Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

You tell me-a year ago today was the last day off I had from blogging! Tomorrow, I start getting twice th credit for the same amount of work, because I'm participating in both Blog 365 and NaBloPoMo. Lately, it seems like there are two posts per day, so who knows? It might be another 60 post month.

I bought candy for Halloween like we always have. You know, the quantity you need when carloads show up in your neighborhood OR the people who live in the single family home side of Stepford bring their kids to the townhouse side of Stepford, just so the kids can get twice as much candy in the same amount of area? On our side, we had a reputation to uphold and the treats were plentiful.

This year, the kids that did show up REALLY liked the fact that they were each getting 4 or 5 pieces of candy each. It was a bit of a let down to not have as many of the kids come to call here-I get a kick out of checking out the costumes.

It was a year of changes. Gameboy decided he couldn't be bothered with going out (since I already bought candy he could consume) and Chef wanted to prowl the block with his friends. That worked out well-the friend's mom took them around while I stayed at home and played some Halloween music and surfed the net outdoors.

There is something so wrong about being chomped on by mosquitoes while handing out Halloween candy...

I'm a Regular Frankie Fan

This is the pumpkin Chef and I collaborated on for Monday night's Scout meeting. I think if we'd had it lit properly, we would have won for scariest. What do you think?


Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In The Velvet Darkness, of the Blackest Night...

Burning Bright, (what's up your @ss?)
There's a shining star (that must hurt)
No matter what or who you are...

Ahhh, Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've lost count of how many times I filled my handbag with toast, toilet paper, rice, cards, a bic lighter, newspaper, a water pistol and rubber gloves. Many a Friday or Saturday night in college, I'd either go with friends or hop a train to Lynbrook and see it solo.

It's on TV right now. That's like going to an amusement park and no one is there. The fun of RHPS is the AUDIENCE participation. The come backs to all the lines.

When I moved to Maryland, the nearest showing was in DC. Thus, the only time I got to yell "That man has no F'ing neck!" is when I went back up to Long Island for a weekend visit. Once here in Florida, one of my CM's portrayed Eddie in a Play Along cast at the theatre that shows it in St. Pete Beach. Too far for me to drive over and back home at 2am.

It ends up it is playing here in Lakeland. This weekend. How cool is that?

I may be forty something, but in my heart, I'm still a kid who wants to do the Time Warp!

Desperate, Are you Serious?

This is what greeted me in the MySpace in box the other day:

HELLO
HOW ARE YOU DOING THERE I AM MAC SINGLE FAITHFUL, HONEST HANDSOME,LOVING GENEROUS AND LOYAL MAN HERE LOOKING FOR MY SOUL MATE..BUT I JUST GOT ON TO MYSPACE AND I WAS LOOKING INTO A BUNCH OF PROFILES AND I SAW THAT LOVELY ONE OF YOU SO I DECIDED TO SEND TO YOU A MESSAGE SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A RELATIONSHIP BUT I WILL NOT SAY MUCH ABOUT MYSELF HERE BUT I WILL LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ON YAHOO SO THAT WE CAN GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EACH OTHER TH


Interesting. I doubt Mac read anything in my profile, because the "Who I'd like to meet" section stated that I wasn't there to meet people and that little box that gives my stats? It says I'm MARRIED.

I popped an email back to Mac, saying that if he'd bothered to read my profile, he would have noticed this fact. Does this stop him? Nooooooo. He then sends this lovely gem back:

I KNOW THAT BUT I THINK THAT WECAN TALKON YAHOO SO THAT WECAN BECOME FRIENDS OKPLZDO THAT U ARE SOOCUTE


It makes sense now. I use Trillian to manage my IMs and lately, it seems like I've been getting a lot of pings from strangers on Yahoo messenger. Note to those Yahoos on Yahoo:NOT EVERYONE IS ON THERE FOR A QW$%%^$%^%$ BOOTY CALL! Do these guys honestly think all caps and poor grammar are the way to a woman's heart? I am not a MILF and I am most certainly NOT a cougar. Go find a girl your own age who doesn't mind that your writing skills are sorely lacking.

Mac, tell ya what, I'm gonna help you out. How about everyone go take a look at his MySpace page and tell him HOW CUTE he is?!


No, even if I was single, I would NOT have given this type of come on serious consideration.

No, I Didn't Forget

My post for What's For Dinner Wednesday didn't go up because the picture was blurry. In my haste to eat my meal, I believed the camera that usually tells me when a picture is blurry. This picture passed muster, then when I looked at it, I realized that it looked bad.

You'll get a food picture and post later.

Blame it on mourning for the grater...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eulogy For A Kitchen Gadget


Alas, poor Grater I knew it well. A fellow of infinite
cheese, of most excellent minced onions. It hath bore me on his back a
thousand times lots of cheese, potatoes and veggies, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is!

Alas, we have looked at the box style graters several times in the past year, and each time, said "Yea, but we have a fine model at home. One that serves us without complaint." And lo, we pass by the kitchen gadget aisle with nay but an empty cart.

Sleep well, my friend.

Another Day, Another Waterlogged Phone

I washed my phone last night.

It didn't need a bath, and I hadn't planned on it. However, we'd pulled the jackets out in haste yesterday because it was cold. Last night, I got the bright idea to wash them, forgetting that I'd gone through the neighborhood with Gameboy selling his greenery with the phone in my pocket.

It is currently airing out. I'm afraid to turn it on.

Ed's went through this a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately for him, Jane had her old soapbar phone (ours crapped out in one way or another right before getting these a year ago). This means if mine is toast, I have to buy a new one.

Damn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mom, Are they Zombies

I've exposed my child to a video. Not the original, the take off. After about a minute, he is incredulous. "Mom, those are dancing zombies" in a tone that says that zombies are cool, but dancing zombies? They're off the hook.



Do you think I should show him where these zombies got the idea to dance like that?

The Things that You Don't Think About When You Live in Florida

It was cold this morning. No, not 65 degree cold. That was last night, with Chef requesting that I turn on the heat in the car on the way home from scouts.

No, it was 40 this morning. Too cold to let Gameboy stand at the bus stop in his shirt sleeves. The kid needs a coat. (Chef got the hand me down).

There are maybe a dozen days each year that they need a coat, but yes, he needs one.

Off to shop.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Squeeeeee!

Trailer Addict put the Harry Potter Trailer up over the weekend. Instead of the original November release, we've got to wait until next year. Boo, but YAY! for the trailer!

