Errant Ramblings Archives

October 16, 2001

Various and sundry

Finally updated portions of my website, so you won't get the directory listing. I still need to do that for the rpgs section of my site, but that'll come eventually.

Been reading about other weblog possibilities, like greymatter. But for now, I think I'm fine with blogger. It does what I need it to do, and with running three (yipe!!) games, I don't have time to fiddle, or something will suffer.

I also added some navigation buttons to most of the subdirectory pages. The Mall of Julia page and the 2nd Floor rpg page won't get those, but the rest should. Color will be difficult, because most of the other pages have odd colors. But I've gone with a red icon/text, which will cause problems only on my Aberrant page (which was also a blog), which hasn't been updated in forever. It doesn't matter now, that game will be ending soon. It may start again at a future date, but who knows?

Right now, I'm also getting ready for a new game on Monday nights. Pat's going to be running a Forgotten Realms D&D 3e game. Lou will be starting up an Aberrant game of his own once the Thursday game ends, but this one will be every other Tuesday. Got a concept already, and I'm very glad we talked him out of his original concept for how the game will begin. That started at ACN, and continued on the way home.

Lou's mom asked him yesterday if we'd be willing to use up some of our vacation next year doing something. We go to the Cape with them every year for a weekend in February/March, as part of a Christmas present. This past year they hinted at possibly going somewhere else. I'm willing to burn a few more days of vaca, especially since we're not going to ACN next year (Lou doesn't need to go as Nine Princes in Hong Kong ended this year). I was hoping to maybe make ACUS, but if we go somewhere else that's cool, I'll deal.

Enough blathering.

October 29, 2001

Another victim...

Ian got adopted! By two adorable kittens.

Hack (ne Herbie) and Velvet (neé Peaches) are teaching Ian what it means to be owned by cats. Well, that's another one down. Jack got adopted just over two years ago.

October 30, 2001

I desire TiVo

I'm hoping to get it for a Christmas present this year. If not, I may pool Christmas and birthday money to get one after Christmas. We have too many shows to tape, and since we upgraded to digital cable, we can't program our box to automatically switch channels to another one to tape the next show.

Which means our annual trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving is going to be a time of little or no recording. Which is a MAJOR bummer, but we'll just have to deal.

Or set up a tape schedule with friends, to get them to tape some shows while we tape others. Hmm...

When is The Tick supposed to start, anyway? Oh, thank $diety, November 8th. About frelling time!

November 15, 2001


(this is not to be confused with TurkeyCon, a LAN Party site. Lucinda & Grant coined the name years ago, but it is an informal gathering of friends.)

Getting ready to head to North Carolina. We leave early Saturday morning for our annual visit to friends for Thanksgiving. We're taking Jack with us, and picking Alex up on the way. At the Walt Whitman rest stop, if you can believe that. It makes better sense for all of us to do that, since he lives on Long Island. It'll save a lot of time on both parts. And with Jack's EZ Pass and BP gas cards, we should have a pleasant trip.

I just wish I could read in the car. I sometimes get sick, though it's happening less often now, so I may be in luck. I'm bringing books just in case, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

December 5, 2001

Update your blog, wench!

That was Grant's message to me, since I haven't updated my blog since before we went to his house for Thanksgiving.

So, the trip went well, fun was had by all, and the only illnesses were strep, and that was by the Gainey's, and mostly after we'd left.

Lou and I kept ourselves awake during the last bit of the drive back (stuck in Connecticut just past New York City in rush hour traffic) with our silly car license plate game. No, not one where you find all the different states/provinces you can. We started this one day as a lark, I forget why or who. But we pick the license plates with three letters in them, pretend it's an acronym, and come up with what those three letters stand for. Such as GOO - Generic Ocelot Offering.

Jack participated too, and we came up with the definitive acronym, which must become a game. KYA - Kill Your Ancestors. Some sort of card game where you're a nihilist or a disgruntled youth who thinks things would be better if you were never born, nor your parents nor theirs! So you go back in time (using Cheapass Games' time machine from Patent #1, no doubt), and kill your ancestors! Probably some sort of card game where you try to get rid of all your cards. Jack and Lou are thinking of how this would work.

Yeah, definitely

Oh, and I should probably point out that it's my birthday today. Happy Birthday to me!

I wonder how many people get the Sewer Urchin joke in the header? Wish they could have kept him on the live action Tick.

December 18, 2001

Good news, bad news

Why do they always come in pairs?

Good news first. I got back my latest test results on my C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency. My levels have been normal for two years, so I can start weaning off the Zyrtec I've been taking. The Zyrtec should have had no impact upon my condition, but it did. My allergist had one other patient when I first went to him with this, and when I went for my check up last year, he had a few more. All of us are treatable with antihistimines (I think the other patients were using Claritin, but my GP had given me Zyrtec first, so we kept me on that), and our conditions have stabilized.

My allergist said that he's been going to seminars and lectures on my condition, and has learned that it can wax and wane, and also can clear itself up. Since I've been fine for two years now, we're trying to take me off the Zyrtec and see how it goes. If it returns, then I'll go back on the antihistimine and get more bloodwork done, no doubt. But here's hoping it never returns!

Bad news next. Brian is leaving. Brian has been my co-worker for over a year now, almost a year and a half. He's been across the hall from me since he started. We have the same interests in TV, movies, action figures, comics, everything. And now he's leaving. To go work for another part of Brown, but since we're off-campus and he's on-campus, I doubt we'll see each other much. They offered him a LOT of money to take the job, and he couldn't pass it up. Even though I think it'll drive him's a management position, not a hands-on position. But hey, if they offered me that kind of money, I'd probably have taken it too.

So now we're our our database developer (or will be, in three weeks), at the time we're rolling out our new contact database system. His position is going to be TOUGH to fill. In more ways than one.

Well, at least I get to bug the hell out of him until he goes. And I'll poke him to use Trillian on the new location (the office he's in uses all Windows machines) so we can chat at work.

Waaaaah! Who am I going to talk Alias, Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Justice League, The Tick, and all those shows with daily???

December 29, 2001

Viva Las Vegas!

Christmas went well. We did get the trip to Las Vegas from Lou's parents that I was expecting. Instead of the annual trip to the Cape in February/March, all of us are heading to Las Vegas for a week. Should be fun!

I got other stuff as well, most of which I'd asked for. And the stuff I didn't specifically ask for was very much appreciated. I did get a folding keyboard for my Palm, which also made me realize that the Memo pad has a size limit on it. I was typing the background for my Miss Amaryllis character in Pat's new game on Monday nights. I don't know whether I should bother to try and create web page for this character/game or not, though. I may throw one together, just so I can post her background up.

Finished The Curse of Chalion last night. Excellent book - LMB has outdone herself. I anxiously await the sequel, which will come after the next Miles book.

January 4, 2002

It's the little things in life...

We have a new paper towel dispenser in the bathroom at work. This may not sound like much, but for the past few months, we've been making to with a huge roll of paper towels on the counter. Not even sheets, just a big roll. You'd get your hands wet, then have to try and unroll paper with wet hands and tear it off. It was a mess.

Before that, our towel dispenser had a button and a lever on it. I don't know why, but you had to push the button in, then pull down on the lever. It gave you like two pulls of paper, which was nowhere near enough to dry wet hands. Maybe if we just ran them under the water and then shook half the water off, it'd have been enough. So you had to push the button and pull down on the lever again...

So anyway, we now have a new dispenser, with no button, just a lever. Ah, bliss.

January 10, 2002


You know how they say things come in threes? Well, I've just had that proven right.

Earlier this week, I was asked if I was interested in helping moderate a mailing list I joined some months ago, the DM Advice list. It was mentioned on Role-Playing Tips' weekly newsletter. The moderators realized that they couldn't keep up since the advertisement had brought in a LOT of new members, so they asked me and one other person (another woman, actually!) to help them moderate. I took a few days to consider, since the list was in the middle of a flamewar at the time, but I said yes.

Then, today, I am replying to a message on evolt. One guy sees my reply, answers me offlist, and points to his own site, because he notes that I do a lot of role-playing and run a convention. So I check it out, and it's a cool gaming site. I'd originally thought it was computer games, and it does do some of that, but only in the RPG sense. The guy asks me if I'll write for him, and I say I'll consider it.

The third thing was not less than two hours later, I get an invite to be on the editorial staff of Dreamscribe, which is the newsletter/zine of Dreamlyrics, where I run my TBE game. I thought about this, but decided to decline the offer. I just don't want to start that up and then have no time to help out...especially if I want to get serious about my writing again (which I have been considering, and I really do want to...back in that groove again, I think).

I just have to find the frelling time to do it.

January 16, 2002

I got better...

Lou doesn't have strep. Yay! I have to go to his doctor's office this afternoon and get a note so he can go back to work tomorrow. I haven't had to have a doctor's note like that since I went back to school my junior year in high school, after I got the chicken pox. I still had some scars, but was no longer contagious. But the school secretaries didn't believe me, and I had to get a note!

I don't recall whether or not I actually went back to school that day after getting a note or whether, by the time I got it, I just stayed home. Sometimes, it was a good idea to go to a school that was 25 minutes away by car...

January 22, 2002

frell frell frell

I was asked today if we had a laptop available for a co-worker. He will eventually get a TiBook, but now he gets whatever we have available ready now.

Why does this bother me? Because the only reason this guy is getting a laptop is because my big boss said so. And my boss said so because the guy mentioned that he had another job offer, and was seriously considering it. So he gets a laptop, to take notes in meetings in this office, not because he's going to be traveling or anything. But because he's going to be in meetings to take notes.

And my PCD has still not gone up to Brown's HR because of the big boss needing to talk to our Executive Director.

That does it. I'm going to start looking for another job. Maybe if I get an offer, they'll work on getting me more money and a job description that actually says what I do, rather than one that says part of it.

January 25, 2002

Being sick sucks

...especially when your net connection is down. Ours was out from sometime on Wednesday (we only checked Wednesday night) until Thursday afternoon, so I was forced to sit at home and watch TV. And there wasn't much good on!

So I worked on balancing the checkbook a little, and going through the bills. I wasn't sick enough that I couldn't concentrate...otherwise that would have been frelling dren. And fortunately I'd loaded the last two chapters of Draco Sinister to my hard drive. Got tired of reading them online, so I copied and pasted them into TextEdit on the iBook. Now I could actually read them in bed!

So, I get the 'net connection back, read emails that have been piling up (oh, have to remember to switch the Amber Mailing List over to another account, or quit it, since is going bye-bye), and then I go back to download the five available chapters of Cassie's next novel, Draco Veritas, and then find out that there are fifteen more chapters to go! That she hasn't written yet! ARGH! Must Read Very ... S...L...O...W...L...Y...

January 27, 2002

Grissom, Chaffee, and White

It was 35 years ago today that Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White died in the capsule of the Apollo 1. I hadn't even been conceived yet, but my parents were living in Huntsville, Alabama at the time, home to Space Camp now.

My dad worked on all the Apollo missions, and the Saturn missions before that, through subcontracting at IBM. We had all the Apollo mission patches on the wall when I was growing up, and some Saturn ones and a picture of a Saturn launch. Later, we had some Skylab patches, but I don't know if my dad actually worked on that or just got the patches.

My dad died on July 4, 1984, in the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I had a French exchange student staying with me for a month or so that summer too, and this was about three-quarters of the way through her stay.

Looking back, I wish I'd gotten to know my dad better. He was a private man, not one for sharing (which is pretty surprising, since he had 7 children *chuckle*), and I was a kid, the sixth of the seven. He'd shown me how to change the oil on the cars, put the lights on the Christmas tree, how to navigate using the map on road trips, how to not step on my younger sister when she was sleeping in the bean bag chair (the one and only time I can remember being spanked).

But I never asked him what he did at his job, or if I did, I don't remember it. We rarely talked; it just wasn't his way, or mine at the time. I've picked up one of his bad habits - we used to have to stand in front of him and the television to tell him that dinner was ready if Mom asked us to; shouting never mattered. He'd tune us out and only breaking his view was the only way to catch his attention. I do that now, though not just with TV, with anything that has my attention at the moment, even my own thoughts.

I wish I had gotten to know him better. Asked him about the Apollo missions (I know what part he worked on - in all those "view back at the Earth" shots where the huge black ring spins away -- the instrument section -- that was what he worked on), about what he did as an engineer for IBM, working on the Trident submarines (the reason why we moved to Rhode Island, he worked out of the Navy base in Middletown). He was smart and talented and my father.

And I miss him terribly.

January 30, 2002

He's leaving, on a jet plane...

Ian just told me he's going to Hong Kong for two weeks. Grandmother's 85th birthday party. And hey, if you're going halfway around the world, why not take some time and browse?

Of course, we'll be in Vegas for a week during that time as well. So fun vacations all around!

Watched Buffy on FX (The Wish!) and Buffy on UPN and Smallville on WB last night. Will find time today to post about them on my new pop culture blog. If not today, tonight.

Busy busy today! Web server won't keep serial number, so won't stay running. Have put Kate onto it. Hopefully She Will Find Solution.

Also have to Set Up iBook lab. Have reformatted mine own iBook. Much gnashing of teeth, but it is Not Really Mine. Gives more impetus to get Toshiba this weekend.

And Really Must stop Typing This Way. Have been Reading V. Secret Diaries too Often.

February 1, 2002

Don't worry, I'll remember all my friends when...

Kate asked me yesterday to take a picture of her with the digital camera we have at work. So I took a few, we found one we liked, and I (using OSX and iPhoto) downloaded it and mailed it to her.

She tells me this morning that the photo will be published in a national magazine (it was the only one big enough -- we took it at 1600x1200). With my name as the credited photographer. Cool, I think. What magazine, I ask.

The Advocate, she replies.

I'm going to be an internationally published photographer! Whoo-hoo! Name in the credits and EVERYTHING.

Well, she asked them to put my name in, all spelled correctly and everything.

We'll just have to see if it pans out. Oh, and the article in the mag is going to be about this.

February 4, 2002

Chow Yun Chat

Anne and I finally got together for a Chow Yun Chat last night. We sat and talked and and played with Will, and ate Chinese food. Tim is a driver for Dominos part-time now, and with the Pats in the SuperBowl, all drivers were on.

Go Pats!

Then, while we debated about what to do after Will went to bed, I browsed the video and DVD collection. And realized that while they had The Frighteners on video letterboxed, they hadn't opened it yet. Anne and Tim saw Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring while on vacation in Florida, but they had not seen one of Peter Jackson's earlier films! So though I'd seen part of it recently on cable, we put it in.

Anne really enjoyed it, and I got to watch it all the way from beginning to end for the first time since I'd first seen it. It's really a fun, cool flick.

And as to the name? I forget exactly where it began -- Anne and I went to see a movie together at some point, I don't know if it was a Chow Yun-Fat movie or not, but the display where you buy the tickets had his name listed as "Chow Yun Chat." We found it really amusing, and adopted it as our name for our girl-get-togethers.

February 7, 2002


It's been happening a lot to me lately. The stars must be aligned in the right order or some such.

In my weekly D&D game, the group just went into a desert area. (I still need to write up the game summary for that; maybe tomorrow night) An NPC met them there, and he told them that there was an oasis nearby, where they could rest.

So I start humming that mid-70's song, "Midnight at the Oasis." It gets stuck in my head, though I really don't recall all the words, just the opening line. I do recall the tune. This past Saturday, on the way to get my new laptop, the song is still in my head, and I sing the first few lines. Lou looks at me like I have grown a second head - I'm quite used to that look, actually. So I ask him what is it this time. He wants to know what I'm singing. I rattle off the lines and the tunes a bit more, but I'm still getting that look.

He's never heard the song. What?? This song was all over the radio as I was growing up, I think. He may be two years younger than me, but come on!

Of course, I should point out that I think my dad had different musical tastes. We had an album, called "Good Vibrations" - one of those you'd buy on TV I think. It had "Dead Skunk (in the Middle of the Road)" amongst others on it. Now my dad also loved Spike Jones and his City Slickers, and big band music.

Anyway, to get back to the I am helping my boss Kate set up OSX on her computer. She's having problems getting Eudora for X to work with Brown's Kerberos settings. She has to go into a meeting, so I volunteer to finish the setup while she's meeting.

She has a stack of CDs next to her computer. Kate has a lot of CDs, we share some musical tastes, but not all. This stack is different in that it is psychedelic, it has a collection of music from the 70s on it. Five or so CDs. I start looking at the backs of the CDs, and start remembering all the songs from my youth.

Of course, as you know if you've read this far, the last CD contains "Midnight at the Oasis" as sung by Maria Muldaur. I borrow the CD, intending to rip the track so Lou can hear it, and of course he'll recognize it once it's sung by someone with better musical talent (well, not that much better) than me.

Continue reading "Synchronicity" »

February 14, 2002

Hearts aflutter

My husband doesn't think of himself as extremely romantic. When I asked him a few of the questions from last week's Friday Five, he could not come up with one romantic thing that he had done. Maybe it was just being put on the spot. But he is a very romantic man. He's the one who remembers what we did on our first date, what we were wearing then, the one who remembers our anniversaries (and no, I do remember our wedding anniversary too, he just remembers other important dates).

We also have this tradition of not giving each other a Valentine's Day present. We do cards, but that's it. So earlier this week, when I find out that he did more than a card for this Valentine's Day, he caves in and gives me this, as a "Tuesday" present.

So now I have to get him something! I found a cute baby Gund Snuffles in white, and gave it to him yesterday as a "Happy Wednesday" present. And the cards were today.

He got one on his pillow this morning, after he got out of bed first. I had put them at my bedside last night for just such an occasion. And I found one on my pillow when I got back from my bathroom ablutions.

And then I found one on top of my lunch today when I unzipped my lunch bag. So romantic, see?

I wonder if I'll have one when I get home tonight. Lou's getting his other card then, the more suggestive one. (heh heh heh)

February 26, 2002

Playing catch-up

How does one "play" at catching up? It's much more "work" than play. Though I suppose it really depends on what you're trying to catch-up on.

First day at work was yesterday. You'll note the lack of blog entry. It was a busy day, starting with a morning-long meeting for everyone at work. I went late to the first half, and skipped the second. I had too much email to catch up on, and while talking about the ESEA, since it allows me to have my job, is a good thing, I had too much work to catch up on to spend all that time in a talking heads meeting.

And I got to role-play last night! Pat's game, wherein I'm playing a monk. I realized on the way back from Vegas that Lou and I had talked about doing some role-playing (no, not THAT kind! get your frelling mind out of the gutter...) while we were out there, but it never even crossed our minds. Well, it didn't cross mine.

I'm eager for ATF this week. I'm having a lot of fun revealing little bits of Tallis' background, and trying to rein myself in from doing it all at once. It's bad when a GM gets too excited about an NPC. I do NOT want him to be the star, or even a central point. But I think he's just so COOL. Then again, it's been a while since I've had a really angsty character, so this is my outlet. And I trust my players to whap me on the head if I go overboard.

February 27, 2002

Famous Photojournalist, Julia Frizzell...

Okay, it's been published!!

Online, you can only see the photo and no credit.

But if you peruse the March 5, 2002 issue of The Advocate (on newsstands now!), turn to page 16. Look at the bottom right, outside the box of the article.

There's my name. Photo credit for that photo of my boss, Kate Monteiro, in her "other life" as president of the Rhode Island Alliance for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights. (okay, the website's nothing great to look at, but hey, they spend their time out there working hard, not designing web pages)

So now I just have to parlay this into another job...a well-paying (snarf!) one.

