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

. . . . .
. . . . .  

» Monday, June 26, 2023
LibertyCon, Part 3
Of course, Sunday was better, but the con was almost over, too!

Another morning, another breakfast. Alas, no bacon today. Had to content myself with oatmeal, toast, milk, and a bagel and cream cheese. Walked Tucker in the green area behind the breakfast area/pool, and then it was back to the con.

I still hadn't found the art show or the dealer's room, so James escorted me there first. James bought an attractive piece of a spaceship against a starfield, and also an ironically whimsical print of an atomic cloud as part of a scoop of ice cream on top of a cone. He bought me a pretty blue-and-silver bracelet made of links. So blue. No purchases in the Dealer's Room.

LibertyCon always has a charity; this year it was Ronald McDonald House. One of the things that was auctioned for charity was a chance to play Larry Correia's roleplaying game "Gritty Cop Show," which is basically an amalgam of every cop show you've ever seen. Six people bid a total of $5000 to play, and we went to watch. The first hour was fun and I wish we'd stayed. Instead we went off to a panel that was supposed to be about care of your old books. But mostly the moderator talked about valuation and buying of rare books, which I find a bore. I don't buy books to collect, I buy them to read.

Finally we went to the tribute to Eric Flint. Yesterday was still affecting how I felt and I think I dozed through most of this. James enjoyed it, since Flint's 1632 universe is a favorite of his.

Finally we went to closing ceremonies, where they told us how much they earned for Ronald McDonald House, the guests for next year, etc., and then people complained or complimented and asked for different things for next year. It was lively and upbeat...

And then we emerged from the room and holy hell was going on outside!

It was pouring. Can't call it Georgia Monsoon Season. Let's call it Tennessee Monsoon Season. So we talked to Sue a little while and then walked the last time down the long, long hall, made it across the street without being drowned (the rain had slowed down). We waited a little while and the rain finally stopped, so we went out to go to McKay's Books (I bought a Valdemar book I didn't have and a book about a couple who sold their house and live permanently traveling in Europe) and finally get some decent food at City Café: James had a shepherd's pie (he should have sent it back; he said it was way too salty) and I had two exquisitely grilled pork chops, a baked potato, and of course City Café's outstanding chicken soup with broken-up spaghetti in it.

We brought a nice slice of Death by Chocolate cake back to the hotel. Whatever channel I found had Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes that were a tribute to Raul Esparza's Rafael Barba character, including the one where he left the show, so we watched those and went to bed at midnight—checkout time wasn't until noon, so why not? During commercials packed a few things up.

Monday morning we packed, made it down to breakfast just in time (have to remember ends at 9:30 on weekdays), then proceeded to walk Tucker, and pack, pack, pack. Then it was checkout time, and then getting on the road time.

We had stopped at "Buc-ee's," one of those giant rest stops, on the way up, so I could pee. Buc-ee's is a chain from Texas, with a restaurant, lots and lots of gas pumps, and a huge store that specializes in jerky. They have opened about a half-dozen of them down here, and one is on the way to Chattanooga, in Calhoun. Walking in is overwhelming: it's a big store and people everywhere, and noisy. I went in and pee'd and that was it. We talked about stopping on the way back, especially as Tucker had gone crazy when he saw the tumult, but we were tired.

So of course there was a traffic jam. We waited over a half hour in Adairsville for them to clear a fracas that appeared to have involved two tractor-trailer trucks. It was exhausting.

We got home safely, and the house was okay (the big storm we'd had in Chattanooga roared south and had hit Atlanta like a cannonball in some places; supposedly trees were down in Cobb County, but around us was safe). I shoved clothes in the washer and that was the end of LibertyCon.

We will go up on Thursday next year (if we get in) and stop at Publix or whatever, and buy food like pot pies or Hungry Man dinners. $26 for meatloaf indeed!

Labels: , , , , ,


» Saturday, June 24, 2023
LibertyCon, Part 2
Alas, there are bits of Saturday I don't remember.