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

I was visiting The Planet of Janet and she does a feature called Fun Monday (NaBloPoMo draftees, there's another themed day for you!). Today's is all about Halloween and features some picture of Janet in costumes from years ago. She invited readers to post their pictures in costumes and tell of Halloween's past.

I don't have a single picture in a Halloween costume. It's a shame, because there are some good ones to show, too.

My earliest Halloween memory was when we still lived in Rockville Centre and Mom took us over to the Woolworth's in Baldwin to get boxed costumes one year. I must have been five and it was the first time we'd gotten boxed ones. Anyone over the age of 30 has to know what I'm talking about, the flammable, simply shaped costumes with the mask that would make your face sweat, even though it was very cold outside.

I remember it being the day before laundry day and not having clean shirts for me, so I went out in a sweater and corderoys to do the shopping-and I got a princess costume in pink and blond hair. Hmmm, that may be why I'm not a huge fan of pink or princesses. The costumes were needed so we could attend a party at the Rec Center, where we bobbed for apples and listened to music on the speakers in the gym.

The next year, we moved into the house in Merrick and four of us were ghosts! Mom had purchased new sheets for the beds in the new house, so we got to cut up a bunch of white flat sheets. I remember going up and down the length of on of the side streets of our neighborhood, easily 150 houses. My bag was FULL that year!

The subsequent years ushered in the creation of our own costumes. I was a martian one year (Janet was about 13 years ahead of me) and I used part of my girl scout uniform to make it. I got a few skeins of yellow yarn and fashioned a really long braid, which came out of my inside out beret. It got a lot of compliments.

In high school, Halloween weekend was also the weekend of our Drama department productions, so we'd have cast/costume parties. I won a prize one year for what I think was my best effort ever, a Nestle Crunch Bar. (that one turned out incredible).

My first year of college, I had a Halloween party for the radio station staff and I was a Hershey kiss. This was when mini dresses were all the rage, so I used one of those. The idea was great, but the execution turned out to be a pretty skinny treat.

Nowadays, it's all about the kids and their ideas. If I can find my Snow White dress, I'll wear it while handing out the treats. After I get pictures of the kids, of course, because they might be asked to show them on their blogs someday!

What about you? What have you been for Halloween? Got any pictures to share?


At least there are some Halloween costumes appearing in this post! From 2001.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Or "Why I Don't Seem to Follow Billboard Anymore"

In my youth, I was an avid follower of Billboard. After all, it's where Casey Kasem got his stats for "American Top Forty." In my disk jockey tenure, every two years, I'd pick up the latest copy of Joel Whitburn's "Billboard's Top 40" guide. It was almost a necessity in AC and Top 40 radio, so that when someone requested a one hit wonder or wanted to hear a song by an artist and it "wasn't their big hit, but it was still pretty popular", you had the answer at your fingertips.

This was back in the 80's and 90's, when I enjoyed a good percentage of what comprised the Top 40 charts. My career in radio was short lived-the lure of a real paycheck was too great. Soon after, I stopped following the Billboard magazine or charts. Poor Joel Whitburn no longer got the royalties from my purchase of the 19.95 softcover copy of his guide biannually. Billboard and I had to agree to disagree. I'd come to the conclusion that just because it was popular, didn't mean it was worth listening to. This was a conclusion Ed had arrived at long before I did, and I'm telling you that before he places it in the comments.

Last month, I was over in Tampa and picked up the free paper that I really miss, TBT. I like the sarcastic, edgy take on the news. (Mandy, I totally see you working for this paper!) They find the wackiest stuff to report on, as well as simplifying Tampa news for those who don't have the time to take in the full size newspaper. (oh, and the pop culture updates are hilarious!)

The day I picked up a copy, the cover was "Pop Quiz" and listed Billboard's list of the ten greatest songs of all time. I looked at it and only three qualified in my humble opinion. Then again, I'm not paid to decide these things, the wonks at Billboard are. They based it on radio airplay and sales. The problem is that that data was not collected in the same way as it was even 18 years ago. Jukebox plays have become irrelevant, and Nielsen is used now, but wasn't then.

Are you curious about the list? If you go to their website, tbt's blogger. weighs in on the subject, but you can find the complete list over at Billboard's site.

I'm already long winded enough, so I'll just go into the Top Twenty. Again, I'm not a paid expert in the music field, and you'll probably see why after I rant and rave at the selections!

In descending order:
20. How Deep is Your Love-The Bee Gees.
Okay, I can agree with this one being in the top 20. Saturday Night Fever is a time capsule movie: an accurate portrayal of the disco scene and the music was another example of excellent casting. No rants here.

19. Le Freak-Chic
This song also fits on the list, because the summer it was released, it was on the air EVERYWHERE on the NY radio dial. Initially written by Nile Rodgers as "F*ck Off" when he was refused entry at Studio 54, he got the last laugh when it got lots of spins at the famed disco!

18. The Theme From 'A Summer Place'-Percy Faith and his Orchestra. Before my time, so I can't vouch for how popular it was, and those Joel Whitburn books are not handy to help me out, so I'll have to give this one a bye. I will say this, I don't think of "A Summer Place", I think of "Animal House" and Larry's Angel and Devil encounter!

17.I'll Make Love to You-Boys II Men Really? This is the best choice of their catalog? "End of the Road" didn't get more airplay? Really?

16. Everything I Do, I Do it For You-Bryan Adams Oh, crap, I forgot a whiny singer in that post a few weeks ago. Yes, this one is proof positive that just because it is played frequently doesn't always mean it is good. Ugh. This is the first example in this list of a song that was so annoying that I never bothered to see the movie, though in this case, I like most of the actors in it.

15.Foolish Games/You Were Meant For Me-Jewel
Yodeling does NOT belong in a top song of all time list. Anywhere. Any song with yodeling should be banished to the cutout bin, not rewarded with a slot in the best songs of all time.

14. Tonight's The Night-Rod Stewart Rod had jumped the shark before this song came out. Sorry, it doesn't make the cut. I think this was the pity slot, because people didn't request "You're In My Heart' enough to get him into Casey's end of year "Best of" version of "American Top 40".

13. Endless Love-Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie Pardon me, this paragraph is being preempted, because the author is in the bathroom puking her guts out because this song has now been earwigged into her head. Curse you, Billboard magazine.

12. Bette Davis Eyes-Kim Carnes I think Billboard feels bad for vocalists who sound like they gargled with some Draino, because Bryan and Rod are already here. Pretty woman, annoying voice. It shouldn't be on the list.

