Monday, December 17, 2007

Have You Been Mooned?

In one of my spaced out modes, I was thinking about the moons of Jupiter and trying to recall the name of any of them. While Jupiter has 63 moons, there are 4 major orbs with names that might be mentioned in a grade school science class: Io, Europa, Calisto, and Ganymede. Similarly Mars has 2: Phobos and Deimos; Saturn has 31, the largest being Pan, Atlas, and Prometheus; Uranus has 27, the largest: Cordellia and Ophelia; and Neptune has 13, the 4 largest being Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, and Galate.

This brings us to Earth. We have one moon. But for all the science and astronomy classes I’ve taken in school, I couldn’t come up with the name of our moon. Do you know what it is? After much searching on the internet, I found the name “Luna”, but then all further reference to it was “The Moon”! Does that mean instead of mooning someone, we should (or shouldn’t) be lunaing them?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Glass

I've figured out the answer to the age old question, "Is the glass half empty or half full?"

I think it depends upon what's in the glass. If the glass contains something I really like, such as a vanilla milk shake, a great cup of hot chocolate, or fresh squeezed orange juice, I might say it's half empty, because I'd be disappointed there wasn't more left. If my glass still had some of that nasty stuff I have to drink before a colonoscopy or the barium mixture before an upper GI, I'd say it was half full because I wouldn't be looking forward to drinking the rest.

But then I would fail the optimist/pessimist test that seems to have the opposite meaning. Half full means I'm an optimist, while half empty is a pessimistic point of view.

So either way, I can't win, unless it's a vanilla milk shake. I'm happy any time I'm drinking that!

Friday, September 07, 2007


Where Has The English Language Gone? I think the English language is being acronymed out of comprehension. Acronyms are running rampant on the lips of young and old alike during the beginning of the third millennium. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of young who can tell the meanings of acronyms that became prevalent when the older populace was younger.

Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial letter of words or from word parts. The term initialism was first used in printed material in 1899 and originally described as abbreviations formed from initials, without reference to pronunciation. The word acronym was first printed in 1943. Alphabetism is a term for abbreviations pronounced as the names of letters. But, has the practice of shortening words and terms become out of control?

Businesses and the military are full of initialism. What is this sentence really saying?
“Neither the FBI nor CIA had any intel about the ICBM confrontation reported by ABC, CBS, and NBC.”

Without the shortened options, we’d write:

“Neither the Federal Bureau of Investigation nor Central Intelligence Agency had any intelligence about the intercontinental ballistic missile confrontation reported by American Broadcasting Channel, Columbia Broadcasting System and National Broadcasting Company.”

We don’t even know the origins or some of the acronyms that make words. Who knew the word golf is derived from "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden"? And the term laser comes from the research results of "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation".

There are so many shortened words and phrases that it’s difficult to keep up. In addition to learning the meanings of some acronyms, we now must know the subject or field of reference to apply that definition. For example, IBM might be the acronym for the electronics company, International Business Machines, or reference an intercontinental ballistics missile (which is also abbreviated ICBM).

And we not only have America On Line, AOL, but that acronym is further reduced from AOL Instant Message to AIM. Misunderstanding is so common that the acronym or initials need to be redefined by adding one of the words back in, like RAM (random access memory) memory.

Many young adults can’t tell you what MPG, MSRP, and TTL mean when purchasing a vehicle. With new Internet terminology, most are totally clueless. HTML (hyper text mark up), URL (uniform resource locator), CSS (cascading style sheet), and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) are equivalent to foreign words.

Text messaging is totally obliterating the spelling, punctuation, and grammar talents required for a scholastic background. Even in the good old USA (United States of America)!

Heaven help us with homophones!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Classmate Friendships

When we attended high school, it was customary for students to sit alphabetically at the same desks everyday. I was wondering recently if there is any relationship between where we sat in school, who our long term friends turned out to be, and how those around us affected our life.

For example, being a “B” last name, my row of desks generally had maybe the “A-J” names, depending on which students were in that particular class. The next row beside mine might have been between “J” and “O”, so I was exposed to about the first half of the alphabet on a daily basis and not necessarily to those at the end.

In addition, being at the beginning of the alphabet, I only had neighbors on one side of my row of desks, while those in the middle had two sides. What chance did a shy person have in developing friendships with exposure to half the classmates that most had proximity to?

This thought may only apply to students who did not grow up in one area, and were around each other for more than four years. There is also an exception for friendships created with neighbors, new or old, or with those whose parents were friends.

