Month: February 2005

  • Federated is preparing to buy May Co., which owns the Foley's chain for which I occasionally work.  I was all a-twitter this morning, gleefully anticipating the time when Foley's is morphed into Macy's . . . gone, surely, will be the weird opening and closing times and those pernicious coupons! 

    Ha.  Maybe the times of operation will be sorted out, but apparently Federated has itself fallen into the coupon trap. 

    Here's what really gets my goat, however . . . the various news pundits are talking about the proposed merger as a way to create a retail behemoth capable of going toe to toe with Wal-Mart.


    Look, I shop at Wal-Mart myself, but still . . . when I'm on the floor at Foleys I think of Dillards and Penneys, perhaps, as our competition, not Wal-Mart.  Lo, how the mainstream department stores have fallen, if they have to consider the Big Box Discount Stores as their competition. 

  • Dang.  The Oscars last night got good ratings.  This, taken alone, is not a Bad Thing; the Bad Thing comes in the form of:

    "Obviously, Chris Rock as host had an impact in the resurgence of the numbers," said Larry Hyams, vice president of audience analysis and research at ABC.  (from CNN)

    I wasn't in the living room for more'n maybe an hour of the Oscars last night, if that, but plenty long enough to get Really Tired of Chris Rock.  Heck, I was tired of him after two minutes of his shouting and incessant "OKAY?"s.

    Was hoping the Academy would realize what a disaster he'd been, but if they credit him with pulling in high viewership, they might actually bring him back

    One positive thing came out of it:  The Incredibles took Best Animation.

    USAToday had an article with an Idea Whose Time Actually Came A Long While Back, i.e. have the Best Song be an optional category.  Can't argue with that logic!  If there aren't boffo songs in that year's film offerings, don't pretend there are.  Just skip it entirely.  If there's one memorable song, invite those responsible to perform it at the ceremony and let it go at that.

    I can't believe Hilary Swank took home her second Best Actress award.

    I'd not recalled having heard of her before, and her face doesn't even look familiar. 

  • My dear DIL, Beth, sent a few pix:

    Boy, I remember that.  Think Baby's about to make his or her appearance?

    Alex playing with Superdog, aka: Jerry.  Jerry wants the ball

    I guess that's the beach in "Virginia Beach", where they live.  He hasn't changed a bit. 

  • It was the Very Finest of Soccer Action.

    Okay, maybe that's a tiny exaggeration. 

    But the kids were cute as all get out, and that's no exaggeration whatsoever.  Today was Brianna's first soccer game, except it's chilly and rainy so only she and three other little girls on her team showed up.  Jessica's the coach, BTW.

    Naturally some rain and chilliness wasn't gonna keep her Gran away. 


    Here's Brianna, posing her little heart out.  One thing she isn't, is camera shy. 

    Brianna encouraging her teammates.  Well, that or ragging on 'em.  Hard to tell from a distance.

    You'll notice Brianna at the forefront, with Emily running behind her, while the other two Princesses (the name of the team...they played the Pixies) basically stood.  That happened a lot.

    I thought this was a pretty decent action shot, if I may be so bold.

    The all-important halftime snack break.  Notice the proliferation of umbrellas.  I spent the time holding my umbrella in my left hand while shooting pictures and videos with my right.


    Brianna celebrating making a goal!

    Lemme tell you, she was right in the thick of it the entire time.  She's gonna be some kinda soccer player!

    Or a model.  Could break either way.   ;^)

  • Here's a conumdrum for y'all, with which I would appreciate a little help.  My daughter, Kirstin, has an in-law with a little boy a bit younger than Benjamin.

    I shan't go into details, but listening to her recount the difficulty the extended family has with him at parties, his behavior at playdates and in church nurseries, and the like, last December I suggested the child is autistic.

    MSNBC/Newsweek has had a big feature on autism this past week, and when I pointed Kirstin to it, she called and said it sounds like Asperger's to her.  The child fits that profile to a "T".

    Child's mother is expecting a baby next month, and she and her husband tend to determinedly gloss over their son's peculiarities.  Everything in the garden is officially and relentlessly rosy.  Period.

    So.  Here's a child who, trust me when I tell you this, is not right and in desperate need of treatment, and here are parents who aren't going to want to hear this at all, plus they've got a new baby coming any moment.

    My thought is to suggest Kirstin quietly contact his pediatrician's office, explaining who she is, why she's worried about him, and requesting the doctor surreptiously scrutinize him the next time he's in.

    Anyone else have any better ideas?  Believe me, we're open to them!

