Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Funnies and Riddles for Hump Day

Happy Hump Day

Good morning. Are you ready for your weekly funnies to help you over the hump and on the way to the weekend? Well, let's go.

Looking for some goodies for today's post, I came across a page of Haiku poems I received in my former life as an IT manager. I think we can relate to a few of these.

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

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

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

Let me know if you like these and I'll toss in a couple more next week.

This picture just cracked me up.

How about a joke?

Bubba had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition. It seems that his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 21st birthday.  On that special day, they'd each walked across the lake to the bar on the far side for their first legal drink.

So, when Bubba's 21st birthday came around, he and his pal Jim Bob took a boat out to the middle of the lake where Bubba stepped out of the boat ... And nearly drowned! Jim Bob just barely managed to pull him to safety.  Furious and confused, Bubba went to see his grandmother.

'Grandma,' he asked, 'it's my 21st birthday, so why can't I walk 'cross the lake like my pappy, his pappy, and his pappy before him?'

Granny looked deeply into Bubba's troubled eyes and said, 'Because your father, your grandfather, and your great grandfather were born in January, when the lake is frozen, and you were born in July, you idiot.

Did you see it coming?

This video may be lost on my younger readers but some of you will have the memories to really appreciate it. This is a clip of screen legend James Cagney and Bob Hope - comedian, TV and movie star, and hero to generations of US service men and woman. When this was filmed, Hope was 52 and Cagney was 56.

Ah, thanks for the memories, guys.

I didn't forget your "aw" moment.  This one's a little different but it got an "aw" from me.

Did it work for you?

Okay - now for what you've all been waiting for. Or some of you? A couple of you?

Here are this week's riddles.

1. What can you never eat for breakfast?

2. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have? 

3. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it? 

 Good luck.
 That's it. Hope this got you over the hump. Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Thought for the Day:

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.  Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal..


Monday, July 29, 2013

More on PSWA and Riddle Answers

Yup, I'm late posting again this Monday.  Things have been a little hectic. Last week I was helping out at my grandson's band camp. Prepping, serving, and cleaning up lunch and dinner every day for 120 hungry marching band members and staff.

Then this weekend I was out with our local disaster recovery team helping an elderly couple who had major wind damage in their yard.

It's wonderful to be able to help but this morning, I'm really dragging.

However...on to the topic of the day, 
more from the PSWA Conference.

(By the way, I finally figured out how to get pictures out of my phone.)

 Pouring through my notes, it's hard to decide what to share. Today, I'm going with some excellent tips on adding realism to your story.  These are from a panel presentation by Michelle Perin, Kathleen Ryan, Janet Greger, Madeline Gornell, Michael Angley, Steve Scarborough and Ellen Kirschman.

Setting -
  • Use or create a map(s) of your setting and post it near your writing spot. Add photos or postcards to keep your visuals fresh in your mind. 
  • Visit the setting location when possible. 
  • Research geography (Google Satellite maps are good for this) and weather patterns. If you visit your site in summer, but set your story in winter, make sure you make the correct adjustments.
  • Use your characters' reactions to the setting rather than describing it to help the reader feel the surroundings.
Characters -
  • Use attributes of people you like when creating your protagonist. Use attributes of people you dislike for your antagonist. 
  • Include speech patterns in your characters' profiles. 
  • Give your character a birth date and use the traits from the appropriate astrological sign.
 Note: if you use jargon or foreign phrases to add authenticity, make sure the reader knows what those words mean.

 Of course, attending any writers' conference always means getting together with friends and making new ones. Here I am with Conference Program Chair Marilyn Meredith and a new friend, author Sharon Arthur Moore.

 Okay, I don't want to run long here so let's get directly to...

The Official Answers to Last Week's Riddles

 1. The River Ravi flows in which state? - Liquid.

2. What is the main reason for divorce? - Marriage (hard to have a divorce without one)

3. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become? - Wet
My thanks to everyone who gave them a try (with or without offering your answers). How about you? Did you get them all?  Two? One?  Care to try again on Wednesday?

Thought for the Day:


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day Funnies and More Riddles

Happy Hump Day

I'm running a bit late on everything this week. Blame Band Camp. My grandson's high school is holding their on-site (meaning at the school) band camp this week and I've been volunteering to help prepare and serve lunch and dinner (about three hours per meal). It's a lot of fun but sure plays havoc with my work schedule.

However, let's get to the important stuff...your hump day funnies.

I have no idea if this first one is fact or fiction but it's still funny.  I'm printing it here just as I received it in an e-mail. 

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a 'gripe sheet,' which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

            P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
            S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

            P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
            S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

            P: Something loose in cockpit
            S: Something tightened in cockpit

            P: Dead bugs on windshield.
            S: Live bugs on back-order.
            P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
            S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
            P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
            S: Evidence removed.
            P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
            S: DME volume set to more believable level.
            P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
            S: That's what friction locks are for.
            P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
            S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
            P: Suspected crack in windshield.
            S: Suspect you're right.
            P: Number 3 engine missing.
            S: Engine found on right wing after brief search
            P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
            S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right and be serious.
            P: Target radar hums.
            S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
            P: Mouse in cockpit.
            S: Cat installed.
            And the best one for last
            P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
            S: Took hammer away from the midget

I don't usually include videos because I know many readers are pressed for time but this one is delightful. Have you ever thought of an elephant "scampering"? Neither had I until I watched this.  There's a particularly tender moment between the baby's parents around the three minute mark.

