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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» Saturday, April 30, 2022
Return of the Native Fitbit
Well, the big news this week was that Fitbit finally contacted me because FedEx Ground finally delivered my broken one to their California headquarters. I figured it would take another month to get a new one back, but it arrived within three days! Then, of course, came the charging and the pairing and trying to find my favorite watch faces again. I need to, someplace, save which ones they are, because there's only one that still tracks active minutes, and I had to go into the Fitbit forum to search for what it was.

A bonus was that it came with two pair (large and small size) of bands, one a blue "camo" sort of design, which James snapped up.

Otherwise it's been sort of an off week. Last year when James went to the urologist, we found out his prostate is starting to grow back, but he was still "flowing" okay. We're not so sure that's true this year. Going to the the urologist at the end of the month hopefully will shed some light on this. Also, the knob that turns the different settings on our nice magnetic Moen shower head broke off. This was annoying because that shower head ran about $60 last time we bought one at Bed, Bath & Beyond. But I found another on Amazon for only $38 and ordered it that way. (We also did go to BB&B...which looks really bare. Is the chain in trouble? I couldn't even find poop bags for the dog.)

Oh, and I gave Tucker a bath.

This week we also had a nice Friday lunch at Okinawa with all three of the Spiveys, ate a final dinner at Ken's Corner Grill, which is closing on May 7, and...oh, yeah, I bought some more books. (But this is hardly news.)

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» Saturday, April 23, 2022
Books, Books, Books and Other Spring Festivals
Well, it's been an enlightening week. I found out Fitbit is completely innocent of the problems I've been having returning my broken (and still under warranty) unit to them; well, except for the fact that they used FedEx Ground to return the unit. My Fitbit has been held hostage by FedEx for the past four weeks, and has apparently had a nice tour of California while that was happening: it's been to Bloomington, L.A., San Francisco, Sacramento, and now is currently supposed to be enroute to Fitbit in Calexico, CA (which is south of Los Angeles, on the Mexican border, so not sure why it went north). I finally contacted FedEx via Twitter, and of course, they were "looking into it." 🥺

Thursday we did the usual shopping thing, and then we went out to Michaels at East Cobb. Even they look denuded of stock. But we stopped at Trader Joe's only to discover their wonderful "fruit bars" are "on hold." James loves these and they are the lowest sugar snack we can find.

Meanwhile, the delayed-by-a-month Friends of the Library Booksale happened this weekend, and I was there in line Friday morning with the rest of the zealots I always go there with intentions to buy "only in my series, or what I have on my Amazon wishlist." Well, I did find one book on my Amazon wishlist (The Alps).
  • The Alps, Stephen O'Shea
  • Friends for the Journey, Madeleine L'Engle & Luci Shaw
  • Merry Hall, Beverley Nichols
  • Flight Path, Hannah Palmer
  • London the Biography, Peter Ackroyd
  • Confederates in the Attic, Tony Horwitz
  • Beaks, Bones & Bird Songs, Roger J. Lederer
  • Pacific, Simon Winchester
  • Awake in the Dark, Roger Ebert
  • The Fifty-Year Mission; The First 25 Years, Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman
  • The First Human, Ann Gibbons
  • The Secret Language of Color, Joann Eckstut & Arielle Eckstut
  • When Wanderers Cease to Roam, Vivian Swift
  • Manhattan Mayhem, ed. Mary Higgins Clark
  • The Seasons of America Past and Diary of an Early American Boy (Noah Blake 1805), Eric Sloane

Also got a couple of brand new books for gifts and picked up something for James, and, also on that Friday, had a nice lunch with Ken and Aubrey (Alice was off on a trip to North Carolina with Juanita) at Hibachi Grill.

On Saturday we went to the Jonquil Festival as early as possible. Since the City of Smyrna has seen fit to completely demolish their beautiful brick traffic circle and the fountain within it in favor of putting a brewery between the public library and the community center, they had to hold the Jonquil Festival in the parking lot. This made it very hard for James to get around with his chair, and the heat came up a lot quicker than I expected. I was getting lightheaded.

