Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Freeze Zone

We're looking at properties down south and one of the areas we're looking at are the Carolinas. I told my husband today that we should plan some vacations over the next few season to various areas we are interested in. We could, for instance, look into reservations at some rentals and get a feel for the surrounding areas in North Carolina. The cruise down the coast to Florida. We had considered Virginia, but then decided nothing further north that one of the Carolinas. I am serious about wanting to move to a 'no freeze zone.'

Two Weeks

I got new glasses two weeks ago. It was a long overdue event. The difference was astounding and very evident. I loved the way I could see out of them. I hated the fact that they were bifocals. Not because bifocals were 'old' or anything. You can't even tell they're bifocals by looking at them. They're 'graduated' bifocals-no lines. What I hated about them is how nauseous them made me, and the headaches I got. I hated how looking through the reading portion of them while on the computer was like trying to look through a pinpoint opening with a halo haze all around. I was certain I'd never be able to use them to work on my 17 inch computer screen. Well it all cleared up. I evenutally stopped being nauseous (sea-sick on land, lol) from the swimming movement trying to maintain focus. I stopped seeing a halo of fog around what I was reading on screen. They work great now. When I got the glasses they said it would probably take a few days, maybe three to get used to them... HA. Two weeks. I am finally comfortable all the time just now after two weeks of acclimation.

Hubby got his new glasses last weekend. I laughed because all of the same things I'd experienced I could see him going through. I was thankful I could tell him the 'swimming', and the halo, and the fog, would all pass. He was grateful too.

It only took him a few days to get used to them though. Hum. Must be a guy thing.

New Kitchen in the Future

I have wanted to replace the kitchen linoleum floor tiles with ceramic floor tiles for years and am working on it. However, I am going to have to put a little bit of a fire under myself and get it done after last week. I purchased a new big screen TV and a new console for it too. Very modern, very sleek and black, and that meant moving my huge, heavy wood console my old one was mounted on out. That was a herculean feat. There was no moving that without dragging it across the kitchen floor. Ouch. The linoleum in there will never be the same. At least it is winter... the perfect time for indoor projects. New kitchen floor -- NEXT.

Acer is Aces

I was wandering around Walmart the other day and stumbled upon the computer section (not too innocently, I'm looking for a new smaller computer to take on the boat with me next spring). I fell in love with the little Acer computers. They are just the right size for carrying about (nine inches) and come in a wild variety of colors. I really liked the purple (yes purple). My husband managed to get me out of the store without buying one by suggesting I look around thoroughly since I didn't need one until spring (point taken) but at $299 with the windows7 op system installed I think it will be hard to beat the deal on an Acer no matter how hard I look.

District 9

I just watched "District 9" tonight. It is a low-budget aliens land on earth movie but with some unusual twists that explore age-old racial issues in an interesting documentary format that had humor as well as action. The fact that the movie takes place in South Africa even heightens the parallels of racial tensions and inequities. In many ways there was 'nothing new' about the ideas behind the story of District 9, but the way it was told was quite fresh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Healthy Choice

Nothing is more important than good individual health insurance, and nothing can be more confusing at times. Especially for those of us that are self-employed. It is smart to take the time to figure it out and get what you need. Health bills can devastate your finances in a heartbeat. Some companies are making it much easier to understand, and find the right combination of policies for your needs. Many larger writer's companies are forming group insurance plans for their independent contractors which helps a lot. Ask the companies you write for to find out if they have a plan available. Look around online to find insurance companies that you understand, or have customer service personnel that can help you through selections. Do what you have to in order to stay protected. You save a few dollars by not getting insurance, but risk so much more without it.

Slumdog no Millionaire for Me

I tried. I tried to be good and I actually really wanted to see "Slumdog Millionaire." so it really wasn't a matter of trying overly hard to 'be good' and watch something just because everyone said it was good. This movie was the big hit of the year last year. It should be all that and a box of cookies... too bad it wasn't. At least not for me. Then again, maybe it was just slow going getting started. I don't know because I could not keep watching it. Maybe if I'd gone to the theater I would know because I wouldn't have wanted to lose the money and walk out. Flipping the channel however, that was easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Skin Rituals

For awhile I was so busy I got a little sloppy about my beauty rituals. The great thing about using eye cream, and other treatments is they act quickly to revitalize the skin. I started back up a couple of days ago and already can see the difference. Since I'm not in my twenties anymore I can't afford to forget, get sidetracked, or ignore the need for moisturizers and eye cream. A little dab a night does wonders for those pesky wrinkles. Eye strain and constant reading on the computer don't help matters much, but a little bit of care takes care of it fast.

Live and Learn

I have to learn a lot of new things to write the articles I do each day. The great part is I get to learn about things I really want to learn anyway. I use a wide variety of tools including YouTube. This is one of the great video tips I watched today.

Picking the Perfect TV Stand

I'm trying to decide which type of stand to get for the new TV I want in the living room. There are several different types of tv stands just for the flat screens alone. I love the old entertainment center we have now but it won't hold the 55" screen TV I bought. I don't know what to do with that either. It's in too good of shape to just toss out, it's too big for most of the other rooms in the house, and is pretty much a specific piece. There's not much else it can be used for. Too bad it's too big for the new boat. I need a TV stand in there too.

Fishing With Your Bare Hands (Extreme Style)

Talk about fishing with your bare hands, this is a little over the top.



Now don't think you'll ever catch me throwing myself out of a perfectly good helicopter just to catch a fish. I won't even throw myself off the boat just to catch a fish.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Best Reviews

One of the things I like the most about the internet is that everyone can really research things they want to buy, or try. I think this is especially important when it comes to things we consume or put in or on our bodies. I've researched everything from diet products to cleansing products. It is always a good idea to read the reviews. When I was looking for cleansing products I read all of the colon cleanse reviews I could find to be sure I was getting one I felt comfortable with, safe with, and that would work. I like reviews because they tell you how something worked, or didn't, for someone else, not just an opinion from a company. Even professional opinions from research companies, while good, isn't quite the same as the reaction from an average person. I like that because I feel like someone more like me is likely to give me a better idea of how something will work for me than someone in a lab.

Trips without Vacation

Just researching a little bit about the Great Lakes and how they connect, I think one of the first 'big' trips we're going to do next year is a Lake Michigan/Lake Huron trip to Mackinac Island. It's roughly 200 miles from Chicago to the Island just through the pass from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. I've only seen pictures of it in the past but it looks like a simply beautiful location. Mackinac Island is only accessible by air or water which makes it even more appealing as a boating destination. The great thing about all my travel plans is I don't even have to take 'vacation' time (which considering I'm self-employed is rather silly anyway, who is going to say no?) because I can work from anywhere, including on the boat. WiFi is a miracle and laptops are a Godsend!

Finding the Right Insurance

If I can't find an insurance company that will insure my boat/boat trailer along with my house, and cars I think I might look for totally separate insurance for all of them for a change. It is hard because getting auto insurance quotes is pretty easy, and getting boat trailer insurance is easy enough, but getting boat insurance is really difficult. Only because not every insurance company covers boats. I suppose because they are so easy to break, and when they break it is an immediate problem. You don't break down on the side of a road, you break down in the middle of the ocean (or other bodies of water). Swimming is not usually an option. Boats never seem to break down a few feet from shore.

New Vision

Woo hoo. I just got off the phone with the eye doctor and my new glasses are in! That should make a big difference in how I feel about working. I hope anyway. I've been kind of putting off getting new glasses for awhile now, just making jokes about getting older and having to take my glasses off to read (which includes use the computer, type, anything) and put them back on the see distance (which includes watching tv or getting up and walking across the room). It is a big pain in the butt. I finally broke down and went to the eye doctor last weekend and wow, just judging from the exam and the way things looked through the lenses it is going to be GREAT with the new glasses. My distance prescription didn't change a bit but my close range vision did. So that means I need bi-focals, but big deal, I'll be able to see! Actually, with the gradual bi-focals you can't even tell. The only person who will know is me.

Getting the Right Insurance

I need to start looking for more insurance online. I have a combined house, car, trailer policy now but the premiums are high. Online searching makes it easier to compare available policies. I need to get boat insurance in addition to the rest and like, when possible, to keep all of them together. It makes paying the monthly fees easier if I don't have to write three or four separate checks, or even pay them online. I love how much easier it is now than it was ten and more years ago to get any kind of insurance. Whether its health, life, or "item" insurance it is simple to get online and I feel better thinking I have the best prices.