As always when we go away, I don't sleep all that well. And then the stress and the heat saw me awakening to lower GI problems. James had to help me get dressed, and we did make it down to Staybridge's outstanding breakfast bar: three waffle-making machines! Two kinds of bread and bagels to toast! Three hot foods (today: eggs, bacon, and sweet potato tots)! Oatmeal! Three kinds of cereal. Cream cheese, butter, and a bunch of other seasonings. Four kinds of "juice mixes," and coffee and tea of course. I had to raid the milk-for-cereal pitcher for milk. They still have their "grill out" suppers, too, but they're during the week.

Walked Tucker, and then James went off to the convention center. I laid down for about forty-five minutes, then joined James for David Weber's panel.

We are sorry, David Weber fans, that James was that guy during the panel. His cell phone rang and it was fucking Kaiser! They wanted him to go to Urgent Care right away to get an IV antibiotic! James finally had to leave the room because the woman who called seemingly could not understand that not only weren't we in Atlanta, we weren't even in Georgia, and kept arguing with him.


James went off to the Baen Books panel. Here's where things get fuzzy. I know I fell asleep in a chair in a deserted hallway at the center of the convention center. (I was thinking the deserted location might be great for a police chase story!) There were writers' panels I wanted to see, like "The Art of Editing" and "Writing from the Perspective of a Historian," but I never made it to them. I did walk the dog early.

At some point we had dinner at the restaurant. They had big beef brisket sandwiches and we tried those. James wasn't impressed. He said brisket is supposed to be tender and this was chewy; that it certainly wasn't Texas beef brisket anyway! The onion rings were good.

And at 9 p.m. we did get to see the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company perform Ron Butler's "Resurrection Eve," about a wealthy, self-absorbed woman of the future who wants her "darling husband" resurrected so that they can have a family together. The results are...well, let's say things don't go well. They also did an adaptation of Larry Correia's "Maple Syrup Wars," which is a humorous tale about aliens who discover that maple syrup makes them...well, very high. Several of the alien species are willing to pay for the maple syrup, but one species wants to take it by force. We fight back, of course.

Usually we stay afterwards and talk to folks, but we were both so bushed we just headed back to the hotel, and went to bed.

Labels: , , ,


» Friday, June 23, 2023
LibertyCon, Part 1
James has always wanted to go to LibertyCon.

LibertyCon has been going for 36 years now (having skipped 2020, of course), initially held in July, hence the name (there were three years it was held in May and for the last few years it has been reassigned to June). It is a small convention with a membership cap, and many of our friends have been going for years and years, until basically now it's like a fannish family reunion.

2020, James decided, was the year we were going to go. He bought tickets. And, of course, shit happened, and everyone's memberships rolled over to 2021. 2021 we were unable to go, and they rolled it over for us. Well, in 2022 we were unable to get hotel reservations in time. At this time, the convention was being held at the Marriott Hotel connected to the Chattanooga Convention Center, but the Marriott isn't pet friendly. However, the Staybridge Suites (our favorite hotel) at the other side are, and it costs more to board the critters than it does to pay the pet fee, so we wanted to bring them—Snowy has always loved "little rooms with teevee"!

But James waited too late to get reservations.

He managed to talk them into rolling us over one more time. It must be all that customer service he learned for IBM tech support.

But this year we were in and we were going to go.

I have to be truthful: I was ambivalent about it. Trips are hard on me now; since James' back and knee makes it that I have to do all the carrying, there's a lot of work for me. I have lists upon lists so we don't forget anything important, including his medical supplies which include bandages and tape in case his legs get a blister, the insulin, water for Tucker so he doesn't get diarrhea from strange water, etc. Plus, this is basically a science fiction writers con. I started out on Heinlein with some Asimov, but don't read any modern SF. There were a few writers' panels, but basically I'd be there to chat with friends, which would be the good part for me.

Let's not even go into having to travel in the summer...

So we packed a little day by day, and I had a long lead time to take stuff down to the truck; since we couldn't check in until three, we didn't need to leave until after noon.

