Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Poor Planning Makes For Poor Sales

Most big businesses know that market research is paramount to success. It's something I wish more small businesses understood and made use of. There are great companies out there that will find out everything you need to know to reach the audience you need to reach for your product no matter what it is. I wish a lot of small businesses understood the value of such research before they start up, especially if it's a brick and mortar type business and not a 'net' business. Even net businesses should have a very good understanding of where there product will sell the best, and to whom--and where to find those people. A good research company can give them all that, and more. Small businesses are often doomed to fail, but largely it has to do with poor planning at the start up, and poor follow through in the same during the course of regular business.

Royal Fit

Although I think it's a sad example of our need for seeing disaster and the effects of fame together, I really think the people who are throwing a royal fit about the showing of the pictures of the car crash that killed Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed are blown out of proportion. They say it will upset the royal family. As if they don't already know what the pictures look like, or know it happened. They don't have to go to see the showing. Nothing will change what happened, nor will it take away the pain they must feel all the time still--especially the boys.

Don't Change That Channel

Television sponsors are learning what we bloggers have already learned. Simple 'commercial' ads are no longer good enough to keep viewers attentions. Back in the days of channels 2, 5, 7, 9 and maybe UHF if you were lucky to get the second antenna pointed in the right direction, viewers not only had little choice but to watch the commercials between their newly found tv shows, they were actually mezermised by them. Now with literally hundreds of channels to choose from, getting away from commercials is a click of the button. To keep viewers from grabbing the remote control advertisers have taken to making funny, or insightful commercials... or even making 'what is that' commercials like a spot that seems like it's geared toward something else right before the end when you're hit with what the ad is really about.

Now though they're finding that 'mini series' or little skits, or things like that may be the answer. How about what us bloggers have already discovered... real experiences about the things being advertised really goes a long way to making a 'commercial' interesting.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Memory

The fact that I own a Dell computer sends me searching all the time for ways to improve on its functions. Finding Dell Memory cards and options for other improvements is important to me. Most writers can identify with the need for more space, and faster speeds. Finding such things at 'The Memory Store' is quick, easy, and painless. I need quick and easy... most of all I need painless. I would be lost if I had to go into an office supply, or a computer store and try to figure out what I need. I prefer to find it online and point and click on easily searched items like these.

Televisions new 'old' perspecitve

Some of my favorite shows are on the Discovery channel, and Animal Planet. I can watch them all day. Even the reruns. What gets me though is how Hollywood seems to see fit to constantly rehash old shows like the upcoming 'Bionic Woman' series based of course on the old Linda Carter series. There are so many fantastic writers, and stories out there and they have to give us the same thing. Just because it was a hit back in the 70's they assume it's a safer bet that something fresh and new. The problem is even when they give us fresh it's not new. It's the same old story packaged in a different set of actors, and scenarios. A little clue guys--the same thing that was funny before is probably boring now. I think they have to step outside their Hollywood comfort zone and look for writers from other parts of the country and world. It's a well-known fact that screenwriters and television writers are usually only considered if they live in the 'known universe' of Hollywood. That's sometimes breakable for screenwriters... but never for television writers. They have to be on 'beck and call' and show up for work. I don't see why they can't find away in this mass-communication online era to work from various locations though. Really. And I think it would give them a whole new perspective on what the country as a whole wants to see, and open up a whole new world of writers to them.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Second Coming

Hey, virgin births may not be all the spectacular after all... at least not in sharks. Scientists have discovered that female sharks can fertilize their own eggs. They were studying a hammerhead in captivity that hadn't been with a male three years... unfortunately the resulting baby was killed by a stingray in the tank with them. It sucks to be special.

The Queen Is coming

I'm excited. I just found out Bob bought the movie 'The Queen' for us to watch this weekend. He also bought the movie 'Pans Labyrinth' which also sounded really good, but I've been wanting to see 'The Queen' since it came out. We both love docudramas but this will be the most 'recent' historically. The second most recent that we now own is 'The Patriot' and that was dealing with the Revolutionary war. I just love the whole 'Diana' era and can't wait to see the Queen. Not to mention I really like the actress that plays the Queen. The first time I saw her in a movie was when she was Mikhail Baryshinikov's ex-love interest in 'White Nights'.

