Monday, November 19, 2012

Back From New Jersey

Hi.  I just wanted to let everyone know I'm back from doing disaster relief with the Red Cross in New Jersey.  Glad to be home, I can't do those 14 hours work shifts like I used to.  Getting soft in my old age.

Things are still pretty bad out there so as you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week (for my friends in the US), please offer a prayer for all those affected by the storm and all those who are foregoing their holiday with their families to help others in need.

As you may remember, just before I left I said I was taking a couple weeks off blogging because I was falling behind schedule on too many things.  You can guess what that schedule looks like now.  So I'm going to be off line for a couple more weeks until I dig out from under.  Hope everything is well with all of you and I look forward to visiting you all again soon. 

And with that, I offer you my two favorite Thanksgiving Day cartoons. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Laid Plans

This morning I decided to put the blog on hold for a week or two so I could get caught up with other things.

I guess those other things will have to wait.  I'm leaving tomorrow on disaster assignment with the Red Cross.  Shelter duty somewhere on the east coast.  No chance I'll be posting from there so I'll be offline for a few weeks.  Take care.

Going Offline for a Bit

I hate to do this, but after trying to get by with short and/or late posts for the last couple weeks, I'm going to admit I need to shuffle some priorities and just go off line for a week or two. 

I'll continue to pray for all our friends who have been struck by Sandy and I wish everyone else a Happy Halloween and good luck to those doing NaNoWriMo.

As Arnold once said..."I'll be back."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sights of the Season

Hey Gang.  TGIF

 No time to write much today. I've got out of town company arriving tomorrow and I am so not ready.

Instead, I offer these sights of the season.

Of course, there's football...

with cheerleaders...

and the marching band.

Some scary faces for Halloween.


All against this beautiful backdrop of color.

And, yes. all these pictures (except the tree) include one of my grandkids. This is why I'm often late with my blogs.  *grin*

So, what are your plans for the weekend?

Thought for the Day:

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hump Day Potpourri

Happy Hump Day

Here's our regular Wednesday post to get you over the mid-week hump and on your way to the weekend.

First, a computer tip you might find useful.

Next, a little video to get you energized (or maybe really tired).

What?  Isn't that how you warm up in the morning?

Okay, let's finish with a joke. 

Non-PC-Correct Alert!!!

My husband is Polish so naturally all his friends send him Polish jokes.  He loves them.  This morning he sent this one to me, and since I've been carrying his name all these years and have spent half my life trying to convince people it's not a typo (yes, Z-C-Z...), I'm claiming the right to share this one.

Milo and Stosh are standing on the 18th tee at the Polish Country Club. They are the final twosome in the Club Championship and are tied for the lead. The 18th hole is a beautiful par four with a deep valley descending down to a dogleg right.

Both Milo and Stosh hit long, straight tee shots which disappear down into the valley. A short time later, the fore caddie (also a Pole) appears at the top of the hill and announces that both balls are within a foot of each other, but there's a problem. Both of the golf balls are Titleist #4s.

Milo and Stosh look at each other and realize that they had not informed each other as to what kind of ball they were playing, nor its number.

They quickly descend into the valley and, sure enough, their two Titleist golf balls are right next to each at the bottom of the valley in the middle of the fairway.

Stosh looks at Milo and says, "We had better get a ruling from a tournament official to straighten this out. This is the championship and we don't want to be disqualified for hitting the wrong ball."

Soon after, a rules official appears and examines the two #4 Titleist golf balls. He then looks up at Milo and Stosh and says,

"Which one of you is playing the orange ball?

Oh, come on.  You know you laughed.  Or at least chuckled.

Now don't get all upset, I didn't forget your "aw".

What animals could teach us about friendship and acceptance if we'd only pay attention.

That's it for today.  Hope something here helped you over the hump and onto the downhill slide to the weekend.   Did you have a favorite?

Groaner for Today:

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.  It was tense.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Big Brother is Alive and Well and Living in Your e-Reader.

I read George Orwell's 1984 back in the 1960s when I was in high school. The whole concept of Big Brother was disturbing but not too difficult to dismiss as impossible.  After all, this was before personal computers, cell phones, the Internet, and e-readers.

