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September 25, 2004

BOOK TOUR UPDATE: SOMEWHERE IN WISCONSIN

Picture103_25Sep04.jpg

Good name for a rock band.

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I'm more of an izze kind of a girl

GOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LVP, if your e-mail addy is good, I'll send you the Steak Soup Recipe a little later today.

Today is a BIG DAY, maybe. Hopefully, I'll be getting D!SH Satellite installed. YES! They'll do it on Sunday. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that there's a good line of sight to the southwest. Kirkwood isn't called the Greentree City for nothing, but to my amateur eye, it's a possibility. Hopefully.

*nervously looks at neighbor's oak tree*

Anyone have a chainsaw?

Susan, a little teflon tape will make plumbing connections quite secure.

Neo, I don't like guinness either.

MiK, regarding your comment about English on Wiki: Didn't you live most of your life in an English-speaking country?

Food question: Can I ever get a cast-iron pan seasoned to the point where I can cook eggs in it?

That's an odd question, Leetie. Yes, I lived in New York for 11 years - most of my childhood.

Why? Is the English in the article that bad?

Dang. I knew I should have paced myself instead of doing it all late last night.

That Izze drink you linked to sounds interesting, Sarah. I'd try it.

I'm not much of an alcoholic beverages kind of girl... maybe the occasional Martini rosso, but even that's rare these days.

Mad, it didn't seem to me that the Giants tried very hard. Wait till next year!

*sulks away*

boom boom, I'll be joining you in your sulking either within the next two days or in a week or two. IF the Cards clinch the division, I don't have much hope for their performance in post-season.

But if they chose to prove me wrong, who am I to argue?

*zips in*

Here's some news especially for insom:

Shotgun wedding! Do they still call it that?

And in other news, YAY, Padres, Dodgers, and Yankees!

Big Football Day! Mad, are you a Charger fan?
*zips over to FF to czech lineup*

Mik, I just thought that the comments in the "discussion" tab were yours.

Never mind!

i don't think they would call it a 'shotgun' wedding if it were held in a Friends(Quaker) school, the non-violence and all that...

No, Leetie, they are not mine. Someone posted without signing their message - a very rude thing to do on Wikipedia. Or he/she may have possibly been a commenter without a Wiki account.

I didn't think Damien Hirst would look that crazy.

GO CHARGERS!!!!

My email won't send out. Again. *kicks computer*

Spare Frozen Sharks WBAGNFARB.

Mmmmmm yummy, thanks, Mad! I'll have some paakes.. with whipped cream (not the stuff in a can, real cream!)

Leetie - I regularly cook eggs in my father's cast iron pan. Or I did during the times I've lived or stayed at home. The trick with anything in a cast iron pan (which I'm sure you know) is once it's heated up, turn the heat underneath waaaay down, because otherwise it just continues to heat and then everything that touches the pan burns.

Dang...I missed BB and neo.

Leetie, I put the teflon tape on it...but when the threads are, well, not stripped as such, but slightly squished in places so you can't put the two pieces together the way they should be, well, you would just need to go with duct tape wrapped around the whole thing at that point.

And cast iron frying pans...yes you can season them and cook eggs in them. My father took wonderful care of our frying pans, and they are great to cook in. My grandmothers, however, I didn't keep, although I wish I had. But they were not seasoned. She washed them with soap after every use. Not seasoned in the least. Every thing you tried to cook in them stuck.

*siiiiiiiiiiighhhh*

*deletes big long minor rant about an annoyance...not a big one but one nonetheless*

*hits post before complaining more about RL and just getting on with things*

Update: Satellite company not here yet; Cardinals losing to Brewers, 0-4 in top of the second.

*worry*

Boom-boom, start making room for me in the "wait until next year" corner.

fyi and fwiw: the care and seasoning of cast iron pans.

from where i sit i can see a 3 set (classic s,m,l) and a two burner reversible grill of perfectly seasoned cast iron. seldom cook in anything else.

firstly, wash and dry thoroughly. plan to never actually use soap again. using paper towels, grease inside and out, liberally, with bacon grease, leaf lard or oil. heat slowly in 250 degree oven or on a low burner. it's now seasoned.

to clean, wash with hot water and a steel scrubby.
if something does stick, scrub it off with salt and a steel scrubby.

(every time i nuke bacon in the microwave, i wipe the pans with the paper towels, before disposing of the towels.)

have no fear of germs. when you heat cast iron, nothing lives.

and Kaf is right. heat, then turn way down n have patience. my eggs slide around the pan and have no brown parts even when cooking the yolk solid.

happy cooking:)

Heading for werk! Byeeeeeeeeee!

