House was a repeat and Castle was preempted by some nonsense reality show. Thought for sure now that the Olympics were done we would get new shows. At least TDTVS won’t let me down tomorrow.
This Ip Odd thing is turning into a money pit. We needed a set of headphones so Donna could listen, she hates ear buds — $50. We then wanted a dock with speakers for the bedroom — $80. If I want to use in the Miata, I could remove the 6 disc changer in the trunk thereby reclaiming precious space, an adapter is needed — $150.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 541
Seems just like yesterday I posted last…
The rampant electronic consumerism continues here, I’m blogging on a new laptop, a Toshiba Satellite T135-S1307. The screen is a couple inches smaller than the old Dell, but after a few hours of use it is not really an issue any more. One big advantage is this thing weighs like half as much. Another is the loooong battery life, I’m fairly sure I’ll never get that promised 9+ hours out of it, but right now I’m at 82% left and according to the task tray icon that equates to 6 hours and 3 minutes. Getting it set up on the home network, while not painless, certainly went pretty easy. And all and all Windows 7 hasn’t been too hard to deal with. My only complaint so far is the letter markings on the keys are faint and hard to see in dim light — I know, learn to touch type already.
It is time to replace our current living room stuff, the couch has started to creak when we sit down or get up from it and a seam has split showing stuffing (fortunately it is out of sight mostly.) It is kind of a shame too as the love seat and chair are practically new, because they rarely get used, but anyway, today we started furniture shopping. This could possibly be a six month adventure because we have such different tastes sometimes it is hard to agree on a compromise, on the other hand we always do seem to find something we both like, so it might happen quickly. It didn’t happen this afternoon in the local Rooms To Go.
The weather has still been unseasonably cold around here, looks like it will straighten out this next week, but I did manage to get the top down a couple of days this last week and it did go down again today, so the total below should be up to date.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 546
Not only has Donna lost some weight using the Sickly Colon Diet™, I have lost about 15 pounds. I need to add an extra hole in my belt to hold my pants. Right now they kinda of droop in a semi-fashionable way if I was a lot younger than 54. I have lost enough that the pair of 34 x 34 Levi 501s that have been at the bottom of my closet fit just fine.
This may be showing my age or maybe just my similar proclivities to Fox Mulder and Gregory House, but I seem to remember that Levis 501s were the pant of choice of male stars of XXX movies, no chance of any part of their anatomy getting caught in a zipper during a scene.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 550
I am either way behind in blogging about the oil changes on the Emperor or just way behind in actually doing one. My routine has been to change the oil every 3,750 miles, which is exactly twice as often as Mazda recommends and while I’m at it I rotate the tires from front to back. But the last time I mention an oil change was on September 6th, which judging by my Miata Mileage posts would put it at around 95.5K or about 9,000 miles ago!
This Saturday I’m going to do the oil change slash rotate the tires thing. Unless I forget to buy oil or it rains or…
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 551
One of my favorite House episodes in on USA right now, the Season 4 opener Alone, where he uses the help of a janitor and Cuddy to solve a case because his team of three years quit on him. But the best part is the sub plot where Wilson “kidnaps” House’s $12k guitar. Which now that I’m re-watching it, was probably inspirational in my having fun with Rob’s dead roach a while back.
Ooooh, an In Plain Sight promo, March 31st. Looks like I need a new countdown.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 551
Finally finished the last ever Spenser novel yesterday. It has taken me a lot longer than normal to finish for a couple of reasons, Donna got sick so I haven’t had the time and for some reason I just couldn’t get interested in the story. Maybe it was subconscious, knowing that it is the last of the line or maybe it really is as the critics have said, the last several Spenser novels were written on autopilot without much thought to plot, but more a gathering of old friends in familiar situations.
I had started reading them all over again and got as far as #4 before the last two books I didn’t own showed up in the mail. They first few were when Robert B. Parker was feeling his way in developing who Spenser would become and the last few, well, see above. Maybe I need to reread the middle group when the series was really cooking. I’ll start at 15, Crimson Joy, and work my way to Sudden Mischief, #25.
