Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Day

I did not go to the Macy*s Thanksgiving Parade this year. It was a bit too cold to stake out a spot for 2+ hours. It was great sleeping late. Though my brother woke me up at 9 with some Black Friday shopping news and a request for me to be a dutiful daughter.

Got lots of buzzing from my phone all wishing Happy Thanksgiving. They sure love texting. Thank goodness I purchase a text plan or they will continue to cost me a pretty penny -- 20-25 cents a message. I'm definitely thankful for the friendships I have and have made this year. They know how to put a smile on my face.

All of us, 17, gathered together two weeks ago to celebrate Thanksgiving. I and Pointy was going to spend the day at home. Mom would be by herself. I decided this one time to be dutiful (I guess it can't always be about me) and dragged Pointy down to Mom's with me. My brother was so proud of me as I rang him to be sure he did not go. If he did, I was not going to. Gotta figure out what he can do for us as pay back. Just kidding. We got lunch and surprised Mom. She was sleeping in, too :D Now you know where the daughters have learned to sleep in. Though Pointy got up in time to watch the parade on telly.

We brought in lunch and watched WANTED with Mom. She, like us, love action movies.

A large coffee in Chinatown is smaller than a large Starbuck/Dunkin Donuts/McDonald coffee. And nearly costs as much. Got some Chinese buns for the next couple of days -- baked roast pork, custard, and others

As I was driving home, it gave Pointy and I time to shoot the breeze, especially waiting to get into the tunnel for New Jersey. At home, we generally do our own thing which is usually in front of our own laptops and tellies.

I told her a story of a TSA and a consultant. The consultant, not I, forgot his passport and driver's license at home. He needed to provide some form of ID before the TSA would let hiim pass through airport security. He took out his client ID and the TSA accepted it -- both ways which mean there are two idiotic TSAs. Why idiotic? The ID has his picture, "Government Contractor" and his name. No where does it say what government he works for. No government logo. Nothing. Anyone can produce this ID on a printer and laminate it.

Pointy figured out correctly that the Florida car in front us did not really want to go to New Jersey. Poor person. He had to pull over as soon as it got out of the tunnel. Hope he got the help he needs to get where he needs to go.

We dropped by KMart. All the buy game get one free were gone. Breezed through the store and came out with nothing.

Nope, not doing the Black Friday shopping. I'm sleeping in again :D and catching up on my work backlog :( and laundry -- though not 6 months worth ;)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING however you spent it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Election Day

I was in a different time zone this year. I felt for the voters in the Mountain and Pacific time zones -- also Hawaii and Alaska. They called the winner for the President at about 9:00pm Mountain. The polls had just closed or had a couple of more hours in the other zones.

How does it make you feel to find out your vote is not going to count when the winner has been declared? I think this is unfair and would turn you off from voting. I never felt that way as I was always in the first time zone (Eastern) and wanted to know who it would be when I went to bed. Well, I got the chance to be in others "shoes". It does not feel good. It also does not make me regret not voting. I had good intentions to do it this year, but I was late in everything.

For the Presidential election, I think the news need to hold off until all the polls have closed for all the states.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Apps -- Begone

I don't participate in many apps. I've been getting new invites and have been rejecting them. Of the ones I do have, I will be removing the PETS (you know -- Own Your Friends) app.

This has happen to me twice and I don't need it happening a third time.

What happened? When I exit MySpace, and this is just when I've finished playing with the Pets app, the computer goes wackers where it keeps opening up new MySpace windows. It won't stop unless I can catch it to power down my computer. I had it at a point where it opened up 29 new MySpace windows *arggghhhh*!

I don't know what it is and I don't play like that. For all I know, it may not be the app but one of the darn ads that are all over the place to pay for this place so it remains free.

Some people don't have anything better to do than make your computer go bonkers.

Maybe my workplace has the right idea to ban access to certain things.

And if it's not the Pets app, then I will get rid of all apps. MySpace will be kept to just keep up with my friends. I'll play on FaceBook instead. So far, it's not done me wrong.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Airlines

Oh, this is a good one. Nearly forgot this one.

I'm going cruising with two of my sisters. Well, one of them calls me yesterday and asks "Can you change my return ticket to go to Washington DC instead?". I wasn't thrilled but was going to look into this for her.

No, I don't pick up the phone. I rather go on the website and do my own research. It will go quicker that way. I get all my facts and can perform a bunch of what ifs. If the web won't let me do the final change, then I'll pick up the phone.

So, I go on the website to see how much it would cost to go from Orlando to Washington DC... $89 was the lowest fare. None of them were direct flights. Guess where the connection is. Yep, Newark, my home airport. Yes, you're thinking the same as me. How much would it be to fly from Newark to Washington DC? It was........ $289. That is only one way. Go figure!?!?! It's true. Location... Location... Location... makes all the difference.

In the end, I told me sister it's not worth making the change as we have non-refundable tickets and, at the get go, would cost her $100 change fee besides the difference in fare. I told her I'll take her to the train station and she can catch the Amtrak down... $90.00. She can decompress quietly after spending 5 days with two siblings

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Internet Side Trip

Well, I got side tracked from my so-so normal routine. You know how you head off to do one thing and on your way there you see something else you think you can do quickly and so on and so on. And in the end, you wind up getting nothing accomplished. It's early in the day yet, so I cannot say if the day is a bust.

But this side trip I took today showed me something new. And I think it's cool.

The flat screen TVs you can hang on the wall (though still too pricey for me yet, plus I don't need a new TV yet) is the way of the future. If you don't want to watch TV, you can have it show a picture and most likely a changing picture at that. It's like artwork hanging on your wall. If it's framed properly, no one would know it was a television.

On a smaller scale, I discovered digital picture frames today. Yeah, you might know about them, but this is the first time I came across them. My daily InfoWeek subscription talked about 19" inch monitors. I went to Cheapstingybargains to see if there were any deals on them and came across a Linens'n Things 25% off total order coupon. Can't let a deal go so I went to Linens'n Things to see what I could possibly buy. As I was surfing their site, I came across the Digital Picture Frames. Those are so cool. Pricey, but still nifty.

I remember several years ago I was looking for a photo album frame thingy so I can quickly change the photos I have on display. This was mainly for the many cute pictures of my niece that her mommy took of her. She was such a ham. Well, the cutey is not so cute 6 years later :)

Gotta keep my eye out this digital picture frame. Really cool idea. Nope, not buying one today, but can see one in my future. And, I've stopped my hunt through Linens'n Things as I need to get back to work. Maybe I'll go there later.

Now back to my so-so schedule.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sharpie and Sausage


This is totally amazing. The guy took some black Sharpies to his creme color walls and just started drawing. It's history from there. Read the article and see a 360-degree picture of his basement. It's really amazing. Notice that he sometimes took it beyond his wall and did his furniture, too. Plus, I think he converted a trash can into an R2D2 unit :)


"Masterpieces from Russia, made from sausage - according to the description anyone can just walk up and eat the artwork." I wonder if anyone has.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Beware of Flashing Boobs

Really, there are flashing boobs in this video.

Thanks to Pointy for another funny.





Of course, three are other videos out there for Rodney Carrington. He curses, is not PC and talks about body parts. *LOL*

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lightening the Load

I love the peeps that come up with great solutions.

The first set of wires are for my PDA. The second set of wires are for my phone. Both are used to recharge my gadgets and to synch it up with data on my laptop.

I just recently replaced all those wires with this set of gadgets. I can even get away with not carrying the AC plug. The USB cable and the two doohickeys will allow me to recharge my PDA and phone and also synch up with stuff from my laptop. What's not shown is also an attachment for a car charger. I'll have to remember to bring that with me when I head to Los Angeles.

Just like that. I carry the AC plug in case I don't want to pull out my laptop to recharge my phone.

