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.