just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

New Header (again)

Well, got a little restless ~ so much blog re-working going on 'round here! Was looking thru some old images and found one I still like.

It's not really a dragon, 'tho it certainly has wings that are normally on dragons. That is, bat-type wings. Otherwise, it's a horse. Usually horses are given bird-type wings, and that certainly does make fore a beautiful image. However, it does make more sense that if one mammal - a bat - has a certain kind of wing, then another mammal would have a similiar wing structure.

Usually dragons are pictured as four legged and a pair of wings. Others, sometimes called wyverns, are formed more like birds, with two hind legs and then the leathery wings where the forelimbs would be. Sometimes I've seen these two-legged types with two forelegs and then a pair of wings further back, and a long, strong tail.

And then there's this image, without any legs at all. I used a version of this as my film production logo when I was at CalArts.

I'm not really satisfied with my blog's new header. So y'all may see a new one in a few days.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

dddragon drives dangerously

Get your own license plate!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gettysburg Next Week

not my photo, found with Google image search

Prattoons, of Philly, has posted his reluctance to attend the Live8 event that is coming up this Saturday.

That reminded me of how awful it is in Gettysburg for the Independence Day week.

We did this as a family when I was a teenager. Once was enough. Reenactors everywhere. This means: tents, horses, wagons, cannons booming, actors in authentic wool uniforms sweating and fainting in the heat.

Thousands of out of towners who have no idea of where they are or where they are going. No parking, and not enough restrooms. Gettysburg is a SMALL town. Very nice, scenic, many things to do in and around the town. Just come some other week than the first week of July.

Gettysburg links:
official Convention Center & Tourist Info site
National Park Service site
The local newspaper: The Gettysburg Times
where my granddad is buried: Evergreen Cemetery
Don't forget the GHOSTS!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Here's that comic strip

here's that comic I was talking about in yesterday's post.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Communication with Offspring

If you get a newspaper with comics in it, take a look at today's Zits. DH and I laughed ~ his eyes teared from laughing so hard. It's about Kiddie A!! And the scenario in the paper today actually happened last night. She is totally able to appear as if she is listening and responding. I've learned to make her repeat what I've just said, to make sure that she really heard me. I'll have to post the cartoon later.

Friday, June 24, 2005

a bit more Bonnie . . .

Second post today as I think of another one ~

Most photos have to be done twice 'cause Aunt Bonnie blinks at the snap. Good thing mom has a digital camera. I'd hate to be there when the film came back and Bonnie's eyes were closed in every one!

I'm getting badder as the day goes on . . .

More Bonnie . . .

I might be adding to this post as the day goes on and things come back to mind --

We parked in a parking garage a couple of blocks away from the Aquarium. When we came down the elevator, it turned out to be the parking for a hotel and some offices. Mom asked about public restrooms and the reception/security person said that there weren't any, but that the Renaissance Hotel across the way did have them. Sooo we walked over to find 'em. As we walk into the lobby, mom sez to me "let's just pretend we're guests" so when I see an employee I sez "Where are the restrooms down here?" Mom gives me a wink ~ ain't I a clever child?

Anyway, the restroom has a brass plaque that states that the restrooms are for guests and employees only. This bothers Kiddie A and Aunt Bonnie. Oh, well, there's no one else there, it's still early and we'll be quick -- right? Of course, other women came in. Bonnie promptly lets them know that we are NOT guests of the hotel by saying "We're just passing through." I just smile.

Also heard the Lost Eyeglasses story from Bonnie. How she was in such a fluster that she left the house without putting on makeup. She knows she wore the glasses to drive to the airport. But she went to the restroom to put on makeup, and that's where she thinks she left them. She called home, and Cousin Bobby said that they weren't there (well, didn't she say that she knew she wore them to drive to the airport?). She had the empty eyeglass case in her purse, she said. But no glasses. Called the airport, but no one had them there - "Who would take a pair of eyeglasses?" So I asked about the glasses that she's been wearing today. Turns out that they're mom's reading glasses. Bonnie said that she would call her eye doctor to see if the prescription could be sent up here so that she could get another pair here. Well, um, Bonnie, you've been here a week already, I'm not sure that you'll get them in time to really make it worth it ...

