Archive for July, 2006

This Really Annoys Me

July 31, 2006

Gossip.

Now we all love a good gossip, and we’ve all done it… but the Bible is very clear about the topic. As in, don’t.

Picture this. Christian lady #1 tells Christian lady #2 that Christian lady #3 told a hard luck story and borrowed money from her, and then went shopping for clothes.

First of all, #1 never should have mentioned it to #2. That’s gossip. #2 promptly compounded the problem by telling it all to me, asking if #3 had ever borrowed money from me, and what a rotten thing to do, because after all, #3 inherited that pile of money so why should she be borrowing. More gossip.

I bit my tongue and said I didn’t know anything about it.

I lied. I actually do know something about it… which is that the “pile of money” happens to be invested. It’s not sitting there in the cookie jar waiting to be spent. Sometimes there are dividends–and sometimes there are not, especially when the market has gone down, as it has from time to time. I also know that when #3 is having a cash flow problem (when there are no dividends) she uses what cash she can raise to do things like, oh, pay the taxes or insurance, or have the washing machine fixed, or put gas in the car so she can go to work. She most often raises such cash, when she has to, by selling off an asset or two, but that’s like eating your seed corn, and she really, really hates to do it. I do not know the facts but I assume she borrowed money because she didn’t want to sell any assets at that moment. Whether she made good on the loan in a timely fashion or not is a matter between her and the lender–not a matter to be whined about to one of the biggest gossips in the church.

It was all I could do to nip this when it got to me, and not jump in and try to defend #3, because I really do not know ALL of the facts, and spouting off when you don’t know all of the facts is the same as bearing false witness. God thought strongly enough about that one that he put it in the 10 commandments.

As I said… this really annoys me.

I Was Right…

July 25, 2006

… they want $12.95 a day for high-speed internet access in the hotel, and local phone calls are a buck apiece.

So greetings from the food court at the mall, which is a 5-minute walk across a bridge from our hotel, complete with free wi-fi.

Met a new friend just before boarding the last flight yesterday, after my visit to “the club.” She was wearing a T-shirt that said “Everyone has a book in them. I just fed mine a box of chocolates.” I went up to her and told her I had an identical shirt in my suitcase. She was, of course, headed the exact same place I was, and our seats were right across the aisle from each other, so we yapped back and forth for much of the flight. Bumped into her a couple of times today in the lobby cafe in the hotel, and met some of her friends. Oh, and we saw Susan Elizabeth Phillips sitting with some of her friends in the same place.

This place has a fabulous indoor-outdoor pool, but the hot tub is about the size of the average kitchen sink. We’ve already hit the pool once today, and are going to hit it again a little later. It’s open until 11 p.m.

Tomorrow we pick up a rental car and head out of town to visit some friends not too far from here. Tomorrow night is the autographing-for-literacy benefit, and then Thursday morning the conference gets underway in ernest. We always like to come in a day or two early so we can have a little play time before we get down to business.

The custodian just came by and said they’re going to clean this section in a few minutes, so we need to clear out. That means this is as good a place as any to end this blog entry. Ta-ta until next time!

Airport Blogging

July 24, 2006

I have a frequent flyer miles credit card with my airline of choice, and every now and then they send me a complimentary “club” pass.

Until now, I had never had an opportunity to use one, because my connecting flights have never allowed time.

Today, my layover is 3 hours–so here I am in the club. Since I’m on my way to a writers’ conference, I thought I’d fire up the ‘pooter and get some writing done.

So what am I doing? Blogging!

The club has wi-fi for its members–but I am not a member, so I am using the airport’s free hot spot for the unwashed.

Not a bad little place… let’s see if I can take a picture…

That’s my table, and my laptop. You can’t see it because of the glare, but out the window to the left is the airplane I will be boarding in about an hour and a half. But, I don’t think I’ll be joining the club. It’s over $300 a year–and for what? A reasonably decent place to sit? I could do that in an airport restaurant, for the price of a meal. Free wi-fi? The whole airport has it. Free muffins and beverages? Not $300 worth. But it’s kind of fun to be one of the “elite” here, just once. I’m not sitting in one of those comfy chairs because it’s nearly 100 bloody degrees outside, the air conditioning is working hard but not quite hard enough, and the laptop gets very, very warm on the lap. So I’m at a table.

And that is my report, thus far, from the “road.” Next entry? Who knows? I hear they have free wi-fi in the food court of the mall across the street from our hotel. As best as I can tell, internet access in the hotel costs money. Even at what they’re charging us.

