Tuesday, May 30, 2006

you're not going to believe this, but i've got another massive purchase problem. this time, it's the grill i purchased from sears. the one that was to be delivered today.
yes, was to be delivered. Here i was, home, waiting. There it was falling off the truck. really.

They called me at 12 to say they didn't have it, and i'd hear from the manager shortly. He was due in at 1:30. At 2:30 i get a call from the nice kid who sold to me, saying they did have it, but it had fallen off the truck, and wasn't sell-able. And they didn't have any more in stock.

i, calmly, pointed out to him that I was out a vacation day, and I wanted my grill. Put me through to the manager, who said, he'd get another, refund my delivery charge, and bring this out on saturday the 10th. I wasn't thrilled, so he changed the refund, to taking 15% off the total (including taxes, delivery). I reacted a bit better.

Until he called back 15 minutes later, and said they weren't expecting any more in until the 9th, and he was afraid there might be a problem. So, he'd upgrade me to a grill that sold for 200 bucks more, and bring it out on the 10th.


until the phone just rang and the delivery folks were on the line, saying they were bringing me a grill tomorrow. I pointed out that they weren't, and they'd better get this straightened out. Of course the delivery folks aren't the same as the store folks, so I'm not going to worry about this.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

good for me, i went to the gym this morning and worked out all by myself. gold star time.

that said, i haven't done another thing. Friday night, i gave up trying to stretch out the little cramp in my back (the one that aspirin had been taking care of for a few days), so i took one of the muscle relaxants i had from the last time. Bingo, i slept for 10 hours and felt great. took another two aspirin in the afternoon, and have felt fine ever since. However, I didn't feel like doing much yesterday, and made the mistake of taking a nap after the afternoon errands, meaning i was wide awake at 130. I could chalk it up to getting set for PDT, right?

off to ca on wednesday. Still debating if i should leave pasadena on saturday and go to palm springs. Haven't been there in a few years, and it could be fun to see the desert.

Friday, May 26, 2006

James McMurtry is one of my favorite songwriters. I think his song "We Can't Make It Here" is an amazing piece of work. For a lesser artist, it would be a "career" piece. If you haven't heard it yet, visit James myspace page, and check it out.

His lovely label, Compadre Records, has sent out a nice holiday ecard with "Memorial Day." Click, and enjoy the song.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

this really bothers me.

You'd think they could have found another photo to use...I mean oprah looks pretty damn happy about going to a death camp.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thanks for the bday wishes. My friend Traci called last night, but I missed it...so I sent her a little email outlining my exciting day. Hope you enjoy it, too....

"Thank you for the call last night. I think I was in the basement, fishing socks out of the washer when you rang, and didn't get the message til this morning.

I had a lovely day. Took it off from work, something some might say is a waste, considering we've got a holiday next monday, and then I'm off for the rest of that week.

Had lunch with two stay at home mom friends, then went to sears. That's right, sears. I had a 100 gift card sitting around the house, back from when they sold me a dryer that was too big to get through my smaller-than-norm basement door. I kept misplacing it, so it never was used. But yesterday, i got a wild hair to get a gas grill. So, I did. I even opted to pay 65 bucks so they'd deliver it, assembled. Only problem is it's due to come sometime next tuesday---hopefully between my drs appts."

Yes, i am nothing, if not wise when it comes to getting a bang for my buck, time off-wise. Next monday is a holiday, and I'd already taken wed-fri off, for the wedding. So, what better way to handle pesky Tuesday, than to make two yearly appts for that day!

I'd made a gym appt for 4p next tuesday (after the yearly, and the mammogram), but if I can get my grill then, I'd cancel and wait for the delivery. If not, I've got to reschedule for 10 days later. Which would be a pain.

Monday, May 22, 2006

and another thing....
as an anglophile, I was very curious to see an interview that prince charles (along with princes harry and william) conducted with tv hosts ant and dec.

I did watch the itv feed, and found it fascinating. Over here, we're not used to hearing these gentlemen speak, so it was interesting to match the voices with the person. And they were just charming....and none seemed to take themselves too seriously... self depracating humour and all that.

i just saw that bits and pieces are to run on dateline tonight. this story tells you more.

thank you lee! she sent me a very in-jokey tshirt. I don't usually wear graphics spashed across my chest, but i will make an acception here.