11. Yeah!- Usher, Feat, Lil John and Ludacris While it is rap with a melody, is it really worthy of the top 20? I can think of some Old School stuff that blows this away. Oh yeah, that's right, this is based on AIRPLAY, and other than NY, Philly and LA, no one knew who the Sugar Hill Gang was! The rest of these guys? Pale imitators and thus, they don't rate a slot on the list.

10. Un Break My Heart-Toni Braxton Okay, it's not what I'd put in the top 10, but she's pouring out her heart in that song. I guess we'll let it stay.

9. We Belong Together-Mariah Carey It's based on airplay, so I guess that she's got to be in the top 10, too. Doesn't mean that I have to like it. Thankfully, she's not squealing in the higher register that calls dogs in this one...

8.Hey Jude-the Beatles WTF???? Number 8???? And this is their ONLY entry in the top 20? What the hell is this crap? One song per artist? This list is BO GUS!

7. You Light Up My Life-Debby Boone Oh, uh UH! Debby Boone outranked the Beatles? ARE YOU FOR REAL?! What crack are they smoking at Billboard, anyway? (I prefer my best friend from that year's interpretation "You Light Up My Farts". Hey, we were 11, we were allowed.)

6. Physical-Olivia Newton-John Don't get me wrong, O N-J is sweet and is more worthy than many in the top 20, but AHEAD of the BEATLES? With a song about how much she wants to bed down this guy and 'get animal'? This is one of the top ten songs OF ALL TIME?

5. The Macarena-Los Del Rio Without this song, The Pros DJ service would be lost. Just put me out of my misery now, this song is representative of the best music? Can you imagine if aliens landed on our planet and Billboard played them the best music and played this little number? They'd set their weapons on kill before you could blink an eye. And we'd all be dead because of Billboard putting the qQ$$T$%WY%$Y%$^@%%^ Macarena on their BEST list!!!!

4. How Do I Live? LeAnn Rimes. This is just WRONG! The song was recorded by LeAnn, determined to be too Pop for the Con Air soundtrack (or in my not so humble opinion, was too bombastic and overwrought). She was asked to redo it and refused.

Diane Warren (the writer of the song) asked Trisha Yearwood to record it for the movie soundtrack. It was released and when Rimes heard it, quickly released it as a single, too. Hers outsold Yearwood's by 30 million, but Trisha got the Grammy.

Teeny boppers who have temper tantrums and ignore recording protocols do NOT earn a place on the best songs of all time. Best hissy fit of all time, probably.(besides that "Ever survive?" that's too weak on the version you've probably heard? It's much better on the one you probably haven't)

3.Mack the Knife-Bobby Darin This one definitely belongs here. Without a doubt.

2. Smooth-Santana with Rob Thomas How sad is it that Santana makes it on here when they have a guest vocalist? They should be here with "Oye Como Va" or something else, dammit!

At least I agree with the top slot.
1. The Twist-Chubby Checker Gotta give props to a guy who has more dancing ability in his little finger than I do in my whole body. Go ahead and tear the house down, Chubby, you deserved Number one.

Your opinions?

A MeMe From Paula

My buddy from Rhode Island, Paula, has sent this one my way and if I'm going to send it back, I might as well share it with y'all, right? And Paula, I'm dying for some Quahogs-think you can come down and bring some? :)

1. Do you like blue cheese Salad Dressing? Can't eat it, I'm allergic. I probably would like it, though, because there aren't many cheeses I don't like
2. Have you ever smoked? nope
3. Do you own a gun? no
4. What Kool-Aid flavor is your favorite ? Tropical Punch.(changed the tense, we still drink it around here)
5. Do you get nervous before a doctor's appointment? No, that's what happens when you're a frequent flyer
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Kosher, baby. Nathan's, Sabrett's, Hebrew Nationals. Grilled is best, but I'll happily chow down on a dirty water dawg, too.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Lifef
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Sweet Iced Tea with lots of lemon (yep, I am a southern girl now)
9. Can you do push ups? about 100k in wrist repairs says no way, Jose
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My engagement ring-he did good! :)
11. Favorite hobby? cooking, blogging and photography
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Heck, yeah. Wait, what was the question?
13. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I need to start dinner, the kids need showers and where do I find a Frankenstein template to carve Chef's pumpkin?
14. Middle name? Marie
15. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I procrastinate
16. 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, Iced Tea and Coke
17. Current worry? money/will I find a job?
18. Current hate right now? no money/no job
19. Favorite place to be? Epcot at night
20. How did you bring in the New Year? Drinking wine with Ed and watching fireworks in the old neighborhood
21. Where would you like to go? Hawaii
22. Name 3 people who will complete this: Joyce, Mandy (maybe) and I'm not sure, but it's up for grabs to any blogger who needs a topic!
23. Do you own slippers? Yes, but I haven't worn any since I've moved to Florida
24. What color of shirt are you wearing? Orange (with pumpkins)
25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheet? I'm afraid to try, because my clumsy ways mean I'll fall out of bed and injure myself
26. Can you Whistle? Only one note on good days. I can't roll my tongue and I think you need to do that to whistle, since my menfolk all can
27. Favorite colors? Blue
28. Would you be a pirate? I'd be too soft as a pirate. I can say "Arrrrrr" really well.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? whatever is running through my head
30. Favorite girl's name? no favorite
32. What's in your pocket right now? 90 cents and a sharpie marker
33. Something that made you laugh? Chef singing his Nutty Nut song earlier
34. Best bed sheets as a child? mine were boring-eight kids means you buy the best value, not the characters the kids want. Best sheets evah were purchased when I was working at Gimbels, the pattern was Taffeta Tulips
35. Worst injury that you have ever had? Compound fracture of the radius and ulna and malunion of the small bones of the wrist.
36. Do you love where you live? Meh. Too expensive and work is scarce.
37. How many TV's do you have in your house? Thanks to Bob and Maureen, we've just been given our 3rd.
38. Who is your loudest friend? Me (Ed disagrees, but I think he's being nice)
39. How many dogs do you have? none
40. Does someone have a crush on you? According to the banner over Facebook, I've got two secret crushes. I'm so special!
41. What is your favorite book? too many to pick one
42. What is your favorite candy? Snickers bars
43. Favorite Sports team? Mets
44. What song do you want to be played at your funeral? Echolyn, Never the Same


(and I just found the acoustic version on YouTube-I don't know whether I like the album version or this one better.)

NaBloPoMo, Take two!

Last October, I was nervous, excited and worried that I couldn't go the distance. That I'd fail in my quest. I tried anyway.

361 days later, I haven't missed a single day. Of blogging. Yeah, thirty days posting non stop SCARED me. That was last year. Now, I am so totally psyched that on the first of November, I can honestly say it has been a year since I last had a day where I haven't posted. Is it cheating that I'm doing both NaBloPoMo and Blog 365?

