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I just got the following result for a product search:

"Expand your search for 'lavender Camelbak bottle' to include MILITARY/TACTICAL results."

Edited for HTML WTF.


Last Wednesday afternoon, my doorbell rang.  As soon as I stood up to answer it, I was hit by a massive charlie horse in my left calf.  Since I knew it was FedEx delivering my tablet (which had been back to Toshiba for warranty work on a wonky sound chip), I tried to hobble to the door before the driver left & my Precioussss disappeared into an enormous warehouse.

Bad move.  About 6 feet from the door, I fell & landed on my left shoulder & face.  It took about 5 seconds to realize the shoulder was dislocated, & another 5 minutes to get to my feet (look, ma, no more charlie horse!) & go get my cell phone.  The local ambulance crew showed up in gratifyingly short order & carted me off to the ER.[1.]  At some point, Steve arrived as well.  I was released a few hours later with a sling, some stitches above my eyebrow, & instructions to see my primary physician for followup.

The 1st appt. I could get for that was Monday.  The PA who saw me said I should be having less pain & more range of motion.  She called to get the x-rays the hospital didn't send to their office (despite me giving the ER the info) & got me in to see an orthopedist yesterday morning, who pointed out the fracture in the head of the humerus which was clearly visible in the x-ray -- & which nobody in the ER mentioned to me or Steve.  He also made noises about possible surgery & sent me off for an MRI.

I go back to the orthopedist on Friday to discuss his findings.  I'll probably know more then, but meanwhile we've already cancelled our trip to Boskone.  PT is definitely in my near future, along with lots of meds. Driving, though, is *not.*  Neither is LJing:  I've been working on this since Monday.

Stay tuned for the next thrilling chapter!

[1.]  And I still don’t know whether to be annoyed or glad that my insured-so-signature-required-for-delivery tablet was *sitting on my porch* when the EMTs arrived.

Seeking Bookshelf Stereo Buying Advice

My parents' bookshelf stereo got fried by a thunderstorm 2 months ago, so I'm trying to find them a replacement for Christmas.  It needs to have reasonable-for-under-$200 sound quality & good volume. (They're both getting deaf.)  They still play some of their old tapes, so a cassette deck would be useful.  And it needs to be pretty simple to use, as they're not terribly tech-savvy. I've gotten tech support calls from them where I talked them through using a DVD player.

The problem is, it's been 15 years since I got them their last one & far fewer people now play physical CDs.  There's only a fraction as many models available, and many of them have complicated & non-intuitive settings (from my parents' point of view).  So far I've tried BJ's Wholesale & Best Buy, but I had to reject all 3 models they had between them for poor sound, complexity, or both.  Target had about 4 options that looked like possibilities -- but *none* of them were connected to a power source.  Apparently, the idea that customers want to listen to audio equipment before they, you know, pay money for it is as quaint & old fashioned as a CD.

I've got a list of other stores to check, but would appreciate help in shortening the search.  So if anyone can recommend a store likely to have what I need, or, failing that, can recommend a specific make & model I can order online, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone's managing to enjoy the holiday season. At least some of the time.

All Shook Up

I've lived in the metro DC area for the last 24 years & never felt an earthquake.  Teeny liitle tremors happen from time to time, but I never noticed them.

Until today.  TV is saying 6.0.

Landline & T-Mobile cellular are both out, but otherwise all well here. Except that the cats are thoroughly spooked.

ETA: the epicenter seems to be in Mineral, VA, near Charlottesville. Size has been decreased to 5.9.
In honor of filker Dave Clement's visit from Winnipeg, Steven Joel Zeve & France Andrews are hosting a housefilk at their home this Sunday from 2PM till TBD.  Don't be shy if you don't perform -- we need audience members too!

Dave is a wonderful singer & guitarist, & a heck of a nice guy to boot.  If you've never met or heard him, do yourself a favor & come on by. 

