Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday Seven #304

Not even a hurricane will stop me from posting the Sunday Seven. But then again, there’s a good reason for that: I’ve actually been in Tampa for a few days, visiting close friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

I knew that the storm was going to essentially miss Charleston specifically because I was out of town at the time landfall was to have occurred; if I had been there, we’d have no doubt been in the middle of serious hurricane madness.

This week’s question involves Native American totem poles and the belief that each individual is connected with nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides. The belief also is that different such guides come in and out of our lives depending on the direction we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along the journey.

Whether you believe in such notions are not, it still may be fun to use the idea for a Sunday Seven question.

Scroll down on for a list of animals and the qualities associated with them. So based on that list, could you come up with seven of your nine totem animals?

That’s the challenge for this week! As always, thanks for stopping by!

  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!

Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:

Name seven animals you think would belong on your own totem pole.

This is definitely different... let's see...

1. The Snail: Aware and Solitary

2. Rooster: Early riser, nothing but the best

3. Squirrel: Planner & Gatherer

4. Fish: Slyness, open-minded, quick to change one's mind

5. Mouse: Scrutiny, order, organising, eye for details

6. Cat: Detachment and sensuality

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday Six Episode #385

This week’s Saturday Six is being posted a bit later than normal, and for that I apologize. But I have a pretty good excuse that I’ll talk more about tomorrow!

In the meantime, Hurricane Irene might have been enough of a threat to encourage people to consider flying to safer ground. So I chose a visit to the airport as the topic of this week’s questions.

Thanks for dropping by!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. Where is the last place you visited that involved a flight? Helena, Montana and it was so worth it!

2. If given a choice and all prices are the same, which airline would you most be likely to choose for your own travel? I would continue flying with Continental. Their service is just fine.

3. With which airline have you had the most negative experiences? Well, I would have to say Delta, and only then because the two connecting flights from Arizona to Utah and then Utah to Montana. The stupid airline people searched my luggage - which I would have been fine with - but they were slobs and just shoved it back in with zero regard for my things. I wasn't too happy about that.

4. You come to the security checkpoint and you find a new full-body scanner: would you voluntarily be scanned? Yes. I'm perfectly fine with good security. In fact, I prefer it.

5. Security agents tell you that the scanner is being calibrated and that it would take 30 minutes before you could pass through security unless you allow them to do a full putdown. If waiting 30 minutes won’t endanger the chance of you getting to your gate on time, would you wait or agree to the patdown? I would agree to the pat-down - I am NOT missing my flight just for security purposes. And I feel for the security people - you think they want to pat you down? I think not. I think they are not paid enough for the crap they have to put up with.

6. Which airline fee bothers you the most and why? The over-weight bag charge is the worst of them. I was 6lbs over the weight max on one bag and had to pay over $109 for this! I was super-pissed off. And it is not as though there were other options at the time. I had to get my ass on the plane and they had me over a barrel. But that kind of excess price was just crazy. Six ounces or six pounds it is all the same.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
I feel my heart start beating to my favourite song

And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up
I'm on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight

I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don't want to see another generation drop
I'd rather be a comma than a full stop

Maybe I'm in the black, maybe I'm on my knees
Maybe I'm in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart

As we saw oh this light I swear you, emerge blinking into
To tell me it's alright
As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear's a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Oh
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh
Is a is a waterfall
Every tear
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh

So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I'll raise the flag

Oh
It was a wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall
A wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

Thursday, 25 August 2011

WTF Thursday - Determining the Health Benefits of Eating Banana Splits & Using Spell Check

1) Does hearing about the health benefits of food products ever discourage you from eating those products (like hearing about the fiber content in cereal or probiotics in yogurt)? Sometimes. Let's face it, low-fat cheese is synonymous with plastic. Other things, not so much. It's a hit or miss with these things.

2) If you were fired from a job for no good reason and could do anything on your way out without the possibility of any future retribution, what might you do to get a little revenge? I wouldn't. Having done Human Resources for years, I'm not one to find any pleasure in revenge. How many people told me they were going to sue and the percentage of suits brought against a company is well under .009%. And the number won? Less.

3) You're at a job interview and the person interviewing you is extremely physically attractive. Do your raging hormones effect how well you carry yourself during the remainder of your interview? I have had that happen, both as interviewer and interviewee. I am just as witty and charming as I am without the raging hormones. I have nothing but raging hormones, anyway, so if that got in my way, I'd never have had a job!

4) We all know we're supposed to follow a healthy diet, but hardly anyone actually follows the food guidelines put out by the government. If you were to draw a food pyramid of your actual eating, what would be your major "food groups?" Uh-oh. Sugar, baby. Pure, beautiful, wonderful sugar would be the top item. Pizza, carbs the second level... do I need to keep going? Alcohol and nicotine would not be on my pyramid, but I'm atypical that way. Caffeine makes me tired, so I wouldn't have that on it - I'm always tired anyway.

5) There is a current TV advertising campaign in which the Windows company sets up a computer store in a person's house and surprises him or her. (Watch a commercial here.) What would you love to have secretly built in your home while you were out? One of two things: a library, which we keep trying to turn the extra room downstairs into but it never happens or an enclosed indoor heated swimming pool, which would actually mean adding a room to the back of the house and having a hole dug out and all that this would entail, but that would be great. If we kicked out the outlaw, I'd have two full rooms to modify and I would love to do that! Unfortunately, that albatross will never go away.

6) What kind of people do you typically try to avoid? Most of them? No, that's not really me. Super, ultra, oh-my-gods, right-wing super conservative Roman Catholics who absolutely understand nothing about tolerance. To whit, my husband's extended family. I complain about his father (the outlaw) but he is comparatively speaking nothing like his siblings. He's pro-choice, pro-birth control, not against gay marriages, and not right-wing. He's really amazing that way. Just imagine how ugly it would be if he was like the rest of the family who had the gall to stand in our living room and tell me how people who have had abortions are going straight to Hell and how I'm not successful, it was God's plan. GET OUT!

7) A friend just shared a link to a webpage full of misspellings from Facebook statuses and the obnoxious responses to them (click here for a laugh). What is a word you often have trouble spelling without the help of spell-check? I don't - I spell exceptionally well. I can't do anything with numbers, but I have no problem with spelling.

8) Today (August 25) is National Banana Split Day. What toppings do you want on your celebratory banana split? Oh, wet walnuts! I love wet walnuts. Nothing is wrong that is has wet walnuts on it.

9) What is the worst thing to say to someone who just got dumped by their significant other? I don't know that there is anything right that you can say.

10) You are walking by a pay phone in public and it starts ringing. Do you answer it or keep on walking? Keep walking - in fact, it won't be a problem because I almost never carry it with me.

Booking Through Thursday - 25 August 2011

Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.

Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.

Currently I am reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to The American Revolution. I finished reading British History for Dummies, and prior to that I read The Tudor Family for Dummies. That may not seem like really good history reading, but it is actually is excellent - the authors are not dry and dull and giving rote answers as only tenured teachers who have lost any interest do. I do read other history, such as J.M. Roberts' The History of the World and The History of Europe. I have also read Barbara Tuchman's The Bible and the Sword, covering the Britons following the Bible to the crusades, missionaries, merchants, explorers, etc. and also A Distant Mirror, covering the 14th century Europe and especially changes brought about by the plague. It is excellent reading.

