May 21st, 2005

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Laptop fever

Tonight Caleb and I went to the new shopping center on Moreland and visited the brand-new Best Buy. I'm so glad we have one intown now, so I don't have to go out to DUNWOODY just to scope out speakers and some such.

Anyway, while Caleb was browsing CDs, I went over to check out the laptops. I got some good customer service from a woman named Lucky, who recommended some minimums I need to look for. It was good to actually SEE all the various models, since I've been doing research online but haven't been physically seeing the sizes, feeling the weights, etc.

Saw a couple of Gateways that impressed with with their incredibly clear widescreen monitors, but then I started to think, "Why do I need that?" The widescreen will make it heavier and we all know I don't watch a lot of movies, so why get something based on the ability to watch DVDs? I really have been impressed with my current Gateway (desktop) as being reliable and non-schizoid, but I'm very open to whatever works best.

I then saw some Toshiba models and was a lot happier with the size and weight. I've been leaning towards Toshiba anyway, since I see a lot of people with them and am told they're reliable. They had a couple of models that were close to my requirements and had good prices, so here at home I went to Toshiba's web site to check out the full line.

I really think I'll be getting a Toshiba, since even when I customize with some hefty upgrades in speed, hard drive, and other stuff, the prices are still around $1500, which frankly is less than my current (3-year-old) desktop cost. I can also get docking stations for the models I saw, so it will be easy to hook up to my printer and all the junk I have. Oh, and two of the models are under 5 lbs, actually MOBILE!

So this weekend I think I will do some more research and figure out the specs I really need, then price a few models, look them up on CNET etc. and see which is best. Metro Girl has an expense budget that hardly ever gets used, so I'm pretty bullish on getting a new system by June sometime.
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Operation Memorial Day

I have to share this email from my mom, brigadier general behind the big Memorial Day weekend event coming up. ALL my siblings will be there! Oh, and *I* will be there too. Normally nobody *tells* me about these things until 2 days beforehand but this time I had notice and bought plane tickets :)

Hi,

With everyone changing plans constantly I'm trying to find out who is
coming when.

Wendy - Arrive: Friday Depart: Monday
Nancy - Arrive: Saturday late afternoon Depart: Sunday? Monday?
Betty - Arrive: Sunday morning Depart: Sunday night
Carolyn - Arrive: Saturday morning - early Depart: Sunday afternoon
Tom - Arrive: Saturday afternoon Depart: Sunday afternoon

Is this what is happening? Who is planning to sleep here?

This is what I am planning:

Breakfast
You all get your own. I will have Bagels, cream cheese, eggs,
cereal, milk

Lunch - Saturday
Macaroni Salad & sandwiches

Dinner Saturday
I'll make a lasagna type dinner and whatever any of you bring

Lunch Sunday
Hot dogs, Hamburgers, watermelon, whatever you bring.

Dinner Sunday
Left overs

See you next weekend.
Mom


My mom is so *with it*.
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What the...?

Since living Downtown, I've several time witnessed a phenomenon most people would not be familiar with: the installation of rooftop machinery. I'm talking about what happens when a city building -- a tall building -- needs a new rooftop heat exchanger, central air unit, etc. These are *giant* pieces of equipment that, I assume, have quite a bit of weight to them.

But how do they get on the roof? Well, if the building is relatively short, like 10-15 stories, a crew comes along with a mobile crane truck and the unit (or units) and over a few hours, they lift the unit up onto the roof. If the building is tall (a skyscraper) the crew comes with the unit(s), which are put on the ground, and then a heliocopter lifts it and flies vertically up to the top of the skyscraper and dumps the thing. It's quite a site to see a large-payload heliocopter working in an urban environment, especially when it's carrying a giant box which you fear might drop or smash into some building!

The reason this isn't a well-known sort of thing is that, as far as I can tell, they tend to do it early on weekend mornings... like right now!

Yes, there is a large yellow mobile crane outside my window right now and a large unit to be installed on the roof of either the Grant Building next door or mine. I've been watching them work and it's pretty amazing. Also funny at times, like when I just saw a guy *inside* the unit hanging on the giant fan (3-ft. blades) and spinning on it like it was one of those wheels at the playground. He's doing some checks on it, not playing, but it was still funny to see, especially since I doubt he expected anybody to be watching.
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Something Good

Tell me something good that happened to you today. It can be anything big or small, huge impact or hardly any. Share something positive.

And pass the meme on.
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Crane update

While I ate breakfast and listened to "Car Talk," the crew outside removed the old air unit from the roof of the Grant Building. I'm sure that thing is older than I am! Quite the weather-beaten piece of crap! Even though the building is only 10 floors, the crane extended itself to be about 20 storeys -- quite impressive. I just watched the thing lift up some large I-beam type things, which I guess are supports for the new machine. I kind of want to watch them move the actual new machine now, as it looks to be about the size of my bedroom.

It's a shame I don't have some little boy with me here who'd be so excited by this. Not that I don't think it's cool too though.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Owww

Somehow I managed to hurt my right shoulder by carrying a courier bag while out shopping. Granted I was shopping for 2-3 hours and did a lot of walking, but the only thing in the bag was my Flash class textbook, so it's a bit odd!

