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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Two Hour Delay

On a two hour delay today. Nice to get up fix breakfast, watch a little of the Today Show and then I'll go to class with about an hour and a half to get caught up on grading papers. Couldn't have come at a better time.
Looking forward to trip to Texas, hope there's not another storm like this when the time comes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Time to relax

GreekShadow is now the Optimus blog. Anyone wanting an autographed copy (won't have any myself until February, so please be patient God knows I'm not) That blog has my e-mail on the top of the page. Drop me a line so I can send you one.

Went to UNM South course yesterday and played with three retired Sandia Lab guys. When I hit a shot into the left bunker on hole #3 one of them told me to be respectful of that sand, one of their friend's ashes was sprinkled into it. I guess that's as good a place as any for a final resting place.

Grinnygranny slept on and off for most of the day Thursday. We had a nice dinner of Ham with honey glaze, real mashed potatoes, ambrosia, and pumpkin pie. We'll have leftovers for days to come. I gave the bone from the ham to Lucy and Watson -- talk about two really happy dogs.

E figured out that if he has Ritchie and we are in Texas he doesn't have anyone to watch him, so he's going to try and get those days off and come with us on our trip. Normally MIL would stay over and keep an eye on the animals, but she's in Nebraska, so we'll need to find someone to check in on them.

I think we're going to see Casino Royale today. Grinnygranny seems to be up to it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Good News

Here it is, click on the link then write in Optimus: Praetorian Guard on the search bar, it'll take you right to it.

Dear P. M. Prescott,

Congratulations on your book! It has been sent to print this week. The book is now available to order through the PublishAmerica online bookstore, and you should be receiving your complimentary author copies within the next 4-6 weeks.

The official release date for your book, Optimus: Praetorian Guard, will be approximately two months from the date of printing (Monday, 11/21/2006), on Monday, 1/22/2007. This is the date by which other booksellers should have your book’s information in their ordering systems.

Public Relations Team

Grinnygranny is doing well, she's resting now, but I did have to stop her from going out to get the mail. Now she's hungry and thirsty so I need to fix dinner.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More music

When I left for college I left behind almost all of the music on records. They were mostly single .45's. I took exactly one .33 lp album. Iron Butterfly's Ina godda davida. Mom was never so happy to get peace and quiet. The seventies were the death of vinyl records with 8track and cassettes tapes being more verstile for travel. Bruce had a stereo where the speakers folded on top to make a brief case. It had turntable, radio and cassette. Best of all you could dub from the turntable onto the cassette. In the summers when I was home from college I did a lot of dubbing. I also joined two record clubs where you got so many free albums then paid through the nose for the ones you were obligated to buy. They built up, still have most of them gathering dust for many years. There was one group Bruce bought records of that I dubbed and listened to for hours. Bill Chase. The ultimate trumpet player. He could go into the rafters like no other artist before or since. He only made two albums and died in an airplane crash. He is rather obscure. Bruce has the albums, the tapes are long since dead and they have never been released on cd. His most popular song was Get it on. I liked Boys and Girls Together the most.

Then there are show tunes.

The one that has a special place in my heart is Lerner and Lowes' Paint Your Wagon. I gew up listening to They Call the Wind Mariah, There's a coach commin in, I still see Elisa, I talk to the trees.
My senior year in high school is when the movie came out. We went to see it at the Sunshine Theater on Christmas day. It starred Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Harve Presnell as Rotten Luck Louie, who sang Mariah. I still see his name come up on credits on T.V. from time to time, though he's not singing. He did do a wonderful job on Mariah, the only song in the entire movie worth listening too. Lee Marvin's fog horn of a voice on Wondering Star was like hearing tires screeching. One radio station played the song and had twenty calls in ten minutes demanding they never play it again. The movie does have a special place in my memories and I enjoy watching it from time to time.