Tough Six Months

I am writing so slow today. In fact, many days I find myself dragging. The last six months of this year have been challenging for a number of reasons, and because of that I have given myself a lot of leeway. I have to stop that, though. I fear it has become a habit and it's hurting me financially. I could continue to give myself excuses, but it is very hard to tell where the reality of depression and stress end and the reality of lazy excuses begin. What I do know is that I never had to push myself like this before. I enjoy my work as a rule. So maybe I am still suffering the tail end of the repercussions. The fact that I am pulling out of it makes it harder to tell if my lethargy is real or excused laziness. I'm praying that the current feelings lift magically at some point and I can return to my old aggressive self.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Insight Venture Partners

Since 1995 Insight Venture Partners has focused on becoming a leading venture capital company revolving around the software, data service, and internet industries. They are now a 3 billion dollar company always looking for entrepreneurs and businesses to partner with in order to achieve new horizons. In their target industries Insight Venture Partners is a growth leader.

You provide them with the challenge and Insight Venture Partners work to provide you with a solution and results. They keep on top of current economic trends with their diversity including growth equity, carve-outs, buyouts, recapitalizations, and pre-ipo rounds amongst others. Their expert teams will develop the best strategy to work with your company, provide the operational skill to implement the ideas, and the technology to keep up to date and competitive. Using a firm's existing resources and their advanced skills Insight Venture Partners are able to keep ahead of the pack because they provide accelerated time to market.

With over 120 investments, 15 IPOs, and 40 strategic acquisitions Insight Venture Partners is a company with feet firmly planted in today's media. It is the primary investor in Twitter and with that and an ever widening portfolio it is poised to head into the future with confidence.

Era Gone By

I just finished watching Robin William's new HBO comedy "Weapons of Self Destruction" for the second time. It's really hilarious. He has always been a wonderful stand up as well as amazing actor. Robin is, in my opinion, one of the few comedy geniuses that also manage great drama rolls too: Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come (not only a drama but a very psycho drama type movie), and my favorite, Awakenings, just to name a few. It's great to see him returning to his stand up roots, but a little sad as well. He's aging--like we all do. He is recently recovered from open heart surgery (which he covers with humor in his show). All of that only serves to accentuate how we are losing the greats. George Carlin is no longer with us, and many of his time are getting older. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of real replacement for such astounding talents such as Eddie Murphy, Robin, Steve Martin, the late George, and others of their time. Perhaps it is just an era past and there isn't meant to be such a great age of comedy again. That's sad, but I'm glad I got to experience it in my lifetime.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Indomitable Spirit and Mardi Gras

I've been doing some research on where I want to vacation next year. It's always nice as the old year comes to a close to start looking forward to new things. I know I'll go to Geneva in the spring, and spend a lot of time on local lakes with the new boat during the summer. For the one big year end vacation next year, however, I'm looking for something new. I've looked into some new orleans hotels. That is an area of the country I've never been to. I have an old friend down there I'd love to see, as well as experiencing some of that indomitable spirit and culture that still exists in the Mardi Gras state. There's also the Mississippi River to explore. We have one end of it up here and I plan on getting very familiar with it, but it would be quite an experience to see the mighty Mississippi down at the source.

Free Living?

How do you make a project a viable desire for millions? Make it worth money. No one likes to think they're crass enough to consider money the reason for doing what they do. However, money really is what makes it possible to do everything else, and most importantly, money makes it possible to live: pay the bills, buy food, pay for clothing and housing, not to mention schooling and transportation. Money also makes the fun things in life possible. Without money hobbies are nearly impossible. There really isn't any such thing as a 'free' hobby. The old saying is the best things in life are free---try to find them though.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Real Characters

I used to obsess over how certain features in a manuscript would help bring a character's world to life. How specific does a writer need to be to make the reader feel truly in the written world? Do features such as types of cars, a Kohler sink, a water filter, make some sort of statement about the character in the story? I suppose you can get too hung up on details. The truth is, the more you show, that really makes a point to the attitude and desires of the character, the more 'real' they become.

The Tragedy of Success

I watched "The Parent Trap" (the 1998 version with Lindsey Lohan). I like the remake and Lindsey's early movies were wonderful. She had such a fresh talent and was fun to watch. It had its price, however. Apparently from the way her life has been lately the toll of such success so early is tragic.

Don't Mess Around with the GMATs

The GMAT test is an aptitude test that determines your eligibility for graduate courses. It is one of the more important tests of your academic career and the better prepared you are, the more you will get out of it. Because it is only given a few times a year getting ready for your GMAT so that you do not have to wait for another round just makes sense. You can use programs such as GMAT prep courses that give you a sound basis for your test. Using the GMAT prep course is one of the best ways to feel confident and avoid pre-test jitters. The prep course helps you get ready for the essay, the verbal portion, and all of the sections of the test. While you might be able to compensate for a low GMAT score with other accomplishments, it is much better to top the list of applicants scores and have the other accomplishments to ensure your acceptance.

Re-runs Already?

It must be an off week for TV. Many of my favorite shows were re-runs even though the season isn't over. I gave up trying to figure out how to know when shows were new or not. I'm glad that the DIVO knows when to record a first run and when to leave a re-run off the schedule. I did just finish watching "Jurassic Park" though. I love that movie. I like watching re-runs when they're my idea. I just don't like watching re-runs of a series that is suppose to be in its season run, and even more, I don't like watching re-runs of episodes of a new series that I've just seen a few weeks earlier. Hopefully next week will be better.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Needed New Luggage

When you travel having the best luggage possible is important. I found that out the hard way last weekend on our short trip. I need to get some new luggage before our spring trip to Wisconsin. I like the looks, and quality of Eagle Creek luggage. I also like that it is easy to find online.

Last weekend I only took one duffel bag because it was a one-nighter and we weren't going to be doing anything specific. Usually I take an entire set, even if it is just a weekend trip. I prefer to have a matching set so even though all the rest of my luggage set is still in decent condition I don't want to just replace the duffel. At least one of the pieces has to have rollers. One thing I liked about my former set is that several of the pieces were rolling luggage. That makes it much easier to get everything into the hotel in one trip. Eagle Creek luggage has many sizes and shapes of rolling luggage, and even computer cases which I may need soon, too. My computer case is showing the wear of many trips.

Angels and Demons

We bought the movie "Angels and Demons" yesterday. For anyone not from this planet, or living under a rock for the last few years this movie is the sequel to "The DaVinci Code." Some have said it is better than the previous movie which would have surprised me because sequels rarely are. In my opinion it was as good, but not better. As mystery/thrillers they were both good, but somehow just short of great. What propelled them, especially the first, into the stratosphere of iconic movies is the controversy rather than utter brilliance. Tom Hanks, is, however as always... brilliant and iconic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Internet on the High Seas

I've been researching new laptops for a few weeks now. I have a good one but want one to take along on weekends on the new boat. I don't want to risk taking my only laptop out on the water. Up until now I've just taken this one on vacations, but on the boat, I think it's better to be safe than sorry. I also want something a little smaller than my 17" screen laptop for the small boat area even though we're getting a cabin cruiser. Not as small as a mini computer like my husband has, with it's 9" screen, but smaller than mine. Maybe a traditional 14" would be good. It doesn't have to be super powerful either. Just good enough to check emails, do a little work here and there, and cruise the internet a little while we're out. Of course, with the scenery at sea, we're not going to need a lot of entertainment value, just a workhorse.

Whale of a Tail

Here's something soothing and fun to watch. It helps me relax to watch stuff like this:

Full or Part-time Retirement Accomodations

It might not be a bad idea to look into Nashville apartments for a retirement area. I would love to move somewhere even further south, but that doesn't suit my husband. However, since we don't even live together now with him up north and me where I am maybe we can continue that pattern when we retire. He can move to Tennessee or Kentucky, and I can move to Florida. Then we can get together on the occasional weekend or when we need to get something done, and be happy in our own places the rest of the time. I wonder if that would fly? Probably not. Tennessee wouldn't be bad though. It's much further south so warm weather would be extended beyond what we have up here if not completely eradicated.

It's Always Something

I'm a little surprised, and a lot happy that things are running fairly smoothly here. Usually this is the time of year you need money most, and the time of year when for a freelance writer it tends to dry up. So far work is pretty steady. If it weren't for my own personal difficulties I'd be swimming in money but working steadily has been an effort for me, not for the availability. It's always something though, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ready For The Holidays With 1800Flowers.com


I am very excited. We bought a new tractor a few days ago and it will be delivered in a few days. What is exciting is that along with the new tractor that has a backhoe, and front loader, it also has a three foot wide reverse action rototiller attachment! I can drive my rototiller. For the first time I can really plow up a huge plot for next spring.