BTW, Uncle has stopped answering the phone. Bonnie is calling the neighbors to make sure that everything is okay.

Lest you think that I am an awful Niece ... well, yes, I guess I am. But I do dearly love Bonnie. In small doses.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Too Tired

I am exhausted from our visit to Baltimore, but here is a brief report:

Saw the National Aquarium. Too many day camp kids, but we did see most of it. The Dolphin Show isn't running until one of the females gives birth.

Ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Love those Salmon Firecrackers! Of course, had cheesecake (they have something like a zillion varieties).

Did a little shopping at the Discovery Channel store and souvenir shops. Kiddie A bought a book on personalities (and kept testing me all the way home). Tan Lucy Pez found three shirts at the "Making History" store that would've been great for me and my Kiddies ~ baseball shirts with "WHO" & a number 1, "WHAT" & a number 2 and "IDONTKNOW" & number 3 on them. On the front it had a logo with Abbott & Costello League on it. But Kiddie A said she wouldn't wear it. {sniff} BTW, if you want an Edgar Allan Poe doll, this is the store to get it from. Also "The Raven" t-shirts.

Could have done more in Baltimore (there's lots to do) but Tan Lucy Pez decided she was tired and we headed home, she drove. Lots of meaningful faces made at me in the rearview mirror.

The Bonnie catch-phrase of the day: "Oh, I didn't see that. I'm not very observant." This is what was right in front of her:

(That's the Aquarium in the back, these are paddle boats)

Inner Harbor

Kiddie A and I are going to Inner Harbor in Baltimore with mom (Tan Lucy Pez) and Aunt Bonnie today.

This shot shows:
  • The tall building to the left is Baltimore's World Trade Center,
  • The front of the red ship behind the sailing ship is the Lightship Chesapeake. To the right of that is the submarine USS Torsk,
  • The factory-looking building houses an ESPN restaurant, a bookstore (I forget if it's Borders or Barnes & Noble) and other shops,
    The pyramid-looking thing is part of the National Aquarium, which is probably the one thing we will probably go to,
  • What you can't see to the left of the tall building are two other two-story buildings with many shops and restaurants (we'll probably go to Phillips, which has good seafood) and further along the harbor is the Maryland Science Center, complete with IMAX. Camden Yards is a few blocks to the left of this photo.

Tan Lucy Pez and I'll be posting later about our day ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm ALL ears

Just got back from an almost four hour chat with Aunt Bonnie @ Tan Lucy's house. Dad was nodding off. Made plans to go to Inner Harbor on Thursday, dragging Kiddie A along with us.

Have to give credit to the photographer! Go to http://www.nomoon.org/tycho.htm to see more pictures of this little dog. Don't know who they are, but Tycho, The Wonder Dog is cute!

STILL doesn't make sense

thc said about the last post:
It's a tightrope walk. The war in Iraq is expensive but we cannot leave before it's secure or else it's just another Viet Nam. We're already taxed to the brink so something's got to give. Unfortunately it's domestic facilities. I wish I could think of a better answer.

I certainly agree that it's a tightrope walk and at this point it's not going to be an easy exit. Also that we're taxed too much already. (I'm distressed that Pennsylvania is bringing slot machines in so that schools can get funding.)

The local military depots warehouse materials for our people - spare parts, whole parts, etc. Including nuclear-related stuff. The news has already covered how our servicepeople have to scrounge over there to outfit themselves. Again, it doesn't make sense that support facilities get downsized. Perhaps the same cannot be said of the only submarine training base the USA currently has ~ it's been put on the list to be shut down.

A while back we went to see our financial planner, after the downturn in the stockmarket. We were going to make changes, perhaps pull out altogether (it's the college fund for our twins, and had been doing quite well til then). He urged us to stick it out because the war would help out. I knew that WWII helped the USA get out of the depression, so it made sense to me at the time. But history has not repeated itself and the funds have not recovered very well.

