Saturday, April 12, 2014

Getting Ready for Spring

Here in chicago, they weather dictates everything. Whether it is summer or winter, the temperature and percipitation has a greater effect, I think than in areas where the weather is pretty consistant. Being a non-cold loving person, I don't care much for half of the year up here, but summers are a lot of fun. Unlike places like California, Florida or Nevada where winters are pleasant, in Chicago, summers are a lot more fun because the heat never (or rarely) gets so bad that you can't have some fun. I'm thankful for the type of work I do. I can really dig in during the winter, and take lots of time off, or schedule around work in the summer to make the most of the few great months available for outdoor fun.

Work and Pleasure

I've started a new website to accompany my newest pastime of playing poker. Having fun and finding a way to work actual writing and work into it, makes online work more fun. It's possible, of course, to build a monetized site around something you don't care much about, but it's very difficult.

Poker- That's What He Said

All kidding aside from the title, I've been having a blast playing real player (not real money) poker at games.com. I've made quite a few friends on there as well. Seeing the same people all the time on the various tables, and talking in the side chat is fun and interesting. People from all over the world play there, so there's games at any tim eof the day/night. I used to play regular games at my house with friends from work at the pizza place I used to work for in the 80s, but since then haven't known enough people who were interested to have home games. This site makes it easy and fun to always be able to play.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Formal Fun

I'm always amazed at how many adorable things there are out there now that weren't around when I was younger, or my kids were younger. In fact, I wish this stuff had been around a few years ago when my grandkids were younger. I saw a place with a cute toddler tuxedo today. That is just fantastic for going out someplace formal, or just for fun. All my son and grandson had were "onesies," overalls, pants and the occassional regular suit. Even when they were a little older, tuxes were't a common choice.

Something New Every Day

I still learn something new every day. That's saying a lot considering I'm in my 50s. There doesn't seem to be a limit as to how much there is to know out there. I recently saw a sign locally proclaiming the place to have the best Sriracha. My son asked what that was? I had no idea. Came across it by accident today online just skimming my Facebook feed. It jumped out at me, and I had an "ahha" moment. Found out it is some sort of Indian hot sauce. So I guess the place down the street has the best.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

More than Just the Beat

One of the things that my granddaughter still has trouble with in her pursuit of becoming a great guitarist is understanding how important the actual study of music is. The new music books available now make learning structure a lot more fun than it used to be in the days when I was first learning it. I'm so proud of how far she has come though. It's something that will stick with her for her whole life, and the things she learns about music structure will transfer to her ability to understand math.

Working on the Go

One of the things I love most about being a writer is that I can do it anywhere. Which means, I can go on vacation whenever the opportunity arises. In a few weeks, I'll be off to Lake Geneva Wisconsin again. I get to go there for free for a conference my husband goes to, and while he's in his sessions every day, I get to play, and work whenever I feel like it. I just wish the conference was a little later in the year. It's so cold that there's no boating or anything possible. That's one of the reasons we usually end up going back up there or to Lake Delevan, Wi at some point during the summer.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Real Work in Real Estate

Years ago I was a real estate agent. Even in this rocky market it is an exciting job, and I think about it often. I wish back when I was in real estate they had the powerful tools that are available now to make marketing, getting potential buyers attention, and scheduling all of the necessary elements for a sale easy. When I was in real estate, the Internet was just a baby. There really wasn't much to it. Now, though, wow, the atmosphere for it is amazing. With the market beginning to show signs of recovery, I'm thinking it might be a good time to get back in. The first thing I would do is download the goconnect app for realtor checklists. This app would have made life so much easier back then, and there is simply no reason not to use it now to make sure everything gets done on time, and you never lose track of what is going on to be successful.

Work When It Comes

Writers have to take work as it comes. It is just the nature of the game, and for real paying work, freelancing is the best source of reliable income for writing work from home. It can be rocky though. Finally this year it has begun to pick up again. Last year was slow all year. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why the clients are plentiful or scarce. There's very little anyone can do to control it, so it is a good idea just to accept the fact that income will be flexible, and you have to take it when it comes around and be happy for it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Old Dogs can Still Learn New Things

I'm grateful for my grandkids for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is the chance to learn new things just by helping them learn. It's true even for things I've had experience in, for instance music. I know a lot about music. I played guitar in school and a little semi-professionally afterwards. I married my piano teacher's son and helped my kids through their music lessons. In spite of all that, there are a lot of things I still don't know a lot about such as the motu interface at musicians friend and other technical aspects of producing music. Helping my granddaughter learn about music and how things work and can expand her musical abilities has helped me learn a lot about things that I used to leave to others when I was younger.

Good Start

The new year started off pretty slow for me writing wise, but I have finally begun to find my feet again with it. January's are always slow. Sometimes the lull in freelancing and the winter blahs that keep me from feeling any desire to work on novels or non-fic works lasts all the way through March. In spite of the really wicked weather this year... and I mean REALLY wicked, I have started to pick up on all levels already here at the end of January. Hopefully it will be a really good year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fish and Drumsticks

I love the show Tanked on A&E. It showcases unusual fishtank builds by a popular company in Nevada. One of the shows recently showed a mix of my two favorite things, music and fish. The company had to create a fishtank out of a drum set. That's right, a full drum set that was turned into a bunch of individual fishtanks, set up like a regulation drum set and actually played too. They even had fish that looked like the Drumsticks Bass at Musicians Friend.

Of course it was purely for display. No one could do something like that for a practical set of drums. My grandson wants to take up the drums. My daughter kind of rolls her eyes, but I think it's a great idea. He can keep the beat while my granddaughter plays the guitar. No fish, of course.

Done with Winter

Winter may have just started, technically, but I'm over it already. I can't wait for spring so I can go kayaking and fishing again. Here's to memories from last spring.


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Favorite Instruments

I've mentioned more than a few times that I played guitar as a teen. It was my main instrument, but it wasn't the only one. I also played flute in junior and senior high school band. I had wanted to play saxaphone, that just seemed like such a sexy instrument, but there were no seats for sax so I had to settle for the flute. Well, settling wasn't an issue once I learned how wonderful the delicious sounds of the flute were. I still enjoy listening to the flute.

Perhaps I should get Alexis to try the flute when she starts junior high next year. As a band instrument it is one of my favorites.
We could take a look at some of the opportunities to buy yamaha flute accessories and get her set up, maybe even get her a starter flute to begin learning on before school starts next year. I also played piano. That's how I met my husband, but of all the instruments I've played, in order it would be guitar, flute and then piano and organ as favorites.

That Dog

I love my dog. Before getting her, I did a lot of research on Papillons, the breed she is. The information all pointed to these dogs being very intelligent. In fact, they are ranked #2 right behind poodles as the most intelligent dog breed. I've never owned poodles, but I've been around quite a few and knew they as a whole seemed very easy to train, so I expected that my new Papillon puppy would be as well.

She was. I can only remember once that she went potty in the house even as a small puppy, and she learns quickly when I attempt to teach her anything. What surprised me most was that quick learning isn't the only hallmark of an extremely intelligent dog. This dog doesn't wait to be taught, she teaches herself new behaviors all the time. It never ceases to amaze me. Not only does she learn to do things on her own, she also learns from other animals in the house. She has picked up some hilarious movements and behaviors from the cat.

Batty, the papillon is a never-ending source of joy.