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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» Sunday, August 28, 2011
High and Dry
I got up this morning just as Hurricane Irene was making landfall in New York City—and downgraded to a tropical storm. This was some relief.

Pretty much watched MSNBC's coverage again today. No radical storm surge, thankfully, but so much rain there is now danger of flooding. Brattleboro, Vermont, looks like a Yosemite cataract is barreling through it. There was a crawl under the screen this afternoon about evacuations of Westerly, and Narragansett, South Kingstown in Rhode Island. Shots of Montauk showed flashing waves and a heavy blurring fog. Reporters talked about power outages, failed roads (there's one in North Carolina that now looks like a dotted line instead), wrecked piers and homes and railings, boats sailing loose on their own in New Bedford, families wakened by trees falling on their homes.

Me, I had breakfast and went to Costco before the price of gas went up again. Also went inside the store to scope out something else, didn't find Chex mix, but did find another pair of jeans (average length, but this is okay as long as I don't take my shoes off) in a very dark blue and also indulged a very cheap temptation: both seasons of F Troop. Oh, and ibuprofin, which is what I went for. :-)

Stopped for a newspaper, then had a hideous compulsion to go to Borders, which I repressed. Instead I went to Michaels and found a few things at a dollar each. I commented that I hadn't seen any coupons, and the manager said I could always use a JoAnn or Hobby Lobby coupon. Guess what, there's one in the the paper. So I got a part of a craft project eventually to be a gift.

Did watch the first two episodes of F Troop. No longer the most politically correct series, but I always loved the way the Hekawi hoodwinked O'Rourke and Agarn. Also copied off What the Stuarts Did For Us, which has sat on the DVR almost forever. Pity I don't have the last part. It's the only one of Adam Hart-Davis' series I couldn't find online.

We had turkey pot pie and salad for supper accompanied by the news, and then watched "Let's Kill Hitler," which revealed all the secrets about River Song (not!) and her connection with the Doctor. Rory kicked ass at the beginning of the episode—yay, Rory! Also watched the dippy "Best of the Companions" afterwards. The convention bits are fun, but why are we supposed to care about these other "celebrities" commenting about the Doctor? I'd rather see the convention people. I hate these specials where they "celebrate" a television program with a bunch of celebrities unconnected to the series, like the special ABC did on Lassie's 40th anniversary. A bunch of "name" people who had nothing to do with the series made fatuous comments. Bleah.

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» Saturday, August 27, 2011
Brenton Point Before "Irene"
Holy cats! Look at the surf. That was this afternoon at Brenton Point. You can see my favorite rocks several times.

Ocean Drive Surf



Shopping for Two for Two--And a High Wind in the North
We were at the Farmer's Market bright and early. This is the weekend where we have to "buy for two"—two weeks, that is, as DragonCon is next weekend. So we gathered vegetables, desserts...ooooh, and the goat cheese guy was back. I bought onion and chive goat cheese, part of which I had for lunch.

From the market we went to the market...Kroger, that is, to get the remainder of things for the week. All we need for DragonCon is bread; we'll have to pick that up Wednesday.

On Labor Day all I want to walk in the supermarket to get is milk and bananas. Quick. Painless. Because we will be flat-out tired.

DragonCon released their Android schedule app yesterday. This thing is flat-out wonderful. Back in the "old days" we'd get the pocket program and the schedule grid and highlight panels we wanted to see. Once I got my PDA in 2002, I started putting the names of the panels and their location on my calendar. Last year I used the calendar on my Droid, hand-typing in each panel.

On this, each of the tracks has a schedule and there is an internal calendar. If you see a panel you like, you click the star in the right-hand corner and it's added to the calendar. James and I were both done in under a half-hour. Wow. (If registration is as good as the app, it will be impressive. They're trying a new bar-code scan this year. Hopefully no 3 1/2 hour wait like last year!)

Anyway, ever single hour is taken. Good thing we bring our food with us. :-)

We brought the things home and then chilled out for a while, as it was only 10:30. Went out after noon to go to the hobby shop and then stop at MicroCenter on the way home. I had managed to lose both of the earbud pads on my earphones, which, due to the way the case for my phone is set up, have to dangle outside of the case. So I got a new set, plus a little case meant for memory cards to keep the earphones in.

We came home by Dragon 168 to pick up supper for later.

We've been spending most of the day watching hurricane coverage on and off. Many of our friends—Emma, Rodney, Kerri, Pat Brimer, etc.—and family—James' niece Nicki, my cousin Carol, and all my folks up in Connecticut and Rhode Island—are in the path of the storm. Corley had the television tuned to the coverage at the hobby shop and they had a report from what Rhode Islanders merely call "the Pier"—everyone knows which one. The surf was already high at Narragansett Pier, and the air was so hazy you could barely see beyond the breakers while standing at the concrete wall.

