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, June 28, 2015
The Calm Before the Storm

It was a quiet day. We slept in and had a quick breakfast, because some things had been forgotten at Kroger (wish I hadn't gotten the milk at Publix now) and of course a paper. I went in on my own. Brought them home and I put the perishables up while James stayed in the truck, and then we went to Microcenter. Just because. To do something different. We met Jerry Lawson in the store and chatted for a while, then strolled around. Found a new belt case for James' phone (his is getting raggy) and he bought a gadget that might help the next time he has to work at home; I bought a spare "red dot" for Tucker (you might as well buy another laser pointer; it will cost you that much to replace the batteries in it). Then we came home, since between the ride and talking to Jerry James was already exhausted.

James talked me through cooking some thick pork chops I had found; seared them first, then braised them in apple juice and plum slices, with some black cherry balsamic vinegar on it. Didn't taste particularly of plum or cherry, but it was good.

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» Saturday, June 27, 2015
Fuss and Feathers

Another work day for James; at least he could sleep in until eight. Being supplied with halfway pleasant dreams—one of them with Sam Groom—I slept until ten, only to discover that Northwest had shown up and didn't ring the doorbell. And of course they didn't get into the back yard, which is the essential part, as we don't want ants in the kitchen. Gah.

I took Tucker for a walk and ate breakfast, then started cleaning out the area around the bird cage. I'd cleaned this out after Schuyler died, but it was still pretty clotted with feathers and seed shucks. I tossed out some things, like those awful plastic millet clips, and when all the dust was gone, polished the area down with Pledge and also cleaned off the secretary. Everything was thoroughly vacuumed in front and behind and on top, and I put things in gallon bags, like the cuttlebone and the perches.

Once that was all clean I vacuumed the dining and living rooms, occasionally stopping to talk to Snowy.

I had a coupon for 20 percent off Petco, so I called up Unleashed, the nearest Petco outlet, to see if they had the Purina Pro Plan shredded Tucker likes. They told me they had two flavors, chicken and lamb, so I decided to go there instead of trucking all the way out to Akers Mill. When I got to the shopping center, first I visited the ATM at my bank, then went into Publix for twofers. When I went past the yogurt, it was such a good price I got a bunch, and then figured, okay, I'll get milk, even though Publix's prices on milk are highway robbery. It's worth anything to stay out of Kroger. Also got some ice creams for dessert. I put these and the milk into the insulated bag and sprinted across the parking lot to Unleashed, only to find they only had chicken flavor, and none of the little "sauces" I put on Tucker's food at night. I walked out in disgust and brought the groceries home.

It was four by then, but I didn't feel like eating the lunches I brought home from Publix—they finally had chicken and wild rice; I've been looking for it for weeks—so I cut a slice of the bread I bought at Sprouts and spooned a little of the soup (it's really thick) on top of a split slice. With a chaser of cherries and a glass of milk I made a nice lunch of that, and then settled down to watch Island of the Lost.

Does anyone remember Off to See the Wizard? It was an anthology series that aired in 1967-1968, with cartoon versions of Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wizard introducing family films from the MGM library. They showed Zebra in the Kitchen with Jay North and, one I loved, Captain Sindbad with Guy Williams. The movie made especially for Off to See the Wizard was Island of the Lost, a pretty standard family film for the time. Richard Greene (Robin Hood!) plays Josh McRae, an anthropologist with a theory about lost islands in the South Pacific. He puts up all his money and sets sail in a schooner called The Quest with his two daughters, college-age Sharon and pre-teen Liz, teenage son Stu (played by Luke Halpin of Flipper), and two graduate students, Gabe Larsen and Judy Hawllani (plus a pet sea lion); ends up on the island with a young native boy named Tupuna undergoing a maturity ritual. On the island: "wolves" (German Shepherds) with fangs, ostriches with horns, ruffed crocodiles, volcanic action, and headhunters! And instead of Flipper rescuing them at one point, Dip the sea lion does. It's really weird because George Bruns did the music for this, so it's an Ivan Tors film with Disney music. Harmless, but I liked it more when I was twelve. :-) If you're interested in seeing it, it's on Amazon Prime.

Incidentally, I didn't realize that it was for a documentary for Off to See the Wizard that Eric Fleming from Rawhide died.