February 28, 2002

Does this hurt?

Lou went to see the doctor yesterday. Since late in our trip to Vegas, the upper part of his right arm was hurting him. It only really hurt when he moved it, or if someone touched or hit him there. But Bengay and Mineral Ice didn't help, and Advil only kept the pain at bay a short time. So he decided to go to the doctor finally, and went yesterday.

She took blood (Lou didn't pass out nor hit her - he has a fear of needles), touched his arm a lot asking "Does this hurt?" (and again, Lou managed not to hit her when she found a painful spot), took X-Rays, and scheduled him for a CT scan, at 10:00 tonight.

There is a bump on his bone. It could be nothing to worry about, or it could be some complicated medical term that means he has a bone infection.

Let's all cross our fingers.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: Lou's appointment is NEXT Thursday. He wants me to go with him. He says he's had CT scans done before, and it wipes him out, so he wants me to bring him home.

March 2, 2002

Invisible Woman or Hawkman?

This American Life had a segment this week (last week? I heard it today) about superpowers. And if you had to pick between flight and invisibility, which would you chose and why?


Continue reading "Invisible Woman or Hawkman?" »

March 6, 2002

Review in a few

Well, today is the day for my job audit. I meet with the interviewer (auditor?) at 2:30.

It should go pretty well, I think. I just have to tell her that the job I'm doing now is SO much more than my PCD (Position Content Document, aka Brown's version of a job description). Kate prepped me a little, advised me on what to emphasize and what not to emphasize.

Kate says this is pretty much a formality, but I'm just happy it's getting done. It's been just about a year since my last review, wherein I listed all the things I was doing that were OUTSIDE of my PCD, and in the Sys Admin PCD instead.

Fortunately, if it all goes through, they backdate the pay through the date they received the request. Which unfortunately for me is only January 31. But it's January 31, and not today! So that's good.

Here's hoping! Cross some fingers for me, okay? Or pray if you do that. :)

Things that make me happy

[It may not be Wil Wheaton's 7 things that I'm thankful for, but here it is.]

  • When ***Dave links to something I wrote.

  • Listening to the Final Fantasy IX soundtrack on headphones at work.

  • Hell, listening to FFVII, FFVIII, or FFIX (and soon to add in X) soundtracks at any time. Nobuo Uematsu is a god.

    (FFIX has the most soothing opening songs. Though Liberi Fatali can play alongside of the Duel of the Fates any time, baby.)

  • The new Movable Type 2.0 interface, though not available yet.

  • Exploding Dog. Haven't been there in a while. It's still cool, and he has a book!

  • Going to my list of blogs on the side and finding a new entry.

  • Finding something to blog about.

    How many is that?

  • March 8, 2002

    Lou's Scan

    Enough people have asked that I should post.

    Lou's CT scan went fine. In fact, if he had not let himself get all worked up about it (which he really only lets happen with doctor's visits), and stopped and thought about it, he'd have realized it wasn't going to be invasive.

    See, the last time he had a CT scan done, it was when he had kidney stones. He actually passed the stone, but they did the scan to make sure there was no damage done. They gave him an IV with the radioactive dye or whatever it is that would allow his guts to show up on the scan. And this wiped him out the next day, he felt all ill and such.

    This time, it wasn't internal. It was on his upper arm, on the bone. No need for dye. So we went to the hospital for our 10:00 p.m. appointment, and got there early. Waited a bit (I brought a book), then went down to the next area with him. Waited some more. He went into the room alone, and had the scans done. Came back out, all fine, realized if he'd bothered to think or done some research he would have saved himself a lot of worry, then we went home.

    I crashed, he was wired, so read for a bit. But see? No IV, no nothing. Just a scan.

    By the way, the blood tests came back all normal, so no infection. We'll just have to see what the scan results say. He also says his arm doesn't hurt as much, which is good.

    I just hope this isn't one of those things where they don't know what the problem is, and it goes away on its own.

    March 11, 2002

    Letter Blog Explained

    Letter Games

    Trolling the net netted the above link, which is a good sum-up of what Letter Games are all about.

    The book mentioned, Sorcery and Cecelia, was published as a result of a Letter Game between Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede. It's out of print and hard to find, but will be reprinted next Spring.

    The basics are this, however: Two (or more, but two is probably good to start) authors write letters from one character's perspective to the other character. A setting is established, and a general world-type view is agreed-upon. And lastly, the characters must never, ever meet up.

    Then, through these letters back and forth, each writer works on their own character's plot, sometimes providing advice or help for the other characters, even on occasion adding a bit of background to the other character (something along the lines of -- "Remember when you fell in the pond when you were 8? I tried to pull you out, you pulled me in instead, and we were both in bed for weeks? They thought you were going to die, but I was certain you would pull through, and you did. Has that cough ever cleared up?"). As you can see, there does have to be a certain amount of trust between the authors.

    Using the blog interface, one can have multiple authors in one blog working on their own Letter Game. Or, two people who have their own blogs could write letters in their own, and link to their co-author's page for the next in the series. It seemed a wonderful extension of the Letter Game, making it public for all to watch and comment on.

    I think Anne and I may start using the children of characters from the original fantasy game Lou ran. Anne got to play Kit for a brief time in the sequel to the original game (before pregnancy and child-caring for pulled her away), but I haven't done anything with Brianna's child. I'm not even sure what sex it'll be (I'm leaning toward male at this point).

    Or we'll decide to do something altogether new. Probably not Amber-style, though. Anne has only played in one ADRPG game, and hasn't read the books. :)

    So, any takers? Meera looks like she got some of her own already. I'm willing to give folks logins to my Whitespace blog, or set up another one. Want to be the hostess with the mostess, that's me.

    March 13, 2002

    Whoo-hoo, go me!

    I just got "unofficial" notice (the letter will arrive later this week, no doubt) that my revised PCD has gone through, as did my job upgrade. Which means I am now a 9E (as opposed to an 8E), and I am getting a 15% increase in pay to go along with that grade increase.

    Go me!

    And I am hoping that I will still get the raise from the upcoming performance review. Kate believes this will be so, because the pay is backdated to February 1. If it had been March (evaluations take place in April, with increases usually in May or June, I forget), then it would be less likely.

    So now I can try to climb out of debt quicker (ha!). But it also makes the lunch that Lou and I are doing at Little Chopsticks a celebratory one!

    (...Julia does little dance of joy around the office...)

    March 16, 2002

    Farewell Nana

    I haven't really felt like blogging about this, but I do feel I should make some note.

    Lou's grandmother, Frances G. Evans, affectionately known as Nana, passed away a week ago today. She was 86. We got a phone call last Friday night that she had gone into a coma, and then the call Saturday morning that she had died.

    Nana Evans was one of those crochety old Irish grandmothers - liked her drinks, liked her smokes (she smoked up until about a year or so ago, and was last year diagnosed with lung cancer, which was what helped claim her life), liked to hear gossip (though she'd never admit it), liked to complain, and loved her family. She also hated being unable to care for herself, hated being unable to walk up and down stairs without help, hated having to rely on others for things that she used to be able to do just fine. In the past few years, she had given up on trying to live - she wasn't doing anything other than what was required, not having the joy of life anymore. The mood increased after the lung cancer diagnosis, but there was something else along with it. An attitude of "I told you so, I told you there was something wrong with me, see!" that lurked under the surface. Never voiced, yet there nonetheless.

    We had a memorial mass for her on Thursday. It was a very amusing thing to see this very lapsed Catholic leading the family of non-Catholics (or also very lapsed Catholics) in what Lou terms as Catholocize - the sit-stand-sit-kneel-stand motions that I went through weekly for the first 17 or so years of my life. I'm sure Nana would have laughed at us, all confused.

    The mass was followed by a few words from the priest at the gravesite, and then it was to a local restaurant for food, drink, and conversation. We all sat, reminisced, learned some about the family history, and then headed home.

    Lou hasn't really reacted to this, not like I was expecting. I think he'd accepted it was coming long ago, and as she accepted it was going to happen, so did he.

    No tears, just a fond farewell.

    March 18, 2002

    Let It Snow

    It's snowing outside. It's been doing it all morning.

    The original forecast for today was some snow, changing to rain, and then lots of rain.

    They changed it sometime in the night. Temperatures are not expected to rise. So we get 1-2 inches of snow.

    In March.

    On March 18, to be exact.

    This is about as much snow as we here in Southern New England have had all year.

    It won't last past Wednesday, as temps are going to climb into the 40s.

    I thought it was supposed to snow in New USED to.

    Global Warming, anyone?

    March 19, 2002

    Snow Redux

    It didn't last much past last night. The only places the snow still exists are on top of cars that weren't cleaned off, or on grass/trees/bushes that haven't yet had the chance to melt it away.

    Ah well. At least I got to throw a couple of wet snowballs to the first-floor's dog last night. But she didn't try to catch them. Poor Bailey -- she belongs the type of people about whom I have pet peeves.

    We'll get some flurries this morning and maybe some tomorrow, but then rain.

    Isn't March supposed to go out like a lamb?

    March 28, 2002

    Weight Watchers Update

    Having not been to weigh in since February 6, before our trip to Vegas, Lou and I were expecting the worst.

    And were both totally shocked, when I had stayed the same and he was only up one pound. Lou was expecting a 10 pound increase, with allowances for more.

    So we celebrated, and went to Applebee's last night. We had terrible service at our local Applebee's a few weeks back, and our friends had similar problems a few days later. We thought we'd give them another try, on a less busy night and an earlier time.

    Well, the waiter was more attentive, but we never got our appetizer and my steak wasn't medium, like Lou's was, but medium-well.

    We aren't writing them off just yet, but we may have to find another location than the one in town to frequent.

    We skipped out on the meeting after the weigh-in. Lou has developed an aversion to the meetings; I don't know why, and neither does he. And to top it off, yesterday was "Easter Bonnet" day, which I have been fortunate to miss, since Lou went to his first before I started going with him (he and his mother started about a year before I joined).

    We love our leader, June Gesner. We really do. But sometimes, things just go a bit overboard, and we must flee.

    Now it'll be interesting to see how we do at next week's weigh-in.

    March 30, 2002

    Obligatory Cat Pictures

    My new laptop has a SmartMedia slot. This was sorta cool when I bought it, but not the main reason I bought it. The Firewire port was the main reason.

    Or so I thought...

    We have a very nice digital camera at work. I made us buy a nice one, going on two years ago now. We had money we had to spend, and the only camera we had was an Olympus that didn't even have a zoom feature. It wasn't really good for taking shots in schools, which is where it was used most often.

    So I looked at what was on the market, what was somewhat compatible with what we had, and made a recommendation, which was approved.

    We became the proud owners of an Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom, a camera that came with optical zoom as well as digital zoom, plus lots of other goodies.

    This camera uses SmartMedia as its save source.

    It is very easy to take pictures with the camera, and then remove the card and place it in the slot on my laptop, and download the images to disk. In fact, I realize now that the "D:" drive on my computer, all this time, has been that slot, waiting to be filled.

    I SO know what sort of digital camera I'll be getting now.

    So now, we have an easy way for me to take pictures of my kittens, and you can compare them to other people's kittens, and see whose is cuter. (heh)

    I also have pictures from our trip to the Cape last weekend. Not many, but a few. This was when I truly discovered the use of that little slot on the left-hand side of the laptop. Those will probably be posted someday.

    And sorry for the artsy-ness of the thumbnails. I was trying to be funky with Photoshop. And SO did not like their automatic web photo gallery feature.

    April 1, 2002

    It's Salisbury Steak Day!

    I have been eating the chocolate eggs that folks brought in as leftovers from Easter all morning. Admittedly, I've only had three of those candy-coated milk chocolate eggs, one peanut M&M, and three of the Nestle Nest Eggs (one each-Krackle, Peanut Butter, and Caramel), but they are filling.

    I have a Salisbury Steak WW meal heating in the microwave. I love Salisbury Steak (though the real one is my preference, not the WW version). But I just can't get enthused.

    Too much chocolate.

    Won't stay the same at WW this week, methinks.

    April 3, 2002

    Quiet Again

    I have Breakfast Club in 10 minutes (monthly gathering of everyone who's in at work to have food and talk about birthdays and promotions and stuff).

    At 10:00, I have our two-hour monthly tech division meeting.

    At 1:30, I have a two-hour Introduction to PHP class.

    Following that, I may go see my former co-worker Brian, and/or head to the mall for some new books to read.

    Then it's Weight Watchers weigh-in, followed by a fattening dinner somewhere.

    Which does remind me of one thing I wanted to blog about...

    Weight-loss costs now deductible. You need to keep a seriously itemized list, and be at least 30 lbs. overweight to qualify. And be under a doctor's care. But hey, it's a start.

    April 9, 2002

    from cha-ching to gurgle

    I'm really getting frelling annoyed by losing posts in the MT box. It's not MT's fault, it's mine.

    I really wish I knew enough Perl to be able to hack BlogScript/mt-xmlrpc.cgi to include titles. Categories are optional, but would be nice for some of my blogs.


    I was out from work yesterday, hence no blog entries. Just wasn't feeling well, so took the day out to rest up sleep in. Maybe it was the time change, I don't know.

    Sunday, Lou and I went out and dropped lots of cash, after eating a nice breakfast out with our friend Pat. Lou reminded me that I wanted to get Virtua Fighter 4, but I have a feeling he was really thinking of getting Jedi Knight II: Outcast, which he'd heard was out on Saturday.

    So we went to Toys 'R' Us first, and grabbed Virtua Fighter 4. Then he wanted to go looking for a specific Spawn figure (She-Spawn), and so we went to the mall. Where we promptly bought JK II: Outcast, Heroes of Might and Magic 4, and a Neon Genesis Evangelion figure for me from EB, and then to KB Toys to get the She-Spawn for him.

    Of course, in the car on the way home, I check the specs for JK II: Outcast. processor is fine (P2/400 required, I have a P3/450), but my video card is not. Well, we'll just see if it works. My card may be supported, but not on the list, because it says others are supported on their website.

    One guess what happened after Lou installed.

    So he suggests returning it, and I suggest buying a new video card. We don't need to get top-of-the-line, since I'm using the laptop as my main machine, basically giving him my desktop machine for his gaming needs (those he can't get on the Mac, or just doesn't want to wait for a Mac version of). I tell him it won't be that expensive.

    And I start to research, starting obviously with the ones listed on the box. I have a few scary moments, until I realize that my AGP 1x slot can use higher AGP cards (at least, according to some of the websites out there). Then I turn to eBay. I see an auction for a Matrox Millennium G450 card, dual-head (ooh, with a $10 cable I can do video out to a TV!), and it's only $73. PCConnection wants $115. I figure, I'll go as high as $90, with $5 for S&H, that's still $20 cheaper than PCConnection, and the eBay auction is a new card, shrink-wrapped and everything.

    I place my bid, and an hour later, I have my card for $83.06, plus $5 S&H (I skipped getting the $3 insurance). It should be here by the end of the week.

    Lou and I beat each other senseless with VF4, having a lot of fun punching buttons (who does tutorials? Who reads the books to learn the combos? Not us, at least not at first!) and learning new things. He whips the pants off me at first, and I'm determined that we each play the same character until we've both won one match. I have a lot of trouble with my fave, Sarah Bryant, beating his Vanessa, but eventually I do, and we move on until we've played everyone once.

    Then I start playing Blitzball. Yes, I've started playing FFX, and my poor team hasn't won a game yet. We've tied twice -- but I may go back to my previous save, which doesn't have all those terrible losses. I forgot to get an item in an area, and want to get it before I'm forced to move on.

    I'm having a terrible time with two of my forwards in Blitzball. Lou had a much better time of it with his team. But damn, if my goalie and one of my defenders aren't the highest levels of anybody! I may need to trade out my forwards if I can't get them up levels, and techniques. (sigh)

    I also finished reading an anthology of romance stories last night, and when I have a few minutes, I'll review it on my popblog. Now I can get back to finishing I Dare!

    Lou woke me up this morning, too. I was having the oddest dream, and he asked if I was okay. As I was waking up, I realized that I had heard a noise from the area of my stomach, but I ignored Lou and hoped he'd think I was asleep. Then he moved his leg into mine, and I had to ask what was up. He asked again if I was okay, and I said yes. Turns out my stomach had been making the strangest noises this morning, loudly and quite a few times. Lou had forgotten to set his alarm, but my stomach was able to fill that task, it appears. My alarm was set and would have gone off in a few minutes anyway.

    Well, gurgling still beats his talking in his sleep. Though with us on the same sleep schedule the past few years, I haven't heard anything really amusing in quite a while. My friends know of the two phrases that were the most memorable, and keep reminding him of one on occasion.

    But I won't post them here. He'll be terribly embarrassed. Even if he doesn't read the blog.

    April 17, 2002

    Moving Day...or Days

    I get to move into a new office today. Well, probably over the next few days. The guy who moved on left a lot of stuff in there, and I need to get that all out, and possibly move desks around, before I can really move in.

    Plus we need to keep his two computers up and running so others can access it. Right now, my boss is futzing around with one of the computers, so I really can't just move it, alas.

    But here is what I'm going into:

    View from the Door

    View from the Door 2

    View to the Door

    Window View

    Window View 2

    Yes, I get a window that doesn't look out onto another office! Even if it will take me days to move in, I will be there!

    It's hot

    It's very hot out today.

    My Son of Weather Grok tells me, in the cities that I track, that it is 90 in New Bedford (closest to where I live), 96.1 in New York City (Central Park, where Ian and Jeanne live or work), 93 in Concord, NH (where Jack lives), 90 in Raleigh (where Grant lives), and 91.9 in Providence, where I work.

    Wow. I'm glad I'm working in air conditioning today. And I've got most of the stuff out of Philip's office, in preparation for the move tomorrow.

    And one of our new employees (the one to replace Philip, actually!) starts Monday. I need to be vacated so she can have my office by then.


    April 18, 2002

    Mostly Moved

    No blogging today. I officially started the move to the new office by moving the computer over. That pretty much did it for me; now I have to move everything in. I should have it done by noon-ish tomorrow, I think.

    I took some preliminary pictures, which will be posted tomorrow, hopefully with some pictures of it all done.

    I didn't eat lunch today because of the move. I got busy, and then wasn't hungry. About 2:30 I had an apple from lunch, and went downstairs to get a Diet Coke (a buck for can? I thought it was 80 cents. Never buying from there again...even 80 cents was pushing it).

    I'm home now, curled up on the loveseat with the laptop in my lap, Beana looking cheesed at me because of said laptop, and getting ready to watch The Wish on Buffy on FX. Some bad news - I found out my Farscape tape from Friday didn't work. I accidentally set it for a.m. instead of p.m., and then had it for 8:00 a.m. anyway. so even if that had been right, it wouldn't have taped the right show. I'm bummed, but it's just one more reason to get TiVo in a few months.

    Anyone want to give me a recap, until I can catch it on a rerun?

    April 23, 2002


    We are all creatures of habit. Cats are creatures of's why, on the weekend you most desperately want to sleep in, the cats are wandering around your head, making sure you're not dead. You're usually up by now, and "it's different, they don't like it", to paraphrase my local group of friends.

    I hadn't really realized I have habits at work. I have twice now, since moving into my new office, forgotten to bring my Palm home. I had a routine. My new office's arrangement is different, and therefore my routine is not the same, and I forget things.

