Sunday, June 29, 2008

This morning in church, my prayer was simple. "Lord, keep my anger in check." Because there is no doubt that I am going to be angry (again) about what those greedy corporate scum are about to do to the Spectrum.

This time, it's bound to be even worse, because where January's article was at least partly speculation, this time it's apparently all over but the paperwork.

So you can all expect me to loathe the decision, which I do. Expect me to loathe the project that's going to cost us the Spectrum AND our minor-league hockey team, because I *surely* do.

And expect me to wish on said project every imaginable form of red tape, cost overruns, delays, missed deadlines, labor issues, and the sort of luck that accompanies a person who has simultaneously walked under a ladder, broken a mirror and spilled salt. Because frankly, that's precisely what I wish on this project that these greedy corporate vermin are shoving down our throats.

It's just what we need, in the midst of a recession and rising unemployment, while gas prices are at record highs and expected to go substantially higher: a LUXURY hotel surrounded by boutique chain stores and chain restaurants. Yeah, right. Give the area a hotel nobody can afford to stay in, surrounded by expensive stores no one can afford to shop in, and chain restaurants that they can eat in anywhere, any time. I'm sure people will fall all over each other for the chance to pay a $3 bridge toll (from NJ) and use gas to drive down here to spend a ton of money in expensive stores, when they could simply shop closer to home and save money and gas.

BTW, we can't even fill the bleeping hotel that we have in the area NOW, the one at 10th and Packer. We need another hotel, an expensive one yet, WHY? We have multiple shopping centers in South Philly already: Quartermaster Plaza and the group of stores immediately to its north (not sure of the name of that particular shopping area, if it even has one), Whitman Plaza, Snyder Plaza, and the bunch of chain stores and restaurants opening along the waterfront. We already have a zillion-screen jumbo theater at the Riverview, surrounded by a bunch of locations that SHOULD have restaurants and arcades in them... but most of those can't keep a tenant to save their lives. All of these centers of commerce have some prime empty spaces in them. We need another shopping center down here, one with exclusive stores yet, WHY?

Why is it that every average-joe and average-jane that I've spoken to about this Philly Live! travesty thinks it's going to go bust, but the zillionaires all want it? Oh, that's right, because the zillionaires are blinded by dollar signs and think they're about to fill their pockets with our money. They don't live here, don't know what it's LIKE to live here, don't know the people who live here, and can't imagine why we wouldn't be interested in their shiny new brainchild.

I'm sorry, but you can gild and polish BS all you want -- under the veneer, it's still going to be BS when all is said and done.

A hint to regular readers, particularly the ones I see face-to-face... any time there's a post labeled "Fargin' Bastages", if it contains a link, click it and read the article. The loss of the Spectrum and the Phantoms is an indescribably sore subject with me, and if I'm using a link to get my point across, it's because I can't abide writing directly about the topic any more than is absolutely necessary. But given the level of morale-buster that this is, on a personal level, there will be no frivolous posts, nor parts of posts, with this label.

I'm going to hit "post" and go back to feeling sick now. The more the reality of yesterday's article sinks in, that says there's no turning back this time, the worse it feels.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Never in my life have I wished the mal occhio on someone else's project.

This article details the one thing that could break that 44-year streak.

Greedy, maternal-fornicating bunch of male offspring of female dogs.

Friday, June 27, 2008

30 years!

