Thursday, December 31, 2009

Inclusive resolutions

For 2009 I resolved to be more inclusive with my wife. I resolved to try and include her in more of the plans and activities that I do so that she does not feel left out. This in itself seems quite noble— but in reality it has been very difficult to do.

Perhaps it is because I did not define it very well. I sometimes make resolutions that are vague so that I can create some sort of accomplishment and have some wiggle room to make it work. Unfortunately, this one was very vague and did not contain any objective goals that I can look upon and say to myself that I am moving in the right direction.

Perhaps it is because I told my wife about it. Sometimes if someone knows your plans they can object to them a lot easier. I think that because I told her, she knows that I am trying and can therefore call me on it if I fail. If I did not tell her my resolution, then perhaps if I did fail I would be the one who could hold my failure against me.

As with all of my resolutions, they do not stop with the end of the year. I can use my lack of accomplishment for this resolution as a motivator to keep this one in my back pocket and strive to look for progress without the time constraint of one year.

Do you have resolutions from this past year, or even next year? Did you manage to keep your resolutions? Do you let your resolutions carry over to the next year, or do you make new ones for the upcoming year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 A year in review

As 2009 comes to a close I have seen other bloggers give a summary of their posts that they have had throughout the year. As I started this blog in 2008, I can safely do this and have a complete year to pull from.


Posts that I am proud of writing:

Inspiration and Motivation
This is my explanation of the difference between inspiration and motivation written at the time of the President's inauguration.
Coping Mechanism
This post helps to explain how we cope with stress in life.
Smart vs. Intelligent
I seem to get a lot of hits on this one. This is how I define the difference between being smart and being intelligent.
Pretty vs. Beautiful
This is how I define the difference between being pretty and being beautiful.
Do you have that new myPhone yet…
A tongue and cheek look at how our reliance on phone features could go too far.
The Long Rain
A review I wrote in high school about a science fiction short story.
Trolling for South Pole Traffic
My look at Web statistics services and how they leave out an entire continent.
Couples and Train Couplings
An analogy between people who are couples and train couplings.
Trapped in Time: Act 1
This is part one of a two part story that I originally wrote in high school. It is a cliff-hanger in that you need to read the next post to get the end.
Friendship Types
This is the first part of a four part series on different types of friends that a person can have. I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the series as it took me almost a year to complete.

Posts that currently have 20 or more comments:

Warm Milk
This was my first post that reached 20 comments. It is also one of my first participatory posts where I am participating in Tuesday's Tribute.
Wordful Wednesday - Spikester Diddly Dog
This one got a lot of comments because… who doesn't like dogs.
Communication Styles
This is an introduction to a series post that I have about communication styles. I encourage you to read the next four posts as well since they cover each in more detail.
Writer's Workshop: C is for Cookie
This is a good story about how my sister taught me a lesson for demanding a cookie. Be sure to read the comments, she tells the real story and not the one a 4 year old remembers.
100th Post
Most people like to wish you well on your 100th post. Hopefully it will give you some topics to ask me to write about.
TT: Spin on the Bed
This is currently the record holder with the number of comments made. I probably tribute it to being both a Tuesday's Tribute and a Spin Cycle participatory post.
What's in a nickname: Naming conventions
I think a lot of people have nicknames and like to share theirs.

And the one that I get the most search hits on…

ASCII Love
I don't know why… but I seem to get hits from all over the globe for this one. So much so that I wrote a special post about it: Looking for Love in all the wrong places.

Please feel free to visit these pages if you have not done so already to give you a smattering of what I've been writing about this past year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Polar Bear Plunge

At noon on Friday, January 1, 2010 I will be at Loyola Beach near Pratt Park participating in the annual polar bear plunge. If you are curious and want to know why I do this— read my post here.

Depending on how many people come to cheer me on will determine if I go to an after-party for "hot" drinks— hot-chocolate, hot-apple cider, hot-toddies, etc.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, December 28, 2009

No I have not dropped off the face of the Universe

I am not the kind of person who likes to give excuses… especially when you could argue that there is no excuse. But rather than telling you how busy I was this past week, or how I couldn't get motivated enough to write anything— I just thought I would tell you that I am still here and am trying to get something out before the end of the week. Hoping that everybody has had a great Christmas and is getting ready for a great New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Office Christmas Party

The other day, my wife asked me "What do you wish for for Christmas". Knowing full well that she had something in mind herself— I reversed the question to her and this is what I got:

"I wish I could go to one of those Office Christmas Parties they have on the movies from the 50's". I know what she means. If any of you have ever seen those Office Christmas Parties from Desk Set and The Apartment you know what she means too.

How many Office Parties have you gone to where everybody is drinking, nobody is working— people are out in the copy room making out, etc. etc.? I must admit that I have not ever attended one of those— but I have had some nice ones over the years. The best one I went to was when they put us on a boat for a dinner cruise.

I think that due to Political Correctness and Sexual Harassment— those parties are now a thing of the past. In fact— a lot of them are no longer even called Christmas Parties. More like "A Celebration of the Cold Weather" but even that may be offending too.

As I like a good story— any of you have great Office Parties that you have attended. Any great stories to tell about them… Do tell.

Friday, December 18, 2009

F2: Chicken Bacon

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about chicken bacon.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


With inspirations from The Colonel…

When my wife and I started to host Christmas at our house, we bought a variety of sausages to serve. After a few years of that, some family members requested that we do bacon instead— we happily abliged.

Given that I usually try to be frugal and buy chicken breasts with the bones and skin attached, I decided that I would do something with the chicken skins and add chicken bacon to the mix.

Chicken Bacon:
Chicken Skins (raw)
Broiler Pan
  1. Lay the chicken skins on the broiler pan.
    If you don't have a broiler pan, you can make one with a 13x9 baking pan and laying a cookie cooling rack on top.
  2. Broil under the broiler until the skins become crisp.
    It is a good idea to keep an eye on it so that they don't burn.
  3. Remove from the broiler pan.
  4. Enjoy.

Because next week is Christmas at our household I have decided not to post a Friday's Feast. I would much rather be opening presents than opening my browser or feed reader. And since the Friday after that is New Years Day, I have decided to give you two weeks to let me know what you serve or have eaten for New Years Eve or even New Years Day.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In and up around the Internet

I have had this up on my sidebar for some time now, but never quite explained what it is. Of course, if you are reading this on a reader you will probably never see it and wonder what the….

Being a transient being, I am never in the same place at the same time. I heard it said: "Space was invented so that everything doesn't happen in the same place— and Time was invented so that everything doesn't happen all at once". For these reasons alone, the sidebar will come in handy to let you know Where's CaJoh….