Love GADGETS!!! I have a lighter load to carry and room to carry something else now

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Remember

I remember when I typed the date yesterday and noted that I'm flying on this day.

I remember when the 5:30am news showed lived the moment of silence taking place in Washington, D.C. I could have done without the clicking of all those cameras. You know... silence means to stop what you're doing and remember.

I remember when the client posted remembrance notices by the entrances.

I remember when I stepped up to the TSA agent to have my ticket and id checked. They showed they remembered by wearing new uniforms. Instead of white shirts, they were brand new nice blue shirts with new patches, new shields and new id badges. I don't know if the lines were especially long today because people intentionally meant to fly today or the TSA screeners decided to take a little extra care in examing the stuff.

I remember when I looked across the aisle to the right side window as we're landing, caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building in its red, white and blue colors, never knew that it was that far to get to downtown Manhattan, and then finally caught the light glimpses of the shining two lights up to the sky that represented the Twin Towers.

I remember when the Captain came on, after getting us to our jetway, to thank us for flying today in memory of those that flew on this day. The cabin applaused.

I remember.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dragon*Con 2008 Reflections

Yes, I'm still thinking about it. Can't stop as everyone is posting their pics and blogging about it.

My favorite airline, Continental, made sure I made my connections so I can arrive in time to catch the next to last Marta to my hotel. Boy, that was one long Marta escalator ride up to street level. Was I afraid to walk the streets late at night? Not this raised-New York gal. Plus there were signs that the streets were on 24-hour surveillance.

I did get a little peeved with the hotel. You would think the address was the main entrance. Nope, you can only use that entrance if you have the hotel room key. The hotel was on a triangular block. I had to drag my luggage around the pointy part of the block to access the entrance used for valet parking. Plus it had four steps. You know -- traveling from west coast 2pm to east coast 12 midnight -- did not need this. No problem, just wanted my room. Plus I get my freebie breakfast each morning before I headed to the DC hotels.

The next morning I headed to the Hyatt to get my badge for the weekend. Signage was not very good as I had to go out of the hotel to find street entrance to the registration area. You would think with my last name being at the end of the alphabet I would breeze through the pickup of my badge. Nope, everyone from Wood to Z was lumped together. I think this was one of the longest line. I think it took me a little over an hour to get my badge. I'm glad I went early as I'm sure the line got longer later in the day when everything opened at 1pm.

The hotels were swarming with people in costume already. There was still room to move around early afternoon. Different story after that. Everything under the sun came out. Of the areas I checked out, the only crowd free area was the International Tower of the Hyatt. This was where the Writer's Track was being held -- not many in costume there.

Atlanta police was in force to ensure people movement could happen between Hyatt and Marriott. You would not have been able to make the masses walk to the corner to cross *LOL*. Though I felt for the handicap as they had to take the long route around at the Hyatt as you had to do stairs in order to get to the Marriott -- shortest route.

Unlike the NY Comic Con, and I'm sure San Diego Comic Con, freebies are in short supply. Exhibitors and dealers are out to make a buck. You can find many booths that sell stuff that can make a costume if you did not bring one with you.

Of the two panels I attended, I had no problem with the first one. Lots of available seating. I got to see some of the famous vampire writers: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamitlon and Kelly Lockhart. I've always wanted to check out Ms. Yarbro's vamp and now I want to also check out Ms. Charnas', too.

The second panel I arrived about 1 1/2 hour before start. The staffer said I need to go in a get a seat in the current session as they will not be clearing the room for the next panel. Got in, still plenty of seats in the back. I made my move as soon as the panel was over and found a seat upfront. The panel consisted of Raven Hart, Elizabeth Donald, Carol Nelson Douglas, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Mike Lee and Laurell K. Hamilton. Two more authors I want to check out -- Mike Lee and Carol Nelson Douglas.

Peachtree Centre Mall is generally closed as downtown is dead -- it's mainly a very large food court with several stores that serves the office workers during the work week. Well, Dragon*Con gave these foodies a reason to open. They were open early for breakfast and stay open late, like 11pm. Good luck in finding a spot to sit and eat your lunch. If you don't mind fresh air, go upstairs to the courtyard.

Cell phone service -- at least at the Marriott -- stink in the Exhibitor Hall areas. The people who needed to use it could not. How are you suppose to call someone about this great find? Not that I think you could hear anyone except yourself talk. As I did not use my cell at all, I wonder if my network was behind me.

Everything they say about the elevators are true. You can wait forever. Learn to get them at the very first floor or the highest floor.

Kudoos to Marriott staff in trying to move people along at the escalators. Very dangerous as they were always packed. Lots could get hurt if people did not move on. There was little room to stop and think which way you want to go once you got off.

I was leary about the weather as I thought it would be hot and humid. I took care of that. Walked early and late between my hotel and DC hotels. I did not participate in the parade. I kept majority of what I wanted to check out in one hotel ;)

Love the Marta. Great and cheap --just $4.00 roundtrip-- to move between airport and event hotels :) Remember, you need to use your ticket to get out.

The best part was meeting some great people. It's always great to put a face to someone you've talked to many times on the internet. And all those costumed people, more than willing to have their photos taken.

I'm not a Dragon*Con virgin anymore :) I need to experience it at least one more time to decide if it will be an annual ritual.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

August in Pictures

Here's my August in review through pictures...

August 2-3 - Nashville, TN -- The Parthenon, The Hermitage, Visiting the Trees
August 4 - Nashville, TN -- Acheron Book Launch
August 15 - New York City, NY -- Acheron Book Signing
August 16 - Foxwoods, CT -- Acheron Mini Launch
August 21 - Orlando, FL -- Acheron Book Signing
August 22-24 - Orlando, FL -- Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Afternoon Tea, Animal Kingdom
August 29-September 1 - Atlanta, GA -- 2008 Dragon*Con

You may need to be patient with the links loading as they are all pictures in my Photobucket account. I use it so I can share pictures across all websites. MySpace requires people to have accounts in order to view the pictures. I also don't want to load the pictures in multiple places, like Facebook.

Yes, the pictures have a central theme -- Sherrilyn Kenyon. I don't know how Sherri does it day after day for three weeks. I was tired just doing what I did in the month. When I got to Phoenix after Orlando, I wound up going to bed early three nights in a row. I generally stay up until 12-1am and get up at 5:30am during the away work week.

Nothing exciting in September. I'm back to my regular travel of Phoenix and home.

Fun travel will pick up in October -- Disneyland and K*Con 2008.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Two Different Stars

Mucho costumed people and occasional star sightings at Dragon*Con this past weekend -- okay I only saw one. I had dinner at the same restaurant as George Tekei (sp? Sulu in Star Trek) -- he was in the booth to our left. Yes, Ed confirmed it was him. I would have to stand still and really look and recognize the person out of role. I'm bad like that.

I attended a panel on Friday night and saw Laurell K. Hamilton live and in person for the very first time. I've read about Laurell traveling with her husband and her bodyguard. Looked around and her two guys, dressed in kilts, were close by. Another panel another day and Laurell ran in late. She got to her seat and her two guys went off to the side.

Sherrilyn Kenyon was also at both panels. I happened to have walked over with her to her first panel and noticed the entourage she gains and leaves with. Sherri is like honey. I think Sherri is generally accompanied by a close friend and maybe Ed who clears the a path through the crowd when heading to where she needs to be.

Oh what's the point of this blog....

Well, Sherri did not appear in her booth during public times because she causes a Fire Marshalls nightmare. But she did stop by Sunday after closing, incognito. I guess I could not tell her we're closed :D. She had to wear a mask to go shopping with her friend *LOL* Can't have an entourage.

