Friday, April 27, 2007

You Know You are Getting Old When.....

No this isn't one of those list-jokes.

Well, yesterday I sat down to lunch and plopped my purse on the table. A co-worker looked into my purse and said, "Hey, is that hand cream?" and reached for something deep inside my shoulder bag. What she had spotted was, in fact, my reading glasses' case.

But still, I looked with fear at what else she might pull out.

Back in my twenties, I would have worried that the item she pulled out would be some sort of birth control.

But, I'm in my 40's. It wasn't condoms I was worried about this time. I was worried it would be my hemorrhoid cream.

I'm officially old.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Too Much Unhappy Insanity

Today we see a world full of unhappy insanity. Between the Virginia Tech Massacre and the soliders killed daily in Iraq, everything seems insane. To make it even worse, the conservative bloggers and commentators have tried to turn the Virginia Tech Massacre into some sort of "pro-gun" thing.

I so wanted to photoshop a pic of the killer with the NRA logo. But I didn't (yet). The part of me that respects the privacy of the victims and survivors prevents me from doing this. However, everyday I read more and more incredibly inaccurate and disturbing things from the right. Have these people no shame? No soul? I'm feeling the urge to do something equally as stupid. But I'm fighting it.

So I have some happy insanity to share with you. Prom time for my daughter. Here is her dress. Isn't she beautiful?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We Grieve with You

In memory of the Virginia Tech shooting victims.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This just creeps me out

This is an old post from February that I never put up on my blog.

A purity ball.

At which, young women pledge their virginity to their fathers. And fathers pledge to protect their daughter's purity. This is a copy of the father's pledge:

The Pledge

Is anyone else creeped out by this? Let's forget about the fact that their don't appear to be any mother/son purity balls. Or father/son ones. So I guess boys don't have to be pure.

I part ways with many feminists when it comes to teenage sexual freedom. While I understand teenage sexual experimentation is normal, I've seen the dark side of it. Kids who think that sex will equal a relationship. Kids who are forced to grow up too fast. Kids who because they are sexually active are ready victims for adult abusers. And of course, disease and pregnancy. I work in an inner city school district, but not as a teacher. I'm a computer technician, yet I still see these young girls who get pregnant just to have someone to love them. In fact, when we went to an electronic record keeping program, we had to contact their support for a patch. Seems you couldn't have a student be a parent of a kindergarten age child. Unfortunately, we have quite a few of them in our district.

But pledging you virginity to your father? It's like he owns the girl's body and wants to keep his property valuable (sort of like people who buy toys and keep them in the box, hoping they will increase in value? Ok, I just completely grossed myself out comparing children to commodities, but that's what it sounds like to me.) until the new owner, husband, is ready to take possession. What kind of person does this to their child? What kind of father puts value on their child this way?

Of course, this entire thing is sponsored by creepy Christians. And not just creepy Christians, but illiterate creepy Christians who can't spell "Accountability".

Monday, March 05, 2007

More on Internet Addictions

Miss Snark also posted on Internet addictions (hers is sudoku). Sudoku was one of mine for a while, but I'm past that now.

My latest internet addiction

I have a new Internet addiction. No, it isn't videos of kinky monkey sex. It is The sentence Game . It is an online version of Eat Poop You Cat. If you aren't familiar with that, it's a party game that is a cross between pictionary and Whisper Down the Alley:

  1. First player writes a sentence and passes it to the second player.
  2. Second player draws a picture to represent the sentence, then folds the paper so only the picture shows and gives it to the third player.
  3. The third player (without seeing the original sentence) creates a caption for the picture, folds the paper so only the caption shows and passes it to the fourth player.
  4. It continues until all have played.

If I've confused you, here's a link to a completed game .

This is a fantastic way to increase creativity. I find that it makes a great warm up to my writing. I recommend it to anyone who needs to get their creative energies flowing.

What's really funny is that some of the people there think I'm a sock puppet for a troll named Jake. He is what they call a ruiner and will put up ridiculous sentences and pictures that have nothing to do with the sentence. It cracks me up that I'm accused of being this fellow, and part of me wants to encourage it, while another part just wants to see how far they go.

There is a bit of artistic snobbery. Some of the users are very talented, while the rest of us just use clip art and stick figures. What's funny is that the artists are the opposite side of the coin of the ruiners. While the ruiners divert the game from its natural flow, the artists are too good and there is no ambiguity. It's like playing charades with a mime or pictionary with a commercial artist. That isn't fun.

Using the example in the link, you'll see that someone tried to draw Cthulhu, but the next user thought it was a pac man ghost, so the story took a very silly fork.

For all my writer friends, try this! It really helps to get into the writing groove! Just be careful, or you'll spend all your writing time playing.

But be advised. The graphics can get crude and the players rude.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Goats

This just cracked me up!

Happy Goats

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Has it Really Been a Month?