The Pirates Are Coming

Johnny's back! The new Pirates of the Caribbean is about to hit the theaters. I can't wait! I love Johnny Depp. I've enjoyed most of his movies. One of my favorites was Edward Scissorhands. He gives his characters a depth, while infusing them with emotion and depth that makes you feel for them... no less his character of 'Captain Jack Sparrow'. What could be loveable about a pirate? When it's Captain Jack, a man bound by honor and code in spite of being a theif and self-proclaimed scallywag you can't help but understand and adore him. Then there's his slightly off kilter demeanor kicked off by a swagger that borders on constant drunk even when he hasn't touched a drop. I loved how he came up with the attitude and physical motions of his character too using his much-admired Rolling Stones guitarist Keith as a model--you can see it in every expression and movement. It shows how much he puts into his part as well. This final episode should prove to be as entertaining as the two before it and I'm so excited to get to sail the seas once again in search of that elusive treasure.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dell Comes To Walmart

Hey I just found out that Dell computers are now going to be available at WalMart. Before this Dell's were only available from Dell itself. They shunned mass market type stores. Apparently they're changing their views. I'm very happy about that. In days gone by Gateway was my computer brand of choice, but, well, they're expensive. What sold me on them before, however, was the extreme durability of the product AND they're fantastic customer service. That kind of slid downhill toward the end of my relationship with them. When I bought a new computer I bought a Dell. Much more affordable, and according to their commercials, great customer service. Perhaps because I'm more proficient myself, or maybe just because I'm lucky, I haven't needed to contact Dell's tech support. I may have just jinxed myself. Even if they're not as good as Gateway used to be, the computers are so much cheaper that it's still a better deal. Hopefully they'll continue to offer great deals even through the stores. It will make them easier to access.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

All Stars

I watched Dancing With The Stars last night. I don't usually get to sit down at watch TV at that time. In fact, I wasn't supposed to be then either but I had a few minutes so I flipped through the channels and saw that coming on and decided to watch for a few minutes. Well, I got hooked. I sat there through the whole thing. All three of the final competing teams were fantastic. I would have had a really hard time deciding between them. Watching the footage of their family and friends talking about the experiences they had throughout the competition made it even more difficult, but I'm glad Apollo won. I liked him and was mezmerized by the Tango he and his dancing partner did. I wonder if they're running out of 'stars' though since all of the competitors this time were sports stars rather than entertainment stars. I hope it comes back next season, I may just have to watch them all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Great TV and the Truth

After my last two posts I thought I was finished with ranting about Little House. I was about to leave the computer when I thought of something else. As much as I adore the series, it was quite a shock to read the actual books, which were much more factual. They were real 'diaries' of a sort. The real stories. It came as quite a shock that the Olsens weren't real. That ma and pa were a lot tougher in countenance than their tv counterparts. It shouldn't have. Life in the 1800's, as much as we'd like to romanticize it was HARD. The stories that are so uplifting on television with their happy endings and messages, were real heartbreakers, or soulbreakers back then. The problem is, we tend to believe what we see, especially if we know it's 'based' on the truth. Little House was based on the truth, but strayed quite a bit to make it entertaining. It's not nearly as entertaining if there's always a bitter ending. It would have lasted a season. We may have gotten a better idea of life in the late 1800's but it wouldn't have made for great tv.

Old fashioned drugs

Like I posted earlier, one of my favorite tv shows was, and still is 'Little House on the Prairie'. I was just watching an episode today, part I of II, that dealt with Albert's drug addiciton. Yep, even way back in the 1800's and early 1900's teens still struggled with peer pressure and drug abuse. Oh the drugs weren't quite as complex as they are today, but one of the biggies is still one of the biggies today--Morphine. Back then it wasn't 'illegal' exactly. The acts that drug addiction lead to were though. Primarily theft. It started me thinking about why drugs are, or aren't illegal today. It's pretty much the same... the big illegal drugs are just that because they usually involve the larger chance of someone else getting hurt, and/or the user stealing.

It kinds of makes me wonder why alcohol isn't against the law. I mean alcoholics have been known to steal to support the habit. They've been known to be physically abusive, and they've been known to kill others either through outright violence, or in a second hand type of way through driving while drunk, etc.

