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ARCHIVES: June 23-30, 2003


June 30, 2003 - Monday

My Blog Rating

SeaDoc told us about a test and as usual, I had to try this one. I already knew the answer. Heck, I say "heck" then write about potatoes and cats.  What do I expect?


What rating is your journal?

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Cat and Potato Photos

We were doing laundry and Dandelion jumped into the warm dryer. It was one of those moments when we all thought a picture should be taken. Also, my husband harvested his potatoes. The season was successful. Here's a photo of a Huntsville Kennebec Potato. He also grew very large red potatoes, Red Pontiacs, if I remember right.




June 29, 2003 - Sunday

Bearclaw Ice Cream-Publix

This is good stuff -- dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered cashews and chunks of caramels swirled in. It is so good that it will take years off your life (high fat, high cholesterol, high calorie - probably has all that and more).



All of the Grandchildren

My mother wanted a picture collage of some kind with all of the grandchildren. She has 18 grandchildren, if I figure correctly. Here's what I have done with it so far (a smaller, reduced quality version). I am not sure I will keep this background or anything -- this is just a rough-draft.




June 28, 2003 - Saturday

About AOL Version 9

I've been an AOL member since it was QuantumLink (later Q-Link , PC-Link, etc.) For good or for bad, I will always be curious to see what is coming up next. Here's an article about version 9 to come later this year. They are going to make IMing more entertaining -- probably to keep the younger crowd interested. I don't IM that much myself, but I have days where I keep my AIM running -- my regular AOL & AIM name is "TerryAnn2."



Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle

Just saw the movie. Stupid, unreal stunts -- lots of kicking, chopping, doing flips, airheadedness, etc., in the movie. It had nothing believable -- my husband kept looking at his watch, bored with several scenes and feeling dumb for even being there. 


On the other hand, I loved it! The music was great. The sophisticated camera shots -- still and slow motion (as in The Matrix) were fascinating. I liked the kazillion costume changes. Who cared if you couldn't understand half of what Bosley said? Who cared if the plot was not completely clear? Who cared if nothing was believable? It was fun to watch -- like a good music video. I was never bored. Jaclyn Smith had a nice cameo part. Whatever bad anyone else says, this movie was entertaining.



International Photography Scavenger Hunt

MedicMom mentioned the International Photography Scavenger Hunt. She takes great pictures. It's a just-for-fun photography project. I went to the link and posted my interest, too. They will give us a list on July 1st of 26 things we should photograph.


The site says, "The aim of this photographic project is to make us open our eyes and get creative with the things and people around us, to see how we each interpret themes. On Tuesday, July 1st, 2003, 26 things to hunt for will be posted on this website and you are free to complete the project on or before Thursday, July 31st, 2003. Come back Friday, August 1st to submit your 26 things website. Up for the challenge? Let me know. As always, this is not a race. Happy hunting!"




I got onto the website and registered this morning. I knew it would be impossible to reach yesterday so I didn't try. The sad thing about all this are the way too many exceptions being allowed. Still, anything that stops phone solicitors helps. I hate them more than spam. At least with spam, I am already sitting at the computer, not running from another part of the house to get the phone. Both are unwanted intrusions on my time, though.


Right now on one site I manage, a poster comes into our boards every day to post his scam message about 6 times: "help-a-poor-child-who-needs-money-for-vital-surgery-by-depositing-your-money-into-this-bank-account-number-in-a-foreign-country" kind of thing. We take all the appropriate actions to stop this, but he always comes back in one form or another. It's very hard to stop a determined scammer. I envision punching his lights out every time I delete his postings.



Harry Potter-Finished the 5th Book

Whew -- that was one LONG book. I liked it overall, but it almost gave me ulcers for all the aggravating characters in it. One sort of major character dies. I was NOT happy about that even though I never would have guessed it. It was not who the Internet rumors said it would be, thank goodness.


By the way, another good author is David Eddings in his Pawn of Prophecy series -- GREAT reading! (More Book Recommendations.)



June 27, 2003 - Friday

Pictures on the Living Room Wall #2

Traveling to various cities with my work years ago, I was able to see one of the first Thomas Kinkade stores in a mall. I was most impressed by the fireplace (in fact, the store worker said they could have sold a lot of those because people asked about them so much). The fireplace was a digital creation -- the flames were very clever fakes and gave off heat. At first glance, it looked real. The whole thing just sticks out of the wall a few inches -- I want one!


The paintings were good, too. I most liked his use of pink -- pretty pink flowers and colors -- unique and appealing at the time. Being the romantic that I am, I bought a 3-picture frame of his Sweetheart Cottages. While I just have this small collection, I would love to eventually get a bigger copy of each image or prints of his other cottages.  (Click inside each section of the frame to link to a larger image.) See other pictures in my living room.



