Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fishy Subject

Here are some of the new fish that I got to restock the tanks that I lost in the deep freeze--

New goldfish tank (replaces a previous 'warm' tropical tank because now I don't have to worry about a heater going out)

There's a black moor goldfish in there too just above the 'ship' but he's really hard to see. He's SOOOOOO tiny it's too cute. They're cure when they get bigger too but he's only the size of my pinky first joint right now.

And here is a pic of the 2 new blue goriami I got for the one remaining warm tropical tank I kept. I had thought to disband all tropicals but I really don't want to have no warm water tanks.

It's All About the Details

You can paint, buy new furniture, and scrub until you are blue but redecorating a home takes attention to the details to really get that professional, polished look that gives it finish. Instead of spending hours driving from hardware store to hardware store to find just the right piece of woodwork, lighting, or tile you can do it all online at Inviting Home.

One of the hardest things to get right can be home lighting. It is a challenge but if you have plenty of options to choose from to get just the right look for each room your lighting will set off all of your decorating efforts.

One of my downfalls has often been the molding and woodwork. Inviting Home has a massive selection of molding from crown molding to door frames and floor molding. I have made the determination to be more diligent in getting the perfect woodwork for all the rooms this time. Shopping online makes it so much easier and a site like Inviting Homes where professionals get their materials makes it great because the prices are fantastic and the selection is endless.

I also love all the helpful articles on their site that give tips and ideas about how to make your home decorating a success. That can help you keep from making costly mistakes, and make sure you get the results you desire the first time. I wish I had found this site a long time ago. I would have made a lot of different choices and saved myself time and money in the long run.

After Work

After a nearly two month slow down (holidays always slow my work down) things are starting to pick up again. I've been busy with other things too though. Cleaning the house, playing with the animals, and with several big power outtages this month (and a loss of two of our fish tanks) replacing filter systems, and restarting tanks and stocking them.

I got a few pics of the birds last night. Here is Goober just hanging out in my office.

And here is the budgies new cage (budgies are more commonly - but mistakenly - known as parakeets):

That cage isn't really new, I've had it but had put off using it because the bar spacing is a little large but they needed a bigger cage than they were in. They seem to really like it and haven't had a problem with the wider spaces in the bars yet. I still have their old cage if I need it.

I really want to get them a flight cage like I have for my conure but with the slow work for the last two months I haven't been able to. Maybe next month.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Let There Be Light

Having been involved in several long term power outages in the last 10 days the lighting in our home is at the forefront of my thoughts all the time now. Things like that tend to go pretty much without notice after awhile but when you start to look at it after living in a place for 15 years you begin to see the wear and need for replacement when you have your eyes opened so to speak. Quoizel lighting is elegant and comes in a wide variety of styles. Since every room in our house has a different feel they each need a different type of lighting. One thing I found on their site besides the beautiful light fixtures are FOUNTAINS. I love them. There is one wall fountain that is a cascading sheet of water I am simply in love with. I am definitely getting that. What's even better is it, and most of the items at the Quoizel Store come with FREE SHIPPING. Those are two of my favorite words.

Rolling With The Changes

I have to laugh at the quote for today. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Wow. Life is all about change for me so I guess that puts me right in the center of 'average' intelligence. I guess though that saying makes some sense. Stupid people don't change even when they see the need for it, and wise men don't change what works since they've already figured it out.

Really though I think the only way to get through life with your sanity is to be flexible and ready to change with the needs. If you can't adapt to the changing atmopshere around you, and life has a way of being very good at throwing curves at you, you can't survive.

Bigger and Better

I went looking at engagement rings yesterday with my husband. After all this time it is about time to get a new one. A new set in fact. When we were first starting out we couldn't afford a really great ring. I think a lot of new couples are like that. Since it is the only jewelry I wear as a rule I've wanted to get an attractive set that I really like for a long time. They say you should spend about 3 months salary on an engagement ring but I wonder if that scale still works. Even back when I first got married that scale barely applied. We did that and it still wasn't as nice as it could be and my fiance made a decent salary.

Perhaps as a general guide the 3 month salary thing works okay but overall I think the rings we were looking at came closer to a year (and after all this time my hubby makes a lot more now than he did 25 years ago). These weren't gaudy crazy rings either. Just very nice but larger than chips size. Of course, there's other options if you want big without the cost but you probably won't be married long if your intended finds out you bought them.