I have known lee for over half my life at this time---we met on the first day of college. or maybe it was the second---i know that by the time i'd been there a week we were friends!

and, oh, the stories she could tell. If she wanted to. but not til sasha is an adult, I guess. Of course, you could change the names. Or at least yours....

i had a slow, but music filled weekend. Actually, it's me that is slow my friends will be amazed to hear that I not only stayed up til 130 on friday night, but i actually slept past dawn. And all the way to 9am. Not like me at all!

I am taking the day off today to celebrate my birthday. So far, i'm not doing a hell of a lot, but i am enjoying not doing it! kind of a waste to take a day off when we've got a holiday (and I'm taking five more next week), but hey, it's my leave that won't exist when i want it!

musicwise, the weekend was all about abigail washburn and the sparrow quartet, featuring her regular duo partner ben sollee, along with casey driessen and bela fleck. (I don't have the accent to write bela's name correctly, sorry about that!)

This is the group that abby took to china, but they'd never really played in the US before. Both local shows were filled, some there simply to see bela in a small club, but many because they've become fans of abby's through her solo tours, and her stuff with uncle earl.
took some pics, but conditions were not favorable. However, these give you the general idea.

Friday, May 19, 2006

who knew?????

CTV.ca News Staff

Updated: Fri. May. 19 2006 1:15 PM ET

Prince Charles has revealed he is a big fan of Leonard Cohen, describing the Canadian singer-songwriter's work as "terrific stuff."

Waxing lyrical about the reclusive "Poet Laureate of Pessimism," Britain's heir to the throne gave a glimpse into his musical tastes during an interview to mark the 30th anniversary of The Prince's Trust -- a charity he set up to help disadvantaged youngsters.

Sitting alongside his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, Charles, 57, described Cohen as "remarkable" during the television interview.

"The orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything. He is a remarkable man and he has this incredibly laid-back, gravelly voice," he said.

The full interview, conducted by popular British presenters Ant and Dec, will air on Britain's ITV on Saturday.

The lighthearted chat also revealed differences in the three princes' preferred types of entertainment.

When Charles confessed that Cohen was one of his favorite singers, William asked "Is he a jazz player?"

The two princes, meanwhile, revealed they both enjoyed reality TV, including the British music talent show X Factor and American Idol.

Hello Magazine royal correspondent Judy Wade described Cohen as "the perfect choice for a man who is so inward-looking."

"Charles is pessimistic like Cohen. He probably finds him a kindred spirit," she told Reuters.

And royal biographer Penny Junor agreed. "It sums him up," she told Reuters.

"It is an amusing choice. If one had to play those games where you matched someone with someone, this is the perfect choice for an introspective and self-pitying individual. It is almost as if he has just caught up with the Sixties."

The Prince's Trust 30th anniversary celebrations include an event Saturday at the Tower of London, which will see performances by Ozzy Osbourne, Annie Lennox and Lionel Richie.

I received an interesting response from Whole Foods. Here it is:

We apologize that our decision has made you feel this way. Our intention is to provide the highest quality products that meet our standards and mission statement. We realize the realities of production involved in the selling and consuming of meat and seafood. Our intention is to continue to provide these products while improving conditions for their production and sale.

We will carry fresh soft shell crabs cleaned each day. We will offer lobsters for special order and our stores that have lobster tanks (our particular store does not have one) will continue to carry live lobsters. We have found a method to carry live lobsters in tanks which meet our Animal Compassionate Standards.

We believe that discontinuing the sale of LIVE soft shell crabs to be consistent with our views on humane animal treatment. Since November 2005, Whole Foods Market has been evaluating the sale of LIVE lobsters in an attempt to make the conditions more compassionate and we decided to also evaluate the sale of LIVE soft shell crabs as well.

We don’t have a specific timeline, but Whole Foods Market is creating the next generation of standards by evaluating the supply chain process of each species we sell to ensure we are supporting humane living conditions and compassionate treatment. We will reintroduce LIVE soft shell crab only if we are able to create workable Animal Compassionate Standards and find a supplier who can meet these standards.

