Monday, May 30, 2011

Mornings In The Woods

This is very much the sound that wakes me in the morning. I am treated to the chorus of Chickadees, Goldfinch, House Wrens, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Robins and Crows. There are, of course, a few other birds out there that I have not yet identified by their song.

It begins somewhere around 6 am, and will abruptly stop around 11. I'm assuming it's the avian version of the Morning News followed by Good Morning America. Of course, I could be wrong and it's the Today Show I listen to. Hard to tell since I don't speak the language.

Today the sun is out, the sky is blue, the birds have spread their news. The Daily Rain will come later and I am on my way out the door to visit the various cemeteries where the Veterans in my family have been laid to rest.

Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Call Of The Wild

It's late in the day on a Friday afternoon. The sky is dark with dense black clouds. The air is heavy, almost wet. The woods are cloaked in gloomy shades of gray, the usual birds aren't serenading me with their songs. No chickadee-dee-dee, no warbling of robins. Not even the caw of a crow. There's an unnatural stillness, something oppressive. Something I can't quite put my finger on. I am struck by a sense that something is about to happen.

I know we're expecting severe thunderstorms again. From the looks of the sky, they could start any time now, so I hurry up the steps to the deck. I want to be indoors when they happen. This year the rain has been accompanied by golf ball sized hail. I've seen the damage on cars that size hail creates, I'd prefer not to feel that on my skin.

I'm just putting the key in the lock when the stillness is broken by this:

I know it's right behind me. I whirl around just in time to see a flash of red as he wings his way to the maple tree in my yard. He lights on a branch where I can see him and calls out again.
It's the first time I've gotten a look at him. I can usually hear him tapping, sometimes he does so on my home. I've never managed to see him as clearly as I saw him on Friday afternoon. He's usually just a flash of red against the green of the trees.

He moved back against the tree trunk and I walked through my door just as the first drops of rain fell. No thunder or lightening, just rain and the eerie sound of a Pileated Woodpecker announcing his presence to the other silent residents of the woods. Take heed, I am here, and here I will stay.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I don't know why lately Blogger seems to be having a lot of problems. I guess sometimes if it ain't broke, don't fix it is a good rule of thumb to follow. Seems like there's been problem after problem since they tried a maintenance upgrade and added some bad code. The current problem is that we have all lost our followers. Every widget on every page I've looked at is blank. I went to my Dashboard and clicked on the page that will allow me to see my 36 followers and that too is...BLANK.

I know I'm still following all of you since your current posts show up on my Dashboard reader. Your avatars, however, are a different thing. I suspect this time it's a Google problem rather than a Blogger problem because the Friend Connect reader is theirs. I wonder if this problem has anything to do with Lalepop's latest post?

This, of course, is not the post I planned on putting up here. That post is saved in drafts to be worked on since it just isn't coming out the way I want it to. I will probably find the time to work on it in the next couple of days since we have no holiday plans other than to hang out around the house and enjoy ourselves. It's hazy, hot and humid so I'm staying wherever there's an AC unit working. Like right here, in front of my computer, AFTER the housework... of course.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chrome Is King

I have to say that after 2 days of playing around with it, it's a much different browser than Internet Explorer is. For instance, if I have an image I want to put into this blog, once I click the "save picture as", it creates a download file that is at the bottom of my screen. When I clicked on the image in the post editor, it opens a screen that will upload the image directly into the blog without taking the image to my picture folder. I think that if I wished to upload to a hosting service like Photobucket, I'd have to move the file to my Picture folder and then upload to the hosting service.

It has proved to be a much faster browser for me. I don't have the page load problems I was having with IE8. I've had as many as 5 pages open at a time without any problem downloading another one. On IE8, if I had a page open, opening another one took forever. If I was in Twitter and wanted to see the article someone provided a link for, it would take a long time to open the link. With Chrome, it opens right away without any problems. Last night I had 3 data rich pages open and had no problem with any of them.

The Chrome Home page shows me the sites I visit most as web slices, so all I need to do to come to Blogger, my email, Twitter, ICanHazCheeseburgers or any other place I visit regularly is to click on the slice and I'm there. My two local news channels that I read regularly are add ons in the browser bar.

I have not yet found a feature that allows me to erase my browsing history from Chrome and I think that's because of the web slice page. It has to know your history in order to show you where you last were during that browsing session. You can manually delete it but it doesn't seem to be an automatic feature.

I love, love, love being able to see videos without pauses. Any video I've tried for 2 days has played for me all the way through without stopping. I'm going to try the streaming newscast from the local channel closest to me. I've never been able to watch one, I might be able to now. All in all, I'm quite satisfied with Chrome, and after a few more days of trying it out, I just might make it my default browser and forget that IE ever existed. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Favorite Color Might Be...Chrome.

Again I had the logging in problem. After waiting awhile I decided to do what the powers that be at Blogger suggested, which was to try signing in on another browser. Which required that I download another browser. I chose to try Google Chrome. I figured that Blogger is a Google product, Chrome is a Google Product and after 2 days of troubles, I needed every edge.