The last book held one last Spenser’s Crime Buster Rule — One of Spenser’s Rules For Criminal Investigation: Most things have two ends. i.e. I’d gotten nothing much from Beth’s end, so I decided to try the other end, and went out to JP to visit Boo.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 553
On our way to do a little shopping today we decided to see if we could find From Tree To Shining Tree.
On our first attempt we found Stage 1 easy enough (well Donna found it easy), but Stage 2 in spite of being a regular sized container, eluded us. We were not the only ones who couldn’t find it either, several people before us couldn’t find it as well, including some cachers with very large find numbers. The owner checked on the cache and sure enough the final stage was gone.
Four months went by before the owner placed a new second stage in the field. We had the cache on our Watch List, so when it went back live, we went after it the very next weekend. We hadn’t saved the Stage 2 coords from our first attempt, so we went back to the first stage, where this time it was easy even for me, I had been there before. Good thing we did that too, the 2nd stage had been relocated. We knew this because we were lead right by where we were searching on our first try to a spot 25 feet outside the park fence to a barren spot that had no possible place to hide anything without it being in plain sight. We alerted the owner, who was mystified as to the mix up, as she was sure had placed the final hide inside the park, she would check on it hen she got back in town.
Three months go by this time before the cache is reactivated. We don’t get to go looking for it for another month. Two hundred and forty three days after our first DNF we finally get to add this cache to the find database.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 556
We were 5 of 7 in geocaching this morning. This afternoon I finally did change the oil and rotate the tires on the Emperor. While I was at it I gave him a bath too. He got quite dirty yesterday when Donna had me drive up and down the local dirt roads trying to catch a glimpse of horse drawn carriages.
Before yesterday’s running of the first “jewel” of Aiken’s Triple Crown (the flat races) there was supposed to be a carriage parade. Seeing as we were not interested in the races and too cheap to spend the $10 a piece to get in and watch the actual parade, we guessed at the start point and cruised the dirt roads looking for it. Alas, there was no external parade, the carriages came to the horse track in there own good time. We stopped near the entrance where Donna jumped out to take a couple photos of the two carriages already inside the grounds and then we drove down a rutty, muddy road looking for more. we did find two more making their way to the track, including these two ladies all dressed in purple.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 557
The Ides of March is the name of March 15 in the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.
In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 709 AUC or 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators. According to Plutarch, Caesar was warned by a seer to be on his guard against a great peril on the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar saw the seer and joked “Well, the Ides of March have come,” to which the seer replied “Ay, they have come, but they are not gone.”
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 558
Radios and CD players have always been strictly forbidden at work and when the Internet on our network became available, they added streaming music to the ban too. And over the years there have been periodic reminders that this is a no-no. In spite of this I have always listened to music by storing mp3s on the hard drive and playing them using Winamp (which makes it doubly wrong because loading unauthorized software and using the work PC for anything besides work is forbidden by a different set of rules.) I do play the music at such a level that unless you are in my cube, practically sitting on my lap, you can’t really hear it, so I don’t think any of my neighbors complained.
Last Friday another reminder on the music ban made the rounds via email from Human Resources, for some reason I took this one seriously and deleted several gigs of music and uninstalled Winamp. The last two days have been really quiet in my cubical.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 560
Donna and I jetted to the Nation’s Capital this weekend to see Sally, Donna’s longtime friend and globetrotting State Department minion. As a bonus, Sally’s mom was visiting her there too and they were both staying with sister/daughter Susie at her home in Chevy Chase, MD, so we got two visits for the price of one.
The trip started out inauspiciously with us showing up at the Augusta airport at what we thought was an hour early, but turned out to be a minute to late. We had misread our eTicket and thought that the Atlanta arrival time was our Augusta departure time. Fortunately it was early on a week day, so there was an actual flight leaving at the time we thought, and there was enough room on it for us. Unfortunately that chopped most of our Atlanta layover time away. Naturally the flight we did get on was delayed on takeoff, thereby leaving us just enough time to race from one gate to the next to make the flight to Dulles. Little did we know this was an omen of how the whole trip would seem to go.
