Thursday, January 31, 2008


First off, the family vacation to Table Rock has been delayed a year because John and Noel are hoping to move this summer. Works for us because we'll put our tax return check towards some of the "interest free" things that weren't going to be if we used it for the vacation. When I was checking on some of the places we used to stay I was shocked to find them selling off the little 400 square foot cabins at one of them...for $135,000!

Dottie has cousins in Texas we haven't seen in 10 years, since Grandma Lila moved into the nuring home in Tulsa, as we would make a day trip to Dallas to see them and give Grandma a break midweek when we did our summer visits to her. Perhaps I'll stop by Marietta and Nocona on the way down or back and visit some of the family plots as well...

I haven't had a lot of time to rearrange the basement yet. Since Dottie works this weekend I figure I will work on that, and if I'm lucky by Sunday night have things to where I can get her to help me put the treadmill together when she comes home. Some of you have mentioned boredom; the ones at the Fitness Center at work were in sight of 4 monitors, each on a different channel, and you could pull the audio of your choice to your headphones. I don't plan anything that fancy, but have several unused TV's sitting down there, and dropping a cable from the coax side of my cable converter to it wouldn't take but a piece of cable and two ends. I also have an old VCR sitting idle, as well as a couple of old stereos. I have enough old movies and old cassettes running around to amuse myself for eternity...

The treadmill actually has an iPod docking station built in, but I haven't sprung for one of those...yet! I would love to have had one in the truck when I made that run to Wyoming as it's only AM-FM! Someday!

Later, as the basement clears out a bit more I'm going to add a weight bench, but for now I just need to start losing some of me again! (Besides my mind!)

Dottie's off on Friday, so hopefully I'll be visting over the weekend!

May your Friday be wonderful and your weekend warm and kind!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

...and "pffft" it was gone!

I can't figure out how I'd write the sound that Archie Campbell used to make when he sang that...

Whoopee cushion, anyone?

I ended up with 3 hours sleep before I had to get up for the party on Saturday morning. John and Noel are trying to get their house ready to move, and my brother-in-law was going to help them trim some things and make some new cabinet doors that afternoon, so my sister took Dillon for the night and we took Caleb and the birthday girl. I had planned to have uploaded a memory card from her party by now, but haven't had time, sorry!

I had an e-mail from Sears Friday night about a 3 hour sale that day, and since they changed the hours on the Fitness Center at work there is no way I can get there now, so we took the kids and went and I bought a treadmill. We came home, unloaded it, and that was it, I was done...I slept for 16 of the next 19 hours...

Sunday I got up at noon and it was 60, so while Dottie took Caleb and Talia to the nursing home to see my Mom, I returned the dolly we rented to move the treadmill and ran my truck through the car wash and cleaned it up. I had hand washed it the last warm spell a couple of weeks ago, so it came out clean.

I never got to Dottie's Malibu that time as she had it at work, and the car wash wasn't going to make it white again, so when they came home I handwashed it, changed her wiper blades and Rain-X'd both of them as it's supposed to turn back to winter in about the next 6 hours or so. Monday it was 63, right now it's 56, by noon it's supposed to be snowing and tonight it's supposed to be 11...

I got home at 4 tonight, and after starting laundry and running through the shower, I wrote a family e-mail. We had talked of trying to do a family vacation this summer with all 4 families, but not sure it's going to pan out, and I have to apply for whatever I'm going to ask for in February if I'm going to get it.

So now it's coming up on 5:30, and I need to put clothes in the dryer and wander off to bed!

One down, 4 to go...

May the week be kind!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Much too far behind...

in visiting all of you; my conscience bothers me terribly, but I can't go without sleep like I used to, so an hour a day is about all I can muster after my 10 hour work days; I hope you forgive me!

Tomorrow night I'll be trying to get immediately to bed as Talia's birthday party is at 10 on Saturday morning. Dottie is off this weekend, and since they just scheduled more work Saturdays for me I plan on enjoying every minute we are together. I haven't dared peek yet to see if we are working the same ones or not...

Hopefully the warm air "they" are saying we'll have this weekend will really get here, as I could use a thaw about now!

I used to think that I wanted to retire and go be a librarian in Alaska...not so anymore!

TGIF! May it and the weekend bring you much joy!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A real weekend!

Sometimes a small blessing becomes a huge one! That vacation day on Friday, even though Dottie was sick, along with the 3 day weekend I had finally made us both feel like we had a real weekend for the first time since before Thanksgiving.

