Sunday, November 25


okay, will someone explain to me why there are no (zero) 2-line DECT phones?

I am baffled why there are dozens of 1-line phones, but ansolutely none that meet my needs - of a second phone line. This cannot possibly be an oversight - is there something in the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications 6.0 standard that says "single line only"?

Thursday, November 22

sniff, sniff ...

I've had the A/C off for over a month, and last night I flipped on the heat (thermostat set for 20C in the winter, 26C in the summer). Indeed, there was that unmistakable aroma, as in years past ...

Watching Dallasonians (Dallasites? Dallaseneans?) is entertaining this time of the year, as they pull their Heavy Winter Clothing out of storage when it drops below 20C outside. It seems to affect Our Latino Friends the most, who appear .. well .. paralyzed. I can only image the trauma affecting those who migrated farther north .. like (gasp!) New Hampshah.

Weather watchers (Jill, are you listening?) will be entertained to know that rain is predicted for the 2nd half of this 4-day weekend. And you know what that means, right? Free Car Wash!!!

The South American Loophole

Honestly, if a retailer's not open by 7AM Friday, why bother?

I suppose getting the "weekend only" edition of the local paper entitles me to mid-week holidays, too. So, this morning I waddled out to the front yard to fetch the paper, and quickly noticed that the ads outweighed the news - by a substantial amount. They could have saved their money with me, since the last place I'll be tomorrow is anywhere near a B&M.

As usual, they're outdoing each other to see who can open the earliest on Black Friday. This year, the prize goes to Circuit City, who will open from 9PM-Midnight tonight. Sure, you purists will say "but that's cheating! - it's still Thursday" but I say "Huzzah! for thinking out of the box". As Everybody Knows(tm), 9PM Central Time is midnight in Santiago and Buenos Aires (both are in America, albeit South), so it appears the Circuit Cityfolk are taking advantage of the average Texan's ignorance of geography.

Anyway, according to the ads, here are the opening times for those stores who didn't take advantage of The South American Loophole:
4 AMJC Penney; Kohl's
5 AMBest Buy; Circuit City; Fry's; Linens-n-Things; Old Navy; Pepboys; Sam's Club; Sears; Toys-R-Us
5:30 AMDick's Sporting Goods; Sports Authority
6 AMBed Bath & Beyond; JoAnn Farbics; Macy's; Radio Shack; Target
7 AMAcademy; Burlington Coat Factory; GameStop; OfficeMax; the great indoors; Ulta; World Market
Note that I'm simply ignoring anyone who opens at 8AM - like that's early.

Observation: two sporting goods stores - Dick's and Sports Authority - bucked the even-hour trend and will open at 5:30. Their rival - Academy - doesn't open until 90 minutes later. By then, the shelves at the former will surely be barren, with nothing left but mismatched pairs of Chinese-made tube socks.
Everybody Knows is a trademark of the state-run media (Fox "News"); Rush Limbaugh Productions; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Saturday, November 17

Yellow Elephant of the Year: T. Boone Pickens

The Why Am I Not Surprised Award goes to Firedoglake for this gem:

Swift Boat Funder T. Boone Pickens Reneges On John Kerry Million Dollar Offer

I suppose the curious reader could also search the web for "Pickens renege" .. which are soon to be synonyms.

Friday, November 16

somebody please hand my my cane ...

It's weird being suddenly part of the "you don't matter anymore" crowd.

Today, I got an email from Wired magazine, asking me to complete a 10-minute survey. Once I told them (in the first 2 questions) that I'm a 50 year-old male, it said "no thanks" and sent me packing:
"Thank you very much for your interest in our survey. Unfortunately you did not qualify for today's survey. Because our research was targeted at individuals that match a particular profile, not everyone who receives an initial email will qualify to take the survey. Please be assured that information is not recorded unless a survey is successfully completed."
Does anyone know what Cod Liver Pills taste like?

Wednesday, November 14

an observation, and a question

From afar, it appears to me that Benazir Bhutto is the Rudy Guiliani of Pakistan.

She did a miserable job when she was prime minister, and still has a huge corruption scandal with which to contend. Other than a pretty face and a mostly comprehendable English accent, she appears to have no credibility.

I don't get it -- why are so many Pakistanis rallying around her?
Is this an ABM (Anyone But Musharraf) backlash?