Here are a couple of low lights: 1) On Saturday we had arranged to meet a cousin of Donna’s who lives in Richmond at a half way point between there and DC. She picked out a regional breakfast chain called Aunt Sarah’s that was an easy off exit on I-95 in Fredricksburg, VA. We got there first and when we pulled into the lot we knew we were in trouble, it was empty, so too was the building. This particular Aunt Sarah’s had shutdown. We ended up at a Bob Evans on the other side of the Interstate. 2) I failed to print out the directions to our hotel near the airport on Saturday night. This resulted in a lot of driving and looking with no luck. Finally I admitted defeat and pulled into a sister hotel in the chain that I did see and asked for directions. The helpful clerk wrote the directions and off we went. We ran into trouble after the second line because we never did find the road she said to take a left on. Several miles later I called the number for the hotel we were to stay at and got directions. Turns out it was almost back where the other hotel was, but by now it was closer just to finish up my 25 mile loop around Dulles International Airport than backtrack.
On the way home today when we left DC the flight was full. so they asked if people might go ahead and check some of their carry ons for free to make sure there was enough overhead bin room for every one. I talked Donna into swapping a few things around and we did just that. Wouldn’t you know it, but that bag didn’t show when we landed in Augusta. When the gate agent filled out the form she got the flight number correct, but instead of writing Augusta’s airport code of AGS, she wrote down AUS, meaning the bag made a trip to Austin, TX. As of now it’s current arrival time in Augusta is 10:42PM tonight, we should get it sometime tomorrow.
Maybe tomorrow, I’ll write about some of the highlights.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 561
…but I’m having difficulty overcoming the inertia.
Me, Donna, Adele & Sally waiting to see Galapagos in 3D at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater, National Museum of Natural History on the mall in DC.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 564
Early morning run for Pancakes with the MMC followed geocaching on foot around North Augusta and finished off by finishing off the paneling of the laundry room (thanks Mark.)
Speaking of finishing off, West Virginia just finished off any chance I had in the company basketball pool by beating Kentucky.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 570
Last Saturday we took a little drive to visit Donna’s Cousin Susie for breakfast. We were in DC and Susie lives in Richmond, VA a couple hundred miles away, so we picked a town about halfway between and Fredricksburg was the winner. The is a local chain called Aunt Sarah’s that had a restaurant just off I-95 in Fredricksburg. We agreed to meet there around 8:30.
Donna and I took the “back road” down, US301, and even had time to pick up a couple of caches on the way. When we got to Aunt Sarah’s the parking lot was deserted. Looking inside the window verified that it was no longer in business. After several passes from “wrong Way Susie” we ended up eating at a Bob Evan’s on the other side of the Interstate. The actuall restaurant was irrelevant it was just a place to meet and have the cousins catch up.
After we went our separate ways Donna and I decided to break out the Virginia map and find a back way north instead of joining the lemmings on I-95. By five miles out of Fredricksburg we were on rural two-lane blacktop with little to zero traffic. This was the only time on the trip that we missed having the Miata.
About halfway back to the Airport Marriott where we were spending the night, we made a quick stop at a small general store for some ice cream. What do you know, it is also a post office, old habits die hard so I broke out the digicam and snapped a sot of our Hyundai Elanta rental car in front of the Somerville, VA Post Office.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 571
I have been using a Just One Club Card for years and it has kept my wallet slimmer. There were 5 stores on it, but recently we added a Staples Reward card to our repertoire, so I went and made up a new justoneclubcard.
Tonight shopping at Krogers I went to use my new card and the scanner wouldn’t read it (at the pharmacy nor at the checkout.) Now what? Like a bonehead I tossed out the old card before testing the new one. On top of that I have no idea where the original cards may be.
I did notice that when I print the card from the JOCC site it is a lot smaller than it was on my old card so I enlarged it by 120% to fill the card better. I was careful to use the pixel resize mode so that I wouldn’t get a blurry enlargement and I printed them out on the laser printer. Maybe I need to blow it up in nice round numbers? I wonder if 200 times will still fit on a wallet card?