I have a huge number of Idiot's and Dummies books, spanning the various wars (American Revolution, The United States Civil War, World War I and World War II), different countries: Ireland, England, Canada, European, the Crusades (this could go under wars, really), on and on. I hope they come out with more. I would love to read history for all the countries, such as India, Iraq, Iran, Colombia, African nations, Egypt (I may have something on Egypt, come to think of it), Japan and China. And the rest, too. British history is excellent reading, from the very earliest times up to Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Arrival of...

...the 2012 Old Farmer's Almanac!

YAY!

I always love getting the newest Old Farmer's Almanac, to get the astronomical outlook for the new year and read the articles. I love it. I rely heavily on the almanac for Moon times, astronomy, seasonal changes and other tidbits. I also collect them and have them going back to the early 1800s.

This one did not disappoint.

The main article this year for astronomy is The Sky is Falling (and this is a good year to catch it). It covers a few things, not the least of which is the Mayan New Year, which occurs on the winter Solstice and is above all a positive thing. I just don't know where everyone gets this doom and gloom prediction of the world, but it is amusing, none-the-less. However, the Mayan calendar hasn't anything to do with the end of the world or Armageddon. I find people who believe in this crap rather stupid (and if you'd seen the number of posts that mentioned that following yesterday's earthquake, well... you would see what I mean. Clueless...), and why not? I understand a certain amount of religious belief, but that kind of belief is beyond me.

The Mayan calendar has 21 December marked as the 14th b'ak'tun, a time of celebration for a new time period. The Mayans have never gone in for the "doom and gloom" new year predictions (I can't help but think that it's just some Roman Catholics that firmly believe we are meant to be miserable here on earth for the length of our lives - and having met Luis' family I have seen this in action). The doomsday folks (yes, the lowest common denominator) have claimed that the big deal is the big astronomical event coming up - the Sun lining up with the center of the galaxy.

Really? I mean, come on, really? Do you honestly believe that this has anything to do with anything other than a conjunction of heavenly bodies? If you do, it is time to sign your money over to the latest loser predicting the end of the world, who will of course live high on the hog while you are stuck alive and penniless... but you deserve it in this case. Really? I can keep on asking this forever.

And then there is my slice of heaven for 2012 - the Part II of Venus' transit across the Sun. I actually cried with joy to see it. The Mayans, by the way, loved Venus and knew her 8 year cycle practically to the minute. I love the Mayans - any group that looks upon the planets as I do is a culture I want to know more. Look at Stonehenge - which I've been to and just loved. Imagine people who found the one of two spots (that's right, just two spots on the whole planet) where astronomy is accurately predicted for all events. And then they moved rocks so enormous and weighty that no one can figure out how they got there and set 'em all up to do just that! Aren't these people you'd love to meet and chat with? You'd better believe it!

Knowing white man, we probably killed them all off.

Anyway, Venus this coming year will have its best year in our lifetimes. Considering how much of Venus I have seen and loved, that's saying a LOT. I had mentioned yesterday that she will be returning from her superior conjunction behind the sun in December - she'll appear just 10 degrees above the land on 1 December but will double her height by 31 December and reach a dazzling -4.7 magnitude for the winter and spring, before going into her inferior conjunction in front of the Sun. She returns in July as the morning star at a still brilliant magnitude and unusually high placement in the early morning sky. I love this and this one thing about not working - I can see all the astronomical events without having to worry about timing and planning work schedules.

The big news about astronomy in general and Venus in particular is Part 2 of her transit across the sun. An event that occurs every 121 and a half years, then twice in 8 years, then every 117 and a half years, it did not occur in the 20th century (the last cycle before Part 1 in 2004 was, I believe, 1888. (I should check that... 1874 and 1882, I was close.) The next recurrence will not be until 2117, and it is a very safe bet I won't be around for that unless I end up with a Vulcan's lifespan. It's a pattern that repeats every 243 years.

The 2012 transit will be visible all across the United States on 5 June, beginning at 18:04 EDT and is visible without a telescope (!) but will require strong goggles (you should not be looking at the Sun without very strong polarised glasses or like I have, the piece that goes over the viewer of my telescope. I still plan to use the telescope. It just has to be that much better! I had to use it on 6 June 2004. It was an early morning transit and not visible to the naked eye.

Other fun items this year include an annular solar eclipse - the last one was 1994, which I did see by creating a "poor man's telescope", taking two pieces of cardboard and putting a pinhole in the top piece. But it was visible in a strange, fascinating way, too... the air became... I don't know how to describe it... diffuse. Well, the light did. It was a bright, sunny day and I scheduled my lunch period to coincide with the annular eclipse. I was sitting there eating with Hillary, a friend of mine, and we watched the partial eclipse through my little creation - it's visible that a portion of the solar disk was occluded by the Moon. But the air quality changed and it was... weird. I don't know if I can capture it on film (well, by taking a video) on 20 May (in fact, I'm sure I can't because it won't be visible here), but I'd love to try. Unfortunately, the East Coast rarely sees the good stuff. GROWL.

Both the Perseid and Geminid showers occur in Moonless skies, giving a view unparalleled since 2000. Hopefully the weather, which has systematically blocked most of the best showers here for years, will give us break and remain clear.

The last detail - and this is really neat - is that all the high points of seasons' beginning are early! Due to the extra Leap Year thrown in 2000 to catch us up time-wise and the fact that 2012 is a regular leap year, Spring begins on 19 March; it's earliest arrival since 1896! The summer solstice occurs on 20 June instead of 21 June; the autumnal equinox on 22nd of September - also the earliest since 1896. Actually, the whole year's seasonal starts are early! Very cool.

What's not to love about 2012?

And the Interesting Times Continue...

That's right folks. If the arthquake we had yesterday wasn't enough, heeeeeeeere's Irene!

"If the Virginia quake wasn't enough, authorities warn residents to watch out for Hurricane Irene

The National Weather Service reports that Hurricane Irene—which already has rolled through the Bahamas—is expected to land in North Carolina by Saturday and then travel northward.

According to the AccuWeather website, Irene could "flirt with the Delmarva [peninsula] and New Jersey and then on to eastern Long Island and southeastern New England." The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management said via its website that the threat may be heaviest for shore areas, which could experience tidal and storm surge flooding.

NJOEM offers these tips to make sure you are ready in the case a hurricane hits.

  • Make an Emergency Go-Bag, which includes items such as, bottled water, battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries, non-perishable foods, and necessary prescription drugs. Remember to include extra cash in the event ATMs are not working.
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan, which will ensure your family members know where to go, whom to contact, and how to remain in contact should family members become separated during an emergency event.
  • Remember to maintain at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times."
I'm amused by the tip to have extra cash in case ATMs cease functioning. Where am I going to go shopping in the middle of a hurricane and why would I not be able to use my card? I might go out prior to the storm's arrival to grab a couple of things, but we're quite far inland and not in a flood area (we are surrounded by flood zones in New Jersey, but our house is well above the water line unless the entire ocean pops in to visit). Now, what are the odds?

