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    Friday, May 30, 2008

    Fashion Museum Photos

    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    FYI - I've created a separate set (grouping) of photos that are from the Bath Fashion Museum (Formerly known as the Museum of Costume).

    Here's a link to the entire set:


    Uploading of Pictures has begun!

    Just a quick note to let you all know that I have begun uploading pictures to my Flickr account!

    I have about 70 photos uploaded so far (and no, I'm not uploading every single photo...I have skipped a few at this point!).

    Hopefully I'll upload some more tonight. But I need to go fix myself some dinner now.


    the deadly dolldrums

    Well, when I came back to work yesterday, I expected to have a pile (or two) of paperwork sitting at my desk awaiting my return.

    Instead....I found practically nothing!


    Apparently, it's been SO slow while I was gone (not many deals being made) that nothing piled up. And they even were without a phoneline for 2 days (due to provider problems, not anything on our end)!

    Today is another slooooooooowwwwww day, apparently. Good thing its a quarter to 4pm! (only 1 hr and 15 minutes left before I can officially clock out for the day/weekend).

    Current Count of Photos (England Trip)

    And the current count of photos taken on my England trip is ....

    ...1,740 (give or take a few).

    Plus about 5 short "movies".

    Well, can anyone say they were REALLY surprised? After all, we are talking about *me* here...and I LOVE to take photos. Good thing the pictures are digital!

    Hmm...I wonder how many Flickr will let me upload? (At least I have a pro-account, so there's no limit on how many I upload in a session/month, etc.)

    As of this morning, I finally have all my photos (and videos) transferred over from the memory sticks to my computer harddrive. Now, I just need to upload them to the web so that everyone else can view them.

    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    "What Ho, Jeeves!" - A Romp in the Style of P.G. Wodehouse

    So, for all those of you who love Jeeves & Wooster (P.G. Wodehouse's creation) like I do, here's news of a Jeeves & Woster themed party that's planned for Sunday, September 14, 2008!

    (The following article is transcripied/copied from Squeals, vol 23, no. 10 - June 2008 - the official newsletter of the Costumer's Guild West)

    On Sunday, September 14, 2008, join Jeeves and Wooster and Britian's tweedy elite for an enchanting afternoon at a country fair.

    Bertie Wooster is a classic British young man of means, blessed with a touch too generous a heart and a slightly deficit in the noggin department. Jeeves is his hilariously arch and resourcefull valte, a "gentleman's gentlemean" without equal who sees Bertie through the never-ending swirl of colorful friends, indomitable aunts, and romantic entanglements that comprise early 1930's society life.

    "What ho, Jeeves!" is a live action role-playing game. Participants will arrive in the costume of the 1930's high-society Enlgish countryside. They will have "characters" to play, based on the Jeeves and Wooster stories and television series. The chracter can be as simple as "Joan Smith, a nearby resident who wants to come to the fair" with no goals but to have fun, or as complicated as "Madeline Bassett, a wealthy young woman" whose goals include finding a marriageable man, gambling on the sporting events without getting caught, and winning in the sack race.

    The faire will include footraces; quilting, baking, and canning competitions; games of bingo; and a tea tent.

    Tickets for the event will cost approximately $15 per person. Please go to for more information and reservations.

    * * * * * *

    And here's a link to the list of games and competitions! Sounds like a lot of fun!

    Sports Day Competitions:

    Baby Race: First baby across the finish line wins. Parents may encourage them however they see fit.

    Bingo: Bingo will be ongoing in the tea tent.

    Blinded Ball Retrieval: A basket of balls will be released in front of each team. Teams will call out directions to guide their blindfolded team mate in finding a ball. Each team member must retrieve at least one ball.

    Cake Competition: Cakes of all description will be submitted by the home baker. The best items will win a blue ribbon.

    Centipede Race: Two teams form a conga-line centipede and race around obstacles. A broken centipede will be disqualified.

    Cookie Competition: Cookies of all description will be submitted by the home baker. The best items will win a blue ribbon.

    Croquet: Croquet will be ongoing on the back lawn.

    Find Your Shoe: All shoes are removed and placed in a giant pile. Teams line up and each player at the top of the line runs to the pile, finds one of his or her shoes, puts it on, laced and buckled and run back to their next team mate. This is repeated until every team member is wearing both of their own shoes.

    Lawn Bowling: Lawn Bowling will be ongoing on the back lawn.

    Orange Relay: Pass the orange from one teammate to the next from under the chin without using your hands.

    Quilting Competition: Home made items will be displayed by the competitors. The best items will win a blue ribbon.

    Sack Race: Racers will don a sack and hop gallantly across the finish line.

    Three-Legged Race: Two racers will be bound together at the ankle or knee. First team across the line wins.

