Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cry Me a River: Rock's Saddest Songs List

Rock's Backpages gives us a list of the 20 most heartbreaking songs of all time. I am familiar with many of the songs and this list brings back a lot of memories.

Roy Orbison, The Righteous Brothers, The Everly Brothers, Otis Reading and ABBA are all favorites. One of my all time favorite sad songs is George Jones singing He Stopped Loving Her Today. Tears come to my eyes every time I hear that song. And who can ever forget Roy Orbison's emotional rendition of It's Over? That song stays with me long after his voice fades out.

The blurb at the end of the article says: Read more about all these artists at Over 13,000 articles by the greatest writers from the finest rock publications of the last 50 years.

What is your favorite sad song? What drew you to the song?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday Shoppers - What Were They Thinking?

Yesterday I wrote about Black Friday shopping on Elder Care Cafe here on blogger. Today I read of two people killed in a shoot-out at a Toys-R-Us in Palm Dessert, CA, and a Wal-Mart worker trampled to death on Long Island, NY. Other shoppers were punched, injured, taken to the hospital, and those are just the stories we have heard.

What is this world coming to? There is a reason why I don't go shopping on one of the busiest, and most obnoxious, days of the year. Is it really that important to get a "bargain" that probably still be on sale, and maybe even at a lower cost, sometime before Christmas?

According to news reports, shoppers were scampering over the fallen worker and those who were trying to help, as they forced their way into the store and down the isles. Some shoppers ended up so frustrated with the whole scene, they left their carts in the isles and headed to the car.

Black Friday was so named as it was the day most stores were able to see a profit for the first time all year. Now, Black Friday has a whole other connotation.

I hope, next year, some kind of calm and sanity could prevail on this busiest shopping day of the year.

Do you buy into the Black Friday madness, or do you wisely stay home? What is your experience shopping on Black Friday?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Michigan in the Chill Zone

As of this post, from iGoogle, the current temperature in mid-Michigan is 26 deg F at 6:00 a.m. Since it is supposed to reach 40 today, I eagerly await the heat wave.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and may your favorite meal satisfy, your favorite team win, and your favorite store have all the bargains you can ever hope to find.

Only in America can we find such a fabulous day as we celebrate our heritage, and our love for turkey and stuffing. :>)

What is your favorite aspect of Thanksgiving Day? How will you spend the day?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Check Out My MySpace Page

Actually, I have two MySpace pages - one under my name, Edie Dykeman, and the other under a pseudonym, Gail Monroe, that I use for my fiction writing. I started the latter last year and it is in the process of a face-lift.

The former is up and running with a beautiful blue theme, and highlights my article writing. You can check it out here.

If you have a MySpace page, you are welcome to share it in the comment section. I just joined Facebook and LinkedIn, and have utilized Twitter for a while now.

The web has really become a social gathering place. Most of the time it is fun, but, wow, what a time waster when I should be hard at work.

Are you active in forums or on social network sites? If so, which ones and what do you like about those sites?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Calendars of the Bizarre, Funny, and Crazy Continue

Another great yearly calendar site is found at BrownieLocks. She and the three bears have developed a fun and crazy site. Now that 2009 is up and running, you have no excuse to miss an important holiday.

Since my birthday is January 23, I thought I would share with you what special events "we" can enjoy around that time.

January 22:

Women's Healthy Weight Day
Answer Your Cats Questions Day

January 23:

National Handwriting Day
National Pie Day - so that's why I like pie!
Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day - popular here in Michigan

January 24:

National Compliment Day
Belly Laugh Day

January 26: (My mother's birthday)

National Peanut Brittle Day - Mom loved making peanut brittle!
Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Click here for the rest of January's monthly, weekly, and daily lists.

Check out for your special dates and enjoy a fabulous and fun 2009.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Know What Holiday This Is? Find Out Here!

For those who like to celebrate even the most obscure holiday, this handy website will keep you from missing out on your favorite date. At Holidays For Every Day, you can find a monthly and daily list of the most important (to you) dates.