Before I made up my mind that possibly IE8 is part of the problem, I just went and tried logging in on it. No luck, and I am logged in on Chrome. Apparently something was added to Blogger, and communication between Blogger and Internet Explorer 8 has been affected. Then again, lately I've been having problems with that browser in other ways. Too many "can't display web pages" and according to Microsoft diagnostics my Firewall is blocking some functions of that browser. Hello? It's the only browser I've ever used and it's a Microsoft product so what in the blue blazes are they talking about?

I take that back, I tried Firefox back in 2007 or so and my IE browser kept trying to kick it out. I had major problems between the two of them so I got rid of it.

I haven't tried videos on this browser yet. On IE, I have trouble playing some of them and I don't think I should because my download speed is fast enough, so I'm beginning to wonder if it's that browser. I'll find out in a bit. I need to explore what this baby comes with. It seems pretty decent, but I do have one complaint. It didn't come with Trace Adkins.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nothing Important, Just What's On My Mind

On Friday, Monday and again today, work would keep me out of the house until 4:30 pm. Business hours at the Wildlife Rescue locally end at 4. They're available on a 24 hour basis for rescues, but information is another thing. Today is my long travel day and as I was driving I kept seeing dead skunks in the roadway. Each time I had to swerve to avoid another one, I kept thinking that Mama Skunk didn't make it.

I pulled into the driveway of my 2pm case with 10 minutes to spare and used my cell phone to call the Wildlife office. It was then that I found out Mama Skunk was found dead in her cage last Friday morning. Given her condition when recovered from my deck, it wasn't an unexpected death. Had she not been found dead, she most likely would have died during surgery. Of course, the babies didn't make it either. When they found her she'd been dead too long to try a C section to save them.

I was itching to do this post when I first came home and found that I was locked out of my blog. Apparently another bug was stopping around 10,000 of us from logging in. It also was affecting comments as well so those like Sarge should be Ok now.

It was kind of a funny thing as yesterday I discovered that Blogger did give me back my missing post plus the comments it took. And then today, the fun started up again.

I don't know if I've become jaded, or possibly I have different priorities, but the log in problem didn't concern me once I figured out it was a Blogger issue and not mine. I can remember the time when I would have nearly had an anxiety attack over a failure to get to blogging when I had something I wanted to say. Then again, it could be that I have nothing really important to say and I can say nothing anytime.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Exploring "What If?"

Yesterday I goofed off while not sitting in front of my computer. I accomplished what I planned on doing in the morning and then spent part of the afternoon with Hubby watching TV. We had been watching a couple of programs on CNBC when he switched to The Weather Channel just in time to see the first scenes from Reading, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri.

The devastation is beyond anything I can grasp. These events are just something that don't happen here, so I have nothing with which to measure it against. We get tornadoes, but they're only of the weakest strength. Nothing, absolutely nothing to compare with what happened yesterday. While I am not given to Doomsday theories, I have to ask myself why there have been so many of these catastrophic events this year?

While watching the first two programs on CNBC, I was reminded that there is a world of people out there that I neither understand nor care to meet. People who are motivated by greed and will use every means at their disposal to make themselves wealthier. It seems that the sheer volume of their numbers is on the rise.

The two programs we watched were "American Greed" which exposes con artists and their schemes. Yesterday they featured a Ponzi scheme operated during the 1990's by a religious group called Greater Ministries International. Church members nationwide invested their life savings and in some cases mortgaged their homes to invest in diamond mines in Africa. People who were interviewed for that program, men and women of retirement age who asked themselves if this didn't sound too good to be true, and then they mortgaged their lives to invest.

The second program was "Divorce Wars" which featured the divorces of the rich. Apparently when it comes to amicable division of the marital property, the wealthy don't seem to have any concept of the word amicable. Of the 6 people that were involved in these divorce wars, the only one I had any sympathy for was the woman who received a mere $750,000 from her husband who was a multi-millionaire. The reason that I do have sympathy for her is that he committed fraud to keep her from getting anything that he didn't want to part with. It took her 15 years to find the evidence to prove it, but she ended up with a $10 million settlement.

Of course, since I don't grasp why anyone would be that greedy, I was thinking about both programs when we changed the channel and saw the damage wrought by a tornado. I'm sure there has to be an explanation for why we're experiencing so many natural disasters. I'm very sure that no matter how hard I try, I won't be able to find that explanation any more than I can find an explanation for why so many are so greedy. I do know one thing. When one is very saddened by the state of our society, when one sees the greed and lack of compassion prevalent today, it would be very easy for that person to believe that these natural events are harbingers of approaching Armaggedon.

Do I believe that? No, not really. I admit to a brief passing thought along that line when we changed the channel yesterday. Then I had a good laugh at myself.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Attacked By A Bottle Of Pancake Syrup?

