Friday, December 31, 2004

Snope's, my favorite place to check out the latest email forward, has compiled a list of New Year's traditions. The kissing at midnight angle is one most people are familiar with. I've seen the others turn up in various forms in various books over the years, but I delighted in reading them anyway. Pick one out and make it your new tradition for kicking of the new years to come. via Average Jane

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

How to fix Mom's computer

How to fix Mom's computer is a great how-to for anyone wondering about how to rid a machine of spyware, adware and any other nasties. I wish I had found this article a little sooner. I might have been able to help my sister-in-law better when their machine was taken over by malware.

Lists, Lists and yet, Still More Lists has lists covering the best and worst of every possible subject for 2004. Great for the compulsive list reader. via J-Walk

Monday, December 27, 2004

Top 10 Odd College Courses

Where were these courses when I was in college? MSN Encarta lists ten of the Odd College Courses and the universities that offer them. I think I'd lik the "Art of Walking" offered by Centre College.


I trust that you had a very merry holiday season. Especially those of you who scored some time off from your company this week. Now that Christmas is over, I'm sure that you are looking for something amazing to do with your time (like you don't have enough to do already, I know.) J-Walk posted this link a while back. When I was a kid, snowy winter days meant making snowflakes. Popular Front: SnowDays brings this winter past time to a new level with its virtual snowflakes. Making one is quick and easy. Unlike their paper counterparts, they have an "undo" button, in case you make a mistake. Happy snowflake making!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Hi, my name is Stacie, and I'm addicted to chapstick. (Hi, Stacie.) A chapstick addiction really seems quite innocent compared to most of the addictions that exist, but can prove harrowing anyway. Consider, if you will, the plethora of selections available from the local department store. The flavor range and product names range from the normal (Mint) to the morid (stinky boy stench, which was grape flavored, by the by.) Managing and handling an addiction in such an environment can cause paralysis. My own addiction suffers most when a tube of chapstick is not readily available. To forever end this situation, I carry four or five tubes of chapstick in my purse. A couple more are stashed in my nightstand drawer. A few at my desk at work and in my truck and life is secure. But today, I noticed something different about my chapstick. It had directions. Remarkable that someone would require directions as to the usage of chapstick, I snickered. But nevertheless, there they were. "Apply to lips as needed." Duh. But what truly made me laugh was the warning printed just under the directions: "Stop use and ask a doctor if condition last more than 7 days." I've been using chapstick every day, several times a day, for more years than I can remember and never once thought that I might need to call a doctor since my (cough) "condition" wasn't improving. And when my schedule clears, I'll make an appointment for that very reason. I reckon I'll have time somewhere around 2021, after the baby graduates high school and before he goes to college. Provide, of course that I remember and nothing dramatic happens between now and then.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mother of Suicide Victim Sues Wal-Mart

People are taking it too far. As unfortunate as an event like this is, what they want to propose is worse. The suicide victim bought a gun and used it. The mother believes that if the "associate" had asked, "What are you going to use this for?" the whole event could have been prevented. Personally, I don't like Wal-Mart and take pains to avoid shopping there (especially after reading this study about Wal-Mart's labor practices.) But I don't want them asking me what I am going to use my purchases for or checking my medical records to see if I should be allowed to buy it. It may start with just guns, but it could quickly evolve into the amount of junk food I buy (Gee, Ms. P, you are on a weight loss medicine. I don't think that box of ho-hos is going home with you today) or the video games I buy (Gee, Ms. P, you have small kids at home. This game is too violent for them to be around. Not going into your bag.) Maybe I'm taking it too far. Actually, I know I am. At what point, though, does "too far" become "really close?" I don't know and I don't want to find out. This is a country founded on freedom. Yet at every turn someone is calling for more checks, more balances, more limitations. When does it end? Truly, I am sorry for the loss of the victim's family. Is further limitation of our constitutional rights the best answer? via MSNBC

Holiday Shopping Idea

Need a present for your favorite cube dweller? Cubefigures might be just what you are looking for. Think Legos meets Office Space. I love them. Not that I have any, but if I had some, I'd set up my own little cube world on my spare desk. Just wanted you to know what I'd like for Christmas. (via J-Walk)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

July 16 -- The Date to Wait For

New Harry Potter book to be published July 16. Need I say more? Other than I'll update my template to include a calculator at time this weekend. I just can't do it right now.

A Story of Understanding and Hope

I've had, unfortunately, a few of my near and dear fall victim to cancer. Watching their struggle, knowing the odds, risks and potential outcomes is something that cannot be understood by those who have yet to endure this path in life. One man watched as his mother fell victim to the terrible disease. Mom's Cancer shares that struggle with others. The narrative is simple and covers the wide array of emotions, struggles and victories that cancer patients go through along with the victim's family. The author explores his reactions to the news and treatment as well as several other family members. Saying that enjoyed reading this comic isn't quite right. Knowing that others out there feel as I felt helped me to realize that my reactions were normal and that others experience the same. (via J-Walk)

Friday, December 17, 2004

New Worm

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Computers (Zafi.D) reports a new worm just in time for Christmas. Make sure your firewalls and security is up to date and ready to block this unwelcome present.

Find Danny

Dan Clune is missing. He is a programmer who works for Bookcrossing. This site gives the details that are needed to get Danny back to his family. Please take a couple of minutes to look at the picture. He isn't from the Oshkosh area, but who knows how far from home he really is. If you click on the "What you can do" link, it will take you to a list of contacts for various news sources. The family asks that they be contacted and request to have the story run so more people hear about it. The leads that these sort of stories have produced have been good, according to the investigators. Thanks.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Irritation At Blogger

Sorry, folks, but you are going to get a lame post today. I had a great one, but when I hit the infamous "Publish" button, Blogger took that to mean "Lose it." And it's not the first time. My posting about Average Jane's wedding took me four tries. I'd like to say that my writing improved for it, but I'm pretty sure that version two was much better than version four. I just updated my template to have the same thing happen. I had to do it twice before it would work. The most irritating is that often times I do copy my entry into Notepad or MS Word, depending on what I am feeling like. The day I do, everything works smoothly. But the day that I don't, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Cutting of the Donut

I work in an office where treats periodically appear. Between birthdays, holidays and the goodness of someone's heart, one can often find a tray of donuts, bagels or some other tasty offering. If the donuts are from Copps Food Center, they are enormous. We are talking about the 3000 calorie donut. Just as often though, they are Krispy Kremes and are of a reasonable size. The table generally used for these treats is outside of my cube. Whenever there is food, I get to hear about it every few minutes. Or smell it, if it is particularly aromatic. Besides fighting the urge to nibble, I also must endure the constant stream of comments about cutting. A few individuals have decided that nothing should ever be cut. The taker should take the whole donut and throw out the uneaten portion. I can appreciate his reasons, but object to them none the less. If I know that I am not going to eat all of a donut, why shouldn't I cut it in half and prevent waste? If I want to sample two kinds, should I really take both just to appease the objecters? Even though I know I won't eat all of it and god knows my waist line doesn't need it? The main objection to the cutting of said treats is how the cutting is done. A few individuals are less concerned about germs than others. They will cut the donut and touch both of the resulting pieces, but leave one of them. Also known as germ sharing. When I cut a donut, I am careful to touch only the piece I take. Yet, because of my proximately to the treat table, I am subjected to the constant exclamations of everyone who walks by -- regardless if they are for or against the practice of cutting treats. Truly, I don't see what the big deal is. So what if you cut only a sliver to get a taste, but a fraction of the calories. So what if you do that two, three or twenty+ times a day. What does it matter? Then I heard this. Genltemen restrooms, being what they are, allow all frequenters to learn each other's restroom habits. Without going into detail, some people should have stayed in kindergarten a little longer to learn good habits. I'll cut a donut, but I'll think twice about taking one that has been cut. Especially if some of those gentlemen have been near the table recently.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

U-M's entire library to be put on Google

If only U-M's entire library had been on Google when I needed it for the numerous papers my literature degree required of me. What my GPA could have been.