That excites me no end and flowers and vegetables are going to be in the house next year! However, for the winter I will have to get my flowers from 1800Flowers.com like always. Flower delivery isn't just for my own personal use, although that is important to me in the dreary winter months, it is for gifts too.

Using the great online ordering and delivery service lets me give gift baskets of all types for holidays, and special days. With the big holiday season coming I have my dialing finger ready.

So You Think You Can...

I'm watching "So You Think You Can Dance" tonight. It is a show I really enjoy. That isn't why I watch it, however. I watch it because my bird loves to scream along with Mary. I like watching the dancers, but he gets all excited about her "hot tamale" yell. He talks a lot no matter what but when this show comes on he really gets talkative.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blue Waters

I've always dreamed of jamaica vacations. Now it looks like we're one step closer to realizing a dream. If (or really when) we get the boat we're lookiing for one of the things I want to do is trailer down to Florida, cruise around the coast there, and then cross the Florida straights to Bimini Island (out island of the Bahamas). Then if we do really well over the next few years when it's time to really retire we can buy a bigger, more sea worthy ship and cross the Bahama gulf stream to Jamaica!!

Blue waters here we come.

Robin and John

No, not Robinhood and Big John... Robin Williams and John Travolta. They are a kick and two actors I love to see in comedies. Both do well in dramas, suspense, and other types of films but both have a forte in comedy. They are on tonight promoting "Old Dogs" and I know I'm going to like it. Just like John's previous movie "Wild Hogs" it looks like a very funny ensemble movie that uses the best of its actor's forte's.

Sparkle and Bling

I love jewelry and the less outdoor work I do, especially in the winter, the more I like to wear it. It doesn't have to be Couture Jewelry, but it is great if it is. I like earrings the best. I have drawers full of earrings. My next favorite type of jewelry is rings. I like necklaces but I have a little bit harder time getting away with necklaces if I do end up going out and working. I usually only wear necklaces or pins if I'm going out. At home I just like watching rings sparkles as I type.

Accidentally On Purpose

One of the best new shows on this season is "Accidentally On Purpose". Jenna Elfman is, as always, effervescent and delightfully funny. The premise is hilarious and fresh which is hard to do any more. I am really enjoying the show and hope it can manage to continue for several years.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Camera to Camera

I need a new SD card for my digital camera, but that has brought a question to mind. I need a new camera in general. It's time. The one I have is almost six years old and the program doesn't interact well with Vista anyway. It still takes decent pictures but I've noticed even there it has begun to suffer a bit in quality. So if I get a new SD card will it be transferable to a new camera. I think most of them all use standard types of SD cards so it should. Would pictures saved on the card from the old camera be recognizable to the new camera? That is a different story. If I knew that would be the case I could continue using my old camera until I get around to getting a new one. I wouldn't even give it a thought but I've had experiences where programs, disks, drives, etc, haven't worked between various computers so it would seem the same struggles could exist camera to camera.

Turmoil Recovery

I've been having an up and down time working. It's not that the work isn't there it is that I am still struggling with concentration. So much has happened to capsize my life in the last five months that I am amazed I've done anything at all. I am once again able to get on with my life and do things I want to do, but at a slower rate than once before. I am so hoping that by the time the new year starts I will find myself back in the swing of my old patterns and abilities. It would seem six months should be long enough to overcome even the turmoil these last few months have provided.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Importance of Coffee

True Classics

I still love "I Love Lucy." I'm watching a rerun of it on Hallmark Channel. The word 'classic' gets thrown around a lot but in the case of shows like Lucy, MASH, All In The Family, and those like that classic is the only word to describe them. They never go out of style. They always feel fresh even though they are obviously dated. Most of all, it doesn't matter how often you've seen an episode, even if you can recite it word for word as I can most of them, it is still fun to watch.

Easy Riding with Amos Tamam and Verifone

Amos Tamam is a true American imigrant inspiration. Although he had a degree in electrical engineering in his home country when he came to America he started out as a mechanic servicing taxis. From there Amos Tamam worked his way up, always on the lookout for way to improve the new industry he was involved in and soon realized that the best way to improve the taxi industry was to make payment easier for people on the go. People who now rarely carried paper money.

Plastic money is the way people pay for everything now, and Verifone makes it a safe payment method for businesses as well. As CEO of Verifone Transportation Systems Amos Tamam is working hard to bring credit card payments to taxis everywhere. Starting out in New York City and other metropolises to show the benefits of the easy to use and secure system there is a hope that soon taxis everywhere will accept credit cards as payment for fares.

Stoned Enough to Appreciate Woodstock

I'm watching the History Channel and the show Woodstock: Now and Then. I have often lamented not being born earlier so that I could have been old enough to go to Woodstock. I was seven when it was going on. What an exciting place in history and a one time thing that will never again be repeated. It was the origin of some of the massive stadium concerts but nothing tame like that. Watching the program now, however, with much of the footage supplied by the actual film of the event it is clear that while it was all that and more, it might have been a little bit less 'romantic' than it sounds. I guess you had to have the frame of mind of the time as well. Be a "flower child" to truly appreciate some of the hardships they endured and still speak lovingly of. I'm not sure I'd be speaking with such fondness of the event if I went to it in the present day. I'm not sure any of us are stoned enough to appreciate that time.

Sak Narwal and the Harmonica

Sak Narwal is proof that you are never too old to develop a new passion. Life shouldn't be about limits. Sak Narwal started playing the harmonica as an adult on a business trip. He was in Germany and while looking for some entertainment found a harmonica competition. He has been devoted to learning the amazingly versitile little musical instrument.

What better instrument is there for a busy person on the go? One that can be carried in a shirt pocket or briefcase and practiced anywhere with little fuss, no electricity needed. Sak Narwal quickly fell in love, gathered as much information as he could muster and many recordings of great jazz and R&B harmonica players. He took lessons and within a week was playing tunes. That's how life should be. Learning new things is a never-ending endeavor and there is always room to expand an artful outlook on the beauty of music.

Trauma and Mercy: New Season Series

Two of the new series we're watching this season are "Mercy" and "Trauma". "Mercy" has been on a couple weeks now. It is good. A little soapy but still a slightly different twist on the trauma that a military veteran can face upon returning home in that the vet in this case is a woman. "Trauma" is pretty good so far even though it's only been on for two episodes. It too has a soap opera sort of feel but it's all based around emergency care workers in the field which is especially interesting for us since hubby is an EMT. So far they are keepers.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Closer and Closer

The time to make a final decision about what to do regarding a final home purchase is drawing nearer. As it gets closer I get more nervous about the decision on what to do. My husband is showing signs of wanting to leave the state altogether. That is not a really bad idea, but I dread a big move like that. In order to do that we'd have to find a reliable long distance moving company. It is one thing to move a few miles, even a few hundred miles with all of your belongings. In fact, we'd been thinking of buying a new home first and moving things slowly. That is a great idea if you are only moving a few miles. One city to the other. Even just across state lines depending on which state you're talking about. A move to Wisconsin (Lake Geneva was in the running for a choice and still is) wouldn't be too bad. We could move slowly ourselves. Even use the horse trailer for some of the big items. A big, really long-distance move makes that appealing idea of moving slowly over time more difficult. To move that far away we'd have to hire a mover with a semi-sized truck and just move it all at once, and not look back. That's the hard part. We were rushed, years ago, when we moved out here do to closing dates of our former home and closing dates of our current home being all messed up. That sting has never left the backs of our minds. We ended up leaving a lot of things, maybe not important things, but things we wanted behind because of the rush. Moving far away increases the chances of that happening again. I've come to the conclusion that at least if we can buy a new place first before selling this one we can take our time getting it all together for a mover. Maybe having someone else actually load it and unload it all would be nice after all.

