Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Mouth To Feed

Well, it happened. Annie has a new friend! The same friend of mine that's doe (female goat) had babies last time, had another doe deliver a set of triplets this afternoon... one of which was too weak to compete with the other two for food so...

I have a new addition to the family. Just when I was going to be able to sleep through the night because Annie was old enough to go the full eight hours I have another infant mouth to feed who will need every couple of hours feedings. It's okay though, she's adorable. White body like Annie, but lots of color on her head and legs. I haven't decided on a name just yet, but am leaning toward Zena.

Pictures tomorrow.

Annie Update

After a few days of figuring out how to get a diaper to stay on, Annie now has the run of the house. I took a picture this morning of her under my desk happy just to lay at my feet while I work. I really have to find this kid a goat friend before she starts to really think she's human! LOL Still having some problems finding one, but have had some good leads that may end up working out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Spiritual Being Within

The Lotus Path Workshops offer a unique opprotunity to explore your inner path and widen your horizons. This unique workshop offers a presence online now where you can find out all about the workshop and what if can offer you while you enjoy a wonderful time at Yosimite. I spent a few years in my twenties very involved in the Eastern religions and found them very soothing. While I didn't end up subscribing to the actual structures of those religions I still firmly believe in the inner power that we possess and the connection to a greater power that encompases all beings.

I still firmly believe in the ability to heal ourselves and rejenerate ourselves, but it's easy to get sucked into some of the claims of many online charlatans who tell you they can heal you long distance, and require large sums of money for the effort. The power to heal is within yourselves. What is required is the knowledge and the practice of how to do it. A guide that will help you develop the inner strengths.

I'll confess that my beliefs in the theories do waver, and that I'm not nearly as strong at it as I once believed I was. I haven't had as much time to pursue that path of study. It's something I regret, and know I should pay more attention to. Sadly it's also something that is easily pushed aside.

Find out more about this relaxing and enlightening workshop and see if it is right for you.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.

Hot House Movie Oscar

I won't go into what I feel about former Vice-President Al Gore, or his political agendas, but it was nice to see that his documentary on global warming won an Oscar. It's a subject that needs to be addressed and taken a bit more seriously. I can joke around with the best of them on how I love the idea of a warmer Illinois. The ramifications of the reality of global warming are not funny however. We may never feel the effects of it, but when I think of my grandkids, and their children's futures it becomes much more of a reality.

"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue." Gore said, and he's right.

Dearly Departed

I watched Martin Scorsese's 'The Departed' last night. It was a really cool movie with many actors I really like such as Jack Nicolson, and Leonardo DeCaprio as well as Matt Damon. To say the movie was strange and kept you on your toes would be the understatment of the year, but it certainly kept me guessing. The ending was very, very unexpected. I'm not sure if I would say it was a total let down... the good guys are supposed to win. haha The trick with this movie is figuring out just who IS the good guy and who's the bad. It definately was a shocker.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Best of the Worst

I don't know that anyone would really venture to say that Sharon Stone was ever a really great actress. Known more for her looks and sultry parts, it was her famous Beaver shot that sky-rocketed her name to household status. She's famous for being beautiful. Now though, no one can really dispute that. She had the dubious distinction of getting the worst actor award at the Oscars. Ouch. Poor Sharon.

Get On The Firing Squad

If you are a journalist that writes about gaming, or technology related subjects, there's a contest out there just for you.

The firing squad is looking for gaming and tech journalists and videographers to compete for 20 thousand dollars worth of prize money in its FiringSquad Editors Challenge. The preliminaries start on February 28th for the writing contest, and the video segments of the contest end on February 25th and March 18th.

Get in on it now for this fun competition and get the chance to win big money for your skills in the tech/gaming fields. Gaming is such a huge and popular field right now, and millions are involved in writing about it. If you've got the right touch for that genre, get paid for it too.

