January 31, 2003

Sometimes, I Wish I Had A Convertible

Today, was another record breaking hot day. It got up to 90 degrees here. At night, though, it dropped down to 70. It was actually quite pleasant. I had to go out at around 6:30 to pick up Teresa, I had the windows down, but it wasn't quite the same. Nights like this, I wish I had a ragtop.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2003

What Day Were You Born On?

My sister sent me this interesting link. You put in the day of your birth and it gives you some information. There is a link provided at the bottom that you can click on that will take you to even more pages where you can find out who else was born on your birthday, headlines from that time and what songs were in the "Top 10", along with some other trivia.

Posted by Valkyre at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)

January 29, 2003

Cats! Argh!

Don't get me wrong, I love cats. We even have one. What I do hate are cat fights at 1:00am and 3:00am right under the bedroom window. That it what was going on this morning. The fights themselves seem to last about 10 seconds. That doesn't bother me as much as several minutes of "yowling" at each other before they attack. This yowling can go on for hours. They yowl at each other for awhile, then they stop. Then, they take it up again about 15 minutes later. What exactly are they saying to each other? Are they insulting each others mothers? I will never know. I do know that yelling, shaking the blinds and throwing things at the window don't seem to help at driving the buggers off.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:38 AM | Comments (3)

January 28, 2003

Ciao Netscape!

I went through all the files on this computer to see what I wanted to keep and what could go. I felt like those American Idol judges waiting to see who makes the cut. Those that were to be kept, I saved on another computer. Eventually, I will go through them again over there and pare them down even more. The reason I did this, is because I wanted to reformat the HD on this computer. I finally got rid of Netscape. It got wiped out with the reformat and I don't intend to d/l it again. I really only used it to check on my mail. I guess I kept it around more for sentimental reasons. It was the first browser program I used back when I first got onto the 'net. But lately, it hasn't really been good for looking at web pages. It would lock up quite a bit. So, after the reformat, along with IE, I loaded in Outlook Express and am using that to look at my e-mail.

Posted by Valkyre at 03:44 PM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2003

Another Weird Dream

Like there's any other kind. My dreams are always strange. Last night, I had a dream that our Ford Escort was stolen. In real life, that is the only one of our cars where I haven't yet memorized the license plate. I guess this carried over into the dream, because I didn't know it there either. I decided it would be useless to call the police unless I had the license number. So, I was digging around looking for any paperwork that might have had the cars license number. Insurance papers, registration, anything. But, I couldn't find anything and I was wasting time. Figuring that the longer it took for me to call the police, the lesser chance of the car being recovered. And, all the time I was looking for the paperwork, I was thinking of how I was going to enter this into my blog. I was trying to think of catchy titles. But, I don't remember any of the ones I came up with in my dream.

Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!

Posted by Valkyre at 08:59 AM | Comments (2)

January 26, 2003

It's Starting To Get Warm

I almost feel guilty, this nice warm weather we are having:

I keep hearing news reports about the people back east freezing and having to dig out of the snow. And here I am typing away at the keyboard with the front door open, letting the cool air in. I think I'm going to change into a pair of shorts, it's so warm!

Posted by Valkyre at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2003

Rampant Cordless Keyboard Strikes Again

This is a somewhat amusing story originally linked to from the Daily Rotten. It's about a Hewlett Packard wireless keyboard manufactured in Norway:


Basically, a man was typing on his wireless keyboard, but the information he was typing was showing up on his neighbors computer screen.

From the article:

Hewlett-Packard first claimed that this was a quirk, but replacement equipment produced the same results, with information being directly transmitted to the neighbor's computer, despite it being far out of advertised range and with several walls between.

I guess this isn't the first time something like this has happened. There are other links on the right hand side of the page that you can click on with similar stories.

Posted by Valkyre at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2003

Common Sense Has Prevailed

There was an AP wire story on the Los Angeles Times website today stating that the obesity lawsuits against McDonald's have been thrown out by U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet. (In order to see the story on the LA Times site, you need to be registered there.) That doesn't mean, though, that that's the end of the story:

Plaintiffs' attorney Samuel Hirsch said the lawsuit will be amended and refiled within a month.

More quotes from the story:

Saying the law is not intended to protect people from their own excesses, a federal judge threw out a class-action lawsuit today that blamed McDonald's food for obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.