Which seems odd. All the big hotels with prices at over $100 a night charge usually about $10 a day extra for high speed internet access. Some of them even charge extra for dial-up local phone calls.

And then there was the motel in Lone Pine where Kerry and I spent two nights on our way to Death Valley last year. $65 a night–and free high speed access. Go figure.

Back to the manuscript now.

As you were.

Update: I just noticed they have three TVs on in here–but the only one with the sound turned on is on Fox News. I heard Tony Snow’s voice.

Heh.

Wildflowers

July 23, 2006

Yes, even this late in the year.

Ran out to Fort Ord this morning. Why? Well… a year ago, Kerry and I took a walk out there, and found a particular late-blooming wildflower I had not photographed before. I didn’t have the camera with me, so we made a special trip back with the camera just to shoot that flower.

Lord only knows what I did with those images. They are gone, gone, gone. So I went back out there today on a mission, and did indeed find the flower again:

Cute lil’ rascal, inn’t it? It’s called Davy’s Centaury. No, I have no idea who Davy is or was.

Amazingly, there were a few other things blooming too:


Elegant Clarkia


Unidentified; might be some kind of buckwheat


Some kind of mustard, complete with bug


Unidentified


Vervain

And one other thing, not a flower… somebody crashed their remote-controlled plane in a strawberry field right across the road from where I parked:

We’ve been having a gosh-awful heat wave around here, and even at 10 o’clock in the morning it was getting to be hotter ‘n’ purple hades out there. I am glad I only had to walk about a quarter of a mile to get to that flower that was my mission.

Off at oh-dark-hundred tomorrow morning, headed for Atlanta. I may have limited web access while I’m there… so if I stop posting, it does not necessarily mean I’ve been kidnapped by aliens.

And for those of you who have the keys to the blog… feel free to jump in if you have anything interesting and enlightening to say!

Not How I Wanted To Spend My Day

July 22, 2006

Trying to get ready to leave town at oh-dark-hundred Monday morning, headed for the annual writers’ conference. This year it’s in Atlanta. In the process of copying all the images on my camera cards to CD, to free them up for re-use, my CD burner started acting funny. And I couldn’t find the diagnostic software… so I found the CD and reinstalled it.

And then the ‘pooter would not boot up.

Booted up in “safe” mode and ran every diagnostic I own. No good. Uninstalled the CD burner software. Still no good. So I stuck in the Windows CD and tried to reinstall the OS on top of the old copy.

Bad idea. Halfway through the reinstall, it threw me the blue screen of death, and then refused to boot.

So now I am blowing away the entire OS*, and reinstalling. I did not reformat the HD because I did not get an opportunity, with Windows malfunctioning, to run a full backup first.

We shall see if this works. Stay tuned.**

* The command, from a DOS prompt, is deltree c:\windows. Do NOT try this at home!

** Blogging from the laptop ‘pooter, of course!

Coffee Sprayer

July 21, 2006

In the midst of the grim news from around the world, a real good laugh. From today’s headlines at Yahoo! news:

France says U.S. blocking Mideast truce

Do I even need to comment?

Yes, of course I do. No, France, terrorists are blocking the Mideast truce. Get a clue. CrankyBeach hath spoken.

Song Lyric Thing . . .

July 20, 2006

. . . this week’s edition submitted by faithful reader Bum.

1. Lord, I was stung Shoulda seen it come a long time ago
When I realized the reality gave me a roll
If things are the same then explain why your kiss is so cold
And that mist in your eyes feels like rain on the fire in my soul
This lying, and cryin’s upsettin’ and getting no where
It don’t stack up, so slack up and pack up, I just don’t care
Don’t let the screen door hit you, on your way out
Don’t you drown when your dream boat runs onto the ground

2. Slowly now we begin to move
Every breath I’m deeper into you
Soon we two are standing still in time
If you read my mind, you’ll see

3. And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But its better than drinkin’ alone

4. My love is the evening breeze touching your skin
The gentle sweet singing of leaves in the wind
The whisper that calls, after you in the night
And kisses your ear in the early light
You don’t need to wonder, you’re doing fine
And my love, the pleasures mine

5. He kept dreamin’ that someday he’d be a star
But he sho’ found out the hard way that dreams don’t always come true
So he’s pawned all his hopes and he even sold his own car
Bought a one-way ticket back to the life he once knew

6. You’ve been thinking
And I’ve been drinking
We both know that its just not right
Now you’re pretending
That its not ending
You’ll say anything to avoid a fight
Girl don’t lie, and tell me that you need me
Girl don’t cry, and tell me nothings wrong
Ill be alright, one way or another
So let me go, or make we want to stay

7. Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite
Looking forward to a little ( Song title here )
Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite
And the thought of lovin’ you is getting so exciting

8. Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better
And while I’m away
Dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long before you and me run
To the place in our hearts where we hide

9. Did I hear you say that there must be a catch
Will you walk away from a fool and his money
If you want it, here it is . . .