    Toss Across: Players toss bean bags to knock down bottles.

    Tug o' War: There will be two teams holding a long rope with a little bit of flag in the middle. Try to get the flag on your side of the line.

    Turtle Roulette: Competitors choose a number from a grid. A turtle is placed at the center. Players shall coax the turtle to cross the number they have chosen.

    Each player shall sign up for at least two competitions. Note that Turtle Roulette, Toss Across, Bingo, Quilting, Cake and Cookies may be played while seated.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    And I'm Back!

    Just a quick note to say "I'm back!". Got in late yesterday afternoon (although it felt like the early hours of the morning to us) to LAX.

    I had a GREAT time the last 2 weeks in England, and I'll be sure to write up some posts to the blog describing what I did. (I did keep a handwritten journal during the trip).

    And for those curious as to what Show Gretchen & I actually did see while in was "Mousetrap"! (It was great! We loved it).

    Ok. I have to get back to unpacking, laundry, go grocery shopping, etc. Fortunately I took today off work as well, which allows me to get back into the swing of normality.


    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Its almost time!

    So, how exciting is this?
    This time tomorrow I'll be at LAX waiting to board my plane to England. (Plane takes off around 3:40pm).
    My mind is definitely in a whirl, trying to concentrate on work yet it keeps going back to the things I still need to do to get ready for my trip.


    Friday, May 09, 2008

    New Poll - Which show to see?

    So, I was talking yesterday with Chris (from Trico) about my upcoming London trip and she asked if I was going to see a show while in London. I hadn't really thought about it much, truthfully. But why not? There's always cheap tickets being sold (for like half off) on the day of a show (there's a certain Kiosk that sells them for all the shows in one of the squares).

    It would certainly be fun to take in a theater show while in London. =) Something different, to say the least.

    Anyways, I thought that for fun I'd put up a poll to see what people's recomendations are for what London show Gretchen & I should see. (Of course, once we're there, we'll have to see what we can get a ticket for...but that's a minor issue!).


    Weather Forecast - My Trip (England)

    Just went on to to check the weather forecast for my trip. (And then I also checked BBC Weather )

    Here's the scoop:

    May 13
    Departing Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
    Hi: 68°F / Lo: 59°F
    Partly Cloudy

    May 14
    Arriving Airport: Heathrow Airport (LHR)
    Hi: 70°F / Lo: 51°F
    Partly Cloudy / Precip:20%

    Forecast for Trip :

    May 14 - Wednesday
    Mostly Sunny; Hi 69°/ Lo 51°
    Precip. 20%

    May 15 - Thursday
    Partly Cloudy; Hi 67° / Lo 51°
    Precip. 10%

    May 16 - Friday
    Partly Cloudy; Hi 64°/ Lo 48°
    Precip. 10%

    May 16 - Friday
    Partly Cloudy; Hi 64°/ Lo 49°
    Precip. 10%

    May 17 - Saturday
    Mostly Cloudy; Hi 61° / Lo 49°
    Precip. 20%

    ...and that's as far as I can get with most online weather forecasts. (approx 10 days out).

    But I was able to get an average for LHR for our flight back (and for LAX too).

    May 27th - Tuesday

    Departing Airport: Heathrow Airport (LHR)
    AVERAGES: Hi: 63°F / Lo: 45°F

    Arriving Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
    AVERAGES: Hi: 70°F / Lo: 58°F


    Free AudioGuide(s) for London

    So, this morning (before work) I remembered a website that my mom had told me about: Sound Guides (

    Sound Guides provides FREE audioguides (for adults & kids) that one can download and listen to on an mp3 player or iPod. And fortunately for us, one of those free audioguides is for London! Cool!

    Hence, this morning, I quickly registered (free) with the site/company so I could have access to those London audioguides and proceeded to download them.

    And success! All 15 or so related guides to the London area are now downloaded and imported into my iTunes.
    (I'll update my iPod before I go, obviously).

    Another thing I found was in the iTunes Store. In the "Podcast" section there was a Free Audioguide to "The Roman Baths" in England. (i.e. the Roman Baths in Bath, England). So I downloaded a bunch of episodes (since they are Free, afterall), but I don't think I got them all. I'll have to go double check the names I did download against the list in the iTunes podcast section later tonight.


    Thursday, May 08, 2008

    current price of gas/petrol in UK

    So, I was curious as to what the current price of gas (petrol) is in the UK.
    I found this site, which seems to be updated frequently, and give some good info.
    It lists the prices in Pence Per Liter (p/l).
    (There are 100 pence to a British Pound Sterling)
    Currently, it looks like the London area is averaging 108p (or £1, 8p) to 109p.
    And 1 Liter is 0.2642 Gallons
    Which means, that for 1 Gallon of Gas, it's basically  £4 or $8 (US)!


