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, September 30, 2012
A Shady Sunday

After a nice chat with Mike and Emma (and earlier watching "The Angels Take Manhattan" with Rodney), we drifted off to bed, and so had a nice sleep-in this morning. Even though we did almost all of the shopping earlier this weekend, we did have a couple of things to get. So after breakfast we stopped at Publix to get a paper. Turned out they have put a soup bar in just recently, and, as James wasn't feeling well, we went back to the soup bar to get him some vegetable beef for lunch. Then we drive out to [mumble].

Well, I can't say where we went. We had a coupon and bought a gift there, so if I say where we went, the person it's for might twig. Then a stop at Aldi for milk, and finally we drove down to Kroger to get my car some gasoline. While I filled up, James went into Kroger for some gravy for the pork roast tomorrow and bought me some chicken soup for lunch. (Ah, a mutual soup-buying relationship.)

The soup hit the spot, and then we went out just briefly to get gasoline for the truck. Spent the afternoon tidying up, updating Firefox on the "Mouse," checking out what was on BBC4X, and finally putting the fitted flannel sheet I bought two weeks ago onto the sofa. This will keep the cushions clean and replace the old one which was worn out and tearing. It is a remarkably heavyweight sheet for something that was cheap at Walmart!

Been spending the evening watching various things found online: Adam Hart-Davis' What the Ancients Did for Us, the Islam edition, and then episodes of QI, which is this frantically funny game show from Great Britain with Stephen Fry as the moderator and featuring four actors. I had saved one with Hugh Laurie, and found a couple more, both Christmas episodes, one with Daniel Radcliffe and one with David Tennant. (Tennant nearly falls apart laughing at the end.)

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» Saturday, September 29, 2012
Gourmet Saturday

Oh, it was hard when that alarm went off this morning, but it was a lovely day to go to the Farmer's Market: low 60s, with clouds and a small breeze. Nice weather to walk. We had vegetables at  home, so we bought a pot pie, chicken salad, dog biscuits, and boiled peanuts and some Greek meat pies for James. It was so nice and cool we just went on to Kroger to finish the shopping and found one of their pre-cooked pork roasts; this is a very rare thing indeed. Bought the usual things: yogurt, Those Damn Bananas, etc. While we were strolling by the meat department, we noticed they had skinless chicken legs on discount. We don't usually cook on the weekend, but we had that bread, and the Harvest Tomato soup...and James thought "cacciatore!" Sweet!

I even found a couple of inexpensive witches for Hallowe'en decorations.

Once we had the groceries put up, we had one more thing to do: refill the can of wild bird seed. There was still a little seed in it, maybe enough for a refill or two, but it was supposed to rain today and we wanted to get it out there before anything started. We filled it to the very tippity-top with 21 pounds of safflower seed, 30 pounds of finch food, and five pounds of thistle seed mix.

(And, guess what, after that it never rained. Typical.)

We both had a sandwich, then went out again, to Willow's chagrin. We stopped at the hobby shop, then drove up to the Town Center Michael's, as I'm never satisfied with the one nearest to us. Before we went into Michael's, we stopped at Petsmart to see if they were doing pet adoptions. There were some sweet dogs there, including a young dog with a whiplike tail, a fuzzy-faced terrier type, and the sweetest female chihuahua/dachshund mix, who just couldn't get close enough to the bars of her crate to get petted.

Bought a drawing pen and some packaged artificial autumn leaves—you can see what I did with the latter here, then came home by Publix. I wanted to see if they had the small Milk Bone flavor snacks, the teeny ones. I like offering these to Willow better than just one "cookie, since I can toss them around the main floor and let her search for them. Did find them, and, in a similar 3/$10 book dump as last week, found Andy Williams' autobiography—what a surprise after his death this week.

So we got home just about time to start supper. James did make the chicken legs as cacciatore and they were excellent. We spent the evening watching various things on television, including Cesar Millan, the new season of The Incredible Dr. Pol, and finally the ultimate Amy Pond/Rory Williams episode of Doctor Who. A two-hankie ending for sure—and one last glimpse of Caitlin Blackwood as young Amelia.

And then a surprise: I didn't realize How the States Got Their Shapes was coming back for another season. This year the episodes are a half-hour in length and are a "something vs. something" format with people taking a quiz and the facts in between the contest. The first two were "Red States vs. Blue States" and "White Collar vs. Blue Collar." Next week is "Hillbilly vs. Redneck" and "Hatfields vs. McCoys."

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A belated craft project completed, in Holiday Harbour.

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» Friday, September 28, 2012
Friday in the Truck With James

When James works a weekend day, he gets a weekday off. Today it just happened to coincide with my compressed day off.

We couldn't really do anything extensive today because James had a doctor's appointment at 3:40, and this morning I had some appointments myself. I had to be up before eight because the lawn service was coming, and the exterminator was due between eight and ten. James zipped off to Kaiser to get his bloodwork done. Alex and his partner came to cut the lawn. The exterminator showed up before ten.

Oh, and I think I have things straightened out with TruGreen. I called up and had a long talk with a nice lady at the service desk, who said she annotated my file with appropriate days, and with a note that says PLEASE RING DOORBELL (since I was home the last time they came and I didn't know it). She also says we have an aeration scheduled at no charge. I also talked to the TruGreen technician, who had called us earlier in the week. Maybe we have it straight now. I'm not holding my breath until it happens, though.

This afternoon we went to BJs, stopping at the IHOP first for lunch. I had the senior French toast and James had a pot roast sandwich, which he enjoyed. We spent far too much at BJs, but then we were stocking up and there were good coupons. We were even able to get a pair of French bread loaves free by buying the Smart Balance we needed.

We stuck anything perishable in an insulated bag and stopped at Town Center to check out CD Warehouse (nothing interesting) and Barnes & Noble. I hit the jackpot at B&N: three cross-stitch magazines and the Christmas issues of "Cottage Living" and "Country Sampler." Plus, in the remainder bin I found Marlo Thomas' Growing Up Laughing.

The latter was lucky because by the time we got out of there and not stuck behind slowpoke drivers, there wasn't time to drop me off at home. So I read as James had his exam and then as we waited 45 interminable minutes in the pharmacy.

Finally we had soup for supper at Panera before going home. Not much to talk about after that; too many magazines to read. :-)

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» Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... is sunny and blue, and only 79°F. This is a miracle after a spring and summer full of 90s and 100s, even if it is not at all my favorite temperature.

