October 31, 2002

Uh Oh...

My sister just called with some, not so good, news.... Turns out my brother had a sore, on his back, that wouldn't heal. So, he went and had it checked out. They did a biopsy to have it checked out. He hasn't got the results yet, but the doctor is pretty sure it's BASAL CELL CARCINOMA. If you read through the link, I provided, you will see that it's the most common form of skin cancer affecting 800,000 Americans each year. The doctor told my brother that usually when they see these things, they are the size of pencil erasers. The one on my brother's back was much larger. I'm going to call him tonight, to get more information. He is the fourth member of my immediately family to get one of these things. My dad, who made an art form out of getting suntans. My mother, and my older sister, who smokes. We are all fair skinned with light colored eyes, which makes us perfect candidates.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Posted by Valkyre at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2002

Our Chinchilla

In 1999, we got a Chinchilla. She was actually an elementary school classroom mascot. The teacher was moving to a smaller classroom and didn't really have room for her. So, we took her home at summer break and have had her ever since. Her name is Chi-Chi. And today, she moved to a new cage. We have had her in the cage that she came home in, but we got a new "used" one that has the same amount of room, but the shelves that she jumps around on are lower. I snapped pictures of her as Mike moved her to her new cage.

(Click on the thumbnails for larger images)

Oh! And the Escort started up fine today!!!

Posted by Valkyre at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2002

Sometimes One Wonders....

...If thing happen for a reason. Today I went to run a few errands. I had the whole day planned out. Went to JCPenney first to return the jacket I wrote about earlier. JCPenney was the furthest location away from the house and I was going to hit them first and then stop by a few different places as I headed towards home. After I left Penney's, I went to Office Depot. After I made my purchases, I get into the car, my daughter's Ford Escort, planning to go pay the electric bill next. I put the key into the ignition and turn it. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zip. Rats!!! Not even a slow starter, which would mean a dead/dying battery. There was absolutely nothing. Rats. I called Mike on the cell.... We debated whether or not to call AAA. "I would have to quit work to come over there," he said. "Okay, let me call AAA then!", I responded. "Nah! Let me come out there first. Then, I can bring you the Camaro, just so you have a car and I can wait with the Escort. Give me about 20 minutes to get there...." After about 1/2 an hour, my cell rings. I panic, knowing for sure that my Camaro probably won't start. It's Mike, "Try strarting the Escort!" I try, still nothing... "Why?", I asked. So, he tells me that as he is leaving work and walking across the parking lot approaching his work van, he saw someone he knew. He had just finished working on her computer over the weekend. But, when he went to return it to her yesterday, he found out that she had taken this whole week off. So, he locked her computer up in his van. But, she had come into the office, even though she had the day off, and he managed to catch her as she was just about to leave. "I figured that the reason the Escort wouldn't start was to get me to come out to the parking lot at that time, so I would see her!" Ah yes, but the car didn't start right when he called. But, as we were talking, my hand drifted onto the key again and turned it. (I wasn't really paying attention.) I kind of jumped as the car roared to life. The little bugger has been starting fine since then. I'm beginning to believe Mike's theory.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2002

Too Much Stuff

I don't know if it has to do with me being 38, or what... (You know, that old 40 is looming on the horizon.....) But, I've come to the conclusion that I've got way too much stuff and I need to get rid of most of it. I don't use most of it and it's just sitting around, taking up space and collecting dust. A lot of the things that I have, way too much of, are Christmas decorations. So, I've been hauling them down from the attic and stacking them up in the living room. Then, I will take pictures of them, with my digital camera, and then put it up for sale on Ebay. I have a lot of items, some I bought over 10 years ago, and used once, if at all. Some are ornaments that I bought on impulse and never hung on the tree after all these years. So, they've been taking up space in the attic and collecting dust. I am going to see if I can sell them. What I can't sell, I will just give away to the Salvation Army. Let them collect dust in someone else attic! ;-)

Posted by Valkyre at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

October 27, 2002

Blue Sky at Last!

Woo hoo!

After about a week of gloomy gray skies, and a couple of days of moderate rain, (just enough to wash the dust off everything), we finally had some sunshine and blue skies. It was a beautiful day! I took this picture from our front yard.