Now we have a TV show, Person of Interest, with a similar premise - that someone is always watching - and it doesn't seem quite so unbelievable anymore.

When I first started shopping on line, I had a terrible time giving out my credit card information.  How could it possibly be secure out there?  Now, of course, we put almost everything out there.  Financial data? Sure.  Medical information? No problem. Social gatherings? Absolutely.  Let have them on line.

But there was still the illusion that we were in control. If I entered my banking information on line, that was my choice. If I wanted to shop on line - knowing my purchases would be tracked and used for marketing purposes - well, that was up to me.  If I purchased books for my e-reader, I knew those purchases were recorded in a file somewhere so someone could look up my reading preferences, see what I liked to read.

But how about the way I read?  Could someone watch over my shoulder and see how fast I read a story?  Where I stopped?  What pages I re-read? If I skipped to the end of a mystery to see whodunit?  I mean, once I purchased a book for my e-reader, what I did with it was no one's business but my own, right?

If you believe this is true, you need to read this story in the Wall Street Journal, WSJ: Your E-Book is Reading You .

Does anyone else find this just a bit terrifying?  Or am I too old-school?

Funnies for Today:

Do you find Windows error messages annoying?  How about these soothing Haiku alternatives?

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that.

With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Facebook - Professional or Personal Page?


I'm trying to make a decision and looking to you all for input and advice.

A few years back I set up a personal Facebook page. My motivation was simple - that's where my sons were posting pictures of my grandkids.  I used my whole name, Linda Masterson Leszczuk, so friends from high school could find me.

Next I started hearing/reading about social media for authors - we needed an "author" Facebook page, separate from our personal pages.  At the name I was still vacilating about an author name - should I go with my own or something a little easier to spell/pronounce/remember? So I set up a second FB account under Linda Leszczuk and created a professional/author page with "aka LD Masterson" in the title.

That worked fine for a while.  I had Friends on my personal page and was getting Likes on my author page and there was a fair amount of overlap on the two pages.  Then I goofed up somehow and FB spun off a personal page under the Linda Leszczuk account.  So now I have a personal page as Linda Masterson Leszczuk, which I use; a personal page as Linda Leszczuk, which I don't use but keeping getting friend requests on; and a professional page as Linda Leszczuk aka LD Masterson, which I've sort of given up on while I decide what to do. 

Since I've made the move to LD Masterson for all things author related, I think my best option here is to close the Linda Leszczuk account and open one as LD Masterson.

Now here's my question:  Should the new page be a personal page with "Friends" or a professional page with "Likes"?  I have a lot of authors as friends on my LML personal page and their pages seem to be pretty evenly divided between the two types.  

If you're a writer (pubbed or not-yet-pubbed), do you have a Facebook page?  Is it a personal or a professional page? Why did you choose that one (pros and cons)?  If you're not a writer, do you visit writers' Facebook pages?  Do you like visiting one kind of page over the other?  Why?

I'd really appreciate your input on this. You know what a pain setting up anything in Facebook can be. I'd like to get it right this time.

Have a great weekend.

Funny for the Day:

My Living Will -

Last night, my kids stopped by and were sitting in the living room when I said to them, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

They got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my beer.

They are SO on my poopee list ...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In the Beginning

Happy Hump Day

Last Wednesday we had some laughs courtesy of our senior citizens.

(Yeah, yeah, I know I'm one of those.)

This week I'm going back to the beginning...we're going to look at - and laugh with - babies.

I'm going to be honest here and admit I've got to put this post together in a hurry.  Just found out I'm going out of town first thing in the morning. But I think there are enough laughs packed in these two videos to do the trick.  If you need an extra boost, watch them twice.

If you can listen to these guys and not join in the laughter...well, then you're at work listening on headphones. 

This guy does a solo but you've got to love this giggle.

Admit it. You laughed, didn't you?

 I'm staying with my baby theme for your "aw" picture, too.  If you don't feel an "aw" right away, take another look that the expressions on these two faces.

Did you make it?  Over the mid-week hump? Excellent.
My work here is done.

Okay, I've gotta run.  I'm leaving early and will be gone all day so I'll be a little late coming around to visit, but I'll get there.