Hurricane Gloria in 1980 was our last hurricane, so we are admittedly overdue for a visit from a hurricane. However, I well remember Floyd, although he was downgraded to a Tropical Storm when he made it to us. He did a huge amount of damage to the Bound Brook area, but other than some localised severe flooding here, not much happened. Flooding, in New Jersey, is normal.

So if you were ready to jump ship to get away from Armageddon, Cthulhu's visit or whatever other supernatural agency you wished to attribute yesterday's very minor (here) quake, now you may want to consider it more seriously!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Quite A Day!

It started just like all my days do. Get up in pain, get a bagel, take meds, take nap, feel much better. Not terribly exciting, is it? Especially the initial waking. But it got much more interesting in rather short order.

I was wide awake and doing various things online, when suddenly both cats jumped up, gave a weird undulating sound - I've never heard a living thing make such a strange sound - and disappeared downstairs like bats outta Hell! It was bizarre. I didn't have a lot of time to really contemplate what that was all about, because moment later the couch was suddenly gently shaking from side to side. I was struck silent, listening for any outside sounds - a truck rolling by, a low-flying plane, but it was still - that eerie stillness that could only mean an earthquake.

I looked over to see the hanging chair swaying and in a clear container Luis left out with red soda in it, there were constant ripples - and I began timing the quake. I knew I'd go on line to report it as soon as it was over, and that is one of the questions the USGS asks - the length of the quake.

That was 13:51 today. It lasted 28 seconds.

I remember it from the last time, in 2002 - no more cacophony of birds, no cars or trucks or airplanes in the suddenly crazy-quiet stillness which is the complete cessation of sound. Nothing else sounds like this - there are always outside noises that we are accustomed to or learn to tune out. But in an age of electronics whining, appliances humming, air condition thrumming, the sudden stop of all of that was shocking, like being struck full-on by icy cold water.

That is the cornerstone sign - for me - of an earthquake.

I have experienced four earthquakes in my lifetime: two in my senior year in high school in 1986 around the month of May. The first one was at dawn and my waterbed was just ever so slightly moving. So was the light hanging over my bed. Eerie...

A couple of days later I was in the shower just after dawn and the water suddenly came out in fits and spurts... it was very strange. I wasn't in a room where I could see other objects moving but I wasn't thinking about earthquakes at that moment. But when I went to my astronomy class at the Garrett Mountain Reservation and Observatory, it was right there on the seismograph slowly spinning. They both were. The first one was a 2.2 and the second a 2.6. I was amazed and thought it was really cool.

The third one was early one April morning in 2002. It was 06:20, Luis was asleep in bed one floor below (this was our 220 Camden Rd house, not this house). I was up in my office, working on a letter to one of my penfriends. I was working on my computer, when my then-cats (Ariel died at age 18 in June 2008 and Chelsea died September 2008, same age) jumped, let out a funny yowl, and both were outta there as though catapulted from the room. I didn't jump up to go after them, as that was when I noticed the other strange part of the tale.

I was sitting there wondering what that was all about, when I realised that something was wrong. I couldn't think what it could be - it was just this nagging feeling that something was really off. At 06:20, there are usually all kinds of signs of life. Usually the noisy chatterings of birds are very audible, and the background noise of Route 80 traffic over the sound barrier. But there was not a sound of any kind.

I looked up at my monitor and it was gently swaying from side to side. I watched as one pen rolled back and forth. I looked out the window, but the outside world looked at it always did. But I timed it - approximately 18 seconds, not long.

The moment it ended, the normal noises and sounds of morning were all back on with extra vigor - as though the birds were relieved no last damage had occurred. I was amused, I admit it. The earthquake was a 2.6 magnitude shake, very small, but the epicenter was Plattsburgh, NY, not more than 4 or 5 hours north of here. That's quite close. The magnitude there was 5.5 and the shifting of the crust was very visible. Roads were destroyed by it. In our house, six hairline cracks appeared in the ceiling and walls of the living room, which had been painted just a couple of months prior.

I went on to the United States Geological Survey Web site and found a link to report the quake.

The quake today is estimated by the USGS to be 3.0, by far the most intense quake I've experienced. And it left some very minor cracks in the ceiling and a couple of newer painted rooms. I reported this to the USGS as soon as I realised it was an earthquake (it didn't take long to recognise what was happening). It's very easy to report:

Go to www.usgs.gov
Scroll down to the link Did You Feel It? and click on it.
Fill in all the information.
Click on SUBMIT when finished.

That's it. It took about 10 minutes total to report it, I just needed to walk around and assess any new damage (the house is my age- 43 years old - and some cracks exist due to normal settling. But I found three new ones and an old one that has another 3" to it now. For a 3.0, that is not bad. I plan to take images of the cracks to document the changes just in case there is another quake and something needs to be done at some point. That seems unlikely, though.

When I went onto Facebook and mentioned it, no one had said anything but not long after, strings of comments began to appear. For some it was scary, others amusing, but most knew what it was. I loved it - I'll be honest - both from the standpoint of being fascinated with plate techtonics and also the knowledge that earthquakes relieve building pressure in the crust, and a few minor quakes once in a great while beats the hell out of experiencing something with a very damaging magnitude of 6.0 or higher. Look at how many places have had deaths from earthquakes because the pressure reached a point where the epicenter was dangerously high and also had stronger P waves, the damaging part of the quake. Here a 3.0 is just letting off a little steam. No one died, no one was hurt.

After I ate my lunch, I decided to go turn into a parsnip in my hammock and made the comment on Facebook that maybe another quake would roll through and move the hammock for me (most people liked the humour). I didn't expect any additional quakes or aftershocks (we are too far from the epicenter to really have that) and nothing happened. I imagine in Virginia, where the quake originated as a 5.9 (yow!) they had some minor aftershocks.

I stayed out in my hammock until 21:22 - I came in once to get more water and hook up power to there for my flagging iPod around 17:45 and then I popped in around 20:10 to put on warmer clothes. August is like that - I was roasting at 16:30, freezing by 19:45. It got very cool out there. But I love August, with the changes from day to night. It was like watching the changing of the guard. Slowly the birds disappeared and gave up their conversations to the silent quick movements of the bats getting their breakfast of insects; the normal insects of the daytime like crickets gave way to the concert given by the cicadas; the blue of the day time sky morphed into the purply-black canopy of night with stars - Polaris being the first - popping out to populate the panoply. It was lovely.

It is still summer, but with the promise of autumn now in the evening air. The best time of the summer and my favourite time just behind October with its brilliant autumn leaves and brisk but comfortable weather.

Venus has now gone behind the Sun, ending her tour as the Morning Star, but will return brilliant and beautiful once more as the Evening Star come December. Jupiter is really the only bright planet now, rising before 22:00 and prominent and brilliant in the sky through 28 October. Then he will dwindle and not be so close and bright until 2022. Saturn was well visible until now, setting around 21:30, especially since it is coming out of its 29-year cycle where the rings have been edge-wise for the last six years. Now the rings are finally opening up again. Mars has been rising around 02:00, so is not visible to me most of this summer. But he will brighten dramatically in December and be visible the whole night.