We left at one and should have left earlier: Chattanooga used to be a nice 75-minute drive, now until you get out of the Atlanta metro area it's a morass of traffic. The freeway was backed up, so we tried the highway instead and, of course, traffic lights. Plus we hadn't covered the bed of the truck and we ran in and out of rain during the nearly two hour trip. Apparently Interstate 24, which splits west at Chattanooga and was the way we had to go, is always backed up during daytime hours. Of course Waze took us through teeny city streets, including one steep hill on which I was convinced the chair lift was going to scrape bottom.

However, we made it to Staybridge unscathed. Dropped all the stuff in the room, took Tucker for a walk—alas, Snowy never got to see another "little room with the teevee"—and then hurried to the convention center to get registered as there was a panel tonight that James really wanted to see.

Staybridge is literally across the street from the convention center; you can just enter at that end and walk the length of it—we didn't know that at first and walked the outside till we found a way in—a big long hall with meeting rooms on one side and big exhibit halls and banquet halls on the other (with more meeting rooms as well). I think at least six different exhibitions can be held here. When we got there there were two different church groups; one stayed all weekend. Also a hunting exhibition was there on Saturday. LibertyCon was all the way down the long hall at the Marriott end.

There was, alas, no food. The restaurant was horribly expensive—seriously, $26 for meatloaf?—so we ate some sandwiches from the downstairs café. I went to see a panel given by a woman who now works for child advocacy groups, but she was talking to us about serial killers. She is the daughter of a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and spent part of her childhood at the nurses station in a mental hospital. Her dad was one of the shrinks who examined Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler, for those of you who didn't grow up hearing about this dude on the news).

James was at a panel about "Guns of the Future," so I went back to Staybridge to take Tucker out before dark, then came back to the hotel. The panel James was looking forward to, "No Shit, There I Was," was at nine, but I wasn't all that interested. I had my tablet with me and I found a nice little nook off the hotel lobby and sat and edited a manuscript until he was done.

The Staybridge room (James got the baby suite, with a separate bedroom) was quite nice and they have feather pillows. As always, there is a little kitchenette and dishes and pans, stove, sink, even a tiny dishwasher, and a living room together, then the bedroom, and the bath, which was handicapped accessible, had a pocket-panel door. This was good. However, I was a bit ticked at a jerry-rigged repair. The roll-in shower had a low shower head, for a person in a wheelchair, and then a higher, removable shower head on a long vertical pole which, theoretically, could be adjusted high or low. But the handle that kept the shower head up didn't tighten, so it slid down when you had a shower, and, because the hook that fastened the removable shower head to the pole was broken, they had made loops to hang it with two zip ties!!! And they didn't even clip the ends, so we both nearly poked ourselves in the eye several times.

Oh, and body wash. I hate body wash. Give me a nice bar of soap every time. I hate "pump, pump, pump," wash one arm,
"pump, pump, pump," wash the other arm, "pump, pump, pump," wash your stomach, on and on and on. We had soap with us, but there was nowhere in the shower to put it down. Sigh.

Labels: ,


» Thursday, June 22, 2023
Returns and Farewell

And the big news is: Strange New Worlds is back! I think this is now tied with Lower Decks as my favorite new Star Trek iteration. (Although Picard season three was pretty wonderful, with Amanda Plummer killing it as a deranged villain.) Is it me, or does Anson Mount's hair get higher with every series? LOL.

We have begun our prep for LibertyCon, interrupted by a visit from the exterminator—so needed, as little roaches are now entering through the back door to get to Tucker's water. I at least find them dead, so that's good!

So there was good stuff: a trip to Books-a-Million and a stop at BJs on the way back (I bought more maple syrup, as, with having oatmeal every morning, we use it up at a good clip and Costco only has "rich" flavor (previously known as "dark amber") and BJ's has "robust" (formerly known as "Grade B"). The more "maple-y" it is, the better. I always laugh when Gladys Taber gushes over the light golden maple syrup in her books! You might as well be eating Kayro syrup.

And there was crap: James had overextended himself putting some stuff away and had chest pains. Of course...previous heart attacks...we had to go to Urgent Care (third time in eight days!). They did tests. He was okay. But they say he still has a UTI, so they're talking about more IV antibiotics...

