Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Thousands feared lost in US storm

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Apes 'extinct in a generation'

BBC NEWS | Health | Cancer hope over breast gene find

Mister poopy butt

Heru sitting on my craft box
. . . sitting on my craft box.

Thumbs up for local Quizno's

I just got back from Quizno's with dinner - sue me, I wanted a sub sandwich - and I was surprised to discover notices plastered all over the doors and counters that Louisiana residents, with proof of residency, would get 50% off all orders.

Thumbs up, guys!

Back from the doctor

And almost $150 poorer. My blood pressure was 162 / 88 which is slightly up and down from Monday's 160 / 100. It didn't help matters that Heru decided to have a poop accident right before I had to go to the doctor's and I had to clean cat poop from my sofa and the carpet. I am happy to report the sofa is clean but the carpet has an interesting yellow stain that just refuses to come out. I guess this means I'll have to rent one of those steam cleaning things and give the living room a good once over.

Anyway, back to doctor talk. I think I like this doctor better than any doctor I've had before. I couldn't get an appointment with my normal doctor until October and that just would not do so I called the Prodigal's doctor to see if I could get in this week to see him. I could and I did. And I like him. He talked to me and explained things and asked questions. We talked about the different kinds of blood pressure meds and the effects they could have and we picked one that sounded like the kind I could live with. It's called Lisinopril. I'm on the 20mg variety to be taken twice daily. I'm to monitor my blood pressure and reduce the dosage to one daily if my blood pressure drops too much. I have a six month prescription at which point I go in for another exam.

As happened four years ago, I expect the blood pressure to make its way back to normal when the stress of being jobless and having a new job and all the things that go with those two states of being resolve themselves into normalcy.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'Life code' of chimps laid bare - News - Astrodome To Take In Superdome's Hurricane Refugees

BBC NEWS | Americas | 'Thousands dead' in New Orleans

iWon News - This gives new meaning to "cat burglar"

iWon News - Dogs go woof over Brazilian puppy love motel

This definitely falls into the category of "Now I've heard everything!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A problem with my checkup

I had the checkup and drug screen for the new job yesterday. The drug screen was all clear, but my blood pressure is up. I've scheduled an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow to get it back under control. It's strange to have to be on meds again after having been off them for almost four years. Last year, at my October checkup, my blood pressure was normal. I guess the worry about work and money and finding a job set it off again.

They also took blood during the checkup, but the results for that won't be in for a couple of days. I wonder if anything will show up there that wasn't there last year.

I'm not sure what effect his will have on the new job. I probably won't know until all the test results are back.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Satellites peer into eye of storm

BBC NEWS | Americas | 'Up to 80' dead in US hurricane

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Saturn moon delights and baffles

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Mandatory evacuation of New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina is a category 5 storm that appears to be heading for New Orleans. I've just watched the mayor of New Orleans announce mandatory evacuation for the city. My mind boggles at the kind of devastation a category 5 storm can cause especially to a place that is basically below sea level to begin with.

I weathered a category 4 hurricane almost 40 years ago and I know the kind of devastation that caused.

I hope those people who cannot - or will not - evacuate make it through Katrina.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

It's finally done!

Pictures at last

I finally got the Prodigal Son to stay in one place long enough to get pictures of the car - a Ford Taurus - his grandparents helped get him. The housesitting friend managed to get caught in a couple of the snaps.

The Prodigal Son's car

The Prodigal Son's car

The Prodigal Son's car with his friend

The Prodigal Son's car with his friend

My own personal guardian cat

A trip in the way back machine

I took myself to IHOP for breakfast for lunch and as I was leaving, a woman I'd worked with a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away popped her head over the panel separating her table from mine and said hello. It's been years and years since we'd last bumped into each other and I was pleasantly surprised to see her. I always like running into people I know. It makes me feel like I've really put down roots. Anyway, she was there with her partner and so we chatted for a bit and exchanged contact information. Well, she gave me hers since she had a business card, but I did give her this site address so she could hunt me down if she needed to.

She's got two web sites: The I Love Zombies Page and Check them out. She's got some lovely photos up at

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Here a message, there a message

It finally dawned on me to check for new messages on my answering machine today. I had two very interesting ones, both from people at my soon to be new job. Both of them were kind of panic inspiring, but for very different reasons.

The first was from the man who will be my boss. He is going to be out of the country when I start work and he wanted to speak to me before he left. I called him back and left a message explaining that I had been out of town and had just gotten back, and that I would try calling him tomorrow. The panic part is that I may not reach him before he leaves and I won't have a clue what to do at work while I await his return.

The second was from the very nice woman in Human Resources who called to tell me my high school has no record of me graduating in 1974, so could I find my diploma and make a copy for her. Find my diploma? The last time I remember seeing it was five years and two moves ago. So I called my dad, who still lives in the town I graduated high school from, and asked if he would check with the district tomorrow. And then I started to rummage through one of the boxes I haven't unpacked yet - yes, after two years in the house I still haven't unpacked all my stuff - when it dawned on me that I'd never told the woman my maiden name. No wonder my high school has no record of me graduating. So I called Dad back and told him never mind, and I'll call the nice lady tomorrow and tell her what name I graduated from high school under.