I don't have to wonder how Laurell gets around as I saw it with my own eyes on Monday as she was quickly whisked right by Sherri's booth. It was like a line dance. With a guy on each arm chained locked, one literally dragged her away and the other followed. It was funny. Either she was late again or there was a possilbe sighting and she had to be whisked away before a mob gathered.

I have to say after hearing Laurell speak at the two panels she has some very strong viewpoints. Laurell is not as personable as Sherri and several of the other authors. Some fanactics must have traumatized Laurell.

Oh, one more thing.... Sherri has a page on her website that asks you who is who -- Sherri or Laurell. In the early years, they did look somewhat a like. Okay, to the point. They were both limping this weekend when the day got too much for the sprains they had. Plus, they both caused mike problems. *LOL*

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Real Life as of Today

Downer - Checked my library account and discovered there are two books overdue. It seems my library is lenient on fees that are not new releases. My luck...I need to contribute to the Library kitty a whopping $1.75 for a past due new release. Oh well, it's for a good cause and I love this small library.

No more being able to do whatever I want during the weekend. I've got a new client in Greenwich, CT. Instead of hopping on a plane Sunday and Thursday, I'll be putting miles on my car instead -- drive up Sunday night and drive back Thursday afternoon. I could do it Monday mornings but it means getting out of the house before rush hour traffic. Nah, I like to be in a good frame of mind. Traffic could just mess with my day. It's about an hour to an hour and half each way if I happen to avoid bad traveling time. Then again, it only takes one accident to wreck my trip. This commute will last until mid-January of next year.

So no more playing on the internet and fooling around with graphics during the week. In Disney terms, I'm always on stage at the client site. Maybe the situation will change later, I hope.

Another downer - My laptop had to go to the doctor's office late yesterday. It was acting up all week until I finally had to call the doc. I'll be merrily working on a document or updating a database, and it would sudden give me a horrible blue screen with gloom and doom words or just shut down **arghhh** The doc said I had to send it in and *crossing my fingers* get a new one. Now this is while I'm onsite at the client. It's 3pm Thursday. The laptop had behaved all day, but then again, I did not have any client facing meetings. So I'm staring at the laptop. I got everything I needed off it so I can work on Friday using my sister's laptop. Did I really want to say good-bye? Did I really want to send it to the doc? In the end, I took a drive to FedEx, got it packed and sent it on its way *sob*. The doc has it and is working on it as I write this blog.

I'm glad I carry my 80G external drive with me -- that's where all my graphic stuff is -- so I was able to back up my important files. Who knows what doc is going to be able to move over successfully for me? I know I'm going to need to reload all the personal software I put on it. *crossing fingers* I hope doc completes his surgery today and ships it back to me on Saturday. Otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do on Monday for my PM asked me to do a demo for my client in NYC.

Yeah, I'm on my sister's lappy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bad Travel Day

Well, I did not get far. Started and ended in the same place -- home.

U.S.careways' automated system called me earlier to tell me my flight will be delayed by 97 minutes. So I change my car service to pick me up an hour later. Car arrives on time and drops me at the terminal. Lo and behold, I go up to the monitors to check my flight. The words that is dreaded by all is there -- CANCELLED.

Now why couldn't U.S.careways call me to tell me my flight was cancelled *ARGHHHHH*

I call my Travel Service, am on hold for 20 minutes only to find out that they cannot help me. No flights available until late tomorrow or Tuesday.

I tried calling my hotel to let them know that I will not be arriving today, but all I'm getting is a busy signal.

I called my car service and they were able to send me a car in 5 minutes. Blew me away as I lucked out that several cars were there already waiting but it seems those flights were cancelled, too. :D

I got home and called U.S.careways to wait for 10 minutes. No good news. They reiterated what my travel agent said, first available is the last connecting flight to arrive at 1:30am Tuesday morning. Why could they not be like Continental who does automatic rebooking? If you don't like what they did, you can change it. Maybe it's because I have status. I got no status with U.S.careways.

I finally had to call the hotel reservation number to get them to change. I did inform them that they need to call the hotel directly as it still has a busy signal -- either the phone is off the hook or someone is talking for a long time.

Guess, I'll need to talk to my boss tomorrow to see if I should just work from home as a two day work week expense does not seem right. Just being fiscally responsible to client and company budget.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Acheron Book Launch

On Monday, August 4, 2008, 400 fans gathered at The Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennesee, U.S.A. to celebrate the launch of Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest release, Acheron

The crew arrived about 5:30pm to set up. There were minions waiting in line already. Sherri does love you for hanging in the heat and humidity outside.

The doors opened about 7:00pm and fans entered into the lobby where they picked up vouchers, purchased books, got their freebies (buttons, lanyards, bumper stickers, weebles, fangs and manga posters (for 1st 200). Fans were then sent upstairs where the fun was happening.

Warchild and his band played -- even Sweet Home Alabama. The Melting Pot catered drinks and a chocolate fondue fountain. Contests were held for various prizes. Later on, there were costume contests. Besides fans dressed up as characters, there were Hunters -- Ash, Zarek, Talon, Jesse aka Sundown, Rafael and Nick -- available for photo ops and autographs. Sherri was at the feet of Athena signing -- the WHOLE time. Fans received their book as soon as they got up to the signing table.

The signing moved outdoors at midnight. Sherri signed the last book and took the last photo op about 1:00am.

There were about 400 fans who showed up. The Parthenon was a great place to launch Ash's book. There were plenty of books for all. Lots of fans survived the warm temperature (yes, it was hot where the party was held) waiting for their personal time with Sherri. Dianna Love ran the contents and Warchild played to keep the fans entertained.

Here are the pics I was able to take -- sorry for the grittiness, don't know what the matter with the camera.

2008 Acheron Launch

Acheron is available in all bookstores.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Street Art

Joshua Allen Harris know how to use air and plastic bags in New York City. Wait for the ad to finish.

Street Art: Joshua Allen Harris

Joshua has taken videos of some of his creatations -- garbage, bear, air monster.

And across the big pond, we have Slinkachu.

Check out Slinkachu's blog - Little People - A Tiny Street Project.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Snowball

I'm sorry, but Snowball just cannot sing. Dance yes. Sing no.





One more... then you can hunt for the others at Youtube





Saturday, July 5, 2008

Welcome to Beijing - English Subtitles

This one has English subtitles :D





I've been playing it over and over and over at work as background music :D.

** Updated July 5, 2008 **

Jackie Chan, on his blog, was nice enough to provide his translation plus the name of the stars :) Scroll down to when he talks about the 100-Day Countdown to the Olympic Games. The rest of this entry is very informative. Jackie has some nice pics.

YouTubing

On a week night, I wind up ending my day/night with ABC News. Ok really with Jimmy Kimmel and Oprah. Well, ABC News sent me YouTubing with an funny article they did. It seems the Yanks are invading the British shores. I think it's funny how it's subtitled because you might not understand the boy's accent *LOL*. The one in the news article did not have the subtitles.





Well, while YouTubing, you cannot just watch one. I don't remember what got me to this one, but I saw it many years ago. I still enjoy it.





Of course, the word "PIXAR" pointed me onto my next search. The first time I saw this was when MOMA had the PIXAR exhibit. It was a great exhibit. Too bad I did not discover it until the last weekended before it was closing. I definitely would have visited it several times to avoid the crowds.





Okay, here's the last one as I need to head to bed. It's getting to 2am. My bro invited me to a lobster dinner on Thursday. As is often the case, he winds up showing some of his video collection. He likes Bernard.





My SIL shakes her head at my bro and me. We spend way too much time on the internet *LOL*

Are you like me? If it's not a book (oh I finished a book instead of sleeping) or the boob-tube (not so much anymore), it's the 'puter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Joe Cocker's "I Gotta Get My Fred!"

Thank you, Dave for finding this. From my friend, David Williams...

