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, July 29, 2012
Hot Town, Summer in the City

We ate in on Friday night, since we're suckers for Opening Ceremonies. I picked up soup and sandwich from Panera Bread and James treated himself to Jamaican.

The 2012 Summer Olympic opening ceremonies were fun. The two cappers had to be the Queen Elizabeth II/James Bond appearance (and am I glad I saved it since they pulled it off YouTube by the next day) and Rowan Atkinson's part in the "Chariots of Fire" sequence. The historical pageant would have been more interesting if the announcers hadn't been yapping all the time—seriously, are we perceived as that stupid that we have to be told this is the part when industrialization took over from agrarian society?—and there hadn't been so many horrible commercials. There used to be a time when a sponsor took pride in what they sponsored and would curtail the commercials for the sake of what they were sponsoring. Apparently pride has fallen by the wayside. Also kinda bummed by the fact that there was supposed to be a small salute to Doctor Who in the opening ceremony, but it was cut for time—when they let that awful rap music go on and on.

Had a turn around the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, but the weather wasn't conducive to strolling. Ironically, there was a breeze in the shade, and there it wasn't so bad, but being in the sun was like drowning in paint stripper. It burned! Needless to say, we didn't shop very long, just enough to get cucumbers and tomatoes, sweet corn, James' chicken salad, some crisp peaches just the way I like them, and a piece of brown sugar pound cake for a dessert.

Eventually James went on his own to the hobby shop, since I couldn't stand the thought of going back out into the inferno. Read for a while, watched Olympic beach volleyball—well, phooey, the guys were wearing shirts!—and soccer (until the vuvuzelas started to bore into my brain) coverage, and then took a nap until it was time for a wonderful night out with friends: we celebrated Juanita's birthday at Longhorn Steakhouse. Despite several dinners being late, we had a great time talking and swapping stories. Came home and had another nice chat online with Jen, Mike, and Emma until one in the morning.

Had a nice sleep-in this morning, breakfast, and then a short trip to the supermarket. I needed to get gasoline and also wanted to look for the new fall issue of "Country Sampler," so first we went to Barnes & Noble. The cover of "Country Sampler" was like a beautiful breath of fresh air. Along with the "Autumn Cottage" I had found at Publix and the fall issue of "Small Room Decorating," it was a nice assortment of magazines. I also found two remainder books, General Sherman's Christmas (another Stanley Weintraub historical Christmas book) and The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures. One appears to be a Phileas Fogg/Sherlock Holmes crossover. And just because, I got the new trade paper copy of The Story of Charlotte's Web.

We bought gasoline at Costco and then stopped at the new overstock place that is in place of the old Blockbuster. It's a motley combination of assorted foods, glass coffee tables, clothes, pillows, some DVDs and televisions, camping stuff, light bulbs and other assorted items. I bought some Kashi cereal and a new sunshade for my car.

Tonight we had chicken pot pie for supper along with wheatberry and fruit salad, with watermelon for dessert. We had sort of a Big Bang Theory festival, three episodes off Channel 17, and then six episodes from the season two DVD. We've finished first season anyway, and don't need to record the ones on Sunday anymore.

Only one thing marred the day: I went out on the deck this morning to fill the bird feeders. Well, what seed was left in the barrel was infested with those little sugar ants. I had to clean the barrel out and some ants got on me and I was freaked out. I remember how hard it was to get rid of them last time and I didn't want to bring any into the house. We upended the barrel to let it bake in the sun, and tonight after the sun went down I went outside with the Ortho to spray the edge of the deck where the barrel was and the part of the deck that intersected with the house. God, I hate ants! To think I deliberately picked a house with a kitchen on the second floor just to make it harder for the little bastards to get in the house and they are still threatening us.

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» Thursday, July 26, 2012
Take A Nap for Six Months...
...and then roll over and get some sleep! That's what I'd like to do; I'm freeping exhausted. Sunday night the dog barked 90 minutes before the alarm and I never got back to sleep. Going to work on 4 1/2 hours sleep was a lot of fun (not), and I slept in the car despite how hot and stuffy it was. It was better on Wednesday because some idiot of a groundskeeper at our office complex kept the sprinklers running all day (you don't know how it annoys me when people waste good water on stupid lawns) and my car was in the path of the water. It was nice and cool inside to sleep!