    Like turning off my lights and my radio when I leave. The new locations for these objects haven't made it into my habits yet.

    And of course, I have bad habits. One of my behaviors is exhibiting itself in my new office.

    When I have something that I need to do, I come up with other things to do instead of the thing I need to do. Not that these other things don't need doing, mind you. It's just something I put off, and now I "want" to do it because it's not the thing I should be doing.

    I noticed this behavior in myself probably about 10-13 years ago. I ran a game online on the RPGames Forum in Compuserve. I was not a good GM. I rarely posted after the game got going. And at one point, I watched myself exhibit my avoidance behavior. Every time I sat down at my Amiga 500, telling myself that I was going to write the post, I would look around at my desk, or my room, and suddenly find something else that I had to do, right then. Like clean the desk. Like organize my bookshelf. Like clean the crap that had accumulated on the floor.

    I was doing everything I didn't really WANT to do, in order to avoid posting for my game.

    That's when I knew I had to stop running the game.

    I've noticed this behavior in other things too -- like I needed to write out the checks for our bills a few weeks back. Suddenly, in the guise of searching for all of the ATM/restaurant receipts and misplaced bills on our very messy kitchen counter, I started to clean that counter off of all the junk that had accumulated there.

    Typical avoidance behavior, for me. I did do the bills, by the way.

    And now, my new office. As you can see by the pictures below, I have a bunch of my stuff on the floor and on m workspace that needs to be cleared off. But what did I do on Friday, when I should have been doing all this cleanup?

    • I gave one of our employees a Cube instead of her Bronze Keyboard Powerbook, which I had meant to do the previous Friday, but another laptop going belly-up got in the way. And then I never got back to it the rest of the week.

    • I upgraded software and various OS bits on another user's computer, who had asked to have it done days ago, but I just hadn't made it a priority.

    • I upgraded the tech staff's admin assistant's computer, when all she had problems with was her email program. I've been meaning to upgrade her computer for months.

    Amongst other things I did on Friday.

    I left work early yesterday, to be home in time for a package to be delivered. So not much got done in the office yesterday.

    I am fully expecting that when I start to clean my office up this week, I will suddenly realize that we have another new employee starting on Monday, and I don't have the office he'll be moving into cleaned out of the stuff that's been stored in there, and I don't have computers ready for him.

    Expect more pictures from me in a few weeks.

    View from the Door - early
    View to the Door - early
    The Bookshelf's Location
    View from the Door - later
    View to the Door - later
    The New Work Area

    I have some more pictures up on the wall now, but that will have to wait until I've made some more progress on cleaning up the floor.

    See, what did I tell you?

    Instead of cleaning up my office, I've been paying attention to my neglected little blog.

    So now, since I went back a while ago and added categories to every post, and now the category is displayed with the post.

    I still need to work on the redesign. Maybe in another month or so.

    April 26, 2002

    Well. And Well.

    I got an email from a friend yesterday, saying that she was leaving Las Vegas, and coming back home to New England, more specifically, Connecticut, from whence she came.

    I don't know what to say. She moved out west to be with someone she'd known online and at various Ambercons for some time, and not long after that, they got married. I'd known that Vegas wasn't the place she wanted to live; I'd teased her often enough that she should come back home, that we missed her, that New England missed her.

    I had planned on mailing to her, in a few weeks, some spring leaves, since I'd noticed how non-leafy Vegas is. And then more were going to follow in the fall, with all the autumn colors.

    Now, I get an email that says she's moving back. It is unknown if her husband will follow in a year or so. She hopes to be situated by midsummer.

    Well. And Well. What does one say to that?

    I'm glad she's coming home. But what about her husband? I'd love it for him to come too, unless they're having problems that they can't work out. Las Vegas is his home, it's where he grew up. Connecticut is her home, it's where she grew up (I's home, anyway).

    What does one say to these sorts of things? I'm at a loss.

    April 28, 2002

    Near you

    Write a random phrase from each of the following:

    Nearest magazine to you:
    "If the PCs save Lisa and deliver the Eye to Ganamemnon, they should receive the experience points they would get for defeating both outsiders." (Dungeon Magazine #91, The Rock and the Hard Place D&D Side Trek, by Brian Corvello, pg. 48.)

    Nearest book to you:
    "I didn't answer. I was thinking about a flamethrower and an M-1 and a couple of cases of ammo. And the liquor, of course." (Oscar Gordon, Glory Road, by Robert A. Heinlein, pg. 91.)

    Nearest cd insert:
    "The radio bites were recorded during two improv sessions at QED MEDIA CORP. in May, 1994." (Pants, Corky and the Juice Pigs.)

    Nearest piece of paper that you wrote on:
    13994. (amount of experience we received for tonight's D&D session, in which our 14th (now 15th)-level party defeated an ice paraelemental and a 22nd level villain.)

    Nearest piece of paper that was written to you:
    Nothing, really. Maybe a receipt, if you want to count that. Or I could find a card in the bedroom. Oh, wait..."Try to use Pattern to find a tavern where we can have an enjoyable fight without breaking people." (note to me as GM, from, I believe Myth as Artor, in my WEF Amber game.)

    Courtesy of ***Dave.

    May 3, 2002

    That Woman Thing

    Wendi started it, Lisamarie continued it, and Meera responded. Then Kristen angled it, and now I'll take a stab at it.

    I hit puberty late. Oh, I shot up in height early on, but the actual menstrual cycle started, IIRC, when I was 14. I had some problems being regular at first, but never any bad cramps or bloating or mood swings, other than the standard teenage ones. But not long after I started, I went on the pill.

    No, I was not sexually active -- it was for my acne. My dermatologist recommended a very high estrogen birth control pill to clear up my awful acne problems. Fortunately (or at the time UNfortunately), it was limited to my face. I went to a gynecologist who REALLY didn't like the pill I was on, but she relented enough to let it help me through my high school years.

    I had some experiences in college with bad cramps, and used to fake cramps in high school to get out of class, but it was never a really bad problem for me.

    I used to never want children. That changed somewhat over the years, and my biological clock ticked awfully loudly for a brief period of time a few years ago, then has been quiescent. I want to have kids, and I realize that I'm getting old to start. But I'm enjoying my life now. To have kids would mean that my whole life would have to change (not only because of them, but because of the kind of parent I want to be), and Lou and I aren't ready for that yet. And I want a house of my own before I have kids. I was raised in one; it's how I want to raise my kids. Even if I have to share it with the bank for 30-50 years first.

    I chatted with Anne while she was pregnant and afterwards, and one of the things she said she really didn't miss was the whole "monthly visit from Flo." I don't think I'd miss it at all, either. But I'm not ready to give up on the possibility of's also likely the only way Lou's parents will have grandchildren, though Lou's brother's wife is 10 years younger than me. She's got plenty time to change her mind if she wants to have kids.

    And I do think it'd be great for Will to have a playmate. But not just yet, alas, not just yet.

    Maybe if we win Powerball on Saturday.

    I don't mind being a woman, or all the crap that comes with it. Sure, I'd love equal pay and equal rights and everything, which means the good that comes with it as well as the bad. I also agree with Kristen - if men had to go through what we did each month, they'd have such trouble. There was a comedian who once joked that he would never trust a woman...something that bleeds for a week and doesn't die? Yeah...and if men got pregnant, maternity leave would last from the minute they found out until a year after the baby was born, and would be with full pay.

    Umm...I don't know that this is saying what I want it to say, but I'm going to stop now

    Geek Moment

    I just fixed Paula's Palm. It wouldn't wake up.

    Of course, she lost everything, but it works now.

    I feel so geeky. I have to go put two new computers on the new temp people's desks.

    May 7, 2002

    MacWorld here I come!

    Kate just told me that she wants me to go to the Macworld Conference & Expo in New York in July!

    Hella cool!

    Of course, it's New York in July, but I'll be inside most of the time.

    I don't think I should bring my Toshiba laptop. I'll have to borrow one of work's iBooks or TiBooks, methinks.

    Anyone have any recommendations for hotels?

    Oh, and sorry for the no-posts yesterday. Was home sick, ears hurting something fierce. Still hurting now, but not so bad.

    May 8, 2002


    Lou is home sick today. He left work early to go to the doctor yesterday, and he has some sort of infection in his salivary gland or something like that.

    The doctor's advice? Suck on sour candy.

    Can't go too wrong with advice like that, eh?

    If it continues beyond a day or so, he'll go back for antibiotics. It's affecting his ears and his balance, which is why he's home.

    My husband is having the strangest medical things these days.

    May 13, 2002

    How I Spent My Weekend

    So, here were the plans for the weekend, and here's how I did:


    • Ian arrives this afternoon, hangs out at the office until Lou picks us up. Well, Ian got here after I sent Lou to pick him up. Doh!

    • D&D 3E game tonight. Went somewhat successfully. Got Margaret off the scene for Anne's break this summer. Sent everyone else to flying city, since original plans were sketchy and PCGen kept losing the half-dragon kobold sorcerer's spells.


    • Breakfast at Percy's with Ian, Jack, and Lou. Done

    • Hang around until Feng Shui crowd shows up, then hide in computer room and bedroom. Done. Played and watched lots of Virtua Fighter 4

    • Trip to niece's birthday party, where we're going to also give our mother her Mother's Day Present. Done.

    • Start on those pesky side quests to gain legendary weapons in FFX. Try really, really, really hard not to throw controller against the wall when I can't get the 0:0:0 time needed to get Tidus' sigil. Did not accomplish any of this. Played some Saturday night, but was trying to capture more creatures than compete in silly Chocobo races.

    • Finish reading Living Dead in Dallas so I can start in on Diplomatic Immunity. Did not finish LDiD.


    • Play more FFX. Read more books. Did not play any FFX. Decided instead to try to start writing story idea in head as I was up at 7:00 and had breakfast date with Pat at 9:00. Ouch. Writing story muscles have atrophied.

    • Crew over for the Sunday game. Done. Worried now that husband is going to inflict serious damage on my poor little Shaman, because she summoned her 3 Huge Earth Elementals to beat on bad-guy Ogre Magi Monk, after Finger of Death failed (rolled a razza-frazza 1 on spell resistance check). Whimper.

    • Play more FFX. Read more books. Read more of LDiD, but did not finish.

    May 14, 2002

    My Busy Life

    The Black Road is this weekend, so I will be busy this week and weekend, and probably won't get much blogging done. That, and the fact that my boss is going to be away for a week starting tomorrow. Urgh.

    Oh, and I have a game tonight, have to decide if I'm going to play in a 7th Sea game on Wednesday night. I'm hoping to fit in Attack of the Clones on Sunday night, post-Con.

    But, to tide you over in the meantime, I give you Jecht's Theme, from the Final Fantasy X soundtrack.

    This song is bouncy, but with a twang that is all Jecht, since he ain't bouncy at all. Jecht is our hero Tidus' mean old man, who vanished when Tidus was young. He ended up in Spira, where Tidus also ended up, and helped out our heroine Yuna's father, Braska, on his quest to rid Spira of Sin.

    Jecht's Theme reminds me of an old style country song, with that guitar twang, but it's much more than that. It is only played in the game when Tidus finds these memory spheres, and replays scenes of Jecht, Braska, and a young Auron on their quest.


    May 15, 2002

    Final Fantasy X Memories

    I played some FFX last night. Lou cancelled his Aberrant game, with a headache (sinus headache returning from Saturday) and a desire to see Buffy as it happened (that's my thought).

    I am now collecting legendary weapons. I got Wakka's and Rikku's last night, and a few other of the secret bits. Went back to Luca for Wakka's, and decided to go into the Sphere Theater. I'd been there before, but didn't have enough cash to buy anything.

    Oh, this is hella cool. You can "buy" any of the FMVs from the disk. I'm assuming ones that you've seen already...I didn't have enough cash to buy them all. Some are short, a few seconds long. Some are longer, like the first part where Sin shows up while Tidus is playing Blitzball (and I can now confirm that the loud rock song on the FFX soundtrack is most definitely from this scene).

    And you can also get a music sphere, which will play bits from the soundtrack. I think the max there was 68 songs, and I have 87 on my 4 disc set, but it's still cool.

    It nearly wiped me out of cash. I think I will skip buying more of the music (since I have the soundtrack), but I will most definitely buy the movies.

    Now I just have to figure out how to hook my VCR up so I can tape these suckers.

    Drained and Tired

    I need a vacation.

    I was talking to someone on IM yesterday, and I realized where all my creativity is going, and why I've felt so blah lately.

    I'm in too many games. Let's count:

    Sunday - three Sundays a month (or four if we hit a month of 5 Sundays), Lou runs his D&D 3e game. We've been playing this since 2nd edition Skills & Powers, converting right after the DMG came out. We've just hit 15th level.

    Monday - I used to have Mondays free. Lou played in a 3e game. Then that game ended, and another one started up. Every week, for a few short months, I played Miss Amaryllis. And then we all died. Now, the same GM of all the Monday games is running a Wheel of Time game. Lou and I are playing Aiel algai'd'siswai, though he's a Borderlander who found himself in the Waste, and the Stone Dogs took him in. I'm playing a Maiden of the Spear.

    Tuesday - Every other Tuesday, Lou is running an Aberrant game. This is new, has been running about 6 sessions now. It's fun...I'm playing a divorced photojournalist with a kid who lives with her ex. She just can't relate to either of them.

    Wednesday, Thursday - no games. Thank $deity.

    Friday - I run my 3e game. Used to have other games in the alternate week, but am glad now we have a Friday off.

    Saturday - Once a month, I run my Amber game, Which Endureth Forever. Or not so forever, as it's winding down to the last story. On one other Saturday, the Feng Shui players come to our apartment, but I don't play in that game.

    And then there are the email games. I play in To Reign in Hell, which is currently on a long-term hiatus. I am also starting in Stranger Still to Come, and hopefully soon in Ill Met in Amber. I am also in my husband's post-apocalyptic Earth/psionics email game.

    I also run my own version of the post-apocalyptic Earth/psionics game in Dreamlyrics, and I am possibly going to be playing in a Fading Suns game on that forum. I should also be restarting in a game that was on a long-term hiatus there, but I haven't gotten around to posting yet, now that the GM has come back. I may drop that game, I'm unsure.

    And I am doing a letter blog with Anne, and also doing a side blog for her while she's taking a hiatus from the game this summer.

    Between all that, blogging (here, Pop Culture, Whitespace, and my secret LiveJournal), reading everyone's blogs, the pile of books at my bedside, FFX, and my husband and cats, I have no time for anything else.

    Something, or somethings, are going to have to go. It's just a matter of deciding what goes.


    May 19, 2002 Star Wars

    The Con went well. I ended up only running one game, as one of my four players dropped out of the Saturday game, which left me wiith what I thought was an untenable number of players for a 7-hour slot.

    But I am dead tired. We're not seeing Star Wars:AotC tonight. Our next available night however, is Wednesday.

    So I'll ignore any spoilers until after then. Sorry folks. I'm off to bed now. It's 7:30. That's how tired I am.


    May 28, 2002

    Weekend of Addiction

    Bonus: What are you doing for the long weekend?
    Tonight is ATF, they're doing a dungeon crawl. We'll see how this all shakes down. They have to defeat everything (and not necessarily by combat) to gain control of the floating city. It is NOT going to be easy.

    Dungeon crawl only lasted one room. They ran into a gorgon, who turned two of the party members (the monk, who can't make a save to save his character's life, literally! And the npc cohort cleric, who is only 4th level) to stone. Fortunately the mage was able to reduce them, teleport back to Clearwater, and get them unstoned and then bring them back. That took most of the night, so they'll be back into the dungeon next time.

    Tomorrow is breakfast with Jack, then he's on his way to NYC. Lou and I may go bike riding (he got hooked again when he used the LifeCycles at TBR), or may just hang around. I need to go into work (he doesn't know that) to check on some things on Saturday, so I may try to convince him to go to dinner out at Fire & Ice or The Cheesecake Factory, at the Providence Place Mall.

    We didn't do the bike riding -- it was just too cool, with a very strong breeze. I spent the parts of the day not listed above playing Final Fantasy X, capturing monsters and doing other sidequests.

    The Cheesecake Factory was our stop, and boy, is their menu HUGE. We took about 20 minutes to decide on what to order, and then couldn't finish it. Of course, topping it off with a fresh banana cream cheesecake. Yum!

    Sunday is breakfast with Lou's parents and possibly his brother&wife. This is a combination Mother's Day/Father's birthday present. Sunday afternoon is the D&D game, which is making us miss my mom's cookout. But we will be missing the next two Sundays for the game (the first one we don't play, and Lou's going to be on his way to his conference the next week), so we don't want to miss three in a row.

    Breakfast was had, and enjoyed. Final Fantasy X was played, and I almost finished the Village of the Cactuars quest before the game started.

    We managed to kill one of Lou's Freak Legion, a group he designed specifically to push our limits. Skyler actually managed to stay out of combat, and barely cast any spells. Fortunately, the fighters were able to handle everything with aplomb. Now, we have to fight the rest of the Freak Legion, or at least those who want to mix it up with us. We are playing next week, since Lou will be gone the following Sunday. And FYI, the one we killed was "Pounder" - a half-fiend troll with quite a few fighter levels. The one who got away was "Mouse" - a half-fiend kobold rogue/fighter. And yes, think about the half-fiend troll for a second. Fire resistance. Troll. (shudder)

    Monday is nothing until the Monday night game, though we may get in some more bike riding (if the weather holds).

    I played FFX from about 8:00 a.m. until about 2:00, finishing the Cactuar Quest and getting other things done, when Lou insisted we go out for a walk. Bike riding was a possibility, but it was very humid out. We got rather hot from the walk about the neighborhood, so bike riding may have been worse. Then we went out to the Texas Roadhouse for steak before the game. Applebees is definitely off the list of restaurants after the bad service we've had there in the past few months.

    A movie (About a Boy, or Star Wars again for me) is not out of possibility, either.

    Nope, no movie.

    May 29, 2002

    Breaking the Character

    Warning, RPG rant ahead! Click on More if you care, ignore if you don't.

    I have to admit up front ... I am one of those annoying roleplayers who tries to stay true to the character until the end, even if that means the character leaves the game. I know there is another school of thought, that the game is paramount, and you should work hard to make your character fit into the game.

    But I just can't do that, not all the time. Not without breaking the character.

    Continue reading "Breaking the Character" »

    June 3, 2002


    How did I spend my weekend? Glad you asked...


    - Watch Farscape, in preparation for next week's season premiere.

    - - Taped until 7:00, then watched part of an episode. Decided to watch Big Trouble in Little China DVD we've had for ages and never watched. Lou insists commentary track be turned off, as he wants to hear movie. About 1/3 of the way through the movie, the machine starts misbehaving and we can't get it to show without skipping anymore. We give up and I play FFX until the wee hours of the morning.


    - Bike ride along the East Bay Bike Path.

    - - Nope.

    - Get some work done on a few games (SSC and IMiA, and get new player up to speed in TBE).

    - - Nope, none of this got done.

    - Play some FFX.

    - - Got a lot of this done. Almost finished capturing creatures in the Omega Ruins, or so I thought. Turns out that some of the creatures I've been capturing in there aren't counted as being in there, and I have none of one specific creature at all. I ran into them once, when I first went into the ruins and died, and then haven't seen them since. Annoying. Played lots of Blitzball too. I need to do some more to get the Jupiter Sigil, to power up Wakka's weapon. Did get the Status Reels and Auroch Reels in order to get the Sigil. Spent lots of time trying to capture butterflies and not having much success. Still have to dodge lightning 200 consecutive times and try to beat the Chocobo trainer with time of 0:0:0. Am thinking that some Legendary Weapons are Not Worth It.