    Wednesday, May 07, 2008

    Ta Da!

    Is it still a blog-jacking if there's an invitation involved?

    More of Becky's Old Poetry (High School)

    Here are a few of my early attempts at poetry, which are pretty much results of various class assignments/projects (in Sr. High). It's kinda amusing to go back and read these now. Some of them I still like, while others, I kinda cringe while reading. But I'll be a sport and upload the lot.



    p.s. - the poems aren't in any order. They're as I page through my folder of saved poems, etc.


    The Snuffed Candle*
    R. L. Thelin
    March 4, 1997

    Fear is a great maw that opens wide to swallow beings whole.
    Fear is a stalking creature, who preys on beings in the dead of the night.

    Flee while you can.

    Fear is the cackle that chills the spine.
    Fear is a dark, dank, bottomless pit.

    Flee while you can.

    Fear is an endless spiral through a starless void.
    Fear is the sudden flood that sweeps away hope and leaves despair.

    Flee while you can.

    Closing Walls,
    An ever lightening vise,

    Flee while you can.

    *Author's Note: this poem was originally submitted for a class with the drawing of a snuffed candle superimposed upon the words. (Hence the title).


    The Promise

    R. L. Thelin
    April 18, 1995

    Crystal waters, gently lapping,
    upon a distant shore.
    Never ceasing, never caring,
    Why its captors are no more.

    A fallen petal, silent tear drop,
    falling from the dew.
    Withered blossom, the forsaken,
    now the old instead of new.

    Billowing sails, snapping canvas,
    lines strung taught against the wind.
    Scurrying sailors, creaking ship planks,
    passengers hidden in light that’s dim.

    Distant rumbling, echoing thunder,
    Lighting splayed across the murky skies.
    Spattering raindrops, hopeful faces,
    God’s rainbow promise that never dies.


    Becky: These next two poems were part of a class project on "Lord of the Flies". (Makes sense, right?)

    Shadows and Tall Trees

    R. L. Thelin
    March 31, 1994

    Shadows and Tall Trees…
    can be quite deceptive.
    You can look once, and then again,
    but are you really sure nothing is there?

    Shadows can be long and deep,
    a respite from the scorching sun.
    Trees can be tall and graceful,
    swaying in a hot tropical breeze.

    But after the sun has fallen asleep,
    who knows what comes out in a moonless night?
    Lurking in a deep shadow,
    hiding behind a tall tree?

    Don’t let fear get a hold of you, my son,
    for fear is their weapon.
    They cast it out, and wait for someone
    to be consumed by it.

    Ahhh, there goes someone now,
    more terrified by the minute.
    Wait, there’s something moving behind a tree.
    It’s crawling after him, Hey, look out! Look Out! LOOK OUT!!!


    FOUND POETRY: Shadows and Tall Trees

    R. L. Thelin
    March 31, 1994

    Jumble of rocks down by the water,
    and dream for a while of rescue.

    With a fall of the heart,
    the horizon was hard clipped blue,
    miles of division, one was helpless.

    Unusual heat was closing in,
    little cliffs to be scaled,
    with a fall of the heart, one was helpless.

    Jumble of rocks down by the water,
    and dream for a while of rescue.

    Becky: This last one should probably be renamed. (I can't for the life of me remember why it I used 'shadows and tall trees' again in the title. I know that "found poetry' was the style we were told to write in). If I was to rename it, I'd probably rename it "Jumble of Rocks" or "Waiting" or something like that. Hmmm...this might take some more thought. I'm not sure what I should rename it to, really. This is one of the early pieces that I actually like, though. =)


    Night Watcher

    R.L. Thelin
    April 26, 1995

    Why must you grumble,
    and hit me when I wake you?
    I stay awake all night
    so that you won’t be late.

    My hands forever turning,
    ticking away the seconds.
    Its so peaceful at night.
    the stars shine gracefully.

    Slowly, the glowing ball stretches,
    and peeps through the window shades.
    Warming my gears,
    making my round face shine.

    I relax, and ponder the new day.
    I wonder what it holds?
    Pretty soon, it’ll be time,
    Time to wake you up.

    I’m starting to get sleepy.
    My hand turns, its almost time.
    I can’t wait to go to sleep.


    Ripple *

    R. L. Thelin
    May 1, 1995

    A ripple in the stillness.
    a pebble penetrates the calm.
    Waves slowly spread,
    Disrupting the tranquility.

    A Torrent of pebbles cannonades the lake,
    aquatic patterns intersect each other,
    increasing in intensity,
    finally slowing,
    till all is calm
    once again.

    *Note: The formatting didn't come through on the blog, but the text was arranged to reflect a ripple in water. =)


    The Golden Rule

    R. L Thelin
    May 8, 1995

    “Do unto others, as you would have
    them do unto you.”
    Says the Golden Rule,
    Never to be broken.