Had a bit of a panic attack as I shopped on Saturday; Costco didn't have the "palm sized" portabella caps Laura had asked for, only some smaller "baby bellas". I bought them anyway, then when I got to Sam's they had the large ones, so the small ones and steaks became dinner when I got home and fired the grill up, though it was only in the teens. Laura's dinner on Sunday (grilled salmon and portabellas) came off well; no left overs. Saturday's leftovers were dinner on Monday night.

I posted on Sunday about having a stereo again; it's been getting a workout when I have the house to myself...right now it's Count Basie and Joe Williams from '55...a very good year!

When I was at Costco on Saturday they had a DVD I'd been waiting to find there again for over a year. In 2006, just before Christmas they had a concert DVD of Louis Armstrong from 1959. I didn't buy it because I thought I'd wait 'til the holidays and all the other shopping were over; of course, they hadn't had it again since then. Saturday it went in the cart, and I'd have skipped other things if I had to, lol!

Dottie was off yesterday. We slept late, since I had to go back to work last night, then after some "us" time, she started dinner and I put that concert in the DVD player. I didn't get to watch all of it, but what I did was a treat.

I came home after my 10 hour day without the usual tension and anxieties; I can only attribute that to the peace of a real weekend; hopefully these next 3 days go as nicely!

"America", my silent movie for the weekend was a bit of a let-down; I understand why it's seldom seen, though seeing Lionel Barrymore youthful, before the arthritis put him on crutches or in a wheelchair (Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life") was a treat.

Next up for me is "Faust", Murnau's silent from up for Dottie is "Blood Diamond" after John mails back "3:10 to Yuma" which we lent him after we watched it.

Of course, it's not like I don't have several thousand stacked up around here if one of those doesn't arrive, lol...

Off to get ready for's supposed to be 4 when I come home tonight with the wind in the 20's. Glad I'm driving something that makes heat before I get to the driveway these days! I look back at all my years of driving "junk" and wonder how I ever survived not only the driving but the repairing!

Hopefully I'll get some bloghopping done this evening when I get home and catch up with all of you! I tried last night, but my desktop decided it needed to update every program back to the Stone Age and I was lucky to get my e-mail out of it. I should really upgrade the RAM in it, but could almost buy a new tower for what that's worth...

May the week be kind!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Merrily dancing away my afternoon...

now that I've managed to re-wire things so I can fire
the "big" DVD player through Dad's stereo to play
CD's. Louis is swinging away for the first time; the
first of the two discs has the W.C. Handy tracks I
dearly love with a much better digital remastering;
they are some of the best "late" Armstrong I had ever
heard, and with this remaster they are each bringing
tears to my eyes. They have added tracks from the same
concert series to to fill it out, and I'm looking
forward to them.

The 2nd has "Fats" Waller songs in the same manner as
the Handy's I love on the first one. I've never heard
them; I'm not sure they've been released since the
original '78's.

Thank you so very very much!

Cranking it up a bit more while I head for the
shower...hope I don't break my neck dancing in the


(A copy of the "thank you" I just sent my youngest and his wife for the Louis Armstrong "All Stars" live double disc set they gave me during the holidays...)

I've vacuumed, have one shopping trip to make before I start dinner...having a GREAT weekend, I hope each of you are as well!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Things are getting better...

all the time!

I was pretty tired the other night when I wrote my last, so in my rambling I made it sound as though my Scorpio wife was having her birthday this weekend. It's Laura's birthday dinner, though her birthday isn't 'til later in the month. With the hours she works, and her last semester of school starting this next week, she wanted to do it now and I can't blame her!

Things are much brighter for me at the moment because someone cancelled a vacation day for yesterday so I "inherited" it and thus got a decent nights sleep, got to spend the day with Dottie, spent a couple of hours playing "Xenosaga 2" after she went to bed, and still got a good night's sleep.

Dottie on the other hand has managed to re-catch that cold we both spent two weeks fighting off...something to do with lack of sleep I bet, but can't convince her. So she's still asleep right now as I drink my "morning" latte.

We watched the Russell Crowe's "3:10 to Yuma" last night; very good and well done. Much better than I'd have believed from the press when it came out, and some very good features in the bonus stuff as well.

Last weekend Dottie fell asleep on one of "my" movies, the original "Topper" with Cary Grant from 1937. It wasn't that she didn't like it (it is sometimes) but just that it was way past her bedtime. Last night we picked up where she fell asleep and even though I was watching it for the 2nd time in 5 days, I still laughed as did she.

Ever since I read "The Parade's Gone By" and learned a bit about how "effects" were done before "CG" I've been amazed at how good some really were. "Topper" is a prime example!