I recently did a post about a gaming forum. Hundred and hundreds of people are serious about their games. You have a vast audience and if you are an avid gamer, you have a huge 'community'. It seems like there would never be a chance to run out of things to write about in that venue. New games pop up constantly, and new versions of each game, ways to win, programming, find out if you have the topic that will win the prize in FiringSquard's Editor's Challenge.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.
Finding a friend for my little adopted doe kid Annie is proving more difficult that you might think. Lots of people have goats (okay, maybe those of you that live in the city don't know of any, but if you live in the country it's not that uncommon) but it sure is hard to find anyone selling any of the females. Add to that that I'd really like a Nubian. I'm in love with their charming personality, and they give the richest, sweetest milk (imo). It seems like everybody in Illinois has switched to Lamanchas though. I can't get past the earless look of the Lamanchas even though I know they are great milkers. I love the long, floppy earred look of the Nubians. For now, Annie remains friendless. She is having a ball though. I snapped a picture on my phone yesterday of her sleeping in a little nook at the end of the coffee table. She crawled in there and made herself comfortable and took a snooze while I watched TV.

New Kid On The Block

There's a new kid on the blog for cash block. Loud Launch is an up and coming competitor for the newest web 2.0 blogging company platform.

With the new Loud Launch campaigns advertisers of any size can start a campaign for as little as $50.00 unlike some companies now out there that require larger start up budgets for a few ads.

If you have a press release, or news, get over to Loud Launch and get the word out about it to thousands using the network of bloggers. As a blogger, get paid for spreading the word about products you're interested in. It's a win-win situation, and it's fun.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.

Oscars Wild

When it comes to fashion it doesn't get a lot wilder, on an everyday basis, as in real people on the street, than the Oscars. Sometimes I think the big reason they get such huge ratings is because people want to see what the stars are wearing--the women anyway, no one really cares as much what the guys are wearing, how wild can that get? The show itself is kind of boring, and that's just the edited catagories they put on tv, not the hundreds of others that never get aired because no one gives a dang who won it except the nominees themselves. But the plunging necklines, see through fabrics, and nearly pasties tops of the starlets as they saunter down the red carpet... that's the real specticle.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Grandeur and Space...movies to inspire the imaginiation

I watched Jurassic Park III last night when it was on TV. I know it's old, but there's something that draws us to movies like that, and at least for me, it's more than the 'thriller/horror' aspect of the prospect of these people getting eatten by dinos, it's the magnificence, the power, and the abilities of such stupendously large creatures that used to rule the earth long before man. T-Rex has always fascinated me, but I think the herds of Brontosaurus are even more breath-taking. Something so huge, and relatively gentle just brings a lump to my throat. Even though they're long gone, seeing 'them in action' with the use of FX like we now have just sends shivers down my spine. I watched Star Wars this morning, another very oldie, but one of the 'cutting' edge' of its time in FX and it amazes me how we can create such spectacles. Space, as in the Star Wars and Star Trek movies is yet another of the 'wonders' that inspire humans with its vastness and power. Movies like those will never really go out of style.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Need a Picture To Speak A Thousand Words?

Are you looking for that perfect picture for your article, or blog post? Something you don't have on hand and can't take your own pictures for? I've had to use stock photos several times when I had an idea, or a story that I needed an illustration for. I knew what I wanted, but there was no way I could create the image myself. Creative Commons is a fantastic place to find just such pictures. You can search by any key words you like and they will find hundreds of photos usually that you can choose from.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

One Last Post

I know I've lost my focus here a bit because so much has been happening in so many areas of my life, but I'll get right back to it. After this last post. haha

I've been promising pictures of Annie so here she is in all her glory at 3 days old--now happy, bright, and very active.

She's just full of mischief as you can tell by the look in her eyes. For more follow up on Annie's progress, come on over to Itty Bitty Fins, and Itty Bitty Hooves where I'll be keeping you all updated on Annie's progress.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just When You Think It's Safe To Go Back In the Water

I pretty much have my aquariums under control now, and fully cycled, but see, that's when you can get way-layed by a false sense of security. I know that the majority of the beneficial bacteria that are employed to keep the water amonia free are contained in the filter system because that's where the most concentration of oxygenated water is. The bacteria feeds on the oxygen. (Amonia is created by the fish by - products, and cycling builds up a tolerance to that amonia and a way to break it down by building up beneficial bacteria.)