Congrats to Mark for marking the 30-year service anniversary with his company today. :o)
My goal, and I did have one, was to help out at a neighborhood store this afternoon, in the hopes of maybe landing a part-time position there.Unfortunately, Joe and I planned to be there at 2:30, but the proprietor isn't on the premises at this time. More reason why the store needs a part-time cashier, no? ;o)Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Niece

Thanks to being married to Mark, I have four nephews and two nieces.I found out tonight that the elder of my two nieces is engaged to be married. I'm pleased to hear it, as I think the young man she's been dating is a really nice guy. And I KNOW that she's a nice young lady. Heck, any time two nice people find each other, I'm all for seeing them head up the aisle. Any time that happens, score one for the good people!They are not having a reception, nor a religious ceremony. They plan to be married by a justice of the pease, as neither of them is religious. They also are hoping to purchase a house that's close to my in-laws (her grandparents), which is great. Right now, she's living in the apartment on the second floor of their house. If they buy the house in question, they'll be around the corner.Mark and I are heading up to see his parents soon. Normally, his sister (the mother of the soon-to-be-bride), who lives a few minutes away, stops by every couple of days to check on them. But she'll be away for a few days, so we're going to head up there in her absence, with some food in tow.I'm going to talk to Mark about finding some ways to help his parents get OUT of the house more often. They do have the wheelchair lift now, which is good, but I'd like to see them use it and go places now and then. Heck, even if it's just to church or to the library (both within a block or two of the house), that's SOMEthing. Or if they're really feeling adventurous, they have a big mall that's so close by, it's visible from their front porch. Anything that will help stave off cabin fever will be good.
Know what drives me nuts? Clicking on what looks like a news article, only to discover that it's a video instead.

I wish these things would offer a printed transcript of their video. I read faster than many people speak, plus I can skim through print content in a way that I can't do with a video. Heck, I can also PRINT print content if it contains information that I'd like to keep handy.

I guess I don't like being forced into watching videos to get my information because then the makers of the video are controlling how much time I spend on absorbing their information, and where I access it, instead of me. I want the option to read at my leisure, or quickly, or to print the info and read it when I'm away from the computer and/or share it with others.

For that matter, it's the same with audio podcasts. if I ran the world, there would be text transcripts of all of those available online, as well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

For once, my insomnia has proven itself useful. I was awake around 4 AM, just in time to see a power failure start.

I called the electric company about it. Good thing their number is in my cell phone contacts, as I really don't feel up to rummaging around for the phone book at this hour.

Per PECO's automated troubleshooting system, the estimated time of repair is 6:25 AM. Phooey. No A/C and no fans = it's going to get warm in here by then.

I wonder how many people will be oversleeping this morning, due to having deactivated alarm clocks?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ROTFLOL!!!! Too freaking funny! Job posting on Craigslist: Nemesis required. 6-month project with possibility to extend



Nemesis required. 6-month project with possibilty to extend


Date: 2008-05-07, 2:49PM PDT


I've been trying to think of ways to spice up my life. I'm 35 years old, happily married with two kids and I have a good job in insurance. But somethings missing. I feel like I'm old before my time. I need to inject some excitement into my daily routine through my arm before its too late. I need a challenge, something to get the adrenaline pumping again. An addiction would be nice, but, in short, I need a nemesis. I'm willing to pay $350 up front for you services as an arch enemy over the next six months. Nothing crazy. Steal my parking space, knock my coffee over, trip me when Im running to catch the BART and occasionaly whisper in my ear, "Ahha, we meet again". That kind of thing. Just keep me on my toes. Complacency will be the death of me. You need to have an evil streak and be blessed with innate guile and cunning. You should also be adept at inconsicuous pursuit. Evil laugh preferred. Send me a photo and a brief explanation why you would be a good nemesis.

British accent preferred.

  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: $350 up front
Update: I got a nice note back from the newsradio station's webmaster.

Dear Donna:

You are right on both counts. I think our morning web editor needs stronger coffee. Thanks for pointing out those errors, and thanks for being a dedicated [newsradio station's homepage].com user!

Regards,
[webmaster's name]
webmaster
[newsradio station's homepage].com


They also corrected the two errors.

Score one for precision! :o)
For crying out loud, doesn't ANYONE proofread anymore?

Last night, I was reading an article on the local newsradio station's website, and there was a sentence describing how firefighters extinguished "a small fire in it's early stages." If there's one thing that drives me up a wall, it's seeing people confuse its and it's, and here are professional writers making the error. ARRRRGH!

