Sunday, September 30, 2007

Postcard To Sharonda and Victor

Well, it's official. As of today we've been married one full year. So now I feel like I have enough experience and authority on the subject to tell you what I really think of marriage, since you're diving in two short months from now.

I love it. Love every part of it. I realized last night, when I couldn't sleep, that if I tried to imagine a life without being married to Greg or being married to somebody else, it was like Twilight Zone stuff. Crazy. There's nowhere else I'd want to be, and nobody else I'd want to be with.

The one thing I've probably struggled with the most is "give and take." I'm pretty good at giving, but not so much at taking. I've always had a hard time letting people do things for me, and I've made a special effort to let Greg take care of me. Here's a secret - it's kinda nice. I like it. He does nutty stuff like bring me to the beach and then take me to two zoos in two days, eat anywhere I want, and lets me chase crab and... well, you get the picture.

I just wanted to drop you line today and let you know that with a year behind me, I'm looking forward to your wedding even more. I'm excited that you'll get to spend the next year enjoying the things that I've learned this past year. It rocked. Really.

P.S. People keep telling us that we're not newlyweds anymore, and that we should be over doing things like holding hands and going on dates and walking to the mailbox together. We kept telling them that we were allowed to like each other the first year, and that wasn't over until today. Well, we took a vote and decided to extend it another year. We still like each other. Crazy talk, I know.

Love, Susan and Greg

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Postcard To Casper

Dear Casper,

The rumors you've heard are just not true. We aren't really on a vacation, we are on a dangerous secret mission. We had to leave you at home to guard the house because we were afraid the house would be in danger if we were discovered. You wouldn't like it here. There is water everywhere. It's terrible. Plus the cats here are bigger than you.

Trust me, you're better off at home! We are almost done with the mission and should be home soon. Be good for J.R. and Jimmy!

Your People

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Postcard to Jennifer and Rob

Greetings from Bob's!

So far we've only eaten at Bob's twice, but plan to head that way again tomorrow. We also ate at LuLu's, which was fine, but not Bob's. I had their lunch special, which was red beans and rice, and it was good, but not any better than I could get at Hal and Mal's or Que Sera. Greg had the fried shrimp and grilled catfish. The catfish didn't have much flavor, and the shrimp weren't anything special. We did get a hoot out of feeding the fish though. We also ate at Tacky Jack's (well, the T. J. II, which is actually out at the marina at Ft. Morgan) and it was quite tasty. We had burgers and the ribeye sandwich. Yum Yum. We also went back to Cosmo's, where we'd eaten before and had the best steak in town. Greg had the steak again and it was fabulous. This time I opted for the soft shell crab instead of the crab cakes. Big mistake. They weren't very good, and I felt pretty yucky after eating them. Will be sticking to the yummified crab cakes in the future!

Hope you're having a good week. We had a stay at the house day today. Just got back from getting bitch-slapped by the surf. It looked so much more peaceful than it had in the past two days, until you got close. The it would smack you down and laugh. We also got to play with Fred the ghost crab and the psychotic birds. Now Greg's making dinner. Tomorrow will hopefully be zoo day, and we've talked about driving over to Pensacola just to see what's there. Hope you're having a good week!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Postcard To Lauren & Ed

Dear Lauren and Ed,

I knew you wouldn't believe me, so I took a picture. Adventure Island had a Stargate pinball machine. I tried to play it, but it was out of order. I was devastated.

And, because I knew you wouldn't believe this one either, I took a picture of the playing surface, which includes a James Spader target. That's right. You heard me.

Having a great time. Wish you were here.

Love, Boo and Greg


Monday, September 24, 2007


Greetings from Ft. Morgan, Alabama. We came in on the heels of the tropical depression, but managed to pretty much miss it. Figure somebody slipped it some Paxil. We left home about an hour late, which turned out to be a good thing as we didn't hit any serious rain until after Hattiesburg, and even that was just a short heavy shower. Every time we'd get a light sprinkle (not even enough to turn on the wipers) Greg would say, "We've hit an outter band!" He's so funny. Anyway, this was day one (from our front porch):

Very cloudy, and the ocean was a bit rough, but after unpacking and naps we got in a nice walk on the beach at dusk. The only problem we had was the fact that our neighbors were VERY proud of their music. A couple of hours after the blaring started, I was sitting out on the deck and noticed that the Nickleback had turned to something classical, followed by "Here Comes the Bride." Yep. I witnessed a wedding two houses over, followed by an outdoor reception. With karaoke. That was where the long walk came in. Luckily they wrapped up around 10. I got over my irritation when I realized it was a wedding, and it's been perfectly quiet ever since.