Relevant info below, cut & pasted from the local housefilk mailing list:

Decadent Dave Clement is visiting, but he has commitments that
require to be back to Winnipeg before Contata, so we're having a
pre-Contata house filk this weekend.

Sunday June 26, 2011 starting @ 2:00pm

Directions appended below.

		Steven Joel Z.

>From the West:

o	Take I-70 east to I-695.
o	Take I-695 towards Towson to exit 18 (essentially, you're
	going north but given that 695 is a beltway, the direction
	labels are never really useful).  
o 	Take the exit 18 ramp towards Randallstown.  This is the second
	ramp.  This will place you on Liberty road heading west.
o	Continue on Liberty Road directions.

>From the North:

o	Take I-95 (or I-83) south to I-695 towards Towson.  
o	Take I-695 (outer loop) to exit 18 (essentially, you're going
	west but given that 695 is a beltway, the direction labels
	are never really useful).  
o 	Take the exit 18 ramp towards Randallstown.  This is the first
	ramp.  This will place you on Liberty road heading west.
o	Continue on Liberty Road directions.

>From the South:

o	Take I-95 (or BW Parkway or I-97) north to I-695 towards Towson.  
o	Take I-695 (inner loop) to exit 18 (essentially, you're going
	west but given that 695 is a beltway, the direction labels
	are never really useful).  
o 	Take the exit 18 ramp towards Randallstown.  This is the second
	ramp.  This will place you on Liberty road heading west.
o	Continue on Liberty Road directions.

>From the East:

	I have no real idea.  Pick your favorite route to I-695.  Pick
your favorite direction on I-695.  On the outer loop, follow the "From
the North" directions.  Otherwise follow the "From the South"

>From Baltimore City:

	There are so many ways to get to beltway!  Pick one and take
the beltway to the west of the city.  On the outer loop, follow the "From
the North" directions.  Otherwise follow the "From the South"

Examples:	Take I-83 north to the beltway inner loop.
		Take I-395 to I-95 south.  Take I-95 to beltway outer loop.
		Take I-95 south to the beltway outer loop.

	For the truly ambitious, find your way to Liberty Heights Rd.
Take this west.  Eventually it will become Liberty Road and pass under
the beltway heading west.  From here, follow the Liberty Road

>Liberty Road west (outwardbound from I-695):

o	Take Liberty Road, outward bound from I-695 about two (2) miles 
	to Brenbrook Rd.  This is at a stop light.  
o	Turn right onto Brenbrook.  Take Brenbrook straight through the 
	teensy traffic circle at Chruch Lane and back to Meadow Heights Rd
	at the second intersection with 4-way stop signs.
o	Turn left onto Meadow Heights.  Go two short blocks to the
	stop sign.  We're the house immediately to your right when you
	stop at that stop sign.

		8914 Meadow Heights Road
		Randallstown, MD
		(443)791-1102 (my cell #)


Quote of the Month

(Considering it's been longer than that since I updated...)

"IMO cats are what women aspire to be: smart, graceful, strong, independent, beautiful, etc. I tell all female friends and family to run (don't walk) away from any man who hates cats."

-- Sheila N. on care2.com, Feb 21, 2011

The more I think about that statement, the truer it gets.  While a man liking cats is no guarantee that he's a keeper, every single man I've known who disliked them (as opposed to allergies, indifference, etc.) has had, shall we say. problematic attitudes about women.  (Hi, Dad.)


From museinred First, Then Many Others

Late to the party because I was away for the weekend.  Anyone still want to play?

Leave a ONE WORD comment that you think best describes me. It can only be one word. No more than one word. Then copy and paste this post to your own journal so I can leave a word about you
I had a rather unsettling experience last evening. Provided you're a Doctor Who fan, that is. Everyone else should probably mosey along & check back a little later.

My husband stevemb & I went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner with our friends the_sheryl  & gorgeousgary. While waiting for a table, we were all checking LJ on our phones. One post in my flist mentioned that it was the birthday of John Simm, the actor who plays the Master.

Not ten seconds later, the hostess called for "Saxon, party of 2!"