Off to run the weekly shopping errands...

May this lovely weekend be kind to you all!


P.S. It was -2F. at 5AM this morning...very glad I was already home! :o)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Two more days...

and I get 3 off finally! That Dottie is off Friday and Tuesday this week, after her being off last weekend and me working Saturday doesn't make me the happiest camper, but at least I'll see her when we're both awake!

Got home at 4 this morning; shoveled snow 'til 5; started laundry and then played "beat the rinse cycle" because I really didn't want to be any colder than I was when I came in...

NetFlix says I'll have a new copy of "America" for the weekend (I mentioned in my last post that the one they sent last week was cracked when it arrived); Dottie already got her copy of the new "3:10 to Yuma". Laura and Bill are coming for her birthday dinner on Sunday evening, so I'll be grilling salmon and's nice to think about having time to actually do something like that!

When Dottie picked things up during the holidays the magazines I was carrying to work to read while I eat or if the line breaks down were filed away somewhere I haven't found yet, so I pulled Amy Tan's "Saving Fish from Drowning" off the shelf. I'm probably strange, but I feel very guilty if I tear a book up or get it dirty, etc., while I'm reading it. I don't dogear corners, or make little marks, or write in the margins...I just can't.

Very good read so far; a bit more than halfway through it and finding it very nice to read something longer again for the first time in a while! The only serious reading I'd done in the last year were some manga...

A bit after 6am, time to put my clothes in the dryer and get some sleep!

May the rest of the week be kind to each of you, and may the weekend bring joy and peace!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Old friends...dear friends...

Once a long time ago it seems now, I wrote a post raving about the old game shows that were running on GSN's "Black and White Overnight" slot in the wee hours. Shortly after, of course, they pulled them in favor of other things.

Two of them are finally back; "What's My Line" and "I've Got A Secret". I've caught a few episodes these last couple of weeks, and though I taped them the last time through and watched each one, it's still a treat to have them back. I wish I didn't get home an hour after they are done each night! It's no wonder that John Daly, the host of the first one, became the first announcer on the "Voice of America" radio broadcasts.

Garry Moore, the host of the second one, has to have been one of the gentlest souls to grace the airwaves. A different era, when one didn't have to be cruel or rude to "get ahead" or get the ratings...

His closing for each episode has been an inspiration to me:

"Please be kind to each other!"

Knowing that each of you that I find here will do that without exhortation from me, I have paraphrased him a bit and asked that the day, or the week, or the weekend ahead be kind to each of you.

So after my 6 day work week, and my one day off; after waking to a house full of grandkids who spent the night and watching "Evan Almighty" with them (10 thumbs up); after finding my Netflix movie ("America" from 1924) to be actually broken; after running laundry (5 loads today) and doing dishes while Dottie, Bill and Laura caught up on "Stargate: Atlantis" before we watched the pilot movie for "Heroes"; I shall ask once again, before I wander off to the shower, and then to bed to begin the week anew tomorrow, that...

May the week be kind to each of you!

I am grateful to each of you for your examples in how to live and survive this world; the words of wisdom and kindness that always find their way here; for showing me so many ways to become someone better in this life! Thank you each for being you!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"I fall in love too easily...

I fall in love too hard!"

Another old song title; another exactly perfect as well!

Early 1980's, I had been married about 5 years, had two small boys at home, was either working overtime or laid off; feast or famine as it would be until almost the the turn of the millenium.

There was a little theatre that ran things some might consider obscure and I caught up with one one weekend, having read something about it in a newspaper. I hadn't planned to fall in love, but I did. His name was Harold...

He was a country boy, dressed a bit plainly, a bit wide eyed, yet his enthusiasm and sense of humor made him very special. That he had a couple of fingers missing from an accident didn't bother me even though he worked to keep it hidden from everyone.

The theatre was called "Matinee at the Bijou" and it was a PBS show that specialized in silent film. My ticket was the first VCR we had. The following weeks introduced me to Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks (Senior), Lillian and Dorothy Gish, along with Harold Lloyd (pictured above from "Safety Last").

I started reading as well, and kept seeing this name "Kevin Brownlow" pop up in credits. I found a book by him "The Parade's Gone By" and read even more about this marvelous medium. I started searching out titles I hadn't seen, and found the two top movies on my all time list, though I couldn't rate them as one and two, they are co-equals.

