Saturday, May 31, 2008

Roselena's on Passyunk Ave: their desserts are too good to be legal. :o)
Mark and I will meet Joe M. for dinner. He just got back from an extended vacation, so it will be nice to catch up with him.
Finished reading /Frankenstein/ last week. Now starting /Dracula/. Free ebooks from Project Gutenberg rock.
Holy cow. MONSOON. That T-Storm has arrived with a vengeance.
Tornado watch in the Philly region until 5 PM. Big T-storm on the way.

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Hooray, the bank returned the automated mortgage payment that they withdrew from my account in error.



Took 'em long enough. Some "ten business days" *that* turned out to be. It was more like "ten business days which all included a bunch of overtime". :oรพ

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Success! Ping.fm updated blogger, myspace, facebook, and twitter! :o)

Friday, May 30, 2008

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Chicken lunchmeat + Craisins = a great snack. Or if you're giving carbs a miss, it's a way to eat a wrap without any dough.

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Doggone it. Every time I see a "bilingual" job listing, it's never the right language. Instead of being American Sign Language, it's something else, usually Spanish (along with English, of course).



Maybe it's time I made myself TRI-lingual. If I get up to speed in Spanish, I'll be eligible for a lot of interesting-looking positions that I don't currently qualify for.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

OK. Just how foolish does a person have to be, to be days away from making a guilty plea for credit card fraud, and to STEAL ANOTHER CREDIT CARD in the meantime?

Kirsch allegedly ripped off another credit card

by brian x. mccrone / metro philadelphia

MAY 29, 2008

PHILADELPHIA. Jocelyn Kirsch, the former Drexel University student infamous n for her obsessions with stealing people’s credit cards and taking photographs in bikinis, was back in federal court yesterday for allegedly stealing another credit card while out on bail.

Kirsch, 23, allegedly stole the card in the last few weeks from an acquaintance in California, where she is living temporarily with her mother and stepfather. She was forced to fly back across the country for the hearing yesterday. Federal Judge Lynne Sitarski ordered her into 24-hour house arrest until her plea hearing next Thursday.

Kirsch is expected to plead guilty at that hearing to federal charges of identity theft in excess of $120,000, court officials said yesterday.

And while the once excessively camera-friendly college girl has allegedly held tightly to her affinity for stealing, she has definitely lost her love for the camera.

The slender, black-haired Kirsch avoided all the television crews and newspaper photographers stationed outside at the federal courthouse on Market Street.

Dressed in a baggy, gray hooded University of Pennsylvania sweatshirt and black velour pants, she was led into the courtroom in handcuffs by U.S. marshals and waited more than 30 minutes through other prisoners’ hearings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen would not release details of the most recent identity theft charge, saying only that the new theft occurred while Kirsch has been out on bail and staying with her mother in Novato, Marin County, Calif.

“She didn’t know the victim well,” Lappen said, though he wouldn’t say whether the victim was a co-worker at Starbucks or a neighbor. “I can say...Jocelyn Kirsch had allegedly stolen another credit card and made additional purchases.”



Commit the same crime you were already arrested for, while you're out on bail and awaiting sentencing. Yeah, that should convince the judge to be lenient.
Oh, my. Add one more item to the Camp Shopping List. We don't own twin-bed sheets, as we only have two double beds in the house.

We have to bring our own linens. Specifically, according to the email, "towels, wash cloth, twin sheets and pillowcase adn pillow and blanket if you want Or a sleeping bag if you prefer".

Nuts. Here I wanted to travel light, and along comes a list that includes bulky stuff (pillow and blanket -- the other stuff shouldn't be too bad) I'll need to carry. I'm re-thinking which luggage it might be best for me to use. We shall see.

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My SSP Application is filled out and emailed back to the coordinators of the Deaf-Blind Camp. I will be carpooling with one fellow volunteer on the way down, and with a different one on the way home. Lookin' good! :)



For my next task, I need to update my "interpreter" wardrobe. All sign language interpreters need to wear solid colors, as patterns are visually distracting. Then they have to choose colors that are easy on the eyes, as well as being a good contrast with their skin tone. For someone like me, that means purple, dark blue, dark green, black, brown, etc. For someone with dark skin, that would mean white, light grey, beige, or pastel colors.



Bright stuff like red, orange, day-glo colors, or shiny material are out. They're too visually distracting.



BTW, one might think, "Hello, this is a deaf-BLIND camp we're talking about. Why the emphasis on dressing in the same color schemes as one would wear when interpreting for sighted Deaf consumers?" Well, first of all, some of the deaf-blind attendees might still have enough residual vision to see signing. Wearing clothes that are a bad choice for interpreting would hamper their ability to do so, even more than it would for a person with no vision loss. Second of all, there will be sighted volunteers, both Deaf and hearing, at the camp. Wearing appropriate clothing will have mercy on THEIR eyes, as well.