Teleworking I get to sleep later, but I work longer, just because there's so much to do. Both today and Tuesday I worked eleven hours straight, eating at my desk. But I did get the temp scientist order out, and a bunch of other necessary ones, and worked on the two expiring ones today. Ran into a bunch of problems with the software, about half of which I managed to overcome, but I still have three modifications that won't clear because I can't de-obligate funds from items that have zero dollars on them. (Yeah, I know that's a "duh" moment, but that's the procedure we have to follow to transfer monies to different accounting codes. And it's not working.)

Frankly, I feel like I'm juggling knives on the head of a pin.

I had a bunch of credit at Amazon due to eyeglasses/car repairs/Willow's surgery, so I put in an order at the beginning of the week. Part of it was due today, and sure enough my package arrived with season one of Big Bang Theory and the book Gaining Ground, which is a history of the reclaimed land in Boston. I saw it in October 2010 in the big beautiful and now deceased Borders in downtown Boston and have been waiting ages to get it. Between not finishing work until 6:30 and dinner (we had some Hormel pot roast which was taking up too much room in the freezer over the spaetzle we bought at Aldi along with corn on the cob; it was pretty good) and watching "Shelly" and the gang, I didn't open the book until nine o'clock, only to discover I had a defective copy! Everything before page 5 is missing: title/copyright page, contents, preface, acknowledgements, and the first four pages of Chapter One! So I had to print out the whole magilla to return it to Amazon instead of getting to start it. To quote Robert Hays in Airplane...

I suppose I should fill the bird feeders before going to bed. Looking at my stuffed "dreamy sheep" is making me soooooo sleepy.

Or maybe it was the eleven hours in front of the computer.

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» Sunday, July 22, 2012
On the Go

Hark, hark, the dog did bark. At least she waited until 9:30.

The usual morning shopping. Publix had Ranier cherries two-for-one. They can only be better than the Bings I bought last week, which I will throw away. Mother would think it was a sin, wasting food, but they don't taste good at all. Not sour...just blah. One almost tasted like it had been frozen at one time. Then off to Kroger, but we didn't get milk as we were planning to go to BJs for more sale omeprazole.

We set off on that errand after we had put up the yogurt and other perishables, listening to a "Splendid Table" from last month. I must have read the expiration date of the sale incorrectly, though, because the omeprazole was no longer on sale. We did get some other things, though, including a 32GB thumb drive at an insanely inexpensive price (they weren't even this cheap on Black Friday), and seasons two and three of Big Bang Theory. They didn't have season four, and Amazon has season one cheaper. (No, for the person who's going to ask, we didn't get the Blu-Ray version. I couldn't see spending more on a TV sitcom if the extras were the same.)

After all that, when we got to the checkout, we forgot the milk. That was okay, because James wanted to stop at Hobbytown on the way back. We found a parking spot next to a tree which provided a sufficient breeze so I could sit and read behind the windshield reflectors while he was in the store. Then, since it was on the way, we stopped for the milk at Aldi, where it's cheaper anyway.

We spent what was left of the afternoon watching Big Bang (second season on DVD and first season from WPCH). Turkey pot pie and a salad for supper, with watermelon for dessert. Very satisfying.

My mom's been gone seven  years today. Wonder what she'd make of Schuyler...

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» Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JULY 21, 2012

Outside my window...'s very grey, and still not quite dark yet. The birds have only recently abandoned the feeder for their roosts for the night! I hate when it stays light so late. It's unnatural. For some people, this is their bedtime.

I am thinking... long it is since I've done one of these. I am so busy! And as the old saying goes, "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." But late this week I did manage to get ten whole orders finished, and finally managed to get a quotation that has been long delayed. It doesn't catch me up much...not when folks are still waiting for their scientist and their vaccine communication, and oh, I never started something I said I would try to get to this week. And I'm still waiting, waiting for those new forms to come back! It's so frustrating!