Sure sly, there's plenty of room, and beer to cry in.

Well, bb, it looks like I won't be joining you yet. Even though the Cards are STILL losing 0-5, we just clinched the division as the Assstroes lost to the Braves.

*blink*

This convinces me that this "magic number" stuff is based on that "new math" they came up with in the '60's that so forever screwed me up, math-wise.

And in other news, no satellite guys yet.

re: Chargers ... Agggguuuhhhh!!!!!

Well sly, I'm a Cards fan for the postseason this year, so I hope you're not here for awhile. But I'll save a seat and a mug for you, just in case.

*zips in*

*hugs cyn*
The Chargers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory - gah!

Good news, sly. The Yankees clinched their division and lost that night, I think.
Go figure!

For those keeping score, and you know who you are, it's 4:16 CDT, and no satellite guys.

So, when they say they will be here between 1 and 5; and it takes 3 1/2 =/- to install this thing...... WILL they really stay here until 8:30 or so?

This could really mess with Studio 60 tonight.

Oh, look. The Rams remembered how to score a touchdown. That's their third this season. But who's counting?

I call dibs! on neos, leeties and kats guinness!!

More for me. bwuahahaha
*gathers up all the guinnesses (guinnessi?) and hauls them off to her shadows making fierce gitawaymine grunts*

*zips in from long nap*

So, sly, it's now almost 6pm(?) your time. Did they show up? Isn't Studio 60 on tomorrow? Has Steven Jackson done anything good in the game?

ummm. Yes. Studio 60 is on tomorrow.

*thinks*

(Ouch.)

Desperate Housewives are on tonight!

And, the pre-teen-sounding satellite guy called and he is on his way.

Do they work in the dark?

Yes. The Cox cable guys try to work in the dark. I think it's a macho thing. But I usually don't let them.
Won't pre-teen-sounding guy have to go on your roof?

*grrrrr*

Wish I had a Guinness now.

Wait...there is a beer in the fridge at home. However, it's been there for a very very long time, and it has been frozen at least once. (I finally replaced one of the fridge bulbs the other day, and the light shining through the beer showed it was frozen.)

Perhaps I will not be drinking that one.

Dang. I can't even make a good margarita...no ice.

My daughter emptied the ice trays. She frequently does, and doesn't fill them. I'm not filling them now. The trays have been sitting on the counter for several days. Her arguments are that she didn't use all the ice (HA!) or that she's afraid she'll spill them when she puts them in the freezer.

For now...no ice.

And no microwave. It died yesterday. My mother took it to Best Buy today to see if it can be fixed.

No Microwave!!!

On the plus side, I found a box of cookies at Dollar General that are exactly like the Girl Scout ones, the ones with coconut and caramel and chocolate...the ones I love...

No ice? No microwave? No beer? Dang, Susan. You have my sympathies. I'd be lost without a micro-wave.

My microwave is one of those little-tiny-not-even-full-power things. It actually has a dial instead of a digital display. My mom gave it to me for Christmas in 1987. I've had several people try to convince me to go buy a new one, but it still works great; it cooks the food, and that's all I ask of a microwave.

*loves both Susan and Wolfie ice cold Guinnii*

No satellite guy yet. He called me for directions over a half hour ago.

I will be the most surprised person in St. Louis if this is completed tonight.

Anyone else watching the Rams/Lions game? If so, enjoying the ride on the see-saw?

I do have a microwave and ice at work...of a kind.

The microwave is an itty bitty teeny one that was my grandmothers...dial, not digital display. It must be at least 20 years old, probably more.

Ice...well, we have a cooler...actually an old soda machine, the chest kind, where you slide the drinks across then lift out after you paid (35 cents a can for pepsi products), but the drink rack is long gone. It tends to run rather cold...the water in my water pitcher tends to freeze...and we've ruined many cans of soda...leaving them in there too long, so that they freeze...

AND..... This must have been Microwaves-Must-Die weekend.

My friend's ----

INTERCEPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(sorry)----- microwave died yesterday as well. But she has an automatic icemaker, so she has ice.

Susan, can you give your daughter a sponge and ask her to wipe up the water when she spills it?

I made need oxygen before this game is over.

Apparently, Sly just had an interception interruption.

Game over.

We won.

Oxygen not needed.

Cards clinched.

Satellite guys are here.

