Sundry information, thoughts and links to sort us out

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Have you ever experienced good ergonomics? I am not referring to lumbar pillows, arch supports, curved keyboards, or the like. I'm talking about those moments, large or small, when you are in perfect harmony with your environment. My personal favorite type of ergonomic harmony is when I have a bunch of errands to run on my day off and I can organize them in such a way that I go from one to the other efficiently, getting everything done that I need to in as smooth a manner as possible.

But I've been experiencing a lot of good ergonomics of late! For instance, cooking is a dream since our move last summer. It's just a delight to move about in harmony with my kitchen. Also, I have one day a week at work when I don't usually have any projects but my own to complete and I can usually set up my computer in an edit suite and plow through several tasks at once at a good clip. Then, the other day, I was driving home and I needed to pull up my socks. I had no trouble manipulating the brake pedal, switching feet as I adjusted the offending socks, and completing the whole maneuver before the light changed. Last night, I was watching a really good TV show while organizing some files in my sunroom, which is just off the living room. It was exceedingly easy, and comfortable, to stretch out on the floor while watching the show and then just turn to sort the files.

Ergonomic harmony makes me happy. Look around you. Do you have moments like these?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

When I was a freshman at Kalamazoo College I became acquainted with a guy who was a year or two ahead of me at school. I don't remember how we met, and I *think* his name was Eric, but what I do remember is that he was a fellow comic book geek...and he introduced me to Watchmen. This was back in 1986/87, well before the series became a trade paperback or hard-bound "Absolute" collection. Several issues were already out when I first met up with Eric, and thereafter I would go over to his dorm room to read the new ones as they came out.

The series is ground-breaking, thought-provoking, mind-bending, and just all around brilliant. Like the commercials say, it's "the most celebrated graphic novel of all time." Watchmen is written by Alan Moore, who is a prolific author of some of the best known graphic novels out there. Watchmen is definitely top of the heap. I loved it from the get-go, but didn't own my own copy until after Bruce and I were married (thank you, Santa!).

Like all the other uber comic geeks out there, I have been both anticipating and dreading a film adaptation for years. The story is so intricate - and gets so cerebral - that translating it to film seemed really tricky, and yet I could think of little I'd enjoy more than seeing the story on the big screen. When I saw the first trailer for Watchmen (attached to Bond last fall) I wept in the theater - it was so gorgeous and so well realized. Since then, I've followed various tidbits on the internet, seen trailers and still shots, and read a few choice blogs from folks who got to see sneaks. Everything looked good.

Last Friday, Bruce and I went to the 7pm showing on Opening Day. O M G.

It was everything I'd hoped for and more. Sure, the acting is not Shakespeare on Broadway quality, sure the story is just as heady and wordy and difficult as the comic, but DANG folks! It is a true and brilliant adaptation. It is the comic book on film. It was amazingly, awesomely, fantastic and I just want to go see it again...and again...and...oh, just watch for the DVD to get added to my Amazon list, okay?

Oh, and if anyone had a pool going, it was during The Comedian's funeral that I started to cry in sheer, rapt joy at the brilliance that is Watchmen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March Comes In Like a Lion

Since it was all over the national news, you've probably heard (if you don't also already live here) that the Southeast got hit with some wintry weather to begin the month of March. Chez Loebrich South weathered the storm (pun intended!) with no problems.

It was pretty weird, though. Last Friday we hit 70 degrees with gorgeous sunshine. Then, on Saturday, it rained heavily all day and we struggled to get into the 50's -- plus there was fog so visibility while driving was sucky. Sunday the big front really began to pass over. It rained all day -- lightly for a bit, then really heavily for quite some time -- there were only one or two lulls in the storm during the day. We went out early for our Weekly Grocery Shop and were surprised to find only moderate crowds and ample foodstuffs at the store --usually just the threat of "weather" means a run on staple supplies.

Anyway, the big issue was the temperature. The high on Sunday was 36 and as the sun set the temps fell. By mid-evening it was snowing in Charlotte (2 and a half hours west of us) in big, fat flakes. Around 10, it began snowing in the Triangle. Monday morning, we woke up to 3 inches on the ground and a forecast high of 33...with wind. Nonetheless, after 20 minutes I had the car cleaned off (and had captured a few good photos of the snow!) and headed into work. The grounds at the station were gorgeous -- looked like a Currier and Ives Christmas card!

To be on the safe side, the producers decided we should record our program early so that folks could head home before the cold overnight temps (low of 16 last night!) made for black ice. Today it is sunny and cool, but most of the snow has melted and there are only patches of ice here and there where slush froze overnight. We're supposed to get back up to 70 by Saturday.