Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Fall TV Season

Well, it has arrived. The much anticipated, and promoted, fall season. It is great to see new episodes of my favorite shows. Unfortunately, in my busyness, I'm not watching a lot of TV right now, so I have narrowed down the hours I spend. But I did watch Two and a Half Men and CSI Miami last night, Without a Trace last week and again tonight, and definitely looking forward to CSI Thursday.

Looking ahead to the winter season, of course, is American Idol. Somehow, after missing the first few seasons, I have developed a fondness for the show. I watch some reality shows, but not that many.

These days it seems I pick and choose what I watch. Somewhat like an a la carte menu at a restaurant. Gone are the days of planting myself in front of the TV and mindlessly watching whatever came on. Now, very selective.

Why? Because the Internet draws me back, time and again. I haven't yet watched a full-length TV show on the 'net, but YouTube and interactive sites are a huge draw. Plus just playing around creating new websites is exciting to me.

Yes, times have definitely changed. Have you changed with them? What are your favorite shows? How has the Internet changed your TV watching habits?

Our Annual Ox-Roast Fest

Dad and I spent last Friday and Saturday lunchtime at the Webberville Ox-Roast. The ox-roast began in 1947 (the year a certain someone was born) and has continued to this day.

When I was growing up, my grandparents, who lived in Webberville, would join us every year. At that time, a whole block was utilized with many carnival rides, pony rides, craft sales, tractor pull contest, parade, etc. I remember the numerous rides my brother and I rode, the oxburgers we ate, and the many relatives we saw.

We still saw a few extended family members this year, but the venue was much smaller. In fact, this time there were no rides because of a cancellation by the company that was to provide them. There were surprisingly few people at lunch, but the food was delicious.

As the ox-roast has grown older, so have the rest of us. Most of my family members are gone now, or have moved away. Times have certainly changed, with fewer people attending local functions such as this.

It is sad, in a way, but understandable. Our world was much smaller then, and the family unit was tighter. We didn't have the Disney Worlds and theme parks competing with small town venues. The crowd this weekend were mostly 50's and up.

I'm not sure how much longer they will continue, but I do know, if we are anywhere in the area, we will be there.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Regional Personalities Defined by Researchers

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, researchers have identified certain personality traits by state. The article and interactive map can be seen by clicking on the link above.

As far as Michigan is concerned, and you all know I am a greater supporter of my favorite state, we did not do too badly according to the scale.

The five categories on the map were ranked by highest prevalence in each state. The scale was 1-51 including the District of Columbia. For Michigan the rankings were:

Extroversion - 17

Agreeableness - 11

Conscientiousness - 21

Neuroticism - 26

Openness - 36

Apparently we Michiganders are very open, but we are in the middle of the pack as possible neurotics.

Read this interesting article and decide whether you agree with the researchers regarding your favorite state.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm a Squid - Really!

Another learning curve - I'm getting so tangled up in the curves...

I joined the website Squidoo last week and just finished my third lens, Squidoo's version of a website.

Right now I have three, with more to come.

1. Energy Savvy Senior - a lens related to how Dad and I are making energy-related changes around our home.

2. Savvy Senior Writer - a lens highlighting my freelance writing and blogging ability in hopes of attracting more freelance work.

3. Savvy Journaling - The Artist's Way - As a huge fan of Julia Cameron and her The Artist's Way series of books about journaling and finding our spiritual path to high creativity, I am excited about this lens. I think I'm done with it, but I never know. I may do some other related lens regarding journalling.

I have been a long time fan of The Artist's Way and writing morning pages and going on artist dates. These books were instrumental in bringing me to where I am today as a journalist and blogger.

I still have a number of lens' to create and a lot to learn, but everything is good.

Come over and visit. Maybe you will be a Squid soon. The lens are easy to build and there are a ton of directions you can go in - all for donating to your favorite charity or creating your own income. Lots of great people, friendly and willing to help a newbie squider (or is it squidooer?) learn.

