Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am just giddy!

This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes...

Our new washer and dryer arrived this afternoon. I cannot tell you how happy I am about this. (As are the people who must be around me. Fortunately, thanks to my life choices, those people are few.)

They sure are pretty. (the machines, not the people) Fancy little buttons and gizmos all over the front panel. The washer plays a jaunty little tune when the cycle is finished.

I am so jazzed, just to have machines at all, but especially to have these. They are highly rated, not incredibly expensive, and, best of all (given my recent laundry history) fully functional.

I did a load of our black clothes to christen the machines (though not being fully goth when younger, we do still have a lot of black clothes, enough that they do not have to be washed with navy or brown clothes to make a full load (or 3.) Then turned the laundry room over to my brother. He has fewer clothes to wash, but also fewer all together, so he is a tad more desperate. Once he has his two loads done I am back to it and I plan to spend all day washing tomorrow. Yay!

The guys who delivered the appliances were very nice. The driver, who didn't really have anything to do once I signed the paper, was great. The girls asked if they could have the boxes and I said no, because of the staples. He got a pair of pliers and pulled the staples out. Now the girls have a little cardboard neighborhood of houses in the garage. (The boxes won't fit through the door into the house.) He was very sweet about it.

Hmmm, I wonder how long it will take to get the laundry caught up. This is going to be fun. I cannot wait. Laundry is my favorite chore.

DH and DD8 (long ago) play Row Row Row Your Boat. I love the look on her face.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

To celebrate our 12th anniversary last week we took the girls to dinner
and a movie. We went to see Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D. 3D technology
has come a long way since Jaws 3. It was amazing. I heard DD11 next
to me whisper "Wow!" when the first scene (an outer space scene with a
ringed planet and space debris) came on the screen. We all thought it
was impressive. The whole movie was. DD8 said she didn't care for
having to wear the glasses, but still liked the movie.

The movie was good. The monsters were funny, but the alien was
hilarious. Most of my favorite scenes from the movie were with him. His
incredible hubris and disregard for life juxtaposed with his panic when
things didn't go as planned were priceless.

"Just to recap, I come in peace, I mean you no harm, you are all going to

Earlier this week we had an outside activity wherein the girls played the part of red blood cells, moving in and out of our blanket "heart." All three said they had fun, and did seem to retain at least some of the information we went over.

Kickin' in Our PJs

All three of the girls are sitting around in their pajamas today. That is one
of the perks of home schooling, of course, but we are not just revelling in
our anti-social freedom from proper daytime attire. We are revelling in
not having a working washing machine.

My dad came to have a look at it, since he knows washing machines (20
years of repairing them, along with dry cleaning machines, dryers, and
industrial presses will do that.) He thought from my telelphone desription
that it would be a broken or fallen-off belt. If so it would have been an
easy fix. No such luck, though. Turns out it was the timer. A repairman
could fix it, but we have some money saved up and I have been wanting a
new set of machines. DH put a price cap on (to make sure I don't go too
far off the deep end) and I hit the internet. I found what we wanted and
we should have it in a few days.

DH was all for just getting a washer. That is all we need, right? The dryer
still works. I managed to talk him into getting me a new dryer too. It is not
too extravagent. I am more familiar with the condition of our current dryer
and, believe you me, it could have easily been the problem. The thing is
noisy, shaky, unreliable, and a mess. That happens when you buy
someone else's 20 year old machines. Dad says getting the matching set
now is a good idea. Odds are, since the old machines are the same age,
the dryer would be clunking out in a few months.

Now, after a week and a half without a washer, we are rationing our clean
clothes. If we need to stay home, pajamas are ok. Actual clean clothes
are being saved for when we need to go out.

The garbage bags full of dirty laundry are starting to pile up. I am actually
looking forward to getting the new machines and get rolling on the clean-
up. I actually enjoy doing laundry. New gadgets are going to make it
even cooler. I can't wait.

Judging by the background, I think this is another example of swing-photography. however, since things are not swirl-blurry, I think the artist was stationary, if slightly askew in taking this shot of her sister.

Not Looking for Gore, but where is it anyway?

I watched in the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale last
week. I never played Dungeon Siege, but I do like Sword and Sorcery
movies. It was good enough, for what it was. One doesn't expect oscar
-calibre work from a vehicle like this. (But then again, most Oscar-calibre
movies are not really my cup of tea.) It was better than Dungeons and
Dragons, certainly.

Claire Forlani was great. Jason Statham as well. Ray Liotta was too far
over the top. I guess evil wizards are outside his range.

One thing I did notice, when the evil wizard bad guy got his throat slashed
by the hero (sorry for the spoiler) there was no arterial spray, none at all.
People don't just get a thin red line across their throat if they have a fatal
slash. Don't these people watch CSI?