Hubby and Son were listening to some new CDs last night at ear popping, pulse pounding levels and I have to say I'm getting old. Obviously hubby is not because he still likes new music but I feel like my parents (and grandparents) screaming turn that stuff off! Today's music is such garbage. Of course that's not true all across the board but today's music is lacking in my opinion. New artists lack originality, and, well... singing ability. It's a lot of screaming and cussing. It's either that or they are imitating older artists who set the pace for good music in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. I've seen more Michael Jackson imitators than I can count in the last 10 years. While imitation may be the highest form of flattery, it can be overdone. Use some, but come on, develop your own style.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Room Appeal

I would love to have wood flooring in my living room and family room. I think it is so beautiful and classy. Whenever I want to write a scene in a room that is serious, or classy, I give it a wood floor. Not ceramic tile, which is also 'rich' and classy, but a wood floor is more than just rich feeling, it is warm, and inviting, serious, bold, it has a completely different aura than tile. If I want a fuzzy feeling I give it a plush carpet, if I want bold I'll go for wood or tile, but for strong and or warm I go with wood all the way. I've talked a lot about what to do about my own house and since we removed the rugs to the tile that was beneath them we've wanted to change it. I don't want rugs again. I want wood flooring. I think that will be our spring project.

Goin' Batty

We watched 'The Dark Knight' last night. I loved it. I thought I wouldn't. I already liked the Batman movie with Jack Nicholson's Joker in it and thought no way could this be as good, but it really was. Totally different, but absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed the first of 'this' Batman series 'Batman Begins' but thought it was more of a prequel to the other Batman movies that were currently out there. Obviously though they decided to start at the beginning with this Batman series and make it its own entity. It left off kind of finished on this last one. I do hope they just left it that way to make it look like that and are really going to continue this series because it is so good. Unlike the 'campier' Batmans (the television series, and the 90's movies) this one is a real dramatic dark, drama noir and it could be so good. Especially if they keep the current Batman.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Standing Strong Like Paul Offit

It is sad anytime that someone can't feel they have the right to free speech. Perhaps even more-so when it is a doctor who works so hard to provide health care for the public. Paul Offit has worked hard his entire career to make vaccines for people. Now he has to have a bodyguard anytime he wants to speak in public about his work. If it weren't for vaccines we would still have rampant spread of holocaust type diseases that wiped out entire continents in the past.

Medical science is still just a science and no one or nothing is perfect but without the work done by doctors such as Paul Offit we would still be in the dark ages. It should never be necessary to worry about having the right to speak in a country where free speech is guarded so righteously.

I think the bravery of visionaries such as Paul Offit should be applauded. They continue to work toward the betterment of their fellow man in the face of appalling adversity even in this modern age. It is a lesson to learn. Never let the small-mindedness of others stop you from doing what you know is important.

In the Spotlight with Mohammed Babangida

Mohammed Babangida has provides several highlights of the social world with a huge wedding that was covered by much of the media, and several businesses that are newsworthy in their own rights. Being in the public eye isn't always easy for anyone. No matter whether you are a politician or a musician, or other figure.

It helps if the media coverage is positive but even then it can be trying. Mohammed Babangida handles it with grace and is a great example of how someone in a position of power should deal with the media.

I suppose it could be said that is easy if everything being said about you is nice but think about how it would be if your actions are always followed. Walking down a street in private is hard to do, and even the wife of Mohammed Babangida has to always be ready to be seen. I don't think I could handle that. I like to just run out to the store without worrying if I am picture ready. People who live in the media light have to always be ready for the world to see them.

The Origins of Music Kept Intact with Serious Media Journalists like Joseph Odindo

Kenya is the birthplace of all that is musical. The African continent is synonymous with the pulse beat of music. Keeping a country as important to culture as Kenya pure from media destruction is the job of journalists like Joseph Odindo who works for the largest private media institution in Kenya, the Nation Media Group.

Nothing kills musical inspiration faster than a media that is irresponsible. Joseph Odindo believes in his country's heritage and the Nation Media Group works hard to preserve that which makes Kenya the amazing country it is.