We watched this week's Colour Confidential and Futurama while we ate at five, but then changed to NBC and now are watching MSNBC. New York City was rather eerie; although there were still people out in the street (Brian Williams was teasing Harry Smith about his "fan club"), they showed La Guardia closed, the subway shut down, and Grand Central Terminal with no one in it. Harry Smith also commented that they shut down Starbucks, which will probably drive NYC wild; they live on coffee.

And then the news from Boston: they're shutting down the T tomorrow. Holy cats!

Meantime, we're watching reporters struggling to stay on their feet in the wind, sand scouring seashore roads, shingles being torn off seaside homes, signs down, light poles toppling.

All it is here is hot. We got the tail end of the wind from the storm, which means we had a breeze instead of it being dead calm and stiflingly smothering. Pity that's the way we got some air.

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» Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
...shade, finally, on the deck, and the birds darting at the feeder and quarreling amongst themselves. It's been another 90+°F day, with no relief in sight. I have applique banners I hang from the front porch, and usually try to keep them two years, although the second year they look faded. The summer one, two years old, is just about dead. The sun has cooked the material so badly that it's starting to shred. Good thing I will be taking it down soon.

I am thinking... was funny; I joined everyone else online in mourning the death of Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who a few months ago. But it didn't strike me until I was pulling out the disk for season 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures that she will never be in anything else again. I hear she was a sweet lady, unselfish, not a diva. And it's such a shame.

I am thankful for... of the other branches at work, who swooped in and took nine more purchase orders from me and ten from Tamera. Of course I gave away all the easy ones and now have to cope with the hard ones that I'm left with. That's life, I guess!

From the learning rooms...
...I'm reading a biography of Robert Heinlein, who went to the Naval Academy at Annapolis as a young man. I'm enjoying reading about the (then?) daily routine there, what the young men studied, and the hazing that was allowed.

From the kitchen...
...James got home early, so he cooked dinner tonight: turkey thighs marinated in Island Soyaki (Trader Joe's) with teriyaki rice. I'd had a tiny lunch and it was a small thigh; I was planning to save some for a sandwich Sunday, but ate it all up.

I am wearing... tank top and aqua shorts. Discovered last night I will need to replace the tank top at least. The material appears to be wearing out. Of course these are $3 tops from Walmart; not much to them.

I am creating...
...right now, more purchase orders! Looked at the calendar and realized with horror that there's a craft project I need to be working on. Maybe Sunday.

I am going... keep nagging the Dragon*Con people until they put that schedule up. Really, it gets later and later every year.

I am reading...
...Harry Potter and History, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century, Volume 1, Rick Steves' London 2011, and Rhys Bowen's The Last Illusion.

I am hoping...
...this year's registration line at Dragon*Con will not be such a nightmare. 3 1/2 hours is just ridiculous. The most popular topic on the Dragon*Con Facebook discussion page is fixing registration!

I am hearing...
...Jeopardy. And James heavy breathing, since he's fallen asleep in his chair. The old saying's right: you do grow up to be your parents. Here I am watching TV while doing something like my mom, and James is asleep like Dad.

Around the house...
...I did manage to vacuum at lunch and sweep out the bathrooms, and the laundry is done. I rescued a spider and took it outside. The trash is collected from the bedrooms in preparation to go out tonight. And there are still books everywhere.

One of my favorite things...
...clouds. I wish more of them would show up. I'm tired of the relentless sun. Of course, I admit the low humidity has been nice this week. Both Monday and Wednesday, although it was hot in the sun, it was actually cool under the trees and there was a breeze. Your usual Georgia summer day is breathless, even in the shade.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work. Not sure about Saturday plans yet, although we might have something in mind. James works Sunday. So I do need to work on that craft project.

Here is a thought I am sharing...

The usual in August:


If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook



» Sunday, August 21, 2011
Out and In
While James went off to work this morning, I had a serious affair with my feather pillows. ;-)

Only slept until 8:30, really, then had some oatmeal and milk, did my usual Sunday chores (refilled my pill sorter and tidied the master bath), and checked e-mail and Facebook. Jen sent a picture of the prototype to her wedding dress—how lovely! It exactly suits her.

Needed to gas up the car and get a newspaper, so tossed on some clothes and headed out. I also had a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon, so I drove there first after a stop at the bank machine. (I'd also noticed that the QT was up to $3.479 for gas, so I made a less-than-minor detour to check out Costco: $3.389 there and not a crowd. That'll do.) Picked up some microfiber cloths and microfiber mitts for wiping off Willow when it rains. Then I did stop at the QT for a newspaper and ducked into Aldi for a few minutes. I was home by noon.