And then sad online news the day before Father's Day.

James and I were both big fans of a Discovery Channel series called Flying Wild Alaska. The three-season series was about the operations of ERA, an airline that served the residents and surrounding area of Unalakleet, Alaska. Whether flying supplies to Barrow or Little Diomede Island, or transporting Native Alaskan sports teams, or bringing in items from "the Lower 48," the series was always a joy to watch. The main characters were Jim Tweto (originally from New Hampshire), his Native Alaskan wife Ferno, and their daughter Ariel (daughter Ayla also occasionally appeared), the latter who conceived the series, and the other pilots.

On Saturday the 17th, the day before Father's Day, Jim Tweto and a friend, Scott, took off in Jim's beloved Cessna 180. The plane had trouble gaining altitude and then crashed, killing both of them. ::sigh:: As James said, at least he died doing what he loved, but still very sad.

Labels: , , , , ,


» Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Simple Woman's Daybook
FOR TODAY, JUNE 17, 2023

Outside my window...'s sunny and high 80s and I do not want to go outside. We went to Books-a-Million and BJs yesterday and it was 80s, and it was horrible. If I could stay inside until October I would love it. It's already hard to breathe and I have a rash.

I am thinking...
...that unless James' blood sugar is tanking, I will never ever eat at Burger King again. We stopped between Books-a-Million and BJs to get a hamburger. Whatever they put on their burgers to simulate them being "flame broiled," it came up on me for the rest of the night, even at bedtime after midnight. What a disgusting taste.

I am thankful...
...we are inside today. Yesterday was exhausting, as James' hip and right thigh are still painful from his fall last Saturday. When we went to Urgent Care on Sunday, there was no bruising showing at all, but when I finally put ice and heat on it when we got home, boy did the colors come out. He has several big patches of purple.

In the kitchen...
...dishwasher is finished, James put the plastic containers up, and a steak is defrosting in the sink.

I am wearing...
...turquoise tank top, black shorts, and white ankle socks.

I am creating...
...another story, one I quit working on last fall, in my fanfiction series. This one is a survival story.

I am going...
...nowhere but Urgent Care these days, apparently.

I am wondering...
...[vaguebooking] how we're going to make it through next weekend. James' hip is still in extremis.

I am reading...
...I just finished Ali Hazelwood's Love, Theoretically and am now reading Lost Providence, about some wonderful buildings in the downtown area that were torn down by barbarians urban developers.

I am hoping...
...James is feeling better soon. It is disheartening to see him so sad.

I am looking forward to...
...a new experience. Keeping mum for now.

I am learning... sleep with one ear open.

Around the house...'s cool, and I'm happy. If I sweat, it's painful. The sun burns my skin. James is watching some video online. I'm listening to "Ask the Tech Guys," Leo LaPorte's online successor to his old radio show, which ended after Christmas. (Also listened to Gretchen Rubin's podcast earlier.) I need to make the bed. I'll do that when Leo ends.

I am pondering... I really never expected to be rich, or famous. Don't want to be famous, really. But I was hoping for a happy ending.

A favorite quote for today...
...all of a sudden I don't have one. I went to Facebook. That was a mistake.

One of my favorite things... of James' and my favorite things used to be a show called Flying Wild Alaska on Discovery. It was about pilot Jim Tweto and his wife, a Native Alaskan named Ferno, and their two daughters, Ayla and Ariel...Ariel was mostly on the series. They were all a joy to watch. And it was just on the news that Jim Tweto and a passenger in his plane were killed this morning right after a takeoff. Very sad now.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Clean house. Stay out of the heat. Work on "Survival." Give Tucker a bath (and that won't be fun since our water pressure has gone back to being suckass).

A peek into my day...
Good-bye, Jim.

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



» Monday, June 12, 2023
Some people have good weekends. We have weekends that are shit.

It started out as a dull week: the usual chores on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was physiotherapy for James. We had our usual doughnut on the way home, substituting for that night's dessert.

Thursday was shopping.