10. When she confronted with the writing there,
simply pretended not to care.
I passed it off as just in keeping with
her total disconcerting air
and though she tried to hide
the love that she denied,
wouldn’t you know it, she wouldn’t show it.

Thanks. Bum. Good choices. There are a couple in there that I would have had trouble with…. 🙂

Blast From The Past, Israeli Style

July 20, 2006

Because of the sobering news coming out of Israel, I wondered whatever happened to the Israeli guide from my long-ago tour of that country. And thanks to Google–I turned up an e-mail address for him.

He wrote back to say no, he doesn’t remember me, because he never guided a “goofy 24 year old girl” in his life, and that was so long ago, HE was probably the goofy one!

Heh. Is he just being funny, or does he really not remember? Most likely the latter, seeing as how professional Israeli tour guides, especially the ones with long-term seniority, would have guided literally thousands of tourists over the years.

I told him to stay safe and keep his head down. But his message suggested he is in good spirits, and he lives in Jerusalem, so he is not geographically close to the current active war zone(s). Although, one could make the case that the entire country is a perpetual war zone, considering that Israel’s enemies use terrorist tactics and therefore no one is entirely safe. Ever.

Answers Redux

July 18, 2006

At long last… getting around to posting the answers to the most recent song lyrics quiz:

1. Where it began, I can’t begin to knowin’
But then I know it’s growin’ strong
‘Twas in the spring, then spring became the summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along?
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

2. Swallowed into earth’s dark womb
Death has triumphed, that’s what they say
But try to hold him in the tomb
The Son of Life rose on the third day
The Victor – written by Jamie Owens-Collins, performed by Keith Green

3. I am just a poor boy and my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmmm
The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkle

4. There must be some kind of way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

5. Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
All My Lovin’ – The Beatles

6. Born on a quiet morning, just a dream in someone’s eye.
A dream that’s like a promise meant to be.
Giving rise to speculation on a place called paradise.
If I’ve ever been there it’s when you were with me.
You’re So Beautiful – John Denver

7. Why’d you tell me this
Were you looking for my reaction
What do you need to know
Don’t you know I’ll always be your girl
You don’t have to prove to me you’re beautiful to strangers
I’ve got loving eyes of my own
You Belong To Me – performed by Carly Simon

8. Past or future, here or there
Shelter comes in words from you, so talk to me
I hear your voice, it comforts me
In morning dreams I take your hand, you walk with me
Northern Lights – Renaissance

9. I like to dream yes, yes, right between my sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here
Well, you don’t know what we can find…
Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf

10. I didn’t cry
I just stood and watched her say goodbye
She closed the door
And said “I don’t want to see you anymore”
Things I Should Have Said – The Grassroots

Faithful reader Bum e-mailed me another quiz, but since it’s been the week from heck around here, I haven’t gotten around to posting it yet. Soon, soon, I promise.

So Long, Lurch

July 13, 2006

And good riddance. His name isn’t really Lurch, but he’s about 9 feet tall, and not too bright. I think his head lives in the clouds.

He was a representative of a company that ours does business with, and he often requested reports from me.

He requested one such set of reports early in the morning of moving day. I e-mailed him back and said you’ve got to be kidding, we’re in the middle of a move, and besides the server is in pieces.

Ol’ Clueless wrote back admonishing me about the importance of the reports–with copies to both my boss and his boss. I wrote back–with the same copies–and said, I did not say never, I said NOT NOW, and if you think I’m going to drop everything in the middle of this move and do your silly reports, which are, yes, important, but there’s no deadline on them, you are nucking futs.

I met Lurch’s replacement today, and the very first thing he did was direct me to a whole lot of helpful resources on the web that Lurch never bothered to show me. I already have plenty of resources but in this racket, more is always better, and the new resources do not duplicate any of the old ones.

So today is a good day. Not only that, it’s almost Friday!