And that was my very good day!

Monday, 22 August 2011

You Are Just ASKING For It...

Here is an article that came in today's Parsippany Patch e-mail:

'Parsippany Township Council President John M. Fox announced he's leaving his council post as of Sept. 1 to take a seat on the Morris County Board of Elections.

For Fox, the invitation to play a new role in government comes at a good time. Paul Carifi Jr. defeated Fox in his bid to retain his council spot in the June primary election, and his term was slated to end in December.

"I feel so fortunate," Fox, 69, said. "This will allow me to continue in public service for a couple more years." Fox said he received a call late last week from Elections Board Chairman John Sette, who asked Fox if he would be interested in joining the panel. "This was not an easy choice. I thought about it for a day," he said. "The governor's office said I couldn't hold elected office while being on the board, and I felt bad about resigning early. But I figured I was leaving in December anyway."

Once Fox made up his mind, he said, Gov. Chris Christie approved the move. Fox will fill the unexpired term now held by Marilyn L. Cioffi, who is stepping down from the board.

"That term will end in March, and I should be re-appointed after that," he said. Parsippany's Republican Municipal Committee will submit the names of three candidates from which the Town Council will appoint a replacement to fill Fox's unexpired term. "This should give a leg up to Paul [Carifi Jr.]," Fox said. "Chances are he'll be appointed and that will give him a leg up in the [November general] election, so he can run as an incumbent councilman."

Fox has a long history of serving the public. He is now ending his first term on the Township Council. Prior to that, he spent a decade as a Parsippany police officer, 17 years as county sheriff and three years on the county's Board of Freeholders. He's been a Parsippany resident since childhood.

Fox said he looks forward to what lies in the future.

"The board of elections meets once a month. We answer complaints and look into things like voter fraud," he said. "We also oversee elections. We spend all of election day at work. It's a long day, but it's an important job." Fox said he will miss life as part of the Township Council, though.

"It bothers me to leave, but you know the old saying," he said. "God closes a door and opens a window."'

Now, when I recieved the e-mail, it showed the heading of the article, this guy's picture and the comment above. My first thought was, "Then jump out the window." Maybe that doesn't sound nice, but then when have I ever had a charitable comment on politicians? (The answer, in case you are unsure or wondering, is never. Not ever. They are all lying, cheating scum. It just cannot be helped. Maybe, just maybe, someone started out well, but eventually if they succeed at all, it's because they've gone to the dark side of the Force... "Luke... I am your fahhhhhther...")

So I just couldn't help it. And before I knew it, I commented on the article: "I think God had something in mind when he opened the window..." Oops. Was that my out-loud voice again?!

Don't make dopey comments like that. God undoubtedly sees politicians just as I do and opened that window as an invitation...

Monday Mayhem - Just Another Random Monday

1. What is your favorite day of the week?
My favourite day when I was working was Monday. It was the day I ran the payroll, so it was structured and quiet - no one wanted to interfere with my running that! Once the payroll was complete it was gloves-off time and back to the normal HR insanity.

Now, I could not tell you. I suppose Thursday is my favourite day, when I go to visit my old crew and we chat. I miss riding on the rig terribly. I miss riding with Bob, Colin, Luke and Kyle. I miss it all. Being retired, one day rolls into the next without meaning.
2. What kind of restrictions should there be on wearing Speedo swimsuits?
I would like it if there was a physique requirement. You know, if you are 5'6" and 300lbs, the sales person has to tell you, "I'm sorry, I really cannot sell these to you. Let's have a look at these nice knee-length shorts without the stripes, shall we?" Also, if we can can count the number of hairs... on... uh, you get the idea, then they are too thin. BUZZ! Go back and try again, please.
3. You know how there are the so called "fashion police"? What kind of police would you like to be part of and why?
I would be a part of any police organisation - men in uniform, yay! The number of offenses people commit in any setting would keep any group of police busy!

Maybe the fashion police would be fun, though. How many people do I see and think, "Damn! Do you NOT own a mirror? What is this?!" People with tires around the midsection wearing a belly shirt.... BBBR-R-R-R-R-R-R... Or with a huge ass stuffed into a pair of too-tight stretch pants. What are thinking? Are you thinking? I may not be a fashion plate, but yikes!
4. What is you best comeback for a totally self-absorbed narcissistic individual?
Fortunately, I don't know too many totally self-absorbed narcissistic individuals but usually after meeting one and hearing the self-aggrandising stories, I say, "Aren't you just a god[dess] and leave. By that time I've swallowed enough.

I guess like anyone else I use the word "I" too much but I can tell stories where I'm the butt of the joke and I can tell plenty of stories without me as the main character. That has to be okay. I rode with someone that told every story as though he were the only one saving lives on the crew. Shut up. It's a group effort.
5. Have you seen any good movies this summer? Which one(s)?
I saw Cars II and loved it. Sadly, nothing else that is animated came out yet, so that is all I've seen. Luis, my husband, has seen so many movies (while eating the unbelievably priced junk food) that I wonder if Patrick's post on telly being worse for one than smoking applies here. Probably. In which case, he should have keeled over 20 years ago!
6. What restaurant meal should we stay far away from?
I went to a wine tasting dinner once and flatly told Luis I will never go to another one. This is supposed to be high-end dining, but when I was presented with a quail with the little teeny bones on the OUTSIDE of it, I said never again, while turning green. Ugh. It was disgusting.
7. What brand of toilet paper do you highly recommend?
Anything that is soft and two-ply. What are businesses thinking, using crappy one-ply toilet paper? Really. Consider normal people, please.

Monday Mayhem - We're Ticked Off!

1. What made ticked off the most yesterday?
Um... I don't know if anything did make me ticked off yesterday. I don't think I was ticked off yesterday for any reason.
2. What ticks you off about your local mail service?
Well, nothing. Parsippany mail is excellent and I love our mailman. He's the bee's knees. However, the Springfield mail service is awful - I know this personally from my five and a half years working there and still - I just got something on Tuesday that was mailed out on 26 July. Unbelievable!
3. What ticks you off about the opposite sex?
Isn't that a little broad? I wouldn't accuse all men of doing or being one way. I can say that Luis pissed me off a couple days ago, but I've forgotten what it was. (It's good to be me in some ways, you know...)
4. What ticks you off about eating out?
The end of the meal, when you're waiting for the check and finished eating - I hate waiting to get out of the restaurants once we're finished. And it seems that once the serving of the food is finished, suddenly it takes forever to get anything. So it takes a long time to get the check, a long time for the check with card or money to get picked up, then a long time to get it back. LET ME OUT!
5. What ticks you off about the internet?
The only thing that ticks me off about the Internet is the amount of misinformation one can find. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
6. What famous person really ticks you off?

