Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Interesting Stuff

Oceans aren’t only affected by winds and tides. They’re also mixed by jellyfish. That’s right, jellyfish. There was a study done that showed how far dye travelled when swum through. It’s now believed that movements of marine creatures play a much bigger role in distributing temperature and nutrients throughout the ocean than originally believed.

A toucan’s beak acts much like elephant ears in that it pulls heat from their bodies when temperatures rise. And you thought they were just to look cool!

Orchids are sneaky little devils. There’s one kind, the Dendrobium sinense that releases chemicals, mimicking the alarm pheromones produced by honeybees. Why would they do that? So glad you asked. Because the flowers have no nectar, thus no real bees. By emitting that scent they lure unsuspecting hornets into thinking they’re attacking honeybees and inadvertently pollinating the orchids. Pretty damn clever, aren’t they?

Ever heard of a tufted capuchin monkey? They’re cute little fruit-eating critters from South America. They live in groups of 7-30 and have a warning system of peeps and hiccups to alert each other of feline and serpentine predators. But that’s not all it’s used for. It seems some of these cuties issue false alarms when they spy extra-yummy food in order to hoard it for themselves. Yep, tactical deceptions aren’t just for humans anymore.

You guessed it. I got a new magazine!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hey Guess What!

I have a book releasing tomorrow! I love the characters in this one. They bickered within my head the entire time I was writing it. Talk about chuckling at inappropriate times! Click here to buy.

When Shane McKade wakes up trapped in a bed, handcuffed to Alyssa Campini, he figures things could be worse. She aggravates him to no end but sex with the sassy photographer is smokin’.

Alyssa met McKade while photographing street gangs, and the hot cop has been a thorn in her side ever since. His only redeeming feature is an ability to deliver twenty-four orgasms in twenty-four hours—if he can stop arguing with her long enough, that is.

Then Shane is shot protecting one of Alyssa’s gang kids. When both find their lives in danger, perhaps it’s time to stop fighting and start evaluating what they mean to each other…before it’s too late.

The clanking of metal against metal shattered the early morning silence. Shane McKade felt the stiffness in his shoulder and the pressure on his wrist as he tried, unsuccessfully, to lower his arm.

A feminine groan, followed by an extremely unfeminine string of obscenities, came from beneath the covers next to him. “What the fuck are you trying to do, McKade, pull my arm off?”

Shane’s brown eyes locked with luminescent green. He muttered his own set of obscenities. “Campini? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I was sleeping until you so rudely woke me.”

“This isn’t happening. I must be dreaming. Yeah, that’s it. I’m dreaming.”

“Why?” Alyssa Campini glared at him. “Is finding me in your bed so repulsive? That’s not what you implied last night.”

“Yes. No. Damn! I don’t fucking believe this.” Shane managed to sit up, relieving some of the tension on his shoulder.

Alyssa squirmed upward to face him. “What, exactly don’t you believe? The fact that we ended up here at all or the fact that I didn’t slink off during the night, as I assume, from your reaction, your other partners do? In case you haven’t noticed, that was impossible but if me being here annoys you so much uncuff me and I’ll go.”

“Uncuff you?” he said with disbelief.

“What?” she demanded, scowling.

“Me. Uncuff you. As in, you didn’t grab the key last night with the cuffs.”

His words sank in. “Where is it?”

“Over there, on the dresser, with my badge and cell phone.” He pointed to the other side of the room. “And, for reasons I’ll never understand, you weren’t happy to hook us to just the bed. No, that we could have managed. You just had to be thorough and loop the cuffs around the pipe too.”

“Why is that pipe there anyway?”

“It’s an old building, who knows?”

“Well? What are you going to do?”

“What am I going to do?”

“Yes, you. You’re the cop. Do something!”

“I’m the cop?”

“You know, McKade, this habit you’ve developed of repeating everything I say is getting old. It’s not helping. Can’t you pick the lock somehow?”

“I could if I had a paperclip maybe. We’re in bed, Campini.”

“I know where we are. Don’t you have something in your nightstand you can use?”

“I doubt it but shift your arm this way as far as you can and I’ll look.” Alyssa pushed her hand behind the pipe in order to give him as much leverage as she could. “Nothing.”

“Where’s your gun? I thought all cops slept with their guns under their pillows.”

“You watch too much TV. My gun is locked in my gun safe where it belongs. What good would it do us anyway?”

“You could shoot off the link between the cuffs.” Shane stared in disbelief. “Come on, McKade. Do something! You’re the cop.”