Anyway, Friday we went to Costco to stock up (Kleenex, toilet tissue, etc.). We had lunch at Dragon168. And James had his "two-weeks-after-the-infusion" blood test.

Kaiser called us at 11 p.m. This is always bad news. We didn't make it to the phone on time, so we ran to the test results online. Yes, it was. Not only was his iron still low, but his creatitine was 4.5! When we called Kaiser back, they had no idea why the person had called. Apparently the call was not logged properly.

Saturday morning things got worse. James had taken a little tumble in the kitchen last week, but he'd landed on his butt. His knee was hurting so bad he couldn't scoot to the stairs and we had to call the firemen again. Well, Saturday morning he went to sit on the stool we keep in the kitchen so he can sit when he cooks. He missed the chair and landed plunk on his right hip and thigh, and pushed against the pantry bifold doors so hard he pulled the nails half out of each hinge.

Although he was in pain, he was able to scootch himself to the stairs and stand up. He sat down and took some Tylenol, but the pain just remained the same all day. Every time he had to go to the bathroom he grunted in pain. He was in such bad shape I thought he'd say it was time to go to Urgent Care, but he didn't. Hoping some rest would help, we went to bed early, and, instead of his hobbling to the bathroom during the night, I had him call me and I cathed him instead. James goes four to six times during the night, and this night we did a four. I was bung-eyed in the morning, and he was no better, so we had breakfast and went to Urgent Care.

There was no one there on a Sunday, so we got right in and they took an X-ray. Thank goodness, he did not break anything, so they say, but he has badly aggravated his arthritis. They did not recommend pain medication, so he limped painfully home, up the stairs, and took a two-hour nap.

(TMI warning!) We had noticed for the last few days that while James' urine was clear, it was darker and had a peculiar odor; he thought it was like mushrooms, I thought Campbell's hearty beef stew. Well, when I cathed him from bed the first time Sunday night, it was dark. Very very dark. Then he said screw it and limped to the bathroom the next time. Not only dark, but opaque.

So guess what, back to Urgent Care Monday after breakfast. We didn't wait long and they basically took one look at his urine (even though the specimen was not dark) and gave him an IV antibiotic, then sent us home with three doses of Fosfomycin.

We are hoping this is why the creatitine was so high. Otherwise we are at a loss: he is urinating fine, more than his input, his weight is down...

Labels: , , ,


» Sunday, June 04, 2023
"Lights, Please"
This week has run the gamut from the sublime to the frustrating.

We had a quiet Memorial Day. I made ribs again, as they were BOGO at Publix this week. They were nice and tender, but I marinated them too early in the cooking process and the barbecue sauce/maple syrup combination burned. I don't like that "grill mark" burned taste and really don't understand why other people do, so I was disappointed. Next time I will not baste them so early.

Dish finally sent me a box, so I packed up the Dish Hopper and the remote to send back to them; they also want you to send the "eye" from the antenna, but that's 30 feet up on the roof! The guy I canceled with said they don't expect you to get it up there, thank goodness. When we went to Hair Day the next day we dropped the box off at the UPS Store with its nice prepaid label. I also finally framed the Scottish print and Rhode Island print we bought at the Yellow Daisy Festival last fall. We couldn't find any 9x9 frames at JoAnn with our coupon, so instead I got 9x12 frames, then bought two sheets of scrapbook paper and backed each print with one. The Scottish one for James has a blue tartan print, and my Rhode Island one has a blue background with sailboats on it.

On Amazon Vine I got six isosceles-triangle-shaped solar powered lights to put on stairways, and I put them out this week. I like them. I put one on each step down to the front sidewalk. They gather "power" through the day, and at night they light up the stairs on low power. When I go out to walk the dog at night, though, they come up to high power as I approach, which is cool. It's not a lot of light, but you can see the front steps, which you can't anymore since they put in the new streetlights.

We were supposed to go to the vascular surgeon on Wednesday, but just before we left, as I was cathing James for the afternoon, the nurse called to cancel the appointment! We have rescheduled for July, since July is such a suck-ass month in this household anyway it seems appropriate.

Labels: , , , , ,