Normally, when I choose to go to Walmart, I go to the supercenter in the smaller of the two cities I'm closest to. In that Walmart I do not normally meet the kind of shopper that you see on the People of Walmart website. I don't even meet the caliber of shopper that Scratch seems to attract. No weirdos, no idiots, no losers, just neighbors, family and friends. Ok, so maybe there's a few weirdos there, but in a nice way.

I had to go there today, after my 2 hours of work, and frankly, I wish I hadn't. Everything was going smoothly until I arrived at the cereal aisle. I had just removed a box of pancake mix and syrup from the shelf, and was turned back to my shopping cart so I didn't exactly see what happened. I just heard it, and felt it. And ended up with it all over me.

Some guy walked behind me with his arms full of things and his elbow knocked a bottle of syrup off the shelf, onto the floor where it exploded and spattered all over me. It missed him completely. I heard the loud pop, and felt things start to drip from my hair down my neck. It was oozing through my fingers. It was on the back of my white capri slacks and running down my leg into my shoes.  The guy just says "Oh! I'm sorry honey, I got it on you" and walked away leaving me standing there dripping. At least he picked the bottle up and put it back on the shelf.

A woman on an electric cart that had just come through the very same spot behind me didn't knock anything down nor did she run over my heels in an attempt to avoid knocking anything down, so there was ample clearance between me and the product. She went to get a store employee to help me out. The store employee escorted me to the ladies room and went inside with me to see if there was a way that we could get it off the back of my pants. We encountered another good samaritan who suggested a tide bleach pen.

The store employee was going to go and get one when the samaritan offered me hers. I offered to pay for it and she wouldn't hear of it. Now that's the kind of Walmart People I usually meet. Which made up for the one that did all the damage and then walked away without going to get a store employee to clean up the sticky mess on the floor at least. I guess he thought that Walmart would have made him pay for the breakage. They usually don't because they'd rather have someone report it than to leave the mess where someone could get hurt.

Thanks to the lady with the bleach pen I managed to finish my shopping without people thinking I'd had some sort of accident that they didn't want to know about. The syrup he knocked down was a dark amber in color which made brown spots on the back of my capris. Except for the sticky spot in my hair, I looked presentable so people didn't try to leave a wide path between us.

That Tide pen worked great, it lightened the brown up to the invisible point and once washed, I'll be able to wear those pants again. A shower and a hair washing took care of the rest. Other than the embarrassment of walking through a store with brown stains on the back of ones white pants and the really creepy sensation caused by syrup oozing down my neck and legs, everything is all right in my world.

While I realize there was nothing much the guy who caused the problem could do about it, he should have at least found a store employee and owned up to what happened. However, he acted in typical male fashion. Make a mess and leave the women to take care of it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pockets Full Of Air

Every time I get an email from Robbie, Nancy or Chuck, they want money. Not only do they want money, they seem to feel that the need is urgent. I suppose I should be respectful and address them as Mr. Mook, Mrs Pelosi and Mr. Schumer, but they call me Sherry, as if we were buddies, so...

At least Barack, and Joe only seem to want me to do something to support their agendas. They never ask for the contents of my pocketbook, but I'm no more impressed with them since they always speak to me about need. Theirs, not mine. Not one of them who send me emails ever does so to find out how I'm doing or if there's anything I need. It's always all about them.

Last year when MSNBC placed Mr Olbermann on suspension I signed a petition, online, to ask them to bring him back. The petition was made available by a group called Bold Progressives. When I signed that petition using my gmail address, I opted out of receiving additional emails. I didn't hear from them again.

A few months later, I addressed a tweet to President Obama in Twitter. I don't even remember what it was, just something that occured to me, probably having to do with the failure to raise taxes on the wealthy. Now, in Twitter, my name is Butterose, and my profile lists my real name as Sharon W. These emails aren't addressed to Sharon, they are addressed to Sherry. Which indicates to me that either Big Brother really is watching us, or Bold Progressives gave out my email.

They started shortly after my assinine tweet to the President and I get one every time there's an agenda to be pushed. The first one came from Vice President Joe Biden. Most often they come from Robbie Mook or Sherrod Brown. Every single one of them addresses me as Sherry, and not a one of them asks me what they can do for me. So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell them what it is they can do for me, for a change.

Dear Politicians,

I am writing to inform you that while I enjoy finding out what's going on in the political world, I'm afraid I will just have to ignore your requests for money. Since the price of gas is so high, and the cost of the food we buy at the grocers has also increased due to the high price of gas, keeping body and soul together has taken all of the pittance I earn and leaves me with nothing to place in your coffers.

Yes, Mr. President, I agree that immigration is a problem.  Robbie, Nancy, Chuck, Joe, I really, really wish I could help you turn that "ruby red" district here in NYS into a sapphire blue district, but unfortunately keeping a roof over my head, food in my stomach and gas in my car so I can earn enough to take care of the first two pressing issues has used up all of my available funds.