No, it's been more than a month since I last blogged. I'm not sure why, other than I've been trying to get a short story into a contest that has a February 28 deadline. Is it done? No. But I'm off from work today because of the snow, so this is like a free day
And because I've not blogged in so long, I'll keep this short and just give you pictures.

Here is Darling Daughter tubing in our backyard.

And of course, here is Buttercup Beagle.

Now it's time for me to shovel!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Publish America Gets Stung Again!

Anyone who isn't aware, PublishAmerica runs one of the most distasteful writers' scams. If you Google PublishAmerica, you will find a multitude of former PA authors who have had their work hijacked.

What does PA do that is so bad? They are a vanity press in reverse. They print your book, but make it next to impossible to get it onto bookshelves. There is no promotion, marketing, distribution, the prices are outrageous, the editing is nonexistent, and the quality is questionable. And they publish anything.

What makes this a scam is that they claim to be a traditional publisher (a term coined by PA). I'm not going to go into all the details, you can read them at Absolute Write.

But what is funny is that, for a second time, a group of authors have put together a book so bad that it is painful to read. It is titled Crack of Death by Sharla Tan. It was accepted by PA. Done in the same vein as Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea, it was written by several different authors, who only had a brief understanding of the book and what was written before their section. They received a contract for it from PA, but decided to deny it and put it on Lulu as a fundraiser. Here is an except:

All of a sudden Garry felt really protective over this pet-eat young girl who looked like a Cindy doll except with a pear-cede lip. He had to protect her no matter what it cost.

‘Nancy’ he said. ‘You’ve got to get away from Roberto. You don’t know what you’ve got yourself into. Your in grave danger. Tell her Lav!’

‘True, t’ings rough out deh, you know, Rasta.’ said Laverne flashing his gold tooth.

‘It’s true Nancy.’ Whispered Garry with a furrowed brow.

‘Yes alright dad. Just ask me your fucking questions and let me go home damn it!’Garry turned to Laverne.

‘Lav can you get the suitcase.’Laverne left the small dark room his dread locks swinging vilently behind him.They were alone.Garry sighed and stared at Nancy tenderly. ‘

I want to help you Nancy. I’m on your side.’For a split second Nancy could see the truth in his icey pear-sing blue eyes. Garry was a good man she could tell, but how could Roberto be a lying drug barren? She’d seen the pain in his eyes when he’d talked about his sick mother. Roberto where are you?

And another:

Nancy was now pumped full of adrenaline from the exciting chase on the pear, and
so she simply flew along the road as far as the car would carry her, pressing
her dainty foot down on the gas. She remembered the beauty spot Beachy Head, the
memory shot into her thoughts.Beachy Head is the most famous part of the
Eastbourne Downland. Beachy Head and is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain
and rises 162 metres (530 feet) above the sea below. The main reason for Beachy
Head's popularity is the wonderful panoramic view which can be seen from the
cliff top. If you look east you see the beaches and town of Eastbourne, the Pier
and the Harbour, and then on to Chesapeake Bay and Tokyo and, on an
exceptionally clear day, Kansas City, nearly 40 miles away. Looking west, you
can see even further, up to 70 miles, past Santiago to Toronto and Bangkok and
then on to Nairobi near Amsterdam in West Sussex. On a very clear day the
outline of the Statue of Livery can be seen. But its history reveals a darker
side. Since the 1600s it's been a popular location for suicide attempts.
Eastbourne Parish Register contains entries of deaths at Beachy Head dating back
to 1600 and by the middle of the 20th Century there were an average of 6-7
deaths p.a. At the tail-end of the 1990’s it had crept up to an average of 17
p.a. PA not meaning PA but Per Annum, just in case you were wondering. Between
the years 1965-1989, an in-depth study of deaths at Beachy Head was made by Dr.
John Surtees (1997 pp. 125-136) – a cumulative total of 250. His research looked
into the causes of death, injuries sustained, factors relating to the
circumstances of the deaths and the resultant verdicts. Perfect for me, Nancy
thought thinking over these statistics as she raced along the road, Garry close
on her tail, if only I can shake off that bustard.

I don't see how anyone can say that Publish America isn't really Publish Anything. They are a subsidy publisher and should be avoided. I was almost a victim, but escaped only because a writer who I'm aquainted with was published by PA. This gentleman is a terrible writer, and I knew if they published him, it had to be a scam! I did a little research and found out about it.

If you have been a victim of PA, you should visit Absolute Write's Never Ending Publish America Thread.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Polar Bear Plunge 3

This is the third year that Darling Daughter has done the polar bear plunge. Personally, I think it is insane, however cool.

The air temperature was 59 and the water was 48. A rain squall hit about 20 minutes before the plunge was scheduled, so it felt much colder. Observers and participants were both soaked.

My daughter, of course, was the last one out.

Here are the pics. The quality is poor because of the rain.

Preparing to go in. My daughter is the one on the right, the other is her sister (who doesn't live with us).

In the cold!

After, there were interviewed by the local paper.

All the craziness aside, I do think it's fairly cool for her to do the polar bear plunge every year. I'm quite proud of her.