Instruments )

My cable was out for over six hours -- I can't say exactly how long because we had Shabbat dinner with my parents and stayed there to watch Doctor Who in case it wasn't on yet at home -- so my afternoon pretty much sucked, in part because I couldn't get a damn thing done and in part because Adam was distraught not to get to play Runescape now that it's finally the weekend. So if I owe you mail, comments, etc., please be assured that I am not neglecting you, but had to post about Madeleine L'Engle via dial-up when I went to post my review of "Skin of Evil", and Google Docs has no interest in loading over a dial-up connection. I did enjoy "The Family of Blood" a lot though was somewhat distracted by background chatter from parents...Tennant marvelous playing the reluctant Doctor, and Agyeman as good as I've seen her, even though I don't like Martha's crush being so explicitly girly-romantic when she's older than Rose was and more sure of who she is professionally.

Came home to one of those "be careful what you wish for" moments...the cable was up, [ profile] apaulled went to boot his computer, and...nope. Have had hell night ever since -- Adam beside himself because he couldn't play the game he'd waited all day to play, Paul grumbling and ranting and trying to get the thing fixed (no luck), me cursing silently because this means that until the computer is either fixed or replaced, I am going to have to share mine potentially with three other people and there goes ANY chance I had of getting my own laptop instead of begging to use Paul's work computer on vacations and never being able to take it myself if I want to sit in an internet cafe somewhere. Hey, does anyone out there have an older wireless-compatible laptop that you have recently replaced with something newer and are looking to sell for not a lot of money? I can't afford the $600 for a minimally loaded new Dell and don't care in the least about not having Vista...prefer XP since all my current programs work with it. Am thinking these evening posts are going to dwindle quickly if my son is on my computer till 10 p.m. doing homework.

[ profile] fridayfiver: Maybe )
[ profile] thefridayfive: Friends )
[ profile] fannish5: Costumes )

Hanover Animals, September )
Morphine )

We are in Pennsylvania at [ profile] apaulled's parents' house, where we had lunch and discussed the latest political insanity of the nation, then went to Gettysburg Battlefield, where we first let the kids climb on the rocks at Devil's Den since they needed some run-around time, then went to Seminary Ridge to see the Southern state monuments and the end of the reenactment whose cannons we had heard all over the park:

Behind Confederate Lines )

After a brief but necessary shopping stop, we had Swedish meatballs for dinner (one of my mother-in-law's specialties) and then birthday cake, belatedly for one son, early for the other but it was the easiest time to celebrate both since my in-laws were away in July and will be away again at the end of September. In addition to Maximus the groundhog, who is looking larger than ever, there were three large bunnies in the backyard munching on grass through the meal. Then we watched Boston clobbering the Orioles in a no-hitter while the kids pretended to do homework, griping that they were being forced by their mean parents to do that and take showers rather than making Lego spaceships.

We'll be at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire all day Sunday -- Don Juan & Miguel, the Mud Show, the Globe, the Ultimate Joust!
Embers )

Tuesday got away from me and I'm not sure where. I had lunch and did a bit of shopping with [ profile] miriya_b -- hummus and Pink Sugar deodorant for me, clothes for her -- picked the kids up at camp, did a library run to get one of the Ga'Hoole books for the kids and a CVS run because the kids obviously needed different sunscreen (we sent them with rub-on SPF 40, they came home very tan because they pretty much didn't use it, now they have spray-on SPF 60 and orders to reapply twice during the day).

My father has found us a place near where we stayed last year at Bethany Beach, so it seems that we are indeed going the first week in August. The place looks very pretty online; the only drawback is that my parents will have the big bedroom with the hot tub, and both other bedrooms have twin beds -- the one easiest to push them together is much smaller than the other -- so I don't know exactly what the sleeping arrangements will be. *g* I asked about wireless internet before I asked about the bedrooms!

Boyds Bears Penguins )

[ profile] gblvr tagged me for a music meme! )
Oil & Steel )

I was planning to get up and drive the hour and a half to Hunt Valley for the last day of the Shore Leave convention, but a late start, disorganization in terms of meetings/interviews and [ profile] apaulled deciding to make a big breakfast for the kids -- combined with younger son calling my parents and negotiating to go see Harry Potter again -- ended up keeping me local. Which was fine, because we all went together to Order of the Phoenix and I was very happy to see it again so soon...we had said maybe we'd go to the IMAX near Dulles Airport next Sunday afternoon if we'd finished the book by then, but that seems like a long time away and I wanted to make sure I saw it again before the Deathly Hallows paradigm shift.

My reactions were much the same as on Wednesday: the things I really liked last time, I loved this time, like spoilers ), while the things that had annoyed me a bit now really annoy me, like more spoilers. ) I didn't read the Book Seven alleged spoilers, and in fact I would probably not have known about the alleged spoilers had there not been an explosion of outraged reactions to the alleged spoilers which will certainly do more to spread the alleged spoilers far and wide -- just as the troll who posted them undoubtedly wants. I am really difficult to spoil, as I have never had a book or movie ruined for me merely through the fact of knowing what was going to happen (this includes The Crying Game, The Sixth Sense, etc.), but I usually end up as irritated at the people screaming about the wank in any wankfest as I do at the wank itself, so I believe I shall go into lockdown mode early. Expect photos, movie blather and absolutely no snarking or expectations about Deathly Hallows here for a week! Here, have some plot bunnies instead.