On the way to work this morning the Emperor reached the 105,000 mile mark.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 572
Tonight Donna and I treated Mark and his wife to dinner at Sala’s for him helping me panel the laundry room. Donna and usually split a single order of Fajitas, but because the steroids she is taking make her hungry all the time she said we should go ahead and get Fajitas for Two and that way the leftovers (if there were any) would be good for her lunch the next day. Mark wanted a Speedy (a taco and an enchilada that is on every Mexican restaurant’s menu), but here it is only offered at lunch, so he had to order a “Pick 2 Combo” which doubled the price (at least it came with rice and beans instead of just one of those with the Speedy.) Mark’s wife Susan ordered the same thing she always gets, even though she read the menu front to back and vocalized a couple of different choices, in the end, it was the usual Chicken Fajitas for her.
When the food came to the table Mark’s plate came out with our tortillas and rice and beans. No sign of meat for the Fajita Folks. In what I’m sure was a shorter time than it felt, out came the Fajita platters, but without the telltale steaming sizzle that normally makes everyone in the dining room look and nod knowing that someone is getting Fajitas. Minus one point for presentation.
When they placed our Fajita plates on the table I noticed that Susan’s pile of chicken was the same size (if not a teeny bit bigger) than our steak and chicken for two. Donna pounces on the waiter and lets him know that we are not paying any more than for the single fajitas because we certainly didn’t get twice as much meat. He mumbles something about that it wasn’t his fault it was the cooks and hurries off.
When the bill comes Donna says to me, “Check to make sure that he charged us right.” The waiter hears this and knowing what I’ll find says, “If you want to have the bill changes you have to talk to the manager.” Ooooh, what. Is he going to come out with crossed ammo bandoleers and 45 revolvers strapped on? We said, “We’ll wait.” The manager comes out a few minutes later, listens to our story, and says, “I’ll take care of it.” Which he did.
We probably would not have said anything about it with the meat portion being the same if the cost was a couple bucks more and not fully double a single fajita dish. Afterall we did get twice the tortillas, rice, beans, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and guacamole.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 574
Back when Donna was in the hospital and they were aggressively working at healing her ailing colon she was being given 40mg of Prednisone a day and she was very hyper with signs of ADD. Her favorite pastime was to cut up paper and magazines to make bows and ribbons. She loved to tape things to other things with the hospital supplied clear dressing tape. Thirdly she hated clutter and was forever rearranging and cleaning up. She used a food tray to keep all her supplies on and it moved with her from bed to chair and sometimes the floor as she worked on her “projects.” As a consequence of the medicine and the zero humidity air of the hospital her hands were always dry and chapped. This led to a lot of applying of hand cream.
Early in her stay she removed her wedding ring and the birthstone “engagement” ring we bought for her after the glass chip feel out of the real one early on in our marriage. I kept them on my keyring to return to her when she got out. As the the hospital stay lengthened she asked for them back. You know where this is leading right?
Somewhere around Day 8 the rings went missing. We weren’t even sure when they actually disappeared because time was very fluid for someone taking that much steroid. Best guess is one of the times she took them off that day to put on hand cream, they were laid on the craft tray and somehow got thrown away during a cleaning up of scrap paper. The staff was very upset and helped tear apart the room looking for the rings, even looking in the cleaning persons trash collection, but they were nowhere to be found.
We were not that upset, things happen and even though there is that line in the vows, neither one of us felt that losing the ring had any significance in the overall scheme of our marriage. We have been meaning to look into buying a nicer set of rings, maybe even do a major upgrade in quality from the set we could afford when we first started out, but as time passed we came to the conclusion that there was not much sense in that. Donna has started to feel funny without any rings on, so we have been keeping our eyes out for something that would quasi-match my ring whenever we went in a store. Last night as we were poking around in Dillard’s looking for a pink sweater for Donna we came across a table with some jewelry on it, including some rings. Hey look, here’s something that’ll fit the bill, its gold and has a bunch of shiny little bits around the circumference. The size 6 was too small, but the 7 fit just right. And at twenty bucks the price was right. Wait a minute, here is a size 9, I wonder if that will fit my skinny finger. Yep, sure did, we have matching rings again. As a bonus the rings came a sets of two, so we have a backup in case one of us misplaces one. Behold, the Tivoli CZ Eternity Band Set.
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Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 576