Average Jane Goes to Vegas

Average Jane, a fellow blogger whose blog I read regularly, has gone to Las Vegas. I love Vegas. Sigh, I wish I could have gone instead of her mis-matched boots. Jane will be posting about her trip throughout the week. Parts One and Two have been posted already. I've been to Vegas twice before, once for a business seminar and once to get married. I'd highly recommend getting married in Vegas. I might be going again in February but that depends on a few things, like work. Until it is decided, I'll live vicariously through Jane's postings.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Twelve Days of Survival

As an adult, my perspective of Christmas and holidays in general has changed. I used to anticipate the arrival of Santa and the truckload of toys he would delivery throughout the neighborhood. I would lie awake for a good portion of the night, waiting until it was even remotely close enough to a decent hour so I could creep out in the living room to check my stocking and scope out the unwrapped presents under the tree. I'm grateful that my kids sleep until six-thirty and take naps. I love watching their faces as they unwrap one gift and are delighted with what they find. They are still into "quality," so we often have to urge them to unwrap the next thing as they are busy playing with the first. I used to love all of the candy and food that just seemed to sit everywhere. No one told you that you had had enough cookies for the day. Instead, every adult turned a blind eye to the number and quantity. The office I work in receives food baskets and gifts from a large portion of our vendors. By the end of the day last year, I would be so stuffed that I have to remind myself that my family hasn't been snacking without constrant and that they do expect to find dinner on the table shortly. Christmas parties used to mean a half day of school and not much work during that half day. Now Christmas parties mean baby-sitters and remembering not to drinking too much. Buying presents used to mean begging money from my parents. Now it means trying to find something for someone that I don't know very well, but drew their name out of the bucket. It means credit card bills, long lines and impossible parking. The only shopping I do in December is grocery shopping. I'm one of those people who have 65% of it done by the end of October and 80% by Thanksgiving. The remaining 20% I have decided what I'm getting for them and do it on my lunch break. Christmas is less about family, God and sharing with one another. Christmas is more about buying, spending and hassle. Is this because I'm an adult or because I'm a grinch?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Building a Gingerbread House

I decided to fulfill one of my Christmas fantasies and build a gingerbread house. I cheated and bought a kit. Gimme a break; my assistant was four-years-old. It started out well. The kit looked fun. I got it on sale even. Then I got home and opened it. The pieces were intact. Opening a box to broken pieces was one of my fears, so I checked it out before I even told the little guy about the house. The white frosting was easy to make. Just add water varieties usually are. They included packets of red and green dye that I opted not to use based on their packaging. Food coloring in plastic tubes sounded like a disaster to me. I figured that regular food coloring would be okay to use instead. More on this later. The kit included a plastic piping bag which I filled with white frosting. At this point I discovered why the icing instructions were adement on keeping the frosting moist through the use of wet cloths. Instantly my hands were spotted with fast-drying white dots and dribbles. The little guy and I started with the back wall and on of the side walls, per instructions. Note to self: Construction of gingerbread houses requires four capbable hands. I called for my husband to come help and distracted the little guy by sending him to show Grandma the house we were building and the other ones available. I hadn't opted for the train kit, but based on his coaxing, we might end up with it yet. Once the four walls and roof was one, I gave the little the special task of decorating with the available candies. Our base was a white cutting board that is seldom use due to its size. We drew sidewalks and made bushes and in general had fun. The little guy was disappointed that we didn't have any men to put in it, but overall, he was happy with the house we built. Next time, though, I'm going to trust the kit. Remember my food coloring substitution? The effect was really, really, really runny frosting. The windows were supposed to be red outlines. They look more like red globs. The verdict hasn't come in yet on the green bushes and trees yet. If they hardened sufficiently well by tonight I'll try to stick them on the house with regular frosting. Otherwise I'll just "drop" them. Overall, I had fun. I probably do it again next year, but no way am I doing this without a kit. I don't think I could handle all of the steps without a crutch.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

How my Dog is Like God

Disclaimer: I am not trying to be sacrilegious, nor do I worship my dog. I have a 3 1/2 year old black lab named Elle. Every day I come home and she is thrilled to pieces to see me. She jumps around, trying to give me kisses. In her own way, she is asking how my day was. Regardless if I have been gone five minutes or ten hours, her reaction is always, "Hi, Mom, how's it going? What did you do?" I imagine that God works the same way when someone shows up for church, regardless of what day of the week the service is. "Hi, how's it going? What did you do today? Gosh, I'm really glad to see you." After I've spent some time talking to Elle and telling her that I am glad to see her too, we spend some time together doing what she wants. Some days it is playing fetch; other days it is petting her behind the ears in that special spot she loves so much. Once at church, I sit in my pew and think about what the pastor might have to say that day. Sometimes I'll know the hymn the organist is playing, other days I think of the talents that the organist has. I'll prepare for worship with prayer. When I get to church, I spend some time doing what makes God happy. When I am not feeling well, Elle sits and comforts me. She does what she can to make me feel better. God does what he can too, through medicines, good foods and rest. Elle likes it when I take her on car rides. She likes it when I take her for walks. God likes it when we take him along too. Elle guards my house at night. She sleeps by my feet and if she hears a strange noise, she growls alerting me to the possible danger. Usually there isn't any. God guards and watches out for us too. He keeps the trees from falling on our roof. He keeps the bad guys away from our house. He provides smoke detectors to alert us if necessary. Every day Elle reminds me of something else God does for us. I'm pretty sure it is not a coincidence.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Signs of the Holiday Season

Building gingerbread houses always sounds like lots of fun, but I never had done it. Fond du Lac actually sponsors a contest for the best among all entries. I wonder if using this site would disqualify me? Living in Oshkosh probably would.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New Ulm fire cleanup is greasy, gooey mess

I post this for all of us who have fond, and not so fond, memories of New Ulm, Minnesota. Can you imagine those poor people who have to trek up the Hill for classes right about now? I wonder if VP Shone will excuse them.

Hit Me, Please

I must have a "hit me" sign on the back of my truck. A couple of weeks ago I was involved in a minor fender bender in a parking lot. It's one of those where both of us were backing up and hit each other. The insurance claim jury is still out, but I anticipate it will come back 50-50 fault. My bumper is scratched, but nothing serious. We'll probably get it fixed out of pocket. Last night I was driving south on Hwy 41 near the Neenah-Menasha-Appleton area of things. It was foggy and rainy; the road weren't slick, but it was only a matter of time. I was in the far left lane of the three lane road. As I was passing a small SUV in the center lane, another car was following me so close that I couldn't see their head lights or most of their hood. I know I have a big truck, but tailgating is best done when I am parked at Lambeau field during daylight hours. As I moved in front of the small SUV in the center lane, I turned on my signal to indicate I was moving. I was really uncomfortable having someone following me that close, but it was evident that they were in more of a hurry than I was. I moved over, only to find yet another car was behind me in the center lane -- not the small SUV but a mid-sized sedan. I have no idea where they came from. All I know is I kept watching my mirrors and checking my blind spots. I assume that they were in the right hand lane and switched to the center about the same time I did. After the first tailgater was passed me, I moved back into the left lane. The mid-size sedan kept tailgating me with the same furousity of the original tailgater. As she drove by me, she flipped me off and screamed, "You -ucking -itch." I assume she meant me, and not the person to whom she spoke on the cell phone. She then whipped around another car in the right hand lane, moved in front of them and drove probably an 1/8 of a mile to exit at the Neenah Wal-Mart. I really don't know who would have been at fault if we had hit one another. From my point of view it was her fault. I'm sure she would have said that I didn't signal and she moved into the lane before I did, so I should have seen her. Maybe I should have. I have insurance and they are accidents, not on-purposes. What really bothers me is her reaction, which has become typical of every driver on the road. Few people use turn signals. Lane changes are random. Talking while driving is prevalent. Yet, I'm a -ucking -itch because I did everything possible to make sure that the lane was clear before I moved, including using my signal? Please, lady. Take responsibility for your actions. I was ahead of you, using my signal to indicate my intention to change lanes. You were far enough behind me that, if we had hit, you would have hit my bumper. I'm just going to have to remove that "hit me" sign. I just hope I can find it.

Where's the innovation?

At Dick's Daily Dose of Excel a great discussion has been filling the comment box. Stephen Bullen, a Microsoft MVP, asked "Where's the Innovation" in Excel? The comments and resulting discussion have been fabuous. I use Excel at work and would consider myself an Intermediate user. Dick's blog is great for research, posting and finding help. I've commented a couple of times on this discussion.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Winter Treats

Most people think of winter as a time for snow-related activities. Not me. I think of winter as hibernation. One of my very favorite winter treats makes its appearance around Christmas time. Oh sure, it can be found year round, probably, but in my mind it is a Christmas candy and always will be. The treat? Chocolate covered cherries. When I was young and foolish, one of my favorite weekend activities was a trip to the local department store. I'd get a book, usually romantic in nature, a new candle and a box of chocolate covered cherries. I didn't have a set time to start or anything like that, but the indulgence of reading a book in one sitting while burning a candle and eating a whole box of chocolate covered cherries was complete bliss. Now that I am old and pretend to be wise, I have kids and find that I am completely unable to indulge in the above described activity. I love my family, but (could you hear that one coming?) I would love to send them away for a day to enjoy my favored past time. Then I'd have them all come home so I could shower them with love.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Writer’s Toolbox

The following collection is really for my own purposes. But if I am collecting links of excellence and worthy of my time, I should bless the rest of you with the fruits of my labor. Many of these have come from the boards of NaNoWriMo. Thank you to everyone that is contributing and making it such a fertile field. Excellent Resources for Writers The Scriptorium has a great tool box for writers. How Stuff Works explains things to you that your characters already know about. Info Please is a collection of pop culture for any given year. If your opus takes place in 1927, this is where to find out the "common knowledge" of the day. Fantasy Writers contains most everything a fantasy writer would need. Role Playing Games Character sheets aren't just for D&D players. Great for fantasy novels or brain teasers for "normal" characters. Holly Lisle shares her experiences as a writer with the rest of us. She has a little bit of everything on her website, including a section on what it is really like to be a writer. Time Travel plots from various movies is explored on this site. Great for discovering rules and conventions of time travel. Sacred Texts has excellent works for those characters who worship outside of convential realms. Rough Draft, an alternative word processor. The program was written specifically for writers and has some unique features that cater to us. Organizations Wisconsin Region Writers' Association WisCon, the world's only feminist science fiction convention Available as a Word Document Please Email Requests to raspberry.latte [at] gmail [dot] com. In the subject line, say "Writer Documents" otherwise I'll think it is spam. If I have not sent you anything after a week or so, leave a comment somewhere and I'll for sure catch it. From Astrology Signs – personalities according to astrological signs Chinese Astrology – personalities according to the Chinese year The Elements – speak to the basic nature and temperament of a Sign The Qualities – address their manner of expression The Eclectics Character Sheet From RPG Character Sheet (Practical Questions and Inspirational Questions) Other Sources Basic Statistics – from NaNo participant krazikrys Thirty Days of World Building – from NaNo participant mortaine Stories, Ideas and Things to get Your Creative Juices Flowing Yes, this section is void of anything useful. I am working on it. My bookmarks are just in a different spot right now. Ideas are always welcomed and will be considered. If they do not meet criteria for any reason, they will not be posted. Please, don't ask what the criteria is. It will simply have to pass my ultra demanding test and evaluation.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Bookworm Report, November 2004