Twit Spam

I don't know if anyone else has realized it but Twitter is becoming the new "spam" market ploy. Oh yeah there are still millions of legitimate users but I found out yesterday just how many spammers use Twitter. For months my account had been pretty inactive. I was ill, I was busy with other things, I was just not concerned with Twitting. Yesterday, just for a giggle I went back and posted that I was sorry I'd been gone. I deleted people I was following who were no longer following me, I added a few others... in general I just re-activated my account that had been stagnant. Well, not even a minute after I started I began to get 'follows'. They were obvious blind follows. Accounts with no real personality behind them. That continued all day long. Spam attack. What makes them worse is that along with flooding your twit account with 'followers' they flood your email box too with Twitter notifications of being followed, and if you follow them back you have given them an open door to spam your direct mail Twitter box. Twitter is big. It is growing bigger. It needs to address this annoying problem.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Getting the SEO You Need for Online Sales

Whether you are a writer or have a different product or service to sell one of the trickiest things in today's Internet world is understanding SEO. Getting the best out of a seo service requires a basic understanding so you know you are getting your money's worth. Finding free services for SEO are a great blessing because you can learn as you go and see what works and what doesn't without spending a fortune. Those just entering the market usually can't afford the high prices of companies offering these services. Even those that can afford it are skeptical until they see what SEO does for their sales. Free seo services let users grow into their online enterprises and overcome their reluctance.

Quote of the Day

I'm really laughing at today's quote of the day on my sidebar. It is:


Quote of the Day
Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise.
Paul Engle

The reason it is funny is because of a conversation on a writer's board I read yesterday. People were talking about "bad writers" and how they should improve or move on. Someone else made the observation "Yes, but do bad writers KNOW they are bad writers?" Great point. Today's quote drove home the fact that true wisdom is KNOWING your limitations.

The Big Screen

Since my husband declared the desire to purchase a new big screen for the living room I have been a bit preoccupied with what type is best. To be honest I have a little trouble understanding the differences between LCD TV and plasma TV. The LCD we saw last week at the store was impressive and very large. The picture was great. The clarity and color were magnificent. Either all of the former arguments against big screens were baseless, or the manufacturers have made made massive improvements over the years but I loved it. Prices have come down a lot since big screens first made their debut, too. I can't wait to see it in my living room. I think I'll stick with a TV stand, however. I'm not hanging something that expensive on the wall. I'm not handy and with my luck it would end up on the floor--in pieces.

Hum, Hum, Hummus!

I've heard of hummus. It never appealed to me. It didn't look appealing. It didn't sound appealing. I never had a desire to try it... until yesterday. Yesterday I happened to glance at a post on the Spark People message board that mentioned hummus and how good it was and how they made it out of chick peas... BEANS. Now if someone had told me a long time ago that hummus was basically bean paste I'd have tried it years ago!

So I quickly looked up various recipes and found one that looked the most appealing (no cumin which I don't like, and no unrecognizable ingredients). Found one and off to the store I went.

WIN

I love hummus. It will now be a regular addition to my menus. It is healthy for you and tastes great.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Infiltration

When I sold my old truck to get my new car I had to laugh cleaning it out. Even though my husband never drove it somehow plenty of his things ended up in it. I found medical equipment under the passenger seat, rolled up elastic wrap in the backseat armrest container, and several bottles of motor oil that weren't mine. He manages to infiltrate every area of my life--not a bad thing--just humorous at times. I stood in the middle of the car dealership driveway with an armful of items looking at him and laughing at the perplexed look he returned to me as if to say he had no idea how it all got there.

I Love The Internet

I just became a 'fan' of Bob Harper and Jillian Michael's on FaceBook. The Internet is pretty amazing that way. There are so many ways to find support for efforts such as dieting, quitting smoking, and other things along with ways to follow favorite performers, make things, learn about things, and even... well, work. :)

Few and Far Between

After circumstances caused my son's previous job to evaporate along with his insurance he has been looking for low cost health insurance. Being young and generally healthy helps him in the mean time but good health insurance is so important even at his age. You just never know when an accident will happen and blow your finances out of the water. That's if you even have the money to start with which he doesn't. Hopefully he will either find insurance soon or get another job that has insurance for its employees. Those jobs are few and far between.

New Wheels

My son is here living with me but he doesn't have a car. Out here in the middle of nowhere that is a problem. Yesterday he came in and told me to come look at his new car. I was a bit surprised, but said okay and followed him out to the driveway where his new wheels sat: two of them. He bought a bike. It's pretty cool. He's out on it now giving it a 'test drive.'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Party Time

Is it really that time again? It's time to start thinking about Halloween parties and making Halloween invitations. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. From childhood to retirement there is something for everyone to enjoy about Halloween. The only holiday that tops my personal list of favorites is Thanksgiving and that's because I get to eat. It is the only day of the year I will completely ignore any thoughts of dieting. On Halloween I still make myself obey my diet even with all that great candy floating around. What makes Halloween so great is the decorations, costumes, and eerie fun parties.

Hellboy Series

I'm watching "Hellboy II: the Golden Army" again. It's a fun movie with a great moral basis. Story lines like this impress me because they take something so mythical and entertaining, and embed a deeper sense of meaning to it that relates to everyone. I hope they continue with the series.

Diversity Online

AED sells automated external defibrilators. These are the things my husband appreciates as an EMT. The fact that they can be found online is yet another example of the amazing diversity that can be had on the world wide web. In a mere 10 years the online resources have burgeoned to overflow. I try to imagine what the world will be like in another 10. It boggles the mind. It is ripe for the picking for a fiction writer who loves to write science fiction that has a nudge from the real world.

Smoked

If you look at my banner above you'll see it is 86 days since my last cigarette! I'm truly out of the woods with the quit too. I say that knowing full well many people fall back weeks, months, and even years later so I am not letting my guard down. I mean, however, that the serious withdrawals have ended. The depression has lifted and I feel much better. It is allowing me to work again and I am getting back on track with my assignments. Luckily there have been lighter work duties I was able to continue with during the 3 months that I was having troubles or I would be broke. It was worth it though. I can honestly day it feels great to not smoke.

The Ultimate in Unique Cars

This is just perfect. I just now posted about having purchased a new car and ended up finding a link to show where I could convert my car into a fake Lamborghini with lambo doors. Ever since I saw the "Back to the Future" movies I've loved Lamborghini's. The only thing I loved about them were their unusual doors. No other car has doors that rise up in the air rather than opening to the sides. The website for the Lambo doors even shows a picture of my make and model of Monte Carlo with the Lambo doors installed. It looks sporty now. It would be the ultimate sport car with those doors.

Hard Work Pays Off

Okay I wouldn't have chosen to do this just now even though hard work does pay off but I got a new car. I was going to post a picture of it here but the upload won't work for some reason. Here it is:

It is a Monte Carlo. My very first sports car. I kept having the song "Little Deuce Coupe" running through my head as I was filling out the paperwork. If my truck had stayed fit I wouldn't have done this though. I had been thinking about getting a car instead of a truck for awhile but stopped myself when I thought about making payments. Since I couldn't help it anyway, and I need transportation I had to do it.

Vegas Baby

My husband and I are hoping to go to Las Vegas this winter. We are furiously planning ideas for Vegas vacations and hope to be there at the same time as the rodeo championship. I can't think of a better time to go to Vegas anyway, rodeo or no rodeo. Mid-December here means snow, bitter cold, and the blues. Getting away to the beauty, heat, and excitement of Las Vegas makes perfect sense. I'm hoping to catch some shows while my husband is occupied at the rodeo. We are going for four days. I will enjoy the rodeo for a day or two but he can go by himself after that.

Twittered Out

Everybody seems to still be stuck on Twitter and what a great communication tool it is. I was for awhile but after a few months I "Twittered out." It makes me smile, though, when I hear the name mentioned on a random commercial for a different product, or on a TV show, in a movie, or even in a comedian's routine. Twitter sure does get a lot of mileage. I got tired of trying to communicate every emotion, activity, or thought in 150 characters or less. I don't know why they have to limit it that much. There are plenty of other 'micro-blogs' that keep post limits short but not THAT short.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Small Perfection

When my husband bought a netbook last year I thought, "oh how cute, but too small for me." Lately I've given more and more consideration to getting one to use when I move about. Netbooks are super small laptop type computers. They are amazingly powerful for such small computers. They are better than blackberries, and those types of portable computers because they actually are a little computer. They are capable of running most of the normal programming you run on your regular sized laptop and have a normal keyboard--just smaller. We're not talking 'cell phone' small though. An average notebook computer is between 8 and 12 inches. My husband's is 9 inches. The hard-drive is pretty large, several gigabytes so there is plenty of storage space. They take a little getting used to in order to type comfortably but you can type with both hands in a traditional position so that is much better than small alternative computers.

SITC

I'm watching the "Sex in the City" movie over again. For awhile after it came out I watched it daily. I liked it that much. I haven't watched it now for months, but I haven't been able to convince myself to remove it from my DVR programming. I'm glad because I'm watching it today and enjoying it all over again. It is still one of my favorite movies of all time.