The only dark cloud on today is the fact that Lab probably got a gazillion FF points off Jeff Wilkins today.

Sly, I have never seen her spill water. It is her excuse. Not that she fills the ice trays that much, but she has once or twice...with no spills.

We do have an icemaker in the freezer actually...but there is a leak somewhere in the innards of it, so we end up with a sheet of ice down the inside back of the freezer. It's been checked numerous times, but the problem is never found.

Sheesh. The fridge is only 30 years old.

Hiya, kids, hiya hiya!

We're back, obviously.

We had a great time in Madison, which was pretty much just as I pictured it. We ate too much, saw some friends, went to panels and schmoozed with authors, had room parties into the night (well, maybe not exactly into the night as we're mostly geezers but still...), ate some more, had lots of free drinks (and a few we paid for) and, oh yeah, we ate!

Kaf, your favorite Mark Billingham is a hoot! The guy was (is?) a stand-up comic, so his timing is impeccable. He is nowhere near as dark as his books. John Connolly, an Irishman who rights REALLY dark books, was also hilariously funny on a panel they were both on about "guilty pleasures". Connolly's was reading the really bad sex scenes in Wilbur Smith novels.

On the advice of friends we spent the extra bucks and stayed in the Governor's Club level at the Madison Concourse Hotel.

For this you get:

a bigger, nicer room with a fabulous view (some rooms) of the State Capitol across the street;
continental breakfast daily, plus coffee & "snacks" during the day;
FREE DRINKS and snacks at happy hour daily (starting at 4:30, running to 10:30);
coffee and dessert nightly from 9 to 10:30.

You needed a special "gold key" to access the top 3 floors (we had our own special elevator!) and we were right down the hall from the bar on 12.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the Cow Parade!

Wherever you went in town there were wonderfully decorated cows. There was even a group around the Capitol itself with a Wizard of Oz theme.

Jackie bought a replica of an "Elvis" cow that was not one we saw, but my favorite was probably the Lollipop Munchkin Cow.

And we also had the creamiest ice cream I've had in a long time.


"writes" not "rights"

duh!

I think our game is still close, Sly. I think I'm ahead by 25 or so, but you have two people tomorrow, I have one tonight.

I'm heinzing. Came across this:

** omgwtfbbq warning **
My friend just sent me this story.
I wish Jeff was here to tell me what Jackie would say.

MOTW, she was appalled. She couldn't believe the police wouldn't file charges. She also thinks they need to get a child advocate lawyer or civil liberties lawyer. They have the tape and the kid says he was kicked and the father found a bruise.

Just incredible, even for Texas.

To make my daughter happy, we'll have her favorite for supper. Chinese food!

Susan, your daughter would love Jackie. She can eat Chinese food nearly every day. That and pizza.

When's your spring break, Susan? I think ours is the first week of April.

I'm hoping to go to Florida.

But rita, we'll be leaving Florida to go home by then!

Maybe we can meet in between.

OK, heinzed for two days worth, but I'm sorry I missed Ask a Stupid Question Day.

{{{MarieP}}}

What everyone else said. It stinks, but love does stink sometimes.

As for the biological thing, you have time. My sisters were 39 and 41 (respectively) when they had their first child (the '39' one had a second several years later), and two cousins were 41 and 45 (!) when they had theirs.


pst.. duck siteing (sp?) on the "BULLETIN BULLETIN BULLETIN" thread

Sort of citing Cyn: duck sighting at the Bulletin site

thank you:D

*loves Neo and Susan anti-radiation suits*

But still... yay! for not caving and getting a new gadget when an older one still works perfectly fine.

Welcome back, Jeff! You were missed. Great to hear about the fine vacation you had in Madison.

Ummm... Nothing else to say, I think. Maybe tomorrow morning.

Oh, Giant Frog may be sick. He sneezed a lot this evening. I hope he's not coming down with something, because if he is, I know he'll drag himself off to work tomorrow anyway and get worse.

Sly-email addy is good. Would love to have recipe. Thanks!

Sly....belay that. I just checked and the earlier address wasn't correct. It is now. Thanks again.

The satellite is hooked up; successfully.

Now, I've got to learn how to use the DVR; this one is different from the one from the cable company.

But, I've got it!

Oh, and by the way, I'm the most surprised person in St. Louis. I really didn't think this would happen.

Hmmmm, I wonder what this button does.

oops.

What the ----

OH! *snork* There is a small town a little south of here, Festus, Missouri. (which I pronounce with an accent, ala Festus from Gunsmoke. "Fay eh stus" Yeah, geezer).