Quotes of the Day:

Did you know babies are nauseated by the smell of a clean shirt? - Jeff Foxworthy

“Babies don't need a vacation but I still see them at the beach. I'll go over to them and say, 'What are you doing here, you've never worked a day in your life!” - Stephen Wright

“Fo' Gawd, Miss Scarlett! We's got ter have a doctah. Ah- Ah- Miss Scarlett, Ah doan know nuthin' 'bout bringin' babies. -Prissy” ― Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

Monday, October 15, 2012

Controversy and Social Media

A few weeks ago, an e-mail group I belong to got into a discussion about authors including personal information and/or opinions in their social media. The discussion was primarily centered on Facebook, although the issue carries over to other social media such as blogs, Twitter, etc.

Most everyone agreed that posting a little personal information - mentioning pets, children, hobbies - could be a positive thing. Readers enjoy getting to know an author as a person.  But the group was split on the subject of authors expressing their opinions on more controversial or divisive subjects, i.e. religion or politics.

Those who thought authors should refrain using their social media as a "soapbox" reasoned that doing so could antagonize half their potential audience, resulting in lost readers. One pointed out that, as authors, our social media sites were places of business and therefore not the proper setting for presenting personal opinions. 

It was also noted that a better place to express our opinions was in our writing (stories, books, etc.) where controversy could actually boost sales.

Others felt that, as artists, we had the right or even an obligation to speak out.  A few said they liked having a social media platform to express their opinions on all kinds of issues.

Overall, those not in favor of expressing personal opinions on controversial issues outweighed those in favor about two to one.  I was in the majority on this one. I enjoy sharing personal/family items but I keep my opinions on heavy social issues off my blog.

What do you think? As authors, what should be the role of your social media sites?  As readers, do you want to know how authors feel about controversial issues?  Would it impact your interest in their work?

An offshoot of this group discussion was the question of personal vs. professional Facebook pages.  That will be the topic of my post next Monday.

Quotes of the Day: (some differing points of view)

"If you're going to say what you want to say, you're going to hear what you don't want to hear.” 
― Roberto Bolaño, The Insufferable Gaucho

"Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.” ― Mark Twain

“When we have to change an opinion about any one, we charge heavily to his account the inconvenience he thereby causes us.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

“It’s a fact that you’re going to have a different opinion or view on certain topics or issues. You need stand your ground by sharing your view.” ― Michael Barbarulo: Author God's Healing Hands: Allow God To Reshape Your Soul

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just Get It From the File


Yup, I'm late again today.  The workman were back this morning and threw my schedule off.

Well, sort of.  I asked the nice workman to look at a problem with our sliding patio door. It's a double pane and there was liquid pooling between the panes. He determined there was a leak in the seal - a factory seal so, no problem, it would be covered under the warranty.  All I had to do was pull the paperwork from when we purchased the door a couple years ago.

Uh huh.

I want to point out here that my husband and I are both reasonably intelligent professionals.  He's a financial analyst who has tried to retire several times only to be talked out of it by his supervisors who think he's walks on water. I ran a successful IT department for two decades before I retired a couple years ago. 


It's not like we don't try.  Every year or so, we sit down and try to re-organize the family files - bills and receipts, financial statements and insurance policies, medical records and home improvements, warranties and manuals - a place for everything, all organized and clearly labeled.  Then we need the paperwork on a leaky door and it's nowhere to be found.

I did find the warranties for three phones, a clock radio, a CD player, and a microwave oven, none of which we still own.  And there were complete records from the vet on the dog we lost two years ago (God bless his little heart).  But nothing on the sliding door or, for that matter, on the new front door we had installed at the same time.

I'd like to blame my husband. After all, this is a home improvement receipt and that's his department. But...I am the one who's spent untold hours the past month searching for my missing digital recorder (with all the notes for my next book on it) and the only thing I found was the gold cross I'd spent untold hours searching for the month before.

So, anyway, that's how I spent my morning.  Searching in vain for the warranty papers on a very expensive door with a factory defect. I'll go back to hunting shortly, and when hubby comes home, we'll probably hunt together.  Maybe we'll get lucky.