Even though the majority of my attention was on NaNo this month, I still had time to read. Basically, I gave up every side project and activity, except reading. A couple of the titles were re-reads. I love Patricia Wredes Enchanted Forest Series. I need to find and read the other titles. Maybe next month. For the month of November, I read 2,747 pages or 8 books. In 2001, I read 5,139 pages/19 books; 2002, 4,076 pages/13 books; 2003, 2,448 pages/7 books. Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich Night Watch by Terry Prachett London Bridge by James Patterson Hour Game by David Baldacci Mimosa Grove by Dinah McCall Talking to Dragons by Patricia Wrede Searching for Dragons by Patricia Wrede For the year, I've read 79 books, or 29,263 pages, which averages to 7 books a month, or 2,439 pages per month, and an average book length of 370 pages. Next month should be interesting. During Christmas break, I plan on joining the ranks of bad mommies and send my kid to day care even though I will be home. I firmly believe in the value of the routine. Plus, it will give me a chance to do things like clean without dodging small bodies or picking up the same collection of toys 800 times.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm a Purple Bar Winner

My Purple Bar shouts to the world that I am capable of writing 50,000 words in one month and producing a complete story. So what if it needs major work and editing since it is probably crap? I did it! I decided to be an over-achiever and write a little more, just incase. I went over by 51 words. Some could argue that the chapter titles don't count, but I would rebutt with "So what if it isn't story line. It's still content." Still others would contend that my practice of uncontractionizing my contractions doesn't count either. But I checked the rules and the forums. Survey says that it is Okay. I'm okay with what the survey says. I plan to do some editing, because as I have indictated before, I drew heavily from some of the people and places that I have known. I should be able to start on this during Christmas shut down. For those of you eagerly awaiting the conclusion of Cady's story, I'm picking up the pen again for that opus. If I can write a complete novel in one month and have 50,000 words for my readers, by goodness I can finish this story. Of course, first drafts are often less than perfect. The first goal will be completion. The second, perfection. Thanks for everyone's words of encouragement, good thoughts and good karma. I am feeling really proud of myself at the moment. Normal blogging activities should resume tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Spying on Chat Rooms

I never know what to think about articles like this. On one hand, I don't want things like September 11th to happen. If terrorists are using means like chat rooms to communicate, then we should be able to find them. On the other hand, it feels like some sort of violation, much like finding out your little brother has been reading your diary. If I think of the internet and chat rooms as a restaurant or shopping mall, I do better. When talking in places like that, you expect people to be listening. In those situations, you can't help but hear kind of things. If I can think of it that way, I might be okay with it. Having to think of it in a different sense than how I instinctively think of it makes me think that my logic is flawed. (Poor sentence construction, I know.) The only violation then is the censoring that I do to myself cos I'm not willing to speak of certain things in public places. No rights are violated, but, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I just don't like it. It makes me think of books like Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. To what extremes will people go to protect the nation and violate privacy? This blogger found out. (via J-Walk)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Restored faith in the good of humanity

An article about exploding cell phones usually wouldn't make my heart tingle with anything but fear. The second to the last paragraph, however had just that effect. Michael Sathre, who is expected to fully recover from his wounds, was picking his fully charged Verizon LG cell phone off the floor when it exploded by his side. The family chose not to sue and has instead allowed the companies involved and a consumer group to come to their house to study the damage, in the hopes it won’t happen to someone else. Can you imagine? Not suing??? I would have in a heart beat. Instead they just want the situation studied so the companies and consumer groups can prevent it happening. Nothing is mentioned about a settlement either. My callous heart wonders if they will be receiving free phone service for life or some other such nonsence, but my logic says that if they were it would be mentioned. The public image of generousity, the good of the company, etc., etc. But maybe, just maybe, the family is doing it out of the good of their hearts with no reward. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I'm going to go with that for an answer.

So, I was checking my referrer logs when...

...I noticed that someone found my blog through an MSN search for hyperventalation. I had to check it out. Do you see me? Number 60, right there on the bottom of the page. I have to ask, Who scrolls through sixty-links for hyperventalation and clicks on my blog based on the blurb posted? I don't mean to be rude or insulting. I'm genuinely curious. So, if you came back, please comment and let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

NaNo Update

I am approaching the end! I have 39,408 words under my belt. I am 79% complete. Another 11,000 words and I am good. As I have said before, I have an outline I am working from (it's legal by the NaNo rules) but my storyline has deviated from it. It is still working for me, but I never had an ending. Last night, on my way to Sluggers for the WPKR / Packers Radio show, I had a break through and know how it is going to end. I will honor requests to read the completed story, but I have to warn you that I drew very heavily from the people I know and have known. The events are purely my imagination, but I have borrowed bits and piece of people that I have admired, hated and didn't know what to do with. I will need some time to do some editting, cos in the current version, I might be using their names. Don't worry, I was only really mean to people who I know are not, and will never be, requesting to see it when completed. Right now my main focus is making sure that the story ends. The goal is to hit 50,000, but also to have an ending. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get it to both of those things.

You can sell anything on Ebay

MSNBC - Virgin Mary grilled cheese sells for $28,000 I just don't get it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Need Statistics? will provide enough statistics to make each and every one of those fast-approaching holiday parties different from last year. Just try to avoid the drunk guy, okay?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Murder by Design by Rob Suarez

Murder by Design is the writing of a fellow WriMo that I found in the forums. God, I wish I was as brave as him, but I don't trust having my novel out there like he is. I read part of the first chapter, but I cannot get hung up on reading this, no matter how much I want to see more. I need to get my own word count up.

NaNo Update

I hit the half way point on Saturday with 25,033 words. I felt that was pretty good considering I spent a portion of Wednesday and all of Thursday thinking I was going to die from the head cold I had. The headache accompanied me through all of Friday and a portion of Saturday. On Saturday I had a double shot latte which seemed to chase it away. Tonight is the Packers' radio show on WPKR (99.5). I am heading there to collect another autograph for my beloved hubby, who I would like to report was 100% loving and nuturing during my recent illness. It was more like 80% love and nuture, 5% ignore and 15% make fun of. If he didn't pick on me though, I would wonder what was wrong with him though. Anyway, during the radio show, I half listen and type for the rest of the time. I figure I should be at 30K by the end of the day today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

NaNo Update

I am at 19,086 words, or 38% complete. I have been posting excerpts on my profile page on the NaNo website. Part of the point for NaNo is to learn about yourself as a writer. I have learned that if I just sit my butt down and do it, I will get it done. If I keep up my current pace, I will finish on November 26th.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Problems with your Gmail Account?

This might be why. Security Hole found in Gmail. I know I am not thrilled. I have stuff stored there for back-ups and I don't recall what is all there. And I cannot be sure that my copy on my home PC is the most current. (I used about three different computers for stuff. My gmail account always contained the most current copy.) I cannot log in right now. I sincerely hope that means it is being fixed.

Update on NaNo Progress

My word count is doing well. I'm about 23% of the way through my novel. It has taken some twists and turns I wasn't expecting, but hey, that's the fun in writing. I have an excerpt posted here along with an excerpt of the story line. The posting is of a scene I had no intention of writing and wasn't in the original. I still haven't figured out how the Main Character (MC) got a love interest. She is supposed to be recovering, not falling in love.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A Collection of Bookworm Reports

I decided to collect all of my Bookworm Reports into one post for future reference. When you're looking for a new title, it will be easy to find.







Bookworm Report, October 2004

I found a little extra time today to bring you the bookworm report. I didn't accomplish as much this month as normal, but I was getting ready for NaNo. Also, I'm one of "those" readers who likes to read several books at once. My stack of currently reading had dwindled and I didn't have as many titles lying about, waiting their turn. For the month of October, I read 2,862 pages or eight books. In 2001, I read 5,880 pages/15 books; 2002, 3,073 pages/9 books; 2003, 2,129 pages/5 books. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont Trunk Music by Michael Connelly Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen Northern Lights by Nora Roberts Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise Wild Orchids by Jude Devearux As Night Falls by S.K. McClafferty Once and Always by Johanna Lindsey For the year, I’ve read 72 books, or 26,516 pages, which averages to 7 books a month, or 2,210 pages per month, and an average book length of 368 pages. Thanks for tuning in. See you next time.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Regardless if your party affliations are the same as mine or for the other side, vote. Polls in most places are open until 8 o'clock. Do not rely on the media to make your choices; if they say that Kerry/Bush is a head, don't vote for him simply because he looks to be the winner, vote for him because you believe he is the right man for the job. Just vote. Just do it. Not voting dishonors the men, women and children who have died because of wars fought, on our own soil and foreign soil. If you are not registered, take a utility bill or pay check stub with you to show your address, along with your driver's license. The results of this election are going to be so close that hundreds of votes will make a difference. Vote.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Please excuse my prolonged absence

NaNo starts today. I have an idea; I have an outline; I have a plan to reach my goals; I have a report card to track it. Other than spotty updates, don't expect alot from me until December. My one-sentence description: A young widow returns to her midwestern hometown to pick-up the fragments of her life. Depending on how things go, I'll be posting some excerpts, either here or on the NaNo site. Happy November everybody.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

So I was checking my referrer records and...

