Thursday, July 31, 2008

My fellow Due South fans will know what I mean when I say I've just had a "DS Moment".

Click here: Sea Otter Cam


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SHHHH. Be vewy, vewy quiet. The Pleo is evolving.

Irwin is having his Operating System upgraded. When he's done, he'll wake up, vocalize, and fall back asleep.

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Mark left a while ago to drive to his Treasury Management exam, which is in Horsham. Cross your fingers that the car behaves, as it hasn't been to the mechanic yet.

Then cross your fingers that he passes this pesky test with flying colors. Fortunately, it's only going to last until 12 noon, unlike the CPA exam he took a few years ago which was two full days' worth of testing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Mark goes for his certification test in the morning, after studying his rump off for the past few months.

Wish him luck! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RIP Edie Huggins, longtime local news reporter.

Click here:

I'm sorry to see this. The kinds of stories Edie Huggins brought to light are a much-needed counterbalance to the stories of mayhem, murder, and bloodshed. By the time the "If it bleeds, it leads" headline stories are past, if we don't see a bit of evidence that there's still human decency in the world, we're likely to be tempted to switch off the news altogether.

She'll be missed.
Mother Nature threw a big monkey wrench into our Sunday plans. We were going to head to Marsh Creek State Park for their swimming pool. It's a beautiful area, and it's also handicapped-accessible enough that Joe J. can get in and out, plus he can hang onto the poolside and walk up and down in the water. Also, there's a splash area where the kiddie pool used to be, full of fountains and cone-shaped buckets suspended in the air that fill up and dump their contents on whoever's standing below. We can take Joe into that with the wheelchair and we all have a blast. :)

Unfortunately, during our 45-minute-or-so drive down there, the weather went from "sunny and warm" to "MONSOON, lightning, and thunder". So much for going swimming.

So we switched up our plans. We ate at the restaurant that we normally go to after we swim, and once we were done eating, the weather had cleared up. But it was late enough in the day that we didn't think we'd get much swimming in, even if the pool reopened after that storm. Instead, we went to Marsh Creek and just enjoyed the view of the lake. What a great place that is -- I wish it was closer so we could go there more often.

We're going to try again to go swimming next month. Maybe Mother Nature will cooperate with us next time.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No wonder I don't watch game shows

I happened to catch part of Family Feud this morning. I can't FREAKING believe that the people who answered the survey are as dimwitted as they are.

The question: Name an animal with spots. Answers included "leopards", "Dalmations", and I believe "Cheetahs". The long and short of it is that in the end, only Answer #3 remained unguessed by either team.

Once both teams missed out on their attempt to guess it, the answer was exposed. No wonder nobody got the answer. The third-most popular answer for "name an animal with spots" was...


Tigers? Double-U Tee Eff? *TIGERS*?! Who in the flying farg thinks that TIGERS have SPOTS? And more to the point, how did they get enough numbwitted people to answer their survey that "Tigers" was the THIRD most popular answer?

The people in charge of Family Feud actually had the host display a large photo of a tiger's head, on which we can see that its EARS are black with a big white spot on them. Therefore, tigers DO have spots and there's no need to send letters to the producers.

Is this an example of the lowest-common-denominator that our educational system has become? Never mind whether we have No Child Left Behind... apparently we have a whole farging lot of ADULTS who got left behind somewhere. You can tell who they are because they think that TIGERS have SPOTS.


Captain: the original Short Attention Span Kitty. Know how long he remembered his lession of not to conceal himself in the bathtub, lest he accidentally be closed into the bathroom? Less than 24 hours.

A little while ago, I was in the bathroom, and Captain made a beeline for the bathtub. He's all about being a stealth kitty and hiding himself behind the shower curtain. The trouble is, he was a bit TOO stealthy yesterday and wound up shut inside the bathroom for a good three hours.

I wasn't about to let the same thing happen again today, so I pushed the curtain aside. "GET OUTTA THERE. Didn't we already go through this yesterday?"

Captain responded to his reprimand by exiting the bathroom and scooting to the far end of the hallway, from whence he could look at me in the bathroom and make Mournful Faces. Mean old Meowmy won't let him play in the bathtub, and that hurts his stripey feelings.

When I exited the bathroom, Captain and Stanley were both there, so I gave them both pets and scritches. They both responded with their favorite word: "PURRRRR". Captain's no longer making sad faces at me. Sometimes, Short Attention Spans can be good things. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

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Irwin's collar

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I just got back from A. C. Moore. I grabbed a few things that will allow me to accessorize a certain robotic dino-pet. :) Pics forthcoming when my work is complete.


Whoops! Captain apparently hid himself in the bathtub this morning when I went into the bathroom. All I know is that I closed the door when I left the room, and subsequently wondered why I was only seeing Stanley and Captain was nowhere to be found. Even breaking out the kitty treats didn't coax Captain out of whatever nook he'd chosen to nap in.