On the other hand, cigarettes--another big addiction--isn't illegal yet, but they seem to be heading that way quickly. However, that addiction doesn't normally lead to theft, or physical violence, and rarely impacts anyone else but the user themselves. Oh lobbyiests against cigarettes will scream about second hand smoke, but I really think the only reason cigarettes aren't illegal is that the second hand smoke theory is really kind of thin. People distrust the 'scientific' evidence based on the fact that science has been so wrong so often about what does, and doesn't cause cancer. There are some even that will refute evidence that claims cigarettes cause cancer at all even in primary users saying that why do not ALL smokers get cancer--a great many do, but there are those that do not as well... and there are plenty of cancer sufferers who never touched tobacco. There, some will proclaim is the evidence that second hand smoke causes cancer--not really. No more than cars, factories, coal dust... oh, and lets not forget the much slimmer probabilities of scientific proclamations like shopping cart handles, cell phones, and hard candy. Well maybe hard candy wasn't ever one, but I"m sure they'd like it to be. What are the actual chances that a non-smoker will inhale a lungfull of smoke from a smoker? Hardly any unless they're sitting right across from them a few feet away and the smoker is ignorant enough to blow the smoke right in their faces--even then, it's a one time shot unless the non-smoker is a moron.

The likelihood of similarities to lab-type experiments where little rats are subjected to 'roomfulls' of smoke (which is the equivalent of a glassed in shoebox filled with smoke) hardly the same ratio of most rooms humans inhabit unless they're in a jail cell are millions to one.

Drugs can be bad for the users... horrible even, but the real horror is what they do to those around the users. If there isn't any real impact... it's not a threat.

The Simple Life

Branson Missouri is such a great place to visit if you love rural life and crafts. It has so much to offer in the way of country entertainment and I love visiting the small shops that specialize in rural arts and crafts. It's beautiful too. The scenic mountains and lush green country is such a contrast to the cities if you live in the hectic pace of urban sprawl you'll love getting away to a simpler style of living.

Stop On By And Set a Spell

Aside from dealing with a headcold, and loosing a foal to a dog chase I've been having a pretty good week here. Don't forget to check out my farm blog to find out all that's going on with the horses and goats and all the other critters at Country Haven. I love to share my cheese recipes and my recipe for puddings and yogurt along with all kinds of pictures of the new arrivals as they hit the ground.

The Good Old Days

Nothing brings to mind 'the good old days' idea like television. You know, I love some of the newer shows that are on TV like 'Two and a half men', and 'Sopranos', but for the most part they just don't make really great shows anymore. The ones that stand the test of time forever. My all time favorite shows are 'I love Lucy', 'Little House on the Prairie', and 'MASH'. I grew up with them and can still watch them over and over even though I know the stories, and in some cases even all the words by heart. It's still fun to watch. With the current shows if it's a re-run, I just turn it off. They loose their luster after one time. It also drives me nuts how many shows are just mimics of others. All the 'CSI' shows, and especially all the 'reality' shows. It seems like reality TV is begining to take a little bit of a downward momentum. I sure hope so. I don't care about any one else's crappy life. I want to escape when I watch TV.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mega Millions

The three producers of 'Babel' and 'Children of Men' (really cool movie, I liked that one a lot) have just signed a deal with Universal studios for a cool one hundred million dollars for the global distribution rights of those two, and 'Pan's Labyrinth'. Not bad at all I'd say. Their work is already done and they get even more money just to let someone else sell it again and reach a wider audience. Although their audience wasn't too bad here in the states. Maybe now they'll get some major studio backing to make future movies. I thought 'Children of Men' was a great concept and fairly well done but you could tell it wasn't a big dollar flick. I'm not knocking it in anyway. Bravo to getting such a creative movie done on a limited budget, but I'd like to see what these three guys could do with big money behind them.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Money Like Water

If you are finding that stretching that paycheck from one to the next is just not making it you might want to try this suggestion from yahoo's article on 'overspending'. It's easy to do with the way things are today. Everything is billed, or charged, and it's easy to loose track of just where you spent all that money. Without going into how much my husband and I made last year I can certainly tell you we did the same thing at the end of the year that we do just about every year. We looked at each other and said 'where did all that money go?' It just seems to slide like liquid through your fingers. Espcially now since electronic deposits and, for me, payment online and directly into the bank are so commonplace. Rarely do people actually get a check and deposit it in the bank anymore. We never actually see our 'real' money. It's all on statements and in cyber space. It exists. We know it does. Somewhere. At some point we had it, just never in our actual hands. That makes it all too easy to spend too. When that paycheck stretch breaks down into broke long before payday, it's a good thing to step back and take a look at exactly where that money is going, and how to stop the flow.