So my questions are:

1. Do you think whom you sat near affected you?

2. Did one person near you make a noticeable impact on your life?

3. Do you feel being allowed to sit with your friends would have been better?

4. Did someone near you influence your behavior?

5. Did sitting alphabetically improve your social skills?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Might Have Been

Growing up, I was never steered away from a particular occupation because I am female or because I am short or because I have blue eyes. I was always told I could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. No one ever said I was incapable of doing something, so naive as I was, I attempted and succeeded in many things. Even then, there were activities I never had the opportunity to try. Have you ever thought about what you might have been or done if circumstances in your life had been different?

I was watching an old western where the Indians were chasing the pony soldiers, and I wondered why the flag carrying horsemen never got shot down. And if they did, would another rider stop to pick up the flag while being chased?

Right then, I decided if I were younger and had a horse, I’d have learned how to ride bareback and slide down one side at a full gallop, so I could scoop something off the ground. An ambitious thought. This in itself presented two problems. I’m short and I prefer riding tall horses, an equalizer of sorts. So my arm span from a tall horse wouldn’t reach the ground. That thought slid into... I’d have to learn to ride the horse’s underbelly, which would tickle, and the horse would just stop and laugh! Maybe that's why I never went that route.

Another thought was that I’d have been a gymnast. At the time, gymnastics wasn’t readily available to children, especially if the family had little money. But I think it would have been so much fun.

It would have been nice to have a long-term dance partner. Dancing is a great exercise and I can't believe how many guys don't realize how sensual it is. I never was lucky enough to find someone else who liked to dance.

Starting college, I thought I might become an architect because it was fun drawing floor plans for my "Dream House" which wasn't always just one house. My design changed depending upon the day I was drawing it or depending upon who I envisioned living in it with me. It wasn't until drafting class that I discovered I could do the mechanical parts of a design, but I'm not artistic enough to get the perspective view from my brain to my hand. It's so sad. At least I was raised with enough encouragement to give it a try.

Perhaps with more television viewing, I'll be reminded of other things that might have been.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Alone at last

Nellie Josephine Weeks is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver, Colorado beside her husband of forty-one years. While visiting one of my brothers who lives in a Denver suburb, we found these gravesites and noticed an unused plot beside Nellie. This led to our discussion of where we wanted to be buried, since we have no family plot designations.

Our dad, a World War II veteran and twenty year military man, and our mom are buried together in the Houston National Cemetery in Texas. No arrangements can be made for children there.

My brother is married. His wife and their two daughters are Catholic. My brother is not, so he can’t be laid to rest with them in a Catholic cemetery. He had mentioned trying to obtain the plot next to Nellie, our grandmother. When he checked with the cemetery, he was told they didn’t have records to determine ownership that went back that far.

Recently, while scanning photos and documents for my family DVD video, I came across Nellie’s payment booklet for three plots at Crown Hill. It shows the purchase date—May 22, 1937—and a purchase price of $337.50 for the three. Listed are monthly payments ranging from $5.00 to $20.00 reducing the balance eventually to $0. It is marked paid and there is an official Crown Hill Cemetery Association stamp to verify it. My brother will return to their office to see if we can claim ownership.

Another brother who lives in Houston has three children of his own and an extended family with his current wife, her four adult children, spouses, and expanding grandchildren count that is currently at nine. I’m sure he will be making his plans to be with them.

So, that leaves me unsure as to where I want to be and whether to chose burial or cremation. My daughter’s father is buried in Grandview, Texas where his third wife also purchased plots for herself, my daughter, my daughter’s two younger half-sisters, her younger half-brother, and the third wife’s son who was adopted by my daughter’s father. Family trees are complicated these days. Anyway, my daughter has a place to go near family and will also be near her paternal grandmother.

I have no place to go to be with a loved one and have been wondering about this dilemma since 2000. I remain unresolved on location, as well as the cremation decision, although I’m leaning toward burial.

I’m saddened by the thought that I will be...alone at my last.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Problems / Resolutions

If you had collected your family genealogical information, photos, movies, and color slides from many people for decades, and added research following select lines back as far as possible, what would you do with it? Since I am the only one in my line with this data I’ve collected, if I don’t document it, no one will ever know. There will be no history. It will be as if my ancestors never lived, except for the fact that I am here.


Nellie Josephine Weeks
1874 – 1968

A person is more than the dash between the dates of when they were born and when they died. She is more than her occupation or where she lived. It’s how she lived. Not that she was born in Missouri, but that she was born in a sod house in Missouri and at the age of eight traveled with her parents, two brothers, and three sisters in a covered wagon to the plains of Fort Collins, Colorado where her mother and sister died from malaria.