Until next time.

How about you?  What's your home filing system? Nice neat, everything-at-your-fingertips?  Loose papers stuffed randomly in a drawer?  Somewhere in between?

(You know, I never had a problem with my files at work.  Maybe I can blame my husband.)

Hope you all have a great weekend.  See you Monday.

Quotes of the Day:  It is better to have filed and lost than not have filed at all."  ~ Masterson

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On Getting Older - Hump Day Funnies

Happy Hump Day

A friend of mine (you know who you are) recently referred to my husband and I as "old geezers". Evidently she hasn't heard that sixty is the new forty. Or the recycled fifty. Something like that.

Anyway, I decided to devote today's Hump Day post to the joys of old age. Some of you kids (twenty and thirty somethings) might not fully appreciate these but I guarantee my older followers are going to enjoy a good laugh.

First, a wonderful video by the very funny Pam Peterson on Memory.

Hmmm, this one's on memory, too:

Several days ago as I left a meeting at our church, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down, looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room revealed nothing. Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically I headedfor the parking lot. My wife, Diane, has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition. My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty.

I immediately call the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all, "Honey," I stammered. I always call her "honey" in times like these. "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen."

There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard Diane's voice, "Ken," she barked, "I dropped you off!"

Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, "Well, come and get me."

Diane retorted, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car!"

This vid by George Younce is on another joy of aging.

This one just made me laugh.

An old man, Mr. Goldstein, was living the last of his life in a nursing home. One day he appeared to be very sad and depressed. Nurse Tracy asked if there was anything wrong.

"Yes, Nurse Tracy," said Mr. Goldstein, "My Private Part died today, and I am very sad."

Knowing her patients were forgetful and sometimes a little crazy, she replied, "Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr. Goldstein, please accept my condolences.

The following day, Mr. Goldstein was walking down the hall with his Private Part hanging out his pajamas, when he met Nurse Tracy.

"Mr. Goldstein," she said, "You shouldn't be walking down the hall like that. Please put your Private Part back inside your pajamas."

"But, Nurse Tracy," replied Mr. Goldstein, "I told you yesterday that my Private Part died."

"Yes, you did tell me that, but why is it hanging out of your pajamas?"

(you gotta love this...)

"Well," he replied, "Today's the viewing."

I was hunting for a good "aw" picture in keeping with today's theme but didn't come up with one.  Hope you like this one instead.    

It worked for me.

Okay, that's it for today.  Hope you all (young and old) found enough smiles, chuckles, LOLs to get you over the midweek hump and on the downhill coast to the weekend.  Did you have a favorite?

Senior Thoughts for Today:

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can't afford one. So, I'm wearing my garage door opener.

I also made a cover for my hearing aid and now I have what they call blue teeth, I think.

My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 62. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

(Personal note: Welcome to my newest follower.  Hi, Sweetie.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

This is Embarrassing

Hi. This is a bit embarrassing but I'm deserting my blog buggies two blog days (for me) in a row.  A crew of workers who've been cancelling and re-scheduling on me for months showed up this morning ready to rip out and re-build. Chaos reigns.

Happy Columbus Day to my friends here in the U.S.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in Canada.

Congratulations to grandson Cooper's football team on their upset win to move forward in the playoffs.

And a gentle thought for dear Eleanora, my mum-in-law, who left us two years ago today.

We miss you, Mama.

Hope everything is going well for everyone and I promise I'll be around to visit as soon as I get things here under control.  (Or sort of under control.)

Quickies for Today:  (No, I'm not getting kinky.)

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Love You, But...

Hey blogging buddies.  I know Friday is supposed to be a blogging day for me but my beloved spouse decided to take the day off and has offered to help with whatever overdue house or yard project I'd like to work on.  Can't waste this opportunity so no blogging or blog following for me today.

Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time for Canines (Happy Hump Day).

Happy Hump Day.

Running a little late this Wednesday.  Lost several hours on the phone with tech support with an e-mail problem.  Blech. And spend time last night at a book signing with the Deadly Divas: Denise Swanson, Marcia Talley, Sara Rosett, and Heather (Webber) Blake.  Fun. Then I got home and found my grandson had taken over my computer to do his homework.  Groan.

