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Archive for April 2007

Men Like Meat

April 30th, 2007 — 9:04pm

Yesterday I recorded chapter 26 of Etiquette AND chapter 3 of More William. Today I edited/proofed/uploaded those chapters and also did some cataloging. We can now offer you free audio books of Gulliver’s Travels and Stalky & Co. :) Enjoy!

Also fixed Daneesha’s 8th grade graduation dress in the morning, taught two piano students, finished my green and orange socks (photos soon) and made scalloped potatoes for dinner, plus burgers for the guys. Men Like Meat.

4 comments » | Blog


April 28th, 2007 — 9:39pm

I slept well last night! Had enough energy to bake banana bread and vacuum and mop the upstairs part of the house. And I did a little cataloging job for Cori (The Philosophy of Style by Herbert Spencer) Also played WoW with Henry, also made chicken parm for dinner — a Dan and Henry favorite. Dan brought me a wireless mouse which is very convenient for gaming on my macbook.

Oh, forgot to say – yesterday I recorded/edited/proofed all the rest of chapter 27 of Etiquette, which was so long we divided it into 5 sections. Go team kayray!

Reading Book Two of The Fellowship to Henry for bedtime, so he’ll have both halves in mp3. I read the entire book to him on tape several years ago, and then, when the tapes started to go bad, read the first half again into my computer, but then we went on to other things and never finished the second round.

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April 27th, 2007 — 10:59am

Today, Friday, I have big plans to get lots and lots of recording done. Mom’s not home, Henry’s going to Legoland with friends, Dan’s at work.

So this morning, first thing, a woodchipper started up down the street. GAH. But it’s 11 now and they’re stopped for a while, so I think they might be done for the day. Henry’s friends just came to pick him up. I moved the birds outside. Unplugged the turtle tank filter. Turned off my ringer. Waited for the recycling truck to pass. The garbage truck hasn’t come yet, so I’ll just have to pause for a few minutes when it arrives in our neighborhood.

Ok, time for Etiquette, chapter 27, part 2!

1 comment » | Blog

Henry blogged!

April 26th, 2007 — 8:18pm

Henry made a blog post, YAY!

Comment » | Blog, Homeschooling


April 24th, 2007 — 11:41pm

On Christine’s recommendation, we watched Wordplay, a documentary about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. It was wonderful. Will Shortz, editor of the NY Times Crossword and originator of the Tournament, was featured quite a lot, which was a treat for me — I know his name and voice very well, having been a GAMES magazine subscriber while he was editor and being an NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle fan. I knew Trip Payne’s name too — he’s contributed many a puzzle to the GAMES “Pencilwise” section. I wished the nice pessimistic grey-haired man, Al, had won the tournament.

Watching this movie got us all interested in crosswords. Dan and I worked one in my current issue of GAMES the other night and had the best time together. Today I had to go to the Escondido Barnes and Noble for a new Moleskine for Dan, and browsed through the crossword section, looking for a good book. I wanted NY Times puzzles, of course! Dan’s new at crosswords and I could use a refresher so I didn’t want to start with the Sunday puzzles, but a whole book of Mondays would probably get dull. I found the perfect book:

The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords, edited by Will Shortz

It’s a smallish (7″x6″) spiral-bound hardcover with puzzles ranging from Monday to Saturday, and rated 1-6 “top hats” so it’s easy to pick the proper difficulty. The paper is not the usual puzzle book newsprint, but high-quality, smooth and white. Dan and I worked the first Monday puzzle together tonight and had a ball :) It was hard to stop at just one!

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April 22nd, 2007 — 9:29pm

If there’s a piece of music more perfect than the third movement of J.S. Bach’s Italian Concerto, I’d like to know what it is.

19 comments » | Blog

Dorothy Sayers

April 22nd, 2007 — 8:41pm

Horribly tired. Going to bed with Busman’s Honeymoon. Finished Gaudy Night a couple of days ago. It is impossible to read Gaudy Night without immediately reading Busman’s Honeymoon.

cool thing:
What will happen as twitter becomes more and more popular? Better be able to read fast.

Comment » | Blog, Books, Tech

Jon Udell and Hugh discuss LibriVox

April 20th, 2007 — 9:37pm

Jon Udell recently interviewed our own Hugh McGuire for the IT Conversations podcast. We’ve been interviewed quite a lot, but this I believe that this is one of the best interviews ever. I certainly enjoyed listening. Hugh and Jon discuss many interesting aspects of LibriVox that are not apparent to the average volunteer or listener. The interview is here:

Jon Udell Interviews Hugh McGuire

You listen now! (If it wants you to register, tell it “later”)

3 comments » | Blog, Tech

who is sick?