Until, that is, I went back to the bathroom a few hours later and opened the door. Out came an orange-and-white blur saying "MRRRRP!", who then proceeded to come back into the bathroom to mew his sad tale of woe to me. Poor kitty! Of course, he got a bunch of doting and scritches for his troubles.

When I was ready to leave the bathroom, Captain took notice and barreled out of the room as though monsters were chasing him. LOL. Poor li'l guy. Lesson learned. For now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am expecting an ark, filled with pairs of animals, to come floating down my street at any momemt. MY GOSH, we have had a string of really nasty T-storms and there are possibly more on the way.

Joe M. even reported nickel-sized and larger hail in his area, though we didn't see much of that down here. I did hear some sharp whacks against our storm door, however. I take it to have been either hailstones or wind-driven debris.

Seriously, I haven't seen rain of this magnitude in quiet a while. Thank goodness. You could barely make out details of the builidngs across the street. I feel sorry for anyone who had to drive in that mess.

Which reminds me, the Flyers' annual Trial on the Isle was in Avalon today and this evening. Whatever weather we have had all day is most likely at or approaching the NJ shore by now. I hope that everyone who headed out to Avalon gets home safely. What horrid weather to have to travel in.

I REALLY hope we get some cooler temperatures as a result of this. Especially since we apparently won't see it start to clear up until Thursday night. Whew.
Good news! Soon after the ultrasound was complete, the radiologist reviewed it and said the "dense tissue" was normal and nothing to worry about. Thank God for giant favors. So now I can leave off thinking about this until next year, when the annual "Hey, you're due for a Routine Test" reminder card comes in the mail.

I wish I had similar good news about our family friend whose lumpectomy was today. :( In her case, the surgery which was originally supposed to remove one 2-cm lump and one lymph node wound up including about 20 lymph nodes, some of which tested positive so she will need chemo and radiation. Argh. :( So do send some prayers her way.

The knee and ankle x-rays are also done. Tomorrow, I'll call to find out if/when the MRI precertification has come through, so I can get THAT done.

And then I want a VACATION from all these farging tests! Enough all-freakin'-ready! :P
OK, I just tried to send two different posts from to Blogger. Neither one showed up.

So I'll copy and paste the text that I tried to send. If the posts from ping show up, I'll delete the duplicate content. Otherwise, here's the latest and greatest info from yours truly:

You know those TWO medical appointments I had scheduled for today? Now it's three.

I went to the doctor's appointment that I had scheduled for this morning. As a result, I am to get x-rays of the left knee today, and as soon as the precertification comes through (which they need my x-ray results in order to write that up), I'll be scheduled for an MRI of the left knee.

That's how we're treating the internal damage to the knee. Meanwhile, I also have got prescriptions for two antibiotics -- ointment and pills -- to battle the remaining infection from the external damage to the knee.

Meanwhile, I'm still on for the ultrasound appointment that was already set up for this afternoon. God willing, the "dense tissue" they want a better look at will turn out to be nothing, and I can put this particular set of tests out of my mind until the next time I get a reminder in the mail that I'm due for a followup.

Oh, and speaking of being due for tests, I have the paperwork for a fasting bloodwork, which I also need to get done. It's been too long since the previous test.

You know, this being middle aged is starting to ROYALLY get on my nerves. Phooey on all these little side effects of the aging process. :P

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


And the grand total: 2 hours and 6 minutes from the time I walked out of the Skate Zone until the time I walked in my front door.That'll help me gauge what time I need to leave my house, in order to arrive at a particular time.


Update: 1:23 from "Exit Skate Zone" till "Waiting for #17 Bus".


I'm timing my commute home with a stopwatch. So far, 56 minutes from exiting the Skate Zone till the PATCO traib I boarded pulled out of the station. Stay tuned.


Team Black came from behind in the second half to win, 4-3. The game-winning tally was not a penalty shot, but a good share of today's goals were.Note to self: don't miss the first part of camp (the hour of drills before scrimmage). I couldn't seem to make a decent SEPTA connection this morning for love or money, which had a snowball effect and finished with my arriving between the end of the drills and the start of the scrimmage.If I get to see both the drills and scrimmage on a given day, the amount of time I spend watching prospect camp will compare favorably to the amount of time I spend commuting via public transit.I wish my car wasn't screwed up. :(


The baby goalies are having a rough go of it with penalty shots today.


Intermission, such as it is. We've changed goalies and the new netminders are stretching. Orange leads 2-1.


This time, Clackson scrapped with Klotz.


Downie and Clackson just had a feisty tussle during the scrimmage.


Note to self: it takes 30 minutes to get from the start of Rt. 17 to 8th and Market, and make the transfer to PATCO.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Looks like my Wednesday will consist of all doctors, all the time. I finally got hold of my doctor, easier said than done because that place is a busy-signal-fest when you try to call, and set up an appointment for Wednesday AM. I'm still not satisfied with the lack of healing on this knee, two weeks and counting after the injury.