If you're contemplating participating in NaBloPoMo, I have a few things to say about the experience:

*You'll make some wonderful friends (waves at Sarah, Mary, Lotus and everyone else! I am now wondering why I thought I met more of you during NaBloPoMo!)

*It's easier if you have 'themed' days. If you don't like the ones that are out there, make up your own. Some of the themes I've seen: MeMe Monday, Talkback Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen, Fun Photo Friday, Scrolling Saturdays. There are even more out there. It gives you less pressure on a couple of days a week.

*Make a list of topics to use, in the event that you have a day with writer's block. I've got one to fall back on.

*If you have a great idea, but you've already posted for the day, draft the blog in Word and save it to post later. It was helpful during NaBloPoMo and Holidailies, now I sometimes am very wordy some days.

*Read, read and read some more. I can't tell you how many times I've borrowed a MeMe or been inspired by someone else's post to craft a reply or my opinion on the topic. Even better, link back to the post that inspired you and give the Linky Love.

Comment, comment, comment. It's free and it makes a person's day to know that what they say resonated with you. If you go back in my blog prior to last year's NaBloPoMo, the comments are sporadic, but now it's rare to have a no comment day. My personal commitment this year is to make at least three comments per day and it's been easy to do. (Even better, it's been fun!)

If you're intimidated, draft a friend to do NaBloPoMo along with you! BTW, Thanks for joining up last year, Mandy! :)

yeah, I need to add the linky love to this post-and I'll do that in a little bit.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shamu as a Halloween Host

Last year, we went trick or treating at Sea World and had a moist, but quite enjoyable day. This year, several things were different:
*Ed had to work.
*We had friends with us.
*It was sunny.
*It was VERY crowded for off season.

It was a good, but long day. Some pictures and some snippets of info, because Kracken decided to rattle my head and it still doesn't like me for that. If I had it to do over again, knowing that I'd have a headache, hell yeah I'd ride. That coaster is awesome!

If you're wondering:
The meal deal is a GREAT value if you're going to be in the park eight hours, which was our plan with our desire to stick around for Shamu Rocks. Mid afternoon, we went to Mama's Kitchen and got a snack for free, and had lunch and dinner each. Bob suggests we do this next time and get there early enough for breakfast. (Okay, as long as we avoid all cake like substances! ;) )

Trick or treating is set up along the same trail as last year, but it seemed like there were a couple more treat stations than last year-but there were less options for Gameboy. Tomorrow's errands will include doing our usual Halloween ritual of buying two bags of stuff he can consume to swap out. We each got about 40 or 50 pieces of candy and a bunch of fingerling bananas.

We saw Clyde and Seymour with a totally different cast (but Tom the Pirate Mime, who is the best mime they've got, IMO). It is so bad it's good. Word must be spreadign about this one, because this time, the theatre was 80% full 20 minutes before show time.

There's a new show in the Nautilus Theatre, A'lure. Times didn't work in our favor today, but we'll report on it, once we've seen it.

When you say Bud, you said it all! (Though Shock Top is tops in our book.)
Seems that if we're with Bob and Maureen, we see the Clydesdales out in the park!

Mugging for Mom.

Pretty Bird, pretty bird! He was spooked by the number of people he saw and said not one word. Can't say that I blame him.


Tom the Pirate Mime in action. Seriously, the mime is the best part of Clyde and Seymour!
Several graduates from Bad Actors R Us. Then again, bad is good when it comes to this show! Hmmm, are they looking for an acting coach? Didn't find one!

No trip is complete without seeing the penguins! Chef wants to bring some puffins home, and tells me we can convert his room to the appropriate habitat! Son, the Lakeland electric bills make LIPA bills look cheap, I am NOT paying to keep a room at 30 degrees for puffins.
Construction on Manta is moving along nicely. We can't wait for this one to open! I got a bunch of great shots from the Sky Tower today, but this is the one I'm sure people want to see.

Shamu Rocks is pretty darn cool, if a little short. Seeing all the glow sticks in the stadium and the youngsters rocking it out to songs that were a hit when I was their age was cool!


This is the huge screen that the kids and I ended up on during the pre-show. First, Spawn Of Bob and Maureen (you both have to help me come up with a pseudonym!), who totally gave us a laugh at his excitement-Chef was seated behind him and mugged royally, and then Gameboy had to get his licks in. Then they got me during "I Love Rock and Roll" and Chef, Spawn and Gameboy all hammed it up.


I'm glad we did this on Saturday, because I think I need Sunday to recover-and I didn't even have a single beer!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where Can I Get A Keyboard Transplant?

Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I had a Headstart 286 computer (ok, there weren't dinosaurs in 1991, but there was Prodigy (*P) and *that* HAS gone the way of the dinosaur), peripheral problems were easily fixed. Mouse started skipping? Just unlock the ring, take the gray rubber ball out of the mouse, spray some canned air in there and your problem probably was solved.

If it wasn't, you went to your nearest computer store and got the part you needed. If there wasn't a store nearby, you opened the massive Computer Shopper and ordered the item and a week to ten days later, you were good to go.

Back then, laptops were huge and cumbersome. I know, because I sold them and I did. not. want. one. Time passed. We got windows, we loathed windows. Al invented the Internet and we used Netscape to browse it (causing the death of *P and the birth of AOHell)

I moved to selling software and peripherals and if my 3.5" floppy drive crashed (which it did), I bought one and replaced it myself. If I wanted to add a CD Rom drive, I got one (my ex installed that for me, though). When I got tired of having a 2600 baud modem, I got a 14.4 and installed it myself. If I needed a new mouse or keyboard, it was a simple matter of checking whether is was an RS-232 or serial port it was using, heading down to Babbage's and getting a new one.

A few years back, I got the laptop. It's had some fits and starts. Like the time we found out it was allergic to Direct X and needed a hard drive transplant.

They say spouses begin to adapt the appearance of their mates, or owners look like their dogs. In my case, my laptop is falling apart, much like its owner. See?

It started a few months ago. I tried to get some dust rhinos out from under the C and T key and accidentally popped them off. Three hours later, they were reattached in very precise microsurgery. For the most part, they work like they always did. You might not even notice that they'd been under the surgeon's care-she left no visible scars.

This week, another letter failed. The F. However, unlike the other two, the failure happened in a different manner-all the parts stayed there, but the bushing keeps getting shifted around. Now it looks like a loose tooth of the laptop world.
This surgeon has tried several means of remedying the F's issues, but F is getting stuck under the R, popping up like a jack in the box, standing straight at attention or spitting out the bushing.

