Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sumo Sushi Early Birthday Dinner

We've done a few of these birthday dinners for Matt at Sumo Sushi. One year it was closed on the day we chose to go and ended up somewhere else, but this is his favorite place. The owner knows him and gives us fairly special treatment when we come. It's very good food and judging by the constant flow of people, a popular place.

So here's Matt (far left), a couple weeks from being 22, with some of his old friends (a couple of them he's known since elementary school) celebrating.

In less than a month he's off to Iraq - I'm glad I can help him create good memories to hold on to while he's there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Peek-a-boo Grandkitties

Here's Jello playing peek-a-boo in my office.

Here's Pudding a couple hours later doing much the same

Some days don't you wish you were a cat?

I do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baby Orphan Hedgehogs and My Failing Vision. Plus! News Flash!

From the Daily Mail: Orphaned hedgehogs adopt cleaning brush as their mother. You really should click that link and look at the picture - the baby hedgehogs are about an inch long and totally adorable. They're named Mary, Mungo, Midge and Slappy. First the teeny duckies, now these. I'm on cute overload.

So, not satisfied with just one dose of cute, I go Google: "tiny cute baby animals" and the first hit is a site called "things that make you go aaahh dot com" DO NOT GO THERE. I didn't read carefully but Google had tagged the site "this site may harm your computer" right on the search page. I clicked the link anyway - having not read the first warning - and Google thoughtfully put up this page:

*Whew* dodged a bullet there!

I'm going in for an eye exam Friday. All those years of "high glycemic index food" are taking quite a toll on my close vision. I now have two pairs of glasses for bead work and my regular reading glasses which I wear constantly - this could be part of the problem because I sometimes try to see things outside the focal range and I'm sure I'm straining my eyes even more before I remember to lower or take off the glasses. I need to get graduated lenses this time around.

Hot off the press - Teresa Nielsen Hayden has announced her appointment (employment?) by BoingBoing to be their "community manager" - She's going to keep the comments, recently re-activated on the BoingBoing site, from turning into a home for spammers, astroturfers and trolls. Yay!! Congrats, Teresa!

Making Light is one of my mostest favorite online places (after AW of course) and it's very much due to the great job Teresa and Patrick do in the comments. It's a light touch and at most a good talking to, until the trolls come out then "wham!" with the disemvoweller!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Have Bedroom Furniture!

This may seem like a "so?" statement, but I haven't had a nice set of bedroom pieces since I left home for college. You may recall the excitement I expressed in my "I Have a New Bed!" post in March of '06 (the picture of the bed appears to have disappeared - I wonder why?)

As newlyweds my ex and I bought a multi-piece set from Sears that can charitably be called basic. I continued to use the stuff after the divorce, but when I moved up here I didn't bring it along. So there have been those build it yourself closet storage things and baskets and bins, in the bedroom or closets, but no real furniture.

Daughter and I were shopping when she was out here and the pieces I'd been eyeing at Bombay Company for quite some time were on mega sale. I snapped up a chest of drawers, a smaller chest for the bedside and a lingerie chest for a really good price.

The delivery people arrived today, hauled three large boxes up the stairs and left. I had to unpack them. It was challenging, but I did it. The lingerie chest was upside-down, which was also fun to fix all on my own considering the weight and seven drawers to keep from falling out or breaking. Fortunately, I could see it was upside-down while it was still wrapped up in its protective cocoon of saran-wrap and foamy wrap so the drawers didn't turn out to be an issue, just the weight.

The upstairs hallway is full of box remnants that I'll have to deal with pretty soon. The cats love it, but when my son comes home later tonight, if he has to fight his way through them, it wouldn't be pretty - so I'll haul the stuff down the stairs and out to the back porch for final breakdown into pieces our recycling bin can manage.

Of course now the walls look too bare and I'm pondering what goes on top - a small flatscreen TV might go on the chest of drawers, my clock and jewelry box will go on the bedside table but as for the lingerie chest - maybe some dust-catchers - I'll have to give it some thought.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Today I'll Grumble

Apparently whining brings out the comments...but I won't make a habit of it. Instead, I'll grumble.

Today I did some shopping at the local grocery. I used the self-check out kiosk. As I was scanning my twenty bottles of Diet Arizona Green Tea (they were on sale for a dollar a bottle - I cleared the shelf), a lady stopped and told me in no uncertain terms that by using the self-check out kiosk I was depriving people of their jobs.

I didn't pause as I told her that, no, the grocery chain might be depriving people of jobs but, since they didn't ask me if I'd rather they have fewer employees at the store just so I could check my own groceries, I didn't feel responsible. She wanted to argue some about it and made another couple of statements that I mostly ignored and then I asked her if she'd please go bother someone else with her crusade as I wasn't interested.

She made one of those little sniffy sounds and stomped off in her Birkenstocks, net bag in hand to the produce section. Nervy gal.

In fact, since I get charged exactly the same as someone who goes through the line and gets two employees' services - a checker and a bagger - it appears that I'm the one getting ripped off in this equation. As I looked around the store it also appeared that there was a 1:1 ratio of employees and customers at that moment. If they're depriving people of work because I'm using self-check out, they certainly weren't looking too understaffed, considering.

I got home and was sharing the story with my daughter, and she noted that there are the same number of check out aisles as ever in the store it's not like they closed a bunch of them down to make room for the kiosks. This is true, and I don't remember ever being there when they were all in use. My daughter is pretty smart.