I am thankful...
...for air conditioning. Earlier in the summer it was hot, but dry. Now it rains every single day, whether for five minutes or an hour, and the air feels like a hot sponge in the face. You raise a sweat opening a car door.

In the kitchen...
...the dishwasher is rumbling merrily as James just loaded it. He had a Subway sandwich we bought after going to Wally World for wild bird food, white dots, and the Hood's chocolate milk. (By finding the dots at Walmart we didn't have to go to Office Depot/Max/whatever. He needs them for his paint jars; this new brand doesn't have a color sample on the top, so he's going to do his own.) $63 worth of birdseed! I hope the birds understand when we can't afford this anymore.

I am wearing...
...usual summer garb, tank top in leopard print blues and purple on black, aqua shorts. And a Band-Aid, since in snipping open a blister pack I also snipped one of my fingers. Ouch!

I am creating...
...I started a cross stitch today! We went to JoAnn last night for the Coupon Commotion. These are usually good for adding some staples to the crafting closet. I got some beads for book thongs, spare candle bulbs, etc. These were good coupons, though, half off ones, so I indulged in a paper punch that cuts an autumn leaf pattern in the edge of a sheet of paper. It was only $10 after the coupon. Alas, I did not find the new DMC color combination floss. JoAnn doesn't even have room to put them. I wish we lived near a proper cross stitch store like the one in New Hampshire or the one in Pigeon Forge! Abecedarius has beautiful stuff, but they stock rare threads and patterns, not the commercially available stuff, and none of the craft stores here have a lot of cross stitch stuff (which is sad because I remember when Hobby Lobby opened they had a ton of things, including Mill Hill beads in specialty shapes).

Anyway, I can't show you the cross stitch because it's in a magazine, but it's a design of mostly autumn words (and some basic leaf shapes) done in backstitch, and the words form two maple leaves. It's in the new "Cross Stitch and Needlework."

I am going... be busy again tomorrow: shopping and a trip to BJs. Tomorrow's the last day the omeprazole is on sale, and they don't limit you to one the way Costco does. Plus at BJs I can use my credit card and get Amazon points.

I am wondering... all the lighted items on this year's "Christmas in July" on QVC! I mean, almost everything is lighted: angel statues, village houses, pine cones, garlands... The Luminara candles that look like they have a real, flickering flame are pretty cool; would love to see them close up to see how they do that flame!

I am reading...
...The Poisoner's Handbook, which is about the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York City. Just one of those books I picked up on a Borders' remainder table which has turned out so good. Also reading a book of essays about the Torchwood series.

I am hoping...
...for autumn. Summer, as always, is on major suckage mode.

I am looking forward to...
...wait! Didn't I just say this? LOL. And I've got a bunch of credit at Amazon due to car repairs/glasses/dog surgery, so am thinking of ordering this, which I've wanted since I laid my beady eyes on it at the Borders store in Boston.

I am learning... frustration, but that's end of fiscal year for you.

Around the house...
...Willow's asleep in James' chair. Schuyler is pecking her bell. James is making egg planes downstairs. Two ladies are talking about LED lights on QVC. (This reminds me that we saw autumn light strings at JoAnn! These came in two styles, sets of yellow, orange, and brownish lights, or ones colored like candy corn.)

I am pondering...
...Aurora, Colorado, and why people want to kill other people. This guy was apparently intelligent and quiet. And psychotic. You never know, and that's the most frightening thing of all.

A favorite quote for today...
...mentioned once on All Creatures Great and Small:
"Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones." . . . Sydney Smith

One of my favorite things...
...cherries, but I'm having really bad luck with them this year. The first bag was quite good and I had high hopes, but the others have been terrible, with even the darkest, firmest, plumpest cherries, which should be exquisitely sweet, are bland or even sour.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Grocery shopping and purchase orders. How depressing is that. We won't even have Flying Wild Alaska to cheer us up anymore: the series ended on Friday.

A peek into my day...
(dang...I can't find a good pick of the Witch of the West least that's what it feels like outside)

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



» Sunday, July 15, 2012
From Season to Season

It's been a stressful week.