Then there is Cats. It gave me my theme song: Memories -- I love Barbra Streisand's version of that song. We have the video of the stage play and watch it about every three or four months. I even showed it to my Social Psychology students, when I was teaching the class. I then had them do field research in the school's halls recording all the students they could classify as Gumby cats, Rum Tug Tuggers, Bustopher Jones, etc.
Whenever you get one of those songs in your head that drive you crazy and you want it out, you know the feeling. I just start humming Memories and the brain can't hold two thoughts like that at the same time. I call it my killer tune. I could hum or sing Memories for hours and never get tired of it.
If I do get tired of Memories my fall back tune is Song of angry men from Les Miserables. Aunty Pesty would roll her eyes and fuss, but I loved pulling out the video of the ten year concert performance or listening to the cd while driving.

Then there is Phantom of the Opera.

Nuff said.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Brian posted the music that affected his life over the years, and Irina followed suit. Thought I would join in on the fun.

The song that first really touched me and left an indelible impression was Moon River. I was only eight years old when I saw the picture Breakfast at Tiffany's and I was humming the song for weeks after it. Drove Mom and Bruce bonkers. I still have a fondness for the song and can watch the movie over and over again. I saw the movie when I was in my twenties and it made a lot more than when I was only eight, but it didn't affect me any less.

Moon river
wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style
some day.

The next song that affected me was not so much by its lyrics, but by it's powerful melody.
The theme song from Exodus.
This land is mine God gave this land to me...
I used to play it on my clarinet all the time.
The movie to me was tedious and disappointing. Paul Newman overacted something awful.

Dad had two albums of saxophone instumentals. Bill Black and his Combo, and Bill Black's Solid and Raunchy. One of the bigger hits was Taquilla. Dad, Bruce and I wore those albums out. Mom never appreciated them.
Then at age 16 I discovered George Gershwin. I still could listen to Rhapsody in Blue for hours.

Pop radio music I was not that big on Elvis or the Beatles.

Mrs. Brown you've got a lovely daughter
girls like her are really something rare
but it's sad
she doesn't love me now
I'd go down on my knee
but it's no good to pine.

I really dug Herman's Hermits.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys:

Who wants to bu ay ay this diamond ri i i ng
she took it of her finger now
it doesn't mean a thi i ing
This diamond ring can mean something beautiful
and this diamond ring can be dreams that are coming true
so if your love is tru oo oo
let it shine for you oo oo

Then there was The Associations' Cherish, Standing Still and Wendy
Simon and Garfunkle's I am a rock, Sounds of silence, The Boxer, Bridge over troubled water. There's never been more poetic music ever written. Richard Cory comes to mind too.

Most of the music though in my life has been gospel.

The Old Rugged Cross
At Calvary
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Amazing Grace
Just As I Am
Holy Holy Holy
Softly and Tenderly
He Lives
Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart

Songs that have such tremendous meaning and beauty. I can't stomach the cotton candy, meaningless, repititious drivel of praise choruses currently stuffed down congregations throats in church today. I refuse to be brainwashed into Theocracy.
I sang in the choirs that performed The Messiah, Tell It Like It Is, Natural High, Show Me, Celebrate Life, and other cantatas. Church music had so much wealth. Currently it is so pathetic and poor.

In the 70's I discovered Lobo, Moody Blues, the Carpenters, James Taylor, John Denver, and Neil Diamond.

To be continued.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hip hip hurray

I received the cover for my book today. They did a spectacular job. It's on to the printers and will be out soon. Can't wait.

Had more work done on the tooth that was giving me trouble. I have a temp crown on it and go back in few weeks for the permanent.

Grinnygranny's surgery scheduled for today has been postponed. We go to another doctor tomorrow and see if she can have the surgery. This may keep us from having around ten people over for Thanksgiving if they reschedule her surgery for next week.

BIL driving in today trying to get MIL to go back to Nebraska with him for Thanksgiving. It would be nice for MIL to be there as all their kids and grandkids will be there. I hope he brought dynamite as that's what it will take to get her out of that house.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Long week over

Here's some pictures from Glorieta I took last week. Aspens are so pretty when they turn gold.