...I discovered that "usch" believes I have the most boring blog in the world. So boring, in fact that it has to be seen to believe. The forum he choose to leave his remarks in afforded me the option of leaving a comment. So I did, asking what made for a "interesting blog, in [his] esteemed opinion." I'm still waiting for a response, other than that he has been busted. After all, his efforts haven't earned my respect either. But it did cause me to evaluate why I am blogging. A couple of reasons prompted me to start. One was the whole Google phenomenon. Somewhere I read that if you Google yourself and don't find yourself, do you exist? (I'm sure it was phrased better than that, but you're smart; you get what I mean.) The other was my desire to learn. I decided to tackle html. Now if you Google for my name, you'll find me, proving that I do exist. In fact, someone did that and did find me. (Gotta love referrer stats.) And I'm slowly learning more about customizing my page and how html works. I definitely know more than I did when I started. I don't make tons of changes, but I when I look through my template, I understand what most of it is saying. The final reason should be the first reason. I love to write. I don't post any of my creative writing here, but having the commitment to this site has shown me that I can write every day, I just need to put my mind to it. I'm close to finishing the first draft of my book. I was working on it this weekend and had a revelation. See, I'm at the point where all of the loose threads have to be pulled and tugged and sewn together. After the bright lights and multiple voices faded, I saw through the garbage and realized where the fatal flaw lies. Now I need a chunk of time to fix it, slid those threads through my magical needle and take off. It's so close to the end, I can taste it. After I give it a once over and let it stew through the month of November, I'll pull it out it December, edit again and send it out for critiques. I have an opening or two if anyone is interested. And I have copies reserved for a few of you already. Or I will once they are printed and finished. Finished is good. The other good thing to come of this blog is two of my good friends from college have started their own blogs. A Far Greener Country and One Day Further Than Yesterday give me the chance to see what is going on in there life. Like so many other friendships we all have experienced, the three of us have drifted apart, as good friends often do after college ends. But the world of blogging and the ease of Blogger has pulled us together again. None of us are as good about staying in touch as we'd like to be. But we can and we are. It's through the pages of the 'net rather than a 30 minute car ride and a $3 cup of coffee.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween History

Halloween is one of those days that are hotly contested in churches everywhere. Reformation Day is the preferred term, but even before Martin Luther decided to nail those theses on the wall, people were trying to make-over the real celebrations led on Halloween night. My kids just get to dress-up and get candy from everyone. I don't have a problem with it. Their focus is on the candy, not on the pagan trappings that go along with it.

Life is Better, again

Thanks, everybody, for the thoughts and well-wishes. It was a close shave, but I think I kept my sanity. Our daycare provider decided to get a job in a daycare center. And provided us with a three day notice. But, never fear, she had a plan. And when the plan fell through, I hit the panic button. My husband and I have spent the week watching the little guy, rather than working. I had vacation time, so it wasn't unpaid, but trying to find a good provider at a rate that we can afford is stressful. Do you know that around here centers charge anywhere from $160 to $190 a week to watch your kid? That's $640 to $760 a month. I really want a Mini Cooper. I could pay it off in two years for those kind of payments. Heck, I could do double mortgage payments for those kind of rates. My reaction when I found this out was hyperventalation. I found somebody in-home who is licensed, accredited, qualified to be a group home director, but doesn't want to open her own center. She has back-ups for her vacation days. She's been doing it for 16 years. When we went over to visit, one of her ex-daycare kids was over visiting. He was in the "13-14" age range. My four-year-old was with us, and while he won't be going there, he didn't want to leave. The little one who will be going there was grabbing the provider's hand and leading her around the house, just like he does to me. I probably should have asked for some additional references, but I trust my kids. And the person who recommended her. Now I just need to call the center we were going to go with and cancel, get my money back, fill-out the paper work and I have a place to take the little guy on Monday. Pre-natal classes should include stuff like finding daycare providers. Heck, marriage classes should include stuff like this. And someone should have slapped me along side the head when I said that I wanted six kids. I'm insane. I'm having problems coping with just two of them some days. But then they look at you and grin with pure joy. Just because you are sitting on the floor, playing trains with them. And your heart melts. And then my husband says, "Wouldn't one more be nice?"

What I Have Read Since 1974

And you guys thought I was the only geek out there, tracking my reading habits. This guy has been tracking What [He Has] Read Since 1974. Someday, though, this will be me. (via J-Walk)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Warning: Turn Clocks Back

Ever wonder why we do this or how the whole thing got started? This site explains it all. I found that Ben Franklin can be blamed, er, credited with the idea. He did a study that showed how much would be saved a year in candles, wicks, and tallow, by making this change. To keep it current with the times, traffic studies have made it valid to continue the practice; the claim is a reduction in traffic fatalities and the likelihood of pedestrians being killed on the roads. Crime is also reduced since more people have the opportunity to arrive home before darkness sets in, a time when burglars prefer to operate. (This was a previously prepared post. Life is still in shambles, but tomorrow looks promising.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Life as we know it... slowly disintegrating into pieces. At least for today and tomorrow. Heck, it might even continue on into Friday. But next week is looking good for having the pieces back in some semblance of an order. I'll have a better post for sure on Monday, if not Friday. And if you don't hear from me between now and the next good post, have a great life. Hope it isn't in pieces.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The cover of this book intrigued me for two reasons: a beautiful dragon graced its cover; the display was at the front of the local Barnes & Noble (BN seldom displays kids books at the front entrance. Unless, of course, it's Harry Potter.) I was caught, intriqued. Eventually I broke down and bought it. And then I took my time reading it. The world Eragon inhabits is drawn with a good balance of detail and action. (This reviewer thought so too.) I spent a couple of long Sundays keeping my husband company while he fished. As conversation is not required on such a trip, I brought this opus with me instead of my pole. The story was fantastic, so I wanted to know more about the author. I checked out his website. Nicely done. Then I checked out facts about the author at others. Ho-ly cow. He's only 20. He graduated from high school when he was 15. His homeschool background contributes as does the family business. His accomplishments are great even with those marks in his favor. He has what it takes to survive. This review shows the personal side of Paolini. He is willing to do what it takes to get a copy sold. Now that you've been reading for a few days, here's what has to say about the book: Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a marvelous blue stone in a mystical mountain place. Before he can trade it for food to get his family through the hard winter, it hatches a beautiful sapphire-blue dragon, a race thought to be extinct. Eragon bonds with the dragon, and when his family is killed by the marauding Ra'zac, he discovers that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, fated to play a decisive part in the coming war between the human but hidden Varden, dwarves, elves, the diabolical Shades and their neanderthal Urgalls, all pitted against and allied with each other and the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon Saphira set out to find their role, growing in magic power and understanding of the complex political situation as they endure perilous travels and sudden battles, dire wounds, capture and escape. If you aren't interested yet, check your pulse. This is going to be as big as HP. The second novel in the series is due for release in August 2005. I'll see you in line at the bookstore.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Aburptly Honest

You are .bak.  You are a life saver, but you're not always around.  Not enough people utilize your skills, because they think you're a waste of space. Which File Extension are You? Find out what file extention you are here. Now I'm going to spend the rest of my day in a paranoid huddle, wondering if others see me as this quiz does. (via J-Walk)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Scamming the Scammers, again

Reverse Scams are great! As I read through the letters, I was giggling like a school girl. Then I had to remind myself I was at work and I needed to at least pretend to be working. And work doesn't make me giggle like a school girl. Unless I'm doing something really great in Excel. Which I haven't lately.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Predict the Winner! has an interesting way of predicting the winner of the presidential election. The man behind the scenes documents the various polls he takes his numbers from. The results of the polls are thrown into an Excel Spreadsheet which he uses to project the winner. I've visited a few times and it's always changing. I'm interested in comparing what he calculates versus what happens as it gets closer to Nov 2.

