Friday, April 29, 2011

Was It Good for You?

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last six months, you know that Prince William and Kate Middleton got married today.

For more information about Kate's gown and jewels, check it out here.

The best news, from the point of view of the participants, I'm sure, is that nobody forgot their lines, went the wrong way, or tripped and fell. I'm sure there are two happy people somewhere today, yelling in pure joy because it's all over and nobody threw up!

If Facebook is anything to judge by, there are many people out there who are fed up with having almost nothing else on TV, but that's their problem, and it should be over really soon.

For all you people out there who are confused (like me), I found the Answer Bitch today, and she has answers for many of the questions floating around out there. She didn't answer all of mine, though.

I watched the ceremony, and saw William place a ring on Kate's finger, and then they went on and did other things, and I thought (it was almost 7 am) that I'd fallen asleep for a moment and missed something, but the photos of the two leaving Westminster Abby showed William clearly wearing no ring. I'm puzzled.

Some of the hat's were unbelievable! There was one that I missed on TV until they were riding back to Buckingham Palace, and I saw it in one of the coaches and thought she was wearing antlers! It's been so popular (or at least, so talked about) that it's spawned at least 8 web pages, and probably more by now. Follow the link to find them.

If your problems with the wedding were of a verbal nature, check out this guide to British slang. I've always followed the differences in the English language better than most Americans, but lately there have been a lot of things that threw me.

One of the things they showed off during the times when not much was happening was some of the souvenirs that were for sale around there. They didn't do it formally, but they showed and interviewed the crowd, who had loads of swag with them. Some were cheap and ugly (one person in the crowd wore a crown that looked like it had been cut out of a sponge), but a few looked like fun. If you'd like to find out about some of the more strange collectibles, check it out here.


But, enough about the wedding. The first episode of the new season of Doctor Who aired last Saturday, and you can see that and it's sequel (the second half of the story) tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day, Good Friday and Jelly Bean Day!

Wow! I can't believe they could squeeze all that into one day!

Read more about Earth Day! I can't believe that they're even asking if we can afford to protect the environment! How much is it worth to you to continue breathing? Tear down enough trees, and this huge spaceship we're on won't be able to continue to produce enough oxygen for the people on it!

I don't really have to say much of anything about Good Friday. Everybody who hasn't been hiding under a rock knows about it. I used to love all the great biblical movies that were on at this time of year, but they almost don't exist on TV anymore.

There are a lot of things on the channels about learning, discovery and science about biblical stories and the possibility that they could be historical fact, though.

I didn't even know that it was Jelly Bean Day until I saw it online in a newspaper! And right before Easter, too! I'll bet the diabetes doctors will be having a lot of patients next week!


And some of the best news today is that the new season premier of Doctor Who will be on BBC in America tomorrow evening! They're having a Doctor Who marathon during the day to build up to the premier. I can't wait!

In fact, it seems to be starting right now!

The photo above seems to be one from the first episode, which will be on tomorrow evening. Not having seen it, I don't know.

Neat, huh?

If you didn't know, Neil Gaiman has written a script which will air later in the season. I love his work so much, and can't believe I have such good luck that he's writing for Doctor Who! I'm so excited!

I'm going to be pretty much stuck on BBC in America as my main channel for the next week because of the new season of Doctor Who and all the hoopla about the Royal Wedding. If my TV lasts for the coming week, that is!

I have to run, now.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Dead, Jim!

It's not quite dead yet, but my TV is well on the way to the dump or wherever old, broken, malfunctioning TVs go.

Last Wednesday, I turned it on, and my hearing aids started buzzing. I figured that one of the pieces of equipment must have started leaking an RF signal, and the aids were picking it up. But there were thin, staticky white lines running across the picture, too.

I spent a few days trying to figure out how I could test to see if it was the TV, TiVo or RF converter. While I was doing that, I turned on the TV when I wasn't wearing the aids, and still heard the buzzing, so it wasn't an RF leak.

I continued trying to figure it out.