I am thinking... long it's been since I've been able to do one of these! Work got so crazy; there were days I was working straight eleven hours not even taking a lunch. I don't like to have to rush like this on my work. I like to be able to look at each purchase order and quietly decide what needs to be done with it, and then have time to do it. Having six or seven thrust on you per day almost every day in the week means none of them gets the proper attention and just a quick triage: this needs advertising, where is this document, and worst of all, what do I do first? Do I do the orders that are ready? The ones that I'm in the middle of? The ones people are asking questions about? The ones that haven't been started? The ones that haven't even been printed? Chaos!

I am thankful...
...that everything was done on time. Through the end of August I had serious doubts!

In the kitchen...
This is always a terrible question to ask me. James takes care of the kitcheny things. If it were up to me I'd eat canned vegetable soup and frozen dinners like I did when I was single. I absolutely loathe cooking. (Not as much as algebra, but almost...)

I am wearing...
...a blue shirt, black pants, white socks, and black shoes.

I am creating...
I've actually tried to work on a fannish story this week, but it is just a series of vignettes right now for which I have no concrete ending. I'd like to get back to my writing again, but there's always so much to do!

I am going... have to go out clothes shopping for a wedding. How I dread this! Even when I was 117 pounds I was hard to fit; now it's nearly impossible. I like being in soft and comfy things, not prim and starchy ones. I've never enjoyed dress up, except during the midi-skirt phase since I love long skirts.

I am wondering...
...when it will get cool and stay cool! We have the windows open right now but it is going to get warmer again at the end of the week.

I am reading...
...To a Distant Day about the early rocket scientists. I'm still trying to get through The Know-It-All. I've read other A.J. Jacobs books and can usually put up with him, but he seems rather insufferable in this one. :-)

I am hoping...
...the weather will eventually get cool and stay there, but I'm not holding my breath for it to be anytime soon.

I am looking forward to...
...well, you know my answer to this, but it's getting repetitive! LOL. How about last night's season premiere of Hawaii Five-O? We were watching Castle and recording H5. Now it's time to learn what was with Steve's mother.

Around the house...
...the television is running for Schuyler and I'm sure Willow is asleep in James' chair. I'm not there. Lucky Schuyler may be asleep, too. Wish it were me.

I am pondering...
...some way to make more time for things. I wish I had Hermione Granger's time turner!

A favorite quote for today...
Found this just the other day:
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."~~~~George Elliot
That's my fantasy: having one home in New Hampshire and another on the part of New Zealand closest to Antarctica, and living in NH in Northern hemisphere winter and in NZ in Southern hemisphere winter, so never, ever, ever, ever, ever having to endure summer again.

One of my favorite things...
...planning for vacation. But that's a long while away yet.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Finally getting the exterminator here on Friday. Finally getting to call TruGreen back. Maybe finally decorating for fall.

A peek into my day... pic today unless you want to see an endless loop of me sitting in front of a computer.

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



» Sunday, September 23, 2012
You Can't Go Home Again (And If You Do, the Road's Bumpy)

We had a nice sleep in this morning and then finished the shopping at Kroger. I found the cutest Hallowe'en statue, a witch and her cat, with a haunted house, ghost, and jack o'lantern inset in her skirt. I was going to take it to work until I discovered that it lights up! With all the fluorescent lights, it would be totally wasted at work.

We decided to do something a little different today and check out the Microsoft store at Lenox Mall. Before we got on our way, we stopped at another Publix to check out their supply of lower-sugar maple-and-brown-sugar oatmeal. This must be their most popular flavor, since there was one box left. I also got a box of the mixed "spice" flavors which has four of the maples, two cinnamons, and four apple-and-cinnamons. I hate the smell and the flavor of the latter (it's too horribly sweet), but maybe I can mix them with a maple or a cinnamon sometime.

Well, I turned around to see if there were anymore displays of oatmeal out and what do I see but a big table full of discount books, three for ten dollars! And these weren't the kind of books no one wants, either; there were some popular authors in there, including Jan Karon. I found four, count 'em, four hardback history books: Kenneth Davis' A Nation Rising: Untold Tales of Flawed Founders, Fallen Heroes, and Forgotten Fighteres from America's Hidden History; James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise; Evan Thomas' The War Lovers (with the Bradley book, a pair of stories about the imperialistic movement at the time of the Spanish-American war); and Larry Schweikart's 7 Events That Made America America. Cool!

We haven't been to Lenox Mall in years...literally. Headed there through my old route to work, West Paces Ferry Road. I don't think West Paces has been fixed since I used to work in Buckhead, either. I think the rich folks in that neighborhood figure if the road is bad, it will keep the traffic away. These were already expensive houses when Atlanta was a smaller city; now the old homes are either being expanded or torn down to form new McMansions. There are Spanish-style homes, mock Tudor, even a fancy Italianate one, complete with porte cocheres, automatic gates, turrets, and other fancy decor. West Paces is also the home of a classy private school (Pace Academy) and the Governor's Mansion.

The old Buckhead, the "bar scene" part of town, is gone. It's now the home of expensive hotels and even more expensive condos and restaurants.The ugly old yellow-tile building PGO once worked in is now a five-story glass-and-steel building (all they kept were the elevator shafts) with a classy restaurant on top, the Capitol Grill. All the old favorite restaurants of my co-workers are gone, like the Peachtree Cafe and the East Village Grill. There is one building we remember with fondness; it opened as a restaurant called "J. Paul's." The week they were to open, their liquor license didn't come through, but they had all the employees ready to go and the food about to spoil. So they offered free lunches and dinners so long as you tipped the waitstaff the equivalent of what they would have paid if you had to pay for a meal. One of my co-workers discovered this and all of PGO went over to J. Paul's for the free lunch. Well, we had a convention that weekend—Dixie Trek, Fantasy Fair, whatever—and when a bunch of us were looking for a place to go eat, I remembered J. Paul's. About twenty of us went over one night, and the next, too, and I think for lunch at least once. We called it "the Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Free Lunch" and later someone (I think it was Ron) made up buttons for all the attendees.

Lenox has changed quite a lot since we were there last; it's expanded and of course the stores have changed. There's no longer one bookstore in the mall anymore. :-( I remember how we would go to the BDalton on the first level on Friday nights when I still lived nearby.) However, you can still find lots of parking near the entrance to the food court, so that's what we did. :-) We did visit the Microsoft store, which looks a lot like the Apple store (which we tried to get in later, but it was full of people getting the new iPhone; in fact there was a line outside!). Lots of shiny new computers, but very stark and cold, and there was nothing there that was even tempting.