Did some other chores and also took a leaf from Emma's book and decided to get a few things off the DVR: Young Victoria and Edward VII: King of Pleasure from the BBC and the wonderful PBS special about Rosalind Russell, Life is a Banquet (if you ever want to read a super autobiography, try out Russell's book of the same name). They sent James home about halfway through the second of these, so we sat reading the paper as I continued. Also copied off a cute interview from a Tonight show earlier in the summer, Jay Leno interviewing the cutest elderly lady, 100 years old, Dorothy Cutler, who finished up her appearance by playing "Turkey in the Straw" on a harmonica.

Now I'm copying off Best Defense for James, and I suspect later we will watch Holmes on Homes. Lasagna and salad for supper. Yum!

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"And The Winnah Is..."
Noticed Teri's Facebook post about the Hugo Awards; did not realize Worldcon was this weekend. In Reno of all places!

Anyway, I wandered over to see the winners and was quite pleased:

Best Novel (1813 ballots)
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)

(Yes, Willis was channeling Charles Dickens in her word count. <g> But I really enjoyed both of these books, mixing the London Blitz and time travel.)

Best Related Work (1220 ballots)
Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)

(This is in my reading queue and looks delightful! I love Mad Norwegian's "About Time" series.)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots)
Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)

(As someone who became a Who fan in 1974, when other people in the US really were saying "Doctor who?," this is immensely satisfying every time it happens.)

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» Saturday, August 20, 2011
Completely Booked
Wheeee! What a day...long one, too: began at eight, when I reluctantly dragged myself from bed. I'd woken up at 6:30 after bedding down at 1 a.m. and never properly got back to sleep (it didn't help that I was hungry). But we did get to the Farmer's Market; we still had vegetables, so we pretty much just walked through tasting samples, and bought dog biscuits, some lasagna for tomorrow night's supper, breakfast for James, and a treat for James when he has to work tomorrow (a mini sweet potato cheesecake).

We dropped off the perishables, gathered up our bags, and went grocery shopping. Food Lion didn't have what I went looking for, but they did have Rachael Ray dog food on sale (and I had a coupon for one bag, so we did quite well). Then we hit Publix for a couple of things, including oatmeal, which I need for work, and finally Kroger to do the rest of the shopping. (I'm glad I got bananas at Food Lion; the Kroger bananas were all green again.) We went past the Kroger magazine stand and I snapped up the new "Bliss Victoria," which I don't usually read except at Christmas, but it was their British issue and it had a decidedly fall look to it. Then...a glance downward...ohboy, the October issue of "Blue Ridge Country"! With some spectacular fall photos in it, including this lovely cover shot of an autumn-kissed farm!

(If you want some spectacular fall photos, buy this issue!!!)

By the time we had all the loot put up, it wasn't even noon. We headed for the hobby shop where James yakked with the guys for a while as I read my Nook. Then we were off to lunch.

We had some coupons for Logan's Roadhouse, but the closest one is in Douglasville. So we planned to take the opportunity to stop in at (you guessed it) the Borders at Arbor Place Mall.

But first, lunch: we had small steaks, James' flavored with a teriyaki marinade. Very tender! It was a good lunch, and afterwards we had a good, if thirsty, round at Borders. Apparently we can't go to Arbor Place without there being a carnival there, which makes it hard to find a parking space. We just followed a family coming out of the mall.

This Borders was still pleasantly filled with books rather than junk, and I managed to find James two gifts; James found three different gifts. I also pointed him to a book of aviation stories and he picked up a couple of other things.

I had a nice collection upon checkout: an Avi book based on the life of Charles Dickens (The Traitors' Gate), The Atheist's Guide to Christmas (which I really should have gotten as a $2 e-book back when I had the chance!), Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent, Rick Steves' England book, Susan Cheevers' Louisa May Alcott (a bargain book that was then half off!), and (hurrah!) The People Behind the Border-Lines, a.k.a. How the States Got their Shapes Too, which was just released. The first chapter is about Roger Williams. :-)

Well, by this time it was almost four o'clock, and we headed home, warm and thirsty. There was a welcome glass of cold milk upon arrival and cooler clothing posthaste, just in time for America's Test Kitchen on PBS.

When the mail arrived, there was the last of my Hamilton Book purchases, a DVD called Apollo 11: A Night to Remember—the moon landing as covered by the BBC. This is so cool—many shots I'd never seen in other documentaries before, and in between the footage, James Burke, "Mr. Connections" himself, explaining various things about the mission: the escape chute, the command module, the astronauts' suits—he even went up in the "Vomit Comet" to experience weightlessness! Long cuts of moonwalk footage (in other documentaries of this sort, there is soaring background music and an intrusive narrative—here only the occasional comments of astronomer Sir Patrick Moore—whose voice puts you in mind of Winston Churchill—interrupt)!