Feel free to keep sending me emails. Who knows? When you all get your heads out of your asses and get firm about addressing Social Security, Medicare, Wall Street, and the Republicans who support killing the first two programs to make the Fat Cats on Wall Street fatter, I might be able to hang onto just enough to send you something once in awhile.  That is, IF you can manage to hang onto Social Security long enough for me to start collecting it in 4 more years.

In other words, if you need money, try emptying your own pockets, you've taken all there was in mine.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Stinky Excuse For Being Late

Shortly after my husband left for work the other morning, I heard a noise on our deck. I opened the inner door to see a skunk making itself at home about 3 feet from the door. It's very unusual to see a skunk curled up on my doorstep even though I live in the country. Mostly they just wander through my yard on their way to who knows where, but they don't usually stop for a visit.

The sound of the door opening made it lift it's head and look, but it didn't move or react in any hostile way. Not being one to go blundering out of the house to shoo it away, I called Wildlife Rescue to find out what to do. They asked what felt like a million questions regarding things I know nothing about, but since there'd been no contact twixt me and Stinky, they didn't seem too worried about it. I was beginning to get upset because I thought they weren't going to help me. I needed to go out that way to get to my car to go to work, and there was no way I was going to walk within a foot of a sleeping skunk.

I was told that I wouldn't be getting to work on time since no one could come until after 9. I had to call the office and tell them I needed to switch my clients to a later time since I had a sleeping skunk on my deck. The eau de skunk scent was pretty strong which is an indication that it had sprayed something. I am aware that it will be 2 or 3 more days before it can spray again but there is rabies in my county and I'm not a fan of having shots for 7 days or so. I was definitely staying indoors, the office wasn't thrilled with me. I did not care.

I checked on it a couple of times, hoping that it had moved on and it was still lying there unmoved and unmoving. At one point I wondered if it had died out there. Didn't have nerve enough to try poking it with something. I'm sure you've heard the adage about leaving sleeping dogs lie? Well, the same can be said of skunks. Definitely not going to poke a skunk with anything to see if it's still alive. Alive or dead, I wanted it gone.

Two hardy souls from Rescue showed up with skunk catching equipment shortly after 9:30. They came around to the safe side of my home and through a window told me to close my inside door. I didn't know that an angry skunk could throw itself at a window hard enough to break it. Which would have meant I would have an angry skunk in my house. Not exactly my idea of a welcome house pet. I closed my door and lost the oportunity to see the rescue operation. There was some noise, something that sounded like growling and then a knock on the door.

Stinky was in a cage being transported to a truck when I opened it. They didn't think the poor thing had rabies, what they found was a broken leg. She was sleeping because she was in shock. May have been hit by a car someplace and just dragged herself up here because there's an invisible sign out there somewhere that says "Stop Here, Nice Lady Will Seek Help" or something. She turned out to be a female who is pregnant. She should pop anytime now, skunks have their babies in May or early June.

I don't know if she's still alive. I did ask what would happen to her and was told that she wouldn't be released back into the wilds because her leg was too badly mangled from what they could see during the capture. They also didn't know if she'd survive because she didn't try to fight back which indicates she was in a bad way. I didn't ask anything else because I had looked through the glass door at her, and in all honesty, I don't want to know that she didn't make it.

The rain has washed away the blood, but the faint odor of skunk lingers in the air. That too will fade as will the memory of what I saw when I looked into her eyes. She had beautiful eyes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Racism Is A Two Way Street, And Some Of My Best Friends Are Color Blind

Yesterday, while being lazy and spending far too much time online, I found the Harvard Project Implicit website. I found the link to it in a blog post attacking White Liberals for their superior attitudes towards blacks. I was tempted to leave a comment suggesting that racism is a two way street and if they didn't believe that, they needed to look at what they were saying. I chose not to leave a comment at all simply because I don't know the author of that post and I don't know what that person has had to deal with. I am, after all, white.

I certainly can't say "I'm not a racist" because I was born and raised in a family that is. I believe wholeheartedly that it's wrong, but overcoming my upbringing isn't always that easy. There was more than one family problem caused by my being seen hugging a black man while standing on the street in broad daylight. The first time I was 18 and didn't handle it well. The second time I was in my 40's, married, and assisting my stepfather run errands. Coming out of the dry cleaners with his clothes, I encountered my friend John Dove. We shared a bit of conversation after which he hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. My step father locked me out of the car. He let me open the back seat to put the clothes in and hit the automatic lock button as soon as I closed the door. I had to catch a bus to get home, fortunately we lived in the city way back then.

My Mom tried not to be racist, although she too had the upbringing. I think I'm a little more successful at it because at least I don't go around saying some of my best friends are black. When Mom found out that I got left behind because of a kiss on the cheek from John, she was livid. Frankly, John was a far better person than my step-father was. Of course, my step-father wouldn't have seen it that way since he was white and that made him superior to blacks. Even one who was a scientist, who created the CD ROM technology and held two other patents for something having to do with photonics, I think.