ANYWAY -- I was scrolling through the program guide and stumbled across a program entitled "First Baptist Church of Fetus."

Little typo. Oh, gosh, I HOPE it's a typo and there really isn't a "First Baptist Church of Fetus."

Lucy, e-mail has been sent.

Oh, and Jeff, Welcome back! Sounds like you had a good weekend. Too bad you were so busy you didn't get a chance to eat.

Welcome home, Jeff! Sounds like a wonderful trip.

Sly.. the guy stayed till almost 10pm setting up your satellite? I hope it's worth it. Let us know how it's going..

Wolfie - it's all yours, and any spare I find around, too.

Jeff... I'm totally green with envy. I adore Billingham's writing, and I enjoyed the first couple of John Connolly's books, but they got a bit "ghosty" for me after that, and I stopped.
*tries to remember the last time I read Wilbur Smith* I read all 6 Courtenay books and a couple of others. What sex there was can't have been that memorable, but I would have loved to have been there for the reading.
I'm glad you both had a great time and got home safely!

*kibby got gas*

Dead last, again, in FF standings. Seems IF a chosen defense loses a game you don't get ANY points from them. REGARDLESS of what my offensive players have done, non-winning Defenses determine the outcome.

/FF rant

*goes to review, if possible, game-by-game stats*

Kibby, the standings don't change until after tonight's game. I think.

It occurs to me that even if I were playing FF this year, I'd have absolutely no idea what you guys are yammering on about.

I had a very odd dream last night, where I met my NY neighbor Sarah again. Sarah was a few years younger than me, but we played together a lot for a while. In the dream, she's grown, and at first doesn't recognize me, until her father sees me and does. Then she drives me to the errand I need to run today, going to schedule an appointment at the vet's - appropriate, because her family's house was always full of animals! Then I woke up, but even as I was dreaming, I couldn't focus on her face, which I guess is normal because I don't know what she looks like today. (My guess is: very nice. She was a tomboy, but you could tell she was going to be very pretty later on.)

I googled her name - as one does -, a minute ago. Nothing much, except for an obit for her paternal granfather, who died last year.

About once a year, I google names of past classmates to see how far I've fallen behind (but I'm not a stalker, I swear!). My best friend at UNIS, for example, went to Yale (neurosurgery) and Wellesley, and is now a first-year med student. It's definitely not someone with her name, because it's very unusual, and anyway there are photos where I can recognize her, even after all these years.

*whimpers*

Gotta go run that errand, I guess.

*trudges off*

I had a really weird dream the other night. Sometimes I think my mind just wants to mess with me, so it throws together the weirdest stuff it can think of.

MiK: I got a cold too. I assume it was either the recycled airplane air or the hotel air. It bothered me for a couple of days but it isn't too bad now.

Then there was the whole "setting myself on fire" thing...well, almost.

Kaf: apparently there were a few minor passages in Smith's work that the Irish youth, with so few outlets, read over and over. There was one great line about his "throbbing man-thing" that Connolly read that cracked everyone up. Naturally, Billingham and the others picked up on it and kept bringing it up (so to speak) for the rest of the panel.

Oh, the others on the panel were Dan Fesperman (whose guilty pleasure is University of North Carolina basketball), Karin Slaughter and (moderator) Laura Lippman.

Well, that was a rude awakening. Jackie just got a call from Citibank that her credit card has been "compromised" and they have to cancel the account and send out new cards. It hadn't been used fraudulently. From what was said it sounds like an inside job, or someone getting into the computer records and getting a lot of numbers.

Now I have to change all the accounts where we use that number (amazon, etc.).

g'mornin' y'all
Welcome back, Jeff. {{ Jackie }}

I promised Jeff a red velvet cake for Vegas and I don't know if I can find everything I need to bake it in our current living situation. I have no cake pans :-(

Mad, don't worry about it! We ate enough stuff in Madison to choke a pony. If I lived in Wisconsin I'd look like the Michelin Man.

And did I mention the great Double Scotch ice cream? Yummy. We found it by accident when Jackie went into a cheese store (one of many) because they were selling replicas of the cows from the Cow Parade.

MOTW: *snork* for Y'all remember my story from Costco food court? A (blonde) gal two people ahead of Miss B and me: "I'd like a Very Berry Sundae without the berries, please." Clerk: "You mean a plain frozen yogurt?" Gal: "No" *sigh* "I want a Very Berry Sundae without the berries, please."