7. What ticks you off about people on the road?
Tailgating is the biggest offense, but there are a host of other offenses as well.
8. Name something about politicians that ticks you off.
What about politicians doesn't tick me off? Everything about them is just wrong.
9. Tell us about a story you have recently heard that really ticked you off.
I can't write about it. But it was terrible - depressing and it ticked me off.
10. Are you feeling less ticked off now?

Um, I guess so. Although answering #9 made me upset again.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday Seven #303

Here’s a topic that I think nearly everyone can work with.

Let’s say that you’re put in the Programming Director position for a classic TV cable network and you’re given an assignment: you must come up with a rundown of seven sitcoms for an all-day comedy block.

I know, I know, this is really a fantasy-type scenario because no reality shows are part of the mix! But work with me here, people. Let’s dream for a moment that somehow, it could actually happen!

Can you come up with seven classic sitcoms you’d love to watch over a 12-hour block or so?

Don’t worry about how many hours of each there would need to be. All you have to do is come up with seven sitcoms that could be used to fill the time. As for your definition of “classic” sitcoms, they can be as old (or new) as you wish, just as long as you feel the sitcom belongs in a “classic” sitcom block.

Easy enough, right? Thanks for dropping by!

  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!

Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:

Name seven “classic” sitcoms you’d schedule in an all-day cable network comedy schedule.

Uh-oh...

I am a snob - I don't watch sitcoms! If a show is 16 minutes long (commercials) and comes with a laugh track, I'm outta there! But I will try to think back to the days so long ago, when I did watch some of them.

1. The Monkees

2. Fraiser

3. The Big C (it's on HBO, but otherwise it is about a half-hour and has serious and light moments).

4. Happy Days

5. The Addams Family

6. M*A*S*H (with Charles Emerson Winchester III; not Frank Burns)

7. Danger Mouse (gotta love Penfold!)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thunderstorms Galore!

There are none scheduled for tonight.

Tomorrow, however...

(This is my image but it is from 2002 - it is bloody hard to get these kinds of stills.)

On Thursday night at 2200, I heard the long, low rumble of not-to-distant thunder... a sound that always brings joy to my heart! I live for thunderstorms - the bigger, noisier, more dramatic, the better! I look forward to summers for this more than anything else. I just delight in the windy, wily, wild weather. I tend to be a person of extremes (although I'm not wild about extremely cold weather - there I draw the line), so if it's gonna be stormy, it has to be WOW stormy. If it is gonna snow, it should be a blizzard. Yup. Extremes are much more exciting!

So I listened for a few minutes - the thunder always precedes the light show. I could hear it with little silence in between rolling soft thunder. There was no lightning yet. But as the storm approached, the thunder was longer, rolling from side to side. We are only 300 feet above sea level and we are in a valley - not a big one, but the acoustics are such that we might as well be in a cavern. The peals of thunder slowly increased in volume, but were very long... very promising.

I sat down in one of my chairs in the back of the house, thinking that the cat would join me and we'd listen to and watch the storm roll through. But as I saw the first flashes of lightning, I realised that this was going to be quite a big storm. The thunder was now nonstop, just a lovely sound that swelled and ebbed like the tide of the ocean.

I took my camera and stood outside on my front steps, just under the eve so that if the sky opened up, there wouldn't be a problem with rain. Cameras and rain do not get on well.

I took several videos - the first one was too long (for others, not me), about 16 minutes long. The subsequent videos ranged from two to six minutes, all with booming thunder and an incredible lightning. This is what I've been missing this summer! We've really had delightful weather - warm to hot days with low humidity, so the storms have been few and far between. There is always a price to be paid of some kind. In a typical summer here, we usually have a lot more humidity. I really, truly hate humidity, but I know how thunderstorms work - humid air is the corner stone of a good storm. By the same token, this summer will not provide a strong, colourful, brilliant fall - I hate to say it, but it is true. A wet, rainy summer makes for a vibrant, beautiful autumn. But who wants a wet, rainy summer, right?

Well...

Okay, not even me. But back to the weather.

This storm lasted through 2330 - few thunderstorms in this area last nearly that long. I thought of the golf course, and how much they love storms with lots of rain. There wasn't lots of rain, but there was the steady rain, not damaging torrents but a good steady falling throughout. That and it happened at night (golf is never a night sport), so it was perfect.

It really was. Most of the lightning was sheet lightning, but more localised - not the whole sky, but little sections that lit up like daytime! It was beautiful. And there were some bolts of lightning, not a lot. Just enough to keep things interesting - a lot of cloud-to-cloud lightning. Just lovely!

And finally, at long last, it slowly moved east. I watched the whole thing from start to finish. It was great.

I went to bed around 0100, satisfied and very happy.

Yesterday I was in my hammock for the afternoon. I knew there would be a chance of storms, but I figured it would not happen until at least 1800 or 1900. It was beautiful, sunny but dry (hey, 46% humidity is dry here), just perfect. I napped in the hammock for the first hour or so, then read for an hour and a half, then a lot of singing until the sky began to first cloud up to the northwest - I guess around 1715. By 1750, it was black to the northwest, never a good thing. The worst storms brew up from the northwest.

I went to the squad house to visit the crew and see the storm from the bays. The view is better and the bay doors are huge, so I can capture the whole vista. I did get some good videos, but stupid me - I didn't bring extra batteries and the batteries in the camera died mid-video. By then it was pouring - and this was not the gentle rolling thunder and sheet lightning of the previous night. This one was a boomer - it came screaming out of the northwest and howled down upon us with no mercy. The lightning was incredible - cloud-to-cloud, then cloud-to-ground massive bolts with the crackling preface of close-by hits. And finally, it happened.

Right around 1930, the police called out Districts 4 and 6 for a possible working structure fire. Possible means there's smoke and signs of a fire, but flames have not been spotted. A few minutes later, dispatch called out for Boonton Kiwanis fire and Pine Brook. The primary crew began mobilising to go to Vail Road. I, of course, am grounded and couldn't go. GRUMBLE...

We ended up sending out all four rigs and later Montville and someone else was invited to the party. I don't know when the rigs returned and the fun was over, but I missed it all. I hate not riding.

I need to download the movies and clear the camera. Those videos are going to be wonderful!

Saturday 9: You've Lost that Loving Feeling

Welcome to Saturday: 9.

What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

1. In a relationship, have you ever hung in even when you knew for sure it was over? Once and I will never do it again. It's like being mired in mud and knowing I am going to sink. I hated the feeling and won't do that to myself ever again. No one is worth it and I know when it is time to move on.

2. If you had the ability to perpetually alleviate any pain on your body, what would it be? Wow. I have muscular dystrophy, so there is pain almost everywhere. I would have to say my back but I would make sure that it meant cervical to sacrum to cover the whole thing. That would help a lot.

3. What place would you visit if money were no object? I would be on the next shuttle to the Moon. All I've ever wanted to is to be on one of the Apollo missions to the Moon (except Apollo 13, which clearly didn't work out well.). So since the Russians still offer space shuttle flights to the common masses, I would go. However, they are not doing manned Moon landings, so we would have to fix that first.