I was 8 years old befoer I ever met a black person in real life. My Dad worked part time for a building contractor. He spent nights until dark and weekends working for no pay on this job. His pay was kept by the contractor as a down payment on the house Dad wanted. Work on finishing our house took place in the winter and as we were getting into spring, the finishing touches were being done on the inside. We spent our Saturdays there while Mom and Dad did things like sand and stain doors, paint walls, etc.

One Saturday just a couple of weeks before we moved in, a man showed up to lay the tile floors in kitchen and bath. His name was Mac, and he was, not only black, but he was the tallest man I'd ever met. Even taller than Grandpa in my 8 year old eyes. He was a minister of a small church and he too worked for the contractor, only he did so during the week since the church couldn't support him and his large family. He was the only adult who didn't treat me as if I should be seen and not heard. He treated me as if I was special in some way. Dad would tell me to leave him alone and he would tell Dad I was fine, and not bothering him at all. I know how to lay tile floors because of what Mac taught me, and I have used that skill now and again.

Knowing how I feel about racism, I honestly thought I'd do much better on the tests than I did. My results on the 2 demo tests I took are that I Moderately prefer Other People over Muslims, and I also Moderately prefer Whites over Blacks. At first I wanted to argue with the scores, but then I got to thinking about what the test scores of Muslims and Blacks would be. I'm pretty sure, given their scope of experience that they wouldn't score any better than I did. What it all means anyways is that there is still more work to be done.

My problems is that work can't be done by myself. It requires honest dialogue and people who are willing to listen to things about themselves that they might not like to hear. I've come a long way from the child whose Dad and Grandad would sit at the table and laugh about siccing the dog on some poor unsuspecting young black child who happened to wander too close to the house. I've learned to stand up and say don't do that when a derogatory term is used to describe someone who is not white. I've also learned enough to fearlessly write a blog post saying that racism exists, and no we white people don't understand, so will you please stop lumping us all together and talk to us as individuals. Who knows? You might find a person of quality underneath my white skin. I may not understand, but I can learn.

Harvard Implicit Project

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jail'Me Kirlew And Other Problems With Extreme Couponing

On Wednesday night I watched the program "Extreme Couponing" for the first time. Despite the fact that like everyone else, I'm always looking to save money, I won't be watching it again. It would be great to purchase $500 to $600 worth of groceries for 80% to 90% off, but I have no use for 25 boxes of cake mix or frozen pizza. I certainly have no desire to stockpile 300 bottles of soda or sports drinks.

What I saw was 2 to 3 or more grocery carts full of items that contribute to heart disease and diabetes. Foods which are loaded with salt, sugar and transfats. There were no lean meats. No fresh fruits or vegetables, no whole grain products. Just prepackaged, highly processed foods and sugary drinks.

Has it not escaped anyone watching this program that these women were going out and buying items to add to stockpiles of items that all ready were valued at $10,000+? How far past it's expiration date is some of that stuff? Will someone explain to me why a couple with no children need a stack of canned soup cases that is 5 feet high?

For thse women, coupon finding and clipping is a full time job. All of the women said they spend an average of 35 hours a week on this task. One of them has 5 computers on which she can download more of the e-coupons than she'd be allowed normally. Saving money by extreme couponing has allowed one woman to buy a spanking new SUV. Of course it sits out in the driveway because her garage is used to store all her purchases. Organized neatly on industrial metal shelving units. She has a grocery store in her garage, but she had to go buy $600 worth of groceries for less than $30 because....why? Every one of these women said this type of shopping is addicting.

Apparently it's so addicting that some women are willing to cheat both the manufacturer of the products they're buying and the stores they're buying from to achieve their goals. From what I've read, one woman, shown last month was committing coupon fraud by buying the product, but she was buying the smaller sizes. The bar code reader in the stores apparently reads the family code for products and accepts the coupon even if it isn't for the item listed on the coupon. For instance the shopper had coupons for $1 off the 4 packs of Yoplait yogurt. She used the coupons on Yoplait yogurt in the 6 ounce container.

Supporters who follow her Facebook page commented that she should be left alone since no one was hurt by her actions. That's not exactly true. When the manufacturer audits the coupons from the store, they will see that sales figures on the 4 packs of Yoplait don't match the number of coupons used. It will then refuse to pay the store for the items. In essence, by using fraudulent shopping habits, she committed shop lifting since the store won't be paid. Shop lifting is a crime. So is coupon fraud, which is what she's doing, and she's doing it regularly. Even after finding out that what she's doing is a crime.

NOTE: If you wish to listen to this video, please scroll to the very bottom of my page where you will find my music widget and turn it off. Trying to listen to both may be difficult.

Manufacturers offering coupons are now changing the bar code formula for their coupons to prevent this type of fraud from happening. I would say the fact that they're doing so is an indication of how widespread this practice may be. It costs to change these codes so it seems to me that manufacturers have knowledge of how much they're losing as a result of these fraudulent practices and are taking steps to protect themselves and the grocers who redeem them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Does Crappy Cat Cook Raindrops?