Entertainment at the Corner

This site reveals what really happens when no one is looking at the traffic light.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Word of the Day

I love vocabulary. I used to read dictionaries so I could find new and interesting words. Now, however, I use "Word of the Day" services. Merriam Webster's is the one I like the best. Definition, origin, etymology and samples. Everything one would need to fill their head with bits of useless information. They also have a toolbar to add to your browser of choice. Instant access to their dictionary services. The bad part my Google toolbar prevents the pop-up and I have to remember to ctrl+click. Then I got to thinking. Maybe there are more WOTD sites out there. Maybe I'm missing something I shouldn't be. I googled "word of the day" and found a few worth mentioning. looks promising. I'm definitely going to be spending some time here. is so-so. I get this one via email at work. The vocab level is low for me. Often, the mailing contains words I already use. OED is a favorite dictionary. My alma mater had an electronic version available that I loved using during a paper writing flurry. But the site contains frames. I hate frames. is geared to, well, kids. But I wish I had known about the SAT/ACT vocabulary section when I was dreading this testing. Or that I had kids that needed this. It is awesome. And they have stuff for younger kids too. I like the age-appropriate layout. Not too intimidating. is cheesy. The color scheme is annoying. I couldn't get past the horrid aesthetics to get to the content. All sorts of statistics exist as far as vocabulary levels. Comparisons between men and women, children and their peers, people from yesterday to today. Whichever set is preferred, they all say the same thing - people need to learn new words. Another Google search reveals that dozes of sites exist for etymologies. I get so many ideas for names of people and places when I search through these. Required reading when writing fantasy. Reading is the best way to increase vocabulary. Read, read, read. And read some more. I'm a huge advocate of reading. My husband likes to say that I'll read anything if it's printed - even the ingredients list on the cereal box. And he is right. But, then, if you've checked out one of my Bookworm reports, you already know this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

Some of the people I have found in the forums are wonderful. An amazing group of people, uniting for a purpose, for a cause. They seek like minded individuals, whose souls are in line with their goals. Individuals who will help them in their quest to reach 50,000 words by mignight, November 30th. What is magical about the word "midnight?" As I typed it, I got shivers down my spine. Silly really. It isn't even the darkest hour of the night. Anyone who has stayed up all night knows that it grows even darker until just before dawn. When those fingers of orange first reach over the horizon, renewal dawns. Midnight itself isn't as special as all that occurs between then and the darkest hour before dawn. Its magic lies in its beginning. Midnight signifies the start of another day, under the cover of the dark from the day before. For five or six hours, imagination runs free. Every delicious fear is indulged. Every naughty thought can be acted upon. Everyone is equal. Dark strips away color, race, rags and riches. Dark reveals who you truly are. Halloween celebrates these truths. Go forth, witches and wizards, on this night of dark. Tomorrow is soon enough to don the hat of mother, father, boss, student, teacher. Tonight, indulge in your other side. Boy, did this ever end on a tangent.

Packer Fans

Every Packer says it. "The fans make it great. No where else do you find fans like you do in Green Bay." Not only are the fans die hard, standing in the tundra in temperatures that hover around zero or below, they stick by their team through thick and thin. Packers went into last weeks' game with a loosing streak as long as my hair. My husband's comment, when I asked about watching The Game, was, "Why bother?" Even with this attitude, he was faithful and turned the channel to watch the pregame and the kick-off. And when they led at the half, we continued to watch. It was exciting by then. (Marriage advise: Find a man that sticks by his team when the going gets tough. He'll stick by you when hormones and aging get tough too.) As I write this, I sit in Slugger's sports bar, listening to the Packer's radio show, eating BBQ wings and cursing that I need more wet naps. (Not the waitresses fault; totally my own.) I've done this a few times; the waitstaff recognizes me; I recognize other patrons. (In case you were there, I'm the geek with the laptop. Yep, that was me.) The gift the packers return to their fans is greater than a good game against the Lions, or a chance for some autographs. The Packers signify diversity. Not only on the sidelines, but in their fans. College students sit next to families with small children. They even remember to watch their language. Die hard rockers are checking out the country CDs that WPKR 99.5 is giving away. Bar rats are checking out the laptop. And giving me weird looks. I would too. In this time of politcal commercials filled with lies and accusations, bumper stickers proclaiming allegiance to this canidate or that, for one hour, the outside world is tossed aside and everyone focuses on what the celebrities in the front have to say. It may not be earth shattering. It won't matter next week. Heck, it probably won't even effect the game. But all of us are joined together in fan adoration.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Tramping Ground

Here's a great site for those in the mood for Halloween

Friday, October 15, 2004


I hate being sick. I'm hot for a few minutes, then my body temp lowers into the "I feel okay" range before it turns on me and hits me with the chills and shivers. Everything aches. Even my hair folicles. I don't even care if I spelled that right. I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

More detail about the recently suffered loss

Oshkosh Truck loses out on big contract screams the headline from the Milwaukee Journal Senteniel. As stated, it does effect the company quite a bit. The piece that interested me the most was the bit by Kent Mortensen. "They had already declared Oshkosh the winner, subject to approval at the political level," said Kent Mortensen, an aerospace and defense industries analyst with Thrivent Investment Management in Appleton. "I suspect that things happened at the political level that hurt them. Six months ago, I would not even have brought up MAN as a serious competitor." I was hired at Truck to work in the Bid and Proposal department. Loosing something that I worked on so hard is really tough. I spent long hours on this thing. I hope that we hear more as to why soon.

Calling all Oshkosh writers!

With the assistance of a fellow wri-mo, a kick-off party and meet-n-greet has been organized. You are cordially invited! Where: New Moon Cafe, Oshkosh WI When: 5 pm or so, 10-26-04 No RSVP required. If you aren't sure if you are going to participate, but want to chat, you're welcome as well. It should be a rocking good time.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Welcome to...

One Day Further Than Yesterday! A college friend of mine who has joined the ranks of bloggers every where. Matthew was one of those people who could be called at anytime, for any reason and he would rise to the occasion. Whether you needed to vent, be cheered, share an exhilarating story, burn extra energy, run to the coffee house, study or have a smoke break, Matthew's the guy so many of my friends and I would turn to. I'm really looking forward to reading the posts he has. It's a recent start, but promising. And you are privy to some of the insights of his mind. Which is either good or bad, depending on what it is churning out today.

Not that it surprises me, but....

JK Rowling reveals Harry Potter loses another friend. It's sort of like being a virgin, I guess. It gets easier as you go. But the last line thrills me to pieces. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince is due to be published next year. I figured it wouldn't be seen until 2006. As soon as they have a release date, I'll post a countdown.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Marketing Lessons 101

I was an English Lit major in college. But I really wish I'd been a marketing major. I'd have written all my papers on Playhouse Disney. Have you seen this stuff? My morning routine consists of getting myself out of bed (a Herculean effort,) showering, brushing teeth, etc. Then I plop on the couch and struggle to stay awake. When my littlest guy wakes up, I get him a bottle and milk and he joins me on the couch. We then tune into "The Koala Brothers" or "The Wiggles," depending on what time he wakes up. During their commercials, they create interest in shows, products and movie releases. The next trip to the store is always great because my 15 month old baby is surcoming to needs they have created. And don't even think about what it does to a four year old. Heck, they even have me interested in seeing some of the new movie releases. I really have to get my hands on a copy of "Home on the Range." It's about cows. And if you had a 15 month old who moo'ed like mine does, well, you'd want to see it too. Just so he'd moo a little more. I don't like everything Disney does though. One show, Dave the Barbarian has a line just about every episode that isn't very kid friendly. A few weeks ago it was a talking sword and the evil socerer. Socerer: You're mine! I'm taking you home with me! Sword: What, don't I get dinner first? Now, most kids would probably think that the sword was hungry, and that's what mine would have gotten told if they had said anything about it. But really, we all know what they are implying. And what place does it have on a show meant for 6-10 year olds? The moral learned: watch TV with your kids, even if it is someone family friendly like Disney. (Under normal circumstances, I would have emailed/wrote the company and complained. But I have two kids and now we just don't watch the show. By the time I had time to formalize the complaint, I couldn't remember details -- time, date, episode name, etc. I should have just done it right away, I know.)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Nothing to Say

I've been thinking about what to post for the last 36 minutes. I can't think of a thing...except that I really hate the word "can not." When did this become two words? Then I started reading MSN articles to find examples to link to. Of course, the day that I want to make a point of the misuse of this word by a "quality" news source, I cannot find it. Heighten your awareness and destory all usages of the word "can not" in your writing. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Haunt Houses and Halloween

Here's a few of the Houses available to visit in the Oshkosh area during the Halloween season. I haven't been to any of them, but there are on my list "to-see" before they shut down. I'd like to make it to at least two this year. A Theatre of Lost Souls appeals to me as it is inside the Grand Opera House. The combination makes me very curious. Dominion of Terror by the Sheboygan Jaycees might make the cut if we can make it over there. I've heard good things about them from the locals. Burial Chamber is close by also. And it looks good too.

The Artist

Marla Olmstead makes me wish that I knew anything about art. Take a look at some of her paintings. I know my four year old can't do that, but is it high quality art? via J-Walk

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Excellent book when needing a kick for writing block. The author is open and honest about every aspect of writing. I found myself reading bits and pieces of it aloud to family, friends, anyone nearby when I was reading. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life is a book for everyone, as the subtitle states.

MSNBC and the Misleading Headline

This article shouldn't even be about Martha except this is the prison in which she will serve time. It really is about budget cuts and shortages. Phil Glover, the union's national president, said inmates at the prison are sometimes left unattended and workers sometimes perform duties normally done by guards, such as screening telephone calls. I'd be more worried about this then where or not Martha is getting extra protection.

Monday, October 04, 2004

NaNoWriMo Presents...