Not only has work continued to be a nightmare, but we found out midweek that a friend of ours had died. We thought that it was on Wednesday, but it turned out that it was last week, after she had come home from taking her dogs to an agility event. She apparently got the dogs into the house and in their crates with water, and then collapsed. Other friends who could not reach her finally called the police, who called her husband—they were not living together—for permission to break in. The dogs were hungry but okay, but it was too late to save her. It looks like it happened very quickly. She did have some health problems, so that was probably a contributing factor. It was quite a shock.

Saturday we were up at eight and off to the Farmer's Market. We had only our small hats in the car, but were glad of them when it started to rain just as we were completing our run. We got more tomatoes, chicken salad, a loaf of bread for Hair Day, and some pound cake for a dessert, and then had to hare out of there as the rain was coming down harder. We had the usual nice ride through Polk Street and then through the countryside of Villa Rica Road before reaching the Butlers' house.

It was a small crowd. We talked some about Amy, and her husband Charles showed up with a picture of her with one of her basenji dogs, Rory, winning an award. He said that was the way she would want to be remembered. She spent many weekends running her dogs in Rally and Agility events along with her other friends in the dog show circuit, and loved doing it. There will be a memorial service for her later in the month.

James had spent last night cooking up his "light chicken cacciatore," which is done with diced tomatoes rather than tomato sauce, and that was our main course. Ron and Lin made both rice and pasta for sides, there was garlic bread, and others had brought fruit and veggie trays. All was delicious.

Lately Hair Day always seems to coincide with James' IPMS meeting date, so we had to cut out about 1:20 so he could get home, pick up his egg plane, and get off to the meeting. I was spoiling for another bad headache from all the rain we have been having—Friday night when I got home I had taken four ibuprofin and crawled onto the futon to ease the throbbing—but logged on to work for about fifteen minutes to make sure no "fires" had broken out from the time I'd left at 3:30 to later in the afternoon. To my relief I'd received a quote I needed, and a form I needed. I am so torn between what I have to do first: do I start on the order that renews the order that's expiring July 29 (necessary for CDC's vaccine transactions)? or search for the temp scientist they needed to start tomorrow but we didn't get the order on time? or print out the orders that I was assigned two weeks ago and still haven't had a chance to look at? or print out all the quotes I've received on the orders I'm already working on?...arrrrrgh!!!! I need four hands and Hermione's time turner!

When James got back from his meeting, we went to the Hallmark store at the mall to attend the ornament premiere, which I discuss a little further in  Holiday Harbour. I was pretty dispirited by then. Did find something cute: a "Dreamy Sheep" on sale, to add to the sheep collection. Also bought two cinnamon croissants from Cinnabon (no icky icing on them, and they were not overly sweet, thankfully) for dessert. Came home and just had a sandwich for supper since lunch was so bountiful.

Had a happy chat: Rodney showed up for the first time in ages and we had a nice chat about DVDs, mortgage payoffs and saving for retirement, and such. Jen, Emma and Mike showed up later, so we were up until one.

Slept this morning until Willow started to bark to go out; it was a good sleep-in, I suppose, but I'm so stressed out I can't sleep well; I wake in the middle of the night and Friday night at one point I could not stay on my right side because it was uncomfortable from the humidity. We had a quick breakfast, then went to Kroger for James to get gasoline and to buy the few things we needed: those damn bananas, some breakfast burritos for James, and the usual other stuff. We were flabbergasted when the grocery bagger put all our cold stuff, including two bargain slices of beef and some turkey thighs for Thursday dinner, the burritos, the grapes, etc. in a regular shopping bag and packed the All laundry detergent that was on a super sale (and we had coupons) and the Sunday paper in our insulated bag! Do we have to get a white marker and write "COLD" on it? This isn't the first time it's happened!

But we saw something neat on the way home: there were two adult Canada geese, one at one end, one at the other, leading a little queue down a side street. Between them were two nearly grown goslings, fully fledged, just smaller than their parents! It was so cute!