"Nearly forty years ago Joe Cocker knocked the half-million love children at Woodstock on their butts with his rendition of the Beatles' "A Little Help From My Friends." I played that song on the radio a thousand times. Always loved it.

And now, thirty-nine years later, I finally know the lyrics.

This is, without a doubt, the funniest YouTube video ever!"





Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

Well, the east coast is asleep and will wait up to this news.

RIP - George Carlin

I will miss the laughs you gave and made us think.

What to listen to after getting off a plane 3 hours ago






Airline Industry






Language

Cable some and TV still a no-no:






Seven Words

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Welcome to Beijing

I got introduced to this by Marjorie Liu's Shanghai Blog (live version). It's been quite some time since I last heard a Chinese Song. It's sung in Mandarin if you were wondering. No, I do not speak Mandarin.

This is the theme song for Olympics 2008 to be held in China. You can watch the two versions I found on Youtuble.

Live version:





Video version:





If you were like me, I was curious as to what all those stars were singing. Oh, did you notice Jackie Chan. After viewing several links, here are the lyrics. I hope they are correct as I don't read the language either.

迎接另一个晨曠?,带来全新空氠?。
Let' s embrace another morning and enjoy its ever new air.

气息改变情味丠?变,茶香飘满惠?谊。
With the fragrance of tea, it smells different. But it feels great, full of friendship.

我家大门常打张?,开放怀抱等你?。
Our door is always open. We are waiting for you open-armed.

拥抱过就有了黠?契,你就会爱丠?这里。
After a big hug, you'll feel close with us. And surely you will love this place.

不管远近都是宠?人,请不用客氠?。
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please feel at home.

相约好了在一赠?,我们欢迎你〠?
We promised to get together here. So welcome!

我家种着万年靠?,开放每段传奠?。
We cultivate Chinese Evergreen in the garden. All the time, it is producing a new legend.

为传统的土壤撠?种,为你留下因?忆。
In the soil rich in traditions, we plant. Hope everything we plant here leaves you a great experience.

陌生熟悉都是宠?人,请不用拘礠?。
Our guests, no matter we've met before or not, please feel at ease.

第几次来没关糠?,有太多话题〠?
Even if you have been here for many times, you won't feel bored 'cause we have vast new things for you.

北京欢迎你,丠?你开天辟地。
Welcome to Beijing; we've done a lot for your visit.

流动中的魅力@?充满着朝气。
Its charm in ever changing is full of life.

北京欢迎你,圠?太阳下分享呼吠?。
Welcome to Beijing; let's breathe together in the sunshine.

在黄土地刷新戠?绩!
Let's establish new records here in China.

我家大门常打张?,开怀容纳天圠?。
Our door is always open. We are open armed, ready to embrace the world.

岁月绽放青春笠?容,迎接这个无?期。
5000-year-old China is flashing a youthful smile, waiting for the day.

天大地大都是朠?友,请不用客氠?。
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please feel at home.

画意诗意带笑愠?,只为等待你〠?
We paint pictures and write poems to express the joy for your coming.

北京欢迎你,僠?音乐感动你。
Welcome to Beijing; like moving music, our hospitality will warm your heart.

让我们都加油厠?超越自己。
Let's try to challenge ourselves.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹。
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

北京欢迎你,丠?你开天辟地。
Welcome to Beijing; we've done a lot for your visit.

流动中的魅力@?充满着朝气。
Its charm in ever changing is full of life.

北京欢迎你,圠?太阳下分享呼吠?。
Welcome to Beijing; let's breathe together in the sunshine.

在黄土地刷新戠?绩!
Let's establish new records here in China.

北京欢迎你,僠?音乐感动你。
Welcome to Beijing; like moving music, our hospitality will warm your heart.

让我们都加油厠?超越自己。
Let's try to challenge ourselves.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹。
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

我家大门常打张?,开放怀抱等你?。
Our door is always open. We are waiting for you open-armed.

拥抱过就有了黠?契,你就会爱丠?这里。
After a big hug, you'll feel close with us. And surely you will love this place.

不管远近都是宠?人,请不用客氠?。
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please feel at home.

相约好了在一赠?,我们欢迎你〠?
We promised to get together here. So welcome!

北京欢迎你,丠?你开天辟地。
Welcome to Beijing; we've done a lot for your visit.

流动中的魅力@?充满着朝气。
Its charm in ever changing is full of life.

北京欢迎你,圠?太阳下分享呼吠?。
Welcome to Beijing; let's breathe together in the sunshine.

在黄土地刷新戠?绩!
Let's establish new records here in China.

我家大门常打张?,开怀容纳天圠?。
Our door is always open. We are open armed, ready to embrace the world.

岁月绽放青春笠?容,迎接这个无?期。
5000-year-old China is flashing a youthful smile, waiting for the day.

天大地大都是朠?友,请不用客氠?。
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please feel at home.

画意诗意带笑愠?,只为等待你〠?
We paint pictures and write poems to express the joy for your coming.

北京欢迎你,僠?音乐感动你。
Welcome to Beijing; like moving music, our hospitality will warm your heart.

让我们都加油厠?超越自己。
Let's try to challenge ourselves.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹。
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

北京欢迎你,丠?你开天辟地。
Welcome to Beijing; we've done a lot for your visit.

流动中的魅力@?充满着朝气。
Its charm in ever changing is full of life.

北京欢迎你,圠?太阳下分享呼吠?。
Welcome to Beijing; let's breathe together in the sunshine.

在黄土地刷新戠?绩!
Let's establish new records here in China.

北京欢迎你,僠?音乐感动你。
Welcome to Beijing; like moving music, our hospitality will warm your heart.

让我们都加油厠?超越自己。
Let's try to challenge ourselves.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹。
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹。
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

北京欢迎你,朠?梦想谁都了不赠?。
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.

有勇气就会有奠?迹!
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.

Lyrics were retrieved from this site: Yeu-Ca-Hat Demo Music.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mastery

From my friend David William

"There are some things in life...

...which are totally void of significance
except that they make you happy to be alive.

This is one of them. Click Ray's picture. Enjoy his magic and let the music work."

If you were able to click on Ray's picture, it will bring you to this





You'll understand why I called this blog "Mastery". Plus I always loved this piece of music.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Book Reviews

I was checking out book reviews for some of my favorite authors.

How can you review a book before it has reached the marketplace? I understand about reviews from people who are lucky to have access ARC (advance reviewers copy). There are reviews out there where the book is given 5 stars, says it's a great series and that "I cannot wait for the book to come out". Huh?

Then there are the reviews where a book is given 5 stars so it offsets the reviews with 1 star. The verbiage in the 5 stars contain content about the stuff that was not liked. Huh? Worth 5 stars -- Huh?

Well, it's a great explanation for the word "fan" -- the shorten form of

fanatic

Main Entry: fa·nat·ic
Pronunciation: ..fə-ˈna-tik..Variant(s): or fa·nat·i·cal ..-ti-kəl..
Function: adjective

Etymology: Latin fanaticus inspired by a deity, frenzied, from fanum temple
Date: 1550

: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion [they're]fanatic about politics

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Animusic

This started my hunt.





Pipe Dreams

This arrived in my emailbox as, you guessed it, bad spam. The story introducing it was so bad. It had to be spam. Yes, it was according to Snopes.

The piece you are looking is animated music, produced by Animusic.

Do you want to see more like these. Then head to YouTube. I think YouTube user Molotok loaded both volumes up.






Future Retro







Starship Groove

Monday, June 9, 2008

Contract Between Author and Reader

I came across a forum discussion about "Writer/Reader Contract". It's funny as it came at a time I just finished a book that is taking a beating from fans for the series.

I have to say the publisher and author did not come together on the marketing of this book. Only about a third of the book was about what was in the blurb, title and cover of the book. The funny thing... I don't even know what the blurb actually says. I got the ebook. It was an "autobuy" author. I totally enjoyed the book, and it's a good continuation of the series started five books ago.