  • One of the most wickedly amusing bits of writing on a heartbreakingly serious subject is Scott Ott's blog entry of the 24th:  Michael Schiavo to Auction Terri on eBay

    As is pointed out, "It's better than buying a pet," said Mr. Schiavo. "Legally, you don't even have to feed her. If you didn't feed your dog, the authorities would take him away from you."


  • Happy birthday to my Benjamin Bunny, who is three years old this very day. 

    Kirstin stopped by with the boys this afternoon, so Benjamin was able to get his present from us and G'mom:

    To quote Benjamin....."WOW!"

    He was very excited, Mom.  ;^)

    And he appreciated the card, as well.

    Okay, fine, I wasn't expecting them so hadn't gotten around to wrapping his presents....just left 'em in the Silly box.  We're an elegant bunch at the Ivys, as you can tell.

    Wouldn't Martha Stewart have a conniption fit?

    Thought this was a good picture of the birthday boy.

    It was too funny...he'd pull a toy out of the box then carefully set it on the sofa, saying "Can't open it."  After about the fourth or fifth time, Kirstin finally asked him why he didn't want to open them.

    "Not paid for!" came the reply.

    Kirstin laughed and explained Benjamin's accustomed to hearing her tell him, when they're in the store, "No, Benjamin, you can't open it hasn't been paid for."

    He learned the lesson a bit too well, t'would appear.  It took some doing but finally he dubiously asked, "Gran paid for 'em?"  Upon being assured that yes, indeed I had, so they are absolutely his, he relented and began opening the boxes.

    Naturally darlin' Bryson had to have some attention paid to him, as well. 

    Tell you what, it's raining babies around here, what with Alex and Beth expecting next month, then my nephew, Justin, and his wife, Jill, expecting their first on Sept. 19, then Elaine (who will be BACK HOME IN TEXAS!!!) having her third in early October.

    Oughta be some kinda Christmas! 

  • Mercy Maud, do I treasure this idea! 

    Luzhkov Wants Weathermen to Pay

    Mayor Yury Luzhkov promised to punish the Moscow weather service for what he said were unreliable forecasts that frustrated the work of various municipal services and disrupted people's plans.

    Speaking at the weekly meeting of the city government on Tuesday, the mayor said the Moscow Weather Bureau would receive no more funding until it signed an agreement with the city that introduced "financial responsibility," allowing the city to impose penalties for inaccurate forecasts.

    Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if weather forecasters were docked for inaccurate forecasts, similar to a contractor being docked for not completing a project on time?

    To be fair, I realize there are extenuating circumstances with meteorology.  Sometimes fronts stall unexpectedly, etc.  Even then, however, it's not unheard of for one particular forecast to have gone against everyone else and hit the nail on the head.

    As an example, the sleet storm on Thanksgiving Day several years ago that took every weatherman by surprise save for precisely one . . . the man on Channel 4, I'm thinking it was.  It made the newspapers, how his was the sole forecast to accurately predict that sleet storm.

    Meaning, it was possible to predict. 

    Since we have multiple weather forecasts available here in the DFW area, I don't see why a penalty/bonus system couldn't be put in place, based upon the accuracy of the forecast, compared to the others.

  • You know, were I going to be a Wicked Dickens and try to either stealthily and sneakily get someone's ID info via a bogus email, or maybe just ascertain I've reached a valid email address, I'd probably run the message through a spellchecker first.

    Hate to break it to whoever was the mastermind behind a spam message I get occasionally, but the header tips me off right away that there's something rotten in the state of Denmark:  "Alert Service - Account Limited Notifycation"


    It does look elegant, I'll give it that.

  • Boys.

    Says it all, doesn't it?

    Last night Charles unveiled his plan to attend some 400 person LAN party this weekend, lasting from Friday evening to Sunday evening, at Fair Park in Dallas.  He's planning to sleep at his computer.


    Last night during homework time I idly asked Dmitry about the big computer project he'd had, and about which I'd sent a letter to the teacher via him, as he had assured me he'd basically die of embarrassment were I to actually visit the teacher in person.   Something about the expression on his face put my maternal faculties on High Alert.  You did give it to him, right?  I asked.

    Eyes sliding off to the side, he muttered something unintelligible.  Upon being pressed, he declared he couldn't remember.  Do I expect him, he declaimed dramatically, to remember everything?   No.  Just whether or not he handed the letter to the teacher.  Upon removing everything from his backpack (including a truly impressive number of wonder we can never find any around here), there was The Letter.  Dated Feb. 10.

    We both stared at it.  He spoke first.  "Am I doomed?"

    "Yep.  'Fraid so."

    He groaned.