How did she meet her spouse? Was he her first choice? You might not know that she was engaged to a cowboy when she was thirteen, but her father wouldn’t allow the marriage for a year. Planning to return, her cowboy went to California to pan for gold and was killed in an earthquake, and she didn’t find anyone else until she was thirty-four. She remained married for forty-one years until his death, which unfortunately was on her birthday.

I realize that I am here because of an earthquake!

My hope is to document what I know to date in the form of a family DVD video and distribute a copy to all my family members, so descendants will know more about the dashes.

For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
...Author Linda Ellis

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Money House #3

The master bath is a room where extravagant imagination can run wild. While my taste in decor isn’t opulent, there are a few lavish features I’ve thought about.

I’d start in the corner of the room with a square sunken tub with two steps descending into the marbled pool. The corner would support two floor length windows overlooking a private tropical garden of fern, elephant ears, caladiums, hibiscus, and banana trees. My view above the pool displays a colorful muraled dome supported by two small white Greek or Roman columns at the entrance. Opulent would be having the trim gold leafed.

In another corner, the floor of my glass shower, continuously sloped from the rest of the bathroom marble, has an oversized clear glass door that swings both directions. It is large enough that, if needed during my old age, I could wheel a chair in. One side would have a built in marble bench to make leg shaving convenient. The multiple, multi-level showerheads would spray a pulsing massage or a gentle rain forest.

Something pampering that I’ve never seen before is to be able to soak my feet in warm swirling water and have a foot massage while sitting there on the pot in it’s own little room. Kind of like a long-lasting foot bidet! Maybe I’m going overboard here. After all, I’d have to plan ahead and strip my shoes and socks. Fortunately for me, that’s not a problem. I’m almost always barefoot! Beside the throne, there would be a magazine rack with shelves for a few paperback books, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and a place for blue and red pens, a pencil, and an eraser. The writing instrument variety is to give me multiple attempts at Sudoku without having to do multiple erasures of my errors.

Vanity double sinks are pretty common in today’s homes. Short of a descending Jetsons hairdo tube or tooth-brushing machine, my improvements would ensure plenty of drawer space so most used-daily items would not have to sit out on the counters. The finishing touch might be my handsome fellow shaving at the sink near mine. A girl can dream!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Great Escape

I’ve been reading so much more in the past five years than I ever did during the rest of my life. I never liked to read and am amazed I actually made it through all the reading requirements from school. I’m not talking about intellectual books and manuals containing technical and instructional jargon on how to build something mechanical or how to make an engine or computer run that I’ve needed to read and comprehend throughout my career. Those were easy.

I’m reading the type of books that divert my mind and venture into the areas of things I don’t romance. It’s comforting to know ahead of time that in the end, the girl gets the boy, or the boy gets the girl. It gives me encouragement, even if it may be false hope and unrealistic.

I don’t really like reading suspense, thriller, or mystery fiction and can’t stand non-fiction. I have to think too much. When I read, I want to fully escape without trying to think about who the killer is, how the hero or heroine overcomes some adversity, or how to escape some maniac. To me, it’s much more interesting reading about my favorite authors’ detailed romantic exploits so I can compare what I know to what I’ve missed out on. And if my hopes are ever fulfilled, I’ll have someone to practice on!

Friday, June 22, 2007


I recently attended my niece’s wedding outside of Houston. It was a beautiful affair at a wedding and reception facility of southern plantation style. The wedding package was all-inclusive with flowers, photography, a cathedral with twin staircases, cake, music, dining area, and dance floor. The entire event was perfect including a gorgeous bride and extremely handsome groom.

I’m guessing there were about 300 people at the sit down buffet dinner and dance following the ceremony. Several photos were taken of the bridal party along with all other attending family members. This consisted of three separate shots: the bride’s father’s family, the bride’s mother’s family, and the groom’s parent’s family.


As I was leaving, close to midnight, I was thinking about the many weddings in other branches of the family and the differences. Most were self-catered receptions to make them affordable. Being part of the family, I was automatically involved in the post wedding clean up that included washing dishes in church kitchens, setting up chairs for the next day’s event or putting them away after the reception. It took a good deal of time packing up the leftover food and carting the gifts to the parent’s home after the couple had left for the honeymoon. Sharing the work wasn’t thought of as a chore and family bonding was strengthened.