Changing the filter media is a necessary part of tank care, but it can be tricky if you're not paying attention, as I wasn't the other day having just begun to recover from a new bought of bronchitis. I pulled out the old charcol filter and replaced it. I did the normal soaking of the new pack in retrived aquarium water and putting it in, but I jostled the fiber of the sponge part of the filter and must have released a large number of the bacteria, because right after the change I had a huge spike in Amonia and Nitrites in my tank system. Now I'm stuck having to recycle a tank so it can build up the bacteria only it has a full load of fish in it. I did re-locate a few of them to a different tank for the process but it's much harder with six fish in a ten gallon tank than it is with only one or two. Just goes to show, you can never let your guard down when it comes to swimming with fishes.

Long Day's Night

I forgot what it was like to have a baby in the house--any baby. Any baby that needs night time feedings anyway. Every couple of hours the alarm clock goes off so I get up to feed, but Annie has beat me to the snooze button and is crying in the kitchen for her bottle. In case you missed it in the post below, Annie is my new goat kid.

Goat kids have a cry that is astoundingly similar to a human baby. She's just so cute though. I'm so sorry I haven't gotten that picture yet. Yesterday was a long, long trial in syringe feeding and praying that she would finally get the strength to suck on the bottle. At her ten pm feeding she finally did!

I was so happy I was calling everyone to tell them. I called my friend who is the owner of the momma goat and Annie's sister who is doing fine with mom. I called my husband to cry via long-distance on his shoulder at my relief. It's amazing how quickly you can become so attached to such a little creature. She's so personable. Today she's been tooling around my kitchen at every feeding time (in between she stays in a huge great dane sized wire dog crate where she can still see out, but is deeply bedded in hay and straw. But she sees me coming and either gets up and jumps around the cage to be let out, or if in the kitchen while I'm prepping the bottle (yep, same way, warming it in hot water on the stove just like a human baby bottle) she is following me around like a little dog nudging my leg, hopping on my feet, and just playing in general. She's so strong compared to yesterday it's wonderful to see.

I WILL get a picture at the next feeding and post it. Just pray for me getting through the next few nights of feedings. Luckily, unlike human babies, kid goats only need a few nights of feedings before they can make it til morning. Hurray.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Smudge Pot Annie--my new baby

Well, it's been an interesting morning. You'll never guess what I brought home today--a baby goat!

Let me recap for a second. I used to breed/raise/and show dairy goats. Carpel tunnel made milking a very painful chore as much as I loved it though, and a milking machine wasn't a real viable alternative back then. It wasn't as easy to find single small machines, most were made for big commercial dairies, so I cut back, and just let the remaining goats live out their lives with us as pets. A very, very good friend of mine who lives a few miles away started raising goats just a couple years ago but last year had the opprotunity to breed a couple of her Alpine dairy goats to a purebred Boer (meat goat). She jumped at the chance to make her offspring more useful if she weren't going to keep them and yesterday the first of the two nannies delivered two absolutely beautiful baby girls. Well the girls are not usually in much danger of seeing the inside of a freezer--and these two were definately keepers. She called me up so excited, I had to come see them. Well, I was just getting over being really sick over the weekend so I said I'd come over this morning.

I went to see them this morning, and what adorable cuties they were. Both pure white, one without a mark on her, and the other with little red smudge marks on her head and neck--just a few, but otherwise completely white. Her name is Annie. It became quickly apparent though that Annie wasn't as strong as her sister Frannie, and wasn't nursing. She was trying but never quite latching on so we wisked the baby into the house and my friend milked out mom and we tried to bottle feed the little darling. Turns out Annie is not too bright. LOL She's not getting the idea for latching on and sucking, so it was a quick switch to syringe feeding. We managed to get a few ounces in her and she got much brighter... still not quite as strong as I'd like to see her though.

Anyway, bottle (or syringe) feeding means every two hours for a week or so, and my friend oh so sweetly looked at me with big doe eyes and said, 'if anyone can nurse this baby to health it's you'. Well, yes, I have had a great deal of luck in the past, but what a way to get me hooked. Before I'd left the house with baby goat in tow it was quite plain that I was in love with little Smudge Pot Annie (her new name), and if she makes it, she is mine for keeps.