Later we had to drive up to Town Center so James could have a followup CT scan on his back. They want to see if the bones are healing properly (and we did get a report that they are). We'd planned to eat out, but after having so much salty food at Hibachi, we figured it would be better to just go home and eat our own.

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» Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Where, O Where Has My Fitbit Gone?

I have failed to mention my ongoing Fitbit saga.

Late last March James bought a new Fitbit, a Versa2, one with a "real" watch face rather than the digital Alta, at Sam's Club. This came with an extra band, a bit of lagniappe that you usually get at warehouse clubs. I was immediately envious, but I wanted the "rose gold" one (read: light copper) and Sam's didn't have any that day. So I ordered one online from Sam's instead in April, and I have been very pleased with it since.

On March 22, my Fitbit worked fine all day, down to when I took the dog for a walk at 9:45 p.m. But when I went to plug it on the charger an hour later, it had no display, nor did the "battery at ___%" notation that comes up when you plug it in. So I left it plugged in while I did evening ablutions, and then when I put it back on, still no display, although the Fitbit synced with the app on my phone and was indeed recording my heart rate. I wore it to bed, and it documented my sleep, still was recording my heart rate, even my steps when I walked the dog. So basically it was still working, it just had no display, which meant I couldn't see the time, or use the timer, or use Tap-to-Pay, and, seriously, what's the use of that? So I got on Fitbit Chat online and Fitbit almost immediately sent me a return label because the unit was still within the one-year warranty period. I wrapped up the Fitbit, the charger, and the band it came with as they instructed in bubble wrap, put it in a padded envelope, slapped the return label on it, and providentially as I was thinking of taking it to the post office the mail carrier was just coming by, and I handed it to him and watched him log it in.

And that was the last time I saw it. Here it is April 20 and I still have no word about it. I e-mail Fitbit once a week about it; the last time they actually gave me a positive message was on March 30, when they said it still hadn't reached their warehouse, but the tracking number said it was supposed to be delivered the 31st. However, when I e-mailed on April 6, they said it still hadn't reached the warehouse! WTF, people???

So here it is April 20, exactly four weeks after I mailed it, and I still don't have any word of it.

I did kind of luck out on Saturday when I was sweeping the garage. When I first mailed the Versa2 off, I thought, I still have my old Alta, I can use that. Then I remembered that I had decided to recycle it. But when did I decide to recycle it? Was it before or after Electronics Recycling Day in November? So I went down to the garage, turned on the overhead lights, and looked into the recycling boxes, but didn't see anything. So I figured it was before ERD and I was stuck. Well, last Saturday when I was sweeping out the garage and, of course, had the doors open, I had a lot more light in there, and, lo and behold, there was the old Alta in the biggest recycling box! But would it still charge up after not being charged for a year? So while I was watching The Whole Wide World I was charging it on the Turbo-Charge plug (3.0 USB) from James' phone—he was at his meeting—and it charged up fine and works perfectly, so now I can at least know what time it is, get silent alarms, and record my steps and active minutes.

But where, O where, has my Versa2 gone? O where, O where can it be?

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» Sunday, April 17, 2022
Books, Bunnies, and More D'Onofrio
This was about an average week. Earlier I got the dog brushed out and trimmed the nandina bushes out front (the firecracker bushes are still partially dormant, which is odd). And the grass was cut this week, but at least I wasn't woken up by the mower!

Alas, it was another Thursday we had to go by Kaiser. James is on his third UTI in a row. He'll stop taking the antibiotics on Monday and by Wednesday things get cloudy again. Happily, James sent a note to his new urologist and they ordered him up a test right away on Monday; Thursday being the first day we could go. And then we had to go shopping, the usual nonsense. I was incensed when I picked up some cans of no-salt mushrooms for James: the price on these little suckers has doubled since the pandemic.

