Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thought You Should Know

Gene says that these and those like it should be hyphenated:
And the rule is -- when it expresses one cogent idea and becomes more of a noun than adjectival in nature.

Spring Cleaning in the Garden Spot

This was my mom's table that I brought over from the lakehouse.

Club Estill

Fifteen minutes before quitting time at our office, we turn up the music and visit and call it "Get to know your neighbor time." We compiled a list of favorite tunes as an audio scrapbook for this past year. This is the label I made for it.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Where Do I Start With This Once a Week Posting?

Do I start with yesterday and go back? The first of the week, move forward? And how do I remember stuff from a week ago? Guess I'll just jump around until I figure it out and just add a bunch of different posts with approximate dates?

Right now, it is a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Almost too cool to enjoy being outside and a blue, blue sky. I just came back inside to see if the power was back on. It’s not. About an hour ago, heard a big boom and the power went off. A transformer, I guess.

Martha sews a new look for lakehouse
In my brief little foray outside a few minutes ago, I discovered that I am really, really sore. Friday night, I drove over to the lakehouse and met Martha and Dad there. Martha was making valances for the windows and Dad was relaxing when I got there. She brought up different pieces of furniture she had on hand to kind of refurnish the place until we get it sold. Dad seems to enjoy spending time up there when he’s feeling good.

Dad worked on stuff outside. Sissy brought some paint and we tackled the middle bedroom. It had not been painted since 1978 and true to form, Dad had used some freebie paint he’d been given -- he claimed it was venetian blind paint (which was forerunner to mini-blinds for you youngins).

Lawnmower's outta gas! Dynamo Martha
puts it back in the garage
Who knew there was such a thing as venetian blind specific paint? Well, let me tell you it was very hard to paint over. I put together a futon first thing that morning and then we started painting. Martha did all the cleaning and prep work. I just had to paint. Finally got the ceiling covered like I wanted. We still need to go back with a coat on the baseboards, paint the rest of the trim and another good coat on the walls. Ran out of time and paint. We all had to get going around five o’clock.

Well, I just saw the power repair truck over at Billy’s. They told him that everyone on our road was without power, but it should be back on in about 15 minutes. Apparantly there was a problem with a switch, not transformers.

Old songs and friendships renewed
I had to get on back Saturday evening. Gene had invited a friend from high school and her husband; he wanted to show off his office to someone who knew him back when. She was very proud of him and very proud to see his law degree on his wall. He and Linda used to sing together at weddings and such back in their youth. She and her husband were really nice. I enjoyed the evening.

This week at work, we had some really big groups. One day a group of 170 was late followed by 55 that were early. The next day, a group of 80 were early. Fifteen minutes here and there is to be expected. More than 30 minutes to an hour? Makes it hard when you’ve scheduled reservations, speakers, volunteer tour guides, etc. Well, I just had to erase a ranting paragaraph since this is supposed to be Judy’s House of Fun. Another two groups of 100 each next week, and then the rest of them for the semeseter will be groups of 40. Much less stress with those small groups!

On Friday, Caroline called Kim and said to be sure and tell everyone that she was in NYC riding around in a limo. Sounds great! I still can’t believe their prof found funding to take the class (although an extremely small class of six) to New York City for a long weekend. They were to see “Streetcar Named Desire” starring John C. Reilly.

That's enough for now! Read on to see other things from the week!

Shopping for Computer Parts, Digital Cameras, Electronics?

Karen built her own computer and got the parts here, at
I'm looking forward to browsing and checking out the cameras.

"Shooting the Anvil"

Last weekend, I was showing the lakehouse and some neighbors stopped by to say hello. I didn’t realize that this man grew up in the same community as my mom. I don’t think it ever was a thriving big town, but here’s nothing there anymore but a church. Even though he was a bit younger than my mom, he does remember her and he told me that when they would "Shoot the Anvil" at Christmastime, his family could hear it three miles away through the woods.

And what is “shootin’ the anvil?" His explanation was that they stick some TNT under the anvil and shoot it off. But of course it made me curious, and since I am a member of the “I HEART Google” group, I learned quite a bit more.