U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet said the plaintiffs failed to show that the fast-food chain's products "involve a danger that is not within the common knowledge of consumers."

"Common sense has prevailed," McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker said. "We said from the beginning that this was a frivolous lawsuit. Today's ruling confirms that fact."

It's nice to know that some common sense has prevailed. If only for a little while.....

Posted by Valkyre at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2003

I'm Addicted!

To Zoo Tycoon! Ever since I've started playing, I haven't been able to drag myself away from the keyboard. I was up until 4:00am Monday morning playing the darn thing. Help! The purpose is to have a successful zoo, obviously. You start out with several different "scenes" to choose from and then you design your zoo. You map out the displays, buy the animals, hire zookeepers and maintenance workers. You set the price of admission, and even place, restaurants, rides, souvenir stands, etc. around the park to help raise money. If your animals are unhappy, the guests are unhappy and then attendance will go down. So, you have to upkeep their displays. All the while, they get sick and also die of old age. If they're happy with their surroundings, they will breed and you can "sell" their offspring to raise more money. Some animals, like Panda's, etc. will get more money than others. It's driving me nuts! I'm no where near being a tycoon, but's it's still fun.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:25 AM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2003

Zoo Tycoon

Teresa got the Zoo Tycoon computer game for Christmas. She also got the expansion packs, Marine Madness and Dinosaur Dig. She and her sisters kept telling me I should try it. So, finally I gave it a try. Now, I'm addicted. I played the tutorial for awhile and got the hang of it. This afternoon, I tried to create a small marine park. I finally got to where it was making a profit and receiving awards. Then, the computer locked up.... "Had you been saving your game mom?" "Saving!?" Doh! So, I had to start from scratch. I installed the game on my computer this afternoon, but found out I don't have enough hard disk space for the expansion pack. So, I will be getting a bigger hard drive....

Posted by Valkyre at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2003

I'm in Love....

...with Plasma TV's!!! Lynne mentioned in one of her blog entries about plasma TV's. I was down at Sam's Club today, and in one of the main aisles, they had a plasma TV on prominent display. They actually had it suspended from the ceiling. It was a 42' diagonal and retailed for about $5000.00. They were playing Disney's Beauty and the Beast on it, and the picture was excellent! Especially, when you compared it to the regular TV's that were on display in the next aisle. And, it was so thin. It almost looked like you could hang it on the wall just like a picture frame. *Sigh*. There ain't no way I can justify that price though. $5000 would buy a decent used car, which I could use more than any TV.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2003

100 Entries!

Woo hoo! I didn't think I would stick with it this long, but today is my 100th entry in my blog! Thanks again to everyone who helped me with getting it off the ground!

Posted by Valkyre at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2003


Woke up this morning with a headache. I thought it might be from a lack of caffeine, but drinking coffee wasn't helping and actually made me kind of nauseated. I tried taking two Excedrin, but they didn't help and the headache got progressively worse through the day. So did the nausea. Six hours later, I took two more Excedrin and laid down on my back, on the bed, in our nice dark bedroom. For some reason, laying on my back and putting my arm across my eyes, always seems to help. After a 20 minute nap, I woke up and the headache was gone, and so was the nausea.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2003

A New Low.....

I was reading an article on CNN's website that made my blood start to boil. It was titled, Parents, Grandmother Arrested in Cancer Hoax. It turns out that the parents and grandmother of a little 7 year old girl convinced her and others that the little girl had leukemia in order to collect donations from well-wishers. From the article:

To make Hannah's cancer appear believable, police said, Teresa Milbrandt shaved the girl's hair, gave her sleeping pills, had her wear a protective mask and put her in counseling to prepare for death. Hannah also wore a large bandage to cover a "port" for chemotherapy injections that wasn't there, police said.

The little girl has been taken from the couple and placed in the custody of relatives. Scams like this will hurt people who have legitimate need for donations. Grrrr......

Posted by Valkyre at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2003

Okay.... Now I Feel Old

I met my Best Bud (we were best friends in High School), Dena, for coffee this morning. Her oldest daughter, Christina, got married back in August of 2002. Dena announced this morning that she is going to be a grandmother. Christina is going to have a baby in August. I suddenly feel very old. I remember when Christina was born. Augh!