This year I didn't do my usual Good Friday quiet time. I think it's more important I spend the time with James when he's off; work is so aggravating he needs to go out and enjoy the world. So we slept late, then, since it was Good Friday, we went to have a fish dinner at the Bay Breeze in Mableton. I had some great baked stuffed shrimp with real crabmeat stuffing, the Bay Breeze's doughnut-shaped hush puppies, a salad and a baked potato. It was quite yummy. We also went by Hallmark to pick up the new ornament Dream Book (yes, it's that time of year) and I went into Barnes & Noble for a few minutes to see if the May-June "Yankee" was out yet. (Nope.)

Alas, we'd forgotten to pick up toothpaste on Thursday, so James sat in the truck while I went into Kroger for it.

On Saturday James had his club meeting, so we slept fairly late, and then about noon he left. I swept out the garage after he left and then washed off the pine pollen on the front porch and the driveway and the trash can. Then I came inside and watched two Vincent D'Onofrio films, The Whole Wide World, about pulp writer Robert Howard, which I quite enjoyed (based on the journals of Novalyne Price, who had a romance with Howard in the 1930s), and Chlorine, about a middle-class couple (VDO and Kyra Sedgewick) who are just getting by and she wants to live more like their country-club friends, who are dissipated and dishonest rich people pouring drinks and snorting drugs all the time. It was really quite repulsive. I've been drunk once and high once (and the latter was after surgery), and have no desire to do either again, and have no idea why anyone has to do this to "have fun."

Plus I got a nice Easter gift in the Saturday mail: my copy of the new "Rivers of London" book, Amongst Our Weapons, arrived!

James had to work Easter Sunday, of course, but it was quite quiet. We had the little Hormel ham I had bought at Kroger two weeks ago, suitably marinated in pineapple and maple syrup, along with a baked potato, and chocolate buns from Lidl for dessert. I finished my essential Sunday chores (charging the water flosser/motion sensor light, sorting medication for the week, washing towels, cleaning the master bath) and watched The Easter Promise and Here Comes Peter Cottontail. I also had a short trip today because the doctor's office called (yes, on a Sunday!) to get James a prescription for the UTI! TownPark's pharmacy is open on weekends because Urgent Care is there, so he could start on his antibiotic today. This time they have given him a two-week's dose, three times a day!

After Call the Midwife, I put on Rick Steves' European Easter. The Eastern Orthodox customs are beautiful, and you so rarely see them!

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» Saturday, April 09, 2022
A Split Weekend
It was a good week for television: "Benjamin Franklin," a two-part documentary by Ken Burns, aired on PBS. I also watched once again an old favorite, The Andromeda Strain, which I hadn't run in a few years. The best thing they ever did was recast Dr. Peter Leavitt as Dr. Ruth Leavitt—and not a busty youthful babe with long dark hair and come-hither eyes, but a middle-aged crusty woman scientist. Kate Reid is magnificent in this film.

We also had a temporary change in schedule for this week. James got a call from his supervisor on Monday: there was a coverage problem on Thursday, could he work Thursday? In return he could have Tuesday or Wednesday off.

So Wednesday was when we did our grocery shopping. Did the Publix shopping in Smyrna, because we can never find the Jennie-0 pre-made turkey burgers (quickie lunches) at Mableton, then went to Mableton to hit Lidl and Kroger (because the milk at Mableton is cheaper at their Kroger than at the Smyrna Kroger). (I don't understand it, I just shop it.) I also drove by Sprouts on the way home because we were out of Lighthouse "salad dressings" (these are finely chopped up herbs, onion, chives, etc. in a little jar; we like to put them on chicken and turkey as a garnish).

This swapped laundry day to Thursday, but it worked out.

On Friday the first thing we did was mail our check to the IRS. We owe them money, but it's better than getting a refund and having given them a loan interest free. I've been saving money each month for this payment, so it wasn't a hardship. Then we went on to Otter's Chicken in Kennesaw and had lunch with Alice and Ken. The pollen has been so bad even Alice is complaining. Afterwards we took a turn around Hobby Lobby (more stickers for my journal!), and then went to Kaiser for our second COVID booster shot.