“You keep saying that like its significant. Yes, Campini, I am a cop. That doesn’t make me Houdini. You’re a photographer. Why don’t you come up with something?”

“Argh,” she growled in frustration. “This is all your fault!”

“My fault! You’re the one who snapped on the cuffs.”

“Well, you sure as hell didn’t stop me! In fact, you didn’t seem to think any of this was such a bad idea last night.”

“Yeah, well, it was different last night.”

“Why?” she demanded hotly.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was the romantic feel of the entire day or the moonlight on the patio while we were dancing or that you looked so soft and feminine in that dress.”

“Oh so that’s why you started kissing me.”

“No, I kissed you to stop you from biting my head off every other minute.”

“What’s your excuse for bringing me here?”

“Lust? Why did you come with me?”

“Your kisses had me hot. I wanted you. When I want someone and he’s willing and unattached, I see no need to be shy.”

“You, shy.” he snorted. “Now that’s a laugh.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

So You Want to be a Strongman?

You sure about that? There are now weekly competitions held all over the world so if you’re serious we can find you an event to participate in.

But you better be prepared. Just some of the things you’ll be competing in are the Pillar of Hercules where you’ll stand between two 350 pound leaning columns which you’ll be required to hold upright, the Truck Pull as in you’ll be strapped to a tractor trailer which you’ll need to tow. If that’s not enough for you there’s the Plane Pull. A 70-ton jet plane to be exact. Then there’s the Fridge Carry, two full-size refrigerators strapped to either end of a beam, creating a 900 pound barbell which is then carried over a 90 foot course. How about a Keg Toss? That one’s kind of obvious. And let’s not forget the Atlas Stone which is five increasingly heavier stones which again need to be toted along a set course.

My question, for those of you truly interested in participating in this competition is why? On the occasions when I’ve been flipping channels and come across one of these events I’ve paused and asked the same thing. Why would you want to put yourself through that? Yeah, yeah, I get the whole prestige about being the world’s strongest man but still I need to ask why? Can someone please explain this to me?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday's Expedition

Yesterday I went out and about. My intended mission was a total bust. Target didn’t have what I was looking for. Or perhaps they did. The store’s too damn big and I couldn’t find anything even remotely resembling what I wanted but maybe I was in the wrong section. Entirely possible I missed it altogether.

One thing about the new phone. It has a GPS locator on it. Good thing too. I turned it on in the store and was about to call for help getting out of there when I finally spied the glow of daylight coming in the entrance way. Whew. Nope, not a chance I’ll be going back there.

I had my camera with me so I went for little meanders along my way home. For those of you close to Reading, do you know there’s a flooded quarry right next to the Target parking lot on the Fifth Street Highway? So far it’s about 50/50 with people knowing what I’m talking about. Unfortunately there’s a fence around it so I could only get so close. But I’m sure, dressed properly that won’t be a problem so I’ll be going back.

I also stopped at a spot where the city’s been tearing down building since I spied some awesome graffiti. I wish I were taller so I could see it well. I didn’t have the nerve to climb the tractor trailer that was parked beside it.

But I did play with the railroad track switch. Yep, I can now work them efficiently. Oh wait. You don’t know about that one yet. Shh…

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just One Thing

Any of you who willing go out and wander through corn, as in corn mazes, are truly insane! What the hell is wrong with you people?


The things that live in that realm do not, I repeat NOT, want you there, stomping around their domain. They don’t appreciate your presence one bit. And sooner or later, you better believe they ARE going to do something to remove you from a place no business being in to start with.

There. I feel better for reminding you. If you go out there, you do so at your own risk because you have been warned. And if we don’t hear from you ever again we’ll know you ignored me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had to get a new phone. My key pad was cracking and I was getting a tad worried about being zapped since I tend to stand in the rain.

Of course they have changed/updated the selection of phones so mine is no longer available. Figures, doesn’t it? It fit perfectly in my hand and was balanced just right. I looked and compared and swore until I finally chose a new one that I thought would be equivalent.

Boy was I wrong! I hate it! Well, except for the shiny olive green that is. The rest… Blech! First of all it’s a little bigger and it doesn’t fit. The balance is off so it feels weird. It makes god-awful noises. The default message alert was a damn teletype sound! Can you imagine! The optional tones aren’t much better. And it only alerts me once so even at home I need to actually carry my phone with me. The old one could be set to go off at intervals so I could wander off without fear.