What creative endeavor have you gotten yourself into lately? Are you learning anything new? If not, why not?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Join Care2 This Sunday. Here's Why...

Check out this great site to help celebrate International Day of Peace and the Global Sound Healing Event for Healing on Earth. Here is a blurb from their site:

"This Sunday is the International Day of Peace. Join Care2 members, spiritual leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Grammy-nominated sound healer Jonathan Goldman, and millions of others in a Global Sound Healing Event for Healing on Earth."

There is much more info there, so swing on by. Then, come back Monday and let me know how everything went.

What are you doing this weekend for the International Day of Peace? Please let me know in the comments.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When is the Rise in Gas Prices a Good Thing?

With the rise in gas prices, more people are staying at home. This is proving to be good news for local businesses. As fuel prices rise, more people are shopping locally.

Also, those who live within walking distance are choosing to walk, getting needed exercise and saving money. Many people have opted for bikes with baskets to help carry their purchases.

So, my theory is:

Higher gas prices equal more exercise and increased local business.

That's a good thing, isn't it?

What do you think? How has the rise in gas prices affected your life?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Can You Write a Book in One Week?

Many have through the Book in a Week Yahoo group I joined May of 2007. The premise is to sign up for however many pages we think we can write in one week, using daily totals as benchmarks along the way to reach our weekly goal.

The rally cry is BIC HOK TAM (butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly). There are stringent rules to guide us and keep us on point, occasional prompts to stimulate us, and the realization that we are not alone to prod us along.

We type as rapidly as possible throughout the week, with as little editing as possible. The editing comes over the next couple of weeks after BIW. Then the week before the next month's challenge is for planning and plotting for the next session.

I am very pleased with the results of many of the weeks as a couple of fiction novels were conceived and now await the editing process and an autobiography by decade was written. This next week I plan to write a series of short stories, some of which are already outlined as others are swirling around in my head.

All in all, BIW is a wonderful way to produce content in a supportive environment. Once a month everyone gathers to push themselves, create original content, and produce more than they might have working alone. The other BIW'ers are friendly, warm and encouraging.

Whether you are a newbie writer, or want a way to increase your output, join in the fun at BIW. The next session starts this Monday, so sign up today and get BIC HOK TAM!

Hurricane Ike: Good News, Bad News

As Hurricane Ike slammed into the Houston area, I could not help but be thankful the Corpus Christi area did not take a direct hit. My Texas family members rode out the storm in San Antonio, and will probably head home as soon as possible so my daughter can report to the hospital where she works.

Due to high winds and waves, they may still have received damage to their home, which is located on an island not far from Corpus. I am praying all is well, with little or no damage.

Hurricane Ike was the largest seen in a long time and will affect many millions as it continues to travel onshore, and in the days ahead affect the weather patterns as far north as Detroit and northeast to the Atlantic. It amazes me that a hurricane hitting Texas can affect weather in Detroit and New York, but that is the nature of the weather currents.

I hope few people lost their lives, and the power is restored as swiftly as possible. After our bout with six power outages last year, I understand how frustrating it is when there is no power in the home.

I am sure the hurricane will affect many for days and weeks to come. But for today, I'm just thankful that my family is safe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's Jean Season for a Reason

Back in the day, when I was growing up, there were strict rules regarding the changing of the seasons and what was appropriate to wear. Although we wore jeans around the house, after all we lived on a farm, we were strictly monitored when adventuring beyond our neighborhood, especially if we needed to dress up.

Now days, denim is seen all through the year. When I was young and on the fly, every fall several of us females would see our guys off to the local university football game, or at least seated at the bar watching the away games. Then we would take off on a road trip every Saturday afternoon without fail.

We had our jean skirts, jean jackets, denim purses with the jewels and what-sits on them, appropriate shoes or knee boots, and off we would go down back country roads to the bars we only visited once a year, for nachos and beer. What could get any better than that.

As we drove the back roads, to a different bar each week, we saw scenery we didn't get to see at any other time, leaves were changing, tongues were flying, we caught up with each others lives.