LinkedIn LinkedIn:
For those who do not know what LinkedIn is, it is a professional social networking site geared towards job related networking. Most people use this site as a tool to help find a job. I use it as a way of keeping in touch with other professionals in my field. Since my carer path has been wide and varied over the years, I have contacts in many different fields. If you have a LinkedIn account, feel free to link up.
Blogger Blogger
This seems redundant, but just in case I re-purpose this code in other places this will bring you to my Blogger profile page.
Twitter Twitter
Yes… I'm a twit-too. Mostly I have been using it as a way of promoting my blog— so don't be too disappointed in the number or the content of my tweets.
Facebook Facebook
If you have a Facebook account, feel free to make a friend request. I must warn you that there are a lot of people with my name— so please explain how you know me so that you don't get my standard reply if I don't know you.
Delicious Delicious
I will need to write a post about this service so that you know what it is. If you have a Delicious account and want to share your bookmarks, or want to see what I bookmark myself— feel free to stop by.
iLike iLike
I discovered iLike through Facebook, but the fact that it works with iTunes is what got me hooked. If you have an iLike account and want to compare music— please do.
Picasa Picasa
Since not all of my pictures on this blog are posted, here is a place where you can see my eye on the world.

There are several others (Wordpress, Goodreads just to name a few)… to which I do not have the properly sized button for. Since I am a bit handicapped when it comes to picture editing (I know what needs to be done, I just don't have the tools to do so)… I am calling on you to help me out. If you are up to the challenge, send me an e-mail and let me know.

I have been wanting to write separate posts on many of these, so if you want more detail, let me know which one and I will make a separate post dedicated to it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yey no more drafts

Last week I cleared out my drafts that have been sitting in my drafts for almost a year. I remember putting those four posts up sometime before the beginning of the year last year and now I have finally put them out there.

I guess this is more of a place-holder so that I can get something out there. The odd thing is that I am off today and I didn't have something lined up to post. Now I have to come up with something so that I don't go an entire week without a post.

Something that I found is that when you post something and you think it is well written, you never know if it is understood until someone else looks at it. I truly appreciate all of your comments on my Friendship Posts last week. It is rather unfortunate that I had training from Wednesday through Friday and I couldn't follow up with clarifications and counter arguments because I was too mentally exhausted to get on-line and do so.

Perhaps what I'm looking for is some suggestions on things that I can post— or more importantly, other strategies for writing posts. I do not want to have drafts that are in my drafts for too long again. Nor do I want to worry about not having any drafts at all. Do you have drafts, or are you the kind of person that writes all of their posts and posts them right away?

Any advise is greatly appreciated,

Friday, December 11, 2009

F2: Holiday Treats

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about holiday treats.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


There is something about the holidays that makes us want to eat. Perhaps it is the fact that it is cold around here, and eating keeps us warm. Perhaps it's a continuation of all of those Harvest Holidays because we never know what to do with all of those leftovers. All the same… just around this time of year I start seeing all of the food catalogs in our mailbox which in turn makes me drool.

I know that I love to entertain, and if money were no object I would be ordering all of those great hams and roasts to serve at our next gathering. I see things like caviar, and other exotic foods laid out on the page in such an appetizing way that I can just picture our spread looking just as inviting.

Then you have those candy fundraiser catalogs that the kids bring home from school. All those great candies that you remember as a child… you just cannot resist. Then there are those that also have sausages and cheese. I don't know about you, but nothing says the holidays like a good summer-sausage.

How about you… What foods say the holidays to you?


Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I would dedicate the entire month of December to it. Here are some possible topics that can whet your appetite:

  • Do you have any special meals that you make for Christmas?
  • Are there any food items that you only get around Christmas?
  • What is fruitcake anyway?
  • You can't have Christmas without cookies…

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in the next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Close Friends

Being a close friend takes more commitment than being a buddy-buddy type friend because you are posing a personal interest in that individual— rather than just spending time with them. It is different than an acquaintance because you take the time to know them and not just know about them.

My mother told me that close friends are extremely rare. At the time I knew that this was true— but never quite understood why. There is a give and take in close friends that makes them what they are, so understanding that give and take helps to know why they are so rare.

Being "close" to me means that you actually know the person you are with. You know a lot of things about the person on a personal level, and you know the broad range of the person through their Name, Occupation, Health, and Feelings. Not only do you know them, you really "get" them. There is a spiritual connectedness that you don't see in any other type of friendship. You bend over backwards to help that person and know just what to say to make them feel better when they are down. With real close friends, they are the ones who are looking in when you are stuck in a hole and can't get out. They are the ones who allow you to be close and can be close to you as well. This sense of mutualness is important when considering who your close friends are.

There is the concept of personal space— where if people get "too close", they have invaded your personal space and you feel uncomfortable. This is true not only physically (don't stand so close to me)— but also spiritually as well.

How often do we find that someone seems to be "too personal". I had a friend who confessed to me that they don't always like to feel "smothered" by others. Sometimes I tend to be serious when it comes to being friends with people. This in itself can be a bit smothering, and may put off people that I consider to be close friends with. If you are close but they are not— then the relationship is unrequited and unbalanced. Having a close friend that can be close to you— and also allow you to be close makes for a well balanced friendship that overcomes any challenges that may befall either of you.

What about you… Do you have a close friend? Do you even think that close friends are necessary? Do you find others invading your personal space and "smothering" you when you don't want them to? Is there someone that you would give yourself whole-heartedly to when you find they are in need?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Buddy-Buddy Friends

Being a Buddy-Buddy type friend takes a little bit more commitment than an acquaintance, because it takes some effort to participate with the person. One tends to have less buddy-buddy type friends than acquaintances— but that is expected (you can't go out with everyone you know).

Why do people hang out with other people? I believe that most people need to feel like they belong— and having friends that you can spend time with fulfills that need. If you read my post on hangers on, there are many reasons why someone wants to hang out with you. You may not always welcome their company, but the fact remains that they want to be with you.

Much like what constitutes a "Date"— what constitutes as going out must be clarified. I still recall the argument with the rest of my dorm-mates in college when we tried to figure out what made a date a date. "No… it's not considered a date if you eat lunch with them in the cafeteria." Likewise, you cannot consider your friend to be your "bud" if you only see them in one place. You cannot claim to have a buddy-buddy friendship with someone you only see in class. You can claim them if you go somewhere other than where you are always encountering them. The lines can be blurred in some sense— especially if you hang around with the same people in many different places. My dorm-mates can be considered buddy-buddy friends because not only did we see each other in the dorms, we also went out for pizza and to the occasional party together.

I think that much like a date, an invitation needs to be made in order for it to be official. The phrase "Hey, want to go to lunch…" can be made— and if they come along it's official.