I also hang on several author's forum and fan forums which discuss the books I read. Lots of readers post what they want the author to do, how the story/series should proceed. I get somewhat annoyed with these type of posts because the readers say if the author does not go this way I'm going to stop reading.

Who's story is it? Who is suppose to be writing the book?

The author's responsibility is to write the best story he/she can -- do what your muse says and not the readers (and preferably not your publisher).

The reader's responsibility is to keep an open mind and enjoy the story. Let the author take you into their world. If you can't, then just drop the book and move on. Stop moaning about how the author did not meet up to your standards and expectations of the book. It's not your story but the author's. Maybe it's time to part ways as author and reader have taken different forks in the road.

As each story the author shares with the public, he/she will keep current fans enthralled, pick up new fans and, sadly, even lose fans. The world still spins. There are still lots of authors out waiting for you to find them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech

J.K. Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech (080607)

Thanks to Marjorie Liu for pointing me to this very inspirational commencement speech.

J.K. Rowling on The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination. If you have the time, listen to the video rather than read the transcript as the transcript is not exact.

Thrill of Victory

RIP - Jim McCay






Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Understand but Don't Gotta Like It

When I'm at a work site or get on my employer's Virtual Private Network (VPN) at home, all my favorite fun websites start to disappear. The latest one the Dark Hunter BBS. I check that BBS about two times or more during work hours.

I understand about no sexual sites, no file server sites, no social sites, no blog sites but my DH BBS which I've always been able to get to via VPN. I wonder when my other BBS will go, too. I wonder when they will catch on that I circumvented the no blog sites via my Google Reader.

I guess I should be doing my work instead of surfing. Maybe. It just means I will do more online shopping or maybe catching up on real life news. Nah, shopping or online games. Yeah, games But possibly when I'm on the work site.

'Cause at home. I'm dual laptops. One for work (VPN on) and one for play (no VPN). Guess which one I'm on more

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Caught One

Pointy is my primary source of email chain spam. I've taught my other sister to check the validity of chain spam on www.snopes.com before spreading it some more. She checks Pointy's spam and let's everyone know whether it's good or not. Nice to know at least one of my siblings listens, once in awhile.

Well, the latest one did not require me to check it out on snopes. I recognized the pics that were used. I was lucky enough to spend some time examining the tree.

If you get an email containing pictures about an extraordinary tree in South Africa with great carvings, it does not reside in South Africa. It might reside in Africa, but not the continent. It's the Tree of Life from the Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. It's a beautiful man-made tree. The Discovery Channel even had a making of this tree episode.

I wonder how many gullible people there will be who think mother nature did all this beautfil work.

Oh, if you're interested in checking the tree out, go here -- http://www.wdwinfo.com/Photos/AK-treeoflife/

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Argggh, can't make up mind

My cell phone contract came up for renewal last month. I can get a new phone for free or at a discount price. I know I'm staying with the same provider. Just can't make up my mind about the phones. Why are some of them bigger? They are suppose to be getting smaller and lighter!!! Not the other way around. Darn all those new fangle features.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Plane Movies This Month

Going, I saw 27 Dresses. Coming back was The Bucket List. The sad thing, I will only get to see this set only once. Not like Mad Money and PS, I Love You last month. I'm only making two trips to Phoenix this month and it's another carrier next week -- UScare

27 Dresses was a good chick flick. What a great friend she was to all the brides and what a crappy sister. I knew what was going to happen so the ending was not a surprise. I loved how all her bride friends came thru for her at the end *LOL*

The Bucket List... I knew who was going to go at the end when the two guys met. What was unexpected was who was climbing the mountain? I was happy and teary eyed towards the end of the movie. I loved the movie. I'm going to either need to buy it or at least see it again via NetFlix. I might even make my own Bucket List. Maybe later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blog Here, Blog There, Blogs Everywhere

Blogs are growing like bunnies. So many to keep up with. Some bloggers do it everyday. Others do it once in a blue moon. Still others do it when the mood strikes them. Like me.

I came across News Feed and RSS many, many moons ago and really had no use for it. I changed my mind several months ago. I was getting annoyed with my work connection as it started banning sites that are not considered necessary for working hours -- namely blogs. Also, checking each individual blog site became a chore, especially when there are no updates.

As I had a Google account, I decided to check out the Google Reader. I'm able to attached all the blog sites I'm interested in. I can also add any site that provides RSS capability and I know I will not be flooded with updates (BBS or very active message groups are not a good idea). The Google Reader provides me one shop one stop reading. I found I can click on Google Reader, Google Reader goes and checks which site has updates, and I can read majority of them via the Google Reader. Though, MySpace blogs only give me tease with the first two/three lines. *PFFFFTTTTT* to my work connection. I don't have to remember which Favorites (and I have lots and lots of them) I need to check out. The only drawback is when I need to go to the site to leave a comment.

Google Reader or any Reader software/Web Feed link is a very good time-saving thing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the Local News

Something I don't do when I'm home. Away, I watch/listen to the local news in the morning while I'm getting ready to head to work. I mainly watch it for the local weather forecast, but there are some interesting stories. So what have I learned...

There was a good snippet this morning about job hunting. Employers have gone high tech. They look for specific words in your resume. If it's not there, you get push to the bottom of the pile. Employers are also looking up your name in Google, MySpace, FaceBook and any other social networks out there, like LinkedIn. The advice is to be careful what you put on your pages as your prospective employer may be looking at and deciding if you're the right type of person based on your page and your friends. It also advises you to have a "professional" email address, nothing like studmuffin.

TTHMs (total trihalomethanes) is bad for you. You can ingest it by drinking the local water or inhale the steam from your shower. Well, I'm glad I did not listen to a local girl who drinks the water. I'll continue buying my water.

There's a serial killer in the next town over and seems to be slowly moving into my neck of the woods.

Don't piss off the Sheriff or he'll send his deputies after you. Don't worry, they'll figure some charges to get ya. Are you wondering which Sheriff this is? It's the one that built a tent city prison and prisoners have to wear pink.

Public libraries permit youngsters to borrow movies that a movie theatre would stop the kid from seeing. It seems only one town library would actually stop the borrowing while the others didn't.

I like this one -- suspected drunk driver killed a pedestrian but no charges because pedestrian was not in the crosswalk. So I've been making sure I'm in the crosswalk when the cars are around.

And in the travel news... Southwest passenger was cited by police for refusing to get off cell phone while plane was airborne. Poor guy was met by the police when the plane landed. And then there's the guy who is suing JetBlue for $2mill because the pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than 3 hours on a flight from California. The flight attendant did not want to sit in the jumpseat that is used by the crew.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Walking

If you don't live in a city, like New York City, you most likely do what I do -- move from building to car to building, very minimal walking.

I grew up in New York City and my means of transport was either feet, subway or the occasional bus -- great public transportation system. I walked to my elementary (1 block), intermediate (about 6-7 blocks) and high (5 blocks) schools and my job (16 then 12 blocks). If college was within walking distance, I'm sure I would have walked to it, too, but I used the subway or the bus. When I moved to the Bronx and Queens, I took the subway into work. When there was no need to rush and I had the time, I would walk from the low 40's all the way down to Chinatown where my mom still lives. Or even take the subway up to the 80's and then walk all the way down to the 30's. Great way to enjoy the city.

Since I've moved across the river to New Jersey, walking kind of went away. You had to get into a 4-wheel vehicle to get anywhere. There were no sidewalks, kind of dangerous as cars ruled the roads and very odd to see a soul walking. Therefore, any long walks, especially excursions into the city with my sisters, resulted in a burning sensation in the calves and catching of breath at the end. Though I never found it to be a problem in a mall. I guess its the slower pace one takes because you need check out the windows.