We put all the perishables away and then took my car and went out to Bed, Bath & Beyond with an expiring coupon. James got a stand for his tablet with it, and we found one of those dryer lizard things—it's an attachment that goes on your vacuum cleaner hose so you can vacuum out the dryer vent and filter. On the return trip we bought gasoline at Costco, then stopped at Aldi for milk (it's only $2 there) and a couple of other things, then came home. We read the paper, then James went downstairs to work on another egg plane, and I reordered a prescription, reviewed four Amazon Vine offerings, and finally took the rest of the Independence Day decorations down. I didn't take any lunches this week while I teleworked, although I had stripped the porch decorations down really quickly one night after work before the flag faded, so I never had time to put them away. So all the "summer fall stuff" is back up, and everything else back in the closet; the foyer swept and the summer display back on the little blue table.

And I got the paper read and the coupons cut before it was time for supper, which was some lamb shanks James had marinated in Lawry's Hawaiian marinade, along with my favorite Rice'a'Roni, the fried rice with the crunchy veggies in it. We ate dinner with Willow casting pitiful eyes up at us and watched a four episode marathon of The Big Bang Theory, which included the original "Soft Kitty" episode where Sheldon gets sick. A "milky green mucus" alert, eh? Talk about "too much information"!

I missed the first five minutes of it, but there was a lovely episode of Nature on tonight, "My Life as a Turkey." This was the story of a gentleman who incubated sixteen wild turkey eggs and then raised them, learned their turkey "language," and lived with them (even roosting with them). One was killed as a chick by a snake, and after that he only left them after dark, even going out to the woods and foraging with them. The four and five day old chicks already knew which bugs to eat and what animals to avoid! Finally most of the flock left him; one hen called "Sweet Pea" built a nest, but was killed sitting on the eggs, and the last turkey with him, a male, finally grew old enough to see him as a rival and attacked him. He was able to swat it away and it ran off into the forest and didn't return. Very sad, but...all part of the circle of life, I suppose. Made me cry.

And now it's bedtime and I'm already thinking about tomorrow and back to...what do I do, what do I do? I wish running away from home was an option!

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» Sunday, July 08, 2012
Chilled...and Loving It

Even with Wednesday a holiday, I needed this long weekend as a respite from work. And, looking at the weather report, I didn't want to spend too much of it outside. Besides, I had plenty to do inside...well, after catching up with sleep on Friday. By nine thirty I was busy: there was housecleaning that needed to be done and a few other things to catch up on. I also went downstairs and finished shifting around the books in the library, moving the science books to over the humor books, and shifting my Albert Payson Terhune books to the top of the bookcase they were in so more books could be fitted into the hardback fiction bookcase. I did think about going out, but changed my mind after refilling the bird feeders!

I finally sat down about four, and that's the way James found the three of us, Schuyler with her head under her wing, Willow sacked out on the chair, and me asleep on the sofa, when he got home from work. We went to Ken's Hometown Grill for supper, and then couldn't think of anything else to do, so went home and watched episodes of The Big Bang Theory instead. We are presently watching a bit of a dog's breakfast of the series on WPCH: they restarted the series on the Sunday airings, so we have gotten to see the pilot and the next two episodes. The 7 p.m. weeknight show is presently on season two and the 7:30 airing on season four, so we have a mishmash of Leonard/Penny and Leonard/Priya and with and without Amy and Bernadette.

Saturday James had to go to work, and was out the door about the time I got up to go to the Farmer's Market. I didn't stay long, as we still had supplies from the previous week. I did get some plain goat cheese, as they aren't selling the three-pack of the onion and chive I like as they did earlier in the year. (We have chives, and we do have minced onion, so it will be do-it-yourself goat cheese.) And two cucumbers as I think the one we have at home is soft. There were a wide variety of dogs in attendance this week along with the standard Greyhound Rescue attendees: a blue merle collie in full coat and a younger dog with coat just starting coming in, a West Highland White, several large black Labrador-type dogs (and a black puppy with black-spattered white stockings trying to make friends with one), and the rest of indeterminate parentage.