So here I am, finally ready to offer some smiles to help you over the mid week hump and on your way to a fun-filled weekend.

Last week I picked on the felines so this week I'm giving equal time to the canine side.

Ever feel like you were in the wrong bed?

Don't you wish you felt like this?

I thought this was funny - one dog sitting on another...

But I guess it's just a dog thing.

Every comment I come up with for this just isn't appropriate.

You know these guys really want to bite someone.

And, of course, the "aw" picture. I love this one.   
Notice who has the pacifier.

Okay, hope that did the trick. Feeling over the hump?  Going to make it to the weekend?

Did you have a favorite?

  Idle Thoughts for Today:  (I might have thought these while I was waiting on hold with e-mail tech support.  Or maybe not.)  

I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.

I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what?

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home, and when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway.

Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

My weight is perfect for my height -- which varies.

How can there be self-help "groups"?

Is it me--or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thirty Eight Years Ago

It was supposed to be a plant party.  Really. Plant parties were all the rage in southern California in the 70's. But it was actually a surprise baby shower, for me.  It was a little late for a shower - I was nearing the end of my ninth month - but my friends discovered I never had a baby shower for our first born, courtesy of the Air Force moving us cross-country in the middle of my pregnancy, and they decided I needed one.

Everything was set.  My hubby Stan, who was taking evening classes toward his Masters degree, was starting a new quarter that night.  A friend was picking me up for the party and her husband was going to stay with our two year old.  Just before his class, Stan called to make sure everything was okay.  Remember, no cell phones back then.  I told him I was fine and I'd see him after the party.

Ten minutes after his call, I went into labor.

I called the hostess to let her know I'd was skipping the party without going into exactly why.  She whined and complained about all the other people who had cancelled out and laid a major guilt trip on me, trying to get me to come.  I didn't realized I was the guest of honor. In self-defense, I explained my labor had started.

I called my friend and cancelled my ride, but let her husband know we'd probably need his babysitting services later that night. Then I settled down to wait for my husband.  I wasn't doing this without him.

For the next three hours I dealt with an endless stream of calls from friends insisting I let them take me to the hospital. A couple showed up at the door.  They were panicking.  I was fine.

At 9:30, Stan came hone and wanted to know why I wasn't at the 'plant party'.  I handed him the notepad I'd been tracking my contractions on.  

"Okay, I'll call Art (the babysitter).  Let's go."

"But Rhoda's coming on."  Does anyone remember Rhoda?  I loved that show.

Well, Stan was bright enough to realize you don't argue with a woman in labor.  He told Art to arrive at 10:00 and I watched Rhoda...with a short interruption for heavy breathing every three minutes or so...while Stan dealt with the girls at the plant party who had decide not to let the wine and refreshments go to waste just because I wasn't there (especially the wine) and were calling for continuous updates.

Finally, the show was over and I waddled out and got into the car.

About four hours later, at 2:17 a.m., October 1, 1974, Matthew Alan made his grand entrance into the world. 

This is my favorite baby picture of Matt, sitting in his brother's lap when he was eight weeks old.  He was bright and happy and had a deep throaty giggle I can still hear when I see this picture.

Now he's a wonderful husband and father, as well as our beautiful son. 

Happy Birthday, Matt.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we did have the baby shower, a couple weeks after he was born.  They didn't try to surprise me.

Quote for the Day: I still can't figure out why he gets the presents today.  I did all the work. ~ LD Masterson

Friday, September 28, 2012

Explaining the Old Days (and Trivia Answers)

My grandson is in a program at school that mixes social issues and robotics.  The kids (7th and 8th graders) look at some issue in society, research it, and propose a form or method of improvement.  This year they're studying the problems faced by seniors.  I discovered this when my grandson asked if I'd be willing to be interviewed by the group, since I'm OLD.

After I finished smacking him around, I agreed and yesterday was my day to meet for a little Q & A.

Some of the questions were what I expected...  What are some problems I'm facing now that I'm older?  Are there things I have difficulty doing?  Are there places I like to go that I can't get around in any more? 