For one thing it involves two anvils which suprises me that my mom’s people would have two, but there is a variation where the bottom one is replaced with a sledge hammer head. (For the youngins, an anvil is the hunk of iron with a pointy end that the blacksmith hammers metal on). Anvils have a square hole on the bottom. The first anvil would be placed upside down and the hole filled with gunpowder. Then the second would be placed on top. A metal rod would be heated red hot and used to set off the gunpowder. The results would be a very, very, very loud boom and the top anvil would fly into the sky and spin and ring.

Shootin' the Anvil
Being the old-timey variation of fireworks, “shooting the anvil” was used for celebrations, to get attention for everyone to gather around for some important announcement such as a treaty reached in a war, or just plain ol’ competition to see how high the anvil will go. (A 1995 account of some contemporary blacksmithy types claim a height off 615.47 feet although 200 to 300 ft would be more common.) There are still places that feature “shoot the anvil” events at annual festivals.

Since my paternal grandfather was a blacksmith among other professions, I was SHOCKED to find out that my dad had never heard of “shoot the anvil." He is a walking encylopedia of "all things folk" being born in 1917. I explained to him what I had read about it and he said, “No, never heard of it.” But he did go on to tell me a story of an ol’ drunk that was in was in his dad’s blacksmith shop and came across some dynamite. People needed dynamite when they were digging a well and hit rock and apparantly, it was the blacksmith who kept it around. This ol’ drunk asked him what would happen if they put dynamite on the anvil and hit it with the hammer (think big, sledgehammer size hammer). So my grandfather cut off a small slice of the dynamite and laid it on the anvil, handed the hammer to the drunk who promptly gave the dynamite a big whack. In addition to a mighty big bang, the hammer head shot through the roof of the blacksmith shop! Do you think it sobered him up a little?

Where Did That Saying Come From?

My best "tool" website I found this week was an Online Etymology Dictionary. I’m always curious about how words and sayings came to be.

Saw Two Movies Since I Posted Last

The Notebook
Movie LINK
(2004) Yes, I cried. A very sweet, but too long, chick flick. Gene was a good sport and suffered through it, though.

Ghost Story
Movie LINK
(1981) Not a great plot but has old-time actors Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, and John Houseman starring. Also, Gene claims getting to see Alice Krige’s boobs is a good reason to watch this old movie. haha

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More On That "Can't Stop Progress" Theme

Taken April 15, 2005

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Walk Away?

How can I possibly get to everything I'm interested in learning and enjoying? The other day, I was searching for a sound file for Caprimulgus carolinensis to add to my April 16 post because I'm excited there is a Chuck-will's-widow here and just wanted to share. From there, I wanted to listen to other bird sounds listed on the same page -- and then on the other hand, I want to spend time outside listening for them. There's a ton of other things I'd like to do outside, too. For one thing, I haven't touched my plants all spring.

And I've got stuff. Physical stuff. Anyone who really knows me knows how much stuff I've got. And I so need to deal with it, but here I am on the computer again. And I really do enjoy the computer: surfing, photoshopping, emails, etc. Television has always taken up way too much of my time, and now computer time has sucked me in, too. At least I can combine those two.

But, there appears to be a hard decision before me. Am I at the point that I just have to walk away, walk away? Probably -- if I want to accomplish something other than gathering more obscure knowledge. Will I just have to limit my computer time to bill paying and necessary emails? Possibly.

I know there are a couple of you out there that check my blog very frequently. I check my stats. I know who you are and I thank you, especially since I've been trying to post daily! But I think for the rest of the summer, I might go to posting every few days or maybe once a week. I should save the daily posting for cold, damp, winter days when the laptop also serves as a little personal heater.

Who knows, I might get lots accomplished and have lots to brag about in my intermittent posts! Time will tell. Check back in about a week and you'll get an update. For now, I'm outta here to go DO something!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

What's Not To Like?