Afterward James made a short stop at Hobbytown—I amused myself meantime by reading fanfic on my phone—and we stopped at Baskin-Robbins on the way home for ice cream. Later we watched the next part of Picard and the corresponding Ready Room with Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner.

Saturday we had to make a quick stop at Nam Dae Mun because when I had breakfast I noticed that I was nearly out of almonds for my oatmeal, and these are sold in bulk packages there. Then we headed out to check out The Crazy Book Lady, a little bookstore off the main street in Acworth, GA. The were just expanding into the little store next door, and the place was a mess, but the couple running the store were so nice! We had big conversations about other used book stores and how there were fewer of them, and ditto needlework stores! It was a pretty successful trip: f
ound a CSI book I didn't have, a book about the history of the alphabet, and Mario Pei's What's in a Word?, which I first read at Hugh B. Bain. James got a book about Flying Fortresses and another about Old Ironsides. He ran into a young dad with two little boys who are into air shows and modeling and was in hog heaven talking to them.

We had lunch at a place called the 1885 House, which served Southern food and some seafood. I had shrimp (it was good, but not enough!). On the way home we had ice cream again. (I know!) Once we got home, it was time to vacuum so we could prep for the work week again.

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» Wednesday, April 06, 2022

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...'s about to storm again. We had a day of rain yesterday and are supposed to have a repeat today.

I am thinking...
...seriously, not much, or would go crazy listening to the news. Thinking idly that wish some actors didn't have such juicy roles where they have to shave their heads, because they look much more attractive with hair. (Told you it was an idle thought. Fill in your own actor. The one I'm thinking of is six foot four.)

I am thankful... is over with. This is actually an unusual day for our shopping. James generally works Sunday through Wednesday, but someone called out for Thursday, so his supervisor asked him on Monday if he would work Thursday and take another day off. He chose today, so that's when we went shopping. I will do laundry tomorrow.

In the kitchen...
...the refrigerator is full of meat, so I hope it doesn't die! We have some stew beef that James will make into stir fry tonight, and got some cheap pork chops to cook tomorrow for dinner.

I am wearing...
...a "Soft Kitty" t-shirt and blue/white/silver pajama pants and white socks, all of which is much too warm right now. I should put on the ceiling fan. I'm boiling.

I am creating...
...well, I finally finished and posted my fourth post-series Goren and Eames story, which clocked in at almost 23K words. Talk about an "Energizer Bunny" story...

I am going... enjoy supper tonight as I am not the one cooking it. James makes a super stir-fry with stew beef cut up smaller, mushrooms, onions, and cashews. Who needs to eat out?

I am wondering...
...what we're going to do for conventions this year, as we seem to have given up on going to DragonCon (I'd go; I'm just too worried about James getting around in the crowds in his power chair). There is no Spycon/Monsterama this year, just a Monsterama mini-con; 221B is this weekend, but I'd have to truck down to the airport by myself (this was considered when I had Twilight, but I don't trust Butch); and the loss of WHOlanta still cuts to the heart. This leaves ConJuration, which we did have fun at last year. We have tickets to Libertycon, but nowhere to stay that allows pets plus allows us transport back and forth to the Libertycon hotel; we were going to stay at the Staybridge Suites down the road but they have no rooms for Libertycon weekend.

I am reading...
...well, which three books do you care about? Fictionwise I'm reading Murder in Chianti, the first in a series where Irish/Italian ex-NYPD detective Nico Doyle has moved to Italy after his wife's death. Also Movie-Made America, a sociological history of movies, which I bought as a gift for a friend and then wished I'd kept and luckily I'd found a used copy at McKays, and Faith Baldwin's nonfiction inspirational book, Many Windows. Just finished the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Companion.

I am hoping...
...for no adverse effects from our COVID-19 boosters, scheduled for Friday.

I am looking forward to...
...that's already been viewed: Ken Burns' film "Benjamin Franklin." Quite good!

I am learning...
...well, I'm definitely not learning how to love cooking and am frankly counting down the days until James' retirement date.

