Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Evening Blues

Hi there. It's Wednesday yet again. Second week in a row that I have waited a full week to post. Not much new and haven't really "gotten into" looking over my topics list to mine it for ideas. The blogging book I mentioned (twice now) about nobody caring about what I had for lunch is now due and is not renewable like the others on blogging are because it has an outstanding request on it so I won't get the chance (unless I request it again after returning it) to re-read it.

I could have done that before as I had read it quite early in the loan period but just never got to it as I was reading alot of other stuff as I said last week. In the last week I haven't really read much. Nothing from the 2 blogging books I said were harder to get into and only a chapter or two more from the Bill Clinton book Giving, even though I am liking that book.

As for what else is new - I just helped a friend celebrate her birthday the other day. She just turned 29. Getting close to the milestone 30th. She was freaking out a little. Wonder what 30 will bring on that note if 29 freaks her out this much. LOL. Actually, I should talk! I got fairly freaked out on my 25th(!) birthday. Kind of hard to believe that that was almost 20 years ago.

Also, sent out about 15 to 20 Easter cards. After the death of my brother-in-law about a month ago I got a bit - can't really think of the word... - sentimental for lack of a better one, and bought a boatload of cards for the next upcoming holiday which was Easter when I was looking for a card for him to send at the end.

Hope that it brightens the people (mostly family and a few friends) day getting an unexpected card for the holiday as I spent a small fortune on them. I won't be doing that again for awhile - mainly cause I can't. It would be nice if I could.

Speaking of having the day brightened by a unexpected (or at least somewhat unexpected) card I got on myself - from my mom. Apparently, when I called to thank her, it came the same day as my card to her arrived.

Also, on the Easter front I will be going home to Mom's this weekend to be part of watching all the little great-grandkids color Easter eggs. Mom has had them over every year for the past several. It's always fun to see.

This year, the oldest one who is 14 I think has decided not to bother. He will be going to his mom's for the weekend. Oh well, I guess childhood doesn't last forever. The youngest is about 2-1/2 so she will be into it for many years to come.

Other than Easter, only two other random bits of news. First, my friend Kevin who I mentioned in a previous post or two on the would be Kevin Contest is on the outs with me and another friend of ours. He claims we are too boring. LOL. Probably true, but still I hope he has a change of heart about the "don't call me, I'll call you" message he gave us (literally). After all, we have been friends for about 5 years now.

The second random bit of news regards my first totally random follower on this blog. Scott is his name, if you had forgotten (I did mention him at the time he came on board).

I had meant to send him a message asking how he found me/why he picked me to follow and I just never got it done. Till today. So if he replies I will share a little bit about that perhaps.

Anyway, that is about all for now. Hopefully the "Inspiration Fairy" will some and sprinkle a little of her fairy dust on me in the coming days and I will post more often starting in April which is upon us as of tomorrow. So that is my "New Month's Resolution".


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Books Less Blogging

Well, it's Wednesday already. So it's been a week since my last blog. I'm getting worse not better. Hopefully this doesn't keep up and I get my act together. I don't know why I haven't felt like blogging - I just haven't.

I haven't been doing much other than reading - a lot! - lately. Started two books Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, And Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg and And Then There's This: How Stories Live And Die In The Viral Culture by Bill Wasik.

Then started and finished in one sitting each two more - The Accidental Billionaire: The Founding Of Facebook: A Tale Of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich about Mark Zuckerberg and the "friends" he left in his wake and Inside Larry & Sergey's Brain by Richard L. Brandt about the founders of Google.

If I hadn't already mentioned it I had read two books on blogging before the two I'm reading now by Rosenberg and Wasik. The first was No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason and The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging by The Editors of/Some Famous Contributors to The Huffington Post with an introduction by Arianna Huffington.

Actually now I remember the original Books and Blogging post mentioned the Mason and Huffington books. Specifically how much I got into them unlike the harder to read Rosenberg and Wasik books. Ah, the joys of reading books that challenge! LOL.

Until I get back into the Rosenberg and Wasik books on blogging I have started to read a book that I just bought second-hand by Bill Clinton called Giving: How Each Of Us Can Change The World. So far I've read two chapters. It's pretty good so far.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction/Ghost Town

Unfortunately there was a blogger/blogspot glitch as I was trying to enter this post, so in order to read it please go to the "first comment" which is where it is posted.

Speaking of comments, I would definitely appreciate some comments on this post especially as it is a review and I am curious if it inspired anyone to check into these movies.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well today I'm also in a hurry so this will probably be short. Also in and of itself I think this is bound to be a pretty short post.