For example, today is:

17- World Peace Day
17- Homemade Bread Day
17- Take a Hike Day (Not sure if that is you taking a hike, or you telling someone else to take a hike)
17- National Farm Joke Day
17- The Little Mermaid Day 1989


18- Calvin & Hobbes Birthdays 1985
18- Mother Goose Parade
18- William Tell Day
18- Mickey Mouse's Birthday (1928)
18- Superman Death Anniversary 1992
18- Teddy Bear Birthday 1902


19- National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day (Glad to see this day!)
19- Play Monopoly Day (My sister and daughters would love to honor this date)
19- Pop Tarts Birthday 1965 (My girls loved these!)
19- Little Red-Haired Girl's Birthday (Peanuts Character 1961)
19- Gettysburg Address Delivered (1863)

See how much fun you could have with all these celebrations! In these stressful times, celebrating the unique, quaint, and obscure should have a place on your calendar with those dates that are considerably more prominent.

Of course, this all leads up to the biggest dates of the year, New Years Eve and New Years Day. And,

27- National Fruitcake Day

28- National Quilter's Day
28- No Interruptions Day
28- Eat Vegetarian Day
28- Card Playing Day
28- National Chocolate Day

29- Opposite Day
29- Bowling Ball invented (1862)

30- Let's Make a Deal Day First aired 1964

31- Make Up Your Mind Day
31- New Years eve
31- You're All Done Day

Just sayin'...

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate? Do you have an obscure or unusual anniversary date you would like to share?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NY Times Article Highlights Bronner's Christmas Wonderland

Bronner's in Frankenmuth, MI was highlighted in a New York Times article published yesterday. Excuse Me, Where's Thanksgiving? focused on the year-round Christmas wonderland visited by thousands throughout the year.

Years ago, my family regularly visited Bronner's for their excellent family-style chicken dinners. More recently, I spent the weekend, several years in a row, with friends. We visited various stores and enjoyed the ambiance of Frankenmuth.

It is great to see Michigan on the world news map in a positive way.

Have you visited Bronner's? Did you try the world famous chicken dinners?

Photo from Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Extreme Makeover, Lansing (MI) Edition

On Sunday, November 30, the Breslin Center at Michigan State University will rock with the cheers of those in the Lansing area who helped with the building of the Nickless family home a few months ago.

The owners of the Lansing-based Mayberry Homes, the company who oversaw the demolition and construction of the house, are inviting the whole community to the Breslin Center to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They are providing free parking and free admission.

Over 1,600 volunteers from around the area donated time and money to make a local family's dreams come true. The Nickless family lost their father earlier this year due to complications from Hepatitis C. He was a nurse at a local hospital and had contracted the disease from a patient.

The entire mid-Michigan community was enthralled by the week-long tearing down and rebuilding of the home. Bus loads of sightseers were allowed in for a daily look at the progress.

Now it is time to enjoy the televised results - as a community.

Need Milk? Thieves Got Milk!

According to today's Lansing State Journal, thieves apparantly made off with $688,000 worth of infant formula when they stole a trailer in Grandville, MI sometime over the weekend.

Someone either has a very large family, or the formula is going on the white (milk) market.

What do you think? Need milk?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Remembrance

From a late-1940s postcard by the now-defunct ArtVue Post Card Co. of New York, N.Y. Submitted by Wystan Stevens to the Ann Arbor District Library.

Many, many years ago, my parents volunteered my musical services to the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. I believe I was in junior high school at the time. I remember going from room to room to visit some of the Vets who were patients there, and then playing the accordion for others who were able to join us in a commons room.

After this many years the memories are vague, but I do remember the feeling of satisfaction seeing the smiles and hearing the positive comments from those who were at the hospital. The visit was in the late 1950's, so the patients probably served in WWII or the Korean War.