Yes, self-service may cost some jobs. I don't know, I don't have the facts. But stores are in the business of serving the customer. If self-service is something customers want (and those kiosks always have people at them, so I guess it is) then it's a smart business move to put them in. I'd guess that keeping the store competitive so they don't have to go out of business and fire all the employees is a good thing. I hope the employees that lost their jobs found new ones at one of the other new, very large grocery stores that have gone up within 5 miles of here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wherein Dawno May Be Thought of as a Whiner

Ever see something somewhere in the blogosphere and initially want to make a comment about it, but then decide "Nobody cares what I have to say, and certainly someone around here is going to say it better, so why bother?"

I have that experience quite often at two particular, very popular, blogs I read daily (and sometimes follow all day long when the conversations get really good).

In fact it just happened, and that's why I'm writing this. I start to compose a comment and then get all self-conscious and delete it. I just can't get over that the regular commenters at those particular places are all so incredibly smart about the topics being discussed, to say nothing about just being incredibly smart people, and I'm not.

I know, it sounds whiny and self-absorbed. Well, "It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to, whine if I want to...."

And I'm not posting this to get scolded or sympathy (feel free to comment that way if you want to). I'm actually interested in knowing if that's anyone else's experience and what you do about it. Do you just tighten up the bootlaces and march on in? I've done that on occasion, but mostly I remain a lurker - I just don't have anything of real substance I can contribute.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Excuses, Excuses, a Shaved Cat, Beading Frenzy, and Ducklings

Back two posts ago, I posted some excuses about my sporadic blogging - just got a great comment from J M McDermott with his excuses that I wanted to share:

1) I'd update my blog, but I'm way too busy reading other people's blogs.

2) I'd update my blog, but every time I try to write something, World of Warcraft somehow, mysteriously, loads without any help from me whatsoever. Promise.

3)I'd update my blog, but I'm just not that interesting. I've run out of interesting things to say. Isn't that interesting?

4) I've been updating my blog... my SUPER-SECRET EASTER EGG BLOG! If you search my blog thoroughly, you may piece together the clues that lead you into the vortex of recent updates! Keep looking. You'll find it.

5) I assigned a guest-blogger, and I guess that person just let me down. I'll never put my cat in charge of that again!

Speaking of cats - one of the grandkitties, Pudding, is a longhair and in the summer it gets pretty miserable for him so he spends too much time lying around under things and trying to stay cool. We had him shaved and he's much perkier now - although he looks very weird and big headed.

I've been on a bit of a beading frenzy this month. It's so relaxing to just string beads.

Most of my work is done with glass, ceramic, semi-precious stone beads, and metal findings/spacers. Some of my favorites up there are the ones with hematite and the ones with smoky quartz. Most of the pieces were designed with specific outfits I like to wear in mind. There's a lot of pink in my wardrobe so I've done a lot of pink sets - (I also like to make earrings and bracelets to match the necklace or badge chains I've done).

I'm going to (eventually) hang each set on a nice display frame - I bought one covered in white and one in black - and take individual pictures then post them on my own website. I need a tripod and a clear place to photograph them - the picture above was taken in my bathroom using the styrofoam pinboard I use to keep my work propped up right next to my beading desk (previous stuff inspires new stuff). I propped the styrofoam up on a pretty shoe box and placed it all on top of the toilet tank in the bathroom next to my office.

There are 57 pieces on that pinboard (counting pairs of earrings as one "piece"). I guess I've been a bit obsessed...

My husband just sent me a link to a story about two rescued ducklings. I defy you to look at the picture of these ducklings swimming in a teacup and not say "awwwwwwwwwww" at the total cuteness. If you can, don't tell me, I'll just never look at you the same way if you do.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Brief Outline of Dawno's Recent Adventures

Since last I posted

NASFiC: aka Archon 31, Aug 1 - 5
Flight delays in Dallas - Mary Kay ladies everywhere
Rental car not fun to get or drive
Hotel night clerk = jerk, got what I wanted anyway, I'm a stubborn b*tch
AW buddies everywhere!
Great art show, cool jewelry purchased, books too
Drinks and talk, talk, talk, in the Cigar bar, dinners at Ruby Tuesday - more AW buddies - fun!
Panel discussion on "Modern Mythology"with Laurell Hamilton, Barbara Hambly, Richard White (also AW buddy!) interesting but what was the topic supposed to have been? Need to work on that, guys...talking about it with AW buddies in Cigar Bar more fun.
Big AW dinner Sat Nite - salad had a whole fist sized minced raw white onion on it - should have had the pasta!
Trip home - upgraded to 1st for long trip home, gate clerk was rude and surly and screwed it up but Flight Attendent got all fixed - love that gal!

*intermission - three days back to work*

Anniversary Las Vegas Trip & 20th Anniversary of Star Trek @ Star Trek Las Vegas convention, Aug 9 - 13
Drive there went well, got there early enough to find Wil Wheaton in dealer's room and got 2 books signed, saw his talk, also wonderful.
Check in at MGM - nice room, wonderful service. Gambled some, no winnings
Shopped, gambled (won a lot at Hilton, lost most of it back at other casinos) went back to Hilton next day for lunch at Quarks, good lunch - saw a lot of costumed con goers, some really good stuff.
Gambled more after lunch - Hilton has two machines that really paid off for me - came out ahead $900
Saw Spamalot at the Wynn - very funny! Huge strawberry daiquiri in souvenir "Grail" to bring home
Checked out and drove back - stopped for gas at a remote station $4.40-ish a gallon!!
Bakersfield - hubby grabs Long John Silver chicken meal for lunch and one to bring home - why doesn't anyone open one of those up here?
Arrive home, tired but glad we went, glad we're back.

Tonight my daughter arrives for a 5 day visit, Sunday my son arrives for two weeks. Will probably not post for a while as a result.