Meanwhile, day two:

Very cloudy, very rough surf, so we headed to Foley instead of having beach day. Granted, after eating at LuLu's and doing some shopping (yeah, I bought an aircraft carrier and my favorite Harry & David pineapple salsa!) the monsoon started. Poured on us all the way back.

Today I went outside to find perfect weather. Sun, light wind, fairly calm surf. So I come back in, slather on half a tube of sunblock (I'm a huge believer in sunblock!), pack up a bag, throw a couple of waters in the freezer to get good and cold, grab the chairs, and walk a little ways up the beach to make camp. No sooner than we sat down, we looked up and saw the biggest doom thundercloud coming up from Gulf Shores. Sure enough, within ten minutes more than our toes were getting wet and we headed to the house:

That's about as clear as it's been, and you can't see all the rain coming down, but everything that looks hazy is actually rain. I do enjoy watching storms come up from the ocean, but I would enjoy some beach time, too! It's all fine, we're going to have Adventure Island Pinball day instead of beach day. I just hate that I wasted so much sunblock!

The internet access is spotty at best, so I'm going to hope this posts and have another update if it ever stops raining long enough for us to get to the sand.

Friday, September 21, 2007

To Do List

I have one thing left on my to-do list that has any chance of getting done before I leave today. That would be cleaning off my desk.

Anybody got a match?


Want to wreak havoc and chaos on every part of your life?

Plan a nice, long, relaxing vacation.

I personally apologize to anyone on the Gulf Coast who is affected by the current weather disturbance. It's all my fault, and I'm very sorry. No, I don't know what we're going to do yet, and won't until Crappy Weather System sends us a detailed agenda of it's plans. Which aint' gonna happen.

I want to apologize to anyone at work that I growled at this week. It wasn't really your fault, you were just one of 14 people who decided I should be in charge of the newest urgent project that needed to be finished before I leave for vacation, or in the next 4-6 hours, depending on the project. Only half of those will have a major affect on either our residency program or our overall accredidation, so I suppose it could have been worse. Although having to be at a work function until 7:30 last night didn't help.

I apologize to my husband for not getting the house cleaned, or at least sorting enough crap to find our confirmation number and contract for the beach house so that we can determine the policy for delayed check in, in the event of a Tropical Crappy Weather Warning. I'll find it tonight. Or the dog ate it. One or the other.

I apologize to Casper for the anticipated abandonment. We've hooked you up with two of your favorite substitute people, I promise! No, not Jen. And not any of your grandparents. Nor your Uncle Bill. It's those other two guys. You like them. They throw squeaks in the yard for you. And yes, it may rain. I'm sorry. I don't like it either. Your feet may get wet. I'll make it up to you. We'll bring you back a treat. And I don't mean a kitty, like Greg suggested. You're still getting a bath tonight. Yes, life sucks for you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here's Your Sign

Conversation in the car leaving the grocery store parking lot this evening:

Me: (Reading a new sign at the intersection) "No right turn onto Springridge Road." Huh. That's new.

Greg: (gives me the look)

Me: It's not new, is it?

Greg: (laughing) The funniest thing is that you said that exact same thing the last time you saw that sign!

I swear he just married me for the instant entertainment value.

No News Is Good News

I've never been loyal to any one station for local news. I normally watch whatever station the TV was left on, but this week I've taken a new approach. I've decided to watch the station that has the weather report I want to hear. Tonight that was David on the local ABC affiliate. In the past Tony was on more often than not because CBS is one of our better stations for reception, but he was talking about the possibility of the storm coming over Florida ending up a tropical event that could potentially ruin my trip. David said "big blob of thunderstorms, probably heading due West." MUCH better. I'll be sticking with the ABC news until he starts with the crazy talk.

Supreme Commander of the Universe

As much as I hate political ads, and I do hate political ads, I have to show a little appreciation for our candidates for Governor. If nothing else, they provide comic relief.

My favorite is by far John Eaves. The first time I saw one of his ads on TV my jaw dropped and I stared in disbelief. If he's elected, he's going to reinstate school prayer and Bible literacy in our public schools and he's going to protect the sanctity of human life, all to the backdrop of contemporary Christian music. Is he running for Governor or Supreme Court Justice? Pretty sure the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say in those two issues.