Complicated Furniture

Working, as I do, in my living room most of the time has let me forget about my office. A fact that came into startling relief when I went in there to work for a few hours yesterday. I really need a new desk. Searching for new office furniture can be fun. I enjoyed looking for hubby's new desk last year. What isn't fun sometimes is putting it together when it arrives. I prefer simple so that the construction isn't too difficult. Not that I have to put it together. Hubby does, but I have to help, and his was a nightmare. I have to admit that once it is done it is worth the hassle. His desk is lovely. Facing a move makes me quiver at the thought of having to tear down and rebuild his desk somewhere else. It is that much of a hassle to put together. It has hutches and sliding shelves and is very VERY heavy. It is enough to make me re-consider moving at all. I need to find something much less complicated.

Bad Day in the Big City

Boy, oh boy, yesterday was not a good day in the Chicago area. Besides that bank robbery in another news related break they announced authorities are still (read STILL) looking for an ARMED escaped prisoner who got away while being transported to something (didn't catch what, a court date I guess). Maybe I should reconsider moving back up there.

Making The Choice on Dish

My preference for TV is satellite. Where I am there are only a couple of choices. I suppose that's true no matter where you live. In Canada there is a great company called bell tv that has great prices on their equipment and subscriptions. There is a much broader availability of programming in my experience with satellite than there is with other methods of getting television signals. I'm considering moving back up to the Chicago area and have been looking at condos. Yes, this does related to TV signals. I'm debating whether to get satellite again up there which would mean hanging a dish off the balcony and disrupting the view. I've seen that. In fact it might even be difficult because there are a lot of trees right in front of one of the condos I'm seriously considering. It is a difficult choice because up there it is possible to find cable companies. In fact, they are probably more common. Down here where I'm at now cable is not an option. It's antenna or dish. (No contest, dish is far superior.) I still think satellite (via dish) is much better than cable but I might not have a choice.

High-Tech Theft?

I just turned on the TV for a minute and saw a news break that someone robbed a bank up near Chicago. Who does that anymore? I don't mean to sound flippant. I really mean it. In today's high-tech age it would seem pretty dangerous. I guess people still get away with it although I can't imagine how anymore. Besides, theft via computer is so much less hassle. You'd think these thugs would get a clue. LOL Not that I know how to do it, don't get any ideas. I just think if you're going to put that kind of effort into something why not learn how to do it high-tech?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fighting the Flab

I'm kind of hoping I don't need extra help in the appetite suppressant area as I try to lose these extra "I quit smoking" pounds. If I can't though I am going to have to do some studying on how to make the best choice. It is really confusing in a sea of weight loss aides and medicines. At least online I can visit the various sites and see which ones will suit me best. The ones that include metabolism nudges help those of us like me who are also going into the perimenopausal years and also find their metabolism more stagnant thanks to not smoking any more.

Shirley Jones: Mamma Partridge and Gramma Callahan

I'm so glad I have "Ruby and the Rockets" on DVR. It's a cute but somewhat lame vehicle sitcom for Alexa Vega and I'm sure pre-teens adore it. She's cute and not bad in her role either. For me (the over 40's bunch who grew up on David Cassidy's Partridge Family) the reason I watch is a little different: David and his half-brother Patrick Cassidy co-star in the show as well. It is even produced by half-brother and former teen heart throb Shawn Cassidy.

All that makes it a show I watch every week even if it is a little too cheesy. This week, though, it was so worth the DVR space because SHIRLEY JONES showed up in the role of grandma (aptly, David's step-mom, and Patrick's mother in real life and on the show) bringing up old memories of momma Partridge as well. It was really fun to watch.

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Wagon At A Time

Now that I've quit smoking I'm even more on the lookout for the best weight loss pill. I knew I'd gain some weight when I quit but it sure is hard getting control of it. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I really need the help of a solid diet aide to give me strength beyond what I possess on my own. I'm already using all the strength I have to keep from lighting up. I don't want to end up gaining all the weight back that I lost two years ago, but I'm getting really close. I need to get it under control and FAST. It would help too if I could convince myself to exercise again. I've fallen off that wagon as well as several others just to hang on tightly to the one wagon that I can keep my grip on right now-not smoking.

The Music Died For Me


June 25, 2009 is a day that will have a vast impact on my life forever I think. Of course, not just mine, but for me, like many that is the day the music died. American Pie, a song from my youth talked about the similar emotion when the plane went down that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and 'The Big Bopper' (Jiles Richardson Jr.). That is the feeling I have now that Michael Jackson is dead. While the death of Holly and the others was accidental, Jackson's was not and that makes it even worse for me and many of those who cherished his music. No matter why, it was too early. He wasn't exactly 'young' but he had a lot of life left, and a tour in the works that would have made another big impact in a lifetime of big impacts. Even now, after two months the pain still feels raw, and listening to music is difficult. I was too young to understand the impact felt by those in Holly's generation, but June 25th is the day the music died for me.

Impact From Everything

skin id is an acne product from Neutrogena. That is a company that has a long history of helping consumers with skin care and problem skin. It is another of those names that bring back long histories of memories too. When a product or a company has been around as long as you have even if you haven't used it you are bound to have memories on account of it. Slogans and commercials become a part of your lexicon and jingles ring in your ears and sometimes are as popular as commercial music. That's how powerful an influence products and companies around us have on our world and the lives we live. It's not just our senses that bring sharp focus to our lives like smelling an aroma from the past, or seeing an old familiar face, it is also images, words, and sounds.

My Office Helper

Johnny is my constant work companion now. He can be a bit annoying and get in the way but he's so cute when he does it I can't really get mad at him for it. He even dances to music and kisses the computer screen. Johnny:

It would be a little more helpful if he wouldn't jump from me to the covered keyboard. I use my external keyboard to work. It protects my laptop, but when he jumps on it I have a lot of letters to delete.

Spice and Sugar are happy to stay on their play stand, but not Johnny. He wants no part of that thing. He only wants to be with me. Sugar and Spice:

One For Memories

When you hear a name from you past it really triggers a host of memories. I remember Clarks shoes and when I saw an ad for them today it brought back tons of memories from my early childhood. One of my very first pair of shoes I bought with my own allowance money was a pair of Clarks. I still remember what they looked like. They had a two inch heel in a loafer style and made me feel so grown up. I was in Jr. High and needed to feel like I fit in... they helped me do that. The same great shoes only, of course, more modern and available online. My favorite way to buy anything nowadays.

Not Just a Physical Attraction

I mentioned to someone on a quit smoking forum yesterday that when you are in the process of quitting, especially in the first few months it is best to avoid making any life changing decisions. Everything is raw and on the surface. Nerves are frayed. Anxiety and depression make you crazy. I've considered changing jobs, selling my house, leaving my husband, all kinds of things in these last few weeks, none of which are within normal parameters for me under normal circumstances. That's not to say I won't sell my house, it's a possibility but the reasons are wrong at this moment. They aren't the same as the reasons usually considered. The fact that the house selling question is lumped in with other impulses that aren't normal make it obvious that thoughts along those lines are not consistent with regular thoughts of the same nature. When you are quitting everything is in overdrive, or under-drive. Not at the same time, of course, and that makes it worse. One minute you are spinning out of control, and the next you are laying in bed not wanting to think or do about anything. If all of that makes you think quitting isn't worth the effort perhaps it is time to change the way you think... all of that is the very reason you should. That's how much of a hold nicotine has on your mind. It's NOT just physical.

What If

I did a calculation about how much money not smoking would end up saving me over the next 20 years and it turns out it will be enough to pay off my mortgage. How cool is that? Along with some money recently earned I may not have to wait 20 years to pay it off too. What that also started was a question about if I still needed to spend the hundreds of dollars a month on home insurance. A knee-jerk reaction might be no, but then again, just because there's no mortgage to pay off, what would replace the house if something happened? What would pay the bills if someone got hurt on our property? Those things don't happen every day now, and wouldn't happen every day if the house was paid off, but they could still happen and without insurance we'd either have no place to live, or lose the house and maybe even more.

Long Way From My Definitions

I added my 'quit-ometer' at the top of the page here right above the posts colum so it is always immediately viewable. I need to keep it at the forefront for myself and want to keep it at the forefront for those that visit me too. It is still a hard struggle and I have a long way to go, but to steal an old adversary's one-time ad line: I've come a long way baby.

Smoking is another thing that has long been a definer for those that do and those that don't. Smoking no longer defines me.