Walking has become a routine now when I'm working in Phoenix. As we have two cars for a team of 8-10 and the primary drivers are late birds -- majority of the team are late birds, I walk between the hotel and the office. I'm an early bird when it comes to work. So I'm gradually building up my stamina with my daily walks between hotel and office -- about 7 blocks each way. I have to say I don't miss riding in a car. It's a very nice walk. So far. The temps have been very good. I might change my mine when it gets into 3 digits. Don't like arriving at work all sweaty.

The walking may decrease some if I decide to change hotels for more free amenities than the current hotel offers. It will then become a bus and walk unless we can get one of the cars designated as early transport.

Another thing that just occurred to me, the less walking I've done, the more weight I've gained. Not good. Not at all. I'm going to need to do something about this, but not right now.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My First Comic Con

I'm no longer a Comic Con virgin. WOW! Definitely different from the Auto Show and business conventions. I went to all three days of the NY Comic Con held at Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City from Friday, April 18 to Sunday, April 20, 2008.

FRIDAY
After unplanned work *GRRRRR*, I headed into the city. I walked right in after the Con was opened to the general public for an hour and a half -- got my badge holder and lanyard. I checked out some of the booths as I went to find Sherrilyn Kenyon's booth (1907). It was the primary reason I was attending the Con -- see the Author Goddess. Sherri had a LINE. So I picked up a couple of the freebie book, peruse the store (yes, I bought stuff), and waited off to the side until I could give Sherri a "HI" and get a hug. She always give great hugs to fans she gets to know :). Sherri saw my Daimon Biting T-Shirt from K*Con 2007 and handed me "Under the Protection Acheron" button. Off I went to run errands for my bro and co-worker. For my bro, I went to see Sean "Cheeks" Calloway to buy his 2 sketchbooks. Cheeks was nice enough to draw Thor and Superman and autograph the books. Now I'm broke and have to hunt down an ATM machine *If you plan on attending one of these type of Cons, bring lots of cash. Rare do you find plastic accepted* I got majority of what Chris, co-worker, wants. Still got two more days to hunt for his stuff. Back to Sherri's booth I went. I introduced myself to the other Sheri who was manning AG's booth. I got put to work handing out freebie book, bags and restocking the other freebies (buttons, postcards, bumper stickers, bookmarks). Ed was taking care of the storefront. When the public was finally shooed out, I hung around to help clean up, restock what we can for tomoorow and discussed additional signage. AG's hubby and kid and Alethea Kontis finally arrived. I met them, got some DH wear for tomorrow and headed home. I worked on signage before heading off to bed.

SATURDAY
I met up with my bro to hand over the sketchbooks and hitch a ride into the city. I could always count on my bro for a ride. He dropped me off 10 minutes before the Con opened. Whoa, what a line to get in. I got to be in a line that was about 15 people wide and about two blocks long. It took me 40 minutes to get into the Exhibition Hall. What a difference from yesterday! They had Star Wars characters to entertain the masses as we slowly inched our way in. Once in, I hurried over to Sherri's booth, put up the signage and then disappeared. I spent the next several hours at the IGN Theatre.

** Disney's WALL*E -- This is the latest production from PIXAR. Multiple scenes from the flick were shown. It's a hit with me and I think it will be a great hit for all ages. It tugs at your heart.

** Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- Besides seeing the movie trailer, the audience got to talk to Ben Barnes (Price Caspian and what a cutie), William Moseley (Peter Pevensie), Peter Dinklage (Trumpkin) and producer Mark Johnson. Mark Johnson said there will be at least one more Narnia. I guess I should find time to see the first one soon. For me, it will still be a DVD movie.

** SciFi Battlestar Galactica -- I only sat through this cause I was waiting for the next offering. Besides the clip, the panel had Michael "Tigh" Hogan, Michael "Anders" Trucco, Rekha "Tory" Sharma and SciFi exec. There were lots of fans for BG. If you're interested, there are YouTubes that captured the panel discussion.

** Star Wars and Indiana Jones -- The press agent for LucasFilms presented videogame Star Wars: Force Unleashed, annual celebration in Tokyo 2009, animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and live interview with Seth Green and Matt Senreich who produce the stop motion Star Wars: Robot Chicken (YouTube has this really entertaining interview). Did you know there's a Lego videogame of Indiana Jones *LOL* cute. We got to see the trailer for the movie.

** Universal Wanted -- Timur Bekmambetov, director, presented this new action-flick based Mark Miller's graphic novel series. I did not know anything about this. The trailer shown makes me want to see it. It has some great stars in in -- Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. A great fan question was why don't the characters wear costumes. Timur said you would know they were assassins :D

** Universal Hellboy 2: The Golden Army -- Yes, we got to see a trailer. When the lights came back on, we saw that monsters/aliens joined the panel. Along with Guillermo Del Torro (director) was Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy), Selma "Liz" Blair , Ron "Hellboy" Perlman, Doug "Abe Sapien" Jones and Luke Goss (Prince Nuada). As promised, Guillermo dedicated his three-headed dog which got cut to a fan.

As I headed back to the Exhibition Hall and went in search of a late lunch, I came across this


WOW! *two thumbs up Jack!* Next time, I need to stroll outside of the Exhibition Hall cause I'm sure I missed other promotional items. But not this one

I did some leisurely strolls up and down the aisles, picking up stuff here and there. Not much though. After that, I headed over to Sherri's booth to help out for the rest of the day. I got to hang with Dimitri, NYC Dark-Hunter *shhhh don't tell Ash* Dimitri was steering minions to Sherri. I got to meet Loretta, a long time fan, who was helping to woman the store.

SUNDAY
As my BIL works retail on Sunday, I arranged with him to drop me off and pick me up. What a great idea it was!!! Unlike yesterday, I decided to bypass the regular entrance (me not like lines). Instead, I used the other entrances and got into the Hall pronto. Since the crowd was still inching in, I was able to visit many of the booths. By the time I was finished, I had more goodies than I got from the other two days. Plus I had a goal -- Sunday was Kid Day, pick up kid friendly goodies for my nephews and nieces. Onto Sherri's booth I went to help out for the day. On my breaks, I found more stuff :) The kids are so lucky to have me for an auntie. Once the public was shooed out again, I helped Sherri to pack until my BIL got me. I'm so glad as it would have stunk to lugged all the stuff to the bus terminal.

To see pics of Sherri's booth, go here.

WEEK LATER
I finally unpacked all the goodies and split them up between the two kiddie families and stuff for my brother and sisters. I even found the stuff I got for myself :D. Since I had extra, I'll pass along stuff to my SIL's niece and nephew. As I was going through the items, I thought what a difference in goodies that I got from this convention vs. business convention. At business conventions, I got stress balls, toothbrushes, items to clean your computer screen, dental floss, pens (lots of them), highlighters, bandaids, etc.

I had a blast and will be attending the next NY Comic Com, Feburary 6-8, 2009. But, this one is too far away. I'll be heading to the next Con in Atlanta, GA -- Dragon*Con, August 29-September 1, 2008. I did my ticket registration last year. Just need to take care of my hotel today -- thank goodness for frequent guest points. My work should take care of the airfare *VBG* If not, no big deal as I have frequent miles.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mona Lisa

What's is it about Mona Lisa? I was lucky to get the chance to see the real live Mona Lisa who is currently living in The Louvre, Paris, France. Mona is not really big. She is only 20 7/8" x 30" (53cm x 77cm) -- oil on poplar wood. She was immortalized by Leonardo da Vinci.

Why am I investing time on Mona Lisa? Well, it had to do with this






then I remembered seeing this last years ago.






and this always put a smile on my mug when I hear this






When I went internet hunting, I found "Her" website (well I think it would be if she was alive): Mona Lisa Mania. I wonder what else is out there that people have done with Mona Lisa.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Join Kermit, Be Green

HGTV (U.S. Home & Garden TV) had 10 easy things to do to be green.