I'll get a picture this afternoon and post it for you all to see.

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Article Online

Check it out! My new article at associated content is up and online now. If you have an interest in starting up an aquarium, find out what will make it work, or what will cause you headaches. It's not just as simple as filling it up with water and throwing in a few fish, find out why and how you can make your aquarium a piece of living art that will bring you hours of fun instead of headaches.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Man On Fire

I can not wait to see Nicolas Cage's new movie 'Ghost Rider'. Every time I see the commercial for it I get excited all over again. It looks like it's going to be terrific. I just hope it's not another one of those, 'all the great moments were in the commericals' type of movie. Another one coming out that looks really cool is 'Astronaut Farmer'. Being from the country it has a special resonance to me, that plus the line where the farmer responded when asked 'how do we know you're not building a WMD', and he said 'because if I were building a weapon of mass destruction, you wouldn't be able to find it.' Now that's a classic line if I ever heard one.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Fish?

Oh my somebody stop me. Actually as soon as my hubby reads this I'm sure he will, but I just found a new fish I want to bid on. This has got to be the coolest color of guppy I've seen yet. It's called a 'platinum mosaic'--it's stunning. Here's a picture of the fish on the auction page.

I thought I was going to go with half black yellows for my next fish, but I am sorely tempted to change my mind, and my trigger finger is really itchy right now.

Tanks A Lot

I have a love/hate relationship with WalMart... I hate it because I can't seem to walk in there for just the item, or items, I planned on getting. Today I not only walked out with the tank divider I went in there for, but a brand new tank (that makes #4). Well, I needed the new tank. I have new fish coming next week so it will be nicer than stocking my current tanks at their limits which I really didn't want to do... yeah, that's it.

Love Sucks

Doing the happy dance. Don't forget to check out Part II of my short story 'Love Sucks' on Erotic Dreams this week. See What happens when Jonah meets up with an old nemesis, and find out what happens to Drew without Jonah in his life.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sporting A Beauty On Your Phone

Valentine's Day isn't the only big news in town. Today is the release of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition is almost a national institution -- make that a world-wide institution. It's coverage of the world's most beautiful models and athletes is renowned. In it's forty-three years it has always managed to work up controversy as well as devoted fans. Now, starting TODAY, you can carry them with you all the time. For just $1.99 you can download your choice of vivacious models from Heidi Klum to the ever bouncy Beyonce--even Leonardo DiCario's ex Bar Refaeli in all her exotic splendor to have on your cell phone.

Hurry over and get yours today.

Good Humored Politics

A good friend of mine sent me the link to her daughter's blog this morning. If you want a fun read of Political rantings in a great easy to read style, visit Kat's site here.

Birth Announcement

Awwww no, not a real baby--a new blog. I finally got my website hosted blog working and decided it was time to unveil it even though it only has a week's worth of content on it. It is dedicated to the animals on our ranch, mostly the horses and fish, but all the rest as well. I called it 'Itty Bitty Fishies, and Itty Bitty Hooves' for our Guppies and Miniature Horses. Check it out if you have a spare minute and let me know what you think of it so far.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New News

Hey, I found a great new news source. Lombard Direct offers
financial news from all over, but it's not just for the financier--there are a lot of articles that are of importance to everybody. Frightening articles like: '50% of Teenagers In Debt By 17' not only opens eyes with its fact, but is something we all need to be aware of, and start getting control of before our children are dug in deeper than we ever dreamed of being before they're even responsible enough to understand the consequences of their actions. Or this article that hits close to my heart: 'Definate Problem Of Rural Affordability'. That's sad, and painful news to those who are working hard to be able to move to 'the country' where they thought they could get a good deal on land. Check out Lombard Direct financial news for those and many more extremely timely and important articles that may leave you wondering where we are heading in the not too distant future.

