought some plums and grapes along with the usual stuff for the week, and sweet corn, tomatoes and a cucumber.

Put all away and spent the afternoon watching a cheap DVD purchased some months ago, Game Show Moments Gone Bananas hosted by Ben Stein: game show bloopers and just funny occurrences. Many stupid answers from Family Feud (all incarnations, even British and Australian versions). Also some great clips from a British show called Distraction, where they do horrible things to you while you answer questions, like giving you electrical shocks, making you eat "Rocky Mountain oysters," having you push the answer button with it surrounded by cactus, etc. By the time I finished, James was home, hot and exhausted (the air conditioning at the Civic Center doesn't work well) and I had a headache from laughing so hard.

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» Friday, June 25, 2010
Say What?
Apparently there's a problem with the new iPhone—if you hold it a certain way, touching any part of the silver rim around the phone, it will drop calls.

Apple's response to the problem? You need to buy a case for the phone!

People have just spent $$$$ for the phone and now they must buy a case for it, just so it will work like it's supposed to? Unbelievable.



The Friday That Looked Like a Saturday
This was because James worked last Saturday, and somehow amazingly ended up with a Friday off; not only a Friday off, but one that coincided with my compressed day off.

What we'd talked about was getting up early and driving out to Discover Mills, early enough to be on the way home wayyyyy before Friday rush hour. Well, I woke up at nine, but I was spoiling for a migraine, so I took something and went back to bed for fifteen minutes.

Which explains why we got out of bed over 90 minutes later. So much for that: Friday rush hour starts about 3 p.m., so we would have had barely an hour to do anything before having to leave.

Instead we went to the Borders at East Cobb, so I could stop at Fuzziwig's across the way to pick up some watermelon candies. They didn't have many and they were all sticky. Ugh. Good thing I only have one every couple of days. Stopped at Trader Joe's, too, for chicken-apple sausage and other things, and the Publix on Johnson Ferry Road, which is the only place we can find small whole-wheat low-carb tortillas, and briefly at the hobby shop, then came home by Dragon to pick up dinner.

After dinner we went to Lowes, and next door to Borders to pick up the book I wanted (it wasn't at East Cobb, but I did get a new Yankee there). I'm really interested in Alison Arngrim's book, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, but I'll probably reserve it at the library. Paging through it is jaw-dropping: her brother (the cute kid-with-the-dog from Land of the Giants!) was molesting her and later used drugs, and her parents were clueless throughout. Absolutely incredible.

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» Thursday, June 24, 2010
Another Day, Another Dollar
Not much going on: very busy with work. Finished something today that's been delayed for months. Yay! Still listening to podcasts: a "This Week in Tech" yesterday, along with a Whocast, and a travel with pets entry that was just okay. It sounds like they're going to profile lots of expensive resorts where you can take your pet. Today I listened to several segments of "History of the World in 100 Objects," a Leo Laporte "Tech Guy" from April (more waffling about the iPad, of course), and BBC History Magazine's podcast for April 2010.

Oh, and one more, the Doctor Who "Podshock" #1 from 2005, broadcast before the US telecasts of the new series had begun, and just as David Tennant had been cast! Very funny to hear everyone's unfamiliarity with John Barrowman and them speculating if Tennant will use his Scots accent! How things change in just five years. :-)

Just finished reading a corker of a book, Nick of Time (a throwback to those great young adult adventure books, with Nazis, pirates, a loyal dog, a plucky boy and his equally plucky little sister, spies...much fun!), and am now re-reading Steven Boyett's Ariel, one of my favorites from the 1980s, just recently republished before the publication of Boyett's sequel, Elegy Beach.

Oh, and new Futurama episodes tonight, too! Man, if I were Amy, I would have run away from home, too. I hope they don't have Zap Brannigan in every other episode. He's about as bad as the Daleks...