Around the house...
...James is cooking dinner and probably Tucker is staring at him (nope, he's still under the dining room table, but I can see his little black nose sniffing away as the skillet sizzles), Snowy is burbling, the television is playing a rerun of Forged in Fire.

I am pondering... always, hatred. Such vitrol toward people because of their race/color, sexual preference, religious preference, etc. Is this 2022 or 1922 or 1822? The mind boggles.

A favorite quote for today...
"If we aren't upon Earth to learn, there would seem to be no real purpose in this existence." Faith Baldwin, Many Windows

One of my favorite things...
...this week! New episodes of The American Experience. That was "Benjamin Franklin."

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Another "jab," maybe lunch with friends, maybe another bookstore visit (is it time for another trip to Canton?).

A peek into my day...
Sorry, grocery shopping much too dull. How about eighth-season screencaps of Eames (Kathryn Erbe) and Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio)? Yup, that's the ticket.

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


» Saturday, April 02, 2022
On the Trail of the Elusive Yogurt
It's spring, dammit. Yellow pine pollen everywhere. Did housework all day Sunday and then had the rest of the work week to do some editing and, as always, unloading and loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry. But...James is not in the hospital. Happiness is relative.

Thursday was our usual shopping day. It was sunny and warm after the storm we had during the "wee smalls," but unfortunately it didn't get all the pine pollen out of the air. It makes you feel like spitting the "dirt" from out of your mouth. We found chicken drumsticks on sale and ground beef at 30 percent off at Lidl, had very few BOGO items at Publix, and then had to go to Kroger anyway (even though I had bought milk at Lidl not to have to do that, since I knew they would no longer have my yogurt) because Publix didn't have any lightly-salted Pringles. Annoying. I was able to get James more Tina burritos anyway.

We came home, put everything away, ate a sandwich, and then went to Town Center where they have a better class of Walmart. Needed a certain toiletry, pants hangers since I found two new pairs of pants at BJs, sugarless candy and canned corn beef for James, a few other items, and yes, they did have my brand and flavor of yogurt, but this means if I want it, I have to go to Walmart. And they only had fourteen, so I'll have to go in two weeks. Barf.

James wanted to go to Hobbytown, but they were redoing the aisles and he couldn't get to the models. So instead we had ice cream for dessert.

Hey, we're adults, we can eat dessert before dinner!

In the evening we watched CSI, and then Young Sheldon, United States of Al, and Masterchef Junior, which had all recorded while CSI was on. Anything not to have to watch those meshuggenah network commercials (there are commercials on Hulu, but nowhere near as many).

On Friday James had an appointment at Emory St. Joseph's doctors' center at the neurology department as a followup for his fall. We saw a very nice nurse-practitioner who (1) liked our mask "leashes" and (2) was impressed that James makes his own burritos to keep his sodium down. We talked a lot, and basically she said James should have more physio therapy and also consider spinal injections to keep the pain down in his spine. (No one has ever suggested this before, even his rheumatologist.)

For lunch we went to a place called The Lazy Dog, which Alice and Ken recommended. We had a chicken and rice and veg dish that was very nice (I had teriyaki and James had sweet and spicy), and for dessert had "triple chocolate mousse" that was to die for (not as good as the Black Tie Mousse cake at Olive Garden, but you can't have everything). When we finished we went to Barnes & Noble. Didn't find much, and my card has expired anyway.

On the way home we stopped at Best Buy to look at phones since I cracked the screen on mine about a month ago. It still works fine, but the phone is getting to the point where it's discharging quicker. Leo LaPorte says the batteries start to fail on phones after two years and this one is almost two. (Liked it better when you could swap out batteries, thank you.) We were looking at the Moto G Stylus. Wondering if the green one with the better camera is worth the extra $50.

During the evening we watched the newest episode of Picard season 2 (with a reference to Gary Seven on the original series!), and then some CSI. I think we just hit the episode where the "GSR" ("Grissom-Sara Romance") kicked in.

On Saturday we stayed in to do chores, including scheduling our COVID booster shots for next Friday. For supper we ate at O'Charley's at a birthday dinner for Ken Spivey, and that was nice.

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