According to Blogger Status and Blogger Buzz, nearly all missing posts have been restored and they are working on restoring missing comments over the weekend. Although my missing post is still missing, it's not entirely lost. I have it saved on my computer, a habit I acquired from losing so many posts at my former blog home. Since the operative word in my first sentence is "nearly" I'm going to give it another day before reposting.

Since my temporarily missing post was written about a fairly hot topic, the program Extreme Couponing, I had quite a few search engine directed visitors to my page. They probably didn't understand why they were directed here since there is no post regarding that program visible. I know they were here because I have this curiosity thing which makes me click on stuff when I feel it's safe to do so.

All of our blogs come equipped with this Stats tab, I clicked on it and discovered that I could find out things like what countries people who visit are from and what search terms they're using. I can get a rundown of the browsers they're using and at the bottom of the sub tab "Traffic Sources" I can find what search terms are bringing people to my blog. Of course, I have no way of knowing that they read what I wrote. Just that they clicked in. Some of the search terms I'm finding make me scratch my head and wonder...WTF?????

crappy cat

factory farming facts 2011

facts about raindrops

how is raindrops made

how to cook raindrops

things that remind me of daughter

why did they make looney tunes

paragraph on how to make things beautiful

quick facts about factory farming

"nutrition label"

what is keith olbermann up to these days


cebarre pictures

funny oneliners 2011


blues image pueblo

fun chairwell

sense of humor for kids and bullying

coupon diva kitty

extreme coupon diva

facts about factory the process cherries

j'aime kirlew


jamie the coupon diva fraud

my roof damage

picture of j'aime kirlew

Some pretty obvious questions occur to me when reading that list. Like:

Why would anyone be searching for a crappy cat? Wouldn't one that isn't crappy be more preferable?

What kind of mind would create a search term like "sense of humor for kids and bullying"?

I have no post here about Keith Olbermann, so what's up with that?

What is a "fun chairwell"?

While I admit to being silly sometimes, why would someone searching "why did they make looney tunes" end up here?

Lastly, why would anyone want to cook raindrops? Don't you know they taste better raw?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Want The Bells And Whistles, Or At Least The Fish.

There used to be a restaurant in my area that was my favorite place to go out to eat. The food wasn't that great, the place was painted in shades of brown that looked rather dingy most of the time and sometimes I wondered about the attention paid to cleaning the place. However, back in the day when dining out was fun, we'd wander on up to that place for fish fries or for a middle of the week burger and fries.

There were evenings when there was no room in the parking lot and we'd have to park down the road. Sometimes the line of people waiting to get in would be out in the parking lot. It was the one place locally where it was best to make reservations. Even then sometimes there'd be a wait for your reserved table, you had to get into the building in order to tell the hostess that you were there. Wasn't always easy when folks were waiting, they didn't like the idea of letting you in the door ahead of them.

After reading that, you're probably sitting there scratching your head and wondering what the hell was the attraction? Why go somewhere that appears to have nothing to recommend it? Well, you see, there were the fish tanks. I think there were 8 of them set into the walls in the dining areas. Some of them were set in a manner that they created a nook where 2 or 3 small tables were set up. For us, this was amazing. I'm not sure any of us, in this small city, understood that leasing of fish for restaurants was a big business. At least I didn't and no one ever mentioned it to me.

What surprised me about my fascination with those fish tanks was that I have never been interested in owning a home aquarium. I don't ever remember bothering to look at the tanks or the fish my friends spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on. Up until the tanks in the restaurant, my experience with fish was of the edible kind. Mostly haddock, whiting, pollock, trout, perch, bass and the occasional bullhead. I even know that in Massachusets they don't have bullhead. They have horned pout. Same fish, different name. Confusing? Yeah!

When the place was really busy, you'd have a long wait for your food. A wait that no one ever complained about because we'd wander around and stare at the fish. I was competely enthralled by those tanks. They were filled with lush vegetation and some of the most beautiful and the ugliest fish I'd ever seen. No matter how many times we went there, I honestly don't believe I got to see all the fish that lived there.

One night we were going to have a burger and fries. When we got there the place was closed. It seems that the manager, in an attempt to build the Friday and Saturday night bar crowd up, introduced a game called beer pong. He discovered, hopefully to his dismay, that 21 year old booze filled kids and fish tanks don't mix. Since these weren't his tanks nor his fish, the cost to replace what got damaged was prohibitive. It wiped them out and they were out of business.

A few months later someone else reopened the restaurant with the same not so great food, dingy interior, inattention to cleanliness and no fish tanks. I don't think he was open 6 months. Which makes me wonder about all of us that ignored the possibility of ptomaine poisoning just to watch those fish. To the best of my knowledge, no one got sick. Except maybe the fish who were stuck watching us

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Love This Place It's Beginning To Feel Like Home.

Once past the shock of loss and the need to relocate, I began to really examine the possibilities here. I think it helped, in a way, that the other place didn't disappear on April 30. The lack of closure left me with a need to find some way to push past it and move forward.