I'm not an economist. What makes this war different? How was our economy affected by Viet Nam? Or the Gulf War?

Here's another question: do you think GW will be able to come to some sort of conclusion to this war before he finishes his term? And who would you like to see in the White House as a follow-up?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Doesn't Make Sense to Me

Lazy Iguana's posting of his "homeless" bumper stickers got me thinking about how our government is letting down the people of this country.

My DH works at a Navy Depot, and there is an Army Depot nearby. (We're always asked "why is there a Navy depot here in southcentral Pennsylvania?" The answer is that Harrisburg is a trucking hub for the northeast corridor. Memphis is the trucking hub of the country.)

Anyway, so there are alot of civilian employees of the Army and Navy here. Naturally, a good many businesses depend on the Army and Navy for their living. Many other provide services to the employees (civilian and enlisted) of the bases. So there are alot of people who have contact with those directly affected by what the government does to its employees and facilities.

Last week I met a nurse who has a patient, a serviceman who just returned from Iraq. His family here hasn't seen a paycheck in THREE MONTHS. When the government messes up my DH's paycheck, it takes months to correct it. I know a National Guard reservist who was gone so long that he lost his business. Other reservists that were supposed to serve overseas six months end up having their stays extended multiple times, until it's a year and a half until they actually return. Not all of them have jobs when they do get back (many employers do try to hold jobs, but after awhile, especially the smaller ones, just have to fill that spot).

Then there are the base closures and realignments (BRAC). We've gone thru many of them and have learned to not get so scared since my DH can now see retirement within reach. But there are towns and businesses that suffer greatly when bases are closed or forces reduced so much. Taxes cannot be paid by people without jobs and towns cannot provide services if they don't have a tax base.

And when there are the cut-backs at bases, that means that people are let go. I can tell you that this is false economy. Many of those people in the technology fields can get similar jobs in the private sector, so they're okay. BUT the Navy and Army still needs SOMEone to provide those services. So guess what? The military hires private contractors to get the same stuff done. I can't tell you how many of my DH's former collegues are now working at the base doing the same things but being paid MORE because the military contracted out the job. (You should see the nice facility the Navy built for the contractors.)

And can someone answer this: why are we cutting back on facilities and services when we are fighting a war? If we have to send our people in harms way overseas, then let's support them!!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Batman Begins Review

Saw Batman Begins last night, and this morning the first Batman movie was on TV. IMHO, clearly the third and fourth movies were the worst of the five. I do think that Michael Keaton did a good job with the character. He played this character darkly, while Kilmer and Clooney were merely pretty boys. (Don’t get me wrong; pretty boys are nice, too, but not in Batman.)

SciFi Daily correctly plays homage to Adam West. I think the man was pretty brave to even put on the costume! And like William Shatner who is linked to Captain Kirk, West has clearly been forever linked to Batman. He has embraced the character and doesn't seem to be bitter about it, as some others might have been. (For example, for many years Leonard Nimoy hated Spock, but did finally come 'round and accept that Nimoy IS Spock, dispute his book titled I am Not Spock.)

I had forgotten until I saw Batman this morning that there elements of campiness in the movie that are reminiscent of the TV series. I had also forgotten that Keaton's Batmobile is more like West's than the new one could ever be. Tho' I have to ask ~ where can I get one of those?! it is SO kewl!! Seeing pictures of it don’t do it justice - ya just have to see it in action!

Michael Caine's Alfred is very good. The previous four movies' butlers were fairly forgettable. Alfred is such an important part of Bruce/Batman's life that he must be represented in a strong manner. The TV Alfred, Alan Napier, was a good one. I wonder: was Batman's Joker's "real" name, Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), done on purpose to play some homage to Alan?

Gordon, the police commissioner in the TV series, appears as a sargeant in this movie. Pat Hingle, who played Commissioner Gordon in the previous four movies, is okay, but is not the ally that the character was in the TV series. But I like seeing the evolution of the relationship between Gordon and Batman, as this movie shows.