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» Friday, August 19, 2011
Far From the Madding Crowd
After yesterday, sleeping until 8:30 and not facing my computer was a relief. I had my oatmeal and yogurt, checked e-mail, then went down to the garage and emptied out the car in preparation to give it "a spa day." (I also swept out the garage while I was there.) When that was done I drove to "Mr. Clean" and had the car vacuumed out and washed. It took only twenty minutes and when I was finished I went to WalMart for pants hangers and diabetic socks for James; found a book pallet with some books for $1 and some books for $5. For a dollar it was worth grabbing the young adult version of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower and also an original book based on the film National Treasure. This on the heels of my Hamilton Books shipment, which was a birthday gift for James and three books for myself: Service and Style, a history of department stores; Letter Perfect, a history of the alphabet; and A Pocketful of History, a book about the history portrayed by the reverse side of the state quarters.

I had a terrible sinus headache by the time I got home. I fractured my nose thirty years ago (my right knee locked up as I was hurrying at work and I fell face first on the concrete floor), and occasionally it gives me a great deal of pain for several days in a row. It's apparently in another one of its fits. So I took three ibuprofin and lay down for 20 minutes, testing out the new pillows in the spare room in the process. Very comfy! I'm going to recycle one of the old pillows as being the pillow that goes in my car. "Fred the Traveling Pillow" has had a long and illustrious career, but it's stained and tired, and was dispatched into the trash when I cleaned out the car.

I happened to notice what was on the television just after two o'clock: Rachael Ray had Dick Van Dyke as a guest (a show from May). She spoke with him about Mary Poppins, then, after they'd chatted about The Dick Van Dyke Show for a few minutes, with Dick praising Mary Tyler Moore, who should appear but MTM herself! This was great fun to watch.

James got sprung early (he hasn't worked a full forty hours since March), so after "The Elf" (oops, I meant Dr. Oz) started, we went out to Borders. It looks as if the management really believed they'd get an eleventh-hour reprieve, because new stuff is still coming in from the warehouse, including the 2012 calendars, which are 60 percent off. So now I have all my calendars for next year: a Linda Nelson Stocks for work, a small scenery calendar for the spare room, and, because I couldn't decide which I wanted for my craft room, I got both the calendar of Alaska scenery and a calendar of foxes. I also bought a calendar as a gift, and also a book as a gift.

Otherwise I went a bit wild. Colonel Roosevelt keeps tempting me, but it's still only half price. I know it will be in paperback soon and Sam's or Costco will probably have it, and it will be a lot less than $17.50! On the other hand, linguistics books are hard to come by (and Barnes & Noble has a pissant selection of linguistics books!): I got The Great Typo Hunt, You Are What You Speak, and Origins of the Specious. Plus a book on Cro-Magnon man (one of my favorite subjects in science) and the biography of Kay Thompson that Mel was raving over last Saturday.

Plus I found "Richard Castle's" Naked Heat on the bargain shelf, for 40 percent off $4.00; can't beat that! And two card games, "Trivial Pursuit Steal" and "Hit the Deck," the latter which sounds a little like "Uno."

James and I also each bought a duffel bag that folds up into a smaller bag. I remember Mary Bloemker always carrying a fold-up bag when she traveled to accommodate extra souvenirs. (Funny how that memory popped back up when I saw those bags! Next month it will be two years since Mary passed away.) James bought several books himself, a model magazine which was left over, a couple of those nostalgia booklets you give people on their birthdays (one for his birth year, and two in the 1940s), and some emergency light sticks.

Yeah, I know, they don't usually sell "light sticks" in Borders. There was stuff in the store I had never seen in a Borders before. It looks like the liquidator is trying to get rid of other junk at the same time. There were these loose weave blankets, Pillow Pal knockoffs, picture frames, and other assorted weird items. (In fact, the copy of Naked Heat I got has a Target tag on it. What's with that?)

Anyway, we ate dinner somewhere new, Empress of China II, next to the Merchants Walk complex in the same strip mall with Bird Watchers Supply. The food was quite good; I had a pork dish with shrimp in it as well! Then we finished by picking up a few things at Trader Joe's.

Had a nice evening at home. Watched two Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who episodes, then put Torchwood on. I'm still watching, still wondering—but in a way this is disappointing. Way too drawn out.

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The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
...the sun is shining and there are birds fluttering around the bird feeder. It's very hot out, though; 91°F and no relief in sight, despite last week's forecast. :-(

I am thinking... relieved I am to have a day off from work! Really, yesterday I was so angry I had to step away from the computer because I was about to explode.