In my old profile I had a slideshow of Bashful pictures. It was just a matter of one click into my Profile and I could view the pictures when I wanted to. The slideshow is hosted in Photobucket, but there I have to log in and click the drop down for access to the slideshow page and then scroll down until I found it. Then I'd have to click to another page so that I could view it. Takes as long to get to it that way as it does to see it.

Yesterday a blogger here that I follow in Twitter provided a link to her About Me page. As I was reading her blog I realized she had a number of pages besides the one we read her blog on. Which brought me back to my own blog and a visit to the tutorials for information on how to create additional pages. It's really easy. So, I did an About Me page last night and got to thinking what else would I want on another page.

There was one of my last blog posts "And Slowly The Stream Dried Up" that I like, but didn't feel I wanted to post it here on this blog. This is not the stream and it's time to move forward, but I also wanted to acknowledge my blogging roots. So I created another page and put that post on it. I decided to change the title to "Endings And Beginnings" because that's what that page is.

Then I wondered if the page feature could be used for Bashful's slideshow and it CAN! I'm thinking about creating a slideshow of family pictures. I need to add the current pics of my grandkids to Photobucket first so that will be awhile. In the meantime I will be playing around with posting and all the other blog features we have here. I'm going to be making changes to the widgets I have on my blog. I'm keeping the background and will be getting rid of some things and generally rearranging others. Apparently there's a little more geek in me than I thought. Oh well, what else is a blog for except to bitch about stuff and have fun?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bad Kitty, Bad Hubby

Yep, my Bad Kitty made me a Mother's Day mess. Hubby didn't pick up the newspaper when he was done with it. He left it lying on the couch where Darling Butterscotch could have a field day with it. Shreds of newspaper all over the couch, the floor and a few pieces in the kitchen. He had himself a high old time making a mess.

I got up, looked at it and staggered out to grab myself a cup of coffee. I returned to the living room and simply sat here looking at it until I felt the need to laugh. It took awhile. A long while.

After having myself a laugh, I turned on the computer to lose myself in the blog world. After leaving a few comments and posting my guest post at TheTAZZone, I decided to clean up the mess. What made me maddest wasn't that Butterscotch did it, but that Hubby walked through it, grabbed coffee, and sat on the couch until he left to go to Oldest's to fix my car. Did he grab a broom and sweep any of it up? No! Did he come back into the bedroom to warn me of the mess? Oh, no! Did he bother to pick up the paper so the cat couldn't create any further damage? Oh, HELL no! Was he in trouble? OH HELL YES! Operative word there being WAS.

Butterscotch spent most of today being cute and cuddly. He seemed to feel the need for more affection than he normally does. Probably in response to my mood this morning, but I didn't yell at him. It doesn't do any good after the fact. It doesn't do any good during the fact either, he's a cat. Cats believe that it's only wrong when you catch them and only for the duration of the scolding.

Husbands, on the other hand...Oh! Wait! They only think it's wrong when you catch them and only for the duration of the scolding. Which is why I didn't scold him either. Partly why anyway. He did fix my car, he is treating me to my favorite pizza and he brought me flowers. Besides after the soft soap that Butterscotch spread on me today, I wasn't mad anymore. I'm easy, but not cheap.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You Really Had To Have Been There

On Wednesday when I happened to be in the building where one of my former clients lives, I ran into him in the lobby while waiting for an elevator. I was there to provide service for another aide's client. Gump found the necessity to stay home on the day of service more than he cared to cooperate with. Since he was costing the company money to pay me to show up when he didn't choose to be there, he was removed from my roster of clients.

He's moving and needing to get rid of some things. He had some books he knew I was interested in. Biographies of Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan. A couple of books about the Beatles and the British Music Invasion of the 1960's. There is also a book called "Good Rockin' Tonight, Sun Records and the Birth of Rock and Roll". He tried to give them to me when I was his aide, but as his aide I had to refuse to accept them. I had offered to pay him for them, and he refused the money. We had reached an impasse so the books remained with him. Until Wednesday. I'm no longer his aide, haven't been for more than 90 days the office requires us to have no contact with their clients. It was now legal for me to accept the books IF he offered again. Which he did as soon as he saw me, and I gladly accepted.

I put the books in the trunk of the car and by the time I got home had forgotten about them. Until today. Until I got stranded in the bank parking lot for over an hour waiting for Hubby to come rescue both me and my vehicle.

I had to do my regular Saturday client this morning. Stopped on my way there to get gas and as I pulled away from the pump, the brake light came on. I tested the brakes and they were working fine. So, I continued on to the client. Worked there for two hours, stopped at the office to drop my paperwork through the mail slot and went on to the bank. I had brakes the entire time. There was no indication of any real problem, so by the time I got there, I assumed it was a faulty idiot light. That is, until I came out of the bank.