WARNING, SPOILER ~~ Liam Neeson's character Ducard (a villain) had an interesting final moment on screen. He sees his ending coming. He closes his eyes and seems to become calm. No panic, no scream or yell. Of course, I'm not sure that I can see Neeson doing that (I haven't seen all his work by a long shot). I think that another villian in this movie, Scarecrow, could have been developed more and had more screen time. (Scarecrow is one of the comic book villians.)

Summary: I enjoyed this movie. Batman Begins ended with a clear reference to a sequel involving the Joker. Our local paper yesterday had an article that included a quote that this movie is not a prequel, but a new beginning. I'll be looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this new franchise in the Batman saga.

The above image is from here.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Devil Made Me Do It

Salem sometimes gets that LOOK in his eyes ...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

If You Asked to be Interviewed . . .

... they are posted in the comment section for the post below this one. If you'd like to be interviewed now, respond to THIS post with "interview me". Read the instructions below. The questions will be posted in this post's comment section.

LOL. This is a bit complicated, ain't it? If you'd rather get your questions in an email, send your email address to me at dddragonblog@yahoo.com.

Meanwhile, I'll be thinking up more questions ~

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Interview Meme

This little game is from Prattoons.

The Instructions:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions -- each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are the questions that Pratt sent me:

1. You find yourself inside the world's greatest candy store- what 3 things will you eat?

Smartees, Charleston Chew and anything that is chocolate-covered caramel

2. You are having a dinner party for 5 fictional characters.Who shows up?

Col. Jack O'Neill & Capt. Samantha Carter (Stargate), Mr. Spock, Kate (Taming of the Shrew), and Dr. Doolittle.

3. You've been granted super-powers - what are they?

The ability to fly and super-strength

4. You have unlimited resources to change your home. What would you do?

Since our property isn't so big, I'd have to build upwards. I'd love to have "speciality" rooms ~ laundry, craft, library, in-home theater, roof-top deck w/ observatory and a couple of rooms so that each cat could have his own room. Also would do boring things like fix & update all the antiquated stuff like wiring and plumbing. Oh, and new furniture. And finally, pay someone else to do all the work, including painting!

5. You've been asked to create a new reality show- what would it be called?

I'd love to have people REALLY trade places to see how the other half lives. Not just switch locations like that trading wives show, but if we could keep the body in the same location and change the "soul" or personality. So that a man would be in a woman's body or a rich person in a poor person's body and vice versa. 'Cause I think that nothing is as clear-cut as many of us assume and only by literally walking in another's shoes can we begin to understand what they're going thru. (Does that make sense?)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Shout out to my kid!

My Kiddie B (Tak Simba Pez) is doing a great series of animations at her blog. The kid's not yet 15!! She taught herself how to use Macromedia's Flash software.

In case you aren't a SciFi fan, we watch Stargate. (A lot.) The characters that Kiddie B have been using are Jack O'Neill (commander of the SG-1 team) and Daniel (archeologist) from Stargate, and I'm sure that you all recognize Obi-Wan from Star Wars.

the real jack the animated jack

We've got four Stargate seasons on DVD, and are lookin' to get the rest. The next season starts on July 15, with lots of cast changes. Two of Farscape main actors are now part of the Stargate cast. Louis Gossett, Jr. and Beau Bridges are also joining the crew, as well as Mitch Pileggi from X-Files.

We went to a Stargate "gatecon" last February in the Washington, D.C. area. We had a really good time. We're plotting to go to another one sometime.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Happy Birthday, Chatham!!

Chatham as Pez
is 18 years
old today!

I'll try to get other pictures posted later today ...

Baby Chatham teething
watching a cardinal ... no, not THAT cardinal

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Afleet Alex

It was exciting to watch the Belmont yesterday! When I saw Afleet Alex stuck in the middle of the pack, I was afraid that he wouldn't be able to get out. I kept telling myself to remember that it's a looong race and that he would be making his move later.

And boy, did he! Once he passed Giacomo, he just kept on going. The camera kept pulling back to keep Alex and then the second place horse, Andromeda's Hero, in the same picture. Alex was seven lengths in front of Andromeda's Hero.