The surgeon thinks that maybe a 'knee' replacement is in order, but it doesn't seem like the type of item that's found in the first aid aisle of Radio Shack, Best Buy or the local computer shops. (unlike people's knees, it suffers *too* much flexibility, rather than not enough)

I suspect that the laptop will have the colostomy bag of the computer world, an external USB keyboard. Which begs the question, if one dog year is equal to seven years, what is the computer equivalent? Has anyone ever had a visit from the laptop fairy that can tell me she DOES exist?

At least this isn't terminal...

Stuffed

I think the Suzanne family has been completely converted. If I even mention the possibility of making pizza dough, the men are beholden to whatever I say. They're luck y I don't use this to my advantage.

See, I've figured out the cheese ratios that these things are as close to NY pizza as they're going to get without having the right water and a brick oven. Psst, if you're using mozzarella, or even a 50/50 split, it's not going to turn out right.

I mentioned on the way to voting that I was thinking of making pizza and Ed resembled Homer Simpson when he has the Forbidden Donut. It was rather humorous.

Three pizzas later, we all are filled to the gills. Other than the occasional foray to Palace Pizza (the best darn pizza in Lakeland-heck, the best Italian food in central Florida, too), we're definitely in he make it ourselves camp.

It's a pretty darn good place to be, in the camp that knows the secret to good homemade pizza.

Frequent Flyers, the IEP Edition

Normally, I'd put this in Aspergersville, but that wouldn't be fair to the school. I'd griped considerably at the beginning of the school year, because I felt that Gameboy's placement was inappropriate, that his teachers weren't the best fit (or one in particular).

Since then, I've had a change of opinion. This was due, in large part, to the fact that when I started going Mama Bear on the school and persisting when the answers I was getting from one teacher in particular were cop outs. (The other two have been incredible, OTOH). We're all on the same page as to what Gameboy is capable of and what is beyond his abilities.

Yesterday, we had an IEP meeting. One Mrs. H, the IEP coordinator convened due to an encounter Gameboy had with the school psychologist when he was being bullied by another student. This happened at the same time that I flipped out over an interim report that had a ZERO nine weeks in without a single contact from the teacher, and three failing grades with the teacher who has him in her class five periods each day.

As frequent attendees at these meetings, Ed and I know the drill. Usually a teacher (or three) shows up, the psychologist, social worker, district ESE coordinator and many times, either the principal or assistant principal. I think the most we've ever had around the table was ten. Yesterday's was the psychologist, two teachers and us.

This was the most informal of any of the IEP's we've attended in the past eight years, but this approach worked. We've made it clear in all dealings with staff at Gameboy's school that we want what's best for Gameboy AND them. We were initially frustrated at his placement because the first criteria in his plan were ignored.

However, there's been a complete 180. His teachers are seeing that requiring a child with Dysgraphia to write is a recipe for disaster and a DEFCON 4 meltdown. This is because it HURTS for him to write. One marking period in, and both teachers mentioned that he retains so much of the curriculum without writing a darn thing down, that they're respecting that IEP.

We could have forced the issue and demanded a one to one aide for Gameboy. That would be the ideal for him, but to us, that takes money away from an already burdened school district. Instead, we asked that Gameboy be placed right up front of each classroom to put distractions behind him. His art teacher mentioned that she's allowed him to enter her classroom before his classmates, due to trouble with a few students. He is out there for a few minutes without adult intervention.

This classroom is right around the corner from his previous class. I turned to Ms. E and asked her to hold him in her class a few minutes more, to allow for Ms. B to bring him right into the classroom to remove the time where he's with those kids who do their best to set him off.

This year, he's made a couple of friends. From what Gameboy has told me, one of these boys used to bully him, but Ms. E tells us that this boy is the one who talks Gameboy out of poor choices and calms him when he gets upset. Wow.

The psychologist came at it from a different perspective and suggested that we look to the school for supplemental psychological services. This sounds great, because they'll be able to observe in the school setting and come up with an action plan for Gameboy to deal with the issues he encounters daily.

On top of all the emotional advances he's made in the past two months, it seems like the school is doing all they can to keep the improvements coming.

What I Did Today

For the past few weeks, I've been wearing my opinion on my shirt:Today, I put my passion to paper:
If your state offers early voting, please take advantage of it! Even if we are on different sides of the political aisle, your vote is important!

In 2004, we waited in line for two hours to cast our votes. Today, we waited 45 minutes. It beats waiting in line on November 4th!

Oh, and in this Florida county, there will be NO hanging chads. We had a a paper ballot that we filled in bubbles with ebony pencils.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We've Been Boo'ed!

For those unfamiliar with this, it's a GOOD thing to get Boo'ed! Think of it as a form of Ring and Run, but the person doing the Ringing (or in this case, knocking!) leaves a bag full of goodies!


Inside the bag was all of this yummy stuff! Awesome!

The concept is that you spread the Boo throughout your neighborhood by Boo-ing two more of your neighbors. We'll be heading out to Target shortly to get the stuff to spread the wealth (and some chocolate for Gameboy to enjoy, but I'll let him partake of the items with dye right before bedtime.)

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's For Dinner Wednesday

Recently, I found a recipe for Root Beer Pulled Pork that sounded too good to be true. Put a Boston butt in the crock pot, add a quart of root beer and voila, in 5 hours, you have tender meat, ready for pulling.

I didn't believe it could be that simple, so the first time I made it, I added mustard and garlic to the country ribs that I had on hand. It turned out very tender and tasty. It still needed something, but I'm no sure what.

We know when a meal is a hit when the kids start nagging us to make it again. They started about a week ago-can we have the Root Beer Pulled Pork? It's gratifying to make something and know that you weren't the only one who liked it.

This time, I put the simplicity to the test with the Boston Butt that was waiting in the freezer. I decided to follow the recipe this time and only used the root beer. I discovered that it needs more than this-and I use name brand stuff. I ended up adding mustard, garlic and salt at the very end. I think it needs a bit of vinegar, so I'll try that next time.

Hi, my name is Suzanne and I'm a Blogaholic

Admitting it is one thing, curing the addiction is another matter entirely. Especially when I don't want to stop reading.

There is one thing that this addiction has done, and that is made my bookmarks woefully disorganized. I'll read a blog, like what I see and bookmark it to come back later. Alas, that doesn't always happen and then my folders are overstuffed with things that I'd probably really like but don't even have clue where to begin.