I am thankful for...
...a chance to sleep late, and a quiet morning. I took my car to "the spa"—got it washed and vacuumed out completely (even the back), then stopped at Walmart for hangers for my new pants and some diabetic socks for James. Found two books for a dollar each: the young adult version of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower and an adventure novel based on the movie National Treasure.

From the learning rooms...
...I'm reading a history of department stores. Did you know it was women's "ready to wear" clothing that transformed the department store? In the late 19th century menswear was ready-to-wear, but the women's departments, except for items like coats, "unmentionables," hosiery, and handkerchiefs, was represented by fabric, sewing supplies, ribbons, and lace. Rich and middle-class women had dressmakers make their clothes, poor women made their own (and generally did not shop in department stores).

From the kitchen...
...I had some ricotta and crackers for lunch. I'm ready for supper!

I am wearing...
...a tank top and shorts and socks. I saw the cutest little Eeyore sleep shirt today, but didn't buy it.

I am creating...
...this blog...and that's about it. :-)

I am going... take a turn around Borders tonight. It's like going to a funeral, but I'm always on the lookout for gifts to put away.

I am reading...
...Heinlein's Number of the Beast (which is bearable until good ol' Woody shows up), Harry Potter and History, and Service and Style (the department store book). The latter rather skipped the queue, as I got it yesterday, along with a book about the history of the alphabet (Letter Perfect) and about the history portrayed on the back of the state quarters.

I am hoping...
...for smoother waters ahead at work. Ed and Nancy always tell me to come to them when I run into problems. (I have superb supervisors.) But really, I shouldn't have to call on them for piddling problems like this. And they are busy, too!!!

I am hearing...
...Rachael's a show from May where Dick Van Dyke was the guest—and out walked Mary Tyler Moore! Schuyler is enjoying it, as she is singing at the top of her little birdie lungs.

Around the house...
...I've tidied up a little. And thank God the laundry was finished yesterday! Still books everywhere.

One of my favorite things...
...going to bookstores, so since James has just arrived home, I think I will do so!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I need to buy a couple of pillowcases. And some "Soup in Hand" vegetable soup. Even Walmart doesn't have it; I always have to go to Food Lion. [Later: They didn't have it, either. They don't even have a ROW for it at the moment. ::gnash::]

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Summer sucks! THINK FALL!

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook



» Sunday, August 14, 2011
She Scores!
Had a nice long chat last night and a nice long sleep this morning (with the oddest dream: we were helping someone move, someone I don't even know, a single mom with two daughters). After breakfast, we were initially heading for Costco to get more of the jeans I had found there last week. But we had some excellent BJs coupons, including one for Bisquik, which we needed. So I put on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and we drove up to Woodstock.

Well, I hit the jackpot: BJs had Gloria Vanderbilt "Amanda" jeans as well, in more colors than Costco had, and they had short lengths, too! Thank you to BJs for remembering that folks who are short like to be able to buy pants without having to go through the annoyance of shortening them every damn time! I bought one of each color, except for the pink, lilac, or yellow, which I didn't want, or the indigo color, which they didn't have in my size. Instead, I got two pairs of the black, plus a "blue jean," a stonewashed blue, beige, and a dark plum color. ("When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple...") I wish they had the pretty chocolate brown like last time, but for brown I will make do with the ones I bought from Costco. They did not have that color at BJs, a greyish-brown "tobacco" color. I just have to roll the bottoms up if I'm not shod, a fact that was brought home at Leigh's yesterday: the pants worked okay as long as I had shoes on, but she asked us to take off our shoes because her new house has white carpeting.

I had to giggle, because out of curiosity I looked up when I bought the last set of four jeans; it was the summer my mom died and I found them in BJs off Atwood Avenue in Johnston, RI. In fact, it was six years ago this weekend. I've had to nurse those jeans through the last few years; JoAnn made a fortune on me in iron-on patches! But I hated to give up the jeans, because, except for two spots on each pair, they are still in good shape, except for the black ones, which I completely wore out wearing to work.

We also got several other things for which we had coupons, including two new pillows for the spare room, the old ones being definitely tired out.

We came home by Kroger for the usual staples before arriving home. We hadn't had any lunch, so James warmed up the chicken wings we'd had a coupon for, while I went to gas up my car. Then we had "lunner" (or is it "dinch"? LOL) while watching Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

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» Saturday, August 13, 2011
"We Like Her! We Really Like Her!"
So...Leigh Boros has been planning this for months: a surprise birthday party for her mother, our own Phyllis. We were even asked to park away from her house so she wouldn't recognize the cars.

And today was the day!