From there I went directly to Kroger and did the weekly shopping. At least the bread here doesn't have cornmeal all over it like the rolls from the Smyrna Kroger. Picked up yogurt, bananas, four Edy's Slow-Churn ice cream cups for dessert, some beef bits for Sunday supper, as well as the bread; apparently they've quit making the chocolate angel food cake, which was a great low-cal dessert. Phooey.

And I was home before noon which suited me fine. Did some more housework, and some reading, and some things on the computer, and fell asleep again waiting for James, but was just about to take Willow out when he finally arrived home. We picked up Dragon for dinner and that was that. Chatted with Emma and Mike later on, and I finally started watching the rest of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration that I recorded from BBC America. This began with a service at St. Paul's Cathedral. (I thought it was Westminster Abbey, but wondered why the entrance looked different...well, that would explain it...LOL. There's a pizza parlor and a Starbuck's just outside St. Paul's!) They did some lovely close-ups of the decorations on the ceiling, which looked like complicated Byzantine patterns (not Byzantine, but it had that air). Loved the beautiful music, and the Archbishop of Canterbury did a nice sermon about dedication, which included this passage from Romans:

Then since the gifts that we have differ according to the grace that was given to each of us: if it is a gift of prophecy, we should prophesy as much as our faith tells us; if it is a gift of practical service, let us devote ourselves to serving; if it is teaching, to teaching; if it is encouraging, to encouraging. When you give, you should give generously from the heart; if you are put in charge, you must be conscientious; if you do works of mercy, let it be because you enjoy doing them. Let love be without any pretence. Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good. In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself. In the service of the Lord, work not half-heartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.

The closing blessing was from Thessalonians, and I figured that even if you are not religious, you can stop after "honor everyone," and it's still good rules for living.:-)

Go forth into the world in peace;
be of good courage;
hold fast that which is good;
render to no one evil for evil;
strengthen the fainthearted;
support the weak;
help the afflicted;
honour everyone;
love and serve the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Instead of being in bed before two, we spent a fruitless half hour searching for my phone, which wasn't on the charger. I tried calling it, but Timeriffic turns off my ringer at night, so it wasn't making any noise. Well, found it in the sofa cushions, but I can't for the life of me remember why I left it on the sofa back so that it fell down there! Updates? Checking out an app? Who knows?

Which is why I appreciated this so much when it was posted in my Christmas movies and music group!: "Memory" Spoof.

James, for some reason known only to God, was up by 8:30 this morning. I went back to sleep, taunted by dreams of Schuyler sitting on my shoulder. Sigh. We ate breakfast and then decided to do something, so we drove up to Town Center Mall to walk around (because Cumberland Mall is just entirely too boring). Town Center at least has a Yankee Candle and a Disney Store and a Brookstone among the entirely too-many clothes and shoes and clothing accessories stores. Bleah. We parked at Sears and the first thing we saw upon entering the mall is that the old Waldenbooks is a clothing store...diarrhea! Stopped in the Best Buy mobile store and in the Verizon store to look at the newest breeds of smartphone (good grief, even the new phones are still operating on Gingerbread [Android 2.3.5]?), found pumpkin bread for dessert at the Starbucks, wandered among the fascinating but mostly overpriced gadgets at Brookstone, stopped at Yankee Candle where I found a gift for [mumble], looked at more eyebrow-raising gadgets at the As-Seen-on-TV Store, then went up the escalator to find the Hallmark store gone (no Hallmark store at all weird!) and visit the Disney Store before wandering down the mall back to Sears. We found the toddler Merida doll which a friend had mentioned: I don't like dolls, but this one is adorable: she looks like she has the very devil in her. LOL.

We came home via Kroger to pick up my prescriptions, some orange sherbet for James, and a newspaper, before spending the rest of the afternoon watching documentaries about Yellowstone on the Destination America channel: lots of snow. Screw summer; if I ever go to Yellowstone I want to go in the winter to play in the snow! James made beef bits with onion and mushroom for dinner with Ramen noodles on the side and a cucumber and tomato salad, and the pumpkin bread was a nice change in dessert: you could eat it and imagine it was fall. :-) Then more Big Bang Theory (hey, I think a Doppler effect costume is really clever; better than a "Scream" mask or another dumb vampire) and Holmes Inspection. But alas, it's almost time for bed, and for purchase orders to take over my sanity again...