    - Get some writing done, at least Ennis' response to Kit in the Letter Blog, and hopefully more Margaret stuff done for the ATF blog.

    - - Nope.

    - Go to sister-in-law's house to install network card in their Mac, before they move to Bridgewater.

    - Done.

    - Additional bits

    - Went to breakfast a Percy's after figuring out we didn't have large enough dish to put microwave bacon rack into oven.

    - Went to WalMart for new dish for said rack, fans, and other tidbits (lamp for Lou's trip, feminine things for me.

    - Took walk around park.

    - Went to see hole in in-law's backyard. It now has a concete foundation in it for the addition to their house.

    - Out to dinner, then home. Husband realizes that he'd know our plans for the weekend if he actually read my blog after I tell him that WalMart was originally scheduled for Sunday.


    - Possibly breakfast out at Percy's.

    - - Breakfast with Pat & Betsy and their nieces.

    - Possibly go to pick up some fans at WalMart, since the heat approacheth (and the humidity), and Lou needs them for his conference anyway.

    - - Done on Saturday.

    - Maybe another (or a first) Bike Path ride.

    - - Nope, though there is beautiful weather for it.

    - Maybe some FFX.

    - - Nope.

    - Maybe actually start reading Diplomatic Immunity. Or finish I Dare.

    - - Nope. Decide instead to read Cassandra Claire's Draco Veritas, third in Holy Trilogy. New chapter due out within a week which will have lots of stuff revealed in it, and want to not be spoiled.

    - The Sunday Game, in which we may fight more of the Freak Legion, may find an unexpected ally in the prisoners, and maybe have Betsy's character Storm get her cohort (finally!).

    - - Done. Met Gunnar "The Grizzly," who is werebear. Pound on one more member of Freak Legion, but only defeat lackeys. Betsy approves surprise cohort, of which I cannot mention here because she reads this blog.

    - Additional Bits

    - Did the Great Underwear Search after breakfast. Lou needs 3XL boxer briefs. Search and search and drive and search, and only in last place we were going to look anyway, finds them. While driving, we chat about what happened during (as Lou calls it now) Age of Mystery in our game world. We have 9,000 (+/-) years of blank space between my game and our current games. We have no idea what happened then, and why civilization isn't more widespread in current game, with all that time. Ah, but now we have vague clue, with great reasons/rationalization! I love it when a plan comes together.

    - Also picked up Harry Potter DVD while at WalMart for GUS.


    I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to stick to the Weight Watchers diet for the month of June.

    I didn't really remember until yesterday afternoon that June started on Saturday. Oops.

    Well, I am still going to try really hard to stick to the plan. I won't post my meals and their point values here (well, not often), because for the most part, I stick to the plan for breakfast and lunch.

    It's the dinners that kill me.

    Here's my typical day'o'food:


    Large travel mug of tea - 2 points (one for each teaspoon of sugar)

    Cereal bar or Granola Bar (3 or 4 points, respectively)

    Total: 5/6 points

    Today - Tea, Granola bar = 6 points


    Diet Coke - 0 points (occasionally water, also 0 points)

    Weight Watchers/Lean Cuisine - 4-7 points, depending on the meal. Most often it's around 5 points.

    Unsweetened Applesauce or Fat-Free Vanilla or Chocolate pudding - 2 points

    Fruit - 1 or 2 points (depends on whether it's an apple or banana)

    Total: +/-8 points

    Today - Santa Fe Rice & Beans, Vanilla Pudding, Apple, Diet Coke = 8 points

    I'm also drinking water now.

    This brings me to a total of 14 points so far.

    I have a POINTS range of 22-27 (I think...I don't have my materials with me). So that leaves me 10 points for tonight (on average). I guess this means small Subway lowfat sub. No cheese (waah!), no mayo (waaah!).

    But I want to stick to it. I want to get past this frelling plateau of 175 lbs. and drop the last 10 pounds.

    If I can do it, then maybe I can get Lou to buckle down and drop the 100+ he needs to drop. Maybe.

    June 4, 2002

    WW Update

    ::thinking I need to have a category for Weight Watchers...hey, anyone want to do a mini-blog with me, support each other, keeping track of our points and such? I'll set it up...::

    A correction for yesterday. The Sante Fe Rice & Beans is 6 points. And I had tea biscuits that were a point for the amount I had.

    Dinner last night was a 6" Subway Club, no cheese, no mayo, on the roasted garlic bread. I don't know if the bread is more or not, but that should have been about 5 points. ::checks web:: Okay, it's 6 points. I also had a small bag of Lays brand potato chips, which by my calculations was 4 points. Two things of water, which are 0 points.

    Total points yesterday: 26


    Tea & Cereal bar: 5 point breakfast

    Lean Cuisine Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce (the absolute BEST "diet" meal I've eaten, ever. This is so GOOOD!), apple, diet coke, applesauce: 8 point lunch

    I'm never good with the dairy and the vegetables. I don't have enough of those. But I am staying within the points range.

    13 points so far, which leaves me with 9-14 points toward dinner. Will have to plan good meal tonight.

    UPDATE: Dinner was Three Cheese Macaroni Smart Ones (6 points), carrots (0 points), and two slices of light bread with 1 tbsp of light margarine (1 point bread, 2 points margarine), with water to drink: 9 points.

    Total: 22 points. And if I can't make it through the night without something else, cool. But if not, I have 5 points to play with.

    And tomorrow is weigh-in. I've already asked Lou if we can do Papa John's for dinner. MMmmm...Papa John's breadsticks with dipping sauce...

    Yes, I take Wednesday night off from the diet. So sue me. I need it.

    June 7, 2002

    Friday stuff

    No Friday Five this week either, neither that domain nor is responding.

    Watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone right now, taking a vacation day from work.

    Who was the idiot at Warner Brothers who decided to make two whole separate packages, one containing the widescreen edition, and one the pan-and-scan? Guess which version I picked up?

    Anyone want a pan-and-scan? I tore up the receipt just this morning, so I can't even return it.

    Weekend plans -


  • Off to sister's shop, to pick up Mom's birthday present.

  • Then to Mom's, to deliver present.

  • ATF tonight.

  • Lou to pick up Ian while I wait here with Jack.


  • Breakfast at Persy's Place (must stay within points range!).

  • Hang around, possibly playing Virtua Fighter, until the rest of the Feng Shui crew arrives.

  • Hang out in bedroom while game goes on, probably reading the rest of DV.

  • Do laundry.

  • Dinner, possibly at home, possibly out.


  • Breakast at Persy's, this time with Lou's brother and his wife.

  • Laundry that didn't get done yesterday.

  • Sunday game, finishing off (hopefully) the Freak Legion, including the return of the Ogre Magi Monk we've killed before (this is going to be bad...Lou will be using Improved Trip on each attack...(gulp!)).

  • June 10, 2002

    Your Own Survivor Insider

    I got a call today from a former co-worker, who is now living (again) in Vermont.

    He needed some help, and he knew I would be the one to help him.

    He's responsible for doing a public safety commercial for Vermont, and Kathy from Survivor 4 is going to be doing the 30 second spot for them. About how she is a survivor because she buckles up, and all that.

    However, he only watched Survivor when he worked here, and we would have Survivor Lunch on Fridays, watching the Thursday night episodes. So he has no clue anything about her or this version of the show.

    Hence, the phone call to me. He knew if anyone he knew would know anything about the current Survivor, it'd be me.

    So I gave him a basic run-down on what happened with Kathy on the show, including the peeing on the hand incident, and her son being the one to visit.

    I surely hope this helps make those 30 seconds a better spot. And he'd better mention me to her when he interviews her. Heh.

    June 19, 2002

    Vacation Day!

    I'm off to visit Lou today in New Hampshire, then we're heading up to see Jack and have dinner at a seafood place.

    Not going to have time to post much, as I'll be on the road. I am taking the camera, so if there are any good pics, once I get them developed, I'll share.

    June 20, 2002 sleepy...

    I went up to visit Lou yesterday, which involved more driving than I had really thought about.

    I am tired today. I want to go home and take a nap. But no, I have to hang out at work, watching someone install java onto an Win2k box and get it working again, to replace a box that was compromised in a new and unique way.

    My neck hurts from all the driving yesterday, or something.

    And I forgot to bring my camera. Which of course meant that while we were driving back, we saw the most beautiful, complete, double-rainbow I've ever seen. It had been raining, and was sunny, and poof, there they were when we stopped for gas.

    I'm very glad next year's conference is about 15 minutes from our house, so Lou can commute.

    *yawn* Is it time to go home yet?

    June 25, 2002

    NYC, here I come!

    I just got my MacWorld Expo registration confirmation! This means I really am going!

    Oh joy of joys! Oh frabjous day!

    Glad I already have my hotel reservations; now I just need to make train reservations. I do hope I get the expense check, so I don't have to pay everything up front. If I do, I will be Most Unhappy, but I have a feeling that's just the way it'll turn out.

    Oh yay!

    So who's in NYC that wants to meet up for dinner? I'll be there from the 16th (at some time, don't know when I'll get in) until the 19th (leaving mid-afternoon, I hope).

    June 28, 2002

    Jumping on the meme

    Julia is a fractal set.

    Julia is America's Sweetheart.

    Julia is a master chef.

    Julia received the Indiana Fair Trade Award.

    Julia is Romancing Mister Bridgerton.

    Julia is a purveyor of fine books.

    Julia is an architect whose work is on display at CalPoly, and has her own Center for the Arts.

    Julia inspires tree huggin' hippies.

    Julia is an entertaining agent.

    Julia lost his nose and had to wear a leather strap across his face for the rest of his life.

    Julia had a bit part in The Bourne Identity.

    Julia is a Secret Lover.

    and lastly...

    Julia says It's been nice. Good-bye.

    Meme for the Other Me

    Glyneth is me, many times, in many places.

    Glyneth agrees with Raecyn.

    Glyneth is a scary looking woman.

    Glyneth the swordswoman yells!

    Glyneth is rescued from a carnivorous troll, made a princess, grown up to be a charming and beautiful maiden, and gives birth to a daughter.

    Glyneth is sweet, brave, and pretty, and could be played by Anna Chlumsky, Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, or Juliette Lewis.

    Glyneth is positive, self-assertive, and independent.

    Glyneth cooks Welsh food.

    Glyneth is Mr. Blackwell misspelling Gwyneth Paltrow.

    Glyneth is Certified Staff.

    Glyneth produced a new choral work.

    Glyneth was married to Floyd Raymond.

    and lastly...

    Glyneth was adopted by mountaingem!, along with Wennonah.

    July 2, 2002

    Hot Week

    Yesterday, I wanted to work off the points I ate over the weekend, so I asked a co-worker, whom I know walks during lunch many days, if he wanted to walk.

    Yes, I know it's 90 degree heat outside.

    So he said he was going to walk with another co-worker down to see the Mayflower II, which is docked just down the street from us. Cool, I said, and tagged along. Turns out the Mayflower's going to be in town through the 4th of July.

    20 minutes of walking down to the ship, then about 20 minutes of hanging around (it cost $8 to go on board, and I had just done it last year when Lucinda & Grant & kids were visiting), and then 20 minutes back.

    I learned I do still walk too fast for most folk. I knew I walked too fast for Lou, but I also walk to fast for others. (sigh)

    Today, another co-worker wanted to head down to a clothing store downtown (she uses her credit card as therapy), so I said I'd go with her. That was about 15 minutes of walking there and back, with the rest of the time spent in the store looking at trying on clothes. And Irene taught me to say "I am Julia" in Russian (which I've promptly forgotten) and didn't say I walked too fast.

    I am so not the body-type for modern-day fashions. I am too tall, for one thing, and just haven't quite lost enough weight for me to be comfortable in close-fitting clothes.

    I tried on two shirts and (ha!) attempted to try on a pair of pants that said they were 13-14. More like kids 13-14. But nothing fit to where I'd feel comfortable wearing it.

    So I wonder where I'll walk during lunch tomorrow.

    July 6, 2002


    Right now, Lou is in the computer room, enjoying Jedi Knight II: Outcast. Finally.

    We bought the game back in April, but the video card I had in it wasn't supported. I bought one on eBay, but that didn't work at all in the machine.

    It's possible the card I bought off eBay is bad. I gave it to a friend to try in his machine, and it did the same thing. I'm going to bring it into work and put it into the new Dell desktops we just got in, to see if it works at all. If it does, I'll resell it on eBay, if not, well, that's $80 down the drain.

    I went through a period where I tried to get a new motherboard after the video card didn't work, but that was a mess as well.

    So finally, Kevin let me try his GeForce 2 MX card, and that works fine in the desktop and JKII:Outcast works fine.

    One order from PC Connection later, and the GeForce card was here, installed, and working.

    I think we're going to have to put off closing off the computer room for a while. Lou wanted to shut the door and turn off the A/C because we haven't been using it much since we both have laptops and the hub out here in the living room. But the wire to the hub runs through the open door to the computer room (I want to drill a hole above the drop ceiling, he's reluctant. Instead, he wants to file/cut a groove in the frame around the door for the wire to set into.).

    I did also offer for us to get wireless networking cards and a wireless base station, but he (and rightly so) nixed that idea. At least not yet.

    And it's nice enough today that we have the A/Cs turned off, the windows open, and the fans going.

    And I have a Beana on my lap as I type this. The temperature has definitely dropped.

    July 11, 2002

    DNS down, film at 11:00

    My cable company's DNS appears to be down. I can reach my website via IP and other places via IP, but not the usual way.

    So while I was busy today at work and didn't post, tonight I can't post until this comes back up. Well, I can post via IP, but it's annoying.


    I hit my Weight Watchers goal yesterday. In fact, I beat it by 1 pound.

    Go me!

    I am going to try to lose four more pounds, to reach my own personal goal of 164 lbs., which would be 30 lbs. since I started Weight Watchers, now 2 and a half years ago.

    I have to agree with Wendi here:

    Losing weight is a mind game. You have to win it mentally before you win it physically. If you think you 'need' something to lose weight, you've already lost. The only thing you need is less food and more movement.
    That's how I managed to lose the last few pounds I needed to hit goal. I wanted to stop paying for WW. I wanted to be able to hit my goal weight. So I ate less, and moved more (but still not enough).

    It's a mindset. Just like a lot of things in life, I realized. Put your mind to it, you can do it.

    July 15, 2002

    Getting ready to leave

    Well, I'm straightening up the office before I leave tomorrow for MacWorldExpo. Trying to get all my stuff together, since I won't be in the office tomorrow.

    Now trying to activate my new cellphone - with text messaging! - so the cleanup has halted. I really should put it on speakerphone, and probably will, but it's hard to hear with the other noises in my office.

    Anyway, I may be very sparse this week as I am away. Alex and Ian, I will email you contact info for me in NYC later.

    July 19, 2002

    It's always the last thing

    Yesterday I discovered that the Internet Cafe had Airport wireless capability. One-half-hour before I had to go meet Ian for dinner in Times Square.

    Last night, at the hotel, I discovered that those who paid for the Pro Conference (and all the other workshop ones) have a Conference Attendee Lounge wherein Airport networks are setup.

    So that's where I am this morning, on the last day of the convention, which is only a half-day anyway.


    The swag has been missing, alas. I was hoping for some good stuff, but the only thing I saw was the Microsoft booth had Silly Putty eggs on the first day, but not yesterday. I will do another sweep around the exhibit hall in a few minutes, so I can't post long.

    Next time, I will read the booklet IN ADVANCE of the convention. Sheesh.

    I'll do all the Thursday things and the Friday stuff tomorrow.

    July 21, 2002

    I'm back

    I am back. Took yesterday off to just sit and veg and relax, and today I will be catching up on email and blogs and such. Hopefully there will be more posts later.

    August 2, 2002

    Two Words

    Your home. Still Renting.

    Your car. Has A/C.

    Your job. Mostly fun.

    Your S.O. The B'aeyr.

    Your Family. Large. Loud.

    Your Friends. Wildly varied.

    The Internet. Life saver.

    Television. Life support.

    Books. Too. Many!

    Today. Ahh, Friday!

    Courtesy of Doyce.

    August 5, 2002


    I treated myself on Saturday to a trip to my sister's salon, and got all dolled up for GenCon. I got a manicure, got my toenails painted (no pedicure), and got my hair highlighted for the third time this year.

    So, wanna see the pics?

    The Hand

    The Toes

    The Hair, sorta. This doesn't really give a good look at how much lighter it's gotten, but you'd only know if you saw an older picture of me, with the darker hair.

    August 6, 2002

    Leaving on a Jet Plane, Milwaukee Bound

    I will be heading off to GenCon tomorrow, and not returning until next Monday.

    So don't expect any posts from me until late Monday night/Tuesday at the earliest. I'll catch up on all the memes and sharing and such then.

    I do still have one post in me before I go away. I just have the time to write it. It'll be long and rambling but amusing. Even though my husband thinks I'm a freak.

    The Biggest Decision of the Year

    It has become that time again.

    It's vacation time, but not just any ordinary vacation time.

    This is GenCon. This is masses of gamers, male and female alike (blessings to White Wolf for starting the increase in the female population), all descending upon Milwaukee for four days of gaming until we can't game no more.

    It is the last time I will likely be in Milwaukee as far as I can see, for after this year, GenCon leaves the state of Wisconsin, where it has resided since it started, for the fair city (and more convention-friendly, I've been told) of Indianapolis, Indiana.

    And when I got home today, after a brief journey out to weigh-in at WW, the most difficult task began.

    It is not the packing of the suitcase. It is not even the decisions on what goes and what stays; what gamebooks are needed; what dice are given the honor of sliding into the backpack. Not even whether or not to take the black notebook with the gold and silver gel pens that got such comments two years ago.

    It's in the t-shirt selection.

    Continue reading "The Biggest Decision of the Year" »

    August 13, 2002

    Returned and Recovering

    I am back, and will spend tomorrow catching up on blogs and such. We actually got back Monday afternoon, and then home actually later in the evening. Today was relaxing, moviewatching (XXX, which was fun), and game-playing (Aberrant). We may hit Spy Kids 2 tomorrow, or just spend the day at home being vegetables before going back to work on Thursday.

    I'll do a GenCon wrap-up post tomorrow too, most likely.

    August 16, 2002

    Two Words

    Local traffic: Husband's Hassle.

    Fingernails: Purple Gone.

    Cleaning day: Never Happens.

    Tongue kiss: Soft. Wet.

    Muddy feet: Happy Splashing.

    Wet clothes: Into Dryer.

    Courtesy of Doyce.

    Two Words

    07:30 am: To Work.

    12:30 pm: Lunch Time.

    05:30 pm: Post Dinner.

    10:30 pm: Husband Asleep.

    Fifteen minutes: Too Short.

    Courtesy of, this time, ***Dave, though it's Doyce's meme.

    August 17, 2002

    Apollo 13

    Lou is watching Apollo 13.

    This may not seem something to get all excited about, but it is.

    He was all set to see this movie when it was coming out in theaters. Then he realized (don't know why he didn't know it before) that it was based on a true story. And suddenly, he lost total interest in seeing the movie.