What a nice day. First of all, the weather was beautiful with blue sky and low humidity.
A friend had invited me to the Catholic church for her great nephew's baptism. I never had been to a child's baptism, plus, it was in Spanish. It was very sweet. I'm glad I got to go.

Then after that, I drove over to the lake to show the lakehouse. Of course, I had to stop and get a cheeseburger at Carlene's as I passed. Yum! As it turned out, the three people that I'd expected bailed on me. But I had an alternate plan. Got to the house, opened it up, ate my cheeseburger, then crawled up in that comfy daybed and took a much desired nap. YES!

I'd just woken up when Gene called. Someone had left a message that they wanted to see the house. I called them and they were nearby and came on out. Pretty quick look around, which says "eh, no thanks" in my book. Really nice people, though. I went ahead and closed up the house, but got another call from Gene with another number. Opened the house/shop back up and those people managed to make it out before dark. They took the longest to look around of most anyone, so I'm thinking "maybe?"

The Blues --
"Feeling good
about feeling
Since it's an hour and half trip from the lakehouse, I got to hear almost the entire blues show that was playing on public radio on the way back. The first half was a bio on Muddy Waters. I came in right about where he took his Delta Blues and one suit of clothes and headed to Chicago. Then it followed through his rockin' Chicago Blues to Electric Mud to his influences on famous rock acts like the Stones (Keith Richards says he was their father and Muddy claimed them as his children as well), Eric Clapton, and Hendrix. Wow! Some fantastic blues to illustrate that bio. (I encourage you to listen to it HERE.)

Jimi Hendrix's
version of Muddy's
"Catfish Blues"
was featured, too.
Then next hour, they covered blues influences on country (with examples by Doc Watson, Charlie Pride, and Johnnie Cash), rock and gospel and went in depth about Buddy Guy beginning his story in Baton Rouge. By the time they threw in some contemporary jazz examples, I was home and out of the car. Remarkably, the public tv station was coming in crystal clear, which is unusual, and Gene and I watched about the birth of swing music. Some more great performances there.

So a day with good people, good weather, good food, a great nap, and great music, hey, what's not to like? A definite low stress and pleasurable day!

That Poor Old Lady -- Chuck Will's Widow

If you know me, you know I get up REALLY early. Usually about 4:45 most mornings. Gene usually sleeps later, but yesterday morning he woke up early. I was excited to tell him that I heard a Whip-poor-will. And as a matter of fact, he/she was still going since that early in the morning still qualifies as "nocturnal" for our feathered friends.

We both stepped outside to listen and it was so LOUD! It was great! I love living in the country.

Anyway, I quickly corrected myself when I got a good listen. I don't know if I've ever actually heard a real Whip-poor-will in person. What we have around here is the very similar Chuck-will's-widow. They certainly look alike from photos I've found. It's not like you normally see them sitting in a tree. Well, I don't since I sure don't do any bird watching at night. (No, I've never been snipe hunting. Although, I did go coon hunting one time, and running through the woods in the middle of the night after a couple of baying dogs is rather exciting!)

This little guy is about the size of
your hand but it's so LOUD!
When you read about them, the experts say the Whip-poor-will call is accented like this: WHIP-poor-WILL. Either they're wrong or I'm hearing with a southern accent, because the recordings I hear say, "WHIP purh-a WHEEL"

But the bird here sounds like "whup PU-UR WEE-EEL" with that first syllable quieter, quick and cut off. I always think "Poor Chuck's Widow" as opposed to the accurate yet unfeeling Chuck-will's-widow.

Please let me share with you that the "Poor Chuck" branch of the Caprimulgus family is carolinensis and you can hear it, Chuck-will's-widow, HERE.

Compare to Caprimulgus vociferus, Whip-poor-will, HERE.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Long Run of Good Weather

We've had some beautiful (meaning low humidity) days lately. I see weather reports that it's about to come to an end this weekend.

Jamie surprised me by stopping by work today. We went and had "Super Nachos" at the food court. Yum! I made her buy my lunch. The lady at the register said I'd paid for plenty of Jamie's and was pleased that my daughter had come back to visit me. Ha Ha! Jamie seems to really be enjoying her job, and not missing the resturaunt business at all.