Woo hoo! The Anaheim Angels just won the World Series!!!!!!

Posted by Valkyre at 06:53 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2002

Halloween Costume Shopping

Argh! My daughter Amanda, figured out, at the last minute, what she would like to be for Halloween. It was a character from a computer game, called, Alice. Not exactly a character that would be readily available in costume form. So, we would have to make the costume from scratch. We didn't have anything in the house that she could use. So, we drove around to all the local second hand stores, but we couldn't quite find what we were looking for. So, she decided on a second choice. A Zombie Cheerleader. So, we tried this chain of stores called, Party City. They carry a variety of costumes. Well, it looked like everyone had the same idea! (I know, I know, what did I expect! Less than a week from Halloween). The parking lots were mad houses. I just turn into the first empty space I see and walk to the store. I don't care how far it is. But, not everyone is like that. A lot of people will try to find something directly in front of the store. Even if that means they wait ten minutes. We ended up going to three Party City stores. If the last one didn't have the costume, she was going to try for something else. Well, we lucked out. They did have one. She's trying it on right now. Maybe I can upload a picture later.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2002

Interesting E-mail

I was going through this morning's e-mail. Clicking on, and immediately deleting, the spam. But then one caught my eye. I decided to click through. It was a pretty interesting link. It's called eshoe. And, you design your own shoes. They have different types of shoes to select from and you add images. You can either use the ones they provide, or upload your own images or photos. They have an interesting demo, that walks you through the process. Here's the link: http://www.my-eshoes.com/

Posted by Valkyre at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2002

Hearses and Weird Superstitions

Okay, okay.... I'm normally not superstitious. I intentionally walk under ladders. I have opened umbrellas in the house. And, I own a black cat who crosses my path every day. But, I do have this one superstition. Maybe the better word would be paranoia. It's when I'm out driving and I see a hearse. I need to go back about 16 years. In March of 1986. I was on my way to work. The sun was trying to burn through an overnight fog and there was this gloomy haze. Suddenly, out of the fog in front of me, a hearse appears. It was kind of eery, the way it drove out of the haze. But, I didn't think of it until later. On the way home from work, that day, when I was a few miles from home, a drunk driver made a left turn in front of me and I hit him. (The term used is I T-boned him). I ended up going to the emergency room and the car was totalled. The CHP officer at the scene told me later that he thought we would be dead when he came upon the scene. So, I started to think of that hearse... Like maybe it was a weird omen or something. So now, when I see them, I get a little nervous. Especially this morning, with the weather quite similar to that day back in March. I'm waiting for the signal to change and suddenly a hearse comes cruising through the intersection. I get a chill down my spine. "It's an omen! I'm going to get into an auto accident!" The logical side of me tells me that since I had just driven by a cemetary, the odds are pretty good I'm going to see a hearse. But, there's that nagging paranoid side that seems to take precedence....

Posted by Valkyre at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2002

The Sopranos

Okay, okay... I've already stated that we don't have cable. So, if I want to watch anything, that's only on cable, I usually have to go to my sisters house. Well, she has been recording all the episodes of The Sopranos. And today, I went over to her house, and started to watch them. I'm beginning at first season, episode one. I have to say, it seems pretty good so far. I'm also all caught up on Six Feet Under.

Of course, I brought Pepper, so she could play with Smokey, my sisters dog.

The statue is therefore nothing but the sum of all it has acquired. May not this be the same with man? - Etienne Bonnot de Condillac

Posted by Valkyre at 07:31 PM | Comments (3)

October 22, 2002

Silly Cartoon

Teresa was looking through one of Gary Larson's Far Side Gallery books. She spotted a cartoon that she thought was amusing and wanted to show me. After I looked at the one she pointed out, I glanced at the one below. And for some reason, I just busted out laughing. I don't know why I find it so funny. I guess it's because the shop owner is so clueless, I don't know. But, I keep thinking about it, and then I start laughing again.