I did it. I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo. I don't know why I did it except that I am insane. Actually I have two reasons for doing it. 1) I need to finish my YA novel so that it has a whole month to stew and bubble. Then it will have ripened and reached maturity so I can attack it with my red pen and trim the parts that are dead or taste bad (Yes, I'm mixing metaphors here. I realized this.) 2) I've always wanted to reek havoc with certain people throughout my life. Here's the place to do it. I'm not taking anything that comes out of this seriously -- other than the word count I come up with. I'll probably end-up abandoning my blog for most of the month of November, but will put links up later that will assist in the tracking of my NaNoWriMo progress.

What Happened

The shower was a sucess. The bride enjoyed her gifts; people had a good time sharing stories; nobody got drunk and embarassed themselves; nobody told storied about getting drunk and embarassing themselves (we've all been there; do we need to recount it too?) The trip wasn't even awful. The drive went fast on the way out and slow on the way back, but traffic was thicker on the way back. And slower. What's up with driving under the speed limit on a clear night with excellent visibility? I don't get it.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bookworm Report, September 2004

I know you are just dying to know what books I stuck my nose in this month. I'll oblige. For the month of September, I read 4,146 pages or eleven books. In 2001, I read 1,507pages/4 books; 2002, 3,228 pages/8 books; 2003 0 pages/0 books (hey, I just returned to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave. Adjusting was brutal.) Sam's Letter to Jennifer by James Patterson A Certain Smile by Judith Michael 3rd Degree by James Patterson Key of Light by Nora Roberts Tough Cookie by Diane Mott Davidson Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich A Little Night Magic by Nora Roberts Eragon by Christopher Paolini Guilty as Sin by Tami Hoag Half Moon Bay by Meryl Sawyer Nights Landing by Carla Neggers For the year, I’ve read 64 books, or 23,600 pages, which averages to 7 books a month, or 1,967 pages per month, and an average book length of 369 pages. The best book was Eragon. I'm doing some research to post more about this amazing author and his trilogy, so I won't say much now. His story is fascinating and I want to do a good job of it.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Last Night

Last night I had an awesome idea to blog about. I'm thinking, I could link to this. Oh and that's related; I could link to that. (Yes, I think with semicolons. End of discussion.) But damnitall if I can remember what that super fantastic idea was. I was watching television, but it wasn't related to television. I was playing with my kids, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't related to my kids. I can't even remember if it was book related, excel related or another of those really random weird thoughts I have. It might have been about the wedding shower/bachelorette party I'm attending/hosting this weekend. But I don't recall. This is scary. I'm not old enough to suffer from short term memory loss.

J-Walk Blog: Your Claim To Shame

This sounds like an excellent drinking game. I'm sure that it will get played at the bachelorette party I'm attending/hosting this weekend. I posted mine. I'm sure you'll recognize it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Why are they surprised?

Half of Internet Viagra is fake screams the headline today. As many as half of the Viagra anti-impotence pills sold on the Internet could be counterfeit, British scientists said on Tuesday. They analyzed samples of Viagra sold on the Web and found that some of the little blue pills contained different components or less of the active ingredient than the top-selling drug made by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. And... “If you go to a site that looks a bit wonky, they are selling it cheap and you’ve got no address or idea where they are based, you are chancing it.” ...stated Professor Tony Moffat. A profound statement that applies to, what 95%, of the spam mailed received every day? My advice? It's a prescription drug -- get it from your doctor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

How to be a Girl: 101

While others would contend that I must have been a "perfect" student, I'm the first to admit that I day dreamed frequently in school. During one of these sessions, I must have missed the "How to be a Girl: 101" class. I've been one my entire life and never felt compelled to make others go to the bathroom when I do. I seldom consult two-three other members of my sex when making decisions that will impact the decor of my house. I don't see the need to flirt with every male in the area just to get my way. I don't feel the urge to say, "Oh my god, did you watch (blank) last night? I can't believe that (blank) happened!" I really hate it when people assume that I want to hear about their crappy day/life/job just because they have a need to vent. My solution is find what's wrong and fix it. If you can't do that, then that's the problem that needs to be fixed. Other women seem to be able to do these things without a problem. Either the class was optional or I slept through it.

Average Jane's Advice for Sports Fans

It's like she had a camera and spies on my husband during the Games. Amazing.

Inside the dark art of phone fraud

Gee, I thought telemarketers were annoying.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Help, Please

I recently did somethings to my blog that I like. One adverse side effect, however, was that the text under my blogs and links has shrunk. I don't like it and I don't know how to fix it. It happened after I added the X happy people reading bit. Thanks, for letting me vent. Or helping if you are doing that too.

Good Book Alert -- Ten Big Ones

I just finished reading Janet Evanovich's latest in the Stephanie Plum series -- Ten Big Ones. If you aren't familar with the Plum Series, I'm probably going to spoil something for you. If you are familar and don't care, read-on. Stephanie is an ex-lingerie saleswoman turned bounty-hunter. She is terrible at it, but it pays the rent and she has some help from a couple of seriously sexy men, an ex-ho, and Grandma Mazur. Her mother lives in a constant state of fear. After all, what will the neighbors think when Stephanie blows up yet another car? The phone never stops ringing. Stephanie has gotten in over her head more than ever before. A seriously disturbed gang member is after her. Morelli tries to put her under house arrest (threatens to anyway.) She might have found the Batcave. One of my favorite characters has made a return appearance -- Sally is back! When I first met Sally, I was listening to the audio books, which I'd highly recommend for this series. The reader, who's name escapes me, is fantastic. Sally hasn't given up on his life dreams, but has adapted them. I won't tell you what he is doing, but trust me. You're going to laugh. The best part of the book though was a never before included view of Stephanie. She spends some quality time with Ranger. As a result the readers get some nagging questions answered -- like why does he put up with her. It was great and it made Ranger a little more human. Evanovich is planning an 11th novel. Got a great name for number eleven? Submit it at the website and you could win a signed copy, acknowledgments and the laughter of her fans and readers.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Did ya see this coming?

Thanks to the Can-Spam Act, your email just became more dangerous. The Register reports that spammers are including the "click here to remove" link as required by the Can-Spam act, but doing so lets the sender know your account is active. Thus you are entitled to more having your account added to a listing of active accounts, making their listing more valuable. Gee, why don't we just publish an "email book," send it to everyone electronically and save the spammers some time. I'm grateful that J-Walk picked up this article. His site generates traffic measured in the thousands. I have hope that this will get around.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

NaNoWriMo Update

I found out that Oshkosh lacks a coordinator for the National Write a Novel Month. But I did find out the posting spot to find any others who might be in the area and attempting this insanity. Those outside of my writing group, that is. Yesterday I outlined my idea. I decided on the format of a chapter a day, 30 or so chapters. Some of them will fall short of the word count I am imposing on myself. I decided to go with a 2,000 words a day plan as weekends generally suck for me. Then if I manage to find time, well, hip-hip-hooray. But if I don't, then I won't hurt myself. The site recommended making the story somewhat autobiographical in nature, so you don't get hung up in research. I'm going for that approach. I'm even going to steal people from my childhood and use them as characters. Or at least, the extremes of their personalities that I remember. And then I'll exploit them for my own purposes. (My writing group had a discussion on doing this. We came to the consensus that you can't help but taking bits and pieces of what you know, wrap it with another bit and twist the two together.) As I don't plan on ever doing anything real with this, I'm going to be as mean and petty as I can with some people and overly kind and generous with others. It all depends on what I remember of them from my childhood. I have nine chapters outlined so far. That's a decent start, I'd say. Until I did the word count and realized how long it took me to get to 1200 words. This is going to take more time than I thought.

Average Jane Links to Raspberry-Latte

Okay, so maybe it isn't headline news, but I'm humble and grateful none the less. Average Jane's blog is the journal entries of, well, Average Jane. I like her style of writing and admire her willingness to discuss her personal life with the rest of the world. I found out about Bookcrossing through her. For this alone, I'll be forever grateful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Write a Novel in Just 30 Days!

No, it's not some infomercial that no one wants to hear. Rather, it's National Novel Writing Month -- or NaNoWriMo for short. Starting on November 1st, any participants have until midnight, November 30th to finish a 50,000 word novel. As the site states: Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down. It breaks down into 1666 words a day or 5.83 pages a day, depending on how you look at it. Completely run on the honor system, the only prize is the reward of completing the task. I'm seriously thinking about doing this. No words can be written ahead of time, but plotting and outlining is permitted. I don't think I'll be able to finish, but I have a killer idea that I'd like to run with under these rules and circumstances. If I decide to go with it, even a little activity like this blog will probably fall to the way side or simply revolve around the other project. I'll have to see how it goes. My other work in progress is actually progressing right now. But as a member of my writing group said, "November is over a month away. You might be in a slump by then."

Monday, September 20, 2004

Like samples? is a cool site. By signing up, you can get samples of various products for free. Sometimes they are good, other times I have little interest. But it's fun to get some hair care samples or magazine issues. And it's a nice surprise in the mail when they come. Oh, and if you do decide to sign-up, fill in the referrer name as "ophelia_33". Then I get points for it. Much obliged.