Honey, I'm home

We're back from the trip. I took my camera with me and would you believe the only pictures I snapped were of a sunset the first day on the drive down?

Sunset thru a car window

I took the shot through the car window just to see what would happen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Taking a small trip

I'm off to visit my folks for a couple of days. The Prodigal Son and I are driving down in an hour or so and we'll be driving back on Thursday. The folks have agreed to help me get wheels for the Prodigal so he can attend a class he wants to take in October and he can continue to job hunt. He has agreed to pay my folks back as soon as he has a paycheck from which to pay them back.

Even though we'll only be gone a couple of days, the Prodigal's best friend is going to house sit for us so he can make sure the cats get fed and watered and to keep them out of the kind of mischief they like to get into when no one is around to remind them to behave. I've stocked up on cat food for my furry monsters and munchies for the Prodigal's best friend.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Hero and the Crown

By Robin McKinley.

The Hero and the CrownI started The Hero and the Crown last night and I just finished it. I had a very hard time putting it down I was that caught up in it. Wonderful, wonderful book. This was heroic fantasy at its best. And what made it even better, the hero of this book was a girl / woman. My only regret is that I only have two thumbs to give it a thumbs up with.

Ms. McKinley, I think, will join the ranks of one of my favorite authors alongside Patricia A. McKillip, Tad Williams, C. J. Cherryh, and Barbara Hambly.

Here, kitty, kitty

Just because I haven't done it in a couple of months, here are a few snaps of my little furry monsters on this lazy Sunday morning.

Mouse in one of her semi-Alien sleeping poses.
My cat Mouse

Goblin and Heru sharing the coffee table along with my cross stitch stuff of which you can just catch the tiniest peek.
My cats Heru and Goblin

And last but not least, Rainbow giving me an I can't be bothered look for almost waking her from her nap.
My cat Rainbow

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Fair Folk

Edited by Marvin Kaye.

A story collection offered up by the Science Fiction Book Club which contains "Uous" by Tanith Lee, "Grace Notes" by Megan Lindholm (a.k.a Robin Hobb), "The Gypsies in the Wood" by Kim Newman, "The Kelpie" by Patricia A. McKillip, "An Embarrassment of Elves" by Craig Shaw Gardner, and "Except the Queen" by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder.

As much as my favorite author of the bunch is Patricia A. McKillip, the story I actually enjoyed the most was "Except the Queen" by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder. It was written in the form of letters between two sisters and detailed an exile and a reconciliation.

I think the story I enjoyed the least was "An Embarrassment of Elves" by Craig Shaw Gardner. Its attempted humor just didn't fit in with the other stories.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and give it two thumbs up.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A good day

It's a good day so far. I went to the job orientation thing this morning, but it turned out to be a pre-orientation which was OK. I filled out all the paperwork for the background check and submitted an actual job application. And I have the appointment for the rest of the stuff I have to do.

I stopped by Michael's on the way home and bought some knitting magazines and some crocheting books. Their cross stitch section leaves a lot to be desired and I wasn't particularly impressed with their knitting yarn either. Then I moseyed over to Starbuck's and picked up an iced mocha for the drive home.

Back in town I decided to treat myself to brunch at IHOP after a trip to the post office to pick up my mail.

And now I'm home catching up on email and the web-y things I do every day. I'm going to fix myself a nice cup of tea and plop myself on the sofa to read.

Later, 'gators!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Read, read, read

I haven't felt the urge today to pick up any of my crafty projects, but I did feel in the mood to read. I've managed to finish half the book I'd barely started before I was laid off. It's a book I got through my membership in the Science Fiction Book Club. It's called The Fair Folk and is edited by Marvin Kaye. As far as I can tell, the book is an exclusive to the SFBC. It contains "Uous" by Tanith Lee, "Grace Notes" by Megan Lindholm (a.k.a Robin Hobb), "The Gypsies in the Wood" by Kim Newman, "The Kelpie" by Patricia A. McKillip, "An Embarrassment of Elves" by Craig Shaw Gardner, and "Except the Queen" by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder.

So far, I've read "Uous", "Grace Notes", and I'm half way through "The Gypsies in the Wood". I very much enjoyed the first two stories - the Lee about being careful what you wish for and the Lindholm about the interesting ramifications of scorn. "The Gypsies in the Wood" is the first Newman I've read and so far I enjoy it. I actually bought the book because of the McKillip since she has become one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to get to that story.

I've checked email and done all the 'net things I usually do so I think I shall fix myself some lunch and bury myself in the book again.

Later, 'gators!

BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'Al-Qaeda leader' killed in Saudi

My goodness. I wasn't aware until just now that Christ had given up the religion biz and gone into the .com arena. It's nice to know that he, at least, moves with the times.