I have passed along your feedback to our regional and national offices. We realize this decision does not meet all of our customers needs and we are working diligently to find a solution to meet these needs and our standards.
For more information on the Animal Compassion Standards please visit our website at www.wholefoodsmarket.com
We hope we can meet your needs soon and we appreciate your feedback.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I am still very happy that Apple gave me a brand new computer. However, now I understand why they were so happy to do so. Why? The one I received is now out of production. Obsolete.

The new macbook replacement is here. More, for less money.

Oh well. I like my computer. Even though the DVD burner doesn't seem to release discs when it's hot. I guess I've got to bring it in to get looked at.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm hate to announce this, but i'm breaking up with whole foods. As much as I love the new austin flagship store, the company has lost me. Why? Read this from the Washington Post:


Wednesday, May 17, 2006; F03


Whole Foods Market halted sales of live soft-shell blue crabs in its stores nationwide last week after receiving complaints of animal cruelty. The company said the move was in keeping with its commitment to the ethical treatment of animals. Whole Foods will still sell cleaned and frozen soft-shells.

In the Washington area, the new policy brought complaints from shoppers who want live crabs. "We know that [soft-shell crabs] are a big deal here," said Kevin McDade, the company's seafood coordinator for the mid-Atlantic region. "Some people don't understand why we are doing this."

Because soft-shells are best fresh, most seafood markets kill and clean -- or dress -- them at the fish counter.

For Whole Foods, the sale of other live crustaceans is in question as well. "We're looking at all live creatures, such as lobster and crayfish," said Kate Lowery, a corporate spokeswoman. "We want to be as compassionate as we can be."

-- Walter Nicholls

COME ON! Where do these people think their food comes from? Chicken isn't born boneless and skinless and cut into perfect little pieces. Nor does beef steak come in even portions. And don't get me started on sausage! I read that Upton Sinclair book!

I like to buy local. Most stuff I can't, so I buy as fresh as possible. Which doesn't include frozen versions when things are in season.

someone (don't be shy, leave a comment, don't just email!) asked if i was joking when I said 3 people showed up at my college reunion.

I am as serious as a heart attack. I can't remember how many were in my particular class of the J school, but it had to be fewer than 250. The U itself had tens of thousands, and I'm sure some of the other disciplines had better turnout.

But, there were only three. And the third acted as if she'd never seen us before in her life. Which might have been true, she didn't really look familiar to me, either.

we did, however, meet a very nice woman from the class of 86. She was the only member of her class to attend, and had flown out from LA.

so much for school spirit!

Monday, May 15, 2006

i am back, but quite weary. I had a great visit with charlie, marie and the kids - - even if i did use most of the kleenex in their house. As predicted, reunion attendance was awful...but the good news is we doubled our class participation. yes, three people showed up...a fourth had registered, but he never made it.

and a few others might have been hampered by the weather---so much rain that mass (and some other ne states) are under a state of emergency. But, as chuck pointed out last night, that wouldn't have stopped any harvard alums from making reunion.

Charlie drove me to the airport at 6 sunday...in the pouring rain. we drove past BU's grad site...those poor parents! spending over 100k on a college degree, and getting drowned on graduation day.

the penn graduation was super---the weather shifted and we had sun for the second half of the ceremony. It was good, but loooong, as they read out all 800+ MBA names. Thank god we didn't go to amy's ceremony, there were 1200 names there! (i mean, it would have been very nice to see amy---we did see her mom and grandparents and uncle, but 1200 names!)

the drive back was fine, a few spits of rain, but clear for the most part. Lots of folks on the road today - - - The rest stop (chesapeake house) was filled with multi-generational groups. Perhaps more grad attendees????

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I am now going to pose the eternal question: why? What? Ok, so that's questions.

I tried on my linen suit today. According to the cleaners tag, it hasn't been work since Charles graduation last may.

And you know, I have been going to the gym pretty religiously since then, and since january doing weights at least twice a week.

I tried the pants to the suit on, they seem to fit just fine. Probably exactly the same.
You'd think there might be a bit of difference, wouldn't you?