See a great photo of the finish here.

The newspapers are reporting that Alex's last quarter mile time was faster than Secretariat's time over the same distance. I'd like to remind them that Secretariat was 31 lengths in front of the closest horse. I've no doubt that by then he was "loping".

This is a photo of Secretariat's Belmont finish

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Pez for Barbara

Here's more long-distance coding:

Type this entire code and see if it will get the image into the body of your post:

If you save the image file somewhere else, substitute the address/file name. For example:

where 'barbarasite.com' is the web address, 'images' is the folder* that the image file was put into.

* you don't have to create a separate folder for images ~ in which case you just skip the /images/ part. golden_pez.jpg would immediately follow the .com

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bald Cardinal

We've been catching sight of sad-looking cardinal around our feeders the last few days. I finally was able to get a better look at him ~ he seems to be missing nearly all the feathers from his head!

This isn't our cardinal, but an image I found on the internet. Ours actually has a truly tiny tuft of red on the top of his head. Cornell University is big on birds - here is a site about bald-headed songbirds.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

How to Post Pictures

When you are creating a new post, you need to have the URL (web address) of the image you want to use. An easy way to do this without having a place to post your own photos (Aral and Jevanking can tell you about that) is to find them on the internet and just “point” to where it is.

In case you haven't already used Google's Image search, I'm starting from scratch:

Go to Google.com and click on "Images" and do the Google Search

Step 1 - click on the word Image

The next page will give you many options to chose from

Step 2 - Click on the kitty!

Click on any of them. The next page will show you (on the bottom portion) what the page that the image is used on looks like. If you click on the image or "See full-size image" you will get to a page that has ONLY the image on it.

Step 3 - click at either place

The address is what you need (see the top where the red arrow/triangle is pointing)

Step 4 - isn't this kitty cute?

You need to sandwich the address with a few elements, which I can't type here because the internet will try to follow the command. Basically, it's Bracketimgspacesrc="entire_web_address"Bracket

Step 5 - it is important to get all the code elements in correctly

The cat's image file is named cat.1.jpb -- jpg indicates the type of image file, common on the internet, along with bmp. All coding commands have to have brackets in the beginning and end. All those slashes indicate that the image is stored in various folders (i.e. cat1. jpg is in a folder named 640, which is in a folder named 1230, which is in a folder named 220 ... etc.)

All of this can be done within the "Compose" way of creating a new post. The following needs to be done within the "Edit HTML" method:

Now, you have to mind what the image's size is, 'cause some out there are really large. You can resize an image by inserting width="xxx" height="yyy" between the img and the src.

The image will automatically be to the left side unless you also put align="right" or align="center" between the img and the src. OR, if you click on the image (once you can see it) then you can choose to have it centered or to the right by clicking one of those options above your post-entering box (where the b or i and text color choice is)

photo taken from Baghdad Girl blog

The #3 image above told me that the image was 390 x 367 pixels. That converts down to 200 x 188 (I cheat and use Photoshop to give me the proportionate downsize). So I was able to get this image down to a size that I wanted. (I try to keep the images around 200 or 250 pixels in width so that they don't mess up my right hand side list of links and pics.)

Does this make sense? A good website to find out more about web page coding is htmlgoodies.com.

Then you just place this coding within the text that you are using. Play around with it and see what happens.

Changing the whole Template of your Blogger page is more difficult. Look at other blogs. If you see one that you'd like to emulate (heh heh - copy), click on "View" at the top of your page, then down to "Source". Not every page will let you see the source code, but if it does, take a look at it. Compare it to your blog's code, or another's code. See where the differences are. Now, if you don't care about the top bar that Blogger provides and the rest of the features, then you can do whatever you want. But I'd advise trying to keep the top bar there.