'X' Really Does Mark the Spot

You wouldn't think that with all the technology, and all the years past there would still be ancient sunken treasures, or buried treasures around... but there are. Apparently if you have the tools, the knowledge, and ... well, the luck, you can still find treasure.

Deep sea explorers have just found a colonial era treasure valued at five hundred MILLION dollars. Not a bad days work at all. Even if it took a year that's a mighty haul.

While it may seem inconsequential to ordinary folk like you and I the fact is it makes me feel kind of good to know that things like that can happen. There are still the lucky treasures to be found. Makes for such great possibilities of story lines that can still be 'believable' even in the 21st century.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Discovering No Man's Land

Scientists have figured out--at least they think they have--what is causing the gas around Saturn. Caused by moon geysers ice shifts on the planets are what cause the eruptions. Yippee. Now I'd like to know exactly how this probably multi-million dollar project helps us in any way whatsoever, except maybe to tantilize us with useless trivia and make some scientist feel good for a bit? Granted the NASA program can be credited for many of life's everyday inventions first discovered due to a need for their program: like duct tape. Who can live without duct tape? Everyone has used it at some point in their lives for something, big or small. However, why can't such super brains be put to use for something more constructive on THIS planet? The same inventions could be thought up along the way and we can herald them with as much aplomb as duct tape--and maybe something that can benefit mankind in a useful way as well. Now I hear scientists have also discovered a way to get injured mice to regrow hair. Okay, not as exciting as moon gas on Saturn perhaps, but bald men the world over may soon benefit from those hapless mice and brave scientists going where 'no man has gone before.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are You Ready?

With all the news about cities being torn apart by tornados lately it makes the thought of survival kits even more urgent. My mother-in-law called me last night to tell me there was a big storm heading my way. Thunderstorm, hail, possible tornado. It made me scramble to get all my work outside done and all the animals under cover. It turned out that it blew past us and all we got were a few raindrops. Not even enough to make puddles in the driveway BUT the fear is always there. After seeing the devastation of Kansas and parts of Missouri it really scares you to think about what tornados can do. Being prepared is never a waste of energy.

I'm From The Country

... and I like it that way.

Just quoting one of my favorite songs. I love country music but I missed the CMA's last night. Well... more appropriately, I skipped them. While I love country music I really dislike award shows. They're boring no matter how hard they try to make them exciting for at home viewers. Even if they have ten acts--at about 3 minutes a piece that makes 30 minutes of a show that lasts 3 hours. The rest is thank you, I love you, yadda, yadda, yadda. No thanks.

I suppose if you're a groupie type who loves a particular performer and know they're going to get an award it's fun to watch, but otherwise... who cares? Well the stars themselves and their families, of course. The producers and companies... sure. But why subject the public and pre-empt shows just for that? Have your ceremonies and leave us out of it.

Meet Face To Face

Holding meetings online is commonplace in today's tech age. If you have an office, or even if you work from home, communicating with other professionals in your field is necessary and the ability to do it right from your office, no matter where that is, saves loads of time and money. Now you can get web conferencing software that's easy to use, easy to install, and won't cost you an arm and a leg and it beats simply using chat rooms hands down for face-to-face communication. Gone are the misunderstandings that words without visual expression can cause. Don't loose an account or a job over a misunderstood quip--get 'in their face' with visual conferencing.

Are You Blind?