Didn't the USA try that with ABC (Anyone But [Bill ]Clinton)?
Uh, and how did that work for ya?

Wednesday, November 7


In checking this morning's email, I spotted one from Jill, who says she arrived home in Hoosierville at precisely 12:20am Wednesday (after leaving Dallas around noon Tuesday). I guess she didn't stop in Arkansas for boiled green peanuts, as I recommended.

The last night here, we split a pizza (delivered by a member of the Russian mob) and watched Infamous (2006) which came out one year after Capote (2005) and 39 years after In Cold Blood (1967). Hmm .. I wonder why the sudden refascination with Truman Capote (who died just short of his 60th birthday)?

Meanwhile #1: I found out that the local business where I bought my lawnmower makes house calls (sorta). Since the boot (trunk) of my own car is too small to accommodate a lawnmower, I asked them to pick it up for service yesterday. When the gent arrived and I explained the problem, he said he could probably fix it on the spot, and did so in about 30 minutes. The last time I used it (Saturday) it sounded as if the engine was on its last legs, but that wasn't the case .. it just needed someone to give it a swift kick in the bum.

Meanwhile #2: Samantha (my 14-year old black cat) spent the night at the vet, for observation. She's been under the weather the past 3 weeks or so, having "trouble" with the litterbox and generally acting lethargic. The vet suspects some dehydration, although I watch her saunter to the water bowl many times throughout the day. I'll call them when they open, later this morning, to see what they found.

Saturday, November 3


Jill's been in town for a couple days, crashing my guestroom (she's not couchsurfing), but that's no excuse for not updating my blog, right?

We took the train to watch the Stars lose to the San Jose Sharks 2-4 on Monday night, then (at The Saucer on Friday) got invited to last night's game where they lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 0-5. Jill and Brian watched them lose to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-5 on Wednesday night. So, while Jill was in town, the team was 0-3. Coincidence? I can't think of a more logical correlation!

Melinda bought the tickets (platinum seating!) and her 13-year old daughter was there for comic relief. At least she wasn't texting the entire game, as I saw at a Stars game last year.
Deep Thought: why would you spend $100 to sit in an arena (the American Airlines Center), with the sole purpose of Texting Your Friends the entire game? Couldn't you do that in the parking lot outside and save the money? I'm sure the conversations were something like "Hey, Britney - I'm at the STARS GAME!!!!!!!!!!" I suspect these are mostly Park Cities (or - gasp! Plano) teens who are so self-absorbed that all they can think of is impressing their friends that Mummy and Deddy were stupid enough to spend money to send them to the game (which is probably cheaper than bailing them out of jail after being arrested at an underage party at the home of that SMU lawyer who's on a monthlong vacation in The Canaries). Oops/sorry .. I'm digressing ...
At any rate, I was very proud of Melinda and Carson, who (after buying Stars jerseys and putting them on) started dancing and ended up on the JumboTron, about 2:30 before the game ended (woo hoo). I grabbed this still frame from one of the movies I took, which nearly used up my 2 GB memory card. Pretty amazing that the photos/movies I took in 2 hours could easily fill about three CD-Rs (which turns the "could you email me the pictures?" into a monumental task).

Anyway, tomorrow, Jill's running the DRC Half Marathon so I'll provide Limo Service at 7am. Maybe I'll park my car and Text all my friends: "Hey, Britney - I'm at the MARATHON!!!!!!"

Friday, November 2

All Clear

I had my two-week eye exam this morning, and the doctor/surgeon gave me a clean bill of health. I can now stop most of the water torture (one week to "come down" off the corticosteroid drops, and then I'm done) and don't have to go back until January, when he'll tell me that I can play the piano again.

It's too bad that I didn't get a cataract in my left eye at the same time, since it'd be nice to have perfect vision in both eyes. As it is, I can wear my (gas permeable) contact lens several hours a day, but the eyeglasses I wore at home are now completely useless; the resulting double-vision is unworkable. It's something like wearing stilts on one foot and flats on the other -- but I was told that before the surgery so it's not a shock.

Now, I'm learning to ignore the complete blur in my left eye (home during the day) and 20/20 vision in my right eye, when I'm not wearing my contact lens (not lenses).