As for vacations on Terra, well... I'd go everywhere. How on the beautiful planet can you only select one place? Every place I have been to has had its magic, its unique qualities, etc. I'd go everywhere and make sure I had armed guards where I'd need them.

4. What is one thing you would love to change about yourself? The muscular dystrophy. I'd give that up in a moment. I used to whinge about my weight but I know what is my priority list now, having had this wretched disease take my life away from me one piece at a time.

5. Do you think your parents were too strict growing up? My parents were the coolest ever. They were never unfair. They never believed in the united front business that so many parents engage in. (The united front idea really leaves the kid(s) feeling as though no one is ever on his or her side. My mother hated that idea and she was right. I sometimes got to do something I wanted if one parent won over the other; sometimes not. But they were always fair.)

The best thing they did for me was their attitude toward the more difficult issues: sex, drugs/alcohol, etc. Their take was that they expected I would want to try things out. They asked me to do these things at home, when they were home. That way, if things got out of hand (regarding sex) or I started to get sick (drinking), they'd be there to help me. Tell me how many other parents did that. I did not have sex until the day before I turned 18; I always had safe sex; I never drank to get drunk and only tried marijuana - never had the urge to try more.

6. In general, how many old friends do you have that you talk to at least once a year? I have no idea, I don't keep track of that.

7. What was the last compliment you received? Um, this morning. The dental hygienist, Diane, was thrilled at how I'd taken my tooth-brushing so seriously and she really was impressed. It was fun!

8. Have you ever told someone you loved them but didn't really mean it? Once, and I won't do it again. I was 19 when I did it and it was a mistake.

9. In your opinion, would it be harder to lose someone close to you more as a child or harder as an adult? Oh, much harder as an adult, I would say. I'd be closer to them. Friends I had a kid and haven't spoken to in years I would feel sad; someone I am close to now, I'm heartbroken. I've lost several very close friends over the years to different things. The last close death was in April of this year. It was awful. The friend of mine was exactly ten months younger than I.

Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday Six Episode #384

I’ve been battling a sinus infection for the past few days, so my posting hasn’t been quite as frequent as normal. But I can’t miss an edition of the Saturday Six!

So before I take a little nap, here is this week’s set. Thanks for dropping by!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. You feel a sniffle coming on: what’s the first thing you do to avoid a cold? I try to use Airbourne, the fizzy tablets that a teacher invented a few years ago to counteract all the contagion in classrooms. It works very well as a preventative measure but also if you take it within the first hours or two of symptoms appearing. I am a very suspicious person of these odd remedies, but it works really well.

2. Once the cold hits for real, what over-the-counter medicine are you most likely to turn to? Hmmm. I'd have to say most commonly I use Benadryl or Actifed (is that it? I don't recall). They are all the same, really.

3. How often will you just suffer through a cold without any medicine? Yes, for the first three days I do nothing but blow my nose and prop myself up in bed to keep from feeling like I'm suffocating. I drink a lot more hot tea than usual. If the Airbourne doesn't work in the first day, I let me body fight it. I always felt immediately running to the medicine cabinet is a bad idea; then I read an article that stated the first 72 hours should be left to your body to employ its arsenal to fight it. Then if it is not getting better, bring in the big guns.

4. What does it take to persuade you to finally go to the doctor for a bad cold? Two things will make me do that: 1. a fever over 100.5 F or if the cold moves into my lungs. I had pneumonia when I was 4 years old, my lungs can't handle too much abuse. For that, to the doctor I go.

5. Are you more likely to go to the doctor or call in sick for a day at your workplace? I am likely call out sick for two reasons: 1. give my body the rest it needs to fight the infection and 2. to show that coming in sick is not helping anyone. It never worked, though (#2) - people would come in terribly sick, spread the illness and then leave departments in a bind when too many were down with it.

6. Which medicine has the absolute worst taste you’ve ever encountered? I don't recall the name of it... I had all kinds of issues with chest infections - bronchitis, strep throat, etc. I also hated swallowing pills - I refused. So my mother was forced to either find the liquid form, if there was one, or crush the pills into applesauce. Well, one cough syrup/expectorant came in liquid format and it was... was... despicable. Disgusting. I wretched every time I took it and there was nothing in the form of food or drink that would overpower the taste. It was THAT bad.

Abercrombie & Fitch Dis "The Situation"

I began this post on the 17th, but I forgot to return to it since.

All I can say, its about bloody time someone else saw the embarrassing nature of this hideous show and its cast of subhuman characters for what they really are. I know having sponsorship of one's show is vital to its continuation, but I sincerely hope this is the end of the line for these losers. I just hate that the worse kind of people represent New Jersey on television.

While it has appeared that the idiots in this show could do no wrong (no matter how often Snooki drank in public, made the stupidest of comments and dissed police in Italy). I am gratified to see at least one company taking a stand against them. I don't know what specifically Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino did to piss off Abercrombie & Fitch, but he really must've put in a huge effort to do it. Sponsors usually really have to be pissed off to pull out its support or to tell a group of telly losers to stay out of their store when they did not have a relationship.

Here is the article I saw:

"Jersey Shore's "The Situation" is known for many things… His jaw-dropping, horrifically embarrassing Roast to Donald Trump, his love affair with Snookie, his blow out hair, an affinity for tanning booths, clubs and the gym… Abercrombie added one more thing to the list. His wardrobe, (and that of his cast-mates) which consist of their merchandise. Abercrombie has kindly asked them to stop wearing their brand. Moreover, they've offered "substantial payment" if they would keep their skin-tight Abercrombie tees in the closet.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), whose clothes often advertise their brand in big hard-to-miss lettering, has received a lot of exposure from the Jersey Shore cast members over the years. The show has 4.8 million viewers after all. One might expect the free marking to be advantageous.

Yet appeal to Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino (and the rest of the cast) to stop wearing their brand was explained in a Tuesday press release:

"We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans." Is this a clever PR stunt to catch the attention of the fans during back-to-school season, or is the teen fashion icon serious about "significant damage" the show is causing to the brand?

As the A&F situation stands now, the market value of Abercrombie fell 8.2% in the first trading session since the announcement, from Tuesday's close at $71.02 to Wednesday afternoon's $65.20. Analysts are not quite sure if the situation is a response to Jersey Shore's dedicated fan base, or more likely, higher economic factors including steep back-to-school sale discounts that dig into profit margins.

The cast of Jersey Shore is not known for their adherence to laws, so it remains to be seen if they will adhere to A&F's request."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I know that this country is predicated on freedom - freedom to make crappy television, freedom to portray a state as being full of morons... but hey, do you see what kind of commentary comes up with New Jersey? The armpit of the nation; the garbage pit of the Northeast; the insults are endless. I've lived in New Jersey all of my 43 years and I can tell you that while it is true there are dumps in the northeastern part of the state and the six northeastern counties are mostly concrete, there are so many wonderful parts, too. And all within a fairly short drive. The southern pine barrens and covered bridges are there, but I don't need to drive nearly that far to see gorgeous nature, incredible history, all kinds of interesting tidbits.

And we have Weird New Jersey, too! Your guide to all things strange and unusual about the Garden State.

