Friday, July 31, 2009

Underwater Ahhs . . .

There's no real "point" or punch line to the video above--one of those sharks isn't going to suddenly gobble up the diver. But isn't it amazing?

When I was a kid, we used to go to the beach and I'd lie in the shallows and pretend I was a mermaid. Going to this aquarium might be the next best thing. :-)

Today's my deadline day . . . and I finished the manuscript yesterday. Just waiting on feedback from my collaborator, and then we're done with round one!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slaves on the East Coast?!

Okay, this is funny, but it's also kind of sad. (I hope this girl was on cold medicine or something). I'd hate to think these thoughts are representative of the California Educational system . . .


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mother of all Motivations

I found an app(lication) on iTunes for my iPhone . . . Death Clock. (Sounds like a movie trailer, doesn't it?)

Anyway, this handy little free app asks you a few questions, then computes the statistical average of your life span . . . and then ticks it down for you in remaining years, months, days, hours, and seconds.

Remember the other day when we were talking about the jar full of marbles? How you should fill a jar with a marble for every (expected) remaining week of your life just so you can be aware of time passing?

Well, I've discovered a new application for the Death Clock. I discovered that by changing my weight from what it is NOW to what it will be when I reach my weight loss goal, I gain twelve years! Do you know how many books I can write in twelve years?

Yessir, by simply losing weight and not changing another thing, I go from an expected life span of 83 to 95.

Which, for me, is a VERY good reason to stick to the diet plan.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Weight Loss Check-In

First week? Three pounds gone.

At first I didn't think the plan was working--I was sticking to it, my only lapse two nights of bubble gum balls (had to clean out my stash), but now I see that it is.

And I came up with something "brilliant," or so says my Jenny Craig Counselor. I took one look at my crammed closet--crammed because it contains FIVE sizes of everything from jackets to dresses to skirts to pants--and decided that from now on, I will only keep TWO sizes in my closet. So I put all the too-small things in plastic bins and took them upstairs for storage. So right now everything I have in my closet is Large, but as I lose weight, I'll get rid of those and bring down the smaller sizes. It'll be like Christmas! So I have new clothes to look forward to, and I won't have to spend a penny.

Plus, we all know (well, many of us do) how discouraging it is to look into a closet full of clothes you can't wear. It's a bummer. So that situation has been handled --and I have more closet space, too. :-)

Have a great day!


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Caruso School of Acting

Okay, I'll confess--I LIKE David Caruso. (Did I spell that right?) But when you watch this collection of video clips, you see that his style of acting is apparently limited. (Or maybe that's just how he's directed).

Deadpan expression: "Yada yada yada yad" (dramatic pause, put on sunglasses) . . . "Yada badda bing."

LOL! After a while, it's really funny. Enjoy! (And the next time you see my pal Alton Gansky, ask him to do his David Caruso impression. It's hilarious!)


Sunday, July 26, 2009

The New Wedding Processional

Don't know if you saw this . . . . you might have, because it's gone viral. I saw a snippet on Good Morning America last week, and Ruthie sent me a link to the full video. Enjoy!

Now . . . I wonder what they did for the RECEPTION? :-)


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Email Was Invented . . .

We don't have mail slots down here . . . and it's probably a good thing!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Ever had a luggage mishap?

Obviously, United Airlines broke this guy's guitar . . . but what a clever way to air your grievance! I wish I had such talent. Fortunately, at the moment I can't think of anything to complain about . . .

Enjoy! Isn't this a catchy tune?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Health Care

Universal health care . . . scares me silly. This video explains why.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Continuing Sims Saga

I mentioned the Sims a couple of weeks ago (scroll through July if you need a refresher course).

Well, the game has become my "carrot at the end of a stick" for my work day. If I get my pages done, I get to play the Sims for a while.

So a few nights ago I started with Gwen and what's his name. They got married and lived together, and soon they gave birth to Snookums. Then I realized I could give them fertility treatments after they'd ammassed a certain number of "lifetime happiness" points, so I gave Gwen some extra hormones or something. A little bit later, she's preggers, and we have twin boys. Oops! I have to buy more baby beds, or the Sims just leave the little guys lying on the floor.