The next paragraph of that article said that police were on the site to check on the well-being of the resident of that location. The parents had called them out of concern for their son, "who they hadn't heard from in several days". I can't remember the precise rule here, but my gut instinct is that they should have used whom in that sentence. Therefore, I did the only thing I could do. I politely emailed them about the typoes. Some time later today, I'll go check if they've fixed the error(s).

Anyway, fast-forward to this morning, when I got the latest email from buy.com detailing what's currently on sale. Both the email AND the website describe a "Signing Elvis with microphone"

SIGNing Elvis? What the Sam Hill? Elvis wasn't a sign-language interpreter, as far as I know. I sorta-kinda think they meant SINGING Elvis, don't you?

It's bad enough to read online forums where people post opinions that are a grammatical train-wreck, but at least under those circumstances, the people aren't being PAID to write the content. I can deal with that. As the poster says, "Pobody's Nerfect".

However, it's a major pet peeve of mine that PROFESSIONALS, who are being PAID to enter mistake-free content for a website, make grammar or spelling errors. Take some darn time to READ what you've written, for goodness sakes! Relying on the spellcheck is useless in both of the above instances, because the errors that were made actually ARE valid words. They're just words that are not valid in the context in which they were used, and that's the kind of mistake that HUMAN eyes need to detect.

GRRRR. Why is proofreading such a lost art?

Monday, June 23, 2008

LOL!

I just got off the phone from the vet's office. I arranged for the cats to be boarded while I'm in Louisville, and also for them to have their regular checkup, vaccines, and teeth cleaning. (Unfortunately, Captain and Stanley seem to have a genetic issue that makes them prone to gingivitis. So they're going to need their teeth cleaned more often than average, poor li'l guys.)

I'm glad this vet's office allows for cats to be boarded together in the same cage ("Kitty Condo", as they call it). That way they'll be company for each other while they're there.

They've never been away longer than two nights before. This could be culture shock for them. Fortunately, they love to be doted on, so it should be easy for the staff there to fuss over them and play with them.

So I have time to prepare now for the fact that I will have two Velcro Kitties in a few weeks. ;o) Purring ankle bracelets are the new style now, don't you know?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

FWIW: Mark and I visited my parents today, and we brought a belated Father's Day gift to my Dad. (I was in MD on Father's Day, so we arranged to get together today instead.)

I mentioned to my Mom that I'd recently discovered I was having an allergic reaction to sunlight (see my post from a few weeks ago). After years of itching without knowing the correct reason why, I was just glad to ID the real cause so I could do something about it, like wear sunblock before going out into sunlight.

SURPRISE. The first words out of Mom's mouth were, "Grandmom used to have the same problem." Say what? My jaw dropped. I don't remember this. On the other hand, Grandmom's health was terrible during the final years of her life, and she only experienced direct sunlight briefly and infrequently (such as to walk, slowly and painfully, from the house to the car). But my Mom remembers Grandmom in younger, healthier years, when she'd come in from hanging clothes in the backyard and promptly have a rash from being in the sun.

Doggone son of a gun. I'm glad I mentioned something today. I'd never have known that I'm not the first, nor the only, person in the family to experience this issue.

Too bad sunblock didn't exist back when my Grandmom would've needed it. That's the first thing I've ever encountered that's done ANYthing to help the problem, and I only started using it recently when I realized that the rash wasn't caused by heat, as I've mistakenly believed for years, but by sunlight.
My comment to Mark, as we were driving to Deptford in his car: "You ARE taking this car to [the mechanic]'s." My car stalls, but his has no pickup. We need to hit the lotto and get His and Hers cars. Really. My car definitely needs to be replaced if I'm going to get any kind of work that involves driving, but guess what? HIS car is getting on in years, too (though it's not as old as mine).