Since then I've enjoyed listening to the fact that big business has come to Mississippi to take our tax dollars without supplying jobs (huh?) and the fact that he's going to force insurance companies to pay claims. Isn't that the job of the Insurance Commissioner, or in the case of our Gulf Coast, the courts?

He's not running for Governor, he's running for Supreme Commander of the Universe. I wonder who thinks they have more power, Eaves or Frank Melton...

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm a strong Christian and appreciate Christian values in a candidate for public office. But I don't really like the idea of a candidate who either doesn't understand the role of the office he's running for, or thinks the voters are too stupid to realize that he's promising a whole lot of stuff that he doesn't have control over, just because it sounds good in the Bible Belt.

To be honest, I wouldn't find the ads half as hysterical if he was running as a Republican. He's not. He's a Democrat. Who supports school prayer, is pro-life, and a whole list of other typically Republican views. Granted, it's a great strategy to get attention here, but you gotta wonder who Democrats are going to vote for. Granted, he's got some typically Democrat views as well, but the big issues tend to swing very conservative.

And just to be fair, I crack up at some of Haley's ads, too. I just don't see as many of those because he knows he doesn't have to work as hard. He already has the name recognition and the power of incumbency. My favorite Haley ad is the one with the doctor talking about how he ended the lawsuit abuse that had been driving doctors out of Mississippi. The legal system had run amuck. Ha. Amuck, amuck, amuck. I've been making fun of that word for weeks now. My pup is amuck. The traffic is amuck. Work is amuck. I can't explain the fascination, the word just seems totally inappropriate for a campaign ad but really fun to use in real life.

Our political ads are amuck.

3 days

3 days to vacation.

I'm having a crappier than usual week before vacation. In addition to the usual rush of getting things wrapped up and preparing materials for all the meetings I'm going to miss, I've had a sudden bombardment of meetings, projects, and fires to put out this week. I find it hard to really complain about work, since I've been in much worse situations, but I get downright furious over the politics here sometimes. My job is such that it's entirely too easy to use me as a pawn or to push things off on me that nobody else wants to deal with. I wouldn't even mind that, if they offered some guidance or were willing to answer questions as I figure it out, but more often than not the people doing the pushing just want to wash their hands of it and pretend they've never seen it before in their lives. Thanks. I appreciate the support!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More Pictures

5 Days to Vacation.

We made it home and I have had one serious power nap this afternoon, so I'll probably be up half the night. It was unavoidable. Something about driving home from Philly leaves me exhausted. I crashed for four hours of hard sleep shortly after we got home. But now I'm alive again and have uploaded a small sampling of my photographic experiments . One thing I was excited about this weekend was another picturesque location at my disposal. I like taking outdoor pictures and there is PLENTY of outdoors at my parents' house! And let's not overlook the fact that my crazy lady mother is a goober.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


There was a horrible natural gas explosion in Philadelphia, MS about 2 hours ago. I'm in town visiting my parents this weekend and Grandma's neighbor called when he heard the emergency call on his scanner. The story and pictures are already up at the Neshoba Democrat website. We've talked to several people who live closer to town and they have said there is a lot of damage in town an windows blown out at the hospital where Mom works. We are about 15 miles out of town so we aren't anywhere near it and haven't wanted to go into town and get in the way.

This seems so much more frightening here than it would in Jackson. Granted, there probably would have been more injuries in Jackson, but chances are we wouldn't have known anybody that was hurt. In a town this small, there's a pretty good chance we do. I thank God it wasn't any worse, that so far the injuries are minimal, and pray for those that have been hospitalized.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Where the Wild Things Are

Yes, this is my actual desk at work. I just realized that I've started an interesting collection of desk critters. Not pictured is the rubber snake that I found with the plastic frog, or the other rubber snake I got as a joke when I worked at the bank (Herb the Budget Snake, but that's a whole different story!). I need to bring a tater head up here. And a picture of my pup.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Coke and a Smile

I ran into my father-in-law this morning in the hallway at work - quite literaly. My drink fell and went all over the floor. My FIL was very apologetic, even though it wasn't his fault, and refused to let me help with the clean up. I assured him it wasn't a big deal, and by the time I sat down in my office I'd pretty much forgotten about it.