If there is a VA hospital near you, please take the time to visit those who have served our country, were wounded, and now must stay for varying amounts of time in the hospital. They welcome visitors and would appreciate the company.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good News for Michigan Football Fans

Gerald Ford on the field at University of Michigan 1933. Photo: Gerald R. Ford Library. Public Domain.

Michigan State Spartans are riding high after a thrilling 21-7 win over Purdue yesterday. It was the Spartans final home game, and buzz has it, at 9-2 they are on their way to a bowl game. On November 22, they face Penn State.

In more good news for Michigan, the blue-and-maize team won a 29-6 victory over Minnesota. First year Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said, "It's nice to see a bunch of guys with smiles on their faces." Michigan is 3 - 7 in the win loss column, but any victory can spark incentive to keep moving forward.

Unlike the hapless Big 3 in Detroit, our main football rivals had a successful week.

Friday, November 7, 2008

MI Gov Granholm Part of Obama Transition Team

Governor Jennifer Granholm is reportedly now a part of Barack Obama's transition team according to recent reports. shows a picture of Obama at a news conference today, with Governor Granholm to his immediate left.

According to The Grand Rapids Press, early speculation suggests "Granholm is rumored to be on a list for U.S. Supreme Court, should Justices John Paul Stevens, 88, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, or David Souter, 69, step down in the next four years.

She also is thought to be under consideration for secretary of energy, interior, labor or a post in the U.S. Justice Department. Speculation about her role was fueled further Thursday when Obama named her to his transition team's economic advisory board."

Read the rest of The Grand Rapids Press article to see why former Michigan Supreme Court Judge Dennis Archer prefers Granholm finish her term as governor.

Exciting times for Michigan as the Big Three Automakers are struggling financially and Governor Granholm appears to be "movin' on up" to the big time.

What Role Will Governor Granholm Play in the New Regime?

When Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was tapped to play a part in Barack Obama's practice sessions for the debates, a number of eyebrows were raised. Suddenly, the Michigan masses realized their governor might have higher ambitions than first realized.

Inquiring minds want to know - is a political appointment in the cards for our governor?

Read Governor Granholm's reaction in this Detroit Free Press article.

What do you think? Would a political appointment for Governor Granholm help Michigan? Would her leaving mid-term do more good than harm, or just the opposite?

Photo of Governor Granholm was taken December 1, 2005. Public Domain

Pick a Pooch for Obama's Girls

When President-elect Barack Obama brought his daughters onto the platform Tuesday night, during his acceptance speech, he noted they would get the puppy he had promised at the beginning of his campaign. The Detroit Free Press discusses their pooch poll on Click on the link to read this wonderful article.

Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, are the cutest young ladies, and it will be a joy to watch them grow over the next four years.

So, what do you think? What kind of puppy should the Obama family pick?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to Read Free Books by E-mail

How would you like to read a book for free? You can receive daily e-mail installments by registering at Daily Lit. I just signed up to receive Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, to arrive early in the a.m., just in time for my early morning coffee.

The site now has 1,000 books, many of them free. I did see a few for a fee, but the fee was under $10.00.

Each installment only takes five minutes to read, and the site has many classics including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and War and Peace.

The registration is free and easy, just like receiving the installments.

So, which book did you choose? How do you like this service?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congrats to Obama and Biden

After an almost two year run towards the presidency, Barack Obama has made history by becoming the first African American President of the United States.

Gosh, could a woman be next?

I was watching the previews for the upcoming season of 24, one of my favorite TV shows. Several years ago, 24 had a black president, the next season they had a white president, then another black president (the brother of the first one).

One of the exciting aspects of the new season is the fact that there is now a woman in the White House. At the time I was first watching the previews, prior to yesterday's election, I was wondering if watching a black president on TV could make a difference in how people perceive a black man in that position.

Now with 24 placing a woman as president, does that help soften public opinion? I certainly hope so.

The old white, male, conservative, biased, opinionated, prejudiced, antiquated mindset in place for many decades, if not centuries, must go. It is past time!