I guess the "blonde" part of that was self-evident.

OK, heinzed to Saturday morning.

I have nothing of interest to say.

And so I will be in the corner doodling

Hey, Wolfie? Drop me an email when you get a moment. Mmkay?

Good morning, MOATies!

Jeff, same thing happened to my credit card a couple of months ago. It's unavoidable and very disheartening. Fortunately, the pain in the a$$ factor is minimal as long as the card company's fraud department catches it and takes care of the bad charges for you.

I'll take one of those Very UnBerry Sundaes, please.

*hauls out ladder, retrieves pants which have been in Lab's tree branches for weeks*

sy, doesn't matter. I'm WAY back in points and have only 1 person playing tonight. Competion has 2 playing tonight - against each other.... I'm BOUND to lose!

AAAAAAHHH! (ggg)

*watches KDF climb the ladder*

*enjoys the view*

Lab ~ czech your email

I'm scared for tonight too, partner.

Let's hold hands. :)

wolfie, that doodle thing was very fun but it made me dizzy.

Dizzy, I get dizzy..

I'm pulling for ya, Kibby. And El, you too.

Stop pulling for people Lab. It'll make hair grow on your palms.

*digs a hole in the front yard*
*places Wolfie's lawn gnome in the hole*
*refills hole*
*adds tombstone*

Hey, it is October, isn't it?

This is fun. It was a link on Val McDermid's website.

*looks at palms*
Damn. Too late.

*noises of outrage*

you you you... gnomekiller!

*pushes button on gnomes self destruct remote*
bwuahahaha
Labs always wanted a pond in his front yard hasn't he?
*considers how much explosive she packed into the lil guy (gnome, not Lab. Lab gets grouchy when you try and pack c4 up his butt)*
*wonders how he feels about a front yard pool*

*runs very far away to watch the explosion*

I have no problem with corporal punishment within a family, as part of (note: never all of) the disciplinary process, as long as it's not misused, but I don't want teachers spanking my kids. I grew up with it (at home and at [private Christian] school), and it didn't make that much difference to my behaviour when enforced by the teachers, whereas I have great respect for my parents, who used CP to teach me many valuable lessons. I hope I will use it wisely and well when my turn comes.

Don't let Jackie hear you say that, Grasshopper. She objects to corporal punishment, period.

I think a lot depends on how we were brought up. My father was a "yeller" though he certainly hit us at times, occasionally with a belt, which I thought was redundant. My mother has always gone in more for psychological torture.

Jackie's father never laid a hand on his girls. Her mother had a vicious, nasty mouth, but after one screaming fight she pulled Jackie's hair, a story still remembered by her and her sisters.

Can't believe I missed several sessions of "stupid questions" time. One of my favorites (this was from way back when New York magazine ran weekly contests; it was in the "conversation stoppers" one):

Did you know that Lana Turner's eyebrows never grew back?

And it was true!

I'm drinking Mountain Dew. And coffee. At the same time, but not mixed.

Repost: Weird Al's White and Nerdy
I'm a whiz at Pascal.
"Do I like Kirk or Picard?"

*wonders what happens when Jackie hears that someone disagrees with her*
*imagines*

Jackie certainly believes there is a taste difference between red and green peppers, so there is...at least for her. I try and avoid Other Color Peppers, such as orange.

Until we changed our flight I was getting ready to send this (from badhaiku.com) to DDi:

I will be having
a very long layover
Chicago... coffee???

When Jackie hears someone disagrees with her? Well, she is a lot more tolerant than some of us here. If she doesn't agree with someone's opinion she might try and put forth her own view, but unless they're a Bush supporter she won't shun them.

:)

I am drinking...water. Not cold enough water...but water.

School bored meeting tonight...so I will need caffeine later.

Jeff, glad to see you back! And thank you for reminding me that Rita had asked when spring break was here.

Rita...it's April 9-13...with the weekend before and after of course. I'm not sure what days we'll be in VA...weekdays most likely...so I can be in church both Sundays.

Jeff, I was just teasing you about the way you phrased your reaction. You made Jackie out to be a little less tolerant than we know her to be.

Maybe I should have included one of these: :o)

I would sacrifice my firstborn for a really good italian assorted sub right now.
Nevermind I haven't had a firstborn.
Nor the fact that there are several places that make such a thing.
None of them are in this building and hence are out of reach.
*stomps on small adorable mouse*

*winces in the general direction of the small adorable stomped on mouse*

*waves to Jeff & Jackie*

*tickles Lab with a feather*

*loves everyone a fabulous day in Moatland*

Oooh...