What Defines Us

I do everything on line and that includes buying most of my pet supplies. Most of the supplies I buy now are for my many birds, although I still have cats too, and will probably inherit my mother-in-law's cat when she passes. That's about it for now although I'm still considering a dog. I miss my dogs and yet at the same time have a few too many memories to get another one. In some ways replacing a pet is like replacing a spouse when one person in a relationship dies. It feels like a betrayal until some point when the pain has deadened enough to allow another to come in and fill the empty spot. While I sit here trying to think about a particular character and how to turn them into flesh and blood on a page I think about the things people do that define them. For those of use that own and love one or more animals pets are part of what define us.

Real Seasons

The fall lineup is gearing up for a start and I can't wait. I have a full rotation of shows I watch in each season but it seems like there are always a couple of filler weeks that are just boring. What surprised me most is that a new season of "So You Think You Can Dance" started up already last night and the last season just ended a few weeks ago. I'm thrilled and stunned all at the same time. I know how the seasons and show rotations are done now a days but I can't help it, everytime something like that happens I spin back to my childhood (of 4 channels to choose from) and long, long seasons that really were 'seasons' and did not repeat until the following year. Is it so hard now to keep our attention... have we become so fickle that we can't remain loyal to a show if it is gone for more than a few weeks? Yeah, I guess we have in a world of millions of choices.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rite of Passage

This morning marked a passage of time. I closed my novelist website. It wasn't paying off. I still make sales but none of them are sent to the sales sites from my website. It was more of an ego stroke than business move so it was time to go. I haven't even worked on it for over a year. More than that actually. Still, it is a sort of a sad passage. I don't write fiction anymore so that is another reason to not keep it around even though old work still is available and sells. Maybe someday, when I'm able to play around again and seriously take the time to write fiction I can reopen it. I have thought a bit about using one of the free sites that are so readily available to keep a link up online. If I can find the time to set it up I will probably do that. Until then... I bow my head and take a moment to remember a fun and exciting time that has passed.

Sakwinder Narwal is a Lesson in Passion

When you work for yourself, or own a company and have others working for you, it is tempting to forget to take a break and be yourself. You can actually lose who you are while finding success. Smart business people know that to be truly successful you have to be well-rounded and nurture ever aspect of your life. Sakwinder Narwal is inspiring in that he is a successful person who knows how to delve into every aspect of his life with great gusto.

Whether it is deep-sea fishing for shark, or playing the harmonica to competition level Sakwinder Narwal makes the most of everything he does. He puts every fiber of his being into doing what he loves as if it were the most important thing in his life. That makes him very good at what he does--big or little. Of course, when your passions involve fighting fish as fierce as redfish who can deliver a punch like a prizefighter and don't give up easy it's a good thing Sakwinder Narwal puts as much power into his passion as he does.

Don't Freak Out


Humor like this brings a smile to my face. It's no secret that HBO's "Entourage" is one of my favorite shows lately. The current season is on so I have been watching it every week. Not always on the day it plays but it's on my DVR list. This week it wasn't on. It triggered a little bit of a freak out, I have to admit it, although until I went to HBO's website to figure out what was going on I didn't recognize the response as a 'freak out'. I simply was confused because nothing had been said about a season finale, and the last shown episode didn't resemble a finale. I was a little worried, I admit, of the possibility of cancelation even though I think it's a popular show. What I got when I reached the website (see it wasn't too much of a freak out, it took me until today to look, and Sunday is the regular day for the show) was this:

Funny stuff guys. At least, "whew" they're coming back!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Amos Tamam Always A Step Ahead

It makes sense. In today's world of credit, email, online payments, and debit cards it only makes sense that you want to pay for all of your travel expenses with a credit or debit card. Amos Tamam has been hard at work making that possible and it's about time. Thanks to the Veriphone machine that Amos Tamam invented to allow businesses to safely accept credit cards taxis can now accept them as payment too.

It started as an experiment in Chicago, and Las Vegas, and is citywide in New York and is planned to spread nationwide as the program progresses. It may take awhile before people truly catch on to the ability to pay by credit card being brought to taxis by Amos Tamam, but with increasing prices, paying by credit card at parking meters, and other new methods of taking payment where only coins or cash were allowed before take hold the taxi veriphones are going to be a huge hit.

Lucky Timing

Quote of the Day
Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.
Arnold H. Glasow

The quote of the day that appeared today on the sidebar of my blog here struck me after talking about things that hold us back. When you first read the above quote it sure makes sense. Seems simple and straightforward... then you think about it. That happens a lot with 'smart sayings' when you take a few minutes to evaluate them they don't always make sense. This one makes sense but isn't practical. Of course to be successful you do the right thing--and you do it at the right time. That, however, is certainly easier said than done. How do you know something is the 'right' thing. I'm not talking morally. Most of us have a fairly good moral compass if we're not serial killers or morons. I'm talking about a more subtle form of 'right'. How do you know if you're doing what needs to be done? And the right time. That right there just kills the whole saying. There is no way in the world you know when the exact right time is. That's where luck comes in. Any one who is successful--if they are honest--will tell you it is a lot of hard work, a great deal of risk and guts, and a WHOLE LOT OF LUCK.

YMT Vacations Are The Way To Go


Everybody talks about family vacations, but families aren't the only people that need a break. When people like me want a vacation and it's just me and my husband it's much harder to find a great deal on vacation packages. YMT Vacations makes senior travel affordable and fun. They have worked up great vacation packages for people who just want to get away and have a vacation at a great price.

YMT Vacations offers packages to Hawaii, Alaska, the Middle East, Europe, and wherever you can imagine yourself relaxing and enjoying your time away. There are land vacations and cruises. YMT Vacations offers something wonderful for every possible desire. If you're an adult who wants a great deal on a fantastic vacation check out YMT Vacations.

State of Play

This is an excellent movie for anyone who loves thriller/suspense/policital movies but it is especially good for any writer's who love those types of movies because it centers around a couple of journalists in political Washington DC and a big scandal that they get wrapped up in trying to find the truth. One journalist played by Russel Crowe is a jaded old hand, the other, played by Rachel MacAdams is a young, somewhat naive but determined new staff writer. Both work for a Washington paper that is somewhat a mix of honest news and tabloid fodder thanks to new owners who want only to make a profit regardless of the sensationalism... all of it led by a weary editor in chief... Helen Mirren. The amzing actors mentioned are only a handful of the star-studded cast that fill out this fantastic movie. It is worth every moment spent watching and keeps you on your toes the whole time.

Harley Swiftdeer Reagan

Knowing, or thinking you understand the problems you face in your life is not always enough. It is important to find someone who can help you overcome your obstacles, whether they are caused by outside forces or yourself. Harley Swiftdeer Reagan is a healing master who can help you find your path and stay on it to a successful outcome.

Harley Swiftdeer Reagan gives seminars and talks on the sacred sexuality and the Warrior's Path. The ideals behind his teachings are interesting and the beauty behind the native American way of thinking about our sexual selves is an important message. Part of our block to perfecting what we can be is the way we destroy what is natural and beautiful in our own beings.

I look forward to learning more about Harley Swiftdeer Reagan and his passion for teaching others to find the warrior within themselves. In doing so they find the harmony of existance. It is a beautiful thing.


Stopping Short

Things that hold me back. There are so many different things that I do that I've noticed really infringe on my ability to get ahead. Most of the time the blocks are self-emposed. I think 90% of success is a mental outlook and way of looking at things. Some psychologists say some people have a fear of success. I wonder sometimes if that's true. It doesn't seem like something anyone should be afraid of but it does seem like right when I am on the edge of getting a truly successful venture going I just stop. That's me. Others I know have a similar problem it seems but they don't all cause the effect the same way. For some it looks from the outside like unseen forces are at work to stop them making things happen that destroy their efforts. It isn't like that for me. For me it is simply stopping when I should be going full steam ahead. Or minor problems will make me just give up. It's a personal flaw but I do see it. I wonder how many people have a similar problem and simply do not see it for what it is. Maybe we could all be massively successful but we just stop outselves short.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

What is Holding You Back?

I often talk about the technical or stylistic side of writing. On the practical side, however, it is important to have a good place to write. There are two sides to consider when you choose your writing area: function and atmosphere. Atmosphere is different for everybody. Some writer's can work in a busy area, with loud music, with the television blaring, and some need total silence and solitude in order to build their inner fantasy. Function is pretty much universal. You need a place to house your computer that is also good for your physical placement to protect your hands and wrists, back, and mental attitude. You need proper light fixtures that are well aimed to give you good light without creating a glare on your screen. Daylight is great but most of us burn the midnight oil and staring at a bright computer screen in a dark room is much harder on the eyes than if there is a light nearby. If you are having a hard time concentrating, or getting in the mood to write check out your writing area and see if it is holding you back.