Congratulations to Barack Obama, and to 24 and other TV shows showing a woman as president, for opening up the minds of the people to what is possible, and likely, in the future.

A rallying cry during this election was that it is time for a change. I agree! It is time for the old guard to realize they are no longer relevant.

What do you think? What do you foresee for women in the future of this country?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Ailing Teal-Mobile

This photo is actually of the original teal van that Mom and Dad drove for several years. My sister bought one just like it, and that is the one I currently own.

According to the note my mother wrote on the back of the photo, the van was new and I believe the year was 1997. I know my van is a 1997.

Mom and I were on a trip to the U.P., visiting her cousin Sharon who lives along the Lake Huron shoreline. She and her husband have a beautiful house on the lake, along with several cottages on their property they reserve for visiting family and friends.

This cabin was right on the edge of the channel, just a couple of feet from the water. The channel ran into Lake Huron from Cedarville, MI. It had two bedrooms, with a large window in the living room and one in the dining room. We ate our meals at the dining room table while watching the swans glide along the water.

It had to happen sooner than later

The Teal-mobile is ailing, probably on it's last legs. Although I was hoping the van would make it through the winter, it is on the blink, and it appears to be the starter. At eleven-years-old, and almost 150,000 miles, what do we do? Repair or buy?

Dad has a much easier time getting in and out of a van, while I would like to have a smaller car, such as a Chevy Cavalier. I really wanted to keep the van going as long as Dad was around, but now we are faced with quite a dilemma. With his health care costs rising dramatically, an additional car expense is not welcome. Decision time!

Anyway, the Teal-mobile has traveled many miles throughout the years. She has seen much of the United States and has enjoyed every minute. Whether out west, down south, to the north or to the east, many wonderful sight-seeing memories will remain.

What was your favorite vehicle through the years? Did you travel together? If so, where did you go and what wonderful sights did you see?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's a NaNoWriMo? The Answer is Here!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a marathon month of writing as much as possible to reach the 50,000-words-in-30-days goal. Founder Chris Baty declared November THE month to challenge writers of all types to get that novel written.

The first challenge was in 1999 among a group of Chris' friends in San Francisco, and since that time has grown exponentially and is now world-wide.

Chris wrote an encouraging, informational book, No Plot? No Problem! as a guide to successfully completing the challenge. The book includes the history of NaNoWriMo, novel writing tips, and in the second section, a week-by-week walk through the month.

My first attempt last year was successful. It helped that I read Chris' book ahead of time and knew the challenges I faced.

Writers are competing against themselves and the 30-day time limit. During the last few days, NaNo's can upload their "finished" novel, receive a beautiful certificate, and a seal of approval for their accomplishment.

Forums and groups on the site are a great place to hangout, kill time, procrastinate, and meet new people.

Check out this wonderful challenge. Do it now as it starts today! If you do, please let us know in the comment section.

In the Oops Department - Obama Version

Both candidates have had their Oops moments (Sarah Palin, anyone?), but now it's Obama's turn.

Apparently Barack Obama accidentally outed his 66-year-old aunt who was illegally living in the U.S. Despite an immigration judge denying her request for asylum from Kenya and who instructed her to leave the country four years ago, she has been living in public housing in Boston.


According to the Associated Press article, "Obama said Saturday he didn't know his aunt was living in the United States illegally and believes that laws covering the situation should be followed."

We have all done it at one time or another - but, most of us don't do our Oops! kind of things as publicly as the candidates.

What was your biggest Oops! moment? Care to share?

More Humor on Blogspot

Just added Indian Jokes Unlimited, found here on Blogspot, to the blogroll list. If you love or need humor in your life, check out this blog. The author advertises that they are Indian jokes, but really they are for everyone.

Some of the jokes are laugh out loud funny and will lift the spirits of anyone who feels down in the dumps.

For a good time...

Have you found any sites that can add LOL moments? Please leave the info in the comment section. Laughter every day keeps depression away!