Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cool Pic

Yep, I took this.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Summer Project

Near the Beginning

Almost Done

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Go out and enjoy the foliage before Sandy gets here and blows all the pretty leaves away!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Doom, Gloom and Weather Drama

It seems to be that time again.  Time to make dire predictions that get everyone in a tizzy and send them scurrying to the stores for Armageddon supplies.

Hurricane Sandy is in the Caribbean.  There’s a cold front coming in from the west.  Current weather scenarios indicate that they will collide somewhere near the New Jersey coast during the next week or so.  Full moon is on the 29th so tides will be high.  Sandy holds the potential to dump 8-10 inches of rain.  Which could translate into many feet of snow if the front truly does its thing.

Depending on what track both systems take and where exactly they meet up things could get very, very nasty.  Okay, no denying that, best to be prepared.  I have nothing against reports that encourage that.  But the few I saw and heard before I got fed up and began ignoring them are, in my opinion, geared to panicking people.  They’re talking billions and billions of dollars, much more than the Storm of the Century, in damage with power outages that will last until after the presidential election.  Even if that’s the case I believe they could state it in a less sensational manner.

In disasters, isn’t it better to keep people calm?  Wouldn’t it be more conducive for safety to not create mass hysteria?  I’m not suggesting you not pay attention and take this threat seriously.  I just think it might be more prudent for the weather folks to be a bit more cautious in what they say.   Perhaps urge people to use some common sense.  Stock up on a reasonable amount of supplies.   Don’t drive through deep, standing water with live electrical lines that have fallen into them.  Don’t take your cute little sports cars out in a blizzard.

Think for yourself, people!  We’ve all experienced storms, rain and snow, before.  We’ve all lived through power outages of varying lengths.  We can and will deal with whatever comes our way.  If you have special needs, make sure they’re covered.  No need to become a bunch of lunatic sheep and wipe out everything in every store you’ve ever walked past, driven by or flown over.

As for me, I have a box of crackers and I just picked up a jar of Nutella so I’m all set.  An so you know, I have outside things to do that will take up much of Saturday so this whole mess will simply have to wait until I am finished.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am ANGRY!!!

After picking up Howie today I went off to Best Buy only because I was almost there.  I’ve decided to upgrade my internet and switch providers.  Several friends have good things to say about Clear, the price is reasonable so that’s what I went for.

I got there and a very nice man directed me to the Clear salesman.  He asked if all my devices were wifi compatible and then recommended a hub unit since my desktop is not.  It has Ethernet capability as well as wireless.  Sounded good so far since the places I take my laptop generally have wifi so I really don’t need to be my own hotspot.

Mr. Clear logged into the system to get me started and up pops a flag saying hubs don’t work with my address.  Hmm, okay.  The map however shows it does.  He switches to another screen which seemed to indicate it would work.  Fine.  I asked if I could trade gizmos if it didn’t work.  Yep, no problem.  While I was off paying I saw a Best Buy individual chatting with Mr. Clear and thought nothing of it.

Got home and guess what?  Hubs do NOT work at my house.  Back I went to Best Buy.  Angry!  Customer service woman was very pleasant and sent me to mobile department.  Curious but okay.  I ended up with an extremely nice, helpful woman by the name of Cora.  Off we go to the computer department where Mr. Clear has gone for the day.  Mr. Best Buy from earlier was still there.  He told me he tried to stop Mr. Clear from selling the hub to me because he knew it wasn’t going to work.  I asked why he didn’t tell me directly and the look said everything that needed to be said.  Mr. Clear would not have been easy to work with in the future had he done that.  Fine.  I get it.  However I think keeping customers happy would be a better policy.

Mobile Cora called Clear and got everything all switched around even though it turned out she generally has absolutely nothing to do with Clear sales or computer gizmos.  If I didn’t already have the wonderful Miss Amber as my mobile guru I’d definitely go to Cora.