The things we know best are those we have not learned - Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues

Posted by Valkyre at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2002

Doctors Appointment Part II

If you remember on Thursday, Teresa and I were on our way to a doctor's appointment when we saw that lady drive over the plastic. Anyway, Teresa has had a really bad cold for the past couple of weeks. I took her in on Thursday, due to a lingering shallow cough. They put her on some sort of machine that is used on people who have asthma. They wanted to open up her bronchial passages, so her coughs would be more productive. Then, they gave her an inhaler for home use. But, between Thursday evening and today, she wasn't getting any sleep, due to her coughing all night. So, I took her in again today. I was worried that she might have bronchitis. But, they ruled that out. They took a chest x-ray and a sinus x-ray. They haven't ruled out a sinus infection yet. Nothing showed up on the sinus x-ray, but Teresa's pediatrician wants the radiologist to double check to see if there is something that she might have overlooked. In the meantime, Teresa is on yet another inhaler. This one has steroids. The doctor doesn't want her bronchial passages to get irritated. We'll just have to wait and see if this works.

Quote of the day:

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel - Samuel Johnson

Posted by Valkyre at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2002

Procrastinator

Definition of the word Procrastinator:

According to Miriam Webster - www.m-w.com

One entry found for procrastinate.

Main Entry: pro·cras·ti·nate
Pronunciation: pr&-'kras-t&-"nAt, prO-
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -nat·ed; -nat·ing
Etymology: Latin procrastinatus, past participle of procrastinare, from pro- forward + crastinus of tomorrow, from cras tomorrow
Date: 1588
transitive senses : to put off intentionally and habitually
intransitive senses : to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
synonym see DELAY
- pro·cras·ti·na·tion /-"kras-t&-'nA-sh&n/ noun
- pro·cras·ti·na·tor /-'kras-t&-"nA-t&r/ noun

So, why am I posting this? Because I am the World's Worst Procrastinator. I goofed off all day. So, today's quote won't be from Bartlett's, but from a notepad someone gave me:

It can be done, it should be done, it shall be done.... Tomorrow.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:59 PM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2002

Yum!

A couple of days ago, I went to do some grocery shopping at Ralphs. (A local supermarket chain). When I perused through the meat aisle, I noticed that they had some USDA Select, Porterhouse Steaks for half price. I grabbed a pack with three steaks in it. 3.29 lbs. for $13.12. Mike barbequed them today. He also sauteed some mushrooms and onions, in butter. Then he baked some large potatoes. So, we had barbequed steak, smothered in sauteed onions and mushrooms, with baked potatoes with sour cream. Yum! Also, a glass of wine to wash it down. It was delicious! We don't normally get Porterhouse steaks, only when they go on special like this. Which is about every 6 months or so.

The best is the enemy of the good - Voltaire

Posted by Valkyre at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2002

Hello Sunshine!

At least for a little while. After several days of gloomy weather, the sun peeked out this morning. So I went and grabbed the digital camera.

I wanted to rub it in to the people who were already starting to get snow. So, I took a picture of this rose. I was going to take more, but the batteries went dead right after I snapped this one. By the time I replaced them, the sun had gone back behind the clouds and stayed there for the rest of the day.

Quote of the day:

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces - Henry Brooks Adams

Posted by Valkyre at 06:58 PM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2002

Road Hazard

So here I am driving down the street. I was taking Teresa to a doctor's appointment. I'm behind a pick-up truck that is pulling an open bed trailer. Suddenly some objects start flying out of the trailer. First thing looked like a can. It's bouncing towards my car and I slalom around it. Next, some large sheets of plastic come flying out. One piece is about a yard square. The other is about 6 feet by 3 feet. I slalom around those for a couple of reasons. One, I didn't want them to fall across the windshield, and block my vision. And the second reason, I didn't want to run over them and have them stick to the hot exhaust pipe or the catalytic converter. I've heard of similar happening, and of car fires because of this. But, I have only heard of this. After I am done running the trash obstacle course, I look in the rear view and notice the mini-van, that was behind me, is now running the slalom. But, behind him, is a late model black Camaro whose driver doesn't seem to be swerving over the stuff. About 3 minutes later, the black Camaro is now in the lane next to me, with the larger sheet of plastic bunched up under their car and smoke coming from underneath. Along with a smell of burning plastic. I speed up and pull even with her and honk the horn, while pointing to the smoking undercarriage. She pulls in front of me and I follow her into a nearby parking lot. She parks and I pull up in the space next to her. Since she was well dressed, and I was wearing my blue jeans, I did the honor of pulling the plastic from underneath her car. There were two large melted holes still smouldering as I untangled it from the Camaro's exhaust. We we chatting back and forth while I was doing this. Mostly talking about the idiot who didn't have this junk fastened down in his truck and how there could have been a fire, etc. She thanked me, after I got it all out from under her car. Then, she was off. I still managed to get Teresa to the doctor on time, even after my little detour.