Hanover Rabbits )

We ended up ordering pizza at my parents' since the movie let out around dinnertime, came back here on the late side and I finished neither laundry nor the third of my TrekToday articles -- I did get Hidden Frontier and the Captain's Log DVD set covered, at least. Monday the kids will be in camp and I can catch up on things then!
What a Day )

Not a terribly eventful Thursday, which is fine. The kids slept late. I decided to try to create feeds of my links and diggs and ended up having a bit of a quarrel with LiveJournal's syndication pages which apparently don't like (kept claiming the feed wasn't in XML format, not a problem at Blogger or Wordpress). Had to write an article about how Zachary Quinto, who has been lobbying to play Spock in Star Trek XI, managed to convince one news site to claim that he was in talks for the role, which several dozen other news sites promptly quoted as fact and it's just like the Matt Damon stuff before that got shot down. Sylar as Spock, yeah, brilliant idea...why doesn't J.J. Abrams just hire an entire cast of friends and friends-of-friends from TV like he usually does, and it'll be as mediocre as I've anticipated all along?

Took the kids to the library to find more Guardian of Ga'Hoole books (fantasy series about owls) and older son is reading Jon Krakauer which is actually on the high school summer reading list. I had both a 25% off coupon and $5 in Borders Bucks, so I also took the kids to the bookstore where we ended up with an Audubon book on North American birds, the one Douglas Adams book we didn't already have in the house, and some illustrated Simpsons guide to life type thing. And I might have grabbed one of the new color-corrected reprints of the Tarot of Marseilles. Younger son has been reading How To Live With A Neurotic Cat aloud, and while I suspect it is funnier that way than read silently, it has been making us howl.

Zoo America, Hershey )

Other than watching a bad Next Gen episode to review tomorrow, then putting on what we thought was the first Bourne movie only to realize that it was the second Bourne movie, my evening entertainment was making sandcastles.
I Will Be Kind )

We saw Order of the Phoenix right in the middle of the day, so that was our major event for Wednesday. Having no idea whether there would be a lot of people waiting long beforehand -- the earliest shows were sold out by the time we got our tickets, which were for 12:15 -- I wanted to make sure that we would get good seats and arrived with the kids more than an hour early, and since it was the first show of the day in this particular theater at the multiplex they let us in right away, so we had our choice of seats. [ profile] apaulled took half a day off and came to meet us with chicken nuggets. We all enjoyed it a lot; younger son isn't all that much of a fan and has read each of the books only once, so had forgotten quite a bit of what was going to happen, while older son read all the books several times and was making predictions about Book Seven based on what Tolkien, George Lucas, etc. would do.

It wasn't a particularly quiet theater, being about half teenagers and young adults in groups, half parents with kids, and they showed a boatload of previews -- The Dark Is Rising would look good if it weren't, you know, The Dark Is Rising, which is NOT supposed to be about a contemporary American kid for Merlin's sake! Even if Christopher Eccleston looks delectable with all that hair. I didn't see the last two Bourne movies but the cast in this one looks awesome -- were Joan Allen and David Strathairn in the previous two? -- so I am thinking I may remedy that before next month. And the Get Smart remake with Steve Carell looks hilarious, though that is a year away.

The Outhouse )

This story about Brian May finishing his PhD gave me hope -- I am nowhere near 30 years late yet. Of course, I am also not a millionaire rock star, sadly. It will surprise no one, I'm sure, that when Paramount releases the original Star Trek on HD-DVD, they will include never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage from the 1960s so people who already paid a fortune for the set once will do so again! And it will also surprise no one that Bush has put forth a homophobic asshole to be our new Surgeon General, and even though I have tried to stay away from politics lately in this journal I feel compelled to link to the Act For Change page to tell your senators to block the Holsinger nomination.
Bearhug )

I spent a quiet Tuesday with [ profile] gblvr forcing her to squee over Alan Rickman since she had forgotten her David Hewlett Fannish Recruitment Equipment, though she did have a couple of SGA songvids to show me (I like David a lot, particularly since I've been reading his Twitter updates, but I have to admit -- and I know this is the most unpopular fannish position in the world -- that Rodney just doesn't appeal to me, that is to say, I enjoy his character in the episodes well enough but I have no desire at all to become fannish over him).

Because there was no opportunity to watch David movies, though, I subjected [ profile] gblvr to The Search For John Gissing -- which incidentally is finally available on DVD here, and if you've ever had the urge to watch Alan mark his territory this is an absolute must-see. Later, retrieved my kids from my in-laws' at the Middle Eastern restaurant in Damascus where we often meet them because it's closer to Hanover than our house. Anyway, half my flist won't see this post because of watching the aforementioned Alan Rickman at midnight HP movie screenings, and the other half won't care about John Gissing, so I will keep this short and adorable:

Boyd's Bears & Hershey's Chocolate World )

Gacked from lots of people, and because it's the theme for the night and Lucius Malfoy is the hottest thing ever, I'm posting it without a cut. Seeing the movie with my whole family Wednesday; report after, not reading LJ before!

My Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom is:
Lucius Malfoy becomes a billionaire in the software market by using the Pensieve
Get your Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom
B )

I spent a very lovely morning and afternoon with [ profile] dementordelta, who brought me Harry and Sirius (the poseable ones) in exchange for Snape (who went home with her last time). We went out for Mediterranean food, then came back here to watch the A&E Order of the Phoenix special (again, with lots of slow motion on the Lucius stills) and An Awfully Big Adventure (because the only thing hotter than Lucius is Alan Rickman misbehaving with someone too young for him). And we had blueberry pie, courtesy [ profile] apaulled whose services were solicited for this purpose.

My mother is still at the spa with my sister, so we went out to dinner with my father at Mamma Lucia's. I had the chicken piccata and barely ate any -- the portions were staggeringly huge, came with salad and bread and I have a full meal sitting in the refrigerator and I have no idea when I'm going to eat it, since I have both lunch and dinner plans tomorrow and expect to be occupied with Order of the Phoenix on Wednesday! We recorded Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I because older son has been asking about watching it -- someone he knows sang the Inquisition song -- but having just seen it, I am really wary of letting him watch it -- the humor is more vulgar and has a nastier edge than Blazing Saddles and there's a lot of borderline nonconsensual sexual situations. I still snicker during the piss boy scene, though.

Battlefield Wildlife )

[ profile] dementordelta has also decided to titillate traumatize me with this Daniel Radcliffe interview, and now I need to go watch him on Jay Leno, even though I have avoided looking at a single L.A. premiere photo!
First Nights )

After the usual weekend breakfast at my in-laws' house (pancakes, eggs, sausages, applesauce), we went hiking in a different part of Codorus State Park on Saturday morning, weaving through the woods across from the dam that created the lake which in turn created the park. At one point we were between tall pines and a cornfield; at another, between the lake and a knotted tangle of wild raspberries. It was gorgeous, though quite hot out.

Then we went back to my in-laws' for a small lunch after that huge breakfast and drove separately to Boyd's Bear Country, which was having a local crafts display in and out of the huge barn that houses the world's biggest teddy bear store. The quilters were inside, the kids' crafts outside, and since it was so hot we mostly stayed in, but we discovered that Boyd's is now importing Hansa's realistic stuffed animals including penguins, which pleased younger son immensely. ([ profile] apaulled volunteered spontaneously to get me the Wizard of Oz miniature bear set, which is adorable!)

We said farewell to the kids for a couple of days and drove home, stopping at Barnes & Noble to get a 90th birthday present for my uncle. We were going to watch some of the highlights of Live Earth, but Comcast was down in our area for several hours, finally coming on after dark, so instead we listened to it on the radio until finally we had TV and internet and could watch. Sounds like the DC portion was unenthralling anyway...someone tell me if there are any parts worth hunting up online!

Scenery, Sun and Stuffed Animals )

[ profile] fridayfiver: With dead poets and drum machines )
[ profile] thefridayfive: Set apart from others )
[ profile] hp_fridayfive: 'Deathly Hallows wish list )
From 'Within the Wardrobes' )

We spent Friday in Hershey and Ronks, Pennsylvania. We started at Zoo America on the grounds of Hersheypark, a zoo containing animals exclusively from North America, where we had a quick lunch, saw a reptile show and walked through exhibits on desert animals, the plains, bear habitats and river life (a stream that powers the Hershey chocolate plant flows through the zoo). From there we went to the free central attraction of Hershey's Chocolate World, a Willie Wonka-type overview of the history of the town and the chocolate factory...very Disney, you'd never know slaves ever worked on cocoa plantations and the singing cows are rather "It's a Small World"-derivative, but it's entirely free to park and ride and everyone gets free chocolate samples at the end, when visitors are let out into an enormous candy and dessert emporium complete with waterfalls and exotic trees.

From there we went to a place the kids have visited several times with my in-laws but we've never seen: The Outhouse, a lunatic store in the middle of a respectable shopping district specializing in Amish furniture, quilts and handcrafts, with lots of ridiculous gag gifts and store features requiring quarters to see the "Amish Hooters calendar" (involves owls) "terrifying man-eating chicken" (involves an overweight person with KFC) and other attractions. It's mostly bathroom humor, as the name implies, making it the perfect place to take prepubescent boys. It's also around the corner from Dienner's Country Restaurant, less famous than nearby Miller's but also much less expensive and with smorgasbord just as good, including many, many varieties of pie.

Hershey and Ronks in Brief )

Am full to exploding from chocolate and smorgasbord, barely stayed awake on the drive back (reading Kate Mosse's Labyrinth -- on a Cathar fiction kick again). Tomorrow, Boyd's Bears, then [ profile] apaulled and I are coming home and the kids are staying with their grandparents for a couple of days of bonding!
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