No, I couldn't spot him. He was probably using a perception filter to avoid being caught dining anywhere so proletarian on his birthday, of all days.

(Post title is the most evil pizza I could think of in roughly 5 seconds.)

As Seen on Many Other People's LJs

If I came with a warning label, what would it say?

Health Care Reform Now!

No one should die because they cannot afford health care. No one should go broke because they get sick, and no one should be tied to a job because of a pre-existing condition. If you agree, please post this to your journal.

Ganked from markbernstein, </div>  & many others.

Edited to add attribution.

Classic Doctor Who Research Project

A Doctor Who fan known on LJ as fantasyjax is seeking survey subjects to assist with her MA thesis.  She's specifically looking for fans who discovered Classic Who thanks to the new series.  Her research journal & a short initial survey can be found at lifeonravolox .  Sounds like good geeky fun all around.

Celebration & Mourning

This is the day to commemorate 2 of the most important things in my life.

1st, it's the birthday of my dear husband stevemb .  Happy birthday, sweetheart.  I love you.

2nd, it's the 40th anniversary of the single greatest achievement of the human race, the Apollo 11 moon landing.  It's hard to believe now how quickly it was followed by the abandonment of our hard-won dreams. 

That tragedy was so complete a mere 10 years later that this sonnet appeared in the July 1979 issue of Analog magazine.  My copy is long since a casualty of a moldy self-storage cube and to my shame, I cannot recall the author's name.  (The only link Google could find is defunct.)  But the words will be with me forever:

July 20, 1969
They made it -- we all made it, just a bit
Lke Vikings leaving runes and little more
Taking the lesser light where God had placed it
To show ourselves just what a heaven's for

They loped like diving-suited kangaroos
Over that sterile world of one night stands
Driving golf balls and moon buggies to amuse
The children, while the stars slipped through our hands

They're gone now to their shrinks and shrunken space
The praise is theirs; 'tis ours to wonder why
The world's still flat, and dreams are out of grace
So I, believing less each summer, pry open

That lost last year to see the bright
Earth-jewel, smooth and blue, in velvet night
Some years ago, my job took me to the office of a senior NASA executive.  This poem, blown up from the magazine page to poster size, hung on her wall.  Naturally, she turned out to be one of the clueful NASA people I dealt with. (If you really need to be depressed, I could tell you about some of the other kind.  God save us all from middle managers.)

Don't think I'm knocking the space shuttle program.  It too was a great accomplishment and has taught us much.  However, I can't help believing that it has been a diversion and a detour from what we really should have been doing.

But the years of neglect may finally be ending.  We need to leverage all the attention space is getting right now so that once the economy turns around, the campaign to again venture further than Earth orbit can begin.  And the return on investment will be immense. 

2 things happened in the early 1990s:  we finally exhausted the technical and economic benefits of the Apollo program, and we entered a serious recession.  This was not a coincidence.  The unforseeable scientific and technological discoveries and spinoffs that a new space program will yield will more than repay any cost.  And the benefits to our national psyche could be even greater.

To help remember how those glory days 40 years ago felt, here are 2 music videos: 

Fire in the Sky

Hope Eyrie

It's time once more to boldly go.

Oh, So Many!

If there is one person or more on your friends list who makes your world a better place just because they exist and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

Icons Meme

In response to [info]filkerdave:

Reply to this post, and I will pick five of your icons that I want to hear about. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee...

And filkerdave's nominees are:

I use this one for give-me-that-old-time-SF-religion or fandom-in-general posts.  It looks quite a bit like a nightlight I bought in the Kennedy Space Center gift shop on my last visit.

This one is used for topics & situations that recreate it in real life.  Hurts to watch a bit -- I spent entirely too much of my life nearly convinced I was Charlie Brown's avatar.  Not nearly as applicable to my life in general as it used to be, thank all good Powers.