Then I discover that the hubby (I can't remember his name) can get fertility treatments, too, so I get those for him and soon Gwen gives birth to THREE boys. Which means I not only need another baby bed, but I have to add on another wing to the house. And another bathroom, because six kids and two parents just can't seem to share one bathroom, especially when the plumbing is always leaking.

Snookums turns out to be a regular little mommy, helping Gwen out with all the twins and triplets, and before I know it, Snookums has gone white-haired and I haven't gotten around to marrying her off. She's "dating" a good looking Sim named Donte, but though they get very affectionate out in public, he never wants to pop the question. I try to get her invited to his house, but I can't FIND his house on the Sims map.

So finally I invite Donte over to the frantic, over-populated house where Snookums and company lives. He marries her, and I'm allowed to move Snookums into his house, which turns out to be a cool, ultra-modern underground affair.

They get very affectionate in the bedroom, but "try for baby" is not an option now that Snookums is white-haired, so she places a call to the adoption agency and presto! A pink bundle of joy is delivered almost immediately. Snookums is delighted, but suddenly she places the baby on the floor and quakes as the GRIM REAPER appears to take her away.

Donte, her new husband, just stands there weeping and looking horrified at the thought of having to care for this kid. But he does, growing attached to Little Lucy Loo. I establish Donte in the apple orchard business, so he can stay home and grow apples and not have to call a babysitter for Lucy Loo.

But alas--when money gets low, Donte has to take the apples to the grocery to sell them, and Lucy Loo is left alone. Plus, now that Lucy Loo is a child and no longer an infant, they are sharing the same bed, but father/daughter Sims will not sleep in a double bed simultaneously. (I am amazed at the flexibility of their morals). And one night while Donte is rushing around, about to fall over dead from exhaustion, the social worker comes to take Lucy Loo away. Apparently she hasn't been socialized enough, and talking to the maid doesn't qualify. (All the maid does is complain that there's not enough room on the bookshelf.)

And now Donte is truly bereft. He is often visited by Snookums' ghost, but his late wife doesn't want to clean the house or help with Lucy Loo, she only wants to play on the computer and levitate the furniture. Sigh.

And--gasp!--suddenly Donte has gone white-haired. Which means if he's going to have an heir, he'd better get busy. So I send him into town, where he stands outside the bistro and propositions (in a nice way) every Sim female who comes along. Finally he discovers that Jana is RICH, and so he sets his sights on her. He invites her back to his house and my goodness, she's pregnant, and yet I haven't been given the option to have them marry. But that's my plan--they need to get married so that baby can have a daddy and they can go live in Jana's rich house. I'm tired of living underground in a place where you can't even make a batch of waffles without burning up the stove.

And that's the latest development in Sim-land. :-)


Update: last night I mistakenly killed Dante off by trying a new combination of cheat codes and summoning the Grim Reaper. So Jana, who was pregnant, immediately went after Andres, but when he showed up to marry her, he had two babies in tow! Yikes! More than she bargained for, for sure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A dog that says meow?

A tip of the hat to Clyde for sending this snippet . . . . though I must confess, my reaction is like Simon's. I just keep asking, "Why?"


Monday, July 20, 2009

Listen to this!

Gotta love this man's chutzpah.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Uniform Project

I LOVE this idea!

This gal has vowed to wear the same black dress every day of the year in order to raise money to educate poor children in India. (So far she's raised over $5,000).

But if you click on the link that says "view by month," you can see that on no two days does she look the same. The key is accessories, ladies! And you can even donate accessories to her cause.

I remember one year--the year I taught high school, as it happens--that I wrote what I wore each day on my calendar, just so I'd never repeat. I didn't think anyone would even notice how I was mixing things up, but my female students did! :-)

A tip of my hat to this courageous, fashion-forward young lady! You can check out her site here.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Latest from Camy Tang!

My friend Camy (who I was just with last week) has a new book out. Here's the scoop!

The Grant family's exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and
relaxation—not murder! When Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, everything falls apart.

The salon's reputation is at stake…and so is Naomi's freedom when she
discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is
found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim's
ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to
light, where can Naomi turn…and whom can she trust?

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a
biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group
and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story
Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian
novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs
(namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...),
the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind.
Visit her website at for a huge website
contest going on right now, giving away fourteen boxes of books and 24
copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.