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» Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Macabre for Luncheon
Ever wonder why you distinctly remember putting something down in a certain place, but it's not there when you return to that place? Or what happens to your car keys? Well, it's those darn blue guys, a tale told in the Twilight Zone remake in the 1980s:

"A Matter of Minutes" part 1

"A Matter of Minutes" part 2

"A Matter of Minutes" part 3

The classic "new" Twilight Zone segment with Danny Kaye:

"Paladin of the Lost Hour" part 1

"Paladin of the Lost Hour" part 2

"Paladin of the Lost Hour" part 3

One of my favorite classic Twilight Zone episodes:

"The Fugitive" part 1

"The Fugitive" part 2

"The Fugitive" part 3

This Twilight Zone was written by Earl Hamner and you can see development of the Grandma and Grandpa Walton characters 10 years before The Waltons:

"The Hunt" part 1

"The Hunt" part 2

"The Hunt" part 3

Speaking of Rod Serling, here's one of my favorite Night Gallery segments:

"Dead Weight"

And my absolute favorite Night Gallery (with the incomparable William Windom):

"They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" part 1

"They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" part 2

"They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" part 3

"They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" part 4

"They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" part 5

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» Sunday, June 20, 2010
Ridin' on the UPS...
Unlike Charlie on the MTA, though, we finally got off.

We had grocery shopping to do this morning, the usual terrible summer race between car and heat to get the milk and the perishables home. Even with the insulated bags, the stuff is starting to get warm by the time we get in the door. Did get some good twofers at Publix as well as salad and chicken for supper, and a nice steak for Monday's supper at Kroger.

Once all that was put up, we went to Northern Tool for an adjustable cargo bar for the back of the truck. Now the shopping bags won't slide all over the truck bed and we don't have to bungee-cord them together to keep them from doing so. From there we went to WalMart. Since we didn't have a mortgage payment for June, we've been stocking up on some things we need. Our luggage is about fifteen years old and the plastic supports in the larger, 27" suitcase have been crumbling for years, plus the wheels don't work properly anymore, and the handles on the 21-inch suitcase were bent sometime during our last vacation, so that they do not extend properly anymore. So we replaced the 27" with a 29" and the 21" with another of the same size, both in red. If we ever fly again, they will be easier to see at baggage claim. The 19" is still in good shape (it's the newest, at about ten years old), so we will keep that.

James also got some new pocketed T-shirts and two pairs of diabetic stockings, and I picked up two road atlases. I can't figure out why these are so expensive at bookstores; they cost over twice as much! Of course the ones at the bookstores usually have extras in them: a list of National Parks, or a list of festivals around the country. I just want a map book, and one that doesn't have info that expires once the year is over! I love my GPS, but I'm not going anywhere without a real map.

We spent the rest of the afternoon installing the UPS units. Mine was easier because there were only the computer/monitor and the printers to connect. But James' desk backs on to the Expedit room divider and we had to extract one cord behind it and get another one in its place (accomplished with a wire coat hanger; useful gadgets those), and the wires under his desk resemble a couple of octopi having a fight. (Another problem is that the top portion of the desk is no longer secured, so we have to be careful in moving things.) We discovered in reattaching wires that he had a sound cord extension he didn't need, a piece of telephone cord that went nowhere, and something that did look like an octopus that wasn't needed. All the cords were neatly tied off, one at the time; we rebalanced the top; and the octopi were cut down to one.

Warm work, though, and the supper salad was much welcome, after which we watched To Kill a Mockingbird. This is such a wonderfully crafted movie. I hope no one ever tries to remake it, especially for a stupid reason like the film not being in color. The black and white so fits a film where everything is not "black and white." Was there ever an actor that fit a role so perfectly as Gregory Peck did Atticus Finch? Mary Badham and Philip Alford are at once both brilliant and natural.

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Out of the Past
I never liked Dark Shadows, but my godmother (Confirmation godmother Margaret Azzoli) and I were crazy about the Canadian serial Strange Paradise—goodness, are all of them on YouTube? I missed most of the Desmond Hall episodes when WLNE (then WTEV) moved the show from 7 p.m. weeknights to afternoons when I was in school. Voodoo, zombies, a guy trying to bring his wife back from the dead, possession, a murderous ancestor...the plot thickened daily. And I had such a crush on Colin Fox!