What about you… Do you find that you have friends that you hang out with? Are you the one who invites others to come along, or do others ask you? What makes a Buddy-Buddy friend to you?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Acquaintances

An acquaintance is a type of friend that either you know or knows you. How much you know the person is not a requirement— so having an acquaintance in which you do not know their name still counts. Being an acquaintance does not take a lot of commitment. Just being able to recognize and identify someone as a friend is all that is required.

I find that one has a lot of acquaintances. This is probably because you do not have to spend time with them, or take any personal interest in them. They can be a part of a larger group that you both are a part of such as a graduating class from school, or a co-worker in the office.

So often we say that we have a lot of friends. But, if you look at it closer— how many of those so called friends are just acquaintances. I have seen a lot of people who tend to collect friends like they do trophies. They are the ones who want to have friends so that they can claim to be popular. I have noticed that I know a lot of people— some of which may even question my motives for being their friend. I tend to make friends with those to whom I find a common interest, and not for prestige. I believe there is a sense of connection when we can claim someone as a friend. There is also a sense of pride when we find that someone can claim us as their friend as well.

I hate the sense of having an unrequited relationship. Those who collect friends tend to not recipricate back to those who have befriended them. I know that there probably are some people to whom I have befriended who do not return the favor of being a friend. I also tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, and give them the exuse that they are busy with their lives and do not have time to keep up with all of their friends. I just hope that those to whom I befriend understand the genuineness of my friendship and do not feel that I am just "collecting friends".

What about you… Do you find that you have a lot of aquaintences? Do you find people who collect friends in order to look popular? Do you find that having an aquaintance is satisfying, or too much work?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friendship Types

I have found that there are three basic types of friendships that you can have— Acquaintances, Buddy-Buddy, and Close. At first I thought that these were levels of friendships that an individual achieves in a relationship with somebody, but I have changed the definition to be more role based instead. One thing that I know about these types is that you will always have more of one type than another. I have listed these in the order of popularity (which type you have more of)— and will give a brief description of each. Then I will have separate posts describing each in more detail.

Acquaintances:
These are the type of friends that know you and you know them. You typically have a lot of these types because there does not need to be any real commitment outside of recognition. These can range from the commuter you sit next to on the train— to the person you used to sit next to in English class.
Buddy-Buddy:
These are the type of friends that you go out with. They are your "buds" and there are typically less of these than acquaintances. These range from the workers you go out to drinks with— to the couple you have over for dinner.
Close:
These are the type of friends that know you very intimately. You typically do not have very many of these types of friends (if at all). Some labels for this type of friend include soul mate, partner, confidant, best friend.

I believe that there are times that all of us participate in these roles with others and that they are not necessarily reserved to happen all the time. I have known acquaintances that have acted (even if briefly) as close friends— even though I hardly knew them. It is good to know what kinds of friends you have, and appreciate the fact that you can have them.

What about you… Do you find that you have more of one type of friend than another? Do you have other labels that you use to describe the types of friends you have? Do you feel that you need to achieve each of the friendship types in order to progress in a relationship with someone?

Friday, December 4, 2009

F2: Kolaches

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be sharing one of my Christmas cookie recipies.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).


With inspirations from Mom…

This is a recipe that I found is very easy to make and is one of the cookies I make every Christmas. Caution… this recipe uses "real" ingredients— I have never tried substitutes, but if you are successful using something else, let me know.

Kolaches:

1 lb. Butter (4 Sticks)
8 oz. Cream Cheese
4 C Flour
2 T Baking Powder
2-3 T Sugar
1 12oz. Can Cake & Pastry Filling
1-2 C Confectioners Sugar

The finished product
  1. Soften the butter and Cream Cheese in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut in the Flour, Baking Powder and Sugar.
  3. Mix with your hands until it becomes a dough.
  4. Chill overnight
  5. Preheat Oven to 350°
  6. Roll no thinner than 1/8".
  7. Cut out circles.
    I use a shot glass, or even a small orange juice glass to do so.
  8. Place the circles on a baking sheet.
  9. Place an indentation into the circle to hold the filling.
  10. Place a small spoonful of filling into the indentation.
    I like raspberry and apricot as flavors, but feel free to use what ever you like.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle Confectioners Sugar on top
  13. Enjoy

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I would dedicate the entire month of December to it. Here are some possible topics that can whet your appetite:

  • Do you have any special meals that you make for Christmas?
  • Are there any food items that you only get around Christmas?
  • What is fruitcake anyway?
  • You can't have Christmas without cookies…

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in the next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is On The Air

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we start hearing all sorts of Christmas music all day long. In fact we even have a radio station that now plays Holiday music 24x7. This in itself is nice— but I find that many of the songs the station plays are repeats of the same song, but by different artists. They have only been doing this for about a week, but I'm already sick of many of the songs. All the same, there are a few songs that I never grow tired of:

I'm sure there are others, I just thought I would show a few so you can contribute as well. How about you… what Christmas songs do you like? Are there any songs that you get tired of fast?

Friday, November 27, 2009

F2: Crudité Stir Fry

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


With inspirations from Mrs. Mackinac

So often we have Crudité left over from Thanksgiving. Crudité (pronounced Crew-de-tay, not Crud-ight) is a fancy way of saying vegetable platter. Since the fresh cut vegetables go faster than the turkey meat, this is one that we tend to serve up first.

Crudité Stir Fry:
Peanut Oil
1 Wok or Iron Skillet
Cut Vegetables
Carrots, Broccoli, Green Peppers, etc..
1 t Corn Starch
1/4 C Soy Sauce
Ginger
  1. Pour enough peanut oil to cover the Wok or pan.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat.
  3. Add the vegetables.
    You may want to add the firmer vegetables in first.
  4. Mix the corn starch into the soy sauce in a separate dish.
  5. Stir the corn starch/soy sauce mixture into the pan.
  6. Grate the ginger into the pan.If you don't have fresh ginger, you can use a dash or two of ground ginger.
  7. Enjoy with cooked rice.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I would dedicate the entire month of December to it. Here are some possible topics that can whet your appetite:

  • Do you have any special meals that you make for Christmas?
  • Are there any food items that you only get around Christmas?
  • What is fruitcake anyway?
  • You can't have Christmas without cookies…

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in the next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guitar Hero Much?

A few weeks back my wife and I were visiting my parents. On the way home, we decided to stop at the oasis to pick up some car snacks and other things. The oasis that we visit spans the highway so that you can visit it from either direction.

After I got the car snacks, I did not see my wife right away. I looked over to the center of the oasis and saw my wife watching the traffic pass under the oasis. Just as I was in ear shot, I heard her singing twangs at odd intervals. When I got next to her I figured out what she was doing.