No matter which way your resources go, there is no guarantee that the marriage will last, even with all the best wishes and prayers of family and friends.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Money House #2

Another conflict for me in room terminology is “office” versus “study”. According to the dictionary, an office is a room in which business or professional activities take place, while a study is a room used for work that involves reading, thinking, or writing. At home in this room, I do both, so I’ve opted to call mine a study so I don’t feel obligated to put the word “home” in front of it, as in “home office” or like “home theater”.

I love my study and spend much of my time there on my computer, while multi-tasking watching TV, writing, and playing games. Recently, my computer time has been spent creating my family video, a topic I may expound on later. I have a wall of bookshelves and other storage cabinets and files. There are glass-paned French doors that are normally open, but can be closed if I wish to keep company out.

If I had the money thing going on, my study would be similar, but slightly larger so there’s room for a comfy reading chair, lamp, and maybe a small sofa so I can sit and visit with friends. There would also be enough room to have a dictionary stand for my big Webster’s unabridged that would make it accessible. Maybe I’d learn more words that way, or at least use the ones I know in the correct context.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Truth By Any Other Name

I’m somewhat incensed at the way marketers try to turn a negative feature about their product into a good thing. A recent annoyance is all the ads for the new pharmaceuticals that boldly announce the symptom, how their product goes about “fixing” it, and then in the fine print or in vocally whispered side effects of the drug, they happen to announce the very side effect that is the problem you are taking the drug for in the first place.

I believe new drugs are being approved much too early, before enough time has elapsed to reveal harmful long-term effects not included in the lumped narrative side effects. It’s obvious based on the amount of drugs that have recently been recalled. What will be the problems encountered in twenty or thirty years by people taking these insufficiently tested medicines now?

Another big product, as well as advertising, change was when animal testing became unpopular. What the marketers did was to make the term “clinically tested” sound desirable. The unthinking public accepted this without much attention. We blindly use the cosmetics, hair products, over-the-counter remedies, and even some prescription drugs. Do you know what that makes us?

We are the first animal to be testing the product. Bad move in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Money House #1

Having all the money imaginable to use at your discretion, in addition to traveling with friends as much as you want, have you ever wondered what kind of house you would choose to live in? What features? What size?

I recently thought about it after I read a new (to me) term for “home theater”. It was called a “cinema”—the common English name for a theater. Not a new word, yet not normally referenced as a room in a home. With money to spend, I would definitely have a cinema, probably with a currently-in-development organic light-emitting diode (OLED) painted wall as my screen. When I’m not watching something, I’ll be able to change the wall color at random.

The “cinema” will also have a 7.1 speaker system, but I don’t think I’ll have the volume turned up until the walls shake like some people do (remember Jericho). I’m not deaf yet. I have sensitive ears. The ceiling and floor materials will provide the best in acoustics.

There will be reclining lounge chairs with cup holders and places for the remotes (until they find a replacement method to change channels, volume, etc.), but not all will be as large as the ones my brother has. I want my feet to be able to touch the floor when the chair is upright! One level of the tiered room will have a sofa to lounge on...with comfy pillows to hug during scary scenes or gushy romantic ones if I’m not with my special someone.

A large, indexed storage area will hold DVDs or whatever the current technology is by the time I get all this money, and a pantry will hold movie snacks such as candy, crackers, cookies, and nuts; a microwave for nachos and popcorn; and a small refrigerator for soda or whatever. Of course, there’ll be a place for alternative snacks like fresh fruit.

I’m sure I’ve left out some items, like movie poster decorations, etc., but I’ll worry about those later. After making this huge investment, I hope the movie industry will be providing entertainment worthy of this endeavor.

I’ll blog about other rooms as I have time to describe them for my “money house”.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I Must Be Invisible

Have you ever wondered if you’re invisible? When driving while many other cars on the road seemed to be trying to run over me, I’ve often thought that my car must be invisible. It wasn’t like the color of my car blended in with the low light at dusk or dawn, or that it was so dirty it disapeared into the horizon.

A recent experience left me wondering if anyone ever looks at me. For the past 20 years or more, I’ve had my hair long in the back, almost to my waist or just a bit shorter. I recently had a significant amount of hair cut off all over...from 2 to 7 inches...and it now just touches my shoulders. It has not been this short since 1961. Yet, since my cut I’ve been around several members of my family and friends and not a single person commented on my hair.