But there were questions I didn't expect.  And some of them gave me pause.

What did I like to do or where did I like to go as a kid that isn't around anymore?

What do I think of teenagers? (I loved that they asked that question.)

Am I more afraid of things now or less?

Is life easier or harder?

What do I miss most?

It was harder to answer some of these than I thought it would be.  What would you have said?

Trivia Answers:

Thanks to everyone who played along.  Just about everyone got Arnold and Buzz.  Most of you got 1984. But only a few remember the Fonz (Heyyyy) and Laugh In (sock it to me, sock it to me)

What or who first made these catch-phrases famous?

1 - I'll be back.

The Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenneger  in the 1984 film.

2 - Correctomundo

Fonzie/The Fonz/Arthur Fonzarelli, played by Henry Winkler in the 1970's-80's TV comedy Happy Days.

3 - Big Brother (is watching you..) 

1984 - In the dark futuristic novel by George Orwell, published in 1949, the phrase appeared in the description of a government poster, in part 1, chapter 1.

4 - You bet your sweet bippy. 

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in, 1960's-70's TV comedy series, in which numerous guests used the phrase and variations of it.

5- To infinity, and beyond. 

Buzz Lightyear, voice by Tim Allen, in the 1995 film animation Toy Story.

Quote of the Day:

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. ~ George Burns

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

But Cats are Just Funny (Happy Hump Day)

Happy Hump Day

Okay, let me set the record straight - I'm a dog person. I have a dog.  I've always had dogs.  I think dogs are noble animals and they can be both very attractive and quite funny.

But in photos, cats are...well...

Oh, just see for yourself.

That's almost scary.  Scratch that - it's definitely scary.

Seems only fair.

Hmmm.  Some of these could also apply to a dog.

I use that look to keep the kids in line.

No comment.

And I wouldn't ask you to get through a Hump Day without your weekly "aw".

Did that one do it for you?

Okay, there are your hump day funnies. Hope this helps get you over the hump and coasting toward the weekend.  But before you go, why don't you try our...

Trivia Questions for Today:

What or who first made these catch-phrases famous?

1 - I'll be back.

2 - Correctomundo

3 - Big Brother (is watching you..)

4 - You bet your sweet bippy.

5- To infinity, and beyond.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am NOT a Robot.

It's Monday morning and you're reading through your favorite blogs.  You find a really good post. Your comment forming in your mind as you read.  You finish reading, type in your comment, and hit Publish.

And there it is.

"Prove you're not a robot."

You're staring at a bunch of squiggly, squished together letters and a badly blurred photo with a number in there somewhere that you must decipher in order for your comment to be accepted.

If the politicians need a platform this election year that everyone can support - this is it.  A totally bi-partisan issue.  Across the aisle.  Across the country.  Just about everyone hates this thing.

I thought it was just me until someone mentioned it on an e-mail list of writers I belong to. Instant response.  I stopped counting at sixteen against, zero for.

Some of their comments:
  • I've tried over thirty times but couldn't get past it.
  • The letters are so blurred and run together, I can't read them.
  • I won't even try to comment if this is turned on.
  • Most blog/social media experts, advise against using anything on your blog that will make it harder for people to follow/comment. 
So, why do people use it.  One reason is Blogger sets Word Verification on as the default value and some blog authors may not realize it or know how to turn it off.  If you're one of these, it's easy.  Go to your Design page.  Click on Settings>Posts and Comments and change the Word Verification to No.

Worried about spam?  While you're on that page, set Who can comment? to Registered Users. That blocks anonymous commenters, which include most spammers.

What do you think?  Are spam protection devices like Capcha and Word Verification necessary and we need to accpt them, or do they create too much of an obstacle to blog dialogue and need to be turned off?
Do you use one on your blog?  If not, do you have a problem with spam?  Do you find them a problem when leaving comments on blogs you follow? Are we in danger of offending our blog-reading robots?  Please share your thoughts on this one.