Then I end up spending a half hour sorting what I can into tidy, organized goodness, but still have stuff to sort. Always. For instance, my toolbar has a Blogs folder that has about a dozen of my "Do NOT skip reading these today" favorites:Major kudos to Ed for showing me how to do folders in my toolbar. Thanks, honey! You all don't want to know the mess that was my bookmarks before the man showed me the path to organized links!

When I started Blog365, there were so many new bloggers that merited checking on them more frequently, that I made them their own folder. See the lovely "Blog 365" folder? Ten months later it has evolved into something completely different. It's the holding pen of sorts for the newer blogs and the blogs I read frequently, but I don't check them daily (oh, and Ed's blogs, should he decide he's going to dive into the blogging waters once again). The list was long and cumbersome, but a little housekeeping also trimmed this down to something manageable.

My bookmarks themselves are a whole 'nother matter:


Recently, I had to spend a few hours at the local VW dealership and the rubble was my bookmarked got streamlined into this lovely long list while I waited for my car, since they didn't have WiFi access. Three hours was not enough time to fix this mess, folks.

Back in the day, it was easy to leave the blogs in amongst all the general tabs, because I probably read a dozen. Now there are about a dozen FOLDERS! Notice I don't tab "Humor" or "Mommy Bloggers". It's a given that these blogs are funny and well, having kids creates humor that doesn't require classifying mommy in deciding your tab. (You know the humor is universal when your friends who aren't parents read the bloggers with kids.)

The rest of the pile? It's either in Friends, Television Crap or here:
I counted almost ninety blogs in those folders. Somehow, I suspect that once I cull through the ones I don't read, there are still about 70 blogs in the regular reading rotation.


Yep, I'm a blogaholic. At least I admit it.

Remembered Just In Time

That Sea World is having their Halloween event this weekend. Woohoo, free candy! We had lots of fun doing this last year, rain and all.

I've got to figure out whether we're going Saturday or Sunday. Anyone local want to join us? If so, tell me which date works for you. (Bob, phone call on the way, lol!)


It's a good thing I picked up the felt to complete Chef's costume last night. He wants to be this guy: Channeling my Mom here, because I'm making my own pattern for the vest. He's got a shirt that's pretty close to the real deal. The hair is going to be the tough part, and it is nearly every year (except the one year he shaved it off to be Anakin!)

Gameboy is easy, he wants to reuse his Harry Potter costume. All he's asked of me is to buy him a wand. I think I can manage that one!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Several People Need YOUR Help

And if you have a blog, please help get the word out.

One of my favorite bloggers is asking for help for some strangers friends. One is dying of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.

Matt says it much better over here.

DVTS and Factor V Leiden kick me off the registry candidate's list. If you have it in your heart and body, please consider registering.

Borrowing a MeMe

Once again, I'm borrowing a MeMe because, well, er, I, um, ah actually LIKE the darn things. There, I said it. You don't hate me now, do you? I mean, I don't fill my little corner of the blogosphere with them. Instead, I just pepper them in here and there, kind of like the lace doilies your grandma made you but you never used. (My Nana? Never EVER made a lace doily. That's why I resort to using MeMe's!)

Anyway, this one comes from the lovely Grandy. It's hard to believe that in about two weeks, it'll be a year since I've been reading this lady's hilarious musings on life. If you don't read her blog, take some time to check her out-because she's a riot!

Anyway, she posted 19 New Things About Grandy, and I figured it's my turn. To write 19 New Things about Suzanne, because, well, Grandy already wrote about Grandy and anything I wrote wouldn't be new stuff about Grandy. Besides, everything I know about Grandy I learned from reading her blog. I just told you to do that (and even provided a link), so you'll know everything about her soon enough and don't need me to duplicate material.

Enough of the Abbott and Costello (I am neither Abbott OR Costello and should stop trying to be anywhere near as funny), and on to the 19 New Things About Suzanne:

1. Do you like blue cheese? I honestly don't know. In a bizarre twist of fate, the penicillin allergy I have is of the type that my allergist told me I shouldn't consume blue cheese. The few times I've accidentally had even a smidge of it, the results were rather unpleasant.

2. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No, I tend to sharpen the comedic wit. I tend to visit doctors like some people visit the mall.

3. Favorite Christmas Song? Oh, I hate these, because you want to hear just one song. When it comes to music, there can never be just ONE. How about one dozen? No?
Then we'll leave you with a small list:
O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Christmas Wrapping, What Child is This?, Coventry Carol, The Christmas Song, Santa Baby (but only Eartha Kitt's version) and the list will change tomorrow...

4. Do you work with people who idolize you? I'm not working at the present time, so that's an easy no.

5. Do you have A.D.D.? How many kids with ADD does it take to change a lightbulb? Hey, lets go ride bikes!

6. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. -
1) It would sure be nice to get to sleep
2) Did Ed mean that I was getting up with the kids in the morning? Will he be pissed if I wake him to ask?
3) Sure wish this foot would stop with the pins and needles already!

7. Name something you bought yesterday. Gas (at 2.77 a gallon), a watermelon Icee and a hotdog for Chef after Cub Scouts.

8. Current worry right now? The lack of job and/or money.

9. Current hate right now? How people bitch about not having money in one breath, then talk about all the wasteful ways they spend what money they do have and make excuses about it in the other.

10. Favorite place to be? WDW. Not going to be there anytime soon, unfortunately.

11. Where would you like to go? Hawaii. Leg surgery and paradise, all in one place.

12. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Doesn't sound all that appealing to a klutz like me-I'll end up sliding out of bed and right into the need of an ER visit.

13. Favorite girl's name? honestly don't have one. Is that a sign that I was meant to have boys, or what?

14. Favorite boy's name? Aiden.

15. Last thing that made you laugh? Chef's interpretation of a few moosebutter songs.

16. Worst injury you've ever had? I don't rate as spectacular an injury as Grandy, but smashing my wrist to smithereens has to rate as the worst. Only because some of the health crap in my life has nothing to do with injuries.

17. Does someone have a crush on you? If they do, they're keeping it pretty darn secret. (I think Ed is well past the crush stage and onto the "the things I thought were cute really piss me off" stage of our relationship)

18. What is your favorite book? The pressure, I can't choose ONE! Charm School by Nelson de Mille, because it's long overdue for a re read.

19. What were you doing 12 AM last night? surfing my blog buddies and watching Food Network.

If you want to play...make sure you leave a comment so I can come check out your meme.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yummy, Tax Deductible Popcorn



A few weeks ago, I mentioned how Chef and Gameboy had their fundraisers for Cub and Boy Scouts. Gameboy's fundraiser information was posted, but I needed a code before I could tell you about Chef's fundraiser.