Then on Wednesday PM, well... remember that Routine Test I posted about last week? I have to go back for a followup ultrasound. Turns out that I have some "dense tissue" somewhere other than in my head, and they can't give me a clean bill of health until their ultrasound provides a clearer view of some things that weren't visible on the mammogram. I could really, REALLY have lived without that phone call, but Oh Well. Welcome to my life. So glad I posponed these tests until AFTER I came back from Louisville, or I'd have had this stuff on my mind all freaking week when I was out there.

At least I know WHY there's insomnia afoot these days.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I got my jury-duty letter in the mail a day or two ago. As it's slated for the date I chose when I rescheduled the jury duty last April, I already had the date and times entered in my cell phone calendar. It's good to have the hard-copy of the information on hand, however.I set it for a day in August. If Mark's employer goes on strike, it will be in August and as a manager, he will be working 6-day weeks for the duration. So I figured we wouldn't be making vacation plans this August, and it'd be safe to have jury duty then.IF they even need me, that is. As before, I have to call their automated system the night prior to my scheduled service date, and then I'll find out whether I'm required to report or am excused. We shall see how things play out when the time comes.
News from JFM... without treatment, his brother's prognosis is poor and there probably isn't a lot of time left. I'm not sure how much time it would buy his brother, should he decide to go through with the treatment.

However, the treatments in question span over a lot of days and weeks, and the fact remains that he just plain might not WANT to go through all that. He's a grown man, is still of sound enough mind to make his own decision on that score, and if he genuinely doesn't want weeks of radiation then IMO he is within his rights to decline it. JFM understands this, and will resepct his brother's wishes either way, but other close relatives might well have a lot more difficulty accepting that decision. (Understatement of the eon.)

I do feel saddened by the whole thing, particularly since losing his brother will be hard on all of JFM's family, whether or not he opts to buy himself more time by acquiescing to the treatments.

Hooray, the new Police commissioner is looking into reinstating Philly's Mounted Police!

Click here: Best news I've seen in a while

I never approved of them disbanding our mounted police force in the first darn place. It's good to see we might get them back.

Friday, July 18, 2008


One blessing of last night's enormous portion size at Spaghetti Warehouse: enough leftovers for a full-sized lunch today. Even their appetizer -- I had calamari -- was big enough to qualify as a dinner, all by itself. Hence, I was full well before finishing the actual dinner, and had leftovers aplenty to take home. Yum.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Animal Planet has got Animal Cops: Philadelphia this week. I swear, I wouldn't last ten seconds as an animal control officer. I'd be in jail before my first case was over, for visiting the same fate on the animal abuser as they committed on the innocent animal(s). God bless the people who can successfully carry out the job of animal control officers, because the world needs people like them desperately.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OK, it's been a rough week around here, as you can see in my recent posts. You know what would give my disposition a boost? I'll tell you.

Adopt one today!

You could really improve my day by clicking on the above image. It will help the egg (or hatchling, provided the egg survives long enough to hatch) survive.

Thank you. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, and one more proverbial kick in the shins happened today.

I found out that the Phantoms Phan Club's website has fallen offline. We sent a check to the person in charge of the website to renew the domain names we have. The check was never cashed.

I'm not entirely sure where or how the ball was dropped, but the long and short of it is that the domain names were never renewed and now we have no website.

Like this day didn't contain enough sources of agita already. Why not add one more? Did I mention that this was a "Stop the world, I wanna get off" kind of day?
The unforgivable decision was officialy announced this morning.

Managgia the greedy vermin and their minor-league-sports-killing project.
P.S. Thank goodness for the cats. Their little happy faces have gotten smiles out of me all day, even in the midst of one dose of rotten news after another. Good kitties. Meowmy thanks you.
The suckitude of this day continues. JFM's brother's brain cancer is back. I feared as much after learning that he was rushed to the ER over the weekend due to seizures. The MRI results have now erased all doubt. :(

This is the third time in the past few days that I've received bad news regarding a longtime family friend. One of my dad's friends, and the wife of another longtime friend of the family, are both being treated for cancer as well.

ARGH. Enough already with the bad news! I'm having a "Stop the world, I wanna get off" kind of day for sure.

Which of course, did nothing whatsoever to bolster my disposition this afternoon when I went for one of those Routine Maintenance tests that we ladies are supposed to have. Considering that one of those family friends is battling the same sort of cancer that this test is designed to catch early, I had that at the forefront of my mind when I went in there. (She DID get tested regularly, as she's one of the unfortunates who have a family history of this disease, and she still got sick. Argh.)