Judy has asked me to design a tri-fold brochure for her. She is a sponsor of a tradeshow and needs one for the tradeshow give-a-way bags. Cool, heh?

This Could Be Good News!

(HealthDay News) --"Ibuprofen, one of the most popular over-the-counter pain relievers, may help prevent or delay the onset of Parkinson's disease, new research suggests. Although promising, the finding would need to be confirmed in further studies before any changes are made to current practice, the researchers said."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Date Night

Gene and I had a date tonight. Look who we ran into!

Kevin, Kim, Jordan, Amy, Caroline. Top: Gene and Me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tuesday Afternoon Crew

Working with happy people is a great thing!

First Row: Kim, Caroline, Andres, Kaci. Top: Amy, Karen, and Me

If you take a look at the construction fence in the background, you'll see the future site of our new Visitor Center/Alumni Office. Can't stop progress! New buildings always mean change, but this building will affect me and mean changes for me. Change is good, but PLEASE, tell me what I'm going to be doing! How is my job going to change? Will I move with my current office? Will I have an entirely different job? This not knowing is getting tough.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Had a Nice Weekend

The weather was really fabulous this weekend. Got lots done on Saturday. One big thing was to get the old Honda washed up and inspected. And with all that Honda hatchback room, took a load of cans in for recycling. On Sunday, I went over to the lakehouse. Dad was spending a few days up there. We went to church and came back after a good lunch at Carlene's Cafe. I tried to take a picture of my dad while we were at the cafe (which I would've posted here) and that dang camera wouldn't work. So disappointing. Anyway, later that afternoon, we took the legs off the outdoor table so I could fit it and the outdoor bench in my car. Then we shoveled up the rest of the ashes from the old shed he'd had someone tear down and he subsequently burned and some other general cleaning up outside. He's amazing. Still going at 87. Granted he had to slow down, but he's not happy unless he's busy working at something.

The Final Cut

Movie LINK
(2004) Gene says I only like Robin Williams when he's not being over the top. Guess that's why I like him in this one.

The story is about William's character and his efforts to create (cut/edit) for his clients an oh-so-pleasant vignette from their deceased loved one's memory chip and his angst when he discovers why he can't be a "cutter" anymore.

At first I was disappointed by the abrupt ending. But abrupt endings are about making you think. And there's plenty here to go back and think about. There is an important message in the movie but it's too subtle and lots of people won't even recognize it. Slippery slope, folks. Slippery slope.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Movie LINK
(1951) Klaatu barada nikto! Well, now I understand -- not what it means, but what it's from at least. I can see why this is a classic of the sci-fi genre. It has great effects for back then, the music is simple and eerie and spares us from the overbearing music of many contemporary movies, the light/shadow and other patterns are hypnotic, plus there are a couple of closeups that are hyper-clear. Thinking back about the story, I'm not getting too much. But rest assured this movie is a visual treat in a myriad of ways. A must see in your movie history if you're a sci-fi fan.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Do You Think They'll Fly the Flag at Halfstaff When Billy Graham Dies?

Flag at halfstaff after Pope's death

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Anthrophobia - Fear of flowers
Lachanophobia - Fear of vegetables
Helmintophobia - Fear of being infested with worms
Genuphobia - Fear of knees
Blennophobia - Fear of slime
Selenophobia - Fear of the moon
Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Bogyphobia - Fear of the bogeyman
Chromatophobia - Fear of colors
Mnemophobia - Fear of memories
Sciophobia - Fear of shadows
Ablutophobia - Fear of washing or bathing
Mottephobia - Fear of moths
Triskadekaphobia - Fear of the number 13

What will the Fear of Blogs be called?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I Think the Camera Issue is Solved

Today's photo:

My camera worked today, but then again I only took one photo. I researched a little and checked out some reviews. Seems that other people agree that this particular camera really sucks ... the juice out of batteries anyway. But hey, I'll just have to keep plenty of fully charged batteries around!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Flight of the Phoenix