I must conclude that people noticed and didn’t mention it because their mommas told them if they couldn’t say something nice, they shouldn’t say anything at all. If it’s not that, I must be invisible.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Feast to Famine

I must have a closer link to cave dwellers than some of my friends. Somewhere along the line, my ancestors probably included a tribe of hunters. They were the people who lived from feast to famine. And, thus being hungry much of the time, their bodies learned to store fat to sustain them during the lean times.

For the life of me, I find it difficult to stop eating so my body will be forced to draw from some of this fat I’ve stored up! I have proof. I still have the fat retained safely in my body!

Monday, May 28, 2007


When I first moved into my house almost four years ago, I remember performing one of my perpetual outdoor chores of pulling weeds. I was working on the side yard near the brick of the house when I saw an eyeball staring up at me, flat with the ground, between the tall grass. I looked at it a bit trying to decide what kind of dead animal was attached to it. Although it seemed a little too large, I decided it must have been a bird. I found a still weed stem to use to flip it over before picking it up to dispose of.

As I reached toward it, only a few inches away, I was startled when it jumped up and moved a foot away, toward the street and almost against the wall. It was the tiniest bunny I’ve ever seen, surely smaller than my fist if you took all the fur away, and so cute! It had done exactly as its mother and nature had trained it to do—be perfectly still for its own safety. The brown bunny with a white underbelly and tail had moved only when in imminent danger. The reason I couldn’t identify it before was because it was crouched in a divot in the grass.

Since I didn’t want to scare it into the street, I moved in a wide arc to the street side before I closed the distance between us, and proceeded to shoo it into the back yard for its escape.

A few nights ago I carried some bills to my mailbox. It wasn’t pitch dark, nor were any bright lights shining, but I noticed something between my neighbor’s yard and mine. It was a brown rabbit sitting perfectly still as I walked to and from the street, all the time talking to it, clicking my tongue, and making kissy noises. It never moved. I have seen a single rabbit only three or four other times while out at night, and like to think it’s the same baby I had found a few years back.

It couldn’t possibly be one of the probable seven hundred thirty eight other rabbits that must be frequenting the neighborhood!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Best

I've always considered my self generally good at most things I try, but have never had a desire to be "the best." Mostly because I'm not sure there actually is a "best", even at a particular moment in time. The reason—someone declared the best in things like Olympic competition, other sporting events, spelling bees, math contest, etc. are really only the best of those who chose to participate in the competition. I suspect there are many who feel no need to prove them self and one of them might be better than "the best".

Friday, May 25, 2007


If you had all the money you ever needed or wanted, what would you do? There’s a game based on that premise. Invariably, the consensus of those I’ve played with, after paying off bills is to travel...with friends.

Throughout life, I’ve normally traveled with family. Mine can be grouped within the term “friends”. And, although I don’t have unlimited funds, I’ve been expanding my experience to include others since 2000. I’m not surprised that people I’ve worked with, former high school classmates, and friends and spouses of these people make excellent traveling buddies. Touring with people you “know” allows you to partner for experiences you want rather than always doing what a single pal wants to do.

Reasons for going include vacations, holidays, and reunions. A desire to see something grand. Checking off something from your list of live goals. Fulfilling a need to get away from the daily grind. Experiencing thrills that aren’t available where you live. Traveling to every state in the U.S. All are excellent reasons. My trips have included driving places, flying, and mostly cruising. To date, the mix of group traveling companions has been fantastic and the destinations awesome.

Even on a shoestring budget I’d encourage you to be creative enough to plan a get together that could change your life. The key is to do it now, while you are healthy enough and able to enjoy it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pillow Crunching

I have several types of pillows on my bed, ranging from all down feathers, to down on the surface and feathers in the middle, to poly fiberfill, all in various degrees of firmness. I’ve avoided crumbled and formed sponge just because it seems creepy to me. I’m a bed-sitter. I sit on my bed to do paperwork, to read, to do Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and to tat. So, I have a variety of pillows to lean on and others to sleep on, or intermingle them. No matter what kind of pillow it is (except maybe the sponge type), they all eventually compress, so I have some cases containing two pillows that act as one. Including those in pillow shams, I have eight regular and king size pillows on my bed. I sleep on two down-type pillows to help me breathe. Occasionally one of the fiberfill ends up on the bottom of my two-pile stack.

In the past, I’ve never had my current problem of loud pillows. I’ve noticed I can hear the fiberfill “crunching” when I lie on it or lean against it. It’s loud enough to be annoying and keep me awake and I was wondering why it never bothered me in the past. Could it be that today’s fibers just make more noise? Or is it because I live in a quieter house now? Then I thought maybe some of my prescriptions make my hearing supersensitive.