    Of the slaves and serfs,
    Of the lords and masters.
    Did any keep the rule,
    Never to be broken?

    Fields of famine, harsh cruelty,
    Death and starvation, Pain and overbearance.
    Did any keep the rule,
    Never to be broken?

    Crusades and wars have come and gone.
    Death and destruction with every one.
    Did any keep the rule,
    Never to be broken?

    Civilization and modernization.
    Politics and backstabbing.
    Death and homelessness, incurable diseases.
    Does anyone keep the rule,
    Never to be broken?


    “O, Johnny*

    R. L. Thelin
    May 10, 1995

    O, Johnny din’a come ‘ome last night,
    Nor early ‘n the mornin’.

    He left to fight for his country,
    He left to fight for his land,

    O, Johnny din’a come ‘ome last night,
    Nor early ‘n the mornin’.

    I tried to spot ‘hm ‘n the distance,
    Alas, these eyes have failed me,

    O, Johnny din’a come ‘ome last night,
    Nor early ‘n the mornin’.

    Where o’ where have you gone to,
    Leaving your Besty behind?
    Wandering, wondering
    When he’ll be back home?

    O, Johnny din’a come ‘ome last night,
    Nor early ‘n the mornin’.

    He left to fight for his country,
    He left to fight for his land,

    O, Johnny please come ‘ome tonight,
    or early ‘n the mornin’.

    *Technically, this is a intended to be a Ballad and should be sung. (And yes, I did put it to music and sign this for my teacher =)


    The Forgotten Door

    R. L. Thelin
    May 9, 1995

    Do you believe in love at first sight.
    That binds you up tight?
    Do you believe in love at first glance,
    Will it withstand the chance?
    Romeo and Juliet said “We do,”
    Look at what fate brought to those two.
    Star crossed lovers, through and through.

    Will your love withstand the test of time,
    Will it last after your prime?
    If the tempest shake,
    And the earth doth quake,
    Will it hold steadfast and true?
    And not disappear in the blue?
    Love opens a door
    That’s rarely ventured anymore.


    Starry Night*
    R. L. Thelin
    May 10, 1995

    A myriad of fantasies
    twinkle to me at night,
    winking their heavy laden eyes.

    “Get up, get up, sleepy heads,”
    Lovingly scolds the sun.

    “Now it’s your turn to
    shine and mine to rest –
    so wake up, you lazy, sleepy heads.”

    They stretch and giggle and sparkle merrily,
    dancing across the heavens.
    “Twirling and whirling,
    They keep in step to their waltz in the sky.

    *Note: This poem was originally presented as a “Concrete Poem”. The text/words were formatted so that they created an outline of 3 star shapes.

    MST3K: The Movie - now on DVD!!!

    Ok, I just can't tell you how EXCITED I am to find out that one of my favorite movies has finally made it to DVD!

    "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie"

    Gretchen & I used to watch this in our dorm room in Biola a ton of times. We even quoted from it randomly.

    Here are some of my more favortie quotes:

    Mike Nelson: "Eat at Joe's. Eat at Joe's. Eat at Joes."

    Tom Servo: "Suddenly I have a refreshing mint flavor."

    Tom Servo: "It's the amazing technicolor cheese wedge!"

    Mike Nelson: "Doesn't the fact that it's universal make it international?"

    Crow T. Robot: "Hey! Who sneezed on the credits?"

    [as Tom Servo reads the opening credits:]
    Tom Servo: "Okay, let's see here... Shatner, Shatner... no, doesn't look like he's in this one; we're safe."

    Mike Nelson: "Washingtonland, the new Disney theme park."

    Crow T. Robot: "The secret government Eggo Project!"

    [upon seeing that there is no one flying the plane]
    Mike: "I'm your pilot, Claud Rains. Your co-pilot, Harvey the Rabbit."

    [as Exeter's flying saucer catches fire]
    Crow T. Robot:"Service engine soon" I wonder what that's all about.

    If you have a favorite quote, and it's not already up here, please feel free to post them via comments!