Movie LINK
(1965) Gene brought home a copy the original, and he remembered correctly, it is a better movie than last year's remake. Why do they keep remaking movies that are just fine already? James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, and Hardy Krüger own the characters, with George Kennedy and Ernest Borgnine in lesser roles. I liked the 2004 remake when I saw it last month (and the original was a faint memory.) But now that the 1965 version is fresh in my mind, I'd have to say that I like it better. The original is a grittier telling of the same story. The Dennis Quaid version has DQ and the guys looking buff, is updated to contemporary times, plus lots of Hollywood gloss added. But, hey, the original has a monkey!

My Camera Was in a Good Mood Today

Well, I did manage to capture a few shots before the camera went kaput. Maybe it's good mood just ran out and it will work again tomorrow. (And yes, I did change out batteries. Three times as a matter of fact.) Here is a shot I took this afternoon of the wisteria blooming at my house. Couldn't resist tweaking it in Photoshop a little before posting it.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What a Disappointment!

Finally got my camera situation resolved so I can add more photos and now the ones I've already got on here have disappeared. I guess things over at where my photos are stored have gone Crash-Boom today!

I found a new website that I want to explore more. It is and what is deviantART you might ask? "It is a massive online art community for artists and art lovers to interact in a variety of ways." From my brief look, I'd say it entails posting works in various media (prints, photos, anime, ect.) and sharing them with the community and inviting critiques. Plus there are message boards, contests, ect. About the "deviant" part, think atypical as opposed to perverted because it looks pretty innocuous to me so far.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Movie Link
(2004) Wizard comes of age movie and saves the world. Chain of mystical islands, magic spells, dragons, etc. Very enjoyable if you like this sort of thing which we do. The hero is played by Shawn Ashmore (Iceman in the second X-Men). Also has Danny Glover and Isabella Rossellini

After the Sunset

Movie Link
(2004) A movie about one last diamond heist. I enjoyed it. I like to watch Pierce Brosnan, though. Lots of pretty tropical scenery and architecture, too. Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle also starred.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Incredibles

Movie Link
(2004) Cute movie. Lots to like! Good cast of super heroes, but I enjoyed supporting character Kari, the babysitter, and loved Edna 'E' Mode, but then I've always been partial to Edith Head and like most any character modeled after her.

A Long Day!

Had to be at work at 6:30 this morning. We had our big preview day today. I'm guessing we had about 1100 prospective students plus their moms, dads, and others. So I'm thinking there were about 2500 guests total.

I was in charge of tours and all takers were there at the same time, within 45 minutes of each other anyway. We were short of volunteer tour guides, too. Thank goodness for the tour guides that work in our office. They were great and took on more than their share! A few volunteer tour guides straggled in around 12:30 or so when they were really no longer needed. We were tapping our toes and watching the minutes tick by for 1:00 when we could quit. I finally got through with my part around 2:00 or 2:30 and was glad to get home and get my feet up. My dogs were barking!

Stopped by Radio Shack and picked up a new battery charger. Hoping that solves my camera problem.

Friday, April 01, 2005

No Foolin!

I'm tired! It was such a busy day, that I never even logged onto my computer. We were all trying to get ready for the big preview day tomorrow. We made enough packets for 1300. I wonder how many will actually come. Everyone was so busy and so tense, that it was a wasted April Fool's Day. Practical jokes just wouldn't be appreciated today. Although, Jesse is such a good sport. Or at least I hope he is when he finds his April Fool's Surprise.

Yesterday, Kim brought her new camera by for me to see. I love it. I can't wait to see more photos. Kevin is supposed to put up a website for her. Maybe she'll even let me post a link so you can appreciate her photos, too. The particulars of her new camera are that it is a Canon PowerShot A95, 5.0 MP w/Ai Af. It came w/Canon zoom lens 3X, 7.8-23.4mm 1:2-8-4.9 for all you camera buffs out there. And here is what it looks like.

Tomorrow, I've got to buy some new rechargeable batteries for mine. The ones I've got suck.
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