Yearly Archive: 2006

Dec 08

My puppy is *famous*

Check out The Daily Puppy!!!

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Dec 07

India, some more

So, I found some more “baby” pictures of India, and finally got around to uploading some of the ones I took this fall. They’re here (and on the following page of the album).

She and I are about to go on a major undertaking — her first plane trip. The normal Christmas confusion (who’s going where when to see whom) seems to have been resolved, and (I think) the plan is that Jeff and I’ll head to Charlotte on the 15th for the Annual Normal Family Dysfunctional Christmas Shindig (aka the ANFDCS), then on the 22nd Jeff’ll head to Oscoda (Michigan) to see his people, while I’ll head back to Charlotte to have more quality time with my people (including the non-Norman side of the family). The puppy will go with me, and from Charlotte she and I will fly to NYC (geep! first plane trip!) to meet Jeff on Christmas Eve. We all will be there from Christmas through New Years. This should be, if nothing else, novel, as I’ve never travelled with Little Girl before. (But just think! There’s an entire state that hasn’t seen her cuteness yet! ;-)

So meanwhile back at the ranch, I’ve got two weekends left to figure out how to travel with India; finish shopping, pack and wrap everything; pack my own gear (which is always — and in spite of the intricate planning systems I have — way more stressful than it needs to be); find an outfit for the ANFDCS; and in general somehow find a way to get in a Merry Mood. I’m working on it….

Here, help me out…

What are your favorite Christmas/Winter Holiday Carols/Songs? (Choose 3)
Jingle Bells
Winter Wonderland
Oh Holy Night
Carol of the Bells
Silent Night
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Oh Tannenbaum
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
The Holly & The Ivy
Va-hoo Gloray (the one the Whos down in Whoville sing)
You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch
The David Bowie/Bing Crosby Version of Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth
Arrogance’s version of Little Drummer Boy
Deck the Halls
Frosty the Snowman
Do You Hear What I Hea
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLaughlin version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Hark the Heralds, Angels Sing
Joy to the World

Free polls from

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Nov 03

Heading West! — CA ppl pay attention! (there will not be a quiz)

To everyone in the SF Bay area — I’m heading your way (run, run now!!!) from Nov. 17 through Nov. 22. The first couple of days (17th-19th), I’ll be up at Wilbur Hot Springs with a buddy of mine from high school, but the evening of Sunday the 19th through the morning of the Wednesday the 22nd, I’m in your neck of the woods.

Unknowns at this time:

  • what I’m doing
  • where I’m staying
  • whether I’ll be vehicularly enabled or not

Knowns at this time:

  • Leaving Wilbur Sunday afternoon… will be back Bay-ish by Sunday evening. Will probably start in South Bay
    Front of lodge at Wilbur Hot Springs resort in...

    Image via Wikipedia -- Wilbur Hot Springs

    area, as I know I need to end up in North Bay areal

  • Flight is 12:30 out of SFO on Wed

So, if you’re around, and want to catch up, give me a shout!

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Oct 30

local someone who does canning

I have an odd question: I’ve discovered I’m madly in love with persimmons …the only problem is that they only come into season once a year. :-(

A fuyu persimmon fruit

Image via Wikipedia

I’d be quite pleased to find someone locally (RTPish) who knows how to “can” (/put up) fruit. I’d love to a canning afternoon and would buy said person some produce of his/her choice (and/or share persimmony goodness) in exchange for help with same. (I should mention that I also don’t have any of the appropriate equipment to do said canning, so that would be helpful as well.)

Also, does anyone have a dehydrator they’d let me borrow?


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Oct 30

Vampire puppy

I thought you might want to see pics of India in costume from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk on Saturday:

Needless to say, she was a huge hit amongst the youngsters (and adults for that matter) at the walk.  We walked the whole three miles (ok, except for the last couple hundred yards, when I carried her), and got tiny pieces of hot dog as a treat at the end (more accurately, I got two hot dogs, and shared tiny pieces with her).

Thank you again for your generous contributions — together we raised more than $600 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation!

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Oct 27

Last chance to help out! (and apologies for asking again…)

First off — THANK YOU to all the folks who’ve donated already!

I’m sending out one more “pleeeeease” to the universe  (or at least those of you who’ve got the dubious distinction of being friends) and asking again for your support for my walk in the JDRF Walk for The Cure (TOMORROW! Sat. Oct. 28th!).

As an additional incentive (or perhaps just because it amuses me), I’ve decided that I’m walking in costume (Draculette) and that my wee pup India will be walking (/bouncing) with me, dressed as a bat.

In my Martha-ness, I’ve handmade her little wings (which I daresay are TEH CUTE!), and, of course, I am planning on toting her should she become plum tuckered.

So, why don’t you join me!?  Heckle me!  Support me!

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal!

Thanks in advance!

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Oct 18

An unusual plea


Y’all know that I don’t (normally) (a) intentionally exercise or (b) ask for money, so this is a truly unusual circumstance.

This year, I’ll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes research foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes along with some half-million other folks all across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. (*More info about Juvenile Diabetes below.)