I started the project Warlords of Japan this week. It'll go to Thanksgiving break. It is involved and keeps me hopping the whole period, with no prep period that makes for a really long day and I don't feel like doing much after I get home except rest. I'll post more once the unit is over.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dateline Glorieta

The good things about the trip to Glorieta I'm writing about here, the rant is at Greek Shadow.

Drove up after I finally got away from the classroom. Nice enough drive. Had a good meal. Rested a little in the room while Grinnygranny had a meeting on team building. We're staying in the Hall of States and it is really nice. Over the years I've stayed in private cabins, church cabins, college cabins, Oklahoma hall, Texas Hall, Thunderbird hall, and Chaparelle Hall. Chaparelle and Hall of States are the creme de la creme in Glorieta. The room was nice and the bed was comfortable, more than could be said of most Hotels and Motels across the country. It feels a little funny going into a room like that, though and not having a tv set. The campground is in a bowl surrounded by mountains and doesn't get reception. I kind of liked not having the idiot box as a distraction.
Around eight o'clock I went to where they are meeting as they had scheduled an hour of games. We played Pictionary and another game I can't think the name of right now, but it had a round plastice game piece with a lever on the side. You pressed in the lever and on a little screen would appear a word or phrase that you tried to get people to guess without using the word or words in the phrase. There was a timer and after the word or phrase was guessed you would hand the game piece to the person next to you, the person who was still holding the game piece when the buzzer sounded the other team got a point. It was fun, except when you've got the stupid game piece in your hand, the beeping is getting shorter warning that it's about to go off and no one can hear you give your clues because everyone is laughing from the answer before you!
Had a nice big breakfast, did I mention big breakfast. Full bowl of real, not instant, oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins, pears, scrambled eggs, hashbrown, salsa, extra thick cut bacon. Stuffed myself. As we are leaving the dining hall Grinnygranny says in all the years we've been coming here she's never been to the top of lookout mountain. So we drive behind the prayer gardens, park and start walking. There is a telephone pole with an arrow painted on it saying this is the start of the trail to lookout point. Behind the pole are huge bolders and you have to climb over them to get started up the trail. "You've got to be kidding?" is all could think, but up we go. More bolders, tree roots, actually the tree roots help act as steps. Up and up it went, from time to time I would stop to catch my breath and she would look at me with a hurry up. Hey I'm packing more that a hundred pounds around my middle than she has! We get to where they've installed cell phone towers (you can see cigatette butts all around the fenced off towers -- stupid stupid stupid with the fire danger the last four years. A miracle they didn't start a fire!) Anyway a little past the towers we made it to the top, huffing and puffing, but we got there. goind down was a lot easier on the lungs, but you really had to be careful not to twist an ankle or trip on the rocks and tree roots. We made it down and surprisingly enough I didn't leave that big breakfast on the side of the trail. I told grinnygranny that we should have done this twenty-eight years ago when we met, as I was in a lot better shape then than now.
Grinnygranny then went to her meeting and I took a fifteen minute nap in the room before packing everything up and putting it in the cars. At lunch Grinnygranny said she still hasn't caught her breath from that climb. That'll teach her.
I went to the bookstore to see if they would let me do a book signing this summer. They have to have Nashville's approval, We'll see. I told the publisher to have it listed under Historical fiction and Christian fiction. I'll just have to lobby Lifeway to add it to their booklist.
My cell phone died without me knowing about it yesterday, and grinnygranny left three messages telling me to bring the digital camera which I never got. Soooo I bought a disposable camera then walked around taking pictures. I'll get them developed over the weekend and post some of them. We're about two weeks too late for the aspens. Most of the leaves are off now, which is a shame because when they are all decked out in yellow they are gorgeous.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can't believe she's 20

Auntypest is 20 today. Hard to believe my little girl is no longer a teenager.

Grinnygranny left for Glorieta this morning. She wanted me to go with her today as well, but I needed to get my classes ready for the test tomorrow when I will be gone. I'm going up after school today. I always love going there.

Having lunch with E and his mystery lady Saturday, that's also Southwest Writers Workshop and wedding anniversary.

Nothing like everything hitting at once.