    I have tried, for years, to get him to watch it. My father worked for IBM, and worked on all the Apollo (and Mercury and Saturn, and some of Skylab) missions. He was part of the design team for one of the parts of the rockets - my mother tells me that what he worked on was that scene you always see in movies, the ring that flips off and spins around during one of the rocket separations. I was born where Space Camp is now because of that. My mother has the patches from all the missions framed...they were on the walls in our den when I was growing up.

    So you can see that this movie would be kinda neat for me to see, and take my SO along as well.

    I saw it in the theater, possibly with friends, I don't recall specifically.

    But now, tonight, bored out of his mind, nothing much on TV, I suggest watching Apollo 13, as it's showing on Encore. And he puts it on.


    I will go and finish watching it with him, turning off the computer so we can enjoy it together. Yay!

    August 21, 2002


    The backs of my thumbs down to my wrists, and my inner forearms, hurt.

    You know what sort of pain I'm talking about.

    Those of you who play volleyball, that is.

    Continue reading "Owies" »

    Two Words Again

    You cry: when upset

    You shout: when talking

    You laugh: while smiling

    You sigh: husband notices

    You smile: at him

    You grin: evil, innocent

    You frown: no biscuit!

    Courtesy of Doyce, who is struggling for a name for this thing.

    [Edited to add Lou's responses]

    You cry: hot tears

    You shout: giant words

    You laugh: golden tones

    You sigh: heavy breath

    You smile: happy light

    You grin: clever mirth

    You frown: grey faced

    August 23, 2002

    That Confused Look

    I'm wearing one of my GenCon-purchased t-shirts at work today. More specifically, this shirt.

    I pulled it out of the freshly-laundered pile this morning (as I was putting away all the other stuff), and looked at it.

    I could wear this on Sunday. Then Betsy'd get the joke, I thought to myself, no one at work is going to understand it.

    But no, the desire to wear it beat down the annoyance of people asking me what the t-shirt means.

    [I mean, not even ***Dave would get it, because he got stuck at THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE, and it doesn't look like he's going to get that far past it. Definitely not far enough to know when Miles becomes an Imperial Auditor. But I digress.]

    I had one comment this morning, and then one later this afternoon. It's too much to try to explain what this t-shirt means to those not in the know. It's much easier to explain something like my new Freedom t-shirt from Lunch Money. I can say "It's a card game, this is one of the cards from it," and they'll nod, and be fine with that.

    Then, this afternoon, someone asked to read my shirt. She just nodded when done. I told her she wouldn't get it, no one here at work would. She said she was going to try to fake it, pretend like she knew what was on my shirt.

    Ah ha! "But then," I said, "I'd know you were lying. Because if you read my shirt, and you knew the meaning behind it, you'd be saying, 'Cool!' and 'Neat!' and 'Where can I get one!' I could easily tell if someone was pretending." She agreed, and wandered off.

    [What I really want to get for my next t-shirt is a few of the ones here. Then there's always the Butterbug puppets...]

    So, I really am expecting That Confused Look when I wear this shirt, and some of my other shirts, to my workplace.

    But I long for the day, that one day, when I wear one of these shirts, and pass a co-worker in the hall, and they stop me and go "Hey!" and there is that moment of communion, that time where we realize that we're more than just co-workers, more than just employees.

    That we have a connection. That we are on the same wavelength. That we can talk about something other than how the computer isn't working, or the printer's on the fritz, or what we're having for lunch as we stand in the little kitchen, waiting for the microwave to nuke our lunches.

    We can talk about books. My kind of books.

    Then, my friends, heaven shall truly smile upon me.

    August 26, 2002

    Whale Chasing

    So, WhaleCon was Saturday. WhaleCon is when a varying number of people drive up to Concord, NH, visiting The Ghoul, aka Jack Gulick, and then a trip to Rye Harbor for the whale watch itself, followed by dinner at a family-style seafood place, Newicks.

    This is Lou and my third year, I believe, and we got to see a mother and calf Finback, which is most unusual for this time of year.

    We were closer at various points, but it was raining and windy and the boat was rocking back and forth rather a lot, so I didn't have much of an opportunity to take pictures. I was also borrowing the digital camera from work, so I had to be extra careful.

    While watching the mother and calf take their breaths and dive down for feeding, a woman on the boat near us said, "It shouldn't be called whale watching, but whale chasing," considering how much the boats had to move about to get us into position. Rather amusing, and quite true.

    I am hoping to go earlier next year, in addition to WhaleCon, so that I can try and see some Humpbacks again. They are usually gone by late August - late June/early July is a much better time to try to watch them.

    Oops, that should be chase.

    August 27, 2002

    Beginning the move

    Well, I made the first steps in the move last night.

    I have started the process of moving The Black Road's website from HostSave to Hosting Matters.

    Damn, but that control panel is easy to use!

    I will likely be moving sfad there later this year, when I can afford the package I want to get. SFAD is now hosted by DigitalSpace, and while they've been a great host, I'd like to move to a provider that can give me some things that it can't/doesn't. Like *real* mailing lists. Or real subdomains, not just redirects.

    They were great for starting out - a $3/month package is a great way to try out your own domain. I graduated up to their next level plan not long after when they had a special, and it's been doing just fine.

    But I'm heading toward needing that change. Not quite yet, but I would imagine before the end of this year, I'll make that move to join the crew at Hosting Matters.

    Home Grown Pineapple

    One of thes strangest things I've ever experienced in a workplace happened today.

    We ate a pineapple.

    This doesn't sound so strange, you say. Ah-ha! But this was no ordinary pineapple! This was a Rhode Island-grown pineapple!

    One of my co-workers has bought pineapples in the past, and has taken to planting the tops. She puts them in water to grow roots, and then into a pot when it's ready.

    She had heard it was impossible to actually get a pineapple top to grow more pineapples. It had never been done.

    Don't tell that to this one, nor her one at home!

    The pineapple top had grown to dangerous had long "leaves" and made working on her G4 Cube a little difficult at times. But some time ago, she was surprised when she came into work and sure enough, there was a little pineapple bud growing on her pineapple plant.

    It was quickly named "Abacaxi" (it means pineapple in Portuguese) and the entire Southside (a portion of my office that is not adjacent to the rest of our office, due to spacing issues) helped keep it alive when the co-worker was away.

    She was away for three days, and came in to find it had changed color. Another co-worker, originally from Hawaii, indicated it was time to cut it and eat it!

    So, that's what we did today. And of course, we couldn't have something like this without pictures! I ended up behind the camera (of course).

    Now, Abacaxi was actually rather tasty for a home-grown pineapple. Not too sweet, not too sour. Very tasty.

    She's going to be putting the top of Abacaxi into water, to see if she can grow a son/daughter of Abacaxi. I can't wait to see if it works.


    Abacaxi in Full Glory

    Cut Free

    Slicing off the sides

    Bite-sized Pieces

    August 28, 2002

    Two (words) by Four

    You're thirsty: Watermelon Gatorade

    You're hungry: Potato Chips

    You're lonely: Missing Husband

    You're pissed off: Rant Loudly

    You're restless: Itchy Feet

    September 4, 2002

    Two Words - Five

    Wedding days: Others troubles.

    Wedding cakes: Surprised staff.

    Hotel rooms: Never comfy.

    Beach dunes: Horseneck walking.

    Football games: TV off.

    Hurricanes: Nasty wind.

    Okay, for those who might want explanations of some of these answers, you can go further...

    Continue reading "Two Words - Five" »


    I am going to be away tomorrow and Friday at training for our new Netscreen firewall, so don't expect much from me during the day. Hopefully you'll all be quiet so I can have an easy time catching up on things. Heh.

    September 8, 2002


    Sorry for the vacancy lately, folks. I will do some catching up tomorrow, though!

    After the training on Friday and Saturday, I really didn't want to get near a computer. So I didn't. I finished reading the ElfQuest graphic novels (for research for something I'm going to be collaborating on with someone) that we have here (1-4), and then on Saturday I went into work with my boss for the Netscreen installation.

    With only one minor glitch, we got it to work, but it took a good portion of the day. Then it was home to nap a bit, then chat with folks after Feng Shui.

    Today Lou and I went and saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is hysterical and I highly recommend it. And then it was the Sunday game, so not a lot of time to play catch-up.

    But look for more posts tomorrow!

    September 9, 2002

    Grr. Argh. Bleah.

    Well, turns out that the firewall installation was not quite perfect.

    The Southside, a part of our office that is not directly connected to the rest of our office, comes back to our wiring closet on fiber.

    It was outside of the firewall loop, so they couldn't get anywhere, except to each other's machines. Printing was even an issue.

    A missed step, and one that's not easily fixable. We could have given them all static IPs, and the printers too, and that would have worked. They would not be going out the firewall then, though.

    Or we could take the firewall out, and wait for Brown's CIT department to come over/call and help us figure out a solution.

    We took out the firewall, and now are awaiting Brown's bitching. Here's hoping we can solve this one pretty easily.

    September 13, 2002

    Location, Location, Location

    Just call me a lemming...

    Find Your Spot

    Tells me that my ideal locations are:

    1) Lewiston, ME

    2) Carlisle, PA

    3) Harrisburg, PA

    4) Albany, NY

    5) Nashua, NH

    6) Manchester, NH

    7) Portland, ME

    8) Altoona, PA

    9) Ocala, FL

    10) Charleston, SC

    11) Long Island, NY

    12) Biloxi-Gulfport, MS

    13) Bremerton, WA

    14) Philadephia, PA

    15) Erie, PA

    16) Tallahassee, FL

    17) Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL

    18) Syracuse, NY

    19) Coral Springs, FL

    20) Buffalo, NY

    21) Reading, PA

    22) Gainesville, FL

    23) Lancaster, PA

    24) Bangor, ME

    I'm very upset that there are NO locations in Massachusetts or Rhode Island in here. And I don't think it's house costs that'd rule out my states.


    September 26, 2002

    Money and Life Stuff

    We got a letter from our landlord Tuesday that as of November 1, he's raising our rent. For more about our money issues, keep reading.

    Continue reading "Money and Life Stuff" »

    October 1, 2002

    Fantasy Novels with a Specific Theme

    Hello, folks!

    I have this obesssion soft spot, see. Though in recent years, it has faded, in chatting with a friend today it has resurfaced.

    So I will devote a page on my site at some future point, to this topic.

    I have an obsession soft spot for fantasy novels wherein people from our Earth end up in a fantasy world.

    This friend is writing a book where this is her main plot. We chatted a bit about language issues, which is her big sticking point right now. She would like to deal with the language issue, but most of the books I've read just handwave over the issue, as it's not important that the protagonist(s) speak a different language.

    So, to satisfy my craving, I now want a good, long list of fantasy (though I suppose some sf can be in there too) wherein the protagonist(s) head into an alternate world.

    The ones I know of are listed below. If you know of others, please leave them in the comment area.

    Continue reading "Fantasy Novels with a Specific Theme" »


    Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? I missed out last year, and am vaguely interested in trying this November, though I'll be traveling a significant portion of the month.


    I blame Paula.

    She asks me this morning if I'm having trouble connecting with Fire at work, and I say no. I have the occasional disconnect, and the random "low-level error" for ICQ, but reconnecting is quick and easy.

    Ever since I spoke with her this morning, AIM has been quitting out of Fire, while the other services (supposedly) stay connected. I get lots of shutting doors, and when I glance over, everyone on AIM is gone from my buddy list.

    I reconnect, and hear all those doors opening. Then a few minutes later, BAM, I'm disconnected.

    Fire has been known in the past to say it's still connected with other services, when it's actually all a lie, and I really am disconnected. (Damn, there it goes again!)

    So I'm off to download the AIM client itself (ick). And maybe a few others.

    Hmm...maybe it *is* time to look into Adium or Proteus...

    October 3, 2002

    Google is $deity

    I finagled work into buying me a wireless network card for my Windows laptop. We're a mostly-Mac network (*trying* hard to shove the Winblows boxen out the window, but they keep multiplying), and we're working on setting up a more formal Airport network, for laptops, conference rooms, etc.

    But they want it to be secure. I've hidden the network name so you have to know it ahead of time, and made a password for it.

    Now I know it's secure from the Mac side. It's very non-detectible, unless you know its name and password. But how might it look to someone warchalking?

    So, we got the network card for me to test it out with my WinXP laptop.

    Considering how long it took me to configure this thing, I think we're pretty secure! Google came to the rescue with all sorts of links on how to connect my card to an AirPort network, including getting the correct password (which Apple hashes to match the encryption standard it uses).

    And now I know for certain that, when we purchase Lou's TiBook next year, we can get an Airport base station and we both can hook up to it.

    October 25, 2002

    Busy Busy Busy

    Still working hard at work and having no time to blog, even at night. I'm just considering this an advance on NaNoWriMo.

    So I'll try to play catch-up on stuff this weekend. Until then, something to tide you over...

    Can't Sleep. Kittens will eat me.

    October 31, 2002


    No, not website reorganization.

    Lou's boss just had her position eliminated.

    The Providence Center, where he works, is undergoing an reorganization. They've done a site-wide evaluation, and even removed some administrative positions. What no one in Lou's area ever expected was that they'd let two supervisors go, and a nurse was demoted (but it will be a good move for her...less administration and more nursing), and one of his other "bosses" isn't doing case management anymore, just admin stuff.

    He called me yesterday at the end of the afternoon to tell me. He's still in shock.

    The good news is that they are going to be hiring/promoting "team heads," with job descriptions going up on Monday, and he's interested in at least looking at the description and finding out what's involved, and how much more money it'd be.

    Paula was appalled when I told her how much he was currently making. Yeah, we don't pay our mental health professionals enough. Sorta like what we pay our teachers.

    November 5, 2002

    Julia Gone

    Lou and I are heading to Manassas for a friend's wedding, and I won't be blogging until we get back. If anything interesting happens, I'll write it down and blog when I get back.

    And the weekly memes will have to wait until then.

    And I will still be working on my NaNoWriMo!

    November 10, 2002

    Oh yeah...I'm back

    Back from Manassas and the visit and the wedding, which was small but beautiful. James wrote the whole ceremony, including the vows, which were just amazing.

    I took some pictures of the foliage, since it hadn't changed as much down there as up here, and will hopefully get them developed soon. And also pics of the wedding were taken.

    And let me just say, Boomtown can be a really cool show. It's hit or miss for me, but I've just seen the second best episode. The best was the second episode, IMNSHO.

    Catching up on the memes now, will write more stuff when I'm inspired.

    Oh, and very little NaNoWriMo'ing was done, alas. Though a lot was thought out, I ended up working on some future plot lines for my ATF game. Some things need to be taken care of in the next few sessions, others are possible longer-term things.

    November 20, 2002

    All pissed off and nowhere to blow

    Don't you hate it when you get all worked up about something, and then they take away your reason for anger? Leaving you all hopped up, and nothing to do about it but take it.

    Continue reading "All pissed off and nowhere to blow" »

    November 24, 2002

    First day of TurkeyCon

    (no relation to TurkeyCon.)

    We made excellent time on the drive yesterday, with Lou driving the whole trip. His coughing is still pretty bad, so I've decided that even if he says he can drive the whole way without being tired, I won't let him drive all the way back. He is just more wiped out if he doesn't take a real break, I think.

    Today was relaxation and recovery day from the drive. Lou had difficulty sleeping with the coughing, which unfortunately translated to me nto getting a lot of sleep. We were up at 3:00, and then up again at 6:00. However, to both of our surprise, we fell back asleep and stayed asleep until 8:30.

    I put on the LotR:FotR DVD that the Gaineys' have (Luc bought the FULLSCREEN version, silly woman), while Ryan played Starcraft against Lou. Then Lou taught Bridget how to play. Later, Munchkin was played by Grant, Jack, and both kids while Lou showered to hopefully help his cough (not so much, alas). Luc worked on her lesson plans for this week.

    I learned tonight how to crimp a CAT5 cable, and found it terribly amusing that the instructions he was using were from the Scholarly Technology Group, which is at Brown, where I work. So I crimped some cable, plugged in the wireless base station (since I forgot cables! Doh!), got online, bookmarked the instructions. Now I just have to get the cable and a crimper and the ends for work and we can make our own. Whoo-hoo!

    Tomorrow is the game store run. Wednesday is Harry Potter, and Friday is Attack of the Clones in IMAX. I'm hoping to get in Spirited Away some time, but we may not get that chance. Scott Whitney also called, so we'll probably meet up with him sometime.

    I've pigged out terribly today; going to have to get that back under control tomorrow. Maybe I can schedule a grocery store run for some easy-to-munch-on veggies.

    And since we're set up to tape Buffy and Smallville at home this week, I'm missing Alias and Boomtown. *sigh* I so want TiVo/Replay TV.

    November 26, 2002

    TurkeyCon Days 2 and 3

    (not to be confused with TurkeyCon.)

    Sunday night ended with me reading the Cthulhu 419 Scam to Grant, who hadn't heard about it, and Jack, who had. That was a lot of fun, but we were up really late.

    Monday was a visit to the game stores of Foundation's Edge and Cerebral Hobbies. I got Yojimbo at the former, and a miniature at the other.

    Lunch was at a neat Indian place, where I staved off the desire for the buffet and got Chicken Jalfrezi instead. We came back home and I napped, then we ate dinner and played Gold Digger, and Lou, Jack and I lost to Bridget and Ryan respectively.

    I chatted online last night with Kate and Paula, and caught up on email. I need to find some time to write, at least a thousand words, and to post at Dreamlyrics.

    Today, we did the shopping at Sam's Club and also ate out, this time at an excellent authentic Mexican restaurant nearby. Made it home in time again for another nap, then got up and Lou was still playing Starcraft, but not against Jack now but against Ryan. The rest of us are now deciding what to do about dinner between throwing the ball for the dog and chatting.

    Tomorrow is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and other things I'm sure.

    November 28, 2002

    TurkeyCon Days 4 and 5

    (not to be confused with TurkeyCon.)

    We watched Moulin Rouge Tuesday night, which Lucinda was less than impressed with, made Bridget cry, and left me with a desire to finish up work a LiveJournal layout for someone which was based on that movie.

    Wednesday morning brought us again to seeing Moulin Rouge, and restarting it after about 20 minutes in because Ryan wanted to see it too. Bridget just wanted to watch the funny parts, but we kept the whole thing on until the end again, but both Ryan and Bridget had wandered out of the room by then. Some more grocery runs were made, and lots of StarCraft and hanging out and talking were done, then it was time for Harry Potter.

    Well, almost time. Turns out that the time had changed from the previous day, and there was no 2:30 show anymore. There was a 2:00, which we'd just missed and a 3:30. So we waited for Scott/Stormy, who was meeting us there, then headed back to the house. Not much later, we left again, and made it to the theater, got our popcorn, candy, and soda, then went in to sit.

    Smaller theater than I expected for HP&tCoS, but it was most definitely not full. Our group of 10 was probably just under half of the people there. The movie was fun (I may write a review for my pop culture review blog), but nothing to write home over. Which is sad, but here's hoping HP&tPoA will be better under a different director, even if we have to wait for 2004. But we did get to watch a lot, LOT of trailers before the movie.

    Home and dinner and more playing video games and talking. I worked on some "bad guys" for ATF, and officially gave up on writing more for NaNoWriMo. I'll keep picking at it, but I'm done. I'm going to gear up for next year.

    Today we did the usual parade watching, and then some of the Purina Dog Show afterwards. Then dinner, which was most excellent. Now we're recovering from dinner, more video games are being played, and more talking for those of us not into gaming/not having a computer handy to join in. Some roleplaying might be added in later, and Alex is due in near midnight tonight.