Harry Potter Progress Report #4

Almost done! I'm on page 711. I spent so much time reading yesterday that nothing much else happened. I like the book better now because one of the nasty folks is being given a hard time and one of my favorite folks finally succeeded in something. Most of this book was about Harry and others getting frustrated all the time -- aggravating, but I still enjoyed reading this.


I know a major character dies.  I've been trying to guess which one and I think I figured it out. Rowling said she cried when this character died. I hate that she killed off someone likeable. I'm not a big fan of depressing fictional story lines. Reality is enough for that.



June 26, 2003 - Thursday

PhoneCam Nation

Wired.com carried an article about our becoming a Phonecam Nation. My sister has been doing this for a long time. She's been using her cell phone and snapping pictures of everything from me without my makeup on to the Christmas lights displayed at the Botanical Gardens (I was driving and she made me stop every few displays so she could take pictures to send to her friend in England).


My Sony Clie can take pictures and I have a Wi-Fi card. The problem is that I haven't found a WiFi place to connect with the Internet yet. I like the idea of hot spots. T-Mobile is putting spots in coffee shops and airports and charging 10 cents a minute to access the Internet. I don't know how many times I've been in a bookstore, found an interesting-looking book and wanted to check the reviews on Amazon.com before purchasing it.


I found a website (and darn, I was on someone else's computer and did not save the url!) that showed wireless networks around town -- in various neighborhoods and stuff. There's one across the street that does not quite reach our house.


Something newsworthy happens and five passersby are there photographing it with the camera they always carry around. Heck, it doesn't even have to be newsworthy for someone to take a photo of it. My sister can eat out, take a picture of the food, e-mail it to me and show me what I am missing right at that moment.



Mysterious Voice from the Computer

This morning, I left the computer for a minute and heard sounds like someone talking. The TV was not turned on. I looked back in the room and heard nothing, the screensaver had not kicked in yet, so I left again for a minute. When I came back, the sounds had started up again. I nearly jumped out of my skin then I realized it was an old Furby which had fallen behind my desk. He had been reactivated and was chattering away. Obviously the batteries are still good. I had forgotten he was even there.



Weather Channel Magnets Expiring

... Just got a note from The Weather Channel. They are turning off everyone's weather report magnets -- those that appear on a website in the next 60 days. They have redone the registration. You can get one back by reregistering like coming there the first time -- which I did. I had to give my address, e-mail, birthdate, age, sex, etc., and read through all kinds of ad e-mail offers (at least you don't have to click that option on). Oh well - the service is free and they have to make money somehow. At least they did not ask for my phone number. I hate telemarketers more than spammers and never give my real phone number anyway.


Once you do all that, they e-mail the code -- one way to prove your address is valid and open it up to more spamming, I suppose.



Harry Potter Progress Report #3

Up to page 441 today. Harry is  thwarted, abused and aggravated constantly. Argh!! I am ready for him to "get back" at the current crop of bad guys, already -- and it looks like there's been a beginning. It was good to read about Dobby and Hagrid again.



June 25, 2003 - Wednesday

Making the Page Load Faster, Maybe

I moved the weather and moon phases to a separate page, trusting that it makes this page load faster. I know that, when school lets out, my host slows to molasses. Otherwise, I hope this makes the page come up a little quicker. Of course, I go and slow it down again by adding an animated logo at the bottom of this page. Maybe it will break even, at least.




I have a referral page, too. Being kind of new to blogging, I was surprised to find that every other blog out there also has a referral ability. I didn't know that it was so wide-spread. Duh on me! I use a free 3rd-party ability. (Click on the "Real Tracker" button at the bottom left column to see my referral list. After that, you may want to remove the cookie it leaves behind -- it's spyware but it writes to your system only if you click on their logo and go to their site.)


This site tracks a lot such as keyword searches done on Google, Yahoo, etc., that lead someone to visit the site. The last few keyword searches that led to my site are below. Most of the search hits came from Yahoo.


* pony tails

* "karen peterson" + waay

* spider webs with dew photography

* a picture of people walking in alabama

* "poke salad" cook -annie -tuna -ahi pokeweed



Mimosa Blossom Close-Up

I got this picture today -- the blossom was a beautiful shade of pink.


I was hoping to get a photo of the great blue heron or a box turtle or even the wild St. John's Wort which was blooming last week, but not this week. I had no such luck. At least the mimosa trees are still pretty.


Even better, the conversation was so good that I did not even care about taking pictures for most of the walk. If the rest of the world would just listen to us, we have most of its problems solved.




Harry Potter Progress Report #2

On page 360 today! The story is still good, but I hate how Harry is being so aggravated all the time. Poor kid.