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» Saturday, June 19, 2010
Yesterday, Today, But Not Yet Tomorrow
A long haul yesterday. Usually the Friday I work is nice because it's my eight-hour day instead of nine hours, but I had to give up my lunch hour because I had to run to Kaiser. My own silly fault: I only had five atenolol left when I loaded my pill sorter for the week. I put in a mail order the moment I noticed (Sunday), but they didn't mail until Wednesday. I took the last pill on Thursday, so I had to get some extra pills just in case they didn't arrive (our mailman sometimes doesn't come until after six, so I couldn't just wait—Kaiser might have been closed by the time the mail came). Plus I had to wait until Alex and Paolo came to cut the lawn because I had to unlock the gate for them.

Of course, typical of life, as February Callendar would say, the pills did arrive in the mail.

I was excited because I have one very complicated order, for some biological samples, that I hoped to get done this afternoon since I had the additional funding the order needed. Alas, the vendor wasn't in our system. We used to be able to click a checkbox and get the vendor pulled into the system, but then they updated something and now the vendor has to be put in manually. Yeah, I know, not much of an upgrade. :-)

After supper we did something long delayed: bought battery backups for the computers. We have surge protectors only right now.

Got home in time to watch American Masters doing Walter Cronkite; always enjoyable to rewatch. I still get goosebumps when Cronkite does the special bulletin announcing President Kennedy has been shot. When that was finished, turned on the DVR, which was still recording an old Ivan Tors film, Around the World Under the Sea. Great 60s cast: Brian Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Eaton, David McCallum, Marshall Thompson, and the always watchable Keenan Wynn. Sadly, rather tepid...took them 40 minutes just to assemble the cast and get to the plot! (Planting sensors on the ocean floor to give early warning for earthquakes.)

James had to work today. I thought about going to the farmer's market, but by the time I got up, had my oatmeal and yogurt, and got out, it was 10:30, with no close parking, and almost 90°F. No tramping over hot asphalt for me, thanks. I went to the "Firefly Frenzy" at JoAnn armed with coupons and found a bargain: corner shelves! The corner shelves we've been using in the spare room keep falling down. These anchor on a nail, and have a support underneath, so they should be stable. They have to be painted, but that is a Project. I can handle Projects.

Also bought two "spring" garlands of zinnia-like flowers that were 70 percent off; they are yellow and orange and yellow-shading-to-orange which are summery as well as matching the autumn theme.

Stopped at Borders, picked up two bargain books, one about the Pilgrims, one about early cartography/a map by Amerigo Vespucci, but did not find a new Early American Life. Had to fight my way down Barrett Parkway to the Barnes & Noble for that.

But this was lucky because it gave me a chance to drop in at CD Warehouse, where I found something cool: the DVD set for the Swiss Family Robinson. This is not the Disney film, nor the ABC series with Martin Milner and Cameron Mitchell (featuring a very young Helen Hunt), nor the more recent series with Richard Thomas as the father, but the 1970s Canadian-produced series with Chris Wiggins and Diana LeBlanc, one of the shows syndicated after the prime time access ruling took place. In this version, as in all of them, they've pared the kids down to three, making one of them female: Ernest, the older boy; Franz, the younger, and Marie, the youngest. It's very slow-paced, but I remember it with fondness. Chris Wiggins always seemed like he'd be a great father.

In fact, I came home, warmed up some soup, and watched three episodes. Also washed the kitchen floor and vacuumed again. Honestly, I understand where the birdseed comes from, but where do all these other little chips of things come from? Especially the bits of leaves, since we wipe Willow's paws every time we take her out and wear different shoes to take her out in the yard, and have a rug both in the garage and inside the front door.

Had supper at Ruby Tuesday, dessert at Brusters, and stopped at Michael's for some paint and finally bought new chair mats at Office Depot. This was the least expensive I've found them. We figured out that James' chair mat is fifteen years old...and it looks it, too. You can't walk on it barefoot; the cracks pinch!

And now they are in place and feet can walk safely again. LOL.

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» Friday, June 18, 2010
It's a Small World
Listening to an old Leo LaPorte "Tech Guy" show from around Eastertime when it was raining to flood stage in Rhode Island, and he received a call from Cranston. It turns out Leo's mother and sister both live in Cranston.



» Thursday, June 17, 2010
There are Ask the Manager episodes on YouTube. Best local television show ever! Still watch ATM Christmas episodes at Christmas.



