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.

Monday, September 10, 2012

But I was having fun...


I didn't post this morning.  I meant to.  I had a post half-written.  But I always do my Monday posts over the weekend and this weekend I was having too much fun.

Saturday morning hubby and I took our eldest grandson to the first day of this year's bowling league and stayed to watch him. 

(Okay, this picture was from last year but it's him and he's bowling so close enough.)

Then we worked our church booth at the local popcorn festival.


Saturday evening we saw an excellent play. 

(For my blog followers who are in Dayton, you should go see this . It's playing at the Loft downtown.)

Sunday morning was church, of course.  Then we headed south to see our younger grandson's football game.

That's him, number 21.

Can you guess the outcome of the game (check out those happy faces).

What was even better, my dad drove up from Kentucky to see the game.

How many football players get post-game congratulations from their great-grandfather?

And then we all went out for dinner at a very cool burger place.

So why didn't I at least get my post up earlier today?

Well, I had to help a good friend celebrate her birthday.  Kidnapped her from work for a long lunch and somehow the day just got away.

But I was having fun.

How about you?  Did you have a good weekend?  Ever play hookey from everything you're supposed to be doing?

I'll be around to visit everyone tomorrow.

Trivia Questions - Remember M*A*S*H?

I stumbled over an old M*A*S*H rerun recently and got to remembering what a great show it was.  Let's see how many of you remember this classic.

1. Where is Hawkeye from?

2. In the episode where Hawkeye places an order for ribs from Adam’s Ribs, what does he forget to order?

3. Who was major Houlihan’s fiancée and what was his rank?

4. What is Klinger’s middle initial?

5. Where is B.J. Hunnicutt from? 

6. What was Max Klinger’s favorite baseball team?

7. What was Col. Potter’s middle initial?

8. What was the name of Col. Potter’s horse?  (Hint: think of my dog.)

9. What was the name of the psychiatrist?

10. What is Father Mulcahy’s full name?

Bonus question - What was Charles' sister's name?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mistress of the Stone - Giveaway Winner

Happy Friday!

Wow, am I late getting this post up.  I had a great group critique meeting last night with the Western Ohio Writer's Association but it ran so late I didn't get to the drawing for our winner. 
My apologies for making you wait.

My thanks to all who entered to win a copy of Maria Zannini's newest,

Actually, I didn't select the winner - the author did. I assigned each entry a random number and asked Maria to "give me a number from..."   Well, you know how it goes.  The number she picked belongs to...

...drum roll please...

Congratulations, Linda.  I'll be contacting you by e-mail.

And a great big congratulations to Linda on the release this week of her debut novel,

Check it out.

My thanks, as well, to all of you who left comments and good wishes on Marilyn Meredith's guest post. any plans for the weekend?

Kid Funnies:  Since I didn't do my usual Hump Day post on Wednesday, I'm closing out the week with a few funnies for you.  These are from children writing about the ocean.  Enjoy.

This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6 )

Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

If you are surrounded by ocean, you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Mike, age 7) 

Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson. She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6) 

My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6) 

Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant,so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6) 

Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves in to chargers. (Christopher, age 7) 

When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small. (Kevin, age 6) 

The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6) 

My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Guest Today - Marilyn Meredith

Instead of Hump Day sillies, I have a speacial guest today - author Marilyn Meredith.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn at last year's Public Safety Writers Association conference and at Killer Nashville.  She's here today as part of her blog tour for her newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, RAGING WATER.


To be perfectly honest, I know more about Deputy Tempe Crabtree than I do most of my friends and relatives. The biggest difference with Tempe is I know how she thinks—something I don’t have the privilege of knowing with any of the others. The reason I know how she thinks is because I climb right inside her and go along with her on every adventure.

For some background of Tempe, I should begin by telling you that she is an eighth Native American of the Yanduchi tribe. (I made up the name of the tribe but I’ve borrowed a lot from the Yokuts, many of whom reside on the Tule River Indian Reservation near where I live.) Though in the first few books Tempe doesn’t know much about Indian traditions, she does remember stories her grandmother told her.

Tempe was widowed when her son, Blair, was only two and she had to figure out a way to support herself and her son. (Blair grows up through the series.) She became a deputy and in the series she is the resident of the small mountain community of Bear Creek located in the Southern Sierra and the surrounding area.

She’s married to a Protestant minister, Hutch Hutchinson, though most folks calls him Pastor Hutch. Hutch isn’t happy when Tempe dabbles in the spiritual side of her Indian heritage—but fortunately his love for her is strong enough to overcome his fears.

Of course in every book there is a murder, and the latest, Raging Water, is no exception.

I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Wing Beat, Intervention, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.

About Raging Water: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

And here's that Contest I promised: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs in Marilyn's blogtour will have his/her name used for a character in her next book—you can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Marilyn at the Springville library

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is No Bells, the forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at and follow her blog at

Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

Thank you, Marilyn, for being here today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

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

I'm celebrating the holiday by not laboring over a post today.  Finishing up a house project this morning and doing the traditional 'end of summer' cookout this afternoon...if Mother Nature cooperates and doesn't rain on us.

Please come by Wednesday when I'll be hosting author Marilyn Meredith.  She's doing a blog tour for her latest book RAGING WATER and she's got a great contest for you.

And there's still time to enter my giveaway for a free copy of Maria Zannini's newest, MISTRESS of the STONE.  Contest ends at 5:00 on Thursday. 

How are you spending your Labor Day?  Are you sorry to see the end of summer or looking forward to fall?

Medical Bloopers for Today:

Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.   (For goodness sake, woman - roll over!)

Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.  (Huh?)

She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.  ( comment.)