Before you make any changes to your blog's code, cut'n'paste it all into a Word doc or Notepad and save it. That way you can bring it all back in case you mess up or change your mind.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New Header

Just a note of explanation about my new header ~

This was a oil-paint sketch on masonite that I did in a class at Penn State more than 20 years ago. Never finished it. It had been languishing in my basement all these years. It was scratched up in several places and the painting underneath was showing thru (it had been used in an exercise from the class). So I photographed it with my digital camera out back last year when it was very sunny - in fact, the dark areas over the dragon's body are shadows from the tree, which was still leaf-less at that point. Fixed it up in Photoshop, and stretched it horizontally and fit it to the size it is now.

I haven't done an oil painting since. Mostly pen-and-ink, pencil and watercolor, when I have time. LOL which isn't much! Then when the Kiddies are off to college, I'll have too much time on my hands.

My Funny DH ~ Story #3

I had mentioned in the Rhubarb post that my DH killed a refrigerator. Here is that story:

The people who moved out left behind a smallish, older fridge. It had the coils in the back of the fridge, which were covered with thick ice. Eager to get on with moving in, DH decided that he would hasten the defrosting by chipping away at the ice. Ice pick in hand, he chipped and picked away at it.

I looked over his shoulder after awhile and saw that the ice was pretty much gone, just a little wee bit left. "Looks good to me," I said.

"Just a little bit left," said he.

"Well, be careful, you don't want to . . ."


Yup. He punchered the coils and the freon escaped.

Well, we would've needed a bigger refrigerator sooner or later anyhow.

And to be fair, here is a story about how I killed a TV:

After we had moved into our first apartment, we bought ourselves a nice BIG color TV. The apartment was a townhouse-type, very dry and static~y. One day I answered the phone, and because the volume on the TV was up, I reached over to turn it off.

Before I even touched it, I got a static shock, and saw a large white spark between my finger and the TV. It hurt, but my instant reaction was to shake my hand, which helped.

But now the TV was even louder and showing that static-snow that TVs get when there's no reception. It wouldn't turn off! I had to unplug it. It never did work again ~ it was completely blown. Had to return it and get another one.

Ain't I shocking?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Entrepreneurs, Ebay & Pottery Barn Kids

I work at a catalog call center owned by Williams-Sonoma. Most of the calls that I take are for Pottery Barn Kids. Nice products, too expensive for our budget, tho. Decent company to work for (much better than Book-of-the-Month Club).

We have the usual end-of-the-year clearance sales ~ all sales final, etc. It can get nasty 'cause some areas of the country get the sales catalog much later than others, and when they call to order, the things they want are gone. "But I JUST got the catalog!"

Some of these shoppers are Ebay sellers. They buy as much as they can so that they can resell on Ebay. One woman, P.L. from Wisconsin (most of us know her by now) told me that she got the idea when she saw the toddler quilt she wanted going for $300 on Ebay, when the original PBK price was $79. So now she started her own business, selling discontinued merchandise. I'm sure that she sells other brands besides ours.

In January, we came out with a cute new bedding program called "Happy Bug". All the nursery items sold out within three weeks. It was amazing. People, especially those on our Baby Registry, were really MAD. They didn't have a chance to buy what they wanted!! (When items are put on the registry, items are not pulled from inventory, but people are warned that some bedding programs are seasonal and may not last nine months.)

Then we had the Baby Boat nursery bedding program. Again, sold out within a few weeks. We then caught on, when P.L. ordered the last 50 Baby Boat Bumpers in the inventory.

Apparently, P.L. and the others have changed tactics.

They are now buying the items at full price. They are putting the bedding together as packages (bumper, sheet, quilt, etc.) to sell on Ebay. A few days ago there were sets selling for almost $600. At the moment there are mostly odds-n-ends from the series, including things that we didn't sell at all, like a step stool someone painted and then put the sheet material on top.

So, we have irate moms, pregnant women and grandmothers calling. "It's gone ALREADY!?!" And the Baby Registry women are particularly upset, and I don't blame them*.

There's nothing illegal about it. P.L. and the other entrepreneurs counted on these desparate women paying anything to get these items. Looks like they were right.