Found: Digital Pictures

I Found Some Of Your Life: Introduction Were you in New York? Take a ride in a taxi cab? Lose some pictures? As in a digital card? Someone did and this guy is posting them on the web. Actually, it's a pretty good idea. Makes me wish I had some pictures of people that I could make up stories about.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Truth and Confessions

I recently examined my life and decided that I didn’t like it. I got up, went to work, came home, dealt with the family, and went to bed. While I sometimes enjoy my job and love my family, I just felt like there had to be more. So I looked backwards to see what got me here. I found, to no surprise, that I used to be busy. Very busy. So busy, in fact, that I never stopped running from one thing to the next. Multi-tasking was a highly tuned instrument in my hands and I played it well. I attended college, took between 18-22 credits, worked 30-40 hours a week, graduated with honors. In the summer I took correspondence courses and worked between 70-80 hours a week. After graduation, I found a job in an insane office that worked between 0-110 hours a week, depending upon requirements. I averaged 57 hours a week for 7 months, topping out at 98 hours – not counting meals. To slow down so drastically with my new job, my system went into shock. Especially now that my baby isn’t a baby, but a toddler who loves to play with me, but doesn’t require the same attention that he did a mere six months ago. And the four-year-old goes to preschool and plays well on his own. He likes to have me set the trains up, but wants to race them over the track by themselves. As a result, I was suffering from boredom I decided. Not that I want to be as busy as I was, but not as slow as the current pace. I needed to find some hobbies. One has been this blog. Two is joining the YMCA to get into a good enough shape that when I’m chasing the kids, I can keep up for more than five minutes. Three is to pick up my writing again (I’m composing a YA fantasy novel. I can’t wait to see what happens next.) Four is to enrich my spiritual life by reading my bible, courtesy of (They email the passage to you every day.) Five is to working on my Excel skills to include VBA (courtesy of John Walkenbach’s new book VBA for Dummies.) I’m feeling really good. And I’ve found that life at this pace suits me just fine.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Money Makes the World Go Round

I hate paying bills, writing checks, balancing the check books, waiting until payday to stock up for the week. And I admire the six women who are showing the world their financial situations, goals and tragedies. I kinda fall into the middle of several of these women. After the initial meet and greet, I'm curious as the advice they will get.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

MSNBC - U.S. slides among world's top educators

Their conclusion is that wealth kids get better schools and poor kids get poor schools. As there are more poor kids in the US than wealthy, the numbers look bad. Gee, a study was conducted to tell us this? They should have started by talking to the teachers.

Sluggers Welcomes Torrance Marshall

Last night we trekked to Sluggers in Appleton for WPKR's Packer show. The featured play was Torrance Marshall (51). Really a nice guy. Got an autograph on an extra slip of paper I had with me. He lives year round in Wisconsin and spends some of his free time working with high school kids learn how to lift weights and train and so on. I thought that was very admirable. It was a cheap night of entertainment. And we even won some door prizes to offset the money we spent on drinks. Not crowded and a good ventilation system so the smokers didn't aggrevate us. We'll definitely go again. My hubby works Monday nights, when they usually do the show; he'll have to con someone into switching nights with him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Gmail to Give

Thanks to Fiat Lux of "If you don't have cable...", I'm the proud holder of a GMail account. And since I recorded the password and username this time, I'm able to use it for the off-site storage as I intended in the first place. This morning when I checked to make sure my batch of files arrived, I had a lovely surprise -- Invites! No one in my immediate circle of friends is dying for an invite, so I offer them instead to the readers of my humble site. The twist I offer to my readers is to post a comment reviewing your favorite book. I'll bestow invites upon those that tickle my fancy in some way, shape or form. I don't know what will do it, but I define why the winners win when they are chosen.

Welcome to Sneezing Cow

Over the weekend I went to a writer's conference where Michael Perry was the keynote speaker. Mike was wonderful to listen to. Not just what he said, but how he said it and the tone of his voice. It all worked for me. So much so that I would most likely go to another reading or event at which he was speaking. Mike grew-up in Wisconsin, moved, travelled and experienced bigger things that the small town he grew-up in. And I do mean small -- as in Population: 485 (also the title of his latest book.) I haven't read it yet, but it is in my stack of books to read. I can relate to much of what I heard him say. The town I did most of my growing in was populated by 312 people in South Dakota. My brother still lives there with his wife. I couldn't handle living in a small town, but that's another story. What I'm looking forward to is finding out how Mike fit back in after being away for so many years, experiencing things that none in his hometown would have wanted to. Anyway, take a look at Mike's site. The title alone should be enough to make you laugh.

Friday, September 10, 2004

It's Fun to Stay at the YMCA!

Hubby and I are checking into a membership at the local YMCA. The corportion I work for receives a discount, which is always nice. The two local sites are pretty good. I went to one yesterday, just to work out over lunch, see if it would be do-able. Just to run a bit on an elliptal and walk on a treadmill. Oh my god am I ever sore. My legs ache. I knew I was fat and out of shape, but I only walked/ran for 20 minutes. I'm pathetic. We need to join just so I can stop being a wuss.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Rubbing the Wrong Way

Do you have one of these people in your life? No matter what you say or do, you manage to say and do it wrong. Nothing is ever right. Nothing is said quite the way you meant. And all you've effectively done is piss them off? Just wondering. I have one. And I did it already this morning.

To GPA or Not To GPA, that is the question

This article from offers some helpful advice for the recent grad regarding how, when and why to use your GPA on a resume. While it may have helped a recent grad, this not so recent, but not too far removed grad is wondering, "When do you stop putting a GPA on a resume?" Mine was good in college, so I tend to leave it on. But as I approach 30 (+/- 3 years,) should I remove it?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Newer blogger feature

I'm confident that you've noticed the additional feature at the top of the page that helps you to find blogs to read. I've used it a few times and have one response -- Disappointed. The next blog is usually of poor quality and many postings. If I have found a good one, the postings are infrequent. Often, I'm directed to one that has 2 or 3 entries from months and month ago. Blogs of the second sort should be removed from the "next" feature. Regulations should be in place. Quality may not be able to be monitored, but posting habits could be. For instance, Flagged Backpack has some great things to say, but seldom posts. A shame, as he is a senior in high school with a very fresh look at today's battles -- both on terrorism and the presidential race. When I started, I knew that I was making a commitment of time and ideas. Regular readers learn to expect a certain style (although what, exactly, is still emerging.) All of the abandoned blogs remind me of friends made at summer camp. Eventually, you just stop writing.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The History of Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!!! Just in case you wondered what the fuss was about and why we get a day off (or most of us do,) here's a site for you to check out.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Playing hookie at the Dells

Wisconsin Dells is a great place to go for expensive fun. Closer than Vegas and more "family-friendly," we decided to go there yesterday rather than cleaning for the weekend visitors we expected. The day started with an indoor waterpark. Both kids loved it. The baby took a little warming up to the idea, but once he got it, he was pure torture to keep up with. The four-year-old has been to that sort of thing before and was an old pro. After the water park thoroughly worn them out, we went on a ">duck ride, which is more fun than it sounds. The baby slept through most of the ride. That waterpark trick works every time. The duck tour (spendy) was really cool. The ducks were used in WWII, I believe. They are the ultimate car/boat. The four-year-old thought we should do the same thing with the ranger. After supper, go-carts were in order. A dual set-up kept the four-year-old happy, thinking that he was driving the car. A long trip home with two tired, crabby kids was the end of the day. Both slept well; not a peep out of either of them until morning.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Late Posting

Sorry this posting is so late. My brain is dead. I am having a terrible time of thinking anything that is even remotely witty or funny or a sentence. A noun and a verb are truly all that is needed, but even that seems like a chore. I think it is due to the burnout I am experiencing at work. I have a really dead end job. And a boss who is non-existant. In fact, he took off for two weeks, overseas and didn't mention it to the very people he is to be supervising. I'd like to say that I was surprised, but I can't. Especially as it is not the first time he has done it. Outraged at his rudeness is what I am, but not surprised. And it's not like I'm not looking for something else, something I'd like. I am. I just can't find a job that will let me read books all day long. At least not one around here. And moving to any place that has publishing is out of the question. Kids and families are not condusive to that sort of thing. Thanks for listening -- er, reading -- to me rant.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Census Working Overtime

As if I needed another reason to justify not answering when "Contact America" creeps across the caller ID. Price has a great article about the way figures, polls, and people are distorted to make it fit the reporting parties column space. Long, but worth it.

Bookworm Report, August 2004

As August has come to a close, I thought I’d let y’all in one what I’ve read this month. For August 2004, I read a total of 3,619 pages; 2003-1,257; 2002-3,440; 2001-2,969. This is the highest ranking August thus far. Titles and Authors included the following: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling Dead Women Don't Wear Diamonds by Nancy Martin Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts Finding the Dream (audio) by Nora Roberts Untamed by Nora Roberts Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson An American Summer - Book Crossing by Frank Deford The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans Born O'Hurley by Nora Roberts For the year, I’ve read 54 books and 19,454 pages. Translation: 6 books a month, averaging 360 pages each or 1,621 pages a month. Not only am I a book worm, I’m an excel geek who tracks her reading.