I'd like to dig a hole and crawl in and just stay there for a while. That's what sort of day it's been.
Argh. Nobody told me what a challenge it would be to get the pain-patch off Captain. His fur was growing in under the shaved area, and the patch was stuck to it. Imagine pulling off a 1.5"x2" adhesive patch off an area that's covered with fur or hair. OUCH.

Fortunately, he's a very patient cat. For the most part, he just mewed his complaints instead of trying to do battle.

After a few minutes (ouch! Sorry, Captain) and by applying water (which Captain wasn't all that delighted with, either), I got the patch off. GOOD KITTY, he behaved very well.

Plenty of treats and praise are the order of the day, right about now.
I feel sick. The greedy M[aternal]F[ornicat]ing b@st@rds are definitely killing the Spectrum. The paperwork is done. They were granted the legal right to develop the land any way they saw fit, back in 1996, and it's taken them 12 years, but they're deciding to cash in on it.

Or at least, they THINK they're cashing in. Click the "Fargin' Bastages" label to see my past posts on the topic, and my opinions of their project, because I'm not up to revisiting it this morning.

I wish them to feel all the emotions that they're causing in the people who oppose the project.

BTW, I couldn't even get my mind entirely off this limb-of-Satan "Philly Live!" project even when I was in Louisville for a week. Why? Because the same developers who are preparing to F up Broad and Pattison already F'ed up a perfectly good mall in Louisville that was four blocks from our hotel. Six years ago, I shopped in that mall and it had a bunch of non-chain stores mixed in with the big-name chain establishments. I loved it.

Now the little mom-and-pop places and the mall are gone, and in their place is a bunch of big name eateries like TGI Fridays. The only remnants that I could see of the former mall area were the CVS and the US Post Office. I know it's the same developers because they called their new thing "4th Street Live!" -- the same naming convention they have for all their projects. I looked it up on the internet, just to be certain, and sure enough, the developers' name that I've come to loathe was attached to the project. I closed the browser window. That was all that I needed to see. They took a locale that had a unique charm, and stores I couldn't have found anywhere else, and they put in a bunch of chain restaurants that I can eat in no matter what city I'm visiting. This is what we have to look forward to here. Whoop-de-do.

When Mark was looking through the local newspaper for a place to eat on Friday night, the only stipulation I had was, "I'm not patronizing 4th Street Live. I'll eat anywhere else." Fortunately, there were plenty of alternatives to choose from that were completely unconnected to that... thing.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Not only does my knee hurt, now it ITCHES. I guess that means the cuts are healing, but GAAH. How annoying.

The cuts still look frightful. I switched from hydrogen peroxide gel to OTC antibiotic cream today, but obviously it hasn't had a lot of time to work yet. I still need to get hold of the doctor and get an appointment.

My advice: Don't fall. If you must fall, don't LAND. If you must land, don't land on the edge of a *#$&@ escalator step. Phooey.

Not only is my car unusable (see: yesterday's posts), but Mark brought HIS car to the mechanic this morning and it's not done yet. It needed a new radiator (done), a new fan (not done), and they're still working on the problem with the acceleration (see: posts from a week or two ago).

We went from being a two-car family to a zero-car family in the space of two days. #@=$*&%!!!

I wouldn't be quite so ticked off, except that the PPPC Meeting is in Voorhees tonight instead of at Bullies in the Spectrum. Farging figures, the one time we needed the meeting to be within walking distance, it's in NJ. I emailed the minutes to the President, and gave him a call telling him all this.

This week has been a bill-fest so far. Between the cats' vet bills for the dental work (a bill we expected) and the repairs on BOTH cars (an unpleasant surprise), all I can say is I hope nothing ELSE goes awry any time soon. My patience is about at its limit as far as mishaps go.


Captain is a lampshade-kitty until tomorrow. Both cats had pain patches on, thanks to their having had teeth extracted. his pain patch is to come off tomorrow, at which time the E-collar can be removed. Stanley took his patch off last night, so he's patch-free and E-collar-free as well. Poor little guys. Extra doting should alleviate the stress of all these medical treatments.


Yay, my house is a home again. The cats are home from being boarded/getting checkup, dental cleaning, etc at the vet's. The house just isn't the same without the kitties in it.

Extra kudos to the cab driver from Quaker City Cab, who carried the cat carriers from the vet's to the cab, and from the cab to my doorstep. That was nice of him, particularly since I'm still using a cane. I bumped his tip up a few notches for that, since my "little" boys aren't necessarily all that little, as cats go.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Meet Irwin. (Named after Steve Irwin, whom I admire greatly.) He's a Pleo, and I adopted him recently when Ugobe had a huge sale to celebrate their first anniversary.

Irwin's napping, after having played right through his first battery charge. So far, he's hatched, eaten, learned to walk, played tug-of-war, sung, and moonwalked. No wonder the little guy is tuckered out. ;)

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Oh, BTW. My favorite souvenir from the Louisville Slugger bat factory is this item. I've always said that if I ever get a non-folding cane, it will be one with a distinctive look -- hand-carved or colorful or something decorative, not just a plain old cane. Well, this one not only made me laugh, it fulfilled the "creatively designed" requirement.