If you're looking to give your windows a new treatment check out Blind Chalet. Window blinds add an elegant beauty to windows while making, or blocking views easily. Installing window blinds is easy, but one of the headaches that I've found is measuring accurately. I'm never quite sure how to go about it and usually fret the entire time. BlindChalet.com has help on their website that tells you exactly how to measure so you'll never have to worry if you're getting it right no matter which type of blind you're looking for. Their faq section can help you decide which type of blind is best for you whether you're looking to add insulation to your home, or provide the best views while still maintaining privacy. One of the greatest benefits to blinds for me is the ability to provide privacy since most of the windows on our 'sitting' side of the house are on the highway side, but I still want to be able to take in the views of the wide open prairies as viewed from our living room and family rooms.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pedal To The Metal

I keep hearing the song 'Radar Love' running through my head as I think about putting a radar detector in my car. I admit I have a lead foot. It's most inconvienient when I come to towns. I always try to slow down. I don't like to speed through urban'ish' areas. It's hard to remember sometimes though. You get used to just slamming your foot down and going. When you're used to going 70 miles an hour, going 30 seems like a snails pace. Even when I lived up in a crowded city and 30 miles an hour was commonplace I remember coming off a highway or interstate and not even realizing I was going way faster than the speed limit. Out here where I live now, 70 is the rule, and towns are few and far between so it's REALLY easy to forget yourself. The cops know this. LOL They wait at the edges of towns... even 'choosing' spots just a little outside the town to call the 'limits' where the speed drops. It sure would be nice to have some advance warning of when they were there in an unexpected spot.

Happy Mother's Day

I know, I know, it's tomorrow, but I'm not likely to get online tomorrow. Not sure what my daughter has planned but it's something, plus I have a horse coming back home tomorrow and I have to be outside for that soooo...

Happy Mother's Day.

May your day be filled with all the joys and love that children bring, and you find peace surrounded by loved ones.

If you're a child--likely you are, lol, not many of us get here without parents--don't forget!! Even a simple I love you, and thanks for being a great mom goes a long way to bringing a smile of joy to your mom's face.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Can't Win For Losing

There is an article today on Yahoo that even thin people may be fat on the inside. Yep, you heard me, even you skinny folks may have dangerous fat deposits around vital organs internally and not even know it. What will they come up with next? Me, I know I'm fat. Personally I'd rather be 'thin on the outside' than the otherway around. haha. I think sometimes medical science people just sit around all day saying--what can I come up with next to really mess with people's minds. First it was butter, then it was nooo butter is good, it's margarine that's bad. Oh and eggs are bad... wait, wait, no eggs are good. Steak is good... steak is bad... MAKE UP YOUR MINDS. I don't think they really know. My motto: Live well, live happy, hurt no one, and everyone dies eventually.

After all, why struggle to lose wait when you can't really win for losing?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Passing Fad?

Could it be? Could TV really be loosing it's hold on the human mind? From its inception television has held people captive in front of boxes -- almost to the point of brain-washing. Studies say that there are 2.5 MILLION less television viewers than there were just ONE year ago. Could it be that we are starting to learn how mind-numbing television really is? Ok I admit I watch some TV, but really not much on what used to be considered the national average. Maybe an hour a day, and usually just because I'm done with my work and I want to relax and get sleepy. Still, where have all the TV watchers gone? Probably to Nintendo. So much for learning about mind-numbing. Then again, there is the computer, and the Internet... no... that's not mind-numbing at all.

Human Nature

Are you the type of person who believes people are inherently 'evil', out to get the best deal they can even if it means cutting the other guy out of something? Or are you the type that believes that humans are basically good even though there are some bad eggs out there? I'm asking because I'd really like to know what the common conscensus is on this. I've had two dealings in the past 10 days. Both of which involved the sale of an animal, both required my believing in the other person involved to do what they said they would do. One went good, the other went sour... but at least on the one that went sour, it looks like that person is at least going to be 'good' and do the right thing and return the animal this weekend since she can not continue making agreed upon payments. I actually thought THAT deal was going to be the one that went well and finished out. The one last Sunday where a mother and father wanted to buy one of our colts that we had at the farm animal sale but had to go home and fix things up and would come to our farm later that day to pick up the colt--unfortunately at the sale they only had a check for that amount, and I told them if they were picking the horse up that day I'd prefer cash. They didn't have a problem with that but would have to go get it and bring it when they picked up the colt. They seemed genuinley earnest and we agreed to bring the colt back home and wait for them to come... all that afternoon as it got later and later I worried we'd been suckered, but low and behold, the truck pulled in somewhere around 6ish. Then I find out today that the other deal was the one that was going bad when I got an email that said she would not be able to continue, and well there was more, but let's suffice it to say I requested she return the animal before she missed her first payment due. She was fine and seems like things will go well. So that's sort of the background of my wanting to know. I'm not sure how I will handle things in the future. Part of me says 'cash only' at the time of sale and that's it. No more messing around with possible problems. At least the one last Sunday would have only meant we had to hold onto the colt a few more weeks until the next sale but not really be messy. Maybe something like that would still be okay in the future.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Give Me A Boost