Anyway, six o'clock rolled around, I walked Tucker, and then James arrived home. I still had those Petco coupons, so we went to Tin Drum for dinner and then I picked up dog food, puree, and millet at Petco before we came home, where I finished Island of the Lost and am now watching Corwin.

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» Friday, June 26, 2015
Time Travel Trips
I've been toying upon this idea since the new year, but have wanted to get all the background info set up before I went live with it. I still wish I'd started it in January, because this isn't how I wanted to present it, but if you care to read as I intended, you might want to begin with the January posts and work forward in the year. I'm hoping to include some of Mom's stories in here, and a few of Dad's, a budgie story or two, family memories, things like that, to go along with the old photos I've been posting on Facebook.

Mementos from the Attic

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» Sunday, June 21, 2015

Well, it's been a very blah weekend for both of us, but especially for James who coughs every time he takes a deep breath. He wanted to go to his club meeting on Saturday, but he couldn't even make it down the stairs Friday without losing his breath. So we slept in Saturday morning and I walked Tucker, and then about noon we left in time so that we could have a quick lunch at Panera. Wow, the Chipotle next door is always crowded, with a line nearly out the door.

Then I dropped him off at Hobbytown and went to Hobby Lobby. My wrists are starting to ache again from all the typing at work, and I can't find either of my support gloves. I was rooting around for the one at work on Wednesday, and it wasn't there. I couldn't find the one at home, either. So I used this week's coupon to get myself a new set. They have several aisles of fall out already and I barely restrained myself from hugging the garlands. In the back they are starting to stock the papercrafting items for Christmas; some of it is so beautiful I want to buy it, but what will I do with it? There are vintage looking tags, and beautiful old-fashioned scrapbook papers. So lovely!

I was able to pick up something on clearance to use as a gift, too; that was a plus.

The rest of the time he was at the meeting I was at Barnes & Noble. I had another coupon and got lucky; they had put Grapes of Math out early (it's not due out until Tuesday). Wandered around the store and noticed they have greatly cut down on their mystery books; took out at least two, maybe three sets of shelves. Bothersome. This must be why they don't have the next Henry Thoreau murder mystery out; no room!

I got a severe thunderstorm alert on my phone, and it thundered while I was in the bookstore, but it never did rain, but at least brought up the clouds to get rid of that annoying sun and make a breeze.

I had set out back to Hobbytown just as James called to come pick him up. He emerged feeling bad and exhausted. I still had soup left from Sprouts, but he stopped at Wendy's to get a plain cheeseburger and a Frosty, and could not finish the former. Then he went to lay down for a while, but he couldn't sleep. We basically sat and watched Doctor Simon Locke all night.

Got up this morning intending to run to Kroger and then walk Tucker,, it would be too hot when I got back. So I chivvied the poor dog through his walk so I could beat the Baptists to the grocery store. Bought gasoline, got the necessities of life (milk, yogurt, bread for sandwiches, Those Damn Bananas, etc.), and came home, broiling hot just from walking into the store and back to the car. But I put things away and went to Publix anyway; there were a couple of twofers I needed, and I found a nice portion of lamb steak and bought a baguette.

James was cooking lamb stew in the crock pot when I got home. We had some neck bones to which he added broth, carrots and celery. Once it's done, he's going to cook it with potatoes and make it a proper stew. It smells lovely, but he looks so tired. He said he thought he was breathing a little easier this morning, but by afternoon he was coughing again and looking very tired and drawn.

Been reading this afternoon after paying some bills and checking off the bills James has paid. Chicken and salad for supper tonight, with a Mrs. Smith mini-chocolate silk pie for a special Father's Day dessert, and watched the three-part This Old House where they built a house for a double amputee (arms) veteran, and The Last Alaskans. Still hungry, and not much of a good day for James.

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» Friday, June 19, 2015
Glitches in Time

It's been that kind of a day, but then it's been that kind of a week.