So when I'm using a cane, which I am right now thanks to the knee problems, don't mess with me. ;)

More cars

We called my parents-in-law to reschedule our visit. Turns our my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and niece are also having car troubles. PHOOEY. Pain-in-my-butt car Gremlins!


Vehicular woes continue. Mark's car is not yet repaired; my car is showing the CHECK ENGINE light. Grrrr... so much for visiting Mark's parents today. Fa Nabla.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We've boarded the plane for home.


Fargin' insomnia last night! The ibuprofen wore off and I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did. Note to self: don't let the darn med wear off.

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Hat Trick and his new jockey friend.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

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How amazing is this lighted horse carriage? Not surprisingly, little girls love it. :)

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We're at a really nice Italian restaurant called Vincenzo's.

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Hat Trick rides the swinging butter churn at the Louisville Slugger Museum.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mark and I just came back from a nice dinner cruise on the Ohio River on the Belle of Louisville. We thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my mascot, Hat Trick. :) Joe M texted me, "Where's his life preserver? I'm going to report you to the Doll Endangerment Authorities'. :) Never fear, I have a photo taken on my regular camera that shows Hat Trick sitting in the Belle of Louisville's life ring.

We got KC to her plane, which was quite a production number. Then again, what isn't a production number in our crowd? ;) In this case, we got to curbside check-in and, as the gentleman checking us in could see that KC (who's 75) is sore and is having a hard time walking, he sent for a wheelchair. Understand, Ive been trying to avoid letting KC realize how sore my knee actually is, but this morning I moved in some awkward way that made me exclaim with pain. So that was the end of keeping THAT secret. So when the airport escort with the wheelchair arrived, KC promptly suggested that *I* use it to traverse the 1/4 mile distance between the check-in and the gate.

Like heck I was going to have him push ME in the wheelchair for just one knee, when she was sore all over. I told her, "You just said a few minutes ago your back hurts. Why walk a quarter mile feeling like that? Use the wheelchair."

"I can't ride in a wheelchair, I have the dog."

"Let me have the leash and I'll walk the dog.'

"You can't take my guide dog through the airport, it's against the law."

"Law, my toe! Your back hurts, you said so."

Meanwhile, the guy at the check-in and the guy with the wheelchair were about to keel over from laughing. I forsee them regaling family and friends for years about the deaf-blind senior citizen who tried to get her injured guide to use the wheelchair in lieu of herself. I was having a "This is surreal' moment, and it wasn't easy for me to keep a straight face, either.

(See, these are the kinds of events that belong in a sitcom, but the politically-correct crowd would have a coronary at the idea of cracking jokes related to someone with a disability. I'm sorry, but some stuff is just flat-out funny. Period.)

We finally agreed to walk through the TSA security checkpoint, and get a ride in the electric transport car the rest of the way to the gate. Gypsy loved that. Then again, she's a Lab. She loves everything. :)

We haven't decided which tour(s) to do tomorrow, but the weather forecast looks promising. It will be hot, but sunny.


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Hat Trick Hunter on the Belle of Louisville steamboat. :)

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Just got a call from the vet. Captain and Stanley are charming everyone at the vet's. :) One tech wants to steal them. ;) They both lost a few teeth to gingivitis, even though I feed them special oral-care food and add a special oral-care liquid to their water. Poor little guys. I don't want to think about what their results would've been like without those precautions. But they're resting comfortably and being spoiled at the vet's, so that's the best I could hope for.

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A Prius hybrid taxicab. :)

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The knee's regressing. Not surprisingly, given where I fell, the two cuts inflicted by the escalator are very inflamed. Peroxide's not helping enough. Time to try iodine.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


My first trip to Indiana! We went to a tour of Schimpff's Candy Kitchen/Museum in Jeffersonville, IN. I can add another state to my list of US states I've visited.

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Hat Trick Hunter meets Elvis at Schimpff's Candy Kitchen.

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Making Cinnamon Red Hots at Schimpff's Candy Kitchen in Jefferson, IN.

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To see how my knee really feels, I skipped thw midnight dose of ibuprofen. I figured if I felt not-bad, I could drop down to 3x/day instead of 4. Ugh, let's just say I tried this experiment too soon. No more letting the ibuprofen wear off for me. :(

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

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One of the two "dog parks", guide dog potty stations, has a fake fire hydrant installed in it. :)

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Even guide dogs that have never met me before sit on my feet. (Note the lower left corner). The dog, Randy, parked hmself so he's under his human's foot (which is not resting on the dog, don't worry), and he's sitting on my toes. :)

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Guess where Mark and I are eating dinner?

Too bad we don't have these in Philly!