June 24, 2003 - Tuesday

Harry Potter Progress Report

I am up to page 236 (out of almost 900). J.C. is on 700-something. I am losing the race, even though I was up reading in the middle of the night. The book is too good to read quickly -- and too heavy to hold easily. It's getting great reviews, I hear. So far, I like it -- but I feel so sorry for Harry right now. He's picked on way too much, though I suspect the ending will make up for that. I look forward to it.




I heard from Terry over at Possumblog.com. Interesting that, when you link to a blogger, they somehow find out you did it. (Does everyone have a tracer on their site?<grin>) He links to more southern blogs than I do. I am joining his Axis of Weevil. Y'all are invited to join, too. Below is what Terry sent to me.


The primary qualifications are these:

1) Born in, or now live in, or once lived in, or would like to live in, Alabama;
2) Not ashamed to admit to #1;
3) Staunchly anti-idiotarian, or can at least pretend pretty good
4) Functionally literate
5) Don't type in ALL CAPS or all e.e. cummings case or MiXeD.
6) Update your blog more than once a month
7) Willing to be made fun of
8) Willing to make fun of yourself
9) Have a framed picture of John Moses Browning
10) Personal library must contain more books than you will ever read
11) Must be able to recite *Monty Python and the Holy Grail* and give an episode synopsis of all *Andy Griffith* shows from memory.
12) Your pickup truck must be in good working order--use of ether to get it started is not recommended, but will be allowed on a case-by-case basis

That's about it. However, like Calvinball, the rules may change in the middle of the game.



China Castle, A Kind Word

M.L. told me about her experience there last Saturday night. She was not expecting much from it after my bad review. She was pleasantly surprised, she said. The food was actually hot and the soups were wonderful. They opened less than a week ago. Maybe they are still getting their act in gear. M.L. is usually pickier than me when it comes to these kinds of restaurants, but nothing yet can beat Meteor Buffet on a Friday seafood night.



When it Gets Above 90 Degrees

We have to spend half the morning watering the plants. Impatiens require LOTS of water, daily in this heat. In the backyard, the large pumpkin leaves wilt easily. They look droopy and sad in the heat. I am going to buy a bigger sprinkler today. My husband likes to stay outside and hold the hose, but I am not patient enough to stand around in the hot sun, watching disturbed bugs fly at me. (The pumpkin patch shelters a giant population of bugs.)


He said not to water the potatoes and corn. We are harvesting them and the plants should die back. He also said that corn puts down very deep roots and can stand going without water longer than the pumpkins. Meanwhile, the tomatoes have to be watered evenly -- not too often, not too far apart, to avoid blossom-end rot. When did watering plants become so complicated?



June 23, 2003 - Monday

Cat's Blog

My cat thinks he is smarter than me. He also thinks I do not know about his sneaking up here on my computer to type his blog when I am not looking.


The Cat's Blog



Harry Potter- 5th Book and Other Fantasy Series

I am reading it. I talked to my niece, E., in Georgia who is a big Harry Potter fan and asked her how far along she was. She was in the first chapter. (I was still on the first page.) Her mother said she was several chapters into it.

This morning, I told my walking companion, J.C., and she answered that she was on page 500-something! When I went to Sam's to get a copy (the cheapest place to find one that I know of), the clerk told me that every other person in the checkout line was carrying the Harry Potter book.


So, the question of the day is, "How far along are you in the Harry Potter book?" I almost want to say, "The first one to finish wins."


I grew up reading sci-fi, fantasy and comic books. I remember when Dad brought home the first Spiderman and I read it -- if we had only kept it! <sigh> Not only that, but my mother had a comic book collection from when she was a kid. She regrets not having that today.


I love many fantasies and have read most of these twice or more -- The Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series by C.S. Lewis, the entire Xanth series by Piers Anthony (starting with A Spell for Chameleon), The Dragon books by Anne McCaffrey (starting with Dragonflight) -- all fantastic books!


I also read Stephen Donaldson (thus the white gold in our wedding rings), Lester del Rey (when I was a child, he wrote science fiction for children as did Heinlein, believe it or not) and Arthur C. Clarke, the Dune books, Asimov's Foundation series and more than I can remember right now.


Today, I read more than watch TV. These days, I want happy endings. I like my science fiction to end with romance  and happily ever after. Sometimes, I just prefer good historical romances like those by Lynn Kurland. She's one of the best romance writers today -- and the wittiest. I love the interplay between brothers and sisters in her books as well as her ghosts and time travelers.



What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up

My 5th grade teacher asked this question of every student on the first day of class. When I answered that I wanted to be an astronaut, the class laughed at me because I was a girl --  it was unthinkable back then, yet I had dreamed often of being up in a space capsule. I resolved to never be honest about this question again. Even though my interests changed through the years, it was very gratifying to see Sally Ride's accomplishments ... very, very satisfying ... maybe I finally felt vindicated for that 5th grade embarrassment.


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