You can hear the influence of African music in all of the modern music today. Not just because of the African/American culture and the influx of popular black artists today but because of their infusion of music as far back as can be remembered. Definitely rock and roll has been directly influenced by the great black artists that came before it. The pounding rhythms are a call back to the culture that Joseph Odindo and his fellow journalists protect so adamantly today.
The music industry is in such a slump. The internet has made things even more difficult for artists. As a writer I completely understand the impact that it has had. People want things free and fast, they don't want to have to pay for entertainment anymore. I think it has plagued the music industry even more than any other media group, but movies and books have suffered too. Coupled with the internet the news media has played a large factor in music's slump. When artists like Michael Jackson who have been exposed to the media from the time they were in diapers practically say that they don't want to perform anymore because the media has trashed them so badly they don't want to be seen it is a sad day in the music world. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Mr. Jackson personally as an artist there is simply no comparison. He is the one so many emulate now. Look at 90% of the current acts and you will see him mirrored in their music and movements. To know that he himself does not want to perform because of what the media has made him out to be is truly tragic.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Luggage Blues

I travel a lot and go through luggage
like water it seems like. I buy new luggage every year or two. Travel can be tough on luggage especially flying. I have sat at the airport terminal and watched the luggage cars go by and sometimes see them when they're loading planes and they are supposed to be careful... supposed to be. If you travel enough you know that they're not all that careful and those luggage carriers and belts are tough on them too. I am going to have to buy some new bags soon. I don't travel as much in the winter so I can wait until spring but I am on the road a lot during the summer. Just a few days ago I spent the weekend flying around the country. That's it for the next few months though. I'm flown out. I'm almost glad when winter comes (almost) because it means I can ground myself and wait out the bad weather in my house. By spring I'll be itching to go again. Since none of it is really vacation as a rule, I'm ready for a vacation. Maybe I'll get myself out of the house this winter and actually travel for a vacation.

What Life Is

I love this quote

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
Lou Holtz

It was at the top of my blog on the sidebar today. It is a famous quote but it is so true. I've always said it as, it isn't the punches life throws but how you roll with the blows. Same thought. Life is always throwing punches at you, everyone has the same issues no matter where they are, how much money they make, or what they look like, and it is how you deal with it that makes your life what it is or isn't.

Back on Track

I am back on my diet again and it is making me feel good. I don't know how it happens but when I am into it I feel good about it and feel like it is no problem at all, but for awhile I was having such a hard time with everything going on around me, and depressed a bit, and eating--and I just couldn't remember how it was to be happy on a diet, I couldn't fathom it. I tried taking a diet pill each day, but even then it wasn't as useful as it could have been. It was something I couldn't get my mind around. Now I think diet pills are helpful when you research them, get the best prices as some of them are very expensive, and use them appropriately as a tool to help with your diet and exercise. I also think if you aren't in the right frame of mind just about nothing you do will help. I'm still having the same stresses and issues but I've managed to get my mind around it and am back on track, at least for now.

Burn Notice!

It's coming back! My favorite series of all time - Burn Notice is coming back in January. I love that show. Big Love is coming back on HBO and I love that too, but Burn Notice is the one show I would trip over my own tongue to make sure I don't miss. I just think it is the perfect combination of everything. Suspense, drama, comedy, everything. I grew up loving the old show 'MacGyver' and this is so much like that only better, and more modern. There is also a very heated love interest conflict that was largely missing in the MacGyver series although Richard Dean Anderson who played MacGyver was handsome and had plenty of lady fans falling over themselves to watch him do his thing each week. I can't wait to see how the new season works out for the characters. I like that they've kept the main characters all the way through so far. Unlike with Weeds where they branched out away from a couple of the main characters which I didn't like, so far Burn Notice has kept theirs. I hope they can keep that up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Too Real?

You know what I think would be a really interesting romance storyline. One that makes the father of a new baby that so many of them center around take a tests. Now that's realism for you. Maybe the reason things like that do not happen in romance novels is that it's too real. How far do you go in order to make a character, or story line feel real, without going over the line? I mean reading romance novels has always been a form of escapism. Who really wants the real nitty gritty involved? It could make for a great rom/com though.
I have got to get back on track and schedule time to do some fiction writing. I really miss it. I even had some stuff 'playing in my head' yesterday. The problem for me is my non-fiction (actually paying) work is so busy now that by the end of the day I can barely comprehend the idea of typing some more. I had played around with the voice recognition aspect of the Vista computers I've had recently but after awhile it isn't that much fun anymore. It's cool at first. It makes a lot of mistakes though, and is actually slower than I type. It is supposed to be as fast as you can talk. I guess I can talk pretty fast.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Creating Real Characters in Your Sub Characters

Living with my mother in law who was sick with cancer and going through chemotherapy really drove home the ads you see for incontinence supplies. There are a lot of reasons people need such things and when they do it sure is a good thing that they're available. These are just a few of the everyday things that can be used to build characters, not that most people would put their main character in an adult diaper or anything, but sub-characters who need to be given a special characteristic, or attitude can benefit from many elements we take for granted.

Character Building

Here's a good video that is a part of a video series on creating characters. That is always the most important part of developing a storyline and can be more difficult than it seems it should be.