After she had me all set to go I went off the find a store manager and lodged a complaint about Mr. Clear.  He was very nice and apologetic and said everything he should have said.  So.  If you happen to be considering switching to Clear and would buy the gizmo at the Best Buy in Wyomissing, PA seek out a Best Buy salesman to assist instead of Mr. Clear, log in bboy508.  Yeah, I pay attention to such things.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012



-          of no special or interest; commonplace; unexceptional

-          plain or undistinguished

-          somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre

-          customary; usual; normal

Synonyms  accustomed, customary, established, everyday, familiar, general, habitual, humdrum, natural, normal, prevailing, routine, run-of-the-mill, settled, standard, traditional, typical, usual

I was having one of those days.  So I had to check on this.  Nope, definitely does not apply to me.

Antonyms – extraordinary, uncommon, unaccustomed, unusual, atypical, exceptional, extreme, outstanding, original, rare, exotic, interesting, lively, foreign, novel, unique, individual, luxurious, exhilarating, imaginative

Oh yeah, that’s much more like it!  As I said, it was one of those days.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I suspect it is a Black Widow spinning a web that is covering an entire window at work.  I think I'll send someone else out to investigate.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Day

Howie was waiting patiently while I was roaming, taking pics. He decided he was neglected and needed some attention. So he refused to start. He was very happy to see the nice tow truck man. He got to go for a ride again. And then he made a new friend who will hang out with him until the nice garage people give him more attention. Hmm. Perhaps I should take him on a ferry boat ride now and then or arrange a trip on the auto train.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did You Know?

Play-Doh was originally a cleaner.  It was used pre-WWII when coal was the most common heat source to scrub soot off of wallpaper.  When natural gas replaced coal, Kutol Products, a soap manufacturer in Ohio, was on the verge of bankruptcy when one of the owners discovered his sister, a teacher, was using the material in her classes after adding almond scent to mask the cleanser smell.

The color mauve was the very first synthetic dye.  It was invented by accident when a chemist was attempting to create an artificial quinine using tar.  It didn’t work but he liked the shade of purple that resulted from his experiments.  Other purples were in vogue that year so he isolated the compound responsible for the color and named it mauve.

Corn flakes came about when the Kellogg brothers, medical officer and bookkeeper for a sanitarium, were researching a vegetarian diet for the patients.  They were trying to make a boiled dough as an easily digestible substitute for conventional bread and ended up with wheat flakes instead which they offered as a healthy snack.  They soon started their own company and tried different grains, thus the invention of corn flakes.  The brothers parted ways when one of them got bold and added sugar to some of the snacks.  Apparently it went against the original idea of creating healthy edibles.

Velcro was created by an electrical engineer after struggling to remove burs from his dog’s fur.  He examined the annoying seedpods under his microscope and found the prickly bits were shaped like tiny crochet hooks.  He decided a velvety material would work best to adhere it to and termed the combination Velcro.  It took over ten years to catch on and wasn’t popular until NASA began using it to adhere items in zero-gravity environments.

Popsicles were created by an eleven-year-old boy who was too preoccupied to finish making the soda he had started.  He left the partially mixed drink with stirring stick on the porch overnight and it froze.  Being a kid, he pulled the chunk out of the cup and licked it.  Seventeen years later he served them at a public function as a treat and they caught on.  His name was Epperson so he called the frozen delights Eppsicles but his kids weren’t happy with that and renamed them Popsicles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last Saturday

The Middle Child started her happily-ever -after.  She married her sweetie.  What a beautiful bride she was, gorgeous and serene, radiating happiness!  I’m so honored to have been invited to share in this special event in her life.

They are so cute together.  And well-matched.  When they went off to have their photos taken at a nearby park, Mr. MC was sweet and attentive, helping his bride into the car, making sure the dress was settled as well as Mrs. MC before closing the door securely behind her.  Later, Hubby was making a speech and became a tad emotional.  The Middle Child stood up, embraced him and very elegantly took over thanking all of us for joining them in celebrating their marriage.

Neeley and the Little One were bridesmaids so I got to hang out with them and their men too.  It was a wonderful evening!  I’m so proud of my girls and the women they have grown into.  Each is a unique and incredible individual. 

My girls, their men and the mom and dad who have so generously shared them.
Thank you, ladies for letting me be a part of your lives.  I look forward to seeing where you go next.  Knowing you as I do, I’m sure it will be far.  I love you.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Go... something.  Might I recommend one of my books?  Click on the links at the right to find them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beau's First Tale

Some of you may remember this since I think I may have posted it before.  But I don't think I gave Beau appropriate credit at the time so he decided I needed to rectify that.  He's holding the ending of his new tale hostage until I do so here you go.  Beau's first creepy little story.