Now we have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement - Senior Style
An elderly couple in their 70's were about to get married.
She said: I want to keep my house.
He said: That's fine with me.
She said: I want to keep my Cadillac.
He said: That's fine with me.
She said: I want to have sex 6 times a week.
He said: Put me down for Fridays.

Hee hee hee.

Since the first one was a bit long, I'm going straight to your Hump Day Riddles. As always, the answers will be posted on Monday.

 1. The River Ravi flows in which state? 

2. What is the main reason for divorce?

3. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become? 

The elephant video should probably take care of your "aw" for this week but just in case...

Aw, poor baby.

Okay, are we all good? Over the hump and on the way to the weekend. I hope so.
Did you have a favorite? Glad you don't fly UPS? Want to hug a baby elephant?

Good luck with the riddles. Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.

Thought for the day:

He who hesitates is probably right.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Recapping the PSWA Conference - and Your Riddle Answers

I'm late getting this, posted, but it's not my fault. I was going to write it last night but my beloved Red Sox were on ESPN. Against those dreaded Yankees. And the game went into extra innings. Well, I couldn't exactly stop watching, could I?

I know - excuses, excuses.

Most of you know I missed a couple posts recently while I was attending the Public Safety Writers Association conference in Las Vegas. If you're not familiar with the PSWA, its members "include police officers, civilian police personnel, firefighters, fire support personnel, emergency personnel, security personnel and others in the public safety field. [And then we have] those who write about public safety including mystery writers, magazine writers, journalists and those who are simply interested in the genre." (quote taken from the PSWA website). 

 I attended my first PSWA conference in 2011. In fact, it was my first writers' conference and it was a perfect choice. Smaller than some conferences (under 70 attendees), it gives a new author the chance to mingle and get to know everyone without being overwhelmed. That was the year I met the "friend" who shares my Facebook profile picture. Yes, those are bullet holes.

This year there were sessions you might find at any writing conference - on setting, building suspense, promotion, etc. - but there were also less common presentations such as: the culture of prostitution, the evolution of the detective, homeland security, and DNA. Since the conference is small, everyone can attend every session, no having to choose being two presentations when you want to see both.

Last year, they also created a crime scene, complete with murder victim, for the attendees to investigate. Unfortunately, no one informed the hotel cleaning staff and it sent a maid screaming for security, so no crime scene this year.

I want to share some pictures from this year's conference but I took them with my brand new smart phone (my dearly loved, ancient flip phone finally died) and I need to figure out how to get them from the phone to the computer, so I'll save them for the next few Mondays, along with some of the great information I gathered.

Here a piece of writing advice to hold you over - Dialogue should be believable, not realistic. There's nothing more boring the realistic dialogue.

And a tragic fact - 30% to 50% of prostitutes are juveniles (under 18) and the average age of a juvenile prostitute is 14.

Now to lighter are the answers to last Wednesday's riddles. Many of you knew one or more and a few of you got them all.

1. In which battle did Napoleon die? - His last one.

(Several people pointed out that Napoleon died in his sleep, not in battle - which is historically correct - but to make the riddle work, I'm calling that his battle with old age. Still his last battle. *grin* )

2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? - At the bottom. 

3. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? - You can't. You'll never find a one-handed elephant. 

Thought for the Day:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Back...With Your Hump Day Funnies

Happy Hump Day

I had a great time at the PSWA conference in Vegas - my thanks to all who wished me a good trip - and I've got lots of information to share BUT...

I left you to get through the week last week without your hump day boost and I can't do that again, so we'll save the conference report for Monday and here's your...

Happy Hump Day Funnies

This one just tickled me. I know exactly how she felt.

Here's a news piece you might like.

Woman Stops Grizzly Attack With 25 Caliber Pistol !
This is a story of self-control and marksmanship with an "itsy bitsy shooter" by a woman facing a fierce predator.

What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself? The 25 cal. Beretta Jetfire:

Here's her story:
"While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my husband, we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of nowhere. She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today! Just one shot to my husband's knee cap was all it took. The bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. 
It's one of the best pistols in my collection."    
Hah! Didn't see that coming, did you? (Okay, maybe some of you did.)

Here's a problem for the ages.

Now you'll have that question stuck in your head.

Not all wives give up their beloved spouses to rampaging bears. Here a wife who came to her husband's rescue.

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle.
Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she ran outside and grabbed a handy plank of wood and smacked him with it, breaking his arm in two places. 

Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his iPod.

 Okay, that's enough about domestic bliss. Time for your "aw". I know dogs and cats tend to dominate here but I couldn't resist this loving pair.

 You know you said it.