I don't cope very well with this type of pain. I would have used tonight to edit or work on Inception but I was so preoccupied with my shoulder, plus experimenting with not using my right arm, that I wound up just watching TV. I've given myself a massage, put steaming hot towels on it and taken aspirin, but it doesn't seem to have helped. Maybe I can give myself Reiki with my left hand? LOL.

Hope this wear off by tomorrow. I'm sure it's just a minor muscle pull but muscle pain really gets to me, much like a headache, only even harder to get rid of!
  • Current Music
    "Autobahn" -Kraftwerk
tired

Saturday

Today was a little disappointing. The main disappointment being that I might've been able to do more things except I hurt my shoulder. I wish I could just get distracted enough by something else not to notice but it's really bugging me.

Anyway: my day.

Didn't do much in the morning beyond some general puttering, breakfast and watching the crane operation outside my window.

Around 11 I went over to Edgewood to pick up the CD I accidentally left at Kroger last night. Management had kept it in Customer Service overnight. Didn't do any shopping there, instead going right home.

Home, I listened to the album, which was Let It Be, I'm pretty sure the only Beatles album I didn't have on CD. I've had it on tape since 7th or 8th grade but somehow never got the CD. I love "Two of Us" and really all the songs on that. I also got to see them lift up the new air unit! (I know, so thrilling.)

Next I went up to Antique Row in Chamblee. This is a conglomeration of antique shops in old downtown Chamblee. I've gone there several times in the past to shop for antiques but I don't think I've been up for 4-5 years. I went up on the train and then walked around a mile over there, which wasn't too bad. My goal was a sideboard or something to put my entertainment equipment on. Even though I went in a lot of different shops and saw some amazing stuff, I didn't really find what I was looking for. Actually there seemed to be kind of a dearth of Art Deco stuff -- everything seemed either country or 19th century. The closest thing I found to my goal was a nice oak "music cabinet" designed, I'm guessing, for records or sheet music. But I need more than just that -- I need a sideboard too. A couple of other spectacular things I saw were way out of my price range ($1500 each): Art Noveau mirror with mythological figures and a very rare Art Deco dining room table. The good news is that even though I didn't find what I was looking for, I found out there's going to be a huge antique fair up there in two weeks, with tons of dealers and sales, so I can go up again and hope my special piece/s show up!

Thanks to MARTA's usual weekend service issues, after I got back to the train station it took me a whole hour to get home. My shoulder was sore from the bag and I started rotating it and doing things to try and snap it out of the pain, but nothing helped. On the ride home I got super sleepy (similar to the other day) and during a 20 minute halt at Arts Centers (argh!) I fell asleep for a while! I woke up and my arms had weird marks all over from the way I had them pressed into my (polyester) shirt. Yikes!

Anyway, got home and was settling in when Caleb called me over to help him install some shelves he just bought. I went over there for an hour and while there wasn't much help he really needed, I did minor stuff like open boxes, hand him tools, etc. By the time he had put things on the shelves I think he was tired because he got kind of snippy, so I left to go cook dinner. Made pizza, which was good, and I would've done work except my shoulder hurts.

Watched Discovery Health shows on plastic surgery. Several of the segments were on boob jobs and ack!!!!! do I hate them. I really feel like unless you've had something traumatic happen to your boob, you should just leave them alone. One woman had a JJ implant put it and it was 3-lbs, just like a canteloupe. On the other hand, I totally supported the woman who'd lost like 200 lbs. and had a body lift to get rid of the 20 lbs. extra skin she had. That was really amazing, though it cost $40,000, which has to suck incredibly :(

Really wish I could wave a magic wand or get some painkiller shot into this shoulder.
  • Current Music
    "Trans-Europe Express" -Kraftwerk
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Piggy Learns New Tricks!

Owing to poor care and socialization as a youngster, my piggy Abbie is a bit of a late bloomer. This week, at around two years old, she has started wheeking* for the first time!

When I first brought her home a year and a half ago, the poor girl had never eaten vegies, never been around other piggies (except presumedly as a baby) and didn't make any noises. She would just sit in her box or wherever you put her! Over time she has come out of her shell, so to speak, learning to enjoy a wide variety of food, moving around and now, imagine wheeking!

The noise she makes is so cute. It's different from my her cagemage YinYang does, which is I guess the usual loud "I'm dying!" sound. Abbie sounds more like a kitten mewling -- high pitched and quiet enough that it took me a few days to be sure I was hearing it. I kept hearing this noise and thought it might be her but then said, "Oh, she doesn't do that." But now Abbie is wheeking!

On a related note, I've also taught Abbie a new trick. Actually I've been working on both of them over time but Abbie seems to have got it down the best. I come over to the cage with some food, either vegies or some kind of VitalKraft treat. I then say "Candy, candy, candy" and they'll come out and see what I have. Abbie seems much more inclined to take food from my hand so I concentrated on her and now when I say "Abbie, Abbie, Abbie" she will come out, run to my hand and get totally vertically on her hind legs (begging!) to get whatever treat I have. YinYang will beg a little bit too but not nearly as much. I can't believe how well she can balance... or how cute it is! I really need to get a picture of it.

x-posted

* Wheeking is what you call the noises piggies make when they want food.