WhenI got back from a long, agonizing lunch meeting I found a cold Coke sitting on my desk with a note from him. Now, I wasn't ever upset about losing my drink in the first place, but the fact that he went to the effort made me smile.

I really did marry into a great family. I know that a lot of people don't have that luxury, so I try hard not to take it for granted. They live close enough that if they were crazy people (like some of my friends' in-laws!), they'd make me nuts. Dodged a big bullet on that one. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with good in-laws!

I Knew Better

...than to read the article in today's Clinton paper about our local Community Animal Rescue and Adoption shelter. Worse, I knew better than to look at the two photo galleries they posted. Seriously, I now want to go get about 10 of these animals and take them home. My husband would kill me, if he got to me before Casper did.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Captain - Updated

No, not that captain.

Last night we went shopping for beach supplies, including snacks and easy food for the couple of days we don't leave the beach house. For me that generally means cereal. I love me some cereal. I grew up on Alpha-Bits and Frosted Flakes. These days it's more like Honey Nut Cheerios and Smart Start Maple Brown Sugar. Still sweet enough but somewhat healthier adult cereal. So last night I picked up a box of my usual healthier sweet cereal when I spotted it and stopped in my tracks.

Cap'n Crunch.

In all honesty, I don't think I've had a bowl since college. But I ate enough of it in college to last me a lifetime. I looked longingly at it, holding my healthy cereal, with a little drool on my chin. I wasn't going to buy it, I was just reliving the yummy crunch, the tasty milk... Greg made me buy it. Said it was vacation, I should have kid cereal. I think he was using that to cover his own Corn Pop purchase. Regardless, I may have to go back for more, this box of Crunch is half gone already. I fear this has reawakened a long dormant addiction.

And no, Lauren, I didn't buy the Crunchberries! I'm no cannibal!

UPDATE: Apparently they now make a Cap'n Crunch with berry-flavored shapes, which is technically not a Crunchberry. Hmmm. Lauren emailed me that tidbit after reading my post. Ediwn picked them out at the store the other day, which launched a debate about whether or not I could eat those, since they're actually shapes and not berries. I say it's like strawberry ice cream, which is decidedly not a strawbery. Berry-flavored shapes SHOULD be fair game. I think. But it could still be considered inappropriate. I don't know what to do with that one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Impersonating a Two-Year-Old

(Insert repeated foot stomping here.)

This. Is. Not. Fair.

I will NOT allow some two-bit rain-maker of a WAVE come into the Gulf of Mexico as a storm prior to October 2!


And maybe I was just too young to notice, but when I was growing up I don't remember Woody Asaf tracking a freaking wave off the coast of Africa. I'm pretty sure that until they named it, he didn't talk about it. I could be making that up. Maybe he did. I was a kid, I'm pretty sure I didn't care a whole lot at the time. But I care today.

We're leaving for a MUCH needed vacation on the beach in ELEVEN days. What does the weather thing I just read say? That this stupid WAVE, could be a threat to the U.S. ten or more days from now. TEN OR MORE DAYS? Oh no. Granted, it's so far out it could still go anywhere, and may never strengthen, which is why I wish we never even knew about these waves.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Six Degrees

When I was a senior in high school we had to memorize a certain number of lines of poetry for our English class. I got over half my lines by memorizing "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut" by Dr. Seuss.

I thought about that earlier today after explaining to Greg that I had a bright orange fish hand puppet at home, which was much like the fish in "One Fish, Two Fish" by the same esteemed poet. The aforementioned puppet had to be put away when it was discovered that he and Casper were not going to be BFF.

The hand puppet discussion was a result of seeing a nice variety of animal hand puppets at the gift shop at MRC this afternoon.

We were in the gift shop 15 minutes before the end of the work day to buy a birthday card.

We had to buy a card at the last minute because I left the card we so carefully picked out and bought last night at home.

The card we bought last night was just perfect for my mother-in-law, who we were taking out to dinner for her birthday tonight.

So there you have it. Six degrees of separation from Dr. Seuss to my mother-in-law.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


We knew that to do further testing on our new camera meant finding something interesting to photograph, other than the pup. Personally, having grown up in Vicksburg, I can't think of any place in the area more photogenic. I'd hoped to get to more sites, but thanks to slow service at dinner the sun was setting by the time we got down to the river landing. We took 161 pictures, testing different settings. Here are 19 of my favorites.