In any case, it doesn’t bother me any more. Now that I’m up all-night and sleeping during the usually louder daytime, I use earplugs. Now, how do I mask the 24-hour, intermittent swishing and whooshing sounds from my jugular just below my ear? Chop off my head?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Perseverance or Stupidity?

How is it that many couples from my high school class have been married 35+ years, while others have tried and tried again, without success?

Contrary to vows of commitment to marriage matter how strongly you believe in it...staying together is the decision of two people. Parting company takes only one decision. All marriages have bumpy times. Some couples grow together along the same path becoming closer as the years go by, while others start out close together, but end on separate paths.

While “paying dues to matrimony”, I never let go of my individuality and independence nor have I expected my spouse to change in that respect. I believe that in the perfect relationship, we should each feel free to be ourselves. We’d be able to do a lot of what we wanted to, but I assumed much of that would be together as a couple...that we would want to do things as companions, and at least take turns doing what the other wanted. But, it didn’t work that way.

I realize I’m not an easy person to live with. Yes, I get tired of being “nice”. And I expect to be able to say exactly what I think and express how I be least with my spouse and best friends. This “politically correct” thing, in all aspects, infringes on my freedom of speech.

Having struck out with my hallucination of marital bliss, I wondered, “Why have the 'long timers' lasted?” I came up with the following reasons.

1. They do and always will love each other and are happy with their choices and circumstances.
2. They "honor the commitment" to each other on principle, for moral or religious standards, or other reasons instead of continuing to look for what they really want or need.
3. It never registers that they made a lousy choice in the beginning.
4. They marry and settle for what they have.
5. They aren't capable of taking care of them self.
6. They aren’t smart enough to know they aren’t happy!
7. Some stayed together for financial reasons.
8. Some stayed together for the sake (?) of the children.
9. They’re afraid they’ll be alone the rest of their life if they leave.
10. They are too lazy or comfortable to divorce and start over.

So, I’m not sure I should envy those long-term marriages, not knowing the reality of them. But from a distance, they do look good to the outsider.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Did you know roly-poly bugs (pill bugs) are like elephants? It has been raining here every other day, if not daily for the past three weeks, many times with severe thunderstorm, flooding, and tornado warnings. So I have not been able to do my regular spring spraying around the house to keep the bugs out. Strange as it seems, the roly-poly bugs are the first to invade.

This doesn’t bother me much, as sometimes it’s entertaining to watch the speed at which they circle around a wide perimeter of the family room. It’s not like they’re going to bite me if they catch up with me and they can’t climb up on the countertops to make nuisances of themselves, so I mostly just watch to make sure I don’t step on them and grind them into the carpet. You’d think as they expire, I’d be finding rolled up bodies all over, but instead, there are definitely two corners in my kitchen where I find piles of them. Like sick elephants that try to go to one spot to die, I think these corners must be roly-poly graveyards.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


How can I live a life without regrets if I already have many uncorrectable regrets queued up by the time I decide to turn a new leaf? I’m attempting to figure this out for myself and have researched some ideas.

There is no such thing as a life without any regrets, but suggestions are available to help me move on.

1. Determine what the regret really is.
2. Analyze the regret and how it is viewed.
3. Accept the circumstances, as well as the consequences of holding onto the regret.
4. Grieve for the regret.
5. Forgive self or others, and make amends. "Fix" whatever can be changed.
6. Recognize what has been learned or gained. Look for the lesson and focus on it instead of what might have been.

I’ve been stuck on number 6 for a while, and may never get past it.

But there are certain actions that might help to accomplish these steps.
1. Write about the regrets.
2. Talk to a trusted friend or family member who can help identify fallacies in my thinking.
3. Visualize myself acting and doing things as I move forward and leave my regrets behind.
4. Seek out groups or a coach in order to modify behavioral patterns.
5. Do not minimize the regret. Accept it as it is and do not make it bigger or more powerful by dwelling on it.

I’m also trapped by the second half of number 5.

Just because I can’t let go doesn’t mean I can’t move forward. Suggestions to accomplish this include some or all of the following actions and thoughts.

1. Commit Yourself — Right now is the only life you have. Make an agreement with yourself to commit to being a participant, not an observer. Commit yourself to the process of finding and following your dreams, wants and desires. Live with intention. Live in gratitude. Live in the moment.