Purchase links:
Buy from
Buy from Amazon



Friday, July 17, 2009

Google Earth BC?

What if they'd had Google Earth back in Bible days? This web site gives you a Google eye view of what the earth might have looked like on several significant days. Interesting . . . .


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chewing Gum Sculptures?

It's no secret that I love to chew bubble gum while I work (though I'll have to switch to sugarless for a loooong while.)

But these sculptures . . . . well, I like the round ones. But the stretchy ones just look kind of gross to me. What do you think?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My New Challenge

. . . is to lose about fifty pounds. Yes, really. (Being tall allows me to disguise a multitude of excess pounds.)

I debated sharing this on my blog--after all, if I fail to meet my goals, that could be humiliating--but on the other hand, public humiliation might also prove highly motivational!

I've lost these pounds a few times before. Years ago, I lost 40 of them with Weight Watchers. Time passed.

About five years ago, I lost sixty pounds on L.A. Weight Loss. Time passed.

And now the years have passed and I find myself with a closet full of darling clothes that don't fit any more. Time for another "eating plan," but I always need something new to keep my interest.

So I have a pantry and freezer full of Jenny Craig products. I also have two secret pals (I'm not going to out them on my blog), who are doing this with me. They'll finish long before I will, but here we go!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homeward Bound

If I were a high school science teacher, I might find this video helpful to interest (more boys, at least) in science. :-)

On my way home today. Had a great time with friends in Denver, but I have a deadline looming in my near future. Plus--another challenge I'll tell you about tomorrow.

Have a great day!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Denver wrap-up

Our retreat wrapped up this afternoon, and we had a wonderful time.  This retreat is different than most--it's not a conference per se, but a retreat of encouragement, edification, sharing, and prayer.  Plus, we laugh and cry--a lot!  

I've included the group photo, a tradition we've had for the last ten years.  Enjoy!   You can click on the picture to enlarge. 

P.S. The secret to getting so many bright smiles on so many faces?  You have people say an energetic "yeah!" on the count of three.  One, two, yeah!  

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Checking in From Denver

I posted lots of photos from our novelists' retreat on my facebook page. Just look at the photo albums.  :-)  


Saturday, July 11, 2009

West Side Story redux

This is too cute! If you liked West Side Story, check out this modern version--it's actually GOOD!


Friday, July 10, 2009


Okay, this is too cute. If there's one thing cuter than puppies, it's babies. :-0



Thursday, July 09, 2009

Great article online

Be sure to check out this article--it's a great picture of God's grace.!

I'm off to Denver today for my annual novelists' retreat, followed by the Christys and ICRS, formerly CBA. I'll try to file some reports. :-)

Be blessed today!


P.S. Let those who have been hint-hunting pause and reflect. :-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Sims

I had a video about Twittering up here, but as I was vacuuming the house, I decided it was stupid. And since I'm committed to bringing you the best of the trivial, I decided to delete it.

And talk about The Sims instead. :-)

I have to confess--when I finish my work quota and am looking to relax, I either watch a movie or play The Sims. The other day I sat down with the Sims, and the next thing I knew, three hours had passed!

What is it? Sims stands for "simulation," I suspect, and the game has been around for ages, but the latest and greatest version recently released. I tried to play it on my old computer, but the grahics were so intense that the two-year-old machine just couldn't handle it. But my new desktop handles it just fine.

It's so detailed that you can see incredible facial expressions if you zoom in. And if you hang a mirror in your Sim's room, you can actually see reflections of the furniture you've placed on the other side.

In The Sims, you can either play with an already-established family, or you can build your own Sims and go from there. These Sims are remarkably life-like. They have to eat, take a bath, use the toilet, and go to work. (They don't get sick, though. Hmm.) They have babies; they die of old age (suddenly, without much warning, the Grim Reaper appears and hustles your Sim's ghostly outline away.)

And to create a baby--well. Clearing throat. You have to have two Sims, one male, one female, and they can't be gray-haired. You have to move through the stages of friendship and hand-holding and affection . . . and then half the time one Sim will throw up his hand and declare he's "not in the mood" right now. LOL. I tell you, it's just like real life!

About the only things missing from The Sims' lives are 1) religion and 2) illness. Although I have heard some characters sneeze, I've never heard one pray.