And I have to applaud his business acumen. He's charging more for less compared to other hosting providers.

BBC NEWS | Health | Long working hours 'health risk'

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Omigawsh, I almost forgot

About the idiosyncrasies meme from Karen. It had completely slipped my mind until just this moment - and I'm not altogether sure why or how it slipped back in.

Anyway . . .

(I) I have a problem with eating meat off the bone. Like picking up a piece of chicken and using my teeth to tear the flesh or picking up a pork chop and gnawing the last little bit of meat from that bone all pork chops seem to have. That just bothers me. I think chicken strips and breast filets are the greatest invention of this century. I used to have a problem with cutting meat from the bone as well, but I am happy to report I'm almost completely over that.

(II) Professionally, I'm a 'get it done now' type of person. Personally, everything can wait until tomorrow. I'm the world's greatest procrastinator when it comes to my personal life.

(III) The older I get the more I hate planning things. Like what I want to do on my vacation. How am I supposed to know in January what I want to do in July? Even if I could figure out what I wanted to do that early, what's to say I want to still do it when the time comes? The older I get, the more I discover the joys of doing things spur of the moment.

(IV) I'm a mimic. It was something that started while I was involved in drama in high school and we had to watch people and learn how they walked and talked, that sort of thing, and then get on stage and 'perform' these people to see if the others in the class could tell who we were being. To this day, I still catch myself suddenly adopting the mannerisms or speech patterns of someone I'm with.

(V) Keeping the fork in my left hand and the knife in my right when I eat instead of setting the knife down and switching the fork to my right hand. This is only idiosyncratic behavior in the US since most Europeans eat that way.


I finally got bored with being bored and I just spent the last couple of hours knitting on the scarf I've been working on. I think I'm a couple of pattern iterations away from being done, but my fingers got all cramped so I quit.

And on an additional positive note, I've been offered a job which I have accepted contingent on a couple of exams I have to pass. They shouldn't be a problem. If everything goes well, my first day of work will be September 6th.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Delay for .xxx 'net sex' domain

Quite honestly, I'd rather have all pornography related sites at the .xxx domain than accidentally stumble across material that is personally offensive to me by mistyping a site name.

Yes, having a specific upper level domain under which all adult content is aggregated will make censorship easier, but I don't think that's the true concern. What it will do is make the companies that sell software to block those types of sites all but obsolete since the various browser makers can program in a switch to block or allow the triple x domain with the click of a button.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I've been put under the hat and sorted


You scored 8% Slytherin, 20% Ravenclaw, 56% Gryffindor, and 32% Hufflepuff!

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve, and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart.

Gryffindors are known for their courage, audacity, and devotion to what is good and honest.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 5% on Slytherin
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 5% on Ravenclaw
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 52% on Gryffindor
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 41% on Hufflepuff

Link: The Sorting Hat Test written by leeannslytherin on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm back

I've gotten my hair trimmed so I don't look so disreputable anymore. I've bought a pair of dark brown dress slacks and a mature, business-like print blouse. And I drove to the interview site and discovered it is extremely easy to find. Under optimal conditions, it is about an hour away, but I suspect it will be between 1.5 and 2 hours when you factor in morning rush hour traffic.

I'm too nervous and excited to play the meme game right this minute, but I will get to it. I promise.

Right now, I'm going to fix myself a sandwich and a bowl of soup for dinner since I haven't eaten all day and I'm about to pass out from hunger as well as the previously mentioned nerves and excitement.

I'd love to play, but . . .

I've got to take care of some business first.

Karen, at Tati's Weblog, tagged me for a meme about 5 idiosyncrasies. I'll answer the tag later, but right now I have to prep for a job interview on Friday. I've got to get a haircut, buy a suit, and do a test run to the interview location so I can time about how long it will take me to get there.

I'm nervous and excited.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Still bored

I'm still without a job and bored out of my mind. I did have a phone interview yesterday - Friday, August 5th - and the people I spoke with said they would call again on Monday or Tuesday when someone else in the company whom they wanted me to speak with should be back in the office. This interview was from the second nibble I received.

I haven't heard anything back from the first nibble although I did email the recruiter and was told that my resume had made it past the HR people.

I still haven't worked up the interest to read or do any of my crafty things, but I have discovered the joy of incessant channel hopping. It really is amazing the dearth of things worth watching on TV during daylight hours - or even in the very, very late night time hours.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bored now

I've spent just a hair more than half my life working so I'm having a hard time not being at work. Yes, I know it's only been a week, but I am bored out of my mind. There's just so much reading, TV watching, and procrastinating about housework one can do before one becomes bored and restless.

Oh, well. The hunt progresses. I actually had someone call me today who wanted me to submit a "real" resume for consideration. I did one up specifically for the job they were hiring for and sent it off - just did, as a matter of fact. I don't know if anything will come of it, but it was an ego boost to know that someone thinks I might actually be qualified for something.