Summer of My Discontent, the 2010 Version
Struggling at work right now; I have a fourth quarter workload and it's only mid-June. Everything needs so much work—documents that aren't there, line items that need to be included or revised, advertisements...I feel like I'm juggling milk bottles and scimitars, and it getting harder to keep them in the air.

The weather is breathtaking—literally. Yesterday at lunch I was restless and tired of being cooped up. Stepped out the door and it was like walking into a bathroom after someone's taken a hot shower, without the steam. I went over to Borders with a 40 percent off coupon to buy Rebirth of a Nation, which just came out in paperback. I found another clear plastic accordion file that I can use for work in case the one I'm using now breaks; that was a real fear, last year and right now, as it's crammed with over 45 purchase requests. It's not as good as the one I have, since it has a latch and a handle instead of a flap, which means I could not close it right now if I had to use it. I would probably just cut the handle portion off and use a rubber band to keep it closed.

Today I worked until way after five, then took Willow outside. A squall was building up, the wind pulling the heavy gate to the backyard shut on me. I went to the mailbox and was reading a postcard enclosed, something about a class-action suite against Nationwide, and I heard the banner on the porch snap as the wind blew it straight out. The same wind snatched the card from my hand, spun it in circles down the width of the driveway, and into a three-point landing right into the storm drain!

Hope it wasn't something I needed to respond to. :-)

With the wind came some cool air, so I sat on the porch in one of the new chairs and waited for James to come home. There was a brief spray of rain, with the heavy scent of water in the air, but the drops evaporated the moment they hit the hot concrete. The weather radio wailed for a while, then everything passed and the sky was comfortably cloudy for the rest of the night.

Also got a load of clothes finished (folding) and James' compression socks washed and dried, swept the downstairs hall, vacuumed the stairs, and cleaned the upstairs toilets. What fun. We watched Monday's Tonight Show (with "Headlines," of course) and something called How Summer Saved the World or whatever, that I recorded earlier in the month: how summer was responsible for the creation of the Pyramids (Nile floods), the Louisiana Purchase (Napoleon's disastrous campaign in Haiti during the summer), summer blockbusters (due to "air cooled" movie houses), etc. Light fluff, appropriate for the brain drain that is summer.

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» Monday, June 14, 2010
In the Hot, Hot, Hot of the Daytime
Got in my cubicle and turned the fan on "high" and there it stayed most of the day. It was 76°F when I left for work at 6:20 a.m. and 95° when I left at 4:30. In the meantime, the pain of fluorescent light, and the nagging feeling that, although I was busy all day, I didn't really accomplish anything. At lunch I lay in the car, which was parked in the shade, and laid a nice ice-cold compress (good bubbler! good babbler!) over my eyes. Mmm, that felt good.

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» Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sunday in the House With James
We woke up reluctantly, wanting to sleep a bit later. We had stayed up late to talk to Jen, who is the midst of her wonderful travels, and sleeping in sure looked good. But so did getting to Kroger before the killing heat began (the weather report predicted mid-90s today). So we grabbed a SpecialK bar and went off to the grocery for bread and milk and ended up spending $80. Ah, well, we did get something for dinner and some yummy-looking pork chops for tomorrow's dinner.

And we checked the progress of "the ditch" as usual. It looks like they are having to build another bridge. I was wondering if this was going to be done by Christmas, but the web page states next spring.

Just going to the grocery store decided us: we weren't going anywhere today. We tidied up, James changed the air conditioner filters, and we worked on the computers. James did get a note from Microsoft directing him to a file at Kaspersky, which James ran and found another bit of the virus. After this, the popups stopped and we were able to get to Windows update, download ActiveX (the virus had blocked it), and download the updates. Then he ran Microsoft Security Essentials again, and Malwarebytes. Malware found a couple of things, and later James downloaded AdAware and that found another bit.

So whether it's actually gone now is problematic. But it's not showing any manifestations so far.

I had an old backup hard drive that was divided into virtual drives. James showed me how to get rid of the partitions (after I had checked it one more time for files and discovered there were a few things I hadn't copied back) and reformat. So I can use that for a backup drive, too.

We had a nice steak for supper with a cucumber-and-tomato salad, and watermelon for dessert. Watching the Tony Awards.