I got an email today about a potential temp job assignment. That's the good news. The bad news is, it's in "Northern Delaware'. With gas prices as they are, it might not be worth it to take the assignment if it's not accessible via public transit. Plus, there are multiple shifts available, and the job could go as late as 9 PM.

No way on this earth do I want to work that late, public transit or no public transit. ESPECIALLY NOT if I take public transit, as I probably wouldn't get home until after 11 PM if I took DART+SEPTA to this job. Uh, how about NO.

But I will call the temp agency and see if I can pin down some details like if the job can be reached via public transit and what the chances are that I can get a job during the first shift.

Oh, and since it's a call center, I would like to know WHAT kind of calls this center is processing. The last call-center job I had was with Nameless Nationwide Department Store, and it was telling people that their repairs had to be rescheduled. Translation: I got screamed at and cussed at all day. NOT my idea of a good time. That was the job that inspired me to coin the phrase, "Harridan of the Day", the title which I awarded to the rudest or nastiest person I dealt with on the phone on a given day.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. If this doesn't pan out because of the commute or the time frame, maybe they can come up with something closer to home and first shift. If it's harridan-free into the bargain, so much the better.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

They Get Younger Every Year

Having watched the NHL Draft, I have a few observations to make.

1. They claim that they're drafting 18-year-olds, but every year those kids look younger and younger. Mark claims that it's the kids staying the same age and the rest of us getting older every year, but I refuse to buy it. ;o) I'm telling you, the players get younger by the day. Soon they'll be drafting kindergartners, I swear. :oD

2. So anyway, they're drafting these 18-year-old kids, and all I have to say is this. WHERE were the 18-year-olds that looked like some of these kids when I was in high school? Holy cow, some of those fellows are really nice-looking guys. I suspect that any team they play for will see an uptick in their population of female fans, right from the moment these young'uns join the roster.
On further discussion with Mark, my car did its infamous stall trick for him, when he was trying to get my tire fixed.

Now if it'd only do that when I bring it to the darn mechanic, *that* would be nice. He can't fix what he can't see, which is why the issue has gone unresolved for about two years.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Philadelphia Zoo is mourning again. This time, it's the giraffe Twigga, who was euthanized due to health problems caused by old age.

Click here for the article

At 29, Twigga was one of the oldest giraffes in the USA.

RIP, Twigga. Your recently-departed friend Puzzles, the geriatric giraffe from the Zoo who passed a few weeks ago, will be happy to see you again, I'm sure.

Screwed-Up Tire

On Saturday morning, before I left for camp, Mark noticed that my right front tire was flat. After I left, he went to have it fixed and sure enough, my tire was screwed up.



Literally.



Apparently, on Friday the 13th, I ran over an inch-long screw which not only punctured the tire, but remained imbedded in it. Mark went to a tire place on Oregon Avenue, where they performed a screw-ectomy and fixed the hole in the tire. Mark just now showed me the screw that was extracted from my tire. Unfortunately, I can't put it under my pillow and get a coupon for a spare tire from the Tire Fairy or anything like that.
I'm home! I called Mark and greeted the cats. Now I'm going to go keel over and sleep for about a week. :o)

P.S. This is my first time using a regular keyboard since last Saturday morning. The only internet access I had all week was on my cell phone.

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Reverend Peggy, who runs the deaf-blind camp and is pastor of the deaf church we visited, has been endorsed as a candidate for bishop by the United Methodist Church.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

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Alvah got a spare on this throw. In the 10th frame, he got a strike. :o)

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Alvah checks where the gutters are before throwing the bowling ball.

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The PAW-tographs of the three service dogs that attended camp. Rusty (guide dog), Casper (hearing dog), and Jedi (hearing dog). They pawtographed 5 plates of varying colors. :o)

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I just took a pic, with my regular camera (not cell phone), of an osprey (a.k.a. fish hawk) on her nest. No one will mistake it for something out of National Geographic, but I'm looking forward to posting it when I have access to a regular computer.
OMG this bowling alley has hundred of red laser dots zipping around (like from a disco ball).