Posted by Valkyre at 04:47 PM | Comments (2)

January 13, 2003

Back To The Old Routine

I had to set the alarm for the first time in three weeks. No more sleeping in. Back to getting up early. I woke up at 6:00am and woke the girls up, so they could get ready for school. After the rush of looking for backpacks and papers, books and pens, we piled in the car. Fortunately, we got out of the house early this morning, because we hit some fog as we got closer to the school and had to slow down a bit. But, I got everyone to school rather early, for once. Now, I'm sitting here, in front of the computer, trying to wake up and get back to my morning routine. Blah. Three weeks off from school seems like a long time. (At least to me, I'm sure my daughters would disagree with this.)

Posted by Valkyre at 09:17 AM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2003

I'm Exhausted...

We just now got back from California Adventure. I am exhausted. I took a bunch of pictures, so I will post some of the better one's tomorrow.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2003

Me Mumzy's Here!

Tee hee! Mike's mother is down from Seattle. She was born in England, so we call her mumzy. (She was a Queen Mary war bride. She married Mike's dad while he was serving over there in WWII.) Anyway, we are going to meet her tonight for dinner and plan what we are going to do together while she is down here. Most likely, we will go to California Adventure, which is a relatively new Disney theme park built right across from Disneyland. Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow.

Posted by Valkyre at 01:11 PM | Comments (2)

January 09, 2003

Got Any Books You Don't Need?

I always encouraged my daughters to read. They all grew up loving books. They amassed quite a bit through books clubs and book store gift certificates. But, I was kind of left when a dilemma when they outgrew quite a few of them. Then, a friend of mine suggested donating them to the local library. Which, is what she does. Anytime there are budget cuts, it seems that the libraries get hammered first. So, any little bit will help. I've been taking all the books that my daughters aren't interested in anymore down there. When my sister heard about it, she went through her bookshelves and gave me a whole bunch to take down there too. The ones that they don't need, they will sell real inexpensively, with the profits going to the library. I just took another large box full down there today.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2003


Finally! I finally got the last of the Christmas decorations down and put away till next year. I even managed to get the ones put away that I overlooked last year. (They were just some "ornament" magnets that were on the refridgerator.) After I was done, I decided to rest awhile and watch The Perfect Storm. I rented it on DVD from Netflix. It was okay, I guess, I liked the book better.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2003

Online Appointments

Lynne was commenting in her blog on January 3rd, about the difficulties she encountered trying to make a medical appointment over the phone. Well, our HMO just rolled out online appointment making. And, in one word, it's GREAT!!!!. This feature is only for non-urgent care appointments. If you need a same day appointment, you are still going to have to call their 1-800 number. I've already used the online service once.I needed to make an appointment with Teresa's neurologist. I am able to choose mornings, afternoons, and the days I would like. I can even request specific doctors. So, no more dialing, pressing different keys to finally get a human being, only to be put on hold. No more 15 minute waits, no more hold music. And, they also let you do prescription refills too. You can check the status, see how many refills you have, etc., also. The old voice mail refill line would get fainter and fainter every time you pressed a different button to get deeper into the system. This is so nice.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2003

A Yucky Day

Even though Christmas was less than a couple of week ago, Southern California has been hit by a heat spell. The temperature right now is around 75 degrees. I normally wouldn't mind, but this is being brought about by what it called a Santa Ana condition. Normally, the wind comes off of the ocean, which makes for clear skies and nice cool breezes. With the Santa Ana's, the wind is coming off of the desert. So, it is drying everything out. All that nice rain a couple of weeks ago, made for overgrown vegetation in the hills. Now, with this drying wind, it's making perfect conditions for brush fires. There are two now, that I know of. Both in Malibu. I came out this morning to find everything covered with a layer of black soot. And the far off smell of burning vegetation. The sky is a yucky brown color, due to the smoke and smog. And, to top things off, there has been a train crash in the city of Burbank. Somebody in a flatbed truck tried to go around the working crossing arms and got hit. So far, the only person killed was the truck driver. Even though two train cars derailed.

Posted by Valkyre at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2003

Why Did I Keep These?