James started having problems with shortness of breath again on Sunday. He stayed home from work and called the doctor on Monday, got an appointment on Tuesday and was told not to drive. I teleworked for about three hours Tuesday morning, then took him to Kaiser. We were there pretty much all day. Took us a while to see the doctor, who then sent us downstairs to the lab and x-ray. They went to lunch at 1:30, but we got there at 1:10, plenty of time. Nope. They took James' blood and then at 1:20 everyone vanished and we had to sit there for an hour waiting for folks to come back. I've no objection to any worker getting lunch. But why all at once? Can't one person stay and one person go, and then swap? Stupid. We hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast, and neither the drinks machine or the snack machine would take bills although they said they did. I finally used James' change and got a bag of potato chips out of it. That's what we had for "lunch," half a bag of potato chips each. Then, finally, back upstairs for more of the doctor. We got home at 4:15, whereupon I immediately started cooking supper. You betcha.

So James went back to work Wednesday and Thursday, came home exhausted and short of breath both days. Thursday night he fell asleep from eight to ten; not sure why he even got back up since by then it was almost bedtime!

Anyway, the doctor gave James a referral to the pulmonary department, but he couldn't call until this morning. According to him, James' heart is fine, no reason for it to affect his breathing. His white count was normal and the x-ray showed no signs of the pneumonia. However, the radiologist was concerned about "reticulations" in his lungs, and when I mentioned how often the C-PAP is hissing, the doctor wondered if he needs a different kind of mask and, if perhaps the sleep apnea is not being treated properly, that may be causing the shortness of breath. So he's got an appointment next Wednesday. In the meantime he has to wheeze his way through. Sheesh.

He had today off because he worked last Saturday, I was on my compressed day. I had nothing planned for today except a trip to Walmart for a couple of new tank tops and a pair of shorts. Well, we went, but later than I would usually go on my own, and it was already hot as freakin' hell. October, hell. I want it January. January right now! Bloody bastard summer—how I hate it.

James scraped a big silver-dollar patch on his left arm raw getting off the power chair lift and we had to wander through Walmart with him pressing a napkin against the wound to stanch the bleeding. Had to buy green shorts, the only ones in my size. All the black ones were huge. There were tank tops everywhere, but I could barely find the shorts. For a minute it was like walking through Target. Also got James some diabetic socks and bought him a little side pack and a bicycle bell for his power chair.

We'd talked about going to Hobby Lobby, but the heat was already a menace and he needed the wound cleaned up, so we came home. By then it had stopped bleeding, and it was washed, smeared liberally with Neosporin, and covered up.

Have spent the afternoon watching stuff: Star Talk off the DVR, and then I made my way over to so we could watch the episode of Astronaut Wives Club (the premiere) that we missed last night. Well, I'm so sorry I hit the "upgrade" on the television this morning; they have completely upgraded the "recently viewed" bar at the bottom of the television menu and erased all my preset broadcast channels to make it easier to access YouTube and a bunch of crap games. Really pissed about that. Then I get to and have to go through a song-and-dance because of the brain-damaged browser on the television. The first thing it did was pop a banner message at the top of the screen that says "it looks like your browser is not set up to accept cookies; click help and see how to fix this." Well, this browser is so primitive you can't even do that; apparently expects you to be on something intelligent like Firefox or Chrome. So we were stuck with that for the 3/4 of the episode we got to see on the television, and then, because the stupid browser locked up at the last commercial, we had to watch the last few scenes on the laptop. God, what a piece of junk. Right now we're watching The New Screen Savers from a few weeks back.

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» Sunday, June 14, 2015
One Hot Weekend in June...

...starting Friday evening when we went to West Cobb Diner for dinner. Who did we see just leaving but the Butlers and Charles Rutledge, who said they had come in just as the Spiveys and the Gibsons were in the middle of their dinner. Looks like the bunch of us are making sure the place stays in business. Hey, they have the best turkey-and-dressing dinner next to the Colonnade, after all! Of course, just a few years ago we'd bump into each other at Borders (::sob::) instead.

James went off to work on Saturday, while I ran by Publix to stock up on a couple of twofers and more "spots" (Band-Aids) for my nose. Bought bananas there, too, since you never know when Kroger's banana selection will be a wilderness of green. I brought all that home and then, James having asked if I could find an ultrafine light blue marker or paint pen for him (he needs it for the windows on the Quest jet), I took a coupon and went to Michael's, where I got him a Sharpie and a couple of clearance items for use as a Christmas project. Gawd, the shopping center was mobbed. If I hadn't needed to go out, I wouldn't have stepped out the door. It's like an oven outside.