Just a little news on goodreads and as promised in my last post or the post before. Not much to say about webs as I am still at one friend/follower.

As for goodreads. I have gotten to 4 friends/followers already, have 111 books on my page (mostly to-read but about 10 - 15 read and 2 in progress) and I'm in a contest.

The contest is to win a copy of my 1st goodreads friend's, the author George C. King, book The Rupture which is a satire of The Rapture.

Unfortunately, the contest is not being judged by George but rather the goodreads crew so sucking up is not an option. LOL.

I also probably don't have much of a chance of winning because in the rules, etc it said the the winner would be picked (perhaps among other things - I can't remember) by the amount of books on their shelves.

Oh well, I guess I could hope for the best. That is assume they are looking for the person who has added most to their bookshelves lately. That would be more fair.

Anyway, regardless, wish me luck. That is to say, keep your fingers crossed.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Books & Blogs

Today is by necessity a short post day. Am off to visit a friend for a "standing date". I spent most of the day reading or on the computer but put off blogging which doesn't exactly mesh with the idea of frequent posting.

Basically the day was spent much like the last several. As I said mostly reading (actual books)and also browsing the Yahoo and MSN news sites, checking in at my sites (Twitter, Facebook, a quick check of Multiply [still seems pointless!]and my latest two, and and reading from the multitude of blogs I follow.

More about goodreads and webs later when I have more time. I will quickly say though that I am pretty excited to have joined them. I have 1 friend on goodreads already and on webs I am "following" one site (not sure how I added it though so until I figure that out it will be my only site - LOL).

The books I am reading are varied and I finished 2 (both about blogging) in one sitting and one immediately after the other. The first book was just a short little one called No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog and the second (much larger one) was The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging.

Both were very good and gave me even more ideas for blogging than my infamous 7+ page idea list that I still have to get around to using. LOL. The Huffington Post book was the more useful/better of the two books though I think. I know I will definitely be re-reading them both, especially The Huffington Post one.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today At Exactly 12:00 AM!

Well first of all, it's not true. It wasn't exactly 12:00 AM. It was 1:00 AM. I wanted to fulfill my promise of sorts to post every two days, so I rushed to hit the new post button before 1:00 AM (12:00 AM blogger time). Didn't quite make it. But landed quite nicely on the beginning of the new day (again blogger time).

I had pretty much all day to post as I have been at my computer since early afternoon when I got home from lunch with staff (Virginia) and the two of my five roommates that were home (Gloria & Rose). We went to a restauraunt quite close to my mom's house so we made a quick stop there to say hi.

Anyway, back to being on the computer all afternoon and evening...

I was on limewire (still am actually, just taking a break to write this) downloading a crapload of songs. Before I started I was at about 65. As of now I am at just over 150! And I'm far from done. LOL.

Well, back to work. Bye for now.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The B-I-G 100!

I just found out yesterday that my Dad's oldest sister, my Aunt Gussie died a few days ago. She was 98! That's a pretty good run. Sadly, she wasn't in good health in her last few years so I guess not making it to her 100th birthday isn't as bad as all that.

Knowing that she was almost 100 when she died got my to thinking about another almost centigenarian I once knew. Round about the time my oldest great niece Alex was born I was visiting a lady who was a writer and had done broadcasts for the CBC named Peggy Holmes.

I met Mrs. Holmes after reading one of her books, Still Soaring. It was about her life in her early 90's. The cover of the book is a picture of her in a bright red outfit just before or after going up in a hot air balloon to celebrate her 90th birthday. She also wrote at least one other book called It Could Have Been Worse. It was about her experiences as a Canadian war-bride in the WWI.

I had looked up her son, who was mentioned in the book I read and had a common first name but one with a less common spelling. Through him I got her phone number and address so that I could get my copy of her book autographed. When I asked him if she would mind this he replied along the lines of "she is a ham, she will love it". After getting to know her a little I told her this, she was less than pleased at the characterization. LOL.

I visited her off and on for a few months. I don't remember getting her to tell any additional stories about herself. She didn't seem interested in that anymore. We just talked about our daily activities. Nothing special. One thing I remember is telling her that I was at the time or had recently worked in a pool hall. I remember this because at the end when I visited her in the hospital she actually mentioned remembering that.

I also remember two slightly unusual quirks she had. One was that she seemed to live on ginger-ale and kit-kat bars. LOL. At 99, I guess she figured it time to eat whatever the hell she wanted. The other thing I remember was that she used white kleenexes instead of book marks and had several books on the go so there was a lot of kleenexes sticking out of various books. It was sort of cute.