She was playing Guitar Hero with the passing cars. As each car passed under the overpass, she would sing a different pitch much like you would if you were playing a bass guitar. There are three lanes each of which were assigned a different pitch. Each car travels at a different speed which makes playing Guitar Hero this way a bit more challenging. As each car passes under the overpass you would sing the pitch. We stood there both playing Guitar Hero for the next five minutes or so, then proceeded to get into our car and go home.

So if you are traveling by car this weekend… stop at the nearest oasis and give "Guitar Hero—Oasis Addition" a try.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where do you go for Thanksgiving?

Are you the kind of person who visits all of your relatives for Thanksgiving? Are you the person who makes the meal for Turkey Day?

I am currently over at In the Real World, Venus vs. Mars today talking about how we are Splitting the Holidays. Please stop by and join in on the festivities.

Venus and Mars

Friday, November 20, 2009

F2: Fresh or Frozen

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be telling the story about when I got a fresh turkey.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


Most years we like to get a fresh turkey from our local butcher. We stop by and order the turkey a few weeks ahead of time and pick it up sometime before Thanksgiving. This is good because we do not have to wait to thaw out the turkey and have more room in the refrigerator for other things. Two years ago, we thought that we could pick up the turkey on the Sunday that we were having our children over— boy were we wrong.

When we ordered the turkey from the butcher, we asked when they came in and they indicated that they come in on Sunday. We think, "Great… we don't have to worry about having a turkey in the oven, we will just have to pick it up." Sunday rolls around and I walk over to the butcher only to find that no-body's there.

My wife gave me her cell phone (just in case) and it looks like that case just happened. I called the number on the business card and left a message wondering where he was and to call back. When he did, I found out that they got the turkeys in early and he went home after he was done putting them away. Unfortunately the butcher does not live near the butcher shop, so we had to scramble.

Fortunately there were some unfrozen turkeys at the grocery store that we quickly bought and made for that day's festivities.

Note to self… When ordering a turkey for pick-up— make sure that they are open when you want the turkey.

How about you… do you order a fresh turkey? Can you tell the difference between a fresh one and a frozen one— or does it not matter.


Even though Thanksgiving is Thursday, I have decided to still use Thanksgiving as the theme for next week:

  • Do you "Talk Turkey"— or talk to your turkey?
  • Who does Thanksgiving in your family— are you the host, or the guest?
  • What craziness ensues when the family comes to visit?
  • Are you traditional with your dishes, or are you experimental?
  • Do you have any family recipes handed down for generations at your table?
  • What do you do with all those leftovers?

So grab a turkey leg, pull up a chair and link up. Even if you are Canadian and have celebrated earlier this year— or have a post from last year's festivities your links are always welcome.


Monday, November 16, 2009

On Comments…

I have found after reading other people's comments— as well as commenting myself that there are several different types of comments that you find:

Authoritative Comments
Sometimes I find that I leave comments that tend to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I know that I am no expert on everything, but I do have a way of sounding so. If I leave a comment and appear to sound like I'm a know-it-all… please forgive me. I tend to blame it on having to write in a professional, concise manner at work.
Banter Comments
I see a lot of these kinds of comments in Facebook and Twitter. These are the ones that you tend to leave that are supposed to bring out a chuckle. It's friendly banter that is passed back to the reader, often after they post something witty and/or funny.
Compassionate Comments
Sometimes people confess to things, or tell of a tragic tale in their posts. So often we want to be able to offer some form of assistance to the writer so that they know that they are not alone. I have been told that I have a lot of compassion in my comments to others. I try to offer any kind of helpful and supportive words which will help build confidence in the writer. So often we are exposing ourselves to public scrutiny by posting our thoughts and our feelings. We do not want to feel that we have said these things in vain, nor do we want to be ridiculed for being brave enough to post.
Dutiful Comments
Many times people feel obligated to comment back if you commented first. Some people consider this a type of empty comment, but I feel that it is a way of letting the person who commented first know that you read their comment and are willing to comment back.
Empty Comments
I hear a lot of people complain about empty comments. These are the ones that tend to not have much thought behind them. They may not even make much sense and not tie very well to the original post. To me a comment is welcome no matter how much thought goes behind it. It just proves that you are there and are willing to say so.
Feedback Comments
Sometimes someone writes something that is very well written and you want to give your feedback as to how you interpreted their writing. I find this to be very helpful especially when the post is a story or poem.
Group Comments
I have seen others comment back to the comments that others have left. I myself have tried this because it offers a way to dialog about the post. Many times I write directly to the person who commented, but sometimes they do not have a return address so I have to add a comment to the thread of comments already given.

This is by no means an exhaustive list— I am sure there are other types and would welcome any additional ones you happen to have encountered. It does seem odd to have to comment on commenting, but that is what commenting is all about.

I tend to view comments a lot like telling jokes. So often you hear a joke that reminds you of a joke you know and you want to tell it. So often I find a post that reminds me of something that I myself have experienced and I want to share my thoughts about it. Many times a comment leads me to another post because they offer an opinion or perspective that I had not thought of before.

What about you… How do you comment? Do you feel like you tend to comment in a particular way? Do you find that comments help you in your writing?

Friday, November 13, 2009

F2: Talking Turkey

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about talking to your turkey. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


Whenever we prepare our turkey for thanksgiving my wife and I typically go through an interesting ritual. In order to make the experience of preparing the bird more palpable, we tend to humanize (or is that turkeyize) the bird. If you are borderline vegetarian— this may put you over the edge, so be forwarned.

Give the bird a bath
We take the bird out of the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. "Hi Mr. Turkey" we say to the bird… "are you ready for your bath?" After removing the giblets, we place the bird in a colander and proceed to wash the outsides as well as the insides of the bird.
Remove the pin feathers
"Oh Mr. Turkey— you seem to have some whiskers, let us shave them for you." This is where my wife shines. She can spot a pin feather a mile away and proceeds to pluck them with a pair of tweezers.
Salt the inside cavity
I don't think we say anything when we salt the insides, but if we did we could say: "Let's get your insides cleaned up nicely so you're ready for some stuffing."
Truss the bird
After we stuff the chicken, we say: "There Mr. Turkey, you're almost ready to go. Let's get you ready for your sauna."
Butter the bird
"Let's give you a nice butter massage to smooth out those muscles." We then proceed to butter the outside of the turkey and place it in the roasting pan.
Serving the bird
No, this is not giving the finger, but rather what we say when we take the turkey out of the oven: "Welcome Mr. Turkey. Did you have a nice sauna? Thank you for being such a great Turkey and making our Thanksgiving great."

You have to realize that Mr. Turkey sacrificed his life for us so that we can enjoy eating turkey for Thanksgiving. They are self serving creatures that do not mind the service that they provide. Giving them that extra dignity makes their sacrifice more noble


Given that this month is Thanksgiving for our family, I have decided to have Thanksgiving be the theme for the entire month of November.