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Braille Bunco, with tactile dice, slates, and styli.

I haven't a clue what's up with these rules... except that we have to shift tables depending on if we win or lose.

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I just checked with the vet to see how the Spoiled Kitties are doing. They're fine, and they are slated for their checkup today with their regular vet. (It's a multi-vet practice.) I told them to spoil the boys a bit extra and tell them Mom says "Hi'. I miss my little fuzzballs, and even running into a guide dog named Captain and a meeting room in the hotel called the Stanley Room doesn't alleviate matters.

Having Gypsy to dote on during our off-hours is a good thing, though. I have got to try and get a photo of her before this week is out. It's tough to get a decent shot of dark-colored animals sometimes, and she's a black Lab. I went through this with my two previous kitties, Melody and Harmony, both of whom were black.

Anyway, we're getting off to a later start than usual this morning. We both needed the sleep. The Grand Ballroom, where the general meetings are held from 8:30-noon, is a bit too well air-conditioned anyway. KC wore the warmest stuff she brought with her yesterday and still froze. Even I was chilly and I like a good air-conditioner these days. So we're not even going to attempt to make the whole session this morning.

Anyway, time to get going. Later, all!

Monday, July 07, 2008

I realized today that if we could just harness the energy from the wagging tails of happy dogs, we would be able to stop using fossil fuels. I have seen hundreds of guide dogs over the past few days, and I have been bopped by the wagging tails of most of them. :o)

As I posted before, Labrador Retriever fans neeeeed to make a beeline to Louisville immediately. It's doggie heaven here. Even if we can't actually pay attention to the dogs, they're still here, we can still see them.and they're still adorable. :o)

We got to see some amazing devices today. One was from Abisee, Inc. It's a camera that scans priint material like pages from a paperback book, and renders them in speech or braille. KC was interested because it can be used for things like reading mail and bills.

The other device is a cell phone with a camera and software that can also be used to take a picture of printed matter. In this case, it converts the picture contents into large print on the cell phone screen, and speech. KC was able to attach her neck loop to the cell phone, and hear the speech through the cochlear implants. They had to slow the speech down in order for her to understand it, but she got it.

These things are priceless. Anythiing that can render printed matter accessible to people with vision loss will be a godsend.


KC is having a demo of a cell phone with a camera and software that converts text to print and reads it aloud. She heard the speech via her cochlear implants and neck loop. WOW!

I want to work in this field. Really, I do. :)

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ice pack

I hope Guide Dogs of America will be gratified to learn that the plastic bag their literature comes in can be used for first aid. I filled it with ice.

I hope my misadventure doesn't earn me a pit stop in an x-ray unit tomorrow. I'm not happy with the amount of swelling I see.

Phooey. Fargin' force of gravity. :P

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The opening ceremony of the ACB is in progress. KC's new ALD is working, thank the Lord. We swzpped it out for a replacement when the first one we had, during the luncheon, wouldn't work.


Pat Day was great. The knee, not so much. It's still bleeding from those two cuts. Fa Nabla..Yes. I took (my own) prescription-strength Motrin, applied ice virtually non-stop since I fell, and kept the leg elevated any time I was seated. So I know, and have followed, first-aid procedures. So I'm doing what I can to minimize damage the aftermath of the episode..Please God don't let the kneecap be worse than bruised. Eek.

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Pat Day is the main speaker at the Sports Fanatic Luncheon. :)

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SON OF A [you know what]!!! KC got an assistive-listening-device wire caught on something when we got on a down escalator. I turned to help. The good news is the ALD was not damaged. The bad news: I took a spill and did damage to my left knee. It's cut in two places and hurts like I messed it up internally. :( I hope it's not too screwed up. :(

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Oh, and BTW, three cheers for hotels with free wifi. They should only ALL be so generous.
We're back in the room and getting ready to turn in for the night. It's been a good day. I got registered, we got some dinner (sandwiches/salad at the ACB Cafe, we went to Mass, and we planned to go to one of the several special-interest-groups' welcoming parties. Unfortunately, it wasn't apparent in the program that there was an admission fee to get in to said welcoming party. So we didn't attend the party, but it's just as well. First of all, we both are exhausted. Second of all, I can't believe how DEAFENING the music was. Great Caesar's Ghost, wouldn't you think that people who rely on their hearing, in the absence of sight, would do more to protect said hearing and avoid blasting music loud enough to drown out a jet engine? :o/ I don't know, I never enjoyed decibel levels where in order to converse, you have to get within three inches of the other person's ear and yell at them.

Plus, I have chronic tinnitus (as in 24/7/365) from attending some concerts in small (and I mean SMALL) clubs with my b/f at the time, where the freaking sound engineers must have been trying to make the music register on the Richter scale. At first, I would notice tinnitus the next morning, but it would go away. However, after a few months of occasional loud concerts, there came a time when the tinnitus was there and it NEVER went away from then on. It's pushing 20 years and my ears still ring. Hence, excessively loud music is not my favorite thing.