There are some days when I just need an energy boost. Working two companies from home, and trying to keep my house from imploding around me is a twenty hour a day job sometimes. Bob jokes around saying he sees the 'dent in the couch' when he comes home and asks if I'm tired from sitting around all day, but he sure knows differently. I'm up at six, and right to work. The farm side of the work is pretty physical too. It's tiring, and I usually don't get to crawl into bed until about eleven at night, and that's when there are no babies threatening to make appearances. If they are, then it's constantly checking on expectant mom's through the night. Is it any wonder I'm constantly thinking about my next vacation?

Presidential Wordplay

Wow apparently former President Clinton has quite a flair for words. He created a crossword puzzle for the New York Times. They say it's quite humourous and full of twists and unexpected puns. I've heard him speak and I suppose it could be true that he's quite glib and has a great sense of humor and a quick wit. I pretty much thought it was all his 'speech writers' effect when he spoke. Possibly it was him all along.

Copying Genius

Blake struggled with a BeeGees song on Idol. That's no real surprise, or it shouldn't be. He should have picked better. There are some artists and/or groups that are just really hard to 'cover' at least in a way that resembles the original. If he had to pick a song from such a stylized group he should have made it his own rather than attempt to recreate such a difficult pattern. Lesson learned, but a hard one. When you are trying to copy genius, make it your own genius, not theirs -- somethings can't be recreated.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Hand Of God

Having just written about horrible emergency possibilties due to tornados around here it makes the Kansas tornado tragedy even more focused in my mind. What a horror to have to live through. I know tornados can do unspeakable damage but it's not usually so concentrated, or devasating. Possibly because they don't normally seem to hit really big towns as much. I've always thought that it was the concentration of many sizes of buildings that kept the winds broken up and disapated the destructive capabilities of tornados in large towns and cities. To be sure I knew that they do hit them sometimes. In fact when I lived up in a suburb of Chicago -- and it's VERY concentrated and tight up there I remember when I was about 10 or 11 a tornado hit the suburb right next to us and took out part of the high school, and a few roofs. Still that's NOTHING compared to what happened in Kansas.

The type of destruction that happened in Kansas happens often enough out here in the country. Lots of open prairie and crop fields give berth to high winds with nothing at all to stop them. Barns, houses, and buildings like that are often blown apart by a passing twister. However, the damage is usually 'minimal' if you could say that. To the families owning the barn or house, it is certainly not minimal, but the destruction is usually limited to a few properties over a mile or two since there is such distance between each homestead.

I feel so sorry for the people in Kansas that lost everything. There were so many, and the losses were so complete. They don't even know yet how many folks lost their lives to the twister, but they do know that the advance 20 minute warning did give a lot of folks time to evacuate. That's a good thing, but I wonder how many kind of shrugged off the warning and chose to hide in a basement or hallway thinking they were safe enough. I think I might have too since I've never seen anything around here that would average more than an F2 or 3 and like I said, even though there are odds, they're usually more or less in your favor that the most you'd loose is a roof, or some shingles. That thing that hit Kansas had to be a 5--the 'Hand of God' as it was called in the popular movie Twister (one of my favorite movies). I hope and pray never to see such destruction up close and personal... but then again, I suppose it's just a matter of time.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dead Broke

If you were told you only had a short time to live and you went and 'lived it up' and blew all your money then found out the doctor's were wrong... would you be upset? LOL I have to admit, I didn't read the article, I just saw the headline ''Not Dead, but broke'' and read the leader that gave the hint that that's about what happened and the guy is really po'd at the doctors. Well, I guess I would be too, but then again, no one really twisted his arm to blow all his dough. Maybe he had deadbeat kids and didn't want to leave any to them... maybe he didn't have any family... maybe he's just stupid.