Did I mention that these are TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Chef's Cub Scout pack only does one fundraiser each year, just as Gameboy's Boy Scout troop just sells the greenery that I posted a couple of weeks ago. The pack sells Trail's End popcorn. Yummy popcorn. Really, really addictive caramel corn!

Ordering is easy. If you're local, contact me by the 27th of this month and we'll put your order in. You pay when we deliver your popcorn. (and you get to see us, too-bonus!)

If you're far away, but want to order, you just click here to go directly to the Trail's End website. You will need to enter Chef's scout key for his pack to get credit, so be sure to enter TEXUV46 in the "enter order key" box. (You also get different options than those ordering directly from us, but I'll get to that in a bit.)

Have you ever had a hankering for some microwave popcorn, but you ran out because you buy those little packages with three packets? Not to worry, these microwave packages contain 15 packages of microwave goodness! The first one is Butter Light, designed to give you the great taste of buttery popcorn without the calories. (Honestly, we've popped this one up and didn't even know it wasn't the regular kind.) Boxes from us are $15.00 (tax deductible!). This one is not currently available on the Trail's End website.


If you're like me, and love the taste of movie theatre popcorn, this is the one for you. For less than two buckets at your local cinema, you can have 15 enjoyable bowls of buttery goodness while watching your favorite DVD. For 15 tax deductible dollars, you get 15 bowls that rival the stuff at the movie theatre and you don't even have to worry about the sticky floors! Available directly from Trail's End (but there is a nominal shipping fee)


This is our family's favorite microwave popcorn, hands down. Our first year in scouting, we foolishly bought one box of the Kettle Corn variety and gobbled it up in about two weeks. Thankfully, we'd bought it at our first show and sell and bought another package through the boys. A few months later, we found out that our old pack still had leftover show and sell product, so we bought two more packages. We like it that much. Last year, we were smart and bought enough that we are honestly down to our last package in the pantry as I write this.

It's made with Splenda, so calorie counters can still enjoy great sugary/salty popcorn without the guilt. Each package has 15 packets for the low, tax deductible price of 20 dollars. (and you don't have to pay fair or carnival admission to get your Kettle corn!)

In addition to these microwave options through Chef, the Trail's End website offers a variety pack of the three types they offer. It is 35 dollars and contains 30 packages of popcorn.

Onto the gift cans. Last year, we gave several of the boys teachers a can of the caramel corn (and Gameboy's bus drivers little gift bags that we put some packages of the microwave kind in a 'movie night' kit) We'll probably buy a case of the caramel corn again to do this.

This is the yummiest, most addicting popcorn I've ever enjoyed. (and those of you who knew me when I was a kid know my Cracker Jack addiction-and my Fisher's popcorn addiction one I moved south know this is saying something!) We loved it so much the first year that we decided the teachers deserved a sweet treat last year.

If you decide to purchase through Trail's End, it is sold in a case of 12. There are several things you can do with that much popcorn.
1.Horde it all to yourselves.
2.Use it for teacher, hostess, neighbor and service people gifts.
3.Find a friend or family member to split the case.
4.Horde it all to yourselves, because you know you want to!

I forgot to take a picture of the Caramel Light can. It's 20 dollars, contains no nuts and is made with Splenda. It's 23.4 ounces of less guilt indulgence! And the bonus is, it's available on the Trail's End site, so you don't have to be local to follow your calorie counting plans!

What happens when you add pecans, almonds and cashews to already yummy caramel corn? You create a confection that no one in the Suzanne household can resist! If we'd bought a case of this, I assure you that the teachers would not have seen a single can after we opened the one we bought for ourselves last year! They do not skimp on the Pecans (the favorite nut in this house, besides Chef, that is). It's a great deal at $20 bucks from either Chef directly or Trail's End's website. Oh, I have been remiss on the past few-it's TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!


This is a new offering this year, and if Chef has his way, he'll be bringing some home from the next Show and Sell. It's Trail Mix, and contains a blend of raisins, M&Ms, peanuts, cashews, almonds and dried cranberries. It's also available through the Trail's End website. Imagine having some of that on your next hike!


The boys were so busy selling their wares that they wanted me to let you know that there are other options on their order forms and the Trails End Website. Things like Chocolate Covered Popcorn, Cheese Popcorn, variety Tins and Popping Corn if you're a purist.

The coolest thing of all? Trail's End has a program where you can make a 25 dollar purchase and it goes TO THE TROOPS OVERSEAS! Can you imagine the day brightener that must be after eating MRE's? The best part is that you're supporting the troops and Scouting with your Tax Deductible purchase!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Oh, you were wondering what to do with those empty tins? Well, Chef is ready to show you his drumming skills-we'll just have him do a solo for you!

Greeblepix October Contest.


You've seen this picture before, but I'm entering it in the October Greeblepix Contest. The prize this month is awesome, a $250 camera rental from http://prophotorental.com/Default.asp?c=202036 It'd be so cool to check out a digital SLR!

My entry, taken at Epcot a couple of weeks ago:


Go check out Aimee's blog and http://www.greeblemonkey.com/2008/10/october-greeblepix-contest.html!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

What do you do when you enjoy singing Choral music and aren't in a choir? You can't exactly go down to the Karaoke bar and request "Ecce Gratum" from Carmina Burana or "Kyrie Eleison" from Schubert's Mass in G. Let's face it, if you're a choir geek without a choir, you're out of luck.

I am an unabashed singer of anything, anywhere. I'm the chick in the Beetle that passed you with "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light" cranked up to 11, singing the Alto part. That Monsoon sound system is great for good stereo separation of four part harmonies, btw. (Just thought my fellow choir geeks might want to know this, in case they're contemplating purchasing a VW for audio quality, not love or German engineering.)

You're wondering "Okay, geek, what do you do when you're a choir fangirl and you aren't in a choir?" Well, there is ONE event each year that is the Superbowl of choral singing, the one place where fellow geeks fans of fine composition for choral masterworks can congregate:

The Messiah Sing In.

Halleluiah!
Halleluiah!
Hal le LU IAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

For one evening, I can sing along with all the chorus portions and confuse those around me. "Didn't she sing Tenor on the last one? But she sang Alto on the one before it? Uh, she seems to know the Soprano part!" Yes, in my course of learning the choruses of "Messiah", it depended on which year as to what part I sang! (Though it bothered Mr. Thayer to no end that he was forced to use (gasp) girl tenors because there weren't enough guys)

Many years ago, I treated myself to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra CD set of The Messiah and my own book of the score, with the plans that I'd go to that year's sing in down at the Kennedy.