The pavement was perfectly dry when I pulled into that parking spot. Upon exiting the building, I spied a small puddle near the driver's side rear wheel. Upon closer examination, the puddle appeared to be shiny and wet looking. Had to come from my car. Which explained the brake light coming on. I called Hubby, and told him I had a leaky brake line. I was going to try to nurse it home since I had brakes, when I pulled in. He asked me how big the puddle was and when I told him it was 2 to 3 inches in diameter, he told me I didn't have any brakes now. I took his word for it. Groaned when he said it would be over an hour before he could get there, but made the wiser choice to wait.

So, there I was with nothing, I thought, to do except watch the cars pull in and out of the parking lot as they went on their merry way to accomplish whatever they set out to do this lovely Saturday. That particular plan of action would have had me frothing at the mouth within 10 minutes. Then I remembered the books. Never in my life have I been so grateful for having had a spell of the forgetful. If I hadn't forgotten them, they wouldn't have been there to occupy me in my time of need. Waiting time was closer to an hour and a half.

I walked over to the convenience store for a cold bottle of Diet Pepsi and went back to my car. Set the driver's seat back far enough to be comfortable and settled down to wait with a good book and a cold drink.

In retrospect I might have increased the risk of an accident by driving around when I suspected a brake problem. Sometimes to assess a situation and make a determination of which course to follow it's necessary to take all circumstances surrounding the problem into account. I knew Hubby was busy until near noon. I didn't have any reason to believe that there was an immediate problem, since I had no trouble stopping. I knew enough to check for evidence when I did stop and then to call Hubby with available information so he could make a determination of what to do. I also, taking into account the fact that I might have an imminent brake failure, traveled on roads that I knew wouldn't have much traffic on them. All roads that were posted at slower speeds with fewer stops so there was less stress on the brakes.

Hubby will fix the car tomorrow and I can finish my running around on Monday after work. I didn't panic, I just did what I could do and left the rest to someone who knows more about these things. Actually, if today could be considered a testing of my patience, I think I passed!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keeping Secrets

For overall health it is a good idea to eat a few meatless meals every week. Unfortunately, saying the words "meatless meals" in my house is grounds for divorce. To say that Hubby balks at it, is putting it mildly. However, he's eating meatless meals without knowing they're meatless. One can hide many sins of omission in a soup or casserole. Heh, heh!

Take tonights supper for instance. Cajun bean soup with cheese bread. Today's high temperature was 41 degrees. It's damp and cold so a soup with a home baked batter bread sounded good to me. There is a brand of dried beans I purchase for this. It's got 15 different types of beans in it and the package of cajun spices. I wash the beans and soak them just while I'm chopping onions, celery and garlic.

I saute the trinity in a little olive oil and once that's done add three quarts of water plus the beans. It takes around 2 1/2 hours to cook down. About a half hour before serving I add a large can of crushed tomatoes and the contents of the cajun spice packet.

I make the cheese batter bread with half whole wheat flour in the mix. Instead of cheddar cheese I use a mixture of cheddar and spicy taco cheese, that way I can tell Hubby the color of the bread comes from the spices in the cheese. If I tell him I've put whole wheat flour in it, he'll not eat it. This is a meal he actually enjoys eating, and there's not a bit of meat in it anywhere, plus there's whole wheat flour in the bread.  Shhhhh! Don't tell him that or he'll deny that he likes it. Sometimes healthy eating means keeping secrets.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is That All There Is To It?

Not being a webmaster I have no idea what closing a website entails. Apparently it isn't what I think it would entail since the closed website is still there. I had envisioned some sort of page that would say something like "Website Not Found" or something along that line. I didn't expect it to be there in all it's former glory with links still working. He said April 30, 2011. It is now May 3, 2011 and it's still there. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I snooped around over there and did discover that someone who has a very strange blog or 3 had asked that John keep it open until May 31, so he could take care of transferring it over here to Blogger. That may be what he's doing, although I feel he gave us enough advanced notice and a handy tool to accomplish that with. It seems to me that if one hasn't gotten their act together by now it won't happen before May 31.

The only thing I know for sure is that there is no longer a sign up page. If you click on the "Join Today" link on the front page, it takes you back up to the announcement that he's closing. On April 30, 2011.  Maybe that's what closing means? No new blogs? I highly doubt it.

The very fact that it's still there is annoying me. It's like watching a loved one being kept alive by machines. I almost get angry when I open the page and find it's still there. I want to yell...enough all ready! Stop teasing us with this nonsense. We could blog there, and run the risk of being shut down in mid post. It's useless the way it is and yet it pulls me back to read and remember. I keep hoping the closing announcement was one big joke and I'll wake tomorrow to a big laugh. Which is probably why I'm so annoyed. I know it's not a joke and it will go away...sometime.

Sunday, May 1, 2011



Once in awhile I encounter an image online that simply makes me happy just looking at it. This picture is one of those moments.

Somehow or other, I don't know whether it's an age thing or just a human thing, but we seem to lose the ability to express that much joy. I am grateful for the reminder that it exists and am bound and determined that I will experience it again.

If your computers begin to vibrate or otherwise shake as if they've been exposed to an earthquake, don't worry, it's just me jumping up and down with joy and maybe rocking my world a bit.