We stopped at the little kiosk that Starbucks has, and shared a slice of pumpkin bread and a chocolate-chip frappucino, and walked around some more. Bought James some bed socks in Brookstone, and wandered about both Bath and Body Works (with some interesting new scents) and Williams-Sonoma (full of fall-motif foods).

By the time we arrived home, there was enough time to change and tidy up a bit before starting dinner. I made chive-and-parsley turkey thighs basted with white wine and James fixed the last of our Yukon gold potatoes with a little butter and chives. Yum! And enough left to make a sandwich for work!

We spent most of the evening watching the next-to-the-last disk of series four of Murdoch Mysteries. Wow. Can they torment William Murdoch any more than he's been tormented this season? He got a stunning shock early in the run of thirteen episodes. In two of the three episodes on this disk, he faces two more horrific losses. I've heard of character torture, but this is ridiculous!

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» Saturday, September 22, 2012
Best Laid Plans

So, the plan today was:

+ Farmer's Market
+ Hair Day
+ Hobby shop
+ Publix near hobby shop for more oatmeal
+ Aubrey's party

Surprise! James came home last night saying his work day was today, not tomorrow!

Scratch that. Try:

+ Sleeping late
+ Macland Publix for oatmeal.
+ Macland Kroger for sandwich buns that aren't covered with cornmeal.
+ Aldi for 100-calorie chocolate sticks and cheap milk.
+ Work on "me" shelf
+ Alice and Ken picking me up for Aubrey's party if James couldn't get out early.

The sleeping worked out great. However, as I was driving up the Windy Hill connector to Macland someone whispered in my ear "Why not go to Barnes & Noble at West Cobb?" Since I usually do listen to voices that tell me to go to bookstores, I did. Besides, I had a coupon. This is a nice ride anyway: up Macland to West Sandtown through pleasant country-like residential neighborhoods.

Found two cross-stitch magazines with fall patterns. Found the Entertainment Weekly with its Big Bang Theory cover. Found four books already on remainder at half price: a mystery featuring the detective Vidocq, a biography of Joseph Pulitzer, a gift book to put away, and a book for James for Christmas or anniversary, whichever I deceide. I used the coupon on The Olive Farm, Carol Drinkwater's [yes, from the All Creatures Great and Small television series] memoir of moving to France. I thought of getting a bite to eat, but I had some leftover lamb waiting for me to tuck it into a luscious sandwich.

Went on to Publix. Only two boxes of low-sugar maple oatmeal left. Bought them anyway to put into the pantry. They were having a sample of a meal: ranch-marinaded steak, a salad, and chocolate cake. The salad was icky but the two bits of steak and square of cake was good. Also got more lamb.

Got the bread at Kroger, and also some turkey for supper tomorrow night and pork bits for Monday. Filled up on gasoline, then went to Aldi. I love their little narrow chocolate "sticks" with hazelnut chips. Got milk because it's cheapest there, then came home. Since it was so late, I didn't think I'd get to do the craft stuff.

Unfortunately, the lamb sandwich was a no go, for reasons I won't go into. Stuck with peanut butter instead (would have had jam, but couldn't get the jar open). ::growl::

[Later: James was able to get out early, so we drove to Cumberland Mall together. We stopped at Barnes & Noble for a quick ten minutes so he could buy a book he might need. After ten fruitless minutes of trying to find a space out front, we just parked in the back in the parking garage. A big group of us had a delightful dinner in celebration of Aubrey Spivey's nineteenth birthday at P.F. Chang's. I had a delicious pork lo mein and James had something spicy. Alice let us try her lettuce wraps and James is wondering if he can't reproduce the recipe. It's made with ground chicken, scallions, and chopped nuts, but he'd have to figure out the rest. It would taste delicious in tortillas!

On the way out of the mall, I got a new watchband at the watch repair place. That's another thing off my list. Then it was home to watch Doctor Who and later get on chat.]

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» Friday, September 21, 2012
Il est fini
È finita
Se terminó
Es ist abgeschlossen

The official FY2012 workload, that is. I distributed the last purchase order this morning, and my bete noire, the order I couldn't finish from October, was simply cancelled thanks to Nancy making one phone call. I helped Tamera do some paperwork and a quotation for her orders, did two payment authorizations, cleaned out my e-mails (although I won't really dump anything about FY2012 till FY2013 starts on October 1) and my Word documents, took an unsatisfying nap at lunch (someone was taking a nap in the car next to me; I'm not the only one who does this!) and came home with a screaming headache resolved by three ibuprofin and thirty minutes in a dark room.

Besides that, it was a pretty nice day. Saw the cute trailer to the season premiere of Castle, the new Hobbit trailer, and, best of all, had dinner with friends at Longhorn Steakhouse to celebrate David's birthday (David being Juanita's fiancè). Afterwards we went to Publix to stock up on two-for-one oatmeal since it hasn't been on twofer all summer. I was down to four boxes, which was too close for comfort to me! Arrived home still sleepy.

Turns out James' work day is tomorrow, not Sunday, and I think I'm just going to skip Hair Day to sleep in instead. I should take that box of books to the library for Michael says in The Bestest Present..."we'lllllllll see!"

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» Sunday, September 16, 2012
Grocery Shopping is Never Done

Good thing: Sleeping late. Bad thing: Bad dreams. Sometimes it's not worth it.

We had a leisurely breakfast and didn't go out until noon. James had to return the canister from his Soda Stream—the brand new one he bought didn't have any CO2 in it! So since we had JoAnn "coupon commotion" coupons, we went up to Kennesaw. Bought little things at JoAnn to do projects: some leaf buttons, laminating sheets, candle bulbs, looping pliers, magnets. James got velcro and fusion fabric (for his kilt), metallic markers, and Xacto knife blades. They still do not have the 24 new DMC "Color Combination" flosses. Ridiculous. Three different hobby stores in the area that carry DMC flosses, and not one has them, and they've been out for months. I'm just going to have to buy them online. And stores wonder why they lose business to online sources.

We made a brief stop at Hobbytown so James could pick up "Sport Rocketry" and then traded in the defective canister at Bed, Bath & Beyond and getting a recharged one as well, so now he has a spare. Then it was time for grocery shopping...snore. The newspaper is cheaper at Publix, so we got it there along with a couple of twofers. Then Kroger for milk, bananas, yogurt, etc. Home via the QT for air for the truck's right rear tire.