April 20th, 2007 — 12:33pm

This is pretty cool:
I thought Henry and I were both coming down with something last night (both felt extra-tired and droopy), but we woke up just fine. Yay!

Comment » | Blog, Tech

What American Accent do you have?

April 19th, 2007 — 5:09pm

I’m a sucker for Internet Quizzes. Thanks, Ken C.

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Midland

“You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The Northeast
The Inland North
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

TV or radio or… audiobooks? :)

6 comments » | Blog


April 18th, 2007 — 11:28pm

Do you Twitter? Let me know, maybe we can be friends.

If you’re an OS X user, try Twitterrific. Very handy.

4 comments » | Blog, Tech


April 18th, 2007 — 12:49pm

From the LA Times:

…What Librescu did was one of the most conspicuous acts of heroism to surface thus far in the bloodiest massacre inflicted on an American campus by a lone gunman. But it was not the only story of bravery and determination in the face of mortal danger.

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April 17th, 2007 — 10:30pm

First karate, then bookstore, then home, then lunch, then out to Bayshore for Henry’s classes (theater, mythology, stagecraft). While he was in class I went home, finished his first Bamboo sock, did some proofing/editing of my Etiquette chapter, planned dinner, did housework, taught a piano student, and practiced the piano. Drove back out to get Henry. When we got home he helped me make dinner — stuffed cabbage rolls with his home-grown cabbage! A very tasty dinner.

4 comments » | Blog


April 16th, 2007 — 10:14pm

Still working on improving the kitchen. Scrubbed the cupboard doors today, and moved the baking supplies from the high cupboard to the tall cupboard, where they’re much easier to reach.

I recorded my chapter of Emily Post’s “Etiquette” (The Country House and Its Hospitality). Now I know how we should have behaved in Canada! Heheh. Mostly, though, I learned what Christine and Hugh, as the Hostess and Host, should have done. She should have had her housemaid unpack my things (quietly providing anything I’d forgotten) and draw my bath every morning and bring me a breakfast tray (all the china MUST MATCH!) and provide me with a tin of Pyro for my curling iron. LOL. And Hugh’s valet should have unpacked Dan’s things and taken his hat and stick and drawn his bath (hot, warm, or cold — aided by a thermometer). Gentlemen, of course, rarely care to breakfast in their rooms, so Christine’s cook and waitress should have provided an ongoing breakfast downstairs, ready at whatever moment Dan chose to eat. Boy. Those were Other Times, indeed. :)

2 comments » | Blog

Two more movies

April 14th, 2007 — 3:30pm

Ultra Super Movie Weekend:

Last night, after Little MIss Sunshine, we also watched Three Days of the Condor, which I’d seen many times when I was a kid (it’s one of those movies Dad would mark in the TV Guide and we’d all watch together) but Dan never had seen it. He loved it, and I really enjoyed seeing it again in COLOR and wide-screen :) Great movie, let’s give it 4 stars:
My rating: 4.0 stars ****

Today, Saturday, we watched Stranger Than Fiction, which was also very good — funny, tender, touching, thought-provoking — with an excellent cast including Will Farrell, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman. This one gets 4 stars as well!
My rating: 4.0 stars ****

How do I decide how many stars? Well… I base it on how much I enjoyed watching a movie overall, how many good things I noticed (beautiful filming, believable dialogue, good writing/directing, a non-obvious plot), how many things irritated me while watching (clunky dialogue, poor acting, implausibility, predictability, etc.) and how likely I am to want to watch it again someday.

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Little Miss Sunshine

April 13th, 2007 — 2:21pm

Little Miss Sunshine

I just finished watching Little Miss Sunshine. I loved it from beginning to end. It was beautifully filmed, with the kind of shots that make you want to frame them and put them on the wall. Marvelous acting from the whole cast. Although it’s billed as a comedy, it’s dark and satirical and you won’t be laughing a whole lot… it’s more often sad than funny. Think Fargo.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but when you watch Olive’s pageant performance, think about exactly WHY it is so disturbing to the judges…

Although I *cough* borrowed the copy that I just watched, it is well worth purchasing and I will do so asap. Fine film-making should be supported, so please buy this one if you like it as much as I did! Here’s a link to make buying easy:
Little Miss Sunshine on Amazon

(do yourself a favor and avoid amazon’s evil “unbox” offer and buy a nice physical dvd that you can take to a friend’s house)

Or rent from Greencine:
Little Miss Sunshine on Greencine (I’d suggest buying from greencine too, but their shopping cart seems to be broken)

My rating: 5.0 stars

3 comments » | Blog

Poetry is meant to be listened to.