Distraction

I found a distraction that is a lot of fun. It helps to take some of the pressure off during the day when I feel tense. It seems all of the social sites have game programs that are free to play on them. I am hooked on Mafia Wars on several sites, Special Forces on two, and Vampire Wars too. There are a couple more, too, that I visit throughout the day when I need a break and a little mindless diversion from thinking about words. If you play any of those games on sites like mySpace, Facebook, or Tagged look me up. Always looking for more family, clan, or what have you.

Free With Benefits

Here's something for all you entrepraneurs out there, and writers looking to figure out how to drive traffic to your websites, book sale pages etc... SEO usually costs quite a bit and figuring it out seems futile. The free web directory not only gives you a free place to add your information, boosting your exposure for no charge, it also gives you SEO help... all free. You can't beat that. It is difficult to break Google's algorithm code, but it is a sure bet that the more your name is out there, the more links you have, the better. The more pointers to your site, sales pages, or articles linking to you that are out there the more likely it is that the vast expanse of people on the internet will find it. It's hard for anyone to find your item in a sea of items without pointers. This gives you one more pointer, for free, and a extra benefits in their SEO tools as well.

Hit or Miss

One of the shows I enjoy watching now is "Entourage." It is very realistic, as far as a fiction account can be and still be commercial. It is funny, witty, and occassionally sarcastic. I hope it remains on for a long time to come. There are several shows coming up this fall that I can't wait to see. It is always interesting to see if the new shows can live up to their hype. "Trauma," and "White Collar" are two shows I'm eagerly awaiting, along with Jay Leno's new early late night show on NBC. The first two look very interesting but those things easily go down hill quickly. Jay on the other hand appears to be leaning toward using his tried and true format from his tenure on the "Tonight Show" (which I no longer like at all with Conan). If Jay does that he's a sure fire hit.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tone and Atmosphere

When you write background and atmosphere how much detail do you give? Do you simply give a general room description such as: She tossed a salad at the kitchen sink, or do you provide a backdrop to give an idea to her personality. She tossed a salad in a crystal bowl then sat it on the glass tile of her counter top before heading to the sub-zero for a bottle of dressing. It doesn't seem like there would be a lot of difference at first until you think about it. The second really tells a lot about who this character is without the author having to 'TELL' the reader she is lives in an upper class home and is either a professional like a doctor, lawyer, or other high-paid executive type, or an entertainer. Other aspects of the story would have to reveal more about what she does to earn the kind of money required for certain luxuries. Or maybe other aspects of the story prove that she does not earn that kind of money and she is house-sitting, or whatever, but it sets a tone for a place, and tells about the characters.

More Addicted to the Computer

I have become crazy addicted to the games on the social sites. Good thing Twitter doesn't have games on it or I'd be stuck on there too. Right now I play Mafia Wars on Facebook, MySpace, and Tagged. I play Vampire Wars on Facebook and MySpace. I play Castle Wars on Facebook. I play Special Forces on MySpace and Facebook, and I have Bloodlines on MySpace too but it really hasn't stuck. I've tried various other games that haven't stuck with me. Some are very popular with others like YoVille, Pirates, Street Racing, etc... I guess we all have our certain types we like and those we don't. I wish I had less I liked. It is very addicting.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simply Complex

When I learned how to make book covers it included learning the requirements for spines, barcode boxes, and other information. It was quite interesting. It was learning about POS systems from the other side. I'd spent years working in retail and even managing several stores so I knew all about POS implementation from the sales side. I'd never been on the seller's end of the deal creating a product to be put into that system. So it was quite interesting and along the way I heard many grumbles from others learning the system and requirements about the whys and how-comes and would just smile to myself because I knew why and how come. The biggest lesson of all it seems is that as we grow older and have more experiences we begin to see how every experience meshes with the others in one big glorious and sometimes even harmonious scheme. As big and far reaching as world marketing is, it is very close knit at the same time. Linked by numbers. Linked by codes. Linked by computers. In its extreme complexity it is very simple indeed.

No Force On Earth

Sometimes even when you have a well-defined project and a sure sale for a piece of fiction it just will not happen. I try to explain it to those who do not write... and even to those who write but not fiction... you simply can't force it. You can't make it happen. Even if you need the money desperately. There are many types of writing you can make happen. You just do it. Fiction isn't like that, however. The one ingredient that makes fiction what it is, and unlike any other type of writing, or other form of work is creativity. Well, it happened to me again this week. I had a sure thing, although it wasn't something I would have done, it was ghost writing and I've done it before. I just couldn't make this one happen though, and I lost out on a good chunk of change because of it. Some things you just can't force.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No More Begging

As station manager for his company's Oak Lawn station my husband has to conduct meetings quite often. Usually he borrows folding chairs from a local church, but that has become such a hassle he wanted to find someplace to purchase them so he didn't have to move so many chairs back and forth each time. Looking for folding chairs got easier when he stopped focusing on just 'folding chairs' and looked for various types of folding chairs like classroom chairs, office chairs, or other types of chairs created for large numbers of people in a room. Along with folding tables those were the hardest items to find until he learned how to look for them. Other things he needed like a projector that would work along with his computer were easy enough to find and now he's all set up so he never has to go begging for furniture the day before a big meeting.

Not The Only Computer Addict In This House

For years my husband has called me a computer addict. Well, I am. I'm not alone anymore though. My new bird has decided he's in love with my computer. Well, to be more specific he's in love with the fact that he can see himself in it. Yesterday he was all over my keyboard looking at himself, whistling to himself, and dancing around.

Today he's sitting behind it making goo-goo eyes and whistling at the back reflection. I much prefer that. I can at least get things done this way.
And it wasn't until I took this picture for you that iI realized what was so attractive to him back there. I had already made sure there were no wires to chew on, nothing he could undo like plugs or tabs. He couldn't really see his reflection much unless he really stretched, which he does. I kept hearing little chewing noises and now I know why. Noticed the chewed up papers... I was so worried about wires and computer plugs I forgot about the paper. Thankfully it isn't anything important. haha.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No Smoking, Big Weight Gain

I'm on a rant again. I've gained even more weight. I still haven't gained all that I lost a few years ago back, but with the new, recent quitting cigarettes event I've really piled pounds back on. I HAVE to do something about it and I don't seem to have enough will power for both weight loss and not smoking at the same time. So I need to research some good weight loss pills to help me out with the weight gain.

New Border


We got a new bird today. I know I didn't need one but he needed a home and animals that need homes seem to find me. Luckily for them I have a hard time resisting and saying no. Luckier still for them it's not my husband the people ask to take them in. He has no problem saying no---to everyone but me. So, here's our new border who doesn't pay rent. His name is Johnny.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fishing, Challenges and Sakwinder Narwal Show The Receipe For Success

When I try to think about what attributes successful people in any career have in common I have to think the traits that Sakwinder Narwal exihibit truly exemplify them. People who are successful thrive on difficult situatons. They love a challenge. Those attributes show through in every aspect of their lives, not just in business. It is ingrained in their psyche. They are not thinking about being competitive, or finding challenging pastimes. They just do.

Sakwinder Narwal shows this precise attribute in the way he participates in his favorite pastime. He loves to fish. Not just like some folks do by going out and throwing a line in the water and laying on the grass hoping to find something, but in a competitive way that goes after particularly difficult fish to catch. He travels the globe looking for ever more challenging and new fishing situations and finds them, meets them, and conquers them.

It is this personality that shines in a business situation of any kind. That includes those of us that write for a living. Perhaps even moreso because we are constantly faced with challenging situations and in order to succeed, like Sakwinder Narwal, must chase our dreams and thrive on challenge.

Burning Up Season 3

The mid-season finale of Burn Notice's season three is this Thursday. I'm all on the edge of my seat ready to watch it but sad that it will mean 3 months without my favorite show again. I kind of like how USA breaks up its season, it's not as long between them, but like other Burn Notice devotees I don't want it to ever go into hiatus. The discussions with other viewers who are as crazy about the show as I am brings up a lot of interesting discussions though. It is kind of fun to get to know how other viewers think and discuss the writing styles, story lines, plots and things of a show you love. As a writer it's even more interesting. It has proven very helpful in understanding a bit about the way others disect writing.