My final memory of her was visiting her in the hospital in my last visit to her before she died. I took my mom with me to meet her. We brought her some flowers from my mom's garden. I still remember the sign on her hospital room door as it was kind of bizarre. It read "No flowers or SALADS" I'm not sure why no salads. If we asked we obviously didn't get a good &/or interesting answer. NO SALADS! LOL.

In random news, being Sunday, I went to church today. Today's topic wasn't particularly noteworthy (we did have a guest speaker though - a Unitarian minister and university professor from Winnepeg). The reason I went today was to fulfill my promise to the Egyptian guy I talked about possibly helping with immigration/refugee status. I went to get a transcript of the service on "Standing For Something".

It turns out that I wasn't the only one who missed that service. It never happened. There was just a pre-service talk about the subject that some of the congregation had. There is a "follow-up/replacement" service scheduled for the end of the month so I will make every attempt to get to that.

Finally, while at the church I decided to go to the church library and found a book there that was in the borrowing/take if you like section. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family. Look forward to reading this sometime soon. Will probably post some of the ideas that I liked best.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Potpourri/Mom & Dad

In one of my last larger posts (the last few have been a sentence only) I said I would be posting daily (or more!). As you can see that was slightly true but also a little premature.

I will amend that to continue trying to post every second day, at least twice a week and up to daily or more. I definitely have posting fodder as I have been reading a lot of other blogs and subscribing like mad (I hit the blogger limit - 300! - lol).

Am in a bit of a hurry today, so I will just post a few random things that have come up lately. Definitely glad for my comment widget as I saw another comment I never would have noticed about my friend Francisco, his wife and the Chilean earthquake.

For some odd reason though, it didn't show up till several days later I think. Gremlins?

Deleted two posts yesterday along with the two comments on one of them as they upset a family member. Hopefully the person that I was responding to in the second comment got the response before it was deleted.

Today, is what would have been my late father's 90th birthday. He's been gone now almost 30 years as have the only two grandparents that I knew and a dear friend that was one of two foster sisters I had for a few years growing up.

They all died the same year. My father and maternal grandparents within 10 days of each other and my foster sister and friend about 3 months to the day after my dad who died between my grandparents.

Had a nice visit with a friend yesterday, and had a picnic of sorts at her apartment. Unfortunately, it was a catered picnic of (fried chicken) so have spent a considerable amount of my disposable income for the month. Worth it though.

Will be going to a friends today (hence the hurry as it is getting late in the day) and to visit my mother for the rest of the weekend. Will likely be taking my mother out for dinner on Sunday as I didn't get to on her birthday.

Made a list of blog topics in brainstorming fashion (ie. nothing is to stupid to write down and work off of to generate even more ideas) and came up with 7 pages in one sitting! Started this a few days ago. It is now about 7-1/2.

Oh, and the commenter I mentioned (on the post mentioning Francisco) said he would also check out Francisco's site. Was happy to hear that I could bring someone there. Well, that's all for now. See you soon.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Up, Up & Away

Seeing as I decided to post something today that expanded upon the previous day and it was a bit of a downer at it's conclusion I thought I'd finish off today with it being the beginning of a month as well as almost my 2 month anniversary on blogger (Mar 6th) with something wholely more upbeat.

Well, I guess it is a bit bittersweet too. The subject of this post is a movie that I've been wanting to see ever since I heard about it. Today I got the video of the Academy Award nominated animated movie Up. It sounded like a for the most part sweet tale of an old man and an eager young boy scout who end up taking a fantastic adventure together and learning something important along the way. But their is a tinge of the bitter in the backstory of the movie. It's also perhaps a bittersweet post because it's a movie that I want to give to my sister Carol too but I'm not sure if she is up to the backstory part of the movie.

I bought a copy at Zellers thinking it would be the most reasonable place to shop as opposed to Blockbuster since I am on a budget of sorts. But since Blockbuster was right next door I thought I'd just see the difference and check if there was a sale there as opposed to regular price at Zellers. No sale. However, there was both an odd thing and a even or I should say an expected even thing. It was a dollar or so cheaper at Blockbuster. The specialty store! That's of course the odd thing. The expected even thing was that I had forgotten that they of course offer pre-viewed videos at a reduced price. So a previously viewed copy was about half the price.