And as loud as the party we didn't attend was, there was another special interest group in the adjacent ballroom, and their music was even louder. Sweet Gesu. My tinnitus is flaring up at the mere memory of it.

In other news, if you like Labrador Retrievers, get your tail to Louisville, pronto. There are more dogs per square inch at this hotel than I would expect to see at a dog show, and the vast, vast majority of them are Labs. Personally, I think the dogs believe that this is a guide dog convention, and they're all delighted that their great Moms and Dads brought them here to meet hundreds of other guide dogs. :o) And when I say "hundreds", I'm not exaggerating. I know I am going to get tail-wagged to death in an elevator before the week is out; most of the dogs wag at the sight of another guide dog, and it's not unusual to have two or three dogs in an elevator at any given time. But it's great. I love being around a zillion dogs, even if I can't pet any of them (besides KC's Gypsy when she's off duty).

Oh, I know what else happened today that was interesting. John Stamos was in the same plane I took from Philly. He seemed like he preferred to keep a low profile today (hat and sunglasses), so I didn't bother him or take a clandestine photo. But I heard people talk to him and address him by name, so it was definitely him. Very nice-looking guy. Seems like he has a pleasant disposition, too. :o)

Anyway, I'm about to keel over,so let me publish this post. Good night!


OMG, tons of activities at this convention. Never in my life have I seen a convention with a schedule this full. Choosing which thing to do, in case of a conflict in scheduling, is easier said than done. (Glad it's KC choosing and not me. They're all interesting to me.)



We had Mass at the hotel, for convention attendees. Someone's guide dog started snoring during Communion. KC and I practically hurt ourselves trying not to burst into giggles. :)

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We're here! :)

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Boy, there sure are lots of instructions to read!

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PHL and XO

Oops. I have this habit of whistling along with the tune, when I'm listening to music.This is probably not a good idea while I'm sitting at the gate at the airport, waiting for my plane to arrive/start boarding. :) It will draw glares from my fellow passengers.The good news is that I was able to explain to six people (and counting) who enquired about the XO what the mission of the OLPC project is. :) Score one for the little green machine! I'm glad it has a distinctive appearance, because they would never have taken a second look at a machine that appeared just like every other notebook computer. One guy even knew what the XO was on sight, and was glad to meet one in person. :)I'd call this a good day so far, and I haven't even gotten on the plane yet.
Good morning. Mark will take me to the airport in the rental car, then he'll drop the car off. He took all of next week off from work, originally with the intent of studying and because it's his birthday on Tuesday, so it's not like he'll need the rental car to get to work.

I hope to heck he uses some of that freakin' time off to take his own car to our mechanic's. The coolant leak has nothing to do with the previous issues that cropped up with his car (he think's it's the fuel pump, and I think it might be the transmission). But he can any and all problems taken care of during his time off from work.

Now I need to turn in. I'll have to be up early to make sure everything's taken care of before I leave. Right now, I think the only things I'll need to pack are the cell phone charger and my meds. I think everything else is ready to go.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Our chariot awaits

Mark just got home now.

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Well, Mark figured out early this morning why the car overheated. It's leaking coolant. He's currently picking up a rental car at 30th Street Station. We'll need it for later, when we transport 5 people plus food to John R's. My car is too small to comfortably seat 5 people, plus it hasn't had air conditioning for about 3 years now. Not an ideal setup for a road trip of any length. THANK GOD Mark's car acted up last night, and not today! What a fargin' nightmare that would have been, if his car had overheated on either a major highway or a middle-of-nowhere road between here and John R.'s! Yikes -- I cringe at the thought. Oh, and BTW, I miss the cats.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Even though Mark will be here by himself after I leave for Louisville, we took the cats to be boarded this evening. They will have their annual checkup and vaccinations, as well as have their teeth cleaned, while they're there. (The estimate for their surgery costs, because teeth-cleaning requires general anesthesia, makes me think that looking into pet health insurance might be a wise move. Yikes. But I digress.)

Anyway, I haaaate having to take the cats to the vet. Stanley gets this horrified look on his face whenever we put him in the cat carrier. I honestly think that whoever had them when they were kittens used a carrier to take them somewhere to dump them. Fortunately, someone ELSE came along who found them as "strays" and brought them to the animal shelter, from which we adopted them, so it obviously worked out with a very happy ending, but STILL, when I think of someone pulling a dirty trick like dumping two kittens somewhere, I get angry. I think Stanley still associates being put in carriers with something terrible happening. If my theory is correct and someone dumped them, I'd like to dump the guilty party somewhere in the dead of winter -- like, say, the middle of the Alaskan tundra -- and see how THEY like it.