  • Do you "Talk Turkey"— or talk to your turkey?
  • Who does Thanksgiving in your family— are you the host, or the guest?
  • What craziness ensues when the family comes to visit?
  • Are you traditional with your dishes, or are you experimental?
  • Do you have any family recipes handed down for generations at your table?
  • What do you do with all those leftovers?

So grab a turkey leg, pull up a chair and link up. Even if you are Canadian and have celebrated earlier this year— or have a post from last year's festivities your links are always welcome.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RTT: Nothing in particular

My apologies for getting the Smith's song How Soon Is Now? in your head. I have had a lot of bits and pieces lately that don't really add up. So I decided to do a random Tuesday's Thoughts today:

It's a Dog Eat Dog world
Our dog got bit on the back by a Great Dane a week ago Sunday. I was not there when it happened, but it did shake up my wife quite a bit. We took the dog to the Pet ER and had them take a look at it. After he was shaved on his back you could tell just where the other dog had his teeth sunk in. Fortunately there were no puncture wounds and it was mostly a big bruise. As of yesterday he is more himself despite the big shaved area on his back.
When is a couch not a couch
… when it's SOFA. My wife and I went to SOFA on Saturday. SOFA stands for "Sculpture Objects and Functional Art". It is an expo where all sorts of artists and galleries show their art for people to see and/or purchase. My wife won two tickets through the Public Radio Station, so we didn't have to fork out the $15 a piece just to walk around. I did notice that there was a lot less booths there this year as in years past (my guess is that it's due to the economy).
Searching for Turkey
If many of you are here for the first time, I am doing a Thanksgiving Theme the entire month of November. I am hoping that many of you have Thanksgiving related posts that you would like to share to keep the festivities going. If you do, go here so I can include you in the festivities.

If you want more more more… just head over to Keely's place at The Un Mom to see some other Random Thoughts.


Friday, November 6, 2009

F2: Packed Pumpkin

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about making your own packed pumpkin from scratch. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


With inspirations from m2I

How often do you go to the store only to find that they ran out of canned pumpkin. Fear not, because making your own packed pumpkin is really easy.

Note: Please do not use those pumpkins that you just carved for Halloween and have left out on the porch for the past week as they are probably not the right kind and probably are too rotten to use.

Packed Pumpkin:
1 Small Pumpkin
Water
  1. Pick out the right pumpkin.

    When picking out a pumpkin, you need to keep in mind that those large ones you carve for Halloween are not the correct size to use.


    Pie Pumpkin with an apple for comparison.

    One thing to look for is deep grooves in the skin which makes the Pumpkin sweeter than ones that have a smooth skin.

  2. Slice the pumpkin in half then remove the seeds.
    Contrary to what some may believe, it is not the insides that packed pumpkin is made of.
  3. Peel the pumpkin with a potato peeler.
  4. Dice the pumkin rhind into small chunks.
  5. Place the chunks into a medium sauce pan and boil until soft.
  6. Drain and mash with a potato masher, or whip in a food processor.

If you are planning on making pie, I would suggest letting the packed pumpkin cool first as it may curdle the eggs you use in the recipe. Usually one pumpkin makes two pies. You should be able to make this well ahead of time and store in an air tight container for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.


Given that this month is Thanksgiving for our family, I have decided to have Thanksgiving be the theme for the entire month of November.

  • Do you "Talk Turkey"— or talk to your turkey?
  • Who does Thanksgiving in your family— are you the host, or the guest?
  • What craziness ensues when the family comes to visit?
  • Are you traditional with your dishes, or are you experimental?
  • Do you have any family recipes handed down for generations at your table?
  • What do you do with all those leftovers?

So grab a turkey leg, pull up a chair and link up. Even if you are Canadian and have celebrated earlier this year— or have a post from last year's festivities your links are always welcome.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Just call me Murphy

In honor of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to take on Prompt #2.
Tell me your most humorous wedding experience


As it's been over ten years since I got married, one would think that all of the memories from the day would be completely wiped from my mind. I will try my best to recall some of the humorous moments from my wedding day. I cannot guarantee that it is completely accurate (I tend to blame that on the Aliens who use my memories for entertainment purposes) but is is quite funny all the same.

Being that I was over thirty when I got married, most of the wedding plans were left up to my wife and I. We did a pretty good job booking the venue and getting everything lined up— but sometimes the best laid plans go to waste.

My wife and I had a great spread arranged for the wedding. Considering that we have several dietary requirements including Kosher, Vegetarian, and Heart Healthy— we were able to pick out a menu that covered all the bases. About two weeks before the wedding we get a call from the hotel indicating that the menu was going to change. When we called about the menu change we were told that the wedding coordinator was fired for promising things they could not deliver. After much negotiations we knocked off some of the extras so that we could still have the menu we wanted even though it was not part of the package the hotel offered. That should have been my first hint of things to come.

You could say that the wedding itself was a success because many of the things that always seem to happen did as can be attested by my previous post: That happened at my wedding too… but this is not the entire story.

One would think that it is the responsibility of the Maid of Honor and the Best Man to take care of the bride and groom during the wedding and reception. I tend to blame it on my wanting everything to go as planned, than letting go and having someone else handle things. During the reception I must have looked more like the nervous mother than the groom running around in a panic most of the time. And who could blame me— things were falling apart left and right (literally)…

I don't know how it happened, but the dance floor was coming apart. The dance floor was a series of raised square boxes that were put together to make a dance floor. Somehow the squares were not together at the seams— and we were worried that someone would get hurt while dancing. Rather than stopping the festivities and scramble to find someone to fix the dance floor— we all decided to try and fix it ourselves. If you didn't know better you would have thought that it was a new dance craze with everybody jumping in the same direction in short strong hops— but in actuality we were trying to scoot the dance floor together.

And it didn't stop after the day was over. I lost my wedding band overnight. And to "top it off" (pun intended)— we found ourselves scouring the kitchen the next day only to find out that they served our cake topper. OK… I'll blame my sister on that one for making such a great tasting cake that everybody was asking for seconds— but that doesn't give the wait staff the excuse to break into the topper (shame on them).

Looking back on the day I just have to laugh because no matter how many things went wrong, it still turned out right. I married the woman I loved and in style. If it went without a hitch I do not think I would remember the day— it would just be one giant blurr.

So how about you… Do you have any funny wedding stories? If so, head over to Mama Kat's and tell all.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I have been Awardified

I am stealing the term "Awardified" from my good friend Heinous who originally coined the phrase. So with out any further adieu, I would like to thank Eternal Lizdom with the honor of awarding me the Over The Top award:


Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who gave it to you.
  2. Answer the questions below using only 1 word answers.
  3. Pass it on to six other bloggers that you think are also "Over The Top!"