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Babylon 5 Music Videos Now Online!
These were wonderful videos made by "Fenn Shysa" (John Hudgens) and formerly only seen at conventions (or given to folks who were good friends of Fenn). If you are a Babylon 5 fan, these are essential viewing.

"Danger Zone"

"I Need a Hero"


"Nobody's Side"

"Welcome to the Third Age"

"Keep Yourself Alive"

"The Phantom B5 Video"

"Third Age 2K"

Richard Biggs memorial

Andreas Katsulas memorial



» Saturday, June 12, 2010
The Bad and the Good
Last night was...weird.

We went to Fresh2Order for supper. I was going to have the creamy chicken vegetable soup, but they hadn't made it. They were trying chicken minestrone instead, but I was afraid the tomato would make me sick. (They offered me a free cookie instead; we split it for dessert.) So I had my favorite long plate, the bourbon beef with wheatberry rice. Had half of each, and ate all of the salad greens, took the leftovers, went to Costco to gas up the truck.

It was terribly warm, especially around the mall. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought the two little bistro chairs that had caught our eye last week. These are for the front porch; the rockers are simply too big for the space. We put the chairs in place when we got home, and our tiny front porch looks so big now!

We hadn't been to Hobby Lobby in a while, so we went there. Bumped into the Spiveys several times as we wandered about the store. Delightfully, HL already had their fall stuff out! Garlands, picks, autumn trim, pumpkins. The resins were on sale and I was quite taken with two fall angels with their wings made from leaves, and cutouts of leaves on the wings and skirt. They were holding various things. I bought one with the angel holding a turkey and a basket of fall fruit and James got me one with the angel holding an armful of wheat. They are now on the mantel, each bracketing the clock.

Now, pretty soon after supper ended I started developing a headache. I thought it was from the heat, so as soon as we arrived home from Hobby Lobby I got into cooler clothes. I was feeling...odd, like I was still hungry, but my salad was coming up on me. So I had some oatmeal. No sooner had a finished with it than I had to run into the bathroom. My heart rate was a bit fast and I realized I was starting to panic. I had James get me some water, and, when I was feeling shaky, a Claritin in case this was some sort of allergic reaction. I sat trying to take deep breaths so I didn't start shaking, because I was trembling a bit already. For about a half hour, I was afraid he'd have to take me to the emergency room. And then, a few minutes after I had the Claritin, it calmed down.

Unfortunately I still had the headache, but that was solved by three ibuprofin and lying down on the sofa. It was so sweet: Willow followed me the entire time, staying with me.

In the meantime, James continued wrestling with his computer. We have used Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes, which has been a godsend before, but he cannot get rid of the virus he picked up on Wednesday. We still can't get to Windows updates and if he tries to search on "remove virus" on the computer, it finds sites, but the links take you elsewhere. (This is the same dang virus he had last year.)

Anyway, we didn't get to the farmer's market this morning. I didn't set my alarm last night for obvious reasons, and we both snoozed until ten. James made me some grilled cheese English muffins. And then we spent more time messing with James' computer. It suddenly let us get to the Microsoft One Care Live site, which is what helped his computer last year, so we ran that scan before going out. First we took some things to Goodwill, including the two rocking chairs.

We were just going to go by Harry's to drop off the plastic bags for recycling, but they were selling hamburgers for the Humane Society, and we needed a few vegetables anyway, so we shopped at Harry's, then picked up lunch. Good burgers, too, plain, not overly seasoned. From there we went to the hobby shop, where we ate our lunch and talked, and then I sat reading Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop (I let out a pealing laugh during this one; there's a very funny inside joke that gets "insider" as the story continues) until I just got too warm. The weather is awful, temps up in the 90s. The only saving grace is a very small breeze that keeps it from being endlessly breathless.

When we got home, One Care Live said there were no viruses on James' computer, just that his had disk needed defragging. Which of course is a lie, since he still can't get to Windows Updates, and when he went to my blog, he got a popup ad saying he was the 1000th visitor or something and urging him to click on it. Gah.

Just ate leftovers for supper and kept cool. Watched "Amy's Choice," which was very strange, but mind-bending. So, was the creepy little guy in the bow tie the Valeyard?