We have all scattered, over the years, one even died way too young, but the memories linger on every Saturday in fall, when I think back on the blue jean jacket and all.

What is your favorite fall memory? Was denim involved?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Fall - Let the Shows Begin

It's that time of the year, folks, and what a year it shapes up to be. I'll go into more detail in the next few days, the the first one I'm mentioning is the Biggest Loser.

Now at least have the good manners not to ask me why I would even bring this topic into the open. Geesh!

Anyway, It is couples time again, and this year there are 16 contestants paired off into teams. Let's hope they don't have the "surprises" of last season and the myriad of players. Too many people, too much drama.

So, OK Magazine had an article about four of the couples in this weeks issue. They look like nice, normal people. But, if you keep an eye on Biggest Loser, you know what over exercise and under feeding and rest does to a person. They get plain down and out UGLY! So, we will see who is naughty and who is nice.

Hopefully, we will also see how some of the past contestants are doing. I know some have gained weight, including past winners, and that's too bad. But, I would love to see the success stories about my favorites from the past. How is Ali doing? Last year's winner lost 112 pounds and became the first woman. Yeah for Ali!

What show are you looking forward to this fall? Are you secretly looking forward to American Idol and 24, both starting in January? I know I am. Leave a comment below and let me know what your new favorite show is and who you are looking forward to checking out!

P.S. As far as the image above, I couldn't find anyone exercising, so I thought I would place food on this site. Evil I know, but there it is. Enjoy!

New Storm, New Concerns

Looks like Ike is headed through the Gulf of Mexico towards the coast of Texas. Depending on where it lands, my family may or may not take a direct hit. They are on an island off the coast of Corpus Christi. We will follow the Hurricane as it gathers speed and heads toward the coast.

Storms are always worrisome because they are unpredictable. Especially those that twist like hurricanes and tornados. Let's just pray that when it reaches the coast, the wind would have died down as much as possible for a soft hit, and the people would follow the evacuation orders. The officials know what they are doing and people need to take heed during these dangerous times.

No furniture or possession is worth risking your life. Common sense and early reaction has saved many lives in the past. I hope people take heed and go to a safe place.

Have you been involved in a major storm lately? What did you do to prepare?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Owner's Manual

Operating instructions:

She is a delicate flower, treat her gently.

She desires to be useful in your life and in your ministry, use her well and with much love. She desires to serve, don't abuse her or she will withdraw.

She desires to be held, loved, and treated with kindness and respect.

She is ready, willing, and able to do as you desire, but you must be open and willing to share what your needs and desires are. She will be obedient if you stay in My will.

She will be faithful as you are faithful. No flirting with other women, lying, or sneaking around behind her back. Be open and honest about your relationships with others and be trustworthy to a fault.

Be willing to share: your day, your experiences, your feelings, your concerns, your life.

She loves flowers, beautiful clothes, and fine jewelry. Choose well, she deserves the best.

Treat her as a queen, because that is what she is. Treat her as My daughter, because that is who she is.

Love her unconditionally and you will be loved in return. Be loyal, give her the honor and respect due her.

Put into the relationship what you desire to receive out of it - the law of sowing and reaping is in effect.

Most of all, be a blessing in her life and you will be blessed.

Her Father,


June 10, 2001

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let Detroit's Healing Begin

During yesterday's news conference, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced his resignation and pleaded guilty to the felony charges brought against him. Now it is off to jail for 120 days.

The swipes he took at Governor Jennifer Granholm and new interim mayor Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., reveals Kilpatrick does not understand the depth of the wrong he committed while in office. His monotonic race through what appeared to be required wording confirms his lack of understanding or willingness to admit his error in judgement while in office.

Detroit has certainly had its struggles through the years, and with the economic and social ills of the city as challenging as ever, those struggles will continue.

But, at least for now, Detroit can hope to regroup by electing a mayor with vision, honesty, and integrity, and begin the move forward - for the good of the city, the people, and the great state of Michigan.