First we slept late. Ironically, after telling our neighbor what time the Farmer's Market opened, we didn't go. We slept until a delicious ten a.m., when Willow barked. Ate a leisurely breakfast. James cleaned the kitchen and I cleaned the hall bath. Schuyler chirped, Willow wagged. We didn't leave the house until after one, stopped at the hobby shop for about 20 minutes, then let Tinker the Droid lead us to Leigh's new house, a spiffy ranch house with three bedrooms, a living room and a family room, and dining room and eat-in kitchen, and garage. We parked in a nearby cul de sac and walked into the door...

...and were hit by a wall of heat. Leigh's air conditioning had bitten the dust.

Well, we love Phyllis. We really do. And we managed to have a great time despite it being 90°F inside. All the doors and windows were flung open and Leigh had fans running in every room, so we survived. Spent time talking about all and sundry, watched Phyllis open her gifts (the majority being books or Barnes & Noble gift cards, since we all know what Phyllis likes best!), munched on fruit, cheese, chips, olives, cold cuts, bread, and other goodies, and ate the highly inventive cake, which was made by another friend of ours, Elayna Cook. There was a sheet cake, half chocolate and half vanilla, frosted in green to look like a planet surface, topped by a Marvin the Martian in his spaceship (Marvin was made from Rice Krispies treats painted in frosting, so the whole kit'n'caboodle was edible).

Let's say by the time we left, however, we were both rather damp. :-) The A/C ran on high all the way home, and we happily got into lighter clothing when we arrived home. Watched last night's Torchwood (boy, am I glad that creepy character got his), Colour Confidential and Futurama.

We also started watching the Doctor Who special that was running on BBC America tonight, a retrospective of the Matt Smith episodes so far. It was one of those dreadful specials where they show clips from the series and have "celebrities" commenting on them. There wasn't one person I recognized...supposedly these were actors and comedians and I think someone was a wrestler (or a writer) then I was so disgusted by the idiot comments they were making that I said to James, "Do you want to see this?" and he gave me a firm "No!" and I turned it off. Ugh!

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» Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
...finally pitch dark. I'm glad the time is turning and it's getting darker earlier each night. I wish we didn't have Daylight Savings time. Light is for mornings, and dark for evenings. I hate rising and going to work in the dark! The only benefit of it is seeing some lovely sunrises.

I am thinking...
...of the seven more weeks to go. I know! it's monotonous hearing about it, but end-of-fiscal-year is a fact of life at this time of year. It absorbs all my days and my thoughts. Sometimes I dream about it.

I am thankful for...
...a husband who cooks! I'd be eating out of cans if I were all alone. I hate to cook!

From the learning rooms...
...well, I'm reading a Bryant and May book, which means I usually learn something obscure. This one is talking about the dying out of the traditional British pub.

From the kitchen...'s empty now. James made pork chops for dinner, with some noodles on the side, and watermelon for dessert.

I am wearing... tank top, aqua shorts. Not much variety in this question!

I am creating...
...LOL...purchase orders! Well, right now I'm creating a blog.

I am going... clean out Schuyler's cage in a few minutes because tomorrow is trash collection day. She hates when "housekeeping" comes in, but instead paces back and forth on her highest perches, glaring at me.

I am reading...
...The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler, Rick Steves' London, a small book called Arctic Autumn, and a steampunk-ish fantasy/Western called The Native Star.

I am hoping... get a good amount of work done tomorrow, so I'll cross fingers. I found about a dozen orders I could do, and I'm slowly working my way through them. Trouble is, I still have three times that many to print out! And other orders to work on. Juggling angels on the head of a pin again...

I am hearing...
...Rock Hudson talking. We're watching the last disk of the first season of McMillan and Wife. We've already watched the spooky episode with "the house in the bag" (someone tries to kill Mac and Sally by trapping them in their house, which is being fumigated). It was an unusually creepy episode for this series. And, even sweeter a sound, Schuyler is singing a pretty budgie song.

Around the house...
...a cozy evening. James is sitting in his chair and Willow is asleep at his feet. Skye's cage is on the tray at the end of the sofa and I'm at the other end. Very soon it will be bedtime.

One of my favorite things...
John Schuck playing Sergeant Enright on McMillan and Wife! He was one of my favorite parts of this series. Randy Disher with a lot more brains. :-)

A few plans for the rest of the week:
I can't mention it now. :-) Maybe after the weekend is over.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
There's no time for this part this evening. The story's ending, the evening's coming to a close. Tomorrow a new story will begin...

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook



» Sunday, August 07, 2011
Hairpocalypse Now
A quiet day. James made biscuits for breakfast, and about noon we headed for "Hair Day," which turned out to be "Hair Afternoon" this time. People brought snacks instead of lunch ingredients, and we had pizza.

We had fun talking, but the big event of the afternoon was a haircut. Our friends' son, Neil, has had his hair long for some time, but he decided he wanted to cut it into a shorter hairstyle. He was pleased with the result, and the new style looks good on him.