Today, I woke up really early, and decided to check the weather for the rest of the day before I went back to sleep. I turned on the TV, turned the sound down, and read about the weather. Then I hit the button on the remote to turn the TV off, and it went to black and restarted! I tried that about 5 more times, then tried the button directly on the TV (which did the same thing) and it restarted each time. I finally had to unplug it to actually turn it off.

Later, when I actually woke up for real, I plugged it in, waited 5 minutes (to let it warm up), and hit the on button on the TV. Nothing happened. Then I tried the on button on the remote, and it started. I tried hitting the volume button on the TV without effect, and after a few tries with the remote, I was able to adjust the volume on it so I could actually hear it!

Doctor Who is on Saturday! Friday of next week is the royal wedding! New episodes of Chuck, The Event, Castle, Hawaii Five-O, The Mentalist, Supernatural and Fringe will be on, too! Will it last? Will I be able to see them?

At this point, I'll be lucky to have enough money for food for the rest of the month, let alone money for a new or even used TV.

I'm bummed!

But the TiVo is recording The Fall of Sam Axe, so I'm going to get to see that tonight, at least.

I hope your weekend has been better than mine!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Want to Find a Brand New Planet? You Can!

My daughter sent me this link in an email today!

A group called is giving the chance to find a new planet to anyone who wants to try!


There will be a Burn Notice Marathon on Sunday, culminating in a new Burn Notice movie: The Fall of Sam Axe! Check your local listings.


In the meantime, tree pollen season (please notice that the season most people call Spring is officially tree pollen season at my place) has been knocking me out. Runny, swollen eyes (only because I haven't gotten any actual pollen in them, otherwise, I'd be temporarily effectively blind), post nasal drip (my sinuses are trying to drown me) and total exhaustion. I can barely stay awake.

This is why you haven't been hearing much from me, and probably won't for a while.

In the meantime, have fun, and happy weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Help! I've Been Kidnapped by Miles Vorkosigan!

A while ago, I finished up reading some books, and looked around for something else to read. I realized that I hadn't read the Vokosigan series in a while, so I started on that.

Not long after I started, Amazon sent me some of their spam that recommends books for you. Actually, it's probably not fair to call what they send spam, because they actually recommend books that I like, and want to read. One of them was a new book in the Vokosigan saga called Cryoburn.
Cryoburn (The Vorkosigan Saga)

Being short on money, as usual, I immediately went to the website for my local library and checked their listings, and it was there. I requested that they send it to the nearby branch, and picked it up on Thursday of last week.

I skipped a few books and am now up to the volume called Miles in Love, which includes two novels and a novella: Komarr, A Civil Campaign, and Winterfair Gifts.

To give you a better idea of what these books are like, I once asked a friend if he had read any of the books. He said he had, but had given up reading them. I asked him why: didn't he enjoy them? and his answer was "No, I enjoy them, but I'm tired of staying up until 5 am because I can't put them down when I have to get up at 6 am to go to work!

This is what's happened to me this past week. I haven't done a lot of things that I should be doing because I can't tear myself away from the books. And so far, I've been reading ones I already read and know what's going to happen! If you think potato chips are addictive, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

One of the things that has kept me from blogging about the books is that it's complicated!

The novels first came out as individual books, as they were written. But Lois McMaster Bujold also wrote some short stories and novellas which were published in science fiction magazines.

Then the publisher started publishing "omnibus editions" which each included at least two novels, and sometimes some short stories and novellas so that you could read them all in order. At this point, they're all available in hardback, paperback, and a batch of ebook formats.

If you want to get started on them, either get the omnibus edition, Cordelia's Honor, or the two novels that are included: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. I was astounded when I looked up the link for Barrayar. They're out of print now, I think, and the first one I found was a hardback edition for $75! You won't find most of them on Barnes & Noble, but if you look around for ebooks, you can find the B&N format (epub) in those titles, probably free. If you have Kindle, Sony, or other reader, you can get them by searching for ebooks and selecting the correct format for your reader. I was going to set up a more comprehensive listing of all the books, but it's way too big a job to list all of them in all the formats they're available in.