And we do not - I repeat, NOT - have The Situation, Snooki, J-Lo and the cast of losers (they are came from New York, except one - I don't know which one). I suppose they have their fans but frankly, why? Outside of Bayonne, no one talks like them. This was a problem with the Sopranos, as well. I know no one who speaks like they did. The boardwalk of Seaside is tacky (what boardwalk isn't, though) and yes, it is infested with teens, but that is normal, too. Teens and young college age kids go there a lot, usually for the weekend, maybe once in a while for a week, and then they turn back into normal people.

The cast of The Jersey Shore lives every day as if this is normal. I went to Seaside Heights plenty of times and did all the usual teenage stuff minus the drinking/drug use. The ocean is only ever one and a half to two hours from me. I'm very familiar with the area. And I know the types that go there. Once we get to our forties, we usually head farther south along to the shoreline - Deal beach, Barnegat Bay, and for really classy ocean area and history, one goes to Cape May. Cape May has a boardwalk area, too, but it is more upscale and pleasant. Most of us kind of outgrow Seaside Heights after college age.

I'm pretty happy with this snub. I hope this show crashes and burns. I wouldn't mind seeing the housewives show do the same. I know there are people like that everywhere, but sheesh, this is not the norm, either. People like that tend to be reviled by us nice, normal New Jerseyans. Most of us have no real accent (in comparison to the Bayonne or New "yawk" accents that show up occasionally come out); most of us blend in with the crowd, don't get in all kinds of trouble with the law and are at least nominally educated.

I hope more stores dis the Jersey Shore folks!

Friday, 19 August 2011

W.T.F. Meme - Shooting Marshmallows While Living in a Zoo

Just a quick note: I want to thank my boyfriend for helping me write some of these questions. After a crappy day, I really needed help with questions ...

1) If you were forced to live for a year in a shopping mall, a museum, or a zoo, which would you choose and why? Oh, the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan. Without a doubt. It has everything - decent food, all those cool weight measurements for each planet and moon, goodies in the shops, a year there would be fun!

2) If there was a male version of Victoria's Secret, what would you think it should be called? Hmmmm. John's Open Viewing. Men probably couldn't keep sexual conquests and weird under garments a secret, ha, ha!

3) My boyfriend says he wants Weezer's song "Death and Destruction" played at our wedding. What would be a song you'd never expect to hear played at a wedding? Anything by Eminem. Not romantic... unless you're really angry.

4) If your brain worked like a cell phone and could have applications, what three apps would you most want to be able to run inside your head? Interesting question. I have a very basic phone, so I know very few apps. Sky View is one. I'd have to have that. Um... well... is Facebook considered an app? Probably not. I guess just Sky View will have to do.

5) You're feeling the desire to act like a kid again and you've been challenged to a "gun" fight. Which do you choose -- a water gun, a Nerf ball gun, or a gun that shoots marshmallows? A gun that shoots marshmallows! Definitely - how cool is THAT?!

6) What is your opinion of pet cemeteries? Pet cemeteries are WAAAAY too expensive and I consider them the same way I consider people cemetaries... a waste of good earth. Although it is funny I should say that, because I love perusing old burial grounds to read the 16th, 17th and 18th century headstones!

7) I woke up to discover that my new puppy had climbed into my laundry basket full of clean clothes and pooped. Talk about a crappy way to start your day. What is a sure-fire way to start your day off wrong? Waking up in agony... which, unfortunately, describes nearly ever day. So I get over it. You really can get over anything, you know.

8) How much money would a company have to offer you for you to agree to cover your personal car in an advertisement? I'm not sure how to answer this question. What do you mean?

9) If you suddenly found yourself living in a country (like North Korea) that is hated by pretty much the rest of the world, would you try to move or stay where you are and hope things get better? Oh, no, I'd have to get out. Then again, you are asking me a question that I am answering as an American, where I am a free person. If I were North Korean, I might feel that I would have to stick it out and hope for things to improve, since it is a Communist country and very hard to leave.

10) If you could choose between being invisible or being able to fly, which of these two superpowers would you choose? I would really want to fly - imagine being able to view the beauty of the world from a completely different angle! Oh, the pictures I could take! Invisibility would just get me in trouble. I can do that all on my own...

Friday 5 - 19 August

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Friday 5! Please copy these questions to your web space. Answer the questions there; then leave a comment below so we’ll all know where to check out your responses. Please don’t forget to link us from your website!
  1. What was your most memorable alarm-clock failure? Always in the spring, when clocks jump forward, although I do recall a couple of autumns where I ended up at work at 0500 instead of 0600!
  2. What item recently in the news do you find most alarming? I do my level best to ignore the news as mush as possible - it is all alarming, depressing... you get the idea.
  3. Of car alarms, burglar alarms, and smoke alarms, which do you consider most effective or useful? Oh, fire and smoke alarms by far. Many, many lives are saved that way.
  4. If the shoplifting alarm is tripped as you exit a store, what do you do? Go back to have the items in it scanned again to disarm the anti-theft device. (Every once in a while someone will say, "Don't worry about it, it usually goes off." and I wonder why they bother...)
  5. If you owned some kind of personality alarm to warn you upon first meeting someone of likely trouble in the relationship, what would be five qualities you’d set it to detect? Oh, what a neat question! Let's see... 1. serious mental issues, 2. gross dishonesty (I don't mean the little white lies acceptable to society), 3. people who tell me someone else said mean things about me and then say, "I thought you should know" when that other person is well within his or her rights to let off steam and expect I won't hear about it, 4. people who have serious money issues and 5. people who are alcoholics. Hey. You asked.

What I really wanted to ask was, “What is your favorite song by the Alarm?” because I really, really like that band, but that seemed possibly esoteric, so I resisted. However, please feel free to answer that question in the comments if you dig the Alarm the way I do. :)

Sixty-Eight Guns is the easy one, but I like Declaration, as well.

Thanks for participating, and have as unalarming a weekend as possible! You, too! I generally plan my weekends that way...!

Friday Fill Ins - 19 August

1. The only question is, will my friend come over to help me organise the junk room (that's right, a whole room full of junk! Why just have a drawer when you can give up an entire room?) and help me get the tossed goods out to a safe garbage pick-up point (that will make sense under #7).

2. What do I do in one day? This was on the form from the LTD people. The answer? Practically nothing.

3. Three things on my desk: At home... a couple of invoices, a heap of information about new ambulances and one candle burning: Bean Pod's Green Tea. At least it smells lovely in there!

4. Going to the grocery store is the one thing I HAVE to do today! Lunch meats, more decongestant (nothing like bronchitis in the summer to really bring one down), milk, etc. etc. etc...

5. I love playing with the cats. Fortunately, they love it, too!

6. Laying in the hammock with the latest John Grisham book overwhelms the senses.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Thai food and spending time with my old crew and then my husband, tomorrow my plans include attempting to clean out the junk room and making it impossible for the outlaw to bring back in everything I'm busting my butt to throw away, and Sunday, I want to go to the Renaissance Faire, if it is cool enough.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Booking Through Thursday - 18 August 2011

btt button

You’ve just had a long, hard, exhausting day, and all you want to do is curl up with something light, fun, easy, fluffy, distracting, and entertaining.

