skjam: from Heavenly Nostrils (Unicorn)
For what that's worth.
skjam: (Communications)
Family celebration was on Sunday. Got a Lunds gift card, which I used today to purchase a fancy cake for work.

Actually did get a thank-you note for the United Way basket I made! A pleasant shock. I won the "first basket turned in" award, but there doesn't seem to be any actual prize involved.

I know a couple of people on my friends pages read novels about quirky Southern women. If this is you, please see my previous post.

Second person got their mix cds in for the exchange, so that's furthest away and closest. Two more to go.

Oldest niece is going back to college, this time at Mankato State. I mentioned that this was where I learned to play D&D lo these many years ago. (Biked over from Bethany Lutheran, or walked sometimes.) Man, I miss being able to walk three hours across town after midnight without being scared half to death.

Middle niece will be attending junior high in the fall.

Still waiting for "One For the Money". Saw "Brave," liked it.

How's by you?

Some stuff

Jun. 17th, 2012 09:16 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Random bits--

After far too long a delay, the Lunds grocery store we were promised way back when is finally open. I was very disappointed the first day, as the signage said it would open at 6AM, and I got up to be there, but it turned out the opening for that day only was 9:30. It's a very nice store.

I'm a bit worried for the small grocery place nearby, though. Not much they can do to compete except for the much faster checkout service. The local coffee shop is more hardy and can easily handle the chain place with its genuine Bohemian atmosphere.

We have a new quality coach at work, who tells me she was seriously blown away with how good I am on the phone. I still run into rough patches when customers don't want to be helped, but it's true that when I'm on, I really am Mr. Customer Service.

Did not win any of the baskets in the United Way raffle...again. Don't know why I bother sometimes, and none of the winners ever sends a thank you note for the baskets our department creates.

Coming up on my birthday, not as excited/nervous this year. More concerned with making the CD exchange work and being fully funded for ConVergence.

Still doing very well at the Goodreads giveaways, seriously it's like they love my reviews or something. Currently waiting on "One For the Money".

Hope you folks are well as can be expected, and Happy Father's Day to all those to whom it applies.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Good to see the folks again, though the nephew and oldest niece couldn't make it. The latter will probably be sorry she missed the ice cream cake.

Frank Merriwell's School DaysFrank Merriwell's School Days by Burt L. Standish

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is the first of the long-running and once-famous Frank Merriwell series of exciting books for teenaged boys.



Young Frank wasn't quite able to make it into West Point (politics), so he has come to the slightly less prestigious Fardale Military Academy to get an education. No sooner has he alighted from the train than he crosses paths with Bartley Hodge, a spoiled and rather vicious lad, who swiftly becomes his rival. (We know Bart's a bad 'un because he kicks a dog in the second sentence of the book.)



From there on in, there's a whirlwind of exciting events with a fight or rescue or startling turn of events almost every chapter. This does, however, make the book not so much have a climactic ending as just a stopping point.



Frank's a likable young chap, accomplished in many areas, handsome, not given to vice (but not through a tiresome goody-goody personality) and an all-round decent fellow. Perhaps a bit too decent for his own safety, but he's also got some amazing luck. Even so, Frank is not invincible, he is outdone more than once, and suffers several temporary setbacks.



Ethnic humor is provided by two boys, one of Irish descent and the other of Dutch, both of whom have ridiculous accents and act stereotypically "foreign." They're good guys, though, so the humor never gets truly mean. The setting of a boys' school reduces female roles considerably, but we do have "buxom" farmer's daughter Belinda Snodd, who is quite capable of handling unwanted advances even without Franks' intervention, and dark-eyed Inza Burrage, a jolly girl that Frank and Bart both fancy. Inza's much more the damsel in distress type, I fear, and it is due to her that Frank gets a medal of honor from the US Congress about halfway through the book.



Yes, that's right, the awarding of a Congressional medal of honor to Frank isn't even the big ending of the volume!



Suitable for older teens, especially boys, who are interested in what life was like more than a century ago and are willing to slog through the awful comedy accents.



View all my reviews
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
As the subject line reads. In honor of my midlife crisis, please issue me my red sports car and trophy wife. :-)
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Hi folks!

Been a bit blue lately, so haven't communicated much.