New Babies

Oh, I forgot to mention. Besides the horrific snow today, I did have a wonderful spot in my day. My second guppy female had her babies today. Nine (at least, those itty bitty swimming flea looking babies are hard to count) new baby guppies. These are sired by my male--here's a picture of the proud pappa:

He's got a great body, and terrific color. His tail should be about twice the size it is, but he's very young yet (about 4 months) so it should grow considerably more in the next few months. I'm hoping he passes a lot of his great traits on to his off-spring. Mamma in this case (guppy female 2) has great color and body size, but could do better in depth, and the length of her caudal and dorsal fins while well colored, could be a lot longer. Still, I hope to keep a couple of females, and at least one male out of this batch to possibly show in the future.

Meanwhile, fry (baby guppy) batch #1 is now three weeks old. It's easy to forget how small they were and since they're still very very small (about 1/4 inch long) they seem so little, but now with the new fry in the brooder box in that tank, the older ones look HUGE.

That first batch are from an unknown sire (female was pregnant when I brought her home) but if it was the male she was in the tank with when I got her, he's very nice too. She has GREAT body size and shape, but isn't as good in color either on the body, or the finage. Still, I can't wait to see how the babies grow and color out. Hoping for a few keepers in that group too. Whatever ones I don't want to keep from that batch already have homes to go to locally so that makes me happy.

Oh--and Brad--no, you can't eat them. hahaha Bob (my hubby) said they'd make a nice meal... sort of like smelt. I don't think so. As small as smelt are, guppies don't even come close in size--plus I don't raise smelt. I raised these little bitty fishies. :)

Snow Bound

Wow, what a day. Nothing compared to the northern east coast, but we did get at least 8 inches dropped here today and it's still snowing. That would have been bad enough but 30 to 40 mph winds kept drifting the snow back any place that might have been shoveled. We had to have shoveled the exact same paths today from house to barn to paddocks at least three times just while feeding the horses, and by tomorrow I'm sure it will be right back there again. Some of the drifts were up to my chest, and one in particular out by the barn was nearly over my head. Someone told me today that in a week or so they're saying the temps will be up to around 40 degrees...that sure will be welcome, and I can at least dream that this is the worst old man winter will throw at us for the rest of the winter.

I said I can dream. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ten for Ten

I really can't believe my first batch of baby fish are almost three weeks old (tomorrow), and that they're all still alive and doing fine. They're growing so well, and are so cute. Rather than little swimming fleas, or as they grew tadpoles, they now look like itty bitty fishies. They're still only about 1/4" long, but really look like little guppies. They haven't begun to show color yet though, or whether they're male or female--pretty tough to tell on fish anyway--with guppies they do develop a gonopodium, ahem, yeah that, but the most common tell-tale sign is exactly that, they're tail. The males develop long flowing super colorful tails and dorsal fins. The females get some color, but much much less as is typical of almost all animal species save man. The new babies should begin to color out in a couple of weeks and I'll post some pictures.

Be Prepared

I'm sitting here in Illinois facing yet another winter storm. The third in the last three weeks. We've been getting pelted pretty good here on a regular basis. I sure hope that groundhog in New England is right and we are going to get that early spring he promised. It's not looking good though. I am very grateful that we're not in the same boat as those in the New York area where they've already recevied over one hundred inches--yeah, over NINE FEET of snow! It's made me think a lot lately of preparedness. The last ten winters have been so mild that even those of us in the northern states have become a bit lax in winter storm preparation. There are lots of things to consider--heat, electricity, and most importantly food and water supplies, all of which could easily be cut off in the event of a major storm, sometimes for days, even weeks.

Finding out that the area I'm in is supposed to get about eleven inches tonight (yeah, at one time, that wasn't a misprint, and we still have a good six inches on the ground at the moment left from the last two storms) I find myself running through the lists in my head. Enough food--check, firewood (surprisingly since I haven't used the fireplace in years) check, water storage--none, I'm going to have to fill some buckets. The very idea of having buckets of water brings to mind the lesson learned over eleven years ago when we first moved in here, a young couple with two young children 8 and 9 years old. That very first spring just as winter seemed to have blown its worst our way, and it hadn't been bad at all, it dumped a foot of snow overnight on us and there was no power, and that meant no water. I remember well sending the kids out with kettles to fill and melting the snow on the stove top (luckily we still had gas, just no electricity to run the pumps). It takes a surprising amount of snow to make any amount of water at all.