Little Callie Winslow was walking home from school today.  She was all alone because her best friend, Bitsy who she usually walked with was home sick.  Being the good friend she is, Callie had Bitsy’s books with her so she could catch up on her homework.  Added to hers, her book bag was very heavy for such a little girl.
When Callie got to the path in the woods they took most days, she hesitated.  Everyone always said don’t cut through there alone and Callie never had.  No one she knew in her entire eight years of life ever had.  It was a bright, sunny day, Indian summer and Callie was tired.  She’d been going the long way around all week.  But she and Bitsy had walked through the woods together since they’d started school and nothing ever happened.  There was nothing scary in the woods so just this once Callie decided she would do it.  Who would ever know?
Little Callie Winslow looked around to make sure no one was near. It would be just like the older boys to sneak up behind her and try to scare her if they saw her going into the woods alone. She saw no one so she stepped off the road and started up the path.  A few steps into the woods the temperature dropped.  Callie thought it had to be the shade since there were still a few leaves on the trees.  That had to be why it seemed suddenly darker too.
There hadn’t been any breeze before but now the trees were chattering.  Branches clicking, clacking, tapping as if in warning, telling Callie to turn back before it’s too late.  Or were they marking her progress, her solitary state, her foolhardy venture?  Callie looked to her left, to her right and saw nothing.  Everyone was just being silly, telling her not to go into the woods alone.  She walked a little further before the rustling started. She didn’t see anything but was sure it had to be the little creatures that always lived in the woods.  Bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, maybe even a skunk although it didn’t smell like a skunk was near.
She kept going.  Off to the side there was movement, something scurrying in the underbrush.  Callie thought long and hard and realized she and Bitsy had never seen any of the critters she pictured in her mind.  Still, it had to be one of them.  It just had to be. A crow cawed overhead.  Those, she and Bitsy had seen.  They’d even talked to one when it hadn’t flown away at their passing.  The crow today was louder so Callie looked up and froze.  There was more than one and they all seemed to be watching her.  And they weren’t at the top of the trees.  No, today they were lower, staring at her with their beady black eyes as they called out to each other.
It grew colder still and Callie began to be afraid.  She hadn’t gone all that far so she decided maybe she better go back only when she turned around the path was gone.  Everything had shifted.  Nothing looked familiar.  She tried to run the way she’d been going but stumbled.  Things that way weren’t the same either.  What was happening to the woods?  The rustling was coming closer, closer and the crows, oh the crows were making such a ruckus.  They were so loud she couldn’t hear the prayers that she’d begun to utter.
Little Callie Winslow went into the woods today and never came out.  She was never seen again.  And when Bitsy’s books, homework assignments tucked inside, were found at the beginning of the path, no one bothered to keep looking for her.  She would not be found but she wasn’t forgotten.  Oh no. As those before, when some foolish soul went missing the next generation told their children to remember, remember little Callie Winslow and do not go into the woods alone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kindness or a Fool?

I gave my last two dollars to a stranger Sunday.

I was out and about, doing errands, and stopped for gas.  Didn’t really need it yet but I had 60 cents off a gallon points that were about to expire and that’s too much to waste. 

On my way into the lot, the car in front of me was having trouble.  I didn’t think much of it as I made my selection until an average looking man approached the woman at the pump next to mine.  I didn’t hear what he said but her response was hateful and rude.

When the man turned to go past me his shoulders were slumped.  I saw his expression.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone looking quite so defeated.  His lip was quivering and he seemed to be fighting tears.  When he met my eyes I could see the hesitation in his.  And the embarrassment.  I didn’t think.  I just motioned him over and asked what was going on.  He was out of gas and didn’t have a cent on him.

When I was sixteen I had the coolest Mustang.  It had been my grandmother’s and I adored that car.  The only problem was the gas gauge tended to stick.  I miscalculated once and ran out of gas on my way home from work.  At night.  In the middle of nowhere.  Some very nice man in a beat up old truck gave me a ride to a pay phone which was about five miles down the road.  Yes, that was before cell phones.