What should the leaders now focus on? What are the hot topics they need to address? Will Detroit regroup and regain any of it's past history as a great city? What do you think?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Now I Am Really Ticked Off!

There is a reason why I do not watch late night talk shows. Their sick jokes about the unplanned pregnancy of a teenager brings the definition of tacky to an all new low.

When someone like Sarah Palin enters the national spotlight, making jokes about her ability to run the country or something directly related to the campaign is one thing.

But, when jokes are poured out onto a seventeen-year-old, that is reprehensible. Apparently the sleaze ball hosts have nothing better to contribute to the world of late-night entertainment than slamming teenagers.

Guys, you need to get a life. I do not care how much money you make, what your name is, how long you have been in the biz, attacking teenagers is just plain wrong.

What is your take on sleazy jokes? Where should talk show hosts draw the line? Or should they? Is everyone and everything fair game?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finally! Good News Coming Out of Detroit

According to the Associated Press, "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's chances of avoiding a state hearing that could cost him his job diminished by the hour Tuesday as a judge and an appeals court ruled against scrapping the proceedings.

The mayor claims he can't get a fair shake from Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a fellow Democrat who is to convene a removal hearing Wednesday morning. His lawyers also attacked the law on the removal process but lost twice in court Tuesday.

The Detroit City Council asked Granholm to determine whether Kilpatrick misled members when he settled lawsuits with former police officers for $8.4 million; text messages that contradict the mayor's sworn denials of an extramarital affair were supposed to be kept secret as part of the deal."

Michigan has taken quite an economic hit lately. What this state does not need is the flagrant flaunting of misconduct, lies, and abuse of office by the mayor of our largest city.

Mayor Kilpatrick was such an embarrassment for Detroit and Michigan, he was discouraged from attending the Republican National Convention.

Detroit and Michigan need positive role models in governmental positions. Governor Granholm must do the right thing today, for this state, by immediately removing Mayor Kilpatrick from office.

Let us hope that today's hearing ends this mockery at the hands of a blatantly dishonest government official, and opens the door for honesty and integrity in the mayors office, allowing Detroit to once again have a reason to hold it's head high.

What do you think? Should public officials be held accountable for their actions?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Bitter Stickgirl

Meet The Bitter Stickgirl from Singapore. She and her friends are here on blogspot and also have a website at http://www.bitterstickgirl.com/.

The caption to this entry is: Time to let go.

The heroine of this site has a penchant for Gucci bags, the usual young adult angst with the men in her life, and an interesting group of friends. The creator has a great handle on life as she shares from her experiences, and ideas she picks up at 7-11.

Companion sites include Stickgirl's FAQ and Stick Friends.

The blog began in 2005, and the other night I was so fascinated, I read every entry back to it's beginning. When you have a chance, click on one of the sites, although The Bitter Stickgirl is the main site.

If you have any interesting or fun sites, please let us know in the comments. We are always on the lookout for interesting and unusual sites.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How Recession Improves Health

An article on today's BaltimoreSun.com site highlights a study showing when a recession hits, the overall health of the public appears to improve.

Researchers say data shows people cut down on risky behavior when the economy is in trouble. When the nation goes through a difficult time, people ten to worry and become stressed. There is less money for health care, gym memberships, and healthy food. Poverty does bring higher rates of obesity and illness.

But, society as a whole appears to prosper, health-wise, during times of recession. How can that be?
  • Accidents go down - probably due to less traffic as fewer people are working.
  • Industrial accidents go down - again, fewer workers.
  • Obesity goes down - more time to exercise?
  • Alcohol consumption is down - people drink less, possibly due to less money. Speculation suggests some people straighten up their behavior so they do not lose the job they do have.
  • Smoking less - probably financial.
  • Fewer deaths due to heart disease. Although there is stress from lack of work and money, for some reason, there seems to be fewer heart related deaths.

At no time does anyone believe recession is good. But, recent studies do show an interesting trend when times are tough.

What do you think? More research needs to take place? Sounds good to you? What are your thoughts on these findings?