Then I went over to Barnes & Noble and traded my Nook tablet in for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The old one was a Nook with tablet functions attached, this is a Samsung tablet with a Nook function attached. They were giving a $50 trade-in, and the new one was smaller. Their covers are overpriced, though, so I ordered one from Amazon when I got home at about a 75 percent savings. Spent the afternoon watching the Doctor Simon Locke episodes I was able to record and charging and setting up the tablet. The one thing it doesn't do well? The Nook app! Apparently there is some flaw in it that, even if you don't have accessibility options on, when you open a book and try to turn the page, a stupid woman starts reading to you. If you bookmark a page (or unbookmark a page), she tells you. I finally figured out the swipe combination to keep this from happening.

We ate in; James had his leftover turkey and veggies and I had the rest of my Italian wedding soup; we had ice cream bars for dessert. He went down to the man cave until one o'clock and I watched more Locke. Wish I had those other five episodes I missed (and a decent second part to "Two Points of a Pitchfork").

Today we slept in, then, about noon, drove out to Books-a-Million, where we got a couple of magazines and a gift for Daniel Kiernan, whose birthday it was yesterday and who is retiring (lucky dog!). It's a Batman bank. On the way home we stopped at Kroger for milk and other necessities of life. By the time we got home, I had an hour to walk the dog, stuff the dishwasher, wrap Daniel's gift, sign the cards, and wash and refill four water bottles. We were both wiped out just by being out in the sun loading the chair in the driveway, loading and unloading the chair at the bookstore, and loading and unloading it at Kroger. God, I hate summer. It was about 93°F.

We had a nice time at Daniel's dinner despite sun weariness. This was at Joe's Crab Shack and I had snow crab legs for the first time in years. I adore crab, but now many years back we used to go to a Chinese buffet that had snow crab legs on the bar. It was great until the night we went and the crab was a bit "off." I've had bits of crab cake since then, but no crab legs. Had this with white potatoes and an ear of corn steamed. Bill and Caran came in just as dinner was over and regaled us with stories about their trip to Paris and to Normandy. Oh, I'd love to see Normandy and Brittany! However, this was a splurge we shall not indulge in again. That's why we skipped going out last night.

Oh, Clair showed us her new car, an avocado-green Kia Soul. Well, the Lawsons love theirs!

We got home at 9:30, completely wiped out, and I still had to walk the dog and throw out the trash before I could sit down.

As for tomorrow: I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go...

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» Sunday, June 07, 2015
Tucker Sets the Record

We went to bed a little earlier than we usually do on Saturday, since there was no one on chat. We still slept in this morning, and when I couldn't sleep in anymore, I took Chasing Secrets into the spare room and finished it while James slept some more. He said he wasn't breathing well last night, so I wanted him to rest.

So it was after noon before we got out of the house. First we stopped at CVS because we had a 30 percent off coupon, and that makes BreatheRight strips cheaper than Walmart with a coupon, and then to Kroger for bits and pieces, and found some nice new sausage (bacon and pineapple) and the usual stuff (burritos and buns for my sandwich). We'd bought ice cream, so we came home to put it away before we went up to Sam's for gasoline, stopping by Wendy's to get a hamburger for each of us. Finally we came home by Barnes & Noble, but just looked around.

Back at home I copied off those last two Doctor Simon Locke episodes and finalized the disk. Now I have to see what RetroTV does with the schedule to see if I'll have a chance to re-do the missing episodes and a couple of duds. In the meantime, Tucker set a new record—I bought him a dog toy and within ten minutes he had bitten a hole in it and was merrily shedding stuffing everywhere after neatly excising the squeaker.

We had Asian chicken salad for supper and watched the last disk in Season 7 of Murdoch Mysteries. Oh, nice ending—another cliffhanger!

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» Saturday, June 06, 2015
Three Are Better Than One

First up: eight hours sleep. Very important. Unfortunately, I was very restless last night, tormented with dreams of things left undone, and, conversely, things done, ones that lay the foundations for other things.