I've been asking myself this question today. I finally hauled all the boxes down from the attic that store the Christmas decorations. With more room up there, I decided to do some cleaning. I come across a stack of calendars. I saved every calendar I have ever been given since 1987. I kept them because I thought the pictures were nice. Some were outdoor scenes, castles in Northern Europe, whales, dolphins and wilderness animals. But, as I looked at them, I realized that they weren't much use up there in the attic. So, I tossed them in the recycle bin. I'm still not sure why I really saved them. I was doing it up to last year. No more.... I have way too much stuff. I can't save everything.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2003

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

We went to the local theater today and saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It was excellent. It held my attention thoughout, even though it was a pretty long movie. We, unfortunately, never saw the first one, in the series, in the theater. I bought it on DVD and we watched it at home. But, that one too, was good. I was glad we saw this on the big screen. It was great. This one is even more darker than the first. The theater we saw it at is within walking distance of our house. It is a family owned theater that was originally built in the 50's. It still has the giant curved screen and it can seat up to 800. It's what movie theaters used to be like, before they got into building multiplexes with the shoebox sized screen.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2003

Oh Geez!!!

Okay, so I go out this morning looking for today's edition of the Los Angeles Times. It's not in the usual spots on the lawn. Nor was it in the usual spots under the car. After looking all over the place, including in the bed of the pick-up truck, I decide to take a better look under the car. The car in question is a 1976 Ford LTD Landau. It's a 4-door, weighs in at 5000 pounds and is 19 feet long. Keep that length in mind..... I get down on my hands and knees and am trying to get a better look under the car. The man who delivers the paper sometimes has been known to toss the paper and get it perfectly centered under the car. I decide to look more towards the front. Since the car is non-operable due to it's engine being half torn down, Mike has been storing things under it. Near the front, he had, under the engine, a large black container that is used to mix concrete in. I look towards that and notice something stuck under it. Looks like a rather large newspaper bundled up in black plastic. Way too large for a Friday paper. I had to yank on it pretty hard to extricate it from under the container. It had gone under the container, which had caused that to lift up and wedge under the oil pan on the engine. I pull the paper out, take it out of the plastic and realize that it's the missing paper that I had complained about here in my Dec. 1st blog. I didn't even think of looking there on Dec. 1st. The guy who delivers the paper has assistants who toss it from the back of a moving pick-up truck. The LTD is pretty low to the ground, and the Sunday paper is heavy. I am just wondering how he was able to toss it with that much strength in order for it to slide about 17 feet and still have enough momentum to wedge under that container the way it did. I feel real bad now, about having him come out and bring another one after I called the automated complaint line. Since I didn't find today's paper, I will just consider us even and not even call this one in.

Posted by Valkyre at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2003

Crash! Shatter! Rats!

Over 20 years ago, my best friend, from high school, brought me back a ceramic horse from Mexico. It stood about 24" high. It wasn't an expensive horse, you can see a whole bunch of them for sale as you cross back over to the U.S. from Tijuana, but it was the thought that counts. She knew I loved horses. I kept that horse all this time. It followed me all the times I moved. And it stood on our fireplace hearth since 1986, the year Mike and I got married. Today, I was stacking cardboard in the recycle bin to put out on the curb. I had more cardboard this time round, what with Christmas and all. So, the pile of cardboard was a lot taller than the container and somewhat precariously stacked. A small box slid off the pile and I really didn't give it much thought. Next thing I know, there was a horrendous crash. I'm still not sure how it happened. How a little box could have knocked over that heavy horse, but, it must have hit it just right. It shattered into about a dozen large pieces amongst some small slivers. The word I used when I saw that was a little more spicier than, "rats...." I've picked up the pieces and placed them in a box and am debating whether or not I should try to repair it... I hope this isn't an omen as to how the rest of my year is going to go.

Posted by Valkyre at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)

January 01, 2003

January 1st, 2003

Another tradition, carried over from my Mom.... One January 1st, we take the Christmas decorations down. Usually, I try to watch the Rose Parade and then take down the decorations. Today, I've got a late start. I've managed to take about 5 ornaments off the tree. I tried to watch the parade, but, there were so many entries. Since there were so many floats, the parade had to move pretty quickly down Colorado Boulevard and it made it hardly worth watching. I swear the parade was moving faster than the freeways at rush hour here. Even the commentators on the local station here, (KTLA channel 5), kept making comments about how fast the darn thing was moving. Right now, I'm watching an Addam's Family marathon on another local station. I'll probably be taking more stuff down as I have that going as background noise.....

Posted by Valkyre at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)