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» Friday, June 11, 2010
Sizzle Factor
Well, it's 90° out on the deck right now (in the shade), which explains why I wanted to go out early this morning. First I slept in, until about quarter to nine. This was later than I wanted, but my body was sucking up sleep like a proverbial sponge. Was afraid I'd have problems this morning, like the rest of the week, but everything was calm. Had oatmeal, yogurt, and milk, then set out for JoAnn. I was hoping they had under-the-bed boxes in their copious supply of plastic storage boxes, but no. I will need to go to Lowes. So I just grabbed the new Cross Stitcher and went on to Office Max, looking for the clear plastic mats that go under office chairs. James' is five or six years old and crazed like pavement after a bad winter. Goodness, they're expensive! So I decided to compare some prices before buying.

Stopped Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I bought a new little table for the front porch with my coupon. While I was looking at the "scratch'n'dent" section midaisle, I found a perfectly good glass cutting board marked down to $4 because one of the sides wasn't even. I'll take it!

Headed back to Dallas Highway and decided to see if "Swoozie" at the Avenue at West Cobb was still having their going-out-of-business sale. Alas, it was over, so I stopped at Barnes & Noble and bought a bargain book on birds/birdwatching and Richard Belzer's I Am Not A Cop from the remainder pile.

I had a wild hare to stop at Target, so I did. Basically what I got was exercise, which I didn't mind, it being in air-conditioned heaven. While I was there, Georgia Monsoon Season broke out for about ten minutes, but by the time I emerged, the clouds were already racing east. Nipped in next door at Staples, where it looks like the mats are the same price. I guess we got our originals on sale, because I don't remember paying $45 for them last time!

Stopped by Publix on the way to Lowes, but ended up not going to the latter because of stopping at the former: the twofers were pretty sparse, but I did buy some perishables, so I had to come directly home. Put those up and straightened up the spare room some, then switched the idiot box on and there was Barry Manilow singing on Racheal Ray's program—so I figured I'd watch Foul Play. (Yes, it follows...)

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» Thursday, June 10, 2010
Long day. Got some things done, but didn't feel like I really accomplished anything useful. I must have a dozen orders I still haven't even printed out. Couldn't do one order because I need a "may I?" for it, and two others because the vendors have to be added to our system manually, not automatically like they used to.

I scanned James' computer again with both Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes. It's not showing anything, but I still can't get to Windows Updates. He went in later and reset Internet Explorer to its defaults, and he could get to Microsoft's site again, but it won't let him download the ActiveX control it needs to access the updates menu. Frazzled. Scared it will migrate across the network.

Weather report has 90+ through Tuesday and then 89 a couple days after that. Ugh. Summer. I feel like a bird flapping its wings against a cage. Freedom only means going outside into heated air impossible to breathe.

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» Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Just before we left for our association meeting tonight, James was on Facebook and also looking at another web page. All of a sudden one of those fake "security systems" popped up and started running, saying he had a virus. He closed it down and logged off, but apparently that was all the time it needed to install itself. It wouldn't let us run AVG, or run Windows Updates, or even go to Microsoft's site.

We had to go to the meeting, which was at the Smyrna Community Center. As usual, only a few people showed up. But there was a sign downstairs saying that non-community members would now have to pay to use the exercise equipment. I thought only community members could use it at all! Plus it said the walking track was still free! Yow! You mean I could have gone there all along? I will have to go over Friday and see if that is true. I would love to use the walking track!!!

Anyway, while we were waiting for people to show up, I did some research on the virus, and when we got home, we kept trying to find out how to get this thing. The trouble is, this thing has been around for a while and each year the file names change. We did find out some files to delete and I downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials on my own computer and, after two mis-starts where it told me it couldn't update, I finally got it to engage and scan. It found six different viruses on his computer. And it says it got them.

But I still can't get to Windows updates through Internet Explorer. Bother.