I heard once that where the body sweats is where weight is coming off. Whether or not it is true, I don't remember, but I'm going to assume it is. I have a couple of good reasons. 1. Ever see fat armpits? 2. No matter how much weight is put on, nobody has a "roll" over their eyebrows. Everybody's forehead sweats. 3. The hardest place to lose fat is on the belly. When was the last time your belly sweat? I went for a walk this morning. It's dangerous to leave me thinking on my own.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tonight -- The Adventure Begins

My stepson's mom is traveling to Boston for the holiday weekend, starting tonight. And for those of you who know the saga, yes, she is taking a vacation from her very stressful life. Anyway, the four year old is coming to stay for the week, starting pre-school on Wednesday, visiting with relatives from out of town, going to a babysitter for the first time -- and all within the seven days. I feel bad for the little guy. So much adjusting in a short amount of time. From his point of view though, life is good. His backpack for the school year is Thomas the tank engine. What more could you want or need?

MSNBC - Lonely granddad seeks family to adopt him

How sad. I'd write and offer to move him to the states, but I already have one "elderly" living with me and don't have room for a second. Just think of the stories he could tell, the history he has lived through. I know that he is offering money, but I'd do it for free. Heck, when it is all said and done, I'd probably need to pay him.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Finding Carpet in the Living Room

The weekend was somewhat productive. I found my living room carpet again. It was under the Little Peoples, Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, blocks, books, blankets, and crumbs. The crumbs were what started the search. Vacuuming was desparately needed. The kids hate it when I pick up. It usually occurs when they go down for a nap or outside to play. While they are occupied, I capture every last toy and return it to its proper container, shelf or basket. Then the vacuum comes out and picks up the microscopic pieces that were left over. Unless the dog got to the crumbs first, that is. When they get back inside, frantic to play with the various toys that had been out, they inevitably groan and say, "Oh man." (Translation -- now I have to take everything out again and make a bigger mess so she won't clean it next time.) Ah, the joy of kids.

First caught book!

My third release book was caught by someone new to bookcrossing. Joy and Bliss!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Wedding showers

I'm co-hosting a wedding shower the first weekend of next month, which also means I'm the matron of honor. To complicate matters more, I live in good ol' Wisconsin while the Bride is in South Dakota. This is an arrangement I would not recommend. The upside is we talk alot. The downside is, I am working with others to get it all pulled together. I'm a type A control freak personality. I don't do this well. So far is it okay, but so far all we have done is pick a date and divide some of the responsibilities. Nothing major. But I am in need of some shower games. Any ideas or websites? The other thing I have to do is a speech at the reception/dinner. I'm okay speaking in front of a large crowd of people, but have no practice with writing speeches. And I don't think I can just wing it. Help, please!

Friday, August 27, 2004

If you don't have cable...

Fiat Lux, of If you don't have cable and your library card is expired, has posted the referring links for the last 24 hours. People from here have jumped there a grand total of three times. But it got me mentioned at her sight. I love the way she writes. It's self depreciating, proud of her "white trash" background. What makes it great, however, is how smart she is. She sprinkles in $65 words like nothing, properly used, better than I could ever do. I know from one post that she doesn't have a job; I wonder why. It's certainly not a lack of talent.

MSNBC - New jaw bone grown in man's back muscle

Things like this just scare me. At what point does science go too far? Man is supposed to live and die. Will experiments like this lead to man living longer than intended by God?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Work Week Update

The working week is almost over. As it is Thursday, the egocentric obnoxious intern is over at the Training Center. And tomorrow is her last day here. Sliding into the home stretch with good news always makes the day go by. Now her problems, counted and recounted for the world at large will annoy someone else. Anyone else, actually. It is a good day.

Welcome to Gmail - you are a loser

I suck. I got a gmail account, completely by accident through my lame joke. Now I can't remember my login or password. I'm such a moron. At work, I keep a file. I do the same at home. I have too many to be able to remember them all. And I don't like to use the same one for my bills as my emails, well, for obvious reasons. (At least they should be to the security sensitive.) Anyway, now I have an account I can't get to. Thank goodness I hadn't started saving stuff to it like I was going to. I planned to use it for off-site storage for things like my digital pictures and writing so that just in case my computer burned down or something of that nature, I would have back-ups. Now I have nothing...nothing I tell ya. No gmail, no back-ups. Sniff, sniff. It's a great pity party day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

MSNBC - Matt Damon gives upon dating celebrities

There's hope for me yet! The hubby and I have an open understanding about this sort of thing. Dating celebrities is one of them.

MSNBC - Dissecting the Swift Boat accounts

I wish I could say that this article helps, but it didn't. The whole Swift Boat vets is going to end-up distorted beyond belief. But you have to admire the guy for admitting he lied.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Book Club

I'm thinking about doing away with this site. I don't have a tracker on it, so I don't know if anyone is using it. What I would do instead review the books I've read at I'm kinda lazy about reviewing, I found, as it requires a separate site. If you are really a fan of it, though, comment please and I'll keep them separate.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - Service to Country

Did you get a chance to see the ad before it was pulled? If not, this site documents what the ad says. What I know about the Vietnam War is very small and probably very biased. I have no relatives that served. It's too recent to have been in most of my history classes. I read a book called "We were Soldiers," which soldiers of the Vietnam war write about some of their experiences. I don't think anyone really knows what happened over there. Their piece and portion may be known, but as far as the overall truth...was there ever one? Just as many bad things exist about Bush. Just search for "skull and bones," a secret organization that both canidates belonged to while at college. Picking the lesser of the two evils is getting tiresome. And more than a little tricky.

Monday, August 23, 2004 - The Ultimate Harry Potter Site

Being that the title for book six was released, I spent some time on this site over the weekend. Fantastic design, layout and, most importantly, information. The team does some pretty thorough research of chats, interviews, books, etc. to confirm or deny rumours. Well worth a visit. Or more.

MSNBC - Scream stolen

If only I had known it was that easy. Walk it and rip it from the wall. The Thomas Crown Affair makes it seems terribly difficult to steal a painting from a museum.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lines in the Sand

Did you ever find yourself in one of those situations where everything needs to be double and tripled checked, but as you are doing said checks, you become more and more ridiculous with your criteria for acceptance and rejection? I hope that makes sense. I can’t go into further detail, as it is work related, but I feel the need to vent.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Perfect Score

Last night my hubby and I watched "The Perfect Score." It wasn't bad. Parts of it were even really good. But it made me think back to being in high school and how the numbers of the standardized tests ran your life. I was one of those unique individuals who went to a boarding school that prepped its students for a career in teaching or preaching God's word. I didn't need as high of a score as I got to get into the college for this path. As my resulting path as significantly diverged from the intended path, I can appreciate the worry that students have. At 18, how can you possibly know what you want to do for the rest of your life. And if you can possibly decide, so much happens that you are more likely to change your mind than do what was intended. I have two small children. The skills I want to teach them are the "thinking" skills of life. And to learn to take chances. Don't settle for what you are told to do. Take the risks and do what you love, what you are passionate about. To hell with everyone and the consequences. If nothing else, I want to teach them to think. And take the risks like the six high school seniors did in this movie.

I caught a Wild Book

I caught my first ever "wild" book. After reading it, I'm going to return it to its natural habitate. Thanks for the opportunity, badgerjim. And thanks for re-releasing the book in Oshkosh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Bush Plans Large U.S. Troop Realignment

Who would have thought that the US troops were still in position to protect us from WWII and the Cold war enemies? Reorganization is only part of the solution. Americans need to stop riding the wave of security and trust. Americans need to take an active role in running their country, rather than trusting long-time politicians to do it.

Janet Evans plays Miss Manners

It is a sad state of a union when people honored as the greatest atheletes of all time need to have a "manners" coach. Even worse is the image Evans projects in the interview. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say it is due to bad editing, rather than the editing is due to a bad interview. I might be giving her too much credit.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A GMail Account!

Who would have thought that my standard joke to anyone who knows needs a joke would have won me a gmail account. I'm so surprised, I didn't prepare a speech. But I am going to put my account to good use. Thanks much for the space and the opportunity, Craig. Check out Craig's blog to see how I won.

Deep Thoughts about Nutrition

After spending an extraordinary amount of time indoors, I've had some time to contemplate a few things. Television is a good promoter of deep thoughts. For instance, the state of Wisconsin is trying to "crack down" on non-seat belt users. A portion of their campaign includes a television ad showing two young guys being pulled over by a female officer. The officer chastises them for not wear their safety belts. They confess that they don't have a good reason to not wear them and promise to do so in the future. Not to mock the usefulness of safety belts (formerly known as seat belts,) but why is the state concerned with our safety? Wisconsin proudly touts the title of "Beer & Brat" capital. Are they safe? Of course, in proper proportion. Couldn't the same be said of safety belts? Safety belts are only necessary in an accident. The catch is that no one knows when they are going to have an accident. But no one knows when they are going to have a heart attack either. A large variety of food offerings could cause one or push the consumer over the edge. As a solution to this situation, I propose that eating patterns be monitored. Every time someone orders a meal that contributes to heart disease, attack, stroke, etc., a card should be swiped. Ideally the card would be an identification card such as a driver's license. But as long as it was universally recognized, any card would do. If this society existed, I'd want to work at McDonald's. Just so I could say, "I'm sorry, Mr. Consumer. You seem to be at your limit of Big Macs for the week. Would you like a fruit and yogurt parfait?" And then I'd duck.