Now I know better than to take electricity for granted--I'll have a water supply on hand should the power be cut for any length of time. If you don't hear from me at all over the next day or so, you'll know I'm buried under over a foot of accumulated snow. Keep warm, and make sure you're prepared for Mother Nature's worst as she blows her hardest this week... spring is just around the corner. At least that's what that stupid groundhog said.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Meme For The Week

Okay, I'm going to attempt this. Good ole' Jose tagged me. These things are difficult for me when they're long like this mostly because there simply aren't ten weird random things about me. I'm so transparent. LOL

The rules are: Once you have been tagged you can't be re-tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end, you chose 10 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" on their profile and tell them to read your latest blog.

1. I'm going to cheat here and use -- The first movie I remember watching is My Friend Flicka starring Roddy McDowell.

2. I started smoking when I was about thirteen (don't roll your eyes, lol, I know it was bad) and have quit several times. Once for about two years, but it never seems to stick. One thing is for sure, I can definately say that what they say about starting up again at exactly the same place is true. The level doesn't go down just because you haven't smoked in years.

3. My favorite book when I was in High School was "Johnatan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach.

4. Yes, I was a virgin when I got married. (Cheating using some of Jose's ideas -- not the same answers though -- is tougher than I thought. Who really wants to know this? haha, only a guy would even care to put that in there in the first place.)

5. Contrary to American custom, I have no favorite sport.

6. I started studying the Russian language at 24 because I loved Mikhail Baryshnikov.

7. I graduated from High School in 1980! (I knew I shouldn't be using his examples... okay, now you can figure out how ancient I am.)

8. The first book I read for pleasure was 'The Black Stallion' by Walter Farley.

9. I've always been interested in the entertainment industry and have several novels built around that world.

Am I done yet? Nope, one more.

10. My first job was working in a dog boarding kennel when I was 16.

The inductees into the tag are: (Dang Jose you picked several of mine... and hey, I just noticed you spelled my name wrong in yours, I could have gotten out of this by a technicality!) I am going to by-pass selecting the other meme'ers. If you guys want to do it, feel free and leave a link in the comment section here so I can visit your blog. Sorry, Jose, but I think I've just now decided that I really prefer meme's like Colleen's. (See an example of it here on my MissWrite blog). They're voluntary and you don't have to rope anyone else into them afterwards.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Life's A Zoo

Do you ever feel like your life is a Zoo? I do, in more ways than one sometimes -- comes from living with horses, sheep, geese, chickens, cats, dogs, and even fish, and rabbits, but in general life can feel like a zoo and when it does I like to trip over to ZooTalk and visit with the wonderful lady that writes that blog. She lost her husband to cancer not too long ago, and now life is a whole new learning experience for her. I shudder to think about something like that, I think maybe we all do even though we know it's possible for any of us. She and I share a few other things in common as well. A love for homesteading, and I used to raise goats too like she does. Stop by and give her a 'howdy', I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Bernita bought up an interesting subject on her An Innocent A-Blog today on chapter length in novels. Her point being that all the bickering that goes on over chapter length rules (so to speak) is silly and that chapters should be as long as they need to be. That's very true, and all the bickering can get silly at times, and we all know there is no such thing as a hard, fast rule in novel writing, but there are some things to take into consideration with chapter lengths that defy a simple 'as long as needed' explaination.

Chapters that are too long get tiresome to read. A good chapter gives a reader room to breathe. Reading 50 and 60 page chapters can feel like a marathon at times. Chapters should also provide a rhythm for the book. A feeling of ebb and tide as it were. With 50 page chapters you can't get in to much of a thythm when most novels today range from 250 to 300 pages. They should also have a beginning, a middle, and an end, just like the book itself. That gives each chapter a purpose. A really good chapter will also have a 'black moment' and even end in a 'cliffhanger' sort of feel, a reason to turn the page and go on to the next chapter. There are a lot of things to consider in chapter writing. It's a mini version of what there is to consider in novel writing as a whole--and it's just as exasperating.