2. Make A List of Goals/Aspirations — It’s easier to focus on something tangible. Write out all the big and small action items. Start small with little steps. Make a solid plan for your future endeavors, such as travel, getting a raise at work, or finish writing that book you’ve been intending to write. Post the list somewhere visible or somewhere you can review the items often. Select the easier goals to accomplish first, to build some success momentum for the more difficult ones. Living a great life on your own terms is an enviable goal.

Cross listed items off as they are done, but do not remove the items. Being able to look at them together will be proof and a reminder of your accomplishments.

3. Break It Down — As you pin down each long-term goal, break it into smaller units. Completing one small task at a time will get you moving forward and on your way to that huge goal you thought you’d never meet.

4. Try New Things — List the things you would like to do. Add to the list everyday. Try something new each week. Try everything you want to try. Keep one eye on what you’re doing, and the other on your future self. Think about how you want your story to go in the future.

5. Remember Past Accomplishments — Keep a list of all the moments in your life you feel were accomplishments. What made you feel that way: the adventure, the opportunity to educate others, to help shape a community, learning about another culture, doing something new, achieving a goal, or working with technology.

Each experience should teach you something as both accomplishments and failures carry their own lessons. Keep a journal and notice when you feel the most proactive. Note these things and see if there are any common threads or directions that need further investigation. Keep track of the actions that further your goals and those that hinder them. Don’t let a nasty experience discourage you; learn from it. Note things you could have avoided.

6. Mark Your Calendar — Take charge and plan your social occasions. The way to make memories is to do stuff. The way to ensure you’re doing stuff is to plan your own social calendar. Be proactive.

7. Identify Proactive People — Make a list of proactive people you know. Spend time, collaborate, pioneer, and play with them. Make a vow to keep in touch with people who are important to you. Drop your dead weight. Some people just are not good for you. Don’t waste your time with toxic people.

8. Tolerate Nothing — What are you tolerating in your life? Is there a health challenge you are not addressing, a relationship you have long outgrown, or a home full of paraphernalia that is crowding you? If you are not being proactive in life you are being reactive. Take responsibility.

9. Build Yourself Up — Remind yourself of what you’ve done and what you’re capable of in the future. Relish in what you’ve accomplished to make your life fuller and less regretful. As you see yourself accomplishing your own goals, you’ll be motivated to tackle even more. You can accomplish great things with your life. Pump up your introspection.

10. Anchor Yourself — Keep little reminders of what you want all around you to remind you of your and powerful quotes that remind you of what’s important. Life is lived in the everyday, so use your anchors to help you aim high in all that you do.

What is regrettable varies from person to person, and some things that cause regret are beyond control. There’s nothing that causes more regret than letting the good times slip by. Keep your eyes open to the world around you and immediately use the opportunities that come your way. Never lose sight of your goals and remember that balance is the key to success. Balance the accomplishments against the “what ifs”, the regrets. Most have heard and should reconsider the following.

1. ‘Tis better to have love and lost...
2. Dance like nobody’s watching
3. Live without excuses and love without regret

Do what you want to do. Go where you want to go. Be who you want to be.

I have my list. Now I just need to start.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Throughout my life I’ve considered myself a B+. My first and last names both start with B. My grades in school averaged from an A- to a B+. My blood type is B+. My daughter’s name starts with B. The street I live on starts with B. My favorite color is Blue.

I love the Beach. I like Bubble Baths. I like to play Bridge. I used to look okay in a Bikini. Maybe that’s carrying it a little too far. I’m bigger than a Bread Box. I think I'm Brave, Bold, Beautiful on the inside, and occasionally Brainy.

I almost feel sorry for people whose names start with any letter after “F”. Well, maybe after “C”. And I know plenty of people whose names start with “A”, who aren’t...”A”s, at all.

But, that’s least that’s what I’ve thought for a long time.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Failure

One of the advantages of being an early-on computer geek was catching the crest of the email wave. Combine this with a 30th high school class reunion in the mid '90s and I had the potential to virtually reconstruct our class that was by that time scattered over the world.

The limitations included finding an initial contact method for those whose locations were known, along with the time constraint for classmates having a computer and an email address.

As each was added to the group, there was the potential that they knew the whereabouts of someone who was "missing". The idea was, when each person wrote an email, everyone in the group was copied, to create a kind of electronic round robin correspondence that I designated Elogs.

It was fantastic during those early years because, as each person contributed, they related their high school experiences and told about their families. That triggered discussions from others. It was very exciting in those early days of electronic communication. I worked very hard to get the group to this point.