That's it. Did we do it? Are you over the hump and coasting toward the weekend? Did you have a favorite?

And since I got more "yes" than "no" votes on the riddles, here's a few more. Answers on Monday, as usual. Have a great weekend.

Riddles for Today:

1. In which battle did Napoleon die?

2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? 

3. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Off to the PSWA

Hey gang, I'm sorry I totally dropped the ball on blogging this week. I'm leaving for the Public Safety Writers Association Conference tomorrow morning and I'm way behind the power curve. In fact, it's almost 11:00 p.m. and I haven't even started packing.

I hope to make it up to you next week with lots of great information from the conference.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hump Day Funnies and Brain Teasers

Happy Hump Day

I'm late posting today and I have no good excuse whatsoever.  Unless reading a good book instead of taking care of business is an acceptable excuse.

Of course, this isn't a usual Hump Day since many of us have a holiday tomorrow but for everyone else...

How about a little mixture of funnies and brain teasers today?  Whatever it takes to get you over the mid week hump and coasting to the weekend.

First, a gift to you.

Hee hee hee.

Okay, here's a better picture.

 Babies are fluent in puppy-speak? Who knew? 

Now for a brain teaser. I think this was easy for me because we used to use these letter/number combinations for computer passwords at work.  Does it work for you?

7H15  M3554G3 53RV35  7O PR0V3 H0W  0UR  M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR  M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY
W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17. 

Almost scary, isn't it?

How about a lesson in cat care?

 Of course, this assumes you want to catch a cat. I'm not sure why you would but then, I'm a dog person.
(My apologies to you cat lovers.)

One more brain teaser. A new riddle for you but with the answer included this time.  

You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed.
On your right side is a sharp drop off.
And on your left side is an elephant traveling at the same speed as you.
Directly in front of you is another galloping horse but your horse is unable to overtake it.
Behind you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the horse in front of you.
What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

Wait for it....

Wait for it....

Get your drunken self off the merry-go-round.

Okay, I admit it. That wasn't a riddle, it was a groaner!  

Time for your "aw" moment. 

Here's a mother and son picture that's sure to do the trick.

  I know I said it.

Did that do it? Did we get you over the hump? Great! My work here is done.

Did you have a favorite?

I do have one other question. Everyone seemed to enjoy the riddles I posted the last couple Wednesdays.  Would you like to see more or is it time to move on?  I like my Hump Day posts to be fun and entertaining so I'd really like your feedback. More riddles or let it go for a while?

Have a great Fourth of July and a fantastic weekend.

Quotes for Today:

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.   ~ Cora Harvey Armstrong ~ 

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with cookies. ~ Unknown~

Monday, July 1, 2013

Finding a Lost Treasure on Facebook (and the Riddle Answers)

I had a strange and kind of neat happening this evening. A friend and ex co-worker called me and said she'd received a Facebook friend request from a Judy Smith (yes, I'm changing the names) and it showed me as a mutual friend. Was that possibly Judy White that we both worked with a couple decades ago?

I told her no, I hadn't heard from Judy White in over 15 years, but...hmm, I couldn't think who Judy Smith was either.  Well, Judy is someone who doesn't post often but she'd recently changed her profile photo and the more I looked at it the more I thought, dang, that does look like Judy White.

Well, a few e-mails later and the three of us were on a conference call, happily catching up on lost years. I had originally "friended" Judy ages ago without realizing who she was. (We had another round-about connection and I thought she'd friended me because of it.)  Since she doesn't post much, I'd never caught on.

It's always a treat to find an old friend on Facebook, but I don't often find one hiding among my own friends.

Speaking of Facebook - not all my FB experiences are going as well. I've got my new LD Masterson FB page up and I've got a lovely group of friends already but I'm having a terrible problem with the page. The Sort button is missing! You know, the button on your NewsFeed that is supposed to give the option of displaying the most recent posts first.  It's not there, which means I can't get a "Most Recent" sort, which means I can't find the latest posts, which means I'm missing the chance to Like or Comment on what my friends have to say. 

I've researched the problem on Facebook and Google and it appears to have happened before to different people but no one has a solution. Sometimes the button just re-appears.  I don't know what I'm going to do if it doesn't. But if you're one of my friends on that page, please understand that I'm not ignoring your posts. I most likely haven't seen them.

Now, as promised, here are the answers to last Wednesday's riddles.

1 - In California, you can't take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
You can't take a picture with a wooden leg, you need a camera. 
2 - Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg is white." or "The yolk of the egg are white."
Neither. The yolk of an egg is yellow.

3 - Why did the elephant sit on the marshmallow?
So he wouldn't fall in the hot chocolate.

(I love the last one because I have a wonderful memory of my youngest telling it to my mom when he was around five and I can still hear her laughing.)

Congratulations to Heather M. Gardner, Maryann Miller and all of you who figured out all three but kept quiet to give others a chance. 

Submissions are closed on the 2013 WRITE CLUB hosted by DL Hammons but you can still take part in voting on the one-on-one match ups beginning July 8th. Just sign up here.

Have a great Monday.

Thought for the Day:

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.