This new thing shouldn’t even be called a phone. It does so much other stuff I expected it to bring me breakfast in bed this morning. Perhaps if I hadn’t spent most of last night cursing at it, it would have. I’ll have to be nice to it tonight and then maybe it will. I’ll let you know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Other Writer News

My newest story has been accepted by Ellora’s Cave. Whisper and Sigh. Isn’t that a great title? It was suggested by a very dear friend and I love it!

What’s it about? So glad you asked. Like the way I did that, don’t you? Anyway, it’s about a woman so frustrated with her life she up and walks out one day. No idea where she’s going. Just hops in the car and drives. Gee, I wonder where that idea came from. Eventually she ends up on his beach and then things happen. Oh my, do things happen!

Ah, you thought I was going to tell you what sorts of things? Silly. You have to read it to find out. But I will add that there’s a whole bunch of really yummy stuff. How’s that?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just In

I got my first review for Questing and I had to share it with you. It's from Just Erotic Romance Reviews reviewer Marcy Arbitman. Thank you, Marcy!

Rating: 5 Stars
Heat Level: O

Kiley Fisher is a restaurant hostess who is seriously attracted to a long time customer. Jordan McKade has a wonderfully distinctive voice and is crazy about Kiley. Unfortunately, every time that Jordan tries to talk to Kiley, she stutters and her mind goes blank. Jordan works hard at helping Kiley get accustomed to him and she begins to talk to him. Jordan is an extremely wealthy man who has reached a point where he can pick and choose his own clients. How will Jordan convince Kiley that they were meant for each other?

Questing was an incredible book. I loved the plot immensely. The
characters, both primary and secondary, were extremely true to life. I expected them to step right out of the book. Plan time when you can read the whole thing because you won't want to stop in the middle. I simply adored watching Jordan slowly but surely convince Kiley that he loved her and that her nervousness around him was fixable. The secondary characters were friends of both Jordan and Kiley. There were several unexpected twists that worked out beautifully. I found myself crying during one of them. The sexual encounters were tremendously erotic. Once Kiley realized that Jordan was for real, she encouraged sex which he was more than happy to provide. Have a toy or a partner while you read this book, you will need one! Although hard to choose, I ultimately decided that Jordan was my favorite character. He was so kind and tender with Kiley. Kiley was wonderful as well. She needed help and Jordan was happy to provide. I know women just like her. I plan to look for other books by Ms. Huffert. I hope several of the secondary characters will have stories of their own. Enjoy this wonderful book, I sure did!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gotta Nap

Thursday, September 17, 2009


After weeks of hoping for the flan guys to be on the corner when I went home they finally showed up in my block. The city has decided they are no longer permitted to sell on street corners. And they are technically not allowed to go door to door either.

That's it. The last straw. No more vanilla custard flans ever? I absolutely positively have to move away from here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is This The Night?

A hush settles
Darkness falls
The world waits
Atmosphere, pregnant with anticipation
The mist vibrates, alive
Not swirling for there is no breeze
Pulsating expectantly
The leaves tremble on their branches though none fall
Fear holds them in place
Furry scavengers vanish in mere seconds, gone to ground, hiding
Suddenly, all is still

He is coming

Were anyone about the hair on their necks would stand on end long before his arrival
Chins would quiver
Hands would shake
But no one is there
Generations have handed down the tale of the atrocities done to any caught out
Legend, myth, story, conjecture
Exaggeration or truth, facts unknown
It’s been too long since the terror was faced for realistic details

Kiddies huddle, heads beneath the covers
Praying to every childhood deity, superhero, cartoon character they can name to be spared
“Don’t let the creature come for me
Please don’t let it get me
I’ll brush my teeth
And do my homework
And eat my vegetables
If only it passes me by”

The veil parts
Out he steps
Eerie shadows cast by the filtered moonlight
No one to see
The beast pauses
Head swiveling as if trying to catch a scent
There is nothing

An anguished cry pierces the silence, echoing ad infinitum
Tension builds, universally felt
After an eternity, the monster moves on
There will be no hunt
Not tonight
Not in this place

For the moment, they are safe
But don’t get lackadaisical
Never grow too confident
For he will return
And one day his appetite will be sated

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wandering Again

I went for a meander on Sunday and stopped by the fire tower on top of Mt. Penn. It’s a Reading landmark. It’s also recently been in the middle of some controversy lately. You see during the month of December there has traditionally been a cross lit on the side of the tower, visible for miles. It seems after all the many years it’s been there some people suddenly object to the religious connotations it bears and want it removed. Um, why? I’m not what anyone would deem religious by any stretch of the imagination but I have no problem with it. To me, it’s tradition, not religion and the hill will look wrong without it. Some things should be left alone.