One is "Intolerance" from 1916; the other is "Napoleon" from 1927. "Napoleon" was directed by Abel Gance, and developed techniques that have only been caught up to in the last 20 years or so. Restored by Kevin Brownlow, and scored by Carmine Coppola (Francis Ford's father) it was theatrically released here in the late 80's. I have watched it a dozen times now, and still find it as stunning as I did the first.

Abel Gance directed many other movies, though they don't run on TCM all that often. One of our local "arthouses" used to have a rental desk, but that was closed when they moved to a new theatre, and I have a long list of things I would love to watch, but would like to watch before I buy.

So when John and Noel gave us a two months NetFlix membership for Christmas, the first thing that went on my list was Abel Gance's "Lucrezia Borgia" from 1935. After Dottie went to bed on Saturday night, I had only planned on watching the two short silent movies that were on it. Then I made the mistake of deciding just to peek at the feature to see how good the print was...

I couldn't turn it off.

I will be looking for more of Mr. Gance...

I'd have done NetFlix long ago if I had a card that didn't have a balance on it so I wasn't paying interest on rentals...somehow that just doesn't seem "right".

I am impressed with their catalog and service! I have about a dozen silent movies in queue right now, lol.

Thus my reference to "cinemaphilia" in my last post...

May the rest of the week be kind!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

"What a Difference...

a day makes"!

Somehow I can hear Etta James singing that in the back of my empty head...

Yesterday I awoke with thoughts of pulling my teeth with Channel-lock pliers to get rid of the pain the sinus pressure was causing in them. After a latte and a shower, I went to the clinic (yes, I have health care, but my office visits are over $100, unpaid, and I can go see a nurse practioner at Walgreens for $59) and got an antibiotic prescription. I got it filled, took my first dose, and got home just before Dottie got off work. I had been using Afrin nasal spray for 3 days to try and "dry things up" enough to survive work and relieve the pressure some, and rotating doses of Tylenol, ibuprofen and aspirin, 4 at a time, to try and kill the pain.

I quit using the nasal spray last night, and after it wore off switched to a Mucinex with a sinus med in it. Today I awoke stuffy, and with a mild headache, but the pressure is gone, and though my teeth feel "loose" the pain is gone.

Through the years people have asked "Where would you go it you had a time machine"? Since I got all these crowns and this porcelain bridge, my answer without hestitation is "No where without taking antibiotics with me"!

Last night when I got home John called; his dishwasher, part of their Christmas from last year, had quit. It didn't seem to be getting water. When he tried to use the shutoff valve we had put in, he found a small leak in it's base (there was a concoction of soft copper and fittings I didn't really like at the time, but it was the quickest way to do it, and I had hoped they'd be moved before it came back to haunt me). So I saved the video game I started over the holidays (Xenosaga 2, one of last years presents) and dosed up the Afrin again, then figured out Dottie would be home in a minute or two. I called her, she was a block away, so I waited for her and we both went to John's.

A survey of things; a trip home for tools and PVC pipe, a trip to Lowe's for fittings, back to John's so we could make a first attempt; back to my house for Dad's pipe cutter when John blew mine up; finally at 9 we had water to the dishwasher again with no leaks.

When we put it in, the only supply line we could get had a check valve in it in case the line should ever rupture. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Hooked it up, and didn't have water. Popped the dishwasher end off, no water. Took it off, turned it around and I could blow through it. Put it on backwards and squirted water in the sink. Hooked it up and it worked fine!

That was a year and a couple of weeks ago. When John took the same line off the dishwasher this time, he couldn't get water through it. He took it off and could blow through it both ways. He turned it around, still no water. That was when he discovered the leak and called me...

So we replaced it with a line with no check valve, but sadly, the dishwasher still won't fill. When we gave up and came home at 10 last night, he was digging for the book and Noel was digging for the receipt as we bought it with a warranty.

Sadly, I hadn't eaten before I went to the clinic. When I got home at 5 I ate a half a peanut butter sandwich because I was planning on feeding Dottie and I after she got out of the shower.

I hadn't counted on her not getting her shower until 10:15!

Dinner was at 10:40. She still had to wash her uniform...

When the movie "Waitress" ran at my local "arthouse" I really wanted to see it. I was working a lot of overtime and Saturdays at the time and didn't get a chance to.

There have been arthouse movies I wanted to see that Dottie didn't, and Noel and I have gone. She wanted to go to this one as well; when it came out on DVD she bought it and lent it to me during the holidays.

So I popped it in the DVD player, and was very glad I did!

Adrienne Shelly wrote and directed this wonderful piece of filmwork, starring Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion and others you will recognize. A brilliant piece of casting is someone I hadn't seen in a long while, Andy Griffith, who proves he "still has chops".