I decided since I bought the wrapped new copy at Zellers and kept the receipt directly with it that I would buy a previously viewed copy at Blockbuster and test-drive it. If I think Carol will be ok with it (in any case eventually in the near future) and it was good quality I would decide on whether to buy a second previously viewed copy and return the new copy or just give her the new copy. It may seem a small or petty thing but as the events of Saturday and my fight with a friend as previously mentioned showed money is an issue for both of us.

But back to the movie. It got very good reviews so far as I've seen. It got the Academy Award nomination. It is apparently the #1 animated movie of 2009 (although how many there were is up for debate). The perhaps over-detailed description of the movie's "basic idea" by a friendly acquaintance was promising but not unexpected based on the aforementioned reviews. And the blurb on the back actually was able to add to what I thought was a too detailed description by the person I mentioned. It even seemed upon reading that blurb like there might be still more to be uncovered and that the already known plot points would be dealt with in a more creative way than usual based on the stories inherent creativity. Or so I think.

I plan to see it either tonight or tomorrow as time is of the essence. Probably tonight. I can't wait. I was planning to see it with family but my young great-nephew was so eager to see it that his mom gave in and they watched it together before I was able to go see it with them. So I guess I'm not the only one who was excited to see it. I definitely hope it lives up to my expectations. I will probably post a bit of a review of it in my next post or in the very near future.

On a final unrelated note, but related to my previous post today that was also secondary to the main posting a word or two about the blog itself. I tried customizing it and was quite disappointed with the results of most of what I tried and deleted all the changes except one. You will find my most recent two comments listed just above my follower count (which btw is up to 24!).

Oh and one more minisule change that I defy anyone to notice. If you can guess what it is then I will send you a nice postcard as a prize.


Standing For Nothing

Well today I am at the start of probably making a fairly dramatic change to my blog here. I am thinking of posting daily or even occasionally more than that. I decided this after I made a list of possible blog topics and finished of with a full 7 pages! Admittedly, many probably won't stand up to scrutiny and will be left in the scrap-pile. After all, it was written in a brainstorming type of nothing is too stupid, stream-of-consciousness way quickly all in one sitting with no editing. Also the beginning of a new month seemed as good a time as any, particularly one in which I shall very soon (March 6th) celebrate my 2 month anniversary on blogger.

Before I get to the main topic of the title of this post I would also like to note a piece of news that may or may not be signifigant in the future of this blog as well that also came about today. On the recommendation of two of my FB randoms who have joined this blog as followers as well, I have joined a companion blog site called Multiply. Both of this men have said that they think Multiply has more features than Blogger but as I was leery having already posted 25 posts when this one is included it seemed silly to change unless the difference was dramatic.

Well the truth is, from my first look around the site I am underwhelmed. I don't do pictures, videos, and audio or add on widgets yet so if that is the difference it won't affect me to much so the change/addition would be rather useless. Perhaps reaching another audience would be nice although I don't know Multiply's position in the blogging universe as far as users/reach is concerned. But they sealed the deal by both mentioning that I could someone send from one blog to another and cross-promote this blog. We'll see how that works.

I made my first post there in the first few minutes/half-hour after looking around a bit. It was v-e-r-y simple. Basically a one line promotion of this blog with the address link. I have 1 follower or friend (whatever it's called there). I don't remember. That is Hayatali. He sent me the invitation to join that came in my yahoo (secondary) e-mail that I have because I've been able to download Yahoo's Messenger Chat Service successfully whereas I have been unsuccessful with MSN Hotmail/Live's Messenger Chat Service. I will probably be getting a response from Randy soon as he was the first to mention using Multiply when initially I scoffed at the idea.

That all said I move on to the main topic of this post. Yesterday, when I posted the Standing For Something post early in the morning because I couldn't sleep for the second night in a row I stated that I would be at church (Unitarian) for the social justice, where we are headed themed service. But because it was the second night with out sleep, I never got there. Shortly before, the sleep impulse finally kicked in. In my defense before I decided to bail on the much anticipated topic that I promised I would attend to help out with someone I don't know's problem I determined that I would get a transcript for the service as they used to sell for a nominal fee.

So I went from Standing for Something to potentially Standing For Nothing if the said transcripts are no longer published with the move to the "new" church. I hope that that is just a little response and that I can successfully lobby the minister, Brian to at least hear my FB acquaintance out. As I said before he can do the vetting. I did also miss the opportunity to light a candle for my brother-in-law Bernie at my first opportunity. And maybe my last. Hopefully not. Then again, there is the suffering. Who knows just how much pain he is in. Mercifully, the end is hopefully near but not before I reach him with my message of gratitude and apology.