Thank you, thank you, thank you, Stacey!

Note to my family (and others as necessary):

To translate my blog into your native redneck (also known as AutoHick, the verbal DNA that kicks in when I cross the Neshoba County line or get on the phone with my family), click here.

Note to Greg:

Even better.

Note to Stacey:

You rock. This made my day.

Friday, September 7, 2007


My new camera has arrived!!!

And here's the very first "turn it on and snap" picture:

Of course it's the pup. What else would I photograph???

By the time the battery charged it was dark, so I couldn't play with it outside, but I tested it in the house. Posted some of the more interesting samples on my Flickr. It does some really funky custom color stuff, and I tested out the super close up shots on the pup. He didn't appreciate it much , but you can count his whiskers in one of them. Of the hundred or so pics I took, I posted 14. Going to play with some of the other features and lighting tomorrow. Woohoo!


So, in doing "what if" math we've figured out that it is quite possible that we'll have the house paid of next year, but even the back up scenerio is 2 1/2 years, which seems like, I dunno, tomorrow.

Yet, for some reason the 15 days until our vacation seems like a dozen years.

The six months until we go to Disney seems like a millineum.

The 4 1/2 hours until I leave work today feels like FOREVER.

Local Politics Rant

If you don't live in Clinton, you don't care, so you can ignore this.

This is the shortened version of much, much longer rant...

Clinton is getting a 3 mill tax hike to pay for a new library. Period. No, we can’t vote on it, Mayor Rosemary wants it done that way, so there it is. Forget the fact that the land was donated seven years ago and they have done absolutely NOTHING to plan to pay for it until about a month ago, when apparently they suddenly realized that if they don’t begin construction before the end of 2008, they will lose the donated land and it will revert back to the family that originally owned it. Solution?

First news article: The city applied for a leftover Katrina development grant for $3 million to fund the new library. Woohoo!

Second article, about two weeks later: Oh wait, the library is going to cost $5 million. Ok then, let’s propose a tax hike. 3 mill should do it. Oh, and by the way, when we applied for the grant we told them we’d match funds, so this is how we’re going to do it… (Note the first line of the article which begins, "The city of Clinton is poised to ask voters to approve..."

Third article, the next week: Oh by the way, we had a public meeting about this tax hike on Tuesday, and the thing is, we’re not actually going to let the taxpayers vote on it because they’re clearly too stupid to know how to use a voting machine. Besides, it would cost a whopping $30,000 to hold the vote to let the taxpayers determine if they want to give us 5 MILLION DOLLARS for a non-essential project that we’ve previously ignored for SEVEN YEARS. That’d be silly. Besides, accorder to Her Highness the Mayor, it would pass with 90% approval anyway.

Um, 90% of who? Her friends and family? She didn’t ask me. Or anybody on my street. Or anybody else I’ve talked to who lives here. And if 90% of the people are willing to pay more in taxes to fund it, why didn't you just do a 1 mill increase SEVEN YEARS AGO, which would have it half paid for by now?

So the Mayor and Board will vote next Friday morning on a tax hike that they’ve clearly already agreed to do, since they applied for a grant based on using that money to match funds. Much like everything else that’s been passed since I moved here, we have absolutely no say in the matter, and if it wasn’t for the law requiring notice I suspect we wouldn’t have known anything about it at all until after the fact. It’s wrong people. I don’t care how much we need the new facility, it’s not an essential service and they have no right to take $5 million away from the taxpayers without asking first. The bad part? I support the new library. Desperately want it. Would be willing to pay additional taxes for it. But I'm not stupid enough to think my opinion is the only one that matters, nor do I like the slapstick way it's been handled.

And if you think I believe the part about the tax being reduced or going away after the library is paid for, let me assure you I don’t. If the public had to vote to renew it, it would go away. If the Mayor and Board get to vote to renew it, it’ll be around forever, just shifted into a different form. Once we get used to paying it, they won’t give it back. Just another reason to keep us out of the voting booth.


I just got and email informing me that I won half a million bucks in an online lotto that I didn't enter, and all I have to do to claim the money is email some guy that can't spell and has limited use of capitalization skills all kinds of personal information! We can pay off the house now!