Took us totally by surprise. Not sure what Corporate is going to do, or if there is anything they can do. Some of my coworkers (and shareholders) have said "as long as we sell our stuff, why should we care?" I tell them that while we can be satisfied that we are selling out, we can't be satisfied that we are pissing people off. Williams-Sonoma and it's other brands (Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, West Elm, PB Kids, PB Bed+Bath, PB Teen and WS Home) do not generally advertise in the media. Word-of-mouth counts big-time for us. Angry people tell their friends, who tell their friends . . . Not good for business, in my opinion.

And no, we can't have more made now. The soonest we can ever have things repeat is the next year. As we speak, the designers and buyers are working on Spring & Summer of 2006. Christmas is in the can, so to speak. The vendors are making the next season's bunch of products already. (Think about how swimsuits are in the stores in January and sweaters in July or August.)

*Actually, I think they're silly, but the bedding is really cute. I was a yard sale crib, Kmart bedding shopper. However, I DO think that if we're going to offer a registry, then we should try harder to make sure that they can get what they want.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Image Meme

Overshop suggested this exercise:

Instructions: Visit images.google.com

Search for:
Place you grew up.
Place you live now.
Your name.
Your Grandmother’s name.
Your favorite food.
Your favorite drink.
Your favorite song.
Your favorite smell.

Then post your favorite result for each.
And let her know if you do it, too!

Here are my results ~

Place I grew up
This is Los Angeles. Grew up in suburbs around LA

Place I live now
can you find the Pez Family Home?

My name.
if only I could sing like her

My Grandmother’s name.
Mildred Mitchell flower. Granny was a Mildred

My favorite food (well . . . )
one of them

My favorite drink.
by the gallon if I'm not careful

My favorite song (one of them)

My favorite smell.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


from Speed Bump

Friday, June 03, 2005

My Funny DH, Again

Here is another funny story 'bout my darling DH, which took place before Kiddies A&B were born.

One night I woke up, not knowing what it was that woke me up. I lay there in the dark, and then realized that Chatham, our siamese cat that usually sleeps with us, wasn't in bed. I could hear his nails coming up the hall and into our room. Then back down the hall to the other bedroom. And back again.

Hmmmm. What was he doing? Then, I realized that he must be following a moth or something that was flying from room to hall to room and back. I didn't think much about it, til I realized that I could see something fly around the ceiling fan (which was running) and out to the hall. I'm quite nearsighted and it was dark, yet I could see something whiz by. So I lay quietly and waited.

There it was again. Hmmm - what could it be? . . . .

Then I realized what it was.

"D?" I nudged him.

"mmm?" he said sleepily

"I think there's a bat in here."

~ } SLAM { ~

"What are you going to do?" he called from the other side of the closed door.

Hmmmm. I still lay there in the dark, with Chatham running back and forth, beneath the bat that flew its figure-8 course.
our bat hunter
"Do we have some sort of net?" I called.

I could hear D thumping down the stairs and then down to the basement. In a moment he thrust some things thru the door and closed it again.

He had gotten me a fishing net - the shallow kind used to scoop hooked fish - and a pair of oversized garden gloves.

I sat there in the dark and watched that dark shape fly by a few more times, and then swung the net. I made contact, but unfortunately didn't catch it - I had actually hit it with the frame of the net. It lay stunned on the floor, so I scooped it up (with those humongous garden gloves) and took it down to the front door. It was soooo tiny - cute, in fact.

I tossed it out and it flew away.

My big, brave DH. The next time a bat got in the house, he was MUCH better.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Ride

My ol' 1993 Grand Caravan died a couple of weeks ago - been using Tan Lucy Pez's Lumina since then. The compresser on the AC was the problem, and paying $800 to $1000 just wasn't gonna happen.

'Cause we had to replace DH's 1990 Dodge Shadow last summer, another new van was out of the question. Shopping for a used vehicle ain't no fun -- it's hard to find a van in good shape, relatively low mileage and with the features you hope to get, and still not pay too much. I was amazed at the prices - 2002 or 2003 vans with 50-60,000 miles were $15,000 and more!