Some of these are just downright strange— but I tried to answer them as best I can. If you want an explanation of an answer… just ask and I'll be sure to comment. Here we go…

  1. Where is your cell phone? Nowhere.
  2. Your hair? Thinning.
  3. Your mother? Sarcastic.
  4. Your father? Intelligent.
  5. Your favorite food? Ranch.
  6. Your dream last night? Movie.
  7. Your favorite drink? Martini.
  8. Your dream/goal? Communicator.
  9. What room are you in? Living-room.
  10. Your hobby? Writing.
  11. Your fear? Overlooked.
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Known.
  13. Where were you last night? Church.
  14. Something you aren’t? Fake.
  15. Muffins? Please.
  16. Wish list item? TV.
  17. Where did you grow up? Illinois.
  18. Last thing you did? Post.
  19. What are you wearing? Wool.
  20. Your TV? Old.
  21. Your pets? Injured.
  22. Your friends? Priceless.
  23. Your life? Wonderment.
  24. Your mood? Hesitant.
  25. Missing someone? No.
  26. Vehicle? Costly.
  27. Something you’re not wearing? Stilettos.
  28. Your favorite store? Restoration.
  29. Your favorite color? Burgundy.
  30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday.
  31. Last time you cried? Sunday.
  32. Your best friend? Wife.
  33. One place that I go over and over? Breakfast.
  34. One person who emails me regularly? Coworkers.
  35. Favorite place to eat? Depends.

As for my six others who get this award from me— I have chosen to go "North of the Border" and pick six Canadian bloggers. Some of these I have known for a long time— while others I have recently discovered and consider all of them "diamonds in the rough" well worth looking at:

If you have not visited these— please do so and send them some warm comment love (I hear it gets cold up there in Canada).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bad Burner

I don't know how many of you use Feedburner. I rather like the fact that there is a service that can deliver your post via e-mail to those who do not have a reader. I also like the fact that this service is now a part of the Google suite of services.

One aspect of Feedburner is something called FeedFlair. This allows you to add additional functionality to your feed that gives the subscriber a way of interacting with the feed. The one I like the best is Comment Count which gives the subscriber a link to go directly to the comments section of the blog without having to load the page first.

What I have noticed is that ever since September 29th, the link has disappeared from my feed. I noticed this one time before and somehow it fixed itself. I have been looking at other people's blogs that incorporate FeedFlair and I do not see comments there either. This could be because they did not check the option in Feedburner. So if you use Feedburner and have Comment Count turned on, check your feed to see if comments appears as a link in your feed.

I can safely say that I did not change anything either in my blog's layout, or in Feedburner between when it was working and when it wasn't. I am hoping that it is something that the Google-Gods can fix because I do not want those who subscribe to my posts via. E-mail to not able to comment if they want.

Friday, October 30, 2009

F2: Finger Breadsticks

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about making scary breadsticks in the shape of fingers for Halloween.

If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:


With inspirations from MS and Mrs. Mackinac…

Every Halloween we like to have a spooky spread set out so that our children and our grandchildren have a place to stop and eat something other than candy. My wife is such the Martha Stuart and likes to have dishes that reflect the celebration. This is one of those dishes that we always like to make. Makes 8 to 12.

Finger Breadsticks:
1 package of breadstick dough
Almond slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Separate the breadsticks, then cut the lengths in half.
  3. Shape the dough into fingers.
    Don't worry if they don't look exactly like fingers, that's what makes them scarry.
  4. Place an almond sliver on one end of the finger.
    To make it extra scary, place the pointy end of the sliver pointing outwards.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending upon the time on the package.
  6. Enjoy.

Given that next month is Thanksgiving for our family, I have decided to have Thanksgiving be the theme for the entire month of November.

  • Do you "Talk Turkey"— or talk to your turkey?
  • Who does Thanksgiving in your family— are you the host, or the guest?
  • What craziness ensues when the family comes to visit?
  • Are you traditional with your dishes, or are you experimental?
  • Do you have any family recipes handed down for generations at your table?
  • What do you do with all those leftovers?

So grab a turkey leg, pull up a chair and link up. Even if you are Canadian and have celebrated earlier this year— or have a post from last year's festivities your links are always welcome.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trapped in Time: Act 2

This part of the story will not make any sense to you unless you read the first part. If you have not done so, please read the section called: Trapped in Time: Act 1. Thank you.


… I awoke in darkness. Fumbling to get my bearings I found a doorknob and saw a faint glow emanating from my arms. "Great", I thought to myself "it looks like I've been placed in the environmental suit and it's decaying." Fortunately the door was unlocked, so I wasn't locked into what appeared to be a closet.

As I slowly opened the door to see where I was I noticed that I was in my own house. Not knowing how long I had been in the suit, I was unsure how much time I had left before the suit completely failed and I died inside it. I looked into the living room and saw the time portal on the side table. "Excellent", I thought to myself "I can get the time portal, go into the kitchen to call my colleagues and get this fixed up in no time."

I quickly went into the living room, stole the time portal under my arm and headed towards the phone in the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, my wife turned, screamed and immediately fainted. "She must not have recognized me in the suit", I said to myself.

I ran to her and bent over to see if she hurt herself. It was at that moment that someone came barging in through the kitchen door. Fearing it was the intruder from before, my mind started reeling: "Will I be able to get to the phone?", "Who should I call if I do?", "How can I escape?"

As I turned my head to face the intruder I could only think of one thing… "Maybe I can use the time portal on myself and send me back far enough to call for help…" Fiddling with the time portal I lifted it up and struggled to find the trigger…

There was a flash of light…

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Trapped in Time: Act 1

Here's a scary story just in time for Halloween. I originally wrote this story as a writing exercise for my Science Fiction class in High School. Unfortunately, I somehow have lost my story folder with a lot of my stories I have written over the years— so I'll have to re-tell this story from memory. Fortunately I remember the story and can tell it to you. I have broken the story up into two parts— so be sure to tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.


Trapped in Time

It was a stormy night as I came home from a busy day at the lab. As I walked through the front door I felt a chill run down my spine… "someone must be walking over my grave" I said to myself.

"Honey, I'm home", I announced as I entered the living room… "Good, dinner's almost ready" came my wife's voice from behind the kitchen door. The smell of dinner wafting through the house made me feel more at ease. I walked over to my favorite chair, sat down, and picked up the newspaper.

"Scientists make breakthrough in Time Travel" said the headline. I smiled to myself as I looked at the picture of me and my colleagues. I looked like a giant next to my fellow colleagues— my head being at least a foot above the rest. I glanced to the side table where I placed the portal device. "Security's already tight", I thought to myself "but it will definitely have to be a lot tighter now that there is so much publicity." I then flipped the paper over and got lost in the sports section.