You might have caught a story in the news about Adrienne Shelly, as she was murdered as she was completing work on this lovely film.

My poor wife went to bed at 1:30 and had to be up at 7 to get ready for work...last week she did the same thing refusing to go to bed until we finished all 6 hours of "Tin Man".

This has already gotten too long; my next post I will venture into "cinemaphilia"...

It's 60 outside, I have a truck covered in road salt and scum; if the garden hose isn't frozen still, I'm going to try and clean it up before dark...

May the Monday and the rest of the week be kind to each of you!


BTW, since I was a bit vague below, the lovely mantle is at my sister's house in Lawrence, where most of the "family" parties are since it's about 4 times the size of my little house, and has more than one bathroom, lol! The parties that aren't there are at John and Noel's because it's larger as well. The only one we have here is Independence Day, because fireworks are still legal here...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Go, Granny, Go!

This is the photo I referred to in the post below...

The bug everyone was passing around through the holidays has finally come home to roost; Dottie stayed home sick today went to get some antibiotics. I'm fighting it and plan to do the same on Saturday as it's already trying to settle into my teeth.

Her regular day off is tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be around tomorrow night when I get home...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The grind...

begins anew in a few hours...though they said we'd only be working 8 hours these next 3 days, I'll believe it when I'm walking out the door! Next week we return to the long hours and get to work Saturday as well; of course, Dottie works this Saturday, so once again we are on opposite weekends...grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Friday we slipped out after tallying lists one last time, and saw "The Golden Compass" and the 2nd "National Treasure" movie; 4 thumbs up for them. Then we came home and while Dottie gathered things for Saturday's trip to my sister's I fixed dinner and we watched "The Lady Eve" with Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck from a Preston Sturges box set Dottie bought me last year. Not quite "Sullivan's Travels" but still an outstanding movie. If you only remember Stanwyck from "The Big Valley" checking out that one or "Ball of Fire" should be a treat!.

The family Christmas at my sister's went well. We were all still in recuperation mode after the trip to Wyoming the weekend before. Dottie and I picked up Mom from the nursing home and took her, but she decided that she didn't want to go twice in 3 days and backed out of the birthday/New Year's party for Monday. Since she's over 250now and Dottie has to take her each time she needs to go, it makes life a lot more enjoyable for her!

My desktop "has issues" this afternoon, or I would have included one photo from that first Mom in her wheelchair playing "Guitar Hero"!

We kept the 3 grandkids overnight on Sunday. My last birthday gift from Dottie was a copy of "Tomb Raider: Anniversary" for PS2 (we gave a copy to my younger nephew for Christmas and after seeing it, since I don't usually play "action" games, we thought it might be one I actually could). The grandkids had taken turns on it the night before at Cindy's, and spent their time taking turns on it, watching Tom & Jerry cartoons, and playing their new Nintendo DS games while rotating throught the kitchen to help Dottie make a birthday cake and two toll pan cookies for the party on Monday.

Among my birthday gifts were an Armstrong double CD and a book by the historian who was called to catalog Armstrong's house after his wife's death and it's being given to a university. I remember a "Fresh Air" interview about it, and teared up a bit when I opened it. Cindy was a bit disappointed as the gift she was really looking forward to giving Dottie was delayed by the lovely weather we've all been having somewhere in it's travels. She found an original postcard of the Fairbanks scale works in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and bought it to frame for her.

I would have already listened to those discs, but when we replaced our DVD player in the living room last month it had one less set of jacks than the old one. I went to Radio Shack and bought a pair of "Y" cords, knowing I had old ones around here somewhere I can't find. When Dottie took them out of her purse and went to work the next morning it seems Frankie thought the gold tips were cute and absconded with one of them. I'm almost to the point of buying another after having looked high and low for it...I knew having a cat would be interesting, but there are some things I hadn't counted on!

Since Dottie had to work yesterday, on our trip home I left the radio off and she dozed a bit, or I'd have had one on in the car that night...I don't know how she goes to work on 5 and 6 hours sleep day after day; I know I can't do it!

Last night I had dinner ready when she got home and we watched "Tin Man", the Sci-Fi miniseries that ran last month. Quite a different take on Oz...though it won't replace the Judy Garland version, it's a treat in it's own right.

So, now, it's time to make another latte and start gathering things to return to "the grind"...

I hope the holidays brought some joy to each of you somewhere along the way, and that the New Year does the same! May the rest of the week be kind...


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Very Happy New Year!

To all! May 2008 bring you much happiness and dreams come true!

Very late, very tired; more later!