And once the groceries were home...time for one more trip: Twilight needed gas.

And then we could relax. Sort of. Had another project to work on which wasn't done until seven.

In the meantime, James made a swell dinner! He took boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut them into bite-sized bits, and stir-fried them with cashews, mushrooms, onions, fresh celery and grape tomatoes. Although he used sesame oil and black sauce, the tomatoes gave it a fresh chicken cacciatore taste. Yum!

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» Saturday, September 15, 2012
Novel Destinations

So this was the plan: we'd go to the Marietta Farmers Market this morning, then drive out to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. And then we thought: well, Buford Highway has vegetables, too! It is a Farmer's Market after all!

So we picked up breakfast at Wendy's—plain oatmeal again, with the apples on the side, and milk—and then skirted construction on I-285. They are repaving and eastbound to Northside Drive is a mess (as is westbound further on (we'd come home a different way). The market was already busy—this is an indoor market, by the way, in an old strip-mall type building—but not terribly crowded. We remembered the insulated bags today, so we bought lean ground pork, lamb steaks, and chicken legs, plus frisee, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and potatoes, plus other little things, and stocked up on Ritter peppermint-filled bars for dessert treats.

I am looking forward to the chicken legs, as when we were at Walmart last night we found that Campbell's has reissued its "harvest tomato with basil" soup in its third iteration. It originally came in cans, then in small cartons, now it's back in cans again. This is the best stuff to use to make chicken cacciatore, and we haven't had any for probably over a year. Now we can have some again!

We went searching around a little more and walked down the Brazilian aisle (which became a general South American aisle as we progressed). They had little "sugarloaves" made out of cane juice, shaped in cones exactly the way sugar came in the 19th century (also in square cakes and shaped like curling stones). At the end of one aisle we found carbolic soap, again, just like they used in 19th century doctor's offices. In fact, when I picked it up, it still brought back faint memories of that antiseptic, "doctor smell" from the old days, like the medicated Band-Aid pads. On one of the Middle Eastern aisles we found real rose water. This was an important ingredient in medieval baking and even back in the 19th century; there's a recipe in the Little House Cookbook that uses rose water.

We also sampled some Russian cookies and discovered the Italian aisle—I bought some vacuum-packed lupini beans since I never finish the little jars—and even discovered Kerrygold in the dairy case, the same Irish butter that they use at the Marlay House.

We loaded all this up in the truck, brought it home (in some cases wedging it into the refrigerator), and then had some lunch. James had a sandwich he could finish, and I had leftover potato soup and some of the lupini beans.

For the afternoon, we went in the opposite direction: first to Sam's for Chex mix and mandarin oranges, then to the hobby shop, where I read the new Shop Smart, and finally to MicroCenter. [rolls eyes upward and whistles innocently]

Well, said James, what shall we do for dinner?

They were having A Taste of Smyrna today...and by evening it wasn't too oppressive outside...and we might find a parking space...

...and we did and we went! We were starving by the time we got there, and we bought a small barbecue pork sandwich each just to be able to walk around and enjoy ourselves. After that I sampled some pork tenderloins on a bed of risotto from Atkins Park (this was exquisitely flavorful!), beef kabobs, and a little plate of sweets from the Melting Pot (the fondue place): two pound cake cubes, two brownie cubes, and two strawberries all drizzled with chocolate. James had some jamabalaya and two kabobs (chicken and beef) and also the plate of sweets, and later he had a cup of sherbet and brought me some chocolate ice cream. They also had a Thai food booth, several Hispanic food places, another barbecue, and several other places I can no longer remember, plus local businesses had booths, like Superior Plumbing, kitchen remodelers, etc. There were musical groups, balloon sellers, and endless small children dashing everywhere with mothers calling after them "Where are you going????"

We discovered both Kayla and Kristen walking around, and the latter told us that Juanita was also attending. After filling up on our food choices and listening to the band a little, we called Juanita's cell phone. She and her daughter Jessie, and her fiance David and David's daughter Jenn and Kristen and a few others had a seat near the flagpoles. We joined them and the young folks (Jessie and Jenn) nicely gave up their seats for us. (Really, we need to keep folding chairs in the truck. We have them in the garage and never use them!) So we sat and people-watched and dog-watched—there were dozens of dogs there, including the bicolor-eyed husky in our group: silky-eared King Charles spaniels, German shepherds, Labradors, and various mixed-breed terriers and "basic brown dogs" and just plain Heinz 57 varieties.

Once it was full dark they had fireworks over the Community Center, a nice solid small fireworks show, with some novelty fireworks shaped like hearts and some lovely rainbow-colored Roman-candle type shots. People ooohed and aaaahed around us and one little boy kept saying "Merry Christmas!" After the thundering finale came in all its multi-color glory, we said really quick goodbyes and beat a hasty retreat to the truck to make our escape before the traffic got really bad. Willow and Schuyler were happy to see us, and we stretched out and cooled off and watched HGTV until we couldn't stand it anymore.

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» Friday, September 14, 2012
Sugar Shock

This seems like a theme: alas, I couldn't sleep late again today. The exterminator was supposed to come for the yard at eight, so I asked the lawn folks to come at 7:30. They actually didn't come until eight, so it was a good thing the exterminator was sick and couldn't come at all. I've had to reschedule for another two weeks.

The lawn guys actually came yesterday, but since I wasn't here, they couldn't get into the back yard. So I asked if they could come back. The back lawn hadn't been cut, because of one thing or the other, since August 3, and I was starting to worry about snakes.Everything's well-cropped now.

I really couldn't go anywhere anyway because even though I was off work today, I had a solicitation closing at noon and I had to keep an eye on it during the morning and then send the proposals off to the end users after it was officially closed. So I'd check e-mail, maybe answer a question, then do a chore: cleaned the hall toilet and swept and washed the floor in there; swept and washed the floor in the master bath (toilet already cleaned); swept and washed the kitchen floor, cleaned off the cart, vacuumed the entire upstairs, vacuumed the stairs, swept the foyer, plus made the bed and cleaned up my craft room and the craft table. Later I plugged the laptop back into the television and watched more of the documentary The Adventure of English. You see, on Thursday night James found a website that links to documentaries...several hundred, in fact! One of them was Adventure of English. I'd already had the laptop plugged into the television so I could watch History Detectives, since once again neither of the local PBS stations are showing the new episodes. [eyes roll] I was thrilled because I have the companion book for this series (those wonderful departed Borders remainder tables—::sniffle::).