A few minutes later I heard a loud noise coming from the front hallway and parlor. I jumped up and looked in that direction only to see that the side window was open and flapping in the wind. "Boy, that scared the soul out of me", I thought to myself "thank goodness it's just the window." I proceeded to slowly walk into the parlor to secure the window.

As I turned to scold my wife for leaving the window open for the umpteenth time, I noticed that the time portal was not on the side table. In a panic, my mind started reeling: "Did it fall off the table?", "Did it break when it fell?", "Did someone manage to steel it&hellip"

My panic soon turned to horror as I heard my wife's scream from the kitchen and the sound of someone falling to the floor. I bolted towards the kitchen and blew in the kitchen door.

I saw a man bent over my wife. He turned his head towards me in a curious way. All I was thinking was how to get past him and get to the phone to call the police. The man's hands were shaking as he lifted the portal device— "Good", I thought to myself "he's going to give it back to me." There was a flash of light…

to be continued

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tribute Tuesday: Followers-of-the-Blog-05

When the original Tuesday's Tribute (now Tribute Tuesday) was created— I had an idea to do a spotlight on my followers. I thought… "what a great way of promoting their blogs and give them credit for bearing with my narrative/technical-writer style of writing". I decided to write to those followers that I could and ask two questions so that their words could be a part of the post:

  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

I realized that posting on all of my followers would be a very long post— so I broke it up into smaller manageable pieces.

Note: I started sending out the questionnaire again after I reached 60 followers. Since Blogger changed the way that followers are displayed, I have no way of knowing in what order my next 30 followers joined up. So I decided to list them in the order I received responses. Here is what the next 10 followers have to say:

angie @ SevEn cLoWn CirCuS
I found angie as the host of Wordless Wednesday and she also hosted Tuesday's Tribute until she handed it over to Mayhem & Moxie and it became the Tribute Tuesday that it is today. I love the playfulness that her blog title has using mixed upper and lower case, and that playfulness reflects in many of her posts. Here is what angie has to say:
  1. What a fabulous, idea. I can't believe I hadn't signed up as a follower sooner…I thought I had. You've been on my reader for ages, so I guess that counts, right?
    I don't know how I found your blog? BUT, in the beginning I remember thinking that I appreciated that your posts were humble and thought provoking…and it's always fun to find new "man bloggers".
  2. Why do people follow my blog? No idea? Fascination with large families? My wit? Seriously though…I've been told that it's because I seem kind. And if that's why, I'll take it. I Do try always to be kind and optimistic.
Midlife Mama @ Midlife Musings
I think we all— no matter what our age may be have some sort of Midlife crisis. I enjoy the musings of Midlife Mamma and the humorous stories that she tells of her life. Here is what Midlife Mamma has to say:
  1. I honestly can't remember how I found your blog, but it was either a link from someone else's blog, or perhaps you commented on my blog and so of course I had to check you out. The reason I follow you is because
    1. I always try to follow my favorite blogs, and Google reader is a good way to do this but
    2. I follow (i.e. read) your blog because it's interesting…the Friday Feast is great; gotta love a man who knows how and loves to cook. Plus your stories are interesting; I just love hearing about other people's lives.
    3. And last but not least, I l admire and envy the fact that you've been married so long. Not only were you wise in making a good choice when you got married but you've been able to stick it out through good times and bad. My track record isn't so great so I am always greatly curious about how other people do it. My first instinct is to run when things get tough. You're honest, you're down-to-earth and I really enjoy your blog.
  2. Why do others follow me? Because they're into torture and pain? Because they hate themselves and enjoy the feeling of wanting to rip their eyeballs out of their sockets by reading my drivel??? *chuckles* Okay there's my insecure side coming out. I actually envy people who have a lot of followers, as I only have 38, but each one I get I do a silent happy dance inside. "You like me; you really like me!" LOL I hope that people follow me because they enjoy what I write, that I'm honest and real, and sometimes speak my mind before my brain catches up but hopefully I don't offend too many people. I did lose one follower early on because I offended her with something I'd posted. I remember that clearly, because it does bother me and I care too much what people think sometimes. I hope I am funny, and entertaining and not TOO offensive! :)
subtorp77 @ basstuna
I discovered subtorp77 through Otin's Rhyming Wednesday. He has an interesting feature called "Theme Thursday" to which he picks a theme and runs with it— a great way of opening up a discussion. Here is what subtorp77 has to say:
  1. Found you through otin's Rhyming Wednesday meme and liked your style of writing, as soon as I read it. 'Twas a bit different but most refreshing. I seem to be stuck in the "rhyming" mode and could only pray to write like this.
  2. As for why others may follow my bloggo, not sure. It could be the poetry or sharing of alike ideas and events, that one can relate to. Still wondering…
Liza @ They Will Not Have Me
I discovered Liza through Otin's Rhyming Wednesday feature. The blog title has a poetic quality that brings you in. I really love the fact that she posts her poetry which cover a wide variety of topics. Here is what Liza has to say:
  1. I started following your blog based solely on one post, Rhyming Wednesday: Fear
    1. Your drawing reminded me of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" which I seemed to be having synchronizes with.
    2. Your words made me laugh (and I love laughing) "I was doodling topographical lines in the shape of an island (yes, I'm geeky like that)" And by the way, I am geeky like that too! I just loved the honesty in that sentence.
    3. Following that delight, there's also Friday's Feast - FRIDAY, FOOD, FUN (need I say more?) I haven't taken an active part as of yet, but I do watch from the sidelines!
  2. Because something in me spoke to something in them.

    I crave that connection, the tie that binds us all. There really is a common thread underneath all of the skin and bones.

    With that intention in mind, I can let go, and let the Universe do its gathering.

    My blog is a challenge for me to be creative, and let go of that inner critic that has been prevalent for far too long.

    For me, following blogs is a tribute to creativity in all of its amazingly beautiful, and magical forms.