    England Trip Details Update (Car Rental)

    so, I just called the Car Rental (Budget) location to confirm my reservation and let them know that:
    a) I will have an additional driver (since its stipulated in the Terms & Conditions that you must call the location and inform them ahead of time), and
    b) That my flight has changed since I originally made the reservation. (It *was* United Airlines, but now I'm flying British Airways).
    Interesting converstaion, I must say. They wanted my drivers liscense & passport info (understandable) and I was easily able to provide that for them on the phone. However, they also wanted the additional driver's info (Gretchen's), but I didn't have that with me. Not a problem, they said. Just call us when you land and give us the info, we'll charge your credit card (on file) with the car rental price, and then drive the car over to your terminal (as a courtesy, no extra charge) so that you can pick it up right away once you collect your luggage!
    How cool is that?
    Now, the only thing I forgot to ask is if I can change the return by deadline for the car. I had originally asked for noon, but now I'm thinking it might be nice to have a bit more leeway in our drive back time if we pushed back the noon deadline.
    Also, the guy I talked to said that they *do* have automatic transmissions in addition to manuals. He wanted to know if (1) I needed to upgrade to a larger size car, or if the 'intermediate' that I reserved was still ok, and (2) if I wanted the automatic transmission instead of the manual transmission. I said I'd keep the intermediate size and the manual transmission...but I was semi tempted (I'll tell you) to take the automatic transmission option. I'm *almost* tempted to call back and see if there's a price difference...and how much it go with the automatic. But Hey, I've been practicing my driving in a stick-shift car, and I'm a LOT more comfortable driving it around here in CA than I was when I first started. (Steep hills still scare me, but that's probably since there are not a ton of those around here to practice on =). So now I just have to get used to the idea of driving on the 'wrong' side of the road (the left), sitting on the right side of the car as the diver (so shifting with be with my left hand), and review the international driving signs (since they use those in England).
    And that's my update for now on my car rental for the trip.


    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    Test Post (from email account)

    This is just a test post to see if I can post on my blog from my email account. (Thought it might be handy while I'm gone, so I don't have to actually log into my Blog account all the time while trying to post an update).



    1 Week Till England!!

    Ok. I just HAD to make sure I posted today (even though its kinda late right now), since after all...I'm just *one week away* from leaving for England! Wow! A week from today I'll be on a plane headed to the UK!

    It's SO exciting to think about!

    And yes, I'm still a bit nervous about the thought of driving over there (especially since I read Sara's last post or so about their experiences and tips they were given). But, overall...I'm still quite excited that my trip is almost here!!!


    Monday, May 05, 2008

    "A Blade of Grass" (Poem)

    Yes, another poem of mine from Oct 2000 and also from my musings on WWI.



    A Blade of Grass

    R.L. Thelin,

    October 2000

    A blade of grass,

    A lonely sentry,

    Stands guard over a mud trampled land.

    Broken bodies strewn as far as the eye can see.

    Toy soldiers cast off and forgotten.

    Play things no longer.

    A jagged cloth flutters,

    Caught on the twisted wire.

    An eerie calm descends,

    Spreading its false peace.

    A low cloud arises

    caressing the battered earth

    A yellow tendril reaches out

    to claim another for its own.

    "Over the Top" (Poem)

    This poem was written when I was musing about WWI.



    Over The Top!

    R.L. Thelin

    October 20, 2000

    “Over the Top!”

    The Whistle blew

    the mass moved forward.

    A rush

    a jumble

    Scrambling up ladders



    Take a step forward

    a man falls writhing

    clutching the bloody mess that was once an arm,

    calling out.

    Take a step forward

    a man falls limbs stilled

    sightless eyes gaze from a crumpled body

    forever silenced.

    Take a step forward

    a man falls burning pain

    Blackness descends.

    More about "Marcail"

    Ok, so I was talking with Jennifer Rosbrugh earlier tonight, and we got onto the topic of my old "Star Wars club" days and "Marcail Gaelyn". So, I got the bug to dig out all my old info on the character. Hey, I bet you guys didn't realize that I actually wrote a backstory for this character, did you? (Well, some of you who know that I wrote a backstory/family history for my Civil War character "Violet Johnson" are probably not as surprised! LOl!)

    Here's my Character Stats (from 1997/98):
    Name: Marcail Gaelyn
    Template Type: Young Senatorial
    Personality: introverted, witty, loyal
    Species: Human
    Sex: Female
    Age: 25
    Height: 5' 9"
    Weight: 160 lbs
    Physical Description: Tall, athletic, green eyes (with flecks of gold), with blondish brown hair that falls below should blades.
    Background: A government official on her homeworld, which has been taken over by the Empire. Her twin sister was killed in a raid, and many of her family have started to disappear. She comes from a long line of government officials. Her home planet is mainly agricultural (and supplies food to many planets). Very knowledgable about the Jedi.
    Objectives: Destroy the Empire and liberate her homeworld. See Justice Triumph!
    A Quote: "Justice will prevail; we may just have to help it along with a blaster or two."
    Connection with other characters: Sare Thorig - bodyguard

    Additional details (not on my original RPG character sheet):

    Hobbies: Running, collecting history on various subjects. Fascination with historical things, especially on Jedi and other species.
    Mother: Myra
    Father: Tevin
    Siblings: Tayna (Twin-Sister), Sera (sister), Korel (sister) , Kira (sister), Nate (brother)
    Uncle: Hal