I am SO looking forward to this camp! I'm even more enthused since there isn't going to be an AADB convention until 2010. ARRRGH, was I ever not happy to find THAT out. :o( Four years between AADB conventions makes for one sad Gabey. I'm glad there are other volunteer opportunities like this for me to attend between now and then.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

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I can't wait to tell Aunt Rita that Mark is now in the Knights of Columbus. My late Uncle Pat was, also. He'd have been proud. I'm sure Aunt Rita will be, too.

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Holy cow. In the second inning, the Phillies lead Colorado 7-0. Yesterday, we murdalized the same opponent 20(!!!)-5. What happened to the Rockies? I mean hey, I'm all about seeing the Phillies win, but I'm surprised at Colorado. They were the NL's rep in the World Series last fall, and now they're slumping terribly.



Oh, well, welcome to sports. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Everyone gets their share of playing both roles during the course of any given season.

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GRRR

I posted on May 1 that an erroneous automated payment went out of my bank account, for a mortgage that had been paid off about three days earlier. When I phoned the bank, they said that the money would be refunded to me within ten business days.

Fast-forward until today. I still haven't received anything from them, and it's been nearly a month. I called the bank again. I was assured that they mailed out a check on May 20, and that I should be receiving it some time this week.

On the one hand, GOOD, the money they should never have removed from my account is coming back to me. On the other hand, WHY is it legal for them to SIT ON MY FREAKING MONEY for 20 days before taking action to send it back to me? Why couldn't they just make an automated PAYMENT into my account to counteract the automated withdrawal that they took out? Heck, what happened to that "ten business days" promise, anyway? That promise turned out to be full of hot air.

If I had sat on THEIR money for 20 days, I'd have been inundated with phone calls, letters, and threats against my credit rating for being late in paying them. But apparently when THEY take their dear sweet time paying money they owe ME, that's OK.

Like I said... GRRR

The good news is, at least the darn check will be here before long, so that chapter can be closed once and for all.

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Hooray -- the contents of our over-filled external hard drive have finally finished copying to the new, much-larger external hard drive.



Now I'm doing a full backup of our computer to the new hard drive.



When I'm satisfied that everything's working just as it should, I have plans for the over-filled hard drive. I intend to clear it up and use it to back up my laptop.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

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Live and learn. Mark and I were outside all afternoon, as can be seen from the photos I posted. :o)



Before going out in the sun, I used SPF 45 sunblock, and plenty of it. I also used a misting device to keep cool while we were outside.



I have no itching. None. I can't begin to describe how amazed I am about that.



Guess what precautions I'm going to be taking at deaf-blind camp in June, to avoid having an itch-fest all week long?

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PhilaDeli closed. :o( We used to have weekly conversational-sign-language practice there.

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"Anything WAR can do

PEACE can do better"

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Across the street from Jon's Bar & Grille.

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We're having lunch at Jon's Bar & Grille. Birthplace of Larry Fine. This is our weekend to visit birthplaces of famous people, I see. ;o)

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Welcome to South Street! (Yes, the song was named after this thorofare.)

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An artist on South Street works the crowd.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Phoenix has landed!" :o)

Congrats to NASA on a successful landing. What a fascinating experience it was, listening to them read back the telemetry and watching the reactions of the people who've worked so long and hard on this project.

Now the REAL fun begins. It'll start sending back data. :o)

Watching NASA TV live online, to see the Phoenix land on Mars live. [knock wood]

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I have begun the slooooow process of copying files from the overfull external hard drive to the new, larger replacement external hard drive.



When that's complete, I'll set the backup process in Norton 360 to go to the new hard drive, instead of the old one. Then we'll be in good shape.

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WOW. I finally got aggravated enough to look up a symptom that I've had for at least 15 years, or at least that I first identified the trigger of 15 years ago. If I go out in the sun during the warm weather, whatever skin is exposed to sunlight itches like mad later in the day. If I have long pants and short sleeves, it's just the arms and hands that itch. If I have shorts on and short sleeves, the itching is in the hands, arms AND legs.

Mark and I went to a baseball game yesterday. I had long sleeves AND jeans on. I figured there'd be no problem with itching. Right? Wrong. It's three freaking AM and my HANDS itch. ARRRRGH.

I don't think I need to describe how STUPENDOUSLY annoying this is. So, since I can't sleep, I decided to check around in Google to see if there's a name for this.

Sure enough, there is. Did you know that there's an actual condition called "Sun Allergy" and it affects approximately 10-15% of the US population? Son of a gun. I've got a whole lot more company than I ever thought possible.

I think I'll need to make an appointment with the doc to discuss possible prescription remedies to relieve this, since I have been trying every OTC anti-itch solution I could get my hands on, for years, with minimal success. The things that help most are solutions I've hit on by accident, over a period of years. Rubbing down the itchy areas with an ice cube helps a lot, though sometimes it takes more than one entire ice cube before the itching goes away. Also, misting the irritated areas with cold water seems to alleviate the problem, though when I employ this solution outdoors I have to be cognizant not to mist everyone who's downwind of me at the same time.