It never happened, nor did it happen in the many years since. I came close a couple of times, having friends or coworkers that were equally enthralled with Handel's music. Either we couldn't coordinate a date, or more commonly, the retail schedule would push it out of my brain until somewhere around December 19th (usual Winter Concert time when I did sing the choruses in school) and by then? I was way too late to attend a sing in. If I wanted to sit in the audience and *listen*, I was golden. That's not what I wanted to do. I want to SING! HALLELUIAH, dammit! (and Surely, He Hath Bourne Our Griefs, but I digress)

Tuesday night, driving home from Boy Scouts, I had the iPod cranked to 11, and Gameboy was tolerant of not only my music, but my singing. He's been cursed blessed with his father's perfect pitch, so he usually doesn't want to hear others singing. For a change, I was able to sing along when "Break Forth" came on and my mind wandered.

I teared up a bit, because it reminded me of auditions and getting in, of hours spent in choir practices, making things perfect for performing for our family, friends and alumni. Of that annual performance WITH the Alumni on the risers and the combined choirs ringing the auditorium to sing the Halleluiah Chorus.

This year, I don't have the retail holiday insanity filling my brain. I wasn't distracted by the pile of things that normally floods my brain in October and pushes out the plans of being a choir geek until it's too late.

This year, I need to track down my book and crank all those Choruses up to 11 in the Beetle, because I am going to a Messiah Sing In this year. I finally remembered it early enough to do something about it.

(Ironically enough, when I Googled dates? The first hit was for Frederick, Maryland-on December 23rd!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweet Treats from Yesterday


I'm siting here, watching Unwrapped. Marc Summers is extolling the virtues of my favorite stuff, CANDY!

The upsell at a commercial break was about Slopokes. I mentioned that they were like BB Bats. Ed had never heard of them, and he knows candys. It ends up the man who resurrected the Slopokes also makes BB Bats and Kits, candies that I remember from the 70s (and may *still* have stuck in my teeth today!)

It makes me think of those favorite treats when I was a kid. A quarter or a buck meant I was buying candy. These are the ones I remember buying and enjoying:

Reggie Bars (but only for a few weeks before I got those braces)
Violet Mints and Teaberry gums
Charleston Chews (they came in a lot of flavors back then, but vanilla is the best)
Space Dust/Pop Rocks
Sugar Babies
Zotz (I found some in Saint Augustine, but they only had sour apple)
Clark Bars
Fun Dip
Ice Cubes
Bazooka Gum
Necco Wafers and conversation hearts
Mary Janes
Pixy Stix
Chunky Bars
Oh, and I forgot a few-Razzles and Nik L Nips. I enjoyed so many Razzles that I got a free backpack one year.

Of course, now that Halloween is around the corner, I start to think of the good, the bad and the ugly of what we'd find in the trick or treat bags. The worst would be getting the open candy, because that half pound of candy corn and unwrapped hard candies in the bottom of the bag all had to go in the trash.

We all got that lecture in school and at home that you MAY NOT EAT OPEN CANDY! The other thing drilled into our heads was that ALL fruit has razor blades in the middle! Even if one of your classmates moms was the one handing it to you! (how sad is that that?)

In our neighborhood, the kids would confer. "Don't go to that house, they give out pennies." "That house gives out licorice." "That house gives out bags of potato chips!" (we later learned the guy worked for Wise). You'd learn where to go and which houses were a waste of time.

I'm sure it's the same for kids now. The kids would come by the carload into our old neighborhood, because of the 50 odd houses, there were about 30 giving out stuff and only one was giving out bible tracts. Most gave out good stuff. My rule is that we must.give.out.chocolate, though last year I added those snack bags of Goldfish and they ran out first. I hope the people living there now give out the chocolate, too.

My landlord tells me that we'll hardly get trick or treaters. That's okay, I'll buy the choclate and if we don't get the 60 or 70 kids we usually have, then we'll have a nice chocolate fix for a while. At least they won't be complaining that those people are mean and give out the boring candy.

What about you? What confections of childhood were you looking for in that trick or treat bag? And do you have odd quirks, like hating coconut, yet loving Almond Joys and Mound bars (but not Bounty)?

(an aside, now Unwrapped is featuring GooGoo clusters, which I first tried at the Grand Ole Opry. We want to drive over to Cracker Barrel and get some. They are SOOOO good.)
These pictures were taken at Kracken Barrel this morning, while Chef did his Popcorn show and sell. Goo Goo fix was satisfied!

A Good Day Fishing

Ed and Chef across the lake.

Gameboy came out to the car from Scout meeting on Tuesday night "I volunteered to work the Fishing Derby on Saturday." The same derby I hadn't signed Chef up to participate in! I was happy that my son is starting to take initiative and seek out the community service on his own, but worried that his brother would be disappointed.

Not to worry. An email later, the Scoutmaster informed me that there had been a vacant slot-so one would play and the other would earn his service time towards ranks.

The fish were biting, so the time breezed by. The leader who coordinates this activity has taken a shine to Gameboy (he's a very nice, grandfatherly type who seems to know just what to ask Gameboy to do that is within his abilities). I'd given him my cell phone number and let him know we'd be on the other side of the lake. Alas, he forgot to save it his phone.

There wasn't that much for Gameboy to do, so the last 45 minutes, he came over to fish with Chef. Who was doing very well today. He caught three fish!
Fish number one, who jumped off the hook and onto the ground.
Fish two, who was a little easier to get in hand.
Our proud angler
Both boys fishing. Gameboy didn't want to use worms, despite the fact that no one had caught anything with lures and Chef had given a lot of fish a worm breakfast without snagging them on the line. If you look above Chef's rod, to the left of his head, there's a gator in the water. He kept going after and consuming bobbers. At one point, Chef made a really good 50-60 foot cast-right at the gator. Oops. Fortunately, he didn't lose the worm or bobber to the gator.
Fish number three.

It was a fun morning. Now I want a nap!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not Just Another Day For Me


I still want to pick up the phone and see what's cooking.

Sometimes, I see Steve Jerve on the news and think of your meteorologist crush. I go by a store you used to frequent and think fondly of the deals you scored and shared with others.

There should have been more time to hear your stories of when you were a kid and the stories of us kids. You were a great storyteller.

The older I get, the more I find that I am just like you. Instead of thinking that's bad, I realize just how good that is.

I wish you were here to celebrate so many more birthdays. You looked forward to each one with relish.

I miss you so very much.

I love you, Mom.