Okay, enough of that. While I was there I made some discoveries. On the walkway leading to the door there’s an inlay of William Penn. Makes sense since its official name is the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower. Kinda cool! I wonder how many other Reading residents glance at the tower day in and day out without ever knowing it’s there?

The other thing I found was a stairway. It leads down the other side of the mountain and as far as I can tell, leads no where. Or maybe the path that was cut when the stairway was built is long overgrown. Still, I can’t imagine where it goes. There’s nothing but woods back there. On the side of a very steep hill. Maybe one day I’ll tell someone where I’m going and where appropriate shoes and do some exploring. On the other hand, I went down to where the steps turned while I was there and am already seeing them in my nightmares so perhaps it’s best not to find out more.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Apologizing in Advance

I’m really sorry but I have to share this. Practically every day, several times a day, I’ve been walking past this little patch of penises. I chuckle to myself each time.

I finally commented on them and no one else has noticed. For some reason that makes me laugh even more. Not sure why exactly. It just does. I guess I’m the only one who looks around as I’m on my way from here to there. Or maybe I’m the only one who thinks they look more like mini-penises than mushrooms?

I’m sad. It’s getting cooler and soon they’ll be gone. I’ll have to find something new to entertain myself with. Amazing! There is something I’m going to miss about summer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Thought

Walk with me
And let us see
All things ordinary
That there may be
Made glorious and pretty
Because of thee

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Anniversary

Today holds memories for so many of us. In addition to what you’d expect however, I am very grateful for the day. Why? Because my friend, Lisa is now 9 years cancer free. And the world is a better place for her being in it.

Lisa is a survivor in the best sense of the word. Throughout her ordeal, her spirit never waivered. She decided right on day one, yes, I was there when she got the call from her doctor, that she would beat it and she did, gloriously. She was determined to remain positive and she accomplished that like no one else I know.

Her sense of humor remained in tact. So much so that she bolstered others as they learned of what she was going through. Most anyone else would have been annoyed by the endless questions I asked her every step of the way but not Lisa. Some, we laughed over as intended. Some, she answered herself and some, she took along to her next appointment because they were things she wanted to know about too and hadn’t asked yet.

Lisa’s got the biggest heart imaginable. She’s the kind of person who helps anyone who needs it if she can. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we used to I know I could still call her any time day or night and she’d come to my rescue.

So today and every day, be thankful for your friends. Let them know how grateful you are that they are a part of your life. Also, don’t mourn for those who were lost. Honor them by celebrating their lives instead. Isn’t that what you’d prefer people do for you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Last week I leaned on a wall. Barely. And put a hole in it. Apparently water has been leaking behind it forever and the whole insides were eroded. But I’m the one who bumped it so I was the one who had to confess to the powers that be. On the phone. In the middle of something else because it was very noticeable and I couldn’t let them walk back into the office and see it without prior knowledge. The proper thing to do, right? It was fine and now, a week later there’s a brand new 4’x8’ section all pretty and painted. Problem solved.

Well, that one is anyway. Today I washed my hands before lunch as I always do and the faucet wouldn’t turn off. No matter what I did there was a continual trickle of water. Which of course was when the PTB happened to walk by. And I had to confess again. Yeah.

Getting just a tad paranoid here but can you blame me? I’ll let you know what malfunctions in my wake next and no, I won’t be at all offended if you don’t invite me over.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


“Your money or your life?” Kind of a dumb thing to ask someone, if you think about it, isn’t it? If you’re willing to kill someone to rob them wouldn’t you also be willing to riffle through their pockets after they’re dead? And who would ever choose to give you their life when faced with that question?

The other questionable phrase I caught was “On my bed in my bedroom”. Is it just me or is that a bit of overkill? I could see adding a location if it were somewhere other than expected. On my bed in the middle of the street, perhaps. But then, if your bed were there wouldn’t that technically make the street an ersatz open-air bedroom and therefore redundant as well? I’m just saying…

Yeah, I know. I gotta get back to sleeping instead of listening to the radio and letting my mind latch onto such things. At least I’m not posting the poetry I wrote last night. You’d really worry about me if I showed you that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plan B?

Last week the mayor announced a possible plan to help Reading out of its $15 million deficit. Are you ready for this?