But anyway, I digress. The Kitty Committee will get petted and played with daily while they're being boarded, and I'm sure they'll charm everyone to bits like they did last time they were there. :o) And I am going to miss them terribly until we bring them home.

While I was filling out the paperwork, someone came in with a very tiny black kitten -- 4 weeks old -- who was being treated for a sinus infection. OMG. It can't possibly be legal to be that adorable. WHAT a cute little micro-kitty! I hope she recovers quickly from her sinus trouble, poor little furball.

We had some issues with Mark's car on the way to and from the vet's office. His car overheated on the way there. So while I was inside filling out paperwork, he was parked outside (miraculously, a spot right in front of the vet's office became available) with the hood up, adding coolant (which, apparently, was low) and trying to cool the engine down. When I came out, I told him what my dad taught me eons ago: if your car overheats, run the heater full blast to draw the hot air out of the engine compartment. THAT did work nicely. It made the interior of the car hot as blazes, but by gosh it got the engine thermometer indicator down from the red letter H.

When the needle got down to about halfway between C and H, we decided to head home. Two or three times, within about three miles of city driving, we had to use the heater again during the ride in order to cool the engine off, but we made it home.

Remember a few posts back when I said I told Mark, "You WILL bring this car in to the mechanic's"? Well, that hasn't happened yet. Now it looks like there's no choice but to bring it in to the car doctor. It wasn't overheating when I gave that particular directive, but it was acting up in a few other ways which I hope will ALSO be repaired when this problem gets taken care of.

He did, however, take MY car to be inspected on Monday. It passed the inspection with flying colors, and once again it refused to stall or act up for the mechanic. GRRR... well, at least it misbehaved for Mark a couple weeks ago, so he knows I'm not hallucinating when I say the car stalls.

FARG. Freaking expenses all hitting at once (car doctor for both his and my cars, and the vet bills). What a pain in the rump.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Click here for an article from the Allentown newspaper, about the Phantoms' potential move there.

I hasten to add that Allentown should have had a minor-league team with another league, I think it was the UHL, a good 8-10 years ago. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told that they dug a hole in the ground to start building the arena for them and that's as far as it got.

Yeah, that bodes real well for this idea.

Meanwhile, Joe M. and I discussed my previous posts, and he offered several suggestions regarding how the Phan Club might lead the charge to Fight City Hall. Too bad our Board Meeting was last Saturday. The next General Meeting is in mid-July, so we'll have to discuss it with the membership then.

We discussed said topic at Riverview Plaza, the ONLY movie theater left in South Philly. It's in great condition, it has multiple screens, and it draws well. However, for whatever reason, it IS NOT enough of a magnet to support the businesses that immediately surround it. I pointed out four major empty sites in their plaza, all of which have suffered repeated turnover. Even the sites currently occupied by a pizza place and a restaurant, literally the only two tenants I can recall seeing this afternoon, are only situated in those places due to turnover. There's not a satellite business in that plaza that's been there since the site was established, other than the movie theater they were built to entice patrons to/draw patrons from.

It's the only site like this anywhere near here, on this side of the river, and it can't keep tenants. Philly Live! is supposed to be a grand total of a couple miles away from this site, and full of LUXURY places into the bargain. How is that supposed to draw people in, when the nearest one-stop-entertainment-plaza is sputtering along? But the blinded-by-dollar-signs crowd can't (or refuses to) perceive that. They're too deafened by the cha-chings they're imagining will be resounding along Pattison Avenue. I wish them the fate of Icarus.

Anyway, a-HEM. Stepping off the soapbox now... In other news, the movie we saw, WALL-E, was thoroughly enjoyable. I'd gladly recommend it to anyone. Even if the freakin' theater nearly forgot to show it to us, lol. We sat there in the minutes prior to the movie's scheduled start time, and thought it was odd that there were NO ads playing on the screen. None. Then the start time of the movie came and went, and STILL nothing happened. Joe finally went out to speak to someone in management -- an "old man in a suit" -- who used a walkie-talkie to call for a guy named Jimmy. I'm not sure if Jimmy was the person who should have been on duty but failed to report to his station, or if Jimmy was filling in for an AWOL projectionist. Either way, within a minute or two of this exchange, the house lights went down and the previews started. On with the show!

Anyway, tomorrow continues my two-week stretch of having at least one thing on my plate per day. I hope to heck I get more sleep tonight than I did last night (next to none). Farging insomnia.


How surreal! I just googled my maiden name and found pages and pages of entries. However, not one of the people who appeared on the list was connected to me in any way. Well, other than the fact that they and I once had the same name.

How odd it is to see your own name (or at least the name that was yours for decades) in print repeatedly, and know that it's referring to total strangers in every case!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wow. Today is the last day until July 16 when I have a clear calendar. Starting tomorrow, every day until then, I have at least one event on my calendar, sometimes several.

If anyone needs me on July 16, I'll be collapsed in a heap at home. Leave a voice mail. ;o)