1. Have a barbecue - Outdoor grills take less energy than electric kitchen stoves. They also keep heat out of the house, lowering air conditioning costs. Stick with grills that use propane or natural gas; they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per hour while a charcoal grill belches 11 pounds of the air-polluting compound for the same. One more thing: dine on reusable plates made from bamboo, not disposable paper ones. The trees will thank you.

2. Upgrade your toilet - Low-flow toilets have gone high-tech. Manufacturers of new designer loos use advanced computer modeling to deliver more flush power with less water, trimming around $90 from your annual water costs. Several new models feature dual-flush buttons that let you opt for a mighty 1.6-gallon whoosh or a gentle .8-gallon splash.

3. Lose the lawnmower - Everyone wants a putting-green perfect lawn. But constant mowing, watering and fertilizing is a bore, as well as a burden on the environment. A two-stroke, gasoline-powered lawnmower releases as many hydrocarbons into the atmosphere in 30 minutes as a car does in 90 minutes. Switch to an electric mower, which costs $8 to $10 a year to operate, and replace some of your sod with attractive, more environmentally friendly alternatives like clover, strawberries, and ornamental grasses.

4. Get a flat screen monitor for your computer - uses 1/3 less electricity than bulky old monitors

5. Buy organic, locally produced food - Organic food tastes better and it's kinder to the earth. Thirty percent of the fossil fuel used on farms goes into the making of fertilizers. Get greener by buying items grown or produced within 100 miles and you'll reduce the amount of diesel fuel needed to ship food. You can get fresher food and help small-scale agriculture by shopping at neighborhood farmers' markets.

6. Use safer paint - If you feel a little woozy after painting the bedroom with latex-based enamel, choose a product low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) instead. New designer colors and improved quality make these safer paints equivalent to standard ones and they benefit your health as well as the planet's. If you don't mind a paint fume buzz, try recycled paints. Filtered, reprocessed latex keeps harmful chemicals out of the landfill and at $5 to $7.50 a gallon, they're a bargain. Colors and finishes are sometimes limited, though..

7. Get a solar-powered water heater - Stand under the pulse-jet guilt free with a solar hot water system. You can install solar panels on your roof that will work with your conventional water heater. The panels cost between $2,000 and $4,500, and they can reduce the need for conventional water heating by around two-thirds. A solar water heater cuts around 12 percent off the average household's monthly electric bill. Most solar systems use a conventional backup heater, so you're never left with a cold shower.

8. Buy new light bulbs - You've heard that replacing old light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones can trim 5 percent from your monthly electricity bill. But this doesn't mean you have to live beneath the ugly glow of low-end fluorescent bulbs. Go for the premium fluorescents that cast a pure white or buttery golden light across your interior. The cost difference? Bargain basement fluorescent bulbs cost between $3 and $5; the higher grade ones cost $9 to $12.

9. Become an expert in recycling - Shopping bags never go in your bins, even if they do organize the empty vino bottles nicely. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the articles with a 1 or 2 in your bin; most areas don't take the ones with higher numbers. Don't put light bulbs, broken glass, or bits of food in your bin, either. They gum up the process and make your waste professionals feel a little, well, tossed aside.

10. Invite birds, bugs and bats into your yard - Skip the pesticides and use nature's method of bug-eradication: other animals. Install birdhouses to shelter feathered friends who dine on pesky beetles and grubs. Put out egg cases of Green Lacewings or Praying Mantises (less than $15, www.mastergardening.com) and they'll gobble up aphids. Bats, and toads will dine on mosquitoes; attract them with bat houses ($25) and toad houses you can make yourself by overturning flower pots.

I would love to do 1, but town ordinance does not permit propane tanks and I would have to run a line for natural gas (one of these days). So I had an electric grill that I've retired three years ago. Waiting for my bro to start doing the BBQ. The BIL does nothing with the housewarming gift I gave them.

House has 2. No need for 3 or 4 or 6 or 7 (no sun). Haven't done the organic thing yet. I've done 8 and okay with 9. Don't know about 10.

How are you in becoming green?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blockhead, Am I

Two hours and several hundred dollars poorer, it will be an experience that I will never ever replicate again. How does a tax preparation service get you? By completing a form or worksheet and not necessarily a form I watch the tax preparer used. The software used by the tax preparer is smart enough to complete the form on its own behind the scenes. Each form and worksheet had a fee. Boy, did it love me. Plus, I was not happy with the tax preparer. He looked at me to asked how he should be entering my W-2 info. Well, once I told him, he was suppose to be the expert, he didn't ask me again. He got up and asked a fellow tax preparer.

I've always completed my taxes on my own. First the paper forms the government is nice enough to send you each year. Then I upgraded to tax software. Several years ago, I upgraded to an online service. Why? Online service was a lot cheaper and my company offered a discount. It was great. Gotta save the dollar here and there for something more worthwhile.

An unperk of working for my company is multi-jurisdiction taxation. Whatever state I work in, I have to pay the state taxes. Last year introduced a new state. I tried a new online service because it was cheaper. After it noodled all the entries I made, I did not like the results. So, as it was getting closer to April 15, I decided that I can afford to splurge a little and have a well-known tax service do it. My SIL uses them, and she's a CPA who refuses to do her own taxes. It can't be all that bad.

Never again! I guess the tax software was right because it came up with the same numbers the tax service did. And it costed me a whole lot more than it did my SIL. I'm going back to do my own next year even though I know already that I'm going to have to deal with another new state -- 3 states for tax year 2008 so far.

Well, it time to pay two governments -- the Fed and my Home State. Hopefully see the tax dollars get put to good use.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Virgin and Sexy

"4 Minutes"...don’t go there. The Virgin - Madonna and Sexy - JT aka Justin Timberlake. I guess Madonna was not one when she released "Like A Virgin" or the title would not have "Like" in it. Whether JT brought sexy back *shrugs* Oh, Timbaland opens the video.

According to the news, this song "4 Minute" will be in the "Get Smart" movie by Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow Pictures, coming to theatres near you on June 20th.







..

If you do not see the video, Warner Bros has been getting them pulled. You can try here: 4 Minutes. The video will be next after the ad.

In case Warner Bros catches that one, here’s another link.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Guy Konked His Head

My fellow lift rider misjudged the glass elevator *LOL*. It’s a great view once it leaves the interior of the hotel. It was a good sounding konk, too. His excuse was that he was looking at the wrong window. Right!?! There was no other window. The glass elevator was it.

I had a wide grin as I got off my floor and headed to my room. His konk reminded me off other occurences...

My ex-BIL put butterfly decals on his glass terrace doors. His friend ducked to avoid the butterflies *LOL* I think friend might have had too many beers.

I had my terrace doors open and only the screen door in place. My sis thought she could walk through the screen. *idjit* The one who has more degrees than what she knows to do with it.

Then Windex, the glass cleaner, has commercials where birds and humans trick each other *LOL*

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fridge is Home

It’s Finally Done!

I wrote this to a friend on June 16, 2006...