What book do you pick up?

One of two books: either something that is ...for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide to... books, because I do find them to be light, distracting and entertaining. I like learning, and this is light and fluffy learning. It is funny, easy to read and take in and one is not required to read it in order. I love these books and many an interesting tidbit I've learned from them. (Especially these subjects that in school the teachers sucked the joy out of such as history.)

The other books I really enjoy that are easy to read and I find to be light reading are the John Grisham books. I suspect that few will agree with my idea of light reading, but I find it so engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable that I consider it perfect for relaxing after a difficult trying day.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Real Post - Using Google's Chrome

I've switched to Google's Chrome from Mozilla's Firefox. What a mistake. I hate to say it, but it's true. It was a huge and weird mistake. There are some problems with Chrome that I can't work with anymore.

And so far, it has everything to do with blogging.

When I do memes, I copy them from the original blog to a new post on mine, and then fill in the answers. I go back to the original site, put in the comments my link and I'm done. Usually this works really well. Not so much with Chrome, however.

When I copy the text in Chrome, it pulls the colour of the background along with it. And then my blog uses the colour text I have set up, so now the text is invisible against the background colour of the blog the text came from... my blog has a black background, and almost everyone else's has a light colour. Not good.

This means I need to open a different browser to get the text to be visible on mine. Extra work for me.

The Chrome browser hates that I want to use the justify text button and not only does it not justify it, it lumps everything together, so nine questions, all nicely spaced apart, suddenly becomes one huge paragraph. Not cool, either.

There are other issues with it as well, but I can't think of all of them. I just know that this is not working well for what I for the most. Facebook is okay, but I blog primarily. That's my biggest source of writing and I enjoy it. But I can't enjoy it if it is so much extra work. I'll go back to reading - and quite frankly I'm reading so much that this is a break from it. Now I need a break from blogging!

So it is back to Mozilla's Firefox. I'd seen a piece on C-Net saying that Google's Chrome is the best browser, but I have put it to the test. It did not pass. Neither has IE - but Mozilla's Firefox is really the most proven and positive experience. Hello, Firefox - I'm back!

The Queen's Meme #89

Welcome to The Queen's Meme
7 Royal Questions on Tuesday

The Random Meme is well...random. Haphazard. No synchronicity. No rhyme or reason. I'm allowed once in awhile to be random. So I looked deep into the recesses of a tired pencil brain today and wrote down the first thing that popped into my head. That's a dangerous proposition.
I hope you enjoy this totally random meme.


1. What is your favorite summertime flower? One that I'm not allergic to... but I haven't found that flower yet.

2. Are you behind on your blog? Yes and no. I seem to be keeping up with some memes, but then I don't always post my usual musings. So I'm kinda sorta behind.

3. What has irritated you the most recently? My father-in-law, who lives with us, has suddenly been taking items I've put out to be picked up by the garbage men and putting them in his room. What the hell? I'm throwing out junk and he's bringing it in. It's not his garbage and if I find it out in our part of the house, it goes - but this time I'll put it in the squad's garbage container so he can't fish it out!

4. What was your last Facebook status post? Let's see - oh, yes:

You're a serial killer. Here are the rules: Go to your "profile" and look at your friends on the left side.


1st person is the one who turns you in: Colin Mellars

2nd person knows but doesn't tell anyone: Jaco Steenkamp

3rd person is your partner in crime: Peter Blin

4th person is your first victim: Aditi Parikh

5th person tries to kill you: Adam Sonzogni

6th person is the cop who arrested you: Jerry Hocek

7th person is your lawyer: Nicole Golden



5. When is the last time you laughed? Not long ago - maybe ten or fifteen minutes? There were some funny lines in The Client by John Grisham.

6. What can absolutely ruin your day? Believe or not, rain. I find it depressing and then I can't go lay in my beloved hammock.

7. What is the one thing that always brightens your day? When the cat comes to lay in my lap. She is just the most wonderful fuzzy creature in the world!

The Queen's Meme #90

Welcome to The Queen's Meme
7 Royal Questions on Tuesday

The first meme I ever did was The Book Meme in October 2006, tossed from the Philippines by a blogger named Lizza who turned out to be one of my best online girlfriends ever, even after all these blog years. She received it from a guy in England who talked about his underpants. Eventually I was crowned Mimi Queen of Memes by a man who wore underwear on his head.
But I digress.

The first meme I ever created was The Peace Meme. I asked people to tag 5 other people and we were on a roll. So to speak. Tagging is not so much an internet sport anymore but it sure was back in the baby days of blogging. Then I did the 9 Weird Things Meme in which I attempted to list 9 weird facts about myself. I thought it was scandalous but most people did not think I was weird enough. #1 was "I hate clocks." See? Not weird at all. Boy, have memes come a long way since!

**I know. You're wondering...will she ever get to the point?**
Well, the point is that since I've been revamping my blog, re-labeling, revising, editing photographs and sending some to the dump heap, I came across a gold mine of memes unheard of for years! Back then we listed things a lot. Tell me 3 Things You Did Today, 4 Things You Ate For Breakfast, 5 Things You Want To Say To Your Mother-In-Law etc. After a whole bunch of friendly tagging and whatnot in 2006, finally in January 2007 along came a question meme. I was tagged by Duchess Linda Upon The Thames (who wasn't a Duchess yet), Princess Sanni from Germany and Gemmolina who wrote a blog nobody could pronounce - all at the same time. So I named it "Triple Tagged and Slapped Silly." It was called the Silly Questions Meme.
I've taken one question from each of the first 7 question memes I ever did and put them into this meme.

Mimi's Old Memes Meme
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? (from The Silly Questions Meme)

Yikes!

2. Name something about humanity you absolutely hate. (from The Monday Melee Meme)

The fact that we want to go to Mars to terraform it for humans to live there. We have not done well with our planet and Mars is not our planet! Just because we live next door to it doesn't give us any special rights. Maybe when we stop breeding like rabbits and don't destroy everything that we touch, this may change, but I hope this program does not succeed for now.

3. What was the first lie your mother ever told you? (from Ten Lies My Mother Told Me meme)

She told me that she is taking care of her diabetes. The biggest lie ever told. And look at the lives hers is ruining now.

4. Name one thing you should never say around a Ouija Board. (from The Ten Things You Should Never Say Around a Ouija Board meme - from Frank @ Honk'n'Hollr)

I haven't the faintest idea. I find a lot of that hocus-pocus stuff doesn't work. People move the piece on the Ouija board.

5. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? (from the I Think I Caught Something Meme)

Um, Grapefruit body wash from The Body Shop.

6. If a doctor told you today that you were pregnant, what would you say? (The Honesty Meme)

When can we set up the procedure to make it go away? I'm available immediately. (I'm not kidding - I've never wanted to have kids. Not to mention what they'd be getting genetically.)

7. Are you in a complicated love situation? (from The Don't Call Me, I'll Call You Meme)

No, marriage is hard work but not complicated.