The Sim's television sets--you can change the channel to different programs. And the commercials, though spoken in Sim language, are amazingly real! Too funny.

I love the babies. They need their diapers changed and they need bottles and high chairs and proper cribs, or they'll end up sleeping on the floor and being grumpy.

I could say more, but I need to get going today, so let me sign off with this. The Sims has given me an obvious solution to those who can't seem to reconcile man's free will with God's sovereign ordination. When you create a Sim, you choose his personality and attributes. And, knowing those, you can pretty much predict how your Sim will behave in any given situation--unless you step in and command him to do something. (And even then, your Sim will wave his hands and loudly complain.)

So . . . what's the problem with free will AND sovereignty? I see it play out every night. :-)



Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Last night my book club had a great meeting, and next month we're reading THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. I'm already halfway through, so I'm looking forward to finishing it on the plane.

I leave on Thursday morning for our novelists' retreat, followed by the International Christian Retail Stores convention (or something like that), which used to be called "CBA." Why did they make it more complicated?

Anyway . . . my dog Charley and I are not on good terms, and Babe is pushing her luck. Babe sleeps in our bedroom, in her own doggie bed, and Charley sleeps in an exercise pen, on a nice, thick foam mattress. But last night Babe was restless. At about 1:30 I felt her nose against my shoulder, and for about an hour she paced all through the room. She'd move from my side of the bed to my hubby's, then she'd go to the door and scratch it. When I got up to let her out, she wouldn't go out. Back and forth, all through the room, for at least an hour.

Finally she settled and I went back to sleep. But when I woke up this morning, I discovered that Charley had an accident of the worst kind in his bed--for the second time in as many weeks. (Big dog equals big mess). I had to get him out, send him out to be bathed (the Son was not thrilled by that task), while I swept and deodorized and stripped and sprayed and flushed (and had to plunge the toilet), etc. Now I'm washing clothes on the "sanitary" cycle, and that takes 2 hours!

All while I'm on a deadline, and rushing to maintain my quota so I won't fall behind. Arrrrgh!

But that's life. You roll with the punches, you brace for the unexpected. And you smile. :-)

Hope your day got off to a more auspicious start than mine did!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Almost Last call for the January Cruise!

A reminder--

Some friends of mine--friends who drew together around the Heavenly Daze series--are planning a cruise in January 2010. We'll be leaving out of Tampa on the 28th for four nights/five days. Que habla espanol? Porque nosotros vamos a Mexico!

Here are the details:

Inside: Base price is $320, with port charges and taxes the total per person is $456.45. Insurance can be added for $29 per person.

Ocean view: Base price is $400,with port charges and taxes the total per person is $536.45. Insurance can be added for $29 per person.

Balcony: Base price is $700, with port charges and taxes the total per person is $835.45 Insurance can be added for $59 per person.

Deposit of $200 per stateroom is due July 12, 2009. Final Payment is due on November 19, 2009.

Transfers from the airport are $20.50 for one way and $40 for round trip.

Now--I'm not a travel person and I'm not handling any details on this. The person you need to talk to if you're interested is Linda Gordon, and you can write her at She also has a Disney World package that you can add on to your cruise if you like.

So--if you've never been on a cruise and you'd love to try it with some friends who love reading, check it out! Lori Copeland is coming, too, and several friends are already signed on. We'd love to have you join us. It's going to be FUN!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

A blessed fourth to you!

I didn't write this, but thought it appropriate for today:

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;

another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.
He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,
and poverty was his reward..

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!


Friday, July 03, 2009

Double Meaning

"Metamorphosis" by Octavio Ocampo

These works of art are best watched in full screen . . . because as the picture looms larger, it takes on an entirely different meaning. I had seen the picture "General" before, but most of these were new to me . . . and quite lovely.

I have no artistic talent, so I love seeing the works of talented artists. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Power of Water

Flooded River Destroys Road In Minutes - Watch more Funny Videos

As we enter our rainy/hurricane season, this video reminded me of the awesome and destructive power of water. Watch as a little flood takes out a major chunk of paved road in minutes . . .

And if it's raining where you are, be careful!


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Need a cheap place to live?

Do you need affordable housing? Could you get a loan for about $30,000?

Then you might be able to do what this woman has done--convert a junked 727 airplane into a home.

Cozy, isn't it?