In fact, I think I'm going to go in for the ice cube remedy right now, since that might be the only way I'm going to get enough relief to be able to go back to sleep again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Utterz.com is making me nuts. It sent double posts all day today. Fortunately, I've cleaned them all up so the blog looks all right, but still... GRRRR. I hope that Gremlin is straightened out before long. I'll be posting from the road For Real a few times in the next two months, and I really don't feel like having to clean up a bunch of duplicate posts. (Especially not from the cell phone, where viewing the lists of posts on the tiny screen can be tedious.)

Oh, well. At least I *can* post from the road. If worse comes to worst, I'll just clean up the excess posts at the end of the day.

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Wilmington wins, 6-1! :o)



Now we're playing "Follow the Long Line of Traffic" to find I-95N. It's not far.

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Not only is the guy in front of us taking copious notes, he has his own radar gun to measure the pitcher's speed. Mark thinks he's a scout. So do I.

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Mister Celery

Mister Celery is the mascot who comes out when the Blue Rocks score, and he's been getting a workout in this game. It's the 5th inning, and Wilmington leads the Lynchburg Hillcats, 6-1.



Go Blue Rocks!

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Best seats in the house for $10. Can't beat that with a stick! :o)

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Pretty reasonable! Box seats, the most expensive tickets, are $10. Reserved seats = $9, and general admission seats are $6 for adults, $4 for kids, senior citizens, and military.

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On Our Way

Heading out to see the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

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It's looking good for me to volunteer at the Deaf-Blind Camp in MD for a week in June. :o) All I need is the paperwork and a few answers about taking the train home.

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This was posted yesterday on one of the hockey boards I frequent. I have one question... WHY would a person go through the trouble of installing a FAKE seat belt in his car, instead of just wearing the REAL ONE? Now this poor guy's a Darwin Award candidate, when he might still be here if he'd just obeyed the darned seat belt laws.

Fake seat belt to fool police causes death of New Zealand driver
The Associated Press
Published: February 22, 2008

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: A New Zealand driver who used a fake car seat belt to fool police was killed when it failed him in a head-on crash, local media reported Saturday.

Ivan Segedin refused to wear a seat belt while driving and had been fined 32 times in the past five years for not wearing one, a coroner's court heard Friday.

Segedin, 39, died in a crash on July 22 last year from multiple injuries when his car crossed the road and collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle on North Island, coroner Carla na Nagara said.

"Ultimately Mr. Segedin's actions in driving without a seat belt have cost him his life in an accident that he may well have survived had he worn one," the New Plymouth Daily News quoted her saying.

Though his car was fitted with seat belts, an extra belt with a long strap had been knotted above the seat belt on the driver's side, providing a belt to simply sit over the driver's shoulder, Nagara said.

This created the illusion to a passing motorist or police officer that a seat belt was being worn when it was not.

Segedin's fatal injuries were caused when he was thrown forward on to the steering wheel in a low-impact crash. No blame or responsibility for the crash rested on the other driver, Nagara noted.

Friday, May 23, 2008

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DRAT DRAT DRAT



The freaking shower leak is back yet again. Mark tightened a valve a few days ago, and that had appeared to fix the issue. Unfortunately, it's still a problem. We're back to having a trash bag plus layers of paper towels draped on the loveseat. Mark will take a look at the plumbing in the morning.

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The extended weekend continues. After a visit to Aunt Phyllis and a trip to Best Buy for an upgrade to our hard disk drive, we had a late lunch at the carnivore's paradise known as Famous Dave's BBQ.

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Yay! I heart this bluetooth headset Mark got me. It does exactly what I need it to do -- it streams music, and transfers seamlessly between that and phone calls.



My previous headset did one or the other, but not both.

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Argh. Time to get a larger external hard drive. The one we have now is no longer large enough to do a full backup.



I see a trip to Best Buy in our immediate future, like today.



I can't believe I'm up at this unmerciful hour -- actually, I've been up since about 3:30 AM -- after the VERY long and tiring day we had yesterday. Insomnia's a pain. But at least I was up in time to see the backup process fail for lack of space.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

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We're getting ready to head home. What a great day!

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AAAAAA JOY JOY JOY!!!



The Meerkat Manor book is out!



Plus, the made-for-TV movie premieres on Sunday, and the new season of episodes begins on June 6. I'm one very happy Gabey right about now. :o)

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Hat Trick likes the Top of the World observatory on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center in Baltimore. It's 334 miles to Toronto from here.

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Oooo. Great big giant bookstore. :o) Must visit.

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LOL



Babe Ruth would greet his daughters' new boyfriends by shaking their hand, while holding a baseball bat in his other hand.



:oD

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Babe Ruth's birthplace is within walking distance of the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

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