So, will you sponsor me on the walk (Oct., 28, BTW, should any of you want to come walk also…or even heckle)?  I am starting extensive training by walking with my puppy (ok, not quite true, but it sounds a little less lame than the more truthful:  I’m terribly out of shape and will probably be huffing and puffing by the end of this. )

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:

(*) Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a nasty, often deadly disease that affects millions of people–a large and growing percentage of them children.  And though insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.

The good news, though, is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date.

(Huff. Pant. Wheeze.)

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Oct 09

Interesting products

I saw this in a catalog. Upon reading the full description, things made sense; intially, however, all I could think was “solar…powered…thermometer…ummmm….yeahh…”

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Oct 03


When it comes to getting lost, there’s nothing more dangerous than one’s own home town.

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Sep 29

The continuing health saga

Wednesday morning I went for the CAT scan to see what was going on with my sinuses. Thankfully, this was much more pleasant than the last time I had a CAT scan, which was in the 6th grade when they thought I had a brain tumor. (1) At that time, they had to use these giant bolt things to hold your head in place (not *into* my skull, mind you, but pressing on sides) and they had to use an IV solution to provide some sort of contrast. Then you got stuck in what felt, at the time, like a giant washing machine, whirring and spinning, for what seemed like hours (but was probably only 45 minutes)(2). This time, by contrast, I got to rest my chin on a little cushion (no bolts) and the giant washing machine was more like a small torus (much less enclosed and scary) — and best of all, no IV!

I got to take the scan image with me, so of course I spent an hour and a half scanning it and fitting the pieces together last night (probably a 15″ x 20″ image, too big for a single pass) so I could print it out and get an annotated version from Dr. Clarke (I knew I’d have a use for the white gel pen!!). If you’re curious, here’s my brain (warning — biggum image!!). I’ve annotated my digital copy for your viewing pleasure… the takeaways are that:

  • my sinuses are normal (yah!)
  • I’ve got a deviated septum (not so yah, but fixable. And, in a way, nice to know one of the factors that’s been causing my persistant left-nose stuffiness)
  • this doesn’t help explain why I’m coughing or the persistant bronchitis thing is happening
  • I need to have an esophogeal scan thing next week to make sure it’s not GERD (reflux nastiness that’s making my throat irritated)

So, more steroids (like 18 days more!) — and more attendant puffiness — and more voice restrictions.

(1) No they didn’t tell me why I was having the CAT scan at the time. I’m pretty sure that was a good idea.
(2) They may still do all that for certain kinds of CAT scans, but they didn’t this time. (whew)

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Sep 28

New India pics

here. Including one of her… in a dress.

I’m sorry! It was Isaac Mizrahi at Target and I couldn’t resist.

It’s awful. I know. You don’t dress dogs. It’s silly. I know.

I couldn’t help it.

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Sep 28

Very cute (in my biased opinion)

Little Cesar dog food commerical with a very cute Pom in it and — here’s the nifty bit — a (relatively obscure) song called “I Need a New Heart” by the Magnetic Fields that I adore!

(One of the best concertings I’ve ever had was a three-night, in order, live show of the Magnetic Fields 3-disc set “69 Love Songs” that I went to see with David at the ArtsCenter).

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Sep 27

I am on voice restriction


Anyone who has spent time with me in the last month or so has heard the Cough of Doom. Or anyone who saw me in April. Or December of last year. Or August of last year, etc. Apparently, I have a triannual cold-that-turns-into-bronchitis thing. I finally realized the periodicity of it this time around (OK, I’m sorta slow when it comes to recognizing health patterns), so I made an appointment with an Ear, Nose & Throat guy (Dr. Clark).

My appointment was this morning… here’s the re-cap:

1) We are still not sure what’s causing the quarterly bouts with bronchitis. The suspicion at the moment is that it’s a persistent sinus infection. I’m having a CAT scan this afternoon to see if that’s the case. I see ENT again on Friday; however, the bronchitis part of it is really not his field, so I’ll probably end up working with my GP on that one. I was tempted to suspect the newest “nasal variable” in my life (India, my puppy), but this has been going on for at least five years (my first one was right before Larry & I went to Iceland in 2001). They do seem to have gone from biannual to triannual though

2) As far as the constant coughing that comes with every round of bronchitis (and won’t leave — even with Advair), apparently the combination of coughing and talking on long calls and in speakerphone situations and over background noise (etc.) has irritated my vocal cords (“caused an ‘insult’ to them, as he put it). They are puffy and don’t close completely. (He stuck a camera down my nose! I asked if I could watch so they set up a monitor for me! Ew! Cool!).

The irritated vocal cords are what’s making cough. And coughing is irritating the vocal cords. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. (Fun.) (As an aside, this explains why it gets so much worse on days where I’m back-to-back on calls, as opposed to, say, Saturdays.)

So, I am starting Prednisone today *and* going on vocal restrictions (yep — you “heard me” correctly… not anything above conversational tone: no conference calls, no speakerphone, no talking above ambient noise) and trying reduce talking as much as possible. Once my vocal cords are more happy and less irritated, the coughing should stop.

Anyway — so I figured I should write this rather than tell you ;-)

May the torture begin.

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Sep 26

Oh my — must watch for all geeky types

Weird Al — White & Nerdy

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Aug 17

This is Dallas’s fault

My celebrity lookalikes

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