Well, That Explains Things
I ended up staying home yesterday due to continued problems. The advice nurse said to keep myself hydrated, eat bland foods, and to contact them if the problem did not clear up in a couple of days. In the early afternoon, I had chills and ended up wrapped in a fleece blanket. Since I never have chills anymore, I took my temperature and it turned out I had a low-grade fever. Since my normal temp is about 97.8°F, due to my allergies, this was, for me, a bit high. I watched David Tennant's/Patrick Stewart's Hamlet and episodes of Lassie while swilling what seemed like endless glasses of filtered water and ingesting cheese, which is not one of my favorite things, but ricotta and crackers is suitably bland.

This morning when I logged on, I had a note from my team lead, wondering if I was okay. (I had called into work yesterday, but to someone else.) Turns out my team lead is at home today with a similar complaint, so it's apparently one of those things "going around." Hope James dodges it. No use the two of us being ill.



» Sunday, June 06, 2010
Too Many Busy Things
We didn't mean it to be such a busy day; it just happened, and after a nice long sleep, too.

Went out to MicroCenter to return the processor, motherboard, and video card James bought intending to build me a new computer. They would only give him store credit because things had been opened, so we decided to get him a new monitor. He has an old CRT that pulls a lot of power. We can donate that and help the electric bill a bit.

Then took my car out to go for the weekly milk and other groceries so I could gas up at the same time. By the time we walked into Publix (still stocking up on oatmeal!) I wanted to stay out of the weather—not strikingly hot, but the kind of humid that makes you sticky and sick—so we bought everything there, including the milk, and just went to Kroger for gasoline.

The weather was in and out all day: we drove into rain spatters followed quickly by sun, from sunshine to clouds, from areas where the ground was soaked and then crossed a line and all was strictly dry.

James shifted the big bulky monitor off his desk and had one big ooops! He had a shadowbox up on the top shelf of the desk (it's a big corner desk with various levels) with some small figurines and airplanes in it, and the thing did a header off the shelf, breaking some of the little things in the process. Just need to clean it off and put some larger models up there; I've been afraid that thing was going to take a tumble some day.

With the CRT gone the desk looks much neater; there will be enough room for the sorter James uses for the bills. But we spent so much time fooling around with it that we did not have time to warm the turkey pie for supper; we had beef bits with carrots and celery instead.

I got a bit stressed out privately about something and now am in the bathroom again. All I have to do is get upset to start things "going." This happened to my mom all the time as she got older. I would have rather inherited her "can do" temperament, thanks. ::sigh::

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» Saturday, June 05, 2010
It's Just Too Darn Hot
Went to the Farmer's Market this morning. It was already humid, and it was extraordinarily crowded. Never been bumped about so much or had to jockey so much to get to the front of the stall. Worse, my tummy was acting up. We wandered about, bought some corn on the cob, flavorful tomatoes (if they taste like the sample, which I hope—it was luscious), cucumbers, a baguette, a croissant each for breakfast, some chicken salad and some pimento cheese spread, and turkey pot pie for supper tomorrow night. All the traffic lights were out around downtown and we had to make our way home the long way around. The power failure went quite a few miles away from the downtown area.

We had to get home because we had an appointment to have Willow's last staple removed this morning. Luckily we checked the traffic map before getting on the freeway because there was a huge accident on I-285 eastbound, with three lanes blocked, so we did surface streets, arriving only five minutes late. The parking lot at the vet's office was full, and it was already scorching as we trudged to the door from the last parking space available. The staple removal took five minutes, and then we took Miss Wil home.

Next it was off to MicroCenter and the hobby shop. We went by way of Publix, where they had oatmeal on sale...just in time as I am on my last packet at work and last few packets at home. James noticed some sale variety packs of the Nature Valley granola bars he likes, and if you bought one, you got three Yoplait yogurt cups free! So he bought two and we brought home five yogurts (I ate one on the road, hoping to assuage my irritated digestion; it didn't work, as I found out painfully later).

At MicroCenter, James traded in the processor he just bought, as it didn't work, and I bought an enclosure for my old hard drive.

Next sat reading Blount's Alphabet Juice at the hobby shop, positioning myself close to the fan, attempting to cool off. The heat was beginning to make me sick, but I finally did feel a bit better and suggested we stop at the other Publix (near MicroCenter), since I'd only been able to get three boxes of oatmeal. Nabbed four more there.

On the way to Borders my stomach started to cramp again. I had to rush inside, a problem made worse by the escalator (the store is on the second level) being out. By this time, I was also nauseated, so bought the first book in a new mystery series (a manor house curator) and James drove me home.