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McHale Sails Beyond the Sunset
I was just thinking about the Ernest Borgnine panel last year at Dragoncon, and now here's this was a great panel! He talked about all his projects, classic actors he had known, doing voices for children's animation, with honesty and humor and joy...waited in line 90 minutes so I could be right up front and it was worth every minute of the wait. A fondness for McHale's Navy was something Dad and I shared, cheering on the scheming commander and his crew.

Give our love to "Old Leadbottom"!

Actor Ernest Borgnine dead at 95 -



» Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Celebrating Independence (and Air-Conditioning)

Thank you, Mr. Carrier! :-)

We were home so late from Brave last night that we could be forgiven for sleeping in until after nine. I had to get up, take some ibuprofin and go back to bed because I'd apparently slept like a pretzel again and the arthritis in my neck was producing some spectacular stars (thankfully, no stripes). By 9:45 I was ready for oatmeal and yogurt and sat down to divest all the discount omeprazole out of their bulky boxes and into a pill bottle (why can't this crap come in a pill bottle anyway?) while watching The Presidents on History 2. (Oooh, nice vintage film footage in the McKinley/Roosevelt part!)

Sometime after noon we had to go out: James needed to get money so I could pay the lawn guys tomorrow. He decided to go to the Publix off the East-West Connector near I-285, since we had Barnes & Noble coupons. Well, so I said, "I wonder if they have any good watermelon. It would be good to go along with dinner." [We had honey barbecue chicken wings and corn on the cob as being appropriate supper for the Fourth.] So we went in.

Since we hadn't had lunch, we were drawn immediately to the soup bar. We got some really thick chicken noodle soup for both of us, and some Mongolian beef in case the soup wasn't filling enough, then picked out a dessert for tomorrow (a chocolate mousse cake to share; our Publix never has them), then cruised by the meat and found some minimally-fatty lamb shanks for tomorrow night's dinner. Oh, yeah, and we did get the watermelon, too!

So we only spent a minimal time in B&N. I broke down and bought The Geography of Bliss, which I heard the author speaking about on "Travel with Rick Steves." I buy more books because of podcasts; I want to get No Man's Lands, too, after hearing the author talk about the book on Steves' radio show (author followed in the steps of Ulysses, from Troy back to Ithaca—I never realized Sorrento, Italy, was named after the Sirens!). LOL. Of course I had to buy a book the author talked about on "The Splendid Table," too, about a year ago. Another good one.

Once home, we doled out the soup and put on 1776 for its yearly viewing. "He Plays the Violin" still reminds me of dancing around the den of the old house with Bandit. When that was over I put Johnny Tremain on. It hits all the pertinent parts of the book, but is really very superficial, and the ultimate lesson Johnny learns is missing from the film in the name of a Disney happy ending (despite the fact in the same era they managed to keep Old Yeller intact). However, how could you not like the Liberty Tree song? Also watched the short "Ben and Me."

The watermelon was the perfect capper to dinner and then we settled down to Independence Day concerts: the quickest Capitol Fourth I've ever seen; it went by so quickly! Lots of orange in the DC fireworks this year, and I love watching the flowers of the other communities' fireworks at the horizon. Switched quickly to watch the remainder of the fireworks from New York City—New York put on a super show, with heart-shaped figures, lots of spheres, and a great soundtrack.

Sigh. And of course they joined the Boston Pops right at the end of the "1812 Overture." The preceding show was a rerun of Criminal Minds. Thanks, couldn't have cut it by five minutes and given us most of the song? Boy, do I miss A&E's coverage of the Boston Pops fireworks!

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» Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Started at 7:30 a.m. Ended at 5:20 p.m. No lunch. Didn't even take the 59 minutes admin leave. Did get something done, including taking care of two problems, one with big help from a team lead. But I feel as if I've accomplished nothing. The boulder gets larger, the hill gets steeper, and I've never had much upper arm strength. Did take time to ice my wrist, but not for long.