I also called TruGreen back because they were supposed to show up on a day I would not be available. I upbraided them yet again about their servicemen not knocking on the door: the last time they showed up, I was home. I stayed home specifically so I could open the back gate for them. No one ever knocked; no one ever rang the doorbell. James came home and told me they had showed up! Plus I asked once again what they were going to do about the lawn aeration I paid for in advance in 2009 and which they have never done, although I have called them several times about this every year since. Now they're saying they don't know if they can do anything about this because it's three years in the past! Cretins.

I'd fallen asleep on the sofa by the time James got home. We went to Hibachi Grill for supper and then, for a thrilling Friday night, went to WallyWorld. James wanted the low-carb chocolate milk and we needed more wild bird food. But, yay, I found a flannel sheet set—not for our bed; it's too warm here even in the winter for flannel sheets. But I keep a flannel twin fitted sheet on the sofa cushions to keep them neat, and the fall leaf patterned one we've had on for a couple of years is now wearing out badly, with tears in it. I tried to replace it last year and couldn't find any reasonably priced flannel sheets. I don't want to buy an expensive set just to cover the sofa cushions! The flat sheet makes a nice extra light blanket for visitors.

A funny thing happened on the way to the cashier: we cut through the aisle that just happened to have the Hallowe'en candy on it. Remember going down the Hallowe'en candy aisle years ago? It smelled of wonderful chocolate and other scents, like licorice and cherry and grape. All we smelled as we passed down the aisle tonight was that sickly sugar scent, not even the straight sweet scent of granulated sugar, but that icky cloying smell like the sickly scent of Pixy Sticks. Gross. They say your sense of taste becomes less sensitive as you grow older. I guess that means they are shoving more sugar than ever in foods, because stuff tastes sweeter now than it did forty years ago!

Picked up the Fall Preview TV Guide there, too. It's nowhere as exciting as it used to be. I remember I would get out of school and walk the mile to Food Town and later to Thalls Drugstore to pick it up, since they would be the first two stores to get it. Later when I got a larger allowance I would buy two issues, one to cut up for my scrapbook and one to keep (still missing pages because two shows might be back to back on one page). It was all wrapped up in events relating to the first day of school since it came out so close to the Wednesday after Labor Day. Miss the old TV Guide, and collecting the different regional editions when we traveled.

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» Thursday, September 13, 2012
Is The Mystery Finally Ended
Has Amelia Earhart's Crash Site Been Found?

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» Sunday, September 09, 2012
A Daisy of A Day

It was 59°F this morning at 8 a.m. when we left for the Yellow Daisy Festival. In the second week of September!

Yes, I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley.

This is unheard of for this early in September, and so very welcome! We slept with the windows open last night and although I woke up feeling warm a couple of times, it was pretty bearable. This morning it was lovely: blue, blue sky with regular dabs of foamy clouds, and cool enough to drive with open windows. Better yet, the usual line of cars going through the gate of Stone Mountain Park for the Festival was absent. Did the "cold" drive them away? Heck, we saw people showing up in jackets and coats!

We always go early, not just to beat the heat, but to get a close parking space. We are usually able to park several rows down from the parking lot entrance and go directly across to the gate. Well, this year they made us park behind the vendors. It was very odd, and a longer walk, which bothered James, as his foot is hurting again.

The first two hours of walking was splendid. It was cool and shady, and we could take our time and look at all the booths, although, as in the past few years, there is a preponderance of cutesy kids' clothes and geegaws. Once through the "A" loop, James took a break then because his foot was hurting, and I went back to my favorite booth, Country Pickin's. They sell miniatures. I've made a kitchen theme shelf, a "home" theme, a fall theme, a combination Christmas and winter theme (depending on the figures put on the shelf, which has a snowman background), a lighthouse/seashore theme, and another autumn theme in our room. They also have Hallowe'en, gardening, patriotic, pets, sewing, laundry, and cooking, but I didn't have any ideas for those. I decided, however, that with some finagling I could do a "me" arrangement, of my interests.

To that effect I bought one of the shelves that looks like a miniature bookcase, and then bought an autumn-themed Shaker box, a checkerboard Christmas tree, a sheep, two snow-themed "plaques," a lighthouse theme "plaque," a little dog, a birdhouse, an apple, and a jar of "gingerbread men" to represent "gingerbread weather." Unfortunately, they don't do anything relating to books, computers or writing, and the only needlework crafts represented are sewing and quilting. However, she did have two "spell books" that are part of the Hallowe'en theme, plus an open spell book, and three different color "cookbooks." I will repaint these to look like other books and hand-letter titles on them. The checked "cookbook" covers almost look like the old Little House covers. There is also a rectangle of wood that is a slate painted with a ghost theme. I will repaint it to look like a tablet. I also got what was a sewing theme "plaque," with a tiny scissors, two spools of thread, and buttons on it. I will take the spools and buttons off  and add coils of thread to represent embroidery floss. I have an idea to make a pad of paper and a pen, too, and maybe I can figure out a way to make a paintbrush.

We did the circuit of the other two paths, "B" and "C," more slowly. We bought barbecue sauce for the year, mint jelly with real mint in it, savory jellies for finishing sauces, some treats for the dog, our fudge treat for the year, some dip mixes, a Christmas gift, and I bought a CD of Christmas music. And we emerged from the final path in a position to cut through a back road and walk directly to the truck, so the weird parking arrangement worked out.

When we left it was 77 degrees, about the temperature it's usually been when we left the house on previous years. Wow.

We came home by REI, in fruitless hope of finding James some heavy socks to wear to bed. The diabetes. makes his feet cold, even in summer. I got him some thermal socks at REI a couple of years back, but haven't been able to find any since. The place was crowded because they were having a big sale...but no heavy socks. We also stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a new carbon dioxide refill for the Soda Stream. It took forever to check out.

But finally we had our postponed treat from last weekend: James had his free dessert birthday coupon with him this time, so we both had a nice steak at Longhorn, with a Chocolate Stampede for dessert. I  understand there are people who eat the whole thing. The idea is rather nauseating. :-) We eat the ice cream and take the cake home. It will last us for two more desserts!

Spent what was left of the afternoon under the fans, reading the paper. Just noshed for supper; I had some Grape Nuts. Later we watched a couple of Murdoch Mysteries and the end of Spencer's Mountain.

