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ARCHIVES: July 24-31, 2004


July 31, 2004 - Saturday

Lawnmower Worn Out

Our lawnmower broke. It was a 5 year-old, self-propelled type of mower. We took off at 7:30 a.m. for Wal-Mart to look for a new one. I was surprised at the number of other people there. The place was busy! It was not the mad-house that it is later in the day, though.


I shouldn't be surprised. Today is going to be either suffocatingly hot or in a thunderstorm, so an early shopping crowd is understandable. We liked it so much that we are thinking of doing our grocery shopping very early from now on.


We didn't find a lawnmower, but we got groceries. How nice to be in a short line for a change! Just up the street from Wal-Mart is Lowe's and Home Depot. Lowe's opens early and had a good selection so we got a Troy-Built similar to the old lawnmower.


Here in the humid green south, the lawn becomes a jungle with all kinds of strange things growing in it unless it is mowed often. There's no telling what will take root there or what animals or bug colonies will move in.



July 30, 2004 - Friday

Oriental Chicken Salad

This is wonderful. I first tasted it at a wedding shower and am making it again. I bought a grilled chicken from the local grocery store to debone instead of the boneless breasts. The grilled chicken adds a little more flavor.


Oriental Chicken Salad

1/2 head of cabbage & 1/2 head of lettuce (torn in small pieces)
3-4 chicken breasts cooked and cubed (or a whole cooked chicken, deboned)
2 packs Ramen noodles

     (not cooked- just broken into small pieces, oriental or chicken flavor)
1/2 c almonds
1/4 c sesame seeds or to taste ( I just sprinkle in as wanted)

Mix the above, set aside, then mix in a separate bowl:

1/2 c veg. oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 flavor packets from the noodles

Pour over the first mixture, mix together and refrigerate. The longer it sets, the softer the noodles get, although crunchy is good, too.



Thank-You for the Notes

To everyone who posted a comment or sent a note -- thank-you so much! You are the best and it is a comfort to know so many people care. I keep expecting Buzzy to show up -- we (people and cats) still haven't gotten over the fact that he is not here anymore. Muddy and Dandelion keep looking for him, too.



July 29, 2004 - Thursday


Fourteen years ago, my husband said he wanted a gray kitten for his birthday. On Saint Patrick's Day in 1990, Buzzsaw was born. He looked exactly like one of his brothers so the original family named them "Pete" and "Repeat." We brought one of the brothers home. My husband named him Buzzsaw. He had very sharp claws and could whittle wood with them. (He actually whittled away most of a wall post.)


Buzzy was a high-strung cat like his mother, afraid of almost any noise. He gave us lots of amusement.


His fur was long and double-thick. Of all three cats, Buzzy was the best to pet. Being indoors and getting constant brushing, kept his fur soft. After years of petting, Buzzy knew exactly how to sit in my lap to look his sweetest and to get me to pet him the most. Sitting on the sofa with Buzzy in my lap was a comfort and joy.


He would mimic us, too. If we gave a long meow, he would give one back. If we gave him a short meow, he would mimic that back. It amazed us.


Dandelion and Buzzy were inseparable. They slept together, hung out together and fought together. This morning, Buzzy died of an apparent heart attack. It was a surprise since he seemed to be just fine an hour earlier. He was 14 years old.


I find myself petting Dandelion a lot today. He is 15 years old. I know he will probably not live too much longer although Dandelion is not overweight like Buzzy was. Muddy is only two. His breed usually only live 8 to 10 years, though. It is all too short.


I will miss Buzzy. It will not be the same without him.



July 28, 2004 - Wednesday

Hundreds of Movie Title Screens

See the title screens of hundreds of movies. (Link thanks to MetaFilter.) There are ones as recent as 2000 and classics like this.


Growing up here in Huntsville, we spent a childhood summer or two at an old theater on Triana. They showed horror movie matinees when school was out. I saw several good old Vincent Price movies. I miss him. He still scares me in "The Fly" when he says "Help me! Help me!" as a fly with a human head caught in a spider web -- about to meet a horrible end.


As for horror, my parents thought Star Trek was too scary and would not let me watch any first-run episodes until their last season when they thought I was old enough to handle the intensity.


Speaking of which, my husband was reading online (sorry -- forget which site) that said, while the current Star Trek TV offering, Enterprise, has low ratings, they make so much in by-products that its worth the money to keep this low-rated TV show running.


I guess this means that nobody is watching the show, but everyone is buying the dolls, cards, etc. By the way, I thought last season was okay and I am still watching the TV shows. My husband likes Stargate better.



July 27, 2004 - Tuesday

Electric Sheep - Got One!

Finally! My screen saver downloaded a real electric sheep. Here's the photo of this unusual screen saver program. It can take up to 15 minutes to get one "sheep."



My Photo Blog Site

Yesterday morning, without warning, my photo blog site's formatting was erased by the host. I had been with them for over a year so I thought I deserved some kind of warning that I didn't get. Apparently, they want to charge me $7 a month to continue to use my own graphics (which are merely linked to my other web space on other servers so the images were not taking up their space).


I understand their wish for more money, but I was running the ads they had told me to run once before. Still, I think they must have wanted me to run even more ads and never told me. I guess the day is coming that I will just have to manage this in my own space like this blog is done.


I spent the entire day redesigning the site (since they would not let me use my own original design anymore). I am not sure, but I think they will not let me use any of my own graphics at all (other than the photos sent in e-mail as usual). Okay, I will use their approved-built in images and templates.


The site loses some of its charm, but I can't see paying more than what I pay now for space. It would be cheaper to bring the site over here than to pay their fees. Last year, this was a kinder, gentler host.