Box Office Killer

Spiderman3 is breaking box office records which is really no surprise. It's been a bonanza since the first one hit the screen, and Toby McGuire is perfect in the lead role. Nikki wanted to take me to see it for mother's day so maybe we'll have a nice afternoon out and I'll get to see Spidey's dark side.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Heavenly Vacation

If you're ready for a vacation and want to pamper yourself like royalty--check out crewed yacht charters. Bob and I went on one very short yacht charter for the afternoon last summer and it was heavenly. I can't even imagine how wonderful it would be for a weekend, or a week. These aren't just 'boats', they're luxery liners. They come in all styles too, from sailing yachts to huge multi-storied sea vessels. The one we went on had four levels, each one as luxurious as the other and the food was sublime. There are lots of locations as well. I'm telling you, it's heaven on earth... well, on water.

Stranger Again

The other day I mentioned that my son had given me his copy of "Stranger than Fiction" saying I HAD to watch it. It was hilarious and being a writer, just my type of movie. Well, I did watch it. It was funny. I think I would have expected just a little more comedy from the likes of Queen Latifah and Will Farrell, but it was funny. If you're a writer that's a movie worth renting anyway if not buying.

Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

I went to a farm swap (sale) this morning. We got up at 4 am, milked the goats, fed all the horses, goats, chickens, geese, dogs, and what have you, and loaded up two of our sale colts and drove down the road to the Kankakee Fair Grounds where they have a farm swap meet every 1st Sunday of the month from April through October. I sold both boys! (and bought two goats)


Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Hey, at least I did come out a little a head. The two goats didn't cost me anything as we traded one of the colts for them... and they come with extras--both goats are bred and should kid in about 4 months. The other little colt we actually sold for cash so I did sort of play it right... right? LOL Hey, you only live once.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Dog's Life

Eat and sleep, maybe chase a few cats... what could be better? Well, the eatting part isn't so safe anymore. The pet food problem is widening it seems which is scary for many people. Probably 85% of all households own a dog, a cat, or some type of pet animal that eats commercial food, most have more than 1, or any combo of the above. Just in our house we have a dog, four cats, and four fish tanks. The pet food industry is in for one heck of a law suit too as the owners of dogs and cats that have died as a result of tainted pet foods grows and begins to estimate their beloved animals cost. We value our pets, and the cost of emotional connection is way more than the few dollars actually spent on an individual animal. I see lawsuits in the millions coming.

Living in a Fog

I must be living in a fog of my own making because I had no idea that Paris Hilton had been sentenced to anything, much less jail time. I just read on Yahoo about how she would have to adjust to life behind bars... eating chicken, lol... what did she do? It couldn't have been THAT serious since it's only for 45 days or something like that, not years, but still. I guess it does make you feel a little better knowing that even the obscenely rich can't get away with everything, all the time.

Supplies Online

If you're like me and run through office supplies like water but hate going to the store either because of the inconvienience, or distance why not get your office supplies online? I do. It's easy and lots of times even cheaper. There are great places like business-supply.com that carry everything, and I mean everything from desks and chairs right down to waste baskets and paperclips and even give you free shipping on most orders over fifty dollars. Since it's the shipping that 'kills' most savings deals online, that's the clincher right there... save money and pay no shipping. How hard is it to drop 50 bucks on office supplies anyway? I can do it with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. Best of all, I don't have to battle traffic to replenish my supply.

No Such Thing as a Sure Thing

I'm guessing John Magnier, owner of the Coolmore Racing Group in Ireland has figured that out by now. In 2006 he paid a whopping 16 mil (yes 16 MILLION DOLLARS) for a 2-year-old thoroghbred in training that looked like it was going to be the next BIG name in racing. He had the looks, the bloodlines, and apparently at the auction trial the speed as well. That horse, named 'The Green Monkey' has never set foot on a track on race day, and may never still. What I'd like to tell Mr. Magnier is that he should know that animals learn to live up to the names you give them. Somehow, they always seem to take on that personality, or idea... The Green Monkey--please, you should have just known. LOL

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tarzan Is Dead

It's a sad day for those of us that remember the old television series Tarzan. Gordon Scott, the actor who played the character in the title role died at age 80. I guess what kind of surprises me, and doesn't all at once is that a man who acted in so many movies and even had a role in a movie alongside Sean Connery spent the end of his life living in a respectible, but working-class area in Baltimore. It just isn't the 'Hollywood' style you'd expect. We see so many high-dollar actors living the 'rich life' that it's hard to imagine that probably 90% of the actors/actresses never make much more than minimum wage, at least not for long enough to make it count, and live just like us.

