Thursday, May 22, 2008

More Neighborhood Joy

Noon yesterday at our neighborhood grocery store (where we do all our shopping...):

FBI Press Release
Atlanta Field Office
Gregory Jones, Special Agent in Charge

2635 Century Parkway Suite 400
Contact: SA Stephen Emmett
Atlanta, GA 30345 Desk: (404) 679-6451
(404) 679-9000 Cell: (404) 392-2506

For Immediate Release
May 21, 2008

Atlanta - Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, requests the assistance of the public with regard to today's armed bank robbery which occurred at the Suntrust bank, located inside of a Publix grocery store, at 2235 Glenwood Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia.

At approximately 11:50 a.m. today, 05/21/08, a lone black male entered the above bank and, after approaching the teller counter, brandished a black revolver type handgun, and then presented the teller with a note demanding money. He departed the bank without further incident, having obtained an undisclosed amount of money. He was observed departing the area on a red bicycle.

The robber is described as being a black male, 28-35 years of age, 5'9'-6'0" in height, 175-180 lbs ., wearing a tan or beige wave cap/"do rag" on his head, a beige or tan long sleeve jacket, and had a white/tan towel around his neck.

Anyone with information regarding the above robbery should contact the Atlanta office FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Want Another Child

Me: I want to get a two-year old.
Dave: You can rent one.
Me: No, I want my own.
Dave: They smell and they yell. The whole newly unfolding consciousness thing... I'm all about sense of wonder, but they smell and they yell... a lot.
Me: I have to go post now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brenda, Dave and Jessie Avoid Guantanamo Bay

At last the promised post. We are home, vacation is over. Where were we? We were on the Liberty of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship cruising to Puerto Rico, St Maarten and Labadee Haiti--not that we cared about the itinerary. All we wanted was seven days lost on a ship without a care, concern or responsibility--and cruising is great for that. Our room steward Wayne made up the beds every morning and turned them down every night--leaving chocolates and towel animals in his wake much to J's delight.

We had planned not to get off the ship at all, but they moved the Adventure Ocean camp (5-7 year-olds) to Labadee Haiti for the day we were moored there. J would have driven us stark, staring mad with nothing to do all day (all the rest of the kids having gone ashore) so we went to Haiti to the beach. Royal Caribbean International told us we went to an island off the coast of Haiti, but from the map it's apparent it was a peninsula, not an island. However the closest Haitians come to it is working in the straw market there. The view from our cabin, with a stretch, was towards Guantanamo, Cuba--hence the post title. The photo at right is J coming down the water slide on the beach in Haiti--she's the little tiny speck at the top. Wheeee!

While the goal of the vacation for Dave and me was downtime, J is not so down with the downtime. So I picked a ship that was a bit bigger and had a bit more to offer in the amenities department than the one we took last year. In all, I am not sure it was a good choice, but it may just be that we missed Bill, Bridget and Tom--our companions from last year. 'More amenities' did not translate into 'did more' for me. True, there was ice-skating in the rink on deck three--we didn't participate but we did catch the Russian skaters in their ice show spectacular. And there was surfing on deck eleven on the Flowrider--none of us did that either as J is so light she would have been swept right off the back and Dave and I just weren't exhibitionistic (or coordinated) enough.

We did meet nice people at our dinner table the third night into the cruise. The first night we stayed in our room exhausted after the three-hour grueling check-in on top of four hours of travel and the second night we were the only three people seated at a table for eight--we moved for the third and subsequent nights. The man in the photo at left is Dick, one of our tres cool dinner companions in his suit and shades on one of the formal nights.

The H2O Zone water area on the ship was a good place to frolic and cool off on the hot days (thanks to Avinash Kaushik who took the same cruise last year for the photo). The sculpture in the water park bears a striking resemblance to the work of Niki de Saint Phalle that we saw in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens a couple of years ago.

One of the highlights of the trip for the J was climbing the rock wall to ring the bell. Her face painted as a tiger from the morning at the Adventure Ocean camp, she geared up and attacked the wall. Her fierce determination got her about halfway up before the step spacings were just too great to go on by herself. Luckily her spotter gave her a little pull and got her up to a level where she could continue on and with a mighty reach she grabbed the bell cord and rang it for all she was worth. There were also a few rounds of father-daughter mini golf in the late afternoons while I snoozed. Bliss.

I read between six and eight books, and I didn't work at all for the entire week--I barely checked email twice (though Stacy will say I worried inordinately as I called home twice to check on the studio and the house after our break-in the week before the trip). Worst part of the week was the sunburn I got on the first day out that kept me out of the sun for the rest of the cruise--I peel in a constant little blizzard of flakes even as I write. I slept, read, cuddled with my family, slept, read, and cuddled for a whole week. What's not to like about that vacation?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Our Refrigerator is Possessed

Oh the evil that lurks in the heart of our refrigerator! Sunday night I was in Las Vegas getting ready to go out on a date with our friends Keith and Mike (a la the beginning of the Terminator--remember Ginger listening to music through her headphones in the bathroom while putting on make-up?). Well, because of the earphones in my ears and the cell phone being in the other room, I didn't hear it ring when my spouse called in a panic because the refrigerator was showing signs of aggressive sentience (it was making a grinding noise and was really hot--45 degrees in the freezer and warm in the fridge too--like it was trying to work up the energy to walk off). I suppose the solution to not hearing the phone would be to put the music on my iPhone and listen to iTunes through it not through the iPod, but that would be too easy (and I'd have to rely on one battery instead of two... what a lame excuse!).

But back to the fridge. D spent the last three hours of Sunday night cleaning all the spoiled food out of the fridge and the freezer, and bagging and tossing it. Then he went to the studio to get my little studio fridge to use for the Sprout's lunch and the salvageable food. When he entered the studio he found Middle Ground (the medium kiln by the back door) on and resting comfortably at 1250 degrees. He thought it had been on and at that temp since I left for Vegas several days before. Ho boy. It was actually a friend firing a piece that he had put in on Sunday and everything was fine. The friend is just lucky Dave didn't panic and pull the plug before he could reach me. Dave was a bit... frazzled by this additional electronic appliance activity.

So yesterday the repairman comethed. He plugged the fridge back in and... nothing. The fans came on, the compressor started up, it was quieter than it had been since the day we brought it home. I'll give him credit, he didn't even look at me askance. He took it apart and checked to make sure there was nothing that had gotten into the fan and then fallen to the bottom of the housing when it was unplugged. He checked to make sure it was blowing cold air. He did everything but swap out a part... and it quietly hummed away throughout.

He told me to call back if it acted up again. I answered darkly that I wasn't going to put anything in its sinister body until I was sure it was going to keep working, and he drove off. As his van pulled away from the curb, the fridge growled at me. I whipped around and stalked over to it... and it hummed again. I stepped away, and it growled. I kid you not. I approached and it stopped all bad noises, I moved away and it growled. After a couple of minutes of this I called the repairman back almost hysterical. He said to call back on Monday if I wanted to, and to ask for him as the repairman and he would come out and even if he couldn't find anything wrong they would replace it for free (it's not even a year old yet).

I calmed down, thanked him, and said I would let him know. The fridge stopped growling at me, and it has been quietly humming at exactly its programmed temperatures in both freezer and fridge since last night. It's still empty--I'm not that trusting, but it's cold.

Evil fridge.