    Tomorrow is AotC at the IMAX, and maybe a run to the Apple Store in Durham if we can manage it. They're having a Black Friday sale, and I really don't need to be tempted, but I'd love to actually go into an Apple store.

    December 3, 2002

    Last Days of TurkeyCon

    (Not to be confused with TurkeyCon.)

    Alex was retrieved successfully from the airport, and then we all went back home and tried to collapse. I unfortunately had found my second wind, so I read for quite some time before falling asleep.

    We basically lazed about the house in the morning, and finally got together to go see AotC at the IMAX. The movie was trimmed down, most of which I only noticed after the fact (oh, this is the first time I saw Jimmy Smits, just before the end credits, sort of thing). But 30 ft. Yoda was very cool. Dinner at 35 Chinese followed (a Chinese buffet that used to be right next to where Grant worked, long ago), where much discussion of the Star Wars films followed. The adults are very much looking forward to how Lucas is going to do the next film, knowing what we know about the original trilogy.

    We did not go to the Apple Store. :(

    We totally forgot to watch the Muppet movie that was on TV on Friday night. But Grant brought his family up to a point in roleplaying where Lou could wrench them away into the scenario he had planned.

    So Rilla, Gevrok, Esteban, Cade, Leola, Miranda, and Querion rode again, with the latter four coming from Greyhawk to the world that Lou and I have designed (where Rilla and Gevrok are protecting Emperor-in-Exile Esteban in their campaign), instead of into a dreamworld (as with the past two adventures). We didn't finish - the kids were fading rapidly, so we wrapped pretty quickly. Lou has learned the secret to TurkeyCon roleplaying - design a very short scenario and have padding available, if needed.

    Oh, and I also finished rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I had started after I found it in the house on Wednesday, after watching CoS. I really wish I hadn't been aware of Sirius' situation when I read it the first time, though. My own fault.

    Saturday morning came the cartoon watching, and Bridget has gotten hooked on X-Men:Evolution, like me. Though I haven't managed to catch a lot of episodes this season, I watched this week when they got one more seal open on Apocalypse's tomb.

    Lou was going to make omelettes Saturday morning, but he started getting a cold (on top of his cough), so he was going to try it Sunday morning. Which meant that the only thing on the agenda for Saturday was another trip to a few more game stores (Hobbymasters and Games Galore), with a side-trip to WalMart for a few more things (Lucinda needed some threads for the needlepoint gift she's doing for us for our wedding/anniversary, and Lou needed more cough drops). I bought a few miniatures, a new dice bag, and a deck of cards (we don't have a complete set of regular playing cards around that I can find).

    Back home for more good food and roleplaying, which left just a little bit left to complete on Sunday. More gaming of StarCraft and various board games was done.

    Sunday came all too soon, and Lou was feeling up to omelette-making, so witih permission, he cooked up breakfast while the rest of us watched LotR:FotR SE. The additional scenes were great, and thought a great loss by some in the house (especially the Galadriel scenes).

    We finished the scenario (with much thanks to Bridget for getting us through one scene!) and had a blast. Everyone returned to their proper place, and next year, it's Grant's turn to run something for everyone instead of Lou! Rilla and Gevrok will have a blast if they get to return home to Greyhawk!

    Sunday night, Alex, Lou, Grant and myself, and later joined by Jack, sat down to play Apples to Apples. Since we started at 10:00 p.m. (and we were getting up at 5:30 a.m. to head home the next morning), it got silly very quickly. I think I kicked it into high gear by winning on the cards of "Gorgeous" and "Edgy" with my card played being --- Alan Greenspan! I was laughing so hard at just putting it down to play (we started with the regular one card version, and moved quickly to the two card variant, since I hosed them all in the first game) that I couldn't even speak OR laugh properly!

    Monday morning was far too early for those so wired (on non-caffeinated drinks, no less!) from silly play that getting started was rough. But we made it, and made it home all in one piece. AND before the snow that fell later was more than just a few swirled flakes.

    We greeted the cats, called friends and family to let them know we were back, and pretty much crashed early.

    And now, less than 365 days until next TurkeyCon!

    December 5, 2002

    Old is as old does

    I turn 35 today. I feel so old, but yet young at heart!

    And I get my favorite birthday present ever today! I get SNOW!! It started here at 11:00 a.m. and is still going strong. Squeeee!

    I love my husband. He got me a 10 gig iPod for my birthday! (and for Christmas too, partially. It's too expensive otherwise.)

    I also got the LotR:FotR SE Limited Edition set with the Argonath bookends! w00t!

    And I got two pairs of thermal pajamas (he has made a habit of giving me very nice, warm, Victoria's Secret pajamas for years, so this is just a continuation). And a cute little jester bear beanie baby named Calliope (chuckles at Doyce).

    And of course, we continued the tradition of LEGO gifts. In honor of my Harry Potter obsession, he gave me the Flying Lesson one and Dobby's Release.

    And my mom gave me the angelfood cake pan and the 3 quart saucepan I've been wanting for ages.

    Lou came up to take me out to lunch (at Fire & Ice in the Providence Place Mall). Folks from work are taking me out to lunch tomorrow.

    We didn't get quite enough snow that I could leave really early, but I'm going to be out of here by 3:30 anyway. Lou's game got cancelled for tonight (quelle surprise, with all that snow coming down and more expected), so we'll probably stay home and bundle up under the queen-sized fleece blanket we bought before TurkeyCon and watch LotR:FotR SE.

    Or Lou will play more StarCraft and I'll fiddle with my iPod.

    December 14, 2002

    Cookie Time

    I am sitting on my loveseat, listening to Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger on my iPod, surfing the web.

    Meanwhile, the sugar cookie dough I made nearly an hour ago is refrigerating in the kitchen.

    Anne is having her annual cookie party tonight, and this year she's letting us bring our own cookies. I am bringing an experiment - I'm making sugar cookies and putting cinnamon chips on top of them. We'll see how they do.

    I listened to Rio while I made the dough. This is the first real test I've been able to do with the iPod, since I don't have any sort of car adapter yet. So far, so good. Only big problem I see is the case I have doesn't have room for storing the seriously long cable I have, since the remote makes it that much longer.

    I have almost all my Christmas shopping done, and hopefully everything I ordered online will be here by the 24th. Amazon is screwing me for some reason...a batch that insists everything Usually Ships in 24 hours hasn't moved in the past four days. *sighs*

    I love making cookies. Even though I get frustrated when things don't turn out like I think they should, even when I get upset at myself for messing things up or dropping items/ is still fun for me. I have more cookies to make for the office Christmas party next Friday, but I can do some of that on Wednesday (going to see LotR:TTT, but I have the rest of the day off) and the rest on Thursday night.

    I will have to see if Lou's going to make his grandmother's cookie recipe this year or not. He did not last year, and I think his father was terribly disappointed. But they are a bit frustrating to make (like all old-fashioned recipes these days, I think), and he didn't have fun when he made them two years ago. Maybe I can try to do it.

    So, my dear readership - what's your favorite cookie type?

    Mine is the Tollhouse Chocolate Cookie recipe, but done as bars, instead of cookies. Yum.

    December 25, 2002

    Santa Baby

    Happy Christmas everyone!

    I hope Santa was good to those to whom he visits, and that everyone got what they wanted.

    Me, I got a ton of stuff that I wanted, but still no TiVo, which I was not expecting, but had hoped for. However, I did get some cash, which I might be able to throw together to get the bare-bones version, and then upgrade myself with a larger HD later. We'll see.

    Apples to Apples was my Secret Santa gift from our friends' gift exchange, and I brought it to my family Christmas party, where it was HUGE hit. So much so that Lou and I left (I was losing my voice and not feeling 100%) that I left the game there. There was 11 people playing when last I counted, with all ages, from the pre-teens to their parents. Lots of fun. Now we just need to get the expansion card sets...

    The white Christmas we were supposed to get turned out to be a wet Christmas instead. Lou's just as happy about that, though I'm disappointed. I love snow. We may still get snow overnight due to falling temperatures, but it won't be the same. Still, the winds are heavy and I won't be going to work, or to the movies, tomorrow. I think I'll save that for Friday.

    We're supposed to go to Edaville Railroad tomorrow, with dinner afterwards at Fireside, my favorite place for prime rib. But Lou's brother is illing, and his wife is feeling the beginnings of a cold and trying to stave it off, so it's possible that we may not go after all, and reschedule for a later time.

    Sleep well, everyone. Pleasant dreams.

    January 11, 2003

    Can women enjoy Lord of the Rings?

    ***Dave says it better than I can, but I'll give it a go, too. After all, I'm a woman. I mean, why should I like Lord of the Rings just as much as the next man?

    Continue reading "Can women enjoy Lord of the Rings?" »

    January 22, 2003

    Always Remember: Look under the couch

    Anne is away on vacation, and has asked Lou and I to take care of their cats, Homer and Electra, while they're away.

    No problem, we say. They leave on Sunday (Anne, the Cox truck was putting cable down your side street *and* right in front of your house! Whoo!), and we go in on Tuesday to check on the little babies.

    They have a gravity feeder and waterer, and both are very full. And Homer, the giant of a cat, comes out to greet us and get petted.

    But there's no sign of Electra. We call and call, and no response. I look in the basement, as best as I can, and still nothing.

    Finally, Lou says that he thought he saw a flash when we came in, and asks me to look under the sofa.

    While he lifts it up.

    So he proceeds to do so, and I see Electra, looking from side to side, wondering where her couch/protection/hiding place went.

    We laugh, Lou lowers the couch very carefully, and we proceed on our merry way.

    We'll be stopping by tomorrow too, to check on the kitties. And we'll be looking under the couch.

    February 9, 2003

    $3k later, no laptop on the horizon

    A little over a week ago, Lou and I went down to our friendly credit union (where his mom is on the board, heh), and asked for and received a $3k loan at 6% for two years repayment. We'll probably have it paid off by the end of this year, or close to it, but hey...

    And then after the check was deposited in our bank account and we made it back home, we ordered him the following, using my educational discount (it pays to work for educational institutions!):

    12" Powerbook, with 640mb of RAM (maxed out), 60 gig hard drive, AirPort Extreme card, and the combo CDRW/DVD drive;

    a 10 gig iPod;

    Office for X;

    Applecare Protection Plan.

    With 2-day shipping added in, the total came to $3,090.

    We had everything shipped to Jack's house in Concord, NH, to avoid the sales tax because we're not home during the day. There was a slight delay with our credit card company because of the odd shipping location, but one call to the credit card company later, and a follow-up call to Apple, and we were all set.

    Everything has now arrived at our location. Everything except his Powerbook, which takes 2-4 weeks before shipping. He debated about getting the 40 gig and getting it *NOW* (from an Apple store), but he realized he wanted as much as he could get when we could get it, so he opted to wait.

    I have the base station set up and working now, and using my work-paid-for wireless networking card, I can connect in the living room without needing cable. yay!

    However, the signal has dropped out twice tonight for no apparent reason. It's not our phone, so what worries me is it might be a neighbor's phone. Living in a house divided up into apartments may have more drawbacks to wireless than I anticipated. ::sighs::

    I brought an iBook home for Lou to load music for his iPod, and he busily ripped CDs and loaded up the iPod. So far, he's got 500+ songs.

    And in other news, I have a cold. I took some Alka-Seltzer Plus cold medicine, but we only have one packet left and I think I'll need that tomorrow morning. So now I must drink lots of fluids (water so far, but some tea in a bit, herbal) and blow my nose, when it will let me do so and it's being all frelling stuffed up.

    Oh, Friday's Farscape? Rocked. But ... (spoilers moved to extended entry)

    Continue reading "$3k later, no laptop on the horizon" »

    February 20, 2003

    Snow, we got your snow here!

    [started this yesterday, but didn't get to finish it]

    Well, that was a pleasantly long weekend.

    Brown University does not celebrate President's Day. This is unsurprising to me, as I have worked in private boarding schools for years. It is much better to give everyone three weeks at once than long weekends here and there.

    [We always get MLK Day off, though.]

    So, since by my current estimations of vacation to be used this year, I will have 8 days (I never have ANY days left) in December, I took Monday as a vacation day, especially as Lou had the day off as well.

    And of course, we get hit by the biggest storm of the millenium (so far), and Brown closes early on Monday, and then doesn't open at all on Tuesday. Lou has to head into work on Tuesday, so he shovels out some of the driveway on Tuesday morning, then asks me to do the rest.

    And of course, yesterday, after being back into work, the laptop arrives in New Hampshire and we drive up last night to collect it.

    Gah, I had more to say about the snow, but I've forgotten it all. We have a lot, some of it has melted, but most of it is still here. I'll have pictures when I've finished the roll and have it developed (still need a digital camera!).

    March 5, 2003


    I've been busy this week because we've been interviewing for a Technology Assistant. Three interviews yesterday, two tomorrow. I think we'll definitely have someone as a good candidate after tomorrow's interviews, as I'm hoping that we won't have to do any next week.

    We're lucky, because Brown currently has a hiring freeze. Since a significant portion of our money comes from federal and other grants, we are exempt from the freeze. So hopefully HR can move on their checks and balances more quickly than they might normally (checking references and all, I'd imagine) and we can have someone here by April. That'd be sweet.

    This person is 50% working with me (not for me) on help desk stuff, 25% time for HTML markup (mainly entering entries into our pseudo-CMS system for some of our websites), and 25% of time for Word document formatting, mainly for reporting.

    The thing is, I found out that someone else in the office has had their PCD (Position Content Document, basically a job description) revised to include that Word document prep/reporting. They were told not to do that, or rather, the higher-ups were told not to do that. We already had someone in that position, in our job description.

    Or rather, we were told that we should have that in our job description, and that no one else would have it in theirs. It would be our baby, our responsibility. And now it's also someone else's. I'm hoping this will be a good thing for my person, that they won't have to do a lot of report organizing (they're not actually going to writing much, just putting together stuff from other folk) and that means more time for tech help. More time for ME!

    Current Music: Uninvited from the album "City of Angels - Music From The Motion Picture" by Alanis Morissette

    March 6, 2003

    Sometimes, it pays to pay attention

    I wish I could blame it on Bush. That his speechifying was distracting me.

    But no, it was just using Dreamweaver after a long time of not-using it.

    I spent tonight (as I'd planned even before Jenn asked me to today) putting up the games we have for the The Black Road's event book. I formatted the entries to match the design I've chosen, and then, when done and all was well (it didn't take too long, since we don't have very many games), I uploaded the file.

    Or so I thought!

    In my regular FTP program, I copy the files from the left to the right, moving from local to remote. But see, I was using Dreamweaver's internal FTP, since the site was designed in it and all.

    Yep, you guessed it. The panels are reversed. So I copied the online, old book, over the new one I'd just revised.

    All changes are gone. Poof. Just like that.


    Bush is rambling on the TV in the background, warmongering. I wish I could say it was all his fault.

    But it's really not. Not for this.

    March 10, 2003

    Guardian Angel Hospital

    The following message landed in my email box this morning, courtesy of my friend Grant, aka ShadowSpawn. These are the folks we go visit every Thanksgiving.

    I wanted to blog this because of the amazing close escape dear Ruby had, but also because of Bridget's amazingly cool head for a 10-year-old. Once it was made clear what it was she needed to do.

    Just thought y'all might want to know - our dog, Ruby, got hit by a car this afternoon. I'd gone outside to pump up the tire on Bridget's bike, and Ruby was out "helping". She was not, alas, on her leash (I mean, we were only going to be out for five minutes - what could happen?)

    A guy came walking down the other side of the street with his dog. Ruby looked up, saw the dog, and ran towards it - straight into/under an oncoming car. She got hit and dragged about 30 feet down the road, trapped under the front of the vehicle. A neighbor had to bring a jack to lift the front of the car off of her for us to get her out.

    Total damage: a patch of skin on her head. Another patch and a big bruise on her side. A pressure-cut on her shoulder, from the air-dam/spoiler under the car. A left canine tooth, broken off just above the gum line. And a gross greasy patch on her fur where she rubbed up against the axle or something and got car-grease all over herself.

    That's it, folks. She's sore as hell, and has to think about it for a while before she'll climb up on her couch - but she's generally Just Fine, Thank You.

    Bridget freaked completely - until I turned to her and said, "There's no time for that right now, Ruby needs you!" At which, she shut up, took a deep breath, and went and lay down at the side of the car to talk to the dog and soothe her while we worked on getting her free. At this point, the gravest danger the dog faces is being smothered to death in oceans of Bridget-care...

    I suspect the worst damage to have come from this whole thing was to the poor guy driving the car. One of the neighboring high-school kids and his date - I suspect we ruined his evening plans. I did make a point of going to both of them and making sure they knew it was -NOT- their fault - but the guy was pretty shook, and his girlfriend was in tears. I failed to get his name, though, so I can't reassure him after our visit to the vet; I'm hoping I "see him around" at some point.

    I'm still kinda freaked. I think Bridget summed it up best, on the way to the vet's: "Ruby's guardian angel must be in Angel Hospital right now, getting fixed up for having stepped in front of that car to protect Ruby." I will confess that the idea of an Angel Hospital, with a bunch of bored angels in dirty bandages and braces, reading waaaay out-of-date Angel Magazines in the waiting room while some Angel-nurse called out "Neeeext", caused a certain amount of hilarity in the car.

    I'm tired. I need to go to bed now. It's been a hella weekend. (Did I mention I slipped on the stairs on Friday and popped my (*#^$&*%^ shoulder again? No, I didn't think so...) Just thought I should keep y'all up to date on the continuing soap-opera that is The Life of the Gaineys. Maybe we could get a time-slot on Fox; this has -got- to be better fare than some of what they're pushing this season...

    I must agree with the latter sentiment, Grant. And I'm glad everything is okay in the end.

    March 13, 2003

    Off to Virginia

    Lou and I are away this weekend, off to Alex & Emily's Wedding. We'll be back late Sunday, so don't expect any posts until Monday at the earliest.

    Have fun and stay safe!

    March 18, 2003

    I'm back, and an Open Letter

    I'm back!

    The wedding went very well. The trip down was mostly uneventful, and filled with tunes from my iPod and borrowed cassette adapter. It lasted all the way down, and was about out of battery as we hit Charlottesville.

    The weather on Saturday and Sunday was absolutely gorgeous (my heart goes out to those in Denver, who had a foot of snow or more today), and everything went just perfectly.

    As the first reading of the wedding ceremony was starting, fire engine sirens began in the distance and grew closer, which almost made the bridal party (and some of the attendees) burst out in laughter, but it faded before too long and everything kept on trucking.

    We were beat from all of that, so didn't stay too long at the reception. The food was fabulous, and the band appeared to be hopping. Alex and Emily danced quite a bit, showing off for all the rest of us. Lou wasn't interested in the dancing (it was all fast and upbeat, the best I can do is get him on the dance floor for slow songs), and Lucinda and Grant wanted to go fetch the children. So back to the hotel and we crashed.

    An early morning breakfast with the Gainey crew saw us on the road by 9:15 a.m., and we started roleplaying a new game (Lou as GM, me as player), and then listened to some more iTunes.

    Monday saw us with a day of recovery, which involved going to Ri-Ra for lunch (on St. Patrick's Day, no less) and then off to see Bringing Down the House. I took a half-hour nap before the game. Which was not the best idea at the time, but little did I know that.