Well, that's suitably cryptic. Let's get on to the day: awakened, walked the dog, grabbed a Belvita bar for breakfast. It was supposed to be 88°F today and I wanted to get to Sam's Club early. But first, took three Xerox paper boxes full of "stuff" to Goodwill: slippers that won't fit, two old antennas, a pillow for James that didn't work, ending with Mom's old television along with its converter box.

At Sam's we looked at sound bars, but didn't buy. Our 20 (?—maybe older) year old receiver is about to die—if we watch some movie, for example, and the music reaches a big crescendo, or if there's an explosion, the receiver will just turn itself off—and we're looking at a replacement, but in a rather desultory fashion. We were actually there for milk, $2.29/gallon, and a bag of Skinny Pop; also nabbed ibuprofin and omeprazole, and a couple of other items.

Then we came home for the afternoon. I copied off all but two episodes of Locke and vacuumed out the now cleared-of-junk spare room (except for the Christmas gifts that are slowly piling up in corners). I couldn't get the remainder done because the vet had called James yesterday and said Tucker needed his shots. I was flabbergasted; I thought he'd gotten all his shots in March when we boarded him and Snowy for Atomicon. Anyway, we got there, waited for a while and Tucker schmoozed with an elderly lady. Then we cooled our heels in the exam room while they took samples and gave shots, and then Dr. Mike came in and chatted with us for a while. He said there was no medical reason for Tucker's recent sexual interest in his blanket. Okay. Then we either stop him when he does it or just look the other way.

Since we were just on the other side of a building from the Dunwoody Sprouts, guess where we went to get supper. I got a large container of chicken noodle soup, two chocolate chip muffins for dessert, some apple wheatberry couscous, and about a quarter pound, if that much, of the dark chocolate covered honeycomb candy. Next Wednesday we get our Sprouts! Next Thursday I want Italian wedding soup for supper!

And, then, unbelievably, as we savor our soup:

First Triple Crown winner in 37 years! American Pharoah has joined Secretariat, War Admiral, Whirlaway, and their compatriots in having won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. It was a beautiful run: pre-race the horse looked relaxed and interested, his ears flicked forward to the track, and during the race, his jockey held him just ahead of the next fastest horse until they started to emerge from the last curve, and then he had his head and ran like an angel. He barely looked winded as they walked him back.

Spending the rest of the evening watching Tucker sleep (just exhausted from investigating the vet's office and "getting shot") and The Big Picture With Kal Penn. (Maybe Star Talk afterwards.)

A funny: when I took Tucker out an hour ago, he went into hysterics over something on the street. It turns out that the grey-and-white cat that hangs around the neighborhood has become a mother: I counted three grey-and-white kittens. Triple Crown and three kittens.

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» Friday, June 05, 2015
Let's Get This Straight...

Really, after getting a good night's sleep, what I want to do is straighten out. I'm tired of all this junk! And I'm tired of the stairs with bits of leaf and shed feathers and bits of cut grass on them. So I vacuumed them. Finally. And I did a good vacuuming of just the dining and living room. I had to empty the vacuum cannister three times. It was filled with dog hair.

Between vacuuming and setting up a shelf in the master bath, I copied off Doctor Simon Locke episodes. I have a chance to get a complete—well, complete as it can be, since RetroTV, is missing three episodes—set from someone, but I still want to accumulate what I've been able to record, pixelated corners and all. Of the 23 existent on Retro, I have eighteen. Retro's showing them in mostly broadcast order, but broadcast order was all wonked up anyway; all the episode guides showed that at least three of the earliest stories (where the citizens of Dixon Mills are still accepting Simon) were shown near the end of the run. I put them all on one disk. Maybe if they'd shown this in order it would have been accepted a bit better!

Had dinner at Hibachi Grill, and then went to Publix for twofers. They had green salads on twofer, so we're having Asian chicken salad Sunday night. Also found boneless pork loin on buy one, get one! Dinner for next week; check!

Then home for Doctor Who (Colin Baker's least favorite, "Timelash," with Paul Darrow looking like Richard III) and the final two Locke episodes, unless RetroTV pulls a rabbit out of a hat on Monday. Beats me why episodes are "missing." SFM Entertainment says they own "109 episodes" under the blanket title Police Surgeon (which is a good trick because according to every single episode guide I've seen there are only 104) and they should have all been sold to Retro.

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