Boy, is that great timing, because I was about to go off an a psychotic rant over local politics, but now I'm just too darn excited about my $500,000! (Ok, so actually it was 500,000 pounds, but I can't find the little pound symbol and since in reality it's zero bucks anyway, I figured it didn't matter.)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Obsessive Camera Research (I need a 12 step program)

No, I don't have it yet, but Allison asked about our research and I thought I'd just post it, since the comment would have been longer than the original post!

First, let me explain. I over-analyze EVERY big purchase. Should have seen us trying to buy a new TV earlier this summer. Took MONTHS. I work too hard for my money to spend it without research. And sometimes I go overboard. Allison, this is more information than you EVER wanted about why I bought this particular camera.

Because of some specific features we wanted, we ended up buying a Canon Powershot SD850 Elph. It's one of the smaller ones, but not THE smallest. Cost about $325 with shipping from They also had a VERY similar SD800 that was a little less expensive, and half a dozen other similar models with slight variation in features. There was very little difference between the 800 and 850, other than a small amount of zoom, a fraction of a megapixel, and some stuff with movie mode, which I don't care much about. I would have been perfectly ok with the 800 but with the small price difference at TigerDirect we just went ahead and got the 850.

As to WHY we went with that, well, for starters we wanted something small. We like to GO and we wanted something that wouldn't be bulky to lug around, especially when we go to Disney in the Spring. When I bought my dad a digital camera for Christmas a couple of years ago I went with a bigger model because his hands won't grip a compact (he almost cut a finger completely off in a bulldozer accident when I was younger and doesn't have full us of it now). The bigger ones can also be a little easier to steady and sometimes more user friendly because they have more room for buttons, screen, and an optical viewfinder (although several of the small Canons do have the viewfinder), but for us that wasn't as important as portability.

The other thing we looked at was features. Not so much on the megapixels, though. Despite what camera makers want you to believe, unless you're blowing up to poster size, anything over 5 megapixels won't make THAT much difference. I think this one is 8, the other model was like 7.1. Really, not much difference in quality if you're using the high settings. We did want a decent zoom, but you can't find a really good one on a compact. The 850 has a 4X, the 800 had a 3.8X which was actually slightly wider than the 4X. Again, the bigger cameras have bigger zooms, but we're ok with the 4X. A less important issue, but something that was in the back of my mind, was the type of media it uses. The Sony's use their style memory sticks only. The Canon uses the regular SD cards, of which we have an abundance already and can be a little cheaper than the Sony sticks. (We have a couple of Sony sticks too, for the PSP.) One thing I was hesitant about, but will probably really like once I actually use it, is that it doesn't use regular batteries, it uses a special battery that cost about $50-60 bucks to buy separately, but is rechargeable and should last a whole lot longer than regular AA's. It comes with one, but we'll end up getting a backup.

Greg liked the Canon for two reasons, it has a glass lense rather than plastic (tends to be better quality pics) and it has a bunch of preset modes, like for fireworks, portrait, foliage, even an aquarium mode. Don't get me wrong, for fireworks mode you better have a tripod because it's going to leave the shutter open a while, but we're going to play with them and see what works.

The other major factor in buying the Canon was that just about every website I went to, including Consumer Reports (yes, we have a subscription!) ranked multiple Canon models at the top of every type of camera list for quality of equipment and pictures. Other top models were Fuji Finepix's and some of the Sony's. Some of the other websites I used (in case you want to look at other types of cameras) included: - More information than you could possibly want on a lot of cameras, includes specs and sample pics in different conditions, as well as pics of the actual camera that help you judge size and button-layout. - Gives a one-to-ten rating and breaks down the features, also gives some customer reviews.

There were a few other sites, but those two plus Consumer Reports were the most user friendly for me. I also went to places like and other retail sites that let customers review products and read a ton of user reviews. I know that different people have different expectations and that often drives the reviews, but I also know that if I see a consistent complaint then it's probably something worth a closer look! I also hit Best Buy, Satan's Electronic Emporium (Circuit City, we don't like them), Sam's, Walmart, and Target to test drive the floor models after I narrowed it down. Frankly, if you can't hold it comfortably and use the controls, it doesn't matter how good the pics are because you won't be able to use it!

Geezum petes. I need help.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Oh, the Anticipation!

My new camera should be here tomorrow. I can't wait. With that in mind, it probably won't get here until Friday. Now, it may have taken me 3 weeks of research to decide on what I wanted, and another week of testing floor models and comparing prices at every store in town, and just because we're somewhat... fugal, we ended up ordering it from, which had it for $100 less than Best Buy, but now that the decision is made, I WANT IT NOW! I want to play with it to figure out where all the buttons and menus are before we leave for vacation.