That was about it. We came home, watched some HGTV—we're enjoying the show Cash and Cari, about a woman who does estate sales; this time they found a gadget that looked like a giant rolling pin covered with measuring sticks, and it turned out it was a super slide rule used for engineering projects like bridges. And James likes Mike Holmes' shows.

Tomorrow the whole crazy merry-go-round starts again...wheeeeee...

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» Saturday, August 06, 2011
A Saturday on the Fun
After thirty-six hours of work this week, a couple of purchase orders, numerous advertisements, and too many e-mails, I feel like I've accomplished nothing. It's so bloody frustrating!

Which is probably why I woke up on my compressed day off feeling under the weather, nose stuffy, headachy and feverish, although there was no sign of a fever. I really wanted to curl back up and go to sleep, but that wouldn't have done me a bit of good. So I got my library book and returned it, then went to MicroCenter for one last set of narrow six-DVD cases. Got some four-DVD cases as well, which will work well for Ask the Manager, Brooklyn Bridge, Doctor Who, etc. Plus I realized I could put Connections and The Day the Universe Changed in the same case. Cool.

By this time Borders was calling me. Since it won't be able to send me subliminal messages much longer, I listened to it. I bought two gifts, a Rick Steves London book, a book about the British, Mary McDonough's autobiography, The Wild West on 5 Bits a Day, and a sociological book about how advertising affects our lives, Ad Nauseam. Then I came home to have some vegetable soup for lunch and cool off until James arrived home. We went to supper at Folks, had Baskin-Robbins for dessert, then went to Barnes & Noble for a while. Guys, you need to ramp down your background music so it's really in the background...and what's with the ants on the bookshelves? Yuck. Bought a David Crystal book. Um, why are your linguistics books with sociology and psychiatry? Too odd.

(Oh, Mark Stein has a new How the States Got Their Shapes book out, The People Behind the Border Lines. The first chapter's on Roger Williams.)

This morning we were awakened at the break of eight by the alarm and the dog; the guys had arrived to replace the pine straw. They'd finished by the time we were ready to go to the Farmer's Market. Definitely better than last week; it was mostly overcast and there was a breeze.

We brought our food home, then went to Costco. Money-saving guru Clark Howard was autographing his new book there this morning. Since we enjoy Clark's show, and his website, and his books, we figured we'd get the new one. They were still setting up when we arrived at ten, but soon a line formed. I let James go through the line with the book while I stood across from where Clark was signing to snap a couple of pictures.

Next to me a red-haired man in a red-striped shirt was talking on his phone, explaining to someone who Clark was. Several times he mentioned WHJJ, which is what WJAR radio in Providence morphed into. I don't usually speak to strangers, but this was too tempting. When he hung up, I said, "Excuse me for being nosy, but are you from Rhode Island?"

Well, he was. His name was Derek and he's been living in Georgia for three years. He even went to Cranston High School West...I went to CHS East...our traditional enemies! His dad went to Cranston East, though. I felt bad for the Telemundo lady who was trying to do a broadcast next to us, because we were jabbering away about RI...Buddy Cianci...Borders closing...

(I called to James, "This guy is from Rhode Island" and he just rolled his eyes. It was a long-running gag between my mom and my dad that no matter where he went, he could find someone from Rhode Island. Whether it was Florida or Lake George or Virginia, he'd get this look in his eyes and say, "See that guy over there? He looks familiar." He'd go talk to the guy, or the couple, and come back about twenty minutes later. "They're from West Warwick, but he has family in the Lake [the Silver Lake neighborhood, where he grew up] and she's related to the Cataldos who own the bakery..." Apparently I've inherited this to a minor extent. James remember the time we were at the Air Force Museum and the man taking the reservations for the Air Force One hangar noticed his Mystic Seaport t-shirt and asked him if he was from New England. James answered, "No, but my wife is from Rhode Island." The guy asked me where was from in Rhode Island, I said, "Cranston," and he stuck out his hand and said "Barrington." James blinked at both of us, and said, "What is it with you people?" LOL.)

James finally got to the head of the line and I snapped a pic of him with Clark Howard.

Miss Emily Baldwin was right: "The nice thing about life is that you never know when there's going to be a party."

So we finished our purchases, including a pair of jeans for me that I bet will be too long (they only had "average" in my size), and took the milk home, then went out to the hobby shop. Business is very slow and they are struggling. :-(

We were up for lunch after this, as it was around one o'clock. We headed for either Olive Garden or Red Lobster for a cheap lunch, and then decided to detour and see if Cracker Barrel was not crowded. And, surprise, it wasn't—but then it's not Sunday morning after church, either. :-) Cracker Barrel is a restaurant with a country store attached, so after we finished our lunch, we wandered around looking at the different things for sale. They had apple-themed things, the fall and Hallowe'en things were already out, and a corner was even given over to Christmas. They usually sell Christmas things with a cardinal/chickadee motif. This year's birds are highly stylized, like simple paper cutouts. Not sure if I like all of them, but one serving plate looked a lot like a postage stamp design.