By the turn of the millennium, we had collected email addresses for about 90 classmates out of somewhere round 475 graduates. That's really not bad after all these years. Our chatter, information exchange, and newly developed friendships enhanced our meeting at our 35th reunion.

Being the aforementioned geek, I never felt part of the high school "in crowd". I learned there were many in our group who felt like outsiders during those formative years. So, I thought the email group was a fantastic equalizer that allowed us all to start over. Be mature. Be friends without the clicks. What a great experiment this see if everyone would remain friends even if they weren't in high school.

The general rule was that anyone could express their opinions as long as they made no personal attacks against someone else. Unfortunately, topics of religion and politics evolved into heated debates and name calling among a handful of participants. Rather than moving their arguments to side discussions, their public conflicts caused several classmates to drop out of the group and created hard feelings between others.

On the flip-side of the over analyzers were the listeners...the non-participants. Without their contributions of new topics and information, conversation became stale. Some were shy and the conflicts gave them reason to withdraw further.

The result of the angst is that, now, rarely does anyone address the whole group for conversation, and if someone does, responses are not sent to all...just returned to the sender. Many small groups have now's clicks.

So after 10 years of trial, we have come full circle, back to the immaturity of high school. My hope of friendship that included everyone is dashed. My experiment a failure.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Am I the only one who has cordless push button home phones with nearly worn out button number 1? With all the 800 numbers (actually 1+800) and the recorded answering and information systems (press 1 for English), used in my personal life, my #1 on a couple of my handsets must now be pressed especially hard for it to register the push button tone. And, if I push too hard, then I get two ones in a row and have to start over. Does anyone have a cure for this problem, short of purchasing new handsets? This is just one of the things that pushes my buttons.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Willing Telepathy

Have you ever wanted someone else to do something so badly that you attempted to use mental telepathy to make it happen? You know, where you try to inject your own thoughts into the other’s mind?

After trying mega multiple times over a time span of several years using all the “might” that I can muster from my brain, and feeling somewhat foolish because I know it’s not a proven science, I deduced that if it were at all possible, my attempt would work. But since the target of my brain waves has not performed in the way I wanted, I must conclude that thought transference is a myth...something that is impossible to do. It’s not like my projected thought was to do something illegal.

Even though I have failed all these years, my desire to project to this person and have my request fulfilled is so strong, I will continue to exercise my skill or lack there of until I am no longer able to do so. Why, you might ask? It’s because I have this intuitive feeling that what I am projecting is destined to happen.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Why Are We Paying?

There oughta be a law about how many times an infomercial can be shown within a certain time span and how many simultaneous broadcasts can be made on different channels. And I don’t understand the concept of paying for cable TV channels that are infomercials at least six hours a day. How are cable companies getting away with this?

Of course, back in the ‘70s (or was it the late ‘60s) I never understood the need to pay extra to have name brands on the outside of your clothing, thus advertising for them at your own expense. Maybe it’s just that I’ve always been the odd person out.

Can someone explain the logic in either of these?

Friday, April 06, 2007

The New Aerobics

I just finished forty-five minutes of aerobic weed pulling. I bet you thought weed pulling was a sedentary activity. Wrong.

The first of the season weeds in my back yard are an average of two feet high and today the air is a chilly fifty degrees. Since my back yard is so bad, I thought I’d rush out and pull only one large bag full, something I didn’t think would take too long based on the size of my weeds. So rather than sitting down on a towel on the grass and scooting along, pulling them until they all disappeared, I utilized the seldom-employed bend over method. Unfortunately, the weeds kept compressing in the bag and I removed twice as manyas I had intended. Although we recently had rain, a few of the roots were stubborn, so I also experienced the side benefit of upper body muscle toning along with my cardio.

Next time I need to remember to do this in front of an audience as I did with my hot summer edging and mowing in the front yard. When I exert myself my face, neck, and shoulders turn a brilliant red. At the time, my new, much younger next-door neighbor must have thought I was going to have a heart attack because when I loaned him my mower, he volunteered to mow my yard, front and back, along with his own. He continues to do this now, three years later.

The way I was huffing and puffing when I came in from my weed pulling, surely he would have volunteered to do my weeds, too! Actually, he already did volunteer to mow and bag them for me since many were the thorny kind, but I asked him to give me a chance to pull them so I could get the roots out of the grass.

To encourage him to continue helping me, in addition to letting him use my mower, I bake banana bread for him, but as nice as he and his family are, I don’t really think I’d have to do that. Anyway, it’s great having a thoughtful neighbor.