July 26, 2004 - Monday

Don't Make the Police Mad

My daughter and I were driving down the busy main road early in the afternoon when we saw a flashing police car. Instead of the usual "pull-over-I-am-writing-you-a-ticket," the young couple were taken out of the car and being frisked. The girl had her hands locked on top of her head, her pants pulled down to her ankles, her underwear exposed to everyone driving by. (The guy was on the other side presumably getting the same treatment.) That's not a sight you see every day.


The moral of this story? "If you plan to break the law, be sure to have clean underwear on."



Play Zork Online

Remember Zork? When I started dating my husband, little did I know how deeply involved with computers I would get. His best friend, Kal Larsen, worked for the university and had access to their mainframe computers. We would go in at night when nobody was using them and play Zork. This was in 1979. Zork was hot stuff.


A year or two later, I remember watching university workers tear out the mainframe. By that time, a personal computer could outdo what we used to play with.


Anyway, here's Zork as an online game (thanks to Ninja Monkies are Plotting My Demise for this reference).


Play Zork Online


P.S. Moon Thoughts signs all of her entries with this tag -- love it.



Comedian's Blog

The blog is titled I think I want to be a Comedian. This 21-year-old guy is funny. Is it a good idea to post your jokes online like this? Won't somebody steal them? Speaking of which, here's one of his entries:


When parents hit their children

I think it's terrible whenever parents hit their children. You always hear these horrible stories about parents taking off their belt and hitting their kid with it. I think that's just terrible. But, I think the best way for a kid to avoid this... is by getting their parents pants that fit.

"YOU DIDN'T CLEAN YOUR ROOM AGAIN TIMMY!! THAT'S IT! YOU'RE GONNA GET IT NOW!!! ....oh ....wait a second ....my pants fit ....I don't have a belt ....I guess you're off the hook this time."

Have a nice day. Later..."



Drinkable Krispy Kreme

A glazed donut in liquid form? H-m-m-m. While it sounds a little gross to me, maybe the frozen donut-flavored drink might be good. It's so hot this summer, that a frozen anything sounds good today.


Considering the calories involved, I think I'd rather have a fresh warm donut or a real chocolate shake. Can any frozen thing beat the taste of a genuine chocolate milkshake made with real ice cream? Fortunately, Dairy Queen is just up the street from our Krispy Kreme so you can easily get a warm donut and a shake. (From Leoville.com)



July 25, 2004 - Sunday

Sudden Rain

It was a very hot, sunny day when we walked into Wal-Mart yesterday. On our way out of the store, we noticed a crowd by the door. Nobody was moving. Then my husband pointed and said, "Look!" It was raining cats and dogs. The sudden heavy downpour was a shock. Nobody had an umbrella in this unpredicted storm.


I ran out in the rain -- amazing how soaked someone can get being out there for 2o seconds -- and brought the car around to the front door while he waited with numerous other people doing the same thing. It took forever for my turn at the front door. Ahead of me was a very cautious, elderly driver that did not want to move.


I couldn't be mad at her but we were sure frustrated. If your reaction time is slow, you need to move slow although it was miserable waiting behind her. I almost got out of my car to ask if she needed help. She was frozen in what was supposed to be moving traffic. Then again, nobody was expecting this rain. I know folks who will not drive in the dark or the rain.


Rain patterns here are a laugh. It can be pouring down the street and dry at our own home and that's just about how it was. We'd seen steam rising off the streets where it had rained. By the time we got home with the groceries, there was no rain at all.  Our outdoor thermometer read 96 degrees an hour later. The air was hot and steamy. I imagine the Amazon jungle would be something like this.



July 24, 2004 - Saturday

Domain Names aren't Worth What They Used to Be

Got this from Ouch! My Brain Hurts! who is getting ready to buy their own domain name. They said CreditCards.com just sold for 2.5 million dollars. They link to this MSNBC article about how domain names just aren't valued like they used to be.


"Multi-million dollar domain name sales were the poster child of dot-com excess -- with the most infamous being Business.com. ECompanies Venture Group, headed by former Disney executive Jake Weinbaum, paid $7.5 million for that domain name, but when the dot-com bubble burst, such prices began to appear downright silly.


Today, Business.com is a shell of its former self, a simple text-based search engine run by a skeleton staff, a warning to would-be speculators."


Maybe those folks who have tied up clever names but never use them or anything related to them, would release the names to folks who would actually make use of them. (See Domain Names.)



Hot and Humid

This is it! The end of July and first part of August are the peak hottest and miserable days here in Alabama. We had a few pleasant days last week but that is over. Going outside to walk is more like swimming or hiking through a jungle. The humidity adds to a general haze. Our mountains look more like faded-out movie backdrops. The air is harder to breath -- with heavy pollen, poison ivy and bugs all over the place.


This time is the "dog days of summer." It stays pretty hot until a magic day in October whem things suddenly cool down. After this, the rest of the year is easy. Fall and Winter are nearly perfect termperature-wise (at least I feel that way after the brutal summer heat).


I keep reciting to myself something a  transplanted westerner once told me when they came to Alabama, "The humidity is good for my skin and has made me look 10 years younger since moving here."


Fortunately, nearly everywhere we go in Huntsville is well air-conditioned. Life could not exist with out it. I don't even know if I will bother to  curl my hair today. It's naturally straight. Humidity and rain take out all of the curl anyway.



Freshly-Updated Blogs

A few places to find lists of freshly-updated blogs: Blo.gs shows blogs updated in the last 60 seconds or so. BlogRolling had blogs updated in the last 60 minutes. Technorati does a search and shows results from the most-recently updated blogs. Blogwise lists a few on their front page.


If you know of any more good lists of updated blogs, please let me know. When I have a little time, I'd like to see what else is out here.


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