    After the game, I wasn't tired. So I stayed up. Until about 3:00 a.m. Totally unable to sleep, even after I went to bed, I probably fell asleep around 4:00 a.m. And the alarm went off at 6:30. Lou also had difficulty sleeping (one of the things we did at 3:00 was change the flannel sheets off the bed), so we both decided to call in sick. I slept after calling in for another couple of hours, but was awake and still tired for the rest of today. Did NOT take a nap, and am feeling tired enough to get to bed at a decent hour tonight.

    And lastly, from, I bring you, An open letter to Ralph Nader voters. Considering I know more than a few people who voted for Nader, I thought it appropriate. And that's about all the politics I'll get into in this blog. Probably.

    March 31, 2003

    Let it snow?

    I woke up this morning to snow outside my window. After a weekend of rain, the temps dropped enough to where we had about an inch of snow on our cars and certain surfaces. The place where we park was not coated, but the walkway to get from the apartment to the "driveway" was covered in snow.

    It's still snowing now, but it's not going to accumulate much more. We're also supposed to get light snow tonight.

    Lou is displeased by the snow, but I still love it. The trees looked all frosted on the way in this morning, and it made us notice that the grass, underneath the snow "frosting," had turned green somewhere along the way.

    Had a lovely weekend. I ran my game Friday night, and tortured the players with a very trapped house. Pits, fire wards, teleport traps. Heh. Am evil.

    Saturday morning, Lou and I headed up to NH with Jack (he took the bus down on Friday night instead of driving, since he knew we'd be heading back up the next morning), and tested out his new wireless network, watched the Justice League fights WWII animated movie/episodes, and then I headed down to St. Anselm's in Manchester to watch an online friend perform in "Guys and Dolls." I met Teddy and his parents, then had dinner with them and some family friends. We had a lot of fun, and Teddy gave me a tour of the St. Anselm's campus, even though it decided it wanted to rain on us while we walked about.

    The show was excellent, and Teddy as Benny Southstreet was spot-on. It made me want to do plays and sing again, though I never did the two of them together, I was in drama and chorus in high school, and I did drama in college, too.

    It was back to Concord for the last few minutes of Saturday night, where Lou and Jack had retired after an early dinner at a family-style seafood place called Newick's (the main reason I was able to get Lou to go on this trip was a promised trip to Newick's while I went to see the play). They'd also watched Army of Darkness with the alternate ending whilst I was gone.

    We did breakfast out at a new place. There's not a lot of breakfast options in Concord, alas. But the new place had a buffet which was adequate. And the tea was good, except the waitress gave me a decaf tea bag for my second mug, which I didn't realize until too late.

    I've also joined another local RPG. Pat's Silver Age Sentinels game ended, but he's starting up a DC Heroes game. I like that system, so I just can't pass up the chance to play. But that means I now have weekly games on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays, and every other week games on Tuesdays and Fridays (the latter being the one I run), and a once-a-month game on Saturdays. Every single one, save the new Thursday game, is a flavor of d20. However, I don't know how much longer the Wheel of Time game will last (we're 11th level already, and at a certain point, we'll be too powerful for a the rest of the world to handle), and Pat's going to run Star Wars after it, which I will pass on, freeing up another day.

    And I wonder why I don't have time to write.

    April 1, 2003

    Email host advice needed

    My in-laws have finally gotten fed up with the changes in email due to cable companies changing constantly here in Massachusetts. No, Comcast hasn't said we're changing yet, but there's always a possibility.

    I can go with a number of the usual options, but they don't need web space. It's mainly for email use.

    So, does anyone have any recommendations? Note, I'm NOT looking for a webhost, but an email host. Frell, I can give them an account on my server if they want to do web stuff.

    I should add, this is because they are going to be buying their own domain in the near future, and I'm looking for a place to host it. Just in case that wasn't clear.

    April 7, 2003

    Monday Morning Draggies

    Well, it seems that I, like many folks in the blogisphere, did not plan well for Daylight Savings Time. Lou and I were up too late on Saturday night, which translated into being up too late on Sunday night, which means much tiredness this morning.

    Why can't we all be like Arizona anyway, and not change times? Is it really necessary anymore?

    I have to go with what I said to Lou this morning: The best thing about "Spring Forward" is the
    Fall Back" in October.

    April 19, 2003

    So, we bought a car this afternoon...

    So, starting this evening, my computer keeps shutting itself off, no warning. I'm getting very annoyed. Am now trying to do stuff without the power supply plugged in, and so far, so good. We'll see if it lasts. And if that's the true source of the problem or not. I'm hoping so, because it's easier to get a new power supply than to get the laptop fixed or a new laptop altogether.

    So, with regards to the subject of this post...

    This is sitting on our street right now. Yep, looks exactly like that one, too. Red, sport package with the spoilers and fog lights and everything. Let me tell you how all this started...

    I've been saying for some time that Lou needs to get a new car. I was determined that we were not going to go through ANOTHER summer with him taking the minivan because it had air conditioning, while his Dodge Shadow did not. We've put more miles on the van than we had originally intended because it's more comfortable and convenient for us to drive, even on short trips. But the summer driving was the killer, both on gas mileage and general mileage on the van. Lou thought we'd get him one before the winter, I was determined before summer.

    A couple of weeks ago, Lou's car started making a terrible noise. We brought it into Firestone, and they said it needed new shocks and struts, and a bunch of other stuff too (not all of which it really needed, to be honest), to the tune of over $1,000. Lou told them to fix the shocks/struts, and that came to $600. But he realized it was really starting to go (it is a 1993, after all), and he needed to start looking around.

    We had him sit in Jack's Toyota Prius right after Jack got it, since a hybrid would be perfect for Lou's job. But it was a little bit too tight, I thought, for him to be comfortable using daily. The Honda Civic Hybrid, however, is at least an inch larger in just about every dimension. (oh yes, four doors is a necessity for our cars now, so no Honda Insight.) Lou also started doing some comparison shopping online, at, and found that the Toyota Matrix also got pretty good gas mileage.

    This was the first weekend we've really had time to go even looking at cars since he had the repairs done. We did try to go by one dealership on Sunday, but they weren't open, much to our surprise.

    Last night, we went out to dinner, and drove by a couple of dealerships afterwards. We couldn't find the Honda one we were looking for (it was further down the street. The same dealer had a Nissan/Volvo shop that we thought was the Honda one), but we did make it to the Toyota of Dartmouth dealership just after it had closed. The gate was still open, but no one was in the showroom. We took a look at the Matrixs (Matrices?), and they had this nice red one up front as a used car, but a 2003, which was odd. We resolved to come back the next day.

    This morning, after breakfast at Persy's, we found the Honda dealership (thanks to the 'net last night, we found out that we had to go further down Rt. 6), but they had no Civic Hybrids. They did have those neat Honda Elements, but the gas mileage is nowhere near what we want/need. The salesman did say that the regular Civics had the same dimensions as the Hybrids, so he pulled one around for Lou to sit in.

    It was ... okay. Definitely bigger than the Prius, but I could tell it still wasn't quite right for him. We got the salesman's card, with his promise to call us when they had one in stock, and we trundled out to head to the Toyota dealer.

    A very nice salesman came out as we approached the Matrix we had seen last night, and he went and fetched the keys. After a false start with the wrong key on the correct tag, the right one was found and we opened it up. Lou sat in it and was much more comfortable right off the bat, I could see. It's still not perfect, but what car is going to be when you're his size? Not many, let me tell you. But the arm room was better, the leg room much better, and overall it just has much more room inside, including headroom. The salesman asked us if we wanted to go for a test drive, and after fetching a license plate and levering his overlarge body (he was probably a few inches taller than Lou, and had a few more pounds on his frame as well) very easily into the back seat, we were off.

    A quick trip around the block, with some highway driving and down the pothole-filled Rt. 6, we were back at the dealership and the salesman asked us if he should run some numbers. Lou said yes, and we went in to see what they could do for us.

    Oh, right, it's a used 2003. Should mention what was up with that. I asked as we were on the test drive, and this is what I was told. Turns out there was a nice married couple with two young kids who didn't want to get a minivan, and were doing everything they could to avoid buying one. They were able to fit the car seats in the back of the Matrix just fine, and drove it for about 3500 miles before they got the good news. The Mrs. was pregnant again. They traded up to a minivan, and the car was available for us to enjoy!

    The numbers were run, options were discussed, and while I was not smart enough to ask to wait for the financing through AAA (I really had no idea how much of a break we could get through AAA. I knew what it was when I bought my Tercel in '91, and what we got for the van in '99. I should have just said no, but I did not, and we shall pay the interest difference, alas.), we ended up driving the '03 off the lot this afternoon for just under $19,000.

    The options on the used one were: Sports/Sports Plus package (fog lights, some spoiler-type thingies), radio/CD/cassette player, a standard household type plug (so Lou could plug in his computer without needing an adapter), 4 wheel drive, cruise control, 16" alloy wheels, alarm and remote keyless entry, and of course, AC. (though air conditioning is standard on most cars these days) There may be a few other options that I'm not remembering now. The dealership even picked up the registration costs and the sales tax. Plus we can take it into the dealership twice a month to get it washed, which is pretty neat.

    I highly recommend Toyota of Dartmouth for any future car needs to my friends, btw. Just remember to get an AAA membership and use them for the loan!

    Now, we just have to find a place to which to donate the Shadow. We'll need the tax credit, since we didn't get the hybrid!

    April 29, 2003

    Gone Missing

    Well, the laptop at home has a dead fan within it, which means that it shuts down when it gets too hot.

    But that also means little blogging from home until I get it fixed. I'm going to be borrowing a laptop from work while the Toshiba is getting fixed. And little blogging from work as I'm busy busy busy while I prepare for someone to come and work at my office.

    Just in case you were wondering to whither I had gone.

    May 1, 2003

    Not so missing after all

    Well, the laptop fan decided to start working again. Not long after I posted the "I'll be gone" message, actually. That evening, I heard it start up, and it hasn't "died" since.

    I think it was because I brought a TiBook home and leaned Tallis (the laptop) up against it, and Tallis knew I was serious. Either that, or burning a CD and tilting the laptop up on its side to keep it going while it was burning fixed it somehow. I don't know.

    So I'm back in business. At least for now.

    May 9, 2003


    Gacked from someone on LiveJournal, and I couldn't resist...

    1. When did you first connect ("go online"), and how?

    Hmm...I guess that would be about 1985 or '86. On CompuServe, to find hints for playing Bard's Tale I or II. I got hooked then.

    2. What was your first communications program?

    Well, I originally went online on a Commodore 64. Some sort of terminal dial-up program. 300 baud. Whoo!

    3. When did you first chat over the internet, and how?

    There was a Bard's Tale chat with the designers of the game, on CIS. I remember being upset (and asking them!) that there weren't any female playable characters, and they said they'd fix that. They had had other complaints.

    I also chatted regularly on Gamers. Ah, for the good old days of /sen uin message...

    4. What chat type program(s) do you use now?

    I use Fire at work, Trillian at home. I'm on AIM, YM, MSN, and ICQ.

    5. Who was your first service provider?

    CompuServe. Back in the day when everything was text, and we LIKED IT THAT WAY!

    6. Did you ever use AOL?

    Yes, but only for specific purposes.

    7. Do you admit using AOL in public?

    Yes, but only if I explain the details. :) My first encounter with AOL was when someone was doing a conference/chat. I think it was Renee O'Connor. I got a free account, went, and then left the service before the first bill.

    I went back again when I had to buy AOL for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Did you know that you can't buy someone free time on AOL unless you're a member too? They have to bill your account's billing credit card. You can't just buy it as a gift. Feh. So I signed up with my AIM screen name, waited a month after charging it, and then cancelled. Whey they tried to get me to stay, I told them flat out why I had gotten the account. They didn't pressure me to stay.

    8. Who is your current ISP?

    Comcast, it appears. AT&T got bought out/merged, who in turn bought out the original MediaOne.

    9. What was the first computer that you used to access the 'net?

    See above, Commmore 64. I remember when I made MOTM (Member of the Month) and used the money saved from not being billed for the month (hourly charges!!) to buy a brand spankin' new 2400 baud modem (MAY have been a 1200, but I don't think it was). $300 or so. Ah, bliss.

    10. What computer do you use to access the 'net today?

    At work, I use a QuickSilver 933MHz PowerMac with 512mb of RAM and a SuperDrive. At home, I use my Toshiba 3005-S307, with WinXP Home (that's what it came with), the just-upgraded-to 512mb of memory, and digital internet, provided to me wirelessly by our AirPort Base Station.

    11. What was your first 'net handle?


    12. Did you use any other handles for any length of time? If so, what were they?

    Nothing else really. I was Dazzler pretty much until I left CIS finally, and then I became Glyneth. But people call me Dazz or Dazzler and I respond to it; if people call me Glyneth, I don't.

    13. What 'net handle do you normally use now?

    Glyneth for email addresses. I have another one for LJ. But I'm mostly just Julia.

    May 15, 2003

    Da Matrix

    No, not our car, but the movie. We're going to see it at 10:00 p.m. tonight.

    Which means, alas, we will miss the lunar eclipse that's going on tonight. Ah well, maybe we'll catch some of it on the way to and from the movie.

    And I'm off to The Black Road tomorrow late morning. Won't return until Sunday late afternoon. Ya'll be good whilst I'm gone, ya hear?

    May 24, 2003

    Wow. Been a while

    Woke up early today, no particular reason, alas. Decided that, since Jack is sleeping on the futon in the living room, I'd use my desktop in the computer room instead of my laptop. It's time to run some Windows updates anyway, I thought, so why not?

    I run the Windows updates in the background, and note that on my toolbar, I have a bookmark for my blog and entry into my blog. Cool. I haven't done my Weight Watchers posts for the past two days, I'll do that while I wait. So I click on the blogentry bookmark, and this is what I got.

    Wow. I guess I haven't used this computer in a while, hmm? Though it's not that difficult to guess why.

    May 30, 2003

    Well, yes, I'm still busy, why do you ask?

    I hate it when I don't have enough entries on the front page and the formatting gets all screwy. Makes me want to do a bunch of tests and memes to fill it all out.

    So, I meant to post something Wednesday about my new co-worker, but I didn't have a chance. Then I was going to do something yesterday, and didn't have the time. And now today...same thing.

    Night-time has been filled with games and time spent with the husband and chatting online for more games. I've never done a LJ RPG before...they are quite different from all other RPGs I've run into before. Much less GMage. I'm still getting used to having to run my own plots. It's not bad, just...different.

    I'm helping Lisamarie with an install of MT tomorrow. Should really confirm that with her tonight. But Lou and I are going to try to catch a flick tomorrow some time, so we need to decide what and when.

    Now, it's time for lunch.

    June 4, 2003


    It only took four days.

    Anne started out wanting to use OS9 on her computer at work, not feeling comfortable with the jump to OSX so soon after starting her new job.

    But promises of fewer crashes, cool new programs only out for OSX, and just a plain cooler system, brought her into the fold. In just four days.

    I think I'm anticipating moving the rest of the office to X sooner than I thought.

    And hey...she's even thinking of getting an iPod!

    June 11, 2003

    Quick Bits

    So, since I haven't been blogging lately, I thought I would open a small BBEdit text document at work, and write down the little things that occur to me to blog, but I don't have enough time to write a whole entry. It worked well.

    Until I somehow quit BBEdit without saving the file. *sighs*

    Frex, I want this t-shirt. So want this.

    We also had our first watermelon of the season on Sunday. Half a melon, split with the Sunday gaming crew. It was very tasty and sweet, and cheap. We'll definitely be getting some more if it stays this way.

    I've been told by some folk that all I had here was quizzes and memes. They wanted more. Well, with the way my life is going lately, quizzes and memes are all for which I seem to have time. But I did stop, in an attempt to put up other content. Didn't work, did it? Ah well.

    Okay, I think the above is all I had in my BBEdit document. Not in the same sparkling wit manner, but hey, c'est la vie.

    Oh, yes...It was a fun but odd experience, to move Anne from the "Friends" group in Fire to the "Co-Workers" group. Like I still can't believe she's really here, working with me, when I see her EVERY DAY.

    Odd spam in the webmail interface... Own your Hong Kong Fax Number

    I didn't realize I had one, never mind not actually own it!

    More later, perhaps. If I can remember to save the frelling thing.

    June 12, 2003

    Special Day(s)...

    Happy Birthday Tim!

    And Happy Anniversary to my sister and her husband, Janet and John. 21 years! Way to go!

    Oh, and probably should have dear mother turned 70 last Saturday. Happy Birthday, Mom!!

    Spammity Spam

    I just want to state, for the record, that it is surreal for me to hear that the Red Sox are playing the Cardinals, and we're still in the regular season. It's just .... wrong. At least to this not-really-a-sports-fan.

    Okay, I'm going to have to put something else up here to fill out the front page and keep the blog from messing up. Perhaps a meme...

    June 14, 2003

    Snippety Snip

    My sister runs a hair salon, and for nearly a year now, Lou and I have been going in every now and then to get our hair cut. I've been going for longer than he has, but once he discovered the pleasure of having someone else wash and brush and blow dry your hair, he was hooked.

    Jill (the sister in question) has been mentioning for a while that he could donate some of his hair to Locks of Love, a program to make wigs for children who have long-term medical hair loss. Those of you who have met Lou know that his hair has gotten pretty long in the years I've known him, and the 10-inch minimum needed for donation would still let him pull it back into a braid or tie it out of his face.

    So today, Lou decided to do it. She probably could have cut off another five inches easily and still have had it long enough to pull back. Alas, no digital camera was available, but Jill did have her T-Mobile camera phone handy, so we were able to preserve the event.

    Before and after shots.

    Alas, I am now unable to donate my own hair, as last year I got it highlighted, and will probably get it highlighted again this year. But hey, I can now say my hair is longer than Lou's, 'cause it's TRUE!

    June 17, 2003

    Chloraseptic Memories

    Was going to make this a comment on Dave's post, but decided to put it here while I eat my lunch.

    We used Chloraseptic constantly when I was in choir in high school. It went down like water...once you braced yourself for it.

    After a while, you got used to it. You wanted it. I even kept a bottle when I was out of high school, but I slowly weaned off the stuff. Haven't touched it in years.

    Now, I can't see a bottle without thinking of Mr. Crowley and the "Brisk! It's Brisk!" comments he used to make when we were forced to practice in the unheated auditorium in the middle of a New England winter.

    Ah, the good old days...

    NP: The Man Comes Around from the album "American IV: The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash

    July 1, 2003

    Power Supply!

    The power supply arrived today! Whoo! Will be charging that battery tonight! And able to respond to emails and such, too. Yay!

    July 30, 2003

    Yep, I'm back

    Am definitely back from GenCon. Fun was had, though I didn't manage to catch up with Lisamarie (totally spaced it on Sunday, and one of my seminars was longer than I had thought it was, which cut into what I thought was my free time), but I'm writing up some more details, which I will post soonest.

    I highly recommend Indianapolis as a convention city, though. The GenCon staff left a lot to be desired (the lines were huge and tres slowly moving, but I didn't have to deal with any of the, so..), but overall I loved the new venue. Can't wait to go back next year.

    August 25, 2003

    But where do we put the olives?

    Saturday night, with the cooler weather and all the ingredients purchased, I (with some able assistance from Lou), made Jenn's Chicken with Tomato and Feta, along with the Sesame Orzo with Charred Scallions.