Groaner of the Day:

A frog goes into a bank, and hops up to the loan officer.
The loan offers greets him. "My name is John Paddywack. Can I help you?"
The frog says, "Yeah, I'd like to borrow some money."
The loan officer finds this a little odd, but gets out a form. "Okay, what's your name?"
"Kermit Jagger."
"Really? Any relation to Mick Jagger?"
"Yeah, he's my dad."
"Okay. you have any collateral?"
The frog hands the loan officer a pink ceramic elephant. "Will this do?"
"Hmmm...I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager."
"Oh, tell him I said hi. He knows me."
The loan officer goes back to the manager."Excuse me, sir, but there's a frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing, I'm not even sure what it is."
The manager replies, "It's a knick-knack, Paddywack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Done In By a Rogue Molar

He was always a member of the team.  Trusted, dependable.  I counted on him. When he was battered and damaged, I had him wrapped in gold to keep him strong. I thought he'd always be on my side.

(Specifically, left side, lower jaw.)

But my dentist says he's gone rogue.  Turned against me.  Trying to poison the others while inflicting as much pain as possible.

I'm fighting back.  Antibiotics.  Painkillers.  With any luck, he'll be forced into submission and returned to his job.  Otherwise, he'll be removed from the ranks.

In the meantime, I'm taking a day off.  Too fuzzy headed for a coherent post.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

I leave you with this.

Never Assume:

Wife texts husband on a cold winters morning: "Windows frozen."

Husband texts back: "Pour some lukewarm water over it."

Wife texts back: "Computer completely screwed up now!"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hump Day - On the Technical Side

Happy Hump Day

As usual, today's post is dedicated to giving you a little boost - in the form of giggles, chuckles, or even a good solid laugh - to get you over the mid-week hump and on the downhill slope to the weekend.

On Monday, I participated in Alex Cavanaugh's Favorite Genre Blogfest.  It was fun and I made some new friends.  Not surprisingly, if you follow Alex's blog, a lot of the participants listed their favorite genre for movies and/or books as sci fi. Well, I just happened to receive this vid clip that discusses one of the more delicate (or indelicate) aspects of space travel. The topic is a little gross but the final line is worth it.

Okay, staying with a technical theme...have you had this problem?

If you have, did you call for tech support?

I may have used my grandkids for tech support, but not at that age.

I'm more likely to need this kind of help.

I'm not sure if there was any "help" given here. 

What do you think?

Oh, don't panic.  I didn't forget your weekly "awww".

You know you said it.

Okay, did that do it?  Are you over the hump and coasting to the weekend?  Did you have a favorite?

Groaner of the Day:  I know, I know - I promised to cut back on the groaners but some of my new visitors liked the one on Monday and I just want to give them one more.  (Then they'll know better than to encourage me.)

A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with...

transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

(Oh, I'm so sorry.)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

Kicking off the week with

(drumroll, please)

This Blogfest is the baby of Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh and you can see who else is participating here.

It's a simple one (which is why I jumped on board).  The rules:

List your favorite genre of:


And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!

Okay, when I got down to it, I realized simple doesn't necessarily mean easy. Picking from all the genres I enjoy in these categories was tough.  But here's what I came up with and why.

Movie: Romantic Comedy

When I go to the movies I just want to be entertained. I don't want to have to work too hard. Plus, I think the Romantic Comedies fit the standard two hour time frame better than some other genres.

Runner up: Action/Adventure - for the same reasons.

Books: Mystery/Suspense

With a book, I'm willing to work a little harder.  I want to engage "those little gray cells", follow the twists and turns, try to figure out where the author is taking me before we get there, and be surprised at the end.

Runner up: Pretty much everything else - I just like to read.

Music: Golden Oldies (50's and 60's)

What can I say?  That's my era.  We didn't have a zillion different categories back then. Rock & roll was rock & roll.  And folk music was mixed right in.

Runner up: Broadway show music - I love theatre.
Guilty Pleasure: Animated Children' Movies

From the classics (Bambi, Lady and the Tramp) to more recent (Up, Finding Nemo), I'll try to find a kid to take with me but I'm not above going by myself.

Runner up: Old movies from the 30's and 40's.  Tracy and Hepburn, The Thin Man, Bing and Bob On the Road to...wherever, and early Hitchcock.

Please hop over to Alex's blog to see the list of participants and check out some other bloggers' favorites.