"Well, I woke to a puddle of water in front of my refrigerator (aka fridge) on Wednesday. I sopped up the water, struggle to pull the fridge out to get to the water line so I can turn it off. Oh, boy, was it yicky back there. Floating dust bunnies in another pool of water. When you touch them or rope them together, they become those disgusting black yicky balls. Total yuck. Yes, I don’t pull the fridge out to clean like a good caretaker should. I tried shutting of the water line, but the fridge persisted in leaking at the water line that goes into the fridge at the top. Went down to my basement to get some tools and noticed that the water has leaked down to some of the basement ceiling drywall. So I had to called my brother to help save me. He could not come until the next day. So I had to somehow set something up to redirect the drip into a pan instead of dripping into the fridge then on to the floor. That was fun. I missed one overflow and had to sop up the water again. I HATE WATER. Woke up the next day to sop up more water. I could not deal with the drip anymore, so decided to unplug the damn thing. Thank goodness I had cooler to put the frozen stuff in until my brother shows up to help. Open the freezer door and see icicles and ice all over the stuff...note I have a frost free freezer (no need to defrost it at all because there is no ice). Definitely now to unplug as all the ice needs to melt. Ice formed behind the ice maker. Never buy a fridge with automatic ice maker...just asking for trouble. Brother showed up and told me shut off valve needed another good twist to turn off the water. He was going to replace the filter on the water line and told him not to because I was never going to use the ice maker again. I’m going to use the space for more storage. Fridge is working okay now, but I cannot move it back in until I replace the wall molding because it is all rotted. I want to get rid of it incase it turns into mold...big YICK."

On Monday, March 24, 2008, the fridge is finally back in it’s place.

Since the water incident, it’s been kind of sitting in the middle of the kitchen. We’ve not been able to use the entrance between the kitchen and the dining all this time. I’ve been getting a draft in my back everytime I sit at the dining table.

I had to replace the molding before moving the fridge back in. Yes, I did not have, too, but I would have known it was unfinished behind the fridge. This "Honey To Do" item has involved many trips to the Home Depot for molding and tools. It’s not my best work as I got upset with it in the end because one of the walls was slightly bowwed out. This did not permit the molding to line flat against the wall so it could be nailed. BAH!!!! I was going to paint as two pieces needed it. BAH!!! Forget about it. The fridge is going back in.

Pointy’s comment, "Feeling okay? Is it because you got older? Oh you left the terrace door open. No wonder it’s cold in here." Darn. I thought I was good in locking up.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Can't Find a Slip

That’s right. I can’t find a slip. Well, I can, but it’s the not right length. I also came across some old ones. How can you tell they are old? The elastic crunches. If you pull the waist, the elastic justs disintergrate (sp?).

No, it’s still a bit too nippy by me for skirts. Plus, I come home to relax and shorts and capris are my choice of wear. I just got it in my head that skirts and dresses are not for play time. I think I’m slowly changing my mindset about this. Just got to find ones I don’t care that I wreck during play time and does not need the iron.

I need the slip for the Phoenix area because the hot temps are coming. It’s going to be in the mid to high eighties this week. Great weather for skirts and dresses as I walk about 7 blocks between hotel and office. Yes, I still wear them. The legs get to breathe. They travel well and take a lot less room in the suitcase. You know this girl does not do baggage claim.

Yes, some of my skirts still need slips. It just does not feel right. It’s too suggestive when you can see through the skirts/dresses.

Oh well, no time to hunt for the best length. Another thing to add to list of things to do and maybe buy again. I hate shopping.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Procrastination at Its Finest

I was suppose to do it yesterday. I need to get it done today in case others have to do something. Well, I still have not started. Instead I'm bloggin

I did not do it last night as I had all intentions to do it today. Instead of going to bed promptly, I decided to finish Creation in Death by Nora Roberts. Not that I really need to read it as I read it two months ago. But I started it and just had to finish it

My brain and body must have known I could not sleep in today which usually happens when I read late into the night. I rolled over and it was 5:30am. Too early to get up. Looked at the clock again and it was 6:30am. I couldn't roll around anymore and got up.

Well first things first, breakfast -- tea and Eggo waffles. Done.

Got some PaperbackSwap orders that I have to wrap. Done.

Check the email, Woot and Yugster. Done.

Go through week's worth of mail. Done.

Check the DH BBS and MySpace and Reader list subscriptions. Done.

My sister comes down and we chat. "Are you going out?"

Now, it's late enough and the post office should be open. Packed the books for it's trip.

I decided since I'm out, I will go get Amazing Hot Dog for lunch. I went to their website with the intention of placing an order online. Of course, the website goes down after placing the first item.

"Are you going to the Library?" Why? "Because you have all those books to return." Good idea. Return the books to the library even though they could have waited another week.

So off I go -- Library (got 8 books though I still have 5 to read), Post Office (they only had one teller and 6 people in front of me), Amazing Hot Dog (picked up phone in order).

Got back and now had to eat lunch

Now I have two shipping boxes that need to be unpacked and examined. Done

Check the DH BBS one more time. Done

Oh well, I guess I'm ready to start the project I need to complete. Where did the day go. It's 3:15. Hopefully there are no other interruptions

Friday, March 7, 2008

Some Email Funnies

Turn Off the Cell Phone







How To Tell The Sex of A Fly
A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Hunting flies." he responded.

"Oh! Killing any?" she asked.

"Yep. 3 Males. 2 Females." he replied.

Intrigued, she asked "How can you tell them apart?"

He responded "3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone."

New Orleans Crabs
A man boarded an airplane in New Orleans , with a box of frozen crabs.

A female crew member took the box and promised to put it in the crew's refrigerator, which she did.

The man firmly advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for the crabs staying frozen, and proceeded to rant and rave about what would happen if she let the crabs thaw out.

Shortly before landing in New York , she announced to the entire cabin, "Would the gentleman who gave me the crabs in New Orleans , please raise your hand?"

No hand went up, so she took them home and ate them herself.

Escaped Convict
A man escapes from a prison where he's been locked up for 15 years. He breaks into a house to look for money and guns. Inside, he finds a young couple in bed. He orders the guy out of bed and ties him to a chair. While tying the homeowner's wife to the bed, the convict gets on top of her, kisses her neck, then gets up and goes into the bathroom.

While he's in there, the husband whispers over to his wife: "Listen, this guy is an escaped convict. Look at his clothes! He's probably spent a lot of time in jail and hasn't seen a woman in years. I saw how he kissed your neck. If he wants sex, don't resist, don't complain......do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. This guy is obviously very dangerous. If he gets angry, he'll kill us both. Be strong, honey. I love you!"

His wife responds: "He wasn't kissing my neck - he was whispering in my ear. He told me that he's gay, thinks you're cute, and asked if we had any Vaseline. I told him it was in the bathroom. Be strong. I love you, too."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lacing

I was tired of breaking in a pair of sneakers for my mom. When I tried to give them back to her, she refused to take them. I guess I will never get my Keds' Champion Oxford Walkers back from her . Keds don't make these anymore.

I finally found a pair I liked the other day. Today was the day to take them out and try them. Of course, you need to pull the tags off and lace them up.

Well, I remember coming across a book about shoe lacing. Since I did not buy the book and I was sitting by my computer, let's see if Dogpile will bring me up a site. I was tire of mine and ready for somthing different. I've seen some of the wacky lacing on some of the kids' shoes.

Guess what I found! Yep, the author of the shoe lacing book that I skimmed through has a site. This must be where he started before he went into print form.

Ian's Shoelace Site

My lacing method was the "Criss Cross Lacing". I decided to try Ian's "Over Under Lacing". Not to different but different enough for me

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Love, Love, Love

I thought my friend was nuts to send me such an early Happy Valentine. Well, she was a smart gal. She had to send it to me early, so I get to share it with you. Of course, the video was attached to my email. Off I went to YouTube because I knew someone would have uploaded a copy there. Here it is.





It's all sand and a lady's, Ilana Yahav, hands. It's amazing.

Yes, YouTube has more art from Ms. Yahav if you put her name in the Search box. Her website, Ilana Yahav Sand Fantasy contains some and more information about her art.

Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Walt Handelsman

Pointy did it again. She introduced me to Walt Handelsman and the Baby Boomers animation.

After you finish watching and chuckling over this truth, click on Animations that is on the left side under Walt's picture for other cute ones.

Enjoy! and Happy New Year!