Oh, with the doors open we can see directly out to the bird feeders. One of our goldfinch pairs had a young male who has been appearing frequently at the feeder. Tonight he was out there again. He's quite young, young enough that between the distinctive yellow feathers  you can still see a great deal of fluff! Poor guy, he'll just get in his proper yellow coat when it will be time for him to moult into his winter plumage!

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» Saturday, September 08, 2012

Early to bed and late to rise does actually make you feel better.

Which is why I am glad I made the decision to stay home yesterday. I was thoroughly miserable on Thursday, coughing, sore throat, headache, visiting the ladies' room just to rest my aching head against the wall and close my eyes for some relief against the fluorescent lights. I slept late, drank water and orange juice, and gained enough semblance of normality that we could go out to eat Friday night and nip into Barnes & Noble for a few minutes. (Christmas magazines are my favorite form of therapy...the Christmas issue of "Early American Life" arrived in the mail Friday, too.) Another fairly early night, then a nice morning for the Farmers Market, warm in the sun but pleasantly cool in the shade, with a breeze and rising clouds. Nice to be able to walk without coughing. Bought veggies, a pot pie, baked ziti, some brown sugar pound cake for a dessert, goat cheese, and James got more chicken salad and another rice ball.

We came home for breakfast and computering until it was time for James' club meeting. He went off a little early. I thought the meeting was next week, so didn't have anything planned. So I went to Costco to see if "Caroline" was out (the new American Girls set—alas, too early), then went to Petsmart and Michaels. Met Caro McCully and her new puppy in Petsmart, and saw the cutest puppies up for adoption, silky haired, all black except for some white hair at the throat. They thought they were...cocker spaniel and chihuahua? That must have been one determined chihuahua! Anyway, got Schuyler fresh seed.

Found a...container half price at Michaels. Not sure what to call it. It's like a rectangular wastebasket with handles, and is papered with bird/plant themed scrapbook stock. I got it to hold scrapbook paper, so that's appropriate.

On the way home, I stopped at the Book Stop (used book store). It's been raining or spitting on and off all day—it poured while I was in Costco—and now it started to rain again. Picked up Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon and Quinn Cummings' Notes from the Underwire.

Spent the time until James got home organizing files on my computer—plus I spent about fifteen minutes taking down the summer flag, wreath, and basket from the porch and putting up the fall flag, wreath, and basket; good riddance!—and then we went out to Kroger to not to have to do it tomorrow. Finally we ordered a pizza and watched last week's season premiere of Doctor Who. Damn, Amy, do you really think Rory is so shallow as that? As for Oswin's solution: is this a reset button? Recorded tonight's while I was on chat and James was downstairs so we don't have to sit through those damnfool commercial breaks, which are getting longer and longer and longer. In five years an hour program will be twenty minute interruptions between commercials at this rate.

By the way, the rain was on the forefront of a cold front going through. James took the dog out about 8:30 and came back in and threw open all the windows. I think the last time it was cool enough to have the windows open it was February!

And Rodney showed up on chat tonight. Perfect ending to the day.

But now it's time for bed. Yellow Daisy Festival tomorrow and want to make sure to keep that cough at bay.

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» Monday, September 03, 2012
DragonCon, Day 4, or "We're So Glad We Had This Time Together"
And so the final day has come. By now getting up at 7:30, dressing and packing lunch has become second nature. I sling my lunchbox over my shoulder and then my camera, put my badge around my neck, and we are off. Another breakfast at Cafe Momo, although James wasn't feeling all too keen this morning. The sky was highly clouded, which was another relief; at least the sun wasn't glaring, even if the humidity was annoying.

I thought I was heading to the Grand Ballroom in the Sheraton, and James was going to the British Apocalypse panel there, so we walked over together. It was early enough that we just detoured by one floor and strolled into registration to get our memberships for next year. I don't think it took ten minutes.

Well, it turned out Sylvester McCoy's panel was over in the Hyatt. Sigh. That's been a lietmotif this weekend; always in the wrong place for the right thing. Whatever. I could have just gone to the Irwin Allen panel in the Marriott, but I just kept walking. Sylvester and Patricia Quinn were doing commentary on the first two episodes of "Dragonfire" (Mel's last episode and Ace's first), where Quinn played one of the antagonists. The fun in this was listening to Sylvester with his Scots burr and Patricia with her Irish accent teasing each other and commenting on the onscreen story. Several times you could tell they trailed off just to watch the story! Sylvester was being especially ribbed because he was slip-sliding continuously on the "snow" of the Iceworld set. I hadn't intended to come to this this morning, but it was what I needed, having a good laugh on what is always a sad day, the final day of the convention.

Then I trudged back to the Sheration, saying goodbye to the Hyatt and the Marriott for another year. I was contemplating going back into the Exhibitors' Room to take one last look at the booksellers when I was waylaid by a friendly woman named Barbara. They were filming something called "Fan Ladies" for IFC and wondered if I would consent to be interviewed. So I shrugged and did it; they posed me against the front of the other Exhibitor's Hall and just talked to me about how I got started in fandom and why I liked it and if my husband was fannish, etc. I tried to answer intelligently, even though I was dying for a drink and must have looked goofy licking my dry lips all the time, with my hair pinned back and my buttons pinned under my collar. I hope this isn't one of those fan bashing things, though. You  never know.

So I ended up back in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton, watching the last of the Trek Track large panels, with the actors that were still around the hotel: Michael Dorn from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Connor Trineer from Star Trek: Enterprise, Garrett Wang from Star Trek: Voyager, and the innovative lady of the original series, the one and only Nichelle Nichols. It's obvious they are all now old friends and had an enjoyable time chatting with the fans. Of course Nichelle was asked to tell the story about how she was about to quit Star Trek, until she met her biggest fan, who turned out to be Dr. Martin Luther King. He urged her to stay in the part because even if she was just opening hailing frequencies, she was a positive example for African-Americans, especially children and young adults. Michael Dorn related how he learned to fly during the long five-months writers strike that happened during Next Gen's run. He was asked to give inspirational speeches to military personnel, and was told they couldn't pay him—but they could get him a flight in something. So he got to fly in all sorts of aircraft: fighters, training jets, even the B1 bomber. He says he is hoping for one more appearance on Castle, but thinks they've gone beyond that plotline. All of the three men said they were big Star Trek watchers as children (which may have made Nichelle feel rather old).