    Marcail's Bodyguard: Sare Thorig

    a "brief sketch of my RPG character's history" from an email dated 12/18/1997
    "Marcail Gaelyn is a local official of her planet....She's involved with communications and relations with other species, etc. She comes from a large family, one that has been involved with government affairs for generations. While not the most civilized planet, its not as backwater as some places. There are 4 main spaceports on the planet. The economy leans heavily on agriculture and exports many food products. It was profitable for the Empire to control this planet since whoever controls the food controls the military (etc.). The Empire tried a slow takeover at first, by replacing certain figures in the local government, and passing laws that were favorable to its needs.Marcail's family resented the Empire and worked against it. Many relatives started disappearing when strong objections to certain procedures were made. Marcail and her twin sister Tayna started to help the Rebels in order to lash back at the Empire. Tayna was caught in a raid and "died" while trying to saved another's life. ...
    Marcail is a human female, 25 years of age. She is 5'9" and 160 lbs. Sh has green eyes with small flecks of gold and long blond-brown hair (which hangs down to about the middle of her back). Her parents are Tevin and Myra aged 49 and 46 respectively. Marcail has 4 alive siblings--3 sisters, 1 brother. Sera (23), Korel (20), Kira (13), and Nate (11). She also has an uncle named Hal who is 52. He's her mother's oldest brother. (I'm planning on developing these characters a little more).
    Macail's grandmother, Tiana, had a best friend who was a Jedi (I haven't picked a name for her yet). She, the Jedi, disappeared either in the Clone Wars or in the Purge by the Empire (I haven't decided yet). Marcail has seen the holovids of this Jedi and of her teachings. She has listened to al lher grandmother's stories and posses the Jedcred that was given to Tiana. Marcail is very interested in the history of the Jedi and has all the possessions left behind by this Jedi hidden away in a safe place. (...Marcail and her family [do] not have Jedi powers)."

    So, that's what I wrote as of 1997.
    Then in spring of 1198 I wrote the basic plotline of her backstory. (I have a printed draft of a typed version of some of my notes, and that's 4 pages long single spaced, and that only covers a portion of her backstory! =) Actually, its kinda amusing to go back and read it...along with some of my old short stories I wrote.

    Hmm....mayhaps I will see if I have any electronically saved copies of said old-short stories and post them to the blog, for old times sake. If not, I might even decide to re-type them. =) (I've got some decent short stories and poems from way back. It's a good trip down memory lane, at least).


    p.s. - for those who care, here's a Wikipedia link to the RPG game I was playing...
    (I 'm 99% positive that the one we played was the original RPG published by West End Games, not Wizards of the Coast...since we played with a d6 system and the Wizards of the Coast version was when it transitioned to a d20 system...yes, my geek side is showing!)

    Reminiscences about Disneyland trips

    Disneyland Trips

    Once upon a time I had an Annual Pass to Disneyland and would go with my friends for just a few hours. It was great! Ah, the benefits of living in SoCal! =) There was many a time during College that my friends and I would just head off to Disneyland for a few hours of ‘play’ time. And, as always, we brought along a deck of cards…just in case the line was REALLY long and boring and we’d attempt to play some kind of cards game while standing in line. Another fun (and entertaining for others as well) game we played was “King Frog”.
    King Frog is a rhythm game in which the players sit/stand in a circle and beat out a rhythm by alternating clapping their hands together and hitting their hands on their knees/legs. While keeping the rhythm, the King Frog would state “One Frog”. Then the next person in line would then say “Two Eyes”, and each successive person (around the circle) would add on something else (“Four Legs”, and then “Ker Ploop”). Next time around, the King Frog would say “Two Frogs” and all the rest of the people would then have to increase their numbers (correctly) to account for 2 frogs. Side note: the number of ‘Ker-Ploops’ should equal the number of Frogs. If someone messes up, then they’re out. (And/Or, you can shift them to the end/last person in the circle).
    Anyways it’s a fun game for kids (also good match practice for forgetful adults!) and it can be highly amusing to those around you…especially in line at Disneyland.
    Also, my college friends & I (Gretchen, Heather, & Rebekah….and Erin too) had a tradition that on or for our 21st birthday we’d go to Disneyland and have a little ceremony for the birthday girl. The birthday girl was “Princess” for the day and had a crowning ceremony (I got a Pink Princess hat) which she then had to wear all around the Park for the remainder of the day. The Princess got to choose which of the rides we went on for the day, and the rest of the group formed an “Honor Guard” around her. When we walked anywhere in the park, we kept in ‘formation’ around the princess and attempted to not let anyone through t the Princess. (Sometimes futile, but we tried =) .