We had potlucks for supper, then went to see Brave. Well, we tried to see it at a seven p.m. show, anyway, since we severely underestimated how many people would be there on $6 Tuesdays the night before a holiday. So instead we went to Walmart and got several things we needed, like a sunscreen for the truck, some medical things, more low-carb chocolate milk for James, and chicken wings for an Independence Day treat. We brought those home, waited a half hour or so, then made an attempt at Brave again. A tiny line this time and no trouble.

I am always seduced by the popcorn, and as always, it is dreadful, chewy and salty. I'll be lucky if I'm not sick during the night. Even at a 9:30 show, kids were running up and down the aisles and talking loudly, and of course instead of quiet music you get noisy promos. If I wanted to see commercials, I could watch television. Galls me to pay money just to get assailed with ads for foods and soft drinks, and television series!

The movie, nevertheless, was enjoyable and quite touching. I do wish the suitors had not been such goofs or the male characters all uncouth. What kind of a "victory" is it if the female character can succeed just because the males are hormone-driven idiots and she can learn to keep her head and her dignity over their tomfoolery? It would have been better if some of them were sensible and normal, just tradition-bound. It would have made her realization all the more sweet. However, I was more pleased with it than I sound! The animation of scenery and animals was breathtaking; it's the human skin which still looks a bit plastic. I loved Merida's beautiful horse and the animation of the bears involved (the cubs looked cartoony, though), and the textures of cloth and fur and bark. And the score was great, a nice combination of Celtic-based music with sweeping action sequences.

We were the only audience members who stayed through the credits, which means everyone else missed the funny "tag" at the end. Your loss!!!

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» Sunday, July 01, 2012
Bake, Fry and Fricassee

How I love setting heat records. [Sarcasm turned on "broil."]

106° both Saturday and Sunday. There are no words.

This also means we were up early both weekend days. We arrived at the Farmer's Market yesterday well before nine, discovering that everyone else had the same idea, making one round of the booths, then running off to Publix for twofers. And that was as much as I really wanted to be outside Saturday until we went out later.

However, James went to the hobby shop, and I stripped down to tank top and light pants and went out on the porch to put up the Independence Day decorations before the sun swung its inexorable way around and turned the porch into a brick bake oven. Did everything slowly, as my wrist was still twitchy, then took my pill and iced my wrist. James arrived home and we stayed under fans until it was time to leave for Neil's "At Home" graduation get-together. Ended up neeping in the kitchen (mostly complaining about Microslop) and admiring Clair's gadget (it's a Samsung Android unit with a 5-inch screen, but it's not a phone, more like a mini-tablet).

From there we had to stop at Kroger to pick up Jessie's and Aubrey's graduation gifts (since they are both commuting to college I thought a gas card would be the most useful) on the way to game night at the Lawsons. Got behind a couple who had to write a check (of course not starting to write it out until after it was all rung up!) and then the cashier dropped the couple's eggs. Arrgh.

Game night was fun, although I was queasy and a bit in pain all night. We had pizza with salad and fruit and M&Ms on the side, and later a cake for Jerry's birthday, and James made Del's lemonade for those who wanted it, and played Scattergories and Outburst. Came home to be back under the fan again and talk to Emma and Mike on chat.

Today we got up early to go to BJs, since we needed batteries. Ended up also with cheese and Breathe Rights, omeprazole on sale (yay!), and a bunch of other things, and listened to a sales pitch for some cleaning products. Did buy some as it may be able to get that paint off my car. (I have a long streak of paint from the mailbox on one side of my hood. It's a short and stupid story.) We were home by 12:30 and spent the rest of the afternoon keeping cool. I backed up my hard drive for the month, vacuumed, and got ready for work.

We had leftover stir-fry for supper and indulged in The Big Bang Theory. Our friends have been recommending this series to us for years, but we haven't been able to get into it previously. We saw some episodes at Timegate, though, and when I saw the first three episodes airing tonight on WPCH I decided to record. We're watching now.

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