April 13th, 2007 — 8:42am

LibriVox in a NYC art gallery:,-Listen-2007.html

Books are meant to be touched.

Poetry is meant to be listened to.

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Our Journey Home

April 12th, 2007 — 12:36pm

It’s Thursday noon and we’re home. I just want to tell the story of our return journey before I forget:

We got to the Montreal airport at 2:30pm and found out that our 4:30 flight to Chicago was canceled on account of weather. (I had checked online earlier and there was no mention of this fact, although the flight had been canceled at 9am) The very helpful American Airlines ticket agent sent us back and forth between various counters, and eventually got us booked standby on an 8pm Air Canada flight to Las Vegas, then a US Airways midnight flight from LV to San Diego. This all took about an hour and a half. So then we went through customs and security and found a nice restaurant to wait in and had some food, and then just waited and waited until they boarded our flight, and then found out that YES there was room for us on the plane! And they even managed to get two adjacent seats for me and Henry, and one nearby for Dan. It was a huge relief. (Our fall-back plan was to leave Montreal at 6am the next morning, which would mean getting to the airport at 3am… Yeah.)

The Air Canada flight was very very pleasant. They had good food for sale and complimentary water, juice, coffee, etc. The stewardesses walked up and down the aisle offering cups of water quite frequently. They played two movies — Eregon, which delighted Henry (ghastly movie, but he loves it so) and then a sweet little movie about Beatrix Potter which I enjoyed very much.

Landed in LV at 10:30, took a shuttle to the Other Terminal, and followed the signs to our flight at gate B12. When we got there I had a funny feeling about it so instead of just waiting until they called us to board, I went up to ask if we were in the right place, and we weren’t! The posted gate info for our flight was WRONG. Henry was feeling really sick and queasy so we grabbed a spare wheelchair and Dan pushed him (and carried all our stuff, as usual) all the way back to A14, the proper gate. Got on the plane about 5 minutes later. Sat on the runway for a long time, then drove back to the gate — computer problems. They fiddled with the computers and got them fixed, but by they time the were fixed it was too late for our crew to fly again, so they called out a replacement crew. It took a long long time for them to get ready to fly, but we finally took off around 2:30am (I think). Landed safely in SD around 3:30. And — miraculously — our luggage made it too!

There was one last Cloud 9 shuttle heading to North County. It was very lucky for us that we caught it. If we’d missed it, we would have had to get a taxi, which I think would have cost a fortune, or waited in the airport for several more hours. Anyway we finally got home just before 5am.

I slept until 11:30 this morning. Dan and Henry are still sleeping :) Well, I guess I’ll go unpack, tidy up, and do all the dumb things I gotta do…

4 comments » | Blog


April 10th, 2007 — 2:00pm

Today is our last full day in Montreal :( We all wish we could stay much longer. Henry and I walked out to mail postcards and buy breakfast pastries this morning. I really wanted to go see something cultural today, so after Christine got back from an appointment, she and Henry and I hopped on the metro and went down to the Centre d’histoire de Montréal which is a lovely little museum in an old fire station, down in the Old Town. I thought the exhibits were well-planned and very interesting! I think Henry and Christine got a little bit tired of Montreal history after a while :) Next we went to a busy little cafe for a bite to eat, and then up to the Notre Dame cathedral, which was spectacular. Ornate, dramatic, luxurious. Then we came home, then Henry and Christine went to look at a toy store while Dan and I went back downtown to return his rented guitar. And now we’re home again with sore feet. And I’m sleepy. Doing a little knitting now, and then I’ll make some dinner and then pack. Sigh.

1 comment » | Blog


April 9th, 2007 — 10:42pm

Nice lazy day. We planned to go to the science center, but then Henry banged his knee at the playground and we decided he should keep off of it for the day. We had a lovely day just doing nothing. I started a pair of socks for Henry with the wool/bamboo yarn. In the afternoon Henry’s knee felt better so we took a little walk and poked around the dollar store. We bought some postcards and a pack of cards, and then we went to the market for potatoes for dinner. Christine and Henry and Dan and I played Settlers while Hugh cooked another tasty dinner — a couple of piles of MEAT and green beans with garlic and a vat of mashed potatoes. Yum! While we were eating we started discussing games, and it turns out that Hugh is a Euchre player, so after dinner we taught Dan and Henry to play (Christine was tired and went to bed). That was a lot of fun!

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