    However, eventually the renewal price for the Annual Pass went above what I was willing to shell out (especially since the number of friends who also had a pass was declining rapidly) I let mine expire.

    Since then, I’ve only been to Disneyland once and that was when my Company (Trico Realty) had their Christmas Party at Club 33 in Disneyland in 2005. That was quite fun and definitely a unique experience to be let into the exclusive dining area for members. (One of my bosses is a member). Once we were done dining at Club 33, we were allowed to stay in the Park and go on rides, etc. which I did. Only problem – I was all by myself so its not as fun to stand in line and go on rides when you’re by yourself. But hey, I was in Disneyland and I got on a few rides for free! =)

    Which brings me to my newest trip to Disneyland. Since Dec 2005 I have not been to Disneyland…until last Monday! Out of the blue I received two free Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland through one of my bosses (the one that’s a member of Club 33). He had bought the tickets for someone, but they weren’t able to use it, so he asked if I would like them…and I of course said YES! Only thing was that due to the dates on the ticket (when valid) I would need to use them BEFORE my upcoming trip to England. Which means I had some planning to do to figure out how I could use them before I left!

    Once I learned I had two free tickets, I immediately emailed my friend Jenn (Mulvey) who I knew loved to go to Disneyland as well (and also didn’t get to go as frequently as she’d like to). Obviously, her reaction was excitement as well, and she emailed me a list of dates that she had off from work to see if any of them might work out for a Disneyland trip.

    So, Monday morning rolled around and I knew that Jenn had the day off. Work had been VERY slow lately for me (with lots of dead/nothing to due time). I got to work, saw that it was going to be another slow day, and called Jenn up out of the blue a bit after 8am and asked her if she wanted to go do Disneyland today? It took her about 2 seconds to process it and say “Yes!” And the rest was history! I told my work that I would take the rest of the day off (personal time) and would see them the next day (they were fine with that since it was SO slow and a lot of people were already out). I met up with Jenn Mulvey at her house just before 10am and we immediately took off (carpooled) to Disneyland.

    I’ll post later with an actual “Travel-Log” account of the Day at Disneyland (with pictures!). It was QUITE a fun day!


    Saturday, May 03, 2008

    Countdown to England Trip in progress

    Well, Sara & Jeremiah left yesterday afternoon (May 2nd) for England, and soon enough I'll be leaving for my own tour of England with Gretchen. The excitement is definitely starting to set in.
    We're down to just 10 more days until we leave! Yes, that's right, 10 days! Wow!
    (We leave on Tuesday, May 13th from LAX around mid afternoon).
    Looking back, it seems that the time has just flown by since we first started talking about this trip about 2 yrs ago.

    Lately, I've been busy making sure I've got lots of the little details taken care making sure my prescriptions are all up to date (including eyewear) and that I have a copy of my prescriptions with me for traveling. (Hence my recent eye exam and visits to the pharmacy, etc.)

    Plus I'm really jazzed that I get to borrow my folks' new Garmin Nuvi 270 (a Satellite Navigation system). I already tried it out here, and it worked pretty well. (Unfortunately here in CA I can't use the suction cup attachment to have it on the windshield, but oh well.) I used it for my drive to work one morning, and it almost gave me exactly the same route that I normally take to work. One little drawback with this system is that I can use it to pre-plan out a route. I have to actually be driving the route for it to give me the turn-by-turn directions, or else I can just have it on while I drive and it shows my car on a map (no directions given since I haven't programed in a destination). But overall, this is a nifty little device that is sure to come in handy. (It already has North America & Europe maps).

    Part of me is nervous, since while this will be my 2nd trip out of country, it will also be my first without any 'grownups'. ( You know what I mean. =) It's just me and a friend my own age this time. And its going to be a LOT longer than my last trip to England...and we're renting a car so we can drive around and really get a chance to see a bit of the Island. (Well, as much as our time restrictions allow, anyways.)

    I am definitely excited by our Itinerary. I'm SO looking forward to 'seeing the sites'.

    Here's our itinerary:
    5/14 (Wed) - arrive in England. Get Rental Car & Drive driving from LHR to Beckington (a town outside of Bath) where we'll stay the night.
    5/15 (Thurs) - explore Bath.
    5/16 (Fri) - Drive to Liverpool, but will stop at Shrewsburry for a few hours (after all, the Cadfael series is based out of that town!).
    5/17 (Sat) - explore Liverpool (and surrounding area?). Most likely do a Beatles tour (like the "Magical Mystery Tour".)
    5/18 (Sun) - drive to Lake District (stay in B&B in Keswick)
    5/19 (Mon) - explore Keswick & surrounding area, meet up with Sara & Jeremiah
    5/20 (Tues) - explore Lake District (& or go to a coastal town) or day trip to Scotland
    5/21 (Wed) - explore Lake District (& or go to a coastal town) or day trip to Scotland
    5/22 (Thur) - check out of B&B, stop in "Yorkshire Dales" to explore, and continue on to York. While in York, walk around town, see the sites, and take Tea. Staying in Tadcaster (outside of York).
    5/23 (Friday) - Turn in rental car at LHR, arrive London
    5/24 (Saturday) - London
    5/25 (Sunday) - London
    5/26 (Monday) - London
    5/27 (Monday) - check out of lodgings, take a shuttle to LHR, & fly back to the States (to LAX).