*..and a jar of nutella*

I got up Sunday morning, later than usual. I woke up several times through the night with a really bad pain in my left foot. I think I reinjurred it, and perhaps it's even worse than before. At one point, I got up and went to the sofa so that I could elevate it more easily. There was nothing good on TV.

I set up the TV on the deck so I could watch football. It was breezy, but nice. I smoked a cigar. I don't remember what I drank. Coke Zero, most likely. I was wearing a black tee-shirt that I bought at Tater Red's last time I was in Memphis.

The Wench cooked bean soup and I made corn muffins. Have you ever noticed that at every community yard sale, there is at least one person selling those cast-iron corn muffin pans where the muffins are shaped like an ear of corn? Why is that?

I made mine regular shaped, but mini. They were tasty!

Sly, major *snork* for:

*wonders if Lab is gonna try calling the Kourou Albertsons*

Now that would be a conversation worth hearing!

MiK: congratulations on the Kourou Wiki article. I didn't see anything about produce, however. :)

Oh yeah, Kaf, thanks for the reminder. I avoid orange peppers even more than yellow.

Whoops, doorbell. It was UPS. Both my sisters wrote last week about their annual fundraisers at their kids' schools. We had to sponsor Blythe's "walkathon" but for C.J.'s school had to buy stuff. This year Jackie picked out colored tissue paper (we got various wrapping papers last year), a fancy coffee scooper (which is way smaller than the one we use) and... dark chocolate coconut creams.

*digs a hole in the front yard*
*places Wolfie's lawn gnome in the hole*
*refills hole*
*adds tombstone*

*reads: adds trombone*

*wonders what THAT has to do with October*

It's really hard to eat yogurt with a fork.
just an fyi.

how do you get a coconut to cream?

I made corn muffins in one of those pans. My mouth tasted like metal.

*reminds himself to go out and purchase a Yard Gnome for sister's Christmas gift*

WHAT!? She already has one, named, and wants another to keep it company. Already has a name picked out too.

Oh, and Paging Rita!!!

I have 2 pineapple tops sitting on my counter with little rootlets. Yay!

kibby's getting out of here! HE'S QUITE MIFFED about werk related .......

PIVO:30!

*will hold virtual hands with Partner tonight*

Oh, Lab, Heuy has about a 10 mile range. Good enough? He'll need some oiling though.... ;-)

Wolfie: You talk dirty to it.

Kibby, thanks for the reminder. I have a lawn gnome in my glove box, stolen from my daughter-in-law's yard.

Did anybody (besides me) catch the two hour program with John Prine on American Routes this weekend?

Wolfie: I don't know, but chocolate does it for me! ;)

The person in the cube next to mine just blew her nose.

I just sneezed. I hope I'm not turning into a Giant Frog. I'd miss sex. A lot.

I'm more of a wine and vodka kind of a chick.

That's what we drank in Madison for our "free drinks" - I drank vodka, Jackie drank wine. I did notice a few people taking up more than their allotted time but making the bartender mix up fancy girly drinks.

It was actually funny. A lot of our group stayed on the Governor's Club level because we had been advised by people who had been there before to do so. But several didn't get the message (or were too cheap). Those had to get someone with the gold key to come down and get them and bring them upstairs.

But, when the bar opened each afternoon at 4:30 there was someone at the door taking names to make sure you had the right to free drinks and stuff. Two of our friends came up on a borrowed key. When asked their names the guy with the key said "Hal Rice" (who had gone home to Illinois for the night for his daughter's birthday party) but the other guy, the first one's roommate, was turned away.

Steve (the first guy) did what anyone who knew him would have expected: deserted Art and just came into the bar himself without a second thought!

Neo, I don't drink Guinness either, with one exception: in Ireland. It definitely is different there.

Sly, I don't understand why you and Eleanor have trouble with the "magic number". All you do is this: add the number of wins the second place team has and the number of games they have left to play. Then, assuming that number is higher, subtract the number of wins the first place team has and you'll see how many combined wins (first place team)/losses (second place team) it will take to clinch.

Example (from the newspaper before we left):

Oakland 90 66
Los Angeles 85 71

LA (Anaheim to me) had 6 games left at that point. 85 + 6 = 91, so even if they won all 6 games Oakland would have had to win only 1 for a tie and 2 to clinch.

Easy.

I just turned off my oven.

Lab just turned mine off for me.

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