A hawk or falcon or something landed on a branch of our tree. I took some pictures.


I understand the concept behind designer fashion. It is about art.
Especially the weird stuff everyone laughs at pictures of from out-there
runways. Oscar gowns, wedding gowns, formal attire as well; art on the
human form.

Everyday "style" is a little harder to understand. I find it hard to believe
that designer jeans, let's say Tommy Hilfiger or FUBU, are art enough to
justify the difference in price from Levi's.
This one involves status more than anything; I think. Showing you are
well-off enough to afford designer clothes. The designer name doesn't
indicate that the jeans are better so much as they are a surrogate
price tag.
OK, I get that too.

What my mind refuses to wrap around is designer hand bags. Once price
differences due to materials are accounted for, why are some leather
bags worth $50 and others $1000? For that matter, why would anyone
pay $50 for a purse? I don't get it.

Another picture of dogwood blossoms for your enjoyment. The flowers grow on trees and are usaully between 2 and 3 inches from petal edge to petal edge. Most are white, but they also come in shades of pink.


Cop shows being my flavor of the month, becoming a receent David
Carusso fan, and having heard that someone I respect liked it, I decided
to check out NYPD Blue.

I am afraid I only made it through the first scene of the pilot.

I knew there was occasianal nudity and bad language. That I can deal
with. I actually prefer a bit of realism IF that is what the show is shooting
for. (If realism is not the aim, I do at least require continuity, but that is
not for this entry.)

I could not handle the shaking. I know, it was "edgy" and "gritty" and cool
when it came out and the show lasted for 12 years, there was definitely
something there. I am not knocking the plots or acting, just the camera
work, and since that was on purpose, I just didn't feel like continuing to

All the budget of a network cop show and they decide to make the show
look like it was shot with a camcorder? Not to my taste Oh well.

For you today I present a close-up of the ubiquitous Southern blossom, the Dogwood. It is not the state flower of Mississippi, but is of Virginia, and likely a few other states (I'll ahve to look that up.) They are everywhere in the southern US, and bloom usually during March and April.

CSI: Miami

Having gotten bored with, or watched up to current episodes, the TV I was
into, I recently joined millions of others in becoming a forensics junkie.
CSI is pretty good.

I watched the original version, set in Las Vegas, all the way through.
Very cool. I miss Grissom though, and Warrick. Sarah, not so much.
She was too gritty for me.

Anyway, having run out of on-demand, not-yet-seen episodes of that CSI,
I switched to CSI: Miami. It took a few episodes to get used to a different
team, but now that I am 5 or 6 seasons in, I know them and am just as

It is interesting to note the differences in the series', but I will wait until I
have watched this one all the way through and have at least finished
season 1 of CSI: New York. (I have seen a few episodes of that, but
decided not to split my focus.)

I need to check to see if CSI: Miami has changed directors a few
seasons ago. I can handle gratuitous bikini butt shots of inconcequential
people on the beach. That is part and parcel of a show set in Miami. But
recently the show's camera work has gotten weird; odd camera angles,
vertical or horizontal scene flipping. Collage shots of the same scene
from 6 or 7 different angles. It is a horrid distraction and takes away from
the show rather than adding to it. It didn't start out this way. Only over
the last few seasons has this gone on. And it is getting worse.
The attempt to make a cop show into "art" is degrading to the genre. I
suppose the over-production is a reaction to the purposeful
underproduction that had been popular in the last decade.

More on that later.

The girls liken to take pictures with my camera (when I will let them. I always tell them to be extra careful with the camera, and they always say they will. One of them thought it would be a cool idea to take pictures while they were on the tire swing. That isn't really what I call being careful, but the electronics didn't hit the dirt, so I'll let it slide, this time. Here is one of the fruits of their efforts at swing-photography.

The Edge of the World

I am very sorry to have dropped off the edge of the world for the past few
weeks. I would like to give you a good explanation, but I don't really have
one. I have been blowing off the blog in favor of other activites.
Other writers of other blogs say they prepare their entries ahead of time.
I might try that, but there is no guarantee that I will follow through or that
even if I do it will make a difference in how often entries appear.

My attempt to Blog 365 is pretty much a lost cause. I am going to give up
trying to make up for lost time. It is only contributing to making me feel
behind and like a failure. So, I will stop worrying so much and just post. I
will try to post as often as possible and with read-worthy topics.

Of course, what is read-worthy is really up to the reader. So, again, no

For you photographic pleasure, DD11. Doesn't she look pleased that upon being told that she had her hair caught in the swing rope my first instinct is to take the camera out there? We did get her untangled, eventually.