And I'd love for you to leave me a comment and tell me yours.

Groaner of the Day:  (Hey, I haven't tortured you with one of these for a while.)

King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."

"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"

Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Can't They Get It Right?

If you watch the USA cable network, sometime in the past week you probably saw the dramatic promo for Tuesday night's Covert Affairs.  Annie Walker - who was shot in the chest in the closing minutes of the previous episode - on a hospital bed, obviously in cardiac arrest, while a hospital staffer applies a shock from a defibrillator...THROUGH HER HOSPITAL GOWN.

Oh, come on, people.  Even my grandson knew the paddles of a defibrillator have to be applied directly to the patient's skin. I think I threw a pillow at the TV.  This rates right up there with giving CPR to a victim who was conscious and talking - yes, I actually saw that in a show.  I can't count the number of times I've seen CPR given by supposed professionals doing compressions by flexing their arms (if you don't know, the elbows remain locked and the body moves).

I know TV shows take a lot of liberties with reality.  Female cops on the job in stiletto heels, showing six inches of cleavage.  DNA results in under an hour.  Vast databases that just happen to contain whatever piece of information is needed to close the case.  But shouldn't they want to get at least the obvious stuff right?

Most writers I know put an incredible number of hours into get it right.  What would be the proper police procedure in this case?  How would doctors handle this kind of injury?  In a courtroom, would a judge allow...  Well, you know what I mean.  Even writers of sci fi and fantasy stick to the rules of whatever world they've created.

Why?  Because we know our readers expect no less.

So why, when we close a book and switch on the TV, do we no longer care?  Why don't we expect TV writers to get it right?  Even a little bit?

Have you seen anything on TV lately that made you want to throw a pillow?  What's one of your favorite "oh, come on" moments?

Quote of the Day: 

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.  ~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hump Day Funnies and Trivia Answers

Happy Hump Day.

I hope you are sailing through this week and just need a few funnies here to get you over the hump.  So here they are.  No real theme this week, these just tickled my funny bone.

I really relate to this one.

I won't admit if I relate to this one.

Hmmm, better not admit to this one either.

This one I can honestly say I don't relate to.  Never been crazy about fancy shoes.

But this one I love.  I was walking Sophie last week and we were stalked by a black cat.  This is pretty much how Sophie reacted.  Right up until she fell over on her back.  (So humiliating.)

And I wouldn't ask you to get through Hump Day without your Awwww.
Does this little guy do it for you?

So, are you all set?  Charged up on chuckles and ready to get through the rest of the week?  Did you have a favorite?

Thought for the Day:

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

M*A*S*H Trivia Question Answers

Only a couple brave souls tried to answer the M*A*S*H trivia question I posted on Monday.  Thanks, Stacy and Maria for giving it a shot.  Here are the answers.

1. Where is Hawkeye from?
Stacy was close, Maria was closer.  Hawkeye was from Crabapple Cove, Maine

2. In the episode where Hawkeye places an order for ribs from Adam’s Ribs, what does he forget to order?
Maria nailed this one - it was coleslaw.

3. Who was Major Houlihan’s fiancée and what was his rank?
Maria got half of this one.  It was Lieutenant Colonel Donald Penobscot

4. What is Klinger’s middle initial?
Yup, it was Q.  Maxwell Q. Klinger

5. Where is B.J. Hunnicutt from?
You both knew the state.  BJ lived in Mill Valley, CA

6. What was Max Klinger’s favorite baseball team?
You had it, Stacy.  The Toledo Mud Hens

7. What was Col. Potter’s middle initial?
This one was too easy.  Sherman T. Potter.

8. What was the name of Col. Potter’s horse? (Hint: think of my dog.)
Aw, the hint should have given this one to everyone.  Sophie.

9. What was the name of the psychiatrist?
You both got his first name.  It was Sidney Freedman.

10. What is Father Mulcahy’s full name?
But no one remembered the good padre.  Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy.  (I would have accepted Francis.)

Bonus question - What was Charles' sister's name?
Stacy - Charles' sister was never seen but mentioned a number of times, including the scene Maria mentioned in her answer. It was Honoria.

Thanks again for playing along.