Oh, and the books have chronological listings in the back of the titles of the books and short stories, etc.


Last Saturday was fun. Holly and I went shopping, partly at Michaels, and then at WalMart.

I got some neat swag at Michaels. Boye has a "Yarn On The Go Bag" which will hold a ball of yarn. It's got a long enough strap to go over your shoulder or cross-body. The strap can be snapped off if you don't want to use it, or you can tie a knot in it to shorten it, or tie it something. Inside, near the top, there's a short tab with a snap so you can snap it around the yarn where it leaves the ball. And it's got two bags in each package at a very low price! This is great if you're doing Fair Isle colorwork because you can put one bag on each side and keep them tangle-free!
It's available in red, as shown, but also in other colors, and each package has two bags, each in a different color. I got a package that had a blue one and a purple one. You might want to find a store that has these, because the colors are random, and you can pick out two you like in the same package if you do it in person.

Holly liked them so much that I gave her my purple one. These are very high quality for such a low price!

I also got their last ball of Loops & Threads Santa Fe yarn in Blue Suede Stripes. I've never seen the Santa Fe in the store before, but they were almost sold out when I was there. It's very pretty, and I'd like to buy more, but it looks like they only had it available for about a month.

When we went to WalMart, I needed to get new fluorescent bulbs for the ones that are wearing out in my kitchen, and I did that.

I had also found a vacuum cleaner I liked (judging by the reviews at WalMart and elsewhere), the Hoover Nano Light, but they said they were out of them online. I looked around the store anyway, because the report that said that was a few weeks old. I looked for it again online, and on Sunday, the website said they had it! I ordered it right away, and it arrived yesterday.

My old vacuum had been progressivly losing it's suction, so I wanted to replace it.

The new vacuum arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and I sat down and assembled it right away, then vacuumed a few square feet of carpet, just to check that I had assembled it correctly and that it was working. I thought it would probably pick up a lot because I knew that the old one was dying, but it still didn't leave the carpet looking like it had anything on it or was dirty.

Then I took this photo so I could post it here.

After I took the photo, I looked at it a little closer, and realized that the dust cup was FILLED! I could not believe the amount of dirt that was in that small space of carpet! I'm going to move everything heavy in the apartment over the weekend and vacuum under it all so that all floor surfaces have been cleaned.

Oh, the handle collapses down, and I photographed it with the handle folded down. That's nice, because it fits under my kitchen counter with the handle down. It's small and light, and easy to maneuver around things and does an amazingly good job!

While I was in "walking around looking mode" I happened to find a 2 quart saucepan right next to the vacuums. I've been looking for one in stainless steel for about 4 years. I have two 1-1/2 quart saucepans and a 3 quart one, but I often want to heat something that really only needs a 2 quart.

During the last 4 years, the cheapest one I've found has been $40! But WalMart had one for $15! It has a copper clad bottom, which I didn't really care for, but did I mention it was only $15? I snapped it right up!

It's so nice when you find something you've been looking for for a while! And I got three of them this week! The yarn bags, the vacuum cleaner and the saucepan!

I feel like having a party!


I'm going to watch the reruns of Supernatural and Fringe, and the season finale of Merlin.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Approach the Internet with Caution Today. It's April Fools Day!

Happy April Fools Day!

And in a related story:

Happy Birthday, Malaia!

If you know Malaia, then you know that April Fools Day is the perfect birthday for her. She has the most incredible sense of humor. She's also my first granddaughter.

Back to the general April Fool theme:

Google has introduced their new Gmail Motion, specifically for the holiday!

There have been an assortment of pranks played in various places. I particularly like the one where Pluto has been bought and redeclared a planet!

Here are the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of all time.

Here's a list of some of the best April Fools Day jokes you can play on others. Warning: Don't let Malaia or Johnnie read these!

Have the best April Fools Day ever!