Did alot of online looking, driving to dealers' lots to look and see, drove several. Was just beginning to decide what I was going to have to compromise on, when we found a used car dealer down the pike towards Gettysburg. I drove an '02 that had about 37,000 miles on it, was in good shape, had most of what I had hoped to get (CD player, front/rear temp control, keyless entry) . And it was $13,900, less than anything else I had even considered buying, and was under 38,000. I told Bill Wessel (the owner of the business) that I liked it, just wished that it had bucket seats instead of that bench seat for the Kiddies.

"Can't have everything, I guess," I said.

"Sure you can," said he. Turned out that there was an '01 in the shop getting inspected and new tires, and hadn't been on the lot yet. Had even less mileage - under 35,000. Had all the features that the one I had just driven had, plus those coveted bucket seats!

And it has a power side door! It is sooo cool to hit the button in the house and see it slide open and closed. (Am I easy to amuse, or what?)

It seemed like it was CARma that we got this van:
  1. First, Bill having the van I wanted (thank goodness I mentioned what I wanted!)
  2. Second, the interior color is EXACTLY the same blue as my purse (okay, this IS silly, but had to be mentioned)
  3. It turns out that our mechanic of 15 years went to school with the car dealer, and said we could trust him
  4. The very thing that caused us to shop for a new van - the AC compressor - is the ONLY thing that is still under warranty with the new van.
  5. The price was only $12,900!
  6. We are finishing a loan this month, and had hoped to keep the new van loan at about the same price per month, since we were already budgeting for that. The new loan is actually $15 less per month!

Love my new van!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Behold the Magical Bandana

So a frugal woman likes to get a lot of uses out of her bandana. Girl Scouts have had her beat on that score for a very long time. Instead of listing them, I'll just provide one link for y'all to visit: Kate's Bandanas.

Rhubarb Redux

Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie?

Yes, nothing gets the taste of fear and humiliation out of your mouth like Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

But one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is home-made rhubarb pie.
Serve it up, nice and hot.
Maybe things aren't as futile as you thought.

Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

from here

Fish, bicycles and rhubarb pie in Lake Wobegon

from Garrison Keillor's "News from Lake Wobegon" monolog in the Prairie Home Companionshow broadcast live May 22, 1999, rerunSeptember 15, 2001

...Anyway, the rhubarb, the rhubarb pie was made at the Chatterbox Café on Thursday morning. It was the last pound of frozen rhubarb. Dorothy puts up 100 pounds every spring, freezes it. It lasts all through the winter, because she herself does not care for rhubarb pie. But other people love rhubarb pie, and this was the last pound. It was just enough to make three pies, and she made them, and she put them in the oven, and she and Darlene sat down to have a cup of coffee. Mr. Burgee was sitting there, and the other old men. They were sniffing, waiting for the pie to be done.

[Dorothy and Darlene have a long conversation about their husbands, one deceased and the other divorced, neither of whom they have seen for many years.]

Mr. Burgee said "I think I smell something burning." Dorothy turned around and gave him a look, she said, "the day I need baking advice from you, Mr. Burgee, is the day that fish ride bicycles." Indeed, there was smoke in the air; she went in the kitchen, she opened the oven; all three rhubarb pies were black as could be. Made her feel satisfied somehow to have burnt every last one of 'em. "Dammit," she said, "I never cared for rhubarb anyway, and this was last spring's rhubarb - last spring's. Get these outta here, Darlene, throw these out in the trash," she said. "Another month, two months, we'll have all the fresh rhubarb that we can stand. No need to fool around with last spring's rhubarb. Get it outta here, good riddance to it."

That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all children are above average.

Rhubarb Web Sites
The Rhubarb Compendium
Other Uses for Rhubarb
The Rosy Rhubarb Festival, Shedden, Ontario, Canada
Rhubarb-Rhubarb, international photo festival
Wakefield Festival of Rhubarb, Wakefield, UK
Rhubarb Festival, part of a Mormon Heritage festival in Utah
Ulm Rhubarb Festival, Montana
The Kitchen Kettle Rhubarb Festival, in Intercourse, PA (oh, darn, this was sooo close to home, we coulda gone!)