However, my fiftieth birthday is coming up on June 26th which is considered a bit of a milestone. In honor of same, I'm revising my wishlist a bit for this year.

1. Birthday cards! I'm not so keen on "over the hill" jokes and themes, but cards from around the world would be nice to see.

2. Mix CDs! I am good with regular or MP3 CDs, but since I am on pokey dialup, downloading is not so good for me. If you're not in the US, or you happen to know a good local band, I'd like at least one track to be from a homegrown musician. If you want to know more about my tastes, or have a theme suggested, ask in the comments.

3. LJ/DW icons--take a look at my interests and build something from there.

4. Podfic or Fanart of my fanfics!

5. Something off my Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3TV5UMA84N51R (Gently used is a-ok.)

6. Pre-1985 British comics of any genre, not including 2000 AD. (I had most of those.)

7. Non-US candy. Yum!

8. Fanfics for pulp characters or Golden Age superheroes. Gen by preference; romance is okay if it isn't the main plot of the story.

9. Heroclix and similar-sized gaming miniatures. Especially pulp-suitable ones as that's the genre I am GMing these days.

10. Pass this list around to your communities? I know there's lots of people I haven't heard from in a long time, and always thrilled to make new acquaintances.

Mailing address under cut )

Thanks for reading,
SKJAM!

Still alive

Nov. 9th, 2010 09:25 pm
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Well, life has been pretty blah lately, and somehow I never got around to posting....

Most exciting thing was youngest niece's birthday. I gave her a doll I picked up at ConVergence, Zoe Raccoon. Which is Zoe from "Firefly" if she were an anthropomorphic raccoon. Quite good quality, handmade, and I got it for a song. I think the grownups were more impressed than the niece, with much oohing over the handstiching, fabric choices, and the posable fingers.

Also, I provided a CD of spooky songs for Halloween. It was my brother's first exposure to Jonathan Coulton's hit "Re: Your Brains." Don't know if he'll let the niece listen to that again or not.

Went to see "Megamind" this last weekend; it was okay, but I don't think kids will like it as much as "Despicable Me".

Looking forward to the opening of the Holiday Wishes community--money's a bit tighter this year so I won't be able to send as many surprises, but I've already laid in some supplies for those I can.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
I'm spending the weekend up in Sandstone with my folks.

Let's see...at work, they've set up a Nerf(tm) dart gun game to win points towards the company prize store--I've been doing very well at that, second or third place most days.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Way behind on news, but two bits: My parents' 50th Anniversary is coming up this fall. The family is having a small party at the Sandstone Golf Course, if you know anyone who should be contacted.

Coming up sooner is my birthday, so here's the now traditional Amazon Wish List:
https://www.amazon.com/wishlist/3TV5UMA84N51R/ref=cm_reg_rd-upd?_encoding=UTF8&msgid=updated

I liked it better when they had little buttons you could put on.

By the by, anyone tried this "universal Wish List" thing Amazon keeps pushing? Is it worthwhile, or does it just make your browser window smaller?
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Yesterday, my family celebrated my youngest (today she's 8) niece's birthday. I got a haircut and beard trim to prepare.

Rode down with my sister and oldest niece, who tells me she's doing okay in her massage therapy training. I gave her (the niece), a CD I'd picked up at the sale last week of Beanie Baby collecting songs. She said she'd put it with her collection of Beanie Babies.

We ate dinner at Banning Junction, which was not as crowded as usual. I had the Banning Burger, the little ones had smiley fries. One of the other diners was a nurse my mother had known back when she was Inservice Director down in Pine City. (She'd retired when she came up a half-credit short on her continuing ed classes for re-certification--a class Mom hadn't taught was disallowed.)

Afterwards, we returned home, and had some cake with chocolate pumpkin decorations. Also some jack-o-lantern Peeps, though the slightly older niece tended to hog them.

Youngest niece enjoyed her presents, including a purse designed to look like a skirt, and a griffin stuffed toy I'd picked up at ConVergence. When she wondered what to name it, I suggested "Merv", but I think "Gryffindor" got more votes.

I picked up a few of my British comics for possible scanning, and we did some visiting.

All in all, a nice trip.
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
Got cookies at the Chinese bakery for the folks at work.

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