My cats would wig out if they saw this. And the late, lamented Melody wouldn't have known what to do with her fuzzy self. She'd have wanted to chase ALL the dots.

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Beading is one of many arts and crafts. There's also painting various items like plates and pinwheels, sculpting clay, and making paper flowers.

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Braille Bingo cards. It's got braille and embossed large print, so everyone can play.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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The Deaf-Blind Communicator is being demoed. The hearing, sighted person types on the handheld device. The deaf-blind person the deaf-blind person types on the braille device. They can read one another's messages.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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Hayfight in progress, LOL

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Hay ride! :o)

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First ever 4-time grand champion. "How did you do it?" "It vass easy, I get on my bike, I start pedaling, I'm here". Hee hee!

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I arrived JUST in time to see this man, Jure Robic, finish the Race Across America. NICELY DONE, Sir! :o)

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Looks like some riders might have arrived for the Race Across America bicycle race. There's a team of bikers in a line posing for a photo under the banne in the background (upper left corner). We saw them from the second floor of Phillips restaurant.

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Phillips Crab House for lunch. :o)

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The view from the front of the Harbor Queen.

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Annapolis City Dock

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Annapolis City Dock.

Monday, June 16, 2008

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Looks like an interpreter keeled over from exhaustion. ;o)

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One of this morning's activities was pontoon boat rides.

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I had to laugh when I saw this slogan. The illustration is the ASL sign for "interpreter".

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Original plans for tonight were a campfire and a hayride. Heh. Not anymore, unless we want to have the world's first hay swim. ;o) We're having another night's plans tonight instead (Emergency preparedness for deaf-blind people, music, and games).

Oh a related note, in the event of a real emergency here, an alarm bell will sound and we are to convene in the dining hall.
HORIZONTAL torrential rain, along with lightning and seriously DARK clouds. The West River has whitecaps on it.

We should all be headed to the dining hall, but we've been told to stay put in the retreat center until the weather calms down.

Could be a while, at this rate.
Alvah is taking a nap this afternoon, so I headed over to the Bible Study to see if they need an extra interpreter.

It's nice to see the number of activities available for the campers to participate in. I could head over to arts and crafts, too. (But that room's not air conditioned. Yikes, is it ever warm in there.) Cooking is another option. Again, it's hot in there. I picked a place to work where I won't keel over. ;o)

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A Bible on a CCTV device, which magnifies the print.

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MWADB=Metro-Washington Association of the Deaf-Blind. Lots of deaf-blind attend Gallaudet U. in DC, then stay in the area, so there's a good-sized group there.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Deaf Church service was amazing. It started off with a *very loud* gong that was easy to feel and hear. And when I say loud, I mean "knock you out of the pew" loud. :o) I wasn't expecting it, and I must have jumped ten feet in the air, LOL. They rang it 3 times to call everyone to attention. *GONG* "In the name of the Father." *GONG* "And of the Son." *GONG* "And of the Holy Spirit."

They also signed hymns in ASL, not in English, to the rhythm of a bass drum. It was a thoroughly enjoyable service, and we had quite the relay interpreting system going. Signing was done on the altar, and though it was voice interpreted, we had our own ASL 'terp for the deaf-blind group. We were seated off to the side, so the altar wasn't always visible to our sighted interpreters. So I copied the signing of the people on the altar, our ASL interpreter (whose back was to the altar) copied me, and any of our sighted deaf interpreters who couldn't see the altar copied HER. It was fun. :o)

Gotta scoot. What an exhausting, fun day. :o)

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Christian Motorcycle Riders held a HUGE cookout for us, and they're now taking campers on rides. It's a 17-mile round trip.

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An older lady, a member of the congregation, fell after the service. EMTs came and I think they were trying to convince her to get x-rays. I hope she's OK. :o(

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An announcement om the Deaf church's bulletin board.

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