Air Bus?

It's more like an air city... the new Airbus being built has hundreds of contracts for sales on its newly delayed production line of airplanes that will boast much more room for passengers even in the lowest of classes. That really is great news however, it also will have things like duty-free shops, maybe casinos, whatever the purchasing airline wants to add in on this jumbo of all jumbo jets that have Mercedes motors that are so quiet you barely hear them. One airline has already signed on to have a shower installed in first class.

Now I can see the shower, especially on over seas flights, but are we really so bored, so incapable of providing our own entertainment for a few hours that we need flying casinos? Do we REALLY need to shop so badly that we need stores ON the airplanes? Airports the world over already bust with duty free stores, how spend-happy are we that we need to have them on the planes too?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cyber News

This can only be a sign of the times. For years ebooks have said that paperless publising was the way of the future--the future is slow coming it seems, but it does appear to be on its way. Even the oldest newspaper still in publication has recently decided to go 'paperless.' Maybe it's a cost issue, maybe they just want to be where the readers are, but the Sweden's Post-och Inrikes Tidningar that started up in 1645 has now decided to exist only in cyberspace. That's a huge step for a centuries old institution. May they reap the benefits of the new age.

February In Illinois

Gotta love it. The weatherman said we'd have snow by this afternoon, well we've had big huge puffy flakes falling from the moment I woke up. See though, this is what I meant yesterday. It's beautiful to look at. I mean it's the stuff artists imaginations and writers dreams are fueled by. Going out and playing in it would be a blast... but that's overshadowed by the fact that I have to go out and trudge through it and haul hay wagons through it and freeze my rear off while doing it. We're supposed to get up to six inches today. Looking at those puffy flakes falling it just doesn't seem like anything so fluffy, and light, so easily squished if you were to grab it in your hand could possibly bulk up and turn into a blanket of solid snow. One thing I do love to look at out my windows is the way it makes silvery white tree branches that look so pristine and crisp. I think I'm going to take my camera with me outside to do chores, and take advantage of some beautiful shots. I should have bought those skis yesterday just to go outside and do chores today. I might need them.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Love My Blogger

I know exactly why these 'free' blog sites are so popular with everybody. It's not necessarily just that they're free, it's that they're easy to use. I am trying once again to install a blog on my website which would be my own domain. I have tried this several times in the past few months and every time it leaves me with a headache, and no blog. Oh, don't get me wrong. I can get the basics to work, but I've never been satisfied with simply a basic design. And I shouldn't have to be satisfied with it either. There are supposedly plenty of templates to choose from, and I've found them... just try and load them though. There has to be a trick. Some secret password that I haven't figured out yet. It's never taken me so long to figure out anything ever before though. Who has the time for that? Yep, gotta love blogger... and all the other free blogs out there. Easy, simple, and fast.

Who Won?

The Bears didn't win. Boy for a brief moment in time at the very beginning it looked like they were going to run away with the bowl, but then the Colts took charge and never looked back. I'll admit to being a fair-weather fan anyway. I don't watch football, or baseball, or basketball... not even horse racing, but when a local team gets to the 'big one' I tend to watch, and hope. For horse racing I watch 'the big one' no matter who, and pick my own personal favorite even though I haven't been paying any attention at all the rest of the racing season. Two things I usually do like about the super bowl are the half-time show, and the commercials. This year, however, I was greatly disappointed by both. The half-time show was rather bland and Prince (who I usually like) didn't thrill much at all, except that I liked his stage. You could barely hear him. I've seen plenty of other musical performances at half-time that were at least concert quality. Most dissapointing of all--NO BUDWISER CLYDESDALE commercials. Oh the wanna-be dalmation Bud Light commerical was cute as heck, but man, I really look forward to the Clydes every year.