Find Clients Who Are Looking For What You Have With Survey Resource Center

When you have a business you know one of the hardest things can be finding leads. It really doesn't matter what your business is you are going to need resources to find people who need what you have to sell whether it is a product or a service. There are companies that can provide that information to help you out so you don't waste your time on cold calls to people not interested in what you have to offer. Survey Resource Center is a company like that and they specialize in getting you the contacts you need for your company.

It doesn't matter where you are located Survey Resource Center will work with you over the phone or internet to get you the specfic list you need to get your business booming. SRC specializes in insurance and financial industries such as mortgage, re-fi, annuities, and health or life insurance and other related types of contacts.

Survey Resource Center offers this great value at very affordable prices making it a can't miss proposition. Finding potential clients and customers who are ready to hear your message and desire what you have to offer is worth more than gold.

Sunday, August 02, 2009



okay, I'm a HUGE Burn Notice fan but I'm really just posting this picture here to use somewhere else. LOL

Monday, July 20, 2009

Decisions Decisions

Okay, once again we have changed our minds. Big surprise. I am talking about our desires for retiring. We have been going back and forth between selling the farm here, buying a condo up in the Chicago suburbs, moving up to Lake Geneva in a condo, or staying here, adding on to the house, but most of all, turning the property from a farm to an estate with a pond, jacuzzi, and things like that. We're back to the last option there, staying put and changing what we have here. After all, we have 10 acres of land, the resale is in the toilet right now because of the mortgage market, but the possibilities are endless. The thing is, it will cost a lot of money to do what we want to do, which is okay, but it also has a big learning curve. For instance you have to learn all about pond pumps, you have to investigate the various builders and decide on what to do with the house, you have to learn about the different types of jacuzzi tubs. There is a lot to think about and do to get it right. Luckily where we live there are very few zoning laws for instance we don't have to have any permissions to dig a lake, etc. That, however, is also a plus to where we live vs living in the city where you have to have a permit to sneeze.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

3 WEEKS!

Well, I really never thought I'd get this far but it has been 3 weeks now since I stopped smoking for the last time. I had attempted to quit a few times in the weeks leading up to this attempt but this one seems to have stuck. I'm not going to say it has been easy, it hasn't... but this weekend is three weeks!

Fast and Convienient

My daughter just finished a college degree online and it really made me think about the wonderful possibilities now. The University of Scranton offers MBA courses that are 100% online. That's something you have to check out when you contemplate an online education as some schools have courses that incorporate both physical and online classes. The luxury of doing an entire program online allows you to go to the school of your choice no matter where you are located or when you have the time to attend classes.


The online MBA offered by the University of Scranton is fully accredited so you can be sure that the education you receive will be respected and recognized no matter where you go. In many cases you can even complete your online MBA in 2 years! That is an excellent incentive to get started right now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Entourage

The new season of "Entourage" on HBO started Monday night. I enjoyed it. It makes me happy when a show I like a lot can manage to keep the momentum going past a few seasons. I'm hoping the other two I like so much that have just started out enjoy such a long run. It is also making me a little apprehensive though. Entourage is getting to the 'age' where it will probably not be long until they run out of things to do. It will go the glorious way of SITC, West Wing, MASH, and other wonderful, long-lived series that I hold dear.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Pinnacle of Success

Like most people I use the Internet now to look up everything from pet care to recently getting my boating license completely online including all the study materials. I use it to find diet pill reviews and carpet stores, pots and pans as well as beauty supplies. There's very little you can't do online. You can talk to your best friend for hours on messenger for no charge unlike on a cell phone or land line phone. Spend a few minutes conveying your personal perspective on everything from art to sports and your work day on a blog. The Internet created the most complete form of communication and connection the world has ever known. I can't imagine ever topping it and yet I'm sure a century ago people thought the same about the telephone, and then the TV and of course, around the same time as the Internet the cell phone... so in a century I wonder, will people then be thinking that the newest invention is the best form of communication ever and will never be topped? Or have we truly reached the pinnacle of success?

Friday, July 03, 2009

New Birds


Birds that I brought home night before last. They are so sweet and very hand tame.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Stereo Surround

Stereos are so small today that the big cabinets are hard to find, but there's something missing in the small units and that's power and quality. I still love a full stereo system and an elegant stereo cabinet. Many stereos today are incorporated into satellite TV, DVDs, and surround sound which improves the quality even more but you have to have a nice place to put all that equipment. A classy stand ads to the decor of a room so its important to choose carefully.

Motivation

I'm sadly lacking that lately. There has been such a combination of punches in my life in the last two weeks that I can barely concentrate when I do sit down to work. I know that it is not something that only happens to people who work for themselves, or people who work from home, or even writers, it happens to anyone in any job or profession. I think though, when you do work for yourself, from home, as a writer, you are hit heavier by it because there is no one who will stand over you with a whip, and even more, friends and family are likely to make excuses for non-performance. We're writers after all. It's understandable.

It might be, but it's not good and the feeling in general is aggravating. I like feeling inspired and juiced. Feeling empty and listless, without that spark is more than just a job problem it's an emotional problem.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Drugs and Alcohol

The very sad and untimely death of Michael Jackson brings up some questions as to the success of drug rehab. There are ways that drug rehab agencies can test to see if the methods are successful but in large part I believe that much of a program's success depends on the individual's true belief that there is a problem. Addicts are excellent at denial when it comes to their problems. Being a smoker I can attest to that fact first hand. While it isn't the 'worst' type of addiction it is a strong and serious addiction. When it comes to pharmaceuticals, either prescription or illegal, the stronghold is even tougher. Alcohol is yet another of the strongest of addictions and one that many have trouble dealing with as an addiction because it is so common place an many who do drink alcohol are not addicted to it. There is such a fine line with addiction problems especially like alcohol. It takes experienced hands of professionals to help addicts deal with their problems, but the first step must be clearly defining the problem to the addict themselves.

Writing Life

I remember when I was younger and I always heard 'write what you know'. It use to aggravate me because I couldn't see how anyone could write what they know all the time. Truly it is possible, especially in this Internet age to write some things you do not know simply by doing thorough research, especially if you are writing fiction because there is some artistic license involved. However, whether fiction or non-fiction I have begun to realize that writing just in general comes easier as I get older. Closing in on 50 there are many things I have first hand experience in that 20 years ago I didn't even dream of. Writing about everything flows a little better, and researching even becomes easier because you know what to look for.

Finally Doing It Right

I have to say I'm proud of my daughter for finally getting her head on straight. She went back to school and in less than a week will be graduating with a certified nursing license. It is just a start on her path to working in the health field. There are a lot of jobs in health care but she wants to be a registered nurse. She is going to start school in that right after graduating and already has a job lined up with a local hospital where she lives. They are also going to pay for her further schooling so that is a real bonus. It took her a lot of years and gave me a lot of gray hair but she's finally doing it right.

The MAFIA

Okay, not the real mafia, but more fun, less dangerous, and something anyone can do to kill time online. That's right I have found yet another distraction from work, although this one is a lot more fun than just blogging, twitting, or other things like that. I found MAFIA WARS. Apparently they have it on Facebook too but I found it on Tagged.com

Tagged has all of the normal features. Sort of a combination Facebook/MySpace, and it has Mafia Wars. I've only been playing for a few days but someone I know had played it for a long time. It's just a fun diversion but you get kind of a kick out of 'earning' millions of dollars an hour, buying property, weapons, and kicking butt.

Update Wisconsin

I just got an update from the Realtor in Wisconsin who we have been working through to look for a place by Lake Geneva. She found us a beautiful condo and we are seriously considering it. Moving that far will require hiring long distance movers. That's a big change from any other move we've ever made. Not that we're experts or anything. I suppose we could just do it ourselves but it would take several long distance trips and that just doesn't make sense. The real decision isn't in how we would move but if we really want to. We are both thinking about future retirement, relaxing, not having to work so hard so getting rid of almost 11 acres worth of work makes sense. Plus we both adore a lake view and Lake Geneva is simply breathtaking. Actually the condo is on Lake Como just a few miles from Lake Geneva but it's big and beautiful and what's better is that unlike condos in Lake Geneva the town this is a huge beautifully landscaped condo resort. Second consideration is that it is in a colder state than where we are now. As I've said, I am not fond of the cold. However, summers are beautiful there and if I didn't have to go outside during the winter to do chores, how bad could it be? And we'd have that gorgeous view to look out at. Even in the winter the lake is beautiful frozen over.