I have a real fondness for When Fandoms Collide moments.  And boy, could I have used a Dalek Patronus back in my school days.  It doesn't get used a whole lot because it seldom seems on topic; I may well delete it soon.

This also gets used for generic fannish comments, especially those pertaining to a certain decade.  It reminds me of:

1.  1970s architecture.  I remember several con hotels that had similar features.

2.  1970s spaceship/space station interiors.  At least in the movies with higher budgets.

I really, really wish it didn't use the profanity "sci-fi."   (As the old saying goes, anyone who calls it sci-fi immdiately proves that they don't know what they're talking about.)  The image brings back enough happy memories that I wince & use it anyway.

This is Wendy from Middleman.  I could say that I snagged this one to signify lack of fulfillment or motivation.  Or I could be honest & admit that its main reason to be in my collection is so I can spring it on cadhla sometime.


Our Long National Nightmare...

The Shrub is safely in the air on his way back to Texas, Mission Fucking Accomplished.

Now the grownups can get on with repairing all the damage he & his committed.  It's going to be a busy 4 or 8 years...
Ganked from principia_coh.

Done at GAFilk during open filking.  Yea, verily doth this casbah rock!

Let Me Show Them to You.

default oldest newest
saddest happiest angriest
cutest sexiest funniest
fave ship fave fandom fave animated
best quote best textless best stolen idea
use the most favorite
IF YOU COULD BUY SPACE FOR MORE, WOULD YOU:  Ask me again in a year -- I've only had the permanent account for 2 months.
DO YOUR ICONS MAKE A STATEMENT:  Most of them make different statements.
AND THE SECOND MOST:  Tie:  Classic Star Trek and Babylon 5.
WHICH SHIP DO YOU HAVE THE MOST ICONS OF:  Tenth Doctor & Rose, but more because I like the icons themselves than for the ship.
ARE THEY ANY GOOD:  I've gotten some nice comments on them.  I haven't tried anything too complex, though.
ANIMATED ICONS ARE:  Something I'd like to make someday.
BIGGEST ICON PEEVE:  Illegible text.  If it can't be read at normal icon size, either fix it or forget it.


Coding can be found here

When stevemb & I got home after spending New Year's Eve with friends, we discovered that Satin (in icon) had had a stroke. She was unresponsive, with back arched and paws moving randomly.

We took her to an emergency veterinary clinic where the vet on duty confirmed my suspicion that there was nothing to be done except let her go. Steve & I held her as she was euthanized.

Satin was the last survivor of the 3 cats my late husband Pat & I had. (Some of you reading this will remember Pyanfar & Kami.) We adopted her in February 1991 from someone who rescued her from the streets of Baltimore but was unable to keep her. We thought she was 3 or 4 months old until the vet we took her to said, "See those teeth? She's 10 to 12 months old." Malnutrition probably accounted for that as well as the sad fact that she was a cat of very tiny brain, though built on a Siamese chassis and possessing the classic Siamese voice. The Siamese genes also prevented her from being deaf despite having one blue eye and one yellow eye. (She got her name because we thought at first she also had the Siamese single coat. It turned out malnutrition was responsible for that, too -- she really should have been named Velvet or Plush.)

But oh, she had a tremendous purr and a loving heart.

In a way, it was Satin who got Steve & me together. A few years ago, I needed to move with very little notice & ended up in a situation where having both my cats would not be feasible. I had to keep Kami with me to ensure he got proper care for some ongoing medical issues, so I tried to find someone who could look after Satin temporarily.

My longtime friend Steve agreed to take her in. Of course, I had to come visit every few days, which meant Steve & I spent significant time alone together for the first time. We've been married 18 months.

Goodbye and thank you, little girl. Go sit in Pat's lap & give him & Py & Kami my love. We'll miss you.


In the Spirit Of the Holidays

Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. Then put this in your own journal, and spread the love.

Meme nicked from filkerdave.

Hope Election

With a nod to Leslie Fish:

For the people have voted
Tell your children when
Hate won't drive us down to dust again

Meme from Many LJ Friends

Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.