    All in all, it was an excellent meal (though I didn't read it clearly and had only thawed two chicken breasts, but we made the sauce as is (save I had already put in half of the oregano called for, but it was still tasty), and we are planning on using the leftover sauce on some pasta later this week. The orzo, while tasty, took too many pans to prepare for such a small dish, so I will not likely be making that particular recipe again. Plus, Lou is not keen on sesame seeds.

    My only query was, well after the meal was eaten and put away, was Where did the olives go? Jenn's recipe calls for olives in the ingredient list, but nowhere in the prep.

    A bit of Googling turned up this version, which uses rosemary instead of oregano, and has the olives added in with the cheese, at the end.

    So next time (and there WILL be a next time for this), we will be better prepared to use those olives we bought.

    September 4, 2003

    Attention OSU:

    Please stop pinging my firewall at work.

    I know that these are likely MS Blaster infected machines. But you've had nearly two weeks now to stop this, and yet it continues to persist.

    So please, do something.

    Oh, and this goes for the 5 machines at Brown that are still infected and pinging me, too. Yes, I work at Brown, so yes, this is embarrassing. But not for me. We''re not infected.

    We use 90% Macs, and the few Windows machines we have we patch regularly and they're only used for specific statistical software packages.

    Thank you.

    Julia Frizzell

    September 24, 2003

    Programming Hell

    I want to know whose decision it was to put nearly all the programming I want to watch this year on the same night at the same time. Because, you know, I'll go stab them repeatedly.

    It definitely is going to give me an up on getting another ReplayTV box. Because you can do show streaming from multiple places in your house. Whooo!!

    "See, hon, we could Replay Smallville and Angel on the living room Replay, and watch them there, and then in the bedroom we can be Replaying Ed and West Wing, and then we can still watch them in the living room, whenever we have the time." (like on the other nights of the week that have sucky programming. But not Sunday. You'll not take my Alias from me!!)

    Oh yeah!

    Of course, that does mean Jake 2.0 is still out of the loop, having no other TV or cable box on which to record. Okay, that's not true. We do have another TV, on the floor of my closet. but UPN doesn't come in well without cable. Station's too far away.

    So it'll be back to VCR tapes in the bedroom for Ed and West Wing, which we'll have to try and schedule a time to watch each week. We fell away from Ed and taped but never ended up watching West Wing, but with Carol and Ed together, Lou has more incentive to watch it now! And West Wing...we'll see how well they do sans Sorkin.

    Survivor: Pearl Islands is also on the list, but will likely be VCRd in the bedroom, so that I can take the tape to work and watch it during "Survivor Lunch" on Fridays, since Anne and I will be taking our second "Writing the Romance" course at Brown on Thursdays this fall.

    Anyone else out there watching Survivor? Anyone think Rupert is Survivor's own Hagrid? :)

    October 15, 2003

    My Dock

    Ian emailed me this link, and I'd realized I'd posted it elsewhere, but not on my blog. I caught the original thread at MacSlash, and thought it was neat.

    So, here is my my Dock, on my work computer, with the application names next to it.

    If anyone wants to know more about a specific item there, just ask!

    Yes, that's a lot of items. I'm trying LaunchBar, as recommended by Jim Gaynor. I am a keyboard person, so we'll see if this becomes more habit than clicking on the Dock icon.

    And also, APOD yesterday, very pretty.

    November 1, 2003

    NaNoWriMo 2003?

    I had originally planned to do NaNoWriMo this year. I find myself with a lack of organization and a tough decision between the book I attempted to start last year, and a romance novel that's been poking at my head off and on for the past six months. Plus, since I'm taking a Writing the Romance course at Brown for the month of November, which is not helping with the "work on last year's book" thing.

    So I've made a last-minute decision. For the month of November, I am going to write every day. I may not get the 2k words a day that one needs to make the 50k words for a successful NaNoWriMo, but even if I get the three sentences, it will be writing. MMmmm....words, as they say in NaNoWriMo.

    For those of you who are writing...when are you finding the time to write? I've always found myself more creative at night, and more relaxed. But I know other writers write first thing in the morning, presumably after they've gotten ready for work and had breakfast (those who have jobs other than writing). I am by no means a morning person, but waking up at 6:45 this morning (not by choice, it was just when my brain had decided it had had enough sleep), I got to wondering if I could do it, and how I could/should alter my routine if I chose to do so.

    Thoughts/ideas/comments welcome!

    November 6, 2003

    Happy Birthday, Lou!

    Happy Birthday to my lovely and wonderful husband. You turn 34 today, and I hope this day, and the future birthdays to come, are happy and healthy.

    I love you.

    November 23, 2003

    Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

    TurkeyCon 2003

    Not to be confused with Turkeycon.

    We drove all the way down to Cary yesterday, as our original plans to stop in Charlottesville were changed as the guy we were going to pick up couldn't make it after all (yes, that link is delays have caused him to have to work this week on filming in Kitty Hawk). So we drove all the way down, as we usually do. Made excellent time. In fact, with a stop for breakfast and a stop for dinner, plus a few potty breaks along the way, we made it in 14 hours. The driving weather was perfect, and the traffic was quite good. Only a couple of slow down spots and no really stop and go traffic.

    Continue reading "Vacation's All I Ever Wanted" »

    November 29, 2003


    The alternative title for this post was going to be - It's Saturday Already???

    After being up way too late on Tuesday night (well, Wednesday morning) doing some IM roleplaying, I hightailed it offline until today. Decided I needed a real break from online if this was going to be a true vacation.

    Well that, and I worked hard to finish The Eyre Affair so that I could start Paladin of Souls. Eyre Affair was quite fun, and I'm looking forward to diving into the other two when I get home. But Paladin of Souls is just ... amazing. Ista shows once again that Lois McMaster Bujold knows what to do with women who believe themselves past their prime, on the shelf, not good for anything anymore.

    Continue reading "Ahh....relaxation" »

    December 5, 2003

    Definitely in that next age bracket...

    I fell into 36 this year. But it doesn't feel as old as I thought it would at 26, or 16.

    Like last year, I am again getting snow for my birthday, though it will arrive later this year than it did last.

    Presents have included a 3 qt. Electric Fondue Pot, The Extended Edition of The Two Towers, without the Gollum figure, alas (why didn't they do the two towers as bookends like they did the statutes???), Pirates of the Caribbean 2-disc DVD set, and Alias: Season 2 on DVD. It is a very DVD Christmas Birthday!

    Now I just have to decide where Anne is taking me to lunch!

    December 29, 2003

    Home with a cold

    I'm sitting at home, not doing the work I'd planned for today, since I woke up this morning with a cold.

    I am, however, watching Ed Wood, and marveling at Johnny Depp's performance. He is a fabulous actor.

    Of course, Martin Landau is superb too, and definitely worthy of the Oscar win.

    Hopefully, I'll feel better enough tomorrow to attempt watching Firefly, which I got (twice, actually), for Christmas.

    February 3, 2004

    Just a few notes I had time to jot down

    First things first: Yay Patriots!

    Second: The best thing about having a ReplayTV unit:

    The new "segment skip" feature.

    Originally, the box had Commercial Advance (ours still does, I understand the newer ones don't), allowing you to jump through the commercial breaks. Not perfect, as it goes by signals from the networks, and they can be inaccurate.

    In order to make themselves less available for lawsuits, they changed that in the newer boxes, and now have a "segment skip" feature. By hitting a different button on the remote, you can jump over parts of the program you're watching. Usually the same sort of thing as Commercial Advance, just not calling it that.

    However, it can also be used to skip the actual segments of the program you're watching, and view only the commercials.

    Why yes, I did tape the Superbowl on Sunday, as it was opposite our new Sunday D&D d20 game. And yes, after the game was over, I selected Play from beginning, and segment skipped all the silly football stuff, to watch the commercials.

    I missed a few, perhaps they were in the pre-game show, or just got lost in the skipping somewhere. But I did get to see my Superbowl ads.

    Favorite: The donkey wanting to be a Budweiser clydesdale, hands down.

    Other favorites: The football players singing, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, with the tag line of "Tomorrow, we'll all be undefeated again." I loved the sentiment, even though it took me until the guy wearing the St. Louis Rams shirt to realize they were football players. The Frito Lay commercial was funny if a bit dark, and the kids with the soap in their mouths was good for a laugh, though I thought it took a bit much to get to the punchline. Lou and I got some good laughs over the alien FedEx commercial. And though Lou had seen it before, I liked the IBM/Linux ad. And the Apple/Pepsi ad, though I'd seen it in advance.

    I had also set it to recording Survivor as a part of the Superbowl recording, going 80 minutes after the Superbowl's supposed end. Obviously I did not get it all.

    I was going to delete it first thing Monday morning, but Lou pleaded to keep it. As I had skipped the halftime show, I missed the whole brouhaha. I just want to delete it before we head off on our vacation.

    Third thing: Yes, we're going to Las Vegas again on vacation. Leaving this Thursday, returning next Tuesday. Going to spend Saturday night with certain people and maybe even another who might show up for a visit.

    I'm bringing the Palm and will likely be doing a travelogue like I did last time.

    Lastly: In other news, I had dinner with my first ex-sister-in-law last evening at my mother-in-law's house. Have I mentioned in this blog that my brother-in-law (that would be Lou's brother) is back with his first wife, after his second one (the one who went on the aforementioned Las Vegas trip with us before) dumped him. I did not know that she was going to be there, and it was a pleasant dinner, though I think we are all still feeling our way around this whole messy situation.

    There, Alex, is that enough blogging for you for now? My ardent readership is hopefully satisfied for a little bit.

    March 19, 2004


    My sister Janet just got hired by Brown! Congrats, Janet! Another family member in the fold!


    March 23, 2004

    Portable & NYC

    I'm off to NYC for a training at Apple next week.

    I'll be bringing an iBook from work, since my laptop is dying. Plus, it's a Windows machine. I must keep it safe from the Macheads.

    As my laptop is dying, I am in the market for a new one. But what to choose? I love my Toshiba. But I love my G5 at work, and the unix underpinnings of OS X.

    I've been thinking about another Toshiba, or maybe a little Sony Vaio (but they are much more expensive, the smaller you get). Or maybe a 12" PB, like Lou's, or maybe even a 12" G4 iBook. (no, I don't want the 15" PB, I like something small and easily portable. Which rules the 17" PB RIGHT OUT.)

    The Satellite A45 series looks nice, though the screen is still pretty large. The Portété is nice, but I don't like how the screen connects on the M100, and the R-100 is very expensive.

    Then there are the itty bitty Sony Vaios. Expensive, but tiny, and the in-stock one has pretty much all I would want.

    Oh, and as an FYI, i.Link or Firewire is a /must/ with either laptop (why those brands/models and not other, in particular).

    March 27, 2004

    Geek Cred!

    I think I need a "geek" category...

    All about the geeking today when I opened email today and found two messages from /., telling me my comment was moderated as interesting by a few people!

    Lou just didn't get it.

    And my laptop has been consigned to CompUSA (the one in North Attleboro, I won't go back to the one in Warwick for all the tea in China...and I adore tea). They say they'll give me an estimate before they start work. Here's hoping it won't be too much. 3-7 days before they tell me, I think.

    So I'm using a 12" iBook borrowed from work, for use also while I'm in NYC next week. I really like the size of this, but the screen, I'm finding, is maybe just a tad bit too small for me and daily use.

    I'm also giving Safari a week to convince me to switch from Camino. I don't think I will switch (and I do have Camino on the laptop), but we'll give it a go.

    April 14, 2004

    Spam, we get spam...

    Today, I saw in my Eudora junk mailbox, an email with the subject line of.

    Obtain degrees from Prestigious non-accredited Universities..

    I immediately transferred it to the trash, but then I went back and looked at it again.

    Prestigious non-accredited Universities

    Hmm...non-accredited. Prestigious. Somehow, I don't think these two go together. So I IMd Anne, and then went into the trash and opened up the message.

    Lo and behold, the entire subject line was this!

    Obtain degrees from Prestigious non-accredited Universities.. platonist ellsworth bootes declaratory lanka martinson peephole brew wooster dieldrin cockeye flourish un garish link woke insight amble everett wholly traverse chin curricular impend irrelevant soak tenney parke livestock

    Irrelevant soak tenney, indeed! Flourish un garish sounds like some German band.

    But we're not done yet! At the bottom of the message, past all the info on getting that prestigious non-accredited degree, there was this block of text.

    frescoes destruct incline alpheratz begrudge accelerometer quintic jittery avenue versatec mound swan cartographer abacus perspire moravia rapture institution status confirmatory aeolian disjunct seismic alienate kiss quirk prop revel elmer bellum boycott awaken dalton massive conjecture precess accompanist gangplank smash halpern hew calla pig ampex agreeable guinea eventuate frantic barre counterargument district chianti provide winnie oakwood curtail officious factory brenner ama yard lackadaisic barcelona tumbrel dickinson hock clap gusset babe egret mandamus coralline nonagenarian o'donnell satanic suppression dutch

    I say unto you...quoi??

    April 21, 2004

    Vicks Vaporub Cream

    Remember Vicks Vaporub as a kid? That horrible, menthol, smelly ointment your mom would smear on your chest when you were a kid, to help clear your stuffy nose?

    Well, now they have it in a cream version.

    We'd bought it a while ago, when Lou had a chest cold. And with my current cold (started as a sore throat on Friday, and by Sunday I was trying to not talk much because Lou said I kept "squeaking"), moving from my throat UP to my nose (aren't these things supposed to do this IN REVERSE??), I have been using the cream at night, to help me breathe a little bit.

    I must say, this stuff still works. Better than any cough drop I take, or other medicine, this cream clears up my nose (only one nostril, alas, the other was far too blocked to be even moved a little bit by the powerful menthol) within a few whiffs of its pungent aroma.

    I just have to keep Athena from licking me, since she's the one for weird tastes (like licking Blistex off my fingers). And maybe go see a doctor, if it keeps up.

    May 26, 2004

    Annoying is...

    When, after you've made two CDs because you had too much to fit on one for the Burn It Covers Edition, you realize that there is yet another song you could have put on it that was a cover that you completely forgot about.

    Not that I don't have enough covers to fill up a few more CDs if I wanted to. But this wasn't from a covers album. It was the Indigo Girls doing Dire Straits' "Romeo And Juliet," and I'd just ripped a bunch of Indigo Girls CDs after I realized I only had the one live set here at work.

    But hey, I am doing their cover of "Midnight Train to Georgia" in my CD set.

    Now, to buy more CDs at Staples so I can finish burning by Friday!

    July 5, 2004

    Missing things

    Yesterday, it was 20 years since my father died.

    And today, I found out that it will be 20 years (in November) since Lou's father had his last drink.

    There must be something significant with that, but I'm not sure what.

    August 30, 2004

    Weekend Stuff

    The GenCon stuff is coming, likely tonight. But I wanted to put up the recap of the weekend, which included Whale Watching, seafood eating, and for Lou and I, watching Hero.

    Left early on Saturday morning for the Whale Watch, out of Rye Harbor, NH. The weather was hot and humid, but once we got past the harbor, the air cooled down some and of course there was a breeze.

    Continue reading "Weekend Stuff" »

    September 23, 2004

    Getting older

    Well, today was the day I had my first boob sandwich, as a certain someone has taken to calling them. I should have had my baseline done last year, but I was a lazy sot and never got off my ass and did it. So after my OB chastised me at my annual, I resolved to do it this year.

    Considering that my annual was in February, a September exam is still within a year. Thankfully.

    And so far, no problems. Though I have until Monday to wait for the final "all clear."

    It wasn't that painful, though I'd imagine women with smaller breasts than mine are the ones who have the largest amount of pain/discomfort with the procedure.

    I do hope all my female friends are making sure to get their regular exams, doing self-exams at home, and if you're old enough, getting the yearly mammogram.

    October 19, 2004

    Sucking it up

    Hey Anne, remember when I sent that IM to you today asking who would pay $500 for a vacuum cleaner?

    Well, I guess the answer to that would be we would.

    Our second upright vacuum cleaner died right before our new chair arrived (pictures to come soon), and we went today to Best Buy to ascertain what they had.

    It was quite interesting. On the floor, they only had models that were $100 or less, or $300 or more. I left the decision up to him, but indicated I'd be happier with the "Animal" model depicted in the link above, which was $100 more than the "low end" model. Especially as it was designed for picking up animal hair. And yes, it is that awful color of lavender.

    It did a good job tonight. Lou was busy vacuuming while I was doing the dishes. Oh, our new dishwasher is coming tomorrow. That died last Tuesday, when our neighbor came up to inform us that his kitchen cabinets and countertops were being leaked upon by something...namely, said dishwasher. A repairman came out to fix it, and basically declared it old and dead, with the drain seriously leaking. Fortunately, that's a landlord issue, so he's paying for it all.

    Which also means we're at the whim of what he chooses to get us, but I'm sure we'll manage pretty well.

    Lastly, Lou and I watched Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars tonight. Both parts. I'm terribly content, which actually distresses me. I think part of me wanted there to be some cliff-hanger-y ending, so that the potential for more would be out there. But this seemed to wrap everything up very nicely, so I'm content, yet not. *sigh* I am happy and sad as well, but no spoilers.

    Now, onto the wait for the "Serenity"!!

    November 15, 2004

    In-jokes are now Exformation

    When you've been around a person, or a group of people, for a long time, you have a lot of common experiences. When retelling those stories or recalling to the person/group the events of some day, everyone develops a bit of shorthand. A "You had to be there" sort of explanation, that only makes sense to those who were there.

    For example, I can simply say "Astral Wolves" or "I am of the Dark Wood!" to my friends, and they'll know the entire context of what I'm trying to say. Or I could say "Big Damned Book of Loonies," or make a gesture with my hand passing about 6" over my head, from front to back, with a "Whoosh!" sound, and another subset of friends will smile and laugh. These, of course, are mostly gaming related anecdotes. For family, I can say to Lou "I can confirm that," or "Billy Barty," and another whole set of shared experiences are referenced.

    Why do I bring this up? Because we now have a word for this shorthand, this leaving out of the story, since it's a shared experience that doesn't need repeating. With a few simple words or gestures, we know what we're talking about.

    And that term is Exformation.

    December 9, 2004

    The Size 6 Harem

    I think, after reading this excerpt, I might want to read this book.

    Courtesy of Quinnclub's LJ.

    January 23, 2005


    You know there's a lot of snow on the ground when Brown closes. I think this is only the second time in the five+ years I've worked there (was "recognized" for my 5 years this past week, though I've not gotten my pen yet).

    Of course, it helps that the governor RI has finally declared a state of emergency, and closed all state offices and schools for tomorrow. MA (where we live) declared the state of emergency yesterday.

    So, we've got a pot roast cooking in the crock pot, and Lou's busy WoWing (that's World of Warcraft, for those who don't recognize the acronym), RotK:EE up on the docket after watching the first two episodes of Battlestar Galactica (the new series), we're bundled up, and we've got kitties to keep us/keep warm. We even have bread and milk! (It's a RI/New England thing, don't ask, but I think it goes back to the Blizzard of '78.)

    So, how y'all doing?

    June 28, 2005

    Secret fun

    So, I mailed a few things away on Friday, after holding onto them for about a month.

    They were supposed to arrive yesterday at their intended destinations. I didn't track them, and I didn't actually include a note. But I do hope they made it.

    It's hard, waiting to find out if it all came out well in the end, you know?

    About Errant Ramblings

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