One really good, very to the point commercial wasn't for a company at all. It was the one showing people cheering for their teams, young and old all together in a room watching the game on tv and someone asks 'who's winning', then on the screen the caption was 'we all are'... it's not even about the game, it's about the wonderful time spent with family and friends gathered around cheering and joking. That's what it was for me last night. Gathered with family, cheering and joking, grandkids in my lap, daughter and her boyfriend in their house watching and bantering back and forth about who would win--we won.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Itty Bitty Fishies

You're not going to believe this. Well maybe you will, you know I'm kind of crazy. I did something yesterday that I've never done before. I bought a fish (well, a set of fishes) on an auction. Is that crazy? I'd never heard of that before, but apparently it's not all that unusual if buyers want to get (get this) purebred fish. Oh don't shake your head at me, it's in my blood. I've never just owned an animal, I've owned purebred show animals. I'm competitive. It's my nature, I've learned not to fight it over the years. I honestly... and I mean it... never ever would have imagined all that existed in the aquarium world though. A few weeks ago I bought a simple ten-gallon aquarium because I missed the ones I used to have as a teen (no I never knew about fish shows back then, but I didn't have the Internet to tell me about such things either). Over the past couple of weeks I've learned more than I could ever have possibly imagined about fish--guppies most particularly since they're my choosen favorites of the various fish I now own.

So I joined the IFGA (yep there's an associaition for Fancy Guppy owners). And dreamed of buying some of the high priced (oh boy some of them are) purebred strains of fish to start my very own line. Some trios (one male, two females) go for as much as seventy five dollars, although the average is between twenty and thirty. I found two pair (I would have rather had a trio, but two pair is good too) of red cobra which is one of the varieties I had come to favor and won the bid at eighteen dollars. Yeah, I just spent eighteen dollars on four fish. The kicker isn't the cost of the fish though. Whether you spend eighteen or eighty you still have to get the fish to you and if you don't live nearby (yeah as if) you have to have them shipped... some breeders charge as much as thirty dollars for shipping on top of the cost of the fish. This one charges twenty six... yeah I spent that too. Kind of useless to buy the fish but not be able to get them.

So here's a picture of what my fish will look like when they get here.

My next two favorite colors are called half black pastel. They're a half silver/half black bodied fish with pure white top fin (dorsal) and tail (caudal), or half black (same type body) yellow -- yellow dorsal and caudal fins. I'll post a picture of them if I ever get crazy enough to buy some. :)

The Smell Of The Ocean Air

Why does the sea have such a distinct smell? Somebody actually wanted to know that. According to Yahoo's home page this morning (sorry, but it's the first thing I see every day) marine biologists did a study to find out why the ocean smelled the way it does.

If you ask me they should have just asked any homeowner who has ever cooked fish (okay, that was just being silly, but)... better yet any person who owns a fish tank. What did the scientists find? Bacteria caused by the gases in the water (same as a fish tank) only because most fish owners have fresh water not salt water the smell is a bit different, if someone owned a salt-water tank the effect would be similar to an ocean breeze. Hum.... maybe it's time for a trip to the store.

Check out the link to the 'crazy fish' pictures they have though. Some of them are awesome, some are just plain hilarious.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Amazing Hope

I had to kind of smile when I came online and saw the title on Yahoo's entertainment section that one of the contestants on American Idol brought judge Paula Abdul to tears. I had to wonder if they were that good, or that bad. I have to admit I haven't been watching it. After the season premiere that made me laugh outloud, I haven't had a chance to catch the show, but even I was a little misty eyed when I read that the tears were brought on by the hopes and dreams of a 64-year-old hopeful on the top-rated reality show. How sweet. Hey, if it left Simon Cowell silent, it had to be amazing.

Quick Fish Tip

I feel like this should be a cooking post with a title like that. (Ewwww, although I love fish that way too). I learned a valuable lesson the other day. Yes, I bought another tank. (Don't roll your eyes at me) but it's not set up yet. I brought home the tank, the hood, the heater, and the filter and promptly started setting it up with aged water, and went to start the filter--

Water EVERYHWERE! And I don't mean in the tank. The filter, it turns out, had a small hole in the bottom. A bad molding job in the casing. It was shooting out water alright, but in the wrong place. Always check all new supplies for things like holes over a sink or tub BEFORE you put in on your tank--in your living room--sitting on things that do not like water being sprayed all over them. :)

I'll post a picture of the tank later, when it finally is set up.