A big weekend coming up! I am off tomorrow, and driving up to Philadelphia, where I'll leave my car, and get on a plane to Boston. Once there, I'll take the T to meet Charlie, and I'll bunk with him (and marie and the kids) for two nights while we (charlie and I and hopefully others) attend our, gasp, 25th college reunion. Of course, we barely look a day over, um, 38.

Then, bright and too early (7:30) Sunday morning, I board a plane back to philly. Once there, I pick up my car, and drive into town for danny's MBA graduation. Nephew Charles is coming up from NYC to see his fiance Amy get her sheepskin, so I hope to see him, too. Danny, in case you haven't met him, is my sister's nephew. his mom is Robert's sister, robert being my brother-in-law. Nancy (my sister) and Robert have been married since I was 9, so I've been co-opted into his family...which is a very nice thing to be.

Anyway, family dinner Sunday, then a drive home Monday. I was hoping to see my friends Nikki and Bob while I was there, but I haven't heard back from Nikki. I met them in Australia four years ago, and we've stayed in touch. Older than I, both retired from the insurance world, very well travelled (and well heeled, if I may say so). Lovely folks, who insisted on taking me to dinner in Sydney---kind and generous and fascinating, what a great combination!

It's going to be a busy week then---the big deal on Friday being Abby Washburn and company ( Bela Fleck, along with Casey Driessen, and Ben Sollee). My boss John loves abby, and has purchased six tickets for the show at a very tiny club. Mark and Rue think they can make it, too...as does Janet.

lee would love it, but I didn't ask her --figuring Sasha won't allow it. But, if that's not true, let me know! We can celebrate our birthdays....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

i really, truly, honestly have nothing to say. So, tell me something. Something good.

Monday, May 08, 2006

interesting. those of us missing christopher eccleston on TV MAY be seeing him in a new production of "The Prisoner."

You may remember that he received rave reviews for his part in bringing back Doctor Who, but stepped down after a mere 13 episodes. This new venture is only slated for six, so he couldn't possibly feel locked in.

I am eagerly awaiting word from the library that my copy of the new Phillip Roth "Everyman" is available.
I am sure i won't love it as I did "The Plot Against America" (my fave book of 2005), but how can you not be excited to read something that contains this:

“The flesh melts away but the bones endure. The bones were the only solace there was to one who put no stock in an afterlife and knew without a doubt that God was a fiction and this was the only life he’d have.”

Sunday, May 07, 2006

hooray, everything seems to be working on the new ibook. The del key makes a very load noise, but i'll worry about that later.

posted: from the sofa in the basement.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

whoo whoo big computer update. The wonderful natalie at the genius bar at montgomery mall just called: they're giving me a new computer. Not a new refurbished one, an entirely new one, clean out of the box.

faith restored.

Friday, May 05, 2006

bummer, the first draft of this post expired when my computer crashed earlier today.

speaking of computers, i'm a bit miffed at apple today. My new/refurb computer arrived monday, i got it tuesday, and it was already in the shop on Wednesday. The wireless card didn't work. They're hoping it's a simple antenna issue..which can be fixed at my local apple store. If not, it's a logic board issue and the whole thing has to go back.

Wouldn't you think that something like this would be checked prior to shipping?

Had a nice day yesterday----tom russell came by to talk about his new CD "love and fear." He was in a good mood, and we had a wonderful chat. Longtime guitarist andrew hardin is off the road, and tom is now touring with a guy from san antonio named michael martin. Very nice person, and quite a musician.

Tom's new CD is a good one. I believe you can find an MP3 at his website.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

so, i'm back from merlefest, only a bit worse for wear. Having a few problems with my voice, so i'm on "vocal rest" for the day.

Pretty cool festival this year. In addition to the usual suspects, Pete Seeger was there!

he joined Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves, Jimmy LaFave, et al for the "Ribbon of Highway" Woody Guthrie tribute.

John Prine kicked things off on Thursday night. Great show, a good mix of old stuff, and songs from his recent Grammy winner.
Jim Lauderdale was there--it's always fun to catch up with him.

So was Robert Earl Keen. REK spent more time signing for fans than just about anyone. Al took a group photo of us, so perhaps that will someday see the light here. Til then, you must settle for this shot I took. i've got more pictures on my ofoto, oops, I mean kodak gallery site. Let me know if you'd like the link....