Quote of the Day:

They say everything in the world is good for something - John Dryden

Posted by Valkyre at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2002

Six Feet Under

I love that show! I don't have cable, but my sister does. So, she has been recording the episodes for me. I went over there today to watch a couple. I also watched a couple of hours of a series, made for HBO, called "The Corner". A very good series.

Quote of the day: Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just found out via e-mail that my sister's dog howled for about 15 minutes after we left. See, I brought our dog Pepper over to play with my sister's dog, Smokey, while we watched Six Feet Under. Both dogs are around the same age and play together very well. I guess he must have really missed her after she left.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2002

Parkinson's Disease

My mother has Parkinson's Disease. In case you don't know what it is exactly, here it is in a nutshell:

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of certain nerve cells in a part of the brain (substantia nigra) that produces dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, that the brain uses to help direct and control movement. In Parkinson's disease, these dopamine-producing nerve cells break down, dopamine levels drop, and brain signals directing movement become abnormal.

The classic symptoms of Parkinson's disease are shaking (tremor), stiff muscles (rigidity), and slow movement (bradykinesia). A person with advanced Parkinson's disease also may have stooped posture, a fixed facial expression, speech problems, and problems with balance or walking, as well as a decline in intellect.

Full article here: http://my.webmd.com/encyclopedia/article/1833.50913

Anyway, my mom has reached the point where her meds aren't working as well as they used to. She has about a 2 hour window now where she will quit shaking after she takes her meds. So, she has to plan her days activities around that.

So, it was nice to read in today's paper about some breakthroughs that have been made researching Parkinson's. In fact they've found out a popular supplement may help slow down the progression of the disease. I was pretty excited reading about this and was about to send the link to my mom, but my sister beat me to it! Anyway, here's a link: http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1833.51414

Better be killed than frightened to death - Robert Smith Surtees

Posted by Valkyre at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2002

The Stand Off

(Click for larger image)

The cat in the background had the nerve, from our dog Pepper's perspective, to come into our yard. Pepper saw it and chased it over the fence. After the intruder was out of the yard, Pepper ran up on the deck and watched as it negotiated our next door neighbor's fence and then stepped down onto her gate and froze. It just sat there staring at Pepper. It looked as if it thought that if it steps down, Pepper will somehow manage to jump 30 feet and nail it. They both sat frozen in their positions for about 15 minutes. I figured that whoever got tired first would give up. But, our neighbor opened her back door and the cat took off. Pepper remained in her position for about another 10 minutes, staring at the gate.

Quote of the Day:

That man's the best Cosmopolite, Who loves his native country best - Tennyson

Posted by Valkyre at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2002

Yay Angels!

Yay! For the first time in franchise history, the Anaheim Angels are going to the World Series! Woo hoo!

Today started out all nice and sunny, then in the afternoon, started to look like the picture I took yesterday afternoon. Yuck!

I'm thinking of having a "quote of the day" as part of my daily entries. I have the book, "Bartlett's Quotations". I was thinking of maybe just randomly opening it up to a page and pointing to a quote, with my eyes closed. So, to start, here's one for today:

What soon grows old? Gratitude. - Aristotle

Posted by Valkyre at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2002

Gloomy Weather

This is what it has looked like outside all day:

Didn't feel like doing much of anything, since the weather was so yucky. I'll post a joke my sister sent in e-mail. It's an old one, still brought a smile to my face:

On their way to get married, a young couple are involved in a fatal car accident. The couple find themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven.

While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven? When St. Peter shows up, they asked him.

St. Peter says, "I don't know. This is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out," and he leaves.

The couple sat and waited for an answer, for a couple of months.