17 days until vacation. Heh heh. 17 daaaayyyyysssss.

How Mississippi Is THAT?

So, I read this book, on a recommendation from Clucky, that was written by a man in Union, MS, about circumstances during the original investigation of the 1964 civil rights murders. It just so happens that my dad's family is from that area, and Mom and Dad both still lived in Philadlephia during that time, so I got the book to send to him.

Today I emailed Dad today to make sure he hadn't already put his hands on the book before I mailed it (he has a way of coming up with random books from time to time) and in the course of the conversation it turns out that there's a chance that my great-grandfather, who was a sharecropper, may have worked land owned by the family of the man who wrote the book, probably in the 1940's or 1950's. How Mississippi is that?

Taking Over the World


"What do you want to do tonight, Brain?"
"The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world."

Ah, my college years. Pretty well summed up in that quote from Pinky and the Brain. I Netflixed "Animaniacs" and we got the first disc over the weekend. Greg had (GASP!) never seen it. Cleary, a misspent youth. It included the first Pinky and the Brain cartoon, where Brain goes on Jeopardy to win enough money to blah blah blah and take over the world. Today I discovered that our Netflix que was altered - he moved the rest of the Animaniacs discs down on the list and moved the dedicated Pinky and the Brain discs up to the top. I suspect this is part of Brain's newest attempt to take over the world, converting newcomers to the cause and building an army. As Pinky would say, "Narf!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Morning After

I was right. Today's going to be rough.

That aside, I had to laugh when I walked into my office (eary, had a 7:30am meeting) this morning. Clearly, I needed the holiday weekend. The state of my desk reflected the state of my mind when I left here on Friday - scattered all over the place and completely unproductive. Need to clean up and do some organizing this morning.

Something about having a peaceful weekend brought on dreams even more bizarre than usual. Sunday night I dreamed about Harry Potter. Well, not really. I dreamed that I was part of a group who were trying to defeat Voldermort, and after much careful planning we snuck up on him and pelted him with pieces of ham sandwich. I'm really not making that up. We ended up running away and regrouping, then making a second attack with eggs. The most vivid part of the dream was during the sandwich attack, when I remember thinking, "Who's plan WAS this???" Perhaps we thought that with proper nutrion or just some good food, he'd turn from his evil ways. I dunno.

On a tamer note, last night I dreamed I was babysitting Matt Lauer's children ( I haven't watched the Today Show in YEARS!), which somehow ended with a conversation with Stacey about the presidential primaries, Ron Paul, and about how much Matt's son had grown over the years. See, she didn't think I was paying attention, but clearly I was.

No more dreams now. Back to reality. I realized last week that I'll be out for both the last day of September AND the first of October, which are generally my two busiest days of the month, so I need to do some advanced planning. I guarantee you, I will NOT be thinking about work while I'm at the beach!

Monday, September 3, 2007

5 Things - Labor Day Weekend

5 Things I Accomplished from My Holiday Weekend To-Do List

1. Challenged my husband to a Spiderman pinball rematch at the bowling alley. And yeah, I won. The first game, anyway. But that was the only one that mattered, so we won't discuss the rest.

2. Started the new Disney Sorcerer's Apprentice puzzle we bought at Toys R Us when we were shopping for Dalton's birthday present.

3. Curled up in bed in the middle of the day and watched tennis on the BA HDTV. Two days in a row. The jumbo-tron in the living room is bigger, but we sold the HD receiver on Ebay last year and haven't replaced it yet, so the new BA TV is prettier.

4. Became reacquainted with the grill and the fabulous food it offers.

5. Slept late. And then took naps.

And now I'm about to go fire up the Wii and test out the new game we got in the mail las week, then order my new camera, then be done with my long weekend. Sigh. I'll miss you, holiday weekend!

19 days to vacation, and a VERY long weekend!

No-Labor Day

This is the first time I've turned on a computer pretty much all weekend, other than to get a recipe or two off of it. I feel pretty good about that.

And happy late birthday to Jen, who is on the coast celebrating. Yesterday was also Melanie and Danielle's birthdays, so the same goes for both of them. What is it with Sept 2???

About to go try to knock a few more things off my to-do list before the long weekend is officially over. Tomorrow's going to suck.