    Well, that's our trip in a nutshell (or at least what we're planning on doing/seeing).


    p.s. - also super excited that I get to borrow my Dad's camera for the trip. It's an awesome digital camera (a Sony SureShot) and it takes great pictures. Expect to see a bunch from my trip! =)

    Friday, May 02, 2008

    Thelin Family - Yosemite 1986

    Originally uploaded by

    I thought I'd try sending a photo from my Flickr account to my Blog. (Hopefully this works!)

    Anyways, here's a 'classic' photo from my Family's past - one of our Annual Camping Trips to Yosemite!

    This is at the base of the trail for Yosemite Falls. Note I had just skinned my knee on the rock (while playing), so I had to show off my 'owie' for the camera. =) LOL!

    Parents: Greg and Kathy Thelin

    Kids Bottom Row (from Left):

    Tim (approx age 5), Sara (approx age 2.5), Becky (approx age 7.5), Kyle (in baby-sling).


    This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

    An Amazing Discovery

    ok, so for more of you 'experienced bloggers', this is probably a 'duh' item that I just realized.
    (Or, more accurately, my sister pointed it out to me last night).

    In the Post Options I can change the date of my post so that its not the day I actually write the blog entry (which is now) but I can pick any date, including back dating it, to whenever I want! That is so awesome! This means that I can go back and write entries for things that have already happened, and it'll show up in the correct year of the archives!
    I'm so stoked about this little find!
    (It means this blog will actually look more like a diary/journal than just a lot of entries crammed together in 2008).

    So, for those of you actually checking my blog, don't forget to start perusing Older Posts since I'll now be back-dating some of my entires.


    Thursday, May 01, 2008

    I Spy With My Little Eye...

    So, today I *FINALLY* went and got my eyes examined. It’s been 2 yrs (well, 2 yrs and a few months) since I last had them examined and got my glasses. I’ve known that I need to go and get them examined again, especially since I lost my Sunglasses about a year ago and need a new Rx to get a new set of prescription Sunglasses. I just kept putting it off. One thing or another just kept coming up and I would make excuses.

    Well, finally I convinced myself I HAD to get this done now. I’m taking off for England in 12 days (on 13th of May) so it really would be a good idea if I had some new glasses (a set of sunglasses and a back up pair of glasses) in time for the trip. And, since I have a set of reproduction 1860s frames for my Civil War Reenacting, I figured if I do this now (get the eye exam and some new glasses), I might get my 1860s glasses fitted with prescription lenses now so that by the time my next event comes up I’m already set. (It will be SO nice to be able to see clearly far away items and people in the distance…when I look up/away from my cooking, that is! )

    Anyways, fortunately there is a LensCrafter nearby work and they managed to fit me in with a 5:15pm appointment (or, rather, the EyeExam place associated with Lenscrafters). So, I made my appointment in the afternoon and arrived on time. (My friends are probably smiling at the ‘on time’ part, but it’s True! Honest!). I opted to go for the Comprehensive Exam with the digital scan of the retina since I’ve never done it before, and I’ve heard its good to get one ever few years.

    I did the various vision tests and then had the scan taken of my eyes. (Now that was an interesting machine! And definitely a better option than having to have my eyes dilated with drops for an examination!!)

    So…End Result of the Examination? I have healthy eyes and my prescription hasn’t changed! Yes!! That means I don’t have to update my current glasses with new lenses, and since my prescription is fairly mild, they actually had those lenses in stock.

    Next I browsed the various frames offered by LenScrafter, and settled on two frames – one for my Sunglasses and one for my backup pair of glasses. Then I went to total up the ‘damage’ and find out how much this was going to cost me.

    All in all, I ended up with a great deal on my glasses (Sunglasses – frames & lenses – fell under one of their specials, while the other set of frames was from their Clearance section). And, I actually had just about enough saved to cover the cost of 2 frames, plus three set of lenses (counting my 1860s repro frames) and my eye exam.

    They did tell me I could wait around an hour to pick up the glasses when they were finished, but I opted to come back the next day. And thus ends my ‘exciting’ trip to get my eye exam and new glasses.


    p.s. – when I get the glasses on Friday, I’ll post a Follow Up with a couple of pictures of my new glasses. =)