While they waited, they discussed that IF they were allowed to get married in Heaven, SHOULD they get married, what with the eternal aspect of it all.

"What if it doesn't work?" they wondered, "Are we stuck together FOREVER?"

After yet ! another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking somewhat bedraggled. "Yes," he informs the couple, "you CAN get married in Heaven."

"Great!" said the couple, "But we were just wondering, what if things don't work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?"

St.Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard onto the ground.

What's wrong?" asked the frightened couple.

"OH, COME ON!" St. Peter shouts, "It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have ANY idea how long it'll take me to find a lawyer?

Posted by Valkyre at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2002

Silly Dogs

I tried to get, what I thought would be a cute picture of my, and my sister's dogs. Mike had pulled up in front of the house after work. So, all three dogs were sitting patiently in front of the screen door looking at him and waiting for him to get out of the car. It was really cute. They were evenly spaced, three in a row. All you could see were the backs of their heads. So, I got to grab the camera and Pepper looks around. "No! Look at Mike!" Looks good again. All three are sitting, looking out the door again. I take the picture.

Argh! My sister's dog C.C. heard the "click" and looked around. Try again.... Nope!

They were all standing. They were all too excited for me to get them to cooperate anymore. I would have had better luck herding cats.

Anyway, the dog on the left is my sister's dog, Smokey. The dog in the center is our dog Pepper. And C.C. is the dog on the right.


And Lynne? I looked at the source code over in your blog to figure out how to do the images and thumbs here. Thanks!

Posted by Valkyre at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2002

I Hate Returns!

Argh! Ordered a new denim jacket from JCPenney online. I either shop online or through the catalog. I hate going shopping. And, I figure that it cuts down on car trips, etc. The jacket comes yesterday. I put it on before we take our dog Pepper for a walk. It fits nicely. It's a real nice jacket. It's made by Levi's and it has an inside lining for extra insulation. While we're walking, Mike comments on some sticker on the left hand sleeve. I look at it and it looks similar to a Swiss flag. It's also right next to the buttonhole on the sleeve. A ragged buttonhole, which you would expect to see after you've owned the jacket for about 5 years. I look at the right sleeve and the hole is nicely stitched. Crap! It almost looks like their quality control noticed the flaw, marked it, and it still made it through. Now, I have to drive to the local JCPenney and exchange the darn thing which is what I was trying to avoid by buying it online. Rats!

Tonight is "Back-to-School" night at Amanda's High School.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:31 AM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2002

My First Blog

Thanks to Steve, Cariad and Kasia for the work that they did to make this possible. I really appreciate it!

I guess I will start out with a typical morning for me. It's quite boring! The alarm goes off at 5:45am. I hit the snooze button. Then, it goes off again at 5:53. I hit that old snooze button again. When it goes off again at 6:00, I actually manage to get up. (I could avoid all this, by setting it to 6:00am, but, for some reason, I love "sneaking" in that extra 15 minutes of sleep....) First thing I do it grab my coffee cup and fill it with water and toss it in the Microwave for 3 minutes. When it's done, I add some Folger's instant coffee. I'm a caffeine addict and can't function without my morning cup of coffee. Then, I hit the computer, open up Internet Explorer and hit the home page. Can you guess what that is? Heh! It's www.neopets.com. Not what you're thinking, huh? A couple of years ago, one of my daughters sent me a "Neopet", and I've been raising it ever since. Then, I open Netscape Communicator to check my mail. Home page for Netscape is: www.dailybreeze.com. I like to get the local news. At around 6:30, I take Teresa to her bus stop. Her bus gets here around 6:50. I get home after that in time to see Mike and Amanda leave for her stop. (It's on the way to Mike's work.) After that, I have the house pretty much to myself until our oldest wakes up. Helena (18).

This is a story from the local paper yesterday, which disturbed me. A Redondo Beach Police Officer thought he was firing a "non-lethal" bean bag gun at a suspect. Only to find that he was actually handed a real shotgun. The shot was fatal. The complete story is here: http://www.dailybreeze.com/content/bln/nmnewcopshoot8.html
I keep thinking of the poor guy and what he will have to go through.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:37 PM | Comments (4)