Month: October 2008

  • ARGHHH! It finally happened and I MISSED it!

    Here's a headline I've never read before:  Minor earthquakes shake Dallas-Fort Worth area

    Two minor earthquakes shook the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but no significant damage was reported Friday.

    The U.S. Geological Survey says a 2.5-magnitude earthquake centered in the Grand Prairie area was reported at 11:25 p.m. Thursday. A slightly stronger 3.0-magnitude quake centered in the Irving area occurred 36 minutes later.

    Law enforcement agencies across northern Texas say they received some 911 calls from people who felt the quakes.

    Irving police spokesman David Tull said his agency received about 25 calls around midnight from people inquiring about the vibrations, which set off car and building alarms. There were no reports of damage.

    Grand Prairie and Fort Worth officials also reported no damage. "We just learned about it on the news this morning,” said Dawn Atkins, a Grand Prairie emergency dispatcher.

    USGS geophysicist Randy Baldwin said the quakes, which lasted only a few seconds, most likely felt "like a lightly loaded truck passing by, kind of a sharp jerk and then a rapid vibration."

    Reports of the quake also came from Dallas, Euless and Hurst and Fort Worth, he said. Aftershocks could last several days. There is also a possibility of more smaller quakes in the coming days that no one would likely feel.

    Darn!  I've been to California a few times, but never felt an earthquake, and been to Japan for a couple of weeks but never felt an earthquake, and here there are a couple right in the Metroplex and I was awake at that time but didn't feel a thing.  Isn't that just the way?

  • Here it is, Halloween already. Where does the year GO?

    There are only two months left of 2008? How is this possible?

    Dmitry and I went to Target yesterday (now there's a news flash!) to purchase the obligatory bag of candy for the one or two trick-or-treaters that might conceivably drop by. Got miniature Snickers because Dmitry's very fond of Snickers, and since we'll undoubtedly be the ones eating the candy, may as well get what he'd like.

    Starting at some point next week I'll be able to bring y'all tales from J.C. Penney's, as that's where I'll be working. Yes, I delayed and stalled and procrastinated as long as I could but finally went out on Wednesday afternoon to apply there as holiday help, receiving a call that evening to set up an interview yesterday afternoon, and was placed in the Women's World (i.e. pudgebucket section)/Maternity/Housewares area. They're running the background check and I should start training on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    I must acknowledge it's flattering to be hired on so rapidly, and to have them make clear the odds are if I want to stay after the holidays, there will doubtless be a place for me.

    As the manager of the area I'll be in put it, "It's nice to get someone with retail experience and who is, um, mature. I'll bet I won't have to explain to you what a steamer is." Apparently they tend to find applicants to either be teenagers with little if any work experience, or those who worked in retail decades ago and are terrified of the computers.

    "Are you comfortable with computers?" I was asked.

    I smiled. ;^)

  • Looking at the TV listings for tonight, I'm struck by an offering that puzzles me considerably.

    The World Championship of Poker or some such thing.

    Who on earth would want to watch poker on television?  Wouldn't that be beyond boring?  e-11_confused

    I thought golf was a dull game to watch on the tube, but ISTM watching people play cards would raise golf to the level of a peppy game of basketball. 

  • I'm sure you've heard of the saying "No good deed goes unpunished", right?

    There's a lot of truth in those old sayings.

    One of the black-and-white cats that roam the neighborhood was hit by a car this afternoon. Poor thing wasn't able to use its right rear leg, but hissed and frantically tried to get away when we'd approach. Don collected a cat carrier, towel and gardening gloves and set about capturing it and carefully stuffing it into the carrier.

    In the process that darn - now late - cat bit him, right through the glove.

    I took the cat to the local vet - same one I took that dog that was hit by a car a couple of years ago - and they took it into the back, warning it didn't look as if it'd make it. A few minutes after I got home they called to say they'd euthanized it, poor thing, but also strenuously urged Don to seek medical attention TONIGHT due to that bite.

    Naturally, this is after-hours for the doctor's office, so Don's headed to a minor emergency clinic.

    I hate to think of him having to have shots for rabies, but darn it....we couldn't go off and leave the poor injured cat in the street!

    Why the dumb cat had to go and bite him, though.....

  • You know something of which I strenuously disapprove?

    Announcing the results of early and absentee voting prior to the close of election day.

    To be completely fair, upon scrutinizing various stories, it appears that what happens is it's the numbers of Democrats v. Republicans that voted absentee or early.  It's not unreasonable to assume that while there's doubtless some cross-over voting going on, most of the time voting follows party lines.

    ISTM there should be nothing given away about votes until after the polls close, period.  Okay, fine, straight numbers is permissible, such as how many people voted on a particular day and so on, but nothing that might give a clue as to how the candidates are likely faring. 

    It must be demoralizing to be in one of the "safe" states for a particular candidate and support the opposite candidate, and constantly be told that the absentee and early voting is confirming that prediction.  What's the point of showing up, standing in line and voting, then? 

    (Of course there are all those congressional and local elections and propositions to be voted on, so it is always worthwhile to vote.) 

  • Fair's fair....I know when I've been beaten.

    I mentioned the long - to me - line in which I waited on Tuesday when I voted at the UNT Health Science Center.

    These people have a lot more patience than do I:


    That's a line for early-voting in Florida this past Monday, as it snaked outside of a library.  People waited two to five hours!  

    Guess that makes my own 45 minute wait look not so bad.  It's all relative, isn't it? 

    We got an email from Sveta this afternoon, including some more photos from a recent excursion (though I'm unclear where she went):



    This was Dmitry's favorite, except he was a mite worried she might have gotten stuck:


    She's still talking about going to Cheboksary to apply for a passport, hoping to be able to come visit.  America's visa rules being what they are for Eastern Europeans, I'm not terribly optimistic, but don't ask, you don't get.  One never knows, after all!

  • 'Tis done.

    Got out and did the early voting thing this morning.  For three days there's early voting at the UNT Health Science Center on Camp Bowie, so I figured, well hey....that's convenient.  I'll just go there while it's available.

    First had to figure out where to park.  Each lot seemed to have bars and gates and other indications that they're for patients and employees only.  Finally parked in the lot for the Museum of Western Art and walked up to the UNT building, where I discovered a fair size line snaked around the room.

    Took my place at the end of the line and prepared to wait.  Forty-five to fifty minutes later I was done, having voted electronically, which was the only option available.  Not bad, actually.  There's even a way for write-ins, choosing letters and entering them, much like with computer and video games. 

    Afterward I felt obligated to at least peek into the museum, seeing as how I'd parked in their lot for so long.  e-ghost   I do like Frederick Remington!

  • In line to vote. LONG

    In line to vote. LONG line!

  • Do you ever find that a couple of your relatives look a lot more alike than you'd realized?

    This photo of my youngest sister, Elaine, and my eldest daughter, Kirstin, struck me all a-heap, as it highlights their resemblance:


    They look more like sisters than aunt-and-niece, don't they? 

  • We had a lovely Skype visit with Alex this evening.

    The first with his new Mac computer, and my, the difference that makes in the video quality!  Amazing.  Got to watch precious Faith singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with Alex, which was too cute.  It also made it a pleasure to take snapshots:


    It's still amazing to me how computer technology permits communication like this.  ;^)