I zipped out after the panel to use "the facilities," only to get a call from James, who was waiting for me in the Brittrack room (found out later he'd been in the back of the room during the Trek panel). Our last three panels of the day were in this room.

The first panel was one on Charles Dickens, as it is the bicentennial of his birth. We had a small crowd (most of the Brittrack crowd was in the ballroom for the "Everything Doctor Who" panel, but this seemed like it was something different to do). The discussion was pretty lively: about how Dickens' characters still live on and seem more realistic than other characters of that era, that he lived or reported on a good deal of the squalor and the bureaucracy that he portrayed in his novels so it was from first-hand experience, his social commentary, his pointed humor, etc. We also mentioned Dickens' pastiches and books with Dickens as a character (like the one I just finished reading by Matthew Pearl). It was definitely a fun discussion.

The penultimate panel was about the original seasons of Doctor Who: the 1960s episodes with role originator William Hartnell and his successor, Patrick Troughton. There was chat about the missing episodes (which the BBC erased to save space) and about Hartnell's original callousness that became more courtly, and Troughton turning the role on its head with his "cosmic hobo" who was still capable of manipulating people. Panelists were asked to pick what stories they would like to find "still whole."

And then they cleared the room one last time...and it was time for the final panel, the usual "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish." We like to go to this panel because...well, first because it's the final day of the convention, one of the last panels, and who wants to leave? Leaving means we have to get back to mundanity: go to Kroger, wash the clothes, get up at o-dark-thirty for work facing insane drivers. Sometimes I wonder if the convention is the reality and the "real world" is the illusion.

The other reason is because by four in the afternoon of the fourth day, the track committee is overtired and overstimulated, and the "well, what did you think of this year and what shall we do next year" usually turns into mad jokes, teasing, partial hysteria, and all fun. This year they had barely dumped out the suggestion box and started to read what they said when the two Robs (Bowen and Levy) started ribbing track director Caro McCully, who is getting married next June. It turned into "roast Caro" mixed with sentimental effusions about her upcoming wedding, and Rob Levy did one of his mad "Top 10" lists, and they gave out soda and chips and when five o'clock rolled around we'd had a great time, but the inevitable progression of the clock turned it All Too Depressing.

Back to the Courtland Garage for the last time this year, and back to mundania: to Kroger where we picked something up for supper and had to go back in because one of the milk jugs leaked. (Usually we end up the weekend by going to Longhorn and having a nice steak dinner; however, James had forgotten his free dessert coupon—for his birthday, so it expires next week—and it wasn't worth going without the coupon. So we are going to postpone that until next weekend, probably after we get done at the Yellow Daisy Festival, after which we'll be hot and hungry and glad for air conditioning and steaks and a Chocolate Stampede for dessert. Besides, we were tired and the fids were probably lonesome.)

So it's back to laundry and blogging and filling the bird feeders and chicken soup before the television.

As I said last year, the end of a convention is kind of like being thrown out of Narnia.

But...if I have a few minutes tomorrow, I know something happy I can do: rip Those Damn Flowers down from my cubicle and put up some nice, happy autumn leaves and branches. Summer—faugh!

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» Sunday, September 02, 2012
DragonCon, Day 3, or Old Friends in New Places
Again, condensed version for now. Details later when I have time.

I was really excited this morning.

Back in the old, old days when the internet was a new thing and "social media" was something called Bulletin Boards that went by the name of Compuserve and Prodigy, James and I belonged to GEnie, which was—surprise!—run by GE. It was a little like Usenet as there were different bulletin boards. We mostly hung out at the SFRT (Science Fiction Round Table), which later split into three parts (literary, media, and gaming) because it was so popular, but there were other Categories like "Television," where I created a topic for Remember WENN. This is how I "met" Laura Hayden, who knew Rupert Holmes, the creator of the series, and who later told him about my web site devoted to the series.

So I've pretty much known Laura electronically since 1996-1997 sometime, but never met her in person.

Well, that omission was taken care of this morning, where, after the usual tumult of arising, making lunches, and gathering everything, we met her and her friend and working partner Pam in Peachtree Center. We didn't quite "squeeeeee!" over it, but it got close. :-) We talked about the old days on WENNchat, and Rupert, and what we were doing and just had a lovely breakfast hour.

Oh, never mind. Squeeeeeeeeee!

James went off to a panel about Cold War movies of the 1980s while I attended the "Timey Wimey" panel about time travel novels with Jana Oliver and Suzanne Church. They talked about mapping out time travel novels, and how much of your research you actually use in your books, and of a writing tool called "Scrivener" that sounds pretty cool.

Then back through Peachtree Center, since the Dean Cain panel line was outside and I don't intend to wait in any line that's outside in the horrible sun. I already have a rash on my back from the sun and the heat. Since I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of now getting into the last Torchwood panel, I went to see the Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes panel. Michael Dorn was introduced first and started to tell us that Jonathan could not make the panel when a crazed fan started asking him all sorts of questions.

Of course the "crazed fan" was Jonathan Frakes himself. Crazy things happen when the Next Generation cast gets together, and these two proved it most admirably. They started singing jazz tunes and for a minute I thought I was back watching Ask the Manager during one of Dan Berkery's singing spells. They also talked about the tales of Riker's beard and how Worf got his voice. (Dorn has done an audiobook of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Said it made him depressed! Imagine Dorn reading that book with that voice!)

The last two people who asked a question were a couple dressed in Trek costumes, she as a Klingon, he as a Vulcan. In character he asked if they would bless their marriage. Michael said sternly, "Do you know how to satisfy a Klingon woman?" The "Vulcan" replied, "I am fully functional!"

Brought down the house.

The next panel was "Theorizing the Doctor: Then and Again" and was unusual. This was one of several academic panels being done at DragonCon. An academic woman presented an essay about Rory's moral dilemma in "The Girl Who Waited" as a result of the Doctor's decisions, followed by Rob Levy's piece about how the fifth season of the classic series changed the dynamic of the Doctor from a cosmic hobo to someone who often made ethical decisions that hurt sentient beings. It was interesting, but not what I had expected at all.