I saw this as my chance to return the favor.  I asked the man to take over pumping my gas so I could have both hands to dig through my wallet.  I only had two dollars with me but he assured me that would be enough to get him home.  He wouldn’t relinquish the nozzle when I attempted to take it back.  Instead he waited and finished filling my tank for me.

Perhaps I am a gullible fool.  Maybe this is how he goes about acquiring gas money every time he needs it.  I prefer to believe he was someone having a bad moment, just like I was all those years ago. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

My New Friend

I wandered outside at lunch today.  The kitty who hangs out in the courtyard was lounging under a coleus in the shade.  He seemed cozy and mellow so I inched closer and asked if we could be friends.  He didn't run, not even when I reached through the plant.  I ended up being allowed to pet him.  He even nudged my hand.  His name is Harlan.  Yep, he told me.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Follow Up - Reading Economic Recovery

The roaches are coming!

It hasn’t been officially announced but I just know it.  Yesterday one of the top stories in local news was that a development company from nearby York has purchased the last four acres in the Buttonwood Gateway redevelopment area.

The details are all very hush-hush.  All they’ve released is that the area will house a high tech company.  The project, once operational, will create 100 new, much-needed jobs for the city.  High paying jobs that include everything from sales to human resources to “anything else you can think of.”  (Insert strapping little electronic gizmos to the backs of humungous roaches.)

The CEO of the development company and the executive director of the Reading Redevelopment Authority both declined to name the tech company.  And Reading’s mayor signed a nondisclosure agreement which prohibited him from revealing the company when he formally announced the project at a press conference today.  It is reported however, that Mayor Spencer was a key factor in bringing the tech company to Reading.  His pitch to lure the company here did a fine job of illuminating the “city’s benefits.”  (Insert a readily available selection of different types of roaches, high unemployment including a contingent of illegal aliens.)

If that’s not enough to convince you that the tech company involves the first responder roaches I mentioned in a previous post then perhaps this will.  The development company’s owners include members of the rock band Live.  To me this means they aren’t your typical businessmen and might be more likely to be open to projects that are a bit out of the ordinary.

I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Last Night

There was something a foot in Reading.  See how the sky was lit up?  There's absolutely no reason for it to be in that direction.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Food - The New Drug

In case you missed this last year, there’s an inventor, David Edwards, who has developed a gizmo that will vaporize food.  That’s right.  It takes physical food and turns it into a cloud which can then be inhaled.

Actually, there are two gizmos.  The first, Le Whif, is a lipstick-sized tube thingy that works on the same principle as an asthma pump.  They come with pre-vaporized chocolate, coffee or vitamins.  Vitamins?  Why on earth you would want vaporized vitamins is beyond me but to each his own.  In case you’re curious, individual tubes go for 1.80 euros ($2.33) and there are two sizes of multi-packs available at a discount.

The second gizmo, Le Whaf, is a contraption that turns liquids into gas, basically by vibrating really, really fast.  The machine itself goes for 129 euros ($160).  Sadly, you can’t just toss in any liquid of your choosing.  Nope, you also have to buy the specially prepared versions of what you want, things that contain a secret mix of essences.  Mmm, secret essences, just what I’ve been craving.

Oh, if you’re wondering, yes, inhaling vaporized food significantly reduces caloric intake although it is not calorie free.  The advantage supposedly is that a toke of say, chocolate is only one calorie so you can inhale for ten minutes and only consume 200 calories.  Um, yeah.  I admit I’ve never tried it but I can’t imagine it being more satisfying than letting a double chocolate truffle melt on your tongue.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I get so bogged down in the daily quest of survival I lose sight of me.  I start questioning what I’m doing. 

At the moment my characters’ voices are muddled.  They’re being drowned out by the day to day activities in my own life required to stay alive.  Not being able to hear them clearly makes it tremendously difficult to get lost in their lives, to discover their stories, to know them well enough to relate them.

It makes me doubt myself.  Dumb because I know really do know better.  Even so, it’s times like this I pull out my previous accomplishments to remind me that my writing really doesn’t suck, no matter how much it seems to.

What do you do when you forget that you’re capable of whatever you put your mind to?