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Saturday, January 23, 2010


That banging sound you've been hearing is undoubtedly my head slamming against the wall.

My computer finally crashed & burned last week, something it's been threatening to do for awhile now, and this time it knocked me for a loop, disappearing (temporarily, I hope...) 8 years of business email addresses out of Incredimail, along with 8 years of sent emails and 2400+ emails in my in-box. I managed to finally find several thousand of my "sent" emails, and was just about to pat myself on the back for being a True Geekette, when Poof! everything in my inbox & sent folder from the last week vanished, as well. NetPlus Computers, our great computer repair go-to-guys in Welch, WV, working together with my husband (a.k.a "The Bill Gates of Landgraff, WV"), rather amazingly managed to put most of Humpty Dumpty back together again & reload & reconfigure almost all of the gazillion broken bits and pieces in the last week... but my Incredimail address book & 2400+ emails are still AWOL. In the last 8 years I have grown to rely Totally on Incredimail, & the handy way it downloads all our disparate email accounts every 5 minutes... and my files in it have grown so huge that IM finally demanded its Very Own Computer Drive. As I type this, glass of wine in hand, I am hoping/trusting/praying that our trusty NetPlus Guys are beavering away at trying to find my missing emails & address book... I've sent a desperate, pleading email to Incredimail, to which I've yet to receive a reply, so at the moment I am still rather stunned; the mere Thought of having to recreate a semblance of our business email contact list from 8 years worth of sent emails has driven me into a kind of punchy stupor...
On a happy note, Dan and I just celebrated our 5th "real" wedding anniversary, as we secretly "eloped" and ran off to Judge Muransky's office in Welch to tie the knot 6 months before our "formal wedding" in July 2005. In honor of the occasion, I got Dan THE hottest & most utterly adorable computer mouse from! Given that Dan's laptop mouse was dying, their "Red Lingerie" mouse seemed like THE perfect gift- it's "me"! And it even glows when you push its little buttons! LOL!

I found MouseEnvy thru a cool contest they host on Twitter to win a free mouse, but when the Sweepstakes Queen didn't win one, she broke down and ordered! They have all sorts of cute mice: dogs, cats, fish, hot peppers, teddy bears- even a red velvet heart mouse for V-Day, & a diamond-encrusted one for $32K! My choice was $20 which you truly can't beat, and Dan loved it!

On the Sweepstakes Front, the AbFab $230 LG Bliss phone I won last year finally arrived. It's as thin as a biz card, & according to the 200 pg. manual, it takes pix, surfs the net, & has a Querty keyboard so in theory I can Blog & Tweet from it; for all I know, it sings & dances, too... But it didn't come with a service package, Cellular One is the only thing it will work with, ATT is the one that works on our towers HERE, & so this precious little thing I had such high hopes for is still sitting in it's little box :-( I haven't had a cell phone since I gave up my NYC Sprint freebie in 2002 after we moved to McDowell County, WV & couldn't get ANY cellphone reception. I went thru a stupid Withdrawal Phase, wherein we'd drive to Bluefield & I'd turn it on, only to hear "You have 456 messages... from two weeks ago", but gradually I weaned myself from it, & came to not only do happily without it, but to ENJOY being without it, & the $50/month savings didn't hurt, either. Then cameth WalMart, who putteth up towers, thus transforming McD Co. from a Cell-Free-Zone into the bustling metropolis it is today (LOL), but by then I'd gone for 6 years w/out a cell & had no desire or need for one any longer. Now I've gone & won myself Mr. Bliss, but at the moment he's a doorstop :-(

As for our day-to-day Life At The Inn, we've been filling Elkhorn Inn Gift Shop orders for handcrafted West Virginia coal statuettes - including our fab 12" Mountaineer statues for the US Army!- and getting ready for guests, & it's (happily) no longer 16 degrees outside, so I don't have to wander about in 6 layers of clothing. (I'm down to 2! Woot!) It warmed up & rained the other day, melting all the pretty snow, which actually bummed me out, as the mountains are back to being that wintry brownish-tan-gray that depresses the poopies out of me. And now we have a "Wind Advisory", meaning Dan had to 'batten down the hatches' as the wind can kick up to 60mph 'round here... The Good News is that we've managed to "play hooky" a few times & get to Bluefield, WV for some great music at Gary Bowling's House of Art, EXCELLENT Real New Jersey Pizza at Frank's Pizza (and yes, they are from NJ, and they have things like Capicola ham that NO ONE has west of the Hudson River!), and some fun evenings at the new Ramsey School Club. I actually now get to get Dressed Up & Put On Makeup again more than once a year- a BIG "woo-hoo!" moment for a (former) Upper East Side Girl like me... FINALLY places to wear those black sequin spike-heel booties I splurged $29 on at Forever21 this winter! LOL
The Elkhorn Inn has also started sponsoring music videos of our southern West Virginia bands- starting with the great George Robertson Band (pictured below) via Bluefield View, and you can see them on YouTube and our Facebook Fan Page!
Bluefield View, run by Terry Rowe, is on Facebook, too, and he's done more to promote, not only Bluefield, but southern WV, than anyone (besides us!) in at least the last 8 years! There is Always some new event on the Bluefield View page, and we urge you to check it out and become a "fan", too; there's a link to Bluefield View's page on the Elkhorn Inn's Facebook Fan Page

Last week I also became a DJ (LOL) on, creating the Elkhorn Inn Station! I often Tweet (@elkhorninn) and Facebook links to music and videos, and I've pulled up some great music from WV bands like George Robertson, Stacey Grubb, and Alan Johnston & South 52, as well as cool music from Israel, Italy, Ireland, NYC, Louisiana, lots of oldies, and other faves of mine & Dan's. Check it out!

The other night we snuck out & made it to Chef Pat Doute's opening of her new "Bohemian Cafe" at the Bluefield Chamber of Commerce's networking event at the Quality Hotel. Chef Doute made her Alaskan-style cold-smoked salmon for the event, and it was SUPERB! Chef Dan does mostly "hot" smoking of his herb-crusted lamb chops, duck, pork, ribs, etc., and this is the first time we've EVER had true, cold-smoked salmon- the kind we know and love from Alaska- here in West Virginia! YAY!

Ain't we cute?!

- John Woodside of the Nitty Gritty Dirt band playing at Gary Bowling's House of Art "Open Mic Night"...
- Pete Sternloff on 'Lucille' at GBHoA...
- Patch Whisky's art in the window of GBHoA...
- The "West Virginia Blow Dryer" at Ramsey School Club...

At the moment, Chef Dan is taking a break from being DIY Dan, and is marinating the dickens out of a bevy of pork chops; his brew of apple cider, figs, and secret herbs and spices has made the Inn's kitchen and dining room smell Divine! Dan spent all of today wearing his Mr. Fix-It Hat (and that ghastly, nasty, ratty old vest I loathe- but won't throw out, as he has some sort of weird, sweet, testosterone-fueled attachment to it which I respect... If my guy is using power tools and needs to wear his Lucky Vest, however nasty it is, that's fine with me!), rebuilding one of our garden fences. Thanks to good ol' WV stone & 1922 concrete, he went thru at least 6 drill bits today, but Fency is 1/2 up, & I have True hope that within a day or two we will have a Brand Spanking New Garden Fence...

And now: a glass of wine (AmRhein Wine Cellar's "Ruby", from our summer sojourn to their lovely Virginia vineyard...) & then back to my Pile O' Paperwork-from-Hell. (With maybe a little Tweeting or Facebooking or Bliping first...)

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