I decided to go back to the Hyatt to check out the art show. I did find Andy Runton (and his mom)—James couldn't find them when he went into Comics Alley earlier in the convention—and bought the two new "Baby Owly" pieces and three buttons. I then looked around the rest of Comics Alley and then walked through the Art Show. A bit of the "intestinal art" we don't like has crept back in, but not much, and the rest was quite nice work ranging from supernatural pieces to straight fantasy to paper arts to three-dimensional art like steampunk pieces, statuary and soft art. There were two expensive pieces I liked: a lionfish marked-and-tentacled "sea" horse and a wonderful "Captain Mal" painting. Way beyond my budget, but nice to look at.

I did go back in to get a gift for James: a cheesecake print of a wholesome looking, smiling 1940s pinup girl with a scanty blouse tied under her breasts and shorts, with an Indiana Jones hat and whip in front of her. The artist didn't have anything to put the print in, afraid that I'd hurt it before I got it to James, I went back to Andy Runton's table. He dug up a plastic bag for me and a styrene sleeve for the print, too, which was really, really nice of him.

Still with time on my hands, I called James, who was in the truck with the air conditioner on, trying to cool off! He had his sopping wet shirt off and in front of the A/C vent trying to dry it off! So I had the print and the Owly stuff somewhere safe, and he came with me for the rest of the afternoon and evening, first to " vs. the Whoniverse," mostly talking about the new series. Rob Levy knew a lot of spoilers, but half the audience didn't want to be spoiled. Spoilsports! :-) At least one "Is Torchwood really dead?" question, discussion about the new season and companion, and any news about the 50th anniversary special (none besides the docudrama).

Next there were two panels in the American Science Fiction Classics track. The first was on one-season shows—we threw out a lot of names!—and the second was about the American spy series that resulted from the James Bond craze of the early 1960s, some background on Bond and then mention of shows like The Man From UNCLE, I Spy, Get Smart, Wild Wild West, The Avengers, etc. These were both a lot of fun!

We were still sorta awake by 8:30, so we attended one final panel, about Classic Doctor Who. The panel (Robert Ray, Rob Bowen, and Alan Siler) was a bit punchdrunk by this time and there was much "corpsing about" as they talked about different aspects of the original series. Most hated character? Adric, of course, who, Rob Bowen claimed, was reincarnated into Lucas on SeaQuest and then Wesley on Next Gen.

I wish I could draw caricatures! I would love to do a cartoon of Adric, Wesley, and Lucas sitting at a bar, each with a beer, looking gloomy and each thinking to himself, "I don't get any respect!"

Then it was homeward bound after a scary ride in a very rattly and smothery elevator (one of the two elevators in the garage that wasn't working during the day!), off to our fids and our e-mails.

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» Saturday, September 01, 2012
DragonCon, Day 2, or "Good God, It's Hot!"
This is so going to be the Reader's Digest condensed version of today because we had a late panel and I am sooo sleepy.

Second verse, same as the first: put lunches together, gather camera and devices, and head downtown. Traffic much better today. Of course, the garage is taking full advantage of the convention by charging $20/day parking.

More breakfast at Cafe Momo; this time I had corn flakes and strawberries to add to the mix. Then we parted; I was pretty much set to be at the Sheraton all day, starting with a panel about "Brit TV You Should Be Watching." This panel really needs to be two hours because there is simply not enough time to go through everything. Science fiction was completely skipped! We roved from mysteries to comedies to horror in our hour.

Next, I joined James in the larger ballroom, where Kai Owen was doing a commentary to a Torchwood episode. "Meat," where Rhys finally learns what Gwen has been doing for a year. Owen's actual favorite episode is the creepy "Countrycide." He looks very fit, not quite as chubby as he used to be as Rhys, who's always been my favorite character on Torchwood. I tell people I married Rhys; he and James are of a similar temperament.

James and I walked to the Marriott together, and then he went right and I went left, to the completely packed panel room for the BBC Sherlock series. The estrogen was as high as an elephant's eye here, but it was fun. Also comparisons against the Brett series. Hints for next season: rat—wedding—bow (to rhyme with cow).

Well, I went back to the Sheraton thinking that the John Barrowman panel was in one of the ballrooms. My bad; it was back at the Marriott, and I wasn't walking back—it was stifling out by then. We were having nice 80°F temps before Hurricane Isaac...blast the beast. Instead I went into the small Trek panel room to listen to David Gerrold. This was very enjoyable; he didn't stay behind the table but was walking up and down the aisle like a restless tiger through the whole panel; when he stopped he was mainly next to me. Lots of Star Trek stories, and even his favorite tale: about adopting his son (whose story is told in David's book The Martian Child).

Well, had nothing to do next, so went back to the Marriott to try and go through the Dealer's and Exhibitors' rooms. This was an exercise in frustration as the hotel was packed. Cheek-by-jowl everywhere and people don't help by standing in the middle of walkways taking pictures of other people in costumes. I got 3/4 of the way through the Dealer's Room and just gave up on it. Really, I'm not much interested in clothes, jewelry, comics, cards, frills and furbelows, and it was broiling hot in there except under a couple of air conditioning vents. Yeesh! This huge convention and no one sells fanzines!

The Exhibitors' rooms were just as crowded with similar products. Did stop to look at books, and some of the T-shirts. David Gerrold had on the funny Big Bang riff T-shirt, "Soft tribble, warm tribble, little ball of fur; happy tribble, sleepy tribble, purr, purr, purr." It seemed so appropriate.

I was finally thirsty and claustrophobic, and headed outside just to see if I could get a decent telephone signal. I am really pissed about this. Years ago, the Verizon signal was always bad and the AT&T one was good, then Verizon vastly improved their signal. I did Facebook posts last year, and could look up things online in the meeting rooms...not this year.

I did get ahold of James and he was at sixes and sevenses, too, so we decided to meet in Peachtree Center. We sat and ate our sandwiches, and he went to one of the restaurants for soda and came back with watermelon, which was very refreshing. I finally got on the Peachtree Center wifi—on my Nook, not the phone—and was able to check e-mail.

Was getting pretty sleepy by this time and headed back to the Sheraton intending to go to the Steampunk in Doctor Who panel, but was so befuddled that I ended up in the one devoted to later, and offbeat, Britcoms like The Young Ones. I was too comfy to move, so I didn't. They touched on Blackadder and Fawlty Towers and others, so it was quite pleasant, and I was back in place for the last panel of the day, about British detective dramas. After hearing them talk about Luther, now I'm not sure I want to watch it. It sounds quite draining! Of course, as someone commented, it wasn't "Wallander depressing." LOL. We've come upon a new superlative for miserable!

After a long day we headed home under a still full moon to our fids (and some nice cold milk)!

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