Actually having supper settled my tummy a bit; I hadn't really eaten a lot all day. We had leftover pork ribs; I ate lean meat only, with some of the baguette and a glass of milk.

Working more on the computer tonight: got the old hard disk put into its enclosure while watching the Belmont Stakes, and went through the various files making sure everything had gotten copied off. For instance, I had not backed up the latest versions of some of my web pages, so I did so first.

We had turned up my old hard disk from 2006, which James had bought an enclosure for months ago, and I hitched that up and looked through those files next. I found some graphics I thought I might not have backed up, and tried to copy them. A few did copy, but some of them locked up Windows Explorer. I had an I/O error on one and some other kind of copying error on another. These were just bitmap scans of books I already had, but it was annoying.

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» Friday, June 04, 2010
No Surprises but One
I'd like to claim I had some wild adventures this week which kept me away from blogging, but the truth is more pedestrian: I was either working (with rather aggravating side trips to the bathroom) or loading software on the desktop. And loading, and setting up (like Eudora and HTML Pro 2000 and mIRC). Occasionally I had a minute or two to glance out the window at the birds at the feeder. Yesterday there were three blue jays availing themselves of the spilled seeds (the red-bellied woodpecker does a creditable imitation of an old-time sower when he eats, flicking seed to every point of the compass), and one of the jays actually hopped on the deck railing to scavenge. Today I discovered that the welfare cheats of the bird world, the cowbirds, were back: both the male and the female taking advantage of the feeder.

It actually cleared up today after a little bit of rain, rather than it raining all afternoon as the forecast suggested; a good thing, too, since the guys showed up to cut the lawn about 4:10. By this time I had a headache from trying to catch up on phone messages, e-mails, requests for modifications, and even a few orders.

We did have a whopper of a thunderstorm Wednesday night. The claps boomed so loudly that Willow took refuge in James' lap. Luckily it had all gone away by bedtime, although we did lose half of Mythbusters and I had to set it up to record a second time.

We had supper at Giovanni's tonight, picked up a few things at BJs, stopped at Borders (new Monk novel out!), and then headed home. James was going to put the memory he bought and the new processor into his computer. Surprise! The memory worked out fine, but the processor did not work at all, which explains why my old computer didn't work with the new parts. It's all in bits now, some being kept for spare parts, but I want my floppy drive back, and the DVD player, and possibly the video card.

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» Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Here and There and Back Again
Amazingly, I slept right through James' alarm, which meant I was ready to spring directly to my feet when the alarm rang to give the room a quick once-over with the vacuum cleaner before I started work and the Dish Network guy showed up. He was scheduled to come between 8 a.m. and noon.

When he showed up at 7:50 a.m. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor before answering the door.

He messed around with the box a few minutes, then went outside. He was out there for about an hour. I heard moving, and some banging against the house, and when he finally returned he admitted he hadn't known what was wrong with the dish, messed around with it for a while, then gave in and put a new one up.

This meant I could abandon my desk early and take the truck to the mechanic for a new left front tire and an oil change. I was whisked home almost immediately by their shuttle service and went back to work. At the end of the day I went to pick it up, and that was that.

In the meantime I prepared a couple of orders, did a mod, but mostly cleaned out my e-mail box and printed out what needed printing. At quitting time I commenced to reloading things on the computer and got pretty far. For some reason Real Player doesn't want to play .flv files, but VLC is playing them, so phooey on Real. Have all my graphics programs loaded, and of course WordPerfect, little things like BadCopy, TrayText, The Font Thing, etc.

I hope there is some way to import my calendar from the old hard disk on my AnyTime Organizer program. If I have to type in all those birthdays again I'm going to be fit to be tied.

We had some rainstorms roar up and cause continual interruption right about the time James got home and right on through bedtime. The thunder became quite loud and Willow fled to James' lap, giving the occasional whimper.

Blast. A new TV Guide and Reminisce and haven't had time to look at either.

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Time Machine Time
1944 in color home movies: Greenwich Village, New York Snowstorm, and Coney Island

And many home movies/short films of the World's Fair 1939-1940:

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