Then again, even those that live the 'Hollywood' lifestyle have to make millions just to live like 'regular' folk considering the price of housing in the 90210 and surrounding aress. A simple little three bedroom house like you'd see on just about any street in the US can cost as much as 3 million dollars in LA.

A Crazy Kind of Day

I must be crazy--really. I just set up an appointment for a job interview on the 10th of May for a 7am - 3pm job at a local factory. Now this particular factory is a great place to be. It's air conditioned, and they assemble small parts for things like chainsaws, and such so it's not heavy, or hard work. It's a light, clean building and pays well for this area. It's a place I wanted to work at in the past. Last spring I filled out an application for their but it took them three weeks to call me back and offer me the job and in the meantime I'd taken a job as a cashier and felt bad about just saying 'sorry got a different job' to that place (hindsight 20/20--I should have, lol) but suffice it to say I just didn't take the desired job. Now I have the opprotunity again, and we do need the money. Hubby's job took a kind of dump. The company he works for close 2 stations and cut hours in all the others. He's lucky he wasn't working at one of the closed places. It means an almost 50% pay cut though since they cut hours way back and did away with overtime. Lest I sound pathetic or like I'm looking for sympathy, lol, I'm not, even without closing stations his company does something like this every spring. After over 20 years of it we should both be used to it, but it comes as a blow every year.

I just don't exactly know how I'm going to manage milking the goats, feeding the kids (goat kids), feeding the horses and all the rest of the goats, turning everybody out, etc... and working 8 hours a day. I've done it in the past, but I was much younger then. There's got to be a point in time when you just say, "I'm too danged old for this"--there really should be a point in time when you don't have to worry about money anymore too... guess that's REALLY crazy though.

Is it really Stranger Than Fiction?

My son just lent me a movie called 'Stranger Than Fiction' staring Will Farrel, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah. I'll tell you how it is after I watch it tonight but is sounds like a HOOT. It's about this 'regular Joe'... okay he's an IRS auditor, so not everyone's favorite 'Joe', but just an average guy who suddenly finds himself hearing a narration of his life story in his head. No one else can. Turns out this author is writing 'his' story although she doesn't know he's a real guy... the twist is, she has a habit of killing off her main characters in bizare ways, and Will Farrell's character can hear her 'narration' of what's going to happen as he does it. Is that a great movie for a writer to watch, or what? I'll let you know, but I think it's going to be great.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Location, Location, Location

My friend and her husband have a huge old house that they had always planned on making into a Bed & Breakfast. It never seems to happen because those types of plans require money, and that's something they rarely have. They got the huge house, and I mean it's one of those big, big old homes that you can get lost in, but it was in need of lots of repair even back 12 years or so ago when they bought it, lots more now. That's the only reason they could afford such a big place. Back then B&B's were sort of a new novelty. Now they are just about everywhere you find popular tourist sights... another downfall of their planning... how many tourists actually come to the Beaverville area? Um... none. Location, location, location, my old real estate teacher used to scream. It's every real estate person's motto--and obviously one that they didn't take into consideration when they thought the old house at the edge of Beaverville would make for a great vacation spot four travellers. B&B's are a great alternative though if they're in a popular area. They sort of combine the idea that I've been considering, of renting vacation homes rather than staying in hotels, with the luxery of maid service and meals. The rooms are often beautiful in the setting that suits the atmosphere of the area, and the breakfasts are home made and sumptious. Owning and operating a Bed and Breakfast probably would be a great way to live--if you live where it pays.

Today's the day?

I have been so busy with things around home that I haven't had the time to do much writing at all. It's driving me crazy. I have ideas for two solid articles in my head that are dying to get on 'paper' (really screen since I rarely use paper anymore). I know it won't take much more than a few hours to get them both done but every time I think 'I'm going to do it today for sure', for sure something comes up that completely eats up my time, and I'm too tired to even think about writing the articles. Maybe today... or maybe I just jinxed it again.