Since we had no other plans, we went to Kroger to do the grocery shopping, so that is done, done, done! We did see a welcome sign on the way there: the "Ditch" is opening next Wednesday.

(About two years ago, they started carving a ditch at the edge of Jim Miller Park. A big ditch. It turned into an underpass in the park, and a road elsewhere; it's a shortcut route to connect the intersection of Windy Hill Road/Austell Road and the intersection of Macland Road/Powder Spring Road. Every week we'd cut through Jim Miller Park on the way to Kroger to see how "the Ditch" was doing. And now it's nearly finished.)

We arrived home to gathering clouds, rumbling thunder, and a few spatters of rain, but the storms were running south, so I don't suspect we'll get any real precipitation.

Oh, and I found two fall-themed magazines at Kroger! There is a light at the end of the hellish tunnel that is summer!

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» Thursday, August 04, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
...starting to clear up, finally. It was almost record temps here yesterday (98°F) and sometime during the night we had a spectacular thunder and lighting storm. The thunder was almost continuous, and the lightning the same; instead of regular rumbles and flashes, it was a swiftly-repeated series of rumbles and sheet lightning for quite some time. We did get a soaking rain, as well, but I don't see any damage locally. I did lay awake some time listening to it. I used to love thunderstorms as a child, but living in the South has brought me a whole new—and not very friendly—perspective on them.

I am thinking... much work I have left to do in the last eight weeks of end-of-fiscal-year. Because Congress approved our budget late, we got a flood of purchase order requests in just at the deadline. I feel like I did last year when we had all the Recovery Act funds, drowning and no way to swim to shore.

I am thankful for...
...a supportive team leader and an even more supportive supervisor. My supervisor views being supportive as part of his job. I know people have superiors who aren't. I once worked for a man who was mild-mannered and sweet, but he never supported his employees against the other supervisors, and things were sometimes hard for us. It is a blessing to have supportive supervisory staff.

From the learning rooms... time, no time...I feel like the White Rabbit..."I'm late, I'm late!" and will never be caught up.

From the kitchen...
...a leftover pork chop, which I am eating for lunch. :-)

I am wearing...
...something cool! Black tank top and shorts, blue scuffs. You know it is too warm when wearing a short-sleeved shirt and a light pair of pants with socks and shoes is "too much clothes." I dream of sweatshirt weather.

I am creating...
...advertisements for purchase orders. Questions about purchase orders. Forms for purchase orders. :-)

I am going... take my temperature in a little while. It was very odd; I was a bit headachy when I got home yesterday, but not surprising as fluorescent lights bother me, but I felt off enough to take my temperature. Turns out I had a very low-grade fever. Possibly from the heat. I haven't had fevers in years, but since I got one last summer it seems like my body is amenable to them again. I feel like heat is radiating off me in waves, although it is a comfortable 75 inside with a ceiling fan on, and only 83 outside, the coolest it's been at this time of day for weeks!

I am reading...
...still working on The Wilderness Warrior (it's a large and detailed tome), The History of the World in 6 Glasses, the latest Harry Dresden book in paperback, Changes, and a steampunk/supernatural novel called The Native Star.

I am hoping...
All I am hoping for is fall. What can you say about a season like summer where all you want to do is lie under a ceiling fan in a cool room and sleep? I love fall and winter and early spring when I have energy and want to do things!

I am hearing...
...the soft hum of the computer, the dog snuffling around under my desk hoping for something to eat, the bird scratching about in her cage. The A/C isn't even on, which is odd at this time of the afternoon in the summer.

Around the house...
...the laundry is going. I managed to vacuum the upstairs carpet before it was time to start work this morning.

One of my favorite things... e-book sites! One of my favorites has always been, which used to be Black Mask. Many classic books, older novels, and even old series books there. is also good, and, if you have a Nook, Barnes & Noble gives away a free e-book every Friday on their Nook blog.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Sleep. More narrow DVD cases. Sleep. Fresh veggies. Sleep.

Wait. I'm sensing a pattern here...

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Happy memories from this series!

How can you identify a McMillan and Wife fan? Three words: Apple crumb cake! :-)

If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook



» Monday, August 01, 2011
"Four Days at DragonCon"
If you'd like to see what we do every Labor Day weekend, check here at PBS Video online:

Watch the full episode. See more Dragon Con.

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