Kiki @ Kirsten NOT Kristen
I rather like the title of Kiki's blog. It reminds me of all those people to whom I mispronounce their names. Kiki is a very a good story teller and has a very easy to read blog. Here is what Kiki has to say:
  1. I am following you because I follow Stacy's Random Thoughts whom I think is a wonderful blogger and she recommended you. I read your blog and liked what I saw.
  2. I am real, honest, funny and hopefully blog about things people can relate to.
rochellesychua @ HeaRty's Haven
Reading through rochellesychua's blog it is apparent that she is a "gear-head"— and I mean that in a good way. She has a lot of reviews on various electronics and other gear that is very informative. She also has a smattering of Taiwan culture mixed in for good measure. Here is what rochellesychua has to say:
  1. One huge reason why I decides to follow your blog because you value your readers. This is really important because this resulted to us feeling at home whenever we're on your page. You share your thoughts and philosophies in life w/c inspires us :) keep writing!!
  2. As for my blog, HeaRty's Haven (http://www.rochellesychua.com) - this covers mostly gadgets, food, travel, gaming & fashion topics. Those of which I'm passionate about :) I share my deepest thoughts and just like your blog I hope to inspire others :)
Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish @ One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish
I like the name of this blog, it reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book. But Mrs. Fish's blog is not a children's book. It covers serious topics, as well as stories about the fish family adventures. Here is what Mrs. Fish has to say:
  1. Your blog sounds like what my husband would sound like if he blogged. Highly entertaining to me.
  2. I think they like to know that someone is more nuts than they are and I am not afraid to speak out about anything! I love to talk about sensitive and controversial issues of home life and the everyday mundane, so I think people enjoy knowing they have someone else to relate with on these issues.
Patricia @ Subjective Soup
I love the name of this blog. I used to get the terms Objective and Subjective confused— but now that I know the difference, this blog's title alone gives it a profound meaning to me. Here is what Patricia has to say:
  1. I follow many blogs. If someone visits my blog, I usually return the visit and if I enjoy their blog I usually sign on as a follower.
  2. I hope my followers have similar reasons for following my blog.
Moonspun @ Moonspun Spins
Moonspun to me is the kind of fairy-tale stuff that is in children's stories— so the blog title Moonspun Spins is that much more inviting to me. Here is what Moonspun has to say:
  1. I found your blog a long time ago through the He Says She Says tryouts (whenever they were) and I liked your perspective enough to vote for you in that contest and to start reading your blog. I still follow Ca-Joh because you are insightful, but not dramatic. You share a variety of things as well as the predictable Friday's Feast. You clearly give thought to your posts and are respectful to readers. Plus you are a good writer and that makes a difference for me.
  2. Why people read my little corner of the Internet world is a bit of a mystery to me. I've been told I am insightful and a good writer, but I don't know that I am a good judge of that myself. I certainly have a one-of-a-kind personal story, so maybe they check in to see what may happen next to me. Or what odd thing about my past I may reveal.
3 Men and a Lady @ 3 Men and a Lady
The title of this blog reminds me of the movie 3 Men and a Baby, but the author of this blog is no baby. Being the only lady in a family of men makes for interesting stories. Here is what 3 Men and a Lady has to say:
  1. I chose to follow you for a couple of reasons:
    1. you have interesting posts,
    2. you took the time to comment on my blog,
    3. it's a great way to network, and
    4. following puts people I want to read in my reader and it's easy for me to keep up.
  2. I think people follow me for roughly the same reasons. Some people follow everybody, but I don't and I hope people follow me because they find my posts interesting or funny, but whatev.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Spooky Shake

In honor of the upcoming Haloween celebrations, I thought I would change my page a bit. If you are reading this in a reader, please stop by and check it out.

About eight years ago, I found an interesting piece of JavaScript which shakes the window:

If you are curious to see how this piece of code works, just press the button below…

Scarry isn't it…

Friday, October 23, 2009

F2: Boo

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be talking about Boo.


Talking about Boo to me means that I'll be talking about nothing.
No… this is not a Seinfeld post, but rather one about nothing that pertains to food.

Perhaps I should have said "Boo-hoo".
I may just have the unfortunate blessing of having a participatory post that people don't participate in. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I know that there are people who want to participate in Friday's feast, but may be scared away because they feel they must produce. I also know that people tend to get busy and may not remember to link up. I also want to blame myself because I don't know how to promote this feature.

I rather like the concept and feel that it should work. I have even taken steps to make the process easier to do, but have not gotten the type of participation I see other sites have.

It is not that I do not appreciate those who do participate— I do and thank you all for joining in. It is just that I had to resort to drastic measures to get my recipe swap links last week, only to find an empty well this week. I am very hard on myself and tend to blame it all on my lack of experience and/or charisma.

How can I make this feature more appealing?

  • Should I just abandon asking people to participate…
  • Should I just stop altogether…
  • Should I only post when I feel like it and leave it up to the reader if they want to participate or not…
  • Should I post every other week to give people more time…
  • How does one promote such a feature and get people to participate willingly without having to resort to begging…

My apologies for giving you such a Boo-hoo moment. I have been struggling with trying to make this work since April and have not seen any positive momentum. This in turn effects my self esteem and makes me question any of my abilities as a writer— or even as a person in general. I certainly do not want this feature post to effect my ability to post moving forward.

Any advice that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.


If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Since I didn't really cover Halloween this week, next weeks topic is still Halloween:

  • Are you hosting a Halloween party and have ghoulish dishes you will be serving…
  • Do you have any stories about when you went trick or treating…
  • What is your favorite Halloween candy…
  • What is it about those crazy Americans who tell their children to go door to door and get candy from strangers…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Summer Fades

This poem I must have written sometime after school started up again. It incorporates my "six-line" style formula in which the initial pairings rhyme and the second to last line rhymes with a word in the last line and the last word of the last line line rhymes with the first two. It also ties each of the pairs together logically which is a feature I like about these types of poems. I find that it shows the hopefulness and disappointments that sometimes accompany changes in the season.


As I slowly sit and watch the summer fade away
the winter winds creep in and cloud up the day.

Years gone by in times of dread and pain
the waiting for it all finds me no gain.

What new ground have I reached all torn and pail
my plans I decide all seem to fail.

The failure seems endless but at least there's hope
for one strong soul that knows how to cope.

To put up with my misery and comfort my needs
and only plant those seeds that reveal the play.

cj85'

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

When I was a sophomore in high-school I had a biology class where we dissected a frog as an anatomy lesson. Whereas a lot of biology classes have freshly killed frogs, ours had ones that were kept in formaldehyde. Because of this— the frogs had rigor mortise and were stuck in one particular position. Ours had the fortunate/unfortunate position of having one of its front legs folded in front of its body instead of off to the side.

This was unfortunate, because we had to work around that folded arm any time we had to access the body. It made it particularly difficult to open up the belly and see what it recently ate. I don't think that my lab partner and I put two and two together and saw how fortunate we were until we snipped the frog's jaw and rolled out the tongue.

One of the exercises in class was to roll out the tongue to see how long it is. In order to do this, you had to snip the two sides of the jaw so that the jaw can be flipped down and the tongue rolled out. I don't know at what point we noticed that the hanging tongue reminded us of a Rolling Stones album cover— or that the folded arm may have been in that position for a reason. It was after this point that we never looked at our frog the same way again.

We fashioned an electric guitar out of paper and slipped it under the folded arm. We affectionately named it Jeremiah and sang Joy To the World to ourselves every time we got the frog out. I do not think that we had the forethought to take pictures— who could when you are keeping one eye on the teacher so that you don't get caught goofing off. Our frog was a rock-star and we liked it that way.

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