Cutting 35 of 120 firemen, including one of three ambulance crews and 45 of 209 police officers plus 15 support personnel. That’s the proposal on the table but he has asked the unions involved for alternatives.

I don’t know about you but to me, this hardly seems like a good idea. Three ambulances are incapable of keeping up with the demand. The firemen and police are already overworked. It just doesn’t seem like the safety of the city is being considered here, does it?

Unless, perhaps this is the mayor’s way of pushing the unions to work with him to find a viable solution? I don’t know but I sure hope they come up with something better. Given a choice, I would rather be safe and protected and know help will come if ever I need it than have the bike path extended to connect the city with neighboring boroughs which is one of the local improvements that’s currently in process.

In other news, the story following that one on the radio was that a local politician who works damn hard has managed to secure a $1 million grant to finance the hiring and training of four new police officers. Now I can’t figure out if that’s before or after the proposed layoffs but maybe he could arrange for that money to go towards the deficit. Hey, every spare million helps, right?

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Always Something

I’ve been pardoned from dryer purgatory. A man appeared at the door, peered at it, and then spent half an hour on the phone since of course it is too old to be listed on his computer. He put the parts in and it worked just fine. Only there was no heat because he wasn’t authorized to reattach the gas line. Don’t quite understand that one since someone else within his organization disconnected it. But okay. I have a very capable neighbor who took pity on me and did that part. While his wife yelled at me for going to the Laundromat instead of coming next door to use their dryer. Yeah, I know. Not good at asking for much of anything here. But I did ask for help with the gas line so I’m learning. So that’s fixed. Yay!

Life should be good. Ha! That’s what you think. While on my way to Lowe’s to get a new vent hose since mine was really ratty, a warning light came on in Howie. Figures, doesn’t it? I checked and it’s a fairly important warning though it may be nothing. It’s got something to do with the electric power control. As I understand it, it’s the gizmo that makes the throttle work. Hmm, need that to function properly so tomorrow I’ll call for an appointment. What do you want to bet that it’s not covered under the extended warranty? Boo!

So how was your weekend?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Boring (but fixable)

Yep, that's me today. Add some spice and maybe I'll be better. Can I recommend cinnamon? Yeah, that'd be good. I'll be yummy with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I was driving up my street today after work and I heard beeping. Annoying as hell beeping. Like a smoke alarm battery going bad only every second beeping.

There’s been a car across the street that I suspected was either stolen or abandoned since it’s pretty beat up. It hasn’t moved in a month and it has an out of state plate. A bit of a nuisance but the tag expires at the end of this month so not all that bad.

Only now it’s beeping. Nonstop. I called the cops and it’s not stolen so they don’t care. I wonder how long it takes for a battery to go dead? I wonder if I’ll be able to convince the neighbor to disconnect it since the window’s open and it would be easy enough to pop the hood? I wonder if I’ve offended someone enough that the noise is counting down for a bomb? I wonder if the cops would be more interested if I alluded to that possibility? Kidding. I’m not that bad. Okay yeah so I do know someone who’s that mad at me today but I also know he didn’t have time to rig a bomb today so I’m not overly worried.

And you thought yesterday’s rhyme was bad. Just wait and see what I come up with after listening to this beeping all night.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


If wishes were fishes
And dreams came in teams
Would locusts be the focus
Of actors holding silver protractors?

If boils twisted in coils
And goats swam the moats
Would nuns tote lime green ray guns
As they swilled drinks in roller derby rinks?

If you put someone’s toes in your nose
And stood on your head while Proust was read
Would gophers sit on sofas
While mimes sipped poisoned beer through their ears?

If cats had sonar like bats
And hours were counted backwards on clock towers
Would lambs ride in prams
Whenever one-eyed raccoons bray at new moons?

If laws required dorks to carry personalized sporks
And May was one long endless day
Would sitting on a fence help this make more sense?
Hmm, I think it might but only if you’re also flying a fuzzy Hello Kitty kite.

That sums up my day quite nicely I think. Any questions?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


When do crickets sleep? Last night I was able to sleep without the fan, yay, and I could once again hear the crickets. All night long.

Last weekend I lounged outside and read a book. While there, a cricket hopped onto my foot and hung out for a bit before another cricket came by to get it. I think I was their designated meeting spot. My point, yes, believe it or not, I do have one, is that crickets are also active during the day. All day long.

So if they’re busy such little crickets all the time, when do they sleep? Perhaps that’s the wrong question. Perhaps I should be asking do crickets sleep instead. This is something I’ve never given much thought before, the sleep patterns of insects. How about you?